Many people have written me asking what I eat? What do I drink? What supplements do I take? So I thought it was time to answer a few of your questions.
After running a 4:37 at the Masters Indoor Nationals in 2007, I had a guy at my home club ask me, so what are you “on” to run like that at your age? And I said, “soy and broccoli.” Thus, the name for this blog entry.
I have been a vegan now for over 20 years. I first changed my diet to be a lacto-vegetarian (still consuming milk products) back in 1985 when I was training in New England before going over to play a few tennis tournaments in Europe. Usually, people need time to feel the effects of going vegetarian. Some feel terrible during the transition because their bodies are used to a certain nutritional intake. I was different. I immediately felt the dramatic effects of more energy and more balance as I was waking up the same way with a little “bounce in my step” everyday. My change to a vegetarian diet started back in the 80’s when the veggie options available today were non-existent. But I stuck with it, and the better I felt, the more I wanted to learn about it.
So when I moved to India in 1987 to coach the Junior National Tennis Team in Madras, I went as a lacto-vegetarian and soon transformed my diet into being a vegan (no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy). Many of the reasons at the beginning were due to basic health reasons in India: ice cream in India then was eaten with a risk of typhoid, the milk needed to be boiled as it was delivered to your door in a plastic bag directly from the cow, and the cheese in the late 80’s in India (Amul brand) was disgusting. So I became a vegan. I tried dairy products again for a brief time when I returned to the United States in the early 90’s, but I felt better without the dairy – so the vegan diet stuck. Now that I reside in the United States, I try to buy “organic” products as much as possible that are fairly reasonable. Everyone’s body is different, but my vegan diet has worked wonders for me.
I should also add that I do not drink any alcohol. After my years at a Bowdoin College fraternity, I outgrew the need to consume alcohol. I stopped drinking socially in 1987 when I joined a company with a “no drinking” policy. Then, after leaving the company in 1992, it became a personal choice as I no longer wanted “to miss any moments of life.” So the combination of vegan food and no alcoholic beverages still stands 21 years later at 45. I wake up the same way everyday – no hangovers from alcohol or heavy foods. I think it helps my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
I have a long list of supplement sponsors that would like me to use their product to promote better health, recovery, hormonal balance, etc., but I choose to just take one vegetarian, multi-vitamin a day in addition to my food. With the help of my brother and Nutritional Consultant, Marc, I have a protein with every meal. This regime helps balance my sugar, blood, and nutritional levels.
I wanted this 20 week journey to reflect me and my life. I wanted this journey to represent good, clean health that anyone can do. I was always curious how fast I could go as I got older with my vegan lifestyle. With this 20 week challenge. I wanted to find out how consistent I could be every week in changing environments. My immune system has held up well so far in this long summer of travel. Now with four races to go and a lot of air travel remaining, I look to my “soy and broccoli” base to help me power through the finish.
The Boom Box Mile in Willimantic, CT marked the 10th race in the 20/20/20<5@45 – half way to 20! July 4th began as a rainy day on our ride down to Connecticut, but it cleared by the start of the parade. The Boom Box Mile is run by the exuberant and well-versed Willimantic resident, Charlie Olbrias. The Boom Box Mile happens just before the famous Boom Box Fourth of July Parade.
Back in 1986, The Boom Box Parade began because the Windham, CT area could not find a band for their Memorial Day parade. The late Kathy Clark brought the idea to play patriotic music on the WILI-AM (1400) radio station. The request was too short for the Memorial Day parade, but WILI agreed to sponsor and play the patriotic music on their radio station for the Fourth of July parade 22 years ago. The host of Connecticut’s longest running morning radio show and the grand marshal for 2008, Wayne Norman, was there at the parade’s inception and it has been going ever since. It is such a unique parade with the only requirement for participants is to tune their boom box radios to WILI’s marching band music and try to wear red, white, and blue. Many of the floats are made by individuals and families in the community. It is the a chance for the community to show off their creative side.
Charlie Olbrias, the race director and the head of www.lastmileracing.com, put on a great race on a limited budget. The deceiving race course is your typical New England small town road with and up and down, up and down feel to the race. I was surprised that I ran the uphill first quarter mile faster than the slight downhill second quarter, so I was not at the time I wanted before the most difficult uphill third quarter mile. I kicked in the last quarter mile in 68 seconds and finished at 4:53. My brother and Nutrition Consultant for the OneMileRunner.com, Marc, wanted to break 6 minutes, but just missed in 6:02. My nephew Jonathan had aspirations of breaking 9 minutes and did it easily in 8:23. We had a wonderful time at the race and the very original parade before heading into Boston for the July 4th festivities.
With the postponement of the Don Bowden Mile in Stockton, CA, I had to scramble to find another race schedule the next two weeks. I decided to run two races in Pennsylvania: one in Chambersburg on the 12th and the other in Harrisburg on the 16th. That will make three races in 12 days. I also wanted to keep with the race theme that have the road mile as its featured race. Please view the race changes on my race and events page on the website. See you in PA!
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Proper nutrition is a key element to any athlete but it is especially important for those athletes over 30 years old. Athletes over 30 years old have a lower metabolism and a higher risk of injury compared to younger athletes.
Eating small, frequent meals and snacks can help improve metabolism by feeding fuel to the body to burn. Your body burns energy in a similar way that a furnace burns. A furnace burns when given fuel, if no fuel is provided, the furnace can