Do a Thing.


I’m a pretty nostalgic person. What I found awesome as a child, I find awesome as a grown up child.  My pops, Greg/Sherm/Gregy/Popsicle/my doghters Gpa/Gregsie, was a land conservationist until he “retired” this year. I put that in quotations, because I recently spent a Saturday morning with him when he fielded a phone call from a farmer for a solid hour.

Anyways, because of his land conservationist ways and earth loving habits, we would spend countless hours together in the woods where he would be quizzing me, “What kind of tree is that” “Is that an invasive species or not” “Can you climb that” followed with a quick “Please don’t tell mom I had you climb that.” I didn’t tell her. Because to be fair, I loved/love being challenged, especially from my dad who is probably the most coordinated fella in all of the land.


Our farm…Hutch’s Hide Out

My pops and I are a lot alike, but he is much more of a daredevil…He fell out of a haymow when he was a kid, cracked his skull, pole vaulted without a mat, fell off the roof when everyone was sleeping cleaning the chimney, raced snowmobiles, trick water skied. While I get pulled over for going too slow. Really, he’s rad.


Here’s my pops on our boat…that’s not his favorite dog. His favorite dog is Soph. 

Side note, when my pops fell off the roof, some 20ft or so, he shattered his ankle/leg…really just destroyed it, but he also managed to give himself a black eye from the landing. When the paramedics asked him how he received the black eye, because he’s Greg and doesn’t understand how to be in a bad mood, he told them that when Pam (my mom his wife) saw him, she took the bat to him.

But anyways, I love spending my time off figuring out if I can climb that, or if I can jump that high, heck, I even do that in the office. Luckily, Jarod, one of my forever friends sits near me at work, understands and accepts my shenanigans and is always supportive of me not being able to touch the ceiling wearing Chuck Taylors, but encourages me to always try again. Friendship.


Not ideal for jumping.

So this past week I had the opportunity to reconnect with nostalgia and get outside. When my brother and I were younger our family needed to visit every waterfall that has ever existed in Wisconsin. And because my father is Greg Lowe, we needed to get as close as possible to the waterfall, so that was my plan, get as close to a waterfall as possible, and really, just be me for a minute.

Last year I planned a trip to the Porcupine Mountains…and then I canceled it, because life is tricky. So this year, I forced the time. It was ideal.

As most know, my internal GPS is ridiculous, and my ability to listen to an external GPS is equally as bad. Seriously, the guide spends the majority of her talking time telling me to please make a u-turn.  I like to just “feel” out the right direction often. I’m rarely right, but they usually lead me to my favorite paths.


My first wrong turn of the trip.

I moved to Boulder for a hot minute…twice. On the second time moving back home, feeling absolutely lost with life…I took an immediate wrong turn after fueling. It lead me to a huge field of sunflowers…again I love nostalgia. My grandpa, Hutch, once planted a field of Sunflowers out to our family land (where I was challenged to climb things) when I was super young. It was my favorite and thus started a love of sunnies. But, I took this wrong turn as a message of I was making the right choice…I was going home.  Since then I haven’t really made wrong turns, just a ton of interesting choices.

I started my day with a few wrong turns to only be greeted by the coolest birch trees. Hi, again, I’m super nostalgic; my grandparents’ house had this beautiful birch tree in the front yard that had to be in every single family photo we ever took. Gosh, I love and miss my grandparents. Anyways…

I made my way to Porcupine Mountains, immediately saw a tiny trail off of a bridge, parked my car and just went. I didn’t get a map, because hi, I do what I want regardless, I was already too lost and had no idea where an actual ranger station was, and I just get too excited and go. Well I absolutely nailed it. This trail led me straight to Manabezho, Manido, and Nawadha falls! It was 50 degrees…but there is something I really enjoy about being cold and I tend to wear a stocking cap for 7 months out of the year.  For some reason, the park wasn’t busy. I met about 5 people while exploring the waterfalls. Obviously, I say hello to everyone, unless they have a puppy, then I only say hello puppy and skip the owner, because again, I get too excited and forget my manners.

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So I sped walked through the forest to get to the falls…to then create a path down to the falls…to then hop rock to rock…to get as close as possible without accidentally having to swim. To where I then yelled, “ Why is this a thing.” Because really, we live in such a cool world…and so much is just a day drive away.

I’m generally an anxious person about things.   I know a lot of people that can handle driving on close to E, after the waterfalls I hit 120 miles left, yes 120 miles, and I started to get really uncomfortable. So I backtracked 20 miles to the town I knew had a gas station, filled up, and then went back to the mountains. I have the same feeling when eating Qdoba or Chipotle…really about four bites into my burrito bowl I’m already sad it will be ending.

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I then stopped at every legal or legal-ish opening I could find to see Lake Superior and hiked Lake of the Clouds. It was perfect…for several reasons..

  1. There was no plan. There was no schedule. I was completely unstructured for the first time in a very long time. I was free to make as many wrong turns I felt was necessary. It was freeing.
  2. I found myself accidentally running so many times throughout the woods. It was one of the best days of exercising being unaware that I was making myself go farther just for the chance to see more.
  3. I didn’t fall in the water. I did, however, go in the water several times because there’s something wonderful about cold water and being able to make yourself cold
  4. I did a thing. I did several things. I saw new to me things.

So there’s my challenge. Do things, things that make you excited to accidentally exercise. Be alone. Be cold. Be without a schedule…even if it’s for a day, an hour, heck a few minutes. Be ok with  Celebrate wrong turns.


Lake of the Clouds


No Sleep Till…..

Friends, it’s been a wild spring for me. Also, please read the title in the form of the Beastie Boys.

I used to be the worst at mornings. Seriously, the joys of “on this day” on facebook proves that…


But, something has happened in my old age…I love mornings, Wednesdays or Saturdays, they are all great. For total clarification purposes, I still really love milkshakes.

I like to think I’m a busy person.  I really like activities.  To be fair, I don’t fully care what they are as long as I have a structured weekly schedule to follow. It feels as though I’m constantly double booked, or I function best when being double booked.  Really, I’ve lived off of Hollie’s words, “double booking is okay, but triple booking is not ok.”  Well I’ve been triple booked since March…


Here’s one of my favorite activities. And yes. Yes it was. It was probably 7000 + pounds.

This was my first year of coaching Varsity Softball.  And well, it was awesome, tiring, confusing, heart breaking, and somehow super rewarding.  We had three sets of sisters on our team…yep, three. One of my favorite practices was just bonding with the kids when the sisters explained several times when they tried to kill each other. It made me super thankful to grow up without a sister.


No sisters, just brothers…

Anyways to stay on topic…when I used to pick my doghter up from daycare (my parents) on Friday I would immediately fall asleep in their chair with my coat, hat, and shoes on.  It was instant, I don’t even know if I had the opportunity to say hello.  My parents grew increasingly comfortable with it; it was our typical family bonding time, they lovingly watched me sleep.


Not kidding, bottom left is the chair of doom. Soph and I have a really weird bond.

“What are you doing Friday night Pam and Greg?” Watching Ricki sleep. – My Parents probably.

Don’t get me wrong, I love surprise naps. But, they also freak me out. I’m a normal functioning human and then BAM Friday at 6pm I needed an immediate nap. Also, I don’t mean a 15-20 minute fake nap, I don’t care what the research says, that’s a long blink, not a nap, I mean a full REM.

But, because of the new responsibility of softball, my Friday night naps were altered.  I talked one of my best friends, Mike, into coaching with me.  We regularly would get together after Friday games to discuss every second of every inning, and we’d invite our friends, because I double book in all aspects. They all have grown accustom to me falling asleep in front of them, they expect it, not a nap, a full sleep.


So now my schedule was waking up to get to work at 6am, struggling to fall asleep because who should hit in the 6 spot, wondering if our field will ever be dry, why did that coach say that, should I check on the well-being of the sisters, and oh yeah my original life of being double booked…Sleep didn’t happen.

Which leads me to the question…HOW MUCH SLEEP DO PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO FUNCTION LIKE A HUMAN? I always start with google searches. I used to think my google searches were weird…but here are two of my friend’s recent google searches, yes,  same friend, two different searches, and she was spot on with guessing the correct answer to both questions before google confirmed it.


Yep, a conversation went from dairy to Avatar in 19 minutes.

I checked out, sleep is in their name, it should be accurate information, I mean if it’s on the internet it’s real. They have a pretty neat graph, ranging from newborn (0-3 months) to adult (18+) I will skip the newborn through pre-school section, because I should give out zero advice about young kids. I mean, I regularly catch myself eating ice cream for breakfast.


So for school age children from 5-10, they recommend 10-11 hours of sleep. For teens they recommended 8.5 – 9.5 hours and for Adults 18+ they recommend 7-9 hours. For the past 3 months of weekdays I’ve rolled out of bed at 4:45am. And then on Saturdays and Sundays, I’m actively questioning if my neighbors will kick me out of the neighborhood if I start mowing at 6:15am. I very rarely go to bed before 10:30pm on the weekdays, so I’m just under the 7 hours, but that’s if I hit the pillow and sleep immediately. Which…I don’t, three sets of sisters.

My sleep pattern has adapted to understanding that Friday is my pay for my sleep debt day. Yes, sleep debt, the accumulated hours that people have lost not reaching their recommended amount of hours of sleep.  It’s a real thing.

Although I really like not spending time sleeping, there are some huge benefits of having an actual healthy sleeping routine.

There is definitely a correlation of sleep deprivation and a healthy weight. It’s true, tired choices are usually not the best choices.  Sleep deprivation dulls the frontal lobe, the decision making and impulse control section of the brain. Early mornings and late nights can lead to caffeinated choices that are pumped full of calories. The overall tired feeling can make people skip workouts and “save time” by grabbing fast food.  Also, going to bed, completely eliminates late night snacks.


My friend Poppers bought me a giant snickers…because when I’m tired and hungry, I always reach for a snickers.

There is a hormone called ghrelin that signals to the brain when it’s time to eat. When we are sleep deprived, our bodies produce more ghrelin. On the other hand, there is called a hormone called leptin that tells our brain we are full. When we are tired, leptin levels drop.

But how do we go about getting more sleep or better sleep?

1. Don’t coach sisters.

Just don’t do it.

2. Make your bedroom your bedroom.

The less things that can distract you, the better. Put your phone down, put it on airplane mode, put it on a dresser further away, break it in fourteen pieces, whatever you have to do, disconnect from the world and SLEEP.

3. Create a schedule.

We are creatures of habits. MAKE A SCHEDULE. Stick to it as much as you can, get used to it, fake love it until you actually love it.

4. Hey, exercise.

Yep. Exercise not only releases stress but it also improves sleep quality and sleep duration.

5. Quit Triple Booking

But also don’t quit, because juggling makes everything a bit more exciting.

Happy February 1st!

Happy February 1st! How are your resolutions coming? Yeah? Forgot about those? I didn’t.


I made the mistake of putting my goals out there in a blog post from last year. Let’s recap about the absolute success of all those…

 Because I really love the off-season of every sport ever, real or Madden, I’m going to give myself a goal grade like it’s the NFL Draft.


  1. My sleeping pattern.

Goals I set to alter my sleeping pattern: Be in bed by 10pm, disconnect from my phone after 10pm, and somehow, I connected Sophie, my pup, to staying at my house during the day and not going to puppy daycare at my parents. How is that related? Who proofreads these? How do I have a job?

Grade: C

I, used to be, am the ultimate nerd, and only ever accepted myself getting A’s. So this grading thing is a real kick in the ego…and this is the goal I did the best on…

  • There have been several days that I’ve actually accomplished going to bed before 10pm! But, there are 365 days in a year. And there was a lot more days that I didn’t. But, I am not completely upset with myself; it’s not a fully realistic goal. Last night, I went to the New Lisbon Girls’ Basketball Game. I arrived home a bit after 9pm. It is absolutely not possible for me to wind down for the day in ONE hour.  Sophie needed to play, I needed to look in the fridge several times, I needed to desperately flip through Hulu to get background noise, and finally selecting  on grapefruit for dinner at 9:40pm, wasn’t helpful. So 10pm didn’t happen. Friends, there is no rushing a good grapefruit. Here’s a side story about my love affair with grapefruits…


    My keyboard is really small.

So, my grandparents, Hutch and Vera, loved grapefruits. To be fair, I don’t know if my gram loved them, but gramp did, and gram loved gramp. So every year they would order giant grapefruit by the cases. Gram taught me how to cut them in half, outline the segments with the knife, the proper amount of salt or sugar to use, selecting the correct grapefruit spoon and then inhaling the grapefruit in about half of the time it took to prepare the grapefruit. She would then give me a tiny cup to squeeze the remaining grapefruit juice into; I however, just squeeze it onto the spoon these days. I don’t fully know if grapefruits are my favorite fruit or if nostalgia makes them my favorite fruit. But gosh, I love grapefruits and gosh I love my grandparents. Anyways…back to 10pm.

  • I’m still connected to my phone. I’ve lived in my house for over a year. I have pretty close to zero bedroom furniture. So I should get a table of some sort and just put my phone on it. Really, it needs to happen. Anytime I wake up in night, I’ll respond to emails, texts, and of course I’ll check Facebook and the “on this day” feature. There are a lot of gems in that. This section hurt my goal grade the most.


    Here’s today’s “on this day”

  • The odd part about Sophie not going to daycare…The one I said would “never” happen. Happens. I prep Soph every morning with a long talk about how she needs to protect the house. I put her thunder coat on her. She understands her duties, she doesn’t love her duties, but I’m positive she loves the added responsibility.



Non related side story, I have a bad habit of throwing sweatshirts on my bed, not folding them, not putting them away, and just throwing them on my bed. One day, I came home, and she had escaped her jacket. I had no idea where it was, when I finally went to bed, bam, and her jacket was on my bed right next to my sweatshirt. Love Soph.



  1. Using my kitchen.

Goals I set to use my kitchen: Take the crock-pot out of the box, buy bread, make two meals a week, and use the Traeger 3 times a month.

Grade: Z-. Yes, I’ve failed this, times a gazillion.

I took my crock-pot out in January…of 2017. Used it twice, once successful, second I disregarded the directions and the recipe…


I was, however, a special guest chef at Silver Star Health and made this. And it sold out…but it was already 2017. Ugh. RULES

I threw out a full loaf of bread last week, I mean it was a new level of, “Ricki please do not eat that.” So I’m buying bread, (A+), just not consuming it (F). I have a cutting board and I’ve used it. So that’s a plus. I used the Traeger one time in 2016. Yep, failed this goal.But this goal was super lofty.


Overall 2016 Grade A


I don’t believe 2016 was a fail. I just focused on other goals that I put in front of these goals. And really, I enjoyed 2016. I didn’t make a few meals, I lost some sleep.  I didn’t burn down my house and that’s pretty awesome. Soph lost five pounds. I kept my job. Really, both feet kept moving forward.


Really she likes exercising now.

Was I super dedicated to these goals? No. I wasn’t. I’m a super independent career and community minded person. Going to bed early and learning how to cook doesn’t match up with my “big” goals or lifestyle choices. Although Hollie has called me a hermit several times this week. I’m not really a hermit. I want to be busy, I want to be active, and I want to respond to things incredibly fast.

So this is what I have learned through setting New Year’s Resolutions… Make sure your Resolutions match up to your life goals, make your goals work for the YOU you genuinely want to be.   And hey, it’s a great day to set new goals.

Happy 2016 Friends!!!

HAPPY 2016!

Let’s talk GOALS.

It is said that if people share their goals with others, they have a better chance of sticking to their goals. I’ve never been one to set a New Year’s Resolution, but I do set a lot of goals hourly, daily, weekly, monthly etc. But, in honor of the blog and the New Year, I’m game to create some and share.

If you recall my earlier blog, I discussed goal setting, remember, goals need to be realistic and timely, it helps that they are attainable. There should be a “pinnacle goal” but then also “step goals” to reach that pinnacle goal. In our goals, there needs to be some room to fail. We are HUMAN so there’s going to be a day where we all of a sudden remember that we are hungry and reach for a Snickers….

So here we go…

  1. My sleeping pattern is absolutely terrible from Sunday – Thursday. I seem to finally hit the pillow around 11 give or take 20 minutes, which then leads to a final run through of every social media distraction possible. A final refresh of my emails. A quick check of the texts I didn’t respond to and to make myself sound less cool, the texts that say read, or in my brother’s case, delivered. Thanks Brady. To be fair, mine also say delivered even after I read them, because Brady knows best. I skipped out Friday…because really when I go and retrieve my pup from my parents’ house to take her home, I regularly fall asleep on one of their recliners at around 7pm. I am so much fun. Sometimes, I don’t even take off my shoes.

But…to be fair I really like shoes.

So with this, I have three issues. First, I’d like to be in bed around 10pm, 10:30 at the latest. Here’s how I plan on fixing the first…I have some odd emotional connection with the 10pm news, I don’t really watch it, but having it on in the background is nostalgic for me. Guess what, problem fixed, I no longer have anything but Hulu and Netflix. So see ya later News Channel 8…but really, I miss you and will get cable again. So I’ll have to figure out this issue later this year.

Two, I need to chill out with needing to be connected to my phone. This I will struggle with, for those that know me, know that delivered really means I read the message. So, I think I’m going to do 1 of 2 options, once I get to my bed, set my alarm and be done, cold turkey. Or 2: use a different outlet to charge my phone from the one right by my bed.  The second option isn’t really viable because I like hitting snooze once. Which, I should change but STOP IT I’M NOT GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING. So, here’s my room to fail goal: snoozing is ok.


Side goal: delete emails.


Lastly, let my dog stay alone in my house and not go to puppy day care at my parents, this one is never happening. Soph gets what she wants.


She wins.

I did say we need to allow room to fail and stepping stone goals. Well here are my stepping stone goals. The Packers might play on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday Night. I’m going to watch those, even last night’s gem of a game versus the Vikings…

But seriously, Micha Hyde’s interception was incredible…the rest not so great. And this is the time when I chant, “Abby, Abby, Abby.” Yes, Jared Abbrederis. SO with that being said there will be instances where a 10pm bedtime isn’t viable.

So here is my wording of my goal: Sunday through Thursday average a before 10:30 bedtime. That allows each day to being a stepping stone goal.

Side note I did not stay up and watch the Badger Holiday Bowl game.  I watched our first 3 points and decided I needed to sleep. A 9:30 start time on a weekday???? COME ON DO BETTER COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

  1. Yep. I am terrible at being remotely active in my kitchen. When I originally moved in, I panicked the night before because I didn’t have a crock pot. So my mother to calm my crock pot nerves, bought me one that week. I have since not taken the crock pot out of the box. I have been moved in since October.  I also really needed a toaster because I was toast sensitive. Earlier that week Hollie questioned the lack of toast intake…and I realized I had no idea when the last time I had toast. I have since used my toaster twice…but for bagels.


    Here’s my kitchen, sans bread. Just lots of paint.

I do have a game plan. Throw out the full loaf of bread that I haven’t opened since I moved in. Replace the bread, because if you have been keeping up, I used to make pb&j sandwiches on the regular. And buy other groceries.


See, my love is real.

I was recently gifted the coolest gift I’ve ever received, a new fridge. I feel like my excitement level has to be comparable to when my brother found out he was getting a little sister, or at least what his excitement level should have been. So, I’m going to get to grocery shopping like a normal human.

I do actually like cooking, I’m not good at it, so I’ve found out the best method for me is the crockpot or Traeger Grill method. Because really the Traeger is just a giant crockpot that makes everything taste delicious.

For the record, I don’t really snack; I just really like Papa Murphy’s take n bake, specifically Taco (which is back for this month) and Spinach, Bacon Artichoke. Both on thin, because I’ve already told you earlier that dough in general is just filler to me. And as you found out earlier…I go over and get my pup from my parents every night just around supper time.

I do have some great resources from the moments I did cook.

  1. Yes, Chef in Training, that’s me. I’ve never had a recipe from here that I didn’t love. Like seriously, try them all, and give me your leftovers. My favorite meal is the Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken. Try it.
  2. This site is awesome so many ideas, I’ve never tried any but I’ve written several down and proceeded to forget about them. They even have weekly meal plans…if you’re trying to cook every day and not just twice. I mean look at this beaut.
  3. I’m also a huge fan of soup. Check out Tidymom. Scroll to the bottom…235 soup links all on one page.

Yes. I’m looking to cook two meals a week. Judge that. BUT I’m one person, I eat like a bird. I’d also like to really have a family meal with my parents more often. I gifted my Pops the Traeger for his birthday and they struggle with google.  So, really I’d like to use that around three times a month. And who knows, maybe this will take off and I’ll get fancy and freeze things and cook more often…but come on now. DON’T PUSH IT.

So when you are evaluating and creating your goals, make sure you don’t just evaluate the long haul, but also the hourly, daily, weekly goals, because that will make the process so much easier.

So if your goal is to lose weight. Change it, to becoming healthier. Let’s start off by what are your hourly goals? Yes, hourly goals for losing weight are necessary. So, if you are going to work at 8. You need to set a goal of have breakfast. I won’t pick your breakfast for you, but it should be high in protein and low in sugar.

Then you are going to need to set a goal for pre-lunch hunger. A goal without a plan is headed straight to nowhere. So, plan on packing something to snack on: vegetables WITHOUT DIP, fruit, almonds, protein shakes that has recognizable ingredients…low sugars, granola, SOMETHING HEALTHY. I also think planning on drinking a certain amount of water by lunch is also super helpful. You can learn why I think that here. Then have a lunch prepared so you aren’t feeling those hunger kicks and have that urge to drive to a drive thru or a quick convenient store lunch.


Things you shouldn’t have on your desk:  a Snickers bar the size of your arm. Thanks Shelly.

Also set an afternoon goal of more water and a second snack just until you figure out your habits and what you need. It’s better to be prepared with a snack then to have to look elsewhere. Boom, there is a detailed goal with a plan. We are human so, allow yourself fails, it shouldn’t be a huge day of cheat, but cheat meals, or half cheat meals, or cheat snack, which ever works best for you, while staying honest to your goals. Don’t get disappointed, plan for fails, then get right back at it the next day.

Adding exercise to any health related goal is also crucial. BUT again, do it in steps. Going to the gym every day for a beginner…is too much. Plan a daily exercise that includes some form of movement; walking for a certain distance, mix in jogging, and even times of sprinting, biking, hiking, so you don’t have to spend all of your time in the gym.

Weight training is crucial, muscle mass and muscle tissue burn more calories than fat. And after your body starts building muscle that will increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is really how many calories you would burn a day without leaving your bed. The more muscle mass the higher the BMR. Yes, burning calories just because you’re you.


But…to be fair I really like shoes.

Set a goal of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, with 3 of those days being more intense and make sure you mix in weights!!!! I like to do weights three times a week. Don’t be afraid to get creative!


Yes, I even hike in clean shoes.

I’ll post another blog about some of my favorite exercises in a future blog.  For the time being,, google, and youtube are great resources!


I mean I really like shoes.

I’ll take a progress pic of my fridge and maybe even a meal or two! My fridge isn’t in yet. BUT once it is, be prepared for the inside view, like MTV Cribs, and pictures of meals!

Again, HAPPY 2016! Let yourself fail, have fun with your goals, and work for them.

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” SO GET WORKING!

It’s Thanksgiving Time!!

First look at what all of us Mill Haven Foods folk received today from Brian and Hollie! Yes, they like us. We like them too.Thanksgiving

Now, let’s talk Thanksgiving!

I think I’m so programmed at this point that I now get hungry just at the word Thanksgiving. Not really my problem, my family is capable of throwing down. Seriously, I anticipate my Aunt Lori’s vegetable bake like a sneaker release. It’s that good.

But, with that being said there are a lot of claims out there that we tend to pack on the pounds during this holiday season. There are a few ways to curb that fourth plate extra weight.

Let’s start with a “Ricki” 5 ways to curb the gain…

  1. Skip the bun. Yes, I call the bun, filler…and empty filler at that, like the salad line at a buffet, SKIP IT. Unless it’s a homemade one that is still warm, then you’re on your own.buns
  2. At the family gatherings, you really don’t need to try everything. I’m sorry mom, I love you very much, but we both know you aren’t Betty Crocker or even a distant cousin. And I’m ok with that, you taught me other things, like how to order a pizza.
  3. Drink less, I’m not talking about less water here friends…I mean the extra cheerful calories in a bottle. I’m boring, I’ll have an occasional watered down beer, but my pops usually finishes it, as in normally more than half. So, if you’re near my dad this holiday season, offer the rest to him. He is a super hero.
  4. Don’t buy plates. Yes, I just bought a house, and still only have 1 real plate, of my parents. They also don’t know I have it.
  5. If the turkey isn’t great, don’t try to save it with gravy. Just power through the not great turkey. The protein is still there.

Ok moving on to maybe some actual helpful advice…

  1. Don’t skip breakfast to be extra hungry for Thanksgiving Lunch/Dinner. I am guilty of this, I fully understand the importance of breakfast, but I’m telling you right now, DON’T GO HUNGRY. You’ll then fill up on the pre meal snacks. And snacking on non-healthy snack foods isn’t the best plan. Just extra calories that aren’t your Aunt’s stellar vegetable bake.
  2. Pace yourself. Eating shouldn’t be considered a sprint! Our brains tell our body we are full after about 20 minutes of eating. THAT DOES NOT MEAN CRAM ALL YOU CAN ONTO 8 PLATES AND PROCEED TO DOMINATE YOUR FOOD IN 20 MINUTES!! Take your time. Enjoy the vegetable bake.
  3. Hey, maybe just one round of the dessert table. Yes, I’m aware there is probably going to be 18 different desserts on the dessert table. My family is even bringing cake to celebrate two birthdays. I can understand and appreciate wanting to try everything…but be selective and try smaller portions if you really want to try everything.Thanksgiving Pie
  4. Leftovers…I get it, they are awesome. That 9pm hunger hits, boom you have 8 GladWare containers full of joy, and a full belly by 9:21pm, yes, I accounted for the 1 minute of luke warm microwaved food that you couldn’t wait for a fully warm plate. But maybe, skip them. Don’t take 8 containers, maybe 1; give away your 18 pie slices. Be creative on dodging an extra container.Pumpkin Pie
  5. Get moving! Yes, we are all excited about a turkey nap. BUT, we should also be excited about exercising afterwards. If you have a sibling like I do, who sends a text of “CAN WE EXERCISE A LOT THIS WEEKEND” use their excitement and join them.

THANKSGIVING is meant to be a time of being THANKFUL! Enjoy your plate, enjoy your family/friends/whoever you are blessed to be spending your time with, and also enjoy the process of trying to cancel out the holiday season food!


Rick, let me guess, a Snickers?

Hi friends.

It’s blog time. It’s been several daysweeks…eh months, since our last blog. In case you are wondering, I did not get fired or get taller.

Let’s talk candy bars and nutrition value.  I make a lot of claims in real life that I have accepted as truth and therefore attempt to pass on to my friends as truth.  For blogging purposes, I’m ok with debunking my half-truths.

So, I guess this is where I tell you one of my half-truths that I live by… judge away cruel world judge away.

It’s wrestling season, which means a lot of early Saturday morning tournaments.  I do not have my life together on Saturdays. I do a great job at fully functioning five days a week…but weekends are wildcards.  And for those that are assuming I’m crazy and enjoy the night life the town of 2,531 has to offer, I don’t, I’m boring. I’m 26 going on 80. I enjoy puzzles, I dedicate a night a week to cleaning my sneakers, I enjoy the Gameshow Network, and absolutely fancy surprise naps.  With all that being said, I don’t plan breakfast if I have to be up before 7.  Yes, I’m fully aware breakfast is the most important meal of the day, blah blah blah. GOT IT MOM.  Side note, 1,003 of the population isn’t allowed to leave their temporary residence at the prison.

I'm serious about clean sneaker night.

I’m serious about clean sneaker night.

So when we finally arrive at the tournament, I grab my ol’ reliable breakfast bar, a Snickers.  I dislike chocolate, I dislike peanuts, and if it’s afternoon my taste buds wake up and I no longer want anything to do with a Snickers.

I ate a snickers here.

I ate a snickers here.

But for some reason, a breakfast Snickers is absolutely delicious and I validate my choice by saying it is a meal and has protein.

I never actually looked at the Snickers’ wrapper before making this statement…and now looking at the wrapper I feel like I should have chosen my words a bit better. But I will defend it to the end.

Candy bar sizes have been getting smaller and smaller. The current Snickers bar is 52.7g. It has 250 calories, 110 of those being from fat. It has 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams being saturated fat, 120mg of sodium, 27 grams of sugar, 33 grams of carbohydrates, and finally my bright side, 4 grams of protein.

The culprit…NOT from today, but from a Saturday. I just saved the wrapper. PROMISE.

Although I got more and more depressed while typing those, I am stubborn, and will fight to the end.

Let’s start with calories! If this was not used as a meal and an extra intake, I’d have to run 2.5 miles.  I’m using an uber simplified method of 1 mile = 100 calories. BUT, I claim it’s a meal, so I don’t have to run. Point, me.  (YES I UNDERSTAND IT IS NOT HASHBROWNS AND EGGS MOM)

Now to the fats, I’m going to assume I’m going to take a loss. But let’s do this, they made the new Snickers smaller, they used to be 25% of your daily fat value, now it’s only 18%. So there’s that. Saturated fats are particularly bad for people; they raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.  But to be fair on my part, it’s early morning, I most likely lose crumbs, and by crumbs I mean all of the saturated fat probably falls to bleachers.  And it’s safe to say that Snickers also contain monounsaturated fats, because of the peanuts.  Monounsaturated fats are good fats, they are good for the heart and lowers cholesterol.

Oh, salt. ALL SODIUM IS NOT TERRIBLE. Excess sodium yes, not great, it makes the kidneys retain extra water which causes bloat and strains the heart and blood vessels. And high salt intake sometimes leads to an elevated blood pressure. BUT! Salt helps the body send messages to and from the brain. Salt is also important for work outs…it helps prevent muscle cramping. And luckily it is listed as just 5% of the daily value.

Ok. Sugar. I’m just going to throw the benefit out there right away, energy. Boom. Ok, now let’s get real. Sugar gives you energy, then there’s a sugar crash. But past energy, sugar really is just an empty calorie.  It contains no proteins, no vitamins, no minerals, and no essential fats, really just nada.  I’m also a big fan of teeth, and well, teeth hate sugar.

PROTEIN, the giant upside of a Snickers bar.  Ok, to be fair to my friends, 4 grams of protein isn’t a lot. BUT, when talking protein in candy bars, Snickers is kind of king. Skittles and Starburst have zero grams of protein. In chocolatey comparisons, Three Musketeers 1 gram, Milky Way 2 grams, and Twix 2 grams. Again to summarize previous blogs, protein is good, keeps us full, our body uses protein to build and repair muscle tissue, helps our hair and nails, and READ OUR OTHER BLOG POSTS.

“You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Snickers absolutely nailed it with this slogan.  When I’m hungry I’m a person that wants a Snickers. When I’m full, I don’t even like Snickers.

So DECISION TIME, Snickers won’t make a person healthier. BUT really, in moderation and with a healthy overall diet and exercise, Snickers also won’t destroy a person.

Here's me doing something athletic.

Here’s me doing something athletic.

Hunger Run

On Wednesday, June 25, we met Kyle Lang, a West Salem senior.  Kyle had embarked on an 101 mile Hunger Run in just two days.

Hunger Run

Hollie, Kyle, and Shelly

Kyle was attempting to raise $100 per mile, which would total just over $10,000 for The Hunger Task Force and WAFER Food Pantry.  The Hunger Task Force distributes close to 1,000,000 pounds of food to pantries, meal sites, and youth programs. WAFER is La Crosse’s largest food pantry.

Kyle was able to complete this incredible journey, 47 miles on Monday and 54 miles on Tuesday.


Hollie, Brad, and Shelly

While we were waiting to meet up with Kyle we met Brad who was also an unbelievable journey.  On April 29th, Brad flew from Minneapolis to Norfolk, Virginia, then assembled his bike and started to head to Anacortes, Washington. His total trip mileage when he arrives in Anacortes will be around 4,600 miles.  To follow Brad’s journey check out