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The Nine Reasons Why

No_More_Excuses_DietA friend of mine is the Queen of Excuses. Need a reason why something hasn’t gotten done – she’s got one.  Clever ones. Believable ones. The Nine Reasons Why list (I call it) because she can give you a whole long list of reasons why she can’t do this or hasn’t done that. If you are looking for an excuse for something, she’s your gal!

It is easy for me to see right through her list of excuses. I can spot them before she even finishes her story. Most all of her reasons boil down to one or two basic themes: perceived lack of time to do something or lack of money. Really though, you could probably break it down even more; when it comes right down to it, isn’t it really just a matter of motivation? You are either motivated to do something or you are not. Because, if you are truly motivated, you will (somehow) find the time …

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Chef Chloe – My Vegan Savior and New Best Friend

Chef Chloe's Winning Recipe - Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcakes

With headlines like these all around, it is hard not to get discouraged:

“Milk does a body good – especially for athletes!

Being forced to eat a vegan diet was certainly not something I had ever anticipated.  As I mentioned earlier this year, my favorite food group (after Fruit) was Dairy.  Milk, ice cream, cheese, butter, yogurt – YUM!  As the months have passed, I have slowly become friends with soy milk in my coffee and almond milk on my cereal.  I can actually now enjoy a bowl of coconut milk ice cream (chocolate peanut butter being my all time favorite – and very good too – as long as you erase the memory of Haagen Dazs from your mind).  And thank goodness for Earth Balance sticks, which I use as a sub in all recipes calling for butter.

So imagine my complete shock and delight when I ran across …

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What to do with an Audacious Idea?

See Jane swim * See Jane bike * See Jane run

My best friend just emailed me with an audacious idea:  she wants us to start training for a mini-triathlon. Never mind she is living on one side of the country and I’m on the other.  Never mind that neither one of us are exercising currently (a polite way of saying it).  Never mind that I don’t swim (I mean, I can – just not very well – again, another understatement) and my idea of a bike ride is a LEISURELY ride in the neighborhood with the kids.  My friend is excited, really excited, about the idea and all I can think is:  is she out of her blooming mind??!!!!

Interesting what we do when faced with a proposition such as this one.  This Zen Mama Wannabe finds myself rapidly searching for the exits – you know, the easy way out.  What about doing a half-marathon I suggest.  That sounds …

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Who’s Afraid of Hospice?

As some of you know, I lived in New York for a few years before finally returning to California to “settle” down. Those New York years were BIG years in my life:  Got married.  Had a baby.  Witnessed 9-11.  And in-between those milestones, I dealt with my father suddenly being given 2 weeks to live and being put on Hospice.  Thanks to a holiday visit, I was with him when he was taken to the hospital, there when he was given the diagnosis, and stayed on there for the next (and supposedly final) 2 weeks to be with him and my mom. 2 weeks that turned into 3 weeks that stretched into 4 weeks….until it became apparent the doctors had not been quite right with their diagnosis after all.  (Really? You think?)

During that time I learned first hand about Hospice and the services it provides.  The doctors at the hospital mentioned it casually, after suggesting he have a feeding …

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Can Your Kids Pass the Test?

Ready for the latest IQ test for your kids?  It is an easy one; all you need are 10 items, presumably easily obtainable in grocery stores all across the country.  It is a simple quiz of identification: can your child correctly identify each of the 10 items?

* Sweet Potato
* Broccoli
* Eggplant
* Tomato
* Carrots
* Bell Pepper
* Brussels Sprouts
* Asparagus
* Onion
* Spinach

One point for each right answer.  Bonus points if your child can not only identify it, but eats it on even an occasional basis.  What do you feel would be an acceptable score?  Is it fair to say “failing” would be getting less than half right?

Guess what? Our kids are FAILING.  Across the country, they are FAILING.  If this was a math test, adults would be up in arms.  If this was a reading comprehension test, parents would be demanding more time allotted in school to study …

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Knowledge is Power – Get Tested

So many comments have come in about my previous blog article: Is There Life Without Ice Cream that I felt it only fair to follow up.  The main theme was, “How could you receive this news and not have had ANY idea about it beforehand?

That of course is where it gets tricky.  Not just for me, but for ALL of us.  What do we know, what do we admit to, and what do we avoid or pretend doesn’t exist, like an ostrich with its head in the sand?  How in touch are we with our bodies? Are we treating our bodies right?  Finally, are we truly living our optimal lives?

We should be feeling great, not just getting by.  Is merely getting by how we think we should live OUR life here on Earth?  Is living a healthy lifestyle so overwhelming or scary for us that we are willing to accept living at only a fraction of …

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Is There Life Without Ice Cream?

My doctor should have prefaced it with, “Are you sitting down?  You might want to be when you hear your blood test results.” Instead she just kind of breezed through them as if they weren’t so life altering and earth shattering.  In fact, it’s almost been 24 hours, and this Zen Mama Wannabe still can’t quite get my head around it all.

Me – Miss Lover of Cheese, Ice Cream, Milk, Chocolate (did I mention cheese and ice cream?), Miss Vegetarian who eats only fish and dairy products (no meat, chicken, pork), Miss Tries-To-Get-Her-Protein-Through-Soy told that I have a high sensitivity to all things good dairy and need to avoid them at all costs?!   No more eating/drinking milk of any kind, or cheese made from cow’s milk (american, blue, cottage, etc), or yogurt, frozen yogurt, or…gulp…ice cream?  Does such a world exist?

If that wasn’t enough (and I thought it was plenty!) I am apparently highly sensitive/allergic to “…

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Fitness Wannabe or Content Couch Potato?

walkingfeetThere are 3 types of people, I’ve decided.  Exercise fanatics; active people who move their bodies on a regular basis, through regular walks, hikes, yoga, etc.; and couch potatoes.  I suppose I’ve been all three at various times in my life – but right now, I am definitely in group number 3.  I’m not happy about it – but am I concerned enough to make a change?  My best friend hopes so, which is why she sent me the exercise plan too easy to ignore.  Or so she thinks.

Oh, just like other diligent couch potatoes, I’ve got my excuses.  It is winter. Hibernation season.  It’s cold, often even rainy, outside.  I’ve been trying to be good about spending money as we get through Christmas and save for what I’m calling my Trip of a Lifetime (Europe 2010).

If money were unlimited (I love to play that game sometimes) I would join a Pilates studio and do Pilates several times …

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3 Things Swine Flu Made Me Grateful For

Swine flu vaccineThe elementary school called this morning, less than 30 minutes after I gotten home from the morning drop off – never a good sign.  The office was checking up on a story they had heard from one of the parents.   The secretary seemed almost embarrassed to ask me.  But she needed to verify this parent’s concern: Was it really true that my kids had swine flu?

Oh those two scary words, that you can’t help but hear everywhere you turn these days.  Every night on the evening news there is another story about swine flu.  Or the H1N1 vaccine.  Or the raising number of children’s deaths being attributed to this potent flu strain.  Parents are going crazy with too much talk and fragmented pieces of information being floated around – and no one can blame them if they do over react.  The media has built this into a feeding frenzy.

The even crazier part is that though the newspaper says …

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Dodging Bullets

Preliminary test results from the doctor visits yesterday showed good news.  The lump on our beloved dog appears to be a harmless fatty tumor (the best case scenario).  The Doppler study on my mom’s carotid artery revealed no blockage and made the technician exclaim, “I only hope MY arteries look as good and plague-free when I am 89!”  Whew!  A good ending to a long day.

We dodged some bullets, avoided being struck down, and for that this Zen Mama Wannabe is truly thankful.  I don’t kid myself however; the fight is hardly over.  When you reach Old Age, as both my mother and our 4-legged companion have done, once you engage in battle, you are in it for the duration.  This round may have gone to us, but the war is hardly over.  We will get fired upon again.  I just hope we have a reprieve for a while…to savor this victory and enjoy daily living, and …

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