Tag Archives: health


That moment when you begin to feel like yourself after being sick for a few weeks is priceless. All of a sudden it is like the clouds cracked open and revealed the sunshiny sky. I was so sick, and it took me a good two weeks to feel like me again. I am prone to upper respiratory infections but I have not had one since 2010. I was worried for some time about a lump in my neck, and I was freaking out about the possibility of the worst case scenario. I am happy to report now that I am no longer sick the lump has disappeared. That makes you realize how lucky you are to have your health. The whole time I lived in LA I was healthy and not sick once. It is a bit cooler in Northern California and the cool weather got me this time. I refuse to take my health or life for granted and from this moment on I am living my best life ever, chasing my goals and my happiness.

In the interim of being sick I took the downtime to finish some details of my poetry book that will be out come August. I had a photo shoot for my book jacket cover, not good timing since I was pale and not feeling or looking my best but I had to have it done and I believe I got my shot. Now it is back to blogging, my fitness and charitable goals ( I will mention those in upcoming posts) and of course my running schedule and Melissa Bender Fitness Training. I weighed myself and I am still holding steady at 165. I am debating whether or not to go to Weight Watchers to help me get the next ten to twenty pounds off.

Today besides getting a run in, I am running some needed errands. I am also breaking down this week and getting new running shoes which are long overdue. I will blog about the process of finding the right fit for my feet and  my running style. I am also purchasing a new phone which means I will finally have an instragram. Time to break the bank and get the tools that are needed to move forward.

Off for now, lots of exciting things to come but daily goals help reach long-term goals. I am happy to be breathing and have this moment to say I am totally and utterly alive. Never give up. As long as you are awake anything is possible. Go get it!!!4e94db01d94c2fbcccb16181fcc6b203


Love and Light



The sun always smiles through even the darkest of clouds

Good Morning to all. It is Monday, but for me it feels not like a Monday and not like a weekend either.  My routine is off kilter, I have taken a few days off to spend time with my husband James as he gets some needed tests done at the Dr. He has an auto immune disease in which he was diagnosed back in 2009. At the time he had to have a lung biopsy because they assumed he had Lymphoma. That was a very scary time for us, and I remember I did not hold up as well as I should have.

He ended up with Sarcoidosis, stage zero. Even though the disease is not a joke and must be taken seriously, I was completely relieved it was not what they thought it was. I remember clearly the day, it was raining and I skipped in the puddles through the rain to the nearest coffee shop as he slept. When the manager asked how I was, I exuberantly explained with a joyful response on how great I was doing since my husband did not have cancer. He responded back with a good for you!!! My heart goes out to all to have to fight such a tsunami of a disease.

So now, he is having symptoms again and it seems to be affecting his vision, so more tests to make sure it has not progressed. I took off a few days from work, which I hate to do especially since last week I took off a day because my toe was just hurting and I felt I needed to rest it. Oh well, health comes first. I stopped wrapping my toe and now it feels so much better now, and I am staying positive regarding my husbands condition. He tends to think the worst, but I need to be calm within the mini storm.

This does not mean I eat off routine, and do not find a little time for a run or workout. Tomorrow when all is well, it is back to work and working out with my trainer Mike in the early evening. This will all be ok, and I can continue to focus on working even harder than before since I have hit the one year mark.

As Mattie Stepanek once said

Remember to play after every storm.


My evenings have been very busy with yoga and working out, and walking for an hour a day. I do not always have time to cook daily like I did before, so I look for meals that can last more than a day. I love to cook one pot soups, especially as autumn approaches. One of my favorite go to soups is my Mom’s Vegetarian Split Pea. It is a pot of delicious healthy soup, and so simple you could probably cook it in your sleep. You can add whatever extra vegetables you like to the soup, to make it your own. It is high in protein and fiber and low in fat. I do not puree’ it, I like the texture in its natural state. I love to have a few crackers with it, it warms me up from the inside out. 

This recipe first came to me from my lovely Mother, for years when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio I was a vegetarian and she would whip up meals for me that would work for my lifestyle. This is one I have learned and adapted as my own, one of many. I am blessed to have such an amazing Mother and teacher, and my husband reaps the benefits as well. 
Love and light

You will need

I bag dried split peas
2 carton of low sodium vegetable broth
1 Mirepoix mix from Trader Joe’s ( Chopped up celery, carrots, and onions) If you cannot find Mirepoix mix use one medium onion, 5 celery stalks, and 5 carrots, chopped.
Garlic cloves, I use 5 chopped
Sea Salt 
Ground pepper
dried basil
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

This is really the easiest soup.

Warm the extra virgin oil for a few seconds in a large pot. Add the Mirepoix mix and the garlic and saute’ until translucent. I like mine cooked so I saute’ mine for at least five minutes. I flavor the veggies with a bit of sea salt, a generous does of ground pepper and basil. You can add whatever vegetables you like. Sometimes I add kale to my soup.

After the veggies cook, I add the 2 cartons of vegetarian broth, the whole bag of split peas, and I bring it to a boil.

Season it a bit more, and cover and bring the temperature to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Boom, you have soup. It is that easy. Serve with crackers or some warmed whole grain bread from the oven. I skip the bread since I am working so hard on my My Change For a Ten weight loss and I may not be able to have just one slice.
This soup lasts only two days in my house, because my husband eats three bowls at a time.:-)


I have been preparing for my journey to get to my first ten pound goal so I can sponsor my first charity, The Monday Night Mission.  This is not a lose weight quick scheme but a way to finally get fit, healthy and strong, and to lose weight in the process. I plan to do this the healthy way. I am so up for the challenge, except I did not expect to be playing dodge ball with one of life’s cruel little ways of telling you not so fast kid. The dreaded sick curveball has hit me directly in the face with a somewhat subtle reminder on how important the health aspect of my journey is. Without your health you have nothing. The reminder of the importance of good health  has been stalking me since I found out a dear friend of mine was succumbing to cancer, and I am saddened to say is in his final hours. We  move so quickly through our days, running mundane marathons to empty destinations, often forgetting how fragile life is. Sometimes it takes a harsh reminder to wake us up to the fact we are only as good as our health, and everything else is just the icing on the cake; birthday cakes that is.

My sickness thank goodness is a minor one, some sort of infection. My sinuses are making it difficult to breathe and my lymph node under my right ear is so swollen I can hardly speak or make a sudden move. That little sucker hurts. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, and I took  today off work so I can sleep it off. Needless to say, my first workout will not be today, neither will I be eating much since I do not have an appetite at all. The plan will have to wait a day or two until I am in the right frame of health to tackle my challenge. Just a minor league curveball if you ask me.

When I wake up from my most needed slumber, I plan to do a yoga sequence to also wake up my muscles. I am in contact with Yogaworks and I am joining this week, but since I am sick and at home I will do what I always do when I am at home; I follow my best friend’s amazing videos. Today I will be doing a 25 minute yoga flow. You can access her fitness blog here. http://www.benderfitness.com/2013/06/25-minute-home-yoga-flow.html
She is not only my best friend but one of my life’s inspirations. 

So to wrap it up I got sick. If anyone knows me I avoid doctors like I avoid sharks in shallow waters, and I always put off going. Tomorrow I promise to go, and most likely get some needed antibiotics that will send me speed walking down the pavement to better health and fitness. Then the real hard work can begin, when I am healthy and physically up for the challenge. In the meantime, rest, fluids, a good book and an easy yoga flow is on today’s to do list.  Namaste’ and good health to all.