A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Snacks of the 'century'

Craving something but you don't want a full meal? Or empty calories? These snacks are about 100 calories each (hence "century") and are nutritionally sound as well. Enjoy!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Back in the saddle

And the saddle hurts. By that I mean The Bicycle. Having been off of one for more than a week, that seat got my attention Sunday. But don't cry for me; I have good padding.
Meanwhile, this piece in Time magazine caught my eye, partly because a photo from it features a North Carolina camp with which I'm somewhat familiar. Twice over two different summers, I worked at "sister" camps near Falling Creek. The article is about boys and how, after years of warning parents that boys are failing at this or that, boys are coming up just fine. Not better or worse than girls, but different. The camp portion of the article offers a vivid example of this. Given "structured freedom," the campers excel because they learn how to have fun and explore within certain paramaters. (On a side note: The book "Tongues of Angels" by North Carolina author Reynolds Price, also set at a boys' camp, is a thoughtful glimpse into the world of young boys becoming men.)
All of these new kudos to males should make my friend Rachel glad. She recently gave birth to her fifth child, and her fifth boy.

Photo courtesy of Falling Creek, Tuxedo, N.C.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Postcards from the edge

So here's what I was thinking: If you were a postcard printer, it'd be funny to switch a scene from one place with the name of another. Like have a photo of an Alp with the name Great Smoky Mountains under it. And it'd also be funny to see if the person you mailed it to noticed.
These are the types of questions occupying my thoughts this week on our Big Escape. That, and what to eat everyday.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Watch our dust


1. The act of recreating, or the state of being recreated; refreshment of the strength and spirits after toil; amusement; diversion; sport; pastime.
--Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Tomorrow, we go on vacation. May or may not take the computer. May or may not get out of bed every day. May or may not show up on time, on purpose. Hope that you, Internet, have a great weekend and week.

P.S. For those of you who live in the Columbus area, the new Starbucks is open, as of today. It's sort of across from St. Francis Hospital, in the St. Francis Marketplace. It happens to be right next to my gym. Dangerous.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oats and whey

Today's topic: Protein.
Who knew?: Take away the water and about 75 percent of your weight is protein. (Um, gee, I thought it was fat.)
This chemical family is found throughout the body. It's in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way.
To read more about Protein, Our Friend: click here.
And, here's an easy recipe for protein mixed in oatmeal.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Today is Tuesday

I have always wanted to write a book with that title. I'm not sure a) what it means or b) what the content would be. But I figure the name is half the battle.
Here is some practical advice about your THR, or Target Heart Rate.
This info comes from the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. What is the Cooper Center, you may ask? Voila!
And this is about the Cooper Institute.
An uncle introduced me to Kenneth Cooper, its founder, by way of one of his books when I was a teen-ager. I found his teachings to be balanced and achievable, and still do. Plus his emphasis on prevention is beyond peer. One of my heroes, you might say.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A stickup ... and an apology

Hope everyone is having a stellar weekend.
It's Sunday, so we bring you some News of the Weird:
A recent D.C. dinner party got interrupted by a gun-wielding robber whose planned was foiled when a guest offered him a glass of wine. He apologized for his actions, then got a group hug before leaving the party with the glass.
Read all about it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mr. Inspiration

One LeRoy Varga of New Jersey is one tough dude. At 80, he's about to ride in the amateur equivalent of the Tour de France. He started this little cycling obsession at age 12 when he rode 150 miles--because he thought it'd be a cool thing to do.
Read on. (Oops. On Times Select, you can click on a 14-day trial if you are a non-subscriber.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

'Crash' diet?

Something from the radio today caught my ear: Eating while driving causes wrecks more frequently than driving while on cell phone. (Not that the commentator was advocating either.) He said the danger goes up exponentially if you have a stick shift. (Um, guilty.) And the following items are especially dangerous. Upon reading these, God knows why I myself have not died yet in this manner.
Be careful out there!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A potpourri of health news

So many things about health today. ...
First: You gotta check this out. (Well, you don't have to. Just thought you might wanna.)
People on all sorts of sides on national health care are coming out of the woodwork.
Second: Do you think women have a hard time expressing/admitting anger? And if so, why? I ask this because several times in just the past few days, female friends or aquaintances have appeared to be angry. I'd say, "Are you mad?" They hemmed and hawed. "Noooo. Just frustrated." Or "Hurt." Why do you think this is so, Internet? (I myself have a hard time admitting anger so I'm not pointing fingers. These women didn't appear to be acting out their anger, such as slashing someone's tires or the like; and the way we deal with the anger is important, male or female. I'm just wondering what it is about being female that makes us reticent to express this emotion.)
And three: If you live in the Columbus area, a free diabetes educational program for seniors is 1-3 p.m. July 19 at the civic center. Call the Columbus Research Foundation for more info: 706-322-1700 ext. 119.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Isolated showers

Though I've lived in the South all my life (or as my dad would say: "Not yet!"), you'd think I'd be wiser than striking out on my bike Sunday. Isolated showers in the forecast. And that's what we got. That means you might go 10 feet on dry pavement and then--bam!--rain galore. Got soaked. (But in my defense, this photo aptly describes what the sky looked like: blue on one side, dark clouds on the other.) Turned around and booked it back to town in time for inside Spin class where I also got soaked but in a different way.
Hope that you, Internet, had a good weekend.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Packs a punch

Today from the food department: This was such a great invention. In fact I just ate one of these little packs myself. (The Oreo kind, which don't really look like Oreos but taste like them.) In the long run, you pay more--but not in calories. Don't know about you, Internet, but if I had the regular bag of Oreos in front of me, I'd sure be eating more than 100 calories.
Mmmm, tasty.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Heat and hydration

Not sure where you are, but it's H-O-T here and that means one thing: Drink lots of fluids. Preferably water, and add a sports drink if you're exercising for more than 90 minutes at a time. This report contains more details. One tip is to drink a full glass of water at regular intervals. I don't know about you, but I typically can't stop on a bicycle long enough to drink a glass. So, you can take in smaller amounts at more frequent intervals. That's more like it. And remember: If you experience extreme weakness, or sickness to your stomach while working out, stop. This could be a sign of oncoming heat stroke.
Be careful out there!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4

A happy Independence Day to one and all.
"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."
~Erma Bombeck


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Upsetting the apple cart

Just got back from "Sicko." (Meanwhile, Evil Cat is doing his best Linda Blair impersonation. But I digress.)
Anyone who is concerned about health care in this country ought to see this movie. It will make you laugh a fair amount but it might also make you angry and depressed. I went with two friends from church. As was noted in the film, we lamented afterward how the U.S. system--the government, the entire health care industry, all of us--treats the less fortunate in our society. Of course we have great medical care and great docs; but the part having to do with money--and therefore access--is unfairly tilted.
The issue seems to boil down to one main question: Is health care a right or privilege? At least since the Nixon administration, when HMOs came along, health care has become a privilege here. Even if you are fortunate enough to have health insurance, that does not guarantee you can afford some catastrophic crisis. I know I couldn't. Michael Moore highlights several of these cases, including a California woman whose infant died because the hospital she took her to was out of her "network." Another couple had to move into cramped quarters with an adult child and his family because the husband had had multiple heart surgeries and the wife had cancer. Too expensive for them. Had to sell the house.
Critics are out in full force. See here and here and the aforementioned here.
This Associated Press story reports flaws in some of Moore's reporting.
Still, you have to know (whether you see "Sicko" or not, whether you're Red State or Blue State) that our system is quite dysfunctional. A major criticism of governments with universal healthcare is that patients have to wait for long periods of time in the emergency room. And that they sometimes have to wait weeks to see a specialist. Um, check, we get that in the U.S., too.
If you go see this movie, let me know what you think.