President Clinton’s Weight Loss

Here’s a link to a video clip of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewing President Clinton about his recent weight loss due to his plant-based diet.

Clinton says:

I went on essentially a plant-based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruit. I drink a protein supplement every morning—no dairy—I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder so I get the protein for the day when I start the day up. And it changed my whole metabolism and I lost 24 pounds and I got back to basically what I weighed in high school.

He made this drastic dietary change to loose a few pounds but also to improve his cardiovascular health.  He mentions heart health pioneer  Dean Ormnish and others:

This movement has been led by a doctor named Caldwell Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic, Dean Ornish who you know out in California, the doctors Campbell (father and son) who wrote The China Study, and a handful of others. But we now have 25 years of evidence and I thought that, well, since I needed to lose a little weight for Chelsea’s wedding, I’ll become part of this experiment. I’ll see if I can be one of those that can have a self-clearing mechanism—we’ll see…

I consider myself an omnivore, but I do believe that reducing the amount of animal products in our diets is a big step in the right direction as far as cardiovascular health and weight loss or weight maintenance goes.  While a vegan diet may not be for everyone making small changes in one meal a day or even one meal a week can have a big impact.Continue reading

No Bake Blueberry “Pie”

No bake blueberry pie

Here’s an easy summer pie recipe perfect for your next weekend BBQ or potluck.

Gary S. emailed me this lovely photo of his pie – thanks Gary!  He used more berries than the recipe calls for – 5-6 cups – and mixed strawberries and blueberries.  Feel free to add other fruit (peaches are in season now).  The next time I make this I may add some toasted coconut to the crust.  Experiment with this and let me know what you think.


2 cups raw almonds
3-4 dates (soaked in water for ten minutes, then pitted)
1/2 cup agave divided
2 cups of blueberries
pie plate or 12 ramekins (individual dessert dishes)
pinch sea salt
dash of cinnamon


Grind almonds in food processor until finely ground.  Pit the dates and add them, 1/4 cup of agave, a pinch of sea salt and dash of cinnamon to the finely ground almonds.  Continue to process until thickened ball forms.  Remove contents from food processor and press into pie plate or ramekins bringing crust up around the walls and top edges of the plate.  Fill your crust with fruit of choice drizzled or mixed with the remaining 1/4 cup agave.


This recipe adapted from Meredith Gnau’s “A Grateful Life” Blog

Komen Race For the Cure September 19th, 2010

Many of your know Karen Klever who passed away this past May.  The Komen Race for the Cure is happening this month and Karen was a strong supporter of this cause.  Her daughter has organized a team to walk/ run in her honor.

Their goal is $5000.  According to the Komen website “If 10 people give at least $10, we can save a life by providing an uninsured woman a mammogram.”

Click here to support Team Karen with your tax-deductible donation.

Living a Balanced Life

Last weekend I attended a YogaFit teacher training in Hood River.   The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, and our hotel overlooked the gorge!  I ate yummy food, did lots of yoga, meditated and met some cool people.  The focus of the weekend was meditation, and chakra balancing.

We discussed learning styles especially right brain vs. left brain.  Ideally we want a balance of left brain (where are my keys) and right brain (imagination, visualization, creativity etc).  This allows us to seamlessly move through our daily activities while feeling connected to those around us, having a sense of community.  Our instructor, Kristy Manuel showed us this video of Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist who while having a stroke watches her brain functions shut down one by one – motion, speech, etc…   Hers is a fascinating story.  I love her ideas about how to connect more with our right brain, or creative side.  As she says our right brain thinks “We are perfect, whole and beautiful”

Also during the weekend we did several chakra meditations visualizing the colors, shapes, and qualities of the energy throughout our body.  We also incorporated the colors and characteristics of each chakra into our vinyasa yoga flow.

For the uninitiated, chakras are energy centers that connect to major organs and glands which govern certain parts of your body.  There are seven major chakras and their locations correspond to nerve bundles branching out from the spinal column.  They can be visualized as spinning wheels or vortexes, and each one has a separate color and sound associated with it.  Ideally all seven chakras should be balanced.  If our surroundings are healthy and positive, we receive positive energy and feel good.

Sometimes of course we may become out of balance, having an excess of energy in one area, or a deficiency in another.  How do we solve this problem?  One way is to meditate and visualize your energy flowing evenly throughout your body, There are specific chakra meditations available (we were using a “Chakra Balancing Workbook” by Anodea Judith) but a good start could be sitting quietly for five minutes and just listening to your body.

Try resting your hand on your lower belly and see how it feels.  Rest your hand on your heart or on the top of your head.  Do any of these areas feel more vibrant, louder, softer, bigger, more fluid?  Imagine light or warmth spreading up from your feet all the way out the top of your head, then back down out the bottoms of your feet grounding you into the earth.

I have done a chakra meditation several times in the last few weeks – last night at a bachelorette party for instance (it’s Portland – go figure) and see different things each time.   Sometimes one color is more vibrant or feels stronger, some times I can barely sense energy moving.  Experiment with tuning into your body and see if you can start to pick up the messages it is sending you.