Herbal Pharmacist Health Update
by Dave Foreman
Two months ago, I began training for my first marathon. Today, my training and natural health regimen has me on track to compete in the marathon.
Before starting my training, I went through a complete physical and blood work to ensure I was ready for the challenge. While most of my tests showed I was in excellent health, the effects of stress from personal issues were something I had to deal with. The following changes helped me reduce stress and improve my overall well-being.
Having a strong spiritual connection can often enhance overall wellbeing. Also, dietary changes, including healthier choices, smaller portions of animal proteins, and adding more greens can improve overall health.
My current diet includes smaller portions of animal proteins, plus more fruits and vegetables. Chia has become a staple in my diet. I am adding it to almost everything I eat. Chia was considered “running food” by the Aztecs. I have almost eliminated red meat from my diet. I realized that I did not feel well when eating red meat on a regular basis.
Exercise has increased as I train. I am over half way through my 18-week training program and getting into the grueling part. I've increased to runs up to 16 miles and two-hour bike rides. Because the length of the runs are increasing, I'm cutting back on the frequency to help avoid injury.
Throughout my training, I have amended my supplement use to help with pain-prevention and repair when necessary. Since I have cut back on my days running, I have added in a day or two extra of cycling and weight lifting.
My spiritual connection has also taken a more central role in my training and my life. I've increased my spiritual practices and have taken a more active role in volunteer activities. When we serve others (just like Vitamin Shoppe does with their Vitamin Angels fund raising and with the support of the MS Bike events) we are taking the focus off ourselves and helping others. That can have a profound impact on our overall health and stress levels.
My supplement use has increased. Besides taking the supplements I listed in my last newsletter, I have increased turmeric dosages to 2000 mg twice daily on days when I take longer runs. On days when my runs are shorter, I reduce that to 1000 mg twice daily. Also, I have cut my use of Cordyceps to the suggested two tablets twice daily except the two days per week that I run 8+ miles. Plus,
I am now using at least four scoops (approximately a tablespoon per scoop) of Chia seeds daily.
Because of the increased punishment my body is taking with running 25+ miles per week, I have increased the amounts and frequency of bromelain. I try to take my bromelain on an “empty” stomach when I can to help improve its ability to fight inflammation and help repair my muscles. On all exercise days (five/week) I take four tablets in the morning before my workout, four after my workout, four more sometime midday and four more at night.
In addition to using the oral form of Celadrin, I use Celadrin Cream. I often apply it prior to my long-run days (Wednesday and Saturday) as a preventative and protective measure. Carnipure is another addition to my supplement program. When I am home, I use Vitamin Shoppe Brand liquid Carnipure 1000 mg prior to workouts and another 1000-2000 mg later in the day as part of my recovery regimen on long-run days. For travel, I purchased the Vitamin Shoppe Brand 1000 mg tablets and take them as I do the liquids. Because my runs are now over one hour in length, I also use either GU Energy Gel or Accel Gel as a source of energy (food) and electrolytes to carry me through.
Because of my reduction in meat, I have started to use Raw Protein from Garden of Life. This does not get used daily, only when I feel that my body is in need of added protein from my workouts or for added repair on damaged muscles.
Being healthy takes commitment. Commitment occurs on multiple levels. Commit to change, then commit to a program, commit to being open and honest with ourselves and others (involving others is helpful for accountability and support- a necessary tool for beginners) so we can achieve our goals. Being healthy requires us to make changes as our needs change. It's never too late to remove bad habits and create a healthy new lifestyle.