Summer Heat, Health, and Hydration

It’s summer, and the heat is on. Along with the heat and the fun in the sun comes the risk of dehydration. Whether you are relaxing on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or biking around town, it’s vital to stay ahead on your fluid intact to avoid inadvertently becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, low blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, arrhythmias, and fainting. Prolonged dehydration can even cause organ damage. Yikes! Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize we are on the brink of dehydration until it’s too late, so that’s why it’s important to take in fluids even when you don’t feel thirsty. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to stay hydrated, besides drinking water. There are a lot of fresh,...

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Mindful Meditation or Back Yard TV

Ahhh, meditation. Every “expert” I know sings the praises of mindful meditation along with the many health benefits including stress management, reducing negative emotions, and increasing patience and tolerance. I have often been told by multiple experts, “You need to meditate. You’re so high strung, and it’s the only way to calm your mind.” To say I’m high strung is an understatement, but I prefer to think of it as high energy. One of my ballet teachers once said that I had “big energy.” I took it as a compliment until one of the dancers said, “That’s a nice way of putting it.” Hmmm….I wondered what she meant by that. The look on her face indicated it wasn’t a compliment. Along with having high energy, I...

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Salad for Breakfast, Chocolate for Lunch

I came up the title of this post over 6 years ago when I was having a casual conversation with a friend, who happened to be an acupuncturist as well as an athlete and a top notch martial artist. Our conversation turned to nutrition, and I jokingly said, “How about having salad for breakfast and chocolate for lunch?” Here it is, several years later, and I am now eating salad for breakfast almost every morning. And I’m loving it! After taking photos of my mega-nutritious, vitamin-packed breakfast salads and sending them to my sisters, one responded by asking me for the recipes. She said they looked delicious, and she had been struggling trying to find healthy options for breakfast. Uh-oh. She wanted recipes. Recipes I didn’t have. I always start with a base of avocado...

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Vanishing Vegetable Soup

I love soup, and I love cooking it. However, sometimes the recipes end up being rather blah, and I’m left staring down a pot of leftovers thinking “meh.” I don’t want to eat that, and it ends up in the garbage disposal, which hurts my soul. I hate throwing food away. But, true to my incomparably stubborn nature, I keep trying. And trying. Instead of following a recipe exactly as written, I have also begun taking a few liberties, using my imagination and whatever ingredients I have on hand that might work out. This vegetable soup recipe originally called for either beef or chicken, but I decided to use nothing but veggies. The result? By the end of the second day, there wasn’t a spoonful of leftovers in sight. My husband and I ate the entire pot, and the garbage...

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Fresh Green Veggies and Pasta

Nothing quite says spring has sprung like fresh green vegetables, even though this is a fast and fabulous recipe that you can enjoy all year long. It’s a great way to get more vegetables in your diet, and even though it has a cream and butter sauce, I like to think that the health benefits of the broccoli, asparagus, and snow peas levels the playing field. In my opinion the sauce isn’t nearly as rich and decadent as other cream based pasta sauces, but maybe I’m just kidding myself. Regardless, it is a very tasty recipe that feels light and healthy. You can boost the health benefits by serving it with a fresh green salad with an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. See? Guilt free pasta in a delicious cream sauce! Ingredients: 2 cups fresh broccoli florets 1 cup fresh...

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Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

I love chicken. It’s versatile, high in protein, easy to digest, and if you cook it right it can be low in fat as well. It can also be easy to prepare for a low maintenance meal, leaving extra time for the things you really love to do. Like going to the dojo and beating up bad guys in my case. But that’s just me. Which is why I love cooking with my crock pot. It’s just so darn easy, and it’s a great way to cook chicken. However, I prefer to use either a whole chicken or thighs and drumsticks rather than chicken breasts. I don’t like the texture of chicken breast cooked in the crock pot, but thighs and drumsticks turn out tender, juicy, and tasty. In this particular recipe, I use bone in chicken thighs and remove the skin before cooking. Here is a quick and easy,...

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Creamy Mushroom Soup

I never learned how to cook until I moved away from my hometown and my mother’s cooking to Denver to seek my fame and fortune. Since then I have become a pretty good cook if I do say so myself. However, it was a steep learning curve and there were a lot of unpalatable mistakes along the way. This mushroom soup was one of the first recipes I made that had any degree of success. Over the years, once my cooking skills improved, I changed the recipe a bit to make it even creamier, tastier, and more satisfying. In my humble opinion, it’s the best cream of mushroom soup I’ve ever had. And the health benefits of mushrooms are almost as amazing as the soup itself. Ingredients: 1 pound button mushrooms, chopped 1 Portobello mushroom, chopped 1 bunch scallions 3 cups chicken broth 2...

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The Reluctant Ninja and the Big Reveal

For the past five years I have been busy working on my next book, The Reluctant Ninja: How A Middle-Aged Princess Became a Warrior Queen. The book chronicles my journey in the male-dominated, testosterone-infested, strange new world of men and martial arts. It was a wild ride, and the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. But, I certainly did not go willingly. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming, and not in a good way. Marc, my Sensei, was my acupuncturist long before he became my teacher. It took him 3 long years to get me on the mat and train with him. I finally capitulated and agreed to take a few classes just to prove to him how much I was going to hate it. Ten years later I became his first female black belt. In 20 years of teaching, he never had a woman achieve such...

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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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