Wednesday, June 08, 2011

battle of the coconut water

A while back, I dedicated a post to my love of coconut. Later on, I shared my paleo find when I discovered that Trader Joe's carries zico coconut water. Well, after actually tasting the zico product (and finding out that instead of it being actual coconut water as the old label read, it's actually coconut water concentrate; I've only tasted the natural and NOT the other schmancy flavors), I have to say that it's not one of my favorite things. Granted, zico can be found everywhere and it's probably better than gatorade (but don't take my word for it). However, it just doesn't taste that great. But in a pinch, I guess it's okay. I can see how folks are all about the different flavors and stuff. But if you look at the label, it reads: "100% natural coconut water from concentrate, natural flavors." The chocolate flavored reads: "100% natural coconut water from concentrate, cane sugar, coconut cream, cocoa, vanilla, carrageenan." From concentrate? Plus there's other stuff in there too? Sorry. It's not my thing.
Zico coconut water found at my local Trader Joe's. Not my
thing and not that tasty. But if you like flavors and need a
quick fix, I guess this will do it.
Yesterday, while shopping at Trader Joe's I noticed that they started selling their own coconut water - NOT from concentrate. This piqued my interest, so I forked up the $3 for the bottle. The final verdict? Well, it's slightly better than zico and it isn't from concentrate and doesn't have other ingredients except the coconut water itself. Yes. In a pinch, it'll work. However, I'm not forking up $3 anytime soon for the stuff. And I'll tell you why...
Trader Joe's now has their own brand of coconut water.
Again, not my thing, but cleaner tasting than Zico.
In my book, nothing can replace the goodness of an actual, fresh young coconut. As mentioned before, when I lived in the Philippines, my mom drank 1-2 coconuts per day. It was easy, since local street vendors sold these (the water and the meat) cracked and peeled, ready to drink/eat in a plastic bag for less than fifty cents. My mistake was not joining her in doing this. Over the three months, my mom's feet and legs didn't swell as much. Now that we're in the US, she's back to the swelling. However, she takes virgin coconut oil in her food and rubs it on her feet, which again, helps with the swelling.

After some serious thought and research about the coconut, I decided to start buying them from the local Asian grocery store, crack it open myself, and eat them. In fact, I include coconut water/meat in my latest concoction of my daily green smoothie. Also, if I have any to spare (this depends on how much room I have in the fridge), I have a coconut after a tough WOD or run. It really is yummy and refreshing. Plus, the meat is to die for! AND for the environmentally conscious, the coconut is completely compost-able (no more bottle/can waste).

If you've had your coconut this way, you can never go to the bottled stuff. I swear! If you're wondering how to get these suckers open, check out this video. Fresh, young coconut can cost as low as 99 cents to almost $4 (depending on the store and season). Personally, I buy mine from Seafood City in Union City. I find that they're the cheapest there. Note: should the prices of the coconut suddenly shoot up and the availability go down, I'm blaming ALL OF YOU! Okay. Enjoy:D
Young coconut from the local Asian grocery store.
In my book, this is the only way to go.

Today's Small Victories
I did yoga and I ran back to back. Yay!

1 hour of yoga

Today's Workout
Run 5K

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Late afternoon yoga is hard. Period. It's challenging and refreshing, but it kicks my butt. I had about an hour break before doing the run with Miss Lori. We did the interval 4:1 run. It was good. Slower than usual, but it was good. Yay.

playing catch-up

Recently, I presented my research at the EPA.
Here I am with my dear friend Shirl celebrating
a successful talk:) (Yes. I know that technically,
my tree pose was off. However, the dress was
kinda short and I'm not a big fan of inappropriate
displays of my underpants. It would be
Weinergate all over again!)
Oh my. Apologies for being out of blogger touch. I didn't realize how long it's been. In case you're wondering, yes. I've been training. Here is what I've done since my last post:

Friday, June 3rd
Today's Small Victories
I've been doing awesome with keeping up with healthmonth. Tracking with my iphone makes a world of difference.

Today's Workout
1 hour of yoga
3 mile run

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I did everything in the morning in one shot. I started with the run and then headed to yoga. Since I've been struggling, I decided to do the interval running. It turned out to be a good thing. Though slower than usual, it was good to build my mental strength. It's still frustrating to me because I'd like to do my usual 5K without stopping. But there's a mental block in me and I need to figure out what it is.

Another thing, if I do the run/yoga thing again, I need to plan better. There was barely any time in between. If I'm going to do yoga right after running, I need some down time to prepare for yoga. Otherwise, I just feel like a hot, sweaty mess (which is what eventually happened).

Sunday, June 5th
Today's Workout
Hike at GG Park

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Though leisurely, I decided to log this in as a workout anyway. The SO (significant other) and I decided to take a hike at GG Park. We were at Stow Lake, which has a gradual hill-like area where you can keep going up toward the top of the waterfall. It was nice. PLUS we got to see FOUR owls that day. Very cool.

Monday, June 6th
Today's Small Victories
Despite my laziness and the horrific traffic, I made it to Crissy Field

Today's Workout
3 mile run

Notes (to myself) about this workout: My original intent was to do this run on Sunday. But I just got lazy and opted for the GG Park hike. Also, I've been freaking out about the whole running thing and getting too winded too fast. After some soul searching, I realize that one of the main reasons why my running hasn't been up to par is that I haven't been enjoying the run. 

Truth be told, the Mermaid Run kinda freaked me out. During the second half of that race, I got really winded. Like, REALLY WINDED and I had to stop and take a walking break. From there, it was a struggle to the finish. This doesn't usually happen to me. I don't get that winded or that freaked out because I'm really good at listening to my body and pacing. After that run, I realized that the second part was so difficult because I was trying to keep up with Miss Lyn and Miss Lori, who were running at a 10:30 pace. My usual pace is about a minute (or so) slower than that. When I'm off pace, I'm completely off balance and it wrecks my entire system.

Since then, I've been freaking out because (1) I'm freakin' slow and (2) that reality has been stressing me out (3) that stress has been negatively affecting my running mojo. Right now, I'm trying to find footing again. I'm trying to actually enjoy running and get mentally prepared for the Nike half. With that, I did this run at a 4:1 interval, while walking the hills. It was good. Still slow, but I'm running slightly faster than the last time I trained for a half (and that's with walking the hills). Though hazy, SF was beautiful. I wish it wasn't such a huge trek to make it out there to run.

Tuesday, June 7th
Today's Small Victories
After a million years, I FINALLY made it to CrossFit

Today's Workout
Run 1.1 miles; stretching (includes doing my yoga salutations with Annelisse hanging on my back. Yeah. You try doing downward dog with a small child on your back. With that, I officially declare myself a yoga warm-up badass!)

Complete the following for time:
50 American kettlebell swings (20#)
20 jumprope skips
40 kettlebell swings
40 jumprope skips
30 kettlebell swings
60 jumprope skips
20 kettlebell swings
80 jumprope skips
10 kettlebell swings
100 jumprope skips

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Since this was the first time in a LONG time I did a CrossFit anything. Therefore, I decided to go way light. In retrospect, I should have gone 25# (or more) because I did everything unbroken (which I think defeated the purpose of doing these many KB swings). However, when taking a long CF break, I feel it's always better to be safe than sorry:) This was a good start to coming back. Tonight I run and tomorrow I plan on going to the 4pm CF class. OMG. The night classes are so big now. I'm spoiled. And I can't handle the crowds. Also... I kinda like going in on my own and not timing the WODs. But shhh... Don't tell anyone I said that!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Community Health and Wellness Introspection

Paddy, one of my dearest friends and owner of Paddy's, the BEST coffee house in Union City kindly asked me to share this information with you. If you're in the area or if this issue is near and dear to your heart, please stop by. Also, please share it with friends.
Every community has its own share of illness and pain, and our community is no different. To address and encourage community members to share their experiences, Paddy's is organising the Community Health and Wellness Introspection every 2nd Thursday of the month, 7 to 8.30 pm.
June 9th, Community member Maria Inciong was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent treatment and fought it. She and her family will share their experiences with the community.
We are doing this because as a community, we are our own support group. We can laugh and cry with each other and nothing heals pain better than that.
Date: Thursday, June 9th
Time: 7pm-8:30pm
Location: Paddy's, of course! 3900 Smith Street; Union City; (510) 324-8572
This was taken a few years ago during Paddy's anniversary
party. L-R: Diana, moi, Fritzie, and Paddy.
P-Dogg and I go way back. (No. I don't really call him P-Dogg. I just thought it would be funny to write that.) In fact, when he first opened way back in 2003, I remember sitting in his coffee shop alone. For HOURS because no one knew about this business yet. A few years later, Paddy's hosted a community event that some I put together with some friends, regarding a local family's deportation case. Since then, Paddy's has been an incredible community hot spot. I'm so proud of him and all that he's done with this shop! If any of you are in the area, PLEASE stop by for some great java and conversation!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

national running day

This is my  National Running Day photo. Actually,
it's a photo of my new running shoes. It's an old classic
for me. New Balance 1123. I found it for over 40% off at
amazon (they have since raised the price and it's now
only 30% off). I snuck in just in time. It's a good day!
Today is National Running Day. To celebrate, I started the day with one hour of yoga (hooray!). In the evening, I ran a 5K. Poorly. But I still ran (and walked) it. I'm not sure what's going on with me, but I'm finding that I can't run the distances I used to. I get winded way too easily. Today I took my first walking break because my sides were hurting. Perhaps eating not too long before running was not a good idea. fathlete confession: My eating habits have been really off. When I'm not eating stuff I probably shouldn't be eating, I forget to eat all together. Badbadbad! I'm sure this is directly related to my bad workouts. Gah! My second walking break came because I couldn't breathe and felt like I was on the verge of throwing up - not a good thing when you're running with a partner. At the last half mile I threw in the towel and walked the rest of the way.

Admittedly, my training has been inconsistent and right now I need to be patient and consistent. I spent the wee hours of the night last night mapping out my training schedule. This morning I sorted out my health month goals. For now, I'm good to go! Today was a less than perfect run. I was sad, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Patience and consistency. That's my training goal for now. I'll let you know how it goes!

So... what did YOU do to celebrate National Running Day?