Guest Info

Info and links to all guests on our show.

Breast Cancer Survivor & Fitness Enthusiast, Linda Murray

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Linda’s Weight Loss & Breast Cancer Journey:

Linda has struggled with her weight for as long as she can remember. At her heaviest in 2005, she weighed 276 lbs. Linda decided to have Gastric Bypass after her doctor told her she was basically killing herself. Linda had the surgery in Sept. 2005 and lost 130 lbs.
Fast forward to 2010, while doing a monthly Self Breast Exam, she felt a small lump that felt like a pea in her right breast, she left it go a few months to see if there would be a change but knowing her family history she called her doctor. Her doctor did an exam and told her she wanted her to see a Breast Specialist, she made the appointment and the doctor told her he wanted to do a sonogram & biopsy, but he didn’t think it was anything. Linda had both procedures and the waiting would begin, that was November 6th, 2010. On the night of November 9th, 2010, she got the call that changed her life, 5 days before her 45th Birthday. Linda heard the words “You Have Breast Cancer”. Linda’s husband was walking the dog when she got the call, he came in to find her crying and that was when she told him. Linda’s husband was by her side throughout the entire time, she considers him her rock and biggest supporter.

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Next, she sadly had to tell her daughter and had no idea how she was going to do that. Looking her in the eyes and telling her almost killed her. Linda also considers her daughter to be her rock and biggest supporter. While they took the news as a family, both of them told her it was going to be ok.

After that, it was back to the doctor, they told Linda her options, she could have a Lumpectomy or a Mastectomy and after talking about it for a few minutes, she decided she would have the Lumpectomy. They also found Calcifications in the Left Breast so they would also do a Lumpectomy on that side as well. The doctor told her he thought she would only have to do 5 days of Radiation, but wouldn’t know until the surgery.
Linda had her 1st surgery on December 15th, 2010, she was in the recovery room and the doctor informed her that her lymph nodes were involved as well and that she would have to do Chemotherapy & Radiation, she thought it was all a drug induced dream, but she woke up and it was real.

On to the Oncologist on February 20th, 2011, she started Chemo, which was what she feared the most. She came home and thought ok this isn’t so bad… well 2 days later it was bad, she was so sick, tired, couldn’t eat, and told her husband she wasn’t going back. Thankfully, she did go back because she realized she was letting Cancer beat her and she wasn’t going to let that happen. She finished chemo on April 28th, 2011 and during the time from chemo and Sept. 2013, she gained 60 lbs.

Linda started Radiation in June 2011 for 6 weeks, which she felt was the easy part. After all the treatments were done she couldn’t stop thinking about the Cancer coming back. Linda had a Double Mastectomy with Reconstruction Temporary Implants on July 11, 2012. Her Permanent Implant Surgery was scheduled for October 29th, 2012 but Hurricane Sandy had other plans. Finally, she had surgery in July 2013. During this time she was now 217 lbs, never thinking she would be this heavy again.

September 17th, 2013 was the day she started her new life, she was given a second chance at life and chose to make the most of that gift.

She started by following a food plan, then in January 2014 she started to work out, the 1st class she took she couldn’t even do a Jumping Jack or a Sit Up. Her friend just looked at her and said you can do this, you beat cancer this is easy just keep coming back, and back she went. During this time she met Kenny Pena of Rockaway Beach Bootcamp and now Pena’s Fitness Method he would give her tips on what she should be eating and what exercises she should focus on. By May 2014 she had lost 62 lbs, the gym closed but thank God it was summer and Kenny decided to do Rockaway Beach Bootcamp again.

Find Linda’s Fitness
To learn more about Pena’s Fitness Method/Evolve Fitness or Rockaway Beach Bootcamp, email or meet them at Beach 97th street Rockaway Park Tuesday and Thursdays @ 5:30 am and Saturday @ 8:00 am. And Cyberzone In Rockaway Park @ 9:00 and 10:00 am on Saturdays. Linda also goes to CKO Kicking boxing in Bayridge when the time allows.

Linda also does Dragon Boat Racing with other Breast Cancer survivors, 3 of her Pink sister’s and her are in the process of starting their own Dragon Boat team called “Hope Floats NYC”. Their goal is to engage survivors in physical activity while promoting a healthy lifestyle through the sport of dragon boating. As survivors themselves, from diverse backgrounds and treatment experiences, they can relate to many of the aspects faced by survivors. They offer a supportive and encouraging environment for survivors that empowers them to regain or maintain fitness in their post-treatment lives. Dragon boating is a fun and stress-relieving activity that is uniquely beneficial to breast cancer survivors. It is a team building exercise that forges friendships. It is a sisterhood.
They will begin practicing in April 2015 with the Arrowana Dragon boat team at Flushing Meadows Arena. Contact them at

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Linda is doing the ACS Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk on October 19th, Donate Here!

She will also be doing a Party In Pink Zumbathon Charity event on October 22 2014 @ 6:00 pm til 8:00 pm at All Season Fitness Studio 181 Beach 116th st. 2nd fl. Rockaway Beach NY 11694


Question & Answer with Linda

We were honored that Linda joined us for this special show.  Follow the Q&A along with the show video!

What did it feel like when the doctor told you that you needed the Gastric Bypass surgery?

After the surgery was it easy to adapt to your new lifestyle?

You mention knowing a family history when discussing the lump you found in your breast. Is it breast cancer that runs or just cancer in general?

Can you speak to the importance of self breast exams?

How much did you wind up self educating yourself on breast cancer?

Sounds like your family has been a pillar of support through your fight. Did you also need to surround yourself with others going through the same situation? If so, where can people go?

September 17th, the day you began your new lifestyle, can you remember what that feeling was like? Were you nervous?

What kind of food plan did you start with?

How did you feel when you were able to start doing jumping jacks and sit-ups after not being able to do them?

Can you stress the importance of health and fitness in relation to prevention or during treatment of breast cancer?

What motivates you to get you up and to Kenny’s class when you are feeling tired on a Tuesday or Thursday morning?

Tell us more about your Dragon Boat team!

How important is it to surround yourself with support for any struggle you are faced with in life, whether through your illness or weight loss journey?

What advice do you have for people who may not have as much support around them to make a change in their life?

What has been your favorite part of your journey?

Has your lifestyle become an example for others in your family or community?

Your story is incredibly inspiring. What kind of advice can you give to people who feel like they can’t fight to make the change in their lives?

How amazing do you feel since making the choice to make the best of your second chance at life and live such a healthy and active lifestyle?

What’s next for you?

Contact Linda!

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To join the Dragon Boat team, donate to Linda’s Making Strides walk, join her for a workout or learn more about her story check out the links posted on our site and/or email her at or


What is Eat Tribal?

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The Tribal Take on Food
At Eat Tribal, we stick with natural, real foods. Our take on food is influenced by the Paleo view on nutrition. Ultimately, rather than stick to a rigid prescription, we use these theories to guide us. Our Tribal Tenets are the pillars we stand on to produce healthy and delicious meals that fuel your active lifestyle and let you thrive.

So What is Paleo?
Eating in a Paleo sense is to mimic (in a modern way) the natural diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, which consisted of healthful wild plants and animals. Here are some of the evolutionary, anthropological, biological, and anatomical theories that support this school of thought.

Evolutionary Evidence
Millions of years of evolution have shaped us into the modern human that exists today. And for the roughly 2 millions years prior to the advent of agriculture, the scope of the human diet centered around animal meats (which are extremely dense in nutrients) and plant foods (which hold comparatively less, though still valuable, nutrients usable to humans).

From its origins as herbivorous primates, the course of human evolution, it is widely believed, was kicked off with the first consumption of animal protein. This protein most likely came from scavenging for the remnant meat and organs of another predator’s kill and led to an initial increase in human brain size. This bigger brain led to higher intellectual capacity and eventually the creation and use of more and more sophisticated tools and the harnessing of fire (and with it came the ability to benefit even more from the consumption of meat).

It is only in the past 10,000 years (a drop in the evolutionary bucket) that grains have entered the human diet. And only in the past 60 years have we been faced with the highly processed and refined foods that pervade American menus — that’s .03% of our 200,000 year existence as homo sapiens, barely a blink of an eye on the human evolutionary timeline.

Anthropological Evidence
Even in indigenous peoples that still exist today, their diets consist mainly of animal meats supplemented with plants that can be foraged. Needless to say, the meat comes from animals that are eating their natural diet, free to roam about in nature. Living off their own natural diet, these indigenous people don’t suffer from the “Western diseases” that we often attribute to the consumption of fat, cholesterol and red meat.

However, once these indigenous peoples are assimilated into a Western civilization and adapt a Western diet, these same health problems start to appear. For example, the Aboriginal people of Australia, after transitioning to a Western lifestyle, have succumbed to many of the diseases that plague Americans today: diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. In a famous experiment, health and nutrition researcher Kerin O’Dea took a group of Australian Aborigines into the bush to revert back to their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles. After just 7 weeks, the whole group experienced weight loss (back to their ideal weights), more controlled sugar and insulin levels, and healthier cholesterol levels.

Biological / Anatomical Evidence
If you look at the human digestive tract, it is anatomically similar to that of wolves and other carnivores: one (small) stomach, a large intestine, a small intestine. Cows and herbivores on the other hand, generally have much larger stomachs and even multiple of them. This is to help them digest plants, whose cell walls are difficult to break down. In fact, this is why herbivores often regurgitate their food or eat their excrement — to repeat the digestive process and obtain every nutrient they can out of those plants. This is also why herbivores must spend almost all of their waking time eating.

That’s not to say that humans shouldn’t bother with plant foods. We are in fact omnivorous and require a vast array of nutrients, many of which can be gained from nutrient-dense animal protein and fat while some can only be gained from plants. Thus, we at Eat Tribal emphasize an important balance of meat and plant foods.

Modern Day Implications
Because almost all of us grew up on a typical American diet heavy in grains, refined sugars, and processed foods, an evolution-based or ancestral way of eating will actually take some time for most to adjust to.

Our Western diet has chemically altered the way our body functions, causing it to draw fuel mainly from simple sugars and high-glycemic carbs (the perils of which include diabetes and heart diseases). But by natural design, the human body is meant to fuel itself on fats and proteins, which the liver slowly processes into glucose for energy as the body needs it. This liver function stops or slows down when simple sugars and carbs are constantly introduced into the body, and you will crave more of those sugars and carbs once they’re used up — something many of us have experienced.

In going back to a more natural diet, our bodies may need some time to revert back to their natural chemical functions. This transition generally happens over a 2-3 week period as your body relearns to fuel itself the way it was designed to (this took Edlin, Eat Tribal’s founder, exactly 2 weeks when he first started eating an ancestral diet in 2009).

The benefits of making this transition back to our natural diet are major: sustained energy throughout the day; less cravings for additional food between meals; no mid-day crashes; no post-meal comas or sluggishness; less fatigue in general; and optimal bodily performance, whether in terms of health or fitness. Some other benefits people have mentioned include reduced acne and increased physical endurance and ability.

We at Eat Tribal don’t necessarily advocate extremes. After adjusting to a more natural diet, it is up to you to decide a balance that works for your health and fitness goals. We simply strive to make it easier to access real foods that are natural and healthful for you, the modern human.

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Our mission is to restore the health of our people and our planet through real, quality food. We believe that local food systems and natural foods — natural in the way they are raised and produced – will take us there.

Grass-fed, pastured, organic — these terms aren’t just buzzwords. They represent farming and growing practices that we believe are good for the land, the animals that inhabit them, and ultimately, for you. We want to make these foods more accessible to fuel your best performance, whether in the gym, at work or for life in general.

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The Tribal Tenets – Be human
We source and prepare our food with the aim to recapture our natural human diet. We are not an industrial operation. We are a small group of humans, making delicious food with love and care, the same way you would at home.

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Keep it Real

We love grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, wild or naturally raised fish, pastured eggs and organic vegetables and fruits. In other words, REAL food.

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We believe these are the foods that our bodies are quite literally designed to eat and will lead to our optimal selves, both in health and physical fitness. From there, what you can do and achieve is limitless.

Founder of Eat Tribal, Edlin Choi

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Edlin Choi – Biography

I first started eating Paleo in 2009, it was my senior year of college. I started cooking everything I ate, and ordered meat in bulk directly from farms that did grass-fed beef (it was tougher to get back then). I soon learned to start cooking in batches instead of cooking for every meal. I thought there would be an opportunity to start a business around this, and I wanted to, but I had already secured a job so by the time I graduated I was set to go work in corporate finance. and I hated it. and I fell off the wagon for a bit on Paleo, and was just miserable in general.

So I quit very quickly and soon started working for an adtech startup. After a bit over a year there, I felt I needed to move on and started working for Lean Startup Machine, a then education focused startup, starting their presence in LA. A year later, I met a great guy who started a similar company in DC. I decided it was time to start Eat Tribal, and received a lot of help from him at the outset. It was totally lean in the beginning, no site, no menus, just PayPal and sweat. I would collect the money in advance, use it to buy ingredients at the farmers market with the chef I was working with at the time, and we’d cook and package out of his kitchen, and I’d be on my way delivering to our first handful of customers by foot.

It was just friends at first, and it quickly caught on with their coworkers, so I put up a basic site to be able to take orders and payment and then Eat Tribal just began growing on its own. we went from borrowing kitchen space from this great restaurant in Brooklyn, working midnight to 5/6 in the morning, to an incubator kitchen in Harlem, and now working with a great partner to produce the Tribal recipes for our Tribe.

New customers have continued to find us through organic search and WOM and we’re almost ready to launch the new version of our website – it’s Eat Tribal 2.0. on top of making it easier to order, you’ll be able to see full ingredient lists and nutritional info on all our dishes, and we’ll soon be adding more options like snacks and Paleo-friendly desserts.

We’re also focusing on starting a catering portion of the business, which I’ve tried and failed at a few times, but now I’ve got the help of someone really smart who’s been doing this for a while, so hopefully it’ll be successful this time.

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Q&A With Edlin Choi

Follow along the Q&A while you watch this Episode!

What is Eat Tribal in your words?

You mention in your background how bare bones Eat Tribal once was. What year was that?

Do you have a hand in creating the menu?

Does the menu change each week?

What types of meals are on the menu?

Are there favorites?

What are typical customer responses to your meals?

Is it strictly Paleo or do you have meals that include dairy?

Is it one size meal or do you offer small or large portions?

Where do you come up with your portion sizes?

Break down for us how Eat Tribal works.

What types of subscriptions do you offer?

How many meals per week are offered?

Can you make a one time order just to try it and see if you like it?

Where do you deliver to?

Are you considering delivering outside of Manhattan anytime soon?

How can you heat the meals?

There are a few different meal subscription services out there now, what do you feel sets Eat Tribal apart from the rest?

What’s next for Eat Tribal?

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Go to for more info and to sign up to try your first order!

Q&A with Tyler Gage

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Below is the Q&A from Episode 42 – RUNA – follow along with the YouTube version of the Episode and learn more about this amazing drink that brings us clean energy! No doubt, you will love it!


How do you think Runa can best be used to help fuel an active lifestyle?

What types of activities do you think are best fueled by Runa?

How do you keep up your active lifestyle while running a successful business?

What kind of advice can you give to young people who have an idea for their own business?

What are the additional benefits of drinking Runa?

How did you come up with the flavor options?

When did the energy drink come into play?

How is the tea processed?

What was the first place you distributed to?

What was the initial response?

What has the response been from the communities who have benefited most from the development of Runa?

Tell us a little about the social and environmental impact of Runa.

Tell us more about the Runa foundation.

Tell us about the Runa Tribe.

Where can people find Runa?

Any new exciting upcoming retail partnerships?

Finally, tell us what’s next for you and for Runa!


Learn More about Runa & Show your Support!13 - Contact Image

#drinkRUNA – check out, as well as like Runa on Facebook and follow them on Twitter & Instagram.

More on Guayusa

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Guayusa (gwhy-you-sa) is an Amazonian super-leaf naturally packed with caffeine and polyphenol antioxidants, so it provides a clean, focused energy. There are no tannins in guayusa, so it lacks the astringent, bitter taste sometimes associated with green and black teas. Instead, it tastes smooth and naturally sweet.


Guayusa gives you a unique kind of energy, different from what you get from coffee or traditional energy drinks. We think of it as “clean energy” – it’s how we describe what Amazonian hunters call the “mental strength and courage” they get from drinking guayusa.

The compounds in guayusa give you sustained and focused energy. There are no harsh chemicals. No feeling burned out later. Just organic, healthy energy from a leaf. Drink guayusa to get the energy you want now without sacrificing how you feel later. Not all energy is created equal – keep yours clean.


Guayusa contains twice the antioxidants of green tea. These compounds neutralize free radicals and may help prevent premature aging. It also contains chlorogenic acids, which have been reported to contribute to cardiovascular health, help reduce high blood pressure, and regulate body weight. In addition, guayusa contains 15 essential amino acids and has ferulic acid, which can help improve blood circulation.


Guayusa is grown in biodiverse agroforestry plots, or chakras. To the untrained eye, these ‘forest gardens’ look like pristine natural rainforest, though, to the farmers who cultivate them, they are highly managed agricultural plots combining a diverse mix of plants. Guayusa is a shade-grown plant – meaning it needs the shade of other trees to fully develop – and flourishes in this setting.

After a long history of cultivation, guayusa no longer naturally reproduces. New trees are planted from cuttings. This process involves taking part of a branch from an existing tree and placing it in rich soil. New cuttings reach productivity approximately 3 years after planting, when they grow to a height of about 8 feet.

Runa regularly purchases fresh leaves from Kichwa farmers. We then dry and mill the leaves in our processing facility in the small town of Archidona, in the Napo Province of Ecuador. The leaves are air-dried (we do not use burning wood in the drying process).


Traditionally, indigenous Kichwa families wake up before dawn and gather around a communal fire to drink gourds of guayusa. During this early-morning ritual, community members share dreams, myths, and legends. Several myths recount how the guayusa plant taught human beings how to dream, and throughout the morning shamans interpret dreams from the previous night.

Hunters also drink guayusa before nighttime hunting trips in order to heighten their senses of awareness and focus. Drinking guayusa enables them to get more in touch with the surrounding environment, allowing them to hunt safely in the jungle. For this reason guayusa is known as “The Night Watchman.”

In contrast to many indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon that grow coffee or tea (plants imported from other parts of the world), the Kichwa people grow guayusa, a native plant of immense cultural importance and mythological significance. Growing guayusa and sharing it with an international community is a powerful way for the Kichwa people to observe traditional cultural practices and recognize important values they hold in the modern world.

Who is Tyler Gage and What is Runa?

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Tyler is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Runa. After his freshman year at Brown University, Tyler decided to follow his passion for Amazonian plants and languages and moved to South America. He witnessed firsthand the struggle indigenous communities face between earning income for their families, largely through deforestation, and their intention to preserve their culture and the rainforest. During this time, Tyler first tried guayusa and recognized that it could be produced to create a new, sustainable income source for these communities. Tyler turned down a Fulbright grant so that he could co-found Runa, for which he was named a Forbes “30 Under 30 Entrepreneur” in January 2013 and the Citizen Leader of the Year Award in January 2014 by the Specialty Food Association. In his free time, Tyler enjoys playing soccer, practicing yoga, traveling, and eating good food. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Runa is a Brooklyn-based social enterprise that makes beverages brewed with the guayusa (pronounced “gwhy-you-sa”) “super leaf” and improves the livelihoods of Amazonian farming families through its supply chain. When brewed, guayusa has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, double the antioxidants of leading green tea products, and a smooth, clean taste.

Revered by indigenous communities for centuries, guayusa is also consumed by native hunters before venturing in to the jungle at night. Made from a tree, not from a lab, Runa is “clean energy” that powers you through your day.  Runa supports over 3,000 farming families and is pioneering a new way of doing business in the Amazon. Runa’s products are sold in over 6,000 stores across the country, and are an effective alternative to the legions of artificial beverages and energy drinks on the market. The journey continues at

Runa’s Story

Runa was founded in 2009, days after we graduated from college. But our story begins several years earlier, when Tyler was living with the Kichwa people in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It was then he was introduced to guayusa – a naturally caffeinated tree leaf brewed like tea, consumed early in the morning to help interpret dreams and late at night to provide energy and clarity while hunting in the jungle. He loved the earthy flavor, smooth taste, and energy boost he got from the leaf.

Living and working in Latin and South America, we both saw how unsustainable activities like logging were enticing ways for people living in the rainforest to pay for education and medicine. We also saw how development projects implemented by NGOs often floundered because they lacked buy-in from local stakeholders.

Upon returning to college we teamed up to write the business plan for Runa. We entered and won several business plan competitions. After graduating from school we moved to Ecuador to begin working with local Kichwa communities to build a guayusa supply chain.

Together with these communities we envisioned a business that could share energizing, rich-tasting guayusa with the world – a business that would respect cultural traditions, support small farmers, and maintain the integrity of the Amazon rainforest. Runa now buys guayusa leaves from over 2,300 farming families. Those leaves are processed in a plant in Ecuador and then shipped to the U.S. where they are shared with a growing number of people.

Runa is proving that businesses in the Amazon can be good for the environment and the preservation of traditional cultural practices while supporting producers and connecting them to consumers around the world.

We couldn’t be more excited.

RUNA offers the following products to fit into your everyday, health and fitness lifestyle!

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Berry or Original

An entirely new take on energy drinks. One can of Runa Clean Energy has 120 mg of caffeine, 650 mg of polyphenol antioxidants, and a clean, smooth taste. The kicker? It all comes naturally from a brewed leaf – not a lab.

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Sage Lavender, Hibiscus Berry &Traditional

Brewing Instructions: Pour boiling water over infuser. Steep for 4-7 minutes or longer for a stronger brew

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Traditional, Mint & Hibiscus Berry

Brewing Instructions: Boil water until it reaches 185 °F / 85 °C then add 2 grams of guayusa (about 1 spoonful) per 8 oz. of water. Let steep for 4-6 minutes.

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Brewing Instructions: Pour boiling water over infuser. Steep for 4-7 minutes or longer for a stronger brew



More on LLS, TNT & Blood Cancer

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(Nicole pictured with her Uncle Richie, whom she runs in honor of for TNT)

The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

Our Key Priorities will ensure that: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society helps blood cancer patients live better, longer lives.

Team in Training (TNT) is a 3-5 month program in which participants achieve/exceed a fundraising commitment in support of the LLS’s Mission while training for an endurance event of their choice (within Team In Training’s offerings). Training program includes coaching, training plan, clinics, and group training sessions. We also offer guaranteed race entry, Pre-race inspiration dinner and travel to the participant’s selected event including airfare and hotel (where applicable). TNT is the opportunity to make your athletic goals a reality while giving back to the cancer community.

September is actually Blood Cancer Awareness Month:

1.    Every three minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed and there are few (if any) means of preventing or screening early.

2.    In 1964, a child’s chance of surviving acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood leukemia, was 3%. Today about 90% of children survive.

3.    Since the early 1960s, the survival rates for many blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled thanks to research and access to better treatments.

4.    Nearly 40 percent of new cancer therapies approved by the FDA between 2000 and 2013 were first approved for blood cancer patients.

5.    Multi-drug chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation was first successfully developed for blood cancer patients.

Last year alone, LLS invested nearly $80 million in cutting-edge research – bringing the total to more than $1 billion spent to advance cancer therapies and save lives. Yet, despite this progress, more than one third of blood cancer patients still do not survive five years after their diagnosis.

Currently, LLS-funded research teams at multiple institutions are testing different approaches to activate the immune system to kill cancer cells. They helped advance an antibody therapy that helps boost the immune system to attack cancer cells in patients with lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and are working to advance new FDA-approved targeted therapies to treat patients with CLL and other B-cell cancers.  Our goal is to raise $300,000 in 30 days to celebrate.

Q&A with Nicole Spano

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Fundraising Info/Accomplishments

Nicole has run 5 marathons and 13 half marathons since she began running in January of 2011.  She has also raised over $10k for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society and her next race with the charity will be in Alaska which she is currently fundraising for.  You can donate to Nicole’s next race at her fundraising page, which is currently up in the “Guest Info” section of our blog on our website!

A wonderful quote from Nicole’s Page on why she runs:

“I run because I can. I run to help find a cure. I run because too many people I know and love have had to fight this horrible illness. My goal is to be a part in making it a thing of the past.

I invite you to join me in my fight to wipe out cancer. Your donation will help fund treatments that save lives every day; like immnuotherapies that use a person’s own immune system to kill cancer. You may not know it, but every single donation helps save a life with breakthrough therapies such as these.

My personal hero is Uncle Rich, who lost is battle on December 19, 2012. He is the reason I began running and the main reason I continue to run. He was a very special person in my life- always laughing, smiling, and ready to have fun. I will continue to honor his memory by running for him.

Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help get us all closer to a world without blood cancers.

I am so beyond grateful for all of your support as I continue on this journey! I am very blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life!”

*Additionally, we hope to have Nicole sell raffle tickets at our 50th Episode/1st Anniversary Celebration, which is another great opportunity to do your part in donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help us all take another step towards eradicating this horrible illness!

Nicole was kind enough to answer a bunch of questions for us!  As aspiring runners, we were very excited to hear more from her.  Follow along with the live taped show! 

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How did running change your view of life?

Tell us more about how you went from never running and not being athletic to running your first half marathon!

We know it seems cliché but true and we have seen it first hand ourselves, it’s obvious that you can accomplish anything you can put your mind to – have you seen others like yourself accomplish this feet?

What was one of your most memorable running moments?

Tell us about the race itself and how you stay fueled.

What is your advice for beginner runners who are inspired today to go out and train for a marathon?

What type of gear to you recommend for runners?  Does it vary based on mileage?

We noticed in a few of your pictures that you wear knee protection, do you recommend this for all runners, or do you yourself have sensitive knees?

What other type of gadgets do you recommend for a smooth run and safety? (Body Glide!)

What do you think holds some people back from either starting running or going further as a runner?

How much has running with Team in Training and for a cause like LLS helped you to push through when you may have otherwise given up?

We know a friend told you about Team in Training, was it easy to sign up and get started with them?

Is Team in Training anywhere?

We have learned what Team in Training does to help to aid in supporting and funding cancer research.  To your understanding how much do the funds raised and support shown not only help the cause, but inspire and motivate the athletes?

Fundraising can be very intimidating, what if you don’t have a huge financial support behind you?

Your friend Paul told us to ask you about your pancake/egg/waffle breakfasts after your morning runs and you shared with us about your after race “food tours”, can you tell us more about the social aspect of Team in Training?

You told us about your trip to Seattle in June for your last marathon, can you share more about this experience and the types of events that individuals can participate in as a member of Team in Training?  What was the NYC Marathon like, we have images of you & your team from both events!

Finally, tell us what’s next for you on your journey and what people can expect as you fund-raise & prepare for your Alaska event!


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Donate to Nicole’s Page /Join Team in Training!

As we said, Nicole’s info is already up in the “Guest Info” section of our blog on our website, but here is the info as well.  You can donate to Nicole’s Team in Training Page, you can learn more about Team in Training or you can email Nicole for more Team in Training or running info!

Marathons w/Nicole Spano – Team in Training

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We had the pleasure of having runner, Nicole Spano, on our show this week. Nicole began her running journey in 2011 and has since run 5 marathons and 13 half marathons. According to her bio, “Nicole’s journey began 3.5 years ago when her uncle was diagnosed with leukemia. She knew she wanted to do something for him, and sitting at his bedside wasn’t enough. Someone mentioned Team in Training and she knew she was in immediately. She signed up for The Long Branch Half Marathon 2011, figuring that she’d raise the money and maybe run the event (she was NOT a runner!). The experience changed her life. Whenever she was down and couldn’t run another step, there was her mentor, her coach, and fellow participants cheering her on, helping her every step of the way. It was a six month adventure full of laughs, aches, pains, minor injuries, eating good and bad tasting gu’s and getting lost on occasion. It was a new world full of possibility and she started to become giddy at the thought that she’d actually be able to accomplish this race! On race day she was surrounded by other chapters of TNT, with their coaches all along the course, supporting her EVERY SINGLE STEP along the way. All of the encouragement really helped her to cross that finish line and actually felt a bit overwhelming. After the race, she knew she couldn’t end the love affair with TNT. She has since completed 5 full marathons and continues to train with TNT as a captain. She’s completed 5 races as a TNT participant and considers herself an addict!”

Click on the below image of Nicole after the 2013 NYC Marathon to donate to Nicole’s Team in Training site and help her in the fight against Cancer!
Nicole NYC Marathon 1

To learn more about Nicole or donate, go to or email her at! To join Team in Training and begin your own journey, sign up at!

Who is Alan Courtenay?

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Alan Courtenay is the CEO/Founder of NYC Boot Camps and recipient of the High Impact Trainer of the Year award. He was rated as top 10 master trainer out of 150 different clubs located throughout the Tri-State area during his entire four-year tenure at NYSC. Besides personal individual and group training he mentored a staff of personal trainers at NYSC for two years. Recently he was featured in the HGTV House Hunters episode of 2013.

Born and raised in the Brooklyn community he received a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Long Island University followed by a M.S. in Exercise Science.

His professional career in fitness training and management spans over eight years during which he has trained adults of all ages and physical condition and taught physical education to children, under the New York Board of Ed, for the prior five years. He participated in basketball camps and semi-pro leagues throughout New York, New Jersey and California and his collegiate experience playing for the Long Island University Blackbirds basketball team inspired and cemented his dedication to improving people’s health, vigor and strength.

Alan’s passion for helping others motivated him to further his education by becoming a NASM-PES Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Weight Management Coach. His 360-degree approach to fitness has helped him to successfully operate his own fitness boot camps in Battery Park City and Prospect Park for the past five years.

His training approach is to consistently progress groups or individuals to higher levels of fitness and conditioning safely and effectively. With this emphasis on improvement there is regular change in style and variations of workouts. His philosophy of a fit body means “no weaknesses” in all categories. This approach works hand-in-hand with keeping the mind just as strong and active as the body and making effective lifestyle changes in eating habits. No key is left unturned in his dedication to keeping his clients motivated and accountable in order to reach their goals.

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