Running with Hot Bird Coaches

We are leading a coached, group run tomorrow at 8:30am in Brooklyn, NY. Join us for a 3.5ish mile run along Brooklyn Bridge Park. We’ll show you proper warm-up techniques and training tips. Also, ask us all your burning running questions! The run is $15 and we are meeting at Mala Yoga (162 Court Street at the corner of Amity Street). Just show up! It’s going to be a beautiful day!


Wellness Wednesday: Supa Food

Our favorite Ayurvedic practitioner, Deacon Carpenter, is taking your nutrition questions and answering them every Wednesday. Today is he explains superfoods, read on:

For many of us, when we hear the term ‘superfood’, we automatically think of exotic foods, like goji berries or cacao nibs from far-flung locations which promise super health and nutrition – all with an air of elitism.

Although the idea of eating exotic ‘superfoods’ is quite attractive to many of us, the cost is higher than domestic foods, and there is a larger carbon footprint. Believe it or not, you can actually find ‘superfoods’ which have been grown right here in the US.

Let’s start off with our beloved spinach. Spinach is an anti inflammatory, it’s been suggested that it can prevent certain types of cancer (specifically stomach and prostate).  It’s loaded with calcium and vitamin K, so it helps build strong bones and muscle tone.  I recommend steaming a healthy portion of spinach and mixing it with a good extra virgin olive oil and some sea salt after a run. It’s amazing how quickly your body can recover! This leafy green is packed with the following nutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Foliate, Manganese, Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Dietary fiber, Copper, Selenium, Niacin, Omega-3 fatty acids & Protein

Let’s keep it green, and move onto another superfood: broccoli. It too has been determined to prevent colon, breast and prostate cancer; it’s an anti-inflammatory, it helps the body purge toxins as it’s a powerful anti-oxidant, it supports cardiovascular function and helps maintain clear skin. I used to call them little trees when I was a boy, but you can’t deny that broccoli can rock your world with these nutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K Magnesium, Foliate, Manganese, Iron, Calcium, Selenium, Zinc & Phosphorus.

For those of us with a sweet tooth, I recommend blueberries. They can be found in many nutrition bars in some variation, but fresh and in season blueberries pack the biggest punch. We all know that they are an amazing anti-oxidant, but blueberries can also lower triglycerides, raise HDL (good cholesterol), improve memory, support eye health and, because of their high content of anti-oxidants, they have been studied as a way to prevent certain types of cancer. Blueberries also contain Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Manganese, Iron, Calcium & Dietary Fiber.

Lastly, there’s the humble yet delicious red table grape. I live in Sonoma County, California, so between the Napa Valley and Sonoma County we produce more wine grapes than we know what to do with. Ok, we know what to do with them, but did you know that the red table grape has been shown to reduce the risk of a heart attack and heart disease, can reduce your chance of a stroke and getting colorectal and breast cancer, and prevent you from getting Alzheimer’s disease? They are packed with Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K & Manganese.

In Ayurveda, we believe in eating seasonally, which also means eating locally. If you can, visit your local farmers market or farmers coop.  I personally love connecting with the local farmers in my area, mostly because we are using several local ingredients for our line of Nutrition bars.

You can find your local farmers market at LocalHarvest – or by downloading the free Itunes app, Farmers Market Finder.

Deacon founded Daily Veda after working in Global Advertising for 16 yrs. He practices yoga, runs and promotes healthy living through natural eating and Ayurvedic medicine. His Veda Bars are AMAZING. Best tasting bar ever and you can pronounce all the ingredients! He’s a wealth of knowledge and fun.

Coached, group run on Saturday at 8:30 in Brooklyn

Join us and Mala Yoga on Saturday at 8:30am for a 3-4 mile coached, group run. All levels are welcome. We will meet at Mala Yoga (162 Court Street, at the corner of Amity Street) and leave at 8:30am. Bring yourself, a friend and $15. Steph’s Yoga for Runners class is the next day. Treat your legs to a fun run on Saturday and then a class just for them on Sunday. 

Winner of our Free Month of Training

We are really excited to “spread our wings” and coach a client on the West Coast. Jen Phillips won our contest for a free month of our Express Training
Package with Run Momma Run.

She’s a swimmer who is looking to get back into running. Stay tuned for updates on her progress!

Check out our Express Training Package – it’s perfect for all levels and a great way to have a “virtual” coach.

Cait’s Plate: Spotlight on Smoothies

Every other week, Caitlin Grams 0f  Caitlin Lives Well, is bringing us delicious recipes inspired from her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week we learn about the deliciousness and nutritional value of smoothies! Enjoy!

Spotlight on smoothies

I’m on vacation this week, and while the hotel kitchen is not much smaller than the one in my New York apartment, it is really limited in that there is no oven or stove, so my meals this week have been a bit creative. One thing that has been consistent with my regular routine is my smoothies.

Smoothies are something I eat year round, for breakfast, a pre/post workout snack – sometimes even dinner or dessert. It is a quick, easy way to get in a ton of fruits and veggies, and I always make sure to up the protein content with chia seeds and/or nut butters. The ingredients change based on what I have in my kitchen, and lately I’ve taken to using a food processor instead of a blender – it makes the smoothies thicker so they have almost a sorbet like consistency.

1 banana (I usually use frozen ones that have gotten old and I’ve stuck in the freezer – a great way to not waste old bananas)
1 cup frozen mixed berries (or fresh when they are in season)
1 cup frozen mango or pineapple
1/2 cup almond milk (or yogurt, or milk of your choice)

2 tablespoons flax and/or chia seeds (for additional protein, fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, omegas, amino acids)
1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter (additional protein, healthy fats)
1 cup kale or spinach (I usually do this when I haven’t had a ton of veggies and need an extra boost – you really can’t taste it!) 

With the food processor I  throw everything in and pulse until smooth – about 1-2 minutes. Then I pour it in a bowl and if I’m eating as a meal, I’ll sometimes add 1/2 cup raw oats or cereal on top for a little extra staying power.

The best part about smoothies is that you can change it up and add whatever you’ve got in your kitchen. Go crazy!

Wellness Wednesday: What’s Up, Carbs?

Our favorite Ayurvedic practitioner, Deacon Carpenter, is taking your nutrition questions and answering them every Wednesday. Today is he talking carbs, read on:

Many of my clients who are runners, cyclists or Tri-athletes always ask me about the carbohydrate-to-protein ratio in their diet. For example, if you are a 130lb woman in your 30’s, what’s the correct ratio to consider when training and when not training for an event. We’ll get into that a little later, but for now, let’s talk good carbs.

The most important thing to remember is your glycogen levels. Glycogen is made and stored in the liver and is the ‘storage form’ of glucose, which, as we all know, comes from carbohydrates and is the fuel we tap into when we are active.

Food’s high in carbohydrates are fruits, sweets, soft drinks, breads, pastas, beans, potatoes, bran, rice, and cereals. The trick, however, is to consume the right amount of carbs to fuel us; too many carbs will cause us to gain adipose tissue (fat) and too few can compromise muscle tissue, so you want to select carbohydrates which are lower on the glycemic index.

Foods like Quinoa (keen-wah) are not only low on the glycemic index, but they are both a complete protein and a carbohydrate. I love quinoa and amaranth (a smaller version of quinoa) but sadly, some of my clients are a little tired of boiling their quinoa. I discovered that you can dry cook quinoa, as you would corn kernels for pop corn. Simply heat up a deep saucepan, drop a tablespoon of quinoa or amaranth into it, and stir until it’s popped. You get more bang for your buck with amaranth, but both are nutty and delicious. They are great for a morning breakfast cereal with ground up flax, pumpkin and chia seeds!

Apples are also low on the glycemic index and also provide athletes with longer lasting energy and are full of fiber, so you get to detox as you carbo load. I actually love pealing my apples and cooking them in water and freshly grated ginger. It’s a great way to fuel for a run, and the process of cooking them helps the body to digest them faster.

Now, getting back to your specific body type, and what you should be eating. When I work with my clients, I give them a comprehensive diet and lifestyle plan to follow, which is designed specifically for them. In the interest of time, I’ll review the three major body types in Ayurveda, and some dietary guidelines.

  1. If you have more of an ectomorphic body frame (long, lean and have a hard time gaining weight) eat every 3 hours, or up to 5 meals per day. Start small, have your biggest meal at lunch, and end small. Take advantage of your digestion when your digestion is functioning most optimally. Eat foods high in protein and get your carbohydrates more from whole wheat pastas, fruits and well cooked beans. By the way, this body type in Ayurveda is called Vata.
  2. If you have more of a mesomorphic frame or Pitta in Ayurveda (medium height, good musculature and intolerant to heat), eat every 3-4 hours or up to 4 meals per day. Much like the Vata body type, start small, have your largest meal at lunch, and try to have a moderate to small dinner in the evening, or about 3 hours before you go to bed. Favor foods which are equally high in carbs and protein, such as well cooked beans, fruit and pastas, but make sure you eat enough. Generally people with this body type have a very strong metabolism, and if aren’t fed properly, can wind up ‘hangry’ (angry because you’re hungry).
  3. If you have more of an endomorphic frame, or Kapha in Ayurveda (solid, perhaps stocky build, strong stamina and well developed muscle), eat every 4-5 hours or up to 3 times per day, again favoring your biggest meal at lunch. Since the Kapha body type tends to have more adipose than Vata and Pitta, it’s ideal to eat more light proteins, such as fish or plant-based protein than heavy meat protein, and to limit your carbohydrate intake, unless you are training for a serious triathlon!

You can learn more about Vata, Pitta and Kapha at

Deacon founded Daily Veda after working in Global Advertising for 16 yrs. He practices yoga, runs and promotes healthy living through natural eating and Ayurvedic medicine. His Veda Bars are AMAZING. Best tasting bar ever and you can pronounce all the ingredients! He’s a wealth of knowledge and fun.

Injury Prevention: Dynamic Warm Up Video

Risk of injury increases anytime you try new training techniques, ramp up the intensity of your training, or take on familiar, yet hard workouts on a weekly basis.  To reduce the risk of injury and give your body a chance to perform its best, make sure to include more than just a slow warm up jog before you pick up the pace.   By more, we mean include some dynamic warm up exercises to get the glutes, abdominals quads, hips flexors and hamstrings warmed up and ready for action in workouts such as hill training, track workout, strength exercises or even tempo runs.

A few of our favorite dynamic warmup exercises include high knees, butt kicks, side to side, karaoke and single leg swings.  Watch our video for demonstrations of each or read our descriptions below.  Either way, make sure to incorporate some sort of dynamic warm up before your high intensity workouts!

High Knees: Stand with your arms by your sides. Raise one knee up and forward, swing opposite arm.  Bring this foot down and raise the other.  Repeat movement coming forward. Continue for 30 seconds.

Butt Kicks: As you run, kick your heels to your butt. Goal is to kick your butt as many times as possible in 30 seconds. Keep back straight.

Side to Side:  Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and up on your toes.  Swing your arms up over your head opening up your abdominals and spine as you hop off one foot taking a wide step.   Let your arms swing down and back up again as you continue to slide side to side for 30 seconds up to one minute.  Repeat facing the opposite direction.

Karaoke:  Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and cross your right foot in front of your left foot keeping your hips and upper body straight and facing out. Continue to cross the opposite foot in front of the other.  Continue for 30 seconds and then repeat facing the opposite direction for 30 seconds.

Straight Leg Swing:  Stand with feet hip-width apart.  Swing one leg straight in front of you and then swing back behind you keeping back straight and pelvic square.   Repeat for 30 seconds to one minute on each side.  Modified:  Find something on the same side as the leg you are swing to hold on to for balance.