A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spinning out of control

Did you see this story from Manhattan? Seems one guy in a spin class repeatedly got steamed about a fellow spinner's shouts and grunts. So he took matters into his own hands.
Now the case has ended up--where else?--in court, where attorneys will spin the spin story in their clients' favor.
A similar tale: Last week, Frank, an instructor at my gym, told us of a recent training he led in Canada. Before class, two people about to come to the class duked it out, just outside the room; one said, "Stay away from my daughter!" and then the punches flew. Instead of going for help, fellow class members started holding up their camera phones to catch the action. It's probably already on You Tube.
Be careful out there.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chemoflage coming to Columbus

An Atlanta woman, Cookie Aftergut, is coming to town July 15 with her two-year-old organization called Chemoflage. As the name suggests, it helps people in the throes of chemotherapy deal with many issues related to the cancer and its treatment. (She mainly reaches out to women, given some of the topics she addresses, including makeup and fashion.) Aftergut is a breast cancer survivor.
In 2003, Aftergut started working with a foundation under the auspices of ChemoChic. Then two years ago, she struck out on her own and had to re-name her business.
Based partly on her own experience with cancer therapies, and those of others, Aftergut founded the organization to help women feel better about themselves during cancer treatment. She and other experts teach women about complementary clothing, using make-up, proper nutrition, mental health and other issues that often come up during therapy.
In 2007, she was honored as a "Woman of Spirit" by Morton's Steakhouse of Buckhead.
She has also teamed up with Nordstrom in Atlanta and conducts classes there. In Columbus, she and her assistant will start their lunch and learn program at 11 a.m. July 15. It's at the John B. Amos Cancer Center of Columbus Regional, 1831 Fifth Ave.
For more information, see click here.
To register for the lunch, call 770-394-6094.

Photo by Camoflage

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tears without fears

Internet, how often do you cry?
I was thinking of this just now, while reading one of my favorite blogs, and then thought, "I should blog about this!" Because, when you have a blog (and a quota), you always have the antennae up. So I Googled crying and here was some interesting stuff from "Emotional Processing" in the UK:
"It is a widespread belief in the western world that crying is therapeutic and also the converse, that failure to cry is a danger to our health. Randolph Cornelius (1986) systematically analysed the content of popular articles on weeping in the press from 1850 to 1985 and found a major theme was that crying was considered an important means of releasing physiological tensions; if it wasn't released, it would find an outlet in some other way, such as affecting the person's body and possibly causing disease. Ninety-four percent of articles recommended letting tears flow."
For more on this topic, click here.
Have you seen the movie "Broadcast News"? The Holly Hunter character, who works for a D.C. news station, makes herself cry every day, to relieve stress. I've always been envious of that. Me? I tend to save it up. I might cry in a movie, for instance, but that's once in a blue moon. Every six months or so. Then that will trigger every bad memory since kindergarten. In which case I will cry harder. Then I feel so much better afterward.

P.S. Now the guy (or girl) who was posting spam on here--the person who insisted I'm a crazy person (and, really, who isn't?) will have a field day with this one.

Credit cards and such

In credit news, check out this story on money and your credit.
What does this have to do with health and fitness? Not much, in the way of fitness--but could be categorized as financial health and well-being.
Then have fun with this little quiz about credit.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Hammer

We at the Spin Cycle seem to be having trouble with spam of late.
When you post a comment, it won't actually post until it's e-mailed to me; then I can post it after approving. That way, links to mean things won't show up. (Previously, I had said there were links to porn sites. That was not the case--just mean things about yours truly, which goes against my only rule on this thing from Day 1: Be kind.
It's kind of flattering, in a weird way, to have a stalker.)
Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Only in the South II

My parents were out of town this past weekend, too, and told me a story of this grand event.
We have to go up there sometime. Maybe you could come, too.
Click on "New Year's Eve" and it tells you all you need to know about the Possum Drop.
At first I was thinking they dropped the possum so fast, it splattered on the pavement; but then I understood it to be like the ball drop in Times Square. My four-day "sabbatical" fried my brain.

P.S. This just in, and unrelated to the Possum Drop: The Food Network will be in Columbus tomorrow, at the Lance plant, filming a segment on organic snack foods. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 26, 2008


All I ever wanted
Had to get away ..."
--The GoGos

Just returned from this place, where I saw the sister of the guy in the middle graduate from this place.
What an amazing time. Having not seen her in 10 years, it was quite a reality check, that people change pretty dramatically from age 8 to age 18.
Fun times.
Now back to reality.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Better than sliced bread

Maybe I exaggerate.
THIS is the new appliance. Michael stayed home today to supervise the installation, and the guy didn't have to cut around our old space--which is good news. The previous oven was slightly smaller in width.
Our neighbor on one side of us, who happens to be my first-grade teacher, said the woman who lived here before Michael used to bake every day. EVERY day. Her speciality was cherry pie. Our friend said the recipe called for 303 or 304 cherries. (As if someone biting into the pie would say, "Send it back! This is only 303?!")
Internet, let's take a survey. What should we bake first?


Anyone want to write a haiku about blisters?
(See yesterday's entry.)
Here's an informative story about what you can do for blisters. Coming into spring/summer, you might be hitting some trails. But don't let them hit you back!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New oven!

Sometimes it doesn't take much to get the excite-o-meter going. Tomorrow we are getting a new oven. This is big news in a couple of ways: One, that we can actually cook in an oven again; and two, that when we have company over, and two items are ostensibly baking, one of us doesn't cuss because it's not really working. We will actually be able to do things again like preheat and bake and have a timer and enjoy hot foods from which you don't risk salmonella.
Our current (dead) oven is about as old as I am, Mr. Owen told me. (He's lived in the house longer.) Two Saturdays ago, we were having company and started to preheat it to 350. On the menu: pork tenderloin and baked cheese grits, a household tradition. The oven took about 10 minutes to get to 150. I started to freak out, envisioning pizza in our future. Thankfully our friends were a little late, and we ate a little late, and the food was cooked and fine.
But. It was the Last Supper.
Tomorrow, a new day dawns.

A Dead Oven Haiku:
Oven, you were nice.
While it lasted, you were fine.
But now, you get replaced.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Healthy foods, cheap

This is from our friends at WebMD (I'm not sure they know we're friends but I think we'd like each other if we met.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

'There is no formula'

If you are of a certain age--say, older than 25--you have heard more than your share of graduation speeches. Here's one I just found from Tufts University. "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira, a 1975 Tufts graduate, offers this poignant, funny, serious and reflective commencement speech about her career and some lessons learned along the way.
The main point? (In case you don't want to read all of it). Listen to your voice. "Let your life speak," as writer/educator Parker Palmer says. Easier said than done, but worth a shot. If you're like me, you have a gazillion voices a day telling you who you should be and what you should do.
The gazillion voices (some with more more weight than others) should be taken into consideration. It's not a solitary road, this life; yet you are the only one who can, and has the right, to walk in your shoes. Shakespeare said: To thine own self be true.
Thoughts? Rebuttals?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Today's discovery

Click here.
What an amazing place. I've ridden by the one near our house maybe hundreds of times, but stopped in today because we needed new ice trays. Only a dollar! For four! So then I "had" to buy a couple of other things.
Granted, some of the stuff on the shelves is pure crap and IMHO isn't worth a dollar. And you also risk, as I did, getting behind the person with 37 items in the cart but when she swipes her card discovers they don't do debit; only credit. So she tells the cashier, "I have to run out to my car," and you roll your eyes and shift your weight to the other leg, back and forth.
During this recent unpleasantness (the economy), I am suddenly the biggest fan of the Dollar Tree.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Only in the South

While riding my bike today, I stopped at the halfway point and called my man. He was driving. In the middle of a sentence, he started laughing, when happening upon this scene: Two guys sitting in lawn chairs in the bed of a pickup truck that was parked in the front yard.
They were drinking and had a sign set up: You Honk, We Drink.
In other news, the state Republican convention was in town this weekend. Sonny Perdue, the Guvna, spoke this morning and defended his pull-back of $3 million in state funding for a National Infantry Center museum being built here. He indicated the ensuing outcry was a political maneuver on the part of local leaders, and also a misunderstanding.
Honk if you love Sonny.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mental illness day

Today I took one of these. They're more commonly known as mental health days. (But there's a fine line, right?)
This here is a funny blog about same.
Ran some errands. Ate lunch at a local dive. And took the biggest nap you ever saw. So did Bisquick. I got to see what he does when we're not here. Which is pretty much what he does when we are: Nap, eat, sleep, lick self, whine, visit the litter box. Repeat.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Norma Rae meets newspaper carrier

So we had this little fire at our newspaper today. It was in the wee hours in the morning in the pressroom, and the pressmen wisely ran out of the building because we have these CO2 containers that, well, might combust if they encounter things like extreme heat.
Thankfully, no one was hurt.
But the timing of the fire was such that the regular carriers had either gone home or to other jobs or whatever it is they do after delivery around 5:30 in the morning.
Read Brad Barnes' story here.
What the fire meant for me and Michael and many others in the newsroom and around the building: We helped sort and count papers in our distribution center, then deliver them. I have a newfound love and respect for newspaper carriers, and those who prepare papers for delivery.
(Another result, at least for me, was black-bottomed feet. Because it chose to rain today. Then my feet got grossly wet and I was wearing black sandals that rather "bled." It's only because I trust you so implicitly, Internet, that I can post this nasty photo of my foot. It's the left one, in case you're interested.)
My friend Regina from HR and I paired up and I had about 200 papers to deliver. I can proudly say we got them all.
Some funny stories from the experience:
--Three of our newsroom retirees were called in and admirably helped out. However, two of them lingered so long at the sorting depot that the publisher and others had to shoo them out and remind them they had deliveries to make. Not much later, the publisher and the circulation director bumped into them eating a leisurely lunch at a BBQ joint.

--The same two retirees reportedly got into an argument while driving around about just how exact they needed to be in their deliveries. As in, "Do we really need to deliver ALL of these?" One took it rather as a calling as if to say, "We cannot disappoint these people; they're counting on us."
--On my husband's route, his partner-in-crime was tossing a paper onto an upstairs apartment porch--but then the paper came out of its plastic wrapping and fluttered to the ground like bird feathers.
While I would not choose this particular job in a million years (not least of which because I'm not a night-owl), I can honestly tip my hat to those who do this for a living. First of all, how do you do it so quickly? And secondly, doesn't it just suck when it rains?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Now for something light

A strawberry smoothie recipe!

2 1/2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup strawberry nectar
1 pitted peach
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt or strawberry yogurt if you don’t have the nectar.
2 cups ice

Blend. Drink.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Women are needed for cancer study

National Women's Health Week is this week and ends Saturday.
A study called The Sister Study is reminding women to sign up to learn more about women's health. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health, is committed to enrolling 50,000 diverse women from all walks of life.
Participation will help researchers learn the causes of breast cancer and how women can prevent it, according to Paula Juras, project officer with the Sister Study.
"It's often said that we are better at taking care of our family's health than our own," Juras said in a media release, so women are encouraged to get needed medical tests as well as participate in this research study.
Women ages 35 to 74 may be eligible if their sister--living or deceased--related to them by blood had breast cancer; if they had breast cancer themselves; and if they live in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. Caucasian women with high school degrees or less OR who are between 65-74 are also needed.
The study no longer needs Caucasian women ages 35-64 who have a high school degree or higher.
To volunteer or learn more, see www.sisterstudy.org or Spanish www.estudiodehermanas.org or call 1-877-474-7837.

Monday, May 12, 2008

More on health care

Catching up on some reading today, I found this piece from the Times about the difficulties for people who actually HAVE health insurance.
Then, I caught Real Live Preacher's video about the subject. (As the days go by, you can find it as the May 12th entry.)
From his blog: "Do you think they just hope to wear people down?"
Thoughts? Musings?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A bouquet to all mothers

That best academy, a mother's knee. ~ James Russell Lowell

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers. Sent flowers to mine on Friday, which in a way was risky because she always told my father she thought they were a waste of money. (But I reminded her after the delivery--of the flowers, I mean--that it was my money to be "wasted," not hers.) She was pleasantly surprised. She said she was outside when the guy pulled up and that she looked into the whites of my dad's eyes to see if he was lying, when he said he didn't know anything about it.
Then, ever the practical person, she said, "I can use them for my funeral!"
I said, "Uh, do you have plans?"
All of a sudden she thinks she's 100 years old.
What are your memories of your mother?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

But how big was the rebate check?

The famous Duggar family is expanding again.
Read story here.
Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar of Arkansas are expecting child No. 18. Their oldest is 20. Michelle is 41. All the children's names start with J. I'm thinking, wouldn't you eventually run out of names? (Or money?)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Beware of flying cardboard boxes

It got pretty windy in these parts today. So much so that when two friends and I were walking back from lunch, a sizable cardboard box came flying straight at me. Thankfully I have been to kick-boxing so I knew how to block it, haha. Odd objects flying around made me think of the old Westerns where the tumbling tumbleweeds tumble down the street.
Be careful out there!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Insurance woes

Read this about one Texas family's health insurance woes.
If it doesn't make your blood boil, you are one cold-hearted fish--either that, or something like this has never happened to you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Solar cooking

Check out this CNN video report about solar cooking. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it looks fun too. (Yet my immediate question is: Why does it have to be so big?)

Monday, May 5, 2008

The naturopaths

Found this article about naturopathic medicine after talking to a friend Sunday about her mom's home-health remedies.
My friend said her mother does things like put a bar of soap under a pillow to cure ailments, and she knows of another relative who puts urine (her own) into her ear. Ick.
In my own family, my nickname for my own mother is Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. She has long practiced preventive medicine by taking vitamins, eating certain foods (and fish oils) and creating juices in her mixer. I cannot begin to comprehend her techniques, nor discern the contents of certain dishes in her refrigerator. She does use Western medicine when she has to, like for check-ups and such; but generally if doctors are depending on her to get rich, they might want to go into another line of work.

Another quiz--rate your relationships

Here's another quiz from our friends at WebMD.
The tricky thing about when you have disagreements with people is keeping your own opinion intact but also honoring theirs. A friend of mine taught me this saying many years ago: "I count me; I count you."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Fitness quiz

This is a cool fitness quiz I just found. And you don't even have to study!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Blog recommendation

Stumbled on this engaging blog a few minutes ago called "My Cancer." Sounds like a downer, I know, but this guy Leroy Sievers, a journalist for National Public Radio, writes about his journey so eloquently and honestly that you forget it's about the dreaded C word.
Cancer has been on my mind because I have friends--and friends of friends--who are going through treatment. These people are so very brave. In my own family, what's amazing to me is that it's not in our history. I mean, everybody these days has cancer, right? (Or so it seems.) No one on either side of my mom or dad's family has had it. (By that I mean their parents, grandparents and siblings. Both families are fairly sizable.) We have patterns of other diseases but not that. That one scares the heck out of me.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sad ending

Just saw this report that the 'DC Madam,' who was awaiting sentencing for arranging "dates" for some high-powered politicos, committed suicide. Deborah Palfrey was found on her mother's property in Florida.