Out and In. Happy 2014

New Years Eve Eve 2009 Times Square
New Years Eve Eve 2009 Times Square (Photo credit: TheMarque)

So here it is the last morning of 2013.  It’s been an interesting year filled with many great events, none larger for us, then Kyle and Nicole’s engagement last spring.  We also got to visit Derek and Jolene in California, which was a great trip.  Sadly, we had to say goodbye to thebigredguy, Blaze, but not until the year was almost over.  There is no question we savored every single moment with him and he will live in our hearts eternally.  He was the nicest boy, ever!  We also learned that a job promotion was going to be moving Derek from the OC, to Las Vegas, where he heads off to this Thursday night.  We know that this was not an easy decision, but I also know, in my heart, that it will all work out!  Having turned 30, yesterday, he has changed demographics and heads off to Vegas an old man (just kidding, Derek!!!).

On the business front, I added some small group personal training to my schedule and really got lucky with some great new clients, while maintaining others that over the years have become my best friends…even family.  I am eternally grateful for their dedication, love and friendship and look forward to another year, taking care of our bodies, minds and souls, together.

Looking ahead, this winter I celebrate my 30th anniversary of teaching at Tamarac Fitness Center.  That’s just crazy!  My dad used to say, when I was young, that I became bored with things.  Ha.  I hope he knows where I am today.   We have Kyle and Nicole’s big day coming up in early August and we could not be more excited about it!  I am pretty sure my fitness goals will bump up even more over the next 7 months, and am considering pulling P90X back out in the spring….damn pull-ups.  Still the hardest challenge for me.

I definitely have some spots open for personal training and small group training so hit me up if you are ready to commit to those resolutions you will be making tonight.  I am ready to start new sessions as soon as you are!  You can leave me a private message by going to my contact info on my home page and emailing me.  You can also leave comments right on this page, and know that they will remain private until I read them approve them for public reading, if appropriate.

Today I WILL be at TFC teaching SilverSneakers at 10 and Senior Strength Training at 11:30.  Hope to see some of you there for one last 2013 workout!

Please have a very happy and SAFE New Year’s Eve.  Remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving.  Mitch and I will be having a quiet New Year’s eve at home, looking back on the past year and looking forward to the new one, all while being grateful for the moment!  From our home to yours, we wish you a very happy, healthy 2014…filled with peaceandfitness.  Much love.


Yes, Virginia, There IS Class This Morning

group (Photo credit: Riviera Fitness/French Riviera)

For all that asked and those that didn’t….I WILL BE AT TFC this morning for:

  • 8:30-9:30 low impact/mat

  • 10-11  SilverSneakers

  • 11:30-12:30 SilverSneakers

  • Tomorrow I will be there for both the 10 and 11:30 SilverSneakers classes as well.  NO CLASSES NEW YEAR’S EVE but the gym will be open till the afternoon.  NO CLASSES NEW YEAR’S DAY.  Then, we start it all again….ENJOY

Squeeze This…Shake That

Lemons (Photo credit: Dodo-Bird)

Good morning.  In my humble opinion, there is no point in depriving oneself of holiday time, sharing food and drink with loved ones, etc.  There is a simple drink I make and drink in the morning to help detox (some people drink it several times a day).  I squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into a pitcher and add some grated ginger (I keep my ginger in the freezer) and then I add a few shakes of cayenne pepper and fill the pitcher with water.  Go easy on the pepper as what goes in, must come out…It is rumored that Beyoncé and other celebs drink this up to 4 times a day.  There are a bazillion health reasons to add lemon, ginger and pepper to our daily diets.  In this drink, they serve as liver cleansers, digestive aids and metabolism boosters.  Try it for a week or so and let me know what you think.

Of course, another way to balance all this indulging, is with some exercise.  I will be teaching SilverSneakers at TFC at 10 and 11:30 this morning.  While there are NO classes tomorrow morning, the gym is open and you can get in a different kind of workout on those cardio and weight machines.  After the 1st we will be back in full force with a whole new year of fitness and fitness goals ahead of us.  Until then, find some balance and enjoy!!!

I cannot begin to thank all my students for all their generosity.  The gifts, the sentiments, the cards, the hugs, the gratitude….Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Much love….

Gym Schedule for Today, Monday December 23 and Lots of Thanks

I will be at TFC all morning.  Regular 8:30 class.  Subbing Ellen’s SS class at 10 and then doing my regularly scheduled SS class at 11:30.  Come in and get a workout in.  After (and before) all the eating going on, I am thrilled to be teaching all morning!

A bazillion thanks to all that sent kind words, cards, gifts etc.   It was a wonderful weekend celebrating my birthday with Mitch.  We loved The Book of Mormon, and a very spontaneous night on the beach.  Thanks for that birthday surprise, Mitch.

This weekend pick me up was just what the doctor ordered after saying goodbye to our best furry friend, the bigreddog, Blaze Zipp.  He will remain in our hearts and souls forever.  He was the best dog ever on the face of the earth.  Ok, he had one fault.  He was an overkisser.   We know that whenever we see or hear a motorcycle, it will be him, smiling down on us and enjoying the ride over the Rainbow Bridge…oh how he loved the hum of a Harley.

Blaze Zipp  May 13, 2001-December 19, 2013

In his memory, we will be planting a red rose garden.  It will remind of us of many of his beautiful qualities (though he was anything but thorny).  It will also remind us to stop and smell the flowers of life…Hoping you will, too!

Soon it Will be Christmas Time….

December 2013 Calendar
December 2013 Calendar (Photo credit: Matt Nazario-Miller)

Though it is hard for me to believe, tonight is the last Tuesday night of classes at TFC till after the new year.  We will mix it up in the 6pm hour, and take it super slow in the 7pm hour, hoping to save enough time to do a peaceful guided meditation by Deepak Chopra at about 7:45.  Now that I have one of the 21 day challenges on CDs, I hope to be using them periodically to enhance our meditation time.  I am beyond excited to go see him live in February.

I will be subbing Ellen’s SilverSneakers classes the 23rd through the 30th, while she heads north to visit her family.   The only class of hers that I will be UNABLE to sub is “low impact,” Friday morning the 27th at 8:30 as I have a conflict in my work schedule.  TFC will be closed for Christmas day and New Year’s day.  Please check the schedule on the front door for other class cancellations, or check with your instructor or the front desk, if you aren’t sure.

Healthways, the company that brings us the SilverSneakers program, is anxious to find ways for individuals who don’t currently take advantage of their exercise benefit, to start doing so.  To that end, if you are local to me and looking to bring a fitness program into your condo rec room or clubhouse, or anywhere that is convenient for residents to exercise, let me know.  We can design a program that works best for you and your neighbors.  Of course,  if you (or someone you know) have the benefit and live near Tamarac Fitness Center, there is no better time than NOW to become a part of our already existing program.  Ellen and I are always excited to see new faces lighting up our room.

Wherever you are, make sure to keep some balance in your life as you travel through the next two weeks or so.  Eat, drink, be merry….but remember there is always a way to find time to get in a little peaceandfitness.

How You Can Use Your Energy to Heal and Transform RIGHT NOW!

English: Snow flakes by Wilson Bentley. Bentle...
English: Snow flakes by Wilson Bentley. Bentley was a bachelor farmer whose hobby was photographing snow flakes. ; Image ID: wea02087, Historic NWS Collection ; Location: Jericho, Vermont ; Photo Date: 1902 Winter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to a gift from Rita, I have been revisiting the 21 day meditation challenge I did this summer.  Today was day 12 and it was and is one of my favorites.  The centering thought is “I use my energy to heal and transform.”  We all give off all kinds of energy and that is a big responsibility.  How we project ourselves is felt by all those that we connect with and can create an incredible rippling effect.  Chopra explains that when “we come from compassion, peace and unity, we become a powerful force for good and open the door to deep and rich relationships.”

I was intrigued with how he explains the effect of energy on water as studied by Japanese scholar, author and entrepreneur, Dr. Masaru Emoto.   His findings showed that when water was exposed to loving, caring, compassionate thoughts, beautiful crystals formed.  Conversely, when the water was exposed to negative, ugly and hateful thoughts, fragmented, chaotic crystals formed.  Since our bodies are about 60% water and our brains are about 70% water, we can easily imagine how our thoughts and words can greatly impact others as well as our own bodies and minds.

Sure, there are always going to be times in our lives when we are agitated or edgy.  My guess is, it would probably benefit us, take some deep breaths and choose to send out the kind of energy that not only makes beautiful crystals but helps heal and transform those around us.  What we put out is definitely what we get back.



Peace, LOVE and Fitness

Peace and fitness are wonderful, but even better is peace, LOVE and fitness.  For those of you who may not be on FaceBook, I am sharing Kyle and Nicole’s engagement photos.  Not just because they are my kids, but because love and happiness pours out from their beings…Enjoy and happy weekend, everyone.

And I don’t have any idea why I can’t get the below link to come up as a link…You will need to copy and paste to your browser–then scroll down to find the little story and the pics.   Sorry.  Yesterday, I put up a link and it was so easy……ahhhh



The Gardein of Eatin’

Good day and happy Vegan (Feast) Thursday.

Food (Photo credits: www.campgroundsigns.com)

I am thinking it was back in late 2009 that I first was introduced to Gardein products, watching chef Tal Ronnen, on the Oprah show.  Finding all these new vegan protein options opened up a whole new door of menu ideas for our Thursday night feasts, and long after those feasts came to an end, Gardein products remain a staple in our freezer.  You can only imagine my delight when “the Gardein team” contacted me via this site, to ask me to review some of their products.  They picked the right girl!

Last night was noodle night here at the Zipp home.  Yes.  I said it.  Noodle night.  It is one food that Mitch and I will both eat.  It is easy, cheap and now that I am running again, usually doing my longest run of the week on Thursday mornings, I feel totally ok about carbing up the night before.  Sometimes we want a little protein to go on top of those noodles and since Mitch and I don’t generally eat the same proteins, I will usually cook up some Gardein home style beefless tips to go with mine.  That’s just what I did last night and it was a perfect meal.  Simply sautéing the tips until they are brown on all sides is all it takes, and that takes under 5 minutes.  I have often added onions, mushrooms and even frozen peas to the pan.  Last night, I sautéed the tips all by themselves and then put them over the noodles.  Easy peasy.  3/4 of a cup of the beefless tips have 170 calories and 20 grams of protein.

The week before Thanksgiving, Derek flew in and we had a pre-holiday Vegan Feast, which happily fell out on a Thursday night.   What a welcome surprise it was to see  Gardein roasts in the freezer at Whole Foods this year.  Though previous years I have made Tofurky roasts, I never personally liked them much.  I bought 2 Gardein roasts and everyone agreed they were really good.  They had a yummy rice stuffing and cooked up easily in the oven, with cut up veggies surrounding them.    I found I needed to put a spice mix with a good amount of paprika on top to make the top of the roast pretty.  Needless to say, there were no leftovers.  I didn’t pay attention to the nutritional info because it was a night to celebrate!

But talk about no leftovers…another dish I made that night is probably my all time favorite and enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike.  I always say if there is just one Gardein dish to try it is my Gardein buffalo chicken wings aka tenders.  This particular night I used many bags of the tenders and cut them (while still frozen) in half.  I used 45 tenders, to have 90 “wings.”  I baked them according to the directions, for about 25 minutes in the oven.  I turned them half way through and when they were on their second side, I started the sauce, which is about 1 part Louisiana pure hot sauce to 1 part Earth balance “butter.”  I melted the butter (this night I needed a lot) and added the sauce until it was a nice rich red color.  This takes no time and gets poured over the tenders.  They flew off that table in seconds flat as they always do.  I have also used the tenders to make chicken parm and chicken parm subs.  Again, following the baking instructions, I then add some marinara sauce and Daiya cheese and put back in the oven till the cheese melts.  My guess is anything you like with chicken cutlets would be great with these tenders.  2 pieces have 100 calories, so I do portion control them when I make them for myself.  Sometimes on a Friday night, when I don’t know what I want and am feeling like indulging a bit, I will back 4 or 5 of the tenders and make some of the buffalo sauce and I am one happy girl.

The final Gardein item I have to talk about is their breakfast patties.  It’s crazy but I never, ever cared for sausage when I was a meat eater.  When I saw these patties in the store, I wasn’t optimistic, but thought they might be good to have around for a quick breakfast.  Less than 2 minutes in the microwave is hard to beat when short on time.  I gotta admit, I am addicted to these things.  There are probably healthier things to eat, but high in protein, with no cholesterol or fat and only 90 calories per patty, they are certainly not a bad choice!  It’s the taste and satisfaction, though, that brings me back to them every morning.  I make 2 in the microwave and put them on a half of a warmed, whole-wheat pita.  I spread a little Tofutti cream cheese in the bread, which I think might be weird to some people, but the combo really works for me and keeps me full all morning, for well under 300 calories…and we know I am always counting my calories.

A few weeks ago Publix had a BuyOneGetOne sale on all their Gardein frozen foods.  It’s a good thing we have a second freezer because ours were both filled.  When they ran out of the breakfast patties at one Publix, Mitch was kind enough to offer to go to another one for more and I definitely took him up on it!  I also mentioned this BOGO offer to my students as they are often looking for healthier, less caloric alternatives to what they usually eat, as well as good deals!  I was really happy to hear that several took my suggestion and tried them.  Hopefully they have been introduced to something they would not have otherwise considered trying.

You can also find Gardein items on menus at some restaurants, as well.  We love Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, who has many yummy dishes designed around these products.  The Yard House also has a whole Gardein section, but know that only 1 or 2 of those dishes are vegan and I find they are all loaded with salt and high in calories.  Still, it is good that they offer alternatives to meat and poultry.

Thanks to the Gardein team for sending me some freebies in return for reviewing their products.  I love to work for food!  They also enclosed some links to recipes that I will no doubt be trying and sharing with you.  I certainly hope if they need some other foods reviewed they will reach out again.  I love to spread the word on vegan finds and of course all things peace and fitness.

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday.  I’ll be back with more soon!  Thanks for stopping in.




Proof That Santa Exists

After taking a lot of time off from blogging, simply because it felt right, my head is now bursting with things I want to share.  First, and foremost, I hope that you are enjoying a peaceful and happy holiday season and that wherever you are geographically, there is warmth in your heart.  We totally enjoyed being able to see “the kids,” around Thanksgiving/Chanukah time and feel very grateful for that!

Over the past few months I have been practicing daily meditation and it has become a very grounding part of my morning routine.  Blocking out EVERYTHING (at least trying) and finding those tiny spaces of total nothingness is actually, the very antithesis of nothingness.  Between meditation time, getting ready for work and spending some much needed time with the big red dog (who isn’t as young as he used to be) there has been no morning time left to blog and I have struggled with inspiration (and energy) in the later hours of the day.  Recently,  I have been approached (thru the site) by some different people and companies with requests, ideas and just the inspiration I have been looking for.

The one thing I want to share with you (and the world) today, is what I think is the very best news story I can remember seeing and hearing in…well, in as long as I can recall.  Once, maybe about 30 years ago, I had a dream that I was running down the streets of Manhattan, looking frantically, for a place that sold a newspaper called “The Happy and Fun Times.”   I always loved the concept of just telling GOOD news, so that dream has stuck with me forever.  Fast forward to this week and there comes a story fit for the front page of a paper such as that, the top of the hour television news and a viral video that should be read, heard and seen by all!

So, if you haven’t yet seen the story about what West Jet did to make their passengers holiday extra special this year, you need to stop whatever you are doing and watch this video.  Do not multitask, just take a few minutes to be a part of this happiness.  This company deserves huge kudos for showing the true spirit of Christmas.  Viewers beware; you may want to have some tissues handy.

To think, I didn’t used to believe in Santa.  Shame on me.  If you know a disbeliever, please share this post and video with them.  Let me know what your reaction is.  (Remember, your comment may not automatically appear, but they will..)  I always love your feedback.