Happy Halloween

Lets talk Halloween Costumes

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up in goofy, sexy costumes, and making a fool out of myself. This year I was not prepared for Halloween, that trip overseas really did a number on me, I didn’t have time to put together a costume. I might slip into my high school cheerleading uniform, who knows what the night will bring. 
Check out these cool costumes

All of them seem creative and homemade. I like that better then buying an expensive get up that you can only wear one day out of the year. Halloween is another excuse to show your creativity and think all the way outside of the box. 
Lets talk Pumpkin Carving
Growing up my Father was very competitive. It was always a lot of fun at our house around the holidays. On Halloween he would pull out his professional pumpkin carving kit and challenge us to a pumpkin carving contest. I never won, but I got really good at carving pumpkins. This year I didn’t carve one, but last year my best friend and I got down and dirty. 
I don’t have the pictures anymore, which sucks. Enjoy these other beautifully carved pumpkins.

 Lets talk 
Healthy Halloween Treats 

Apple-Nut Butter Teeth
(inspired by Fork and Beans’ Apple Vampire Mouths)

2 apples (I used two Granny Smith)
handful of sliced or blanched almonds or raisins, cut in half or sunflower seeds
lemon juice (to help prevent turning brown), optional but for aesthetics
your favorite nut or seed butter, homemade or store-bought
Tools/equipment needed
1 small knife or boning knife

1. Cut each apple into 4 slices. Cut core from each wedge.
2. With a small knife, carve out a small wedge to make a top and bottom lip. Make sure not to cut too far because you want to make sure that the apple is still in tact.
3. Place lemon juice in a bowl and brush onto each apple wedge (optional).
3. With a small knife, spread a small amount if nut or seed butter on the bottom “lip”.
4.  Carefully and gently (to avoid ”teeth” breaking),  place the almonds/seeds/raisins into the top portion of the mouth until it sticks without holding it. The nut/seed butter also helps hold the ”teeth” into place. Use your knife to carve out a little tiny hole if needed. Enjoy!
Makes 8 apple teeth. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
For step by step cutting instructions, click here.

Ghost Cheese
(inspired by Octopus Hot Dogs at Cafe Mom)

String cheese
currants, small pieces of raisins or other dried fruit or black olives for eyes
Tools/equipment needed
boning knife
wooden skewer

1. Cut stick of string cheese in half so you have two “ghosts”. Using a sharp boning knife, slice each piece of cheese in half lengthwise, leaving 3/4 to 1 inch connected at one end for the “head”.
2. Cut the two legs in half again half length-wise, so you now have 4 “legs.” Continue (if desired) to cut in halves to make a total of eight legs.
3. To insert eyes (currants, raisins or olives), poke two holes in the “head” of the ghost and push the two eyes in to adhere. Enjoy!
For step by step instructions on cutting, please click here.


Apricot Fruit Bugs 

6 packages all-natural fruit leather (I used Stretch Island Fruit Snacks, grape flavor but any will do)
16 dried apricots
sesame seeds OR sunflower seeds OR currants OR melted coconut butter for eyes
Useful Tools/Equipment:
metal or wooden skewer

1. Carefully open the fruit strips so they do not tear. Using a sharp knife, cut each fruit leather into 8 thin vertical strips. With the three packages, you should have a total of 48 strips or “legs” for the bugs.
2. Gently squeeze the sides of an apricot together until 3/4-inch thick. Using a wooden skewer, make a hole through the center of the side of the apricot and thread one of the fruit leathers through the hole. Repeat twice more on either side of the first hole. Gently flatten out the apricot to its original shape.
3. The end of the fruit leather that is inserted into the apricot will become slightly sticky when pulling through the center, I dabbed two sesame seeds on the legs for an adhesive and made two eyes. This could also be done with maple syrup/honey/agave or melted coconut butter for a “glue”. You could also melt coconut butter and pipe straight onto the apricot to make eyes in lieu of the seeds or nuts. Enjoy!
Makes 16 fruit bugs (easy to cut in half or thirds for smaller batch if needed)
“Bugs” can be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

I found all of these recipes on one site: 

Thats all folks. 
Have a safe and spooky Halloween  


My Trip to London and the Enlgish Countryside



I enjoyed London like a proper lady, the accents, the food, the sights, the sounds, the pubs, the people, the culture, the history, there was so much to take in.
The time change really threw me off which is why I haven’t been blogging for the last few days. I’ve missed all of you, and I hope you missed me too. While away I decided to change a few things about my blog. 

I will be posting in the afternoon instead of the mornings. I am starting a new business venture that gets me out of the house before 5am, I’ll tell you all about it later. 

I am adding a workout journal to this site, you will be able to see what I’m doing on a daily bases. A few people have emailed me with questions about my exercise routine, and I’m always happy to share.

Lets talk London Fitness Classes
If you have been following my blog then you know how crazy I am about fitness. As soon as I discovered we were going to London I started looking for different gyms to visit. Sadly I was only able to check out Mayfair Virgin Heath Club. Gym box was 45 minutes outside of the city, and I just didn’t have the time to make it there.
As soon as I walked in I felt at home… sort of. As you enter the building you immediately climb 3 flights of stairs, which is guaranteed to get your heart pumping. Finally, when your legs start to warm-up, you are greeted by 2 beautiful receptionists, and a public transit looking gate.
Many patrons whisked by me, swiping their cards through a special card reader which, if valid, allows you access into the gym, by unlocking the childproof gate. It was hard not to notice how slim the gate entry way was, the average American would not be able to fit through, but UK residences didn’t seem to skip a beat.
“Um excuse me, I’m from San Francisco California, and I wanted to purchase a day pass to utilize your facility.” I blurted out in my best English accent.
“Please wait here Ma’am, and fill out this card.” The receptionist replied.
So far, so good, I said to myself, as I proceeded to fill in a series of check boxes inquiring about my height, weight, exercise level, and other standard gym questions.
Within 2 minutes a handsome young man, with red hair named Ben, greeted me with a firm handshake.  
“What brings you into our club today?”
I explained that I am a blogger, personal trainer, and motivational coach on vacation in the UK, and that my readers were dying to see a proper London health club.
Sorry ma’am we do not allow patrons to pop-in for a visit. You have to join the gym for a month to workout here.
As soon as I heard this, my heart dropped. I wasn’t too sad that I couldn’t get into the club; I was a lot more worried about disappointing my readers. The young man offered to take me around the facility so I could at least check it out. I happily accepted, at this point anything was better then nothing.
Ben then walked me around a massive club with a rotating rock wall, over 50 pieces of the latest high tech cardio equipment I’ve ever seen, a crazy neon-light illuminated spin studio, 3 different fitness studios, and the nicest pool area I’ve ever seen. After a quick look at the modernly designed locker rooms, Ben walked me back up to the front desk. I started to say my goodbyes and thanked him for taking his valuable time to show me around, when he asked me what I was planning on doing to the club. I told him I wanted to check out some classes, there was one that started in 10 minutes. Surprisingly Ben gave me the “go ahead” that filled my heart with so much joy I had to stop myself form jumping right into his arms.
I hurried down the stairs, locked my things in a locker and went straight to the Anti-Gravity yoga class that was starting in exactly 60 seconds. Even though I wasn’t early the instructor took the time to set up my harness and give me a quick warning to only try things I felt comfortable with. She also guaranteed I would be hanging upside down by the time the class was over…WHAT??? HUH??? UPSIDE DOWN??? What did I just get myself into? It took everything I had not to freak out and run out of the room.
The class was pretty awesome. The instructor checked everyone’s harness to make sure we were all safely strapped in properly. The first thing she taught us was how to safely jump into your sheet and wrap it around yourself like a cocoon.

I had no problem jumping, shifting and maneuvering, it’s a lot easier then it looks. Then she walked us through a full body stretch, cardio, lower body exercises, and we even learned how to use the sheets as a swing. The class was closed-out by wrapping yourself back in a cocoon for a 5 minute guided meditation.

After class an older woman came up to me and chatted me up, asking where I was from and what made me come to London, she then suggested I stay for the next class, which was beam Pilates. I figured I should get the full experience and decided to stay.
The Pilates class was like nothing I’ve ever seen. We stretched, pulled, pushed, and mediated on a small beam. It was uncomfortable and challenging, pulse the teacher was a riot.
I enjoy the experience and realized the US has a different outlook on exercise. We believe no pain no gain, while others like to connect with their bodies and perform slow and controlled movements. Since I’m used to holding positions until my body shakes with pain and joy I was positive that I wasn’t going to be sore the next day. Well, I was wrong, my abdominals, legs, arms, and butt were all pretty sore.

I also found out that Anti Gravity Yoga and Beam Pilates both started in California. SAY WHAT?? I plan on looking from some classes near me soon. 

The rest of my trip was filled with sightseeing, eating food, and hanging out in pubs.
Enjoy the pictures. 
My boyfriend planed this part of the trip. Our goal was to get off of the tourist path, and check out the real England, the English Countryside.

 Avebury (/ˈvbri/) is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, in southwest England. Unique amongst megalithic monuments, Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe, and is one of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain. It is both a tourist attraction and a place of religious importance.
I loved Avebury because you can actually touch the stones, you can’t do that at Stonehenge. It was also in a cute little English town. I felt like I was traveling back in time. 

Silbury Hill is the tallest prehistoric human-made mound in Europe and one of the largest in the world; it is similar in size to some of the smaller Egyptian pyramids of the Giza Necropolis.[3] Its original purpose is still highly debated. 
Sillbury Hill was creepy and intriguing. About 10 cows blocked the gate leading to the hill, we had to wait for someone else to come help us shoo them away. The man made hill was impressive and small tombs were eerie.

 Here are a few selfies, I love when the sun makes me look like I’m a Angel. Happy Happy Girl. 

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks
Stonehenge was a sight to see. I never thought I would get here. It felt surreal. The only downside was that to you couldn’t touch the stones. 
 We stopped for lunch at an Classic English pub and enjoyed Fish and chips, bangers and mash, and steak pie. 
 Glastonbury at night.
 They take Halloween very seriously here. There is a Zombie walk on  Friday, this is the local bar decorated in hair-raising Halloween decor.

 I walked all the way up the tor (hill) with my zipper down!
 Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury has been described as a New Age community which attracts people with New Age and Neopagan beliefs, and is notable for myths and legends often related to Glastonbury Tor, concerning Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and King Arthur. In some Arthurian literature Glastonbury is identified with the legendary island of Avalon. Joseph is said to have arrived in Glastonbury and stuck his staff into the ground, when it flowered miraculously into the Glastonbury Thorn.
Glastonbury was my favorite stop on the trip. It felt like a real Medieval town. Most residence walked around in dress you only see at Renaissance festivals.
 We took the train back to London to avoid Friday Traffic. **You can drink on the trains in Europe.

Just hanging out in London

That’s All  Folks
Blessings my friends,


London Pics & UK headlines

Lets talk Pics Pics Pics


I knew they had double decker buses in London, but I didn’t realize they were so cool and modern.

Hanging out by the London Eye…

Look I got photo bombed! haha

Palace of Westminster

Telling time with Big Ben

The Mable Arch

My first time on a double decker tour bus, loving it

Today was a great day filled with site seeing, eatting, and creating wonderful memories that I will forever cherish. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

I will type more tomorrow, I plan on checking out the gyms, as promised, I can’t wait to share my review with all of you.

Lets talk UK headlines

I figure I would switch it up and give you some health news from across the pond. Enjoy

Eating fat is good for you: Doctors change their minds after 40 years

A DIET packed with fat is the healthy way to prevent heart disease, a leading British expert has claimed.

By: Jo Willey Wed, October 23, 2013


Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra says the obsession with a low-fat diet has “paradoxically increased” the risk of heart disease.

Other experts have added their voices to his controversial call to end 40 years of advice to cut saturated fat – which has been described as “the greatest medical error of our time”.

They claim the guidance has left millions of people at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and “led to the over-medication of millions of people with statins”.

The public could just as effectively protect themselves by eating “real” food such as butter, milk and cheese and adopting the Mediterranean diet.

Dr Malhotra, an interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London, slammed the routine prescriptions of statins and claimed a diet high in saturated fats could be three times more effective at lowering cholesterol.

Writing on bmj.com, he said a preoccupation with levels of total cholesterol “has diverted our attention” from the worse risks of a condition known as atherogenic dyslipidaemia, which is an unfavourable ratio of blood fats.

He said saturated fat has been demonised since the 1970s when a landmark study found a link between coronary heart disease and total cholesterol, which correlated with the percentage of calories provided by saturated fat.

He said: “But correlation is not causation. Nevertheless, we were advised to cut fat intake to 30 per cent of total energy and a fall in saturated fat to 10 per cent.”

But recent studies “have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease” and saturated fat has actually been found to be protective.

A Journal of the American Medical Association study recently revealed that a “low fat” diet showed the greatest drop in energy expenditure and increased insulin resistance – which is a precursor to diabetes – compared with a low carbohydrate and low glycaemic index (GI) diet.

Dr Malhotra refers to the United States, where obesity has rocketed despite the percentage of calorie consumption from fat falling from 40 per cent to 30 per cent in the past 30 years. One reason is that the food industry “compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar”.

He says eight million Britons take statins yet there has been no major impact on heart disease trends.

Adopting a Mediterranean diet largely based on vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, olive oil and fish after a heart attack is almost three times as powerful in reducing mortality as taking a statin, he says.

“Doctors need to embrace prevention as well as treatment. The greatest improvements in morbidity and mortality have been due not to personal responsibility but rather to public health,” he said. “It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity.”

Commenting on Dr Malhotra’s article, Timothy Noakes, a professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, said: “Focusing on an elevated blood cholesterol concentration as the exclusive cause of coronary heart disease is unquestionably the worst medical error of our time.

“After reviewing all the scientific evidence I draw just one conclusion – never prescribe a statin drug for a loved one.”

Professor David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The assumption has been made that increased fat in the bloodstream is caused by increased saturated fat in the diet, whereas modern evidence is proving that refined carbohydrates and sugar in particular are actually the culprits.”

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Lowering cholesterol, by whatever means, lowers risk. Cholesterol levels can be influenced by diet, exercise and drugs, in particular statins.

“There is clear evidence that patients who have had a heart attack, or are at high risk of one, can benefit from taking a statin. This needs to be combined with a balanced diet, not smoking and taking regular exercise.”

Wow! This is a lot different from anything I’ve read in the NY Times. If only I was buying what they are selling.

Blessings Friends




I Heart London


I’m in London. After a quick trip over the pond I earned another stamp in my passport. I’m pretty excited, can you tell?



I went to a charity event as soon as the plane landed. It was special to spend time with professional “footballers” (soccer players) and kids. I will always cherish this experince.



Tonight we to dinner at Lobster and Burgers. Check out the pics and try to guess if I enjoyed my meal or not




Everything is so different here from right hand drive, to the banking system, to pub/bar etiquette.

We were allowed to drink standing up outside. It felt so wrong yet so right. I smiled and said hi to pretty much everybody I passed on the street and 9 times out of 10 I received a hi and a smile right back. I love friendly people.


Tomorrow we are heading off to see the sights, Big Ben, the London Eye, The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and much much more.


Stay tuned friends





Leaving Nashville & Goal Setting

I got my palm read in Nashville and I found out some pretty interesting things about myself. I’m not at liberty to share everything with all of you, but I can tell you that I’m not a positive person by accident. I was put on this earth to spread love. I’ve always felt that way, which is the main reason why I started this blog. My goal has always been to make people smile, to fill peoples heart and life with love and joy, nothing brings me more pleasure, nothing brings me more satisfaction.

All that being said, today I am going to talk you through one of my favorite exercises. I usually use this technique on the 2nd or 3rd meeting with my clients, but today you get enjoy some of my servies for free.

This exercise works. I’m living proof. It’s not a magic pill, or easy way out. You still have to do all the work yourself, but I find that it gives you direction. Everyone can use more direction. As long as you follow my instructions, after this posting you will have some sort of outline, a small guide and reminder of your goals and aspriations.

What you need:

Pen or pencil

A few sheets of paper

That’s it.


1) Try to quiet your mind, meditate, find a quiet place, relax, and take 15-20 deep breaths.

2) Remind yourself to be honest. If you are dishonest you will only be cheating yourself

*You should be alone for this entire exercise. NO DISTRACTIONS and NO TIME LIMIT

3) Once you have centered yourself and you are ready to be fully honest ask yourself this question:

4) Are you working toward the person you want to become

5) What is your answer? If the answer is yes… AWESOME!!! If the answer is no…AWESOME!!!

We all have to start somewhere. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The goal is to be honest with yourself the entire time.

6) Now it’s time to work, use your pencil and paper and write this at the top of the page… “What person do I want to become?”

For example:

I want to be intelligent. I want to make good decisions. I want to be in shape. I want to travel the world. I want to conquer all of my fears. I want to start a family. I want to change the world. I want to do yoga. I want to be a great cook. I want to fall in love. I want to love myself. I want to change my community. I want to inspire kids. I want to love my life. I want to speak 3 languages. I want to brush my teeth 3 times a day. I want to get massages every week. I want to read 1 book a month. I want to have amazing sex. I want to date somebody ‘out of my league’. I want to love myself

*Notice I didn’t say I want to learn how to do anything. Obviously everything you want to do will require learning new skills, it’s not necessary to mention learning. I want firm true statments.

When I first did this exercise myself I filled up 5 pages front and back. If you can’t fill up at least one page, take your time and keep thinking, maybe take a break for 24 hours and come back to it. Nothing is too big or too small to add. Just make sure you are being 100% honest with yourself. That is the only rule of this exercise.

7) Now that we are done dreaming, it’s time to come back to reality. On another sheet of paper write this at the top of the page… “What do I need to do to reach these goals”

For example:

I want to be intelligent: I need to go back to college, maybe take an online course, or read more turtorials and books in the fields that interest me

I want to make good decisions: I need to figure out why I make bad decisions and strive to change the cycle

I want to be in shape: I need to eat healthier and exercise reguarly

I want to travel the world: I need to save money towards a trip, start exploring your own state, then move on to bigger and better things.

Some of your goals/dreams are not so easily obtainable ie: i want to fall in love…. ummm fall haha just kidding, the correct answer is: I need to learn how to love myself before I can expect anyone to love me. Try to only depend on yourself for these answers. Instead of waiting on your parents to send you on a trip around the world, start saving yourself. In the end we can only depend on ourselves, do not but your dreams in other peoples hands.

*This part always seems a little silly to me, but your laying the ground work for your future. You have created some real life goals and a “how to reach my goals” sheet.

*Not all goals will have a simple “I need to” answer, but that’s ok. Just the fact that you wrote down the goal is 1/2 the battle.

8) On another piece of paper put your goals and instructions on how to reach these goals in order. 7 day goal deadline, 30 day goal deadline, 60 day goal deadline, 6 month goal deadline, 9 month goal deadline, 1 year goal deadline, and finally 5 year goal deadline.

Now you have created a road map to your future, to the future that is going to make you happy and satisfied with your life. I suggest posting these goals and insturctions somewhere you can see them and crossing them off as you accomplish them

This exercise inspired me to loose weight and change my life. It didn’t happen over night, but I kept working at it, and i’ve reach most of the goals on my lists.

I hope you find this posting helpful. Life is what we make of it. Take control of your future and start working towards your dreams.




It’s Only the Beginning

Are you ready for an adventure? I know I am. So far Nashville has not dissapointed. We went to a place called Puckket for dinner and man was it good. There was a live band playing while we enjoy our food, dinner and a show. Most of the food was fried, but when in Rome…

I enjoyed the fried pickles, fried green beans, and fried green tomatoes for appetizer. For my main course I made a small dent in shrimp and grits, pretty much everyone else had the chicken fried steak. I’m realzing that Tennessee is a lot more southern then I though, so I’m prepared for a fried food coma these next few days.

After dinner we went one of the many bars downtown that was playing live music. I fell in love with country music when I was in high school, so I felt right at home. The band played songs from Dolly Parton, Jonny Cash, and many others that I don’t know the name too. We had a great time drinking, dancing, joking and meeting some locals.

I think I got to bed around 1am, which is pretty early in my book.

I got up around 9am and got in a good workout.

The hotel gym has a power plate machine. I’ve seen them before, but this was the first time I got to play on one. I’m not sure how effective it is, but it sure does feel funny. The plate vibrates and the screen takes you through 3-5 exercises.

Thats all I have today. My adventure has really just begun. Thanks for sticking around, I promise to have a lot more pics and storys for you on Monday.

Enjoy the weekend




Nashville Nashville Nashville

Happy days are here!

I’m on my way to Tennessee and I just can’t wait. I’ve never been to Tennessee but I’m sure I’ll find something to keep my busy. (wink wink)

I’m cheating on this trip

I’ve been a Pescetarian for the last 2 years and I enjoy the lifestyle. Sometimes it’s not easy and I have to eat the same excate foods over and over again. Lately I’ve been spicing things up and trying out new recipes, that I always share with all of you, but on this trip I’m going to eat a little meat. No pork products shall touch my lips, but chicken and beef will find there way into my belly these next 10 days. I can’t go all the way to Tennessee and not partake in their famous bbq and hot chicken.

I had never heard of hot chicken, but once I started doing a little research on Tennessee resturants I found out that “hot chicken” is a staple in many Tennessee housesholds. A local specialty of Nashville, Tennessee typically prepared by soaking the chicken in buttermilk and heavily seasoning the chicken, using a paste that has been heavily spiced with cayanne pepper, then pan fryed until crispy and “red” because of all of the cayanne pepper the chicken comes out red instead of brown, it is served with white bread and pickles. The recipe is said to have inspired hot wings.

Even though I plan on eatting some meat, I know its unrealistic to try to have more then a few bites. Since my stomach has gotten used to not processing meat products, I know it will cause me some discomfort to endulge, but thats not going to stop me. I’m still plowing full steam ahead on my meat mission. I’m also on the look out for sides. Sometimes sides are the best part of a BBQ dinner, macroini and cheese, corn bread, baked beans, green beans, potato salad, dinner rolls, and oh so much more. I’m pretty sure i’ll be filling up on these tasty sides while enjoying a few bites of brisket and hot chicken.

Lets talk

What to do in Nashville Tennessee

Not only am I planing on eating to my little hearts content, but I also want to check out the Nashville sence. Here are some of there main attractions.

The Grand Ole Opry

The Grad Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, that has presented the biggest stars of that genre. Founded on November 28, 1925 by George D. Hay as a one-hour radio “barn dance” on WSM it is alos among the longest running bordcasts in history.

The Country Music Hall of Fame


The Country Music Hall of Fame is a functioning local music history museum and an internationl art organization.

Randor Lake


The 1,200+ acre natural perserve lies in the heart of Nashville, unusual for a major American city. Four unpaved trails wander through the woods surrounding the lake, where hikers enjoy wilderness including river otters, beavers, mink, muskrat, bobcat, coyote and white-tailed deer.

The Upper Room Chapel


The Upper Room’s international headquaters in Nashville, Tennessee is centered around The Upper Room chapel with art focusing on 2 Bibilical “upper room” events. The chancel wall features a nearly life-size wooden carving of The Last Supper, the story of Jesus and his disciples eating together during the Passover.

Music Row


Music Row is an area southwest of Downtown Nashville that is home ot hundreds of businessess related to the country music, gospel music, and contempoary christain music industries. It is centered around 16th and 17th avenues south (called music square east and music square west, respectively, withing the music row area) along with several side streets musci row is widely considered the heart of Nashville’s entertainment industry.

Lets Talk

Top 5 Restaurants

in Nashville

According to Nashville Lifestyle


Aronld’s Country Kitchen

Were you expecting something more refined? A tasting menu, perhaps? When considering the restaurant that best exemplifies this city’s current dining scene, and one that we all hands-down love, Arnold’s simply nails it. The cafeteria-style, steam-table meat-and-three has been doing for more than 30 years what many today only attempt to get right: a fully from-scratch menu made with fresh, local ingredients, and a love for the customers that you just can’t fake. Owners Jack and Rose Arnold are still dining-room staples but their second son Kahlil now runs the kitchen, carrying on the family tradition by putting out soulful, country fare like the café’s sliced roast beef, slabs of meatloaf, long-simmered collard greens, home-made yeast rolls, candied yams, and those world-famous fried green tomatoes. What’s more, it draws fans from every corner of the city and beyond, who all stand patiently in line and wait their turn for a heaping scoopful of turnip greens and a pass at that legendary hot chocolate pie.605 8th Ave, S.; 615-256-4455

The Catbird Seat


No mere restaurant, The Catbird Seat is an experience. And as enamored as we all are by the 32 seats, stage-like kitchen, and culinary wizardry put on by chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson, that experience happens to be one of the hardest to come by in this town—and admittedly isn’t for everyone. Dining at The Catbird is for those who appreciate inventive haute cuisine and can accept a playful intensity and twists on familiar taste sensations. It’s a place to give up complete control (including any aversions to certain foods since they rarely allow substitutions) and spend three to four hours savoring a jaw-dropping array of seven to 11 courses and the liquid pairings that go with them (alcoholic or otherwise). It is a place to get lost in the food, the guys’ charmingly sweet hospitality, and a killer soundtrack. If this sounds like you (and even if you’re not sure but want to try), then stalk the reservation system and keep your fingers crossed for a finale that involves bourbon balls.
1711 Division St., 615-810-8200; thecatbirdseatrestaurant.com



If we were ranking Nashville’s best new restaurants, Etch would easily crack the No. 1 spot. The return of chef Deb Paquette has netted our city a sharp, ethnically diverse menu inspired by the Mediterranean, Asia and the spices of North African as well as a modern downtown dining room that echoes the evolution and change happening on the city blocks directly around it. Paquette creates powerful, spice-fueled flavor combinations and turns standard ingredients (roasted cauliflower; hot dogs) into best-dish-you’ve-ever-eaten cravings. Across the board, we are fans of that big, open kitchen, especially since being perched on a seat there gives full view of Paquette’s beloved plancha, rows of microgreens supplied by CC Gardens Microgreens, and a peek at the ever-calm presence of a Nashville stalwart with her head down and hard at work.
303 Demonbreun St., 615-522-0685; etchrestaurant.com

F Scott’s Restaurants and Jazz Bar


One of the city’s first independent, chef-driven restaurants opened more than 25 years ago but since landing under the ownership of Wendy Burch and Elise Loehr has continually impressed diners with its locally inspired fare. The room might not be the sexiest in town but as one expert justified it: That doesn’t matter because every chef they’ve brought in has done better than the last. Kevin Ramquist, now at the helm, pulls regularly from a host of hero farmers while beverage director Loehr draws superb pairings from the restaurant’s 2000-plus-bottle cellar. And no one in the city offers a better dining deal than the “Nine Dine” during which almost the entire menu (with the exception of a few beef dishes) is half price in the dining room after 9 p.m.

2210 Crestmoor Rd., 615-269-5861; fscotts.com

The Capitol Grille

While the subterranean dining room fits just fine for special occasions, we’re all headed to the bar where chef Tyler Brown’s polished-yet-down-home Southern dishes can be eaten alongside the restaurant’s stellar collection of rare bourbons. Brown is a disciple of the whole animal, farm-to-table movement—more so than most since he spearheaded a partnership with the nearby Farm at Glen Leven as well as the hotel’s recent purchase of the 245-acre Double H Farm in Dickson County to ensure sustainably raised beef and produce. It’s that dedication and respect to food and land that brings us back to his table time and again.

The Hermitage Hotel, 231 6th Ave. N., 615-345-7116; capitolgrillenashville.com

Thats all folks

Type to you tomorrow



UK Fitness & Packing Tips


Lets talk fitness classes
I’m heading off to London next week, I’m on a quest to find fun, new, creative, fitness classes to blog about. I’ve been in contact with the concierge at our hotel and they have directed me towards the closes gyms in the area. These gyms look super intense and classy.
Mayfair Health Clubs
Virgin Active Collection

Gym Box

The classes look like something out of a movie

Anti-gravity Yoga


The innovative AntiGravity Yoga hammocks are revolutionising group exercise. Suspended above the floor, you will use them to align your body from head to toe, relieving compressed joints and improving flexibility in ways you never thought possible

Will-Power & Grace
The class, called willPower & grace® is a barefoot, cardiovascular high-energy group exercise class that involves a formatted fusion of postures and drills. Both a foot-fitness conditioning program and a workout, it is as philosophical as it is physical. The class, set to high energy music, integrates barefoot training methods designed to strengthen feet while progressively correcting imbalances in the ankles, knees and hips.

Ravercise is a fast paced, fun filled dance class with a live DJ playing energetic bass music, choreographed and taught by professional dancers on a low lit club dance floor in Shoreditch. The class lasts one hour and incorporates a warm up, high intensity interval training, stretching and cool down, followed by the famous endorphin fueled skank-out, where the DJ plays a new mix for everyone to enjoy and let their hair down to at the end of each class. The vibe is friendly and relaxed, with many participants choosing to socialise together afterwards in the downstairs lounge area.

Twerk it out 

With some of this years hottest tracks, combining low-impact aerobic conditioning with a sexy mix of dynamic dance choreography

and this is only the tip of the iceburg…
I’m sure there are other classes I have yet to find. This is going to be an adventure
Gym boxes classes discrptions were not as detailed as I wanted them to be, but this youtube video tells me everything I need to know.
I know all of these fitness classes will keep me slimed and toned while traveling. I can’t wait to try all these new classes and see how they do it in London. The gym sence looks a lot different from the US gym sence.
Lets Talk Packing Tips
Who doesn’t need a little help packing? I know I do. Check out these helpful tips, to keep your luggage neat and organized.

Ok folks I have to get this show on the road.
I will be posting while I’m gone, so you don’t have to worry about missing me.

Healthy Chinese Food and Diets Haven’t Changed in 100 Years

Lets Talk Health Cooking
I’ve been getting requests to make more meat dishes. Last night I had a Chinese theme dinner that was very tasty.
Enjoy the recipes
Wonton Soup
Serves 4
3 soaked dried Chinese mushrooms
couldn’t find these mushrooms, I minced brown mushrooms instead 
7oz raw prawns
7oz raw ground pork
I omitted the pork, that doesn’t mean you have to
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seed oil
5 finely chopped spring onions
1 piece ginger, freshly grated
2 tbsp chopped water chestnut
7oz wonton wrappers (ready to use)
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
Peel, gut, and boil shrimp in salted water, finely chop when cool
Saute prawns, mushrooms, ground meat, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, half of the spring onions, ginger and water chestnuts thoroughly
Use the wonton pastry sheets quickly, covering unused sheets with a damp cloth to keep them from becoming dry 
Put 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper Moisten the edges of the wrapper with some water fold the square into a triangle, pressing the edges together a little. Place the little wrapped parcels on a flour dusted board or a paper towel
Bring plenty of water to a boil. Allow dumplings to cook for 4-5 minutes in vigorously boiling water
Boil the chicken broth in a separate pot. Add remaining finely chopped spring onion and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Remove the boiled wonton from water, allow to drain and keep warm. Put the wonton in bowls or deep plates and put the boiling broth over them
Serve soup right away.

My wonton soup came out pretty good. Make sure not to over boil the wontons, or let the soups simmer all together.  I made that mistake and a few of my wontons busted, which was even better, tasty bits of shrimp and vegetables were floating around the soup.
Szechuan Style Beef
Serves 4
Generous 1lb skirt steak
1 egg white
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 onions
2 pressed garlic cloves
1 red and 1 green pepper
2 chilies
1 small leek
1 small eggplant
I omitted the eggplant
1 piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp rice wine
oil for frying
1 pinch of salt
Cut beef into thin slices. Mix egg white with cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and marinate the beef in this mixture
Peel the onions and garlic, cutting the onions in fine rings. Clean, wash and finely chop the peppers and chilies. Clean and was the leek and cut into thin strips. Clean wash and dice the eggplant. Peel and chop the ginger.
Mix the sugar with the remaining soy sauce, rice vinegar and rice win and put aside
Heat the oil in a wok. Stir-fry the beef at a high temperature, season with salt and pepper. Take out and put aside.

Heat some oil and fry the eggplants, onions, ginger, and the rest of the vegetables. Add the pressed garlic. Stir-fry at a high temperature, add the meat. Pour in the sauce and mix all the ingredients well.
Goes well with rice
I didn’t get to taste this recipe by my taster said it was spicy and savory. Next time I tackle this recipe I’m going to add more seasoning to the beef marinade. It needs a little more love than low soduim soy sauce.
Lets talk NY Times

In Struggle With Weight, Taft Used a Modern Diet

By GINA KOLATA, Published: October 14, 2013

William Howard Taft, the only massively obese man ever to be president of the United States, struggled mightily to control his weight a century ago, worrying about his health and image, and endured humiliation from cartoonists who delighted in his corpulent figure. But new research has found that his weight-loss program was startlingly contemporary, and his difficulties keeping the pounds off would be familiar to many Americans today.
On the advice of his doctor, a famed weight-loss guru and author of popular diet books, he went on a low-fat, low-calorie diet. He avoided snacks. He kept a careful diary of what he ate and weighed himself daily. He hired a personal trainer and rode a horse for exercise. And he wrote his doctor, Nathaniel E. Yorke-Davies, with updates on his progress, often twice a week. 
In a way, he was ahead of his time. Obesity became a medical issue by the middle of the 20th century, around the time the term “obesity” rather than “corpulence” came into vogue, said Abigail C. Saguy, a sociologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who specializes in the study of obesity. Taft’s story shows that “at least in some cases, corpulence was already treated as a medical problem early in the century,” she added. 
Like many dieters today, Taft, 6 feet 2 inches tall, lost weight and regained it, fluctuating from more than 350 to 255 pounds. He was 48 when he first contacted Dr. Yorke-Davies, and spent the remaining 25 years of his life corresponding with the doctor and consulting other physicians in a quest to control his weight. 
Taft’s struggles are recounted by Deborah Levine, a medical historian at Providence College in Rhode Island. She discovered the extensive correspondence between Taft and the diet doctor, including Taft’s diet program, his food diary, and a log of his weight. Her findingswere published Monday in The Annals of Internal Medicine.
His story, Dr. Levine said, “sheds a lot of light on what we are going through now.”
Obesity — often said to be a product of our sedentary lifestyle and fast foods — has been a concern for over a century. 
Obesity experts said Taft’s experience highlights how very difficult it is for many fat people to lose substantial amounts of weight and keep it off, and how little progress has been made in finding a combination of foods that lead to permanent weight loss. 
“Maybe we are looking for something that doesn’t exist,” said David B. Allison, the director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Doctors today would most likely offer Taft weight-loss surgery — which could have a big effect on weight — or drugs, which have a small effect at best. But the diet he was advised to follow would be largely unchanged, Dr. Allison said. 
Dr. Levine became interested in Taft’s story when she read old newspaper articles that mentioned he was working with Dr. Yorke-Davies to lose weight. She found their letters in the Library of Congress. 
Dr. Yorke-Davies was known for creating strict personal diet plans for his patients. In a relationship sustained entirely by mail, he advised Taft to lose at least 60 to 80 pounds. 
Meals were to be eaten at certain times and meats were to be weighed. Taft was to eat a small portion of lean meat or fish at every meal, cooked vegetables at lunch and dinner (no butter), a plain salad, and stewed or baked fruit (unsweetened). He got a single glass of “unsweetened” wine at lunch. The doctor also allowed his own diet product, gluten biscuits, that were produced to his specifications in London. Taft bought them and had them shipped to the United States.
Taft tried to adhere to the program and also employed a personal trainer, known at the time as “a physical culture man.” 
By April 1905, six months after he first wrote to the doctor, Taft had lost 60 pounds. But even though people told him he looked good, he was “continuously hungry,” he wrote the doctor.
Taft began to gain back the weight and stopped writing to the doctor, who asked Taft’s friends and family what was going on. After learning Taft had regained 19 pounds, he told Taft he needed to return to his diet program or “in another three or four years you will be almost back to your original weight.” 
By the time Taft was inaugurated as president in 1909, he had indeed regained all he had lost, and more, weighing 354 pounds. He became the butt of jokes, with many relishing a story that he had gotten stuck in a White House bathtub.
But Taft never gave up. When he died in 1930, he weighed 280 pounds. 
The tale is strikingly modern, obesity experts said. The self-monitoring — weighing himself daily, keeping a food diary — are “the fundamental tenets of changing behavior,” said Dr. Kimberly Gudzune, an obesity researcher at Johns Hopkins. “Keep yourself accountable.”
In some ways Taft got the sort of medical care doctors today wish they could provide. He was in constant touch with his doctor over a period of many years. 
“That is really a model we try to strive for today,” Dr. Gudzune said. She sees her patients once a month, a frequency that, for most primary care doctors, “is almost unheard-of.” 
She and others were also struck by Taft’s persistent hunger pangs. 
Dr. Jules Hirsch, an obesity researcher at Rockefeller University, said losing a substantial amount of weight and keeping it off amounts to telling the body it is starving. He saw this in his own pioneering studies decades ago. Fat people agreed to live in a hospital ward while they dieted to a normal weight. But they were ravenous and almost every one of them eventually succumbed to intense hunger and regained the weight that was so painfully lost. 
“One of the most important drives we have is to prevent starvation,” Dr. Hirsch said.
A version of this article appears in print on October 15, 2013, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: In Struggle With Weight a Century Ago, a Diet From Today.
This article is eye opening. Weight loss/keeping weight off has been a mystery for centuries. They even ate gluten free snacks in the 1900s. Wow! I didn’t know that.
That’s all today folks

References: New York Times, October 14, 2013, Gena Kolata, Wok, NGV publishing  

More Sweat Please


I had a pretty good weekend. I didn’t do anything crazy, I actually stayed in all weekend and got hooked on Downton Abby. This PBS masterpiece is set in 1912 and follows the lives of the Crawley family, that live in a castle called Downton Abbey, they are aided by their cadre of servants. 
I watched the first episode 6 months ago, but it didn’t tickle my fancy so I stopped watching. I decided to give it another shot on Friday night, and now I’m hooked.
My only question is: Where are all the black people? I’m sure there were a few black servants in 1912 England, but maybe not.
If you have some time, and you are looking for a new show to capture your attention, you won’t be disappointed.
Lets Talk Fitness
I’ve getting bored with my workout routine. This always seems to happen every 6 months, I start despising my workouts, they start to feel like torture, which is probably a common feeling among most people that workout, but not me. I love to feel the burn, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done, and I love love love the results of all of my hard work.
I’ve been loosing about 1-2 pounds a week, for the last 3 weeks, which is a great feat. My goal is to get down 10-15 more pounds of fat, while adding on 10-15 pounds of muscle. My lifting schedule isn’t intense at all, and I’m going to change that when I get home from England in 2 weeks.
If I haven’t mentioned it, I’m going on a mini vacation, I will be gone for 10 days, and I’m really looking forward to getting out of the country. Don’t worry, I will still be blogging M-F while I’m traveling.
This week I’m going to try out different workouts and make plans to totally transform my current workout schedule.
Right now I’m doing an hour of cardio 5 days a week, I predict I’m burning anywhere from 700-1000 an hour factoring in my effort and my current weight loss. This week I’m going to double up on my workout. Sticking with cardio 5 days a week, then pumping out a hour of calisthenics at home.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with different variations of push up, planks, squats, and lunges. They are not the most enjoyable exercises, but I do have a sense of pride when I complete 3 sets of 20 around the world lunges on each leg.
My abdominals are still tight and taunt, and I want more, it’s time to rev up the ole ab routine again. Planks have become my best friends, I’m very comfortable holding planks for 60 seconds, and that means it’s time to get uncomfortable. Starting today all planks will be held for….. 90 seconds. I’m sure that 30 second increase will cause my body to shake in joy and pain.
I also plan on incorporating a swiss ball and medicine ball into the mix. I’ve never had a full workout on a ball, this week I will be changing that. I know they challenge your core, and strength your entire body, which is excalty what I’m looking for.
All in all I haven’t been sore in the  last 2 weeks, which is unacceptable to me. I’m riding in my comfort zone, which is not good enough. 
As a personal trainer and avid fitness enthusiest I know hundreds, if not thousands, of exercises. My goal is to create exercise posters, like the ones below, using my grapic design degree, while modeling each exerise. There just isn’t enough time in the day to pull that off yet. So for now please enjoy these exercise routines I found on Pinterest. 

Fitness Tip

Do you need a change and some extra motivation???
Write a bunch of exercises (with reps) on Popsicle sticks and put them in one cup. Whenever you have a chance, grab one, do what it says, then move the stick to the done cup. 
I use this technique with some of my clients that want more control over their workout. This takes the control away from both of us, it’s all about the luck of the draw.

I finally finished my abdominal challenge, with pic of myself! CHECK IT OUT, it turned out great. Now I have to tackle the quality of printing a small book. I’m hoping to take 25-50 of these little masterpieces with me to England so I can promote my blog. Please tell me what you think, if you see a typo let me know.

That’s it today.
I’m going to cook a big dinner tonight, look forward to some recipes tomorrow.
Blessings my friends