Category Archives: Health

Run, Run Like the Wind… but don’t forget your Armpocket: B.o.B.’s First-But-Not-Last Product Review and Giveaway

For those who are long-time readers of this blog, you know from this post that I run. It’s more accurate to say that I jog, but that sounds so boring. I think if the activity requires your knees to bend more than your butt joint, then you are entitled to say that you run. But I digress…. You also know from this post that running in Barranquilla can be hard, not just because of the extreme heat and humidity, but also because of the crazy uneven or nonexistent sidewalks and the drivers who most definitely do not believe that pedestrians have the right-of-way. What you may not know is that running in Barranquilla sent me on a quest for a product I wish I had found long ago – the Armpocket.

My brand new Armpocket.

My brand new Armpocket.

Before I tell you why I recommend this product so highly, let me tell you how I came to realize that I needed it. The story starts in Miami Beach, where I trained for three marathons but never ran with a phone. I wanted my daily run to be off the grid. I did, however, run with an iPod Nano since running without music is, as far as I’m concerned, some outer circle of Hell. That, and I am totally addicted to tracking my runs with  Nike+. (Almost 2,000 miles logged!) I tried a variety of arm straps for my Nano – one by Nike, one by New Balance, and some others that I can’t remember. In the process, I got blisters on my arm and ruined two iPods through water damage. (Sweat, people. Lots of sweat.) I chalked this up to the price of running – after all, it’s a pretty cheap sport on the whole – and kept hoping my iPod would survive at least six months. (Don’t even get me started on earphones… no telling how many of those I burned through before I discovered that Sennheiser’s are serious troopers. But again I digress….)

When I came to Barranquilla, I quickly realized that I was going to feel more comfortable if I toted my phone with me on runs – not just because I could make an emergency call if needed, but also because of the GPS. Being the practical person that I am, I plopped my iPhone into a plastic sandwich bag, leaving the bag open just enough for the earphone cord, and carried it in my hot little hand. (I ditched the iPod since the iPhone had both music and the Nike+ app – although let me tell you, my average time per mile plummeted because if you use the Nike+ app with the GPS, as opposed to the one that goes on your shoe, then you get no credit for all that time you’re running in place at the red light. OMG, I digress again….) That’s when some pretty interesting things started to happen. Continue reading

A Time for Serious Conversations

I’ve been in a bit of a serious mood in recent days, and it seems I’m not alone. It’s hard not to feel that this season in our world’s history is particularly pivotal. In the U.S. and globally, we are in the midst of important conversations. Whether it’s the Zimmerman case and racism in the United States, economic inequality in Brazil, democracy in Egypt, workers’ safety in Bangladesh, lack of police in Detroit, or rising sea levels globally, the issues before us are heavy and important. They not only shape and are determined by our social and political structures (talk about a chicken-and-egg scenario), but they also intimately affect our everyday lives. The “big issues” like freedom, equality, and basic personal safety are demanding solutions by hitting us where it hurts – right at home.

I thought about ignoring this trend of heaviness, but have since decided that to do so would be to shirk a fundamental responsibility that I – and I would argue, all of us – have to be part of the conversations that will determine where we go from here and where we end up after this transition. In this vein, I’m sharing with you this piece that I wrote for my new Huffington Post blog. Continue reading

Top Ten Ways that Going to the Doctor in Colombia is Different than in the U.S.

As you might imagine or know from personal experience, living in another country requires getting used to certain things that, if you’re lucky, you never have to encounter during short-term travel. Among those are health care and health insurance systems. Besides obvious challenges like trying to describe your symptoms in a language that’s not your native tongue, there are lots of other surprises — good and bad. Here’s my top ten list of how going to the doctor in Colombia is different than in the U.S.: Continue reading

Holy cow, we all have health insurance!

All three of us – my husband, my 1 year-old son, and myself – now have health insurance in Colombia. Even with top-of-the-line full coverage, our monthly payment will be less than half of what insurance for my husband and son alone (not including me) cost in the States. We are self-employed, and so insurance in the U.S. has always cost us a lot. It’ll be interesting to see how well this insurance works, but the coverage and available doctors and facilities seem excellent and the immediate savings are a huge weight lifted from our shoulders.