Author Archives: Lacy

About Lacy

Lacy Jaye Hansen is a graduate of Wichita State University and a two-time Boston Marathon finisher. When not training for her next run she's a busy wife and mom.

Atkins Releases Three New Frozen Meals that Pass the Taste Test

The name Atkins is synonymous with the low-carb diet fad of the early 2000s. However, that name means much more than a passing fad and the brand is continuing to release products that are intended to provide great food, healthy ingredients, and still remain lower on the carb scale. They just released three new frozen meals, and it looks like they accomplished their goal.

Chicken Marsala - Atkins Diet

 The three new frozen meal flavors are sesame chicken stir-fry, Italian-style pasta bake, and chicken marsala. They all average about 350-400 calories, about 25 grams of fat, and a nice rate of about 25 grams of protein. The meals net about 4-7 grams of carbohydrates per meal and they are appropriate for anyone at any phase of the Atkins Diet. Furthermore, the ingredients are pretty good too. Very few additives or “things that are hard to pronounce” on the label. The company boasts how they use no fillers in the meat, premium cuts of vegetables, real butter and natural creams in their sauces. This all sounds great, but the real test came when the meals were put to the taste test.

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A Public Edible Fruit Forest Will Soon Be a Reality in Seattle

Imagine a park where you don’t have to say to your kids, “don’t put that in your mouth!”. In fact, imagine one where you encourage them to do the opposite. Well, it’s happening! Seattle will soon be home to the nation’s first-ever edible park.

A seven-acre plot of land in Seattle’s Beacon Hill area will soon be the Beacon Food Forest. The area will be planted with several types of edible plants. Walnut and chestnut trees, berry bushes, fruit trees, even exotics like pineapple and lingonberries will grow in this new park. The best part? It’s open for public picking and plucking. All are invited and encouraged to eat up the nation’s’ first food forest.

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Conservatives Found Another Thing to Hate – Bike Shares

New York has everything, right? That’s pretty much true, including progressive thinkers who want to see a healthier population and a cleaner planet. One of the many ways New Yorkers are trying to accomplish these goals is through bike sharing, specifically through a company called Citi Bikes. The business is simple and really a no-brainer in a busy city that requires commuting. A new report suggests that conservatives are making it really tough to do the healthy thing in NYC, though.

cycling benefits

 Citi Bikes is super simple, with a minimal three step process:

1. Unlock a bike from any station by paying for the rental.

2. Ride the bike wherever you want.

3. Return the bike to any station when you’re done.

Riders don’t have to invest in a bike, they don’t have to search for a place to lock up a bike, and they don’t have to store a bike in a notoriously small New York apartment. They also get exercise and do not leave a carbon footprint behind. When I see these units set up in other cities, my first response is, “wish we had these.”

While this simple plan could literally reverse so many of our country’s health problems, some groups have found a way to deter such a great program. Mayor Bloomberg has already caught flak for trying to reduce soda sizes in his city, and apparently the complaints don’t stop when Americans feel they might be pressured into riding a bike instead of sitting in an expensive, fume-emitting cab. (more…)

Gastric Bypass May be a Better Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

A year-long study regarding the connection between weight loss surgery and curing type 2 diabetes was released this week. The study showed that surgery seemed to be more effective than lifestyle change and medication for treating the disease. However, the tradeoff was that those who had the surgery were at a very common risk for complications. Is this just a one step forward and one step back scenario?

surgeon

The Associated Press reported that a new publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association is stating that gastric bypass surgery can effectively treat type 2 diabetes in patients with mild to moderate obesity. This means people who are about 50 to 70 pounds overweight.

While the glowing light of the words “treatment for diabetes” seems impressive, it was also stated that of those in the study who received surgery, a third of them developed serious problems during the first year after surgery. The typical complications include infections, intestinal blockage, and bleeding. And then there was a much smaller percentage who experienced much more severe complications. (more…)

Britney Spears Flaunts Her Fit Yoga Body on Shape’s Cover

Britney Spears is always in the spotlight. Sometimes for her music, sometimes for her personal drama, and lately for her new body, something the pop star has dramatically changed with yoga.

britney spears yoga

The 31-year-old mother of two is preparing for her new Las Vega show, set to open in the fall. She recently told Shape magazine that she needed to be in shape to pull off that performance. Spears began working with her trainer and started the Nutrisystem program. The results have been impressive as Spears sported a very revealing bikini on the cover of Shape this month. (more…)

Kansas Farmer Sues Monsanto for GMO Wheat Crop Contamination

“We’ve fought them before and we’re not afraid of them.”

 Those are the words of Warren T. Burns, one of the attorneys representing a Kansas wheat farmer who is taking on the biotech giant Monsanto. According to the Associated Press, farmer Ernest Barnes filed suit against the company on Monday after genetically modified wheat was found growing in a field in Oregon. Barnes is claiming the company’s gross negligence has hurt U.S. growers. Genetically modified wheat is not approved for U.S. farming and this discovery may show that the GMO crops that were tested in certain states have infiltrated the food system by actually growing in the field where approved wheat is farmed.

gmo wheat

Since the announcement, Japan has suspended some import orders. This is just an indicator of what may happen if GMO wheat contaminates the American wheat crops. Other countries have strict laws about GMOs; more than 60 countries have banned GMOs and most do not want any products sent to their country if they contain GMOs. The wheat industry was still on the up and up, as no GMO wheat has been approved for U.S. farming. Now that it seems there’s been a contamination, who knows what will happen. (more…)

WIN Koss FitClips and FitBuds in a $150 Runner Prize Pack for Summer

For me, the best moments in running are those rare times when everything feels great, the pace is strong, and the soundtrack pulling me along is flawlessly jamming in my ears. Throughout my running career I’ve struggled to get all those elements to align. And typically the factor that screws everything up is an awkward headphone digging in my ear, a bud popping out causing me to fidget with it, or the sound cutting out because the product couldn’t handle actual sweat. I’m a skeptic when it comes to these products, especially the ones that say they’re made for working out. So, when KOSS introduced their Fit Series of headphones made for active women, I jumped at the chance to see if someone finally nailed the design.

koss buds

KOSS recognized that women were being overlooked in the headphone demographic and teamed up with Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres to create a product that would actually work for active women. Together they created FitBuds and FitClips. The phones come in great colors and each model comes with three sizes of ear cushions to make sure the wearer gets the best fit for their ear. The product is created by KOSS, a high fidelity stereophone manufacturer, essentially giving you professional DJ quality in miniature form. (more…)

Vermont Set to be the First State to Label GMOs

We’ve got to start somewhere and why not start in Vermont? Start labeling GMOs, that is. A new federal bill, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know-Act, was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR). The bill mandates the labeling of GMOs and this one might actually pass in Vermont.VT GMO

RT.com reported on this issue as the bill passed through the state house last week. The report stated that more than 90 percent of Americans want GMO products labeled. Senator Boxer presented these numbers. RT.com also followed that up by reminding us that right now the Food and Drug Administration still does not consider a GMO to be “materially” different. This means the products cannot be tasted, smelled, or identified. Because of this, the FDA does not require labeling. More than 60 countries in Europe require such labeling; maybe soon, this will change in the United States. (more…)

EmPOWERed Kids Run to Take Place One Month After Boston Marathon Tragedy

When my young son came home from school on April 15, I had to share with him the sad news about the Boston Marathon bombings. I was gentle and only gave the information a nine-year-old needed to hear. I had the TV on and he walked into the room and saw the cleared scene of the crime. He immediately said, “Mommy, that’s exactly where we stood.”

I knew that the moment the news broke, my husband did, too. But it didn’t quite sink in until our child was impacted by the closeness of this terrible event. The second time I ran Boston, my son and husband stood under the international flags and cheered for me as I finished. My son’s world changed on April 15, 2013. It changed in a way that broke my heart.

empowered kids

Erin Kreitz Shirey also had a similar sad moment with her little girl on April 15. Instead of being able to report the winning times, she had to tell her about the tragedy and how the race was stopped.

“What about the kids cheering on their parents? Mom, are they OK? Are the kids hurt?”, innocently questioned Shirey’s daughter that night. Her daughter, like my son, had cheered for her mother at many races as well.

We and many other parents struggled to talk to our kids about this event, especially our fellow running parents. We’ve all had our kids at races, standing on the curbs, hanging on the fences cheering. Now what are we supposed to tell them? (more…)

Inaugural 5K for Women Cancer Survivors Scheduled for This Summer

A first time event surrounding such a worthy cause will take place this summer. The Women Survivors Alliance (WSA) will be hosting the Celebrate Survivors 5K and the National Women Survivor’s Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

The convention runs from August 22-24, 2013 and the 5K is Saturday, August 24 at 7:00am. In a press release issued recently, the WSA stated they are issuing a national call for women affected by all types of cancer. The intention of the conference is to help women improve their quality of life, embrace their new life, and help others. The convention aims to bring together survivors, caregivers, family members, and health care providers.

The 5K is expected to have a casual tone, with many of the participants expected to be from the convention. However, the race is open to all. Many are expected to jog or walk the event, yet organizers are anticipating some avid runners to attend as they plan to run in celebration or in memory of a cancer patient. (more…)