Tag Archives: health

Fitness Foodies…

It is difficult to talk about diet, weight and health without including the topic of physical exercise.  During my dietary guidelines research, I unearthed a statistic that I have pondered over the past few weeks.

USDA data reports that more than 50% of adults in the United States are not physically active. 

While I likely define the words “healthy weight” more loosely than the Obama Administration, I do think that everyone benefits from physical activity.  When we discuss fitness at the Feed Yard Foodie residence, we do not discuss weight — rather — we talk about building muscle, cardiovascular strength, and the ability to be active.  My favorite farmer and I are life-long athletes.

coachannethumbsup.jpg

I devote time to coaching youth athletics because I believe that we need to create a culture of fitness in young Americans.  To build a culture, exposure must start early and it must be fun.  I hope that my volunteering plays a positive role in the lives of the kids that I mentor just as my dedication to fitness is a result of my parents and coaches teaching me to love exercise at a very young age.  Although almost 20 years have passed since I retired from collegiate athletics, I still love a workout.  Apart from making me feel good, being fit allows me to experience better health and a healthy weight.

I’ve heard that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”…

My favorite high school student recently chose to learn to be a Fitness Trainer for a semester project in math/science.  She selected family members as her first “clients”.  Basic kinesiology, benchmark testing, training, and fitness goals permeate family dinner discussions as our favorite trainer leads the current family fitness journey.

Sunday morning found us at the track doing an “Owen’s Circuit”.  I have to admit that when Ashley Grace began my parenthood journey 15+ years ago, no one at the hospital told me that this would be part of the challenge 🙂  For those of you that are unfamiliar with an Owen’s Circuit (which one could argue is a good thing), it is a series of upper body, core and leg strength exercises intermixed with running repeats on the track.

Crunches...

Crunches…

After 400 yard repeats -- note that the smile on the youngest member of the family's face :)

In between 400 yard repeats — How awesome is the smile on my youngest daughter’s face?!

Rocket jumps...

And, rocket jumps…

100 meter sprints...

Topped off with 100 meter sprints…

And a myriad of other fun things like push ups, burpees, lunges and dips that help you find muscles that you might have forgotten existed!

While the primary focus of this blog post is to provide a bit of “light humor” in the midst of a very serious discussion, I do want to point out the importance of fitness in life’s journey.  Everyone will likely define the word using different difficulty scales (I wouldn’t recommend an Owen Circuit workout to the general public), but the fact remains that being healthy almost always involves some sort of physical activity.  Take your dog for a walk, swim a few laps, play racket ball with your spouse, or have a rousing game of tag with your kids in the front yard.

If our country is going to effectively tackle the problem of obesity and its subsequent health challenges, I believe that it is equally important to learn to love exercise as it is to eat a balanced diet full of protein.  As many things are, the answer is complex and requires personal buy-in to be effective.calendar race

Both diet and fitness are personal choices –As a country, we will make positive change by empowering life choices that can be both fun and healthy. 

This isn’t something that occurs through Dietary Guidelines and regulation, it happens when the American people are motivated to become Fitness Foodies…

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Filed under General, Nutrition (cattle and human)

Meatful Mondays…

This fall, my favorite 7th grader developed a tendency to role her eyes at me during family discussions.  I adopted a new policy at the Feed Yard Foodie house to counteract this unacceptable habit—every eye roll is equal to 10 push-ups.

She’s gotten pretty good at them…

This new rule has led to two developments: 1. There are fewer eye roll movements at our dinner table, and 2. My oldest daughter is developing “pipes” for bicep muscles that rival what mine looked like during my competitive swimming days…

This new protocol has been incredibly effective, and I view it as one of my more successful parenting initiatives.  My daughter is refocusing on showing respect for adults while also improving her physical strength.  It’s a win-win deal.  She is a smart kid, and over the past few months she has learned to catch herself right before the “eye roll” starts, simply replacing it with a smile instead.  The result is a much better dinner experience for the family!

The power of a beautiful smile and her Mama’s homemade meat loaf with home grown hamburger and tomatoes!

Every time that I read about the “Meatless Monday” campaign, I experience the same reaction as when my daughter rolls her eyes at me.  Very simply, I get angry.  The campaign (as seen again yesterday by the Los Angeles city council’s announcement) is frequently aligned with rhetoric about improving your health.  In this instance, Councilwoman Jan Perry is quoted as saying that the resolution is part of an overall “good food” agenda for the city which will result in better health amongst the community of Los Angeles.  I disagree with Councilwoman Perry—I believe that beef plays a key role in good health.

Beef’s Competitive Advantage #2

Beef is a natural food that is a great source of 10 essential nutrients including zinc, iron and protein.  There are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government standards for lean—some of my favorites include lean ground beef, tenderloin and T-bone steaks.  All of these 29 cuts of beef have 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3 ounce serving.  The protein found in beef helps to maintain healthy body weight, build muscle (just look at my daughter’s biceps!), and plays an important role in a healthful lifestyle and disease prevention.

Here’s to strength and good health!

Is it possible to process or cook beef in a way to make it less healthy?  Absolutely…But, there are also a great variety of tasty ways to include healthy lean beef in your diet.  Ways that allow you to focus on good health while enjoying beef’s signature great taste.

Councilwoman Perry, it is not about the beef, it is about the way that it is prepared and what is served to compliment it! 

I believe that a healthy diet needs to include a diverse selection of food.  I feed my family beef almost every single day because I believe that it is a critical part of maintaining our good health.  I pair beef with fruits, vegetables and whole grains to provide a healthy blend of nutrients.  Between cross country, volleyball, basketball, soccer, gymnastics and swimming– my girls need fuel to get through the day.  Of course, we can’t forget the nightly push-ups either!

The west was won on a diverse diet of meat, grains and vegetables…Her cross country races were won that way as well.

The Feed Yard Foodie house proudly participates in Meatful Mondays

Have you served your family one of the 29 cuts of lean beef recently?  Check out http://beefitswhatsfordinner.com for more ideas of how to fuel your family with great tasting lean beef.

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Filed under General, Nutrition (cattle and human)

Cowboying At The Feed Yard…

My cowboy is in the Black Hills on vacation this week.  When he is gone I take over his chore of riding pens and checking the health of all of our cattle.  Although this adds to my fairly long list of things that Anne must get done today, I really enjoy riding pens.  I get started early (about 6:00 am) so that I am finished by the middle of the morning.  It is easiest to check cattle health during the cool hours of the morning.

I took a variety of pictures while on horseback and thought that I would share my favorites…

Dawn at the feed yard—it is so beautiful that it makes it worth getting up at 5:00am…

The feed truck getting started for the day…

Checking cattle…Studly is a good partner.

Being high up on Studly’s back gives me a good view of each one of my animals which helps me to assess their health…

Sometimes I find an animal that is sick and so I guide him out of his “home pen” and down to our main corral so that I can take his temperature and administer an antibiotic after I have diagnosed him…A good cowboy is a “cow doctor”.

I love this “shadow” picture…

Cattle do not often sit “like a dog”, but this steer posed for me while I took his picture sitting in the cool morning air…

Studly helped me to move a pen of cattle one morning. Here we are trailing down the main alleyway to a new home pen…

We also shipped some cattle to harvest on Tuesday afternoon. These two big boys are about ready to be put on the bus

As I care for my cattle, I always remember the end goal—safe and healthy beef that I feed to my family and to yours. Here, my favorite 12 year old eats a beef stir fry that is made from home grown vegetables and beef from our farm.

In many ways, being a mom helps me to be a good cowboy.  Developing a sense for my animals’ health is similar to the sense that I have developed with my own children.  I know what normal looks like, and so as I check the health of my animals I look for anything that is abnormal.  Being a mom also reminds me how important my job is because I know that the cattle that I raise will be used to nourish my own family in addition to nourishing yours…

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Foodie Work!, General