Milena Glusac, California native and recent inductee to the CIF Top 50 athletes of all time Hall of Fame, has been hired to manage sales and promotional events for the Southern California region. In addition, Milena will also be a large part of Vitalyte’s social media campaign with her weekly blogs about her road back to competitive running. “We are truly excited to Milena as part of the Vitalyte family. Her passion for sports and commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle make her a perfect fit. We look forward to being a part of journey back to competitive running” says Evan DeMarco, CEO of Vitalyte
Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog
I'll say it. I'm a yogi - not a Pilates Person- but recently, this hype around "the other core workout" has gotten me curious. I just went through yoga teacher training while a good friend of mine went through Pilates Plus instructor training and all this talk of reformers, rings and the infamous hundreds has inspired me to do some digging. So here we are to uncover the truth about this workout people swear by, from one Pilates virgin to another.
Again, to preface, I know nothing about Pilates so forgive me if I post incorrectly. I thought it might be interesting though to take you with me along my journey as I research, then actually do Pilates, and then report my findings.
And so it starts: What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement.
What kinds of Pilates are there?
As it turns out, all Pilates forms derive from the form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates, who passed away over 40 years ago and only now is reaching his height of fame. I also found out that there are SO many types of Pilates. After doing my research I still don't know what kind uses the reformer, the rings etc but there is Classical Pilates (recommended to start), Winsor Pilates (remember those infomercials back in the day?), Stott Pilates, Power Pilates, the list goes on. There's also Yogalattes, which they offer at my studio so I'll blog about that soon.
The long and the short of this ambiguous blog post is that there's a lot of Pilates out there and I'm going to uncover this mystery...even if it means I force my Pilates instructor friend Kristen to guest blog. Until next time.
By Captain Vitalyte
The IT Band, formally known as the Illiotibial band, and the issues associated with it are no stranger to most runners. In chatting with running friends lately though, it seems that many people either don't know: 1. what it is or 2. how to fix it.
So what is the IT band?
The IT band begins in the hip as the tensor fascia latae muscle and has attachments at the origin from three different muscles: the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and vastus lateralis. The muscle becomes a fibrous band of tissue as it progresses down the thigh, then crosses the knee joint, and inserts along the outside portion of the patella, or knee cap, and into the shin bone.
For me, IT band pain doesn't feel like muscle pain. It seethes deep inside the bone, or at least it feels like it does, & reverberates throughout the leg with impact, spanning from my outer knee to my upper glut. Sounds fun right? Yea, it's not. It's especially unfun when you're training for a distance run and this fiery pain prevents you from reaching your goals, training or really doing much of anything.
The standard advice for athletes facing this persistent problem is, you guessed it, the dreaded foam roller. It's my vice and yours. It hurts- and not in a good way but it is indeed one of the best ways to deep condition the muscles in your IT area, to loosen up for the love of god. IT band pain is an injury of progression and by that I mean if you don't cool it, it's gonna get worse. That being said, be smart about your pain. Listen to your body and fix the problem before it escalates.
Simply put there are 3 phases of recovery for IT band issues:
1. Stop Running 2. Start Stretching/Foam Rolling. Then move to ice and gradually, side leg lifts with exercise bands are recommended. 3. When you're feeling better, move onto non/low impact exercise (try spinning, yoga or the elliptical). When running is back on the table, run quickly for short periods of time as that tends to aggravate the band less than slow, distance running.
By Captain Vitalyte
My mom hated breakfast. As a kid, I was conditioned to believe that breakfast foods were unhealthy and consisted of unnecessary calories. Breakfast was just an extra calorie dense meal and did not play a role in my life. Now I'm grown up and boy was she wrong.
I'm a health conscious eater, generally being aware of my calorie intake, always opting for the grainy, wheaty pasta/bread and consuming a solid amount of veggies and h2o each day. I abstain from deep fried foods, go easy on the dressing and try to look at food as fuel for my body.
That being said, I've struggled with finding the right things to eat for breakfast that work into both my schedule and my taste-buds and thought I'd enlighten you with my findings. I've only just begun so I'll keep you updated as I find new and fabulous things to keep your mornings exciting, flavorful and healthy.
These Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Waffles With Figs (190 calories, 9 g fat per 2 waffles) are awesome. Flax delivers heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats while the Figs enlighten the taste buds with a dash of sweet! Just pop them in the toaster and off you go!
Trader Joe's Sprouted Bread topped with a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese and red bell peppers. I know this might sound like a non breakfast combo but I'm addicted. While I'm getting ready in the morning I grab a slice of sprouted bread (ie bread that is made from whole grains that have been allowed to sprout). I top it with a dried off marinated bell pepper (from a jar also found at TJ's) and a dash of the crumbled goat cheese. I pop this puppy into the toaster oven and continue my morning regimen. When it's ready it's like a healthy breakfast pizza, chalk full of grains, color and just a bit of richness from the cheese to make getting out of bed seem like a good thing. Other healthy food options include topping it with 1 scrambled egg, to make it a bit more breakfast-like, avocado or even a chopped date for added sweetness.
Smoothies. Smoothies get a bad rap in that they're labor intensive...that is until you start making them. They're super easy if you get into the habit and are a great way to get some fruits and even....veggies in the morning. To make the process smoother as you shuffle around half asleep, prep your blender in the evening. Gather the things you want in your smoothie concoction the night before and put the blender in the fridge as you plug in the base. Then, in the morning add your liquids, fruits and even a handful of spinach (you won't taste it I promise) and witness the whirl. I'll even mess around with a Vitalyte blended concoction for the hot summer months- could be a great pre or post workout delight.
That's all I have in my routine right now so give them or something like them a try! Remember, refuel your body so that it can function. Feed that fire and inspire those internal wheels to turn. The earlier your metabolism starts kicking, the better. Enjoy my recommendations and let me know what you think!
When it comes to healthy eating, fish is always at the top of my list. Oily fish like two of my faves, salmon and tuna, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids—which have been known to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduce coronary heart disease. Although fish-heavy diets risk mercury exposure, the FDA recommends that people consume no more than three grams of omega-3 fatty acids from food daily. And fish are a low-fat source of protein, which is essential for weight loss.
So sounds like fish are a go, right? Except for one thing: many popular fish are endangered. Vita Girl to the rescue! Read the following list for your best picks for fish to get your omega-3s.
10 endangered fish:
1. Albacore Tuna 2. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna 3. Atlantic Cod 4. Atlantic Salmon 5. Chilean Sea Bass 6. Eel 7. Imported Shrimp 8. Japanese Yellowtail 9. Red Grouper 10. Orange Roughy
Swap those 10 endangered:
1. Alaskan Sablefish 2. Alaskan Wild Salmon 3. American Lobster 4. Pacific Cod 5. “Pole and Troll” Tuna 6. U.S.-farmed Barramundi 7. U.S.-farmed Shrimp 8. U.S.-farmed Tilapia 9. U.S.-Yellowtail Snapper 10. Wahoo
I don’t know about you, but after dragging myself to spin class or forcing myself to run as the sun comes up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I am always pooped come Thursday and Friday! I love working out in the morning and it is always worth it to know that I don’t have my workout looming ahead of me all day at work, but I start to lose my momentum toward the end of the week. Here are some tips for keeping your energy up throughout the week:
· Get moving! This is a given, but the more active you are, the more energy you will have. If you sit at a desk all day like I do, try to take frequent breaks to walk around and boost your circulation. Also, make sure to sit up straight to increase your oxygen intake.
· This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but regular workouts help keep energy high.
· Dehydration is an instant energy-zapper and gives this Vita Girl an instant headache.
· Try something new! New experiences give you a rush of adrenaline. Have you always wanted to try kayaking? Rent one and hit the water. I usually spin and run but when I want to mix things up I try a yoga or Pilates class.
· Speaking of yoga, a few deep breaths can give you a boost when you’re feeling zapped and need a pick me up.
· Make sure your blood-sugar never dips too low. I eat small meals throughout the day and always keep Vitalyte Sticks in my bag to jazz up water when I am short on time.
· Spend time outdoors! There’s a reason you feel relaxed when at the beach or in the woods, spending time outside lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormones.
Captain Vitalyte here excited to report the top 10 foods proven to improve your mind and fuel your body. Which one is your favorite?
1. Blueberries—Regular blueberry consumption improves memory function in addition to being rich in antioxidants. Research has also found that blues can reverse age related issues relating to motor function, balance and coordination.
2. Salmon—Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps your brain develop tissue thereby increasing and intensifying your brain power. Further, salmon also plays a key role in fighting Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive disorders.
3. Flax seeds—Flax seeds are chalk full of ALA- a healthy fat that inspires the cerebral cortex in its function. This portion of the brain is in control of processing sensory information and is obviously imperative to functioning.
4. Coffee—Yay for caffeine! Regular coffee consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other mental disorders. Caffeine contains antioxidants and those puppies are good for you. The important thing to note is those added sugars, flavors etc are NOT part of the goodness so consume accordingly.
5. Mixed nuts—Peanuts, walnuts, pecans, and other nuts contain properties that help with everything from fighting insomnia to promoting mental clarity and strong memory. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 and almonds contain natural mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. Note though that they are high in calories so pay attention to portion size!
6. Avocados—Don’t let the avocado’s fat content fool you. It’s a healthy fat that promotes blood flow, keeping your mind functioning at its peak. Avocados have also been shown to lower blood pressure.
7. Eggs—Egg yolks are rich in choline, an essential nutrient to improving memory function and they're super versatile. Make a hard boiled egg to add to your salad or a breakfast scramble atop a piece of whole grain toast and you'll be thinking clearly and awake in no time!
8. Whole grains—From oatmeal to whole grain bread, whole grains are excellent brain foods as they improve circulation and contain essential fibers, vitamins, and even some Omega-3. Also try Ezekiel bread- a sprouted grain that's all the health rage these days.
9. Chocolate—Dark chocolate not only tastes great , but is also antioxidant-rich, improves focus and concentration. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, improves memory and reaction time. So eat up!
10. Broccoli—Broccoli has been shown to improve memory function as well as slow the aging process. This means a broccoli-rich diet will keep you young and sharp.
Vita Girl here! Since it’s Monday, I thought I would make a healthy living suggestion that I have already adopted: Meatless Mondays. Relax, I’m not asking you to give up meat entirely (I am not a vegetarian myself), but cutting down on your meat consumption by just one day a week can lower the amount of sodium and saturated fat you consume—especially if you eat cold cuts.
I like a turkey sandwich as much as the next girl, but there’s no denying that processed or cured meats contain nitrates, chemical preservatives, sodium and saturated fat. I always look for organic or whole cuts of meat for my sandwiches and try to eat meat-free a few days a week. To ease yourself into eating less meat, maybe try just one day a week, like Meatless Monday!
Some of my favorite meatless lunches include a regular old PB&J on wheat bread; a healthy burrito made from grilled zucchini, black beans and low-fat cheese; and an egg white frittata with broccoli (made in the micro!). Paired with some fruit or baked pita chips and washed down with mineral water and I am completely satisfied!
Vita Girl here! Today I want to address a workout tip that you might not think about: avoiding germs at the gym. I know everyone’s sweaty and avoiding germs might seem like a lost cause, but a few simple antimicrobial tools can keep you from catching a cold or another illness while working out. Follow my health advice below and your workout will be (almost) germ-free.
1. Invest in your own gym equipment. I know, that’s why you belong to a gym, right? Well, I splurged on my own yoga mat and medicine ball and have never been happier. Many newer yoga mats even boast antimicrobial technology so one quick swipe with a damp paper towel and you are good to go!
2. That goes for a gym towel, too. You gym may provide towels, but think about how many sweaty people are reaching for them! You can find towels with antimicrobial technology to cut down on surface bacteria as well.
3. How many times have you gone straight from the gym to meet a friend for coffee or run an errand? I admit that this happens to me frequently, which is why I always make sure to wear workout clothing with odor-eliminating and antimicrobial technology.
4. You wouldn’t walk around a public restroom barefoot would you? Well, the same goes for the gym. Wear flip flips when walking around the showers and locker room. I even go one step further by wearing in-studio footwear during yoga and Pilates. Bonus: they help me from slipping in Downward Dog.
Full disclosure: I, Vita Girl, sweat when I run. A lot. I watch with envy as I pass girls without an ounce of sweat soiling their Lululemon outfits and don’t know how they do it! Gulping down an electrolyte replacement drink post-run hydrates me, but I set out to investigate what else I can do about the s-word (sweat).
Even if you aren’t physically sweating, you are still losing water and vital nutrients, which is why drinking Vitalyte is important. According to a study conducted by Women’s Health, we perspire enough each day to fill a shot glass! And that amount is before running or working out. As for the amount you sweat, blame it on your DNA, which regulates the actual amount we sweat.
The easiest way to stay dry when exercising, giving a presentation at work or even on a first date is to swipe on antiperspirant. Look for a formula that contains aluminum, which is absorbed into your skin and puts a cork in your sweat-producing eccrine glands. Applying antiperspirant at night will help keep you even drier the next day.
Clinical-strength over-the-counter antiperspirant is another option. It packs more of a punch than regular old antiperspirant thanks to as much as 20 percent aluminum zirconium (the max amount permitted by the FDA).If that doesn’t work, Botox might be the answer. Relax, I’m not asking you to go the Real Housewives route, but the wrinkle reducer can be injected into the forehead, palms, feet or armpits to stop sweat for up to eight months. Be forewarned: the FDA-approved procedure isn’t cheap.