The Choice Is Always YOURS

Wow Lady Gaga,  is getting some serious attention (good, bad and otherwise) since wearing her “meat” outfit to the MTV Awards a few weeks ago.  I really like her–her music–and the way she stands up for what she believes in.  The outfit was kindof shocking and Ellen Degeneres poked some fun while she also enlightened her,  the next day on the Ellen Show.    Ellen presented her with a (actually adorable) bikini made out of green veggies.  Its so great when education can come in a light and funny way.  It seems way too much anger and hostility surrounds the vegan vs. meat eating “agenda.”  I truly, truly hope that those of you who read this blog know that my goal is always just to share what I learn.  There are few things I believe in more than CHOICE, so no matter what it is I share on this blog, it is strictly me sharing…How you live, what you eat, what classes you take….they are all YOUR choices!  Sure, in my heart, I always hope the people I care about make choices that best enhance their own health and happiness, and it is my belief that almost all that is best for us, is best for the world at large.

A few months ago, Carole sent me a recipe for kale chips.  The first time I made them, I didn’t dry the leaves enough…and I used too much olive oil and the never really got crisp.  Earlier this week, I used some locanto kale (also know as dinosaur kale).  After removing the stem, I tore the leaves into pieces and tossed them with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and some kosher salt.  After baking them in a 350degree oven for about 15-20 minutes I had yummy, crunchy, (I bet you can’t eat just one) kale chips.  What a great snack, and so nutritionally dense!  Warning–keep tooth pick and floss handy and don’t eat on a date! Thanks, Carole!  I will be making those again soon!

It’s really exciting for me to continue to hear some great health stories from some of my students who have leaned heavily into the plant-based diets.  From decreasing steroids, to no longer needing diabetes medication and best of all, no longer really counting calories, the reports keep coming in and they are all positive!  For me, it’s definitely been a solid 6 months since I made the transition to a completely plant-based diet and I feel great.  My weight is almost at it’s lowest and my energy is over-the-top.

And speaking of energy, time to go burn some!  Have a great Thursday.  Thanks for stopping in.  If you are new to this site you can leave a comment by simply clicking the comment link at the bottom of this blog.  It will come to me privately for approval if it’s your first time.  If you want it to remain private (as I know many of you do) feel free to send me an email through the “contact” link on the top left side of the home page.  I also remind you that the links on the bottom left of any pages on my site are sponsored by google.  They are very safe links.  ENJOY!  Just this morning I spent a good amount of time searching through an a link to home gardening.  It was excellent and I learned a lot.  Now I can’t wait to plant some root veggies in our garden!  LIFE IS GREAT.  Whatever choices you make, I hope LIFE IS GREAT for you, too!

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Bye, Bye Allie. And so it Begins.

I loved BL last night.  I loved that the trainers sat and talked with the contestants about their eating, asking them some good questions like “what is a calorie?” (a measure of energy) and “how many make a pound?”  (3500).  It makes me happy to see people educated as opposed to–operated upon.  I applauded Dr. H. for speaking out against the doctor who preformed stomach altering surgery on Allie when she was just 14.  Now, at 22, she had THE highest percentage of body fat of all the current contestants.  What’s wrong with that picture???

There was a surprise weigh in, early in the show.  8 players would be above the yellow lining assuring them another week on the ranch.  The other 8 would fall below and one of them would go home.  This weigh in was actually 2 weeks after their first.  Mark weighs in first and we see him drop from 421 to 380, representing a 41 pound weight loss!  Here we go with the crazy numbers.  Then again, 421 is a crazy number to begin with.  Right away I am getting crazy because these very large men can drop some VERY big numbers.  Though EVERYONE lost great numbers, just as I suspected, in the end, 7 men and only one woman, Ada, would remain above the line.  Conversely, 7 woman and only one man, Patrick, would fall below.  Rick, who lost the highest percentage, was given the opportunity to save one who fell below, and of course he chose Patrick as they both sport green team t-shirts, even though they competed solo last night.

The 7 woman competed in a a challenge that was very, very do-able and fair….IF you could run!   They would race for a flag and each time someone got one, they were safe.  In the end 2 people would be left and the 8 that were above the line would have the final votes.  There was a little scoff between Jessica and Burgundy, and I wonder how that will impact them as the season continues.  In the end, our youngest contestant, with the highest percentage of body fat, Allie was left with our oldest contestant, Tina, who felt her age really was against her in this challenge.

In the end, we saw Allie go home.  The votes were pretty divided, and my guess is that she really didn’t show that she wanted it enough.  Almost always the younger contestants get the sympathy card because they have so much life ahead of them.  I was sooooooo happy to see that instead of the refrigerator light going out, it was simply a light that said Allie.  I HATED THAT BIT WITH THE REFRIGERATOR LIGHT!

So all and all it was a great episode.  I do wonder how Bob Harper pitches turkey breast since he has become a vegan…but we all do what we must at work!

Well, the rain is coming down here in South Florida and I need to get ready for work.  I am going to try to get to all my classes and clients today and am glad I will be done (and close to home) by mid afternoon when the storm is supposed to be at it’s worst.  See you there, or here.  Have a wonderful Wednesday.

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Keep the Questions Coming

Good morning and happy Tuesday.  Thanks for stopping in to peaceandfitness.com.  A few of you had questions, so here’s your Q and A segment, first:

PK asks: How many calories do the contestants on the Biggest Loser eat in a day? I do not know the exact answer to this question and I am sure it varies from contestant to contestant.  I have heard numbers as low as 1200 for the woman and 1600-1800 for the men, but I can’t say for sure that this is true.  I do know they workout anywhere from 4-8 hours a day!

RH asks:  How do I get back to some of the links on the bottom left side of your page? Those links on the bottom left side of my page are managed by my sponsors at Google.  They automatically pop up as they relate to topics that I write about and will change constantly, so if you see something interesting, click through it while you can, as it may or may not appear again on your screen.

LT asks:  Is wine a vegan product? This is a fantastic question and one that is difficult to answer.  For the most part it is, BUT sometimes before it is bottled there are some weird ingredients involved in the process.  Therefore there may be minuscule traces of animal products or fish shells or….well, I’ll stop there because THIS vegan still enjoys a glass of red wine every night.  I am definitely not neurotic about this, though others I know are.

Yesterday in class, Iris asked me about where I get my vitamin B from.  I forgot to mention NUTRITIONAL YEAST.  I buy it at Whole Foods and sprinkle it on veggies and lots of other things.  It sort of most mimics the taste of cheese so it can be sprinkled in soups, on popcorn or most anywhere you find it desirable.  Just as it sounds it is FILLED with nutrition and often includes all the B vitamins (check the label as it may or may not have B-12.)  It is also considered a complete protein (which Iris also asked about).  IRIS, I hope you are reading…

Thanks to Judith who gave me a copy of the article about her son losing weight and finding the financial benefits that go with that!  After losing 55 pounds, he realized he is not only in a better place physically, but also financially.  Saving money on insurance premiums, and doctor visit co-pays are just a few of the places he felt the savings.  As an CPA, this guy knows about money!

Looks like South Florida is about to get hammered with some wet weather today and over the next few…Apparently some of those tropical events are going to be impacting us.  After my morning clients I am hoping to get in my swim before the rain comes.   Swimming seems to be THE perfect balance to running so I try for one every other day, and the other on the alternate days.  This routine (including a rest day) seems to be keeping my muscles strong with NO soreness.  My new goal is to (maybe) swim all year.   I have read about people who actually enjoy swimming in 40 degree water temps and this is safe for short periods of time.  Right now my pool thermometer says 80.  How cold can it possibly get?  I’ll certain let you know.

Off to train my morning clients.  The sooner I am done, the better chance of beating the rain.  Hoping weather permits me to get to the gym tonight for 2 of my favorite classes of the week.  Ok, they are all my favorite.

Speaking of favorite…if this is Tuesday, tonight must be Biggest Loser.  Meet you back here tomorrow to discuss!  In the meantime wherever you are stay safe and healthy.  Take care of yourself, your loved ones and your environment.  Make it a great day.  Remember what my friend Lisa always says “we are all on our way out, so act accordingly.”

Keep those questions coming!

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The Morning After

As if to remind me that change can happen at any time, at any age, I not only enjoyed watching the entire Dolphin game (even though they did lose) last night, but actually looked forward to it all day!  Sad to see the Jets pull off the victory, (which I think they actually deserved in terms of who played a better game) it was an exciting game from start to finish.  If someone had to win and it wasn’t “us,” I can be happy for Jason Taylor who I am sure would have MUCH rather been wearing orange, than green.  As with all games, someone has to win–and someone has to lose.  3-0 would have been outstanding, but 2-1 is not a horrible place to be.

Thank you Judy for the suggestions on growing the patio tomatoes.  I did once grow those (on my patio) in a boxed garden and they were yummy.  I will keep it in mind as I am thinking the ones I planted may never make it to fruition, though I am trying to keep a positive attitude 🙂

Thanks to Sylna for bringing to my attention that Bill Clinton was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on Saturday.  I hadn’t seen it but just watched it online.  The interview was about how he lost 24 pounds for Chelsea’s wedding–and how he regained his health in the process.  I did hear that he had adopted a mostly plant-based diet, but did not know the extent of how he “got there.”  Citing The China Study as well as Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s work in the field of restoring health through diet, former President Clinton, became part of the “experiment.”  In reading this online I learned that this November a health documentary, PLANEAT, will be released.  Featuring a couple of the above mentioned doctors, this film will go beyond the effects of meat and dairy on our bodies, and examine the negative effects those industries have on our planet as a whole.   Feel free to google Bill Clinton on the Wolf Blitzer Show to view the interview or read the transcript.

It has been on my mind to make a point about safety on the Internet.  Some of you  may notice that I don’t mention when I am going somewhere until AFTER the fact.  That might be a vacation, a concert, or anywhere that takes me out of the house for any length of time.  The Internet is a fabulous contribution to life as we now know it, but for a devious mind it is a playground for trouble.  Some of you may have noticed that your comments have been edited or even deleted at times.  While I toss most spam (and the site gets lots of it) I sometimes also toss comments that I think put someone at risk.  Please be extra careful mentioning vacations and events that signal things like an empty home.  Though paranoia is NOT my thing, reality is.

That said, with my  35 year high school reunion coming soon and my cold basically gone, if you work out with me in class or privately, be prepared to work hard.  People often ask about the rules of thumb regarding exercise and illness.  Listen to your body.  If you have a fever or a flu, you certainly want to take it easy.   In the case of a cold, with no fever, its generally safe to exercise.  You may want to tone it down, as overexertion is definitely counter-productive when your immune system is weakened.  When I felt my cold symptoms coming on Thursday morning, I opted for a day of rest, which I think is always a good idea.  Because the weather was so WET, I was out of the pool for quite a few days, so I was extra happy to get back in there, yesterday.  The temperature of the water has dropped a bit already, but it was still PERFECT.  35 laps later, mission accomplished!  Never thought I would like swimming so much.  Hmmm…swimming, watching football…apparently you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.  Who knew.  Just a reminder–don’t assume because you didn’t like something before, you wont like it now!  We are constantly evolving and hopefully always growing!  Learning new things is as important for our minds as it can be for our bodies.

Speaking of growing, before I sign off I must take this opportunity to once again wish my very own web developer, (and wonderful son) Kyle, the best of luck today as he begins his new job at blueglass.com.  As a Web Development Engineer, he will be bringing his digital media talent to this leading online marketing company.  This is a very exciting time in his career and we are so excited for him.  Go get em, Kyle.

Life is good.  I am grateful and hope that all of you are as well!  Go out and make your Monday matter.  Learn, do, grow.

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Sundays are THE BEST!

Yesterday we worked on expanding our little herb/veggie (and fruit!) garden.  We now have parsley, thyme, basil, purple basil, mint, rosemary, lavender, tomatoes, assorted salad greens, watermelon and pineapple plants in the ground.  We have had good luck sinking pineapple crowns into the ground through the years.  We have gotten some insanely perfect pineapples through the years.  They require NO maintenance which is a big bonus.  Their pointy ends also help keep pests away.  I through some marigolds in for color and I think they also keep some invaders away, as well.  Planted in good organic soil, Mitch and I hope that this is the start of learning how to grow our own food.

We have not been so lucky with trees.  When we moved into our home 10 years ago, we had a lot of trees.  We lost about 10 of them over the course of a few years of destructive hurricanes.  We planted a papaya tree and a mango tree in memory of my brother, who passed away from pancreatic cancer just a few years ago.  The papaya tree was infested with something so we had to get rid of it.  Our little tiny orange tree had a bunch of fruit and then one morning I walked outside and it was completely dead.  I have no idea what happened, but that one is gone, too.  The mango tree we ALMOST lost to disease but it seems to be coming back strong.  With as many lemons as I use weekly, our next investment will definitely be a lemon tree…and I would love to replace the orange tree, too.

Being able to go outside and with an empty basket and coming back in with it filled with food from the yard has definitely been on my bucket list.  I used to say “someday,” because there were lots of  reasons I wasn’t ready to get started.  Then I thought about “excuses and results” and how you cant have both.  Now I can step outside and though no basket is needed,  I can come back in with fresh herbs for my veggies and even a few greens for my salad.  Visions of tomatoes and the possibility of watermelons float in my head.  A little at a time, my goal is to get that garden overflowing with goodies from Mother Nature.

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Fighting colds all week, Mitch and I did a lot of sleeping this weekend.  We heal while we sleep (right Carole?).  This morning, with the sun shining, I think the doctor’s orders are sunshine and salt water.  There is something about the ocean and the way it mixes with the air and the sun, and the healing energy it creates, that cannot be found in a pill or a tincture.  With NO bad side effects, THIS is the kind of medicine that works for me.

And I am now going to say something that I never, ever thought I would say in my lifetime.  I am actually excited about the Dolphin/Jets game tonight.   This is a classic case of  “if you can’t beat em, join em.”  Better squeeze a nap in this afternoon.

SUNDAYS ARE THE BEST!  ENJOY YOURS!

My Name is Bonni and I am OCD (At least about some things!)

Due to my obsessive compulsive behavior regarding health and fitness, I re-watched this week’s episode of BL, yesterday.  I wanted to get to know the contestants a little better.  I definitely made an error in my blog when I stated that the expression “do work,” came from someone who passed away from obesity.  He actually died in a car accident, before he was able to start his BL weight loss journey.  The sister is now continuing what he started.

Amazingly enough, I cry just as much watching the second time around.  Once upon-a-time, my compulsion with healthy weight, seemed so incredibly shallow.  There isn’t a day that goes by that Joy and I don’t have some dialogue about food, or calories, or weight.  Just the other day, I pointed out to her that in fact I don’t believe our 35- plus years of shallow girl-talk has really been that shallow at all.  As we, and several other good friends, prepare for our 35 year high school reunion, next month, we are ALL happy to be going with healthy minds, in healthy bodies.  It feels good.

Sure, there is that vain part of me that cares about this, but in all honesty, its the health part that really feels good.  It doesn’t surprise me that daily there are newspaper articles and television news stories about the negative impact extra weight carries.  2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese.  One story in today’s Sun-Sentinel claims that even parents have a prejudice against their own over-weight children!  The vast majority of children are not overweight on their own.  They don’t do the grocery shopping and they don’t drive themselves thru the fast food lanes.  They are aiding their own children on a journey to obesity,  illness, low self-esteem and ridicule and then they, themselves are turning their backs on them.  That is SO sad.

A second article in the same paper is about possible tests to predict Type 2 diabetes.  “Triggered by increases in obesity, Type 2 diabetes is becoming a major health problem with an estimated 285 million people worldwide affected by the disease–a number expected to grow to 800 million by 2030.  In the United States, there are 21 million Type 2 diabetics,” writes Thomas H. Maugh II, of the Tribune Newspapers.  I wonder why we need a test?!?!  How many Type 2 diabetics do you know that are NOT overweight?????   Get the weight under control and you wont have to worry about whether or not you are a candidate.  If you are overweight, you are candidate.

So many would defend themselves in saying it’s not so easy to just lose the weight.  Guess what?  It’s not so easy to be obese, either.  It’s not easy to fly in a plane, its not easy to tie shoelaces, its not so easy to play with kids or grandkids, it’s definitely not easy to have Type 2 diabetes.  Clearly I can go on with this list, but you already know.

Carolanne made a great comment after BL this week.  Many of the contestants have had some type of surgery to deal with their weight, already.  Apparently, for them, the surgery was not the answer.  As Carol pointed out so well, if we don’t change the brain, we can’t change the body.  I do believe this is going to be the theme of the show this season.  What makes me cry is that I want to get inside each and every one of their brains and remind them that we ALL have choices.  Thankfully, Jillian and Bob are there at the ranch to do that!

Every time we go to the grocery store, every time we order a meal, every time we pick up a fork, we have a choice.  It consistently turns out that what is good for the planet, good for the environment and good for our animal friends, is also what is good for us.  Since I am pretty sure that most all of us want the same things, we have to decide how badly we want them.  What do you want more, better abs or a piece of cheesecake?  If you can’t fit in those jeans that used to fit, apparently there is something that you have wanted more.  Be present in each and everyone of YOUR choices and you are on the road to physical, mental and spiritual PEACE.

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If you are local and looking for some live music tonight,  SWEET 903 will be playing from 8-11 at Mythos Greek Tavern in “the walk,” in Coral Springs.  This rock cover band features our very own TFC member Todd Cohen on drums.  Check em out!

Special thanks to the Sun-Sentinel for continuing to keep the “pill-mill” stories front and center this week.  I am confident we are headed in the right direction.

Pasta Fagioli for the Soul

Yesterday was a wet and dreary day in South Florida and I woke up feeling a little like I was getting the cold that everyone seems to be passing around, so I decided to make a date with my couch and DVR.  Wanting to have some comfort food, I looked in the pantry and fridge and with a few simple ingredients I made a great big pot of soup that definitely comforted me for the entire day.  Low in calories, high in nutrition and flavor, this is what I came up with:

SIMPLE PASTA FAGIOLI

splash of olive oil

1 yellow onion chopped

several cloves of garlic chooped

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can cannellini beans

6 cups of vegetable stock

2/3 cup (approx) of any small pasta–I used whole wheat

1 sprig of rosemary (from my newly planted herb garden)

crushed red pepper

dash of salt

After sauteeing the onions and garlic in a splash of olive oil for about 10 minutes, I added the stock, beans, tomatoes, the  sprig of rosemary, a dash of salt and a sprinkle of  red pepper flakes.    I let them simmer for another 10 minutes or so and then turned up the heat and added the pasta, and let that cook for about 12-15 minutes.  After removing the rosemary sprig I had a pot of pasta fagioli that I had several times throughout the day.  It kept me comforted, nourished my body and allowed me to eat frequently without piling on the calories.  We all know how many calories we can put away staying in all day.

Caught up on all the new shows I had on my DVR and by evening felt well enough to go see Neil Young, with Mitch.  Interesting show.  Still has the exact same, great voice.   Sang about love and war.

Came home and slept like a baby.  Feel so much better this morning.  Off to train and then home for more soup!  So chicken soup isn’t the only soup cure for a cold…or the only thing good for our sole.

Thanks to everyone for your comments and emails.  Thanks to Gina Osterly who stopped in after I blogged about her recent article in Natural Muscle. Much love to all.  Have a fabulous Friday.

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

In the Company of the Big Boys!

Whenever Mitch’s copy of Men’s Journal arrives, I am always anxious to open it to the middle where I can find some interesting health and fitness info and that’s exactly what I did this month.  Sure, I noticed the picture of Michael Douglas on the front cover with with the text “Return of a Fighter,” beneath it, but how could I have missed THE headline at the very top of the cover?  Sitting on the floor of my bathroom, Mitch having regained custody of “his magazine,” there it was: THE RISE OF THE POWER VEGAN DIET.   Wow, veganism the top story in a magazine for “real” men.

What a great article by Kevin Gray who opens his story with this hook; “The once fringe food movement is taking hold in some surprising places.  Top talent in the NFL, the business world and adventure sports are saying that going animal-free not only works, it gives them their edge.” Ok, this line really caught my attention.  For the many, many years I was a vegetarian, I was sure that I needed the fish and dairy to get my protein, so I ate it.  Just this year, I began to really question how much protein I REALLY needed to keep my body healthy.  Having nothing to do with skill, and everything to do with the quantity of time I spend working out (some days up to 6 hours),  I consider my lifestyle and nutritional needs like that of an athlete.  Would I start to feel sore, lose muscle mass, decrease my strength and or endurance living on a plant-based diet?  These were the questions that always haunted me.

After reading The Kind Diet, I finally said “what do I have to really lose?”  If this doesn’t work, I can always keep tweaking things.  Then I read The China Study, and Dr. Campbell seemed to answer all my questions.  Additionally, his discovery of the consistent link between animal-based proteins and disease, confirmed many of the theories that I believed.  The big news, for me, is in reading that there is actually a link between a plant-based diet and superior athleticism.

Ultra-marathoner, Scott Jurek eats about 5,500 calories a day and only about 80 grams of protein.  Neither a Teva wearing hippie or an animal activist, Jurek turned to a plant-based diet in the late 90s and then won the first of 7 c0nsecutive 100 mile endurance runs, setting a record in 2004.  What he discovered (this is big) is that eating a plant-based diet allowed his muscles to heal faster between training sessions.  The quicker you heal, the more you can train.  The more you can train, the better you are.  Actually makes a lot of sense!

But ok, we might say, sure…runners…they just run and run.  They are lean and lanky and probably don’t need much protein, so big deal about Scott Jurek.  But what about Tony Gonzalez, tight end for the the Atlanta Falcons?   Surely football players can’t live on lettuce!  But apparently, this guy who’s teammates used to tease him and call him “China Study,” is holding his own on an almost entirely plant-based diet.  Eating about 3,500 calories a day, he aims for 180 grams of protein.  After he injured his foot and was told by doctors that he would be arthritic the rest of his life, but is actually living pain-free, his teammates stopped razzing him and starting asking him for advice, instead.  Gonzalez, who adopted this diet strictly in hopes of beating the horrific stats on NFL players lifespans, has been convinced to occasionally boost his protein intake with fish, chicken and even grass-fed meat, but as a rule finds most all the protein he needs in nuts, seeds, rice and says a favorite dinner is a veggie burger with avocado, lettuce and tomato on a multi-grain bun that he buys at a bakery, reminding us that most store bought breads have too many preservatives.  His lifestyle squelches the myth that “you can’t build muscle” on a plant-based diet.  In fact,  Dr. Campbell (who wrote THE CHINA STUDY) says that “when we build muscle on an animal protein, we get what animals get when we fatten them up; marbling and layers of fat inside the tissue, which means its a weaker muscle than what you get from plant protein.”

The article goes on to talk about some heavy-hitter non-athletes who need sharp, sharp brains.  People like Biz Stone, the Co-founder of Twitter and John Mackey the co-CEO of Whole Foods, find that they have improved productivity for many reasons, stating no post-lunch slump as a big bonus.  In fact, actor Woody Harrelson, a vegan since 24 years of age, worries about others having that post-lunch malaise on the set.  Not wanting to preach, he does admit that when others are curious he loves to share his experience.  He suggests going one week without dairy to see what its like to have NO mucus at all.

I, like many other vegans, do want to spread the word, but know that preaching about ANYTHING is not the way.   Many years into being meat and poultry free and 6 months into living on a completely plant-based diet, all I can say is I feel great and am more at peace with my entire being than I have ever been before.   The fact that I might, in fact, be stronger and have better endurance as a result is like icing on the cake…the egg and milk free cake, of course!

Wishing you the same peace, in whatever way YOU might find it.

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The Season’s They go Round and Round

Happy fall.  Kyle reminded me that it’s time to renew our website.  Hard to believe almost a year has gone by since he built this site and then said “you can blog on it, mom.”  I thought I would love to do that–once in a while.  Yikes, I didn’t realize how obsessive I really am…but as Popeye said best, “I yam what I yam.”

Well Biggest Loser did not disappoint.  Season 10 and still the show excites me and holds my interest in a way few others do.  I liked that they added a new twist and took us, the viewers, across the country with them as they impacted SO many people while they scouted for contestants.  It is amazing how EVERYONE has a story and most of them are way too sad.  Losing parents, siblings, spouses, children– I guess any of those could be a really good reason to drown our sorrows in compulsive eating.  Everyone medicates, somehow.

But every day we have a chance to start all over.  How very brave of these people to be willing to go through the Biggest Loser process.  From the “audition” to the finale,  we know that this is one very, very tough journey!  I loved that they kept the challenges relatively do-able.   Far from easy, but land based and do-able.  Of course it was sad to see someone eliminated in each city, but it IS a competition show.  A competition TV show.   As we watch we must remember it IS a TV show and not everything we see is exactly as it is.

One thing that is real is that these contestants must “do work,” as one contestant said.  It was the expression her brother,  who passed away from complications of being obese, used.  “Do work.”  I like it.  “Excuses or results, you can’t have both.”  These are the thoughts that must continue to play over and over again in our brains, if we are to be successful with weight loss or with ANYTHING!  Over the next few months we are going to watch these people recreate themselves as a result of “doing work.”  It’s easy to see how great looking some of these people are going to be when we see them again at the season finale.

Speaking of seeing them again, how great did some of those past season contestants look?  I am so happy that Mike from season 7 is looking as fabulous as he is.  He was my pick that season and he has blown me away with what a handsome, fit and poised young man he is.  The others looked fantastic as well.  I do wonder about all the others we DON’T see and know that many have put weight back on.  It’s just a sad reality, but I will remain focused on those that continue to “do work.”

Jillian and Bob looked great, of course.  Jane and I both immediately noticed that Jillian was still wearing those great sneakers from late last season.  We love them!  And Bob– I want to reach through the screen and give him a huge hug for mentioning THE CHINA DIET in his interview in American Fitness, last spring.  Reading that one line changed my life so much and all for the better.

If you are trying to lose weight, there are many roads that you can take.  If you want to lose weight,  keep it off AND be healthy in your newer, thinner, skin there is really only one road…healthy eating and daily exercise.  PERIOD.  END OF SUBJECT.  Stop looking for a magic bullet.  I don’t know much about a lot of things, but of this I am certain.

Biggest Loser.  It never fails to motivate me to be stronger in my own training and better at teaching and training others.  The Biggest Loser is ALWAYS the Biggest Winner.  Can’t wait to see them “do work,” next week at the ranch! How much work can you do between now and then?

Can’t wait to hear YOUR feedback on last nights episode.  Today is the first day of fall, but it is also the first day of the rest of your life.  Make it a great one.  “Do work.”  Then JUST SIT!  Balance.  Yin and yang.  Peaceandfitness.  The ebb and flow of life.

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Scattered Thoughts

I have a lot on my mind, and today’s blog is going to be “all over the place,” as a result.  A mosquito woke me at about 2:30 am and my wheels have been spinning since.  Don’t expect continuity this morning,  just prepare to jump from thought to thought…

Potatoes.  No one loves one more than me.  They got a bad rap from that ol’ (may he rest in peace) doc, Atkins.  Potatoes are chock full of nutrients including tons of potassium, vitamin C and iron (just to name a few).  At a couple of hundred calories in a baked one, they are a great source of fiber (about 7 grams in a potato that is about 250 calories) and provide 7 grams of protein.  IF you are on a low carb diet, these are definitely OUT for you, which is one of the reasons I can’t buy into low carb diets.  With no cholesterol and no fat, how can a potato be a bad guy???  I will say that for woman, once they hit menopause, it does seem that easing up on the carbs is a good way to keep weight gain at bay, but a potato here and there is NOT going to make you fat and is a nutritional powerhouse (and a great value!)  I have been on a mission to “bring back the potato,” for some years, now.

And beans.  I am still thinking about beans and how they really can solve the hunger problem in our world.  One can of beans (cannellini, northern, garbanzo) mashed with some olive oil, lemon juice and garlic (I use the food processor, but if you didn’t have one,  mashing by hand would be just fine) can make an entire bowl of hummus.  At well under $2.00, the finished product can make a handful of sandwiches and feed an entire family.  Since I rambled on about legumes last week,  I won’t repeat myself, but they are so nutritionally dense, I really do think they could solve world hunger.  Not only that, but I am thinking we might find world peace through hummus, as well.  Think about its origin.  They eat it in all middle eastern countries.  Though the Arabs and Israelis may use different beans for their hummus, they both agree that it’s a staple.  Finding commonalities is a great way to find peace.  Peace on earth and the solution to world hunger.  Could it lie in a bean?  “You may think I’m a dreamer….”

Speaking of missions.  Many of you know my distress and disgust over the fact that Broward County has become the Pill Mill capital of our country.  Three moms, who have had family members directly affected by these clinics and who are also healthy care employees, have come forward and started a movement called STOPP NOW.  Yesterday was the second Monday in a row that they  picketed outside of a Dania Beach clinic called the Pain Relief Centers of South Florida and others came out to join them this time.  Try to wrap your brain around this statistic:  Broward county, in one six-month period, dispensed 9 million pain tablets. Almost everyone I know, has a story of a friend or family member that has been involved with taking these pills.  Highly addictive and definitely fatal, we have had an alarmingly high increase in deaths in our country, since these clinics started operating.  I beg you to visit their website at www.STOPPNOW.com and if you have the time, please write to our elected officials.  THEY AREN’T DOING ENOUGH TO SHUT THESE PLACES DOWN and every single day we lose more of our loved one.   There is something VERY wrong going on here in Broward County and if you reside here you should care!  Someone is making an awful lot of money at the expense of human lives!  Please help these woman who only want to stop the madness.  Do anything you can to help draw more attention to this travesty!  Even a letter to the editor applauding their attention to this matter, helps.   How many lives must be lost?

It seems that we can’t decide what to call my 12:30 on Monday senior class.  Changing it from SilverSneakers1 to Senior Fitness seemed to create some havoc at the club yesterday.  I think this is pretty telling that some people just DO NOT want change.  Oh well.  For those of you that attend that class, I will keep you posted and explain all in person.  My guess it that next week it will show up as a SilverSneaker1 class, as it had been.  Eh, what’s in a name?

Well just 12 and half more hours till Biggest Loser, Season 10!  Think I am a little excited?  I’ll pass the time running with my morning client, walking with Blaze, swimming, (and savoring each day that I can still get in the pool) meditating and teaching my 2 TFC classes, tonight.  But first, I better go make sure the DVR is set!  Sure as the beautiful sun rises, I will be back in the morning to talk it up about our season 10 contestants.  I can’t wait to read what YOU have to say!!!

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