Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bye-bye, 2013.

Not gonna lie.  2013 was pretty much a jerk.

On new year's eve 2013, my mom called me to tell me she was at the hospital coughing up blood and that she was going to be intubated and might not get to talk to me for a few days.  And that was the last conversation I ever had with my mom.  She was gone before the end of January.

This was followed by a long series of deaths of friends of mine, clients of mine, people close to my friends and clients, and even my sweet cat Chachi, who passed on my birthday this year.

In June, I chopped off two of my fingertips in a really dumb accident.  Fortunately for me, this had the best possible resolution it could have had.  

So yeah, 2013 was not on my good side, to say the least.

That having been said, a lot of great things happened this year, too, and I'd like to concentrate as much as possible on that.  I started competing in powerlifting, won a lot of gold medals, and even set some state records.  I even competed and came in first in my weight class at Worlds!



I found Baby the Pitbull on the street in March, and she's been a very bright (if destructive :) ) light in my life, along with Sweetie and Oreo!




In my world of business, I launched Evil Munky Enterprises, which I have been wanting to do for a very long time, and that's been great.  I also opened my new studio, another venture I'd been wanting to do for a long time, and although that's been a little scary financially, it's also one of the best things I've ever done.








I got to assist at a StrongFirst certification in Utah this year, which is always an honor, and as a side bit of awesome, I got to spend some quality "me" time hiking Arches National Park, a place I'd wanted to see for a very long time.

In my world of music, my two bands, Styx & Stones and Ed Force One, did several shows, and I also became the female lead singer of Maxxxwell Carlisle.  In September, I got to meet, learn from, and sing with one of my biggest musical idols on the planet, Bobby McFerrin, which was a dream come true!



My goals for 2013 went like this:

-275lb DL minimum.  Nope, didn't hit this.  Still at 255.  Grrrr.  I'll hit 275lbs in 2014, though!!!

-Make the 24kg press look better
.  Honestly, I didn't work on this much.  My goals all went to powerlifting lifts, so this one fell to the wayside.  I did press double 20kg's without training for it, though!

 -28kg press.  Nope.  See above.

-175lb back squat: Yes!!  I squatted 190lbs

-125lb bench press:  Not yet, but I hit 115lbs!

-Enter first powerlifting competition:  Boom.  Done. And then some!

-Launch new surprise and accompanying media:  Welcome, Evil Munky!

-Get cookbook and other book completed:  Unfortunately, I made zero progress on that.  I will hopefully make progress on this in 2014, but I have a ton of other things on my plate, so I have to see how it goes.


My goals for 2014 so far are as follows:

-Deadlift 275lbs. minimum.   Rollover from last year.

-Bench 125lbs. Also a rollover.

-Squat 200lbs well below parallel.

-Do more public speaking. I did a fair amount this year for the NSCA, schools, and such, and would like to do far more in 2014.  I will be launching a series of workshops in 2014 that will help accomplish this goal-- stay tuned!!

-Start my new master's degree.  I am planning on pursuing my master's in kinesiology and rehabilitative sciences; I'd love to teach at the college level!

I also plan to go further with my musician side and will be trying some new ventures in that side of my life.  I'm so fortunate to be doing the two things I am most passionate about (fitness and music), and if there's one lesson that 2013 has reinforced in me, it is that life is short, unpredictable, and precious.  I plan to make the absolute most of mine.

So I salute you, 2013, for the many good things that you brought, but I'd like to leave all the tragedy behind with you and carry on with nothing but happy things from here on out.  So here's to a phenomenal, wonderful, beautiful 2014.  I wish you all strength and health and the best new year yet.

Got any goals for the upcoming year?  Post 'em here!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bored With Pushups?

I love pushups.  Love 'em.  But every once in a while, I like to mix things up.  Sometimes it's for strengthening muscles at a new angle.  Sometimes it's for mobility purposes.  Sometimes it's to support another movement I'm trying to improve on.  And sometimes it's just because I wanna. 

Whatever your reasons, I've compiled a fairly decent little montage of variations on the pushup you can experiment with.  Some are suitable for people more on the beginner end of the spectrum, and some are pretty advanced.  A few can be modified to do with knees on the ground if necessary.  Your basic pushup form should be really good before trying most of these, so make sure you have that down.  As with any exercise, if anything hurts or doesn't feel right to your body, DON'T DO IT. 

Let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions, post 'em here!

Enjoy!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Isometrics Is Critical For Your Strength Training-- Guest Post by Jarell Lindsey


I am lucky enough to have a guest post from physical culturist and supersmart dude, Jarell Lindsey guest posting today on the subject of isometrics, which, as you may know, is a subject I LOVE.  Check it out. 

Why Isometrics Is Critical For Your Strength Training

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, even if you know about isometric training, what you know is probably wrong. I say this because the things I've seen on the Web about isometric training is largely misinformed, with a few exceptions. If the things I read about isometrics were true, I'd understand why no one would want to do them; however, isometrics are largely underrated as an exercise, and here's why.

The 15º Argument. One of the biggest arguments against isometric exercises is that they only improve strength in a 15º range from the angle the exercise is done. This means that you'd have to do a whole bunch of exercises at different angles just to get the same benefits as a full range exercise. That's a load of biscuits. That would make sense if a muscle only contracted in sections relative to the angle you worked. Instead, muscles contract or relax. That's it. They don't activate certain sections, so when you do an isometric exercise, the WHOLE muscle contracts, so the WHOLE muscle benefits. The difference with isometrics and full range exercises is with the nervous system, not the muscle; when you do a full range movement, your nervous system gets more efficient at those movements. Isometrics just builds overall, unspecific strength from the inside out.

The Functional Strength Argument. Another argument is that, because you aren't actually moving, isometric exercises don't help with functional strength. This is a very relative statement, because weightlifting won't make you a better sprinter, and wrestling won't make you a better boxer. Functional strength is relative to each individual activity, so no, isometrics will not technically build you functional strength. But for general movement, strength application, exercise, running, and pretty much all physical activity, isometrics will strengthen you, perhaps more than many other forms of exercise. Again, if you want sport specific function, train specifically for that sport, but isometrics will be great to help you build strength and conditioning. Furthermore, if you do choose to train isometrics in various angles, it's even better for general function because various angle isometric exercises do a lot to develop tendon strength.

Isometrics Don't Build Muscle. This statement is just intrinsically false. One of the first experiments of isometrics involving a frog whose leg was tied to a support showed that the frog's isometric contractions built so much muscle in that one leg that the frog jumped lop-sided. Isometrics can and do build muscle...wait for it...BUT. You won't get much muscle growth unless you do a maximal contraction. Holding a heavy weight in your hand until it drops is a cool way to train isometrics, but that's not a maximal contraction. Maximal isometrics is loading 700 lbs on the bar when you can only curl 150 lbs, but still putting all your energy into the lift as if you were going to lift it regardless. Doing an isometric push up hold for long periods of time will build some pretty decent strength, but trying to isometrically bench press a weight that's way too heavy for you will fatigue your muscles much quicker (if you do try this, please be safe with it and make sure to breathe properly throughout the exercise). 

Now isometrics don't generally give you bodybuilder size muscle, simply because isometrics builds on your strength proportional to your size. Nevertheless, there is a way to train isometrics for mass, which involves sub-maximal contractions for reps. Let's take the weight holding example; if you held a heavy weight in a curl position until your arm fatigued, you'd develop a little strength, but if you repeat that 8-10 times in your workout, you'll build some serious size. Basically, maximal isometric contractions = incredible strength; sub-maximal isometric contractions for reps = mass. Happy training :)






Jarell Lindsey is an avid physical culturist, and owner of MuscularStrengthSystem.com. He is an advocate of isometric training, and enjoys catch wrestling, sparring, or exercising in his free time. His training advice can be found on fitness, martial arts, and health sites across the web. Coming from a family plagued with various health conditions, he has been in pursuit of the best methods of health management and strength training around since youth. He is currently studying for a Bachelors in Exercise Science, and he hopes to motivate more youth to pursue physical fitness as a lifestyle. He offers training and diet advice, interviews from leading fitness experts, and self improvement advice. Ultimately, he encourages a physical culture revolution to overcome the modern health crisis.

Mighty Legs for Super Strength-- Guest Post by Benjamin Bergman

Benjamin Bergman is one strong dude, and a fantastic resource for strength-related subjects.  Enjoy this post he guest-blogged for me today! 


Mighty Legs For Super Strength
by Benjamin Bergman
 
In sports, if you want to score a touchdown you run with the ball, in basketball you jump to make a shot, in baseball you sprint the bases to steal or score a run, in soccer, you’re whole strategy starts with the legs. Without great leg training you won’t get far in most sports and you need those quick, agile and mighty oak thoroughbred legs to keep yourself in the game. A lot of injuries occur within the legs; torn muscles, ripped tendons, broken bones and other injuries so it’s important to not only keep your legs crazy strong but also durable and healthy.






I’ve seen this many times when I was a weightlifter and I still see it in other areas as well and that’s people don’t put in the effort to put on lean muscle mass in the legs. Some have great upper bodies but have flamingo legs. One of the key ingredients to successful muscle, tendon and conditioning building is squatting. I use to not like squats very much because I only knew a few variations and I’d be bored doing them, now I have learned more than a number of variations and it helps me be creative. Whether you’re a lifter or bodyweight enthusiast, the squat is a top category for powerful and enduring legs. Have the squat work for you and o variations that are suitable to your goals and you’ll find how powerful your strength becomes just by adding the Squat.

I’m not knocking anybody but I personally believe cardio training with those machines are way overrated and don’t have great value. I just don’t see the point of driving somewhere to go walking or running and if you’re walking to the gym to go on a cardio machine to run or walk, don’t you find it a little redundant? To get the best out of your cardio from my experiences and learning from other guys, high volume intense training is a great option. You can do high rep squats, sprints, holding a horsestance or wall chair and these methods alone can give you all the cardio you need. Got stuff to carry; put some rocks or sand in a bag and see how long you last carrying it, animal exercises such as duck walks, frog jumps, jumping like a kangaroo or rabbit are great exercises and will get you breathing hard fast.

When you build efficient training with basic leg exercises a lot of things come into play and first one I’d mention is hormone levels. For men, testosterone is the pinnacle for our body’s system and as we age our hormones begin to sink faster than what is told of us, to prevent this, high intense leg training can help jump start our natural growth hormone and give us new muscle to build which will burn fat, boost metabolism and build naturally strong, powerful and energetic legs. For women, one of the very things they want to have is a firm lower body with beautiful thighs and a great butt. It’s not that far of a stretch to make that happen but it takes effort and will to make that happen. When you lovely ladies do great levels of basic leg training, fat will burn off your body like a furnace, your butt will start to lift and your legs will make men’s heads turn. All these boosts can be done with sufficient leg training and not only will you have great strength and enduring legs but also lean muscle that will carry over, for men it’s those tree trunk redwood thigh legs, for women it’s that sexy, strong, confident and lean legs.

Give your legs the strength they crave and you will find significant changes in your entire body from head to toe, not to mention great amounts of energy for everyday life.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful (a little personal today)

It's been a really tough year, but it's also made me realize how much I have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that my mom got to spend her last Thanksgiving on Earth with me last year.  She had never been to one of my celebrations before, since the rest of the family is back East, but she had, by some stroke of luck, decided to spend it with me in 2012.  She died unexpectedly just two months later.  I am so thankful for the time I got with her.

I'm thankful for my new studio.  I had been wanting to open a place of my own for quite some time now, and did not think it would happen this year.  But circumstances pushed me into making that decision much sooner than I'd thought, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I'd ever made.  It's scary, financially, but it's worth every penny.

I'm thankful for my amazing clients.  I am so lucky to get to do what I love and to have such awesome people I get to work with every day.  I would not be where I am without their support, and they make me love my job exponentially more. 

I am thankful for my fingertips, which grew back after my accident earlier this year despite all predictions.  I'm also thankful for all my other body parts, which I intend to keep firmly attached and in full working order for all time, thank you very much.

I'm thankful for Dave, who has been there for me 80,000% through everything I've gone through in the last year and a half, good and bad.  I am the luckiest woman in the world to have him in my life.

I'm thankful for my amazing friends, like Devjani, Wendy, Ann Marie, Lisa, Robyn, Michele, Jabina, and so many others who I did not name, who have stood by me for all the good and bad throughout the years (and, in some cases, throughout the decades!).  I define family as the people you choose to be yours rather than what blood dictates.  And these people are, without a doubt, family. 

And, of course, I am really thankful for my family-- my brothers, my sister, my niece and nephews,  my aunt and cousins.  I have a pretty fantastic blood family, too.  :)

I am thankful for my furkids, who I love so much it's ridiculous.

I am thankful for being able to perform music I love with awesome and talented people.  I am really lucky to be able to utilize both my biggest passions (fitness and performing music) in my everyday life!

I am thankful for my excellent health, the fact that I am able to have such healthy, high quality food and water at my disposal, for shelter and reliable transportation, and for all the comforts of life I probably take for granted most of the time.

I am really thankful for everything in my life, good and bad.  It's made me who I am, and I'm proud of who I am.  I am beyond lucky for everything I have and everyone I know.  Life is precious and beautiful, and it's so important to look around every once in a while and realize how fortunate we really are. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Beast Your Bench

The bench press is one of the most difficult exercises in which to make gains for most people.  I know it's my most challenging lift.  And for those of us who bench, the quest for a bigger bench seems neverending.  So I decided to ask a bunch of people who are much smarter than me to give their best three tips on improving the bench.  Here's what they said:

Jarell Lindsey, physical culturist, owner of Muscular Strength Systems, and all-around awesome guy:  



1) Train your upper back. This is often a neglected area for a lot of people who train chest, but this is important for increasing your bench press. A lot of the muscles of your upper body connect to your scapula (seventeen to be exact), and this includes the chest muscles. Training your back makes the tendons that connect to your chest stronger. Furthermore, training your lats allows you to set up the weight much better, so that your bench pressing form doesn't resemble a guillotine. The back is the landing pad for your press, and the more stable the landing pad, the better your press will be.

2) Keep your elbows tucked in. The bench press is largely a chest and triceps movement, but the shoulder plays a definite role in the bench press. The problem is that people sometimes put unnecessary stress on their rotator cuffs and this can cause injury. By making a conscious effort to tuck your elbows toward your sides during you lift, this recruits more strength from your triceps and will in turn help you get bigger numbers in your lift.

3) Control the weight coming back down. This will help your form, and keep you from making the weight shake while you bring it back to your chest. If you press hard all the way up and just let the weight kinda drop back down, you rob yourself of the eccentric strength benefits you could get. Eccentric movements can be very effective for strength and muscle gains, so if you control the weight coming down, you'll be sure to increase your overall strength in the movement, and get that extra pump from the workout too.

Some very quick tips from Nic Branson, trainer to several record-holding powerlifting and strongmen, who will expand on these later if you want:


Increase training frequency

Use your legs

Get out of your own head


World-champion powerlifter Ellen Stein swears by the following to pump up her bench press:



Smolov cycle


Slingshot

2 second pauses a few inches off the chest

The amazing strongman (and one of my biggest mentors) Bud Jeffries recommends the following: 

(Yeah, that's me up there.  :) )

1) Really learn how (the right form) to bench press and practice it. Most people don't really know how. Without good form its like trying to win the Tour de France without knowing how to ride a bike. 

2) Balance the stress. My best bench press came when I did heavy bench press but only moderate shoulder work. Too much volume or too heavy too often undoes the progress. 

3) Heavy but not absolute max single rep sets. Lets you be fast and work heavy without burning out.

4) Bonus tip-work your back. Your lats are the base for your press. Learn to use them and work them till they're strong.

Bret Contreras is much more than the "Butt Guy."  He knows a LOT about strength training, and when he talks, I listen.  




1. Learn to get tight. This takes years of practice. The set-up is just as uncomfortable as the lift itself. At the bottom of the lift, your low back is arched, your weight is on your upper back, your scaps are retracted and screwed into place, your lats are tight, and your glutes and legs are tensed.

2. Think of pulling your chest up to the bar at the bottom of the lift. This will help you stay tight. When you reverse the motion, think of pushing your body away from the bar, into the bench.

3. Utilize pause bench press, board press, floor press, and speed bench in your training. 

Dru Patrick is a world-champion lifter, and when it comes to benching, he knows his stuff.




1. Gain weight!!! If you look like a kitten you cant lift like a lion.
2. Find the weakest point in the lift and train it relentlessly with max efforts and in accessory work.
3. You better believe you can and attack the bar. I have seen lots of lifters get in the right spot and do all the right things but lift like a wimp. Attack the bar like a wild animal and press like you win a million bucks every time you're under the bar.

Fellow powerlifter and all-around cool dude Ric Garcia had this to say:



  
Dru nailed it, you gotta eat!!!! I am currently on a mission to add some size in order to get my bench over 2.25x BW. PR is 2x's BW in the gym so food is my friend right now.

1: If your shoulders can handle it, bench, bench, and bench some more. I have seen the best gains when I use a Grease the groove approach with my bench. I will have a programmed heavy day and speed day but also use around 60% of my 1RM and hit a easy sets of 2-5 throughout the day in order to dial my groove in. 


2: Work your triceps, HARD!!! The best benchers in the world have massive triceps. It is not by accident. 


3: Find a foot position that allows you to drive through the ground. This has taken me a long time to get down but when I do it, it makes a world of difference.


4: Learn to get TIGHT! I use STRICT ( no rotation in the hips) "heavy" renegade rows to groove tension through the whole body and rooting into the ground. They have had a great carry over to my bench.


 Last, but ABSOLUTELY not least, my amazing brother Brad Schoenfeld is kind of a smart dude when it comes to the human body.  And when I say "smart dude," what I mean is, "genius." You can't turn around without bumping into a journal article he's written. Apply these gems.

 

1. Train in the range of your weakness. A power rack is an excellent tool to assist in this regard. Set the pins within a narrow range of where you are weak, and then perform sets within this range. 

2. Apply an external focus of attention. This means you should concentrate on exerting force through the barbell, not your arms. Studies show external focus to be superior to an internal focus when the goal is performance-oriented. 

3. Utilize assistance exercises. Success in the bench press is only as good as your weakest link. Several muscles are involved as synergists, so it is important to make sure that they are all as strong as possible. Targeted work on the pecs, anterior delts, and triceps with single-joint movements can bring up lagging muscles so that overall strength in the lift is optimized. 

Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions of your own?  Post 'em here!! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kicking Cancer's Ass

2013 has been brutal.  Cancer took my mother in January, and everywhere I look, it seems to be wrapping its nasty hands around someone else I know.  I don't know if it's just in my own circle, or if cancer cases are growing exponentially.  Whatever the case, though, while I know full well there are no guarantees, I also strongly believe that we can give our bodies the very best possible defense against cancer (and lots of other diseases) through diet, exercise, and lifestyle.



There are all kinds of things that can cause cancer in our world.  However, there are certain lifestyle changes that are particularly important to change.  What to avoid:
  • Smoking (duh)
  • High levels of meat consumption, and processed meats in particular (1) (2) (3) (4)
  • A sedentary lifestyle (1) (2) (3)
  • Being unhappy (1) (2) (3)
  • Working the night shift (1) (2)
  • Poor sleep (1) (2) (3)
What about cell phone use?  There is some evidence to support a link between cell phone use and brain cancer, but the jury is still out.  (1) (2) (3) (4)

What about artificial sweeteners?  As much as I'd love to hate them, so far, there is little evidence that artificial sweeteners cause cancer.  I still don't like using them, though.  (1) (2) (3)

Here are some of the things my research has shown me are cancer's worst enemies:

Eat Your Fruits And Veggies.  There appear to be genetic variables in the ability to glean benefit from the many cancer-killing veggies out there (2), as well as in the ability to fight the cancer-causing effects of carcinogenic foods.  The cooking method will also affect the effectiveness of fruits and vegetables' health-giving properties. (2)  That having been said, however, a high vegetable intake has been associated with a decrease in the risk for many kinds of cancer, (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) although some studies show that the association is not significant,  (1) (2) (3) (4) and some studies report mixed evidence,  (1) (2), although there are those that question these statistics (1).  As with all dietary science, the data changes often and new findings pop up constantly.  The key here is not to become too focused on one food in particular; eat a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables to glean the most benefit from their various properties.  The most effective cancer fighters in the fruits and veggies group appear to be:

  • Carotenoid-rich fruits and veggies (yellows, oranges, and greens), for lung cancer in particular, but possibly other cancers as well (1) (2) (3) 
  • Lycopene rich fruits and veggies (especially canned tomato products) for prostate cancer (1) (2)
  • Mushrooms for breast cancer and other cancers (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • Cruciferous vegetables (1) (2) (3) and, in particular, their sprouts (1) (2) (3)
  • Beans, including soybeans (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
  • Berries and cherries (1) (2) (3) (4)
  • Grapes and grape seeds (1) (2) (3) (4)
  • Hot peppers (capsacin) (1) (2) (3)
  • Citrus fruits (1) (2
  • Beets (1) (2) (3)
Spice up your life.    There are several spices that not only add flavor to your food, but also do great things to fight disease, including cancer.  Some of the greatest are:
  • Turmeric, one of my very favorite anti-inflammatories, has been found to have tremendous cancer-fighting properties, and can even help symptoms stemming from cancerous lesions when used topically. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • Alliums (garlic, leeks, onions) (1) (2) (3) (4) although there have been studies showing an increased risk of colorectal cancer for garlic consumption. (1)
  • Rosemary (1) (2) (3)
  • Basil (1) (2) (3)
  • Licorice, particularly for breast cancer (1) (2) (3)
Have teatime.  Tea contains numerous polyphenols that send cancer running for its mommy, but the type of tea consumed is important, as is the temperature.  
  • Black tea There is mixed evidence both for (1) and against (1) (2) (3) (4) black tea in the fight against cancer.  For the most part, the evidence is not promising for black tea, and its consumption might actually increase the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Green tea, on the other hand, has a ton of evidence showing its usefulness as a cancer-fighter.  (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • White tea has significant evidence as a chemoprotective agent.  (1) (2) (3)
  • Rooibos/Red tea also shows great cancer-killing promise.  (1) (2) (3)
  • Pu-erh tea is a fermented black tea, and may have significant health benefits, although there may be some issues with toxicity as well.  (1) (2) (3)
Go nuts.  And seeds. Various nuts and seeds show chemoprotective promise.
  •  Flaxseed has shown some promise as a cancer-fighter, although more study should be done.  (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse with lots of potential for helping to keep the body cancer-free:  (1) (2) (3) (4)
  • Hemp seeds are great additions to salads and other edibles, and are great health-boosters: (1) (2
  • Caraway seeds aren't just for rye bread any more.  (1) (2) (3)
  • Almonds may be useful in battling colon cancer in particular.  (1) (2) (3
  • Brazil nuts are a rich source of dietary selenium, which is one reason why they help fight cancer.  (1) (2)
  • Walnuts show higher levels of antiproliferative activity than most other nuts.  (1) (2) (3)
What about coffee?  There is mixed information on whether or not coffee has a link to cancer.  For the most part, it does not seem to have any carcinogenic effect (1) (2) (3), although there may be some evidence of a positive relationship between coffee and lung cancer (1) (2).  This relationship, however, might be skewed by cigarette smoking or other lifestyle choices.   Coffee may have a protective effect against colon and rectal cancer.  Three cups a day seemed to help protect men from pancreatic cancer in one study, and four cups seemed to protect against premenopausal breast cancer in another.  For the most part, coffee seems to have a neutral or protective effect against many types of cancer, and little evidence exists linking coffee to increased risk of cancer.

Indulge in chocolate.  Eat high-cacao content chocolate-- besides being awesome, the stuff helps fight cancer.  (1) (2) (3) (4)

A few other soldiers in the cancer war:
  • Spirulina/algae (1) (2) (3)
  • Astaxanthin (1) (2) (3)
This is by no means an exhaustive list; as much as we have environmental and lifestyle choices working against us, we have lots of ammunition at our disposal, too.  Arm yourself.

Questions?  Comments?  Post 'em here!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Little Bench Press Tutorial

I get a lot of questions about proper bench press form.  Since there's a lot of confusion about this topic, I thought I'd post a little tutorial.  Hope this helps!




Friday, October 11, 2013

What The Heck Do I Do With...

I have a lot of clients who come to me with this basic question:

"I got (x vegetable/ingredient).  Now what?"

So I thought I'd assist you in your healthy eating endeavors by giving you some very basic "Food 101" cooking lessons, which should help you be able to play with most ingredients of your choosing.

Green leafies:  not just for the fashionably inclined.


LEAFY GREENS
If you know anything about me, you know I'm all for leafy greens.  The more, the merrier.  They are chock full of nutrients while providing very little caloric bang for your buck.  The ultimate in healthy foods.  And there are a million kinds-- tat soi, bok choy, kale, mache, collards, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens, dark lettuces, chard, cabbage-- not to mention the green leafy cousin veggies, such as broccoli, broccolini, Chinese broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and all the other cruciferous veggies.  Here's a pretty cool list of green leafies so you can learn a little more about what's out there.

Whenever you see a green leafy veg, the easiest ways to work with them are:
  • Salads (if they have a thick stem, like collard greens, it's a good idea to pull the leaves off the stem and discard the stem first before preparing in any manner) 
  • Saute quickly in a bit of high-quality oil (they don't take much cooking to be done)
  • With big leaves, substitute the leaves for sandwich bread or tortillas (don't have to discard stems for these)
  • Pesto-- add any green veg to raw garlic, nuts of your choice (try raw/soaked walnuts or almonds-- awesome in pesto!!), and a little bit of salt and extremely high quality extra-virgin olive oil in the blender or food processor; pour over spaghetti squash, grated zucchini, sprouted grain or einkorn pasta, or use as a sandwich spread.
  • Add to chili or other large-pot dishes (I do this with pretty much anything I make in the pressure cooker).  Always add at the very end, after the meal is done cooking but still hot-- the greens will melt right in!
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts can easily be roasted in the oven at about 400 degrees for maybe 15 minutes, or until they're a little golden.  Throw on a bit of coarse salt and pepper and eat like popcorn.  

Not THOSE Roots.

ROOT VEGETABLES
Root veggies include carrots, beets, yams, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, radishes, and lots more.  They tend to be very comforting in the wintertime in particular. As a bonus, they tend to be very inexpensive.

Whenever you encounter a root veggie, try this:
  • Soup.  Carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, and celery pair really well for a great veggie soup.  Throw in some pearl barley for fiber and extra protein.  Carrot soup is easy and nourishing!  There are a million ways to make Russian Borscht, and they all tend to be hearty and healthy (nix sour cream for unsweetened coconut yogurt). 
  • Chips.  Cut beets, turnips, sweet potatoes, and other similar veggies into rounds (as thin or thick as you like) and roast, brushed with a little high-quality oil (I like coconut oil for this) at about 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness. Add some salt if you like.
  • Baked whole.  Beets and most potatoes (skip white potatoes in favor of purple or sweet potatoes for more nutrition) do well wrapped in foil and roasted at around 400 degrees (400 degrees is kind of my default temp :) ) for 45 min-an hour until cooked through.  Dress with a little walnut oil or other very high quality oil and a little coarse salt and herbs if you like.  


DIPPERS
I call celery, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, bell pepper strips, cucumber, zucchini sticks, baby carrots, and such "dippers."  They are easy, healthy snacks, provide you dip them in something healthy.  Baby carrots and celery go well with a little pure almond butter (easy to make yourself).  Guacamole is awesome, and you can make it easily by blending avocado, fresh salsa, and lemon juice in your blender (or just avocado and lemon juice works fine, too).  Black bean dip is easy and filling.  You can also just add lemon pepper to the coconut yogurt recipe above.



PASTA VEGGIES
I call spaghetti squash and summer squash "pasta veggies" because they do great as a pasta substitute.  For spaghetti squash, stab with a knife several times all over the squash, and then pop on "high" in the microwave for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.  Cut in half, take out the seeds, and scrape the pulp into a bowl with a fork.  Summer squash is easily grated into "spaghetti" using a food processor or spiral slicer.  Leave it raw.  With all of these, add your favorite tomato sauce (look out for added sugars/corn syrup in most commercial jarred tomato sauces!!!) or the pesto above, or even a healthy Alfredo sauce if you're feeling adventurous.   

Hope this helps somewhat with your food adventures!  Let me know how it goes!

Liked what you made?  Got your own suggestions?  Got questions or comments?  Post 'em here!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

This Is 40.

On Friday, I had my 40th birthday.

People are always surprised when I tell them that.  They tell me I "look much younger than 40," that I "look 20-something," and so on.  And while all this is extremely flattering, I'd like to respectfully disagree.


Because as far as I'm concerned, this is what 40 looks like.

40 is strong and healthy.  40 is energetic and lives life to the fullest.  40 is not "too old" to aspire to a triple bodyweight deadlift, to embark on new adventures, to grab the world by the tail.  And neither, for that matter, is 50, or 80, or 200.

I've experienced a lot of losses this year, including a big one on my birthday (I had to put my sweet baby, my 19 year old cat, to sleep after a long and ferocious battle with renal failure).  And if there's anything I've learned from this it's that life is short and beautiful, and there are no guarantees.  Moping around the house making excuses for yourself gets you nowhere, brings no one back, and solves none of your problems.  So be who you want to be, live how you want to live, take care of the body you've been given so that it will cooperate with your choices, and don't let your age dictate one thing. 

And so I will continue to lift heavy things, eat great healthy food, travel, appreciate my loved ones, sing in my bands, chase my passions.  I will take all intriguing opportunities that come my way and make the most of my time on this planet. 

Because this is 40.

And it is going to be epic.

Friday, September 27, 2013

"..But Isn't This Healthy?????"

I've seen a trend in my clients' diets lately, so I figured it was about time I broached the subject of "health foods" that really kinda aren't.  These are the most popular things I see come up in my clients' diets, and a little explanation of what's up with them.



GREEK YOGURT:  The Greek yogurt market is huge these days.  Basically, Greek yogurt is yogurt that's been strained more than regular yogurt so that it is thicker.  It tends to have considerably more protein than regular yogurt, making it more satiating, and it tends to have far less calcium and sodium than regular yogurt.  Calories are more or less the same between the two.  It's also usually a looot more expensive than regular yogurt, since the companies are cashing in on its popularity.  Those are the main differences between the two kinds of yogurt, so if you're looking to Greek yogurt as a magical weight loss health food, you may be a bit disillusioned. 

My dislike of dairy products as part of the human diet is no secret, but I also get that people are going to eat them.  So here's the skinny:
  • Know that Greek yogurt is not a weight loss tool.  It has the same number of calories as regular yogurt, and so in that department, it really will not make much difference.
  • Ideally, try to find a Greek yogurt that is organic/hormone free.  This is really important for pretty much anything you eat, but for animal products in particular.  They tend to be full of antibiotics, hormones, and all kinds of other junk you really do not want in your body.  Stonyfield Farms and Wallaby are two companies I can think of off the top of my head that make organic Greek yogurt, but both put large amounts of sugar in their Greek yogurts.  This is a conundrum, indeed.
  • Read your labels.  Recently, I checked out a label for a client eating "Dannon Light '& Fit Greek Yogurt."  First of all, as soon as you see something that says "fat free," assume they're replacing the taste of fat with the taste of sugar.  So here's one flavor (blueberry).  And yep, it's got 7g of sugar added to it (looks like they used fructose as the source).  That's a lot of added sugar for such a low calorie food.   In addition, it's got a bunch of chemicals for more sweetness (sucralose, acesulfame potassium).  There is one very controversial study linking sucralose to leukemia ( Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Esposti DD, Lambertini L. Aspartame induces lymphomas and leukaemias in rats. European Journal of Oncology 2005; 10(2):107–116 ), but for the most part, there is no scientific evidence that artificial sweeteners, as much as I'd love to hate them, cause disease.  That having been said, there are enough people claiming side effects from artificial sweetener consumption that I'd be cautious of their use.  
  • The coloring used in this particular yogurt is a red coloring called carmine, which is, in fact, ground beetles.  This in and of itself is not going to hurt you, but my guess is you'd want to know if you were consuming them.  So there you have it. 
  • Bottom line:   if you're going to eat Greek yogurt, ideally get it organic, and go for the ones with no added sugars and minimal ingredients.  Chances are, you're going to have to pick one or the other.  Better yet, make your own, and know EXACTLY what is going into your yogurt.  You can also make your own coconut yogurt, and forgo the dairy stuff altogether (which is definitely a better idea, IMHO). 
GRANOLA:  Known as the hippiest of foods, people associate this stuff with good health.  And, really, at its base, it should be good stuff-- whole oats, nuts, seeds, maybe a little fruit.  The problem comes in that mass-produced granola tends to be full of added sugars, not-so-good oils,  and other junk that doesn't belong in your body.  For instance: a very popular bar, Quaker Chewy, has 7 grams of sugar in a 100 calorie bar, coming from brown sugar, sugar, corn syrup, invert sugar, sugar, corn syrup solids (ick), and molasses.  It has a preservative (BHT), which in large quantities can have some not-so-nice health effects. And, of course, it has that dubious ingredient, "natural and artificial flavor," which really could mean anything.  Who wants mystery flavorings in their food?   Health Valley granola bars, while somewhat better than the average due to its general policy against GMO ingredients and tendency towards organics, still has 10g of added sugars in the form of brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, barley malt, and grape juice. 
  • Bottom line:  Read your labels and avoid ingredients you don't recognize.  Buy a (preferably organic) no sugar added brand, such as Mona's, Sensato, etc.  Or (and you knew I was going to say this), make your own
BROWN RICE, WHOLE WHEAT BREAD, WHOLE WHEAT PASTA, ETC.  It's not that I have a problem with any of these things.  I don't.  If grains agree with your system, there's absolutely no reason not to eat them, particularly the minimally processed, 100% whole grain varieties, and ideally sprouted or einkorn (this part is very important, and, as with all things, read the ingredients and make sure you're eating what you think you're eating).  The problem comes when you make this the center of your diet.  Cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, popcorn for snack, pasta for dinner... not a great nutritional bang for your buck.  I generally recommend limiting your grain intake to one meal per day, so choose wisely.  If you have cereal for breakfast, that's your grain for the day.  Something to think about. 
  • Bottom line: Make your day MOSTLY VEGETABLES, particularly the green ones.  Everything else should be secondary.  You can wrap sandwiches in collard greens or romaine lettuce instead of bread (it's actually really good!).  You can switch out your breakfast cereal for something like a really healthy protein shake, or maybe some of that coconut yogurt mentioned above with some fruit.  Maybe have a banana or apple and a tablespoon or two of raw nut butter or a handful of nuts.  And so on.  Be creative.  You might find you enjoy your meals more this way, and that they fill you up more!
PROTEIN BARS:  The unfortunate truth is that most of these bars are sugar and/or chemical bombs.  Clif Builder Bars, for instance, while they have a relatively benign ingredient list, chemicalwise, pack a 20g sugar punch in one 270 calorie bar.  Zone Perfect bars (they have that name associated with that diet that all those celebs swear by, right?) have 16 grams of sugar with sugar ingredients all over the list (one of which is corn syrup-- ick). 
  • Bottom line:  Guess what I'm going to say.  Yeah, read your ingredients.  Know what you're eating.  Or, of course, make your own
GLUTEN FREE, MADE WITH WHOLE GRAINS, LOW FAT, LITE, ALL NATURAL, ORGANIC, ETC.  All these buzzwords are all well and good, but several of them mean pretty much nothing and are not regulated (all natural, lite, low fat), and not one of them tells you what, exactly, is in the food.  I cannot say it enough-- READ YOUR LABELS.  Know what is going in your body.  Keep sugars, white flours, and processed foods to an absolute minimum, and make sure you recognize the ingredients in the food.  If you don't recognize them, look them up.  Chances are, you won't want to eat it once you find out what it is. 

Bottom line:  Stick as close as you can to what Mother Nature created.  Eat mostly vegetables.  Try to keep grains to one meal a day, and make them very high-quality grains.  Don't fall for buzzwords.

Thoughts?  Questions?  Comments?  Anything to add?  Post away!  :) 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting Omega 3's In Your Diet Without Being All Fishy

It has been way too long since I've written, and I apologize for that!  Life has been a whirlwind of events in the last few months.  I got to take a much needed vacation for a few weeks, I got to sing with Bobby McFerrin (one lifelong dream fulfilled), and I just opened up my own training studio (another dream fulfilled).  As a result, I have neglected this blog terribly.  So I'd best jump back in right now!

As you may have heard me mention in other posts, most people's diets are severely skewed in their Omega 6/Omega 3 ratio.  While a very low ratio (at least 4:1) of Omega 6:Omega 3 is recommended for optimal health, most Westernized adults get closer to 15:1-16.7:1 in their diets.  The ratio of 4:1 correlates to a 70% drop in mortality, while a ratio of 2.5:1 lowered rectal cancer proliferation.  It's understandable that we get so many omega 6's-- they're in pretty much everything the standard American diet yields, from nuts and seeds to meat and processed foods.  So where, then, does one get one's Omega 3's?

The obvious answer is fish.  But what about those of us who don't eat fish?  The good news is, we have tons of options.

Happy Fish thanks you for looking at other food sources.


Chia seeds:  Chia seeds have a huge omega 3 content, and even better, you don't need to grind them up to get their benefits.  With 4915mg of omega 3's (and 1620mg of omega 6's), the chia seed is a winner for this nutrient.  Add to that their high calcium content, their tremendous antioxidant content, and their resistance to rancidity (can't say that for fish or flax), chia seeds are a fantastic addition to any diet.  Add it to oatmeal, throw a handful of them in water/tea/coffee (it becomes sort of like boba!), use them, soaked in some water, as a binder in baked goods (substituting for eggs), or experiment adding them to your own recipes. 

Flaxseeds:  Flaxseed is fantastic, although you must grind the seeds to reap their benefits.  Flaxseed also tends to go rancid after a while (I keep mine in the freezer).  That having been said, flaxseed has a whopping 38,325mg of Omega 3's (and 9931mg of Omega 6's). Use them the same as Chia seeds for cereal and baked goods, and add them to all kinds of recipes.

Hemp seeds:   I have a newfound love for hemp hearts.  I bought a 5lb jug of them on Amazon and went through most of it within 3 weeks.  I throw these into just about every dinner I cook-- I love their nutty flavor and huge nutritional boost!  Hemp has a 3:1 ratio of Omega 3's to Omega 6's.  It also is high in quality protein, containing all essential amino acids.  It also supplies a power punch of magnesium, a mineral most people tend to be deficient in.  You really can't go wrong with this stuff. 

Several different veggies!  Radish seeds, grape leaves, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, purslane, mache...  you'd be amazed how many veggies have lots of Omega 3's to offer!  I always tell my clients to make most of their diet veggies (particularly green/cruciferous)-- this is just another of a myriad of reasons.

Spices!  Believe it or not, oregano, basil, and cloves all have a fair amount of omega 3's in them, plus a ton of antioxidant activity.  Adding flavor to your food with spices adds a significant nutritional boost!

Marine algae:  Algae is actually where fish get their omega 3's from, and is a good source of DHA and even EPA.  I wrote more about this subject here

So if you're looking to increase your Omega 3's (and if you're not, you should be), take the above suggestions into consideration.  You might just see some pretty impressive health changes in your future.

Some Pretty Awesome Articles from my Very Awesome Client.

I wanted to share with you this awesome article a client of mine wrote regarding female strength.  A 75-lb superpower himself, his words are pretty powerful.  He writes this stuff just to write it.  I think he should try to publish, personally.  So I'm doing it for him on this blog.  :)   Check it out.

PART 1: 
Classified Message from The Universe to Earth-Females

“One of the most transformative forces in your world is feminine energy,

recognized as the Mother and Goddess, which is deeply associated with love….Today

your world lacks an understanding of the goddess energy, which is a reflection of the

lack of power of women, and the lack of value that men and women have for women.”

A new chapter in human evolution is presently unfolding. Women are fast

becoming the dominant sex. This shift is necessary because for more than two thousand

years the male vibration has ruthlessly suppressed and discounted the female, resulting in

a gender imbalance that led to the establishment of a violent, warlike patriarchy.

This is now changing. The Goddess has awakened. The female vibration is

gaining in strength and will, for several generations to come, be the dominant force -

until the male energy willingly accepts and cooperates with the process of equalization

and balancing of the genders.

The single most important factor which is bringing this change about is the

exponential increase in the number of women who train for strength….empowering their

physical bodies to a level of raw, muscular brawn hitherto inconceivable in the so-called

“weaker sex,” (except for the occasional, old-time “strong-woman” who would achieve

fame - or notoriety - in a circus.) But today there are some young girls sending shockwaves around the male weightlifting establishment by consistently lifting as much as and

often more than the men while weighing in at tens of kilograms lighter.

At least four names come to mind:

1. Varya  Akulova. At age 7 she could stand upright supporting a combined

weight of close to 700lbs. … her 220lb father sitting on her shoulders, her 150lb mother

standing balanced on her father’s shoulders, plus two adult males hanging on each side,

from her father’s outstretched arms. By the time she was 14 she could easily snatch or

clean and jerk more than 200lbs.

2. Zoe Smith. At age 14, 5’0” tall and under 100lbs in weight, she could clean and

jerk 240lbs and more. At 15 she represented Britain in the Olympic Games.

3. Naomi Kutin. At age 10  she was squatting with 214lbs. A year later it was up

4. Maryana Naumova. Aged 13, 5’8” and 130lbs, she broke several records with a

245lbs bench press.

These are just a few of the many well-documented cases of super-normal strength

in very young schoolgirls.

This  raises the question: “For the first time in human history, how and why is this

happening now?”

The answers - (there are several) - are to be found in the physical and

psychological abuse suffered by women at the hands of men over 2000 years of history.

Originally, male and female energies were equal and complimentary. In terms of

physical power, mind power and spiritual power, male/female energy was a unified,

creative force for  good. The male aspect was outwardly-oriented, constructive and

aggressive in its response to obstacles. The female  aspect was inwardly-oriented,

nurturing and peace-loving. Face-to-face they expressed love, mutual respect, marital

devotion and harmony. Side-by-side they stood for the creation and rearing of children

(parenthood), family happiness and the privacy and protective safety of the home.

Then, for some unknown reason, the three major religions, Judaism, Christianity

and Islam  - in their temples, churches and mosques, through their respective scriptures,

(Torah, New Testament and Koran) - conspired to mount a vicious  propagandacampaign against womanhood, beginning with the myth of Adam being tempted by Eve

to eat the ’forbidden fruit,’ continuing the onslaught in the teachings of St. Paul, right

through to the present-day suppressions and atrocities of Sharia Law. (Need we mention

the stoning of women in the Bible, the burning of witches by the Catholics in Europe and

the Protestants in Salem, and last but not least, the “honor-killings” in present-day Islam?)

Patriarchy truly has a lot to answer for.

But thankfully, this has all come to an end, through the recent emergence of the

fully empowered female - to whom this message is addressed.

You may be asking, “Why does this message place so much emphasis on physical

The answer is simply: “Women have for far too long allowed themselves to be

dominated, bullied and abused by larger, physically stronger men. Therefore women

must become noticeably stronger than these men - strong enough to defend themselves -

thereby shocking the cowards into submission, surprising them with unexpected physicalyet-feminine superiority.  If brute strength is the only ‘language’ these bullies

understand, then women must be able to ‘speak that language’ back to them; even if only

to warn them off with a non-violent demonstration of impressive muscle-power, (such as

lifting them off the ground in a rib-crushing bear-hug, for example.)”

So much for “base-level” ability.

On a higher plane of activity you are the transformers of society….the channels

through which the Goddess-energy will flow, to bring health and balance to a sick and

severely unbalanced world.

Beginning with the men in your life, be they brothers or boy-friends, your

example will be their motivation and inspiration. Instead of serving them from a position

of weakness, you will be helping and uplifting them from a position of strength and

spiritual insight. You will help  them  to exercise  their  potentials, be they athletic,

intellectual or artistic. Your physical power will motivate their athleticism; your intellect

will match and stimulate theirs; and your feminine strength and sensitivity will support,

inspire and appreciate their artistry. Because your’s will be the greater strength, there will

be no ego-driven competition separating you, just as there is no competition between

your personal trainer and yourself. Feeling your own strength of body and mind, you will

not feel the need for a bigger, stronger male partner to protect you or take control. You

will be free to connect with men who attract you, physically, mentally or spiritually, even

if you happen to be the stronger of the two. As women of strength you will be better

equipped to fulfill your female urge to love and to nurture.

And you will be happy.

Truly blessed will be he whom you choose to be your partner in life.

PART 2:

Continuation of Message to Teenage girls

1. Warriors of Light v Forces of Darkness

The world is divided into three large-scale divisions:

a) Those who align with GOOD

b) Those who are actively EVIL

c) The majority in between, who couldn’t care less, either way.

2. Where do you fit in? What do you believe is your function in life?

If you are reading this you no doubt belong to group a). In which case you may

align with GOOD passively or actively. Passively, you will have good intentions, but you

may not know how to activate them. Or you will feel too small and powerless to be a

significantly positive influence in a chaotic world, and think: “Why bother?”

The answer?

As an individual human being we occupy a miniscule amount of space in the

world. Relative to the size of the earth we are as tiny as a virus. Thus we believe we are

powerless to make any noticeable difference. Yet, if you consider the power of a submicroscopic virus to infect not only humans, but even elephants and whales, you will

begin to appreciate the fact that size is irrelevant. A single person can infect (as well as

inspire) the entire world. Adolf Hitler, the most virulent ‘human virus’ of all time,

infected the world for more than 15 years with his “epidemic” of German Nazism - a

plague that killed at least 10,000,000 people between the years 1933 to 1945. On the

positive side, a single, little-known doctor named Jonas Salk discovered the vaccine for

Polio, a dreaded disease that paralyzed or killed millions, thereby saving potentially tens

of millions of lives. And what about Jesus, who saved, and continues to save millions of

Therefore, if you know that you align with GOOD, do so actively.

3. How?

Firstly, know that you are as vast as your mind allows you to be. As Spirit you are

virtually infinite. Your “field of Being” is limited only by the range of your thoughts. For

some of you, your thoughts may range not much farther than your house and immediate

surroundings. That’s OK because it’s the quality of your thinking, not the ’size’ that

matters. At the other extreme, your thoughts may encompass the entire universe. In that

case you could very well be a successor to Albert Einstein.

But let’s get real.

As teenage girls you are just beginning to discover yourselves. You are living in a

new age, with its own unique  ’spirit of the times.’ The 21

rapid, far-reaching change, and you are all destined to play an important part in the

process. The spirit of the 21

mental or emotional distraction. There will be a lot of confusion regarding sexuality,

religious or non-religious belief and the purpose and meaning of life. Peoples lives will

be aimed almost exclusively at achieving material comfort and economic stability. With

the exception of hardcore athletes and bodybuilders, men will grow weaker and softer as

they become slaves to the internet and their I-Pads. Ruthless, power-hungry politicians

will increasingly make use of the internet to brainwash the computer addicts for their

own nefarious ends. People will continue to talk peace while they continue to wage war.

This is where you girls come into the picture.

You are the Warriors of Light!!

You are called warriors because the forces of darkness have been waging an

endless war against humanity for thousands of years. So far they have succeeded in

becoming rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of mankind. They will not

relinquish their power until a greater power defeats them; but the only way to defeat them

is by magnifying the mind-power of enough individuals to reach the critical mass of a

united ’world-mind.’ So the battle will be fought and won with the “weapons of thought

and mind-projection.” If this sounds far-fetched and a bit loony as well, just imagine the

way things would be had all wives and mothers demanded that their brothers, husbands

and sons refuse - once and for all - to fight anymore for the dark warmongers - to “lay

down their arms” and stop the killing. But women were supposedly “the weaker sex,” so

their men-folk ignored them and continued fighting. What could the little women do but

wring their hands and weep.

Now imagine a new age scenario where women are, by and large, the stronger

The same forces of darkness will be scheming and agitating, inciting (or trying to

incite) mob rallies, protests and violence…but the New Women will, first of all,

themselves refuse to participate in mob action, and secondly refuse to allow their men to

go out into the streets to participate.

“Honey, if you are so stupid as to insist on joining that mindless gang of losers,

I’ll either break both your arms or leave you forever. Feel free to choose.”

The poor guy - knowing from the friendly wrestling matches they occasionally

indulged in that she could break his arms or would leave him for good if she so chose -

wisely decides to stay at home and watch Fox News instead.

If 50% of the human race (the female half) decided to put a stop to all warfare,

that would be the end of it.

This is why you girls are so important. Your goal is to become so strong that

every man, from the weakest to the strongest, respects and recognizes your power. At the

same time you will continue to educate yourselves, intellectually, emotionally and

spiritually, to  take your place as leaders of society. Given your innate wisdom and

feminine intuition, plus the evolutionary jump in physical strength, you will truly be a

force to reckon with.