The Next Six Weeks

If I seem a little cranky, a little edgy, next week, forgive me. On Monday, my husband and I will start the six-week program called the The Blood Sugar Solution. It’s sort of a take-back-your-health sort of challenge, and one that we hope will give us some answers to nagging health problems no medical professional has been able to solve.


It ought to be an interesting challenge. I’m careful, here, not to call it a diet. I don’t do diets. I do, however, love a good challenge.

The program is six weeks and only part of it focuses on what we eat (and that part basically follows the Michael Pollan’s premise: “Eat real food. Mostly plants.”). It’s not really a diet, but a start to a lifestyle change, particularly if you are on the road to diabetes. The program addresses fitness, relaxation, and a few other areas not necessarily related to food.

It’s nothing new to us, I’ve covered many of the same things in this book on this blog. With this program, we take what we do occasionally, and do it 100%. So, for the next six weeks we’re eating what might sound to you like a cross between the Paleo Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. Simply, it’s no gluten, no sugar, no processed foods, no alcohol, no caffeine. You get the picture.

So, going off caffeine, particularly, might be a little rocky for me at first. I ask forgiveness ahead of time.

We’re both excited about trying this program out and seeing what the results are. Of course, we’re expecting to see some good health changes, but I’m also hoping for some mental things to work out (more relaxed, more positive, more balanced).

I plan on blogging about the experience, so be sure to check back here. There could be some bumps along the way, but I hope for some sort of epiphany or two along with them. At the end, I can add back caffeine, some sugary treats, but maybe I will have learned I don’t need them all that much to enjoy life. What struck a chord with me in the book, and sort of egged me to do this thing, is that Dr. Mark Hyman asked readers to pause and think why they balked about cutting something out of their diet that is known to be bad for them. Made me wonder why I felt so clingy to, say. ice cream or a nice glass of red wine. Surely, I could leave those alone for six weeks and find a nice replacement that won’t make me feel cruddy after indulging. So, we’ll see. Maybe I will learn that I do, in fact, need a bowl of ice cream in my life on a regular basis to keep me grounded. Right?

One last note: If you have any quick gluten-free recipes, send them my way.


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You Put Bacon On What?!

So Delicious Dairy Free had a Facebook update Monday that triggered an interesting debate: Who is to blame for restaurants for creating and serving up high-calorie treats – the restaurants or the consumers?

What triggered the debate? The new offering by Burger King: A bacon sundae (the author of this story posed the question first).

Burger King’s new bacon sundae

What do you think about this new 510-calorie dessert? Does it sound tempting or disgusting?

And back to that first question: Who is to blame?

I think it’s the consumers’ fault. We say we want healthier options, yet Americans are still buy unhealthy food (the above link goes to an article that described KFC’s and Taco Bell’s successful launches of new high-calorie products). These fast food places are businesses and the bottom line is they want to make what people are buying.

Do you disagree with me? Should companies continue to come up with new healthier options even if consumers rarely buy them?

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A Book That Should be on a Runner’s Radar


Funny how I’m starting to use Pinterest as a way to find things beyond DIY cleaning solutions and kids activities.

I came across a pin for healthier running – which sent me to a recent NPR interview with York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds. Reynolds is the author of the new book “The First 20 Minutes,” which details the latest scientific research on running, stretching and hydration techniques.

Some of you might find this book really helpful, especially with her insight into injury prevention, running shoes (or running without them), and pain prevention. Let me know if you check it out.

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One Year After We Kicked Butt In Lincoln

A year ago, I ran a half-marathon with a big group of family (and friends who are like family). I was 20 weeks pregnant and felt like I was among an amazing team of new and seasoned runners.

Those runners had an interesting year since then and I thought I’d share it with my readers.

Let’s start with the guy that inspired the “I’m With Ron” team, my dad, Ron. Lately, the 61-year-old has been toying with the idea of doing a marathon, or maybe a half. We’re game for whatever. We’ll bust out the “I’m With Ron” shirts any day.

 My sister, Kelly, our Dad, and I

My brother-in-law, Dan, was back in Lincoln on Sunday, this time doing the full marathon, his first (Go, Dan! 4:37:35 is a time to be proud of!). My husband, son, dad, sister and I were among the hundreds of spectators cheering him on. The marathon was the crowning achievement of a full year of hard work. After the Lincoln half with us, he went on to set a PR at the Wichita half-marathon in October (1:59). He’s taking it easy, so to speak, and will do the Warrior Dash in July with me and my husband. He’s also planning on improving his 5K times and doing a half-marathon in the fall.

Dan’s first marathon, May 6, 2012

Dan’s wife, my big sis Kelly, had a roller coaster of a year since running her first half-marathon with our team. In August, she did her first triathlon!

Kelly, triathlon woman

She also did a few 5Ks. In January, she started Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping … only to get sidelined with a stress fracture. After healing from that, she started  it again and shed a few inches, only to get knocked down by pneumonia. She started back on the program on Monday and is aiming to get lean and mean by December. Her goal is to drop four sizes by then.

My nephew, Austen, has been busy. He’s graduating high school this weekend and has spent the last year getting into Army-strong shape so that when he ships off to boot camp this summer, he’ll be ready. The kid is a machine.

Austen, not in his Army uniform

His mom, Jen, had been toying with the idea of doing a Tough Mudder race. Since the race in Omaha was canceled, she has yet to come up with an alternative. I’ll keep nagging her until she picks another race.

Kim, a family friend, has been training hard for the past year. She was all set for her first marathon in Nashville in April, only to come upon some rough moments on the course. She didn’t finish, but no doubt she will be back stronger for her next marathon attempt.

My cousin Kevin and his wife Mandy ran their first half-marathon with the team. If I’m not mistaken, it might have been their first foot race ever, even. They have been busy hauling their talented kids to all of their tournaments this past year. Maybe after their kids are able to drive themselves to their games, we shall see the two back on a race course. What do you guys think?

Friend to the team Jessica ran with us and since last May, she has been busting her butt to get into shape. She looks fabulous. I’m not sure of her secret. Maybe she’ll share here.

Shawna, another friend of ours, has also been busting her butt to get into shape, and recently ran the Wichita half-marathon with Dan … on her birthday. That’s dedication.

My sister-in-law, Amy, ran her first half-marathon with the team. She has been extremely busy with work this past year, but has decided that enough is enough and she’s eyeing a return back into the world of fitness.

My husband, Kevin, raced in his first triathlon – an Olympic distance race in Colorado – about a month after the Lincoln half last year. He did it raising money for Team in Training, which by itself is an accomplishment. But, the race was also what earned him his Triple Crown – an honor given to those who raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by racing in three different endurance races.

Kevin, second on the right, with his TNT team. Grrr.

Since then, he has commuted to work by bike consistently and is planning on doing the Warrior Dash with Dan and I in July.

And then there’s me.

Well, since last May, this bump was born and has grown into this beautiful and strong little girl.

She and her brother keep me pretty busy and I have yet to do a race since the Lincoln half in 2011. However, I’m signed up to do the Warrior Dash in July and I’ve been working on my measly upper body strength in preparation. I’m also toying with the idea of doing the Color Me Rad 5K a week before the Dash because it just sounds fun, doesn’t it?



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Why Are You Eating That?

I’ve been thinking about something I heard on the radio a few weeks back (It was April 14 and I’m still thinking about it).  It was the prologue to “Own Worst Enemy” produced on “This American Life” (org. aired April 13). To listen, go here and click on the prologue link (it’s the first tiny square).

It started out kinda funny, actually. Ira Glass talked about a coworker who came into work with his face all puffy, like crazy puffy. “His ears were like cauliflower.” Worried, they asked him about it. Turns out he ate some crab the night before. He knew he’d have the reaction and he ate it anyway.

It happens only 1 out of 3 times for the guy.

“It was a calculated risk. 1 out of 3 times he turns into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.”

He does it frequently and the medicine head he gets from the allergy medicine is more annoying than a swollen face.

“The poisoning of myself is not that bad.”

It was kinda funny to think about, and if you were listening, funny to hear it rationalized.

But then, Glass talked to more people who knowingly ate foods they were allergic to. It wasn’t uncommon.

They laughed about it even, this need to eat the food that makes them sick. One woman is lactose intolerant said whenever she eats pizza, she gets severe stomach cramps and always has to rush to the bathroom afterward. She has will-power, she insists, but not when it comes to pizza. She loves pizza. It’s her and her fiance’s go-to take out choice when they couldn’t think of what else to eat. So, Glass asked her how often she ate it. “A couple times a week.”

I was expecting her to say “A few times a year” or something like that.

It got me thinking, this woman. Why are people doing that to themselves?

Another woman said, “You know it’s not going to kill me … it’s just throwing up.”

The eight-minute prologue ended with Glass talking to an ER doctor who has seen countless people for severe allergic reactions to food. She sees people every day for it, people who knew about their allergies or their situations and ate anyway. She sees the same people, too, people who avoid eye contact when they land back in the ER. “Bad choices and, some of them, decades of bad choices.”

I still can’t wrap my mind around this food addiction, purposely eating something that will make you sick. My husband points out that I don’t have an addictive personality, so maybe that is why I can’t understand. What do you think about it?

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