Friday, October 29, 2010

Back from fall break and Hot 100 challenge

Happy Friday to all of you!
My hubby and I are back from a wonderful fall break to California! We were able to meet up with my brother and his family and also with our son and his fiancé (who came to Yosemite with us). Rest and recreation were the order for each day. I do not know about you, but, because so much of my work is computer or web based, a break for me needs to include tech free time (not counting my iPhone!). The pictures I posted on my fall break post and those above are of Yosemite Valley. I am originally from California; so going to Yosemite is like going home to me. I did not live near there (home is actually southern California), but over the years that we lived in California, we spent a lot of family time hiking and camping in Yosemite and the other beautiful parks near by: Sequoia and Kings Canyon.

I don’t know if any of you watch Oprah. I rarely catch her show but today turned it on and guess what? Oprah and Gail had taken a “camping trip” through Yosemite Valley in well Oprah style. The best part was watching the film of the exact roads and trails that we had been on only one day ago. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. If you have not been, I hope you make it a point in your life to go. I will post more about our hiking and pictures next week.

I completed my fourth week of the Hot 100 Challenge!
Here is my update:

Hot 100 Challenges

1.Lose an additional 12 pounds by December 24, 2010. This is doable because there are 12 weeks until Christmas Eve and I lose about 1.3 pounds per week
(I weighed in last week before our trip (19 pounds off still,
so I will not weigh in again for a couple of weeks. )

2.Keep up my biking (at least 45 miles a week) AND include more walking
(4 times a week at least 2 miles at a time) outdoors until the weather forces me inside.
(I did not make it in biking this week. I logged only 8 miles which was today.
I did however hike over 15 miles this week (!!) which is an amazing accomplishment for me.
Besides being out of shape for a number of years, I broke my leg
a couple of years ago. It has taken me a long while (well, two years) to feel
that I CAN hike like I want to and I did!

So, the 15 miles is for me a great milestone).

3.Take care of myself each day by eating less, moving more,
and eating plenty of fruits and veggies.
(Yes, I can truthfully say I did really well, even while on fall break. We stayed at the
Wawona Hotel in Yosemite and had the hiker's package which included breakfast
and a box lunch everyday. Breakfast was buffet style. Each day, I walked right by
all the sweet rolls and coffee cakes, pancakes, waffles and other high caloric
foods and headed straight for oatmeal and fresh fruits.
This was a FIRST for me to pass up all the sweets (even the mini-muffins!).

4.Have more 1200 days in a week than 1500-calorie days.
(Okay, I admit, the entire week consisted of 1500 days-not one single 1200 day.
But, what I am proud of is the fact that I budgeted my
In and Out Burger (390 calories) and a few pints of tasty beer into my
1500 calories per day. I even had one of my favorite buttermilk
donuts (only in California do they make the kind that I LOVE!)
and stayed within the 1500 calories. So, although I did not meet
this goal of more 1200 calories days than 1500, I continued
to build my new eating history by eating reasonably,
enjoying a few treats that I like and staying within my range of calories).

5.Drink more water. At least two liters per day.
(Yes, every day. Almost is a habit, but not quite).

Now I look forward to catching up with all of you, my blog readers and followers! Have a great weekend everyone! Stay strong in your journey to better health! Michele

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blazing saddles (2) and Hottie Update!!

Happy Friday, Blogger Friends and Followers!
You may remember in late August, I posted about the hills I tried biking over near our hobby farm in Mankato. Well, I am here to report to you that I made it up those hills and another one with ease. Ease. Easy, I tell you. Easy. Easy. I was winded, but, I was AMAZED at my ability to bike up the hill. Mind you these are Minnesota Hills, but never the less, a great victory for me, bike rider, Michele! Here is what they look like.
The picture above is the Le Sueur River that runs through this river valley where I rode. The picture below is ANOTHER hill I rode up and very steep (hard to see here, but it is!).

The sun was just falling below the horizon as I made my way down that last hill.

I completed my third week of the Hot 100 Challenge! Here is my update:

Hot 100 Challenges

1.Lose an additional 12 pounds by December 24, 2010. This is doable because there are 12 weeks until Christmas Eve and I lose about 1.3 pounds per week
(I weighed in this week. I have not lost any weight since I started the Hottie challenge. But I am holding my own at 19 pounds off. )

2.Keep up my biking (at least 45 miles a week) AND include more walking (4 times a week at least 2 miles at a time) outdoors until the weather forces me inside.
(This week was intense for me with work, so I only logged (so far), 32 miles. I walked 4 miles. So, definitely did not meet this goal).

3.Take care of myself each day by eating less, moving more,
and eating plenty of fruits and veggies.
(Yes, better than last week.).

4.Have more 1200 days in a week than 1500-calorie days.
(Yes, I have. So far, 4 out 7 days have been 1200 calories or less. I am finding that I can do 1200, but I did not exercise as much as I have been. So, may need to adjust as I bike more (thanks, Glenn).).

5.Drink more water. At least two liters per day.
(Yes, every day. I am impressing myself with how much water I am drinking-more that two liters (thanks for the reminder, Dr. Fit.).

Have a great weekend everyone Stay strong in your journey to better health!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Food for Thought and other Words Wednesday: Food Labels

Today’s Food for Thought and other Words Wednesday is the topic of "Food Nutrition Facts" that you find on food product labels. I have been reading labels regularly since I started this journey, as I bet most of you have, too. Over the past four months, I must admit that I am in a state of confusion as I read the labels especially when I am trying to figure out how serving sizes are determined, calories, ingredients (this is a separate upcoming post) listed, etc. I went to the "mattresses" on this one. For me that means: experts. Here is what I found out: food manufacturers must tell you what is in their products, actually they are required by law to do this.

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 was supposed to do something that was never done before: inform you about the calories, nutrients and ingredients on food packages, but also discourage you from eating foods that are higher in fat, encourage you to eat foods with nutrients like vitamin A, C, calcium, etc, give you an opportunity to compare the nutrition content of the particular food product with what you should be eating daily and FIT all that info on a label small enough to be printed on food packages. In fact a visit to the food label guide reveals the specifications for the food label text:

You would think that with all of those specifications the FDA would want the information contained in them to be as clear as the text specifications: NOT!!! According to Dr. David Kessler, former commissioner of the FDA, they are “so opaque or confusing that only consumers with the [interpretive]] abilities of a scholar can peel back the encoded layers of meaning.” The label is supposed to inform you about calories, nutrition, and ingredients, but also: discourage you from eating foods high in fat, encourage you to eat more foods with nutrients (like certain vitamins) missing in the average American diet, allow you to compare different food products together and of course FIT all that info on a side panel label (Nestle, M., 2006, p. 291). Of course, if the label was easy to understand you might say “no” to buying it.

The FDA conducted a number of studies as they worked toward designing that label. These studies reached a “complicated conclusion. People said they preferred the label formats that they actually understood the LEAST (emphasis added). The opposite was also true: the formats that were best understood were the ones least liked (p. 298: for more read: What to Eat, section on processed foods). As you have probably guessed this confusion has led to problems, especially when it comes to serving size. The FDA standards are very small for serving sizes in an effort to make the calories, fats, cholesterol, and sugars appear minimal and appease the vested industry of the food manufacturers and uphold the law (can you begin to see how complicated designing these labels is?). You can do the math: listing “average” serving sizes would of course increase all of these values. Translation: no one in his or her right mind would purchase the product.

Well, that is interesting, Michele, but what can we do as consumers to understand labels?

A couple of things: one, check out the Food Labels guide.

Second: check out the Center for Science in the Public Interest informative website.

Next link to their Nutrition Action links. This arm of the Center works to improve public health through science-based nutrition and food-safety initiatives, and education.

My rule of thumb for packaging:
If you want healthier foods, go for food packages with a short list of ingredients. Period.

Stay strong in your journey! TTFN, Michele

Monday, October 18, 2010

More biking treks in Minneapolis!

Good Morning Readers and Followers!
My weekend started with a Friday night concert of the Minnesota Orchestra (it was fabulous, BTW!) .The weather was clear and dry, so I made the trek to the Hall on my bike (about 7 miles). It turned dark as I rode. I admit I felt a little smug riding to an Orchestra concert. Here are a few pictures of the skyline as I approached downtown, my trusty bike and ME!

Dr. Fatty suggested going to 1200 calories per day rather than my range of 1200-1500. I am at a stand still as far as weight loss, so I am going to lower my calorie count every day to 1200. I also am going to go back and count my calories. I KNOW that my eyeballing is not accurate. As I near four months on this journey, I feel like I am slacking off as far as deligence with the good old calories. Weekend eating was good, but not great. I know I can make it better.

Sunday, I rounded out the biking with another 15 miles by riding back and forth to the Metrodome with hubby to see the Vikes beat the Cowboys!! The Vikes still looked a little rusty, but way better than the last couple of weeks. It was a great game, for us, anyway (sorry, about the ‘Boys, Dr. F). Here is a picture as Favre was about to throw a touchdown.

We also went to the pumpkin patch with guess who??
That would be Nani, Ellery, Owie, Noah and Hann!

Have a great start to your week and stay strong!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Friday and Hottie Update!

Happy Friday! Our weather this past week has been absolutely terrific in Minnesota with almost every day reaching into the seventies (70's) which for us is amazing. Remarkably, no real frost yet, either. So, it has been a great week for outdoor exercise including biking and walking. First, a few pictures of Minnesota Fall.

The last picture is common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) seed pods with beautiful (Yes, they are!) milkweed bugs (Lygaeus kalmii). Milkweed bugs are seed eaters so we see a lot of them now in the milkweed patch. These are not to be confused with box elder bugs (Boisea trivittata) that are an invasive nuisance!

I completed my second week of the Hot 100 Challenge! Here is my update:

Hot 100 Challenges

1.Lose an additional 12 pounds by December 24, 2010. This is doable because there are 12 weeks until Christmas Eve and I lose about 1.3 pounds per week. (I believe I am doing okay here. I did not eat as well as I did last week, but overall a good week. I will weigh in next week, so hopefully have some GOOD news to share!)

2.Keep up my biking (at least 45 miles a week) AND include more walking (4 times a week at least 2 miles at a time) outdoors until the weather forces me inside. (I am happy to report that the Minnesota weather was great so I rode 50 miles on my bike (!!) and walked about 8. I will blog next week about biking up HILLS!!).

3.Take care of myself each day by eating less, moving more, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. (Yes, although truthfully, I felt like I slacked a little this week).

4.Have more 1200 days in a week than 1500-calorie days. (I did not make this goal. I had almost a full week of 1500-calorie days. Dr. Fit encouraged me to think about 1200 days M-F, that did not work for me this week, but I will renew efforts next week).

5.Drink more water. At least two liters per day. (Yes, every day).

Have a great weekend everyone Stay strong in your journey to better health!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Honesty is the best policy and other ruminations

Today I realized that I CAN still slip into mindless eating habits and of course (because it is mindless) I did not realize that I was doing this until I was well underway. Here is what happened: A couple of times a month we do day care for our grandbabies. My hubby and I split the day so one of us usually works in the morning and the other in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day so when I returned home from work I was feeling like a bike ride. So, hubby hooked up my Burley and off I went with Noah and Hann around the lake and to the play ground while hubs went to work. So far so good.

We came home hungry.

I don’t know about you, but nothing reminds me of raising kids as much as when I am making a lunch of grilled cheese (cheddar on whole wheat and a little butter) with fresh fruit. I must have made this lunch a million times when my kids were growing up and now I do it for the grandbabies. But, what you do not know, is that when my kids were little I would eat their untouched left overs, well because I love grilled cheese but also because I did not want to waste that left over food. So fast forward to grandbabies and now: I found myself doing it again. Without thinking, I finished up their left overs. Not thinking. Not thinking. When I came to, I realized exactly what I had done, reverted back to my past. It honestly was not that many calories (about 350), but what bothered me is that I did not even realize I ate them. I caught myself putting the little toasted cheese sticks in my mouth. Not thinking. I am just not as mindful and aware of what I eat as I think I am. Even after 3.5 months on this journey. I was not present with the food. Present with the kids and or other things, but not with the food. It was an old habit. Eat the left overs. A good reminder to me to be present, and to all of you, in what we eat.

Today I also caught up on reading blog posts. There are a few posts that I would like to mention to all of you my readers and followers: JW at Awake for the Dance had a great post today on empowerment. Many of you know Dr. Fat to Fit, but if you do not, you should and read her genuine post. And to remind us all that you can reach farther than you think, breeze by Joy's post. Thank-you so much for reading. Stay strong in your journey. Michele

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Food for Thought and other Words Wednesday

War on Obesity!
Today is the inaugural edition of what I hope will become a weekly blog column: Food for Thought and other Words Wednesday. Each week, I will try to broaden our blogging community by weighing in on all matters concerning food.

Today I would like to introduce you to the work of Dr. Jeffery Friedman. Jeffrey M. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., is the Simpson Professor and HHMI investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, and director, Starr Center for Human Genetics, The Rockefeller University, New York, N.Y. In 1994 Jeffrey Friedman’s lab identified leptin, a hormonal signal made by the body’s fat cells that regulates food intake and energy expenditure and has powerful effects on reproduction, metabolism, other endocrine systems, and even immune function. His current research focuses on the genes and neural circuits that control food intake and body weight, and leptin’s mechanism of action and its relevance to the development of obesity (

The research on leptin is ground breaking because it informs our understanding, biologically, of how body weight is regulated. His lab is trying to identify the biological molecular components and systems that regulate body weight, by defining the differences between lean and obese systems in individuals and how developmental, emotional, and environmental factors alter the function of this system. His research, including the subject represented in the talk linked below, suggest that the absence or diminished levels of the hormone leptin level are involved in the way that are body regulates food intake and body weight. In this absence the body does not know when it is "full" and eats with abandon as if it was in a state of starvation.

Now before you begin to say, “So it IS my own biology that has led to my obesity, I must note to all of you, that his research includes a very, very small number of subjects (about 12), but is promising in uncovering some of the biological systems that are at the root of body weight regulation. I also need you to know that leptin therapy (for the subject that is part of his talk) is EXTREMELY expensive (costing hundreds of thousands of dollars just for the leptin treatment) because it is still only an experimental treatment, but it is promising and compelling research. He ends his lecture with advice for those overweight/obese. I hope you will learn more by listening to this video of his lecture. It is about an hour with a Q and A at the end.

Finally, Dr. Friedman invites all of us (including those who watch this lecture) to think more inclusively of images of body size. You can watch the video of Dr. Jeffrey Friedman here. I hope you will!

Stay strong on your journey!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Exercising at dawn!

Some days it is hard to get my exercise in during daylight hours. I am committed to get OUTSIDE for exercise as long as I can (which in Minnesota could be only another month or so). A couple of days ago, I rose early (5:45 am) and went out in the predawn. Come with me on my early morning walk and let me show you what I do. First, you will need a flashlight. Here is mine.
Next, you need to take your friendly dog with you (just in case there are any coyotes
(yep, we have these) or other wild critters). Meet Giovanni:
Let’s go outside. See, it is dark! Here let me shine a little light on Govanni so you can see him:
Continue walking down the path with me (we are doing a two miler this morning!).
Still dark. But, we can just start to see the light of dawn coming now.
Oh, here comes some more light!
And some more! See that wasn't too bad.
Stay strong in your journey! TTFN, Michele

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blogging with substance and another award

Today I am happy to report that I am down another .5 pound!! I am closing in on 20 pounds off! Wow. I had a weekend full of good eating and exercise. I logged another 24 miles on my bike, plus walked about 8 miles. I am going to Yosemite in a couple of weeks for a little get away. This weekend I started walking up and down the small hill near our farm to help me build a little more stamina (Yosemite is in the mountains!). I set a goal to do 5 ups and downs on that hill and did both on Saturday and Sunday with no problem. So, next step (yes, pun!): I will increase to 7 ups and downs that hill between Monday and Friday of this week.

Alan awarded me with the following award a while back.
If you don’t know about Alan’s blog, you should. He is a super sports fan with an affection for classical music. His blog combines his love of sports with a journey to fitness and better health using a play off bracket system. His blog is refreshing. Thanks for the award Alan! But here is something that you may not know: Alan and I also share a mutual gratitude but a healthy does of skepticism about these blog awards. They do seem chain letter like to me, too, and I never know what the award is supposed to honor. But at least this one is simple. A blog with substance. So, here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
Thanks, Alan.

2. Explain my blogging philosophy, motivation and experience in five words.

Stay strong, optimistic and encouraging.

3. Give the award to ten other bloggers.
So this is a blog with substance award. To me that means that the blogger goes above and beyond in some way. I nominate all of the following blogs as blogs of substance. I know that some of them have received this award already, so in that case, this is just another affirmation by another blogger about how your blog reaches out and touches others. In my book, there is no obligation to pass the award on. It is voluntary. I hope you do, especially if you have NOT received it before. But, I would like all of you to know that, to me, you each have a blog of substance, award or not. You each push, inspire, hold my hand, cheer me on, kick my butt, and in other ways keep me ruminating and moving forward toward better health. You are all part of my virtual blogging community. In alphabetical order (and way more than 10):

1. Bethanny is a newer blogger. She is quickly building a group of followers who are inspired by posts and messages through cartoons and pictures. Refreshing and graphic.

2. Brenda: Brenda posts great recipes. I mean great. I am discovering my “cook” within and believe me her recipes look good enough to lick right off my computer!

3. Carb Tripper: Anne H. has a blog full of poetry and photography. She sets some of her posts to music (like the Sound of Music). Definitely a blog of substance because of her unique way of sharing her story with us.

4. Debbie: Her beautiful bike caught my eye right away. She has loads of followers so I am sure she received this award all ready.

5. Dr. Fatty Finds Fitness: I bet most of you already read this blog, if you don’t get on board. We all need a doc in our blogger house, a medical doc that is. Dr. Fit commands a great deal of respect from us bloggers because of her in your face blogging (yep, that is right), her credibility in many things medical (notice I did not say All, because I am sure she would agree that her knowledge is broad but not all encompassing of all things medical) and of course her bad ass attitude, not to mention her colorful language. I predict she will acquire more followers than any other, even Jack or Lynn.

6. Faridha: from becoming my best self by FYT614: I already gave her another award, but Fa….is amazing. A single mom who is knocking the pounds off all the while learning more about herself and life.

7. Gina: This blogger is encouraging, finding her inner runner and leraning about another food group: veggies!

8. Glenn: This guy is one supportive blogger. He has his ups and downs like all of us, but he is moving forward. He travels on business frequently and is learning how to plan. Rock on, Glenn.

9. Jo: This is a blogger who reaches out to the blogging community in many ways: consistent and positive comments and support of other bloggers (Like Ann). Top notch.

10. JW: A fellow Minnesotan that blogs with substance and calmness.

11. Mind Over fatter: This is another newer blogger. She got me with her latest post that discusses how to calculate your calories and translate that into pounds off per week using your BMR and BMI.

12. Potato Diva (Potato Diva's Quest for Fat-Free French Fries (and a healthy lifestyle): This is a relatively new blog. The title alone got me, plus, I too LOVE potatoes (umm, mashed with a little butter). She is quickly showing us a blog that is educational and determined, too.

13. Reeve: A VERY new to blogging blogger who is already kicking us all in the butt with her determination and she has her decorations up and ready for the trick or treaters that come her way!

14. Shane G: Shane’s blog is full of inspiration and determination. A blog of substance that is sheer grit and positive attitude. The guy is a full time student, works in a law firm, is deeply committed to his family (he is losing it for the family after all) AND finds time to blog about his journey. A winner in my book.

15. Soul Vision: This is Honi’s blog. Honi greets each reader with a musical selection. Her posts are thoughtful and pragmatic. Besides she is a biker (and not the kind that I am).

16. Spunkysuzi: has a photographer’s eye. Her blog documents the beautiful natural word where she moves about besides her own journey to better health.

17. Karen from Waisting time: I know Karen has received this award. But that is okay by me. She ends almost every post with a question that invites her readers in to an online conversation.

18. Tish: Tish shares with us the joy of being a grandmother over and over. Besides she was a children’s librarian and understands the value of books and a good read. And I love her sticks of butter at her WI (I am a recovering butter nut).

Finally, I am going to try to emulate some of the substance that this blog should have by initiating “Food for Thought and other Words Wednesday” this week on Wednesday (surprise!). Have a great start to this new week! Stay strong! Michele

Friday, October 8, 2010

Update on Hot 100!

It was a great week! Not perfect, but great. Acceptable Bravo to me. I posted yesterday about surviving the Conference and banquet style food. That was definitely another first. Plus, I made on my bike 5 out of 7 days. It helps that we have had such beautiful weather this week in Minnesota.

I completed my first week of the Hot 100 Challenge! Here is my update:

Hot 100 Challenges

1. Lose an additional 12 pounds by December 24, 2010. This is doable because there are 12 weeks until Christmas Eve and I lose about 1.3 pounds per week. (I believe I am doing well here. I ate great this week. But, I only weigh myself every couple of weeks or less often. SO, stay tuned).
2. Keep up my biking (at least 45 miles a week) AND include more walking (4 times a week at least 2 miles at a time) outdoors until the weather forces me inside. (I am so happy to report that with an intense conference, I rode about 47 miles on my bike and walked about 6. I will walk more today after work So, I will probably come in walking more than 8 miles for this week).
3. Take care of myself each day by eating less, moving more, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. (Yes. All week. Many, many examples of eating less at the Conference).
4. Have more 1200 days in a week than 1500-calorie days. (I did not make this goal. I had almost a full week if 1500 calorie days. But, I still feel it was successful because of what I did with Nobel).
5. Drink more water. At least two liters per day. (Yes, every day. But hard for me still).
Have a great weekend everyone. Stay strong in your journey to better health!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Surviving Eating at a Conference!

I know now that I am going to be successful on my journey to better health. Here is why I am so confident: over the last couple of days the institution where I work hosted the annual the Nobel Conference. As I wrote earlier, this Conference’s theme was “Making Food Good.” As part of the committee, I hosted one of the speakers (Marion Nestle!) along with a few students (you will hear more about this in a later post), which required me to eat the meals prepared by the conference banquet staff. I did not know how the meals were prepared or how many calories was really part of the food composition. So, what to do? The old Michele, the one that did not take care of herself, would have just shrugged her shoulders and dug in and basically eaten everything that was put in front of her. But, not the new, Michele.

Here is what I did: I practiced moderation and did as much planning for food and meals as I could. I found out early that my speaker was not a breakfast eater. Fabulous! This meant that I could eat at home before heading to work and eat what I know I should be eating to continue my healthy journey. When the plates of food were put in front of me for lunch and dinner, I ate what I knew I could (like fresh fruit on Tuesday in a salad), took the cheese, lettuce and tomato out of the croissant and left the croissant (on Wednesday), ate the green salads, and then ate sparingly of the main courses. It was obvious to me that the main courses were either sautéed in oils or heavy in other fats and calories (like steak smothered in a mushroom gravy). Each day I brought along a small bag with grapes to eat when I felt hungry.

DESSERTS: In addition each meal featured a fantastic dessert!! Our college is quite well known for their dessert delicacies and this conference meals was no exception. Here is what I did: at lunch on the first day, I took my napkin and covered the scrumptious looking piece of raspberry filled cake and choice to eat NONE; at dinner that same day I enjoyed a few bites of chocolate torte (Yum!); at lunch the next day, I also enjoyed a few bites of carrot cake (my FAV!) and finally at the last dinner, had two bites of cheesecake (Yes, also YUM!). Those few bites of dessert were just plenty for me. I never felt deprived, not did I feel tempted to eat more. I honestly was NOT interested. I enjoyed every bite of what I ate, and that was good enough for me. Once again, the event, hosting my speaker, was the event, and not the food.

So, that is why I KNOW that I will be successful on this journey. I have begun to build a new history of eating well and healthy across life events with planning and moderation! Yes!!!

TTFN! Michele

PS: Keep Dr. Fit in your thoughts today-she is having her surgery.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another NSV

Hello Blogger Friends,
I am guessing that many of you have done something that I have done, too: purchase clothes that are too small. That has been part of my practice for a number of years, always with the best intentions of course to lose weight and get into them. Well, guess what? Today I went to my closet to pick out my outfit and noticed one of those shirts hanging there. I tried it on and it FIT!! I was able to button it all the way down and smooth it down around my buttom. An NSV for me today!!! What are your recent NSV? Stay strong, Michele

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Come with me on another trail

We continue to have beautiful fall weather in Minnesota. Yesterday I was lucky enough to be able to work at home on a paper about my research (life in higher ed has its perks). Well after a few hours hard at it, I decided it was time to hop on my bike. Come along with me on a new section of the Grand Rounds trail that I am learning. First, how about a map??
The dark green lines around the lakes are the bike and walking trails. There are many miles of trail represented here. The Mississippi River is found on the right side of the map. I start my bike ride often times by going around Lake Harriet (pictured below) using a trail like the one pictured.

Yes, that is my bike in the picture. I had my shopping bags attached because after my ride, I was going to my favorite grocery store for you know, food. As I ride further, I decided to go north along the trail to Lake of the Isles (map) and trail (pictured).

I continued on the trail past Lake of the Isles.
At one point the trail crosses over an Interstate-so up the ramp we go!
This is the way the trail looks as you go Northwest toward
another one of the chain of lakes: Cedar Lake.
Finally, I take a breather and hop off my bike and walk over the the clear water.
Yes, the water in all of these Minneapolis urban lakes is considered to be very clean and clear. No editing of this picture!!

So, you just completed a 15 mile bike ride with me!! I bet your are not even tired!
Stay strong today and get outside wherever you live! TTFN, Michele

Monday, October 4, 2010

How was your weekend??

It was a great fall weekend here in Minnesota, cool temps and beautiful leaves everywhere. I logged 21 biking miles on Saturday (6) and Sunday (15). Now that the temperatures are falling (it was only 41 degrees when I went out on Saturday) I decided to invest in some cold weather wear, including this little skullcap that fits easily under my biking helmet.
It was the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday. Both my son, Jacob, and his wife, Jenn ran the 10 mile which starts before the marathon (7:00am) . I am hoping that next year, I will join them...
One of my Hot 100 Challenge goals is to eat more 1200-calorie days than 1500. Well, my eating was good over the weekend, but both days came in at 1500 calories. But, I continued to plan for eating around events. I knew we would go out to breakfast after the 10 mile and really wanted one pancake. I am happy to report that I had ONE blueberry pancake (thus, 1500 calories for the day) and enjoyed every SINGLE bite!

A few more fall pictures. Enjoy!

Stay strong in your journey to better health!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hot 100 Challenge!

Okay, I am in and I am Hottie, too!! I really was reluctant to join this challenge, but when I read that only two more were needed to make it official, I thought: Why not??
1. Lose an additional 12 pounds by December 24, 2010.
2. Keep up my biking (at least 45 miles a week) AND include more walking (4 times a week at least 2 miles at a time)outdoors until the weather forces me inside.
3.Take care of myself each day by eating less, moving more, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies.
4.Have more 1200 calories days in a week than 1500-calorie days.
5.Drink more water. At least two liters per day.

For me those are realistic goals. The beauty is that as I achieve them I come closer and closer to regaining my health and uncover a new me!! Thanks Southbeach Steve for challenging all of us!

Happy Friday!

I am happy to report to all of you that this has been an incredibly good week again for me. I logged an additional 42 miles this week so far on my bike!! Today, I actually went about 8 miles in under 45 minutes (which is a record for me). My eating has been excellent. I am closing in on almost 20 pounds off!! Here are a few pictures of a fall maple and a monarch that I found nectaring while I was on my bike this morning.

I decided today that I would just mention one more person that will be featured at the Nobel Conference: Frances Moore Lappé is a democracy advocate and world food and hunger expert who is the author or co-author of 16 books. Her first book, Diet for a Small Planet, has sold three million copies and is considered “the blueprint for eating with a small carbon footprint since long before the term was coined.” I know that many of us our just trying to move forward on our own personal journey to better health. Her work helps us to think about how we can move forward to better health for us and our planet by eating with a smaller carbon footprint. I read her book many years ago as a young adult. It is much more than just a book: it is also a cookbook, chockfull of healthy food ideas and recipes.

To learn more about the other three speaker at this Conference click on the following names: Paul Thompson, Bina Agarwal and Linda Bartoshuk.

Have a great weekend and stay strong in your journey! Michele