September 12, 2008

Bottled Water

I found an article on WebMD about Bottled Water and congressional concerns about Americans not "understanding" that this stuff is really no better for you than normal water. And I think they just don't get it.

Environmental and consumer groups are urging closer scrutiny of bottled water. The groups say Americans are wasting billions of dollars while causing environmental damage -- and adding few health benefits.

The calls come as Congress begins to consider stricter labels that alert consumers about the source and potential environmental impact of the products.
Wasting billions of dollars and causing environmental damage. More on this.

Americans spend about $11 billion per year on bottled water, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp. In the process they help generate 2.7 million tons of plastic bottles. Those bottles are produced and transported using petroleum, and most wind up in landfills, Wu says.
Well, good for us. About half of that might otherwise be spent on bottled soda. If you're going to attack the environmental aspects of bottled water, you'd better put all sorts of portable potables in there. Grrrrrr.

There wasn't bottled water in the 70s and early 80s. Pretty much the only bottled beverages were carbonated, and I just could never abide by the bubbles. So when things such as bottled water and bottled juices etc. became mainstream, there was much rejoicing. But, hey, I guess we plebes need to know that we're destroying our planet without giving ourselves any health benefit (all the while stupidly wasting our very few hard-earned dollars because, hey, this stuff is very expensive compared to tap water). If only there weren't for that bottled water, Mother Gaia would stop weeping. I'll continue wasting my money, thanks.


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September 07, 2008


This exercise machine claims that 4 minutes a day on it is all you need. It carries a price tag of $14,615, though. At that price, it'd better do windows when not in exercise use.

Seriously. 4 minutes. Suuuuure.

Seen in Fortune magazine.


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June 14, 2006

Everybody KFC Tonight

Ok - the stupid Center for Science in the Public Interest has would like to remind you that the idea that personal responsibility need not be an important tenet in 2006 and beyond.
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) -- A doctor and a consumer group have sued KFC in an effort to stop the chicken chain from cooking with high-fat partially hydrogenated oil.

Dr. Arthur Hoyte, a retired physician from Rockville, Maryland, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, want a judge to order Kentucky Fried Chicken to use other types of cooking oils.

As an alternative, the suit says, they want to make sure customers are informed about trans fat content immediately before they make a purchase.

KFC spokeswoman Laurie Schalow called the lawsuit frivolous and said the company will fight it in court. Schalow said KFC is looking at using other types of oil for cooking, but it is committed to maintaining "KFC's unique taste and flavor."

KFC provides nutrition and fat information to consumers online and in restaurants, Schalow said.

"We have for a very long time," she said.
So, what - tattoo the chicken with edible ink with its nutrition contents? I have often looked up the KFC info to help determine how much I can eat because occasionally I really do have a craving for the stuff. So after reading this, I told Brian, "chicken tonight." This really has little to do with the five years I worked there and a lot to do with the frivolity of the lawsuit.

Judge for yourself - visit the nutrition portion of the website.


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June 02, 2004

Joys of Summer

I'll probably be doing little positive tidbits like this in the future as I think of them.

Today's "joy" is Bing Cherries. They are straight from heaven.

Nutrition info. Or, basically - 84 calories for a cup, 2.7 grams of fiber, 1.4 g of protein, and 19.3 g of carbs.


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November 14, 2003

Smoking in the News

I started to blog some amusing conflicting tidbits found in the news the last three days about smoking. As I hit this page, though, of listings of articles about cigarettes and smoking, I changed my angle.

(Depending on when you get this, the emphasis of the page will likely change. I'm too lazy to take a screen shot).

Here's a sampling of headlines.
A couple of quick thoughts. One, this is almost as bad as diet/nutrition information. The article about underfunded anti-smoking initiatives explains that much of the "tobacco settlement" money isn't going toward stopping the use of tobacco. At the same time, a study is released stating that current efforts are, for the time being, working with America's kids.

Then, we have the conflicting stories from the UK and Finland about a, um, biased source - the former head of a tobacco company stating, naa, probably doesn't cause cancer, and the article that restaurant employees are a major risk group for cancer.

I'm looking for evidence that smoking is healthy, and the byproduct article about Parkinson's (the tobacco chemical brain drug hope).

Now, quickly, before I make my salads and get some exercise.

What's this mean? Well, all I need to know about smoking is not to do it. That's easy as a lifetime non-smoker, not even a puff. It's not so simple for others, of course. The activity killed my father-in-law before his 45th birthday (I believe I have the age right. I never met the man). It aided and abetted in my father's sudden heart attack death at 62. It's something I can't claim to understand.

I'm censoring myself (read: writing/striking this three times and tempering it each time) before I go off into passionate drivel about this issue, so you don't get the last three paragrphs I wrote. It can be summarized as "I don't want to breathe your dirty air, and so I don't visit." Off to make salads and exercise.


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November 13, 2003

Luna Bar Review

There are lots of fitness/nutrition/protein bars on the market today. One, Luna, made by Clif Bar, markets its product especially to women. Packed with soy protein (wahoo!), Luna bars also offer a large amount of folic acid, and, depending on the flavor/type, calcium and other important nutrients. They range from 170 to 180 calories, and they're great snacks.

Since I've tried them all except Chai Tea, Chocolate Peppermint Stick, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Orange Bliss, I thought I'd give a review.

The Flavors.

I'll start with the negative. I just recently tried the two new flavors, Caramel Apple and Dulce de Leche. Uh, yuck! They taste imposed...too sweet with a bit of an aftertaste. If I'm hungry and it's the only healthy choice, yeah, I'd eat one. Both have some sort of strange icing on the bar. It's just too much.

Now - two bars "weigh in" at 170 calories; the rest are 180. The two at 170 are Sesame Raisin Crunch and Toasted Nuts and Cranberry. Both are great, and I often use these as cycling snacks (3/4 of one or so at each refueling stop). The reason? Nothing meltable, and that matters in extreme heat. Endorsed.

Of the remaining bars, 180 calories each, the top choices for me all include a bit of chocolate. It's the perfect amount of chocolate. You see it; you taste it, but it's really negligible. Those are Chocolate Pecan Pie, S'Mores, and Nutz Over Chocolate. These are not, because of the chocolate, bike friendly in temperatures nearing and above 80, but they make great afternoon or mid-morning snacks and can even serve as the occasional late breakfast.

So-so flavors? The Lemon Zest is too...zesty. Tropical Crisp was okay, but I wouldn't buy it if I had other choices. I've eaten so many of the Cherry Covered Chocolate ones that I'm tired of them, and Sweet Dreams left me craving more water to get rid of the cloying aftertaste (but otherwise good).

Now, the nutrition info. I'll use Nutz over Chocolate. Sorry you low carbers - you're likely going to rule these out at 24 grams of carbs for a 180 calorie serving. But check it out - all of the folate a woman needs, and 35% of the calcium. This is great for a person like me who doesn't eat much dairy.

Where can you get 'em? Well, many grocery stores will sell them, as will stores like GNC. I get them in bulk online from All Star Health, as this is the best I've found with pricing. I'd recommend the grocery store sampling method before ordering, as most people's taste buds are far less whacked than mine.

My personal favorites are Genisoy Extreme bars, though. That's a review for another day.


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November 11, 2003

A Public Service Announcement

I should split this category into Health, Fitness, and Nutrition categories. Look for those, uh, someday.

In the building where I work, there's a nutrition company, the name of which escapes me. The point I want to make, though, is that I was in there one day talking with one of the dieticians, and she showed me two models that they use to visually educate clients about the differences between fat and muscle. The models are made of plastic, each representing a pound of its respective material.

The muscle is very dense, of course - we all know that - muscle "weighs more than fat." The fat, aptly colored a sickly yellow, appears 1.5 times larger.

I'm going to state the obvious for a moment, so bear with me. Weight/resistance training builds muscle. If you "convert" (which is really a bad term because that's NOT what's occurring - in a pure sense, you're losing the fat and gaining the muscle) 10 pounds of fat to muscle, is your body composition going to change? Oh, you betcha it is.

Focus if you will on the next celebrity whose picture you see. Look at his/her arms, legs. Those arms and legs are built with the help of personal trainers. They're built with weight-bearing exercise. Weight training will not make you fat, ladies. And gentlemen, it will not bulk you up significantly unless you tailor your program to do that...and have the genetics to make it happen.

Why am I harping on this? Probably just because I can. I'm irritated with a lot of things diet and exercise these days - others' "gospels." Perhaps this should be a RANT. You decide. It's just disjointed ravings.

Everyone knows I don't approve of the Atkins diet. No, I never said you wouldn't lose weight on it. You likely will if you follow it, and there is a "healthy" way to do it. I cough a bit here because I disapprove of cutting out an entire food group as "bad" without medical reason to do so (allergies).

If you - that being the collective you - still insist low carb is the way to go, I'm going to send you to check out the South Beach diet, because it seems to be the lesser of all of the evils. Just don't take that "you can lose 8 - 13 pounds in two weeks" thing as good advice. You CAN, but should you?

Carbs. They give you energy. If you pick them right, they also fill nutritional requirements like, y'know FRUIT servings, fiber. Things "diets" would ask you to give up for a few weeks. I don't like the "jumpstart" idea because the psyche wants to believe such rapid and wonderful weight loss will continue at this astronomical rate when, in reality, there's just no way, and if it were to do so, you'd be starving yourself and obliterating muscle - not an attractive option.

Low carb "dieters" - please don't tell me that you agree that soda or spoonfuls of sugar is the same as my morning Kashi, which provides 10 g of fiber in a single serving. And that's before I add the dates and the blueberries/raspberries/cherries/blackberries - the fruit of the day. Uh, no.

Please don't diet, though, all of you folks carrying a few or a lot extra. Make changes in your lifestyle that will be permanent, and then consult with an expert - someone who guides people in this area for a living - about some changes you can make to embrace your new lifestyle. If you're not overweight, it still doesn't hurt to reevaluate your eating patterns. Are you eating the recommended servings of vegetables and fruits? Is the protein you consume lean enough? Sometimes having to watch your weight is a blessing because you're more attuned to how your body behaves. But that's for another day - "Smart choices you should make by or immediately after 30, habits you should cease or adopt because you're an 'adult'"

Is this helpful for anyone, or is it just me tilting at windmills? With dumbells attached to my arms.


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November 09, 2003

Trickle Down

    A sign in Stephen Lanzalotta's bakery reads, "Senza il pane tutto diventa orfano." In Italian, that means, "Without bread everyone's an orphan."

    But fewer customers are buying his European-style breads and pastries these days — thanks to the Atkins diet, many regulars are cutting back on carbohydrates. Lanzalotta says the low-carb diet has contributed to an estimated 40 percent drop in business at his shop, Sophia's.

    Some customers have even stopped by to apologize.
Nice, eh? Atkins' "gospel" strikes the small business owner. I can't help but smirk.

Baaaa! Bread bad. Baaaaa!

    The National Bread Leadership Council, which says 40 percent of Americans are eating less bread than a year ago, has scheduled what it calls a summit this month in Rhode Island focusing in part on low-carb diets and how to educate the public that breaking bread is still part of a healthy lifestyle.

    "It's too bad that we just can't eat all foods in moderation. But no, we have to do something dramatic all the time," said Judi Adams, president of the Wheat Foods Council and a registered dietician, referring to the Atkins diet. "We have to look for this magic bullet."
But no, we have to do something dramatic all the time. Indeed. Yes, this comes from a "biased" source, but it's spot on. There IS no magic bullet.


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November 08, 2003

Ozark Fitness, Springfield, MO

Whenever I'm in a different city, I find a gym for the day. Today, it was Ozark Fitness, which is about a mile from my mother's house.

Which can most adequately be called a Meat/Meet Market. While working my chest in the free weights area today, I saw this woman who was in her 40s, perfect bod, matching outfit, lifting small weights, and flirting with men of different shapes, ages, and sizes. Her top half was highly surgically altered (as women that thin are not endowed naturally with canteloupes). It was amusing. The "gentlemen" were just eating this up.

I got my share of onlookers, too, which I'm not used to. Most obviously was my work on the leg press. I dress for utility at the gym - no little "outfits," and I was badly in need of a shower for aesthetic purposes (hair!). Still, they stare. Not used to that. Gawkers! Turn away, and get back to your lifting.

People of all shapes and sizes in this gym, and that's good. There's even a separate "ladies'" gym, which I think is funny. The machines are all calibrated so that they max out with pretty low weights. I guess this makes women feel stronger because they use more plates (5 pounders)? I coulda maxed out the thigh machine but, naaaa.

Exercising in different gyms keeps everything more interesting, and, like most things, you're glad to be back home working in your own gym. I don't see any gawkers there (gawking at me or others, really) - most people in the free weights, Hammer machines area are pretty intent on their exercises, which I prefer.


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November 02, 2003

Netflix, CycleOps, and The Plan

I joined Netflix yesterday. Why, you ask? I mean, it makes no sense. I barely acknowledge the television. Here's the answer.

Magneto 9004. It will turn my bike into an exercise bike. And I can stomach a couple of hours on the bike a few times a week if I've got a movie to watch or a hockey game to spectate (or yell at).

So, the not-so-surreptitious plan is to train all winter in hopes of raising my speed closer to the level of these guys.

Training would commence today were it not for the fact that I strained my neck while lifting yesterday. Everything should be back to normal within 3 more days, I hope. I've been icing it at the recommendation of a trainer friend. It's kinda funny, too. The best (read: most comfortable) solution to the problem of how to ice one's own neck is solved by a frozen haddock filet. Ten minutes of icing (lying on the fish filet), and then ten minutes off. Repeat. Refreeze haddock.

Works like a charm. Wine also helps me to forget that my neck aches.


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Dual Response

I have two responses to this.

One is horribly snarky and can be summed up in one sentence: "But have you stopped buying cigarettes before food?"

The second is the real response - what's the best way to fix this?

    - Despite the nation's struggle with obesity, the Agriculture Department says more and more American families are hungry or unsure whether they can afford to buy food.

    Some 12 million families last year worried they didn't have enough money to buy food, and 32 percent of them actually experienced someone going hungry at one time or another, said a USDA report released Friday.
I want more data about these families. Do they have 11 children? Are the breadwinners working or trying to live off of welfare? I think that the depth and reasons for the problem need to be known before we can get all outraged and think about "the families' needs" and just pour money into the problem.

Obviously, it is a problem, though.

    Some 34.6 million Americans were living in poverty last year — 1.7 million more than in 2001, according to the Census Bureau.
That seems directly tied to the economy, okay.

    Hunger seems like an unlikely problem in a country where nearly 65 percent of adults and 13 percent of children are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites).

    Barbara Laraia, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, said hunger and obesity can coexist because many hungry families buy high-calorie foods that are low in nutrients.

    "They're dependent on foods that are going to make their bellies feel full, rather than on nutrients," Laraia said. "The diet is compromised."
I don't get this last bit - you're hungry on high calories? What is the definition of "hungry" for this study? If it's "undernourished," you'll find that with a LOT of people merely because they refuse to balance their diets.

Is there a concentration of the hungry people in cities? In rural areas? In one state or another? These are important things to know before calling to the public and/or government to address the issue.


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October 26, 2003

Babies, Toddlers, and Food, Oh My

Is anyone really surprised by this study that finds that America's young children aren't eating a very healthful manner?

    Even before their second birthday, many American children are developing the same bad eating habits that plague the nation's adults — too much fat, sugar and salt and too few fruits and vegetables.

    A new study of more than 3,000 youngsters found significant numbers of infants and toddlers are downing french fries, pizza, candy and soda.
If I had gotten to this earlier in the weekend, I was going to address this at length, but Kelley at Suburban Blight has a very good take on this with an anecdotal twist, so I'll just link to that and be on my way.


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October 23, 2003

Battle of the Bars

No, it's not what you think.

Rather, this post is all about carbohydrates, money, and, well, whatever else pops out of my head in the next 30 minutes.

You see it everywhere now, especially this past two or three years. LOW CARB! LOW CARB! Everywhere you look, it's carbs carbs carbs - from the radio commercials that now tout the glories of light beer to the weight-lifter Michelob Ultra water, er, I mean beer (or so I hear) billboards.

I've never really worried too much about carbohydrates as an isolated group. You know - those things that with exercise burn away. Stored glycogen in the muscles. I have, though, in recent years watched calories pretty closely as I honed my food intake plans and execution to where they are now, which, on a day where I'm especially diligent, might pass for a low/controlled carb diet (but I eat a WHOLE lot of fruit and salad with fruit, and there's no way I'd give up the Kashi, so perhaps not). I don't much care.

I got this idea a couple of weeks ago, though, because you see SO much marketing, as I mentioned earlier, for low-carb diets and dieters. I mean, there's a whole new section in the grocery store just filled with this stuff - pasta made out of soy flour, tiny tiny chocolate bars for a buck and a half apiece. Now, granted, there's a whole section of the store for me, too - sometimes a whole STORE (Whole Foods) - with the Luna Bars and the Genisoy Extreme Bars, and the whole wheat pasta. Mmmm. So, in this spirit, I bring you the side-by-side comparison of two chocolate bars (okay, so one's "Pecan Chews" - humor me).

In the upper corner, weighing in at ONE, yes, ONE ounce, I bring you the Russell Stover Low Carb Pecan Delights. And, in the bottom corner, weighing in at TWO ounces, the Reese's Fast Break. I've never eaten either of these - have no idea on taste. But, here you are - pictures.


Ooh, aah. What does all of this mean? Well, here's the other side of the wrappers. The top is the Pecan Delights, and the bottom is the Fast Break.

These are pretty large, so you can probably read this pretty well. Before I give you the breakdown in a table, though, I will, of course, assert that neither of these bars is a compact, bursting mound of nourishing manna. (I'll write a post about the Snickers Marathon as soon as I've held one in my hot little hand and later consumed one). But, here's how they stack up against each other...

(Forgive my ugly, boring table)
  Russell Stover Pecan Delights Reese's Fast Break
Weight 1 oz 2 oz
Calories 130 280
Total Fat 9 grams 13 grams
Saturated Fat 4.5 grams 4.5 grams
Protein 2 grams 5 grams
Carbohydrates 16 grams 35 grams
Price 99 cents 69 cents

Okay. Statistics. We can prove anything we'd like now, right? We could start with the "candy bar" that's cheaper than the "healthy low carb bar" if we believed that. We could, rather, talk about serving size of 1 oz versus 2 oz of something. Someone want to put up a placard with "Obesity" on it - bigger font, please. But, what I'd really like to focus on is equalizing the information - basically, what happens if you make the serving size the same - 2 oz.

This is basically the size of my mid-morning snack, but I usually don't exceed 200 calories. So, this would be for a "light" breakfast or lunch day - the day I consumed two packages of the Russell Stover's candies or one Fast Break. (Here's the table "equalized."

(Again, forgive my ugly, boring table)
  (2) Russell Stover Pecan Delights Reese's Fast Break
Weight 1 oz 2 oz
Calories 260 280
Total Fat 18 grams 13 grams
Saturated Fat 9 grams 4.5 grams
Protein 4 grams 5 grams
Carbohydrates 32 grams 35 grams
Price $1.98 69 cents

Okay. I went to a two-ounce serving rather than cutting the Fast Break in half because 130 calories is not ENOUGH to satisfy you as a meal - even a mid-morning snack. To illustrate, 130 calories is about what I consume every hour I'm on the bike when I take my little break. EVERY hour of biking. And that's after having eaten a full, nutritious breakfast.

What do you see here - wow, these are SURPRISNGLY similar. Actually, if you're like me and you watch saturated fat, you're nearly gawking. And the Reese's provides more protein, which is probably of no matter if you're on a low-carb diet - you're likely already getting plenty.

The packaging for the Russell Stover's Pecan Delights states "For Low Carb Dieters." On the flip side, it also states that the Net Effective Carbs - also often called Impact Carbs - are only 2.4 g per serving. Having never seen a "real" nutrition (not stilted toward a carb-controlled diet or really ANY diet but rather an overall nutrition site) even mention these little wonders, I tried to find a good definition anyway. So, here we have it - don't take it to the bank, though.

    The FDA previously allowed a disclaimer on all wrappers, which was an asterisk noted on the bar stating that glycerin, maltitol and fiber had been omitted from the total carb count as they have a neglible impact on your blood sugar.

    What dieters and diabetics are trying to avoid is a spike in their "blood sugar" as this releases insulin. Dieters are trying to avoid this, as insulin is a trigger to store fat. Diabetics must avoid this as well. Carbohydrates cause this spike in blood sugar. Simple carbs cause it quickly and Complex carbs more slowly. (Simple carbs are all sugar, pasta's, all white flour and rice. Complex carbs are veggies and salad greens)
That actually makes sense - a slower rise in blood sugar. But, still - they're CARBS. I saw another site advertise a meal replacement bar with 22 carbohydrates as "carb controlled" as it lauded its low "impact carbohydrate content."

I could go on and on. I won't. I'll consume these two sometime in the next two weeks (but not together, of course), and I'll point back to this post. About the only thing that could convince me that, of the two, the Pecan Delights are the way to go would be EXTRAORDINARY taste.

The info's just here for you to decide. And I'll provide the standard disclaimer now. Heather and Angelweave do not endorse chocolate bars such as these as good nutrition. If you say I did, I'll deny it. Treats are okay every once in a while, but they should not supplant more healthy, more important food options. Blah blah blather blah.

Good night.

UPDATE - 10/24/03. I ate the Pecan Clusters for a snack this evening. Wonderful - heavenly. When I opened the packaged, they seemed very small, but because of the carmel and basic consistency, they actually took a while to eat.

Definitely a good treat when they go on sale. I'm surprised I'm endorsing them.


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Labels on Menus?

Our beloved federal government is hopefully just planting the seed and won't insist on laws to water the plant, but...

Yahoo reports that the government is "encouraging or even requiring" labels on restaurant menus to detail calories regarding food items.

Restaurants doing this voluntarily: fabulous! And do more than calories, please. I want info all the way down to fiber grams.

Unfortunately, this is spearheaded by the radical Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is probably why the word "require" even appears in this article. Yes, this same center that pretty much says, "if you're fat, it's not your fault." Gag. I have Restaurant Confidential, which I should've mentioned earlier in my post about calorie counters. There really isn't anything earthshaking in the book - a lot of it is common sense once you start learning about nutrition, but there may be one or two eye openers.


Posted by hln at 07:02 PM | Comments (7)

October 21, 2003

Breast Cancer/Smoking

Found this while perusing the news.

    MONDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDayNews) -- Kicking the smoking habit can extend the lives of breast cancer (news - web sites) patients who've been treated with lumpectomies and radiation, says a study by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

    The study included 1,039 breast cancer patients, smokers and nonsmokers, treated with lumpectomies and radiation at Fox Chase from March 1970 to December 2002. Median follow-up of the patients was 67 months.

    The researchers compared overall survival rates and deaths from breast cancer among the smokers and nonsmokers.
I think a general study will come next - survival rates of smoker/nonsmoker cancer survivors.

Nothings surprising here, but it'd be nice to see some numbers. The alarming statement comes near the end of the short article.

    "This analysis shows that smoking, either past or present, was associated with increases in distant metastases and deaths from breast cancer," Fox Chase radiation oncologist Dr. Khanh H. Nguyen says in a prepared statement.
Distant metastases. Spreading far and wide. Exactly what you do NOT want your cancer to do.

Quit now. As if you needed another reason. Cancer's amazingly easy to catch - at any age. No need to go knocking door to door, asking for handouts.


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October 19, 2003

Hey, Didn't I Say That?

    When you get past 30, you need resistance training whether you know it or not. It slows bone loss and makes it a lot harder to hurt yourself doing everyday things. Muscles and ligaments protect your back and your joints.
Nope, it was the guy at Little Tiny Lies with this post.


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October 18, 2003

Stretch Marks

Strange article.

    WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) -- The sharply rising number of obese Americans is leading medical-equipment manufacturers and ambulance crews to supersize their stretchers.
Would you like restraints with that?

Bet the company that makes these is raking in the bucks.


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October 16, 2003

Pizza Hut Might Finally Give Me the Proper Amount of Cheese

So, you know, I'm fairly normal. I like pizza. But everytime I order it, I have to explain to the people working exactly how I want it, and their computers probably can't adequately display to the pizza makers what that is.

Until now.

    The company, a unit of Yum Brands Inc., launched a new Fit 'N Delicious pizza that contains half the cheese of a regular pizza served on the brand's thin crust. The pizzas will also use lean meats for toppings.

    "Consumers today are paying a lot more attention to what they're eating," Peter Hearl, Pizza Hut's president, told Reuters.

    A slice of the new pizza has 3.5 to 5 grams of fat, depending on the toppings. That's about 25 percent less than the usual thin-crusted slice, the company said in a statement.
So, now I need about HALF of the cheese on the half-cheese pizza, and don't give me that thin crust, give me the pan. Should be an even trade in what's bad for you, and it'll taste tremendous.

I should save this for future ordering.


Posted by hln at 05:46 AM | Comments (3)

October 15, 2003

Gates the Benefactor

Bill Gates has set aside $25 million dollars to fund nutrition infusions into food.

    WASHINGTON - A collaborative effort to get more nutritious food to the world's poor received a $25 million boost from a foundation set up by Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates.

    HarvestPlus, an alliance of research institutions and agencies, will use the money for a four-year project on biofortification, which crossbreeds crops with high nutritional value and those that are high-yielding and disease resistant, the organization's director, Howarth Bouis, said Tuesday.

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said the goal of the initiative is to provide people in poor and developing countries with food already fortified with vitamins and mineral nutrients.

    Worldwide, "half the instances of death among children have malnutrition as important contributory causes," said Dr. David Fleming, director of the foundation's global health program.

    HarvestPlus offers a strategic approach that would address the problem of malnutrition, he said.

    The programs hopes to get improved varieties of crops to the world's farmers within a decade, Bouis said.

    The organization also will conduct research into more controversial genetically modified crops.

    "We're very convinced that this is where the breakthroughs will come in the future, but ... societies, themselves, have to decide whether they're going to be comfortable with genetically modified foods or not," said Joachim Voss, director general of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.
That's the whole article. And the controversy? Just wait. Introduce the words bacteria, genetic engineering, science, and plants into any one paragraph, and invariably out of same paragraph will manifest a conclusion : Frankenfood.


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Cancer and Exercise

According this article, 9.5 millions of Americans are living their lives post cancer.

I'm one of 'em, so I look around for information like this. The article, brought to me by Yahoo via the AP, mentions that cancer survivors recover better with an exercise program.

Okay, so maybe that's not relevant per se - I'm nearly 12 years past, but it is nice to see my lifestyle validated in terms that directly apply. Here's some text from the article.

    Nearly two-thirds of cancer patients live more than five years after diagnosis. And starting during treatment, they face choices about food, dietary supplements and physical activity that can affect quality of life, sometimes even survival.

    Yet it's difficult to find consumer-friendly information that separates the fads and frauds from scientifically backed choices. Hence the cancer society's new guidelines, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

    Topping the advice: there's no magic lifestyle choice that will keep cancer from returning. Beware fads like Gerson therapy, with its emphasis on vegetable juices and coffee enemas. Talk with your doctor about even the seemingly innocuous — high doses of vitamins, for instance, may actually block certain cancer treatments from working.

    In fact, the No. 1 protection against another bout of cancer is to avoid being overweight, Doyle says.

And, for more information on the topic of exercise and cancer, well, there's always Lance Armstrong, who is in town today for the Tour of Hope.


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October 09, 2003

Stopping AIDS

Oh, that Vatican.

    "The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon," Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Vatican (news - web sites)'s Pontifical Council for the Family, told the program.

    "The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom."

    He said that just as health authorities warned about dangers like tobacco, so they had an obligation to issue similar warnings about condoms.
And you know Aren't you, you know, CELIBATE? Sperm - what're those? Cardinal Trujillo, allow me to present to you a better argument to make your only point.

Dear Public:

The Catholic Church is against condoms. Sex is for procreation. Sex belongs in marriage - without condoms - to make babies. These are our views. Don't use condoms.

Thank you, that is all.

Cardinal Trujillo

Pretty dull, isn't it? He had to sex it up a bit, work in some controversy.

And then there's the business of "stopping" AIDS. Nothing, to date, has STOPPED AIDS. But you, Cardinal Trujillo, may be responsible stopping what's stopping AIDS so far in some individuals.

    While in Luak near Lake Victoria, Gordon Wambi, director of an AIDS testing center, said he had been prevented from distributing condoms because of church opposition.


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October 08, 2003


I was at the Parkway North High School gym playing volleyball this evening, which is exercise.

Upon my return, I noticed from a hit shown on Sitemeter that I am the #4 Google hit for exercise manboobs.

An Aussie hit me, no less.

Nice, eh? Drink up.


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October 07, 2003

Picky By Evolution, Baby

Of course, this makes me laugh, but the headline says, "Is Fussy Eating an Evolutionary Trait?"

The article goes on to state:

    The refusal by children refusal to eat new foods may not be due to fussiness but an evolutionary trait designed to protect themselves from harm, scientists said on Wednesday.
My mother probably just spat out her diet root beer. The funniest sentence in the whole thing comes at the end of this.

    BABIES WILL put almost anything in their mouths. But as children get older, they become more selective about what they eat, particularly if they have not tried it before.

    Green vegetables and meat can be particularly troublesome.

    But scientists at the charity Cancer Research UK said thousands of years ago toxins in plants could have harmed children, and meat carried a high risk of food poisoning.

    “So it makes sense that humans may have evolved to be highly suspicious of certain food types as youngsters,” said Lucy Cooke, the lead researcher, who reported the findings in the journal Appetite.

    She and her colleagues questioned 564 mothers of young children about their eating habits. The fussiest children liked potatoes, cereal and cakes but avoided vegetables, fruit and meat.
Potatoes. My mother said that when she fed me mashed potatoes as an infant, if I could've spat them out, I would've. I refuse to eat them to this day.

Pure belligerence.


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October 06, 2003

Geriatric Gym

This story was just too cool.

    WASHINGTON - Abe Cohen works out every day, and the workouts include at least a couple hundred crunches. Cohen is 92. His wife, Esther, who works out with him, is 86. Her daily ab exercise total is 400.
Mmm, I might hit 100 on a given day...

    The Cohens typically are at the gym at 6:15 a.m., just after it opens. He does 30 minutes at a fast walk on the treadmill, works his legs and arms on the machines, and then does his famous crunches.

    She also does arm and leg exercises, along with stomach exercises, but no aerobics. The club no longer has the track she used to walk, and the dance exercise classes are too fast-paced, so she lets her housework handle her aerobics. "I keep myself busy going up and down to the basement," she said. "That's enough walking."

    The Cohens' workouts get attention from members and employees of the club. "They fuss with us," Abe Cohen said.

    So do other seniors. "All the guys say, 'We want to be like you,'" he said. "I give them incentives, they say."
Okay, and now more info. Are you ready? Strength training will build muscle and bone, and muscle cushions bone. Strong bodies are more youthful.

See you in the gym in 50 years.


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Exercise and Breast Cancer and...BREASTS!

While this is still a MAY, can't hurt to follow its advice, ladies.

And, men, if you're exercising, perhaps your wives will come along too, and this'll be beneficial. And, men, if you're exercising, perhaps you can avoid or tone down on those manboobs(I couldn't resist). Drink up, people.

In other news, visit the Blogger Boobiethon (yes, there is such a thing) and donate and/or view the busty ladies. Almost 5,000 raised. Yes, Heather's endorsing soft core porn for a good cause. Wahoo.


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Who Are These People?

No, seriously. The article states in its title, False Beliefs Threaten Cancer Patients.

Well, yeah. But this is astounding

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 40 percent of lung disease patients believe that surgery can spread cancer by exposing the tumors to the air -- a false idea that could cost them their lives, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
What? The study does go on to say that most of the "believers" are older and not very educated, so perhaps it's a "wive's tale" of sorts, but, amazing. 40% is almost half! (Heather states the obvious).

Reasons for said belief?

    Margolis said he found that many patients refused to go see a surgeon, even when told they needed surgery to take out a lung cancer tumor.

    "They say, 'Not only do I not want lung surgery, but I don't even want to see the surgeon because I know the cancer will spread once you expose it to air,"' he said.

    In the survey, Margolis and colleagues asked patients where they got this idea.

    "Most of the patients said very non-specific things, saying 'I heard it from the gossip mill' or 'I heard it from friends' or 'Everyone knows that,"' he said.


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October 05, 2003

All-White McNuggets

But they're still going to fry 'em, right?

Oh, and get this...

    CHICAGO (AP)--McDonald's plans to introduce a new, all white-meat Chicken McNugget with less fat and fewer calories, the latest move by the fast-food giant to offer healthier fare.

    In the next six weeks, McDonald's will begin offering the smaller McNuggets in all of its 13,600 U.S restaurants, the Chicago Tribune reported in Sunday's edition.
SMALLER, ah, yes. And, let us watch - does the price drop? I doubt it.

Via Fark.


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Restaurants and Nutrition

Here is the post as promised. I'll follow up on this as I gather more information.

First, I'll give the links. Here's what made the cut from everything I perused online.

  1. Calorie Counters: Restaurant Links
  3. Nutribase
  4.'s Fast Food Nutrition Links
  6. NutriStrategy
Not all that much out there, but there are a few tricks to finding more information, of course.

I'm a Google hound. If I'm going to a new restaurant, and I know what it is ahead of time, I'll find the website and pick through the menu to decide what to eat the rest of the day to possibly accommodate that half order of lasagna I'm going to consume at dinner (yum!).

Another thing - I try to never order something that's cooked in butter. Cooking in butter's okay, obviously, but you really should control how much. Same thing goes for fried food (except occasionally) - try not to order fried food at a restaurant. For french fries, most restaurants will substitute something like cottage cheese, broccoli, or, my favorite, sliced tomatoes.

I found some other general nutrition links that I'll also share.

  1. Heart & Palate
  2. Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths
And, of course, the papa of them all, Subway.

Good feasting!


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October 04, 2003


Tomorrow, I'm going to post some nutrition information I've been gathering today. I just need to tidy it up a bit and organize it.

Harvey Olson of Bad Money decided that I am the strongest woman in the blogosphere. I'm not sure why; perhaps it was this (Control-F and look for Noggle - permalink doesn't work.). Yes, that's my arm.

The first advice I'd give is to never take anything you read about fitness/nutrition as gospel. Follow up on everything, including my posts, before committing anything to memory or lifestyle.

That being said, I thought I'd give you all a bit of insight into what's going on in my fitness/nutrition world.

I'm probably done playing cyclist for a while. I may take a good long ride tomorrow, but it's not scheduled. Weather's supposed to be gorgeous, but I have this small problem of, oh, the fact that I went back on a bodybuilder's weight training split this week. And, essentially, everything hurts except the first body part I worked - my chest. That was Wednesday, so that's why.

What's a split, you ask? (No, I don't want to look like THAT guy). Well, if someone shows you a full-body workout, typically you hit a muscle group maybe once, maybe twice. You might do some curls for your biceps and then move on to a chest exercise. You may be advised to do this routine three times a week, and then, POW, you're fit, assuming you stick with the program.

There's nothing wrong with this whatsoever. Eventually, though, doing the same thing over and over will cause you to plateau, meaning, well, you're performing some maintaining (funny word to type), little more. So maybe you go back to a trainer and shake it up a bit - learn some new exercises, hit everything from another direction. Instead of the standard bicep curls, you turn the dumbells so that your palms face in toward your legs - voila, hammer curls. Then, perhaps a few weeks to months later you switch it up again and learn preacher curls (arms immobilized on a surface - really isolates the muscle). You now know three distinct ways to hit your bicep.

A split usually isolates a body part, two, or three to a day. Mine's pretty simple - chest, legs, back, arms, shoulders. I try to do different things (read: torture moves) to my abs every day. So, this could be a five-day workout, or, if I'm feeling motivated, I might work one body part in the morning and one in the evening - whatever.

I've been on a wham-bam-leave-the-gym-ma'am full-body workout since May - maintaining what I've got in favor of more cardiovascular (cycling) work. I've been itching to get back to this for a while, though. But I had forgotten what it feels like to truly shock your muscles when they've been all but napping for a few months. I remember now.

My legs are sore. My legs are sore from a HOME workout. Oh, indeed. I can do everything I need to do weights wise at home except my back, and, if I HAVE to make do in an emergency, I can squeeze out a back workout at home. Chest is easy - I outlined it a couple of weeks ago in that how-to-avoid-manboobs post. Arms - well, all you really need is dumbbells. As you can see, I have a few of those.


And, check it out - plenty of room for more dumbbells - we're going to need 35 pounders soon, seeing as I can squat pretty effectively using both 30s. I have little 1 1/4 pounders called Plate Mates, which are awesome. They allow you to gently progressively add weight; strength rarely accommodates a 5 pound jump.

So, there're some creds at least with the fitness arena. I prefer to use the gym because of the many different ways to do things, depending on my mood - do I use barbells or dumbbells or machines tonight - some combination, maybe. Who's to say?

One more small thing - training and training hard doesn't mean you're going to add size. Yes, I'll post a pic in a couple of months if everything goes as planned, and I will not be bulky. Few people can REALLY bulk, and that's due to genetics. You can train and train intensely but with the goal to add strength without size. I know early on I was afraid I'd bulk up because I add muscle easily, but it's just not going to happen. My calves are thicker from training for cycling (and cycling), but they, my most hereditarily gifted muscle, won't add considerable muscle mass. Fear not the weights.

(Gratuitous leg shot)

There'll be more. I'll list some of my favorite sources to illustrate free weight exercises soon, I'm sure, as I emphasize more on this in my private life. I looked in the mirror and decided I look like the before version of a fitness model. You see them in adds, basically fit women with bodies a bit too soft to be dressed in THAT bikini. But, still, definitely not a poochy, flabby woman. I am, of course, aiming for the after picture. Who isn't, eh? About 15 pounds, and I won't be. What color bikini looks best on a redhead with reallllllly pale skin?


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I'm a Minority in YET ANOTHER WAY

This didn't go into the link queue about what to blog about. It's going straight from read to blog.

    An increasing number of entrepreneurs have discovered there's big money to be made out of catering to Americans' bulging waistlines -- without seeking to trim them down.

    It's big business.

    Freedom Paradise, a 112-room resort south of Cancun, Mexico, bills itself as the world's first resort designed for obese people. Its amenities include large armless chairs, wide steps with railings in swimming pools, walk-in showers instead of bathtubs, stronger hammocks and a staff steeped in sensitivity training.
    Nearly one-third of American adults are obese (a Body Mass Index of 30 or more), according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2000, more than 300 million adults in the world were obese and 1 billion were overweight, according to the World Health Organization (news - web sites).

    "We are no longer a niche market. Overweight people are the majority in this country," 324-pound Mindy Sommers said, referring to the 64 percent of Americans who are overweight. "Businesses that don't cater to us are stupid. There are a lot of us, and we have a lot of money to spend."

    An expanding obese population is providing lots of demand for businesses that supply things that are plus-size -- from larger towels to larger beds, larger clothes to larger jewelry, larger furniture to larger coffins. (, an online retailer, sells nearly everything to the obese market, including seat belt extenders, larger umbrellas, larger clothing hangers, larger towels and weighing scales that can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds.
Kudos to the capitalists for noticing and then catering to the demand. Mindy-of-the-majority certainly seems happy.

For some reason I'm in a "feeling" mood today, so I'll tell you the whole thing makes me feel uncomfortable, somehow like it's a victory won, a celebration. And then I snapped out of it when I read this.

    "What we need is a solution to the obesity, but what we have is people feeding the problem to make money off the obese people," said Epstein of Euro RSCG Tatham. "Sadly, this is to be expected in a capitalistic economy."
Well, Epstein, I suppose you would rather the entire obese population be naked and stuffed into chairs out of which they cannot climb. That'll certainly solve the problem (???)

Probably my own fears of obesity weighing in earlier. The other gem in the article - kayaks for the obese. I


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October 03, 2003

You Go, Nic!

I think I've said this before, probably not as well.

    I can probably count on my hands the number of people in the country whose health actually concerns me. If everybody else wanted to eat three Big Macs a day I really don't care. I don't care if people smoke unfiltered Camels and shoot heroin either. Or if they ride motorcycles without helmets. My only objection to any of that is the economic cost I need to absorb when the consequences of their decisions catch up to them, but hey. I walk and hike in tax-supported public parks that the morbidly obese, hypertensive, diabetic, arthritic non-exerciser doesn't use. So maybe it evens out in the end.)
That's from Nic at Shoes, Ships, and Sealing Wax.

She beats up the Center for Science in the Public Interest. She does this with a burrito (I always thought those were soft). Well worth reading.


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October 01, 2003

Mono and Cancer

If you've had mono, please be sure you're specifically screened for cancer of the lymph nodes. Hodgkins lymphoma may be a disease attached to mononucleosis.

I'm sure follow-up studies will be conducted, and I'll keep watching.


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September 30, 2003

The Other Running Man

P. Diddy, you go. If he's in good enough condition, perhaps he can record a rap while running.

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs on Tuesday announced he will run the New York marathon and unveiled plans to raise $1 million for health-care and education charities that benefit the city's children.
November 2 is a scant 5 weeks away.

Top THAT, Nelly. You've got a bit of time.


Posted by hln at 09:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Molecular Confusion

I think I've found yet another reason to avoid the Atkins diet (as if I needed more).

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A non-human molecule found in red meat and milk makes its way into the human system when eaten -- and seems to build up especially in tumors, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

    The compound, called sialic acid, is found on the surfaces of animal cells but is not found in people, and may be one reason why animal-to-human organ and tissue transplants do not work well. Animals have a version called Neu5Gc, while humans carry Neu5Ac.

    But researchers at the University of California San Diego found it does show up in the human body, and showed it can be absorbed from eating red meat and milk.

    They also showed that the body produces an immune response against the molecule.
Hmm. It is just one study, but it raises my awareness. Look for more on sialic acid. I'm sure I'll post more as it becomes available.


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September 28, 2003

The Century I'm Not Gonna Finish

Is what I called the ride midstream today. Our century ride met up with the normal group I ride with, Bicycle Fun Club (Trailnet). The rides converged in a big soupy mess of confusion - riders not sure whose rest stops were whose, which arrows to follow (most were blindly following other cyclists...because usually you can).

So one guy asked me, "which ride are you on?" And that was my response, "The century I'm NOT gonna finish."

And so it was. Riding today was sheer hell, the second toughest ride I've ever endured. I put in just shy of a METRIC century, though, at 65.8 miles. That was the end of loop one, where everyone met back for lunch. And where our cars were. That was enough, I'm told, for about 2/3 of the people slated to do today's Flat as a Pancake Century ride.

For starters, my clothing was inadequate. I purchased a long-sleeved and some spandex for fall rides, but, thinking it would eventually be just too hot, I opted for lesser layering. I wore my normal jersey, the long-sleeved jersey, and a mere pair of biker shorts. I suffered. Poor Hans and Ryan were wearing less still. I've not gotten their ride stories from them yet. I'm sure those'll surface tomorrow.

The morning was just cold. My extremeties and rear complained for the first 25 miles because of it, and I never felt like my muscles got warm. At our rest stop, I went into the bakery located at the rest stop (I'll plug the name in here tomorrow when I have the business card of the place with me) and stood near the oven (with blessings of the staff, of course). That was warm.

Oh, and the wind. What can I say about the wind that isn't obscene? The wind in central Illinois today was BRUTAL. And cold. Enough said. At points it was 15 mph or more, and I know at least 15-20 miles of the ride was directly into the wind.

So this is why I did not finish my century. My knees are creaky, and I had my left quad chirping at me for the last 12 miles. My average speed was laughable, and I was really, really cold.

I think I prefer the 95 degree weather to ride. At least I get a funky tan. I believe most of the rest of my cycling for 2003 will be indoors. Brr.

Thank you to my friend Tim for hanging with me. This ride appeared to be pretty much unsupported, and without someone to complain to (mostly "BRRRR" or inane laughter on my part), I'm not sure I could've finished the 65.8 I did. And it wasn't about conditioning. I barely broke a sweat ;)

UPDATE! - Ryan validates that I'm no pansy!


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September 24, 2003


Electric Venom posts this, which I initially missed because I didn't click the link while I was at work. My husband, however, made sure to point it out to me when I got home, and while one might take that statement to mean he'd like to send me to one of those classes, that's not quite the case.

Rather, I'm sure he was sure I'd have a surely grand time with this post. And, indeed, surely, I have. First, my comments directly on the original post:

    Laugh, what a crock. (But funny). I'll address this one on my blog after dinner in detail, but, for quickness and interest's sake, there are four ways to target/shape your breasts, which are basically just FAT.

    1) Incline chest press
    2) Flat chest press
    3) Decline chest press
    4) Pec flyes

    I'll give you the goods later (like, how men who build can avoid manboobs) and see if I can hack a trackback ping so those interested can see it (yucky blogger).

    None of these add cup size. They may actually slightly DIMINISH breast size but enhance definition and give a woman a certain "perkiness," shall we say.

Incline presses - the most difficult for a woman to do. They work the top of the muscle and should be done first before you're too fatigued to effectively work 'em. Flat press - easiest to learn - what most folks who lift just for a bit of tone but not out of passion do. Declines - you can lift more weight because they're easier to do, so that usually gives one a sense of satisfaction. Also, they help add some curve to those sensuous areas. Yowsers! Flyes- the best possible way for a conservative chick to become an in-gym tree hugger. That's the motion.

I forgot push-ups. You'll forgive me. Those'll add size...if they're BUILT INTO YOUR BRA. And, avoiding manboobs - inclines. Dudes - incorporate inclines if you're even THINKING about bodybuilding.

Switching lanes, I want to punch this guy because he's going to get response. Think of all of the sheep YOU know in women's bodies. Uh huh.

Here's a bit of info from the web - not too far off from the blurb Hilton gives, but it contains quite the opposite outcome.

    Because women's breasts are made up mostly of Adipose (fatty) tissue, and contain no muscle, exercise alone will not change their size or shape directly. However by working the largest muscle in the chest, pectoralis major, you can help support the breasts and hold them up higher. If performing the exercise in the gym, I would say the Incline Dumbbell Bench press is the most effective. The same exercise can be performed at home on a Swiss Ball.

Fight the sag, yes. Add fatty breast tissue - only if you eat more, and you'll likely not praise the overall results.

(Kate - this is for that ONE reader of yours who took that article seriously and is contemplating a long vacation to the UK to give it a whirl. I'm going to guess there's only one because only great, intelligent people like me visit your blog. You, missy, that one girl who thinks boob aerobics will work. Sorry. SOL.)


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September 19, 2003

A Positive Step

I was very pleased to read today about the trend of hotels completely disallowing smoking.

    >From New York to California, small and mid-size hotels have gone smoke-free, cleaning, deodorizing and redecorating rooms once reserved for smokers and designating them nonsmoking.

    One major reason is that fewer guests are requesting smoking rooms. But hotel managers point to other benefits: lower room maintenance costs and a marketing tool at a time when the business has been hurt by a sluggish economy.

    "In all of our publications, we promote a smoke-free environment, and we've gotten calls because of it. Families with kids, it's attractive to them. It reinforces cleanliness and safety," said Chris Canavos, manager of the 98-room Howard Johnson's in Williamsburg, Virginia, which went smoke-free during a renovation three years ago.
Roughly 75% of the population is composed of non-smokers. I'm obviously not sure of the percentage of sympathetic-to-smokers nonsmokers, but since I'm not in that group, who cares?

This is an excellent example of positive change (this time in the health arena) brought forth WITHOUT LEGISLATION. As time proves that these hotels do not disappear due to shrinking profits, other businesses will follow suit.

And that, my friends, makes me smile. Very broadly. (And breathe more easily).


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September 17, 2003

Adult Happy Meal Yeah, really,

Yeah, really, according to today's news:

    CHICAGO — McDonald's Corp. (MCD) has enlisted the aid of Oprah Winfrey's personal trainer to promote an adult version of the Happy Meal (search), the fast-food giant's latest effort to offer healthier products.

    Instead of Happy Meal standards like a burger and a toy, the new Go Active Meal (search) will include a salad, an exercise booklet and a pedometer meant to encourage walking.
Wow, you mean instead of a salad I can order off the menu, I can get it with gadgets? I think I'd prefer the flexible Grimace if there're going to be gadgets.


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September 14, 2003

Tracking Activity While I was

While I was looking for information on Missouri's State Government page about the override of governor's veto of the Concealed Gun bill, I stumbled across this.

Why not? The dates work - just started, so I signed myself up. I went for intermediate because I found this on Thursday, and, well, with the foot issue, I didn't think I could get five days of cardio in this week. I was right. Seems days are more important than total time. So, I've met my goals this week for that - nothing out of the ordinary.

Tonight I went looking for the national version, The President's Challenge. Turns out, this is even easier because it'll count EVERYTHING I do, from weight training to my weekly volleyball to cycling to even STRETCHING. I filled in my week's worth of info, and I'm 11% to my first goal. This wasn't even a very active week for me.

Why do this? Well, remember those obnoxious physical fitness tests we all had to take as kids? I was HORRIBLE at those. Horrid. Grace, balance, and strength have finally appeared in my life, and, dammit, I want a piece of paper for my efforts. I used to HATE those tests. Here's what I remember.

1) The shuttle run. Shudder. We used to have to drop and carry erasers for this test. I was never. fast. enough. (I was 5' 6" when I was 11 - oversized, indeed).

2) The bent-arm hang. Okay - see #1. You know who excelled at this? Those damned ectomorphs who still weighed 75 pounds. It's much simpler to suspend 75 pounds in the air than 120 or 130 (not sure what I weighed in 6th grade - was slightly chubby but not bad) for a period of time. This is at a time before any of us was actively strength training, so, as you can guess, this was not something at which I excelled either. Then, at any rate.

3) Running the dreaded mile. My best mile time was 8:07. This was my freshman year in high school, and I had been running for a few months before I attempted this. Not terifficly fast.

4) 50-yard dash. See #1. Heather never could sprint. Still can't.

But the one thing I learned I can do is train. With weights. Heavy and hard. I learned this in high school, actually, that same class where I ran the 8:07 mile. And, my skill has gone up some in adulthood when most of these lean/mean kids are now carrying some extra poundage and/or have given up on "play" because they are adults.

So, you see, it's all fun and games now.


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Do That Again, Bow Bow Bow

Hans responds!

This is about NICOWater, and even if he thinks it'd be a good study aid, I'd still run far, far away (while thoroughly encouraging others to feed this particular addiction). Then again, I eschew caffeine, too :)


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September 13, 2003

Arriva, NICOWater, and Heather's Unabashed Opinion

I read this article yesterday and earmarked it for blogging.

First, anyone who doesn't know that nicotine is addictive, please raise your hands, shake 'em a bit, and then visit this website. Then come back. (No one left, I know).

Now, that being said, how much does it take to kill you (since, as my loving husband pointed out, nicotine is also a poison). It's about 60 mg to kill you.

The average amount of nicotine in one cigarette is about 1 milligram.

Now, to Arriva and NICOWater. First, a caveat. I don't know prices on tobacco products. I never will because I never have and never will use. Anyone who thinks it's wise for a 31-year old oral cancer survivor to begin a smoking/chewing program, please e-mail me immediately. I'd love to post such advice. What I'm saying, though, essentially, is that I don't know if these products would be cost-effective replacements for cigarettes.

But back to the article.
    Ariva is not the only nicotine-delivery product being slipped through the regulatory cracks. A veritable industry is burgeoning. Consider, for example, NICOWater, which is -- you guessed it -- bottled water spiked with nicotine. When the product was first introduced under a different trade name and marketed as a dietary supplement, the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids and a coalition of public health groups petitioned the FDA to treat it as an unapproved drug. Last summer, the agency did so and forbade its marketing as a nutritional supplement. But now NICOWater is back, and its new manufacturer is selling it as a "homeopathic formula developed for adult smokers who suffer from the symptoms of tobacco cravings." The public health coalition renewed its petition, but the FDA has so far done nothing -- and its rejection of the same groups' petition concerning Ariva does not promise tough action.
Quit petitioning.

    There are two big problems with this state of affairs. The first is that no highly addictive and harmful drug should be marketed without substantial regulatory oversight. It is bad enough that cigarettes themselves should go unregulated by a public health-oriented agency, but it is simply inexcusable that their constituent chemical compounds would be sold in drugstores without triggering the jurisdiction of the agency that supposedly regulates drugs. Moreover, the situation is grossly unfair to drug companies that spend significant time and resources to bring to market traditional nicotine-replacement products under the usual rules of drug and medical device development. Why would smokers buy a heavily regulated and consequently expensive nicotine lozenge when the same nicotine in water is available for far less as a homeopathic formula?
My question exactly. I hope smokers would apply that logic to cigarettes and purchase the water instead. Indeed, there would be MUCH rejoicing in my world. (More later)

    The FDA's current impotence concerning tobacco products in general is indefensible -- a situation Congress desperately needs to correct. Yet the FDA does not need to make current law worse than it already is by interpreting its way out of the oversight of nicotine that it is able to perform.
Pleh - you're not thinking straight, author. The FDA's current impotence has been its impotence for a very long time. Congress' job is not to morally orchestrate the US citizens' lives.

To me, products like these seem like godsends to the non-smoking public. I don't care if people ingest nicotine. I don't really even care much about people who smoke themselves to death except to comment that I believe it to be stupid, and I'm thoroughly annoyed with smokers who won't take responsibility for their own tobacco-induced illnesses. What it comes down to for me is that I am extremely irritated and annoyed by having to breathe the foul shit smokers put into MY air, especially indoor air.

But that's just me, and I have some good, valid reasons beyond being a health nut that I'll not go into here. Back on course. If companies want to put out products containing nicotine, let them. Step gently aside, and let it run its course. Isn't tobacco regulation an oxymoron anyway? It's the drug that's harmful to others (namely, me - I'll admit I'm selfish) in proximity to its use.

So, to recap. I don't care if you smoke. Why would I care if you drank/used nicotine products? If you smoke, you already do.

Just what is the big deal here?


Posted by hln at 03:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 12, 2003

Gag, Cough, Spew, Spit

Gag, Cough, Spew, Spit

Hi, I'm famous. I'm an "expert" (in something). Buy my weight loss book!


Posted by hln at 08:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2003

Bizarre, Bizarre

Bizarre, Bizarre

Is it just me, or is this story especially vague?

First, (and foremost) "a rare form of cancer." That could be anything. I dug deeper.

(I'm ignoring the parents' rights versus government "rights" - I have to work soon. There's potential for a really, really long post there, and if someone wants it, go ahead).

Ewing's Sarcoma. (Here's more info on the cancer.)

In this article, I found an interesting fact.

    According to police, the family may be on their way to Houston to enroll their son in a clinical trial for another type of cancer treatment.
Alternative treatment? Houston? Hmmmmmm.

Yeah, I found it.

Thought so.

    Seeking a different treatment approach, Barbara Jensen and Parker apparently were headed to the Burzynski Clinic for alternative medicine in Houston, Daren Jensen told Idaho authorities after his arrest. Daren Jensen fled to Pocatello with the couple's four other children after the court order.

    The Burzynski clinic specializes in a treatment known as antineoplaston therapy, which is in clinical trials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    "Ewing's is a very different form of cancer and we don't have a trial for it," said Mike Goldberg, the clinic's public relations manager.
I know someone who lived because she took Burzynski's antineoplaston therapy at age 11 when her oncologist told her family she wouldn't live to see Christmas (nice, eh?). She's 18 or 19 now and in perfect health - brain tumor long gone.

You'll notice that Ewing's Sarcoma is not something that the clinic has a trial for, which, in simplest terms, means that young Parker will not be treated by Dr. Burzynski.

Parents, pray. Then take your young son to another slew of doctors, whatever it takes to convince you that you need to do SOMETHING...because cancer doesn't simply go away.


Posted by hln at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003

Obese Pets!

Isn't there anything else newsworthy this week? You know, like bombings and killings in Israel/Palestine (too many links to even begin - we're all aware of these things, and if you aren't, well, there's always CNN).

American pets are obese! Damn McDonalds!

Er, I mean, how terrible. You know, I think that's the vet's job to warn you if your animal packs on a few - and then, you know, there are things like diets, which are pretty easy to do with animals. See, house pets lack opposable thumbs, and you can keep the food in the pantry.

Like I should talk - I have two feline bundles of love that are slightly overweight, but not bad.

But, while looking for the article, I found Obese House Pets Petition Richard Simmons for Help.

Everywhere you look, Glenn Reynolds.



Posted by hln at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2003

Look Ma, a Use for Ankle Weights

So, with my restlessness of being home today, I decided to put the home gym to use. I'm so thankful for it.

I did a full body workout today. I learned/reminded myself of a few things.

  1. Plate mates rock.
  2. I don't do concentration curls correctly. Gotta fix that.
  3. Doing crunches while experiencing a rolling stomach: bad.
  4. There IS a use for the ankle weights my mother got me at a garage sale.
Yes, there are four ankle weights on my leg for a grand total of 20 pounds. If I could fit 6, all the better. The lower pair are the garage sale variety - a bit harsh on the leg since the strap cuts in. The other pair I got while I was in college, thinking that leg lifts with 5 lbs would make my legs more shapely. Ha. I have learned the ways of squat, lunge, press, cables, and cycle.

And now I have an improvised home variety for those rare occasions, like today, when I cannot wear shoes and transport myself to the gym. The bad toe/foot is the other. I made sure to hide its maladies from this post.

After lifting this evening, I perused the blogosphere via my blogroll, and I found this beauty.

As I commented there: 1, ow, and 2, what a funny link. Worth visiting.


Posted by hln at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2003

Tommy Thompson, Come On Down

Actually, I think that if Bob Barker were to call Tommy Thompson down for some audience exposure, he might treat him in that fight-with-Happy-Gilmore manner. I certainly hope so.

First off - this dude works for the US government. America - you know, that place where, so long as it's legal, you can produce and sell the product. In this case, the product is fast food. It's a product. Fast food restaurants sell the product. Just what is the BIG DEAL? Who tapped you on the shoulder and stated "SPEAK."

I read THIS today. I was sufficiently disturbed. In case you missed it, I preached a similar tangent just a week ago.

So, this dude is telling us how to eat. Drop that cheese, Mr. Thompson. We know you're from Wisconsin, and it'll be hard, but, please, show some rational behavior in recognizing that your constituents (defined as all of America thrown into a gargantuan pile of soup) are NOT rational. My favorite snippets from the Yahoo preachy article:
    'I'm going to start giving out awards and singling out ones that are doing good and the ones that aren't,' he told reporters at a food policy conference. 'If I get in trouble, I get in trouble.'
First, what, praytell, is an AWARD! Is it food-based? Oh, obviously, it mustn't be. No brownies for you, McDonald's. I notice that your new salads have fried chicken. Phat! And then we have this:
    'It is important to pressure the food industry, the fast food industry, the soft drink society ... getting them to offer healthier foods and put more things on the menu dealing with fruits and vegetables,' he said. 'I don't support lawsuits. I think we can do this as a society.'
Okay, 5 points for you Tommy; lawsuits ain't the answer. Why is this all centered around fast food, though? Would you really go to McDonald's for the McApple. Oh, wait, the McSmoothie. McTofu. McSparagus! Burger King's hearty WhopSoy! Seriously, you think any of this is gonna get ordered? If I had to eat at McDonald's, it'd be a grilled chicken sandwich with just lettuce and tomato and just water to drink. It can be done!

It's not what's on the menu, dork, it's what the consumer's gonna order, pay for, and consume. If Bobby from last week's example is going to visit Fast Food Joint X, he's going to munch on whatever suits his tastes. If he's a healthy eater, he'll make do. If he's not, well, public pressure and fast food menus won't do the trick.

And more:
    Banzhaf and other lawyers claim that food companies, just like cigarette producers in the past, are not properly warning consumers that their products may be addictive.
I. just. don't. buy. it. Addictive? Last I looked, the word defined as such - really, you don't need to go there; you know what it means, don't you? Tommy Thompson - helping the American public recognize itself for the sheep it is. Sway those overeaters into healthy McChoices; they'll NEVER NOTICE, right?

Almost forgot:
    Thompson, who has recently lost 15 pounds by eating less rice, potatoes and bread, said he prefers government programs that offer cities and food companies incentives to promote healthier lifestyles.
Wow, carbomatic, baby. Amazing - eating less assists with weight loss, especially if you ate too much previously. Tell you what - offer me some "incentives" to promote a healthier lifestyle (oh, wait, I already do that). I could use the cash. I can legally change my name to Boston if we need to work around that city loophole.

What a deal.


Posted by hln at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2003

Botox! Botulinum Toxin Type A (baby)

Hmm. I watched television last evening. This alone is probably enough to blog about, the event being so rare, but no, today's topic is far richer than my channel-tuning habits.

I saw my first ad for Botox last night. You know, BOTULISM. Okay, okay, I know it's controlled, but it's still something that affects your nerves and causes muscle inhibition/paralysis - same animal.

This particular advertisement displayed a posse of women (of course) wandering to and fro with perfect white-toothed smiles (wow, does that come with? I mean, free peroxide for the teeth with every shot?) and lean, healthy bodies. Don't you want to be like these people? Redefine sexy in your 30s, 40s, 50s. We all know that frown lines are the death of our sex lives. Come, live in the happy toxin four-month-lasting-little-shots-between the eyes world! With us! You can be...

And so today at lunch I took the Google journey about the side effects of Botox (none to be found readily on the website, that's for sure), and here's what we have. Okay, point one. The first list is targetted to consumers who are considering the procedure. Superficial punctate keratitis ain't in my everyday vocabulary (which is quite extensive, thankyouverymuch). It is, as you might suspect, a problem of the eye, specifically the cornea, and defined quite nicely in medical soup by Merck.

Of course, the strongest thing to note was the small but direct sentence, "the long-term side effects of Botox Cosmetic remain unknown."

But, remember, folks, like the ad says, It's not magic (so disdain the apothecaries), it's Botox Cosmetic. It hits you right between the eyes.

And I don't need it.


Posted by hln at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2003


I'm going to break down my sports gear by item, for whimsy's sake, because I have little else of consequence to discuss this evening.

1) Batting gloves
2) Weight lifting gloves
3) Cycling gloves

Shoes (and boots!)
1) Softball cleats
2) Cross trainers
3) Cycling clippy-thing shoes
4) Ice skates
5) Rollerblades

1) ~10 sports bras
2) Infinite t-shirts
3) 4 pairs of soccer shorts
4) sport socks - who KNOWS how many pairs

1) Softball bat
2) Cycling helmet
3) Softball glove
4) Knee pads (volleyball)
5) 2 softballs
6) Bike rack (for 3 bikes)
7) Rollerblade pads

Home gym
1) Nautilus incline/decline bench
2) Ankle weights
3) Dumbbells - 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30 pounds.
4) Two Pilates tapes

Oh, and the new bike!

Is this not insane? 3/4 of this stuff resides in my vehicle; my poor car has metamorphed into a gear-hauling machine.

Now, what does this all mean? Probably insanity. I was a good girl today and took a day off from the gym, focusing on my sports EQUIPMENT instead.

The bike's pedals were not properly adjusted so the little clippy shoe thingees would clip in properly. I managed to get the left foot clipped while holding on to my credenza in my office (and balancing on the bike). It wouldn't come out, though. So, limber as a flying squirrel, I dismounted somehow and unhooked myself from the shoe, adjusted the tension, put my foot in the shoe, mounted the bike, and repeated this process until I could pop the shoe out with a twisting motion. Stir, beat, then fold - had to do that three more times and test it all. Riding should be tomorrow.

Oh, and, more readership, please. GAINPRO!


Posted by hln at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2003

"Are McLawsuits legit?"

On p. 118 of Self magazine's May, 2003 issue, in the center of the page in yellow in the shape of a burger, sits this gem, which contains "yes" and "no" arguments to our friendly above-posted subject.

The "no" arguer has some brains: blah blah blah weight blah "...but litigation isn't the solution." Thank you, next?

The "yes" arguer needs a big shot of rational-thought epinephrine. Get a load of this...verbatim.
    "Fast food is a major contributor to obesity. The nutritional information that only a third of chain restaurants provide wasn't necessarily furnished out of the kindness of their hearts. Some fast food companies offered it only after several state attorneys general threatened to sue them for misleading advertising in the 1980s. We know public pressure can effect change, and litigation can make change happen sooner."
This snippet is attributed to Margo Wootan, Ph.D., director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C. Here's some more Dr. Wootenisms. I'll subtitle the articles for you if it's not apparent. I've read two, and enough already.

Drop that french fry, Bob, and take note. You are not an individual. You do not have free thought. See, you dropped the fry when I told you to, didn't you? Obviously, you, Bob American, cannot think for yourself. You haven't the slightest idea that you're possibly overweight because your id desires a super-sized meal...six times a week, and you feed your body with your id. You can't possibly, with the glut of information available from library to library to web site to website site, endeavor to KNOW that behavior of any form has specific consequences. How shocked you would be if only Margo would swoop down with gilded wings and show you THE WAY and incite you to call the sleaziest attorney in town.

Oh, Margo, please. Are you one of those women who's going to insist that all women are oppressed? Perhaps I should write and ask. Obviously, all of those frivlous lawsuits against the tobacco companies are making great strides toward reducing smoking. Suuuuuuuure. Public pressure does nada. I'll give you that, though, if you'll recognize that you're a hemisphere away from linking that public pressure thing to lawsuits reducing obesity. What's next, Ruffles? Frito Lay? The Olive Garden for offering Tour of Italy as "a meal"?

Ugh. Fast food? Subway, please, if you want a gentle suggestion and are on the run. McDonald's, eh, it won't kill you every once in a while, OBVIOUSLY. Just try to keep the frequent nugget miles low, Bob. And skip the lawsuit.


Posted by hln at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2003

Run Heather Run

One of the greatest things we humans take for granted is our health. I am and have been for approximately three years in perfect health. This last year has been the best of the three, as I have become one of those gymrats that everyone who's not a gymrat disdains.

But this morning, as I was awakened by the "do-you-want-to-get-up-at-5?" intoned by my husband, I found myself making the 2,154 excuses to myself that I thought I was long past about why I did not want to transport myself to the gym.

*Too tired
*Leg muscles ache, ow, ow
*I'll do Pilates later
*I'll go tomorrow and do more
*It won't hurt me if I don't go
*It's only cardio day - I wouldn't be missing any strength training
*I could go to work early and go to the gym after.
*I could play some Asheron's Call!

See, these are not even eloquent. Nor are they persuasive.

Today is cardio day. My body knows this, as my id so aptly stated in the previous paragraph. The gym has a track encircling it up at about a mezzanine level, and 18 times around is a mile. It's a perfect 60 - 65 degrees, so the moment you start to sweat, you know your muscles are warm enough to stretch or rip (as needed).

Cardio day encompasses many pleasures and tortures. I like the elliptical machine - often do 15 - 30 mins on it on non-cardio-days as the cardio component of a non-all-cardio day. Did you get all that? Good. But, in preparation for this MS 150 thing, I've felt the need to do some adequate self ass-kicking. This is otherwise known as running.

Now, some people are born to run. You see them in shopping malls or grocery stores - their tiny ectomorphic limbs and torsos - sometimes Gollum personified. If you feel the need to scientifically observe, park yourself at a mall near the size 2 racks. Yes, those are they.

I am not one of these people. I am born to lift and grunt, and, in other societies, would likely be one of the first women tapped for manual labor. Tall, good strong back. I would not be your choice of messenger to Marathon.

Alas and excuses aside, this running thing is growing on me. It's fabulous endurance training to get those lungs moving, and dancing happy lungs are good things. Oh, and the endorphins. Oh baby. The body's own opiates? And at that moment when you finally make that self discovery of "hey, I'm breathing normally AND running" - oh baby. Euphoria.

I'm not sure it's entirely just that, though. I find myself want to run in places and at times when it's not appropriate to run (and then, of course, conversely, wishing quite the opposite at the exact moment when my feet should begin doing their thing). This morning, I wanted to run the strangely cobbled hallway from the restroom back to the office location that houses my cubicle. Very strange indeed.

Where does this lead? Well, this morning it meant I ran nearly two miles and walked (which is close to jogging, really) another two or so. And then I applied the old ramrod to my psyche about my lack of effort, and it broke. I found myself laughing. A year ago, if I had told myself, "today you're going to walk a few miles and then run a few (or that amount of exercise in any order), I'd have run (or something else) screaming from the impossibility.



Posted by hln at 10:00 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2003

Oil and Vineger, Salt and Pepper, Vinegar and Pepper, Oil and Salt? Bread

Some things are meant to go together. Today I'd like to discuss vinegar and pepper, so see comma-delimited column three in our title up there on the whiteboard. For lunch today I have a turkey salad (no, really). It consists of that happy-go-lucky bagged salad whose brand I cannot remember, but it has the little perfect shredded carrots, some romaine lettuce, some iceberg lettuce, and some shredded red cabbage mixture. Good stuff. Also present is a smidgeon of reduced-fat skim milk mozzarella cheese. And, of course, this is topped with some leftover turkey from Sunday, the last of the white meat. For a chicken or a turkey salad, the best dressing I can find is a LOT of fresh ground pepper and a similar copious amount of Regina Red Wine Vinegar (with natural Garlic Flavor). Here, Regina, free marketing! And, guess what, no calories! Who said the best things in life weren't free - oh, the sales guys. I discovered this friendly tart vinegar at Lonestar Steakhouse, which is audacious enough to not offer a clear Italian dressing for its salads. Since this is the only flavor of salad dressing with which I will venture to lace my salads, I asked for oil and vinegar, and decided to tough it out. Mmm, liked it so much I had to beg the waitress to divulge the brand name of the restaurant's featured vinegar. That's really all there is to say about that. Since I put oil, water, and bread in my title to entice readers, I should spout off a bit. Bread - staple of human life, can't get enough, but my waistline would argue that all of its padding (of which there should be none) consists of bread and bread products. Bread good. Water - water of choice is Ice Mountain. I don't taste any minerals, and it's in a handy reusable bottle. Coupons often appear in the Sunday paper like lawn fungi - coupons are good. Oil? It doesn't exist unless I'm at Romano's Macaroni Grill. And then it's with its friends bread and pepper. And my salad is graced with a peppy and peppery balsamic vinegarette. And, sadly, it's not free. hln

Posted by hln at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2003


It is April, and today’s weather warns of an imminent scorching summer. But, this is April, and that warning’s text reads 87 on the bank sign. It’s the first night of softball season, something I planned to only barely notice this year.

Instead, sucker that I am, I find myself playing for a team I do not know on the Jewish Community Center’s (JCC) Monday night league. On Saturday, I found myself driving to practice for the other team for which I did not plan to play – my friend Bonnie’s Tuesday night team. Three hours, a shin welt, a bruised toe, and a sore right shoulder later, I emptied the day’s infield dust accumulation into the bathtub (for it belongs) and thought about this strange course my summer is taking.

The summer, in my mind, was to be dedicated to training for September’s MS 150, for, sucker that I am, I have been…um…suckered into joining the not-yet-established informal-but-soon-to-be-formal cycling team made of some friends and coworkers. And, being the only female in my side of the office, it’s bad form to wimp out. I don’t own a bike, but ever since I decided that this was the summer’s goal, I’ve been doing all the non-bike training things to make this a reality. The bike is to come later this week.

I digress.

Softball. My fond memories of softball are from nine years old until twelve years old. It was in these days that I was in an all-girl league and being bigger and more developed than the other girls was a distinct advantage. I learned my first sports lesson at age nine, when Randy Paape (yes, I remember his name), the seventeen-year-old who was kind enough to coach his little sister’s team, taught me to never ever ever throw a ball at a person with whom you have not established eye contact. This was humiliating at eight, but it has many practical applications even at thirty. Oh, and Randy played on the BIG people’s league (swoon, swoon).

That year, 1981, Thumb Hyde and Fur (Thumb being the thumb of Michigan) won the Sandusky Girls' Minor League Championship. I remember the trip to Dairy Queen (a big deal in a very small town) and my Big Quencher Lemon-Lime Mr. Misty. The trophy reads:
Sandusky Girls (sic) Minor Leag (sic)

Three years later, we moved to Missouri. Missouri softball in a city is different than small-town softball. A small town lives for its sports, for there is little else to do. In Sandusky, I lived a mere three blocks from the field, which made its home in the center of the residential section of the main part of town. Driving to softball was a new phenomenon; playing on a team with little skill was a new challenge. So, at the end of the season, I was invited to try out for the all-city team or something similar. At age 12, I still hadn’t mastered (or attempted) the slide technique. I was one of three girls cut.

And that was it for softball until last summer, showcasing a twelve year-old’s skill in a thirty year-old’s body, complete with a slightly creaky arthritic knee. I’m somewhat apprehensive that I’m coordinated enough to thrive in a team sports environment when we move beyond practice into that strange state of being known as a GAME. But, still, somehow, some things remain the same from youth to adulthood. Hopefully throwing and catching remain intact. Batting’s not a problem; I was 3 for 3 tonight.

Infield dirt is still infield dirt. It doesn’t seem to matter if you mix 17 or 19 different varieties of brown-tinted fine-grained mixtures. I believe the 18th is allspice, but you’d have to ask Dominique, my husband’s cat; she likes to clean me. I know for a fact that ingredient four is sand. And, as my socks can attest, plain old dirt is definitely present in copious amounts.

Bring on the Tide commercial. It’s softball season.


Posted by hln at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)