Fit for Someone Else

Moms Who TRI clients are more about abundant life than anything else. They are determined to do everything they can to share that life, health and joy with everyone within their reach. And they start young.

Meet Anna Lauer. Anna is big sister to Sadie, a three-year-old survivor of neuroblastoma. Although she’s only 7 herself, Anna has a grownup passion for cancer awareness and finding a cure.

October 14th marked the Lauers’ third year participating in the Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer. The first year, her mom, Erin, took the lead nicknaming their team, “Strolling With Sadie.” Even then, Anna had a vision and gave the team of friends and donors who helped them raise funds and awareness, “Sadie’s Stars.” It stuck.

Most of the participants in the CureSearch Walk are somehow connected to a child with cancer. The event raises money for cancer research specifically related to childhood cancer. “The money raised there helps children get better,” Anna said. Anna knows that empathy is a big motivator for people to get involved. “A lot of people aren’t interested,” she pointed out.

So this year my dog, Brave, and I joined Sadie’s Stars at Fairfax Corner for the nearly 2 mile walk. From beginning to end, a festiveness filled the air; the center square was chaos! There were clowns, balloons, a one-man band, face painters and more.

The excitement escalated even more when they announced the totals of an exceptional fund raising effort. Anna was a big part of that, and she was recognized publicly before the walk began.

An organized walk or race fits perfectly into the Moms Who TRI lifestyle, but don’t get the idea that Anna Lauer will be resting between now and next year’s CureSearch Walk. So far this year she has also participated in the Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon, hosted a lemonade stand during the Burke Centre Festival and helped with the Friends of Sadie blood drive. All of these activities support awareness and research for childhood cancer.

Exercise and fitness are excellent ways to maintain health and live and long life. However, sometimes things happen that can’t be helped – such as a child suffering from cancer. That’s where we can step in, following Anna’s lead. There are myriad ways that we can help others to live long, healthy and happy lives. What will you do?


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Don’t Get Stuck!

Once upon a time, what seems like a lifetime ago, in a land not so very far away, lived a scared little girl. She had accomplished the unthinkable. Having conquered her second marathon, she found herself on a crazy schedule of running 50 miles a week and nothing to train for. She wondered, What will happen if I stop running?

Have you been there? Maybe you’ve been doing a certain exercise regimen or diet and made wonderful progress. But life changes. Interruptions come and sometimes they’re not temporary. Or maybe you’re just tired of gutting out one more mile and getting up at 5a.m. to workout one more time. Maybe you’ve sustained an injury after pushing to and past your goal.

What will happen if you stop what you’re doing and change direction with your fitness? Years ago, in the peak of my distance running days, something terrible happened. My husband and I moved and I didn’t feel safe exploring the new streets in the early, dark morning hours. I didn’t have my running club. But, I worried that if I began running less, or started doing something different for my health that I might lose all that I had worked for. Would I gain weight? Would I lose my self-discipline? Would I get lazy?

It took an immense amount of prayer, our very big God, and courage that I didn’t think I had. I stepped tentatively, a few miles at a time, off of the proverbial treadmill and found myself where I am today.

Today, I am still fit, stronger than I have ever been and enjoying a wide variety of activities. Daily, I commit 30 minutes to an hour to exercise. Three days a week is usually a bootcamp style workout. Recently, I started doing yoga on the other three days and taking Sunday for complete rest. I am enjoying fitness more than I ever have before; I actually get excited for each new day’s challenge.

Don’t get stuck doing the same thing over and over simply because it worked before. Tons of things work and health doesn’t have to hurt. Switch it up or take a few days off. Add in flexibility work and long relaxing walks. Everything you do that moves you, that clears your head, that changes your pace and gives you energy is good for you. Try something new and enjoy the benefits!

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Worth the Effort

Just before her 40th birthday, if you had asked Tiffany to go for a jog, she would have laughed at you. She looked great, wasn’t significantly overweight, was active with her children and busy with “life”. But she will tell you that she wasn’t really happy with herself.

Enter, Kristen Hench – friend of a friend and a personal trainer. Kristen, founder of Moms Who TRI, started Tiffany with regular strength and cardio workouts in her basement. But competition is in Kristen’s blood and she knows what a victory can do for a person’s sense of success, accomplishment and future motivation. So before too long, she began encouraging Tiffany to tackle a half marathon.

“I flat out said NO….a few weeks went by and I talked myself into it. Kristin volunteered to be my running partner and that is how it all started,” Tiffany said.

As you might expect, Tiffany admits that simply making herself train was the hardest part. “It was really hard to keep pushing myself to run farther than the last time.” But Kristen met her every Saturday for the long run and they did it together.

“Running on Saturday mornings with Kristin has become my therapy. She has motivated me and guided me this last year to achieve two things I never in my wildest dreams thought I could achieve. I set a goal and with the help and support of my family and friends I was able to achieve the goal that I set.”

The half marathon was simply a rung in the ladder. Last Saturday, Tiffany and Kristen conquered the  Baltimore Marathon.

Tiffany said this marathon was so much fun, in part, because it was her first. However, once she’s past the soreness, she’s pretty sure she’ll have to try and run another one – faster this time.

Post race, Tiffany said the best advice she can give anyone is simply not to be afraid to try. Besides improved health and a great sense of accomplishment, you might finish with new and deeper friendships.

“Running a marathon gave a much needed boost to my self-esteem….I needed to prove to myself and my family that you can reach any goal you set your mind to and accomplish it. This training has given me back myself. I had to prove to myself that I still had it in me to do something great.
I was able to run across that finish line with my trainer and friend with a smile on my face and ask her, ‘Whats next?’.”

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Cinnamon Rolls – you know, those things you’ve avoided?

Years ago, I worked at a health and supplement store in a strip mall on Fort Bragg. Right across the narrow isle stood Cinnabon, (not nearly far enough away to disguise the enticing fragrance.) The beguiling pastry chain was cleverly positioned on the corner so that every patron had to muster their will to pass by and enter the main mall for whatever the day’s errands called.

The task of passing by must have been difficult for occasional customers, but imagine the temptation working directly across from the sticky lusciousness every single day! Most days I drank a gallon or so of their cinnamon flavored coffee and tried to pretend that it tasted just like a gooey carmel pecan roll or cinnamon stix. As devoted of a coffee lover as I am, it was a poor substitute.

I’m always on the prowl for healthier versions of the most delectable goodies I’d rather not live the rest of my life without. I’m all for eating intuitively, de-classifying good and bad foods and learning to enjoy all food with freedom (instead of society’s insistence that we be perfect dieters with our weight and appearance as our only obsession.) However, if something wonderful can also be good for me – bring it on!

Therefore, I bring you my newest healthy discovery! Cinnamon rolls! The version here is actually very healthy all on it’s own. I made a few minor changes, which I will footnote.

Credit for this wonderful recipe goes to Deconstructing the Home. You’ll find this recipe on that site here.

Healthy Low Calorie Cinnamon Rolls

¾ Cup pumpkin puree
1/3 Cup buttermilk (or 1/3 cup skim milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of vinegar)
¼ Cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ Cup applesauce
1 Cup flour
1 ½ Cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ Cup butter
¾ Cup Splenda
1 ½ Tablespoons molasses
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add pumpkin, buttermilk, Splenda, vanilla, and applesauce in food processor. Mix till combined. Add in flours, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix until dough forms a large ball. Lightly flour surface and knead dough until it loses its stickiness and becomes elastic. Roll out into a rectangle ¼ of an inch thick.
2. Melt butter and spread over dough. In a small bowl combine Splenda, molasses, and cinnamon until well combined. You may have to smush it with the back of your spoon to get it to mix well. Sprinkle mixture over butter. Roll your dough into a log. Cut into twelve rolls and place in greased 9×13. Place in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until rolls are golden. Remove from oven and top with cinnamon roll glaze. Dig in!

My changes: I didn’t have buttermilk, so I used unsweetened almond milk. Also, I didn’t have molasses so I used brown sugar and I added a TBS of sugar free instant butterscotch pudding (I heard that is a common ingredient in monkey bread, another one of my favorites).

Cinnamon Roll Glaze Recipe

4 oz fat free cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 Cup powder sugar

1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar a little at a time until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Smooth glaze over warm cinnamon rolls and dig in!

For the glaze, I used 1/4 cream cheese, 1 TBS sugar free instant cheesecake flavored pudding, vanilla, 1/4 milk

These came out beautifully and I didn’t share a single one! I actually only made 8.

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