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Fitness Redux

When I began my vegan macrobiotic practice 35 years ago, my life was on the line. I changed everything about my life to regain my health. I walked away from the foods and lifestyle that I believed had helped create my condition of illness. I ditched vegan junk food, started cooking whole grains, beans and lots of seasonal veggies. I stopped working out strenuously. I had always been fit, but training and fitness were some of the last things on my mind at this critical juncture. I left my beloved gym behind to focus on cooking and staying alive.

Planting Your Future

I don’t know about you, but as spring begins to spring, my thoughts turn to dirt. Yup, dirt. I think about my little city garden and how may flowers and food plants I can cram into containers and in raised beds.

St. Patty’s Day

I grew up with a mother who was seriously proud to be Italian. Seriously proud. She loved the cliché that there were two types of people in the world: Italians and people who wished they were Italian.

But on one day each year, she celebrated my Irish father. St. Patrick’s Day was his day (even though she sent us kids to school with “Kiss Me, I’m Italian” buttons on our coats). We listened to Irish crooners sing “Danny Boy” until we cried. My dad told the story of St Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland with typical Irish flair. It was quite the thing.

Stressed?

Winter drags on with February behind us and spring on the horizon, but it’s cold and most of us are over it. I know I am. We can become cranky and not as luscious as we usually are, right? We regret not taking that island holiday over the holidays, our toes in tropical sand; the warm breezes relaxing our tense shoulders. As though that would have helped. Maybe it would have, but the truth is pretty simple.

Stress is something we all live with. There’s not one life, not even the Dalai Lama who doesn’t experience stress. It’s how we manage it that makes all the difference.

Supplements-Savior or Sinner?

I wish I had a penny for each time I was asked about supplements in my career. I’d be writing this article from my villa in Italy! I kid you, but I know there’s a boatload of confusion swirling around the concept of taking supplements. You guys know I am a science and nutrition nerd, so you can rest assured I have done my homework on this subject. I have talked to experts and read endless studies and papers. I have experimented on myself with supplements and going without them.

Here’s what I know.

Supplements-Savior or Sinner?

I wish I had a penny for each time I was asked about supplements in my career. I’d be writing this article from my villa in Italy! I kid you, but I know there’s a boatload of confusion swirling around the concept of taking supplements. You guys know I am a science and nutrition nerd, so you can rest assured I have done my homework on this subject. I have talked to experts and read endless studies and papers. I have experimented on myself with supplements and going without them.

Here’s what I know.

It’s Almost Here

I bet you’re thinking I’m talking about spring, right? Hah! While that most glorious season begins on March 20 and I wait breathlessly for the first buds to sprout, it’s also National Nutrition Month.

Yup. It’s time to celebrate nutrition with thirty-one days encouraging everyone to (according to nationalnutritionmonth.org), “adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.”

Dysfunctional Foods

(A Note from me: I found this article online. I adore the work of Dr. Katz. I just had to share it with you. David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, is a specialist in internal medicine and preventive medicine, with particular expertise in nutrition, weight management, and chronic-disease prevention. He is the founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, and principal inventor of the NuVal nutrition guidance system.

Listening In the Kitchen

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  It’s my job. I love every second of it.  Having worked as an artist in my earlier years, I love the creative outlet I have always found in cooking--developing recipes, creating beautiful presentations, discovering new combinations of food and of course, always discovering how the energies come together to create the dance of life.

It’s Diabetes Awareness Month

If you watch television for more than 30 seconds, you’ll see an ad for a diabetes drug, with discouraging language for people trying to manage this lifestyle disease on their own. The implication is clear. You can’t manage Type 2 diabetes with diet and lifestyle alone. You need whatever drug is being featured to regain control.