Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Heart and Soul - SOUL CYCLE

Here's the thing - we are on a mission. It's pretty serious and focused. However, with our determination to improve on our health and wellness, we are not going to the extremes. We're just adding some challenges along the way. This weekend we put our hearts and soul into cycling. There I was skipping along to the cycle class. After all, I know how to ride a bike.

Enter the SOUL CYCLE to the most friendliest team of front desk staff. We checked in, headed to the lockers, back up the stairs into the cycle room. We were assigned a bike, I had all the adjustments made for my comfort. Well, that was a silly assumption of mine - there was no need to think of comfort. An intense 45 minutes with a fun team of instructors, a room full of cyclists and then there was me. We cycled to the music of Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West - how cool is that? Yes, it was a lot of fun. Naturally, I knew not one single song, not even a line but the beat was perfect for the cycling frenzy. We rocked it as we peddled up and down - side to side. According to the way that the class went, there was no need for the seat except towards the end when it was time to wind down. My confession - I took a seat and peddled like a mad woman. I stood and peddled when I could muster up the energy and rocked along with the music. I lifted the weights and peddled. I screamed/shouted along enthusiastically blending with the serious peddlers.

The Beast was in the class - peddling along. SOUL CYCLE was perfect for him, he cycles for miles on end and will be cycling in a few weeks with the New York Century Bike event (they have a 100 mile cycling event). One of our daughters was also cycling along. She was fantastic. SOUL CYCLE was another jolt - just the challenge that I needed. I left the class drenched in sweat - that brought a smile to my face. We did it!!!

What's next???!!! I say let's just pray the pounds away.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mixing It Up - Working It Out

And as the summer continues, the workout is in full gear. The runs, walks, indoor workouts have all added to a fantastic fitness routine. In fact, I look forward to running with the Beast as we go around the track and mix in burpees, jumping jacks, jump squats, mountain climbers, push ups, a variety of planks, etc. in between laps. I can assure you that it's not an easy task. I complain/whine as I go along, yet I feel so accomplished at the end of our workout (getting in three miles of running). It's called the Run Plus ;-)

The Run Plus is fantastic. Sometimes we need to shake things up in our workout routine and taking a boxing class at the Shadowbox NYC was the perfect remedy. We got in a 45 minute set with Jaws which was absolutely grueling for me. Jaws is a petite lean machine with a beautiful smile. However, once the session began, it was on and popping. We boxed and did a variety of exercises in between just like the Run Plus. There was no time for whining, the class was moving along and using every minute to jump on to the next thing. At one point, Jaws instructed the class to use the form and consistency like this person - of course when I turned around to look it was none other than The Beast.

Overall, the boxing session was quite an experience. The next morning I woke up feeling sore all over. I smiled as I ached, I knew that it was all worth it. I reached for the weights - the workout must continue.

How do you mix it up?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Treats - Tropical Fruit Salad

Summer is here and the fruits are swelling with juicy flavors. The season to enjoy the healthy treat without the guilt is now - let's do it.

Laura Vitale is going to show us how to make a Tropical Fruit Salad and for those of you who would love to be in the tropics, join me as we allow the fruits to take us there. Best of all, we're doing it up in a healthy manner. Let's pump the brakes for a quick second - if you are a diabetic or pre-diabetic you should discuss with your doctor before diving in. Some fruits are high in carbohydrates and may cause your blood sugar levels to elevate.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Colonoscopy - Early Detection

The time has come for me to check on my colon. Although I am not 50 years old, I have to be cautious and diligent as my father had colon cancer.
Colon cancer is cancer that is found in the large intestine which is in the lower section of the digestive system. When you hear the term colorectal cancer, it refers to the last few inches of the colon known as the rectal area. Colon cancer on it's own is mainly found in the upper area of the large intestine.

I was prompted to have a colonoscopy after moving my bowels and seeing some blood in the toilet. It was a shocking and scary moment. I had never seen anything like that in my bowel life. Needless to say, I had to make some calls. Thank God for cell phones, I took pictures and shared them with my Internist and of course my King. The concern here was that by the time one experiences symptoms of colon cancer, it may present a huge problem.

In preparing for the procedure, I took my prescription of Golytely to the pharmacy. In addition, I purchased a 10 oz. bottle of Magnesium Citrate (Lemon Flavor) and a box of Dulcolax. The instructions to prepare for the procedure begins as early as seven days in advance. No arthritic pain medications, Advil, Motrin and Coumadin, Plavix and other blood thinners should be discussed with your personal doctor to see if you can stop
taking them in preparing for the colonoscopy. The food you should avoid five days prior to the procedure are celery, corn, peas and tomatoes. The day before, you should not eat milk, ice cream, nuts, seeds or raw vegetables.

The Day Before

I enjoyed a light breakfast and a light lunch. I filled the powder mix of the Golytely bottle with water to the 4 liter mark and shook it like a martini mix. At 4:00PM, I took 4 Dulcolax tablets with water and then at 6:00PM it was time to drink up. This was the point of no return, you could only drink clear liquids and nothing at all after midnight except for the Golytely mix as directed. The rest of the evening was not for the faint at heart, it was a thorough cleansing of the digestive system.

The Day is Here

Up early, raring and ready to get it done. I arrived ahead of time and before you know it, I was in and out. My King and I went out for lunch and then home. At times all was normal, we laughed and talked but my mind would wander off into the questions of the results. After a colonoscopy, it is advised that one should take it easy in resuming their meals.

The Results

Off to the doctors two days later for my physical. I was anxious to hear the results of my colonoscopy. Needless to say, I was bracing myself - whatever the results, I will accept it and then I will move accordingly. Here it goes: "The good news is that you were a great read (referring to the colonoscopy), we were able to see everything clearly which is very important. At this statement, I felt myself shifting in the chair, crossing my legs and holding on firmly to the arms of the chair and for some reason, a smile was on my face. I knew there was more to come, seeing that the good news had already been shared. He continued: "We found a polyp, we took it out and sent it to the lab for testing. The results shows that it tested positive for cancer, it was very small and we caught it early." As it would just happen, I remained calm, my smile still placed on my face as though I felt that all was well. I was alone hearing that I had tested positive for cancer. The smile was my way of soothing myself. My King, my children were all at work. After a thorough review of my results and my health regimen, the physical began. I could not wait to call my King. Should I wait until he gets home? I just couldn't keep it to myself, I called. I shared the news as calmly and as positive as possible. After all, it was caught early. The King was just as calm and encouraging as expected. Shortly after our conversation, I received an email, it was my King expressing how the news of my results was like a punch. I knew that my children would not be able to handle the news very well but it was important for them to know - family health history is extremely important. This was a NEED to KNOW. My children cried, it's just unnerving hearing the results. They understood and were relieved to know that it was caught early and now they too have to be on the alert for their own health. Next up calling my siblings.


In many cases there are small polyps that are often benign/noncancerous. In some cases, the polyps develop into colon cancer. There is little to no symptoms. Fortunately for me, the source of the bleeding was from an internal hemorrhoid. If I could give it a hug and a kiss I would, that hemorrhoid was responsible for the early catch of cancer. On the other hand, I am still processing the fact that it was positively identified as cancer. Now when I speak on the importance of early detection, I speak from experience.

If you notice any of the following, you may need to call your doctor:
When you notice a change in your bowel habits such as an incomplete bowel movement, constipation, diarrhea or a change in the consistency of your stool
Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
Tired or weak
Weight loss without trying