Mariejacobs's Blog

{June 12, 2012}   Skinny Wraps

Skinny Wraps


For today’s topic, I thought I’d talk about the after-training snack or refueling. There are lots of fitness and muscle magazines out there that preach about how a person should refuel the body with lots of protein shortly after training. Protein is a good thing for the body and it will help the muscles to rebuild. However, muscles become fatigued by using up their stores of carbohydrates, not protein. After a hard training session, which depending on the person can be anything from power walking a distance that puts us out of breath to things like Crossfit, our bodies are depleted of carbohydrates and have a build-up of lactic acid in the muscle tissue. This is what creates that sore and tired feeling in the muscles.

To understand this better, it is will be easier to explain how the body uses energy to work throughout a training session. The body has three different types of energy fuel that it uses in different ways. First there are carbohydrates. These nutrients are stored in the muscle for easy access to be burned for fuel. They are the body’s first line of energy and the easiest to utilize. When eating carbohydrates, a person would eat things like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The negative about carbohydrates is that the body can only store so much before it is either converted to fat or flushed from the body as waste. The second line of fuel is protein. This is the building blocks of the body and especially the muscles. Most people think of protein as meat and cheese, but other foods that contain a fair share of protein are peanut butter, nuts, milk and dairy products. Protein is used as fuel as a last choice since the body would prefer to keep it for use in rebuilding muscle tissue. The last source of fuel is fat. The body uses fat as the second choice for fuel. There is actually more fuel stored in one gram of fat than in one gram of carbohydrate. However, (and this is the kicker for most people) fat is the hardest fuel to convert and it takes the longest. This means that, though the body will burn fat for fuel while exercising and afterwards, it cannot be used as a primary source of energy because it does not convert to a fuel from stored fat quickly enough to keep up with the body’s demand.

So if we look at the way the body burns fuel during exercise, we can more easily understand what types of fuel to use to replenish the body after training. The body uses mostly carbohydrates to fuel the muscles during the training with the use of some protein. Since most people are not looking to replenish fat, we won’t even consider refueling with added sugar that quickly converts to fat or fatty foods. When we are looking to refuel the body after training we should use mostly carbohydrates and only a little protein (for most people one ounce of protein is plenty). When the body works to push the new nutrients into the muscles, this will also help to flush the lactic acid from the muscles and help you from feeling too sore.

This all breaks down to mean that in the 30 to 45 minutes after training, the best thing to eat to refuel the body is mostly carbohydrates with some protein. This could be a snack of yogurt with a banana or oatmeal made with milk. Both of these things are healthy and high in carbohydrates, but with the added dairy it’s also added protein.

So, happy snacking this week!


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{November 30, 2010}   College Classes

Nate grabbed my leg as I was getting out of the truck. One foot on the ground, I looked back at him curiously. “Are you okay? I mean, you seemed really shook up this morning – even worse than normal – and I know you rode out some of your tension, but… You’d tell me if there was something going on, right? Something more than usual?”

I knew he was concerned. It wasn’t like Nate to question something after it was over. He was the one that moved on and flowed with things. I was the overanalyzer. But I wasn’t ready yet to share this situation with anyone, but Star. So I told him something else that was also at the forefront of my thoughts.

“I’m going to talk with social services and see if I can find out any more about my parents and where I came from. For some reason, this is really important to me.” I could see the surprise in his eyes at my words. I had had a strict no talking about the bio parents for as long as I could remember. But what I said was true. I wanted to know about them and it seemed really important to me to find out. Especially with the dreams. Maybe insanity ran in my family and I didn’t know it.

“Do you want me to go with you?” Nate was great that way. He knew that there was more going on, but he would go with the subject that I voiced and support me a hundred percent.

“Yeah, I would like that. I don’t know when yet, but soon.” I put my hand on his where it rested on my thigh and squeezed. I wanted him to know that I appreciated him and the safe space that he helped to provide me. He was a safe space to me.

“Not a problem. Let me know when.” He removed his hand and got out his side of the truck, slinging his backpack over his shoulder as he did so. “Are we meeting in the cafeteria after class? Jarrod and Bryan should be there. I don’ t know what Gabby’s schedule is, but I know that Jodie and Jeff don’t have class today. Jarrod said that Bryan is having some trouble with his economics class and wanted to set up a study group.”

We were walking along wending our way to the two large buildings that held our first class. His was in the one on the right and mine was on the left and one building over. I pulled out my IPod as we were walking and talking. “Yeah, I was planning on meeting in the cafeteria. We have that jackpot coming up and Cheryl left a message on the phone at home saying she’s got another horse for me. I wanted to talk to you about it.” My mind always seemed to stray back to horses. It was a good thing I was planning on working in the industry, I thought.

As we hit the spot where we each went a different direction, I waved, then put my earbuds in keeping the volume low so that I could still hear if I needed to. I was going through my plans for the rest of the day and my other training sessions as I walked to class. I still had two horses to work with this afternoon and evening. My classes ended around five which would leave me time for a quick bite to eat before I headed back to the barn for the rest of my training.

The first horse was easy. Ace was past his initial nervousness about putting on the saddle and bridle and was now working on getting his posture correct to carry a person. Lady was going to be my challenge. I had been working with Lady for only two weeks, but we’d made significant progress considering that she was terrified of absolutely everything when Cheryl brought her to me.

Lady was a trauma victim and her situation was part of the reason that I wanted to finish my business degree and open a horse rescue and rehabilitation center. I was good at what I did having the resources that no one else had. I knew I could make a success of it given the chance.

Ivy Rose

I looked up, startled out of my thoughts. I glanced around looking for someone that I recognized or who was looking at me trying to get my attention. Everyone seemed to be walking along as usual. No one seemed to be trying to get my attention or was looking in my direction. I shrugged and kept going. I was jumpy these days, what with the dreams and tense feelings I was carrying around with me lately. It was probably nothing, but my imagination.

Ivy Rose, come back.

Okay, now what? I turned around thinking someone was playing a trick on me. I recognized the voice, although I couldn’t seem to place a face to it. I could see one of the gang thinking it was funny. As soon as I stopped and turned, I almost ran into someone.

“Careful.” The kid was obviously younger than me, but spoke sternly, like he was a little annoyed at having almost run into me.

“Sorry, I thought I heard something.” I appologized as quickly as I could and turned back around to continue heading for class. I couldn’t imagine why I was now hearing things, but it seemed like par for the course, lately. I would ignore it. I had other things to keep my mind busy.

I made my way into the building along with the others that were heading to classes here. I went up the two flights of stairs to the second floor and walked down the hall. I actually liked my Marketing class. There were so many great ideas that I could utilize. Starting college later than most of the kids in my class, I knew what I was here for and what I wanted to get out of it. Most of the kids in my classes were straight out of high school and were just following some laid out plan.

I sat at a desk in the middle of the room. I didn’t like to be up front, but if I was in the back I had to put up with those that were here to goof off. The middle was a good spot for me to observe from. I pulled out my notebook and one earbud from my ear. The remaining earbud would help to cut the noise of others in the room.

Ivy Rose

As the instructor moved to the front of the room, I heard it again. I pulled out my earbud and glanced behind me. No one was looking in my direction. I was getting a creepy feeling that there was something wrong with me. Why was I hearing things? If I told someone that I was hearing a voice say my name, they’d think I needed counseling or drugs for psychosis. I really didn’t need this right now.

As the instructor talked about marketing and the benefits of public surveys, I spaced out thinking about the weird things that were going on. The dreams were one thing, but now the feeling of anxiety and terror that was coming along with them and, most recently, the voice calling my name. I needed to talk with someone to assure myself  that I was not, in fact, going crazy. Something was happening with me and I needed help handling it.

I didn’t know if I was ready to talk with Nate, but if not him, then who? There was no one else that I was as close to. I refused to talk with a professional. They would just think that I was crazy. A sudden thought struck me: maybe I was crazy. Maybe that was why this stuff was all hitting now. I thought back to try to figure out what would have been the trigger to set off the psychotic episode. I didn’t see that I was doing anything new or different. Unless I had ingested something, psychosis wasn’t the right answer.

But if not, then what was? There had to be someone I could talk to about this, but who would have gone through something like this? I couldn’t think of anyone. Maybe this was just an added incentive to push up my timing to check into the records with social services. Surely there was something there that they would be able to tell me. Maybe there was family somewhere that had experience with this type of thing. Maybe they would hold the answers I was looking for.

This line of thought felt right. I would have to let Nate know that I wanted to check into those records sooner than I had originally thought. I wondered if he would let me get away with not telling him the reason for the shift in timing.

As the others in the class started to shift, gathering their books and bags, I realized that I had spaced off throughout the entire class. Crap! That just meant that much more homework. With my scholarship, I couldn’t afford to let my grade slip. I needed that money to help supplement what I made training.

I gathered my stuff and headed out the door to my next class. I made sure to pay attention in this class. It was two hours of lecture, but at least I had plenty of notes when I was done. It also helped that I didn’t once hear my name during that time.

When I finally made it to the Quad, there seemed to be hundreds of other students there. The tables were upstairs next to the cafeteria. I made my way with the crush of bodies upstairs. I needed water and really wanted an apple, so I walked over to the lines in the cafeteria. After purchasing the items that I wanted, I started to make my way over to the mass of tables that were emptying and filling with students who were either on their way to class or had just gotten out of class. As I stood there for a moment, it occurred to me that it almost looked like schooling fish, the way the bodies moved this way and that.


I jumped, hearing my name again. Then breathed out in a rush as I realized that I had actually heard my name being spoken. Bryan was standing in the back corner of the room, waving frantically to get my attention. I smiled slightly and headed that way.

Bryan was one of the more outgoing members of our group of friends. With his accept-anyone attitude and striking black hair, green eyes combination, the girls really liked him. He was one of those guys that never seemed in want of a date. Nate and I joked that he had a black book that women begged to be added to.

At the moment, he was flipping a chair around to straddle it. He was talking to two other people. Nate’s blond head was nodding and Jarrod was looking around the room. When I reached the table, Jarrod pushed a chair out with his foot.

“So, we were thinking that Friday we’d head out to Wahoo. That’s where you both used to compete, isn’t it?” Bryan was obviously making plans for this weekend already.

“Yeah, we’ve both competed there. I’m kind of surprised that you want to go, though. Aren’t you like the original city boy?” Nate smirked at Bryan.

“Nah, that’s Jarrod. I’m not sure he knows what grass is,” Bryan looked over at Jarrod to gauge his reaction.

Jarrod just shrugged. He was not a particularly vocal person, but he was a great guy. I looked across the table to Nate. “We’re going to Wahoo?”

“Sounds like it. Have anything you want to compete or are we just going as spectators?” Nate was always up for competing in rodeos. I swear he loved getting thrown around by irate horses.

“Spectators. Who else is going besides city boy over there?”

“Good question.” Nate looked to Bryan for further information.

“I was thinking about inviting Jodie along. She always seems to like these things. Oh, and there is a friend of mine from my evening marketing class, Turq, that I wanted to invite.” Bryan turned his green eyes to me before opening his mouth again. “In fact, I was going to talk with you. Turq and I could both use some help with marketing. Think you could fit us in for a study session? There’s a test next week.”

I looked at Bryan with disbelief. “Do you understand how tight my schedule is with work and my own studying?”

Bryan looked almost sheepish as he answered. “Well, yeah, but it could be a study session for you too. Wouldn’t it help you to tutor us on the subject?”

I thought about it for a moment before I answered during which time Bryan started silently begging giving me a puppy-dog face.

“Oh give him a break and squeeze in an hour somewhere. Otherwise, we’ll never hear the end of it.” Nate was laughing at both my pained expression and Bryan’s antics.

I looked over to Jarrod for support, but he was looking across the room and not even paying attention to what was going on at our table. “Fine.” I said it grudgingly. “But it is on my time. You two will have to come out to the barn so that I can work while we study.”

“Awesome. I love you, Ivy.” Bryan leaned across the table and kissed my cheek. “Tell me when and we’ll be there.”

Once Bryan was back in his seat, I said, “Tonight. Call it ten. That way, I can finish up with Lady before you guys get there. I don’t particularly want to end up injured, but I need to clean my tack while we study.” I glanced at the clock on the wall. “I need to move. Nate?” I got out of the chair and looked to see if Nate was heading to class with me. We had the next class together.

Jarrod finally looked back at the table. “Wait up, Ivy, I’ll walk with you guys.” He grabbed his bag and stepped over to where Nate had joined me to head to class. As we walked, Jarrod looked away at the people still milling around. Nate looked at me questioningly and I shrugged. I had no idea if there was something that Jarrod needed or if he was just wanting to walk. “Do you think I could join you guys this evening?” he finally asked, still looking around.

My brow arched as I looked at his profile. His hawk-like features were in sharp contrast to the colors around us as we walked out of the building towards our next class. “Sure. Do you need help?” I realized that he probably wouldn’t want to talk about needing help with classes. He was a straight A student and prided himself on that fact. “Or if you just want to come hang out, that’s cool too. You might be able to help me help them.”

“Cool. You said ten, right? I can give you a ride home if Nate will be gone before we’re done.” Jarrod looked over at Nate and I. I wasn’t sure what to make of this statement. Did he really need help or was something else going on? I would have to find out later.

“I appreciate the offer. We’ll see how it turns out.” I reached out to squeeze his arm. “See you later then.” Nate and I moved away towards our next class as Jarrod strode in the opposite direction. “Well, that was kind of weird. What do you think was up with that?”

Nate glanced behind us. “I don’t know. Not that he’s not a great guy, but he’s never been all that close. Him and Bryan were super close and he’d hang out, but he never sought out anyone else on his own. You’ll have to tell me what’s up.”

I looked at Nate with confusion. Why would I have to tell him? “Ivy… he obviously wants to talk to you about something. So you’ll have to tell me what is going on when he does.”

“Oh.” I didn’t know what else to say. I hadn’t even thought of that. I wondered what he would need to talk to me about. Was he interested in one of my female friends or was something more serious going on? He was so quiet, almost standoffish, that it was hard to know what Jarrod was thinking. As we arrived at class, I thought again that I would have to find out later.

{June 24, 2010}   Today’s Journey

I was running through the mist of a deeply wooded forest. I had to move faster, more quickly than those behind me. I saw the clearing with the waterfall and pool I so desperately needed to make it to. Freedom was in that clearing, an end to the fear. Twenty feet; so close. Ten, I could hear the water calling to me. Five, four, faster. I needed to run faster. Three, I couldn’t stop now. The burning in my legs gave way to numbness. Two, I could see the light playing off the water. I needed the clearing. One more foot and I’d be safe, free. Almost… A hand slammed down on my shoulder, spinning me around. I looked up at the face of the one who held me when I was so close to freedom and felt terror streak through my body. All I could do was hear the pounding of my blood through my veins like steam screaming from a train.

I landed with a painful jarring to my shoulder. As the terror slowly started to ease, I realized that I was on the cool wood floor of my room. I had tears running down my cheeks. They felt warm on my cold skin. As I wiped my palms down my cheeks in an effort to remove the evidence of my weeping, I was conscious of the shaking in my body. Breathe I told myself. I sat up as the light came on and Nate, my roommate and best friend, came into my room.

“Are you alright? I heard you scream and a thud.” Nate was the only other person who knew I had nightmares. I blinked rapidly adjusting to the sudden light as I thought of how to respond. Nate and I had known each other for years. We’d met at a county rodeo in Wahoo, Nebraska. He’d been bronc riding and I was barrel racing at the time. Horses and rodeos brought us together, but we found that we had many interests in common and became great friends. The house we were renting during college was a beautiful three bedroom in an area of Omaha known as Dundee. We both were still working with horses to pay our way through college.

I looked up at Nate still kind of dazed. I had no idea why I was on the floor or why I had been crying. I couldn’t remember the dream that had sent me here. I vaguely remember being terrorized, but not why. I didn’t always remember my nightmares. Some, like tonight, I awoke from knowing I’d dreamed and it had been bad, but not knowing what I had dreamed. At that moment, all I could do was look at Nate as I got my thoughts in order.

Nate stepped into the room and sat on the floor next to me. He wouldn’t touch me when I as in this state, but he always tried to comfort. “Another one, huh? This will make, what, three this week? Have you been doing anything different that would be causing this to happen more often?” He sat back against the bed and watched me. I knew he was concerned. Hell, I was concerned.

I leaned forward and put my head in my hands. I knew I was afraid to know what the dreams were consciously. I had a feeling if I knew, my whole life would change. “I don’t know.” Which translated to I don’t want to know. I breathed deeply, trying to will my body to relax its muscles. I did this with flighty horses on a daily basis and it always seemed to calm them.

“You know, you should see someone about this.” This was said quietly. He knew we’d been over this before. Many, many times.

I turned my head and smiled at him. “Same argument and same answer. I’m still not going to see anyone about this. What would they do? Drug me out so I couldn’t work? How’s that help anything?” I had finally calmed enough, I leaned over and put my head on his shoulder. “What time is it?” This was my way out, change the subject.

“It was almost four when I came in here. Might as well be up for the day, huh?” Nate put his arm around my shoulders. We sat there like that for a few minutes before he helped me up off the floor. He looked at me with real concern in his eyes. “You okay? Nothing broken from the fall?”

“Only my pride.” I smiled again to show him I was okay. “I’m going to get dressed and bead to the barn. I won’t get any more sleep. You going back to bed or to the barn?”

“I’m in. Give me a couple to get dressed and my coffee. I’ll meet you downstairs in a few.” He turned and walked out my door, shutting it behind him. I went over to my dresser and looked in the mirror. I looked into my own eyes that had turned more green than hazel as they did each spring. I traced the gold streaks towards my pupils. Come fall they would turn hazel again, the gold more prominent than the green. I allowed my mind to wander a little as I looked into my own eyes. The mirrors of the soul, some said.

I knew there was something wrong. There was a reason that I was having these dreams. Nate had said three times this week, but it had happened every night this week. I had always had strange dreams, but it wasn’t until I had started taking Stargazer, my gelding, on long difficult training exercises to prepare for endurance races that the dreams had changed and I no longer remembered them when I awoke. We had been riding over towards the Ponca area to train with both the flats and the hills. The worst of these dreams seemed to be when we drove out to the Linwood area to work their hills that were almost like mountain sides. That was usually when the dreams caused Nate to find me on the floor.

I pushed my long brown hair out of my face and sighed. Eventually, I needed to deal with this. For now, I needed to see Stargazer. Fifteen minutes later, I was headed down the stairs in my jeans, long sleeved shirt and Justin boots. I had braided my hair back out of the way.

Nate was already outside with the truck running. In early April, it still got cold here in the mornings and our old truck needed time to warm up before driving. I grabbed a Dr. Pepper and headed out the door. We stopped at the Quik Trip down the road for his coffee and then headed straight to the barn.

I was about five am when we got to the barn. Nate worked there when he wasn’t in class cleaning stalls and feeding. It wasn’t time to feed yet, so he got to work immediately cleaning stalls. I walked down the aisle to Stargazer’s stall. Many of the horses were still standing sleeping in their stalls, but some raised their heads to say hello as I passed.

One of the strange things about me is that for as long as I can remember, I have always been able to talk to horses. Not any and all animals, just horses. I’m not a Dr. Doolittle. My “warders,” as I called them, always said it was an affinity for horses. It’s why I was transferred to foster at a horse farm when I was younger.

As I slid the stall door open, the smell of manure and horse hit me. It was like coming home. Comfort and security all rolled into one smell. Stargazer lifted his head and stared at me with his ice blue eyes. *Early again?* he asked. It was the fourth morning in a row I had shown up early.

*Yes. I had another dream. I don’t understand.* I grabbed his halter and lead. We always acted as if there was nothing unusual about our partnership. *How come the dreams are getting more consistent? And why are these ones different? Why can’t I remember them?*

*There is much about you that is different from others. Did you know your aura is becoming more blue in the last few weeks? Change is coming towards you. I don’ t believe you are ready yet to understand teh dreams. If you were, you would remember.* H lowered his head and let me slide the halter over his muzzle and buckle it behind his ears. I walked ahead of him out of the stall and tied the lead loosely to a rung on the outside of the arena. I grabbed up a curry comb and started to rub him down. *Have you considered why you might be frightened of the knowledge?*

Again, he hit the nail on the head. How could he always do that, jump right to the heart of the matter? It was as if he had all the knowledge of the ages at his command. Then again, most horses saw things much clearer than people ever gave them credit for. How wise were these beautiful four legged creatures made from strength and grace? At the moment, I needed that wisdom to help guide me through whatever fate had coming for me. My emotions were so up and down, twisting this way and that. I didn’t know what to think or feel.

Fear was the strongest emotion right now. Not fear for myself physically, but fear of the unknown, fear of change. I think the most obvious to myself was the fear that I would be different and others would find out. I didn’t want to show my fear of what was happening to any other people. That was why I hadn’t let Nate know the extent of the dreams or my theories of the cause. I had goals, damnit! Dreams I wanted to create into reality. How much of what fate was throwing at me was going to change the path I had laid out for myself?

*I don’t know,* I finally answered Stargazer. *Something inside of me shies away from the knowledge of what the dreams are. Somehow, it seems vitally important yet it is almost as if my soul cringes from the knowledge.* I continued to groom him as I pondered what kind of knowledge would hold that kind of power over the soul of a person. It had to be something life altering, which brought me back to my fear.

The tension in my body ramped up as I was thinking this through. I needed the comforting motions of exercising a horse to loosen my body and allow me to think. I hollered to Nate that Star and I were going out and should be back in an hour or so. Enough time to get back into town for class at seven forty-five. I tied the lead onto Star’s halter so that it looped over his neck and vaulted myself onto his back. The communication between Star and I was such that I never needed a saddle with him. It also allowed the freedom of movement that he craved without the constriction of a cinch around his ribs to inhibit his breathing. The moment that I was secure, we took off. We went down the gravel drive at a walk and took a left at the road. Walk turned to trot which turned to gallup as the road straightened out.

My legs clasped his sides, my fingers entwined in his thick mane. I leaned low over his neck feeling each of his movements as my own. The muscles of his back communicating with my thigh and trunk muscles so smoothly we moved as one entity. I could hear the four beats of his gallup, each hoof striking the ground individually, but in sync. Thump, thump, thump, thump. I closed my eyes feeling the freedom in our movements. The freedom of the trust in our relationship. My body eased further into his movements.

Suddenly the sound changed, becoming deeper, more. I reached out with my mind and linked myself to Star. I could see through his eyes, feel what he was feeling. We were reliving a moment in his time, when he ran wild on the range. We could feel the pounding of the herd around us. Feel their breathing as we labored to move faster for the pure feel of the adrenaline through our veins. It was the taste of freedom, this adrenaline rush that filled the soul.

We turned and the link between Star and I broke. We slowed our pace to a trot, then a walk. I sat up and brushed the strands of hair out of my face. I realized my breathing was pitched so I made and effort to calm it. By agreement, we turned and headed back to the barn. I watched the fields pass in the predawn light. They had been planted recently. I could see the dew frosted onto what remained of last year’s crops. The grasses on the side of the road were starting to green. We turned right and headed back towards the barn down the drive.

I had finally worked the feeling of terror my dream had evoked out of my system. I ran through my schedule in my head, thinking about the three horses I was currently working with and my classes for the day. *Look,* Star said in my head. *Another dawn, another day. The true proof of continuance.* I looked up to see the streaks of peach, pink and gold across the morning sky. It painted the clouds in its colors as if claiming the world for its own. As always, the morning dawn took my breath away.

Too soon, we made it back to the barn. The gravel crunched under my feet as I dismounted. The barn was a large facility that sat on about ten acres. There were about one hundred stalls, two riding arenas and multiple paddocks. I did most of my work with the horses outside unless they were too scrambled in the head to start there. Those were situations where we made use of the indoor arena.

Star and I walked back inside where Nate was finishing up the morning feed. I led Star to his stall and slid the halter off his head so that he could eat. I put my stuff away and helped Nate clean up. Then, we were off for another day of classes.

{June 22, 2010}   Hello world!

Neat design, huh?  Anyway, here is where Ivy Rose will be posting her “autobiography.” Ivy is a small town girl, if you call Omaha small, who has some truly amazing gifts, but some serious mystery about her past. Spend some time with her here to find out how a girl who mind-speaks to horses and has eyes that change colors with the seasons gets by in a college setting with other “normal” kids. Watch as she starts the search for her family and experience the shock at what she finds.

Ivy Rose will be posting as often as she can, but due to working with horses and a full college schedule, there may be time gaps.  Have fun and be patient with her. =)

et cetera

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