Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Okay, everyone it's Tuesday and I'm back on schedule with healthy tips for all of you today. Since my revelation this past spring, I yanked myself off my butt and decided to get back into shape. As we ALL know writing isn't conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Spending hour upon hour at a desk typing away does NOTHING for the old waistline and neither does the munchfests. Who eats well? You grab the closest thing that's not crawling next to you and shove it in your mouth. Half the time you don't even remember what you had eaten.

After two years of writing I had put on an astronomical amount of weight. I am happy to say that I have lost it all plus a few more. No, it wasn't easy. Yes, I did give up chocolate, danishes, chips, alcohol, and my beloved sweets.

HOWEVER, adopting a new healthy outlook on eating right and exercising is not as bad as you think it is. We ALL get into ruts. It's natural, but the summer is a great time to shake things up. Give some time to yourself, You give to to your families, your job, your spouses, your kids, your friends, and, of course, your writing. What about you?

When was the last time you did something for yourself? If you can't remember then it's time. Diet and exercise are not enough. Your mental health is an important part of your physical health. Too much pressure and the stress raises. WE all cope, but what is it doing to us internally? Find time to relax. Take that much needed walk and look around you. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, children are playing in the park, a cute little squirrel is nibbling on a nut. Don't miss out.

Even now the image of two young girls pedaling away on one of those four-person people-movers brings a smile to my face. They were toddling along the lakefront with such excitement on their faces that I want to break out my colored pencils and immortalize them on paper.

I took that moment of time for me. My power-walks open my eyes to many things I wouldn't have experienced otherwise. You'd be amazed how much you think about as you're exercising. I thought about several approaches to tweaking my WIP'S. The never-ending edits are still waiting to be done and they will be with a fresher head and leaner body.

Well, I just might have convinced you. Great. Now onto the food. I have some wonderful suggestions for you munchfests.... Here's one. Almonds. These crunchy sweet little morsels are FANTASTIC. Not only are they super healthy, they are  delicious too. When you feel the need for something crunchy, DON'T think chips or pretzels grab the almonds. AND not the honey-roasted, overly salty kind. Natural raw or roasted almonds. Try to keep the sodium down. It's not good for you and it's addictive.

Another great snack I discovered are THINK THIN protein bars. They are AWESOME, and for all you chocoholics, Fudge brownie crunch is to DIE FOR! These yummy bars have 20 grams of protein and NO SUGAR.  The white chocolate is another of my favorites. It tastes like a tootsie role covered in white chocolate. Yes, these are super healthy. But don't eat ten. One per day is sufficient. Also for you coffee lovers the Espresso chocolate is another great choice.

You can find them on line or at Whole Foods or Trader Joes.

Another DELICIOUS item to get is ALMOND BUTTER... SOOOO much better than peanut butter. Cut any kind of apple into pieces and spread on the Almond butter. It is wonderful and really healthy. BTW it's fantastic on celery too. Again you can find it at Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Surf the net for other stores if you don't have these in your area.

So now you know what to do. Make a big cool pitcher of iced tea, lemonade, or iced coffee. (NO SUGAR!) and gather up these fine munchies for your next munchfest. Your will feel so much better on not at the guild of over doing it.

As a final tip for today, remember to eat light, stop when you're full, and be creative with salads. It's amazing how delicious they can be by adding, almonds, plums, nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, black and red raspberries .... Add a piece of grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or even a burger if you so desire. Leaving out the bread and condiments cuts out hundreds of unnecessary calories. Try it for just two weeks, you will be amazed how much you won't miss the sugars and breads.

Tell me what like to eat during the summer months. How do you keep healthy? I'd really like to know.


  1. My husband loves almonds. When he was going through his weight loss quick he ate them religiously. We've recently gotten back to soda and bad foods but just purchased Insanity. The 60 day workout he's striving for. I look forward to joining him on his weight loss journey and getting to a healthier me!

  2. That's funny, MY blog post for today is pretty much the exact opposite of yours!

  3. I love your enthusiasm and passion for sharing what has worked for you, Michael.As someone who lost 50 pounds a few years ago and has been maintaining for three years now, I totally get how excited you are.

  4. I LOVE those Think Thin bars from TJ's!! And you are so right, Michael. Everything in moderation. That is so key. And no matter what kind of day I'm having, I get myself to the gym (if it's hot) or outside for a hike/run, no matter what.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to enjoy a chocolate cupcake (just kidding). ;-)

  5. Right on schedule Michael! I was just thinking yesterday that I need a protein snack at work that I can eat quickly, doesn't have a lot of calories and yet will give me some energy! You are a godsend! Thanks Michael! I'm headed to Whole Foods!

  6. LOL! "but don't eat ten"--now that we HAVE a Trader Joe's, I'm totally looking for those THINK THIN bars... White chocolate, eh? ;p

    And yes. Lurv almond butter. But not so much almond Silk. :p <3

  7. I don't eat that much and almost never snack, but I'm pretty much the weight I'll stay unless I start exercising again. But I have lots and lots of excuses for not doing that...(mostly, it's difficult. and sweaty) Congrats on keeping it up!

  8. I made a similar decision a few weeks ago, having put on a few pounds due to writing and new migraine medication. I also have the start of my 12 week work break looming, where I'll no longer benefit from being on my feet all day.

    I've ditched the chocolate, greasy foods, and bread, in favour of fruit, salad, and white meats. Is it amazing how much healthier I feel.

    I also live a five minute walk form a two mile stretch of beach, and have started walking. The fresh air and time to think sets the muse free!

    Awesome post.

  9. I tend to go for fruit. We also get low-fat crackers - some of the specialty brands. I do still go for pretzels though. They may be salty, but there's no fat.

  10. Eating healthy is so hard where I live. We can't get fresh produce due to our isolation, or I would eat fresh fruit most of the time! I try to buy only low fat foods, cut out butter, most dairy, oil, and anything high in fat. It helps!

  11. Mmmm! I love almonds too. My other favorite snack is hard-boiled eggs. I try to make some in advance and then keep them in the fridge for when I'm in the mood for something salty. With a dash of salt, they're really great for curbing salty cravings for tortilla chips.

  12. I'm not a fan of almonds. I'm on a strange diet due to my health problems so my food intake is a bit different. I can't have anything fried or greasy- Breads happen to be my friends because they settle my tummy. I'm a huge fan of tea and when I went to Denver I found this neat tea shop with natural teas and natural sugar rocks that I'm really enjoying. Its a bit expensive but Tea is my best friend LOL

  13. Trader Joe's! (Big fan here.) And exercise is so important. Swam laps for 45 minutes yesterday, and my head was much clearer afterward, ready to write. Important post, Michael.

  14. Thanks for the reminder, Michael! (no, really. thanks! :)) I am SUCH a shameless carb-lover. It's so hard to stay away from my beloved pasta and bread.... But. I know that I need to.

    I do like almonds. Didn't care for the almond butter, but maybe I just tried the wrong kind? But, I can eat my apples plain, so no worries.

    I find that I really love fresh fruit, when I'm trying to eat healthier. A whole mix of it, melons and berries in particular. A lot of places tend to have farmer's markets in the summer and into early fall. A visit gets you some fresh produce and a little exercise to boot! That's my healthful suggestion for the day. :)

    (btw - have you watched "Possession" with Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart?)

  15. Oh Brother! LOL, I admire your efforts, I really do. I never drink soda with sugar but there are two things I need to survive...coffee and the big nasty which is.....Twizzlers. Since I can not get them here, all my friends are on a secret mission to send them to me. I know, I can hear you now, but they keep me from smoking to much...so which is worse?

  16. I was a few pounds away from my perfect weight a year ago. This past year was filled with lots of things (including medical issues) that kept me from my treadmill. Now I hate that I am back up (almost) to where I started. I have a closet full of clothes I can't wear and I hate that. Anxious to found out the final conclusion to all my medical woes so that I know what lies ahead of me. Winter's coming and you know what that means (here where it snows), too much indoors. And the merry-go-round keeps spinning!

  17. I like to munch on Roma tomatoes and cucumbers. Yum, that almond butter and apples sound heavenly :)

    I'm sharing my day for myself with you Michael. Its pretty slow at work, so I took the day off, and hope to complete the crit and get sent to you later today.

    Thanks for being so patient with me :)

    I hope you post some of your drawings sometime, you have such a talent in that area.


  18. Terrific advice, and great reminders. Since moving to Atlanta, the weight has been creeping on steadily, not diet so much as outdoor exercise avoidance: it's too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer. I'm trying to adjust to A/C and indoor exercise equipment, but it's not as much fun. My favorite summer snacks are fruit and yogurt slurry. I love plain yogurt blended with fresh fruit.

  19. ...cutting out the sugary sodas has been my antidote for weight loss. (and nightly basketball with my sons can only help the cause ;)

    Thanks for the tips, Michael!


  20. Great post, Michael. I've been very inactive lately, in the throes of editing. But I don't eat much during the day, so it sort of balances out. However, I don't *feel* healthy, and that comes down to exercising and mental health. I really need to start my running routine again!

  21. I am enjoying the almond butter on apples---thanks for the tip! I don't think I can eat them straight though, so I just bought "Simply the Best" trek mix at Trader Joes---have you had it? It's sooo good. It's got the taboo pineapples in there, but it's soooo good, and way better for me than the crud I was crabbing to much on.

    Hey, a friend from out east is telling me about Almond Milk---have you ever seen it around here?

    Thanks for the tips!

  22. I love walking for exercise, especially when the weather's great. And I eat all kinds of things, just try to watch so that there's a balance, especially fruits and a few vegetables, and count my calories.

    If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! Details are here: