A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Top dogs

Here's a list of the best places in the U.S. to get hot dogs.
(To my fellow Georgia residents: Yes, the Varsity in Atlanta made the cut.)
In Columbus, we have the scrambled dog, a local tradition. It has nothing to do with eggs.
Check it out.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Are fatty foods addictive like cocaine?

SUNDAY, March 28, 2010 (Health.com) — Scientists have finally confirmed what the rest of us have suspected for years: Bacon, cheesecake, and other delicious yet fattening foods may be addictive.
Read the full article here.
As I type this, I have the belly-bloat of someone who just stuffed herself with a de-lish hamburger from the grill. (Thanks, Husband!) But apparently I have something in common with lab rats and cocaine addicts.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sights of spring

"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Crepe Myrtle Cafe

Last night I was in Auburn, Ala., for an assignment.
After finishing up, I was famished and looking for a good meal. I chanced upon this place.
The Crepe Myrtle Cafe cafe is on the property of the nursery/gardens and there's also a connecting store that sells healthy products such as granola and lintels.
The typical strip-mall chain restaurants are across the street from this place; and I would have eaten at one of them had I not spied this one.
To show you how much I loved the food, I didn't even pick out the mushrooms from the crepe. (I hate mushrooms. Hate, hate, hate.) And the side salad was delicious.
Location: 1192 S. Donahue St., on the corner of S. College and S. Donahue

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday: Quiz yourself on health

It's Friday, in case you didn't know.
Here's a quiz about recent health news.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Deli Day: Success!

Hats off to Temple Israel for yet another successful Deli Day.
That was some kind of power, enabling the rain to hold off at just the right time.
The corned beef was especially good this year. And of course the homemade desserts. Wow.
Captions: Top: My boss Pork Chop (not her real name) and her husband Jeff
Middle: Our friends Bebe and Carolyn
Bottom: Me and our priest, Fr. Doug Hahn

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's National Puppy Day!

Granted, there's a national day for everything; but this one in particular makes me smile.
A shout-out to all our puppy friends and puppy owners.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't butt out

Hallelujah! Some good news for "my kind."
No matter how much I work out, I don't lose much in the "trunk" area. (I like that phrase in the story: "junk in the trunk.")
Turns out, this is a good thing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Adagio for Strings, op. 11

This has been in my head all day, because we heard it at church.
The video: Leonard Slatkin Conducts the BBC Orchestra on Sept. 15 2001 in honor of those who lost their lives a few days prior. Visuals from BBC's "Last Night of the Proms" and ABC's 'Report from Ground Zero."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Speak your mind

A recent conversation with two friends is today's food for thought. Both of them aim to confront "bad behavior" this year. Both of them are women, and neither one is a wilting flower. But they, like I, have trouble calling out obvious abuses and stupidity.
To the second point: One of the women went to a grocery store recently. She had wine in her cart. She's in her 70s. She got carded. My friend knows that most cashiers have to card everyone who comes through but still: It's common sense not to card her. She was not flattered. So she left her entire cart of unpurchased items at the store.
Though my own tendency is to be real Type-B about this kind of thing, I really respect her choice. I wish I were more bold--whether the action is directed at me or someone I know or a stranger. I tend not to react, at least outwardly.
Like many things, this is a blessing/curse trait. I like that I don't anger easily.
Yet my "shadow side" is I like people to like me too much and thus I don't confront. If I were my 70-something friend, I probably wouldn't have left the cart. "What would they think of me?"
All this to say, I admire my friends.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cornell: Spate of suicides

This disturbing piece ran in today's Times.
Three recent deaths of students--all suspected to be suicides--has the Cornell University community reacting. Immediately I was sad because the success-at-all-costs culture can really get to people who have a tendency toward depression.
But I do wonder: Are the Cornell statistics any different than at other Ivy League schools? A source in the article points to the very public area where these students died--a beautiful gorge by a bridge--and that makes them stand out. As well, the long winters can add to depression. Both true. But isn't Harvard beautiful and cold? Yale?
Like most things, the cases are complex.
I do appreciate that the article was published in the first place. Little by little, we are erasing stigmas, not only about suicide but mental illness in general.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Top 10 Irish pubs in U.S.

Here you go, just in time for St. Pat's Day.
For Columbus folks, the closest one to us is in the Florida panhandle.

The squirrel bit it

From Michael's Facebook post Monday: "listening to the Roto-Rooter guys trying to dispatch a clog in a pipe, which is apparently an animal that found its way down a vent pipe into the plumbing. Several hundred dollars, of course, but it probably sucked more to be the animal than it does to be the home owner."
We'd had some sink issues in one of the bathrooms. Michael, the greatest handyman ever, couldn't fix it. "Gotta call the plumber," he said, which is never good news.
Fortunately for me, Michael drew the short straw Monday and came home from work to meet the Roto-Rooter guys.
After a little while, the workers said they had some bad news. An animal, probably a squirrel, appeared to be in the system. (already dead, of course, but he had to come out.)
Michael said one of the men had to go sit in the truck toward the end of the "surgery" because it was just too intense. The guy who stayed inside said he'd seen everything.
Thanks, Roto-Rooter. Anytime I complain about my job, I'll think about yours.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nips and tucks on the decline

The number of nips and tucks seem to be drying up. Or at least slowing down. The economy is largely to blame, it seems, with people going for less-pricey procedures. (Then there's the occasional botch job which can make would-be patients wary.) Yet I have to believe that money is the greater culprit. After all, we live in a country where beauty is skin deep.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cheese race in England gets the ax

This is most unfortunate.
Hope everyone's having a great weekend.
Remember to spring forward before you go to bed. Or, as Mr. Owen suggested, set your alarm for 2 a.m. and do it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A generation of sedentary lives

This is alarming.
At the risk of bugging you with the old refrain "When I was a kid. ..." I will tell you what recreation was like when I was a kid: In the summers, my mother basically told me and my brother to get lost--go play outside. Fortunately we had lots of neighborhood friends to pal around with. I mostly remember making forts in the woods, climbing trees and going to the park to float homemade boats down a creek. If it rained, we made forts out of bunk beds.
Obesity is slowly but surely becoming a national epidemic. Thoughts? Suggestions for improvement?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Bag of Interesting

We just had these with dinner. Wow. We've had some of the other brands of Chex Mix but this one, so far, is my favorite.
Not exactly heart smart, but they practically cried out to me from the shelf.
I knew you'd understand.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

MSG: Friend or foe?

And who isn't thinking about Monosodium glutamate?
My friend Rachel was telling me that she ate some Chinese food yesterday and, though she checked for MSG signs in the restaurant, still ate it by mistake. Apparently she can really tell when she's eaten it: She gets that bloated feeling; and she said it's still lingering today.
My reaction: I feel full quickly as I'm eating this type of food, but then not long after--within a few hours--I get incredibly hungry. Rachel, a nutritionist, says that comes from the MSG.

Monday, March 8, 2010

7-11's Joe DePinto

We caught this episode of "Undercover Boss" last night.
Normally, I abhor reality shows--because while they may be shows, I find them short on reality--but this one seemed different.
First off, it was about a real-life guy who's a real-life CEO of a company (7-11, the convenience store chain). DePinto pretended to be part of a documentary on entry-level workers. In truth, he was popping in on employees at four of his stores. Two worked the graveyard shift, and he worked alongside them.
Second, I was touched by each of the employees. Especially the woman named Dolores, who works the early-morning shift serving coffee to busy commuters. She knows most everyone by name. Meanwhile, she awaits a kidney transplant.
(My skeptical/cynical side is sure the employees were heavily screened ahead of time and these just weren't random visits. And, is there a monetary deal between CBS and the corporation? Because if not, that's a heck of a lot of PR for 7-11.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The joy of socks

This morning, I stayed home from church to re-arrange my sock drawer. (I know, "Pagan! Sinner!")
And I'm sure our priest has heard that sock-drawer excuse a thousand times.
I used to say, "You can never have too many picture frames or socks." Yet, as it turns out, you can.
The socks had gotten out of control. So many random pairs. Bisquick and I sat on the floor for a good 20 minutes (he helped me sort) and it was like working a jigsaw puzzle, putting like brands together.
For sock reviews, this brand is fine for cycling but not hiking or walking. It tends to creep down my shoe and causes blisters.
This brand is tops for hiking and walking.
What are your Thoughts on Socks?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring and Charles Dickens

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."
~Charles Dickens

It's spring here, y'all. I'm sure we'll have another cold snap before it's all over. This is a tree alongside the driveway at our church.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Free time? Make a cool video

This is awesome. Maybe if you and I had more free time, we could do something like this.
Or not.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Medical schools: Heal thyselves

This is an interesting front-page story from the Feb. 14 Times.
And these letters followed.
Several dilemmas: The country is facing a doctor shortage, particularly in primary care (which has long been trending that way). The population is aging, overall, and not many schools offer that specialty training. With numbers of new patients expected to swell with new health care legislation, more physicians will be needed. And, enough students have sought medical school training abroad (when they couldn't get into U.S. schools), to create even more of a doc shortage.
I agree with one of the letter writers who said medical schools are terribly expensive on start-up; why not just admit a few more people at the existing institutions?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

When Harry Met Sally: Clips from the 'mature' lovers

Look what I found.
This is so great.
Which one's your favorite? Mine's probably the one where the guy keeps getting the names of the women mixed up, and his wife corrects him.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Beer in the river: Drunk fish

Perhaps I won't do this story justice, but I'll take a stab at it.
This bishop was in town today, speaking for Trinity Episcopal Church's Lenten Lunch Series.
Bishop Sloan is a fabulous storyteller; I could listen to him read the phone book.
After college, and before seminary, Sloan worked on a boat that went up and down the Mississippi River. He had two weeks on, two off. One night, before his midnight shift, the generator blew. Woke everyone up, naturally. The boat captain ordered Sloan and this other guy to go to such-and-such bar and wait on a man from Baton Rouge to come with a new generator. About six beers later (apiece), the guys decided to get a case for their other buddy back on the boat because they felt sorry he couldn't join the fun.
The boat captain was a reformed alcoholic who didn't allow drinking on board, so the young men knew they had to be careful. Sloan sneaked the beer into the refrigerator, way back behind the lettuce and tomatoes. The next day, when he went to retrieve the beer, Sloan opened the door; he was taking out the case but spotted the captain's shoes under the refrigerator before it closed.
Sloan apologized. The captain said he was apologizing only because he got caught. True enough, Sloan said. Captain told him: Throw all this beer into the river and I will never bring this up again. He complied. A couple of occasions later, Sloan tried to apologize again to the captain. But he'd cut him off. "I told you it was done. ... Let it go. Let it go."
What a gift.
Happy Monday.