Woman who lost half her body weight makes White Pass ski lodge menu a little healthier

Answers to important questions nobody has asked me yet:

What’s more dangerous, a double-diamond ski run or the lodge lunch menu?

Ski areas seem to be making an effort to offer healthier options for visitors in recent years, but the sport is definitely still associated with burgers, chili, beer and, if you venture north of the border, poutine.

I’m not sure winter lasts long enough to ski off a plate of french fries covered with gravy.

“It’s not pretty sometimes,” said Jessica Karstetter, an English and Spanish teacher at Yakima’s Davis High School.

When Karstetter isn’t teaching, she and her mom, Sue, handle sales and marketing for Light Delight, a bakery started by her accountant, Ana Bazadoni.

The bakery aims to create snacks that are higher in fiber and lower in calories than traditional baked goods. All of the 50 cookies, brownies and other treats Bazadoni sells are gluten- and sugar-free.

“They are healthier and they’re also really good,” Karstetter said.

In its second year, Light Delight already sells about 1,000-1,500 products per week through its website, lightdelight.net, but Karstetter is working to market the treats to local sports-related businesses. “Places where they want to eat healthier,” she said.

The treats became a hit at the Yakima Tennis Club where Kathleen Goyette, marketing director at White Pass, is a member.

Now Light Delight Snowballs — lemon or red velvet cake balls covered in shredded coconut — are coming to the White Pass lodge this winter. Five 1.1-ounce snowballs have 150 calories, eight grams of fiber, nine grams of protein and no sugar.

“They are insanely delicious,” Goyette said, but it was Bazadoni’s story that really won her over.

Bazadoni was diabetic and weighed 240 pounds in 2011 when her husband suffered a stroke and she lost her job. Looking for ways to improve her health and generate extra income for her family, Bazadoni started experimenting with gluten-free and sugar-free eating and baking.

“I like sweet things,” said Bazadoni, 50, who has twin sons.

The diet paid off quickly. Within a year she was able to ditch her insulin and had lost more than 120 pounds.

And along the way, she resurrected the skills she used working 20 years in a bakery in Uruguay. “I like creating new things,” she said.

She concocted a series of new recipes that quickly became a hit in the Yakima Valley.

Bazadoni uses stevia and xylitol as sweeteners, and her recipes have been certified gluten-free by the FDA and USDA, Karstetter said.

“People are always asking how she gets the flavors and textures she does with gluten-free recipes,” Karstetter said. “She’s does an amazing job.”

What’s Bazadoni’s favorite? “Anything with chocolate,” she said.

Should skiers and snowboarders have a baseline concussion test like the ones kids are required to have to play school sports?

In a word: “Definitely,” said Josh Waltier, director of athletic training for Apple Physical Therapy.

“They don’t sell helmets for skiing because they’re stylish,” Waltier said

A baseline concussion test helps medical personnel compare you to yourself: how you perform under normal circumstances versus how you perform after hitting your head.

While it isn’t necessarily needed to diagnose a concussion, it’s important information for evaluating when it’s safe for you to return to the slopes.

The test costs $10 and only takes a few minutes, but Waltier says Apple clinics get requests for the test almost exclusively from kids. Getting an adult in for a baseline test is rare, “like a shooting star,” he said.

He also says he doesn’t see many young skiers coming in for testing, although he figures many of the school athletes he tests are also recreational skiers and boarders.

Waltier would like to see this change and hopes more people seek testing for themselves.

How do the pros stay in shape for ski season?

I always try to slip this question in when I talk to a pro skier, whether they’re an Olympian or a fearless big mountain skier.

I’ve yet to meet one who doesn’t spend time on a bicycle.

I recently posed the question to Ingrid Backstrom, star of two new ski films.

“I like to do fun things like mountain biking and trail running,” she said.

Backstrom learned to ski at Crystal Mountain and has carved out a reputation as one of the best skiers in the world. She currently has jaw-dropping scenes heli-skiing in the latest Warren Miller Entertainment movie, “No Turning Back,” and in the Unicorn Picnic all-female ski film “Pretty Faces.”

Backstrom recently married and moved to Leavenworth, where she says she’s enjoying the abundance of trails and the booming mountain bike scene.

But, yes, she does hit the gym from time to time. Backstrom says she likes to do high intensity interval training and spends time strengthening her core.

The workouts move to the mountains once the snow starts falling.

“I ski as hard as possible,” she said, “and hit the backcountry for cardio.”