Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My New Baby

I teased that my Saturday went to hell because I was shanghaied, this little minty baby is why.  I am now the proud owner of a 2011 Ford Focus!  Roomie Lori keeps calling it 'pistachio', which is technically accurate, but probably not the name I will ultimately choose - cars have to show a personality first. :)

My Mom and step-dad Bruce were the catalysts for this new purchase and were awesomely helpful - so yea to them!  We agreed with my brother Gordon on the precipice of going to medical school, he would have no time to keep nursing Bertha the Buick along to her inevitable end.  

I was hesitant, because it's a big purchase and a big decision and I had not done any research.  My parents just called and informed me, "We're car shopping."  Well, I couldn't very well let them go without me, since the vehicle would be mine.

We ended up at a dealership that will remain nameless, but the sales guy talked himself out of a sale by becoming more and more rude and belligerent.  The capper was when Bruce asked for a breakdown of the figures and the guy snatched the paper out of his hand and went, "Ugh, I guess I will HAVE TO DO THAT THEN!"  We stood up and walked out.  I was literally sick to my stomach after that and wasn't sure if I wanted to continue.

My parents pressed on and we went to Dewey Ford in Ankeny.  I wanted to be Ford for a number of reasons:  they didn't take Federal bailout money, the dependability is second to none - I have owned Ford and non-Ford and the former has been in the shop MUCH less and I believe if Ford can weather this economy so well, it will be around to maintain my car for its lifetime.

To say Dewey was much better was an understatement.  Their commercials say, "Do we treat you better?  We do, Dewey Ford" and yes, they do.  From the moment we met up with salesman Chris Leo to the after market rep to the finance lady to a sales manager, the experience was pleasant and best of all - above board. They showed us the invoice, we negotiated on a few fees and we had a deal.  They even searched for the best interest rate out there - not just Ford Motor Credit.  

Now I have a safe, reliable ride that can get me wherever I need to go!  Including, of course, the gym.  My new Focus has delivered me swiftly the last couple of days to the YMCA Healthy Living Center to meet with trainer Gwyn.  That's one of the best parts, I get to take care of me, while giving little thought to my car.  This is so refreshing.

Here's the picture:

Cute, huh?  So, thank you again to my brother Gordon for seeing me through to the end with the Buick.  Thank you to roomie Lori for lending me her car, often.  Thank you to my parents for helping me with a great deal.  And thank you to Chris Leo and the gang at Dewey Ford for an honest deal that helped me walk away with a smile, not a stomach ache!

Yours in Health,

Monday, August 30, 2010


I almost forgot to blog today. First day back to work, too busy. Promise update tomorrow including picture of my new baby. -Kate

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Charley Horse - Ouch

I was planning a easy workout today, because I was a good girl and did some form of exercise every day on my vacation.  But now I will not be working out because I woke up this morning with a massive Charley horse.  (BTW- I looked that term up, no one can agree on its origin.)  But I know what it is - painful!  I hate waking up with one.

Poor Mischa the cat was like, "what did I did?" as I writhed in pain.  One of the biggest things I have found, and yes this is hard, is to relax as much of my body as possible and the cramp will start to subside.  Wait a few minutes before rubbing it or it may spasm again.

Further treatment includes ice and warm baths.  The latter can include Epsom salts, but be sure to that it won't interfere with medications you are on or an existing condition - examples: pregnancy, thyroid problems and heart conditions. 

Charley horses tend to happen when your muscles are overworked.  I have been working out a lot, but I think what I did yesterday was what set it off - I wore cheap flip-flops all day.  My feet demand arch support, but yesterday I was in a hurry and forgot to bring my real shoes with me.  I had my $2.50 flip-flops on because I was going to get a pedicure.  Well, my day went of the rails and I ended up being in the cheapies for more than 12 hours.  All of that squeezing by my toes, arches and calves, led to riding the Charley horse.

Oh, well, lesson learned. 

Today I am going to dinner at my mom's and run errands.  Tomorrow it's back to work and I will tell you why my day ran off the rails yesterday - and it's a good thing.

Yours in Health,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Cats are on the Mend

No puking in 24 hours!  I know it seems strange to be that excited, but I'm telling you ick.  Now we just have to wait for the other end of things to firm up and we are good. 

I worked out hard in the pool this morning at the YMCA Healthy Living Center.  I do love the water.  Now I am going on an unexpected adventure with my parents.  I will tell you more next week.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cat Puke is a Great Appetite Suppressant

My cats are sick.  Obi-Wan was the first to fall ill over the weekend.  Mischa was next and now Charlie is unbelievably ill, she can't stop throwing up.  I am waiting for a call back from the vet.  I am concerned she will become dehydrated.

As for me, no formal workout today.  But I have been going up and down stairs constantly to do laundry and clean up cat puke.  I am about to do a quick clean on the house and then finish laundry, shower and welcome over a friend I haven't seen in more than a month.  Then it will be back to editing Intuition and hopefully the vet will have answers for me by then.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I found my muscles

Worked out again with Gwyn today at the YMCA Healthy Living Center.  She really put me through my paces, as she knows she won't see me again untgil Monday.  It was a lot of bands and abs today.  I was so tired by the end I was struggling to do my push-ups.  Trainers love it when you are shaking by the end. ;)

Now I am working on the next issue of !ntuition Magazine.  We're VERY excited, it's something that has never been done before and it's overdue.  I'll tease you more as we get closer.

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Walking a Cat is Harder Than You Think

I spent the weekend in Minneapolis. My first step out of the state in 9 months. I had fun at a family wedding and was able to spend Sunday with an a friend from another life. Did a lot of walking. Figured it out and I easily did 12 plus miles, not bad.
Yesterday I just rested. It was the official first day of my vacation. I am not used to having time off, so it was a little surreal to take a nap yesterday and sleep in today. What's that? LOL.

My workouts are in full gear. Met up with Gwyn at the YMCA Healthy Living Center yesterday and she put me through my paces. It was a weights, band and steps. Thanks to Kristi and all of the work we did before, I can do a 2 inch step now. I know that doesn't seem high, but when you are going up and down for a full minute, it could be bad. I survived well though.

Today Gwyn put me through a water workout. Lots of laps, jumping jacks, running and more, all in the water. I appreciated it because all the walking I did this weekend amassed in achy limbs this morning.

After working out with Gwyn I went to a meeting and then came home. My furry boys decided they wanted to go outside. So, I had bought a leash and harness a couple of weeks ago and decided to give them a try. Mischa was perplexed. He wanted to go for a walk, but the leash was not what he had in mind. When I was letting him run back in after he expressed distaste, Obi-Wan escaped, so I took that as a sign to try to walk him. He was a little more into it, but he kept stopping to eat grass and hiss at people, so it didn't last.

When we were all done, pushing and pulling to complete a quarter block walk, I was sweating and the boys were freaked out and considering not escaping again if it meant being on a leash. Naturally that won't keep them from trying.

Well, I better go to bed.

Yours in Health,


Thursday, August 19, 2010


I sometimes lose track of myself during weeks like this.  I am gratefully preparing to be away from the office for 11 days.  Bad side, the preparing.  Making sure everyone has what they need while I am gone and that nothing falls that I needed to pass on.  So, between the lack of car and time, no workout today.  Though, I am going to do laundry and some yard work tonight.

I am going to Minneapolis Saturday and Sunday for a wedding a one day vacation. :)  Then it's back to Des Moines for the remainder of my time off.  I am excited because it means I can make time to workout every day without having to work around someone else's schedule.  Plus, I will have my car back and my freedom will be awesome.

I have plans to home improve next week as well.  And check out some places within driving distance in Iowa that I have wanted to see, but never make the time.  More than anything I am going to sleep - I feel like this is one of the things missing from my fitness regime.  That and forcing others to do as I want - AKA, let me alone so I can workout.

Well, I better keep plugging away so I can get home to do what needs done.

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Steering Off Course

I was supposed to meet with Gwyn yesterday at the YMCA Healthy Living Center.  She is back from vacation and I was excited for the return of her guidance.

Then I got in the car and rolled out of the back drive at the office.  As I started to turn to the right, something slipped and I realized that my steering had pretty much failed.  I drove for half a block debating whether I could limp across town to the HLC and quickly came to the right conclusion - I could cause an accident, killing myself or someone else and that would be stupid.

So, I called to let Gwyn know and then called my saint of a brother, Gordon.  (Did I mention he is good looking and single, ladies?)  He could tell by my tone that 'Bertha' my 93 Buick Skylark was the reason for my dialing him.  I limped her over to Gordon's and he set to looking her over.  We went to his work, Advance Auto Parts, and priced out parts for pretty much everything it could be.  Then back to his place, where he loaned me his truck, telling me, "I love you only slightly more than my truck, so be careful." (He was only half kidding.)

I ran back to work, stopped by home to get him the can of mosquito bombing spray I had.  (The little blood suckers could carry you off at his house.)  And I went back to find Gordon had torn apart more of the car.  Then he showed me what was really wrong - the sheet metal that holds the steering column in place has torn, so it's actually sliding, which explains why my steering wheel was crooked.  Add to that the fact that the panel underneath is rusted through and if that thing had broken loose and dropped, it would have gone right on to the ground - I had made an awesome choice in not going to the gym!

So, Gordon will have Bertha for the next several days.  Lori has been kind enough to share her car with me.  And I am going back to the gym today.  It's time to get everything in my life back on track.

Yours in Health,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Birthday Season - Again

My family has four birthday seasons.  Ah, cake.  We have several birthday in March/April, July, August/September and December - that's a lot of cake.

Today we are celebrating my mom's birthday.  I don't know if there will be cake.  Part of me says, "yes, yum, caaaaake..." and then another part of me says, "um, no more sugar please."  Sugar and I haven't been hanging as much lately and when we have, it doesn't really agree with me.  It has been making my tummy ache.  In fact, since the prednisone incident, all food has been a bit of a problem.  Which has a good side - I am eating less.

But back to birthday season...  cake is like anything else in life, anything in moderation (except lard).  Have you noticed though that cake isn't alone in the birthday celebration?  There is usually a meal and, because it's a special occasion, fat must be o.k.  And naturally, more than one group wants to help celebrate this special day, so there's more than one of these eating rituals.

Therefore it's time to dance.  Tripping along the fine line between being festive and being gluttonous.  If you have any good tips on treading lightly, please share, I know EVERYONE, wants to learn a new trick applicable to this holiday and all of the others.

Yours in Health,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

State Fair Friday Report

First, let me say I got a surprise today when I called my mom and she was at the State Fair with my nephew Caelen.  I love him so much and he was having the kind of fun we should all have.  He was eating ostrich sausage and looking forward to seeing the big steer.  He will be 7 in less than a month and everything is interesting at that age!

Me?  I went to the State Fair yesterday afternoon to work the Komen on the Go booth for LITE 104.1.  It was really fun meeting people and helping educate them about breast cancer.  The lady from Komen national paid me the nicest compliment, she loved the way I worked the crowd and thought maybe I worked for the local affiliate.  That's my specialty, I assimilate information, it's like I am the Borg.  :)

As for the food - the downfall of all fair goers?  I did really well.  I had my turkey tenderloin sandwich from the Iowa Turkey Federation grill.  It was so good!  I mean I am sitting here not thinking about it.  It was moist and flavorful and one of the healthiest things you can eat at the fair!  I also had a little fried rice, two crab rangoon and took some kettle corn home to snack later.

Overall, I think that's not bad.  I was mainly intrigued by the fact that I wasn't even tempted by fried things on a stick or deep fried vegetables.  Although, to be honest, it may have been because I didn't have my partner in crime with me.  When Lori and I go this coming Friday, it may be different.

Well, I better go, I have to go find the items that will be featured on the cover of the next !ntuition Magazine and I have no idea what it is yet.  LOL.

Yours in Health,

Friday, August 13, 2010

State Fair Nutrition-on-a-Stick

I am posting this article as a picture because our !ntuition Magazine designer Jolene did such a nice job of making it fun.  The article was written by a talented young writer named Amanda, who is also my barista at Starbuck's - clearly she knows food. :)  I have had to make the image smaller than I like to get it to fit in the blog, but you can click on the picture and it will enlarge to its original size for easier reading.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This week has been nearly lost to drug reaction hell and flooding.

I am finally starting to feel better after my bad run with prednisone.  I was able to get 5 straight hours of sleep last night.  Of course I had worked 14.5 hours getting my regular things and flood coverage done, so I was exhausted.  I am also suffering from vertigo again.  My head spun so hard last night when I got into bed I actually fell over - luckily the bed is somewhat cushy!  LOL.

Oh well, with the Iowa State Fair getting underway I am even busier.  I took a walk earlier, but it's so meltingly hot I didn't get very far.  I will spend the rest of the day catching up from yesterday and doing flood stuff.

Speaking of the fair, I will be posting that article about fair food I promised from the latest edition of !ntuition Magazine tomorrow morning.

Yours in Health,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Prednisone Sucks

This will be short - I have had to go home sick.  All of the sudden I was ready to pass out.  I have not been sleeping and I ache incredibly.  I was put on prednisone to help with my breathing problem and it has made me a mess.  I took myself off yesterday and I don't know if that made it worse or just not sleeping from last night's storm crushed me.  I am going back to bed.

Yours in Health, 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Getting my Geek On!

Today is day two of non-stop work and I love it!  Let me explain - yesterday it was the LITE 104.1 Listener Lunch in Ames - 500 well-fed happy people.  Then straight off to the thing I am REALLY geeking over - a behind the scenes visit with the executive producer of Antiques Roadshow and one of the appraisers.  (I will be putting together a special edition of my Sunday morning talk show "Information Iowa".  It will air next year when PBS airs the show from Des Moines.  I will also be writing a special article for Intuition Magazine about antiquing next year with one of their world-renowned appraisers as my source.

Today it is the STAR 102.5 Mustang or Money giveaway at Gabus Ford.  Then on to a behind the scenes look at how Antiques Roadshow comes together when there are people who want to know what's worth what.  My parents were lucky enough to win tickets in the lottery for appraisal, so they will be there this afternoon as well.  I am really stoked, I hope I see someone get another million dollar appraisal!  Probably not, but if you love history like I do, you will appreciate what I am talking about.

After my visit to A.R., I am going home to mow and trim the yard.  I think my back can take it and if it can't, I promise, as I pointed out yesterday - I will stop. :)

Yours in Health,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Fun Day - Again!

I only have a minute before I head out the door, but I wanted to drop by.  I took a long warm bath last night and dropped some Aleve for my back, it helped.  I know I need another day with a walk as my workout and I will probably be back on track.

I am headed to Ames, it's the LITE 104.1 Listener Lunch for the Community at Jack Trice Stadium.  If you are in the area between 11 and 1, stop by.  FREE lunch for the first 500 people from Quizno's with ice-cold Dr. Pepper.  Plus, we have a tailgate theme rocking because we are at ISU - cheerleaders and all kinds of fun.

Have a great day!

Yours in Health,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sometimes You Have to Admit Defeat

My back still hurts from kettle bells on Monday.  My doctor informed me yesterday that I should try something less strenuous to strengthen my back and then try the workout again.  She is a sage woman and I will be following her advice.

That's hard for me to do, even with the pain I am in.  I don't like to go down in defeat.  I like to crush through, take the pain and figure things out on the other side.  That's why I worked out hard the last two days.  Today however I realized I was probably elongating recovery, so I just went for a walk and I am going home to do laundry - which with our stairs is also a workout. ;)

I wanted to write this tonight to remind you all of something I have to remind myself of from time to time - pain sometimes means stop.  I explained it to my mom the other day as, "There is push through and try a new move/weight for your body pain ('good pain') and then there is the look on your face now - bad pain."  We all know what bad pain is - cut your hand, drop a bowling ball on your foot, get hit by a car - but we sometimes aren't paying enough attention during our workouts to recognize it.

I was playing tough girl on Monday, panting and wheezing and saying, "I'll be fine, give me a minute."  I should have said then, what I am saying now - "My body has informed me that this is a BAD idea, I will stop now and give up a man card."

It's simple really, your mom has been saying it for years - "Do you want to do it just because everyone else is doing it?"  Okay, usually that is a bridge, but you get the idea.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


From Wikipedia - 

"Quinoa (pronounced - kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited."

That's the basics behind the 'new grain' sweeping the nation.  As you can see, it's not a true grain, but putting that aside, it's not 'new' either.  In fact, it has been a food source in South America for over 6,000 years!

Lori the roomie has brought it in to our diets, so far, in the form of 'burgers'.  Today I ate a quinoa and veggie burger for lunch.  It's very filling and, as you can see from the label below, it's pretty healthy.  Fiber, iron, protein and good fats, some of the keys to staying healthy as you workout.  Especially when you are working out twice a day.

Which reminds me, it's okay to workout super hard, even more than once a day, but you have to account for the extra output in your intake.  I am not saying jump by a thousand calories, I am saying through in an extra hundred calorie snack here or there with your regular calories, if you are trying to lose weight.

That's important because if your body believes it's not getting enough calories, it's going to go into starvation mode.  This does two things - 1. Your body tries to hang on to all the calories you take in and stores them as fat, because your body is about preservation first.  2. It will slow down your metabolism.  We work hard to endless miles, weights, crunches and other sweat inducing moves to increase our body's basic burn rate, don't let it be halted by losing track of calories.

If this is something you struggle with, a couple of meetings with a certified dietitian, like Katie at the Mercy Weight Loss and Nutrition Center, can be a great investment.  It can not only help you set proper calorie levels for your activity level, but they can recommend new foods to try or how to properly mix foods to get optimum use for your body.

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I have been so busy getting back in the rhythm of working out and eating right, I have let the blog slide.  I apologize, again.  :)  But I promise this really is the restart of writing.

I am currently doing two-a-day workouts to help my brother get back in the swing of working out.  Gordon really wants to crack this thing and so we are able to keep each other on track.  So, yesterday and today are two workouts a day.

Yesterday was kettle bells - a 'surprise' courtesy of Gwyn at the YMCA Healthy Living Center.  I went to train and instead she and I joined a kettle bell class with Greg, another trainer who specializes in the bells.  By the way, everyone asks, "Why do they call it a kettle bell?"  Here is a picture, you will see it has a passing resemblance to a tea kettle.
Well, you use the tool a number of ways, but one of the most frequent is swinging it through your legs and bending over each time you hike the kettle bell.  It's a great combo of weights and cardio.  But it's also really hard on your body the first few times, as I am still feeling in my lower back and hamstrings this afternoon! :)

Even with the aches, I am planning to go back next Monday.  Gwyn is going out of town and I will be training myself next week.  So, I think I may try some classes on top of the other workouts with Gordon.

As for today, Gwyn ran me through a circuit on the machines - 1 minute of lifting weights, one minute of cardio moves in between.  Plus, three sets of minute long crunches on a weight machine.  I expect my back with be better tomorrow and my abs will be the next ache.  LOL.

Well, I have to go finish work.

Yours in Health,