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Friday, June 27, 2014

Runner's Diet: Green Tea

Some foods are acidic (coffee or meat) and some are alkalizing (tea or apple). On a scale from 1 (completely acidic) to 14 (completely alkaline), our body tries to keep balance around 7. In the last couple of months I have been boosting my alkaline intake to maintain this balance. Alkaline diet is good for runners and endurance athletes who continuously produce lactic acid and are prone to inflammation. Alkaline foods also boost immune system. Viruses, bacteria, even cancer cells cannot survive in alkaline environment but thrive in acid. Lots of traditional wisdom in a phrase: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Green tea has quickly become part of my office routine. Instead of afternoon coffee, I reach for a cup of green tea which is considered one of the world's healthiest drinks and contains one of the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea. The natural chemicals called polyphenols in tea are what are thought to provide its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. 

My colleague at work also jumped on the green-tea-bandwagon and started drinking tea as a substitute for soda he likes so much due to its high caffeine content. However, green tea is not only healthy but also gives you an energy boost: 8oz cup includes 25mg of caffeine. Win-win, but at much healthier equilibrium point.


This is a partial list of some of the alkaline foods as recommended by professional triathlon athlete and Vega-founder, Brendan Brazier:

Asparagus, Beets, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Dill, Green beans, Peas, Sprouts, Zucchini, Buckwheat, Quinoa, Wild rice, Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Cherries, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Oranges, Pears, Pineapple, Flax seed, Hemp, Pumpkin seeds, Almonds, Coconut.

Run strong ... and alkaline!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common and debilitating injuries. It's caused by repeated tissue strain. It's not an inflammation, but rather a degeneration: changing the thickness and substance of the facia.  There is no consensus on treatment of plantar fasciitis. 10 different runners would try 10 different ways of treatment. A friend from work who is coping with PF and unable to run asked recently what worked for me:
  • Nike Free. Truly therapeutic shoes that aim to strengthen feet. I started walking first for a couple of months then running initially for just 15 minutes and ramping up gradually every day. This transition to minimalist shoes may take up to 6 months.
  • Foot Roller Foot massage after each run followed by icing.
  • Graston Technique Treatment is often painful but allows to break down any scar tissue. It is offered by selected chiropractors.
  • Flexible Running Shoes. Running in shoes that are flexible is essential. Rigid sole constraints foot's natural motion and often results in foot injuries. I've been running in Saucony Kinvara since  since early 2010. 
It took several months but the dreadful PF eventually left and hope will never come back. Nowadays I always travel with my foot roller. It's an indespesable accessory that I still use after each run to prevent any flare-ups or maybe it's just a habit that became an integral part of my running routine.

Run Strong. Injury free.

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