Thursday, December 30, 2010

Low cal margarita is a good way to start those fitness resolutions

The good PR folks at Casa Noble sent out a press release touting this Skinny Margarita as a  low calorie option for the new year.  Makes sense to me.

According to Casa Noble, a margarita made with a mix (or one of those pre-bottled drinks) comes in around 327 calories.  This one has less than 190 calories.  So if you are preparing for a New Years Day marathon at your house, consider offering this mixology as an alternative:

Skinny Margarita
2 oz Casa Noble Crystal
1 oz fresh lime juice (or the juice of 1 whole lime)
¾ oz La Sierra agave nectar (or other organic agave nectar)

Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, strain and serve up or on the rocks. Garnish with a lime wheel.

For more information on Casa Noble, visit

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Healthy eating: Open Face Wild Albacore Lemony Tuna Melt

Fitness eating, or perhaps better said "eating for fitness", is tough. At least for me, it's easy to stay reasonably active. But eating healthy? I've got years (make that decades) of habits to break when it comes to what I eat.

One of my fitness goals for 2010 was to begin to think of my diet as part of my overall fitness plan.  As we head into 2011, I'm looking for real foods that I can cook in a way that are satisfying meals.  My friend Steffi turned me on to a recipe for beans and sweet potato stew a few months back and it's a diet staple.  I'm on the hunt for more.

Over at San Jose Fitness Examiner, I did a review of Wild Planet tuna (New tests raise alerts about mercury in tuna; Wild Planet foods offer solutions).  The northern California company sells an albacore tuna with half the mercury, six times the Omega 3 and is  a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch "Best Choice."  

I asked the team at Wild Planet for some ideas on dishes I could make with the tuna - and they suggested the following tuna melt served on whole grain bread.  Sounds pretty good to me, though I haven't tried it yet.  See what you think:

Makes 2 Sandwiches


1 can (5oz) Wild Planet Wild Albacore Tuna, undrained
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tsp chopped parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 slices Monterey Jack or provolone cheese
4 slices vine ripened tomato
2 thick slices ciabatta or other hearty bread, lightly toasted


Preheat broiler. Place Wild Planet Wild Albacore Tuna and juices from the can into a medium bowl. Flake with a fork. Add lemon juice, mayonnaise, red onion, parsley, red pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well combined. Mound tuna mixture onto two slices of ciabatta bread, top each with two slices of cheese. Place on a sheet pan and broil about four inches from heat until cheese melts, taking care to prevent cheese from burning. Top with tomatoes and serve.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Squaw Valley

Today on San Jose fitness Examiner I posted a story about Squaw Valley USA being bought out. 
Squaw Valley Acquired by KSL  Partners

I've always been impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of Alexander Cushing, who built the Squaw Valley development in 1949, and brought the Olympics there in 1960.  He fought hard to get the Olympics, and from all accounts helped change the perception of American sports.  The Washington Post article quoted KSL's co-founder as commenting on Cushing's influence on introducing skiing as a sport in the US by bringing the Olympics to Squaw Valley.

Anyway, so now Squaw has a new owner, the same folks that own the famed La Costa Resort and Spa and several other  posh resorts and clubs.  They are intending to put about $50 million into Squaw too, so that should make it even nicer.

Good for all of us in the Bay Area and good for Squaw!

Monday, November 22, 2010

ZeroWater filter pitcher review

A few minutes ago I posted an article on the San Jose Fitness Examiner column about a new filtered water pitcher I tried: ZeroWater filter pitcher a good way to go green, stay hydrated

I thought I'd post here some additional thoughts about the product that I didn't put in that piece.

ZeroWater, just fyi, is a system that removes the dissolved solids in tap water (the solids that come from the municipal processing and sometimes from your own home pipes). While safe to drink, all of those solids affect the taste of water, which is why water tastes different when you travel.

The nice PR people for ZeroWater pitched me the story about the pure water and how it was good for fitness people and I agreed.  But the price point of nearly $40 for the pitcher struck me as too-high-to-be-worth it.  They asked if I wanted one to review and I said yes, no commitment on my part if I was going to like it or not, no commitment for a review.

The first week I used it, I noticed the difference in the taste of my water.  But it was about 10 days before I realized I was drinking a lot more water because I actually liked the taste.  Water with a yummy factor?  Yep.  And kept nice and cold in the refrigerator it's even better.  It also improved the taste of my morning coffee. I like my morning coffee, so this earned the pitcher a gold star in my book.

To disclose: I also say yum to my Crystal Geyser bottled water, and to some of the lightly flavored waters that are on the market.  Both of those would be way too expensive to use those for all my cooking/drinking water needs, however.

This is a good filter system.   I'd consider buying one for my desk at work  - our tap water there is awful and I suspect our water machine is gross with bacteria.

I'd also consider giving ZeroWater as a gift to friends with lousy tasting tap water, though I'd want to include a good supply of filters with it.  The filters are easy to find online and are stocked at Target and some other retail locations, but they aren't as easy to find as Brita filters.  

My goal for 2011 is to cut way back on bottled water but to increase my water intake.  This will help, though I'll let you know in six months if I was willing to keep paying the high cost of replacement filters (about $15 apiece).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

PR mailbag: Why You’ll Never Have Enough Willpower to Lose Weight

Checking out the PR wires today, came across this. As we head into holidays, I thought it was interesting and worth a read so I'm passing it along:

PROVO, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Every Monday for five years, Natalie Luke looked in the mirror and said, “I’ve got a fresh start, this week will be different; I will lose those pesky pounds.”

“I now understand the psyche behind behavior change and feel confident I’ll be able to keep the pounds off once I reach my goal.”  However, week after week, diet after diet, nothing changed. Natalie figured she simply didn’t have sufficient willpower to succeed.

New research from the bestselling authors of Influencer reveals why people like Natalie fail to lose weight, and it’s not due to lack of willpower.

According to the online poll of 988 people attempting to lose weight, using six different behavioral strategies in combination increases your chances of losing weight by 10 times. However, most people fail because they rely on one source of influence alone. In fact, of those who didn’t use six strategies in combination, only one in five lost more than five pounds in the preceding three months and more than half actually gained weight.

The poll was conducted by the authors of the New York Times bestseller Influencer, which outlines the six sources of influence aimed at creating lasting behavior change. In Spring 2011, the authors will release their fourth book, Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success, as well as launch, a website that uses the principles of influence to help people accomplish a variety of personal change goals.

Joseph Grenny, author of Influencer, says despite popular opinion, lack of willpower is not the No. 1 reason people struggle to lose weight.

“We fail to change our behavior not because we’re weak willed, but because we are blind and outnumbered to six sources of influence that shape our choices and habits,” says Grenny. “Our willpower doesn’t stand a chance against these deeply engrained behaviors.”

One Monday at age 45, Natalie performed her weekly ritual and realized “vowing” to change was not enough. It was then that she created a change plan that leveraged the six sources of influence aimed at behavior change. Now, two months later, Natalie is half-way to reaching her goal of losing 25 pounds by the end of the year.

“Creating a change plan that included the six sources of influence gave me the necessary tools for success,” she said. “I now understand the psyche behind behavior change and feel confident I’ll be able to keep the pounds off once I reach my goal.”

Grenny outlines strategies guaranteed to help people achieve their weight loss goals. The key to success is using at least one strategy from each of the six sources of influence:

1.Personal Motivation: Love what you hate. Motivate yourself by changing the way you think about your health and weight. Natalie uses daily visualization exercises and listens to a popular podcast to change negative perceptions about her ability to lose weight.
2.Personal Ability: Do what you can’t. Learn the weight loss skills you lack. Natalie uses a popular workout program that teaches her how to perform exercises that use muscle confusion to increase calorie burning.
3.Social Motivation: Turn accomplices into friends. Find out if your friends are helping or hurting your progress. Natalie lets others know about her weight loss goals so they are conscious and respectful of her exercise time.
4.Social Ability: Enlist coaches. Often, changing habits requires help. Natalie’s coach is the winner of The Biggest Loser season 4. He coaches Natalie to make changes that not only help her succeed but also maintain her weight loss.
5.Structural Motivation: Invert the economy. Motivate yourself to stay on track by planning rewards for small successes. Natalie selects a new outfit she wants to buy and shows her coaches so they can encourage her to earn that reward.
6.Structural Ability: Control your space. Don’t underestimate the power of your environment. Because one of the largest barriers to Natalie’s success is the extra time she spends at work, she keeps a clock in plain view in order to leave the office early enough to exercise.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Giants win World Series: Lincecum, Renteria more fit than misfits

They've been called a team of misfits and castoffs, but throughout the San Francisco bay area, no one much cares: The San Francisco Giants brought home their first World Series win and the area is celebrating.

From a fitness point of view, the post on the original site, including pictures of Game 5

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Necklace on Texas Ranger's Mitch Moreland is Phiten - did it aid Rangers win?

How did the Texas Rangers beat our own SF Giants last night?  Plenty of pundits give the play by play but from a fitness point of view, did Mitch Moreland's braided necklace play a role? The neck gear is part of the neckwear line...(read the rest on the original site)

S F Giant Brian Wilson's off-season workout

He works hard all year long, he's a little bit crazy (Giant's reliever Jeremy Affeldt says that's usually how closers are) and though he's all business in the clubhouse, the San Francisco Giant's Brian Wilson is a fun guy who...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Madonna opens new gyms globally with Bay Area partner New Evolution Ventures

The announcement this morning that Madonna has put her star power behind a chain of gyms named Hard Candy  is causing a lot of excitement.  The gyms will focus on kickboxing and yoga, according to some of the published reports. Hard Candy...(read story on original site

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lots of Bay Area Fitness events upcoming

US Half Marathon, San Francisco, Nov 7, 2010 (Half price thru 10/29

November 7, 2010 is the US Half Marathon San Francisco, an eco-friendly race in what has been named by Runner's World as the country's top running city.  And if you act fast, there is a $40 Groupon offer (half off the regular $80...

Time to talk Silicon Valley Turkey Trot - November 25, 2010

If you haven't registered already, get with the program and look into the 6th Annual Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, a 5k walk/run and a 10k run to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank, The Housing Trust and Children's Health...

LIVERight Zumbathon at Stanford November 13, 2010

Now is the time to sign up for the Nov. 13,  LIVERight Zumbathon at Stanford.  Last January, over 300 people participated in this fundraising event, and the organizers are setting their sights on doubling that to 600 people on...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fleet Week 2010 has great family activities to get kids active

Links and info about the 2010 Fleet Week activities - check it out:   Fleet Week 2010 has great activities

Friday, October 8, 2010

Two San Jose health fairs October 9-10

There are two free health fairs this weekend - so if you've been meaning to get around to that blood pressure check, or looking for resources and information check them out

Open Air Health Fair, San Jose Flea Market, Oct 9-10, 2010

Walk to Fight Diabetes, San Jose, Oct 10 will close St. John Street   Includes Health Fair

Sunday, October 3, 2010

24 Hour Fitness aims for boomer market:; aligns with International Council on Aging

SAN RAMON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--24 Hour Fitness, the largest U.S. fitness chain and a leading health club industry pioneer, proudly joins the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), an organization committed to changing society’s perceptions of aging and improving the quality of life for aging Baby Boomers and older adults.
“Like the ICAA, 24 Hour Fitness believes that physical activity changes lives and can make a dramatic impact on the quality of life for older adults and people of all ages – especially older adults”
As part of the alliance, 24 Hour Fitness will review ways to make its portfolio of clubs more relevant and accessible to older active adults. By assessing club amenities, group exercise class programming, marketing and operations, the company hopes to support the ICAA’s mission of improving the quality of life for aging Baby Boomers through fitness so they can achieve longer and healthier lives.
“Like the ICAA, 24 Hour Fitness believes that physical activity changes lives and can make a dramatic impact on the quality of life for older adults and people of all ages – especially older adults,” said Randy Drake, senior vice president of fitness and business development for 24 Hour Fitness. “Mobility, healthy weight, flexibility and longevity can be directly impacted and improved by staying active.”
Currently, 24 Hour Fitness proudly hosts amenities and classes that are suitable for people of all ages. In addition to state-of-the art equipment, 24 Hour Fitness offers Silver&Fit® programming and Healthways’ SilverSneakers® Fitness Program to over 500,000 eligible Medicare, Medicare Advantage and group retirees. Additionally, 24 Hour Fitness offers a series of Group X® cardio, strength, aquatic and specialty classes that are geared towards people of all ages and suitable for older adults.
“24 Hour Fitness provides readily accessible facilities and programs that enable older adults to maintain and improve their physical functioning,” said Colin Milner, chief executive officer for the ICAA. “Together, we are working to ensure that older adults use fitness to live healthier and happier lives.”

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose Exo

Loved the Expo (as always) - check out the pictures, reviews of who gave out good stuff and general notes: 

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Jose - street closures, Expo pics & notes

Rock n Roll Half Marathon San Jose - Expo, 2010. Local DDS has help for athletes 

Rock n Roll Half Marathon San Jose - Live at the Expo 2010. We rate the samples


Meb Keflezighi and Blake Russell take number one (men and women)

Over  at Lincoln High School, a major spot with music, snacks and hydration, the bulk of the runners are still coming through, but the top contenders are already in and feasting on after-race snacks.
  Check out the top ten woman and top ten men over on San Jose Fitness Examiner.

Monday, September 27, 2010

10 tips for healthy feet - if you run marathons, you want to check out these

The best socks?  The secret to avoiding blisters?
Accoding to Director of Surgery at NYC FootCare, Dr. Oliver Zong, there are things you can do - should do
Top Tips for Healthy Feet
  1. Stretching  primes the body for the strenuous activity.  Stretch before and after running. Concentrate on the calves, hamstrings, quads and feet.  Read the rest of the article on the original Examiner site

50 year olds say best years yet to come

  Thanks to Cheerios for this new survey - hey, it's what we've been saying all along:  
According to a recent survey completed by Cheerios®, 50 is the new 40 – or younger. Americans celebrating the iconic birthday this year aren’t stressed or sad about turning 50; they’re looking forward to what the future holds. The researchers conclusions? Check it out:
“It’s clear from the results that 50-year-olds feel far younger than their current age and are eager to make big changes in the coming years – and they’ve noticed having a healthy heart is key to keeping this momentum going.”
                                     Also check out: 5 Secrets to staying young - Boomers define old as age 80
Cheerios conducted “The Real 50” survey to find out how 50-year-old Americans feel about their age, health and the next phase of their lives. Key findings from the report uncover this group feels youthful at 50, but recognizes health should be a priority in the years ahead.
Age is Just a Number
Seventy-seven percent of today’s 50-year-olds feel younger than they thought they would at this age. In fact, nearly 45 percent say they feel 39 or younger. And despite the recent economic downtown, 56 percent believe they have it better than their parents did at this age.

While these Boomers feel youthful, they also recognize improving or maintaining their health is important for the future. Specifically:
  • Nearly two in three report the decade ahead is one in which they’d love to improve their overall health.
  • Close to 70 percent fear they’ll be more consumed with the health of their hearts in the decade to come than the physical signs of aging such as wrinkles or gray hair.
  • Almost half hope their 50th year will be the time they tackle a specific health or fitness goal, such as losing weight or lowering cholesterol.
“As younger Boomers enter their 50’s, we wanted to see how they feel about this milestone birthday,” said Jeff Hingher, brand marketing manager for Cheerios. “It’s clear from the results that 50-year-olds feel far younger than their current age and are eager to make big changes in the coming years – and they’ve noticed having a healthy heart is key to keeping this momentum going.”
The Road Ahead
Of this group, almost 70 percent believe their best years haven’t passed them by; they’re yet to come. With their best days ahead of them, these Boomers are excited to continue focusing on what’s important to them.
  • Close to three in four of those who believe the best years lie ahead say the coming years are most appealing to them for chances to travel (74 percent) and spend time with their families (73 percent).
  • Additionally, 60 percent say they’d like to take more time for leisure activities, such as attending concerts or movies, while 46 percent want to spend more time outdoors and 42 percent look forward to volunteering.
While age seems to be a mere state of mind for this group, they acknowledge the need to take care of themselves, particularly their hearts, to seize the days ahead.
As an incentive to stay healthy, Cheerios developed the “Do What You Love” sweepstakes. People who pledge to love their hearts can enter to win one of 10 prizes that allow them to travel, vacation with family, attend a red-carpet event and more. Cheerios wants to inspire Boomers to become caretakers of their hearts because no matter what they love to do, they’ll need a healthy heart to do it.
Enjoying Cheerios is a simple way to help maintain a healthy heart because the cereal is made with 100 percent whole grain oats which can help lower cholesterol.
To learn more about Cheerios and the “Do What You Love” sweepstakes, please visit

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zagat 2011 Bay Area Survey Reveals Diners Cutting Back, Yet Getting Values, In Tough Times

Ninety-Four Noteworthy Newcomers Show Restaurateurs are Betting on the Future; Food Trucks Roll into the Rankings; San Francisco Diners Support Healthful Eating; Gary Danko Sweeps for Food, Service and Popularity; El Tonayense Named "Best Buy"

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Zagat Survey released its 2011 San Francisco Restaurant Survey today, with results available in print, on and via ZAGAT TO GO for iPhone, iPad and Android. This year's Survey covers 1,373 restaurants in the greater San Francisco Bay Area from the Wine Country up North to Carmel down South. Nearly two-thirds of the restaurants in the guide feature dinner costs under $40 and lunches below $30. Based on the feedback of over 10,000 avid local consumers, the typical Zagat-Rated restaurant was visited by surveyors over twice a day.
Cloudy Weather : The nation's economic woes continue to affect local restaurateurs, as the average meal cost in San Francisco saw an unprecedented decline – a 1.6% decrease, from $39.40 in 2009, to $38.78 this year. Furthermore, the average cost of dining at the 20 most expensive restaurants has dropped 4.4% since the recession started. When asked how the economy is affecting their dining habits, 43% of surveyors report eating out less, 39% are more attentive to prices, 36% are picking less expensive places and 16 to 21% have cut back on alcohol, appetizers and desserts. Also, 10% say they're less likely to try new places. Importantly, despite San Francisco's reputation as a culinary center, locals report dining out 2.8 times per week on average, down from 3.2 pre-recession and below Zagat's current 3.2 national average.
Silver Lining : Nonetheless, since the economic downturn, 50% of surveyors report finding better deals, 40% feel their patronage is more appreciated and 36% say it's easier to land a table. While 59% of surveyors cite poor service as their top irritant when dining out, the decrease from 66% pre-recession suggests an improvement in the front-of-house. And it seems diners are starting to put their money where their mouths are, as the average tip increased from 18.4% pre-recession to 18.6% now. That there are 94 new arrivals in the Survey shows that restaurateurs are betting on the future.
"The down economy has made dining out more affordable, and diners have plenty of options to choose from," said Tim Zagat, CEO and Co-Founder of Zagat Survey. "However, the good news for consumers may be bad news for restaurateurs as dining spending has declined. Fortunately, 51% of surveyors are confident that fine-dining out will bounce back with the economy."
Keep on Truckin' : For the first time in the San Francisco guide, surveyors put food trucks and pop-up eateries on the map with full ratings and reviews – a welcome resource for the 23% of locals who report following food trucks (and other restaurants) via Twitter and Facebook. It's also notable that this year's Best Bang for the Buck is El Tonayense, a traveling taco-truck fleet (with a brick-and-mortar offshoot). It even bested In-N-Out Burger, as well as last year's best buy, Saigon Sandwiches (now No. 2 and No. 3, respectively). More mobile eateries can be found on, including RoliRoti, Spencer on the Go! and hot dog purveyor Let's Be Frank, and farmer's market stands like 4505 Meats, Cal-Korean Namu and Tacolicious.
Healthfulness : An overwhelming 83% of San Francisco surveyors say they agree that restaurants should be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health department inspection (as recently passed in NYC, taking a cue from LA). Diners also agree on healthy-dining options, as 69% consider having low-carb, low-fat and heart-healthy items on menus to be important. And in a city where local, organic eating is a lifestyle rather than a trend, nearly 80% consider it important to have "green" menu items available.
Openings : This year's Top Newcomer, Frances, located in the Castro, is just one of the big debuts specializing in locally sourced fare. Other "green" eateries range from the splashy Morimoto Napa and Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern to Boulevard offshoot Prospect and French Laundry alum Corey Lee's first venture, Benu. Sandwich shops also stormed the scene this year, offering everything from "decadent five-star" sandwiches at North Beach's Naked Lunch to melted creations at SoMa's American Grilled Cheese Kitchen to gourmet banh mi at nearby Spice Kit. Rounding out this year's top five rated newcomers, after Frances, are (in order) Baker & Banker, Barbacco, Boot & Shoe Service and Tacolicious.
Winners : The "showstopping" and "magnificent" Gary Danko continues to stand out with surveyors, rated No. 1 for Top Food, Most Popular and Top Service in this year's Survey. Taking the honors for Top Decor is Big Sur's Sierra Mar. Showing the diversity and geographic spread of San Francisco Bay Area dining are the leading restaurants in major categories (E=East of SF; N=North; S=South):
Top Food
1) Gary Danko
2) French Laundry/N
3) Cyrus/N
4) Sierra Mar/S
5) Acquerello

Top Decor
1) Sierra Mar/S
2) Garden Court
3) Ahwahnee Din.Rm./E
4) Pacific's Edge/S
5) Auberge du Soleil/N

Top Service
1) Gary Danko
2) French Laundry/N
3) Cyrus/N
4) Acquerello
5) Erna's Elderberry/E

Most Popular
1) Gary Danko
2) Boulevard
3) Slanted Door
4) French Laundry/N
5) Cyrus/N

Winners by Cuisine : The new guide features over 100 indexes and top lists for types of cuisine, neighborhoods and special features. Here are the winners listed by cuisine type:
American (New) – Gary Danko
Italian – Acquerello
American (Trad.) – Ad Hoc/N
Japanese – Hana Japanese/N
Asian – House
Med./Greek – Kokkari Estiatorio
Barbecue – Buckeye Roadhouse/N
Mexican – Tamarindo Antojeria/E
Burgers – Joe's Cable Car
Middle Eastern – Truly Mediterranean
Cajun/Creole/Soul – Brenda's
Peruvian – La Mar Cebicheria
Californian – Chez Panisse/E
Pizza – Pizzetta 211
Chinese – Yank Sing
Sandwiches – Bakesale Betty/E
Continental – La Foret/S
Seafood – Swan Oyster Depot
Dim Sum – Yank Sing
Spanish/Basque – Piperade
Eclectic – Sierra Mar/S
Steak – Alexander's Steak/S
French – Cyrus/N
Thai – Soi4/E
French (Bistro) – Chapeau!
Vegetarian – Ubuntu/N
Indian – Ajanta/E
Vietnamese – Slanted Door

Overall : When asked to rate San Francisco's restaurants in the aggregate, surveyors gave the kitchens far higher grades than the fronts of the house. Food diversity scored a 26 and culinary creativity a 24, while hospitality and table availability received scores of only 18 and 15, respectively. When read together with the fact that service is still by far the largest complaint of diners, these figures point the way for restaurateurs' efforts to improve their future performance – and, hopefully, their profitability.
Details : The 2011 San Francisco Restaurants guide ($14.95) was edited by Karen Hudes with local editor Meesha Halm. For information on Zagat's mobile products, please visit Both the guidebook and the digital products break top lists out by cuisine type, neighborhood and other special features. Be sure to follow Zagat on Facebook and Twitter @ZagatBuzz for daily news and updates!
About Zagat Survey, LLC
Known as the "wildly popular" "burgundy bible," Zagat Survey is the world's most trusted source for consumer-generated survey information. With a worldwide network of surveyors, Zagat rates and reviews restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range of other entertainment categories and is lauded as the "most up-to-date," "comprehensive" and "reliable" guide, published on all platforms. Zagat content is available to consumers wherever and whenever they need it: on,, ZAGAT TO GO for smartphones and in book form.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Friends of Stevens Creek Trail issue volunteer call for Sept 26 Trailblazer Race

Here's a great cause, and a great event. Plus, it sounds like fun:  The Friends of Stevens Creek Trail in Mountain View have sent word today that volunteers are needed for the upcoming Trailblazer Race Sunday, September 26th from 6:45am to 11:00am.  Email: or call 408-255-5780...

Friday, September 3, 2010

San Jose street closings for Labor Day Race to End Summer

A quick update from the City of San Jose about street closings for the Race this Labor Day Weekend


  • South San Jose
  • Closure of Embedded Way, Hellyer (S/B from 101 to Silver Creek), Fontanoso (from Hellyer to Silver Creek), Silver Creek (W/B from Hellyer to Piercy) (8:30  a.m. until noon)
For more information about this event and other events this Labor Day 2010 weekend, go to San Jose Fitness Examiner

Labor Day 2010 San Jose, Santa Clara County offer weekend outdoor activities at county parks

Have you scoped out all the events available over Labor Day weekend (Sat and Sunday, not Monday)  at your Santa Clara County Parks?  Don't miss these great walks, rides, and hikes.  All these and more available at the Santa...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Roller derby workout: for Silicon Valley Roller Girls it's practice til they puke.

Roller derby workout: for Silicon Valley Roller Girls it's practice til they puke

  • August 22nd, 2010 1:25 pm
Silicon Valley Roller Girls coach, co-captain Pia Mess looks sweet, skates fierce.
They call it "Pia's Puke Practice" for a reason. The Monday night practice at Silicon Valley Roller Girls is a grueling, endurance practice under the merciless eye of coach, co-captain and seven-year derby veteran, Pia Mess.
Stretching, loosening,  then skating, drills, plyometrics.  "Skate lower," she yells. "Keep your eyes on your jammer."  "Stay focused."  "Stay hydrated."   It's a pounding, intense, focused, hard core workout. 
Read more on the original site

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If Dreams Were Clouds art hike comes to Squaw Valley September 11, 12

Trails & Vistas Art Hike - Squaw Valley September 11, 12, 2010
Sold out four years in a row, Trails and Vistas’ Art Hike is returning to Squaw Valley USA in Olympic Valley (North Lake Tahoe, CA)  September 11 and 12.
For this seventh annual event, walkers,  led by an experienced guide, hike in small groups pausing at ten art venues, each set against the striking backdrop of towering granite rock faces and cascading mountains.
This year’s theme, “If Dreams were Clouds” honors the dreamtime.  Read more about the hike, including where to get information about lodging,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mark your calendar: blood drive August 28 at San Jose Skate

The Silicon Valley Roller Girls are asking people to spread the word that they will be hosting a Red Cross blood drive on Saturday, August 28, from 9 am to 3 pm at San Jose Skate. Refreshments will be provided by Vitamin Water and Larabar.

The Red Cross will be taking appointments online. Visit:
and enter the sponsor code: skate

All donors will be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift card from Best Buy.
San Jose Skate info: 408.226.1155
397 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose, CA 95123

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Leadville 100 in progress - Leipheimer on course to beat Armstrong record

With just a  a little over an hour  to go before the 2010 Leadville 100 Race Against the Sky is officially history Levi Leipheimer is on course to beat the record by :15.  Looking good!  Go Levi!

Follow along @LTrail100

Friday, August 13, 2010

How to treat arthritis with exercise four types of exercise lead to less pain, more energy

September is Healthy Aging Month and the American College of Rheumatology  is using that to make the point that people with arthritis who exercise have less pain, more energy, improved sleep, and better day-to-day function.

Since arthritis is one of the most common reasons people stop exercising as they age, developing a well-rounded routine is one of the best ways you can begin to treat arthritis. 

Click here to go to the original article with the four types of exercise to help treat arthritis pain

Schools can apply for salad bar kits thru Whole Foods grant

Whole Foods Market announced this week that it has teamed with Chef Ann Cooper, the "Renegade Lunch Lady," for a project that funds  salad bars for public schools across the country.

From now until Sept. 29, shoppers can donate to the project at the check-out or make a donation online through Each salad bar kit costs approximately $2,500 dollars, and includes a Cambro® portable 5-well salad bar unit with all the necessary insert pans, cutting boards, knives and shipping costs.

Salad bar training tools and videos for school nutrition staff will also be available through,

The salad bars will be donated to local schools through a simple online grant process. Any public elementary, middle or high school within 50 miles of a Whole Foods Market is eligible to apply with the support of the school principal, nutrition service director and the superintendent of the district. The online application and full criteria is available at

For more information about The Salad Bar Project as well as solutions for affordable, healthy lunches and recipe ideas visit Whole Foods Market's Web site at:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Apolo Ohno, Chris Bosh, endorse chocolate milk and the Refuel America program

Apolo Ohno has signed on as an endorser of the "Refuel
America program promoting lowfat chocolate milk.
I thought the "low fat chocolate milk is good for you" shtick had long since passed, but apparently the press about the new research was just the opening salvo in a new milk marketing campaign.    

Today a press release came out, announcing that eight-time speed skating medalist Apolo Anton Ohno and USA Basketball Men’s National Team member Chris Bosh are the latest celebrities to don a Milk Mustache and join some of America’s most-loved and top-performing athletes to announce a new campaign highlighting the importance of the two-hour recovery window after they have left the court, training and locker rooms. The “Refuel America” program aims to educate Americans that no matter what sport they play, lowfat chocolate milk is an easy, effective and cost-efficient way to refuel the body after a tough workout.

According to the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), a growing body of research supports chocolate milk’s recovery benefits.  Most recently, a series of four studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that drinking lowfat or fat free chocolate milk after exercise can help the body retain, replenish and rebuild muscle to help your body refuel and could even help prepare muscles to perform better in a subsequent bout of exercise.

The group is also promoting a campaign to educate teen athletes on the role of chocolate milk in refueling their bodies after exercise and reward them for choosing milk. Teens can join the “Refuel & Reward” program which provides them with a “virtual personal trainer” via their mobile devices.  By texting REFUEL to 80800, teens will receive tips from world-class athletes and opportunities to win cool prizes including autographed gear.

"White foods have no nutritional value" and other diet myths

One of my favorite online "wonderfully trashy pop culture" publications is BettyConfidential. In the issue emailed August 11 is an article titled the 7 Biggest Diet Myths, that is definitely worth the read.

Here, for instance, is one myth, that I admit, I'm guilty of spouting:

1. Myth: White foods offer little nutritional value
Truth: Many white foods are nutrient-dense. White potatoes, white asparagus, cauliflower, white cranberries, white beans, and white onions are just a few of the foods that offer a variety of powerful health-promoting nutrients. For instance, raw cauliflower beats raw tomatoes for antioxidant content. But Gans suggests that if foods become “white” due to processing—for example, when whole grains are stripped of their naturally nutritious, fiber-containing bran and germ in order to become “white” grain foods--their overall health value decreases. So stick to plant foods that are naturally white.

Check out the article for the other 6 myths...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

San Jose Jazz Festival a good time to get out, get moving

There's an article today over on San Jose Fitness Examiner about the upcoming (August 13-15) San Jose Jazz Festival, and all the streets that will be closed starting Thursday night, August 10.  It's always a little intimidating to go downtown during the Jazz Festival, what with all the streets different than they usually are.

But don't let the street closings stop you. It's a great event, one of the "must do" events each year.  I'm not crazy that they put a fee on it -- it was much more interesting when it was free -- but the $15 ticket is modest for all the entertainment available.

There's also a Salsa Flash Mob happening at this year's festival and you can be part of it.  They even have how-to videos available so it's an entire experience.  I love the spirit of the Festival, and the Festival itself, and really, have never met anyone who considers it a disappointment experience.   I volunteered at the event for a couple of years, but the dates shifted around somewhat, and I missed it for two years. After that, I couldn't find a friend to do it with me any longer and I never "re-entered" the volunteer spot.  My loss!

Check it out - at

Thursday, August 5, 2010

iPod, iPhone, iPad, iBike.

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
On August 5, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple Computer, that...
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Friday August 6 is National Fresh Breath Day

A group of dentists in New York, tiptoeing into a sensitive area, have proclaimed Friday August 6 as National Fresh Breath Day. The idea is to make people aware that having fresh breath is part of overall health and wellness, and that the solution to bad breath -- technically known as halitosis -- can be relatively simple. Sometimes, chronic bad breath can be a symptom of a serious illness. Mostly, it's one of life's most personal problems and has an impact on social and workplace relationships. The problem is stressed in advertising for a variety of products, and Americans spend a lot of money to achieve fresh breath. Mouthwashes, for example, are part of the more than $33 billion a year industry making various toiletries.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

7 tips on coping with the heat when you exercise

We've all heard, "drink plenty of water during hot weather."

But during the summer, water isn't the only fitness tip to keep in mind as a way of coping with the heat when you exercise.

 Dr. James Muntz, an internal medicine and sports medicine physician at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, offers these top 7 tips to monitor your fitness condition during the summer: 

  1. Make sure you are sweating properly. If you stop sweating when you are exercising you are dehydrated.
  2.  If you realize your pulse rate in the morning is 10 to 15 beats higher than your normal rate, you should take the day off from exercising. Normal pulse rate is around 70-90/ minute.
  3. Get acclimated to the heat before you begin an exercise regimen. Start off with 15 minutes and slowly work your way up to 45 or an hour.
  4. Forget about the "no pain, no gain" mantra. Recognize warning signs and take the appropriate action immediately.
  5. Avoid exercising between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the hottest part of the day.
  6. Don't try to diet by sweating. It will only result in water loss, not true weight loss.
  7. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and sunscreen.
Muntz also talks about the different between drinking water and sports drinks.

“Drink water before you go outdoors, so you can be properly hydrated when you begin activity,” says Muntz. "But if you plan to be active in the heat for an hour or more, water may not be enough – sports drinks, or electrolyte drinks, are a good supplement.”

Sports drinks contain electrolytes, like potassium and magnesium to help replace salt and water lost in sweat when exercising heavily. "Carbohydrates, sodium and potassium help move fluids out of the body and to the muscles, where it needs to be when we are working out in the heat,” Muntz explains.

Drinking too much water in a short period of time can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, which occurs when sodium levels drop in the body. Muntz suggests raising sodium levels after activity by eating some food with salt, such as pretzels, pickles or even potato chips.

Symptoms of hyponatremia include vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, restlessness/fatigue, confusion or hallucinations, muscle weakness and convulsions.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Muscle Milk flexes its muscles for Cassie Scerbo and other beautiful bodies at X Games

Monday, August 2nd, 2010
X-Games 16 got lots of love from the young and trendy over the weekend and, of course, Silicon Valley was well represented both in people and in...
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ONE WEEK FREE YOGA during National Yoga Month September

: Free Yoga Classes and Event during National Yoga Month 09.2010. Be inspired by TITANS OF YOGA DVD

If you're into yoga - or have been thinking about it - this September, people from across the country can get ONE WEEK FREE YOGA at participating yoga studios and join over 1,000 National Yoga Month events in communities nationwide. Whether you’re trying it for the first time or are an experienced yogi looking to deepen your practice, there’s never been a more opportune time to practice yoga.

National Yoga Month is a grassroots campaign administered by the Yoga Health Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. All funds benefit the national awareness campaign and Yoga-Recessin School to bring yoga-based health and fitness education into classrooms.

I've been unable to find a free class here in Silicon Valley, though if memory serves me there were three or four last year so maybe there will be classes by September.  But there are classes in a lot of other locations so if you've been considering giving yoga a try, check it out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

CUTCO donates over $500,000 to American Heart Association Go Red for Women

I know not everyone grew up with  CUTCO Cutlery - but I did.  My aunt was from New Kensington, PA where the brand was born, and every knife we had in our home was a Cutco.

So it somehow gave me a pride of ownership to see that the company, still going strong, has donated over a half million dollars to support the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women® movement.

A press release today announced that since 2007, CUTCO has donated $540,000.  By the end of its current agreement in March 2011, the kitchen cutlery company expects to donate more than $600,000 to the fight against heart disease in women.

Besides a corporate-level donation, CUTCO also donates 10 percent of the sales of 4-Pc. Red Table Knife Sets and Red Super Shears to the cause.

According to the press info, CUTCO is the largest manufacturer and marketer of kitchen cutlery and accessories in the United States and Canada, which surprises me considering I practically never hear of the brand these days. I did see them at a recent home fair, and last year, I took advantage of the company's "Forever Guarantee," and sent in my 60 year old cutlery (yes, it was pretty much the only thing that my folks had that lasted long enough to hand down to me) to the factory for free sharpening.  They even replaced one knife which couldn't be sharpened, which was pretty astounding considering the age of the knife.

Anyway, if you're looking to do some good for the American Heart Association, this is a product I can complete endorse. For more information about CUTCO, call 800-828-0448 or visit

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

5 secrets to staying young: Baby Boomers say old age starts around 80

A new survey released from Del Web - the folks that brought us Sun City and other lifestyle communities - shows that Baby Boomers believe they have found the secrets to  increasing longevity, combating aging, and feeling younger than their true age. 
According to the 2010 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey, as age increases, the distance between their real age and perceived age expands. Boomers turning 50 this year see the difference as “merely” a decade, while older Boomers feel an average of 13 years younger than their age. Del Webb residents, with a median age of 65, say they feel 15 years younger than they actually are. Additionally, both groups of Baby Boomers agree that old age starts around 80.

So, here from the survey, are the five secrets from the Boomers themselves. Those who felt younger  than their actual age participated in at least two of the five:

1. Exercise regularly – More than 55 percent work out regularly as a way to feel youthful.
2. Hit the books – Nearly a third have gone or will go back to school.
3. Volunteer – More than 60 percent are giving back to their communities by volunteering.
4. Still working – More than 70 percent plan to work in “retirement” either part-time, full-time or in starting a new career.
5. Trying pickleball or Zumba – Approximately 40 percent have taken up a new hobby or activity.

For more information about the Del Webb Survey, go to

America's fat kids could hurt our national security say retired generals

Three retired generals met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid late yesterday, July 19, seeking help in legislation that will "help combat child obesity and improve America's military readiness."
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

UC Study: Extra-Virgin Olive Oils Not So Virginal

DAVIS (CBS 5 / AP) ― Many of the olive oils lining supermarket shelves in the United States are not the top-grade extra-virgin oils their labels proclaim, according to a report from the University of California, Davis.

Read the whole article - you'll be surprised at the "trusted" brands that failed the test. 

LIVESTRONG San Jose 2010 wrap up press release

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
Below: the final wrap-up press release from LIVESTRONG Challenge, San Jose 2010.


SAN JOSE, Calif. – July 12, 2010 – LIVESTRONG is pleased to announce the San Jose LIVESTRONG Challenge raised more than $1 million this weekend for the fight against cancer. Yesterday more than 1,600 runners, walkers and cyclists, along with 475 volunteers, gathered at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts to participate in the LIVESTRONG Challenge, one of LIVESTRONG’s signature fundraising events. Through the generosity of 11,623 donors, San Jose participants raised funds to support cancer survivorship programs and initiatives.
The LIVESTRONG Challenge was held for the third time in San Jose and will continue in Philadelphia (Aug. 21-22) and Austin, TX (Oct. 22-24). San Jose participants took part in the event by riding 10, 50, 65 or 100 miles, with courses starting at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts, located at Almaden and Park Blvd., and moving through Silicon Valley and the heart of downtown San Jose.
“It’s exciting to see so many in the Bay Area join with the LIVESTRONG Challenge to combat cancer,” said Don Perata, prostate cancer survivor, a former California senator. “Cancer is projected to become the leading cause of death worldwide this year. Without global action, the number of people living with—and dying from—the disease will triple by 2030.”
Following the race, participants and supporters gathered at the LIVESTRONG Village to enjoy music, food, games and exhibits.
"For the third year in a row, the people of San Jose have come together in solidarity against a disease that touches everyone in America," said Doug Ulman, cancer survivor and president and CEO of LIVESTRONG. "We're deeply grateful for their support in LIVESTRONG's global fight against cancer."
On Saturday evening, awards were given at a fundraising appreciation dinner. Patt Baenen-Tapscott won top fundraising honors, raising more than $20,727. Baenen-Tapscott, a breast cancer survivor, became an active LIVESTRONG fundraiser after her treatment left her with a desire to give back and improve the lives of others with cancer. She formed Team Beat the Clock and has been making a difference in the fight against cancer for six years.
Team Spike the Wonder Dog was awarded the Team Champion Award. Team Spike, led by Jeff Swan and Sherilyn Dahl, had 44 members and raised over $46,000. The team dedicated their victory to friend and coworker Janna Middleton, who lost her battle with brain cancer earlier this year.

In three years, San Jose LIVESTRONG Challenge participants have raised more than $4 million. Since its inception in 1997, LIVESTRONG has raised more than $350 million to support cancer survivors.

In economic terms, cancer's impact on California's fiscal well-being is far greater when viewed through the lens of the leading—and entirely preventable—cause of cancer: tobacco. Over the past decade, the tobacco industry has poured 10 times as many marketing dollars into California as the state has been able to invest in tobacco education. As a result, California loses $9 billion in tobacco-related health care costs per year.

LIVESTRONG offers support to cancer survivors and their families at the moment of diagnosis by providing free, confidential support through education, referrals and counseling services. To learn more about how to fight back, visit the LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare website at
or call 866-673-7205.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Michelle Obama Hosts First Live Web Chat Tues, July 13, with AOL Health


AOL Health scores a major win in their development of fresh content on Tuesday, July 13, when they will conduct a live web chat with First Lady Michelle Obama tied to the relaunch of, an informational resource site supporting Mrs. Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity and raise a healthier generation of kids. AOL will solicit questions directly from users of its content sites including: AOL Health, ParentDish, KitchenDaily, Slashfood, That’s Fit, Black Voices, AOL Latino, Lemondrop, MyDaily and AOL News as well as take questions live during the chat via AIM.


AOL Health Senior Editor Jennifer Fields will conduct the chat live from the White House on Tuesday. The event will be webcast live on AOL Health ( and on


Date: Tuesday, July 13

Time: 10:00 am ET


First Lady Michelle Obama

AOL Health Senior Editor Jennifer Fields


Earlier this year, First Lady Michelle Obama announced a nationwide campaign – Let’s Move! – aimed at solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. AOL is facilitating Mrs. Obama’s live web chat in order to reach American moms. By reaching out directly to moms in a live web chat format, Mrs. Obama can talk about strategies to address childhood obesity in the place where that conversation can have a significant impact -- the home.


Avon Walk San Francisco 2010, raises $5.5 million - 11 local organizations get grants

Monday, July 12th, 2010
The eighth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco raised more than $5.5 million dollars as 2,500 men and women from 46 states, Washington...
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Livestrong Challenge San Jose: 1600 participants raise $1 million, and pick a fight with cance

Sunday, July 11th, 2010
It took until Saturday night, July10, that the fund-raising total officially clicked over from six figures to seven figures but it's announced: the...
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Livestrong Challenge San Jose: a look at Livestrong Village July 10, 2010

Sunday, July 11th, 2010
Saturday, July 10 - Outside the Center for Performing Arts, Livestrong Challenge San Jose has transformed the plaza. Signs, tables, sign in,...
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bay Area Avon Walk kicked off this morning raising $5.5 Million, 2500 walkers

Saturday, July 10th, 2010
Saturday, July 10 - Just a few hours ago, 6:30 am, 2,500 participants began their 39.3 two day walk in the Bay...
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

CareerBuilder says economy making workers healthier: better food, less smoking

Job board CareerBuilder released a new survey today, saying the bad economy may just be turning us healthier.  According to the research, the effects of the economic downturn have some workers making healthier choices when it comes to lunch breaks and smoking habits during the work day.

47 percent of workers report they have been packing a lunch more often to eat healthier or help save money. When it comes to smoking habits, 44 percent of workers who smoke said they are more likely to quit smoking given today's economic conditions. In addition one-in-five said that they have decreased the number of times they smoke during the work day (21 percent) or actually quit altogether (20 percent). The CareerBuilder survey was conducted among more than 4,400 workers between May 18 and June 3, 2010.

"Economic stress over the last year has caused some workers to reflect on their habits, and many of them have turned to healthier routines," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "In addition to helping cut personal costs, employees who limit their smoking and lunching out habits are taking better care of their overall health. This type of 'better-for-you' behavior can be encouraged by companies who implement wellness programs, healthy living challenges or smoking cessation support."

While some workers are embracing healthier habits, heavier workloads and added stress associated with downsized operations may have other workers taking a different direction.

Lunch breaks

Taking the time to recharge during the work day can be a challenge for some workers. Nearly one-third (32 percent) report they take less than a half hour for lunch, while 5 percent take less than 15 minutes. One-in-ten never take a lunch break and 16 percent report they work right through their lunch hour. Nearly one-in-five (18 percent) typically don't leave their desks during their lunch break and eat in their workspace 5 days a week.

As some workers struggle to fit in break time during the day, others choose to multitask on their lunch hour, using their breaks for the following activities

--  Hanging out with co-workers - 23 percent
  --  Running errands - 18 percent
  --  Doing work - 16 percent
  --  Walking - 10 percent
  --  Shopping - 7 percent
  --  Working out - 3 percent

  Smoke breaks
Of workers who smoke, 78 percent of them said they take up to ten minutes for each of their smoke breaks a day. Seven-in-ten (70 percent) report they take up to 3 smoke breaks a day, while 12 percent take more than five smoke breaks in a work day.

Too bad  the survey didn't take into account the amount of stress that workers are carrying with them because they might lose their jobs...or already be unemployed.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fire at Trace Elementary, San Jose - pictures

For several pictures of the scene, click here - Fire at San Jose's Trace Elementary

Calling the five-alarm fire that engulfed part of San Jose's Trace Elementary School Monday morning "a suspected crime scene," the San Jose Fire Department said they would haveperimeter security available for some time.

Residents in San Jose's quiet Rose Garden neighborhood were awakened shortly after 4 am July 5 with the sounds of fire and police sirens rushing to a fire at Trace Elementary School.   Firefighters originally had to fight the fire defensively, and upgraded the blaze to five  alarm after about two hours.

By 8 am the fire was mostly under control, with flare-ups and several hot spots, and still with plumes of black smoke rising upward.  People within a two block radius of the fire who suffer from  respiratory issues, were warned to shelter indoors.

The original Trace building was destroyed, though the newer building, opened in 2008/09, and the outer buildings remained unharmed.  Teachers/parents who had gathered by 7 am were sad to note that the entire library was lost.   For more information click to this article on