Belly Up to the Pasta Bar

From the desk of Laura Foresta…

Planning to run the Boston marathon this year? Having the proper fuel on board before the race can help you have a strong showing at the finish line. Carbohydrate loading is a helpful practice to maximize the stored energy in your muscle cells to carry you through the race.

How does it work?

Our muscles store carbohydrate in the form of glycogen for use during exercise. This is one of the fuel sources that sustain you through endurance exercise. Our muscles also rely on body fat and on what we eat and drink during exercise for fuel for the long haul. Carb loading helps you store more glycogen in preparation for the big day.

Tapering exercise the weeks before the event allows for optimal rest and recovery of muscle cells before the event. It also helps prevent last-minute injuries. Resting muscles use less fuel, so glycogen storage can take center stage.

How do you do it?

Keep your carb consumption to about 50-55% of your total calories a week before the event. Protein and heart-healthy fats should make up the balance of calories you need.

Increase your carb intake to 55-65% (3-5 g carb per pound body of weight) of daily calories three or four days before the event as you continue to decrease your exercise to allow for maximum glycogen storage. You might need to reduce protein and fat intake on these days so as not to exceed your calorie requirements. If you notice excess gas, try lower-fiber sources of carbohydrate. Too little fiber can cause constipation, so experimenting early in the week before race day will be helpful. Glycogen is stored in the muscle cells with water, so you might notice weight changes during your carb loading due to fluid shifts. As your muscles use this glycogen on race day, the water is freed up and helps prevent dehydration.

Consider working with a registered dietitian to coach you through your carb loading process. This is especially important if you have diabetes or blood sugar problems, be sure your blood sugar levels remain in a safe range.

Have a great race and we’ll see you at the finish line!

Laura Foresta
is a registered, licensed dietitian with more than 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. Laura owns a private nutrition counseling practice at OMBE Integrative Health Center in Boston’s Back Bay, and works part-time in the Diabetes Management Program at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. She works at the Mount Auburn Club in their Balance Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle Program. Laura has experience working as an inpatient dietitian at Albany Medical Center, and more recently worked in the Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology, Nutrition and Weight Management at Boston Medical Center. She provides community nutrition workshops, and corporate lunch-and-learns and wellness programming.

Laura is passionate about helping clients prevent or manage chronic disease with a healthy diet and regular exercise. She focuses on collaborating with her clients to develop techniques to help them make permanent change. Laura grew up in an Italian-American household, and has first-hand knowledge that healthy foods can taste great! Laura’s goal is to help you discover a healthy lifestyle you can live with.


And another reason to try massage…

The sun’s warmth is finally beginning to thaw out our frozen muscles, waking them up from another long winter’s nap. Marathoners have their new running shoes on, bikers have tuned their bikes…bats and balls, swimsuits and flip-flops are eagerly awaiting their emergence from that dark storage bin in the closet. As Boston prepares to take on another season of Springtime activities, it is important to remember that although it seems like a good idea to run around for miles and miles the instant it’s warm enough to go sans jacket, our bodies need some prep work.

Getting a regular massage will do wonders for the body. Before I mention how, think about this:

Imagine your body as a small pond. This pond is stagnant, easily accumulating leaves, dirt, and other debris that will ultimately turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Now, imagine your body as a flowing river. The water is clear and clean, transporting nutrients and maintaining life.

Our bodies are 80% water. Massage will help your body become a flowing river.
• Circulation will increase.
• Your muscles will soak up more oxygen and nutrients, and therefore will have more stamina and mobility.
• Toxins will be transported away–less chance of cramping up and less chance of being sore.
• Natural endorphins, the body’s pain-killers, will be released. Advil is no match.
• Chance of injury decreases exponentially.

Incorporating regular massage into training routines will help you to achieve your athletic best. Whether you’re running the marathon or throwing a frisbee around, your body will thank you for turning it into a river rather than a mosquito bed.

Jennifer Hernandez, LMT
Licensed Massage Therapist, Treehugger & Ecoprenuer

Jen Hernandez, a Licensed Massage Therapist, is a graduate of Everest Institute in Brighton, MA. She received the Outstanding Student Achievement Award, completing her program with high honors. As a member of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), she integrates various massage techniques into each personalized session. These techniques include relaxation, deep tissue and trigger point massage. She incorporates other therapeutic techniques such as stretching, range of motion, and energy work.

Clients benefit from Jen’s effort to listen and understand individual needs, resulting in a massage treatment that they both want and deserve. Jen, a California native, has been living in Boston for the past five years. She graduated with a B.S. in Sociology and English from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara in California.

Top 10 Reasons to Try Acupuncture

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO….

This is the time of year where everyone seems to be hurting a bit whether it’s from pounding the pavement in preparation for 26.2 miles on April 20th, shoveling the driveway for the tenth time this winter, or spending one too many hours slouching over the computer at the office. For many, acupuncture can be an important treatment modality for overuse injuries, strains and sprains, or any accumulative stress in the body. Here’s my top 10 list of musculoskeletal conditions for which acupuncture has been found to be effective:

1. Knee pain & osteoarthritis
2. Ankle sprains
3. Hamstring strains
4. ITB Syndrome
5. Rotator Cuff Injuries
6. Low Back Pain
7. Neck & Shoulder Pain
8. Degenerative Disc Disease
9. Sacroiliac Dysfunction
10. Plantar Fasciitis

In addition to acupuncture, OMBE is offering several specials this month to help our marathoners reach the finish line (in one piece) and help everyone else make it to Spring! Check out our open house on Thursday, March 26, 2009 from 4-8pm. For $25 you can schedule a mini-treatment for any one of our many services or attend one (or all three) of our running clinics that evening. For more details, visit our events page:

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

It’s “Spring Training” time again!

From the desk of Dr. Erik S. Vose…

Spring training is here, and even though most of us aren’t professional baseball players, we are gearing up for our spring sport of choice. Of course, over the next few weeks the two signature events many New Englanders are anticipating are opening day at Fenway Park and the Boston Marathon. While the only training one needs for opening day is to practice bellowing “YOOOUK” and consuming Italian sausages and beer, the Boston Marathon is a completely different deal. This is the time in many marathon training schedules when the weekly “long runs” are really starting to add up, and the injuries are making their presence known.

Having run Boston several times myself, I know how tempting it can be to start an intense relationship with a big bottle of Ibuprofen. Although this may help relieve pain, the underlying issues persist and could lead to debilitating injuries on race day. When I was 19 years old, I trained furiously for the marathon and experienced some knee pain about 1.5 miles into my training runs. Ibuprofen seemed to be the only thing that allowed me to run day after day. On race day, I was only able to make it to the 13 mile mark before I was forced to climb aboard the bus of the “walking wounded” to get to the finish line.

It is because of these types of experiences that I chose to become a Chiropractor and to learn how to actually correct the problem at hand. I have since realized that I suffered from Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome during the Boston Marathon, and that with proper care it is a relatively easy situation to avoid. Similarly, many running injuries can be prevented or treated by identifying imbalances, loosening associated musculature and practicing proper stretching techniques. Here at OMBE we help people with these issues every day.

To learn more about our unique approach, visit or contact us at Good luck training and see you at the Finish Line!

Erik S. Vose D.C.

Doctor of Chiropractic

Erik Vose is a Board Certified Chiropractor in Massachusetts. He holds a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in California and a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology from the University of Colorado. After earning his doctorate degree, Erik received two years of additional chiropractic and sports therapy training in Walnut Creek, CA. Erik is a member of the Massachusetts Chiropractic Society and the American Chiropractic Association.