Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Years Goal

A New Years Goal is hatching in my brain.

I got inspired by a story I was reading in The Surfers Journal magazine about two young men (early twenties) who paddled from Santa Barbara to Mexico. They used paddle boards which are designed for paddling either on your stomach or on your knees. They packed all their gear onto the boards and camped on beaches along the way. The Surfers Journal is packed with fun adventurous stories like theirs.

The idea of adventure for the sake of adventure appeals to me immensely. When I was a kid I loved comic books and reading about the characters various adventures. I remember asking my Dad one day "Daddy, when will I have adventures"? He was a big adventurer himself, being a pilot by trade and loved traveling to foreign countries. I also love endurance events and especially love an event that few people are interested in. That's probably why I love ultra marathons so much. But long distance running is not happening for me right now, due to healing up this knee. So, why not Stand Up Paddle from Laguna Beach to San Diego?

The first thing is, I don't own a Stand Up Paddle board. The second thing is, I've tried it only once, with a rented board at "Baby Beach" in Dana Point. Baby Beach is pretty much what the name implies.

I spoke to my husband, Kerry, about the idea. He is the quintessential water man, so he was all over it. I checked into the mileage. It's 65 miles. That doesn't sound like much to the ultra running community where races are routinely 50 or 100 miles. But being out in the ocean, with no control over the elements? Paddling through San Onofre where the three Great White Sharks, Sparky, Archie and Fluffy live? (yes, they have names) Sounds like an adventure to me!

Angela, my darling, you have to work. So, unless she can get time off from work...... We will probably take a week off to enjoy the adventure. I personally don't know anyone who has done this on an SUP, though I think there must be. We are eager for suggestions as to how to make the journey. We will have to paddle through Camp Pendleton Marine Base as well. Does anyone know the rules on that? Daddy, I think I found my next adventure!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Start of Week Four "Mind Power Smoothie"

They say the first thing to go is the memory. And the second thing to go? Well, I forgot what that was!

Welcome to week four of our high phytochemical, high energy, holiday out of control eating counteracting, smoothie diet.

This morning I made the "Mind Power Smoothie" for brain function featured on page seven of Jeff Primack's book Smoothie Formulas.

This drink is made using corn, raw pumpkin seeds, goji berries, lemon, ginger and cilantro. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of this drink because I am not a huge fan of cilantro. But not to worry. This was one of the best tasting smoothies so far! Perhaps I put too many goji berries in. Whatever the case, the cilantro was barely noticeable and the drink has a wonderful creaminess to it, due to the pumpkin seeds.

Cilantro. Personally, I don't really like it, but we just have to have it. Why? Because we live in a world filled with toxic chemicals and poisons. Cilantro has been used to successfully remove mercury and lead from people suffering from heavy metal poisoning. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that cilantro has been successful in helping people with Alzheimer's and Autism actually reverse it.

So, raise your glass with me in a toast. Who knows, maybe this drink will finally help me remember just where I left my black coat.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chris's First Day Surfing

Let me just say that my BFF Chris is a stud!

Today was his first day ever surfing. He expressed an interest to me in learning to surf and asked me, "should I wait until summer"? My prompt reply was nothing less than to shame him mercifully because I started surfing four years ago in the winter!

When my surfer boy husband, Kerry, and I left the house this morning to meet Chris, it was a balmy 49 degrees. I know everything is relative folks, but gimmee a break, I grew up in Miami! The water temperature was about 57 degrees, thus proving the refrain that I hear over and over here in California in the winter: "It's warmer in the water than out of the water" Yeah, well tell that to me today, when I forgot my wetsuit at home and had to wear my husband's baggy, spring wetsuit! Let's just say that by the time we got out of the water, I was more than ready to drive to Angela's apartment complex which features a nice warm jacuzzi. We probably spent 45 minutes surfing and an hour in the jacuzzi to get our (my) body temperatures back to normal.

All in all, a good time was had by all. Especially at Carlos's Mexican restaurant where we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of huevos rancheros. I know, it's not on the diet, but heck, it's not quite time for New Year's resolutions.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The week between Christmas and New Year's.........

The week between Christmas and New Year' always a fun one. The parties are starting to wind down, but the New Year is still not here, so where's the motivation to keep up with our diet and fitness plan?

We've been to at least seven Christmas parties so far these past couple of weeks. The pies, the chocolate, the dancing, the fat, the sugar, the wine. Yes, I partook in all of it. But the program continues. This week we are focusing on some of the cancer preventing smoothies from Jeff Primack's book Smoothie Formulas.

This morning, after much chocolate and wine last night, I made the "Cancer Crusher V4" featured on page 9 of the book. It contains purple cabbage, beets, lime, apple, carrot, ginger and basil. I also threw in some fresh rosemary because my next door neighbor has this really big rosemary bush that I have been "pruning" for her over the past couple of weeks. Rosemary gives the drinks a nice minty taste. Rosemary also improves brain function, which I am going to need so I can remember "which party was it where I left my black coat"?

Of the many wonderful ingredients in this smoothie, I want to focus on beets. Beets work in your body to purify the blood, which is the core of healing any disease. Anyone who wants to stay healthy, but especially those who are dealing with cancer, need the healing power of beets.

The drink tasted wonderful. We've yet to come across one drink so far that hasn't tasted great. Tonight I am going to relax by the fire after a nice long hike and walk on the beach with the dogs. Gotta be rested up for tomorrow's dawn patrol surf session. My good friend Chris bought his first surfboard today and we are giving it a trial run in the morning. See you in the lineup!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Breaking News from the National Enquirer

In a bizarre twist of events, a woman gives birth to a 3 pound 7 oz. baby chihuahua. Some say it's a holiday miracle, others claim it's a hoax. Expiring minds want to know. Was it an immaculate conception? Perhaps A.I. ? (you have to be an equine enthusiast to understand that abbreviation) The facts are not exactly clear but Mother and Baby are doing well. The woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, will only tell us that she was minding her own business in a cantina in Guadalajara, Mexico, when in walks a traveling salesman who also happened to be a good looking Chihuahua. (she later confided that he was a bit of a dog) Family members have mixed emotions. The woman's 13 year old nephew, Liam, describes the situation as "Disturbing" A baptism for the baby whose name is Victor Jose Snaggles is scheduled for December 25th at Our Lady Of Perpetual Tears Catholic Church.

editors note: this story was inspired by the photograph taken last night at our Christmas party. Happy Holidays to All!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I can't run but I can paint......

The Avalon 50 mile race is scheduled for January 16th. Yes, I am signed up for it. No, I will probably not be running it. I've crossed the finish line there seven times so far. Running long distances is my passion. My idea of a perfect day is spending a good six hours running trails. It's been a crazy year injury-wise. It's not was I was expecting when I started out 2009, but then again, the best laid plans.......

So I decided to take up painting. I've never done anything like this before and when our local community magazine came around advertising events here in town, I saw the beginners painting class and thought, why not? I needed something that was not dependent upon running for enjoyment. It is a lot of fun! My 'studio' is our deck overlooking the ocean. The lighting is pretty good there. My 'Muse' is our little black cat named Ruby who loves to sit in the chair beside me while I paint. From the ashes, sometimes something new can be born.

I still plan on going to Avalon and according to how the body progresses, I would like to at least hike the first 25 miles of it. I will let you know how it goes. Join me if you'd like!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lower Heart Disease While Enjoying Life!

After my pity party yesterday, I got up this morning and went to Shelley's spin class. What a much needed endorphin fix! I desperately needed to remember the good stuff about my workouts, so I got out some of my race medals collected over the past several years. I may not be running 50 miles tomorrow, but I will be doing that again soon!

Angela got a bit delayed on the Smoothie Formula Diet as she had to borrow the Vita Mix from her sister, but finally got it going. She made her first drink this morning, the Pineapple Enzyme Smoothie, and loved it! Now we are a team. It always helps to have a workout and diet buddy to motivate each other.

Tonight it's off to San Shi Go in Laguna for dinner with surfer boy. I am looking forward to some healthy seaweed, of course wrapped around the other good stuff. There's a reason why cultures who eat seafood and sea vegetables have a much lower incidence of heart disease. Do you think it also has to do with the sake? Maybe we should find out!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty......

I woke up feeling pretty sorry for myself this morning. Yesterday I went to the podiatrist after much consideration and allowed myself to go under the needle for not one foot, but both feet plagued by neuromas. Denial can be a wonderful thing. I've been feeling this for the past couple of months and just kept hoping it would go away. First the knee surgery, now this. Someone is trying to slow me down!

There was nothing I would rather have done other than put my feet up and read a good book. But it was not to be. I had a lot of running around to do, appointments, etc.

But then I came home and who was here to visit me but Tommy! Tommy is our local stray cat who has survived on the one square block we live on for the past 15 years. Rumor has it that the house on the corner owned him as a kitten and when they moved, left him behind. Did that get him down? Not Tommy. He also got hit by a car one day and was taken to the vet by a neighbor, only to chew off the cast that was put on his leg. Tommy fell through the screen in our kitchen skylight one morning while taking a nap and the screen tore. Did that get him down? No! It was an adventure. He takes on the neighborhood dogs and cats but loves the people because we all feed him. Tommy likes to talk to you. You can ask him a question such as "Tommy, did you have a good day"? and he will politely wait for the end of your question and then answer "Mrow"

He is loved, cared for, always fed. And the best part of the story? Our neighbor who just lost her cat of 21 years has now taken Tommy in, giving him a warm bed. He still comes by to visit, always a lovely treat!

And as you can see, my feet may be bruised and beaten up, but I have a nice pedicure, there's a Christmas tree in the background, a warm fireplace, dinner in the oven, and the Lakers are winning! Life is pretty darn good.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Reach out and kiss someone!

Good Monday Morning!

We got our Christmas tree over the weekend, did a ton of holiday shopping and of course, more wonderful holiday parties with lots of eating thrown in.

So, this morning it was off to spin class to burn some calories and rev up the metabolism. The classes are really fun. They play great music and I have a smile on my face the whole time.

We are going into week two of the smoothie diet and still have some of the ingredients from last week to finish up, so we made the Pineapple Enzyme Smoothie once again. Delicious! There are so many amazing ingredients used in these formulas that we would never eat on their own and I am having a fun time researching the benefits. The Pineapple Enzyme Smoothie includes parsley, which gives the drink its color. Let's take a look at some of the health conditions which eating parsley improves:

· Anemia: Builds up the blood because it is high in iron. The high vitamin C content assists the absorption of iron

  • Bad breath

  • Blood vessel rejuvenation: Maintains elasticity of blood vessels, and helps to repair bruises.

  • Digestion: Parsley is an excellent digestion restorative remedy. It improves the digestion of proteins and fats therefore promoting intestinal absorption, liver assimilation and storage. Because of its high enzyme content, parsley benefits digestive activity and elimination.

  • Dissolves cholesterol within the veins

  • Fatigue: Parsley is high in iron so helps repair and provides components for better blood cells.

  • Gallstones: Helps dissolve them.

· Glandular support of the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands.

  • Hormonal support: In women, parsley improves estrogen and nourishes and restores the blood of the uterus. Conditions like delayed menstruation, PMS, and the menopause (dry skin, irritability, depression and hair loss) can often improve.

  • Hormone balancing is achieved through the volatile fatty acids contained in parsley.

· Immune booster: The high vitamin C, beta carotene, B12, chlorophyll and essential fatty acid content render parsley an extraordinary immunity enhancing food. Parsley is an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form and one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body.

  • Inhibits tumor formation, particularly in the lungs

  • Kidneys: Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary complaints except severe kidney inflammation. It improves kidney activity and can help eliminate wastes from the blood and tissues of the kidneys. It prevents salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues; thus parsley literally forces debris out of the kidneys, liver and bladder. It helps improve edema and general water retention, fatigue and scanty or painful urination.

  • Liver congestion: It enriches the liver and nourishes the blood. Parsley helps reduce liver congestion, clearing toxins and aiding rejuvenation.

  • Menstrual irregularity: Parsley helps to make the cycles regular by the presence of apiol which is a constituent of the female sex hormone estrogen.

  • Spleen strengthening: The parsley root in particular strengthens the spleen, and can, therefore, treat malabsorption.

  • Weight loss benefits from being a diuretic

Wow! What a list! The one I like the best is the fresh breath benefit. I think I'll reach out and kiss someone today. How about that cute surfer boy husband of mine in the picture? Cheers!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How to have a healthy heart

It's the weekend! Time to relax and enjoy some much deserved downtime. Here is one of my top secrets for a guaranteed healthy heart: Hug and love an animal!

Here I am with my grand-dog, Victor Jose Snaggles.

So today, forget about the diet, forget about the exercise and really get your endorphins revved up. All it takes is a cute little (or big) guy like this to do the trick.

Happy Saturday Night All!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Spinnin' out of Control!

Since I have not been able to run much due to recovering from knee surgery, I have found a wonderful alternative. Spinning!

I've been able to do yoga, surfing and some hiking with a little bit of uphill running thrown in, but what has been missing from my workouts is that endorphin high afforded by getting my heart rate up there.

Well I found it at the Laguna Spin Studio. It's a wonderful local studio that I can walk to from my home which is run by a really cool lady named Shelley. Her energy is great and she plays fun music like Disco Inferno and Good Lovin' by the Young Rascals. Yes, I am dating myself by my choice of music.

One of the great things about spinning as a recovery to knee surgery is that I can unhook one foot from the pedals and perform the "runs" with my weak leg, thus building it up. Over these past few months, my right leg has taken on the load, becoming the dominant leg and the left leg has gotten left behind. Physical therapy didn't quite cut it for me because it is BORING.

But spinning is a blast!

As the Young Rascals say in Good Lovin' :

I was feelin' . . . so bad,
I asked my family doctor just what I had,
I said, "Doctor, . . .
(Doctor . . .)
Mr. M.D., . . .
(Doctor . . .)
Now can you tell me, tell me, tell me,
ailin' me?"
(Doctor . . .)

He said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Yes, indeed, all you really need . . .
(Is good
Gimme that good, good
lovin . . .
All I need is
lovin' . . .
lovin', baby.

And to quote Jen: All I need is a little good spinnin!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Detoxification? You Got it!

An interesting side note to week one of the Smoothie Formula diet is the intense level of detoxification that is occurring. Wasn't quite expecting that but who am I to complain?

Got up this morning and went to my Thursday morning 7am Toastmasters Club. Let's just suffice it to say that I had to take several breaks during the hour and a half meeting. It seems that the high fiber, high water content of the fruits and vegetables we've been consuming all week work to push everything through your system. A nice side effect, I must admit.

So, when you're ready to give the diet a try, don't say I didn't warn you. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rosemary's Baby?

We are well into week one of the high phytochemical, high energy, healing smoothie recipe book. Today's recipe is called the "Healthy Heart Smoothie" featured on page 30 of Jeff Primack's wonderful book Smoothie Formulas. It contains beets, corn, oranges, lemon, goji berries, ginger root, mint and 1 sprig of fresh rosemary.

Rosemary? That's what I said. Who would have ever thought to throw a sprig of rosemary into the Vita Mix to be pulverized into breakfast?

The last time I even thought about rosemary was viewing the classic horror film Rosemary's Baby. For all you film buffs, check out the photo of Mia Farrow drinking the famous drink prepared by her neighbor, Minnie. When Rosemary asks what's in it "Snips and snails and puppy dog's tails" says Minnie. Later, she says it's made of raw egg, gelatin, herbs and tannis root. If she's lying, or if there's more in it than she's saying, we never find out--in the book or the movie. The tannis root is probably bad enough. It turns out to be a fungus called Devil's Pepper.

But no Devil's Pepper in the Healthy Heart Smoothie, I promise. Let's take a look at some of the health benefits of rosemary:

Rosemary improves circulation and blood flow to the head and brain. This remarkable herb has the ability to help prevent cancer and age-related skin damage. It boosts the functioning of the liver and acts as a mild diuretic to help reduce swelling.

Two of the most important ingredients in rosemary, which are thought to be largely responsible for many of these therapeutic actions, are caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid - both are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.

In ancient Greece, students wore wreaths of rosemary in their hair. The herb was said to improve memory.

Rosemary grows wild here in Southern California. Or, you can purchase a rosemary plant like I did at your local nursery.

Now tell me, who looks healthier in the photos, Rosemary or Me? Snips and snails and puppy dog's tails begone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ready & fueled to outrun mountain lions!

Woke up feeling so energized from the excitement of starting the new "healing smoothie" program. We had a huge storm here in Southern California yesterday. Much needed rain but I felt like our little 1940's beach bungalow was going to blow away! The whole house was a shakin' and a rattlin'. My little Min-Pin, Rusty kept jumping up and barking thinking someone was at the door. It really did sound like someone was rattling the doorknob and trying to break in. Quite exciting!

I decided to go on a hike this morning. It's always so beautiful when the storm clears. I'm still not quite running, just running the uphills some, healing up this knee. But, I better start running soon because look at what I came across on the trail. Does anyone know what a Mountain Lion print looks like? I know they live out here and I have trail buddies who have seen them, but I have yet to be so lucky.

Then it was back home to the anti-inflammatory and energy smoothies. If a Mountain Lion can run 30 mph, what would I do? 40 mph!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day One "Pineapple Enzyme Smoothie"

Welcome to Day One of our new high phytochemical, healing, nutrition packed smoothie diet.

Since Angela let me pick the first drink, I went straight for the anti-inflammatory/pain reduction drink. When you turn 51, have run hundreds of miles, and put your body through the paces I have, you may be singing the same tune too! Plus, remember that I had knee surgery on my left knee 5 months ago and am determined to get back to running.

Woke up this morning thinking yay, Monday! Yeah right. But then, I remembered that I get to make my first drink from our new recipe book Smoothie Formulas by Jeff Primack. So, off I went to the 7am, 90 minute, challenging hot yoga class and came home ready for some pain reduction.

The Pineapple Enzyme Smoothie is featured on page 29 of the book and contains pineapple, parsley, carrot, apple and corn. Yes folks, that's raw corn cut right off the cob. Here are some of the health benefits:

Pineapple contains bromelain which is a natural anti-inflammatory that has many health benefits and encourages healing. This powerful anti-inflammatory effect can also help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and reduce postoperative swelling.

Parsley is an amazing medicinal herb, is delightful to the taste and agreeable to the stomach. It contains ingredients that help produce a pain relieving benefit to relax stiff joints.

The drink was delicious! Who doesn't love the tropical taste of fresh pineapple? The parsley gives the drink that fresh, minty taste and is also supposed to freshen your breath.

Okay Angela, the next drink is your pick!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why wait for the New Year? We're getting healthy now!

Angela called me yesterday and wailed "Mom, I've gotten off track with my diet. Help!" Her call couldn't have come at a better time because my sister just turned me on to this wonderful recipe book called
Smoothie Formulas by Jeff Primack. It's got 95 healing smoothie recipes designed to cure everything from Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Autism, Weight Loss, you name it. Or if you don't have any of those diseases the smoothie formulas work to create a high level of health. It's based on the premise that food is medicine and uses a VitaMix or BlendTec blender to break down fruits, vegetables and herbs such as rosemary and cilantro much better than any humans teeth ever could, thus releasing the enzymes and phytochemicals necessary for vibrant health.

We have decided that starting next week, we are going to focus on two to three smoothie recipes per week until we have tried all 95

We will keep you posted as to how we feel. We are really excited!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mom's helping me with a new Diet plan!

I'm so excited my mom is going to help me come up with a completely new diet that I am determined to stick to and will be updating you guys on how it is working out for me! I've just gotten kind of off track with my dieting these last few months so I want to challenge myself! Stay tuned for my complete weekly diet plan and wish me luck...!!!