Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy Birthday GAMC!

We recently attended a public event celebrating the 110th year of Glendale Adventist Medical Center. Considering the Adventist community in Loma Linda, CA is a "Blue Zone," which is a land area researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world, we thought it would be good to listen to the advice GAMC physicians were giving the public.

The topic we listened to was about family health.  The title was something like "Back to School, Back to Basics."  Dr. Emil Avanes's message impacted me enough to get me thinking about it this entire week since his presentation.

Get a pocket-guide summarizing the talk here.  Instructions for folding your book here:

Here's the contents of the pocket-guide:

Quick Tips
1. Walk (7 days/week)
2. Sleep (8 hours/night)
3. Drink (8 glasses/day)
4. Ask for Help
5. Trust your Helpers

7 days per week
Ask yourself, how many days per week do you sleep?  Get active!
Even if you have an active job, exercise outside of work.
Create health by starting with 5 minutes per day.
Find a friend to help you get a foot in the door of fitness!

What you put in your body creates all your cells.
Drinking water is a healthy habit, like putting gas in your car.
Drink at least 5-6 Cups of water per day, 8 Cups is better.
Your body will use the water for organs first (brain, liver, kidneys).
If you drink enough water, it will relieve muscle tension & chest pain naturally.

Sweets are the ultimate evil.
Sugar is 9 times more addictive than cocaine.
If you have a sugar habit, forgive yourself, it’s not your fault.
When you eat sugar, your body craves more sugar.
Substitute sugary foods with vegetables and protein.

Nighttime is when your body releases hormones.
Wind down, shut down, replenish, get deep sleep, and your body will wake up recharged.
Using electronics at night can affect you past the time you put them down.
Try reading a boring magazine instead, review your day, plan the following day.
If you can’t sleep, don’t lay in bed worrying for more than 15 minutes.
Get up, walk around, wash the dishes, but don’t engage in vigorous exercise.  Try again.

Don’t guilt trip yourself.
Humans are altruistic, helping someone else is easier than helping yourself.

Thanks Dr. Avanes!

Monday, June 29, 2015

SoCal Events

Freedom Ride | Entry fee: FREE Metrolink Weekend Day Pass: $10
Glendale, CA | Glendale Metrolink Station
400 W. Cerritos Ave | San Gabriel River trailSunday, July 12 | Start time: 6:30am

Foothill 5k Challenge | Entry fee: $45
Glendale, CA | Glendale Sports Complex
2200 Fern Ln | Catalina Verdugo trailSunday, July 19, 2015 | Start time: 8:15am

Spirit of LA 5k Run | Entry fee: $30
Los Angeles, CA | Elysian Park
1880 Academy Dr | by the baseball fields
Saturday, August 1, 2015 | Start time: 8:00am

Camarillo Duathlon Series | Run / Bike / Run | Cost: $85
515 Eubanks Dr

April 12 | June 7 | August 2, 2015

Arroyo Creek Half Marathon
Simi Valley, CA
Start at Rancho Simi Park and Erringer
Sunday, August 9, 2015 | Start time: 7:00am

CicLAvia ~ Culver City Meets Venice | Cost: FREE
Culver City, CA | Metro Expo Line
8804 W Washington Blvd | Venice Beach via Mar Vista
Sunday, August 9, 2015 | Start time: 9:00am

Hansen Dam Superhero Run | 5k or 10k | $30 or $40
Sylmar, CA
Hansen Dam Aquatic Center
Saturday, August 15, 2015 | Start time: 8:30am

Tour de Lake Arrowhead | Cost:$60
Lake Arrowhead, CA | Blue Jay Village on HWY 189
27984 Hwy 189 | mile high elevation San Bernardino Mts
Saturday, August 22, 2015 | Start time: 7:00am

Hometown Heroes Honor Run | Cost:$40 for 5k, $50 for 10k
Riverside, CA
Arlington Sports Complex
Saturday, October 3, 2015

Long Beach Half Marathon | Entry fee: $100
Long Beach, CA | Long Beach Convention Center
300 E Ocean Blvd | Queensway & San Pedro Bays
Sunday, October 11, 2015 | Start time: 7:30am

Mariachi 5k | Entry fee: $31
Montebello, CA | City Park
1300 Whittier Blvd | Live Mariachi music along the course
Saturday, October 17, 2015

CicLAvia ~ Heart of LA | Cost: FREE
Los Angeles, CA | Echo Park to East LA
More info TBA
Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ride 2 Recovery: California Challenge | Single day: $75
Ventura, CA | Crowne Plaza Hotel
450 Harbor Drive | Finishing at West Los Angeles Medical Center
October 24, 2015 (Day 7) | Depart: 9:00 am

Mission Inn Run | Cost: 5k $40, 10k $45, half marathon $60
Riverside, CA
3400-3700 Main St
Sunday, November 8, 2015

Citrus Heritage Run
Riverside, CA Arlington Heights Sports Park
9401 Cleveland Ave
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Surf City Half Marathon | Cost: $89
Huntington Beach, CA | Waterfront Beach Resort
21100 Pacific Coast Hwy | Pacific Coast Highway
Sunday, February 7, 2016 | Start time: 7:45am

Part of the Run Riverside Challenge
Part of the Beach Cities Challenge

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cycling Events ~ Summer 2015

3rd Annual Jewel City Ride

Who: The event is designed for cyclists of all levels and ages.
  • “Gear Grinder” 50 miles starts at 7:00am, cost $50 per rider
  • “Fun & Fitness” 25 miles starts at 9:00am, cost $35 per rider
  • “Family Ride” 7 miles starts at 10:30am, cost $20 per family
When: Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Where: Meet at Verdugo Park. 1621 Canada Blvd Glendale, CA 91208

How: Register at

Why: The event is hosted by the Rotary Club of Glendale (Thursday Noon), and presented in collaboration with Walk Bike Glendale. Proceeds from the 2015 event will benefit youth served by Glendale YWCA, ARK Family Center and the City of Glendale Police Activity League (PAL).


15th Annual Los Angeles River Ride

Who: The event unites the diverse bicycling community with a variety of ride options.
  • "Century Ride" 100 miles starts at 7:00am, cost $50 per rider
  • "Expert Ride" 70 miles starts at 7:45am, cost $50 per rider
  • "Half Century" 50 miles starts at 8:00am, cost $40 per rider
  • "Training Ride" 36 miles starts at 8:30am, cost $40 per rider
  • "Explorer Ride" 25 miles starts at 8:45am, cost $40 per rider
  • "Family Ride" 15 miles starts at 10:30am, cost $30 per family
When: Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Where: Meet at Autry Museum. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027

How: Register at

Why: Your participation helps the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) continue to make all of LA County healthy, safe and fun for bikes. Additionally, your ride makes a difference in our Greenway 2020 campaign to complete all 51 miles of LA River Bike Path by the year 2020.

Prices listed are for LACBC members.  If you aren't already a member, sign up at the special price of $25 when you register for this event.  Hurry and register today, prices increase on June 4th.


Pick up your bib at Performance Bicycle *Woodland Hills or Santa Monica* on Saturday June 20th.  Pick up your bib on Sunday June 21st at Performance Bicycle *Long Beach* or Incycle *Pasadena.*

Sunday, January 11, 2015

SoCal Events

Surf City Half Marathon
Huntington Beach, CA
Sunday, February 1, 2015
$120.00 for half marathon | marathon is sold out!

Rose Bowl Half Marathon
Pasadena, CA
Sunday, February 15, 2015
$35 for 10k

Mardi Gras Madness
Valencia, CA
Sunday, February 22, 2015
$40 for 10k

Seaside Half Marathon
Ventura, CA
Sunday, February 22, 2015
$40 for 10k

Race on the Base
Los Alamitos, CA
Saturday, February 28, 2015
$36 for 10k

Race on the Base
Reverse Triathlon
$75 (5k run, 13.1 mile bike, and 200 meter pool swim)
Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chinatown Firecracker
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, March 1, 2015
$38 for 10k

Chinatown Firecracker
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, March 1, 2015
$68 for bike ride AND run

A Run Through Redlands
Redlands, CA
Sunday, March 8, 2015
$35 for 10k

LA Marathon
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, March 15, 2015
$40 for 5k | $180 for marathon (thru Jan 14th)

Bear Claw Classic
Thousand Oaks, CA
Saturday, March 28, 2015
donation for 30 mile or 103 mile + 11245 ft of climbing

Hollywood Half Marathon
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, April 11, 2015
$50 for 10k | $110 for half

Run the Verdugos
Glendale, CA
Sunday, May 3, 2015
registration opens soon!

OC Half Marathon REGISTERED!
Newport Beach, CA
Sunday, May 3, 2015
$105.00 for half

Climate Ride (40-60 miles per day)
Eureka to SF, CA
May 17th - 21st, 2015
$100 registration +$2800 fundraising goal

Heartbreak 100 mi + 8673 ft of climbing
Los Padres National Forest (above Santa Clarita, CA)
Saturday, May 23, 2015
registration opens soon!

Corona del Mar Scenic 5k
Newport Beach, CA
Saturday, June 6, 2015
$38 for 5k

Midnight Mission 5k/10k
Pasadena, CA
Sunday, June 14, 2015
$40 for 10k

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Tiny House Garden

Last spring frost (50% probability) date is January 21st.

Chive ~ Asparagales order
start the seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost

Basil ~ Lamiales order
indoors 6 weeks before last frost date

Chamomile ~ Asterales order
start indoors about 4 to 6 weeks before the last average frost

Fennel ~ Apiales order
outdoors around last frost date

Radish ~ Brassicales order
1/21–29, 2/15–28

Spinach ~ Caryophyllales order
Swiss Chard ~ Caryophyllales order
2/7–14, 3/1–15

Lettuce (Romaine, Red Sails) ~ Asterales order

Pepper (Anaheim, Cayenne, Jalapeno, California Wonder) ~ Solanales order
Tomato ~ Solanales order

Summer squash (patty pan, wee bee little) ~ Cucurbitales order
Winter squash (Kabocha, Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, Carnival) ~ Cucurbitales order
3/15–16, 3/30–4/15

Parsley ~ Apiales order
wait until all possibility of frost has passed, parsley seeds like warm soil

Roses ~ Rosales order
refrigerate seeds for about 6 weeks, plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep, provide no light for the first month, then give the tray 16 hours of light a day, germination should begin shortly and continue for 2 to 3 months

Sunday, September 21, 2014

exercise vs exorcise

Last night a DJ saved my life.  Sometimes I forget how easy it is to let go and set yourself free.  I felt like I was releasing all the tension and stress in a positive way.  All the artists who wrote those lyrics and melodies were singing MY song.  And my friends were there dancing with me.


In preparation for Halloween, I am thinking about the scariest movie I ever saw.  OK, it is a tie between Event Horizon and The Exorcist (and a close third is Nightmare on Elm Street).  But I felt like last night I was a woman possessed.  Like a revival tent, I shook and shouted and sang my way back to emotional stability.

An exorcism involves driving out (an evil spirit) from a person or place.  An exercise involves activity requiring physical effort, carried out especially to sustain or improve health and fitness.  I would say that last night on the dance floor, amid swirling disco lights, I achived both.

There are many forms of dance, but the simplest way to start is tapping your toe. Nodding your head "Yes," is an affirmation. Shrugging your shoulders as if to say, "nobody's watching." Then start marching in place. Loosen up your torso. Roll your head. Wave your arms. Kick. Jump. Listen to the music.

"Lowered heart rate, better sleep and lower cortisol levels — a signifier of reduced stress — are all responses to listening to music. 'Accepting that compulsion to move, and not only that, but going with it and completing that cycle. Instead of just modelling it in your mind , you are actually … bringing that to life through your body.' "

Research in small studies has observed "positive effects from the music therapy, including positive trends in improved memory, lowered levels of stress hormones and improved caregiver reports for neuropsychiatric symptoms such as irritability and depression."

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is only beginning to reveal how music and dance recruit our whole brain, which in turn rewards us with dopamine. Music "activates pleasure and reward-related regions of the brain" so go ahead and shake a tail feather.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

the Kaiser hot dog diet

This summer I tried an experimental diet: no cookies, no cake, and hot dogs are OK as long as you ride your bicycle to get one.  It became a joke and I feel like I lost some fat but I didn't lose any weight.  I would say I tried this diet for the entire months of July and August.  I also had a misconception in my head that eating a 4-4-9 ratio of carbs-protein-fat would be the best for a steady stream of energy.  This was a mis-association on my part.  It's more likely that ratio came from the fact that carbs and protein provide about 4 Calories per gram and fat provides about 9 Calories per gram.  It's difficult to look at your food and see how many grams of protein, carbs and fat it contributes, and even more difficult to do the calculation in your head before you eat a meal to be sure you're eating balanced ratios of carbs, protein and fat.

I used to assemble some nutritional information for some of the hot dogs I ate in my hot dog experiment.  Beginning with the USDA guidelines for the percentages of our diet that should come from fat, protein, and carbs and then assuming that a person consumes 2000 Calories per day, I arrived at the number of Calories that should be consumed from fat, protein, and carbs.  Then I used the 4-4-9 information regarding the Calorie density of carbs-protein-fat to calculate the grams of each that should be consumed per day by an average adult.  Then I looked up the grams of carbs, protein, and fat in various hot dogs and calculated how much of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) each hot dog provided in each category of macronutrient (fat, protein, carbs).

After all that, I got to thinking, "hot dogs are salty."  Many people have trouble with high levels of salt.  I wondered how much salt was in each hot dog.  It turns out the Costco hot dog is the saltiest by almost double the other hot dogs.  Although young people can process 2.3 g of sodium a day, older Americans (beyond age 50) are not recommended to exceed 1.5 grams of sodium.  Therefore the Costco hot dog should be off limits for older people.  The Costco hot dog is OK if you are only eating 2 meals a day, but although inexpensive, it is not a great source of energy compared with other choices like vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

So my misconception was that I thought 4-4-9 was the balance of carbs-protein-fat that people should consume.  I didn't know if that was in terms of grams or Calories.  What I learned is that 4-4-9 is the ratio in Calories if one is to consume energy equally in grams from all three energy sources, which is not what is recommended.  What might be possibly more useful is knowning that the USDA recommends a 6-3-11 ratio of fat-protein-carbs in terms of Calories.  I used to count calories using the Weight Watchers points system.  It simplifies the point value of each food and allows a participant a specific number of points per day.  You also get a credit in the formula for increased dietary fiber in your foods.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan shown above seems better than a "crash" diet. The hot dog diet is also known as the Kaiser hot dog diet and the Navy diet or the 3-day diet. It promises you will lose 10 pounds in 3 days by eating ice cream and hot dogs (without the bun). Crash diets are NEVER recommended. DASH recommendations seem simple to follow. In a study of 810 participants, over the course of 18 months, participants lost weight and improved their blood pressure. It is never a good idea to strive for short-term weight loss. Giving yourself plenty of time to see results is a safer course of action.