Quick Cup-size Recipe with Kale

It was the last day I could use the Kale I bought at the Farmers Market last weekend.  It had started to wilt in the crisper, I took the small bunch of Kale rinsed it in the sink and chopped the kale with my kitchen scissors, I added half of a red onion diced and 3 cloves of fresh garlic.  I added a splash of water and olive oil to attempt a cross between steam and sauté for the mix.  When the color popped on the Kale and it was deep green I put it into the cup then using the leftover olive oil in the skillet I scrambled an egg for protein on top of my semi-salad-sauté with a shake of garlic salt.  It took less than 10 min to make!photo-blog

Small Bunch of Kale

Half red onion diced

1 TBS Minced garlic

One Scrambled Egg

Dash of Garlic Salt on top!

Life’s more fun if you don’t keep score

My person (“boyfriend” seems strange at our age) and I were playing golf this weekend. We were laughing and treating our twosome as a moving driving range experience more than a game when he said, “Golf’s a lot more fun when you don’t keep score.” I replied, “Life’s a lot more fun when you don’t keep score.” We both smiled because Andy and I have had this conversation many many times before.

How does it relate to Fill Your Cup? (New readers, FYC is a philosophy of life balance and weight management.) Well, to me when you are counting calories, measuring portions and obsessing on a particular meal plan for weight loss you loose sight and sensation of the essence of your hunger.

Are you certain about:
What and how much do you really need?
What feels like need and what may be want?
Can you make peace with your own headspace to be hungry a little while longer if you are trying to lose weight or make heavier choices if you are trying to gain weight?

I realize in our highly productive and effective society (I too was raised on Steven Covey’s 7 habits) that doing is more celebrated than being. However because eating and hunger are sentient experiences, perhaps being with those feelings in the moment is more effective than scoring, measuring and accounting all around them.

Ask yourself questions, share your answers, your hunger, your feelings and always Fill Your Cup.

Appetite: Spirit or Skin?

Appetite. I’m reviewing my assessment of the immensely human experience of appetite. Is it related to deep issues like compulsions, addictions, desires, discernment and the longings of the soul? Or is it really more in the category of entertainment?

Are we bored with our over booked and under appreciated lives, bored chasing the dream? Do our dreams seem like a worthy chase when we’ve had enough sleep, but… maybe not today? What can be better than a mocachinnolattefristo to sweetly caffeinate us into a sensory overload? Are adult jobs of paperwork and laundry challenging our ADD and the only thing we can think of, for a worthy distraction is food? It can’t be simply “I don’t have anything good on Netflicks so I’ll have a box of thin mints.”

It must be more. As a society we are bigger and fatter than ever before in history. Perhaps our appetite gone wild is a spiritual void? There are reasons to believe we are in spiritual crisis as a society. After all, religion is magnetic it, infiltrates politics (despite our constitution) and polarizes our conversations. I feel a chasm between those who have faith and those who have logic. There’s not a clear place in the middle.

I search for spiritual satiation and I don’t always get there. I read one too many plaques at the dinosaur museum to believe in the brand of faith I was raised with, so creating my own now. Then there’s the fact that yoga has had exponential growth while Pilates has only had moderate growth in the last 10 years. It’s a safe conclusion that there’s a market niche beyond the stretch; maybe it’s in the prayer.

What is appetite’s role in your life? How deep does it go? Is it simple and on the surface? I’m asking you and several other friends, so stay tuned to comments and posts and as always, Fill Your Cup.

HCG Diet

A woman came up to me after class last weekend and asked about the HCG Diet and if I thought it was healthy. I said, “I’m not a doctor so I don’t advise on health, but what do you want it to do for you?” She said, “Well, make me thin, just the last 15 lbs or so.” She was young, beautiful, voluptuous and had a dazzling smile. I said, “for how long?” She said, “Forever, because after I loose the weight I can keep it off.” I raised my eyebrows and exclaimed, “Really how?!” And she replied “by eating right and exercising.” I nodded, “And if you could actually do that, would you need the HCG?”

I explained, as I have hundreds of times before, that to be thin you have to be very mature about your diet. You have to develop enough self control to eat less than you want to all of the time for a month and still eat less than you want to on holidays, vacations, and birthdays forever. It isn’t easy but to me, it’s worth it.

I don’t know if HCG will really harm anyone but, I do know that if you aren’t willing to bite the bullet and practice the maturity and discipline because it is important to you, well, you aren’t going to do it in 6 months, either just because you are thin by medicine.

The only way to have good habits 6 months from now is to practice them today, in your natural, stressful, unpredictable, spontaneous, tempting life. If you want a temporary state of thin-ness for a class reunion, photo shoot or an event then, HCG is the luxury and risk you take. Don’t kid yourself that you have changed on the inside because for a few months you’re wearing skinny jeans.

Go back to the last post and sort out who you really are inside, and what THAT is worth. I coach people to practice eating less and to create new habits so in a few months they only need me for a check up. With Fill Your Cup your life is yours. It is yours to enjoy, honor and be responsible for. Contact me for private instruction and rates. jp@fill-your-cup.com

Learn to Fill Your Cup from the inside out.

Eating vs. Exercise

Lean healthy bodies benefit from both appropriate diet and exercise. But I’ve found personally and by watching clients, shape is determined by exercise, and size is determined by diet. You can have a woman with flabby arms in a size 4 or a size 14. That is an exercise issue if “flabby” was what made your skin crawl. If the “size 14” made you uncomfortable then it’s a diet problem. It’s entirely your judgment that sets your course.

For most of us, if we never address issues of appetite, game over! We’re ripe for exhaustion. Connect the dots, more exercise makes us more HUNGRY! We eat more we exercise more we’re HUNGRY then more eating then woah gatta count those calories on the elliptical, we’re exercising and over and over and over and whhhhaaat?!?! Step off the crazy counter and take a breath. What happens when you feel hungry? Can you just …be, while your hungry? Take a deep breath, walk around, brush your teeth and get something else done before you browse the pantry for some savory snack? Try it! Only Fill Your Cup!

What is healthy eating?

Fill Your Cup, the weight loss book and philosophy that this site is dedicated to, is foremost about portion control. Many of you have heard me say, “I’m not teaching healthy it’s too broad a topic. I only teach thin.” It turns out – being thinner is healthier so indirectly, I teach healthy. My goal and challenge is to teach students to learn to manage their own hunger and become more aware of their appetite.

I’m thinking about posting some healthy recipes in the upcoming weeks, so I’m curious… what do you think eating healthy really is about? It can mean different things to different people based on family history, experience and personal appetite. Please write in the comments below what you think eating healthy is.

When you feel healthiest, how do you Fill Your Cup?

Fill Your Cup founder/author shares her beliefs about balance.

* Tell all your friends about this blog and website, we learn from eachother’s experiences and from sharing our own. If you’re new, Fill Your Cup is a lifestyle for slim and conscious living. Explore the website www.fill-your-cup.com there are free core exercise clips and an audio sample of the book Fill Your Cup. It’s never too late to start feeling lighter! You’re right on track, jump in right now, bring a friend on this journey with you reading the blogs, following me and other keepers of the cup on Twitter (click here) or sign up here to receive email updates (click here)

Circular reference

Circular reference happens in computer programming when one piece of code requires the result from another, but that second code needs the result from the first. The entire set of functions is now worthless because none of them can return any useful information whatsoever. This leads to what is technically known as a livelock. It also appears (quite often to a woman like me) in spreadsheets when two cells require each others’ result. For example, if the value in Cell A1 is to be obtained by adding 5 to the value in Cell B1, and the value in Cell B1 is to be obtained by adding 3 to the value in Cell A1, no values can be computed. This represents a big problem. (Thanks to Wickipedia for the Cell A&B example)

A deadlock occurs when two or more processes are each waiting for another to release a resource.

Do you ever feel like your exercise/weight management progress is in deadlock? are you stuck in a circular reference? (if your mantra has become “Wellll, muscle weighs more than fat,” you may be in a Circular Reference) Function A1 in weight loss is to eat less, Function B1 is to work out, lean muscle mass burns more calories.

So here’s how it looks: You have a light breakfast or none = A1. Then you work out really hard = B1. Circular reference comes into play since you are now so hungry, you eat twice as much for lunch and crave extra snacks all afternoon abdicating the affects of A1. Your body requires more, growls for more, your stomach seems to reach up and turn over itself. Your out of easy to access energy from the exercise plan but you must cut the calories to lose weight. The hunger requires food but the weight loss diet plan prohibits it – circular reference! Each process is waiting for the other, to provide the resource it needs. What to do?

Start with this: remind yourself that the hunger is an adjustment that will ultimately make you thin. It is better to be light than full. Resist the easy extra calories or scrapping your exercise program.

Several Options:
• Breathe
• Chose an exercise activity that has lower caloric restriction to make it a little easier on your self tomorrow – long walk, yoga or Pilates class?
• Take a nap or do a breathing exercises – a 25 min rest can recharge your batteries calorie free
• Have a cup of green tea
• Sit with the hunger, notice if you can fill your cup with some joys of life: time in the garden, phone a friend, reading with a young or old person, read on your own, fully immerse yourself in your list of things to do today
• Fill YOUR Cup the cup of your spirit with the best you can imagine!

Of mice and monkeys Jul 9th 2009 From The Economist print edition

Of mice and monkeys

Jul 9th 2009
From The Economist print edition

And men?

Illustration by Claudio Munoz
Illustration by Claudio Munoz

MOST people accept that death and taxes are inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you should not try to postpone them. A good accountant can help with the latter, but the usual prescription for the former is a way of life that avoids excess.

That advice might be even truer than many of its proponents realise, for it has long been known that restricting the diets of several species of laboratory animal seems to slow down the process of ageing. This is a question not just of avoiding obesity, but of reducing an individual’s intake of calories to a point significantly below normal consumption—almost, but not quite, to the point of malnutrition. At the same time, some drugs are also known to have anti-ageing properties—again, in “lower” animals. It is therefore good news for potential Methuselahs that both these approaches have now been brought closer, phylogenetically speaking, to humanity.

Caloric restriction, as the dietary method is properly known, was tested by Richard Weindruch and his team at the University of Wisconsin using rhesus monkeys— the workhorses (to mix literal and metaphorical livestock) of laboratory studies on non-human primates. Previously, the nearest species to a human for which caloric restriction had been proved to work was a mouse. Dr Weindruch’s results are published in this week’s edition of Science.

Meanwhile that publication’s rival, Nature, has a report by David Harrison of the Jackson Laboratory in Maine and his colleagues on the life-prolonging effects of a drug called rapamycin. In this case the experiment was done on mice. But that is much closer to humans than the nematode worms and fruit flies which were the subjects of previous successful experiments on drug-induced life extension.

One reason why primates have not been the subject of anti-ageing studies until now is that they live so long anyway. Dr Weindruch’s paper is the result of 20 years of work. Over the course of that period he and his team have looked at 76 monkeys (30 males to start with and, since 1994, another 16 males and 30 females). Half these animals were kept as controls, with no changes in their diet, and the other half experimented upon.

Each animal in the experimental group was observed for up to six months to find out how much it ate when food was freely available. It then had the calorific value of this baseline diet cut, in three monthly tranches, until it had been reduced by a total of 30%.

The upshot is that, so far, 14 of the 38 control animals have died of age-related illnesses such as type II (late onset) diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Only five of the experimental animals so succumbed. A statistical analysis showed that, at any given time during the study, an animal in the control group was three times as likely to die from an age-related cause as one in the experimental group.

Not all of the animals that died did so from age-related conditions. Some succumbed to injury, infection and even complications from anaesthesia. But when it came to these more random deaths, both groups suffered almost equally. Seven went down in the control group, and nine in the experimental one. An apparent win, then, for caloric restriction—though it will not be possible to say for sure until all members of both groups have died and the extra years of life (if any) of the experimental subjects can be known precisely.

Semi-starvation is not, however, a course of action most people would be willing to undertake in the hope that it might prolong their lives. But they might be willing to take a pill. Indeed, a company called Sirtris Pharmaceuticals is already running trials of drugs that affect proteins called sirtuins—a group of enzymes which experiments on invertebrates have shown to be involved in extending lifespan.

Dr Harrison and his colleagues picked a different molecule that has been seen to work on invertebrates: rapamycin. This substance, isolated originally from a strain of bacterium found on Easter Island—or Rapa Nui as it is known to the locals—acts by suppressing a particular signalling mechanism inside cells, called the TOR pathway. The TOR pathway, in turn, promotes protein production and inhibits the active destruction of parts of cells that are no longer needed. Slowing down all this molecular turnover seems to slow ageing, at least in worms and flies. So Dr Harrison’s team decided to give it a go in mice.

Laboratory mice, which have no predators other than the white-coated variety, live for a maximum of just over 1,000 days. The researchers started feeding them with rapamycin at the age of 600 days—about the same point in their lives as a 60-year-old human has reached. The results were impressive. Maximum female lifespan increased from 1,094 days to 1,245, though males did somewhat less well, going from 1,078 days to 1,179. Measured from the time the drugs were first administered in early old age, these figures translate into a 38% increase in life expectancy for females and 28% for males.

What is equally interesting is that both the TOR pathway and the one controlled by sirtuins are also affected by caloric restriction. It looks, in other words, as if the drug-based and diet-based approaches are acting in similar ways. That is not to recommend people take doses of rapamycin. Its main medical use is to suppress the immune system, so anyone consuming it casually would open himself to serious infection. But it does hold out the tantalising hope that, at some point in the future, it might be possible to pop a pill and put an extra decade or two on your life.