Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Portraits.

Since I am not taking any photography classes this summer, I have decided to create my own little project. What I really need is practice taking pictures of people. Objects and scenery are easy, but people pictures are what I really want to excel at. So far I have millions of pictures of my own kid, but this summer I wanted to practice with portraits of other families and kids. I extended the offer to my small group for free portrait sessions (because, hey, this is practice!) and I have rounded up some volunteers. Here's the first round of photos...the Tjernagels: Megan, Grant, & Anja. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Farmer's Market

One of the things I love about living in Iowa is the season from May to October - Farmer's Market season! There are several local markets in various Des Moines neighborhoods on various days, making it easy to find good local stuff all summer, just about any day of the week. There are yummy local veggies, food stands, local wines, artisan cheeses, breads, sweets, and tons of other goodies. We love to stroll and take in the goods!

If you are a Texas reader, correct me if I'm wrong, but we don't have this sort of outdoor farmer's market in Texas. You know why?? Because it's blazing hot and people's faces would melt off if they were outside pedaling their homemade wares! Instead, the local farmer's market is usually confined to a little air-conditioned building that sells local fruit and veggies. Sorry, Texans, but the Iowa version is WAY better!

This past week Jason was working, so I took Alex as my date. Here are a couple of pictures to document our visit...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I finished. Over the weekend, I finished the 20k race I was training for. I am not gonna lie - it was waaaaaayyyy harder than I had planned. It's been 3 years since I ran a long race and I definitely felt it. Oh, and not to mention that I had a baby a year ago and am still a nursing mom! All that said, I finished. And it felt great to reach my goal with my husband and son cheering me on at the end.

Since January, I have been working really hard to lose the baby weight. Training for this race was a huge part of it. I've lost nearly 20 lbs and counting and I feel great. I have been meaning to blog about my lifestyle changes for a while now...I have a totally new vegetarian diet and exercise routine. Jason and I both have been really committed to it since January and we both feel better physically than we have in many years. I know it may sound a bit extreme, but we have read several books in the last couple of years about true health and disease prevention. Virtually all of them recommend reducing or eliminating eating animal fats and focusing on plant-based proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The most helpful books we've read are by Dr. Dean Ornish, a cardiologist who's researched heart health for his entire career. The evidence was compelling, so we decided to give it a try. It took a while to get used to cooking and eating differently, but now I don't think we'll ever go back. For all you who think we eat salad and tofu for every meal, think again. We eat tons of yummy stuff! (My husband has posted some recipes on his blog if you want to check them out.) Over the next couple of weeks, I will post a few recipes for the curious. You might be surprised at how delicious a vegetarian diet can be! Not to mention the health benefits and effect on your waistline.

Oh, this was supposed to be an entry about my race, wasn't it? I just thought I'd mention the diet and give you a little teaser for some upcoming blogs/recipes about it. The race and the diet changes have been a huge part of my health journey over the past 6 months.

Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out Dr. Ornish's stuffif you are interested in learning more about the diet and lifestyle changes he recommends.