Archive for September, 2013

Compensation Consternation…. Priceless

September 30th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , ,

One day last week I started off the day as per my normal routine, you know, prying my eyes open with a cuppa-joe while having breakfast reading the newspaper. The centrefold of the news section headlined that MD’s are “making more money than ever!”…. ok, so?

On my morning walk I couldn’t help think about this more deeply in the context of my life and the society I live and work in. “What’s the problem?” I thought as I meandered along my route, hmmmmmm. Decades ago when my Mom was in her 40′s a crafty surgeon performed an emergency aorta bypass on her. The shelf life of this procedure was only supposed to be 15 years. If you’ve been paying attention to T & T you’ll recall she turned 80 this February. So what was performed by Dr. James Key back then was nothing short of a miracle.

Last year was a particularly difficult one for her, suffering excruciating pain and losing weight. I call her the cat with 9 lives. We never quite know which one she’s on. On one unbearable day my Dad took her to emerg. Now think about it. What 79 year old sitting for hours in emerg doesn’t complain about pain? On that fine day though, Dr. David Carr took the time to listen to her story, went that extra mile and got to the root cause of her pain turning things around significantly. We lamented that she might not see Christmas then fast forward to this summer we found her back on the golf course where she was making pars and bogeys. Ok some call her a sandbagger, but I digress…

Money is spent in our society on what we value most. I sometimes get a bee in my bonnet when I think about what pro athletes get paid. Some net a million for hitting a ball out of the park for a home run. Other admin types who talk strategy all day long, attend meetings and push papers get paid in the same league without saving any lives. Surely this says something about our mixed up society, no?

I don’t know about you, but if I need my chest split open to fix my ticker or a drill in my head to tighten a loose screw I’d want my surgeon to feel appreciated, wouldn’t you? When you read about how much money fancy exec types get paid even when the company’s stock tanks I’d say in the grand scheme of things we probably don’t pay this bunch enough!

My life has been enriched all of these years with my Mom in it. I feel Dr. James Key deserved a bonus or two, a company car, stock options and even a vacation property in the Caymans cause on that fine day back in the ’70′s he operated with much precision and hit a home run out of the park…. and in my world that’s priceless.

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A New Leaf

September 27th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Feeling grief?
Disbelief
Underneath
To a new leaf

Motivate
To feel great
Make a date
For a new state

Small change
Rearrange
What’s been deranged
May seem strange

Find ways
To stay
And not fall astray
To a new day

Visualize
You the prize
No compromise
To a new size

Never mind
Being kind
Your body find
Will feel divine!

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Posted in Miss Behavin', Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Stompa Your Feet!

September 25th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I was lucky to attend the Serena Ryder’s Massey Hall headline performance debut on a humid Friday night recently. You know that Friday night feel when you wanna kick back and relax and be entertained without lifting a finger, let alone get up and “stompa your feet”? Well Serena violated that code by having everyone in the audience up – young and old, clapping in time mostly and shaking that thang well into the night.

Bleary eyed the following morning, met without enough sleep, a grey sky and pelting rain got me thinking about activity while having that “stompa your feet” tune repeat in my head, hmmmmm, or shall I say oh-ooohooh-oh-oh-oh. Great tunes have an interesting effect on your internal beat. Even when you feel like you’re spent in the physical activity department of life, it’s hard not to keep still to the sound of a fab song with an infectious beat.

If you’ve had even the slightest inkling to taper your activity regimen this fall, think again. If you can sense inertia setting in to your consciousness consider adding music to the mix to help you keep moving. While you’re at it, add a few of Serena’s tunes to your play list or her entire new release Harmony. Fab music is the perfect antidote to help your activity routine stay on track: oh-ooohooh-oh-oh-oh!

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Say “Oui” to We Day!

September 22nd, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

It was “We Day” this past Friday in Toronto. Go ahead and google “We Day” and find out when your city will honour it. I mulled over this notion during some down time as I thought more deeply about it, hmmmmm.

I love how the letter “W” is really an upside-down “M”, you know from “me to we”. Sometimes it seems that our world has turned into an egocentric wasteland of sorts. We can delve into the depths of social media Facebooking, blogging, pinning, Instagramming and tweeting about me me me me me me. We can shut the world off closing our ears with plugs or wearing those big honking headphones I see people sporting in public these days. If that isn’t a message to say “don’t bother me and keep away”, what is?

When I think about life more deeply my most cherished memories and experiences are those shared with people – those that make “we” possible. And it isn’t only about the fun stuff you do with other people that bring the deepest meaning, it’s getting through those rough spots of the wormhole emerging through the other end that strengthens relationships, your life and our world.

Even though “We Day” has passed here in my town doesn’t mean we don’t have to be more mindful every day about what you can do for someone else. It doesn’t need to be a mammoth deed either. Sometimes small gestures make someone’s day such as giving a “good morning” smile or nod to your bus driver; holding the door for a parent with a stroller; giving a seat to an older person on the subway; helping out a neighbour. No one deed is even worthy of a Facebook post.

So turn that “M” upside down to a “W” and say “oui” to “We Day”! Think about it: life is richer when it isn’t all about you.

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Stewing About Fall

September 20th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I was driving to my doctor’s appointment yesterday and John Denver’s ballad You Fill Up My Senses played. That song certainly fills up my senses. How about yours? It got me stewing about the wonders of fall, hmmmmm. What’s not to love? Ya I know we’re one season away from winter, but let’s stay in the moment folks and get filled up with this new season’s wonders.

Taking my morning walks seems to change weekly with the transitioning colours of the fall leaves. Each one painted by Mother Nature herself. The yellows, oranges, reds, magentas, so many lovely lipstick colours it’s simply staggering! I actually love when the temperatures dip a bit from the summer’s sweltering heat. Nothing like adorning some of my favourite jeans, cords or velvets I haven’t worn in a while with a cable knit sweater. Not to mention blowing the dust off fab boots. How cozy and delightful?

I also love transitioning meals to a heartier fare – you know pasta sauces, chili-con-carne, roasted chicken and soup. Head to a fall fair or market near you to capture the plethora of the harvest. Last weekend me and my bella famiglia held a tomato stewing bash at my folks place. The best parts were the camaraderie, lunch and a relaxing bath after the work was done, ahhhh.

The fact that the days are becoming shorter, doesn’t mean you need to become less active. There are still 24 hours in each day. It’s a perfect time of year to get outside and play.

So folks, get a new book to snuggle up by the fire with and stay in the moment, because the dawning of fall is a delight for all of our senses, certainly something worth stewing over…..

Get my release Skinny on Slim and post a rating on Amazon. Also available on i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.
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Almond Joy – Goodness that Grows on Trees

September 18th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , ,

So I’m back from Lodi, California with a new-found, deeper appreciation for almonds. Me and 29 other nut-loving nutrition and fitness compadres from across the US and Canada were flown in for an intense tour on the topic. I wrote about the Altruistic Almond – A Crunchy Mouthful of YUM on July 12, 2013. Back then I thought I knew a lot about this subject….

The first full day involved seminars galore providing food for thought about almonds from how they grow, more unique health benefits, sustainability, supply chain, food safety and a global view of this nearly perfect food. Our brains were chocked full of these juicy details while our tastebuds were tantalized with almond joy in various foods served throughout the course of the tour. Now our cells are benefiting fully from them!

Day two involved a farm then factory tour getting hands on with Mother Nature, my favourite part. It’s harvest time at the Stewart & Jasper Orchards and we got down and dirty with tree shaking. We were then whisked off to their production facility and were walked through each and every step – the last one being a generous sampling of product from almond butters, to carmel corn, to almonds adorned with exotic flavours from apricot & chilli pepper to chipotle to asiago cheese to cookies & cream and chocolate mint and one with the flavour du jour bacon!

The California Almond Board with logistical support from their precision PR Porter Novelli left no detail overlooked. I felt privileged to be amongst this group of dynamos who are now friend and colleagues as we shared the experience. Since my arrival home I’ve strengthened relationships with friends and family alike by bearing gifts from afar.

My most sincere appreciation for affording me this rich opportunity to experience all aspects of this nut. As Spock says: may we “live long and prosper” and CRUNCH on!

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Old Patterns…

September 16th, 2013 2 Comments Tags: , , , ,

I was changing over my closet a few days ago and caught a glimpse of a classic old pair of fancy pants with a daisy pattern and it got me thinking about patterns, hmmmmm.

It’s funny that old patterns die hard and for me, they sometimes never do! The same can hold true with how we do things and our habits. You know what I mean, that old fallback position is what we run to in times of stress – Chunky Monkey ice cream anyone? This holds true for when we make food and eating choices in spades. Other times activity routines are abandoned in a flash. Sound familiar?

We can read volumes about the optimal “to do’s” around food, nutrition and activity when really the true elephant in the room that affects people’s weight is how they eat and their behaviour, or shall I say misbehaviour….. Truly folks, we are biological beings who were reared and cuddled with our Mother’s milk of human kindness from the day we emerged from the womb. Think about it.

Some people beat themselves up for having difficulty with those automatic “knee jerk” munch-a-thons when the stress alarms sound. Consider changing your focus and attention on finding solutions during these more challenging times instead of dealing in one dimension of only focusing on healthy food.

Find many healthy and stealthy tips in my e-book Skinny On Slim now available on Amazon. Also available on i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | 2 Comments »

A Batch from Scratch

September 13th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Gotta love this time of year. My inner hibernating bear kicks into high gear instinctually. My cupboards are now fully stocked after my most recent grocery shop having ingredients on hand and ready to prepare anything from chilli con carne, pasta fagiole or a pot of soup the minute the temperature takes a nosedive.

On this fine day I had the urge to make a double batch of my famous eggplant sauce, found in my “Food Revolution Recipes”. I felt like a good witch making a fine brew in my cauldron as the cooler breeze blew threw my kitchen window and screen door. That familiar heavenly aroma filled up my senses, if John Denver was around he’d surely be singing about it….

What I love about making a big batch of anything is that I have more meals that keep on giving with only one mess to clean up. Why not use your freezer for more than making ice, after all!?

I made a simple flexitarian dinner, no meat on this evening. This rich tasting sauce was poured over al dente rigatoni (or as my Papa used to say “rigadoons”) sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese. MmmMmm these will stick to the ribs of even the most famished cave man! I added some goat’s cheese to my famous green salad that was also adorned with pomegranate rubies, delectable dried cherries, yummy blueberries, crunchy cucumber with crunchy toasted slivered almonds. No one left that fine dinner with a rumbly tummy or a long face, that’s for sure.

There certainly is a feeling of pride and accomplishment stirring up this kind of monkey business in your kitchen. This batch from scratch will help me out of a bind when I’m stuck for time down the road too. This weekend I’ll be stewing up tomatoes with my bella familia. More stories to come!

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Meet Gym….

September 10th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I was lucky to be asked to attend a special almond tour and seminar series in Lodi California, hosted by the California Almond board. There are 30 nutrition and fitness minded invitees in all. I have to say when I travel on bizzzz I visit the gym to get my blood circulating, muscles working and such and I am usually the lone ranger.

Being on eastern time, my biological clock got me up early, hardly virtuous. I decided to make it to the gym ahead of the fitness masters in my group. I hopped on an elliptical machine, like my old tortoise self and got moving into a slow rhythm. As per my usual attire I dawned my orange board shorts and a prosthetics and orthotics fundraiser t-shirt wearing my garden variety footwear. Hardly a picture of fitness as the regular Jo/Jill on the scene. Within minutes those fab fitness fiends rolled in with a wave of chatter, energy, certainly dressing the part. No machine outmuscled this bunch, moving, pumping, stretching, lifting, lunging, running….

How inspiring it was to be amongst these master blasters, feeling like a fitness faker of sorts. It’s important though to find your own fitness groove and just get moving – walk, saunter, dance, jog, garden, mow, sweep, skip, shimmy or mosey. Get moving every single day whenever you can. Hey why not find a role model or two to help motivate you.

On this fine day I found my inspiration and got in the groove to learn about the bountiful benefits of the altruistic almond. My mind, body and spirit is ready to breath it all in. Thanks fitness fiends for helping to motivate me!

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Posted in Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

In Sync

September 8th, 2013 No Comments Tags: ,

A pill for this
An app for that
A special diet
To fight the fat

A quirky plan
A magic fruit
To help you shrink
Your birthday suit!

Tricks aren’t real
On magic shows
A puff of smoke
Then your metabolism blows!

Lofty claims
A new found fad
Stealing your cash
That makes me mad!

Your “body as temple”
Follows the rules
Biology, physiology
That was taught in school

Go slow and steady
Take a balanced approach
Work on mind, body, spirit
Be your own life coach!

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