Author: Cheryl

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Every year my garden treats us to a plethora of zucchini. As a matter of fact, we have so much zucchini that we have to give it away. Which means that by the end of the season, every time I walk out of my house with grocery bags full of garden zucchini, the sound of slamming shutters and blinds by my neighbors can be heard up and down the street. Yes, by October, even the neighbors are over it. But, I love zucchini bread, but I also like to cut calories when I can, as long as I can come up with a palatable solution. Many years ago I took a traditional recipe and completely revamped it. I recently was craving a chocolate fix and added cocoa powder to my recipe. After all, chocolate is full of surprising health benefits, and the result was delicious. I do love the taste of the rich dark chocolate,...

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Fabulous Fit Tip #6

FIT TIP #6: PERFECT POSTURE, Round Two I am passionate about posture, because I understand how important it is to our overall health and well-being. After working with hundreds of clients over the years, I have seen the health benefits of good posture as well as the detrimental effects of faulty posture. Our posture and our structural alignment doesn’t just affect our joints. It also impacts our organs and other physiological functions as well. Since this is a follow-up from my previous fit tip on posture, you might want to review Fit Tip #5. For more detailed information regarding posture, you can check out Chapter 6 of my book, “Forever Fit and Flexible.” In the meantime, here are 3 additional movement lessons to help you find your way to perfect posture. 1). Hold a tray Sit...

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Singing Green Bean Soup

Fall is the perfect time time to enjoy this tasty and tangy green bean soup.  My sisters and I grew up on this soup, and we loved it so much that my mom renamed it Singing Soup, based on the sounds of “mmmmm….mmmmm…mmmm” that filled the kitchen anytime this soup was on the menu. Whether it’s fresh green beans from your own garden, your local Farmer’s Market, or your supermarket, green beans have some surprising health benefits.  Paired with the humble and often overlooked potato (which also has a few surprising power-packed health benefits as well), this is one of my favorite recipes to enjoy this late summer-early fall specialty. True to form, I cut out the sour cream that was essential in my mom’s recipe and replaced it with low fat plain Greek...

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Fabulous Fit Tip #5

Fit Tip #5: PERFECT POSTURE Spoiler alert, there’s no such thing as perfect posture, at least not in my book. A lot of us have hang ups about our posture, especially if we have ever been told we have “bad posture.” Fantastic–one more thing to feel guilty about. However, posture is an important component for our fitness and our health. So, the first thing to do is to let go of the judgement, and follow these 3 easy tips to improve your posture. 1). Stand with your back up against a wall with your feet slightly in front of you. Gently press the back of your head, both shoulders, and your buttocks into the wall. Slowly add a bit more pressure against the wall, and notice how the shape of your spine changes. Stop and relax for a moment, and repeat this several times....

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The Pilgrimage

I stood quietly in the middle of the dojo floor and listened respectfully while Sensei yelled at me.  He had progressed from yelling to screaming, and by now he had been screaming non-stop for thirty minutes. I was keeping track of the time by sneaking peeks at the clock on the wall at the end of the dojo. It was quite impressive to witness Sensei’s ability to find new things to yell about, as well as his stamina for screaming. He certainly was a creative screamer, and apparently, I was giving him plenty of reasons to scream at me. I didn’t know where he was getting his energy from, but at least one of us had some staying power. Personally, I was exhausted, but knew better than to admit it. Over the past half hour, we had established a predictable rhythm. My partner would attack me, I would...

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Cheryl’s Spontaneous Shrimp and Pasta Diablo

I came up with this recipe in the sixth month of the pandemic when I had nothing planned for dinner and couldn’t stand the thought of coming up with a grocery list, let alone going to the grocery store. I looked in the pantry, the freezer, and the refrigerator, and got a little inspiration. I figured if it bombed, we could always order a pizza. However, the result was so delicious that I even surprised myself, and this is now one of my go to recipes. Ingredients: 8 oz large shrimp 6 ounces linguine one can diced tomatoes ½ cup white wine ¼ TSP red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves crushed garlic Directions: Heat olive oil in large fry pan frying pan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic stirring constantly for two to three minutes. Add shrimp, cook for 3 minutes on each...

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Lessons from The FemiNinja

During my 17 years of training in the Art of the Ninja, there were many principles and philosophies of the art which were applicable to every aspect of my life and every life situation. My training was not only about protecting myself, it was about learning how to have a better life through the insights gleaned through training. A few weeks ago I had the honor of telling my story to the Pearls of Wisdom Women’s Circle, hosted by my friend and colleague Beth Anderson of Pearl Coaching, LLC. I shared some of my insights with them, and now I am sharing them with you. As I reflect on my experiences, I realize I have so many ninja secrets that I am now collecting them and organizing them to put in a book. Yes, even while my second book, “The Reluctant Ninja,”is going through...

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Fabulous Fit Tip #4

Welcome back to my simple and practical fabulous fit tips! FIT TIP #4: VISUALIZE SUCCESS Never underestimate the power of visualization. What you can imagine, you can achieve. Using your imagination and practicing visualization actually changes the neural pathways in your brain. Professional athletes and performing artists have used the power of visualization for years to improve their performance on the field and on the stage. It works for them and it will work for you. Visualize yourself doing some activity every day which will help you improve your strength, flexibility, balance, posture, and core strength. Focus on only one thing at a time, and truly engage your mind as you imagine the sensation going through you as you slowly perform the activity. You will be amazed at how much benefit...

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The Reluctant Ninja

I am beyond excited to announce that the manuscript for my next book, The Reluctant Ninja, has just been turned over to my fantastic editor, Donna Mazzittelli of Merry Dissonance Press. Here is a sneak peek. PREFACE I unlocked the door to the dojo[1]and stepped across the threshold. I removed my shoes, respectfully bowed to the Kamidana[2] and walked across the mat toward the dressing rooms. My stocking feet whispered softly across the padded floor, barely making a sound as I crossed the length of the mat. At the end of the mat, I turned, bowed again, and made my way to the ladies dressing room. My gi[3] was hanging neatly on the hanger with my belt draped across its shoulders, exactly where I left it one year earlier. The only change was the thick layer of dojo dust that covered my uniform....

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Fabulous Fit Tip #3

Welcome back to Fabulous Fit Tips, dedicated to providing simple but valuable tips to help you become forever fit and flexible. If you haven’t read the previous Fit Tips, you may want to check them out since the tips are listed in consecutive order to help make them easy to follow and commit to. Fit Tip #1 Fit Tip #2 Here’s the next tip to help keep you on track and achieve your goals. Fit Tip #3: Track your progress Now that you have set clear and specific goals, and have written them down on paper, it’s time to track your progress. Keep a diary, a journal, or other written record of your progress at a glance. Include when you have met your goals for the week as well as when you have fallen short. However, remember to leave out the judgement and the guilt if you haven’t accomplished...

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