Barefoot Natural Running & Naked Foot 5K!

Contributed by Amanda Loudin of MissZippy1


I love this picture--see the difference between mid foot and heel striking?
The fun race tee
Ever since concentrating on changing my form, one of my bucket list items has been to run a 5k in bare feet. So when I won an entry to the DC version of the Naked Foot 5k a couple of weeks ago, how could I not go?
Let’s be clear–my goal was to run a bare foot 5k, not race one. I haven’t done enough miles completely bare foot to make racing a 5k reality, but I knew I could run it. I drove down to the race location in Meadowbrook Park in Bethesda. A beautiful park, btw. I met up with a couple of friends from home and we decided to warm up on the course. I did this in shoes and as we headed into the wooded section of the course, I kind of second guessed whether or not I should attempt this. There was a nice stretch of gravel, for starters, which is NOT friendly to bare feet. Then there was the single track in the woods. While it was a nice hard-packed dirt trail, there were still plenty of sticks and stones that worried me. After the wooded section, the course went back to pavement, where I figured I’d be most at ease.

With Katherine and my friend Hazel pre-race
We finished the warm up and then I located Katherine of Neon Blonde Runner, who also won an entry to the race. Katherine is a sweetheart and so easy to chat with.She’s also got a lot of running talent and is just getting started–she hasn’t even scratched the surface with where she is going. It was great to connect with her.
Soon we lined up, me in my bare feet, and we were off. The grassy section we started on was great, as was the first section of pavement. Then we hit the gravel and woods. I had to drastically slow down to make it across this section, but then once I got into the woods, I felt comfortable again. In fact, I caught myself smiling a big smile back there–I love trail running. Then it was back onto the pavement again.
This is where the bottoms of my feet started to scream at me, which surprised me. I thought the woods and grass would be my biggest challenge, but no, it was the very porous black top and concrete. By the final section back in, I was jonesing for some grass–I could feel blood blisters on my toes and soles of my feet. Finally the sweet relief of the grass was in sight and I finished off the race. A slow time, but that was my plan anyhow. The success was in running a 5k in my bare feet.
I had a blast at this event–it was low key, full of other bare footers, minimalist runners and a smattering of traditionally shod runners. Everyone was out there to
have a good time and explore the world of natural running. Katherine tore up the course, finishing in third place overall!

Not so pretty feet post race
When I finished, my first goal was to get to the car, clean up my feet, and get some shoes on. After returning home, I did a more thorough job of cleaning up the sore spots, applied some Aquaphor and bandaids, and spent the remainder of the day walking gingerly. Yes, I paid a price for this one, but it was worth it. Goal accomplished. I smiled all day thinking about it.
Would you/have you ever considered running a race in bare feet? Why/why not? 

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Fantastic Frugal Healthy Snacks & Meal!

Contributed by Courtney Horan, Author of the healthy living blog Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life.
It appears as if SOMEbody must have used up all of their energy this morning…
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This was the site I came home to after finishing up a shift at the gym this morning. I had quite a few chuckles to myself because he just looked so darn cute, funny and comfy, all at the same time.
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Are all of my non-cat-loving friends out there sick of seeing him yet today? Winking smile
While I was at work this morning, I had a little bit of time to spare so I hopped on an elliptical for an easy 30 minutes while watching Top Gun in the cardio cinema. Good, classic movie…I have no problem working out with a little pre-crazy Tom Cruise in my sights.
Once I got home, I put together one of my favorite mid-morning snacks as of late.
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Pairing a banana SOYJOY bar with a little bit of peanut butter is where it’s at.
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I haven’t tried the peanut butter with any other flavors besides banana, but I think the strawberry would go pretty fantastic with some Nutella. Just sayin’.
FYI: From now until July 15, 2012, SOYJOY is offering a free shipping coupon code for the SOYJOY e-store! The code: SUMMERJOY.
A couple hours later, after working on some client programs, I took a break to make some lunch.
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A buffalo chicken wrap made with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and mustard, all on a LaTortilla Factory whole wheat wrap. On the side, I also threw together a random mix of leftover corn and sugar snap peas that I found in the fridge.
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Definitely a delicious meal.
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Now it’s about time to get back to work…is the day flying by for anyone else? Yikes!

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5 Free Human Trainer Workout Videos

The Human  Trainer By Astone Fitness is a great versatile workout tool that can thoroughly work the whole body. TIME TO TRAIN TODAY!!






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Training Tip: Benefits of Frugal Cardio

Cardio Is Great For More Than Just Burning Fat!



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3 Frugal Feast Healthy Cooking Videos

Enjoy these simple, quick, and tasty cooking vids! Commence Frugal Feasting!




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Frugal Healthy Recipe: Easy Walnut Pesto

By Marissa Bognanno, Professional Chef & Zumba Instructor, and Author / Owner of THE BOOT BLOG

"Wow, a morning at the beach makes you really hungry!" said Brittany as she reached for seconds of our creation - Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad. We chopped a cucumber, some super fresh and juicy cherry tomatoes and tossed it all with al dente penne pasta and two big scoops of fresh pesto. I don't know, Britt, a morning at the beach makes me hungry too, but I think our pesto was just really good.
[post-beach walnut cracking!]
Easy Walnut Pesto
2 cups packed, fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese
salt + pepper to taste

Toast the walnuts for a few minutes until fragrant in the toaste. Combine all ingredients, except salt and pepper, in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper at the end.

To make the Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad: Chop one cucumber, and ten cherry tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of olive oil in a big bowl and set aside. Boil and strain about a 1/2 pound of penne pasta and toss in the bowl with 2 tablespoons of the pesto. Serve with more grated cheese.


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Frugal Sports Medicine: Wrist Pain Prevention

Some Tips To Reduce Wrist Pain & Injury During Workouts
Especially mat-based workouts like yoga, pilates, pushups, & core work


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Supplement Review: Vega Sport Performance Protein Powder


VEGA BABY! The best tasting and mixing protein might be the best for you!

Vega has probably the strongest reputation in the world for vegan, natural plant-based protein powders. This is with good reason. It has got to be the best tasting and mixing plant-based protein powder out there, and extremely healthy to boot! This product, and Vega in general, is a wonderful response to a supplement industry that is dominated by whey / casein / soy proteins (I take them as well but I admit they are all highly processed and many of us get in enough soy as it is), artificial sweeteners, and chemical preservatives. It was created by professional Ironman triathlete, vegan, and best-selling health author Brendan Brazier.

Creator of Vega Brendan Brazier
First off it is comprised of several excellent plant protein sources such as yellow pea, SaviSeed, brown rice, hemp, and alfalfa proteins. That's right, no soy protein in this bad boy. It's also dairy and gluten free as well. It also adds in extra Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's) and Glutamine for extra muscle benefits. A digestive enzyme blend is included as well to aid in the breakdown of the protein powder for improved ease of use by your body. The only other ingredients are natural flavors, stevia extract (probably the healthiest low/no calorie sweetener), and salt! Only .6 grams of fat per serving per 25 grams of protein serving size!!! Sign me up!


Honestly, after using Vega for just a few weeks now, I am seriously considering going vegetarian or even going vegan in the near or not too distant future. I've always loved my protein powder but been afraid of giving up my whey and casein, and depending too strongly on soy everything. With Vega, I know it is very feasible to make a huge improvement in your health and diversify your protein intake. It's not always the most frugal price, but you get ever penny's worth with Vega protein powder! Try it out, I know you'll love it!


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Healthier Mini Taco Cups Recipe

These tasty low fat & high protein taco cups are a fiesta for your taste buds!

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Valslide Review By Celebrity Trainer Valerie Waters


Hey Frugal Fitness Fans! As an experienced and mobile personal trainer, I've been using the Valslide, created by celebrity personal trainer Valerie Waters, for many years with clients and during my own workouts. This small but versatile piece of frugal equipment was just named the best training tool by Men's Health magazine! And with good reason. There are hundreds of great exercises and workouts you can do with these things, at home or on the go. Just find a carpet and use your creativity to get a great muscle group or total body workout! Strengthen muscles, get in your cardio, improve range of motion, work on your stability, and much more! I've even opted to use these in the gym setting when personal training clients, choosing them over $2,000+ machines. That is a true testament to their effectiveness in any fitness environment.


What I like to use the Valslides especially include chest flies, pushups, mountain climbers, leg extensions, leg curls, hip circles, lunges, hockey squats, planks, abdominal pikes, and more! The possibilities are really endless, and with the ability to change angles and combine them with other fitness equipment you'll never do the same workout twice. You can constantly progress with your goals of fat loss, muscle building, athleticism, flexbility, balance, and more by progressing with your workouts! Keep your workouts evolving at home, on the go, and at the gym with the Valslide!

FRUGAL VALSLIDE WORKOUT VIDS COMING SOON!!

Celebrity Trainer & Inventor of the ValslideValerie Waters






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Get ON My Internets! Round 4: Even More Praise Still For Positive Online Influencers!

These individuals are all approved by Rocky Balboa, Philadelphia's favorite son
However, Ivan Drago says "I must break you" to all of you... don't let him!




Hey Frugal Fitness Fans! Time for another round (Round IV = Rocky IV theme!) of frugalicious respect that I like to call "Get ON My Internets". Each installment salutes the positive & healthy online influencers out there working hard in cyberspace (and in the real world), instead of tearing them down like the chumps at Get Off My Internets. Each of these individuals does an amazing job in helping to improve the health and quality of your life, so check them out or Ivan Drago will uppercut you in the face!

"He's not a man, he's a piece of iron" -Ivan Drago, Rocky IV

1) Tara Burner of Tara Burner Fitness and Much More:
Tara is a fitness and social media legend (and coach and author) that does a great job of bringing health and fitness to the masses with her great articles, videos, and guidance. She is a certified health coach, yoga instructor, and fitness trainer. I also really appreciate her support as a she also lives alcohol free, and much longer than myself, so she can give greater guidance than myself in that department. Check out her amazing websites today!
Get Her On Your Internets:  http://taraburner.com

2) Brian Cannone of Fitness Atlantic:
Brian is the founder and CEO of Fitness Atlantic, an east coast United States organization of natural bodybuilders, fitness competitors, bikini, and modeling. He has been having contests and competitions for over 13 years now and has given countless individuals opportunity to succeed and excel in the fitness and modeling industry. He's a charismatic and enthusiastic guy that loves to see people achieve their potential.
Get Him On Your Internets:  http://fitnessatlantic.com

3) Adam Shephard of "Scratch Beginnings":
Adam Shephard read the pessimistic famous book "Nickel and Dimed" and decided to create a rebuttal proving the American Dream was still alive and kicking. So he set off on his own with only $25 (now that's FRUGAL even by my standards!) and worked his way up to success and happiness in an epic struggle of rags to riches! He is also a very kind and helpful guy, who even reached out to me when I was starting off my business and writing my first book "The Frugal Diet". Check out his famous and successful book and lecture series!
Get Him On Your Internets:  http://www.scratchbeginnings.com

4) James Erdt of Fitness Star Network:
James Erdt, an accomplished fitness model, competitor, and promoter, founded Fitness Star Network several years ago. It has become a wildly successful fitness competition, modeling, and talent agency for Canada, US, and beyond. Over the years he was worked tirelessly to create a wonderful community of opportunity, support, and positive competition in the fitness community. His website helped give me some of the confidence I needed to get out there and do a bit of fitness modeling and media work. He has always been very supportive and enthusiastic every time I've talked to him and he's always working to promote his members!
Get Him On Your Internets: http://fitnessstarnetwork.com

5) Peter Swiniarksi of Nirvana Fitness:
Pete is a very passionate and experienced photographer, personal trainer, cyclist, manager, and manager in the Greater Boston and New Hampshire area. He has helped countless people improve their lives through fitness, raised a plethora of money for charitable foundations through his yearly Pan Mass Challenge participation, and has helped a lot of people and businesses with his affordable yet very skilled photography services. He's an overall great guy and happy to help others in need.
Get Him On Your Internets: http://twitter.com/peterswiniarski

6) Lisa Johnson of Modern Pilates:
Lisa is a fitness and pilates icon and has been featured worldwide in many publications and television networks. She is the proud owner of Boston's best pilates studio, Modern Pilates, which has a renown reputation. She is a true fitness media guru with hundreds of videos, articles, tips, and more to help you look and feel your best!
Get Her On Your Internets:  http://www.lisajohnsonfitness.com

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW ALL THESE WINNERS & LEARN A THING OR TWO! :)
"There Is No Tomorrow Rocky! THERE IS NO TOMORROW!!!" 
-Apollo Creed



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6 Energy Drinks & Sprays Reviewed: The Good, The Bad, and The Frugal!

OK so energy drinks aren't usually the healthiest option for a boost,
especially compared with proper workouts, diet, sleep, rest, & healthy life,
but some products are better than others nutritionally & in terms of price
HERE ARE SOME ENERGY DRINKS / SPRAYS I'VE REVIEWED:






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GNC Protein Powder Reviews! Soy, Whey, Casein, & Egg Oh My!!!!

Hey Frugal Fitness Fans! I recently decided to try out all of GNC's various types of protein powder in my quest to be the ultimate supplement and health food guru. I've tried a LOT of protein powders in my day, hundreds of brands and products actually. Not exaggerating at all, I've tried it all. It had been awhile since I had GNC 100% Whey and Soy though, and I had not tried their Casein or Egg Protein powder except in smoothies with many other ingredients so that isn't usually the best single test of a protein powder. Although I am getting into making more smoothies (posted 1 video so far but TONS more coming soon), I usually just drink a scoop of protein powder in skim milk, soy milk (light vanilla or non-flavored), or water (shaker cup) so that's how I'll be testin these bad boys out. Here is a little information about each type of protein and how they stacked up in my book:

GNC 100% Whey Protein: Whey protein, a very fast digesting protein, has the highest quality amino acid content of all protein, and this is the pure stuff without any extra carb or fat filler. Great tasting, easy to mix, rich in BCAA's and essential amino acids, plenty of glutamine, and a nice frugal price buying in big tubs! I've been taking GNC 100% Whey for about 8 years now with water, skim milk, soy milk, in smoothies, and more!


GNC 100% Casein Protein: Casein protein is a very slow digesting complete and high quality protein powder source. It is rich in BCAA's, low in cholesterol, and very high in calcium! Casein protein powder gives you the long lasting amino acid supply you need throughout the day and at night while you are sleeping to stay anabolic! I always take mine with skim milk before bed.


GNC Soy 95 Protein: Soy is one of the only non-animal sources of protein that is considered complete, which means it provides all of the essential amino acids needed by your body. It is a relatively quick digesting plant-based source of protein that has an excellent amino acid profile, heart healthy unsaturated fats, saturated fat free, and high in iron! Great for variety, vegetarians, or vegans! I've been taking more soy protein lately each day and I think it's been a good choice! The Soy 95 mixes well and tastes great in water, milk, or a smoothie! SOYLICIOUS!



GNC Egg Protein: Egg protein is an underrated source of high quality amino acids and BCAA's. It is a relatively quick digesting complete protein from natural egg white sources. This protein powder is almost completely fat free, has a whopping 25 grams of protein per serving, and is very high in potassium making it ideal post-workout for total recovery. It's great for diversifying your protein intake, mixes instantly, and tastes pretty darn good! I love me the Chocolate Supreme flavor! I usually take this post-workout with water, skim milk, or fruit smoothie. Much better than Rocky Balboa's old "Egg Protein Shakes" + no risk of salmonella :) An EGGScellent choice indeed! :p


Try these great protein powders out today & learn the real meaning of diversifying your portfolio, your protein portfolio! It will pay dividends indeed when it comes to your health, fitness, & performance!


Also Check Out My Other GNC Video Reviews!!





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Frugal Fitness World Wide Wellness
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"Crushing Fitness Costs Worldwide"

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