Monthly Archives: June 2013



Exercise is important -

but what you do before and after can determine your succes!

Here are a few healthy tips that work well for me in my marathon training:

1.  Drink coconut water — dubbed “Mother Nature’s sports drink”images-1

  • Contains the most electrolytes
  • Low calorie & naturally fat and cholesterol free
  • Contains the potassium of 4 bananas
  • Less sugary than sports drinks
  • Perfect form for super hydration

2.  Nutrition

  • 5 things ideal pre-sport nutrition:imgres-2

Low fat

Moderate in carbohydrates and protein

Low fiber

                                             Contains fluid

                                 Familiar and well-tolerated food

  • For instance, small hand full of almonds, fruit, sweet potato or spoonful of nut butter

3.  Create short and log term goals — success depends on it  imgres-4

  • Be realistic — you can’t leap the lake — start out small
  • Short term goal – I trained for 4 months to do my first 10K in May
  • Long term goal – half marathon in October

4.  After workoutstretching-exercises

  • Stretch – a must, must, must for the body — consider it as part of your workout, both in regards to the time necessary in the day and to decrease the risk of injury
  • Foam roller works as a great tool in stretching
  • If you stretch prior to workout, keep it very gentle — your muscles are cold

5.  Equipmentimgres-3

  • Buy and use the proper equipment — this not an area to compromise
  • For me with running, the proper shoes are a must 


Happy Healthy Exercising!



Do you procrastinante?  Worry about failure?  Give up easily?  Stop before you start?

I know I did.   Everything from losing weight, finding time to exercise, all the way to doubting my abilities to grow a garden.

BUT I WAS WRONG!  Everything we need to achieve our dreams is already within us.  We have all the tools we ever need right inside us.  Tools to nurture our DREAMS.   To put a PLAN in motion.  To ACHIEVE amazing benefits.

Dream, Plan, Achieve is the basic message I want to share with my journey.

I’ve learned life is like a garden.

That each goal, achievement, or process starts from a very tiny seed that must be sown and nurtured over the appropriate time necessary, before the fruit of one’s efforts are ready for harvest.  I learned this by actually planting a garden!images

As I said, I never thought I could grow a garden….that’s for farmers, green thumbs and people with more time than I have.   Yet, as a professional chef and lover of healthy eating, I dreamed of picking and eating delicious food at my fingerprints.  I dreamt of walking into my backyard to harvest my meal.  Food that is rich, live, and organic, picked at the moment of perfection.


Seed-sized dreams



My garden started with a small seed-sized dream.   One that kept nudging at me here and there.  Like when I was at the store or farmer’s market picking out vegetables.   Or when I was preparing food to cater.


Dreaming BIG!

Then, I decided to give it a whirl.  This was a year ago.  My excitement was high.  I was ready for a lush garden flourishing at my fingertips within a couple weeks.

The truth is that wasn’t realistic.  I didn’t have a place for a garden yet.

What I needed was a plan.  A realistic one.  But I didn’t know where to start.  I just wanted to reap the benefits.  That is why this can be the very stopping point for many.   Swallowing the entire scope of the project felt overwhelming.  I felt like I could choke.  Where in the yard would I put it?  How much would it cost?  How much sun do seeds/vegetables need?  Did I need a lanscaper?  What grows here?  What can I grow?   How much do you water?  When do you plant?  On an on it went. 

Achievement comes in steps.  I had to break it down to manageable aspects if I expected to a bountiful harvest someday.   So my plan was to create a plan.  I asked friends, Googled all I could and read seed packets and magazines.   I found the help I needed and jumped in.  imgres

First, we prepared the yard’s landscape last summer, accepting a vegetable harvest was at least a year away.  ACHIEVEMENT  ONE: The yard looked beautiful.  

ACHIEVEMENT TWO:  I planted these tiny seeds, as spring finally arrived.  I planted some haphazardly; others with great care. (perfection NOT required)

ACHIEVEMENT THREE:  I made the time to nurture the area with water, sun, soil, fertilizer, and loving anticipation.

ACHEIVEMENT FOUR:  Huge plants grew….and grew….and grew.   The more they grew the more I nurtured.



ACHEIVEMENT FIVE:  Harvest.  My dream fulfilled   Beautiful, live, deliciously healthy food at my fingertips.  20130619_16355120130619_163417

To think this is only my first year.   Imagine what next year has to offer!

My garden analogy is a metaphor for anything you may be dreaming of in your life.  So what it is you dream of?  What do you want to grow in your life?   Are you ready to plan and achieve all that you want?    

I know I am.  I’ve put this same process in my weight loss, my exercise program, and my healing journey.   My achievements are too many to count in just a short period of time.

Starting planting your dreams today!



You Don’t Have To Drink Plain Water To Hydrate

However, You Do Need Water Intake

Fun Hydration Facts:

  • You need water for your body to function
  • Water helps digestion
  • 60% of a male’s body is water; 50% of a female’s body is water
  • Blood is approximately 93 percent water – so blood is only slightly thicker than water!
  • Muscle is around 73% water
  • Teeth are about 10%
  • Body fat is about 10%
  • The brain is about 85%!
  • The older you get the less hydrated your body maintains on its own
  • Sweat draws off both the inside of your cells and the outside
  • Bottled water is not always better than tap
  • A little goes a long way — sip on water all day ensures proper hydration (see below for water recipes)
  • You do not need 8 glasses of plain water a day…

However, you do need to hydrate with water – through natural liquid and food intake.  ALL fluids count (except sugared, artificial and alcoholic drinks – those can actually dehydrate the body).

Some foods that contain high levels of water include:

  • Oatmeal is 84% water
  • Lettuce is 96%
  • Tomato 95%
  • Grapes 81%
  • Strawberries 98%
  • Watermelon 91%

Combine oatmeal with berries or tomatoes with lettuce or load up on fruit salad to ensure a high level of water intake.

Sure you should drink plain water as well.   It’s the fastest, lowest calorie way to hydrate.  If plain water bores your tastebuds, try infusing various flavors to add some zest.   Several companies sell aqua infusers on-line.  It’s a great way to liven up your water without added calories, which means you will drink more.   Fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs work lovely.

Some lovely combinations include:

Watermelon – Basil

Orange – Blackberry

Strawberry — Mint

Lemon – Cucumber

Mint – Chili Peppers – Vanilla – Orange

It’s simple.  Inexpensive.  And the possibilities are endless!  Be creative.  Combine your favorite flavors and have fun hydrating!





Frozen Grapes


Living healthy does not mean living without rewards!

On the contrary, it simply means making the best choices for yourself — including your decadent rewards of food.  Being healthy starts and succeeds with having a healthy attitude towards food.   It’s important to enjoy the food you are eating. To be satisfied.  To reward yourself here and there.   It’s not just eating something because it is low calorie or within close proximity or simply good for you or it’s the “right” thing to eat.   Food, even live, healthy food, can be decadent, delicious and delightful.   Food should satisfy you….not set up a crave for more.

When was the last time you truly felt satisfied when you gobbled up one piece of candy and then the next and next, or went for seconds on dessert, or ate something you didn’t even remember eating?   Most of the “treats” we eat are not eaten with true satisfaction in mind.   Most of us eat these types of food for all sorts of reasons, such as emotions are high or low; tiredness has set in; the item is placed near us; we’re eating out; we’re on vacation; we think it will make us happy; and more.

Instead, start slow.   Plan your special rewards or treats.  Plan for them to be once a week.  Or once every other week.  Or once a month.  And when those planned times arrive, you are fully ready to indulge.   Wean yourself slowly.

In the mean time, depending on how often you are splurging now, cut the frequency of these splurges down.  And then ADD, yes add, special treats that aren’t simply empty calories and lacking in nutrition.  Over time, your body will crave healthier and more nutritionally dense foods, if you give your body a chance to have them in the first place.

Here are a couple recipes/ideas I’ve gathered that are healthy and DELICIOUS:

Frozen Delights:  Frozen Grapes

Chilled Grapes — easy, delicious, and perfectly satisfying to one’s sweet tooth.

Wash, separate from stems, and freeze.  It’s as easy as that!  Some people like to put them on skewers, other simply place them in a freezer bag and freeze.

Pop one in your mouth and feel the joy of sucking on a natural type of Popsicle.  Very naturally refreshing and sweet.

Fruit Popsicles with Coconut Milk - A more zestful version of chilled grapes, maintaing all the same simplicity of prep work.   With seasonal berries and fruit, combined with amazing fresh herbs, the flavor combinations are endless.   IMG_5474

The “ice cream” is simply coconut milk and sweetener.   Depending on your taste, date paste, raw agave nectar, maple syrup, bananas or raw cane sugar could be used.   Sweeten to taste.

Pour “ice cream” in popsicle molds with fruit and herbs.   Lavender, basil, rosemary, and thyme work well with berries, fruits and citrus.

Freeze and enjoy.


Simple Elegance:

Berries & Cream — a classic, seasonal favorite.  Top with a small amount of cream or Greek yogurt and drizzled honey.   A great way to satisfy those sweet nudgings.


Worldly Desserts: 


Thai Sticky Rice with Fruit — a healthy, enjoyable, and easy dessert.   Great way to use leftover rice!

  • Sticky Rice or Jasmine Rice – cooked
  • Canned Coconut Milk
  • Honey
  • Mango (traditional choice), Banana, Peaches, Papayas, Nectarines, or any other ripe fruit chopped
  • Mint or Basil, optional  mango

Heat ingredients and serve.   Don’t overcook.   Let stand to allow flavors to blend and serve.  Fruit can also be placed on top or side of heated mixture.


Healthy Pick-me-up:

Trail Mix — A great grab ‘n go treat.   Many varieties offer a punch of nutrition along with enjoyable taste.   Watch out for those that add more candy, sweeteners, and junk type foods in their mixes.    Stick with the ones that add dried fruit and coconut to bring out the sweetness.   Trail Snack




LET’S GET MOVING – Move your body

I challenge you to 30 days of movement.  I want to walk with you.  Move with you.  Starting today, June 1st through June 30th.   EVERYDAY.   For just 15 minutes a day.  Whatever that may look like:  mowing the lawn, taking a walk with your child/grandchild, gardening, swimming, or dancing wildly in your living room to your favorite music.  Find something you WANT to do — and do it.   If you move more than 15 minutes, great.   If not, that’s okay everyone must start somewhere.

Exercise is best started in small steps.   If a person wants to run a marathon race, she doesn’t just stand up and start running.   Mostly likely injury would occur, not to mention failure.   The body must be strengthened one step-at-a-time.  One best done with care.  It’s a process.

The very process, in fact, I am working on.   I have signed up for a half a marathon in October, and have just completed the Boulder Boulder last week.   This is quite an accomplishment for me as I am not a runner.  Well, okay, today I guess I am, but never before in my life have I run for sport.  Never thought I would in fact.  So let me assure you, I did not accomplish this over night.  I have been working and strengthening my body for months to prepare for this.

Part of my preparation is making sure I move my body everyday.   This doesn’t always mean some strict exercise regime or boot camp drill sergeants.   It means simply moving your body.   And it doesn’t even mean moving your body for 15 consecutive minutes or do the same consecutive movement.   Simply move and let us know about it!   By committing to posting your movements, it will not only keep you inspired, it will inspire others.

Here are a few ideas of how to move your body:

  • Park in the furthest parking space and walk
  • Take the stairs – particularly up!
  • Throw a frisbee for your dog
  • Walk your dog
  • Walk your kids
  • Garden
  • Run
  • Yoga
  • Hopscotch
  • Mow your lawn
  • Take a hike
  • Swim
  • Dance
  • Lift weights
  • Take an exercise class
  • Zumba
  • Hike
  • Rock climb
  • Even, clean your house

Let’s get moving.  I want to walk with you throughout this month, both literally and figuratively.   So post your successes and even your disappointments… we are all taking this one step-at-a-time.