A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


That is the word for the day. Bursa.
Here's what it's all about: "Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa sacs. Bursa are fluid-filled sacs located in the areas where muscles and tendons glide over the bones. The bursa can become inflamed making movement stiff and painful. ..."
So I apparently have one of these. Had been noticing that the left side of the right knee didn't line up with the right side of the left (got it?), because there was this bulge on the right knee. Yet, there was/is no pain so it was a puzzle.
You must first know that I'm prone to hypochondria so bear that in mind. First thing Monday, I called my family practice guy and I couldn't get in until the next morning. Which would be fine for, say, Normal People but not really for those of us who are prone to a) hypochondria and b) wanting answers pronto.
So I went to one of those doc-in-the-box places and they X-rayed it and that's what it is. A bursa, with a touch of arthritis. Good thing I can still ride my bike--because that particular movement is good for it--and there's also an anti-inflammatory she gave me.
Someone should write a book (or maybe just an essay) about the time you spend in the exam room. Alone, studying all the charts and latex gloves and many things made of steel. It's that suspension between when the doctor/P.A. comes in, and leaves to look at X-rays or whatever, then comes back. That period of time (even if it's just five minutes) can be so excruciatingly long.
Because, as level-headed as I can be, my Paranoid Freak side doesn't take long to conjure up words like Tumor. Power saw. Death.
Internet, I turned 40 last November and I'm telling you, things are falling apart fast.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Aron Lee Ralston

Here's an update story on Aron Lee Ralston, the Coloradoan who amputated his right arm in a climbing accident in 2003.
I like his perspective.
“Before the accident," his sister says, "he had quit his job as an engineer and moved to Aspen to be in the outdoors and do what he loves. It’s just that what happened to him has vindicated this choice about doing what you love and not being defined by other people’s expectations.”

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Watterblogged: Bottled vs. tap

Here's a good find about bottled water vs. tap water.
Mea culpa: I myself spend too much money on bottled water, and not enough re-filling old bottles with water from fountains.
Of course tap is just fine. ... But here's the thing: Marketing, and appearance. The other day I succumbed to a bottle in a glass container at the checkout counter because it LOOKED so refreshing. Ahhh.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Warren Buffett

The Man about Money had this to say about the economy.
It ain't good news, peeps. Mainly he's looking at the unemployment number, which could go over 10 percent. I'm no economist, mind you, but that's not a pretty figure.
What are some ways you're cutting back? Using the car less? Coupons more?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wedding No. 9

This is my friend Lori (on the right). I was in her wedding in 1998 then went five years before--BINGO!--my own wedding. I tell people the 10th time was the charm.
Anyway, Lori and her husband Andy have this business. They're full-time freelancers, based in Athens, Ga. Lori, Andy and I used to work together here. If you ever need a fast freelancer, check them out.
Tell 'em the Church Lady sent you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Adequate hydration is very much on my mind today as we're suffering through a heat wave down in the Peach State.
And our Spin instructor, as she does every Tuesday, has a healthy tip. Today's topic was hydration. The best thing you can drink, she said, is water. Then I found this nifty nutrition calculator that will tell you, once you complete the quiz, how much water you should be drinking everyday.
Let's just say I should be consuming more.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Food for thought

As of the weekend, I've sworn off Diet Coke. (I'm sure Coke won't go out of business; I was consuming one a day.) Why? It was this rather gnawing bloated feeling--and come to find out, the added caffeine increases cravings.
And, come to find out, abstaining from sodas wards off more PMS symptoms.
Just don't take away my morning coffee.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Plantar fasciitis

This name that I can't pronounce is something that aggravates from time to time (particularly since I turned 40 and fast approaching 41!). Mainly I used to have it in the left foot, but now the right. The exercises should help.
Anyone else familiar with this condition?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Heat wave

I like how this is written in all caps.
But seriously, it's seriously hot; and if you are very young or very old (in which case you probably aren't reading this), take precautions.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This is fascinating.
Marketed as the anti-Red Bull, the drink--called Drank--supposedly helps calm one's nerves. It contains melatonin, valerian root and rose hips. (Does anyone know what a valerian root is?)
It has its critics. For one, a Vanderbilt University pharmacist panned it. And some say it glorifies the drug culture, because "drank" comes from the hip-hop "purple drank," a potentially fatal concoction.
So maybe, to balance things out, you can have your coffee or Red Bull in one hand and your Drank in the other.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Facebook II

A few weeks ago, we at the Spin Cycle blogged about Facebook and/or Twittering and all the "IM"-ing (which will soon be a new verb) going on these days. From a conversation I had today with a friend, my follow-up question is this: What's appropriate and what's not to post on Facebook? (I'll stick just to that since I don't Twitter and I don't, normally, send text messages.)
Obviously, it's an individual decision. Such as--Does this picture of me in my bathing suit look too suggestive, or too Mary Poppins? And, how people react to various posts and pictures is out of that individual's control. I've only been on "FB" a short while (six months?) and some of what I read are beyond the pale. (Or is that just my pale?) What do you think, Internet? What's OK and what's not?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Biggest Loser

Cute story by our friend Sandra Okamoto at the paper.
We asked Bisquick if he wanted to vie for "Biggest Loser" title and he said, "No, I'd rather eat myself to death."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Harry Potter

Harry Potter was the theme for VBS this past week at St. Thomas Episcopal, which happens to be our church (I know, I know--shameless self-promotion).
The theme, Wizards and Wonders, brought more than 65 children and a dozen teen helpers ("prefects") beginning Jun 8.
Directed by volunteer Erin Redden, stories and heroes of the Bible came to life through the professionally costumed parishioner-actors against sets and backgrounds designed by Tiffany Bonaker.
On Monday, the "students" were sorted into their "houses." (If you didn't see the movie, this was a very big deal. Each student was called forward while the magical talking "Sorting Hat" was placed on his/her head.) On Monday, before the sorting, the children heard the story of how Jesus called his disciples. Being called into a new group or 'house' was to be taken as a big responsibility toward the other members, one's new family for the rest of the week. As in the movie, each child was called by name. They sat under the hat and a deep voice called out the name of their house: Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin or Huffelpuff.
The House of Heroes, a nonprofit that serves the nation's military and public safety veterans (and their spouses) who are disabled, living on a fixed income, or facing other physical/financial challenges, was the beneficiary of VBS. Volunteers for the House of Heroes perform minor repairs and make improvements to the homes of veterans and their spouses-at no cost to the veteran.
-- Amy Nerone
Congrats to everyone involved, especially those who gave so much of their time, talent and treasure.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


My friend John Adams has a new blog, which is called John's Gratitude Journal.
On Tuesday, John wrote about finding the work of a rat under the hood of an old car on his property. And how there's a lesson in the havoc of what the rat wreaked. John is an insightful and caring person. John, all the best with your new blogging (ad)venture!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A difference between men and women

Phone rings as we're finishing dinner. Woman on other end says that Michael and I have won a free meal next Wednesday at Red Lobster, because I had taken this very brief phone survey last week about fire safety in our home.
Woman says we can bring three other couples if we'd like, and there'll be a presentation at the end but we don't have to stay for the presentation.
This is especially the part I like because most meetings, to me, are a colossal waste of time--I don't care how many of those Red Lobster cheesy biscuits you put in front of me.
This is one illustrative difference between me and Michael, which I have come to appreciate. He's suspicious about most anything like this. (For one thing, he says, a gimmick is that everyone who answers the phone survey wins the free dinner.)
Yeah but I'm all, like, FREE FOOD!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Roger Federer

Finally, the Swiss great (and world great) Roger Federer has won the French; and he can get that monkey off his back.
He beat Robin Soderling in the final.
Always have been a fan of his, and of Pete Sampras, whose record he's now matched. As Federer says in this story now he can be at peace, having won the French. Federer and Sampras seem similar in temperament--never too high or too low. Classy.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sauces to avoid

Dang. I really, really like this first one.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rest in peace, friend

I don't feel like writing a damn thing, 'scuse the language.
A friend and colleague died unexpectedly Thursday. Here's the story.
It was only about three-and-half years ago when Melanie, another reporter and friend died. Lesson to us: Let us take care of ourselves, and one another.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Holy Toast!

This is so great. Some friends brought back this gift to us from their trip to California.
You mash it into your un-toasted toast, then VOILA!, the VBM shows up.
Michael warns we shouldn't make the toast at home in case hordes of people show up to pray in the yard.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pedaling Revolution

That's the name of a new read by Jeff Mapes, a political writer for The Oregonian.
It got a good review in the Times.
As the title suggests, it's about the push for more commuting by bicycle. The book reviewer concedes that enthusiasts--and those who already commute by bicycle--will be the main ones reading this book. Yet, reviewer David Byrne suggests along with Mapes that "when more women begin riding, that will prompt a big change in attitude, which will prompt further changes in the direction of safety and elegance."
(Funny: One sentence later, Byrne adds the word "attractive" to women bicycling commuters. Will unattractive women who commute on two wheels turn the trend downward?)
I'm all for commuting by bike and I wish I could do it. The distance to my job doesn't bother me so much but a) my workplace isn't equipped with showers and b) I have to use a car during the day for interviews. Some are too far away, and too dangerous, to navigate by bike.
Maybe one day all this will change.

Monday, June 1, 2009


That's the deliciously simple name of a blog I found from the New York Times.
The latest entry (today) is about the deadline for the New York City Marathon lottery.
Anyone from here running in it?
Be, well, well.