Monday, October 17, 2011

Just ONE MINUTE to prevent disease

A very disturbing link that shows important it is to take just a minute to wash up. Eww! Please think twice about leaving the restroom without a good lathering with soap and water. Astonishing statistics!

Monday, September 12, 2011

No Gym Required

There are big pros and cons to working out at the gym, and working out at home or in the outdoors. I happen to be one who rarely, if ever, enjoys being at the gym. I'm mentally "done" with it long before I finish my workout. This list of full body exercises complete with video tutorials makes me think again about paying my gym membership each month. 

However, every time I leave the gym a bit early and declare that I'll do my ab exercises or lunges at home - I have about a 0.001% success record of actually doing it. Has anyone found success with home workouts? What tips do you have on motivation for a home-based exercise routine?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

24 Ways to NOT diet, and lose some weight!

This WebMD slide show caught my eye right away! Who doesn't want to lose some unwanted weight without dieting? Check out this great list of small changes that could make a big difference. Slide #16 is one I know I should use more often. It really works! Slide #13 is one I've been pondering lately ... What about you?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let's Move Day

Religious organizations have long provided physical care for people by sponsoring feeding programs for the homeless, soup kitchens, orphanages, etc. A new physical need is becoming more and more apparent. Childhood and adult obesity is off the charts in North America. Some church groups are recognizing the changing needs of society. These days less people are dying for a piece of bread, and more are dying because of too much bread. 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has long had a focus on healthful living, and this year's "Let's Move Day" is another way of reaching their communities for health. On September 25, people across North America will MOVE, to start that step in the right direction for health. Consider joining the movement! Whether you are taking a run or playing volleyball, your steps count toward health. To join "Let's Move Day", visit the site online. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Forgetting to Breathe

It sounds strange, but I'm so stressed at work these days that I think I'm forgetting to breathe. Several times a day I catch myself gasping for breath after what must have been too long a period of concentration. Even when I do breathe, I never feel quite caught up on oxygen. I find myself wondering if I've developed asthma or something, but I think I'm just really stressed out.

This doesn't seem to happen after I've been home for an hour or two, watering my garden or checking the mail. Once I get out of my high-stress environment I breathe just fine. These days medical workers know the big deal that stress is. The physical and emotional toll can be high. Ulcers, back and neck pain, eczema, stomach pain, even baldness and infertility are linked to stress in some cases. Our bodies are a careful balance. What signs have you seen that stress has worn on you now, or in the past?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Things Change ... so can you

I've held on to a lot of statements as my identity over my lifetime. I believed them, repeated them, and when reality said otherwise, I just counted it as a short blip on the screen before I inevitably returned to the "me" my words had created. I used to think that I "WAS" a girl who always had long hair, who hated running, who never got a traffic ticket, and so much more. I realize now, those labels were something that may have applied at a time in my life, but I don't own them, and they don't own me. My life is fluid, and no label guarantees me anything. I can cut my hair and love it. I can (unfortunately) get pulled over. I can go for a run and feel good. I can change and still be me. My world is open. I am not my past unless I refuse to walk into my future.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Something New

Not only does doing the same exercise routine get boring - it doesn't challenge our muscles or our metabolism in new and challenging ways. I ran across this list today of some unusual options to keep fit. I know I love Zumba (might have to consider upgrading my gym and going), but there are some other great options too. Some I've never heard of.

Click here for a list of Excersises you've never tried.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Off the Wagon

So, I disappeared for awhile. Isn't it interesting how when we are not quite doing our best, we go offline - in life and otherwise. April was not a great month - fitness wise. I ate a lot of easter candy. And I got to know a GIANT bag of chocolate chips in my fridge. And you know what I discovered? I feel sick when I eat trashy. Really! How did I not make this correlation before? My poor tummy feels so much better on fresh salads, lean proteins and amazing nutritional shakes than it does on cajun trail mix, marshmallow peeps, endless chocolate chips and fried food. I'm doing my best to remember this, and treat my body the way it deserves.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


California is abundant with flowers year-round. I love it! But I rarely see my Midwest favorite. At the home where I grew up, and the old farmhouse where my mother grew up there were lilac bushes that bloomed every spring. I looked forward to it every year. They smell so wonderful. Here I enjoy the camellias and bougainvillea, but I really miss lilacs! Last week I noticed what looked to be a big old-fashioned lilac bush. This evening I put on my walking shoes and trekked down a few streets to find out for sure. I took a little souvenir home to remember.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


So what would you consider to be the big, juicy steak of the fruit world? I'm in a mood today, craving anything with lots of fat, and at the same time fighting a sore throat, stuffy head and persistant headache. It isn't a great time to be munching on chocolates, chips and junk. I needed something meaty, something satisfying. Thankfully the big bag of Ruby Red grapefruits caught my attention at the store. This is a great batch, and the flesh is truly meaty and perfect. Yum!   

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Solution

I saw this quote today on one of my new favorite websites and couldn't help but notice the correlation to this blog. So, if you were in charge of healing the world (and you are, actually) what do you propose?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

DQ Rocks the HOUSE

So last weekend it POURED in SoCal. We had to cancel our outing with the homeless/at risk youth to the ropes course. But we decided to go ahead with a fun activity anyway. We were celebrating birthdays for two young men and had to make it fabulous. So, we hit the bowling alley Sunday morning. Somehow it came up in conversation that I adore all things dairy - and I sometimes call myself the Dairy Queen.

Next thing you know, my name is entered on the bowling scoreboard as DQ.  These guys are fabulous. We had such a great time! The kids were probably 15-22, most without a place to live, but just normal guys really. I really connected with a few of them, and very surprisingly, stole the win in round two of our games. I have never been the best bowler (or any competitive game really) but it seems my general improvement in focus of late turns up in bowling too! Sending love to my peeps on the streets. Stay dry.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Come Bearing Gifts (ok gift cards)

As you may know, I'm working with a group of amazing volunteers to support the StandUp For Kids mission in Orange County. These dedicated volunteers walk the streets looking for kids sleeping behind Starbucks or on the riverbank. There are tens of thousands of children and teens living without a home. This weekend I finally get to interact with them! I'm attending a really special event where we're taking some of these kids on an amazing field trip! A few weeks ago I completed the ropes course at Challenge U with my team of world-transforming buddies. It was more impactful than I ever could have imagined, and now the amazing staff at Challenge U are donating their time and facilities to provide this interactive training event for about 20 of the homeless teens that are connected with StandUp for Kids.

I'm anxious to meet some of the young people I've heard so much about. And I don't want to go empty handed! StandUp for Kids is requesting gift cards. Volunteers go out several nights a week to meet up with these homeless children, buy them a meal or a hot drink, and talk. Eventually they form relationships that lead to developments like earning their GED, moving into an apartment, getting a job. But all of those interactions cost money. I'd like to go down with a couple hundred dollars worth of gift cards to help support this cause. Do you have any cards sitting around from Christmas, or would you be willing to purchase a $10, $20 or $50 card to feed these hungry kids for a night? Great choices are coffee shops, fast food, grocery stores, clothing and shoe stores. I'll be flying down to SoCal this weekend, and again next weekend. Please help me collect some gift cards to present! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

They're Doing the Hard Part

I think it's easy for people to misunderstand teenagers. I know so, because I do it myself. Even though we all went through adolescence, it is difficult for many people to relate to those going through it now. The transition between childhood and adulthood is hard, and for homeless teens, even harder. Kids living on the streets are dealing with things no one should have to deal with. They react as best they can, but they need help. And THANKFULLY there are people who are really passionate about helping them. The volunteers and staff at StandUp for Kids really want to make the difference for young people, and foster a healthy transition into well-adjusted adulthood. So you know what? You don't have to walk to the streets conversing with teenagers. You can if you want. But they already are, and they are great at it. They just need our support. So please, help this amazing charity serve kids. Your help is revolutionary. Click HERE to read more about it and give.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

THE Pants! part one

I had a great weekend. In part because I was wearing, in public, for the first time, THE Pants! Last winter a friend of mine gave me three pairs of pants she thought might fit me. I'm not sure why she thought they would because she is much much thinner than I. They are great pants, and best of all, have a nice long inseam - something hard to find for me.

I took them home, tried them on, and found them all too tight, in varying degrees. Light blue pants were the  closest to fitting, then white, and finally the super tiny dark blue wash. I determined to get into those pants by the summer. But alas, I gained weight instead of losing it! By Christmas time I couldn't even pretend to button them. So this January, in light of my new fitness goals I tried them on again and took some pictures. I WON'T post them, but let's just say there were some major issues around the midsection.

This past weekend I put on THE Pants (version light blue) and they fit! Really well actually. It was thrilling to have cute new pants, and to know that all my determination is paying off. Next up - White and dark blue Pants. I'm coming for you!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lightning Fast

Sunday I set my alarm for 5 minutes before a morning call, and from then on just jumped from one thing to the next. The whole day disappeared - mostly eaten up by my phone and laptop. I had determined to go to the gym. My Sunday workout is usually the longest, often 2 hours. I slid in the front door of the gym at 5:45pm (Still on the phone) and the manager stopped to remind me that the doors close at 6pm.

I ended my call and determined to get as many reps in as possible. Amazingly, I finished my entire arms routine (2 sets each of six exercise) just in time. I actually walked out 1 minute early! It may not have been the best strategy for muscle growth, but I did everything in good form, so I think it was a lot better than nothing. And I learned a valuable lesson. My gym visit doesn't have to be a laborious 2-hour misery. Most of that is just me wasting time! I'm liking the lightning fast workout regimen. But I'd like to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

(don't) Give me some Sugar!

I've been putting this off - but it's time. I am a singer - and I fall victim to colds, flu, tonsilitis, etc, way too often! It seems like I spend 70% of the fall and winter with a runny nose and sore throat. I've noticed a decrease in illness since I started using an amazing health transformation system. But I just got back from a long stressful trip with very little sleep - and I have the tell-tale signs of sickness setting in.

This is even more worrisome than usual, because I have (long-awaited) plans to record an album this month. I really want to be at my best for this! So, I'm going off of processed sugar until my vocals are recorded. That may be March 15 or 22. We are still waiting to confirm the studio dates.

I won't be scouring labels for added sugar in ketchup or chili beans, but I will be avoiding sugary candy, soda and pastries. These are all things I should be avoiding anyway, but this is an extra incentive. Any tips on keeping my throat healthy, and vanquishing a sweet tooth?

How to Teach Healthy Habits

I volunteer each month for a wonderful free clinic. We see lots of un/underinsured patients with all kinds of medical needs. Many of the patients come in with the typical problems: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. Most of these problems can be greatly reduced with really simple adjustment to lifestyle. It is important to me that the clinic start sharing easy, attainable ways to improve health, apart from just prescriptions.

What health materials can you suggest to give out to patients? Anyone have some to donate? What about helpful websites in English, Spanish, Hindi, Vietnamese or Russian?

Education about healthy choices can make a huge difference for people. I'm excited to incorporate this. Please give me your ideas!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kids running Marathons?

Wow - does anybody besides me remember the story of the original marathon? Suffice it to say, at the end of the 26.2 miles the messenger collapsed and died. Really! That is the origin of the Marathon. So when I read THIS BLOG by New York Times Columnist Tara Parker-Pope I gasped. Are people really encouraging their children to run marathons?

I'm all about introducing kids to fitness of course. But this seems a bit much. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let's Stop Talking and Do Something

It may not be politically correct for me to discuss this - but I'm sure you've wondered too. What am I supposed to do about homeless people? Do I give them $5 that might go straight toward their next beer or drug fix? Do I as a female stop and chat with strange men? Do I ignore them because giving is just encouraging their dysfunctional behavior?

I really don't know the answers. Where do you weigh in on the issue? I've heard very convincing arguments on both sides.

I remember a few years ago I discussed this with a Bible Study group I was part of. We determined that the best way would be to be actively involved in an organized answer to the problem, like a shelter, food pantry, etc. We decided to get involved. But we didn't ... Now, three years later, I'm still here, not making a difference for people in desperate need.

I'm stepping up now. I want to help in a way that is bigger than the dollar menu or a pack of cigarettes. I'm supporting StandUp for Kids as they reach out to homeless young people right here in my own country. Will you please, join me - in ACTION to make a difference? I've determined to raise $2,000 in the next three weeks to help these kids. Please click HERE to give today. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not Optional

Feeling the burn from this weekend's workouts! That is always a good sign. I'm so glad I insisted on fitting the time in for a workout on Friday and Monday. A lot is possible when you view it as priority.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Please Give Love!!

I hope each of you felt some kind of love this Valentine season. Now I hope you'll SHARE the love with others. I've committed to raise $2000 to help homeless children and youth. 26,000 young people in Orange County, California have no safe place to go. Please, listen to this song, be inspired, and love. Click HERE  to donate toward my goal to bring safety and love to children.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beyond the Safety Rope

I spent last week in south Mexico in the beautiful state of Chiapas. I highly recommend it! I went for work, with a group of dedicated volunteers who are helping lead a mission project for teens this summer. We spent a lot of time on the road (dirt, gravel, paved, and mud varieties) traveling from site to site. Besides sitting in a van together we also spent a lot of time eating really good food. This wasn’t my best week for fitness.

The dinky hotel gym didn’t call my name either late at night when we arrived, nor early in the morning before our 7am breakfasts. But I did find one way to get moving! One afternoon we decided to check out a local find, Cima de las Cotorras. We wondered how good this could really be – because – the book described a big hole in the ground.

Well, the description was right. It is a BIG, BIG hole in the ground. The flat grassland is interrupted by an abrupt drop about 160 meters in diameter. The initial view at the start of the trail was impressive, but as we hiked around the lip it was hard to see down because of all the brush blocking our view. At the end of the trail, a guide told us that there was another trail that takes you 40 meters down into the 140 meter canyon and sports a much clearer view.

My coworker jumped right in and clambered down the steep dirt trail. I really admire his attitude of saying yes to any adventure, and any responsibility. I held back, considering my options, and wondering if the view was really worth it. A few minutes later I glimpsed him nearly opposite me and standing on a rock ledge inside the cavernous hole!

The view was obviously better than any I had seen and I decided to go for it too. It took me at least twice as long to pick down the steep path, and once I went off on a false trail, but I eventually arrived to the narrow rock ledge with a stunning view of the canyon and the unique forest growing on it’s floor. In the summer months the canyon is filled with hundreds of parrots flying in flocks and echoing their calls in the cylindrical rock enclosed forest. In February we saw only a few of the bright green birds. Soaking it in, I was glad I said yes to adventure. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

If She Can Do It ...

Wow! I just the story of an amazing woman who recently completed a marathon - at the age of 92!!!

This was no new thing. Gladys has always been active. She says the exercise helps her deal with stress and grief from some of the hard things she has gone through. It's true. Don't you usually feel better about things after getting out and moving around? I know that is usually the case for me.

Gladys is a Seventh-day Adventist (so am I) and that group places an emphasis on healthy living. Gladys has certainly gone a step beyond me in that direction by usually skipping dessert. Hmmmm ... I'll have to think about that one. But being that fit and able at 92 ... that is worth quite a bit of dessert.

Click HERE to read her story.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The First Finish Line

I did it! Despite a very discouraging downpour - my very encouraging running buddy and I hit the pavement this morning at 8am. Turnout was low since the weather was awful and this is California after all. People aren't accustomed to roughing it in the elements.

Since I have never considered myself a runner (and still don't actually) I don't have real running shoes, just some all-purpose athletic-y type that I wear to the gym. I got a painful blister but at least it didn't happen until we were almost done. We were pretty soaked from head to toe just a few minutes into the race. Make that one minute. Or less.

Most of the race we ran next to a super-fit mother who was trying to make her two children run the 5K this blustery, wet morning. From the very start the 9 year-old girl was lagging behind and wanting to quit. Watching the mom cajole her and lie about how they were "almost there" was sad. It seemed cruel, unusual and the foretelling of a future eating disorder and lots of other issues. After the race I heard the mom trying to convince her daughter to have an orange slice instead of a mini bagel. Maybe this is all normal. To me it seemed sad. What do you think?

Speaking of kids - I raised $100 for StandUp For Kids this morning, thanks to Juanita's generous donation. Thank you so much!!!  Please consider making a donation to this amazing cause that reaches out to kids who live homeless on our streets right here in the US. Click HERE to donate.

Sooooooo, cut to the chase, right? Well, you can guess that if I ran alongside a 9-year old who complained the whole time I didn't finish first. My time was 41:20 I think, results will be posted officially tomorrow.

Friday, January 28, 2011


My first race is less than 48 hours away! How did this happen so fast? If I wasn't committed to my cause of helping homeless kids get help, and accountable to you ... I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be getting up before 5am on a Sunday. Please sponsor my participation in this race by making a difference for kids who don't have the love and support that they deserve. Click HERE to donate now. If I raise $250 I'll post a photo of bleary-eyed racing me. You know you want to see that! And thank you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Run for it!

This site is about two things - creating accountability about health, and using the journey to help those in need. The first opportunity to make that happen is this weekend! I am participating in my first-ever race. Well, I guess I did some of those races as a kid, hopping along with our legs tied together, or carrying an egg in a spoon. But pure athletic competition, I've tried to avoid.

This Sunday, January 30 I'll be entering my first 5k race. This isn't something I naturally crave - but it is the perfect opportunity to take a bunch of steps toward health and create the opportunity for you to help support children in need. PLEASE BE A SPONSOR FOR MY RACE!

StandUp for Kids is an amazing organization that I am totally taken with. They focus on creating love, help and eventually rehabilitation for kids who are living on the streets. StandUp for Kids has active programs in 39 states, plus Washington D.C. I've been so impressed learning about the difference they are making in transforming lives.

One of the big needs right now is to have a facility in Orange County, California for the 26,000 homeless children and young people on the streets in this one county. Let's make it happen! You can help by sponsoring my race! I'll do the early morning running/walking, and you just push a button and make a huge difference. Please consider sponsoring my VERY FIRST race ever with $100, $50, $25, however much you can spare. And remember, this is really all about kids who need someone who cares enough to take action. CLICK HERE to sponsor me and start healing the world!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keeping Track

What slipped by you last year? We always exclaim, "I can't believe it went by so fast!"

Things pass us by when we don't pay attention - when we aren't present. I am using an amazing nutrition program that I love, but I've been given permission to flex. "If you really want a cookie," my coach said, "have a cookie! Just not five cookies." That was before Christmas. And unfortunately that has come to mean in my brain, take your supplements and eat whatever else you want.

So I have started tracking everything (everything!) that goes in my mouth. Being conscious of what goes in and acknowledging it alone makes a difference. Funny how I think writing it down is accountability, when really - my body writes down a record of everything I do!

Straying from the line IS NOT bad in diet, finance, friendships, routines, etc. We need the flexibility to take on new things, to indulge, to try something new. What gets us is that we don't realize what is building.

EAT YOUR COOKIE (watch a movie instead of vacuuming, splurge on new shoes). And savor it. Write it down. Acknowledge that it happened and where it fits into your goal.

PS I'm tracking using the MyPlate program at

Monday, January 17, 2011

Having Kids This Year ...

I’m having kids! Finally! I know you have all been murmuring about me. 31. Good-lookin'. Knows how to cook. Decent capacity for nurturing. Why is she messing around and not busy reproducing? Well the time has come for me to give of my life to help the younger generation … just not quite the way you may have had in mind.

This year I want to help kids – LOTS of kids! (Maybe some grown-up people too.) And my plan is to do so while getting healthier. I’ve always been a little, um, big-boned. Besides that, I’m tired a lot, and my pants don’t fit anymore, and I’ve had about enough. I have a plan and I want you to hold me to it. Are you willing to follow my journey, stand beside me and help make a difference for kids in need? 

As I go through this health transformation you will have the opportunity to sponsor me, based on results, with proceeds going to help kids who need some serious help. Of course you don’t have to sponsor any of my health challenges, but I think it could be kind of fun – like fantasy football or something. AND together we’ll be healing the world.

For the first quarter of 2011 I’m being my best to help an amazing organization called Stand Up for Kids. They have facilities in 39 states (plus D.C.) and they reach out to help and support homeless children and teens right here in the United States. You wouldn’t believe how many kids live on the street with no home. How tragic …  In Orange County California – home of Disneyland - 26,000 children are homeless right now. Please help me raise funds toward their goal to begin a Stand Up for Kids center in Orange County. Click HERE to donate toward this amazing cause!