Archive for the ‘approaching the natural’ Category

Listen in to the awesome small stepper philosophy of Mr. Sid Garza-Hillman of the Approaching the Natural Podcast.

My great fear relating to my new-found positive eating habits has been what happens when I am taken outside my comfort zone. What happens when I am removed from my safe zone – my Blendtec for morning green smoothies, produce in my garage fridge and my healthy bread and black bean or veggie burgers in the freezer at work. Not to mention the cooler I carry with carrots, bananas, apples, oranges, grapefruit … you get the idea. I was so concerned with this that I had considered making green smoothies to take with me. TSA doesn’t allow liquids of my proportions through security and there wasn’t time to check bags due to my half day at work.

What I did was to pack my little cooler with things I thought would travel well. I brought snap peas and cashews. I put a bunch of bananas in my roller bag. I brought my water cup empty to fill up after going through security. It was a good thing I brought the cup because we waited for several hours due to weather in L.A. and had to switch from LAX to Burbank as a destination. There was SO much turbulence that there was no drink service on our flight. My daughter, Lizzy, and I had our water. At the PHX airport they had this really cool water dispenser at the drinking fountain in the low C gates with a counter where it said it had saved 45,131 plastic water bottles. I am a huge fan of NOT using plastic water bottles. Bring your own container and fill it up, people! Carrot sticks and blueberries rounded out my supplies with some Kid Z Bars from the pantry. I eat the iced oatmeal ones if the kids don’t – they are great to keep in the car if I grab a run after work.

Once we hit town and walked outside with no rental car reserved since it was $62 / day for a purse-sized car here compared to $18 at LAX we went to Super Shuttle. I had called the hotel and found out that they enforce $18/day for parking at our hotel near old Pasadena, so we took the $32 shuttle AND ate our Subway that we brought with us from home. The rain and Friday rush hour traffic are best left to the locals anyways. We got a great driving tour from a local passenger while we drove. The fact that we are on the road with no car in a strange place energizes me. Once we settled in, I immediately searched for a market on my phone and found a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods along with an old town area that had crazy amounts of restaurants. My gymnast, happy to be settled in and full from her Subway, bid me farewell for an hour. I emptied my backpack to carry treasures found and head out INTO THE DRIVING RAIN!

Being from Phoenix, I quickly reached ecstasy since it hasn’t rained on me in many months. Though it was raining so hard that I couldn’t look at my phone for directions, I ran. I crossed a freeway bridge and I don’t remember that from looking at directs before, but that’s fine – I have an hour. I explore the streets of Pasadena and eventually find myself in front of a place called City Thai. Cool. I walk in, dripping, and explain that I will order their best dish and then return to pick up (I think this was good for them due to my appearance). I had them make Pad Thai with tofu for me, vegan-style, and add some chicken on the side for Lizzy. My order in place, I continued my quest for Whole Foods.

I quickly found Central Park. Very cool, but the size of a small town park center square, but still cool. I felt some stress over the food timing sneak in, but the rain and the run soon made those concerns evaporate. The two-story market appeared on my right. It was so big city compared to places in Phoenix because you had to climb steps up from the sidewalk to get to the entry and exit doors where there was an elevator that brought you up from underground parking. I stepped in to a more familiar environment even though this was my first time into the store (Sprouts was my go to in Phoenix). I was greeted by Engine 2 Diet on a stand inside the door. I knew I wasn’t going to make it back in ten minutes to pick up my food (if I even found the place again). I found a couple of green smoothies in a bottle that fit my morning style and felt as if the store was too small – I couldn’t find any beer… I asked directions and found there was a second floor. Wow, are you kidding me!?! There was a center food prep area that had pizzas being made and all sorts of awesome things that would have cost me two hours if I wasn’t tight on time. J I found a six-pack of Bison Chocolate Stout made with Peruvian cocoa (not from bison), a box of Kashi Crunch (Lizzy and I love cinnamon crumble) and this awesome organic chocolate bar for Lizzy (her only request). Later we discovered that the bar wrapper, when unfolded, had a map of how they made the bars and rivaled a Willy Wonka-style cool way to do things.

Back out into the rain with my bag of food partially stuffed into my backpack. The trick to running with a six-pack of bottled beer is to be in better shape than I am. I didn’t want shaken up beer, so I had to carry the beer in front by the backpack handle. I don’t typically carry stuff like that when I run. I guess it falls into the begin-with-the-end-in-mind mentality, but really doesn’t let you RUN. I did find my Thai food and then cut through Central Park, just so I said I could, past the Del Mar train station and found my way back without spilling my food. Walking and jogging in the rain is so much better than NOT doing anything. It took me 4.4 miles to travel about a mile (if I knew where I was going). Now THAT is how I like to do things. Take what would be ordinary and turn it into the extraordinary.

Spending my 46 ½ birthday with my daughter was nice. Traveling and just hanging out and watching Mall Cop while she eats grilled cheese from the hotel restaurant. Life is good, just focus on making each moment into a memory and you will live a full life.

As I was getting ready to post – A quick shout out to Sid Garza-Hillman – great Spreecast today. I have some insights for you based on others that I watched.

Mark
@MochaVegan
from Pasadena, CA

This is for my friend, Sid, from Approaching the Natural. He is doing his first Spreecast on Saturday. I think I should do a post on how to set one up and what it is all about! Have fun, everyone.

Check it out here: http://www.spreecast.com/events/qa-with-sid-garza-hillman?share=email_144719140891266bb84

Mark Phipps
Founder
@mochavegan
Coffee, chocolate and whole plant-based foods
Phone: 480.331.8561 | Email: Mark | Web: mochavegan.com

What do you think the most unnatural position is for the human body? Think back to how we must have been for thousands of years: gathering food, moving from place to place for new food sources, following a herd of animals…

Sitting. Sitting drives me crazy!! Mornings are nice because I get to shower, make my smoothie and bounce around a bit before the sitting begins. Time to head to work, about 21 miles each way in traffic. In traffic that is 40-60 minutes on your butt just to park and walk inside to assume the position again. (Later I will talk about the positives of that commute, but I am sticking to the complaining for now.) Into your chair. 8-10 hours later with some standing for food and bathroom breaks and it is time to get back in the car and head the other way for a total daily commute and work aggregate of 10-12 hours! HALF of the calendar day firmly parked.

What to do?

For those who can bike commute, that is a great alternative when you don’t have to leave the office that day (need your car). When I ride to work it takes me 80-90 minutes and I am exhilarated, PLUS I get to ride home, too. Can’t do it often but I love it when I can.

If you have to drive, enroll in ‘Drivetime U’. I heard this phrase from Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect. Instead of listening to music or the news, I started by listening to Darren’s book on disc. I probably listened to the thing four times through before I decided to take that advice and began to explore other audio books. I would download Kindle versions and then use audible for the book being read TO me, many times by the author. Podcasts are another great medium to enjoy while driving. I am ready to launch my first podcast in the near future with what I have learned this way.

Your time at work should be focused with scheduled breaks. Ensure you plan on getting up periodically throughout the day. If your office permits, sneak in a few pushups or stretches when you are up to keep the productive juices flowing. It seems that 90 minutes is about the longest you can truly sustain focus, so stay hydrated and that will help force you to take breaks as well!

Find time for a walk or jog either during lunch or walk if you have a long telephone call and the weather cooperates. You might find yourself a lot more cheerful with an outdoor environment.

If none of these things help, you will want to schedule your time for moving your body. I am not saying work out because I want to be clear that moving your body means just that. Move more than is comfortable. If you don’t even walk, try parking a little further from your destination. If you walk, try adding in thirty seconds of jogging. Add in something that stretches your typical effort.

Whatever you decide to do, make it sustainable. Do something that you can easily do every day. If you find it is too challenging, do less. If it is super easy then do more. Remember that the goal is to find balance in your life. Like Sid Garza-Hillman says in his Approaching the Natural Podcast, take small steps. Don’t expect instant results. Small steps, good habits repeated over time will yield surprising results.

What can you add into your routines that will start you on a path towards a happier life?

 

Sunday morning (in just under 8 hours) I get to run my first half marathon as a plant based athlete. Though I haven’t specifically been training for this, I expect to run it faster than I have ever covered the distance before. If not, that is okay, but I feel SO good running on plants that I feel like the sky is the limit, even at age 46.

My first half marathon was the year after my mom died at age 54 from complications related to morbid obesity. That first race at 1:54 or so is my fastest out on a road (treadmill is easier). I cried during that race wishing she could have enjoyed what I was doing. I felt like she was watching from that point around mile eight and finished growing progressively faster each mile. I am going to put on a show for Mom tomorrow.

My wife Lynn, will be running the half tomorrow. She has been training for it and I expect her to be pleased with her results. It is a cool event called the Lost Dutchman. They have a variety of distances. I have done the marathon twice, I think 2006 & 2008, but never the half. It should be low to mid fifties at 7:11 sunrise and the race will be fast and cool.

Think happy thoughts and I will see you all at the finish!

Mark

@mochavegan