Monday, November 30

Slice of Heaven...and FIT TIP (#57)

My little chairs...

were in heaven this past week.
Me too!

My vintage trumpet was also thrilled.
**oh what beautiful noise, I mean music, we enjoyed**

Phoebe, not so much.

So many blessings
this season of Thanksgiving.
Including the safe return
of my loved ones to their abodes.

My little chairs miss them already.
Me too!

FIT TIP (#57): Give Your Back a Break (#2)
**tip from the Detroit Pistons' trainer**
Steal a towel. Sitting beats up the disks in your back. A rolled-up hand towel tucked between the small of your back and your chair will take the pressure off.
**also aids in proper posture**

Sunday, November 22

Five Guys & Four Sisters...and FIT TIP (#56)

"What are the odds?" sister #3's husband
asked out loud.

Five Guys came to town,
new to the east side of the Valley of the Sun...

and 4 **out-of-5** Bracken sisters
showed up, on the very same evening
at the very same time,
**without planning it**
to welcome them to our neck of the woods.

We are a friendly bunch, ya know?
Sister #1 ** AKA me...birth order**
running holiday-type errands,
called sister #4, to meet up
**join forces**
in completing the last of Saturday's tasks.

As a reward for jobs well done,
we headed to the new burger & fry joint.
**sustenance, right?**

Imagine our surprise,
as we walked in through the back door,
and bumped into sister #3 and hub.
**are you keeping track?**
Surprised mainly because they had been
hiding away at a Scottsdale resort
all weekend.

We ordered our grub and joined them.
Within minutes, sister #2 and her entire clan
**including Lynds & fam, but minus Ashley**
walked through the front door.

Five Guys and Four Sisters!
You have to know it was unplanned.
Otherwise, sister #5 would
have surely been there.
**and quite possibly Mark & Jacki too**

REVIEW of the FIVE GUYS: Dang Good
**4.5 burgers out of five**
I will definitely return.
Ordered mine with grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes and A-1.
The fries almost taste healthy, and come regular or cajun seasoned.
**all food accompanied by great tunes**

P.S. My hamburger heart **I seldom eat burgers, honest...Heather, are you listening?** still belongs to IN-N-OUT.

FIT TIP (#56): Give Your Back a Break
**tip from the Detroit Pistons' trainer**
Check your mirror. Set your rearview mirror just a little too high so that every time you check it, you sit up straight.

Wednesday, November 18

Two Are Better Than One...and FIT TIP (#55)

**a few months ago**
I met this little guy
**through a dog rescue association** and
fell in love!
**I wasn't even "in the market"**
The perfect pet **in my eyes**
~~a yorkie...they don't shed
~~not a puppy...enough said
~~itty-bitty...4 pounds
The adoption was set in motion.

Then..."they" introduced me to her:
~~a yorkie
~~not a puppy
"they" mentioned that two really are better than one.

And I have to agree.
Meet Milo and Phoebe.

FIT TIP (#55): Splish Splash - Water Therapy
Splash some water on your face or take a shower when you're feeling burned-out, according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Apparently, a little H-two-O refresher can instantly help take the edge off when you're feeling overwhelmed AND increase energy.

Saturday, November 14

I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends...and FIT TIP (#54)

Woke up the other day with a
sore throat, itchy eyes, runny nose,
and all-over feeling of ICK.

Instead of feeling better once I
showered, dressed and got to my office...
the ICK feeling continued to grow.
One of my friends delivered a big bottle of
Bragg raw-unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.
He swears it's a cure-all for "whatever ails you".

Another friend dropped off Kleenex Ultra Soft and
some of my favorite sweet treats.
Best tissues...hands down!
**Charee introduced me to them during allergy season**

Another friend brought over dinner & a movie. comfort food & entertainment!
It worked. It all worked.
Thank you, friends!

With all kinds of ICK going around,
I highly recommend the Bragg Vinegar "treatment".
**2 tablespoons followed by a glass of water, 2-3 times daily**
Kleenex Ultra Soft a necessity, and
goodies & movies to help the medicine go down!

P.S. The label on the vinegar reads:
"With the Mother"
10 points to anyone who can explain that one!

P.S.S. The back of the label has the recipe for
The Vinegar Health Drink.

FIT TIP (#54): Feedback Loops
One of the greatest things about our body is that it responds to what we're doing through mechanisms called feedback loops.

Tell your body you want to watch House reruns all night, and it responds by downshifting energy productions.

Tell your body you need to walk around the neighborhood, and it responds by giving you the energy you need. And then your body teaches your brain that it wants to walk.

This is how healthy behaviors become automatic habits. The first few times, you may have to coax yourself out the door...until it gets easier.

Sunday, November 8

If You've Ever Been Tempted...and FIT TIP (#53)

If you've ever considered trying one of "my recipes"
please, pretty please...
let this be the one!
The two main ingredients
**that I'd rarely used until recently**
poblano peppers & polenta
are now among my favorites.
When given the choice **from here on out**
I will always choose the poblano over
the bell **as in peppers**

And the die for...seriously.

polenta-stuffed poblano peppers

**start to finish: 30 minutes**

4 plum tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 poblano peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
sea salt & pepper
1/2 cup polenta
1 10-ounce package frozen corn
1/4 cup soft goat cheese (2 ounces)
4 scallions, sliced

On baking sheet, toss tomatoes, onion and oil: turn tomatoes cut-side down. Place peppers on sheet, cut-side down. Broil until tender & charred, stirring onions and turning tomatoes and peppers halfway through, 5 to 8 minutes.

Puree tomatoes, onion, cinnamon, 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper until smooth. Spread half the sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange peppers cut side up.

Prepare polenta, following package directions. Stir in corn, cheese and all but 2 T. of scallions.

Divide polenta among peppers. Top with remaining sauce and bake at 400 degrees until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions before serving.

My choice of polenta:

FIT TIP (#53): Exercise on the Brain (part 2)
Chronic back pain can cause you to lose up to a teaspoon of gray matter per year. Best way to beat back pain: Build muscle in your lower back and abdominals.

Wednesday, November 4

Hate to Admit it, but...and FIT TIP (#52)

--I have a thing for white paper towels--
**and own a good size stash to prove it**
I realize it's not
environmentally correct, but...
I try to make up for it in other ways.
p.s. I mainly use cloth dish towels **versus paper ones**
in the kitchen.

--I'm not the faithful follower of DWTS
that I once was--

I only watch it with the aid of a DVR remote...
**finger on the FF button**

--I kind of like Donny Osmond, again--
and I hope he wins!
**I hope you're not disappointed in me, Charee**

--I have discovered THE BEST chicken wings--
**since Papillons**
from a hole-in-the-wall eatery,
located in a SHADY, little shopping center.
p.s. By shady, I do not mean "lack of sunshine", ya know?

--I like hole-in-the-wall eating establishments--
**ahhhh, Elmer's**

--I cut off a big, black truck yesterday--
just so I could pull into Sonic
and order a cherry limeade w/crunchy ice.
**after all, it was 92 degrees**

--I am so pleased that Shaq is no longer a Sun--
Enough said about that, and now...

FIT TIP (#52): Exercise on the Brain
Normal aging drains neurotransmitters and shrink brain cells.

Getting your heart rate up can reverse this process by increasing blood flow to the brain to improve memory and brain function.

TRY THIS: Eat an apple a day to keep the neurologist away. Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant that protects your brain.