Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yes, FUNraising again for a cause

I am back running another race.  This time I am a mentor with Team in Training, training for the Nike's Women Marathon Half in DC on April 28th.  Fun training with this great group of people again!

I have one fundraiser at our nearby sweetFrog in Falls Church, VA at Lohemanns' Plaza  on March 5th from 5 to 9.
My continuing fundraiser is selling my scarfs, see the link here on Flickr

Here's the link to my new fundraising page.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Paula Deen's Weight Loss - Finally Showing That Southern Cooking Can Be Healthy

I wrote a blog a few months ago after Paula Deen's announcement, complaining that she did not do what she was supposed to 3 years ago and come clean about her diabetes.  My rub was more that she did not have a changed lifestyle and show it through her cooking show.  In the recent article in People Magazine, Deen admitted that she has lost over 30 lbs by following a few changes in her diet.  Now, she does not melt sticks of butter, create fried frenzy chicken and add heavy desserts to her meals anymore.  She instead cut back on the fried chicken to once a month, eats fresh vegetables, and now eats breakfast. 

It is nice to see that she is making progress with something she has been battling with for while, and that she is not sacrificing the Southern flavor in her food.  I am hoping that this is a trend and a new South will heed to less fried chicken and desserts and more of the Southern farmer's produce as the way to lose and maintain weight loss.  Now, if we can get the South of the statistics for being the most obese, then we are making progress!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Star Wars" boy's heart surgery hits close to home

Last week, the "Star Wars" boy, Max Page, who played Darth Vader in the Superbowl commercial for Volkswagen last year, had open heart surgery.  It was to correct a congenital heart defect, which was a pulmonary valve to be replaced.  The open heart surgery was the first for him at his tender age of 7, an age between both of my girls.  The surgery was to create a valve in his heart so it could pump more efficiently from the lungs, so he could have more energy and have an active life.  The latest report earlier this week said that he is recovering very well from the surgery, and won't have another invasive surgery when it has to be repaired it in the next 15 years.  Given that his condition was detected earlier than mine, I am certain that he will recover quickly and will get back to playing, which is what all children should be doing. 

My condition, an atrialventricular canal defect, which has similar side effects as the pulmonary valve replacement, was okay in my youth.  But since there was a hole, I could not give a full "get up and go" in my activities. I could not run with endurance.  I was afraid to try out for teams that would make me play for extented amount of time like basketball or track.  I had thought it was because I just didn't have "it." With my diagnosis when I was 31, I finally had my answer.  I had my open heart surgery when I was 32 and 2 1/2 years later I ran my first 5k, and 5 years from my surgery date I ran my first marathon.   I never looked back to living an inactive life again.

So Max, when you grow up, I want to you to know that you can do anything.  You can jump, skip and run with endurance.  You can go the distance, whichever distance you want to go.  And when you are recovered and ready, you can do those 5k's and marathons in the years to come.  We will all be there cheering you on! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lighten Up, Paula! - a thought of a new blog and a new way of life

It was not a big shocker to learn this week that Food Network, butter fryer cooker extraordinaire Paula Deen has Type 2 Diabetes. Traditional Southern cooking has something to do with it in my opinion. But what makes it worse is 1) she has known about it for 3 years and still continues her cooking style 2) she is promoting an insulin drug.

Okay. Every doctor, at least to my knowledge whether you live in the South or off in Timbuktu, says that you need to control your sugar levels, first and fore most, with dietary changes. If you still battle with high insulin levels, even when you change your eating habits, you have the last resort of taking insulin shots. Now, I am not battling insulin as a drug. I am sure anyone who has diabetes would tell you that pricking their finger is not top on of their list of favorite things to do on a daily basis. However, using the message of an insulin drug as the "cure" for your cooking is just wrong.

With Southern obesity levels as high as it is, (Mississippi was the fattest state in 2011 and Birmingham, Alabama was the fattest city in 2011) why has Paula not changed her ways in the public life and beat this epidemic? I know Southern cooking is her gimmick, I get that, but why contribute to ill health of others with a knife and fork of frying and butter inducing your meals? Southern cooking is rich with other vegetables, leans meats and wonderful flavors that have lighter options. Brennan's in New Orleans has brought out "Sugar Buster" recipes and promote this life style with a Southern flare. Also, "Cooking Light" magazine based out of Birmingham has been promoting healthy lifestyle for years. So, it is not totally impossible to create lighter versions of Southern favorites.

I have been thinking about this for months, even before her announcement of having diabetes, about starting a blog of creating lighter versions of Paula's recipes. Time and kitchen testing with need to be invested, but I think the world needs it right now because Paula is definitely not doing it. Creating a healthy family is essential and making something healthier for a better quality of life is always a good thing. Hey Y'all, Let's Start Cookin'!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Post Marathon Blues

It has been over 2 months since I completed the NYC marathon to celebrate my 40th birthday. There has also been my birthday, Thanksgiving, Anniversary, Christmas and another child's birtday within this span of time, so I have been busy doing lots of things, besides thinking of the possible next step.

So, for my birthday, to keep my running in check so I won't stop running, I had my husband to sign me up for the Rock n Roll Half in DC. Was under the Suntrust Marathon/Half name, but now is an offical Rock n Roll type of run. Filled with bands and spirit of the crowds, it is one I am looking forward to, but nothing can live down the NYC experience. I think I am still "high" from that experience, thinking of all of the 26.2 miles of it, the crowds, the noise, the thrill of actually being in NYC. I don't know how I will relive that experience.

My half marathon training started the day after Christmas, so I have been struggling to get back to routine, though I ran like only 3 times a week post race under 3 miles each time, due to me trying to recoup a pinched nerve in my neck. I am slowly getting back to "longer" miles, into 5 and 6 mile runs. I did a 4 miler a couple of weeks ago, a New Year's Eve run, and my time was not at it's best, but I did it at night.

Trying to get back to any kind of training after enduring a wonderful experience has its small dose of "blues" with it. I know I can't relive the NYC experience, but I can try my best to keep doing what I have been doing. I found this "blues" feeling is common after a marathon. Coach Joe English's blog talks about this and steps to over come it.

Now that Marathon Baby was born, for the second time, I am ready for another. But like I said from the last time, I don't want another child right away.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Preparing my children for the world of tomorrow, and wondering how many careers they will have in a lifetime

As I am preparing my oldest for 1st grade and my youngest for preschool, I am embarking on the need to always keep them occupied. Lately, we have been assigning them to do tasks, and sometimes they want to do things on their own (good sign of a future entrepreneur). But, they are also thinking about the money that they can earn in these tasks so they can get the things that they want, like Barbie dolls or Pillow Pets.

While this is their world of worry now, only saving enough money for a toy, I keep wondering what their future has in store. The career choices they have are limitless, and yet their list of "What I want to be when I grow up" is growing too. Unfortunately, we can't cut that list down for them because though my daughter wants to be a vet, a nurse, a massage therapist and an artist when she grows up, she might have to do all of them to earn a living, putting a house over her head.

Long gone are the days when our parents only chose one career and stuck with it for over 50 years. What a blessing if it were true today. Now is the new age of our evolving world where you have to learn more than one career skill in order to make your self marketable and more versatile in today's job market. Career changing is the norm, community colleges are increasing enrollments of non-traditional students (probably why the TV show "Community" is such a big hit) and having one degree with one skill is not enough.

Some sources say it is hard to determine what the average number of careers a person will have in a lifetime, but I can assume that the average is not one. Switching careers is not the same as changing jobs, like a promotion or just moving over from one department of a company to another. This is a totally new concept of actually learning something new in order to do a new job. So with the wide variety of jobs my child wants to do (a vet, a nurse, a massage therapist and an artist) there are different schools that apply to each, and getting one college degree, one certification and one masters may not be enough. I am not looking forward to her education bill in the future, especially if she has to change with the times.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finally, she can swim!!!

I took my oldest to her first swim lesson when she was 6 months old. Yes, we started her young, and we did expect some long term results immediately. Maybe I watched too many of those videos where the babies start swimming by the time they are one, and diving into depths of 4 feet, but I was thinking we were doing the right thing. Well the results were long coming. We enrolled her in the toddler swim class the following year and then the preschooler a couple of years after that. She has a strengthened fear of the water, especially in her preschooler class. I remember having to leave one class early because of her screaming.

But finally, 6 years till we first introduced her the waters of a pool, she can finally swim on her own. She took an American Red Cross beginning swim early this past spring. She failed it miserably. However, with my constant awareness of bringing her to a pool and keeping up with her extracurricular swimming, not just the swimming for classes, she began to learn how to tread water on her own. We are so proud. It was a long time coming, but we are proud that she pursued it!