Archive for the ‘Animal Activism’ Category

grab the bull by the horns! (or kiss him on the nose!)

December 19, 2008



I seriously kissed the bull on the nose.... I love him...Buckshot is his name

I seriously kissed the bull on the nose.... I love him...Buckshot is his name

Why do people look at life as something they have to endure until something better comes along? Life may be challenging, but challenges should be looked at as stepping stones in the never-ending creation of who we are.

We’ve all had our own share of challenges. They told me I would never be able to walk again.  They told me I would die if I carried a baby.

I don’t view these challenges as some people might …as punishment.  Instead I look at them as just part of life’s confusing action-packed adventure that I don’t always have control of. 

There are always ways to work around any setback… if it is that dangerous to carry a baby, then adopt…big deal. 

Life is to feel great about you and live each day to it’s fullest. Quit just surviving each day and start living.

Remember what your 100 year old grandma said, ”I stayed up too late a few too many times, I had my share of greasy pizza and beer, an occasional piece of chocolate, but most of all I had a lot of FUN”    Never let defeat have the last word.



10 tips for enjoying the holidays WITHOUT gaining weight

December 7, 2008

cory-santaReady for those holiday parties? Remember, it’s all up to YOU whether you over-indulge or not! Yesterday I shared a few of my methods for keeping myself fit during the holiday season. Let’s take it a step further.

Consider these 10 tips for fully enjoying the holiday season without gaining weight!

  1. Focus on weight maintenance vs. weight loss during the holidays. If you are currently overweight and want to lose weight, this is a tough time to do it. Maintaining your present weight is a big enough challenge during the holiday season. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making unrealistic goals for yourself, although I do know many people who have actually lost weight during the holidays by just being consistent and using self-discipline.
  2. DON’T plan on dieting after the New Year because the anticipation of food restriction sets you up for binge-type eating during the holidays. “If I’m never going let myself eat these foods after Jan. 1st, I might as well eat as much as can right now!” Hey, restrictive diets don’t work in the long run. They increase your loss of lean body mass vs. fat, slow down your metabolism, increase anxiety, depression, and binge eating, and make weight re-gain more likely.
  3. Be physically active every day. You know my philosophy; a little extra exercise is better than no exercise at all. Often, our non-structured holiday schedules knock us off our otherwise regulated exercise routines. Any physical activity, especially of the aerobic nature like walking, bicycling,  blading or  swimming will help relieve stress, re-energize you and even lower your appetite, all while burning up unwanted calories.
  4. As I mentioned earlier fill up on healthy veggies before going to parties. Even have a protein shake … The worst thing you can do is arrive at a party starving, just like shopping hungry. It will set you up for failure. You will overeat, and most likely not be able to resist those tempting higher calorie foods.
  5. Make a plan. It’s much easier to deal with a difficult social eating situation if you’ve already planned for it. So think it through – what is going to temp you there? What treat will you allow yourself, if any? What will you give up in your day to allow for that treat? Minimize your obstacles and potential failures by thinking about them in advance and avoiding those “bad choice” situations. Even alcohol – beware! Once you have had one drink, many people get sloppy and loosen up their quest to keep on the healthy food track. Know in advance that drinking is what causes some people to become weak in their decision-making skills… Minimize your alcohol, anyway, as it is extremely fattening.
  6. Do you have to plan luncheons for the holidays? Why always focus holiday gatherings on food? Who really needs to eat so much all the time? Why not get groups of friends together and go to the park, or to an art museum or observatory or bowling, etc. There are so many fun things to do other than sitting around a table and having a margarita… use your imagination. We are planning a holiday trip to Magic Mountain…and I am talking about adults, not kids. Do something non-food related. Do not eat beyond your body’s hunger level just because food is there in front of you. Get up and remove yourself from that situation. Go walk around the host’s house, look at their plants and artwork. Just get up off your butt and move yourself out of that situation of sitting near food when you’ve already had enough.
  7. It is so easy to reduce the fat in holiday recipes. There are plenty of low fat and low calorie substitutes that you can use. We all know the trick of using applesauce in place of oil in your holiday breads; use egg substitutes in place of whole eggs. Go online and find low fat recipes. Use your common sense. Just cut down on any fat additives. You don’t need to use the egg yolks in baking and you also don’t need to have so much oil or shortening, either. Again, just use your head and cut these items way way way down… I don’t even have vegetable oil in my house… I never need it…not even when I am baking brownies. They taste totally the same without it.
  8. We already talked about drinks. Alcohol is high in calories. Liquors, sweet wines and sweet mixed drinks contain 150-450 calories per glass. Yuck, who needs those extra calories? Not me.  By contrast, water and diet sodas are calorie-free. If you choose to drink, select light wines and beers, and use non-alcoholic mixers such as water and diet soda. Limit your intake to 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per occasion. Beware of fruit juices and punches and – oh my – egg nog….holy cow, look out for those calories!
  9. Enjoy good friends and family. Joy and fun don’t come with having to eat – no they come from your friends and conversations and communication…food is just an additive, not the main staple of a good time. Your focus should be on fun and people, not on food. Holidays are a time to celebrate our loved ones and give thanks for what we have. Never forget that balance, and moderation is key. It is easier to maintain a healthy diet and healthy choices than to continually go on and off and on and off good and bad foods all the time. I have lived my life eating pretty much healthy things with occasional treats like chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, but 90% of the time I am making deliberate good choices…and in the long run, I can say I feel and look pretty good for a person my age and I don’t have to struggle to do so because of the routine I’ve chosen.
  10. And don’t fret…. Overeating one day here or there won’t make or break your eating plan and most likely won’t even make you gain weight…. as long as it is only occasional. Honestly, it takes many days of eating more calories than you burn to actually gain weight. So if you fall off the program temporarily, don’t throw in the towel and give up totally. Just get back on the horse as quickly as possible before you cause permanent weight gain.

So, go out there and have fun! Remember, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday festivities more if you feel good about yourself!


Poly, the seven-toed kitty

December 3, 2008


Boris and Poly

Boris and Poly

Hi Friends,

Have you ever seen a kitty with 7 toes on each foot? Well we walked into the pound the other day and my son insited we adopt her because she was, as he called her, “defective” and no one would want her so we had to adopt her to give her a chance. 

So of course we did.

She is a polydactyl …. And ours.

Her name of course, POLY.


A Belated Happy Thanksgiving! (and how I damaged my wing…)

December 1, 2008


I am a little late wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, as I was out of town in Puerto Vallarta at my father-in-law’s condominium. We went as a family and had the most wonderful time, nice and quiet and peaceful. Steve, Boris, Nina and Grandpa were all there. Every day we fished, swam, hiked, looked for shells. We found only living sand dollars, star fish, and giant turtles and we always threw them back deep into the ocean so the tourists couldn’t find them to bring home.
My family has a huge appreciation for life and it sickens us to see people picking up living creatures and killing them so they can take them home and most likely throw them out when they get there.
In fact my daughter would go up to those people and tell them to hurry and throw their finds back into the ocean before they died… the looks she got from the tourists were amazing, like “why would I throw back this starfish I want to let dry out and bring home?” People just don’t realize that all living creatures deserve to live and have feelings. Anyway, we can’t change the world but we can try to influence people one person at a time.
The last day I took Nina down to the beach and was teaching her gymnastics. She is 10 years old now. We were working on front and back walkovers and front handsprings … I was spotting her, though not doing them myself like I wanted to. On her last front handspring, I reached in with a straight arm and had to push her forward with a very quick movement and suddenly heard a giant pop and felt a flash of pain in my right bicep and forearm. I ripped my bicep tendon… Nina heard it too and asked what the noise was, thinking she had hit me in the head or something.
So I can’t flex or move my right arm… I see the doctors on Tuesday to find out what is next. It didn’t rip off the bone totally, as the muscle did not roll up into my upper arm, but I think the  tendon was torn and there is a bit left keeping the bicep attached. I will keep you posted as to what the diagnosis is.
In the meantime, I’ve posted some pictures from our Thanksgiving weekend on my new photo gallery page if you want to have a look.

Gotta go for now. 
Kisses and bless you all!