Archive For The “Healthy Eating” Category

Carnivore Diet: My Surprising Results From a Week of Eating Only Animal Products

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Carnivore Diet: My Surprising Results From a Week of Eating Only Animal Products

No plants at all no veggies no fruit no grains and certainly no sugar that’s the carnivore diet crazy right I thought so too and then I decided to give it a try and I was absolutely blown away at how great I feel eating like this I honestly didn’t think I’d make it a…

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I'm a Millennial Who Moved Back Home—and I Don't See It As a Failure

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I'm a Millennial Who Moved Back Home—and I Don't See It As a Failure

Thirty used to seem so old. When we were in our early 20s, my friends and I used to fantasize about owning our own homes, having kids, being at the top of our chosen professions… we thought we’d have conquered life by 30.

But reality doesn’t work that way.

I’m now 32, and I feel like I have absolutely nothing figured out yet. I don’t own my own home. I’m not married. I don’t have kids—cats are enough for me, for the record. I’m not even close to where I want to be career-wise. And that’s OK. But it hasn’t been easy to internalize that.


I was 12 or 13 when the term “millennial” began to be tossed around in the media, and with it, a set of expectations, academic demands, and the promise of a much brighter future than the Baby Boomers’. We’d inherited the earth, they told us. They just forgot to mention that it had gotten kind of… barren.

I lost my job in early July of last year. August came and went, and I had to answer some big questions. After “Where is my next rent check going to come from?” the most important was “What do I even want in life?”

I tried to figure it out, but of course, that’s a big, loaded question—and unsurprisingly, I didn’t get struck by a revelation about my life’s purpose all at once. Instead, one night I realized that I needed a clean break—from the city, my roommates, maybe even myself. That’s when I made the choice to move back home.

My future was hazy, and I knew moving home could be the opportunity I needed to replenish myself, give myself time to breathe, and pick up the pieces. I’m from a small, almost-secluded West Virginia town, nestled away in the Appalachian ridge—but there’s so much culture embedded in this area’s history. From the professional theater to countless art galleries, a Carnegie Hall, a dance troupe, a classically styled movie theater, and a local arts paper, the world was my oyster. This fresh chapter could open up new things for me… if I let it.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get struck by a revalation about my life’s purpose all at once.

My mother absolutely loved that I was moving back. We’ve always had a pretty strained relationship, and it had taken her a number of years to come to understand my career choices and that I had moved away. When I was younger, I didn’t want to be tied down, suffocated—as I imagined it—by a small-town way of living. When I visited, my mom would just shake her head, give me a hug, and send me on my way.

But in retrospect, I was seeing my hometown and our relationship through the perspective I had at 18, and I’ve lived a whole life since then. I didn’t have to perceive it the same way. Thirty-two-year-old me said, “Jason, just breathe. It’ll be alright. Let this turmoil inspire you.”

Of course, easier said than done, right? Of course, I risked falling back into old patterns, old relationships, and old ways of thinking. When I moved back home with my mom, I was bombarded with the usual string of questions from well-meaning family friends and extended family members: Why aren’t you married yet? When are you going to settle down? Why don’t you get a real job? Are you really moving again?

This line of questioning can be crushing, especially when it feels like your life is already in shambles. At times, I began to think that maybe I should pack it in, feel bad about myself, abandon ambition. I usually give snide answers to mask the stress these questions cause me.

But there have been so many upsides to moving back home. I’ve learned that wherever you may be in life and whatever dreams you might possess, bottoming out can give you some much-needed perspective. I finally came to realize moving home at 32 isn’t failure. I have since regrouped, found more work in my field (phew!), moved into a new apartment, adopted two adorable kittens (number of cats in my life: three), and felt more alive than I have in some time.

Moving home isn’t the end. Instead, it can be an opportunity to do all of the following:

1. Catch your breath financially.

Rent can be downright outrageous. It’s hit a high that we haven’t seen since the 1980s. Prices have risen 18 percent over the past five years, with the median rental rate reaching $864 by early 2017.

By not having to pay rent, a tremendous weight has lifted off my shoulders—I’ve actually been able to stash away a bit of cash. When I do get back on my feet again, I’ll have a safety net, something I didn’t have before. In an age when student debt is mounting and millennials are being blamed for the downfall of the economy, taking a breather at home could mean you can save up a bit—while you rediscover your passions.

2. Reclaim your emotional and physical health.

Moving home can be a way to reset yourself and clean out the cobwebs. You can learn to see this moment as an opportunity for a new beginning. Personally, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life, along with the other 16.2 million Americans who had at least one depressive episode in 2016.

Once I acknowledged the need to tend to my mental health, things became clearer. I actually now have time to work out, pray, meditate. I have the time to do things that make me happy. You’d be surprised how much exercising—whether that be going for a run, walk, or simply doing a bit of yoga (this Greatist piece is a perfect place to start, FYI)—can revitalize your sense of self.

In college, while studying acting at West Virginia University, my voice and movement teachers instilled in me the importance of understanding our bodies, including how we breathe, where we carry our stress, and the tools necessary to reconnect to ourselves.

The world can be an incredibly stressful place, so taking extra time to show yourself love is imperative. What I like to do is pull up a favorite album on Spotify, lie completely flat on the floor, and explore my breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let the things beyond your control go. Imagine the toxicity leaving your body as a color, maybe a dark blue or purple. It’s a symbolic act and can be liberating. Clean your mind of all the junk. I do this at least once a day, and by assigning the bad energy to something tangible, almost real, my mental slate is wiped clean.

3. Rediscover who you are, what you really want—and discover your next steps.

I spent so much time last year worrying that I forgot who I really am. Being home, I’ve been able to take some time to refocus. If you’ve become the latest victim in a long string of layoffs, see if you can use the downtime as an opportunity to take a step back, reassess your goals, re-establish who you are—and who you want to be.

Over the past six or seven months, I’ve laid out some goals for myself. I looked at my work history and stripped it down to the basic skills I’ve developed and realized that I have far more to offer than I let myself believe. In terms of my next career steps, I’ve been looking far beyond my usual line of work, expanding into other interests, and giving myself the freedom to play. I definitely recommend seeking outside perspectives—someone else’s experience often helps you make sense of your own.

I have also spent ample time looking ahead to the next five, 10, 15 years. It can be daunting, but you can try to break what you want into parts (like starting a family, owning a home, relocating to another city) and set goals for yourself that will help you get closer to these—actionable steps you can take on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.

If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed in this process, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Oh, and breathe, get some fresh air, take a walk, do something new—you’re great as you are, and there’s no point in stressing about being stressed.

Jason Scott is a writer based in West Virginia. Itching for creative freedom, he founded his own music-discovery site called B-Sides & Badlands, which specializes in long-form writing and cultural criticism. If you enjoy kitty pics and being woke, follow him on Twitter.




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Muscle Building Diet Mistake (EAT BIG | GET BIG!)

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Muscle Building Diet Mistake (EAT BIG | GET BIG!)

JEFF: What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Today we’re talking nutrition. Specifically for hard gainers, and more importantly the mistakes that hard gainers make. And who would I bring into this video? No, not Charlie. He’s doing good with food. We’re talking about Jessie, our resident hard gainer. Who, by the way – hi Jessie!…

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What You've Always Wanted to Know About Supplements

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What You've Always Wanted to Know About Supplements

Not a day goes by when I don’t see an article claiming some new supplement will change my life. Take this for better sleep! Try that for less anxiety! This is definitely missing from your morning routine. This little pill fixed that crazy-famous celebrity’s super-relatable problem. Trade in everything and try this single supplement superhero!

Is your head spinning yet? Mine is. And my pantry is overflowing with so many tinctures, powders, and cure-all pills that I could honestly open my own holistic pharmacy. From digestive aids to stress reducers to sleep inducers to who the heck knows what that is or what it’s for, there’s no shortage of supplements that can supposedly help with, well, everything.

While it’s important to get to know supplements and what they’re really good for (PSA: don’t believe everything you read), there’s another burning question that’s always on my mind: What’s the best way to take supplements in the first place?

Sure, popping pills is fast and convenient. And yes, mixing powders with smoothies certainly helps mask less than desirable flavors (cough cough, ashwagandha). But does the way I’m ingesting them really make a difference?

What Are Supplements?

For those who have yet to go buck wild adding every vitamin, mineral, adaptogen, protein powder, and magic elixir to your Amazon cart, supplements are products aimed at enhancing (also known as supplementing) your diet. From herbs to amino acids to enzymes to everything in-between, they come in various forms, like capsules, tablets, powders, and even energy bars.

Still not ringing a bell?

It’s likely someone recommended vitamin C or echinacea last time you had a cold, or suggested probiotics when you complained about your out-of-whack gut. Ever taken vitamin D when you were SAD? Or fish oil for that healthy heart? What about adding protein powder to your post-workout smoothie? Yep, all supplements.

Should I Be Taking Them?

In 2004, one in 10 adults reported taking herbal supplements. As of 2016, 71 percent of adults in the U.S.—more than 170 million!—reported taking dietary supplements. As people become increasingly interested in optimal health, curiosity about all-natural remedies, healing diets, and other holistic measures has piqued.

And while the best way to fuel your body is with a healthy diet, supplements can be a great way to give yourself a boost. (Read: Supplements should be complementary to a healthy lifestyle, not used as band-aids for not-so-healthy ones.) But the best way to figure out what you need isn’t surfing the internet.

“I recommend two things,” says Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., and founder of Ancient Nutrition and “One, be an advocate for your own health. Do your research on any concerns or conditions you may have so that you understand what may help most.”

OK, maybe surfing the internet isn’t such a bad idea. Just make sure any “facts” you find are actually that—and that they’re backed by science.

“Second, I recommend working with a like-minded medical practitioner,” he says. “Your chosen professional should be able to understand the effectiveness and interactions of any supplements you may be (or want to start) taking, and will be able to examine your medical history, symptoms, and any relevant tests to custom-design a supplement program for you, should they suggest you could benefit from it.”

That said, consultations and tests don’t come cheap. So if you’re looking to keep things simple, Dr. Axe says that he’s seen positive results when people take the following supplement staples. But as always, check with your doctor first before filling your shopping cart:

Where Do I Buy Them?

If you’ve ever wandered down the aisles of health foods stores in search of a supplement, you know how overwhelming it can be. Tinctures, tablets, powders, capsules… all with varying doses, sold by countless brands, with prices all over the board, and mixed into so many combos that you end up cross-eyed. I often leave with several bottles and jars and more confused (and broke) than ever.

And it’s not just me. Even health professionals find picking the right supplement tricky.

“This is one of the hardest things to tackle,” says Tara Coleman, a clinical nutritionist who started her career as a chemist in the biopharmaceutical industry. “Supplement companies are regulated as food rather than drugs so they don’t follow the same rigorous testing and verification that our pharmaceuticals do.”

Case in point: A review done by Vox in 2016 showed that more than 850 dietary supplements contained illegal and/or hidden ingredients. Gulp. These included banned drugs, pharmaceuticals like anti-depressants, and other chemicals that have never been tested on humans. Double gulp.

While I’m not convinced we should abandon supplements entirely, I am convinced that buying them from a reputable company is the best way to ensure supplement safety—and effectiveness.

“Products that are available at reputable retail locations (Whole Foods, for example) will often go through a rigorous compliance review,” Dr. Axe says. “Products with outside certifications (like USDA certified organic) would also go through more testing. I like to give Whole Foods as a baseline because its standards for manufactured supplements are even stricter than the FDA’s.”

As for online shopping… not so much.

“I would be concerned about products available only online (either through the company’s own website or a marketplace reseller, such as Amazon) or late-night infomercial products,” Dr. Axe adds. “These tend to have the most issues with quality, compliance, and adulteration.”

Another pro tip: Look for third-party verification, which is a stamp of approval from a company with expertise in quality assessment that is not associated with the manufacturer. Good ones to look for include United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, and Consumer Lab.

“Companies that choose to put themselves through additional testing to prove the quality or potency do so at their own expense,” Coleman says. “Typically this is a sign of integrity and transparency and speaks highly of the company.”

As for the way we take them, that’s a little simpler—and less scary. (Phew.)

The Best Way to Take Supplements

I love adding powders to smoothies and lattes, will occasionally (and begrudgingly) down a tincture, and have been known to swallow up to 10 pills at once (don’t worry, just herbal). My choices have mostly been based on flavor and convenience and less so because I thought the way I consumed them actually mattered.

Does it?

“As a rule of thumb, the order of bioavailability (meaning your body can actually use it) typically goes liquid or tincture, powder, and then capsules,” Coleman says.

But there doesn’t seem to be a huge—or scientifically proven—difference.

“Many sources claim that a liquid-based supplement is the most ideal for absorption, but that type of assumption has yet to be proven,” Dr. Axe says. “Typically, how you take a supplement depends on how much your body may need or be able to use. For example, a protein powder scoop would typically have to be divided into 30+ capsules for you to get the same amount in one serving.”

Protein powder capsules? Maybe not such a great way to give your body what it needs. But for something like ashwagandha, which is often consumed in small servings (typically no more than a teaspoon) and doesn’t have the best taste, capsules are just fine. And considering many supplements require prolonged use to see the benefits, bioavailability may not actually be so important—depending on your needs.

As with most health-related things, it’s also about you assessing your own lifestyle and needs. Not everyone can stomach the bitter taste of tinctures, and similarly, not everyone wants to (or can) swallow numerous pills. In fact, some may not even be able to stomach pills.

“The downside to capsules is that there is a small percentage of people that may not react well to the material that the capsule is made from,” Coleman says.

And while the material of supplement capsules—and our ability to digest them—is widely contested, it’s something to watch out for (says someone who actually showed signs of inflammation in their stomach, which their gastroenterologist guessed was from all those supplements).

So yes, there are a few things to consider, but really it comes down to—surprise, surprise—you. And once you’ve picked your poison (slash method of choice), here are few supplemental tips to keep in mind:

  • To help break up clumps—which is a common frustration when using powders—use a blender, milk frother, or shaker bottle (like a Blender Bottle). They’re easy, fast, and (almost) lump-free.
  • Mix tinctures with eight ounces of water or a splash of juice to help subdue the flavor. That said, if you’re a ‘rip off the band-aid’ kind of person, there’s no harm in going straight down the hatch, Coleman says.
  • If you’re worried about the material capsules are made from, sprinkle the contents into liquid and drink them instead. (Though Dr. Axe says that modern supplement capsules are more easily digestible and break down within seconds.)
  • With some supplements, what you take them with actually matters. Fat-soluble vitamins, for example, need fat present to be fully absorbed. Vitamin C also helps iron absorb, so they should be taken together. Calcium, on the other hand, can compete with iron, so calcium supplements should be taken a few hours after an iron-rich meal.
  • Additionally, some supplements can negatively interact with medication, making them less effective, and in some cases, even dangerous.
  • Have I mentioned that consulting a health professional is really helpful?

The Takeaway

Unfortunately, supplements simply aren’t that simple. To get the most out of them, you need to understand what they can actually do and how to best integrate them into your life. And because each supplement is different, as is each individual taking it, it’s best to get guidance from a health professional as opposed to trusting the internet.

But I know that’s easier said than done. So when it comes to supplements, make sure to buy the good stuff—from the brands that make it well—and make sure to thoroughly investigate before popping any pills or sipping any super drinks.




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Banana Nice Cream Protein Bites {Gluten-free, dairy-free}

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Banana Nice Cream Protein Bites {Gluten-free, dairy-free}

These no-bake banana chocolate chip bites are a healthy sweet treat recipe you can make in one bowl in less than 10 minutes. They also have an added dose of protein! Try these out next time you want a healthy dessert option.

Hi friends! We’re livin’ the Disney cruise life – I’ll be sure to share some adventures + a recap soon! – but in the meantime, here’s a super quick and delicious recipe I threw together last week. I was looking to use up some groceries, and I saw a sad banana sitting in the fruit bowl.

Sad banana

I didn’t want him to go to waste, so I put some ingredients in a bowl,  poured the mix into muffin cups, froze,  said a prayer, and before we knew it, the girls and I were having some tasty banana nice cream chocolate chip bites. (I kind of hate calling it “nice cream” but it makes sense because it isn’t really ice cream, and there’s that whole SEO thing that I don’t really know anything about.) I ended up adding some collagen to the mix for a little protein, and I love the nutrition stats for these!

Banana nice cream protein bites 4

Just mix,

freeze for an hour or two,

These banana nice cream protein bites are a delicious and healthy no-bake dessert for summer!

drizzle with melted chocolate,

These banana nice cream protein bites are a delicious and healthy no-bake dessert for summer!

and eat!

So easy, and so, so good. P had one in each hand and was “mmmmm”-ing her way around the kitchen. 

Banana nice cream protein bites 5

I think you’re going to love these ones.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try!

These banana nice cream protein bites are a delicious and healthy no-bake dessert for summer!


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Banana Nice Cream Protein Bites Gluten-free, dairy-free

These no-bake banana chocolate chip bites are a healthy sweet treat recipe you can make in one bowl in less than 10 minutes. They also have an added dose of protein! Try these out next time you want a healthy dessert option.

  • Author: Gina Harney // The Fitnessista
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes


125g banana

1/4 cup nut butter of choice (I used Nuttzo)

1/3 cup almond meal

Lots of cinnamon

2 scoops of collagen

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (plus more for drizzling)


In a large bowl, mash the banana.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Line 6 muffin tins and pout the mixture evenly into the muffin tins.

Place in the freezer to harder for about 2 hours.

Melt extra chocolate chips in a glass bowl, and drizzle over the bites. Serve immediately and store any leftovers (if you have them!) in the freezer for the next time you want a sweet bite.

Keywords: banana nice cream, healthy bites, no bake dessert, cold dessert options, banana nice cream bites, chocolate banana healthy dessert, gluten free dessert

These banana nice cream protein bites are a delicious and healthy no-bake dessert for summer!

Makes 6 bites. Nutrition stats per bite: 150 kcal // 11.2g fat // 14.3g carbs // 5.3g protein

What’s your favorite healthier sweet option?



More of my fave healthy desserts:

Pumpkin cheesecake

Crumble in a jar

Microwave chocolate mug cake

Double chocolate protein muffin

Chocolate avocado chia pudding

The post Banana Nice Cream Protein Bites Gluten-free, dairy-free appeared first on The Fitnessista.

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Transgender people are not mentally ill, the WHO decrees

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Transgender people are not mentally ill, the WHO decrees

The term the World Health Organization uses to describe transgender people — “gender incongruence” — is being moved to the panel’s sexual health chapter from its mental disorders chapter, the WHO’s legislative body has voted.

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A teen needed a stable home to make the kidney transplant list. So his teacher took him in

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A teen needed a stable home to make the kidney transplant list. So his teacher took him in

Damien, 13, didn’t believe it when he found out his new foster parent would be his math teacher, Finn Lanning.

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The HLMRMEER Triathlon Race Report

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The HLMRMEER Triathlon Race Report

2019-06-02 13.37.49

You know what’s fun? Signing up for local triathlons a few days beforehand with pretty much no plan or appropriate sport-specific training. It almost always guarantees a good time. Sure, I had run and rode, and even swam…once…in the weeks prior. But none of it was super intense or structured. It was just enjoying getting out and running or riding.

But with the ease of signing up for a race on a Tuesday prior to a Sunday event, and the prices being super inexpensive, I figured why not? And thus I found myself Sunday afternoon on the hottest day of the year ready to enjoy an hour or so of suffering.


The race is part of a larger triathlon series, and in the case of this specific day there were multiple races over the course of about 6 hours – roughly once per hour. Some sprint distance, some Olympic distance, and so on. By time I had gotten to signing up, only the 2:15PM time slot was available. Not exactly ideal racing time on an 87*F/31*C day, but hey, it could have been worse: There was the 3:15PM wave.

Packet pickup took about 45 seconds at most, with super friendly folks explaining the bits I needed to know:

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And of course, pickup my race bag with all my various race numbers and stickers in it:

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There were a handful of vendors as part of a mini-expo, including both Wattbike and True Kinetix, plus a typical triathlon gear type stand as well. And then plenty of beach area for family and friends to hang out and enjoy:

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After that it was over to transition to setup my bike and run goods. Since the race was ongoing, the race officials were sorta letting people go in groups as waves would pass through. They had structured transition smartly though, such that the different waves were roughly grouped together so that there wasn’t too much traffic in your specific area.

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For this race I was using my Cervelo P3C triathlon bike, since drafting was not legal (whereas many races I did in France, drafting was legal – so you’d use a road bike for those).

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I clipped in my cycling shoes onto my bike, and then got my running shoes all setup off to the side as well. Helmet atop the aerobars, as well as sunglasses and tri belt that held my race number.  I grabbed my wetsuit, swim goggles, and swim cap and headed out to kill a bit of time before my wave.

The Swim:

The route was a simple 750 meter triangle, nothing fancy, nor terribly long. This is a good time mention I was doing the sprint triathlon. Sure, I could have done the Olympic triathlon – but why work longer than I needed to? Here’s the swim wave before me, heading towards the first orange buoy across the lake:

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We lined up a few minutes prior to the swim and then the starting gun went off precisely at 2:15:00. Dutch efficiency at its finest here.

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At this point, I swam. Not terribly fast, but comfortably cruising. Speaking of which, I was wearing the Garmin MARQ Athlete on my left wrist, and then the COROS VERTIX on my right wrist. With the goal here of being able to put legit triathlons on both watches prior to very near term reviews. Always something about a race that’s fun to validate a watch.

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I don’t have a ton more to say about the swim. I just kept on swimming till there wasn’t anymore distance to swim. Outside of the first 50-100m, it was pretty calm with virtually no contact between athletes. The only downside was that the Garmin MARQ stopped recording distance after about 34y as I noted in my previous post. The COROX VERTIX did continue, though seemingly overshot by about 150y (but the track was roughly where I swam).

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Oh, fear not, we’re gonna discuss this whole swim thing more in detail tomorrow.

I came out of the water in 14:01, which given I’ve swam exactly twice in the preceding two months…I’ll take it!

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Transition was efficient, though I did struggle a little bit getting my new wetsuit unzipped initially. Should have practiced that given it was nearly brand new. Once that was settled it was a short run thankfully almost entirely on grass before I started pedaling. Good grass in fact.

The Bike:

The bike started out on a fence lined bike path as it sped away from the larger park that the swim/run were based on.  Within a few hundred meters I had my cycling shoes on and was spending a few minutes getting my HR back down from swim and transition. I played pass and be passed with one or two other cyclists as we all found our respective pedaling sweet spots. The bike course didn’t have a ton of cycling traffic on it, and was almost entirely sans-vehicle traffic.

The most exciting part of the bike course was what this race is known for: The Polderbaan.

The Polderbaan is a which is a bike path that parallels one of the major runways at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. If the winds are in the right direction you effectively race the planes as they take-off. What makes this bike path unique though is there are no fences between you and the planes. Instead, there’s a few meter wide water-filled canal that’s not visible in photographs. Still, it appears like there’s planes taking off or landing right next to you:

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The organizers have also setup a 1KM timed section of this stretch that you can compete on. Fastest time of the day wins an award. Sorta like a private Strava Segment.

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Now what made this day interesting was the tailwind. It was super strong, thus the planes were landing towards you, rather than taking off with you. So while photographically that’s not quite as much fun, it makes for a great ride. I was cruising along at ~30MPH/50KPH easy pedaling.

Seriously.  I was sitting up (to catch the wind) and doing roughly 180-200w easy pedaling along passing guys in aero position. Remember kids: If the wind is strong, embrace your inner sailboat while you can.

Of course, all good things eventually come to an end. And soon enough we were back into that same strong headwind. So it was back into aero for those sections.

Some 33 minutes later I was taking off my cycling shoes as I approached the transition zone. I was a bit slow on the bike overall, mostly as I didn’t think to adjust my position any. Which sounds silly, but I had forgot the last time I was on my triathlon bike was last fall when I was doing some aero sensor testing. As part of that we had kept on tweaking my position more and more aggressively, just for fun, to show the aero effects. Of course, I forgot that those last few positions were unsustainable for me, especially when I didn’t train in them (I mostly ride my road bike). Still, for 30 minutes how bad could it be I told myself.

Huh. Noted.

So, some tweaks are in order before the next race.

The Run:

I quickly tossed my bike into transition and was briskly out on the run. I grabbed my GoPro from my bike before doing so. In case your wondering, I did confirm with not one, but two different race officials that having an action camera was fine. Both were totally good with it. Here I am leaving transition, via a photo from The Girl:

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The run was roughly an out and back through the park. It wasn’t a perfect out and back in that there were some sections you did on the way out but not the way back. But you get the idea. A fair bit of it was out in the sun. As noted, it was by far the hottest day since last summer. And the weather had only warmed up the day prior. So we went from jacket weather to bikini weather in a 48 hour span. I think myself and everyone else knew our run times without acclimation would mostly be crap. I just accepted that reality, especially with a 2:15PM start time.

Still, nobody passed me, which is pretty much my yardstick for a ‘good’ run. I passed the handful of people that were passable during my time. Plus I grabbed weather from the water stations every kilometer or so.


It really was a nice run course though. Some courses go by fast, and this was one of them.  The time flew by, and before I knew it I was turning the corner back into the finishing chute:


My run time was 23:15, which will undoubtedly make some of you giggle. I’m not a hot weather runner, especially when I haven’t been putting in the interval miles to sustain any 5K race paces post-swim/bike.

Still, my overall time netted me a place of #23 out of 253 finishers. So it’ll do donkey, it’ll do. Plus, best of all was having the family there. Both Peanuts and The Girl came out to enjoy the day:

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It’s fun having little ones cheering for you, especially now that they’re old enough. 🙂


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With the race over we packed everything up and headed on home. Both The Girl and I are looking forward to sneaking in a few more races this summer as part of the larger series. They’ve got events roughly every 1-2 weeks throughout the summer, most of which aren’t very far from Amsterdam (or are in Amsterdam). Plus the company had up results within a few hours (maybe sooner, had I found them), and photographs were up by various race photographs within a day or so as well. Props to both.

Plus of course, I appreciate a race that packet pickup is a sub-1 minute affair, and that I can register at the last minute. I know that both of those things are more difficult for organizers to deal with, but they make it viable for athletes like myself that can’t long-term plan their life.

With that – thanks for reading! Oh, and you can find all my past race reports here, in case you want to skip down memory lane.

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Week in Review–May 26th, 2019

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Week in Review–May 26th, 2019

The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter and Facebook, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRAINMAKER.COM Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page this past week:

Sunday: Week in Review–May 19th, 2019
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday:  Suunto 5: Everything You Need to Know & First Runs
Friday: Quick App Reviews: Footpath Route Planner (iOS)

I had three slated posts slide due to last minute tweaks from companies. So…you’ll likely see the fruit of those labors this week instead. Welcome to my world.

Huge Deals Ending Soon!:

The big sports technology 20% off sale ends Monday, tomorrow!. If you haven’t seen the huge post, here’s the gist of it (also note: Garmin Vector 3 and 3S has now been added to the list since it launched!):

– 20% off any trainer and most power meters
– 20% off boatloads of other non-sports tech products (like running shoes, Oakley helmets, etc…)
– 30% off most Suunto watches – including Suunto 9
– 20% off all Polar watches (including Polar Vantage series)
– $150 off the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series (5S/5/5X Plus)
– $50 off the Garmin inReach Mini (satellite communicator)
– $70 off the Garmin Edge 520 Plus (down to $209!)
– 20% off Saris & CycleOps (trainers and racks)
– $50 off the GoPro Hero 7 Black (down to $349) – this one just on Amazon

Hit up the full list of products and product ideas in the post, including a giant table of them!

And finally below – this one is still around too!

Apple Watch Series 4 – $50 off: This is one of the first times we’ve seen a sale on the Apple Watch Series 4. While there have been plenty of Series 3 sales (often down to $199), the Series 4 has remained elusively full-priced. Apple typically announces new models in the September timeframe, so I don’t expect anything anytime soon.  [Full in-depth review here]

All of these help support the site as well – enjoy!

FIT File Podcast This Week:

Episode 76 of the podcast is not yet up, though…is recorded.

[We’re waiting on confirmation of one thing before we publish – also tied to why one post above didn’t publish yet. Hoping it happens soon. Hang tight!]

Listen here, or four options for where to find the podcast:

A) iTunes: If you’ve got an Apple device, we’re there!
B) Google Play Music: Yup, we’re here too (and on Google Podcasts app)
C) Spotify: Of course we’re on Spotify now – you can even cache it on your wearable too!
D) RSS Feed: Follow along using the direct RSS feed

YouTube Videos This Past Week:

Here’s what hit the tubes over on the You of Tube, definitely don’t forget to subscribe there to get notified of videos the second they hit!

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet (and in this case, some of these are from the past two weeks…as my backlog is a bit longer):

1) American Airlines removes bike bag fee: Technically you still have to pay the usual suitcase fee, but you no longer have to pay the crazy bike fee. Your move United…your move.

2) CrossFit leaves Facebook & Instagram In a Rage: There are really endless funny comments on that post, it’s worth the scroll down. I could add more funnies, but I’ll probably upset someone. So, those funnies are worth it.

3) My FirstBeat HRV Summit 2019 Presentation: Also, you’ll find some photos and a short interview and other people’s presentations. Frankly, the other people’s presentations are where the gold is.

4) Google Glass is Back! Though, only for the enterprise. No surprise there, the tech just hasn’t found its place yet in the consumer realm. Yes, I know there are companies that have introduced this tech, and yes, I’ve tried them all. Just isn’t ready yet. Be it consumer acceptance or the limitations – too many tradeoffs over other formats. Industrial/enterprise use? Absolutely ready.

5) Making your own gold Apple Watch: Well, that’s one way of doing it.

6) Danny Daycare: Countless numbers of you sent this in. Pfft…try it with a cargo bike. 😉

7) Samsung brings Galaxy Watch Active features to older watches: Good to see the company backporting those. Now, if only they’d spend some time on HR accuracy or file exports/partners.

8) Hong Kong Maids Running Ultramarathons: This is cool, super cool (well, the running part, less so the circumstances around some working conditions).

9) Apple acquires asthma monitoring company: Yet another egg in Apple’s medical-focused acquisition basket. I’m sure someone has tracked these all somewhere, but the number of health/wellness/medical/etc type companies Apple has acquired will certainly make for an interesting future in the wearables world.

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software, and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one-liners are perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?  Oh – and if you want to get a head start on things, this page is a great resource for watching Garmin and a few other firmware updates.

Garmin Forerunner 45 Firmware Update: A pile of bug fixes

Garmin Edge 520 BETA firmware update: Interesting. Beta firmware update that adds a filter to eliminate power meter spikes coming from a sensor, presumably above a certain non-human threshold (i.e. to get rid of 3,500w spikes)

Thanks for reading!

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19 Aquafaba Recipes That Prove Chickpea Water Is Not As Gross As It Sounds

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19 Aquafaba Recipes That Prove Chickpea Water Is Not As Gross As It Sounds

Aquafaba: It sounds like some kind of luxury skin lotion, a new water sport, or a couture swimsuit brand.

Actually, it’s a bit less fancy—but so much better—than any of that. The official term for the slightly viscous liquid left in a chickpea can (you know, the murky stuff we usually pour down the drain), aquafaba has proven to be an unexpectedly effective cooking and baking ingredient ever since it was discovered by a French singer (of all people) to work in an eerily similar way to egg whites.

Once others caught on, the experiments began, and as of today, aquafaba has been responsible for making traditionally non-vegan foods like omelets, vegan meringues, and egg-free French toast possible. So next time you crack open a can of chickpeas, bottle up that brine—you’ll need it for these 19 awesome aquafaba recipes.


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Photo: Vegan Niinja

Aquafaba isn’t the only unlikely ingredient you’ll find here; there are also actual chickpeas in the batter, along with apple cider vinegar and lesser-used cardamom powder. While the recipe may not be familiar territory, don’t worry—the pancakes themselves taste like pure comfort food.

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Photo: A Saucy Kitchen

Lots of vegan French toasts simply omit the eggs and use plant-based milk but don’t quite achieve that all-important fluffiness of the traditional recipe. This version, however, gets the texture just right thanks to whipped aquafaba, which soaks into the bread overnight and is responsible for the ideal custard-like richness once baked.

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Photo: Vegan Richa

This recipe may blow your mind in more ways than one. Nutritional yeast and chickpea brine in the dough? Just one hour from start to finish? You’ll have to make it to believe it—and you’ll be so glad you did.

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Photo: Veganopoulos

Who needs oil when you have aquafaba? The chickpea liquid does a great job of standing in for both the eggs and the added fat here, leaving you with perfectly risen (and perfectly vegan), coconutty breakfast muffins.

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Photo: Fork Not For Pork

You’ve probably come across a dozen and a half banana bread recipes over time, but we’ll bet none of them have been quite like this one. A generous half cup of aquafaba gives the egg-free, nondairy recipe its rise and texture, while additions like cinnamon, ginger, and almonds take it to the next level in terms of taste.

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Photo: The Pancake Princess

While using whole-wheat flour can potentially result in a brick-like final product, you don’t have to worry about that with these waffles. With aquafaba in the batter allowing for lots of volume, the recipe even gets away with adding dense buckwheat flour into the mix for extra fiber.

Savory Dishes

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Photo: Catching Seeds

Omelets are so versatile, so convenient, and so not vegan—until now. Egg-free eaters, get in on the breakfast (or brunch or breakfast-for-dinner) favorite with this chock-full-of-chickpea version. Garbanzo bean flour and a full cup of aquafaba form pillowy folds that are all ready for all your favorite omelet fillings.

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Photo: Veganosity

Its pale pink color may have you convinced that it’s made of beef, but we promise, this patty is 100-percent plant-based. Roasted beets explain its rosy appearance, while chickpeas add a protein punch, and aquafaba helps to hold the ingredients (there are only five!) together.

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Photo: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures

Zero crustaceans were harmed in the making of these cakes, but you’d never be able to guess. With chickpeas and hearts of palm forming the base, classic crab cake seasonings to lend authentic flavor, and aquafaba holding everything together, the resemblance to the original is pretty uncanny.

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Photo: Seitan Beats Your Meat

You don’t need a ticket to Paris, a special griddle, or even eggs to enjoy super-soft crepes whenever you want. When you add aquafaba as the all-important binding agent for the flour and milk to a simple large skillet, you can whip these savory pancakes up in fewer than 15 minutes.

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Photo: Olives For Dinner

Not only do these tots sneak in a serving of veggies by swapping the spuds for broccoli, but they’re also baked instead of fried and, thanks to aquafaba and dairy-free cheese, totally vegan. Oh, and that curry ketchup for dipping? Technically optional but a total game-changer.

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Photo: Seitan is My Motor

Swapping the meat, eggs, and the traditional frying process for thinly sliced beets, aquafaba, and an oven-baked method, this recipe is a tasty vegan homage to the central European breaded veal. There’s even a tasty (and easy!) dairy-free almond cheese standing in for the usual cream sauce to give you a full schnitzel illusion.

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Photo: A Virtual Vegan

Just because you’re cutting back on fried foods doesn’t mean you need to be deprived of crispy potato goodness. Coat the diced spuds in aquafaba before they go in the oven, and they’ll come out crunchy-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside without a single drop of oil.


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Photo: The Healthy Hunter

When dessert looks this irresistibly fudgy, you probably just want to devour it in ignorant bliss of how much butter and sugar is in it. But we’re thrilled to report that with ingredients like coconut sugar, spelt flour, and of course, aquafaba, these chocolaty squares are actually better for you than most brownies, which make them even sweeter.

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Photo: Minimalist Baker

Egg whites are among the most important components of a perfect macaroon, so the idea of making these coconut bites without them might sound… well, kinda nutty. But that’s where aquafaba comes in—whisked to mimic whipped whites, the chickpea brine makes sure that neither the look nor the texture of these cookies is compromised.

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Photo: Bo's Kitchen

Vegans aren’t strangers to putting beans in their baked goods, but chickpea water may be a whole different story. Only three tablespoons of the stuff go into these grain-free, peanut-buttery squares, but it’s enough to help give them the texture of blondies, not bricks.

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Photo: Vegan Blueberry

Along with coconut milk and avocado, you can now add aquafaba to the list of ways to make a totally vegan chocolate mousse. Beaten and then folded into the mix, it helps the dessert hit that perfect balance between light and decadent.

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Photo: Lauren Caris Cooks

This traditional English dessert may be called a “mess,” but we’d hardly call layers of coconut yogurt, meringues, and fresh strawberries a disaster. Aquafaba replaces egg whites for the lighter-than-air meringues that are crumbled into the mix so that vegans don’t miss out on the parfait-like treat.

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Photo: Peppers and Peaches

Save that entire can of chickpea brine, ’cause it’s all going into this doughnut batter to give these baked breads their amazing cakey texture. Once you’ve poured the lemony icing on top, you’ll never go back to Dunkin’, Krispy, or any of the others.




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