Friday, February 25, 2011

Daddy, it's tastes like sunshine!

When it comes to healthy eating habits, my son and my daughter are nearly polar opposites. While my daughter will try and eat anything (including the dog food we put out for Tucker the family pet), my son’s first response to eating a new food is, “No thank you.” When pushed a little further, he will typically say, “I don’t like it.”

“But son, you haven’t even tried it yet.”

In a matter of fact response, he’ll say, “I know, but I don’t like it.”

When forced to try new foods, my wife and I have the pleasure of experiencing front row seats to a Greek tragedy of Shakespearian proportions. First, we get the crunched up face, the squinted eyes, the trembling hands, and the low groan as he lifts the food towards his mouth. Once the spoon holding the terrible poison we are forcing our son to ingest hits the inside of his mouth, we get the full body seizure, followed by the uncontrollable gag reflex. While the first few times we found this to be quite entertaining, even asking for the occasional encore and considering signing him up for drama classes and auditioning him for child acting roles, the novelty soon wore off as each bite of his food was like a three act play and a simple dinner could drag out for an hour or more.

I guess I shouldn’t complain too much as he comes by these behaviors honestly. I was not the most adventurous eater as a child. I had a similar response to foods I didn’t like, especially spinach and beets. In fact, beets were my least favorite with their disgusting red/purplish juice bleeding all over my plate, trying to invade my macaroni and cheese (one food I loved). I would build a macaroni wall to stem the flood of beet juice, sacrificing a handful of tasty macaroni to save the greater population. My mother will tell you that there is still an outstanding “cold case” in my family that alleges that I once murdered a fern whose pot was positioned just a bit too close to my spot at the dinner table. When my mother wasn’t looking, I’d allegedly hide chunks of whatever food I refused to eat at the base of the plant, eventually killing the plant and stinking up the kitchen with rotten meats and vegetables. I’d remind everyone to reserve judgment as we operate within a legal system of “innocent until proven guilty”. Thankfully, the evidence was destroyed before DNA testing came into existence.

Nonetheless, you can imagine our surprise by a recent comment my son made about a new food he tried when, with a smile on his face, he gave the creative description, “it tastes like sunshine.” After the daily drama we witness when trying new food, I thought our son was sure to be an actor, but after that type of literary description, he might be a writer (at least the food industry may consider using him as a consultant to describe their products for advertising purposes). You can predict my disappointment when I found out the food he was describing as having the flavor of the sun was a yellow cream Oreo cookie.

Our pediatrician once told us that exposure to new foods is the key to getting children to like a diverse and healthy diet. In fact, I read one study that said it takes a child an average of 14 exposures to a new food before they actually enjoy the taste of that food. Well, if it takes 14 tickets to the drama I described above, I’ll pass. I’ll try one act of the Ryerson food drama and then I’ll pass him the plate with the Sunshine Oreo’s!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sick and Tired

Sorry for the slow posting time, the truth is I have very little to post about myself right now as I haven't been feeling very well.  So, stay tuned, I have big posts in the future.  In the meantime, I am so proud of my wife who is serving as a food coordinator for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build in the Chattanooga area.  As of today, the old house has been demoed and the new house is on it's way.  She actually got a tour of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus as seen on TV.  She was told that the cast actually does watch the family audition videos on the bus as protrayed on the show.  I am certain you'll be hearing much more about this fantastic project.  In the meantime, I'll try and get back to running, this cold has me coughing all day and all night, so if I can get past that, I'll be ready to go.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Run for Hope

Yes, I am doing it again, I am running the Nashville 1/2 Marathon on Saturday, April 30th (that's 13.1 miles . . . slightly further than I drive to and from work everyday).  So what is this about, have I lost my mind?  Well . . . yes I have.  But at least I am doing it for a good cause.  This year I am running for the nonprofit, People for Care and Learning (  They have titled this event the Run for Hope.  No, it isn't Matt Ryerson's Hope I can Run, it's the RUN FOR HOPE! 

PCL has done a tremendous amount of work in SE Asia serving those in poverty with very little hope.  They have supplied water filters for children who were drinking filthy river water and built homes for families living in the streets.  This is an incredible organization with incredible leadership.  It is definitely something I support and something you can get behind. 

I say all that only to let you know I haven't totally lost my mind (only partially) and I hope that you can find a way to support me in this effort.  To give, simple go to my fundraising website at and give.  You can give a set amount or a per mile rate (remember, that is 13.1 miles . . . ouch!)

Keep visiting the blog and I'll keep you updated on my training (and pain).