How Many Calories Does A Fork Have?

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

John Is Fit is an avid runner on the Runner+ Challenges. I clicked over to his site to read what he was talking about there. He wrote this entry about bread:

One of his readers, Jan B, said this about bread:

I cut out bread a couple of months ago when I started realizing that I was using it more as a handle for food than anything else. Now I use a fork. How many calories does a fork have??

Now, I don’t believe that bread is all that bad, but the idea of bread as a “handle for food” surprised me. Jan’s right. A sandwich uses bread as a convenient way to hold meat and cheese and lettuce. Are there other foods that are merely a handle? How many calories am I eating when I should just use a fork instead?

Eating is about sustenance and pleasure. If you eat only for sustenance, you won’t be able to maintain your weight loss. You have to be able to eat the foods that you love.

If you love bread, DO NOT cut it out of your diet. Choose freshly baked bread that is delicious instead of the foam rubber that passes for “diet” bread. Find ways to work it into your diet and cut out things that you don’t like.

If you don’t like bread, STOP using it as a handle for food.


Chicago Marathon: Poor Race Organization

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

It was hot at this year’s marathon. The incredible heat lead to the death of one of the participants… well, that and the lack of water at the water stations. Sadly, most of the mainstream media is blaming the participants. Mark Iocchelli at Complete Running Network voices my reaction perfectly:

Chicago Marathon organizers say they were prepared for the heat and had plenty of water on the course, but marathoners say something completely different – that there wasn’t nearly enough water. Many runners have said some of the first water stations were dry very early on in the race.

While watching the Chicago Marathon organizers and media spin their spin, I’ve become compelled to speak out against what I think is a grossly inappropriate attack on the majority of people who took part in that marathon and, for that matter, all marathons.

I’m angry and disheartened to see attention being deflected away from the real issue – poor race organization – by suggesting that the runners were unprepared, poorly trained (even fat and out of shape), and had no business lacing up their shoes in the first place.

I have ran poorly organized races before, most notably, the first two years of the SLC 5K. It ran concurrently with the marathon, but they didn’t care about nor prepare for the crowd of 5K runners. When I finished, things were backed up behind the finish line with a huge crowd of people in front of me trying to get their running chips off their shoes. It took me an extra two minutes just to get to the finish line.

Not only that, I was suddenly stopped cold. Anyone who had ever run a hard race knows that if you stop suddenly, you will pass out because all the blood in your body pools in your legs. I literally had to run in place to prevent myself from losing consciousness. Unfortunately, not everyone knew this and their first aid station was packed with people who had been stopped by the crowd.

It took them TWO years of poor organization like this to fix the problem. TWO YEARS of filled first aid stations and fainting runners. Last year, they finally figured out that if they have us walk 500 yards away before they force us to take off our chips and have more than four people available to take them off, then we might be able to prevent huge crowds pushing past the finish line.

Race organizers are to blame for the death at the Chicago Marathon this year, not the runners.

Wendy Bumgardner at About.com has an EXCELLENT article about how to prevent becoming a statistic in poorly organized races:


How to Make the Switch to Natural Peanut Butter

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

Peanut Butter, Creamy, Organic at Amazon.comIf you have ever tried natural peanut butter, like Adams, then you’ve probably been confronted with the inch-thick peanut oil at the top of the bottle. Gordon Luk gives us some pointers on what to do with it:

First off, to get a good initial spread, it’s really important to thoroughly mix the peanut butter paste with the oil. I usually jab downwards with a knife to the bottom of the jar, which allows the oil to seep down into the paste. After doing that for a while, it lowers the oil level somewhat so that you can move on to jabbing downwards then pushing around the jar. Since the paste is normally pretty hard, it’s easier to do this once the oil loosens up the spread a bit. After that, it’s a simple matter of stirring.

DO NOT pour out the oil thinking that you’ll save calories that way. You will be left with brick-hard peanut paste that will NEVER spread and you might as well just throw away the bottle.

I really HATE natural peanut butter sold in bottles at stores. They fill it so full that there is hardly any room to stir in the oil, even when you follow Gordon’s excellent advice.

Instead, I make my own peanut butter and almond butter at the health food store. There is a big ‘ole machine there that will grind the nuts up for me fresh. Since I’m paying by the pound instead of by the container, I will only grind enough to last me a week. Since it doesn’t have preservatives, I really should keep it in the fridge because bacteria can grow easily in peanut butter. I store it in the cupboard and if it gets older than a week, I throw it out.

Peanut butter is very high in calories, so I rarely eat it, but when I do, I make sure I have the best and grind my own. No mixing, no preservatives and I get to use a big noisy machine to make it! What else could I want?


Runner+ Challenge Winners (10-08-07)

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

The Runner+ Challenges keep getting bigger and bigger. It’s so fun to look at the person’s name right above mine and run just a little more than they did today. Let’s see who won!

Johnisfit blasted through Level 1 and will be competing on Level 2 next week!

Level 1 10-15-07

It was an extremely tight race, but AirGar, squeaked by with a win on the Level 2 Challenge.

Level 2 10-15-07

The winner on Level 3 this week was Tommaso! An additional note of congratulations to Tommaso, skyscraperilove and DaytonaS1985. All three of them have been invited to the Level 4 Challenge this week!

Level 3 10-15-07

Uncool, xray999. You joined a level way below your ability. The REAL winner of the Level 4 Challenge is SLBplus. Keep it up!

Level 4 10-15-07

Level 5 looks the same this week as it did last week. Ashjoy is on FIRE!

Level 5 10-15-07

Another spectacular win from Rasmus.

Level 6 10-15-07

Congratulations to all the competitors! Join us at Runner+ and show off your mileage!

If you exercise by running or walking, you can compete in the Starling Fitness Challenges on Runner+. All you need is an account at Runner+ (free) and you can log your miles there. If you have a Nike+iPod kit, then your runs will automatically be added, but the site will also allow you to add your runs manually. If you would like to compete against runners on your level, here are the links for this week’s challenges:

Level 1 weekly challenge from Starling Fitness. This level runs between 0-10 miles a week.

Level 2 weekly challenge from Starling Fitness. This level runs between 10-20 miles a week.

Level 3 weekly challenge from Starling Fitness. This level runs between 20-30 miles a week.

Level 4 weekly challenge from Starling Fitness. This level runs between 30-40 miles a week.

Level 5 weekly challenge from Starling Fitness. This level runs between 40-50 miles a week.

Level 6 weekly challenge from Starling Fitness. This level runs between 50-60 miles a week.


How Did Kimkins Fly Under My Radar?

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

Kimkins makes some big claims

I have to admit, until a couple of days ago, I had never heard of Kimkins. It’s a website and blog that promotes a very low fat and calorie diet with some amazing claims. It’s just the kind of thing that I would shake my head about, “200 pounds in 11 months? Gimme a break!”

Thing is, I didn’t shake my head at all. I never even noticed Kimkins.

Now that Kimkins has imploded and the writer of the blog, Heidi Diaz, has been accused of being a fraud, it’s just ANOTHER story of someone trying to take your money.

My question: Why didn’t I notice Kimkins? How did Kimkins fly under my radar?

I have a weakness for quick fixes. In the past, I was constantly searching for a quick fix. A few years ago, Kimkins would have been something that I looked at, knowing that it probably was a scam, but hoping it was true and TEMPTED. Yes, a few years ago, the claims of Kimkins would have tempted me.

Just look at the before and after picture of “Kimmer”:

Alleged Kimmer Before and After Photos

I would have looked at those as if they were proof. The photo on the left has been identified as Heidi Diaz, from her Classmates.com photo, but the photo on the right is said to be from a Russian brides site.

A few years ago, I would have been researching Kimkins and desperately trying to figure out how they were trying to rip me off. I would have known it wasn’t real, but I would be just as eagerly hoping that it was.

Somehow, I never noticed it.

I guess I’ve stopped looking for that quick fix. I KNOW how to lose weight. I KNOW how to eat healthy. I KNOW that the program that I follow works when I follow it, so I’ve stopped looking for the next diet. Kimkins totally flew under my radar and I couldn’t be happier about it now.


iPhone Hackers Notice Potential Nike+ Support

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

The iPhone and Nike+It looks like Apple might be considering supporting the Nike+ on the iPhone.

According to Erica Sadun, there are two new folders in the iPhone directory that weren’t there before the latest 1.1.1 update. They are called: /AppleInternal/Applications and /Accessories. The file directory is similar to the iPod file directory for the Nike+, so I am hoping my heart out that the iPhone will start supporting my favorite exercise gadget EVAR!

All of this is speculation and those folders could be internal folders that Apple is planning on using for something else, but I am VERY eager to see the iPhone support Nike+


I’m Not A Runner

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

I love this commercial for Nike+!


Anorexics May Have Altered Sense of Taste

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

Photo Via Lauren Greenfield Photography: ThinI feel a certain companionship with anorexics. I have never been able to starve myself, but I feel like there is some connection between anorexia and bingeing disorders. Recent research shows that anorexics don’t react to sugar the way “normal” people do.

While the view of anorexia as an addiction is intriguing, there are other possible physiological explanations for the disorder. Dr. Angela Wagner performed an experiment to study the reactions of 16 recovered anorexics to sugar. Recovered anorexics were chosen to avoid the confounding psychological factors that might be present in still-struggling subjects. Recovered anorexics took the sweet drink without protest, but an MRI revealed that while their behavior may have returned to normal, their brains have not. Compared to the control subjects, there was much less activation of the insular cortex, especially the primary cortical taste region. This suggests the possibility that rather than missing meals to feel high, anorexics don’t eat because they simply find normally pleasant tastes less appealing.

If anorexics don’t find food as appealing as “normal” people, then could it be possible that I find it MORE appealing? This seems like very important research, but the sample size of sixteen participants is so small that I can’t really trust the conclusions.

I’m hoping for more research along these lines.

What do you think? Do we overeat because food just tastes better to us?


Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

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

My Powersong on my Nike+ is Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk. Every time I hear it, I run faster.

I looks like someone else likes it as well:

This video is awesome! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to the song again without thinking of this video.

What’s your Powersong? What music makes you exercise harder, better, faster, stronger?


Active Computer Gaming: Steppo

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

It looks like there is another active computer game that has been developed by Daniil Kondratyev, Tamar Raviv and Shahar Zrihen. It was developed as a final project of the Interaction Design Hands On Course at the Holon Institute Of Technology:

You can see a child playing with the game here:

I like that so many schools are researching active computer gaming. This looks fun, but not very practical for adults.

Via: Craftzine.com blog: Steppo

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