Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

…”A pair of my old pants to fly as a flag over your home office”…

A client shared with me an amazing and exciting bit of information that clearly validates his commitment to and the benefit of the optimal life management program in which he and I are engaged.

We’ve been working together for nearly six months in this small-step behavior change program. He has made spectacular progress in regards to slowly shifting his relationship with food, his feelings about and commitment to physical activity, and his awareness of the gifts of gratitude, mindfulness and intentional quieting of his mind.

We share a weekly Skype session and several emails during the week. After each weekly session, I type up a summary of our session that captures our shared dialogue. The content of the summary reviews the week’s small-step successes and any barriers or challenges that may have arisen. We discuss the coping mechanisms he utilized to manage the challenges, and explore additional choices that are available to him. My summary includes direct quotes from him that exemplify his sense of progress and forward movement.

The milestone he shared was that in preparation for a business luncheon, his wife commented that his slacks were too baggy and loose for him to wear. He went into the garage to find a box of “old” clothes that he had not worn in many years. Much to his delight, he was able to comfortably fit into a pair of pants that were 4 sizes smaller than the baggy pants that he was currently wearing. That’s a lot of sizes to drop! And all because he is integrating 5 small meals per day, moving his body—gently, on a regular basis, and engaging in self-soothing relaxation sessions. How wonderful!

Last week, at the end of our Skype session, I asked him if he would send me a summary of our session. What he sent literally had me laughing out loud. With his permission, and with slight modifications to maintain his anonymity, I submit this to you now for your reading pleasure!


Of course I took no notes, and a day has gone by, so I’ll summarize from memory.

  1. You wanted a pair of my old pants to fly as a flag over your home office, and maybe use on your web site.
  2. You said I should eat more stuff that I don’t like.
  3. I’m supposed to get to the next level by exercising more and eating less. Although no hard numbers were agreed upon, I’m left with the impression that five or six hours a day of varied exercise would tilt me in the right direction.
  4. You have a formula for mixing yogurt and dried leaves that will destroy the taste of actual vegetables.
  5. I should get an account at Whole Foods and eat everything they chop up.
  6. You hinted that I look good in baggy shirts.
  7. You miss not having a record of everything I eat.
  8. You made clear how you feel about hot dogs, to the extent you’re crazy if you think I’ll ever invite you to a baseball game.
  9. I may help you get to Cleveland, but I’ll never tell you where I live.

Spring, Stasis, and Socialite

I’ve been in a slump! Has that ever happened to you? (rhetorically speaking, of course). Perhaps the protracted winter cold and rain had something to do with it, maybe my father’s hospitalization and the ensuing family challenges contributed as well, and possibly a bit of spring fever on the intermittent gorgeous, warm, sunny days between winter storms distracted me… whatever it was, it is over! I’m back!

Stasis is an odd place to be. Feeling stuck perpetuates the feeling of being stuck. The more mired I felt, the slower I was to move. The longer my To Do list became, the less I seemed to accomplish. The less I accomplished, the more familiar it felt to not write, not communicate, not follow up AND, gasp, to experience moments of self-doubt for my place in the world, both professionally and personally. Weird, unfamiliar, and very uncomfortable. Thankfully, this odd place was very shortlived — a few weeks — and I have welcomed myself back!

Socialite is a new plug-in that Lance has installed for me. We just spent 20 minutes on a phone call updating my blog posts to be managed by Socialite, only to be kicked off at the end with a confusing message (at least I was confused, but not Lance), that Facebook needed a new log-in or some such nonsense… so I am writing this blog posting as a test, truth be told, in the hopes of assessing the success of the Socialite install. I’ll be checking FB and Twitter to see what’s what.

Spring is truly here, although in the Sierras, we are experiencing the usual zany snow/hail/bitterly cold rain storms that are the hallmarks of winter’s end. Many luscious warm days have been enjoyed in the past month, however–the birds are ravenous at the feeders in between busy mating and nest building rituals and the dogwoods are in glorious bloom, as are my tulips, wisteria, rhododendrons, and pansies. I even dipped into the Yuba 2 weeks ago in celebration of the transition to spring. Heavenly.

It’s nice to be here.

Healthy Business Travel, by Intention

I just watched the short vid that Chris Brogan put out on his blog in which he was promoting a carry-on suitcase that is simplifying his busy travel life. The suitcase was nifty (by Eagle Creek) but what caught my attention was some of what Chris had packed in this suitcase. The rather ample side pouch was filled with pre-packed baggies from home filled with healthy snacks! I love this!

Chris is a guy on the go. His work touches the lives of many of us out in cyberland and he routinely shares his experiences, suggestions, and encouragement to be our best in our business and personal lives. What this recent video demonstrates (watch here) is that Chris is integrating the concept that awareness mixed with a bit of planning ahead will enhance our opportunity for physical and emotional health and well-being.

Travel often means eating out of airport food courts as well as on the road quick stops to the big box chains. Often too, travel eating is done so quickly, as we rush to the airlines gate or next meeting. The fact that Chris has recognized this and has prioritized himself by taking a bit of time to plan ahead with healthy and nourishing snacks for travel is a wonderful lesson to all business travelers. His physical health is being supported by this choice, and his emotional well-being is getting a boost, as he manifests an intention of taking care of himself. That’s a powerful combination. Way to go, Chris! I hope other viewers notice the bagged snacks and what they represents!

Everglades Extravaganza aka Sunrise Splendor

Of all the sunrises I have had the good fortune to witness in my life, this morning’s exquisite transition of night to day was the most stunning. What a sensory experience; so rich that I am challenged to find the words to describe it…

We were on the Anhinga Trail at 6:30 AM. Stars were shining in the night sky and a powerful crescent moon illuminated the walking path. From previous visits here, I am familiar with the observation platform that is cantilevered over a fresh water pond at the end of the sturdy boardwalk. I’ll admit that walking to the platform accompanied by the sounds of the approaching dawn — roaring alligators, large splashing noises, frogs croaking — was a bit intimidating, but I crept along slowly, savoring the intense auditory stimulation. The water level in the Everglades is low in April making this an amazing time to be here, because the low water brings a plethora of wildlife to the fewer existing water holes and ponds, as opposed to November for instance, when there is so much more water that the alligators and birds can spread out for miles and miles.

My skin was goose-bumpy from the dawn dew, my nose was twitching in response to the rich earthy smells permeating the air, and my eyes were adjusting to the slowly changing light. It was a complete sensory experience. Little did I know what was yet to come.

At the end of the platform, I stood quietly in the ever-lightening dawn. Oh-so-slowly, one bird called out, then another, and another. Each bird song was different, then louder and different again, and persistent, and soft, and strong, and high-pitched, then twilling, then sweet, then shrill, then melodic until it all blended into a cacophony of sound the likes of which I had never heard. The power of the bird music was nearly overwhelming and as it blended with the noise of hundreds of wings and the light continued to shift to reveal dozens of various shapes and sizes of birds flying and feeding and flirting and frolicking. I saw wood storks, black ibis and white ibis, green heron, little blue heron and great blue heron and the prized black capped night heron, cattle egrets, white egrets, and snowy egrets. As the sky continued to lighten up, I was struck by the sweetness of a bird song that was unfamiliar to me…I searched all around with my binoculars for it’s owner… and was rewarded by a gorgeous red cardinal and his intended, in their mating ritual.

I heard red winged blackbirds, anhingas, cormorants, and woodpeckers. Birds were on the move, welcoming the new day with their lovely songs and calls. For several minutes I just stood there with my eyes closed and let the powerful sounds of nature wash over me. And did I say that the alligators were chiming in? They were rolling in the water, snapping at fish and frogs, bellowing in their perpetual turf battle, but also in search of their mate for the season; April in the Everglades may be dry but it is springtime after all, and love is in the air.

20 minutes later — it was over. The air was still, the birds were gone from their roosting places in the trees, the alligators dispersed for deeper water perhaps, and the pond was calm once again. Quiet settled in as the clouds on the horizon became pink and orange, then white against the now blue sky.

I felt as if I had been gifted this incredibly rich and intimate sunrise — one that had touched me deeply with it’s splendor — an everyday occurrence in nature, but a truly unique personal experience for me.

(google the Anhinga Trail–it’s worth the look).

4/21/10 MHA Law, Oakland

The presentation I made at the end of March to the McDonough Holland & Allen PC law firm in Oakland, titled Optimal Personal and Professional Health, was well received by the attendees and a lot of fun for me to present. So much so, that I have been asked to return later this month to provide a nutrition workshop! I am looking forward to additional interaction with this responsive and engaging group.

Matzo and Mouthwatering Memories

Matzo sandwich:
1. Break one sheet of matzo exactly down the center.
2. Spread one half with cream cheese.
3. Spread the other half with peanut butter.
4. Spread strawberry jam on both sides.
5. Place the two pieced together to make a delicious sandwich!

Passover began at sundown Monday and will continue through next Monday. Although I no longer “observe” the holiday rituals as I did as a child, namely giving up all leavened flour products for the holiday duration, Passover continues to hold a dear place in my heart. My parents, who are now in their early 80’s, fly out to celebrate with us each year, my father leads a liberal version of the Passover Seder, and I become reacquainted with matzo. Just the smell of it reminds me of many mouthwatering childhood memories.

I have been enjoying matzo sandwiches all week for breakfast and invite you to give it a try as well! There are still a few boxes of matzo on the store shelves! Enjoy.

"When my husband of 34 years died I lost my interest in cooking.  Instead I began relying on quick frozen organic entrees and dinners. After three years I decide to improve the quality of my diet, so I contacted Robin Mallery. Robin helped me create a more nourishing and healthful diet that took my busy teaching and consulting schedule into consideration.

It was a joy to work with Robin. She is knowledgeable, supportive, intuitive, and warm.  I highly recommend her as a Heart Healthy Coach.

Through lifestyle counseling, the sharing of her delicious and healthy family recipes, and an informative and fun "field trip" to a local whole food market, I have shifted to an eating plan that is healthy, delicious, and swiftly prepared. The key to swift and healthy meal preparation for me has been Robin's 90-minute Sunday afternoon food prep model, a strategy that assures quick and delicious high quality meals throughout the week. I consider my leisurely Sunday afternoon food preparation time as self-indulgent "me" time, and enjoy chopping, baking, and sauteing against the backdrop of classical music and a glass of wine.  I also love the fact that a nutritious and delicious dinner is ready when I walk through the door every night of my work week.  It's as if I finally have that personal chef I have always coveted, only it's me!"  ---Patricia J., Nevada City

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