Know Your Numbers single greatest form of exercise we can do tonight, is to exercise responsibility.  It’s easy to say we don’t drink and drive, until we are drinking….and then driving.  Though Thanksgiving is actually the single worst drinking and driving holiday (thanks,  Attorney Adam Harmelin, for that info) New Year’s Eve is right behind it!  If you are venturing out, a cab is a nice way to stay safe.  If you have your car with you and you are drunk, you can find ways to avoid driving.  Here in Broward county, Florida,  AAA and Budweiser team up to offer a service that will pick you up and drive you home and tow your car home, too!  It might be worth programming the Tow to Go number into your phone now if you are local.  It is 1-800-AAA-HELP.  In Palm Beach county, the police offers will give you a ride home, for free.  There non-emergency number is 561-838-5454.  Wherever YOU are, it’s worth doing a quick Google search to see what options are out there for you and storing some numbers in your cell phone BEFORE heading out.

IF you make a bad choice and get pulled over in Broward County, I would like to share our family friend’s phone number.  Attorney Adam Harmelin can be reached tonight (or any time 24/7) on his cell phone at 954-294-9372.  He is definitely the guy to call should you get in trouble with the law for any reason from traffic infractions to much more serious offenses!  I love that he uses his cell phone number for business as it makes him incredibly accessible.  I suggest to everyone local that they put his number at the top of their cell phone contact list…A for Adam.  While I hope none of us ever need it, it’s a good contact to have.

As you ponder your resolutions, I hope you will consider ways to bring more peace…and fitness…into your own and your loved ones lives.  Thanks to all of you for the role you have played in MY 2011.   May you have a happy, healthy 2012 and may we all remember all the lessons we learned through the recession as we move into the recovery, that I feel in my heart, WILL happen in the coming year.  Cheers.

Divine, Sublime… it’s Birthday Time morning and happy birthday to one of my very favorite people, who also happens to also be my son, Derek.  28 years ago, this morning, the entire world became a better place because he entered it!  Last night, we (Mitch, Derek, Michele and I) went to Sublime to celebrate (missing Kyle and Nicole, of course!!!) and the food was, once again, simply divine.  For those that don’t know, Sublime is an all vegan “fine dining” establishment in Ft. Lauderdale, open only for dinner, with a beautiful ambiance, incredible service and equally beautiful and incredible options!   We ate the crispy cauliflower (to die for and as Michele said, no one would even have to know it was cauliflower) and stuffed artichoke as appetizers and after sharing one chopped salad, we were well on our way to full.  Michele and Derek ordered the enchiladas, Mitch the penne pasta and I, of course, felt compelled to try their veggie burger, new to the menu since I last went.  It was a little on the “less firm” side, but very, very good.  We shared some dessert because we had to sing!   One piece of pumpkin cheesecake and one piece of chocolate nirvana.  OMG!  While we had no celebrity sitings last night, it is the hot spot for celebrity vegans like Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson.  The waiter said we would know if she was there 🙂  Just saw a picture of the good Dr. Oz with the owner, who is said to donate all her profits to animal causes.

Next week, VFT, back on at the house.  It’s the third week of birthdays, so next week we celebrate Pete.  That definitely calls for a Shepherd’s pie.  Hoping to see some of the missed faces back around the table as we begin a new year together.

 Still trying to figure out why I can’t post my blog to Facebook, but I will catch up with my other favorite guy over the weekend and get that resolved.   I am nothing without my webmaster, but I know how busy he is at Steelcast.

 I will be at Tamarac Fitness for my regularly scheduled 11:30 SS class this morning.   Last class of the year 2011.   The gym will be closed for the weekend and reopen with our regular schedule on Monday morning.   It’s been a great year and look forward to the next one with all my students and the new ones to come!  

Giving thought to some resolutions?  It is suggested we don’t overshoot and set ourselves up for failure.  Narrow them down and be specific.  More about this over the weekend.  Much love.  Be safe on the roads!

Watching Our Gardens Grow

Lettuce Cultivars by David Shankbone, New York...
This isn't our garden, but I am happy to say, it looks close!

Over the past couple of months we have planted some tomato plants, carrot seeds, some herbs and 3 kinds of lettuce.  It’s amazing how the first few weeks everything looks like it will never amount to anything that  you can put on a table and actually thrive from and then all of a sudden, there it is.  This past week I have been able to go outside daily and pick  lettuce for the base of our dinner salad.  While romaine tends to be tricky here in South Florida (it gets too hot and the lettuce “bolts” or begins to flower and it gets too bitter) we have had some success with ours as well as with the butter crunch.  While I could see no way the iceberg was going to actually grow into heads, there they are, 2 on each plant.  The highlight, however, is the red leaf lettuce which is plentiful as well as beautiful and delish!  We haven’t harvested any of the tomatoes yet, but we have quite a few of them in the green and growing stages.  Carrot tops look lush as we built up the soil as per Green Thumb, Ted’s suggestion.  Admittedly, I did not put much effort into this year’s garden but am pleased to see that between Mother Nature, remembering to water most days and some homemade compost mixed in the soil, the gardens are kind of doing their thing on their own.  For many reasons, it is an awesome feeling to eat the food you grow!

As Derek turns 28 tomorrow, gulp, we look forward to celebrating tonight, with whichever members of the VFT posse are in town.  It’s one celebration after another around here this time of year.  Does it get better than that?  I think NOT.

Just as we have watched our gardens grow so beautifully, so have we watched our boys grow into wonderful, men.  Just one more reason to celebrate.

I’ll be at Tamarac Fitness Center today to sub Ellen’s 10 am SilverSneakers class.  Tomorrow, at 11:30 and Monday we are back to our regularly scheduled classes. 



Go Ask Alice… I was growing up, the general consensus was that mushrooms had no nutritional value.  Where that myth started, I have no idea (but my guess would be by the meat or dairy industry.)  In our house, we love mushrooms and since they are low in calories they always make a nice addition to many dishes.  Last night Mitch sauteed a box of sliced button mushrooms with onions for his sandwich and for me to have on the side, with my tofu and soup.  He was smart to make the whole box because they shrink down and we gobble them up.

More modern science, medicine and nutrition have taught us that mushrooms are filled with nutrition.  They are a good source of B vitamins, (always a bonus for those on plant-based diets) selenium, copper and potassium.  By the time they get to us, having been exposed to light, they are also a great source of vitamin D2.   Medicinally, (and this is big), mushrooms have been shown to have cardiovascular, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.  Additionally, they are immune booster and inhibit tumor growth.  It is suggested that they actually work like a vacuum to rid our bodies of cancer cells.  Historically, mushrooms have been used in eastern medicine, but here in the west, it’s only in the past few decades that we have given them the respect and attention they deserve.

With lots of varieties, mix up your mushrooms and get creative.  At my favorite Falafel Bistro, they make their vegan “burger patties,” from mushroom and they make  for a great main course.  Next time you hit the grocery store, or even better a store like Whole Foods or your local farmer’s market grab some mushrooms.   Here in our house we have already resolved to eat them much more!

Mushrooms…they can really make a big impact.  Of course we can’t just pick them from a field…some are poisonous and others are psychoactive.  Go ask Alice…I think she’ll know.

Today, Wednesday, I’ll be at TFC for 8:30am low-impact and 11:30 SilverSneakers. 

A World Divided or Just Do SOMETHING! are clearly a divided nation about many things and one of them is how to treat this week regarding eating and exercise.  Some feel that we might as well wait for the 2nd of January to get on (or back on) track with healthy eating and and our exercise plan.  Half of us decided that we have a week in between the Christmas (and this year, Hanukkah) holiday and the New Year’s holiday (which let’s face it, is mostly about a few hours on New Year’s eve).

Regulars at the gym are divided, too, as many are out of town or just taking a week to kick back and relax before diving into a new year of work, school, etc.  I was happy to see at least half my regulars at the 8:30am class yesterday and a full house at the 11:30 SilverSneakers class.  We all need to do what works best for us….BUT…there is clearly NO coincidence that those that jump right back on track look and feel awesome.  One example is Charlotte,  who turns 93 in just a few weeks…she says she’ll always be found at the gym (unless she’s at the casino or visiting with the great-grand babies)  even  if we have to carry her up the stairs….She screams “happy, healthy and terrific,” from every fiber of her being.

Clearly, not everyone is a Charlotte.  We all have it in us, though, to find something that makes us want to move.  Maybe this is a week to break away from routine, but surely we can all find 30 minutes to do something that makes us feel good.   Exercise is the best stress reliever and the perfect way to help sweat out some of the toxins we have been ingesting.   Perhaps putting on a dvd and de-stressing in the privacy of your home would be a welcome change.  Maybe you have an old favorite workout, like Tao-bo or Buns of Steel that would revisit…or a yoga dvd that you got for Christmas,,, Maybe turning on your favorite dance music and dancing like no one is watching would not only burn calories and feel like anything but exercise, but put a big smile on your face.  If you live in a climate like I am lucky to live in (and appreciate EVERY day) a brisk walk is sure to benefit much more than your waistline.  These are just a few ideas, but I know you get what I am saying.  JUST DO SOMETHING.

I’ll be training with my extremely motivated clients today and though my 11:30 am SilverSneakers class and both of my evening classes are cancelled tonight, I will be at the gym for a 10am SilverSneakers class.  I hope that you can find the time and the motivation to get your peaceandfitness in this week…Exercise, not just good for the body, but definitely for the soul, too.

10 Tips for the Morning After… morning we can hear the collective sigh of “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!”  Whatever that whole thing was, most of us were having a grand old time eating (and drinking) it.  Isn’t that a part of what makes the holiday so special?  No sense in feeling bad about it.  Here it is Monday, the most perfect day to jump back on the wagon.  Here are 10 tips that always help me, and hopefully they will help you, too.

1) Drink at least a gallon of water…preferably plain or with some fresh lemon juice squeezed in.  My morning glass has some Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and honey, this morning.

2)  Eat some lean protein with breakfast to help keep you feeling full for most of the  morning.  Then cut back on the protein and stick with vegetables and fruits for the rest of the day.  You can follow this plan for a few days.  Drinking lots of water along with eating fruits and vegetables will serve as a sort of detox from the sugar, fats and alcohol we (definitely I)  tend to indulge in on holidays.

3)  Get rid of the holiday leftovers.  If they aren’t ready for the garbage and you can’t part with them, freeze them, even if it’s just till next weekend.  If they are laying around, they are going to get eaten and chances are good they will get eaten by YOU.

4) Hold off on the liquor until New Year’s Eve (or at least until Friday).  If you have to drink something make it a small glass of wine and make sure to count the calories as part of your daily total.  Everyone’s total is different but a good rule of thumb is woman should stick to about 1200 a day, and men about 1800, in order to be in the losing direction.  If you are on weight watchers, you know your points number…a glass of wine can work into that plan!

5)  Use fresh herbs and spices and pepper freely but stay away from salt!  We all probably had more than enough salt this weekend and getting rid of it will help you feel better by de-bloating!  Additionally, include foods with diuretic properties, such as parsley and asparagus.  They will help pull the retained fluids out of your body.  Also, drinking a low calorie, low fat, low sodium soup like vegetable before a meal will help you eat less calories.  Olive Garden’s minestrone, just 100 calories in a bowl and really tasty.  I may make another pot of my version of this, this afternoon.  It will last all week.

6)  Remember your long term goals!  Ask yourself questions like this:  “Would I rather fit in my bathing suit for my February cruise or would I rather eat the 3 day old cannoli?”

7)  Don’t make Christmas and New Year’s ONE holiday.  We are gifted with an entire week in between them, and this year the holidays are kind enough to fall out on the weekends.  We can lose whatever we gained this past weekend, by getting back on track TODAY.

8) Get moving.  Today.  Plan your week and find some times to get in your exercise.  20 minutes of hard cardio a day would add up to two hours before our next holiday and eating/drinking orgy is upon us.  Not only will it burn some calories but it will keep the metabolism up.  Hit the weights for a few minutes twice this week and you have an added bonus.  One yoga session would provide a lot of balance to the crazy weeks leading up to to now.  People who do yoga at least once a week have better control over their eating because they have better control in general.

9)  Don’t beat yourself up by what your scale might say today.  Follow the above tips for damage control and by Friday your scale should make you smile.

10)  Remember what the true meaning of this season is and be grateful for all you have in your life.   This will help make the first 9 tips much more doable.   It is not the food we eat, but the people in our lives that make us complete!

If you have ANY questions or suggestions to add to this, bring it on.   If you ever watched Biggest Loser, you know that one week can make a huge difference in our end of the week weigh in…and you do want to fit into that outfit you picked out for New Year’s Eve, don’t you?

A Very, Merry

Good morning, Merry Christmas,

hoping Santa was good to you.

Wishing your waking up to peace and love,

and all your Christmas dreams come true.


Today we eat, we drink and we’re merry,

and we’re sure to over-indulge.

Tomorrow it’s back to the drawing board

to fight the holiday battle of the bulge.


So bring on the pastas

the desserts and the egg-nog

break bread with your loved ones,

tomorrow we lift, cross-train, and jog.


From our house to yours,

it’s lots of love we send…

and now this Christmas ditty,

has come to an end.


With Wishes for the Merriest

“And So This Is Christmas; And What Have We Done?

Another Year Over; A New One Just Begun;

And So Happy Christmas; I Hope You Have Fun;

The Near And The Dear Ones; The Old And The Young.

(Happy Christmas (War is Over))”

John Lennon

Imagine: John Lennon (soundtrack)
Let there be peace on earth

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas with peace in your heart and more than enough.

Wishes Do Come True

I woke up somewhat overwhelmed over the incredibly fulfilling birthday that I had, yesterday.  All I wished for was to be together with my kids for dinner, and I got that and so much more.  People always feel badly for me that my birthday gets jumbled up with Hanukkah and Christmas, but I see it completely the opposite way.  This entire week has been one big bundle of peace, love and light.  Our family  caught up on life over latkes, baklava, donuts, hand-painted Christmas cookies and chocolate peanut butter crispy treats.  We lit menorah lights and birthday candles, we sang Adam Sandler and the birthday song and exchanged tons of gifts.  I got to meet and play with the new little grand-kitty, Chase, who happens to have THE softest fur in the world.  We watched the 12 Days of Marketing video go live on You Tube, yesterday, and we know  that Kyle and Nicole worked hard to make that happen.  While I am not sure how to post the link to it (it’s still early in the day and my brain is not fully working) if you want to see something cute, go to You Tube and enter something like the 12 days of marketing by copy press.  If you are in marketing you will better appreciate it, but I would love if EVERYONE would just visit the video…the 6 and 3 year old brothers who sing are enough to make it worthwhile to anyone!  Most of all I got to just BE with Mitch and my kids and that was truly my birthday wish come true.  Thanks, my family.  We even managed to watch our local girl, Melanie Amaro, take home the big win on X Factor last night.  Talk about dreams and  wishes coming true!

And thanks, everyone.  With the help of modern technology I heard from friends and family near and far and in mass.  My friends, students and clients managed to spoil me rotten as they do every year (really every DAY).  I was showered with gifts to fill each and every one of my senses…and lots of  gifts of peace and fitness!

As Kyle, Nicole and baby Chase head to points north to continue the holiday celebrations with Nicole’s family, I will be at Tamarac Fitness Center subbing Ellen’s 10 am class and then teaching my own 11:30 class.  We can probably all use a little fitness before the holiday weekend.  I know I can!  We still have Derek’s birthday to celebrate this week, before we can even think about New Year’s Eve!

Be safe today as everyone is is racing just a little faster than usual to get the last of the holiday items checked off their lists while others are already indulging in some pre-Christmas partying.

Finally, thank YOU. Namaste.


The Greatest Happiness

To Love and to be Loved is the greatest happiness of existence.

–Sydney Smith

Thanks, Mitch and thanks to everyone who showers me with love this time of year.  Thanks for the great gifts, cards, sentiments, words and visits!

Keeping things short and sweet to enjoy time with my family, the greatest gift of all.  Hold tight to your loved ones and enjoy each day of this season!