Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What Do You Want?

The popular quest... deciding on New Year's Resolutions (NYRs). Many people spend the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve contemplating what they will resolve to do in the new year. For the record, I happen to think creating New Year's Resolutions is ill-informed. I stick by the advice in my blog from last December 28th to skip the NYRs and instead spend the time working on New Spring Resolutions. If you're intrigued, go back to 366 days ago and see if that makes more sense for you.

If you are still determined to create New Year's Resolutions with which to ring in 2011, I offer another thought... Don't resolve without intention. Huh? Yes, I know it sounds a bit silly but allow me to explain.

Many times we create our NYRs to address something we want to change in the short-term. Eat less, exercise more, stop smoking, be a better friend... blah, blah, blah. Don't get me wrong, these are all great little achievements but they hardly count as a "resolution." In order to create a Resolution (capital R and bolded), you have to understand what it is important and where you want to go in your life. When you understand your own true intentions it is much easier to make meaningful Resolutions and stick with them. Why? Because they compliment your purpose and they call you a larger view of life. Let's do it:

1. To begin, take a few moments and answer the following questions:

  • What age do you want to live to?
  • When you die, what do you most want people to remember about you?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do you most look forward to each day?
  • Who or what makes you smile?
  • Where in nature do you most like to be? (ocean, mountains, desert, etc.)
2. Now, with those answers in mind:
  • Create your intentions by devoting a bit of time to list the things you intend to do with your one precious life. Be brave. Dream big!
3. And, finally, with those intentions in mind:
  • Create your New Year's Resolutions for 2011. 
This little exercise will give you clarity. It will help you create meaningful Resolutions. It will give you specific goals for 2011. It will help you better see if the choices you make are moving your life forward or holding you back. 

Planning your life, and 2011, is best done with a purpose in mind. I'd love to hear from you... Please share your Resolutions with me so we can encourage others!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How Did it Happen?

You’re not sure how you got here. A few pounds after high school. A few more after you got married. You never lost the several you added with your first child. The next two kids? You didn’t have the time or energy to notice.  Now, you’re overweight and you’re tired. Your body aches. You hate to look in the mirror. You hide the pounds under baggy clothes. You don’t care so much about your hair or make-up anymore. You feel so far away from the energy you had as a high school cheerleader. Being that person almost feels like another lifetime or maybe a movie.

You feed the family fast food or carry out several times per week.  When you do eat at home, you open the freezer even though you know frozen lasagna and fish sticks don’t really count as cooking.  You don’t really know how to cook.  You watch those cooking shows on television and they make cooking seem so hard and complicated. You don’t have the time or energy after work to stand in the kitchen for an hour to cook. All you really want to do is get dinner over with so you can forget about the guilt you feel.

Two of your kids are overweight now too. You know they learned how to eat by watching you. They snack constantly on pretzels or chips or cookies. They drink too much soda. You’ve tried to get them to drink water but the water from the tap tastes awful and soda is cheaper than bottled water that they’d complain about anyway. You’re worried about their health. You’re worried about your own. The last time you went to the Doctor, he said you were pre-diabetic and your cholesterol was too high. He warned you about diabetes and what could happen. And you think about your Aunt who had diabetes and suffered for years.

You haven’t done any exercise since you were 20 years old. None. You used to take the stairs instead of the elevator at the mall. Every now and again you’d park at the back of the grocery store parking lot so you could walk more. You gave all of those things up as the pounds continued to add up. Now, you’re too embarrassed and really have no idea how to exercise anyway. The thought of going to a gym, even one of those woman-only gyms, makes you sick to your stomach. And even if you could work up the courage, when could you do it? Between work, running the kids to their activities and taking care of the house you barely have any time for yourself anyway.

You want things to be different. You want to lose weight. You’ve tried many diets over the years. You were miserable and they only worked for a few weeks anyway. You’re not sure what diet is best. The news is always changing. Low-fat or low-carb… Who knows? You want to have more energy. You want to have more hope. When you were young, you had a dream of owning your own flower shop. Now you can’t even picture your dream anymore. You’re tired. You’re afraid for your kids. You want to teach them how to take care of their own health. You don’t know how.

You’re not sure how you got here.

You don't know how to change.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wait... Look Back!

The week between Christmas and New Year's is a popular time for the "look back" at 2010 articles. Pick up a newspaper or browse the web and you'll see lists and lists of top 10s... movies, books, news articles, photos, etc.

I suggest that each of us take a few moments before we ring in the new year and create our own Top 10 list. Doing so is a great way to reflect on the past year and remember those moments most important to us.

I was tempted to suggest we each make a list of the Top 10 "Best" moments, which you can certainly do. And maybe a Top 10 Memorable Moments list is a more appropriate approach. Why? Often things we consider "bad" at the time turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened to us. Time is a gift and can make the past make so much more sense.

So there is your assignment. Create a list of your Top 10 Memorable Moments in 2010 list before the clock strikes midnight on Friday.

And, if you're feeling really ambitious, find an empty journal and make this list every year. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

When Small Isn't Good Enough

Here at Cybercise, we stand on the idea that making small, positive changes is a great way to improve your health for the long-term. Odds, statistics and experience show too drastic a change and attempting too much, too soon most often results in failure. Start small, stick with it and over time you'll see improvement.

And, what about those times when small isn't good enough? They happen...

Example #1: Blockbuster. The fine people who created Blockbuster had a really terrific idea that revolutionized the way we watch movies. The model was perfect and Blockbuster was very successful. And then, along comes Netflix. Sure, Blockbuster started making small changes. They tweaked their model. And they sat in corporate conference rooms too afraid to make the big change and do something dramatic. Why? Big change is uncomfortable and scary. I get it; I understand. And as time went on, those people in corporate conference rooms sat around  only making small changes just long enough while their idea died and the company went bankrupt.

Example #2: Company X. The very safe, stable and predictable Medicare market Company X has operated in for the last 40 years is about to drastically change. The market changed a little about 5 years ago and Company X made a few small changes and survived the little shake. Since that time, they've continued to make a few small changes even though they know, without a shadow of a doubt, the big shake is coming. The market is about to change dramatically and where there were 20+ Company X's there will now only be 5 or 6. What is Company X doing? They are sitting in corporate conference rooms making small changes, doing little things piecemeal at a time. Why? Sticking your neck out there and being a leader is scary. Change is uncomfortable. My prediction? They'll be gone. They might as well turn the lights off now and go home.

Example #3: My father was a smoker. He knew he should quit (just as all smokers know they should quit). Sure he'd cut down now and again, he moved to the light version,  but he didn't quit (granted this was 20+ years ago so the evidence was a bit less clear then). He had his first heart attack at 39. We nearly lost him. Guess what? He quit smoking. Never had another. He was lucky to be alive. He made the big change and is still alive today.

The point? Small changes are good and small changes do make all of the difference. And, if you are overweight, or diabetic, or a smoker, or have pre-hypertension, or you don't exercise, maybe now is the time for the big change. The only big change you really need to make is to finally and resolutely decide to do something different.

Don't sit in your living room and be afraid. Yes, it will be uncomfortable and it is scary. You can start the big change with small changes but be really clear with yourself that you're going to do something really different. Why? Because the only thing you really have to fear is waiting too long and not having a chance.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Health in 300 Seconds

We tweet in 140 characters and manage to communicate with our friends and followers. We've learned to write short emails because nobody has the patience to read a novel anymore. Our Facebook status updates fall somewhere in between. Texting? With shortcuts and abbreviations we can tell our partner "IMY♥" and they know exactly what we mean.

Yes, people, we've evolved. We've learned how to get a message across to those around us by recognizing what is really important and delivering a short, clear message.

We need to do the same for our exercise and eating habits. Stop beating yourself up because you didn't spend an hour in the gym. Don't worry about not being able to cook a gourmet four-course meal for your family each night. Short and frequent is better and, best of all, you can actually do it!

Exercise in 10 minute bursts at least 3 times each day. Eat 6 small meals per day and include lots of fruits and veggies (healthy, easy and don't require much prep). Most of all, stop driving yourself crazy because of what you're not doing. Move often, eat well and be happy. All in a few minutes a day.

Extend the revolution.
UR worth it!

- Posted using BlogPressxei from my iPad

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Micro Choices, Macro Wellness

Ask any woman and she'll confirm... the small things matter most. An unexpected love note from her partner, flowers for no reason, a hug from her child, and a call from a long-lost friend just to say hello. We know this and yet we forget in the part of life that matters most: our own health.

Weight-loss doesn't come from the latest blockbuster diet. A firm, toned body could come from hours each day in the gym, but who has the time? And true happiness doesn't come from the perfect spouse or the perfect kids or the perfect job or perfectly stuffed bank account. All of life happens in the little moments. Moment by moment, day after day. Same goes for our health and wellness.

Women, in particular, have an incredible ability to do just about anything for a short period of time. Stay up all night to make cupcakes for the class party? Work hours and hours of overtime to finish a project? Put aside our own chores to help a sick friend? Easy. We've all been there and done such things happily.

Unfortunately, we treat our own bodies and own health the same way. A few days of fast food because we're busy? A crash diet before our high school reunion? Skipping breakfast to get to work early? Missing a workout due to a lunch meeting? Missing another workout due to a PTA meeting? Missing another workout because we're exhausted? We've all been there and done those things, too.

I think if we can begin to think of our own health and our path to wellness in the small moments, we can be successful for the long term. Each and every day, do one new small thing for your health. To mimic the popular book series...

Green Tea
Second cup of coffee
Red Meat
Salad Dressing
Strength Training
Bone Loss Drug
Real, Whole
Eat Out

Come on, ladies. We know it is the small things that matter to us the most. Matter to yourself most and do a small thing each day, moment by moment.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Food Desert

Another airport, another lesson. Once you pass beyond security screening at most airports, you enter a food desert. If you're hungry, you can choose from familiar fast food chains and, if you're lucky, a quick service sit down spot or a locally owned bar that serves food.

If you're seeking real, whole healthy food from nature you have to be a detective. You have to sleuth about looking in cases and on counters. You need to be strong as you walk by the old familiar choices.

What are you seeking? Non-processed food. Things without added sugar, fake sugars and salt. Things without hydrogenated or trans fats. You're searching for whole fruit and vegetables. Whole grains, legumes and greens. Maybe some nuts.

My 20+ years of business travel experience offers this advice: bring your own food (but nothing liquid or even liquid-like... I've had yogurt confiscated by the TSA). Some of my favorites: apples, avocado, almonds, celery and carrots (No dip... It is "liquid" and not healthy anyway), pumpkin seeds, a bag of leafy greens. Yes, people will look at you and not understand when you put a health feast on your tray table. Get over it.

If you find yourself in an airport without a food stash, which happens often in spite of the best intentions, head for the little deli counters. There is usually some fruit there. Most Starbucks have a fruit cup. Most news and magazine shops sell nuts or seeds in the back hanging on the wall. Look for a salad though don't use the dressing, odds are it is full of sugar or fake fats. And remember to get water so you can stay hydrated during your flight.

The bottom line... Until we amass and leverage the power of our consumer choice and spending to put pressure on what options are readily available, you will have to do the leg work, be a detective and seek out healthy foods in airports.

Consider yourself lucky. Some people get their food, every day, in communities much like the airport.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't Owe

What if we lived in a world where borrowing wasn't allowed? A society where you couldn't get something today if you had to leverage tomorrow to get it. It would be somewhat akin to cash society. Pay before you play. Pay to enter. Pay to receive. 

Initially, the idea the sprung from some unease about the national debt. I find it a little disconcerting we owe so much money as a nation. And then it started to occur to me such a "cash" policy could apply to many things. 

This clearly would be a good policy for our personal finances. Yes, we could argue having a home mortgage and car loan is almost necessary (unless of course, we had a better public transportation system and we could be mobile without our cars... a blog for another day). How much more peaceful would you be if you didn't have credit card debt to work off? 

What about a pay-in-advance system for health and wellness? Interesting... 

Let's take the meat industry, for example. An article released today said we pumped our meat with 30 million pounds of antibiotics last year. I imagine if we didn't do so, our factory farms would only be able to produce a fraction of the meat we consume. I think, perhaps, this could be a good thing. Less factory meat, less pollution, fewer health issues resulting from unhealthy meat products... We would have no choice but to explore ways to work in concert with nature to produce food. Nature = Good.

The pay upfront policy applied to how we care for our bodies: Instead of eating whatever we please and then dieting to work it off,  we only eat the amount of food our body needed to survive. If you exercise more, you would have an "allowance" to eat more food. Our current system of eat, exercise and diet means we're always playing catch up with ourselves which is pretty exhausting. If each nice long workout had the reward of our favorite treat afterwards, maybe more people would exercise. How about a points system to get food instead of a points system about our food? 

The bottom line is we could do ourselves, and each other, a huge favor by taking responsibility. We wouldn't owe ourselves, our bodies or anybody else anything. Maybe each day would actually feel like a gift if we all began to look at each day for today instead of paying the debt on yesterday.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Salad Girls

Business travel took me to Arizona for 3 days this week. With many trips, maintaining some control over how much food I eat can be a challenge. When traveling for work, you typically work a little later than you normally would, you skip the post-workday workout and you gather some other traveling colleagues and go out for a great meal. None of which are that beneficial for your health.

Before this week’s trip, I had decided I would use these three days as a little experiment to learn more about the challenges of eating while traveling for work. I wanted to avoid as much processed food as possible. Breakfast was easy as the buffet included fresh fruit and whole-grain bread. I skipped the coffee (feeling parched from airplane travel) and opted for hot tea. Lunch both days was a salad, with grilled chicken, no dressing, no bread. Not bad. Dinner on night two was sushi also a pretty healthful choice though I did indulge in a few rolls with yummy sauces spread over the top. Not to mention some wine.

Dinner on night one, however, was most interesting. I went to a lovely little family owned Italian restaurant with two close colleagues and two people I had only met a few hours before. As we were waiting for our table the aroma was heavenly. The menu? Very traditional family Italian, very rich and not very healthy. I had a small mental battle, really wanting to try “Mama’s” ravioli (Mama was there, of course, watching over her brood and you knew, just by looking at her, that this woman could really, really cook). The group opted to order one of their famous pizzas to share as a starter and I was voted to choose so we had a prosciutto, Parmesan and arugula pizza. As we order our mains, one of the women I had just met ordered a salad.  Pasta for the other three and when it came to me I decided on a spinach salad. My body was tired from a long flight, my body was confused by eating so late, I didn’t want to feel weighed down by a heavy meal and I was hoping for a good night’s sleep.

The two colleagues I’ve worked with for years, immediately made a comment about my dinner choice. Perhaps you’ve gotten one of those comments before, or perhaps you’ve even made them. Something to the effect of, “Oh, of course you’re getting a salad. You always have to be the healthy one.” I’ve learned over the years to simply nod and smile and let the conversation move on to other things. To be honest, my salad wasn’t that great (the slice of pizza I had, however, was terrific) and I skipped the bread (which Mama also made). We left, I felt sated and not stuffed and managed a good night of sleep.

The following day, I was chatting with my salad co-conspirator who expressed how much she appreciated me also ordering a salad so she wasn’t the only one eating leaves in the face of cheesy, creamy pasta dishes.  She too had been on the receiving end of “those comments” about making the healthy choice. We commiserated for a few moments as if whispering about a secret and went on to our meeting.

As I travel home, I’m left with a wondering. What makes people comment on the food choices we make? Is it envy? Support? Judgment? Justification? Random, meaningless dinner conversation? Is there a “good” way to make a comment? Should we simply say nothing at all?

I certainly don’t feel better when someone remarks that I’m being healthy when out at a restaurant. What I really want to say is “Yes, I am being healthy because I care about my body and my life and my health and my family and I seriously doubt the pasta you just ate is actually worth feeling icky for the next few hours.” I don't, of course. I nod and smile and eat my leaves and I know taking care of me is my first priority… Mama, pasta and comments be damned.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Do Your Dishes

One of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy weight is to manage how much food you eat. Not particularly groundbreaking advice, I will admit. And yet something many people struggle with. We have been brain-washed by the portions we are served when eating out. A half-pound burger and 64 ounces of soda? Way more food than a human needs in one sitting.

To better manage the amount of food you eat in one sitting, do your dishes! This evening go through your kitchen cabinets in search of small dishes. Perhaps you have some little bowls for kids. Maybe there are some sushi plates you received as a holiday gift one year. If all else fails, put away the large dinner plates and use your salad and bread plates instead.

This is one serving, or 1 ounce, of almonds. Almonds are one of my very favorite treats (and something I eat with breakfast everyday) and I enjoy them so much I often find myself mindlessly digging into the container for more. Almonds are very healthy and they do pack quite a large number of calories in a single serving, so having 1 ounce a day is about right for my body.

On my good mornings, I would weigh the almonds and put the rest away. And on most mornings, I put the big container of almonds on the breakfast table and munch away. And then I remembered my sushi plates. This little dish is for soy sauce and it nicely holds one serving of almonds. Now, I leave the soy sauce dish on the top of my almond container and each morning, I scope out a dish full. One serving made easy!

If you start to use small plates and dishes, over time, your brain will be re-educated. And you'll begin to learn how to make other size comparisons to help you better manage your food intake. While working one morning I sat my almonds next to my computer and then noticed one serving of almonds is about the size of my mouse. Another strategy discovered!

Healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle happens in the little moments you design for yourself. You don't need a "grand plan" to begin to make better choices. Do a few simple things each day.

P.S. - Add some sushi plates to your holiday wish list!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let Our Children Teach Us

The simplest ideas are always the best. The greatest thing about this new food label is it uses knowledge we already have and strategies we are taught in pre-school:

  • Red = Stop
  • Yellow = Slow
  • Green = Go
The first part of the implementation could be the food in our schools. Each choice along the cafeteria line would be labeled like this:

Or this:

This system is so easy it cannot fail. It does not require special training and is so intuitive the numbers inside of the boxes almost don't matter. By implementing this in our schools, we could make great strides to help our children make good food choices and teach them to be aware of what they are eating. The kids would take the strategy home and tell their parents they want to "Eat Green." The points reward system could be used for special school-related activities.... extra recess, a special healthy luncheon with a local sports star, an awards ceremony at the end of the year to acknowledge the best eaters. 

Making a difference isn't hard. We only need someone brave enough to take the first step. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Label. The Newest Generation.

The design keeps improving! In case you haven't been following along, we're on a quest to design a new front of package label for our food. The whole thing started with the ridiculous commercial on TV that says one serving of Manwich has a full serving of vegetables. Then talk started about how to rebrand High Fructose Corn Syrup so we wouldn't be aware of what is in our food. The idea really blossomed at HealthCampDC 2010 a few weeks ago with some terrific thought leaders in health and wellness. Then a trip to the United Kingdom further refined the idea (am I the only one who loves going to grocery stores in other countries???).

Today, I'm happy to unveil the latest generation of our front of package food label!

Front of Package Food Label © 2010 Cybercise®

Now, we have this lovely little color-coded bar which helps consumers choose food based on an easy system of red, yellow and green. The idea is simple... choose products with mostly green and avoid products with mostly yellow and red. It is universal. It is easy to understand. It is clear.

What a revolution! The simplest ideas are always the best.

Servings not Calories

The weight-loss powerhouse Weight Watchers announced some changes to their popular points diet system this week. We applaud their recognition that the kinds of foods you eat is also as meaningful as the number of calories you consume. Progress is good, even if in small steps.

The best big step for everyone is to eliminate food that comes in boxes... if people simply stopped eating things out of boxes we wouldn't have an obesity problem in the US (my humble opinion). And, I fully recognize such an undertaking would be massive. So, in the meantime, we've designed Move.Eat.Be. to teach people to find their own personal path to wellness.

One of the best things about the nutrition portion of Move.Eat.Be. is we focus on servings instead of calories. Let's face it counting calories is tedious and it requires a reasonable amount knowledge on serving sizes and the ability to read labels (through our food label redesign project we all now know the labels currently displayed on our foods are confusing, at best). Yes, having a general idea of the science behind calories consumed and calories burned is important. Burn more than you consume is easy to understand. Counting each one? Old news

Evidenced by the Weight Watchers change, the "secret" that conventional nutrition is starting to embrace is that the kinds of foods we eat are much more important than the number of calories. Ever heard of a junk food vegetarian? These are people who give up meat in the name of "health" and end up eating processed, junk food instead. Not a good idea!

By counting servings you develop a stronger link between what you eat and your health. In Move.Eat.Be. we help people design their weekly eating plan by counting servings of:
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Plant Protein
  • Water
  • Lean Meat
  • Treats
This system allows a great deal of flexibility and it gives you an easy way to make incremental improvements over time. Vegetarians and vegans can simply plan for zero servings of lean meat and more plant protein. Each week, we encourage you to add one serving of something new (quinoa anyone?). And, we include treats. To be fair, we help you set a goal for a reasonable amount of treats per week and treats include a wide variety of things (like processed foods including soda and sugary drinks, cookies, cakes, ice cream, chips, etc.).

If you eat more whole, natural, real food you will be more healthy. There really isn't an easier way to life-long health and wellness. 


Yes, Thanksgiving is over and thus the "day" to be thankful is behind us. You are now free to go back to your usual self and grumble about the economy, the weather, your job, etc. Need something to grumble about? Read the morning newspaper or watch the morning news. Egad.

Or.... or, you could try something new. Welcome to December 1, 2010. For the record, this is the only time, ever, that today will be December 1, 2010. Seems like something worth celebrating or, at the very least, acknowledging.

To celebrate this month and start my day with a smile, I made a list of the things I feel grateful for this morning. My love, my son, my dog, the pending birth of the newest baby in the family, frozen organic wild blueberries for breakfast, the flowers that have inexplicable bloomed on a palm-like tree in my house...

Starting the month by remembering the things I'm grateful for makes the day seem brighter. If each day seems brighter, it will actually start to feel brighter and pretty soon the news won't matter so much any more. Take a few moments and jot down 3 things you're grateful for today. Three little things can make all of the difference in the world.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Simpler System?

Can we make the previously discussed label even more simple? Of course we can. While traveling through the UK last week, I noticed this nifty little label on the front of food packages sold by Tesco. This is a box of cake mix which produces 12 cupcakes.

I think we can further adapt our last food label version to assign a red, yellow or green label for the calorie count and to identify the kinds of fat. I also think the "V" on the label for vegetarian is a nice touch.

As we go back to the label design room, we'd love to hear your ideas. Remember, our goal here is to help people make better food choices. Stay tuned for the next version!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Seven Days Postscript

Seven days ago, I spent the day in a room with other people all with an interest to make the healthcare system better and being healthy easier. That day, in and of itself, was very powerful. And, what has happened since is even more powerful.

I've gotten new ideas for Food Label Redefined. Cybercise (@Cybercise) has a whole slew of new Twitter followers, including some people who could really further the idea. The food label project is a small diversion from the real work of Cybercise but we are focused on educating people and having clear food labels would certainly help learn how to make better food choices.

In the next several weeks, I have meetings with some of the people I met at HealthCampDC 10. Some of the meetings are to talk about Cybercise and some of the meetings are to learn more about what my newly-found friends are doing. I was kindly educated by some of the HealthCampers on matters of technology and those brief conversations have given me new ideas to make Cybercise better, stronger, faster. I have increased energy, faith and hope that a group of people getting together really can make a difference.

And, most importantly, I've remembered and confirmed something I long suspected. If I can help someone else get to their goal and achieve their mission, I gain just as much (if not more) in the process. The beauty of an un-conference is it gives people with a common spirit a place to get together, swap ideas, offer advice and lend a helping hand.

If you haven't attended a HealthCamp, find one near you soon. Matthew Browning is hosting one in Connecticut in April. (For the scoop follow @MatthewBrowning). I'm working on some space to host one of my very own in the Maryland-area. If you can't find one near you, host one. Mark (@ekivemark) elegantly hosted HealthCampDC 10 (follow him!) and can offer advice.  To catch up on what happened last Friday, search for #hcdc10. And, get in the conversation by using the hashtag, too.

HealthCamps are for everyone. The more the merrier. And, together we can, and we will, make all the difference in the world.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Label ReDefined

My latest pet project is designing a "front of package" label for all foods sold in the US. Thanks to a few really smart people and time on the agenda at HeatlhCampDC 2010 last week, I'm here to debut the REAL FOOD FACTS label. Keep in mind this is not meant to replace the current information in the "Nutrition Facts" box on our current food packaging. Changing that label would require a epic battle followed by a miracle so let's just leave that as it is and create something new.

The Real Food Facts label is designed with the following goals:
  • Clear, front-of-package information
  • Easily and universally understood symbols
  • Raise awareness of food processing
  • Educate consumers on distance from farm to fork

Now we'll go through the main sections:
  • FAT, SUGAR, SALT: Most consumers intuitively understand a green smiley face is good and a red frowning face is bad. Over time, consumers would choose packages with more  and fewer . Dare I say this would revolutionize the way food is made!
  • MILES: Fresh food that travels long distances has less nutrients. When fruits and vegetables are picked unripe and shipped hundreds, if not thousands, of miles the nutritional value suffers and the benefit to the consumer is reduced. This part of the label is designed to raise awareness about the origin of food and the environmental impact of food travel. 
  • TREE to FACTORY: The amount of natural, real, whole food in much of the food American's eat is growing smaller and smaller. This bar shows the percentage of natural vs. man-made ingredients contained in the package. Those consumers who want to reduce the amount of processed food they eat would select products with a greater percentage of "tree" ingredients. 
  • POINTS: The points system is designed to integrate with public health and consumer-based affinity programs. Consumers could collect points and donate the value to their favorite school or charity. Innovative companies could also offer rewards and prizes in exchange for points.
  • QR CODE: The QR code would enable consumers to quickly and easily get additional nutrition information at the point of sale. Additional information available through the QR Code could include information on chemical additives and even recipe ideas for the food product. 
Next steps:
  • Collect and gather feedback from consumers. Do some market testing. (Hello Steve Case @stevecase! Would you like to fund this?)
  • Get the idea on television. (Hello Oprah @oprah and Ellen @theellenshow! I'd be happy to do an interview!)
  • Have a major food manufacturer agree to adopt this model as the the front-of-package labels (Hello Trader Joe's!! You would be a great early-adopter!) 
  • Enroll a panel of nutrition experts (not beholden to food, big farm or big Ag businesses) to develop the detailed thresholds for each label section (Hello, Mark Hyman @markhymanmd and Andrew Weil @drweil!! You'd be perfect to lead this panel!)
  • Recruit an innovative company to create the points administration and rewards system (Hello anyone who is interested!)
  • Design and develop the QR codes which could also be used to feed an individual's food diary (Hello smart developer people!)
  • Help our elected officials understand how it can be easy to educate consumers on the food choices they make. (Hello First Lady Obama @whitehouse! Help us make this happen!)
  • Combat and reverse the obesity trend in the US by helping people eat better (Hello Jamie Oliver @jamie_oliver! Want to help the cause?).
If you are any of the individuals in the "Next Steps" list, please write to me. 

To the real people that will make this happen (that is you!) the way these things happen is by sharing. Share on the web... Facebook, re-blog, Twitter, media (@huffposthealth), etc.  If you're interested in keeping up with updates, follow along on Twitter @Cybercise

A big, huge dose of thanks to my fellow attendees at HealthCampDC 2010
@ for organizing the conference
@MJChatter for keeping the day organized and running
@Carefirst_News for hosting us
@MatthewBrowning for his great ideas include "tree" and "factory"
And, the others in our little group for which I don't have a Twitter handle. 

I'm looking forward to the day I walk into my local grocery store and see rows and rows of these labels. For now, answer this question, "What can you do today to make a difference?"

I'm here! I'm here!

My last update was the letter to our members about the system failure last week. Gratefully, we were able to recover the data and got things back to normal after a few days. Needless to say, updating the blog with the 10 pound quest fell to the bottom of the list during that time. A few observations from the last week or so and then on to my Move.Eat.Be. plan for this week:

  • I've never been a person who turns to food as a way to deal with stress (thankfully). My body responds by not wanting food. My stress is always centered in my stomach which zaps my appetite. 
  • I also don't sleep much in times of turmoil. My mind works overtime and if, I wake up, I'm up. I had several very early mornings last week which provided me some benefit of sticking with my exercise routine. I will say waking up between 4:30 and 5:30 AM for a week isn't really fun. I love sleep and I really, really miss it when I don't get enough. 
  • By Friday the scale was 127 pounds and I was exhausted. Cybercise sponsored a great event on Friday, HealthCampDC 2010, so I was distracted from my exhaustion by spending the day with smart, innovative and creative people (more on HealthCamp later!). 
  • The weekend was recovery time. I managed to get more sleep, get myself re-organized and catch up on some of the work that was put aside last week. Plus, I kept an eye on our AnyLuckyDay contest on Saturday and had great fun reading all of the comments about us. I also ran 2 miles on Saturday and took my dog for a nice long walk on Sunday. It was a welcome break to be outside and away from computer screens for a few hours each day. 
  • And, the scale this morning? 130. Ugh. Just in case the Universe gets any ideas, I'll deal with the extra three pounds in a healthful way... I do not desire any more catastrophes this week to help with the weight loss. 
  • What have I learned? 
    • Be more vigilant about how our website is managed so as to avoid major issues.
    • Keep exercising, no matter how bad things get. It was truly the only thing that kept me sane.
    • Water not coffee.  
    • Spend more time with smart, innovative and creative people. It was so energizing!
    • Use time in nature to balance too much time with electronics.
Today's Thoughts:
  • Most of the many things on my list last week got delayed. I now have four days before departure for my trip and 10 days worth of work to do. Plus, an all-day meeting on Wednesday (an hour away and which starts with breakfast at 6:30 AM -- who does that??) and the pesky details like packing. Efficiency is king this week and I'm facing the very real reality that this holiday will include significant work. 
  • My right hip and lower back is a bit achy this morning. I skipped the run this morning and did some extra stretching and core work. I also did upper body strength work and will do more stretching this evening.
  • My right arm and elbow is also very painful today. I have "mouse elbow" which is tennis elbow from mousing/keyboarding. I have been through our medical system and there is no "cure." I know what works... staying off of the computer. Since I have much work to do, I've set a reminder on my Cybercise calendar for an upper body stretch every two hours today. Wrist and forearm stretches help a great deal so I'll go that route today. 
  • Last night, I tossed together a very quick and easy Chana Masala. It was a great light and warming dinner for a Sunday evening. Will enjoy what is left for lunch today. The rest of the Eat. plan this week is mostly fruits and vegetables with a few hard boiled eggs for protein. Arugula, sauteed kale and organic, frozen blueberries are my best food friends. 
And, now back to work. I'm so excited to write to the winners of our AnyLuckyDay contest! A great website and if you're not familiar, find them on the web, Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Open Letter to Cybercise Members

Dear Cybercise Members,
Last night we experienced a catastrophic failure on our website portal located at

The good news? We were able to recover the website by rolling back to an older version. The site is now operational.

The bad news? Any information you added in the last several weeks to your personal profile, your favorite video programs and your personalized workout calendar is gone.

So as not to bore you with the long, painful story of how we allowed this to happen, I offer this short version. Several weeks ago, we moved our website to the Amazon Cloud to improve site performance and set the stage for the many new features we have in development. There were several mistakes made during this transition to the Cloud the biggest of which being a proper backup system was not established. Some errors occurred yesterday evening and, in an attempt to fix them, the website crashed and could not be recovered, hence the loss of your data. At this writing, we continue to explore other data recovery strategies.

You have our most sincere apologies. To attempt to make amends, we offer the following:
  • A refund on any membership fees you have paid to Cybercise this year
  • A free one-year membership starting today
  • Free Cyberbands 
To take advantage of this offer please write to me at We will confirm your information and process your request.

Please know we are working diligently to make sure this kind of thing never happens again. While it is hard to see at the moment, I recognize that the best learning often comes with the hardest bumps. I promise the lessons I learned in this situation will enable us to make Cybercise even better well into the future.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and continued support.


Joanne Frederick
Founder and CEO

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Gratefulness

An early morning and a great workout already accomplished! I must admit I didn't want to hop on the treadmill this morning and the first few paces were sluggish, at best. I wanted to stop. As I lumbered along I kept thinking about all of the people who want to stop. I thought about those who do stop. I thought about those who continue. I thought of a friend from high school who ran the Marine Corp marathon recently. I thought of some of the Wounded Warriors I've had the honor to work with, those who don't stop even when they come home missing a limb.

We all have those moments when we want to stop. If you find yourself facing one of those moments, think of all the other people who didn't stop. Be inspired by them and then keep going so you can inspire someone else down the line. We all have something to be grateful for each day. Today, I'm grateful for the inspiration and encouragement I receive from others. If you need a dose of encouragement, write to me. I'll cheer for you.

PS - Down a pound this morning.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Move.Eat.Be. plan

Happy Monday! Gratefully it is not quite so dark in the morning and I really don't like when it gets dark at 5:30 in the afternoon. I'd encourage you to explore how you can have completely opposite feelings about the same thing. Both and.

Last week was full of a great deal of activity including several meetings and conferences. Simply put, it is more difficult to be healthy when the schedule is full. And, I suffered from the same thing I encourage people to avoid. I put my own health last, at least once, last week. Sometimes it will happen and we can't beat ourselves up when it does. We have to guard against letting it happen over and over.

And now for the big push. In 10 days, I leave for a trip for the Thanksgiving holiday. I want to crush at least a few of the final 5 pounds in the next 10 days (scale was 129.8 this morning). So, to start the week, here is my Move.Eat.Be. plan.

I've already done the most of my workout for the day and am glad I can sink my teeth into work and not worry about getting caught up and not getting that done today. I also have a great deal of work I would like to get finished before the trip so most of my meals this week are things that don't require a great deal of time or attention. Lots of arugula... have I mentioned I love arugula??? 

Feel free to use this format and create your own Move.Eat.Be. plan for this week. I promise, it will make all the difference in the world. Happy week! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday's Adventure

I spent the day at Tai Sophia Institute for their Live Nourished Conference. We were fortunate enough to have some of the thought leaders in nutrition spend the day sharing their philosophy about food and health. A few powerful quotes from the day:

  • Kathie Swift who wrote My Foundation Diet said "You should never eat food that will out-live you." 
  • Paul Pitchford, author of Healing with Whole Foods shared, "When you're ready to change your diet, it is easy."
  • Sally Fallon Morell from the Weston A. Price foundation shared a quote from Dr. Price, "Life in its fullness is Mother Nature obeyed."
  • Charles Eisenstein author The Ascent of Humanity of said, "My body is not my enemy and I cannot rely on an external authority to tell me what to eat." 
  • Annemarie Colbin, Founder of the Natural Gourmet Institute, reminded us, "If you change your diet, everything changes."
Food plays a huge role in our health and wellness. Some would say the biggest role. I'll share more teachings and wisdom from these fabulous speakers over the coming days.  The most exciting news...  Tai Sophia Institute is taking the learning and wisdom from today and will create a new graduate degree program in Holistic Nutrition. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 5, 2010

On the Board

The daily 10pounds update is being replaced by the excitement of this Friday. I arrived at TEDxMidAtlantic this morning to find a big giant white board with the question "What if..." across the top. Not being one to miss an opportunity to write on the board, I added the idea from yesterday's blog.

I stood by all day waiting to be invited on stage to talk about my idea. Alas, I was not. Maybe next time.

Instead I spent the day being inspired and awed by an amazing array of ideas, thoughts and experiences. The entire day was full of the kind of energy that not only helps us ask world-changing "What if..." questions, but it helps us answer them in new and creative ways.

I encourage you to take some time and watch some TED talks. The ones from today will be posted soon.

More so, I encourage you to ask your own "What if..." questions. I invite you to post them on our Facebook page or Tweet them to us and your friends. I might even suggest you start to share them with strangers. Use this weekend to do something big.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Front of the Box

Inspired by Michael Jacobson's blog in the Huffington Post yesterday, I decided to do some more research into food labels and "front of the box" activities. This summer, inspired by my niece, I offered the idea that we only eat things less than five degrees from nature. That work inspired further research into processed food and I then thought it would be a good idea if the processed food box was required to list what had to happen to get the food in the box. 

Combine all of those thoughts with some of the ways the U.K. uses labels to help consumers and....  I have designed a "front of the box" label for all food sold in the U.S. Yes, you are welcome. We can now avoid and eliminate months of wrangling and politics and simply implement my idea. I'll even give it away!

My front of the box label looks like this ------->

As you can see, it is very clear from the beginning the food is processed. The label then lists each ingredient (with synonyms) and describes the process used to create the ingredient. 

Doing this research was frightening. I have no clue what "epimerized" means and I'm too afraid to look. To make matters worse, in the attempt to find this information I came across a catalogue of food additive manufacturers based in China.

Are the majority of our food additives made in China? Given some of the concerns with pet food and baby formula recently, this is really scary. Not to mention the fact many of these additives say "safe for infant food" on them. Safe? Who made that decision? The FDA and the GRAS list? Am I the only one who is a bit skeptical here? Apologies for the rant. Back to the label...

The bottom of the front of the box food label lists Fat, Sugar and Salt with easily understood, colored stickers. This particular product (a real product and a relatively "healthy" one which I omitted the name from to protect the innocent) scored all green. The protocol for the labels would also allow for yellow and red stickers. It would be relatively easy to educate the public on how to use this system: Choose products with mostly green stickers. Yellow stickers are to be used in moderation. Avoid things with red stickers. 

Of course, there are some details to work out and maybe we add another category or two into the sticker system. This box label gives consumers the information they need to make better choices about the food they buy and consume. Shoppers would be able to quickly see information and would not be distracted by cartoon characters and health claims. Plus, it would help to educate people on what the "processed" in processed food actually means. I don't know about you, but this information would certainly impact my eating decisions. And I think, over time, it would improve the way food is made for Americans. 

TGI Thursday!

Sometimes being positive can make you feel positive. Thank Goodness it's Thursday! Good enough for now...

Yesterday's Observations:

  • The scheduled workouts didn't happen yesterday. Some significant software issues consumed the better part of my day and with a dinner meeting last night, I missed my exercise. Grrrrr.
  • Eating out healthfully requires extra effort though is possible. Breakfast was sliced melons and whole wheat toast (with too much coffee). Dinner was a salad (dressing on the side which I didn't use) and grilled salmon with jasmine rice. Both were tasty and I didn't even want the cream soaked dish my dining companions were having. 
  • I opted to walk to and from the dinner meeting about 1 mile each day. It was my last chance to get some exercise and it felt very good to be out in the fresh air. 
Today's Thoughts:
  • Tired today in spite of a good night of sleep. A combination of rain and no exercise yesterday, perhaps.
  • Lunch time exercise on tap for today as well. Yoga was completed this morning and then started working and, voila, here it is after 11 AM. 
  • Dinner this evening is spaghetti squash pasta with marinara sauce. If you haven't made spaghetti squash "pasta" it is an easy and healthy substitute for wheat pasta. You cut the squash in half (carefully, tough skin) and clean out the seeds, put it in the oven at 350° for 1 hour, let it cool and scape out the flesh with a fork. The flesh comes out spaghetti like and you simply spoon your sauce over the top. Easy, lots of vitamins and tasty! 
I'm working on a blog about food labels and I've discovered some very frightening stuff. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Does Anybody Know What Day It Is?

Happy Wednesday. I had to look at the calendar. Long week already!

Yesterday's Observations:

  • White turkey chili was even more tasty re-heated as dinner last night. I think it helps to take the extra time and use the stove vs. the microwave. Plus, who needs all those extra microwaves in their food?
  • I did not do any yoga or stretching last night. I am not as disciplined about my evening routine. The question is should I try harder or accept my habits and create a different schedule? 
  • The chair is key. If you spend most of your time sitting make sure you have a good chair. 
Today's Thoughts:
  • Scale was ugly this morning: 130.2. I didn't sleep enough last night and drank a bunch of water when I woke up and before I got on the scale. I can blame those two things and it was still unpleasant.
  • Breakfast meetings which start at 7:30 AM should be outlawed. 
  • I managed the morning yoga but not the rest of the morning exercise regime. It is after 10 AM, I'm tired and feeling a bit like I've already not accomplished enough (lack of exercise or too much coffee???) for the day. 
  • I think a lunchtime exercise session is in order. Dinner meeting scheduled for this evening so working out after work is not an option. 
  • There are some days when listening to your own advice is a challenge. 
Time to get back to work! Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Proximity of a Kitchen

What do a teleworker, a freelancer, a retiree and stay-at-home parent have in common? The proximity of the kitchen! For those of you who work in a big corporate cubicle field you may think this sounds like the best thing ever. And, it is! Though a fully-stocked, nearby kitchen is not for the weak-willed. Here are some tips for successfully maintaining some wellness while working at home, in whatever form:

  1. Buy carefully. You are innocently perusing the aisles of your grocery store and your very favorite treat from childhood catches your eye. The internal dialogue begins: I've been good lately. I deserve a treat. I'll only have one cookie a day. You take the cookies home. Day 1 you're pretty good and eat 1 cookie. In the morning of Day 2 somebody upsets you and you have 2 cookies, by afternoon you're so stressed out you eat half the package. The moral: Buy fruits and vegetables. You can't do much damage to your waist line if you go on a celery binge. 
  2. Exercise before Email. The EbE rule is an important one. How many times have you decided to take a quick peek at email first thing in the morning and the next thing you know it is 3 PM, you have to be on a Skype video call and your flannel PJs will match oh so nicely with you bed-matted hair? There is a better way! When you get up in the morning, do some exercise, eat a healthful breakfast, shower, get dressed and then look at email. The moral: When you work from home take care of you first. 
  3. Phone a Friend. It is the middle of the afternoon, you're bored and haven't spoken to another human being all day (pets and children don't really count). You don't feel like starting the next project and you've managed to wander the web for the last 30 minutes and you're bored. You get up and walk into the kitchen... must be something in there not so boring. If you haven't followed tip #1 this could be disastrous! Instead of walking to the kitchen, phone a friend. If you're really bored you can even phone your Mom. She'll think you're the best ever and you'll save yourself from the kitchen doom. The moral: Don't use food as a substitute for socializing. 
  4. Body Breaks: The best thing about working from home is you can take advantage of little small breaks in between tasks and you can use these breaks to your benefit. When you finish a task, do a little stretching routine. Your morning and afternoon breaks be devoted to a 10 minute strength training session. On a long, boring conference call? Hit the mute button (please, please, please) and do some sit-ups or push-ups next to your desk. The moral: Use the mini-moments to get healthier. 
With a little planning, a bit of awareness and a dose of creativity you can avoid the commute and use the extra time for you. Remember, wellness is a personal quest and once you find what works best for you staying healthy is easy! 

Election Day Update

The web is a very powerful force during election time. All about the web today are notes and reminders to vote and people are proudly displaying their "I Voted" badge on Facebook. Maybe we need to implement a "I Worked Out" badge for our members to display when they finished their favorite workout? Interesting idea... so let's get to the update before I distract myself with more new great ideas!

Yesterday's Observation:

  • Too busy of a day so I didn't eat lunch until 2:30 PM. This actually worked out fine because I didn't get to dinner until after 8 PM. In the interest of taking better care of one's self letting work consume your life so that you don't eat regularly is not the best plan. 
  • I was very happy I got my workouts done in the morning. Otherwise, I don't think they would have happened yesterday. 
  • When I did get to lunch, I re-heated the soup from Friday night. It was much, much better the second time around. 
Today's Thoughts:
  • It should not be dark when we wake up. It should be light. I don't like the time change because it is dark at 4 PM, but this getting up in the night is for the birds. I think I need to move somewhere closer to the equator. Ideas?
  • I managed a reasonable workout this morning with only a few Cyberbands. I really can workout anywhere!
  • The experience of sharing my quest to lose 10 pounds is giving me great ideas for improvements for Cybercise which is, in turn, creating more work. I am beginning to believe this little project of mine will always be creating new ideas. I'd love to hear yours otherwise I only have myself to listen to. What can I do to make us better? 
Have a great Tuesday. And, vote!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Mania

Happy Monday and Happy November! How do you choose between the list of things to do and your own health? Carefully and with an eye to the future. Sometimes this means saying no more often and learning to do so takes some practice. It helps if you're really clear about what is important in your life. Stay tuned for more ideas to "Get Clear." For now, onto the update:

Yesterday's Observations (and Saturday too):

  • I didn't feel like blogging yesterday. I'm sorry if my lack of an update disappointed you. I chose me and didn't sit down at my computer until 8:30 last night. Of course, I was working the Twitter scene on my mobile device most of the morning. It was some progress... baby steps!
  • The investment in an Eat. plan a trip to the grocery store on Friday made for a lovely weekend of healthful, home cooking: soup on Friday night, roasted chicken with vegetables on Saturday night and white turkey chili on Sunday night. Plenty of leftovers for healthful lunches this week and it was nice to be in a house full of cooking aromas. 
  • Sunday included a 2 mile walk/jog followed by a 90 minutes hiking near the reservoir rounded out a nice day of Move.
 Today's Thoughts:

  • Glutes and hammies are very aware of all the hiking yesterday. As is my right thigh from which I extracted a tick this morning. Ouch. And, my dog is still lazing clearly sore from all of his leaping into the water to chase sticks. 
  • Back to the workout before work this morning! Yoga, strength and cardio all done for the day. It is a great feeling to have me be the first thing I take care of each day. 
  • Lunch will be some leftovers from this weekend with some arugula! 
  • Busy, busy week with many meetings. It is so helpful to have my Move.Eat.Be. plan done before the week starts. 
Enjoy your Monday and help someone else enjoy theirs, too. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Update

Good morning.... eek! Good afternoon! Let the update commence:

Yesterday's Observations:

  • Dinner entree was a tad bland. Great salad of arugula, apple and walnut as a starter. So easy to make healthful salad dressing (olive oil, balsamic, dijon, salt, pepper)!
  • Will make bread today! Didn't get the stuff in the machine in time yesterday. 
  • Trip to grocery store to buy organic ingredients for 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners? $106.47 will feed 3 people with leftovers. Not bad...
Today's Thoughts:
  • Lazy morning. We need those every now and again!
  • Yoga complete and off to do some abs and upper body work before heading out for lunch. 
  • Simple dinner tonight: Whole chicken (stuffed with rosemary and lemon) surrounded by beets, potatoes, carrots and onions. One pot into the oven. Easy! I can't wait for the aroma to fill the kitchen.  
Enjoy your Saturday. Follow my lead and do something fun today!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tweety, too!

Happy Friday afternoon. So much for my morning update. I'm late! Lots of action at TEDMED. If you're interested, search for #tedmed on Twitter.

Yesterday's Observations:

  • Dinner was great and a welcome change from being out so often this week. All recipes from WholeFoods which is a great source of tasty meals. 
  • Decided to take another long stroll with my dog after work last night. The Autumn weather was pretending it was summer so we went out to enjoy the warmth. 
  • More green tea and less coffee yesterday. I slept more soundly. 
Today's Thoughts:
  • Scale this morning? 129.2 Gained 4 ounces since yesterday. Is it bad to get on the scale each morning? Most "experts" would say yes. And, it works for me. I get on the scale most mornings because I am collecting data on myself and being aware of the impact of my choices. I would much rather know about 4 ounces or 1 pound than be shocked by the 10 pounds like 2 weeks ago. I don't torture myself over 4 ounces, I simply consider listening to my body.  
  • Haven't worked out yet today and am planning on doing so after work this evening. The day doesn't feel quite "in gear" without my morning exercise. Interesting....
  • Am looking forward to Hearty Greens Soup with Bowtie Pasta and Tomatoes for dinner with some home-made bread. Do you have a bread maker gathering dust in a closet somewhere? Go find it! It is great during the cooler weather and the resulting bread is much better for you. 
  • Am gathering data on eating organic. I know people say it is too expensive. And, yes it is more costly though I have a theory if we plan our meals well and reduce eating out, choosing organic is actually affordable. Stay tuned...
Have a lovely Friday afternoon and be sure to schedule some time for your health this weekend! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My lead? Yes. My plan? No!

Update for this Thursday and 11 days into the "down with the pounds" project. To the update and then an explanation.

Yesterday's Observations:

  • Had a great dinner meeting and meal. Raw oysters as a starter and a salad as my main. I was full and satisfied. Nobody else had a salad for dinner. Alas, sometimes you lead alone. 
  • My other food for yesterday consisted of: banana, 1/2 blueberries, 4 strawberries, 1 ounce of almonds, 2 cups of arugula, 5 mushrooms. Not a great deal of food. It works for me and it may not work for you (see explanation below).
  • I'm doing some core work every day and have noticed fewer back twinges. I think, perhaps, core work is the unappreciated exercise. 
Today's Thoughts:
  • Scale this morning: 128.6 pounds. 
  • Busy day already. Breakfast meeting complete and off to lunch meeting soon. Breakfast? A cup of fresh fruit, whole wheat bread and tomato juice. Not as healthful as my home-prepared breakfast, mind you, and still pretty reasonable. 
  • Did yoga, abs and lower body workout early this morning (still dark out, ugh). Had planned on 5 miles on the stationary bike and decided to take it slow, instead. My dog and I walked for nearly 2 miles. Yes, running and biking is a faster way to burn calories. And, sometimes our bodies need to slow down and enjoy the process of exercise. We walked briskly and enjoyed a very lovely autumn morning. 
  • Am planning some additional exercise this evening after work and then a lovely home-cooked meal. Marinated and grilled portobello mushroom with avocado, black bean and mango on arugula (I love arugula, in case you haven't noticed). Can't wait!
I've been talking about leading by example and I encourage you to do so, too. You're more than welcome to follow my lead and eat at home more often, make better food choices when eating out and do some exercise (and even some core exercise) every day. If you take better care of yourself, the people around you will take better care of themselves. Do I have proof? Lots of anecdotal evidence and no double-blind clinical studies. Don't believe me? Try it! 

And there is a catch... you can follow my lead but you can't follow my plan. My plan is my plan and you can't have it. Why am I being so stingy all of the sudden? Because I care about you. The reason my plan works is because I invest the time and effort in learning what works for me. What works for me will, most likely, not work for you. Life-long, sustainable and easy health and wellness requires that each one of us find our own recipe for success. The latest diet fad is a waste of time and the newest fitness gadget is a waste of money. Are they mindless to follow? Perhaps. Will they last? Not likely. 

I want you to invest in you. I want you to learn how to take care of your own health, to find the kind of exercise you enjoy (and can sustain), to make better food choices (and get away from the trap of processed foods). I want you to create your own life well lived. Follow my lead!