I started fundraising for Camp Ooch (a special camp for children undergoing cancer treatment) by running in The Sporting Life 10K run on May 12th with my sister Lynn. I am a big believer in the anti-inflammatory diet and laughter therapy for supporting cancer patients so when it came time to support a charity, Camp Ooch just made sense. All the sunshine (vitamin D), healthy balanced meals (including donations from my farmer friend Mike Bradley) and friendships developed at camp could really make a difference in the quality of life that a young cancer patient will experience.
I was thrilled when Manitoba Harvest decided to sponsor me with a donation to Camp Ooch and all the Hemp Hearts I could eat. I had not run since high school so this task was very daunting and I wondered if I would possibly run a full 10 km with only 8 weeks to train. I added Hemp Hearts and HEMP PRO 70 to my shakes before a run and then had a glycogen replenishing hemp bar right after my run as a special treat.
I was excited to see how fast hemp helped with my energy and muscle recovery. Hemp Hearts contain an especially beneficial type of omega-6 fat called GLA that works as a strong anti-inflammatory agent in the body. GLA decreases the inflammation caused by intense workouts or injury and help athletes who suffer from muscle pain.
During training, I never suffered from muscle cramps because Hemp Hearts are a rich source of magnesium, which plays a key role in proper muscle function and relaxation. Athletes are prone to magnesium loss from sweating, so adding Hemp Hearts to shakes can prevent post workout cramps.
Instead of relying on junky sports drinks full of sugar, dye and brominated vegetable oil, I reached for a hemp berry shake that was packed with 10 times the nutrition. Athletes generally have a higher than normal requirement for minerals and a deficiency of minerals can have a negative effect on athletic performance. Hemp provides substantial amounts of zinc, calcium, manganese and iron all of which are important for repair of tissues and maintenance of the immune system.
As a woman, I was concerned about the wear and tear on my muscles would increase my needs for iron. Maintaining a sufficient level of iron is crucial to athletic performance as iron is essential for the transport of oxygen to each and every cell in the body. Female athletes are prone to anemia so I am happy to report that my iron stayed healthy through the entire eight weeks.
Here is the shake I made before my training run and on race day:
The Runner’s High Hemp Shake
The blueberries, kale and maca powder in this nourishing shake will provide you with an antioxidant boost while the Hemp Hearts offer not only a dose of complete protein but also a rich source of plant-based omega 3s.
- 2 cups frozen organic blueberries
- 1 cup kale leaf (core removed and chopped) or chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 tbsp Hemp Hearts
- 1/2 tsp maca powder
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 cup water
- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Makes 2 shakes.
Nutritionist Julie Daniluk hosts The Healthy Gourmet on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her first book, Meals that Heal Inflammation, advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process. Check out more amazing recipes, nutrition tips and her Anti-Inflammatory Quick Start Program at www.juliedaniluk.com.
Check out Julie on Facebook at Julie Daniluk Nutrition and on Twitter @juliedaniluk.