Friday, July 31, 2009

It'll Stick to Your Ribs!

OATMEAL! I grew up eating A LOT of oatmeal {and Malt-O-Meal and warm milk with torn up pieces of toast but that's another blog}. It's one of those things that bring back a hundred million sweet memories. We've all seen the oatmeal commercials that tell us how great oatmeal is for our health. It lowers your blood cholesterol. The best way to enjoy all the benefits that oats offer is to eat 1/2 - 1 cup every day. Does that sound like a boring breakfast? Shake things up a bit and experiment with toppers. A few of my favorites are any combination of:
MILK {in addition to the following}
brown sugar & cinnamon
fresh fruit {or canned if I don't have any fresh}
coconut & chocolate chips
a scoop of ice cream {you have to INDULGE every once in awhile right?}

I also found a really cool website {}. It also listed the health benefits as:
* Oats help stabilize your blood sugar. You don't have the roller coaster effect!!!
* Oats contain phytochemicals that fight CANCER!
* Oats fight high blood pressure
* Oats are high in fiber; which helps bowel function {something we hate to talk about but something that is super important}
* Oats make you feel full LONGER, which helps with weight loss!!!
* Oats are an excellent source of CARBOHYDRATES, making it an excellent food source for athletes!! Eat them 45 minutes-1 hour before moderate intensity physical activity and it WILL enhance your performance!

One cup of Oats contain: {*** Nutritional Value is for OATS not OATMEAL***}
Calories - 607 - 30%
Total Fat - 11g - 17%
Cholesterol - 0
Sodium - 3mg
Carbohydrates - 103g - 34%
Dietary Fiber - 17g - 66%
Protein - 26g - 53%
Iron 41%
Calcium - 8%
Manganese - 7.7mg - 383%
Folate - 87.4mcg - 22%
Thiamin - 1.2 mg - 79%
Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids - 173mg
Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids - 3781mg {that is not a typo}

Oatmeal ROCKS!! Make sure to get more in your diet!!! Your body will THANK YOU!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Family Affair

Tonight I took my two oldest kids with me on my run. It was great. We had to walk a little bit but they ran their little hearts out. They have been begging to come with me and they really want to run in a race too. It think it's important that they know how vital it is to our health that we be active and take care of ourselves. I want them to enjoy exercise, fitness and healthy choices. It's a good chance to talk with each other and motivate each other. Our family is a team and we have to work together. We will definitely be going on these little runs more often!!!

Dang Dogs

Last night I was on a run with a couple of my friends. We've ran this 5 mile loop before and have enjoyed it without incident. Tonight was a different story. We live out in the country where there is no dog ordinance or "leash law". So A LOT of people don't worry about fencing their dogs, and to be honest if I had more land I probably wouldn't either! But, as all runners will attest to, having a dog come after you really is a crappy deal!!!

We had two dogs come after us at a corner house. The owner stayed where she was and SORTOF tried to call her dogs off. {I can guarantee that if those where my dogs, I'd be running after them and they would learn then and there that that sort of behavior is NOT going to be tollerated; though I understand that some people WANT their dogs to behave that way} We threw rocks, we yelled & screamed... but those dang beasts kept coming after us. They were about 5 feet away from us at times! Much too close to have a dog bearing his teeth, growling and barking viciously at someone!!! We managed to get past the house unscathed.

Less than a mile down the road we had 3 more BIG dogs come barreling down their driveway toward us. We were probably spooked from our previous incident so immediately started throwing more rocks and yelling at them. I think they were more coming to greet us than anything but we were pretty jittery.

I called the police this morning and the only thing they can do is talk to the owners and ask them to keep their dogs under control. I WILL be buying bear spray and I WILL use it. The police officer {who happens to be a friend of mine} did remind me to take into account the direction of the wind and it may be a good idea to close eyes and mouth for a second to avoid being sprayed yourself!!

Oh the joys of living in the country!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hit The Hills

Yesterday I took my 4 kids on a hike with my cousin and her little one. We chose a hike that was a little on the easier side for the benefit of those with little legs {though they have A LOT more energy}. The first 1/3 of the trail is paved, then it has a big loop that gets more difficult. All along the way there are signs that talk about the area, plants and animals. It's a great hike!

I carried my 10 month old in the Kelty; a MUST HAVE. He loves that thing. We use it ALL the time!! But for hiking, it really is a lifesaver. While we were hiking I was noticing all the muscles that were getting a GREAT WORKOUT!!! Which was increased by the added weight! It felt AWESOME!!Hiking is one of my favorite exercises. You get a GREAT workout but you don't realize that you're exercising!! Well maybe you do but I get too caught up in the scenery and the amazing beauty that is around me. That and keeping an eye on my kids so they don't wander off the trail!! But it's easy to forget about the work and focus on the hike!

What I love is that you can pick a trail to fit what you want!! You want to spend the entire day hiking, you can. But if you only have a short amount of time, you can find a short trail too {or just go up and ways and then turn around}. There is SO MUCH out there to see!!!

You don't need ANY equipment for this killer workout!! Just a good pair of hiking shoes! It's a great way to lose weight! It helps with mental health; it's impossible to be out in nature and not let your mind wander, you will be rejuvinated... I PROMISE!!

I am planning a BIG hike in a few weeks!! It's one of those hikes that will be really hard but so worth it when you make it to the top!!! I can't wait. It's going to be so FABULOUS!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Incredible Edible EGG

I've talked about how AWESOME eggs are before. They are SO GOOD for you!! I've also mentioned that my family eats A LOT of eggs!! So it's only right and proper that these beauties get a Fabulous Friday entry! One of my favorite health facts about eggs is that the QUALITY of protein found in eggs is second only to mother's breast milk. You're getting some GOOD protein here!! In addition to it being high quality protein you get 11.1% of your daily intake in one single egg!

Other things that I've learned from HERE are:
* LUTEIN. {If you remember, Spinach was packed with Lutein} The lutein found in eggs is EVEN BETTER than that found in spinach BECAUSE it's more easily absorbed and used. It is fat soluble {it can't be absorbed without fat being present}. Lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
*CHOLINE. Choline reduces inflamation. Egg yolks are the best source of Choline; followed by soybeans.

I found a few other cool facts HERE:
* There are very FEW foods share the same diverse nutrient makeup available in a single egg!
* Most of the nutrients are found in the egg yolk
* The cholesterol found in eggs have given them a bad rap but in actuality we NEED that fat!!! Fat from healthy sources, like eggs, is GOOD; it's the fat from BAD sources, like fried foods that should be avoided. So EAT those eggs!!!

A couple things I also found from this last website I was pretty surprised by.
* You should buy FREE RANGE or CAGE FREE eggs. The nutritional value of eggs actually is HIGHER in free range!!
* Breaking the yolk when cooking {scrambled eggs} actually damages the proteins and fats!!

I got this next info from the Incredible Egg . org

Nutrient Content of a Large Egg

Nutrient (unit) Whole Egg Egg White Egg Yolk

Calories (kcal) 75 17 55
Protein (g) 6.29 3.60 2.70
Carbohydrate (g) 0.39 0.21 0.61
Total fat (g) 4.97 0.06 4.51
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0.682 0 0.715
Monounsaturated fat (g) 1.905 0 1.995
Saturated fat (g) 1.55 0 1.624
Cholesterol (mg) 212 0 210
Choline (mg) 125.5 - -
Lutein & Zeaxanthin (mcg) 166 0 186
Vitamin A (IU) 244 0 245
Vitamin D (IU) 18 0 18
Vitamin E (mg) 0.48 0 0.44
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.071 0.002 0.059
Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0.65 0.03 0.33
Folate (mcg) 24 1 25
Thiamin (mg) 0.035 0.001 0.03
Riboflavin (mg) 0.239 0.145 0.09
Calcium (mg) 26 2 22
Sodium (mg) 70 55 8
Potassium (mg) 67 54 19
Phosphorus (mg) 96 5 66
Magnesium (mg) 6 4 1
Iron (mg) 0.92 0.03 0.46
Zinc (mg) 0.56 0.01 0.39

Eggs are great. We eat them for breakfast in some form nearly every morning! They are cheap too which is even better!!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Saturday morning I ran my first 10K! I sent my 3 oldest kids with my parents to go camping and I had my friend watch the baby. It was FABULOUS to do this all on my own, just for myself. It was a good little run and I'm feeling great! I remembered to REFUEL and STRETCH and it made all the difference!

Feet... Meet Street... It's hard to tell but 4 of my toes have to be wrapped in SOMETHING before every run. I have resorted to using duct tape; it's a lot cheaper!!! If I don't tape them, my toes are covered in blood; not so fun. You've got to take care of your feet!!!
Here's my little self portrait before the run! It was a little harder for me to find my rhythm; I didn't get into it until nearly 2 miles in. The race started at 9:00; too late in the day if you ask me!! It got too hot! But despite those minor annoyances, I was able to run it in 60:47!! My goal was to keep my pace at about 10 minute miles; I averaged 9:43 minutes per mile!!! It was GREAT!!!

I need to remember for next time:
* REFUEL & HYDRATE WHILE RUNNING {I drank water &/or Gatorade at each station but it wasn't enough to keep me fueled. The last 1.5 miles I could feel the lack of circulation in my arms and head. I think I'll try a trick one of my friends uses; HONEY STICKS! I think I also will try taking my water bottle along with me.
* KEEP CONSISTENT PACE! I need to forget the other runners and not push myself too hard at the beginning.

All in all it was a great race and I'm proud of myself for doing it. I've been invited to run with my neighbor {she's training for a half marathon} this week. Wednesday is a 5 miler and Saturday will be a 10! BRING IT!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

You Gotta Eat Your Spinach Baby

Whenever I think of spinach I think of Shirley Temple's "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm". When they are doing tryouts all these girls sing a horrible rendition: "You gotta eat your spinach, baby. That's the proper thing to do. It'll keep you kinda healthy too. And what it did for Popeye it'll do for you..."Spinach is GREAT!! I must admit that I'm not a fan of cooked spinach all by itself but other than that I LOVE this leafy green!! And this is what this awesome little leaf has to offer:

According to WHFOODS {World's Healthiest Foods}:
*Spinach helps protect again osteoperosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis and other diseases!
*Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents. Compounds found in spinach fight prostate and ovarian cancer as much as 40%! Research using spinach extract have shown to slow cell division in stomach cancer cells, and reduce skin cancer! They've also found a reduction in breast cancer!
*One cup of fresh spinach contains nearly 200% of your daily vitimin K!!! Make it one cup of boiled spinach and you'll get over 1000%!!!! Vitamin K is important for bone health!
*Spinach contains high levels of Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene. They protect colon cells.
* Cooked spinach is an excellent source of iron!
* LUTEIN! Spinach packs a whollop in lutein and is considered the best food to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration {the leading cause of preventable blindness}.

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories - 6.9
Carbohydrates - 1.1g
Fiber - .7g
Fat - .1g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - 41.4mg
Protein - .9g - 2%
Vitamin A - 2813 IU - 56%
Vitamin C - 8.4mg - 14%
Vitamin K - 145mcg - 181%
Folate - 58.2mcg -15%
Betaine - 165mg
Calcium - 29.7mg - 3%
Iron - .8mg - 5%
Magnesium - 23.7 mg - 6%
Manganese - .3mg - 13%

A few of the ways I like to get in my spinach:
*Spinach Salad with strawberries {or just add some spinach to a leafy green salad}
*Spinach Salad with cottage cheese, pecans and horseradish dressing... my FAVORITE!!!
*Spinach on sandwiches rather than lettuce
*Layered in lasagne
*In Omlettes


Monday, July 13, 2009

Cut the Cord

We hate TV. We watch it very rarely and it's only at other people's houses; we don't get TV channels at all. We do watch movies on occasion and we do have a wii that we play even less often. We have found that our kids fight more when they watch a lot of the tube and their imaginations seem to instantly go down the toilet! It's a personal choice and it works for us. But I thought I'd post some of the facts about the effects of watching TV.

We've all heard that watching television is linked to ADD & ADHD. That in of itself is enough for me to pull the plug. It literally rewires those babies brains!!! But here are some things you may not know.

SparkPeople had these points:
* Americans watch an average of 4 HOURS of TV every day!!! And even when they aren't watching they have it turned on for an additional 4 hours!! 8 HOURS A DAY?!!! Crime-iny!
*40% of Americans watch TV during dinner. Eating in front of the TV leads to overeating and dissatisfaction. When you're concentrating on watching TV you aren't mindful of what or how much you're eating.
* 50% of US homes have at least 3 televisions!! We only have one and it's in the Master Bedroom where it's very rarely used.

KidsHealth also had these points:
* 2/3 of infants, toddlers and kids up to age 6 watch an average of 2 hours of TV per day. Kids 8-18 watch an average of 4 hours a day AND almost 2 MORE hours on the computer.
* The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children under 2 not watch ANY TV! And that those older than two limit their TV viewing to 1-2 hours per day of QUALITY programming.
* The first two years of of life are critical in brain development. TV watching gets in the way of them PLAYING in which they explore, learn, interact with others and encourages healthy physical and social development.
*As they age watching TV gets in the way of spending time with family, being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing...
*Children who watch 4+ hours watching TV have a much higher risk of being overweight.
* Children who watch violent acts are more likely to be aggressive and also fear the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them.
*TV characters often portrait risky behavior like smoking and drinking. They also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.
*Children are also subjected to viewing MANY commercials; telling them what to wear, play with, how they should look and be. And kids believe it all!

Watching TV isn't all bad. There are great programs out there that teach children about the world around them, their ABC's and other reading skills. We love channels like Animal Planet, Discovery and PBS. But ALL THINGS IN MODERATION!!!

I want to challenge you to PULL THE PLUG for an ENTIRE WEEK!!! Then try a couple weeks! Maybe even a MONTH!! Especially during the summer when you can be outside playing and spending time with your family &/or friends.

Too much? Try these ideas:
* Limit the time spent watching TV {or even listening} to less than 2 hours a day.
*Wherever you have a TV make sure you also have books and other things to do other than watch TV.
*Keep TV's out of bedrooms {we have our there so we can better monitor how often our kids turn it on; do what works for you}
* Turn it OFF when eating meals.
* Treat TV as a privilege earned; NOT a right.
* Turn it off during the week, promote homework and reading instead
* Set a good example to your kids by limiting your own viewing time.
* Preview programs and videos BEFORE your children view them
* Offer fun alternatives to watching TV

It was hard for us to go without TV at first. But before long we realized how much time we had freed up for more important things. I'm sure that you'll find the same results. Give it a try. **As a side note, the computer is probably just as bad and should also be limited as well. Something I probably should regulate more.

Friday, July 10, 2009


This morning I was out watering my trees, compost pile, flowers, grass and STRAWBERRIES!! I didn't get my garden planted this year... but I do have a small strawberry patch that is doing FABULOUSLY! Ever since I was a little kid, snitching strawberries from the garden has been one of my favorite treats!! Some WAY COOL things about strawberries found HERE:

*Strawberries have MORE VITAMIN C, FOLATE, POTASSIUM and FIBER than bananas, apples and oranges!!
* One RAW serving contains an ENTIRE DAY'S worth of vitamin C!!!
* A single serving packs a whopping 210mg of potassium; which regulates electrolytes, lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke!
* In that same single serving {about 7 medium berries} you will be getting 12% of your fiber!! Fiber helps your body absorb nutrients, helps stabilize blood glucose and inhibits the production of cholesterol in your liver!
*Eating 8-10 strawberries a day can significantly decrease blood pressure, which could reduce your risk for heart disease.
* Strawberries have been found to enhance memory function! Strawberries are high in folate which is key in the production of red blood cells. Which could possibly delay the onset of Alzheimer's Disease!
* Strawberries contain omega fatty acids along with these other beneficial vitamins and minerals: B2, B5, B6, vitamin K, copper, and magnesium!

I also found these fun facts HERE:
* Strawberries are actually part of the ROSE family! Who knew?
* They are the only fruit with the seeds on the OUTSIDE
* There are over 600 varieties
* It is the worlds most popular fruit
*Strawberries help remove tartar!! You can simply eat them OR you can cut them in half and rub them across your teeth; the acid dissolves the tartar and dramatically improves gum health!

1 Cup Serving:
Calories - 49
Fat - 0
Sodium - 2mg
Carbohydrates - 12g
Dietary Fiber - 3g - 12%
Sugars - 7g
Protein - 1g
Vitamin C - 149% {Can you believe it?}
Calcium - 2%
Iron 3%

I try to buy at least 6 flats of strawberries in the spring. I freeze them whole or make them into freezer jam. But few things beat a fresh raw strawberry!!! A FEW of the MANY ways I LOVE to eat strawberries:
* in Spinach salad, fruit salad...
* Smoothies, shakes, sundaes...
* On pancakes, crepes, french toast, waffles....
* NAKED {again... the strawberries, not me... well maybe but we won't go there}
* dipped in sour cream, then rolled in brown sugar {mmm, not so "healthy" but YUMMY}

What a FABULOUS FRUIT!!! Eat more of them. Your body will thank you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This is one of my all time favorite vegetable dishes. It is DIVINE!!!! My mouth is already salivating. MMM. Make it. Tonight! It's Delish!!


Combine in a large shallow baking dish (9X13):
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup sliced fresh or frozen green beans
1 cup diced potatoes
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 thinly sliced onion

In a saucepan heat and bring to a boil:
1 cup vegetable or beef broth
1/2 cup oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 tsp salt
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 tsp savory
1/4-1/2 tsp tarragon

Remove Bay leaf. Pour mixture over vegetables in baking dish. Cover with tin foil & bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Gently mix veggies and add:
2 medium fresh tomatoes, quartered
1 yellow summer squash, sliced thin
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced

Bake 30 minutes more or until tender. When done sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese and cover completely with Monterey Jack cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Kayaking Rocks!

This past weekend my family went camping on the river. It's always an awesome week full of play: wakeboarding & surfing, jet skiing, swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. As I was out on the kayak one morning, I was thinking about the many awesome benefits of said sport. So I thought I'd once again, do a little research and post it for ya'lls benefit.Some of the things that I thought of were:
* It's super FUN!!
* It's RELAXING & STRESS REDUCING!! There is something about being out on the water, soaking in the sun & scenery. It's super THERAPEUTIC!! I love going out early in the morning or later in the afternoon {when it's NOT sweltering}. I love looking for pelicans, fish and other wildlife. I love the smell of the water. It's fabulous!!
* It's great to do with a group of family &/or friends OR all by your lonesome
* It's a great WORKOUT!! You will work every muscle in your upper body and some of your lower body muscles as well. At 3 mph, in one hours time, you will do about 1500 low impact repetitions. At 5 mph {give or take 500 strokes per mile} you will burn 400 calories in 1 hour!

On a personal note: I rotated every day with running and kayaking {high impact vs. low impact}. On top of those workouts I got in plenty of wakeboarding, surfing and kneeboarding. I love enjoying the great outdoors!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009


I LOVE tomatoes. Especially ones fresh out of the garden. And they are OH SO GOOD for you!! How good you ask? * The tomato is actually a fruit.
* Tomatoes have a very high LYCOPENE content. Lycopene is a vital anti-oxidant that fights many health complications and diseases including HIGH CHOLESTEROL, HEART DISEASE & CANCER!! Lycopene is NOT naturally produced in the body. No other fruit or vegetable has such a high concentration as to tomato! Studies have shown that men who consume 10 servings a week lower their risk of prostate cancer by 45 percent! Just 7 servings a week will lower your risk of rectal colon cancer and other stomach cancers by 60%!!
* When tomatoes are processed the levels of lycopene INCREASE! Which means that canned tomatoes, spaghetti sauces, ketchup... and other processed tomatoes are EVEN BETTER!!!
*Some claim that the tomato is the healthiest of the fruits and vegetables.

1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes contain
Calories - 26.8
Carbohydrates - 5.8g
Protein - 1.6g
Fat - .3g
Vitamin C - 32%
Vitamin A - 25%
Vitamin E -4%
Vitamin K - 15%
Potassium - 10%
Vitamin B6 -6%
Folate - 6%
Manganese - 8%
Iron - 7% for Women 10% for Men

Besides eating them NAKED {the tomato, not me}. I love them:
* sliced with sliced mozzarella, topped with a little olive oil and fresh herbs.
* homemade salsa, mmm my favorite {I'll have to post recipes}
* grilled {on kebabs}
* on sandwiches and salads
* roasted with other vegetables {my favorite recipe will follow}

Eat more tomatoes!!! Your body will thank you for it!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stress -Less Summer

Without getting political we'll suffice it to say that things are stressful right now for our nation. People are struggling and it's hard to deal with. We lead stressful lives and we may not even notice it anymore! But summer is officially here. I think it's the PERFECT time to calm down a little bit and try to enjoy life a little more. Spark People had a great article with some great ideas.

*EXERCISE! It's one of the best ways to de-stress!
*BREATHE. Inhale & Exhale slowly; it decreases your heart rate and calms the body.
*DE-CLUTTER. Get rid of junk; donate it or have a garage sale.
*Get enough SLEEP. Most adults need 7-8 hours!
*Keep a JOURNAL. Write it down, let it out, get on with life!
*YOGA. It connects mind & body
*Do something FUN!
*Be REALISTIC. Don't expect perfection. Ask for help.
*Be PROACTIVE. Don't dwell on what is making you stressed, do something about it.
*PATIENCE! Give yourself plenty of time to get somewhere or finish things.
*Keep PERSPECTIVE. Avoid making things bigger than they are
*Take a WALK. Cool off, clear your head
*LET GO. Don't hold a grudge, forgive & forget!
*Don't OVERSCHEDULE yourself.
*Say NO to drugs & alcohol. Being reliant on them hurts your health & resilience.
*CRY. It's an important stress reliever.
*VACATION. Even a few days off can recharge your batteries!

I heard a quote once that I LOVE. Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Life is to be ENJOYED... not just ENDURED". Pretty good words to live by.

Nike Trainer

Related Posts with Thumbnails