Because what's more interesting than nerds running?

Monthly Archives: February 2013

//February

Ask 2 Fat Nerds: How to Learn to Swim as an Adult.

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Last week we had an “ask 2 Fat Nerds” question asking for tips for beginner adult swimmers. So, this is my attempt at answering that!

I learned to swim at a very young age. We have family home videos of a pretty adorable two-year-old me belly flopping into the pool, swimming to the other side, pulling myself out of the water, and belly flopping back in. I have vague memories of swim lessons at UAlbany, where I mostly just remember the Cheerios, and I have years of experience swimming summers on the Cape. Swimming has always come as second nature; I’m a fish.

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Weigh-In Wednesday February 27th: Biggest Loser Week 6

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Here at 2 Fat Nerds, each Wednesday is a Weigh-In day, where all of the data from the previous week is collected, displayed, and analyzed. Let’s see what data was submitted this week!
Weight Loss
Each week, members who have opted to have their weights publicly displayed for the world to see have them graphed on the main blog. It is a great way to keep track over time, and it gives a bit more accountability to your workouts. If you are interested, leave a comment!

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This Just In: Eating Healthy Foods Is Healthy.

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Across many of the major media outlets, new articles state that “Research Shows Mediterranean Diet Can Cut Heart Disease and Stroke Risk.” New evidence abounds from a recent large-scale study that looked at 7,400 people in Spain over five years. The concept was to compare two groups of people, one on the Mediterranean diet (which emphasizes healthy oils and nuts), while the other group was on a more standard low-fat diet. The Mediterranean dieters had a 30 percent reduced risk of heart disease.

nutritionunplugged.com

Personally, I thought this was already an established fact, and I didn’t realize it was still a source of contention in the medical community. I can remember in the early 2000s, if not earlier, that there was a relationship between eating healthy oils and nuts and a reduced risk of heart ailments. Apparently now there is proof, I guess. With about two seconds of effort on PubMed, I found a quick study that suggested this back in 1995. But whatever, I guess this is still groundbreaking enough for NYTimes, NPR, and many other news organizations to carry it. […]

2 Fat Nerds Has Gone To The Dogs

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The title says it all. Over the weekend, Ellie and I registered our dog, Audrey, for an account in the tracking system. Audrey is by no means a fat dog, or really a nerd, but she does have a few pounds to lose, per doctor’s directions. To help keep track of her activity and her weight, we thought why not! Sign her up.

Wait wut?

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Eat Fit Not Fat- Zucchini Lasagna

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Zucchini Lasagna
I have been wanting to try this recipe for zucchini lasagna for a while now and this blog finally gave me the perfect opportunity. The original recipe calls for ground beef. I made this recipe the same weekend as the blizzard and the grocery store was all out of ground beef and ground turkey. So I decided to add Jalapeno Chicken Sausage. It added a nice kick if you like things spicy and was actually fewer calories than ground beef or turkey. Mike told me he could hardly tell the difference that there was zucchini in place of our stand by lasagna noodles.
The Setup

1 lb 93% lean beef or turkey ( I used 6 jalapeno chicken sausages) , 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 onion, 1 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper, 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 3 medium zucchini ( I ended up using 4) sliced 1/8″ thick, 15 oz part-skim ricotta, 16 oz part-skin mozzarella cheese, shredded, 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano ( I used parmigiana) and 1 large egg.

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Garbage In, Garbage Out.

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One of the central principles in the field of Bioinformatics is the idea of Garbage In, Garbage Out. Essentially, no matter how robust an analysis program is or how much error correction is part of the algorithm design, if you have crappy data as your input  . . . you are going to get crappy data as a result. We like to blame the program first, change the various settings second, and look for alternative programs when that doesn’t work. It is easier to keep looking until you find something that sort of works, than to come to terms with the idea of repeating a costly experiment or sequencing run because the data just isn’t very good.

I thought about this today during class as I was reading through the nearly 50+ options in the standard BLAST alignment tool. For those of you who aren’t familiar with BLAST, the program is designed to compare sequences of letters, think A-C-G-T’s to other sequences of A-C-G-T’s. The idea is to find the optimal match between your sample, and a database of reference sequences, or previously categorized and known sequences. It helps to determine where in a genome, what species and a whole host of other things in relation to your sequence. The numerous settings help with all the possible situations that could result, either from poorly generated data, low potential matches, high variability and many other things. Regardless of the settings though, if you have junk data . . . you’re going to get junk results.

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Weigh-In Wednesday February 20th: Biggest Loser Week 5

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Here at 2 Fat Nerds, each Wednesday is a Weigh-In day, where all of the data from the previous week is collected, displayed, and analyzed. Let’s see what data was submitted this week!
Weight Loss
Each week, members who have opted to have their weights publicly displayed for the world to see have them graphed on the main blog. It is a great way to keep track over time, and it gives a bit more accountability to your workouts. If you are interested, leave a comment!

[…]

Biggest Loser Strikes Again and Selecting My Target Pace

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As has been the case for the past several Mondays, I am more than comfortable lying on the couch, watching TV, minding my own business when the 8 o’clock lineup hits. Biggest Loser flashes on the TV. No more than twenty minutes later, I am getting dressed and ready for the gym. I have a complete inability to watch other people work out while I am sitting on the couch.

Yesterday I laid out my goals for this coming spring season, and one of them was to improve my speed to reach a PR during the Boston 5K. I spent a bit of time reading about techniques to improve my speed, like hill workouts, interval sprints, long weekend runs, an idea called Tabata (which I guess you do something to the max intensity you possibly can for 20 seconds for 8 reps and then you are done . . .) and  other general diet advice. One thing I am still struggling to do, and would like some feedback from experienced runners (cough, Amy; cough, Mark, etc.), is to figure out my training pace as well as my goal race pace.

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President’s Day – A Day to Regroup and Plan

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Having a random Monday off in the middle of winter couldn’t have come at a better time this year. Having precious daylight hours to get caught up on cleaning, errands and long dog walks was just what the doctor ordered. With less than eight weeks to go until our next race, I am back to the drawing board trying to get a schedule etched in stone to take us through the rest of winter and into the spring race season. I have several things that I want to accomplish this year in terms of exercise and fitness, and though January was a very good month, February has shaped up to be less than stellar. Today serves as a nice interruption, and a day to reorient myself to my goals.

To put it into writing, I want to accomplish the following three things between now and July:

Improve my 5k PR at the B.A.A 5k. Maybe a bit ambitious, but I want to be right around the 24 minute mark. I’m not going to say sub 24, but that is certainly my stretch goal.
Get back up to half-marathon distance in case we decide to do the Buffalo Half-Marathon in May. That race is quickly approaching as well, and though we aren’t registered for it, I am itching to pull the trigger and go for it.
Really work on my overall fitness in preparation for the Boilermaker. That race is going to be tough, and I want to be prepared for it. I’ve got a great program from my cousin Jon, and I need to start stringing together the three-day a week program. […]

Eat Fit Not Fat- Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Last Sunday,  Mike and I spent more than 2 hours shoveling out my car from the infamous “Nemo” Blizzard. I was not about to hop in the car and loose my precious, hard earned parking spot by taking a tiny 5 minute drive to the grocery store. So loaded up my backpack  and hiked down the hill to grab some much needed groceries. Upon arriving at Star Market,   I was quite surprised to see that the grocery store was still pretty cleared out from Thursday’s feeding frenzy of Somerville/Cambridge residents stocking up for the end of the world, aka NEMO! After spending way too much time pacing up and down the aisles trying to decide what to get, I ended up loading my backpack with enough ingredients to make a healthy Eat Fit not Fat entree for Sunday dinner (stay tuned for next weeks blog post) and to whip up approx 48 chewy oatmeal bourbon soaked raisin cookies.  Now, without further ado;
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

You will need: Bourbon/Whiskey (the most important ingredient!), raisins, chocolate chips, unsalted butter, unsweetened applesauce, dark brown sugar, salt, 1 egg, 1 large egg white, milk, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and oats

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