Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Freshmen 15


I'd be curious to see what you all think about this. Here's the reason. I agree with both side of the article and I'm actually slightly conflicted by it.

If you don't feel like reading the article, here's what it's all about:

Some colleges are starting to post caloric and nutritional information in their cafeterias. There's a big uproar among doctors and some college students/counselors that showing these calorie counts, etc. will probably encourage disordered eating and eating disordered (in case you're wondering, they are very different things). There is fear that with these calorie counts facing young people who are constantly teased about the potential freshman 15, there will be another jump in ED/DE/EDNOS. The last jump was nearly 10%, to a staggering 38%


If you recall the start of this blog, then you'll remember that I was frustrated by the lack of calorie counts in places and the irritation of having to try to calculate calories, it's handy. I'd like to be able to have the calorie counts if I desired. I'd also like to see restaurants try to cook a bit better--especially college campuses. When people notice that the lasagne is 800 calories and stop eating it, maybe the cook will start using Pam instead of butter...or the lowfat cheese instead of the cheap 100% fat kind.

Can we compromise? Can we have a little booklet that people can pick up if they WANT to? How about we dont' plaster it across the salad bar Lettuce: Service: 1 leaf Calories: 2 or some such. I can see overly skinny heroine chic girls with calculators trying to figure out how many calories are in their lettuce leaves. But I can also see myself, while training for some race or another, going "whoa, 800 calories in a square of lasagne? i'll make take the stir fry instead"

Now that being said, for me...I never had a cafeteria since GW is all about not having to provide. But, if I'd had that luxury of a dining hall, I think I'd have approved of a booklet of nutritional information.

Training Update

Also, briefly,

I started training for my 5k last night. This, to a marathoner, sounds ridiculous. A 5k was my "whew, almost done with my long run" thought.

I've had to retrain my brain and it's taken almost three years to accomplish this. However. As I mentioned before, I have the goal now to accomplish at 5k in 25 minutes. This requires that I maintain about an 8 minute mile...something my marathon trained muscles (even though they're out of practice) dont' understand.

So last night, I got 2.1 miles in. I should have gone for 3.1, but I was eager to sit with K...which didn't happen because other people sat next to her on the I wound up on an old cycle bike for the last couple minutes of my cardio. The first mile or so was at an 8:30 pace (7 mph) and then the last mile was at an 8 minute pace (7.5 mph). Let me tell you. I'm not sore today, and I'm kind of surprise...but it was a workout.

I need to figure out how to translate my treadmill pace to my outdoors pace....which I assume will be rather trying considering I can't get myself out of the door in the morning without relying on my gym buddy. Perhaps I'd have made it this morning if I hadn't decided to stay up until 1:30 watching the afore mentioned More to Love.

For now, I project I probably wont' make my 25 minutes a week from this Saturday...but I'll definately make it Oct. 3, provided the crowds don't prevent it. Fingers crossed.

More to Love

After years of avoiding shows like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, etc., I finally fell and watched at least several episodes of More to Love. I'm going to blame for this because their snarky criticism of Puke/Luke and the producers of the show for having close ups of greasy food and planning dates where bathing suits were involved....I couldn't help it.

Well, last night was the finale. And now I remember why I will never again watch a show like this. The girl who was not chosen was heart broken. Was she really in it for love? I have no idea. Will Luke and the Israeli girl, who is absolutely stunning, stay together? No idea there either.

But I felt like the whole show was really the shows that I already hated that jumped on the "Fat Tv" bandwagon. There was a clan of desperate girls who were eager to land a well off man and were insecure because of whatever. The whatever this time was "I'm Fat." The majority of these women, while overweight, were total stunners.

Lately, there have been a lot of articles talking about "Fat TV" and why it's so popular. The Biggest Loser (which also started last week and awaits me on my DVR tonight). Some theories are that America is sick of seeing people who don't represent who they are (a tiny percentage of people look like the girls on The Hills or whatever is popular now) and there's an ever increasing percentage of overweight and obese Americans--especially those who fit in the age demographic that the producers of More to Love/The Bachelor/Bachelorette, etc.

Is it because people feel they can look down on others that they want to watch these fat shows? Or is it, as I hope, is it that people enjoy seeing other overcome struggles that are similar to their own? Like I said, many people in this country struggle with their weight at dangerous levels (I'm not talking those extra 5 pounds we all want to lose), and something like The Biggest Loser shows them that it truly is possible, though perhaps not in the same manner.

As far as More to Love...everyone can find love, but I don't think it takes or should take a TV show that combined trend with horrible dating show to prove to young women (and men) that you can find someone to love you for who you are.


Suffice to say, I love the Biggest Loser, mostly because, even though I disagree with losing 100+ pounds in however many weeks that is (I only support it if you're literally at the point where you could die or incur a weight related serious health issue ie. diabetes), I think it's a transformative process that not only changes the participants lives, but the lives of their families, and potentially, the lives of those watching the show. Or maybe that's just me being overly positive. Who knows.

And it means that I can't stand More to Love because it's not about "positive self image" (though I think it probably had that effect without it intending to for some people)--it's about pointing out "WOW even though you're FAT (here, get in this swim suit), you found LOVE! OMG NO WAY!!!" These women were beautiful inspite of being over weight--not just beautiful because they were beautiful (and believe me, these women were knock out).

I have no idea what the conclusion of this post is coming to, probably because I'm multitasking. But anyway. Can't we all just celebrate women being beautiful and end this stick thin thing? There are hints of change...but will it stick?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Race a Month

So occassionally I get these really ridiculous notions of what would be a good plan.

For example:

I recently decided that it would be fun to run 500 miles in a year. This is clearly a poor decision. Maybe not a poor decision, I'm sure I'd be close by accident anyway, so much as it's just another stressor on my workout regiment. I like running. In fact, once I get out the door, I usually love running. But forcing myself to about 10 miles a week (no matter if it's really only about 1.5 miles a day)...just seems a little insane. I'd probably lose my mind if I didn't make my goal or missed a week.

Ah the mind of the hyper obsessive!

I also decided last year that I'd do one race a month. That worked well for about three months, then totally fell apart when I got too tired to carry on. There was a 10 miler (which was my personal best, oddly), a 5 mile trail run (wow, that was a really poor choice, i've never felt so out of shape in my life), and the 10k jingle all the way (6.2 miles with jingle bells straped to your feet and cold wind blowing in off the basin = fail).

But, for whatever reason, I've suddenly decided that no, no, this would be brilliant. I'm going to try AGAIN!

In less than two weeks, I'll be taking up a 5k and doing the 5k for Cancer Awareness downtown.

In October, I'll probably be joining BT for the 5k AIDS Run/Walk, and then going out to Wolf Trap for the 5k for the Arts at the end of the month. After that, I've just convinced my mother that she should do the Turkey Trot back home with me and my brother. Another 5k.

It's my hope (and lunacy) that I'll stick with running as it gets colder and the mornings get darker as opposed to hiding away in my gym.

I'm going to the gym with K tonight, so hopefully that'll be the kickoff to my 5k week and a half training. The goal is less than 30 minutes, which should be fine, considering I run faster in a group and I already run faster than 1mile/10 minutes. Ideally, I'll have a 25 minute or lower time.

Here goes....something.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I like spicy things.

I do, I can't help it. I love jalapenos on my burger, on my pizza, my quesadillas dripping in crystal hot sauce. There was the one unfortunate incident that my best friend in med school (I can't remember what I'd nicknamed her in this blog, sorry dear) will recall. It had a lot to do with a few coronas, chicken wings, and hot sauce that basically glowed from being so orange....but for the most part. I love spicy things and eat accordingly.

This is a good thing considering there is some pseudo/potentially true though (haha like the rhyme?) science out there that shows that if you eat spicy food, you eat less of it...and also, that the qualities in a pepper that makes it spicy also potentially speed up your metabolism.

All this talk about the spicy things, though, leads me to the point of this post.

Spices. Not just the spicy kind.

I think one of the hardest things about staying on a diet, eating plan, healthy cooking spree, etc. is that the food can be bland. I will totally admit that.

I'm in what I'd consider an "Advanced Beginner" or "Pre-Intermediate" use of spices place right now. I know vaguely what spices do what to the food, and kind of what culture they align to (don't put curry in an Italian dish, etc.), but I haven't quite figured out, on my own, how to move beyond garlic salt, all seasoning, salt, pepper, oregano on foods.

I took a short cut the other day and relied a little on my friend BAM Emeril. I share with you, the newest combination of spices (with a spicy kick) that works wonders for all food types: scallops, shrimp, steak, chicken, burgers, fish...I haven't tried pork yet, so maybe not ALL food types....but here it is:

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

It makes about 2/3 cup and you can find the link to the recipe here. is my best source for recipes and my secret for the meals Chadd loves. Next, I should delve into their low-cal options...

For now, I'll keep leaning on Emeril.

Enjoy! BAM!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I've been a bad blogger, lately. Apologies.

I do want to address the Time Magazine article about how working out makes you gain weight or some nonsense like that, but rigth now, I'd rather just talk about how much I love boxing and this weather.

Boxing is a phenominal stress reliever for me. I instantly feel better after starting class, and when I'm done, I'm often times too tired to over analyze anything, or criticise myself or others. I feel released.

I had the benefit the other day of stepping on a scale and noticing that I'd lost 5 pounds in two weeks. I'm not saying it's a miracle, I still FELT better physically when I was eating within my caloric range and staying with the Volumetrics based cooking...but it's still nice to see that the hard work (which is really more of a stress relief session than anything) is paying off.

On top of that, I still make it to the gym in the mornings with my workout buddy (especially since she gives me a ride to work) and while those workouts are rarely immensely hard, it's another couple hundred calories expended. I usually get to the office refreshed, too--and awake. If there's one change I'm glad I've made, it's that I get to the gym in the morning.

Now to tackle the hard things.

I need to cut back on the crappy eating habits.

I'm talking about the glass of wine on a week night, or the cookie instead of a piece of fruit when I didn't really want anything. Or the eating beyond being satisfied.

I do believe in eating the burger, drinking the beer, and hitting the gym. Especially after my weeks of calorie counting and obsessing. I realized that it was was restrictive. It was extremely informative, nonetheless, and I'll think twice before ordering something or eating something that previously would have sounded like a good idea.

I just need to marry the two concepts--eating well and working out frequently and then I will have achieved what is usually considered the impossible.

But before that, I have two action packed weekends of fun and wine.