Pies and Thighs

My older daughter Megan came home for Thanksgiving this year and her younger sister, Ryan, went with her boyfriend to his family gathering. As I baked the pumpkin pie that is Megan’s favorite and has come to be somewhat of a tradition when she comes home for the holidays, I pondered what all I was thankful for this year. Somehow, baking that pie makes me thankful for my wonderful daughter but also for all of the years I spent raising her, making plenty of mistakes mind you but to now be at a place of perspective to enjoy her company and look back on those years as ones well spent despite the stress of raising a family, working and somehow maintaining sanity in the midst of it all.

Having totally changed my life this year to go back and seek my doctoral degree, I am thankful for the opportunity to do so. I am also thankful for the extra time I have in my schedule now that I trained for and ran my first half marathon.

Given the opportunity to share a tradition that Megan has built with her dad of running the annual Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot was another experience for which to be thankful. Being in probably the best shape of my adult life, I was anxious to see if I could win my class in the race. I did place 6th out of 69 females in my age bracket and at the same time shaved a half-minute off my mile pace from the time I ran this same 5K, 13 years ago.

I attribute my success to my training since July but also to my applying my sports nutrition principles as a member of CPSDA to myself while training. I have been amazed at how quickly my body has adapted to my training with good nutrition and enabled me to achieve my milestones. It seems as if my thighs have no trouble covering ground at speeds and distances I thought I would never achieve physically. However, the big win was getting to spend this time with Megan and her dad and having Thanksgiving breakfast together at Denny’s afterwards.

Heading down to Georgetown to spend some time with my own mom brought another reason to be thankful. At the same time it was bittersweet because afterwards, I took Megan to Austin to help her look for apartments as she graduates from Southwestern University next month with a double major in History and Political Science. She is hoping to work as a legislative aide or lobbyist in the future.

We enjoyed our typical mother/daughter bonding of shopping, dining, talking and walking as she made plans for her future. It was with some hesitation that I dropped her back at school knowing that in the coming years as she becomes an established member of the workforce and possibly starts a family of her own, it may be more difficult to share another Thanksgiving like the one we shared this year. However, like all the years spent raising her, I will have the memories…and for this year at least, I can be thankful for pies and thighs.

Halt Holiday Heft!

I recently completed teaching a multi-week nutrition course at Nutriworks. Our last week was spent choosing healthy options for dinner at Central Market and reviewing tips for maintaining weight during the holidays.

I tried the roasted tenderloin with raspberry sauce remembering that if it is round or loin, it is lean beef of which there are 29 cuts. This was discussed previously in my Steak Times Deaux blog post. I accompanied with whipped sweet potatoes and green bean almondine as well as a whole grain roll. This visit compelled me to come up with some tips of my own for Halting Holiday Heft which I shared on my Fort Worth Nutrition Examiner.com blog.

Check them out and give yourself the gift of good health! Even better, share that gift with good friends such as the friends I developed through teaching my class and sharing topics such as judging true hunger, preventative eating, micro-nutrient importance and the role of exercise!

Have a Healthy Holiday Season!

Happy Birthday!

My Birthday Roses
October was a banner month. Not only did I run my first half-marathon, October is also my birthday month. I challenged myself to run the half-marathon as it has always been a dream of mine. In fact, 2012 has been a year of fulfilling dreams and giving back.

The Honored Hero Run, now in its third year, came to life in 2009 as a grassroots effort by a group of local leaders and friends who convened to create an event that would bring the community together in a collective effort to raise awareness of and funds for blood cancer research, while honoring those who have battled or are currently battling blood cancer. The run makes possible donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program to fund blood cancer research.

The course of the run wound parallel with the Trinity River along the Trinity Trails and the challenge of this physical endeavor gave appreciation of the long road and exhausting journey that the Honored Heroes endure receiving treatment for blood cancer. Personally, the experience was both humbling and fulfilling in being able to help in even a small way, contribute to this worthy cause.

On a comparable note, I additionally logged one more year on the road of life. Having recently left my job to pursue my doctoral degree, I have been spending more time in the city of Fort Worth so not only running my first half-marathon to celebrate my new life but also spending my birthday actually in my home town.

The day was spent with my best friend Diane as we enjoyed movie at the West 7th Movie Tavern. As you all know, I am the Examiner.com nutrition blogger for Fort Worth and luckily we were able to order food during our movie. Not only was I impressed by the structure of the theater with a three-story entry way, but also by the wide selection of food and beverages with healthy and not-so-healthy options as well as adult and not-so-adult beverages.

From the Movie Tavern Menu, I selected the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Pita with Sweet Potato Fries. This nutrient-rich sandwich was to die for delicious while contributing a good amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals from the cranberries, pecans, feta cheese and whole grain pita not to mention the yummy sweet potato fries. Good to know there are healthy options out on the town.

Afterwards, we headed to j.rae’s cupcake shop for a birthday cupcake of which I chose the German Chocolate. This little shop has an amazing array of cookies and cupcakes at affordable prices and proper portions for the young and young at heart! As a registered dietitian, I know that all foods can fit in a balanced diet and the key is eating a nutritious base to your diet while practicing balance, variety and moderation with a side of exercise. So, Happy Birthday to me!