Sunday, December 18, 2016

5 Yoga Poses You Can Do at Your Desk


The mere thought of sneaking out for a lunchtime yoga class may be laughable, especially now that we're all asked to do more and more on the job. But that doesn't mean you have to stay stagnant for hours. There are effective moves you can do right at your desk, ones that will help you get a mental breather and make sure your neck, back, arms, hips and wrists remain in good working order.

Scale Pose

Sit at the edge of your chair, press your hands down on either side of your hips and raise your legs and butt up off the seat. Engage your deep abdominal muscles and keep the tops of your shoulders down; hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Lower and repeat 2 more times.

High Altar Pose

Inhale and lift your arms; clasp your hands and invert your palms. Lean to your left. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths, then switch sides.


Turn to your left. Use your left hand on the back of the chair to deepen the twist. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths, then twist to the other side.

Cow Face Arms

Bring your left arm behind your back and right arm behind your head. Clasp fingers if you can. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths; switch sides.

Ankle to Knee

Place your left foot on your right knee, letting left knee drop open. Keep your back straight; lean forward to stretch deeper. After 5 to 8 breaths, switch sides.

This post was adapted from

Sunday, November 15, 2015

When To Work Out Post-Marathon

There’s a reason a finish line is often used as a metaphor for the conclusion of a particular journey—it is the ultimate endpoint. Unfortunately for marathoners, says Miriam Wasmund, a Brooklyn-based Tier 3+ trainer and instructor, “while you are through the longest and most grueling part of the process, your work is not done.”
On the one hand, a race should be viewed as the pinnacle of a training calendar, the shift from the on-season to the necessary (but often neglected) off-season. “We become our strongest during the ‘healing’ process,” says Wasmund (who is a multiple-time marathoner and endurance cyclist). “If you can understand this to be a key opportunity instead of an inconvenience, you stand to absorb all your hard-fought effort and come back even stronger, setting the stage for even better training cycle in the future.”

Instead of jumping right back into a workout routine—or conversely, becoming a couch potato for a week—Wasmund illustrates how to strike the perfect, recovery-optimizing balance. Below, in her own words: 

Within the first 24 hours: Get your legs and feet up every hour or two for 15 to 25 minutes at a time to get that regenerative blood flowing. An ice cold bath will help reduce swelling and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Address cravings thoughtfully and conservatively—don’t slow your recovery digesting an entire cake! Protein, healthy carbs, electrolytes and water should be all part of your meals during this first week of recovery. Choose omega-3-rich wild salmon and flax seeds; antioxidant- and electrolyte-packed cherries and dark berries; combos of fast-acting carbs and proteins like skim milk and Greek yogurt; muscle-repairing chicken, turkey and steamed edamame; potassium-packed bananas; turmeric and black pepper, which have been shown to be powerful in fighting free radicals, aiding in damage repair and drastically reducing inflammation. 
Within the first 48 hours: Begin gentle stretching/self-massage/foam rolling—addressing trouble areas with calm breathing and firm but manageable pressure—and continue alternating between easy walking and periods of elevating your legs and feet. I also swear by topical Arnica gel; this homeopathic remedy has a long history of use to treat the aches and pains associated with high-performance training. 
Within 72 hours: The adrenaline has worn off and DOMS is in full effect; some post-race blues maybe lurking. While it is still fresh in your mind, focus on what went right in your training and in your race and write it down. Also you may make note of what was challenging but don't dwell on it—no race is perfect. 
After the first 72 hours: Frequent rest will be needed, which includes getting a lot of restful sleep at night. Try light walking one day, an easy swim the next, restorative yoga, or a light spin on the bike, but go easy. Combined with lots of water, you are on your way, but no running yet. Staying active will help flush out residual toxins and keep circulation and elasticity in the muscles and joints. Also it's time to consider getting a massage or a professional stretch, or braving that ice bath. 
Six days post-race: After 6 days of rest, stretching, self-massage, hydration, good quality nutrition, restorative daily movement and hopefully a cold bath or two, it is finally okay to go for that easy, slow shake-out run. Leave the watch at home— just feel your legs under you.

This post was adapted from

Recipe: Gjelina's Roasted Romanesco

Winning the award for most geometrically fascinating produce is the romanesco. It’s a vegetable that boasts a bright green head covered in spirals upon spirals. For all its aesthetic appeal, it’s also got health appeal. Because it’s a cousin of broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts, it boasts a similar nutritional profile, offering vitamins C, K and B6, plus fiber, folate and potassium, explains Alicia Romano, MS, RD, a clinical registered dietician at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. There’s also a purple variety—the color comes from anthocyanins, the same antioxidant responsible for making blueberries blue. Although more research is needed, “fruits and vegetables containing anthocyanins may play a role in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and cancer,” Romano says.
You can cook romanesco as you would broccoli or cauliflower, or give it the West Coast treatment. Gjelina, one of our favorite eateries in Venice, has released its first cookbook and gives the florets a Middle Eastern treatment, including sumac, a spice from a dried berry that has a tart flavor. Serve as a warm side and enjoy it cold for lunch leftovers.
Pan-Roasted Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini and Sumac From Gjelina: Cooking From Venice, California by Travis Lett
Ingredients:¼ cup tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
Kosher salt
2 medium heads romanesco, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch florets
¼ cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon ground sumac
Flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
In a small bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons cold water. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil and add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is thin enough to drizzle; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a large frying pan coated with olive oil over high heat, cook romanesco, cut-side down, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes; turn over and cook until underside is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add raisins, season with kosher salt and cook, stirring, until raisins soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and steam, stirring, until romanesco is fork-tender; transfer to a serving platter and top with tahini sauce, sumac, sea salt and olive oil. 
Photography by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott

This post was adapted from

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