Article written by Macaela Mackenzie Bad Breath

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Even if you steer clear of the garlic bread and booze, bad breath can sneak up on you. And anyone who’s ever been caught before a big meeting or a date without an emergency mint or trusty stick of gum (the horror!) knows it can be a big issue. To neutralize these smelly situations, you have to know what causes them. Most of the time, we can blame bacteria—the kind that naturally occurs in our mouths—says Sunil Wadhwa, associate professor of dental medicine and director of orthodontics at Columbia University.

Brushing your teeth regularly is the best defense, but Wadhwa says many people forget to brush two major bacteria breeding grounds: their gums and tongue. If you’re practicing good dental hygiene and still experiencing rank breath, you may be dealing with a bigger issue like post-nasal drip or a sinus infection, says Cheryl Sobieraj, a dentist based in Connecticut. But before you call your own dentist in a panic, Sobieraj advises using a tongue scraper to be sure you’re getting at the source of the stinky stuff.

Of course, sometimes despite our regular brushing regimen, we still get caught with funky breath. Here’s what you should reach for to stifle the stank.

1. Water

When you’re really in a pinch, grab a glass of water. The bacteria in our mouths naturally releases a foul gas as it goes about its job of keeping our bodies healthy and balanced. “The saliva in your mouth actually prevents the release of gas,” Wadhwa says. “So anytime you have a dry mouth, more of the gas is released.” Stay hydrated to keep your salivary glands happy.

2. Carrots or Celery

Next time you’re stuck at cocktail party sans breath fresheners, reach for the crudités. Watery veggies, like carrots and celery, can act like a toothbrush substitute by clearing your mouth of food debris before they start to create a stench. Their real power, though, is in in the stimulation of saliva production. “A lot of things we think cure bad breath are really just increasing your saliva, which helps,” Wadhwa says.

3. Tea

In addition to helping with the dry mouth issue, tea has some other breath-boosting properties. Scientists have found that polyphenols—chemical compounds found in black and green tea—can prevent the growth of the bacteria that causes bad breath. Bring on tea time!

4. Apples

Before you head into your next meeting, grab an apple from the office break room. Apples contain oxidized polyphenols, which help to neutralize the odor produced by bacteria in your mouth. Bonus: Biting into the firm texture of the apple helps to scrub bacteria off of your teeth too.

5. Coffee

But only if it’s black. Researchers at Tel Aviv University found that regular coffee can stop bad breath in its tracks. Coffee leaves most people a little dehydrated, so make sure to steer clear of milk or creamer, which can be pungent in a dry mouth.

6. Parsley

How many times have you ordered a dish that’s loaded with garlic, only to realize you’ve run out of gum? Talk about a mood killer. If you’re in a pinch, chew on the parsley that’s garnishing your meal. A recent study found certain enzymes in parsley helped to neutralize garlic breath.


Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
– R. Collier

I started my shift one day early, so I’m keeping it simple. Today is the benchmark workout, “Angie”!

It’s simple, straight-forward, and is all about you vs you.

  • 100 pullups
  • 100 push-ups
  • 100 sit-ups (not crunches)
  • 100 squats

Complete for time.

Complete all reps of exercise before moving to the next.

That’s it!

Make sure you hydrate during your cool down!   See you on Wednesday!

Keep Going

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.
–  Woodrow Wilson

Obstacle Races aren’t for the ‘pure runner’.  I’m not a natural runner – I stink at running.  It’s one reason I love obstacle races – there are parts that require feats of physical strength (which I don’t stink at performing). The way I maintain my strength while running so much, is by WODs like this one.

This is the workout I do once or twice a month to test my upper body strength, stamina, and endurance.  After running so much, it also forces me out of my comfort zone.

During this WOD you’ll struggle, your muscles will burn, and the high repetition scheme will make you want to stop.

You can stop anytime during the workout, but the point of it is to make you feel uncomfortable and find out what it’s like to push past those conceived limits when your muscles begin to burn.  Why?  Because it happens during obstacle course races.  The best way to deal with limitations is to reach them during training and figure out how to surpass them each time.

Your brain will suggest that you stop, but you need to believe your body is capable of so much more than you think it is.  There is no time limit.  Go slow and steady, and just focus on your breathing and form, and power through the workout.

The goal is to complete the workout without stopping.  Adjust the weight accordingly to you, but keep the reps.

WOD 9-25-15

Warm up: 5 min brisk walk or light jog, then stretch.

Main set:

  • Deadlifts: 135lbs x 25 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 8lbs x 25 reps
  • Side Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 8lbs x 25 reps
  • Seated Rows: 180lbs x 14 reps


  • Deadlifts: 135lbs x 25 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 8lbs x 25 reps
  • Side Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 8lbs x 25 reps
  • Seated Rows: 180lbs x 14 reps


  • Deadlifts: 135lbs x 25 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 8lbs x 25 reps
  • Side Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 8lbs x 25 reps
  • Seated Rows: 180lbs x 14 reps


  • Rear Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (one arm at a time): 8lbs x 50 reps


Cooldown: Hydrate and stretch!

This is not timed.  Just keep moving on to the next rep.  Don’t stop and you’ll find you’re  MUCH stronger than your brain was telling you…

You got this!

Have a great weekend!


WOD at

“A diamond is nothing more than a chunk of coal that stuck to its job.” — Malcom Forbes

So I’ve decided not to complete a second Spartan Trifecta this year… the race schedule from now until the end of the year is pretty tight. One Tough Mudder, two XTERRA races, and my first Trail Ragnar… I just realized that I would be extending myself too much, especially with having one weekend being the 24-hour Trail Ragnar and an XTERRA race, not to mention the time I spend with my kiddos and my ‘regular’ full-time job…

So… after finishing the WOD this morning, I will be running the canal.

Blah, blah, blah… Let’s do this!

Today is a benchmark Crossfit WOD I created – Zoe.

Heeeeere we go!

WOD 9-23-15 – ZOE!

Warm up: Jump rope (5 mins)

Main Set rep schedule: 21159

  • Push press (45 lbs or 95lbs)
  • Pullups
  • Pushups
  • Kettle bell swings (EACH arm completes the required number of reps)

Finish off with a set of hanging leg (or knee) raises to failure.


Stretch out and hydrate.

If you’re benefiting from my WODs, show your love and ‘like’ the post!  :D

See you on Friday!


Progress or Excuses

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison

So… yesterday morning, I decided to summit Camelback mountain with my weight pack. I’ve been trying to break my 28-minute ‘barrier’ to summit, with no success. So using the weight pack for a few weeks seems to help with my conditioning and, in turn, my climb times.

At any rate, I keep my phone in the front pocket of the weight vest. After passing the helicopter pad, I realized I had dropped my phone! So, I let Scott continue on while I went back down the mountain to look for my phone, all the while asking people if they had seen it. I made it to the bottom, dropped my weight vest and left it with the ranger, then ran back up to the helicopter pad… no luck.  During the second descent, someone asked if they could text my phone, which they did, and someone had found it! Whew.

I got my phone back and, despite the longer climb time, I felt good. But… on the second ascent, I felt my knees and ankles were definitely still weak. So, today’s WOD was all about leg strength!

Here you go!

WOD 9-21-15

Warm up: Jump rope – 5 minutes

Main set: 5 sets, minimum (I got 9… woot woot!)

  • 25 airsquats
  • 25 box jumps
  • 25 walking lunges (hold dumbbells to increase intensity)

Round out the workout with :

  • 25 pushups, then 1 minute plank (repeat 2 times, minimum)
  • Hanging leg raises to failure (slow up, hold 2 seconds, then back down slow, focus on form, don’t rush)

That’s it!

Make sure you cool down with a good stretching session (this is always key, and definitely important for me), then get in a good meal.

You got this!

See you on Wednesday!



WOD at

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

I can’t lie… Getting the WOD done early this morning was pretty tough… I had my first ever photography showcase in downtown Phoenix last night. It was a blast, but meant a late evening.

This was meant to be a body weight WOD, so I took my time with the first one, stretched out, then put on the 40lb vest and battled through four more sets. Admittedly, it took a while, but I got through it!

Your turn!

WOD 9-18-15 (Body weight WOD)

Warm up – jump rope (up to 5 mins continuous)

Main set – aim for up to 5 sets total

  • 30 burpees
  • 30 push ups
  • 30 crunches
  • 30 squats
  • 30 lunges
  • 30 pull ups

Cool down: Walk it out, STRETCH, and rehydrate!

That’s it.  I’ll be climbing Camelback with the weighted vest this Sunday. I recommend a long run or something that challenges you, physically, this weekend.

See you Monday!




“Some days you’re the bug. Some days you’re the windshield.” – Dr J. Zahradka

This past 10 days, I was both…

My Aviation Law teacher used to say this in class all the time. Some days you get messy, but you just power through all the crap and get through it. Other days, you just get squashed.

Rough spots in life don’t happen all the time, but they do happen. The good news is that they don’t last. It’s just important to do what you can to get through it, then move on…

When it comes to your training regimen, it’s important to make sure you try to, at least, do something, to keep your performance level consistent. The goal, of course, is to lose what you’ve gained, not necessarily to improve on what you have.

For me, it was the ‘Hotel WOD’ every day I was on the road. If you need a reference, here’s the link:

Today, my WOD was a version on the crossfit benchmark, ‘Angie’.

So the target number today is 100 – Repetitions, that is. Feel free to chose the number 200 or 300, though.  Or 20 or 30.  It’s up to you based on your ability. …but 100 is the goal.  For each exercise.

WOD 9-16-15

100 push-ups or burpees done as(choose one)

  • 1 x 100
  • 2 x 50
  • 4 x 25
  • 10 x 10

100 crunches done as (choose one)

  • 1 x100
  • 2 x 50
  • 4 x 25
  • 10 x 10

100 air squats done as (choose one)

  • 1 x 100
  • 2 x 50
  • 4 x 25
  • 10 x 10

100 pullups done as (choose one)

  • 1 x 100
  • 2 x 50
  • 4 x 25
  • 10 x 10

***If you do not have the shoulder/arm/back strength for pullups (not kipping), ‘jumping’ pullups (done exactly as it sounds), lat pulldowns (on a machine), or bentover rows (with a straight bar) – just don’t skip it!

All done! Remember to stretch out and relax your muscles while re-hydrating yourself!

That’s it!
See you Friday!


“Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” -Charles M. Schulz

I did a version of this WOD last week. I rushed through it and really didn’t give it my all. I felt good this morning, so I upped the reps. If you’d like to see the rep count from last week, click here.

You can go through this WOD with the previous rep count, or you can lower the pullup reps. I would recommend 10,8,7,5,5. Keep the same number of pushup reps. If it’ll help, try ‘jumping pullups’ – just don’t smash your face into the bar (yes, it’s happened… not to me, but I did spend 20 minutes cleaning up that training partners blood so… just be careful).

Get to it!

WOD 9-2-15

Warm up: 100 air squats.

  • Hang off the pullup bar for a minute or two, then go at it.

Main set:

  • 15 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups
  • 12 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups
  • 10 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups
  • 8 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups
  • 8 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups

2-minute breather (and a swig of coffee)

  • Standing Dumbbell curls (3 sets)
    • 2 seconds up, 2 second hold, 2 seconds down (5 reps/side) – lower the weight, then
    • 2 seconds up, 2 second hold, 2 seconds down (5 reps/side) – lower the weight, then
    • 2 seconds up, 2 second hold, 2 seconds down (5 reps/side)

1-minute breather

  • 1 set of tricep pushups to failure, then three more forced reps

That’s it! Be sure to get your recovery meal into within a half hour and re-hydrate.

Running tomorrow…

See you on Friday!

Blog post by Adam W. Chase – Trail Editor for Running Times and Co.

Author of the “Ultimate Guide to Trail Running”, which may be purchased on

Trail runners can learn a valuable lesson from mountain bikers when it comes to climbing: Optimize efficiency by “downshift” for better traction and a more comfortable spin. When the hills get steep, top trail runners alter their stride for the use of small steps and many ultra-distance trail runners find it more efficient to alternate between walking and running, using a long, swinging stride, when they aren’t running.Uphill Running
  1. Use a lower gear when you find yourself struggling with a high heart rate or over-exerting the muscles in your legs. A shorter stride enables you to remain relatively light on your feet, allowing for easier clearance of barriers and capricious direction changes to avoid rocks, roots and other obstacles.
  2. Engage in power hiking, especially when you are already somewhat spent, the grade is particularly steep, the footing is iffy, or at high altitude. This is often more efficient and even faster than running, giving your heart and lungs a break.
  3. Shift from running uphill to walking in a fast, swinging style smoothly, keeping your heart rate steady. Keep in mind, that it is best to deploy a “steady forward progress” strategy until you see the top of a climb when, if you feel strong, you can pick up your cadence and lengthen your stride.
  4. Think about your posture. An upright stance is key because it affects breathing, digestion and lower back pain. By staying in an erect position, you will improve traction and push-off while relieving back strain that can be caused by leaning too far forward.
  5. Keep your trunk straight to allow for a fuller range of motion in your hip flexors and to open your breathing passages without compressing your digestive tract — which can lead to an upset stomach, especially on longer runs.
  6. Look up! Staring at the trail directly beneath your feet can reduce the important flow of oxygen, so be sure to focus uphill.
  7. Concentrate on leg motion, and visualize your steady breaths forcing oxygen to the back of your legs, glutes, hamstrings and calves. A corresponding steady arm swing will help you power up the hills and maintain forward momentum.
  8. Avoid favoring one leg, especially when leaping up big steps. This can result in disproportionate strength between the legs and a need to stutter-step to time push-offs for the power leg. Alternate using both legs for planting and pushing off in order to remain equally balanced.
All of these tactics for better uphill running should be practiced and, if you don’t live near trails that have climbs, you can apply most of these tips to stairs or stadiums, which are reasonable substitutes for hills. During your hill running, don’t forget the mental aspects. Remember to focus on rhythm, tempo, momentum, and form to maintain steady movement.


“No great thing is created suddenly.” – Epictetus

The main reason for success or failure of any training program is ‘consistency’. Pounding out your workouts on a regular basis is what will get you to where you want to be at the end of your training regimen. There will be some days where you feel like you just didn’t get anything out of your workout – but days like that are important because even if you didn’t ‘move forward’, you definitely didn’t fall backwards in your progression.

When it gets rough to get up and get going, just remember why you started.

In about a month, my ‘race season’ begins. One Tough Mudder, two Spartan races, and the first XTERRA trail race in the first month. I’ve got to stay focused and work on staying well rounded.

So today we’re starting out with one of my favorite WODs of all time – ‘Up and Down the Mountain (remix)’

Here we go!

WOD 8-31-15


WARM UP with the first set of jump rope.


Rep schedule of: 21 + 15 + 9 (except for jumping rope – do 100 of those each time)

Do each exercise  in order, completing the designated number of reps (21 reps, then 15 reps, then 9 reps) before moving to the next exercise.

100 jumps of jumping rope, then

  • Pushups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Box Jumps
  • Pullups
  • Box Jumps
  • Burpees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Pushups

COOLDOWN: Definitely hydrate and stretch out, then get your nutrition.

That’s it!  This is a ‘Crossfit-type’ workout, so if you don’t feel like passing out halfway through, you aren’t going hard enough.  😀


Get it done and show your love for the WODs by ‘liking’ the post.  See you Wednesday!