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April 2017

March 2017

Carb Check Diet: Day 3 menu - eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper

By Mike Thayer

Always try to make breakfast your biggest meal of the day.  The purpose is to refuel your body after a period of sleep, giving you the rest of the day to burn those calories.  And if you are going to eat carbs, in the morning is the time to do it. 


  • 3 eggs any style
  • 6 thin slices of deli ham
  • Two slices of American cheese

This is a go-to breakfast for me, delivering about 36 grams in protein and just 6 grams in carbs to your body.


  • 6 - 8 baby carrots
  • One Tablespoon Ranch dressing, dash of seasoning salt

This snack has crunch and that satisfying savory taste of Ranch!   There's not a whole lot of protein in this snack, but it is satisfying nonetheless delivering about 1 gram in protein and 9 grams in carbs.  Cumulative total breakfast & snack:  37 grams in protein and 15 grams in carbs.


  • 6 ounces of tuna salad
  • 2 Romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

It's a tuna salad wrap providing you with 26 grams in protein and about 5 grams in carbs.  Cumulative total for the day is 63 grams in protein and 20 grams in carbs.


  • 1/2 cup of whole milk cottage cheese

Don't do the 2% or the 'low fat', they won't keep you full until dinner, there isn't as much good fat and that also means not nearly as much flavor.  That's the key to cottage cheese, most folks have only tried the so-called 'low fat' varieties and they think that's what cottage cheese is supposed to taste like, hence the 'boring diet food' label.  Natural fat is good fat!  Get into that mindset.  EAT THE REAL DEAL and topped with a little black pepper, cottage cheese is delicious!  This snack delivers 12 grams of protein and 4 grams in carbs.  Cumulative total for the day is 75 grams in protein and 24 grams in carbs.


  • 3 all beef hot dogs, prepared any style with a side of yellow mustard

This is a no nonsense dinner on a pauper budget, providing 18 grams in protein and 3 grams in carbs.    Cumulative total for the day is 93 grams in protein and 27 grams in carbs.

Now THAT is a royal day!



Grilling Good Eats: Season your hot dogs

By Mike Thayer

Do you just throw hot dogs on the grill, as is?


You don't throw hamburgers on the grill unseasoned right?  You probably at least put some salt and pepper on those patties, perhaps some seasoning salt before placing them over the coals.

When it comes to steak, chops, or chicken, again, you're probably hitting them with salt and pepper, if not a dry rub or a marinade before grilling.

So why aren't you doing the same thing with hot dogs?

Kick things up a notch.  Hot dogs are great grill fare and a go-to for many folks, so they deserve the same attention you would give that steak, chop, chicken breast or burger.

I don't put naked hot dogs on the grill.  My go-to is to dress them first with olive oil and seasoning salt or my signature dry rub.  It just makes for a better bite!

A salted and peppered hot dog on a bun with all the condiments is better than a naked hot dog on a bun with condiments.  The salt and pepper embraces and enhances the charcoal flavor.  An olive oil and dry rubbed hot dog is even better!   Mrs. Dash is a great alternative if you're worried (paranoid... just drink more water) about sodium levels. 

Dressing alternatives: 

  • Brush on some BBQ sauce, before putting them over the coals
  • Hit them with mustard, any variety
  • "Frost" them with Sriracha, for a hot link kind of bite
  • Marinade them in soy or Terriyaki for some Asian flare (Excellent with shredded Napa cabbage, pickled carrots and cilantro)

Play with the flavors, half the fun in grilling!


Teaching the Next Generation: The Garden as Your Classroom

Learn how to use the garden as your classroom in April.

In partnership with Field to Family and Backyard Abundance, Iowa City Parks and Recreation will host a school garden workshop, “Teaching the Next Generation: The Garden as Your Classroom” on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center Outdoor Classroom, 220 S. Gilbert St. This class is open to teachers, school district staff, early care and education providers, garden volunteers and all who are interested in using gardening as an education tool in Johnson and neighboring counties. 

Presenters at this free workshop will share school district and community resources that support learning about the outdoor environment, showcase versatile designs for outdoor classrooms, demonstrate activities that support new science standards, and offer hands-on lessons in the garden for PreK-12 students.

Presenters include:

  • Kelly Hanson, Farm to Early Care Education Program Specialist with the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children, will share pre-K garden learning activities.
  • Jen Kardos, Co-Director Backyard Abundance, along with Jenni Mettemeyer, Shimek school garden leader, will demonstrate ways to use elementary science curriculum (FOSS) in the garden.
  • Michelle Kenyon, Field to Family Program Director and ICCSD Farm to School Coordinator, will cover general resources available to school gardeners and those creating and maintaining outdoor classroom space.
  • Elizabeth Maas, Restoration Ecologist, Kirkwood Community College, will demonstrate an activity following the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Breanna Shea, Outreach Coordinator and Tony Loeser, Water Resources Engineer from Iowa Flood Center will demonstrate a new community resource to teach about water quality.

“This event features a hands-on component that demonstrates how to teach current district science curriculum in the garden,” explains Jen Kardos, Co-Director of Backyard Abundance. “Being thoughtful in the design of our school gardens means they can be used as outdoor classrooms effectively without adding to a teacher’s workload.”

In addition to the activities listed, the Iowa Flood Center will demonstrate a new, interactive erosion table, highlighting how it can be used in teaching outdoor ecology.

Iowa City Parks and Recreation received a DNR REAP Conservation Education Program grant to partner with the Iowa Flood Center on new water quality educational classes, which will compliment the City's growing line of ecology programs.

To register for the garden workshop, visit the Iowa City Parks and Recreation registration website: 


Bulkley Trucking awards top drivers $25,000 in bonuses

Local transportation company Bulkley Trucking honored its award recipients on Monday, March 27, with a company-wide barbecue cookout. A total of $25,000 in bonuses were awarded to Long Haul Driver of the Year Angie Mollett, Local Driver of the Year Loren Lux, and two Million Mile Award recipients, Angie Mollett and Danny Haynes.

The three recipients have more than 23 combined years with the company.

“Drivers are the backbone of the company,” Dispatch Manager Gary Stuart said, “and it is a pleasure to work with drivers like these who take pride in their work and see the benefits of sticking with Bulkley Trucking for the long haul.”


Trucking Industry Provision In Transportation Deal Draws Fury From Environmentalists

Environmental groups are furious over a piece of the transportation funding deal reached this week by California Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders that would delay stricter air quality regulations on commercial trucks.

The provision was tucked into the transportation deal to win the neutrality of the trucking industry, which would bear the brunt of the two diesel tax increases in the legislation.

This did not go over well with environmental advocates.

“We’re opposed to a last-minute dirty deal,” says Bill Magavern with the Coalition for Clean Air.

“To have this poison pill emerge at the 11th hour, it’s just incredibly disappointing,” adds the Sierra Club's Kathryn Phillips.

Environmentalists say reducing truck emissions is crucial to improving California’s air quality. But under the proposal, the state would not be able to require the truckers to retire, replace or retrofit their vehicles until the trucks are 13 years old, or have either reached 800,000 miles or 18 years old.

“This could cause a big problem if our air agencies are trying to clean up the trucks on the road that are causing pollution,” Magavern says.


Looking Forward to Competition Barbeque

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that I am now a Certified Competition BBQ Judge and member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Being a Certified Barbeque Judge means not only that I get to taste award-winning barbeque.... I get to help determine which barbeque wins those awards. It's about America's cuisine - barbeque! Grading world-class chicken, pulled pork, ribs and brisket, does it get any better than that?

~ Mike Thayer


LeBron James Passes Shaquille O'Neal for 7th on NBA's All-Time Scoring List | Bleacher Report

LeBron James' ascent up the NBA's scoring list continued Thursday, as he passed Shaquille O'Neal for seventh all-time in the fourth quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers' 99-93 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

James, 32, hit the first of three free-throw attempts with 4:28 remaining in the fourth quarter to pass O'Neal. He entered the game 24 points away from eclipsing the center and finished with 26 points, giving him 28,599 for his career.


McDonald's Quarter Pounders will soon be made of fresh beef

Hoping to bring back diners who left in droves in search of tastier food, McDonald's announced Thursday that it will start making one of its signature hamburgers, the Quarter Pounder, with fresh beef patties.

The announcement follows executives' admissions earlier this month that "hundreds of millions" of visits had been lost by once-loyal customers who drifted away in search of better quality, convenience and value. By embracing fresh beef for its Quarter Pounders, McDonald's seeks to head off Wendy's, a traditional rival, which likes to emphasize its usage of the fresh, not frozen, beef. It's also edging closer to the so-called better-burger chains, like Five Guys and Smashburger.

The changeover from frozen beef in the Quarter Pounder will begin next year in a majority of the U.S. restaurants at the nation's largest fast-food chain.



And there you have it. Peter Jok has ended what will go down as an all-time Iowa career on top after winning the Great Clips 3-Point Championship. How fitting that a man best known for his sharp-shooting abilities was able to show off those abilities in his last appearance in an Iowa uniform, on his birthday no less!

In the first round, Peter Jok shot at the same time as Iowa State’s Naz Mitrou-Long, outshooting his interstate counterpart by a score of 21 to 11. Most importantly, he hit four of his five money balls, giving him an extra four points. Jok’s 21 was the best score of the first round.


Trump: Flynn 'should ask for immunity' in Russia 'witch hunt' | TheHill

Flynn's lawyer told The Wall Street Journal one day earlier that the retired lieutenant general is willing to talk to the House and Senate intelligence panels as part of their probes into Russian election meddling and Trump and his aides' alleged ties to Moscow. But any testimony or interview would have to come with a promise that Flynn would not be prosecuted.