Happy International Coffee Day! Fun fact, did you know that coffee starts as a fruit? Coffee beans come from coffee cherries. Mind. Blown. I’m a firm believer in the health benefits of drinking coffee, when it’s consumed with the least amount of sugar possible of course. Coffee is rich in anti-oxidants, boosts your brain, helps relieve stress, is a mild anti-depressant, and even helps you poop In honor of International Coffee Day, celebrate with a free cup of coffee. Who doesn’t love free? Here is where to get your free cup of coffee today.
Le Pain Quotidien – bring your own cup to any location and they’ll fill it up for you. If you’re in NYC, stop by the Meat Packing location from 3-5 pm for a free coffee and cheese pairing. It may sound odd, but it works. Cheese is dairy just like milk and cream.
Dunkin Donuts – free medium cup of DD dark roast hot coffee all day.
Tim Horton’s – $1 for coffee of all sizes.
McDonald’s – free coffee during breakfast hours only.
Krispy Kreme – free 12 oz coffee or $1 for a specialty coffee drink.
There are conflicting reports about whether we should drink coffee or not, but I say drink it. It’s all about balance and moderation. I personally love coffee and enjoy its many benefits by drinking ONE cup every morning. For many of us who eat a Western diet sparse in vegetables and fruits, coffee is one of the greatest sources of antioxidants. It’s even better if it’s organic. Last night I had the pleasure of spending an evening with Le Pain Quotidien learning about coffee and its many benefits. We even made our own organic coffee and honey masks. Freshen up your daily routine with an organic beauty treatment like this moisturizing and revitalizing Organic Coffee & Honey Mask.
ORGANIC COFFEE & HONEY MASK RECIPE
(Makes 2 masks)
1 cup Le Pain Quotidien Organic Ground Coffee (I used this)
5 tablespoons Organic Yogurt
3 tablespoons Le Pain Quotidien Organic Honey (I used this)
1. Mix ingredients into a well-blended mousse.
2. Spread evenly over the face, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
3. Rinse with warm water and massage gently for light exfoliation. *this mask will keep in your fridge for weeks
Infused with caffeine, this exfoliating mask reduces inflammation and redness, while the yogurt and honey tone, brighten and lock in moisture. Coffee combats free radicals, shrinks blood vessels, aids in breaking up fat deposits, wakes your body, and decreases puffiness. Do you need more reasons to eat, drink, and incorporate it into your daily routine? How do you take your coffee?
**GOOD NEWS!!! In honor of International Coffee Day, Le Pain Quotidien will be offering FREE coffee on Monday, September 29, 2015. Find your nearest location here.***
On Monday I was able to attend a special media reception at The Finish Line Physical Therapy with special guest Eric Orton, the coaching star and featured character in Chris McDougall’s book Born to Run (the runner’s book). Eric is an elite mountain runner, world-renowned running coach, and adventure seeker. The man has even raced for up to 36 hours. In short, he knows a thing or two about running. In his first book, Cool The Impossible, Eric guides runners to becoming better, faster, and stronger runners. The book goes deeper into all this, but Eric shared his five tips to become a better runner because he firmly believes that there’s always room for improvement and everyone can be a better runner.
1. FOOT STRENGTH
Our feet are vital to our athletic equilibrium. They set the stage for our running and determine how well we run. Lack of foot strength is a lack of stability. You can’t separate foot strength from leg strength because they’re connected. It’s not about creating bigger muscles but inviting more muscle (the muscles you have!) to the party.
Exercise: With or without a slant board, lift one knee and stand on the opposite forefoot. Simply go barefoot and try to balance on one forefoot. This fires your heart, legs, core, and glutes. No position is wrong. Do this every day. It’s so simple, but it will change your world according to Eric. I’ve done this for two days already, and I never realized how week my foot was. I can’t wait to see how this affects my running.
We never learned how to run. Did you ever think about that? But there is a way to run “correctly” or more optimally. The most common mistake is that people think running faster means moving your feet faster. That’s actually incorrect. What dictates speed is how high we lift our knees. The higher the knees are, the further we are able to propel ourselves and run faster. Don’t push your legs back, but rather lift your knees. Pu power into the ground and drive your knees forward. If you have tight hip flexors like I do, please refer back to tip number one. Training your feet takes pressure off your hips.
Exercise: run in place slowly. Increasingly lift your knees faster and faster. This is how you should be running. Run form is not hard. It’s the muscle memory that needs to take hold when you’re actually running. Keep it up!
Endurance, speed, and strength are the foundations of running. What really helps develop muscle memory is developing a sound foundation of endurance by backing off your pace. Run slower. It’s hard to run incorrectly when you’re running slower. Are you breathing correctly? How is your form?
Exercise: Test your efficiency. Slow down. How long can you go breathing through your nose? If you’re breathing through your mouth as I often do, you’ll burn out and hit a plateau. To build strength, add multiple 8-10 second sprints within your regular run.
Vegetarian. Pescatarian. Paleo. Vegan. Gluten-free. X Diet. Can I eat this? Or can’t I? Let’s not get caught up in the categories and dogma of what we are, but rather let’s focus on not eating chemicals, junk, and sugar. When it comes to nutrition, frequency and consistency is key. It’s about what you can maintain long term rather than what diet you can do for a limited amount of days. Eat consistently and daily. Aim to eat 95% clean. If you eat five times per day (3 meals, 2 snacks), you’re allowed two cheat meals. That’s 95% clean and 5% dirty. So go crazy with that 5%.
Exercise: Cut out sugar for 20 days. You’ll be amazed to see how much sugar is hidden in your diet. Sauces, salsa, yogurt, granola, juice, and more are sneaky and are high in sugar.
If there’s a better way to do items one through four, then there’s a better way to think and deal with fear. Fear is what drives our ambition. When we have opportunities, we asses risk and calculate the outcome before we even try. The answers and results don’t come to us until we cross the finish line. Why would we ever stop ourselves from running the race?
Rather than allowing fear to limit us, we need to embrace it. We need more of the unknown to lead us to a path of greatness. If there is not fear, then it’s not a worthy goal.
Exercise: Learn to love fear. Run to it.
I love all these tips from Eric Orton and can’t wait to see how it affect my run life. Eric firmly believes that everyone can run and that everyone can not only be better, but that everyone can be great. As I’ve been getting faster and stronger, I’ve wondered when I should give up and at what point should I be satisfied with my running ability. Eric’s answer is never. Why limit yourself? There is ALWAYS room for improvement. It may not be speed, but I can definitely breathe better, my stride can be smoother, or I can burn fat better. Whatever it may be, always push yourself and tackle the cool impossible.
New York Fashion Week ended over a week ago, but I can neither forget all the amazing fitness presentations I’ve seen nor have had the opportunity to tell you all about it. I was able to check out the Athleta runway show, see the new Under Armour line with Gisele Bündchen, and hang with the Oiselle team (my friend Lisa at Early Morning Run is a bird). But I have to say one of my favorite New York Fashion Week events was the Ride the Runway fashion show presented by Reebok, BurnThis (a new fitness app you can use to book classes, which I also used to book my attendance at this event), and Cyc Fitness. Reebok transformed their Union Square store into a runway to present their Spring 2015 line but it wouldn’t have been a fitness fashion show without a workout. Cyc brought in their bikes for a special cardio and strength training sweat session. What could be more motivating to spin harder, faster, and stronger than to watch model-athletes walk the runway right before your eyes?
Reebok’s Spring 2015 line was very urban chic with lots of bright colors. Almost tooooooooooo bright if you ask me, but it’s intentional. Reebok’s reflective technology is top notch. The runway show was practically in the dark and it showcased exactly how well their clothes reflect light. If you are a runner like me who runs after sunset, you need their reflective gear.
What I loved most was that the models weren’t rail thin. They were lean, muscular, and fit. The night prior I went to a high-end designer’s spring presentation and the models made me sick. Not only did they look like prepubescent girls with their flat chests and thigh gaps, but they literally had bones popping out. NOT ATTRACTIVE!
Please continue to support organizations that encourage women to exercise and support them in their journey to a healthier mind, body, and soul!
If we are connected on Twitter, you know I had some pretty big news on Friday. Asics, the premiere running and athletic company, invited me to run this year’s TCS New York City Marathon as part of their Asics Editor’s Challenge. I, along with a few other bloggers, will be running 26.2 miles alongside some of the most elite runners. Well, maybe not alongside them because they’re much much faster than I am, but I’m proud to be a part of the Asics family and represent them as I run the streets of New York.
To be clear, even though I just shared the news I did not start training last week. I would not recommend that anyone decide to run a marathon with 45 days to go. I’ve been completing my long runs each week as part of my training plan, but just not sharing on social media. Do you know how hard that is for me? To run 10+ miles each week and not share with you on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook?
So why am I running again and putting my body through this torture again? Besides the fact that I’m so THRILLED to be a part of the Asics team, I frickin’ love this race, the community of runners that comes from all over the world, and New York City. My city. More importantly, I love the challenge. I love doing something I never in my wildest dreams thought I would do. Even though I’ve been to this rodeo a few times now, the experience is like it’s my first time each and every time. I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking of race day and I still question whether I can do it. But I love proving myself wrong. I love showing myself that I’m stronger than I think.
Strength is found on the other side of discomfort.
My goal this year is not only to finish the race, but to finish it in 4:45 or at the very least under 5:00. That was my goal last year but I missed it be two minutes (insert gnashing of teeth). My other goal, is to to not cry during the race. I seem to always get emotional right around miles 15 and 16 when I spot the spectators on First Avenue. Crying makings breathing very difficult!
How will I accomplish these goals? Asics has hooked me up with Coach Andrew Kastor who trains some of today’s most elite long-distance runners and some amazing gear. I had my first call with Coach Kastor last week. I was worried that he’d think “psssh, this girl is so amateur.” Instead, he was extremely supportive, reassuring, and kind. His training plan has also made me realize how I’ve been over training the last few years. Ladies, running more does not make you a better runner. Run smarter!
Now that I’ve shared the news, I look forward to the coming weeks. I can’t wait to share with you how much I’m getting stronger. I can’t wait to present the amazing Asics products I get to try. And I’m so excited that you’ll be a part of this one-in-a lifetime experience with me.