Liquid Calories Count

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

There are many forms of liquid caloriesA University of North Carolina study shows that liquid calories are to blame for the obesity rates in the United States. You can see the slideshow presentation from them here:

Since we don’t tend to eat less food when we consume more liquid calories, and their study shows that consumption of extra calories when they are in drinks is linked to weight gain, they have suggested the following recommendations for drink consumption:

  • Go with water: Women should drink up to 9 servings of water a day and they recommend 13 servings of water for men.

  • Unsweetened coffee and tea: As long as you aren’t using any type of sweetener at all, coffee and tea can have some positive health benefits. They recommend a maximum of 4 servings of coffee and 8 servings of tea a day.

  • Skim/lowfat milk or fortified unsweetened soy drinks: The research on the benefits of milk is still iffy according to UNC, but they still recommend up to 2 servings a day.

  • Diet soft drinks and coffe or tea sweetened with artificial sweetener: Even though these drinks are calorie free, they may condition a preference for sweetness. Because of this, they are to be used in moderation. They recommend up to 4 servings a day.

  • 100% fruit juices, whole milk and sports drinks: The University of North Carolina sees little nutritional benefit in these drinks and recommends limiting consumption of up to 1 serving a day.

  • Soft drinks and juice drinks: Also high in sugar, they recommend no more than 1 serving a day.

It looks like the best benefits are those to be had by drinking water. I’ve found that I feel better when I replace soda with water, so I have to agree with them. Here is a handy graphic to visualize what your beverage choices are:

Recommended servings of liquid calories

Via: Liquid calories can pile on pounds – Orlando Sentinel


Making a Walking or Hiking Stick

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

Kaito Anti-Shock Hiking Pole with Compass and Thermometer, HP1.When Mike and I hiked the Na Pali Coast in Kauai, we started with only our tennis shoes and some water. A couple hiking down the trail handed us walking sticks, “You’re going to need these.” We took them gladly, not knowing how helpful they would be when we hit really steep parts on slippery rock.

Ever since then, I have planned on purchasing walking sticks to tackle the steeper trails in the Wasatch Mountains, but the cheap-skate in me doesn’t want to shell out the big bucks for them. I know they help with balance and give me extra power when going up really steep inclines, but I don’t want to spend that much money on them.

These websites give detailed instructions on how to make a sturdy walking stick:

I personally like the simplicity of the PVC walking stick in the last article. PVC tends to be lighter and stronger than wood and much more readily available. Have fun making your own walking stick and you’ll be better able to tackle the trails.

Via: Before You Buy Fitness Walking Poles or Trekking Poles

Tour de France 2006 in Google Earth

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The 2006 Tour de France

The complete 2006 Tour de France route has been mapped into Google Earth. You can see more about it here:

Google Earth Blog: Tour de France 2006 in Google Earth

Magnificent 7 (2005 Tour de France 12-Hour DVD; 6 pc.)I found last year’s Tour de France incredibly inspiring. I watched the DVDs of the race while riding my bike on my CycleOps trainer. I found that I rode at a higher intensity for longer when I watched those videos because it felt like I was in the race right alongside Jan Ulrich and Lance Armstrong. You can find out more about this year’s Tour de France here:

Anything that can keep you motivated to exercise every day is a good thing. I found watching these people compete very inspiring and it kept me working hard all winter long.

Via: kottke.org


Organic Produce: Price vs. Ethics

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

The Omnivore\'s Dilemma : A Natural History of Four MealsSome people believe that purchasing organically grown food is an ethical decision. The extra cost of the food guarantees that we are treating the earth kindly. Here is a discussion of these thoughts:

If you are confused or wondering what is best for you, you’re not alone.

“It is difficult for me to grasp all of the implications involved in the complex web of food production: price vs. organic. vs. healthfulness vs. locally-produced vs. sustainable farming vs. economy of scale. I’m fortunate to live in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which is a richly productive region. During the summer I can buy cheap local produce from roadside stands, produce that tastes better than anything I can buy in a store. (And, of course, we grow many of our own favorites.)”

Somehow, I’ve convinced myself that organic food tastes better. In the case of vegetables, that’s usually the case. I don’t know if it’s because organic markets keep their food fresher or if I’ve somehow fooled myself. I guess it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that I’m eating my fruits and vegetables, whether they are organic or not.

Wendy Bumgardner from About.com Reviews The Swami Beach Video

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I sent a copy of my walking video, Swami Beach, to Wendy Bumgardner from About.com. She reviewed the DVD here:

In her review, she said:

“Laura Moncur of the Starling Fitness blog has a new, inexpensive DVD for those who use a treadmill but want something better to look at than the wallpaper. The Swami Beach video is simply a video of walking on Swami Beach, no narration, just the point of view of a walker enjoying a beach stroll.”

It was a very kind interview because her personal review was that the bouncing made her a little motion sick. Ever since this feedback, I’ve been working on getting the next walking video smoother and less bouncy.

Stay tuned to see what I have in store for you!

Here is a glimpse of what the Swami’s Beach Video looks like:

Click here to see the video

If you have a treadmill next to a television and DVD player, you might like this DVD and it’s only five bucks plus shipping. You can buy it here:


Five-Year-Old Perfect DDR Dancer

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

This video shows a five year old boy playing DDR. He gets a perfect score.

I’ve heard parents say that their children are too young for DDR and it’s impossible for the little ones to play it. Now I know that it’s not impossible. I loved watching this video because at the end, the father is so happy with his son. It made me smile to see this little perfect dancer turn around to see if his father was happy with him.

Exercise is taught to our children. They want to please their parents so much that they will work on whatever we think is important.

Via: Rocketboom – June 19, 2006

PostSecret: Refuse To Become A Statistic

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Tina Malament's T-Shirts

Tina Malament sent a postcard to PostSecret. It wasn’t chosen to be displayed, so she turned her efforts into making t-shirts. Her secret? She has been struggling with anorexia since she was ten years old.

She took eating lightly to a level that endangered her life.

“My hobby became starving. My hobby became counting calories,” she said, adding that she still knows how many calories are in a single bite of certain foods.

Her personal weblog can be found here.

She sells the t-shirts announcing to the world that she refuses to become a statistic. She is more than just an eating disorder.


Dieting in Groups Better Than Dieting Alone

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

The research says that dieting with friends in a group is better than dieting alone.

They found that a lot of people gain weight back a year after losing it:

“People in the Weight Watchers and Rosemary Conley “Eat Yourself Slim Diet and Fitness Plan” (a British low-fat diet and exercise program) programs — which both involved group meetings — were more likely to have stuck with their programs for a year.”

I have never really dieted with a friend except in high school and that was more of a bulimia club than a healthy diet support group. I have such a hard time talking about my weight issues with the people that I know that it’s hard for me to even imagine dieting with a group of friends. I don’t want anyone asking me what I put in mouth today.

Maybe that’s why I still struggle sometimes.

Via: iPortion

That Was Awesome!

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Neurotica is a comic about a woman named Petunia and her grandfather. They moved to California a couple of years ago, but Petunia is just now learning how to surf.


That feeling of learning and mastering a new sport is hard to get any other way. The feeling of trying and failing is even fun. When you finally do it right one time for the entire day, you feel an ecstacy that is difficult to describe in words or drawings. Big Al (the author) does a pretty good job of showing the feeling of success when you finally get it right.

This is why we exercise, so we are strong enough to do fun things like surf, mountain bike, ski or kayak. This is why we lift weights. This is why we build our endurance.

If you have never felt the joy of learning a new sport, get out there. There are so many choices of sports to choose from, choose one. Get used equipment (or rent some) until you know whether it’s the right sport for you. If it’s not, move on and try another one. Keep trying until you find something that you like. You can do this!


Question of the Week: How do you journal?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Research has shown that part of being able to effectively lose weight involves journaling your food and exercise.

How do you journal your food and exercise?

Do you use a computer?

Do you use an online service?

Do you write it down on paper?

What has worked the best for you?

The Question of the Week is meant to be an Inner Workout for you. Find some time during the week and allow yourself to write the answers to the questions posted. You can write them on paper, on a word processor or here in the comments section. Whatever works for you as long as you do it.

Keep writing until you find out something about yourself that you didn’t know before. I’ve also heard that it works to keep writing until you cry, but that doesn’t really work for me. Whatever works for you. Just keep writing until it feels right.

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