VFT Rosh Hashana was perfect. Derek, Pete and Nicole brought a few friends and the table was filled with youth, chatter and lots of vegan food. The matzo balls held together to make it into the bowls, which was a first. I made the balls the night before and refrigerated them before cooking the next day. I added a little flour and extra oil and some water to the boxed mix. I cooked them for 45 minutes on a simmer, instead of the usual full-boil for 20 minutes. They were the closest try so far! The Field Roasts from Whole Foods were much easier and better than the usual Tofurky roasts and the side dishes all turned out and Nicole baked incredible apple-pumpkin muffins. If you need vegan baked goods, she’s your girl. If you need non-vegan baked goods, Kyle’s Nicole in Tampa is your girl. If these two got together they could be Nicole Times 2, Sweet Treats. Hmmmm….
Yesterday was a day filled with much emotion and thought. After learning of the loss of this beautiful young lady, the same age as Derek, I took a much longer than usual walk with Blaze. All this kid wanted was to be a mom, but her risks were so great, as she suffered with Cystic Fibrosis and her decision cost everything. As I prepared food for the holiday, I silently pondered choices we make, chances we take, outcomes, impact, wins and losses. Sometimes you toss the dice and you win, but we are never the only ones affected by our choices. Is our win enough to offset the loss to another? The ripple effect is beyond our ability to even imagine. Every action has a reaction and an effect on others. Every lesson seems to bring me back to this ripple effect.
Life is a journey and we never know where it will take us, or when it will end. My friend has asked that we all remember, every day, how precious this life is and that it is not to be taken for granted. She has also asked us to love our loved ones, just a little more. I can do that. Happy New Year to all.
Tonight will be a VFT with a Rosh Hashana twist. Once again, I will try to make the matzo balls, balls and not crumbles. Trying something a little different this time. We’ll see. If I can perfect them by Passover, it will be a big accomplishment. If not, the beauty is, these “kids” will still find the soup delicious. There will be no-pig, pigs in a blanket, tuno-salad, soup, salad, roasted veggies, (of course sweet potatoes for a sweet new year) quinoa, and a variety of main courses, including a “roast,” and some “beef” with mushrooms, peppers and onions. For dessert there will be chocolate jelly rings, halvah and some other sweets. Who says we only eat lettuce and tofu? Most importantly, Mitch and I will be with Derek and the rest of our VFT family. I sure wish Kyle and Nicole could be with us, but I am grateful that they have one another and are happy and healthy.
A very, very dear childhood friend and her husband lost their beautiful daughter to Cystic Fibrosis last night. I end this morning with this quote that is near and dear to their hearts. “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
Wishing you all a New Year filled with many moments that take YOUR breath away. Kiss your loved ones and be grateful for the bounty of blessing you have in your life. I know that I certainly am. May the New Year bring us peace on earth, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts. Much love.
Week 2, notoriously a tough weigh in. Amazingly, as the show opened with a donut temptation, most of the contestants didn’t even take a bite. The team who would eat the most donuts, would get to choose their 2 hour time slot in the gym for the week. They would choose between the wee hours of the morning, noon to 2 or the 9pm time slot. I immediately raised my hands and chose the midday slot, but the winners, black team, chose 5 am. Black teams John ate 37 donuts (they were small…) to win that time slot. Black team also got to choose the times for the other teams and gave blue midday and red, 9pm. I thought that hour was actually great for the “kids.” Apparently, the 2 hour time slot is to show them a little more reality than they usually have on the ranch. I think it was really smart…much more real life.
So my single favorite part of the show was watching Bob’s energy as he woke his team at 4:19 am and worked them out with that “I love morning,” attitude that I relate quite well too. If I have ever wanted to be one of the trainers on the show, it was for that segment. He was evil and somewhat sadistic, but it’s Bob and even evil and sadistic, he has heart. Anna has her hands full with the “seniors.” Bonnie’s knee is shot and Johnny’s efforts leave a lot to be desired. Anna is way too soft. I get they are seniors. I train seniors. My 85 year old student Al could run circles around some of those kids. These contestants knew exactly what they were signing on for. Anna does tell John, in Russian, that you don’t “sit on the couch and spit at the ceiling and expect things to happen for you.” Well said, Anna. Dolvett takes his youngins to their first 9pm workout and his beautiful smile disappears in the gym. He is not my favorite trainer and I hope down the road, some of those “kids” get a chance to train with Bob.
Visits with Dr. H. are always revealing. I was sad to learn that Ramon is the most unhealthy one on the ranch. I still like him. I am confident his newly diagnosed diabetes will disappear quickly if he can keep dropping the weight. We learn that Bonnie had stomach stapling earlier and that her knee is not just bone on bone, but bone IN bone. OUCH!
The challenge was just cute. A life-size maze, with a ball they must roll with their body weight, but walking around the border. The team who does it in the shortest time would win a 2 pound advantage, next a 1 pound and last, nada. Bob’s black team takes first place by just a few seconds. Red team comes in next and the poor underdogs, blue come in last. It just doesn’t seem fair. BL never seems fair in the early weeks either because of age or gender.
Last chance workout was kind-of uneventful, but the weigh in, never is. Hard to see double digits week 2, Bob’s black team does manage to have Antone and John (believe it or not the guy who ate the 37 donuts–go figure) lose the most weight, 10 and 15 pounds, respectively. I knew those middle-agers would have a lot going for them. Poor blue team would fall below and once again find themselves in the elimination. Since Mike had immunity, there were only 3 left and Boston Johnny would find himself heading back home.
Next week is NFL week. Drew Brees, Tim Tebow and several other players will guest star and the weigh-in winner will get an amazing prize…a VIP trip for 2 to the Super Bowl. If I were on the ranch, I would just stop eating NOW. Super Bowl tickets are GREAT motivation. I can hardly wait to see who wins.
This morning I checked my email before deciding what to blog about. Without exaggeration, I have about a dozen different health/fitness/exercise/diet emails and honestly, one contradicts or at least conflicts with the next. While the first one I opened suggested wheat is what is making us fat, the next one let me know that The Pita Pit offers loads of vegetarian options, often served on…wheat rolls. One newsletter is suggesting we eat nuts for protein, the next suggests those very nuts may cause problems with Fibromyalgia. One reminds us that belly fat can only be lost by losing weight, the next suggests we need to do the proper core work to hit the four layers of our abs. Should I drink a glass of wine with my dinner or shouldn’t I??? Have dark chocolate or don’t have any sugar? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! While I love receiving the information, it is confusing, sometimes insulting and honestly, I resent so many emails with the subject title: LOSE YOUR BELLY FAT. If y’all have the answers, why so much belly fat???
When all else gets too overwhelming, I personally think we need to go back to the basics. Eat less, exercise more. Eliminating one entire food group might work for a while, but is it something you can live with? Simply adding more movement to your day and cutting calories from each meal WILL result in weight loss. For those of you who have let me know you are working on the exercise part, but haven’t changed your eating, expect healthier blood work and more stamina, but remember that, especially the older we get, without changing your daily diet it’s unlikely you will see the results you are looking for. If you simply change your eating you will probably see the scale go down, but how do you know you aren’t losing muscle mass and setting yourself up for metabolism problems later on?
Believe it or not, after 30 years of exercising for a living and a lifestyle, and being a very mindful eater, I struggle with my weight. Those of you who know me, know I have never been a tall glass of water and I would always, like most woman I know, like to lose 5 more pounds. But this I know for sure. There is no miracle food, no magical supplement, no single exercise program that is THE answer. In my humble opinion, we need to find an eating and exercise plan that works for us for the long haul. Even if we fall in love with one sport or one type of exercise class, we need to have alternatives… just in case. Additionally, mixing things up is always the best way to be fit overall and to avoid injury. If we count on just ONE type of workout (ie. running, tennis, kickboxing, etc.) what happens if we injure a muscle or joint? Do what you love, certainly, but make sure you keep something in your back pocket just in case. This prevents excuses (my elbow hurts, it’s raining, I don’t have enough time, etc.) Look ahead at your week and design a rough workout schedule that is realistic and go to your B plan if necessary). Prepare foods in advance. Avoid temptation. Set goals. Get enough sleep. The basics. They have worked forever and they will continue to do so. I don’t often find newsletters telling me these basics, because they aren’t miraculous and they have no shock value. Sorry, after 30 years, I offer no miracles or shocking revelations, just my humble opinion, after all I have learned through my clients, students, education and my own experiences.
Yesterday morning, while blogging, Mitch read me my newspaper horoscope which basically said “Capricorn, spread your message far and wide.” Just now, as I sat down to start this morning’s blog, I learned that I had more visitors to this site yesterday, than ever! Weird. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. It was affirmation enough for me to keep blog, blog, blogging. Thank YOU for stopping in and “listening.”
Need more motivation? Tune in tonight for episode 2, season 12 of the show that changes lives! Biggest Loser. You can also look at yesterday’s blog entry and find out about a chance to win a million dollars. Thin and a millionaire. That’s some serious motivation!!!
Woke up energized, with a “hodge-podge” of things on my mind, after a lot of time catching up on sleep, yesterday. Excited for the Dolphin’s 3rd game of the season, I sat down to watch at 1, and was in and out of sleep well before the first quarter ended. Not sure if it is the drone of the announcers that works like hypnosis or the actual Dolphins themselves…missing throws, catches, getting sacked and just losing it in the end zone, willing me to sleep instead of watching in frustration and misery. In any event, I woke up with just seconds left in the game, which was still enough time to watch the scoreboard change and find the Browns on top, 17-16 and the Dolphins 0 and 3 for the season.
Mitch and I jumped up from the couch and tried to catch Mac’n, the all vegan food truck, (Derek called earlier to let me know they would be on our corner till 5) and try some of their mac’n “cheese,” but we got there just in time to hear “we just sold out of all our mac.” In as much as I am so anxious to try their food, it was probably more calories than I would have been happy with on a Sunday afternoon,anyway. Very interested in the whole food truck craze, my nap allowed me to stay awake last night for the finale of the Great Food Truck Race, on the Food Network, and the 3 guys from California and their Lime Truck found themselves winners of the $100,000, which they received on beautiful South Beach, after a long journey across the country. I was routing for Hodge-Podge, but it wasn’t a day for “my” teams. For more info on Mac’n, you can just google, Mac’n food truck, since I am not sure of the link.
While I am on the topic of competitions, here’s one that will end in someone winning ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Today, September 26, Dr. Oz will kick off a “contest” to help America get healthier. It is a partnership with Weight Watchers but you do NOT have to be a member to participate. There is a form to fill out, a weigh in and then 7 steps to complete. Go to Dr.Oz.com to get more info and then to Weight Watchers where you can ask for the form. Weigh in, follow the instructions and in April, someone will win a million dollars. Thanks, Carol, for the reminder on this, a first big (huge!) giveaway for the Dr. Oz show.
Great to see friends this weekend. Great to get updates on people’s weight loss and fitness programs as well as hearing your stories about living on a plant-based “diet.” Great to see things sprouting up in our garden, as well as getting some soil laid in garden 2, which is almost ready for planting (mostly lettuce will go in that one). Thanks for bringing me that oregano clipping, Lisa. Great to get in the pool yesterday and swim 35 laps, a good start on this week’s goal. So much to be “great-ful,” for. Makes it easy to get busy on this Monday morning. Wishing you much to be “great-ful” for, too and of course, much love. I close this morning with a quote that I found this morning in an email from my childhood friend who lives in New York. In the midst of the darkest hours of her life, she chose to forward this quote sent to her by a friend for encouragement. “In the end, it doesn’t matter whether we live or die, but whether we have known love.” I hope you will think about that quote from time to time, today, that you will be “great-ful,” for all you have, and above all else, nurture the loves in your life.
“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.”
Wishing you all sunshine, open air and a very happy, healthy, autumn. Wherever you are it’s probably a good time to get outside for some fitness, where you will also find a bounty of beauty and peace as Mother Nature does her thing. From fun runs, to farmer’s markets, from football to Halloween fantasies, and family holidays, fall is truly a horn of horn of plenty! Enjoy it all.
It was great affirmation, yesterday, to see two incredibly well respected healers, Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil, talking about most everything I believe in, on the Dr. Oz show. These doctors talked about meditation over medication, herbs and spices over pills and procedure, and tofu, tempeh, seitan, and beans over cows, lambs and chickens. It was good to hear Chopra explain that ALL the amino acids we need from animal protein are present right there in the alternatives, with no artery blocking, cancer causing side effects. The entire episode was excellent and a I can’t wait to try Dr. Chopra’s simple meditation in class. I did it along with the audience and was, as I always am, amazed at how quickly we can change things up in our bodies and minds by simply stopping, focusing on our breathing and pulse and being present.
Tonight my personal challenge is to make a vegan dinner that is not laden with additives and calories but still is exciting to sit down to and yummy, as well. I’m on my way to the grocery store to stock up on fruits, veggies and some yet to be decided protein. I can’t wait to be gathering goods from my own garden and know that as quickly as time goes, that will be in the blink of an eye. Wishing you a very happy Vegan Feast Thursday and a wonderful autumn! As always, I thank you for stopping in for a little bit of peaceandfitness.
Wow. Biggest Loser did NOT disappoint this girl. When I walked in the door from the gym, the show, which I would later watch on DVR, had already started and Mitch let me know he had watched the beginning and he new I would really love it. I could hardly wait and finally got to sit down about 9pm. Loved the opening…seeing the 15 new contestants, meeting the new trainers and seeing good ol’ Bob again, too. Anna and Dolvett both impressed me immediately. Who wouldn’t be impressed by Anna Kournikova? Her looks and her athletic accomplishments are both pretty impressive, but could she train people? Dolvett Quince is pretty great looking too, and he has a proven track record of helping people lose weight and get in better shape. I did not question his capability, but wondered how he would do connecting with his team.
The teams were divided into 3 groups according to age…young, middle and let’s just say over 50, because old would offend ME. Each team had to run a mile together, and the first and second teams to win would pick their trainers in that order and the last team would be, naturally, with the remaining trainer. I wasn’t at all surprised that the “middle” team came in first and I was even less surprised that they picked Bob. Next came the youngins and they picked Dolvett, leaving the over 50 group lagging behind as they decided to walk because Bonnie has a bad knee. It was nice a sign of Anna’s character, that she went to meet her team at this point, and walk back with them. At this point we also learn of a new twist this season–all the contestants would be coming back to the ranch during the last week of the season to compete in a marathon, and the winner is guaranteed a spot in the finals with a chance to win the $250,000. Interesting. Not sure how I feel about that. What if they run fast but haven’t lost a lot of weight?
As always in life, there is some drama. Dolvett has issues with Patrick and he throws him out of the gym. I was a bit turned off by Dovett’s military like attitude. It wouldn’t work for me, but I realize that we are all different and all motivated in different ways. On Bob’s black team, Antoine, the former NFL player, becomes Bob’s pet project. That I love. Bob is anxious to instill confidence in this man whom he KNOWS has it in him. And on the blue team, Becky’s dad passes away from congestive heart failure and she must leave for a few days. While I relate to the compassion that Anna shows her team, might she be too soft? Also on this team is Debbie, who apparently asks way too many questions and doesn’t put in enough effort. As a trainer, I am reminded that there are many styles we can use to motivate people and none are right or wrong, they are just different. In the end, it is really up to the individual to have the desire to get the job done. Even if you are capable of leading a horse to water, it is still up to him, to drink!
The weigh in was awesome as always. The first way in is always over the top, especially for those “big boys!” We saw John and Antoine, both from Bob’s black team,lose 37 and 32 pounds, (this is why I said yesterday, this cannot be done at home! Who loses 37 pounds in one week?) but even the girls on that team pulled huge numbers. Red team did really well, too with everyone in the double digits. Anna’s blue team clearly lost the weigh in. Debbie and Bonnie were the only 2 out of the 15 to not see double digits on the scale. One of them had to be sent home and after Debbie got nasty with Bonnie in front of the others, the decision got easier. Though Bonnie, the least loser, got 2 votes, Debbie got 3 and out went her refrigerator light. 1 down, 14 to go.
The season opener surely brought me to tears a couple of times. I often make an IMMEDIATE connection with a contestant, but I didn’t last night. I do think Antoine is a clear threat because he has muscle memory and has been through grueling athletics as a football player. Does he have the desire? This remains to be seen. I am also partial to the black team because I love Bob and because they are the middle aged group and from my experience in the fitness field these are the people that can kick some serious butt when they set their minds to it. Though I am always partial to my “seniors” in the gym, I was not impressed by any of Anna’s team members. I have to say, all things considered, I already have a spot for Ramon, the tattoo artist. He is the same age as my son, Derek, and could easily be part of my Thursday night dinner gatherings. I look forward to getting to know him and the rest of the contestants!
I have one burning question and it is NOT “Does age matter?” Does the black team take the same “supplements” as the others. Does each trainer have their own favorite supps? I know they must be taking something as Jillian had her own brand and I have seen Bob advertising his. I would love to know more about this as I have never been an advocate of fat burning supplements, but wonder what it REALLY takes to lose these kinds of numbers in a week. What do YOU think? I am curious.