Health IS Wealth

Health (Photo credit: 401K)

In my ongoing love/hate relationship with Dr. Oz, I will save the hate for another time because there is still a lot to love.  Via his Transformation Nation Challenge, he has learned and is passing on to the public, at least as much as he has taught.  With 1.2 million people participating in the transformation, he is not only helping them to achieve a healthy weight and healthy body (and mind) but also gathering a lot of really important data through their transformations.  Last night on the news we were alerted to the fact that the obesity rate in America is now at 34%, a whopping 1/3 of us.  11% are severely overweight (over 100 pounds over!) and if things continue at the rate they are going, by 2030 it is estimated that 42% of the population will be overweight.  Thank you, Dr. Oz and your team for the 1.2 million participating in your challenge and the many millions that can learn from them.  Perhaps this alone can impact those rising numbers.  This morning on The Today Show, Dr. Oz shared part of what he learned from the 1.2 million.  He calls the following list the Habits of the Healthiest according to what is working from those that are losing the most weight and regaining their health.  These are the most successful losers all have in common.

1) They all eat breakfast.

2)  They all exercise regularly.

3)  They all report having a satisfying sex life.

4)  The all take “ME” time.

5)  They all practice stress management.

I think if you practice steps 2, 3 and 4, then step 5 is already taken care of.  Congratulations to all that are in the midst of this challenge, and a special congrats to the 10 finalists.  One of you is getting a lot closer to not only wealthy health, but also financial wealth as well!  Nice bonus.

Several of you have asked if I am back in the pool and I finally am.  Once again setting the goal of 100 laps a week, I have 40 completed so far this week.  It feels awesome to be back in the water.  Talk about combining exercise, me time and stress reduction!  It’s hard NOT to get inside oneself under water with ear plugs and goggles!  Also want to share a really easy, healthy, tasty, metabolism booster that I have been indulging in the past week or so….a mini virgin mary before breakfast.  Just a few ounces of tomato juice, fresh squeezed lime juice, a few dashes of tobassco sauce and a spoonful of horseradish, mixed well.  Spices always help rev the metabolism and this type of booster works much better for my soul than something that comes in a pill.  Having no idea if it works for me or not, I am totally enjoying the morning ritual and there are no potentially bad side effects, like back in the days I took Diet Fuel.  Finally I wanted to announce the start of, a new website about many different aspects of life on a plant-based diet.  I was pretty excited to get that news this morning and have already taken a peak and look forward to spending some more time reading the articles.  I hope you will take some time to do the same.  Not too much time, though.  Sitting on our butts too much is surely one of the biggest reasons our obesity rate is still on the rise.

Before I sign off, a big congrats to my co-worker, Ellen, who is down 18 pounds thanks to Weight Watchers.  Congrats, also, to LeeAnn in Jensen Beach, who is not only down a lot of pounds, also on the WW plan, but has committed to and started a 5 week boot camp program.  Yes, LeeAnn, you are definitely going to wear 50 well!!!  We all love to hear success stories, so keep em coming everyone.  Thanks for stopping in and make it a terrific Tuesday.

Simply Soup-er

What a great, great party last night.  Well over 100 people came out last night to support Lesley and Richards fund-raising event for the soup kitchen.  The theme was soup-er and everyone who attended, no doubt, had a soup-er time.  Really, who has 2 bars in one backyard?  The Epsteins do because they most definitely know how to throw a soup-er party.  It was absolutely wonderful to be a part of the love and as a result of last week’s class and this blog, through my students and family I was able to present checks totally $800.00.  That’s a lot of meals and a lot of mouths fed.  Thanks for your soup-er generosity and support.  Though this event is over, it is our hope to continue to spread awareness about the hungry.  If we could all do just a little of that, all over the country, all over the world, we could make a big impact on hunger.  Don’t we all remember our parents telling us to “eat up,” because there are people starving?!?  Well, just because other people are hungry, we do NOT want to overeat!  That just makes us a more disconnected society.  Why should some have so much more than enough, throwing out leftovers and unused food when others could benefit.  There are so many ways we can bridge the gap, if we only stay aware.   On my way out, Mitch and I took a couple of treats from the Conscious Cupcake display.  So beautiful and so good, Liz…and it was great talking with you in person!  A special thanks, too, to Jon, Jeff, Deb and Nicole of JJR Photography.  Need pics?  They are the ones to go to.

Ironically, my Real Age health tip of the day is ….a soup-er way to lose weight!  Yup, a simple reminder that people that eat more soup, lose more weight.  Take the leftover vegetables (pretty much any of them) and cut them up and throw them in some water, and cook up a big pot of vegetable soup.  You can add some protein with some beans ( or chicken if you must!)  If you keep the soup high in vegetables and low in fat and  sodium (you can add some broth, just watch the sodium content) you can drink your soup all day long and watch your waistline shrink.  Soup.  It does a body good.

Wishing you all a soup-er Friday.  You know I HAD to say that 🙂

Worth Repeating

READING, PA - OCTOBER 20:  An out of work coup...
The number of people living in poverty in America, 46.2 million, is now at its highest level for the 52 years the Census Bureau has been keeping records. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

In 2010, 17,200,000 households, 14.5 percent of households, (approximately one in seven) were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States.  My guess is that the number cold have only gotten higher, given the state of our country’s economy.

This morning I would like to say thank you to Richard and Lesley for all they are doing to help those here in South Florida, who might otherwise worry about where their next meal was coming from.  Your commitment is amazing and no doubt greatly appreciated by the countless people that benefit and will continue to benefit from your incredible efforts.  Thanks to everyone at The All Saints Soup kitchen for their dedication to the mission.  Thanks to my family, friends and everyone at Tamarac Fitness Center for your contributions to my mini fund-raising effort.  Tonight I will present YOUR donations at the maxi fund-raising event….where there WILL be vegan options!  Gotta love that.

Here’s hoping that you and your loved ones never, ever have to wonder where your next meal is coming from.


Kindness and Love. Plain and Simple.

The Public-Soup-Kitchen F272 Vincent van Gogh
The Public-Soup-Kitchen F272 Vincent van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the first weekend of spring, and love is totally in the air!  A huge thank you to everyone who supported my fund-raising event, last night.  To those who came out to “wine” and unwind, (and thanks, Anne, for being so generous and thoughtful and bringing some cheese and crackers!) and to those who didn’t or couldn’t come (near and far) but still opened their hearts and wallets to help feed the hungry, I simply say THANK YOU.  I am not going to give a grand tally till after I present the donations to the Epsteins and the soup kitchen this coming Thursday evening, but I will say that your generosity will supply many, many hundreds of hot dinners to many, many hundreds of hungry people, right away.  Once again, I thank Ron and Wendie at Tamarac Fitness Center for their support in this as well.  May you all feel really good about your part in this effort.

As I am always off and running early on Saturday morning, I will leave you with this quote:

“Kindness in words creates confidence.  Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.  Kindness is giving creates love.”

–Lao Tzu


Yoga postures Shavasana
Put YOUR body here...Yoga postures Shavasana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first Friday of spring.  YAY.  Can’t wait to welcome the weekend in with some incredibly peaceful postures tonight at TFC, while we raise money to feed the hungry in Ft. Lauderdale.  I’ll be at the gym at about 6.  In keeping with the idea that we all have more than enough to share with others, I’ll be bringing some bottles of wine that I have received through the year, but haven’t opened yet.  If anyone wants to get to the gym a little early we can toast to the weekend, the season and the reason we are all together.  The generosity of my students, friends and co-workers has helped us raise enough money to feed hundreds a people a hot meal!  Remember to dress very comfortably and bring whatever helps you be more comfortable (ie., socks, sweatshirt, towel, washcloth and in Carol’s case….gloves!)  If you are planning on coming and haven’t made your donation yet, please get to the gym a little early so that once the clock strikes 6:30 we can be down on our mats in shavasana, cell phones off, and breathing in peace.

Wherever you are, celebrate spring…the weekend…and remember that if you have more than enough, you have much to be grateful for.  Namaste.




The Day Before and The Week Ahead

Good morning and welcome to the day before spring.  As mentioned in a recent quote, this is the time to take our winter dreams and make them into reality.  If you have been waiting for better weather to get outside and get moving, the time has come.  Mitch and I took a nice walk on the beach yesterday and my calves were telling me, though I get plenty of different kinds of exercise during the week, I don’t walk at the beach enough, so personally, I will be working on that.  Watching the pool temperature begin to rise, I know that swim time is coming soon.  I always look forward to that! Wednesday is Kick Butts Day and the Broward County Health Department will be giving out gift bags to those that surrender their cigarettes.  The “health pack” includes a pedometer, water bottle, T-shirt, fanny pack and flying disc toy (a Frisbee by any other name?).  Nice incentive!  If you live locally and still smoke, get there is no time like NOW.    For more information on this contact the Health Department at 954-213-0614 or Tobacco Free Florida at or 877-U-CAN-NOW.  Get on it this week and by summer you will have done incredible things for your health.  Do it for yourself and for your loved ones.  Enough is enough!

Yesterday I read two separate articles about yoga and longevity.  They were both really interesting and happened to both be about yoga instructors that are in their 90s and still teaching….up to 15 classes a week!!!    There was an old Indian quote that in one of the articles that basically translates to “every breath we take with our entire body, gives us another year of living without pain.”  The more I practice breathing health and healing into my own body parts, the more pain free I am, so I am all over that quote.

If you are interested in breathing health and healing into your own body and live locally, come on out Friday night for the yin yoga/peaceful Pilates fund-raising class at Tamarac Fitness Center.  If you take my Tuesday night class, you can be assured that the Friday night special will be even more relaxing.  Dress comfortably.  Bring a towel and maybe even a washcloth to cover your eyes.  Thanks to everyone who have already given me donation $ to hold your spot.  Thanks to everyone near and far who has sent me donation money even though you will not be taking the class.  This event will be a great opportunity to raise money for the hungry, but also is a great opportunity to relax and breathe some years of less pain into your own body, if you are able to attend.  Sometimes slowing down is a bigger challenge than speeding up, but we ALL need to take time out and just breathe, stretch and relax…and the harder it is to do those things, the more we need to.  If you don’t live locally, I hope you will still consider doing some peaceful postures and also be grateful if you aren’t food insecure.  While I have never been, I have to imagine it’s a very, very dark place to be.

As I begin my last day of winter, I do it with a great sense of gratitude for having more than enough…I never, ever take for granted what a “lucky girl” I am.  If you have food in your belly, clothes on your back and a place to lay your head at night, without fear, you probably have much to be grateful for as well.  Let’s celebrate that!  Much love.

*** All checks for the fundraiser get made out to The All Saints Soup Kitchen.  Cash is also fine as I have gotten a lot of that and will be converting into one big check on behalf of all of you.  Thanks, again.  The people in my life always make me feel lucky and grateful!

A Gentle Reminder. Thanks

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Image via Wikipedia

This past weekend, Mitch and I went to see the play Billy Elliot and having no expectations, really enjoyed it!  There were many messages in the story.  Messages of tolerance and acceptance, the reminder that when you want to dance, you should dance, and also the sad message that hunger is often just around the corner for people who hadn’t been hungry before.  When the set changed from the Elliot’s kitchen, to a soup kitchen, of course I found myself sighing and crying, though I definitely did leave the theatre dancing, for Billy was not only accepted by his family and community, but also was off to start a better life for himself.

In 2010, 14.5% of households (approximately 1 in 7) were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the US).  Given the state of our economy, my guess would be those numbers are considerably higher, now.

Just a reminder…next Friday evening, March 23 6:30-7:30…yin yoga/peaceful Pilates and more (or should I say, less?) class at Tamarac Fitness Center.  A suggested minimum donation of $10.00 gets you the chance to take an hour and simply unwind and lose yourself from the outside world, welcome in beautiful Spring and fight hunger right here in our own backyard.  Thanks to those of you who have already secured your spot with a generous donation and thanks as well to those that won’t be able to attend, but have been generous as well.  Even in this challenging economy, it just doesn’t make sense that people should be hungry.  For more info, read my previous blog from last week by clicking the link below.  Still have questions?  Just ask!  Much love and thanks.  Make it a marvelous Monday.  Happy anniversary, Lesley and Richard.  Thanks for all the inspiration!

Let’s Stretch, Decompress AND Feed the Hungry

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 month of March there is so much to look forward to.  Holidays, spring breaks, vacations, clock changes, and my favorite, the beginning of spring.  My mission for this month is to raise awareness and much need money for  a much greater Mission..the All Saints Soup Kitchen in Ft. Lauderdale.  Operating over 20 years, this little kitchen and it’s volunteers serve a complete hot meal to about 150 people a day, 7 days a week. As I will be attending a large fund-raising effort at the end of the month, I am working on ways to gather donations that I may then bring to this fund-raiser which hopes to make enough money to get the kitchen some much needed renovations as well as stock the pantry, fridge, freezer to not only provide the daily meals, and also to provide food for families as they “shop” the pantry on Sundays.

I will be doing a peaceful Pilates/yin yoga class on Friday March 23 from 6:30-7:30 PM at Tamarac Fitness Center.  The gym is located at 7935 West McNab Road.  Members and non-members welcome.  A $10 donation will get you a spot in this class.  Please try to get the money to me before the class, and non-members arrive about 15 minutes early, please.  I will accept money up and until a few minutes before the class starts, but it will start promptly!  Cash or a check made out to The All Saints Soup Kitchen (If you already given or sent one made out to The All Saints Mission,that is absolutely fine, too) placed in an envelope with your full name printed on it and given to me before the event, or left at the desk with Ron/Wendie or Rae will work, too.  100% of the money raised will go directly to this Mission.

If you are unable to attend the class, or live out of town and still want to make a donation to this wonderful cause, that would be greatly appreciated!  You can mail your donation to Bonni Zipp c/0 Tamarac Fitness Center  7935 West McNab Road, Tamarac, FL  33321.   For more info, just ask!  I am running wayyyyy late for my morning of work, but did want to get this up on the site before leaving.  Excuse typos and let’s hope I got the important stuff right 🙂  Thanks.

With 8 You Get Pasta or No One Should Go Hungry

Yesterday I had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory with 2 of my oldest and dearest friends.  It’s a great place for people of different food “tastes” to eat because they probably have the largest, most diverse menu ANYWHERE.  I had the veggie burger (no surprise, there) and though I ended up scraping the cheese off (I DID remember to tell them to hold the mayo….) it was very good, as I remembered it to be.  Made with grains and beets and I don’t recall what else, it stacks up nicely with the pickles, lettuce and onions.  I have never asked if there is egg is the bun, because making myself crazy isn’t on my agenda.

For VFT dinner, I had planned on picking up some veggie sushi, making a pot of miso soup and tossing and Asian salad, thinking we were going to be a small crowd.  Then Mitch alerted me that Derek (aka Dwreck) invited all his hundreds of Facebook friends, and also suggested pasta goes a long way.  A very quick trip to Whole Foods for meatless meatballs and Daya mozzarella and with the Gardein chicken cutlets in the freezer,  plenty of  whole grain pasta and sauce (thank you BOGO sales) in the pantry, a big fresh salad, asparagus and some “everything” bread-sticks (Pillsbury, fancied up with tornado dust which is the stuff on everything bagels) it was a  huge vegan feast, fit for  Derek, Pete, Michele, Jeffrey, Chippy, Debbie, Alison and Vinny who I think goes by Rawdog.  For a quick thematic appetizer, some popcorn spiced up with all the dried spices you would use in any Italian dish, and some bruschetta.  Thanks to Debbie and Chippy for bringing a fresh focaccia, too.  Dessert was Oreos and soy or almond milk, as well as a blueberry banana smoothie.  I always keep frozen bananas (pealed and wrapped up in plastic) in the freezer.  They make the best base for a smoothie, doing double duty as the ice.  Last night I added frozen blueberries, some peanut butter, a little vanilla and a little agave nectar, and used plain soy milk for the liquid.   Though Italian night always ends up being way too carb-y of a meal, the younger generation burns them off pretty quickly and it definitely goes a long way.   Additionally, VFT is a celebration every week, and celebrations require breaking away from the norm.  For me, I try to go heavy on the salad and veggies and light on the other stuff.  Mitch and I also had some red wine, but those crazy kids don’t drink…Apparently they are naturally high on life as it was great to hear all the totally sober belly laughs coming from the table while they were eating their cookies and milk and Mitch and I were starting the clean-up.   There is nothing like the youthful laughter for a couple of empty nesters.  As long as they keep coming, I’ll keep cooking and filling their bellies because feeding hungry people is a passion of mine.

How often do you say “I’m hungry?”  How often are you REALLY hungry?  At the end of this month I will be attending a cocktail party at the Epstein home, that will be raising money to benefit the hungry right here in Ft. Lauderdale.  I would like to announce that the Friday before, I will be hosting a fundraising class to help raise money to add to the pot at the the cocktail party.  If you are interested in stretching, de-stressing and decompressing from your work week and welcoming in spring, come join me for a very yin, totally peaceful, yoga/Pilates class at Tamarac Fitness Center.  The class will be Friday March 23rd and the time is tentatively 6:30-7:30.  (I will firm this up and keep you posted).  A suggested minimum donation of $10 is requested– members and non-members welcome!  Your are welcome to pay cash or make a check out directly to the All Saints Mission.  All the money raised will go directly towards stocking the soup kitchen for daily meals, stocking the pantry that is open to families on Sundays and making some major, much needed renovations on the kitchen, itself.  Thanks to Ron and Wendie for allowing me to use their facility for this event.  If you are unable to attend the class and would like to make a donation, of course it would be greatly appreciated!  I am hoping the floor gets super crowded for this one as we breathe in peace and breathe out compassion.  More to come on this one!

Well, most everyone is ready for the weekend so have a great Friday and thanks for tuning in!

Outside and Inside the Box

English: YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 31, 2011) Tony ...
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Every once and a while I like to change up my exercise “routine.”  Though I get more than enough HOURS of exercise, teaching 9 classes a week and working out with some of my clients, my body, like every body, needs to break out of routine and do different things.  That is one of the reasons I love swimming in the 6 or so warmer months of the year, but what about November – April?  I have been trying to take more steps with Blaze, but he ends up doing a lot of sniffing and sometimes those walks are clearly more for him, than me.  Jane and I get in some running, but for neither of us, is it “our” thing.  A couple of weeks ago, I bit the bullet and pulled out my P90X discs and have been revisiting some of the workouts on days that my fitness feels unchallenged.  A little Cardio X, some Core Synergistics and on days that I need only a little something, Ab-Ripper X.  Speaking with Kyle last night, he is also supplementing his elliptical work with some of the P90X routines.  While we both admit that it can be a little boring revisiting workouts that we did religiously for several months, they do get the job done!  In fact, I think I was in the best shape, definitely of my post-menopausal life, after following the exercise part of the plan over an entire  summer.   Being a vegan, I certainly could NOT follow the high animal protein part of the plan, but it didn’t change the fact that I was stronger and more defined than I have been in years.  I still highly recommend this fitness program for anyone who wants to get into better shape.  Whether one follows the 6 or 7 day a week fitness plan for 90 days, or whether one wants to use the videos as they see fit, it’s a great tool to have in the home.

I have also been trying to get in some elliptical workouts…even if it’s only once a week, which is usually all I can afford, physically!  Last Friday, I stayed after my SilverSneakers class and did just 20 minutes on that wonderful machine, but I really worked my butt off for those 20 minutes.  Backwards, forwards, arms, legs, fast, slow, little resistance, lots of resistance…I kept changing it up every 2 minutes.  Went super quickly and I was dripping in sweat.  Here was the kicker, though.  When I was done with the elliptical I went over to a treadmill and did a few minutes of “pushing the cart,” which involves NOT putting the treadmill on and with hands on the front of the machine, pushing with the legs in big strides and trying to get the “floor” moving as if it were on…It was definitely the cherry on top of my Friday workout and I definitely felt it for days to come.

Get outside YOUR box and try something new, or revisit something that has worked in the past.  It’s a great way to supplement your routine and fire up some new muscle fibers while keeping yourself from getting bored with the same old same old.

Speaking of boxes, thanks to Erica and Jeff for the box of food for the food pantry and the soup kitchen.  They cleaned their pantry to get rid of foods with gluten and wanted to make sure the food would get to someone in need, quickly.  That food will go in the pantry TODAY and make it’s way to some hungry mouths by the weekend.   We all need to clean our pantries out from time to time and make sure to get rid of expired foods, spices, etc.  Mitch and I did it recently and threw out way too much food.  Erica and Jeff threw out a lot as well.  I ask everyone reading this to make time to clean out their pantries every so often and after discarding expired foods, perhaps you, too, will find yourself with things that you will never use, or that are about to expire and you won’t be able to use before that date.  Make a box and drop it off at a soup kitchen or pantry near you.  If you are local,  I would be happy to get it off your hands and get it out to Ft Lauderdalewhere bags of groceries are distributed to poor families every Sunday.  Additionally, if you are local and would like an invitation to attend a cocktail party in Parkland, next month, to help raise money to renovate the kitchen, please send me an email with your address ASAP.  The party is Thursday, March 29th and tickets are $50.00 per person.  100% of the money raised at this event will go to the renovation of the All Saints Soup Kitchen as well as to stocking the pantry for daily meals and Sunday grocery distribution.  Thanks to those who have already replied to my group email.  Please remember there will be MANY people invited so NO PRESSURE, but I did NOT want to leave out anyone who may want to be there!!!  Also stay tuned for the date of the evening decompress and destress class that I will be doing to raise money for this cause.  Tentatively looking at Friday, March 23rd at Tamarac Fitness Center.  If you are interested, pencil it in and I will keep you posted.

If we can keep taking care of ourselves and keep taking care of each other, it’s all good.  Remember, we are all connected.  Make it a terrific Tuesday and don’t forget, Biggest Loser, tonight…back to it’s regularly scheduled 8pm slot.