Up and At ‘Em

February 12, 2008

When I was working full time, all I wanted was a little flexibility in my life – an escape from the 5 a.m. – 6 p.m. grind every. single. day. I realized that the most important factor in job satisfaction for me is flexibility. I am entering into a career path with lots of options for this, but in the mean time, I am loving the flexibility of student life.

I got up this morning at 5:30, answer>ed some blog questions, and have been studying for my Chem exam all morning. I just took a break for a bowl of oats to fill up my empty stomach and will work for another hour or so while they digest. Then it’s off to the gym around 9 for a workout, then to class for another test!

Oatmeal made with 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup skim, 1/4 cup vanilla hemp milk plus banana, flax, vanilla, toasted almonds, almond butter and maple syrup.


Plus a cup of coffee. Hemp milk and coffee do not emulsify! Not exactly sure why. It seemed to be fine at first, but after a few minutes my coffee was black!


Breakfast was about 475 kcal today.

Lunch will be posted around 4:00 – I’ve got to study while I eat before my 12:30 class so I won’t have time to blog! See you this afternoon :)

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ally February 12, 2008 at 8:34 am

Just wondering if anyone takes ginseng before their workouts? Or if you guys have any thoughts on this?


2 VeggieGirl February 12, 2008 at 8:38 am

Always great to have flexibility – especially in the morning :0)

That’s interesting about the hempmilk not emulsifying with the coffee… my mom always has hempmilk in her coffee!! Wonder what happened – do you use decaf or regular coffee?


3 Tina February 12, 2008 at 8:54 am

I’ve gotta try this hemp milk!


4 Liz February 12, 2008 at 8:56 am

for all of you yogurt fans: try siggi’s icelandic yogurt (120 calories, 0% milkfat). it’s expensive, but delicious as a special treat. i tried the pomegranate & passion fruit. completely natural and with 16g of protein!


5 Sarah February 12, 2008 at 8:59 am

Kath, I had the same “coffee problem” when I tried adding some heated soy “egg”-nog over Christmas to my coffee. Hmm…


6 Rebecca February 12, 2008 at 9:24 am

Goalie and Kelly T,

I know that weight-bearing activity such as walking is good for women to do. I take a low impact aerobic class (it does not involve the step machine, it’s more dancy), is that weight bearing as well? Since its low impact I was not sure? I have heard high impact is bad for your joints though?

Also, Kelly, you mentioned a chest stretch against the wall. I know exactly what you are talking about. For some reason I hate that stretch, do you know of any other ones? Thank you so much!


7 Josefina February 12, 2008 at 9:26 am

Hey all! since someone brought up ginseng I thought I’d ask an herbal question as well.

I’m REALLY stressed lately and I feel like I could benefit from an herbal supplement to reduce stress and anxiety.

Everyone tells me to just locate my stress to get rid of it, but I KNOW what my stressors are: working 60 hours a week, going to school 12 hours, homework, and then taking care of my puppies (I’ve volunteered since I was 12, and now I board dogs for the non-profit shelter when it gets too full–I have 3 now, and 3 of my own!)…I barely have time to BREATHE!

Luckily, I go back to school for my Master’s program full time in June. I know I’ll be much less stressed when I have 35 hours of school a week and not 72 of school/work.

I just need a short term thing…I am very good at organization, but I think anyone might feel a little stress with a crazy schedule like mine? Any herbs to help me relax would be great? Any ideas?


8 Katherine February 12, 2008 at 9:30 am

This question is for everyone!

Hey guys! Yesterday, someone asked on Jenna’s blog about everyone’s food patterns (3 meals versus small mini meals). I was wondering what everyone’s exercise patterns were in relation to food. What do you eat before/after (you may eat nothing) and if you exercise in the morning or afternoon, etc?


9 Katherine February 12, 2008 at 9:32 am

(someone asked the question I asked on Jenna’s wall, but since the readers are different, and I thought it was a good question, I wanted to hear you all’s opinion as well!)


10 the vegan blog tracker February 12, 2008 at 9:47 am

Katherine – for what it’s worth, in the spring/summer/fall I try to bike to work whenever I can. It’s a rather hilly 5 miles. I usually eat something small (a power bar, a little oat meal, etc) 90 minutes before I ride. I haven’t researched the what the best timing would be… I’ve just found this seems to work for me, as far as giving me some energy and keeping hunger at bay.


11 Sarah February 12, 2008 at 10:02 am

Katherine—I’m not sure what the actual timing is *supposed* to be, but I find that eating 2 hours before exercising is what works best for me. I have a little snack immediately afterwards (yogurt or an apple with pb, small granola bar, or similiar.) Eating well enough ahead gives me energy but doesn’t cramp me up.

I wish I could run in the morning, but I’m more of an afternoon exerciser. That’s when I have the most energy, when I’m most hydrated, and, around here anyways, when it’s the warmest outside! 😀


12 Caryee February 12, 2008 at 10:11 am

happy tuesday everyone! hope everyone started the day with a healthy, balanced breakfast :)

This morning my yoga instructor shared a FANTASTIC quote that I’d like to share with you all…

“…People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight or it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And one you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”

That’s all. :) Have a great day!!


13 Leah February 12, 2008 at 10:12 am

Hi Kath (and everyone!). Do you use 1 tsp of flax or 1 tbsp? Or more/less? I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before but I completely forget. The serving suggestion on the pack that I got was 2-3 heaped tsps daily (14-21g) and I think this could be a bit much? I don’t know though. I haven’t used flax in such a long time and just went out and got some more today. Thanks!


14 Kelly L. February 12, 2008 at 10:30 am

Hello from Texas! So, I just want to see if anyone else has read Micheal Pollen’s “In Defence of Food”. I am just finishing it up and I have mixed feelings about it. I like the prinicipal behind the book, that indeed we are looking too much at what is IN food rather than what good food in general can do for our bodies. I think we have become a society that relies too much on pre-packaged processed food. Now, with that said, some of his suggestions are hard to live by. He suggests only eating food that has less that six ingredients, doesn’t have names you can’t understand, and doesn’t have HFCS. I think I eat a fairly clean diet. Mainly fruits, whole grain cereals, lean meat, etc. Even still, I do eat products that don’t meet these requirements. I try and buy as much organic as I can (when it’s available). Even some of the foods at Whole Foods don’t meet these requirments. I guess I’m just looking for some opinions of other people on this book and his advice. I’m guilty of enjoying my ice cream (I probably have a bowl at least every other night) and I will open a can of Manwich to cook with Boca Ground on nights we are in a hurry, not too mention when I go to an ice cream place I typically get vanilla with crushed oreos (that one just kills all of his “rules”). So what’s a girl to do?


15 Karen Downing February 12, 2008 at 10:33 am

Having a flexible schedule is a wonderful thing!

Katherine- When I get up for an early run, I don’t eat anything before exercise. On days that I drop my kids off and then get to the gym around 8:45am, I’ll usually have a banana or a bowl of cheerios.


16 Kelsey February 12, 2008 at 10:39 am


That quote is from the book “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. You should read it; it was fantastic!


17 Sara February 12, 2008 at 10:47 am

I love your bowl Kath! I’ve got some really cute ones for super cheap as well, I just love finding nice dishes and kitchen stuff. It makes preparing and eating a yummy meal that much more fun!

While we are on the topic of vitamins/supplements, can anyone recommend a good one for NAILS? Mine have always been a bit weak and I would love one that would make them a bit stronger. Maybe a multi-vitamin would do it?
If anyone can suggest something I would appreciate it!


18 Josefina February 12, 2008 at 10:51 am

i always heard biotin (a type of B vitamin) is good for nail and hair strength.

I don’t know any risks/side effects or who should not take it so maybe do some research and check w/ your doctor first.


19 Cara February 12, 2008 at 10:56 am

Hi Kath :)

I just wanted to thank you for all the effort you put in to this blog – you make a difference in so many people’s lives! And you’re doing it just because you enjoy it, even though it obviously takes up a good amount of time each day. Which is why I want to suggest maybe putting some Google AdSense on your website – they are ads that Google puts on your site and depending on how many viewers you get to your site per day you get paid a certain amount of money.

It seems like you could recieve quite a bit from Google because so many people love KERF! I know some may find ads annoying and like you’re “selling out”, but I really think that you need to be rewarded somehow for all you’re doing for us. Guys, think of ads on Kath’s page like a way you can pay her back for all her excellent advice and dedication.
Think about it Kath!…. and keep up the great work!



20 Christin February 12, 2008 at 10:57 am

believe it or not, prenatal vitamins strengthen your nails! But if you don’t want to go that route, knox gelatin will also help…you can mix it into drinks, smoothies, etc…it will help your hair as well.
I work out in the afternoons mostly, so since it’s right around dinner time, i will have a very small “meal” maybe 200-300 calories about 45 minutes beforehand, making sure I get enough proteins and fats, plus iced green tea…then after my workout I eat another small meal and drink lots of water.


21 Christin February 12, 2008 at 11:07 am

I want to say that I really sympathize…my schedule is a little better now, but when I was working and going to school full time, my schedule was a lot like what you are describing!!! I just want encourage you to really listen to your body when it tells you to stop and rest…it may seem at the time like you have too much to do to stop, but you can end up getting sick if you aren’t careful…more importanly than taking any supplement to get you through is to take queues from your body when you need a little break…just take a nap when you need it, and try not to rely too heavily on things like coffee…trust me, I know from experience that if you try to replace sleep and relaxation with stimulants, your body will eventually force you to slow down anyway. Don’t let your busy lifestyle keep you from taking care of yourself! :)


22 Aimee H. February 12, 2008 at 11:12 am

I also work out in the evenings usually (unless it’s a lunchtime pilates class) and for that routine I try to see how I’m feeling from lunch, but if I’m at all hungry I have a piece of fruit of a Kashi granola bar because if I’m hungry I can’t complete a long workout. Then I usually have dinner after. For my 1pm pilates class, I try to break up the lunch I bring throughout the day so that I’m not eating right before the class. Today I had my pb and j on whole wheat at 11 and I’ll eat my yogurt with granola and a pear at 2:30 or 3. Plus loads of water throughout the day. So even though I don’t sit and have an hour of time to eat on my pilates days, I feel satisfied throughout the day by spacing out my food. Ultimately though, I have to eat something before I work out (30 minutes prior is ideal), but if it’s too early (like 2 hours before), I will usually be hungry before I finish.


23 Lynn February 12, 2008 at 11:24 am

What is your opinion about eating the same thing everyday for lunch, like either pb and jelly with some milk or oatmeal even a second time for lunch (the oatmeal would essentially include the same things as the pb and j sandwhich)

If anyone else has an opinon as well I would be happy to hear it :)

Katherine, I tend to exercise in the morning and eat a piece of toast before I go then breaksfast when I am done. How do you afternoon exercisers still have the energy at the end of the day to go? I find I am usually too tired.


24 Christin February 12, 2008 at 11:31 am

I work at a desk job, so I take a walk mid-day to keep my energy up, but by the time I am out of work, all I want to do is get up and move! Are you a morning exerciser? If so I would love to learn any tricks you might have for getting up early to exercise!


25 Beth Q February 12, 2008 at 11:31 am

I agree with you, I think Kath should be making a little dough from this endeavor, it is like a job to keep up with this blog. I asked her about that a while back, and she said she really didn’t like the way some ads look on blogs, though she hasn’t totally ruled it out. Sometimes you can format the Google ads nicely, but Kath wouldn’t be able to manage the content of the Google ads. I know that Stephanie at Back in Skinny Jeans has had that problem. Her blog is less about weight loss, and more about psychological well being. But she has had some challenges with insta-diet ads (ie: “lose 50 lbs in two days” type of ads”) which she doesn’t want to be promoting.

Kath, I would suggest looking at BlogHer ads, they are on sites such as dooce.com, and all and sundry, and are designed for womens blogs with female demographics. Graphically, they’re very nice. Another blog that has integrated ads nicely is alleyesonjenny.com. she’s a graphic designer, but she set up a deal with an online site that she really loves and does have some google ads.

Of course there’s the option of sponsored posts, which you could clearly label and only choose products that you would endours, like the grapefruit growers of america or something. Look at Fitsugar.com for examples of that (though Diet Coke is a sponsor there, which is a bit antithetical to the sites mission).

Sorry, that got long. Anyways, Keep up the great work Kath!


26 Justy2003 February 12, 2008 at 11:32 am

I work out in the mornings and I eat a bowl of oatmeal as soon as I get up before I start my workout…I just can’t wait to eat in the mornings! :) Afterwards, I have some peanut butter and a banana. It’s a little backwards from what most people do (something small before then something larger after) but it works for me! And my oatmeal definitely fuels my workout! :)


27 Beth Q February 12, 2008 at 11:33 am

oops I meant Cara! Sorry!


28 Kiala February 12, 2008 at 11:39 am

I totally feel you, Kath. When I was working for a design firm I felt like I was going to die if I had to work one more 8-5 day work week. I’m just not built like that, luckily my husband is. Also, now that I’m a freelancer, I can do (almost) anything I want with my days. Yay – schedule-y freedom is the bestest.


29 Lynn February 12, 2008 at 11:46 am

Kath or anyone, does decaf tea count toward your water intake. I am assuming cafainted does not…..it’s still freezing up north!!


30 Aimee H. February 12, 2008 at 11:49 am

I know working out in the morning seems to work for most people, but I agree with Christin that I like to get out and move after sitting at my desk during the day (though I walk up and down stairs A LOT throughout the day). Plus I’m actually more consistent if I workout during my lunch or after work.. not sure why, but it works for me!


31 Becky A. February 12, 2008 at 11:50 am

I’ve read that all fluids contribute towards your water intake. Of course, it is always better to drink plain water. I know some people don’t count caffeinated drinks or sugary drinks toward their “water” but if you think about it, they are mostly water anway…The caffeine acts as a diuretic, which is counterintutive to the purpose of water…so the call is up to you, I suppose.


32 Christin February 12, 2008 at 11:55 am

The way i see it, I really try to get 8 glasses of water in daily regardless of other fluids I take in, so I don’t count tea towards my water intake, because I figure if I am going to err one way or the other, I would rather have more water than less…


33 melissa February 12, 2008 at 11:59 am


I go to the gym at 5am, so I don’t eat before I work out. I attempted to when I first started working out that early in the morning and found myself getting cramped – even off of something so simple as an apple. I typically get into the gym and do cardio on the ET for 40 minutes and then weight lifting afterwards. I don’t usually feel hungry while I’m there – I’m more so waking up during that time. I am however starving afterwards! That’s when I go for my oatmeal!

I used to work out in the evenings before I switched careers. At that time, I would always eat a Kashi bar, yogurt or carrot sticks an hour before my work out. Doing so was very helpful in getting by during my workout without having to feel hungry.

Have a terrific Tuesday!


34 Christin February 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm

me too, Aimee…I seem to get way more workouts in when i go for the afternoons…I’ve tried to be a ‘morning person’ but have never been able to make a habit of it! I like my sleep…


35 Lisa February 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Kiala…What type of freelance design work do you do? I’m an interior designer and also cannot stand the 8-5 work life. I graduated from college last year and had a rude awakening to not having a life…other than the life I have at home with my husband in the evenings. Eventually, when I gain more work/design experience I would love to own my own SMALL business/freelance my work so I can have more flexibilty during the day. My husband just doesn’t get how much I can’t stand working 8-5! He thinks I’m just complaining but I really am having a hard time with this schedule. I’ve adjusted the best I can and now I just pray something exciting will happen soon for us where I have the ability to go work out on my own!


36 KC February 12, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Based on this blog, the overwhelming majority of your life is centered around food and fitness. It seems like when you’re not cooking, eating, or working out, you’re planning for the next time you will. Even when you do something like, say, watch a movie, it seems centered around a snack or something; or when you watch TV it’s always a Food Network show. Unless that’s just the way it comes across in the blog. I’m just curious to know what your balance is with other aspects of life (friends, family, hobbies, etc.).


37 ms February 12, 2008 at 12:39 pm

I wanted to add that I’m definitely a morning workout person. One thing that helps me get out of bed early is setting my alarm clock across my room, so I *have* to get out of bed to turn it off in the mornings! My workout clothes are set right beside my clock. Whether or not I eat before I workout depends on what type of exercise I’m getting ready to do ~ I’ll eat a few almonds in the car on the way to the pool if I’m swimming in the morning. If I’m running, I just drink water because can’t handle any food right before a run.

I have a question for anyone ~ the closest location to get Larabars here is quite a distance. I’d like to try them, and that would mean ordering a box online ~ which I’m open to doing. Can anyone suggest their favorite (or two favorite) flavors of bars?



38 Ginny February 12, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Hi Kath,

Given your site’s increasing popularity (and also your increasing time commitment to answer all the questions), I think you should consider the ads as well! You deserve to be rewarded for your dedication, and I think most of us would like to see you get some payback for the hard work you and the husband do!! Good luck studying for chem. You are so motivating!!!!!


39 Ginny February 12, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Hey ms,
I haven’t tried many different flavors of Larabars, but the overwhelming majority of us LOVE the apple pie one!! You should check it out!


40 Comrade GoGo February 12, 2008 at 12:45 pm

I have *got* to start trying almond butter and peanut butter in my morning bowl of oatmeal! It always sounds so delicious.


41 goalie30 February 12, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Yes low impact activities such as walking or dancing still count as weight bearing and would be helpful in prevent osteoporosis…


42 Christin February 12, 2008 at 12:50 pm

apple pie and jocolat are my two favorite Larabar flavors…thanks for the tips on getting up early to exercise!


43 rachel February 12, 2008 at 12:51 pm

kath–how many credit hours are you taking? i am thinking/praying about going back to school to become an rd. i am getting my mph right now–i really love preventative medicine and the societal approach, but i also see can the benefit of having the specialized area of knowedge and expertise a degree in nutrition would provide. this is what i ultimately would like to do: work in underserved communities (public health)–mostly maternal and child health; develop new-types of community education programs on nutrition, as well as strategies to combat obesity/overweight (i live in eastern nc right now and the rates are OUTRAGEOUSLY high); engage with people one-on-one; and open a bakery! Ha.

anyway-this is a lengthy rant, but im just trying to figure out how i could juggle the course load this career switch would require. i’d love to hear how you are managing and what your projected school path is (ie; how many semesters? summer school? where you want to do your dietetic internship?). i have all of my main sciences required for the internship done (Yay! except org. chem….)—so that will lighten the load slightly.

thanks for any insight. rach


44 goalie30 February 12, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Josefina/ re: anxiety and herbal supplements
For those people who have mild depression or just some stress/anxiety that does not significantly hamper their daily life, you could try some St. John’s Wart herbal supplement. A lot of physicians in Europe use this instead of SSRI’s/antidepressants and often find it in combination with exercise and/or counseling therapy work wonders for patients with depression and/or anxiety. Typical dosing is 3% standardized extract at 300mg by mouth 2-3 times per day. However, if you have more severe symptoms or possible bipolar disorder or schizophrenia you should NOT take this supplement. Also if you are on BIRTH CONTROL pills, St. John’s wort may weaken the pills, so you’d have to use backup contraception such as condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It would be safest for you to be checked out my doctor for an exam and to make sure you have anxiety or depression and then make sure it is safe for you to take this supplement instead of a different medication before you start it.


45 VeggieGirl February 12, 2008 at 12:53 pm


I eat Larabars everyday!! Here are my top picks for the best flavors (no particular order): Pistachio, Banana Cookie, Apple Pie, Cashew Cookie, Gingersnap,
and Pecan Pie.


46 goalie30 February 12, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Lynn/eating same thing every day for lunch:
Usually it’s recommended my most dieticians to get in a healthy variety of all food groups each day, so if you eat the same thing for your meals every day, it’s possible you are leaving out vital nutrients in your diet. Sometimes I end up eating leftovers for lunch 2 days in a row just so they don’t go bad, but even then I change it up by adding a different piece of fruit or veggie to go along with. As long as you have a variety each day though, it shouldn’t be too big of a problem.


47 Rebecca February 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Thanks goalie! Should high impact be avoided?


48 Christin February 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm

there are gingersnap larabars??? I’ve never seen that kind, i’m gonna have to look, they sound delicious!


49 M February 12, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Yes, the quote is from “Eat, Love, Pray”…Great book, by the way.


50 NCCarter February 12, 2008 at 1:58 pm

rachel – I’m in Raleigh and met with the head of the Nutrition dept. at Meredith a few weeks ago. I’m going to start their program in the fall, I think. There are only a few schools around here that offer the RD track. Where are you doing your MPH? At ECU?


51 Melissa February 12, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I also think that Kath (and Jenna) should be benefiting financially for all their hard work–I have thought this often over the last few months. I mean when Kath is a nutritionist she will probably have a long line of clientle banging down her door, but they should be getting something in the meantime.

Advertising is one way. It could also be a subsription service, or I have even seen blogs with paypal donation options. I would be happy to make a donation for all their effort. Just a thought.


52 Caryee February 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Thanks girls for the Eat Pray Love rec!! I’m gonna go to Barnes and Noble sometime this week :)


53 Megpie February 12, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Hi Kath! Hahah I am sitting here RIGHT now with a cup of coffee with hemp milk and JUST noticed the SAME thing…it’s black! plus when i mixed it in it didn’t mix super smooth looking either…oh well it still tastes good!

Also I had a question you or anyone else: Have you heard of breaking glucomannan capsules into your food? I just recently read that its a really effective fiber that helps you cut down on calories to lose weight. Has anyone used these (negatives or positives?) or has anyone heard of doing this as well? I just came across it and thought it was interesting. Thanks!


54 KellyA February 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm

I wonder if there is a way that Kath could option to various women’s magazines (other than Self, obviously…Cristin has it covered!) to write blogs for them and subsequently, be paid for it. Kath, I know you loooove magazines! I used to work in the industry and I KNOW that most magazines are aching to increase their pull on the internet. Just a thought…Cristin made a name for herself on the SELF blog and proved that there is a demand for this service. Honestly, the work you do on this blog is far more conscientious and detailed. No disrespect to Cristin, I love her! Just trying to make the point that Kath goes above and beyond the requirements for publication-supported blogs.


55 Anne February 12, 2008 at 3:00 pm

MS — Apple pie Larabars are SO amazing!!

Also, Kath and others, have you tried having the Kashi crackers (Seven Grain) with PB? Soooo good. My favorite afternoon snack now!


56 Amandamoo February 12, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Totally different subject here… sorry to be random…

Kath-I started calorieking a couple of weeks ago (remember how happy I said I was?). Well, still very happy with the service and loooove that I can be a nerd and wizz through the “university” but I was wondering how accurate the exercise calorie counts are. I know you use a HRM and enter your own calorie counts so could you compare your numbers to theirs to respond with their accuracy (i.e. Are they over/under-estimated, on average?).

Thanks so much for all you do and the community that you maintain here, it is a great place to “be”. : )


57 DL February 12, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Just wondering, how much flax do you put in your oatmeal? yogurt? etc.


58 Becky A. February 12, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Hey Kath,
A while back, you and yoru husband make stuffed pork loins, and I was wondering when the post was. I looked at the tags, and I can’t find it. Thanks!



59 Becky A. February 12, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Wow…..”you and your husband made”….sorry about that!


60 Becky A. February 12, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Ok, sorry again, I found it! That search tool is great!


61 Phoebe February 12, 2008 at 3:33 pm

In response to working out in the morning vs. in the afternoon: I think it’s remarkable how much this varys from person to person. I CAN’T work out in the morning — I hate it, have no energy to bounce around that early, don’t want to be there, wish I were home drinking coffee, etc. and eating breakfast or coffee beforehand makes me feel sick. When I work out in the afternoons (usually at 3ish or 4ish) I feel really pressured from being in the middle of a busy day (I am a college student) so I have a lot of nervous energy to work out. Or I work out right after lunch (not having eaten a huge lunch) and that’s good too because afterward I feel relaxed enough so that I can focus on schoolwork and my mind isn’t racing and scattered. I don’t really like working out late in the evening but I *can* do it. So . . . that’s my 2 cents on this issue. I only feel like doing “quiet” things in the morning and it’s my favorite time of day so I would lose it if I went to exercise early before class. On the other hand, my mom says that she never has energy/ is too busy doing work stuff to work out in the afternoon and HAS to work out super early in the morning. So, everyone’s different in terms of when they feel energetic I guess.


62 Kiala February 12, 2008 at 3:51 pm

You should definitely look into advertising, Kath. You deserve some compensation even though I know you’re doing it reasons other than monetary ones.


63 Tina February 12, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Rachel and NCCarter–

What type of science background do you have? I’m thinking about going the RD route as well, but I don’t have really any science courses under by belt (just Intro to BIO in college). I’m scared to start from scratch, ya know? Plus the financial aspect is frightening!


64 ariana February 12, 2008 at 4:04 pm


what kind of wine do you cook with? i never know what kind to get and i don’t use or drink wine all that often, so i don’t want to spend too much money either.


p.s. – i love the oatmeal pancakes! my 2 year old niece ate everyone’s pancakes yesterday.


65 B_Hlthy February 12, 2008 at 4:17 pm

NCCarter: I am currently at Meredith for their nutrition masters program! I would have to say , I am hoping to transfer to UNC School of Public Health for Fall. Meredith made promises they didnt keep… such as telling me most classes are offered in the evening for “working people”. Well so I chose to teach 8-4 job, and had to drop two classes because they start at 3 and 3:30.. They also have summer classes but all are in the morning.. which means I need to quit my job! Also, they don’t offer any assistance with finding a job in your field or assistantships while going to school… Very dissapointed! I actually had never heard about Winthrop (where Kath goes)… I got some information and they have an excellent program but not sure if I would move out that way… I have to say I am entertaining the idea after Meredith dissapointment.

Eating the same meal everyday is NOT a healthy way to go for several reasons. Oatmeal is great, so is PB.. but you need variety in your diet because foods offer different forms of nutrients…. even each grain offers different nutrients that another cannot. Same with fats/proteins like peanut butter… you need different sources of fats because some offer omega 3 FA, some offer omega 6 FA, some are more saturated, or have more fiber, etc. Also, your body adjusts to digest the foods you eat… it needs variety in food so that it keeps your metabolism revved up……just like “sex” ! you need variety to keep the passion going!

I workout in the afternoons and I teach a one-on-one program with children with autism. To describe my work day… Monday I played Wii bowling and taught my 3 year old student how to play, went down slides on the playground, took a nature walk around the school trail, played duck duck goose, and jumped in the school’s inflatable bounce house…. needless to say, i get tons of exercise without going to the gym! I find that working out in the afternoons gives me motivation and strength for my day, removes work stress ( yes there are teaching procedures i have to do!) and puts me in a great mood/excited to refuel at dinner! On days I have to go to class after work, I simply just dont go to the gym. I go so often that I need those days to rest anyway!


66 Tara February 12, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Hey all,

Question. I have a Polar heartrate monitor and I’ve heard Kath talk about logging calories from workouts using the monitor. But how does that account for the varying calorie burns from different activities? Or does that not matter if you go only by heartrate. I hope that makes sense. I’m confused!


67 Katherine February 12, 2008 at 4:29 pm

What is opinion about flavored yogurts such as stonyfield? They have sugar but are not artificial. Is there a difference b/w eating plain and adding honey versus eating stonyfield?


68 Alex February 12, 2008 at 4:30 pm

You should stick with the MPH. It will give you the credentials to do exactly what you say you’d like to do career-wise, and most importantly, it’s a more respected degree than RD. Having both would be redundant. Finish the master’s you’re on.


69 apple February 12, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Hi Kath,

I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and I absolutely LOVE it! You have such a refreshing outlook on health and fitness and I love that your hubby is such an active part of your healthy eating.

I just wanted to let you know that your blog has introduced some new foods to my menu. I have re-discovered the magic of oatmeal in keeping me full and love whole carrots. I look forward to reading along!


70 DL February 12, 2008 at 4:51 pm

What would you count whipped (or any) cottage cheese as? (1%) dairy or protein (due to 16g protein/serving)


71 Lauren February 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Hi Kath :)

I’m not sure if you’ve answered this before, but I was wondering how many calories you ate when you were losing weight and how you determined that number. Did you have a range that you aimed for every day? Also, was your activity level higher than it is now, or did you just increase your food intake to maintain? Thanks for all you do!


72 NCCarter February 12, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Tina – I have NO science background at all. I was a political science major at UNC. Graduated in 1998 with only one biology class under my belt, so I’m pretty much starting from scratch, too. I’m going to take my time….right now i work p/t from home because I want to be here with my daughter while she’s young. I’m thinking it will take me at least 3 years to finish up.

B_Hlthy – thanks for the heads up about Meredith’s program. Given the high cost of tuition there, I think I may look into the program at NC Central as well. It’s just so convenient to have Meredith practically in my backyard. Either way, I’m going to take a lot of my sciences at Wake Tech to save money. I’m doing a second undergrad degree for now, not a masters. Have you heard anything good or bad about Central’s RD track?


73 Kath February 12, 2008 at 5:43 pm

WOW you have a lot on your plate. My best advice: a hot bath in the evening. It takes 10 minutes and you aren’t allowed to do anything else. Make it 5 minutes if that’s all you’ve got, but I always turn to baths when I’m feeling the pressures of life.

LOVE that quote. I need to read Eat, Pray Love AND In Defense of Food – SOON! I’m a big believer of the “make it happen” mentality. It’s amazing what small things can have a BIG impact on happiness. Thanks for sharing.

I haven’t read it yet, but I have read his NY Times article that was a brief version of the same concepts. I think the overall takeaway is to make these principles of eating whole foods the foundation of your diet. Sort of the 90/10% rule. If you are in a rush and have to use Boca meat, then do it – just not on a very regular basis. That’s my goal for myself.

Re. Advertising,
THANK YOU all for the support on ads. I absolutely hate in-your-face advertising, but I agree that it would be SO nice to bring in some money to help support the blog. I am in the process of getting an ad from BlogHer, which I find to be a respectable ad company with tasteful visuals. I have researched Google Adsense but so far have not been impressed. I’ll continue to brainstorm this, but thank you again for being willing to “tolerate” at ads for my benefit :) (PS. If you buy anything from Amazon, you can support KERF by clicking through the store on the blog and then going to buy your item :) )

I agree that by having the same foods for breakfast and lunch you are limiting yourself to a select group of nutrients. While this might be fine every now and then, I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis. I think you can have the same type of lunch everyday – a sandwich, for example, and switch up your ingredients. Have PB&J one day, beans and avocado the next, turkey and cheese after that, tuna, etc.

I’ve got to remind you that of course it’s going to appear that the blog/food/eating is all I do – because it’s all you see. You get a taste of some of my social outings – skiing with my family, a reception for my history professor, dinner with friends. We’ve got an alumni event next week for college. I also love reading, house design and decorating, wine tasting, shopping (I’m always looking for a bargain and love shoes and purses!), organizing (on a Saturday you can find me re-organizing the linen closet!), Duke basketball + Carolina Panthers Football, magazines, hiking + picnics (when it’s warm!). Ok, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head!

I’m taking 6 courses with 2 labs this semester, and it’s quite a load. I’m trying to get as much as I can done these first 8 months (through a full summer of school) so I can cut back a bit next fall with some of the bigger nutrition courses. It’s going to take me 4 semesters + 1 full summer to finish the coursework (and 1 summer hopefully I can work full time at an internship). Then I have a 6-month unpaid internship for the R.D. and then after 2.5 years, I’m hoping to sit for the exam. It’s quite a commitment, especially because I had NO science courses on my transcript, but once I made the decision, I was determined to find a way to make it work. Good luck to you!

I don’t like the idea of adding a capsule to my food…but that’s just me.

I’d love to write for a magazine, especially since I wrote for one for a year (although it was nothing fancy AT ALL) but I have no idea what my content would be?! I’m not an R.D. yet, so I’m just a regular girl who likes food. Guess I need to work on my PR self promotion :)

I did a quick check on Ck and for the elliptical and Stair climber my calories were almost identical as CK’s, but for spinning they overestimated my burn by 100 or so. Guess it’s hard to tell! I always use the 100 kcal per 10 minutes rule – since I can’t run much faster than a 9-minute-mile and I burn about 80 kcal per mile.

I put 1 tbsp of flax in my oatmeal.

We usually just use a bottle we have on hand and then drink the rest. There are tons of good wines for $8.99-10. Just use a “real” wine from a traditional grape and not a sweet or berry one and you’ll be fine. You can also buy those mini single serving bottles for cooking. We try to have some on hand for that purpose so we don’t have to open a whole bottle.

I think you should transfer to Winthrop!! Charlotte is a fun place to live and I really like the school :)

I like the Stonyfield brand a lot. The sweetened flavors are made with naturally milled organic sugar, which is better than other artificial sweeteners or additives like HFCS. But there are 25 grams of sugar in the sweetened ones compared to 11 grams in the plain (natural milk sugar) so that is 14 grams of refined sugar you could avoid by mixing plain with fruit or whole grain cereal. But there are a lot worse things you could be eating, so if you like these, then I wouldn’t hesitate to eat them.

Thanks for the positive feedback :)

Read the first FAQ on maintenance to see that I haven’t really changed much. My weight loss slowed down a LOT by the last few pounds, which I took as a sign my body was happy here. There was not a moment when I decided I was going to “stop losing and start maintenance” by adding back a bunch of calories. I have just kind of let my body settle in at this weight – eating more some days and less others but eating about the same amount of food I did when I was losing overall.



74 goalie30 February 12, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Rebecca re: exercise to prevent osteoporsis (low vs high impact),
If your knees/body can tolerate higher impact exercises such as running, jumping rope, plyometrics/weight lifting, etc. this is also recommended for osteoporosis reduction since they are weight bearing exercises. However, if you prefer lighter activities on the joints such as walking, light weights for toning, and low impact aerobics, stick with the exercises that keep YOU interested. The main thing is to get some form of weight bearing activity, be it low and/or high impact, in at a minimum of 30 minutes 3 days per week. Cardiovascular wise (heart and lung), the American Heart Association recommends that all women strive for 30 minutes of exercise “most days” of the week, so about 5 days or more per week for weight maintenance and to reduce the risk of heart/lung disease; if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain a significant weight loss, then they recommend 60-90 minutes or more 5 days or more per week for exercise (and it doesn’t all have to be cardio, it can also include gardening, washing the car, weight lifting, mowing the lawn or shoveling snow…anything that gets your heart rate up some)…Hope this helps!


75 mel February 12, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I loved the comparison to sex! haha! it cracked me up…but so true! Have a great almost hump day!hah


76 Ryane February 12, 2008 at 7:03 pm

These are just some random questions/thoughts.

Kath, what are your feelings when you have like… 75 comments on something as simple as breakfast oatmeal? I’m totally relieved to find that most of it is positive and just very forum-like, but if I was the blogger, I could see why you might at first be like, “holy crap, soooo many things to answer!!!”
I guess where I’m going with this, is that I know people ask questions and are looking for multiple answers from a good range of people, or maybe just from you – but how does it affect you? if it does at all?
Just an offset tip, I know there are some people here looking for answers/suggestions for weight loss. Kath got started blogging because of communities on calorieking. I have never used that site personally, but know the site I used for awhile has the same type of thing going on (caloriecount.about.com). It’s free, you just have to sign up. People blog their intakes and whatever, and there are tons of forums and I think their food catalog is quite extensive.
I’m just saying, for people who are looking for more weightloss info rather than just the ideas and techniques and “sunshine” (that is the impression I get of Kath but sounds much better than just cheerful!!) haha.

With that, I could most definitely see Kath blogging or writing for REAL SIMPLE of all the magazines!! I’m sure some of your recipes aren’t quite…. the simplest especially when it comes to homebaked bread, I just mean the ideas behind it all and all of the planning that you guys do. Plus, I can just tell you are a “real simple” magazine gal, besides when you say you are reading it at the gym.

Someone asked about magazines not too long ago, so I’ll chime in now. I buy a ton, way too many in fact, but my faves are Glamour (can’t beat the price for how big it is!!), CookingLight and Self. They all have their flaws, and don’t worry I read the other stuff as well. I’m really excited for the day when a healthy lifestyle magazine comes out geared towards 22-30 year olds comes out. You know what I mean? We don’t exactly have full fledged families yet, but aren’t quiet yet in careers that afford us to buy all of the great items Self advertises. Women’s Health is better at this, except that because they put most of everything online, I no longer see the need to subscribe to it. In fact, I’m thinking of not renewing my CookingLight either for this same reason.
How do others feel about this? The info is readibly available otherwise in other forms, so do you still subscribe to the hard copy?

I already wrote way too much but just wanted to add, Kath, I have no problem with some ads on your site, I think the work you does is worth it and if somehow, some “magic” diet pill ad shows up, the readers here know not to buy into it!


77 Kath February 12, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Thanks for the nice comment! I LOVE Real Simple – and they sure could use more healthy recipes! Sometimes I am shocked by how much olive oil etc. they use, but I always just cut back myself. I love their recipes, though, because they always use fresh real food :)



78 JessM. February 13, 2008 at 9:25 am

I just wanted to add that I wouldn’t be bothered by a Google ad somewhere, as long as there aren’t a billion of them, hah. You do deserve some kind of payment (even if it’s tiny) and I’m sure this site gets lots of hits!

I agree SO much about the flexibility thing. I’m in the process of applying to graduate schools and ultimately I want to teach literature and writing in college. I don’t mind being busy and working eight or more hours a day — for me it’s the feeling of being trapped in one place for a long stretch of time (8-5, nooo!). It’s so depressing.

ANYWAY and for the “poll” purposes: Over summer, I started going to the gym every day and dropped a lovely 30 pounds. I was two pounds away from my goal and school started up again, and ever since then I’ve been wavering around 7lbs over my goal because I just can’t schedule in my gym time :( Every day I have to make the choice between working and going to the gym, changing, 30 minutes minimum of working out, going home, showering… and I have to prioritize. Is it homework or the gym? Writing that paper or working out? Most days, I know I won’t have the energy to do work/school/homework AND the gym.

Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions? :p


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