Monday, June 29, 2009


I am not currently a parent, but I do plan on attempting it sooner than later.

I have many friends who have started families over the last few years and I love to see their small face, see how fast those little people grow and how unique they each are. It makes me realize that YES I do want to me a MOM, I just have to get a few more things in order before I am willing to move into that part of my life.

And I am not a stupid girl. I know that since I am over 30 I will be facing a different set of challenges when attempting to conceive and throughout any pregnancy than those in their 20s, and as such have started a daily multi-vitamin & folic acid regime and (obviously) have been watch my weight and overall health more closely.

Today this appeared in my inbox and it made me really think. Things have certainly changed since my Mom was getting ready for me to arrive:

Pregnancy Weight Gain: New Guidelines
How Much Weight Should Women Gain During Pregnancy? Maybe Less Than You Think

More and more women are now overweight or obese when they get pregnant—leading to greater complications for these moms and their babies. In response, the Institute of Medicine recently released new guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy.

Although no one is advised to lose weight while pregnant, many women are now being told that they shouldn't be gaining more than a few pounds over the entire pregnancy.

May 28, 2009 -- Pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant? Then you need to know about new guidelines on how much weight to gain during pregnancy.

Those new guidelines were issued today by an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee of doctors, nutrition experts, and public health researchers.

It's the first time the IOM has issued pregnancy weight guidelines since 1990, and in the past 19 years, America's obesity boom has only grown.

But the new guidelines aren't just for women who are overweight before pregnancy. They're for women of all sizes, starting with a prepregnancy checkup that addresses weight, diet, and exercise -- and a discussion about using contraception, too, until overweight or obese women reach a healthy weight.

During pregnancy, many women gain "substantially more than we would like," IOM committee chairwoman Kathleen Rasmussen, ScD, PhD, tells WebMD.

"It is important for women to gain within [the new guidelines] and if possible, it's important for women to begin pregnancy at a good weight," says Rasmussen, who is also a Cornell University nutrition professor.

New Pregnancy Weight Guidelines

Here are the guidelines for pregnancy weight gain, based on a woman's BMI ( body mass index) before becoming pregnant with one baby:

Underweight: Gain 28-40 pounds
Normal weight: Gain 25-35 pounds
Overweight: Gain 15-25 pounds
Obese: Gain 11-20 pounds

For more on the new guidelines, as well as how much protein is recommended for a healthy pregnancy, CLICK HERE

Overdoing Pregnancy Weight Gain

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy may be risky for the mother and the baby.
"The risk for the baby is being born too large, which can result in birth injury for the baby or may result in a cesarean section for the mother," Rasmussen says. "The risks for the mother of gaining beyond the guidelines are risk for cesarean section or risk for excessive weight retention postpartum."

Eating for Two?

Talking with patients about weight and pregnancy can be difficult, says Melissa Goist, MD, clinical assistant professor in the obstetrics-gynecology department of the Ohio State University Medical Center.

Goist says many people aren't aware that there are limits on healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

"I think people still feel like pregnancy is fair game," Goist says. "You only need 300 extra calories per day to actually maintain a pregnancy."

So if you think eating for two means doubling your calories, forget it.

"If you think about the normal diet of maybe 1,800-2,000 calories, depending on the size of the person, 300 extra calories is a sixth of that. So that's barely like eating anything," Goist says.

To Read the Full Article CLICK HERE

Death By Waxing

OK, so I am a long time fan of the Brazilian Bikini Wax.

Sure, it’s not for everyone, but for me it gives me confidence and peace of mind.

BUT after reading this little gem this morning, I may be heading to the Salon next time with a different perspective:

Beware the Killer Bikini Wax
Brazilians can go from sexy beauty habit to scary sickness faster than you can say 'yowza!'

All Jennifer (not her real name) wanted was a smooth bikini line. But within 24 hours of getting a wax at a reputable New York City salon, an infection crept in. She developed a fever of 102, chills, and pain in her left thigh. "I thought I'd caught a cold," she says, "but after five days, the pain was worse."

Her doctor diagnosed her with cellulitis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the skin and the underlying tissue. Jennifer spent the next 15 days in the hospital hooked up to an IV that pumped her full of antibiotics and heavy-duty painkillers. She also had surgery to drain the infection. "One doctor said I could have lost my leg!" she recalls. "It took me months to recover physically and emotionally from the whole ordeal—a steep price to pay for a little vanity."

While there are no reliable stats on waxing-related complications, Jennifer's experience wasn't unique. This past March, the state of New Jersey nearly banned Brazilian waxes after two women landed in the hospital as a result of them (one of the women filed a lawsuit against the state cosmetology board). And in 2007, an Australian woman with type 1 diabetes almost died of a bacterial infection she got after a bare-it-all wax.

What makes them risky? "Pubic hair is there for a reason—to protect the sensitive skin and mucous membranes in the genital region," explains Linda K. Franks, M. D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine. "Getting a wax literally strips away that layer of protection."

Waxing can also pull off tiny pieces of the skin's outermost layer, creating a portal through which bacteria can enter the body. What's more, the process creates inflammation, which can trap bacteria beneath the skin. All of this sets the stage for skin infections (including staph), folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles), and ingrown hairs.

"Anytime you compromise the integrity of the skin, you're going to increase your risk of infection," Franks says. She advises people who have diabetes, chronic kidney or liver disease, skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, or weakened immune systems to avoid waxing altogether. For everyone else, there are simple ways to ward off danger:

Choose a facility carefully

Before you make an appointment, drop by to see how clean the place is, or ask a friend to recommend a salon she trusts. Be sure the cosmetologist or aesthetician you choose is licensed by your state and has received training in Brazilian waxing, says Rosanne Kinley, past president of the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology.

Ask about the wax
"Hard wax is best. It's gentler and adheres to the hair, not the skin," Kinley says. "Speed wax, which is soft and sticky, is applied with a roller applicator, and while it's fast and easy, it's more painful and more likely to tear skin." Sugaring, a natural method that's kinder to the skin than waxing, is a good alternative. Look for products that are chemical-free; Shobha ($22, contains nothing but sugar, water, lemon juice, and glycerin.

Keep an eye on hygiene
Before beginning the process, the practitioner should scrub up or (at least) apply hand sanitizer. Double dipping into the wax is taboo because it introduces bacteria into the pot. "The waxer should have brand-new spatulas available for each swipe to your skin," Kinley says. To prevent burns, she should check the wax's temperature on the inside of her wrist before applying it to your skin. If you don't see the practitioner taking these steps, speak up.

Prevent irritation
For a few days following your wax, apply an over-the-counter topical antibiotic cream and an anti-inflammatory 1% hydrocortisone cream to the area, says Bruce Robinson, M. D., an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. This will ease irritation and help ward off potential infection.

Know the signs of infection
Check yourself with a hand mirror (look for inflamed ingrown hairs, rashes, or raw, open sores or cuts). "See a doctor ASAP if you develop redness or swelling in the area, an itching or burning sensation, peeling of the skin, or a fever," Robinson says.

Source: Woman’s Health Magazine

Damn you Breakfast!

I have been neglectful in my blogging these last few months.

Reason being is that I had been focusing on my training for The Ride to Conquer Cancer, spending hours in the gym working it out and man, did it pay off!

I felt amazing as I pedaled my little legs off for over 160KM a day on the 2-day event and I now fully understand the full benefit and pay offs of hard work and correct training.

But now that is behind me and its time to get back to the regular routine of things.


In my morning peruse of my regular interweb sites I came across a few items that I found interesting.

Lets start with BREAKFAST:

Breakfast and I have been waging a long standing war, going WAY back over the years. I know I have to eat breakfast and that (ya ya ya) it’s the MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY …

I just hate eating when I first get up. I have such a hard time with it that sometimes I even get this odd gag reflex that kicks in and I can’t manage o swallow anything. It’s super odd and has been happening to me for years.

I have tired many different things over the years to get around it like eating only yogurt or foods that I don’t have to chew, using smoothies to replace proper food and even just ditching breakfast all together, opting only for coffee to tide me over til I do actually get hungry a few hours later.

AND now its time for this to change.

I am rededicating myself to Breakfast, in hopes that we can make peace with one another, working together to keep my little self healthy and happy.

This is where I am going to start:

The Perfect Breakfast
Fill up on the right fuels in less than 5 minutes

Run through what you do in the morning: Makeup, perfect. Hair, styled and sprayed. Hot pencil skirt, zipped. With a long a.m. to-do list, it's natural that you're lucky to scarf down a bowl of cereal, let alone a healthy, hearty breakfast. But if you don't want your energy to slump, that bowl and spoon need company.

When you eat oatmeal and cereal, you're stocking up on carbs. Which is fantastic—but for a steady, crash-free gush of energy all day long, you need to halt the carbs' absorption into your blood. And for that you need protein and fat.

Your mission: Slip some meat, eggs, and dairy into your meal. The perfect breakfast has about 500 calories, about 20 grams of protein, and at least 5 grams of fiber—your number-one weight-loss weapon.

Want a grab-and-go meal? Blend some Powerfoods into a smoothie. Exercise in the morning? Find out how your meal fares in our fitness food face-off.

But if you can wake up 5 minutes earlier to sit down and eat, choose from more than 600 quick breakfast recipes that will start your day strong.

SOURCE: Woman’s Health Magazine

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Kettlebell Swing & The GRIND

This week Kiwi added some Kettlebell action into my usual mix of free weights, medicine ball and bosu/swiss ball exercises, which is rad since I've always wanted to work with them but never felt comfortable since I don’t know what the hell I am doing ... hence Kiwi's presence.

He started off by getting me to do a bunch of these little babies: The Kettlebell Swing

They may look easy, but DANG they are hard. But also really fun - gets the blood rushing, the sweat pouring and the core working.

“The kettlebell swing… is the brutal distillation of everything ketttlebell training is about: power, explosiveness, flexibility and lung searing cardio”

That's the thing about Kiwi that I really dig. He mixes it up each session, always adding in new exercises onto what we have already been working on.

And we have been working HARD. Twice a week for an hour, he beats the crap out of me, and I take it.

Which is why when my alarm went off at the CRAK OF FREAKIN' DAWN (6:30AM) this morning, I got up, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes and got ready to meet some friends before heading over to Grouse Mountain to take on the Grouse Grind

For the first time, today I felt the effects of all my hard work.

Fondly referred to as Mother Nature’s Stairmaster, “The Grind” is a gnarly, extremely steep and mountainous 2.9 km "hike". It’s a full on challenge of rugged terrain and climbing, up an approximate 56 per cent slope (30°), which begins at the 300-metre-elevation Valley Station of Grouse Mountain and climbs to 1,100 metres at the Peak’s plateau

OH and did I mention it has a total of 2,830 stairs?

So clearly it's no walk in the park. Right, we all know that and know what we are getting into.

But today, dare I say, it was noticeably easier than the last time I did it.

All the lunges and squats clearly have paid off, because I was like a freakin' GAZEL on the trail, with long, strong strides and steady pace.

Before I knew it, I was at the top enjoying the view and a well earned smoothie.

So I guess what I am saying is that while The Grind is still and always will be a challenge, the time in the gym is CLEARLY paying off.

Which is EXACTLY what I wanted and I love when I get what I want!

mountain biking, training and the RIDE ….

WOAH … it’s been longer since I thought I last posted …

Geeze – Well, what can I tell ya ….

I’ve been busy

The last month has been all about mountain biking, training and the RIDE ….


Every Wednesday in May I got skooled for 3 hours - At my Endless Biking Progression Sessions: All Mountain …

They were unreal - I learned so much, met amazing other riders and made some great progress in my own riding. I hit things I never thought I would hit, I rode things I never thought I could ride… it was a confidence boost like no other …

Clearly also a work out– I pedaled more than I ever had before, I climbed up Mt. Fromme without stopping to a trail I never thought I would do …that’s 5 BIG switchbacks … that’s 45 minutes uphill …

But also a danger zone - I scored some crazy bruises all over my thighs and right hand, a pedal slice on the back of my right calf, a group of stained muscles along my right shoulder and down my arm ….

Wait, what’s up with all the right sided injuries ... hmmmm, never noticed that before, something to check out …


I also kept up with the TRAINING at the gym …

Kiwi is pushing me harder now than ever, and its now time for me to step it up on my end…

Last night he made me do 60 crunches … which don’t maybe sound like a lot, but they were the Swiss/Bosu Ball ones (INSANE hard) and then to switch it up a bit and vary the torture, the ugly BICYCLE ones ….

I felt like puking on him …

BUT I have signed up for this torture, I am even paying for it … and for that reason I know what I have to do next …

I need to commit to just ONE more hour to the gym a week to get the results I am after … and I know they are close …

AND, to end it all off, this coming weekend is the RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER.

I ride I committed to long ago, a ride that I raised the funds for ($2500!) and a ride that I have been training for …

And only yesterday I realized that I am SCARED SHITLESS!!!

What the hell am I thinking?! I can’t ride my bike from VANCOUVER to SEATTLE!!!

That’s just insanity ….

Good GAWD wish me LUCK

So as you can see, BUSY ...

OH wait, and today (SATURDAY) I got up at 6:30 am to pick up my GF Julie to meet other insane friends at Grouse Mountain to do the Grouse Grind ...


Who's idea was this and how did they get me to agree to join them?

BUSY & also clearly INSANE

What is all this mountain and sea air doing to me?

Oh man, I know what it is ....

I am turning into a VANCOUVERITE!!!

Time for a trip home to TARANNA