Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sitting Still

"The magnificent butterfly finds a little heap of dirt and sits still on it; but man will never on his heap of mud sit still..."

Joseph Conrad

Grocery Shopping For Fat Loss: Tip # 4


Eighty percent of the foods you'll want to eat on a regular basis can be found in the periphery of the store: fruits, vegetables, salads, potatoes, yams, lean meats, fish, seafood, dairy products, and eggs.

The other aisles are tricky. You need to be mindful and careful when strolling them.

Stretch and Surrender: #42 Groin Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the groin and inner-thigh muscles, improves flexibility in the hips, and keeps knee joints supple.

METHOD: Sit on the floor with your back straight. With your hands on your ankles, bring the soles of your feet together. Put your hands on your knees and gently press down. Don't overstretch the groin muscles. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.

Tip: This is a great stretch for runners, dancers, and anyone doing exercises that involve the lower extremities.

Meditation Essentials: Chant A Mantra

Buddhist and Hindu traditions believe in the power of sacred sounds to harmonize the human soul with cosmic forces. A traditional mantra is the sound "OM" (pronounced A-U-M), but you can use any simple word that is particularly meaningful to you. It could be "peace", or "calm", or "light".

Chant your mantra slowly and rhythmically, letting the sound resonate through you and all around you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

In the End

"In the end, these things matter most. How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you love?"

The Buddha

Grocery Shopping For Fat Loss: Tip # 3


Did you know that supermarkets play down-tempo music to influence you to shop more slowly? It's true. If you linger there, you buy more. Instead, with list in hand, see how fast you can zip through the store. It helps if you shop during off-peak hours when there are no crowds and shorter lines.

Stretch and Surrender: #41 V-Sit Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the groin and inner thigh muscles.

METHOD: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in a "V" position. Keep toes straight up. Place your hands on the floor in front of you. Bend slightly forward until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh and groin muscles. Keep your back straight, not rounded. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Tip: This stretch is beneficial for activities that work the lower extremities.

Meditation Essentials: Study A Mandala

Mandalas are visual aids to meditation used in many Eastern traditions. Their geometric pattern and their colors symbolize the universe and its cosmic forces.

Focus on the center of a mandala. Gradually draw your attention outward through the design, letting your imagination explore the patterns and colors. Allow the harmony of the cosmos to resonate within you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


"Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be content, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all."

The Buddha

Hope Rises-Rescue of Pet Victims

This is a portion of an article in Cat Fancy magazine, July, 2009.

Phoenix's frantic cries echoed past the locked door. When the attack ended, the brown tabby lay motionless. A neighbor who overheard the attack intervened and took the cat and the preteen son to safety. Their first step was to the emergency animal clinic where Phoenix clung to life by a fine strand. In addition to a critical head injury, he suffered severe eye trauma and burns around his ears.

The neighbor called no-kill animal shelters and rescue groups begging for someone to find a new home for the injured cat. They either didn't return her call or told her there was no room. Finally, an Animal Allies of Texas (ATT) volunteer offered to foster Phoenix until he recovered and found his forever home.

When the volunteer picked up Phoenix from the veterinarian, his 11 year old owner was on the clinic floor, holding the cat. The boy asked if his kitty would be OK. "I'll take good care of him", the foster mom answered him. "Are you sure you want me to find a new home for him? If I do, you will never see him again."

The boy looked at her and said, "If you take him, he won't be hurt again."

Phoenix and the boy had a happy ending, but, in violent homes, pets suffer alongside their people. Not long ago, law enforcement officials ignored animal abuse. They were concerned with "real crime." Now, they know that there is a direct link between people who intentionally hurt animals and violent crimes against humans. Pets are victims-in-training, who can't report the crime.

According to a 2001 study of intentional animal abuse published by the Humane Society, 13 percent of those cases involved incidents of domestic violence, 7 percent coincided with child abuse, and 2 percent with elder abuse.

Abused women are trapped in a problematic situation. They can't leave their abusers because
most women's shelters won't accept their beloved pets. So, they often must choose between their pet's lives and their own safety and the safety of their children.

Abusers often threaten the pet's life so that they can control their victim. For instance, "If you leave me, I'll kill the cat." Or, the abuser may actually kill the pet to control the victim, sending the clear message, "If I killed the cat, I can kill you, too."
I was sickened by this article. I feel a very deep hatred and rage towards anyone who would hurt an animal. I think we need to be aware of the correlation between domestic violence and cruelty to animals.
I know that I need to also embrace the fact that these abusers, as well, are hurting deeply inside and need help. I need to be empathic and offer kindness to all beings in pain. I can do this even while I am filled with anger and rage toward the abuser. We are NOT our feelings; we ARE how we respond to them.

All victims need a place to find safety and refuge from these sick individuals. These abusers also need intervention immediately.

The Back of the Mind

"Search back into your own vision--think back to the mind that thinks. WHO IS IT? "


Grocery Shopping For Fat Loss: Tip # 2


I'm sure that you have heard this one before. But, do you actually follow this advice? Never shop on an empty stomach. Be mindful of your physical and emotional state as well. If you're tired or upset, you're more likely to grab food from those shelves on complete impulse.

Stretch and Surrender: #40 Seated Gluteus Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the gluteal muscles.

METHOD: Sit comfortably in a straight backed chair. Bend your left knee so that your foot rests on the seat of the chair. Using your hands, pull your ankle back toward your buttocks. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Release and repeat with the other leg. Alternate 3 to 5 times on each side.

Tip: This stretch is beneficial to all of us. A good way to relieve tension after sitting for long periods of time, this is a convenient stretch to do at your desk or while watching TV.

Meditation Essentials: Absorb LOVE

We can sometimes feel disconnected from our true selves. When we are very stressed, for example, we can feel unworthy of love. To help restore your capacity to receive love, visualize yourself as a rose. In order to flourish, you need to take in light, water, and nutrients. These represent the many facets of love in your life. These can be friendship, passion, and kindness. Make a conscious effort to appreciate and absorb these facets into your daily life. Feel yourself blossom and grow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Become IT

"Draw bamboos for ten years, BECOME a bamboo, then forget all about bamboos when you are drawing."

George Duthuit, on drawing in China

Grocery Shopping For Fat Loss: Tip # 1


Shopping lists are easy to create by using daily menu plans and adding up the supplies needed for a week's worth of menus. Once you have your list, stick with it. According to New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle, 70 percent of shoppers bring lists into the supermarket, but only 10 percent stick to them.

New Series: Grocery Shopping For Fat Loss

Dietitians estimate that 40 percent of all supermarket purchases are made on impulse. Sometimes you'll have to inspect food labels at the store to make sure of the better choice between two items, but all your major buying decisions should be made in advance.

In this series, I will provide shopping tips that will ensure you will come out every time with low-calorie, high nutrition food that moves you closer to your goals.

Stretch and Surrender: #39 Standing Hamstring Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the large hamstring muscles in the back of the legs. Increases flexibility.

METHOD: Stand with your back straight. Hold on to a counter or a tabletop for balance. Slowly raise the left leg, and rest it on a chair or elevated platform at a comfortable level. Keep both legs straight. The foot of the supporting (right) leg is pointed straight ahead, not pointing out to the side. The foot of the raised leg is relaxed; for a greater stretch in the calf, gently flex the toes toward the shin. Keep hips squared. Exhale and lean slightly forward and straight at the waist. Keep the back straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Be careful not to overstretch the hamstrings. Repeat with other leg. Do 3 to 5 times on each side.

Tip: This is a great stretch for those who sit for long periods of time, as well as for runners.

Meditation Essentials: Absorb The Task

When faced with an unwelcome chore or task, such as weeding the garden, it is tempting to rush through the task as quickly as possible. In doing so, we miss the pleasure of fully experiencing the present moment.

Next time you begin an arduous task, practice "mindfulness meditation." Concentrate on your every sensation-how things feel to the touch, the scents you smell, the colors you see, and so on. Notice how your normally inattentive mind modulates to a calm, unified focus.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


"We must endure our thoughts all night,
The bright obvious stands
motionless in the cold."

Wallace Stevens

Two More Movie Reviews

Michael and I watched two more movies this weekend. So, I will continue with the ever-popular reviews that you all enjoy so very much.

The first film we watched was "Taken" with Liam Neeson. It is about a guy who is an ex Black Ops. agent whose daughter is abducted while visiting Paris by an Albanian (it's ALWAYS Albanians!) prostitution ring. I almost felt guilty enjoying this violent movie where you have Neeson killing and maiming people the entire length of the film. In fact, in the special effects portion of the DVD, they keep track of all of the deaths and injuries with a ticker on the top of the screen along with a "time remaining" feature as if it were a video game! (Weird, but somehow amusing.) The film is good, though. It says a lot about a Father's devotion to his child even in the midst of a divorce, etc. If you enjoy watching the "bad guys" die and love martial arts this one is for you.

The second film we saw was "Valkyrie" starring the ridiculous Tom Cruise. I have to remind myself that I can still enjoy his films even though I personally can't stand him. I love WW2 history and I was absolutely intrigued about this plot to kill Hitler by those who clearly saw where Germany was heading and what this monster had done to so many people. This was a good movie. I especially enjoyed the documentary about the actual plot on the special effects portion of the DVD. This is an enjoyable and suspenseful film. I think if you love WW2 history you will enjoy it even more.


"People should respect public opinion in as far as it is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny."

Bertrand Russell

"There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, And that is to have either a clear conscience, or none at all."

Ogden Nash

"Rest satisfied with doing well, and leave others to talk of you as they will."


Stretch and Surrender: #38 Seated Hamstring Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the hamstring and inner-thigh muscles.

METHOD: Sit with your back straight, left leg extended in front of you, and right leg bent with foot against inside of left leg. Grasp the ankle of your right leg and pull it in toward your groin. Bend at the hips and reach your arms toward the ankle of your left foot. If you cannot reach your ankle, reach for your calf. Make sure your back doesn't round and shoulders stay relaxed. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Release, and repeat on the opposite side. Do 2 times on each side.

Tip: This stretch is very beneficial for runners, bikers, and dancers, as well as people with sedentary lifestyles. And, all of us.

Meditation Essentials: Float In Silence

Our lives are filled with sounds, traffic noise, music, voices, television, and so on. Meditating upon silence can be a wonderful balm for the spirit.

Lie down in a very quiet room with your eyes closed. Imagine that the floor is gently slipping away from you and that you are floating safely in the noiseless emptiness of space. The earth and all the stresses of your everyday life now seem far away. Lie like this for five minutes.

A Testimonial From a Client and Friend, Victor Goldman

Hi Network Members,

First i want to publicly thank Crew for sharing his knowledge about fitness training, nutrition and health and creating another monthly bulletin for our members which will be of benefit to everyone who is concerned about his/her health.

Personally, I have been training with Dr. Crew for almost a year and half on a once a week basis and although I have had a history of a bad back and my previous training would always end abruptly with an injury and resignation about not being able to weight train, this has not been my experience with Crew.
I am about to turn 66 and am stronger now than I have ever been in my life. Crew's attention to detail and his knowledge of how to protect against injury and the workings of the body as well as his vast amount of information about nutrition make him the Master Fitness Trainer I would recommend to anyone who is serious about staying in shape or getting in shape.

I could not think of a greater gift to give yourself or someone you love than an initial session or series of sessions with Dr. Crew.


*Thank you, Victor, for your testimonial and kind words. CREW

Saturday, May 23, 2009


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."

Albert Einstein

Stretch and Surrender: #37 Lying Hamstring Stretch With Wall

Benefits: Stretches the hamstring muscles.

METHOD: Lie on your back near a wall or doorway. Raise your left leg so that it rests up against a wall or doorway. Keep the right leg extended on the floor. Inch closer to the wall/doorway until you can feel a stretch in the hamstring of the raised leg. Be careful not to overstretch the hamstring. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Relax, and repeat twice. Do the stretch 3 times with your other leg.

Tips: This stretch is beneficial to runners, bikers, and dancers, as well as people with sedentary lifestyles. Of course, this stretch is beneficial to all of us!

*To stretch the calf muscles, draw the toes of your raised foot down toward your knee.

Meditation Essentials: Receive Rays of Energy

Watching the first rays of sunlight glow on the horizon, we might wonder at the miracle of the sun's return every morning. One morning, make a special effort to get up before dawn. As the sun rises, think of it radiating life-giving energy. Then, imagine a sunbeam streaming to a point of light at your center. Your body will be infused with the energy and vitality of the sun.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Port Jefferson Village Green Festival this Saturday!

This Saturday, May 23rd, is the Port Jefferson Village Green Festival. The festival begins at 12 noon and ends at 5pm. It is located on East Main Street and the Village Center down by the harbour.

There will be many local vendors as well as many exhibits and ideas for saving our environment.

There will be a section located near (and in) the Village Center dedicated to Health and Wellness. A few friends of mine will have booths there.

Michael and I will be there and we look forward to seeing many of you!

Live Now

"Live neither in eager anticipation nor fond nostalgia. Live NOW."


Why Use Dumbbells ?

Let me count the ways!

1) Dumbbells can be used for thousands of exercises.
2) Dumbbells can be used for more than twice as many exercises as barbells because you can do unilateral exercises (one arm at a time.)
3) Dumbbells save you money because they can replace expensive machines or even a gym membership.
4) Dumbbells save space because they replace bulky weight-training machines.
5) Dumbbells provide balanced muscular development because each side of your body must work equally.
6) Dumbbells help create a strong and stable core.
7) Dumbbells require more balance and activate the neuromuscular system and stabilizer muscles far more than machines and even more than barbells.
8) Dumbbells do not lock you into a fixed movement pattern the way machines do, which means the movement is more natural, functional, and less likely to result in injuries.
9) Dumbbells are safer than barbells, in the event that you have to drop a weight or if you are training without a partner/spotter.
10) Dumbbells allow you to create your own individual and unique movement during the execution of the exercise. This movement is yours and yours alone. Even your left and right side have a different movement from each other. No machine can ever duplicate this movement. Even if one could, it would be a different movement for the next person.

The Promise

and He'll open the door.
And He'll make you shine like the sun.

And He'll raise you to the heavens.
Become nothing,
And He'll turn you into everything!


Stretch and Surrender: #36 Lying Hamstring Stretch With Towel

Benefits: Stretches the hamstring muscles.

METHOD: Lie on your back. Bend your right knee and loop a towel around the sole of your foot(between the arch and the ball of the foot). Straighten and raise your leg to an angle where you feel a stretch in the hamstring. Don't overstretch! Hold for 15-30 seconds. Release the towel: drop your leg to the floor. Repeat with your other leg. Alternate 3 to 5 times on each side.

Tip: This stretch is beneficial for runners, bikers, and dancers, as well as people with sedentary lifestyles.

Meditation Essentials: Send Out LOVE

In Buddhism, metta bhavana is a "loving kindness" meditation.

Focus on the feelings of love deep within you. Call them up by remembering the unconditional love you have experienced from someone in your life, whether it be from a parent, other family member, or best friend. Focus on extending these feelings to the following people: someone you respect, such as a teacher or spiritual leader; a close friend, someone neutral-say, the person who serves you your morning coffee: and then to a very difficult person from whom you feel disconnected.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"That is happiness: to be absolutely dissolved into something complete and great."

Willa Cather

New Hypnotherapy Seminar/Certification Date: 6/12/09

I will be offering another certification seminar here at The Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy on Friday, June 12, 2009. This day-long seminar will meet all requirements for certification as a Clinical Hypnotherapist with The American Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy. The seminar will be taught by Dr. Crew Lauterbach.

The seminar will begin promptly at 7:30 am and will end at 6pm. The fee is $275. for the 10 hour course. Another $225. is required at the practical examination for certification through ABCH, but this will include the annual membership fee which is $75. a year.

The Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy is located at 414 Main Street, Suite 204, Port Jefferson Village, NY. Additional information can be found at

Please call Dr. Crew at 631/880-2531 for registration and/or information.


"Standing on the bare ground... a mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of GOD."


"The nature of GOD is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere."


Stretch and Surrender: #35 Seated Cross-Legged Hip Rotator Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the hip rotators, trunk, and lower back.

Method: Sit on the floor or mat with legs extended. Bend your right leg, and cross your right foot over your left leg with the right foot outside the left knee. Grasp your right knee with your left hand and gently pull across your body. Place right hand on the floor behind you. You should feel a gentle pull in your right buttock. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Slowly untwist, and repeat on the other side. Do the stretch 2 or 3 times on each side.

Tip: Try this stretch while watching TV.

Meditation Essentials: Focus On Birdsong

Meditating on birdsong can soothe a troubled mind. Imagine your anxieties as the cacophony of animal sounds you might hear on a farm. Then, above the background hubbub, imagine hearing the clear, soaring notes of a musical songbird. As you focus on the bird's singing, notice that all of the other noises fade away. Recall this technique when faced with anxieties in the future-it will help give you the clarity to face and resolve them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Doing By Non-doing

"Act without doing; work without effort."

Tao Te Ching


My partner, and best friend, Michael, is a web developer working down by Wall Street for a direct marketing firm. He also develops websites for those who have their own businesses and has created the sites for many therapists and other professionals. He has created the website for V and W networking and, of course, my own website. He is the WEBMONK.

He is dedicated, creative, organized, and highly professional. You will be very satisfied with his services. He provides design, development, and hosting of web services.

Michael's office is located at 1050 Hallock Avenue, Suite 4, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776. (at the same location as my Mind-Body Fitness studio) His website is

E- mail

Relapse Mistake #7: Poor Coping and Stress Management Styles

High levels of stress, unexpected life events, and negative emotions can all lead to weight regain if you don't have strong and effective coping mechanisms to deal with them.

Maintainers experience the same nonhealth stresses that relapsers do: financial difficulties, family issues, and work stress. The difference is, relapsers use FOOD to distract themselves or escape from negative feelings rather than confront their problems head-on and develop alternative coping mechanisms.

To maintain your weight, you have to continue reminding yourself that food is for fuel, for nourishment, and for bodybuilding material, not for coping with stress! If you haven't mastered stress management and developed effective coping skills during the fat-loss phase, then it will be a struggle to maintain your weight goal even if you manage to attain it.

The Quietude of the Sage

As regards to the quietude of the sage, he is not quiet because quietness is said to be a virtue. He is quiet because the multitude of things cannot disturb his quietude.

When water is still, one's beard and eyebrows are clearly reflected in it. A skilled carpenter uses it in a level to obtain measurement.

If still water is so clear, how much more are the mental faculties! The mind of a sage is the mirror of heaven and earth in which all things are reflected.


Stretch and Surrender: #34 Cross-Legged Hip Rotator Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the hip rotator, increases hip flexibility, and improves lower back mobility.

METHOD: Lie on your back, both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend your right leg and rest your anklebone on your left thigh just above the knee. Place your right hand on your right knee and gently push the knee away from you. Don't push your knee too far. Go only to where you feel a stretch in the hip. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Relax, and repeat twice. Do the stretch 3 times on your opposite side.

Tip: Do this as an alternative to the Lying Hip Rotator Stretch from yesterdays blog entry.

Meditation Essentials: Embrace Change

Part of the symbolism of yin and yang is that of dynamic change. This is one of the reasons I use it as a logo on all my business material whether it be for my psychotherapy practice, fitness services, hypnotherapy practice, or my Institute.

Gaze at an image of the yin and yang symbol. Think about how wholeheartedly you can embrace change in your life. If you feel somewhat reticent about change, consider how in Eastern philosophy it is a necessary and natural part of living. If we allow change to happen, with our resisting or struggling against it, our lives will take on a greater sense of tranquility.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reframing FAILURE

"Notice what happens when a man says to himself, "I have failed three times", and when he says to himself, "I am a failure."

S.I. Hayakawa

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall."


"I cannot give you the formula for success, but, I can give you the formula for sure failure; try and please everyone."

Herbert B. Swope

"Failure is not in the falling down, but in the staying down."

Mary Pickford

"There are no failures, just our experiences and our responses to them."

Tom Krause

"Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don't fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated every day."

Jim Rohn


Robert H. Shuller


"My feet are cold," one says, and the legless man replies: "So are mine. So are mine."

Kentucky Folklore

Relapse Mistake #6: Perceptual Dissatisfaction with Body Weight and Shape

Relapsers often express great dissatisfaction with their new body weight and body shape even when they have made huge strides in progress. They tend to make comparisons of themselves to others and when taken to an extreme, this can lead to perfectionism where no achievement ever seems good enough. Relapsers also tend to make judgments about themselves as people strictly on the basis of their physical attributes.

The pursuit of constant improvement is clearly a virtue. Some of the healthiest and fittest people in the world credit their success to never becoming complacent and always striving for better results. This seems to be in conflict with body dissatisfaction as a cause for relapse. We can reconcile this paradox by understanding that we can strive for continuous improvement while simultaneously liking ourselves every step along the way-it's not one or the other.

It's also important to get very clear about how far you want to take your physical development and how much time and effort you are willing to invest. Not everyone wants or needs to look like a cover model for a fitness magazine. Use the 80/20 thinking here. Suppose you want to get 80 percent of the way to what you consider to be your physical ideal with a modest investment of time and effort. To capture the next 15 percent takes more time and serious hard work. The final 5 percent requires monumental full-time effort. How far do we want to go and how much are you willing to pay for it? There is more to life than exercise and dieting. It is truly up to us how far we wish to go and what this effort may cost us in other areas of our lives.

Stretch and Surrender: #33 Lying Hip Rotator Stretch

Benefits: Increases flexibility in the lower back and hips. Stretches the gluteal muscles and hip rotators.

METHOD: Lie on your back. Bend your right leg at the knee. Opposite leg is extended. Using your left hand, grasp just below your bent knee. Gently pull your knee toward your left shoulder. Feel a stretch along the hip and buttocks. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Relax, and repeat 3 to 5 times. Do 3 to 5 times on the opposite side.

Tip: An excellent stretch after you have done a lot of driving.

Meditation Essentials: Contemplate the Landscape

This meditation is best practiced at the top of a hill, with a clear view of the landscape below, but any vantage point-even a balcony will do.

Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Then open your eyes and allow them to rest gently on a point on the horizon, such as a tree or a tall building. Try not to stare. Feel yourself become one with your surroundings. Lose yourself in the landscape for five minutes.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Tale of Despereaux

Mike and I saw a very cute and wonderful animated movie called The Tale of Desperaux this weekend. It was a story of a little mouse who embodies truth, courage, and honesty. He does not obey when told that he is a mouse and needs to be fearful and have no contact with humans.

The movie uses voices of many well-known actors including Matthew Broderick, Sigourney Weaver, Dustin Hoffman, Frank Langella, Tracy Ullman, Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, and William H. Macy.

Despereaux is animated so well that he looks real. He is so adorable. You will enjoy this inspirational and well crafted film that contains an excellent message for all of us.

Relapse Mistake #5: Dichotomous Thinking

Relapsers tend to see situations in black-and-white terms without shades of gray. For example, they insist they have no time to train rather than making efficient use of what time they do have. They're either on the program or off the program completely. If they have one bad meal, they feel as if their entire week is completely ruined.

Relapsers also tend to have very rigid ideas of what success means. For example, they might define success as weighing 125 pounds and anything other than this weight is seen as a failure. Fitness is not a win-or-lose, pass-or-fail situation. Fitness is a journey of learning and self-improvement. All-or-nothing thinking creates unnecessary stress and doesn't allow you to give yourself credit for what you have done right or to learn from your experiences. Cut yourself same slack and avoid this mistake in thinking at all costs.

Wonderful New Restaurant in Town

Micheal and I ate at Tequila Jacks on Arden right behind Starbucks here in Port Jefferson Village. We loved it!

I had a shrimp dish called Shrimp Runway or Runback or something like that. It was large shrimp with coconut rice and vegetables. Mike had Tropical grilled Mahi-Mahi. We both totally enjoyed our entrees. We had Conch fritters and delicious calamari for apps. and shared a piece of coconut cheesecake for dessert. The drinks were incredible and I am warning all of you not to have more than one!

We highly recommend Tequila Jacks!!

Being Awake

"We are more curious about the meaning of our dreams than about things we see when we are awake."


Stretch and Surrender: #32 Standing Back-Bend Stretch

Benefits: Stretches and relieves tension to the lower back muscles. Stretches the chest muscles.

METHOD: Stand with your legs hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent. Place your hands at the small of the back, palms against your body and fingers pointing down. Gently bend back at your waist as far as you are able-without straining-creating a forward extension. Head remains in line with your spine. Take care not to put any undue pressure on your lower back. Breathe. Return to start. Do 1 or 2 sets of 10.

Tip: Sitting on those glutes all day? Do this stretch and give your back a treat!

Meditation Essentials: Sense Your Guardian Angel

Meditating on a protective presence can strengthen us for times of difficulty. Sit comfortably. Place your hands in your lap, palms up-this indicates your willingness to receive strength from Divine sources. Allow your thoughts to float seamlessly across your mind. Imagine yourself enveloped in a comforting bright light. Its energy permeates your very core. Spend five minutes drawing strength from this light. You have just met your guardian angel.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Marksman

"Fundamentally the marksman aims at himself."

Zen In The Art Of Archery

Relapse Mistake #4: Returning To Previous Caloric Levels Without Increasing Activity

After a large weight loss, your caloric maintenance level is now lower than it was when you started. If you return to your old maintenance caloric level, you are guaranteed to regain the weight you have lost. The math equation has now changed.

Even if you are aware of this potential pitfall, permanently reducing your calories to accommodate your new energy requirements is one of those "easier said than done" propositions. If you have gotten accustomed to eating a certain volume of food for years or even a lifetime, it's not always an easy adjustment to make. You really have two choices. One, you can get used to eating less than you did before your weight loss. Two, you can get used to exercising more. Ideally, you'll do a bit of both and that will make your life easiest!

This reduction in calorie needs after weight loss explains why increasing exercise has always been the single most cited success strategy for long-term maintenance. The increased activity offsets the lower maintenance level and it's easier for most people to stay active than it is for them to eat less than they were previously used to.

Stretch and Surrender: #31 Slouch Stretch With Overcorrect

Benefits: Counteracts forward-bending forward-head postures and improves postural awareness.

METHOD: Sit comfortably in a straight backed chair. Slouch forward, rounding your back. Face forward; don't let your chin drop toward your chest.

To overcorrect: Sit straight; squeeze your shoulders back, thrusting your chest forward and tucking your chin. Repeat the slouch/overcorrect position 5 times. ON the fifth repetition, hold the overcorrect for 5 seconds. Slowly relax until you no longer feel a strain.

Tip: We do so many forward-bending tasks! Try doing this postural exercise 2 or 3 times a day.

Meditation Essentials: Consider A Koan

In Zen Buddhism, pupils are encouraged to meditate upon koans--paradoxical questions that cannot be answered logically. Answers come in a momentary flash of insight, which can occur at any time.

Imagine that the koan "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" floats across your mind. Do you actively try to find the answer? Imagine that you have asked a mentor who listens without replying. Do not expect an immediate awakening--if insight does not come today, perhaps it will come tomorrow.

Friday, May 15, 2009


"When the way naturally comes to an end, then change. Having changed, you pass through.

I Ching

Relapse Mistake #3: Abruptly Stopping a Nutrition Program or Exercise Program

Many times people who have been successful in taking off weight and body fat take for granted that this was the result of weeks and weeks of serious effort. You would think this would be common sense, but research says otherwise.

One study on long-term maintenance sponsored by the Kaiser Permanente HMO organization said that relapsers seemed to believe on some level that their lost weight was "permanently gone" and they were surprised when they found themselves heavy again.

Stretch and Surrender: #30 Press-Up Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the lower back muscles.

METHOD: Lie on your stomach, with legs hip-distance apart. Place your hands under your shoulders as if you were about to do a push-up. Press up as your elbows are straight, allowing your back to sag. Your hips may come off the floor slightly. Keep your head neutral, ears in line with your shoulders. Return to the starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Tip: As you do this stretch more regularly, your hips will eventually stay on the floor.

Meditation Essentials: Focus On A Flame

Candle meditation is a traditional yoga practice. Light a candle immediately in front of you. Instead of staring at the flame, look through and beyond it, its light filling your consciousness. This light represents your innate spiritual awareness.

The gentle warmth from the flame symbolizes prana-universal, cosmic energy. Meditate on the candle flame for five minutes. Imagine your awareness expanding, and try to sense your inner energy becoming balanced.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Concentration On Our Usual Routine

"Zen is not some kind of excitement, but extreme concentration on our usual everyday routine."

Shunryu Suzuki

The Same Eye

"The eye with which I see GOD is the same eye with which GOD sees me."

Meister Eckhart

Meditation Essentials: Reflect On Ripples

Even in the most loving relationships, disagreements can bring forth disruptive, negative emotions. A good way to detach yourself from these feelings is to liken your situation to a stone thrown into a pool: the ripples, representing difficult emotions, spreading outward and then disappearing without a trace.

Reflect on the truth that while life often throws us unpleasant episodes, the negative feelings they cause will soon disappear.

Like, I Like Hate This, Like Habit

Where in the world did this habit of using the word LIKE as a pause in communicating originate? I find it so incredibly annoying!

Do people ever hear the way they sound when they learn the habit of speaking this way? The other day I was having brunch in a cafe in Toronto where there were 5 women in their early 20's all trying to speak at the same time over breakfast and each of them was using this LIKE word at least 4 or 5 times in each sentence!

I was thinking, LIKE, please, LIKE, stop using LIKE after almost every word, it's LIKE so, LIKE irritating. OOPS, it's LIKE contagious!

Based on MIND, Led by MIND, and Fashioned by MIND

"Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will certainly follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox.

"Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form."

The Buddha

Relapse Mistake #2: Unrealistic Deadlines

Many authorities tell us that unrealistic weight goals are one of the biggest causes of failure and relapse. There is truth in that, but provided that body composition is kept in mind, I think the real problem is unrealistic deadlines, more so than unrealistic goals.

Many people sell themselves short and don't set their fitness standards high enough. Puny goals and low standards are set for one main purpose-FEAR. By setting low standards, you don't risk disappointment. You can play it safe if you choose, but that is accepting mediocrity.

To calculate the time frame, divide your amount of weight loss desired by the ideal weekly weight loss target of two pounds per week. If you want to drop thirty pounds, at two pounds per week, that's fifteen weeks. If you factor in some water weight loss, or above average fat loss, you might get there by twelve weeks. But, if your goal is thirty pounds in thirty days, you'd better think twice about that deadline. Even if you met that deadline by dropping large amounts of water and lean tissue, it would have been counterproductive because there's a direct correlation between speed of weight loss and relapse.

Stretch and Surrender: #29 Prone-On-Elbows Stretch

Benefits: Stretches and increases flexibility of the lower back muscles.

METHOD: Lie on your stomach. Prop yourself up on your elbows. Keep the legs hip-distance apart. Let the upper body sag to the floor. Keep head neutral, ears in line with your shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

Tip: A good stretch to do while watching TV. Try to gradually increase the amount of time in this stretch to 3 to 5 minutes, with just one repetition.

*For those yoga folks out there, yes, this is "the cobra" pose.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Meditation Essentials: Follow Your Star

Whenever you feel anxious or unsure about a decision facing you, seek guidance from your "inner star"--your intuition.

Sit with your elbows on a table and rest your face in your hands, cupping your palms over your eyes. Feel the warmth of your hands permeating your eyes. Visualize a star in your forehead, just above and between your eyes. This is often called the "third eye". This star radiates positive energy through your consciousness and fills you with the confidence to be directed to the right choices.

Another Zen Koan

Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, "The flag moves." The other said, "The wind moves." They argued back and forth but could not agree.

Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch, said: "Gentlemen! It is not the flag that moves. It is not the wind that moves. It is your mind that moves."

The two monks were struck with awe.

What is LOVE?

"Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one...There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, hope, and its endurance. Love will never come to an end."

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Relapse Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Diet to Lose the Weight

Maintenance begins with choosing the right nutrition program during the fat loss phase. The first mistake that leads to relapse is following a diet so extreme or restrictive that it triggers bingeing or is simply too difficult to stay on for long. This includes not only the eating plan itself, but also any weight loss methods, such as supplements or drugs.

One study published in the American Journal of Nutrition found that far more relapsers had lost weight by fasting or taking appetite suppressant pills than maintainers. Apparently, the fasting helped take some weight off and the pills helped curb hunger, but neither helped keep the weight off.

Stretch and Surrender: #28 Pelvic Tilt

Benefits: Strengthens the lower abdominals and improves sitting and standing posture.

METHOD: Lie flat on the floor with both knees bent. Arms may be raised, with hands placed behind your head or at your sides with hands resting on your abdomen. Tighten your abdominal muscles as you flatten your lower back to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Don't hold your breath! Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Tip: To strengthen the gluteal muscles, tighten the muscles in your buttocks during this stretch.

Meditation Essentials: Release Your Fears

Think of one of your deepest fears. Perhaps it is the fear of being alone, of losing someone close to you, or of not achieving the life you've imagined. Sit quietly and acknowledge this fear---do not dwell on it, just acknowledge its existence. Now, imagine the fear embodied as a bird. Close your eyes and visualize setting this bird free, releasing it into the hands of fate. In doing this, you accept that you cannot control the future and that your fears have no place in this present moment.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Good Old Days

"The Good Old Days are only so in retrospect. These, too, will be the Good Old Days; it's just a matter of time."


New Series: Avoid These Relapse Mistakes

One piece of good news is that the reasons for weight regain is no mystery. We know why weight regain occurs and it's not difficult to predict. Weight relapsers have been studied in great depth and their behaviors are quite distinct from maintainers. You can avoid relapse right from the start of the problem if you take an inventory of which regainer behaviors you're engaging in and then avoid these mistakes in the future.

Beginning tomorrow, I will be addressing 7 relapse mistakes people tend to make after they lose weight and body fat. Look for this series beginning tomorrow!

Giving Birth to Ourselves

"Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself."

Erich Fromm

Dr. Crew's "Bad Wheel" Healing Very Well

Thank you to all of you who phoned, e-mailed, and saw me after my strange injury while in Toronto. I appreciate all of your support and care.

Believe it or not, I am almost back to normal! Well, MY normal! I am hopeful to be resuming my regular workout schedule by this Thursday.

At this point, I am no longer taking any pain medication and I am walking with almost no limp at all. It's good to know that at least I heal quickly.

Eat Right For Your Blood Type

My friend, Dr. Roseanne Nenninger is a Naturopathic Doctor. She is presenting a seminar on Thursday night, May 14, 2009 at 7pm on eating for your individual blood type. The presentation will be held at the Center for Self Growth, 28 Jones Street (off 25A), Suite 104, in Setauket.

The fee is just $20. and will cover the blood type testing kit. Roseanne works directly with Dr. D'Amamo the author of the book "Eat Right For Your Blood Type".

Roseanne can be reached by calling 631-834-2502.

I will be in attendance so I hope to see you there!

Stretch and Surrender: #27 Trunk Rotation Stretch

Benefits: Improves flexibility of the hips and spine. Stretches the shoulder muscles.

METHOD: Lie on your back. Bend your right knee. Raise your arms to a "T" position. Allow your right knee to drop to the left. Hook your right foot behind your left knee. Turn your head to the right. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do the stretch twice on the other side.

Tip: Your bent knee does not have to touch the floor. What counts is feeling a stretch along your trunk.

Meditation Essentials: Meditate On Scent

One of the most conductive places for a relaxing meditation is in the bath, where we naturally dissolve into deep tranquility.

Enhance your relaxation by adding to the water four to six drops of a favorite aromatherapy oil, such as chamomile or lavender. Focus on the scent as you lie in the bath. Imagine it permeating your body with each inhalation. Breathe gently, focusing in this way, for at least ten minutes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This Very Breath

"In this very breath that we now take lies the secret that all great teachers have tried to tell us."

Peter Matthiessen

Movie Reviews while in Toronto

I saw 3 movies while in Canada. Here are the reviews.

"The Reader"
Wow. Very good film. Excellent acting by Kate Winslet in this role. I won't say much more, but it is certainly Oscar worthy, both her performance and the film itself. David Kross, who plays the young Michael Berg, was truly amazing. A story of love, devotion, justice, and guilt. Don't miss it.

I am an ex Golden Gloves boxer and avid boxing fan so I knew I would enjoy this look into the confused, angry, and yet softer side of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. The film was well done, and I especially appreciated the director's ability to capture Tyson's thoughts and emotions by allowing the viewer to hear them at the same time by seeing Tyson on the screen in three different images making often contradictory and ambivalent statements. This film would be wonderful for those who love the sport, and I can see it being worthwhile to see for others who are interested in how damaging it can be to grow up poor and fatherless. The film, I think, may also interest those who wish to obtain a glimpse into the mind of a very warped individual who had tremendous talent perhaps never seen before in this sport. When you watch this film, you cannot see Mike Tyson the same way ever again. His deep, deep pain and inner torment comes through in his tears as well as in his rage.

This is a film about organized crime outside of Naples, Italy based on real events. It is tragic at many times as it shows how children are impacted by these warring crime factions and often wish to emulate the adults they witness. This is also worth seeing. This is a look into hell itself. What's even more interesting is that the "Comorra" as it's called is still in full control in this forgotten part of the world.

Stretch and Surrender: #26 Two-Knees-To-Chest Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the lower back muscles and gluteal muscles. Improves flexibility in the lower back and works the hip flexors.

METHOD: Lie down on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend one knee to your chest, followed by the other. Place your hands below your knees and pull both knees in toward your chest. Inhale and exhale as you gently hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Slowly lower to starting position. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Tip: A wonderful way to relax your lower back muscles!

Meditation Essentials: Learn To Listen

Listening accounts for at least half our daily communication. Meditating on the conversations of the day is a good way to enhance our powers of awareness.

Before you go to bed each night, spend five minutes recalling a dialogue from that day. Try to recapture in your mind all the nuances in tone of the speaker. Try to recall the speaker's body language. Remind yourself that listening is far more than simply hearing. It is about attention to detail and giving that person your entire awareness and presence.

Back from Toronto, But Just Barely

I just got back yesterday afternoon from Toronto. Overall, it was a positive experience, but I woke up on Sunday morning with tremendous pain in my left lower knee. I could barely walk, and then had to drag my suitcase through the airport and then through customs. I thought for sure I had ripped my ACL or something horrific. The pain was intense all the way home and there was no relief even with aspirin. It was so strange as to why this occurred. I had not twisted my knee or fallen. The pain was so bad that I actually vomited and was physically shaking from the pain.

When Michael picked me up we decided I needed to go to the emergency room at Mather Hospital here in town. They took x rays as well as did a Doppler examination. (A Doppler looks for blood clots in the legs.) They were not able to an MRI as I would need to have preapproval from my insurance company to have this paid for. They gave me a pair of crutches and pain medication as well as an immobilizer for my left leg. We then went to see my Mom for Mother's Day dinner.

The pain subsided a bit before I went to sleep last night. I woke up this morning feeling much better. I am certainly very sore, but it appears that I should be getting better each day. I can now walk without the crutches, but need to keep my foot elevated when I am sitting down. I believe that I have a severely strained ACL which probably was caused by improper squatting and weight training habits before I got educated about proper form and technique. This is why I am a stickler for proper form when I train others.

Of course, I cannot work out so this is driving me nuts. I hope to be able to train again by the end of the week. At this point, I am grateful I can walk on my own and that I will not need to go and see an Orthopedic Surgeon.

It's just not fun getting old. But, it sure is better than the alternative.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dr. Crew away in Canada

I will be at a convention in Toronto, Ontario, CANADA until Monday, May 11, 2009.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and I want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all Moms! Enjoy your day!

Scott Burzon, LCSW-R, C. Ht., (516) 446-8368 will be covering my practice in my absence.


There is a story of a woman who went to a great teacher and asked him if gossiping about others was really all that harmful.

The great teacher asked her to go home and cut a pillow full of feathers in half and to bring it back to him the following day.

When returning to the teacher the following day she presented the pillow, in halves, to the teacher. He asked her why the pillow was so small now. She answered that once she cut the pillow open most of the feathers blew all over the room and even out the windows and this was what was left of the pillow.

He stated to her then, "and this is what becomes of your tales and stories of others." Once you begin to open it up, the stories will fly around and be swept away by the wind. You will have no control over where these tales will land."


GOD be in my head
And in my understanding;
GOD be in mine eyes
And in my looking;
GOD be in my mouth
And in my speaking;
GOD be in my heart
And in my thinking;
GOD be in my end
And my departing.

Sarum Primer

The Use of DROP SETS in Weight Training

Now that we have discussed supersets and how they benefit us, let's turn our attention to what we call drop sets.

Similar to supersets, the execution of drop sets involves doing 2 or more sets in a row without a rest period. However, unlike supersets, drop sets consist of completing sets using the same movement while dropping the weight on each subsequent set.

For example, say we are working the chest using a pressing motion. The first set would be done to a count of 10 or 12. Immediately, we start another set dropping the weight by 10 or 20 pounds. The next set would be completed by dropping the weight to another 10 or 20 pounds, etc. Naturally, each set would yield less reps due to the muscle becoming fatigued.

Drop sets are an excellent way to work a particular muscle group to another level.

Stretch and Surrender: #25 One-Knee-To-Chest-Stretch

Benefits: Stretches the lower back muscles. Stretches the gluteal muscles. Improves flexibility in the lower back and works the hip flexors.

METHOD: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend your left knee to your chest and place your left hand below the knee. Inhale and exhale as you hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Slowly lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg. Do 3 to 5 repetitions on each side.
Alternative movement: Lie on your back with both legs extended straight ahead on the floor. Bend one knee to your chest while keeping the other leg straight, toes facing up.

Tip: Start your day on the right foot! Do this stretch before you get out of bed in the morning.

Meditation Essentials: Rediscover Precious Moments

A good way to train the mind to focus is to meditate on happy times. Consider an hourglass. Imagine that each grain of sand represents a perfect moment in your lifetime. Think how many thousands of perfect moments you have. Each of these moments is precious.

Spend a few minutes now focusing on one of them. Enjoy the warm feelings the memory causes.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Fork in the Road from "Alice in Wonderland"

Alice came to a fork n the road.
"Which road shall I take?", she asked.
"Where do you want to go?"
responded the Chesire Cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the Cat, "it doesn't matter".

Lewis Carroll

As Promised....SUPERSETS

Conventional strength training is done using straight sets. One repetition, or "rep", is each time you lift and lower a weight. A straight set consists of a series of non-stop repetitions, usually somwhere between five and fifteen, followed by a brief rest period of about a minute or two.

A "superset" is where you perform two exercises in a row with no rest in between them. Supersetting may be superior for fat-burning workouts because you can perform more work in less time. The amount of work you perform in a given time is known as density. Increasing density by using supersets places a greater overload on your muscles and also burns more calories in less time.

The effect of supersets on your body is more metabolic in nature, which means that your metabolism and fat-burning hormones are stimulated more with supersetting than with conventional training. Supersetting also will save you time, and the workouts will be more engaging-a huge plus if you get bored sitting around in between sets.

Supersets can be done in two ways. You can use two exercises in a row that work the same muscle such as a press and fly for chest, or you can use two exercises to work two different muscles such as a shoulder press followed by a bicep curl set.

Tomorrow... DROP SETS.

Two Wonderful Movies This Past Weekend

Michael and I saw two amazing movies this past weekend. (Yes, Elyssa, we saw two MORE movies this weekend after we saw you on Saturday!)

The first was "Doubt". Meryl Streep is one of the best actors I have ever seen. She is unbelievable in this role. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was equally impressive in this play turned movie about a priest suspected of molesting a child. I think it also says so much about the Catholic Church in general. I enjoy mostly that the ending of this film is controversial and viewers have very different opinions as to what actually occurs in the film.

Lastly, we saw the Oscar winning best film "Slumdog Millionaire". I can see why so many people were blown away by this film. I loved it. Such a heart warming story of an honest and devoted young man and his sociopathic brother. It is a film that I believe was just perfect for the tough economic times in the world at this time. There were parts of this movie that certainly were difficult to watch, but well worth seeing.

Stretch and Surrender: #23 Standing Side-Bend Stretch

Benefits: Improves flexibility of the torso. Improves lower back mobility. Stretches the spine. Opens the hip area.

METHOD: Stand with feet a little more than hip distance apart, with arms by your sides.

Turn left foot out 90 degrees. Inhale, stretch your arms out to the side, level with your shoulders. Exhale, and slowly bend to the left. Hips remain pointed forward. Keep right foot firmly planted and don't raise your heel.

Rest your left hand below the left knee, somewhere on your shin. Extend your right arm toward the ceiling. Head remains neutral with your gaze straight ahead. Breathe deeply and relax into the stretch. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Release and rest, then repeat. Release, and do twice on the opposite side.

Tip: A good way to reach muscles we don't usually stretch...and it helps with posture as well.

Meditation Essentials: Escape From Darkness

This meditation combines breath control with visualization to induce the calm state needed to solve a problem.

Visualize yourself running through a forest from which there seems to be no escape. Recalling how panicked you are, you slow to a steady walk and once you do, you notice a path leading out of the forest. Focus your visualization on the steps along the path. Imagine that with each slow step you take you also take a deep breath. This will have the effect of actually regulating your breathing and therefore calming you right down.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Recognize Abuse

Many people are so used to hearing verbal abuse, both from others and their own "inner critic", that they do not always recognize it when it occurs. Because it sounds familiar, they don't recognize it.

Don't leave your inner child open to being beaten up. Start noticing your feelings. If you start feeling guilty or bad about yourself while someone is talking to you, then take a good hard look at how they are talking to you. Is he/she sharing their experience and speaking of its effect, or are they pointing out what wrong with you?

Anytime somebody points out what is wrong with you or makes you wrong, that person's own vulnerability is being covered by attacking you. We can learn to be conscious of what we are doing to each other and learn to move into a deeper place to say what we're really feeling without hurting another.

"Blessed are you the breath of life, the inter-breathing of the universe, who breathes into us the wisdom to know that we become holy by breathing together; by shaping our breath into words, and by shaping our words so that they aim towards wisdom'"

The (renewed) blessing before reading the TORAH.

The Benefits of Full-Body Workouts

If your primary goal is fat loss and your time is limited, then full-body workouts with supersets will always be one of your best choices, even after you pass beyond the beginner stage. (more information on what SUPERSETS are will be on next Monday's blog.)

Full-body workouts will make sure that your muscles completely and fully recover with just 48 hours between workouts. When weight training is done on a "body part" basis, it is almost completely impossible to rest each and every muscle group completely for this 48 hour period. For example, if one trains chest on a Monday, and then trains shoulders or even arms on Tuesday the chest will still be used in the execution of the training even though the emphasis is NOT on the chest muscles.

Personally, I have tried as many different weight training regimens as I could read, copy, dream up, attempt, or hear about. The full-body workout is the best for me. My muscles obtain the full 48 hour recovery period as they are rested on Tuesday, Thursday, and on the weekend. On these non-weight training days, I do my cardio workouts.

Stretch and Surrender: #23 Side-Bend Stretch

Benefits: Stretches hard to reach muscles along the side of the body. Improves lower back mobility.

METHOD: Lie on your right side. Legs are straight and hips are stacked on top of one another. Position right elbow under your shoulder, bent at a 45 degree angle from the body.

Position left arm in front of your body, hand placed on the floor to help with balance.

Inhale, and straighten your right arm. Your upper body is raised. Feel a stretch along your right side. Keep your body straight, with hips evenly stacked. Don't let your hips fall backward or forward.

Hold for 15-30 seconds. Lower your body down. Repeat.

Tip: Don't just lie there...Do this on your blanket at the beach!

Meditation Essentials: Effect Change

Sit on the floor with your back straight and the soles of your feet together-the shape made by your legs will resemble the wings of a butterfly. Gently move your legs up and down to enhance the effect. Bring to mind the idea that the gentlest fanning of a butterfly's wings can create a great wind of change many thousands of miles away.

Like the butterfly, you have it within your power to effect change. Focus on this thought for ten minutes.