Team ThumbsUp heads to Key Largo today to take on the Swim For Alligator Lighthouse, an eight-mile open water swim on Saturday. Four of us will be towing our disabled friend and teammate Kerry Gruson on what promises to be quite an adventure. We are doing this to show #ThereAreNoLimits. For Kerry, being severely disabled is no reason to stop doing anything. For us, her able bodies in this race, pushing ourselves to swim eight miles while pulling a one hundred pound woman on a dinghy is also proof of overcoming our own boundaries.
We have had an enormous amount of support from many generous sponsors including: The Hilton Key Largo, Athleta, TriVillage.com, See Me In The Dark, Ultrabikex, Train2Give, and Active Disabled Americans. Today, I am sharing about Balance Diet Institute, our last sponsor who just recently joined our team.
Located in Key Biscayne and Bal Harbor, the Balance Diet Institute is a place of nourishment. It’s founder, Dr. Maria Patricia Restrepo has used her own life story to create an institute capable of helping anyone interested in changing their body using food instead of invasive technology. With degrees in Organic Chemistry, Medicine, and Ancient Medicines, Doctor Restrepo helps you change from the inside out; what you feed your body will determine how it looks and performs on the outside. Having been overweight and diagnosed with diabetes herself, she resorted to using the chemistry of food as the vehicle for change: from weight loss to increased performance on your next race.
To give you an example, I asked Dr. Restrepo what she would recommend for team ThumbsUp as we embark on our long race this weekend. She mentioned the key will be hydration as we will be in the sun for a good portion of the day. She suggested doing it naturally, by drinking coconut water and avoiding sugar. Use chia seeds to retain water and energy, and make sure to keep your mineral balance with mineral salt, black sesame seeds or sea weeds. And to avoid feeling queasy out there, eat ginger before getting on the boat, and chew on it if you get dizzy miles off shore.
As a cheat sheet she gave me these tips:
– use honey as a preferred sweetner
– cook with coconut oil
– sprinkle chia seeds as if they were going out of style
– add turmeric as a spice to reduce inflammation before and after the race
Finally she suggested a pre-race concoction of 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of organic chia seeds and 2 tablespoons of organic raw honey during the days before the race. However, make sure you can tolerate it before going at it with gusto.
These are hard changes for me, though the concept of natural over artificial always strikes a note. I didn’t have enough time in this race preparation to try out the pre-race concoction though I have been drinking coconut water like a madwoman since I love it. Doctor’s orders I say ….
As for the skin and sun exposure? Dr. Restrepo says our skin is an incredible organ that constantly regenerates itself so food is its building block. Feed your skin well with natural and unprocessed foods including lots of fresh vegetables. As for sunblock, use zinc or titanium based sunblocks but beware of commercial products with hazardous ingredients.
I’ll be learning more about the Balance Diet Institute and their products. They have a 3 day detox that I am particularly interested in. The good thing, is that Dr. Restrepo has worked with athletes before so she won’t leave me drained on a detox while I ramp up the miles for my upcoming Ironman Arizona.
Food is my final frontier. I have struggled with it forever, but as the image says: it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
Thank you Balance Diet Institute, we hope to learn a lot more from you to ensure that our bodies can keep up with our big ideas as we show #ThereAreNoLimits.