Teach your children not the other way around….

I met a woman at the gym the other day who told me that for 30 years she would work out 8 hours a day – yes that’s technically a 40 hour work week – and did not eat at all.

.

Now, at age 66, although she still works out every day, she is finally at a healthy point in life. (Although she has no eyebrows, terrible skin, and a thinning hairline, but mentally she is balanced.)

I asked her what changed? How did she realize that working out in such and extreme manner – so excessively and obsessively was not going to get her the results she was trying to achieve?

Her answer was simple: “My son saved me.”

She went on to tell me that throughout her entire adolescence and young adulthood she would obsessively strive to attain the perfect body.

As a young child her father would tell her that her eyes should not dictate what her stomach needs. That most people eat with their eyes – meaning they fill their plates with food that appeals to them visually but in reality it’s their stomach that they should listen to and ignore the visual stimulation of delectable looking food. She, unfortunately, took this sentiment to the extreme and made a decision early on not to eat at all.

It reminded me of my own childhood when my father would say: “ Your eyes are bigger than your stomach” every time one of us would take more on our plate than we could finish eating.

I was lucky enough to learn that I did not have to “finish everything on my plate” the way they used to tell kids back in the good old days of the 1970’s. (Which was a huge relief given that my mother wasn’t exactly a good cook ….stay tuned for that blog titled:”why I’m a picky eater”)

But this woman’s’ experience growing up with the pressure to stay thin and keep her stomach concave molded her into the unhealthy mother she inevitably became.

It wasn’t until her son was old enough to realize that his mother needed help that he was able to intervene and offer the help and the encouragement to slow down, to eat, to nurture her.

In essence, their roles were reversed. The son took care of the mother.

Now, at 66, she is finally healthy and happy and leads a balanced life.

Lesson Learned:

The way we are raised, the influence our parents have on us make such an enormous impact on who we become as adults. Take control of how you teach your own children. You have the power to influence.

When your body tells you it is not worth it, do you stop?…..

People always ask me how I think about things to write about. My answer is always the same: I write about what provokes me to think.

Everyday occurrences trigger something that is either comical or satirical to me in some way and instead of talking about it (I hate gossip and try to avoid it as much as possible) I simply write about it.

When I’m writing about people anonymously –even though it’s for all the world to see- it seems less harmful than speaking about someone specifically. I truly believe I’m altruistic in that way. A heroine of some sorts. I speak for the people. (Ok, Ok, I got a little carried away there- but you get my drift- I enjoy making fun of life and everyone in it.)

Besides, there is just so much material out there.

My favorite ‘go to’ place for inspiration is Publix, but when in desperate need of something fresh, I peruse the aisles at Walmart.

you can never unsee this. LOOKS LIKE HE'S LOOKING FOR A NEW PAIR OF SHORTS....I THOUGHT I'D SEEN IT ALL AT WALMART BUT ONE NEVER KNOWS THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THIS BOARD FOR THE GREATEST PINS  OF WALMART WIERDO'S AND CRAZIES...AC

Meanwhile at Walmart, cart driving heffers block the isle for a kiss. Did they know how funny they L@@K?

But the other night I was feeling lazy and still hadn’t thought about anything creative to write about. I had bloggers block.

I was watching Fox News and it was all about the new candidates for 2016.

It occurred to me that I should write about the big announcement that has been impending for months and months. First she was, then she wasn’t, but now it’s official…..

Gisele has announced that she is retiring from the runway!!!

No one saw that coming.

Yup, she announced that she had to retire from modeling because, as she said:

“Automatically, my body tells me if what I do is worth it, and it asked to stop.”

Wow. A model that listens to her body, now that’s rare.

I find it somewhat refreshing when I hear about a celebrity that is actually in tune with reality to know when she no longer needs to compete with those half her age. Giselle is one of the rare ones that I find to be naturally beautiful and even if she has had work done, it is too subtle for me to notice anything beyond her natural glow.

Sure, she was blessed with incredible genes (although I do feel a little sorry for her sister, half her size and twice her girth) but Giselle does not seem to fall into the trap of desperation to stay unnaturally young looking like so many models and actresses who opt for plastic surgery often do.

I say good for you, Giselle! We all know you will still be ranked among the wealthiest women from your endorsements and products but now you will have more time to focus on other projects you are passionate about. (Like preaching to new mothers everywhere how easy it is to lose the baby weight just by breast feeding.)

Lesson Learned:

We should al listen to our bodies. They are wise enough to know when they have had enough. It’s our brains that often push us to keep going, which is a good thing for the most part, but sometimes its ok to just accept that it will be worth it to stop.

Now for your viewing and listening pleasure- a favorite of mine:

The original health nut tells all….

Image result for old lady fall  funny cartoon

Yesterday I had a really special experience.

I went to visit my friend’s grandmother. This very active, young at heart, 93 year old woman had recently fallen and hurt her back so she is now stuck homebound for a few weeks.

I walked in and was greeted by her caretaker/aide (who seemed annoyed that I had interrupted her phone conversation and made her actually get up to answer the door  but then gave me a big smile – I suspect it was because she saw I brought donuts).

At first I thought to myself; what am I going to talk about with this elder woman – I don’t know her at all? – But after she declined the donuts that I brought and told me she does not eat junk food- boom! There it was – instant friendship! We spent the next hour and half talking all about her childhood growing up with a mother who was the “original health nut”.

Back in those days (remember- we are talking over a century ago) her mother was lean and health conscious and always watched what she ate and would exercise every day (again- this was before Jack Lalanne was even born…. there were no gyms or juice bars.)

Yet her mother somehow was able to figure out for herself what works and clearly instilled that fitness lifestyle on her daughter.

Now, 93 years later, she went on to explain to me that she had never had surgery or any type of illness and she firmly believes it is because she exercises every single day.prancercise

When I asked her about her injury and how she hurt her back (thinking possibly that it was the typical ‘old lady who fell and broke her hip’ issue – which incidentally, I have learned is the opposite- it’s actually that the old lady’s hip breaks first – usually because of osteoporosis which causes her to fall – but alas, sufficient nutrients and bone density issues are a different blog – stay tuned!)

Her answer was that she fell over a box that had just been delivered to her doorstep and she did not see it –(something that could very easily happen to me – as I am the biggest dingy of them all and trip on everything.)

We turned out to have a really long and meaningful conversation about life and how to live it to the fullest and the healthiest.

Here my friend thought that she was asking me a favor but as it turned out, I felt like the pleasure was all mine.

Lesson Learned:

Sometimes in life when we think we know it all, it takes listening to someone else’s story who has ‘been there, done that’, for many many more years than you, to confirm the results we are striving to attain.

Teach your children well or else wash their mouth out with soap…..

I took my daughter shopping yesterday- and even though I love spending time with her –shopping to me, is like sitting in a classroom forced to listen to the teacher run her nails down the chalkboard. I just hate it. Always have and probably always will (unless they figure out a way where I don’t actually have to go anywhere and can magically get new clothes delivered to my door step. – oh wait?)…

Which is exactly why I buy everything online.

I have a little system with my UPS guy. He comes to my house every single day, rain or shine, even if he doesn’t have a package to deliver- he knows I’ll always have a a return waiting by my front door with a little piece of candy on top (I always give him candy – he calls me “Sugar” – it’s kind of our thing.)

Shopping in person at a retail store is like torture to me. But sometimes I simply can’t get away with shopping online for certain dressy items and inevitably have to actually take my daughter to a department store.

So when we were ready to check out, there was a woman in front of me (whom incidentally also was shopping with her daughter that appeared to be the same age as mine). The girl was on her phone texting while the mom was paying. She turned to her daughter and said:

“Wow, we just bought you a lot of great stuff today – I hope you enjoy them!”

A nice, normal thing to say after you just spent time and money shopping with your child.

But what came next is what really shocked me. Her daughter, still looking down at her phone, responded with:

“ Shut up mom! I’m trying to read my text!”

Both my daughter and I looked at each other with jaws dropped.

I simply could not believe that a child would talk that way to her mother. But even more so, what came after.

Nothing.

The mother did not say a word in response. She simply finished paying and off they went.

Now, I’m not going to claim that I have the perfect children, but I will most definitely say that if either of my kids even thought to think of me in that manner, let alone speak to me that way, I would literally wash their mouths out with soap.

But who am I to judge? I just write about it. Publicly. On the internet.

A little while later, we made a quick stop into the Dollar store to buy some candy (for the UPS guy) and in line at the checkout was another little girl checking out with her mother. She had just bought her a $3 toy/trinket.

After the mom finished paying, the daughter immediately said to her:

“Thank you so much mommy – I love it!”

And all was redeemed.

The universe was whole again.

Lesson Learned:

Teach your children well.

You don’t need a Crosby Stills and Nash song to know that as a parent it’s all up to you.

And now for your listening pleasure:

Ugly is as ugly as you make it…..

When I was in college in NYC several million years ago, I was walking along Madison Avenue -not the fancy part, but lower down in the 30’s – (before it was built up and gentrified with  residential real estate and actually became  an overpriced neighborhood.)

Back then it was still known to me as the best place to get “Ladies drink free Margaritas  nights” and mayonnaise drenched tuna sub sandwiches that could easily feed a family of four yet somehow, magically, I could inhale in 45 seconds tops.

So I was walking around humming to myself ( yes I have a  habit of talking and singing to myself- something I have been doing my entire life – possibly a coping mechanism for being ignored by my siblings ?) when a homeless man came out of nowhere and followed me for several blocks- calling out at the top of his lungs in the loudest voice:

“She’s ugly!” (referring to me) “You’re ugly!!!” “Ugly! Ugly! Ugly!”

Image result for you're ugly funny

This went on for innumerable blocks – an eternity to a young, sheltered, college gal like myself- until I ducked into a liquor store to seek protection (no, they did not card me or kick me out- which was common back then before Lindsey Lohan made underage drinking a sport for club bouncers) and he followed me in – simply to shout out one more time and point out to the patrons staring nearby :

“ THAT GIRL IS UGGGGLLLLLY!!!!!”

Now, we all have our good and bad hair days and this was college when I was on a tight budget that mostly was used for essentials such as pizza and pot and most definitely NOT used for the nonessentials like say, shampoo, and I MAY have gone through a short Goth phase – donning lipstick in shades darker than my jet black hair – however, I have never been accused of being “ugly” before that.

There is something you need to know about the homeless men on the streets of New York – they speak the truth. They have no concern for common courtesy or need for political correctness, and they certainly have no qualms about yelling at you for giving them sushi leftovers when they hate raw fish.

That being said, I am a lucky girl that was raised by a father, whom for my entire 40 years of life that I was lucky enough to know him, taught me that I must do what I think is right; not pay attention to what others think of me and know that I am a smart and beautiful person. He never cared or paid attention to what others thought of him and frankly, neither do I.

I learned from example that I am capable of doing many things and the confidence he instilled in me has always pushed me through all aspects and phases of my life and taught me many important lessons.

So, there I stood – confronted by a man who relentlessly attacked my visual appearance. The way I saw it, I was left with two choices:

  1. I could believe what he had to say and decide to take it to heart and accept his opinion as true OR-
  2. I could choose to believe what I wanted about myself and add this to my roster of “who cares what others think of me” and become even stronger for it.

I chose the latter.

(Then, like a shrieking crybaby, I ran as fast as I could to the nearest bodega and bought a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.) Problem solved.

Lesson Learned:

Life is full of bullies. You can decide to take what they have to say to heart and let it internalize and eat away at your well being or you can choose to ignore, delete, or simply avoid the nonsense and know you are a better, stronger person from it.

Take care of your feet ….and then you can pee

 My grandmother used to tell me that, if nothing else, I should always take great care of two things: my teeth and my feet.

After all, they had to be with me for the rest of my life.

This philosophy made sense to me because these were the days before the popularity and readily available liposuction and plastic surgery. Back then you couldn’t get your wrinkles removed while you’re getting your teeth cleaned, or run into a Kwiki Mart and have Apu give you a quick boob job.

Plastic surgery is so common and easily available nowadays that we sometimes allow ourselves to slip when it comes to taking care of ourselves.

But back then, taking care of your feet and teeth seemed like sound advice, something I could actually control, and even though she never liked my hair styles (80’s flashback) I still appreciated my grandmother’s common sense.

I have always hated my feet, colossal in size, over pronating and double jointed toes that are longer than some of my friend’s fingers, I just felt that they were simply UGLY.

But I have since learned to love my feet. They have served me well over the years especially when I used to be an avid runner. (Only they got even uglier.)

I was thinking of this philosophy Saturday morning while I was out for a run on the beach.

I know what you’re thinking – I just told you a few days ago that I no longer run. Well, that part is still true. But I was in Palm Beach for the holiday weekend with my in laws and in dire need of getting out of the hotel  for some fresh air. (Ran out of Xanax.)

As you know, I go to the beach as often as I can, but this time was different – I was alone! – so I decided why not try and give it a shot like the good old days when I could run for miles and miles.

So I did.

And I loved it! I ran for 30 minutes straight.   Up and down the sand dunes, fast sprints, slow jogs, I just allowed myself to take in the fresh sea breeze, the ocean waves, the blue sky…and like a child at recess – off I went!

Then, a little later in the afternoon, I felt a slight pull on my hamstrings and hip flexors but chose to ignore it and did a few minutes of stretching.  (Which is code for reaching for the remote).

I went on with my day and enjoyed my holiday Seder that night and slept like a baby (4 glasses of wine will do that to you.)

The next morning I woke up and could not move. I literally could not sit up to get out of bed or even move my legs to reach the floor (which made having to pee very difficult).

The impact of pounding on the sand and uneven terrain gave me sharp shooting pains throughout my hips, my hamstrings and my calves. I found myself wishing that I had listened to my grandmothers advice and taken a long nap instead.

Lesson Learned:

We should all take grannies advice and think of our entire body as something that has to be with us the rest of our lives. I hope to treat mine with the respect it needs to support me to an old age.

It’s interesting to think of your body in that manner – it changes your entire perspective of how you act, what you put into it and how you move it. If you look at your body like a possession, such as an expensive car or your home – things that you take extra care of – if you take pride in it and respect it, care for it, it will return the favor for a lifetime.

10 commandments to get you through the week of Passover…..

 

(This was a post I wrote 7 years ago before Passover. I decided to share it again for those of you who observe the week of Passover. Funny to reflect back on how my writing style has changed! Nevertheless, the information is still valid.)

For those of us who observe Passover, tomorrow night starts either an 8 day detox or a feast of gluttonous potato starch based (excuse for) food.
It’s your choice.
You are in control of how this week turns out.
Some of you are away on holiday at relatives or in hotels.
Temptations are everywhere.

You can choose to eat the matzo meal laden foods or you can use this week to jump start a healthy clean diet plan.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t diet. I think the word diet unfairly brings up negative connotations.
I prefer to eat clean and enjoy a healthy lifestyle plan. My “diet” is basically eating the same “super foods” in different variations.
(More on which foods later).
For today your focus is to jump start your week and even if you are not observing the holiday – take this opportunity to give yourself a spring cleaning – inside and out.

Image result for seder funny

Starting with removing all white and processed foods from your kitchen.

Eat whole grains (have you tried whole wheat matzo? It’s amazing with lox and avocado! Yum, filling and heart healthy!!) Some brands are “gluten free” for those that need it.

 10 Commandments to get you through Passover:

1. Drink ONLY Water, Seltzer (and of course, wine!!!) Use this week to abolish your body of toxins and flush out the artificial sweeteners. Just say no to Diet soda! This commandment alone will make you feel so much better.

Image result for seder funny

2. Eliminate all whites from your diet this week. Try it – what have you got to lose (besides a few pounds)? This means no regular matzo or anything with matzo meal as an ingredient. Try whole wheat or bran matzo. Each “board” contains only 80 calories and 5 grams of heart healthy fiber (helps digestive system too which Passover is notorious for stuffing up!) You can have one exception of a matzo ball in the soup if you so desire after all it is Passover and if you are like me- and look forward to those matzo balls all year then go ahead and indulge – it won’t matter in the end of the day. But just seder nights!!!! Not all week.

3. Choose lean proteins such as chicken and fish. Salmon, although fatty, is considered one of the best protein sources as the fat is unsaturated and loaded with Omega 3’s and does oodles of good for your heart!

4. Did anyone say dessert time? Are you worried about where to go in that tea room???

Grab the almonds and cashews! I know what you are thinking….nuts are SOOOOO fattening. Again, fatty heart healthy foods like nuts are one of my favorite go to snacks or dessert – as nuts are filling. Have some almonds with an apple. I LOVE charoset at the seder table – it is literally the only item from the seder plate that I actually eat – and help myself to seconds and thirds! The crunch and sweet tartness of the fruit is a very good combo. (Noteworthy to mention is an apple also aids in digestion).

  1. Try a lox and whole wheat matzo sandwich for lunch tomorrow. Have it with a side salad and toss in some avocado (or spread mashed up avocado onto the matzo in lieu of cream cheese.
  2. Egg whites!! Can’t get enough of them. Make and omelet with spinach or broccoli. You will feel like you are at the Canyon ranch or a spa in Palm beach. Garnish with some orange wedges.
  3. Blueberries for breakfast? An excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber and manganese (important role in bone strength) Blueberries are one of my super foods. They have antioxidants. Mix with greek yogurt (plain non fat only). Add cinnamon and you’re good to go!
  4. Go for a long walk after lunch. Take that well deserved break from the Passover table and put on those running shoes. Just 20 minutes will do ya good. (And prepare you for tomorrow night’s seder!)
  5. Sweet potato fries!!! Cut sweet potatoes into thick wedges and spray with a little olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. They will taste like the real thing. Also good choices are chunks of big carrots. They become caramelized when baked and their natural sugars indulge your sweet tooth.
  1. Stay away from anything processed or made with more than one ingredient. Those over priced kosher passover fake pizza bagels made from matzo meal and potato starch are loaded with chemicals and will only trigger a sweet tooth. Seriously? You can wait the week to eat the real deal and order your pizza then.

Image result for seder funny

Lesson Learned:

A week off from regular eating habits can be a good thing. Rather than viewing the dietary restrictions as a negative, turn it around and think of it as a great way to jump start your healthy way of life!! (plus will save you some money – Those kosher for Passover products must be laced with gold – based on their prices).

Eat your breakfast …just not in a poop bag

The other day I saw a commercial for a brand of rice that is microwaveable and can be heated up and eaten straight out of the plastic bag it comes in. I felt like I was watching a magic show where the magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat in just 90 seconds –Abra Cadabra !! Hocus Pocus!! – Just like that! (And then puts it in a plastic bag and eats it-kidding!)

Now I’m sure this is not a new invention- I just never bother to peruse the plastic rice bag aisle at Publix so perhaps I’m just out of the loop. But it made me wonder why anyone would need to eat out of a plastic bag in the first place? Are we that much of a fast food nation that we have to have our meals done in 90 seconds that we can’t even wait the extra 3 seconds to pour it into a bowl and eat with manners???

Image result for rice in bag funny

It all seems so unnecessary. Unless you’re on the Lunar rover mission with Sandra Bullock on the moon  and just too upset about Clooney drifting away- why would anyone want to eat out of a plastic bag?

It reminded me of the debate I have every morning with my gym partner – about which one of us eats the best breakfast. It’s kind of our own version of ‘who wore it best’?

While we both agree that an omelet is top choice for keeping our girlish figures (even though he’s a guy), we also agree that there’s not always time to whip one up before work.

He insists that his protein bar is low carb, high protein and low calorie. I insist that his candy- I mean “protein” bar is high in chemicals, high in sugar and low in nutrition. It’s just a really good marketing campaign from the billion dollar processed food industry to push fast food- in the form of convenient, easy to carry processed bars – heavily and creatively promoted as an acceptable health food. Basically it’s a way for health conscious people to justify eating a candy bar.

I, on the other hand, when pushed for time, like to grab a ready-made cup from the refrigerator that I prepare the night before. (And if I end up having time to make an omelet I just eat the ready-made cup as a snack when I get home!)

It contains Greek yogurt, 100% rolled oats (never instant or flavored!- Those are loaded with sugar), berries, cinnamon and stevia. Sometimes instead of oats I add mushed up sweet potato- ( I know, sounds gross – as most of my recipes often do – but don’t knock it until you try it. The texture of the sweet potato is actually amazing and thick.)

I’ve made worse concoctions in my recipes  than that.

Image result for gross recipes combinations funny

Or I’ll blend a smoothie with almond milk, natural peanut butter, cinnamon, stevia and berries – takes 30 seconds.

You have to understand that I work out at 5:30 am so when I get back from the gym I’m ravenous and usually grab a cold piece of leftover salmon from the fridge before I even jump in the shower. That’s my first breakfast. A couple of hours later- still way too early for lunch, is when I eat my second breakfast as described above.

So essentially I eat two breakfasts.

But the point is this…..Even when in a rush there’s always time to eat –properly- in a real bowl.

Just takes a little planning.

Lesson Learned:

Save the planet one step at a time by eating real food made from real ingredients on a real dish. Save the plastic bags for picking up dog poop.

Now for your viewing pleasure:

Careful not to judge this life you may have 8 more …..

I recently ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in a long time. She had clearly gained a lot of weight and looked very puffy and swollen. I didn’t ask, but she volunteered that she was on anti depressants and had been eating out of control. She went on to say that she was just not up to going anywhere these days and could barely function – all because she had just experienced a tremendous loss.

I felt so sorry for her and I asked her what had happened.

Her cat died.

My first reaction was – OMG – did I kill it?

You see, I live on a street with a crazy old lady who loves to feed stray cats. Every now and then, on my way to the gym at 5:30 in the morning –when its totally pitch black outside and no one is on the roads – not even the newspaper delivery man – I sometimes see a stray run in front of my car – pausing for just a slight second to stare me down with those creepy glass eyes as if to say “bring it”.

But one particularly dark morning, not so long ago, I saw those creepy glass eyes standing in front of my headlights. I slammed on the brakes and panicked. But when I got out of the car to look at what I had just inevitably done – nothing was there! Relief flooded over me as I realized it must have gotten out just in time – possibly limping – but alive nevertheless. (Ok, I admit, the relief was partially because now I didn’t have to worry that my workout time would be cut short since I wouldn’t have to stick around to clean up any mess!)

Now don’t get me wrong, I totally empathize with those who have lost someone or something that is near and dear to them, especially now that I am a dog owner (notice I did not say dog lover).

I can truly identify with losing a pet – more so for my kids sake.

But the way it affected her so drastically- her life took a full turn for the worse – my first reaction was that it almost seemed – well, too much.

But then I thought about it for a second and realized- who am I to say when someone is mourning – too much? Isn’t death personal? I know one thing’s for sure- its most definitely inconvenient- but even more so – its just so subjective.

It made me think even more so that possibly we are all too judgmental when it comes to others pain. I’ve always been a big believer in giving someone the benefit of the doubt. You never know what they’ve been through to make them act that way, what’s happening at home or simply, what kind of day they’ve had.

Don't judge others unless you're perfect l8

Lesson Learned:

We all have our own individual priorities in life.

Before you go judging others about what you think is trivial, stop and consider that maybe whats important to you is not at all significant to them.