This is a guest post by Deb Thell.
Deb is a fitness enthusiast who is passionate about health and wellness among our youth. Her interests span running, cycling, kickboxing, weight lifting, and general outdoor goofing off with her children. Her kindergartener and second grader have competed in dozens of races, cycling events, and triathalons.
I’m very proud and excited to be heading up the first-ever STRIDE Academy 5K and Kids’ Fun Run fundraiser; and hope BLEND Blog followers will consider registering themselves (or a team of friends!) for the 5K. And, if you have kids sign them up for the 1K Fun Run, too.
Why a 5k?
A 5K event is a great race length. For beginners, it’s a manageable distance and provides a sense of accomplishment and pride when crossing the finish line. For more experienced runners, it’s an opportunity to amp up their pace and try to set personal per-mile records. For the community, it’s an opportunity for friends, neighbors, relatives and coworkers to do something together, providing natural training partners and shared goals.
What’s with the Kids’ Fun Run?
The fun run is a 1K, giving young people a chance to get the race bug and encourage an ongoing healthy, active lifestyle. Kids love crossing a finish line and showing off their finisher medals to parents. Every 1K finisher receives a medal and a shirt…and lots of cheers from the STRIDE team on the sidelines.
I love kid-specific athletic events – it gives the kids a chance to feel what it’s like to achieve a fitness goal on a scale that is manageable for younger ages.
Why this race?
The STRIDE 5K and 1K Kids’ Fun Run is an important event for me because it represents much of what I care about: supporting our education system, getting people of all ages active, celebrating others’ accomplishments, and community participation.
The Stride 5K and 1K Kids’ Fun Run will be held on Saturday, June 15th, 2013 at Stride Academy (1025 – 18th Street N, St. Cloud, MN 56301). The start and finish line is at Stride Academy with the run winding through Whitney Park. View flyer!
- 7:30 a.m. - Registration opens
- 8:30 a.m. – 1K start
- 9:00 a.m. – 5K start
Cost and Registration
- $20 for 5K race
- $10 for 1K Fun Run
- Register by June 1st to guarantee a drawstring backpack (5K & 1K) and medal (1K).
- Register online today!
See you at the finish line!
We’ve had an emotional week filled with fond memories and tears. We said goodbye to my Grandma Vesta. My Grandma was a woman who loved people and had a passion for good food. She would share her love by feeding others. She was well-known in my hometown as an amazing cook and talented baker. She was a caterer and cake decorator.
She would make birthday cakes in the shapes of animals, t-shirts, cars, stars, sports equipment, motorcycles and even a piano. If we could dream it, she could make it. Not only did these cakes look good…they tasted great!
My Grandma appreciated kitchen gadgets. If a new gadget or tool came out, she had it. Her walk-in-closet was literally overflowing with these space-sucking, but useful tools of her trade. I can still see the rice cookers, blenders, mixers, electric knives, slow cookers, food processors, popcorn poppers, can opener and food dehydrator. While I don’t have such an expansive collection of kitchen gadgets, there are a few I cannot live without…
- Cuisinart blender/food processor combo—2 gadgets in one!
- Kitchen Aid mixer—which is actually a 19-year-old wedding gift from Grandma Vesta and Grandpa Earl and still runs like a charm.
- Yonanas machine. Yo, what?? You heard me…our Yonanas machine.
We learned of this wonderful dessert maker a couple of years ago. It is a machine that turns frozen bananas into a soft-serve dessert. Mock ice cream, if you will. And tasty, too!
We pulled out the Yonanas machine last night to whip up some dessert for my uncle Keith and cousin Becca, who were in town for Grandma’s funeral. They are both into nutrition and health. And, like me, they can no longer eat copious amounts of cookies and cakes for dessert.
We pulled some peeled ripe frozen bananas out of the freezer and let them “rest” on the counter for a few minutes. Then we turned on our Yonanas machine.
You simply push the bananas through the chute and watch creamy soft-serve come out into the dish. That’s it. No dairy. No added sugar. No sodium, fat or cholesterol. Only frozen bananas, which score a NuVal 91, and are high in potassium and fiber.
While it might not be as “homemade” as Grandma’s desserts, I know she’d approve. And, I know she’d have a Yonanas machine in her gadget closet.
Win a New Kitchen Gadget!
This week, in honor of Grandma Vesta, and because I like dessert, I’d like to give away a Yonanas machine to one of my blog readers. For a chance to win, give us a Peek Into YOUR cabinet and tell us about your favorite kitchen gadget. Just leave a comment below (or click on “comment” at the top of this blog). I’ll select one winner at random on Tuesday, May 28.
Congratulations to Anthony, winner from my last blog – Peek Into Kelly’s…Family. Meet Brooke!
Until next time, enjoy your dessert…and, if you can, give your Grandma a great big hug!
Passionate about food and good nutrition, Kelly, a BLEND Program Specialist for CentraCare Health Foundation, is also a mom who wants to set her kids up for a lifetime of good health. The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of NuVal LLC, Coborn’s, Inc., BLEND, and the CentraCare Health Foundation.
This is a guest post by Greg and Corinne Skoog. Greg and Corinne are Sartell, MN residents, parents and both members of the Apple Duathlon committee.
Okay, so huffing and puffing your way around the Apple Duathlon course may not be candlelit dinner at the Ritz. But it sure beats sitting silently on the couch! So my wife and I are running the Apple together this year.
We’re doing the Apple together because…
- It’s a challenge and a fitness goal that keeps us motivated.
- It’s something we both enjoy. (All right, it might be a stretch to say that Corinne “enjoys” running. But she does enjoy the excitement and competition of race day.)
- It’s fun to say you took part in a “World Championship Qualifier” race.
- This year’s shirts are really awesome. (Yes, that is so a good reason for running a race.)
And just to make the whole race even more romantic, we’re going to be running it together as a team. That’s right – some quality bonding time AND half the work of running the whole race? I think that’s what they call a win/win.
Corinne will start out running a 5K. (You know you can run a 5K.) Then she’ll have an hour or so to recover while I hop on my bike and pedal just under 21 miles through Sartell and St. Stephen. (It’s a great course.) Finally, Corinne will run a second 5K and find me cheering for her at the finish line.
Then we’ll eat and drink whatever we want for the rest of the day. (Wait, can I say that on a BLEND blog?). Because we just raced the Apple flippin’ Duathlon.
Hurry – get registered!
There’s still time to get registered, but not much, so hurry. Race it yourself for the challenge. Or team up and race it with your spouse. Or maybe a sibling. Or a neighbor. Or a friend. (Heck, you can race it with an enemy. We won’t judge.)
Want to make it a full weekend of family awesomeness? Sign up today to race the Apple with your spouse on Saturday, May 25, 2013. Then sign up the kids to race the Apple Kids Duathlon on Friday, May 24, 2013. It’s a great way to kick-start the kids’ summer with a burst of activity. And it’s part of the BLEND Fit Kids Club Series!
See you out at the Apple!
Greg and Corinne Skoog
Greg is not only a runner and cyclist who has competed in the last seven Apple Duathlons, he’s a pro at guest blogging. Greg wrote a BLEND post last May to promote the Apple Duathlon - Something New to Du. Check it out!
Emily is a Clinical Dietitian with the Coborn Cancer Center through the Saint Cloud Hospital. An avid runner, she believes the best way to live a truly healthful lifestyle is to include both physical activity and proper nutrition into your daily routine.
Lifestyle Factors Play a Role
Cancer is a general term used to describe abnormal dividing of cells. While cancer can be genetic and run in the family, lifestyle factors also play a part in cancer diagnosis. According to the American Cancer Society, one-third of all cancer deaths in the US are linked to diet, physical activity, and being overweight or obese.
Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals… Confusing words you might hear thrown around when talking diet, nutrition, and cancer prevention.
Keep it simple: To ensure a balanced diet, focus on getting a variety of foods and lots of different colors in your diet. Generally speaking, the more bright and vibrant the color, the more nutrient dense it is. An example of this would be choosing romaine lettuce or spinach versus iceberg lettuce. And no, artificial colors and dyes do not count.
Fruits and Vegetables
Juicing is a popular trend right now and a great way to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet, but it should not be used to replace whole foods. Often juicing removes the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, like fiber for instance. And be aware—drinking juice packs a lot of calories and sugar in a small volume!
Other Lifestyle Changes
Maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity, using sunscreen regularly, and smoking cessation are also vital factors in cancer prevention.
Include the Kids
- Start a small garden with various herbs, spices, and vegetables like onions, carrots, or bell peppers. If space is limited grow them in small flower pots and place them in the window or on the front step or balcony.
- Let your kids pick out one new fruit or vegetable at the grocery store to try during the week.
- Try a build-your-own-parfait bar with low-fat yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit of their choice (berries and bananas work great), and granola or cereal.
- Let them stir in shredded carrots, zucchini, or broccoli into spaghetti sauce.
- Top a whole wheat English muffin with pizza sauce, spinach, diced carrots, broccoli, peppers, and pineapple, and low-fat cheese. Pop in the oven at 350 degrees until cheese is golden brown.
The Take-Home Message
Avoid getting caught up in claims that sound too good to be true. Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods is your best bet. Have fun, be daring and try something new. Try it prepared different ways. It can take kids multiple times trying a new food before they find they like it. As a kid this dietitian HATED cooked carrots (and if I’m being honest, I still do this day), but now raw carrots are a daily “go-to” snack.
Thanks for reading, and remember the words of Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Emily Stenzel, RD
Coborn Cancer Center
In his former life, Robert was an overweight Brooklyn boy, nicknamed Butterball, a chocolate cheesecake lover, high school valedictorian, DuPont chemical engineer and born-again ultra-marathoner. After losing much of his family to heart disease, Robert resigned from his 11-year $100,000 DuPont engineering job to take his message about the importance of physical activity on the road — literally — walking the talk across America. Later, a Wall Street Journal headline read, “When Sweetgall Walks, People Listen.”
There have been many interviews conducted with 80- to 100-year-olds which reveal 14 common lifestyle habits. These are simple habits that everyone – the young and the young at heart – can do.
1. Physical Activity. People who remain physically active throughout their lives have stronger endurance, bones, muscles, circulatory and immune systems and sharper minds than their sedentary counterparts.
2. Nutrition. Long-living folks are frugal eaters. They eat to live — not live to eat. Studies on animals confirm slower aging effects when caloric intake is modest. Eating more of a plant-based diet with less fat and sweetened carbohydrates helps maintain modest caloric intake.
3. Sleep. Early to bed, early to rise with consistent sleep patterns is good for longevity. Staying up late impairs your immune system. It’s also associated with late-night eating and obesity.
4. Safety. You can be very fit, but if you’re a risk-taker, chances are greater than you may die fit and young. Every act in your life carries a risk — from not wearing a helmet or seatbelt to speeding on highways.
5. Family and Friends. This is all about your social-support network — the safety net you can count on to get you through tough times.
6. Coping with Loss. Those who can pay their respects at a funeral and get on with their lives, maintaining a strong will to live, turn out to be better survivors. Too many spouses die a year after their life-partner dies. Coincidence? Probably not.
7. Resiliency. The ability to adapt to changing times, views and situations is so much healthier than being rigid and non-compromising.
8. Coping with Stress. Stress affects all cells and biological systems in the body. Health seniors learn “not to sweat the small stuff — and it’s all small stuff.” So be happy and try not to worry so much — especially about things you can’t control.
9. Humor. Healthy people have a talent for finding the funny side of life and laughing at it. So lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously! Play like a child!
10. Humanitarianism. Longevity is aided by random acts of kindness. People who act kindly, doing good deeds, acting honestly and fairly with greater understanding seem to get rewarded with more time to keep doing good things.
11. Spirituality and Faith. Having faith in a higher power seems to correlate with longer, healthier lives. Related to this concept is having purpose in life, prayer, hope and doing good for the benefit of society.
12. Positive Attitude. Waking up each morning and looking forward to a new day is healthier than rising with an attitude of “Oh, how am I going to get through today?” To be more positive, turn off the TV and go out walking in nature. Be optimistic! Look for the “good” in people and situations.
13. Job Satisfaction and Happiness. In America, more people die on Monday mornings than any other time of the week. Was Monday-morning-death so prominent thousands of years ago? Realize it’s an advantage to love your work or at least look forward to it. In the 1927 book “Happiness,” Yale President Timothy Dwight states, “The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts.” Think about that!
14. Lifelong Learning. Learning keeps life interesting. It also keeps your brain “in shape” — use it or lose it. When you stop using your brain, it shrivels up and dies; so does the rest of you.
Meet Robert Sweetgall
After walking and running seven times across America (which is four more than Tom Hanks’ character did in the Hollywood movie, Forrest Gump), Robert Sweetgall will be visiting St. Cloud to speak on the subjects he knows best – walking, physical activity and the motivation to move.
You have two chances to learn about wellness from Robert Sweetgall, who is the first person to have walked 11,208 miles through all 50 states in one year.
• Longevity, Aging and the Meaning of Life from 1-2:30 p.m. May 16 in the Olson Room at Whitney Senior Center, St. Cloud. Learn how you can add years to your life and life to your years.
• Motivation to Move: Great Ways to Reduce 5 Weight & Stress from 6:30-8 p.m. May 16 in Clemens Hall at Whitney Center, St. Cloud. Learn how you can increase your health and decrease your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Door prizes and refreshments provided. Free and open to all ages. Learm more here!
Comment below (or click on “comment” at the top of this blog) if you are planning to attend any of the events. Let us know which one…we’d love to hear from you!!