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Showing posts from May, 2012

On my nightstand, travel edition

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Our big trip is finally here! We've been planning and thinking about it for so long, it almost doesn't seem real. I've collected a few books to help us prepare for our trip that include useful travel tips, interesting cultural tidbits on Spain, and of course, some really pretty pictures. As I've mentioned before, I'm a sucker for good old-fashioned books and travel books are no exception. We won't take all of these with us, but a few will be perfect for the long flight.

1. Frommer's Spanish PhraseFinder & Dictionary. This pocket size phrase book is going with us. My high school and college Spanish is very rusty and my Italian will only get us so far. Our emergency back up is the Spanish translator app on our iphone.

2. Fodor's Barcelona's 25 Best. Since the bulk of our time will be spent in Barcelona, I have several books highlighting this amazing city. This one is compact and comes with fold out city and metro maps. We'll see how many of…

Have running shoes, will travel

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Exercise is Medicine month is coming to an end. This is the last official post in the series, but I'll be posting about exercise and health on Speed Bump in the future. It is a topic near and dear to my heart and always on my mind. I hope the series was helpful and informative. Thanks for reading!







I don't know that I've ever traveled without my running shoes. I certainly can't remember a time and place.

Running has taken me beyond the tourist stops and into residential neighborhoods in Paris, and through all the famous parks of London. I got frustratingly lost running through a city park in Munich at the age of 22 and have worked on improving my sense of direction ever since. I ran at midnight in Egypt to avoid the heat, and ran from wild boars in a forest in Vienna. Running in Istanbul meant darting in and out of busy streets and markets, often with local children cheering and running behind me. I once ran a trail to the top of Mount Sinai and through quiet streets o…

Memorial Day Celebration at the Station 4

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We had a very busy Memorial Day weekend. The weather was hot and sunny, letting us know that summer has arrived! Between house showings, family BBQs and baseball games, a race, and an engagement party, we managed to fit in our annual trip to the Celebration at the Station. It has become one of our favorite traditions to share with family and friends. With the KC Symphony performing patriotic tunes in front of beautiful Union Station, and an amazing fireworks dispay against the backdrop of the Liberty Memorial, this has to be one of KC's finest events.

Want to dramatically improve your health? Stop sitting.

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Tired of hearing the bad news about skyrocketing diabetes and obesity rates reported almost daily? Well, you can do something about it - quickly and in a big way.

If I had to pick one message from the Exercise is Medicine meeting last week to pass on, it would be the need to decrease inactivity. Did you catch that? DECREASE INACTIVITY. Not INCREASE ACTIVITY - that is a message we hear all the time -  and one I absolutely want to continue to stress. By no means are we getting around the need to exercise to improve overall health.


But, there is a growing body of evidence that inactivity - essentiallysitting all day - is a major risk factor for chronic disease. Surprisingly, the biggest offenders of this inactive lifestyle can be regular exercisers. Do you know anyone that goes to the gym for 30 minutes and then sits for the remaining 15 1/2 hours of time spent awake each day? This describes today's active couch potato, someone getting regular exercise in an otherwise very sedentar…

Weeknight family dinner at Chez Maniger - we did it!

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Hooray for us! We did it. We finally had a weeknight family dinner with the four of us. I've written in the past about how we struggle to eat with the kids during the week. Our normal routine is they eat at 6pm and Ryan and I eat dinner at 9pm after the kids are in bed. I cook for Charlie and Izzy, Ryan cooks for me. Two different meals, every night. It sounds crazy just writing that down. It isn't something we established intentionally, it just evolved over time and with the second child, etc. But we're making a conscious effort to make one meal for everyone and eat together. I know it won't be a quick change so I'm aiming low - a couple nights a week would be great. A few things that made our weeknight family dinner work:

1) I planned and shopped for our dinner over the weekend so everything was on hand and ready to go for the weeknight meal.

2) I prepped for dinner by chopping, measuring and organizing ahead of time. I did this in the morning just before I left…

Exercise is Medicine mashup - interval training, weight loss and getting paid to eat junk

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Last week I co-hosted an Exercise is Medicine conference at my institution. 160 like-minded exercise enthusasists and researchers in one room left me feeling energized and reinvigorated about my own fitness goals, as well as my research interests in exercise and disease.

Given the new numbers published today that 1 in 4 American teenagers may be diabetic or prediabetic (23%, up dramatically from 9% in 2000) some good news is definitely in order. I'll post the big take home messages from the exercise conference later this week. But first, I wanted to share my favorite abbreviated workout and some thoughts on obesity and weight loss.




Interval training - easier than you think. Have you ever tried interval training? It is a great way to enhance your every day exercise routine whether you walk, run, bike or row. Interval training allows you to work at a level of intensity you couldn't sustain for a longer period of time. These short bursts of high intensity exercise can result in b…

To the bike trail

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Charlie has been into bikes lately - riding on the back of Dad's bike and cruising on his orange strider bike. We bought the strider last summer but he didn't have the coordination for it then. He does now.


She just wants to do everything he does.

We bike and run on the Trolley Trail with the kids all the time. Lately Charlie has been asking to ride his orange bike on the trail. I was skeptical because I didn't think he could get all the way there on the bike (a few blocks from our house) and then still have the energy to ride. What was I thinking? Of course he could, and did.



We stopped at the park on the way back home to enjoy the beautiful weather a little longer.


She is a little dressed up for the park, I know. But if she doesn't wear the cute dresses in her closet, they will all be too small very soon. We're going fashion forward anywhere and everywhere these days.




I will definitely miss the proximity of the trail and our favorite parks when we move. Love, lov…

Mother's Day racing report

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We had a busy and fun weekend of racing in the Maniger household. The weather was beautiful both Saturday and Sunday, even a little cool at times which was perfect for running. With early mornings both Saturday and Sunday and two showings on the house to prep for, we felt pretty exhuasted by Sunday evening.

Race note: I finished 3rd in my age group out of 378 runners -  and I paid for it all day Sunday. I need to put in more miles if I am going to run that hard. I know better, but I hadn't raced in a long time and my enthusiasm got the better of me. Gram finished 9th in her age group - despite almost missing the start. Way to go Mom!


We cheered on Kara in her big race Saturday and it was so much fun. I was surprised at how many people 'ran with the cows' in this race, which is only in its second year. I heard about 2500 turned out to run on Saturday. As with any big race when I am standing on the side watching, I was wishing I was out there.

We went to mile 10 and waite…

Mother's Day picnic and baseball game

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We had a picnic after the 5K run on Sunday morning to avoid the crowds doing brunch for Mother's Day. It was the perfect fit for all the kids and the weather could not have been more perfect. I had fun playing with my new camera and took way too many pictures.










After breakfast, the baseball game began in ernest. It wouldn't be a Geiger family game without someone getting mad or hurt and this day was no exception. Relatively speaking, it was only a minor upset and everyone had fun playing ball.


This is not your ordinary baseball tee - made from a coffee can, a steel pipe, some concrete and a little plastic tubing - this is a homemade treasure. My brother, sister and I all learned to hit using this tee. It has seen a little duct tape and a new blue foam pad added to it over the years, but it still gets the job done.