Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
3 Jan

One Year to Become Truly Healthy

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

real life stories stories 1 2I haven’t finished the year but this is how far I’ve come in 9 months.

I come from a family of five children. We were all born relatively healthy and we ate pretty “healthy” growing up. I am the eldest and my youngest sibling is 7 years younger than me. Somewhere around the age of 5 I developed asthma and at 8 developed allergies; similarly some of my other siblings did at different ages. My sister was born with asthma. My parents and grandparents never had asthma or allergies. I remember my mother thinking it was due to us growing up with a wood stove or that it must have come from genes of indirect relatives. Next I’m diagnosed as having ligamentous laxity due to my ligaments getting “caught” in my knees and my feet, legs, toes going into spasms, bending themselves backwards at the joints. At the age of 10 the doctors find a benign bone tumor, within a few months I’m undergoing major surgery. Next on the list was eczema, scaly hands and dry patches of skin, given prescription lotion and a scrub to get rid of it. Sometime during this period I also developed bursitis on my knees, back to the doctor, don’t kneel is the solution. All the while told I am borderline anemic. At 14 my parents’ divorce, and I start supporting myself by working in farm fields, restaurants and cleaning houses. I start experiencing back pain and low grade joint pain, constantly cracking my every joint in my body to relieve the pain. Then I start going through puberty, oh the pain. By time I was 15 I went to family planning on my own for birth control to relieve the pain. I did not want my mother thinking I wanted to be sexually active which I committed to myself not to be until after 18. So here I am at 15 on birth control, allergy medicine, and pain killers. Now enter urinary tract infections and kidney problems, constantly sick and needing so much sleep. Sometime in high school I decided I was born defective.

During this time I’m also very conscious about my weight. All my siblings and I were very skinny but seeing my grandmother and my mother obese and overweight, respectively, I knew it wouldn’t last. I was 16 and swore off fast food and soda. At 18 I develop debilitating stomach pain and digestive issues. I mean collapsing to the floor pain. Back and forth to the doctors, emergency rooms, exams and tests are conducted to find nothing except a slightly redder stomach than usual. No ulcers, no nothing to explain the pain. I’m exhausted and could barely stand at times from this. I go to college and start failing classes. 8:00 AM class? Forget it. Be able to concentrate through an entire class? Nope. I end up having a handicap pass to be able to escape a class and drive to my dorm when the pain hit. This went on for about two years. All the time I’m also experimenting with food to see if that was the cause. Eventually I find a diet that my body could tolerate and the pain subsides in my second year of college. During all this I had some depression from always being in pain. Now that the pain is minimal I still have slight depression. I clearly remember wishing I had the energy and happiness that I experienced before 18. At the end of my 4th year of college I slip into a major depression. I had no emotions for people but put one hell of a show on for friends and family. The only people that would see the other side of me were my boyfriends. Boy, did I treat them horribly. They either saw me cold and unemotional or a complete emotional mess of crying all the time.

IMG 7981 CopyMy weight fluctuated over the next ten years and I would eat as “healthy” as I could but in the end I was the chubbiest sibling in my family. I’m 5’ 9” and weighed 145 pounds. To the average American this seems like a healthy weight but my siblings and I we grew up very skinny and I was not fitting into my clothes any longer. People would say “Why are you trying to lose weight? You are so skinny.” I’d tell them I don’t want to buy another set of clothes. To me this is fat. And in my head I knew it had a spiraling effect and I would eventually look like my grandmother if I wasn’t careful.

Now I’ll fast forward to December 2012. I’m on birth control, Lamictal, Prozac, 5000 mg Vitamin D3 and 500mg Magnesium daily and taking Claritin, Albuterol, Advil, some sort of post coital pill to prevent UTIs and Xanax on an as needed basis. I am wearing orthopedics to reconstruct my fallen arches. Due to my ligamentous laxity I have had to very careful about exercising methods. This is me at 29 years old, what the hell?! I really am defective.

A friend, one that I’m forever indebted to, asks me to join her on a sugar detox challenge for 21 days starting in the new year following Diane Sanfilippo’s plan and Jonathan Bailor’s The Smarter Science of Slim concepts. Okay I wanted to lose those ten pounds… again. I’m all for it. I don’t do any reading on it except on how to adhere to it. No grains, no sugar including fruit and alcohol, and no dairy. Luckily I had a very supportive boyfriend and friends that joined in when we got together. Two friends in the group already didn’t eat gluten due to gluten intolerance and the other having Celiac disease. We came up with some creative pot lucks and interesting carbonated drinks! On day 21 we all go out for a chowder festival. I have a couple beers and chowders. The next day I did not feel well at all and just slept and slept for another 2 days. Whoa! I must have reintroduced too much at once… in the back of my head I suspect it might be the gluten but I did not want it to be true! So I go the rest of the week gluten free, Saturday night I have a pizza and a few sips of beer. Wow, I’m dead in the water throwing up and other problems for the next two days. Finally I’m convinced I have a gluten intolerance.

IMG 4797 IMG 7561

Here it is October 2013, I’m 30 years old and I’m on ZERO prescriptions, take Vitamin D, Magnesium and Omega 3. Only take Advil on an as needed basis, generally after I’ve had too many glasses of wine out with friends! I found a primary care physician that embraces and adheres to a grain free/dairy free diet. She looks great by the way. I also found a chiropractor that found the true cause of my back pain and is working with me to correct it by building muscle in the right places; he is gluten free and in great shape. I now judge my doctors by their appearance and health. It may sound shallow but health to me shouldn’t be difficult and should be visible.

IMG 20130722 165620 018 CopyThis is why I’m writing my story to you, Mark. During the last 8 months I have read everything I could on the science of how one’s body reacts to what we eat. The links on Mark’s Daily Apple to the actual studies have allowed me not to take your word for it but read the studies for myself. I’m now signed up on PubMed and other channels for anything that is released about the human diet. So in case you are being selective in what case studies you choose to talk about. The crazy thing is, you aren’t. You link to studies that don’t support your methods but because I now read the studies before you even write about them I have come to my own conclusions. I may not agree with all of your conclusions but I tend to agree with the majority of them. That is what makes the primal community unique here, we have our own views and opinions but as long as one is striving to find what is right for them through facts we all are in this together.

Lastly, I want to thank the primal, paleo and truly health-conscious-with-facts community because of all your comments and feedback to MDA and other sites I suspect I have another intolerance. So one more 21 day detox, this time I will be following the FODMAPs elimination diet and carefully adding items back in. My stomach pain and allergies are 90% gone but I suspect they can be 100% gone from something else removed from my diet. Also thank you for the support on how to handle my siblings, they don’t seem to understand that what they went through as children and what I see them going through now could be related to their diet. It pains me to watch my nieces and nephews potentially go through the same or worse difficulties. Perhaps one day our stories will become the case studies that change the perception of healthy living in our families and around the world.

Here’s to saying good-bye to the last 25-30 years of pain, correcting the damage I’ve done, and living a truly healthy and happy lifestyle!

Thank you,

Em

P.S. It was because of Beth, Trystan, and Amanda’s openness about their health that I found I wasn’t alone and that there could be more to life. This year was the first time I ever talked about my health openly even with my family and now I share with anyone that asks because it is the word of mouth that got me here.

P.P.S. I have attached a photo from a Primal meal that I made for my friends this summer, a photo that I have hung in my kitchen that I took at the farmer’s market, blue shirt and jeans is the “before” taken April 2011 in Switzerland and the blue dress is the “after” taken July 2013 showing off my $35 winnings on a $1 bet at the racetrack.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Great testimonial! Isn’t it amazing how quickly your body can heal itself though? Good luck on your 21 Day Sugar Detox. I hope you get all the answers you were looking for!
    I discovered the cause to my migraines after my first Whol30. I just started my fifth in four years. I seem to learn something new with each round!

    Tamara (New Orleans) wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • I now know nightshades cause facial outbreaks, certain dairy causes bloating, and alcohol causes weight gain. I still enjoy these items but when they are the best quality and in minimal quantities. Giving that rule of thumb helps with the 80/20.

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  2. Beautiful job!

    Nocona wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  3. You looked great before and after.

    Matt ylbody wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  4. Em,

    You are a very beautiful woman! I am gad to hear your problems are healing and you are starting to feel energy and living life the way one should.

    I can relate in some way to your story. I had a variety of symptoms before I completely changed my diet — pizza face and major body acne, an always bloated stomach, I had a “yeast” infection for over a year (I was not even having sex at the time), major gas, complete exhaustion, I always got major chest infections every spring. I was taking too many antibiotics and Advil (which is strange because as I kid I always refused pills), I had slept horrible, and I did have a depression as well.

    I did eventually heal myself over the course of two years. I started going vegan, but after a couple weeks I knew it wouldn’t work. I decided that since skim milk was a large number of my calories, I cut out that and all dairy. I also cut out all processed foods (was not too much, but I did consume vegetable oils), and I did go gluten free for a year. I did try out the primal/paleo, but that agin felt restricted and I was not 100%, although my acne did clean up almost 70-80% and my other symptoms were disappearing.

    What really helped me out was I decided include butter and other full-fat dairy in my diet again, especially my homemade full-fat kefir. The kefir — I’m guessing all the probiotics — over the course of a few months made me 99%. I found that virtually all of my symtoms went away and I started to feel GREAT! Like a kid again.

    Keep in mind, I did also change my sleeping patterns, an hour before midnight is worth two hours after, and I did destress my life. I also decided to look at stress and my emotions different, slowly observing them as an observer.

    Glad to hear your getting healthy!

    Take care, Josh

    Joshua wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • In September I did 6 weeks of going to bed at 9:30 everyday. Not a minute later. What a world of difference! I have also reintroduced painting and other relaxation methods back into my life. Thanks for sharing : )

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
      • I take that back every work night : ) but pushed to be to bed before midnight on the weekends.

        Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  5. Thank you for sharing your story! The going through detox’s to find your sensitivities/allergies completely rings true for me, especially the not wanting to believe it part. The joy in your face in the second part is just radiant!

    SPAVenger wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  6. So interesting that your parents had none of these allergies. Is it something we’ve introduced into our food environment? Congrats to you for not giving up! Wishing you many many more years of good health and happiness.

    KC wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • I think processed foods were certainly added much more recently to our lives.

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  7. Wow makes me feel bad about complaining about chronic bronchitis from eating wheat. Glad you got that straightened out, I can’t imagine being in chronic pain.

    You look great and glad you feel better!

    Luke wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  8. Well done! If we only knew “then” what we know now, literally could have spared ourselves a lot of pain.

    Paula wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  9. I am so happy for you! Having Chronic pain and depression is no way to live. Congrats on a wonderful transformation!

    The Beckster wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  10. I really admire your determination to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it. You look amazing and it’s so great to hear that you feel amazing, too. I love the photo of the food – it looks delicious!

    Carrie wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  11. Such an inspiring story! It’s incredible how food can either be our poison or our medicine. Congratulations on making such positive changes and best of luck in the new year!

    Florence wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  12. Great story — glad you’re feeling so much better.

    But I just wanted to say one quick thing — I know you said that from your perspective, your “before” picture is very chubby because you grew up with skinny with very skinny siblings.

    But, as an impartial observer without that family history, I think your “before” body is BANGIN’.

    Lindsey wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • Thanks for the comment. I view it as the first of my siblings to start putting the weight on. I am not looking for skinny but something steady. If normal for me 145 lbs or 135 lbs as long as my body isn’t jumping all over the place I feel I am healthy : )

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  13. Great story Em. You look great!

    John wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  14. This is amazing! I am so happy for you! I have had a lot of skin and stomach problems go away from removing grains from my life. Yay primal!!!!

    Sacha wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  15. I’m so happy you found your way to a healthy lifestyle, Em. Reading through your experiences with all sorts of ailments and chronic pain made me want to cry for you. I, too, thought your “before” picture looked amazing. But your smile in the “after” picture says it all. Cute dress too!

    Happy Trails and all the best to you in 2014! :)

    P.S. Congratulations on winning at the track!

    Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  16. Em,

    This was such a powerful story! Thank you so much for sharing and how wonderful it is that you are no longer in the debilitating pain you had before! It’s stories like this that have inspired me to explore and start recommending a gluten-free lifestyle (I was vegetarian previously with significant gluten in my diet), and my husband and I finally started our first Paleo challenge yesterday with one of SanFillipo’s meal plans. Best wishes to you and your happier, pain-free life :)

    Camille wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  17. homina homina homina!!!! Wow– What a great testimony– I know it will inspire others to see the beauty of primal living.

    Pastor Dave Deppisch wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  18. You look amazing! I know what you mean about watching family members suffer, too. Some people just don’t want to hear it, sadly :(

    meg wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  19. Reading carefully, I can’t see if you say your joint laxity has gone. I had fibromyalgia and a certain amount of laxity. I say had, because I discovered this summer that it is caffeine that causes my fibromyalgia.

    You could try eliminating that. Not such a trial these days, as there are now a lot of alternatives. I use redbush for ‘tea’ and a redbush based Chia in hot milk for a ‘coffee’. As well as other herbal teas for a change.

    You’ve done brilliantly so far. Hope you mange to reach 100% Happy New Year!

    Jenny wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • It isn’t gone but the inflammation that I encountered around it has subsided and allowed me to correct my posture without as much difficulty and pain. Still a daily reminder but it is coming along nicely. I have years of correcting to work out, change muscle memory and building new muscle.

      The caffeine is a weakness… I have 15+ teas at my desk, mostly green and white teas. I do the coffee occasionally in the form of lattes. I try to only have them on a Friday or Saturday so not to disrupt my sleep pattern for work. Primal coffee without the coffee is often my breakfast and keeps me energized all day. (3/4 cup of Trader Joe’s Extra Thick Coconut Cream, 4-5 tablespoons of Kerrygold salted butter, vanilla extract, teaspoon of sugar, tablespoon of cinnamon, and a couple egg yolks thrown into my Breville Milk Frother)

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  20. Amazing story, thanks for sharing.

    I have been primal for almost 4 years and just figured out my sporadic IBS, it looks like night shades are responsible, mainly tomatos and green peppers. I tried to eliminate FODMAPs first and that didn’t do, so consider this if you don’t have success with the detox.

    JoeBrewer wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • What bloodtype are you?

      ruffian wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • Nightshades are definitely it. My skin is extremely clear now when I avoid large quantities of them.

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  21. Great story, Em. Keep up the great work!

    James wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  22. Thanks for sharing, personally am 13 months in and still tweaking and finding out what works etc, but am better in terms of health, weight and general looks in many orders of magnitude. Just started the whole 30 for the new year to get back to basics and continue on for another 12 awesome months!

    Owen wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  23. Great story, congratulations and thanks for sharing. Also terrific meal idea, thanks!

    Siobhan wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  24. Great story! Am I the only one who can’t see the photos?

    Jill wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  25. That really takes some determination to overcome everything that you have. Best of luck in the future. This story is really inspirational.

    Captain Competition wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  26. Great story. Truly inspiring. And what a dress … ;-)

    hpt wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  27. Well done Em,
    but in the whole of your testimony you haven’t explained what you eat now, and that photo of your “Primal meal” looks a lot like a modern take on just “no gluten” and seems really heavy on sugar and totally lacking in natural fats.
    Also did you get to the bottom of how you and all your siblings came to suffer asthma and allergies and other reactions?
    I fully understand this section is just for cheering, I’ll get me coat …

    Ulfric Douglas wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • Is it just for cheering? I’ve been debating what to commend all afternoon now. This is my least favorite success story so far, but I don’t mean that negatively. I’m glad that she feels a lot better now but the weight thing is really bugging me. Overweight was smack in the middle of an average BMI? I know its possible for people to be thin and out of shape, but the way that she worded it kind of bothers me because it seems more like a body image issue.

      Laura wrote on January 3rd, 2014
      • I was never overweight or anywhere near it. It was just an over all decline in health and the extra weight I had didn’t make sense at the time. I never ended up losing too much weight but everything seems to be in the right place and I don’t see that spiral anymore. I was worried about the future.

        Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
      • Nice way to support someone’s positive efforts to feel better and make a huge happy life change. How would you like it if someone said this about you in public? Have you met or spent time with her? Have you thought about how your negativity could completely de-motivate Erin or someone else that is thinking about making a positive change. So what if you don’t want to cheer. This isn’t Facebook or Twitter.

        JRB wrote on July 1st, 2014
        • Thanks for the added support! I come back to this when I want to see how far I have come and it is nice others still comment months later! Cheers : )

          Em wrote on August 2nd, 2014
    • Sugar? You mean natural fruits. Fats: almonds and the grilled chicken. Looks pretty normal to me. And remember that primal is pretty varied. This is one meal.

      Nice job Em. I am so happy you have overcome your pain. I only hope you can convince your relatives to follow the same path.

      Patrick wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • You are right I didn’t describe in detail. My story kept getting longer the more I added to it so felt the comments section I could answer those questions. I’m “no-gluten” 100% of the time and 20% of the time I have sushi with white rice, a little extra wine, and gluten free pasta on special occasions. I strive for a Primal life 80% of the time and not let the 20% stress me out. My fat content is close to 60%, 20% protein, and 20% carbs/sugar. I have a sweet tooth but it has subsided and has come down from a dessert everyday to once or twice a week. The dessert could be a almond fruit cobbler (http://www.ovenloveblog.com/grain-free-peach-cobbler-paleo-gaps/) or a flour-less chocolate cake (the real naughty stuff).

      As for the allergies: my sister finally came around and realizes the effects. It is clearly dairy and gluten that caused much of the suffering. Her son had a severe case of Apraxia and she finally tried a gluten free/dairy free diet for him. The doctors are in awe, within three days he spoke his first word at 2.5 years old. Two months later he can’t stop talking! The reintroduced wheat and he shut down. These “allergies” manifest them differently for everyone. My mother and sister now know it is the food. I don’t know if the exact root cause will ever be determined but we know how to be healthy going forward.

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  28. She feels better in herself, both in terms of health and body image and that’s what matters. She looked fine and ‘acceptable’ before but now looks stronger and happier. She’s obviously not obsessed with becoming skinny and still has a lovely shape. I think we are all interested in our body image if we admit it and I believe there’s nothing wrong in that. She felt uncomfortable with how her body felt to her personally and felt she was on a slippery slope towards becoming overweight as well as ill, so took control and did something about it.

    Jo wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  29. Love how you’re not just taking anyone’s (including Mark’s) word for it. Self experimentation is so important in finding what makes us operate at the most optimal level. Find out what works for you, diet wise, workout wise, etc. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    BFBVince wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  30. Em- way to go! Are you from Saratoga? I ask b/c I am and haven’t met too many people quite yet that understand this lifestyle…vegans and vegetarians are in abundance of course haha. I am curious as to who your physician is. I don’t currently have a doctor and always thought that when I do find one I’d like one that can understand my eating habits and life style. Thanks!

    Stefanie wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • I do! I’m not sure how private messaging works but if you figure out how to send me an email I would love to help you out!

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  31. Em, you look terrific! I admire your strength for sticking with the Primal lifestyle long enough to see such positive results.

    Don’t bother with the negative comments about having body image issues. BMI is a very poor measure of how healthy one’s body composition is. I am at the low end of the ideal BMI for someone my height, but can pinch several inches of fat around my mid-section and thighs. Being skinny fat is not a good thing.

    You look healthy and happy. Keep up the amazing work!

    Sabrina wrote on January 3rd, 2014
    • Thank you for the kind remarks. It is the skinny fat that bothers me. I like knowing I have control over my body and it isn’t running amok! The struggle to maintain is what worried me.

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  32. So glad you found the key to your health. Being healthy and eating healthy is key. Losing weight is a by product. I hope my children will one day realize the health issues of eating wheat. They all need to lose some weight or would like to lose some. One has depression and PCOS and can’t help but wonder how much better she would feel. She gets a glossy look in her eyes when her dad and I talk about food. LOL although not really funny. She is 22. Hope she “gets it” sooner rather than later. I know my oldest would be more than interested and is doing a great job with her young son although he get some wheat she avoids it most of the time. But she is so picky and really doesn’t like a lot of food. I haven’t lost much weight and still want to lose about 50 but I know I FEEL so much better and I’m sleeping so much better too. I always know when I get a little off track. My body tells me.

    Cindi wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  33. Go Em! The story of someone who can almost totally take medication out of their lives just by modifying their diet is awesome. That’s the side of it that really impresses me so much. Well done.

    And it was the FODMAPS that are my issue too. All the extra avocado, honey & cauliflower I added as a paleo eater gave me hell. Am still working on finding the right balance of food for me to keep IBS at bay, but be healthy too. I am sure you will work it out, your determination and willingness to try new things will stand you in good stead.

    HillyM wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  34. Resolve, determination and intellectual curiosity, a great combination, VERY inspirational,

    George wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  35. ‘I now judge my doctors by their appearance and health.’

    I have also adopted that position. My last visit to my primary doctor I realized that he couldn’t offer me anything, what a mess. Instead I am adopting these guys as my fitness idols. 6% bodyfat, lean muscled, 72 yr old’s rock and roll fitness plan, that’s what I call cenegenics!

    http://robreid.smugmug.com/Music/Rolling-Stones-Philadelphia-II/30177824_rXpfp7#!i=2595806571&k=vWJMjbR

    You looked great before, even better after and more to the point no drugs and feeling great, awesome!

    Bayrider wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  36. When people are able to reclaim their health and take this kind of responsibility to find the answers and successfully do something about it, its truly inspiring. Will pass on this story to someone I know who might benefit… Have a great Year!

    Ana wrote on January 3rd, 2014
  37. Congratulations for finding your own path. And kudos on finding a sympathetic Doc!
    I am with the VA who must spout the politically correct Standard American/Diabetic Diet to keep their jobs but we’ll see what the blood numbers say when I get my next check up. I’m a couple of months 90% Primal eating and exercising, down from 224 to 209 and way better pressure and pulse. And so far, chronic diverticulitis in almost total remission!

    Corey B. (Long Beach, CA) wrote on January 4th, 2014
  38. Great story, but am I the only one who noticed she’s drinking a sugar free redbull in her “after” pic??

    I think I know why you still have 10%pain….come on, you know vices are no good….

    Katie wrote on January 4th, 2014
    • How can you tell what’s in the glass?

      Annakay wrote on January 4th, 2014
    • Take a closer look: plastic wine glass. Empty. The stem on the bottom is a dead giveaway.

      Sheesh.

      Great job Em! It’s hard to feel like your own body is working against you, and a great relief to find out that it was just the food you were eating that was working agaInst it. Keep it up!

      Sophie wrote on January 4th, 2014
    • Sugar-Free Redbull!! the other comments are correct. At the track you can bring your own beverage as long as it is in plastic. We had a bottle of wine and plastic glasses. I haven’t have sugar-free any thing in 10+ years. And as far as soda, probably 15 years or more. One exception are root beer floats… maybe one a year with amazing handmade ice cream.

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014
  39. Katy Lied

    Terry H wrote on January 4th, 2014
  40. I know the New Year’s Resolution is about increasing volumes of exercise for a lot of people but I think that the flip side is an important resolution to make too. In other words, not to feel guilty for having non-training days!

    Personally, I fall in the camp which is more likely to suffer from exhaustion from too much exercise as oppose to too much rest!

    Keep a healthy balance :)

    Luke M-Davies wrote on January 5th, 2014
    • I play racquetball once a week, walk my dog, sometimes sprint after her at the park. I stop dancing when my arches fell last year but started researching salsa and swing groups to get back into it in the next couple months.

      Em wrote on January 7th, 2014

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