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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday's Workouts. Why I Run

I started running in college with my roommate. We’d go at night when we were finished studying and run from our apartment to the Provo Temple. I liked the crisp air, lights and stars. The next year when my roommate (the same one) was sick, I started running alone. Because Utah winters are cruel, I’d put cotton balls in my ears and wrap a bandana over my mouth and nose. By this time, running wasn’t just about chatting with my roommate or burning calories, it was also about being alone.

I loved my roommates and I loved living with five girls, almost always, but the truth was I’d grown up in a very quiet house with a sick mother and a working father. After my mother’s death, the very quiet house became even quieter. I loved my roommates then, I love my family now, but I am used to quiet and I love it. I love being alone. Running provided that solace and solitude when I was in college and it provides it still.

During the semester breaks when I went home I’d run with my dad’s German shorthair—Trooper. We didn’t own a leash, which was probably just as well because Trooper ran much, much faster than I did. He’d run away from me and then run straight at me. I think he found it amusing to see if he could knock me over.

Thirty years later, I still run with a dog. My dad’s dogs have died, but whenever I go home, I’ll run the same trail that I did when I used to run with Trooper. For twenty years I’ve been running the same miles in Rancho, but the amazing thing is—whether I’m running around the golf course or through the fields in Arlington—I’m still the same person that I was when I began thirty years ago.

My body has changed—it’s still changing. My circumstances are different. I own more stuff, have more responsibilities, hopefully I've learned things, but basically, the essence of who I am—I’m still that girl. Running helps me remember that. I think my very best thoughts when I run. I don’t know why—I only know that it’s true.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday's Menu--Mango Slaw


My stepmother was a vegetarian. After the first night she made dinner for us, my dad whispered to me, “I’ve never seen so much dad-burned rabbit food.” That was the beginning of our alpha-alpha sprout days. Around that time, my best friend looked in the cookie jar on the counter and sadly said, “I remember when this used to be full.” And years later my husband once commented on my parent’s fridge, “I’ve never seen a full fridge without anything to eat before.”

My dad never did learn to appreciate Marie’s vegetables, but I did. I’m not the puritan she was—I like to dress my vegetables up and when I sit down to dinner


I try to remember to have a plate of (mostly) plants. Marie ate only fruits and vegetables, but I try to have two thirds of my meal be (preferably fresh) produce.

Here’s one of my favorite dishes. It’s great with fish or chicken and can even be used in a taco.

MANGO SLAW

4 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 fresh mango, cubed

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1 cup fat free sour cream

Mix all ingredients well. Be sure and save as much mango juice as you can for the dressing.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Introducing Penny

I’m starting a new novel and this blog will be, in part, a marketing tool for my book, LOSING PENNY. My main character is a blogger who chronicled her recent weight loss online and attracted a huge following and unfortunately, a stalker. With the help of her honeymooning best friend, she decides to pretend that she's traveling the world. Her friend is taking pictures of exotic locals and Penny is photoshopping herself into the pictures, posting them on her blog and all the while hiding out at a remote beach house where she comes face to face with a novelist who has his own brand of stalker-- his boss. The two--my blogger and the novelist-- who intensely dislike each other, decide to fake a marriage to thwart the boss and protect my blogger from her stalker. While learning to share a house, a kitchen and a refrigerator, my characters are eaten by dinosaurs, just kidding—but really, I’m not going to tell you anymore because I want you to read the blog and, eventually, my book. LOSING PENNY should be ready for the world by December, 2012.

Losing Penny and Pounds, the blog, will mirror Penny's blog and feature Monday’s Menus, Wednesday’s Workouts, and Feel Good Friday’s Personal Affirmation quotes. (This is a blog about healthy lifestyles, not about being skinny at any cost. And, of course, all body parts will be referred to in the most respectful manner.)