Health

Last week, right before joining my Friday Night Yin… Yoga for Athletes class, one of the two Yoga NoHo Center owners said, “Hey, your class received a nice review on Class Pass.” I said, “Very happy to hear that,” and went about leading the 75′ long-hold, deep stretch workout, as usual.

Then, following a rain-soaked motorcycle ride home, a quick bachelor’s feast of canned tuna, pasta & salad, and the requisite close-of-day check of text, email & voice messages, curiosity got the better of me.

I searched Class Pass for the Yoga Noho Center in North Hollywood, clicked on “Reviews” and one recent comment for Yin Yoga (Deep Stretch) with Christopher popped right up:

This is one of, if not the best, yin classes in the valley

Wow!

Whoever you are, I’m very happy to hear that you’re enjoying my classes! Thank you for your participation and your review. Maybe see you in this evening’s Monday Night Yin…

Namaste.

January 2017

It’s under 60°. In Los Angeles that’s, um… cold. I’m under the weather, which is unusual. More unusual is that I’ve been fighting this malaise for over three weeks. Flu? Winter blues? Cracked header on Jeep leaking CO into cab? Dunno.

What is certain is I’d like to feel better. My friend Nancy, a physician, recommends strong medication. Stat! She’s means, “Dude, whip up your awesome chicken soup— A Bowl of Seasonal Warmth would be great right now. “Yeah, maybe.” I say, “But I’m not all that hungry. I’m thinking more along the lines of a hot toddy made with Hibiki whisky.” She says, “Dude, you don’t have to eat it, just make it.” (Meaning she’ll eat it.) Nice.

I head to Whole Foods to fill the Rx.

Ingredients:

  • Two bunches of celery.
  • Eight multi-colored carrots.
  • One big yellow onion.
  • Five yellow potatoes.
  • One bulb of garlic.
  • One leek.
  • Himalayan pink salt.
  • Black pepper.
  • Bragg organic “Sprinkle” herbs and spices seasoning.
  • Organic, extra virgin olive oil.
  • Five chicken legs, separated into thighs / drumsticks.
  • About three quarts of spring water.

Thirty minutes and forty-five dollars later I’m at home, and the prep begins.

Tools:

  • One big pot— I use an 8q Calphalon pasta pot.
  • 10” Skillet— I use a 100 year-old cast iron skillet.
  • 8″ Chef’s knife.
  • Serving spoon.

Compounding:

My process is simple. Chop celery and carrots into 1/2” pieces. Cut onion and potatoes into quarters, then halve the quarters. Peel garlic and slice each clove in half.

Sauté celery, carrots, onion and garlic in skillet, one at a time, with olive oil and Bragg seasoning. (Five minutes, or so.)

Stand leek on end in big pot, add potatoes, chicken, and sautéed veggies. Add water to cover contents, and salt and pepper to taste— for me that’s 3 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp of pepper.

Fire up burner and bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Stir carefully, put lid on (it won’t cover pot completely because of the leek), and every so often stir again. Cook until potatoes are soft, maybe an hour-and-fifteen minutes. And then, soup’s on!

 

Chicken Soup Rx

Chicken Soup— Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Dosage:

A taste from the pot is promising. First bowl— mmmmm!— perhaps the best I’ve made. Second bowl, just as good. And, if some is good, more is better! Third bowl— don’t know that I’m well yet, but I am feeling better. Hey Nancy, your prescription is right on!

But, with half the batch gone already, you better drop by soon.

It’s been said there’s a right way, a wrong way, and the Army’s way. Growing up a military brat I sat ringside to this truism. Today, while there’s not been wholesale change, at least fitness-wise someone’s been doing something.

Dollars & Sense

Spearheaded by Majors Charles Blake and David Feltwell, both physical therapists, Pose Method founder, Nicholas Romanov and his son, Severin, Pose Method is now being incorporated into the United States Army’s physical readiness training (PRT) routine because it’s standardized, thus easily taught and learned, and because Pose Method prevents injuries.

That last part’s a big deal because, ironically, soldiers suffer a far greater prevalence of injury from running than from battle! Since such consistent damage to government property at once reduces the fighting force and costs many millions of dollars annually, any viable solution should get the attention of the top brass. And, it did.

Long story short, the right way would become the Army way.

The plethora of Pose Method drills recently introduced into the Army’s Fitness Manual (see Military Running) allows you to learn for yourself exactly how the health, fitness, and performance of Army troops is now being improved– and medical expenses averted– step by step. For greater context, just search on this site for “running” and read more.

Paranoia or Prudence?

Is it paranoid to take action now to prevent possible heart disease and stroke (“the silent killer“) from creeping up on us later in life? I think not, rather, it’s prudent. By making healthful eating and exercise choices long before clear symptoms appear, and long before we can even imagine losing our health, fitness, and well-being we must invest in that ounce of prevention that will save a pound of cure. We really cannot take our early freedom from preventable disease for granted— without care, it falters.

Perspective

It’s important to learn from the obvious missteps of those nearly 1700 Americans who die each day from heart disease. It’s essential to heed the lifestyle recommendations of those with a wider perspective, and sharper hindsight and foresight. It’s imperative to know that juvenile and emotional choices inevitably lead to our own demise and must be rejected in favor of reasoned and rational lifestyle decisions. Why? Because heart disease can happen to you.

Facts Above Feelings

You see, once it’s gone heroic measures are required to reclaim our natural birthright of health and fitness, and the well-being that normally comes with it. This of course applies to each of us as individuals. It applies to all of us collectively. And, it’s a striking metaphor for another grave concern. We Americans must also put facts above feelings and preserve the health of our Constitutionally guaranteed human rights— including personal protection with firearms— from being gradually undermined by the disease of despotism. Why? Because that can happen here, too.

Simple means uncomplicated. So, it’s true: getting and staying fit whether this includes building strength, developing endurance, or becoming lean is straightforward. Essentially all you have to do is lift more weight, run farther, and eat less. Easy, right? Wrong. Easy means without much effort.

The simplest things, like changing a dietary habit can require Herculean effort. The most complicated of tasks, such as rationalizing poor food choices can be remarkably easy. Most people seem to easily overcome the difficult challenge of fooling themselves while balking at the simplest of actions.

I used to assure people that fitness was well within reach. Back then, most hadn’t yet fully bound themselves in the belief that fitness was easy. The “no sweat” workout was still a transparent marketing ploy. These days, generally, people think that fitness is something anyone can take off the shelf and purchase at the register. They expect it to be easy, that it takes care of itself.

Now, I say that though fitness is for everybody, it isn’t for everyone. Yes, it’s simple, but fitness certainly isn’t easy. You’ve got to do what it takes. However difficult accomplishing that goal might have been for you physically, the highest hurdle could be to just accept the challenge mentally.