Oct 10, 2011

World Food Day-October 16


My dad grew up on a working cattle farm in rural Arkansas. As a child I helped my Grandma with her enormous garden. I remember picking strawberries and blackberries. Finding the fat squash, watermelons, and pumpkins on the vines. Pulling up carrots and lettuce. Waiting for the corn to grow. Even now, over 20 years since my grandmother passed away, the scent of strawberries will always smell like summer to me.

In my grandparents’ generation, everyone had “vegetable patches” out of necessity. Fresh produce was too expensive or would require an hour or more of travel time to find. You grew as much as you could; ate what you needed; froze or canned enough to make it through winter; and gave the rest to your friends and neighbors. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a kind of currency, a way to show love and friendship.

Recently Oxfam contacted me to help share their campaign for World Food Day, which I was thrilled to help with. This World Hunger Day, October 16th, Oxfam is encouraging people to host a Sunday dinner and discuss where your food is coming from. Today 1 in 7 people worldwide go hungry, despite a global abundance of food. Over 17 million children in the U.S. have food insecurity-they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Oxfam wants us to have a conversation about where your food is grown, who is growing it, is it ethically farmed, and is it environmentally sustainable.

So next Sunday, Oct 16,  invite friends over! Have a potluck at church. Gather friends in your dorm room. Organize a meal for your child’s class. To help you host a dinner, Oxfam has provided Sunday Dinner Materials. There are recipes from chefs: Giada De Laurentiis, Mark Bittman, Eric Yost,and José Andrés. There are World Food Day placemats, as well as recipe cards to give away. There are posters and stickers available for those who are hosting a large group. Oxfam has provided a Sunday Dinner Discussion Guide to help guide your conversation.

World Food Day Sunday Dinner Placemat

A party with food, friends, and free stuff! What’s not to love?

You can  ORDER FREE MATERIALS for your dinner by October 21.

 I know as a dietitian and blogger I am often more inclined to examine the nutrition of the foods I eat, but am far less likely to really discover where it was grown and the conditions it was grown under. I try to eat locally when I can. I love a Farmer’s Market, and will stop on the side of the road for someone with a truck full of produce! But,more often than not, I just buy what is available at the store. So I am thankful to be a teeny tiny part of Oxfam’s World Hunger Day. I hope you to take advantage of the free materials, and use them to start a discussion. Even if you don’t host a meal, I encourage each of you to really look at where your food comes from and support local farms as well as those that are ethical and sustainable.

Do you know where and how your food is made? Will you host a dinner? If you do, I want to see it! You can tweet @Oxfam to share!

Sep 29, 2011

Boot Camp by Nature


Right before we left for Florida, Tropical Storm Lee dumped a huge amount of rain and wind on poor Birmingham. I was getting ready to actually go to boot camp (in a hurricane. On Labor Day. I’m committed.) when I hear a loud crack and then a crash.

This is what we found in the backyard:


A 100+ yo oak tree just fell over. This picture doesn’t really show the scale of how big this tree was. Thankfully, it fell on other extremely old trees and they protected the house.


Since we are not crazy, we did not try to pull it down ourselves. But my dad we did cut it up and haul it out of the middle of the yard.

My boot camp for the week consisted of wheelbarrowing logs:


yes, I made M take pictures of me working for the blog. I have no shame.

Stacking logs



My 65 yo dad, s/p CABG, put us all to shame. I think I split like 4 logs. It took 50 mins and almost killed me. It looks like more fun than it actually is.

Log rolling. AKA: how on earth is this thing so heavy and difficult to roll?


(these might be the most flattering pictures of myself I’ve ever seen, let alone posted.)

It was a busy few days! I got all my exercise courtesy of yard work, which I can’t really recommend. It is the opposite of fun.

Have you done any alternative exercise lately? Live near me and want to come help? I tried to convince Mr. Trainer to hold boot camp in my yard, but he said no. Come on! Giant logs>kettlebells, right?

Sep 22, 2011

More Pictures I Took of Myself


Does anyone have temporary vacation blindness? As in-at the beach I think I am this wind-blown beauty with beachy waves and a glowy tan who doesn’t need makeup. When in reality I am a freckled nerd with rat’s nest hair who needs enormous sunglasses to cover the crow’s feet.

In my head I look like:


Why yes, that is exactly what my body looks like,also.

The sadder reality


Also pictured:a million new freckles


I always make M take self-portraits with me everywhere we go and especially at the beach. I think they are fun and almost candid. The downside is the camera is only 12 inches from your face.



Only the coolest, most awesome people wear glasses.

Anyone else totally embarrass their husbands by making them take a million pictures? Just me? Do you have temporary vacation blindness?

Sep 21, 2011

Pensacola, Puppies, and Party People

I love the beach. It is my happy place. Specifically, Pensacola Beach in Florida. I have been going with my family since I was 7. It has changed a lot, especially since Ivan and Opal, but it is still one of my favorite places in the world.
I am going to be posting pictures for days, y’all should just prepare yourselves for the onslaught. I joined the rest of the world and got a DSLR for my Birthday! Don’t worry though, I will never give up crappy phone pictures.
We had fantastic weather. September, barring hurricanes, is the BEST month for the beach. School is back in, so screaming children and douchey frat bros are mostly absent. It isn’t too hot and there is usually a good breeze. And the beaches are empty. We had maybe 3 other groups within 100 yards of us. I completely expect, wherever we go, for it to be absent of other people. Completely rational.
But who cares, here are the two cutest puppies in the world.
Bean. She is out of breath b/c of the huge amount of spazzing she does when M comes home.Florida 057
Mabel. Fat and sassy. Are you jealous of their awesome star blanket? It really adds something to the décor of my living room, I think.
Florida 007
Florida 165a
Look who figured out bokeh on the new camera. Professional photographer right here.
Florida 199a
The last day we were there the water was so clear and flat! No waves to speak of.
Florida 406a
I have millions of more pictures of ocean, birds, flowers, grass, and me making funny faces which I will be sharing eventually. Y’all know me, I don’t want to raise standards of this blog by posting more than once a week.
Tonight I have to go back to boot camp after a week and a half off. I’m going to die. Though I have been doing crazy boot camp in the back yard, courtesy of the 100+ yo tree that fell. Turns out cutting and moving a tree is really hard.

Sep 9, 2011

Short Update

Hello lovelies. I have been a terrible blogger and for that, I apologize. A quick, vague update.

--Good stuff is happening and I may be polling you guys for some market research.

--I got a sweet ass fancy dslr for my bday! (which technically isn't until Wed, but whatever.) So I'm going to actually use it and try to post more...pictures of my dogs. B/c, let's be honest, they are about the only thing I take pictures of. They are much more adorable than me.

--Going to the beach next week for birthday spectacular! So I won't be around as much (not that I'm around much lately!)

--I promise to get back on the posting bandwagon when I get back. 

Aug 27, 2011

I’m kind of a big deal

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I've been going to boot camp. I know, I know. I've barely even talked about it here ; ) 

I've been going 3x week. I am definitely stronger even though it remains about the same level of difficult. Just when I think I'm getting past the "OMG, this is killing me" stage, there comes a special kind of crazy day or Mr. Boot Camp decides I should move up a kettlebell (at which point I can do like 3 reps.) My arms feel the most different, I think. Though they don't really look different-I need to lose some body fat before you can see the muscles more! 

Yesterday we were running, jumping, squatting, and crunching all over the gym (we are inside when it is over 90 degrees. I think it was 97 yesterday. At 5pm.) When we get done, New Trainer gathers us to talk. They are starting a Level 1 boot camp. This is for people who are 50+ overweight and maybe need to be eased into boot camp rather than jumping in. And spraining an elbow like I did! I think this is a great idea, b/c boot camp can be intimidating. Even though they make a lot of modifications for everyone's fitness levels, that can only go so far. Plus, it can be depressing a bit to be working out with people who are amazingly fit. Like me. This new system will be roughly a month and then you can test out at whatever point you feel ready and move up to Level 2. 

As we leave, I walk past and say "Yay! I'm switching to Level 1. Immediately." He laughs and tells us we aren't allowed to. What I've been doing, regular boot camp, is Level 3. Me: open mouthed shock. I would not have 1) labeled myself Level 3 and beginning at that level. at all. And 2) even consider myself Level 3 now!



Carrie=Bad ass

Aug 17, 2011

I'm Always Right

I'm really trying to get in the habit of posting more. I've been feeling rather hateful about blogs and blogging.

Scene-my house.
Me: hey, that return finally came through on the am ex. so I'm going to use the balance to buy running shoes.
Husband: ok
Me: Can I have that card back? (we have a card we only used for miles for 1 trip, but it isn't our primary credit card)
Him: what are you talking about?
Me: you took the card from me. We decided we didn't really need to use 2+/month. So you stole it so I wouldn't use it.
Him: Are you sure? I don't remember this. I don't think this happened.
Me: we were standing in this exact spot.
Him: You lost it didn't you?
Me: I'm going to find it in under 10 seconds in your desk.

I open the top drawer. There it is on top of everything. Time elapsed-2 seconds

Him: you planted that didn't you?

Aug 7, 2011

July Goals Recap and August Goals

So I totally forgot I even made this post. Hah. Well, I remembered the goals part but not the posting part. 

1.) Boot camp x 12. 
I didn't realize this when posting, but Mr. Trainer took a week off over the 4th. I would like to say I still did a lot of weights and circuit training...but I didn't. I think I ran 3x that week. Oops! Otherwise, I went to each class that was offered : ) So I'm counting this one a success! 

2.) 2.) Running 2 x per week on non-boot camp days. 
Um, no. It is more like 1x/week. I pretty much only run so that I can run at bootcamp! I'm a pretty crappy runner to be honest, but it is a thousand times worse after say doing 30 mins of burpees/squats/push-ups. I have nothing left! I will never, ever be fast but I'm still out there trying. 

3.) More water. Less Diet Coke.
Yeah, not even a little. I drank more water, but I don't think I actually drank less Coke. 
4.) More focus on diet.
Somewhat successful, but I could do loads better. 
August Goals
Goals 1-4 are still on my list. I think these are kind of on-going goals. 
5.) Related to diet: more fruits and vegetables, less processed food. I'm a snacker. I like convenience foods, unfortunately. Oh processed carbs, you had me at hello. I'm making a bigger effort to eat real, whole foods. Just like a proper dietitian!

6.) Blog about things other than boot camp! 
I like to post more 'academic' things that are educational, but then I think no one actually reads them. 

I think I may be one of the few blog readers who wants more words, fewer pictures. That said, I do need to actually take some pictures b/c it is looking boring around here, and I know  y'all are desperate to see more pictures of my adorable self. 

7.) Work more on strengthening my back/pelvis/core 
We do some of this at boot camp, but I need to do more of it on my own. I have terrible, awful ligaments that barely hold my joints together, so I need those kind of supporting muscles to be stronger. 
I also need to go see my back doctor which I have been putting off for ages. 

Do you  have any goals for August? Or just in general? Have any ideas for blog topics?!?

Aug 5, 2011

All I ever talk about is boot camp. I need a new hobby.

Fitness instructors, help me out. Do you have a special class in school called "How best to torture, maim, and kill your students?" because I'm pretty sure you must.

Wednesday was fun. We worked more on strength...which normally I prefer. My endurance is zero, but I can actually strength train for longer than 2 mins without huffing and puffing.

We did veeery sloooow reps. Count of 5 up, count of 5 down. Four rounds of:
chest presses
TRX rows
pushups (omg, I can not push myself up slowly. I really need that momentum)
Sprints. Not cool after all that.
Kettlebell squats

I think it was about 90 seconds on 30 seconds rest x 4 for each. My time gets way wonky though. Like I know I sprinted for 18 mins and then rested for 0.2 seconds. That's just math.

So we do this all and we are feeling pretty awesome and strong. Good workout! But y'all. It keeps going.

1min burpees
1 min jumping lunges
1 min jumping squats
1 min mountain climbers
30/30 sec stationary lunges

No rest in b/t. I'm beginning to hate trainer and everyone else on the planet.

Oh hey guys! Run downstairs to the basketball court! (we workout on a track overlooking the basketball court when it is over 90 degrees. Which is pretty much every day.) Me: Oh God. No.

Sprint across and back!
Do it again!
One more time!
ok, 30 seconds rest.

Me: I will murder you in the face.

Hey! now do lateral shuffles!
Now face the other way.
Last time!
*Lateral shuffles are hard for those with terrible knees and are also completely clumsy. Not me, obviously. But other people. I've heard.*

Now let's do calf raises on the non-air conditioned stairs!

Me: can someone carry me out to my car? I can't walk down 3 flights of stairs. Or the 10 ft to my car.

Jul 29, 2011

Boot-camp Boot-camp Ghali

My husband loves that name and calls me Boutros from time to time. Most of our pet names are actually rude.

It was my fault. I started feeling like I was in great shape and boot camp was no longer the enormous challenge it was before. I did it to myself, really.

I have been going in the afternoon which I think definitely helps. More food in the system, not sleepy, had all day to kind of talk myself into it. We have plans tonight and I couldn't sleep thanks to my crazy back, so I decided to just get up and go like 10 mins before I had to leave the house.

Usually we do 4-5 circuits of things 4-5 times. It is tough, but doable.

Wednesday we did circuits of: TRX rows, TRX squat jumps, weird tubing rows, weird tubing chest press, run a bit, kettlebell squats, kettlebell deadlifts, partner assisted running with bands (aka my arch nemesis). We do about 45 seconds each part w/o rest until the end of the 4th circuit. This is our usual routine though the exercises usually vary. At the end they usually make us run about 1/3 to 1/2 a mile, then back for ab stuff.

Today he decided to do some kind of evil new plan.

3 minutes each to do: 50 squats then 50 burpees, run this terrible weighted bag up and down a hill, drag a tire, as many pushups as possible, 50 weighted squats and then 50 medicine ball slams. I did not make it to 50 by the end. We got a super rejuvenating minute of rest b/t all these.

Then it was on to 1.5 mins of V sit-ups, resistance twists (standing using your core. same basic trunk movement as swinging a bat), standing oblique reaches with kettlebells. Then! 50 bicycle crunches x 2, these weird crunches where you reach up and touch your raised leg, and these terrible ones where you get into bicycle crunch position but just lift a straightened leg up and down. I'm terrible at describing these things!

I was dying. I did not have enough breakfast for this!

Jul 22, 2011

Epic Chinese Dinner

I've been a terrible poster lately. I kind of just feel blah and like I don't have a lot to say. Unless you want to talk about Harry Potter, in which case I'm there. 

So instead, I thought I would just post about 10 pictures of the insane chinese dinner we had in Toronto. I just embraced my white girl-ness and just took pictures of everything. Everyone at my table thought this was funny. Along with my accent.

 First up is the random meat course! There were like 4 types of meat. I didn't know what any of them were. Also, you know that Coke and wine are mine! I was so psyched for coke and alcohol, y'all don't even understand. I started stealing cokes from other tables by the end.

Course 2: Shrimp/Crab? Poof! There was rice in there. It was not terrible.
Course 3: scallops and some veggies. That is a little fried rice noodle nest and is actually really tasty!  
Course 4: Shark Fin Soup
I tried this b/c it is a delicacy and super expensive and special occasion food(for example the last time my MIL had this was at her wedding 40 yrs ago!) but I felt really terrible about it. I find the fishing of shark fins to be pretty unnecessary and cruel. I know I also eat meat and dairy, so it isn't like I am being un-hypocritical here. I just had a moral/ethical problem with it.

For the record, it wasn't very good. It tasted like ham/chicken broth but with a gelatinous texture. The texture really grossed me out and I am not someone bothered by mouthfeel (which is a totally gross and awesome word used in my cooking classes that I try to use all the time.) 

Course 5: mushrooms. I don't even know. A lot of these courses that look like they have this kind of clear/shiny sauce taste the same to me. I am not a huge fan of the sauce flavor, so it all tasted kind of vaguely the same. 

At one point during this course one of my table mates turns to me and says "Do you know what you are eating?" Me: "Oh, God. What? Don't tell me!" Her: "Fungus!" Oh, yeah that's fine. I knew that. 

Course 6: Duck
Yes, we are still eating.

Course 7: Lobster and crab. 
Tasty, but let me tell you how difficult it is to crack a lobster claw WITH CHOPSTICKS! The entire table was entertained by my efforts. Finally they told me you are allowed to just pick it up and eat it that way. 

Courses 8,9,10
Cake-which was amazing and I started looking around at other tables to eat theirs
In the background you can see rice in a lotus leaf and noodles.
Then it was the traditional Chinese dessert of bean paste. It is like a black bean soup with sugar. It is fine, but it is not dessert!

It took roughly 5 hours to eat all this!! I was exhausted from eating. I took pics of everything b/c I find it so interesting and SO different from my regular life. I just embrace not knowing what is going on or what I'm eating.  I've learned what to eat and what not to eat! 

Anyone had a crazy dinner like this? Have you ever eaten for 5-6 hours?? What is the weirdest food you have ever tried? 

ETA-I took pictures of the food for the entire table (10ish people.) So each plate for each course was a very small amount of food. One shrimp, 2 small pieces of duck, etc. Each course was about the size of 1/2 my fist or so. Christina asked how we could eat so much! It is a looooot of food, but spread out over hours (and hours and hours) and in small increments. It is like going to a party and just snacking the entire time. It was still quite a bit of food and I was pretty over it by course 3!

Jul 19, 2011

Harry Potter Nerd Alert


I love Harry Potter. Unashamedly. I wanted to go to the midnight showing of DH2, but we literally had to get up at 3:30am to catch our flight to Toronto. You can imagine how I felt about this. Then yesterday M was on home call, so we couldn't go. Tonight, as God as my witness, I will be seeing Potter.

Since I knew I was going to be spending hours in planes/airports, I decided to re-read Deathly Hallows. I really could not remember 75% of what happens in it b/c I just speed skimmed it through to the end. It remains amazing the second time through. I was finishing it up waiting to board our first plane out. I basically just had to close it and put it away like 30 mins before we got on...because I was about to start openly weeping. I thought I could not cry the 2nd time. Wrong. I know I'm going to be a blubbering mess at the theater. The Forest Again? The Prince's Tale? TEARS. Plus no more Potter. My heart can not go on
 I can't y'all.

So in preparation, I'm reposting some pictures from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (which was super fun and amazing, though sadly pretty small.)


Butterbeer is delicious and amazing

I could literally post picture after picture. The detail in the castle was fantastic and I took pics of each piece. The portraits, house points, Dumbledore's office, the Goblet of Fire...I geeked out about all of it. 

Does anyone else love Potter? Have you seen DH2 yet? If you haven't read them: DO IT!

Jul 18, 2011


Just got back from a very quick and busy trip to Toronto! We went for M's Chinese side reunion. This side is enormous! I think there were about 70+ Chens all over the place. It is very entertaining to be the whitest white girl at a Chinese reunion. Even better, they all found my southern accent hilarious.

I will recap more later. Mostly it is pictures of food. We had a 9 course Chinese dinner one night that lasted, no joke, 5 hours. We were taking walk breaks in b/t courses. That is just too long to sit and eat! We were so busy. I don't feel like I have slept.

Jul 7, 2011


It would figure that the day I posted about how much better I am at boot camp and how I've totally turned a corner would end with me getting my ass handed to me at boot camp. Inevitable.

It was bad, y'all. First off it was late Friday before a long weekend and there were 4 of us there. Let me tell you, you do not want individual 1 on 1 attention at boot camp! I have no idea why, but I just felt like crap the whole time. Wednesday had been an all arms day-and I had done amazingly well at it, which is surprising as I have the upper body strength of a 6 yo. So Friday was all legs. I had no stamina, my muscles were killing me, and my back also got jacked up. My trainer was even like "what is wrong with you today?!" I don't know! It ended with 40 squat jacks, 40 mountain climbers, and 40 burpees. About 30 into the squat jacks he just told me to lie down and do crunches. I was only getting exhausted, and not getting good reps.

We are off this week, so I've been, ahem, resting. I still ran a few times, but I'm not doing hard core intervals or weights. My slacker gene rears its ugly head!

Did you have a fun Fourth? We were pretty low key, but managed to eat some really good food! Are you like me-taking week long breaks occasionally?

Jul 1, 2011

Happy July and Goals

I feel like I haven't written anything of substance ever in a long while. I'm in a rare quiet mood. I think it strikes a lot of people in summer. Can't blog, gotta go play! Anyone else feeling this way? So I thought I would post a bit about what I've been doing and how awesome I am at it.

What I'm Doing

BOOT CAMP! Woot! I'm actually seeing a lot of improvement in my ability to do it and not pass out. In the last week and a half, I feel like I've turned a corner. I don't know if it is me getting better (unlikely), or because I've been going in the afternoon, or if it is the addition of peanut butter to my pre-workout snack.

Results: I've gone to 13 classes in about  6 weeks (missed a few while on vacation). I need to take some pictures, because I can't tell anything just by looking. I think I may do a month by month pictures. I can't promise to share those! Unless I look super hot and you can see my banging 6 pack. So any day now. I definitely feel stronger and I'm able to keep going through each circuit without having to stop. I feel like I have more endurance, and my muscles don't start screaming at me nearly as fast. Plus, I'm not so sore I can't move the next day (which, to be fair, makes me feel like I'm not working hard enough. Masochist.) I'm waiting for this increased endurance to translate to running, but it hasn't really thus far!

-I've pretty much stayed the same weight. But, I did go to FL and drank ate everything. So I am up 2-3 and then down 2-3#s. I do have to admit that this frustrates me. Trying to focus on the non-scale victories. I don't talk about weight much on here, largely because I find if I fixate on it too much I start descending into too much calorie and food restriction. That isn't mentally healthy, nor is it physically healthy. This is one of my biggest struggles-empirically knowing what to eat and do, yet feeling like it isn't good enough or won't work for me. I’ve been feeling discouraged by the lack of scale movement. I need to get over myself. I would like to lose another 10 lbs or so, but would happily stay this weight and go down a few sizes.

-I did measure myself just to see. Last time I measured it was February (oops. way to be consistent there, Carrie) and I weighed about 7# more than I do now. But I seem to have lost about an inch everywhere: waist, hips, thighs. Since I wasn't consistently measuring, I'm not sure if that is from the weight lost or boot camp.


Do y'all like to hear what we do each day so you can laugh at me? Or is it boring to read?

I've seen a few people do monthly goals, so I'm just going to steal that idea.

July Goals

1.) Boot camp x 12.

I am totally addicted to boot camp. I have more energy, my back feels a bit better, and I feel like I can do anything when I am done. It is awesome! The hardest workouts I have ever done, yet the ones I have enjoyed the most.


I'll be out of town for one-we are going to Toronto for a weekend for M's extended family reunion. This is always hilarious because it is his Chinese family...and neither of us speak Chinese. Plus, there is just this random giant blonde girl in all the pictures. It is pretty awesome.

2.) Running 2 x per week on non-boot camp days.

B/c it was kicking my ass so hard, I have been taking the day after BC off. It is hard to run when you can barely tolerate putting weight on your legs! When I run like this I usually do 30 mins or so of intervals. I'm still getting killed whenever we run in the middle of boot camp. I mean, sure, lets do 30 mins of heavy weights and then go run laps! I totally have that much energy left! Who needs to breathe anyway?

3.) More water. Less Diet Coke.

Don't judge me. It is my vice. I love it. I need caffeine to live, and I don't really like tea or coffee.

4.) More focus on diet.

I realize I'm being hypocritical in this post talking about weight loss/not focusing on the scale. Lately I've been just kind of eating whatever, whenever and thus not really making progress in wt loss or any kind of fitness goals. So I'm back to tracking what I eat everyday (which I will not post here as I find most of those posts amazingly boring.) I just want to get a better handle on what I'm eating and how much. I'm not a huge meal eater, but I am a non-stop snacker. I will occasionally food journal just to get an idea how much I'm actually eating. I am a big fan of journalling for most-it can show you how much you are eating, deficiencies, patterns (ie I eat like 50% of my calories after 7pm.), how you are feeling, and basically just teaches you more about how your body works.  Weight loss/maintenance should be just the science of calories in vs. calories out, but it isn't. Everyone's metabolism works differently, so it is always beneficial to know what works for you.

Ok, this got very long! Sorry for the just walls of text, but you should read each word as it is genius.

Do you have any July goals? Any fun plans for the 4th? Any advice on how to get out of my head about the stupid scale? Anyone else fixate like I do? Do you ever food journal?

Boot camp descriptions? y/n?

Jun 27, 2011

More pictures in which I am being inappropriate

I have several serious posts brewing, but in the meantime I leave you with a few pictures of me embarrassing myself and others.

Every year M's residency has a graduation dinner for the fellows and residents. This year it was at a Motorsports park in this museum of classic cars and motorcycles.

They also have sculptures outside. Of naked dudes. On Segways. You see where this is going.

photography note: standing as wide as possible does not lead to flattering pictures. 

Why yes, his entire residency and attendings were just inside or walking past. I try not to let dignity hold me back from a good picture.

After that dinner we went to a going away party for friends who moved to Portland...which I just can't talk about.  Then we went to the world's sketchiest bar for karaoke! 

I am only posting a picture of me to protect the guilty. 
Y'all I don't even know what this thing was. It was called "The Baby". I didn't order it and I assure you I didn't drink the entire thing. I think 12 of us might have been drinking out of it at one point. The karaoke was fantastic and we had some serious performers. 

I'm obviously keeping it real and classy here on this blog.

Jun 24, 2011

Legally changing my name

I got this as a captcha the other day and loved it. I may make it my official blog alter ego name:

Senisha Tunvegan

Isn't that a great name blog name?

Jun 22, 2011

Pre-workout Food

After vacation last week, I'm clearly in need of getting back on the healthy eating wagon! Totally worth it, though : )

I went to boot camp last Friday after we got back, and it was terrible. I woke up late and didn't have time to eat a good breakfast beforehand-just a granola bar in the car. Dear readers: don't be as dumb as me. I bonked hard. Usually the workout is tough. I'm sweating, sometimes a little light headed, and I'm breathing hard struggling to finish the exercises. Friday was just...wrong. Vision going black, sweating yet freezing cold, nauseous. I had to sit with my head b/t my legs for most of it b/c I was so dizzy. I'm super prone to head rushes (orthostatic hypotension: that dizziness, blurry vision that occurs sometimes if you stand up too quickly and your blood pressure falls.) I get these alllllll the time. It felt like that the entire time. Usually he is checking in with us, making sure we are ok and helps get us through the last reps or dig deeper. He looked at me and just said are you ok? Me: blank look, shaking my head. Him: dude. you look awful. go sit down.

 So today's topic is Eating Before Exercise!

Before boot camp I usually eat a piece of bread with some peanut butter, or a banana with yogurt, or something like that. A bit of quick carbs with a little protein. I can't eat too much or I feel like I will throw up. I am not much of a morning person, so I have to make myself eat something. If you exercise late in the day it isn't so much of a concern.

Some people advocate working out on an empty stomach. The theory behind this is that without glucose, your body has to start using fat for fuel. A fun little process called glycolysis. This is an unusual and inefficient process-so usually it slows you down quite a bit. The argument is that if you continually exercise and your body has to go into glycolysis 1) who doesn't want to burn fat? and 2) your body becomes more efficient at it eventually won't slow you down as much. That is also a very quick and dirty explanation of how low carb diets work.

I admit that I don't know enough about this topic and haven't read much research on it. Bad dietitian, bad! Instead I thought I would ask you lovely people.

--Do you workout on an empty stomach if you work out in the morning? Do you think it makes a difference? 

--Do you have a pre-workout snack? What is it? 

--Do you have an opinion on running/working out with a bit of glucose/glycogen depletion?

And as a survey note to my tens of readers: do you read posts like this that are kind of wordy and a tiny bit more educational? I would like this blog to be somewhat informative, but I don't really know how much people want to actually read ; ) So weigh in and tell me!

Jun 20, 2011

More pictures in which I am drinking

Enjoying a nice Pinot at Happy Hour somewhere on the Harbor. Then we went to play mini golf! Because we are the two nerdiest nerds who ever nerded, 

Also, I'm surprisingly good at mini golf. It doesn't really make any sense. 

After mini golf we wandered around and eventually ate somewhere lackluster. Oh well. At least it was pretty. 
Michael decided to take pictures of me while we waited for our food. 

I got tired of it after awhile. 
(Also pictured: HUMIDITY)

Here is the secret to enjoying a touristy beach area: GO EARLY. We ate dinner each night at like 5-5:30 (sadly, no senior citizen discounts were granted.) First, everyone is still at the beach. Second, HAPPY HOUR. If you go after 6 there is at least an hour wait. 

We went to McGuire's which was having 2 for 1 special. I mean, obviously I had to get two margaritas, right? That's just math. 
Ate some delicious mahi mahi and the world's most baconiest baked potato.

So yes, I may have gained 2-3 lbs in Florida. WORTH IT.

Jun 17, 2011

Very short beach recap

We ate a lot. Drank a lot. Sat on the beach.

The end!

Here are a few pics. We took zero of us together, so it is mostly pictures of me drinking to be honest.

Beach! As you can see there was a bit of seaweed. Y'all seaweed freaks me out. I just can't stand it touching me. 

Oh my gosh you guys. We went to a restaurant on the harbor to kill some time before we could get into the condo. But, it had to be somewhere dog friendly b/c we took our puppies with us. Yes, we are those people. I love taking them with us on vacation. I researched and found a place that would let us sit outside with them. They even brought out doggy bowls and treats!

So we are there, just going to have a late lunch and waste some time. Our waiter takes our order and as he is leaving just lets it drop that, oh by the way, we have bottomless champagne FOR $7 for the next two hours. SOLD. I'm pretty sure that sitting in the sun, on the water, with my husband and dogs, drinking bottomless champagne is my very own personal heaven. I want to live there forever. 

After refilling my glass for the eleventh time I say "oh, why don't you just leave the bottle and save yourself a trip!" 


Unsurprisingly, I had to take a little nap when we got to our condo. The restaurant clearly underestimated my ability to get as much as possible for very little money.

Up next: more pictures of me drinking things!

Best dietitian ever!

Jun 9, 2011

Vacation, all I've ever wanted

Saturday I will be headed south to the beach for a long weekend with my favorite husband and puppies. So excited! M and I rarely go on vacation with just us. We usually go with friends/work, or one of our families. My parents always go to the beach for a week and we usually tag along. This will mark the 3rd time in 8 yrs we have gone on a trip by ourselves!

ahhh. Heaven. I can't wait. I may be a little quiet for a few days. I've put a time limit on internet time for us on vacation!

Boot camp will consist of: walking from condo to the beach; frolicking in the waves; many, many bicep curls of margaritas, snarfing seafood.

Jun 7, 2011


I feel like all my posts start with the word "ouch" or "OMG, I'm dying".

But guess what? I am dying from the ouch. Yesterday we did a BUNCH of dead lifts and lower back stuff. Y'all know my lower back is the most effed up part of my effed up body. I honestly shouldn't have done them all, b/c I don't want my back muscles any tighter. I want my abs stronger to balance (and to show off my banging 6 pack.) Now I can barely walk b/c even stabilizing my body hurts. I can't bend at the waist.

In good news, that is the only part of me that is sore so I guess my arms are getting used to non-stop pushups and legs are ok with jumping lunges. Victory is mine!

These are a few of my favorite things

I bring you a new, FANTASTIC, unscheduled FAVORITE THINGS!

this made me giggle uncontrollably, so I'm sharing. Also, I have millions of these saved for your viewing pleasure.

I'm going to start with the most important thing and the reason I'm posting today:


Cheap underpants!
temporarily on sale for 5/$25 which is exceptionally cheap for these. They are reg $14 or so. I think 5/25 is maybe twice a year max.

eta: only a couple are 5/25. the rest are buy 3 get 2. damn.

These are the best underpants on the planet. No exaggeration. They are panty line free. They are flat seamed and have little elastic ridges to hold them in place. They are fantastic for working out b/c they don't move. I only buy them when they are buy 3 get 2 free or 5/$25. I have slowly replaced all my old underoos with these. I can not overstate their awesomeness. Available in a variety of colors and fabrics. They are  underpant MIRACLES.

You really need to buy these. I am sadly not a paid endorser of magic underpants, I just love them. 

I like to use the word underpants b/c it sounds so frumpy and nerdy.

Related to magic underpants:

This actually completely rids you of the back fat rolls that bras produce. Even fit girls can have fat splooges over the bra. Not with this one. It almost feels like wearing a sports bra b/c you can feel it is a little more fabric than most bras. They are super comfy too. If you do buy one, size down in the band. I go down a band size and up a cup size in these. Which is pretty good for the ego, too.

So I'm sharing so you can have the wonderful underpants for a reduced price.  You really need them. I'm happy to answer any questions or receive thanks when you find how amazing they are.

Jun 6, 2011

Boot camp-AKA why I can no longer walk

I've been going at 6:30 am this week. I am not a morning person, but also once I'm up I'm awake. Once I get there it just feels like ambiguous morning, not ass crack of dawn.

The biggest difference is that there are about 4x as many people there! I am not a huge fan of working out in front of other people, but once I get started I mostly just focus on surviving. I have no idea what everyone else is doing. Since there are so many more people we have been doing less tire dragging and more traditional intervals/weights/tabata/ whatever. I wish it was something like: do 20 reps of this. Instead of: do as many as you can in a minute until you die. Thank God as these I can actually do! Tons of jumping and lunges and planks and push ups.

Wednesday we did tons of dead lifts which killed my hamstrings. I do these every night to help with my back, but focus more on the stretching than lifting with my hamstrings. He had us do 2 circuits of jumping lunges and then dead lifts and then 2 circuits of inverted pull ups and push ups on kettlebells (which I just can not do. I can't really even do modified pushups.) My trainer must have gotten the memo it was National Running Day b/c he made us run tons of laps! Let me tell you, after you go through all those exercises, it is difficult to then run. I'm a slow runner on a good day. I have to take walk breaks, I'm not even going to pretend differently. But, I keep hauling my self around.

Friday it was more traditional boot camp type thing. We started with a hundred pushups. One. Hundred. I can't even come close to that. We had to do 100 before we could move to the next station. I considered getting in my car and heading home. I have made a modified push up where I kind of lean on one knee and and kick one leg out-so the knee down makes kind of a fulcrum. Cheating!

then-run to a pavilion and do pull ups on the TRX. Then run along the perimeter of the park to the bridge. Walking lunges across the bridge. Tricep dips on the wall. more running. then carrying lifted kettlebells up steps. then shoulder presses with the kettlebells. AND THEN DO IT AGAIN.


I just signed up for 6 more months. I've officially lost my mind.

Jun 3, 2011

Food Plate

The big news in the nutrition world is the changing of the Food Pyramid to the Choose My Plate model. It is all over social media with everyone weighing in on it. So of course, I'm jumping on that bandwagon.

The Good

-Easy to understand.
-Practical-gives visual representation of portions
-Half is fruit/veggies
-I actually like that it is labeled "protein" vs "meat" for people who are vegetarian/vegan

The Bad
-Where are the fats and sugars? Especially the healthy un/mono-saturated ones? The guidelines don't really differentiate b/t healthy fats and unhealthy fats.
-Lean protein? Low fat dairy? this is addressed in the guidelines, but not the plate icon.
-I think the serving sizes is ambiguous.
-I wish it addressed what NOT to eat more.
-It doesn't emphasize whole grains. And I think most people are counting cakes/cookies/chips as grains. 
-Do we need that much dairy? Calcium-yes. But you can get calcium from other sources. Should dairy count as a protein? 

Overall, it isn't bad. It is a start. I don't think this new icon will have a huge impact on the way people eat though, unfortunately. I wish I knew what would motivate everyone to make better choices. Right now, our nutrition as a country is so broken that even just getting people to eat like this plate, with its flaws, would make a huge impact. While I think it could be better, it is going to be a process of baby steps to fix our nation's health. It is aimed at the people with the vastly unhealthy lives, not regular people who have a basic understanding of nutrition. I thought most nutrition info was common sense and well known to all. That is not the case.

I just wish there was an answer. Bad nutrition seems so cyclical to me. Parents don't make healthy choices for themselves or the child. The child grows up eating processed, fatty foods and both gains a taste for these foods and a jacked up metabolism. The child becomes a parent and teaches their child the same thing. Somewhere, somehow we have to break that cycle. I don't think a new icon is going to change most peoples' eating patterns.

My school nutrition rotations were spent in Birmingham Public Schools-this is a very poor (financially-80-90% were on free/reduced lunches) school system populated by largely African American kids. It is the definition of an urban setting where kids aren't necessarily safe playing outside; kids live in an area with fewer parks and sidewalks; they are living in a food desert where the produce selection is terrible; and they honestly have not been exposed to nutrition knowledge or many nutritious foods-and those foods seem weird. School lunches are always under fire for being over processed, fries count as veggies, the meats aren't lean, too much pizza, etc. And this is true. But, when we served new salads with more and better veggies-the kids won't eat it. They have to have a certain number of veggies on their plate; they can't refuse them. When we tried different, non-starch veggies-the kids won't eat them. They would rather eat nothing and throw food away than eat some of these more nutritious items. So, yes, we should revamp school lunches, but if they aren't getting a healthy message at home it doesn't seem like it would make much of an impact. Not to even touch on how little money schools have for these meals.

As a dietitian, one of our major goals is to motivate people to make a change in their diet. Whether that is a gluten free, or a renal , or just a basic healthy diet, our job is to convince the patient to eat that way. It seems easy, but it is actually one of the most challenging aspects of this job. You would think telling someone "You are diabetic. Your blood sugar is 679. If you keep eating like you have been, you are going to be really sick and then die. The end." would be motivating, but apparently not based on the frequency of return patients. Many of my patients just thought diabetes/heart disease/early death were just inevitable. All their friends and family have died youngish from complications. That is just what happens in a person's life. They don't think they can change, or that the change would be worth it. I'm very interested in what that spark is, that convinces someone to buy into what you are saying and motivate themselves to do it.  How can I change your motivation from extrinsic (I have to do this b/c my MD/RD is making me) to intrinsic (I have to do this so that I can be healthy and watch my kids grow up.) What can we do? What can we say? What can we use to convince someone that they *have* to make changes? Dietitians do our best, but I have left patients' rooms knowing they aren't going to do anything I say.

So I'm glad there is a new, hopefully easy to interpret graphic. Will it change anything? We will have to see. I don't think the disconnect is that people don't know what to eat. They just would rather not eat the healthy foods. But, we have to start somewhere. And we have to start now. 

What are your thoughts? Love it or hate the plate? If you have made a change in your eating, what was your motivating factor? How did you move from contemplation to action? What do you think needs to be done to correct the terrifying health path we are currently on? 

Jun 2, 2011

The winner of my first giveaway is...

Congrats! Email me at confessionsofadietitian@gmail.com and I will get you all set up : ) 

Thanks for the entries and new followers. I'm looking forward to reading your blogs!