She’s Here, There and Everywhere!

Yesterday I had a lot of time at home.  I had the TV on for a good amount of the day, mostly as background noise.  Twice, however, I was called to it when I heard the familiar voice of Jillian Michaels.  First, it was on a rerun of the Rachel Ray show.  I found that interesting just because.  Rachel Ray, who when she add cheese, cheese and more cheese to a recipe, finds the audience clapping and cheering for her.  Jillian Michaels who probably hasn’t even eaten a piece of cheese in years.  Put em together and apparently you get Jillian plugging her diet supplement.  I was uncomfortable with her huge Gucci belt and stiletto heals.  Especially when she was doing push-ups and pull-ups.  I was much more uncomfortable when everyone in the audience got sent home with a box of her supplements.  She also mentioned that this past season was the first that the BL contestants took her supplements and they lost the most amount of weight in the quickest time…I am totally uncomfortable with the RACE to lose weight though again, when it comes to BL, I realize it’s not just a TV show, but also a game — a race.  From my experience, supplements aren’t worth taking.  They are expensive, they don’t always work and when they do, they often have some not so nice side effects.  My experience was with ephedra in the form of Diet Fuel and Ripped Fuel back in the early-mid 90s.  For the record, they did give me energy and help me maintain my ideal weight (which was about 10 pounds less than I am now).  I also ground my teeth every night, (ruining some) and just about the time I started noticing this, ephedra was pulled from the market because it was just too dangerous.  I can’t imagine how many others suffered undesirable health effects.

Later on yesterday, there she was again.  This time on a rerun episode of The Doctors.  She was a lot more fun on this show, where she competed in some physical challenges with the young, good looking, ER doc.  They lunge-raced while holding spoons with a raw egg.  His legs were about 3 times the length of hers, so she didn’t stand a chance, but somehow they tied.  She sat on the panel and they discussed healthy choices for meals.  I promise you that on neither BL nor Losing It, do they really eat some of those healthy, yet fattening foods.  Instead, they apparently now take supplements and according to Kai Hibbard, drink coffee as a meal.

Finally, last night, it was Losing It.  They were the tallest family I have ever seen.  Mom, Dad, 4 sons.  All over 6 feet tall.  The show focused on the parents and 2 of the sons, while the twins were away at college.  Nice family.  Stern dad who didn’t believe in showing emotions.  It was how his daddy raised him and how he raised his boys.  I think this episode was more about that, than weight loss, but somehow, after just one week, Jillian fixed everything.  Turns out, she is Superwoman.  When she returned in 8 weeks, dad lost 50 pounds, son Elijah lost 56 pounds (and gained all the self-esteem he never had) and mom lost 31.  They all looked wonderful and I’ll bet those supplements helped speed things up.  If I ate a subway sub for lunch I would need to take a supplement to.  Jillian ordered her veggie sub on Italian bread and I don’t for ONE SINGLE MINUTE believe she would really eat it.  In fact, I have been told through a reliable grapevine, that she never lets the contestants actually eat the Subway subs, they just do it on the show as product placement advertising.  Hey the 50,00o bucks she gives away at the end of the show has to come from somewhere, no?

If I sound a little bitter, I am.  I got sucked into these shows because I love to see the transformations.  Its one of the things I live for…seeing people adopt exercise and wellness into their lives.  I figure there is always something I can learn from them.  I just don’t believe in using unhealthy tools to get healthy.  It doesn’t really make sense to me.  I usually think of supplements in the way I do medications.  The makers are really the ones who reap all the benefits.  CHING CHING.

I subscribe much more to what the good doctor is saying in The China Diet. I am up to the chapter about obesity, so I look forward to getting back to it this afternoon.  So far, every single word this man has said makes great sense.  For me, personally, it affirms so much of what I believe to be true.  EVERYTHING that ails you, can be made better by choosing whole plant-based foods over anything and everything else.   Science has proved time and time again that you can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, lose weight and avoid or even reverse heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disorders, Alzheimer’s (lets hope) and more by choosing whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables over animal proteins. I always did think Dr. Atkins was the devil.  Now I am starting to wonder about Jillian Micheals.  Or should I say

Just Who Really Benefits from Statins?

No great surprise to learn (or hear again) that I am not a fan of big Pharma.  Often, I think most of my motivation to follow the lifestyle I do, is in hopes of avoiding medication.  I don’t trust it and more importantly, I don’t trust the people who make em.  Just last night, the news reported some serious problems with the drug Avandia, taken for type-2 diabetes.  Apparently, thought it might help with your diabetes, it puts people at an increased risk for heart attacks.

But my single biggest issue has always been with the statins.  I have always questioned whether “lowering your cholesterol readings” actually lowers your risk of heart attacks.  It makes sense that it would, and it would be wonderful if that were the case, but it has never made sense that you could keep eating foods loaded with cholesterol and the pill would make it all OK.  That would make it “too good to be true,” and we have all learned that if something seems “too good to be true,” it’s probably NOT!  Of course, when taking a statin  it is suggested to eat well and exercise regularly, but how many just take the pill and hope for the best.    Since most doctors want to push the statins (no doubt because of the incentives from big PHARMA) I have even heard some say “I take it and my cholesterol isn’t even high.”

When Mitch’s cholesterol was “borderline,” I suggested he ask our internist this:  “I realize that the statin lowers the levels in blood work, but is there proof that it will prevent ME from having a heart attack?”  Mitch has NO other risk factors for heart disease.  His dad’s heart is healthy as can be at almost 82.  His mom did not have heart disease.  Mitch is not overweight, he isn’t sedentary and he doesn’t smoke cigarettes.  Our doctor, wisely, said she would have to get back to him on that.  His cardiologist basically said get your ass in the gym and watch what you eat and stay off the meds for as long as you can.  Have I mentioned how much I love Dr. Gary Garfield?

So I wasn’t at all even mildly surprised this morning when I read the article titled:


A meta-analysis-a review of previous studies- published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that statins do NOT lower death rates among patients who have risk factors but show no evidence of cardiovascular disease and take then as a preventative measure.  (There is a separate study that suggests that for men who have undergone surgery for prostate cancer, it might reduce the chance of recurrence).   A third article, also published in the Archives, raised questions about the financial and professional motives of the medical researchers who conducted studies (that suggest another statin WOULD work).

These new reports suggest that “statins’ effectiveness in this area has been limited, at best, to preventing non fatal heart attacks, while FAILING to budge rates of fatal ones.”  Dr. Golomb, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego, said the studies “supports what we should already have known- that for patients without established heart disease, statins are more risky than helpful.”

Now, here’s the big dilemma.  As I read The China Study,  (with awe) I am reminded of how bad high cholesterol might be for us.  It not only is an indicator of heart disease, but according to the research in the book, also cancer and probably some of the other BIG diseases.  So what is a person to do?

Obvioulsy exercising most every day is a great way to keep cholesterol numbers in check.  So is avoiding animal products.  Sorry, I had to say it.  The articles I read regarding the statins, confirm every wacky, skeptical idea I have ever had about them.  (There have been years of frustration until these more recent studies started to become available).  I have also questioned the role of animal products on our health, for years.  Thankfully, Dr. Campbell and his peers did the research.  I know I am NOT crazy, though many may still beg to differ.

Thanks, Lesley, for going out and buying a copy of The China Study and letting me know.  Rita, why don’t you let me just bring you a copy on Friday?  Carole, I would have sent you a copy if I knew about it when I sent your present!  I am glad you had a wonderful birthday!!!!

Let me finish by saying I am NOT NOT NOT suggesting a strict plant-based diet for anyone but me.  I am just suggesting we all are open-minded enough to read and learn.  I had a conversation with a very bright, well educated woman yesterday, whom I adore, regarding protein consumption.  Protein is nothing more than a chain of amino acids.  We can find it in lots of foods we don’t think of as protein sources.  For example, 2 ounces of pasta (I eat whole wheat) has 7 grams of protein.  Most people eat about 4 ounces, so that would be 14 grams if you added nothing to it.  Americans have been brainwashed into thinking the more protein, the better off they are.  I believe as long as we are getting the nutrients we need to make those chains of amino acids complete (assorted veggies, grains and legumes do that as do animal products) we are best off keeping our protein levels just about where we need them for good health.  As a round number, that’s about 50 grams a day, but again, do your own research.  Too much animal protein (which is high in fat, high in cholesterol and high in calories) might just be the reason we are and unhealthy and overweight society!

Sorry for going on a rant this week.  It makes me crazy to watch people sick or even worse, when there just might be a dietary solution.  Listen, I am 100% sure we are all going to die.  I am also reasonably sure we have A LOT of control over our health while we are still alive!

Think about it.

The China Study and…

Happy birthday to my first, longest and very special friend, Carole, in California.  I celebrate your birthday right along with you, for the day you entered the world, it was safe for me to follow.  Thanks for being a one in a million friend!  I feel really lucky to know we are just as connected today, as we were 50plus years ago!  Happy birthday, also, to Ted,  (aka Dr. Antonetz) in New York.  Wishing you both a day filled with love, good friends, good food, laughter, happiness, peace and some premium blend coffee.

Well, I couldn’t run out quick enough to get myself a copy of the China Study.  After reading an article in American Fitness Magazine, about trainer Bob Harper and his mention of this book, I felt an immediate need to see what it was all about.  NOT because it was Bob Harper, but because I recently heard he leaned further into a plant-based diet, after having been a vegetarian for years.  Having done the same thing this year, I was curious about his journey.

Though I have read a few really good books on the vegan lifestyle, and loved both Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet and John Robbin’s Diet for a New America, I have always been hard-pressed to recommend either.  This is because the animal compassion parts of the book are hard to read, and clearly not for everyone.  I have a two-fold reason for eating a plant-based diet–part of it is about the animals, but most of it is about ME and my health.

My dream would be for everyone to consider the health possibilities that can be derived from avoiding animal products.  The China Study is a book I can recommend to everyone, based on the science behind it.  The author, T. Colin, Campbell, Ph.D, is a brilliant researcher (yes, he does much of his research on rats and mice) grew up on a dairy farm, went to school to study veterinary medicine and then was approached by Cornell University to do graduate work in “animal nutrition.”  There he worked on animal life extension through nutrition.  After working at MIT (where he actually discovered the chemical dioxin of Agent Orange fame) he took a position at Virginia Tech where he became involved in working with malnourished children in the Philippines.  The aim of this project was to make sure children were getting as much protein as possible.  It was here that he discovered something huge.  It was here that he learned that “the children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones who were most likely to get liver cancer!” This finding would lead him to continue research into nutrition, protein, cancer and much more.  What he would continue to learn over the next couple of decades, via hundreds and hundreds of studies, is what led to this book.  I am not surprised at any of what I am reading, but I am sure loving the SCIENCE behind it.

While it is not my place to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t eat, as a fitness instructor and trainer, I am often asked “diet” questions.  Because I am NOT a nutritionist, its not legally my place to suggest a “diet.”  As a wellness consultant, however, I will urge anyone and everyone who is interested in their own health to read and make choices that are sound for you.  As Dr. Campbell himself says, “if you want to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast and then take medication, that’s your choice.”  If you want to learn the secrets to avoiding and even reversing most all the diseases that ail us, consider this book.  If you google it, you will quickly learn it is literally the most comprehensive study on nutrition ever conducted! If I am going to treat my body like a temple, this book will surely be my bible. $16.99 at Barnes and Noble, but I am sure you can get one used on Amazon.  I promise though you may or may not want to agree with everything, it can’t help but make you think about your dietary choices.

Gonna go blend up some fresh fruits and almond milk and go get my fitness on! Have a wonderful day everyone.

Quality Matters (A lot!)

Yesterday I had lunch with Wendie, (half of the couple who own TFC, where I have taught for almost 30 years).  We meet monthly, always ordering the salad, or the veggies, or leaving off the bread.  We drink water, or coffee and catch up on life.  Yesterday we sat at the bar.  It was happy hour.  It was something we have never done before, but yesterday it just seemed right. We discussed how her father-in-law lived his life, destined to live to 140, eating all the right things and exercising daily.  We discussed my father and how he was the complete and total antithesis.  He gave up exercise of any form, when he was in his 40s and stopped playing softball and baseball.  He smoked cigarettes and ate whatever he was in the mood for, with no regard to how it might effect his sugar, his pressure, his cholesterol or his weight.

My dad, George, died 10 years ago at the age of 83.  Wendie’s father-in-law, Howard,  died last week, at the age of 83.  It felt right to sit by the bar and drink our martinis and laugh and ponder life and death.  Funny, when it came time to order food, Wen ordered the house salad, and I the vegetable plate.  Apparently we can only vie so far from our norm/comfort zone.  Decadent would have been if I ordered the veggie burger on a bun with sweet potato fries, but I couldn’t and for a moment, I wondered why.

There is no wonder, though.  While Howard was feeling awesome and busy lifting weights and inspiring countless others to become healthy and fit, my dad was huffing oxygen to get from his chair to the bathroom.  While Howard was dancing his ass off at his grandson’s bar-mitzvah 8 years ago, my dad was exhausted from getting up to make the blessing over the bread, 10, 13 and 15 years ago at 3 of his grandson’s big days.  Sure, they both crossed over at the same age, but their quality of life for so many years prior, was like black and white.  I desperately want to be the one dancing!

So I wake up this morning very, very clear about why I make the choices that I make in my life.  I am clear about why I eat the way I do and why I exercise the way I do.  Quality of life is what I have and what I aspire to continue to have.  As Ron put so well, and Wendie reminded me yesterday, though Howard passed away at 83, he crammed 140 years into those 83 and that’s exactly what I want, too and what I wish for all of you.

With that in mind, I am off to make some breakfast and then hit the gym for class.  I will be heading to Barnes and Noble later to pick up the book The China Study, which trainer Bob Harper claims changed his way of life.  Written about 5 years ago, I had not heard of it until yesterday.  You can google it and find out a lot about it, as I did earlier this morning.

Thanks, Carol, for sending the link about the cereal recall.  If any of you have children or friends that hit the Froot Loops or other similar cereals, you will want to pass along this link:

A huge congratulations to Michelina (aka Michelle) who had her baby girl this week!!! Welcome Gabriella.

Enjoy your Saturday.   Fill your plate, your head, your heart and your life with quality.  You deserve it!

Where the Boys are…or Is, and More

For Judy and anyone headed to the Delray, Florida area:  The Boys (and the Girls, too) are located on Military Trail in Delray.  The Boys are at …

14378 South Military Trail

Delray Beach, FL 33484-2626

(561) 496-0810

They are a very large market-like a Penn Dutch, but probably better quality.  It gets very crowded.  People flock from everywhere.  Park far away from the front door if you go because the parking lot is a madhouse!

The Girls, just a few blocks south, also on Military, is their “sister store” that has a u-pick farm behind it.  I loved that place.  Lots of animals to see and just a really cute place!  If you make the trip up, they are both worth visiting.

Lisa…thanks, for sharing that list of cholesterol lowering foods.  For anyone (isn’t most everyone?) interested in lowering your own cholesterol with foods-I just tried to get back to the list, to copy and paste here, but it’s not opening today!  Suffice to say, lots of high fiber foods (vegetables, fruits and grains) are the way to pull cholesterol out of those arteries.  Think what WOULDN’T Dr. Atkins eat if he were still alive, and eat those foods!  Thankfully, the new Atkins diet has been revised to include the fiber-filled foods.

High cholesterol puts one at risk for a stroke.  Thanks to Debbie, for sending the info on the 4 things to look for if you think someone is having a stroke.  Worth repeating, here they are:

S  *Ask  the individual to SMILE.
T  *Ask  the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out  today.)
R *Ask  him or her to RAISE BOTH  ARMS.
If  he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these  tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the  dispatcher.
New  Sign of a Stroke ——– Stick out Your  Tongue
Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the  person to ‘stick’ out his tongue.. If the tongue  is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the  other
, that is  also an indication of a  stroke.

Thanks everyone for your questions and suggestions and simply for checking in.  Rita and Carol, hope each day finds you on a constant upswing! Sylna, I, too am immediately attracted to anything DOG, and yes, this particular video had several important lessons about people, dogs and ANY living creatures.  Thanks, Sylna, for this link on keeping the brain sharp.

I am elated that we can all share valuable information on this site and I am greatly appreciative for your thinking to forward things to me. Each and every day, I look forward to the comments, emails, questions, links and suggestions from ALL of you. Thanks, also, for passing along this site to others.  As my good friend Lesley always says, and Mishell said last night at the dinner table, “sharing is caring.”  A simple message for children, but equally as important for adults.  Sharing IS caring.  Thank you so much for caring.

Abundant Gratitude

As if to smack me in the head and remind me its Thursday, my favorite of all the days, I walked outside with Blaze this morning only to find a mamma duck teaching her babies to swim in the canal.  Because a picture is worth a thousand words, I ran for my camera in hopes of taking the snapshot that would force me to get busy figuring out how to get it up on the site, but they were a few houses down by the time I got back out there.  Good job, mamma, those babies are all top notch swimmers! I am grateful for the moments I had watching them, reminded that mother nature gives us endless gifts if we just open our eyes to them.

Speaking of gifts from  mother nature, yesterday Mitch went to the Boys, the market place I blogged about some months back.  Just 17 dollars later, he came home with a symphony of yummy fruits and veggies.  Strawberries (to die for) that were basically gobbled up upon washing, pineapple, plums (I haven’t had one, but Mitch did and said when you bite into it, it’s exactly how you want a plum to look and taste–a rarity) humongous lemons, avocado, fresh squeezed (how can it be so sweet?) grapefruit juice, a head of romaine lettuce that looked like it was on steroids, and I am sure some other goodies that I am forgetting.  Thanks again to mom nature!

So by now most of you have heard, seen or read about the season 3 Biggest Loser contestant, Kai Hibbard, who is out there exposing some truths about the show.  I was NOT at all shocked.  Those of us that watch always wonder how some of it can possibly be true.  Kai, who lost well over 100 pounds on the show, clued us in to how she was taught to think coffee is a meal, dehydrate before weigh ins (I figured this from day one) and workout even when injured or sick.  She claims that the producers call all the shots and they are told NOT to listen to the nutritionists, but instead the trainers, regarding what and what not to eat.  She also says that if the contestants protested, they were made to look like whiny, bitchy, uncooperative or lazy.  I can actually see how they might have done that with Melissa of this past season.  She is a lawyer, obviously bright and free thinking.  I am sure the producers HATED that.  Editing one week into 2 hours (actually an hour and half if you consider commercials) would give them producers the ability to edit the show into basically whatever they want.

While I HATE to hear anyone is ever treated inhumanely, I am not at all surprised to read or see any of this!  Mitch has been reminding me for years, week after week, that “It’s a TV show.”  Period.  No different than any of the other reality shows on the air, it is just a TV show.  As Kai so brilliantly said (not quoting, just recalling) its not a weight loss camp that’s being filmed, it’s a tv show about a weight loss camp.  That really does sum it all up!  As a trainer, I KNOW that dehydrating is dangerous, that eating 1200 calories a day and working out 6-8 hours is dangerous, that walking miles the day after abdominal surgery is dangerous and absurd, that taking off double digits, week after week is NOT healthy.  Kai claims her hair was falling out and her family needed to have an intervention with her while she was home, but before the finale.  I also know that SEVERELY OBESE people are at risk of death every time they move or breathe.

Extreme circumstances DO require extreme measures. I am sad that the show isn’t perfect and we have to learn the dirty little secrets but it doesn’t surprise me at all.  I am pretty sure if I were in her shoes, I would do just what Kai is doing.  She just wants people to know that 17 pounds don’t just  pour off most people  in a week.  Maybe it was really 2 weeks and became 1 week in the editors room.  It sure would make for boring tv if we watched these people each lose a healthy 2.5 pounds a week.  Would I still  watch?  Me, probably, because it’s my business and my passion.  Would others watch?  Probably not. Reality TV people, take it or leave it.  It still serves to inspire people, of that I have NO doubts…and when its all said and done, the contestants signed contracts and they have to know they are rendering control and entering the “twilight zone.”

On a final note, I did feel the effects of my Physique 57 workout from Tuesday.  I did much of it again in class that night, so I was sore in some new spots yesterday.  I am going to try to do that muscle overload work about once or twice a week.  Maybe I felt the couple of minutes of swimming, too.  Today, its back in the pool…and maybe some of the P90X yoga video.  Though I desperately want to do that video once a week, my 52 year old body is saying “hey, can you give me a break here.”  I work too much, but that is not something to complain about, it’s definitely something to be grateful for.

I am happy to say, that I found so many things to be grateful for already this morning.  Practicing gratitude is one of the easiest and best ways to achieve inner peace.  I hope that you will find things many things to be grateful for as you travel through this day.

We All Need a Good Carrot

Where to begin?  I need a couple of days to do some reading and following up on things I want to delve into further.  Apparently there is a new and updated Atkins diet out that has added lots more vegetables because the experts all agree that the fiber in vegetables is critical to our bodies and helps speed up weight loss.  Thank goodness!  I understand that eating nothing but bacon and eggs all day causes ketosis and allows rapid weight loss, but where is the health and balance in that?  Isn’t the goal to be thin and STILL HEALTHY?  I hope so.

I missed the past Biggest Loser contestant (Kai-I remember her) on the Today Show yesterday.  I also missed the spot on the aol screen, but enough people saw one, or the other, to enlighten me.  Apparently she has come out to say what we see isn’t always exactly as it goes.  She also said something about having an eating disorder since the show.  In all fairness, I would have to say most people have eating disorders before they ever get on the show or they wouldn’t be there in the first place!  That said, I will be looking to see the piece in it’s entirety so if anyone has a copy of the clip, please send or I will search later this afternoon, when I am on a break from work.

Yesterday, since I did not have to work till evening, I had a really productive, work related day.  I ordered a continuing education course called resistance training for the class – circuits. I am always looking for a new way to present the same thing.  I have done most of the workshops that AFAA offers, but this one is new, so hopefully I will learn a few new things to bring to class.  I also did the Physique 57 video which is decent.  I like the workout, but find the instructors would be great in person, but as this was the third time I did the video, I found her phrasing gets a little annoying when you hear it repeatedly.  This is something I will keep in mind when I am doing more videos for my clients.  The less cutesy, the better.  I NEVER get tired of Tony Horton’s dialogue on P90X.  I am looking forward to doing the yoga video from that, tomorrow, when I have the entire day off!

I also swam a few laps yesterday.  Once I get in the pool, I try increasing them each week.  Knowing it will be a long summer, I am starting out slowly.  Last night I shared some of Physique 57 in class and I think that some will be feeling it today.  It was nice to leave the gym with a woman who reported all the inches she has lost since she started working out at the gym.  Struggling with menopause, she has been frustrated (I GET IT) so I am glad the tape measure showed her how her hard work is paying off.

Finally, I did watch Losing It last night and I enjoyed this episode.  Maybe it was because it was really the first one of the the 4 that I gave my full attention to.  The severely overweight mom and dad lost a combined total of over 100 pounds in just 8 weeks.  I talk a lot about having a goal that you can stay focused on– a carrot or brass ring–this couple was headed for a young death and their twins were so scared they would lose them.  If staying alive to raise your children isn’t the ticket, I don’t really know what is!  Maybe it was still the $50,000 from that really motivated them, but I would like to think it was the kids.  The money is a nice bonus, though!

Most of us are goal oriented.  We may love our jobs, but we probably still work for the paycheck.  I encourage you, once again, to find small and large goals to focus on when trying to lose weight and/or get fit.  Whether it is an upcoming BIG birthday, a wedding you will be attending, fitting back into a pair of your favorite jeans, treating yourself to a massage, purchasing a new piece of clothing, running in a race, playing ball with your kids or more importantly just BEING here for your loved ones, focus hard and long and often on your “carrot.”  I am pretty convinced it’s one of the most important parts of being successful in any journey.

Do I Make You Proud?

Woke up this morning with a few things I wanted to blog about but found this in my morning mail, thanks to my friend, Debbie, and sharing it trumped everything else…Physique 57, pain pill mills, silent brains, they are all topics that just got pushed back to another day–

The video is about 5 minutes and should be viewed with the volume on, so please watch when you can take a full 5 minutes to savor.

once you get to the first screen, just click anywhere and it will bring up the video-hit play and enjoy

Sweet Days of Summer

Welcome to the official start of summer.  Today also marks the longest day of sunlight, of the year.  With temperatures in the 90s nearly every day, here in sunny (and rainy) south Florida, its hard to believe it wasn’t summer until now.  I haven’t yet figured out exactly how I will celebrate this day, but celebrate it, I will.  The saddest part, however, is that “every new beginning is some other beginning’s end,” and I LIVE for spring, so I am sad to see it end.  But a new beginning it is and there is NOTHING bad about this season.  I love the laid back feeling of summer that I grew up on, that always returns this time of year.  Hearing children play during the day when they would otherwise be in school, snacking on the bounty of fruits we talked about recently, shorts, swimming, thunderstorms and the smell of Jasmine in the air–these all bring me a sense of happiness and peace.

Yesterday, Mitch and I attended Howard Goldman’s funeral and his son, Ron, did a fantastic job of eulogizing his very unique and quirky dad.  He talked of his day making his own distilled water, one drop at a time, 40 years ago when everyone else was content drinking tap water.  He talked of how his dad would run on the boardwalk in Long Beach, New York, even in the winter, finishing with headstands in his bikini and then a jump in the frigid ocean, while passebys shook their heads as if to say “what a nut,” and a nut he was!   He also read the most touching story, an online book, put together by a past  member of the gym that wanted to thank him for his most instrumental role in  motivating her to eventually lose 92 pounds.  Carmen met Howard in 2005 when she was a new member and couldn’t walk for more than a few minutes on the treadmill.  She wrote about how he was her hero, as he was patient and helped motivate her to go from barely walking to running 26.2 marathons.  She had no idea Howard was sick when she put together the book with wonderful before and after pictures.  Ron hoped to read it to his dad when he got better, but instead it was read in his memory.  It was a remarkable and inspiring  story, and Howard, who was as Ron said so well, SINGLE-MINDED, would have felt his life had been worth it all if  he could know how positively he impacted her.  Crazy and crass that he was, and though I butted heads with him about many things, I have always had a great respect for his passion (and obsession) for health and fitness.  I hope they serve raw and organics where you are, Howard, and I know the great big gym in the sky has already let you “work in.”

Well, we know we can’t disconnect the body from the brain, so I encourage you all to check out the link that Sylna put up in the comment section yesterday.  I clicked in before blogging and love it already!  I will be going back this afternoon to read through much more of it!  It does thrill me to find the first brain rule to be EXERCISE.  It’s hard to believe there was a time when people questioned a mind-body connection!  I am thrilled that Sylna is checking in here at  She is an incredible woman with so much to offer the world.  This is one woman who though small in stature is HUGE in knowledge and the ability to get people thinking!  She facilitates a wonderful book club as a bonus to our SilverSneakers program at Bally Fitness and trust me, these are not just meetings to discuss books.  They are full blown parties and what goes on at book club, stays at book club.  Sylna, you are quite a little dynamo and I appreciate any input you bring to this site!

Well there are pros and cons to everything and a con to summer is the mosquitos love to breed under my computer.  So I have taken all I can this morning 🙂 because my arms and legs are officially eaten!

Happy summer.  Celebrate the longest day of sunlight.  See you back here soon!