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Showing posts from January, 2012

The Randomness of It All

After a particularly taxing week, I appreciate Kovas tagging me so I could focus on something other than death and dysfunction. Here are the rules: 1. #1 Rule is..no rules! (Post these rules) 2. You must post 11 random things about yourself 3. Answer the questions set for you in their post 4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer 5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them 6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people! And here are my 11 Random Things: 1. I just started using a night-time moisturizer for the first time ever. 2. I dream in color. I thought everyone did until I learned otherwise last week. 3. I was born with several birth defects, including a missing vertebra in my spine. 4. I just did some brain yoga exercise that said I am reserved, sentimental, loyal and overdramatic. Everyone also taking the test agreed with that assessment. 5. I won a UNICEF poster contest in t

Wordless Wednesday

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Watching What We Eat

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My friend Tracy was the first to introduce me to an app called MyFitnessPal . It's a free calorie counter, diet and exercise tool to help you lose, maintain or gain weight. Since the start of the year, I've kept a relatively accurate account of how many calories I take in and expend. I say relatively accurate because, like most online calorie counters, the database is primarily self-reported foods and meals with caloric calculations all over the place. A piece of specialty brand sourdough bread, for instance, registers as 110 calories on the package but 300 on MyFitnessPal. And I'm having a hard time believing a couple handfuls of my beloved kumquats cost me as much as a chai tea latte with whole milk. We also tend to cook from scratch at my house, so trying to align our homemade veggie pizza with one in the database produces dubious results. Ditto restaurants. I'm more of a fine dining than fast food consumer, so I have to wing it when I enter those dishes. But MyF

One Colorful Run

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This looks like one fun (and messy) 5k . You basically start off with a clean white shirt and are sprayed with different colors per kilometer. The materials sprayed on runners by volunteers are said to be 100% safe and even edible (though taste is another issue). I wonder what happens as you sweat. Does it sting if it gets in your eyes? And do you have to go home with that mess or, like mud runs, do you get to shower it off before you hit the road? Would year wash the shirt with other clothes - or would you wash it at all? I've obviously not done a lot of reading on this one, which this year is coming to 18 different cities and regions. Here, the one representing all of SoCal is in Irvine - midpoint between San Diego and LA. Has anyone done one of these?

Wordless Wednesday

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Don't Just Participate, Narrate

When you are exercising, what do you think of when you don't want to think of what you're doing in the moment? You most likely think of some aspect of your life, past present or future. You play out a story and the role you play in it. Now there's science to suggest that omniscient voice in your head may do more than distract you from physical discomfort. It may help give you a mental health boost. According to a new study's lead researcher, when we cast ourselves as the narrator of our life story, we actually can weather unpleasant events better than when we're convinced we are victims of circumstance with limited options. The experiment involved written expressions, but all words originate in thoughts, right? According to an article on the study, "a big takeaway is for people to realize that they are the main character in their story — but they are also the narrator. That means it’s possible to re-write the episode with a greater sense of agency.” Agency i

Wordless Wednesday

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Yoga vs. Pilates

Maybe you've already read this , or maybe you haven't, but the yoga industry is in an uproar because of a New York Times Magazine article - an excerpt of a forthcoming book - that warns yoga can be bad for you under certain conditions (be sure to read the part about Bikram). Actually, it warns that some people are actually hurt more than helped by the practice and explains in detail why. A lot of runners and triathletes incorporate yoga into their training as a way to stay flexible and reverse some of the muscle and tendon tightening that running and cycling promote (especially if you are bad about post-run stretching). Pilates, which incorporates a lot of yoga into a mat session, is a different animal. Pilates' focus is on strengthening your core; yoga's more about strengthening your soul. Most Pilates sessions start with instructions; yoga begins with intentions. You incorporate medicine balls, BOSU balls, these funky wheels and other equipment into Pilates to

In Through the Out Door

I subscribe to a daily e-mail called " Now I Know: Learning Something New Every Day ." I wanted to share today's trivia because it relates to this year's theme, Life of the Mind. I think we've all suffered from forgetfulness as we move through tasks on a to-do list. We assume we're 'just getting old' or have too many distractions. But there may be another, far simpler explanation. According to today's missive: In November of 2011, a team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, published a study which suggested that entering and exiting rooms can cause our short term memories to fail us. Their theory: our brains take items in our short term memories and stick them into virtual compartments, with different ideas in different areas -- much like a house or office has different rooms. When we cross through doorways in the physical world, our mental world also passes through what psychology professor and head researcher

More to Fear in Our 40s

One reason seasoned runners set the reset button in their 40s is because the aging process starts to catch up to us by then. Human bodies actually begin aging at 25, but the evidence typically doesn’t show until 10 to 20 years later when it becomes harder to lose weight, stay firm, stay flexible, retain speed or recover quickly. Now a new study suggests masters runners' brains begin a downward slide too. A widely distributed article in today’s USAToday shows mental decline – memory, reasoning and comprehension – begins at 45 to 49, and not in our 60s as we all have long believed. It may even be earlier, given the age of study participants. Beginning in 1985 and involving 5,200 male and 2,200 female British civil servants between the ages of 45 and 70, researchers periodically tested participants for memory, vocabulary, hearing and vision. Everyone in the group experienced a drop in cognition over the years. Men 45 to 49 saw a nearly 4 percent drop (compared to 10 percent in tho

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

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Special thanks to Christine and Todd for making these sugar cookies for last night's Sugar Bowl. Too bad the game didn't end as sweetly for the Hokies.