Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday is for Life Administration and a Book Review

Happy Tuesday! I woke up on the right side of the bed for some reason this morning. I think it was because we had such fun last night with our friend Phil. He is always a ton of fun to be around.

This morning it was another one with temperatures in the 30’s. Brrrr! I am seriously looking forward to spring. Come on Mother Nature have pity on us will you please?

For breakfast this morning Dan had a big bowl of oatmeal that I cooked with water and to that I added: wild blueberries (previously frozen and more nutritious than cultivated blueberries), wheat germ (for the vitamin E and fiber), freshly ground flaxseeds (for the omega 3s and fiber), cinnamon (to help the body process the sugar), powdered ginger (for the antioxidants), walnuts (for the omega 3s and calories) and a touch of stevia to sweeten it a little since Dan has a voracious sweet tooth.

After I exercised and answered my email I made myself breakfast late in the morning. I opted for a giant bowl of salad that I made in a serving bowl. This salad contained: baby spinach, cold cooked quinoa (a complete protein), cold cooked black beans, salsa, orange bell pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber fresh cilantro and white chia seeds (for omega 3s and to provide fat to enhance the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins in the salad). I know that salad for breakfast seems a little unconventional but you can’t deny that it is nutritious and healthy. This salad was filling enough that the only other meal I had today was dinner which was good after the big meal at the restaurant last night.

I washed the salad down with a big mug (a double) of matcha green tea which I added a little ascorbate C powder to after the tea had steeped for 10 minutes (to extract the most EGCG). This also gives the tea time to cool down so the kill doesn’t destroy all the vitamin C. I had two more of these throughout the day since I have read that you need to have 5-7 cups of green tea per day to realize the health benefits from green tea.

While I sipped my matcha tea I read another chapter of the book “Healing Through Exercise”. Well that was the plan when I started reading but I ended up finishing the book because I enjoyed it that much. My review is found at the end of this post.

Speaking of books here is the stack that arrived today. The top two are additional courses from “The Great Courses” this time on anatomy & physiology and stress. I am looking forward to getting into all of these but I need to plow through the library books first since they have a time frame to be returned.

Since our refrigerator was bare, well not bare but not well stocked either, I knew I needed to do a little cooking today, darn it. ;-) Our weather is still a little cool so I though soup would make a nice dinner to warm us up. Tomorrow we are going to DC for the screening of “Pig Business” so that means dinner out again poor me, LOL. It doesn’t look like there will be a lot of cooking happening this week at our house does it?

During the afternoon I made a pound of chickpeas in the pressure cooker. Half of those turned it fat free hummus and the other half went into a pot of soup that became dinner. The soup was very simple it has a tomato base, dried mushrooms (to boost our immune systems), onions, garlic, no-salt seasoning, mixed whole grains (from the Asian market the other day), frozen organic veggies (corn peas, carrots and green beans), paprika, lemon juice and lemon zest. Like normal I made a vat of soup so you will be seeing this turn up for a while in my meals.

Book Review: “Healing Through Exercise

I picked this book up on a whim at the library and thoroughly enjoyed it. I read the entire book in two sittings. If you are looking for a reason to start or continue exercising you need to read this book. It is very motivational.

The book is categorized as follows:

1. The Healing Power of Exercise
2. The Dangers of Going to Bed
3. Unemployed Bodies, New Diseases
4. Walking Off Diabetes
5. Muscles and Metabolism
6. What the Heart Desires
7. Growing Bones
8. A Sporting Cure for Back Pain
9. Exercise and Brain Power
10. Lifting the Spirit
11. A Foundation of Youth in the Brain
12. Cancer: A Growing Case for Exercise
13. Longevity, Potency, and Resilience
14. Panacea for Every Day

You will not be surprised to hear that the first chapter I read was number 12. I had to go right to the issue that concerns me. Then I went back and read the book start to finish, rereading chapter 12. I found this book to be both motivatal and empowering and recommend you read it for that reason if no other. If you are familiar with Miriam Nelson “Strong Women Stay Young” and the studies at Tufts you will not be surprised to read that even people in their 80’s show tremendous physical improvement when they start exercising.

The author does a nice job of explaining the difference between different types of muscles (type-II-b and type-1) and the influence they have on our health as well as how to change your muscle composition.

Additionally the author discusses the impact exercise has on the following biomarkers:

• Basal Metabolic Rate
• Relative Body Fat
• Aerobic Capacity
• Blood Sugar Tolerance
• Bone Density
• Internal Temperature
• Cholesterol: Amount and Type
• Blood Pressure
• Biological Age

Regarding exercise and cancer there are a number so studies now that show that exercise not only improves the quality of life of those with cancer, extends life (by slowing progression), and reduces all cause mortality (death). I don’t know about you but that sounds like a wonderful reason to be active most days to me.

For those of you that are concerned about Alzheimer’s there is also research that suggests that exercise reduces cognitive decline (chapter 11). By combining cognitive and physical exercise you can delay or prevent the degenerative process in the brain.

There is similar research reference in the book that shows similar things for diabetes, those with heart disease, depression, back pain and osteoporosis. No surprise, exercise seems to be effective in preventing, reversing or delaying many of the chronic diseases of the Western World. This should not be surprising since those of us living in the Western World generally don’t get much exercise.

I enjoyed this book very much and I have added to my next Amazon list. I liked that there are 23 pages of endnotes most of them from scholarly journals. I love looking up the articles that sound interesting. Can you say health nut? LOL, yes that is a good description of me.

Overall this book is a good read and one that I think will encourage you to get up off the couch if you are sedentary or motivate those that already exercise to maybe do a little more moderate activity.

Happy thoughts:

I had another good day which mean I have many things to be happy about today:

• As crazy as this sounds I am grateful that I lost my desire to the standard American fare. I love that I can make myself a huge salad for breakfast and am completely content and well nourished. Sounds like a win-win to me.

• Today I am also grateful for a well stocked library. A girlfriend recommended the library to me a few years ago and I have been going regularly ever since. I have no idea why I stopped going to the library after grad school that was very foolish on my part. I love reading and the library saves me from buying as many books as I used to (shocking right). It is also wonderful to be able to check out exercise DVDs to preview before buying. We also like to check out movies and TV series.

• Our local PBS station MPT is having a pledge drive and just aired Dr. Barnard’s “Kick start Your Health” program; the same book I picked up at the library this past weekend. I was thrilled to see a “healthy” vegan diet gets mainstream exposure. Woo hoo!

• This evening I had a chance to talk to another blogger and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It is very nice to be able to put a voice to a face and a blog. There are lots of incredible people in the world if you look for them.

• I just adore my fur babies. Here is a picture of Masi today warming himself on the bed. I don’t have to tell you that the electric blanket was on meaning he was nice and toasty. All cats seem to like sleeping in a warm place.

Signing out:

My day has been a bit of a blur and tomorrow will be more hectic since our trip to DC that will turn into a late night. I may not have a post up tomorrow evening but I will try. I hope you had a great Tuesday. I will talk to you again either very late tomorrow or Thursday morning.


  1. Jackie,

    Thank you! I am looking forward to meeting Dr. Greger after the film. If I get the chance I am going to see if I can get a picture of us together. That is the sign of a real nutrition geek when you want your picture taken with Dr. Greger. LOL


  2. That salad looks great. I've been wanting salads more and more again recently. Funny how you can sort of go through little phases. Thanks for the book review. I need to get that for my mom!

  3. Heather,

    I think I am craving more salad since the weather is starting to warm up. I tried adding more raw food to my diet in the winter and it didn't work for me. I think we live in a climate that is simply too cold to eat a lot of raw food in the winter. Maybe the seasonal change has had the same impact for you?

    If you are trying to encourage your mom to exercise this book should help convince her. *fingers crossed*


  4. I hope you enjoy the film - do you have plans for where you'll eat?

    The bell pepper and cilantro in your salad are calling out to me.

    I always enjoy your book reviews, and even just your book choices. I have seen how people seem to live longer, happier lives when they stay active into old age.

  5. "Life administration" gave me a giggle! :)))
    As always, your post is great!

  6. Can't wait to hear about your evening with Dr. Greger! Jealous!
    Another fantastic kitty pic, too!

  7. Jessica,

    The film was good the panel discussion after the film was even better. It was nice day. We went to Jaleo again since it was late and we know we can get a variety of vegan food there.

    Glad you like to hear about the books I read. As you know I am a voracious reader, I can't help myself. I love to learn.

    Happy Thursday,

  8. Teresa,

    I make myself giggle with life administration too. I have called things around the house that for years, maybe a decade.

    Glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for letting me know.


  9. Lolly,

    I had a great evening. Sadly I didn't get a chance to meet Dr. Greger but I will get another opportunity.

    I love my kitties which means they have to learn to tolerate having many pictures taken. Only Binky is a willing subject. ;-)

    enjoy the rest of your evening,

  10. Hi Ali. Haven't commented in a while, but did have to mention that I saw Dr Barnard on PBS as well. I took the opportunity to pledge, and will be receiving the DVD of the program, with an extra hour as mentioned. Looking forward to that. Love reading your posts and seeing all the great food you're both eating. You make wonderful role models of healthy nutrition!

  11. Colleen,

    I will be curious to hear what you think of the bonus footage when the DVD arrives. I almost bought it as well but as you know my health book and DVD habit is a little out of control which means I need to contain myself some time.

    I hope all is well with you,

  12. I have been on the waiting list at the library for Neal Barnard's latest book since it first came out...I am jealous that you were able to get it from your library so easily! I hope it is a good one and that you enjoy it :-)


  13. Courtney,

    When I go into the library I always check out the new releases section and the book was just sitting there. See why I always tell you I feel like the only vegan around here? LOL! I will definitely let you know what I think.

    talk to you later,


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