There was an error in this gadget

Monday, December 26, 2011

Back to Fitness . . . I Hope

When I started this blog I intended for its major thrust to be health and fitness--lifelong endeavors for me. Since contending with chemotherapy, I have not been able to get to my regular gym workouts for the past couple of months. Today, I went there and tried to get back into the flow. I know that once a person stops exercising they can get out of shape quickly, but I was hardly prepared for the horrifying experience. The worst part, was my inability to stretch my leg muscles even half what I would normally be able to do. It will take awhile and some dedication to get back where I was before . . . but I will.

It got me to thinking about all the people who never do stretching or any other type of exercise, and how with age our muscles deteriorate at the rate of about 8% every ten years. No wonder so many elderly folks simply lose the ability to walk due to muscle weakness with no other infirmity. Of course, being overweight as so many in our society are, does not help. For them, it is even more difficult to get going and keep going for life.

Although I've always known how important it is to exercise regularly, I now have a greater appreciation for what I would be like now at age 65 if I had not exercised all my adult life. I'm happy and grateful to be back to the point where I can resume a healthy lifestyle. I encourage everyone to continue your exercise routines and if you don't already, to start an exercise program of some kind, even if it first entails just stretching and walking up and down stairs.  Just start somewhere and then never stop.
           My 40 plus year old son, Shayne, on the right riding in the annual Colorado Triple Bypass

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great review by author Diane Rapp

Every review is a gift and extremely helpful, but a review like this by another author is truly wonderful.

By Diane Rapp "Author" (Trinity, Texas) -


This review is from: Currents Deep and Deadly (Kindle Edition)

As an author of a cruise ship mystery series Murder Caribbean-Style (High Seas Mystery (Book 1)) I was intrigued to read this book. I actually learned more about cruising and even some facts about ports I covered in my book. The characters are well written, have flaws and self doubts including secrets that the author reveals during the story. The plot is complex but strangely believable by the end of the book when all the puzzle pieces were assembled. This book is enjoyable but it's not a fluff piece with a Hollywood ending. The author explores spiritual ideas in the narrative and the characters still have relationship conflicts that are not tied up in a neat bow. I'll be interested to see how the characters resolve their relationships during the rest of the series. Good job! You've snagged me as a reader.

Soup, Um um good!

I found these recipes for hearty soups and thought I'd pass them along. With the effects of chemo, I find that soups are something I can usually enjoy and they are so healthy.  That goes for all of us if the soups are made with fresh wholesome ingredients. Canned soups, of course, are way too high in sodium and the taste is not even close to homemade. Another thing about soup is that most recipes are very easy.  Check these out.  http://www.food52.com/recipes/search/dish_type/soups

But, even without a recipe, I make lots of soups using whatever vegetables, rice, dried peas, lentils, barley, beans, etc. and broth that I happen to have on hand. Low fat and low sodium canned chicken or vegetable broth is great for a base, and the key to tasty soup is herbs, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil.  I've found it's really hard to go wrong if you just season to taste. For optimum nutrition and to hold as many vitamins as possible, simmer soup on low heat for only about 30 minutes.

On another note, I'll follow up on my last blog regarding the NY trip and author pitch fest. I am so thrilled to report that despite my misgivings about the quality of my pitch, three of the Hollywood studios requested copies of Currents Deep and Deadly. This doesn't necessarily mean something will come of it, but at least they want to read the book to see if it would be suitable for a movie or TV series, so who knows?

By the way, here is the book trailer for Currents of Vengeance, the second Darcy Farthing adventure.

video

Monday, October 31, 2011

New York Author Pitch Fest A Little Pitchy

Well, I made it through the Hollywood producers author pitch fest event as planned, but I was truly exhausted when it was over. After an intense day of workshops and practice, each of the 150 authors sat down with each of ten producers for exactly two minutes to give their pitch saying why their story would make a great movie or TV show.  The biggest thing I learned from this is that I am not my normal competent self when it comes to a presentation like this.

The chemo is having an effect.  One gal who was pitching a book she wrote about her breast cancer treatment told me, "Oh yeah, chemo brain.  I still can't memorize things after a year from treatment." Oh great! Another factor about this I hadn't really realized.  I actually had difficulty memorizing the short pitch, even though the subject was so familiar to me.  It was a very strange sensation . . . sort of like brain damage I suspect.

Anyway, it was hard to tell whether the reactions were positive or just benign.  Over the next few weeks the studios will get back to our publishers with any books they want to follow up with.  Whatever happens, it really was a great opportunity.  It is sort of a foot in the door, in that these studio executives now know my name and book titles. We were told that a long time can go by and then a studio will suddenly pull out an idea they heard at one of these events and follow up on it. The next pitch is in six months in Vegas. Tempting, but I don't think I'll be going.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

An Epiphany of Sorts

A number of friends and readers have asked me whether I plan to keep a journal of my experience with breast cancer treatment and write about it.  I answered that I didn't want to think that much about having cancer and would rather concentrate on writing fun fiction.  Well, I've had an epiphany of sorts--not about writing about my experience--but rather talking about it.

I recently read a tweet suggesting that authors should get out more and engage in public speaking.  In her blog, the writer pointed out that most authors are solitary by nature and must push themselves to speak in public.  After all, for many fear of public speaking is right up there with fear of death.  Suddenly the light went on for me, duh!  I spent many years teaching people how to prepare and present public speeches and I am very comfortable doing so myself.  Why hadn't I thought of this before?

Book signing on Royal Caribbean ship, Mariner of the Seas
So, I have added a blurb on http://www.aalleman.com/ inviting organizations and clubs to contact me if they would like me to show up and talk about my fulfillment of a life-long dream (the writing) and the ins and outs of becoming an author, my experiences coping with breast cancer, the fun and inspiration gained from travel, and bringing comfort and synergy to one's life.  Now I realize I have been overlooking a whole facet of my experiences that, quite frankly, could also help my book marketing efforts.

I don't think I'm alone.  I have the feeling that many of us overlook an ability, talent, or valuable experience, that we think of as being in the past, we have taken for granted, or just tucked away for later.  As I realize more than ever, later might never arrive and we must grasp every opportunity to be the best we can be and use our gifts ASAP.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goin to New York City!

Hubby, Tim, on cruise ship rock wall
Hi everyone, I'm hoping to hear from you.  I hate to come across as needy, but if you've read either of my Darcy Farthing cruise adventure novels, I'd love to hear ideas about the most important aspect of the stories for a movie format.  There's the cruise ship crime, the murder/mystery, the interperonal relationships and Darcy's struggle with her past and finding her daughter, the recurring theme of how life's currents flow and intersect.  I need to focus because I get 2 to 3 minutes one-on-one with each producer to explain why my series would make a great movie.  I'll be competing with 149 other independently published authors.

Meanwhile, here's a fabulous offer.  Through September 20, if you contact me and let me know, I'll email a copy of either book in ebook format for FREE.  No kidding! You just need to download the free adobe digital reader, if you don't have it already.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to Writing

Well, you know I'm thrilled to have Currents of Vengeance out and available.  So many folks have asked when it will be published because they want to know what happens to Darcy, Mick, Tom, and the rest of the quirky cast.  Since, I'll be "land-locked" for the next year, I've decided they will too.  So, the third book, Current Assets, will follow their antics and problems down in Florida near Mick's home on Marco Island.  I'm planning more twisty plots and dillemas for them and I'm researching and writing now.  My husband, Tim, will be a source of information and inspiration, since I'll draw on some of his U.S. Marshal experience.

My publisher has built a new website for my books.  It's pretty cool at http://www.arleenalleman.com/
You've probably seen the book trailer for Currents Deep and Deadly, but if not, here it is.

video

As I've said, my new motto is "You're healthy until you're not."  By this I mean that although a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, and exercise are the way to go to help achieve a long life, we cannot control everything.  As frustrating as it is, genetics and environment can conspire against us in complicated ways that are not understood by anyone.  So, the best we can do is our best, so that if we encounter a serious health issue we can accept that it is part of life and know we did not knowingly bring it upon ourselves.  If nothing else, this is good motivation to be as healthy as possible . . . and hope it is for life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

AGAIN! Back to basics

My son, Shayne, and me at A Basin
There is nothing simpler and yet apparently more difficult than maintaining a healthy eating life-style.  Why our society has so many problems with the age-old basic concepts is an interesting topic.  As the last couple of generations have been presented with so many easy, tasty, nutrient-deficient foods, we seem to have lost our way . . . and unfortunately our health.  I'm reprinting these steps from UC Berkeley Foundations of Wellness newsletter.  This is a perfect blueprint for eating right and if you're not already doing so,  I hope you take these steps to heart.
Steps 9, 11, and 12 are particularly insightful.  Happy eating and healthy living!

1  Eat plenty of high-fiber foods—that is, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. These are the "good" carbohydrates—nutritious, filling, and relatively low in calories. They should supply the 20 to 30 grams of dietary fiber you need each day, which slows the absorption of carbohydrates, so there’s less effect on insulin and blood sugar, and provides other health benefits as well. Such foods also provide important vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals essential to good health).

2  Make sure to include green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables—such as broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits. The antioxidants and other nutrients in these foods may help protect against developing certain types of cancer and other diseases. Eat five or more servings a day.

3  Limit your intake of sugary foods, refined-grain products such as white bread, and salty snack foods. Sugar, our No.1 additive, is added to a vast array of foods. Just one daily 12-ounce can of soda (160 calories) can add up to 16 pounds over the course of a year. Many sugary foods are also high in fat, so they’re calorie-dense.

4  Cut down on animal fat. It’s rich in saturated fat, which boosts blood cholesterol levels and has other adverse health effects. Choose lean meats, skinless poultry, and nonfat or low-fat or nonfat dairy products.

5  Cut way down on trans fats, supplied by hydrogenated vegetable oils used in most processed foods in the supermarket and in many fast foods.

6  Eat more fish and nuts, which contain healthy unsaturated fats. Substitute olive or canola oil for butter or stick margarine.

7  Keep portions moderate, especially of high-calorie foods. In recent years serving sizes have ballooned, particularly in restaurants. Choose a starter instead of an entrée, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything.

8  Keep your cholesterol intake below 300 milligrams per day. Cholesterol is found only in animal products, such as meats, poultry, dairy products, and egg yolks.

9  Eat a variety of foods. Don't try to fill your nutrient requirements by eating the same foods day in, day out. It is possible that not every essential nutrient has been identified, and so eating a wide assortment of foods helps to ensure that you will get all the necessary nutrients. In addition, this will limit your exposure to any pesticides or toxic substances that may be present in one particular food.

10  Maintain an adequate calcium intake. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Get your calcium from low-fat sources, such as skim milk and low-fat yogurt. If you can't get the optimal amount from foods, take supplements.

11  Try to get your vitamins and minerals from foods, not from supplements. Supplements cannot substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies nutrients and other compounds besides vitamins and minerals. Foods also provide the "synergy" that many nutrients require to be efficiently used in the body.

12  Maintain a desirable weight. Balance energy (calorie) intake with energy output. Exercise and other physical activity are essential.

13  If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That is one drink a day for women, two a day for men. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits. Excess alcohol consumption leads to a variety of health problems. And alcoholic beverages can add many calories to your diet without supplying nutrients.
From: http://www.wellnessletter.com/html/fw/fwNut01HealthyDiet.html

Friday, July 15, 2011

Video of Cruise Ship Interview

This is a little embarrassing and sorta funny.  You might want to just watch a little of it.  I personally like the very end the best. http://www.youtube.com/user/ArleenAlleman

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My new motto!

Here is my Xena for those who have never seen her.  She's lean and mean too!

It was reported today that Colorado is approaching a 20% obesity rate.  The stunning thing is that we are the lowest in the nation, but in 1995, 20% was one of the highest rates.  What has happened to our society in sixteen years?

You are healthy until you are not!  That's my new motto!  Who knew I would end up in a life-changing, life-fighting battle with the Big C.  The good news is that my healthy eating and exercise have prepared me for this and I will probably have an easier time with the surgery and treatments than if I weren't in good shape.  Also, overall good health is a huge aid in beating the spread of the disease.

So, one more reason to get out there and move and start eating lots of  foods high in anti-oxidants, like blueberries.  These help eliminate the free radicals; damaged cells that course through our systems turning into cancerous ones.  Obviously, anyone can get sick no matter how hard they work at being healthy.  There are many examples of this, including moi. Genetics play a role that is not well understood.

Stay hydrated with lots of water and keep exercising.  Eat lots of fiber and lose the excess sugar and animal fat from your diet and think lean.  Being overweight is NEVER a good thing, no matter what happens to you, especially when your body is stressed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Darcy Farthing Adventure Continues

  
Possible Cover - stairs of death, Valparaiso
  The manuscript for Currents of Vengeance is out with the reviewers and I'm working on a cover design.  TELL ME WHICH OF THESE PICTURES YOU LIKE BEST.  It looks like you will be able to check it out on Kindle, nook, or get one made of paper, by the end of August.  It will be better to read the first book, Currents Deep and Deadly first, but not necessary.  Here's a preview of the storyline of Currents of Vengeance.

Darcy is adjusting to her new career as an author and struggling with Mick's mysterious depression and anxiety. She wonders what has happened to the romance they found on their ill-fated South American cruise.  With her "new" daughter Rachael's encouragement, she finds herself struggling against an unexpected attraction to her ex-husband, successful Vegas businessman, Brooks Larkin.

In a surprising turn of events, she and Rachael accompany Mick and the Sea Nymph's ex-chief of security, Tom Smythe, on a second cruise around South America.  This time, Mick and Tom are conducting a GAO/FBI investigation of crime on cruise ships, while trying to find evidence to prosecute Paul Denezza, the ruthless hotel and casino owner, for his crimes on the first cruise.  Instead of a relaxing vacation, Darcy and the others encounter more violence, madness, and mystery as currents from the first cruise rise to the surface and threaten to pull them under.  A cast of quirky psychologically flawed characters bent on revenge against the World of Seas cruise line and our travelers provides non-stop action and surprises.


Possible Cover Picture - Inca ruins





Possible cover picture - Cabo, Mexico


Monday, May 2, 2011

Onward and (hopefully) Upward

So after six years, Synergy Decor has closed its virtual doors at The Barn in Castle Rock.  However, I still have a small spot to sell my books and jewelry, along with some small treasures I bring in from time to time, when I find something special.  I can't just leave The Barn when I have so many friends there.
I'm trying to maintain a writing schedule now with my health and fitness agenda.
Also, I'm revising my Synergy website at  http://www.aallemanjewelry.com/ aka http://www.synergyatthebarn.com/


Today, author Susan Whitfield has posted an interview she did with me on Currents Deep and Deadly.  You can check it out at http://www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com/.  The other important book news is that the public library in Castle Rock will have a book signing for me on May 14, from noon to 2:00.

Now, with all the energy and time required to make the move at The Barn, what has fallen by the wayside?  Of course, my gym workouts.  This is what happens to most of us when something has to give.  But today I plan to resume my workouts and renew my healthy eating habits.  Along with this, I will begin blogging more regularly with real tips on a healthy lifestyle and staying fit.  Meanwhile, here is a familiar site for some of you.  Yes, it is the tip of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  I am considering this as the background picture for the cover of Currents of Vengeance, my next novel.  So beautiful!

Monday, March 21, 2011

This is a lovely old church on St. Kitts.  It is described in Chapter 14 of Currents Deep and Deadly, as Darcy tours Basseterre, the 380-year-old capital with her new friends Don and Charlie.  That's Tim in the picture getting ready to check out the interesting old headstones.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the book has fans, yet, but there are more and more folks asking when the sequel will be published.  I'm saying August and hoping I can deliver.

Meanwhile, as I wind down my major effort at The Barn, to free up more time for the writing, I'm concentrating on taking my own advice.  Getting back to basics of healthy eating and exercising at least four days a week.  Time doesn't wait for us to make life-enhancing decisions.  I have so much admiration for my friends who are seeing results from losing weight the "old fashioned" way.  They will probably keep the weight off, because they are internalizing the need to change their life eating patterns.

Another way to think about this whole weight thing--really an obsession now in our culture--is simply that we owe it to the people who love us, and particularly to our children, to live as long as possible and to be the best role models possible.  This means that how much you weigh and how you look are important, but secondary to the health issues related to malnutrution, dehydration, diabetes. osteoporosis, extra inches of fat on the body and around the heart, etc. that accompany unhealthy eating with too much processed sugar and fat.

Yes, of course we all know this, but I've found that thinking long-term about this and picturing the world without me in it goes a long way in helping me stay on track.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Back to Writing

Random travel picture:  We're in the Ice Bar, Stockholm, Sweden. 
 Really, it is completely made of ice. . . and cold!.

OK.  Seriously, on the recent Cape Horn cruise in addition to the book signings and having fun, I got a lot done on the sequel to Currents Deep and Deadly.  The working title of the second novel is Currents of Vengeance.  It finds Darcy, Mick and friends back on the Sea Nymph with a GAO review of crimes on cruise ships.  As with the first book, lots of twists and turns and people and things not quite as they seem.

I'm grateful to the folks who are giving me generous feedback on Currents.  That really inspires me to keep writing.  After talking with passengers on the cruise about their own late-in-life endeavors, I am realizing how important it is to get inspired.  Whether it is the urge to start a business, pursue artistic desires, or just to make important life changes, it is the stuff of fulfillment and nothing is more important in our short lives.

If we have difficulty changing habits that undermine our health and fitness, one way to think and FEEL about it is this, "This is my important number one job in life:  To live long and keep this body--my temple--as viable as possible for as long as possible."  Try saying it out loud, like a prayer or a mantra.  Then, look around for a healthy snack and a simple way to move your body more than you did yesterday.  Maybe run up and down your stairs 10 times.

There aren't many things we can control in this world . . . but this is one of them!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This Concisely Says It All

I recently found this write-up by a diet expert that we all should internalize and STOP hurting ourselves with dangerous and ineffective diets.  The bottom line is that a very dangerous effect of super low calorie diets for more than a couple of days, eg. 500 calories per day is that this is NOT enough calories to support brain function, among other things.   

Do Crash Diets Work?: The Yo-Yo Diet Cycle


If you follow a crash diet, you will probably notice that you do lose a significant amount of weight in the first week or so. In fact, many men and women notice that they lose five pounds or even more during the first few days of their crash diet. However, this weight loss isn't true weight loss ' instead, it can be attributed to the loss of water weight that happens during crash diets. This is because low-calorie diets cause the body to burn up excess glycogen, a type of glucose that absorbs excess fluid inside the body.

Additionally, weight loss during crash diets doesn't continue for a very long time. Eventually, you will find yourself hitting a weight loss plateau, during which it will become more and more difficult for you to lose weight. The majority of crash dieters find that this weight loss plateau is followed by a period of weight gain. Many followers of crash diets even end up putting back on all of the weight they lost, along with additional pounds. This is known as the yo-yo diet effect: just like the up and down motion of a yo-yo, crash dieters find that their weight is constantly fluctuating with each diet that they go on.

What Causes The Yo-Yo Effect?

Crash diets are linked to the yo-yo diet effect because of the impact that this type of starvation diet has on your body's metabolism. In order to support all of the functions that your body performs on a daily basis, your body needs to burn a certain amount of calories. The rate at which your body burns calories is known as your metabolism.

During crash diets, your body eventually clues in to the fact that it is receiving a very low number of calories. As a result, your body actually adjusts its metabolism, so that it burns fewer calories in order to perform all of its necessary bodily functions. This means that it takes fewer calories for you to gain weight, making it more and more likely that you will put on weight.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back From Cape Horn

Hi, all.  Our month-long adventure around S. America is over and the first 3 weeks were unbelievably great.  Then we heard that a broken water pipe flooded part of our house due to the subzero temperature.  A few days later, while at sea for 3 days, we learned that my husband's mother had passed.  Wow, talk about a stressful last week.  We definitely had to take some deep breaths and hit the gym on the ship to work off some of the stress . . . to say nothing of the extra calories we were consuming.

We only took the elevator on the ship a handful of times during the month, so up and down 5 or 6 flights of stairs a number of times everyday helped, along with walks around the deck.  So many people on the cruise were very out of shape and overweight.  We would see them riding the elevator one floor.  There is a mindset about this whole fitness thing that we need to develop.  That is, we don't have to be comfortable all the time or take the easy way.  I think just adding a little movement each day along with a healthy diet can go a long way.

The booksignings for Currents Deep and Deadly went great and I got a lot of very positive feedback from people who bought it and read it on the cruise.  I also got a lot of writing done on the sequel, Currents of Vengeance and hope to publish this summer.

From our trip album:

Penguin Rookery near Cape Horn
                                                              

End of the World Light House near Ushuia, Argentina
600 hundred miles from Antarctica
     

Onboard booksigning - what fun!



Friday, January 14, 2011

Carb Lovers Diet. . .really?

I just watched an interview with authors of a new diet book, The Carb Lovers Diet.  It all made so much sense but my advice is don't waste your money.  As I have offered before, these books are just for someone to make money in our nutrition-knowledge-deficient society.  The book does apparently give a lot of "recipes" for satisfying carbohydrate foods with nice pictures and that might be a reason to buy it.  But, here is the point.  They tell us to eat barely ripe bananas, oatmeal, whole grain breads, potatos including potato chips, and other fiber foods.  Really? 

Folks, this is a no brainer and NOTHING new.  The government's food pyramid starts with whole grains at the base and works up with vegetables and fruit next.  In fact, the examples the authors gave are essentially the foods that Tim and I have eaten for many years and the foods my thin and fit 40 something sons grew up eating.  Common sense and a little education makes it clear that these healthy carbs, also rich in fiber, are good for us.  Yes, the fiber scrubs out our intestines to reduce belly fat and these are the natural foods that our ancestors thrived on.  Fruit, whole grains, vegetables, lots of water, and some good protein.  That's just a normal HEALTHY diet.  You can eat a lot of these foods and simply reduce the processed sugar desserts to a minimum and make the most of them, such as eating dark chocolate (more antioxidants, less sugar).  Portion control is important but primarily when you stray into the unhealthy carbs and sugary or white flour and fat snacks.

Finally, I firmly believe that because most of us just can't or won't eat seven portions of vegetables and fruit every day, a good absorbing multi-vitamin and plenty of calcium every day is essential in our culture. . .but that's just me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two Pounds Gained

Well, it's official.  I have gained two real pounds.  What does real mean?  It means not water weight or normal daily fluctuation, but actual added fat.  This is from eating too many carbs over the holidays and not getting to the gym as much as I normally do.  But I'm not worried.

Sometimes people assume it is just easy for some people to be thin.  And of course some folks have an easier time than others for a number of reasons.  For me, if I continue with what I am doing now, I will gain about two pounds every week or two until I make a change.

Fortunately, I know how to do this after 45 years of getting up the learning curve.  Ironically, I can't wait to get on the ship on Sunday because I know I will take the time to work out, walk every day and eat healthy food.  I've said before, we usually LOSE weight on a cruise because there are so many opportunities for excercise and good healthy food is prepared for you, so it doesn't take much effort.  Of course, at home some self discipline is required to control the snacking.  Twenty minutes of fast moving exercise every other day or so will truly help. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cruising

I Just found this unbelievable shot of Rio taken on our S. America cruise two years ago. It is as beautiful as it looks, as you know if you have been. The shot of my husband, Tim, and I is taken at an Aztec ruin near Lima. Cruising is the way to go. Have you tried it? There are fantastic deals to be had.  The least expensive way to travel that we have found.



Repost: Health and Fitness

Welcome tweeters and everyone! Contact me if you need some inspiration for improving your wellness and fitness as well as enhancing your surroundings. As a generalist, not an expert, I keep trying new things. This is my fourth career path and I like to say, at least my eighth endeavor. Ask me about transitions from fashion model and finishing school teacher, insurance adjuster, single parent/college student, federal investigator, jewelry artist, writer, traveler, and lots in between and since. I think some keys to unlocking potential for happiness and wellbeing are maintaining a sense of humor as well as skepticism about irrational beliefs, and adopting healthy lifestyles for mind and body. No surprises there, but easier said than done, right?

And passing healthy habits on to our children. I love this shot of my son, Major Shayne, the Air Force C130 navigator, and me in the beautiful rarified air of our Colorado high country.


My life long attempt to be healthy and not overweight and my biology background have taught me a few things. Once you get on a role moving your body everyday in exercises that are more than your normal daily routine and increasing your intake of vegetables and whole grains, you will see a renewed vigor and eventually, increased metabolism. Sure, genetics are important in body type, but everyone can reduce their fat dramatically with easy steps. DO NOT deprive yourself, DO NOT fast, and DO NOT go on a "diet". These are primarily created for someone to make money. Just learn to count calories and stick to 1200 to 1400 healthy calories a day to lose up to two pounds per week. Contact me if you need inspiration and details.

So here's a simple low tech. tip. Go buy a book that lists how many calories are in every food. Study the foods you eat and like. Eat more of the low cal and less of the high. Stay around 1200 a day to lose weight. If you slip one day, make up for it the next. It has worked for me for over 40 years. Trust me!!

Another tip you probably already know. Drink lots of water. We often mistake thirst for hunger, especially in our dry climate. Most of us don't experience real hunger. When you think you want to eat, try drinking a glass of water and see if that satisfies. Not soda, tea, coffee, or alcohol, but good old water. Most people are somewhat dehydrated (a major cause of headaches). Your body will thank you and after a while you will recognize your bodies craving for moisture, not food. Like a pump, the water flushes dead cells and impurities out and hydrated cells don't cling to water, so you will eliminate swelling.
Here's a tip about the most glorious of meals...breakfast. This is a no brainer. Don't skip it and don't eat processed sugar foods like pastries or donuts. Eat whole grains, fruit, and protein and your body will be set for a day of healthy eating. Sugar foods just spike your blood sugar, which then plummets, sapping your energy and making you think you are hungry for more sugar. Stop excuses about can't eat in the am and just start doing it.

Have You Checked Out The Novel?

By the way, if you have not already seen my newly published novel, you can check it out at http://www.currentsdeepanddeadly.com/   Royal Caribbean is hosting a book signing while we are on the cruise and I'll be busy writing the sequel, Currents of Vengeance

Ready to Cruise!

As the time draws near to climb aboard RCCL's Mariner of the Seas and begin the journey around South America, I am trying a little self hypnosis or maybe it is just a good old fashioned talking to. . . myself.  We'll be cruising for four weeks and that is wonderful, but the down side of any vacation and particularly one spent on a ship is the plentiful and varied food.  No matter the time of day or night you can get pretty much anything you want to eat and that is not always a good thing.

People have been known to have difficulty fitting into the clothes they brought by the end of the trip.  So, we try to think of the cruise as a spa vacation, where we visit the gym regularly, try to maintain a routine of walking around the deck, and select healthy portions and types of food (most of the time).  After all, it is a vacation.  Oh, this is what we should be doing all the time, right?  Once again, I am reminded that health and fitness really are just a matter of the habits we develop for ourselves.  I tell myself I am in this life for the long haul and staying healthy is the absolute priority.  Looking good just comes naturally with the healthy part.