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The Case for Reading Running Books



By Gary Dudney, author of The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Mindful and Passionate Running  Running can seem very much like a “just do it” kind of thing. You run. You sweat. When you’re done, you’re happy with yourself. End of story, move on. Why would you need to get all thoughtful about it? Why would you need the case for reading running books? Well, because for many people running becomes a lot more than just getting a little exercise. Delve more deeply into what’s going on in your mind out there on a run and you’ll be surprised at the richness of the experience. Why is running such a stress reliever? Why do you feel so empowered after a run? Why does running give you such a blast of self-esteem? Understanding the mental side of running can help you answer these questions and not incidentally help make you a much better runner. It can also make you better at handling stress in other areas of life. Over the past 20 years, I’ve run 52 one hundred mile races. My record for the first 26 hundred milers I ran was 16 successes and 10 failures. Not a great record. But then I reeled off 26 straight finishes to get to my total of 52. The difference wasn’t in any physical changes I made, like more or different training. The difference was that I thoroughly studied the mental side of running and got my head right for dealing with the tough challenges you face when you run hard or long. If you’re running, you should be reading about running. There are many very inspiring running books out there nowadays about people who have transformed their lives in amazing ways through running. And then there are books like mine, The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Mindful and Passionate Running that help you focus on the mental journey that running takes you on and offers strategies for overcoming the toughest challenges. These strategies help you run better but they can also be applied to other challenges in your life. About Gary Dudney Long time columnist for Ultrarunning magazine, Gary Dudney is thrilled to share his hard-won understanding of the mind of the runner from being “out there” himself during 40 years of running. He’s written advice pieces and adventure stories for all the major running magazines. He’s completed over 200 marathons and ultramarathons, including fifty 100 mile races.   This blog is brought to you by CPG News & Information Services. 


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The World’s First National Park



Check out these Fun Facts put together for your enjoyment by, Michael Joseph Oswald, author of Your Guide to the National Parks   March 1, 1872 ◆ Yellowstone ◆ It is the world’s first national park. At more than 2.2 million acres, it is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Roughly 96% of the land is in Wyoming, another 3% in Montana, and 1% in Idaho. About 80% of the park land is forested. Yellowstone Lake (131.7 mi2) is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America. There are approximately 290 year-round waterfalls higher than 15 feet, including Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River (308 feet), tallest in the park. Half of the world’s geothermal features, including 300 geysers, are found at Yellowstone. Steamboat Geyser (Norris Geyser Basin), at more than 400 feet is the tallest geyser in the world, erupting with no noticeable pattern and sometimes years between eruptions. Old Faithful spouts 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of 204°F water about 100 feet in the air every 60 – 110 minutes. Mammoth Hot Springs deposits an estimated two tons of calcium carbonate each day. Geyser basins are full of interesting color combinations. The blues of Norris are due to silica in suspension in the water. Redorange colors are often caused by cyanobacteria or iron-oxides and arsenic compounds. Some springs are emerald green in color; this is due to blue refracted light in combination with yellow sulfur lining the pool.   Your Guide to the National Parks offers step-by-step planning, activities that are great for the kids, and the most popular ranger programs to help your family vacation. This book also provides thousands of hotels, restaurants, and attractions beyond the parks. Eleven suggested road trips make it the ultimate dashboard companion. You can pick up your copy of Your Guide to the National Parks right here or wherever books are sold. About the Author Michael Joseph Oswald is an American travel writer. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in electrical engineering and chemistry. After four years of working in a corporate environment, he escaped to a more adventurous lifestyle traveling and pursuing his passion for kayaking, biking, and hiking across America's National Parks.   The blog is brought to by CPG News & Information Services.


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Why is Vocabulary Important?



By Paget Hines The conversation about vocabulary typically centers on standardized testing. It is true that vocabulary study is integral to obtaining a top score on these tests, but the value of a strong vocabulary transcends standardized tests. Test scores are one component of a student’s school portfolio. Class work, essays, and tests are vital as well. Additionally, for those students applying for scholarships, internships, or special programs, interviews and essays are usually mandated. Demonstrating a penchant for sophisticated word choice will set a student apart from the crowd. Utilizing a robust vocabulary in an interview and essay underscores the fact that a student’s understanding of vocabulary is not merely superficial. Used appropriately, erudite words in essays and interviews will enhance a student’s standing with the teacher, reader, or interviewer. It is crucial that parents, teachers, and tutors incorporate meaningful and contextual vocabulary study across the instruction spectrum. This is particularly important for student’s who struggle with critical reading and writing skills and those for whom English is a second language. A vivid and varied vocabulary will bolster a student’s chances of success. No two words mean exactly the same thing, so it is important to teach the proper contexts for words. Throwing in a few big words might misfire if students are not aware of the nuances of the words. As with any skill, practice makes perfect! Engaging and entertaining for students. Paget is a Learning Specialist, Partner at Direct Hits, and author of the Direct Hits Vocabulary book series. She began her teaching career at the Schenck School in Atlanta. After completing two years of Orton-Gillingham training, Paget began privately tutoring. For 13 years she was in private practice in San Francisco, working with students in middle school and high school. She developed and implemented a SSAT verbal, reading comprehension, and essay curriculum for students with learning differences and test-taking anxiety. She currently works with students at Georgia Tech through Project Engages. Paget has tutored and administered the SSAT, PSAT, ACT, and SAT throughout her career. Integral – — very important and necessary Transcends — goes beyond, exceeds, surpasses Mandated – — to officially demanded or required Penchant —– a liking or preference for something, aptitude, an inclination Underscores — emphasizes or shows the importance of Superficial - — concerned only with the obvious or apparent Erudite – — learned,; literate Enhance — make stronger, better, or more valuable Incorporate — include, make part of another thing Underscores - to emphasize or show the importance of Bolsters – —to make stronger or better   Nuances — the slight and subtle differences or shades of meaning between nearly identical entities   Study guides form Direct Hits  can be purchased wherever books are sold. Direct Hits Advance Vocabulary 9781936551248, Direct Hits Essential Vocabulary 9781936551200, and Direct Hits Core Vocabulary 9781936551224. This blog has been brought to you by CPG News & Information Service. 


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Saint on the Couch Sinner on the Bike



By Ingrid Loos Miller How to be a saint on the couch and a sinner on the bike? How do you do fuel your training and lose weight at the same time? It is very difficult. Weight loss is the first priority now. Your performance might suffer, so put it on the backburner until you have reached your goal weight. It’s that simple. We know that in the past you have relied too much on training as a safety net to overeating. In my experience, the best way to change this and to be able to continue training is to do the following: Stick to eating (counting and recording) your baseline number of calories at all times except when you are actually doing a workout or eating your recovery meal. This is important because you need to be able to control your weight even if you aren’t training at all. Fuel adequately during your workouts (more on this later). Do not count the calories you consume during workout against the baseline limit. The calories you eat during a workout are fuel for the workout, but these are free calories and this is your chance to eat sugary foods since this is when you actually need them. This is when you can be a sinner on the bike. Eat an adequate recovery meal after longer workouts. Like the fuel you take in during your workouts, these recovery meals are not counted in your daily calories. These meals are meant to replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles and nothing more. By eating soon after your workouts, you are assured that the calories are going directly (more or less) into your muscles, where they are needed most. After your recovery meal, go back to eating according to your baseline calorie limit.   For more helpful information on managing your weight as a triathlete, pick up a copy of Weight Management for Triathlete by Ingrid Loos Miller today! About the Author Ingrid Loos Miller is the author of Weight Management for Triathletes from which the above blog was excerpted. She is also a USAT Certified Coach, Sport Nutrition Consultant, and triathlete. A Team Trainer for the Weight Watchers® Momentum Challenge, she has helped athletes and non-athletes alike achieve their weight loss goals by showing them how to reduce the calorie impact of the foods they enjoy. She teaches the motivational and focusing strategies needed to achieve goals and provides tools and daily practices that make permanent weight management a reality. Other than becoming an Ironman® and regular podium finishes in triathlons, her greatest personal accomplishment has been overcoming a lifelong struggle with weight. She has written for Trail Runner Magazine and her writing has appeared in Triathlete Magazine, Marathon and Beyond and on BeginnerTriathlete.com.   


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Embracing the Suck



By Gary Dudney My book The Tao of Running: Your Journey to Mindful and Passionate Running could just as easily have been entitled How to Embrace the Suck or Embracing the Suck because one way or the other learning how to “embrace the suck” is part of every chapter in the book. Now why is that? Running has a mysterious way of getting under your skin. You set out on a little jog looking to get some exercise and the next thing you know you’re a committed, even a fanatical runner. But what is not mysterious about running, is that eventually it is going to suck. Train hard at all, try lowering your PR (personal record) for the 10K, or take on those last six excruciating, devastating, soul-crushing miles of a marathon, and you’ll know what I mean. So which is it? Is running this wonderful thing that you are drawn to like a duck to water or is it luring you into “it sucks to be you” territory. Both…and that is a good thing. Running does feel natural and invigorating. You feel your body adapting, getting stronger. But inevitably as you run faster and farther and push yourself harder, you will get to a bad place. You will feel awful, and suddenly you will find yourself in a crisis of character. How will you respond? Will you slack off and quit or will you find a way to take on the challenge, embrace the suck, and triumph over the adversity? Running gives you that opportunity over and over again. But isn’t that the most rewarding thing about life, when you have to overcome adversity, when you have to face down the hard things and win through? No wonder so much of The Tao of Running is about how best to embrace the suck. When it comes to getting the most out of your running, that’s really the whole point!   About Gary Dudney Long time columnist for Ultrarunning magazine, Gary Dudney is thrilled to share his hard-won understanding of the mind of the runner from being “out there” himself during 40 years of running. He’s written advice pieces and adventure stories for all the major running magazines. He’s completed over 200 marathons and ultramarathons, including fifty 100 mile races.  


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What Is Functional Fitness Anyway?



What is Functional Fitness Anyway, by Lamar Lowery Lamar Lower, author of Functional Fitness, has also built his own fitness academy. In this blog, Lamar explains what exactly is functional fitness. Functional fitness is training in a way that requires your muscles to work together, or in other words, work in the way they were supposed to. Instead of focusing on a particular muscle group at a time as you do with conventional weight training, functional training recruits more muscle groups by using more primal movements that require your muscles to work in harmony. Some of the issues or negative aspects of conventional weight training come from it requiring non-natural muscle contractions or movements. This can sometimes lead to injury (usually when you least expect it). It could be argued that these non-essential muscle contractions also do not improve or contribute to muscular stability and/or mobility but I’ll save that for another post! Just in case you are not fully convinced yet, I put together some reasons why you should implement some functional fitness training into your workouts or routine.   If you're a personal trainer and looking for new ideas for your next raining session, look no further, Lamar Lowery has developed his own training programs that he has used for decades working with top managers, injured athletes, and back patients. Functional Fitness provides intense workouts to reach maximum results. Detailed descriptions and photos make this an easy-to-understand guide for any personal trainer. In Lamar's personal training sessions, he uses his expertise in endurance, coordination, and biomechanics to receive the best results. Lamar uses the most up-to-date equipment, e.g., suspension trainers, Dual Grip Med Balls, and kettlebells, and the classics such as barbells and dumbbells. After making his functional fitness a part of your training regime, you will help your clients add exercise into their busy lifestyle, reach their goals, and improve body, mind, and soul.   The preceding has been brought to you by CPG News & Information


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Calm Yourself with Calming Foods



Calm Yourself with Calming Foods Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout your brain and body. The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. They can also affect mood, sleep, concentration, weight, and can cause adverse symptoms when they are out of balance. Neurotransmitter levels can be depleted many ways. It is estimated that 86% of Americans have suboptimal neurotransmitter levels. Stress, poor diet--protein deficiency, poor digestion, poor blood sugar control, drug (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine can deplete them. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is found in the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system and blood platelets. It helps to regulate mood, appetite, sleep, and also supports memory and learning. Studies show an association between serotonin levels and mood. The good news is you can naturally increase your serotonin levels with food instead of drugs. • Complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa allow your brain to process more serotonin. • Eating protein and healthy omega-3 fats, found in fish, walnuts and flax, will also improve mood. • B vitamins, which are abundant in fresh leafy greens and in chemical-free, pasture-raised meat, are another important factor because they're needed for serotonin production. • Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, collard greens, are high in folic acid, a B vitamin. Low levels are linked to depression. • Bananas contain vitamin B6. They are high in potassium, an important electrolyte for a happy and calm mind. • Other foods rich in vitamin B6: turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens celery, fish, poultry, and lean beef. • Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin; these foods are high in tryptophan: turkey, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, and Kombucha, pickled foods (beets, radish, Korean kimchi) assist in digestion and assimilation of the important nutrients you need for serotonin. So try some of these foods and notice if you feel more relaxed and uplifted. Bon appetite! To receive more helpful tips for caregivers, pick up your copy of Barbra's book Calmer Waters. You can also visit Barbra at her website: https://barbracohn.com/     This blog has been brought to you by CPG News & Information Services.


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America’s Quest for the Cup



The Four Year Review: America's Quest for the Cup First Part of the Hex, US Struggles by Shane Stay On November 11, 2016, in front of a sold out stadium, the Hexagonal began. The second part of the Road to Russia was under way. Dos a Cero was the big talk going into the game, meaning 2-0. To date, Michael Bradley has been the only player to score two goals in a Dos a Cero victory over Mexico. Meanwhile, coach Klinsmann was saying the team was taking it one game at a time. But nothing could emphasis how important this match was. Columbus had served as a great “fortress” for the US team. Before this date, they had not lost a game there. A disadvantage on this night would be the many injured US players. Unable to play were Dempsey, Wondolowski, Zardes and Cameron, to name a few. On the other side, Mexico was rearing to go with regulars, Dos Santos, Chicharito, Guardado, the new talent Corona, the veteran Marquez, with the passing-guidance in the middle from Herrara, arguably the best passer of the ball in CONCACAF. The reliable hand of Tim Howard was in goal, at thirty-seven years old. Early in the first half, Mexico possessed the calmer passing. The US was pressed, frequently clearing the ball back to their opponent. Mexico nearly scored first, hitting the post. Then, off a broken tackle, one of the Mexican players took a shot from outside the top of the box, sending it on the ground, without much power, into the corner, past the outreached arm of Howard. Following that, Mexico hit the crossbar. From there, they continued with strong possession, overwhelming the defensive-minded US side with too many savvy offensive-minded ball handlers. Then Howard – of the Colorado Rapids – went down after taking a goal kick. Brad Guzan warmed up on the sideline, but Howard stayed in…a few moments later, he made a routine save, got up, rolled the ball out of bounds, made a gesture to exit the game and Guzan came in to replace him. As halftime arrived, the Fox Sports panel – led by Rob Stone – had a lively discussion trying to figure out how the US – who lacked discipline – could move forward. Early in the second half, the US players showed a lot more energy, asserting themselves into the flow of the game. Altidore connected on a short pass to Wood on the top of the box, who made his way through the last defenders and tapped the ball past the goalie for the equalizer. Toward the end of the game, Mexico scored off a head ball from Marquez, putting them ahead by one goal. The referee had a hard time with the pushing and shoving throughout the game, as it escalated sporadically toward the end. The final score was a tightly contested loss for the US. It was only the first game of the Hexagonal, with more time to make up for it. Next on the Road to Russia would be Costa Rica a few days later, on November 15, 2016. It wasn't dire straits, but it was clear the US needed a victory to get back on track. With that said, the US went into Costa Rica and took a 4-0 loss. It was a tough defeat, as the USMNT created a potential comeback story that will be one for the ages as they push forward on "America's Quest for the Cup" on the Road to Russia.   Shane Stay is the author of Why American Soccer Isn't There Yet (2014, Meyer & Meyer Sport). He is a former professional soccer player in addition to being a writer, comedian, producer, and founder of Leaf Dressing. To see  more of Shane's insight in American soccer, where it falls short and can improve, pick up your copy of his book today. You can follow Shane on Twitter @shanestay or like him on Facebook.


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Abby Wambach and the National Teams



Abby Wambach and the National Teams by Shane Stay, author of Why American Soccer Isn't There Yet Categorized recently for her disparaging words against Jurgen Klinsmann and foreign-born USMNT players, which caused feud-like comments on social media from Alejandro Bedoya and Jozy Altidore, Abby Wambach came at an interesting time in the history of the USWNT. She arrived during the transition from an era shrouded in success thanks to the golden generation of Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy and other gifted players on the 1999 team, which won the World Cup in dramatic fashion against an amazingly talented Chinese side. Since then, the USWNT continued with success in their field along with a little more resistance as the women's game had substantially gained in popularity and quality around the world in the 2000s. The immediate concern was: Who would take over the team once Hamm and others filtered out? Great players came and went – including the technical talents of Aly Wagner – but during the 2000s the preeminent leader of the cause was Wambach, who held up the attack as a taller player, gifted in the air, eventually scoring 184 goals for the national team. As time went on, and World Cup titles that would otherwise belong to the USWNT were going to other teams – including Germany and Japan – some people started to wonder when the glory of 1999 would return. Was the world catching up to the US – who had World Cup titles from 1991 and 1999 – or was the US relying too much on a crossing attack thanks to the aerial supremacy of Wambach? For the latter, it could be said that such an approach was stifling a "better" possession-based attack. Maybe she was scoring too many goals, which kept others out of focus. Whatever the case, at the end of her career, Wambach – to her credit – accepted a demotion to the bench for the 2015 World Cup title in which the team found its creative spark midway in the tournament. For perspective on her 184 goals, Pele didn't break 100 for Brazil. An argument can be made that the women's side lacks "across the board" competitive teams that exist in the men's game. Regardless how that argument ends up, it is after all 184 goals, which leads all men and women for national team play. Considering how the US consistently dominates the Olympics, it's hard to imagine that the men haven't caught up with soccer. Wambach took away two gold medals during her time. The titles for the men should arrive, someday. Comparing the USMNT and the USWNT gets tricky. Post late 1970s, men's and women's soccer picked up drastically in popularity. The women's side became dominant when the rest of the world was playing less, while the men's side struggled to gain leverage within a world of teams that had close to a hundred year head start. Everyone is waiting for the USMNT to overcome the last American athletic frontier and make history in Russia, while the USWNT look to repeat as world champions.   Shane Stay is a former professional soccer player, writer, comedian, producer and founder of Leaf Dressing. In 2008, Stay co-authored a print book, published a magazine story, worked clubs as a comedian, played restaurateur, received a Master of Arts, and played professional soccer. Stay has a Bachelor of Arts from Sonoma State University and a Master of Arts from Southern Illinois University. Follow Shane on Twitter @shanestay and Facebook (Shane Stay).  


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Farmers’ Market Fare



Farmers' Market Fare by Laura Theodore Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet, offers more than 130 delicious, vegan recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, each complete with nutritional analysis. Enhanced by over 200, full-color photographs, each recipe is ranked with an Ease-Factor to make it easy to choose recipes that fit into any busy schedule. Farmers’ markets are THE place to be for the next few months, and I love the large, fresh- picked heads of cauliflower that are often available this time of year. Serving satisfying cauliflower “cutlets” makes sophisticated use of this sometimes shunned veggie, giving it serious wow factor! Easy to double or triple, this recipe makes a fancy weeknight main dish or elegant entrée for a summer party.   Roasted Cauliflower Cutlets with Lemon-Caper Sauce Makes 4 servings 1 medium head of cauliflower 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (see note) 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning blend ¾ teaspoon garlic powder 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced 1 cup vegetable broth, plus more as needed 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1½ lemons; zest one of the lemons first, before squeezing) 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed Zest of one lemon, for garnish 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Trim one to two inches off the two opposite sides of the cauliflower head, and set aside for another use. Cut the cauliflower head into four, ¾- to 1-inch thick “cutlets,” as if slicing a loaf of bread. Arrange the cutlets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Put 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Liberally spread one-quarter of the seasoning mixture over the top of each cutlet, using a small pastry brush or back of a small spoon. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender and slightly golden brown around the edges. To make the sauce, put the onion and 1⁄2 cup vegetable broth in a large skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add 1⁄2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend, 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder and another 1⁄2 cup vegetable broth, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. If the onions become dry, add more broth, 2 tablespoons at a time. Stir in 1 teaspoon olive oil, lemon juice and capers. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, or until the capers are heated through. To serve, put each cutlet on a dinner plate and spoon one-quarter of the onion-caper sauce over each cutlet. Garnish with lemon zest and parsley. Serve warm. Now, that is delicious farmers' market fare!   Chef’s Note: To lower the fat content of this recipe, you may use vegetable broth in place of the olive oil.   Amount per serving, based on 4 servings:  108 Calories; 9g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 3g Protein; 227mg Sodium; 8g Total Carbohydrate; 3g Sugars; 3g Fiber   Photo courtesy of Annie Oliverio.  


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