It’s Time to Celebrate Chanukah!!

Sephardic style Menorah from Spain

Inspired by lunch at the Olive Garden, yesterday (thanks to my girls), I have already put up a pot of homemade vegetable soup, this morning.  FYI, the minestrone soup at the Olive Garden is both vegan and very low in fat and calories.  According to the

Internet there are 100 calories in a bowl.  I asked the waiter to bring the salad naked (the salad, not the waiter) and with vinegar and oil, it was low cal and vegan, too.  I  passed on the croutons since I didn’t know if they were vegan, and didn’t need the calories.  Anyway, this morning I chopped some celery, carrots, string beans and an onion and threw it in a soup pot with vegetable broth, canned, rinsed cannellini beans, canned diced tomatoes and and some bay leaves, dried thyme, dried sage, and pepper.  I am gonna let it cook for a few hours (covered) and then leave it until about an hour before I am ready to serve it.  Then I will add some ditalini pasta and diced zucchini.  It looks great after just a few minutes  but will let you know my verdict after tasting.  Soup and winter.  Love the combo, even here in Sunny South Florida.  Trying to have lots of food prepared for when the kids arrive…

I will be subbing for Ellen (SS) this morning at 10 and then staying to teach my regularly scheduled SS class at 11:30.  Be back at the gym tonight for our last Tuesday night classes of the year…cardio/sculpting at 6 and Pilates/yoga/stretch reduction at 7 with Jon hopefully bringing his flute back to play for us.

There are no words to properly thank everyone in my world for making the holiday season so special.  It is a year round gift to have you all in my life and then you turn around and spoil me even more.  It’s crazy and I am not entirely comfortable with the whole situation, by certainly I am appreciative beyond words.

Finally, I can’t end without saying this…to Derek and Pete:  Go tell ‘ronica, it’s time to celebrate Chanukah!  I couldn’t resist……Happy Chanukah everyone.  Always remember that miracles do happen!

Making a List…

Fried bramboráky, potato pancakes

Potato pancakes cooked, check.  Candles in the menorah, check.  Adam Sandler CD located, check.  Presents all wrapped, almost a check….

Looking forward to a day or two of full attention on Hanukah, before we move into one birthday, Christmas and another birthday…all before we prepare for New Year’s Eve.  Can’t wait to see Kyle, Nicole and the new grand kitty, baby Chase for lots of celebrating.

So I am off to do some more wrapping and stealing some of my blog time to do so.

I will be at TFC for 8:30am low impact/mat class and 11:30 for SilverSneakers.   Hard as it in to get exercise squeezed in this time of year, your body mind and soul will thank you for the extra effort.  See you there, or right back here.

 

 

The Reason for the Season

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQt84tKLJ3TY4Z-eurb2_AS5RfPaXZ0KbW93WR4TgTyDwuqOyI2 Yesterday was a perfect day.  Lesley and I did a lot of damage at The Children’s Place and Old Navy, finding great deals on great clothes for 5 boys who we believe will really appreciate having some new clothes, and even some choices…like do I want to wear the black jeans or the blue ones?…with sneakers or shoes?  Thanks to Suzanne, the Manager at The Children’s Place, who was sweet, warm, helpful and even saved us some money.  Les and I  were on the exact same page picking out clothes and after a great lunch (thanks, Les) at Falafel Bistro we sat ourselves down on her bedroom floor and sorted and bagged up 5 big bundles for Richard to get to the soup kitchen in plenty of time to make Christmas a little brighter.

I purposely did NOT fuss with cooking and baking for Vegan Feast Thursday, as I wanted the “kids” to know how my day was spent and how very fortunate they are even though they all struggle (as most are) with the economy as they juggle work, school, paying bills, etc.  I bought some Tofurky cold-cuts, bread and picked an assortment of lettuce from the garden to go on their sandwiches.  Thankfully I had already made a pot of hearty bean and pasta soup as Michele, Pete, Veronica, Aldo and Dave all joined us.   Michele is just back from her last animal rescue mission in Virginia, which she declared a success.  Derek and Pete shared their fall semester’s grades, all As and Bs.  Great job guys!  Veronica baked and brought me the yummiest smelling candle.  Pete and Michele got the whole table cleaned off.  Thanks, all.  I love these “kids.”  I love that they gather every week at our house and I love that we get to feed them.

The outlook on hunger was reported in the newspaper this morning, and it’s definitely NOT good.  More people are expected to be hungry in 2012 than already are.   Some days, when I wake up and spammers have hit this website in full force, and I am busy deleting comments about everything from where to buy Uggs and Cialis to how to make money doing anything and everything, I wonder why I am even blogging.  Yesterday, I learned that my entry about the soup kitchen was shared by many and offers of donations started coming in.  If all these months and years of rambling leads to some full bellies, I can stop questioning.

On a totally lighter note, if you want to get your kids to eat more veggies,  studies show that rewarding your children with stickers after they take bites of their vegetables, actually leads to them liking them more and hence eating more.  Stickers…hummm…seems so easy.  Get those favorite stickers and keep some in the kitchen.  We really are smarter than our kids 🙂

Thanks, also, to Carol for that great email reminding yourself of all you are grateful for.  I loved that and it worked into my day just perfectly.  So did seeing one of my own fairy godmothers, Jill, at Publix.  When I met her almost 29 years ago, and was pregnant with Derek, she gave me ALL her hand-me-down maternity clothes, which was an insane gift for me at that very broke time in mine and Mitch’s lives.   My mom was the nursery lady at the gym I taught at and Jill attended.  My mom took extra special care of Jill’s boys.   She has continued to pop in and out of my life at the most appropriate times and we ALWAYS pick up the conversation as if we had seen each other yesterday.  It was meant to be that we bump into each other yesterday and have the chance to catch up and wish each other good holiday cheer.   Just the icing on my cake (vegan, of course) like day.

Wishing you a sweet day filled with love, gratitude and of course a little peaceandfitness.

How Often are YOU Really Hungry?

English: People eating at a soup kitchen. Mont...
Image via Wikipedia

Today seems to be as good a day as any to introduce you to the little soup kitchen that could.  I have already mentioned that my friend Richard became involved in this particular soup kitchen, in Ft. Lauderdale, quite a while ago.  Since, his wife, kids and grandchildren have also become involved.  From making sandwiches, to serving meals, the littlest ones have embraced sharing and caring, with 4 year old Nate passing out food on Thanksgiving morning, while his older brother Sam swept and cleaned.  The entire family continues to become more and more committed to this cause and just this past Sunday, as the kitchen celebrated their 20 year anniversary, Richard was honored for all his help.  While he got involved in a roundabout way, he has received so more from helping than he gives…and he gives PLENTY.  Isn’t it always the case that we get more than we give, when we give?

The kitchen feeds up to 150 people a day, 7 days a week.  Though they are affiliated with a church, they welcome all faiths, as well as those with no faith.  If you are hungry, they will feed you.  They open their doors to the hungry at 2 to provide a roof and refreshments and at 3 a full meal is served.  They also provide clean clothes and  medicine as well as help families to move off the streets, sometimes helping with furnishings or a month’s rent.

In lieu of purchasing holiday presents for one another, Lesley and I have “adopted” some children to buy new clothes for and we are off to do just that this morning.  We are excited to power shop and know that this year our gifts will really make a difference.  Sadly, we are asked not to buy toys as these children are too needy.  What good is a toy when you have no shoes on your feet, and your belly is hungry?  While Lesley and Richard have showered me with some incredibly decadent and special gifts over the past 11 years, I am most excited about this year.  I feel incredibly lucky to have MORE than enough.

How many times a day do we say “I am hungry?”  Do we REALLY know what hunger feels like?  I think the majority of us DO NOT.  We should all be so thankful for just that.  In our country 1 out of 5 children are hungry right this moment.  That just isn’t right.

Since traditionally, this time of year brings out the best in all of us, the kitchen is least needy at this time.  In March, Lesley and Richard will be hosting a major fund-raising event to help raise money to renovate the kitchen, which is in MUCH need!  I will be doing my own pre-fund-raiser, because I know that the people in my life, especially my gym people,  have huge hearts and want to help.   I will keep you posted. Thanks for stopping in and thanks for caring.  Much love.

 

 

Buckets of Tears

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I cried buckets of tears watching the BL finale last night.  Buckets.  What the heck happened between the marathon and the finale?  I NEED to know how much REAL time transpired between the two events.  While all the contestants appeared to still have a good deal of weight to lose at the marathon, most EVERYONE was looking at or close to their weight goals last night (though often I was surprised that they even weighed as much as they did getting on the scale).

I was sad that they changed up the format and we didn’t get to see all the contestants weigh in.  Definitely took away from the “guess their weight” game we love to play.  Took away a lot of the excitement, too.  Instead they came out 4 at a time, having already weighed in before the show, and only one from each group of 4 would weigh and compete for the at-home prize.  Johnny, Becky, Jessica and Vinny come out and while they all look great, it was Vinny who started my endless tears of awe.  Fat Vinny to Skinny Vinny all in the same year.  Things get even crazier when Courtney, Bonnie, Sunny and Patrick come out.  OMG.  What a great job the wardrobe, hair and make-up people did.  Again, all 4 looking so good but Patrick is hot hot hot  (seriously hot) and although Sunny looked like a sliver of her original self, Patrick beats her out by 1%.  The final 4 come out and apparently Debbie, who went home in the very beginning, had the least success at home.  She and Mike will not take place in the weigh in and the last spot on the scale belongs to either Jennifer or Joe.  Down 133 pounds, Joe is squeaked out by the dark horse, Jennifer.  Who of us thought she had it in her after we watched her on crutches, unable to do most of the physical work, at least at the ranch.  As the three weigh we learn that Patrick  has lost 151 pounds, Jennifer 145 pounds and Vinny, a staggering 184 pounds.  These results actually give Jennifer the greatest percentage of weight lost and the prize of $100,000!  Way to go, girl.  I think you surprised us all.

Finally, it’s time to reveal the final 3.  Ramon comes out first and of course I am hysterical crying and hoping, but knowing he can’t take it all.  His starting weight was much lower than the other 2.  Antone comes out looking like a basketball player instead of a football player.  Then we see John, who we already knew was going to be the most transformed.  I am not sure what the hair people did with his, but it was very weird.  Sorry, I had to say that.  John entered this competition to win and he never lost his competitive edge.

The moment of truth arrives and Ramon weighs first and is down 154 pounds.  Antone is down 202 pounds, edging Ramon right out.  John, who started this season at 445 pounds weighs in and has lost 220 pounds giving him the highest percentage of weight lost, the confetti in his hair, bragging rights, the title of Biggest Loser Season 12 and the $250,000 dollar prize!

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTXKKjnT2XcI6zm61JeX6Q7riXJ8AITvfhhwoOkLz8MyNSddZxb

While I was clearly disappointed that Ramon didn’t win it all, I wasn’t surprised and all-in-all, every contestant was a winner.  with almost a TON of weight lost between them, they all regained a new life,  they all won the gift of health,  made new friends, won money and prizes along the way, finished a marathon and  some even found love.  Speaking of…Jessica better treat my boy Ramon right!

 

 

Morning Weigh In

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRo5O6i2szT-mBGB_SpucSdxnHxVK0S2bjKZ4Glvy57-6P6gHajPQWhile it was a bit on the late side, and too late to impact this season, I was none-the-less saddened to hear that Miami Dolphin coach Tony Sparano was given the axe.  What good is a new coach without a quarterback?  Who will be the new coach?   This past Sunday I managed my best of the week’s sleep through the entire second half of the game.  After the first half, there was just no way I could keep watching.  Mitch has always told me it’s not at all easy being a Dol-fan.  I understand.  There’s always next year.

Saw the cupcakes that Lesley had Liz of the Conscious Cupcake make for our dentist, (we love him) Jeffrey Kritchmer.  With little teeth, toothbrushes and paste, those things looked so adorable.  Great job, Liz.  If you are local, you can check her out at this Sunday’s Parkland Farmer’s Market.  If not you can find her on Facebook.

Lettuce and tomatoes are doing pretty well in our home garden.  There is one tomato plant that actually was from last year, ended up in the compost which ended up as soil around our mango tree.  When I saw what looked like a  little tomato  plant  growing beneath the tree,  I let it get strong enough to transplant and this season it is leading the tomato pack.   In the lettuce garden their are 3 types growing and they all seem to be doing pretty well.  I have been able to pick a variety of leaves to add to our nightly salad.  In no time at all the lettuce for our nightly salads will be coming from there…and the tomatoes, too.  One of my favorite things about winter in Florida.

Speaking of favorite things…twice a year I get to go totally crazy over the finale of Biggest Loser.  Tonight, for the first time in many season, the guys rule.  John, Antone and my boy Ramon will fight it out on the scale for the grand prize of a quarter of a million dollars and bragging rights to the title of Season 12 Biggest Loser.  Any of the 3 can easily take this win.  With Ramon’s youth on his side and his incredibly infectious smile, I am holding on to hope that he is the last man standing when the confetti falls tonight.  For more inspiration and motivation than you can find ANYWHERE (at least regarding weight loss and personal change) tune in or set your DVR (as I am doing) for NBC, 9pm eastern time.  I am not sure what time I will be watching but if you hear some screams of either joy or disappointment late tonight, they will probably be coming from me.

With just 2 more Tuesday night’s of class before the new year, expect lots of peace at the 7pmer.  I am going to use the CD Jon gave me last week (of his own flute playing) and next week he should be back with us live and in person as we have one final session of stretch reduction before all the holidays and the changing of the years.  Is it really that time already?

One thing I know for sure.  A few years ago I made a resolution to feed more hungry people.  That resolution evolved into Vegan Feast Thursday, surely an example of how  when you give, you get so much more in return.  We have had the opportunity to not only see Derek every single week, but form bonds with the people in his life and keep a pulse on what’s happening with them and their generation.   To take all this a big step further,  I will be organizing a fund-raising effort to help with a much bigger effort that our good friends Lesley and Richard have taken on.  Stay tuned for more about the Soup Kitchen, and how YOU can help, after the new year.

Wishing you all a terrific Tuesday!  As always, I thank you for stopping in for a little peaceandfitness weigh in.

 

You Make me Feel Like Dancing

Large group, mostly men, surrounds couples jit...

What a great time we had with my sister, Arlene and my brother-in-law, Ron these past few days while they visited from the Big Apple.  We got in eating at some of our favorite local spots (Sakura, Big Bear and Falafel Bistro) had some great talks, learned a lot about fracking (those of us that wish for our country to be counting on our own resources for energy need to know the current dangers of fracking as the reality of this goal) and enjoyed an afternoon at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, always a great destination with out-of-towners.  The highlight of that outing was DEFINITELY watching some swing dancing in the area outside the casino, where a band was playing all my favorite big band tunes.  There was one woman who obviously was far from a spring chicken but had legs and a figure that most of us females would die for.  She wore a very open knit short dress over something and some high-heeled dancing shoes with her long hair pulled back in a pony-tail and a smile that NEVER left her face.  She displayed living proof that nothing hurts and we are ageless when we are dancing.  Before we walked away I HAD to let her know how joyful and uplifting it was just to watch her and be in her presence!  Moments like this, people like her…they are where I get my inspiration and motivation from.  Definitely.

When we dance, we kick up the volume on our happy hormones–our endorphins.  Same thing happens when we do aerobic exercise.  As my darling student Shirley says, when she was younger she always wished to die on the dance floor–now she wishes to die in exercise class!  While I never want that to happen in my class, I totally understand what she means.

In the midst of the chaos of the holiday season… family, friends, partying, traveling, shopping, overspending, overeating, overdrinking etc., PLEASE find some time to MOVE in a way that gets YOUR endorphins pumping.  It is good for EVERYTHING that ails us, and even what doesn’t.

Speaking of an endorphin rush, congratulations to Gary Jones (Nicole’s dad) on earning his pilot’s license last week.  What an accomplishment.  We know you will be extra careful when transporting our precious cargo 🙂

I will be posting my schedule changes for the holiday season.  For this week, it’s full speed ahead.   If you are a SilverSneakers member and find yourself part of the fallout at Bally, come on down to Tamarac Fitness Center.  We’ve got a chair with YOUR name on it!  I’ll be there today, tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday at 11:30.

Make it a magical Monday.  Much love.