Monday, May 21, 2012

My Waterloo Days 5K

This is Mary S, the registered dietitian, inviting you to get involved in the upcoming “My Waterloo Days” 5K which is sponsored by Wheaton. I have been running 5Ks for 23 years. This picture is of my former mailman, Tom Shea and I, who won our age groups at the recent mud run. Tom became a friend of mine many years ago because of our mutual interest in running and biking. Tom has always inspired me as he would walk a 10 mile mail route and then after work I would see him out on his bike.
The My Waterloo Days 5k is an event I run every year. You can run, walk or volunteer on Saturday June 2nd at 8:00 am. Registration details can be found at You can contact Merriam Lake at about volunteer opportunities.

The 5k is my own personal fitness test as doing the same course helps me to see if I am staying fit while aging. I am not as fast as I once was but I am happy to still be able to run. I have met many runners and patients who have been sidelined by health problems and injuries. One of the main reasons I run is because I can!
This is my last year in my 40s. Everything everyone told me about getting old is turning out to be true. It is hard to do the same workouts, eat the same foods and stay the same weight with all the natural changes that occur with aging. My mind is willing to work out but some days the body does not want to follow. Recovery time has become much more important. I have had to limit the miles running and add more time in the pool or on the bike to limit injuries and so far this cross training continues to work for me.

I once wondered why I should pay money to go run. I look at the entry fee as an investment in my health and a way to continue to continue to meet people who have mutual health goals who support each other. The races give me an opportunity to learn more about what area communities offer. The My Waterloo Days course offers the chance to run in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Waterloo. Local residents will be cheering in their front lawns. Wheaton Associates will be working the registration, water stops and finish line which is found on a gradual downhill on Prospect Blvd. Many races are fund raisers for some worthy cause which you learn about while participating.

If you come out to help at the event you will see a variety of ages, shapes and sizes challenging themselves to run 3.1 miles. I hope my nearly 49 year old body will let me do this in 25 minutes or less.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Good afternoon!

It's Merriam talking to you on this beaufitul sunny afternoon. I want to wish all of you moms out there a much deserved "Happy belated Mothers day". We moms have so much going on in our lives...........taking care of our families, community, and all the things that we get involved in, that the one thing that we must remember is to take care of is..........ourselves! We tend to get so caught up in everything, trying to do so much in our day that we forget about taking some time to relax, workout, or just have a little quiet time.

I know that I am "preaching to the choir" if I told you that you NEED to this!!! It is a must though to help keep us sane and make us better parents, co-workers, friends and spouses.

So try to find (even if it is just 10-15 min.) a day to do something that you enjoy. Relax and listen to music, watch your kids play, enjoy dessert, or just that old saying......"stop and smell the roses". You will feel better if you do.

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Asparagus and Red Potatoes Recipe

Farmers Markets are opening in many locations this weekend. Locally grown asparagus should be easy to find. Garden centers are filling up with fresh herbs like rosemary. I have both of these growing in my yard . The recipe below is a quick, easy and healthy way to incorporate some of these seasonal favorites.
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

1/2 lb red potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
2 garlic cloves
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut in 2 to 3 inch pieces
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 freshly ground pepper

1. In a small bowl, combine the potatoes, 2 Tbsp oil, rosemary and garlic; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 15x10 in x 1 in baking pan. Roast at 400 for 20 minutes, stirring once.

2.  Drizzle asparagus with remaining oil. Add to pan. Roast 15-20 minutes longer
until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

From Mary S, RD, LD

Asparagus Nutrition

Just one cup of cooked, drained fresh or frozen asparagus provides more than 10% of our daily needs of 8 vitamins and minerals and a smaller amount of 11 other nutrients. One cup serving of this little green spear can provide 74% of our Vitamin C, 61% folate, and 30% Vitamin A. These nutrients have many functions, including antioxidants, immune health, heart health and prevention of neural tube defects in pregnant women. The other plus is all this comes with only 30 calories and provides 3 g. of fiber per serving.

As a dietitian, I am often asked which is the best way to cook vegetables to save nutrients. Water and heat destroy some nutrients. Fat and heat helps the body absorb other nutrients. These differences makes this a hard general questions to answer. This is another reason to keep a variety of types of foods and cooking methods part of your routine.

Water soluble vitamins like C and folate can leach in water so minimizing water used in cooking will save more of this nutrient. Adding a little fat from olive oil or a soft margarine will help absorb the fat soluble vitamins like K and A along with phytochemicals like beta carotene and lutein. For example, heating tomatoes or carrots makes their fat soluble substances easier to absorb. Steaming and stir frying are great options to save your Vitamin C as it limits water. Heat can damage some sensitive nutrients like folate which is often found in leafy greens so you may want to have more raw spinach salads.

If you are not a chef, focus on getting in vegetables in whatever form you are comfortable cooking them as there will still be more nutrients left in any versions than what would have been in a potato chip or French fry.
I have boiled, grilled, baked, and stir fried asparagus. For cooking instructions I would recommend this link:
from Mary S., RD, LD