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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Our 2013 Year in Review

We said goodbye to 2012 with a cold, rainy , long 13.1 mile race on dec 31st 2012

Welcome 2013!! 

January we did a 21 day diet reset/cleanse  ( took a lot of discipline) we lost several lbs and become Vegans!

March and April, we ran a 5k , a half marathon and a full marathon ! ( 26.2 miles)

April brought us a new " official" driver... Yikes 
And a few weeks later..... Fender bender.  

School is out and we headed to Disney World !  Had a blast with jamie and her friend!

4th of July brought some lessons learned for Jamie, along with a damaged car she had to pay to fix. Her nickname : " pretty little liar ". Lol. ( she can't out smart Mom) lol

July also brought a new Yorkie to our doorstep ! Literally! Aka Ringo    ( we couldn't ask for a better dog .. 
What a blessing)

Also July brought a sister reunion and surprise birthday visit to my dad in pampa Tx. 

Can you say "CANCER FREE". !!!  Best news of the year!!!!

We continued on through the dog days of summer with some fun in the pool. Who knew Ringo would love the pool...

Work brought us back to Georgetown ! We enjoyed several days at our favorite bed and breakfast and even tried to " keep Austin weird" 

School starts up and I have a Jr. in high school. Where did the time go?
And finally a good picture of both of my kids!!??? Did this really happen?

OU TX weekend !  We kept with tradition and ran the Showdown half marathon . Always a great race.

Halloween was here before we knew it and around that time it brought us ....... Wait for it..... Another Yorkie. Welcome gypsy. 
Yes. Now we have 3.  

Thanksgiving brought us a get away to a bed and breakfast for 24 hr much needed alone time.  It was perfect!

Moving right along to December.... Hello ice apocalypse!  Yes, that's a tree in our pool.  
Teenagers walking home in an ice storm. 

Merry Flu Christmas!  Yes, it struck our house.  Tried hard not to " regift " it. 

What a year!  We shared a ton of laughs along the way !  

Looking forward to 2014 and all it holds for us !

Pam and Jim 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The 5 WORST protein bar ingredients... Do YOUR bars have these?

My Review of Dales Raw Foods Protein Bars

These bars are so amazingly good! I was shocked!  I have tried other protein bars that claim to be loaded with proteins and healthy ingredients but they taste awful and upset my tummy. Dales Raw Foods Protein Bars are clean and delicious and VEGAN! 

Let's take a look at the ingredients in the average protein bar that is on our supermarket shelves right now:

#1 - Soy Protein Isolate (SPI)
This is, unfortunately, one of the most prevalent protein sources you'll find in protein bars, especially those marketed to women. This marketing would have you believe that soy is an excellent protein source for women because of the isoflavones found in it. In reality, studies have indicated that these soy isoflavones can actually be TOXIC because of how the soy is processed (fermented soy products such as tofu are fine, just fyi). In addition, SPI was actually considered a WASTE product in soy processing until recently, when it was discovered that money could be made by passing it off as a protein source. It's cheap and definitely NOT a high-quality protein. It should be avoided. 
And the final nail in the soy coffin: GMO. A very high percentage of the soy grown in the United States is from genetically modified organisms (GMO). They don't currently have to be labeled as such but if you're buying any sort of processed food, chances are very good you're getting a GMO-sourced product.

#2 - High Fructose Corn Syrup
This is an easy one to figure out...the adverse health effects of it are well documented (contrary to what the commercials from the Corn Growers Association claim - those are truly among the most annoying commercials in existence, trying to make people who question corn syrup look stupid). It's one of the WORST things you can eat and yet there are still bars that use it as a primary ingredient.

#3 - Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil
Palm kernel oil is a cheap, unhealthy fat. Unlike plain palm oil, palm kernel oil can't be obtained organically. Instead, the oil must be extracted from the pit with a gasoline-like hydrocarbon solvent. The fractioned form is the most processed...if you see that in the ingredients, you should definitely avoid it.

#4 - Sugar Alcohols
This includes ingredients like Maltitol Syrup, Xylitol, Sorbitol, Lactitol, Mannitol, and Erythritol. Sugar alcohols are included in bars for sweetness...especially in bars that are "carb controlled". Sugar alcohols don't impact blood sugar as much as regular sugar because they're not well absorbed in the digestive tract...and when things aren't well absorbed in the digestive tract, things happen (if you know what I mean). 
In small amounts, sugar alcohols aren't a big problem, but if you start getting into the double digits of grams of sugar alcohol (and many low-carb bars are in the 20 gram range), THEN you can start to see unpleasant digestive issues.

#5 - Artificial Sweeteners
I won't get into the whole debate about whether artificial sweeteners are bad for you or not and what they turn into in your body, etc. Personally, I'm of the mindset that if it's created by science, chances are good your body won't recognize it and won't be able to metabolize it into something actually good for you. Therefore, I stay away from artificial sweeteners. I find the actual natural flavor of real food to be pretty good :).

In Summary...
Those are the top 5 worst protein bar ingredients...and you will actually find bars that contain ALL of these ingredients in them.and they are like eating cardboard and chalk.

The main problem I have with the vast majority of protein bars today is that at their most base level, they're deceptive. The bars are put forward as convenient, healthy alternatives to food for "on the go" people. Yet when you take a close look at the ingredients, they're actually WORSE for you than most candy bars.

Obviously money is the biggest factor...companies that use high-quality ingredients in their bars have to charge more for them in order to stay in business. Hence the brick-like slop sold in bar form that you'll find in the grocery store aisles today.

A New Breed of Protein Bar...Raw and Natural~ Dales Raw Foods
Yep, that's right! A protein bar made from raw, natural ingredients that's actually GOOD for you and they pack in around 22g of protein. You can eat them after a workout, or as a meal if you are short on time. They're convenient and healthy.

They taste EXTREMELY good and the quality of the ingredients is outstanding. For example, here's what you'll find in the Raspberry Hazelnut bars:

Organic dates, pea protein, hemp protein, rice protein, almond butter,hazelnuts, coconut nectar, dried raspberries, raw cacao, coconut oil, stevia, water.

GREAT ingredients...GREAT taste...I am ordering more !  LOVE THESE

Happy Healthy Eating!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ischiogluteal Bursitis- A Real Pain In The Butt

I have been plagued by a very "awkward" injury. By awkward, I mean a pain in my butt.  I thought at first it was just a hamstring/ glute strain or pull from my Insanity workouts, but as the days past, it became more painful right at the bottom of my butt towards that lower bone. ( yes you have a bone in your butt cheek, It took an illustration for some to believe me).

For those that know me, well, you know that I continue to do things even when it hurts. So I ran the Dallas Rock and Roll Half with what I thought was a strained hamstring.  I had a great race and felt strong even through the middle miles which are usually tough for me. I did not have much pain while running.

It was a few days afterwards that it really started to hurt. And I mean a MAJOR PAIN IN THE BUTT!!
I debated whether or not to see the Doctor, but I hate them because they always tell me to "rest" and "don't run or workout"...blah blah blah  LOL  
So with some research I diagnosed myself ( It's not that hard to be a Doctor right? Everything is in Google LOL LOL)

I have most of the symptoms of: Ischiogluteal Bursitis, also know as Ischial Bursitis 
I like to refer to it as my BUTT BURSA.  

Treatment required rest, ice and anti inflammatories.  I rested for a few days. (Yes it was hard for me, but I sucked it up.) When my butt bursa was feeling better, I started back with very modified workouts. No jumping, no squats, and very minimal running. I have also done some physical therapy stretching and strengthening of the hamstrings and glutes.  Seems to be better! Slowly adjusting my workouts and should be OK to run my full marathon in 2 weeks.

Thank you for all who have said a prayer for my Butt Bursa!  

What is ischiogluteal bursitis?

Ischiogluteal bursitis is a condition that causes pain in the buttock and is characterized by tissue damage and inflammation to the ischiogluteal bursa. A bursa is a small sac filled with lubricating fluid and is designed to reduce friction between adjacent soft tissue layers. The ischiogluteal bursa is located at the base of the pelvis, at the level of the bony prominence known as the ischial tuberosity .
The hamstring muscles originate from the pelvis (ischial tuberosity) and insert into the top of the lower leg bones. The hamstring muscles attach to the pelvis via the hamstring tendon . The ischiogluteal bursa lies between the hamstring tendon and the pelvic bone (ischial tuberosity).
The hamstring muscles are responsible for bending the knee and straightening the hip during activity and are particularly active during running, jumping and kicking. During contraction of the hamstrings, tension is placed through the hamstring tendon which in turn places friction on the ischiogluteal bursa. Pressure may also be placed on the ischiogluteal bursa during sitting. When these forces are excessive due to too much repetition or high force, irritation and inflammation of the ischiogluteal bursa may occur. This condition is known as an ischiogluteal bursitis.

Causes of ischiogluteal bursitis

Ischiogluteal bursitis most commonly occurs due to repetitive or prolonged activities placing strain on the ischiogluteal bursa. This typically occurs due to prolonged sitting (particularly on hard surfaces) or due to repetitive running, jumping or kicking activities (placing strain on the ischiogluteal bursa via the hamstring tendon). Occasionally, patients may develop this condition suddenly following a direct blow to the ischiogluteal bursa. This may occur due to a fall onto a hard surface.

Signs and symptoms of ischiogluteal bursitis

Patients with ischiogluteal bursitis typically experience pain in the lower buttock. In less severe cases, patients may only experience an ache or stiffness in the buttock that increases with rest following activities placing strain on the ischiogluteal bursa. These activities typically include sitting excessively (especially on hard surfaces), walking, running, jumping, kicking or climbing stairs. The pain associated with ischiogluteal bursitis may also warm up with activity in the initial stages of the condition.
As the condition progresses, patients may experience sharper or more severe symptoms that increase during sport or activity, affecting performance. Patients frequently experience pain on firmly touching the ischiogluteal bursa and hamstring tendon . Occasionally, a feeling of lower limb weakness may also be present particularly when attempting to accelerate whilst running.

Diagnosis of ischiogluteal bursitis

A thorough subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist may be sufficient to diagnose ischiogluteal bursitis. Further investigations such as an Ultrasound, X-ray, CT or MRI scan are often required to assist with diagnosis and assess the severity of the condition

Prognosis of ischiogluteal bursitis

Most patients with this condition heal well with appropriate physiotherapy and return to normal function in a number of weeks. Occasionally, rehabilitation can take significantly longer and may take many months in those who have had their condition for a long period of time. Early physiotherapy treatment is vital to hasten recovery in all patients with ischiogluteal bursitis.

Contributing factors to the development of ischiogluteal bursitis

There are several factors which can predispose patients to developing this condition. These need to be assessed and corrected with direction from a physiotherapist. Some of these factors include:
  • joint stiffness (particularly the hip)
  • muscle tightness (particularly the hamstrings and gluteals)
  • inappropriate or excessive training
  • muscle weakness (especially the hamstrings and gluteals)
  • inadequate warm up
  • poor biomechanics (e.g. excessive stride length)
  • poor core stability
  • neural tightness
  • leg length discrepancy
  • inadequate rehabilitation following a previous buttock injury

Has anyone else ever experienced this before? Or am I the only one with awkward injuries?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stretching, Do You Do It?

We all are supposed to stretch after we exercise, but how many times do we skip it?  I have to admit, I tend to skip this most important part of a routine.  I am getting better at it as I train more and understand how important it is and how it can help prevent injuries.  I ran across this article and thought I would share it to help fellow runners remember to get their "stretch on."  

Contributor: Luke Gullberg, REI Tukwila, Wash., sales specialist and adventure racer.

A Stretching Overview

No matter if you're a beginner or a veteran runner, it is important to warm-up and cool down with a brisk walk or light jog and/or stretching. Warming up helps your running performance and cooling down helps you recover from the workout.
Injuries can come from overtraining, doing too much too soon, being too intense and even over-stretching. But warm-up stretching can both help prevent and rehab injuries. If you do feel any aches or pains, don't ignore them. Listen to your body. Rest, ice and consult your physician.
Stretching is believed to:
  • Reduce muscle tension and increase flexibility.
  • Improve muscular coordination.
  • Increased joint range of movement.
  • Boost blood circulation and energy levels.
There are 2 basic types of stretching—dynamic and static.
Dynamic stretching is active stretching. It loosens tendons, muscles and joints and warms the body up with sport-specific movements that use more than just one muscle when doing the stretch. A dynamic stretch is usually repeated 8 to 12 times.
Static stretching is stretching with no movement. It is stretching individual muscles to the farthest point of resistance you can without pain, holding it for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating 10 to 15 times. These are the stretches you probably learned as a kid or ones a physical therapist prescribed to rehab an injury.

What Type of Stretching Is Best?

The primary purpose of stretching and warming up is to increase the body temperature. This increases blood flow so muscles can endure more force.
Several news articles in recent years have suggested that static stretching might be a waste of time and bad for you before an activity, and dynamic stretching is the right way to warm up. They cite studies that have shown dynamic stretching increases power, flexibility and range of motion, while static exercises did not give a performance boost.
Dr. Bob Adams, chair of the USA Track & Field Sports Medicine & Sports Committee and a member of the International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) Sports Medicine & Anti-Doping Committee, states that most professional athletes use dynamic stretching, but he adds that none of the studies show that static stretching is counterproductive for athletes.
"If it feels better to do that (static stretching)," Adams says, "do that." He notes, however, "It is best to do a dynamic stretch for a warm-up".
Adams says the average athlete may warm up for 3 to 12 minutes while a professional athlete may warm up from 3 to 30 minutes with dynamic stretches. Post-workout stretching could be a walk, light jog or dynamic stretching for 5 to 20 minutes. It just depends on the athlete and the intensity of the workout.

Dynamic Stretching Techniques

Here are basic instructions for some of the most popular dynamic stretches.
Hand walks (for shoulders and hamstrings):
  1. Stand straight and keep your legs together.
  2. Bend forward and put both hands on the ground.
  3. Keep your legs straight and walk your hands forward until your back is nearly extended.
  4. Walk your feet to your hands.
  5. Repeat.
Backward running (glutes, calves and ankles):
  1. Jog backwards.
  2. Land on your toes.
  3. Keep the knee slightly bent, and don't lock your knee.
Side-to-side shuttle (groin, hamstring, glutes and ankles):
  1. Stand with a slight bend in the knee.
  2. Keep the hip, knee and ankle in a straight line.
  3. Move one foot and leg to the side while pushing off with the other.
  4. Repeat to the opposite side.
Leg kicks (glutes, calves, lower back and hamstrings):
  1. Stand straight and flex your hips upward.
  2. Kick one leg out, fully extended.
  3. Toes should be flexed upward.
  4. Lift the opposite arm to the extended toes.
  5. Alternate sides.
High knee lunges (glutes, hamstring, hip flexor and calves):
  1. Stand straight.
  2. Grasp one knee and pull it upward.
  3. Release it while moving it in an exaggerated step down and forward.
  4. Keep the front leg down and forward while the back leg is extended and down.
  5. Alternate sides.
Heel lifts:
  1. Stand straight with feet together.
  2. Extend leg and foot so that the foot hits the ground heel first.
  3. Next let the toes contact the ground.
  4. Keep repeating.
Scorpion (hip flexors, abdominals, quads, lower back and glutes):
  1. Lay on your stomach.
  2. Keep your chest on the ground and spread your arms out to the side.
  3. Kick your right foot toward your left arm.
  4. Kick your left foot toward the right arm.
Power skip (glutes and shoulders):
  1. Stand tall and straight.
  2. Start skipping using a high and exaggerated skip and knee lift.
  3. Do big arm swings.
Leg swing (quad, hip and glutes):
  1. Stand straight and place your hand on a wall for balance.
  2. Swing one leg forward, then swing it backwards.
  3. Continue swinging back and forth.
  4. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Backward kicks (quads and hip flexors):
  1. Get on the ground in the push-up position.
  2. Do not arch your back.
  3. Kick your foot toward your buttocks.
  4. Lift your knee as high as possible.
  5. Alternate legs.
Not pictured: Medicine ball twist (core and upper body):
  1. Use either a medicine ball or kettle bell.
  2. Start with the ball/bell at either your left or right hip.
  3. Using one fluid motion, swing the ball/bell up and angled to the opposite shoulder.
  4. Stop when the ball/bell is even with the opposite shoulder.
  5. Lower and repeat.
  6. Do each side 10 to 15 times.

Static Stretching Techniques

As noted earlier, dynamic stretching is considered more beneficial than static stretching, but either can be used depending on the runner. General tips on static stretching:
  • Do it properly—improper stretching can do more damage than not stretching at all. Move smoothly and gently, remembering to breathe throughout.
  • You should never bounce during a stretch or move past the point of pain. Both of these can make muscles tighter and tear muscle tissues.
  • Move to the point of mild tension and relax as you hold the stretch.
  • The tension should diminish as you hold it. If not, ease off a bit until you're more comfortable.
  • Remember, "no pain, no gain" is simply not true.
  • Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and do each 1 to 3 times.
  • Do each stretch on both sides of your body.
Here are basic instructions for some of the most popular static stretches.
Calf stretches:
  1. Stand straight next to a wall, fence or back of a chair.
  2. Place both palms on a wall.
  3. Slide your right foot about 2 feet behind you.
  4. With your left leg bent in front of you, lean forward, pressing your right hip toward the wall.
  5. The right leg should be straight, but the knee should be just slightly bent so it is not hyperextended.
  6. Push down with your right heel, making sure the toes are pointed straight ahead. You should feel a gentle stretch in the upper portion of your right calf.
Calf stretch for soleus muscle:
  1. For the lower calf and Achilles tendon, take the same position as above:a. Stand straight next to a wall, fence or back of a chair.
    b. Place both palms on a wall.
    c. With your left leg bent in front of you, lean forward, pressing your right hip toward the wall.
  2. In this stretch, bend both legs and keep your weight over your feet instead of leaning forward. (For more of an Achilles stretch, stand on a curb or stair and place the ball of one foot on the edge.)
  3. Press the rear heel down and keep your toes pointing forward.
  4. Let gravity and your weight pull the heel downward until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower calf.
Runner's lunge:
  1. First stand with your feet and legs a shoulder's width apart.
  2. Then extend your right leg forward and left leg backwards.
  3. Put your hands on the thigh just above the knee.
  4. Lean forward on the right leg and keep the back leg straight, but with the knee just slightly bent so it is not hyperextended.
  5. Keep your back straight and don't extend the right knee past the toes.
  6. You should feel the stretch in front of the thigh.
  7. When you finish this side, switch leg positions and do it on the other side.
Hip flexor stretch:
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder's width apart.
  2. Bend your knees and place your hands on the floor beside each foot.
  3. Keep the forward leg bent at a 90° angle. (You may want to push up onto your fingertips to raise your torso above the knee and open your chest muscles.)
  4. Press through the heel of the extended leg to stretch the back of the knee.
  5. Press the hip of the extended leg toward the floor to stretch the hip flexor.
Quadriceps stretch:
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. With one hand on a wall, fence or other object for support, bring one leg up behind you so you can grasp the ankle with the other hand.
  3. Keep your standing leg's quads taut and gently pull the heel of the raised foot in toward your buttocks.
  4. Try to keep the bent knee pointed straight down rather than out to the side. Pushing your hips forward slightly will help do this and increase the stretch in the quadriceps, the muscle group on the front of the thigh.
Knee/illiotibial band stretch #1:
This stretches the muscle that runs from the outside of your pelvic bone (the ilium) to the outside of your knee at the tibia.
  1. Cross one foot over the other and tighten your quadriceps.
  2. With hands on your hips lift your torso and inhale.
  3. As you exhale, bend from the hips and reach downward as far as you can.
  4. While in this position, try to push your feet closer together without actually moving them.
  5. You should feel the stretch along the outside of the leg.
  6. Come up at the hips, uncross your legs and repeat with the opposite leg crossed in front.
Knee/illiotibial band stretch #2:
  1. With rubber tubing or a band, tie a loop on each end. Attach one end to a sturdy object such as a chair leg, tree or post.
  2. Put your ankle that is closest to the object through the other loop end.
  3. Stand far enough away so that there is some tension, but not too much.
  4. Use the stationary object to steady yourself.
  5. The leg that has the tubing or band on it should be just slightly in front of the other leg.
  6. Extend that leg out past the other to create a pull and tension on the band. Movement should be slow and precise to gain strength.
  7. Do 3 sets of 10 and repeat on the opposite leg.
As an alternative to the above, do kicks instead of keeping the leg level.
Knee/illiotibial band stretch #3:
Once again use the tubing or bands as described above.
  1. This time put the band on your foot that is opposite of the stationary object.
  2. This time with the band on the outside leg, pull the leg away from the object.
  3. Do 3 sets of 10 and repeat on the opposite leg.
Hamstring stretch:
  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Next, bring one leg to your chest.
  3. Clasp your hands around the back of the knee (or use a strap or towel if this is too much of a stretch) and slowly raise your leg to vertical.
  4. Keep the leg extended on the floor, keep both thighs taut and feet flexed.
  5. Push up through the heel of the vertical leg to feel the stretch on the back of the thigh.
Hip/lower-back stretch:
  1. Sit cross-legged on the ground.
  2. Cross your left leg even farther over your right leg so that the left foot is flat on the ground.
  3. Grasp the left knee with the right arm and twist your torso toward the bent left knee.
  4. Reach back behind with the left arm and support your body as you look over your left shoulder.
  5. Move just far enough to feel a gentle stretch in your hip and back.
  6. Come back to the front and repeat to the other side.
Groin stretch:
  1. Sit with the soles of your feet flat against one another, knees out to the sides.
  2. Grasp your feet with both hands and try to push your knees into the floor.
  3. Keep your back straight and bend slightly at the hips. You'll feel a stretch in the insides of the upper thighs.
Shoulder/triceps stretch:
  1. Raise one arm and bend it at the elbow.
  2. Grasp the elbow with the opposite hand and pull toward the center of your head. Let the bent arm fall down your back as if you're reaching to scratch it.
  3. Keep your hand relaxed.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
Shin splints:
  1. Sit on the ground.
  2. Place one left foot over the right foot.
  3. Pull up with the right foot while pushing down with the left foot.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Rotate feet and repeat.