Combining Sense and Soul
St. Patty's Day Feast
The Story of St. Patrick's Day
Low Carb Kitchen Hints & Tips
Change: The Essence of Life
Interview: Jonny Bowden
Quashing the Weather Excuse
St. Paddy's Day Chuckles!
Getting Back to Basics
Make It Low Carb!
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"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
With inclement weather, regardless of season, motivation for outdoor exercise
diminishes. We are excited to get out and about walking, running, cycling,
skating, rowing, etc. when the clime is picture-perfect. However, when the
rain clouds form, the temperature drops, the heat index rises or a meteor
strikes in the immediate vicinity, we throw up our hands and exclaim "I can't
exercise in this!" The couch beckons and we mutate into potatoes.
However, with proper preparation in terms of clothing and gear, the weather
situation need not disable your exercise efforts. While dangerous conditions
should be avoided, more of the days of the year are available to use for
fitness than one might first assume.
Winter — For some areas, the cruelest time of year. Low temperatures, ice,
snow and shortened days make scheduling a fitness regimen difficult. But,
proper clothing and habits will keep you outdoors for all but the most
hazardous of days.
- For every season — hydration is key. Water is as important in winter
as in summer. Stow water bottles at points along your route or carry water
with you. Remember to drink before you feel thirsty — thirst means you are
already dehydrated! If you tend to sweat a great deal, consider an
electrolyte-replenishing beverage. Some people exude large amounts of
precious salts in perspiration and this can disrupt the body's function.
Present your arm to a household pet and if they lick you with abandon, you
have salty sweat (you can also taste it yourself, but that's just odd.)
- Sunscreen and sunglasses are critical year-round. UV light penetrates
clouds and is present in every season. Cataracts, skin cancer and wrinkles are
not considered exercise benefits.
- Moisturizers protect skin in cold or dry weather and replenish moisture
lost from the frequent showering/bathing that accompanies a robust activity
schedule. Lip moisturizer should be used and should contain a sunscreen.
- Good does not necessarily equal expensive. Quality clothing, shoes
and merchandise can be had for a modest investment. That does not mean,
however, that "cheap" is necessarily acceptable. Shop for the clothing,
shoes and equipment that provide comfort and safety for your chosen fitness
activity. For equipment and shoes, a specialty store is your best bet for
variety and practical advice. For clothing, specialty stores will have the
best quality, but relatively high prices. Acceptable clothing can be found
at discount stores and, if you are admirably frugal, the Salvation Army or
To combat the shortening days, invest in reflective clothing or purchase a
reflective vest. You can also buy reflective tape at hardware and discount
stores and affix strips to any garment. You might also consider a
battery-powered reflective device that emits a blinking light — these
are more effective at attracting the attention of motorists. Better to
resemble a road-crew worker than have an unexpected meeting with a minivan.
If you cycle, run or walk trails, a headlamp can prevent an encounter with a
gopher hole or ditch. You can also consider changing your exercise schedule.
An outing during your lunch hour will keep you fit and provide the precious
sunlight needed to battle the winter blahs.
Low temperatures call for skin coverage. Loss of heat through exposed skin
should be minimized with a hat, earmuffs and gloves. Mittens provide the
best hand protection against cold and layering of gloves with a wind/moisture-resistant
outer shell is also very effective. A neck gaiter will protect not only the throat
region, but can be pulled up over the lower face. Clothing should be layered and
made of breathable material. A thin moisture-wicking inner layer, an insulating
middle layer and a wind-stopping, weather-protecting outer layer generally suffice
but for the lowest temperatures. Layering also ensures that you can strip down or
suit up as the conditions change. Cold-temperature pants are available or a
layering of tights and pants may be used to protect the lower body. Choose
insulated socks, but check the fit with your shoes. Overly-thick socks can make
shoes fit too tightly and lead to foot pain and/or injury. Wool socks provide
the feature of warmth even when wet (sheep are rarely see wearing raincoats); some
synthetic fibers lack this ability. For icy/snowy roads, you can purchase cleats
or treads that fasten to your existing shoes and can be removed when not in use.
Precipitation should be met with breathable, water-resistant jackets and pants.
A hat with a visor keeps the eyes free from rain and snow, as well as protecting
the head. Wet shoes should be dried quickly upon returning inside, however, they
should not be placed in the clothes dryer as this can damage the material and
construction. Air-drying is the best method and there are even devices you can
purchase to do this quickly and efficiently (they also work for boots, hats and
gloves.) Remember to quickly divest yourself of wet, cold clothing when you
return home. Cold, wet gear will rob your body of heat rapidly and, in extreme
cases, lead to hypothermia. Also, invest in a hand cream containing the amino
acid L–arginine. It stimulates peripheral circulation and will bring blood to
your cold skin, warming it more quickly. There are several brands on the market
designed for just this purpose. They can be used for whole-body warmth, as well.
Your significant other will likely be very willing to assist in you in this portion
of your exercise routine.
Summer — For some areas, summer brings the greatest challenges. Scorching
temperatures and high humidity tempt us with air-conditioner worship rather
than outdoor activity. Again, preparations are key to continuing your regimen.
Evaporation keeps you cool, so invest in moisture-wicking clothing. Loose-fitting
garments are generally best as they permit air flow around the body and reduce
chafing. Light colors reflect solar radiation and keep you cooler better than
darker shades. Socks should be moisture-wicking and with a proper thickness to
provide cushioning, while not retaining too much heat. There are also socks that
are designed to reduce the incidence of blistering and are a good choice for
warm-weather fitness. Hats protect the scalp and forehead from the sun's rays
and a headband will diminish the drip of perspiration into your eyes.
Sweat-blindness is not a legal defense for collision-based assault charges.
Also, on the market now are neck/head wraps that can be soaked in water to
maximize evaporative cooling from these important heat-releasing body regions.
They are usually available with a wide variety of patterns to complement any
exercise outfit — mine features monkeys wearing fezzes.
For hot-weather exercise, the cool-down portion of your routine is critical.
Ceasing an intense workout does not immediately drop the body's metabolism
back to rest. It takes awhile for the body to "shift gears" back to a more
normal level. During this time, calories are still burned and heat still
generated. Sustained, albeit reduced, activity allows for the continued release
of this metabolic heat — cessation of activity reduces the heat-loss capability
and internal temperatures can rise to dangerous levels. Heat stroke will not
enhance your fitness motivation. It is also wise to consider exercising in
the early morning and late afternoon/early evening when temperatures are lower.
For truly inclement conditions, in any season, indoor options exist. Most
gyms offer day or week passes for short-term use. Your local YMCA or
community center might have inexpensive programs in which you can participate.
Invest in one or two pieces of exercise equipment for the home. Research the
best type for your interests and level of fitness and, often, you can find
equipment that will fall into your budget range. Consider, too, used equipment.
Scan your newspaper's classified ads for leads. Many people buy good fitness
machines on impulse, which quickly fall into disuse. People are often eager
to get these space-robbing statues out of their houses and you can negotiate
a good price for a little-used machine. Invest in exercise videos for aerobic
or yoga/Pilates routines and inexpensive free-weights or resistance bands for
strength training. A wind-trainer will transform a street bike into an indoor
stationary cycle quickly and inexpensively. An energetic music CD can give a
good aerobic workout for those who like to dance. My booty-shaking mechanism
automatically engages when the Clash's "Rock the Casbah" hits the radio,
providing a heart-rate boost and activity minutes that count towards to the
day' accumulated fitness time. Nurture your inner child with jump ropes
and hula-hoops. They are whimsical, fun and provide a good aerobic workout.
Although we would like for our outdoor fitness experiences to always occur
under crystal-clear skies with mild temperatures, the Earth provides these
days only on special occasions. With a little preparation and minimal
investment, you can enjoy the benefits of exercise year-round to maintain
your physical (and mental) health and happiness.
Copyright © March 2004 Cerise Cauthron and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury
The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook
As many of you know, I have several bookcases packed with every low carb cookbook, diet plan, and
research paper that I can fit in them. I read a lot; I cook a lot; and I experiment a lot. So finding
a low carb cookbook that stands out above the others for one reason or another is always a thrill for
me. And this one really does! It's different... catering primarily to those dishes that have always had
a bit of an emotional attachment for many of us. This one speaks to the heart of our love for certain
foods and addresses it head on.
Michael and Mary Dan Eades (of Protein Power fame) have put together a collection of
easy to cook recipes like Apple Brown Betty, Crumby Chicken Salad Casserole, Eggplant Parmigiana,
Blintzes, Barbecued Peanut Butter Chicken, Sweet Potato Casserole, Quesadillas, and even Southern Fried
Chicken with Pan Gravy. Many recipes have both a lower carb version, and a low carb
They begin with cooking guidelines, run the gamut of recipe categories, and end with tips
and mail order sources. Each recipe offers full nutritional values and fiber, and sources
This is a must-have book if you've been feeling that some of those must-have foods have
abandoned you. Now get cookin'!
We highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook!