Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Gemina and Beef Jerky

What the heck kind of title is that for a blog?  I'm sitting here writing, using my unpublished novel, tucked away in a folder, as my mousepad.  It is day 3 of daylight savings time.  I'm pretty sure I am somehow sleep deprived because of it - let's not get started on how I hate changing the clock in the Spring, and how it has health implications for everyone.  The point is Gemina and Beef Jerky.  Here they are:

Gemina with beef jerky
Gemina is a stuffed replica of "the crooked-necked giraffe" who lived at the Santa Barbara Zoo until her death in 2008.  I can never remember her name and am not sure the proper pronunciation so I renamed her Jemima.  Like Aunt Jemima.  She comes to track practice most weeks and sits just inside the first lane on the curve.  She is our team Kenyan and good luck charm.  She watches us - kind of from a sideways slanted view, and sends us fast vibes and helps us dream of pancakes with lots and lots of syrup.

Jemima is pictured today with a package of Beef Jerky.  Why?  I have no idea.  Probably something having to do with her inner conflict - am I a vegetarian, am I a carnivore, omnivore, vegan????  Not really.  The common denominator is simply that these are both gifts to me from a dear friend and teammate.  She gave me the giraffe many moons ago and from there Jemima became the team mascot.  And today she gave me the beef jerky.  Our teammate quietly gives gifts 100% of the time.  It could be a physical gift such as these. Sometimes it's a secret gift as she slips away to "use the restroom" during a team dinner at Eurekas, and then Boom, miraculously the waitress lets us know our bill has been taken care of.  Sometimes it's a gift of words and encouragement.  Sometimes it's a promise to be there when we need her.  I arrived at the track extra early this morning because my workout required more time to warm up.  I started doing my laps in the Westmont darkness (I remind you it is now DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME) by myself and every time I went around the far corner, the darkest corner which borders the scary forest, I thought of the Mountain Lion sightings they had right in that area the year before.  My teammate told me - "next time you have to do an early warm up, you call me and I will be there with you, no matter how early." That's just who she is.

That is the theme of today's blog - the giving nature of the wonderful people around me. Here's a couple of them right here:
Nash and Desa.  Photo credit: Lynelle Paulick
I had a challenging workout assigned to me today.  It was a tempo interval workout that would require me to do repeats of 1.5 miles. I had a pace in mind that I needed to hit (of course a bit faster than coach prescribed).  John (hubby and #1 Wonderful, giving person in my life) ran the first three intervals with me and we fell beautifully into the correct pace together. The rhythm of our feet in unison, John's very loud breathing (which makes it hard to hear my quiet breathing, so that works nicely), looping past our other teamies (they did a different workout so this in no way implies we were lapping them), was the creation of a magical workout.  After a few sets, my mind no longer focused on the work we were doing, but rather the art in it.  Nash joined me for (most of) interval #4 and allowed me to continue with this experience.  It was a sacrifice for him to do this because he had already completed his speed workout. He tacked this extra interval on because I asked for help.  In the end, it was a 12.5 mile workout done completely on the track. I am certain I've never run that many miles on a track before but not only is that what happened today, I loved it.  I loved it because it was done with wonderful, giving, positive people.  Half asleep from DLS imposed sleep deprivation, yes. Trying not to run into each in the dark, yes. Thank goodness for those white lines on the track.

On a side note - the beef jerky was a fun little gift because we had a lot of discussion this week about diet. I have a background in Nutrition, with a Bachelor's degree from Nevada (UNR). And I work for FDN Inc. (which stands for Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®). I usually don't assert my nutritional opinions on others but if asked I'm happy to tell you my take on nutrition, and happy to explain the principles I follow regarding my own diet. I also will provide unsolicited advice if I am concerned about someone I care about. So our dietary discussion this week focused on the importance of meat in the diet, especially an athlete's diet. Here's my opinion about meat (definition of meat = the flesh of any animal): eat it. Well let me just put it this way, because I know there is a growing trend of meatless diets, and I don't mean to step on any of those toes. I eat meat (you don't have to if you don't want to, but I do. I won't judge you if you don't, and you won't judge me because I do) - just like in the old, old days when we learned to eat a balanced meal, I have that chunk of meat on my plate along with the other representatives of the Macro-nutrients. I also make sure I consume meat before a long bike ride (usually salmon or sardines). Because of my type of metabolism (fast oxidizer for those who are familiar with Metabolic Typing®), protein is very important in keeping me fueled. I ultimately consume less Calories overall (the correct amount of Calories) on my high protein diet because I feel full with less food. Protein also helps by body repair and recover and gives me an overall feeling of health and wellness. I take in my protein via food, not supplements, shakes, mixes or powders (except when I take in food during training or competition when real food isn't practical). The best source of protein is meat, not only because it contains all of the essential amino acids, but also because there are many other nutrients contained therein. I am sure there are countless revelations yet to be uncovered regarding nutrients in food, and the combination of nutrients in their naturally occurring state and how they affect processes in the body. To be healthy, the rule is everything in moderation, not "some things in over-abundance and some things completely restricted" (except in cases where there is an allergy or sensitivity/intolerance of course, and probably donuts and carbonated beverage should be completely restricted). Dietary trends come and go and they are not harmless. Eat wisely, use logic, don't let someone else choose for you or influence you, educate yourself, and most importantly, eat to win.  To be clear, I don't follow any specifically labeled diet (such as Paleo). I simply eat without putting too much thought into it.

So that's the story behind the beef jerky.

Gemina (Jemima) = wonderful giving people
Beef jerky = Eat meat

Have a great week and good luck adjusting to the time change. I clearly haven't yet.

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