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  • The Many Benefits of Chia

    The Many Health Benefits of Chia

    The word “Chia” is derived from the Mayan word for strength, because the Mayans and Aztecs fully understood the power that one can derive from these amazing seeds. Quite often, manufacturers and sellers will drastically overstate the health benefits associated with a seed or supplement, but the benefits of chia are backed up by science as well as history.

    In the early Aztec and Mayan empires, people knew there was something special about chia. These seeds, which come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, comprised one of four essential grains used as part of everyday consumption, and were also incorporated into medicines and used by Aztec warriors as a source of strength and vitality.

    Fast-forward more than 5,000 years, and scientists are coming to prove what the Aztecs and Mayans knew all along: Chia is an amazing nutrient source. For starters, chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than fatty acids. These fats are essential for human health, but most people do not get enough of them. Chia seeds are also so rich in antioxidants that the seeds can be stored for extremely long periods of time without becoming rancid.

    But omega-3's and antioxidants are just the tip of the iceberg. Chia is also very rich in fiber, as well as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorous and zinc. It can enhance the nutritional value of other food when used as an additive, and with its nut-like flavor, it can enhance the taste of your favorite foods as well.

    For these reasons and more, chia is being heralded as a “superfood.” You may have heard a lot about other superfoods like blueberries, broccoli, spinach and salmon, and these foods are all great, but many of them contain only a subset of the vast array of nutrients that you will find in chia. For instance, blueberries—like chia—contain phytonutrients and antioxidants, but they lack the omega-3 fatty acids. With its diverse selection of nutrients, vitamins and essential fats, chia is arguably the perfect food.

    Chia can be consumed in many ways. The grain is completely beneficial on its own, and unlike flax, you can derive its benefits without grinding the seeds. You can also use chia as a food additive or as a liquid. Unlike most seeds, you can even find chia in gel form, which is extremely beneficial in its own right. The gel causes a reaction in the stomach, drastically slowing the conversion process of carbohydrates into sugar. Chia gel can also help to balance your electrolytes.

    Like the Aztecs and the Mayans who lived centuries ago, you can enhance your own health and vitality by incorporating chia into your everyday diet. Whether you want to increase your energy or just ensure that you get those essential vitamins and nutrients every day, chia can set you on the right path.  Check out our Chia gel, Chia Surge.

  • Dancing With Myself

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    I’ve decided that I want my own nightclub in my next home. A place where Billy Idol can be blasted at 3:00 pm or 3:00 am and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” rules the sound system. A place where I can dance in my pink LuLuLemon “No Limit” Tank, white Victoria’s Secret boy shorts and have my own 2011 rendition of Risky Business. A place where there is no closing time and I am free to make my own decisions. Until I can afford that space I guess my living room will have to do. Well technically it’s not my living room but Ryan is kind enough to let me share his apartment until I can find a place.

    I have two dogs that I inherited from the non-committal 42 year old ex-boyfriend who preferred to give his Ferrari more respect than me. So I left, dogs and all. Until I can find a space I can call my own, the dogs are roaming “on the farm” in Fallbrook with my mom’s two Great Danes. It’s hard to find a place near my work and training area where I can have two dogs. So in the mean time I am staying with whatever friend has room at the time.

    I prefer stability. I prefer a space to call my own. I prefer consistency. But this is what I have right now and I am going to make the best of it. What I have learned is the value of true friends. People who have stood by me and opened their hearts and doors to me. I am grateful. Everyone knew I could do better and I deserved to be treated better but I guess it took me longer to see it because I was trying to create my ideal in an environment that could not sustain my desires. But I think it was really more than that. I think I truly felt it was OK to be mistreated. I mean seriously why would a man want to respect and care for a woman. Why would a woman feel a man actually deserved love let alone need to be loved. This was something I looked at deeply. The explanation was pretty clear as my parents obscure empty co-existence flashed through my mind. I took inventory of the relationships in my life. None of them what I wanted but rather what was deemed okay for me. I mean after all I was a serious athlete and there were certain things I just didn’t “waste my time doing.” I was told it was a bad distraction. I was told I didn’t have time for it. I was told there was no room for it given my serious training regime. I was such an obedient,conditioned athlete that I listened. So I was left with a relationship role model that only depicted lack of respect and disdain. Well fortunately for me there was a deep sense inside myself that said there was more for me. I deserved more. I deserved better. I deserved love. So I left. I left with my sense of self. I left with my respect. I left for good.

    It’s been quite some time since I’ve been in the passenger seat of the red Ferrari. Do I miss it? I miss that feeling you get driving along at 120mph, the wind blending the salty scent of the Pacific with the burning scent of exhaust. But that feeling wasn’t a free feeling. I was someone’s passenger. Someone who wanted to take me along for the ride, have me sit and enjoy and do as I was told and then they could drop me off at my house when they were tired of me. That wasn’t so free. I wasn’t smiling very much during those times. So much was missing and I felt like I was faking my way through life. Pretending everything was OK. Pretending I was happy. Pretending I could make do. I guess I was so used to persevering through intense two hour trainings and holding a 5:45 mile pace for 26.2 miles that I MUST be able to persevere through a relationship and get to the end. But the end of what. This was my life, not a race. So at that point I learned to separate Milena the woman and her needs from Milena the athlete and those needs. That is when I started to explore parts of my self that had been badly neglected. That is when I learned who I really was. That is when I learned what happiness is.

    Running has never been better. In fact, life has never been better. My running is truly an extension of my inner state of balance or imbalance. This inner state functions much better when I speak my truth and value myself not just as the athlete, but as the incredible woman I am. I am embracing this part of my life with passionate enthusiasm and I feel like I have been introduced to a new person. Someone I like a lot. Someone that deserves the best. Someone who is happy. It’s funny how it often takes a difficult circumstance to reveal the best in us. I guess that’s why we have triathlons, marathons and the Three Day Walk. I will let my perseverance rule supreme in those events, but when it comes to my next relationship, I am going to let love, respect and happiness be the center of attention but for now I will continue “Dancing With Myself” in the living room.

  • The Vitalyte Edge

    The Vitalyte Edge

    It seems that the sports drink choices in your local supermarket or convenience store are virtually endless. With so many colors, flavors, bottle sizes, and advertised functions, how does one choose the right energy drink?  We say go with the best and here’s how you figure out which one of those drinks is the best.

    Imagine that you are standing in front of one of those shelves at the local supermarket trying to decide which endurance drink is right for you.  This process of elimination will help narrow down your choices. Every time drinks are eliminated, the shelf gets smaller and smaller.

    Artificial  - If it’s got anything artificial in it, it has to go. Sweeteners, colors, any ingredient that is artificial gets put on the chopping block. This is by far the biggest category of products you should not be drinking. If the drink is neon in color, throw it out. If it has artificial sweeteners, throw it out. If its flavors come from artificial sources, you guessed it… toss it.

    Sodium – Now that a major chunk of your choices are gone, that shelf should be looking a lot smaller. Now we have to get into the nitty gritty of sports drinks to decide what has the potential to be a good nutritional drink. Sodium is the next biggest category to eliminate. Traditional sports nutrition logic suggests that a body needs massive amounts of sodium to help stay hydrated. While sodium is necessary to help transport other key electrolytes into the cell, too much of it is bad. So anything that has a sodium potassium ratio of more than 3 to 1 gets tossed out. Go with low sodium products!

    Potassium – Now the shelf should be looking really bare. You are going to be down to a handful of sports and hydration drinks. Now that we have thrown out the high sodium drinks, it’s time to throw out the high potassium drinks. This is only really found in Coconut Water. Currently coconut water is under a great deal of scrutiny regarding its supposed false claims about its electrolyte content. Regardless of its true content, coconut water is incredibly high in potassium. Potassium is moved in and out of the cells with the help of sodium so the same logic that forced us to get rid of the high sodium drinks, also requires that we get rid of the high potassium drinks. Your body needs a proper ratio of all electrolytes to function properly.

    Sugar Source – We are really down to slim pickings on our shelf and what is left represents some of the healthier sports products available on the market. Now it’s time to talk about efficiency. Drinks use all sorts of sweeteners to make them enjoyable but the right sweeteners also act as a transport mechanism for electrolytes. The wrong sweeteners slow down the process of electrolyte absorption causing more waste. Glucose is your body’s natural sugar and any food product that is taken in has to be converted to glucose before being used as a fuel source. By drinking products that have glucose in them, you ultimately increase the absorption rate and time of electrolytes by removing the unnecessary processing of other sugar sources.

    Taste – Finally there is taste. If a product tastes bad, you’re not going to be inclined to drink it. So by removing the hundreds of the products that don’t meetour criteria for a healthy sports drink, you should be left with only one choice, VITALYTE Electrolyte Replacement. For over 40 years the very best athletes in the world have turned to Vitalyte as their drink of choice.

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