Issue 35
October 2020

By Kim Collings


1. Beast Profiles

2. Nutrition

Articles and interviews dedicated to reporting on the amazing people and stories of Your Beast Team!

Meet Marilou Ubungen!  “I was born in the Philippines and my family immigrated to the U.S. when I was 3 years old. I turned 50 this year and have a 24-year-old son. I’ve always been pretty athletic, but I’m fairly new to OCR races. I also had no desire to run races until a few years ago. My brother made me run my first Turkey Trot 5k in 2014, but I didn’t start signing up for races until 2015. In fact, I remember telling my cousins once that I would never run farther than a 5k. I never imagined that I would complete my first full marathon by 2018.”

What was your first OCR race and what made you decide to try it?

Seattle Spartan Sprint on September 7, 2017. I had won a Spartan prize pack from a local running group, which included a free entry to the race. (I only had one month to train for the race.)

How has OCR helped you overcome challenges?

It has helped me to venture out of my comfort zone, try new things, and to push myself in ways that I did not think I was capable of before. It has given me strength both mentally and physically.

What do you love most about the OCR Community?

I love how supportive everyone is of one another both on and off the course. I have met so many incredible people through Beasts OCR and other groups. I consider myself an extroverted introvert, so making new friends prior to OCR and running was a challenge for me. I feel like I have finally found my tribe and made some lifelong friends.

Who inspires you?

There are many in the OCR community that inspire me. However, my mother is my biggest inspiration. She is smart, loving, multi-talented, driven, and has overcome so much adversity in her life. If it hadn’t been for her determination to bring me and my brothers to this country, we would probably still be in the Philippines.

What is your favorite OCR memory?

It was actually my favorite and worst OCR memory. It was at the Seattle Super on April 13, 2019. That was a miserable race. The weather was crappy (rainy and cold). I had only gotten to the 13th obstacle, which was the Atlas Carry, when I decided that I couldn’t go any further. I was soaking wet, cold to my core, and my lips were turning blue. I had no more energy left and wasn’t able to even budge the Atlas ball. On my way back to the staging area, I ran into Mike James, Nic Thompson and a few other Beasts I recognized. They were huddled inside a little shed by the course, trying to get warm before they moved on to the next obstacle. They motioned for me to join them because they saw I was shivering and asked where I was going. I told them that I couldn’t finish the race and was headed to the changing tent. They all huddled around me, sharing their warmth, and encouraging me to stick it out and finish the race. I just didn’t have anything left in me and decided to call it a day. But I loved how they all came together to try to help me! And while I was waiting under the tent for the rest of my teammates to finish, Michael Sanchez saw that I was still shivering like crazy and wrapped me in a big towel to keep me warm. Even though I didn’t know them all very well, they showed me lots of love on my worst race ever (and my only DNF).

What are your favorite and least favorite obstacles?

My favorite obstacles are the Barbed Wire Crawl (because I can zoom through it since I’m petite) and the Rope Climb. My least favorite obstacles are the Monkey Bars, because I cannot reach the first bar (at least not without a boost) and Bender, because I have trouble getting over the top with my short legs. I have trouble gripping the bars on both obstacles, which gives me this crazy fear of falling and breaking my neck! Oh, and the bucket carry, because the buckets.

What length of race do you like best?

The Sprint for OCR races, and half marathons for running.

Tell us something about yourself that few people know, whether OCR related or not.

My full name was supposed to be Maria Louisa Lourdes Manuel Ubungen, but my dad shortened my name on my birth certificate to “Marilou Manuel Ubungen.” I also know how to juggle.

What are your goals for 2020/2021?

I was toying with the idea of running a 50k to celebrate turning 50 this year, but that didn’t really pan out. So, I have just been concentrating on being active, staying healthy, and running and training as much as I can. I’m hoping we’ll be able to have live races again in 2021. I miss training in groups, going to races, and seeing all of my OCR and running buddies!

Photo Credit: Marilou Ubungen, Spartan Race

2. Beast Nutrition

Nut Butter

Freshly blended homemade nut butter in a food processor

Peanut Butter Fun Facts:

  • Two former U.S. Presidents were peanut farmers; Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
  • The phrase “Peanut Butter and Jelly” was first written in 1901 in a recipe in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics.  
  • The world’s largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made in Grand Saline, T.X., weighed 1,342 pounds.
  • The peanut plant is unusual because although it flowers above ground, it fruits below ground.
  • One acre of peanuts can make 30,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
  • If you took all the peanut butter eaten by Americans in a year, it would cover the floor of the Grand Canyon. 
  • Harry Burnett Reese, an inventor and former farmer, invented the Hershey’s peanut butter cup in 1928.
  • In three states in the U.S. there are 6 cities named after the peanut, they are in California, West Virginia, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
  • Peanut butter in Dutch is called “Peanut cheese” because the word butter is only supposed to be used with products that contain actual butter.
  • When making peanut butter, the heart of the peanut is taken out because it’s too bitter. The peanut hearts that are collected are put into birdseed.



Homemade Nut Butter

First, choose your base.

I love starting with raw, organic almonds. Then I mix in a few walnuts for omega-3s. However, hazelnuts make a delicious butter on their own, as do pecans. So many nuts to choose from! Or, go for seeds! Sunflower seeds make amazing butter, too.

Hazelnuts have skins, which often shed during roasting. So it’s best to remove those before blending. Then, it’s nut butter time!

Either use a food processor or high-speed blender to create a creamy, delicious nut butter.

Just 1 ingredient – that’s right! No oil, water, or sweetener. In fact, adding in ingredients like oil, water, or even maple syrup tend to disrupt the creamy texture and shouldn’t be added.

The blending process generally takes 10-12 minutes, so be patient! It’s worth the wait.

While your nut butter is blending, you can choose a few add-ins (if desired).

My go-tos are sea salt and flax seed. But you could also add hemp seed, chia seed, coconut butter, a dash of vanilla, or even dark chocolate! Dark chocolate + hazelnuts = NUTELLA. I know! It’s amazing.

That’s it! Your nut butter made at home. It’s that easy. Plus, making your own nut butter allows you to create your own blends, add fun mix-ins, control salt content, AND save money! So awesome. See my favorite nut butter recipes below in the recipe.


3 cups raw (or sprouted) nuts (my favorites = almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts; organic unpasteurized when possible)

ADD-INS optional
Sea salt to taste (~1/2 tsp as original recipe is written)
Vanilla extract (to taste)
Hemp seeds
Flax seeds
Chia seeds
Coconut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and add raw nuts to the baking sheet. If sprouted, nuts won’t need as long to roast and benefit from a 5-8 minute roast at a lower temperature (325 F or 162 C). Roast raw nuts for 8-12 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly golden brown.

If roasting hazelnuts, remove from oven once toasted and transfer to a clean dish towel. Rub the hazelnuts against one another using the towel to remove the skins. Removing most of the skins is preferred (not all will come off).

Add roasted nuts to a food processor or blender and blend / mix until a creamy butter forms. The nuts should go from whole, to meal, to clumps, to creamy nut butter. This can take up to 10-12 or more minutes so be patient. Scrape down sides as needed. Once creamy, add salt (or other add-ins) to taste. Then transfer to a clean jar or container and store in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks (sometimes longer).

Nutrition (1 of 24 servings)
Serving: 1 one-Tbsp servings
Calories: 104
Carbohydrates: 3.8 g
Protein: 3.8 g
Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 0 mg
Fiber: 2.2 g
Sugar: 0.8 g

Article and Photo Credit:

The Beast Report: October 2020
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