Tag Archives: health

That’s It

that's itI have been in the process of breaking a 35-year habit. Snickers has been a staple in my diet since before I was in the military. It was my go to bar after running track. It was my recovery bar after 5k and 10k runs. It was my post PT bar as I showered in the barracks before formation. I took them hunting and hiking with me. During the three “Hotter n’ Hell 100” bike rides I did between 2002 and 2004. I used them as breakfast before pushing my mountain bike 100 miles across Texas in 100-plus degree temps. Up until last month you could find me in most meetings with a Snickers and Coke in my hand. My bad habit had grown to almost six sodas per day and one to three Snickers per day. It had also grown my LB’s to a unhealthy 204.

It was after my doctor told me I needed to cut way back on sugar and fats and increase my fiber and fruit I made a change. It wasn’t a suggestion, he in fact said that if I wanted to see my daughter graduate high school I needed to make changes right now. So I went cold turkey. I immediately cut out all sodas and candy bars. Gone were my morning doughnuts and caramel lattes. Taco Bell, Johnny’s Pizza, and Jack in the Box Tacos died a quiet death for me. But still I needed to find a snack to get me through and sitting down to watch TV with an apple or grabbing a bowl of celery just hasn’t appealed to me yet as a full time replacement.

Our cafeteria at work has recently begun to stock better options for treats. This includes fruit and nut snacks. I have fallen in love with “That’s It”  fruit bars. They remind me of when I used to make fruit roll-ups with my dehydrator for a backpacking snack 25 years ago. “Treats” is a good description since they are loaded in sugars and carbs, but also have fiber.

The bars taste great and I order mine here. The only ingredients they include are fruits. The recipe is simple, FRUIT + FRUIT = THAT’S IT. They are gluten free, each runs 100 to 110 calories, all natural with no preservatives and high in fiber, which for me means I can have the sugar as a treat.

I understand its a healthier option for me and realize I can’t eat two or three of these a day. Looking back at how I used to abuse candy bars and sodas this is an option I can live with without sacrificing simple pleasures every now and then. They come in several great flavors to keep my pallet interested. We are now carrying them in our Amazon store and when you purchase them they are a little cheaper than what I have been seeing at our cafeteria, plus you help support Adventure IQ’s free workshops, camps, and seminars.

Spinning Wheels

 

Bike Racing in Texas

From 1998 to 2007 I was a bike commuter. I did everything by bike. At one point I commuted 36 miles round trip to work. As a family we did our grocery shopping by bike. Riding 5 miles to the store with panniers, and bike trailers, we took care of our dietary needs. One trailer held Abby, the other a huge ice chest. We attended hockey and football games, the Fat Tire Festival, and took in some great movies- all a 30 mile round trip. I have hunted bear by bike, planned entire vacations, and even moved across the country to be in better biking conditions.

Riding in Ojanaga, Mexico...the crossing was...interesting

Bikes are simple and efficient. I believe in so many situations bikes are better than cars. Traveling around the world I have found that where more people have used bikes instead of cars, the environment seems to be a much better place for it. I have found that people are healthier in spite of other contributing factors to bad health. They are without a doubt more physically fit, and with the exception of the stress placed on them by cars, are mentally healthier.  

I often hear about cars complaining about bikes.  Not going to start a rant, but the fact is everyone benefits from fewer cars. Fewer cars mean less traffic, less pollution, and fewer  traffic deaths . Since I enjoy hunting, the pollution in my city has an effect on the woods I roam. I enjoy the beauty of the landscape and know I am doing my part to preserve it. If you don’t believe the effect pollution has on the woods, check out recent pictures of Shenandoah National Park now and what it looked like 30 years ago. Devastating.  To be a hunter means I am a conservationist, which means I care about the environment.

My journey through biking began like most, that first bike as a kid. This granted freedom, adventure, and independence. Later in high school I began commuting 15 miles each way. In between that commute I also participated in track, cross-country, and football. I wasn’t out to become a super athlete, I only wanted to avoid trouble on the school bus.

When stationed in Germany, my bike was often the most reliable means of getting to work each day. 12 KM back and forth with a 45lb ruck with all my gear for the day tucked in home-made panniers. My cars (yes plural) were always breaking down so I became proficient on the bike.

Several years later I was introduced into mountain biking by a boss and I instantly fell in love with it. I devoted hours to weeknight rides, weekend trips, and vacations that would include several weeklong treks in some of the most remote regions of the south and southwest.

 I took bikes with me on business travel so I could explore areas like Mobile, Tucson, Chicago, and other cites and country sides. I shipped my bike ahead of me and it was ready when I got to the hotel. For me it was much better to do some exploring along the Gulf of Mexico than hanging out and drinking in a bar.

The other advantage, I could eat whatever I wanted. I tipped the scales at a consistent 155, a weight I would love to be back to again.

In 2005 we moved to Boise to get closer to biking. The first year I commuted by bike for the majority of my work and week days. I was also really big into restoring old bikes, including a 1953 Columbia and a 1968 Raleigh. I was also building bikes for people who for one reason or another lost the ability to commute by car. I was in great shape and felt very complete. I also completed a season of bear hunting all by bicycle. With my longbow mounted to my handlebars and gear pulled behind me in a trailer, I peddled my way through April to June in search of a big brownie. I also hunted a deer season as well, at least until both bike and hunter were snowed in.

 I think it was during this time though I began to lose focus….and gain weight. I went through some staggering depression in 2006-2007 and after the initial weight loss gained 55 unwanted pounds. I lost motivation to build, repair, or ride any bike.

This last weekend, the desire to bike has returned. Once I get a rack built on my Jeep, I plan to trek across some of the most remote regions of Idaho. Already feeling better and dropping 20 lbs through swimming, going back to the bike is a natural step for me.