We’ve Been Infested

Today I came home from a long day at the coal mine to this.

Messy Kitchen

Plus this.

Messy Kitchen 2

I planned on doing some speedwork but all this mess was caused by Rice Weevils. J found them in a bag of rice that was pushed to the back of the pantry. So we had to go through each and every item of food and throw away anything suspect. This took almost two hours.

All this kitchen activity did bring out two lurkers.

Cat on top of cabinets

Suprised Cat

(Please ignore how half of my house is not painted, that is a rant for another time.)

One good thing did come out of this, besides forcing me to clean out my pantry, I found some beer I forgot I had.

Coney Island Albino Python

Coney Island Albino Python that I need to drink after finding out there are bugs in my house.

Please let me be a cautionary tale, rotate your pantry or you will have to spend your evening throwing out food you paid good money for and having your cats mock you.

Weekly Workouts

Monday: 3 Miles Easy

Tuesday: Full body Strength Training

Wednesday: 6 Miles Total (Including Warm-Up), 3X1600 With 800 Jogs, and a Cool down

Thursday: 2 Miles Easy

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 11 Mile Long Run

Sunday: Yoga

Last Week:

Total Mileage: 21.88 Miles

Strength Workout: 1

Thoughts:

I stuck to my new training plan but it was a lazy week for me cross training. I have had a lot of time off in the past few weeks (using up my remaining vacation time before it expires on January 1.) It is much more difficult for me to get motivated when I have time at home, as opposed to being on my normal routine with work. This weeks Yoga class was taught by a different teacher who was a lot more difficult. I think it will pay off to try different classes taught by different teachers to get more variety.

Have you been following the Hot Chocolate DC 15K/5K disaster? It is like a train wreck that I cannot look away from. The posts just keep coming and people are really angry. I am so thankful to have never experienced anything remotely that terrible while racing.

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race Called “ Epic Fail”

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Facebook Page

Have you ever run a horrible race?

Ten Miles, The Mall, And Deep Dish Pizza

I had my first long run of the new training plan yesterday. It was a breezy ten miles through my favorite local park. I ran ten miles on a one mile loop. I need to find some new places to run before my mileage increases.

J needed to go to the mall to pick-up a few things. So we headed into Orlando and to the Mall at Millennia. This mall always has such beautiful Christmas decorations.

Mall at Millenia Christmas Decorations

Mall at Millenia Christmas Tree

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If you are interested in seeing more lovely pictures of the decorations, please visit The Good Spot.US.

So we shopped a bit and by that point I was ready to gnaw my arm off.

We headed over to the only deep dish pizza place I like, BJ’s Brewhouse.

I had a Nutty Brewnette, which I always get there and find very tasty, while J had a dirty martini.

Nutty Brewnette & Dirty Martini BJ's Brewhouse

From the BJ’s about the Nutty Brewnette:

Nutty Brewnette® is an American-style brown ale. A blend of four different dark malts contributes to a flavor profile that is sweet with “nutty” notes. A healthy dose of hops makes this beer hoppier and more balanced than most English brown ales.

We had the boneless wings for an appetizer. They were quite good and not greasy at all. I really liked the Garlic Parmesan sauce.

Boneless Wings BJ's Brewhouse

Then comes the pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese. So good.

Pepperoni Pizza BJ's Brewhouse

Two slices each and we were stuffed.

This pizza does really well reheated, so we were glad to have some to take home.

How do you like your pizza?

Childhood Obesity And Food Insecurity: What You Can Do To Help

A recent headline caught my attention, a 200 pound eight year old was taken from his mother and put into foster care. The state, Ohio, indicates that the child’s obesity is so severe, that it is tantamount to child abuse. Without more details, it is difficult to come to any conclusion as to what the mother was doing to help the child lose weight or if there are existing health problems that can cause rapid weight gain, the fact that stories like this are becoming more common are worrying.

Why is childhood obesity reaching epidemic levels?

The problem is very complicated because it is not only about diet and exercise but socio-economic realities, living environment, and the corporatization of our food supply.

Many people, especially in urban environments, live in food deserts. It can make purchasing fresh foods difficult. I experienced this first hand when I was a college student living in Baltimore without a car. The closest grocery store was much further than walking distance. My only option to purchase food was to buy food from a local corner store where fresh foods were very hard to come by or take some kind of transport (cab or bus) to the grocery store and purchase what I could carry. If you are unsure whether you live in a food desert, you can use this locator. Enter an address and check to see how many people in your area are living in this terrible circumstance.  Below is an example of one of a food desert map. The highlighted areas are places where grocery stores are difficult to get to.

Food_Desert_Polk_County_Florida

Children are spending too much time in front of the TV/computer/video games and not enough time playing outside. Couple this with cuts to gym classes, parks and recreation departments, and sports in schools, leads to many inactive children.

The economy is terrible and when food is scarce, people often choose to eat the cheapest and most filling items they can buy. No one should ever have to choose between electricity and food but these types of decisions are made every day. Processed foods are cheap but often devoid of nutrients. They are also filled with heavily subsidized commodities (like corn). We did better as a nation when we ate local, fresh, and less processed foods.

What You Can Do

Volunteer with a community garden. The Polk County Young Democrats were lucky enough to volunteer with the first community garden in our county. This garden is able to donate fruits and vegetables to food pantries and has local school children come in to learn about gardening. Community Gardens are a great way to improve an empty lot and can make a huge difference at a time when food pantries are running low on items because of the needs.

Polk County Young Democrats Green Thumb Community Garden

Get involved in your local school district to ensure school lunches and breakfasts are healthy. From the USDA:

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was established under the
National School Lunch Act (NSLA), signed by President Harry Truman in
1946, to “safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation’s children and
to encourage the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities
and other foods.” The NSLP has grown to become the second largest
U.S. food and nutrition assistance program in both numbers of children
served—30 million in 2006—and Federal dollars spent—8 billion in 2006.
Almost 60 percent of American children age 5-18 participate in the program
at least once per week. Almost half of all lunches served are provided free to
students, with an additional 10 percent provided at reduced prices. Although
schools are not required to offer NSLP meals, 94 percent of schools, both
public and private, choose to participate in the program. NSLP accounts for
17 percent of the total Federal expenditures for all food and nutrition assistance
programs.

School lunch and breakfast are two of the best ways to combat childhood obesity and food insecurity in children. For great and in-depth information about what parents and other concerned citizens are doing, please read Lunch Wars by Amy Kalafa.

Volunteer with a local food pantry. Not just for the holiday season but these non-profits need help and donations year round. To find a local food pantry, please visit Feed America and enter your zip code for local resources.

Childhood obesity and food insecurity in children are reaching epidemic levels in our society but there are ways to prevent it. It requires us all to work together to make sure that no one in this country goes to sleep food insecure and that everyone has access to nutritious and fresh foods.

November: The Month I Ran My First Half

Highlights:

Women’s Half Marathon St. Pete: November of 2011 will now be known as the month I ran my first half. Seeing all the planning and training pay off, all while having a great time running, was really the most wonderful part of the month.

Florida Hospital Celebration Health 10K: I learned what not to eat unless you want to run a 10K with a brick in your stomach.

Food Rut: Talking about my recent food rut was a catalyst in actually seeking out new recipes and planning out my meals. When you have a husband (looking at you J), who has a great need for variety, it’s important to keep dinners interesting and varied while at the same time trying to keep it healthy and cost-effective.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival:The Epcot Food and Wine Festival was filled with fun (and beer and food). Even though it was cold and crowded, J and I ate from one country to another. I love Epcot, it’s always interesting to be drunk at Disney and I can imagine it is much more fun to do that without kids.

Biggest Failure:

F Is For Failure: I took a day off of work to see the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn and fell asleep at 8PM.

Favorite Pictures:

Cat Stare

Sleeping Cat Gives The Evil Eye

Cute Cat Ready To Attack

The only picture of me at the Women’s Half Marathon. My number was scrunched up under my FuelBelt which I did not notice until I saw this picture.

St. Pete Women's Half Marathon 2011

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Women's Half Marathon St. Pete Bag

What are your highlights for November?