Monthly Archives: November 2013


I have started running, and I am a complete beginner. I am trying to run on my own as well as with Mike my trainer and I am planning a 5K with some co-workers and my management from Seasons 52 in March. I totally have my work cut out for me because I am not very good at running, but I am getting better. Yesterday I went running walking, and I alternated between the two and I had music which made me feel like I actually was getting into a running rhythm. So I thought of a few things that I am learning about my own running, and here is the list.

1. I have to get my ipod set up, because running  with music makes all of the difference.

2. Alternating  between running and walking is a bit easier for me and I actually was having fun.

3. Here in California I prefer to run after the sun goes down, it is just more comfortable.

4. Wow, running makes you sweat so much more than speed walking. For me even when chilly, layers are not needed.

5. Do not drink too much water before running, you may find yourself running to find a restroom.

6. The Goo Goo Dolls song Slide is the perfect rhythm for my running. I can run to it over and over.

7. Running makes your thighs feel so heavy, and makes you so more.

8. Your breathing may be loud and heavy which I find embarrassing. You may find you sound like a heavy breather when you run, which is fine if you are a teenager and you like to make prank calls like we did when we were silly and young. Then again I bet teenagers these days do not prank, everyone would know it was them pranking. Anonymity is gone in the modern world. The breathing is getting a little better though.

9. Run on your mid foot to heals, it just feels better. Make sure you stretch after and get enough electrolytes. I tend to cramp up because I run low on potassium. Coconut water helps with that issue.

10. Keep at it, and do not care how you look to others.

Namaste and Happy Wednesday


Good Morning to all. I am happy to say I lost the 1 lb I had gained. I now weigh 177 again, and I am hovering at 20 lbs since mid July. Yes, it took me four months to  lose twenty pounds, and it has been easy sticking to healthy eating and working out and yoga, but it has not been easy to get the numbers to go down. I am almost 47, and I recognize the fact that my age make my process much harder. But I am content and happy with my results so far and will continue on and on as long as it takes.  I am hoping to lose up to 10 lbs by the New Year, and I may have to up my cardio to do so. I plan on cheating on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas. I am hoping those cheat days do not derail me. I have not had a cheat day in four months, or a cheat meal for that matter.

So, the 20 lb charity. I have a few ideas and one of them involves Mike my trainer and friend but at the moment that idea may take more time to execute so I am going to plan C for the twenty pound charity. It is Christmas, so I am going to do some things that are close to my heart at this time of year. I am looking for an elderly assisted living home to visit during the holidays, and I have emailed volunteer match for more information. I want to visit once a week. I am hoping to get the information I need soon so I can begin visiting those who need it most.

There is a scene in a movie I love, an old 60’s movie. It is called The Trouble With Angels and it is about these silly girls that go into a Catholic School and make havoc for the nuns. It is all full of slapstick humor and  it is really cute. There is this particular scene that gets me, when they visit the Nursing Home of the elderly and this old woman cries and asks the nun why her children do not come to visit her. It gets me into tears every time. I think it may have been this movie that made me decide that in my life I would  try to help the underprivileged and forgotten ones of society. It has lingered with me all of these years. This works since my goal weight is so far away, and that leaves me with plenty of charities to assist.

Coffee, yes my golden elixir of the morning is needed today. Off to work and then working out and my Iyengar Class. Yesterday I bought some brand new pyrex pie pans at the thrift store for next to nothing. I am making a chocolate pecan pie and an apple crisp for Thanksgiving. Yes, those are not what I usually eat but it is my one cheat day and I feel treats are better homemade then store bought. At very least I know all of the ingredients. I am so excited to cook and bake for the holiday.

Happy Day to all, the sun just popped out for a visit. Wishing you sunshine and smiles and bright energy to guide your day.


Rose on the left with sister Gina on the right.

Good Morning to all on this chilly Monday Morning. I am so excited for the holidays and my weekend away for my Birthday. My plan is to work out like crazy and only splurge on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. The other days I am going to practice moderation and mostly clean eating. If I can get to the new year with close to another ten pounds off I will be very happy. This is the challenge, not to undo all of the hard work of the last five months. I am going to be silly and have my photo taken with Santa Claus, I have always loved to do that since I was just a little girl.  I think it will be a festive way to document the season and fun at the same time. If only I could get James to do it with me. 

Off for now, I am so sleepy I need a second cup of coffee today. Work, then workout tonight after work. Tomorrow I weigh in, and I hope being a female and water weight and all will not hinder my weigh in. Taking it one day at a time as the old saying goes.

Happy Monday


Soups, they are so simple and satisfying. I love to make soups, one pot wonders that make it easy to eat healthy and there is always an abundance for the next day. Warm your heart and soul with my healthy yet delicious chicken soup with grains and vegetables and remember to share with someone you love. Soups are the perfect autumn dinner and make the chill a little more tolerable. Paired with some crusty whole grain bread and a simple  spinach salad mixed with oil and vinegar and you have such a well rounded and healthy meal. Manga’

You will need:
For grains
Olive oil
Low sodium chicken stock, as much as directions calls for in place of water.
One package Mirepoix mix or a blend of chopped celery, carrots, and onions.
One pack of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend or a pack of Orzo
Start by sauteing Mirepoix mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil, and make Harvest Grains Blend or orzo with low sodium chicken stock in place of water, following directions. After cooked set aside.

For Soup:
One package of carrots
One large onion
One package turnips
One package carrots
a few cloves of garlic
Two cartons low sodium chicken stock
Four boneless chicken breasts
Fresh dill
Dried thyme
sea salt, ground pepper

This is such a simple yet delicious soup.  
1. Add chopped carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and turnips to a large pot. 
2. Add boneless chicken and both cartons of low sodium chicken stock.
3. Flavor with a generous amount of fresh dill, sea salt, ground pepper and dried thyme.  
4. Bring to a rolling boil, careful to not let the soup over boil. 
5. Bring temperature down to low and let simmer for over one hour until the chicken has cooked through. 
6. Remove chicken and chop in nice size bites and add chicken pieces back to the soup. 
7. Add half of the grain/orzo mix to soup and blend. 

It was so delicious, especially with oyster crackers. James ate three bowls. I am making soup this evening, and I just purchased a crock pot so I will be experimenting with my new cooking toy soon.

Love and Light to all

Melissa Bender Fitness: 17 Lbs and Counting: One Woman’s Journey in Weight…

Melissa Bender Fitness: 17 Lbs and Counting: One Woman’s Journey in Weight…: Hi Everyone! Today I am happy to share with you an inspiring weight loss success story. This summer my friend Rose started her jou…

17 Lbs and Counting: One Woman’s Journey in Weight Loss and Philanthropy: Inspiration

Hi Everyone!

Today I am happy to share with you an inspiring weight loss success story. This summer my friend Rose started her journey to lose weight and make a difference in the world. For every ten pounds she loses she is making charitable donations to different causes, and blogging about her journey/experiences along the way.

You can find her blog here: My Change for a Ten and her facebook page here: My Change For a Ten Facebook.

Rose’s first charity included a donation of time and food to the homeless people of Skid Row and the Monday Night Mission.

Since starting her blog Rose has successfully lost and kept off 17 pounds, and she is going strong and getting healthier along the way.

Check out my interview with Rose below,

Congratulations on losing your first 10 lbs! What made you decide to celebrate your success by donating to charity? 

When I moved to California I felt myself feeling more connected to the universe and felt more of an overall sense of well being. I am one with nature and all creatures of the planet. I decided I wanted to help with charities as much as possible to give back and share my love of life. In 2012 I planned Downward Dog For Cats, a Yoga event in Griffith Park in Los Angeles to raise funds for a local animal shelter. At the same time my weight had become a lingering issue, and I was losing and gaining the same ten pounds for one year. I realized when I do something for charity I always follow through, but I did not have the same success with my weight loss. I am a former dancer and it had been my wish to return to my former shape and embrace turning 47 on the most positive note. I am also a poet writer, so in July 2013 I came up with the idea if I were to combine my love of making a difference with my weight loss and fitness goals I would not have any excuses, and I could write about my journey and the charities in a blog. When I decided to take on this venture my co-worker Mike who is now a good friend offered to be my personal trainer and help me with the charities. The first week of my blog I was cast in a Richard Simmons video, all of these things came together at the exact time and I was so inspired and ready to take on my new challenge. Of course my best friend Melissa Bender has always been such an inspiration. Her journey is awe inspiring and she always looks to help people be a better version of who they are. I could not have started this without the help of my friends.

What have you been doing to achieve your fitness/health goals?  
In the beginning I walked daily, and went to Richard Simmons classes following the video. He is very inspiring. I have been working out with my trainer Mike once a week since July, and I attend Yogaworks in West Hollywood three to five times a week. I attend yoga at Pink Iron with Nicole once a week. I am now running with Mike, and on my own. I am a beginner runner but I am determined to take on this new challenge and he thinks I can do a 5k soon. When at home I do Melissa Bender videos and her yoga videos. I plan to return to ballet classes eventually. I eat extremely healthy, and I watch my sodium, fat , cholesterol and portion sizes. In three months I have not allowed myself a cheat day, but come Thanksgiving I will cheat with a little abandon.

What is your first charity? 
My first charity is The Monday Night Mission. They are a group who feeds the homeless at Skid Row in Los Angeles Monday through Friday evenings. I donated food and also donated dinner courtesy of my employers at Seasons 52 in Century City California. When I told Seasons 52 what I was doing they offered to donate food on my behalf. Chef Jessica prepared an amazing pasta and chicken dish with baguettes. I am so grateful to Chef Jessica and the whole management team for their support. I also donated my time and service to the cause. Helping the homeless has always been a goal for me. I wrote a poem about the subject when I lived in NYC.
What made you choose them? 
I have been following their Facebook Page and I have wanted to help them for some time. The work they do is truly selfless and beautiful. No soul forgotten.
What was your favorite part of the experience? 
The way everyone comes together for the better of mankind. No egos, no judgement. We are all the same, connected to the core that is our humanity. The people who serve and donate are selfless angels.
Most difficult part? 
The reality of the injustices that occur right under our noses. Skid Row is tragic, and Mel from The Monday Night Mission took us on a tour of Skid Row after our service and it was terribly disturbing and sad. Afterwards I was emotionally numb until the middle of the night. At that point the emotions and tears flowed and I was able to write about my experience. I plan to assist them again in the near future.
Who helped you on your first mission? 
Mike was on board since the beginning, so it was Mike, his girlfriend Maria, my friend Courtney, her boyfriend Danny and of course myself. Chef Jessica and Seasons 52 helped with the amazing donated dinner.
What is your next charity? 
I am currently searching for a 20 pound charity. My original twenty pound charity is now my thirty pound charity since it is going to take more planning. Since the holidays are approaching I was thinking about spending some time at a Nursing Home during December as my 20 pound goal. I am researching at the moment.
How close are you to your next weight loss goal? 
I am 3 pounds away from my 20 pound weight loss goal and charity but I do not do the charity until I am five pounds past the weight milestone. That way I know the weight is off for good even if my weight fluctuates.
Has your fitness program changed at all along the way? 
It has evolved. Mike changes up our workouts always, and I have excelled at some of the exercise moves that were so difficult in the beginning. My yoga practice is evolving as well, I am so much stronger and I can now do wheel pose on my head and I did my first shoulder stand. I am now running, something I thought I would never attempt.
What inspires you to keep going on days you don’t feel like it? 
I am truly enjoying the process as well as the results and I love to exercise and do yoga. Knowing I am able to help with charities and in the meantime become healthier and stronger keeps me moving forward. I have people telling my that my journey is inspiring them. I believe we all are here to motivate and inspire each other. My saying is to remove the letter e from the word ego and just go for it.
Favorite healthy food: 
I am obsessed with Think Thin Bars, Brownie Crunch. They are sugar free, gluten free and at six am in the morning I enjoy one with my cup of coffee. I am also great at making healthy vegetarian soups and chili. Just tonight I made a Lentil and Black bean Chili with sweet potatoes and assorted vegetables. My husband James loves my soups and has become healthier as well and is also starting his own fitness journey. He has lost 16 pounds since I began my mission. I am rubbing off on him and he is extremely grateful. He now speed walks over an hour a day and has an extra pep in his step.
Favorite Workout Move: 
Balance poses, I have amazing balance.
Favorite moment on your journey: 
I have a few and it is all about the people that have touched me along the way. The Richard Simmons video was amazing. Getting to know Mr Simmons has been a blessing and he is so inspiring. At the video I made three new friends. Francie who I have become very close with, and Susan and Joanne who I will see in November when they visit Los Angeles. Getting to know Mike, who went from being a co-worker who I did not know at all, to becoming my inspiring trainer and good friend. The Monday Night Mission and all the people who give so much of themselves. I am humbled by the beauty of humanity. I have become so liberated, and I am conquering my fears along the way.
Overall goal: 
I was 197 pounds when I began and I am now 180 pounds. I hope to reach 130-140. That gives me a lot of time to help more charities and I am up for the challenge. I also plan to improve on my running, and do a few 5k’s in the future. I want to eventually take ballet classes and ballroom/latin classes again. To improve and evolve in my yoga practice, and eventually to get certified so I can help others as I have been helped.
Love and Light


Good Morning to all. This is me with my wonderful Yoga teacher Nicole at Pink Iron. She makes the tanks we are in, her company is Honu Yoga, and I have one in every color and proceeds go to helping with conservation of sea turtles. I love my Honu Yoga tanks.
I she is my first yoga teacher, and even though I belong to Yogaworks, I also go to her class once a week at Pink Iron because she is such a phenomenal teacher. Pink Iron is an amazing Cross Fit gym for ladies, and the only reason I do not belong is because I prefer to work out with my trainer and on my own, and do group classes for other things like yoga and aerobics etc. Cross fit is great but for me it was not a fit, but the Pink Iron community is like a family and I am grateful to them and the owner Holly Holton. If you want to do Cross Fit for take one of Nicole’s three yoga classes at week they are located in West Hollywood on La Cienega and Holloway. 
Love and Light


Sometimes you look at your goals and lament on the time it takes to make them happen. For me I am proud of my accomplishments so far but I admit I sometimes look at the time it has taken to get to where I am, and wonder if I should be farther along in my progress. It is not a wise thing to question time, it passes anyway and to be able to say you are better off then you were before is a gift. The old cliche’ is true, Rome was not built in a day. It takes time to make your goals a reality, and in my case taking longer to get to the destination is better than some short fix. It is a marathon and not a sprint. I am in for the duration of the run.

Yesterday I had a great workout with Mike, and I plan on getting a photo of him as well to post soon. I am so grateful to him and I am definitely improving since that awkward day of our first workout last July. We spoke about my idea to learn to surf, since it is on my fitness bucket list and I said it is something I would like to do when I get to my final goal weight of around 130-140 lbs. He said that works because the water temperature is warmer in Summer, so I hope to be at goal or close to goal by then. We are running every week now, and all of a sudden as we were running I had this aha moment when I felt like I can do this. Next week we will run farther so I have my work cut out for me but I am up for the challenge.

After my workout I ran to my 7:15 Yoga Class with Nicole at Pink Iron. It was a crowded class with awesome energy. I love Nicole, she is amazing and I got the chance to snap a few photos with her and I will post them this weekend. She is my first yoga teacher and I am very grateful to her. I love Yoga and tonight I am going to Yogaworks to either take an Iyengar class or a flow class. depending on the time I get there. My husband James told me this weekend I was a Yogi before I ever took a Yoga class or stepped on a mat. That was the best compliment.

Off for my day, coffee and some fuel is needed. I wish you a beautiful day, full of radiance and warmth. Love and Light to all.


Good Morning to all on this sunny Thursday here in Southern California. I must do a short yet sweet post since I am running a bit late today. The cats are so happy we are home from Palm Springs, and the holidays are approaching so it is mandatory that I push even harder because this is the danger zone time.

You know the time of year, you want to snuggle at home with your honey and watch Christmas movies, and that takes time away from your routine. I need to stick to my routine and get through the next few months. If I can lose another ten pounds by the New Year I will be very happy. I gained a pound this week and I did not even cheat while I was in Palm Springs, and on Thanksgiving and Christmas I am allowing myself to finally cheat, so this time of year may be difficult if not impossible to lose weight but I will make it through and make it happen.

Tonight after work I am working out with my trainer and friend Mike and if I have time I am going to try my best to make it to Nicole’s Yoga Class at Pink Iron at 7:15. So I will be running with Mike, and then running to make my Wednesday yoga class, but it is so worth it.

Off to work in a bit, my cat Spanky is snuggled on my feet. These are the times when you all of a sudden want to stay home and play homebody.  Coffee is so needed for an extra nudge out the door. Wishing everyone love and lots of light.


At the casino, almost kicked out for taking a photo

Salad kept me full so I would not eat anything too bad. At Ruby’s Diner in Palm Springs

Salt is not my friend. I did great with my eating this weekend in Palm Springs but since I ate in restaurants I am positive I ate more salt than I usually do. I control my sodium at home but it is difficult to do when away. You may be able to eat healthy, but some extra sodium and salt is inevitable. I got on the scale and I am happy to report I only went up a pound. My current weight is 178 and I am completely confident that one pound is just water weight from my long weekend away. 

I got on the scale and it is done, now I am off and ready to lose more weight. I have two weeks before Thanksgiving to lose more and stick to my program. I am cheating on Thanksgiving, it would not be Thanksgiving without a little indulgence to go along with my gratitude.

Tonight back to yoga, and hopefully time for a long walk before. Last night I made a wonderful and healthy chicken soup with grains and vegetables and I will post a recipe this weekend. I wish everyone a beautiful sun filled 11-12-13.


I love weekends away. Having some time away from home gives your perspective a different vantage point. You collect your thoughts, you connect with the person you love. It is refreshing and renewing. I always come home with ideas to make my daily life better. I was reading my LA YOGA magazine by a fountain by the pool, and being near the water made me feel so serene. I remembered years ago I waited on this strange but intriguing woman who told me I always need to have water near me. She told me I should purchase one of those fountain machines for my home so I can have the sound of running water to relax me always. I think I am going to look for one online, inspired by sitting in a little courtyard in Palm Springs.  

Our Palm Springs weekend for James’ Birthday was wonderful and now it is good to be home with our two loving Siamese cats Rascal and Spanky. They could not be happier we are home.

Going away creates challenges with your diet and workout routine, and even if you stick to eating as healthy as possible, restaurant food still is higher in sodium than home made food. I find I have a bit of a stomach ache today, and I look forward to getting on the scale even if I may have gained a little from water weight. That may just be an inevitable fact. Starting today I am returning to keeping a journal of all of my food, and I may start counting my Weight Watchers points once again. It is a great way to stay accountable, and keep on track without having to do the math of calories. I have been successful not counting, but I feel as far as I have to go it will help me keep my sanity. I will be posting about my next charity this week. Since the holidays are approaching I may do a few different ones through the course of December.

I want to wish all of our Veterans a Happy Veterans Day and thank them for their service. Our freedom is the best gift we have, and I truly am in debt to them for all that they do to uphold our safety. My father was a World War II veteran, and he served in the Pacific.

Off for now. Long day ahead of me. I am assuming work will be slow today since it is a holiday, so I am heading to Trader Joe’s after to find something healthy and simple to cook for dinner. I am going to just go walking/running tonight since I am not sure the yoga studio is open for the holiday. Back to the grind, so much weight to lose, many charities to assist, I have my work cut out for me and I love it. 
Love and Light