Happy Holidays

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Apples and Peanut Butter

"Best snack ever."

Hmmmmm….When looking for a snack that can satisfy a sweet tooth, a salty craving, and kill hunger pangs in a single bite, look no further than the classic apples with peanut butter. Between the dietary fiber in the apple and the protein in the peanut butter, it is also a snack that will last.

Apples are my favorite fruit for a number of reasons. They are easy to pack and carry. They do not require other equipment to consume. They are crisp, juicy, and available year round (although, not locally.) I grew up in apple country. For awhile we even had a tree in our yard. (That’s were I learned that a few too many apples in one day can relegate a little girl to spend some time in the bathroom…lesson learned.) We’d also take trips to the local orchard to pick up cider and then spice it when we got home.

Nutritionally, apples provide vitamin C, about 4g of fiber, calcium, and potassium. They are also full of antioxidants. Be sure to buy organic and eat the skin. About 50% of the vitamin C and a majority of the antioxidants are in the skin. Pectin, the soluble fiber in apples, can help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar.

The toughest part of eating peanut butter is staying in the 2 tablespoon range for a serving. Personally, I seem to always have a lot left over on the spoon that needs to be licked off. If you do keep to a serving, then you’ll get about 16g of fat, 8 g of protein and 2g of dietary fiber. Peanut butter is also a good source for niacin and vitamin E.

The combination of a carbohydrate and a protein together provide more sustained energy and keep your blood sugar stable, so you wont go looking for a snack again, for a while.

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January 31st–The End of the Resolution

A goal is the purpose toward which our action is directed. Without a goal, our behaviors are left undefined. For example, deciding to run a marathon creates the motivation to taylor your running and training around making that achievement.

A resolution involves making a change; usually around something we should be doing anyway…like eating less and exercising more.

I’m not much of a resolution maker. I understand that I am human and I will make less than ideal choices along my journey. Like the wine I had last night that I knew would impact my run this morning. I am , however, very goal driven. Having a goal makes me focus on effective and productive behavior. I may stray from that goal, but I will always come back and make the necessary adjustments either to my behavior or to the goal itself.

Here are some of the goals I set for myself for 2012….

1. To run 1000 miles by year end.

This is in response to a less than focused running year in 2011. I had injuries, sicknesses, and personal events that gave me the excuses I needed to stray from training for way too long. Therefore, I told everyone my goal and why.  That action will keep me from backing out.

2. To post a new newsletter and blog post for each month of the year.

Hmmmmmm……. since it is 10 pm on January 31st, I’m not thinking that I have done all that well with that one.

3. To finally loose that last 15 lbs that has been residing in a few places I would rather that it didn’t.

Did you read number two?

What I love about goals versus resolutions, is that I do not feel like a failure in week three of January when I have not yet gotten the ball rolling on all my goals. I can focus on one or two of them for awhile and then add another goal to the mix.

First and foremost, I write them down. Usually, I write them in more than one place. I keep them on my phone, on the refrigerator or the bathroom mirror, and on my computer or iPad. I keep them visible, which keeps me focused.

I can revise my goals. I can break my goals into smaller pieces that may seem less daunting. For example, I will be running 2.5 miles per day to meet my 1000 goal by year end. Sounds more manageable, right? I can break the goal down into weekly or monthly goals as well. I can look ahead and know that in certain months the weather is hot and rainy and might not run as often and set lower goals for those months while setting higher goals for the cooler, dryer months.

I like my goals to be measurable and specific. Resolutions are always about being “better” which is very hard to quantify and really hard to know when you have reached your destination. There is a chance to celebrate when a milestone is reached and that keeps me motivated to continue.

I like my goals to be possible but a challenge as well. I might be a little disappointed if i do not reach my goal or 1000 miles,  but I will be thrilled if I accumulate 900 miles by year end, or if I lose only 5 lbs. The point is that because I will have changed behaviors in the right direction to even come close to those goals, I have won! I can also evaluate how to be even better for the following year by looking at the obstacles I did not overcome and understanding why.

If you have failed to meet your New Year’s Resolutions as we roll into February, don’t fret or belittle yourself. Know that any month is a great month to set some clear, specific, realistic, achievable and motivating goals. Get more accomplished for yourself in 2012 by setting some goals today.

Live well. Be well.




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