Monday, November 22, 2010

Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells

I know I should technically be on the second or third round of recipes, but sometimes life happens. Or life happens and you don’t get to the grocery store to buy all of the required ingredients and that small window of opportunity is lost.

After the disaster that was Nest Eggs, this mom was a little gun shy. Between basketball games, speech & madrigals practice, dance and tumbling, I found it hard to get motivated to try anything new with my family dinner. So, I became a slacker providing minimal meals which just needed to be pulled out from the freezer.
Yesterday, however, an emotional show down between me and Sunshine triggered the fact that I couldn’t hide anymore. I had to face the fact that my kids are picky eaters. I even had the sad thought that I like to go out for dinner because we don’t usually have knockdown, drag out fights at a restaurant dinner table. Only at home. We couldn’t act like imbeciles in public! So instead we allow our children to eat unhealthy foods in order to keep the peace.

Not anymore.


Tonight was the night! Sunshine and I agreed to make the Peppermint Meringue Snowballs for us and my world famous chex mix for a class party on Tuesday. The jury is still out on the snowballs since Sunshine just pulled them from the stove; however, we did make the Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells for dinner tonight and I must say all and all I will call it a success.

Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells
 Now unfortunately, I did not have the complete recipe. I was missing the edamame from the recipe, but in order to make progress on this project, I decided to forge ahead and make the dinner anyway. The recipe was very easy to follow. I am relatively sure I didn't screw this one up.

Hollywood wasn't home from madrigals practice yet, but we decided to sit down to a family dinner anyway. Heck, let's face it with my two picky eaters I could still be sitting at the dinner table anyway waiting for them to finish. As soon as they saw the shrimp, they started grumbling. "Do I have to eat the shrimp?" "Can you leave some of the pasta out of the sauce?" OH well, grumble as they may I was determined to have a peaceful, successful dinner tonight.

Sunhine & Princess each sat down with a small scoop of Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells. They survived the first few bites of pasta, but were terrified by the thought of actually eating a shrimp.

"What's the pink stuff? Is that veins?", asked Sunshine.
"I can't do it, mommy. I just can't do it.", whined Princess.

I calmly explained that I heard someone recently say that it takes seven bites in order to determine if you really like something new. "Oh please, mom, don't be that person." cried Sunshine.

Oh yes! I am that person. I had nothing on the agenda for the evening and was more than willing to sit at the dinner table for the rest of the evening until the pasta was gone and shrimp was at least attempted.

Suddenly, like a streak of lightning illuminating the sky, a fork flew by with a shrimp gorged on the end which somehow, magically wound up in Sunshine's mouth. All I could do was look at her in amazement.

"I had to do it fast, mom, because when I went slow I talked myself out of it. I could see all of the veins in the shrimp." I gave Sunshine a high five and congratulated her on the big strides she had just taken. When I asked her if she was going to eat the other shrimp, she said she didn't like the crunchiness of the shrimp. I calmly explained that if she wanted to try a Peppermint Meringue Snowball she was going to need to eat the other shrimp. We stared at the final shrimp for a few minutes and decided he looked like an army guy with his pasta shell as a hat. I tried to take the picture from various angles, but this is all I could come up with.

Our Army Guy Shrimp
After a few moments of careful thought, she quickly stabbed the shrimp and several pieces of pasta and put it all in her mouth without another thought. The hurdle was jumped. The mission complete. The plate was clean.

Princess' eyes welled  up in tears. Now she knew the attention was going to be focused on her. I took this video of her trying to eat the shrimp.
video

 In the end, Princess didn't like the shrimp. Of course, I don't think she gave it a fair shake either, but we made progress....she ate the shrimp without a HUGE fit. Progress is being made and that is all I can expect. Hollywood, of course, had no problem with the dinner. This was HER pick. For tiny a little pip-squeak, she can certainly eat. She loaded her plate up with the dinner and ate it all.

Hollywood's Dinner Plate -FULL of Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells
The Final Ruling:
Sunshine gave it a mixed review. At first, she didn't care for the seasoning, but eventually she got past that. Instead, the mixed review came from the fact that she didn't care for the shrimp, but even a partial thumbs up is a victory indeed!

 Next came Diva Princess. She didn't care for the seasoning at all. AND she didn't like the shrimp. So she gave it a thumbs down, but honestly I don't think she hated it as much as she says she did. There just weren't enough tears for an out and out thumbs down.

And finally we had Hollywood. Remember that full plate? Well, this is a picture of her plate....about halfway through. She finished most of it. Unfortunately, Hollywood needs to learn how to fill her plate by her stomach and not necessarily her eyes!
Hollywood gave the dinner two huge thumbs up! She loved it and I must say that Camo-Man & I agree. I liked the taste. I loved the shrimp and pasta. AND I really loved that it was so easy to make. 
This dinner will definitely be on our menu in the future and maybe, just maybe, we'll start to see those thumbs turn toward the sky as the picky members of our family learn to appreciate a wider variety of foods.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let the Battles Begin

I woke up this morning full of optimism and what I was going to accomplish today. I had my workout planned and altered as needed. I had my work meetings in the front of my mind and then I decided to start my Julie Julia project.

The meal for the day was Nest Eggs. Nothing fancy. A simple recipe of cooked eggs in the center of the bread and lightly drizzled with syrup. I mean who doesn’t like it when their eggs accidently get into the syrup when eating a large breakfast? Now I knew going into this little event that getting Sunshine & Diva Princess to actually open up their mind to these recipes was going to be difficult, but I was very excited about the project and what it could do for our family's dinner time. 

Eggland's Best Eggs
The meal for the day was Nest Eggs. Nothing fancy. A simple recipe of cooked eggs in the center of the bread and lightly drizzled with syrup. I mean who doesn’t like it when their eggs accidently get into the syrup when eating a large breakfast?


I pulled out my ingredients – note the Eggland’s Best Eggs. I’ve bought them off and on over the years because of the Omega 3s, but I tend to be a skeptic and wondered if my family would truly receive the value of the Omega 3s from the eggs. How can you just add a random nutrient to a food product and get the true value from it? However, because the Meal Makeover Moms love them, I have full faith that the product is helpful to my family and especially my picky not-so-little-ones.

My Cut-N-Seal made cutting
the circles easy.
I started my first Nest Eggs by using my Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal to cut out the center circles of my whole wheat bread and put the bread the eggs on the skillet. Simple as pie, right? 

Sunshine and Diva Princess came down for breakfast. Sunshine was  amazingly quiet when I put the first plate in front of her. Princess asked, "If we try it and don't like it, can we have something else?" Is this a foreboding warning of what was to come? As I started making the second batch of Nest Eggs, Sunshine started poking at her eggs. My lack of foresight could have been the straw that broke the camel's back. One stab into the yolk and the yellow liquid poured over her toast. 
The finished product which I thought
looked pretty good.

UH-OH
The gauntlet had been dropped. 
Sunshine: "Moooom, it's all runny!"
Mom takes a deep breath.  "That's ok. You can have the next one" and I quickly punctured the yolks. I should have predicted that one, but I will claim lack of caffeine for the mistake. 

I presented a second plate to Sunshine and finally a third for Princess. Hollywood was still upstairs as any 15-year old would be trying to get ready for school. I still had plenty of time to prepare her breakfast and put another batch on the griddle. As Sunshine sat at the breakfast counter poking at her eggs, I tried to take a picture of her slightly pouty face, but my life was quickly threatened and I put the camera down. I explained to my little picky eaters that I needed them to eat three bites in order for them to truly give it a try. 

Sunshine said the eggs tasted like rubber, ate two bites and walked away because she needed to get into the shower to tame her wild, curly locks. Princess took one bite of the egg which was hanging outside of the toast and said she had eaten all of the egg. When I tried to explain that the center of the toast was actually egg, she was momentarily fascinated, but said the eggs didn't taste like her eggs. After five minutes of begging, pleading and cajoling her to give it true try, I sent Princess off to get ready for school. 

I decided to take a bite of Princess' Nest Eggs and I have to say that I agree. They don't taste the same, but why? Well, in my early morning haste, I turned the burner up a little higher....therefore, lightly over-toasting the bread and yet still under cooking the eggs. At that time, I remembered Hollywood's Nest Eggs which were still on the stove....burnt to a crisp. 

Ahhh, a great start to the day. Aggravation with 2 of my kids for their lack of open mindedness, disappointment that my one good eater would not even have a chance to try the recipe and a house full of a light smoky haze. 

What I learned from our first escapade into our Julie Julia venture:

1) Never try to introduce new foods at breakfast before school. In my disappointment and honestly - anger, I started our morning off on the wrong foot. I do not like taking my children to school when I am seething with pent up hostility. Trying new foods on a school day when we have limited time is definitely not a wise plan. In the future, breakfast recipes will be saved for the weekends or used as a special "Breakfast for Dinner" night. 

2) Don't turn the burner up too high cause no matter what no one will care for the results.

3) Just because mommy has bought into the idea of a new food project, it doesn't necessarily mean that my children have. I need to find a way to communicate to my kids the importance of keeping an open mind about food while not turning the discussion into a verbal war of words. 

On the way to school after a few calming moments, I tried to explain to my daughters that I am concerned for their health. Their typical breakfast would normally include either frozen waffles (with light or sugar free syrup) or a sugar laden cereal such as cinnamon toast crunch which always makes me cringe. At one point my Sunshine loved a certain pancake which included a sweet potato puree from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. To this day, she does not know what is in them and honestly, she doesn't want to know. However, I found it takes a lot of time to cook the sweet potatoes, puree them, cool and/or freeze them and then to bake the pancakes. 

My mind whirled with ways to make this process easier. Part of me wanted to ignore this blog and not even write about my disastrous foray into whineless meals, but then I thought I needed to give an honest report on what happened in my home this morning. The resulting chaos had less to do with the recipe and more to do with my poor choices and lack of cooking skills....even for a simple egg. 

I'm debating cooking the Nest Eggs again tonight for dinner turning down the burner and taking my time. In addition, I've also thought about just making each part of the recipes and keeping the toast separate from the egg due to the fact that my daughters don't care for mixed foods. Maybe if I take this one step at a time, I will have a better result. 

I know I have a long road ahead of me. Part of me knows I've created this mess that I am currently in with my children, but the other part knows that I don't typically offer processed pre-packaged foods to my kids and yet they have grown accustomed  to these processed sugar & sodium laden foods. I am trying to make changes within my home, but I also feel frustrated about society in general which will reinforce my daughters poor eating habits. When they were younger, I didn't want to have the dinner time battles we had during my childhood between my dad and my younger brother. I want peaceful dinners and to NOT create certain eating disorders within my children. Instead I feel I have failed and I'm still fighting to have a peaceful dinner time meal where I can have all 3 of my kids at least give the food on their plate a fair shake.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Julie Julia Week 1 Recipes

My three princesses have picked the first week of recipes for my Julie Julia makeover from the Meal Makeover Moms. Of course, there was a snag to start it all off. 


Sunshine, aka Lead Picky Leader, chose three breads/desserts as her first 3 recipes. Grrr. When I asked her to look at the cook book, I skipped the requirement of picking 1 breakfast/lunch item, 1 dinner item and one other item. Nonetheless, mommy will persevere.


Round 1:
Princess chose the Nest Eggs for a breakfast item. Naturally, Princess loves eggs and toast. Throw in some syrup and we've got a yummy breakfast. This recipe seems to be within my cooking abilities and I'm quite optimistic about it.


Hollywood chose Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells. When I asked her to pick her recipe of the week, she simply stated, "Just look for anything with shrimp and that will be fine." She's a seafood junky. How will the other two take it? Well, they tend to like plain pasta and occasionally will eat fish. So there is some small glimmer of hope. 


Sunshine chose Peppermint Meringue Snowballs for a dessert item. Hahah. No surprise. Now this recipe scares me. Meringues? Really? Doesn't she realize her mommy has limited cooking abilities? I have to say they sound delicious. So I guess I'm up for the challenge. 


Let the cooking begin! I will be making the meringues over the weekend because I'm sure they will stress me out and require way more time than necessary. The Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells will be our dinner on Thursday night since that is the only night when Hollywood will be home before 7 pm from Madrigals and dance team practice. Nest eggs ? If I wake up and I'm fully aware tomorrow morning, I can make the Nest Eggs for breakfast tomorrow. 


It should be an interesting week trying to get my Julie Julia Project started. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Health Nuts Unite!

According to my 12-year old daughter, Sunshine, her mom is a HEALTH NUT. Since when did regular exercise and trying to eat right make me a nut? Just because I haven't eaten at McDonald's in almost two years doesn't mean I'm the one who has lost her marbles. Hey, I'm no bean pole. I still have a few pounds to lose (10- count them - 10 agonizing pounds!!!!) 


Only 6% of Americans get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.  Maybe it's the 2/3 of Americans who are the nuts and not me. 


Obesity Related Statistics in America**

Did you know?
  • Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States
  • 60 million Americans, 20 years and older are obese
  • 9 million children and teens ages 6-19 are overweight
  • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including: Breast cancer, Coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, Sleep apnea, Gallbladder disease, Osteoarthritis, Colon cancer, Hypertension and Stroke
** According to the Get America Fit Foundation


Obesity is the leading cause of higher healthcare costs. Being overweight only makes our wallets skinny. Costs related to obesity represents 9.1% of all medical spending. If you are obese, you can expect to spend 42% more on healthcare than a person of normal weight.  Obese Americans spend about $1,429 more on health care each year than normal-weight Americans. 


I repeatedly hear that it's expensive to eat healthy. BUT at the cost of $1,429 annually for healthcare costs + missed work due to illness + a shortened life span, I think we can afford to eat a little better and exercise a little more. If those costs don't inspire you to get off of your duff, I don't know what will. If two-thirds of all Americans can afford almost $1,500 for health care costs each year, wouldn't that money be better spent on eating healthy foods & a gym membership? 


I'm not saying that losing weight is easy. In American society, it's very hard to lose weight when you are constantly confronted with marketing ads for calorie laden foods on the television, in your magazines and on the radio. But the long term gains are soooo worth the uphill battle. 


Wouldn't two-thirds of Americans love to play outside with their children? Wouldn't two-thirds of Americans love to ride on a roller coaster or in an airplane without worry of being told they are too big for the seat? Exercise releases endorphins into your body which relieves pain, enhances the immune system, reduces stress and delays the aging process. Who doesn't want to stay young?? 


I don't have the answer. If I did, I wouldn't still have 10 pounds to lose. All I can say is go outside or to your local gym and take a walk and keeping walking for 20-30 minutes and then think about how you feel. Write it down. Savor the moment. Because you will need that motivation again tomorrow when I ask you to get up and get moving again. 


For once in your life, Be in the minority. Be better than 94% of all Americans and make exercise a priority in your life. 





Friday, November 5, 2010

Algebra on a Dolce

Sometimes it's the littlest things in life that make me the happiest. Wednesday night I met other members of the T3 group to start a Winter Cycling Program.

Lesson #1: Try your trainer out before you actually plan to start your workouts. I started pedaling on that dumb thing and realized my legs were so out of shape. Heck, I felt like I was pushing through mud and that was just in the warm-up. On top of that, I could adjust the resistance on the trainer, but I honestly couldn't tell which end of the spectrum had the most resistance.

Lesson #2: Don't ride your trainer for the first time in a room full of macho, speed riders. I guess I thought the trainer would feel just like it does when I ride on the road. The first portion was a 10 minute warm-up followed by 1 minute intervals at 80-85%. As soon as my legs started moving in the warm up, I could tell this was going to be a tough workout. I needed to do a warm up and then have a few minutes to stretch and then resume my time on the bike, but in a group situation it's tough to stop and make everyone else wait for you.

Lesson #3: Learn how to set your bike up on the trainer before the first group ride. I arrived a little late for the group ride and as I was getting my shoes out of my van, my fine T3 teammates set my bike up in the trainer for me. Chivalry is not dead! At the end of the work out, I was chatting with some of my fellow bikers and someone else took my bike off the trainer and carried it to my car. Wow! So sweet! Maybe it's not so bad to ride with a bunch of macho, speed racers.
Dolce on a Trainer thanks to Camo-Man

On Friday morning as I was taking the kids to school, I pulled out of my garage and saw this.
<=============
It is the little things in life that make me happiest. Camo-man knew I was worried about setting my trainer up for the first time. He took time out of his hunting preparation Thursday night to set my Dolce up in my trainer. Now I know I need to take the time to learn how to set up my trainer and I WILL! I just tend to procrastinate a bit. But until I do, it's nice to know that Camo-Man is out there and does what he can to make sure I am not stressed out about my workouts.

I tried to read the cycling plan by myself this morning.(Remember? I admitted that I procrastinate.) It was like looking in an algebra textbook for the first time. WU: 10' 75% + 5' 85. MS: 3x10 (2' B) 1st 75% 2nd 85% 3rd 95%. How would you solve for B?

Needless to say I need to work on my cadence. But that's what training is for - it's a chance to identify your weaknesses of which I have many and try to make them your strengths.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Workout Plan for November

Two years ago when I started training for triathlons I discovered one important key: planning my workouts. Skipping workouts was always easy before I started working my plan. You see I would skip one workout. And the reduce the amount of work in the next one and then suddenly my goal or deadline day would arrive and I would find myself unprepared. 
When I started competing in races, I discovered the art of the Excel spreadsheet for planning m workouts. I downloaded a yearly calender from Vertex, compared the days and weeks ahead to my personal calender and started plugging workouts into the spreadsheet. I don't necessarily go into the specifics on the Excel spreadsheet due to lack of space. Plus, I tend to follow existing plans for my training workouts. 

For swimming, I'm following the Learn To Swim plans on Beginner Triathlete. For biking, the T3 group is also following a bike plan on Beginner Triathlete. For running, ....hello, running plan? Well, I know what my goals are. I just need to find the right plan to get me there. I want to increase my speed. I have the book "Run Less Run Faster". From that book, I will develop my training plan. I just need to get it locked and loaded!

So far I've stuck to my plan. I usually look at it each Sunday to see if there is anything in my schedule creating a conflict. I don't know, but if I get all of this exercise in I should be one lean, mean machine! I'm sure some where in there a rest day will come up. I usually listen to my body fairly well and take it easy when it talks to me. My tentative November schedule is included below. 

By the way, I started working on the abs track for Body Flow 50. Now I know why I chose to work on that one next. My abs are SOOOO weak! I am going to need the next few weeks and months just to strengthen my abs to a point where I can role model the abs segment. As of now, I can't completely elevate my shoulders and upper back off the floor when I should be. Grrr. I hate abs. I guess it's time to focus on yet another another weak part of my body. 


MMM: Meet the Judges

Good things come in small packages. That's the saying, right? Imagine my surprise when I opened my special delivery from our local postmaster. Drum roll please......


I know of at least one person who is excited (ME ME ME ME!); however, I must say not everyone in our family was excited about mommy's new project. So, I thought it would be appropriate to have you meet the judges and see if mommy can predict how well this whole venture will go. 


I've asked each of my daughters to select a recipe which we will begin making next week (Nov 8th). For each recipe, they will be required to eat at least 3 bites and when the meal is complete, they will give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down on each recipe. As long as we can stick to the plan, we'll complete all 15o recipes in 50 weeks. This is my Julie Julia project.


MEETING THE JUDGES 

Our Julie Julia Judges: Hollywood, Diva Princess in front,
Me, Camo-Man, & Sunshine

First, I'll give you a little run down on me. I'm the active mommy who likes to plan healthy meals for my kids, but somehow in our busy lives they don't always get implemented. I'm constantly struggling to find new methods to make this crazy life of mine more sane when it comes to balancing nutrition and exercise.

Camo-Man: As of this Saturday, my dear hubby and I will have been married for 17 years. Camo-Man is not a picky eater. All he wants to know is that there will be a meal of some sort on the table. He doesn't particularly care what it is. Just so long as we have a family meal.  Camo-Man would be happy eating hamburgers with fries or pizza every night of the week. He doesn't particularly care to watch calories or fat grams. He simply wants food on the plate which he can enjoy. Of course, he'd also be happy if the meal contained his weekly hunting kill and that is not my favorite meal. Ack!

Hollywood: Oh if the dear Lord in Heaven had given me three fantastic eaters like Hollywood I would not have a care in the world. If given a choice between cookies and a bowl of fruit, Hollywood would pick the fruit. She's very good at trying various foods and rarely turns her nose up at anything I put in front of her....as long as it's not too freaky looking or overcooked. And, yes, that happens.

Sunshine: Otherwise known as The Lead Picky Eater. My theory with Sunshine is that she came into this world at a time when our family was participating in meat locker delivery service. We would get various steaks and chicken breasts delivered every other month. So what do you think she likes? Grilled meats. She's not like most kids. She doesn't care for dipping sauces. She doesn't even like ketchup. So casseroles are difficult. She's finally tried fish a time or two and I've had some success there, but that is only on a rare, good moment. On the topic of produce, you can forget it. She used to eat strawberries and I couldn't figure out why at the age of five she wouldn't eat them anymore. She very sweetly looked at me one day at the dinner table and explained, "But momma, taste-es change". Hmmm, maybe they will change again. 


Diva Princess: My 2nd picky eater. If she knew what it meant, she would probably claim that she is vegan, except she doesn't really eat vegetables. Apparently, I've done something wrong as a mom and cook. When she was younger, Diva Princess would eat more. At one dinner meal when Sunshine was staying at a friend's house, Diva Princess took a look a Hollywood, saw her eating and just gave it a try. Unfortunately, when Sunshine is around pouting about food, Princess tends to follow suit. Now I call her my all carb girl. She's reverted to eating like a toddler preferring mac-n-cheese over just about anything else. 


I grew up as a picky eater. I didn't eat salads until someone made fun of me and even then it took a bit. After a while, I decided to give salads a try and now I eat one just about every day. My theory is that my kids should be exposed to healthy foods, but I am not going to force them to eat everything on their plate. As they mature, I hope they will choose to eat more healthy meals just as I did. Unfortunately, I am battling a society who loads their food down with sodium and sugar. Naturally, they chose to eat what they "know" - salty or sugary foods. Kids are exposed to snacks at just about every event they attend. Snacks at choir. Treats after tumbling. Snacks at Awanis. I used to go round and round with Sunshine. If she didn't eat, her only option was a fruit or vegetable. She would choose an apple which is great, but then she would leave the house for an activity and they would provide pre-packaged foods to my children! How am I supposed to battle this when every person out there thinks children need to eat at every activity?


So, here I am today with 3 daughters, two of which won't eat most of the food I put on their plates. I've purchased "No Whine with Dinner" from the Meal Makeover Moms in order to expose my family to healthy food without intimidating by the strangeness of the ingredients.   I'm hoping that by getting them involved with the selection of recipes, the preparing of the food and judging of the result they will start to buy into a somewhat healthier attitude towards. 


Here's hoping. It's definitely going to be an uphill battle. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Certifiable

After a long three day weekend consisting of  nine hours of training each day, I am officially on my way to being a Les Mills Body Flow Instructor. Who would have thought that little ol' me, at the age of 42 nonetheless, would pursue a 3rd, 4th or 5th career as a group fitness instructor?

OK, so maybe it's not such a long shot.

Last May I went for training in RPM. That training didn't go very well. I started day 1 of training with a sinus headache. After taking a decongestant, I sat in the corner of the room staring at the dust balls rather than absorbing anything the trainer said. I don't know why but decongestants really make me loopy. I passed the class, but I can't say that I learned much. To complicate matters, we didn't expand our fitness center as quickly as I was expecting. So I trained on RPM back in May and haven't practiced the tracks once since. I've attended RPM class at another facility, but I have not taken one single step to learn the choreography.

After four months of disappointment, I was really beginning to doubt whether my small fitness center in our quaint little town would ever have Les Mills classes. Until this weekend.

I entered the training with a pessimistic attitude. I left the training in love with a program which I never thought I would truly enjoy. You see I'm a cardio girl. I like to bike and run and even throw in a little swimming here and there. Who has time for all of those fluffy tai chi moves? Yoga? Naw, I'm flexible. I'm strong. I'm quite proud to say that I can still do the splits - on both side even. Strength? I've got that covered. I lift weights 2-3 times per week now that the weather is turning colder. And pilates? Oh H-E-double hockey sticks-NO! I hate ab work more than anything else in the whole world. I love to work my back, but my abs? No, I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.

Until I met FLOW....err, I mean Body Flow. I discovered peace and tranquility while do my Tai Chi. I discovered sweat rolling down my back and chest as I tried to complete the standing strength track. I discovered that I actually do have abdominals and while I still don't love working the dumb things, I felt slimmer and more toned today than I had in a while.

So, while I still have a ton to learn about the "athletic mix of tai chi, yoga and pilates" which is called Body Flow here in the U.S., but Body Balance just about every where else in the world, I am excited to start learning my tracks and get the de-conditioned members of my quaint little town moving toward a balanced and healthy lifestyle.