April 29, 2010

Brain Fart

Yeah, it's been a while since I have written anything of value.  I think the weather has put me in some kind of a fog, or I am having a serious "brain fart".   Do you ever feel like you are floating in the clouds and not sure which direction you need to go.  Well, lately all I seem to think about is wanting to ride my bicycle in warm weather.  I wouldn't have to wear long tights, ten different layers, hats, gloves, and booties.  How would that be?

It has been raining here and COLD.  Yesterday it was so windy it knocked down a power line close to the area.  NO water, NO power, NO internet for one FULL day.  What would we do without all of the 21st century necessities?  Yesterday I had just got home from teaching my early morning spin class when I found out I was unable to take a shower NO water, unable to fix my hair - NO power, and unable to fill orders - NO internet.  So I headed South for my appointment SUPER  DUPER STINKY.  Thank goodness for hats, and good deodorant. 
These are my little kidos.  They have been keeping me amazingly busy, which I LOVE.  Tomorrow I am heading south again to see my favorite sister.  I am hoping that this time I am able to shower up for the occasion.  I am hoping that when this bad weather leaves, that my brain fart will leave with it.  I will have something important to share with you soon.  Have a great day. 

April 25, 2010

Biker's Paradise

So, I was able to go for an amazing bike ride today.  I am a little disappointed that I didn't take my camera with me.  The wind was only blowing 25 miles an hour, but that wasn't going to stop me from enjoying some sunshine.  I live in an area where there are hundreds of miles of farm fields with unusual paved roads around them.  It seems like every farmer has his own private paved paradise.  I rode 30 miles and passed 3 cars.  Did you hear that . . . . 3 cars. 
My mom took this picture of the amazing Teton range that I get to look at every day.  Isn't nature AWESOME.  I am fairly new to the area and haven't been able to investigate all of the rides, but there are too many to count.  The one thing I learned today is that my world is a biker's paradise.  I am sure you have quite an amazing paradise where you live too.  So, get out and investigate your own private paradise.  Also if any of you have time this week, come on up and let's go for a ride.


Find art work for Bella show bike
Print women's tees for Breast Cancer Awareness
Find out how to spell check on blogger - IMPURTENT
Finalize Bella booth at Little Red in June
Help Brian build first carbon prototype - SO FRIGGIN EXCITED!
TAKE A NAP!  Yeah, right . . . in my "dreams"!

April 23, 2010


So my family eats a lot of pasta.  Not just once a week, but many times per week.  Let's just say that my husband is an avid cyclist, and is part Italian - that's why we eat lots of pasta.  We also eat it because it is cheap, easy, and my kids won't complain that they are hungry an hour after dinner is served.  It is also serious power food!  Eat it a couple hours before your long ride.  You won't believe how much energy you will have.  Happy eating.  Heading out for a ride on this amazing spring day. 

Healthy Farfalle Pasta
8 ounces farfalle pasta
1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups watercress leaves (from 2 small bunches)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions. Place the cheese in a large bowl; top with the watercress. Before draining the pasta, take 1/4 cup of the cooking water from the pot and pour it over the watercress. (Watercress will wilt slightly and cheese will get soft.) Place the tomatoes in a colander. Drain the pasta over the tomatoes for a super-quick blanch. Toss with the watercress and cheese; sprinkle with pepper and serve.
Make sure to cook with whole wheat pasta to get more protein and fiber.  Enjoy!

April 21, 2010


How HOT is spandex? 
Wow, can I just say NOT that hot!  Well, let me take that back - let's just say that a mans fanny in spandex is pretty dang hot.  I however do not enjoy the bike spandex look.  I have never had cut legs, or shimmering calves, but I do know I am greatful for the nice chamois that the cycling shorts come with.  Oh how my buns love a good chamois.  Although I wish somebody would please invent a velcro waist so that my gut is no longer hanging over that painful elastic band.  For those of you who admire the spandex, I would love to hear from you.   For right now I will painfully pull up my cycling spandex and ride into the sunset.  Have a wonderful day.

April 20, 2010

DOES THIS MARATHON MAKE ME LOOK FAT? (Featured Writer Stephanie Hancock)

I have been impressed with all of the featured articles written by so many amazing women.  The stories they tell are top notch and I LOVE reading them.  This article by Steph makes me laugh.  Yesterday I went to spinning class for an hour, and finished the day with a five mile run.  I thought for sure my body would respond to all of this body action so I hopped my buns on the scale this morning and to my HORRIFYING surprise gained a pound.  Yeah, It's a women thing.  Thanks for the article it made me realize that I need to eat more cookies.

DOES THIS MARATHON MAKE ME LOOK FAT?  Featured Writer Stephanie Hancock
I have to address something that has been weighing heavily on me lately. Literally. Pounds. Like eight of them. This happens every time, yet it still catches me by surprise. Training is going great. I'm on track for an upcoming race, mileage is on the up and intensity is increasing. Actually everything is on the up and increasing. Including my weight. Talk about frustrating! This marathon, or that triathlon, or any heightened training is making me bigger. And, really, who wants to get bigger?
The guy at the sports store, that's who. I chatted with him at the check-out today. He was selling me jogger's mace (there's a creepy new dog on my route) and gel fuel for my long run tomorrow. He can't run, he said, it makes him lose weight and he wants to bulk up. I nodded in a show of sympathy, while inwardly I was cursing him. How dare he lose weight running while I'm in the gaining phase of my training?

Like most women and most runners, being lean is desirable, and for many women weight gain is not just frustrating, but sometimes almost devastating. Running should be a means to the lean, right? So what gives?

Thankfully this has happened to me enough times that I recognize the pattern and know not to panic. Research shows me, too, that I am not alone. An increase in training may correlate with an increase in weight, and it is not necessarily all bad. One blogger asked, "Does this marathon make me look fat?" I had to smile. I know that question.

And I know at least part of the answer.

First, the bad news. Some of those extra pounds may be avoidable as bad weight gain. The extra miles you are putting in translate to at least two things: extra hunger and extra justification to eat. You did an extra hard work-out, so you feel you "deserve" that extra food. Or you just keep eating all the time because you need the fuel for upcoming workouts. Maybe you fuel before and after shorter distances (5 mile run or so) because you think you need to. (You don't. You really don't need to start the fueling until an hour or so into your workout, and then only about 100-200 calories at a time every hour or as needed.) The problem arises when you don't understand the value of food and exercise. If you want to gain weight, put more fuel (calories) in than you burn. To lose weight, you have to burn more than you consume (true, it can get a little more complicated when you consider metabolism or underlying health conditions, but we're keeping things simple for now).

To put the calories-in/calories-out into perspective, a typical cookie or piece of bread contains about 100-150 calories. A typical running mile burns about 100 calories. One or even two miles per cookie!? And, to make things even more unfair, you have to burn about 3500 calories to melt one pound off your body. Running a marathon will burn about 2600 calories, not even one pound (true, you burn at a higher rate for the rest of the day - we'll just call those bonus calories). See, I told you it was bad news.

But I get sooo hungry! you say. Two ways I have found to deal with the crazy hunger cravings after working out (especially after swimming - that makes me famished!) is to immediately get some good quality protein in my body. Maybe replenishing my broken-down muscles satisfies them enough to keep them from screaming for food later on. I don't know, but it works for me. Also, hydrate. Many people mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating when, in fact, they just need to drink more and eat less. Try it - take a good long drink and see if that takes the edge off the hunger. You'll be more likely to make healthy, thoughtful food choices if you're not feeling a hunger frenzy!

Now alternatively, weight gain might also be good news. You're muscles are developing, and they are strong, dense, and heavy. Heavier than fat. A heavier you might also be a leaner you. That's okay. In fact, long, lean endurance muscle is great! (sorry, sports store guy, I have no desire to bulk up - no heavy weight-lifting for me!).

Also, with more muscle, you are probably storing more water. Water is not a big deal. Weight can fluctuate about 2-4 lbs from morning to night just because of water weight. With proper hydration, meaning balanced electrolyte drinks, you won't bloat up from retaining water. Finally, as your body adapts to the fuel needs for long training, it learns to store glycogen for easy access during times of physical exertion. More readily available fuel is more good news, even if the scale creeps up in response.

Interestingly, for me and others I've read about, rapid weight loss occurs during the two weeks following a long, hard race. After my first marathon, I lost 8 lbs. in two weeks, much of it water. Over time, as you adjust to the rigors of an active lifestyle, the high fluctuation between weight gain and weight loss steadies itself and you find yourself in the slower, healthy weight loss camp, or in the maintenance camp, depending on your calories consumed and calories burned.

Probably the best way to handle weight gain/loss is to keep both a training log and a food journal. Shortly after my second baby, I tried the Weight Watchers approach to losing weight. My doctor at the Mayo Clinic told me it was the best, most tried-and-true, lifestyle-altering way to lose and keep off unwanted pounds. So I wrote down everything, even a bite or a nibble, and about how many calories I was consuming. It was astonishing. I had not been correct when I had thought I was a healthy and small eater! Is that bite of cookie here, there, and a little later (until you've nibbled it away to nothing) worth another mile? If it is, then enjoy. If your goal is to lose weight, then you might want to think again.

One of the most valuable things, however, when I was combatting baby weight, was realizing that you cannot be healthy and lose weight if you under eat. There comes a point where your body will rebel and plateau, and even begin to shut down if you are burning too much more than you are consuming. Following the first week or two of rapid weight loss when you begin a diet, one to two pounds a week is a healthy, steady weight loss. Make sure you are consuming enough healthy calories to keep your body functioning. There are lots of calculators online to help you figure out your caloric requirements. Do not starve yourself, though! Just keep your food intake under control.

Go ahead and fuel properly for your level of activity. Unless you're training like an Olympic athlete, though, you really don't need to eat like one. Our bodies are incredible machines that adapt to the stresses we put on it, including storing and accessing fuel.
So again, the bad news: if you eat more than you need it's going to show. Even during intense periods of training. Sometimes the weight gain is simply from thinking you can get away with eating everything. You can't. Sorry. That is the "I live to eat" approach. But the good news: you are feeding an active machine, building muscle and storing for future workouts. Some weight gain can be beneficial and can be expected. That is the "I eat to live" approach. Just eat within reason and enjoy having a strong, healthy body.

P.s. (I have to admit, I run so I can eat cookies. Cookies are my fuel of choice). :)
Stephanie Hancock

April 18, 2010

MY CANCER STORY - Featured Writer Heather Benson

This month is Cancer Control Month (please read more here).  It hasn't been until recently that I have become very passionate about this issue.  I have been working at the hospital for almost 15 years and while I have been there I have seen many unexpected deaths, and have also witnessed several amazing miracles.  I sometimes wonder why young children have to suffer with such tragic diseases.  I also wonder why so many amazing women end up with cancer.  Over the past several years I have had my Uncle die from cancer, several co-workers go through chemo, and recently my grandmother was diagnosed.  I want to do something more, something that will ease the burdon just a little bit for women around the world.  I am currently trying to set up a foundation where this will be possible.   Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I wanted a good friend of mine from high school to share her story.  She is truly amazing!  I hope her story will inspire many of you to become more aware of this issue that effects so many lives each and every day.  Heather, you are a TRUE inspiration.

My Cancer Story - (Featured Writer Heather Benson)
December 8, 2006 is a date that will be forever engraved into my mind. It is the day I received the news that I had breast cancer. I was 32 years old, a mother of four young kids, a part time dental hygienist, a volunteer at the school, a soccer mom, and a councilor in my ward Relief Society. I really didn’t have time to fit cancer into my busy schedule. I barely had time to fit in the annual exam appointment with my doctor.

Somehow, I found an available couple of hours in my schedule and that appointment was made. My doctor felt a lump in my breast. It was the size of your pinky fingernail. It was tiny. This led to a mammogram and ultrasound appointment. This really didn’t alarm me much, since I was due for them anyway. I had been having annual mammograms and ultrasounds for the previous five years due to a benign lump I had found five years prior. I had discovered that lump when I was running one early morning. It just felt “weird” when I ran. I followed up with my doctor and luckily it was benign. This lump detected felt by my doctor at my annual exam didn’t seem much different.

The mammogram results came back negative. WooHoo!!! The ultrasound results came back “minimal concern to biopsy.” Yeah!!! My doctor had every reason to stop right there, but he didn’t. He sent me for a biopsy. Ok, been there- done that. This didn’t alarm me either. The radiologist looked at me eye to eye and said, “I do this all day long, and I really think you are okay.” Great!! I left the office with an ice pack tucked into my bra and went shopping for my oldest daughter’s baptism dress.

Two days later, my husband answered a phone call from my doctor’s office asking me to come that day. Wait a minute! I had an appointment scheduled for the following week. The office staff said they were really busy the following week and it would be better for me to come in that day. My husband told them I would come in later in the afternoon. I started thinking about it, and realized the office probably didn’t have my biopsy results or even realize results were pending since they were ordered over the phone. I called back and told them I was not coming in and that I would just keep my original appointment. The lady on the other end of the phone assured me that all my records were there and to come in. I agreed to go in and hung up the phone. Then I realized I hadn’t even told her my name. I knew at that point that things were not good.

I’m sure I was the talk of the office. I walked in and everyone, even people I had never seen before, knew me by name as if I was on a rerun episode of “Cheers.” I had been a patient for ten years and never been into the doctor’s personal office. That is where I got the news while sitting in an overstuffed, leather chair. My doctor began with, “I got a fax this morning. There are some bad cells ….blah, blah, blah…You have breast cancer.” There were a few tears shed by both my doctor and I. It was probably a good thing my cell phone was dead. That is not the way you tell your husband you have breast cancer. It was a long drive home to my husband, but I don’t remember much of it. I was in a daze. I spent the weekend searching the internet and learning everything I could about breast cancer.

I was referred to a fabulous surgeon. She ordered a huge list of tests, an MRI, PET scan, etc. I was scheduled for a lumpectomy. I was anxious to get the cancer out of me as soon as possible. The MRI came back positive for another area of cancer. Surgery was postponed while an MRI guided biopsy tested the area in question. It came back as a false positive…no cancer in the new area. False positives with an MRI are not uncommon, however it caused much anxiety and frustration. Things got worked out and I found myself waiting on a gurney in the surgery pre-op area across from hernia guy, prostate guy, and kidney lady. My problems seemed small compared to those around me. At least I wasn’t in pain like the surgery friends around me. My only symptoms were my stress and anxiety.

A week later, I met with yet another doctor, the dreaded oncologist. She was so real and down to earth. It made things much easier than I anticipated. She informed me that my tumor was analyzed and I had Stage 1, Invasive Ductal breast cancer. After a discussion of treatment options, I was scheduled for chemo a few days later. She sent me out the door with a business card to a salon for a wig and the news that my hair would fall out about fourteen days after my first chemo treatment.

It’s a little weird to call and make an appointment for a wig consultation. At least I didn’t have to go down to the local Vegas showgirl wig shop. Who knows what I would have ended up with! I splurged and ordered two wigs. I walked out with an appointment to return to pick up the wigs and get my head shaved.

Chemo started. I was obviously the youngest patient receiving chemo. Let me just say, it’s not much fun sitting in a freezing cold room for 3-4 hours with “old, sick people” staring at you. I still did not view myself as being sick. One chemo drug was administered by the typical IV bag. The other was bright red (similar to Kool-Aid) and pushed into my IV with huge syringe that resembled a turkey baister. That continued every other week for five long months. However, I looked good sitting there in my fabulous wig, stenciled on eyebrows and no eyelashes. My hair would grow back a tiny bit and then start to fall out again. My husband ended up shaving my head three times. Now that is a bonding moment!

I was determined to be Superwoman and get my chemo via a simple IV. I did not want a port that was an everyday reminder that I was sick. I did not want tubes hanging from my body that my kids would see. After three treatments, the chemo had burned the small veins in my hand and arm. Superwoman had to throw in her cape and get a port. A port is a way to get the chemo into the larger, thicker veins that can handle the chemo better. It was placed in the upper, inside portion of my arm. It had an 18 inch tube that was threaded into the veins to my heart. Chemo did not come without challenges. At one point, my blood levels dropped too low and ended up in the hospital and with blood transfusions. I recovered. Then a week later the port got infected, which led to another hospitalization. I hated the hospital. I hated not being able to be productive. I convinced my oncologist to send me home and let my husband who is a paramedic administer my antibiotics. One of the chemo drugs caused me to have peripheral neuropathy (numbness of the extremities.) This was not good. I am a hygienist and could no longer feel my instruments while working. (Yes, I continued to work through treatment.) We got approval from my insurance company for a much more expensive, but similar chemo drug which allowed me to finish my chemo treatments.

The next step was radiation. That required a few tattoos to be used as markings. I always told my children, “Never shave your head and never get tattoos.” Well, I have done them both. I had 37 radiation treatments over the next seven weeks. It really wasn’t a big deal, other than the fact that it took up the middle portion of my day. “Mr. Prostate,” who was scheduled before me, was late almost every day causing me to be late returning back to work from my lunch hour. I was very lucky and had no complications from radiation. Four days after radiation ended, I sat on the beach in Hawaii for a week to celebrate the end of treatment. Now, that was a vacation!!

Sadly, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about cancer. Some days I think about it more than others. However, I consider myself very lucky. I look back at my journey and realize there were many opportunities to miss finding the cancer. My mammogram had come back negative. My ultrasound did not give concern. My doctor “followed his gut” and ordered the biopsy. Many doctors would not have ordered it. The biopsy results were faxed….no phone call. The results could have easily been tossed aside to be filed or even lost in transmission. Huntsman Cancer Center at the University of Utah reviewed my case and told me that if the cancer had gone undiagnosed, in 6-12 months time, it would have progressed to Stage 3 and I would have been fighting for my life. I consider myself a survivor in long battle. I hope my story inspires women to take care of themselves and have annual exams.

I tell this story not to get pity from others, but for two reasons. First, is to raise awareness. At the time of diagnosis, I was walking 12-15 miles per week and considered myself active and healthy. I do not have a family history of breast cancer. Growing up in wholesome Rexburg, Idaho, I thought I would be immune from the bad things in life. We are not. Breast cancer is on the rise. It currently affects 1 in 7 women. That means that statistically, 20 women from my graduating class at MHS will probably battle breast cancer. When thought of that way, it is alarming. It is anticipated that in the year 2030 (which is not that far away), 1 in 4 women will be affected by breast cancer. Second, I tell my story as hope to others. No, it was not fun. But, I did it!! I continued to work, be a mom, volunteer at the school, and take my kids to soccer practice. I am much stronger because of it.

Heather Benson
Cancer Survivor

April 16, 2010

Isn't SHE beautiful?

Isn't she beautiful? 
She is BIG, she is BLUE,
and she is BEAUTIFUL! 
She gets hot when you push her buttons,
 she doesn't talk back when you talk,
and she truly makes magic happen. 
Oh, how we have LONGED for this day. 
Two long years to get our hands on this beauty! 
Can't wait to show you what she can do. 

STAY TUNED: to see the radest custom women's carbon bike EVER.

April 15, 2010


Hey ladies, Heather here coming to you from sunny IDAHO.  Yes, I said SUNNY.  Can you believe this weather?  Two days ago the kids got out of school early due to 6" of new snowfall.  The resorts have extended the season due to 5 new feet of fresh pow. 
All I have to say is that the sun shining on my face makes me super happy.  I told my three year old to take a picture of my super happy face because he hasn't seen it like this in six months.  I think he did a pretty good job.  Take advantage of this weather.  Get out and ride, run, climb, kayak, etc.  Just get your buns outside and do something totally super sweet.  Enjoy the sun ladies.

PUSH THROUGH- (Featured writer Jill Hancock)

I have known Jill for several years, and for a long time was her neighbor and didn't even know it.  What I do know about Jill is that she is FULL of life.  She has this amazing glow about her that tells you she is living it to the fullest.  I truly admire her for her dedication to a cause.  "The living life cause".  She inspires me to want to be better, and do more.  Thanks, Jill for your example.  I am a better person for knowing you.

Push Through - (Featured writer Jill Hancock)

We are taught the maxim, “No pain, no gain” at an early age. From the weekend warrior to the avid racer, we’re taught to dig deeper and push through the aches and pains of training and racing. If there is a stitch in your side, you keep going. If you have stopped sweating during a ride on a hot day, you keep going with the promise of super-hydrating later. No snowstorm, abrasion, contusion or bad night’s sleep is going to keep you from your workout! This fire from within is extremely beneficial and in many cases, necessary for improvement. Unfortunately, there is a time and a place where we must heed our intuition and address our body’s cry for help. Mine came four weeks after a severe ankle sprain.
When I say severe, I mean severe. I’ve played enough sports to know the cringing feeling of coming down on someone else’s foot, or worse coming down wrong on your own foot. I’ve tweaked my ankle running in the un-even grass of the outfield, I’ve turned it jumping at the net in volleyball and I’ve rolled it playing ultimate and basketball. This sprain was severe, severe enough that I felt relief in screaming and shedding a few un-seen tears. I began my ankle rehab immediately with Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and spelling the ABCs with my foot. Two weeks later ran 4.5 awkward miles. I couldn’t keep my normal form, so I had to overpronate my right ankle to compensate and heel-strike most of the 4.5 miles. With some wise advice from my older sister, I decided to give my ankle some more time. Instead of running, I decided to rest another week and push my cross training. I biked, walked and did yoga. Certainly I wouldn’t allow this ankle sprain to get the best of me and slow my marathon training! My marathon was four months away and I needed to build my endurance! I’d already lost two weeks! Three weeks following the sprain I went out for a longer ride biking 16 miles through the crisp air and blustery wind. My ankle was tight, but my body seemed to respond well. Four weeks following my sprain I was back on the court playing basketball when I noticed some pain in the lateral side of my right knee.
It wasn’t debilitating, but I decided that perhaps I should bike more and run less (even if it was just running up and down the court in a scrimmage). I went for a ride and soon noticed the same pain in my knee. A few days later I went for a slow run and noticed the same thing. It felt like someone was scraping the lateral (outside) of my knee joint. With most pain, I would either: A. Ignore it and keep on going, B. Slow my pace and take deep breaths, or C. Stop for a minute to stretch before continuing on. Unfortunately for me, A, B, or C didn’t seem to work. It feels like someone has a band lashed around your knee that just gets tighter and tighter with each stride. I tried to walk a few days and then do a quick 1.5 mile run. There was no pain during the run, but my knee was clearly irritated in the hours following the run. I tried biking, and there was the pain yet again. With each pedal revolution my knee got tighter and more painful until I was compelled to stop. By then I knew things in my knee were serious. I began my research. My personal diagnosis: runner’s knee aka iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). I had injured my iliotibial (IT) band and more running, biking, and stretching wasn’t going to make it better. According to RoadCycling.com, IT band syndrome is the most common cause of knee and hip pain in cyclists. The IT band is a thick fibrous band of tissue, which runs on the outside of the leg starting at your hip and ending near your knee. ITBS usually affects athletes who are involved in sports that require continuous running or repetitive knee flexion and extension found especially in running and cycling. Tight inflexible lower extremity muscles may worsen the condition. Pain may also be caused by inappropriate seat position, saddle position, cleat alignment, or by individual cyclist anatomy. The prognosis: my leg’s attempt to overcompensate for my injured ankle. The treatment: rest, stretching, strengthening my quadriceps muscles, and more rest. At this point, my hopes for the marathon were still vibrant. I would properly rest a few more weeks and then rally back to a full recovery and race in May! I visited the chiropractor. I had laser treatment therapy three times a week. I rested for ten days with moderate walking as my only activity. I attempted running ten days later. I made it four minutes before the pain forced me to stop. It had been nearly two months since my sprain and my recovery wasn’t happening. I began facing reality and looking for someone to replace me in the marathon. There would be no marathon. There would be no running or biking for a LONG time . . . maybe six months, maybe a year or two. I would have to push through the injury. Not push through in the sense of popping ibuprofen and continuing my training with an ice pack strapped to my knee, rather, I would push through and endure the rest and rehab. I may not be able to ride hard or run for miles on end, but I can walk. I can do alternate workouts that don’t trigger my IT band. I can function in almost every way outside of raising my leg to bike or run!

And you know what?
 I am grateful. I am grateful to enjoy my health, albeit from the other side of the physical activity spectrum. I am grateful to know that one day, I will be able to ride and run again. It may be a year before I get to compete, but you better believe that I’m going to push through and be back
on the road before you know it!

Ride On!
Jill Hancock
M.S. Sport & Exercise Science, UNC

April 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Have you ever wondered what to do with this?
For the longest time I thought that this was just a weed that grew in our hometown.  Not really, but I never knew what I could make with the stuff.  I have a good friend who makes these delicious pancakes daily for her family.  They just seem to gobble them right up.  So healthy, and filling.
So tomorrow morning when your kids wake - feed them these delicious pancakes - you never know what they will learn at school when they have a heart healthy breakfast to eat. 

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes
  • 1 c whole wheat grain (hard grain bebe stuff) and 1 c milk blend in blender for 2 -3 min.
  • Add ½ c milk blend for another couple minutes.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
Blend until blended – YUMMY! What a great way to start your day.

April 10, 2010

Pregnancy and Cycling - (Featured Writer Whitney Arensberg)

I have know Whitney for years and years.  Well, my whole life actually!  She is my one and only sister!  I grew up living with five terror brothers.  So to have a sister is a special thing.  She is currently pregnant with her second child and makes pregnancy look SO fun.  She hikes, and runs and goes on long painful bike rides.  Yeah, she acts like nothing has changed, like she's not even pregnant.  She just goes, and goes, and goes.  I thought pregnancy was suppose to be the time when you make excuses NOT to go and go.  It was the time when you sit on the couch and holler for pickels and bonbons.  Well, times have changed. 

Featured Writer - Whitney Arensberg

Keep spinning those legs ladies,
even though you may be carrying a little extra cargo!

I've heard that the pregnant female body is far more aero than the regular shape, due to the high-efficiency tear-drop shape. Wind tunnel testing, done at great expense, has shown getting pregnant to be one of the highest performance upgrades you can make. Just make sure you are wearing proper lycra at all times, to eliminate any source of turbulence around your now perfectly aerodynamic body.

Seriously though, the 'old model' for pregnancy amounted to, "Do nothing at all, sit or lay in your bed all day reading romance novels until you have your baby." That isn't the case anymore, but there are definitely some holdovers. If you are in good physical shape now, I don't think your doctor would have a problem with you continuing to cycle until fairly far along in the pregnancy. You may appreciate a more upright riding position however. It is my opinion (and I think it is shared by many doctors), that as long as you are careful about it, maintaining physical activity for as long as possible through the pregnancy can only be good for yourself and the baby. A healthy mother will make a healthy baby, and cycling is a part of that picture.

  •  Modify your intensity. Most experts agree that mild to moderate intensity is best. It is important to use a rate of perceived exertion to monitor your exercise intensity.
  • Hydrate generously. A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water throughout the day to keep your urine clear to pale yellow. Drink frequently during class as well to help to cool your body.
  • Stay cool. With indoor exercise, ventilation and light clothing are essential to aid in heat dissipation.
  • Adjust bike set-up. As your body continues to change, you may need to raise the handle bars and make additional adjustments to the saddle in order to remain comfortable.
  • Avoid out-of-the-saddle movements. The growth of the abdomen will create changes in the center of gravity drawing it forward, which may lead to undue stress on the knees because of the increase in weight and joint laxity associated with pregnancy.
  • Take frequent postural breaks. Lower back discomfort is common in pregnancy. Sit up tall in the saddle with arms down by your sides to give your back relief from time to time during class.
Keep Strong Ladies!


April 07, 2010

BELLA ROSA - Fashion Statement

Hey girls, here is the new Team Bella Rosa Jersey.  I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.  A BIG shout out to Christina at Rootedinpaper.  She has a true talent for design and art.  So, if you need any amazing design work done - she is the one.  If you are interested in a jersey for this season, I will be doing an order by the middle of the month.  Jerseys will be $50.00 smackers.  You can leave a comment or e-mail me. 

What a way to make a fashion statement 
this cycling season.
Jearsey Draft

April 04, 2010

Hope you have an amazing Easter Holiday
with your family and friends this year. 

April 03, 2010

Spinach Protein Shake

My sister Whitney is an amazing cook.

When it comes to healthy eating she is always at the top of her game.  The other day I was visiting with her and she whipped up a delicious shake.  I was hoping it was made with chocolate and a splash of caramel syrup.  Well, when I caught her dumping spinach into it I thought she might have lost her mind.  

"You don't put spinach in a shake! Spinach is for granola type people who live in the wilderness and trap their own meat.  You just don't put spinach in a shake."  

Well, she did and it was absolutely delicious.  My kids even drank it up - I just didn't tell them that it was healthy. When they finally asked why it was green I told them and they were impressed with the fact that it actually was healthy for them.  Since Whitney does not measure things she had a hard time telling me what the recipe was.  So this is a knock off of her recipe.  You will be pleasantly surprised at how healthy you feel after drinking leafy spinach.

Spinach Protein Shake

8 oz. almond milk, soy milk, or skim milk
1 scoop Elite protein powder (vanilla or mint chocolate)
2 large handfulls raw spinach (about 2.5cups)
1-2 tbsp. honey
few pieces of ice, about 4 large cubes (you can always add more, but start with less)

Tasty and Nutritional Additions:

  • If you are in need of omega-3 fatty acids (which we all need), you can add a tablespoon of flax seed or flax seed oil. You can also add 1/2 an avocado, which makes the shake very creamy.
  • If you don't want your shake to be green, you can add frozen mixed berries, which is always delicious. (think chocolate dipped strawberries or rasberries shake-style) 
  • Other tasty additions include sugar-free strawberry jam (smuckers), it tastes phenomenal in this. Any type of jam can be put into this, just make sure it's 100% fruit.
Directions: (use blender)
-Blend milk and spinach for a few seconds before other ingredients
-Add protein, splenda, ice, and your additions. Blend. ("ice crush" for a while, then turn to a medium level of blending, the longer I blend the better it tastes, I would say a minimum of 30 seconds. For thicker shakes add more ice, if you accidently add too much ice, add a bit more milk or water, tap and tilt your blender to mix better.)
-If you want a stronger taste of an added ingredient, wait on adding it until after blending everything else, then pulse in blender for a few seconds before drinking.

April 01, 2010

CAN'T WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN - Featured Writer Jennica Hirrlinger

I know next to nothing about biking. None of the technical names for stuff, none of the slang. If I had to perform even minor maintenance, I'd be in big trouble. I tried reading bike-related blogs and websites but they were loaded with too much info about bikes seats and boy parts, and the pros and cons of dudes shaving their arms and legs. Even I got a little squeamish when they started discussing shami butter and how to relieve yourself while still in the saddle. Are they serious?

Anyway, my mom and I were talking about my sister, Lisa, who recently ran a marathon. Lisa has had some issues lately that contributed to painful muscle cramps starting at mile 2. My mom can't imagine running that far at all, let alone running in pain for that distance. She wondered out loud, how and why people do it. My answer, was simply this . . . Because she has done it before. She trained for it. I know that sounds weird but let me explain. 
When we train for a marathon or a long bike ride we follow a program to build miles over time. Training plans are packed with strength and stretching, cross training, a build-up of miles, and recovery weeks. Anybody, at any level, can get a training program to help them train for a race or a new distance but there is one thing I have never seen on a training program. I've never seen a training program that encourages it's user to "feel" and to really experience the training. We go through the motions and put all our emphasis on race day and sometimes we forget what it feels like to ride because we love it. We actually get a extra bonus because while we are building miles, we are also building our mental strength and our energy to ignore the normal hurt and push harder. That's how we get better and stronger.  
We can only accomplish physically, what we believe we can do, mentally. And whatever that force is, that energy inside that drives us gets fueled as we find enjoyment in our training while building ourselves physically.  
We need to love the training and 
then rock the races.

So, I'm not super knowledgeable about my bike and I couldn't locate my derailleur to save my life but I do know something, the most important thing in my opinion . . . I know what it feels like to put my gear on piece by piece, climb into the saddle, and cover some miles. I know what it feels like to tuck into a downhill, and to feel the burn of a long climb. I know what it feels like to leave my driveway and not come home until I've covered three counties. I know what it feels like to rejuvenate with fuel and I know what it feels like to bonk so hard I can't get off the concrete. I know what it feels like to ride further than I rode last time.
And I can't wait to do it again.
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Welcome to a new attitude in women's cycling and a first in women's specific titanium and steel custom bikes. We know females....because we are females. All women share a common interest. We want to feel comfortable, confident, and strong on our bikes. We also want to look good while riding hard. At Bellarosa we build bikes to fit you using only the finest materials. Our bikes our built in house one at a time from start to finish. 100% handbuilt in the U.S.A. So guess what? We no longer have to ride boy bikes. It's alright to want to ride a bike designed specifically for you. At Bellarosa we can build your dreams.

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