Saturday, October 31, 2009


Ghosts, spirits, & paranormal activities have always intrigued me......fascinated me......and frightened me. As a native of the Land of Enchantment, I grew up with the belief that these fabrications are very real. Many of these elusive phenomena walk the dirt, the streets and lurk about the hallways of New Mexico.

When I was a tot, I slept with the light on.. every night. I would see shadows on my closet doors. One night in particular, a shadow in the shape of the devils head, had me running to my parents bedroom screaming at the top of my lungs.

I've heard the haunting wail of La Llorona (pronounced "LAH yoh ROH nah") (Spanish for the Weeping Woman,) and believe me... that sound will send chills down your spine. This tall, thin woman roams the Pecos and Santa Fe rivers in search of her drowned children.

And then there’s the young boy dressed in blue jeans and a striped shirt that plays in the lobby of the Kimo Theatre in Albuquerque, after losing his life in the 1951 boiler fire that destroyed most of this magnificent art deco monument.

So, it is no surprise that Halloween kinda creeps me out. You would think it would be my favorite holiday of the year, but not at all. Never really enjoyed all the scary costumes, or the trick or treat thing; nor did I (or do I) enjoy horror flicks. Hated the "jump out from behind the door and say BOO!" thing, too! This probably explains why I am so very superstitious.

How bout you...... do you throw salt over your left shoulder? Or are you a triskaidekaphobe? (Fear of the number 13.)

Here’s a look at some of the superstitions & rituals that spawned from Halloweens over the centuries.

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

Today's Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today's trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday--with luck, by next Halloween!--be married.

In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl's future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)

Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night, she would dream about her future husband. Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands' initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands' faces.

Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Of course, whether we're asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these Halloween superstitions relies on the good will of the very same "spirits" whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly. Ours is not such a different holiday after all!

Until Next Time......


Friday, October 30, 2009

We Can't Reform Health Care without Reforming Food

As a fitness professional in & out of the health industry for 30 years or more, this issue has been, and is, at the top of my soapbox. If Americans aren’t educated on how to eat healthy, given the resources that enables them to eat healthy, and given access to afforable organic food.... then all the health care reform in the world, will be worthless.

Americans will continue to get sick from all the diseases (cancer, high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, & auto-immune disease,) caused by eating “crap.” (i.e. fast food, fried foods, processed foods, artifical sweeteners, etc.)

I might also add in the 3rd facet of this dilemena, that of regular routine exercise. Eating healthy and access to an afforable, well thought out health care plan, will not build quality bone growth, will not strengthen muscles, will not keep your heart healthy, and will not improve your balance, coordination and flexibility.

We deserve to be healthy, fit and live a long disease-free life!! Americans should not only demand access to afforable health care; but also, we should demand access to afforable organic foods, and demand incentives from our work places, from our insurance companies and from the medical industry to work out, get healthy and stay healthy.

Charlie Lindahl, a member of VISION VOICE VEG*N'z for the Brazos Valley, brought this to my attention from the Huffington Post. Thanks Charlie.

Here is an exerpt from the Huffington Post article. To read the entire, entriguing story click here.
If and when health care reform finally passes, we will have successfully ameliorated only half of the crisis. The treatment half. The next step has to be focused upon doing something about the poisoned filth we've collectively nicknamed "food." Without any real changes in how our food is produced, the health care system will continue to bloat and fall apart. Not unlike the insides of an average American body.

The consequence for you and me, of course, is that the food is becoming increasingly toxic, both in terms of what goes into our bodies, and in terms of how deregulation and deception is hurting the economy. What good is health care reform if we're still being fed poison? What good is an economic recovery if big business is still gaming the system?

Until Next Time........


Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Natural Flavors?"

Ok, I know I am strange... (hubby Bear tells me this all of the time).... I read labels... anything and everything that has a label, a pamphlet, an insert or guide.

Just the other day had to get some meds for Beagle boy Jack and I was reading aloud the insert that came with the meds. Hubby Bear comments... "Nobody reads that stuff except you.. and you will read every single sentence of it." Yep, I confess, I do that.

Anyway.. labels on food products. Have you ever noticed the ingredients on some food products that promote themselves as being "healthy" or nutritional?" You know "natural flavor" ingredients.... leaving me wondering... "what the heck does that mean?" Actually, it is not only "healthy" foods that list this "natural flavor" ingredient; but also, regular food. Hubby Bear has a can of his Progresso Light Chicken Noodle soup including this mystery additive.

I ran across this enlightening bit of info from a blogger friend of mine and, well, I stole it and now will post it and claim it as mine. LOL!! Take a look at it and let it educate you on the "natural flavors" scam. And after you read it, go ahead into your kitchen pantry and frig and check the labels just to see how many products you have that includes "natural flavors."

Just What's in Those Natural Flavors Anyway...?
By Dar Veverka

The exact definition of natural flavorings & flavors from Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:

"The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional."

In other words, natural flavors can be pretty much anything approved for use in food.
It's basically impossible to tell from a label what is in natural flavors unless the company has specified it on the label. A few of the vegetarian & vegan-oriented companies are doing this now, but the overwhelming majority of food manufacturers do not.

Why do companies hide ingredients under "natural flavors"? It's considered a way of preserving the product's identity & uniqueness. Sort of like a "secret recipe" - they worry that if people knew what the flavorings were, then someone would be able to duplicate their product. So what's a veggie to do?

Call the company. Ask them what's in the flavorings. Chances are they will not be able to tell you, or they will be unwilling to tell you.* But the more they hear this question, the more likely they are to become concerned about putting a clarifying statement on their labels. It does work in some cases (remember what happened when enough people wrote to the USDA about the organic standards), although it tends to take awhile. We have already had several large food companies call us concerning their natural flavors & how to word it on their labels if they have vegetarian or vegan flavorings. They called because it had come to their attention that this was a concern for veggies.

* Many of the numbers listed on food labels are customer service call centers staffed by people who can only read from the information provided to them by the company. While it's tempting to get frustrated at them & yell, please don't. It's sort of like taking it out on the stock clerk because you don't like the grocery store's policies.

Until Next Time.......


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eating Out... Stress Free!

You've seen the size of platters that restaurant food is served on these days, right? Some as large as 15 inches in diameter! That can cost you... oh.. maybe a couple of grand in calories! YIKES!
Here are some hints when it comes to eating out so you don’t break your “calorie bank:”

*THINK AHEAD: look @ online menus before you go to the restaurant. Try to plan out what you will order, that way you don’t have to look at the menu and fight off all those temptations.
*NO FAST FOOD joints!


*Ask for ½ orders

*Ask for your entree to be divided in half and put in a "to go" box BEFORE the waiter brings your meal. This way, you are not tempted to eat the whole portion.

*If you dine at a buffet.... choose a LARGE plate for your salad choices and fill it up. When you fill up on veggies you will not eat as much of the high calorie food.

*If you dine at a buffet...choose a SALAD plate to use for the high calorie-entree foods. Don’t let those cooked veggies fool you... more then likely they are loaded with butter, or oil and sodium. So, by pass those cooked veggies, unless they are steamed with NO butter, and choose your entree wisely. A plain baked potato with salsa is always a smart choice.

*Start any meal with a salad and dressing on the side, if possible.

*Choose grilled, baked, broiled, steamed or poached for your entree protein.

*Avoid the sauces, creams, & gravies, as these will rob your calorie bank for sure.

*When choosing Mexican food, go for the grilled fajitas and CORN tortillas. NO beans and NO rice. Light on the guac and sour cream. Use lots of salsa for flavor. You can also choose ONE cheese enchilada with chips and salsa, or ONE soft grilled chicken taco with chips and salsa. Be careful of those chips, tho... they can really eat into your bank!

*When choosing Italian, go for spinach or whole grain or angel hair pasta with marinara sauce or olive oil and fresh pressed garlic on the side. Or olive oil, tomatoes and fresh basil. You can order the lasagna or ravioli, but remember to have that entree divided in half and placed in a "to go" box BEFORE it gets to your table. That will save you 400 to 600 calories depending on the serving size.

*When Chinese is your delight..... Stay away from fried anything. Not only are these choices ballistically high in calories; but also, they are loaded with vegetable oil, sodium and high fructose corn syrup (found in the sauces.) Go for steamed veggies and brown rice with a side order of your favorite sauce.... use it sparingly.
These days, in this economic down turn, a lot of restaurants are offering "cheap meals," "for cheap food", is what I call it. Fried everything with sides of corn and mashed potatoes or fries. All this type of food is an inexpensive expense for the restaurants, but filled with zero nutrients for you. All you get from this "cheap meal?"...... High fat, high sodium, high fructose corn syrup, and high calories.

Ok.... so, the next time you head out to eat, you can either blow your whole days.. or sometimes two days ...worth of calories, or you can think ahead, plan what you are going to eat and take this list of hints with you.

Until Next time.......


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here's a Quickie Meal!

Zooming around like crazy, going here and there with so little time left to prepare a great meal, I put this together in less then 30. The main time consumption here was the sliced baked sweet potatoes. But, as they baked, I put every thing else together. And what a colorful meal it made. And made from ALL organic! Even the frozen veggies!

This is what you'll need:
As always.... I DO Organic as much as possible!

1 large sweet potato, sliced about an 1/4th inch thick
Agave Nectar
Organic Cinnamon
Unsweetened pineapple juice
(normally I include sliced pineapple and sprinkle raisins and chopped raw walnuts on top, but was completely out of everything... gotta get to the market!)

In a baking dish, arrange the sliced potatoes like a "layered" pinwheel. Baste the slices with pineapple juice and drizzle a bit of Agave Nectar all over the top. Then, sprinkle with cinnamon. If you add the pineapple slices, alternate them with the potato slices.

Bake this at 350 to 400 for about 20 to 25 minutes. When 5 minutes of baking time remains, sprinkle the raisins and walnuts over the top and finish baking.

Next I open a bag of frozen lima beans and frozen french cut beans, either pour into same baking dish or separate ones. Place them in the oven along with the potatoes and bake for the same amount of time.

While the potatoes and veggies are baking, you can roast an ear of corn in the same oven. Or if you have a 2nd oven, just use it. When I oven roast corn, I just lay a small grate over the oven rack and put the corn right on top of the grate. It will roast at 400 degrees in about 15 minutes.

All of this great food will finish baking around the same time.

Sprinkle the veggies with your favorite Mrs Dash no salt, no sugar, no additives seasoning, (mine is the Southwest Chipoltle or Lemon Pepper,) fill up your plate... and Voilà!.... a great meal in less then 30!

Enjoy... and until next time..............


Monday, October 26, 2009

God’s Little Creatures Annual Fall Fundraiser.

There were so many great events going on in the area this past Saturday. And what a gorgeous day it was to enjoy your pleasures. I chose and was committed to Della Carroll’s God’s Little Creatures Annual Fall Fundraiser. WOW! What a turn out!

In the parking lot right in front of Tractor Supply,
you could get your pets bathed, get them micro-chipped, and get their rabies, parvo/distemper vaccinations or heart worm-tested.

You could adopt a pet from Impact Animal Foundation.

There was a bake sale with some great home made doggie treats, as well as, people treats.

Beginning at 2pm, there was a pet Halloween costume contest. How cute are these?

I worked the table with Dr. Michelle Aucoin (Jack n Jill’s vet,) Dr. Cheri Lewis, & Frances De Gelia, head of The Great Pyrenees Rescue Society and one of the VISION VOICE VEG*N’z for the Brazos Valley members. There were lots of vaccinations given to puppy dogs and to a few kitty cats; and some heart worm testing done with all of the results as negative... YAY!

All in all, it was a great success for Della and her rescue society.

Until Next Time.......

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let’s Get to the CORE of the Matter

I know how much everyone LOVES to do core work! Ah, well.. ok.. maybe not. But, I hope you've had a chance to try out the All Important Humble CORE workout and have mastered that program.

I am really big on “doing” core work because your upper, lower and side (obliques) ab muscles, as well as, your lower back muscles, are the most important muscles in your body. Without these, our body could not stand, walk, run, climb stairs, sit,.... we’d have no balance and we would fall get the picture. Weak core and lower back muscles are 2 of the reasons we tend to lose out height as we age. We'd find it very difficult to stand up tall with our shoulders back and head held high. Our core just could not support that effort.

Your core has 2 main functions:

1. To create and sustain sufficient intra-abdominal pressure to counteract compressive forces resulting from axial loading.

2. To resist forces that move the spine out of its preferred neutral position.

What this says is any time you lift & carry that box of “stuff,” that laundry basket full of clothes, those sacks of groceries, your baby, or your pet; you are loading your spine, your pelvic area, your hips and legs. Without strong core muscles, you would be in danger of injury.

Anytime you twist the spine, as in playing tennis or golf, you move that spine out of its natural position and could set yourself up for severe back injury.

So, is keeping your core muscles strong and fat free important? You bet!

Here is another quick-n-dirty core work out. Remember to “Suck n Squeeze.” Suck in that gut and squeeze that butt, tightly. This will stabilize that lower back, plus will help strengthen the abs and butt muscles.

As with all work out programs, if you have not worked out in a long time, live a sedentary lifestyle, if you are deconditioned or have any health issues, please check with your physician before doing any exercises.

Ok, then, let’s hit it!


Rotating Side Plank

Start with stiff and tightened core muscles
Start with the side plank
Place elbow directly below shoulder.
Keep neck in neutral position by looking straight in front of you.
Transition to the traditional plank. Don’t clinch your fists. Keep neck in neutral position.
Rotate to opposite side and position yourself for the side plank

Rotate back and forth, both sides, as rapidly as possible while maintaining your balance, form and alignment. The time goal is 3 to 5 seconds per revolution.

Do 5 to 10 rotations, 3 to 4 times.

Lateral Plank Crawl

Get into military style push up position. Spread your legs out and place both hands directly under your head. Your hands should rest on top of each other. You will move sideways. Keep your butt tight and keep it DOWN. Elbows are straight and relaxed.
*right leg in, left arm out
*Left leg out, right arm in

Now do one push up and return to plank crawl position.

Do this crawl/push up routine 3 sets, 5 to 10 times. The time goal is seconds, per position.

Good luck and have fun mastering this challenging core work out!

Until Next Time.......


Saturday, October 24, 2009

God’s Little Creatures Annual Fall Fundraiser

Do your pets need their shots? Are they starting to lose their “heavenly scent?” Or, have you thought about adopting a pet? You are in luck!

This Saturday, the 24th of October, in the parking lot of Tractor Supply, Della Carroll’s God’s Little Creatures Annual Fall Fundraiser is happening!!! I’ll be there washing pets and helping out. Hope to see you there, too!

Now here’s all of the scoop!

The event (God's Little Creatures Rescue Annual Fall Fundraiser) is Saturday, October 24 at Tractor Supply, 2704 Texas Ave.S, College Station, TX

The hours are 11 am - 4 pm.


Services offered:


Rabies vaccinations, $10

Brazos County tags, $15

Distemper/Parvo vaccinations, $10

Heartworm testing, $20

Microchip implantation, $20

Dog adoptions

Bake sale

Doggie Halloween Costume Contest, pre-register at 1:30 pm, show is 2-4 pm. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons awarded. $5 entry fee

Della's contact info: (979)-587-2667 or (979)-778-6976

Until Next Time......


Friday, October 23, 2009

KAMU FM Power Pledge Drive

Returning to KAMU FM 90.9 to help out with their "POWER pledge drive" yesterday was so much fun! I spent many years as an Engineer in TV and a year as Traffic Director for FM, so it was like "coming back home." I was honored to get the invite to help them out.

Vicki Holloway came up with the greatest idea of "Make a Pledge to Honor Your Pet" day and boy did it bring in the pledges! People would call and pledge in behalf of their cats, dogs, hamsters... even their chickens!! We had a lot of pledges for "pet kids" that have gone to pet heaven. Over $1300.00 was raised in just 2 hours!

KUDOS go out to Penny Zent, Vicki Holloway, Elaine Hoyak and Ed Hadden for continuing to provide the listeners with high quality programs and music.

BIG thanks to all my "peeps" that took the time to make a pledge. I appreciate it! You guys really step up when humbly called upon! THANK YOU!!!

I hope you guys will take a moment and think about what organizations are near and dear to you... and step up.... volunteer your time, effort, energy, ideas or money to help make that organization more successful in meeting the needs of those that depend upon it or in the case of KAMU FM... Totally enjoy it.

Until Next Time......


Thursday, October 22, 2009

KAMU FM Make a Pledge & Honor Your Pet!

OK!!! This is the FINAL DAY of pledge drive for KAMU FM 90.9!!! This drive is the first for their fiscal year & will set the tone for all that follows; consequently, this is a very important drive. KAMU FM has TODAY to make their goal.

I so humbly ask your help in this effort.

TODAY.. Thursday.... the 22nd of October, I will be a guest at the station on All Things Considered (ATC) from 4 to 6pmCDST. This is “Make a Pledge and Honor Your Pet” day. You can pledge in honor of your current pet, your pet that has passed on, your future pet, or friends and family pets. We’ll mention your pet’s name on the air.

I will also promote the Vision Voice Veg*n’z for the Brazos Valley’s holiday event, “Bless the Beasts and the Children,” on December the 12th in the Village Foods parking lot, benefiting all local organizations. They are: Scotty’s House, The Great Pyrenees Rescue Society, IMPACT Rescue Society, God’s Little Creatures and Brazos Feral Cat Allies.

KAMU FM made the pledge process so easy.... you have 4 ways to pledge your honor to your pets:

1. On Thursday the 22nd of October, call in between 4pm and 6pm CDST during ATC. 979.845.5689
2. Go online and make your pledge
3. Fax your pledge in to KAMU FM 979.845.1643
4. Call in your pledge during regular hours 979.845.5611

You can pledge ALL DAY TODAY, either call, fax, or go on line. Please mention Slyck Pecena, Thursday for All Things Considered, so the pledge goes to that time period.

And for those of you that are stuck at a desk & have no radio or those of you that live outta the BCS area... you CAN listen on-line! Just click on the HD-1 Original Format. Click here for on-line listening.

This is a unique way of showing everyone how much you love your pets and support KAMU FM at the same time!!

Won’t you take time to make a pledge?

Until Next Time.......


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Locavore Lunch at The Village Café on October 24th to Raise Awareness for Climate Action

Hey!! Looking for something really great to do this Saturday? Want some really delicious food to eat? Want to be involved with a fantastic group of folks and raise awareness regarding the poor quality of our air and climate and what we can do to improve it?

Well.. then.... THE VILLAGE CAFE is the place to be, this Saturday, October the 24th from noon to 3pm. The good folks over there are serving up some special items just for this event.

If you have questions or want to know more about this endeavor, just contact THE VILLAGE CAFE! (979) 703-8514

Thanks Kellie for the info!

And now here’s the rest of the scoop:

Locavore Lunch at The Village Café on October 24th to Raise Awareness for Climate Action

On October 24th, the Village Café is joining over 2,000 communities and venues across the world in an event to raise awareness for Climate Action. A special lunch menu will be served from 12:00 to 3:00 which will consist entirely of food grown in the Brazos Valley. Limiting the miles that food travels from farm to table is a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time supporting local farmers and consuming fresher and healthier food. Additionally, most of the dishes served will be vegetarian or vegan, which is another good way to reduce the environmental impacts of the food we consume.

This global event is sponsored by a group called, which was founded by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben. is the first large-scale grassroots global campaign against climate change. Its supporters include leading scientists, the governments of 92 countries, and a huge variety of environmental, health, development and religious NGOs. All agree that current atmospheric levels of CO2—390 parts per million—are causing damage to the planet and to its most vulnerable people, and that government action at the Copenhagen climate conference is required to bring the earth’s carbon level swiftly down to 350 ppm.

As part of this event, there will be a photo booth set up at the Village Café so that people can have pictures taken of themselves to put on a collage that we’ll be making to represent all the members of our community to support action on climate change. Even if you don’t want to eat lunch, just come by and have your picture taken or sign your name to the collage. You can be a part of sending a strong message to our representatives that residents in the Brazos Valley do care about climate change and want strong action taken now!

The Village Café is located in Downtown Bryan on 26th Street, across from Mr. G’s Pizza.

We hope to see you there!

Until Next Time......


Monday, October 19, 2009

Who Says “Nobody Likes Mushy Watermelon?”

My dear, sweet Hubby Bear hates it when watermelon season comes to an end. Each year, as the curtain is drawn on watermelons; he brings home just one more in hopes that he can have one last brilliantly red, ripe, firm melon that cracks open as soon as the knife pierces the rhine. And each year is the same..... we end up with a mushy, old and tasteless melon that goes in the trash.

Ok, so we have a ton of deer that always dine on our pasture every evening and early morning. All sizes, from baby deer to teens to Momma and Dad. “The Deer Family,” is what we call them. So, I thought... “Hey.. instead of throwing out this mushy melon, I am going to cut it up into “deer-manageable” pieces and toss it around the pasture!” I just knew they would love the change to something sweet and yummy. (At least "sweet and yummy" to them..)

The melon was cut and loaded into a box. Bear and I distributed it across the pasture one evening. I just knew “The Deer Family” would come running and jumping outta the woods yelling, “Hey guys! Look! It’s watermelon for supper tonight!” Well, to my disappointment, nothing happened. Not that evening, not the next morning, the day or that next evening. Mushy watermelon was still there.

Gosh, I would have thought if “The Deer Family” did not like watermelon, at least the raccoons or squirrels or ‘dillos or some little critter would enjoy it!!! Hubby Bear said...”Nobody likes mushy watermelon, including the critters!”

Well, yesterday afternoon I decided to walk out to the melon to see if there had been any “nibbles,” at least. And much to my surprise and astonishment...... there ARE some little critters enjoying that mushy watermelon..... The BEES!!! Who wudda thought? There were thousands (well, maybe not thousands.. but a heck of a lot!) of bees all over each piece of the bright red melon. I got just close enough to get a quick picture.

So, now we know..... “Bees, love mushy watermelon!!”

Until Next Time......


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pilates 100

Last week, I challenged you to try some new and wonderful flavors and goodies suitable for Vegans in the Vegan 100 blog.

This week, I offer a challenge to you in the way of a great core work out called Pilates 100’s. This position takes all the strength and muscles in your whole body to perform. It is AWESOME!!!

What is Pilates? It is an innovative system of mind-body exercise that evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates. It dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels, and performs. Pilates builds strength without excess bulk. It creates a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and flat abs.

Pilates 100’s is one of the fundamental exercises of Pilates. This is a real challenge not only for your strength; but also, for your balance.

As with all work out programs, if you have not worked out in a long time, live a sedentary lifestyle, if you are deconditioned or have any health issues, please check with your physician before doing any exercises.

Remember to breath, don’t hold your breath! Suck in that gut and squeeze that butt.

Lie on your back with legs straight out. Start with your legs raised up to about a 45 degree angle. Now raise your neck and shoulders. Make sure your head stays in a neutral position. Keep your eyes focused straight ahead. Hold your arms to the side and straight out in front with hands open and palms facing down. Begin pumping your arms up and down beside your legs. Pump 100 times. That's right... don't cheat, now. Rest for 30 seconds and perform 3 to 4 more sets of these with 30 second rest periods. You can also do modified positions as shown in the picture to the left.

More advanced option: Raise your torso up so that you look like a “V.” Keep your neck in a neutral position and eyes focused straight ahead.

Accompany the Pilates 100 with the All Important Core 4 to 6 times a week, and you’ll “enjoy” one “kick your butt” core work out!!

Until Next Time....


Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Stolen Moment

I love the early mornings, especially after having a restful night’s sleep. This morning, as I waited for my decaf coffee to brew, I sat in a chair in the outside courtyard. Watching my Beagle “children,” Jack n Jilly as they sniffed every inch of the yard, the fence, the side of the house, each other and me, I thought about how much I enjoy this time of year.

The dry air had the crispness of the fall season and the chill of the northern breeze made me glad I had put on Hubby Bear’s jumbo size, thick, plush terry cloth robe. As I sat there snuggled up, I could hear the roosters greeting the early morning. A flock of geese, maybe?, chattered as they flew overhead and the dawn sky was awakening to the glorious red, orange and yellow colors of the Saturday morning sun. I knew I was going to enjoy this most beautiful day!

Hope you enjoy your Saturday, too!

Until Next Time.......


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Vegan 100

Hey all you Vegans, even you Vegetarians and meat eaters.... have you thought about all these interesting and flavorful options to try and add (or not) to your nutritional plan?

Be careful, however..... for S U G A R & its many aliases lurks about in some of this stuff!!

You can see my results. Take a look at the list and see what you might be interested in trying.

1. Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
2. Italicize any items that you would try
3. Make a comment beside the ones you would NOT try
4. Optional extra: Post a comment on this post linking to your results.


1. Molasses sugar!
2. Cactus/Nopales
3. Scrambled Tofu don't do soy, period
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa don't do bread
8. Vegan Coleslaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. Almond Butter Toast don't do bread
14. Aloe Vera
15. Bagel don't do bread
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash
17. White truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes don't do booze
19. Freshly ground wasabi
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider
23. Organic California Mango
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet or Habañero pepper
27. Goji Berry Tea don't like teas
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread don't do "processed" foods
31. Starfruit
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread don't do bread
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices don't do booze
34. Sauerkraut don't like this
35. Acai Smoothie prefer blueberry
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo don't do any soy, period
39. Falafel
40. Spelt Crust Pizza don't do pizza
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms don't do salt
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings don't do soy, period
44. Hemp Milk maybe
45. Rose Champagne don't do booze
46. Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich don't do soy, period
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice
50. Grilled Seitan don't do gluten
51. Prickly pear
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk
53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula
57. Vidalia Onion
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. Grape seed Oil don't do oils unless flax or coconut
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus don't do bread
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Raw Mallomar
69. Fried plantains probably not... its the oil thing
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles don't do "pickled" food
73. Liquid Smoke NO
74. Meyer Lemon
75. Veggie Paella
76. Vegan Lasagna don't do noodles
77. Kombucha don't like teas that much
78. Homemade Soy Milk don't do soy, period
79. Lapsang souchong don't like teas that much
80. Lychee Bellini don't do booze
81. Tempeh Bacon don't do soy, period
82. Sprouted Grain Bread don't do bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh don't do soy, period
84. Vanilla Bean
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. Harissa
94. Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina don't do supplments
98. Seedless 'Pixie' Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought possible sugar used
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas

WOW! I've got a lot of possible goodies to try!!
How bout you?

Until Next Time.....


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Scariest Room

YIKES!!!! Do you know where the scariest room is.... at your place of employment? Do you know this room can make you “do things” you might not do otherwise? Do you know this room can break down your guard & destroy your will power?

You know what room I am talking about.. Don’t you?


Last week in What’s Lurking in Your Kitchen....., I discussed how important it is to control your environment. As well as the dangers of having “crap” foods in your kitchen and what can happen when you have that moment of weakness that we all have from time to time.

This week, we look at the Office Break Room. This environment is 100 times more dangerous then your kitchen when it comes to temptations of the taste buds, mainly because you have no control over what is lurking in that room. You know.. All those store bought processed foods like, donuts, cookies, chips, crackers, candy, soda pop, diet or otherwise, and ice cream.

Oh, yea, you might see some “healthy nutritional” yogurt in the frig that is “Fat free” (meaning more sugar is added) or “Sugar free” (meaning artificial sweeteners are used.) You also may see a variety of “health and fitness” breakfast bars or snack bars. I invite you to take a moment and look at the INGREDIENTS of these so called healthy snacks. Don’t look at the ingredient breakdown... check out that VERY long list of ingredients that reads like a chemistry experiment. You will find all kinds of “hidden sugars,” artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors, soy products, corn syrup, ..... Oh my gosh.. I could go on forever.

So, if you can’t control the break room environment... you can't control yourself, your thoughts, your actions, your reactions, your ability to be distracted, and your cratering will power.

The first thing I tell my clients when we discuss the office break room is to arm yourself with healthy snacks from home AND ..try NOT to go into the break room. Bring your own water or tea to drink in a cooler to keep in your office. Here are a few ideas for snacks that you can bring from home: (and watch out, I can guarantee your office mates will want you to share!)

*a bag of roasted raw almonds, raisins, unsweetened coconut and unsweetened (NOT semi-sweet) chocolate chips
*any fruit
*a variety of raw nuts
*Humble Hummus with carrot and celery sticks, sliced thick cukes or no salt blue corn chips
*1/2 sandwich of natural nut butters and sliced banana with raisins

*no fat, no salt popcorn (Paul Newman makes a really good one.. Plain Jane)

And here is what saves my life in my weak moments... LARA BARS!!! OMG, these are fabulous, wonderful... life savers.... and tastes so good! And you know what else? She adds NO preservatives, additives, sugar, artificial sweeteners, oils, fats, wheat, flour color or sodium... except in her peanut butter and jelly bar. LARA Bars are nothing but all natural ingredients, dates, raisins, nuts, fruit, coconut, lemon and lime juice. And they are only about 200 calories per bar.

Ok.... so now you know how to control your environment by arming yourself against the temptations within the break room and keeping yourself out of the scariest room in your place of employment!

I challenge each one of you.... for one week, bring your own healthy stuff from home, stay out of the break room and just see how much weight you could lose!

Until Next Time.......


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie

A cookie that has everything!!

If you are looking for a great Vegan cookie that is baked with these DEE-licious ingredients:
*Unsweetened Coconut
*Unsweetened chocolate chips
*Agave nectar

And NOT these VERY fattening & unhealthy ingredients:

*White sugar
*Brown sugar
*Artificial sweeteners
*White flour
*Wheat flour


Of course, you don't have to put all of this in one cookie. You can mix and match your delights. But start with the basic cookie dough and from there, let your creativity EXPLODE!!!

As Always, I DO organic as much as possible!

Ok, so this is what you need:


1 cup Oatmeal

3 cups Oat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 T. cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/4 c Agave nectar

2 VERY ripe bananas

1 cup apple juice


chopped UNSALTED raw walnuts

unsweetened coconut

unsweetened chocolate chips

Oven at 375 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a food processor, add the bananas, juice and agave and mix till smooth and creamy. Pour this into another bowl.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to this banana mixture. Fold and mix thoroughly.

Fold in the raisins, chopped walnuts, unsweetened coconut, & unsweetened chocolate chips

Drop my spoonfuls onto a nonstick baking sheet. These are a "cake-like" cookies. If you want a thin, cripsy cookie, just flatten out each spoonful.

Bake about 10 minutes or so. Makes about 2 to 2.5 dozen.


Until Next Time......