Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Peach Cobbler (Vegan/Gluten-free)

I could not resist the organic peaches at the Farmer's Market on Sunday!  This is a bit of a re-do from the Easy Strawberry Granola Tart.  Today I made an organic Peach Cobbler.  I assembled it in a flash!

Peaches are so good for you!  Only 64 calories in 1 cup raw peach slices.  They are packed with Vitamin A, C, E, K, B3 (niacin), folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, and a lot potassium (8% DV).  One peach has about 2.5 g fiber, 16 g carbohydrates and 1.5 g protein.  And eat the skin!  It's good for you.

FUN FACT: Peaches and nectarines are the same species - did you know that a nectarine's smooth skin is due to a recessive allele in the fuzzy peach skin gene?  The fuzzy skin allele is dominant. 

Now onto the cobbler...
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut 4 medium peaches (or nectarines!) into small chunks.  I left the skin on, since it's a shame to remove and toss the valuable nutrients along with the skin.  I measured 3 Cups (~520 g or 18 oz). 

NOTE: when measuring things that are hard to smooth out in a measuring cup, it's better to use a scale and weigh it rather than try to measure a volume.  In this case, a few more pieces of peach is no big deal - but for something like chocolate chips or nuts or something more critical to the finished baked product, mass is a more accurate way to measure.


2. In a large bowl, mix peaches, 1/2 C coconut or cane sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cardamom, 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), and 1.5 Tbsp lemon or lime juice.


3. Pour mixed fruit into pie dish, and smooth out fruit along base of dish with spoon or spatula.












4. Mix 2 cups granola (regular or gluten-free!) with 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil.  Pour oiled granola on top of fruit in pie dish.  Smooth out until fruit completely covered.  Pop into preheated oven for 20 minutes.






















5. Let cool 10-20 minutes.  Spoon into dishes and 
garnish with mint or basil leaves.  Enjoy!













Peach Cobbler (Vegan/Gluten-free)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut 4 medium peaches (or nectarines!) into small chunks.  I left the skin on, since it's a shame to remove and toss the valuable nutrients along with the skin.  I measured 3 Cups (~520 g or 18 oz). 
NOTE: when measuring things that are hard to  smooth out in a measuring cup, it's better to use a scale and weigh it rather than try to measure.  In this case, a few more pieces of peach is no big deal - but for something like chocolate chips or nuts or something more critical to the finished baked product, mass is a more accurate way to measure.

2. In a large bowl, mix peaches, 1/2 C coconut or cane sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cardamom, 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), and 1.5 Tbsp lemon or lime juice.

3. Pour mixed fruit into pie dish, and smooth out fruit along base of dish with spoon or spatula.

4. Mix 2 cups granola (regular or gluten-free!) with 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil.  Pour oiled granola on top of fruit in pie dish.  Smooth out until fruit completely covered.  Pop into preheated oven for 20 minutes.

5. Let cool 10-20 minutes.  Spoon into dishes and garnish with mint or basil leaves.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to wash and cook Beet Greens (Sauteed Beet Green recipe)

The top greens of beets are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoid antioxidants, and vitamin A.  The greens actually contain these compounds in concentrations several times higher than in the roots.

So - how to deal with these beet greens?  It's easy.  If you're familiar with working with Swiss Chard, it's basically the same.  Here are step-by-step instructions for my Sauteed Beet Greens recipe!


1. Cut the leafy green part, and separate from the red stems.  Then cut the stems into 1" pieces.  Wash stem pieces and set aside.




Beet this!!

Dorky title, I know.  But it's such a glorious time of year at the farmer's markets.  Fresh and delicious EVERYTHING.  Beets are aplenty.  And they're nutritional rock stars.

Most of us are familiar with the deep red variety, and only the root part of the beet.  Some of us are familiar with them coming in cans.  But don't shy away from beets!  They are easier to cook than you might think.  There are also a few different varieties: orange-yellow (often variegated), white and red.  Whatever you do - don't toss those greens!!

Check out the stats on beets (root: cooked/boiled/roasted) - in 1/2 cup, sliced:

  • 37 calories
  • 1.7 g fiber
  • 1.4 g protein
  • Total Omega-3 fatty acids 4.3 mg
  • Total Omega-6 fatty acids 49.3 mg
  • Vitamins A, C, K, Niacin (B3) Vitamin B5 and B6, Folate (17%DV)
  • Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese (14% DV), Selenium


So, how to cook beets?  Easy.  Cut the stems ~1" from the root.  Wash the red root, being careful not to tear the skin.  Then put them in a pot, cover the beets with water so the level is just higher than the beets, then boil with the skin on for 30-40 minutes.  Then dump the water, and when beets are cooled, take a paring knife to take skin off the beet; it comes off very easily.

You can also roast beets - wrap them individually in foil with a bit of canola or olive oil.  Roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  They are ready when a knife easily pierces flesh.  Roasted beets have a wonderful flavor!  Same thing here - when done, wait for them to cool and peel skin.

Now, what do to with those stems?  Be a Savvy Tart, wash them, and eat them as a side dish!  I take a sharp knife, and cut the greens from the stems.  Wash the greens and stems separately. See my step-by-step instructions.  Beet greens are so delicious and have a natural flavor to them, that you almost never even have to salt them!

Click here for my Beet Salad with Oranges & Goat Cheese recipe.  Super, ridiculously yummy.

You really can't beet it!


Beet salad with Oranges & Goat Cheese

There is nothing like a beet salad to impress your guests, or just to eat either as a side, or even as dinner one night.  It is filling!  Here are step-by-step instructions.  As always, the Savvy Tart preps in stages, because we are busy people!

1. First, I boil or roast the beets.  I do this whenever I have time - either in the morning, or day before.  See my post here on instructions for cleaning/cooking the root of the beet.

2. Next, I slice my beets in 1/4" slices.  I peel and slice an orange.

3. Arrange on plate, sprinkle goat cheese (or feta), and top with a nice spicy green such as baby arugula.

4. Lightly salt with sea salt or kosher salt.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  If you're feeling bold, you can even add some balsamic glaze (not shown).  Also, since you know I'm obsessed with fennel at the moment, adding a sprinkle of dried fennel (also called anise) seeds, or even freshly (thinly) sliced fennel adds another dimension to this delicious and healthy salad!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Mercury Rising: Reduce Your Consumption in Fish (especially canned tuna)



When you're shopping for tuna, have you been sucked into thinking that Albacore is the only way to go?  You're not really sure of the reason, but it's definitely the can you pick up, because it sounds like the superior choice?

I made that mistake many years ago, until I became informed on the topic.  It's important to be aware of mercury exposure, and admittedly, I'm on the fence.  While I'm currently a Vegan Flirt (assessing what diet is best for me), at this time I believe the benefits of certain fish in my diet outweigh the risks.  Fish is a lean, low-calorie source of protein replete with omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 (as essential vitamin only found in fish, shellfish, meat, dairy and eggs).  But some varieties of fish do cause me concern, and for good reason...


How does mercury get into our food?  
Mercury is a naturally occurring element in the environment.  It can also be released into the air through industrial pollution.  Mercury falls from the air and into lakes, streams and oceans, whereby it converts to methylmercury.  It is this form of mercury that can be harmful to unborn babies and young children.  Fish absorb environmental methylmercury as they feed, and thus it accumulates in their tissues.  However, this accumulation varies - some types of fish and shellfish are more susceptible depending on what they prey on, and the levels of methylmercury is variable in different environments.  

In general, larger species of fish (such as shark) that are long-lived and prey on larger varieties of fish tend to accumulate more mercury in their tissues, since they are on the top end of the food chain.  Shrimp are on the bottom of the food chain - they are smaller and feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton, and accumulate less methylmercury than their larger predators.  The figure below illustrates this point beautifully.


The most common way people in the US are exposed to mercury is by eating fish containing methylmercury.  Some fish may contain methylmercury at levels that may be a cause of concern.  Note that most people's blood mercury level is below the level associated with possible health effects (<5.8 ยตg/L of whole blood), and that considerations around mercury intake primarily affect the following groups:

  • women who might become pregnant
  • women who are pregnant
  • nursing mothers
  • young children


So - How to choose fish and canned tuna?
Avoid:

  • canned Albacore (also called white tuna in the US and Canada)
    • Albacore is a large variety of tuna and tends to accumulate higher levels of mercury than other tuna varieties
    • Beware of "chunk white" or "solid white" labels
  • Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, Tilefish, Marlin, Bluefin tuna
    • these are all large species of fish at the top of the food chain
Instead choose:

  • canned Light Tuna
    • most people mistake the "light" to mean "less caloric", "less dense", "less fatty", etc.  Light Tuna is primarily composed of a smaller species of tuna called Skipjack, but can include others such as Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Tongol, in “any combination".  These varieties are lower in mercury levels than Albacore and Bluefun as they are smaller and accumulate less mercury.  However, Yellowfin has come under fire as sometimes having higher levels of methylmercury than Skipjack - and there are no regulations on combination ratios.
  • shrimp, pollock, salmon, catfish, oysters, trout, anchovies, tilapia, haddock, lobster, crab, hake, butterfish
**the values noted in this table may not be entirely accurate (it is Wikipedia after all, which I do not consider a trusted source of information).  However, I included it as the trends of mercury levels across species of fish is valuable and nicely displayed as a continuum from highest to lowest levels.


What's the take-away?
MercuryFoodChain-01.png

  1. If concerned about mercury levels, do not eat Shark, Swordfish, Pike, King Mackerel, Marlin, Tilefish.
  2. Eat no more than 12 ounces (two average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.
  3. You can consider eating up to 6 ounces of Albacore tuna per week.
  4. Your body will excrete methylmercury, but the clearance is slow, with overall half-life (i.e. the time to excrete half of ingested amount) at 70-80 days.  This varies by tissue (and the numbers are sobering).  The body is exceptionally efficient at excreting mercury in lactating females.
  5. I watched a documentary once about the canned tuna industry in the US - they catch the tuna, gut and often cook it right on board (often twice) to rid the tuna of its "fishy" flavor and smell.  However, in this process, the omega 3's are removed and dumped into the ocean as the fish is cooked en route to land.  So if you're looking for some omega 3, the Pacific Northwest has a bunch floating around in it!  Also note that because of this process, canned tuna has variable amounts of omega 3, which is not consistent from can to can.  
  6. Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.  If no advice is available, eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but don't consume any other fish during that week.


Click here for EPA guidelines on mercury exposure.

Please see:
EPA-FDA Joint Federal Advisory for Mercury in Fish: “What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish”: 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Favorites: Lulu for the Run

I am Canadian (yeah!!) and should have invested in Lululemon either prior to, or soon after, it's IPO (shame on me!)  Perhaps I could make a case to Lulu by showing them my workout wear drawers - there *may* be several dedicated drawers to apparel suited to various activities - I have mucho dineros invested in Lulu.  Here are my current favs that I can stand behind from both functional and aesthetic perspectives, as I own both pieces:

Free To Be Bra
Ahhh..the Free to Be Bra.  I <heart> this bra in a big way.  And as my Ironman body returns to me (yay!) and the temps rise, I'll be rockin this with nothing but a pair shorts and shoes.  Check out the cute strap detail in the back.  Comes with removable pads.  I have two of these and I want more, I want more! (anyone see the AT&T commercial with the little girl?  I want it that much.) http://

Run:Speed Short*SE
The Run: Speed Short is a fantastic short.  Lulu failed with their "bonded" version - but the regular version is amazing.  I want one in every color - right now I only have one pair in black (as shown) but they are by far my favorite shorts, and have been for a couple years.  They still look brand new.  They were the obvious choice for the LA Marathon - they feature band slots for energy gels, and a back zippered pocket.  Lulu nailed this one.  Perfection. http://

A few looks I'm digging (Piperlime)

I discovered Piperlime on a recent trip to New York City with my dear friend Anat.  I could have spent more time (and money!) at their store on Wooster St, but I had a plane to catch.  Perhaps that was a blessing in disguise.  I've resorted to online shopping (more like wish-making via my laptop screen).  These just came through.  Love.



http://piprl.me/11ELOxP

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Easy Strawberry Granola Tart (Super low-calorie/Gluten-free/Vegan)

This is a glorious time of year for fruit and dessert lovers!  I take full advantage of all the wonderful, fresh fruit summer has to offer.  Chocolate can wait until fall.  The time is now!

I made this wonderful, super low-calorie dessert and it was gobbled up in a couple days.  I used organic strawberries from the Torrance Farmer's market (they were in my fridge and a couple days too old to eat fresh, so I decided to bake them up).  What came out was perfection!

Oh, and you only need about 10 minutes to make this.  Yippee!

Ingredients
Photo: Easy Strawberry Granola Tart3 cups fresh strawberries, chopped and drained
juice of half a lime or lemon (~1/8 cup = 3 Tbsp) - I used lime
1/2 cup vegan cane sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Topping
2 cups granola (use gluten-free granola if desired)
2 Tbsp coconut oil


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, toss strawberries with sugar, lime/lemon, cinnamon, cardamom and arrowroot.
3. Spread berry mixture into a pie dish.
4. In a small bowl, combine granola with coconut oil.  Spread across berry mixture and bake 20 minutes, or until tart bubbles and topping turns golden.
5. Let cool a few minutes, then enjoy!  Store on countertop for 3-4 days, or in fridge for longevity.


**Get creative and take advantage of the bounty of local fresh, sweet summer fruit from your local farmer's market.  I'm making this again tomorrow - this time with fresh, organic peaches and nectarines!  
**Please note that if you're counting calories, berries and peaches are wonderful low calorie fruits.  Try blackberries, raspberries, peaches, or mix them all together!  

1 cup raw raspberries = 64 calories
1 cup raw blackberries = 62 calories
1 cup peach slices (raw) = 64 calories
1 cup raw strawberries (halves) = 49 calories
1 cup raw strawberries (sliced) = 53 calories

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mango Cutting 101


Hi Tartlets!  It's Ataulfo mango season, which is my favorite kind of mango.  They are less stringy and more reliably sweet during peak season (March-July) than their Tommy Atkins (red/green) counterparts.  They also have a high flesh-to-seed ratio (seeds are small!)  I could eat them all day long, if they weren't so caloric...*sigh*.



(Eat mangoes in moderation if you're counting calories! You're looking at ~100-135 cals/fruit (without refuse). )

So - this morning I was making mango jam before work (we'll talk about jam later).  It took me many years of eating mangoes before I learned to cut them well.  My technique:

(1) Lay mango on its side.  Take a sharp knife, guess where the pit might be, and start slicing as close to the top of the pit as possible.  You might hit the pit, in which case, move you knife up a bit and try again.  The goal is to cut all along the length of the mango, as close to the pit as possible.  Flip mango, and repeat on bottom.


(2) What results is this:
The fruit with pit inside is on the top of the photo below; the bottom two are the large pit-free slices I took off the top and bottom of the mango, as I followed along the length of the pit.  Then, I sliced the flesh with the knife, creating "fingers".  I took the spoon you see and scooped out the fingers.  You can see all that is left is only the skin.  Repeat for both sides.


(3) Now try and get some bits off the portion that contains the pit.  I take my knife and first cut the skin that remains around the perimeter of the pit.  I cut very close to the skin, taking care not to lose too much mango in the process (you can use a potato/vegetable peeler if you prefer).  I only want to remove the skin.  Then, I cut around the pit on all sides and slice off mango flesh wherever I can find it.  All that should be left in the end is a pit.

Or...if you're feeling lazy, you can do what I sometimes do - just knaw at the pit and eat whatever you can get!  Then floss your teeth.

**Enjoy**


Hungry for a muffin? Do you have 50 seconds and a microwave?

Hello Tartlets!  I often crave something dessert-like, but like it to be healthy.  Enter: The 50-second Microwave Muffin!

This is Dr. Oz's recipe (full credit to his team for developing this recipe) - but I've re-worked his recipe and created a Vegan version!  The Dr. Oz version uses so much flax that it caused me and others I know terrible GI upset for hours.  A little flax goes a LONG way.  You don't need more than 2 Tbsp.

You must try Stephanie's 50-Second Microwave Muffin (with Vegan and Gluten-free options!):

Ingredients (Traditional egg version):
2 Tbsp (1/8 C) ground flax*
2 Tbsp (1/8 C) ground almond meal**
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp agave

Directions (traditional):
(1) Choose a large mug from your cupboard.
(2) Mix all ingredients together.
(3) Cook in microwave on HIGH for 50 seconds.  Out comes your muffin!
(4) Try hard to wait a few minutes to allow it to cool.

Ingredients (Vegan version):
2 Tbsp (1/8 C) ground flax*
2 Tbsp (1/8 C) ground almond meal**
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated 
1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 Chia egg [1 Tbsp Chia seeds + 4 Tbsp warm water)
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp vegan cane sugar
2 pinches salt

Directions (Vegan):
(1) Start by making Chia egg and set aside.  
(2) Choose a large mug.  
(3) Measure all ingredients (minus Chia egg), mix in mug.  Lastly, add Chia egg.  Mix thoroughly; microwave for 50-60 seconds on HIGH.  
(4) Wait patiently for a few minutes before indulging.


*try Blueberry or other flavors of flax for variety
**or try any flour - Gluten-free, Rice (GF), Soy (GF), Oat (GF), coconut (GF), Kamut, Spelt, etc.

Be creative!  Try different spices, flours and let me know how it turns out!  I'm going to try frozen berries in my 50-second muffin tomorrow - I'll let you know how it goes! xoxo



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A scientific experiment cannot have an n=1

As a scientist, you must repeat experiments and get repeatable results before you can start to draw conclusions.  When your  n=1 (i.e. only a single experiment has been done), it's impossible to run statistics - you need a minimum of n=2, and even then you'll never reach statistical significance.

But I'd like to tell you that on Saturday, I tried a new nutritional product.  I was scheduled for an easy aerobic ride, so I rode PCH to Big Rock in 4 hours, 36 seconds, covering 75.9 miles, and burning an estimated 1999 calories (Garmin's best guess, which is far from perfect).  

I learned long ago that I blow through carbs like nobody's business.  If I eat only carbs for breakfast, I'm hungry in 2 hours, tops.  Same thing on the bike - I've literally eaten 500+ calories in gels, Shot Bloks, in my drink mix, etc - all to no avail.  Still.  Starving.  I need protein and/or fat (I'm still working out whether I need both or just protein.  Experiments are on-going.)

The exciting part!  I did the ride on (almost) all liquid nutrition.  I had a run-in with a gel at hour #3.

I hate bars and I tolerate gels.  What I really want on the bike when training for and racing Ironman is a buffet.  I dream of a Special Needs Buffet with sandwiches and real food, not some protein packed into an overly sweet or disgustingly textured bar.  Pretty much every product on the market wears on my taste buds after 6 hours, week after week.  

I struggled to get food into me at Ironman Arizona last year.  After crossing the finish line, I immediately consulted with my coach Gareth Thomas and I'm pretty sure the first thing out of my mouth was "next year...I need to figure out my nutrition!" (Actually no - the first thing out of my mouth was "That was the hardest thing I have ever done, in any capacity, in my whole life!").  The nutrition comment came second.  I thought Gareth and I had figured everything out at the start of the season - he created a plan for me that tried to minimize the number of bars I had to eat, instead including savory peanut-butter filled pretzels (which I still love to eat on the bike).  Unfortunately, after months of training, by race day I was done; those bars would simply not go down unless I washed them down with drink.  I wished I had figured out how to get 3 turkey and avocado sandwiches into my Bento Box...*sigh*.

If I can do the IM AZ bike course this coming November on liquid nutrition only, I'm putting myself in the best possible position to avoid the barfy problem I encountered last year in AZ during the marathon.  I'm STOKED at this prospect!!

However, n=1 does not an experiment make.  If this is repeatable, and I can be successful during my long bike-run bricks, I'll blog about it and recommend this product.  Until then, pay attention to your nutritional needs, and continue seeking out a solution until you find one.  We're all unique, and there are a lot of good products out there.  Unfortunately, most of them taste really gross to me!

Camber Me This, Runners

Riddle me this, Runners.  What could possibly be causing that chronic left (or right) knee, IT, foot, or other pain?  I stretch, cool down, ice, don't run every day... ??  I don't get it.

I went for a 10 mile run on Sunday morning.  This year, I've been plagued by not-so-serious (yet annoying) left-leg issues - first plantar fasciitis + a knarly knot in my left calf that refused to release for weeks (likely related), left IT band tightness, with its characteristic wrap around the knee from lateral to medial sides, chronic quad tightness, then I (re-) sprained my ankle [for like the seventh time] at the Wildflower Triathlon.  Yes, I was the crying runner; I was SO disappointed as I tried to run about 3/4 of a mile after I turned on my ankle, but I knew the sprain was bad enough to result in a DNF.  Minor injuries are really annoying and can keep you from training for weeks.  But I try to be conscious of all the ways these can be exacerbated....please read on...

Back to Sunday.  7 AM.  I ran from my house, down San Vicente facing traffic like my dad taught me in first grade.  I always run on the asphalt in the bike lane, for a couple reasons.  One, the asphalt really is softer than the concrete sidewalks.  If you live in LA, you know our sidewalks can be very uneven, so a tired runner can easily to trip and fall.  Plus, there are far too many alleys where cars can pop out and hit pedestrians and you can't react until it's too late.  So, street it is.

On the way back, and without thinking, I disobeyed my dad and ran up the same side of the street back home, not facing traffic.  I do this all the time.  There are pros and cons to this method (but the pro outweighs the cons).  Please hear me out.

Cons: (1) You're in the bike lane, and (2) not facing traffic, which is dangerous as people drive too fast and are not always paying close attention to road hazards.  [Since taking Traffic School last week after my speeding ticket in San Juan Capistrano (lame), I learned that it's actually illegal for a pedestrian to be in the bike lane when there is a sidewalk.  However, I also learned that pedestrians always have the right of way, even if they're dead wrong.  Just letting you know!] 

Pro: (1) You're determined to beat the effects of the camber.  It can help you combat overuse injuries (which, as we've already established, are annoying).

Water runs from crown to curb to drain water into sewer system.
So, there is only one pro, but it outweighs the cons in my opinion.  If you're a new runner or not yet aware of how this affects you, road camber is the convex curvature of the road surface which allows water to drain toward curbs and sewers.  As a runner, this means you're running on a slope, and this can sometimes create problems.


Consistently running on the same side of the road, i.e. always facing traffic - while safest - is not the best idea for runners.  Due to functional leg-length discrepancies, when you always run facing traffic, your left foot is always landing on the road lower on the slope than your right foot.  Additionally, your left foot pronation is limited while your right foot will have to over-compensate and over-pronate.  Thus, running the suggested 180 strides/minute for miles and miles and months on end may result in a variety of biomechanical issues.

There are a few things you can do to try and combat the Camber Conundrum.  First, as I've mentioned, consider running facing traffic on the way out, then not facing traffic on the way home (or vice versa).  I fully admit - this is not ideal, but it's a good solution for road runners.  You can also consider softer surfaces, trail running or the track (for slow speed workouts only!) which are typically camber-free. [Please note that long intervals on a track can also place pressure on the left leg due to typical track directionality rules].  You can also jump on a treadmill.  I know - gross.

When you return home after a run, make sure you stretch well, get on the dreaded foam roller, consider lower body weight training to strengthen both sides of your body or hit a yoga class.  Try to keep yourself limber - the goal is not perpetuating imbalances which can lead to longer-term problems.  We are all inherently imbalanced, especially when we train hard, but working to stay healthy and as "even" as possible is most beneficial.  I also like to see my chiropractor to help avoid imbalances.

One last thing, Runners.  If you choose to run in the bike lane, please defer to cyclists.  It's their lane.  Get out of the way when there's a bike headed your way.  I usually wait behind a parked car, or if I don't want to stop I jump on the sidewalk for 10 or 20 strides, then pop back onto the road.  When running facing away from traffic, please be conscious not to dart into the bike lane to get around cars - you could knock a cyclist straight off their bike and possibly into danger if there's a car near-by.

Run on, Runners, and stay healthy!  No more riddles today.