Monday, October 31, 2011

Another beautiful morning.















It's another beautiful Monday morning.

I walked and sat in the garden bench like I do every morning and took in the 

breezy 42 degrees.

Half-awake and clearing my head with the chill of dawn across my cheeks.

Prodding me once again to take it all in.

I meditate and say my morning prayers as Parker chases every mysterious scent

left over night.

I have to be at the center much earlier this morning to assist another one

many hundreds of miles away.

Buenos Dias Tomas!

It calls to me… reminding me that its time to go.

As it spins it's gentle warmth on the axis of our life.

Today I am grateful today for my sunrise.

The Fall breeze and the dew on the grass.

The sky with streaks of  shapes and patterns that the clouds have now formed.

The abundance that I experience sitting silently in the garden.

The loved ones and wonderful friends.

The love I feel in my life.

The clarity of what's to come - as I trust my higher power to guide me to it.

What Are You Grateful for Today?

Make it a great día!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lose 12 pounds without even trying?














So let's say you aren't in the Biggest Loser to WIN.

But totally needing to lose weight.

Here is an easy way to lose 12 pounds a year.

You just have to Cut just 100 calories a day.

Quit eating just one cookie, a soda, or a glass of wine and you will

lose 12 pounds in a year.

Want to lose more than just 1 pound a month?

You love doing a lot of cardio in your workouts, well running or doing

the famous elliptical burns hundreds of calories, but your metabolism

slows down almost instantly when you stop.

Try doing more strength training, which will continue burning fat for hours.

By doing a regular weight lifting regiment it can boost your metabolic

rate by about 15 percent.

Health experts recommend doing some type of strength training three

times a week for 45- to 50 minutes.

Our bodies are pretty smart — it knows when it’s not getting any nutrients.

So that every time we munch on processed foods like potato chips

or doughnuts, we’ll still be hungry.

It's better to regularly eat fruits, vegetables, fish, low-fat dairy,

and whole grains.

For breakfast skip the sugary cereals.

They’re too easily digested, which means they speed through

your system.

Go for an egg-white omelet without the toast.

Try unsweetened Greek yogurt with fruit and a dollop of honey,

or a piece of string cheese.

Never skip a meal.

That will only set you up to overeat. Instead nosh on small portions

every three to four hours to keep your metabolism running.

Otherwise your body will panic, and go into starvation mode,

which means it will burn calories much more efficiently much like

when you haven’t eaten in a while.

Stress also is a major fat producer and increases your blood pressure

but let's stick to diet tips.

It can cause the body to start stockpiling fat in the gut.

If your system thinks a crisis is coming, it will begin depositing fat

cells into the belly because it’s the most convenient storage space.

So chill out do some quiet meditation, try yoga, or get a much

needed massage.

If you’re a stress eater, keep healthy snacks such as almonds

or carrots on hand to prevent junk-food binges.

Did you know that lack of sleep will increase the likelihood

that you’ll gain weight?

When you’re tired, the hormones that stimulate appetite increase,

while the hormones that help you feel full plummet.

Aim for seven to eight hours a night.

You have to move your body.

All those gadgets, computers, TVs, video games, and cars keep

us glued to our seats.

To trim our tummies, we have to do whatever we can to keep moving.

Even a short 15 minute walk can help.

Don't think you have 15 minutes, another study I read says that you

can burn up to 350 calories a day by walking around when you’re

on the phone, tapping your toes when you’re surfing the Web,

or doing squats when you’re brushing your teeth.

Before you know it, you’ll be see more pounds come off.

Make it a healthier día!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gratitude's ebb and flow.















Life is like the ocean, it stops for no one.

Our lives seem to be constantly changing.

The tide at our feet one moment and moving far away the next.

There are some days when everything seems to be going our way.

We get all the lucky breaks, find the roads emptier, end up making

every green light to the office, get a covered parking place right up front, or find

some rolled up dollar bills in a jean's pocket.

Then there are those days when someone calls us with bad news,

we lose our job, end up rear ended, or run out to the truck and find a flat.

It’s much easier to feel gratitude on any given good day.

We tend to be much more grateful because positive things are happening,

and life is good!

But to really understand gratitude we have to practice it.

If we are to be serious about living a more grateful exitance,

we must learn to be genuinely grateful on those not-so-great days.

Next time start by being grateful even when all that “bad” stuff is happening. 

Soon you will find other, better, things to focus on and be grateful for.

Eventually, we can learn to be grateful BECAUSE those things are happening.

We can, if we allow ourselves to choose, find the blessing in any situation.

The secret is to learn to stand our ground without resisting what is.

It is like standing on the edge of the ocean.

Barefooted in the sand.

There will be moments in life when everything you have seems to be

getting swept out to sea.

Har as you may, you just can't keep the water from taking it all away.

When that happens, stand fast and just let it go.  

Life has it’s own rhythm of ebb and flow just like the tide.  

Things and people will continue to come into our lives,

and things and people will forever continue to leave our lives.

Quite often before we are ready.  

So be grateful for the having of them, and also for the

spirit of letting go.

Live - Love - Grow.

Its all part of this beautiful cycle we call LIFE.

Make it a great día!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Leo Marjane's supper.



















They keep telling us that we are what we eat.

Most of us have some cultural affinities to certain foods because that is

what we ate growing up.

Even today food continues to be a pretty big part of my life.

It's not that I am not open to trying different foods.

On the contrary, what's not to love about all the different food options!  

But on Monday I began a new course - a new food experience.

I am part of the Biggest Loser weight loss program at our center.

I don't know about you but I am being challenged by it all.

The main goal is to lose weight - how much depends on how much

we are willing to change.

Yes, imagine that, we have to change our eating styles, the type of foods

we eat, the quantity, and the quality.

Every day I have to actually concentrate on what my "healthiest choices"

will be and what I’m going to eat.

I truly have never given what I ate much thought.

I am not overweight - never have been thank goodness, but I can see that

I could stand to lose a few pounds.

And hopefully in the process learn how to eat healthier.

It's hard for me to see food as a delicious way to nourish my body

and still be assured that I am eating healthy.  

I read an article that talked about how what a person ate,

much like their choice in clothing attire said a lot about their character.  

The article went on to say, "What you eat can convey how adventurous,

generous, fussy, lonely, considerate, or strange you might be."  

I can't even begin to think what a vegan might think of me if they saw

me scarfing down a huge plate of sizzling hot fajitas, (no tomato and plenty

of jalapenos) and freshly made flour tortillas?

I guess I never thought of food and what I ate in that way.

I know a lot about nutrition and specifically what excessive fat and sugars

can do to one's body.

But I can't picture myself ever having been a picky eater.

Or certainly not being as a diverse eater as I am.  

I love Indian food - of the Northern bent, I love Thai as well

as Korean food, and I can't forget Japanese.

I also love Lebanese and Hungarian as of course German

and Mexican delicacies.

I wonder if that automatically qualifies me as being uber-adventurous?

I have friends that are vegans and vegetarians and I even tried joining

that cult back in 2002.

A dear friend's family were all vegans - John wasn't but his wife and two

grown kids were.

He ended up I intensive care for about 9 months and long story short

I spent so much time around them that I ended up trying that food style.

I almost died.

Well not exactly but I felt awful the entire 6 to 7 months I tried being one.

But back to the NY Times article - I can't say that it’s totally a turn on for me

to see a woman drinking a Green Juice, or a naturally flavored grass tea.

I might admire her from afar, and think that woman really cares about

her health and body.

But to go as far as thinking "Wow, there’s nothing sexier!",

would be a bit much.

It reminds of a time when I was going through med school and our neighbors

invited us over for dinner.

They were an amazingly interesting couple, he was a distinghuished

Argentinian Psychiatrist and his linguist professor wife, a tall beautiful Swede.

Even after all these years I can still remember what they wore.

He had on a nice evening jacket - an expensive royal blue cashmere

one and a bright yellow turtle neck and black slacks.

Not to be outdone, she was in a slinky black Oscar de la renta design.

My wife and I walked in and almost died of embarrassment.

We ended up being very "under dressed."

We were both in collegiate sweater and Levi Strauss jean outfits.

I can only imagine our horrid expressions in the reflection of their

.925 pure silver trays, back light by the romantic lights coming off their

.925 silver table candelabras.

To make us feel at ease el doctor said, please don't worry we dress up

like this for dinner every night.

We all sat quietly eating our delicious salmon on a plank with asparagus.

Quietly clanging our silverware to their expensive china.. very quietly.

No one spoke, just nodded and smiled.

My wife and I would return the nods and smile at each other.

As I mentioned we lived in the same apartment complex, right next door

to be more percise.

So we finished our dinner, had a couple of glasses of red wine with

one of the great French singers of 1930s Leo Marjane's sultry voice 

playing in the background.

I also remember the good Dr. telling us that Leo Marjane's grand career

had an abrupt end at the end of WWII.

It appears that the French remembered, that during the occupation Leo

had entertained the Nazis with a little too much enthusiasm.

But I am getting off subject here.

Well we quietly walked the 4 to 5 feet back home.

As I put my key in the door I looked back to my wife.

I don't know if it was out of relief or simply because the whole thing

had been right out of a movie…

but we began to laugh and laugh.

I could hardly unlock the door, shhhh... shhhh. we'd tell each other.

We couldn't even look at one another without laughing.

When we finally caught our breaths and were sitting down we discussed

how we were going to sneek peeks every night to see if they really dressed

up every night.

Well not only was this couple particular about the food they ate, but also about

how they ate it.

My best piece of advice to you...

when you have dinner with your loved ones,

and even if you may or may not bother with candles or

making your dinner table look any particular way,

who knows maybe you end up not using plates.

One thing I would highly recommend is "Have a conversation!"

That to me is the only thing that’s really necessary for romantic dinner,

conversation.

I am reminded of the good Dr. and his wife, every time I see other couples

sitting silently in restaurants, eating their dinner without talking.

Couples sharing a delicious meal, yet having a separate dinner,

almost as bad as my Tío Roberto and Tía Julía, and their separate bedrooms.

I'll leave that one for another blog. 

Loud unhappy meals that even Leo Marjane's singing couldn't cover up.  

“When the marriage is ruined, the meal is ruined,” the article read.

“You end up throwing the food at each other.

It’s like hurling invectives and ultimately you’re hurling pasta.”

So maybe as the saying goes, "You are what you eat."

And yes, they were beautifully dressed up every single night.

Make it a conversation filled dia!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Turn off their power.
















Have you ever asked yourself why some of us allow others to press

our buttons?

Some of us actually go through life allowing others to make us feel

one way or another.

Allowing others to make us "feel" one way or the other.

Letting others predispose how we react to a certain situation.

We give others permission to dictate how we will react and or feel.

When we take this approach, we also tend to blame others when

things don’t go our way.

When we take this approach we are quick to blame others for our

negative personal feelings.

We end up being reactive.

We don't grow, or learn.

Because we find it easier to blame others, rather than work

to address the hurt and deal with our issues. 

For typically what we are feeling, are our issues.

The great thing is that we all have a choice about how we feel about

any given situation.

How we will respond and or how we will feel about its outcome.

Next time, ask yourself, Why am I giving this person so much power? 

No one should ever have the ability to turn us "On" or "OFF",

unless we give them the power to.

Make it a great día!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I love the USA.














Today I’m grateful for my current living situation,

yes hot and cold fresh running water.

Back in the village an old heavy black iron stove did a lot

of our water heating.

I also don't miss the outhouses back in the village.

I love a flushing toilet.

I love my pets indoor and outdoor.

My career, and my social and entrepreneurial endeavors.

I’m grateful for the peaceful coexitance of our differences.

With over 307,006,550 of us.

I’m also grateful for ALL that we have in common…

Our need for Happiness.

Our need for good Health.

Our need for Prosperity.

Our need for Security.

Our need for good neighbors and friends.

Our need for tranquility and peace of mind.

AND …

Our need for HOPE!

Make it a great dia!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weight keeps finding me.
















With the Biggest Loser Contest in its first week at my center

I thought I'd share some thoughts and tips.

You are going to lose weight because you've decided to finally lose a few pounds.

Your have to want to do it for yourself.

It's the quantity as well as the quality of your intake that is important.

Although calories, carbs, fat grams and other measures of food

content factor in they are not as important.

The secret to a successful weight loss program is very simple

to eat less, and exercise more.

All food has some benefit, as well as some problems.

Don't eliminate anything completely, but always go easy on

the amount of carbohydrates you're eating.

You have to invest in your health. Whatever it takes!

All the money in the world will be useless to you if you are dead.

Don't drink pop.

Diet sodas have a lot of sodium. If you are a two drink a day drinker,

you will shed a couple of pounds the first week.

Quit eating junk food, and fast foods in particular. 

After a while even Doritos taste awful.

Nutrasweet and Splenda are bad for dieters.

Eating anything sweet will only stimulate your hunger

impulses in your brain.

Chewing gum is great when dieting.

It keeps our mouth busy, it satisfies cravings for sweets. It also hides

the halitosis that dieting may cause.

Try a good diet aid like Crystal Light or teas.

If you love sweet drinks, try Crystal Light. Green or Black Tea would

be better but not everyone likes tea.

Add cayenne pepper on anything and it will slow down your eating.

It may even kick your metabolism up.

Coffee and tea without milk and sugar will taste just as good

once you get used to them.

Begin by adding a little less every day. (Black coffee has 0 calories).

Water has volume.

Drinking water fills you up.

Alcohol has calories.

Lots of them.

Some alcoholic beverages are worse than others.

A margarita has lots of sugar, calories and carbs. A glass of wine

has some calories and carbs, but there are some possible heart health benefits.

Don't eat at the "All you can eat" salad buffet.  

2500 calories of vegetables are still 2500 calories.

Salad dressing has a lot of calories.

Huge amounts. I recommend you stick with oil and vinegar, more

of the vinegar and a little bit of oil.

Multiple small meals make you feel much less hungry.

Try eating 6 times a day instead of 3 times per day. What you can do

fairly easily is eat a hearty breakfast, a raw food snack

mid-morning (i.e. fruits or veggies), a largely raw food lunch

(i.e. no heavy carbs or meat), a moderate-carb midafternoon snack

(shortly before heading home have an energy bar),

and then eat what you want for dinner but don’t eat too late.

Don't eat carbs within 3 hours of your bedtime.

You are your least active late in the evening, and any carbs eaten

will not be burned off.

Eating carbs for breakfast is a bad idea.

Eat eggs, cottage cheese, or turkey. Fruits are OK,

even though they have carbs.

Eating carbs for lunch will make you drowsy in the afternoon,

so it is a bad idea.

Carbs are generally bad.

Other than natural bread once in a while, maybe rice and some pasta,

there’s not a whole lot to say for carbs.

Have a single serving of cereal each morning.

It's all about portions, including breakfast cereals.

Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

Eat half of your meal, than wait 5 minutes, drink some tea or water,

and then start eating again.

If you eat your meals slower you will eat less.

It takes 18 minutes for the signal to reach the brain,

and say you're full, period.

Eating because it’s tasty, not because you’re hungry is hard,

but you can do it.

Kids don't eat when they are not hungry, why should we?

Being fat is not a human’s natural state.

If you are overweight and lose weight, you will feel happier.

Keeping snacks in the house is not smart.

It is bad enough to walk by your vending machines at work,

but don’t keep snacks lying around at home.

Canned soups are high in salt, calories, preservatives,

and not satisfying.

No one I have ever known has ever lost weight eating just canned soups.

If you are hungry before bedtime eat some string cheese.

You will sleep better and not wake up starving.

The first thing you should take into your body when you

wake up is water.

Good ole cold, out of the faucet water and a lot of it. It will curb your

appetite and wake you up. It will also help cleanse your digestive system.

Dieting is going to be lonely.

Dieting around others who are not is torture. Tell your friends and family

what you are doing, and never let them push food on you.
Nibbly, small foods are a bad idea even when they are healthy.

Don't keep anything you can grab by the handful and eat.. lying anywhere

around the house. That includes nuts, fruits and veggies.

There is no health related reason for you to eat beef, pork, lamb, etc.

You can get all of the protein you need from poultry and seafood.

Don’t be too sure that being a vegetarian or vegan is a good

way to lose weight, either.

You can eat nothing but cheese pizza and French fries and still call

yourself a vegetarian.  It’s the quality of the food you eat that’s more

important than what you end up calling yourself.

A small handful of nuts will keep you going for hours.

Although, three handfuls of nuts are about 1800 calories.

Only one milk will work into any diet plan.

Soymilk.

Keep your portions measured.

You should never eat more at one sitting than fits on a medium size plate.

Take the stairs or park further away - these are both free workouts.

Elevators and escalators are rides.

Never go to the supermarket on an empty stomach.

You've heard this one before, and it's true.. you will end up buying

more than you need.

Try not to watch much TV.

There are loads of ads for junk fast food.

You can quit wearing black clothes all the time now.

Black is slimming, but being a healthy weight is slimming-er.

If your knees, back, ankles, shoulders, neck or any other joints

hurt and you are overweight, losing weight will very likely help.

Pain will abruptly disappear when you lose even 10 pounds of weight.

Take a picture of yourself when you are at your peak weight.

Treasure it. Frame it. Use it for motivation.

It still upsets me when I see or hear the insensitive remarks

people make about anyone over 300 pounds. Have actually been

involved in a couple of loud discussions.

The looks some people give are awful. Avoiding those looks is another

nice benefit of losing weight.

Airplane seats, bus seats, subway seats, even office chairs:

for some reason the American seat-building industry thinks all

Americans are fit and trim.

Chair manufacturers in America need to start being building chairs able

to accommodate 250 pound people.

I will be able to see your feet and other appendages

while standing up.

That is a horrible thing to say, but there is no shame if you are doing

something about it now.

I will one day be able to touch your toes and tie your shoes

without sitting down.

If you're a Catholic kneeling will became much easier.

We all have only life to live.

The average person has around 29,000 days on this earth.

If you are afraid that quitting smoking will make you eat more,

you should be afraid.

However, you should still quit. Using cigarettes as an appetite suppressant

is like flooding your garden to get rid of one vole.

Sure, it may work, but at what cost?

Sex is better when you are fit.

But you'll also get more of it, regardless of whether you are

married or single.

Once you start to lose weight, you’ll wonder why

you didn’t do this ten years ago.

However, once you’ve lost the weight you’ve meant to lose,

you’ll forget that euphoric feeling and be tempted to eat

a little bit of junk again. Why do that?

There is only one thing at Starbucks that you can have on a diet.

Black coffee.

You have to stick with this. The failure rate for dieters is high.

Even successful dieters often gain some of the weight back.

You have to think of it as a battle. Food is here to stay and will be forever

tempting you. You will lose the battle if you stop fighting it, even for a minute.

Temptation will be an ever present danger.

Tell yourself every day that Your will is stronger than your urges.

The first time you walk by a friend you have not seen in a

while and they don't recognize you because of all the weight

you've lost will be an amazingly positive experience.

Having to go buy a new belt because your old one is too big

is a close second.

The best is getting “checked out," even if you

are in a relationship.

Buena Suerte!!

Let's make it a weight loss día!