The History and Science of Running Barefoot

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to run with no shoes on? The human foot has naturally evolved to traverse the rough terrains of our planet. Surprisingly, shoes are a relatively new invention taking into consideration how long humans have been around! 

More and more people are taking up bare running. This infographic from shows what you need to know about running barefoot.

Going Green: The Most Cost-Effective Way to Live

It's a well known fact that it is essential for humanity to to develop and practice environmentally sustainable habits for the survival of our beautiful planet. Here are some easy changes you can make to go green!

Infographic Key Takeaways

Turn it down

Lowering your thermostat by just 1 degree saves between $44-$73 a year on your power bill

Bright Idea
Switching from incandescent to CFL bulbs can save $180-$300 a year

More is better

One 100-Watt incandescent bulb produces the same amount of light as two 60-watt bulbs, but uses 20% less energy

Another View of Clean Energy

Keep your bulbs clean. Dirt can asorb as much as 50% of the light

It's about Control

A programmable thermostat can save about $150 a year is set back 8 degrees in the winter for an 8- hour span during the day when no one is home and 10 hours at night

Recharge the planet

although the initial cost for rechargeable batteries is almost double that of alkaline (When you include the charger) the break even point is less than to years, after which the ownership cost for rechargables is less than 25 cents a year

Snooze don't loose

Turning the sleep functionality on your computer and monitor brings your PC's energy consumption down to about $20 per year.

Slow Down!

Each 5MPH you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $.30 per gallon for gas.

13 Awesome Vegan Friendly Cities

The vegan lifestyle has been rapidly taking over America! Here is a list of some of the most vegan friendly cities:

Ann Arbor, MI
Ann arbor is a very progressive city. Even places that don't have vegan offerings are willing to bend their menus to make a vegan diner happy. Servers are aware ofwhat is in the dishes they are serving and are able to let people know what is vegan, gluten free, soy free or nut free. It is a safe place to eat.

Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis is among the cities with the most per capita natural foods stores! They have a 100% vegan store called Ethique Noveau, where purchases benefit the animal rights coalition. Finally, the presence of compassionate action for animals, one of the most reputable and effective animal rights organizations in the country, makes Minneapolis great for vegans!

Seattle, WA
The home of Field Roast & Mighty-O Donuts! Seattle's been vegan since before you knew what vegan was, and they've got it all-- A vegan grocery store that is a non-profit where all proceeds go to a pig sanctuary: Sidecar For Pigs Peace. A vegan shoe store that also sells vegan chocolate: The Chocolate Shoebox. Plug great vegan places to eat from classy to dive!

Asheville, NC
Despite its small size, this city has a number of vegan offerings. There are wonderful vegan restaurants downtown such as laughing Seed and the majority of the restaurants downtown are very vegan friendly.

New York, NY
This foodie city is a great place for vegans. There's a very diverse population which means plenty of options. A strong vegan community means there is lots of awareness even at non-vegan restaurants. Don't forget to check out the east Village!

Salt Lake City, UT
Many vegan restaurants and amazing markets that provide a vegan friendly shopping experience. Two amazing all vegan bakery's! It's easy to be vegan in SLC because of the beautiful surroundings and active lifestyle. Most people in the city are very accepting of a vegan lifestyle and many restaurants accommodate or offer a vegan menu if they are not solely vegan. It's awesome!

Denton, TX
Denton is home to America's first all-vegan college dining hall at university of North Texas! Plus, numerous local eateries with vegan menus including Seven Mile Cafe and Greenhouse. Great vegan community with organizations like Denton Juice Co and Denton Vegan Co-op with a vocal presence at local community events and festivals. Plus, there's even a vegan convenience store.

Portland, OR
You can't go too far without finding a restaurant or shop, food cart, or grocery store that in some way (or all the way caters to the vegan lifestyle). There's even a vegan mini-mall with a  bakery, grocery store, tattoo parlor and a clothing store which are all vegan.

Worcester, MA
Worcester is wicked cool. They've got a giant annual VegFest. Thousands of veg dining guides and plenty of vegan restaurants and clubs.

Denver, CO
Denver is a vegan up-and-comer! It's home to a very active vegan and vegetarian community that is making amazing changes in the local area for vegan lifestyle development, including a totally vegan market.

San Francisco, CA
You can hardly walk down the street without bumping into either a totally vegan restaurant! Plus, San Francisco's got a great online vegan community and offline as well.

Think your City should make it to this list? Let us know why in the comments!

Veggie Cooking Cheat Sheet

Source Foodista

Cooking "uncharted" vegetables can be daunting for anyone trying to incorporate more veggies into their diets.We receive different recommendations from everyone on the best methods to cook vegetables. All vegetables are unique in their molecular composition, making it is important to have best practices and give tender care when cooking each variety. Remember, some veggies you should probably not boil :)

 Trying new kinds of vegetable dishes is healthy and fun. Reference this cheat sheet to optimize the way you cook vegetables and get the perfect flavor and consistence every time!

Have a better method for cooking any of these vegetables? Let us know in the comments.

Set Running Goals You Can Achieve in the New Year

As 2014 draws to a close, and 2015 quickly approaches, it's time to set your running goals for the new year. No matter what level of runner you are, setting goals can be a fun and easy way to unlock your true potential. However, setting goals that are beyond your reach is unfair, and may discourage you from running altogether. Follow me as I show you how to set achievable feats to keep you on target for a healthy, and happy, new year.

Make Your Goals Achievable 

We would all love to run a 2 hour 30 minute marathon, or tackle a 100-mile foot race, but these may not be "realistic" goals to reach within a 12-month period. Instead of setting the bar too high, allow yourself time to grow into the runner you wish to become. Try shaving off a few seconds from each mile, adding an extra race or two to your calendar, or putting more focus on training. These are all reasonable goals that you can accomplish over the next year. And they will keep you excited about your progress as you achieve each one of them.

Pick Your Goals

Many runners aim to increase speed, distance, and number of races for their new year's running resolutions. And there's nothing more rewarding than beating your personal record (PR) on a course you raced the previous year, or racing the longer version of that race (half-marathon instead of 5k, marathon instead of half-marathon).

Decide which area you want to improve, and write it down. Tape it to your bathroom mirror, set it as your computer (or smartphone) wallpaper, or use an application like RunKeeper to track it. Just make sure to keep your target in mind each day as you plug away the miles, inching yourself closer to your goal.

Timed Goals

You may be wondering how to calculate a time-oriented goal. For starters, make a list of your previous races, and take note of your finishing times. If you are unsure of your past results, visit Athlinks and search their database using your name - they track finishing times for every runner in the country. Another useful tool is the Calculator over at Cool Running. It's great for calculating time, distance, and pace predictions.

Next, determine the amount of time you'd like to improve on each mile. I like to think in 10-second increments. This past year I ran the New River Marathon in 3 hours 40 minutes; that's an average pace of 8 minutes 23 seconds per mile. For 2015 I'd like to improve my marathon time, dropping 10 seconds from each mile. That would bring my finishing time down to 3 hours and 35 minutes. Still not a Boston Qualifying time, but who says I won't exceed my goal?

Lastly, devise a plan to put your goals in motion. Schedule hill-repeats, tempo runs, and intervals. Some runners add long runs as a way to improve their overall speed. Running 10+ mile distances will build power, allowing you to put more energy into your shorter (5k) runs. If you have the funds, hire a personal trainer to help you along the way. You can even use music to improve your stride turnover rate, increasing your steps-per-minute.

Missing your Goals

I had two goals for 2014: Run a total of 1,500 miles, and complete my first marathon. Unless I can squeeze 382 miles into the next two weeks, I won't be completing my 1,500 miles. But that's okay. As the great Bruce Lee said, "A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim for." That's exactly the mindset I want you to have going into the new year. We can't predict what injuries we may face or setbacks we'll encounter due to family life. But we can push on and try our best to improve as much we can. Don't get bent out of shape wondering why you missed your goal. Reassess your goals, set out a new plan of action, and get back out on the pavement.

Here are my 3 goals for 2015

  • Run a total of 1,500 miles (taking another shot at this one)
  • Complete an ultra-marathon (30+ mile race)
  • Beat my previous 5K time of 19:48

What goals are you planning to achieve in the new year?

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