Just How far IS A Journey of 10,000 Steps?

English: KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea— Airmen ...

Yesterday, at the beach, Mitch and I had a chance to suck up some vitamin D and some peace as well.  It was so beautiful, I couldn’t help but wonder why we have so many houses and condos for sale!  To all of those who ask “but don’t you miss the change of seasons?” I answer…nahhh, not really!

As we took a walk along the beach, before heading back home for big football, Sunday, I found myself thinking about the 10,000 step a day rule.  How far IS 10,000 steps?  Sure, I have tried wearing pedometers, but I never find them to be accurate, and I truly had no idea how many steps I take when I walk the beach, the dog, etc.  Yesterday I counted my steps back from our nice walk, and came up with about 600, so times it was about 1200.  That is just barely 1/10 of the 10,000 steps that are recommended daily to maintain our weight and fitness.  While it is obviously different for everyone, depending on the size of their feet and their walking stride, 10,000 feet is approximately 5 miles.  For weight LOSS, 12,000-15,000 is the recommendation.  To build aerobic fitness levels, make 3,000 or more of those steps FAST!

Certainly we can trade our walking in for another form of cardiovascular exercise, but keep in mind, you may need to do more or work harder to truly accomplish the equivalent of those 10, or even 15,000 steps you are aiming for.

Today is the best day I know to get those feet going.  If you are in a warm weather climate, there is nothing like getting some vitamin D right along with your fitness.  If you are in a climate that doesn’t allow for outdoor walking, there is always the mall…or even the good ol’ gym.  Today is NO EXCUSE Monday.  With the holidays WELL behind us now, 3 weeks into the new year, excuse time is long over.  Walking.  It works!

When I Woke Up This Morning…


I woke up this morning with a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head.  Firstly, I am thinking about all my college friends in Oceanside and Long Beach, Long Island (where I spent a summer living across from the beautiful boardwalk, back in the late 70s) and spent many a day on the gorgeous beach, with Mitch, family and friends.  Watching the lifeguard building slam into the boardwalk was a great example of what hurricane winds are capable, even just a category 1 storm.  Just last month, I read a great article about how the Quicksilver Pro will be held there, causing quite a bit of controversy as it is usually held in much more exotic places with much larger waves, but many competitive surfers have never been to New York before and if you are going to surf the waves in New York, Long Beach is THE PLACE.  Hoping this will go on as scheduled and put that little beach on the big map.

I also woke up thinking about how I fell asleep watching The Sanjay Gupta special last night.  It finally aired at 9pm and then again, I believe, at midnight.  I would like to say I fell asleep during the midnight showing, but a night owl I have NEVER been.  In any event, I recorded it and will watch it in it’s totality later today.  I did catch a bit of the interview with Bill Clinton, who definitely now considers himself a vegan and has grown to love foods he once totally ignored.  It’s amazing what a cardiac event can push a person to do!  Will let you know a little more about the show once I am actually watching it with my eyes open.

Often the question of “how much soy is too much soy?” comes up.  This is so controversial and I just can’t answer for sure, because I don’t know what the right answer is!!!  Yes, soy mimics estrogen and is suggested for woman as they are going through the changes of life and their estrogen is lessening, to help with hot flashes and other symptoms.  That could lead us to think too much soy might be contraindicated for someone that has had cancer or is at a high risk–one would think–especially for breast cancer…but over and over again, the research seems to support the opposite.  In fact, in Okinawa, where the staple foods are sweet potatoes and tofu, (actually the world’s largest consumers of tofu, eating about 12 ounces per person, per day) the people have 80% less breast cancer and more than 50% less ovarian and colon cancers than Americans.  While I once feared too much soy, personally, I no longer do.  In my mind, given all the science, too much meat, poultry or dairy seems to be way more risky!

My time is up!  I am off to start a busy Monday filled with lots of fitness, but I always remember to balance it out with plenty of peace!  I hope your day holds much of the same.  If you are cleaning up from the storm, remember to put your safety above all else.  Stay hydrated and remember that all that cleaning up counts for your daily dose of fitness.  Then sit back and savor the calm after the storm.

To “B” or Not to “B”

Several of my students have leaned into a plant-based diet and often I am asked about how I deal with the lack of certain nutrients and vitamins.  Mostly, the question of where I get my protein from, arises.  Since I believe our need for protein has been blown way out of proportion by the meat and dairy industry, I am finding no symptoms that would make me think I am protein deficient.  I don’t think I have lost any muscle mass or strength.  My endurance is better than ever and my back and joints great as indicated by the fact that I can finally run again, last night a mile and half at the track after 4 hours of teaching classes and training clients.  Sure, my feet still hurt from those reunion high heels, but this is just temporary (and well worth the discomfort).  When I first transitioned deleted fish and dairy from my already meatless diet, I tried tracking my protein consumption, but I stopped pretty quickly, and I think I am getting enough from nuts, peanut butter, soy based products, beans and even from veggies.  Yes, there is protein in vegetables.

Yesterday the question of vitamin B shots came up, and this is one that I hadn’t really thought about, until asked.  We know that unless we eat meat, it’s really hard to satisfy our needs for some of the Bs.  I probably should be a little more diligent about supplementation, but again, my energy level is better than it has been in years.  I have sub-lingual (under the tongue) vitamin B drops that I take once in a while, when I remember.  I sprinkle nutritional yeast on my food and that is,  just as it sounds, chock full of nutrition, and often (you have to read the label) a great source of vitamin B.  This morning, I did some reading up on the injections, and I didn’t come away with much.  They are often prescribed for people who are truly deficient in B, and show symptoms such as chronic fatigue.  Most of the articles actually discuss the connection between B injections and weight loss.  My guess is that if people are truly deficient, and hence exhausted, the added B gives them the energy they need to be more physical, and as a result they lose weight.  Maybe there is more to it, though….If so I am surprised I don’t hear more about people getting the injections.  I did read about a relationship between vitamin B (sometimes not enough, sometimes too much) and numbness in the legs.  Rita, this made me think of you.  Have you had your blood work done lately?  Just curious.  The take-away from my reading is that there is really not much harm in the injections if you think they are working for you.  Overdoses are not really a concern, though again, if you are suffering with ANYTHING, always have your blood work done.  It can be quite revealing.  Personally, I will always choose to get my nutrition from food instead of supplements as I believe that’s how we were meant to exist, and unless their is an underlying issue, our bodies will best absorb our vitamins and nutrients directly from food.  Healthy meat eaters should have NO problem getting enough B, but again, if you feel good getting the shots, and you don’t mind spending the time going (I would HATE it) than it’s probably fine.  Personally, I go to all extremes to stay OUT of the doctors office.


So tonight’s Biggest Loser Tuesday and 2 contestants will be sent packing.  With no attachment to any of the contestants, it’s still easy to watch the elimination.  I’ll meet you back here, tomorrow, and we’ll share our reactions to tonight’s episode.

If you have any questions, or comments,  please contact me.  I always remind you that you can click the comment link at the bottom of today’s blog entry and send me your thoughts or questions.  If you are new to the blog, your comment will be private and need to be approved by me before it can show up publicly.  You can also contact me through the CONTACT link on the upper left side of this page.  That just sends email directly to me and is very secure and private.  Also know that the ads on the bottom left are all secure ads by our good (and genius) friends at Google.  (Did anyone catch the robotic car those Google people designed.  It drove 300 miles down the coast of California, flawlessly! INSANE)

Thanks for stopping into peaceandfitness.  I hope your day is filled with huge  smiles and great thoughts.  ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE IF WE ARE WILLING TO MAKE THEM HAPPEN!

If you have a few extra minutes and love animals the way I do, enjoy this video as I did.  Thanks to my accountant, Jay, for sending me some great animal videos.


Keep the Questions Coming

Good morning and happy Tuesday.  Thanks for stopping in to peaceandfitness.com.  A few of you had questions, so here’s your Q and A segment, first:

PK asks: How many calories do the contestants on the Biggest Loser eat in a day? I do not know the exact answer to this question and I am sure it varies from contestant to contestant.  I have heard numbers as low as 1200 for the woman and 1600-1800 for the men, but I can’t say for sure that this is true.  I do know they workout anywhere from 4-8 hours a day!

RH asks:  How do I get back to some of the links on the bottom left side of your page? Those links on the bottom left side of my page are managed by my sponsors at Google.  They automatically pop up as they relate to topics that I write about and will change constantly, so if you see something interesting, click through it while you can, as it may or may not appear again on your screen.

LT asks:  Is wine a vegan product? This is a fantastic question and one that is difficult to answer.  For the most part it is, BUT sometimes before it is bottled there are some weird ingredients involved in the process.  Therefore there may be minuscule traces of animal products or fish shells or….well, I’ll stop there because THIS vegan still enjoys a glass of red wine every night.  I am definitely not neurotic about this, though others I know are.

Yesterday in class, Iris asked me about where I get my vitamin B from.  I forgot to mention NUTRITIONAL YEAST.  I buy it at Whole Foods and sprinkle it on veggies and lots of other things.  It sort of most mimics the taste of cheese so it can be sprinkled in soups, on popcorn or most anywhere you find it desirable.  Just as it sounds it is FILLED with nutrition and often includes all the B vitamins (check the label as it may or may not have B-12.)  It is also considered a complete protein (which Iris also asked about).  IRIS, I hope you are reading…

Thanks to Judith who gave me a copy of the article about her son losing weight and finding the financial benefits that go with that!  After losing 55 pounds, he realized he is not only in a better place physically, but also financially.  Saving money on insurance premiums, and doctor visit co-pays are just a few of the places he felt the savings.  As an CPA, this guy knows about money!

Looks like South Florida is about to get hammered with some wet weather today and over the next few…Apparently some of those tropical events are going to be impacting us.  After my morning clients I am hoping to get in my swim before the rain comes.   Swimming seems to be THE perfect balance to running so I try for one every other day, and the other on the alternate days.  This routine (including a rest day) seems to be keeping my muscles strong with NO soreness.  My new goal is to (maybe) swim all year.   I have read about people who actually enjoy swimming in 40 degree water temps and this is safe for short periods of time.  Right now my pool thermometer says 80.  How cold can it possibly get?  I’ll certain let you know.

Off to train my morning clients.  The sooner I am done, the better chance of beating the rain.  Hoping weather permits me to get to the gym tonight for 2 of my favorite classes of the week.  Ok, they are all my favorite.

Speaking of favorite…if this is Tuesday, tonight must be Biggest Loser.  Meet you back here tomorrow to discuss!  In the meantime wherever you are stay safe and healthy.  Take care of yourself, your loved ones and your environment.  Make it a great day.  Remember what my friend Lisa always says “we are all on our way out, so act accordingly.”

Keep those questions coming!


More Questions, More Answers

Hoping you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and are ready to get back to work and school, feeling refreshed and ready to get busy.  I always believe working (be it at work or school) is what makes us enjoy our down time.  Kind of like doing yoga to enjoy corpse pose.  First we work, than we step back and just enjoy our accomplishments.  Lao Tzu summed it up quite simply when he said Do your work, then step back.  The only path to serenity.”

To answer a few recent questions:


Biggest Loser premiers Tuesday September 21st.  Certainly I am looking forward to season 10 and will be reminding us as it gets closer!

As for the flu shot, NO, I will not be getting one.  Never have and don’t know that I ever will.  I am SURE they are paramount for certain people.  All reports say this particular flu shot is without any side effects and should be taken by ANYONE over 6 months old.  Reports also show that there is an early abundance of this shot.  I have to wonder if that is why they are encouraging just about everyone to get one.  The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season.  You have to do what you feel is best for you.  I have never yet had a flu and suppose after having one I might change my mind about future immunizations.  For now, no, no shot for me.  I’ll keep practicing healthy eating and exercise hoping to keep my immune system up to the challenge of fighting these viruses on my own.

Regarding what to use in place of eggs when I cook and bake.  Good question.  When baking I use either applesauce or mashed banana.  A few spoons of applesauce or 1/2 banana per egg.  Adds a little sweetness which is nice when baking.  As for when I am cooking, I generally just omit the egg whenever possible.  There are egg replacer products on the market, I just don’t seem to love working with them.  Sometimes you can use some mashed tofu as a binder.  I highly recommend having just one great vegan cook book on hand.  My go-to guide is How It All Vegan and it’s companion, The Garden of Vegan.

Yoga or Pilates?  I say BOTH!  I generally teach a combination of both because it’s hard to choose one over the other.  I once took a fantastic workshop with Jonathan Urla,  the man that coined “yogalates.”  He found that practicing yoga made his Pilates better and vice-versa, so he opted to combine them.  When teaching group classes, I often do the same.  I rarely think one form of fitness is better than another.  I think mixing them up is the way to get the best results.  That is why I have ended up a jack-of-all fitness trades, but a master of none!

Finally, regarding my own schedule, I do make some changes each semester as several of my clients are educators and their schedules change from semester to semester.  I currently have a few hours available to sub classes or do personal training.  These would be weekdays–my nights and weekends are full.  Contact me if you are interested and we can discuss exact times and fees.

Yesterday morning I was walking around with a heavy heart for several reasons.  When I sat down to my much needed meditation I felt that there was a constant rumble going on.  I kept focusing on a vast ocean (after spending a lot of time at the beach this weekend).  All of a sudden, in a split second, I felt the rumble come to an abrupt halt and a calm came over me.  That’s what meditation is all about.  I came away from that 12 minute session leaving the heavy heart on the mat.  It felt great!

Congratulations to Jerry Lewis and all the hard workers, volunteers, etc., involved with this past weekend’s telethon.  Despite the critics and nay-sayers, their effort raised $58,919,838!!!

Be thankful for your health.  Don’t ever take it for granted and please do whatever you can to preserve it!  It is your greatest gift.

Q and A

Thanks for all your comments and emails.  To answer a few of the questions…Diana’s Bananas available in the ice-cream freezer at Publix-they actually say “Banana Babies” on the box…stuffed mushroom recipe I got by watching a video on the net, just google “hippy gourmet makes stuffed mushrooms”…when  are Silver Sneakers classes coming to Tamarac Fitness Center?  I thought they would have started already, but apparently there hasn’t been enough demand for classes-if you are a member, feel free to ask Ron.  If you are not and have the benefit as part of your medicare plan, call Ron at 954 726 1070.  I do (and have for the past 30 years) have senior friendly classes Monday and Wednesday mornings at 8:30.   As for Silver Sneakers specific classes, they are  ongoing at facilities all across the country.  You can learn more via the link on this site.  You can check out my SS classes at Bally in Coral Springs-see my schedule page for days and times…As for the question about my certification, it is through AFAA (Aerobics and  Fitness Association of America) which requires renewal every 2 years via continuing education as well as keeping CPR current.  My Pilates training is through Polestar Pilates,  with special thanks to Gil Roberts of One-on-One Pilates in Fresno, CA.  If you are  ever his way, check out his place and tell him Bonni sent you…Regarding my personal training schedule, I am booked solid at this time but will have some temporary availability through the summer months so we can discuss some options…And finally, to answer the question about vegan cookbooks, as much as I love Alicia Silverstone’s new book The Kind Diet, its definitely not my favorite cookbook.  I LOVE How it all Vegan which is part of series by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer.  It is very, very simplistic and user friendly.  At this point, however, simply googling just about anything you want to cook or bake (or anything at all in the whole world) seems to be the way I go.  What in the world did I do before google?  I never, ever have to wonder anymore!

Keep the comments and emails coming.  I will continue to answer the more personal questions, personally!

Don’t forget to flip your calendars and welcome in the merry month of May.  May is meditation month.  Sometimes you have to get outside to get inside.  Other times you just have to get inside your self, to get out of your own way.  More about that as the month continues.  For now, try to close your eyes for just a moment and focus on the rhythm of your breathing.  Don’t try to change it, or judge it, just focus on it.  The meditation process has begun.