Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Says 'Dallas' to You?

The New York Times recently published a great series offering "The History of New York in 50 Objects" inspired by the BBC's radio series "A History of the World in 100 Objects."  The idea was to feature tangible things that capture the essence and history of a city.  New York items such as the ubiquitous MetroCard, the AIDS button, the Greek coffee cup and a bagel all immediately come to mind.

New Orleans Water Meter
New Orleans has things like the fabulous water meter lids.  Las Vegas has casino tokens.  Chicago has pizza.  You get the idea.

What about Dallas?  What captures the essence of our town?

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower?  That's a building.  Pegasus?  The new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge?  Sure, they come to mind but they don't quite fit the bill.

A large can of hair spray?  A Neiman Marcus credit card?  Big diamonds?  A Mambo Taxi?  Lee Harvey Oswald's bullet?   

Those pop into my head immediately.  But I struggle to think of something so iconic that truly screams DALLAS.  Can you?

Is it because our city has a branding problem?  Does Dallas have an identity?  You can say it's one of commerce.   Dallas is a relatively friendly environment in which to do business.  I say this coming from a long line of self-made entrepreneurs.  My grandfather was an early real estate developer in  Oak Cliff.  My stepfather had a gallery in Caruth Plaza for years.  My mother still has her boutique residential real estate firm headquartered in Lakewood.  My biological father started and sold an oil and natural gas company in the 70's before the big 1980's Dallas payday that had everyone building ranches in downtown Dallas or buying diamonds by the ton.  You can make a lot of things happen in this town.

But can you name something, a simple tangible object that says "Dallas"?  If you could tell the story of this city through items that represent it, what would be on the list?  A State Fair of Texas food coupon?  A Tolltag?  Help me.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Get Great Arms With Just A Few Moves

Staying in shape not only improves your appearance but also helps you keep up with the kid.  Who knew!

We all did. 

Perhaps I didn't know just HOW important staying strong for a little one was.  From picking her up and putting her down to leaping up from a sitting position to chase her, I've learned the hard way that one must be physically ready to handle a kid.  My arms were sore the first few weeks I had Jordan because I wasn't used to carrying a child in so many different positions.  I've also dealt with a sore back because I wasn't ready for all the lifting associated with moving her around the house.  Instead of complaining about it, I'm proactive in my exercise routine to combat any muscular weaknesses.

But enough preaching.  Onto specifics.  A Facebook friend asked me to share my arm workout after seeing this recent picture.

My arms are not as "cut" as they could be.  I tend to carry fat just below my rear deltoids and above my triceps.  I'm benefiting from a good pose here (and not benefiting from a bad shirt that makes me look pregnant).  Regardless, my arms are pretty strong after a lifetime of lifting weights, practicing yoga, taking pilates and riding horses (an excellent full-body toner).  If I was more diligent with my diet, I would have that true "cut" look you see so many really lean women possess.
Saturday, September 15, 2012

It Was Only a Matter of Time: The Starbucks Diet

Jared Fogle dropped 245 pounds eating Subway sandwiches in the 90's.  Some random chick lost weight eating only Taco Bell drive thru fare.  Now a 68-year old Virginia librarian claims she has lost 85 pounds over the past two years getting her meals from Starbucks.

Here is a sample of Christine Hall's daily diet.  

She usually starts the day with oatmeal and a black coffee (140 calories)  while her lunch and dinners consists of either a bistro box - a selection of cheese, bread and meats - or a panini which  total around 220-460 calories.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So Too Much Soda Can Make You Fat...Shocking!

Shocker.  Consuming too much of anything can add extra heft to your body.  The New York Board of Health is expected to approve Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on the sale of large sugary drinks in restaurants, stadiums and movie theaters tomorrow.  In theory, it is supposed to help fight the obesity epidemic spreading like warm butter on toast across the country.  People will still be able to get their sugary soda fix.  The plan has flaws.

I think this is ridiculous not so much because it infringes on residents' civil liberties, which you could argue it does, but because it takes away the personal responsibility factor in controlling your health.

I was 50 pounds overweight at one point because I drank Mountain Dew and consumed M&M's like they were going out of style.  No one forced me to eat copious amounts of that junk.  I wasn't fat because it was sold or advertised on television.  I was fat because I chose to eat too much of it.  I promise that when you take personal responsibility for your choices and health, your life will change for the better. 

I digress.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Healthier Options for Your Cowboys/Giants Noshing Pleasure

For some, you know who you are, the best part of tonight's Cowboys/Giants season opener is the festivities surrounding the game.  I'm not talking the "Glory Hole" vs the "Beat the Giants ass!" smack.  I'm talking about the revelry: the parties, the food and cocktails.

Unfortunately, one snack-filled night of football can be a diet killer.  I watch games for a living.  The mindless munching can wreck havoc on your body and leave you bloated, backed up and regretting what you ate.  The good thing is there are some great alternatives and ways you can enjoy all those wonderful snacks without consuming a day's worth of calories, fat, sodium and sugar.

Here are few tips for your football party pleasure:

Cut the Cheese with Veggies
Have your favorite queso but just a tablespoon or two.  Instead of chips, dip some broccoli and cauliflower in the queso.  It's outstanding.  The vegetables provide the crunch that chips would while satiating your cheese fix.

Salsa Salsa Salsa
Not salsa of the Victor Cruz touchdown celebration variety but of the chunky condiment kind.  Salsa is the perfect choice for almost everything.  I use it as a salad dressing, a topping for baked potatoes, a dip for vegetables.  Use a low sodium, all natural version.  There are a ton from which to choose.  Serve the salsa with baked tortilla chips, vegetables, pretzels, whatever you like.  
Monday, September 3, 2012

I Lived on Guam for Six Months and Lived to Tell About It....Barely

"Hafa Adai, Guam!" 

That was how I started my sportscasts at 6pm and 10pm at KUAM Island News for six months in 1996 as the Sports Director of the tiny NBC affiliate.  It's the typical greeting for Guam residents and natives, called Chamorros.

When I tell people that my first, full-time on-air job right out of college was on the U.S. territory located below Asia and above Australia there is always an immediate double take followed by questions.

RELATED: 14 Things You Need to Know If You Want to be a Sportscaster
Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sitting at Your Job All Day Will Kill You. Tips to Fight Back

There are few things I hate more than sitting at a desk all day.  Report after report after report reinforces that it will kill you.

Sitting stops the electrical activity in your muscles the moment you put your booty in the chair.  If you sit six or more hours, you're at a greater risk of dying 15 years earlier than someone who sits less.  The decreased muscle activity results in a drop in your metabolism, resulting in smaller caloric burn.  In turn, enzymes that break down fat decrease as does the body's ability to control blood sugar levels.

Say you exercise.  Sorry.  That doesn't make much of a difference.  

When I'm anchoring shows for my day job, I spend a solid 7-8 hours in a chair, in front of a computer working on scripts and researching stories.  I feel the effects: sore hips, tight back, ankles and feet that fall asleep.  So I've developed a few tactics to combat the terrible effects:

-Squat while surfing the web. It might sound and look silly but squat for a minute or two at various intervals throughout the day and you will feel a burn, the good kind.
-Stand while you are on the phone.  Again: standing better than sitting.
-Take a walk break by getting some water, walking to the restroom on a different floor, talk to someone in person versus phone or email.  You get the idea.
-Stretch: just a simple cat/cow pose or pike stretch can do wonders.
-Stand, take a deep breath and arch your back, almost a full back bend with your arms raised over your head.  This is a truly invigorating move that gets blood flowing.