So what's with all this 80s stuff? Meet Vegan Vince

Barley: A True Superfood

I’m not going to get all Einstein or E=mc2 on you, but I do want to talk to you about energy. Energy is defined in the dictionary as the capacity for vigorous activity; in fact the word is from the ancient Greek term for activity. It means the available power to move and to work, even including the concept of “with enthusiasm”; who doesn’t want that?

There are a number of different types of energy, such as mechanical or kinetic, electrical, chemical, thermal, and radiant. There are also many different sources of energy including gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, sun, and for living creatures, food. Some energy sources are dirty and diminishing, meaning they have pollutants like coal and oil. Some are clean and renewable, like solar and wind. The term potential energy defines sources that are stored for future demands like a battery, a fuel tank, or a nuclear rod.

gladiator_warrior_strong_armor_energy_picThe human body is a marvelous living machine that makes use of a number of different types of energy and must rely on external sources of fuel to carry on the amazing and intricate process of life. The fuel for our energy is the food we consume, and like other sources, it can be clean and renewing or dirty and polluting.

For more than six centuries the ancient Roman Gladiators were arguably the finest athletes and fighters on the planet. Their health and conditioning meant everything to them because they were required to combat other great warriors and even animals of prey, often to the death. Meals and workouts could mean their very life. It’s interesting to know that the Gladiators ate little to no meat, and their main diet for strength and energy consisted of huge amounts of barley porridge; in fact they were often called Barley Men.

Well, I’m no Gladiator, and quite honestly my best days as an athlete are probably decades behind me, but let me tell you about a recent weekend. I had decided to run in a half marathon and dared some of my grown children to join me. It was a downhill mountain run starting at 8500’ on gravel road for the first 3 miles. Six weeks before the race, in my focused preparation, I was running down a fairly steep hill at full throttle, when I pulled up lame with a badly strained hamstring muscle. It was so painful, it hobbled me. I limped home, iced it, rested it, and by the next morning I could hardly walk. I tried to be sensible and stopped all exercise to let it heal. Even though it still hurt to walk or bend, 10 days later I tried to jog to continue to get ready for the half marathon. I couldn’t even run a few steps, pulling up running_morning_line_men_women_sprint_jog_piclame again. I felt back to square one. What a nightmare. About two weeks later I tried again with the same results. Day after day I couldn’t do anything to prepare or keep my conditioning up, even biking pulled on my ailing thigh. I finally had to admit that I wasn’t going to be able to compete. I called and told my daughter and her husband, and they replied “Oh no, Dad. We already paid our entry fee; we’re coming and you’re running.”

Pride can be an ugly thing, because I just couldn’t let my daughter down, even if it killed me. I hoped I could just gut out the pain, but what about lack of conditioning, the energy and endurance part? You can’t fake that. The morning of the race I saw hundreds of other runners slamming down every kind of sugary, syrupy, synthetic, trendy, expensive habit forming concoction imaginable. Athletes are so competitive and focused that they are willing to do and take almost anything to give them the edge and improve performance.

I won’t lie, from the starting gun to crossing the finish line, my hamstring scolded me; but while others who were better prepared were hitting the wall, my energy never failed me. Where did it come from? It was amazing, even to me.

barley_powder_sunwarrior_superfood_energy_box_picLet me share with you my secret weapon, what is almost an unfair advantage. While others were carb loading with pasta and pancakes, I was loading with barley, just like the Gladiators. I consumed smoothies of one scoop of Warrior Blend protein to three scoops of Activated Barley, and a banana in coconut milk: low residue, clean burning rocket fuel.

Activated Barley is a true superfood, loaded with slow burning carbohydrates, enzymes, protein, and fiber. Its nutritive power is hyper-accelerated by bringing it to the brink of germination, which is the highest point of bio-energy. While it’s no substitution for preparation, it is the edge.

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