Friday, July 20, 2012

Tour De France Champ a Vegan WSJ June 29, 2011

GO Vegetable Eaters!!


Riding the Tour De Vegetable

American David Zabriskie Aims to Compete in the World's Most Grueling Bike Race—As a Vegan*


To climb the Tour de France's steep mountain passes and cross its scorching plains, cyclists have tried stuffing themselves full of steak and pasta, gulping down wine and cognac, smoking cigarettes, taking amphetamines and, of course, using other drugs during the race's 107-year history. On Saturday, American David Zabriskie plans to try something entirely new: Riding the Tour on a vegan diet.
Associated Press (Zabriskie); Reuters (tomato); Getty Images (Artichoke, Carrot)
David Zabriskie

Zabriskie's Vegan Menu

Here's what the cyclist plans to eat on race days during the Tour.
Oatmeal with black strap molasses; whole food optimizer; cacao nibs; nuts; cinnamon; two tablespoons of coconut butter; an apple; hemp seeds and flax seeds
On-the-Bike Snacks:
Six Clif Bar Z bars (vegan); two Clif Bar shot blocks (vegan); two Clif Bar gels (vegan); dates; six to eight bottles of special team race drink
On the Bus, Post-Race:
White rice with maple syrup and cinnamon; vegan protein shake;
two bottles of special team recovery protein drink; goji berries
Before Dinner:
Vegan protein shake
White rice or pasta; salad with leafy greens; vegetables —including broccoli, spinach, carrots and beets.
Fresh fruit and a vegan protein shake before bed
Experts say he is the first cyclist to attempt the most difficult bike race in the world sans meat, dairy or eggs. (He will cheat slightly, he says, because he plans to eat small amounts of salmon two days per week to increase iron absorption).
Cyclists in the Tour de France can burn 8,000 calories a day—so many that some riders, already lean from their training, are unable to eat enough food to keep up with calorie loss.
The conventional wisdom is that eating plenty of meat and dairy provides protein to help cyclists' muscles recover, and that the iron in red meat keeps the body producing ample amounts of hemoglobin, part of the all-important red blood cells that transport oxygen to the muscles. Iñigo San Millán, a sports-medicine professor at the University of Colorado and a former physiologist on Zabriskie's team, calls the cyclist's desire to go vegan "a strange concept." To many cyclists, he says, a vegan diet "doesn't make much sense."
Before last season, Zabriskie, who rides for the U.S.-based Garmin-Cervélo team, was a typical meat-eating athlete, scarfing down whatever he wanted so long as it didn't make him fat. But at the beginning of last season, his team's chiropractor gave him a blood test that screened his sensitivity to certain types of foods. The chiropractor, Matt Rabin, told Zabriskie he had the highest sensitivity to food on the team. Another blood test showed Zabriskie had the highest inflammation of his muscles.
During last year's Tour de France, Zabriskie turned down the red meat being passed around the dinner table because he thought it required too much energy to digest. In the late summer of last year, he began phasing out all meat from his diet and by October, he had also cut out dairy.
Getty Images
Dave Zabriskie in May.
After nine months on the diet, Zabriskie says he's feeling better than ever. He has had some of the best results of his career and says he feels more focused. "I think a lot of people see food in terms of whether it's going to make them fat or make them skinny," he says. "I'm seeing food in terms of how it's going to make me think and will it give me clarity." Zabriskie says he's noticed that even small ailments, like canker sores and a persistent rash he used to get, have all gone away. Even his vision has improved, he says.
This winter, Zabriskie's team director, Jonathan Vaughters, caught wind of his new diet and gave him a call. Vaughters was concerned the diet would lower Zabriskie's iron intake, which is crucial for endurance athletes. He told Zabriskie that he could try the diet, so long as he took regular blood tests to monitor his level of ferritin, the protein that stores iron. He said Zabriskie should eat more dark, leafy greens and other sources of iron. Vaughters says he's fine with the diet, so long as the results are good. "At the end of the day, I just want him to go fast."
Vaughters says he was surprised when blood tests early this season showed Zabriskie's ferritin levels had remained stable on the vegan diet—which means his hemoglobin and red blood cell counts also remained normal. He says he's been pleasantly surprised by his performance. "He's won more time trials this year than he has in his career," Vaughters says. "The proof is in the pudding."
To get guidance on the diet, Zabriskie consulted with Brendan Brazier, a triathlete and author of "The Thrive Diet," a guide to vegan diets in sports that has become something of a bible for the cyclist. Brazier lives near Zabriskie in the outskirts of Los Angeles and began joining him on rides.
Earlier this season, Zabriskie said his energy levels were down and he felt weak. He wasn't sure if it was a result of the diet or a recent bug he was getting over. He got in touch with Brazier, who advised him to take vegan protein shakes made from hemp seeds, flax seeds and brown rice protein, among other ingredients. (Brazier invented the shake and markets them under the "Vega" brand). Zabriskie says he now drinks three or four of the shakes throughout the day.
Zabriskie also consulted with a professional motorcycle racer, Ben Bostrom, also a vegan, who advised Zabriskie to include small amounts of fish a couple of times a week because of the incredibly large load he puts on his body during training. "He told me, don't get too hung up on the word 'vegan'," says Zabriskie. The fish, Zabriskie says, helps his body absorb certain vitamins and iron.
During the Tour of California in May, Zabriskie won the time trial. Last month, he blew away the competition at the U.S. national time trial championships in Greenville, S.C. That victory, he says, reinforced his decision to change his diet. "I knew I had done everything right," he says.
Zabriskie is not a contender for the yellow jersey. He has raced in the Tour de France five times and finished it three times. He became the third American to wear the race's coveted yellow jersey in 2005 when he beat Lance Armstrong in the race's opening prologue. This year, if he just finishes, he could become a hero for advocates of the Vegan diet—at least those who don't mind the fish.
Vaughters says it might change the way professional athletes view veganism. "This is definitely the ultimate test of the vegan diet," he says. "If it works here, no one can ever say you can't do X,Y,Z as a vegan."
* With a little fish thrown in
Write to Reed Albergotti at reed.albergotti

Labeling Allergen Foods in Restaurants

Great article in Wall Street Journal June 2012

When someone orders from the gluten-free menu at the Melting Pot, a chain of 140 fondue restaurants, a complex safety system kicks in behind the scenes.
The server enters a "gluten-free" notice on the electronic order ticket. That alerts the chef to stop, sanitize his work station and change his gloves and apron. He prepares the plate from a separate set of food items, strategically arranged so those containing gluten—a protein found in wheat, rye and barley—can't contaminate those without. The server delivers the order on a separate tray, and the manager comes by to see if the diner has any questions.
"Educate, separate, sanitize—I pound that into our employees," says Maria Miller-Rodriguez, who trains new Melting Pot staffers in the Phoenix area in allergy awareness.
Melinda Beck on Lunch Break looks at how some restaurants go to great lengths to guard against "cross-contamination" for patrons with food. Photo: Brian Harkin for The Wall Street Journal.
A growing number of restaurants are catering to patrons with food sensitivities. An estimated 15 million Americans—including 1 in every 13 children—have at least one food allergy, according to the Food Allergy Initiative. Another three million have celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction to gluten, and millions more avoid gluten for other health reasons. Both food allergies and gluten issues are mysteriously on the rise. Some restaurants estimate that 20% of their tables have a person with a special dietary need.
Chuck E. Cheese
At Chuck E. Cheese's in Minnesota, gluten-free pizzas are delivered to restaurants in a factory-sealed bag. The kitchen staff bakes the pie in the package, and when it arrives at the table, an adult patron opens it. The pizza also comes with a disposable cutter to prevent contamination.
Accommodating such diners requires more than just using different ingredients. For some people with food allergies, even trace amounts can trigger a serious reaction. Thus, the real challenge for restaurants comes in guarding against cross-contamination, which can occur when even tiny particles of an allergen remain on utensils, gloves, prep areas or cooking surfaces.
Since 2006, packaged foods must indicate if they could contain any traces of the "big eight" allergy foods (milk, eggs

Don't hate her for being fit--WSJ-July 2012

Don't Hate Her for Being Fit

More Moms Squeeze in Workouts as 'Me' Time; Playground Pilates, 'To Fro' Dresses  

[image]Michal Czerwonka for The Wall Street Journal (5)
Drea McLarty starts her run at 5:15 a.m. in Santa Barbara, Calif. It takes her about 65 minutes to go 9 miles, for a pace of seven minutes, 22 seconds a mile.
Drea McLarty, a 35-year-old mother of two, awoke before dawn to run nine miles on a recent Monday, then made breakfast for the family, did some errands and headed to the park for an hour of Pilates. Later that afternoon, she had a personal training session with a client.
Marketers are targeting a demographic they call "crazy happy." These are moms who love to work out, so much so that they will fit in several workouts a day, all short, to get in her busy schedule of car pools and school pick-up. Elizabeth Holmes has details on Lunch Break.
"I really just love to be active," says Ms. McLarty, of Santa Barbara, Calif. "It's very addicting."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

6/21/11 WSJ article, "Heavy Lifting, No Rest, Candy: the Bulgarian Method

Ivan Abadjiev knows a thing or two about heavy lifting.

U.S. weightlifters haven't won an Olympic gold medal for 40 years. Now they're hoping the Bulgarians can bring them success. Ivan Abadjiev, who lead their national team to multiple championships, is bring his "Bulgarian Method' to a new academy in Danville, Calif.

Bulgaria's most renowned weightlifting coach led his tiny country to a stunning Olympic victory over the Soviet Union in 1972. By the 1980s his country's strongmen completely dominated world competitions, hoisting more than three times their body weight—a feat that has rarely been matched. He's produced champions in Turkey and Qatar—and he even turned around his country's junior national badminton team.

Now, at age 79, the soft-spoken, silver-haired legend who speaks little English is taking on his most difficult challenge to date: Convincing American athletes they can do better. If only, that is, they would only adopt "the Bulgarian method."

Under the Bulgarian method, which Mr. Abadjiev invented, there is no danger of overtraining. The body, if pushed gradually and consistently, will adapt to any level of stress. Practice should ideally consume nearly half of one's waking hours and, most important, there are no days off. The theory is that injury and fatigue are less likely while adrenaline is coursing through the body, stimulating protein synthesis. Junk food is fair game.

By contrast, most American fitness trainers believe peak performance results only from an expertly plotted combination of exercises to build things like endurance, core strength and cardiovascular health—while including periods of stretching and rest. A healthy, balanced diet is essential.

Brian L. Frank for The Wall Street Journal
Olympic weight-lifting coach Ivan Abadjiev is trying to persuade American athletes to adopt his "Bulgarian method."

For the past six months, Mr. Abadjiev has been spending nearly every morning and afternoon training competitive weightlifters at a new academy here, missing work only when he heads out of town to lecture. A former student hired Mr. Abadjiev to spread his message: Never attempt less than the maximum.

Shari's Comments:

Finally a positive article on working out every day!!

Shari quoted're meant to protect us and ensure the highest quality and safety of our food, but why are expiration dates so confusing? The cryptic and sometimes smudged date on the label of a food product can leave us wondering how safe it is to eat. And, in a less than perfect economy, where many people are trying to stretch their grocery budget, is it ever OK to keep food beyond its sell-by date? Find the answer to this question and more below.

Expiration Date 101

Use by, sell by or best before…confusing, right? Next time you're trying to make sense of a food label, remember these guidelines from Lindsay Baker, RD, LD, a registered dietitian and food safety expert in Augusta, Georgia:
Sell by most often is grocer terminology, letting the meat or dairy clerk know when to swap out stock. While you can normally safely eat a food a few days after a sell-by date, it's not recommended to go much beyond it.
Best before refers to quality and taste standards. The length of time that food is good after this date depends on the product. Refer to the guidelines listed below for specifics on each food type.
Use by is more of a hard-and-fast rule indicating that it is not safe to consume a product beyond the stated date.
Read more:
· The Most Popular Fruits

· Top 10 Foods That Burn Fat
· What's the Healthiest Vegetable?

And yet, in some cases, according to Shari Portnoy, MPH, RD, a registered dietician and food safety expert in New York City, it can be all in our heads. "The expiration date can have an impact on how we taste the food," she says. "A study at Cornell University that was reported in the Journal of Food Science showed that people who ate yogurt on the day it was said to expire said the yogurt tasted bad. Others who ate the same yogurt but didn't see the expiration date enjoyed the food without claims of spoilage."
Ultimately, it all depends on the type of food. Read on to find out specifics.

Expiration dates are more important than ever with raw meat-and so is common sense. "Whether it's ground hamburger or a pound of steak, either eat it or freeze it within two days of purchase," says Jackie Keller, a certified provider of food safety training for the County of Los Angeles Department of Health. But what if the date is days away? "Even if the sell-by date is five days away, home refrigerators usually aren't cool enough to keep the meat fresh for more than two days," says Keller. Any frozen ground meat should be used within three months; pork holds for six months; and beef, lamb, veal and venison last eight to 12 months, says Keller, citing the Ohio State University guidelines for food management. Signs of spoilage? "If meat is brown or green, it's no good," says Baker. "A slimy, sticky or dry texture is also indicative of spoilage, as is a sour odor." She adds, "Ground beef has more surface area than other meats and may spoil sooner due to bacterial growth.
Read more:Will I Lose Weight If I Stop Eating Meat For a Week?
Cheese is mold, after all, so it can last an eternity in the fridge, right? Wrong, says Keller. Use her safety rules to keep yourself and your family safe: "Soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert should be eaten within three to four days of opening," she says. "Hard cheeses, such as Parmesan and Cheddar, last up to three weeks and can also be frozen up to six months." Is it ever OK just to cut off the visible mold on a block of cheese and call it good? Probably not, says Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, author of The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment. "Since there are a number of reasons for mold, it's best to throw the cheese out," she says.
Read more:Get Over Your Cravings for Cheese Effectively
Baby Food and Infant Formula

"These usually have a use-by or expiration date," says Keller. "That's because it's required by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for their nutritional value. The formula or baby food is guaranteed to contain a certain quantity of each nutrient described on the label only if consumed by that date. Also, if formula is stored too long, it loses its quality and forms lumps that will clog the plastic nipple."

Bottom line: Do not buy or use baby formula or baby food after its use-by date-ever.
Read more:Four Things You Didn't Know About Dried Frit

Canned Foods
Can you safely use a can of pumpkin from last Thanksgiving, even though it expired six months ago? Maybe, says Keller. "Some manufacturers like to claim that canned foods don't spoil for at least two years, but guidelines from the University of Minnesota say to store them below 75 degrees Fahrenheit and not to keep them for more than 12 months," she says. (Just think of how many hot summer days you endured in your un-air conditioned house-your canned food got hot too!) However, the chances are low that the canned food item will have spoiled after a year. "There is a steady loss of vitamins in canned vegetables and fruits," says Keller. And, she adds, "Watch metal lids for rust that can spoil foods." In general, high-acid canned foods such as tomatoes, grapefruit and pineapple can be stored on the shelf 12 to 18 months, says Keller. Low-acid canned foods such as meat, poultry, fish and most vegetables will keep two to five years-if the can remains in good condition and has been stored in a cool, clean, dry place.
Read more:The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Aspects of Cholesterol
Packaged Foods