Sunday, January 22, 2006


Thank God It’s Friday!

Nothing too heavy today. I thought I’d just journal my day.

5:00 am - alarm – followed by 2 cycles of snooze (Bret hate’s that!)
5:35 am - Log onto (where were you?)
6:00 - 7:00 am - Taught Turbo Jam
7:00 – 7:15 am - A fellow fitness friend, Enrique Morlett, who I had not seen in months surprised me in the lobby of the club. He was in the OC for a meeting and thought he'd stop by to say hello. He’s a sweet guy and trying to break into the spanish speaking fitness videos. Why do people love to "surprise" ya when you're really don't feel like having a surpirse? Whatever. So, as usual post Turbo Jam, I look like someone dumped a bucket of water over my head, mascara running, clothes dripping. I kinda stink. But what I look and smell like is not my issue. Here’s my problem…as I stand there chatting, my body is quickly cooling down and so cold it hurts. My goose bumps feel like they’re ripping holes in my skin. I'm ABSOLUTELY FREEZING! I'm always cold. I detest being cold. It’s torturous. I have no idea how I was able to survive most of my life in Michigan. Now I'm convulsing from the post-workout chills and desperately wishing I was in a scalding hot shower. I can’t even focus on his words. I keep waiting for the briefest of pause so I can politely explain I have to get in a shower before I die of hypothermia. What was probably minutes, felt like hours. Still no break. All of the sudden (as if I had Terrets) I blurted out, “I HAVE TO GO. I HAVE TO GET WARM,” and I just started sprinting like a crazed lunatic for the heated seats (yum) of my car. (I digress).
7:45 am - Get kids up and ready for school
8:35 am – Bret and I drive the kids to school and we head to the office.
9:15 am - 1:30 Office – Meetings with Lana, Holly, Ellie, Bret. Tel conference, work on choreography for new PiYo videos…blah, blah, blah..
2:00 – 2:45 - Turbo Jam with Kindergartners at my daughters school. So much fun. They are sooooo cute. They say the funniest things and they are getting so good. I love them. Every one of them. When I grow up I’d love to be a teacher
3:30 – 4:30 – Hip Hop class for Cierra (totally funny!) Bret takes Brock to basketball practice about the same time.
4:30 pm Pick up our 7 year old cousin for a “play date” with Cierra (she’s soon to be 6). Bret picks up Brock from school.
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Rehearsal for 2 PiYo videos I film Sunday.
9:00 – 10:00 pm – Grocery shopping. Again freezing. Wondering if everyone else finds grocery stores unbearably cold.
10:00 – 10:30 pm – Coax Bret into helping me carry in the groceries if I put them away (Team work at it’s finest…plus now I can get warm).
10:30 – 11:15 pm – Chilled out with Bret on the couch.
11:15 – 1:00 am - Bret falls asleep on the couch. I try get caught up on e-mails and music editing for new videos. I wanted to go to be earlier, but “Show Time at the Apollo” was playing in the background and I just had to see won. I usually try to be in bed by 11:30, (up for my 6:00 am workout) but we installed a new sound system that plays the sound of ocean waves through the house at night while we sleep. It’s a beautiful thing. You fall instantly asleep and I plan to stay that way until noon on Saturday! Ahh... the weekend!

5:30 a.m. – Monica (Triplet Mom/Sergeant Monica/You Want More? Monica) calls my cell phone to see if I’m up for an early morning workout. With friends like these, who needs enemies. So much for sleeping in. We DID have a great workout together.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

One Word can Change Your Life

I was thinking back the other day about this big "Rah, Rah!" motivational conference which I dragged my ever-such-a-good- sport husband to about 7 years ago. It was hosted by motivational speaker extraordinaire Anthony Robbins (the guy with the big white teeth). I admit, much of it was coated in thick cheddar cheese, a bit over the top for my tastes, but sitting here thinking about it today, I realize how well that money was spent and I'll tell you why.

We heard from a "who's who" list of business leaders and motivational speakers. We paid a couple hundreds for dollars for the day and laughed that out the hours of speakers we heard from, we could really only remember three things. I remembered hearing an audible click in my brain when I heard these three things. I reinforced those ideas by immediately putting them into practice. Come to think of it, I couldn't put a price on the three sentences that stuck with me from our day "motivational day". When I meet a stranger on a plane, when I read a new book, or watch an Oprah, I'm always hoping to take away one new perspective. Three is a lot. Sometimes just a single word can improve your life....more on that in a future blog. Allow me to give you the cliff note version of what I took away from that day 7 years ago.

Donald Trump was there. He was not the pop culture icon he is today, but certainly well known. He told a story about the power to accomplish anything if you believe you can. It was 1991 and he was at the lowest point of his career and facing certain bankruptcy. He recalled walking down 5th Avenue in NYC with former wife Marla Maples. They were in front of Tiffany's when they both noticed a homeless man holding a cup for donations. Marla remarked something to the effect that the man "had nothing." Trump recalled saying to her, "He has $900 million dollars more than me."

2. DO THE YUCKIEST THING ON YOUR TO DO LIST FIRST. It's called "Eating the frog"a term explained to us by my favorite author Brian Tracy. For those who make a to-do list everyday, if you had a list of 10 things to do and one of them was to "eat a frog", that item would likely remain undone for months. We all have a frog on our list. It's that one thing on your "to-do" list that reaches the top. For whatever reason, we are either intimidated, uncomfortable, nervous, embarrassed or to lazy to tackle it. There it lives and grows. The longer it stays on your list the bigger it grows in your imagination. Everyday we expend energy avoiding it. If it's the 10th thing on your list, you'll make up a 9A, a 9B, and a 9C just to avoid "eating the frog". We hardly enjoy crossing off the 9 other things, knowing number 10 is still out there. We waste time to avoid it. Number 10 on the list festers in the back of your mind like an energy eating tumor. Just when you've blocked it out... boom...headache, stomach drops, your mood takes a dive south, self-esteem plummets. Brian Tracy's advice....Wake up each day and make the "frog" the first thing you do. It never takes as long as you think and it really never tastes as bad as you think. I'm getting better at this. My favorite book of his on this subject is aptly titled, "Eat that Frog". Get it.

3. APPLY THE 80/20 RULE TO YOUR WHOLE LIFE: It's simple...20% of what you do accounts for 80% of your positive results. It's true of everything. Think about it. Of all of your friends only 20% of them really want to see you do well and support you, the other 80% are fun to be around, but not all that concerned with your well being, so give 20% of your friends 80% of your "friend time". 20% of what you do in your home directly improves the well being of your family. 20% of what you do at work no one else could do as well as you, 80% could probably be done by someone who is paid less, allowing you to focus your time on the 20% that get results. Often 80% of the way you spend your day bring you no closer to living the life you want to live, 20% of your activities do. You never wear 80% of the clothes bursting from your closet. What is it you want for your family, your health, your marriage, your career, your life? Figure out which area you want to tackle first. Next make a list of everything you're doing. Finally select the 20% of that list that truly brings you closer to your goal. Focus. Focus on the 20%. Focus on a way of freeing yourself from the other 80% and feel 100% better. Every couple of months step back and re-focus on your 20%.

That's the beauty of life improvement workshops, books, articles, posts, television. It's kind of like cleaning out your closet. You can't just G.I the place once and hope that your sweaters and shoes stay all nice and neat. Pick up a book, do an on-line search for a topic you're looking to improve. if you're spiritual, attend a motivational service. Call a friend blessed with words of wisdom and listen this time. Watch Oprah. Listen to Dr. Phil. Tune in for Dr. Laura. Read a blog. Even if you only remember three sentences the results of implementing positive change will be life improving.

Do me a favor. Please post any phrase, quote, or concept that directly caused you to make a change in your life. Even if the quote came from your 4th grade teacher. I'd love to hear it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life!

I'm reading this awesome book that I just had to share a quote with some
of my "smart"friends. The book is called, "Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life!" by Larry Winget

"Want to have some fun? Ask people you know to name the last 5 books they've read. If they can name one it will be amazing. While this may be cruel, it will be great fun for you. Then ask them what book they are currently reading. I'll bet you 9 out of 10 aren't reading. By the way this is a clue for you: Do not hang around people who do not read."

I love book recommendations. I'm never without a book. I don't care for fiction. I most prefer books that make me a better Mom, business person, spouse, friend, etc. I have so much to learn and I love being a "sassy little know it all" as a fourth grade teacher once called me. At the time I thought it was a compliment. I realize now it wasn't, but I still take pride in knowing as much about everything as my personal hard drive space can hold. You can't be a know it all, unless you're reading! This is a hysterical twist on the typical "improve your life/business/marriage/bank account" type book. Some of the other quotes I love include:

"If your life sucks, it's because you suck." and "Knowledge is not power. That's a lie. It's the implementation of knowledge that is power." And how about this perspective to help you smile when things are going wrong... "If you don't have much going wrong in your life, then you don't have much going on in your life."
and this kick in the butt...

"Do more than you are paid to do. Soon you will be paid more for what you do. Some of you are balking at this one. That is why you do not have enough money. You hesitate to do one lick of work more than you absolutely have to. And you act surprised when someone else gets promoted? Are you kidding me? How can you be surprised that the people who do more, get more? Would you reward the person who not only did her job but went the extra mile? Of course you would! (By the way, the extra mile we have all heard about is rarely crowded.)"

If you need a swift kick in the pants, you'll flippin' love this book!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Get the Right Tools - Part 3

Part 3 of Get the Right Tools:

Stop! If you haven't read Get the Tools Part 1 and 2, scroll down, read quick and hurry back..

My post today includes getting the right tools to help boost your energy, increase your sense of fullness, reduce your intake of processed, salty, fatty, foods and increase your whole food a family. I'm going to give you a complete shopping list, complete with some "neutral" foods. Let's face it...sometimes you just need some "Not harmful, but not full of calories/fat" choices.

Getting the right tools means buying the right foods and working to get EVERYONE in the family to begin transitioning to this healthier way of eating. I can't tell you how often I hear parents tell me they don't want to "penalize" their kids by eliminating the food they so enjoy. One Mom told me that she feels like she's being a "mean Mom" when she doesn't buy cookies, candy, chips and sodas becuase she knows how much her kids love them. She added, "They don't have a weight problem. I do. They can eat that stuff. I can't."

Hmmmm.... Time to change our mindsets as parents. Giving our children or even our significant others food as a reward, as a "compromise" (i.e., If you're good I will give you some candy") or as an intended gesture of love is simply conterproductive. When you want to show have your kids "feel" your love, try a bike ride, a game of freeze tag, a game of horse, some Turbo Jam together :)

I occasionally have the opportunity to work with families of obese children. They always say the same thing, "He has a slow metabolism." or "She has my Dad's genes." or "He doesn't eat much." It's true that genetics have some effect. As Nutrition expert Dr. Pamela Peeke says, "Genetics load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger."

I'm fascinated by reading research on the subject. We know that obese children are less active. Even when monitored in the same activies, these children find ways to move and do less. These children have one very strong trait in common, and "no" it's not a slow metabolism. Rather, these kids have very loving (sometimes overly mothering) parents. Surprised? You shouldn't be. In particular the Mothers of obese children reported feeling guilty when denying their children a treat or a second helping. That makes sense to me. Think about it. When you close your eyes and envision the perfect mother (a.k.a. June Cleaver) she's wearing an apron and pulling chocolate chip cookies out of the oven for her children. As adults we associate food with comfort. Therefore it's easy to understand why we over-feed our children.

Teaching our children that fatty, unhealthy, processed junk means Mommy loves you is perhaps one of the most damaging things we can do for kids. If my child has big flappy ears that stick out, he's probably going to be teased. Other children will do ans say things that will likely hurt his feelings. It's going to break my heart, but there's nothing I would be able to do about it.

Yet, if your child is obese (or headed in that direction...) your child WILL MOST CERTAINLY be teased. His/her self-esteem WILL be greatly diminished. YOU will put your child at risk of greater health problems, a shortened lifespan, the highest rate of teen suicide, diminished opportunities and on a path of a life long struggle to be accepted, feel loved, feel important and happy. You have no control over big ears. When it comes to obesity, you have control. Now, I'm not talking about having the thin kid. I'm talking about having a healthy kid. We do have different genetics. Some of us are destined to have shorter legs, skinny knees, chubby cheecks, etc. Be honest with yourself about your childs weight. If you're not sure, ask your physicia. We are parents create the environment and shape our children's view of food. 3 years olds don't pick the menu. 12 year olds don't go grocery shopping. Doing nothing about the health of your family and young children doesn't sound like love to me.

Now it's not my intent to offend anyone. If you're child is obese and something I've said offends you, I'll take that chance if it means helping one person to think differently about what they're doing to help their children be healthy.

Hey..I do NOT profess to be perfect and my kids eat their share of junk, but they eat it in moderation. They're moderately picky eaters, but they've got very healthy eating habits and a healthy attitude about food. I don't make them eat steamed broccoli for breakfast, but I do many things to exercise my right to conduct "parental brainwashing" on them. When they ask for a snack I offer fruit first. I try to get them to eat something every 2 to 3 hours. We eat small meals and I never tell them to clean their plate. I tell them to stop eating when they're full. When they ask for junk, I rarely deny them, but instead I suggest that they choose something that will make them stronger, faster or smarter. I'll let them have a twinky, etc., but later when they say, "I'm tired." or "I don't feel well," I plant the seed... "I bet it was that twinkie! Those things taste great, but they really zap your energy." With consistent and cleaver brainwashing you too can help your children avoid "issues" with food and maintain a healthy weight without it feeling like you're being the food police. Kids need carbs. They need fat. They don't need more calories than the average adult male. Don't let them drink their calories with sodas, juice, and chocolate milk. Teach them to eat their calories and use food as fuel!

Bottom line...your family can't eat junk if it's not in the house. Have a few treats on hand, life's too short, but an endless supply of junk does not make you a more caring parent, perhaps the opposite.

Drastic change should not be introduced overnight. Make a few subtle changes this week. Buy a little less junk and lot more fruit next week. The week after that, even less junk and more healthy stuff.

Here's a shopping list I give to my students. It's a great tool and yours for the taking!

Turbo Slim Grocery List
Unless indicated, all items can be found at whole food markets like Trader Joe's Henry's, etc. When shopping at a standard grocery store, avoid the end caps and fatty-junky isles. Stick to your list and start in the fruit and vegetable isles. This is a sample list. Add to it your own healthy favorites. It also includes most of thingredientsts for the recipes included in your guidebook. Buy as much of each item you like and is appropriate for your family meal planning. This list is meant to be used every time you go to the market. So make several copies and edit as needed.

 Low sodium canned tuna
 Extra Lean Ground Turkey
 Salmon Patties (frozen or fresh)
 Kashi cereal
 Plain Oatmeal
 Harvest whole wheat- whole grain bread
 Whole wheat pita
 Pure Protein shake
 Soy Bean Butter (or low fat peanut butter)
 Frozen whole Green Soybeans (Edamame!)
 Reduced fat egg-less mayo
 Frozen or fresh whole chicken breasts
 Low Fat Rye Mini Whole Grain Toasts
 Trader Joes Eggplant Humus Dip (lower cal!)
 Low Fat Cottage Cheese
 Low Fat Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
 Fresh Basil
 Dried cranberries or
 Raisins
 Green Granny Smith Apples
 Red apples (pre cut are fine too!)
 Avocado
 Grape and or cherry tomatoes
 Ripe slicing tomatoes
 Can Whole kernel corn
 Mango
 Red seedless grapes
 Fresh Strawberries
 Watermelon
 Blueberries or raspberries
 Jalapeno peppers (2)
 Every veggie you like
 Pre-washed bags of salad (Spinach, Spring Mix)
 Raw Almonds
 Low Fat Skim Milk
 Eggs or Pre-separated Egg whites (very convenient!)
 Tomato Paste
 Plain Low Fat yogurt
 Honey

 Button mushrooms
 Mini and Large portabella mushrooms
 Fresh garlic
 Cucumbers (firm)
 Extra Virgin Olive oil (Basil flavored option)
 Fresh Shallots
 Sweet Onions
 Low Fat Shredded Cheddar cheese
 Whole Grain Frozen Waffles
 Low Fat 6 inch Whole Wheat Low Carb Tortillas
 Chili Powder (Lawrys is fine!)
 Bottled Water by the case!
 Heart Smart Light butter
 Heart Smart light butter popcorn
 Balsamic vinegar and white wine vinegar
 Non fat cooking spray (PAM)
 Non fat Olive Oil Cooking Spray (Trader Joe's™)
 Sugar free Jell-o and or sugar free pudding
 Light Cool Whip (keep it in the freezer!)
 Frozen in the pod edamame (soy beans)
 Splenda brand sweetner

Any Grocery Store
 Crystal light GO- packs (cheapest at Target!)
 Wasa Crackers (light rye is the best tasting)
 Plastic containers and baggies - all sizes
 Progressa Bread crumbs

What to Dispose of! (Seriously,…throw it away today! Toss it and you can't eat it!
 Cookies and candy
 Ice Cream
 White Bread, rolls, donuts
 White Rice
 Soda
 Sugary Cereals and pastries
 Chips, pretzels,
 All processed junk
 Any and all can't-refuse temptations