The Bacon Genie

In celebration of International Bacon Day this Saturday August 31st, I wanted to re-post and pay homage to The Bacon Genie.  Bacon day celebrations typically include social gatherings during which participants create and consume dishes containing bacon, including bacon-themed breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and drinks. Bacon Day was conceived in Bedford, Massachusetts in 2000. 

Let me introduce The Bacon Genie.You were probably thinking by the title, that an “Aladdin– looking” man would show up in your kitchen to magically whip up some bacon.  Wrong. The Genie is a plastic bacon-hanging rack made to “quickly prepare bacon in the microwave while making great tasting bacon every         time.”  Isn’t all bacon great-tasting?

Why is a Nutritionist writing about Bacon? On a recent vacation to Grandma’s house, my kids went shopping to a small town thrift store and came back with The Bacon Genie. A “steal” for only $2 they told me.  They also promised  that getting them up for school will be so much easier because the Bacon Genie will have their bacon ready. Really?!  (Funny, because we normally cook bacon about 2 times a year at our house)  Well, I will tell you the Bacon Genie works like a charm and is easy to use and the kids have made bacon every morning for the past week.  With no more bacon in the house, the Genie will now take a rest, a LONG rest. I like to remind my kids that bacon is a treat and should not be eaten daily. I call it “fatty, salt sticks”…a buzz kill, I know. Even vegetarians love the smell of bacon cooking. I credit the smell of bacon with getting me through my first half marathon.  The race ran through a campground with smells of bacon and pancakes wafting me to the finish line.

Bacon without grease? Yes, the Bacon Genie promotes!  All the fatty grease and cholesterol “supposedly” drip into the reservoir below. The grease does drip ( & splatter) all over the place but saying all the fat and cholesterol drip out is like saying “watch the fat & cholesterol” drip out of a stick of butter. It can’t happen. Fat, salt & some protein are what bacon is made of and that is why it tastes so yummy. Bacon is 70% fat, mostly saturated, and 30% protein with approximately 120 calories/thin slice. But who can eat just one? My curiosity got the best of me, here are a few more bacon facts: (thanks to Asylum.com)

1. Bacon comes from the belly of the pig  2. The US consumed 32 billion pieces of bacon last year  3. Bacon is one of the oldest processed meats in history dating back to 1500B.C.  4. Bacon bits are actually vegetarian  5. One 200 lb pig will produce 20 lbs of bacon  6. National Bacon Day is held the Saturday before Labor day ( you knew?)  You can even order a Bacon Sundae at some fast food places now,  yikes!

So, enjoy your occasional bacon…we only live once!  Cook bacon in a good old cast iron skillet, just like mom used, to get the best flavor and more iron added to your meat. You never know what the kids will find at Grandma’s house.

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Hail to the Coach’s Wife

Fall has arrived in our house. We are a football family. Our son plays, my husband coaches and I am a coach’s wife.

That last bit is important because every year for just about 6 months, myself and thousands of other women are picking up the slack left behind in the football season. Ladies, if your husband is a coach of any kind whether it be volunteer for young kids or all the way up to the college and professional level, you know the commitment our husbands make to these athletes. They are “all in,” recruiting, forming teams, attending coaches meetings, working on & off the field with the athletes, communicating with parents and schools, watching game film and always finding a way to develop their athletes and strengthen their team. Believe me, it does not go unrecognized…we are so proud of these coaches  changing the lives of these kids and often are the only strong, consistent and positive role model regularly found in these kids’ lives.  I have seen it, time and time again. So, thank you coaches for making this world a better place. You teach our children so many valuable life lessons that are tough to learn anywhere else.

But I want to take a moment to say “Hail to the Coach’s Wives!”

Not as a martyr or “look how hard we have it,” but an honest to goodness thank you. Most of us have other kids at home, work full time, act as CEO of the household, play taxi driver, chef, laundress and all the roles we juggle throughout our day. Our job as the coach’s wife, is almost as stressful, as being the coach. It can be a lonely job since coaching a football team can require long hours away from the family with a strong chance of attending a few family celebrations solo. This is the hardest adjustment for most women that are new to the coach’s wife job, including myself. I found myself missing my husband, even though he was coaching 10 minutes away from our home. But the minute I see him on the field with these boys, I forget the sacrifices we have as a coaching family and feel so proud of his dedication to the success of his team.

Each year is marked with an end of season party. Many are celebrating that it’s over and some are just plain celebrating! Team players are thanked, coaches are thanked and then it’s light’s out, party is over. And every year I leave wondering…why didn’t anyone thank the coach’s wives for their supporting role? I have fought the urge to stand up for the other coach’s wives in the room and say thank you to my fellow co-workers. And I know they are standing there wondering the same thing.

So to all of my fellow coach’s wives out there…I am standing up to THANK YOU for everything.  You are the MVP! May you have a great season this year and learn to let go of a few extra dishes in the sink or the laundry that doesn’t get folded. We are part of a coaching family and will continue to celebrate the victories and suffer through the losses together. Go Team!

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Day 21….What I have (re) learned

Marathon Training Update: I am now 3 weeks into training for the Nike Marathon in October. I feel very lucky to be training with a great group of women from Team LOLA ( http://www.teamlola.com). Many of them are excited to be gearing up for their first marathon and some are re-entering the world of marathons after a ten or 20 year break. We are all learning a a lot about ourselves during this process, myself included. As I headed out the door yesterday for my long run of the week…I said to my husband, “wish me luck” to which he quickly responded…”you don’t need luck.”  I thought, OMG…yes I do! What if I don’t make it? What if I get a cramp? What if I feel horrible or my stomach gets funky? All very normal concerns of a runner or anyone training for an event outside of their comfort zone. But he was right.    I didn’t need luck for something I have done thousands of times before, I needed to just get out there and run. Most likely none of those things I worried about would happen and in the event that they did, I would know what to do. He knows me too well.

Here are some things I have re-learned  thus far: 

1. Slow Down: Long runs are meant to be loonnggg.  You have to slow your pace down in order to cover 26.2 miles. I keep trying to run the same pace I would for a 10k or my typical hour long weekday runs. Not only is it ok to run slower, it’s crucial.

2. Be Patient: Along with slowing down, you cannot rush a long run. I get impatient wanting to “hurray and get it over with,” so I can check it off of my to-do list. This is one of the only times during a day where I can enjoy being in the moment that I have all to myself. Don’t rush!

3. Have enough Real Estate:  Be sure when you plan your run, that you have enough ground (or miles) to cover. Runners love numbers, gadgets, watches, etc. I have been known to get home with 16.2 miles covered and was supposed to run 17 miles. It’s no fun to run circles around your neighborhood until your GPS hits the magic 17 mile mark while your neighbors watch you thinking you’ve lost your mind.

4. Rest Days: My biggest offense. For some reason, I feel that rest days don’t apply to me and that just a little weight workout, hike or even a long shopping trip at the grocery store  on a scheduled rest day will be just fine. I know better.  Rest means rest. I’m trying and promise sit down and put my feet up!

That is it so far. I ‘m sure there will be more with 12 weeks to go. Looks like a simple life lesson….slow down, be patient, always have enough real estate and be sure to enjoy some good ol’ rest and relaxation.

Happy trails!

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July 28, 2013 · 9:42 pm

Summertime Sweetness

 

Summer is a time for sweetened ice tea, popsicles, juices, ice cream and more.  We can all remember the sweetness of summer as a kid with sticky popsicle juices running down your face as you tried to keep up with melt from the hot summer sun. The “sticky” we felt was  the sugar residue left on our skin. Good old fashioned REAL sugar. I do not believe sugar or any other real food is bad for us but I do know that artificially created “fake foods” are not good at all and can be quite damaging to our mind and body.  (Artificial sweeteners can be useful the diet of a diabetic.)

Please enjoy your summertime treats made with REAL sugar and skip the artificial sweeteners.

 

Speaking of sweeteners….Splenda, also known as Sucralose, is an additive marketed as a “natural” product because is made from sugar. However, this statement is misleading—because sucralose does not exist anywhere in nature. In reality, it’s made from table sugar—in a lab via a slew of harsh chemicals. During the process, oxygen and hydrogen are exchanged for chlorine—yes, as in pool water.  I love swimming in a pool but I do not want to drink it!  As a result, this switch actually makes Splenda 600 times sweeter than table sugar. And because sucralose is so much sweeter than natural sugar, it can over-stimulate the sugar receptors in our brain, making you crave intensely sweet foods throughout the day. No, thank you. I will stick to the real, sticky stuff in moderation. Happy Summer!

 

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Day One

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This is an updated re-post from last year. Soon after I started training last year, some family & heallth issues kept me from continuing.  All is good now and I am thrilled to be training alongside 12 fabulous LOLA women for the Nike Marathon in October.

July 8, 2013….Today is Day One of Marathon training. In 15 weeks, I plan to cross the finish line of my fourth marathon. This is not an easy feat for me or anybody that has ever attempted a 26.2 mile race. 26.2 miles is a long ******* way on your feet!  Many people think that because I am a Nutritionist, Run Coach, Fitness trainer and have competed in triathlons, running races and everything else in between for so many years that a “simple little marathon” should be easy for me, right? No way. 20 years ago I transitioned to triathlons because running a marathon was just too hard! I figured if I was going to be out there for 4 hours, I may as well be doing 3 different sports. (“at least I will get to sit down for awhile on the bike portion,” I thought.)

I am human just like you… in a constant state of “juggle” in my attempt to balance family, home, work, life & athletics. I am married with 4 school age kids, own my own business working crazy hours, manage the household along with all of my mom duties and need to find time every day to exercise. I plan my exercise times for the week on Sunday evening and stick to that schedule as best I can. This way, when I have to get up at 5am on a Saturday morning to run before work….I am ready for it. Being a Nutritionist, you may also think I eat “perfectly” all of the time. No way. I do really have a fairly good diet but one of my favorite foods is frosting! I have been known to go out of my way for a nice frosting covered dessert….yum! Honestly, no one eats perfectly all of the time but if you can live by the 80-20 rule ( 80% healthy eating, 20% treats) you are doing okay.

I chose this challenge of the marathon as a gift to myself. A gift, you say? Some think it’s a more like a horrible form of torture. A gift, might be a day at the spa or a much needed vacation. But to me this is like a vacation. While I am training, long runs in the wee hours alone, it becomes an adventurous journey every time I step out that door. Where will it take me, what will I see, how will I feel, people I will meet all become part of this adventure. And for those hours I am out there, it is all about ME and everything else slips away. For you women out there, I know ME time is hard to find. No matter how you get it….make time to find it. It will save your life.

I promise to not bore you for the next 105 days with the details of my training. I really am hoping to inspire you to set a goal for yourself and have your own Day One. Maybe it’s a mile, a 5k, or half marathon…it all begins with a commitment to yourself.  Your Day ONE  will be the beginning of a change. Train along with me. I will support & cheer you on through your own adventure!

Now go find your ME time……and let me know where you found it.

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The LOLA project…just 1 day left!

                                                 The LOLA Project
                                             Just 1 day to go…..we need your help!

Only 36 hours left!
Committed to fighting the obesity epidemic of girls, teens and women in the US.
If everyone out there puts $20 in the “hat,” we will collectively make a difference and directly improve the health and fitness of these girls’ lives. Image 
 
Our LOLA Project on Indiegogo.com ends tomorrow, Friday January 25th. 
 
This is the final time you will be hearing from me about this crowd funding project. This one time only campaign expires tomorrow. As you can imagine, it’s VERY important to us. 
 
We need less than $1,500 to reach the $10,000 mark by tomorrow, 1/25. Your contributions of just $20 or more will make a tremendous difference. 
 
Thank you to the individuals from across the country that have joined us in this campaign with contributions coming in $5-$1,000. Collectively, we are getting closer to our goal.
 
Click & contribute..it’s that easy.
 
Small businesses are what has shaped the world’s business markets – some of the most revered and loved brands began as mom-and-pop shops, just like us here at LOLA. 
 
We have just 1 day to reach our goal.  Join us!
 
Sincerely, 
Kim Juarez & the LOLA family
               

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The LOLA New Year Poem

Happy New Year 2013

  A little fun for your new year’s day.

 

 

 

 

Say goodbye to Jimmy Dean; it’s time to try something green
And maybe even some garbanzo beans, full of fiber and lean protein.
Does your workout need a new routine?
Get off the machines, get outside and join a team.
LOLA coaches are never mean;
they will help you kick ass in 2013!

Happy New Rear! 
From the LOLA family

 

 

 

 

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