Thursday, October 29, 2009

family is always there – part II

Now on to the active part of the trip and the Vegas no one really thinks about!!  It only costs $5 to get into the Red Rock conservation area and there are tons of hikes and beautiful views at your disposal.  There are also many rock climbing opportunities, along with camping, horse back riding, cycling, mountain biking, IMG_5200and picnicking just to name a few. 

As a kid we used to always come up here and hike for hours with our doggie.  We just did a short hike and drove the loop around to take some pictures. 

The day was absolutely beautiful . . .



Did you know this was in Las Vegas?  When many think of Vegas they think of the Strip along with the crazy nightlife, club hopping, gambling and drunkenness, but this is what I think of.  It’s funny, one time someone asked if I lived in a casino!   

After visiting Red Rock we made our way to the Fashion Show Mall to do some window shopping.  I found a few good sales and I couldn’t resist a couple shirts for work.

I hadn’t been to the Hoover Dam for at least 10 years I would say and I was amazed at the new bridge they are building.  I was also amazed at how low the water level is now.  I am so afraid of heights like that and just couldn’t imagine working way up there!  

IMG_5259 IMG_5255

I could hardly make it to the edge of the wall and my tummy was getting that weird height sensation.

How are there not higher walls or something to prevent people from toppling over?!

So scary!  But wow, what an amazing feat of mankind, how does someone build such a thing?




Here is a great view of Lake Mead . . .


Another great part of the visit was getting to take walks with my mom.  Most nights after dinner my mom and I would always take a walk around the neighborhood or nearby park and just chat about the day and such.  I always enjoyed that and miss having a walking buddy. 

There is a great path by our house that’s fun to walk and cycle on.  There are always tons of people utilizing it which is nice to see.  We got some great sunset shots on her last night here . . .


I sure had a good time with my mom and I’m looking forward to the holidays when Chris and I both get to visit her :)


On another note, I can hardly believe it’s already going to be Halloween!  I don’t have a costume and still have to get some goodies for the kiddies.  I’m not much of a candy person, but every now and again I love Reese’s and Good & Plenty!  Not really sure if we are going to do anything, but I really need to work on school and get a good bike ride in.

My favorite new product I found at TJ’s is the Lite Kettle Corn mini bags.  I’m trying not to eat the whole package!  I really like this variety because it’s only slightly salty and sweet, not overpowering like their regular kettle corn.  It’s only 110 kcals per bag too and provides lots of munching, yum!


My friend Kristen, and fellow dietitian, also started her own blog called The Swanky Dietitian.  She’s just getting started and I encourage if you have a little time to stop by and welcome her to this great blogging community!  I just really think the world of you guys, and it’s so wonderful to connect with all of you personally.  I appreciate your kindness, insight and inspiration.

Any plans for Halloween?  What’s your favorite candy?  

WARNING:  My twitter account got hacked into today and you may have received a weird message supposedly from me.  Please DO NOT click the link!  Make sure you secure your passwords.  I feel terrible about this and I’m so sorry if you received one :(


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

family is always there – part I

IMG_5178My mom flew back home this morning and I miss her terribly already!  I am such a momma’s girl and we try to call each other at least once a day.  I’ve never gone a week without calling my mom since college!  I just feel so at ease when she is around.  I honestly consider home wherever my family is.  There is just nothing like family, and yes we all have our weird and dysfunctional relatives, including myself, but no matter what family is always there good or bad.  No matter what we may go through with friends, significant others, coworkers, etc, I always feel safe to know that my family will be there. 

It’s been really tough on me since my mom and step dad moved to NC almost 6 years ago.  Then, when I was still going to school at UNR in Reno, my grandparents also moved to NC in the same housing development as my mom.  Even though I was born and raised in Las Vegas, I don’t really consider it ‘home’ now.  Yes, I have Chris, but it’s not the entire package, just not quite complete.  Eventually I would like to live somewhere closer to my family wherever that may be. 

Ok, enough of the blabbering and on to the recap of my mom’s visit!!  We didn’t really have anything planned, and I had to work and go to class, but it was just so nice to spend the time.  I didn’t work on anything school related either, so now I have to bite the bullet and try to make it to the end of the semester which is approaching too quickly I’m afraid.

IMG_5233She came into town on Tuesday, but we didn’t really get a full day together until Saturday.  During the week I made some quick meals that I knew she would like, one of them being the chicken sausage broccoli pasta that is always requested.  I also made pumpkin pancakes for dinner one night and of course we had that lovely fro yo a few times :)


Friday night we decided to take her out to that cute little pizza place called Settebello.  We are enjoying this place more and more.

IMG_5161I started out with a limoncello cocktail which was a lot bigger than last time (and a bit stronger uh em!)  It didn’t go too well with the food, and I wished I would have had a glass of vino, but it was still good. 



My mom got the chianti and we shared a nice salad along with their pizza special for the week called Pizza Rustica with various cheeses, roasted mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and basil.  Yum! 



IMG_5173But I have to say my favorites of the meal were the desserts!!! 

They had a special pumpkin gelato stuffed into an actual frozen pumpkin.  I thought this was such a cute idea and the flavor was perfect.  Most pumpkin dishes I get don’t have enough spice or pumpkin flavor, but this one was really good.  The tiramisu was also outstanding! 


IMG_5214Next stop on our unconventional eating out extravaganza, was BJ’s.  I always enjoy eating here.  My mom and I started out with a taster of Pyramid Apricot Ale.  I don’t drink much beer, but when I do this is my go to brew.  I also love that you can order a 4-6 oz taster for only $1.75.  So you can try a bunch of different brews at a reasonable price, or just have a sensible portion like we did.  Portion control is key and alcohol always makes me want to eat more anyways.  I’m sure if I had a regular pint I would have had the whole thing, but just having it in a small, cute and tall glass was just perfect.

Avocado egg rolls are a great appetizer, just slightly spicy and filled with the luscious goodness of unsaturated fats!


I can never seem to order anything but the deep dish pizza when I’m there because it’s that good.  I could only finish 2 pieces because it’s so filling!


Plus I had to save room for this bad boy . . . the pizookie!!!  Oh yum yum!  There’s only one spoon there, but I assure you Chris and my mom helped too :)


I swear we didn’t eat the whole time, well, for the most part, ha!  We also got some good walks in, did some shopping, went to Red Rock Canyon and checked out the progress on the new Hoover Dam bridge.  This is what I do like about Vegas because there are great outdoor adventure opportunities not too far from the city.

I don’t want to drag on and bore you guys to death with a never ending post, so I’ll leave the active part of the visit for the next re-cap installment :)  Stay tuned . . .   

Hope you are having a great week!  It has turned quite chilly here in the desert brrrrr . . . and I miss having my mom around

Are you really close to a certain person in your family?




Sunday, October 18, 2009

amazing experience

IMG_5112Hello!!  The SCAN conference at the Olympic Training Center was such a wonderful and eye-opening experience for me. 

It was so neat to get to meet all the wonderful dietitians and sport dietitians there and see what everyone is doing to advance the profession.  I actually felt pretty inadequate in the experience department to tell you the truth, but it was so wonderful talking with different people and also very motivating.  I can tell you that dietitians are very motivated, driven and amazing individuals that have a true passion for their specialties!!   


The weather and scenery was just beautiful.  I wish I would have had time to go to Garden of the Gods while I was there.



Every session was very interesting and didn’t really focus on the basics which was perfect.  A lot of times in my classes I wish for more advanced concepts and practical applications, but they fall short of my expectations.  I feel like that is what I really need right now to advance and get better.  I learn and retain information best with hands-on and practical experiences, not just sitting in a classroom.  I believe that is my next goal . . . finding some way to get more hands-on experience in the field.  This too will increase my confidence.

Here are some of the sessions that were presented:

  • Energy Systems and Energy Metabolism
  • Fluid Balance, Body Comp, RMR, Blood Glucose
  • Endurance, Weight class/combative/aesthetic, Winter Sports
  • Collegiate Athletes
  • Professional Team Sports
  • Marketing Yourself in Sports Dietetics
  • Environmental Challenges, Recovery Nutrition, Travel
  • Developmental (Youth)
  • Female Athlete Triad
  • Ergogenic Aids
  • Tips for the Workplace from Coaches, RDs, Athletes

I would have liked to see a session on athletes with special needs, like diabetes, crohn's, allergies, physical disabilities, etc.  Let me know if you have interest in any one of these in particular and I’ll go over some of the main points in the future.  I need to go over them all again myself to make sure I retain the information.

IMG_5101 Another great thing about this trip was staying in the USOC training center dorms and getting to eat in the dining hall there.  The food was definitely not your typical cafeteria food, it was really good! 

I hated our college DC food and lived off salads, frozen yogurt and whatever I could fit in my mini fridge.  I didn’t take pictures of all my food there because I didn’t know how others would take it, or think I was strange.  Each menu item also had detailed nutrition facts which I thought was awesome :)


This was some kind of sun-dried tomato chicken with spinach and tomato pasta, and of course all the salad you could ever want! 


Here are some other pictures of the OTC:


There is a man in the picture jumping across the floor like a giselle!  He had giant quads :)


This was the power-lifting training room 


This is the Sports Medicine and recovery room where athletes go to unwind after a good training session.  Our tour guide said this isn’t open to the public. 


Boy I sure wanted one of these!!!!! 



I wish I was going to FNCE as well, it would have been so neat to meet many of the fellow RD bloggers.  My friend and I are planning on going next year if we can swing it. 

IMG_5150 Last night we went to a HS friend’s wedding reception and it was so beautiful!!!  It was actually like a little mini reunion because I saw so many people that I had known.  I was so happy for them and of course I had to have some of the cake!  It wasn’t spectacular, but still pretty good.  I wish I would have gotten the strawberry one, but grabbed the lemon thinking that was the only flavor.  Sure is pretty . . .


At the moment I’m scrambling to get the guest room ready for my mom on Tuesday!  We’ve got it painted and put the bookshelf in there so I could get rid of the many boxes I’ve been avoiding for so long.  I just have too much crap I think, especially all my school work, which isn’t crap but I just can’t seem to get rid of it. 

I’m also getting behind on my school work since being out of town.  I have to get a lit review done for one project and also a research proposal for my research methods class.  Lots to do!  But, I’m looking forward to the winter break fast approaching.  I saw Christmas decorations already being put on display.  How is it the holiday season already?!   

There were inspirational quotes all over the OTC.  I’ll leave you with this one from Lance Armstrong . . . 


Hope you all had a good weekend!  Get out there and show ‘em what you got!


Monday, October 12, 2009

race success!

IMG_5025 Boy, it was an eventful weekend!  Chris had a really good time on his ride and he was really psyched.  Thank you so much for all your well wishes!  He felt really good for most of the ride which totaled 6 hours 35 minutes riding time with an average speed of 18 mph.  It wasn’t really a race or anything, but he’ll find out about his exact time and rankings towards the end of the week.  He’s hoping to be in the top 100 for the century. 

IMG_5007Chris woke at 4 am and I slept till 4:30, then quickly threw on some clothes to take him to the ride.  I don’t really know how he was planning to function that early, but I think the adrenaline was kicking in.  I on the other hand just wanted to go back to bed :)


We got there in just enough time to get Chris geared up and make it to the start/finish line.  It was more like a start/finish mob because there were so many cyclists!  I think this is what would scare me the most.  Trying to start with all those cyclists so close would make me nervous!


I felt like a proud mama as he started and then hoped that he would be okay on the ride.  He made sure to stop at every fuel station and not take any chances with his first century.  Even though this slowed his overall time down, it was a good idea to make sure he didn’t fatigue. 

IMG_5045 So while he was gone riding like a maniac, I decided to get in the kitchen and do some intense baking of my own!  I tried another muffin recipe from Pinch My Salt and I think this one is THE best so far.  It’s an applesauce spice muffin that uses ww flour, oat bran, wheat germ and flax with 3g of fiber per muffin.  Instead of raisins I added chopped dates and I think these really added to the wonderful flavor.  Yum!


I also baked another recipe from VeggieGirl called peanut butter banana bread.  I added 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  The only thing is, my worst fears came to fruition and I over-baked it!!  I had to leave it in the pan too long when I went to pick Chris up, and when I was trying to get it out it fell apart!  It sure tasted yummy though and super peanut buttery.  Anyone know of good vegan binding tricks for breads?  It just needed a bit more binding capacity I think.


After my baking, cleaning and washing fest, I made it in time to get some good shots at the finish, so happy!! 


After the ride, the participants got a free lunch from Outback.  mmm lots of high quality protein and carbs to fuel the IMG_5068muscles and replenish all those expended calories. 

As far as glycogen replenishment, general guidelines are to have 1-1.5g/kg CHO as soon as possible after the event and every 2 hours after that until 7-10 g/kg is reached.  This is especially important for those athletes who will be doing an event pretty soon again.  It can take about 20 hours to fully replenish glycogen stores. 

IMG_5070 I had to buy lunch and was able to grab a couple tacos from Qdoba just as they were closing down shop.  Instead of eating the second taco, there was a little kid running around giving away free ice cream.  Heck yes!! 

I decided to go for the creamsicle which I haven’t had for ages, and it was just as good and creamy as I remember.


After the race Chris was flying on the clouds and felt really good, but as we made our way home I could tell he was getting much more tired.  I made him eat a large peanut butter, jelly, banana and honey sandwich with more fluids and then he rested on the couch for most of the night watching football.  I also gave him a good leg massage and ice packed his legs.  I was kind of worried about him, but the next morning he was chipper as could be and actually wanted to go on another ride!  He’s actually been saying how he’s never felt stronger. 

Overall it was a great experience and hopefully I can work up to that someday, or at least the 62 miler :)

Sunday we finally got to painting the guest room.  I really like the color and hope we can get it ready soon.  The color is called Restful by Behr and I want to do a shabby chic theme with some antique feel.  I plan to organize it more this weekend hopefully because my mom will be here next Tuesday!


I majorly need to tackle my Google Reader and visit all your bloggies.  I’m leaving for the SCAN workshop at the Olympic Training Center on Wednesday!  I hope to come back with some cool pictures and useful information :) 

I hope you all have a great week!