Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Extra

This was a great blog entry from John Acuff that I had to share. You can find it and more at the site (click on it to go there).

It's called "The Truth About Stale Cake" and I love it! Enjoy!

My wife does not measure calories. She has not been known to count the number of legumes in each recipe she makes. We have very few conversations about the amount of lycopene we eat. But she does have one rule when it comes to eating healthy:

Life is too short for stale cake.

When it comes to dessert and “fun calories” that’s the only thing she says. What does it mean? It means she wants her dessert to count. If she’s going to eat dessert or a savory dish that is loaded with butter and cream occasionally, she’s going to make sure it’s a dish she loves. She’s not going to waste the calories on cake that is stale or a dish she just kind of likes.

It’s like going on a vacation. Let’s pretend you live in Nashville and Southwest gave you a $300 voucher to fly anywhere they service. You could go to San Diego or Florida or dozens of other locations. And you decide to use the voucher for a trip to Birmingham, AL. That wouldn’t make any sense. You could drive there in less than three hours. If you’re going to spend the voucher, spend it on a long distance. Spend it on somewhere far away. Make it count.

Same with calories. If you’re trying to eat healthy and occasionally have 300 calories to spend, don’t waste them on a dessert you just sort of kind of like. Eat something you love. Eat something that flips you upside down. Eat something that is not stale cake.

If you ever come over to our house for Christmas and you offer me a piece of old fruitcake, I hope you will not be offended if I only take one bite. It’s not you, it’s me. I want my calories to count.

Foodie Friday

Finally, the muggy, sticky weather here in New Jersey broke, and there was a delicious chill in the air as I stepped out on the back porch this morning. Ahhh… and speaking of delicious, I had a cup of absolute comfort for breakfast – Nature’s Path Organic Maple Nut Organic Instant Hot Oatmeal. It was hot, creamy and sweet, with a bit of crunch from the organic hazelnuts and altogether perfect for a cool autumn morning. One packet does contain 210 calories,
but it is nutrient dense, and nutrient dense foods will leave you more satisfied, so I recommend eating this first thing in the morning. (Nutrient-rich foods contain a wide variety and significant amount of essential nutrients, so your body can be chemically satisfied with a relatively small amount.) Then mid-morning I suggest eating some protein/carb combo (like a cup of yogurt with nuts, or an apple with some organic peanut butter). Of course, be sure these work with any dietary restrictions you may have! And since I’m not a certified dietician, these are only ideas I’m sharing that have worked for me, or have been written about/recommended by people in the industry.

No, I’m not trying to do a commercial pitch for the product, but periodically I will be offering you recommendations for foods and recipes and nutrition information, so you can exercise your cooking muscles and add to your toolbox of healthy eating tips, tricks and tools.

I also received a great soup recipe this week from the weekly newsletter of the George Mateljan Foundation – it’s a “Super Energy Kale Soup”, chock full of carrots, kale, garlic and mmm-mmm good! It takes about 40 minutes from start to finish, serves four, and the only thing I changed is taking out the red potatoes and switching them with sweet potatoes. Of course, you can add other favorite veggies as you choose to make it even more colorful and nutritious (I may add some red pepper flakes for an extra little kick). I’ve added the recipe below. I just love-love-love to make soup in the fall and winter, so I’ll be making this on Sunday. Soup, homemade bread, snuggle down and watch the game with family/friends – love it! Go Steelers!

So there you have it, foodie friends – have a cooking musclefest this weekend, and enjoy!





1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 medium carrot, diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 cup diced celery
2 sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups kale, rinsed, stems removed and chopped very fine
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste

Chop garlic and onions and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health benefits.
Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium soup pot.
Healthy sautee onion in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
Add garlic and continue to sautee for another minute.
Add broth, carrots, and celery and bring to a boil on high heat.
Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and kale and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 more minutes.
Add rest of ingredients and cook another 5 minutes. If you want to simmer for a longer time for extra flavor and richness, you may need to add a little more broth.
Serves 4

Thursday, September 29, 2011

'Tude Thursday

So what kind of a ‘tude are you sportin’ today? Because today you get to exercise it. Yep – today is your day to exercise your ‘tude!

Patsy Clairmont, author and speaker, wrote a book in the 90’s called “Sportin’ a ‘Tude” – it was touching and also hysterical! When you have an attitude that isn’t exactly gracious and loving and kind (not that this EVER happens to any of US), it’s known as “Sportin’ a ‘Tude!” I love that phrase.

One of my favorite artists, Mary Engelbreit, has a great picture of a little girl, arms crossed, with a serious pout on her face, and at the bottom it says “MUST.CHANGE.ATTITUDE.” In fact, this very picture was on my Mary Engelbreit desk calendar yesterday, so I cut it out and keep it within eye range at my desk.

Those nasty ‘tudes are often felt coming on, like the flu. Some of the symptoms are: your neck stiffens, one eyebrow flies up almost off your forehead, your index finger tends to point, your head rocks side-to-side on your shoulders as your throat tightens as you exclaim, “I don’t THINK so!” Then there’s the sneaky quiet ‘tude, where your arms fold across your chest, a little “hmfftt!” sneaks out through your nostril passages, and you become very, very quiet and avoid all conversation. You know what I’m talking about here, girls! ‘Tudes come in many shapes and sizes, but the biggest and brightest is the positive ‘tude. The one you choose to have – the one that makes your spirit lighter, replaces all those worry lines with a beautiful smile, and provides a sense of peace even in the middle of chaos.

Check out this quote:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” – Charles R. Swindoll

So choose your ‘tude, darlin’, because it’s all up to you!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wild Woman Wednesday

Pssst…. Lean closer into the computer screen, girls, because I’ve got a little secret that I want to share with you. You may already know it, but either we’re in denial about it, or feel we can’t do anything about it. Sometimes, as much as we hate to admit it, wild women are… weary. Can’t take one more step, draggin’ my booty, give me toothpicks to hold open my eyes T-I-R-E-D. Sorry, George Thorogood, we’re not just bad to the bone, sometimes we are just weary to the bone. And while the late, great Otis Redding recommended weary women try a little tenderness, frankly, I say try a little nap!!!

I’m right there with you, girlfriend. My shot of choice these days is a 5-hour energy drink, and I’ve often thought of painting open eyes on my eyelids so that if I drop off to sleep, nobody will notice. I’ve had times where I was walking across the room, and mid-step just slammed into that invisible wall and had to give up and go to bed. Admittedly, that’s rarely an option for us wild women. But did you know the harm lack of sleep can do to you, outside of those dark circles under your eyes and that perpetual IV drip of coffee?

Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity (1). The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults need 7-9 hours a night. Are you kidding? Nine hours a night? Yeah, dream on (pun intended)!!! Nearly 30% of adults reported an average of less than six hours of sleep per day in 2005-2009. And I’m sure it has only increased since then.

Sleep is an important requirement in everybody’s lives, irrespective of age. When you sleep, your body tends to utilize that time to restore and energize your brain and your entire body. If you fail to get adequate rest, then it will lead to improper functioning of body organs, which will in turn cause several health problems. For instance, sleep disorders often leads to early aging, cause chronic illnesses as well as damages immune system. (2)

Today (or rather, tonight), do something really off-the-charts wild – GO TO BED EARLY! I know - it won't be easy, but you need to do this for YOU! The promotion of good sleep habits and regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. The following sleep hygiene tips can be used to improve sleep: (3)

• Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
• Moderate physical activity may help promote sleep, but avoid vigorous exercise in the few hours before going to bed.
• Avoid large meals before bedtime.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
• Avoid nicotine.

So let me get this straight… to look better, feel better, lose weight, think better, have more energy, avoid early aging and illnesses, all I have to do is get more sleep? Yep – it’s as simple (and as hard) as that. Start exercising that sleep muscle tonight, wild women!!!! Sweet dreams!



1. Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.
3. Sleep Hygiene Tips adapted from the National Sleep Foundation

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trim It Tue$day

Did you know that the average American family carries $16,000 in credit card debt – not including mortgages, just unsecured debt? The USA currently is over $14 TRILLION in debt. I find it hard to wrap my brain around that number. To put it in terms that make sense to me, check this out:

If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, spending $75,000 a year, with $327,000 in credit card debt. Pretty sobering facts. (Thanks to Liquid Church for this breakdown in their video series BROKE, part 1). Now I’m not going to get into the politics of it all, but today I’d like you to join me in exercising our “stop spending” muscle. That’s the muscle by your elbow that you use to grab your credit card and hand it to the clerk!!!

Yesterday we talked about setting goals, and one of the examples I used was shooting to save a certain amount of money in the month of October. What I’d like you to do is seriously sit down in the next few days and figure out all your bills, including mortgage/rent, car payments, monthly living expenses (food, gas, cable, cell phone, etc.), and most importantly, all your credit card debt – including what the interest rates are – and if you don’t already have one, make a realistic budget. Then figure out how you can pay just a little extra on your credit cards each month in order to get them paid off a little quicker. Are there things that you currently consider “needs” that are actually just wants? Even if it's only $10/month extra, it's something. Just like behavior changes that you make when looking to become physically fit, it's not all done overnight. It's one pound at a time. It's no differnt when losing that financial burden. It can be scary… but it can be done.

Imagine a buff budget – a strong savings! An epic emergency fund! And if you’re interested in hearing more about it, I invite you to go to Liquid Church’s website and watch their video (finance and church?!?!?. Yep – no asking for money, just a very realistic and hopeful talk about money and some ways we can strength our personal financial muscles.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Map Your Month Monday

It’s the last week of September already. Wow, time has flown, hasn’t it? Looking back over September, have you reached any goals that you set at the beginning of the month? Did you even think about goals? Well, if you haven’t/didn’t/never even had a minute to think about it, don’t sweat it. That’s one of the nice things about the end of a month – a new start is just around the corner!

You probably wouldn’t take a month-long trip without lots of planning, maps and directions, right? So why go into a new month of your life without making some plans and setting a few goals – having a plan makes sense, doesn’t it? You have five days to think about a few goals before October 1st. You want your goals to be S.M.A.R.T., which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. For example, if I had a goal of saving money next month, that’s not really specific, so I have no way to measure my success come November 1st. However, if I say I’d like to save $100, here’s how I would do it.

S – specific – yes, $100 is a very specific amount

M – measurable – yes, I can see all month long how I’m doing

A –Achievable – hmm… can I save $100? That would be about $25/week, or $3.22/a day. Okay, if I brought my lunch a few days a week, didn’t go to Starbucks and made my coffee at home, pick up a lot of pennies, and made a few minor changes, I could probably save that much a day without feeling a crazy amount of sacrifice.

R – Realistic – Yes, I think saving $3.22 a day could be reasonable for me to do. Okay, maybe I have to do some couch-cushion hunting here and there, and shake out the bottom of the old pocketbook, but it is do-able.

T – Timely (or tangible). Yes, I can fit it in a timeframe, with a specific beginning and end.

Now that you have the goal-setting tools to use, how about gently stepping out there, taking a deep breath and make one target October goal for the following areas:

1) Physical goal (example: I’d like to lose five pounds)
2) Financial goal (example: I’d like to save $X amount)
3) Personal goal (example: I’d like to read that book)
4) Career goal (example: I want to get info on a seminar or college course that will help me in my career, or I want to leave 15 minutes earlier each day)
5) Relationship goal (I want to have a date night with my man this month, or spend some one-on-one time with a child or friend this month)
6) Spiritual goal: (example: I want to read one Proverb a day, or read the book of Galatians, or memorize four Scripture verses, or pray daily)
7) Dream goal: (I always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. So this month I’m going to get information on traveling there – maybe visit a travel website, find out how much it would cost, get some brochures, etc.)

That gives you one goal a day to work on. They’re not big bahonkin’ crazy I’ll never reach them goals. They are baby steps, I can do this goals. Grab your calendar, make a note, break each one down into bite-size once a week bits, and mark a big red “GO FOR IT” on October 1st!!!

Share your comments here on what you goals will be – and email me if you have any questions at I’m off to get an empty glass jar so I can drop $3.22 in it each day in October and watch my goal grow!



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Somebody you know needs a random act of kindness. Maybe it’s just a phone call or email to say hi. Maybe you can stop over with an inexpensive bunch of flowers from the market. Maybe you need to highjack your gal pal and grab a quick cuppa at your favorite coffee haunt. Or a quick walk around the block. How about a mani-pedi for two? You know what your friend needs to perk her up. I know, it’s been a hard week for you, and life ain’t what you wish it was for you, either. But today, exercise your “get outta myself” muscle and do something for somebody else – pay it forward.

If you are going through a Dunkin’ Donuts or someplace like that, pay for the person behind you. It is hilarious to drive away slowly and watch their reaction in the rear view mirror. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start a chain reaction of NICE!

Take a few minutes today to reach out and make someone else’s life just a little sweeter. Then leave a comment here to share your RAKs so we can all get some great ideas how to increase the caring… one person at a time.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wild Woman Wednesday

Hey there wild women!!! Ready to rock and roll with another Wild Woman Wednesday???

Today get ready to go wild with technology. I’m a techo-geek, and I go wild for all the new gadgets and gizmos out there. While I can’t go wild and buy them all, I do love knowing all the latest wild things, and apps, etc. With that in mind, I want you to exercise your inner tech-freak, and join me in finding out the latest on what’s out there to make your life a little easier – one twirl at a time.

Digitwirl is a weekly web show that features quick, how-to videos that show you the most practical gadgets, useful websites and clever apps to simplify your hectic life, and then teaches you how to use them. The founder is Carley Knobloch, an entrepreneur, mom, wife, life coach, and writer/producer/actress on Digitwirl. She makes learning about the newest stuff out there fun, entertaining and very easy to understand. I enjoy watching her videos and have found some terrific information and apps!!

If you scroll down to the left a bit, you’ll be able to click on a link and open her latest video. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do, and twirl into technology at a whole ‘nuther level. So grab your iPhone, iPad, iPod, and any other gadgets ya got, and have a WILD WOMAN WEDNESDAY!!!!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trim It Tuesday

Healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to be resigned to a life of lemon water, celery sticks and steamed veggies! Many of you know that I believe in eating clean, while enjoying all your favorite foods – in moderation, and as long as you have no medical/allergic reasons for not being able to eat a certain food. For example, if you love pizza, have it – but have a big salad with it, and only eat a maximum of two slides, while keeping it within your daily calorie range. One of my favorite “trim-it” tips that will save 50%, yes HALF, of your calories, is to immediately ask for the take-out container when you go to lunch, and divide your meal in half and pack it away before you even start eating. Have the other half for dinner, or take it to work the next day for lunch. You’ve halved your intake, and doubled your pocket change by having another meal ready! Or… just split a meal with a friend.

Also, you need to be careful when you are enjoying some of those fancy lattes that are so yummy but can be loaded with fat and sugar. Take a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte – one Grande (16 oz) cup has 380 calories (120 from fat – that’s 13 grams), and 49 grams of sugar!!! OUCH! But if you order a small 8 oz. cup instead, with nonfat milk, and no whipped cream, it’s down to 130 calories, ZERO from fat, with 24 grams of sugar. That’s a whopping savings of 250 calories!!! Keeping in mind that one pound is 3,500 calories, if you made this one change daily, in two weeks you will have lost one pound – simply by trimming up this one choice.

Exercise your choices! Now that was pretty painless, wasn’t it?



Monday, September 19, 2011

Move It Monday

Okay, girls, it’s the beginning of the week. How was your weekend? Was that you I heard screaming this morning when you stepped on the scale? Don’t panic; let’s just get back on track. Make it a point to walk at a fast pace (about 125 steps per minute) for at least 30 minutes today. You can break that into two 15-minute segments, but just do it. Lunchtime, maybe, and then once when you get home. You need to move it, move it!!! Try to do that every day this week – build 15 minutes twice a day into your schedule – bring the hubs or kids or friends along – it’s always easier walking with a partner.

Also, one of the best exercises in the world for abs is a plank. You lay face down on the floor. Get up onto your elbows, and rise up on your toes so your body is straight as a board about 6-8 inches above the floor (hence the name plank). Your bottom shouldn’t be piking up so you look like a triangle, but you should also not slouch/arch your back so you look like a “U. Check out the picture. Then hold this position, breathing deeply, for 30 seconds to one minute to begin with, adding seconds with each new plank. Hey, if you can only hold it for a few seconds to begin with, that’s okay. Baby steps!!!! If you have any back injuries or aches/pains, be sure to check with your doctor before doing this, and as always, you should always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program!!

If you did overdo it this weekend food-wise, just get back on track today – no excuses. Plan your food, eat intentionally and mindfully, and add lots of water and veggies this week. YOU CAN DO IT!!!



Friday, September 16, 2011

Freezer Friday

Ahhh… the temperatures here on the East Coast are in the 60’s, the night breezes carry the fragrance of fireplaces burning, and I’m just about intoxicated with autumnal anticipation!

Today it’s time to exercise your elbow grease and clean out the freezer over the weekend! Get rid of all those ice-encrusted science projects, the ice cream from 1992 (not in my freezer – ice cream never lasts more than 19 minutes), the shriveled-up peas and carrots. You know the drill. Start fresh because now is the time to make some fresh freezer jams for the upcoming months – no cooking!!!

Yep, when the temps start dropping, my cooking/baking hormones begin to rage on, and I found a website that has some recipes for jams where you can switch out the evil white sugar with other options just as sweet. Did you know you don’t have to limit yourself to just the standard-issue strawberry jam? Now you can do a tomato-garlic freezer jam, and I even tried a persimmon-lemon-cardamom jam that was so good you wanted to just rub it all over your face!! So after you clear out all the dead stuff and have a fresh start for freezer fall, go to your local farmers market for the last of the summer fruits and veggies, and get jammin’!

Here’s the site: How to Make No-Cook Freezer Jam
Have a fun and fantastic weekend!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thirsty/Therapeutic Tea Thursday

I’m a tea lover. I have tea in tins, in jars, individually wrapped, loose tea, tea buds that turn into flower blooms when you drop them in a clear glass teapot… yes, I’m a tea fanatic. And now that we’re entering my most FAVORITE time of year –AUTUMN – well, grab my book and blankee, cozy me down deep in my chair and a half, and I am one happy little camper.

Yesterday I was give these wonderful gauze teabags produced by Tazo ® Full Leaf Tea called “CALM”. You can actually see the flowers of marigold and chamomile, the rose petals, lavender, and leaves of spearmint and lemon balm. It’s a beautiful tea. (Okay, maybe I don’t get out as much as I should, but it’s just darn pretty!) As you infuse the “sachet” of tea with hot water and let it steep, the scent is lovely, and it tastes as good as it’s fragrance! I’m sure it would be a great iced tea as well.

Okay, I know, you get it, big WHOOP, it's tea… so what??? Well, today you are invited to think outside the box, the box of teabags, that is. Here’s some other uses for herbal tea:

1) Toss 4-6 teabags (or “sachets”) into hot bath water to create an inexpensive herbal bath.
2) Toss 2-3 teabags into a pot of boiling water on the stove. Let the teabags steep for 2-3 minutes, then create an old-fashioned herbal facial for yourself. Take the pot and put it on a folded towel on your kitchen table. Sit down, carefully lean your face over the steam from the pot (CAREFUL – NOT TOO CLOSE so you don’t burn yourself – leave at least a foot or two between your face and the pot brim), drape another big towel over your head, and steam your face lightly. Do this at your own risk – I claim no responsibility for burns or dropping the pot! Use your wildwoman brain!
3) Take a cup of sweet almond oil and carefully warm it on the stove till it’s just a bit warm – DO NOT BOIL! Put 3-4 teabags in it and let the oil cool. Once cooled, pour the oil back into the bottle. Now you have a herb-infused oil for use in massage, or to smooth over your skin when you get out of your shower, just before you towel dry. Smooth and silky!
4) Make hot cider or wine on the stove, and drop in 4-6 herbed teabags – yum!
5) Take two teabags that have been infused and then cooled and lay one on each eye to relax and refresh as you lie down and put your feet up for 15 minutes.
6) Here’s the oddest one of all, but it works! Buy a new pair of long cotton tube socks. Place two cups of rice in a bowl, and mix with approximately 6-8 opened bags of herb tea. Fill up one of the tube socks ¾ way with the rice/herb mixture – should be full but not hard-packed. Tie a secure knot in the other end of the sock. You can put this in the microwave for 30 seconds (again, BE CAREFUL not to make it too hot), and use it as a muscle warmer on your neck/back to ease tension. The herbs will act as aromatherapy as well.

Enjoy, and feel free to comment and share your “out of the box” ideas!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wild Woman Wednesday

Hurray – it’s here again! Get up, do the happy dance, and celebrate WILD WOMAN WEDNESDAY!!!!

Today you are invited to exercise your extravagance!!! Consider it your free “get out of jail” grace card. Today give yourself permission to eat something you really love, without worry or fret about the calories or fat content. Am I out of my mind? If you ask my friends, of course I am! But that has nothing to do with today’s event. No, grasshopper, do not snatch the fried Twinkie out of my hand. Oh yuck, seriously, a fried Twinkie?? I think not.

You see, there is a method to my madness. I truly believe that we are free to eat whatever we want, unless for some medical reason/allergy must we stay away from some food. The key is this – we don’t binge out on it, or eat it consistently day after day. It becomes an “event” food – a celebration food, if you will. No, it’s not used as a reward, that’s not a good thing. But if you are really, truly craving your certain “I LOVE THAT” food, then once in awhile you need to have it, so you won’t be tempted to go overboard with it all the time. Say it with me, girls, celebration in moderation. Just know your caloric intake limits, budget that food within those limits, and enjoy it thoroughly. No false guilt!!!

Another tip is to savor each bite and eat it s-l-o-w-l-y. Enjoy the aroma, the texture, take one small taste at a time, and make it an event. Now I can unwrap at blinding speed a pile of Hershey’s kisses and stuff them in my face so fast that I look like a chipmunk on crack!! But after the gulping is done, I’ve consumed WAY too many, and have not really been “in the moment”. Have you ever seen the Dove chocolate commercials where the woman looks like she’s having a love affair with one piece of chocolate? Well, maybe that’s a little over the edge (although I admit, chocolate is a passion and has always been there for me and never let me down… hmmm…), oh wait, I digress again. I’m back. But seriously, take time to enjoy your celebration food.

So… I’m off to have a private moment with a cannoli that is calling my name (sigh) – and I have NO GUILT WHATSOEVER, because I am budgeting it into my day, because I’m going to enjoy the daylights out of each bite, and because it’s…. (drum roll, please)… WILD WOMAN WEDNESDAY!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

300 in Thirty Tuesday

Got thirty minutes? Want to burn 300 calories? Got your attention, didn’t I?

Today’s exercise is getting up and moving for 30 minutes. Did you know that one pound equals 3,500 calories? So if you can eliminate 500 calories a day (between burning calories and eating a bit less) in one week math says you can lose one pound. Now please note, I did NOT say eliminate 500 calories from your food intake – that’s not healthy. But let’s say you eliminate 200 calories out of your intake today, then burn 300 calories in 30 minutes, well, there you have it! You’re on your way to losing a pound this week, slow and safe and healthy. What equates 200 calories? Let’s see – half a sesame seed bagel (no butter or cream cheese), half a blueberry muffin, half a fast food cheeseburger, four slices of flax bread, 2 containers of low-fat yogurt, 2 glasses of non-diet soda, two tablespoons of peanut butter, one glazed donut, one Snickers candy bar, 1.4 oz. of Doritos, 1.3 oz. of potato chips, 8 Hershey kisses, 6 slices bacon, 2 oz. cheese, ½ serving of carrot cake, one soft pretzel, one toaster pastry. These are just a few, but you see how little things can add up. So forgo that ½ plain bagel, and you’ve hit the mark for today.

Now, getting back to exercise – on, I found an article by Paige Waehner (certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise) about losing 300 calories in 30 minutes, and that’s where I’m getting today’s information. Here are some of her recommendations. Note –you do any of these exercises at your own risk and should ALWAYS check with your physician first before beginning any exercise plan.

For each exercise, warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio and keep track of your Perceived Exertion or monitor your heart rate. In general, for most workouts you want to be at around Level 5-6. If you're doing interval training, you want your recovery to be around a 4-5 and your intensity blasts to be at around 8-9. As you'll see below, working at a level 10 isn't recommended for most workouts. For longer, slower workouts, keep your PE at Level 5 or lower.

•Level 1: I'm watching TV and eating bon bons
•Level 2: I'm comfortable and could maintain this pace all day long
•Level 3: I'm still comfortable, but am breathing a bit harder
•Level 4: I'm sweating a little, but feel good and can carry on a conversation effortlessly
•Level 5: I'm just above comfortable, am sweating more and can still talk easily
•Level 6: I can still talk, but am slightly breathless
•Level 7: I can still talk, but I don't really want to. I'm sweating like a pig
•Level 8: I can grunt in response to your questions and can only keep this pace for a short time period
•Level 9: I am probably going to die
•Level 10: I am dead

Use this calorie calculator to determine how many calories you're burning. End with a cool down and stretch.

•Start with incline at zero and speed at a comfortable pace (walking or jogging). Perceived Exertion (PE) =Level 5 (see Perceived Exertion Scale).
•1 Minute: Raise incline one or more percent every 15 seconds. PE=5-6
•1 Minute: Reduce the incline one percent every fifteen seconds. PE=6-7
•3 Minutes: Walk or jog at a steady pace. PE=5
•Repeat entire cycle for 30 or more minutes
•Approximate calories burned: 320 (based on 140-lb person)

Elliptical Trainer
•Using manual program, enter workout time as 30 minutes and choose appropriate level
•6 Minutes: Set ramps (if option) and resistance levels at medium level. PE=5
•2 Minutes: Set ramps at highest level and increase resistance every 30 seconds. PE=6-8
•If you don't have ramps, set your resistance at the highest level you can manage for 30 seconds
•2 Minutes: Lower ramps and resistance to comfortable level. PE=5
•If you don't have ramps, lower your resistance until you're at a comfortable level.
•6 minutes: Set ramps/resistance to medium and go backwards. PE=5-6
•Repeat entire cycle for remaining time
•Calories Burned: 250-300 (based on 140-lb person)

•Using the manual program, enter your workout time as 30 minutes and choose appropriate level
•5 Minutes: Cycle at a comfortable pace. PE=5.
•2 Minutes: Raise your resistance 2-3 increments every 30 seconds. PE=6-8
•2 Minutes: Lower your resistance 2-3 increments every 30 seconds. PE=6-8.
•1 Minute: Set resistance at a moderate/high level and cycle as fast as you can. PE=8-9
•Repeat the entire cycle for 30 or more minutes
•Calories Burned: 245 (based on 140 lb person)

Hit the Road
Head outside for a walk/run.

•Warm up with a brisk walk/slow jog for 5-10 minutes.
•Jog/walk briskly for 3 minutes
•Sprint or speed walk as fast as you can for 30 seconds
•Repeat this cycle for 20-30 minutes, keeping PE between 5-9.

Have fun!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Memorial Monday

So much has been said about the tragedy and triumph of 9/11. May I simply say God be with and comfort those that grieve, God bless those who rescued/served so valiantly, may we never forget, and may we learn and grow by the grace of God.

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fling 15 Friday

Time to exercise your decluttering muscles! Today, in the spirit of many of the best cleaning and organizing experts, grab a bag and start going around your home and get to tossin’!!! It’s not very hard once you get started – look in your closets, in your dresser drawer, in the kitchen junk drawer… once you begin it will be hard to stop! Start with thinking about five items, then another five, until you get to 15, but I’ll bet you won’t stop there! Make it fun with the kids – have them do the same thing in their rooms. On your mark, get set, start tossin’!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Transportation Thursday

How much do you stress out during your commute? I remember years ago watching a Disney cartoon about driving, and Goofy was the character that turned into Mr. Road Rage whenever he got behind the wheel. I admit I can get a real good case of the uglies when I’m racing to work in the morning. While I don’t use sign language to get my point across, I have been known to drive past that person going two miles under the speed limit in the middle lane and give them a SERIOUSLY “are you kidding me????” dirty look. I know, it’s not pretty, I’m working on it.

So today, do your best to exercise your inner stress level self-control by making the most of your commute time. Did you know most Americans drive approximately 1,200-2,400 hours a year in their cars? That’s the equivalent of one-two university semesters! Make your car an education on wheels with books on CD, or plug your iPod in and listen to pod casts – you don’t have to be the victim of lousy radio anymore!

Just today I read an interesting article on bNet, the CBS interactive business network website, which also tells us that women suffer psychologically much more than men when it comes to commuting. Gee, is that really a surprise, ladies, since we tend to be the family taxi more often than not???? Anyway, I digress. But here’s a link to the article: "How to Take Control of Your Commute"

So take a deep breath, grab a water and your iPod along with your car keys, and try to turn your car into a little haven of peace and tranquility. Sing at the top of your lungs, seat dance, “ear-read”, catch up on phone calls (ONLY WITH A SPEAKER!!!), and always always keep very aware of those around you. And Trekkies, keep hoping the transporter will soon be invented so we can just say, (say it with me now), "BEAM ME UP, SCOTTIE!"

Take care and be safe, wild woman on wheels!!!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wild Woman Wednesday!

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional." ~~ Author Unknown

As we get older we become entrenched in the “dailies” of life – the job, the bills, the day-to-day responsibilities of being a grown-up. The spontaneous delights of childhood get lost in the layers of “grup stuff” (grup = short for grown up). We forget the pure joy of an endless summer day, the excitement of an ice cream cone, the delight of Saturday mornings when you don’t have school!!!

Well, today is exercise your little girl wildwomanness! Since here on the east coast we’re still soggy with rain, go out and feel the rain on your face! Take off your shoes and walk in the wet grass. Smell the air – the fragrance of the raindrops is sweeter than any perfume. I dare you to go splash in a puddle!!! Even better still, grab the kids and go play in the rain together – it will be a memory they’ll never forget.

If you have a sunny day, go out and lie down in the grass and let the sun warm your body. Take off your shoes and feel the grass or sand between your toes. Go get an ice cream cone and savor each delicious mouthful as it drips down your fingers. Go to the local park and go swing on the swing set.

If your first inclination is to say “I can’t do that!” ask yourself WHY NOT? Grab a moment to reconnect with the joy of being young and free and innocent. Take the risk – it’s a few minutes in your life – grab it and as artist/poet SARK says, “LIVE JUICY!” Lose the inner grup and let that little girl giggle rise up until it tickles it’s way into your soul!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trim Tuesday

For many of you, today is an unusually hectic Tuesday. It may be the kids’ first day back at school. It’s the official “end of summer” Tuesday after a long weekend, which is a sad time for those beach-loving ladies! And if you’re on the east coast, yes, it’s raining again. But it's also a fresh new school year, a new month, and a great time to start a new little project that is easy, manageable, and will help ease your stress level.

Today’s suggestion is this – exercise your ability to declutter. Now I don’t just mean that kitchen junk drawer that has who-knows-what in it from before electricity was invented. A very smart and do-able lesson I learned from a great website called was to take a timer (like a kitchen timer), set it for 15 minutes, and tackle one little clutter spot in your home. Go at it like gangbusters, and after 15 minutes – RING! You’re done! It is a terrific sense of “I started it” accomplishment, but in a manageable moment.

You choose your area – kitchen table, desk, closet, basement – the area that just drains the life out of you every time you look at it! It’s amazing how good you feel after only 15 little minutes. Most of us can do pretty much anything for 15 minutes, right? And while you’re at it, if you are already uncluttered, set that timer and do 15 minutes of exercise! Or, look at your calendar for the month of September and declutter those days by logging in 15 minutes a day for a non-negotiable appointment with YOU - to breath, pray, walk, and just BE.

C’mon now, get ready, get set, timer on – GO FOR IT!!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fun Weekend Ahead Friday!

Ahhh… it’s almost the weekend, and a l-o-n-g week at that. I love Fridays!

With the “last cookout of the summer” ahead of us, it’s tempting to go overboard in the spirit of celebration, getting together with family and friends, and making the most of your time off. So for the weekend, try to exercise your moderation. Eat anything you want this weekend – your favorite summer fare.

HOWEVER… (and that’s a big however), take small portions. Half your plate should have veggies, one forth protein and one quarter carbs. Use a smaller plate. Give yourself permission to go back for seconds – IF you are REALLY still hungry. But wait 15 minutes, and chances are you won’t go back.

Be careful of what you drink as well – so many beverages have loads of sugar and calories, so read a label before you down that bottle of whatever! And if there is an opportunity to exercise – do it! Get in that volleyball game, play with the kids, and enjoy yourself.

Have a fantastic weekend!!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Target It" Thursday

Today is September 1st, 2011. It is the beginning of a new month, the beginning of the final third of 2011, and there are exactly 122 days left in the year, about 17 weeks.

Today you have an opportunity to exercise your future. Some of you may blow this idea off, some may sigh and think “one more thing”, but some of you may get a little tingly feeling in the pit of your stomach – and that my friends, is a wonderful feeling. It’s anticipation, possibility, joy and the excitement of life. It’s the wonder of thinking with a smile on your face, “Really? Maybe I could!” That seed of potential has just begun to grow, and it’s tickling your sense of YES!

What could you do in 17 weeks? That’s a university semester. That’s $170 if you put $10 a week away. That’s 17 pounds less if you choose to lose 1 pound a week. That’s a stronger, healthier body if you choose to create a workout plan. That’s 17 Scripture verses you can memorize. That’s about four books you could read if you chose to read a book a month. That’s more time with loved ones, a vacation, 122 days closer to your goals and dreams and plans.

But it all begins with the first step. And girlfriend, that step is TODAY. Yep, face it, TODAY. Write down three goals you would like to have accomplished by January 1, 2012. It’s kind of the opposite of New Year’s resolutions – these are three achievements you will have already done by New Year’s – and won’t that be a great way to end the year!?!?! Don’t limit yourself to “but I” or “There’s no way”. Instead, just write them down, and then begin to allow your creativity to work on the HOW WILL I? You have 122 days to get to meet and conquer those dreams. And stay tuned, because I’ll be revisiting this exercise here.

To help get you started on thinking about your possibilities, I recommend this website: It’s a place you can create your “bucket list” – all the things you want to do in your lifetime. Its fun, it’s free, and it’s freeing as well! Let loose, get inspired, and go for it.

You’ve been given one life – make the most of it.