Tag Archive | health

Bike Trek to Shakertown

As you’ll see on in my “Things I want to do” post, I have been wanting to visit Shaker Village for some time. It’s a gorgeous little Shaker community here in Kentucky. Two of my other goals is to be more fit and to do more for charity this year.  So….how do you combine all three things? With the Bike Trek to Shakertown, of course!

This event is a 2-3 day (I’m doing the 3 day) cycling event in which we bike 30-60 miles daily. I’ll be training for this event all season this year. Actually, we’ve (my husband and I) already been doing some longer bike rides to prepare for it though it’s freezing cold here in Kentucky this time of year.

The Bike Trek to Shakertown event raises money for the American Lung Association. I have a cousin (by marriage) who has cystic fibrosis and had a double lung transplant in 2008. Unfortunately she is have problems rejecting the transplanting lungs and is currently awaiting an 2nd lung transplantion. I will be riding in her honor for the Shakertown event. Please send healing thoughts her way.

If you are able, please support my fundraising efforts with a donation. There is no minimum donation. All donations are tax deductible (you can print a receipt after your donation). Also, please spread the word so that others can support this great cause!

Click here to donate. 

Interested in riding? Email me at sabshire07@gmail.com


Just what is curry?

Growing up in southwest Virginia, foods were traditionally Appalachian foods. My  mother is an excellent cook (in fact, I lost about 15 lbs when I went away to college!). There was lots of delicious potatoes, gravies, cornbread, stews, and desserts. mmmm…desserts!

Over the years I’m slowly trying new foods. Most of the foods I grew up with did not have a lot of spices in them. So as an adult, I’m exploring different spices on my own. I’ve found many that I like and of course, lots that I don’t.

Today’s learning topic is curry. I’ve decided to try a curry dish in my crockpot (see below) tomorrow and so today I wanted to learn a little bit about curry.

This recipe is from the book “The Busy Mom’s Slow Cooker Cookbook”. I highly recommend this book for healthy slow cooker meals!

Here’s the ingredient list and recipe:


Just what is curry?

(By the way, I got this curry powder in the Indian food section at Meijer…it was much cheaper packaged this way than it was over in the spice section in the

little bottle. This whole bag was about $2.50 versus a small jar for $3!)

Curry is the English-ized word for the Tamil word kari. (Tamil is a dialect spoken in India). Curry is a blend of spices commonly used in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Thailand. Several spices may be in curry powder. The most common spices in curry powder are tumeric, coriander (also known as cilantro), and cumin. This blend of spices was developed by the British to mimic the tastes of India.

Curry powder became popular in the 19th and 20th centuries as it was exported throughout Europe and into North and South America. At this time, there was no specific blend of spices in curry. But in the 1960s and 1970s Indian-based food consumption increased  internationally and Indian restaurants began to open throughout the world.  It was at this time that the spices in curry powder became standardized outside India.

The spices in curry powder have been shown to have several health benefits including prevention of certain cancers and prevention of  Alzheimer’s disease. [1, 2]  Tumeric has been shown to reduce inflammation. [3]


1. Ravindran et al. Curcumin and Cancer Cells: How Many Ways Can Curry Kill Tumor Cells Selectively? AAPS J. 2009 Sep;11(3):495-510. Epub 2009 Jul 10.

2. Lim et al. The curry spice curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic mouse. J Neurosci. 2001 Nov 1;21(21):8370-7.

3. Jacob et al. Mechanism of the Anti-inflammatory Effect of Curcumin: PPAR-equation M1Activation. PPAR Res. 2007; 2007: 89369.

Women and the Marathon

The marathon is a 26.2 mile running event. The race is named “marathon” because of the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. He ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming “Νενικήκαμεν” (Nenikékamen, ‘We have won.’) before collapsing and dying.

A little over a hundred years ago, one of the items on many “bucket lists” would have been unachievable for a woman not because a woman can’t do it but because men thought women couldn’t do it. In 2009, I trained for 4 months and completed the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. Of course, I didn’t run it to be competitive. I ran it simply to see if I could do it. The next year, I completed the Kentucky Derby Marathon.


Is running/jogging/dragging yourself 26.2 miles a challenge? Definitely! But it’s amazing to me that women weren’t even allowed to try to run the marathon 100 years ago and weren’t really welcome (even though allowed to run) at races just 40 years ago. In the races I ran, it seemed that there were just as many women were running as there were men running.

In 1896, a Greek woman asked to participate in the marathon in the Olympics and was rejected. After repeated petitioning, women were allowed to participate in 5 field events in the 1928 Olympics. In 1960, the 800 meter run (the longest distance women were allowed to run at that time) for women was dropped from the Olympics because the women were exhausted after running the race. In the 1960s, women began running distance races as bandit runners (runners who aren’t officially registered). In 1966, Roberta Gibb hid behind a shrub at the start of the Boston Marathon, sneaking into the field and finishing the race in an unofficial time of 3:21:25.

Roberta Gibb

In 1970, the first women’s marathon events are held. In 1971, the best marathon time for women is dropped 4 times from 2:55:22 to 2:49:40. In 1971, the Boston Marathon officially opened to women. Women were also allowed to run the New York City Marathon but the race was separate from the men’s race.Today, women are allowed to run pretty much any marathon race.

 The marathon is competitve for many people but for many of us, it is/was just something we wanted to do to see if we could do it. Many people run just to finish. In 2005, the average marathon time in the U.S. was 4 hours 32 minutes 8 seconds for men, 5 hours 6 minutes 8 seconds for women.