Like You Could Do That!

By Laura Moncur @ 9:15 am — Filed under:

Turn around and your best friend was suddenly a zombie.About a week ago, I had a nightmare. There was a horrible disease that was turning people into violent zombies. It would happen very quickly, just like in the movie, Omega Man. I would turn around and my best friend was suddenly a zombie, trying to attack me. They were weak and pathetic zombies, easily defeated, but it was still scary.

Mike and I were safe in our new house, and we learned that the problem was in the food supply. SOMETHING about the food supply was turning people into zombies. I felt such a wave of relief. I said to Mike, “This is PERFECT! All we need to do is NOT EAT and we’re safe from the disease! We have enough fat on us to last MONTHS, which just might be long enough for the scientists to figure out which food is turning people!” I was overjoyed. All we had to do was not eat and both of us would be safe!

Then Mike said, “Like you could do that!” His voice was joking, but it did ring true. I was crushed with the knowledge that even if food could KILL me, he didn’t believe that I wouldn’t eat. It hurt my feelings so bad that I immediately woke up.

In REAL life, Mike would never say anything so rude to me. He has always been so supportive of me and all my eating problems. The truth of the matter is, foods that are high in carbohydrates HURT me. Sugary and starchy foods really make my stomach writhe in pain.

Yet I still eat them.

My reality isn’t too far from the horror of that dream. Even when food is “killing” my stomach, I still eat it. I don’t know HOW to reduce my carbohydrate intake without setting off my feelings of deprivation, but I’m going to figure out a way to do it. I’d much rather live a long and pain-free life than end up with a disease.

Photo via: the WAREHOUSE: the Omega Man


Drink Enough Water

By Laura Moncur @ 4:07 pm — Filed under:

Drink Enough WaterNow that the summer months are in full swing, remember to gulp down enough water. In dry areas like Salt Lake City, it’s kind of difficult to forget that you need to keep hydrated. The blast of oven-like air smacking me in the face every time I leave the comfort of air-conditioned bliss reminds me vividly.

Weight Watchers suggest a total of six glass of liquid a day, whether it’s water or soda or even coffee. They used to say that only half of that allotment could be fulfilled with anything but water. Now, however, it can be anything.

For me, however, nothing quenches my thirst quite like water.

Moving all of my possessions in the middle of the blazing heat has reminded me that keeping hydrated is important. I’ve felt my fingers swell and my head ache with dehydration a couple of times over these past two weeks. It’s so easy to get caught up in the lifting and carrying that even a quick drink of water is forgotten.

Make sure you give yourself enough water this summer. Your body will be a smooth running engine if you do.


How To Eat Pho Tai Soup

By Laura Moncur @ 8:40 am — Filed under:

How To Eat Pho Tai Soup

Pho Tai (pronounced fa tie) is a Vietnamese beef and noodle soup. It is usually an inexpensive meal that is also pretty healthy if you can find a restaurant that uses healthy oil.

How To Eat Pho Tai Soup

When you order it, the first thing to arrive is a plate of veggies. It usually includes bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, limes and green chili peppers. When your bowl of soup arrives, you get to choose what to add to the soup. I am always eager to increase my vegetable intake, so I usually throw everything in (I go easy on the green chilies). I figure that the more veggies, the better. I do pull the leaves off the basil and cilantro stems before I add them to my soup because it makes it easier to eat. I squeeze in both limes. Sometimes I even drop in the limes after squeezing in the juice to add a little more citrus flavor.

How To Eat Pho Tai SoupThe wait staff should also bring in a small tray of spicy sauces as well (or maybe it was already at your table when you were seated). My favorite is the oily pepper sauce in the middle. It is very strong, so make sure to be conservative when you start out. There usually is Sriracha, which is a spicy chili sauce that tastes a little different. Part of the reason I love Pho is because I can make it as spicy as I want.

Once you’ve added all the veggies and spices, stir the soup with your chopsticks or fork. If you prefer to use a fork and your restaurant didn’t provide one, feel free to ask. It’s better to enjoy your meal than suffer with awkward eating utensils.

The beef is thinly sliced and placed into the boiling hot soup raw, so make sure you stir your soup thoroughly until the meat is cooked to your liking. The soup will be really hot, so make sure you be careful when you take a bite.

Lean meat, fresh veggies and healthy oil make for a filling an healthy meal. I usually count 7 points for the soup, 2 points for the healthy oil and 0 points for all those crispy vegetables. Next time you drive past a strip mall, be on the lookout for a Pho Noodle shop and take a moment to drop by. You will find a new food that us fun to eat and healthy for your body!


Post-Walk Calf Stretch

By Laura Moncur @ 6:09 am — Filed under:

Post-Walk Calf Stretch

If I don’t take a couple of minutes to stretch out my calves and shins after my morning walk, I end up with pain later in the day. I remember when I first started walking. I couldn’t walk around the block without intense pain in my shins (the muscle at the front of my lower leg). Back then, it was a struggle just to do a mile. I had taken my car to measure how far I had to walk to go a mile and found a nice route that took me past a holding pond. It was so hard to get just to the pond and back, so I would let myself take a break and watch the birds at the pond when I finally got there.

Now, I can walk for miles without leg pain as long as I take the time to stretch. In fact, the weakest link on my body when it comes to walking are my toenails.

It’s so easy to forget how far I’ve come. I get frustrated that I’m not regularly running 12 minute miles, when really, I should be celebrating the fact that my legs rarely hurt, even though I’m exercising every day…

…as long as I do my post-walk calf stretch.


PostSecret: Insanely Thin

By Laura Moncur @ 7:21 pm — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret showed up today and it made me think.

PostSecret: Insanely Thin

It reads:

I think one of the reasons I like you is because you’re not insanely thin, like the rest of my friends.

Honestly, thoughts like these make me scared to lose weight. What if I lose weight and no one likes me anymore? I’d have to change my lifestyle quite a bit in order to be thin. What if it changes me so much that I lose all my old friends?

I’m sure many of us have fears like this and they don’t all have to do with weight. Going to college, getting a promotion, getting married (or divorced) or even having children can bring up all these same fears. There is only ONE thought that makes me feel better when I start thinking like this:

Things are going to change anyway.

There is NOTHING I can do to stop things from changing. I can’t predict HOW they are going to change, but the one thing I can count on is that my life will be different in five years whether I lose the weight or not.

I might as well have a different life AND a healthy body.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.


Honesty: Working Out Isn’t Fun, But It’s Worth It

By Laura Moncur @ 8:16 am — Filed under:

Shia Le BuffI saw this photo of Shia Lebeouf in People magazine today and it made me realize something.

No matter how fit or thin someone is, working out isn’t that fun.

The look on Shia’s face shows just how difficult a hard run can be. Even though he is ripped and buff (or “Le Buff,” as they say), the photographer caught him in the middle of a HARD run. Anyone who looks at him KNOWS that this very difficult run is WORTH it. He looks awesome, even though he is struggling.

Sure, there are some easy runs. There are times when the same workout at the same pace on the same trail feels fun, easy and enjoyable. There are other times when it’s just an uncomfortable chore. So, why do we do it?

I exercise for a lot of reasons:

  • To lose weight: Honestly, this is the most important reason I exercise. I just don’t want to be fat anymore.
  • To be healthy: Exercise, even when it’s hot and uncomfortable, strengthens my muscles, heart and bones.
  • To be strong: When I’m at Yellowstone Park and find myself on a trail that’s three miles longer than we thought it was going to be, I can finish that hike strong because I get my butt on my treadmill every day.
  • To make myself less crazy: Working out keeps me sane. When I’m fighting the crazy, working out is MUCH more difficult, but I would lose myself in the quagmire of depression without it.

Working out is hard, but worth it.I’d love to just sit here and say that working out is all fun and roses. I’d love to say that the elusive Runner’s High is a daily component of my exercise routine, but it’s NOT. See that look on Shia’s face? That’s not the face of the rumored sheer bliss of endorphins. That’s pain and work and squinting against the summer sun in order to keep his endurance and six pack abs at their best. The next time you’re thinking of cutting your workout short or taking it slow when your plan calls for a difficult workout, think of Shia Lebeouf duking it out against the heat and smog of a Los Angeles summer. If he can do it, so can you!


Free Weekends in Your National Parks

By Laura Moncur @ 8:39 am — Filed under:

Lake Mead Camping by LauraMoncur from FlickrThis weekend, you can hike, camp and enjoy at over 100 National Parks for FREE! They offer fee free weekends a few times a year and there are a couple left. You can find out more here:

Mark your calendars for fee-free weekends this summer:

  • July 18-19, 2009
  • August 15-16, 2009

Mike and I enjoy several of the nearby National Parks. The photo shown is from a trip to Lake Mead in southern Nevada (near Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam), which is on the list of free parks this weekend. You can see all the photos of that camping trip here:

If you are feeling the financial squeeze this year, take advantage of the parks that your tax dollars go toward maintaining and workout this weekend free of charge.


Rowing Is A Great Upper Body Workout

By Laura Moncur @ 6:00 am — Filed under:

Rowing Is A Great Upper Body WorkoutPart of the reason Mike and I were willing to uproot our entire lives and leave our friends and neighbors in Sugarhouse was because of the lake in Daybreak. It is a man-made lake specifically designed to be the focus of the community. Not only is it surrounded by miles of trails for biking, running or walking, the residents of Daybreak can borrow boats free of charge to explore the lake.

Yesterday, Mike and I took a break from moving boxes to take a walk around Oquirrh Lake. As we were getting in our exercise, we saw a couple enthusiastically racing each other on the lake. Their paddles were quickly rotating and their laughs echoed off the bridge. Apparently, the bridge was the finish line and when the woman crossed it, victorious, they slowed their pace to a leisurely tour of the water.

I couldn’t help noticing how fun all of us were having. The couple on the lake, Mike and I walking around the trails, the families fishing and the even the security guard on his bicycle. We all were exercising, but we didn’t notice it because the vistas were so beautiful. I decided to remember this the next time I’m sweating it out on the treadmill. Working out in the gym is important if only because it makes enjoying times like this so much easier.

The couple continued their quiet rowing around the lake just as Mike and I walked on the trails around it. By the time we were finished with our workout, they were finished with theirs and we all watched the sunset turn golden behind the mountains.

Rowing Is A Great Upper Body Workout


Fast Food from a Feed Bag

By Laura Moncur @ 1:56 pm — Filed under:

The Onion’s parodies slice a little too close to reality for me. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if they are a joke or not. Take this fast food feed bag story, for example:

New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

The thought of eating food from a bag strapped to my face sounds entirely unappetizing to me, so I know that something like this will never take off. Just like the 1950’s ideal of getting all of our nutrition from food pellets (Space Food Sticks and Astronaut Food). If I can’t see the food, or if it looks gross, I can’t enjoy it. Sometimes I feel like I eat more with my eyes than my digestive system.

Will the fast food bag ever become an eating trend? I doubt it. It’s an inventive commentary about the “gluttony” of the American public, but it’s written by someone who has never been tempted by that deadly sin.

Via: Would You Eat Fast Food From a Feedbag?


Waiting For My Walking Partner

By Laura Moncur @ 4:28 am — Filed under:

Every Tuesday morning, I take a walk with NakedJen and her dogs. Now that I’ve moved across town, I still walk with her, but I have a commute as well. Is it worth the drive? YES!

I am so grateful that I have a workout partner (three, actually, if you count Buddha and Stella, her dogs). Without my weekly walking escape with Jen, I feel adrift and lonely. So much of exercise and healthy living is habit and social enjoyment. Creating these habits with friends who sincerely want me to live a healthy life is what has kept me on this path instead of giving up altogether.

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