Monday, September 26, 2016



Once, when I was running my little sandwich counter, someone came up and asked if I hated sugar. I smiled, and asked them why? (I've always had a habit of asking why.) The young woman went on to point out how little I offered in the way of cookies, brownies, cake slices, etc. etc. Considering that my overall goal for the little cafe was to offer seasonal, fresh food items in an effort to promote my version of eating cleaner, I decided to make an effort to cater to the masses. I had a friend who was a trained pastry chef. I commissioned her to make a batch of brownies and serve them as the "Treat of the Week." Forget the fresh fruit topped yogurt parfaits, omelettes made to order, and spectacular salads with homemade dressings, folks wanted something sweet. 


We've all gotten it, and it became very clear that by mid day, the brownies would fly off the cake stand. Too much morning coffee, dehydration, unbalanced lunches, everyone has suffered from afternoon rundown at some point. And we also know that high sugar fixes are exactly that. Quick fixes. And then you crash again, feel like blah, and it's a vicious cycle. It is said that babies are born with a fondness for sweetness, and quite honestly who doesn't like a nice Godiva chocolate? That being said, the "sweet tooth" can, and will lead to a whole host of health problems.

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, "Sugar has become the principle poison in our diets." Indeed the more I look into labels, everything has it. Everything. In an attempt to cut back myself I started taking small steps. Black coffee, my own salad dressings, were a small start start which led to bigger lifestyle changes.


In the Ancient Greek world, honey (a natural sweetener) was used extensively. Athenians would dip cheese in honey for breakfast. Nice. They also drank diluted wine in the morning. (A little Rose before work?) In Sparta, young boys training as future warriors were fed honey and only honey for days at a time. Before soda pop, ketchup, & the perfect cupcake, the Greeks lived off the land. Many parts of the empire were quite fertile and they consumed a variety of fish, beans, cheese, and because of an abundance of olives, olive oil. The Greeks believed in Meden Agan. "Everything in moderation." They strove to be a balanced society. There's that word again, balance.

So no, I don't hate. I moderate.


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"Walking is man's best medicine" - Hippocrates Greek physician (460BCE - 377BCE)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016



Literally. In an effort to pool together the tough and the strong the Greeks required their athletes to compete during the month of August. Considered the hottest month of the year, Mediterranean summers can be dry and exceedingly hot. These suffocating conditions were thought to help weed out the weak.  After all, athletes were held next to the gods and this was the ultimate competition of the ancient world. 

I think it also important to note that there were no teams, only individuals. An athlete came with his father and his brothers. 

Because cheating was so rampant, one road into Olympia was lined with statues of those who were caught. Shamed for all to see. And not just the athletes name, but the city of which they were from. Everything was designed to be tough. Should a runner give a false start to the race, he was caned in front of the 30,000 spectators, and then sent back to race. 


Do it again and, well, just don't.

Monday, August 1, 2016


Center of the World

We are back in Delphi, a city state in Greece & home to the Pythian Games. These games were an early model to our modern day Olympics. Delphi played an important role as it was the spot marked to honor Apollo defeating the Python. As in today times, sports here are at the center of culture. The Greeks held athletes in such high regard they would stop at nothing to advance their careers.

Before the invention of performance enhancing drugs, cheating was widespread, particularly and most commonly bribery. Past winners where often made teachers and coaches. These individuals were accustomed to feeling the "fire" and avoiding the public humiliation of losing. The Greeks were not ones to deal with losing well at all. There were no second and third place medals.


With no machines or high tech equipment, athletes appeared to still have impressive phyisques. How? Training was very structured and athletes were highly disciplined. Entire days spent marching, running, wrestling, stone lifting, and stone throwing. Body weight exercises were used extensively. Competitors had to commit 10 months prior to the games. 

And a commitment it was.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

Clare Booth Luce

Why, oh why must things seemingly become so complicated? I ask myself this all the time. Pretty much daily. Keep it simple has, and is my motto.

Having said that, I firmly believe that exercise and fitness can, and should remain a simple concept. At home, the office, yes, the gym. Just do it. With so much in the world to figure out keep strength a priority. 

Wake up in the morning and #buildyourself

Friday, June 24, 2016



Always one to keep up on the latest, I was long over the kale-kick way back when I first saw a kale donut. Enough already. When it comes time to cheating I would never desecrate krispy creme perfection like that.

Turnip Greens

When it comes to "superfoods" however, turnip greens are a bonafide, card-carrying member of the club. Exetremely high in vitamins and minerals, they have it all. If you don't want to take my word for it just google.


Lately, my go-to method of preparation has been simple. I cook them for a few minutes in a cup or two of boiling water, drain and then sauteing in olive oil and some red onion. Easy, peasy, 1-2-3.

Wait till the table to season with salt/pepper.

Economical AND  healthy, right now I'm on the turnip green truck.

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