LiveingWell Health News Letter


Necessary Biking Gear: Top Seven

When I moved to the scenic Columbia River Gorge, I was a runner. I had lived in flat country, where there

were miles of bark-o-mulched trails along the Willamette River. Here in the Gorge, it was different. Everything

was straight up, then straight down, and I couldn't find a bark path anywhere. I had to find alternatives to

running; the steep hard trails were killing my knees and hips.

The Gorge of the Columbia River is a recreation mecca that's especially attractive to mountain bike riders and

windsurfers. Swimming doesn't appeal to me, so I decided to check out mountain biking. In the end, that was

among the best decisions I've made, but I began with caution. For one thing, I didn't know if my interest would

last. That's why I started by getting a low-end bike (that had some serious weight problems) It was a clunker,

looking back on it now. I also held back on investing in some of the biking 'gear'. It's not that I'm cheap - it's

just that much of it seemed to be for hip-ness instead of usefulness.

But once I tried things out, I quickly realized that a lot of the gear you can buy is not to look cool, but to

function better. Here are my 7 favorites that in my post- runner, pre-biker days I resisted, and now I couldn't

imagine going without.

1. Padded shorts. They make you more comfortable, especially for long rides. Whether you're road biking or

mountain biking, it pays to invest in these shorts.

2. Well-vented helmet. You've got to buy a helmet anyway, right? If you don't wear one you're crazy. Spend the

extra bucks to get one made of the super-strong material that affords lots of vents to help keep you from over-

heating. And in the case of helmets, you get what you pay for: the higher-end helmets are easier to adjust for a

better fit.

3. Pedals and shoes with cleats (clipless). After a bit of a learning curve on how to release quickly and be able

to lock-in going up hill, clipless becomes as automatic as shifting gears. You especially notice the benefits when

you're road-biking; you're gaining on the entire stroke instead of only the downward push.

4. Hydration pack (a backpack with a water-bladder -Camelbak brand is an example). My first one was a gift,

or I might never have tried one. Now I love having 100 ounces of water easily available, instead of that goofy

move where you have to reach down and get the water bottle out of the rack, lift your head to drink - losing

sight of the trail, and then fumbling the water bottle back into the rack. No wonder I hardly ever drank enough

during rides and ended up slightly dehydrated every time. I also appreciate that the pack holds my keys, cell

phone, energy bar, and rain jacket.

One suggestion: The water bottle is a keeper because it's great tool for dogs chasing you. Once you've gotten

good at aiming, you'll be able to squirt the dog and not miss a stroke. The dog invariably turns away.

5. Yellow goggles. Same as helmets, you really should wear eye protection. I had clear goggles and sunglasses.

When I first began noticing the yellow and orange goggles, 'poser-gear' came to mind. Then I used a friend's

pair, and wow! The yellow lenses do brighten up your visibility, making a tremendous difference on shady trails

or during low-light times and overcast days.

6. Half-finger gloves. The palms are padded, so that feels nice on long rides. The best part is what they do

for you on wipe-outs, which are bound to happen. I've gotten lots of scraped knees, but my hands always come

out feeling fine.

The Bike. Once I realized that biking was not only a great alternative to running for the sake of my joints, but

it was more fun in general, I gave the clunker away. Then I invested in a good bike - lightweight frame and

components, with suspension. It's a pure delight to ride on a well-made machine.

By Kathryn Mosely


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Barley Pilaf with Artichoke Hearts

From Cooking Light

A serving of this meatless main dish offers nearly a third of an adult's suggested daily requirement of fiber.

Serve with cherry tomatoes tossed with a bottled vinaigrette.

2 cups warm water

1 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

2 tablespoons commercial pesto

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes. Cover, reduce heat, and

simmer 8 minutes or until tender.

While barley cooks, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add artichokes and garlic.

Sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir pesto, lemon juice, and chickpeas into the cooked barley. Serve artichoke mixture over barley; top with


Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup barley mixture, 1/4 cup artichoke mixture, and 2 tablespoons cheese)


CALORIES 405(28% from fat); FAT 12.6g(sat 4g,mono 6.1g,poly 1.5g); PROTEIN 17.5g; CHOLESTEROL

12mg; CALCIUM 267mg; SODIUM 825mg; FIBER 8.7g; IRON 3.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 57.8g


Should you roll over in bed?

A new Japanese study suggests that sleeping on your stomach can dramatically decrease blood pressure.  Why

isn't completely clear, but the results are: Patients' nightime blood pressure dropped more than 15 points when

they flipped from face up to face down in bed.

6.Thought of the Day:

 " Happiness can only be felt if you don't set any conditions."

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info@lucaslifeforms.comWould like your comment or input.


Dedicated to alternative healing. Through body balance, health, nutrition & Fitness

By Lillian Waugh.

Insuring you a healthy and vital tomorrow!

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Disclaimer: All information supplied is for personal information only, it should not replace

the Advice of your doctor or naturopath, always see your practitioner