Monday, September 30, 2013

Steroids, Hormones, Cortisol, Fat, Cancer, Acne and Other Crap

                The facts below aren’t meant to scare you to into becoming a vegan, they’re just mean to get you to reduce your intake of meat and dairy. I really wish I would have been taught some of the things I’m about to tell you in school, but I wasn’t because companies are spending millions to get us to think eating animals is healthy in order to have the company keep making millions. I’m sure many of you reading this are like me, and grew up with meat being the center of most meals. After reading this, I hope you consider introducing Meatless Mondays into your home or better yet, try only eating meat and dairy a few days out of the week. I promise you, there are tons of delicious, filling meals you can have without meat or dairy.

What’s in your meat and dairy?

Steroids and hormones:

                The steroids make animals grow bigger faster, way faster than the animal should be growing. Hormones are injected into female cows to keep them relentlessly pregnant and lactating. (I can’t imagine how awful that would be!)Then the cows are injected with a growth hormone to double the milk they make. Since these female cows are constantly pregnant, they have way more estrogen then they should.  This extra estrogen is coming out in their milk. Then, to add to all the glorious things in meat and dairy, animals fill up with cortisol right before they die. Why? Because they sure as hell know what’s going on as they enter the kill chutes. They have beating hearts and emotions just like humans. That means they are going to experience complete terror, just as humans would in the same situation, just before they die. The release of cortisol floods their tissues and ends up in the meat people eat.

What’s this mean for your body?

                It would be complete ignorance to think that the steroids, hormones, and cortisol from animals isn’t going into the people that eat them. Let’s think about this. Do you really want the hormones that make animals bigger in you? The hormones aren’t going to make you taller, they’re going to make you wider. Then, if you’re like me and already trying to reduce the cortisol you produce, then you shouldn’t be eating animal meat that’s filled with it. Cortisol is an excellent way to pack on the pounds around your stomach.  There has also been a lot of research on the effects of this in kids. If you haven’t noticed, many kids are going through puberty sooner. Bring on the acne! Dairy is a huge cause of acne.  Also, that estrogen in milk is causing a delay in emotional development in boys. Sorry girls!

(FYI: Almond milk is awesome! I love the 30 calorie vanilla almond milk.)

If you don’t want to give up all meat, at least give up ALL processed meat!

                Bologna, hot dogs, salami, and whatever else is made from disgusting random animal parts like asses, is also filled with just as gross chemicals. The American Cancer Institute says that no amount of processed meat is healthy. This is because processed meat is known to cause cancer. Seriously, this stuff is as dangerous and can kill you. Don’t eat it. I’m not saying that because I’m vegan, I’m saying that because I care about your health!

Also, if you would like more info on this subject please check out my past blog: 
How to Defend Being a Vegetarian to Your Midwest, Meat-Loving, Family:

For more info on this subject please read:

Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

Good Medicine EXPELLED: Processed meats cause cancer. So why do schools feed them to children?

(I have to say this) I gave up meat because I love animals. Pigs are as smart and as emotional as dogs. Cows too have plenty of emotions. This is an awful thought, but now when I see people eat meat I can’t help but compare it to a person eating a dog. It’s basically the same thing and it’s really sad. It’s not just the fact animals are being killed for food, but many are being tortured even before they are killed.

"Pigs are no less intelligent, emotional, or social creatures than dogs. Calves are sensitive and playful. Chickens love to gossip with their friends. And all mothers love their babies." -Kris Carr

Run Wild, Run Healthy,


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Acupuncture and My Grossly Big Achilles

One thing I completely avoid talking about is my left Achilles. Only Sage really knew how much my Achilles affected me since he gets to see my limp around every morning and night. Even with him, I don’t feel much need to talk about it as it’s an obvious problem.

My left Achilles has been a curious thing though. I actually hurt it quite a long time ago when I was still playing basketball.  I went to a physical therapy for a few weeks and didn’t run during that time. As soon as my insurance ran out and I started playing basketball and running again I noticed it came back a bit. However I was OVER resting and monotonous physical therapy drills so I just ignored it. This worked for years and unless I did a long run with tons of vertical, it really didn’t bother me. Then a year ago, it got worse. There wasn’t a moment I knew it got worse, it just kind of did. Though my Achilles was stiff every morning and night, after a mile into a run the pain would (for the most part) subside. Thus, I’ve just been running through it and limping around whenever my Achilles wasn’t “warmed up”.
It's really amazing it doesn't hurt the whole time I'm running!

 To add to the  problem, the years of ignoring it led to the area around my Achilles growing huge! By looking at it, I figured somewhere along the lines I probably partially tore it and since it never healed a lot of scar tissue built up around it. Looking at my Achilles, I figured if I wanted it fixed a Dr. would tell me I’d have to have surgery to remove the scar tissue and I’d be out from running. After my experience with a little procedure earlier this summer, I wanted nothing to do with a hospital and a knife cutting me open (though I realize the importance of hospitals).

Oddly enough, I started giving up hope on my Achilles healing at the same time I become extremely intrigued by natural and integrative healing. Then, Sage got a great sponsorship by Integrative Healing Acupuncture & Wellness LLC here in Boulder. Miraculously, the awesome guy who helps out Sage,  Jeff Paulson (also a trail runner so he “gets it”), thought he could do something about my grossly big Achilles.

Sage using the Normatec Boots at
Integrative Healing Acupuncture & Wellness Center
I went to the appointment not knowing what to expect, but I was very open minded to anything.  Very quickly, Jeff confirmed my thoughts that I probably had partially torn my Achilles a while ago and scar tissue had built up around it. Then, much to my surprise, he said he could help heal it. All of a sudden  I had hope again. He then got to work learning about my muscles, seeing what areas were too tight and what areas were a little weak. As he did this, he shared his knowledge of the human body and I tried to take in everything I could. After trying to release some tension in my muscles, Jeff then asked me if I was willing to try acupuncture. I had no fear in agreeing to try it since I have read so many positive things about it. Plus, an extremely thin needle seemed a lot better than a knife going into my Achilles. Not to mention that I was almost positive it wouldn’t hurt as much as running up a mountain above 11,000 ft. like I had earlier in the day, nor as much as my Achilles hurts the morning after a lot of vertical and miles.

Jeff, keeping up his awesomeness, explained to me how acupuncture works and what exactly he would be doing. One by one, needles were placed in me from head to Achilles. Nothing hurt, though I will admit it was quite an unusual sensation as Jeff got my muscles to contact after a needle was placed. Then, I got a special treat I had never heard of, electro acupuncture!  I felt like a kid in a candy store (I’m obviously fascinated by this stuff).  Little electrodes we amazingly attached to the super thin needles in my left calf and Achilles. After I began to feel the steady pulse of the electrodes, they were left alone so they could do their work inside my calf and Achilles while my mind could relax.

To wrap this up:

I couldn’t have been more pleased with my experience. I really appreciate going to a place filled with nice people who understand athletes and the ways to keep them going without surgery or unnatural medicine. It really makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my body in every aspect. In May/ June when I had one doctor tell me go to other doctors to see why I wasn’t absorbing iron properly and what was going on in my stomach, I felt really uncomfortable and out of place. Since everyone at Integrative Healing Acupuncture & Wellness LLC is used to dealing with athletes and believe 110% in what they are doing, I felt like I was in the right place.

Today, one day after the appointment, I did two loops up Mt. Sanitas. Probably not my best idea, but I don’t recall thinking about my Achilles as I started up. Of course, since scar tissue has been building up for years, my problems aren’t going to go away overnight. However, with a little treatment from Jeff and doing the things he told me to do on my own, I believe that my Achilles can be healed in a way that I am comfortable with, and in a way I can keep running.

Run Wild, Run Happy,


Integrative Healing Acupuncture & Wellness LLC. 

Facebook page:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"THE SECRET" to Keeping Your Toenails

(To my non ultra running friends: Please excuse or enjoy this silly little post)

As an ultra-runner with many ultra-runner friends on Facebook, I have seen my fair share of toenails that are about to fall off or toes with no toenails. In a way, this has become a badge of honor in the ultra-running community.

“I just lost another toenail”

“Me too!”

“Nice! Let’s see how many other toenails we can get to fall off.”

These toes shall remain anonymous. (Just know that they are not mine.)

All the cool people seemed to be losing toenails and I was feeling left out. You see, Ray Zahab (i2P co-founder and crazy distance master) had told me “the secret”* of how to keep my toenails on my toes right when I started ultra running. Since learning “the secret”, I sadly had never lost a toenail.

But I wanted to be a cool kid! So when a 40 mile race with a ridiculous amount of vertical gain and loss came around, I decided to not use “the secret.”

My after thoughts: OUCH!!! You all who think losing toenails are cool are either complete bad asses or up a higher notch on the crazy level!

As I ran mile after mile of downhill, I felt my big toenails push up inside my toe. I was running hard and the downhill was already painful, so I cursed myself for the added pain on the way down. For days after the race my big toe was red and swollen. It hurt to put a running shoe on. That can’t be too healthy for my toes, right?

The result: 1)Two lost toenails to put me in the cool club* 2) A desire to never again want to be in the cool club. 3) I'm fairly sure my lost toenails don't make my feet more attractive. So much for less is more.

For those of you want to join me in my new club: I Like My Toenails on My Toes Club (ILMTOMTC for short), I will share “the secret”.

-Do this a couple days before every race and maintain for long runs during training.

1) Clip your nails down as short as you can without it hurting. (This is not a no pain, no gain scenario.)

2) Take a nail file and round the top of the toenail off so you don’t have a jagged edged toenail. (You could leave it jagged if it floats your boat.)

3) The SECRET: Take the nail file, hold it vertically, and file down the edge of your toenail. File the toenail down so there is a nice slope from the skin at the top of your toe that meets the toenail. This makes it so the toenail doesn’t have a sharp edge that can cause some painful friction with your shoe.

4) Then, if you are so inclined and want to go all out, pick a fun color to paint your toenails that will hopefully be staying on your toes. Guys you can do this too. Sure, most people will think you’re a little strange, but if it makes you happy, pick that super stylish color that will bring out the hairs on your toes.

     Lastly, if your shoes are too small or too big I take no fault in your lost toenail.

       Run Wild, Run Happy,

*Cool club- just kidding. Let’ face it, most of us are a little crazy so we’re cool as long as we’re crazy enough to think running ultras are cool.

*“The secret”- okay, so it’s not a secret. I just thought it made the post more intriguing.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Can the mind really heal itself?

This is from a page on my website. If you like this post, please share the page from my website:  Thank you! 

Can the mind really heal itself?
Can the mind heal the body?
The answer is simple. It’s yes. The actual believing that it’s possible is the hard part.
Thankfully, some fully-believing humans and research has showed us what the mind is possible of. Dr. Lisa Rankin, after feeling guilty about doctors just making problems manageable instead healing problems, dedicated the past few years to studying the power of the mind and its ability to heal itself and the body.* In one of her lectures she explains that the mind/ body has everything it needs to fight cancer and other diseases. However, whenever we become stressed, we turn off the healing parts of our brain. Thus, to truly heal diseases we have to get to the root of our real problems, and those problems won’t be solved with drugs.

(To clarify, of course there are plenty of illnesses that a person has no control over and needs modern medicine cure. However, the modern world is faced with many problems that are curable with a healthier mind and diet, not prescription drugs that just make problems manageable.)
One of the most interesting researched drugs isn’t actually a drug, people just think it is.  It’s a placebo pill and you know what, it often works just as well the drug people think they’re taking. The research is set up in a way that patients believe they are taking a real drug and the doctor tells them the positive effects they will start feeling. Amazingly, “brain scans have shown that the brain is activated in the area that creates and releases the needed chemicals to produce healing – so it is not only in  someone’s mind or imagination – there is also a physiological change” (Higher Mind Health). In other words, the patients felt better because they believed they would, and their brain was then able to produce exactly what they needed to feel better.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences made a very interesting database called Spontaneous Remission. Caryle Hirshberg and Brendan O’Regan defined spontaneous remission as “the disappearance, complete or incomplete, of a disease or cancer without medical treatment or treatment that is considered inadequate to produce the resulting disappearance of disease symptoms or tumor.” Even patients who were told they were going to die were able to have a complete recovery. A super star example of this is the author Kris Carr, star of the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer.  In 2003 Kris was diagnosed with an incurable and rare form of cancer. Well it’s been 10 years and after a commitment to integrative healing, she is feeling more alive and happy than ever. She also looks like she’s in her 20’s when she’s in her early 40s. The woman has got to be doing something right!

Back to the main topic of this website: Depression
The above paragraphs seem great, but how can the mind heal itself when it’s what is causing depression?
It’s true, the negative thoughts flooding the mind caused my depression isn’t helping. But that’s the root of the problem. People with depression believe in those negative thoughts. The negative thoughts are always false to begin with, but only in believing in them are they made real and can then negatively change the brain. Thus, the first step to believing the mind can heal itself is to realize the negative thoughts are false. Even just saying “that thought is untrue”, whether you think it is or not, will start helping the mind. Then, stating of the opposite that thought, turning it positive, will further help the mind to start the healing process. Example: “I’m not pretty. That thought is false, I am beautiful inside and out.” It doesn’t matter if the positive thought is actually believed just yet, it’s just important to believe that it will start helping the mind. To take things a bit further, the act of picturing oneself happy and fulfilled may be one of the best ways to activate the healing parts of the brain.

This website is full of ways to help your mind heal itself. This part was just to get you believing that it is possible.


*Dr. Rankin also went on to say the great things about modern medicine and that of course we need it, but we have started relying too heavily on it for diseases that are naturally curable.
Higher Mind Health:
Institute of Noetic Science:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mind over Depression/ My new website

Hey Everyone,

I've been working really hard on a new project, a website to help people heal their minds naturally and spiritually. It still needs quite a bit of work but I think it's at a place where I can at least start sharing it.

The website is:

I also made a welcome video to go with it:

Thank you for your support and encouragement!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Help Wanted

Hello Readers!

I have a new project I'm working on and could use a little help.

If anyone has any positive stories about overcoming depression naturally, knows a lot about endorphins and exercise, knows a lot about eating healthy to improve your mood, or any subject that involves improving depression naturally and spiritually, please contact me.

I'll give you more info if you think you could help.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Confessions of a...

This is probably the best, most relate-able, and honest video's I've seen.

More people need to be talking about it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Wish You Would Step Back From That Ledge My Friend

In Honor of Suicide Prevention Day- 9/10

One of my favorite assignments that I had in high school was when I got to pick a decently known song and then research why the artist(s) wrote the song.

I picked the song Jumper, by Third Eye Blind.

It’s a song almost everyone knows, and can even belt out some of the lyrics too.

I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend, 
You could cut ties with all the lies, that you've been living in, 
And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand."

Sadly, the person who the song is about didn’t step back. He jumped.

The main reason why he jumped was because he was gay.

Actually that’s not the right way to put it. He was gay and his family and the people around him believed that that wasn't acceptable. Knowing he couldn’t change, he jumped off a bridge.
“The angry boy, a bit too insane, 
Icing over a secret pain, 
You know you don't belong…”

I don’t know the person who jumped, but I’m sad he did. My best friend since 4th grade came out in a catholic school in 8th grade that he was gay, and he faced many challenges for it. I saw his pain and tears, but then I witnessed his power first hand. As I faced problems with depression and who I was at that time, he stood by my side, and reminded me that being myself was perfect. But what really amazes me about him is this:  We entered high school together and I saw how people would treat him differently and guys would try to distance themselves from him. He took it all in stride and continued to be his loud, blunt, energetic, and deeply caring self. I sensed how my peers respected this, and their opinions started to change. By the time I was a senior my friend single handedly changed how the entire school saw him and other people who were gay. Others weren’t so afraid to come out, and people weren’t afraid to be friends with people who were gay. It was an honor to witness this and see what one person could do.

This is why suicide MUST be prevented. We can’t lose people with so much positive power. We need to show them they can help change their community and the world.

As a society, we need to be more understanding of others. We must not be afraid to talk to those who are hurting. We need to show how much we care, even if someone seems “different” than us.

I know those of you who are reading this are the people who do care. Shine your light in darkness. All anybody really wants is love. We all have enough love to give, and with that we can prevent suicide.

So happy this wonderful friend was able to get around
the people who didn't understand him and shine his light.
In turn, he got others to shine their own light.
We can ALL do the same.
For more info on suicide prevention a great place to start is the non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms: 

I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend, 
You could cut ties with all the lies, that you've been living in, 
And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand. 
I would understand, 
The angry boy, a bit too insane, 
Icing over a secret pain, 
You know you don't belong, 
You're the first to fight, You're way too loud, 
You're the flash of light, On a burial shroud, 
I know something's wrong, 
Well everyone I know has got a reason, To say, put the past away, 
I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend, 
You could cut ties with all the lies, That you've been living in, 
And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand, 
I would understand. 
Well he's on the table, And he's gone to code, 
And I do not think anyone knows, 
What they are doing here, 
And your friends have left, You've been dismissed, 
I never thought it would come to this, And I, I want you to know, 
Everyone's got to face down the demons, 
Maybe today, We can put the past away, 
I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend, 
You could cut ties with all the lies, that you've been living in, 
And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand, 
I would understand, 
I would understand... 

Can you put the past away, I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend, 
I would understand

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

To see a person's darkness or see their light...

"Remember you have a choice in what you see. If you choose to see a person's darkness, you strengthen your darkness within. If you choose to see their light, you shine from the inside out." -Gabrielle Bernstein

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mantra Madness!!!

I have entered a phase which I have named Mantra Madness (I know, I know, it’s catchy.) I wake up to saying a mantra, I say a mantra whenever I have a negative thought, and sometimes I say a mantra just because the moments seems right. Mantras have become my personal defense against negativity. They don’t always make things better instantly, but they do help if I allow them to.

 (If you heard of and believe in the Law of Attraction, mantras can aid with “attracting.”)

For the most part, I have a couple mantras that I really find helpful that I have memorized and repeat to myself whenever needed and sometimes during meditation. I also have plenty of mantras on specific topics that I have written down in a little book that I look up when needed. Additionally, I have mantras posted in different places so I’m constantly reminded to think positively throughout the day.

You can put mantras as alerts on your phone, on your computer, by a mirror, on your fridge, by a picture (good for relationships), etc.

Here are some mantras I have learned. Just take what is fitting for you.

(If I didn’t write who I got the mantra from, it’s from Gabrielle Bernstein. )

To help with difficult situations:
I could see peace instead of this… –A Course in Miracles
I choose see love instead fear.
I choose to see this differently.
Body Affirmations:
I am not my body. I am free.
I am grateful for my body.
I turn my perception of my body to my inner guide. Show me what you’ve got.
I am beautiful inside and out- (me)
I am grateful for my body because…  -(me)
I do not judge. I choose to see (name’s) light and see him/her with love. –(me)
Losing weight:
I’m losing weight and feel great.  (I didn’t come up with this and I don’t remember where it came from)
Money/ Abundance:
I am grateful for what I have and I welcome all the gifts this day will bring.
Fast and strong, I run with joy. –(me)
I feel light as I run uphill –(me)
Mind/Body Healing:
My body heals as my mind heals. –(me)
My mind is healing every moment. –(me)

There are tons and tons of mantras out there. Feel free to look up mantras on any subject. Also, you can do what I did and make up mantras yourself. Sometimes this is the best thing to do as they might be more powerful to you.

Additionally, if there is an inspiring quote you like, they can act as mantras or good daily reminders as well. As you can see on the top of my blog there is always a positive quote. I also try to read the quote I posted last week by Marianne Williamson as often as I can too. Today I heard another awesome quote by Mary Oliver:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I actually heard this quoted in a TedxTalk video by Diana Nyad, the 64 year old woman who just became the first person to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to China. She tried 4 other times previously. What a great example to never give up! (Sorry for getting off track but I had to mention her.)

If you have any mantras you would like to share, please do so in a comment below. I'd love to hear from you.

Stay in the present,


Monday, September 2, 2013

The Final Decision

I’ve tried to get rid of my depression plenty of times to no avail. Yet this time I KNOW it’s going to be different, mainly because I’m changing my thoughts just a bit.

 “I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to give up on the bad days. I’m going to do everything it takes to defeat this. There is NO accepting defeat and nothing will stop me.”

I feel these statements in my heart and soul.

I think that in order to be fully in a position to try and heal your mind from depression or any negative thoughts, especially naturally and spiritually, you absolutely have to feel like you have had enough and you know things can be different.

Of course, after deciding you are going to heal your mind no matter what, ALL of the crap that your mind/ego has stored is going to come up (this is normally when I give up).

The crap in my mind has definitely come up again this time around, and I may not be handling everything as gracefully as I would like, but that’s okay. Knowing that this is okay allows me to forgive myself for my negative thoughts and to not give up. This has really helped me to not believe those negative thoughts. I can see the thoughts for what they are: fake.

When I get to the point of remembering that the negative thoughts in my head aren’t true, I make sure I immediately start using the knowledge I have gained in the past couple weeks.Using the knowledge I have gained, and surrounding myself with knowledge, has been a life saver.

Before I started this journey of naturally and spiritually healing depression, I remember I was having a bad day. I was tired of having bad days and I remember clearly praying for help, hoping there is a Higher Power out there that wanted to help me. I prayed “I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I’m afraid of getting worse again. Help me live happier. I can’t do this on my own. I need all the help I can get.”

I didn’t realize it at first but this prayer has been answered, though maybe not in the way I expected.

Since I don’t have a TV, I turned to TedxTalk videos when I felt like watching something. One day I went on to YouTube and in the “Recommended for you” section was a TedxTalk called How to be a Miracle Worker. The lecturer was Gabrielle Bernstein and I enjoyed the video but then stopped thinking about it. Then a week or two later Gabrielle popped up again. I don’t remember how but I remember learning that Oprah called Gabrielle a top spiritual leader for this generation. I started listening to Gabrielle’s lectures and reading her books. This has then led me to learn about Marianne Williamson who is an amazing author (Oprah says Return to Love is a must read) and spiritual activist, and I have requested her books from the library. It has also led me to study from Dr. Lissa Rankin who wrote the book Mind over Medicine. I don’t want to go on too much so I’ll just throw out some things I have been led to that you can look up: Kris Carr (for awesome health), The Daily Love (Facebook page and website), guided meditations that focus on certain things, Tara Stiles (Yoga teacher), finding free yoga in Boulder,  the book E-squared, and tons more. Also, I have heard of Deepak Chopra before but I want to add him here as I think some people will relate to him maybe more so than Gabrielle. I’m learning that people like Gabrielle Bernstein, Deepak Chopra, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, etc. all have the same message at heart, they just put them differently to relate to different people.  

I have literally surrounded myself with knowledge that I can’t get enough of. Every chance I get, and definitely every day (this really helps me stay on track), I try to learn more. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and the knowledge I have gained has allowed me to realize the power my mind has.

So basically, if you have made the ultimate decision to change the way you think, whether you want to heal your mind from depression or just live better, I very strongly encourage you to surround yourself with all the knowledge you can.

I’ll try to help share some of the knowledge that has helped me as well. Expect posts about these subjects (and plenty more) coming soon: Mantras, meditation, natural mood enhancer supplements, spirituality (no judgement please), and how to handle well-meant (but upsetting) comments from people who don’t understand depression.

If you are on your 40 day journey and having trouble, start posting positive mantras everywhere! On a mirror, as an alert on your phone, on your computer, on your fridge, or wherever you can think of.

Here is another example of a mantra I use for body image: “I am not my body. I am free.” (from Grabrielle Bernstein)

Lastly, Rachel and I, as usual, are both on similar chapters of our live's so if you want more on this blog topic check out her blog:

Run Wild, Run Happy,


Courage is the story to tell who you are with your whole heart – Brene Brown