Monday, December 27, 2010

Healthcare and free choice..ruffling some feathers.

I'm up for a little feather ruffling on this fine NYC snow day.  I've already baked everything I can think of so what else is there to do when you are snowed in? 

I'm curious to hear what everything thinks of the "End-of-Life" plan.  For those of you that don't know, you can gather some info here:

In a quick summery, the above New York Times article states: Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment. 

I personally think educating people of their "end of life" options is a good thing.  Why keep this information in the dark?  If you have a terminal illness wouldn't you want to know what your rights are?  You have the right to be fully educated on how you will spend your last days. 

Many (Palin...cough, cough) are scaring the nation into the thought that this is a "death panel" that will convince people to end their lives sooner.  I feel that as an intelligent individual in a free country I have the right to make the decision NOT be hooked up to life support and become a burden on my family and the system if I become a vegetable.  And since when is being fully educated on a topic a bad thing?  That's what the bill is proposing...doctors educating their patients. 

I feel it's a huge injustice to tip toe around the subject of death and the comparison to a death panel infuriates me. 

What's your take?  I want all your juicy, heated comments.  Get mad.  Take a stand.  It means you're a living, breathing individual with free choice and speech.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Giving the gift of experience

Holiday gifting can be a stressful experience.  There is much pressure to find your loved ones a thoughtful gift.  We all know what it feels like to be given something generic.  It makes you question your worth to that individual and you may even get upset if you searched long and hard and DID find them something that was perfectly suited.  (We both know it's a little callous to have these feelings, but we are only human.  Humans get their feelings hurt over silly things.) 

I was talking to a client the other day and she said that she was giving gifts of "experience" this year.  I think it's a great solution to the problem. 

Some suggestions:
Spa certificate, a massage, dance, fitness or yoga class, one-on-one personal training, a round of golf (or putt-putt),  a membership to a museum, season tickets to sporting or performance events, a cooking class, a sushi making class, an acupuncture session, a hot lather shave, wine tasting, bowling, personal shopper or stylist session, home organizing session...the list is endless! 

I found this great site that you can search experiences by region.

Want in on the best gift of all?!! 

How about the gift of health?  Sign someone up for a Nutrition and Health History consultation (for FREE!!!) with Motivated Nutrition, or a one-on-one Pilates or TRX training session.  Come on!  I HAD to plug it, but it's seriously and AWESOME gift! 

Shoot me an email today for a perfect gift certificate for your friends and family!

Happy Gifting!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home Sweet...Food?

We have another set of new guests staying for a few nights in one of the rooms of our loft.  I have seen so many people in and out of our living space each month that I've begun to reconstruct the meaning of "home" and started to wonder about the psychological effect your living space has on you...and your health. 

Since moving into the 2000 sq ft, 4 bedroom, duplex loft in Brooklyn last September, we've had a turnover of at least 9 roommates from all over the world: Austrailia, Belgium, Canada, Brazil, Palestine, London, Ireland... It's been interesting getting exposed to so many different cultures as well as personality types under the roof that I call home.  It feels like the quintessential NY experience and has been wonderful and many ways.  At the same time, it's also quite stressful and can feel a little unsettling from time to time.  

Living in NYC for the past few years has often left me feeling a bit disjointed and homeless.  I've inhabited 4 different apartments and takes its toll on you psychologically.  At the end of a hard day, it's nice to come home to a safe haven that you can call your own in this chaotic city.  Just recently, I've begun to feel quite safe in our current little hostel of sorts and I've begun to wonder why.  This is maybe the closest I've felt to having a home in many years. 

Food is my answer.  Cooking has become my nesting ritual.  As of this last move, I no longer own any furniture and have gotten rid of 75% of my belongings and yet, I feel pretty settled.  I'm positive it's because I've started cooking on a daily basis.  I know that I have kitchen to go back to every night to prepare a fresh, home cooked meal.  My edible home has created a sense of power, comfort and ritual that I haven't experienced until now.    The transformation of my mental state has been incredible. 

Everyone is so unique, it makes me wonder, what's your grounding or nesting ritual?   Now that I've discovered mine, I realize how powerful and vital it is.  Tell me, what do you do to make your house, loft or hostel(!) feel like a home? 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MORE Sugar Plums Please

I couldn't let today's news go by without a rant about dancers and the importance of body image. 

NYC Ballet Principal, Jenifer Ringer, made headlines today because of dance critic, Alastair Macauly's response to her "Sugar Plum(p)" appearance.  He wrote, "Jenifer Ringer, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, looked as if she’d eaten one sugar plum too many;"  She was featured on the Today Show and for all of you who saw, she's at a healthy body weight.  Underweight in fact, when compared to the general population, as most dancers are. 

Dancers bodies are under constant scrutiny and many professionals suffer from eating disorders, especially in the ballet world.  Jenifer herself admitted to suffering from one when she first started at the NYC Ballet.  This is indeed great publicity for the ballet and empowering for non-dancer women everywhere.  My concern is that it's only going to make the eating disorders in the dance world more prevalent.  I hope I'm wrong, but I'm a dancer and I understand the mindset.  We stare at ourselves everyday in the mirror and strive for perfection in our movement, lines and body.  I myself have obsessed and cried over choreographers comments on my body, knowing that there is nothing wrong with it.  Unfortunately, when your body is your profession and you put it on stage and light it up, the world can be a brutal place.  I hope dancers everywhere are able to see past this terrible review and fully embrace their bodies for the beautiful machines that we've trained so hard to turn them into. 

Dancers, take a stand and eat another sugar plum!  Just be sure to wash it downs with some leafy green vegetables!  ;)  (I may be a dancer but I'm also still a health coach!) 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Feeding your superhero first thing in the AM

What do you get if you cross a good night's rest with a dose of morning sunshine and a heaping plate of kale? I'm pretty sure it's going to make you invincible for the rest of the day. Or at least until lunchtime.

I had a performance last evening so I went to bed with that warm, fuzzy dancer's high and slept like a rock. I actually got in a full 8 hours, woke up to a morning kiss from a handsome face :) and a room drenched in sunshine.

I wasn't about to feed this invincible body a bowl of sugary cereal...or worse yet, skip breakfast all together! I sauteed up a few handfuls of kale, tossed in an egg (organic, cage free of course) and threw some fresh dill on top.

In case you didn't know, or have forgotten, kale is a superfood. It's packed with
calcium, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B6. It's also full of antioxidants and carotenoids that help protect the body from chronic diseases such as heart disease. When you start your day with a superfood, you are fueling your superhero with high octane nutrition for very few calories. High octane converts to LOTS of energy, lots of fiber so you feel fuller longer and a happy body! :)

Do mornings get any better than this?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Laughing and Learning with Abe

I teach dance every other Thursday morning at a senior center in Queens. It's truly the highlight of my day to spend the morning with a group of young at heart movers ages 60-100. Every week, half of my class gets anxious to leave at 10:20 to prepare for their 10:30 meeting, entitled "Laughing and Learning with Abe". Abe is one of the daily regulars and a ring leader of sorts. There have been many weeks that I'll walk in and happily go up to each table in hopes of signing up dancers only to receive an array of excuses and ailments. All I have to do is hunt down Abe and he convinces them to join my class. He'll even throw in the suggested $1 donation for his extra special lady friends!

I've had the opportunity to spend some time chatting with Abe and found out what makes him so intriguing. He's well into his 80's and has one of the most youthful, positive and energetic spirits I've ever encountered. He spends hours preparing a booklet of jokes, stories and inspirational quotes to share with his group each week. Today, I was told, they were discussing priorities and what you decide is most important to you when you get out of bed in the morning. To myself, I arrogantly thought, what in the world I have to prioritize at that age? I immediately felt guilty for never taking the time to realize that it doesn't matter what age you are, what job or responsibilities you have, you will always have priorities. And that's a good thing! It's what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning. It's knowing that there is going to be a part of your day that is important to you and that's what makes life worth living.

We all spend so many of our days frantically running around and going through the required motions. Have you ever stopped to think what part of that rat race is most important to you? It could be anything from rolling over to share a monster breath kiss with your loved one in the morning to going to your job knowing that someone there needs and appreciates you.

If you can't think of something that holds superior ranking in your life, perhaps its a sign you should take a deep breath, slow down and take a lesson in laughing and learning with Abe!

So what's your priority today?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Watching the Weight

Weight Watchers has finally done an overhaul of their points system! For years, thousands have been counting up the points from every snack and meal in order to stay within the boundaries of Weight Watchers guidelines. As it turns out, there's been a simpler way to loose weight all along. Welcome to the world of fruits and vegetables my friends! Weight Watchers has revamped the system and a calorie just doesn't count as a calorie any more. (We knew that. Thanks for catching up with the program) They finally studied the science on how your body processes certain types of calories and found that your body isn't going to register that 100 calorie snack pack quite the same way it's going to process an apple.

These are things that we all know instinctively but when you are told by a multimillion dollar industry that the cookies and the apple are exactly the same, why would we opt for the later?

I find it a huge relief that Weight Watchers has finally gotten their facts straight and will now be promoting a healthier diet. Yes, it's true that thousands have lost weight doing it the easy way, but it's because they were eating less calories and watching their weight (hence the name). The process is the same. The support groups are the same. But now people will be losing weight in a healthier way and will be much more likely to keep the weight off.

The companies tag is "Don't eat less, eat smarter"

Thank you. It's about time.