Sunday, October 21, 2012

Putting It All Together, Connectedness

Recently I've been watching and reading about how much everything on Earth, and even the whole universe is very connected.  It really has made me stop and think a lot how it all ties in to veganism, spirituality, and global awareness in general.  We can see how we are connected from science, specifically quantum mechanics/physics.  First I reference the movie What The Bleep Down The Rabbit Hole:

Every living thing on the planet, including plants, is made up of particles, electrons, neutrons, protons, and some other forms of energy.  Yes humans are beings made up of energy, we give off heat, and also give off other energy that is not always visible.  Nonhuman animals are also beings made up of energy.  Even in death this energy continues, as by laws of physics, energy can not be created or destroyed, it can only change forms.  We both have conscious thought, emotion, some of the same basic desires (life, eat, sleep, sex, love, compassion, anger, and also to live without fear and pain), dna though it differs from species to species, and brains and other organs that keep our bodies functioning.  Plants also have some of these same characteristics, but their level of consciousness is not fully known. 

Most living beings are made up of a very large percentage of water humans are usually 60% water, and it varies again in each species as their percentage water makes up of their mass/bodies.  With this in mind I bring up the experiment done by Dr. Masaru Emoto, where he took water blessed it, put samples into petri dishes, typed out messages attached to each dish, and froze it first at -25 C then at -5 C, and once removed the dishes had samples taken and were examined under a microscope, photos were taken and the results were amazing as you can see:

Chi of Love

Thank You

You Make Me Sick I Will Kill You

Adolf Hitler

As you can see the water samples with positive messages attached to them made beautiful crystaline patterns, while those with negative messages made very deformed and scary patterns.  Again going back to all living beings being made up of so much water, imagine what thoughts like this would do to a living being.  For example animals in factory farming situations, the feeling of crampedness, fear, anger/aggression, loneliness, pain, etc... also not being able to have a the daily connection with other beings and feeling love and positive emotions.  Tie this in with the fact they are beings made up of energy, they are releasing this energy into the planet and to everything around them, not to mention where does that energy go once they die?  Again energy is not created or destroyed, does it simply go out into the atmosphere and constantly surrounding us, invading the water, invade their flesh we consume for food, or their skins which we wear or sit on each day of our lives.  If this is the case should we not wish to end this cycle?  Would it not create a more positive loving world for us all if we did, by just eliminating this portion of negative energy that surrounds us all each and every day of our lives?  Not to mention creating a better longer life for all beings.  The amount of animals that are raised for food is alarming, so just one of them giving off this energy is bad, imagine billions of animals projecting this energy out into the planet, and not only the animals raised for food, but also the others used in medical experiments. If the energy does go into their flesh, as the flesh still does contain water, then are we not consuming these very thoughts?  If we are then we are consuming all those emotions the animals experience in their lifetimes, and it invades our very being/consciousness. It simply boggles the mind, yet it goes on each and every day.  Just by eliminating this part of what we do would vastly improve life on planet Earth so very much for ALL beings, not just humans.  Oh and with all the food we grow to feed animals to slaughter, we could also end world hunger, as we'd have no need to feed billions of animals each year, it'd be a much smaller animal population.

With all this negative energy on the planet it throws things out of balance, something the Native Americans and Taoist, have taught for many generations.  Everything needs to be in balance, yin and yang if you will.  When things are out of balance in the negative sense it leads to only negative actions.  Imagine putting things back into balance and removing negativity as much as possible, could we live more peaceful lives, ALL of us.  The potential for less war, less crime, less greed, inhumane acts perpetrated on other living beings, and more acceptance of all, it could be amazing! 

With nature we have thrown things all out of whack as well.  In our growing need to raise more animals for food, we have cut down vasts amounts of forests, as well as using forests for paper and other products to meet our growing needs.  We have damned up rivers, lakes, built irrigation ways, canals, and changed the natural flow of water ways.  Built skyskrapers, and reformed the lands to meet our needs.  We drill, drill, drill, and drill more for oil, dig for coal, gold, diamonds and other precious minerals all for our own satisfaction, all to an extreme.  All of this throws nature out of balance, it changes the natural way nature works, weather patterns, causes drought, famine, etc...  Again going back to the Native Americans, the tribes never took more than what they truly needed from the land, and put everything they did take to use.  They truly understand the delicate balance between us and the Earth, and would never wish to upset this for future generations.  "The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth."  At the rate we take natural resources from the Earth, what will the planet become for future generations, if there are future generations with the way we are going.  It is time to stop and find other ways to meet our needs and restore this delicate balance, step back and think of ALL on the planet and not just ourselves, also future generations as the Natives did, up to 7 generations out. 

Taking all these resources, made up of protons, electrons, neutrons, energy, and interacts with each and every living thing on the planet, whether it be plant or animal.  If we take to much it disrupts things, and could have dire consequences on us all.  Yes even inanimate things like coal effects us, we need to remember this, it is a chemical compound.  When we really stop and think about things from a broader perspective we will move forward and start to turn things around and restore a balance that is needed for us all.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Desert Essence Fluoride Free Toothpaste

Ever wonder why there is a poison alert on your tube of fluoridated toothpaste?  It is because NaF, Fluoride, is actually a poison, and is not meant to be consumed by humans.  It also breaks down into the same chemical compound found in prozac, yes the antidepressant.  I came across this info about a year or so ago while reading John Joseph's Meat Is For Pussies, and dug a little deeper.  Yeah it's pretty scary to know we are being poisoned and numbed at the same time by fluoride.  If you want to see more you can go to Fluoride Action Network or just go to google and put in fluoridation of water or fluoride poison and see what all comes up.  This all led me to seek out a fluoride free toothpaste to use as well as staying away from tap water. 

There are several brands on the market, but I decided to go with Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste Mint Flavor. There are a few other bonuses that led me to pick this one too, it is SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) free, which is a known carcinogen, gluten free, no animal testing at all, and vegan.  All of these are big pluses.  I have been using this product for the last three weeks and am pleased with it.  It leaves my mouth feeling fresh, teeth clean, and breathe feels fresh as well.  The first few days of using it took some getting use to the taste, not the normal minty flavor you'd find in regular toothpastes, more of the baking soda flavor than anything, but nothing unbearable.  Substituting sodium coco-sulfate, for SLS, the paste still foams up in your mouth and helps get that same cleaning sensation.  Price wise it's not really that bad for a 6.25 oz tube, at $6.95, though you may find it a little cheaper at places like Vitamin Shoppe or another local health store.  Again well worth the price knowing you aren't putting a poison or carcinagen into your body, so it's either pay now or possibly pay later in health costs, really the choice is yours, though I'd rather pay now thank you very much!  There are three other flavors in this toothpaste line, so if this one isn't for you try another one.  Also be ware of other "natural" toothpastes out there, not all are SLS free, something to keep in mind.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vegan Taco Meat Mix

I'm sure someone has come up with this before, but here is my version of this nice mix of faux meat mix for tacos:

1 8 oz package of tempeh (regular, three grain, rice, or your favorite kind)
1/3 cup of black beans
1 jalapeno pepper
1 sweet onion
1 can of black olives
1 pack of taco seasoning or hot mexican chili powder
cooking oil

I start by cooking the black beans for about an hour in boiling water.  When the beans are near done I take a large frying pan and crumble up the tempeh into it, slice up a whole jalapeno pepper and if you want it super hot try a habanero, slice up part of a sweet onion, not the entire thing unless you like a lot of onion in your mix, slice up some black olives again depends on how much you like, then add the beans, and a small amount of cooking oil enough to coat the frying pan.  Cook all this for about 10 minutes, making sure to mix/stir it thoroughly while cooking.  You can then add your taco seasoning mix, or in my case hot mexican chili powder, let it simmer on the stove as directed on the package, or with the hmcp I let it go another 5 minutes to really soak in.  Once this is done remove from the heat and spoon into your taco shells.  Add your favorite tacos and enjoy.  A very simple recipe everyone can enjoy, again you can always modify if to your level of spiciness you desire, this should make about 5 or 6 tacos, so increase size as needed for servings.  If you need to make it gluten free be sure to check the tempeh as all tempeh may not be gluten free, also for taco seasoning mix some have wheat, as well as your taco shells.

Monday, November 7, 2011

ING NYC Marathon 2011

Yesterday was the ING NYC Marathon for 2011, overall the experience was fun and a great challenge. The day started VERY early for me, as I am staying with a friend in South Jersey.  I got up just before 2AM, and that is after daylight savings time, made something really quickly, mixed up my VitaCoco water and Vega Sports Performance Optimizer drink, to get hydrated.  I drove up to Journal Square to catch the PATH train into the city, which if and when I do NYC again I'll go out of Hoboken instead.  I only say this because it takes a long time from Penn Station to get to Journal Square via Hoboken on the weekends, and not good if you have to pee.  In fact when I got to Journal Square there was no open bathroom, which I don't comprehend, the PATH employee said I could go to McD's and pee, well I went out back and peed on building, lol.  4:15 I am on the PATH train to Christopher St, and see some other folks headed to the marathon as well.  After leaving PATH there was a few blocks walk up to the 1 train on Christopher St, which took us to the Staten Island Ferry.  I waited for a little bit and here came the ferry, eventhough I could have caught the 6:15 one, a volunteer said it's ok to take the earlier one, they didn't even verify your transportation sticker, though I changed it at the Expo from the Jersey bus to the SIF.  It was amazing going thru the harbor and seeing the Statue Of Liberty so close and the Ferry driver slowed down a little for us even.  Getting off the Ferry the first thing I noticed was the nice stench of Staten Island, P U !!! Then caught a shuttle bus to the start area. 

By the time I got to the start area the sun was coming up, which was good, and it was about 6:30 at this point, which meant over 3 hours to go until the start of the race.  I tried to stay in sunny areas, to stay as warm as possible, even with sweatpants and some long sleeved shirts on, for throw away later.  That was all over my singlet, arm warmers, and shorts, of course I had my Zensah compression sleeves on, and a little beenie hat to keep my head warm. I had a small coffee, thanks to Dunkin Donuts, and continued drinking water.  A shame there was no fresh fruit available to eat though.  I did start taking some Chocolate #9 packs every so often, I think I downed 4 or 5 before the start, to give me a little reserve for the race, I also had 5 in my pack, to take them along the race route.  The corrals for wave 1 opened up at 8:20 and I went into the corral, and started stretching and warming up some.  Though not always easy, with as croweded as it was, we weren't packed in there, but still not a lot of space honestly.  About 9 we started moving towards the Verazano-Narrows Bridge, by this point I only had one long sleeve shirt still on and had tossed the sweats and the other long sleeve I had.  More standing around for a bit, as the elite women started at 9:10 roughly.  Finally I lost the last of my throw away clothing about 9:25.  Here I am ready to get this thing on:

We move forward more about 9:30 or so, Bloomberg makes a very short speach literally 15 seconds, national anthem, and the introduction of the elite men.  It is 9:45 before we actually start, technically 5 minutes late, but no big deal.  I took it easy going up the Verazanos still did 7:55 for it, but I wasn't going to kill myself on that first mile pretty much straight up.  Thru the 5K point I was keeping a 7:32 pace, which was in the range I wanted to be in, I wanted to stay between 7:30-8:00 minute miles if possible for the entire race.  I was slowing down gradually through the first half of the race, and then this upper respiratory infection and bronchitis I've been battling kicked in good.  I was not going to quit though, I made it through the first half in 1:48:20, not bad really, since I was no where near 100%, I'd say 60% at best if that even.  I got to the Queensboro Bridge and was either walking most of the way up or jogging very slowly, again another big incline and I didn't have to lung power to kill myself here.  Also at this point the arm warmers and beenie were back on to keep myself warm, good thing I hadn't tossed them, as there was a lot of shaded areas and breeze the rest of the way.  The rest of the race included quite a bit of walking very fast and slow run, also walking thru water stations and trying to stay hydrated. I was able to run a slow pace most of the Bronx, including getting off a few Baba Booeys with some local firemen.  Over the Madison Ave Bridge, last bridge, thank god, and back into Manhattan/Harlem.  Still a lot of walking going on with some slow running, no way in hell I was quiting.  Into Central Park, ugh uphills, though the downhills were nice.  I managed to have a steady pace for most of mile 26 with little walking, and ran the last .2 miles, thru the finish.  4:25:07 later I was done, also according to my Garmin it was actually 26.49 miles:

If you want to see all my splits you can go here: Track Runners and enter bib number 4423.

Here is the front and back of the finishers medal as well:

No I didn't get it engraved no biggie, I finished that is what matters.

At the end we are hurried thru to get  medals, and goodie bags, then walk quite a way it seems to get our gear bags.  Luckily I was able to exit Central Park on 79th and Columbus Ave.  Which I knew was close to Cafe Blossom. I needed some good food to refuel right away.  After eating I got the subway back to Penn Station, which was crazy, not enough C trains running on Sunday.  Then the PATH back to Journal Square. 

That evening was a nice ice bath, ok not so nice it's not very comfortable, but keeps the swelling and inflamation of muscles down.  Though today there is still much pain and suffering going on. 

Thanks to everyone who donated to the North Shore Animal League America it is really appreciated. 

Something I learned from doing this marathon, is to not discard items like arm warmers or hats along the way, though I had read the same thing in Meb Keflezighi's book as well, he made that mistake one year and could have really used his hat later in the race.  I hope to do NYC again, this time without a severe cold, like this year. I know I would have done much better if I wasn't battling this, but again I finished my first ever marathon, so when is the next one :p

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Team Animal League

As many of you know by now, I am a big fan/supporter, of the North Shore Animal League, the world's largest no kill animal shelter.  This place is great and I really think they do an amazing job helping out animals in need, providing medical treatment, and finding a good home for animals.  They have been around since 1944, and saved almost 1 million animals, wow that is a lot in 67 years, then again a lot of abused animals out there, puppy mills, and other places that have animals to be saved from.  In 2008 Beth Ostrosky, aka Beth O, ran the NYC Marathon for the North Shore Animal League, and it was called Team Beth O, later renamed to Team Animal League, which has been going since 2008.  People with that already have entries, or are looking to get one can run for Team Animal League and raise money for NSAL.  If you have an entry already, like me, you need only raise a minimum of $500, but those without an entry need to raise $3000.  

A few years ago, when I really set out to do NYC, I wanted to be part of this team, it is something I wanted and was really looking forward to being part of.  I believe in the mission of the NSAL, and doing what I can to help them provide the services they do.  Also being a vegan this really falls so much in line with my views on animals, and a lot of things I see as my personal value system and beliefs.  I really think being part of Team Animal League will keep me even more motivated, as I will be thinking of all those animals as I am running through the 5 boroughs for 26.2 miles, and crossing many a bridge, I might stop off at the Bronx Zoo's Reptile House and see the Egyptian Cobra too, lol, jk.  I will be 39 on the day of the Marathon, and it is my first.  I really want to go out and do well, but also have a lot of fun doing it.  I will be very glad that it is much cooler on November 6th, and the humidity will not really be a factor, unless there is an extended summer, also hoping for no rain on race day, I don't mind cloud cover, but a bit of sun would be nice. I have a goal time in mind, but I still have a bit over 3 months to get ready, so I will see how things go, and hope I can hit that goal.

As I stated earlier I have an entry in the NYC Marathon, which means I need to raise a minimum of $500 for the NSAL and Team Animal League.  Though I would love to hit around $2000 or more honestly.  So here I am asking you my readers to help me out, and give a donation for this good cause, if you are able, even the minimum of $10 will help, but give what you are able to give.  Here is a link to my Team Animal League Donation Page, I have also created a Fan Page on Facebook for my Team Animal League Run, so you can like that as well and follow some info I will post on there as well.   Also any reposting of this on facebook, twitter, or any social media network would be greatly appreciated.  Any podcasters, bloggers, news reporters, or anyone willing to interview me about this would be awesome too!!! :>  Help get the word out as much as possible.  

I want to thank everyone in advance who does help with a donation, and remember to keep track of it for your taxes, as it is tax deductible, you can not know how much it truly means to me.  Namaste, shanti!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Training And More

This week I got an email saying I have been accepted to be part of Team Animal League for the NYC Marathon, very good news.  Also I should have my link to my fundraising page later this week, then I can get that going.  It will give me 3 1/2 months to raise some money for them, again a very good organization, the largest no kill rescue in the world.  I only have to reach $500, but I'm really hoping for a few thousand.

Trying to change things up with my training for the Marathon as well, trying to up my mileage some and throw different workouts in there.  Yesterday I did my first ever Yasso 800s, I went to the local high school track to do it.  I can not complain at all, I averaged a 3:20 800, and then did a slower 400 in between 800s.  If you are not familiar with the workout you do 10 reps 800m or .5 mi then do a slower 400 m/.25 mi before taking off again.  I did a 400 m cool down, victory lap if you will.  Then walked back to the car stretching a little.  Also rewarding myself with a Starbucks iced coffee.  I want to keep doing these and get my 800m time down around 2:50 by November, if I can, and in the next year get it down to 2:20-2:30.  I also really need to start doing some hill repeats, maybe like a .25 mi stretch on a good hill, and build it up to a .5 mi repeat.  I'll be increasing the long run mileage as well, I need to get back up to 20 milers in the next 2 months.  Anyone else have any good running workouts let me know.

This past Saturday was the Dekalb Decatur 4 Miler at the YMCA and done by the ATC.  It was good weather for July, about 67 degrees at 7:30 and not much humidity at all, cloud cover, a slight breeze at times as well, which made it great.  The course was pretty hilly the first 1.5 miles, then it was downhill until about 2.75 into the race, then mile 3-4 was mostly on an incline, not to mention took us through a McD's parking lot, which was really too funny, and something I will never forget.  My Garmin had it at 4.05 mi total and I was able to really sprint it out at the end, which was downhill.    The one good thing about most ATC races they end on a downhill or mostly flat, and not uphill.  Overall time of 27:26, which is a 6:46 mile 9th of 57 in the 35-39 age group, and a shame I'm not in the 30-34 age group, would have had 3rd oh well, my age group seems to be very large and the most competitive of all of them at most races.I got to meet Kristy from, her husband Mark, and their friend Casey as well, which was cool.  They are getting ready for the ATL Marathon in late Oct.  I informed them that Cardiac Hill is mile 24 of the marathon, which is very cruel of someone, oh and there are some nasty hills on Lindbergh as well, before the turn onto Peachtree.

Here are my splits for the Dekalb Decatur 4 miler:

mi 1 6:43
mi 2 6:42
mi 3 6:43
mi 4 7:01
.05 0:17  which was at 5:26 mi pace

Monday, July 4, 2011

Peachtree Road Race, Fathers Day 4 Miler and More

So today was the Peachtree Road Race all I have to say is it was damn hot for 7:30 this morning.  76 degrees and 87% humidity at start time, luckily I was starting in wave A, and not in T like last year, oh man that would have been even more brutal.  I was very nervous about the weather, but it was good to be way up near the front with some of the faster runners this year, which meant a lot less weaving in and out of people to get to Piedmont Park.  I took the first 3 miles pretty easy, but then came Cardiac Hill, oh man it got me, mile 4 and 5 were rough this year, last year I flew through these 2 miles, though honestly I am not in great shape right now.  Also a bit of a  summer cold going on as well, with other issues too.  I did better on mile 6 and then really turned it up for the last .33 miles, yes that is right not .2 but .33.  I grabbed plenty of water before the start of the race, and hit all the water stations, drinking some and dumping plenty on my head and body to keep cool, not sure how much it helped, a bit nervous to run through the water spraying on Peachtree though, my luck slip and get hurt.  60,000 runners with only 55,090 finishers, that is a lot of DNF's for today, though they probably got hurt or were overwhelmed by the heat/humidity.  Hell even the great Ryan Hall finished 9th in the US 10K National Championship, 9th American across the line, not sure his overall finish, which isn't that good for someone like him, though everyone has off days.  Honestly though if you aren't used to the humidity in ATL it can get to you and hit you hard.  Here are my splits and other stats:

mile 1 6:49
mile 2 6:54
mile 3 6:53
mile 4 7:27
mile 5 7:34
mile 6 7:09
last .33 2:11
Overall Finish 1288 of 55090
Sex Place 1114
Division Place 146
Still 3:01 better than last years time, of 47:58, with 44:57 though the weather last year was much better.  Still not to bad for a guy who isn't really a great runner, and also is fueled only by plants.  I guess some of those 53,802 finishing behind me should think about changing their diet, then they might catch me :p  So next year I should be in a lot better shape and knock quite a bit of time off of this and finish in the top 1000 easily.
I did get to enjoy a great lunch at Cafe Sunflower in Buckhead, great food there and I really recommend it to everyone, even a nice gluten free menu :>

Fathers Day Four Miler, part of the Atlanta Track Club Grand Prix Series.  This race took place right by Turner Field, finishing at home plate, and the old Fulton County Stadium.  The temperature was good for the start of the race in the mid 60s and not super humid for a GA morning.  The course was just challenging enough, but nothing to crazy, taking us by Grant Park and the Zoo, then back toward Turner Field and as I say finishing up right behind home plate.  A lot of people out for this event, and you could get tickets for the Braves game later in the day, also a t shirt, if you wanted.  I didn't opt in for this, haven't been into baseball in ages now.  Overall time of 27:38, not bad here are my splits:
mile 1 6:44
mile 2 6:57
mile 3 7:02
mile 4 6:55
One thing I know I have to get more serious and consistent with my training for Nov, or I'm going to be in big time trouble.  Time to stop talking about it and do something about it, and not a lot of time to do it in either.  The next big challenge is the 13.1 Marathon series in Atlanta on 10/2, I hope to do quite a bit better than I did last year for this one.  As I say I really need to up my miles, and mix in some good core and alt cardio work.  Oh one good thing about the 13.1 Marathon, I doubt it will be 76 and 87% humidity in early Oct, which will be nice.  Also Nov 6th in NYC I damn sure know it won't be that warm.  They say ideal temps for a marathon is 40-55 at most, the body stays cooler and doesn't dehydrate as quickly, which is great, and makes for nicer running, and hopefully a bit of a faster pace without dying.
I haven't heard anything from the North Shore Animal League about being a part of Team Animal League, and if I don't by sometime in early August I am thinking of setting up a page on First Giving to have folks donate that way.  I really believe in what they do and want to help them out to continue the services they provide to abused and rescued animals.
One last thing, I am really considering the Brooks T7 Racer for my next shoe, though I may stay with the Mizuno Musha Wave 3.  The Brooks is a nice shoe and only weighs 6.4 oz, which is light, and be nice over longer distances, instead of a bulkier 12+ oz shoe.