A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Friday, February 29, 2008

'Dude food'

Check out this AOL quiz about food usually related to dudes. (Burgers and such.) A male co-worker who, shall we say, fits at least the burger stereotype just walked by and said he eats tofu all the time. Right.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Comforting comfort foods

Check out this list from the Today Show's Joy Bauer. It's how to indulge in your comfort foods without getting too uncomfortable around the waistline.
To find a recipe, simply click on the category on the left, such as "hamburger."
I'm thinking of this on two counts: One, we went to Fuddrucker's today (not real heart-smart, at least not what we had); and two, the past few days I've had day dreams of swimming in a vat of macaroni and cheese.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

'Best abs EVER!'

So today my boss Pork Chop handed me a copy of Fitness magazine. The abs (abdominals) thing is one of the promos on the cover, which rather screams out at you like the supermarket tabloids. (And I've always thought, If people really did accomplish what was on these magazine covers, don't you think the magazines would eventually go out of business? Because wouldn't we be so completely satisfied with our body, mind, soul, sex life, shape of our calves and metabolism that we could merely scoff at the idea of someone offering instruction?)
All in all, this appears to be a pretty good magazine. Pork Chop and I found this one article on toning certain parts of one's body, to burn fat.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Strong II

"The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
--Ernest Hemingway

Some days ago on this blog, I wrote about a new book out called "Strong at the Broken Places" by one Richard Cohen. He has MS and is married to Meredith Vieira, the newscaster. I just bought the book, and here's a sampling from the intro: "Chronic conditions do not resolve themselves. Unlike terminal illnesses, there is no high drama with these diseases. They are not sexy, and are little noticed or understood by an unknowing public that would prefer not to think about them. ... Hemingway had it right. If the world is not the enemy, neither is it our friend. In the end, no matter who surrounds us, we travel alone. Our friends and loved ones are there, providing an infrastructure of love and support. But courage must be drawn from within. Let the world see us as we see ourselves and have the faith to permit us to do it our way."
I don't necessarily see it as he does (the part about the world not being our friend), but I'm also very aware I'm not in his shoes.
The book's powerful so far. Cohen spent time with five people who suffer from the following: ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease); bi-polar disorder; non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; Chrohn's disease; and muscular dystrophy. It's so far clear that each person's--what? soul?--comes through, in the midst of chronic pain and struggle.
Photo by DePauw University

Monday, February 25, 2008


Click here to read this newsflash about what Starbucks stores in the U.S. are doing tomorrow.
As of 5:30 p.m. local time Tuesday, where will the customers go? What will they do? They might actually have to go home to: Drink coffee, study, smoke (outside, of course), tap on the computer keyboard or read.
Or, shock! Converse with family members!
Let me know how you plan to fill your time tomorrow, if you are a Starbucks junkie.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ready to type

Bisquick: Always ready to blog.
Also, an update: His aforementioned problem appears to have worked itself out, so to speak.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A touchy subject

I asked Bisquick's permission to share this and he said, OK. He is suffering from this.
Pretty sure it's because of some surgery he had last Tuesday. Not that I have completely inspected his box, but I think it's true.
Does anyone have any experience with a post-op constipated cat?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shameless plug

For some friends down the street, Irvin and Colleen Rosenberg, proprietors of Brother's General Store.
In the 1000 block of Broadway on the east side.
Their place turns one year old Saturday. Go on in. Have some candy or ice cream. (Or both!) They also have homemade fudge, made by Colleen. Brother's also sells other gourmet food items, greeting cards and sodas.
They're also going to serve hot dogs, which can be topped with chili, on March 1.
If you're dieting, be forewarned.
But at the same time, do your little part to keep them in business. Enjoy!

P.S. Unrelated but interesting: The Dallas Morning News reports that in Japan, the Soladi Care Home is a new nursing facility for dogs. They offer around-the-clock monitoring by veterinarians and a team of puppies to play with old dogs to help maintain
their exercise. It costs 98,000 yen ($800) a month.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The worst (for you) American foods

This is quite an amazing bit of research. Men's Health rates the 20 "Worst Foods in America." (Which reminds me of NBC's Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World!" feature.) When you see the list on the left-hand side, click on each category to see who's really dishing it out. (So to speak.) Some of these findings may surprise you.
Want to have a heart attack soon? If so, you might want to try the Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing. That was No. 1.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Longing for letters

Do you know what I miss, Internet?
Letters. Stamps. Mail.
I don't mean, "I wish I got more letters in the mailbox," although it's thrilling when it happens. I mean the tradition thereof. Here I am typing on this keypad, and we can send an e-mail all around the world and it gets to the person pretty quickly. And we carry around these little phones and Blackberries (one guy in the office today said "Blackberry, Blueberry, whatever") and we are so ... connected.
But are we?
I try to practice what I preach and send cards and letters, though I wish I made more time for it. It's just something about holding that letter in your hand--given or received--and thinking of that person in a way that's different than sending an e-mail. (God knows I love e-mail. It was invented for an impatient person like myself.) But I think of the letters my father wrote to me while I lived away from here for 12 years (and especially the four when I was in college.) Nothing especially earth-shattering--usually news about my mother and the dog, in that order--but special.
Then there were the letters Michael wrote to me some years ago on a business trip he took by train, written on various sheets of pastel paper. There was a letter in my box every single day. This was before we were married. "Hello. How are you? There's a weird guy sitting next to me who got beat with an ugly stick." Or something to that effect.
Do you concur? Do you miss letters, too?

Monday, February 18, 2008

"In Pursuit of Happiness"

This was a really interesting segment on "60 Minutes" last night. Morley Safer reported that people in Denmark rank as the happiest in the world. Danes interviewed said their secret lies in the following: Realistic expectations; a reasonable work week (about 37 hours average); more time spent with family and friends; and, oddly, they come across as a complaining bunch but if you scratch the surface, you see they are happy.
Additionally, Danes are generally similar in terms of wealth. There is not great disparity as in other countries including ours.
At times in this interview, people use the word "content," likened to happiness. I tend to think they're different. Contentment seems deeper and less affected by circumstances. Happiness is when, say, you get a new pet. But you get the point.
Enjoy. (Sorry for the one commercial you gotta sit through first.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Great quote

"Greed is going to do us in — stupid, selfish greed. We have essentially squandered the wealth of this country and forgotten the whole idea of the common good."

This comes from the country's poet laureate, Charles Simic.
He did one of those Q and A's with Deborah Solomon of the Times, and the context was the Presidential election. His candidate was John Edwards, who since the interview has dropped out.
Here's the thing about greed: People, including myself, generally don't think themselves greedy. Because where is the line? It's not written down somewhere. Somebody with five houses might say, "I'm not greedy because the Joneses have more than we do." So greed is relative. Or maybe the person with five houses gives away more than he makes; we don't know that.
But basically, Simic is right--this "I've-got-mine-you-get-yours" mentality is ruinous.
Photo by Michael Prince.

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Michael told me yesterday about this show on the Food Network, where this guy named Guy traverses the country to visit some of the local color, as the title suggests. We would have plenty of choices to offer him here. (However, I must say, being a lover of dives myself, sometimes the food is better than in some hoity-toity restaurant where you have to use the right fork.)
The show airs 10 p.m. Mondays.
Internet, what are some of your favorite dives?
My personal favorite was Pop's Truck Stop, in little Monteagle, Tenn. They are unfortunately now closed but a friend and I would go about once a week and throw down on the greasy burgers and sweet tea. Pop's, Rest In Peace.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

'Crazy' in love

In the nick of time. There's a new study out that names a disease for those who are obsessive about a mate/lover/potential lover. It's called limerence. You know how, in the first phase of a relationship, the other person is the only one you seem to think about? That is a euphoria, and it's natural. But it should deepen if it's to go anywhere. The euphoria doesn't and can't last.
In contrast, think "Fatal Attraction" (which was an affair, and ended with a rabbit boiling in a pot on the stove. Remember?)
Click here to read about limerence.
Click here to listen to "Crazy" by the late great Patsy Cline.
Happy Valentine's Day, all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love: By the numbers

You love birds out there have one more day to set up a date, send flowers, chocolates or buy cards. Or all of the above.
Here are some some interesting stats about Valentine's Day, from our friends at the U.S. Census Bureau.
Internet, what's your general feeling about the Great Love Day? Do you dread it? Love it? Plan to wear expensive perfume or cologne?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The centenarians

This new study, released Monday, offers glimpses into those persons who make it to 100--or older.
Dr. William Hall of the University of Rochester published his findings in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
“It has been generally assumed that living to 100 years of age was limited to those who had not developed chronic illness,” Hall said in the AP report.
Internet, would you like to make it to 100?

Photo: M. Spencer Green, the Associated Press

Monday, February 11, 2008

'You're going to need a bigger boat'

Sad news. The AP is reporting that actor Roy Scheider has died. He was 75. "Jaws" is one of my favorite flicks, although I'm not usually a fan of thrillers.
Read story here.
But compared to most of the junk that poses as scary today, "Jaws" still ranks high.
Enjoy this scene.

Breaking news: Spuds are in

Our friends over at Prevention have this article about resistant starches.
It seems that these carbs aren't so bad for you after all. (Of course, it depends on the quanity, like everything else.) Potatoes. Brown rice. Bean dip.
Among other benefits, these foods help you burn more calories.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Today's find

Today's bookstore find: "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" by Bill Bryson, an Englishman who's lived off and on in the States until he and his family moved back to England in 2003.
Anyone out there read this one?
I first stumbled on Bryson about 10 years ago when I bought "A Walk in the Woods." (His journey about a hike along the Appalachian Trail with a friend from Iowa. Though they didn't complete the trail, and though the sidekick was reportedly fictitious, the stories are hilarious; Bryson also includes his own rantings about the U.S. Forest Service, the environment and the lightning-quick alterations to--and tackying up of--the American landscape. See Tennessee, Gatlinburg.)
Here's an interview Bryson did with Powell's Books.

PS OK, has anyone seen my book? I'm wracking my brain. Bought it, put it in the back of my car, took my mother home; went to see some friends and came home. No book. This is very strange.
Maybe Bisquick ate it.

PPS Call off the dogs. The bag has been found, beside the laundry basket next to the washer. Better than the refrigerator, I guess.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Star 'buck'

You may have heard about this, but Starbucks is experimenting with $1 cups of coffee. In part because they're bracing for the economic downturn, aka recession.
Read here.
And of course once you're in the door, they got ya. Big slabs of cake. Mocha latte. Frappe latte. Espresso cappacino. The list goes on and on.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rest in peace

To Scott Matty, an area resident who was killed while cycling with friends Sunday.
His funeral is Thursday.
Here's our paper's story from the accident.
Here's the obituary.
A life snuffed out, way too soon.

To the wiener dogs

This is a shout-out for our wiener dog friends, aka the Lowdogs, Maggie and Bandit.
See what happens when you do things like this? Jesus goes, "Poof!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

'Stupor' Tuesday

It's Super Tuesday in Georgia.
Politics, as you know, is a lot like sports. Often ugly and unfair, dirty, smelly, winners and losers, complaining at the refs, the players, the fans, the people selling peanuts. And that's the upside.
So in the name of sport, you might like this 2006 "rematch" between tennis legends John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

Monday, February 4, 2008

What a shot

Just had to share this wondrous photo that ran in the Times today.
It was with a story on a small (VERY small) publication that tracks migration trends around the globe. This soul just landed in the Canary Islands from Africa. Photo by Arturo Rodriguez.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


So far, this is my fave commercial of the Super Bowl. (Bisquick gives it two paws up.)
And you?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chuck E parking lot

There was a line outside this place today. A line. Into the street. The parking lot is usually crowded on Saturdays, but I can't say I've ever seen a line.
I'm sure their food is great, second to none. I'm sure if you're a kid with a birthday, this is like the Super Bowl of birthday parties. But if you're a parent, God bless you for standing in line; and then, God bless you for all the sensory overload once inside, then for taking home your child doped up on soda and pizza and birthday cake.
(Then again, once everyone squeezes in, does the fire marshal get a phone call?)

Friday, February 1, 2008

But enough about me ...

Let's talk about Sol Snyder.
Sounds like a really intriguing fellow, and certainly one whose brain you'd like to pick. (So to speak. He's a neuroscientist.)
One thing I'd like to ask someone like Sol, if given the chance: Why is it that people who are tops in their field--whether a neuroscientist, or just really smart, "regular" people--are also some of the most humble and accessible? Some are not, of course. Some of the biggest jerks I know think they know everything. Which I guess is what makes them jerks.
Time and again, I'm amazed that the really smart people who command attention are able to say, "I don't have all the answers. I'm still learning." Internet, who has been such a person for you?