By Kim Collings
1. Beast Profiles
3. Looking Ahead
1. Beast Profiles
Articles and interviews dedicated to reporting on the amazing people and stories of Your Beast Team!
Meet Taylor Overmiller!
What was your first OCR race and what made you decide to try it?
2015 Washougal Spartan Sprint because the genetics lab that I was employed by at the time had a corporate discount and was making me part of the nationally televised episode on NBC.
How has OCR helped you overcome challenges?
I’ve been living the competitive athlete lifestyle for a long time now, but after transferring over to make OCR my main physical performance goal, it specifically has forced me to overcome some big natural weaknesses of mine (mainly uphill running and grip strength). Also, the format of many OCRs demands the building of characteristics that easily carry over to other parts of life like grit, resilience, and patience.
What do you love most about the OCR Community?
What I love most about the OCR Community is how they celebrate achievements. I come from the world of Track & Field, where it’s a rarity for people to have their hard efforts properly recognized; obstacle course racers aren’t afraid to show how hard they worked to reach a goal and don’t shy away from congratulations, which is great.
Who inspires you?
I would say that nowadays I’m most inspired by my older relatives. Being close enough to know the challenges they’ve dealt with motivates me to strive to better myself as well. From reading and hearing stories about how both of my granddads fought in the Korean War to watching my mom come out of being a stay at home parent for over a decade to establish her own business, I’ve been blessed with close examples to emulate.
What is your favorite OCR memory?
So far I think that my favorite OCR memory is from 2018 when I put in a lot of hard work but still surprised myself by going on a winning streak and taking the top spot at most of the Terrain Races held in the Pacific Northwest over some great athletes whose athletic resumes are such that I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to beat (this was during the last year that they provided competitive heats and prize money).
What is your favorite and least favorite obstacles?
My favorite obstacle is a swim because I think it’s very functional and that in a real life setting you’re much more likely to encounter a scenario where you need to swim across a body of water before ever having to climb something without being able to use your feet. My least favorite is the spear throw because it’s a task, not a true obstacle, and I come to races to test athleticism not play darts.
What length of race do you like best?
Short courses are the best because they are the truest of obstacle course races, with the highest number of obstacles per mile, the fastest paces demanded, and they’re short enough that competitors can’t skirt past needing obstacle skill by outrunning their deficiencies or compensating by becoming burpee/penalty machines.
Tell us something about yourself that few people know, whether OCR related or not.
My diet consists mostly of leftovers.
What are your goals for 2020?
Every year I want to use the gifts that God’s given me to the best of my ability for His glory. That general overarching theme remains the same for 2020. New for this year, though, will be the extra challenge of trying to get fully healthy again (3 months and counting nursing a foot injury) so that my debut year on the Beasts OCR racing team includes as much good representation and top performances as possible.
Photo credit: Taylor Overmiller, Spartan Race, BattleFrog, Terrain Race
2. Beast Nutrition
Potatoes – a nutritional powerhouse:
Potato Nutrition Facts:
1. The entire potato is nutritious.
Eat the whole thing, skin and all, if possible. One part of the potato is not more nutritious than the other – both have their own valuable nutrients.
2. It only has 110 calories.
Sure, if you add butter, sour cream and bacon, that number rises. If you throw them in the deep fryer – ditto. (Sorry, but sweet potato fries still count as fries.) But if you prepare and top your potato in a healthier way, it’s not really accurate to call it a “fattening” food. Serving size also counts. A half cup of mashed potatoes is a whole lot different than a cup and a half. Get the message?
3. It contains 2 grams of fiber.
Let’s face it: Most people are not eating enough fiber in their diets. Therefore, 2 grams of the stuff is nothing to sneeze at. Fiber helps with satiety, may lower blood cholesterol and helps alleviate constipation.
4. It provides 45 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.
Believe it or not, that’s more vitamin C than a sweet potato or a medium-sized tomato. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to strengthen our immune system and may promote healthy skin
5. It’s a good source of vitamin B6.
A potato provides 10 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin B6, which plays an important role in converting food into energy and helps the body metabolize fats and proteins.
6. It provides 620 milligrams of potassium.
That’s actually more than a banana, which most people think of as the food with the most potassium. Potassium helps to maintain normal blood pressure and, surprisingly, this is one nutrient that many people’s diets fall short of.
7. It provides 6 percent of the recommended daily value of iron.
Iron is crucial for transporting oxygen throughout our body. Without adequate amounts of it, you may easily find yourself feeling tired and fatigued.
So now you have the nutrition scoop, but how should you eat potatoes in order to keep their calories in check:
- Baked (or microwaved). There’s nothing like a simple baked potato, at least in my mind. Instead of opting for the usual high-calorie toppings, try something new. Mustard, salsa, basically any variety of hummus (black bean is my favorite), low-fat Greek plain yogurt or cottage cheese are all healthy options. Oh, and an egg is also delicious on top of a potato.
- Mashed. I am not saying I never make mashed potatoes with butter, but I do try to be conservative with the amount and use nonfat milk instead of whole. Sometimes, I add Parmesan cheese (a little goes a long way) or garlic (originally boiled with the potatoes so it’s soft) or both and completely skip the butter altogether. Another option is to use chicken broth with a touch of olive oil instead of the traditional butter and milk combo.
- Roasted. This is a delicious option that really keeps the calories in check. I like to use new (or small) potatoes, which I quarter, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Then, in the oven they go! It’s so easy.
- Broiled (or grilled). This version comes out the closest to French fries for me. I first microwave the potato (usually an Idaho) until it’s almost 100 percent done. Then, I slice it into 1/4-inch pieces (think of a thick potato chip) and place them on tin foil. I spray the slices on both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper and place the tray in the broiler. Finally, I brown each side until they become slightly crisp, and check them frequently to prevent burning.1
Potato Fun Facts:
The potato is the most important non-cereal crop in the world, and fourth most important crop overall. Only corn, wheat, and rice are more important. In the US, potato products are the second most consumed food overall, trailing only dairy products.
- Potatoes are 80% water.
- In 1995, potato plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia. This marked the first time any food was ever grown in space.
- August 19th and October 27th are National Potato Day.
- The world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records. That’s enough for 73 portions of medium fries at McDonalds.
- The “French fry” was allegedly served in the U.S. for the first time by Thomas Jefferson at a presidential dinner.
- The potato originated in the region of southern Peru where it was first domesticated between 3000 BC and 2000 BC.
- Potato was first introduced in Europe by Spain in 1536, and the Spanish claim that that Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada was the first to introduce the potato to Europe. Potatoes were not accepted at once in Europe because clerics said they were not mentioned in the bible, while others believed potatoes can cause some diseases.
- Potato still remains an essential crop in Europe, where per capita production is still the highest in the world.
- The world’s largest potato producing country is China.
- Potatoes are among most environmentally friendly vegetables. They’re easy to grow, and don’t require massive amounts of fertilizer and chemical additives to thrive like many other vegetables do.
- The world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces. This is enough for more than 70 portions of medium fries at McDonalds. This gigantic potato was found in England in 1795.
- The potato is considered as the fourth most important crop behind the corn, wheat, and rice.
- The average American eats 140 pounds of potatoes per year. Germans are among biggest potato lovers as they eat more than 200 pounds of potato per year.
- Potatoes are also used to brew alcoholic beverages such as vodka, potcheen, or akvavit.2
Photo Credit: https://mobile-cuisine.com/did-you-know/potato-fun-facts/
Article 1: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2016-01-27/7-nutrition-facts-about-potatoes-you-didnt-know
Article 2: https://mobile-cuisine.com/did-you-know/potato-fun-facts/
This is a simple recipe you can eat as a snack or a meal:
1/2 C black beans
8 almonds, crushed
Bake the potato (oven or microwave). Top with warm black beans and sprinkle with crushed almonds. That’s it. Terrific for lunch, dinner, or a snack.
Recipe nutrition information (for 250 gram potato raw):
Tip: Adding 2-3 oz of cooked chicken breast will bring the protein level in line to make this an excellent post workout meal
Photo Credit: Kim Collings