Friday, January 22, 2010

Humbled... By a NO LEFT TURN Sign

Yesterday I got a ticket...... it’s been 10 years since my last ticket. That one was for my usual, in a big hurry... speeding and not realizing it...ticket. Yesterday’s ticket was for making an illegal left turn.

What is it about getting a ticket that can transport you back to 2nd grade... when you would get into trouble for “whatever” on the playground? Right there, in front of everyone, the teacher would scold you. It would leave you feeling embarrassed, humiliated, beaten, and wanting to run away with your tail between your legs.

I got up at 4am yesterday morning... knowing it was going to be a relentless day of nothing but GO>>>GO>>>>GO>>>>>GO!!!! I was forced to hit the ground running as soon as I awoke. I had a TON of errands, (I HATE errands.. as errands = spending money.. and I HATE spending $$!) a TON of clients to train and had to fit in a hair cut and my own work out. With more “Stuff” to get accomplished then time to spare.. it was an easy set up for disaster.

In a short 45 minutes between clients... I zoomed to Target. Got stuff.. zoomed out and had to get to HEB. Well, BCS is known for making it as difficult as possible for patrons to access merchants by placing medians everywhere.... so right hand turns, in most cases, are the only options. Ok, HEB is right across the street from Target... I decided to go behind Target and then I could scoot across to the parking lot of HEB.... but.. oh no.... a partial median and a “no left turn” sign was staring me down.

This is when my better judgment took a nap. And my other little voice took over...... “Look, there are no cars in either direction..... just zip across, make the turn and “Tah Dah...” you can be at your destination without having to go way the heck outta your way!” Ok... so, I did it... and made it to the HEB lot... happily on my way to find a place to park so I could once again.. get out and zoom thru the store and get on to my next client.

Whoa! What is that in my rear view? Motorcycle with blinking, flashing lights? And then the question I always ask myself when I am about to be stopped by a policeman...”where the heck did you come from?” I guess in my “looking around” back there... I neglected to look for the famous “Holloman Motorcycle Cop.”

To my surprise, a LOT has changed in the 10 years since my last ticket..... As I got out of my car and approached the officer (I always do this.... I like to meet the police officers half way...odd, I know...) he introduced himself and was so very polite. He even complimented me on my hair cut! It made this "scolding" a little more tolerable.

So, my patience was challenged yesterday..... and it lost. I lost precious time, albeit, a pleasant experience with the Officer, it would have saved me the time I needed had I been patient and abided by the traffic sign. And, now I will spend money... paying for the "fee" for taking the course and paying for the course itself.... and I lose even MORE time when I have to sit in front of the computer for hours taking the course.... Blah!

This blog has nothing to do with being Vegan... but has everything to do with being Humble.

Until Next Time.....


Monday, January 18, 2010

Say “BI-BI” to Flabby Arms

So, how’s that New Year’s resolution coming along? You know.. The one you vowed to lose those muffin tops this year? Or to lose the upper arm flab and “tone up?”

Here’s something to help you with those arms. This bicep work out combined with my Tri These Workouts for Great Arms, any of my cardio/circuit routines and a clean, healthy nutritional plan.... your arms will start to take shape in a short amount of time... and will look amazing in 6 months!

Training for so many years with so many women, one of the first things women tell me when asked "what are your goals?" “I want to shape up my arms and get rid of the flab.” I’ve shared with them that our upper bodies just don’t get the work out that our lower bodies do. If we could walk on our hands all day long, our arms would be freakishly strong & awesome looking! LOL!

This routine works both bicips (biceps brachii & biceps brachialis) in several different positions. You can incorporate this into any work out program: full body, upper body, pulling muscles, or “arm day.” Just remember, don’t do this consecutive days in a row. let’s get started.

As always, if you have health issues, are deconditioned, have not worked out in awhile or lead a sedentary life check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.


*Bicep Hammer Curl (Standing, hold dumbell in your hand like you would a hammer.. hence the name “hammer curl.” Keep your abs sucked in tight, keep your butt squeezed tight, have a little bend in your knees and stand up straight with good posture. Work one side then the other. Start with arm extended BUT DO NOT lock the elbow. Raise arm up to a 45 degree angle from the shoulder. Don’t go all the way up... the idea is to keep constant tension on that bicep.)

1 set of 15 reps x 8 to 12 lbs (depending on your strength)
rest 10 seconds
1 set of 12 reps x 8 to 12 lbs
rest 10 seconds
1 set of 8 reps x 8 to 12 lbs
rest 1:00 and repeat this once. after 2nd repetition, rest 2:00

*Incline Bicep Curl (Set up an incline bench at around a 45 to 50 degree angle. Lie back on the bench with both feet on the floor, and lower back and scapula (shoulder blades) on the bench. You can raise your head if it is more comfortable then having your head on the bench. Keep abs and butt tight. Work one side then the other. Start with arm extended BUT DO NOT lock the elbow. Palms should face up toward the ceiling. When raising your arm, aim the third finger for the top of your shoulder. This movement, we want full range of motion, so raise the arm all the way up.)

1 set of 15 reps x 8 to 12 lbs (depending on your strength)
rest 10 seconds
1 set of 12 reps x 8 to 12 lbs
rest 10 seconds
1 set of 8 reps x 8 to 12 lbs
rest 1:00 and repeat this once. after 2nd repetition, rest 2:00

3-Way Bicep Curls (this exercise is quick and intense. You will use less weight because you are doing more reps per set. This routine works all sides of each bicep. Work one side then the other. Standing, hold dumbell in your hand with palm facing downward.. Keep your abs sucked in tight, keep your butt squeezed tight, have a little bend in your knees and stand up straight with good posture. The 1st position, extend the arm down but DO NOT lock the elbow. We want full ROM (range of motion) on this routine, so raise your arm all the way, but do NOT touch the shoulder. The 2nd position is full extension and a hammer curl hold. Same thing, raise arm up with full ROM. The 3rd position is full extension with palm facing up. Raise with full ROM.)

Position One: 25 reps x 5 to 8 lbs (depending on your strength) NO REST go to

Position Two: 25 reps x 5 to 8 lbs (depending on your strength) NO REST go to

Position Three: 25 reps x 5 to 8 lbs (depending on your strength)

Rest 2 minutes and repeat once more.

Bicep Concentration Curls (this and the Incline Bicep Curl are two of the VERY best bicep workouts you can do to get quick and fast benefits from your hard work. They both really make that brachii POP, giving you that "apple of your bicep! Sitting or if you are standing, place your leg up on a bench, chair, balance ball (this is the best as it makes your whole body work,) or any other platform. Keep abs and butt tight. Your leg should be bent close to a 90 degree angle. Working the arm on the same side as the lifted leg, place that elbow JUST BELOW the knee on the medial (inner thigh) side of the knee. NOT on TOP of the knee. Extend the arm down but DO NOT lock the elbow. Start with the hammer curl position and then as you raise the arm, twist so that the palm is facing the ceiling. When you lower the arm, toward the bottom, twist back into the hammer curl position. This movement is like the Bicep Hammer Curl, you don’t raise the arm all the way up. Stop around the 45 degree angle. We want to keep tension on the bicep thru the descending and ascending movements.)

1 set of 15 reps x 8 to 12 lbs (depending on your strength)
rest 10 seconds
1 set of 12 reps x 8 to 12 lbs
rest 10 seconds
1 set of 8 reps x 8 to 12 lbs
rest 1:00 and repeat this once. after 2nd repetition, rest 2:00

Take time to work this routine 3 times weekly and then enjoy the look you will see in the mirror and the compliments that you’ll hear.....”How do you get those arms?” “I want arms like yours!”

Until Next Time......


Friday, January 15, 2010

Vision Voice Veg*n'z for the Brazos Valley 2010 Meetup

The Village Cafe was rockin’ this past Tuesday night the 12th of January. This was the first meetup of VISION VOICE VEG*N'z for the Brazos Valley for the New Year... and there was quite a group there. Over 20 people showed up to chat it up, enjoy choices from the great menu that was prepared and to listen to LAURA THOMAS, Vegan Nutritionist currently working on her PhD, give a presentation on Pre and Pro Biotics.

A great way to start off the New Year! Everyone had a terrific time and enjoyed the fabulous food!

The chef’s cooked up three Vegan options: musaka, soft tacos, and calipso salad.

Some of the comments I received were:

“Laura did a really good job and there were lots of interesting questions.”

“We had a great crowd last night, and Laura gave a very informative discussion on Pro & PreBiotics. Did I mention the food was delicious!!”

“Laura gave a great presentation. She really knows her stuff. Most of what she talked about I already knew, but some of it was pretty enlightening, & there was a pretty big turnout too!”

“Laura's presentation was brilliant. There were new people too, and everyone was impressed. Village Cafe made some really good entrees for us.”

Laura’s material in her presentation was supported by Mary Ellen Sanders, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders, through her business Dairy & Food Culture Technologies, consults on all aspects of probiotic applications in the food and supplement industries. She believes probiotics will flourish only if available products are scientifically validated, responsibly produced and accurately labeled. She strives to balance the potential consumer benefits of probiotics with an understanding of the emerging science. Based on her extensive work with manufacturers, academicians and regulators, Dr. Sanders offers a comprehensive perspective to those interested in the continued emergence of the probiotic industry.

If you are interested in this fascinating topic, I invite you to read the complete Scientific Journal from which Laura referred. How Do We Know When Something Called “Probiotic”Is Really a Probiotic? A Guideline for Consumers and Health Care Professionals by Dr Sanders

BIG thanks to Laura Thomas for putting together and presenting an awesome topic!

Join us next month, February the 9th, 6:30pm at the Village for our meetup when Betsy (Boots) McCann, PhD student in plant agriculture, will talk about the nutritional and environmental health benefits of eating organic foods and the importance of organic certification.

Until Next Time.....


Monday, January 11, 2010

Where Are We Headed?

From CBS news this past week, here are the latest sad and sobering statistics about this nation’s health:

*Regarding the number of people overweight
15% in 1970
23% in 1990
35% in 2000
(You see where this is headed, right? In this new decade... 50% of this nation could be overweight with a major portion of that 50% ....obese)

*190 million Americans are either over weight or obese.

*150 BILLION dollars is the cost to the health industry annually to treat these people.
(This dollar amount will only increase ....and this is one reason, IMHO, that “affordable” healthcare for everyone is a pipe dream)

*In the past 10 years....childhood obesity has tripled and there is a shorter life expectancy since the civil war for kids.

*In a study done in Houston by doctors and cardiologists from Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital of 97 children....3 out of 4 kids were overweight or obese.

*70% of the children are set
up for coronary artery disease by their 30's & 40's.

*When these children were asked why they thought they were obese, they responded with answers that implied pain, feelings of loneliness, unwanted, & disliked at school. Guilt and sadness for not “looking like the magazine pictures.” These are emotions that our children are feeling!

*When asked why they ate so much junk food, these kids admitted there were money issues within their households and cheap fast food for less money was the answer.

*Our Government is of little or no help. In fact, our Government is an enabler of poor nutrition.... paying 56 BILLION dollars over the past 10 years subsidizing farmers/produce farmers to grow corn and soy beans. Where as organic, healthy produce $ nothing, nada, zip!

*We consume 500 extra calories a day compared to 25 years ago. That means in 7 days we will gain one pound from these extra calories.

*There are SIX fast food places for every one market that offers fresh produce.

*The campaigns for Fast/Processed Foods and Smoking are so similar, in that they

Both market to children
Both have strong, powerful lobbyist
Both are producing severe to fatal health problems

*Regarding soda pop, there would be a 10% decrease in sales and a 10 BILLION dollar decrease if a 1% tax was placed on sodas.

*60% of Americans are against a tax on junk food.

So, I invite you to think about this..... What can YOU do to help turn these stats around? What can this nation do to prevent us from becoming a nation that is 50% obese or overweight in this new decade? How can we get the government out of our food choices and out of our kitchens?

Until Next Time.......


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Vision Voice Veg*n'z for the Brazos Valley January Meet Up

Come join us for the first VISION VOICE VEG*N’z for the Brazos Valley meet up of 2010!!

One of our members, Laura Thomas, will discuss the advantages and need for Pre and Probiotics to keep our bodies healthy and clean. Laura is a Vegan nutritionist working on her PhD at A&M.

When: TUESDAY the 12th of January

Time: 6:30pm to around 8:30ish

Where: Village Cafe, downtown Bryan

If you want to order from the menu, please RSVP so I can let Chris know how many of us will be eating.

So look forward to seeing each one of you!!!

Slyck Pecena
Founder & Leader

Until Next Time......


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Humble Vegan Soft Serve "Ice Cream"

Ok... so I know that 2/3rds of the nation is in a deep freeze at the moment.... but yesterday, I was telling a FB buddy of mine about this really awesome and delicious soft serve banana “ice cream” that she can make with her new juicer. It is so easy! And if you don’t have a juicer, it can easily be made in a food processor. Blenders are ok... but it’s a little more difficult as the mixture tends to clump down in the bottom and the frozen bananas will clump up as well.

What is really great about this treat is..... IT IS HEALTHY! The kids will love it as they think they are eating ice cream. You can do this with any frozen fruit.... but using the bananas as the base mixture will help keep it creamy and not icy.

These 2 pics are ones I took at True North Health Center in Santa Rosa California when I was there this past May for a 23-day water only fast. This was one of our cooking demo classes. Used in this yummy delight were frozen bananas and frozen strawberries. I’ve taken this same mixture and added chips of Bakers chocolate and made a creamy chocolate-banana-strawberry soft serve. You can use any frozen fruit. I also add a little almond milk when I make mine to give it an extra creamy texture with a “nutty” taste!

So... all fruit.... that’s it. What more can you ask for in an “ice cream” then

*all natural sweetness
*filled with vitamins and nutrients
*no HFCS
*no sugar
*no fake sweeteners
*no sodium
*no trans fats
*no preservatives
*no additives
*no food coloring

Just peel your bananas or whatever fruit you choose... freeze in bags and have them ready to take out and make up this DEEEE licious dessert or treat! The texture should be smooth and creamy when ready. Dip it out into a small dish and top with chopped raw nuts; melted bakers chocolate for a sauce, raw shredded coconut, raisins.... just go crazy!

Go ahead...make some up .... sit in front of the fireplace and enjoy this nutritious “ice cream” with a very high YUM-O factor for sure :-)

Until Next Time.......


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

R.I.P. Dear Neighbor

A former neighbor of ours lost her life to cancer this past Sunday. I am saddened by the unexpected news. She and her husband lived across the street from us back in our old ‘hood. We would wave at each other and her husband would come over to chat. She was an unbelievably talented artist and decorator. After 5 years, we moved and never saw them again.

I am not sure why the news of her death hit me so hard. We were not that close at all. Maybe that’s why. I never took the time to be a good neighbor. Never thought about going over for a friendly chat. Never offered a helping hand. Never took the opportunity to get to know her. Always thought I was too busy. Or maybe it is because she was very young..... 44. She and her husband married for over 27 years with 2 children and 2 young grandchildren.

I find it difficult to think about. She should have had at least another 35 to 40 years left of enjoying her life... her children.... grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her time was too short. She was on the cusp of the second half of her life. In reading her blog the last days... she definitely fought the good fight. Her strength was admirable and her outlook remained positive..... but still.... as death knocked on her door... at what point did she realize it was time to answer that door and face the fact that she must say goodbye to this life.... her dear hubby... her loving children and adorable grandchildren?

A former neighbor of ours lost her life to cancer this past Sunday. I am saddened by the unexpected news.

Until Next Time.....


Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 Brand New Year, Brand New Decade

Two Thousand and Ten. Twenty-Ten. or Twenty-Dime. However you prefer to address this New Year, the start of a brand new year always brings with it a fresh slate. A fresh start. A new beginning. A chance to reboot our minds, our bodies, our emotions and to think about new goals and refocus on goals of the past that we quite never reached. This is the time when we recommit, refocus and rededicate our thoughts and attentions to making “this year” a better one.... whatever our individual “better” indicates.

I hope each one of you had a glorious, safe and joyous holiday season. It surely seems to me that this one “whooshed” by in a hurry. I know we all enjoyed the bountiful choices of delicious food and drink with our families, friends and peers. Food is certainly a major focus of those days between Halloween and New Years Day.

This, the 4th day of January of 2010 has me asking.....”What are your goals for this year?” As a personal fitness trainer and wellness coach, my interests are in your health and fitness goals, specifically. Is this the year that you finally decide to take the needed steps to gain control of your eating disorder? Of your escalating blood pressure? Of your high cholesterol? Of your ever expanding waist line?

In 2010, will you vow to be kinder to yourself? Will you stop passing judgment on why you aren’t more productive? Will you be more understanding and forgiving of yourself when you just can’t seem to manage your time more efficiently?

Will you recognize what a wonderful spirit you have? Will you see the goodness in all your intentions & deeds? Will you stop punishing yourself for not living up to your impossible perfections and high expectations that you set for yourself?

Is this the year that you look deep within your soul and find that person that you once loved.... that person that once truly loved everything about life?

In this, the beginning of a new decade, will you promise to be more patient with your children and your pets? Will you reach out to those that are silent and shy & to those that are in need of friendship and may lack attention? Will you assist and help those that ask?

2010 brings the opportunity of a makeover! A new you that realizes “I can’t do it all... as much as I think I can... I cannot. And I must ask for help.” A new you that is forgiving of setbacks, forgiving of lapses in will power, & forgiving of episodes of procrastination.

2010 is the year of forgiveness. 2010 is the year to give yourself and others “a break.”

As we all take inventory of our lives, ourselves, our relationships and give some thought to what I proposed above...... let me leave you with my rendition of the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change... and give up trying to change them for heavens sake!

Grant me the courage to change the things I can.... and get out there and change them and quit "Beetching" about it!

Grant me the wisdom to know the difference...... and to stop wasting time and energy on things that I have no damn control over!”

Until Next Time......


Friday, January 1, 2010

Imagine 2010

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say that
I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

John Lennon, 1971

Wishing you Good Health and a Very Happy and Joyous 2010