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!

 

Ch-Ch-CHANGES

Yes, please read the title in your best David Bowie.

It’s almost 2016, which means I’ve successfully blogged one other time, I feel like I have to be close to the quota, but seriously it’s almost time for RESOLUTIONS!

Here’s a Ricki stat for you, 912% (+/- 5%) of resolutions are related to health and wellness. But I think, latest Ricki findings were that 911.7% of those resolutions fail. But why do they fail? Lack of effort? Lack of time? Lack of dedication? I think otherwise…

I bought my first house, an unbelievably well-kept and clean home… In a not needed side story, some of my favorite memories with my brother, Brady, are the times that we were extremely clumsy. I fondly remember him flipping spaghetti sauce in front of the pantry resulting in him, dropping the spaghetti sauce and watching it explode on the white carpet. Or me taking my spaghetti into the front room and somehow managing to fling the entire plate forward in speeds that are only comparable to Usain Bolt’s 100m time, hitting every wall, the fireplace, and ceiling. Well, the new house, my new house, definitely has zero signs of spaghetti, or any other stain ever happening.

Anyways…in typical Ricki fashion I started 80, (no +/-) projects when really, the house was move in ready. I took apart the kitchen cabinets, I took off all the electrical outlets in two rooms, started redoing windows, started painting two rooms in different wall colors, pulled out appliances to create zero walk ways. So, really I took a move in ready house, and made it impossible to move in.

Kitchen

My Kitchen…wall painted, but the cabinets are missing and i created a fire hazard with the fridge.

In related news, the day I closed on the house, I went to the grocery store for Hollie and Shelly, because they were making, you guessed it spaghetti dinner for the football and volleyball teams that week, and needed…yep, spaghetti sauce. After departing the pasta aisle, I made a pit stop in the cereal aisle because really who wouldn’t want some Captain Crunch in the morning in their new house? As I reached for the big box, because I’m always looking at best price per amount, I remembered, I didn’t have milk, bowls, spoons, or a table. So, I left the cereal aisle. Again proving the, I don’t plan things out well.

My lesson: prepare, plan, one step at a time, and have a really great support team when tasks become overwhelming.

Front Room...Painted this...several times because I forgot windows open.

Front room…Painted the window…several times because I forgot windows open and didn’t detach things…and the walls

Resolutions fail not because of our dedication, our time, our effort, but the lofty goals we force ourselves to achieve in a short amount of time.

Things I should have done: move my bed in right away, yes Brian, you were right. Planned for things I would need, for functioning like a human; bowls, spoons, a microwave, a toaster, kitchen things, I don’t know maybe some furniture. I still haven’t moved in, but the support team, I definitely had/have. My grandma brought me some cereal bowls when she found out my dilemma. My mother watched me panic picking out a microwave and pretty much just calmly took over when she realized I was slowly…ok, rapidly, starting to panic about my lack of preparation and picked out my necessities. My pops did the jobs I have no idea how to do, fixed locks, fixed a wood chute, brought me all the tools I could use, and then made sure I used them correctly. Then my brother, came to visit this past weekend, and by visit, I mean to work non- stop with me to put my kitchen back together.

This is the challenge: want less right away, do a progressive resolution, with steps. Share the goals, with friends, family, trustworthy supportive people that want to see the goals reached. Keep the goal, of “Losing Certain Amount of Pounds” but, have a plan that isn’t extreme. Plan on perpetual changes to add into regular activities and diet. Let yourself fail, with chance of recovery. Here, I’ll help:

  1. Drink more water! It’s calorie free, helps out your system, your dentist will be thrilled you are replacing your calorie filled sugar drinks with sugar free water! Here read up on my earlier blog discussing WATER. Also diet soda is still rough my friends, I’m going to quote myself from an earlier blog, Soda Pressing…”  It’s Diet Though.Diet soda means relatively nothing.  There have been several studies that prove that people that do drink diet soda daily increase overall weight. When our liver takes on too much glucose the excess is converted to body fat. So to quote Mean Girls, “First you bloat, .” Yep, you just bloat.”
  2. Get moving my friends. A large chunk of us work at a desk for a solid 8 hours, then we go home, and watch a football game on the couch. Lucky for me, I don’t think I’m allowed to sit for longer than 20 minutes in the same spot at work. And I don’t have a couch yet. So, walk when you can, take the steps over the elevator, take the dog for a walk, take the neighbor’s dog for a walk…but ask first. Don’t be that person.

    She will refuse to walk with you though..

    She will refuse to walk with you though..

  3. Prepare more meals! I know a lot of us claim we don’t have enough time. I’m guilty of this. BUT we need to tell ourselves, if we don’t make it, we can’t have it. When we prepare our meals, we know exactly what is in it, we can pronounce the ingredients, and it’s easier on our bodies to process food we should know. So, cut out the lunch visits to a drive through, if you absolutely have to visit a drive thru, cut out the combos, cut out the fried, look for items you know are lower in calories, ask for dressing on the side or no dressing.
  4. Tell your friends, have them join in! When all my cabinets were all over I was ready to take down the sold sign and just leave, when I saw the selection of microwaves I was ready to leave my cart in the aisle and go back to my car, but I had my people to assure me that I wasn’t alone. If 912% of people are doing wellness resolutions, there a really solid chance someone you know is reaching for a similar goal.
  5. Be open to trying new things, because those create neat memories, even if they don’t stick. Hollie made me go to a yoga class a year ago. We found out we aren’t great at yoga. But gosh, I can still remember when the instructor said if we could go further with a pose, go ahead, and us just laughing and struggling with the easier pose. In a related side story, when I was younger, I really disliked asparagus, now as an adult. I love it. So, explore!

    I never pull an asparapass anymore. YAY greens.

    I never pull an asparapass anymore. YAY greens.

  6. Forgive your fails. I took on a lot more than I should of, but I know I’m going to do it again. But I know I’ll get through it. That’s the joy, enjoy the process, the challenges, the setbacks, celebrate the progress! Because realistically, we are human, we are meant to fail, we are meant to be tempted, chocolate chip cookies exist because they are ridiculously good and someone needs to enjoy them. So enjoy, but enjoy in moderation, one cookie, not the whole batch. Give them to your neighbors…since you walk their dog now, they like you, and you know them.

    Absolutely nailed it....not my plates. Still don't have those.

    Absolutely nailed it….not my plate. Still don’t have those.

Enjoy the process my friends, because if we love what we do, the results will come.

Also, I’m not done yet, hardware and a counter project this weekend!

IMG_0454

Kitchen window needs to be fixed yet. BUT the PROCESS!!!

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.

Soda Pressing…

In high school my brother quit drinking soda. I’m the younger sibling, so naturally I thought everything my brother did was cool, so I also needed to quit drinking soda. To be honest, we both have minor relapses now and then.  It’s hard for me to reject Red Bull, it tastes like gummy bears and fun.

Then, I didn’t know why he quit drinking soda, I thought it was what the cool kids were doing.  To my surprise I found out soda was actually not remotely good to drink.  In fact, there is no nutritional value to a soda. But that’s not the worst part…

When I was younger I was a fan of David Letterman’s Top Ten.  Now I’m 26 going on 85 and really enjoy sleeping after the 10 pm news, and haven’t seen it in years. So let’s do the Top Ten Reasons not to drink Soda a la David Letterman.

Suits aren’t my thing

10. Teeth are neat. There’s a real reason why dentists say avoid sweets and soda.  Soda is FULL of sugar. The sugar in soda is turned to acid by the bacteria on our mouth. That acid then eats at our teeth enamel and cause tooth decay. One 12 oz Mountain Dew contains 11 teaspoons of sugar. And you Diet Soda folk aren’t in the clear either.  Diet Soda contains citric acid, again, bye bye enamel.

9. Big Bones are for dinosaurs. Danish researchers discovered that Soda contributes to fat buildup around skeletal muscles and around the liver. This buildup can contribute to diabetes and insulin resistance.

8. We flush…and redrink. This one grosses me out a bit.  The artificial sweeteners that are used in diet sodas don’t break down…So the exit our body just like they entered.  Then when they get to waste-water treatment plants, they can’t stop them from entering the waterways. A test of 19 municipal water supplies in the US showed a low level presence of sucralose in each one. So that’s sweet…yes pun intended.

7. I forgot. Brominated vegetable oil, bka, BVO is added to prevent the flavoring from separating. It’s also an industrial chemical used as a flame retardant in plastics.Even worse, it can cause memory loss.

6. “I am 16 going on 73…” A study published in a 2010 issue of FASEB Journal reported that lab rats that had been consuming excessive phosphate levels (equivalent to that found in soda) died five weeks earlier than rats with a normal phosphate diet.

5. BPA un-free. There has been a war on BPA and for good reason. My momsicle made me toss out several water bottles, even nostalgic ones in fear of being attacked. BUT aluminum cans, not just plastic bottles, contain BPA.  The BPA keeps the acid in the soda from reacting with the metal. Companies are working on finding a BPA free one time use plastic bottle but have seemed to neglect the cans. BPA has been linked to cancer, diabetes, obesity, and more.

4.  It’s Diet Though. Diet soda means relatively nothing.  There has been serveral studies that prove that people that do drink diet soda daily increase overall weight. When our liver takes on too much glucose the excess is converted to body fat. So to quote Mean Girls, “First you bloat, then you drop 10 pounds like that.” Yep, you just bloat.

3. Brown soda spray tans. Yep, brown soda isn’t naturally dark. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA in 2011. There were trying to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make brown cola brown. Why? Well, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, both I can’t come close to pronouncing, are known to cause cancer in animals. California’s Proposition 65 declared 6 micrograms (per person daily) of 4-methylimidazole would be enough to pose a cancer threat. In a 20 oz bottle (diet or regular brown sodas) there is upwards to 200 micrograms.  And these ingredients are completely unnecessary because they are just for coloring.

2. Pick-up lines and soda are family, both extremely corny. There is currently a ton of hoopla about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). Over 80% of the United States’ corn supply isn’t GMO free.  Basically we have been creating a super corn that is capable of defending itself. That meaning the corn is basically a pesticide itself. And soda if full of CORN. So there’s that…

1. “I can’t wait for the caffeine to kick in so I can get my caffeine headache, not sleep, faster heartbeat, anxiety, become irritable, and even nauseous.” Yes, that might be a bit extreme.  But caffeine can lead to all of those things. Caffeine dependency is one of the worst habits to break because caffeine withdrawals can happen within 12 hours of your last sip. So it’s a constant cycle of need.

Soda

For the record, I only watched the Top Ten, I’m Team Jay Leno. I might also have quit drinking soda when Surge was discontinued. Any 90’s birthday party was not complete without Surge.

Rock the Run 5k/Half Marathon at Wa Du Shuda Days!

Our Rock the Run Wa Du Shuda Days 5k and Half Marathon was so much more than just a race to Debra and Ed Wagnild.

deb2

On July 13, 2012 Debra was hit by a car while running and was thrown 45 feet. She broke several bones, ribs, and even suffered a collapsed lung. After several surgeries the doctors told her she would never run again. But that didn’t stop Debra…

On almost the two year anniversary of the accident Deb finished her first race post-accident. Her fight, courage, and spirit were absolutely remarkable. We couldn’t have been more honored to meet her and for her to share that incredible moment of her crossing the finish line with us. It will be a memory that sticks with us forever.

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.

BradBikeTrail

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 www.bradgoesbiking.com.