• "Chia Seeds Are A Natural Source Of Energy"- Amy Pine

    Amy Pine- Marathon RuMarathons are my passion. I am currently on a mission to complete all six World Marathon Majors, including Boston, Berlin, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo. I’ve completed three of them (Boston, Berlin and Chicago) and I am still trying to get into the other three via lotteries. The last three are very difficult to get into. I have been trying for three years to get into NY and two years to get into London, but I am still determined.

    Apart from participating in marathons I also enjoy travelling.  I travel to other cities and countries in search of adventure and new experiences and running in places I have never been. I recently ran a marathon in Trinidad & Tobago, an island in the Caribbean, and I am presently getting trained for the Eugene Marathon in Oregon and Dublin, Ireland. I’m really excited about these upcoming races!

    I have used Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement before, but I recently tried the  Chia Surge Energy Gel. It is simply great! I was introduced to chia seeds a few years ago and I have integrated them into my diet in many ways. I am aware of the myriad health benefits chia seeds offer, so when I came across this gel by Vitalyte, I really wanted to try it. I realized that not only is it tasty, but it is also a great natural source of energy, especially during long runs.

    As I get older and learn more about nutrition, recovery, injury prevention, and how to keep my body in great shape, I want to find products that really work and help me overall in all these areas. Vitalyte definitely has the hydration products and energy gels that I need and is a key component in my training.

  • Hydrating Enough?

    Cielo Acosta - Vitalyte Brand Ambassador

    I am passionate about hydration, that's the best way to describe it.  I spent 8 1/2 years as a Seattle bike messenger before I was a runner and a firefighter which accustomed me to what I think of as my steam engine metabolism. I need a near constant intake of water along with quality foods, primarily heathy carbs or I become tired and run down. I feel I have to be constantly throwing fuel into my fire otherwise my body grinds to a halt, however if I am hydrating and eating well I can expect high extended performance which is what I aim for. I like my fluids, I need my fluids, I am sensitive to my body's need to be adequately hydrated and water is my beverage of choice. Unfortunately water isn't always enough.

    It disturbs me to hear studies say up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated but I believe it. I see an increase in coffee consumption and soda consumption both of which can be dehydrating. People believe since they are drinking fluids they must be hydrating themselves when really it is the opposite. I've talked to people who seldom drink water at all. The human body is about 60% water. What happens when you aren't meeting your hydration needs? A host of problems. Our bodies need water to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients, in addition it detoxifies the liver and kidneys. Lack of water can contribute to an array of medical issues, like fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, kidney disease and so on.

    The commonly used recommendation of 8 8oz glasses doesn't hold true for everyone but it is a good place to start. Everybody has different activity levels, sizes and shapes which influence hydration needs. Keeping track of your intake for a week can be a good start. Sometimes people think they are drinking more than they actually are so keeping a hydration diary can be great for obtaining an awareness of where you are.

    I am constantly evaluating and reassessing my hydration needs. I was thrilled to be selected as a brand ambassador for Vitalyte, a company that produces sports nutrition products with ingredients more natural than what you find in other company's products. I appreciate the lack of artificial coloring and corn syrup and it works. When I compete and work I do so most often in my fire gear. The gear adds 50 pounds and is very insulating. I loose a lot of water through sweat when wearing my gear due to activity and heat stress. I need more than water to keep hydrated and balanced. That's why when I was first introduced to Vitalyte's electrolyte replacement powder I jumped on it. It can easily be added to hydration packs and water bottles and is quickly absorbed. I did a marathon last year in full fire gear with SCBA pack and suffered from mild hyponatremia which is a sodium imbalance, I was drinking mostly water and not enough electrolytes, it was a very uncomfortable and scary experience and took a couple days in bed and lots of pediatric electrolyte replacement beverage to get my system back in balance. I realized then I couldn't drink plain water in my gear events. Now I pack my bottles and hydration pack with Vitalyte, the last marathon in my gear I felt great.

    Today I did the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, a fundraising event for Leukemia and Lymphoma, I climbed 69 floors of stairs in full fire gear on air from my SCBA in 18:59. I not only lost water through sweat but through respiration. I drank about 34 oz of water with Vitalyte electrolyte replacement powder and 17 oz of water with the Tri-phase enduarance before my climb. I notice a reduction in muscular fatigue when I use Vitalyte products and I feel hydrated, I don't get the water panic I used to get when I was drinking just water because my body is getting the electrolytes it needs.

    Hydration can be a tricky thing to figure out because it is so individual but for me Vitalyte's products make it easier and keep me healthier so I can do the things I want to do.

  • Dancing With Myself


    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.

  • Vita Girl Says: Get Running!

    Vita Girl here, and today I am going to state my case for why you should start running.

    1. It’s easy! Before you scoff, just think about it: running doesn’t require much more than a pair of running shoes—and maybe a muscle cramp relief drink. While it may be hard to master yoga poses or get into the groove in Zumba class, everyone knows how to run!

    2. Running may not require learning a new skill or purchasing any new equipment, but it is hard. Running burns tons of calories while giving your heart a workout.

    3. Running gets a bad rap for being hard on your joints, but running helps reduce body weight, which is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis). In addition to weight loss, running strengthens the ligaments around your joints and also boosts your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins.

    4. I don’t know about you, but I always feel less stressed after I run. Running has been proven to help combat depression. Try it and feel your stress melt away.

    5. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of many kinds of cancer, and runners also increase protection against stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Running has been shown to raise good cholesterol, lower blood pressure and boost immunity.

    6. A surprising study conducted by a team at the Stanford University School of Medicine looked at 538 runners and 423 healthy non-runners from 1984-2005. The subjects (all over the age of 50) were asked to measure simple tasks, like opening a milk carton, each year. The disability levels were significantly lower in the group of runners—and the researchers concluded that regular exercise could reduce disability and the risk of death by lowering inflammation, improving response to vaccination, improving thinking, learning and memory functions and increasing cardio fitness and bone mass. Need I say more?

  • I Tried It: Hybrid Yoga

    I love the zen feeling I get after yoga class, when I am walking home while downing an electrolyte replacement drink. Even though my body is sore from contorting itself into different yoga positions and harnessing my energy to remain in tree pose (for a full five minutes!), I still don’t feel like I am getting the same workout that I do after a calorie-melting run. Enter: hybrid classes, which fuse yoga with calorie-burning intensity. I tried a few different variations so here’s my take:

    Yoga for Athletes: A Vita Girl favorite! These postures are created for the sports-minded.

    Figure 4: Hello yoga, meet ballet. The mat poses work abs and arms, while ballet-inspired moves tackle the lower body.

    Core Fusion Yoga: A mash-up of yoga, Pilates and the Lotte Berk method.

    The verdict? I highly recommend any of these hybrid classes. So check out which one your gym is offering and be sure to bring your healthy hydration drink to class with you!

  • Coconut Water: Friend or Foe?

    Coconut water- Friend or Foe?If you have stepped into a health food store in the last couple of years, or a regular grocery store in the last few months, you have undoubtedly been bombarded by coconut water displays. It seems that there is a new coconut water brand popping up every day.

    If you believe the media hype, coconut water is the best electrolyte replacement drink in the market, boasting “15 times the electrolytes of sports drinks.”

    So is coconut water really that great of an electrolyte replacement? An answer to that very same question was recently pursued by and the answer isn’t exactly what the makers of all those brands were hoping for. In fact, that report by was the catalyst for a pending lawsuit against Vita Coco, the biggest coconut water brand on the market.

    The lawsuit cites the study, which found “at least some” Vita Coco flavors had significantly less sodium and magnesium than advertised. Hmmm.

    The other question not specifically answered by the study concerns the nutritional benefit of coconut water. The sporting community has gone to great lengths to understand the delicate balance of electrolytes necessary for optimal hydration. Coconut water may have 15 times the potassium of other sports drinks, but without a proper ratio of sodium—which acts as a transport mechanism for other electrolytes—all you have is a really expensive bottle of potassium.

  • Give Meatless Monday a Try

    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!

  • Water Love. More Great Reasons to Get Your H20!

    I grew up in Seattle so it’s safe to say, I know a lot about water. It’s everywhere up there. There are two lakes surrounding the city, a vast Sound that it’s nestled in, and plenty of rivers and streams to keep all the fishermen in the Pacific Northwest happy. And the rain. Oh the rain. It seems to remind native Seattleites everyday of its existence. Ok, maybe not that often but quite a bit. Now I live in sunny Southern California. And I find I hardly get enough water in my life. My skin is constantly dry, my eyes are constantly searching for tears. So this has all led me to do some thinking about the importance of good ol’ H2O in our lives. We all know that water and hydration are essential to proper functioning, but did you know about these other benefits?

    For one, if you’re not properly hydrated you will most likely feel fatigued. A lack of water forces your brain to work harder than it otherwise would to perform the same tasks. Wonder why you have that splitting headache? It could be because you haven’t had enough water. Cells need water to function. So, don’t starve them!

    Now this next little tidbit of hydration information particularly caught my interest. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t get enough dairy everyday. As a mildly lactose-intolerant individual, I cannot go near milk, limit my cheese intake, and only have yogurt on special occasions. So, one thing I worry about is getting enough calcium in my diet. I definitely don’t want my bones to start decaying someday. Well, drinking mineral water may help to up your calcium intake and prevent bone loss. There we go. Crisis averted.

    Here’s another little doozy that I just love. Drinking cold water (around 37.4 degrees) can help to increase caloric expenditure for about an hour after you drink it. The cooler water forces your body to work harder to maintain its internal temperature. Translation - you burn more calories. Also, having a glass of water before you eat can help to curb your appetite so you eat less.

    So there you have it. A few cool reasons why you need to stay hydrated!

  • The iPhone Discoveries Continue... Health Apps

    Ok, so I mentioned a couple of months back that I finally got on the bandwagon and got an iPhone and I have to say, I am beyond stoked about it. I mentioned a few getting-in-shape apps that I had come across, but since then I have discovered so many more! Did you know there’s an app for practically anything you can think of? Street maps, locating your nearest happy hour, home improvement tools? It’s kind of crazy. But here’s my favorite category of apps – Health apps. Who would’ve ever thought a few years back that you could monitor your health through your phone? I mean, weren’t we all just concerned with cell phones giving us cancer? Now they can actually help you improve your health? Well anyways, check out these awesome personal health apps:

    Fight Anxiety –’s free Custom Breath Pacer is an awesome tool to use next time you find yourself starting to get tense at work. The app helps you focus on relaxing your breathing. And we all know that it is so important to practice deep breathing when stressed because it helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

    Take Your Yoga to Go – If you are someone who is always traveling around and don’t have a lot of time to pop in to your local yoga joint, this app is perfect for you. The All-In-Yoga HD app is only $3.99 and gives you access to a library of 25 yoga videos, available in both beginner and expert versions. But that’s not the only cool thing. You can actually personalize your yoga workout with this app. It uses an algorithm based on your goals, skill level and time to design the perfect yoga workout for you. There’s also a ton of instructional videos for all those poses that may seem foreign to you. Pretty cool, huh?

    Don’t Get Burned – Ok, so this one’s not really an app but really more of a cool idea. Being a San Diego local, I know that if I go 20 minutes without sunscreen I turn into a lobster within 5. The bad thing is, I seem to forget this on a routine basis. And skin cancer is an all-too-common phenomenon nowadays. For only $4.95 a month you can sign up at to receive routine text messages reminding you to put in sunscreen. And honestly, it really does make a difference seeing that friendly reminder everyday.

    So friends, if you haven’t already, seriously check out all the apps and cool things you can do with your smartphone. Marketers are coming up with some pretty clever stuff…. Who knows? Maybe there will be a Vitalyte app someday soon…

  • Extreme Kellie: Dog Sledding

    I've spent every winter of my life in Colorado, but this is the first time I've ever gone on a dog sledding tour... and I got to DRIVE!!!

    No doubt you've seen these adorable huskies on TV, competing in the annual Iditarod competition up in Alaska.  They travel thousands of miles a year across tough terrain, and some of them end up here in Colorado at Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park.


    I got the chance to get up close to these amazing animals and learned what it takes to care for 82 dogs!  There's a lot more to it than just taking tourists out on the trails... it's a full-time job.  Feeding and picking up after ONE dog can take forever... now imagine a whole pack!

    Owner Jeff Martin made me earn my keep.  Hey, at least I have experience (although picking up after a little basset hound could never have prepared me for this!)

    His huskies will run upto 1,000 miles a year.  In fact, in any given day, the dogs will run one to three times, it just depends on that dogs' capability. So they're very strong but so incredibly affectionate.

    Jeff says, "Unlike snowmobiles you can't just put these guys in the garage all summer.. it's maintenance all year long".  I believe it!  I learned how to hook up the dogs to the lines in the staging area and prepared myself for the ride.  The only advice I got was to hold on tight.  As soon as I took my foot of the brake pad, we were off!

    The views through the woods in Fraser were so beautiful and to be on the runners, in charge of these dogs was like nothing I've ever experienced.  They listen well, stop on command and absolutely love to run!

    So, if you're looking for something new to enjoy the Colorado winter, head up Berthoud Pass and take your first dog sled tour!  It's such a fun way to get out and enjoy nature and if you're a dog person like me, you'll have a blast!

    Watch our full story Wednesday night at 7pm!

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