How much protein do you need?

New research suggests that many of us may need more protein than we realize. The current RDA is 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight, but several studies have found that 1 to 1.2 grams may be more protective against age-related muscle loss. Use this formula from Caroline Apovian, MD, to determine the minimum amount of protein you should eat daily to offset muscle loss—and protect your metabolism—while you lose weight.

STEP 1: Estimate your ideal weight. “If you’re a woman, start with 100 pounds for the first 5 feet in height, and add 5 pounds for every extra inch,” says Dr. Apovian. “For men, it’s 106 pounds for 5 feet in height, plus 6 pounds for every additional inch. However, if your ideal weight is less than 120 pounds, don’t eat less than 82 grams of protein daily.”

STEP 2: Ideal Weight (in pounds) / 2.2 = Ideal Weight (in kilograms)

STEP 3: Ideal Weight (in kilograms) x 1.5 = Daily Protein Goal (in grams)

Now that you know how much you need, check out these metabolism-boosting, protein-packed foods!

Avocado

Protein content: 2 grams per half avocado. The protein in this fruit contains all nine essential amino acids, plus heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Cheese and Milk Protein

content: 6 to 7 grams per ounce; 9 to 10 grams per 1 cup
Go for low-fat options—they generally contain more protein than fattier alternatives.

Tempeh
Protein

content: 15 grams per 1/2 cup. Its nougat-like texture makes tempeh a smart stand-in for meat. Sauté, or crumble cooked tempeh over salads.

Asparagus

Protein content: 4 grams per 1 cup (chopped)

This tasty veggie is a nutrient powerhouse. Enjoy it steamed or grilled, or toss chopped spears into salads.

Legumes

Protein content: 7 to 9 grams per 1/2 cup (cooked)

Pair dried beans (think black beans, chickpeas and lentils) with rice or quinoa for a complete-protein meal.

Greek-Style Yogurt

Protein content: 18 grams per 6 ounces

This thick and creamy treat packs nearly twice as much protein as other dairy sources; it’s great with fruit.

Tree Nuts

Protein content: 4 to 6 grams per 2 tablespoons

A small handful of walnuts or almonds is great as a snack, mixed into yogurt or oatmeal, or on a salad.

Edamame

Protein content: 8.5 grams per 1/2 cup (shelled)

A single serving packs nearly every trace mineral your body needs, including iron, magnesium and zinc.

Whey Protein

Protein content: 24 grams per 1 ounce

Add a scoop to smoothies or water for a quick protein hit. Avoiding animal products? Try soy protein powder.

Spinach

Protein content: 5 grams per 1 cup (cooked)

Of all the leafy greens, spinach boasts the highest protein content. Try it sautéed with a bit of garlic

Tofu Protein

content: 12 grams per 3 ounces. Made from soybeans, this low-cal, versatile protein will take on any flavor, from Asian to barbecue.

Fish and Shellfish

Protein content: 28 grams per 4 ounces. Whether it’s salmon, halibut or tuna, seafood is a great catch. Aim for 3 to 5 servings a week.

PseudograinsProtein content: 5 to 9 grams per 1 cup (cooked)
These hearty, grain like seeds (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat) have more protein than traditional grains.

Eggs

Protein content: 12 grams per 2 eggs; 14 grams per 4 egg whites. However you prepare them, eggs and egg whites are smart fuel for muscles.

Poultry and Pork

Protein content: 28 grams per 4 ounces. Family favorites like skinless chicken and pork make it easy to score plenty of protein at each meal.

Hemp Seeds

Protein content: 10 grams per 2 tablespoons. Great for soups and salads, these seeds have eight of the nine essential amino acids that build muscle.

Cottage Cheese

Protein content: 14 grams per 1/2 cup. Eating a scoop doesn’t mean you’re on a diet—it means you’re muscle savvy. Try adding it to smoothies.

Beef Protein

content: 28 grams per 4 ounces. Look for the absolute leanest cuts, like round roast or top sirloin. Try bison for a leaner red-meat alternative.

Marathon Goddess, Julie Weiss

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Marathon Goddess, Julie Weiss

Fifty-two marathons in fifty-two weeks? Seems nearly impossible. But not for one Los Angeles resident.

Julie Weiss’s road to “52 in 52” started in 2008. With encouragement from her father, Maurice, she decided to train for the Boston Marathon, one of the oldest and best-known racing events. Maurice was her biggest supporter, determined to see his daughter qualified for the race. “We were going to go to Boston together and he was going to cheer me on,” Julie recalls. “I called him after every marathon.”

Over the next two years, Julie ran nineteen marathons in preparation for the Boston Marathon qualification. But In October 2010, Maurice was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Undeterred by his illness, Maurice insisted Julie pursue her dream. “I told my dad, ‘You’re going to go to with me and I’m going to qualify!’”

Unfortunately, Maurice passed away one week before the qualifying race, only 35 days afterbeing diagnosed. “I had no idea about pancreatic cancer, or how severe it was. But on race day, I knew he was there with me. He had the best seat in the house…my heart.”

After completing the Boston Marathon, Julie knew there was something more to be done. Researching pancreatic cancer, she discovered it is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but also the least funded for research.

Through her research, Julie found the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The number one charity for pancreatic cancer, Julie met with the organization and was thrilled by their excitement and support. It was here the idea for “52 For You” was born. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network was able to support and fund travel expenses, in part through their Team Hope Marathon Program.

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Julie took the name “Marathon Goddess,” but she’s quick to point out its true meaning. “It’s not about me!” she assures. “It’s a name that allows me to encourage others to find their inner god and goddess. People will see me running and say, ‘Hey, it’s the Marathon Goddess!’ and I say, ‘No, you are a marathon goddess!’”

With the help of her fiancé, David, Julie’s first marathon of 52 started in Rome, Italy on March 18, 2012. It was here that the documentary Spirit of the Marathon II was filmed, featuring Julie and her story. The film will be released in June of this year.

After Rome, it was one down, 51 to go. And it hasn’t been easy, especially considering Julie continues to work as a fulltime real estate accountant in L.A. “It’s a rigorous schedule: I leave my office on a Friday or Saturday morning; travel to a different city or state or even country; run a marathon on Sunday; get home Sunday night; be in the office by 9 a.m. Then the rest of the week is all about recovery. I get to sit at my job, which is nice, but it’s about eating good food, stretching, surrounding myself with positive people to get my spirits up.”

Image“But I do get tired!” she’s quick to point out. “I suffer some aches and pains, but I have a fantastic sports physician. I go to the spa a couple times a week to recuperate. I also mediate; it keeps me balanced.”

It’s also the people she encounters that keep Julie’s spirits up and gives her journey perspective. Dedicating each marathon to someone affected by pancreatic cancer, Julie makes sure to never lose sight of the everyday fighters. “When I’m running my marathons, my battle is nothing compared to these people who are fighting for their lives.”

Many of these fighters have left a lasting impression. Julie met Paul Perkovic during a race in her home state of California. He was suffering from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. “He was very high-energy, a fun guy,” Julie remembers. “He was so excited about my journey. He ran the last 0.2 miles with me; we crossed the finish line together. It was a moment I’ll remember forever. He passed away three months after that marathon. But for that moment, we had created some hope and light in this dark world of pancreatic cancer.”

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Julie celebrating with Kona Marathon’s Assistant Director, David Ranck after her 52nd Marathon in LA on March 17, 2013

Julie’s eleventh marathon was in Kona, Hawaii. She affectionately refers to this race as “Eleven, like running in heaven!”

“The course is kind of epic,” Julie says. “It makes you feel like a rock star!” Even more than the course, it’s the Aloha Spirit that keeps her coming back to Kona. “It’s in the people who run the marathon, who live there, the support crew. It’s so welcoming. Not to mention the venue, which is breathtaking. Definitely the location, but more so, the people.”

Not only has Julie been running the marathons, she’s also handled most of her own PR and organized fundraising in her spare time. Accepting donations from $5 to $50,000, she’s raised over $175,000 during her journey, relying heavily on the power of social media to connect with individuals and organizations.

Julie’s final marathon was on March 17, 2013, in L.A. How does she plan to celebrate? “Sleep!” she exclaims. “Treating myself to sleeping in!”

Despite the end of this chapter, Julie’s story is far from over. Her new goal: 52 more marathons by 2020. “I am still running alongside Pancreatic Cancer Action Network with our hope to double the survival rate of pancreatic cancer by 2020.”

An inspiring figure, Julie continues to share her positive attitude and sincere spirit. And she encourages others to find a cause of their own. “Follow your dreams; follow what’s in your heart. If it resonates in your soul, then go for it. Life is short. This is our chance to help other people. It may be hard, but don’t give up. It’s a journey. People focus on the final finish line, but the beauty is found along the way, in the journey.”

Follow Julie’s continued adventures and make a donation to the cause on her website: http://marathongoddess.com/.ImageStory by: Dustin Diehl

Copyright Kona Marathon, All rights reserved

3 Ways to Run Through the Heat

Dealing with high temperatures and humidity on race day is a critical success factor: If you can’t or don’t know how to do it, your day could end prematurely and most likely your finishing time will fall outside of your goal.

That said the heat affects many runners long before they reach the starting line. Simply based on where they live and the time of year, these folks spend the majority of their training schedule attempting to avoid the performance-killing effects of high temps.

ImageHot vs. Hard

Increased heat means a distorted sense of perceived exertion (your easy pace feels really hard) and an increased heart rate (your body is working double time to keep cool and keep moving). But while your overall performance deteriorates when temps are above an “optimal” range, your muscles aren’t working any harder just because it’s hot. In fact, the opposite is true: the slower you run, the less stress you are placing on your running-specific muscles.

Less stress means less work, and ultimately less adaptation. To put it another way, it’s like being able to bench press 100 lbs, but on really hot days you only put 85 lbs on the bar because it feels harder. The Marathon Nation focus is on quality, not quantity, and so we need to solve for this heat if the training is to work. So how do you continue to keep the pressure on your body to see progress, yet avoid overtraining?

Suggestions

Here are three ideas you can use to adjust your workouts to compensate for the heat. Whatever you do, don’t train yourself so hard you earn a free hospital journey — it’s just not worth it!

1. Run in the early morning. The temps are not as hot and the air quality is pretty good. This is your best bet if your schedule allows for it. Editors note: the Kona Marathon starts at 5:30am for this reason

2. Run slightly further because you’ll be going at a slower pace for a given effort / heart rate. If you wanted to run 7 miles at 9:00 pace, but you can only muster 9:30s or 9:45s, then extend your run to 8 or 8.5 miles. Just make sure you have means to stay hydrated and stay protected in the sun!

3. Adjust the intervals of your harder runs in order to continue running at your normal paces. You can do this by:

  • Running shorter work intervals. Do 6 x 2.5 minutes instead of 3 x 5 minutes;
  • Taking longer recoveries between work intervals so as to be ready for the next work piece; or
  • Splitting tempo runs into intervals. Make that 6 mile tempo run into 3 x 2 miles or 2 x 3 miles with breaks in the middle to hydrate properly and get cool.

Regardless of which option you chose for your particular workout (or entire training cycle), adapting how you train based on the conditions in which you have to train is critical. You can only ignore the realities of heat and its affect on your body and ability to run for so long; learn to bend like a reed!

Christina Kyle: A Team Challenge team member

By: Dustin Diehl

Christina Kyle was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.“It was 11 years ago,” she says. “I thought, ‘OK, it will go away, I can take pills.” Unfortunately, it was a severe case of the gastrointestinal disease, one that necessitated major surgeries in 2009 and 2010. “It was four years ago that I was first hospitalized,” she remembers. “It was then that I realized I needed to do something about it.

On a mission to become an active member in the fight for a cure, Christina found Team Challenge, an endurance training and fundraising program dedicated to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “The best part of Team Challenge is the camaraderie and the friends I’ve met. The whole system is like a little family.” And it’s about more than just the physical training. “We always check in on each other; there’s a lot of empathy. We’re all in it for the same reason – to find a cure, whether you suffer from the disease yourself, or it’s a friend or family member.”

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Her journey with Team Challenge led her to the Big Island of Hawaii and Kona, for the 2011 Kona Marathon. “It was gorgeous!” she recalls. “It’s a cute, quiet little island; very mellow. And running along the course is like nothing you’ve ever experienced.” Kona’s aloha spirit would entice Christina to return a year later.

However, Christina’s condition required another surgery, her fourth major operation, preventing her from participating in the 2012 marathon. But that didn’t stop her from revisiting Kona. For her, it wasn’t solely about the running experience. It was about supporting her team and raising money for the cause. “I was too sick to run, but I was there for my team.”

With 2013 marking the 20th anniversary of the Kona Marathon, Christina is not only returning to the “cute, quiet little island,” she’s also packing up her life in Los Angeles, California and moving to Oahu. “I fell in love with the people, the culture, the lifestyle,” she says of her decision. “Having Crohn’s in LA is a lot of stress, which is a trigger. I like the healthiness of the island. I’ve traveled all over the world and never found a place I could live until I went to Oahu.”

Luckily, her account management job had an opening, allowing her to make the transition. “It’s a great company and they make amazing matching donations for my goals.” In addition to her company, Christina feels blessed to have the support of great family, friends, doctors and coworkers, 13 of whom are making the trek to Kona this year to show their support.

In the midst of training, recovering and packing, Christina still has time to compile her Kona 2013 wish list. “Lying on the beach or by the pool with a Mai Tai,” she laughs. “And I have to dive with the manta rays – really looking forward to that!” The new headquarter hotel for the Kona Marathon, the renewed Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, offers just these experiences. But the most important goal on her list: “Even if I have to crawl across the finish line, I will finish!”

2011-06-26_05-55-44_648It’s this determination and commitment to positivity that makes Christina such an inspiring advocate for Team Challenge. When asked what advice she would give to those considering Team Challenge and the 13.1-mile half marathon, Christina says, “Do it. People think they can’t run 13 miles – it doesn’t matter. Team Challenge will make sure you cross the finish line, whether you’re walking or running. Don’t be scared. It’ll be the best decision you will ever make.”

Her hope is that others will find the strength to join, take action and make a difference. “I believe we will find a cure in my lifetime…and I want to be a part of it.”

To join the Greater Los Angeles/Orange County Team Challenge chapter, contact Jessica Dean at jessicad@ccfa.org or 310-694-3343, or visit http://ccteamchallenge.force.com/ for more information about your local chapter.Image

Active Valentines Ideas

ImageValentine’s Day is two days away and is usually a card-and-candy holiday—throw in a candlelit dinner out on the town and you’re bound to overindulge in calories. While a romantic night is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there are other ways to be romantic with your significant other. And, if you’re solo, don’t pout on the couch alone with a spoon and a container of ice cream. Grab a buddy and check out new activities together. Here are eight activities you can do with a your special someone or a partner.

1.) Sign up for a Valentine’s Day (or weekend) run.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner looking to PR or a recreational runner looking for some fun; attached or unattached, get your heart pumping and celebrate Valentine’s Day at a race. Usually themed runs are fun, laid back and offer tins of entertainment and food. Why not make the Valentine’s Day and weekend healthy and fun.

2.) Take a joint Fitness or Yoga class

Break a sweat as you boost cardio and lift weights or stretch out those muscles. You and your partner can motivate each other. If you are single, sign up for a singles fitness class. Meet your new mate doing something you both like to do.

3.) Go rock climbing!

Indoors or outdoors, rock climbing builds trust and confidence between you and your partner. Plus, rock climbing is a great way to build muscle. Challenge yourself; try something new and adventurous.

4) Enjoy a couple’s massage.

After a day of activities, why not relax and pamper yourself with a nice massage? Not only is a massage a nice treat, but it’s also therapeutic and allows your body to release toxins and function better. Studies show that during a massage, large amounts of endorphins are released into the bloodstream. Pain and stress is reduced, while pleasant memories, sexual activity, and happy emotions are increased.

5) Make Valentines Day stretch into the weekend and take a camping trip.

Get out of town and head for the woods. There’s nothing more romantic than sleeping under the stars with your partner. Or, grab your friends for a fun and adventurous trip. Explore all the hiking trails during the day, and at night cook, some delicious campfire foods while stargazing.

6) Take a cooking class together

Spice up your kitchen skills and impress others with new recipes that you learn from a cooking class. It’s a great way to interact with your partner, or meet new people who are interested in cooking. You can learn new cooking techniques, tasty recipes, how to pair wines, and more.

7) Dance!

Whether you want to improve your wiggle dance or learn how to tango, dancing will get your heart rate up. Not only can you improve your coordination skills, but there’s also something sensational about dancing with your partner. You don’t have to be a pro to learn how to dance, be open-minded, have fun and watch your significant other move. Or, grab your friends for a fun evening of music and dancing.

8) Lace up your skates!

Hold hands as you skate around a roller rink or ice rink and pretend you’re a kid again. Spin and jump as you show off your amazing skating skills. Even if you’re not an Olympic skater, trying a few tricks is always fun. You might end up with a few bumps or bruises, but just think about how much laughter will occur because you just let go and have fun.

Go ahead, be adventurous and try something new this Valentine’s Day. Just think: if you do an activity or two throughout the day, you won’t feel too guilty when you have a piece of chocolate later. Regardless of your relationship status, enjoy the day with someone you care about and create fun memories with your loved ones.

Post-Workout Recovery Ritual

To get the most out of your workouts, you have to maximize your recovery. These three simple rituals will help you improve your performance.

Food

What you eat after a workout can be the most important meal of your day. Keeping it simple by aiming for only two goals:

Amino Acids

Exercise depletes critical amino acids such as isoleucine, leucine, valine and glutamine. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein used to build and repair muscles and bones, as well as generate hormones and transmitters. Make sure you consume some protein.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (Carbs) are the body’s source for energy. Carbs convert to glycogen, which your body uses for fuel. Replenishing carbs is important after any workout.

Below are three great foods to try:

  •          Salmon: for Omega-3s, B vitamins and vitamin A
  •          Spinach: high in iron and calcium
  •          Sweet potato: for carbohydrates and vitamin C

Stretch

Depending on the intensity of your workout, the amount of muscle strands needed to handle the workload will increase. The more intense your workout, the more muscle strands need to react.

Intense exercise can entangle these fibers, so as you stretch you are creating tension that can align disorganized tissue. This helps prevent soreness, injury and can increase recovery time.

Sleep

Get to bed. Sleep is important for a number of reasons, but for the athlete, it’s vital for muscle recovery. About an hour after the onset of sleep, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is at its highest.

HGH is responsible for many things, but its main role is to aid in the recovery of muscles and stimulate the nervous system. The best athletes know how to work hard, but rest well. Make sure you give your body what it needs to perform for you.

Check out www.konamarathon.com for how you can prepare
for the Kona Marathon in June!

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Please note that if you register for any Kona Marathon event between January 4th and February 15th, you have a chance to win one of two round trip coach seats on award winning Alaska Airlines to any destination they serve. Full contest details can be found at konamarathon.com. Why not register today?