Workout Wednesday: October Plank Challenge

Happy October, everyone! As a personal trainer I have clients at all levels of fitness. With all of my clients, I stress the importance of a strong core. One of the best exercises to increase core strength and endurance is a plank and luckily there are lots of modifications to fit any fitness level.

For the month of October I am doing a plank challenge with some of my clients, urging them to improve their plank time for a low plank (on forearms) on the floor. Today I’m sharing the challenge with you!

October Plank Challenge!

For the beginner challenge, the goal is to work up to holding a plank for a minute and thirty seconds. This challenge is great for those who have been doing planks on an incline and have never been able to hold a plank on the floor for longer than 15-30 seconds. The beginner challenge starts slow and gradually builds up to the 1:30 plank on Halloween!

October plank challenge beginner

If you have no issue holding a plank for a minute and want to challenge yourself to push further, the intermediate/advanced challenge is for you! For intermediate level, start at a one minute plank and work up to holding your plank for 2:30 by the end of the month. If you’re advanced, add alternating leg raises to your planks.

October plank challenge intermediate

 

No matter your level, the most important part of the challenge is form. Make sure your belly button is pulled up and in toward your spine and that you can envision a straight line from your head to your toes, keeping your spine in alignment, and don’t forget to breathe!!!

Are you going to join my October plank challenge? 

xoxo,
Becki

What We Talk About When We Talk About Wellness: Mental Health

Today is Joe’s first post an official contributor to the blog. Bear with us while we figure out how to get that displayed as a more prominent byline so Becki can stop doing intros for each of his posts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is Fighting For Wellness. It’s awesome. It’s got a logo and everything. Tons of pics, lots of posts, a couple of recipes. This blog is like a blog that’s all that and a bag of unsalted pita chips and your friends brought the roast endive hummus with those little chia seeds in it.

So what is wellness? Well… uh, see wellness is… it’s like that thing, where you try something and you do it good, like if you do good on your homework and you get an A+. That’s some, baller, epic wellness. So wellness is really…. oh, screw it, Marc? I’ll take the physical challenge.

And that’s it. For the most part, you get yourself something ‘thletic to wear,a neoprene bottle, if those are still cool this week, sip some filtered water and get to work sweating up some wellness. Get out, get active, get physical, and we’ll send you a certificate that says you have the glow, and the wellness is yours. Except if you look up to the logo you may notice it’s comprised of three things:

– First, a woman running, so wellness is sexism.
– Second, I think that’s that thing from Aqua Teen Hunger Force and those phallic shapes are probably just bananas. Probably.
– Third, wellness is an x-ray of an unfortunate person who after an awful industrial accident now has three gears lodged in his head and will be forever holding you up at an airport checkpoint. Carry those things with you and be forever Well. Feel free to randomly capitalize that “W” too.

Wellness is defined a few different ways but we’ll take this one: wellness is good overall health, components including mental, physical and social health. Sometimes spiritual health and that soul may be a little James Brown, it may be a little Jesus of Nazareth, it may also include other prominent figures of your faith with whom I am not familiar.

So what are we fighting for? We’re fighting for you and we’re fighting for each other. And while fighting lends itself easily to the physical and that’s easily defined, this is also very much about the mental, the social and the spiritual, things which are not always as apparent as the body. Let’s look at mental wellness. The problem there is that the struggle against depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders, cutting or any one of too many issues harder than ten more push-ups, is that they don’t get the same attention. Fat is physical. It isn’t easy but it is obvious. Mental health is what the news talks about 3 days after a school shooting. There is no primetime show, sponsored by Subway that follows a manic depressive around for a few weeks and ends with a big cocktail dress/tuxedo reveal, celebrating how much (more socially acceptable, better, aesthetically pleasing, more likely to get hired, thinner, yes I hate Biggest Loser and we’ll get to that later) healthier they look. It doesn’t work like that. You don’t look like an anxiety disorder. You can’t Halloween shop for a schizo-affective costume when anyone looks the part. They don’t make mental health gear with space age, depression wicking fabric.

Cutting has a physical component as do anorexia and bulimia but those are symptoms and there are, sadly, trade secrets and internet forums on how best to go about hiding these things. The real pain is inside and it’s as frightening as hell to think about telling someone about it. Why would a person want to admit to taking razor to flesh for a sense of control? When you don’t feel normal to begin with you don’t expect everyone to greet these things warmly. The last thing you can take is for someone whose love and trust you need to fade as they lose sight of a person for their affliction. Mental illness makes people feel differently than what they were told the world wants and the world never did anyone any favors for being different. Too many people feel they are worth too little and asking for help, admitting to being different doesn’t feel like the right first step even when it is. You can’t hug through depression or smile away anxiety. The fight for physical wellness is great because it has that component of personal control and just that feeling of whatever it is that you’re trying to better being in your hands is worth everything. But fighting for someone struggling through an internal hell brought on by a trauma or their own biochemistry doesn’t take muscle and sweat. It takes patience.

I’ve never run a marathon, I’ve barely eked out 3.1 straight miles but I don’t hesitate to say that the endurance required to live with an invisible issue is ten times greater. And thank you for coping. The rest of us are trying to get there, we’ve got prejudices and outmoded thinking to burn off but we will get there. It’s nearly impossible to know what another person is going through but it’s worth the world to navigate it with them even when you don’t understand what the issue is. No pity involved, just being a person.

Everyone’s wellness is going to be little different. If you’ve got that little extra bit of fight in you, keep someone else in mind. And if your days are bringing too many fights and not enough wins, just ask. Don’t take a definition of what your life is supposed to be from some blog. Define that for yourself.

Monday Goal Check-In: September 29

It’s the last Monday of September so it’s time to check in on how I progressed this month with my goals and set some related goals for October.

September goals

Nutrition

You may remember from my initial September goals post that I didn’t set a weight loss goal for this month. I decided to focus more on a healthy, balanced lifestyle instead of the number on a scale. I did continue to log my food, but wasn’t focused on the calories, instead just that I would be eating healthy foods.

For the month of September I cut out alcohol. I did this to detox from the alcohol-heavy summer BBQs and to see if doing so would dramatically change my sleep. I’ve never been a daily drinker, but I figured it was worth a shot. With just two days left in September, I haven’t had a drink all month and frankly there hasn’t been a big difference.

I consider this a good thing. The fact that I haven’t suddenly dropped a couple of pants sizes tells me that I wasn’t consuming a ton of alcohol calories. Because my sleep also hasn’t changed, it tells me I should probably make an appointment with my doctor to discuss some options. Melatonin has helped somewhat, but I’m still only averaging between 4-5 hours of sleep when I’m in bed for 8 hours. For October, it’s time to tackle sleep more directly.

Half Marathon Training

I signed up to run the South Shore Half Marathon on November 2 and my goal was to run 3x per week during the month of September with shorter runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and long runs on Sundays. Generally, I’ve been running two days regularly, usually one short run and one long run. I skipped a couple of long runs because of being sick (yesterday) and having fatigued legs after a long hike (last week), but I have been running more regularly. My goal for October is to add in more running days. I’ve started a complimentary running group at the club on Mondays and Wednesdays, so I’ll be running those consistently along with an additional short run day (Friday) and my long runs on Sundays.

Strength Training

My goal for strength training was 3x/week. I’ve been getting between 2-3, so I feel pretty good about that. I want to increase that goal to 4x/week for October to really work on injury prevention for my race and to feel stronger overall. My strength days are going to be Monday – Thursday to give my body a full two days rest to recover from any soreness before my long runs.

Balance

Joe and I also have a hiking getaway planned in mid-October to Mount Washington in New Hampshire. We’ll be staying at a bed and breakfast on Friday and Saturday night and hiking during the day on Saturday. Since we’ll be driving back on Sunday, I know I’ll miss a long run that week, but I think the hike will more than make up for it.

That sense of balance is my biggest goal for October. I don’t want to get to a place where I feel completely off track if and when things don’t go exactly as planned. Lifelong health and happiness is about rolling with the punches and being able to balance the good with the bad, the ultra-healthy with the indulgent. That’s what October is all about for me.

How have you done with your September goals? Do you have October goals in mind?

Three Things for Friday {Guest Post}

It’s been a hectic week in Becki land so I didn’t put together a Five Things Friday post today. Lucky for us, Joe came through with a guest post. Here are three things that have been on his mind. Take it away, Joe!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the palace of privilege high atop Mt. Whitedude, stuff about women that men didn’t know.

1. Building the better breast pump

MIT held a hackathon to design a better breast pump. Some of the motivation behind the hackathon? The breast pump and maternal health in general lag behind other arenas, also the United States inclusion on the list of 4 “Maternal Health Backwaters” alongside, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea, and Liberia whose other health issues include high infant mortality rates, tuberculosis and malaria. Not the lunch table you were hoping to find yourself at.

The hackathon brought together a wide range of talents and background and produced many interesting and marketable ideas with the winners getting $3,000 and a trip to silicon valley to pitch investors. Oh, to be a fly on the wall. Journey with me now to the land of not-so-make-believe:  Will it work in reverse with some adjustable pastry nozzles asks one market savvy participant. Can we outfit it in leather with tassels, asked Spencer’s Gifts? Isn’t this an abomination and a continuance of the treatment of women as industrialized factories asked an Earthy type who snuck in with catering. Can we package it with a teddy or thong to really give these dolls a feeling that they’re still sexy even though they’ve got the baby weight and need to be nuzzled by machines said the old gentleman as he goosed the Earthy type.

The winner is the mighty mom, a stealth design that can fit and function under clothes for the working woman who is not afforded a chance to stop and pump during the day or has access to a privacy room which is shared by every other woman who is nursing in the hopes that no two women ever feel the biological need to pump at the same time. So here comes science to outstrip the standard in basic workers rights. Good job science, you get a cookie. Oh,  and that’s not all…

2. The price of looking like we’re taking baby steps towards equality or Lab Rats, Now with ovaries

“The downside is that if there is a difference between male and female, they’re not going to know about it.

The NIH is distributing 10.1 million dollars to address gender bias in laboratory research. This problem stretches from lab animals, to specific cells, to actual women in clinical trials. This money is intended to help close the gender gap in research. So thanks women, for having us, feeding us, being judged for pumping or not pumping for us and nurturing us only to be treated (scientifically speaking) like the pizza delivery guy. Everyone’s excited until delivery, then we’re pretty much through with you. It turns out the female animal is underused because researchers are afraid that the hormonal cycle of the female could skew results. We checked under a microscope. Girl’s are different than boys.

Maybe if someone had bothered to pay attention to what the mother’s of life had going on inside them we might have a better understanding about their cycle than we do about a washing machine’s. Maybe we might be a few years closer to more effective Cancer treatments if someone had the bright idea that while yes, the more complex system is by definition going to be more work, tackling the hard problem first might yield more useful information over time? Or if women requesting grants were afforded as much in funds as men or if there were nearly as many women hired to be in a position to request research grants than there are men.

I can’t blame science or it’s researchers, I was taught to fear a woman’s cycle by Married… With Children and one liners on t-shirts and who can compete with that? I know that in many parts of the world, including here in America a woman’s cycle and its physical affects are deemed dirty and considered unclean. It’s a very recent happening that the color red even appear in tampon commercials. Those are usually the home of the color white, bright happy color of purity and klansmen. It’s uncomfortable because reality is icky and we’re a delicate people unless a cop shot somebody, or a pop star or sports star beat their significant other then everybody wants a peek and dozens of trash websites pay for their server usage but menstrual blood? That’s just indecent. But in the name of science, can we not take our cues from the frightened, the old and whoever is writing ad copy for American Apparel? It’s science, it’s research, it is the process of the new. You take all the accepted and the old and you push or build upon it. There is nothing accepted in science until it’s been pushed and hasn’t collapsed. Were they saving this one for a rainy day? We can clone cows, Henrietta Lacks is immortal and someone just finally stumbled upon the idea of trying to incentivize research to embrace gender distinction?

There is also a cost difference in using females and controlling for the affect of a cycle. Because ultimately that’s where science ends up, on the shelf two aisles down from the tampons and the cheaper the research the more cost effective the result, the higher the profit margin for the new drug will be and by the time it’s been on the market long enough for anyone to see that it’s effects aren’t for women what they are for men, the company that sold it will have lost exclusive copyright and won’t really care if it’s still selling.

If you’re looking for me next month you’ll see me in my Halloween costume: the nightmarish female cycle. I can’t tell you what it’s going to look like because no one can tell me what it looks like. Sometimes when you have your blood pressure taken in a doctor’s office, they will get two readings. The first reading can be a bit high due to what’s called white coat syndrome.  It’s nice to know there is something that scares the ones in white coats.

3. Real or not, The motorboat has been drydocked.

Now a moment to reflect on the number 3. Three also runs around under the alias: Triad. Pythagoras considered it to be the noblest of digits. It is considered a good number in Chinese culture because it is pronounced similar to the word for life. It is also reportedly the number of boobs on Jasmine Tridevil. Because we can. Because she felt a pang looking down at all that empty space and in the spirit of manifest destiny, got one more. There’s a very good chance that this is a hoax and someone was just looking for attention. Unfortunately, one surefire way to capture attention is with a few limited sections of female anatomy.

While women are overlooked in terms of pay and health considerations here at home, suffering even greater indignities and lack of personal liberty around the world the one thing that will always get women attention, wanted or not, is gross anatomy. Photoshopping, Miss America, USA and Universe pageants, a world of cover models, mostly lighter skinned, these are what I am told to want, what too many are told they should be. The very phrase bikini season? Why not just call it the summer olympics since it ends up being less about being comfortable on a beach and more about months of training to pull off a look in someone else’s eyes. For what? A pat on the head? The faint praise of a stranger that just wants to see if the rest of you looks like what porn taught him you should? Or just trying to get comfortable enough in your own skin to be seen in it?

The idea of beauty in the world was already impossible and this extra adipositive appendage, real or imagined is believable because of it. The link above (behind photshopping) is an interview with a digital photo retoucher. It introduced me to the concept of armpit vaginas, ( I could have lived a very full life never knowing that subclassification of a body) and some interesting gifs of Jennifer Lawrence going steadily from sexy to sickly, and Lena Dunham going from real to physically repressed. It also makes mention of the scandal that Beyonce may be photoshopping her own instagram. There are so many things in that sentence to which I don’t want to give attention but if there is one almost universally recognized standard of beauty, success and #Fierce #DAMN, then it’s Beyonce. And the idea that even she doesn’t feel Beyonce enough to let it all hang out is terrifying.

If a standard of beauty can’t even be comfortable in her skin then how hard is it to believe that someone would body-mod themselves almost to the point of self satire. The real can’t compete because no one is measured by the real, just reflections from a better lit, perfectly angled la-la-land we would all be better off without.

Thursday Thoughts: Fat Isn’t Making You Fat

A client recently asked me what I think about eating trends: low-fat, high-fat/low-carb, paleo, etc. I wanted to take today’s Thursday Thoughts to address the low fat craze. Far too many people are still under the impression that fat in their diet is going to make them fat. This is me telling you in no uncertain terms, fat isn’t making you fat. In fact, low fat diets may be the culprit. Our bodies need fat, just like it needs protein and carbohydrates. So how did the low fat craze come about and why are we still convinced it’s the way to go? Check out today’s Thursday Thoughts and leave your own thoughts in the comments!

xoxo,
Becki

Workout Wednesday: Buff with Bands

I’ve been thinking a lot about the research that has shown people living in poverty are less likely to exercise because of lack of access to facilities and lack of time. Not everyone has access to a gym or has gym equipment at home. Providing options for exercise that you can do at home, while traveling, or when you have a quick break at work is something that’s very important to me.

To that end, today’s Workout Wednesday is dedicated to exercises you can do with just one piece of inexpensive equipment: a resistance band (affiliate link).

Workout Wednesday Buff With Bands

I used the same resistance band for each of these eight exercises to show that you really only need one piece of equipment. You can also use different bands with varying levels of resistance if you have them.

Bicep Curls

To perform bicep curls, stand in the middle of your resistance band and hold each of the handles. The wider you stand on the band with both feet, the higher the resistance will feel (imagine pulling a rubber band taut). Standing with just one foot will provide the least resistance.

Overhead tricep press

To work your triceps, step through the resistance band keeping one foot on the center of the band. Reach from behind your head and extend your arms straight up overhead.

Push Ups

To target your chest, push ups are your best friend. To add extra resistance, put the band behind your back and hold the ends on the ground. You can do your push ups from your toes or modify them by performing them from your knees.

Seated Rows

Work your back by looping the resistance band around your feet and pull the handles back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Increase the resistance by keeping your legs straight or decrease it by bending your knees.

Shoulder Press

Stand on the band with just one foot or both to work your shoulders. Turn your palms toward the wall you’re facing and press the band up overhead.

Lunges

You can work your legs with resistance bands too! Perform lunges with extra resistance by putting the band under your front foot. As you raise yourself up from the lunge position, you will encounter an additional resistance similar to adding dumbbells or a barbell.

Squats

You can add a similar resistance to your squats, whether they’re traditional squats, sumo squats, plie squats, you name it. The wider your stance on the band, the more resistance you’ll encounter.

Hip Abduction

Finally, work your hips by standing on the band and crossing the handles to the opposite hands. Pull the band tight to add resistance and pull your legs apart.

These are just a few of the exercises that are possible with a resistance band, which is easy to throw in a suitcase, keep in a bag at work, or use at home.

What are your favorite resistance band exercises? 

xoxo,
Becki

Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk at Dunkin’ Donuts!

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You may have seen my post on Instagram a few days ago that Dunkin’ Donuts has made a special addition to their menu: Blue Diamond Almond Breeze vanilla almond milk!

Almond Milk at Dunkin

My first experience with it was in a large iced coffee with a turbo shot. I don’t normally add milk to my coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts because dairy used to be the only option, so I knew that almond milk was going to open a whole new world for me. It was great! The vanilla almond milk made the flavor a little milder than a black coffee, but not too thick like dairy milk would and not too sweet. I was hooked.

With fall officially here and all things pumpkin in the air, I started imagining how a pumpkin coffee might taste with vanilla Almond Breeze. As Joe and I were heading to New Hampshire to hike Mount Monadnock, I wondered if I might find a Dunkin’ Donuts offering almond milk given how far out of the city we were.

Luckily you can search the locations that carry almond milk because they’re identified with “AM” on the website. Score! We found a Dunkin’ Donuts in Littleton, MA that had Almond Breeze and I tried it out with a pumpkin iced coffee, something that was definitely a special treat for me since flavored coffees are not a regular occurrence.

Dunkin Donuts pumpkin coffee

You can also add the almond milk to Dunkin’ Donuts lattes so I may have to give that a go next on one of the cold days that I’m sure are on the way. As someone who is lactose intolerant, I have to be careful with dairy. Even though I do get some dairy in my diet from cheese and yogurt, milk in my coffee is something I avoid. Almond milk has become the country’s most popular non-dairy alternative and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze is calcium rich and a good source of vitamin D, E, and A.

I’m so glad that now when I’m craving the creaminess in my coffee that I normally can only get with soy milk at Starbucks, I’ll be able to enjoy Dunkin’ Donuts with Almond Breeze!

Is there a Dunkin’ Donuts near you that carries Vanilla Almond Breeze? How are you going to try it first?

xoxo,
Becki

Hiking Mount Monadnock

How was everyone’s weekend? Can you believe we’re in the final full week of September? According to Almanac.com, fall officially begins tonight at 10:29PM. As October is rapidly approaching, so is a hike that Joe and I have planned for Mount Washington. Even though we have been doing quite a bit of hiking this summer, we hadn’t yet tried to summit a mountain. That is, until this weekend.

On Friday we made the decision that after I finished training clients on Saturday we would head up to New Hampshire to Mount Monadnock, the most hiked mountain in the United States and (depending on the source you check) either the second or third most hiked mountain in the world.

I finished work at 10:30 and we made it to Jaffrey, NH around 1:30 after a pit stop by the grocery store and a Dunkin Donuts on the way.

Dunkin Donuts pumpkin coffee

The GPS took us past Monadnock State Park and instead to a starting point on the other side of the mountain.

As we pulled into the parking area, we were advised by the rangers that the winds at the summit were 60mph and the temperatures were near 30 degrees beyond the tree line. They suggested we use our best judgment as we neared the top and that they didn’t recommend we summit.

We decided to play it by ear and take it all the way up if we were feeling okay about the conditions. We stopped by the porta-potties and made our way up the trail. We decided on the White Arrow trail and were rewarded with some good views on the way up some false summits, despite some lingering fog.

Monadnock white arrow trail

After the first false summit the trail started to get a bit more difficult. We began to scale several rocks and boulders, some of which were wet from the mountain runoff. Even though it was a bit slippery, our hiking boots held up well and we were able to navigate the rocks just fine.

Monadnock

The second false summit was a bit foggier, but the views were still very nice (the photos don’t do them justice). We took some time to take it all in before we started up the most difficult stretch.

20140920_144441

20140920_144445

As we headed toward the summit, there was less hiking and more rock climbing. Hands were a necessity for almost all of the final stretch as we carefully searched for hand holds and foot holds. At one point we came across a ledge of rocks and almost immediately the wind nearly knocked us over. The further we edged toward the top, the stronger the winds became. At several points we had to pause before letting go to reach for the next hold. The temperature was also dropping considerably, though Joe doubts it was the 30 degree temperatures we were warned about.

About an hour and twenty minutes after our hike began, we crossed over the final set of rocks to the summit. Being at the top of the mountain was a bit surreal, partly because after all that movement straight up, it was strange to be standing somewhere almost entirely flat.

20140920_144829

Walking was difficult because the winds were intense. We found a little cranny to have a snack away from the wind, but any movement from that point left me very unsteady in the wind.

Of course that didn’t stop us from taking a summit selfie. Joe also took a few photos of me trying to stand still on one of the rocks as the wind blew me around.

summit selfie

20140920_151318 20140920_151326 battling the wind

In traditional Joe form, several jokes were made about the “view” since the fog obscured pretty much everything. Still, it was an amazing feeling to be on top of it all.

20140920_151359

20140920_152550

Regardless of what the actual temperature was, it was cold on top of the mountain so we didn’t stick around for long. Joe also noticed a group getting ready to head down that we didn’t want to get stuck behind, so we made our way back down the White Arrow trail. Once we were down to one of the false summits, I turned and got a photo of the other group heading down the rocks.

down the mountainHeading back down the mountain was slow going and we found ourselves using our hands even more than we had on the way up. It was no time before we were back in the warmth and I started shedding layers of clothes. Another hour and some change later we were back at the base of the mountain.

In many ways the hike was a lot less difficult than we anticipated. There were definitely times I had to slow down to catch my breath, but to be a 4 out of 5 on the difficulty rating for Monadnock’s trails, we felt pretty good about our ability the whole time.

It was a great practice hike for Mount Washington, which we know will be much colder and more difficult. We also know Mount Washington is going to be a much longer hike, so we’ll need to prepare. This was the first hike I took a backpack so I could get some experience with what it felt like to hike with one (Joe is usually the one to carry all our stuff, this time we split it up).

I ended up feeling too tired on Sunday to go on my long run for the week, but my plan is to get it in today instead. Despite that, I felt great about the workout I got in on the hike. It was a great way to round out my week of workouts, during which I got in my goal of three days of strength training in addition to my running mid-week.

Not only a great workout, the hike up the mountain left me feeling truly refreshed and ready to take on the world. After all, if I can take on a mountain, I can take on whatever else life throws at me, right?

xoxo,
Becki

Three Things Saturday {Guest Post}

That’s right, Joe’s at it again! Pretty soon I’m going to have to promote him to series regular around here. Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~

Three Things Saturday: If you behave better this week than you did last week, maybe then we can have five things next week.

If you wanna be my latte II 

This is only a vanity piece so I can write: the “Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago” and mention the images it conjures of one man, many cans of beans and the poor soul pacing behind him as he makes those beans disappear. The poor soul paces back and forth scentless, alone and dreaming of the day the treatments work and he finds out just why all the men in white coats are laughing at him. Anyway, Alan Hirsh at the (even better the second time) Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago had 31 men smell 30 things to find out how horny it made them (as laid out here with the benefits of editing and professionalism). Hirsh found that the combination of lavender and pumpkin pie had the best results. What gets me is that Hirsh had to decide to mix pumpkin pie and lavender together in a process that most likely involved restraints and a safe word but I don’t want to trespass on Cosmo’s turf. So if you ever wondered why that Pumpkin Spice Latte was so popular despite containing no actual pumpkin just ask that man in your life. Because nothing turns a man on quite like telling him you spent another $6 on flavored coffee. Once he’s over that and things do heat up and get all frothy, stop and think of Mr. Alan Hirsh of (pumpkin does nothing for me but I get positively beastly for) the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago.

Ooooh, They So Sensitive

6SensorLabs are making a device to sniff out any hint of flour in food for those affected by gluten allergies. The price will be less than $150. The person that buys it will be ridiculed (starting just then). I accept that people experience negative reactions to gluten and the thought of that scares me because god put gluten in all good things and without carbs, I wouldn’t last a mile in those shoes. But, seriously, for less than $150.00 Becki will come to you and lick whatever is on your plate giving detailed descriptions of her gastrointestinal goings-on. Not kidding. Not even asking her permission. It’s on. First six requesters only pay $75. Book now, Christmas is on the way.

While They Are So Fancy, In Case You Didn’t Already Know

16 food and beverage companies surpassed their own goals in The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Pledge cutting 6.4 trillion calories from their products, up from the stated goal of 1.5 trillion. This saves an estimated 78 calories per consumer with cuts being made to foods and beverages deemed “concerning”. Now it’s time for the breakdown. Snack peddlers of delicious high-fat, high-sugar, artificial e’erything promised to remove some calories over a five year period and they did. Aren’t they just as bland as their products are addicting. This wasn’t the disco limbo competition after 8 margaritas, this was clearing the low bar you set for yourselves. I don’t want to be too harsh because something this large would affect many people including myself and while 78 calories is about the equivalent of three trips to the bathroom, this is a step in the right direction for corporations that turn diabetes into gold. I also understand that while nutritional education lags, caloric intake retains an element of choice and companies do not make us buy or eat anything, only manipulate us using reams of consumer data, freaky deaky smell tests and the enslavement of cartoon animals. This is the corporate version of a duck-lipped, high-angle MySpace selfie. You do not look that good. It’s not a good day at the office to spend five years getting marginally less worse. If you really want to feel better about yourself then send a care package of these better products over to Phillip Morris. Show ‘em how it’s done.

Five Things Friday: September 19

Five Things Friday

We’ve finally made it to Friday, folks! It’s time to talk about current events and issues that may or may not actually matter to you. Regardless, I’ve been thinking about them. Here are this week’s Five Things Friday.

1. Scotland voted on whether to gain independence. No matter how long I stayed up waiting to hear this one, so far (at the writing of this post) the final votes weren’t in. Early on in the count the No votes were leading, but there may have been a surprise upset.

2. This guy lost 102 pounds and became a long distance runner. I’m always so impressed with and inspired by people’s weight loss journeys because it reminds me that different things work for different people, but exercise and healthy foods are always a winning combo.

3. It’s almost flu season. That’s right, with the start of pumpkin spice season also comes cold and flu season. The CDC is recommending people get their flu shots early. Like, now. You should see it in your doctor’s office soon and the CDC reminds us that the flu is a potentially lethal, but preventable illness.

4. Hamster wheel desks exist. The idea behind this desk is that it is superior to a treadmill desk because you can set your own pace. Admittedly it does remind me of the Curve treadmill we have at the club, which is also man-powered and goes at the pace you set. That said, the Curve can be difficult to use unless you’re paying close attention and walking at a moderate pace is actually trickier than sprinting, so I’m not sure how well this would work, especially if you’re also trying to operate a computer.

5. Rich people exercise, poor people take diet pills. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, economic disparity is tied to overweight and obesity in even more ways than we realized. Not only do those living in poverty tend to eat more junk food to make their money stretch further, it turns out they also tend to exercise less and resort more to quick fixes like diet pills that may not have lasting results. This makes sense given that these individuals may have less access to fitness facilities and adults are often working multiple jobs to feed their families with little to no time for fitness and recreation. We need to do more to ensure that people from all economic backgrounds have the opportunity to keep themselves healthy, both when it comes to fitness and things like medical care.

What’s on your mind today?

xoxo,
Becki

1 2 3 4 37