Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy 5th Night of Hannukah and Merry Christmas Eve!

Just sitting here, hoping you are enjoying the heck out of this wonderful holiday!  I started my day with my normal 2 hours Saturday morning workout. Then we took my 2 nephews to the beach because it was mid 70's, brilliant sunshine and just about as perfect as a day can get!  We took a long walk on the beach with a destination in mind called Bull Taco.  It is a fun super casual outside taco stand on a bluff overlooking the pacific.  Alas, Bull Taco was closed. So we walked back to the car and went to another fun spot that the nephews selected. 

Then we came home and veged out in a nice hot jacuzzi.  Now we are off to Mom's house to share a yummy Christmas eve dinner. 

Tomorrow morning we will get up and do a fun hike together before opening gifts and eating some more delicious food.  I am going to do the week in between Christmas and New Years as a protein week.  Then celebrate New Years and begin 2012 in good shape to continuing my healty journey.

What types of strategies will you employ to enjoy and deploy your healthy journey?

Desire to savor every treat and every moment.  Dedication to treaure loved ones.  Discipline to make healthy choices and keep moving!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Swappin' Cookies - Hope for Rice Krispy Treats

I was invited to a cookie swap party today.  I tried a new recipe for gingerbread biscotti dipped in white chocolate.  (Yes, they were delicious!) I arrived at the party and was surrounded by TONS of kids.  I was the only one who made a "grown-up" cookie choice.  So, as the cookie platters were passed out to the kids to fill with the cookies everyone had brought.......I watched as each and every kid skipped over the biscotti in favor of the kiddie oriented treats.  Now, I am familiar with rice krispy treats but I had not heard of devil's food cookies made from a box mix with canned frosting. I also learned you can make a "cookie" by pouring melted butter and brown sugar over graham crackers sprinkled with nuts.  Or, a "cookie" made by melting a Rolo candy on top of a little pretzel.  The kid friendly cookies just went on and on.

Then the grown-ups all descended on my biscottis.  It was easy for me to avoid most all of the cookies. They simply did not look good!  So, a new secret discovered - go to cookie swaps that are overrun with kids!  It is easy to refuse those types of cookies!

I hope you are enjoying the season as much as we are!  My brother and his family arrive this week.  I can't wait!  His 2 sons will be staying at our house.  They are 14 and 16 and I love them to distraction!  It is going to be AWESOME having them here for Christmas and New Years!  Instead of cookies in the cookie jar, I am filling it with Kathi's awesome fit bites so they will have healthy snacking available!  There will also be a full basket of fruit on the counter at all times!  We plan to take them to the gym and for lots of walks on the beach.  FUN, Fun, fun!!!

Wishing you and yours lots of love, health and family and friends to share!

Desire to embrace the season.  Dedication to keeping healthy choices available. Discipline to keep exercising throughout it all.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Try a "Mini" Fix!

Frequently, in my work, I facilitate leadership development sessions.  I bring bags of mini candy to the workshops and put a few on each table.  Most people enjoy a bite.  I rarely touch them myself.  I like to tell people that I am alergic to sugar.  When I say it, most people nod their heads and look sympathetic, but I quickly follow-up with....whenever I eat it, I break out in hips!  It takes a few beats, but they realize I am making a joke - har de har har!

So tonight, I was really jones-ing for something sweet, so I ate a mini-twix.  It has 30 calories and tasted yummy!  So, if you are having a craving, try a mini!  It just might do the trick!

Last night, we went to Golden Spoon yogurt.  I orderd a pumpkin fat free frozen yogurt.  The size I ordered has 100 calories so I worked it into my daily count.  It was truly delicious and satisfying!

Our dear friend sent us her annual package of homemade almond roca, aka "Christmas Crack".  This stuff is so good that it is sinful.  So, the package is sitting under our tree, unopened.  I figure if I don't open it, then I can't eat it!  We will open it, likely on Christmas Eve and share it with the family.  Until then, it stays under the tree!

I am satisfying my holiday craving one little bit at a time.  This year, my goal is to get through the holidays with minimal impact on the scales.  I will let you know how I do!

Desire for a stable weigh-in through the holidays.  Dedication to small treats.  Discipkine to keep the Christmas Crack unopened until the 24th!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Relaxing on Sunday Evening

Please remember to include relaxation in your schedule.  All weekend long I have been busy with errands, personal services, planning for more holiday celebrations, all with an eye towards finally being able to plop down and finally relax.  So here I am, plopped on the couch, tapping out my message to you and enjoying every relaxed moment!  Our dinner is in the oven, the salad is tossed and all I have to do this evening is watch our favorite holiday movie with my wonderful hubbie.

Have you ever watched Love Actually?  We watch it every year around this time.  It is funny and endearing and filled with awesome actors and a great message to love each other during the holidays and always.

So my thoughts this week are all about including relaxation in your plan as an important component of your healthy journey!

Desire to just plop.  Dedication to finding time to relax.  Discipline to ensure your journey is well balanced.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Once, Twice, Three Times Is the Charm!

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  I hope your day was as memorable and filled with love as mine was.  From start to finish, it was a wonderful day!  I was surrounded by loving family, spectacular weather and yes, lots of great food!

My day began with putting the breakfast strata in the oven.  It had to bake for a full hour, the perfect amount of time for walk #1.  Allen and I went out for our first walk of the day, including a killer long hill!  Then off to Mom and Dad's house to devour the strata!  Then we hung out and helped out and went out for walk #2.  This was post-breakfast but pre-Thanskgiving feast!  The "feast", as expected, was super yummy and left us with a very full tummy.  So, after eating dinner but before eating desert, we went out for walk #3.  It was great!  We passed another big group of people walking and said.....are you in between dinner and pie?  They laughed and said....Yes!

It was an awesome day all around.  I know I ate more calories that normal, but at least I kept moving throughout the day! 

My next "treat" day will be December 14th, when we go to a friend's holiday celebration.  Then again on 12/24-25!  Until then, I am focused on staying on plan and in my healthiest groove!  How about you?

Desire to enjoy the season!  Dedication my health and well being.  Discipline to keep moving through it all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Give Thanks!

Be intentional!  Give thanks for all your blessings!  If your blessings include an abundance of food this Thanksgiving, then be sure to follow these suggestions that I read about on the Calorie Count website:
1. Eat what you love and love what you eat.
2. Focus on the loved ones around you, they are an important part of your blessings!
3. Decide how you want to feel when you are done eatins. Full? Stuffed? Overflowing?  Then fill your      plate(s) accordingly.
4. Choose your food carefully.  Don't waste calories on cranberries shaped like a can (unless that is one of your guilty pleasures!).
5. Set your fork down between bites.  It will help you focus on what your are eating at that moment instead of focusing on the next bite.
6.Notice as the food gently fills your stomach.  It will help you decide when to stop eating.

Mindful eating is a great way to enjoy your food and you will likely end up eating fewer calories!

I couldn't resist sharing this silly Thanksgiving poem with you all:





























Desire to enjoy the food.  Dedication to giving thanks for our blessings.  Discipline to be mindful and in the moment.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Drop and Give Me 10!!

With the holiday season in full swing, the scary temptations are everywhere!  Next weekend, we are invited to a dear friend's house to share their early Thanksgiving dinner.  I have been asked to bring 2 deserts.  I will make a pumpkin cheesecake with ginger snap crust.  If it turns out well, I will make the same cake for Thanksgiving Day at my folk's house in celebration of my Mom's birthday.  I will also bring a plate of brownies as the #2 desert.  Do you think it is possible for me to escape without a small piece of the cheesecake????  I think not!

Then on Sunday, we are meeting a BFF for a brunch.  I think I will do fine because I will be able to make my own selection and eat clean.  Then, of course, there is 'turkey day" itself.  As I mentioned, there will be yummy pumpkin cheesecake, as well as homemade german chocolate cake for my husband's birthday cake!  I also make a killer brie and smoked salmon breakfast strata and bring it over for everyone to enjoy.  It is simply delicious!  I know I will have some of the best mashed potatoes in the world with killer gravy and a hot cornbread muffin with butter and honey - 2 of my favorite things on Thanksgiving Day!  OK, I admit it, I will fast the day after to compensate!

Then there are a few big parties in December.  I will save all my calories for those parties.  Then I will allow myself to taste all of my Mom's Christmas cookies on 12/24 and 12/25.  See why I think it is scary??? 

This year, my goal will be to practice moderation with these celebrations.  I met a very interesting woman yesterday who described how she overcame 20 years of cigarette addition, including trying every program, patch and gum out there to quit.  She decided she could reprogram her brain's response to the desire for a cigarete, which she says occurred every 20 minues of her adult life.  Everytime she experienced the cigarette craving, she would drop to the floor, literally, and do 10 push ups.  She said, when she began, she could not do 10, and even then only on her knees.  She is quite proud of the fact that now she can do 20 full body push ups all the way to the floor and back up to straight arms.  She has successfully reprogrammed her brain signals and has been cigarette free for 2 full years!  She states she will never have another cigarette. 

Do you think I will be doing push-ups through the holidays?  You betcha.  I am going to reprogram my brain's response to food desires.  I will let you know how it goes!

Desire to overcome the longing for food that I do not need.  Dedication to honor my favorite holidays.   Discipline to drop and do 10 push-ups.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Joy of Interval Training

I think it is time for me to take my workouts to a different level.  Specifically, I am discovering the joys of interval training...  :-).  This means warming up with your cardio of choice, then alternating between your normal effort level and going as hard as you possibly can.  Then work to sustain intervals for your normal cardio period.

Since I am no longer a runner, I am doing this on the cross trainer, the spin bike and the reverse "escalator" stairmaster machine.  I promise you it is kick butt-alicious!  It certainly increases your heart rate.  It increases the amount of sweat.  It increases your breathing rate.  It also increases your desire to get to the end of the interval!!!  My cardio workout looks like this:  a 10 minute warm up, during which I go from easy level to medium exertion.  Then 2 minutes of "hard as I can go", then 3 minutes of medium/hard exertion.  Then I alternate between 2 kick ass minutes and 3 medium/hard minutes until I reach 60 minutes.  So far, I am enjoying the extra effort.  Try it, you may like it too!

I am on day 2 of a 3 day "fruit flush".  I spoke of this quite awhile ago.  I realized it had been too long since I had imposed this discipline on myself.  So, I jumped in yesterday.  IT IS REALLY HARD to apply different discipline.  If for no other reason, this gives me great empathy for anyone who has not yet begun their own healthy journey and is trying to find the motivation to do so.  Changing behavior is not easy.  It is a constant and continual lesson on my journey.  Fascinating, simply fascinating, how we humans want to cling to "what is" instead of running towards "what could be".  So, wish me luck that I make it through successfully to the end of day 3.  I will let you know next week.  SMILE!

Desire to keep learning and raising the bar of performance.  Dedication to understanding how hard this can be.  Discipline to stick with a commitment once it is made.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scary, Spooky Halloween Speed Bumps!

This year, more than others in the past, I am being hit with Halloween temptations at every turn of the screw!  Candy at work, candy at nail salons, treats at every office I walk into.  People in stores offering free get the picture!  Is it more pervasive this year?  Or am I just more sensitive to it?

Tomorrow is Halloween and I plan to work out with my trainer after work, then come home and keep the outside of the house dark, so as not to attract kids.  In years past, we always went to one of our sibling's houses where the little kids were.  Now that they are grown and live in other states, we simply keep the house dark. 

So, yesterday, Saturday morning, I did my normal hour of cardio followed by an hour with my trainer.  BUT, my trainer had a personal emergency to deal with so she was a no show ( a rare occurrance!).  There were 6 of us who were going to be doing team training that morning and we all huddled around to compare notes.  The other women were about to disperse and I said...Hey why don't we all just train together?  4 of us ended up working out together.  It was fun.  They all looked to me for suggestions on how to combine sets, so I referred to my notes from previous workouts and put some of my favorite together.  We all ended up having a good workout and a lot of fun!  I especially enjoyed it because I envision that when I retire from the corporate world, I will become a certified trainer, so it was a tiny glimpse into my future, God willing!  I enjoyed giving the other women positive reinforcement, becasue that is what I like to receive. 

There is a great little book by Blanchard, called Whale Done!  It is the story of how the trainers at Sea World get the killer whales to perform the way they want them to.  It is 100% positive reinforcement.  They actually say, would you want to get into the water with a killer whale after making them mad at you???  :-)

So, as you think about your journey, remember to give positive reinforcement to yourself as you navigate your healthy choices.  You will respond better with love and encouragement, not self criticism and upset.  If you skip a workout, don't get mad at yourself, just recognize that your body needed to take a break.  If you eat something off plan, don't get disgusted, simply acknowledge that you nurtured yourself in a different way.  Always remember to love yourself enough to return to your healthy journey.  That is the ultimate expression of love - to love yourself enough to care about being healthy!

Desire to be positive. Dedication to to realize you are worth the effort.  Discipline to always reinforce with love.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hurray for Pumpkin Season!

Every October I look forward to the flavor of pumpkin, and winter vegetables in general!  In previous years, I couldn't wait to have a pumpkin scone at Starbucks.  I would allow myself to have just one (490 calories, thank you very much!)  This year, they did not have the same appeal as previous years, so I did not indulge in my annual pumpkin scone. 

This morning at breakfast, the restaurant was offering hot pumpkin muffins fresh out of the oven.  That got my attention!  Allen and I split one, and boy oh boy was it great!!!  I was so happy!  There is nothing like that pumpkin flavor.  And, yes, I did figure it into my daily nutrition record!

Last night, I roasted a leg of lamb and served it with roasted veges including butternut squash, red and gold beets and onions.  Delicious!  I took the greens from the top of the fresh beets and cooked them up with onion and roasted garlic and a little olive oil - a big hit too!  The roasted butternut squash hits my taste buds in the same way that the pumpkin flavor does!  It is just such a rich yummy delicious flavor! 

Last week I was at a seminar all week.  I was so proud of myself.  I ate clean and healthy the whole week through!  I did not give in to any of the morning donuts, bagels, apple fritters or danish.  I resisted the daily snack offerings of candies, cookies and pretzels.  I did not have wine in the evening when everyone around me was.  I was very fortunate.  One of the people in charge was kind enough to have a fresh vegetable tray for me each afternoon, so I happily munched on celery, sugar snap peas, brocolli and carrots while the others were hoovering up the M&M's.  I also got in my workout each evening.  I was lucky to be at a hotel with a great gym!

Random question - in your workouts, have you ever done the thing where the trainer puts an elastic band around your waist to basically tether you and the makes you "run" away with high knees for 60 seconds at a time?  Sounds easy, but it is a killer!  :-)

Desire to enjoy seasonal flavors.  Dedication to avoid the food trash all around us all the time. Discipline to embrace my veges.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back to Reality!

If we had unlimited funds and unlimited calories to spend, we would have stayed on the islands!  But, alas, reality dawned early on Friday morning as we headed back to work for just one day prior to a weekend!

Re-entry is unreal.  I still feel as if I am moving slowly, sort of swimming through Jello, or something like that.  On Friday morning, I opened my food journal and wrote: back to reality, back to skinny, back to discipline!  I knew that Friday was back to the straight and clean food road.  I didn't have any trouble jumping back to healthy food choices.  But I would be lying if I didn't admit that I miss the mai tais and other island treats! 

If we could have them everyday, then it wouldn't be a treat, right???  So, I am eating very clean until Thanksgiving Day.  That will be my next stop for culinary treats!  I can say "no thank you" to Halloween candy.  For some reason it doesn't tempt me.  Thank goodness!

Next week, I am attending a seminar and staying in a hotel.  So, today I prepared my baggies with 1/2 cup of oatmeal, and baggies of protein powder with psyllium husk added.  I will have the oatmel (150 calories) for breakfast and probably again for dinner.  The protein drink will be my afternoon snack.  I will have salad with lean protein for lunch.  It will be a great opportunity to control my portions and calories.  It will help to balance the excess of vacation.

This morning it was also back to the gym.  I did my normal Saturday morning cardio and weight training.  It felt really good to be back to that routine.  I really think our bodies crave routine and consistency to work at peak levels.

Desire to achieve balance.  Dedication to consistency and routine.  Discipline to jump right back to healthy choices following a vacation.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hiking and Snorkeling and Kayaking, Oh My!!!!

Aloha from fantasy land. I am celebrating my birthday on Oahu this year. For the first 4 days, we played on Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with our newly promoted Admiral, Allie. We did lots of fun things and had a ball! On Saturday, my birthday, we transitioned to the north shore and the Turtle Bay Resort, and continue the fun by ourselves.

I know I am in vacation mode, and therefore consuming many more calories, but I am also getting much more activity through the day. So far we did a KILLER hike up Koko Head. It is literally railroad ties in the side of a mountain straight up for 1,050 steps. Allen and Allie made it to the top. I went up about 3/4 of the way. What made me turn around was the bridge over a ravine where the railroad ties were far apart enough to easily fall thank you! We also did a great kayak trip out to some islands, about a 2 mile round trip. We hiked out to Makapuu point, another great uphill sweat. We snorkeled in Hanauma Bay which was great exercise for about 2 hours. Today I swam laps and am going to do yoga as soon as I post this message. So, some of my extra calories will be burned up!

For now, please let me recommend a drink we invented. I call it a tropical mimosa. Fresh pineapple juice + champagne = YUMMY! We invented it became the hotel sent us a welcome bottle of champagne that was not what we usually drink so we went in search of fresh local pineapple juice and decided it is a delicious mixture! ALOHA for now!

Desire to invent yummy new drinks. Dedication to enjoying birthdays. Discipline to move more on vacation.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

An Amazing Day!

Today was AMAZING!  We attended the promotion ceremony for a friend of ours who was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, USN.  Her ceremony was held aboard the USS Midway.  There were over 200 people there.  It was a gorgeous sunny day!  As I watched her ascend to this amazing accomplishment I was overcome with emotion for her success. 

Not only is this an amazing accomplishment, but especially because she is a woman and there are so few women at this rank in the Navy!  The "dress" of the day called for dress whites and she had the choice of wearing slacks or a skirt.  She went with the skirt.  She looked incredible as she took the stage to address the audience.  She is super slim and was "rockin" the dress white uniform.  Trust me when I say that this is not an easy look to "rock"! 

In the face of this historical accomplishment, why am I being so stereotypical and talking about fashion?  It struck me that she was "representing" for all women and, as such, had amazing pressure on her shoulders!  She was strong, composed and had an elegant command of the audience as she made her speech, focused mainly on thanking many people who had helped support her career over the years.  And she looked GREAT! :-)

This is a bestie that I have known for over a decade.  She and I have been together through thick and thin, literally!  She is one of those people blessed with a naturally slim orientation.  I know this because she loves to go to places that serve "endless fries" and will order extra ranch dressing for dipping her fries.  Of course, I am on the opposite end of that spectrum!  :-)  She has been a wonderful supporter of mine and my healthy journey, even though she has the ability to consume a very different diet and stay skinny.  And still I love her tons!  :-)

But today was a day to focus on her, her amazing promotion and her place in history as one of a very few women to become an Admiral in the USN. 

Desire to honor friends and their accomplishments.  Dedication to supporting strong women. Discipline to watch someone else enjoy the "endless fries". 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day Late and Half a Pound Short!

This weekend was one of those that was busy busy busy.  It was all good fun stuff, but I did not make time to post a message.  Sorry!

On Saturday, we had dinner with my brother-in-law, his gorgeous wife and 2 adorable kidlets.  His wife, KrisAnne, prepared a delicious and healthy dinner for us all.  It was a big salad with tomatoes from their garden.  DELICIOUS!  We brought ice cream for desert and selected 4 Ben and Jerry flavors, mostly for the kids to choose from.  Three things struck me as notable about the dinner.  First, these kids, ages 5 and 3, LOVED the salad and even said so during dinner.  They obviously felt a connection between "their" tomatoes that "they" had grown in "their" garden.  It warmed my heart to see them gobbling up such a healthy nutritious meal! 

Then, when we served the ice cream, one of the kids told me that I had given him too much!  What kid asks for less ice cream????  But - how GREAT that this child has learned at such an early age how to self-moderate his intake???  AWESOME! 

Finally, I did not have any ice cream.  I am really limiting my intake in anticipation of our upcoming vacation to Hawaii.  I want to save my calories for then!  My brother-in-law said..."how can you not eat ice cream?"  He simply could not fathom not having ice cream if others were eating it. The answer is, it is simple, just say no. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too!

Desire to help raise healthy adorable kids. Dedication to preparing for success.  Discipline to just say no.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back to the Beginning - Success!

So, following the celebrations for my parent's 60th, I returned to my original diet plan to get back on track.  Now, I did not go hog wild at all.  All I did was have a few glasses of wine, bites of some deserts, a piece of bread with olive know the drill. A bite here, a nibble there, a few sips of something else yummy, and the next thing you know, you are staring at a higher numbr on the scale.

NOT TO WORRY! I am happy to report that I dropped 3 pounds this week!  I went back to egg whites, lean proteins, lots of vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, edamame, some avocado, small amounts of nuts, olive oil, one piece of fruit a day, decaf tea and coffee, I had small cheese crumbles on 2 salads, I had oatmeal one morning and I enjoyed adzuki beans.  I did allow myself a sugar free popsicle (15 caloreis) at night as a sweet treat. 

So, my body reacts well (aka drops weight) when I eat this way.  I know it means no sugar, bread, crackers, chips, rice, pasta, potatos, very little dairy, low fat, etc but at least I know what I respond to!

So, I am going to do this for 2 more weeks, then take a birthday break and jump right back in!  I am happy and excited.  It feels goo to be on track!  JOIN ME IF YOU WANT TO!

Desire to drop more weight.  Dedication find what works.  Discipline to follow my best path.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pause and Remember

I join millions of other people in is for pausing and reflecting on the lives that were lost 10 years ago. Always remember, never forget. May they rest in peace and may we find peace as a nation.

Today, we went to church as a family in honor of my parent's 60th anniversary...the priest saying mass was awesome....he had my folks sit up on the altar and renewed their vows. When he got to the point where he re-pronounced them husband and may kiss the bride...the church erupted in applause! It was awesome!!

I know those are two random thoughts to share today. Part of any healthy journey is pausing to be in the moment of what life brings your way. I hope you have many moments to enjoy AND that you take the time to enjoy them!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Celebrating Labor Day!

I hope you are enjoying a nice long weekend!  We are!  It is such a great time to pause and reflect on our many blessings of the "labors" in our lives:

Labors of working out - yesterday I was doing team training with Kathi.  It just so happened that the other 4 women working with her that day were significantly younger than I am.  I heard one of them move into an exercise that I had just vacated.  She tried to use the weights I had used and complained to Kathi - "these are impossible?  Who could lift these???"  Kathi pointed to me and said "she does".  The 30-something person said - "Jeeeeez - she is really strong!".  It made me feel happy to have developed my strength to where I am today.  I am strong and fit and today I pause to honor the labor it took me to achieve this level of fitness.

Labors of work - we all do something, some type of work to earn our way in this world.  If you are reading this and you are independently wealthy or just won the lottery, I salute you!  Most of us have to work for a living.  Our work takes many different forms and flavors, but it is work.  It is so easy to complain about going to work.  This weekend, I suggest we pause and reflect on the good fortune that we have work to do!  With so many people unemployed, if we have work to do, we should be very grateful!

Labors of finding nutritional balance - this is the category that repeatedly kicks my booty.  Yet, this weekend, I am grateful to have the sustained motivation to stay on my healthy journey, always seeking nutritional balance.  A friend of mine has found better health being gluten free.  She recently also came off of dairy.  She swears off of any fried food.  She eats minimal animal protein.  She is stick thin.  Her path is right for her.  I am toying with the idea of trying a gluten free plan.  Could gluten be holding me back from achieving greater health?  What about you?

Labors of love - God has been great to me in this category.  I am overwhelmed with the abundance of love in my life. Allen is the great romantic love of my life, an amazing supportive husband and life partner.  My parents, siblings and extended family members are specatular examples of a loving supportive network.  I treasure each one of them.  I am also blessed with the best group of friends on the planet.  Each one of the special people I am honored to call a friend is like a rare jewel, sparkling and priceless to me!

So, thank you, Universe, for all the wonderful reasons to celebrate Labor Day this weekend.

Desire to labor on what truly matters in life.  Dedication to investing labor for the highest returns in all areas of  my life. Discipline to labor long and hard to achieve lasting meaningful results.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Something To Look Forward To!

I am working on a fun project that I will soon have to share with you all! 

I have been working with my trainer, Kathi Potts for several years.  Everytime we work out, I write down the workouts in a small binder.  Now, I am in the process  of transcribing my workouts into a soft copy.  Then Kathi and I will select the "favorites" for an easy workout and the "favorites" for a killer workout.  Initially, we will package easy vs. killer workouts and then post them on Kathi's website for sale.  Since you are my faitful readers, I will offer them to you for free!

From there, I am thinking about turning the workouts into a book format.  The working title for the book is "The Ironman in Every Woman".  Kathi is a 5 time Ironman.  She has done countless half ironmans and Olympic lengths, as well as sprints.  I admire that so much in her!  She has helped me find my "Ironman" in me.  She keeps me motivated to keep up with  my weight training.  I have become really strong and am very happy with my strength and stamina. 

So, stay tuned.  Let me know if you are interested in receiving some of the workouts, easy or killer style.  I look forward to completing phase one and getting you a copy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Treats, Treats, and More Treats!

We have been having so much fun with my beautiful niece!  If ever there was something to celebrate, it has been her visit this summer!  We have been having fun everyday!  On top of exceptional workouts together, we have also been shopping, spa-ing and enjoying the occassional treat!  Yes, I have, in the course of 1.5 weeks, managed to pick up a few extra pounds!  I decided to not freak out about it, but instead, to enjoy the love that it represents. 

I love myself enought to buckle down on Tuesday (when she goes back to college) and return to a very measured eating plan.  Now, mind you, I have NOT been going hog wild, by any stretch of the imagination.  But I did have a glass of wine today and 3 bites of her pancakes this morning and then some fat free frozen yogurt after dinner today.  It may not seem like much, but my body responds to these extra calories and stores them as extra weight.

The amazing thing is that an extra pound is supposed to be due to 3,500 extra calories.  I can promise you that I have not ingested that many "treats"!  But my body responds the way my body responds and that is my reality.

So, again, I will breathe, accept, refocus and move forward.  I do love the love that Alex brings with her!

Tomorrow, my Mom, Alex and I are going to the fantastic La Costa spa.  It will be glorious to have 3 generations of Massa's at the spa together!  Wish us well!  Wish you could join us!

Desire to love and cherish generational continuity.  Dedication to celebrate love.  Discipline to honor my bodies needs.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Future Is Bright!

With all the negativity swirling around in the news these days, it is so refreshing to spend time around my spectacular niece, Alex!  She is visiting for a few weeks before beginning her junior year at George Washington University.  She is smart, funny, compassionate and gorgeous to boot!

She is very interested in being healthy! It is awesome!  She enjoys working out and making good food choices!  She is very interested in learning and has a real thirst to succeed with health!  While she is here, she is doing workouts with is sooooo fun! 

In less than a month she is moving into a campus apartment with roommates and she wants to learn what to cook for herself that will be nutritious, healthy and delicious.  I turned her on to  Hungry Girl just had a blog about her top 10 list of things to have on hand for fast easy healthy dinner preparations. 

I introduced Alex to Ezekiel english muffins for breakfast - fast and delicious!  She was surprised that it tasted so good! 

Yesterday, she joined me at the gym for an hour of cardio and an hour with Kathi.  This morning we go back for another hour with Kathi in the form of a muscle max class.  She is hanging in with me and the workouts, even though it is more than she usually does.  She is a trooper.

Lest you think it is all carrots and straining muscles, we are also managing to get in jacuzzi's, movies, shopping, spa treatments and the beach!

So, with since our next generation includes Alex, and other great kids her age (Justin, Matthew, etc.!) our future is bright indeed.  ENJOY your weekend.  I know we will!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sodium - The Final Frontier!

I have conquered workouts; swam laps again this morning.....AWESOME!

I have faced sugar, stared it down, and now manage it quite effectively, save for the occassional treat like last night's vanilla ice cream and piece of See's candy at Dad's birthday celebration!  Notice I did not say "conquered" sugar.  I have successfully identified it as a trigger and focus on managing it.

I have conquered fat and fully understand good fats and bad fats and really do limit bad fats to maybe two times a month.

I have become friends with calories.  They do count.  I don't think you have to carry a scale and calculator to every meal, but it is a really good idea to select a week and carefully monitor everything you ingest to calibrate from time to time, perhaps quarterly?

I have even come to terms with the scale and weighing in on a regular basis.  My mantra is that the number on the scale is not judgment, it is simply what it is, an indicator of where my body weight is on any given day. 

So, now I am going to focus on sodium.  It is pretty widely known that too much of it is not a good thing! Using too much salt can affect fluid retention, blood pressure, heart health, circulation, healthy liver function and just about all aspects of our health. 

I am not going to lie.....I love me some salty snacks!!!  I had my wake up call when I looked at the nutrition informaiton on the sliced deli turkey that I had been buying.  I could already tell you that it was 99% fat free with only 30 calories per slice.  Three little slices tucked into my zip lock baggie were an easy 100 calorie snack.  HOWEVER, those 3 little slices of low calorie low fat deli turkey meat have a whopping 730 mg of sodium!!!  That is more than a 1/3 teaspoon of salt.  YIKES!  WebMD says to keep your sodium levels to 2300 mg (about a teaspoon) or less per day.  I am sure that individual doctors would have differing opinions based on a a person's health profile.  So, check with your health advisor for what is right for you.

The thing is that I buy precious little processed foods, where a lot of sodium is hiding out.  It is not so much what you shake out of your salt shaker when preparing food or at the table.  That adds up too. Just be careful when buying anything processed and check to see how laden with salt it really is!

So, now I am off to the store to buy a turkey breast, cook it and slice it myself so I can still have my snack but it will have a lot less sodium in it!

Desire to conquer it all!  Dedication to incremental growth and learning.  Discipline to cleaner food preparation at home!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Random-ness on Sunday Morning

A few random thoughts, that end up being related!

1. One of our community met with enormous success last week when she landed a new gig at a very famous huge corporation.  It is not public knowledge yet, so I can't share all the detes.....stay tuned for more....I am over the moon hapy for her!
2.  If you want to lose weight, eat less.  If you want to reduce debt, spend less.  Go figure!  If only our idiot lawmakers in D.C. could embrace the basics of life!
3. I have a new short "do".  I wanted to prove to myself that change is possible, and even fun.  So the new cut is symbolic as much as it is actual.  It is a symbol of having the courage to make a change and it is an actual way to lighten up by cutting off all the old hair!  I am having fun with it and my hubbie loves it, so I am happy!
4.  We celebrate my Father's birthday on Friday.  He will be 83 years young.  He is an awesome example to us all to live with a positive attitude and keep moving through life.  He has overcome prostate cancer and heart disease and still goes to the gym 3-4 times a week!  Go Dad!

It all comes together when we keep our eyes open to the possibility of living life to the fullest, at every age, every day!

Desire to connect the dots.  Dedication to embracing life.  Discipline to keep up good habits all through life.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fridays Are Fabulous!

I am sitting at home on a Friday evening with the whole weekend ahead of me......such a happy time!  We are going out to dinner tonight with my folks.  Then on Sunday we have 2 parties to go to.  One is for a girlfriend's 50th and one is for another friend's birthday.

So, I am going to have to be very mindful of my eating choices.  My intention is to not go off plan. So I want to conserve some calories so I can have a glass of champagne at each birthday to toast the occassion.  So, I plan to go for a full 2 hours at the gym on Saturday and then adding 30 minutes to my normal hour on Sunday. 

A part of me would like to have the metabolism that would allow me to eat whatever and not to have to be so careful.  But the reality is that I do not have that metabolism. So, instead, I choose to focus on everything I do have......great health, an amazing loving husband and family, a sharp healthy mind, the opportunity to do good work, literally abundance in every aspect of my life.  So, what good would it do to lament my metabolism?????

Desire to focus on gratitude for what IS.  Dedication to growth and commitment.  Discipline to attend parties and stay on plan.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Control, Alt Delete!

So my  plan is working, yay!  By refocusing, it was sort of like hitting control, alt, delete on a computer and allowing my body to reset.  I lost a pound last week, so I am on my way.  Life if Good!

I bought a 2 gallon container of fresh organic spinach and ate it every night.  One night as a salad, one night mixed with shiratake noodles and marinara sauce, another night with lots of other veges and salmon.....super yummy and low glycemic!  That is what my body likes, low glycemic, high lean protein.  Now my challenge is to stay true to what my body needs for fuel and efficiency. 

So, this morning, I am on my way out to swim laps.  I love to swim and it is a good thing to mix up with my cardio.  It feels so good to slice through the water.  It feels sleek and sexy.  I don't do it very often because of the hassle factor.  but today is a perfect day for laps.  Allen is out of town so I can focus on just what is right for me.  Should be fun!  I hope you are doing something today that is good for you and will feed your spirit!

Desire to stay true to my body.  Dedication fun cardio.  Discipline to focus on fuel for efficiency, not emotional feeding.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hitting It Hard!

I decided to go back to my roots and follow the plan I used to get it all started at the beginning of 2009. I am "hitting it hard" and planning to stay on the straight and narrow to help me recommit to my goals, long and short term. So the day after the 4th of July, I was back to lean proteins, veges, non-fat milk and greek yogurt and one fruit a day.

I don't know about you, but I find it all to easy to slide just a little bit, so refocused discipline works for me. I remind myself that just 100 teeny little calories a day that do not get burned, get stored as fat. That can so easily turn into the slow creep of weight gain. I have picked up a few unwelcome pounds and have asked them to find a new home!!!

So, if you are in the mood, join me and renew your commitment to a lifelong healthy journey. Come on in, the water's fine! Nothing to be afraid of....dive into the deep end and join me! Put down that baguette! Back away from the ice cream and chocolate sauce. Look deep into the eyes of those French fries and walk away clean! Remember the old adage.....nothing tastes as good as slim looks? Well, let's buy the t-shirt and wear it proudly!

Desire to achieve a slimmer me. Dedication to getting back to basics. Discipline to walk away from unhealthy temptation!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

The Fourth of July is a great time to pause and celebrate our freedom that is uniquely American!  I am a vocal proud American and never cease to be amazed at how careful we are supposed to be in public in hopes of not offending anyone else.  I actually had someone say tome that they had to ask CostCo to change the wording on a cake they bought that was decorated with an American flag.  The cake had "God Bless America' written on it and they made CostCo take it off.  I was sad and amazed that there really are people who believe that way.  So, if you are a proud American, enjoy your freedom now, because it seems like things are changing, and not necessarily for the better.

But enough about that, At my workout Saturday morning, I was 55 minutes into a great sweaty workout and my back twinged.  So I paused and immediately and started  stretching.  I have been babying my back all weekend.  I skipped my workout yesterday because the muscles were so tight.  Then this morning I smacked my foot into a stone baseboard and broke the #3 toe on my left foot.  So, right now, I am icing it and skipped my workout today.  Oh well, isn't part of the journey accepting challenges that come our way and taking the time to heal?  I think so.  The comic relief of a broken toe is that my sister broke a toe about 2 weeks ago.  I really didn't mean to be a copy cat!

Desire to celebrate our freedom.  Dedication to honor the past, our present and our future.  Discipline to stop and let the body heal.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yin Yoga = Awesome!

I took a Yin yoga class last night from a new teacher and had a wonderful experience.  Yin is a yoga practice that emphasizes slow and mindful movement, doing fewer postures and holding each posture for up to 5 minutes to really allow your muscles, joints and connective tissues to get the full advantage of the posture.  It is the intuitive to the intellectual.  It is the gentle to the forcefulness of pounding cardio.  It is the gentle movement to the frantic activity that fills so much of life.  It is taking the class breath by breath instead of worrying about what is to come next.

Although Yin has been around for a very long time, it has very recently experienced a huge burst of popularity.  The teacher last night said...of course it has, it has to, because Yin is a way of slowing down, and so many of us are seeking ways to slow down and manage the speed of life and input.  It was such a delicious class.  She said so many wonderful things, that early in the class, I actually crawled off my matt to get a paper and pencil out of my bag to write down a few things.  Here are 2 things I would like to share with you:

First, she said, in all the craziness of life, all of our seeking to get things, to accomplish things, to check things off of our "2 do" list...think about this - "With all thy getting, get thee understanding".  That pierced my brain and really sunk in for me.  To me it means that we should remember to seek underderstanding and include reflection in our llives so that all the effort has meaning and is grounded in purpose, not justy activity!

Second, she said - "Drink in the nectar of the now".  I love that thought!  If we can slow down and enjoy "the now" we can be more mindful of the choices we make to nurture ourselves with nutrition and exercise to ensure a more healthy life!  Framing "now" as something sweet and rich like "nectar" was a great image that really spoke to me!  I hope you like it too!

Desire to wallow in each moment.  Dedication to seeking all of the sweet nectar that life brings our way. Discipline to go forward with eyes wide open to drink in understanding.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Gift of a Little Perspective

OK, so it was more than just a little.....this week I had to go for a follow-up mammogram and ultra sound.  It turned out to be a completely innocent little cyst and absolutely nothing to worry about.  Of course, leading up to that glorious good news were many mental what ifs and significant moments of fear.

After it was all over, I decided to use this experience as a way to maintain perspective on health and weight.  Being overweight is a contributing factor to many health issues.  So, I am more determined than ever to continue my losing journey.  Getting to an even healthier weight will be like good insurance for future years. As we age (if we are lucky enough to get to age!) our metabolism slows with every passing year, so we will all be faced with having to eat less and move more just to maintain!

So, my Father's Day celebration was a mix of celebrating and trying to balance intake.  I did a 2+ hour workout in the morning, so I felt good about my calorie burn for the day.  I bought my Dad a few special pieces of See's candy and bought myself some sugar free peanut brittle at the same time.  I have to say the sugar free peanut brittle is delicious.  While it is not a low calorie food, it is much lower that it's full sugar sibling!

Desire to celebrate fully.  Dedication to gratitude for all my blessings.  Discipline to keep traveling my healthy journey.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Size Matters :-)

It is so easy to slip off of the portion control wagon! I have been examining every single thing I put into my mouth.  I know it sounds so booooooring!  But, remember, I am really motivated to shed more weight and have been stymied because I haven't been able to yet. 

So amidst all of the weighing and measuring, last Sunday evening, I found myself snacking on some delicious Fit Bites.  I did not count them out or measure by weight, I simply kept reaching into the bag for one more.  Then I realized I had completely over eaten and put the bag away.  It was a powerful realization and reminder about how easy it is to loose focus!  So as much as I enjoyed every morsel that went into my mouth (and I did), there will be no more errant snacking activity for me!  It is a reminder that 100 calories a day that is not burned, is, instead, stored as fat and can add up to one pound of weight gain a month!Yikes!  I do not want that!

Desire to travel further on my journey to better health.  Dedication to myself, because I am worth it.  Discipline to REALLY pay attention my intake and nutrition.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday's Triple Header

This morning I did an hour of cardio on the cross trainer...worked up a really good sweat.  Then I worked out with Kathi for an hour....more sweat and things like a 1-leg stand up to a lateral raise - fun!  Then I finished the morning with 75 minutes of "serenity" yoga.  It was a perfect Saturday morning!

I had oatmeal and blueberries before the workout.  Then I had some Fit Bites in between weight training and yoga.  I was pretty hungry at that point and couldn't wait until lunch to eat something!

I love this particular Saturday morning yoga class.  The teacher is Trisha Kelly, one of the founders of The Soul of Yoga in Encinitas.  The class,called Serenity, is a combination of a good stretch and mind candy in the form of words of wisdom from Trisha.  She is a pretty amazing yogi and it is so wonderful to be in her class!  Today she was sharing quotes, one about how voicing feelings of inadequacy or "less than" is simply self-indulgence masked in self-pity.  This guru was advocating that if we have any of thsoe feelings that we need to turn them into self-admiration and pure love.  What a great lesson to internalize!

I have been battling feelings of frustration because I have not lost any weight in a really long time.  I find myself feeling that I am not finished with my weight loss efforts, which is really a masking of not being good enough yet.  So, Trisha's words this morning gave me pause to reflect and be grateful that I was in that class and had a chance to hear the lesson.

I also have been enjoying Pink's new song, F-ing Perfect.  I know it is a song about teenage angst, nonetheless, I do love the lyrics during the chorus - "Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel, like you're less than, less than are perfect to me...

To all my loved ones out there - please hear the words, let them sink in, marinate in them, BELIEVE THEM!  Wherever you are in your healthy journey, you are perfect, right now.

Desire to marinate in perfection.  Dedication to sharing positive ideas with all my awesome friends and family. Discipline to practice what I preach.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hungry Girl Is on the Food Network!

Good morning!  It is Sunday morning and I am waiting for my stomach to settle (from breakfast) before going to workout, so the TV is on.  Guess what???? Hungry Girl has a TV show!  How fun!  I have been visiting her website for ahwile, so it is really fun to see her on TV.

This morning she is talking about chip swaps, oven toasted lahvosh cut into squares...a big bowl for only 200 calories and almost no fat!  Then she made crispy kale chips.  They are simply kale that she ripped into chip size pieces, sprayed with olive oil spray and sprinkled with salt, then roasted in the oven.  I am going to make both.  They look delicious!

Then she showed how to make a baked "french fry" out of butternut squash - something I had not thought of but will definitely try!

On a different note - I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  I know I am.  Please remember to pause and send up a prayer for the countless fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live our lives to the fullest!

Desire to find new ways to be successful on my healthly journey.  Dedication to remembering our fallen Veteerans.  Discipline to engage creativity to new ways of satisfying tastebuds!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Travel, Travel, Travel

Sorry for the silence last weekend.  We flew to Syracuse for my nephew's graduation from Syracuse University.  We are so proud of him and his accomplishments!

I managed to keep fairly close to my food plan, with just a few treats while traveling and celebrating his success!  On Friday, we hiked with our niece and nephew at the Buttermilk Falls State Park outside of Ithaca, so we got some great exercise! 

Then I really had some fun with my niece Alex (20) and my nephew Dominic (16) on Saturday after the convocation.  We did a workout together.  We all did some cardio and then they wanted me to show them some ab exercises.  I gave them each 3 different ones, each with 15 or 20 reps.  When they finished the first set, I told them to complete the set 3 times.  They were stunned!  Alex did a second set but not the third.  Dominic way...he was one and done!  I loved that my core is so strong and that I could teach them not only how to strengthen their abs, but also teach them that you can be strong at any  age!

I came home from Syracuse and left on a business trip to Kansas City the following morning.  I got home Thursday evening worked out with my trainer and had to be at work Friday morning at 5 am to set up for Bike To Work Day.  We supported bike riders at 2 different stations near our office. 

So, basically, I am exhausted and will sleep as much as I can this weekend. Sleep is an important part of our healthy journey!  I will concentrate on centering myself this morning with a nice yoga class.  Then tomorrow morning, I will hit the gym for an hour of cardio and an hour or weights.  Should be an awesome weekend!

Desire to teach and share.  Dedication to getting and staying strong.  Discipline to always circle back to nurture yourself in healthy ways!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thanks to All our Mother's!

For me, it is easy to celebrate Mother's Day, 1) because I have a spectacular Mother and Mother-in-Law and 2) because they are both still with me to celebrate.  I am truly blessed!

Yesterday we had our annual weenie roast on the beach for Mom.  It is her favorite way to celebrate each year.  She says it is the only way to eat a hot dog, once a year, grilled at the beach!  Since it is early in the season, we usually end up wearing sweatshirts and enjoying an empty beach due to the overcast skies.  For us, it is absolute perfection!

This year, I was reflecting on how easy it is to absorb and become the best of our Mother's.  It is also easy to carry forward their not so positive aspects as well, unless we are mindful to let them go.  If you have struggled with weight loss for a long time, there is very likely an internal self-limiting belief that is still with you.  It is also very likely that the belief was an unknowing gift from Mom. 

For me, I have learned, and keep reinforcing everyday, that is it powerful to separate from "food is love".  My parents grew up during the great Depression when they literally had no food to eat.  Mom says that many nights they went to bed with no dinner and that if they had a piece of bread with mustard on it, they were happy.  During my formative years, food was very closely tied up with love and celebration and family, home and hearth.  I have worked very hard to separate family love and devotion from food and abundance.  I still face internal challenges with food. I tend to allow myself extra calories for celebrations surrounding birthdays and holidays, which are celebrated with family and love.  It is all tied up together.  The difference for me is that now I choose to be hyper aware and not have it be unconscious eating.

I am not saying that we blame our parents/Mother for our weight challenges.  OH NO!  We are the ones in control of what we feed our bodies and how we choose to exercise and nurture ourselves. 

AND there is great power in our subconscious beliefs and how our lives manifest.  If you know what deep beliefs exist within you, from Mom or any other source in your life, you can acknowledge the belief that may be holding you back and then release it from your subconscious.  It is your choice.  You hold the power to change.  You can create new, more energizing and freeing beliefs to help propel you forward.  Things like self-confidence, self-worth and believing that you are worth the investment of your time and energy to plan your nutrition and spend the time moving in a more healthful way.

This process takes time, requires patience and is about understanding yourself on a deeper level.  So, on Mother's Day 2011, please take the time to honor and celebrate all the glorious wonderful gifts you received from Mom and at the same time, begin the journey of releasing any deeper beliefs that no longer serve you on your healthy journey!

Desire to honor and celebrate Mom.  Dedication to go deeper inside to find your truth.  Discipline to explore a new path to permanent weight loss success.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hungry Girl White Lasagna - Yum-O!

I saw a recipe on one of my emails from for white lasagna. I made it for dinner tonight and it was delicious.  I highly recommend it!  I made to small changes to the recipe.  I added some chopped fresh tomatoes and a little bit of chopped prosciutto.  The original recipe says it is 290 calories for one serving.  With my changes, it probably bumped it up to about 325 calories per serving.  The serving was a generous one.  My hubbie, Mom and Dad also enjoyed it.  Give it a try!

Also, today is my 7th day without any sugar, any fruit, any stevia or sweetner of any kind.  It has actually been OK.  I haven't misssed the sugar.  Instead I really want the flavor of sweet.  I miss stevia in my iced tea.  For the upcoming week, I am going to add back stevia, but do one more week with zero sugar, including fruit sugar.

I dropped 2 pounds this week, and I did not reduce my calories, just eliminated all sugars.  Very interesting.  I ate lean proteins, whole grains, lots of vegetables, non-fat milk, a little feta cheese, some rice crackers, and almonds.  So I did not starve myself at all.

It will be interesting to see what happens this week.  Ultimately, I would like ot add fresh whole fruit back into the mix.  I know that processed sugar of any kind is my "crack" and needs to be avoided!

Tomorrow morning my decaf tea will have some stevia in it.  YAY!
Desire to continue to seek a healthier self.  Dedication to monitoring changes.  Discipline to honor my commitments.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Easter is a great time for renewal! I am going to use this as a time to renew my approach to nutrition. Starting tomorrow morning, I am going to eliminate sugar from my diet and see how my body reacts. So no processed sugar or fruit sugar. I will concentrate on lean proteins, lots of vegetables and occasional whole grain. I will include natural fats like avocado and olive oil.

Now, I do not eat much sugar, except for around holiday celebrations. But I am addicted to the flavor of sweet. So I will also eliminate the use of stevia, which I use in my coffee, tea and iced tea every day. I just want to see if I can do without "sweet".

Wish me luck...I will let you know how it goes!

Desire to eliminate an addiction to sweet. Dedication to my health. Discipline to at least try the experiment.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trying New Things!

I heard from Sarah who asked me if I had heard of Mark Bitten and his book, Food Matters.   Yes, I have!  He advocates that we can change the planet if we are more mindful of what we eat.  He is a vegetarian until dinner time.  That cracks me up! 
A label I have heard used is "flexitarian", someone who has a "Meatless Monday" or eliminates animal products part of the time. 

Of course, Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution is making a big impact in the U.S.  I enjoy watching his approach to trying to get people to try a new way of approaching food and nutrition.

I just had my lunch and had falafel chips with my lunch today They are like a crispy flat falafel.  I found them at Jimbo's and they are delicious!  Give 'em a try!

So, this morning I had my ass handed to me during my workout with my trainer.  One legged burpees alternating with trunk rotations.  Walking lunges with side ball bounce.  Pull ups (ok-mine were assisted, I still can't do a full body pull up alone yet!) Jumping jack burpees.  Bosu push-ups and move.  Triple load on the triceps. Need I go on????  Talk about trying something new!  My trainer and I decided to add a bigger calorie burn to our sessions to impact how I am burning calories.  I will let you know how it goes!

Desire to lead with an open mind.  Dedication to make yourself do the final set of one legged burpees.  Discipline to know when to flex!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Fun Get-a-way

Allen and I went away for a weekend at the Laguna Cliffs Resort in Dana Point.  We had a blast!  I took Friday off and did my 2 hour workout on Friday morning.  Then on Saturday we took a nice relaxing walk around the harbor.  Then Sunday morning, after sleeping in, we hiked up the back side of the harbor, then out onto the headlands, then up another very steep set of stairs, then around the harbor, then did 3 more sets of stairs just for fun!  It was a great workout!  It was a nice balance to the treats we had at the bar last night!

I have been listening to a lot of women who have been talking about the diets they have been on.  One friend is doing Weight Watchers.  One friend is on Slim Fast shakes.  One friend is on Medifast.  One friend described something called HCG plus 500 calories a day.....wasn't sure I even understood that one.  One friend had to give up gluten and dairy for the health of her gut and is giving up animal protein too.  I asked her - does that make you a vegan?  She declined the label, but had to agree.

One thing I am sure of is that we are all working on finding a healthier version of ourselves.  Feel free to let me know what is working for you.  I am always interested in learning new and better ways to find a healthier version of me.

Desire to break free from the routine and have fun!  Dedication to staying true to workouts while having fun!  Discipline to keep learning by seeking wisdom with fresh eyes!   

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Celebrating 100 Today!

I think I look amazing for 100......100 posts, that is! :-) This is my 100th post and I want to thank you for being part of my journey! THANK YOU!

I am so grateful for so many things in my life. My healthy journey blog began as a way to help me navigate weight loss and a return to a healthier me. This journey has turned out to be so much richer and filled with so much more meaning. THANK YOU!

I am blessed beyond anything I could have imagined, including having the energy and positive will to succeed on my healthy journey. Every day I encounter opportunities to reflect on the blessings of my journey. Every day I am humbled by other people and what their journey includes. Every day I thank God for the chance to continue striving to make good choices, to include healthy activities and to practice learning the lessons that are placed in my path.

A co-worker of mine competed in his first half Ironman competition yesterday. He finished in a VERY respectable 5 1/2 hours! Go Ryan! On Friday, he shared with me his motivation. He has started a foundation to raise money to find a cure for multiple myeloma. He races to raise money for his foundation. Then he shared with me that his beloved Mom is battling the disease, was diagnosed 4 years ago when she turned 50. I could not have been more humbled.

When God opens a window to a lesson like that, it causes me to pause, reflect, be grateful for my blessings and also to think....what more can I be doing to help others.

I hope anyone reading this will do the same. Find a reason to give. Find a vehicle to share. Find a way to pay it forward. All of this matters.

So, happy 100th! THANK YOU for sharing and caring and being a part of my healthy journey!

Desire to contribute. Dedication to gratitude. Discipline to pay it forward to others.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yep - It's Saturday!

8am: cardio - check
9am:get butt kicked by trainer - check
10:15am: hair appointment - check
12:15 - 90 minutes of yin yoga - check
2:30pm: mani/pedi - check

It's 4:30 and I'm back at home relaxing after a packed Saturday. I am struck by how structured my Saturday's are and how much I treasure my unscheduled Sundays, when I get them. I have read many articles about how important it is to have down time in order for your body to repair and process everything it needs to do. So no matter how busy and scheduled you are, please be sure to find time for yourself to relax.

So I am off to enjoy a quiet evening leading into a a relaxed unstructured Sunday.

Yay for the weekend!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Yesterday I was thrilled to find pumpkin fat free frozen yogurt at my local Golden Spoon store. YAY! My favorite flavor! Such a fun treat and if consumed in a small portion....quite legal too!!

I am composing this post on a new LG tablet that will soon be available through T-Mobile. I have to admit it is pretty cool. It is really small, light and runs on available Wi-fi or the T-Mobile 4G network. So I can take it anywhere and be connected. Since I am having to learn how to use a new electronic device, I consider it to be an important part of my healthy journey....flexing and developing my mental muscle! You can teach an old dog new tricks, the dog simply has to want to learn- woof woof!

So watch out I-pad cuz this thing is way cooler!

Later today I will make onion rings ala Hungry Girl recipe: 12 crispy rings only 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, 9 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein......looking forward to trying something new!

Desire to flex and build mental muscle. Dedication to finding a satisfying new crunch. Discipline to stick to the recipe.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Temptation of Birthday Cake

Last night we celebrated 2 family birthdays, my nephew and my brother. They both ordered a chocolate cake for their birthday. The good news is that I resisted having any cake. Even though I like chocolate occassionally, it is one of the few cakes I can easily resist! I did have 2 bites of pistachio ice cream, though. That is much harder to resist!

What are your temptations? And how do you say no?

I am struggling to figure out a way to shed more weight. I am considsering all sorts of options. My workouts are going well. I am thinking about taking some new classes to create a different burn for my body. Research tells us that our bodies grow accostomed to whatever exercise we do and we need to change it up to increase the burn!

I just read that, at rest, a pound of fat burns 2 calories an hour and a pound of muscle burns 32 calories an hour....what more evidence do we need to convince us that weight training is the way to go! It is so important to include weight training in your regime! Not only will creating more lean muscle mass burn more calories at rest, but you will be proactively combating future problems with osteoporosis by having more muscle tissue!

Please send me a message and let me know what you are doing that is working for you!

Desire to learn from other's success. Dedication to build lean muscle. Discipline to find a way to shed more weight!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

I am so happy to be home, I can't even express how happy I am! All the way home on the flight, I reflected how challenging it is to stay really healthy while on a business trip. Then I think about how much I travelled in my former job and it is no small wonder how my health, weight and stress levels all became so comprimised.

I managed to do 4 workouts in the space of 8 days. Definitely better than nothing, but I didn't burn anywhere near the same number of calories as I do at home in the same space and time. Also, I made good food choices, even packed my own snacks to combat travel day temptations, and still I know I consumed more calories than normal.

I had planned to hit the ground in San Diego and go to the gym as my re-entry process, but the universe conspired to direct my attention elsewhere. My Dad is experiencing more coronary issues and I rushed to the hospital instead. They found a blood clot in his ventrical and are now treating it aggressively with a med to break-up the clot. Please send up a prayer that this episode will have a very positive outcome!

While at the hospital, Dad asked the attending cardiovascular nurse, what should I do differently during this treatment. Her answer was insightful, wonderful to hear and very heartwarming. She said: Look at the two of you (my Mom and Dad), you are in your 80's and doing really great, especially for your age! You eat right, don't "live at McDonald's", don't eat fried food, you exercise and are not sedentary, you love each other and are surrounded by a strong support system and you have a positive attitude, and I have found that a positive attitude is more than half the battle. You look and act at least 10 years younger than you actual age! I wish more of my patients were just like you!

So I leave you with this thought:

Desire to live a long healthy life well into your 80's with a high quality of life. Dedication to generating and sustaining a strong loving support system of family and friends. Discipline to eat healthy and keep moving your whole life!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fun on the Road!

First of all, a GREAT BIG shout out to Helene! I saw her last night and she looks AMAZING! She is dangerously close to being a skinny b-e-a-t-c-h! She has clearly achieved much success on her healthy journey. I am so proud of her! She looks happy, beautiful and is full of energy! What a great visit we had!!!

I am completely enjoying my visit with my borther and his family. They are such a fantastic family! The "boys", now 14 and 16, are both taller than I am!!! It is SSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO great to see them! I miss them like crazy and am just grateful that I get this visit with them!

Yesterday I went to a local Y and did a weight and cardio workout. I channeled my very best "Kathy" (my trainer) and did a circuit in the weight room and hopped on the precor runner for my cardio. Surprise - a drop in fee at this Y was $22!!! In my neigborhood, the local Y charges $5 for a drop in visit! Then this morning I took a long walk around their beautiful neighborhood. It was chilly and I had on 2 heavy sweathirts and worked up a nice sweat.

So, I have managed to keep up my workouts so far. The next few days will be more challenging because I have to be up very early every morning and I have a business dinner every night.....uuugggghhhh. I plan on having grilled salmon and veges every night. Should be yummy and healthy!

Desire to maintain balance while on the road. Dedication to family, friends and self. Discipline to honor fitness and nutrition.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Going to New Jersey!

I am so excited. I am going on a business trip to New Jersey and I am so excited because I get to visit my brother and his family who moved there last summer! YAY! I will also see my BFF, Helene! Double Yay!

I will eat healthy for the week I am gone, including bringing my own snacks on the cross country flight. Even though I will be in a happy celebratory mode, I plan to stay true to my eating plan.

I am switching my workout energy. Instead of working always in the evening, I am going to try early morning cardio on Monday and Tuesday morning. I will keep Wednesday evening with Kathi, my trainer. I will keep Thursday evenings for yoga. Friday is my day off. Saturday, my double day, is an hour of cardio and an hour with my trainer in the morning. Then Sunday morning is reserved for the outside workout with my hubbie.

The big difference will be 2 morning workouts, leaving 2 evenings a week free each week.

I hope you all pay attention to the rhythm of your life and be open to shifting and trying something new to see if a redirection of your energy will be good for you!

Desire to try a new workout schedule. Dedication to listening to your inner rhythms. Discipline to keep working out at any time of the day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day and I'm Struggling.....

First of all, Happy Valentine's Day (tomorrow) to everyone! I hope you spend it with someone you love, could be another person, a furry person and/or yourself!

Last night I made a special dinner for my Valentine and also included my parents. It was their 60th Valentine celebration together! Allen proposed to me 24 years ago on Valentines Day! My idea was to serve food that was either pink or red. We started with a glass of blush champagne and a bruschetta with a spread of ricotta, sun dried tomatoes, basil and prosciutto on top. Then we had a cabernet with our sliced steak (pink in the middle) steamed crabs legs (pinky and white) and a vege of radicchio, red cabbage, red onion and red pepper. Desert was an angel food cake sliced into 3 layers with rasberries, strawberries and whipped cream between the layers. Very light and yummy. Our last course was chocolate truffles with a glass of ruby red port.

An indulgence? You bet. Was the celebration oflove worth it? You bet!

So, I am struggling because I have not lost a single pound this year yet. And I have been plateaued since last September. I recently had a doctor check up and something dawned on me....last August, I began a course of bio identical plant based cream hormones. I am convinced that this treatment, which is helping my body to regulate in other areas, is actually also stopping my body from shedding weight.

So, I will continue to strive on my healthy journey. This is the start of year #3! I am very proud of myself that I have found a way to stay forcused. I will shed more pounds this year. I just think I have to be extra patient and dilligent and watchful of my intake and exercise, while persevering.

Desire to be a lighter (15 more pounds please) version of myself. Dedication to a lifetime healthy journey, not just a temporary diet. Discipline to keep my eye on the prize - GOOD GREAT HEALTH!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What Is Your Superbowl Menu?

We are enjoying the glad Green Bay struck first blood! (I don't want the Steelers to win because of what Rothlesberger did - he is sum) I don't usually care about football, but, of course, it is fun to watch the commercials! And Fergie/Black Eyed Peas are performing at half time....and Lea Michelle sang beautifully at the opening!

So, just wanted to share how I am making it through this tyical day to overeat. Of course, we bagin the morning with an awesome workout - we walked our favorite beach route with the 5 big staircases. Today, I ran up all 5.

We have family over for the game and we are eating chicken drummettes roasted in the oven, sliced chicken sausages with 2 different mustards for dipping, pop chips, hummus and lots of raw veges: brocolli, celery, carrots, cucumber, carrots, gold peppers and red peppers. YUM-O!

My Dad also brought over some fresh pork ribs. I tasted them and they are delicious!

BTW, at dinner at my folks house on Friday night, homemade cookies were served for desert and I did not even have one taste. My Mom's cookes are my kryptonite....I need to avoid them or I go crazy!

I hope you are enjoying a fun and healthy day too!

Desire to enjoy all that life has to offer to the fullest! Dedication to planning for healthy choices. Discipline to resist the urge to overindulge.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Our Lessons Come from Everywhere!

Who would think that a powerful lesson would come from watching American Idol? Well the final contestant profiled on Wednesday night's show was a young man who was dedicated to his fiance, who had been in a car accident, suffered traumatic brain injury and was now seriously impaired. His love for her and his dedication to taking care of her was a "whole box of tissues" moment. He said - "I was 2 months away from our wedding where I was going to commit to loving her in sickness and in health. What kind of man would I be if I left her now?"

It was a real MOMENT on TV. I bet zillions of people across the country were impacted by the the character of this man. (BTW, he is going to Hollywood! Yay!)

So, for me, it was yet another opportunity to reflect on my journey, and feel very ashamed of myself for worrying about truly unimportant things in life like how many pounds I had lost in the previous week. YES, it is important to stay focused on a healthy journey, and NO it is not important if we are stuck and need to get past a plateau. We have the ability and the brain power and the where with all to make choices every day that can impact our lives in a healthy positive way. The poor young woman who was injured has had her life altered forever. It makes me sit and wonder...why does God give some people such enormous challenges in life. I am humbled beyond anything to realize that my challenges are puny and insignificant by comparison.

So, embrace your healthy journey, focus on what will help you live your best life and rememebr to give back to someone else who needs your help.

Desire to accept life's lessons wherever they come from. Dedication to helping others in need. Discipline to stay focused on my healthy journey, little frustrations be damned!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Joining Friends for Dinner

I worked out with my trainer this morning and also did 30 minutes of hard cardio. Tomorrow Allen and I will go do our favorite beach walk with the 5 really long staircases.

We are meeting friends for dinner out tonight and I want to be very careful. Last Saturday night, we also went out with friends. When they heard about my recent promotion, they ordered champagne to celebrate. I wasn't planning on consuming alcohol calories, but had a glass just the same. I also tasted a wide variety of delicious Chinese dishes. Our host had ordered for the group so I did taste quite a bit. I ended up eating way more calories than I had wanted to. Tonight will be different. I know the restaurant and will place a healthy order and enjoy it!

Going out to dinner can definitely lead to extra calories consumed but I think it is all part of learning how to live in the real world and engage in normal social activity.

I shed 2 pounds last week so now I only have 3 more to go to get back to my pre-Christmas number (yes, I enjoyed gaining 5 pounds from all the holiday treats!). From there it is on to reaching my final goal in 2011!!!

Desire to celebrate life. Dedication to returning to plan. Discipline to keep up the workouts.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Travel Your Healthy Journey - Do Not Diet!

Healthy Weight Week is about eating like you are not “on a diet.” January 16 – 22, 2011 is the 18th Annual Healthy Weight Week founded by Frances Berg, RD. As her website says, “It’s a time to celebrate healthy living habits that last a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems, rather than intensifying them, as diets do. “ The premise is to create a lifestyle that promotes a healthy weight by using techniques that prevent eating and weight problems.

This “holiday week” need not be detrimental to your weight loss goals. But the Weight-control Information Network, supported by the National Institute of Health, recently published an article which suggests that the key to weight loss is adopting healthy lifestyle habits that you can continue for a lifetime. On the heels of the goals set as New Year’s resolutions, Healthy Weight Week may be right on time. A"s soon as 20 days after the New Year, many dieters are struggling to maintain the same level of motivation they had on the 1st." So, it’s not a vacation from your weight loss journey, instead try using Healthy Weight Week to refresh your senses and take on your goals with a renewed outlook.

Frances Berg, founder of Healthy Weight Week, is a registered dietitian, family wellness therapist, and adjunct professor at the University Of North Dakota School Of Medicine. Author of 12 books, Frances touts 16 years as the founder, editor and publisher of Healthy Weight Journal. Her mission is to use the extensive research under her belt to shine a light on the inherent issues some of us have with weight maintenance. She wants us to end the cycle of yo-yo dieting.

To celebrate Healthy Weight Week, Frances Berg has issued a personal challenge that includes ten healthy living habits. Her challenge asks us to choose two or three activities from the list below to carry through the week, at a comfortable level. The aim is to continue your initial activities and gradually add others as the year goes on. Here is her list:

1. Stop dieting. Stop making weight loss goals and “waiting to be thin.” Stop weight-obsessive thoughts. Instead, be your own best self, starting right now. Decide it’s time to get on with living your life to the fullest.
2. Be active in your own way every day. Focus on the pleasure of movement and its health and energy benefits, not only on calories burned. Don’t overdo it, or it won’t become a habit. (If you’re not regularly active now, start with 5 minutes a day for the first month, then gradually increase time.) For most adults, an appropriate level is about 30 minutes a day for at least five days a week. Avoid long periods of inactivity.
3. Identify and build on your own special talents, traits and interests. Use self-talk and affirmations to enhance personal acceptance, respect, self-esteem and positive body image. Feel good about yourself.
4. Feel good about others. Expect and extend respect, tolerance and acceptance.
5. Promote good relationships and communication with family, friends and acquaintances. Spend time enjoying social activities.
6. Rediscover normal eating – eat at regular times, typically three meals and snacks to satisfy hunger. Tune in to your body’s internal signals of hunger and fullness – eat when you’re hungry and stop when full and satisfied. Enjoy your food. Notice how much better you feel!
7. Eat well. Include all five food groups every day: bread and grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy, meat and alternates. Choose balance, variety and moderation. All foods can fit.
8. Relax and relieve stress in your life. Take time for a daily 10-15 minute relaxation session. Or just empty your mind and let your body go limp for 30-second relaxation breaks occasionally throughout the day. Stress can lead to high blood pressure, chest pain, back pain, indigestion, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression, confusion, mood swings, irritability and anger. Listen to your body. Be flexible, relax and go with the flow.
9. Respect and appreciate size diversity. Reassure yourself and others that beauty, health, and strength come in all sizes. Promote healthy living at every size. Recognize that size prejudice hurts us all.
10. You may choose to make a personal contract and give yourself a reward at the end of each week. If you’ve set your challenges too high, you’ll know it: cut back before they become burdensome. Make healthy living changes gradually, one baby step at a time, small changes you can live with for the long term.

Desire to consult with other experts. Dedication to challenge your Nelf to grow and stretch on your journey. Discipline to set small goals and achieve them.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's Great to Be Back!

As much as I enjoyed all my holiday treats, it is nice to be back to my focused healthy eating and movement approach to life! I am focusing on vegetables, fresh tangerines, blueberries and gala apples! I keep trying new juice combos - have you tried beet, celery and cucumber? Delicious! Tangerine, spinach and celery? Amazing!

I am loving focusing on my fitness. My face is continuing to heal well. I am excited to meet my final goal in 2011. It is great to be back, focused and moving forward!

I hope your year is off to a good start too. This time of year, everywhere we turn, we see articles about nutrition, cooking shows about light and healthy cooking, TV ads about a new piece of fitness equipment and so much more. So, it is a good time to jump on the band wagon, dive into the deep end, take that first step and do whatever it takes to get started (and/or recommit to your continuing efforts) on your healthy journey.

Drop me a comment and let me know how you are doing!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Too many calories!
Too many cookies!
Too much chocolate!
Too much champagne!
Too much chardonay!
Too much cake!
Too much Christmas crack!

Time to shift back into healthy gear and leave indulgent gear in the rear view mirror for the time! Welcome to 2011! We juiced for breakfast today then went to the beach for the Swami's walk and 5 sets of stairs. A positively GORGEOUS blindingly beautiful Encinitas morning. The path was full of like-minded people. It was a great start to the day and the year!

Don't get me wrong, I literally enjoyed every single tempting morsel I inserted into my mouth! I kept up my workouts, but we all know that the workouts aren't enough to fully counter balance too many calories.

I love that old everything turn turn turn, there is a season, turn turn turn, and a time to every purpose under heaven! Thus endeth the season of holiday indulgence and beginneth the season of healthy journey 2011!!!

Desire to reach my final goal by June 2011. Dedication to my own health and well being. Discipline to apply all I have learned to move forward!!!