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Oranges and Grapefruits….good for brain health!

My grapefruit and blueberry smoothie provides lots of antioxidants!

My grapefruit and blueberry beverage provides lots of antioxidants!

Good news! According to this month’s University of Berkeley’s Wellness Letter, an extra 7 ounces of fruit, especially citrus fruit, can reduce your risk of stroke by a whopping 32 per cent, according to the journal Stroke.  To get your daily 7- 8 ounces of fruit, try my juice recipe below.  It makes a delicious, refreshing summertime beverage by the pool or beach.

Ingredients:

One pink grapefruit, peeled and sliced into small pieces

1 cup of frozen blueberries

One peach, peeled and sliced

1 cup of iced water

Directions:

Place all the ingredients into the blender and spin! Drink and enjoy!

Running Past Bad Results!

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Results from last Sunday’s Half marathon are in! To be honest, I wasn’t happy with my my time ( 2:04.46)…at  first, that is. I trained for this race and to be a whole minute per mile slower than my target time was a little surprising, especially when I had nothing left to give at the end. But many runners deal with unexpected disappointments and results. The key to remember is that it’s important not to wallow in frustration. Here are some of my strategies for getting myself and my mind back on the right track with training.

1. After you cross the finish line, try your best not to show your disappointment to others. “Bee” a good sport. Granted, this can be tough to do but you don’t want to take the joy away from others who might be experiencing a PR or those that thought they they ran well even when they crossed the line behind you.

2. When you have time to rehydrate, focus on what was great about the experience. For example, the course had lots of cheering spectators and was well marked at the miles OR, I that I covered 13.1 miles on hilly terrain and placed in my age group.

3. Make the event more than just about a race! For me, it might be taking after race pictures with any family or friends who participated and enjoying a big post race meal and beer with them.

4. After a day or two, think logistically where you might be able to improve. For me, this last race proved I was not ready for many of the turns and hilly inclines, not to mention some of the rocky terrain in the beginning and end of the race. Going forward, if I choose to run a race of this nature, hill training is a MUST and practice on trails is key, especially for an athlete like me who over-pronates. :-)

5. Last, but not least, don’t let one race keep you from moving forward with your goals! After the recovery period, I handle this by signing up for another race.

Keep on trekkin’ folks, and remember, food (not just what’s on a plate) determines how we feel and heal!

My Quick Fixes For Curing Mild Insomnia

Exercise does help treat insomnia over the long run.

Exercise does help treat insomnia over the long run.

Having difficulty falling asleep? Here are some of my quick fixes for getting rid of mild insomnia:

- Light a cinnamon or vanilla scented candle. The aroma of the spice stimulates your brain to produce calming alpha brain waves, which can help you drift off to sleep, according to neurologist, Alan Hirsch ( Women’s World, July, 14, 2015).

- Eat a salad or taco filled with white beans for dinner. White beans are a source of potassium, a mineral that can cut your risk of middle of the night wake- ups as much as 50 percent within a week, according to the journal, Sleep.

- Get plenty of exercise most days of the week. According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, though exercise may not help insomnia sufferers sleep better immediately, exercise does help over the long run. For more on this study, go to http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/15/sleep-insomnia-exercise/2655209/.

- Drink a cup of smoothing chamomile tea. According to Dr. Oz, chamomile, a low growing herb with small fine leaves and little flowers, works as a mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer for adults who suffer from insomnia. For more on how to induce sleep more quickly, go to http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/sleep-countdown.

~ Decrease or eliminate caffeine after 1 pm. Alcohol is another culprit for disturbing a good night sleep, so drink in moderation.

Chronic insomnia is linked to increased risk of death, so it is important to treat it. Please seek the help of a medical professional ASAP if you find that you can not improve your sleep with natural, home remedies.

Staying Bikini Ready into your Middle Years!

Staying bikini fit is not easy at any age...but becomes more difficult as we approach our middle years. ere are my favorite " bee fit" tips that keep my stomach from bulging. :)

Staying bikini fit is not easy at any age…but becomes more difficult as we approach our middle years. Here are my favorite ” bee fit” tips that keep my stomach from bulging. :)

Staying bikini ready at any age can be tough, but it becomes even harder as we age. Here are my three best tricks to helping me stay slim around the middle.

- Exercise almost daily, even if you can only fit in a short one. As I have gotten older, I find I need to throw in a few sprints in my daily run to up my chances of burning fat. I love to run but remember, you don’t have to be a runner to be fit. Walk, swim, shoot hoops, jump rope…find your passion and make it happen!

- Aim to drink 12-16 ounces of ice cold water first thing upon waking. According to Travis Stork in this month’s First Magazine, drinking iced cold water can burn up to an extra 500 calories a week! Now, that’s a lot of extra calories.

- Eat a grapefruit every morning. In one study, individuals who ate grapefruit before meals, lost five times more weight than those who skipped the fruit.* Grapefruits contain a compound known as naringenin which switches on the body’s fat burning genes. If you are on any medications, though, please check with your doctor before eating grapefruit. Don’t like the taste of grapefruit? Then, aim to eat a cup of organic blueberries, also proven to burn belly fat.

- Add an avocado to your salads. Avocados are known to burn belly fat and keep you feeling satisfied between meals.

Most importantly, aim to increase your vegetable intake. Vegetables are not only loaded with antioxidants, but they are loaded with lots of fiber which will help keep you fuller longer. Add the veggies to lunch salads, pasta dishes, soups, and more!

Remember folks, food determines how we feel and heal!

*First, July 14, 2014

 

 

Watermelon: Super Juicy Fruit of the Month!

Watermelons are a refreshing, hydrating summer fruit due to its high water content.

A watermelon is a refreshing, hydrating summer fruit due to its  high water content.

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits because it hydrates, packs some powerful nutrients AND detoxifies our bodies! What makes watermelon a Superfood?

• It’s rich in vitamins A and C

• Provides an excellent source of beta-carotene and lycopene. Lycopene is what gives watermelon its deep red coloring; but the nutrient is also well-known as a cancer-fighting agent. It helps keep cell membranes strong, which in turn helps keep toxins from entering cells.

• Safeguards our eyes/vision. Watermelon contains lutein and zeaxanthin, potent antioxidants that are found naturally in our eyes. Researchers believe that the combination of these two antioxidants protects against several types of ultraviolet rays and many age-related eye diseases, including cataracts.

• Protects against a variety of cancers, including breast, prostate, colon, and lung, among others.

• Reduces inflammation and water retention; is a natural anti-depressant; boosts the immune system, and aids in weight loss.

• But wait, there’s more! You can even use the rind and the black seeds in your juicing! The rind is an excellent source of chlorophyll and the seeds are known to help relax the body, lower blood pressure and provide immune-boosting zinc and iron! (Make sure you rinse the rind very well before using.) This is truly a holistic, healing fruit!

That’s just about everything you ever wanted to know about watermelons … except: how do you determine from the outside how to pick out a watermelon that’s sweet and ripe on the inside? It’s easy if you know what to look for!

• First, choose a watermelon that feels heavy for its size. The water content of the melon increases as it ripens, and water adds weight.

• Next, examine the rind carefully, both top and bottom. The rind should be smooth and the top should be sort of dull compared to the rest of the rind. The bottom, which is where the watermelon rested on the ground as it was growing, should be a creamy yellow. If it is white or green, it’s probably not ripe yet.

• You can thump the watermelon if you like, but not everyone agrees that this helps determine ripeness. Those who do thump say to listen for a deep, hollow, bass sound rather than a shallow, higher sound.*

*Source: Crave Marketing

Protect Your Skin this Summer!

Eat lots of vegetables and fruit this summer. Watermelon is a great addition to a summer salad as it is a lycopene food, just like its friend the tomato. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that is good for cardiovascular health! Watermelon also helps you stay hydrated because it contains lots of water.

Eat lots of vegetables and fruit this summer. Watermelon is a great addition to a summer salad as it is a lycopene food, just like its friend the tomato. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that is good for cardiovascular health! Watermelon also helps you stay hydrated because it contains lots of water.

To protect your skin, wear a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses when exercising outdoors in the summer!

To protect your skin, wear a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses when exercising outdoors in the summer!

Are you confused about sun protection and the often conflicting reports? We’re told to use sunscreen to protect against sun damage and prevent skin cancer, but we’re also told that the chemicals in sunscreen could be harmful. What should we do? Well, we are right to be concerned about sun damage. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, and the occurrences are actually increasing. However, many sunscreens could be causing harm; according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 97 percent of Americans are contaminated with a widely-used chemical in sunscreens — oxybenzone – which can cause allergic reactions, hormone disruption and cell damage.*

In addition, not all sunscreens provide the protection they claim. To find a sunscreen that offers protection AND uses safe ingredients, check out Environmental Working Group (EWG). EWG rates sunscreens based on this combined criteria, and provides a list of the top 100 that made the cut. Overall, EWG likes today’s zinc- and titanium-based mineral sunscreens because they offer excellent UV protection but do not penetrate the skin. According to EWG, “half of the U.S. sunscreens that meet the United State’s FDA rules would not make it to store shelves in Europe,” which has stricter standards.*

What else can you do to protect yourself from skin damage and the threat of melanoma?

• Eat lots of raw vegetables and fruit (watermelon which is hydrating); they are packed with skin-protecting antioxidants/phytonutrients.

• Reduce or eliminate your consumption of processed foods and sugars, which can suppress your immune system and increase inflammation.

• Wear clothing that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays; check out products from Coolibar and Solumbra, or dozens of others available online. When in the water (or biking, hiking and running outdoors), wear a swim shirt – today’s versions are good-looking and breathable, and you don’t have to worry about chemicals or the sunscreen washing off. (Do make sure you use sunscreen on the parts of your face and body that are not protected by clothing.)

• Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, and wear sunglasses whenever you are outside, including when you are driving. Eyewear protects the sensitive skin around your eyes and can reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Make sure your sunglasses provide both VA/UVB protection.

• Avoid sun exposure during the hottest part of the day, 12N to 4PM.

• Avoid burning! Sunburns significantly increase your chances of developing melanoma, according to skincancer.org.

Do not use tanning booths – these are NOT safer than the sun! People who use tanning beds are two to five times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, according to skincancerprevention.org *

• Remember to examine your body for signs of skin damage and know your family history of skin cancer, and get a yearly skin check from a board-certified dermatologist.

Finally, remember to drink plenty of water when outside to keep yourself hydrated and your skin moist.

Source: Crave Marketing

A Health Coach Bag for the Family!

Grab and fill a bag with healthy goodies and bring it with you when traveling this summer!

Grab and fill a bag with healthy goodies and bring it with you when traveling this summer!

Friends often ask me what I bring with me when I travel to stay healthy. Depending on where I go and how I travel, I bring as many of the items below as I can fit! This way I always have something healthy to eat while in the airport, on the plane, in the car or in my hotel room or vacation home:

• Unsweetened coconut milk (individual packs)- available at Whole Foods
• Mini Nutri- bullet blender or single bottle blender
• Vega protein powder, vanilla or plain (individual packets)- available at Whole Foods
• Powdered green drink/Mighty Maca green drink packets
• Freeze-dried fruit (no sugar added) to add to my smoothies
• Instant oatmeal packets (no sugar added)
• Zhena’s Green tea-individual sachets ( http://www.zhenastea.com )
• Chia seeds individual servings
• Kale Chips or Skinny Popcorn packs
• Nut butters (almond, sesame – individual packets)
• Individual trail mix snack bags
• Dr. Fuhrman’s daily multi vitamin and probiotic capsules ( easy to open capsules!)
• Running shoes, flip flops for outdoor showers
• A bathing suit, tank and easy to rinse shorts
• Citrus-zinger water bottle

I always tuck a first aid kit in my bag just in case of an emergancy!

Happy Traveling, folks!

Healthy Tips to Keep You On Track While Traveling!

When traveling, there are many different ways to get in exercise and enjoy the scenery of your vacation. Here I am in Costa Rica, zip lining in one of the natural rain forests.

When traveling, there are many different ways to get in exercise and enjoy the scenery of your vacation. Here I am in Costa Rica, zip lining in one of the natural rain forests.

You’ve been looking forward to it for months …AND, it’s finally here! Your summer vacation! With everything you’ve put into it, don’t you want to feel your best and have enough energy to really enjoy yourself? After all, if you overindulge in unhealthy eating, you may end up with an upset stomach, headaches and possibly lethargy. Foods that are rich, fried, or sugary can make you (and your family) feel exhausted and moody – and who wants that when you’ve planned for a week of relaxation and fun? Try these health tips to keep you on track:

• Prepare for the unexpected. You can’t control a flight delay or long lines at museums or amusement parks, but you can control what you eat. Keep your blood sugar levels healthy by packing your own heart-healthy treats. I fill several small snack bags with a ¼ cup of nut mix (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds) and several other snack bags with my own trail mix. Some of my favorite ready to eat trail mixes can be picked up at Whole Foods. You’ll get the benefits of zinc, magnesium, fiber, and Omega-3s.

• Drink plenty of water instead of soda, fruit drinks, and Gatorade. This is the number-one health tip of frequent flyers, because airplanes are extremely dehydrating due to the pressurized cabin air. Bring water bottles (or bottled water) everywhere you go and plan to drink 8 ounces every hour or one 16-ounce bottle every two hours. Your goal should be to drink AT LEAST half your weight in ounces of water a day. Those who suffer from kidney ailments sometimes have restrictions on how many ounces of water they can drink at a time, so PLEASE check with your personal physician to see what is an appropriate amount to drink.

• Eat a protein-packed breakfast. At a hotel restaurant, it’s tempting to select a bagel and cream cheese, buttery croissant or a heap of flap jacks with lots of syrup, but that’s like eating sugary cake for breakfast.This kind of breakfast metabolizes the same way as cake, spiking your blood sugar then setting you up for an energy crash later in the day. Instead, opt for an egg white omelet with sautéed spinach, red pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes – fill it with veggies to fill you up longer. Or for smaller appetites, order scrambled egg whites any way you like it, skip the greasy breakfast potatoes and ask for sautéed spinach or kale on the side. Another great option is oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, and sliced almonds or crushed walnuts. You can even get oatmeal at Starbucks! Oatmeal is a perfect food to mix with chia seeds!

• Sip smoothies. When I am staying in a vacation home, I pack a Blender Bottle (with a spring or metal ball) or my Nurti-Bullet and make my own smoothies as a morning start and sometimes an afternoon snack, too. I blend chia seeds, almond milk, Protein Powder, and bottled water; then I toss in whatever fruit and veggies I can buy at a nearby shop. This gives me lots of energy and regulates my blood sugar and mood. In airports, beware of restaurants that claim they sell healthy smoothies-many of them are loaded with sugar, so check the ingredients first! Opt for a banana, orange, or apple if you fail to find a healthy smoothie shop.

• When dining out, have it YOUR way. If an item is fried, ask for it grilled. If it comes with french fries, ask for a side of steamed or grilled vegetables. Request a side salad loaded with a variety of vegetables instead of coleslaw. Tell the waiter NO bread basket, please. Check http://www.happycow.net/ to find some healthy restaurants in whatever area you’re visiting.

• Order a salad, but skip the extras. The typical Caesar salad (topped with cheese, croutons and dressing) has a whopping 560 calories, with 36 grams of fat, 6 of them saturated. So get the salad, but ask for vegetables only. Use oil and vinegar and lemon juice for dressing, or do the fork dip: ask for your dressing on the side, in a small bowl. Dip your empty fork into the dressing, then skewer a forkful of salad. You’ll be surprised at how this tastes just right, and how little dressing you’ll use.

• Only drink alcohol and caffeine in moderation or skip it all together. Remember, these drinks really dehydrate you, deplete your natural energy and make it more difficult to get a restful night’s sleep, so do not overdo!

• Don’t take a vacation from exercise. Go for a walk, jog, or RUN along the beach or in a nearby park, fit in a series of push-ups/sit-ups – do some form of exercise every day. If your hotel has a spa, check to see if it offers yoga, dance, or spinning classes. If your hotel has a pool, swim some laps. I make it a first-thing-in-the-morning routine, before the day gets too busy. Also, plan activities that are unique to your vacation – waterskiing, kayaking, hiking, zip lining, tennis, horseback riding, dancing – whatever your destination offers, go for it! If you are in a new country, far from home, with a unique culture, take advantage and sign up for walking tours. When I visit new far away lands, I love to meet the locals, learn about their culture and their favorite restaurants and spots.

Happy traveling, Bee Fit friends! Remember, folks, food determines how we feel and heal!

~Crave Marketing

Chia Seeds: A SuperFood You Can Add to Almost Any Recipe!

Chia seeds are loaded with protein and fiber!

Chia seeds are loaded with protein and fiber!

The Chia seed is an ancient SuperFood used by Aztec and Mayan warriors to increase their energy and stamina. Chia is one of the highest plant-based source of Omega-3s, fiber, and protein. Many health experts agree that these tiny seeds can also help fight against breast cancer. According to renowned Dr. Joel Fuhrman, “when (chia seeds and flaxseeds are) used in conjunction with dietary exposure to greens, onions, mushrooms, and beans dramatic reductions of breast cancer are possible.” Check out: https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/cancer_flax.aspx for more information on how chia seeds may help fight breast cancer. In addition to containing lots of protein and Omega-3s, they are packed with healthy oils, fiber, disease-fighting minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. The Chia seed also has three times more calcium than milk.

Chia seeds can be added to just about any meal, providing extra nutrition without changing the taste. When you add chia seeds to liquid, they form a gel and absorb ten times their weight in water, making it an excellent source of hydration.

I try to eat Chia seeds almost every day, mixing a couple of teaspoon into oatmeal, smoothies, and soups, or sprinkling it on top of salads for a little extra crunch.

Chia seeds have enormous health benefits. Here are a few of them:

• A complete protein with all of the essential amino acids intact. This is a great protein source for the vegan and vegetarian!

• A super source of Omega 3 fatty acids (the same Omega-3s that we get from fish oil and flax.) Omega 3 fatty acids are well-known for reducing inflammation in the body.

• High in fiber (about 4 grams per serving!), which helps pull toxins from the digestive system. Fiber also keeps things “moving” in your digestive tract and makes you feel fuller, longer.

• Rich in antioxidants which protect your cells and tissues and keep you looking and feeling YOUNG and energetic!

• Research shows that the concentrated amount of antioxidants and Omega-3s in Chia seeds may help improve brain clarity, concentration, and memory.

So, next time you prepare a salad, smoothie, or a bowl of oatmeal, add a teaspoon or two of some chia seeds.

Remember, folks, food determines how we feel and heal!

 

Source: http://www.drfuhrman.com and Crave Marketing

Boost Your Consumer IQ! How to Read Nutrition Labels

Learn how to read labels when grocery shopping.

Learn how to read labels when grocery shopping.

Grocery shopping can be confusing! It seems like every day there are new shout-outs on packaged foods: Heart Healthy! High in Protein! Trans-fat Free! What does it all really mean? In order to know what value a packaged food provides, we must understand how to read nutrition labels. Nutrition facts are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans developed by the USDA in 1980. (They are updated every five years.) The nutrition label is also based on “Percent Daily Value” (PDV). You’ll see that the values are listed as a percentage, and this percentage is based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day intake. However, you may not eat 2,000 calories a day, so the percentage of the nutrients you consume would be higher or lower.

Before we look at the label line by line, let me preface this discussion by saying that the “best” foods are foods that don’t come in a package at all! However, for those times when we must buy packaged food, it is important to first read the ingredients list. When you do buy a packaged product, I recommend purchasing foods with five ingredients or less (all of which you should be able to pronounce!). Foods with five ingredients or less are typically minimally-processed and don’t contain unhealthy amounts of sodium, sugar, “bad” fats, or chemicals.

That said, here are my top tips for How to Read a Nutrition Label:

Serving Size. The amount of nutrients in the food is provided PER SERVING SIZE. So if your bottle of juice says it contains two servings sizes, drinking the whole bottle means you will have consumed twice the amount of everything listed on the label. And trust me, some foods that you would think should only be a single serving are often listed as two servings!

Calories are defined as the amount of “energy” a food provides. In my health coaching practice, I don’t focus on calories, but rather, I encourage clients to eat nutrient-dense foods and avoid nutrient-deficient foods. This is because not all calories are created equal; counting them can lead you to make unhealthy choices and develop an unhealthy relationship between you and your food. Food provides information to your cells. Some food promotes health, gives you energy and makes you feel satisfied, while other foods promote disease, sap your energy, increase your blood sugar, and can actually make you feel hungry. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, Chairman of the Functional Medicine Institute “there’s no such thing as ‘junk food;’ there’s “food” and there’s “junk” and it doesn’t matter how many calories “junk” has.” The bottom line is: pay more attention to the actual ingredients than the calories listed on the package.

Fat and Cholesterol. The FDA requires that fat on the nutrition label be categorized as saturated fat, trans-fat, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fat. According to the CDC, “Diets high in saturated fat have been linked to coronary heart disease.” I recommend that you avoid saturated fats and that you eat no trans-fats! (The clue that a food contains trans-fat is the listing of “partially hydrogenated oil” on the ingredients list). While the FDA removed trans-fats from the Safe Food List in 2006, companies are still able to call their products “trans-fat free” even if their total is 0.5 g or less per serving!

Sodium is one of my least favorite ingredients after artificial sweeteners, sugar and trans-fats! Too much salt increases the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. The American Heart Association encourages limiting sodium intake to 1500 mg a day – that is less than one teaspoon! Pay attention to sodium totals for the foods you buy and aim for reduced-sodium or no-sodium products whenever possible.

Total carbohydrates are listed as fiber and sugar. Like calories, not all carbohydrates are created equal. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, it is the type of carbohydrates that is most important. “If the carbohydrates are from whole-plant foods that contain plenty of fiber or have a low Glycemic Load, that is very different (better) than that of fiber-less foods. The same number of carbohydrates from a can of beans or from a can of Coke affects the body in very different ways.” When choosing products, go for healthy fiber that is whole-plant based.

Sugar is listed in grams; I recommend staying away from foods that contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Sugar is a highly addictive substance that can be very harmful to one’s health; it creates inflammation in the body, runs down the immune system, causes insulin resistance, and can lead to weight gain and disease. Look for products with low or no grams of sugar listed on the nutrition label.

Protein is listed per serving. The Daily Value for protein is 50 grams, but again, your recommended amount depends on many factors. I recommend getting protein from high-quality sources such as beans, nuts, fish, chicken, quinoa, etc.

Vitamins A and C amounts are required to be listed by the FDA. However, you will find that many nutrition labels include other nutrients and their amounts per serving. Again, this is based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, so the percentage of vitamins you consume may vary. It is always best to get these vitamins from foods that don’t actually come in a package! Vegetables and fruit are your best sources of vitamins.

Sources: FDA Backgrounder: The New Food Label; Dr. Mark Hyman, Crave Marketing

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