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ING New York City Marathon



Al Roker Newest Celeb Set to Run the NYC Marathon

Add Al Roker to the list of celebrities who want to cross “running a marathon” off their bucket list. Earlier this week, the Today show weatherman told People magazine that he is training for the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7, 2010.

Although Roker’s wife and avid runner Deborah Roberts says he’s nervous for the big 26.2 miles, he’s been committed to training and just finished a 20-mile run. He probably won’t win the event, as People reports that Roker just broke the 13-minute mile barrier, but kudos to him for going after such a big fitness goal! (Last year Mebrahtom Keflezighi won the event in a staggering time of 02:09:15.)

Running newbies take heart: Roker admits that he doesn’t even like running. According to the article, he believes that running is 20 percent physical and 80 percent mental. Talk about a mental workout!
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New York City Restaurants Fight City Hall

I ask you this: if chain restaurants are concerned about anything other than their bottom line, why would they avoid posting their nutritional information?

But, that’s what’s happening in New York City, as chain restaurants are fighting the mandatory nutritional posting ruling put forth by city officials.

They make highfalutin claims for their objections. For instance, The New York Restaurant Association says that the regulation violates their First Amendment rights. I’m no constitutional lawyer, but that seems like a load of bunk to me. You and I know that the only real reason they object is that, God forbid, the populace might think twice before ordering that 500-calorie, heart-stopping burger.

People will most likely continue frequenting their establishments. But at least they can make the most informed decision possible. If people demand the right to know what is being sold to them, is that so intrusive? At least some of us believe it’s not just for the common good, but for the common sense. Even when we feel like occasionally taking an off-day from healthy eating, and indulge, at least we know what we’re getting into.

The delay has only been requested for three days, so it’s not indefinite by any means. At that point, the courts will sort out the arguments.

The moral of the story is, the only thing large restaurant chains care about from a consumer perspective is that you, well, consume. I know, it’s a bit of a generalization, and not all corporate movers and shakers are evil-doers. But if they wanted consumers to make knowledgeable decisions, and stood behind their products as safe for human consumption, there should be no resistance.



A Reader Question

A reader writes…

I am 300 pounds and I am a paraplegic. I have use of my upper body only. What can I do to lose my weight? I already have changed the way I eat.

-W.J.

To answer such a sensitive question, I asked my friend and former colleague at eDiets.com, Susan Burke March, a certified nutritionist, to share her advice.

Dear W.J.:

When you can’t walk, it surely makes weight loss more challenging. If you’re not expending calories in activity, it makes what you eat much more important. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen–if you take the challenge to burn calories, even if you can’t walk. You say you have upper-body abilities, so you’re halfway there! I can envisage the New York City Marathon, where I volunteered for a number of years. The wheelchair athletes were truly inspiring–their upper-body strength was phenomenal, and they competed with as much enthusiasm and joy as the runners. I think you need a physical therapist to help you by showing you how to burn calories, even if you can’t walk. There are lots of ways to do it…there are many pieces of equipment you can purchase, and there are wheel-chair exercises for you to do–daily–to burn calories.

So, that’s your mission–to seek out and find the resources that will teach you to incorporate upper-body exercise into your daily routine–and that means daily. Burning calories daily, using upper-body movement will improve your circulation, strengthen your muscles, including your heart muscle, will improve your mood and sleep, and will allow you to move that scale and balance your life. I Googled “exercise equipment for paraplegics” and found this link: http://www.blvd.com/Exercise_Equipment/Accessories/.

If you’ve changed your diet–I applaud you…that is a great first step. Take this second step, and stay on the path toward improved health. Good Luck!

-Susan Burke March M.S., R.D., L.D., CDE
Author of the upcoming book, Naturally Thin — How a Dietitian Went From Overweight to in Control