Master the Met

The Metropolitan Building

Do you have what it takes to climb 42 flights of stairs as fast as you can? The American Lung Association’s, 2010 Fight for Air Climb · Master the Met, will be happening in downtown St. Louis next Saturday, March 6, 2010. People of all ages will have the opportunity to challenge their legs and lungs as they make their way to the top of the Metropolitan Square Building. All funds raised go directly to the American Lung Association to help fight for cleaner air and prevent lung disease. Check out the event website here to see pictures from last year’s event and take a sneak peek at the training plan developed specifically for this event.

Do you think you could make it to the top? This year’s climb is full, but it’s never too early to get fit and start training for next year!


Your confidence level should be high right now. Really high.

My spin instructor this morning was giving us a way to gauge our ride, about 2/3 of the way through.’ Hmmm,’ I thought, ‘My confidence level is really high. Okay, bring it!’ Amazing how his words made me realize I actually did feel pretty good and was ready to amp up the intensity.

If you’re going to hang out at this level, that’s a perfectly sane and reasonable choice. Or, if you’re feeling strong, go for it and really take it all the way.

His euphemistic way of daring me to give a little more and not be a baby worked; I increased my resistance, sped up my cadence, and mopped the sweat off my brow.

This is when it starts burning.

Oh, okay. I’m supposed to be feeling that. In that case…

You can hang out here if you’re taking it easy today. But if you’re ready to go for it, take it all the way and just getcha some!

After class I wiped off my bike, layered my coat and sweats on over my bike shorts, and trudged through the dark snowy parking lot to my car, but all day long all I can think is “Getcha some!” Like I have the power to take on the day and get whatever I want from it. And don’t I?

– albledsoe

I ate the whole thing!

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=oranges+fruit&iid=238870″ src=”0235/d48a6b4d-2b53-4273-827b-7743dc6d926c.jpg?adImageId=10634529&imageId=238870″ width=”117″ height=”175″ /]What was it? A box of clementines. This sweet and healthy treat becomes a staple in my kitchen as soon as winter hits. I usually buy the bag instead of the box, (Seth doesn’t like oranges; no, I don’t understand this) but I couldn’t pass up the deal on a box the last time I made it to the grocery store.

How does one gal eat about 30 clementines in a week? They accompanied my meals morning noon and night. For breakfast I would have a clementine, a boiled egg and some cereal or yogurt. Snack time meant a handful of almonds and a clementine or two. For lunch I swapped out tomatoes on my salads for clementines. At dinner I topped my cottage cheese with them or treated myself to a few clementines for dessert.

In addition to being the perfect snack size (35 calories each), they are so easy to peel and travel very well. They fit into your purse or lunchbox easily and you don’t have to worry about bumps and bruising like you do with other fruits. Is this the perfect fruit or what?

Is there truth in the old saying that “laughter is the best medicine”? This article from Ode magazine examines the idea that laughter can heal a number of ailments, from the mental to the physical. I’ve been trying out this theory lately, and whenever I’m taking myself too seriously and getting worked up, I try to turn to something fun that will make me laugh, whether it’s one of my favorite TV shows, like “Modern Family,” or checking out someone’s funny tweets (if you’re on Twitter, check out @sh*tmydadsays. There is some profanity, but it’s harmless and highly entertaining).

My no-fail laughter maker the last week or so has been this Old Spice commercial. I dare you to watch it and not laugh.

– albledsoe

To Eat, Or Not To Eat

Are there any foods you refuse to eat? I don’t mean foods you don’t like the taste of, but actual foods you refuse to put in your body. This list of 7 Foods the Experts Won’t Eat posted on Yahoo Shine made me think about some of the foods I have decided to avoid.

You know how Amanda and I feel about all things containing HFCS and Hydrogenated Fats; they are not doing your body any good. So, any items containing these ingredients rocket to the top of the list. Read those labels! Just remember that the longer the shelf life processed food has, the worse it is for you.

Reaching for things that are pre-packaged and marketed as convenient can sometimes find their way right into your grocery cart. Here are a few more sneaky items I always try to avoid: pre-packaged biscuits/rolls, non-organic broth and soup, frozen dinners, breakfast bars and toaster pastries.

What is on your “I won’t eat it” list?


More on water

This RealAge.com article reports on a study that finds dehydration causes not only physical angst, but also has a negative effect on your mood. I recently wrote about water and nausea, and I maintain the dogma that when you’re feeling icky in any way, the first thing you should do is drink a big glass of water. It can’t hurt, and much of the time it will help.

In other beverage news, the Drs. Mohr at MohrResults.com reported on red wine and how its touted health benefits may be exaggerated, while green tea holds up as a powerful antioxident-filled drink that provides a nice energy boost.

It seems that with most people, simply changing your beverage intake can be a huge step toward a much healthier, fitter lifestyle. Especially if you drink sodas, flavored coffee drinks, and lots of alcohol, cutting back to mostly water (and a lot of it), black coffee and tea, and the occasional glass (5 oz.) of wine can save a lot of calories and make you feel much better, even if you change nothing else about your diet.

– albledsoe

Feel Good Fettuccine

Earlier this week I was having a serious pasta craving. Not just any pasta would do, I wanted the mother of all pasta dishes. Fettuccine alfredo. But, the problem with fettuccine alfredo, is that it’s like going swimming in a vat of salt, butter and cream. It tops the list as on of the worst foods you can eat and I knew that I don’t want to put all that bad stuff in my body.

Spinach Fettuccini Alfredo

The healthy version of fettuccine alfredo.

Self.com came to the rescue with one of their oh-so-good and healthy dishes. Their Spinach Fettuccine with Yogurt-Cream Sauce was just what I needed. I was able to indulge in a pasta treat with a cream sauce and still feel great about what I ate. I heart healthy versions of unhealthy classics! This dish comes in at 249 calories per serving, 4.9 g fat (1.7 g saturated), 38.9 g carbs, 3.3 g fiber, and 13.3 g protein.

I didn’t have everything I needed to follow the self recipe exactly, so I used asparagus instead of squash and I added a cup of grilled chicken to the recipe. It was delish! Since I was only cooking for two, I had leftovers for lunch the next two days. Consider this healthy alternative the next time a pasta craving hits you!

Burn, baby, burn!

Here’s my new favorite gym workout. It’s a great way to get an intense burn when you’re pressed for time, and I always feel it the next day!

  • 10 minutes on a StairMaster (not a stepper, the machine with the actual revolving stairs). If you don’t have access to a stairmill of some sort, walk on a treadmill fast at a high incline…I’d say level 10. Go hard, it’s only 10 minutes!
  • Weight circuit including: chest press, upright row, shoulder press, tricep press, alternating bicep curls, hip hinge, and wall squats using a stability ball. Try 20 reps of each exercise, using a weight that is uncomfortable but not too too heavy.
  • 10 more minutes on the stairmill. You should really start sweating right about now.
  • Repeat weight circuit with at least the same number of reps as the first set…add 5 more if you’re feeling frisky.
  • Finish up with 10 minutes on the stairmill (no slacking!).
  • If you still have time, do some sort of ab work; I usually do center and side planks.

– albledsoe

Roasted Purple Potatoes

Roasted Purple Potatoes

I stumbled upon these little purple guys at one of my favorite grocery stores, Trader Joe’s. At first I thought they would only have a purple skin, but much to my surprise these purple potatoes were just as purple on the inside as they are on the outside. How fun is that? I think any vegetable that is purple automatically makes it more fun to eat, but it’s even better when said vegetable goes above and beyond in the good for you department.

As it turns out, these little purple guys are more than just pleasing to the eye. The Purple Majesty is a natural breed that is purple from the inside out. This violet veggie that is loaded with antioxidants debuted in 2006. In addition to being rich in Potassium and Vitamin C, the Purple Majesty variety boasts a whopping amount of antioxidants per serving (235 milligrams of anthocyanins). In case you’ve forgotten about the benefits of indulging in free radical fighting antioxidants: they can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and they can also help to boost your immune system and lower cholesterol. It doesn’t get better than that!

Once you get your hands on this purple tuber, what do you do with it? They are about the size of a new potato, and they have a very thin skin so you can use it in a number of ways. This variety is a little sweeter than a regular new potato, and the mellow flavor and thin skin makes the purple potato perfect for roasting. It’s a nice break from the usual Russet or Yukon Gold variety used day in and day out. I have also used them for potato salad; this purple potato definitely stands out among the crowd and will spark some conversation, so be ready to defend your purple potluck contribution.

Have you ever tried purple potatoes? Leave a comment to share your favorite purple potato recipe.


San Francisco run route

Union Square San Francisco 6-ish
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