Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wake up Call.....and Turkey.....done!

Mark and I have been training Max Vo2 at our Studio in Palo Alto, Girya, at 5:00 am! Well, 5:15 am to be exact, and that means we have to leave before 5:00. It's one thing to be awake and drinking coffee, it's another to be blasting out over 60 sets of fast snatches every 15 freakin' seconds, lol! I had temporarily stopped any kind of "snatch V02" training, and three weeks ago was the first one I had done in weeks and weeks.....and let me tell you, it just about killed me to do 50 sets! I've got more to say about that, but for now I only have time to say that it's amazing how quickly the conditioning built from that kind of training comes back....thank goodness!

After our workout I leave Girya around 6:30am and drive to 7:15 am Bikram yoga class, and then later in the afternoon, go back for the 4:30 pm class with Mark. Last week I managed 4 double classes, making 11 bikram classes in a weeks time, the 2 weeks before 10 classes each. Two classes per day is not the ideal, but for now I have the luxury of experimenting with my practice.....and more about that when I have the time.

I would be very sad if I missed a daily class however, but cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family is much more important, so I decided to roast my turkey on Wednesday to make sure I could get everything done, including going to yoga today. It's a good thing Thanksgiving dinner is easy around here, the days of overdoing the menu are long gone. I keep it simple....

Sourdough stuffing
Mashed potaotes, gravy
Yams (this year Im roasting yams, shitakes, and brussels)
Cranberry, apple slaw
Pumkin pie

What else do you need? No dinner rolls, there's plenty of bread in the stuffing. No would be nice, but really, how much meat does a person need? I decided to roast the yams with shitake mushrooms and brussel sprouts (a winning combination from Chef Fawn Friday!), they'll be yummy with the gravy, no need for sickeningly sweet yams with brown sugar and marshmallows (I've never made them with marshmallows). It'll take a few minutes to make the slaw, super simple with only shredded cabbage, diced apple, dried cranberry and a yogurt/mayo dressing (a little cider vinegar and lemon), maybe some celery if I have enough left from the stuffing....I purposely did not go to the farmers market this past weekend.

I'll pick up a can of cranberry sauce, the "jellied"'s what my family likes! Mark bought a pumpkin pie at WF's, and I bought a can of "spray" whipped cream for the first time, lol! I mean so what! I learned my lesson years ago about doing the "Martha Stewart" Thanksgiving making all of my own pies, 2 pumkin, an apple, and a chocolate cream, all with my own pastry, in addition to appetizers, and numerous side dishes, blah, blah,'s so not worth the stress. I don't need to try and impress anyone! No one cares really anyway!

So here it is, Thankgiving morning, and I've got some prep to do before 8:00 am yoga, easy stuff. I'll swing for about 30 minutes when I get home and then cook until 1-2:00 when I expect my 2 boys and their girlfriends. Mark and I celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary tomorrow (the 28th), so we'll open up a bottle of champagne today and celebrate that with our family too!

I hope everyone has a "stress-less" Thanksgiving....I plan to! Life is so good.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Picture "Not-Ready"

Pictures take time. I would love to include pictures with every blogpost, and for many months I did my best to "entertain" you all, but.....I just don't have the time to do it to my satisfaction. I wish I was a better photographer, but that's not a talent of mine....I do the best I can with what I have.

I haven't worn makeup, or done a "proper" job with my hairstyle in months, probably, because I've been going to yoga class twice a day and I sweat like crazy (I almost said, "I sweat like a pig", lol....I gotta stay away from those phrases), so, no use getting "all pretty"....I mean, I'm already cute (lol), but not "picture ready"!

My workout schedule is crazy these days. I'm taking advantage of the luxury I have of chosing to live like an's really great having people approach me at my yoga studio and ask me what I do for exercise (besides yoga), it must be obvious I do something special by the way I look because it's not yoga that makes me look like the way I's KB's.....shhhhh! (Both Mark and I are approached regulary) I actually had some one say to me, "Well you don't get arms like that doing yoga!" How great is that!

Anyway, I'm training at a whole new level these days, my diet is at a whole new level and my attutide about food and eating is transforming into something amazing..... This past year has been filled with frustrations, but never doubt.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Replies to Comments about "Wasting My Breath" (finally done, lol!)

Fafa said...
Great points. No truer words ever spoken. Whether or not you believe it.... you are an inspiration to many.
November 17, 2008 7:16 AM


I do believe I have been an inspiration to many, but the bottom line is that I can't believe in anyone more than they believe in themselves.

I know the possiblities, I live them everyday, and I never stop believing because now I know better. And once you know, you can't unknow. Even if I got fat again, I still know what works....but more importantly I know what doesn't work....and what doesn't work is the definition of "insanity", which is.....

"Doing the same things and expecting different results"

You have to change if you want have to.

Jo said...
I read your story on your website in May '08, and haven't looked back since. Still swinging the bell and preparing my own food (I know its only been 6 months). You are not wasting your breath and know that you have made a difference in my life. Thanks, Tracy!
November 17, 2008 8:06 AM


You are a shining example of putting inspiration into action! And now you have many followers yourself! I know that you haven't reached your goal weight quite yet, and I suspect I know'll figure out! PS quit running and keep swinging, lol!

saremca said...
Last time I commented and you told me that if I exercise at all I was wasting my time if I wasn't swinging a kettlebell? I heard you. I've been a regular exerciser for 15 years and I'm still not satisfied with my shape. My weight is okay, but I want more definition, more tone, more muscle. I started swinging kettlebells and I am in love. I cannot believe I've been avoiding kettlebells because I thought they'd be too boring. I was so wrong.Thank you for the motivation.
November 17, 2008 8:06 AM

saremeca (beth),

You got me on a good day! On my good days I just say it like it is....and I've been having some good days lately, LOL! Someone once told me that if you're bored, then YOU'RE boring! Don't be a bore, take responsibility for your exciting life, and the luxury you have of being able to swing that bell!

La Saun R. Taylor said...
You're not wasting your breath!!!You got me swinging myself to death with that 12k bell. Your blog has been very helpful and encouraging to me. Plenty of people are swinging because of you, you just haven't met them all. I have lost more weight since we spoke on Friday, Yippeee!!! Thank you again.La Saun Taylor, RKC
November 17, 2008 10:44 AM

La Saun,

Amazing what can happen when you eat a little less than you "think" you're eating, huh? Food, what you eat and how much you eat will be the first thing that changes the size of your body.

I will be back to finish these replies, but once again....I'm off to yoga.....

I'm back.......

kettlebell g-ma said...
Tracy, Your point has gotten across to me. Since I started swinging a little over a year ago my body has transformed. I've always for the most part exercised but it was not until I read your blog and ordered a bell that I became aware of the changes in my body. I'm 46 and wished I would have found the bell 20 years ago. You are not wasting your breath. I don't depend on anyone to motivate me. Like you sometimes it's cold but, I do it because I like to feel good and I don't like the the alternative. So, yeah I hear you! I have many a friend who have ask for help and always quit. Not one left. I get tired of the same old I wish I could loose weight. I wish I looked more toned. I, blah, blah, blah! To heck with them. Good post and good food and always good info. I'm listening!!!kettlebell g-ma
November 17, 2008 11:04 AM

KB g-ma,

I often say I might never have gotten so fat and out of shape if I had known about KB's 10 years earlier! So I hear you on that! It was my brilliant husband that discovered and promoted this amazing, life and body transforming method of training to me!

sheryl said...
"Your post made me think about people and motivational speakers.…People need motivation – or rather like to hear it. They go and see the speaker; they get all pumped up feeling like they can conquer the world, leave feeling euphoric for a day or so then fall back into their old comfortable patterns. " "They just aren’t ready I guess. (Although I have taken it personally) You talk about people asking you the secret and I think that there IS and isn’t a secret… The logical side of course is easy but I imagine the emotional side battles that logical side quite often and I think in the case of most people it wins….


Motivational speakers get paid to talk, so what do they really care if anyone actually applies it? On one hand I'm not bitching about not getting paid to share what I know because I haven't asked to get paid, so who's fault is that? But my time, knowledge and experience is more valuable than I've been giving it credit for and it's time for a change.

The "secret" is communicating in a way, translating the methods and techniques that I've discovered, in way that is understandable, applicable and motivating.....these are not just "theories", I believe the most important thing I offer as a trainer, coach, role model is that I haven't forgotten where I came from and I know the roadblocks and the potholes along the way. I was, and still am my own "experiment" (those are Mark's words). I did it and I'm living it.

I certainly could have lived the rest of my whole life without sharing any of my discoveries, and my frustration is, why did I? And what am I supposed to do now?

Jennifer said...
"Okay, maybe you don't feel like you make a dent in the world you can see, but please, you know you touch more people than you can shake a stick at. We appreciate what you do, and we do listen and take to heart. Thank you--for what it's worth. And honestly, I like that you really don't give a damn." "but the world wants a magic pill (nevermind the side effects)"
November 17, 2008 5:53 PM


Your compliment is worth alot, a little credit and acknowledgement go a long way, so thank you. But if I really didn't give a damn I would've shut this blog down the same day I did the other, and that day seems imminent at this point. Not only does the world want a "magic pill", but they want you to take it for them too!

leslie said...
"You may never know how many seeds you've planted. It's taken me a solid year to buy and use a pressure cooker. I don't know why it took so long. But without your encouragement, both on the blog and in person at the cooking class and the fabulous kettlebell seminar, it may never have happened.

My hope is that you will continue with this blog, as your passion comes through loud and clear here, and so many benefit from your writing. I know how much time it takes to consistently blog, and with all the pictures and recipes you include? Well, that takes time and energy and creativity, which you have in abundance. But if at any point this blog becomes inconsistent with what you see as your primary purpose, then it's time to move forward to something new. (But I really hope this blog remains consistent with your purpose, because I really do love what you write!)
November 17, 2008 8:53 PM


My promotion of using a pressure cooker is one of the main reasons why I kept "Food and Thought" going....I didn't want to leave anyone "out in the cold". As you know from meeting me in person, I'm passionate about preaching the importance of learning to feed ourselves. And I'm not talking about just putting food in our mouths, I'm talking about respecting our physical bodies as nature intended us to eat. There is nothing more important than feeding ourselves.....we can't live without food. Food is not the we eat (or don't eat) and how we feel about eating! And that's where the "Thought" comes in.

I'm not sure what my "primary purpose" is, and that is where I'm at right now, I'm wanting to move forward, but I don't have a clear direction. It turned into feeling like I was lost without a compass, thinking and feeling like I was moving forward, but going in circles.

I want to thank you for always consistently commenting on my blog posts, and your blog continues to be on my "favorites!"

Beth said...
"Wasted breath, never. Even a whisper is not wasted if someone heard it, deep inside. Thank you for your honesty in sharing your trials and successes.You are making a difference."
November 17, 2008 9:17 PM


I truly don't believe I've wasted anything.....I know, personally, that I've made a difference, in many ways, to many people. "Wasting my Breath" was a starting point to write about the frustration of not being appreciated....I guess.....

Jen said...
Tracy, I'm with everyone else.. YOU ROCK. Everything that you give is so much and you probably don't see all of the fruits of the gifts that you give to everyone.. You have given to me so generously and I am forever grateful to you as is my very happy (and well fed) husband... this week alone I made carnitas, chili and corn chowder in my PC! YUM! Because of your inspiration from your home visit which we truly enjoyed.Please don't feel that your KB and Yoga instruction was a waste either. My RKC dreams are alive and well thanks to you. Just a bit of a shoulder injury sidetracking me...will be resolved soon!Sending you big hugs and hope to see you soon. You do inspire by doing your Tracy thing!xoxo Jen
November 17, 2008 11:45 PM


When you so graciously invited me to stay with you in Santa Barbara I talked with you about what it was I could do with what I've made happen in my life....I still don't know the answer. I wish I could personally spend a few days with alot of people and give hands on teaching and coaching, but that just isn't possible. Bottom line is I can't do it for anyone.

And since I'm laying things on the line lately, I really wish you could see, and identify that althlete inside of you (she's still there)...not the guitar player, lol! Jen....we only have so much time, you, better than most know that....who are you? Who do you want to be? You have so many other moving bodyparts, besides your shoulder. Keep breathing, keep moving, your body will catch you, I promise.....

Diana said...
I first picked up a kb in June of 2007. I knew the minute I slipped my hand through it's handle, I would become good friends with this crazy looking object. I haven't put it down since. BONUS: Where I live, I get to play with mine in the snow! I can relate to your frozen toes-big time! Gym?? Who the hell needs a gym, when you've got grass to be cut and a kb? Perfect combo for a great workout! LOL!Enjoy the great day!
November 18, 2008 4:43 AM


As you well know, you can't "out-snatch a donut!" (I think Sr RKC Dave Whitely first said that) You also know that the important thing is to keep showing for you workouts, so when that "donut" bites us in the ass, we can bite back!

Renee Yorkievitz, RKC said...
Tracy, Tracy, Tracy,
"Oh how I can feel your pain & frustration first hand. For 3 years, 2 of my best friends have bitched about needing to lose weight. Both are "gym rats" & both have had personal trainers (yes a couple EACH) for almost 2 years. Unfortunately look almost identical to how they did 2 years ago. They continue to bitch about their bodies." "Ditto for me that you were (are still) my inspiration to begin kb's. I was on the DD forum researching kb's initially. There was a post that struck me "This woman swings KB for 1000 reps...Wow!" I checked out your video and thought..."Holy crap, I need to learn this! The rest is history!You are a wealth of knowledge & know how. But people have to be at the point where they want it, are open to it & it is the right time for them. They need to realize the right time is now!Love ya girl! :)KEEP POSTING!"
November 18, 2008 6:25 PM


The bottom line is it's hard work. And I do believe people want it, but they don't want to do what it takes to get it. As Mark has always said, you can't buy it, you can't fake it, you can't cheat it, you have to earn it, that's the great thing about it! And coming from where I've been, so overweight and unhealthy, I'm one waved a magic wand. (PS thanks for the love, lol!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Swing Combination of the Day....Loss of Motivation and Intuitive Eating

Talk about losing motivation..... One thing I know is, I am not motivated when I my diet is right on, and the next day it's not reflected on the scale. I admit, I can be a slave to the stinkin' number on the scale, and when it's not a number I like, for instance this morning's weight, then I get discouraged and I want to give up....almost.

I don't count my calories anymore, instead I'm relying on, what I call, "intuitive eating". I know when I'm eating too much and intuitive eating is about taking responsibility for the amount of food I eat, it doesn't matter what I eat, just how much. Lucky for me I've established the habits of always having good healthy, homemade choices for meals, so most of the time I'd rather eat good foods, than junk....not that I don't have junk every once in a while, but for the most part I think I eat beyond healthy.

Here's what I ate yesterday (this is the first time I'm counting BTW)

coffee/cream 100 cal
small roasted yam 100 cal.
small beet applesauce 50 cal.
small hot 10 grain cereal w/apple 80 cal.
small squash soup w/barley & 2oz shredded pork 250 cal.
smaller portion of the above soup 150 cal.
oatmeal w/1/2c whole milk 230 cal.
large sweet and sour cabbage soup w/pork (5-6oz) 400 cal.

total 1460

Good much I I hate to face the truth, I just don't lose weight on more than 1200 calories a day, bummer. I could've had a smaller portion of my dinner soup, but look at the types of food I candy, no cookies, low fat, good amount of protein, plenty of whole grains and veggies.....OH, and this was in addition to two 90 minute Bikram yoga classes, that I sweat my ass off in (well, I guess I didn't sweat my ass off, lol). Some days I'm just not willing to starve myself.

So what do I do? After swinging with my 6:30am KB client I get to yoga class practice totally "crashed and burned" big time.....I was due, because I've been doing double classes all week....the teacher sucked....the room wasn't hot enough, I barely broke a sweat and I didn't even need all the water I brought with me....and then.....this stinkin' studio has a big bowl of almonds AND a big bowl of York's peppermint, of course.....and with my loss of motivation, a stupid class, I lost it.

I never, well rarely, take that stupid candy, but today, four peppermint candies later, I'm kicking myself. I'm not kicking myself because I ate 4 stupid pieces of candy, I'm kicking myself for eating compulsively....I don't even like peppermint patties!

So I get back home, swing with my 9:30am KB client and afterwards seriously consider putting my own KB workout off until tomorrow. But no.....skipping workouts and whining about 4 pieces of candy is for weenies....

Here's the workout I did, inspired by the one I did with my client:

4 1/2 minute swing combination w/12kg

10 transfers, 10 2 hand swing repeat (40 reps)
15 transfers, 15 2 hand swings, repeat (60 reps)
20 transfers, 20 2 hand swings (80 reps)

1 minute rest x 6 rotations

Total 32 minutes, 1080 swings

If you can't swing the 12kg for 4 1/2 minutes use the 8kg, or appropriate weight. If you can't swing for 4 1/2 minutes at all, then break down the combination into 3 parts taking rest inbetween each set of increased reps. A beginner can break it down even more by taking a rest period inbetween the repeat of each set....example...

10 transfers, 10 2 hand, rest, repeat, rest,
15 transfers, 15 2 hand, rest, repeat, rest,
20 transfers, 20 2 hand, rest, repeat, rest

As Pavel might say....Enjoy!

Complusion and Consciousness

Here's a comment left by saremca form a previous blogpost.....I'm slowly making my way through comments! I think it makes a good point about making conscious decisions, and once again, as Mark often says, "It's simple, but it ain't easy!"

"I like that you make it so simple. You lay it on the line like, "Hey, it's your choice. Make it."

I'm working on being more conscious of my choices, and really considering the options and probable outcomes. I rush through life way too often and then wonder what happened."

my reply......

It's one thing to be conscious but then be compulsive.

We rush because we try and fit too many things in our schedules, trying to "do it all" Let's say we don't take the time to make our lunch because we've got so many other things we make a bigger priority, then buy something to eat that isn't in the best interest of our health, then feeling like...whoa, what just happened? We knew what was going to happen when we left the house, lol! No excuse.

But compulsive behavior is comes from a different place. You can be going along, with the best of plans and intentions, even having a pre made meal, and for whatever reason, this drive comes over you and it's much more difficult to simply "make the the right choice"'re not unconscious of making a "bad" choice, you're very conscious of it....the compulsion is driven by a number of pyschological reasons.

I'm not making excuses for complusive behavior. I believe it's a habit, like any other habit, you can work to's just different, because you can be fully conscious of what your doing, just not feeling like you can control it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"I Eat Pretty Healthy", and other delusions....

I wanted to address teresa's last comment via a short blog's part of her comment to my last post....

"Aren't we all just the products of the decisions we've made? I mean, unless someone's truly ignorant, don't most people have a basic understanding of healthy & unhealthy behavior"

Teresa.....I think most people really think they live pretty healthy! Seriously. Most people would tell you that what they eat is "pretty healthy", as if eating a chicken sandwich from anywhere because it's made from "breast meat" is a healthy choice, and somehow that cancels outs the other crap they eat. Most people equate healthy food with chicken breast! FYI, the chicken in chicken nuggets and any chicken sandwich is highly processed no better than a hot dog. "Deli" lunchmeat is the same highly processed highy salted crap. An although the roasted chickens you can buy at Costco and most grocery stores are not "processed meat" they are highly brined in salt and some sugars in most wonder they taste so good, lol!

Also, people think that because they are always "on the go" that somehow that counts as exercise! When I was fat I moved non-stop! In fact I used to say to Mark, "You would think I could lose a little weight with as much as I do around here!" Constantly on the go my feet would ache, because of all the extra weight I was carrying around. But it doesn't compute to actual exercise....sorry!

Lots of stuff I still need to reply to, but for now, off to yoga.......(BTW, Max Vo2 with Mark yesterday morning @5am was killer! More about that....)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Choosing Time

Mark and I wake up around 3:30am every morning, and while we sit down and have coffee together and talk, we share some of the most amazing insights of our experiences about our training. I want to expand more about this, but I have to get off to the studio in Palo Alto this morning to train Max Vo2 @ 5:20am with Mark this morning (how lucky am I?).

The quick point I want to make before I leave however is he said something the other morning when we were talking about the excuse people make about not having "time" to do the things they know they should do, and the frustration I was having about "wasting my breath"....he said, that's like saying......

"I have cancer, but I don't have time for chemo"

This epidemic of obesity and all it brings.....we have the answers!!!!!! Choose to make your time.

I don't have time to blog.....I chose my training......see ya later (truly, I do want to respond to comments....)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bursting with Luck......

I want to reply to everyone that left a comment to me on my last blogpost about wasting my breath..... First off, I only had a short time to start "venting" and that's what the result was. "Wasting my breath" was a simple description of how I've been feeling lately, but it's so much more than that.

I've got so much insight and relevant information bursting out of me because of my experiences of living it. "Living it" I'm "living it". I've created the luxury of my lifestyle. What comes first the chicken or the egg? Am I lucky to not have to work for a living? Am I lucky that at this time in my life my kids are grown and I have all this time to myself? Am I lucky to have time and talent to make all of my own food if I want, and the desire to spend the whole day in the kitchen? Yes, I am lucky, but my luck is in the creation of one gave it to me, I took it! I took control of my life.

Even when I worked full time, and I had to make "regular food" for my family, I managed to make the food I needed and lose 120lbs. When I worked full time I got up early to walk, without fail everyday....without fail. I created the habits of a healthy life, just as I had created the habits of an unhealthy life....taking responsibility to do what you say you want.

So, I've got all this "stuff" bursting out of me, why should I take my time to write about it, when it seems to just float off into Never-never Land? I greatly, greatly appreciate all who take the time to post comments, because then at least I feel my efforts are thank you.

What I have to share, what I want to give, what I want people to hear, is about more than a recipe. What is a recipe anyway? A recipe is not about exact's about inspiration! I don't care if you use "a cup of this, a cup of that".....create it yourself! Create yourself! It's here for you, it's here for everyone.

I'm not done.....I'm off to my first yoga class this morning and then I'll be back this afternoon to respond individually to comments, I've run out of time....

How lucky am I? I'm as lucky as I feel, and I feel pretty damn lucky!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wasting My Breath

I haven't written a blogpost for a week.....I always hated reading those words on someone's blog, I could never see the point of having a blog, especially a blog that you expected anyone to read regularly, and not post at least 3-4 times a week, lol....anyway.....that brings me to another quick I expect anyone to read anything I have to say? I go back and forth about that. On one hand I could give a crap, on the other, my ego wants to be...oh, I don't know...popular? Good Lord, how insecurities hang on....I mean I'm freakin' forty-five years old, why do I care?

Well, I'm caring less, and less, and less....that's why I haven't bothered to waste my breath....

I was having a conversation with a client last week, and I told her that if I were to count, on my hands, how many of my friends I've taught how to swing a KB in the past 2 1/2 years, and how many have kept swinging, I would only need one finger! And who knows how long that one friend will keep it up! I mean, I'm a living freakin' example of the kind of transformation very few people ever accomplish, ever, and all of my friends witnessed it first hand, in front of thier very freakin' eyes, and has it made a difference?

I mean, one of my friends told me the other day that she had gone to the gym.....gone to the gym? To do what? Lift weights, walk the treadmill? I mean, she has a really good friend (ME) that not only owns dozens of kettlebells, but has shown her how to use them, and what does she do? She goes to the freakin' gym. And of course when I question her about why she doesn't just swing a KB, she says to me, "Well I didn't want to bother you"....yay!.....she didn't want to waste any more of my time, because she know she's not going to do what it takes....well, I guess I should thank her then, for not making me waste anymore of my breath on her.

I am so sick of "pumping up" friends and clients to the miracle of training kettlebells that I hope no one ever swings them! I mean, get fat, get sick, bitch and moan about the not having any muscle tone. Bitch and moan about how you can't lose weight. Bitch and moan about how you don't have time. Bitch and moan about how you're a victim....blah, blah blah.....

God freakin' Lord! I've been training in my cold garage, by myself, frozen toes in the winter time, swinging that God damn bell, on my own, no one "pumping me up", no one holding my freakin' hand, because why? Because I have to do something! What's my choice? Do nothing? I did that! And what did it get me? 250lbs of bodyweight and a downward spiral of shoving more and more food in my face looking for the instant gratification that you think food gives you. Trying to make myself feel better, instead I was creating the exact opposite. But you know what? I never bitched about it! Never! I never whined about not being able to lose weight, I took responsibility for not being ready to lose weight.

I've whined more in these past few years about not being "perfect" than I ever did when I was fat. I've whined about not being 128.8lbs, exactly....but....never stopped trying to "figure it out". I never stopped making my own food, I never stopped going to yoga class, I never stopped swinging a KB, never.

I know what it's like to be compulsively driven to find some sort of comfort in eating. There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't feel a compulsion to overeat. There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't feel like skipping my workout (s). But what's the alternative?

get fat
get sick
feel like shit
be a victim
waste more of my life

I did that already, it didn't work out so well! I will never feel the humiliation that I put myself through by being that fat.

I may not be able, as I age, to keep this level of fitness, but if all I have to do is swing that stinkin' bell for 15 minutes, 3 times a week, to be in better shape than most women my age then so be it.

I will always be able to feed myself good foods, and I will always chose my own homemade fresh foods. What's the alternative? If you can''t feed yourself, then you can never bitch about your health or your weight. How can you rely on anyone else to care about your health more that you do? Well, that's what you do when you rely on someone else to provide readymade foods for you.

Enough already, I'm off to my first yoga class of the day......

Monday, November 10, 2008

Red Beet Applesauce

I said I was going to try it and I did! I added 4 small red beets, peeled and diced, to my pressure cooker full of apples, and instead of using water, I used juice and a little cinnamon. I love to roast baby beets with orange and cinnamon, so I thought it could work in this case. I would've used orange juice, but we only had TJ's Orange Mango. (You know what's in it? The first ingredient in TJ's Orange Mango is apple juice!)

I loved the result. Bright red and a little chunky, very sweet and nutritious in a different kind of way. Probably lower in calories too, since beets have fewer calories than apples.

Red Beet Applesauce

3-4 lbs of fuji, gala, or another sweet variety of apple, quartered
3-4 small beets. peeled and diced (or shredded)
1/2 c. juice
cinnamon stick (optional)

If using the pressure cooker cut the apples in big chunks because they will cook faster than the beets which need to be in a very small dice (1/4 in.) or shredded, no need to peel the apples as everything will go through the food mill. Add juice and cinnamon if using, bring pressure to high, cook 10 min, let pressure release naturally. When cool enough to handle run through the food mill.

If you are not using a pressure cooker you can use a large pot, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and cook 45-55 minutes (I'm guessing!)

I also made polenta in my PC for the first time, using Jill Nussinow's (the Veggie Queen) recipe as a guideline. It was freakin awesome! Polenta in minutes without stirring, good Lord.
I had some roasted red bell, jalapeno and poblano chilis in my freezer, so I diced them small and stirred them into the cooked polenta. I spread the hot polenta onto a small jelly roll pan and let it cool. I then cut the polenta into triangles and broiled them with chedder cheese.
You know what? I don't like commercial chedder cheese anymore! I hadn't had any for years, and it's pretty gross actually.

Try It, You'll Like it! Pressure Cooking 102

OK, this is not pressure cooking 101 because at this point you already have your pressure cooker, and you already have read the instruction manual and/or watched a DVD about how to use your pressure cooker. This blogpost isn't about how the pressure cooker works, it's about how to make pressure cooking part of your weekly cooking life. This is what you do, and I promise, if you actually do as I suggest, then it can, and will, change your cooking life.....

First, make a commitment to use your pressure cooker at least once a week for 1 month. I know with all we've heard about old fashioned pressure cookers and it can be scary....truly I know, I was scared too! But, get over it! I think you'll find that after your first experience you'll be anxious to do it again, once you see that it's not that bad! Pick a day of the week, make a commitment, and without fail make it happen. I don't want to hear, "Oh, I tried that pressure cooking thing one time....I didn't like it!"

Second, pick one or two recipes, and stick with only those. I suggest a "one pot" meal like chili, a hearty soup, or a pot roast, and then something like a polenta, rice dish, or multi grain breakfast meal that will take up to 20-30 minutes, and one recipe that takes less than 10 minutes. By repeating the same recipes (not more than two, please) you start to memorize the order of things, and very quickly make adjustments depending on the ingredients you have on hand....therefore creating you own recipes!

Practice and consistency. The best recipe is no recipe! These are the keys to effortless cooking!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Find Your Own Way to Health, and Your Body Will Find You

I wanted to write a quick blogpost inspired by one of Leslie's comments, here's what she wrote after diving into the pressure cooker world......

" I'm going to be directing people to your blog as my posts about pressure cooking have sparked interest, and your blog is what inspired me to try PCing!"

I don't want this blog to turn into the black hole my original blog turned into! I kept this blog because it's a creative outlet for me to share my passion. My passion is to give the overweight hope and encouragement to create the bodies they thought they could only dream about, by living as an example. I do hope to write a book (s), and/or produce DVD's with more details about how anyone and everyone can do what I did, as far as how I transformed my life, my health, and my body, and that's what I'll spend the majority of my free time on. This blog will reflect how I do those things in my daily life, and I'm happy to share, but I'm not trying to sell anything, or anyone. I'm thrilled for any referrals, but I'm not promoting this blog as a way to gain readership. I trust that if I have something of value then those who can appreciate it will find it.

Good health reflects a healthy bodyweight, it has to.

As I found my own way, my body followed. I knew I had to change what I was eating, and common sense told me that vegetables where the place to start. Eating fresh, natural, live foods will change your health, therefore changing the size of your body. Everyone has to find a way of eating that can be maintainable, and preferrable for the rest of their lives. You can do that by reeducating your taste palate and getting rid of processed foods. A great help is to reestablishing your daily habits to include home food preparation.

Good health reflects a strong body, it has to.

OK, I got the food in order, now I have to exercise. But why? Because being skinny is not enough to reflect good health, you have to be strong to survive, especially as we age. Strong body, strong heart, strong lungs, etc.. We are all here in physical bodies, and we were meant to move them, to use them! Muscle tone is muscle activation. How much tone is directly related to how much you are willing to work for it....tone, definition and strength are the same one can give it to you, you can't buy it, you have to work for it, you have to earn Mark always says, "that's the beauty in it, that's my favorite part!"

Good health reflects good thoughts, it has to.

We all have crapola in our heads that seems to make us do things we say we don't want to do. What would life be like if we did only those things we say we want? No one else in in charge of our lives, no one else can tell us how to think. We deserve to have the bodies we want, we deserve to eat good foods to support the body we want, we are smart enough to make the right choices to support having the bodies we want. By moving in the direction of good health we will find our way, but we have to think, and move in the right direction.

I found my own way, it's no secret how I did it or how I do it....everyday.

Cooking and preparing, most all, of my own homemade foods.
Russian kettlebell training, Bikram yoga, walking.
Reminding myself to stay a positive force by appreciating this incredibly good life I have.

You can use my way as an example to what is possible. Find your own way to health.....and then, guess what.....your body will find you.

(This may be the forward to my book!, lol)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Giving Up Some Sort of "Celebrity"

Well, by now anyone reading this has figured out that, although I won't be writing anymore blogposts for my original blog (Living My Physical Potential), I am continuing on through this blog, Food and Thought. If you would have told me that I would be giving up the other blog for this one, I would've never guessed...I should give up both, LOL! (I also have a personal non-public blog and I'll be starting another non-public blog just for my workout routines) But after writing one of my last blogposts on LMPP, titled "Relatability" I realized that not everyone "gets me", not that I care that much, but as far as training my style of KB's there's plenty of information on LMPP (it's a gold mine, in my opinion), and it will stay archived, it won't be deleted, but I'm much more interested in my continual transformation of moving toward health, and that involves so much more than swinging a KB.

So, this blog will be going through a transformation in the next few weeks, but I'm still asking myself the question of what my purpose is. Why do I care? Why do I care if anyone starts to eat better foods? Why do I care if anyone swings a kettlebell? Why do I care if anyone starts change how they feel about food and themslves? Well, I don't know the answer to those questions, but what I do know is, for whatever crazy reason, I care.

After I announced my last blog post on LMPP, all of a sudden I felt as if any kind of KB celebrity I had was gone. No more meeting people at Certs and hearing, "Hey I know you, I read your blog all the time, you're famous!", and comments like that. Hmmnn....bummer, lol! But life goes on. LMPP received hundreds of visits a day, while this one receives, on a busy day, way less than 100! So I thank those of you that do have an interest in feeding your body good foods, and looking to better understand what makes us hang on to the thought processes that creating the eating habits, and disconnection with our bodies, that can get us into such an unhealthy state, so we can all move toward health.

This is what I believe, and what I want this blog to be about.

Health means feeding your body good food. Health means moving your body so it stays strong. Health means thinking in a positive way about yourself. Good health reflects a healthy has to.

Preparing your own foods.

Chosing a physical activity, and training it like an athlete.

Establishing habits of thought that move you in a positive direction.

Hope, belief, knowing.

Living by example.

I'm off to yoga.........

Weirdness and Goodness

OK, here's how weird I am. After 9:15 yoga class, on my way home to do my KB workout with Mark, I decided to get my freakin' Snicker's. OK, I was hoping, of course, to find some 1/2 price candy, so I stopped at a Walgreen's.....nope, 1/2 price candy all gone.....I just couldn't bring myself to pay full price for candy I knew was on sale all over the county for 1/2. Of course, Halloween was almost a week ago and the 1/2 price candy that sells first is the good stuff anyway.

So I left Walgreen's to walk next door to the Nob Hill, again hoping to find 1/2 price candy, nope, all gone. So, there I was, should I drive to another store? I mean there's a drug store and grocery store on practically every corner....but that wouldn't be cost effective to drive all over town to save $2 bucks, LOL!

That's how weird I am.

So I just bought a stinkin' full price candy bar....not a whole pkg of fun sizes....and ate it. I was very sad when it was gone wishing I had more, but I didn't. I wasn't tripping out about it, in fact I told myself that if I wanted more I could have more....after my workout. Guess what? After my workout I didn't want more.

That's the good part.

By having what I wanted, in a resonable amount, removing myself from more, and then giving myself the option of more later, I didn't feel the need. Not to say it will be that way every time, but Snicker's craving gone....and that's what counts.

"What you resist, persists"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Last night, coming home from yoga I was telling Mark how I was jonesin' for a Snicker's.....still! He knows that for about a week, I've been thinking about Snicker's. Halloween was the big "trigger" for that, and then to top it off 1/2 price candy after the holiday (another trigger) is really driving me nuts. Mark and I went yoga Friday night to avoid all of the trick or treat hoopla. I haven't given out candy for 3 years now, and I used to give out full size candy bars...the neighborhood kids loved me, lol!

I know I can go and get a Snicker's candy bar anywhere, anytime, but for some reason the fun size snicker's is what I can't stop thinking about. I don't know about you, but that size will fit in my perfectly in my mouth and I can just feel the crunch of the big chunks of peanuts between my back molars, and the rush of pure sugar enter my that weird? I don't think so, it's just honest.

This is what keeps me from eating them.

I am less and less interested in eating blatent crap. I try to pick and choose how I "spend" my calories, and I feel like I'm wasting that choice on something so unhealthy. Many times I would rather eat a healthier version of sweets, at least a higher quality of sugar.

I know, at this point, I'm not interested in eating "just one". Notice how I said "not interested", instead of "I can't". I can do anything I want, and when I want to eat a Snicker's what I really mean is I want to eat the whole freakin' bag of fun size Snicker's until I'm physically unable to eat any more! And then what? I'll feel like shit. Not worth it. At least it's not worth it until it is.

Just some thoughts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pot Roast w/ Lentils, and Grass Fed Beef

What makes pot roast different than beef stew? Well, if you ask me the ingredients are basically the same, but the flavor of pot roast comes from red wine, and tomato.

beef, 2-3 lb. chuck roast or any other braising cut recommended by your butcher
onion, 1 lg
carrot, 2-3 diced
celery, 2-3 diced
garlic, of course
tomatoes, 6-8 fresh, peeled and diced, or 1 can
tomato paste, 2tbl.
red wine, 1-1/2 c.
water or stock, 4-6 c.
S & P

optional seasoning, dried or fresh


I don't care for potatoes, so I decided to try lentils. I used three different kinds, because I had them, but if I was using only one kind I would use the brown or green. Red lentils tend to break down, losing their shape, and the look of our food, like the flavor is part of the eating experience, IMO. Lentils don't take long to cook in the PC, so I cooked the roast for 20 min. released he pressure, added the lentils, brought the pressure back up for an additon 10 min., turned off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally.

Traditional pot roast can take 2-3 1/2 hours in the oven, but in the PC you can have it all done in about an hours time, prep and all.

Pot Roast w/ Lentils

Brown all sides of beef in oil, and remove.

Add diced onion, carrot, celery, saute until onions are translucent, 5-10 min. add garlic in the last minute.

Add any seasoning and deglaze the pot with red wine.

Add tomatoes (juice and all), and tomato paste.

Add beef, and enough water or stock to cover veggies and about half way up the roast (4-6 c.), and 1 tsp salt.

Cover and lock PC, bring pressure to high, cook for 20 min. Quick release pressure (follow PC intructions), add 2 cups of dried lentils, cover, bring pressure back to high. cook additional 10 min., turn off heat and let the pressure come down naturally.

I liked this recipe so much I'll be making it again today!


Common grades of beef available at markets these days are basically.....

Hormone and antibiotic injected corn fed beef.

Hormone and antibiotic injected, organic corn fed beef.

No hormone or antibiotic injected, organic corn fed beef.

No hormone or antibiotic injected, grass fed beef (I'm assuming organic grass feed)

The first ime I made this recipe, last week, I chose to buy a "grass fed" beef chuck roast @ $7.99lb., that ended up costing me almost $20 for a roast just over 2lbs. The meat was disappointedly lacking in flavor, I can only assume it was because it's leaner, and I was also disappointed that the option of a roast with a bone wasn't available. Why did I chose grass fed?

I believe we should buy the best quality of foods we can afford. At this time in my life, I can afford the highest grade of meat, and taking into consideration how little meat I eat, it's still cost effective. BUT, I don't understand why I can't get "bone-in" cuts of grass fed beef. All of the cuts available at Whole Foods come to the store already boned out. I haven't yet found the answer why. So for the sake of flavor, and the option of bone-in cuts of meat, I have to decide whether or not the fact that a "corn fed" cow is something can feel good about, afterall I've lived 45 years on corn fed beef! Hormone and antibiotic free meat is the most important quality to me right now.

One thing I know I'm fine about is eating meat, and I won't get into a debate on why, there's no need. And I'm not going to try and educate anyone on all of the differences btween corn fed and grass fed, because I, myself, am still learning. So if anyone is interested in becoming more aware if the differences that are important to them, then there is plenty of information regarding this subject, online or in books. I'll continue to learn as I go......and make my choices accordingly.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Apples, my new tomato!

Well, as crazy as I was for tomatoes this past late summer, now it's apple season, and with my pressure cooker....pressure cookers...I can have fresh, warm, homemade, nothing but apples, applesauce, in a matter of minutes, yum yum!

. I used as much as my 8qt. PC would hold, probably 6lbs. A combination makes it more
interesting, I used Fuji, Gala and quince. You can peel them before you cook them, and by doing it that way you can simply mash them for a chunkier applesauce, but if you don't peel them you have to use a food mill to seperate the skins, but then you won't have the choice of a chunkier version. I did it both ways, and I found the applesauce made with the skins more flavorful, but that is just my opinion. You save time by not peeling the apples, but you make up for it by using the food mill...and washing it!

Water. I'm not sure if you even need any liquid, but I added only 1/2 c. I had never made applesauce in the pressure cooker before and it seemed weird, and scary to not add some kind of liquid. I did look online for PC appelsauce recipes and to my surprise many of them suggested....are you ready for this? Apple juice! What's the point of making your own applesauce? If you buy apple juice to make applesauce, you might as well buy applesauce, lol.

Optional stuff...

cinnamon stick
lemon or orange peel
other fresh fruits like pears and cranberries (in season), out of season fruit is still available like peaches, plums, pineapple, etc.
dried fruits, raisins, cranberries, prunes, apricots, etc.

Many of the recipes I came across also suggested adding sugar. Again, pointless to me, but if your apples aren't sweet enough, sugar, white, raw/natural, or brown is always an option. As well as any other sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.

I'm dying to try making applesauce with a couple of diced red beets.....I think it'll work! It will make a gorgeous red sauce and as long as I use more apples than beets the flavor should still balance out ok.