Leo Manzano’s Massage Session 


Glycemic index

Not all carbohydrates(carbs) are created equal. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a System that ranks “carbs” from one to one hundred in accordance to how slowly or quickly they break down and turn in simple sugar for the body to use. Foods with a one on the GI are slow to absorb and foods with ratings of one hundred are absorbed very quickly.
“The Glucose Revolution”
In the book “The Glucose Revolution” carbohydrates are described as superior when it comes to giving the body energy. Other energy sources such as proteins and fats are necessary to health, albeit they are not as readily absorbed in the body as the carbohydrate.
Although the nutrient protein is necessary to build muscles and stabilize blood sugar it burns much hotter in the body; making hydration more challenging, especially in relationship athletic competition. Fats are a very dense nutrient with twice the amount of calories per gram as carbs and proteins; making fats much harder for your body to derive energy.
Sometimes given the label “Complex” these carbs are low on the GI and are generally said to be a better choice than that of the “Simple” carbs to be eaten on a daily basis. Complex carbohydrates give you a slow burning fuel that will sustain your energy levels for activity while the simple carbohydrate’s energy burns fast and needs to be replenished more often. However, both ends of the GI spectrum have a purpose and practical application in athletic training and competition
To better understand the use of both” simple” and “complex” carbohydrates I’ll use the scenero of running a Marathon to explain both nutrients’ ideal use.
You and your teammates have been coached to compete in race 5 months from now. As the days, weeks and months go by you log your miles, follow the nutritional guidance of your coach and now it’s a week before the race. Staying focused and disciplined you take your coach’s advice to “carbo load” for the next week.
Making sure to balance your diet with good proteins and fats to heal your body from the months of hard training, most of your meals contain double portions of complex carbohydrates that you enjoy to eat like rice, oats, Ezekiel Bread, and pastas.
It’s the morning of the race and you wake up early to eat three pieces of toast, a bowl of oatmeal and two bananas. The gun goes off in just 90 minutes and you shift your energy sources from very complex to less “complex” with a few slices of watermelon and some green tea with honey. The race begins in 45 minutes and you slowly sip your sports drink in between stretching and strides.
  The gun goes off and the marathon is on its way. With the knowledge that your stored energy will deplete as the race continues; your plan is to eat the simple sugar packs that you have in you racing shorts every 60 minutes and drink the sport drink provided along the way until the end of the race. You’re plan has prepared you for using both stored energy(complex carbs) and on demand energy(simple carbs) to complete the race.
As you walk to see your family and get some clean cloths on you notice the extent of the soreness and fatigue in your body. The adrenaline, excitement and effort of running a marathon has pushed past your body’s ability to keep up with the demands of energy you need. Again, you sip on sports drinks, eat powerbars and other high GI foods to quickly replenish your reserves of energy.
It’s late afternoon now and you’ve taken a shower and are adjusting to full breadth of your soreness and are feeling less tired. Getting your appetite back, you opt for more complex carbs, some fats and protein to begin the healing process.
The Glycemic Index for carbohydrates:
High=60-100+, Medium=45-59, and Low= 1-44
Low G.I. Foods
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Rice, including Basmati, Brown, or my Favorite “Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice”
  • Rye bread
  • Beans like..White Northern or Black Bean
  • Fruits including Plums, Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Organic Agave Nectar(Very low GI of 12)   *Read labels to make sure it’s Organic and Raw and doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup.
Intermediate G.I. Foods
  • Wheat Pastas
  • Apples/Oranges
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cantaloupe and pears
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapples
High G.I. Foods
  • White Potatoes
  • Bagels
  • Stone-ground whole wheat
  • Rice Pastas
  • White Bread
  • Gatorade Endurance
  • Dates
The Book “The Glucose Revolution” by ~Jennie Brand-Miller & Kaye Foster-Powell serves to be a good reference guide with regards to athletic training and competition.
http://www.mendosa.com/glists.htm has almost 2,500 individual food items
Experiment, tweak, revisit long-held beliefs.  Make changes.


Eat right 4 your type


The book Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type has proven to be an important source of nutritional guidance for most of my adult life.
From around the age of nine-years old I started having negative reactions from eating the standard American diet. When I consumed foods that contained processed wheat and sugars I felt “off” balance, experienced brain fog and felt a general sense of lethargy for hours, and sometimes even days. I’d often express to my parents that I felt tired or sometimes, had too much energy, which made it hard to focus.
Other than feeling tired and increasingly melancholic much of the time, I was an active child. Physical activity gave me energy which led me to competitive sports where I was fully engaged. I thrived in a competitive setting. Still, that alone was not enough and I continued to complain to my parents about my tiredness and lack of energy.
My parents sought the council of western medicine. After my doctor ruled out diabetes he diagnosed me with hypoglycemia – or low blood sugar. Even though I had a name for what was negatively affecting my energy, the doctor was not helpful in giving me a solution to combat the feelings of fatigue.
Frustrated, my parents took me to a Nutritionist. The nutritionist explained that hypoglycemia was my body’s reaction to eating simple foods, or foods which rank high on the glycemic index – like processed grains and sugars. Ingesting simple foods caused my blood glucose levels to spike followed quickly by a sharp let down in blood sugar, resulting in the “off” balance feeling. The solution to this was to eat a diet high in protein in order to stabilize my blood sugar in addition to cutting down on carbohydrates. This type of eating would reduce the amount of ups and downs I experience throughout my day.
With the limited knowledge available in the early 80’s, I practiced what the Nutritionist suggested and those few rules until my early 20’s, tweaking my diet continuously and paying close attention to what I ate and how I felt after I ate it. Eventually I realized I was so sensitive to simple sugars that are so common in the american diet that I started eliminating nearly all grains and carbohydrates – including fruits – and eating mostly protein. Looking back, I made some uniformed conclusions in regards to carbohydrates.
Then I happened upon the book which changed my life, Eat Right 4 your Blood Type by …
What struck me first was how we as a species developed four distinct blood types that changed over the relatively short time span of time of about 10,000 years. First the O type(hunter/gatherer) developed and then the A type(the cultivator) next the B-type(the nomad) and lastly the AB type.(the Enigma) These changes co-inside with humans starting off being primarily hunting and gathers(O) to growing crops (A) to living a wondering tribesmen lifestyle (B) to the combining of A and B-type into another unique future blood type. (AB).
It was amazing for me to me see the blood type maps of our ancestors and how even today most people in any given country are nearly all the same blood type.
What was most compelling to me personally was that all the foods for my O “type” were foods I was naturally drawn to eat to feel good over the years. I found that eating lean/clean meats and mostly vegetables made me feel best. It also became more apparent to why processed grains, fats and inorganic foods had always given me low blood sugar in the past. My body was evidently reacting to the parts of food that weren’t healthy for me; it was not because I “ate carbohydrates,” which was a relief because now I could eat a more well-rounded diet.
The food categories in the book made it easy to experiment and incorporate more and more clean/non-grain carbohydrates into my diet. The list was also helpful in narrowing down what fruits and vegetables that I’m best suited to eat.
Using the principles in this book has without a doubt changed my life for the better. I notice that I have steady and consistent energy and I feel like I’m able to live a more “balanced” life.


Coffee/caffeine for runners

To drink coffee(or espresso) or not?
I believe the jury has reached a verdict… Coffee beans are good for you. Not unlike the back and forth “egg” debate, experts have claimed that coffee is bad for you. Then… No, no it’s good for you!
In my opinion the good outweighs the bad.
The Good:
•Caffeine releases fatty acids into the blood stream, thus saving the all important glycogen to be used by muscles while running.
•It’s a known stimulant giving athletes a psychological bulster because caffeine helps workouts and races “feel” easier.
•Coffee has antioxidants that may fight free radicals caused by heavy exertion and exercising.
The bad:
•Dosing can be tricky do to body weight and unique physiological interactions.
•Caffeine has been known to be very acidic and can cause gastrointestinal disruptions.
•Some people get a gittery or “on edge”which can feel disconcerting.
With the current information that we have about coffee/caffeine, we can say with some certainty that it’s not bad for you when used or ENJOYED responsibly, maybe even be GOOD for you. Bottoms up!


2001 Appalachian Thru-Hike

In 2001 I thru-hiked the Appalachian trail from Georgia to Maine.

The trail was a teacher of sorts for me; simple and genuine, without pretention, honest and straight forward.

I wrote this post following the experience in a sort of “stream of consciousness” process.

Branches with buds. Branches with leaves changing color and falling. Pine needles fall and sound like rain. Halfway point is the Pine Grove Furnace and I participated in the “Half Gallon Challenge” finished ½ gallon of Moose Tracks ice cream for lunch, had a big dinner and finished with peanut butter cookies for dessert.

Made camp in the rain and so slept in a puddle. Hiked in the rain. Dodged thunder strikes.

Boiling Springs PA – I’ve been so hungry. I’ve eating too much. I ate wild berries in peak season. Ate apples that were sour and under ripe.  I lost weight by way of course.

Walked over rocks. Walked between trees. Hitched into towns. Sick from bad water. Met amazingly kind and giving strangers. TRAIL MAGIC!!! Got invited to spend the night in a house instead of the YMCA where I was fed well and cleaned up a good bit.

I’ve drank rain water. Took a bath in the rain. Bathed in a hotel. Swam in water holes. Did the back stoke in a summer swimming pool with a full beard and curious onlookers.

Learned how to Yogi.

Dove off water falls. Read and signed many registers. Had things so good. So bad. Have done with. Did without. Kept going without. Didn’t wait to be happy. Many stary nights, cloudy and wet nights, very cold nights in Georgia. Georgia; with my sleeping bag zipped over my head and waking up to snow in Smokies. Cool spring like days in Smokies. Freezing rain in the Smokies.

Appreciated a good pizza. Appreciated a bad pizza. Days of thinking of everything and nothing. Days of thinking of successes, failures, weaknesses. Thinking WOW I’m the luckiest man alive… The world is still going on a million miles an hour, with glee I continue to hike.

Sitting peacefully with a full stomach and good friends. Knowing peace. Knowing disappointment. Using every penny. Hiker boxes. Depending on myself. Alone. Depending on others. Hiking with people and without. Hiking naked on the sunset solstice. Sharing a taste of food I made with a stove I constructed. Eating a “sleeve” of cookies for dessert. Waking up in my tent with the birds chirping while the sun rises. Bugs lighting the fields at a tent spot. Daddy long leggers taking over camp. Mosquitoes taking over. Knats taking over. Flies taking over. Bug spray. Useless. Slept in 3 walled shelters with mice running behind my head. Slept under the stars. Slept on a rock. Slept in a cow pasture. Slept on a bald mountain while the sun set, followed by the stars and moon coming out. The sun rising. Slept in hostels. Slept in the middle of a hundred mile wilderness. Night hiked by the moonlight. Ate a salad made from the wilderness. Fried up wild mushrooms that I had second and third thoughts about eating. Slept soundly.

AYCE Chinese Buffets in town. Received some “trail magic” when I wasn’t expecting it. Paid a dollar for all you can eat soup and baked goods in the Whites. Hiked Mt. Washington twice. Drank out of lakes, rivers, ponds, springs, and faucets. Grew my hair long. Grew a beard. Been dirty. Been clean. Worked for stay.

Saw bear and dear, squirrel, wild grouse, chip monks in countless numbers. Drank too much beer at Rattle River Shelter. Watched Rocky 3 and 4 at a hostel. Hiked 8 miles in 2 hours with my 50 lb pack. Spent a lot of money in town. Ran out of money in town. Passed by many towns because I didn’t have money to spend. Worked in towns along the way for a day or two for meals and a little bit of spending money.

Fell behind friends on the trail. Caught up with those friends. Saw people get off the trail and then back on again. Saw some leave and not return. Met “flip floppers.” Walked over a road every mile in the Shenandoah’s. Hiked the first half of the trail in four months. Hiked the second in two months. Fell many times, mostly in New England. Forded rivers.

In 6 months and two days I past by many white blazes. I walked many miles. I climbed Katahdin.


Headaches(Highlights of a massage article)

Is massage therapy a nonpharmacological approach to treating chronic headaches and Migraines?

The study was conducted with patients receiving massage for 4 weeks. The participants received 30-minute massage therapy sessions twice a week for the duration of the study.

The article states that the activation of myofascial trigger points has been implicated as a cause of headaches therefore, providing massage in which myofascial release techniques are employed headaches could possibly be alleviated or reduced.

The findings state that when a participant began the massage session with a headache, the headache was alleviated a significant amount of the time by the end of the 30-minute treatment.

What’s more, chronic headaches are often the precursor to what’s known as the more severe headache which is the Migraine. It can be deduced that with routine massage maintenance the chances of this kind of headache is lessened.

Practitioners now have data to support the recommendation of massage therapy for the treatment of clients with chronic headache pain.


Eating fat and cholesterol does not equate to poor health

Studies upon studies have been conducted dispelling the myth that when you consume fat and cholesterol you become unhealthy.(see research below) So, what truly adds to a healthy lifestyle while reducing your risk of disease? Take a look at these 12 tips to gain optimum heart heath.

1. Limit or eliminate all processed foods
2. Eliminate all gluten and highly allergenic foods from your diet
3. Eat organic foods whenever possible to avoid exposure to harmful agricultural chemicals, such as glyphosate
4. Avoid genetically modified ingredients (GMO), which wreak biological chaos on a cellular level and are linked to abundant health problems, including chronic inflammation and heart disease
5. Eat at least one-third of your food uncooked (raw), or as much as you can manage; avoid cooking foods at high temperatures
6. Increase the amount of fresh vegetables in your diet, locally grown and organic if possible
7. Eat naturally fermented foods, which help optimize your gut bacteria and prevent inflammation-causing superantigens from pathogenic bacteria, as well as providing valuable vitamin K2, B vitamins, and other nutrients
8. Avoid all artificial sweeteners.
9. Limit fructose to less than 25 grams per day from all sources, including whole fruits. If you have insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, you’d be well advised to keep your fructose consumption below 15 grams per day until your insulin resistance  has normalized
10. Swap all trans fats (vegetable oils, margarine etc.) for healthy fats like avocado, raw butter, cheese, and coconut oil; avoid consuming oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked scrambled eggs)
11. To rebalance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, take a high-quality animal-based omega-3 supplement, such as krill oil, and reduce your consumption of processed omega-6 fats from vegetable oils
12. Drink plenty of pure water every day

By practicing these heart healthy tips your be leading a lifestyle that’s healthy and vibrant.


In 2012, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology examined the health and lifestyle habits of more than 52,000 adults ages 20 to 74, concluding that women with “high cholesterol” (greater than 270 mg/dl) had a 28 percent lower mortality risk than women with “low cholesterol” (less than 183 mg/dl).
Researchers also found that, if you’re a woman, your risk for heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke are higher with lower cholesterol levels.3

In 2013, a prominent London cardiologist by the name of Aseem Malhotra argued in the British Medical Journal that you should ignore advice to reduce your saturated fat intake, because it’s actually increasing your risk for obesity and heart disease.4
Then in March 2014, a new meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, using data from nearly 80 studies and more than a half million people, found that those who consume higher amounts of saturated fat have no more heart disease than those who consume less.
They also did not find less heart disease among those eating higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including both olive oil and corn oil.5, 6

Credits: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/27/saturated-fat-cholesterol.aspx