Monday, January 14, 2013


Hi everyone,

I hope all of you had a fantastic weekend. I FINALLY put away Christmas for another year, BUT the goodies still linger on. HAVE you finished eating all the yummy cakes, candies, cookies, and chocolates?

I know I had my fair share of these tasty delights, but now that we are in our second week of January it should be time to think about a new routine for staying fit. As you all know I keep a very WATCHFUL eye on myself and I CARE about ALL of you! Writers in general tend to sit for hours on end, pop anything within our reach into our mouths mindlessly, and drink caffeine of different varieties. NOT the healthiest things to do!

As many of you know, and I have posted this on several occasions, that we need to MOVE. We need to eat fresh, healthy snacks .... fruits, nuts, greek yogurt ... just to name a few. It's amazing how many tasty options there are that ARE healthy. And with a bit of planning you can work all those hours and munch the day away without it turning into unwanted weight. Why eat junk food? Yes, it tastes great, BUT chemicals added into these foods make us CRAVE them all the more and become junk food addicts.

What I want you to do is READ THE LABELS. CUT OUT processed foods! THEY are loaded with chemicals, sodium, sugar, and God only knows what else. These foods are VERY difficult for our bodies to digest. So why eat them?

I know how hard it is... I LOVE sweets and decided I needed to come up with a creative way to eat what I like, yet not have to worry about regaining any of the weight I had lost. So there is one concept I have come up with ....

This past holiday season I have begun baking again, but this time CHANGING recipes. First I am now using organic unbleached flour, butter, and eggs. Organic sugar some from natural cane and another from coconuts. Fresh cranberries, organic pumpkin, organic dried fruits and nuts. Yes, these are a bit more expensive, but isn't our health and the health of our families worth it? Now you can do a bit of substitution if you want to save some money. Eggs, can be natural without the organic label. If they are free range and the birds eat grains fine ... read the labels. The same with other ingredients... as long as they are not OVERLY processed they will work fine. But organic is still the best. You can mix organic with natural.

It's amazing how DELICIOUS these same recipes are with LESS sugar added and natural ingredients. You actually TASTE the pumpkin, nuts, and fruits, not just getting hit over the head with a sugar high. Same with using chocolate. BUY bittersweet or baker's chocolate squares with no sugar. You don't need the added sugar. And surprisingly it doesn't take that long to bake. Last night I had decided to whip up a batch of biscotti cookies. I LOVE them. I made a double recipe in about an hour. These cookies will last me at least two weeks. By adding additional anise and almond extract to the recipe, the taste is so amazing. I cut the sugar by almost half of what the recipe called for. And the result is a crunchy and tasty treat with your morning coffee. You feel satisfied and not deprived.

It is the ultimate "un-guilty" pleasure. So if you are CRAVING sweets. Change your favorite recipe by cutting the sugar, and adding natural ingredients. Vanilla extract and almond extract are amazing to add to almost anything. UP the level to add more flavor. IT really works. And after you try it, PLEASE let me know!

If ANY of you want the recipe for my biscotti, let me know and I will email it to you. I would post it, but it will take up too much of the post. This is just one way to fight your craving and still enjoy eating.

Now for the movement section. Since many of us live in the north and the weather is FREEZING, we tend to hibernate. This is NOT good. During writing binges, every few hours or so get up stretch and run up and down the stairs a dozen or so times. This will get your heart rate up and you will feel great. No stairs .... take a jog around the inside of your house. No, I am not crazy. Just do it. Run lightly into every room and pad around the couch, around the dining room table, around the bed... If you can manage to do this for fifteen to twenty minutes two or three times a day, you will benefit. We MUST keep as active as we can.

Another thing you can do is snap on the stereo and DANCE... It's fun AND it will certainly get your right rate up. GRAB your spouse or partner and have some FUN... or jump around with the kids. They will LOVE IT!!!

SO there you have a new tip for 2013... Time to alter those favorite recipes and make them more healthy and HAVE some fun moving about between writing marathons. It's good to clear the cobwebs an toxins from the body. You writing will certainly improve and so will your disposition ... LOL.

Have a GREAT MONDAY everyone! And don't forget to let me know if you would like me to send you my fantastic biscotti recipe!


  1. As ever, you are an inspiration.

    warmest regards (it's snowing and freezing cold here),


  2. I'm with you about not gaining back the weight I lost. Luckily I was in China for the holidays and they don't eat many sweets so I didn't gain weight. All your ideas sound good except please don't take away my coffee. I couldn't survive.

    I am trying to stand more when I work on the computer. We sit way too much.

  3. Freezing? We were eighty degrees yesterday. I'll trade you.
    We do have some leftover sweets that will likely be thrown out. We just don't eat them in our house.

  4. You can go one step farther and replace the eggs with a vegan substitute. Ener-G Eggs I believe is what we use. Comes in a powder you mix with water. Can't do scrambled eggs, but it's great for baking.

    And we don't even have sugar in our house, only Splenda. Natural applesauce is also a great sweetener and oil substitute.

  5. These are great, easy tips that we can actually do. Actually, last night my daughter and I made a peanut butter mousse, and we left out most of the sugar and it was SO good. You're right about the other flavors being enhanced. I also totally agree that the writing is better when we've moved in between.

    I'm so happy you signed up for the Back From the Future blogfest!

  6. Yes, I would love the recipe for your biscotti. My email is kavrik (at) hotmail (dot) com. I absolutely love biscotti with coffee.

  7. Hey Michael! What great healthy eating tips! I'm weaning the baby and because she eats everything we eat, I am very conscious of what I make for meals now. Now I just need to block out some time to resume my pilates I had put off while recovering from having the baby!

  8. mmmm... bisotti... :d

    cutting the sugar is a FANTASTIC way to shave calories, and you don't even miss it really--especially if you do like you said and up the other natural flavors. GREAT tips, BB!

    I know a long time ago I did Sugar Busters, and I was just AMAZED how much sugar is in everything. It's crazy.

    Here's to a healthy 2013! *LB hugs*

  9. I count on the dog to get me out of the house, even if it is freezing out. Unfortunately her idea of a great walk calls for more stopping and sniffing than brisk paced walking.

  10. Okay, I'm going to admit I was eating potato chips while reading your post. Gads, do I feel guilty now! LOL

    But I do jog circles around the house. It does seems crazy, but it does get me moving and warmed up in the winter too!

  11. Southpaw, do not feel guilty. Just hit the ground and give me 20 push-ups! :-) Jogging around the house seems a great way to exercise.

    Michael, do you spot Harry Dresden in Chicago (that's where the fictional wizard detective lives, you know?)

    Have a great new week! Roland

  12. Eeeeee!!! I'm freaking out with Roland's comment above me. I have a huge crush on Harry Dresden... Best. Character. Ever. Love him.

    Anyway... Fabulous post, Michael. I love your positivity and enthusiasm. And I really do think that you're making a difference with these posts--they're so educational--I know I"m learning a lot and I've always been way into health and exercise and all that.

    Are you sure you're eating enough though? You're looking really skinny! Eat another biscotti!

  13. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration! What great ideas! I actually love to dance! It is my top form of exercise (that and walking on the treadmill while catching up on some series I'm caught in the middle of)Cutting back on processed foods is so important. Greek yogurt is my fav! Best:)

  14. friend came over a few days ago. gave me a belated christmas present and at the bottom of the bag...tons of dove chocolates! dare i say i ate it all by the end of the no, i won't, then i'll remember the guilt and ucky feeling i felt. :D

  15. The biscotti sounds great; something to snack on with my Diet Pepsi at work. Next week I have to start working in the other office a few days a week, and I'll need some comfort food to keep my mouth from spouting too many - complaints.

    Only an hour to make and bake. Hmm, maybe I can do it.


  16. Great advice for the new year! I just joined a new gym as I'm now living in a new town. Went today for the first time since before honeymoon. Felt good! (But I still have Christmas and birthday chocs and sweets to get through, so I have to fight the temptation to binge!)

  17. Great post, Michael! :)

    I don't drink caffeine, and I'm not fond of sweets, but there's plenty of other things for me to work on this year. *fist pump* I'm ready!

  18. Those goodies are hard to avoid - thankfully the holidays don't last any longer!! We eat fewer processed foods these days but I really need to move more - good tips :)

  19. I think that labels thing is HUGE. Dumping the chemicals and processing and eating real food. I am still frustrated with how SLOW this is, but I really am hitting all those things I'm supposed to!

  20. Writers definitely have to think about the physical effects of sitting down too long. I try to stretch every hour and walk around if I can :)


  21. I think you could post your recipes from time to time, such things are a magnet for readers, trust me. Cooking blogs always have the biggest amount of visits (too bad those ladies who own them don't know how to use Google Ads and earn something) :)

    I'm very proud of myself for almost never eating processed food. We don't really have it much here in my country, we cook everything mostly from scratch, since we don't have tones of readymade food, cans, and frozen things, not to mention mixes for cakes and such things. So everything I eat during my day is made from fresh groceries and nothing processed. I even eat chocolate maybe once a month :)

  22. I had to keep myself from eating an entire 1lb box of chocolate truffles after Christmas. I still have a quarter of a box left. After that, no more sweets. I only get them once a year, though.

  23. i've been trying to be very careful on what I eat. I am trying to avoid anything processed and am taking the extra time to cook a meal rather then stuff something in the microwave. Also, veggies, trying to do a lot more of those. It is hard for me to get out in the winter, but I'm going to start going to my local rec center at least three times a week. Now if only I can keep up on this without catching the flu - which is what usually throws me off.

  24. I would LOVE your biscotti recipe:-) And thanks for the shout-out on the side!!

  25. I love the idea of making our favourite recipes healthier. It's easy for me to say, since I love chocolate and baked goods but can't stand them to be too sweet. No, my failing is BREAD. I love love love bread. I'd eat it all day if I could...