Friday, September 18, 2009

FFF Diva Accomplishment: National Prevention Network Conference

The photos above: 1) NPN Conference Booklet 2) NPN Plenary Description 3) My colleague Lance and myself right before the plenary.

The National Prevention Network (NPN) invites you to our 22nd Annual Prevention Research Conference, September 15-18, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The theme for this year’s conference is “Prevention Research: Striking Gold.”

We encourage you to make your plans now to attend. You will gain knowledge from nationally recognized researchers and practitioners who are using research to strike gold with successful outcomes for prevention programming. You will also have the opportunity to network with leaders from the federal agencies supporting prevention, including Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration / Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and U.S. Department of Education, as well as prevention professionals from around the country.

In this challenging economic climate, we know you are mindful of getting the best return on your training dollars and that travel approvals are being scrutinized. We trust that when you review the conference session descriptions on this website, you will find the added justification you will need to describe this conference as the single best training opportunity to increase your prevention workforce skills and knowledge in substance abuse prevention research. Additionally, all courses and workshops provide contact hours and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credit through the Southwest Prevention Center (SWPC), a department within University OUTREACH, College of Continuing Education at the University of Oklahoma. SWPC Continuing Education hours are accepted for CEU's by the following certifying bodies: National Board of Certified Counselors, Oklahoma Drug & Alcohol Professional Counselors Association, and Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals.

We are excited about this year’s conference. It has a wide range of substantive topics and levels of expertise. There will be three keynote addresses to expand your vision and inspire your service. There will be presentations on Underage Drinking, Prescription Drugs, Social Marketing, Public Policy, Frontier/Rural, Cultural/Ethnicity, and Alcohol Industry Advertising. This year there is a dedicated emphasis on ensuring culturally competent and relevant services which is woven throughout the conference and which all presenters are expected to integrate into their workshops. For the second year there will be international presenters supported by the state department.

FFF Diva Accomplishment: National Prevention Network 2009, Anaheim, California

I have never felt so good as a young professional. Long story short is that our CEO and founder Maureen requested the presence of a young experts panel in the field of prevention. This conference had over 1,900 prevention specialists and researchers from around the world. During Maureen's AM plenary speech she incorporated the young experts panel, which I was a part of. After our presentation we received a standing ovation, and on a personal note I was praised for my ability to speak and capture the true nature of our prevention work and the important role of young people in the process. Bottom line: I am being groomed to become a future key note speaker for future conference opportunities. What an honor! I still have goosebumps.

"Just wanted to extend a huge THANK YOU for participating in the expert panel and NPN this week highlighting the amazing work you have done, lead and inspire others to do not only in your own communities, FNL and in California, but now throughout the nation. Thank you for your prep time, thoughtful preparation and quick adaptation to the shortened time. Congratulations!" --YLI colleague

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The little things...

The little things. Man I miss the little things such as a diverse food diet, but I will explain more about that next blog. Let's just say I am suffering from "low caloric intake" as my youth intern says at our office. Every time he notices I am a little out of it he offers me water, a bar, or a shake---sometimes all three. However like I stated before, I will detail it out next round.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Labor Day Weekend! I know I did while I was in Las Vegas for a family reunion I strayed away as much as I could from the two sinful things: alcohol & buffets. I think I did pretty well AND got a lot of dancing done! Pictures soon to follow in an upcoming blog. : )

To close---for inspiration, since I can't eat regulary for awhile, I would like to share an email I received from my Operation Boot Camp staff this morning:

Greetings Everyone,

Todays Mission: Go on YouTube and do a search on ways to "rehab" or "stretch" the muscle group / area of your body that is sore or achy. Learn to troubleshoot your body! Whether it be shin splints, calf tightness, knee pain, shoulder pain, or something else- use YouTube as a resource!! ;)

Did you know it is the little changes you make that make the most difference in your eating habits and in your life? Little things, like 2% milk in coffee rather than cream or Splenda instead of sugar. It is the small things that add up to be big numbers at the end of the day.

Let’s put this into perspective, shall we?

The USDA recommends 65 grams of fat per day. 65 grams is quite low if you think about it. Some meals we eat sometimes have 65 grams of fat in them alone. Which means if you have one meal that has contains 65 grams of fat you will have to eat light for the rest of the day or only eat that one meal which we do not recommend.

The little things add up, so if you begin to change the little things, they will add up to big gains in the long run.

Let's take a glance on how fat adds up.

Part of your daily intake might include the following foods:

(2) Cups of Coffee with Cream (cream has 3 grams per oz) = 6 grams

(1) Sandwich with (1) Slice of cheese (American Cheese, 1 slice) = 8 grams

(1) Same Sandwich with mayonnaise (2 tablespoons) = 8 grams

(1) Roll with (1) pat of butter = 4 grams

(1) Salad with Caesar dressing (2 tablespoons of dressing) = 16 grams

Just adding up the small things (not even the meat on the sandwich or the contents of the salad) you have 42 grams of fat that could easily be reduced. Remember you are only recommended to have 65 per day, so you could be already more than half way there with 2 cups of coffee, a sandwich, a salad and a dinner roll.

My suggestions:

(1) cup of coffee with 2% milk = 2 grams

(1) Sandwich with no cheese and mustard = 0 grams from cheese or mayo

(1) Roll no butter, maybe a little olive oil = 0 grams from butter

(1) Salad with Vinaigrette dressing = 4 grams from the dressing

With substitutions you are at 6 grams with the coffee, the sandwich, the roll and the salad. I would say you are doing pretty well without having to alter every meal you eat - you just have to change the little things to see a big difference. Skimping on the small things means you do not have to give up the big things! You can also do this exercise with carbs and protein to make sure you are getting the correct amounts. Choosing good fats also makes a huge difference. For instance, the fat in an avocado is much better source of unsaturated fat than the saturated fat in french fries!

Keep this in mind the next time you are ordering or making food. Eating habits have to change subtly in order for you to stick to them. If you make drastic changes and cut out all the things you like, you will hate that you cannot have this or that and will return to the same eating habits you have always been accustomed to. This is called “fad dieting” and we want you to eat for life, not for the moment.

Go forth in good food choices.

The Boot Camp Staff

Ronny Varghese
Director of Operations
Operation Boot Camp - San Jose
1-888-7-FIT NOW (734-8669)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

FFF Diva Activity: Running the San Francisco Plate to Plate 5K Race at AT&T Park (8.31.09)

This photo is directly on the field of AT&T Park. The MOST EXCITING part of this race is the fact you run around the bases and jump onto homeplate! It was very exciting and thrilling to be running on the field with the spongy grass underneath my feet and running my fingers along the padded walls surrounding the field.
FFF Diva Activity: I wore my OPERATION BOOT CAMP shirt to represent! Last time I ran a 5K race was in May 2009 for the Marin Human Race. During that race I ran it in about 52 minutes. For the San Francisco Plate to Plate I ran it in about 42 minutes! PROGRESS! P.S. GOOOO GIANTS!

I am honestly surprised at how well I did for this race. We started at McCovey Cove, ran across Lefty O'Toole's Bridge, down Embarcadero, did a u-turn up Embarcadero, ran into AT&T Park, ran around ALL OF THE BASES, and landed on homeplate.

The month of August was my best month of morning cardio boot camp. Special thanks to the OPERATION BOOT CAMP staff and campers. At the beginning of the month I ran my personal mile at 14 minutes and 30 seconds. After 30 days I ran it again at 13 minutes and 26 seconds. For the end of September camp I will get it under 13 minutes! Watch me. I attended ALL days of camp last month accept for when I went to Washington D.C. for work for a week & when I trained an international delegation for the U.S. Department of State in San Francisco---work related of course. I am so stoked for my improvements this month!

Interested in joining me or learning more? Go to:
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