Friday, September 16, 2011

Jordan Flowers: Marathon challenge winner proves that anyone can achieve their health goals, if they put their mind to it

Jordan Flowers used to be like many other young professionals. He worked hard at his day job, and enjoyed relaxing after work, chilling out and eating. He was overweight, but didn’t really consider doing much about it, as he was content with his life, and didn’t see much reason to change. It wasn’t until Jordan reached 340 pounds that he began to feel discomfort with his body, and decided he needed to take action, and take control of his health. Through changing his diet and running, Jordan has lost weight, improved his health and transformed his life.

When he began on his weight loss journey, Jordan did not call himself a runner. In fact, he had trouble running in general, and wasn’t able to run more than 40 yards. However, with determination, as well as inspiration from a local group that recruited Jordan to train for Oregon’s Hood to Coast race, Jordan began to run…..and run…..and run. In addition, he began eating better, cutting out the junk food, controlling his portions and eating small meals throughout the day. Over time, Jordan began to see his excess weight drop, found he had more energy, and was able to run longer distances (he even began tracking his progress in a blog!). After tackling the most grueling leg of the Hood to Coast marathon, Jordan began taking on other runs, from 5Ks to 10Ks to his longest yet, an 18-mile run.

As Jordan became more involved with running, he began to learn about other marathon runners, especially those that inspired him to keep going. One of the marathoners he kept an eye on was Scott Jurek, a well-known ultramarathoner and someone Jordan admired. Because Jordan followed Scott on Twitter, he stayed up to date with Scott’s races, running tips, and even products that Scott uses to help him perform his best, including cheribundi. After discovering cheribundi through Scott, Jordan began checking out what tart cherry juice was all about, and its impact on runners. Through following cheribundi on Twitter, Jordan learned about the Cheribundi Marathon Challenge, an opportunity for one person to win an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to run the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon, as well as receive personalized running tips from Scott Jurek himself. Jordan then entered the Marathon Challenge, and was by far the most active participant. And….he won!
To prepare for his big debut in Las Vegas, Jordan is running as much as he can and continuing his healthy eating. Because he is running many miles each week, Jordan makes sure to allow his body to rest, and relies on cheribundi to help speed his muscle recovery between work-outs.  To keep him going, Jordan has also begun running with others, and setting his sights on more races to train for in the future.

Through his hard work and can-do attitude, Jordan has proven, to all of us, that you can achieve any health or weight loss goal, if you put your mind to it. As he says in his latest blog post, “If I hadn’t started moving, I would have never got back in shape. If I didn’t get back in shape, I wouldn’t have run a half-marathon. If I didn’t run the half, I would have never entered the Cheribundi Marathon Challenge. If I had never entered, there is no way that I could have won. So, ask me why I feel famous today…it’s because a year and a half ago, I got up off the couch, put on my big boy pants, and started moving forward.”
Jordan and his wife
Thank you, Jordan, for showing us that we all have the power to take control of our health!
To learn more about Jordan and his weight loss journey, check out his blog, Lean Fit Firm.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to School Brain Fuel – Cherries!

Now is the time of year when long summer days shorten, the weather begins to cool and school begins. Whether you’re headed back to school or looking for a nutritious addition to your everyday diet, incorporating cherries is an easy way to get anti-inflammatory antioxidant health benefits, as well as melatonin to help you sleep – allowing your brain, and body, to receive adequate rest to perform its best at school and work. So eat up, drink up and cherrify your concentration this fall by adding cherries to your diet.

Not sure how to do so? Here are some easy ways to add cherries to your Back to School or Work routine:

Fresh cherries – In many parts of the country, cherries are still in season this time of year (although soon coming to an end!). Pick some up at your local farmer’s market and pack with lunch, for a snack or after school/work pick-me-up. They are a sweet treat with packed with nutrition, without very many calories (one cup raw cherries is about 90 calories).

Tart Cherry Juice – Packaged in a small, compact 8 oz. bottle, cheribundi tart cherry juice is the perfect size for lunch boxes, backpacks, athletic bags, laptop bags or a purse. Take it with you anytime, for on-the-go an antioxidant packed punch that will energize your day. Looking to get more sleep? Drink two bottles of tart cherry juice per day to receive the benefits of naturally occurring melatonin (for more on tart cherry juice and sleep, check out this article).

Dried Cherries – Dried cherries are a school and work friendly snack in that they don’t require refrigeration of any kind, are extremely versatile and can be added to a variety of foods, and are tasty on their own! Add dried cherries to your breakfast for a boost of nutrition. Throw a handful in oatmeal, granola or in yogurt. Dried cherries are great as a snack in trail mix or on their own, can be added to salads, rice or other grains, and even dessert. Any way you eat them, dried cherries are a must for any back-to-school or busy work pantry.

Frozen Cherries – Get the health benefits of fresh cherries all year long by stocking up on frozen cherries. These preserved delights can be added to smoothies, or eaten on their own after thawing. Like dried cherries, they can also be added to many foods (including dessert!) for a cherrylicious twist. 

Desserts – Next time you make a cherry pie, crumble, cookies or any other type of delicious, cherry-packed dessert, cut a slice and wrap in foil or a put in a reusable container and add to your school or work lunch. Who said you can’t enjoy homemade dessert while away from home? 

We hope these back-to-school and work cherry tips gave you some food for thought. What other ways do you incorporate cherries into your school or work routine?