Monday, August 31, 2009

Ice Cream is Not the Center of My Universe

by guest blogger Marea from Rhode Island

One of the first things that I did after returning home from H3 was to buy myself a new bicycle. In Adam’s Goal Setting class, we had to write down 3 goals for ourselves for the next month and how we aimed to achieve them. We also wrote down a reward for meeting our stated goals. He suggested that we might buy the reward right away and then have a friend hold on to it for the month. Well, with summer coming to a close here in New England, I didn’t want to waste a month of riding time, so I researched bikes and bought one about a week after returning home. And I didn’t let anyone hold onto for me.

I am really lucky- I live about a half mile from a bike path that winds along the coast. From end to end, it’s about 15 miles long. I live approximately in the middle, so I just have to choose which experience I’m in the mood for; one direction is more fun for people watching while the other is more scenic. Yesterday, I decided to head South- the scenic route. Round-trip it’s a 15- mile ride. Perfect for my exercise needs, as well as my time constraints; I can be back home in a little over an hour.

I brought my cell phone with me yesterday so that I could post a few photos of it. It is really one of the most beautiful places I know. I used to ride or walk it quite often. Then I got really lazy and stopped. Then I gained weight and felt too embarrassed and out of shape to start again. One of my biggest “aha” moments in SC was getting on my rental bike and remembering how much I loved to be on a bike- carefree and strong.

At the end of the path there is an ice cream shop, a place that I hold responsible for the 10 pounds I gained in June after they opened for the season. Yes, I did eat a lot of it. And I didn’t ride my bike there either, another contributor to that 10-lb. gain. Unlike Nicki, I LOVE ice cream. One of my “adjustments’ to my diet is that I no longer go to Daily Scoop. Their ice cream is 25% butterfat. Instead, I buy cones and a lower fat brand at the grocery store. I still get my fix- albeit not as tasty a one- and I can stay within my calorie budget. I don’t have one everyday, but probably two or three per week.

One of the healthiest habits I picked up in SC was eating fresh berries with yogurt every day. I try to eat local foods whenever possible, and it just so happens to be raspberry season here. They are also “U-Pick”, so there’s the added benefit of some exercise just to get them. The other day I picked a whole bunch and made some jam. I will miss them when the season is over. Raspberries mixed with Greek Yogurt honestly is as satisfying as ice cream- creamy, sweet and cold. Well, almost anyway.


  1. Hi Marea! Congratulations on rediscovering a lost love of cycling! It is so empowering do discover/rediscover a form of exercise that doesn't feel like a chore.

    Ice cream is also one of my big weaknesses. And New England has the best ice cream! The place I took the kids to this summer had 16% butterfat ice cream, which I thought was alot! They also had 95% fat-free frozen yogurt versions of many of the same flavors. In the past, I've had a "if you're going to have ice cream, you can't wimp out with low fat" attitude. But this time round, I tried the frozen yogurt and I swear you couldn't tell the difference! Full flavored and creamy without the slightest hint of yogurt tartness.

    Haven't found anything similar in Hong Kong yet and I just have to resist the lure of the Haagen Dazs I pass on my daily walk. Truly an exercise in resisting temptation!

  2. Hey Mamie! Enjoyed reading about you a few weeks ago- 'tho it's hard for me to imagine you are considered heavy anywhere in the world!

    The ice cream here is really good. If I take the kids out, I order the soft serve since it has much less butterfat. And I do love it. But Daily Scoop only has hard IC, so I'm staying away- and they close for the season at the end of September. One visit there wipes out the whole hour of cycling!

  3. Thanks for the vote of confidence! I recently rejoined Curves for the strength training. That plus my regular walks and I'm feeling pretty good about my activity level. Now I can focus on food....

    I also recently discovered the joys of Greek yogurt. I get the Fage 2% with the side of honey and do the ol' dip and scoop. Straight in and out dipping in the honey and scoop out spoonful on yogurt. I end up using less than 1/4 of the provided honey and it tastes SO good!

  4. So glad you New England girls can dish about ice cream. You'd think Southerners would like more cold stuff with all our heat... :)

    Fage is my favorite treat. When ever I stumble onto extra cash I buy the expensive yogurt. I do the 0% and keep a honey bear in my desk drawer at work. Really taste delicious.

    Marea, you are the best for blogging today. Thank you. I expect you and Mamie to be back with more blog reports soon! Take care.

  5. Marea
    I re-discovered my joy of cycling while at H3. So I now try to manage 2-3 rides a week. Aside from just riding, I enjoy living in Jacksonville more. On a recent trip, I ran into someone I know. They wondered why I was in their neighborhood on a bike as it's about 10 miles from my house.

    Despite being a confident person, I had set a goal to ride to the beach. I've not done it yet, but I think that goal will be very short lived. The beach is 15 miles away. That seemed like a huge distance, but after riding for a few weeks now, I doubt it will be a challenge.

    As for Ice Cream, I think New Englanders consume more of the great stuff per captia than any other place in the continental US.

  6. Jeff, take pictures for us once you make it to the beach!