Monday, November 21, 2011

#1 Weight Loss Tip

Okay, so it's really hard to pick one tip that's the number one, life-changing, fat-blasting wonder-tip.

But this one is pretty high on the list...


If you wait more than about half an hour to eat, your body decides, "Hhmmm.  I'm now starving to death.  I will hold on to all future calories and store them up as fat in case this crazy person decides to starve me again."  You've probably heard it all before, how breakfast is good for your metabolism and keeps you from over-eating later in the day.  But even the most well-informed of us need to be reminded.  Especially since we're all busy, and when you are racing out the door in the morning, it's hard to make time to eat.

My preference, of course, is a breakfast loaded with produce, good carbs, and protein that I can sit down and enjoy:

Breakfast is my favorite meal...

100% whole wheat english muffins with olive oil,
plus eggs with kale

Pluots from the CSA! 
Thank you, Jefferson Davis!
However, not every day is that kind of a day.  I URGE you...stock your shelves with raw nuts and your fruit bowl with bananas.  You can literally eat them on the go, and they require no prep, no refrigeration, and taste great plain.  If you are somewhere in the middle with your alloted eating time, toast with peanut butter and a killer pink lady apple will do the trick nicely.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Push!

My friend Jessica invited me to volunteer this year at Neighborcare Health's annual Pumpkin Push 5k.  I was really excited, since I'd never actually volunteered at a race before!  The Pumpkin Push seemed like a great place to raises money for healthcare for homeless patients, and it's great fun since runners are usually dressed to the nines.

I woke up quite early for a Saturday and drove down to Seward Park in Seattle.  It was still dark when I arrived, but on the plus side, I got to park SUPER close to the volunteer tents.

They had coffee and pastries available for volunteers, which was very thoughtful.  Originally Jessica and I were assigned to help with "day of" registration, but then I ended up helping set up cones and mile markers instead.

Registration and porta-potties!

My volunteer handiwork

The 1 mile marker was on the park trail, but not near a road, so another volunteer and I got to walk it out to its place and then walk the mile back to the start of the race.  It was so nice to get fresh air and take in the beauty of the park!

Once I got back to the start, Jessica and I reconnected and headed over to help run the "Green Your Halloween" booth.

Mikkel, Jessica, and me
We had brightly colored pens for people to write down ideas or check off ideas they'd employed that year.  I especially liked "Grow Your Own Pumpkins" and "Recycle Costumes."  The most extreme idea came from a fellow who wrote "Go Naked."  A very private Halloween party, I hope. 

We handed out Fruit Leathers and mini Larabars, which made our booth pretty popular.

We chatted to runners, spectators, and each other, and danced around to the music coming over the loudspeakers.  I found time to snag more shots of the gorgeous scenery...

...and the awesome costumes.

Wilma Flinstone

Minus 99 Dalmatians

Sharks and Kitties

Charlie Brown with Snoopy
Some folks stuck with this year's tee shirt for their racing attire.  Pretty cute design, if you ask me!

Then, before we knew it, the race was on, and we were headed over to the finish line to cheer on the runners.  Some elite runner dude named Joel Gray (I think?) finished first in 15 minutes and change.  Holy smokes!

Speedy Elite Dude

Speediest Dudette
After cheering and clapping, we went on to our next assignment: Zombie Team Leads.

Yes, that's right.

 We gathered up the zombies at the Zombie Check In and escorted them over to the main stage for their special performance.  We managed to keep them from eating anyone, so I would say it was a success.

The zombies danced to Michael Jackson's Thriller.  It was pretty fun.

And just like that, 4 hours of volunteering were over!  I said a fond good-bye to Jessica as we made plans to come back and volunteer again next year...and maybe run the race, too!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall Sweataway 2011 Part V: Sunday Evening and Monday

One nice way to save money on trips is to go out for drinks at happy hour, and then cook your own dinner.  (Obviously it's a special treat if you're married to an excellent chef!)

We got all dressed up and went straight downstairs to 10below

I left my camera upstairs, because sometimes I get a little too obsessed with it's nice to just enjoy the experience like a normal consumer.  And let me tell you, the experience was delightful!  We had excellent drinks and a nice chat with the bartender.  He told us Bend averages 300 days of sun per year.  I told Jared it was time to move out of Seattle.

After returning to our room, we snacked on cheese and grapes while watching a movie together.

Then, Jared made short ribs with broccolini and fruit.


Chocolate beer?  Yes, please.
We had another luxurious night of sleep, and then bid a sad farewell to the Oxford.  Seriously, I would move in if they would let me.  I consoled my breaking heart by planning when we could come for our next visit.

We had a glorious view on the drive home...rain mixed with sunrise:

Halfway through our journey, we made more use of Eat This, Not That, and stopped at McDonalds for second breakfast.

They think pretty highly of the ol' Egg McMuffin, so we chowed down.

And that about wraps it up for our Fall Sweataway!  A month later, we are still feeling the good effects of Bend and the Oxford and time to ourselves.