New Lily

Nine Reasons Broccoli is Still the Go-To Veggie for Athletes (and Non-Athletes)

img_4864I recently heard my friend, physical therapist Alan Tyson, say that broccoli is his favorite pick for “green” food hands down.  Alan talks to his athletes and clients about nutrition almost as much as he talks about their injuries.  Here are Alan’s nine reasons we should be eating our broccoli:

1. Cancer Prevention Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body of H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function. Broccoli shares these cancer fighting, immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

2. Cholesterol Reduction Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body. [Read more…]

Five Awesome Mom Salads

My own version of Caprese Salad...

My own version of Caprese Salad…

I love summer food. Especially salads. Fresh and colorful, summer produce and meats on the grill are delicious additions to an otherwise plain salad. My favorite salads are the those made from fresh ingredients. Following are some of my favorite summer salads (first one is my own version, the others come from great sources). These can be really easy if you are already grilling out chicken, steak or salmon. Just add the meat to the salad and you’ve got protein to boot!! I call these mom salads because even if the rest of the family doesn’t share our love for veggies and are content with the meat from the grill…we can create great salads to enjoy as a main course.

1. Whitney’s Caprese Salad

Ingredients: mozzarella balls, roma tomatoes, red onion, fresh garlic, fresh basil, edamame, salt and pepper, olive oil. [Read more…]

Life is a Love Story

James and me after the birth of our 9th child, Sam.

James and me after the birth of our 9th child, Sam.

In honor of Valentine’s Day

“Love is a decision…”

James and I first heard these words from a priest about five years after we were married.  It was a bit of a paradigm shift.  Even in the pre-marriage class we attended, we could not remember hearing that concept.  I mean, who needed to “decide” to love? You just did.  Or were. Or whatever.

In the early years of our married life, we still relied on good “old-fashioned love”.  We figured that is what would sustain us through inevitable hard times.   And good times, too.  Our passionate hearts would trump our rational brains and love would always be there; always reliable.  But by the time we heard those words, like most married couples, the honeymoon had passed, and the reality of three children (there would be more), a mortgage, and the everyday stresses of life had taken its place. At this point the decision to love seemed like an idea worth exploring. [Read more…]

Pear Spice Oatmeal…A Fall Favorite!


Here is wonderful recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Recipes Remembered....

Oatmeal is a year round breakfast for me, but I especially love it on the cooler days of fall and winter…a perfect comfort food!

Happy Fall, friends.  It’s time for spice, for apples & pears, crisp mornings, boots & comfy sweaters, marathons and so many other lovely – and delicious – things.  This oatmeal is one of the delicious things.  It’s a base of fall spices – cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves – topped with deliciously sweet pears, pecans for crunch and a little drizzle of milk.  I’m a little sad to see summer go but if I can look forward to breakfasts like this one then I think I’ll be ok. [Read more…]

It’s Cross Country Season at my House..Just Watch the Laundry Pile Up!

Just a few of the running shoes around our house these days!

Just a few of the running shoes around our house these days!

It isn’t hard to figure out what season we are in.  It isn’t summer or fall…it’s XC season (at least at the Hetzel house it is)!  As the coach of the Grace Academy cross country team, I am running with the athletes about four days a week…and my kids are running too (#8 and #7 – C.C. and John-run with our group and even # 9 hops out of the baby jogger often).  #4 (Peter), #5 (Annie), and #6 (Grace) also run for my team as high school and middle school runners.  That’s a lot of shoes lying around…especially when you consider the additional spikes, too.

Death by laundry...

Death by laundry…

Many people think of football when they think of fall and the start of the school year…not me.  Cross country practices, meets, and invitationals fill our fall days. Tempo runs, stride outs, Indian runs, Kenyan outbacks, track workouts, ladders…this is our language. Unfortunately for me, it means a lot more laundry too. What are your fall days filled with?

Sleep is As Important As Exercise…Sometimes Even More So.

Sometimes sleep trumps exercise

Sometimes sleep trumps exercise

I overheard a conversation the other day while I was at Target.  Two women were in line behind me and one of them was telling the other that she recently had gained about 4-5 pounds and she was contributing it to lack of sleep.   The other woman was surprised to hear her friend blame lack of sleep on her weight gain, but the eves-dropper (me) wasn’t.  Many people know that sleep is important for things like cognitive functioning, moods, and general health, but there are many who don’t realize that a lack of it can also contribute to weight gain. [Read more…]

Study Suggests Exercise May Positively Effect Immune Systems of Cancer Patients After Chemotherapy


Can exercising after finishing chemotherapy treatments help with efficacy? Last weekend an important meeting in Colorado discussed this among other important topics…

Last weekend there was an important meeting of the minds in Westminster, Colorado. The Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting was a collaborative effort between the American Physiological Society, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.  The following article describes a recent study which looked at the effects of exercise on cancer patients (who exercised for several weeks) after chemotherapy treatment, and was certainly discussed at the meeting in Colorado.

We are all affected by cancer.  It is exciting to see the effort on the part of various specialties  in the medical community coming together to study how exercise can have a positive impact on those recently treated with chemotherapy.  I have seen the positive effect first hand as my husband, James has gone through his treatments for cancer.  Even though extremely tired and lacking energy, James continued to exercise (mostly walking and a little running) throughout his chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  He continued to exercise after the treatments as much as he was able, and it seems obvious to me that this has been a real benefit to him.

I copied the article in its entirety here: [Read more…]

Winning By Losing…Have You Read This Book?

Most of us, by the time we are in our forties (some even earlier), have discovered that losing weight or even maintaining our ideal weight can be more difficult than when we were younger! Metabolism starts to slow, exercise routines become routine, and even our attitudes need revamping as we age. In other words, most of us understand the meaning of hitting a plateau when it comes to our weight. However, knowing what to do when this happens can be confusing. There are lots of diets out there claiming to be the answer as well as plenty of promising new exercise programs designed to recharge our system. It’s hard to know where to turn. [Read more…]

Why Should I Care If I Am Flexible?

I realized long ago that I’m no Gumby. Unfortunately for way too long I have accepted that I can’t really do anything about my ability to be flexible. But that is changing. As I get older I am trying harder to change my non-Gumby status…and I am determined to become more flexible because I know that the implications are far greater than just not being able to touch to ground with my fingertips. The following is an article by Alan Tyson, a sports physical therapist and owner of Architech Sports.

By Alan Tyson
Stretching is typically the most overlooked part of an exercise routine. Many people do not stretch because the results are not seen for some time. Increasing the muscle length takes time and stretching must be done on a regular basis. How many times have you exercised regularly and then took a break for a week or two because something came up or you were recovering from an injury? What did it feel like the first time you returned to the gym or sport you were playing? It was much tougher wasn’t it? Muscles will conform to the actions and stresses placed on them, whether that means becoming toned, stronger, bigger or more flexible because of training or becoming weaker or tighter because of disuse or a sedentary lifestyle. [Read more…]

Keys to Optmizing Lean Muscle Development – High Intensity Training (How to Use Cardio Training to Develop Strength

I recently wrote on 9 Kid Fitness about the myth of “developing” long, lean muscles.  Shortly afterward I received an email from trusted sports physical therapist Alan Tyson about “optimizing” lean muscle development ( a subtle, yet much more accurate way to say it).  Instead of explaining in my own inadequate words, I decided to reprint the entire article here. Note how Tyson says to avoid ALL sugar and fruit juices two hours after exercise.  Most of us are familiar with High Intensity Training HIT (or High Intensity Interval Training) and Tyson explains it further here… [Read more…]