All posts by RGSpaulding

Dangers of snack shack food

How is that Nachos with cheese on top? or that Polish sausage?  If you kids play softball, you are no stranger to the snack shack menu. They are pretty much the same everywhere.  Equally bad!!

Hot dogs

Polish sausage


Chili cheese

French fries

Corn dog



I cannot say anything good about any of the foods listed here.  When my kids used to play rec ball it was fun to go play or watch a game and eat some occasional snack shack food. But when we have jumped into the game of softball with both feet in, it is a little scary to think how many kids eat this food every weekend.  I am guilty of eating/letting my kids eat this food too, don’t get me wrong!  But I am realizing how bad this is for my family.

It just seems like so much importance is given to how our kids play in the game and we kind of slip up on the minor details like what they eat between games or after games.  I know there are times when we can’t take food into the park or we are in a hurry that we rely on snack shack foods, but these are crappy food we let our kids eat.

Lets see…. if a kid starts playing softball from age 8 until 18, that is 10 years of eating crappy food during weekends.  I am sure kids in travel ball play at least 6 to 8 months of softball every year.   Kids play so hard right now that they would burn through everything they eat.  None of the above foods would really bother them immediately but what they will develop is a habit that they will find hard to break once they are done with softball career.

With Diabetes, Fatty liver and other metabolic diseases on the rise, we really need to watch what we eat.  One reason for my enlightenment (can you see the halo around my head 😉 ) is that about a couple of years ago by accident I found out that I had non alcoholic fatty liver and also started having extreme joint aches.  I am a little chubby ;-0 (as my mom would say it politely) for my height but not extremely overweight or anything, so I was completely shocked that I had a non alcoholic fatty liver.  I hardly drink!  So what was causing my fatty liver?  I went to a liver specialist who after a bunch of tests said that the carbs I am eating are not metabolizing normally and get deposited as fat in my liver.  So I had to cut back on my carbs to 50%.  I am also genetically predisposed to this condition as a lot of people of Asian Indian origins have fatty liver but are not aware of it.

Growing up I lived on carbs.  For about 15 years I was a vegetarian. So I mostly ate carbs and vegetables.  I did not eat much protein.  Then, when I started having joint aches and aches in my back right side, my doctor ran a few tests for Arthritis, Celiac’s and food allergies but tests did not reveal any arthritis or allergies.  My doctor also recommended that I go see a nutritionist since my blood tests revealed a lot of inflammation.

I was debating which one to go to and then read a lot of reviews about Greenlite Medicine in the bay area.   I was very skeptical about weight loss places.  I did not join to lose weight but to just start feeling better and get rid of my joint aches.  I actually started going to my nutritionist Heynia Loro-Cooley. She is amazing and has a great personality.  She is like a cheer leader for good eating habits and weight loss.

I told them my problem and my goal.  From her experience, Heynia suggested that I cut back on carbs from wheat and rice (mostly cut out bread and rice completely for 3 months).  I was asked to eat more protein.  The first few weeks were pure torture.   I had never eaten so much meat before.  Totally was not cool.  I was also told to triple my water intake because I was not drinking enough water.  The reason I joined the program was to be accountable to sticking to my goal.  This was not a cheap program but in the 3 months I joined, I learnt what to eat and what to avoid.  Within the first week, my joint aches disappeared.  MIRACLE!

After 3 months  all of my blood work for liver enzymes came back normal.  Now after cutting more refined flour products, my joint aches disappeared.  I did not do any additional exercise.  My normal activities makes me take 8000 to 12000 steps on a daily basis, so I just did what I always do.  After 3 months I lost 2 of these fat deposits shown in the picture.

5 lbs of fat
5 lbs of fat

 This is disgusting isn’t it? To see fat in pictures.  This is just a model of the fat but weighs 5 lbs.  It has been a few month now since I stopped the program and I have gained a few pounds back during the holidays but have less joint aches.  This is the most expensive 10 lbs that I have ever lost in my life and I do not want to gain it back.  What I learnt from this process is that is so hard to lose weight as we get older and finding healthy snacks at softball parks is almost impossible.  The only place that I was able to get a nice salad is at Big League dream field in Manteca, CA.  I also learnt that carbs even though are essential to our body, if they are from the wrong sources can actually hurt our body.  I still have a lot of inflammation in my body and I am still trying to find out what is causing it is going to be a long journey.

Long story short, what I am trying to say is please take care of your health and teach your kids good eating habits.  Occasional junk food from snack shack is not bad but to eat junk food every weekend is just not good for your kids or yourself.  The best gift we can give our kids is to show them by example what good and bad food choices are.   A close family member from my husband’s side was also recently diagnosed with cancer and now I am really trying to question everything I buy at the store and everything we eat (genetically modified foods are so rampant) without our knowledge and the things we do out of convenience.

I think softball fields should allow parents to bring healthy foods into the park if it is not available in their menu.  That’s fair isn’t it?

Wishing good health to your family and your superstar kids this year!!



2016-10U ASA Nationals coming to Stockton, CA

Spring is almost here!  Have your kids signed up for Softball  yet? Recreation or travel ball?  Even though my older daughter quit travel ball, she has signed up for a multi city recreation softball because she still likes playing softball.  Our season has not started yet.  My younger one also has signed up for rec softball and also continues to do travel ball.

Did you know that this year the 10U ASA nationals is in Stockton, CA?  If your kids want to play at the National level and see what it is all about then this is your chance to have a National Championship so close to home.  I should warn you though this is not for the faint of heart.  It is very hard and some of the teams you see are SO tough.

We just got back from our winter break trip and I happened to sit next to a family who was travelling from FL to CA for their kids sport and I stuck up a conversation to see if they played baseball and was very surprised to find out that there was a tournament for Pokemon going on this weekend in Anaheim, CA.  The parents were explaining how there is so much college scholarship available now for gaming and how much they travel for their games.

Alas, if your kids are glued to their screens…don’t freak out, if they are really good at their game they still might be able to score a college scholarship but I am not sure if they are going to be the most physically fit athletes though!!!  You may not have to invest in the stocks of sunscreen companies but you may have to drag you kids by their feet to get some sunshine or invest in Vitamin D 😉

Well, if you still have not signed up for softball, check in quick to see if there are any travel softball teams looking for players.

Happy New Year 2016

It is still January, so…Happy New Year 2016.

Well, It has been a while since I blogged and there is a lot that has happened.  Good and not so good…I am very sad to say that my 13-year-old has decided to quit the travel level softball (“A ball”).  It was not an easy choice for her.   She has been mulling the thought of quitting travel ball since the end of last season.  She has played for the last 3 + years, so she is quite used to the rhythm of rigorous practices and the busyness of the game.  She has also had her share of injuries and growing pains as she grew up playing this sport.  Over the last few years she has given up many weekends in order to play the sport she loved.  We are very proud of the fact that she was willing to choose to join A ball and choose to go to practices and games for the last few years.  Joining the travel ball was her choice since we warned her before joining that it was quite rigorous compared to recreation softball. She still wanted to do it.

It has been a great experience for her to learn what working hard means. At the travel ball team she learnt discipline and that she was expected to perform and do her very best every time she played.  In the particular team she was in, she was expected to behave her best when she wore her travel jersey because she was representing the team even when she was off the field.  All these were good lessons for her that she would have never learnt otherwise.  Honestly, from a parents point of view, this was a great experience for kids in the 10U-12U age group.  The coaching is still very lenient and not as rigorous as the 14U and up age group.  So we are glad she got to experience this.  This experience has also given her more confidence to umpire games for recreation softball during summer.   Honestly, we didn’t think she would last more than a year.  But we were surprised when she kept going on for 3+ years and during that time she has been an excellent player.  We are very proud of this.

For her, it was about proving to herself if she could rise up to this level of play and she convinced herself that she could do it.  She made many friendships while playing that she will miss.  Their team actually made it 13th on the ASA Nationals for 12U level which was not an easy feat for 12-year-old girls.  So we are very proud of her and her team.  As she is about to go to high school next year, she has been thinking about the dedication that is required to play at this level and if she wanted to put in the effort required to continue playing.  Since she is not willing to put in her best effort, she decided not to play travel ball.  She is actually an excellent student and consistently is in the top of her AP classes and works most days until late hours at night doing homework. So she has been thinking a lot about the time-consuming aspect of travel ball and if she wants to actually play softball in college or not.

Playing or not playing, we wanted it to be her choice.  We strongly believe that by the time kids leave home to go to college that they learn to make their own choices and know the importance and consequences of their choices.  So we made her write the pros and cons of travel softball and think about it for a month.  It was very difficult for her.  She would mull about it every week and ask us what were some of the tough choices we had to make in life.  But in the end she decided to not play travel level softball.  She may still play rec or high school ball so she has not completely quit softball.  Who knows..may be she will miss it so much that she may want to play “A ball” again.  But for now she is having to pleasantly learn about social life during weekends and dedicate more time to her other passion “computer graphics”.  If she lets me, I will post link to her art sites later.

Well, the good news is my 10-year-old is still very much into travel softball and enjoying every aspect of it.  Hopefully she will continue and their team will make it to Nationals this summer and….I will still be writing about softball.

Take care and have a prosperous New Year!

PS: If your kids want to venture into A ball, many teams are having tryouts this time of the year so just check out their travel ball website and go try out.

Happy Holidays softball fans

Hey softball fans,

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!!!

Hope you have had a chance to pause and rest for a few weeks from hectic softball season.  We sure have.  Our lives have surely been hectic with softball, basketball and home construction and business travels all rolled in at the same time.  I just want to stop time and take a deep breath.

We still have foot issues.  It is funny to think back but definitely not at the moment when I got a call from after school care saying ” your daughter fell and hit a play structure but she is conscious and ripped her skin under her chin”!  My 10-year-old still has foot issues!!  Her foot size has grown so much that she can’t figure out how long her feet is and her steps, she tripped over her own foot and hit the play structure!  Had to take her to ER to get 4 stitches under her chin just before Thanksgiving holidays.  May be I just have goofy kids 😉

My 13-year-old also has been having extremely tight calf muscles and needs to stretch a lot to prevent from getting injured.  I am not sure if your kids all go through the same issues as mine does or my kids just keep me on my toes.  I did however find a great site called Athletes Treating Athletes that I stumbled across while trying to figure out why the Peroneal tendon was painfully tight on my 13-year-old.  Check it out to see if they have any treatment for your kid’s problems.  They do have You-tube videos and some ways you can use kinesiology tape to make it feel better.

Well December is already here and  I have not had any motivation to do Christmas shopping with my house in disarray, not even sure if we have a clean spot in the house to put a tree.  I guess this year we will just be thankful to be able to remodel.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

PS: Because of increased spam registrations I have doubled the security on the spam email registration to the blog.  Please let me know if you are having issues commenting by clicking here.




We have foot issues – softball

How are you crazy softball moms and dads doing?  Finally got a new laptop so I can get online from my own device and start blogging!  Did you miss my blogs? Since you are not talking, I will assume you did 😉

We have had a crazy few months in my house!  My house is coming together slowly in the remodel.  You want to see my mess of a house?  Here you go!  The pic in the lower right corner is half of my old kitchen cabinets in a pile.  Did I tell you we are living in this mess?  For a while there was nothing but sheet rock separating us from the outside.  We must have been the only Californians wishing for no rain during that period!  Well now it can rain, we have a roof and we are covered up.


Our 10’s team continues to be on a winning streak!  Last weekend they won the Jack ball Halloween tournament championship at Fremont/Newark area.

Champions! Jack Ball tournament
Champions! Jack Ball tournament

Usually fall season is an easy going season, this year however we have had a lot of tournaments and combining that with my 10-year-old growing fast has led to her feet hurting a lot.  We have tried new expensive shoes and insoles but I still had to take her to the Podiatrist to check her feet out to see if the growth plate in her feet was not having any issues.  Thankfully no growth plate issues.  Her symptoms sounds so much like Calcaneal Apophysitis .  But the podiatrist (who used to be a travel baseball player when he was young didn’t seem to be too concerned.  He said she can continue playing but has to rest when her foot hurts.

If you read through by clicking the above link, you find that most kids end up with foot issues from standing and playing wearing cleats for long periods of time.  The ways to prevent symptoms are rest and soft insoles.  I truly can’t wait for the winter break.

Foot Xray growth plate

How easy things would be if only one kid had issues at a time…no that can’t happen.  That is too easy.  My 13-year-old has found a new sport that she loves now. Volleyball! A month of volleyball at PE and trying to escape a ball to her head, she squatted quickly and hurt her ankle.  So 2 kids to the podiatrist on the same day.  She has been off PE and softball for a week now. Thankfully nothing serious but just rest for now.

Did you know how complicated a foot is?  Foot is made up of 26 bones and 33 joints.  Check this cool Healthline foot website that shows you each layer of your feet.

Well, I have plenty of material and field reviews to blog about but very little time.  Now that I have my computer, I will try to post more often.  I have to quit my day job to find more time though 😉

Thanks for reading and come back soon.


Softball & cowbells

10U Champions!! Again!
10U Champions!! Again!

Hey softball fans!  How is fall softball going?  Well, we had to set our TV’s to record all the football games to watch today while our kids were battling out game after game of softball this weekend at Big League Dreams, Manteca, CA.  I think my video card on my laptop is having problems so I was unable to blog much the last week.  I am borrowing my husband’s laptop to sneak in a blog right now!

Well as you can see in the pic above, our 10U has been on a winning streak the last few weeks.  These little 10 yr old’s are so impressive.  I am at awe at how tough these little kids are game after game on a hot weekend.  Most of all, it is a lot of fun to watch them really enjoy the whole experience of playing on a team where all the girls get along and have a lot of fun!  The only annoying part of the entire weekend was the sound of “THE COW BELL” that one of the opposite team parents had that they kept ringing a “LOT”.  I have only seen people use these in recreation softball games, but this weekend we were treated to the sound of the cowbell after every single play. I really wish these things could be banned as it is really annoying!  Some of you may love to ring the cowbell…sorry but I am not in the same pasture with you on this 😉 Just being honest.  It may not be so different from clapping your hands but clapping your hands never sounded so obnoxious as a cowbell.  But that’s just me!

Anyway, moving on to other things.  I am going to physical therapy for my impinged shoulder and my PT was kind enough to participate in a question & answer session.  So parents, if you have questions regarding your kid’s injuries or even your own physical problems from playing softball or just getting hurt trying to play some other sport, send me your questions by clicking on “contact” button.  Once I gather enough questions of interest, I will submit the questions to Mike Olson of Diaz Olson Physical Therapy . He will pick the top few questions of interest to answer them.  He has a degree from both Stanford and USC.  So ask away and take care!

Until next time, MOO!!!..sorry, couldn’t help it ;-)!

Interesting weekend of local softball

Okay…we had an interesting weekend of softball. We got entered into some local tournaments so we didn’t have to wake up at insane hours or drive an hour and a half to go to Stockton area. We only had to wake up at 5 am.

Our 12’s were playing against some teams who looked clearly like 15yr olds.  I heard that if you want to challenge a teams age, you have to pay $75.  I was surprised by that.  Have to read more to find out the rules.

Anyway, the 12’s lost quick on Sunday while the 10s were still going on strong.

So I moved on to the 10s field to watch their game.

I am going to pretend that there are 2 out-of-space aliens watching this game. Did I lose you already?  Hang in there!

Alien 1: “Wow…How interesting…I never knew grown human species got so excited to see their young ones tag out (the term they used) another young human who was running from one base (as they call it) to another. The other young one being chased it seems like (a pickle they called it) but it appears they love running from one base thingy to another. Then, the young human being chased fell just before the base and ate dirt and started crying. “

After another hour has passed…

Alien 2:  Look! now it appears like the young one’s group who was being chased actually is celebrating!  Why?

They won their Championship!  That is how strange this game is for an outsider!  I was that outsider until my kids started playing softball.

 If someone told me in my younger days that I would be sitting in a school field or a park watching softball game after game every weekend, I would have thought they lost their marbles. But that is exactly what I am doing now. I can’t believe it.  If you have read my blog you know that I never played any sport as a kid.  I see several of you are nodding your heads agreeing with me!

Lupe! are you reading this? 😉

The one BIG benefit is…as the young humans get older it keeps them out of trouble from being addicted to their devices called smart phones or getting online constantly, getting in trouble or being a couch potatoes! Doing nothing!

But gosh, I wish I get a weekend off every once in a while so I can sleep in till 6 am at least on one weekend.  Well, I may get my wish fulfilled.  No games next weekend, but my 10-year-old has a tryout for NJB.

After a strange weekend, our 12s and 14s lost but 10s were once again well deserved CHAMPIONS!!!  These young humans worked really hard!!!

10U Champions! The Diamond Classic Tournament San Jose 9/26 & 9/27/2015
10U Champions! The Diamond Classic Tournament San Jose 9/26 & 9/27/2015

Fall softball and school softball is it going?  I am sure you all have your hands full with start of new school year, fall softball and school softball if your kids are in middle or high school.  Yes, the craziness has definitely begun in our household also.  In addition to it, we have started our home remodel and I did my own plans and calculations for the addition and I have had a super busy summer and finally the construction has begun!!! At one point I couldn’t wait for it to start but now I can’t wait for it to be done so we can have at least a semi normal (what it that you ask?) life without constantly moving and boxing things and cleaning construction dust.  Did I tell you we are living in the same house and remodeling it also.  Crazy! yes, but short-term rental in Silicon Valley is out of question.  I am sure the suffering will be worth the pain.  If you remember I was getting an MRI to see if I had a rotator cuff tear but luckily it wasn’t a tear and just tendonitis and remnants of frozen shoulder.  I have been given a 6 week PT prescription but I have not had a chance to make appointments to go to PT.  I had work deadlines that just got done and I am truly hoping life would slow down a little this fall to post more.  A parent I know has given me info on catcher’s injury that her daughter is going through currently that I would like to do more research and post.

Well, coming back to softball, we had our first fall tournament “Back to school Bash” in Stockton last weekend.  This is a new season and my older daughter played with 14U this weekend and my younger one played in 10U.  Fall is the time when some kids move up and test the waters  of playing with the older teams.  So the teams are not as solid as at the end of summer as they are playing with different set of girls and have to figure out how well they play together. Sometimes it is different because the pitching distance just got a lot longer or the ball size got just a little bigger and they have to get used the new rules.  We had a brutal weekend of getting up at 4 am and driving to Stockton both days.  A hot weekend was worth it when both their teams ended up being runners-up in their respective division. So I am sure this season is up to a great start!

In addition to travel tournaments, my older one is also playing middle school ball and have at least 2 games a week but I think middle school ball is just for fun, it is very relaxed compared to the travel ball.  I have a ton of things I can write about but I’ve just been crazy busy.  I hope you have a wonderful fall season. Thanks for reading!!! Check back soon!!

Louis Park, Stockton, CA

We have played softball games several times at Louis Park in Stockton, CA.  The things that come to mind immediately about this park is the hot weather (duh..Stockton!) and several police cars and police officers in motorcycles going around and around while the games are in progress. Doesn’t make you feel comfortable to see that.  Two of our parents cars were broken into at this park at two different times.  So, I can understand the police presence.  Please make sure not to take any valuables with you when you go here and if you do please don’t leave it in your car.

I have never been to the other areas of the park besides the softball fields.  The City of Stockton says that besides the 4 softball fields in a circular pattern, there is 1 baseball field, 4 tennis courts, 4 handball courts, 19 horseshoe pits, 40 picnic tables, 20 BBQ pits, and a remodeled Boat Launch Area.

Louis park
Louis park

LP Boat Launch


The snack shack is right in the bull’s eye of the circle.  Here is the menu of available snacks available.

Menu Louis Park
Menu Louis Park

The times we have played here has always been very hot.  The dugouts had some shade which was very much appreciated by the coaches and kids and the seating for parents and other spectators also had shade depending on the angle of the sun.

Louis park dugout

Louis park seating

Ending on a positive note.  Every once in a while you see a nice big boat/ship/sail boats pass through the canal and it is quite a sight to see. The younger siblings get excited to see that.

Louis park ship in back
Ship passing by in the canal with a big letter A

Enjoy your games and stay safe!!!




Tryout season for Travel Softball

Hello folks,

Have your kids ever wanted to take that next step and get into travel softball?  Well you’re in luck right now.  It is tryout season for many teams.  Now that the busy season of summer travel ball is over, several travel ball teams are currently offering tryouts for various positions in their teams.  Please check out the Travel ball websites to see when their tryouts are.  Specially if your girls are young in the 10U and 12U age group, they have a very good chance of making the teams if they have played softball before and show that they are excited enough for travel ball.  This is the best age group for your kids to join a team and make mistakes and learn to be a good travel ball player.  As the girls get older specially 14U and up, a lot more is expected from them to be part of the “A” ball team.  Also the older girls tend to be set in their ways and it is harder to change their habits of hitting, throwing or pitching to the correct form if they have developed bad techniques at a younger age.

I know my 10-year-old’s team is looking for more 10U players and having an open tryout on 8/15 and 8/16 from 9 am to noon at Brookvale Elementary school, 3400 Nicolet Ave, Fremont, CA 94536.  So if you have a 10 year old who wants to try travel ball, please check out their team website.  Even if you are not sure but thinking about it, you can just come by and watch the other girls practice and see if travel ball is for you.

If you have a favorite team or a travel ball team that is close to where you live, please go check out their website and see when their tryouts are.  A lot of tryouts are happening this month.   There are many teams in the bay area and you have to try out to see if a team and their philosophies will match you and your child or not.  It is a trial and error process for many families. Most times the best way a team will fit your kids is to imagine the kids are new to softball and let their coaches figure out their skill set and see how they fit in their teams.  You can always note in the tryout forms what position they like to play.  In our team for example, the kids are trained to be good in several positions (not just the one they like to play).  This will come in handy when they get ready to go to college and their favorite college team only has certain positions that they are looking for.  In any case, no matter which team you try out for, good luck with it.  And as always thanks for reading and good luck to your kids.