Here is a really fun way to serve some hearty veggies, based on an old recipe for a clam bake. The fun part is that everyone has their own little bundle. Take two pieces of tin foil per serving (each about a foot long) and criss-cross them. In the middle place corn-on-the cob (I break them into thirds which isn’t easy, but worth the hassle)nice size chunks of peeled sweet potato and any other potatoes that you enjoy (don’t bother to peel those–the more colors you can come up with, the prettier) along with any other hearty vegetables of your choice — I used just the corn and potatoes on Memorial Day, but you are only limited by your imagination– and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Old Bay spice. Close up the bundles and place on the grill for about 30 minutes, opening and rearranging the veggies once or twice along the way, so the bottom doesn’t burn). The taste is really great, and the individual bundles make it really fun–no sharing necessary–so I am certain kids will love this just as much as the grown-ups. Then again, aren’t most of us just big kids anyway? And while the grill is hot, don’t forget to try some fruit!! We had the last of the pineapple and strawberries last night and once again they were to die for.
Yesterday, Dorothy, one of my SilverSneakers students for many years, commented to me, after class, that she is noticing as she focuses on love and gratitude, she is finding it “anywhere and everywhere. Simply finding a parking spot had me feeling grateful.” There it is Dorothy…what we put our attention on is what we become.
In my senior year of high school, I had to write a paper ( a senior theme, they called it) before graduation. It had to be about someone famous and while most picked more “likely” individuals, I did mine on a funny looking singer and musician born one Robert Zimmerman. Fast forward almost 40 years, and turns out my President really thinks he is a pretty worthy guy, too. Congratulation Mr. Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan, for being awarded this country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This medal is bestowed upon individuals who have made major contributions to the security of the United States, world peace or culture or have undertaken “other significant public or private endeavors.”
Congratulations Mr. Zimmerman, for giving us great anti-war and civil rights anthems (why exactly were we in Vietnam, again?) like “Blowin in the Wind” and “The Times They are a-Changin,” and congratulations on your new medal. As you influenced the world with your words, you obviously made a big impact on me, and I thank you. Peace out.
Of all the things that went on the grill this holiday weekend, I think it was the pineapple that took the prize. Having bought an already peeled and cored pineapple I cut half of it into long slices, (the first night) sprayed with a little olive oil and placed on the grill for about 6-8 minutes each side and then drizzled a little agave nectar (could use honey, syrup or nothing, really) over them. OMG! It is probably one of the most ridiculously delicious foods I have ever eaten. The next night, I chunked up some of the leftover pineapple and put it on skewers, alternating with fresh strawberries. Though I bought my fruit up at The Boys, in Del Ray, I have to add that growing pineapples in Florida is about as easy as growing weeds. Simply twist of the top of the pineapple and stick it in the ground. The end. It will take a few years, but all of a sudden, one day, an “as beautiful as any store bought pineapple” will be sitting inside the top of the plant. Pineapples are bromeliads and grow exactly the same as the flowering type. They make great borders and will keep away pests planted between more fragile things in a garden. Nutritionally speaking, these are gems, chock full of bromelain which is not only a great digestive aid, but also an anti-inflammatory the pineapple is also loaded with vitamins C and B1, minerals copper and manganese and like most fruits, high in fiber.
From a weight loss standard, you can’t beat fruit. Weight Watchers has even gone as far as to change fruit from 1 or 2 points to ZERO points, encouraging participants to eat fruit often and a lot. Based on the results of the Transformation Nation I would say they are onto something! If you have never tried grilled pineapple (or other fruits) what are you waiting for? Give it a try and let me know what you think. Be prepared for a serious explosion of flavor!
I spent the last half hour or so looking for the perfect quote for this holiday, but honestly couldn’t find one that best reflects my feelings. As I spend 42 days meditating on love and gratitude, I will simply say that there is no question how much I appreciate my freedom and how much I love my life, my family and friends and living in this wonderful America! A heartfelt “thank-YOU,” to all the men and women who have fought for me to have this incredible life, but I am so very sad for all that lost their lives, or their loved ones so that I may have this gift. May we all remember WHY, as we “celebrate,” today and together let’s stay focused on peace in our hearts, homes and our world.
If you’ve got a park near you, you’ve got a wonderful workout waiting to happen. After a walk at a pace that works for you (or a jog or run) find yourself a park bench and get busy sitting and standing back up…there’s your “tap” squats. Turn around, face the bench and place your hands down on the seat. Bend and straighten your elbows and you can get in a few rounds of push-ups. Now that you are really warmed up and in the groove, take your right foot and step up on the bench…then your left…then right foot down…then your left…repeat. Doing step ups is great for your legs, butt and core as it requires some balance. Turn around again and face away from the bench. Sit. Put your hands on the front edge of the bench and slide your hips forward, off the bench. Bend your elbows to drop your hips and then push back up and you are doing dips for your upper arms. Lay on the bench and you get in some crunches, or place a towel on the ground in front of the bench, placing your feet up on the seat and do some crunches that way. Even better. This is an especially great way to multitask while your kids play at the park playground. No excuses.
While you are out there, feel the love of mother nature and be grateful for it and her! I am off to train Jane and we are gonna spend a little more time than usual when we hit the park bench along our trail!
Gas prices are on the way down (at least for now) — home sales are on the rise (and prices are edging up even if just a little bit) — unemployment in Broward County, down — reports say there are thousands more jobs for those graduating college this month, as opposed to last year’s college graduating class and average salaries for those college grads are up from last year, too — and as if a positive turn for our economy isn’t enough to celebrate, our Miami Heat won their series against the Pacers, moving onto the Eastern Conference Championship. There is much to celebrate this holiday weekend, but let us all remember, regardless of what our political opinions are, regardless of how we feel about war, and peace…that Memorial Day weekend, isn’t JUST a few days off from work and school. Memorial Day (some still call it Decoration Day) is all about honoring those fallen soldiers that have fought for our luxury of PEACE and let us all remember them and their families as we continue to meditate on love and gratitude.
Congratulations to high school teacher, 55 year old Michael Lamb from Athens, Georgia who yesterday took away the 1 million dollar prize as he became the winner in the Dr. Oz/Weight Watchers/Sharecare Transformation Nation challenge. Lamb started his weight loss journey to insure a healthy self, healthy kidneys included to be able to donate one (when needed) to his wife who has failing kidneys as a result of Lupus. Good story. Watching all 10 finalists tell their stories, what impacted me the most is that sometimes as little as 25 pounds can translate to a total turnaround in someone’s health and life! In my love/hate affair with the good Dr. Oz, this challenge and yesterday’s finale definitely go in the love column.
As per Carol’s suggestion, I made zucch-asta last night and added some Boca crumbles. Wow! What hearty main course meal that simple dish became. Zucch-asta with “meat” sauce. Healthy, vegan, low in calories and utterly satisfying. Now, if I can just figure out how to make it in bulk for the Thursday night posse. I’m thinking to do it in bunches and then reheating for just a minute or two in a big tray…..maybe tonight. I admit to being a little obsessed with it because, let me repeat, it’s healthy, vegan, low in calories and utterly satisfying! For those that missed the basic recipe, I put the link below.
Enjoy your day wherever you are. It’s Thursday, so I am hoping you will consider at least one meatless meal and of course some peace and fitness. Keep meditating on love and gratitude…and last but definitely not least…LET’S GO HEAT!
As I focus on love and gratitude, there is no question that what we focus on, multiplies! I am incredibly grateful to my dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Kritchmer, (and his fabulous staff ) who saw me first thing yesterday morning after waking up missing the bonding on my front tooth! He had me in and out in just a few minutes with a perfect new front tooth. If anyone local is unhappy with, or needs a dentist, this is your guy. Also feel a whole lot of love and gratitude to my students who came out in the rain last night to attend class, drudging through flooded parking lot, some in rubber boots, some in bare feet, all with a great attitude. After a disco hour, in memory of some of the greatest from that era, that have left us way too soon, we moved on to a peaceful hour breathing in love and breathing out gratitude. Those OMS at the end of class sounded (and felt) just beautiful.
A special thanks to Mitch who offered (and I accepted) to drive me back and forth to the gym so I didn’t have to stress about the weather, allowing me to remain in that peaceful state heading home. Then, like icing on cake, our Miami Heat showed up big time, taking the lead in the series against Indiana. Bet they are feeling lots of love and gratitude, too!
Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything, This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.
With so many fancy ways to measure our weight, from digital scales, tape measure, and calipers to calculating our BMI, getting dunked underwater in a tank to measure body fat and deciding if our hip to waist ratio is ok, etc., I just loved this quote by basketball legend Charles Barkely:
“If you want to know if you’re fat or not, just stand in front of a mirror naked – the mirror never lies.”
Barkely has lost 43 pounds following the Weight Watchers Program. WW is definitely NOT just for women. Barkely says he never feels hungry and is thrilled to be getting his sexy back. (**This blogger has no vested interest in Weight Watchers–never even been inside one, except that I have seen it work time and time again for my students and friends.
But back to speaking of sexy and basketball, let’s go HEAT!