Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guest post

Guest post by Rebecca Abraxas:

Getting your Digestive System on track and your Health Back
Good health and nutrition go hand in hand. The food we eat and how we supplement our diet play large roles in our health. As athletes, our bodies need adequate nutrition. When we work hard, our bodies require more nutrients than the average person.
Many of us already choose organic foods, focus on getting enough protein and make sure we take the right vitamins and minerals. We pat ourselves on the back for this, yet we may not feel as good as we could. Deep down, we know we could feel better.
Here is a question I would like you to ponder: What is the condition of your digestive system? The health of your digestive system is EXTREMELY important to your overall health. It contributes to feeling good and helps with energy levels. Some signs of possible digestive disturbances are: gas and bloating, food sensitivity, allergies, indigestion, irregular bowl movements (we should be having about 2 effortless BMs a day), decreased immunity function, autoimmune troubles, puffiness in the face, discoloration in the inside of the iris, etc. Are you getting the picture that digestive issues are highly common and affect all the systems of the body?
When your digestive system is challenged, absorption of nutrients becomes difficult. This means all the good nutrients we are putting in our bodies don't help us as much as they could. How do we heal the digestive system? Here are a few places to start:

1-Eat slowly
2-Manage your stress levels
3-Take a good probiotic
4-Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, especially if you are on a high-protein diet
5-get enough fiber in your diet
6- consider the right combinations of foods for a balanced diet
7- take supplements such as L-glutamine to protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract 
8- TAKE ALOE to soothe and regulate the digestive system, which will help with the absorption of nutrients 
9- take highly absorbable supplements (preferably liquid)
When our digestive system is healthy, other systems in the body are more likely to function at an optimal level. Health can only occur or be restored when the body can absorb the basic nutrients that we consume. When our digestive systems are functioning properly, our muscles and joints function better too.  Our hearts, nerves and brains are functioning better. Our breathing is better. Our emotional and mental health is more stable. Our endurance and stamina are better, and all of this translates into better training results.
If you are curious about a highly absorbable ALOE PRODUCT that contains many trace minerals and micro nutrients that benefit the digestive system and nourish the whole body, visit me at: 
Cheers to getting our digestion on track and our health back!
Rebecca Abraxas, BS Wellness Educator, Lifeforce Member

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interview with Zachary Tipton

I mentioned some time ago that I was a DJ for a small local station here in Boulder. I can't even begin to explain how much I miss those days. There's something very uplifting about being surrounded by incredibly cool and talented people. Because the station was one of those underground operations, we were sometimes considered a bunch of misfits, but our mission was to give a voice to the community. More than promoting a "fuck the man" statement, pirate radio for me was about changing outdated regulations and giving the airwaves back to the people. Certain individuals sometimes look at pirates and assume they are a bunch of rebels without a cause, but most of us were involved in supporting local bands, helping charities and covering news that the mainstream media seemed to be missing. 
When I was involved with the station, I had some incredible opportunities to conduct interviews with amazing people. A few that stand out in my mind are: Josh Rushing, Hosea Rosenberg, Joanna Blakeman and Aimee Heckel. In addition to regular interviews, I was lucky enough to be involved in conducting question and answer segments as part of the live band sets on the air. Quite often, I was blown away by the talented musicians who rolled through the studio. I'm not sure what it was about Zach and Adam, but the interview I did with Young Coyotes was one of the most thought-provoking sessions I have done in radio. We discussed everything from music to politics. 
More recently, I caught up with Zach on facebook. I was happy when he agreed to answer a few questions. I wanted to know and share what he has been doing since the last time I saw him. 

The following is an interview with Zachary Tipton

Last time we did an interview, you were part of Young Coyotes. How have things changed since then?
I have worked on a full length record for about a year and a half now. I have gone through a few different names since then, but I will release this record under the name Mister Zach.
For people who didn't get to hear the first interview, when did you get into music, and how did it happen?
I remember a few records my mom had around the house: Steely Dan's Aja, Santana's Greatest Hits, and Carole King's Tapestry. I don't mind having strong memories associated with those albums, but I liked how I felt when I sang along to them. When I turned thirteen, my mom's then-boyfriend helped me purchase a bass and amp. I practiced a few hours a day and tried to slap my way into the record books. By the time I had turned eighteen, I could play a few songs on guitar and started singing for a band I didn't like. It took me years to understand how people made music, but I try to learn something new as often as I can.
How did you come up with the new name of your band?
I work at a tutoring place sometimes, and my name tag reads: Mister Zach. Over the past year, people have called me that even without the name tag. I guess it just stuck. I have heard that folks from the South use it in a colloquial way, but that doesn't devalue it in my opinion.
Again, for anyone who didn't hear the first interview, do you have other hobbies outside of music?
I love to paint portraits of the people and animals in my life. College takes up most of my reading material, but I won't go anywhere without a book.
What are some things that inspire your lyrics?
I soak up reality like a sponge and eject my experience through sound and words made by my mouth and fingers. Books help too.
What are your thoughts on how music is distributed these days? How do you feel about illegal downloads?
People need to adapt and accept the situation. I haven't found a rule of law in capitalism that says money must flow into the hands of people who create things. If I take money out of the equation, what do I have? I have a digital artifact that will make its way around the internet and will allow people from all over the world to find something I created. If we don't kill ourselves and/or the internet, each uploaded song could last longer than other formats. As an extra bonus, the possibility of a digital miner from the future finding and liking one of my songs adds a special quality to the whole process.
Any thoughts on pirate radio?
I fully support pirate radio. Everyone should have the option of expressing their opinions and tastes without imposing them onto others.
Where do you feel you are heading?
Because I have an unfortunate vantage point, chance will always supersede my actions. I love the habit of making music. Since I have that, I try not to question the future.
Zach will be releasing a new album in March. Keep up with Zach on twitter for all the details:

Or on Myspace:

Young Coyotes

I am The Dot interview

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Advertising - warning, possible triggering content and images.

Late night infomercials make humans look like the most incompetent species on the planet. After midnight, people can be seen poking eardrums out with Q-tips, scratching heads while wondering how toilet paper and blankets work, exposing boobs and stomachs that can't be contained by regular clothing and attempting to hide limp penises or butts that don't look like those found on models and strippers. Plagued with chronically dull knives, we search for the one kitchen gadget that will top all others. We long for fresher body odor and healthier cereal choices. Hair: We have too much it or not enough in the right places. We are incapable of training or dogs or simply don't have the energy to take them outside, so they must resort to peeing on fake grass indoors. It's all too much, and fuck it, who can crack an egg without spilling its contents all over the stove in a flood of runny albumen and cholesterol-filled yellow fat? The world is HARD!

There's something really weird about this commercial:

These kinds of odd commercials don't bother me as much as ones that attempt to blur the lines between what's ethical and what's not. With the FCC's deregulation of ownership rules relating to the media, standards in the community have changed. What was not acceptable in the past is suddenly wildly encouraged. Fast food advertisers and fashion designers are leading the race to the bottom of the integrity barrel, but we accept what is put in front of us as normal, even if it borders on pornography, degrades humans or isn't truthful. Being the celebrity-worshiping society that we are, if someone famous is featured in an ad, we embrace it even more.

Paris advertising something

Not sure who the marketing idiot was behind this one.

We don't usually expect companies of athletic wear to behave in unacceptable ways, but it happens. Recently, a gym in Germany affiliated with Reebok ran a "Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout" ad campaign. Fortunately, there was a universal facepalm and complaints that resulted in the company issuing an apology and pulling the ad. What's surprising is that anyone thought this was a good idea. Somebody had to think up the concept behind the campaign, and someone else had to approve it before more people ran the ad.

More and more, it seems businesses are skirting any social responsibility. Robert Vaux, professor and writer, states the following about social consciousness in advertising:

"Ethical advertising refrains from appealing to "base" human emotions such as fear, greed or lust, according to Carroll College. It remains positive and optimistic, and doesn't exploit stereotypes based around race, gender, religion or age. Unethical advertising, on the other hand, will prey upon the baser emotions of its target audience. For instance, it will raise fears for the audience's health if they don't purchase the product, or rely on sexually explicit images to generate interest rather than the virtues of the product itself. Unethical advertising will also make use of socially reprehensible imagery: depicting minorities as stupid or incompetent, for example, or women as dehumanized objects of sexual conquest."

Though I have posted some images before, the following are some of the more shocking ones that have been used in advertising and fashion. Sometimes a picture truly is worth more than what can be written or said.

Again, some of these might be triggering, but I put them out there to show how far companies and the fashion industry have strayed when it comes to ethics:

A 12-year-old model made to look much older

Life Force International

I normally don't advertise products on my blog, except when promoting specific chocolates, of course, but years ago when I first started taking care of myself after years of starvation, these products helped me feel more nourished. A friend of mine is now selling them, and she wrote the following little blurb about how the products can benefit runners. Anyone interested in the many products available can contact her. The contact information is at the bottom of this post.

I really liked this product .
From Rebecca:
While running is a way of life for many women, it could be doing women’s bodies a huge disservice. Recent studies have shown that some women who run long distances have lower bone density than women who are sedentary. In fact, some findings have shown young women runners with a bone density that compares to that of a 80 year old woman. Low bone density can be a sign of osteoporosis and can lead to a high risk of bone fractures. Not fun for the active woman!
What can you do? ( because giving up running is not an option!)
1- Include more weight training activity in your workouts.
(while running is weight bearing and better for your bone health then swimming, running too much can actually reduce bone density.)
2- Eat a balanced diet that includes healthy fats and lean proteins to help create strong muscles.
3- Support your body with proper calcium and bone-building supplements.
4- Maintain a regular menstrual cycle (Irregular periods are a sign that hormone levels are out of balance, and this has a negative effect on bone health.)
5- Support your body for optimal training results: stay hydrated, make sure you are getting trace minerals in your diet,
Do your research ladies. How best can you support your radiant health while still running and Training? Any questions on where to go from here with supplement help, please contact me:
Rebecca Abraxas BS in Wellness Education /Independent Rep for Life Force International    

Monday, January 21, 2013


My creative juices are dehydrated at the moment. I'm in one of those periods in which I can't string together two coherent sentences unless they look like something found in a Dick and Jane book. I'm going to attempt to get out of my rut, but sometimes writing is really a struggle for me. Apologies for not putting as much effort as I should into my blog posts lately.

It was impossible to avoid talk of the Lance interview. People seem to be reacting strongly to the news, even though the information coming out is about as shocking as describing the sky as blue. Those who are outraged have every right to be. I don't quite understand the others who somehow feel the need to defend him in any way. He comes off as such a self-serving prick that it's hard to feel anything other than disgust for him, though I try to at least understand what he was facing when he made the many poor decisions he did. As far as this idea that he somehow changed how people think about cancer, people in the Stanground movement should not forget all the non-profits and people working daily to increase cancer awareness and raise money -- money that actually goes directly to the cause -- people like Joanna Blakeman who has been working tirelessly since her son died of a rare form of cancer years ago. If the cheater gave you some personal inspiration, that's great, but don't assume he did a ton for cancer research when there are people dedicated to doing just that and do it without recognition.  

I don't think I can address the circus better than Lauren did in her post here: Lauren's open letter to lance. To be honest, I'm just not that interested in the guy. I did sneak a few peeks at the big O interview, but all I got out of it was this feeling that Lance can't seem to fully take responsibility for his actions or admit that what he did was truly shady. Sounding like a more arrogant version of a certain someone who didn't inhale, he dribbled out some statements about how he only took a little bit (as if that makes doping any less of a crime) and went into the literal definition of cheating (Ya cheated, lance. Admit it. Stop with the fucking parsing and admit that what you did was wrong.) In the end, he rationalized a lot and tried to make it sound like the rest of us are being too judgmental without quite getting the big picture of why people are so upset. 

By the way, Lance, you weren't exactly accurate with your definition of of cheating. I know you desperately wanted to make it look like others are too stupid to understand what the word means, but, as with many words, there are several definitions. In fact, I didn't find your definition in any of the dictionaries I checked. You may want to believe that the word is limited to being defined as a person taking an unfair advantage over others, but there's more to it than that.
Be sure to note #2 in this entry. Oh Hell, just look more closely at all of them:




verb (used with object)
to defraud; swindle: He cheated her out of her inheritance.
to deceive; influence by fraud: He cheated us into believing him a hero.
to elude; deprive of something expected: He cheated the law by suicide.
verb (used without object)
to practice fraud or deceit: She cheats without regrets.
to violate rules or regulations: He cheats at cards.
to take an examination or test in a dishonest way, as by improper access to answers.
Informal. to be sexually unfaithful (often followed by on  ): Her husband knew she had been cheating allalong. He cheated on his wife.

I'm pretty sick of the whole brouhaha. I don't want to listen to more whining about how Lance is a product of the "Win at all costs" system, or how much it must hurt that poor little lost Lance has fallen from hero status. I agree with Lauren that cheaters should be faced with something more than a slap on the wrist when they are caught. Suspend the assholes for life and make the ban bleed into all competitive sports, not just the one in which they were caught. There's no room in true sports for cheaters....or so I like to tell myself.

This shit makes me grumpy.

In other news, I started the day one year older. Breakfast included some samples of dessert followed by a nap. I'm heading out for a run in the sunshine soon, and I think I'm going to try sneaking beans into another recipe later. The weekend was pretty fucking sweet and ended with a yummy dinner at a great little Thai restaurant in Boulder. God, I love spicy food. It has been a good string of days celebrating.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Holy bean, Batman!

I rarely cook or bake these days. In one of my recent posts, I mentioned that I used to be a cook and then a dessert chef at a local Italian restaurant. I went through a period where I was creating healthy versions of everything from muffins to truffles at home too. Sometimes the desserts I made were a little too healthy for people. The alternative versions of chocolate chip cookies and brownies I baked were surprisingly good, even though my brother often compared them to rocks. One year, I decided to pull a prank on him on his birthday. I'm not a big prankster. When I go for one, though, I go all out, so I made him a cake. How many people can see where this is going? Yes, it was healthy, very healthy. The thing must have weighed eight pounds. It was dense and filled with whole grains, apples, maybe a grated vegetable to two and a tiny amount of maple syrup. In the past, I had always made a normal dessert for the occasion, so the disappointment was visible when my brother eyed the round brick that I brought to the table. Trying to make the best of it, he kept his mouth shut when, as he tried to cut it, the knife got stuck, though I could detect a slight smile at the corner of his mouth itching to become a full laugh. Before he worked a slice out of the block of hearty cake, I pulled out the real dessert I had made earlier: a beautiful pastry cream tart with a flaky crust and poached peaches on top. I have never seen anyone express more relief! Oddly enough, the fake cake tasted pretty good. It was more like a nutrient infused muffin, but it wasn't bad at all. The tart was fantastic.

When I go to any of the many health food stores in town and grab something from the prepared food section, I always ask myself why I don't bother to cook and bake more. Then I remember how tiring cooking can be, especially when it's done on sore feet. It's something that I would like to do, though. A few weeks ago, I saw that Chocolate for Breakfast had posted a recipe for brownies made with black beans. It sounds crazy, but I was intrigued. I always like the idea of sneaking healthy ingredients into yummy tasting foods. In fact, about a week ago, I experimented with a chocolate smoothie recipe that contained avocado, spinach and bananas. Yuck, right? Actually, it was totally yummy. So I tweaked the brownie recipe and gave it a shot. For most people, they might be on the overly healthy side, but I liked them. They taste sort of like a cross between brownies and a flowerless chocolate cake, only they are not as decadent.

In this recipe, I used half carob and half cocoa, because my heart valve leak is affected by too much caffeine and taurine. I also used less honey and added some stevia.

Black bean brownies, OMG!
  • Beans, black, 1.5 cup (about 1 can drained) 
  • Coconut Oil, 1/4-1/3 cup 
  • Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened 1/4+ cup 
  • Baking chocolate, 1 square (1 oz) melted
  • egg white, fresh, 2 large or 3 small 
  • Egg, fresh, 1 large 
  • Vanilla Extract, 1 tsp 
  • Almonds, 1/3 cup, whole 
  • Semisweet chocolate, 1/3-1/2 cup large chips 
  • Honey, 1/3 cup or other sweetener
  • pinch salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an eight-inch backing dish.

Chop almonds in a blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chips and blend until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into pan. Bake about 35 minutes until done.

Serves 12
(In my case, it serves 6. ha!)

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Weather for Boulder, CO

7°F | °CSatSunMonTue
Chance of SnowChance of Snow ShowersMostly SunnyMostly Sunny
Light Snow
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 79%28°-2°14°-2°21°43°23°

Apparently I woke up in Antarctica. I thought yesterday was cold with the gusty winds, but it was a good 30 degrees warmer. I still cut my run short and jumped on the bike for a solid workout. It turns out my heart and lungs are somewhat fit; it's the rest of my body that's struggling. In other words, if I were completely sound, I might be running a bit faster. Even on the bike, though, I favor one side. I gotta get all this figured out soon. 

I'm not sure how many minutes I will last out there today. I'm aiming for 10. 

Come on summer! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Bobby McGee posted a similar video to the one above. I can picture myself flying off the end of the treadmill with my first step, taking the spotter down in the process.

If you haven't checked out the videos on Bobby's website, be sure to do so. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Writer's obstruction

I'm having a little bit of writer's block. Well, it's not a complete blockage; my writing is just constipated. My thoughts are distracted, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. There are several projects that need my attention, but my focus is somewhere in space.

This article left me scratching my head. I could post a bunch of articles like this one or reference several studies and surveys pointing to eating disorders in lower income families to counter Michaela's misconceptions about the illness, but I think most people who have studied eating disorders even a little bit know how ridiculous statements like hers sound. Any time someone tries to over simplify a complex issue, the results are usually questionable, and in Michaela's case, some of the things she claims are really far off base. I will just leave it by saying that I'm stunned that anyone who has gone though the illness would claim it's a "middle-class disease." Clearly there's something lacking in her research if that's the conclusion she came to after battling anorexia. I'm confused by her comment about African mothers too, because Africa is a pretty big continent. I can't imagine every mother in every single country there behaving the same way or having the same parenting philosophy. 

*****    *****    *****    *****    *****    *****    *****    *****

I've been thinking about advertising and how desensitized the viewing audience has become lately. Wait, let me back up a little bit... I don't want to go there yet.

The other day some kid came into the place where I work and started saying some pretty disrespectful things about a piece of art in the gallery. There were other people shopping there, and while I'm fine with free speech, I'm not OK with anyone making a fucking scene, putting everyone else in an uncomfortable situation. I told him to was OK to have an opinion, but requested that he keep his derogatory comments down, as in nobody wants to hear you yelling about what you think, good or bad. In front of his father, he not only spoke to me in an exceptionally condescending manner but rolled his eyes and at one point came close to mocking me. I didn't handle it exactly the way I wanted, but I was firm without being an asshole. Looking back, I really, really wish I would have stepped into the asshole role and demanded that the brat leave. My boss would have done that, no question. She would have added a few choice words too. I mean, who the fuck does this kid think he is? It might be a bit of a stretch, but I have a feeling that this punk wouldn't have reacted the way he did had a guy been doing the talking. What pissed me off the most is the kid's pussy father who stood there and watched his offspring behave like a schmuck and didn't do a fucking thing. Now I wish I would have gone into a rant about ignorance and proper behavior instead of attempting to be rational with a reptile.

I'm upset because it's part of a trend I'm seeing more and more. I believe it has to do with two things: the laissez-faire attitude most parents seem to have when raising kids and this anything goes atmosphere created by the media.

What is it with people lately? I'm kind of disgusted.

Now that I have backed up, I don't feel like going forward. I guess this will be a two part post. I'm avoiding writing about running, which isn't going too well. I'm glad I can get out, but I have lost my motivation. I'm trying to focus on improvement rather than the little pains here and there.

While I try to compose some coherent sentences for the next post, please enjoy the following: Bernstein: A Letter From Lance Armstrong « CBS Chicago

Friday, January 4, 2013

Grr mode

This week hasn't been all that great so far, except for a nice meeting with a friend yesterday and an unexpected day off work on Tuesday. Since I was on my way to work when I got the news that my boss decided to take new year's day off, I headed to the Boulder Book Store where everything was 25% off, even on items already on sale. I purchased a calendar for my mom and a $4.00 used book for myself. When I got home, I figured I would do some writing, read a little and maybe do a load of laundry. Instead, I took an extra long nap and barely cracked open the new reading material. Considering I didn't stay up late celebrating, it's strange that I was so fucking tired.

In addition to dealing with excessive fatigue, I've had to get through two very uncomfortable situations in the last two weeks, one at work and one outside the job. Sometimes dealing with the public is a challenge, especially when alcohol is involved, and there's no doubt that working on the mall increases my chances of running into drunk people. The first incidence had to do with a customer being a little too aggressive and insulting. Though I stood my ground, I wasn't very happy about feeling badgered and somewhat vulnerable. Even though I refrained from physically escorting the guy out the door, I was thinking how great it would feel to do so. I have only put my hands on someone once, and that was because he was clearly a threat and probably not right in the head. The fact that he was probably 2.5 times my size didn't stop me, but it probably should have. My tendency is to either jump in with both feet or back off completely. I never know which reaction will be dominant.

The second more recent incident made me realize that I'm afraid of my own anger as much as I'm afraid of other people's aggression. I'm not 100 percent sure if I feel I might react inappropriately and do something I will regret or that I will regret NOT doing something. Maybe it's a little of both. Once, not long after my dad died and my emotions were a bit all over the place, a lady driving as if she were the only one on the road stopped for no apparent reason and then backed into my car. I had stopped and was waiting behind her, wondering why she was just sitting there, and before I could react, she plowed into me. She got out and started screaming at me, as if I had done something wrong. At first I got out and calmly explained that she had backed into me. When she kept barking, I sort of snapped. It was the first time I was honestly afraid I might take someone down. Rather than end up with a record, I forced my fiery self to get back in the car. I knew if I didn't, it might not end well. There's no denying the deep well of repressed anger inside me. In that case, the situation was a bit extreme because of the emotional edge I had slipped over with the recent death of a family member. Still, I can surprise myself with getting into things sometimes, so walking away doesn't always seem like a bad choice, though I wonder if it has become a habit these days. I can get so overwhelmed and quickly fed up with situations.

I guess when someone is in my space talking too loudly or yelling at me in a condescending way, I sometimes react poorly. I'm sure the uncomfortable feelings I experience have something to do with my past. I find it odd that people are shocked at an intense counteraction after being on the attack though. It's a space thing more than anything for me. Someone yapping at me at a close distance is going to get a stronger reaction than a nobody shaking his fist at me down the road. It's true that when I'm dealing with a flood of emotions, I will react more quickly and often without thinking things through, but I don't think that's anything out of the ordinary. Considering that the behavior of others can't be predicted, it might be a good move to get out of the way before anything happens. What really pisses me off, though, is that my reaction is considered by a few to be "crazy", when what's really fucked up is any guy, especially a guy I don't know, getting in my face in the first place. I guess I will never be OK with that, and, unfortunately, it has happened more than once.

Maybe walking away isn't such a bad thing when reasoning and speaking calmly doesn't seem to be working.

Are you a fight or flounce kind of person? If you're a fighter, do you keep it calm or get physical?