Chewing the Fat

Let’s chew the fat, shall we? If you ask me, that’s all I’ve been doing lately. And by this I actually mean trying to get rid of the saggy bits on my body, if you know what I mean.

Here's Clare offering me my daily allowance of her "Juicy Jars" smoothies. Thanks, Clare!

Here’s Clare offering me my daily allowance of her good-for-you smoothies. Thanks, Clare!

It all started with my friend, Clare.

No, wait.

It all really started with my doctor who at a recent checkup said, that a certain you-know-who should think about losing a few, well, we don’t have to go into details here, do we? You can figure it out.

San Diego Deputy Chief Lorraine Hutchinson is a Susan G. Komen 2014 Honorary Breast Cancer Survivor.

San Diego Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Lorraine Hutchinson is a Susan G. Komen 2014 Honorary Breast Cancer Survivor. Check out her story in the San Diego Uptown News.

So, where was I?

Oh yes. It then continued with Clare. She’s the one with the bad luck blues, remember?

Clare inadvertently started a little business on the side, making healthy smoothies that she serves in mason jars. Folks at work, have been guzzling them up everyday, including me. There’s a pink one for the morning. It’s jam packed with berries, spinach and something called probiotics.

At lunch she gives me a green smoothie which someone, who shall remain nameless once called a “lab experiment.” (It wasn’t me, Clare. Honest!)

Actually, considering it’s comprised of mostly vegetables, including kale–which is all the rage these days–and a little pineapple and kiwi, too,  it’s quite palatable.

So now that I’m taking in all this good stuff, I figured it was time to get moving again.

Thankfully, I’m no longer out of commission. For nearly two months, I’ve been living with a bad knee. Yes, a rotten one, in fact. But physical therapy has helped big time.

So I’ve been able to return to my Zumba classes, with my favorite instructors, Zuliya (who you may recall is a recipient of the first annual Monica’s Tangled Web Award) and Barbara. I adore my teachers! So beautiful, on the inside and out. Barbara teaches a Zumba class for folks who want to take it a little easier. Whose knees ain’t what they used to be, if you know what I mean. I’m so glad to be back in class and exercising again. I love Zumba!

And now that I’m moving again, I got myself a Fitbit! What’s a Fitbit?

That’s what I asked myself when I first heard about it not too long ago. I was interviewing Lorraine Hutchinson, an African-American female fire chief and breast cancer survivor, for a story in the San Diego Uptown News.  Lorraine is one tough lady, let me tell you, who is completely devoted to her work and saving lives.

The Zumba ladies! From left: Zuliya, Barbara and Cosette, who teaches in the morning.

The Zumba ladies! From left: Zuliya, Barbara and Cosette, who teaches in the morning.

Well, about two years ago, she got hit with a one-two punch when she was diagnosed, first with diabetes and then with breast cancer in the space of a few months. But she’s a survivor, and you can read more about her in her story, “Against All Odds.

Anyway, Lorraine got herself a Fitbit (this is not a paid endorsement, by the way) because she wanted to lose weight to help manage the diabetes. You wear the Fitbit like a bracelet. It’s made of rubber and you can keep track of how you’re doing on your computer and also on your phone. The darn thing keeps track of your steps, calories burned and calorie intake and a whole lot more. It even tells you how well and how long your sleeping, and how many times you were restless during the night.

Needless to say, with her Fitbit Lorraine walks 20,000 steps every single day. Bottom line? She doesn’t have diabetes anymore!

I was so inspired, I ordered a Fitbit and now I’m walking everyday, aiming for 12,000 steps, which I happily reach most days.

I’m feeling good, having made all these little changes in my life. Like I told Clare, ever since I started drinking her juicy jars of goodness, I swear there’s a new spring to my step!

So, wish me luck as I walk, shimmy and bike myself on the path to better health.

And while you’re at it, tell me what you do to stay healthy.

Let’s chew the fat some more!


31 thoughts on “Chewing the Fat

  1. You just sold me on the fitbit!! lol

    Your Mason jars look like aussie jam jars! I saw one of my friends drinking out of one when were having a Skype conversation and was thoroughly amused. Now I realise it is actually common over there, it’s not as funny.. lol

    The fresh juices/smoothies look delicious!

    I could probably do with chewing of the fat myself – *Races off to google the fitbit*

    Miss Lou

    • Hi Miss Lou! Thanks for your awesome comments. Re the Mason jars, they’re quite trendy here. Used to be just for preserving fruit and pickles and what-not. But certain bars even serve drinks in them. If you ever make it to San Diego, be sure to visit La Puerta downtown. Best Mojitos ever and they’re served in Mason jars!

  2. OMG, Monica, I think we’re living parallel lives. You probably remember in February when I tore my MCL in left knee. Yikes. Physical Therapy has been claiming my free time, but I’m happy to report, all seems well. And yes, that often comes with the doctor’s recommendation that a few pounds down might help the old joints.

    I’m interested in your fitbit. I’m down about ten pounds but with the knee issue, had to rely on diet. Kept accurate food diary in an App for a couple of weeks and then ran the figures. My bloodwork has always been great, and no wonder. I eat foods low in cholesterol, but boy was the figure for carbs and sugar high.

    Solution for me has been more protein, less carbs. But those smoothies look divine!Hope your knee is better soon.

    • Congratulations on losing ten pounds. That’s fantastic. The fitbit is a great way to keep track of how I’m doing, encouraging me to do physical activity and even to get more sleep. A great investment for folks who need that extra push. It even tells me how much I walk each week. Last week I walked 50 miles! Now that’s a lot of steps!

  3. A favorite smoothie of mine (after a Pilates class at the gym) happens to be pineapple/kale/lemon and there are other vegetable juices I like a lot More to the point, the more I read re: what’s good for our health/well- being, the clearer it becomes that the information keeps changing. So I’ll smile as I sip my red wine 😉

  4. Hello my friend, getting to the tail end of my trip. Love the title of your post.
    So happy to hear your knee is better you are back at Zumba and walking too. I love a good walk. I have such a sweet tooth, I had to start running. Since I’ve begun eating mostly gluten free in support of my daughter who is allergic to wheat.. While continuing my yoga, I feel so much better.
    I love that Clare is making the smoothies. Give me a good green smoothie with kale, mango and coconut water anyday – yummy.
    How fantastic is Lorraine! I love that she beat diabetes. So inspiring.

    • So glad to see you back here, MM! I hope you’re having a wonderful time. I can’t believe your trip is coming to an end. Seems like yesterday you left. Clare loves that she’s making smoothies, too. Her business grows everyday. She keeps getting new customers who sign up! Lorraine really inspired me, but she’s a tough act to follow, if you ask me.

      Safe travels!

  5. I’m so impressed with Lorraine. She beat the hell outta that diabetes.

    As for you, glad to see you’re back in step. Be careful though. If you get anymore bounce in your step, you’re gonna be be bouncing around Cali (yeah, a joke that went south real fast).

    I drink the protein shakes, drink lotsa water and about to get myself a mini trampoline since I learned it’s good for muscle tone and cardio. Heck, looks like I’ll be the one bouncing around the ATL.

  6. You r so sweet. Keep up the good work and u will see the lbs come off. I love having u in class and having u as my friend!!

    • Aw, thanks Barb. It’s a mutual admiration society! By the way, I missed you tonight. I forgot you weren’t going to be there. Sigh. And I can’t come on Saturday so guess I’ll see you Tuesday!

  7. Ha, ha, chewing the fat, indeed. Exercise and healthy eating will do that, won’t it? Brilliant title, my friend. I want one of those Fitbits. Bet I can’t get one here. But I can walk!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • I’m glad you like the title. It just came to me and made sense. It’s a funny expression when you think about. I mean, who really wants to chew the fat?
      By the way, re Fitbit, if you can order from Amazon, you can get it there. And if you do, we can be friends on Fitbit and follow each other’s progress re walking, etc. Think about it.

  8. I am soooo impressed with your results thus far, Monica — keep up the good work! As you know, I try to walk every single day (sometimes outside with Dallas; other times on the treadmill; some days, BOTH!) Additionally, I watch what I eat (NO snacking, no potato chips!). When the weather is pretty, I do more, but these steamy hot days, I lay a bit lower. Thanks for your encouragement to get up and MOVE!

    • Debbie, I too walk my dogs, sometimes more than I need to–on purpose. People tell me I seem to walk my dogs a lot, but I only walk them 3 times on weekdays and 4 times a day on weekends. But I don’t think I was reaching the number of steps I do now. Now my walks are longer because I can track them. It’s great.

  9. Congrats on your knee getting better and on taking better care of yourself. You deserve it, Monica!
    I love Zumba, too. I haven’t had much time for it lately because we’re rehearsing for some upcoming shows at the SD Fringe festival. We’re tap dancing to poetry; can you believe that? (I hope you can catch our show.)
    I love my Fitbit because it helps me be reasonable about my cookie intake. Seeing those numbers shows me exactly how many flap ball changes I have to do to work off those treats. I know it’s just math, but I need to see it in black & white.

    • I love seeing it in black and white. I’m very religious about making sure I walk 12,000 steps daily and get so excited when I reach 15K. It’s nice to see the numbers, too on how many calories I’m burning and how many miles I’m walking. Woo hoo!

    • Well Becky, I’ve always admired how you go running in marathons. It’s very inspiring. I of course am afraid of running because of my knees, but Zumba is a nice alternative. My physical therapist said bicycling was good because it’s not hard on the knees, so I’m glad I’ve taken that up again after all these years.

  10. Walking is good Monica.

    I should do more, especially in the nice weather we have at the moment.

    Personally I have stopped snacking when working, that’s been my downfall, and I am determined to get out more with the camera as well.

    Now off sugar as well and on sweetener. Not sure about a fitbit though!!!

    Keep at it Monica and Good Luck!!!

    • It sure is, Jodi. I actually love walking. When I visited Europe or when I go to New York, one of my favorite activities is walking. There are some cities ideal for walking. San Diego is not one of them.

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