National Celebrities Step Up to the Plate for Slim Down the South Celebrity Softball Challenge

Slim Down the South PosterThe event, which will be held on Saturday, November 9 at Joe Riley Park, raises funds for Louie’s Kids, the only not-for-profit organization in the United States helping identify treatment programs for overweight and obese children.

This amazing ‘Field of Dreams’ day at the ballpark wouldn’t be possible without the participation and support of the following celebrities who  have committed to fighting childhood obesity one run at a time:

  • Bill Murray, Comedian/Actor
  • Mark Bryan, Hootie & the Blowfish
  • Dean Felber, Hootie & the Blowfish
  • Eric Bass, Shinedown
  • Zach Myers, Shinedown
  • Gary Valentine, Comedian/Actor, Chelsea Lately, King of Queens
  • Terry Serpico, Actor, Army Wives
  • Bubba Bryant, Actor, Army Wives
  • Paula Trickey, Actress, Crimes of the Mind, The OC, Pacific Blue
  • Sylvia Jefferies, Actress, Nashville, Eastbound and Down
  • Elise Testone, Singer, American Idol
  • Corey Miller, NFL, NY Giants, USC
  • Langston Moore, NFL, Bengals, USC
  • Gettys Glaze, Citadel Hall of Fame
  • Michael Kohn, MLB, LA Angels
  •  Kevin Elster, MLB, NY Yankees, LA Dodgers
  • Hannah Curlee – Winner, Biggest Loser  
  • Steve Azar, Singer/Songwriter
  • Patrick Davis, Singer/Songwriter

Other celebrities include personalities from Charleston television and radio stations.

“We’re so grateful for the support of these celebrities,” said Louis Yuhasz, founder of Louie’s Kids. “The entire Louie’s Kids organization appreciates their willingness to take time out of their busy schedules to help raise awareness of childhood obesity. This one softball game will help children all over the south combat obesity and improve their future, families and communities.”

For more information on Louie’s Kids or Slim Down the South, visit LouiesKids.org or SlimDowntheSouth.com.

About Louie’s Kids
Founded in 2001 in Alexandria, Va., and operated today out of Charleston, SC, Louie’s Kids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raises funds to empower children to make changes, both physically and mentally, for a healthier and more productive life. The mission of Louie’s Kids is to strengthen the future of the communities they serve by making children healthier and improved citizens, while also providing excellent stewardship to those funders who invest their time and treasure in the children served. For information and updates follow Louie’s Kids on Facebook and Twitter.

14 Questions That Could Save Your Life and the Planet

BLOG_Food Day 2013Happy Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food.

Celebrate by taking “14 Questions that Could Save Your Life and the Planet,” a quiz that analyzes your typical weekly diet to see how it impacts your health, the environment and animal welfare.  The online quiz asks how many servings of various foods you eat, whether you choose organic and how much alcohol you consume. You’re are given a number and letter grade, which you can share via social media.

For the record, I took the quiz and scored a 68, which translates into a B.

“The typical American diet is heavy on salty packaged foods, high-fat meat and dairy products, and sugary drinks, and deficient in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains,” said Food Day founder and Center for Science in the Public Interest executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “Besides promoting heart disease, our meat intake also exacts a considerable toll on the environment and all too often on the animals themselves. The answers to these 14 questions point the way to a longer life and a healthier planet.”

Food Day aims to help people Eat Real. That means cutting back on sugar drinks, overly salted packaged foods, and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein. Food Day envisions shorter lines at fast-food drive-throughs—and bigger crowds at farmers markets.

This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

 

Not the Odd Girl Out, But the Smart, Healthy One

784

Today, I had a lunch meeting at a new restaurant, which has been open two months. Since I haven’t been yet, I went online last night to peruse the menu so I could make the best choice. No menu. This morning, I called the restaurant. I was told to “look on Facebook, the menu is there.” Nope, not there either. He offered to read the menu to me, which was great, but he was on a cell phone and I could only hear about every 15th word. Sigh.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am far from perfect, and I’ve been known to stray for a good meal. When I do, though, I am generally able to plan around it. I had a strenuous training session with Daniel early this morning, and there was no way I was going to chance it for a “meeting meal.” I also knew better than to go hungry, not find something I wanted and settle on something less than desirable.

So what did I do? Before the meeting, I ate one of the reserve meals I’d stocked in the kitchen at work. I went a little late to lunch, and during the meeting, just sipped water. I didn’t make a big deal about it, nor did anyone at the table ask about it. (And that was nice; usually people make a fuss when you don’t eat or you eat differently…)

I’m giving myself a little pat on the back for the way I handled it, but what I really want to say? It’s 2013, people. Get a website and add your menu!

How do you deal with eating clean while eating out? Have you ever compromised when eating out and regretted it? Any tips or tricks to share?

 

Great New Find: Chia Pods!

photo(27)I was in Whole Foods this morning to pick up some flowers and Just Wanna Melt Shower Scrub Bars, when I came across a sampling station. I’m usually not one to stop to sample, but this one caught my eye: Chia Pods.

A few weeks ago, I found a recipe for a chia seed “pudding,” and I wanted to like it. I thought it would be a perfect healthy, lower calorie snack for the office. I really wanted to like it, and I really tried, but it was terrible. It made two servings, and the last serving I just trashed, reusable container and all. It was that bad.

At the sampling station, I started with blueberry. Meh. Not bad, but not great. Then I tried the vanilla bean. Reminded me of what I tried to make. Like the recipe I tried, I really wanted to like this, so I tried one last sample: banana. Ching, ching, ching! The banana was INCREDIBLE.

Besides the delish taste, here’s what I liked about the Chia Pod:

  • Just three ingredients and no added sugar. No artificial sweeteners, either.
  • Just 161 calories!
  • Chia seeds are a super food!
  • The lid, cup and spoon are  made from 30% recycled content.
  • Perfectly portable – it even comes with its own spoon!

At just $2.99, I thought it was a great deal! I bought the last five they had. I could get two work snacks out of one container. It would also be great for me to take the three nights I help out at the gym after work.

Pretty darn excited about this fab find! Thanks, Whole Foods!

 

Smoothie Sunday: Easy Smoothie Recipes for the Week Ahead

I love this graphic from Prevention! I’m going to try at least one of these this week. Won’t you join me? If you try one, let me know how you like it!

smoothiecopy-972

Banana Spice Smoothie Recipe

Blog_Banana SpiceI had dental surgery earlier this month, and to prepare, I got some new smoothie recipes from my fave nutrition counselor, Traci. Unfortunately, I was so sedated afterwards that I didn’t feel like making smoothies (or anything else), but I’m starting to try them now. An early favorite is the Banana Spice Smoothie. It’s great, and the spices hint that fall is around the corner. This is great on its own. Another option is to freeze it overnight in an insulated cup, thaw for about an hour the next day and eat with a spoon. Sinful!

Something neat about this smoothie is the inclusion of kefir, which is full of probiotics. I’d never tried it before, but got a good 101 lesson on it here. It seems pretty common in grocery stores now; it’s usually stocked near the soy milk.

 

Healthy Foods: More Than a Matter of Taste

In a recent blog post, Liking Healthy Foods is a Choice, Leo Babauta asserts that liking healthy foods is a choice.

“Food tastes bad because we’re not comfortable with them; they don’t meet our expectations. But what if we got rid of our expectations? ” he says. “What if we said, ‘Food doesn’t need to taste like anything. Let’s see what this tastes like.’”

I remember when I was a little girl, I somehow got a piece of coffee-flavored candy. As soon as I got it unwrapped and in my mouth, I spit it out. I wondered how grown-ups drank that stuff and vowed that you’d never catch me drinking coffee. Fast forward twenty years, and I love my morning coffee.

In the last three years, my tastes have changed. The things I eat on a regular basis are light years away from what I used to eat, and my healthy pantry includes things I wouldn’t have touched three years ago, including:

Blog_Glazed Tofu

Glazed Tofu: One of my new favorites!

  • Soy milk
  • Tofu
  • Kefir
  • Blueberries (never hated them, per se, but now I eat them like candy!)
  • Figs
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta (I used to think it was tough, now regular pasta seems like pure mush to me.)
  • Greek yogurt (first time I tried it, I tossed it because I thought it had soured)
  • Spinach (my favorite go-to smoothie ingredient)
  • Chia seeds (those were things you bought and grew on heads, not a food)
  • Nutritional yeast

I’ve also all but given up many things that were a mainstay of my diet, such as:

  • Artificial sweeteners like Equal and Sweet and Low
  • Bacon cheeseburgers
  • Slim Jims (ugh, the mere thought of them makes me throw up in my mouth now)
  • SpaghettiO’s
  • Sodas
  • Hamburger Helped (the lasagna was my favorite)

While my eating habits I changed, considerably, I’m far from perfect. In particular, I’m still working on getting more vegetables into my diet. I think I’ll take Leos advice to heart, and try to change my expectations.

What are some things you used to turn  your nose up at, but now like? Are there some foods that you need to leave your comfort zone to try?

 

Seven Side Effects of Soda

I went over two years without soda, but now drink an occasional diet soda. I need to wean myself back off of them, and seeing this helped.

Soda Side effects

Sodium: Tracking Down Salt with Dr. Saul T

Did you know that about 90% of Americans eat more salt than recommended for a healthy diet? Learn more from this great infographic by Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. They bring together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.

BS1-bFVCQAAsacI.jpg large

August 2013 Non-Scale Victories

  1. Killed it on the AMT this evening.
  2. Did strength training on an annual leave day. An annual leave day I was taking to go to the beach.
  3. 12,000+ step day
  4. Stopping at the Myrtle Beach Wal-Mart on a tax-free day to get light soy milk and other healthy options for the APWA Conference
  5. Wen you’re thrilled to find a seafood restaurant with a peel and eat shrimp option amongst the 100s of other fried options…
  6. …and actually ordering it…
  7. and really enjoying it better than the fried stuff everyone else ordered.
  8. Bringing your own honey to sweeten your coffee at a conference breakfast.
  9. Resisted lure of Sesame Chicken, instead had Garlic Green Beans.
  10. When no suitable sweetener was offered at coffee break, I had coffee with no sweetener. (Gasp!)
  11. Refusing a small glass bottled Coca Cola when you are deathly nauseous, especially when you were brought up believing that really was the only thing to cure an upset stomach.
  12. Getting an evening beach walk in to boost daily steps even though my feet hurt and I was exhausted.
  13. Starting using my old school Fit Bit again so I could measure steps and track sleep.
  14. Shopped for healthy smoothie ingredients the day before endodontic surgery
  15. Knowing that sometimes, only every once in a while, it’s okay to have Easy Mac and frozen mashed potatoes. (like after endodontic surgery).
  16. Bought an XL t-shirt and it was  too big
  17. For the first time in a while, bought something new and healthy to try: kefir.
  18. Tried a delish new smoothie recipe.
  19. That moment when you realize that you’d really rather just have water. And that’s what you get!
  20. Did my first post-endodontic surgery cardio this evening, 15 minutes on the AMT. It made my surgical site throb, so I cut it short, but I did it.
  21. After yesterday’s AMT workout made my mouth stitches hurt enough to take a pain pill, I did 30 minutes on  the bike tonight. And I forgot that you can indeed break out a sweat on the bike!
  22. Third evening cardio this week.
  23. The regular Sprite that Mom bought when I was sick? Going to someone who actually drinks them at the office. Never opened one.
  24. Survived vacation and the dental debacle with no extra lbs.
  25. Trying a new workout schedule that will allow me to both fit in my training and cardio while also giving me a little more time to get stuff done. (Fingers crossed!)
  26. Cooked like a fool; freezer full of individual meals
  27.  Used artificial as a “treat” in my a.m. coffee and realized that, meh, not so much a treat. Didn’t even drink all of it.
  28. First really good cardio since my medical break + first “official” Tuesday after work cardio
  29. Made a new smoothie today. LOVE freezing them to eat as a sweet, cold treat later. Keeping me away from the ice cream.
  30. Survived my first full week back at the gym after my medical leave, as well as the first week of my new workout schedule.
  31. Took a fruit salad to a cookout, which offered me a great alternative to the other side of hash brown casserole