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Spa Water - Relax, Refresh and Hydrate with your Favorite Flavors

30. August 2013

I can still remember my first spa experience. The day of pampering was a birthday gift from my husband – a relaxing day including a massage, facial, pedicure and a lovely (and healthy!) spa lunch on a peaceful patio surrounded by lush gardens. It was heavenly!

That special day years ago also included my first taste of spa “water.” Coolers of water throughout the facility were infused with fun flavors from cucumbers and lemons to mint and watermelon. Who knew water could besuch a treat!

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Turkey Burgers (without the blah!)

21. August 2013

Planning a backyard barbecue bash? Break out the burgers…just make sure you have an option for your beef-less friends!

Turkey burgers are a great, healthful alternative to beef, but frankly, they can be a bit bland. Even worse, the so-called “better” burgers are often so full of bread and other binders, you can end up loading up on carbs and empty calories rather than enjoying a healthy, high-protein, low-fat meal.

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Your Sunscreen May Keep You Cancer-Free and Wrinkle-Free

14. August 2013

As a kid, I did some pretty stupid things.

When I was six, I couldn’t resist the urge to sneak a taste of the dog’s kibble. (Not bad, actually!) In church one Sunday when I was eight, I stuck a rosary bead up my nose. It took a doctor to retrieve the foreign object that had travelled up my sinus cavity.

Fortunately, those acts of stupidity did no long-term damage. I wish I could say the same about the years I spent stupidly lying in the summer sun slathered in baby oil…working on the perfect tan.

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Hot Dogs - My Guilty Pleasure!

08. August 2013

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired of counting carbs, calories and fat grams. I’m as concerned about my health as the next guy, but once in awhile, I’d rather not know if what I’m eating has enough protein, antioxidants or dietary fiber. Frankly, when it comes to food, many of us have gotten just a little uptight. Sometimes, I just want to relax and enjoy something that tastes good!

I don’t know about you, but my guilty pleasures include hot sourdough bread with butter, dark chocolate-covered cranberries and homemade vanilla milkshakes topped with whipped cream.

And I absolutely love hot dogs. But not just any dog will do. It wasn’t easy finding a great hot dog in the San Diego area. But it was worth the effort. Tom and I finally found the most fabulous franks at a friendly Coronado eatery called Delux Gourmet Hot Dogs.

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Tom Ham's Lighthouse - Renovated, Re-opened and Better than Ever

29. July 2013

How’d you like to turn your next boring business lunch into a mini-vacation? Then do what my friend, Paula and I did recently – head to Harbor Island and go over those financial reports at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse restaurant.

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Love Does

22. July 2013

I’ve never been impulsive. Practical and plan-full, I carefully calculate every possible outcome before making most decisions. Is it the best use of my time? Does it make sense financially, etc.?

So, when I received a wedding invitation recently from a childhood chum in Iowa, I naturally began weighing the pros and cons of making the trip. Gina and I had been classmates and friends from fourth grade through high school. Together with our BFF’s, Mary Beth and Anne, we’d shared years of sleepovers and birthday parties, homecomings and prom nights.

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Eat Your Asparagus! It's Good for You!

15. July 2013

Growing up, Mom fixed asparagus for dinner…a lot.  My Dad loved the green, veggie spears, so it was a mainstay in our diet.   “Eat your asparagus,” Dad demanded.  “It’s good for you.”

That may have been true.  But I hated the nasty, green vegetable.  When no one was looking, my portion often went to our poor, dog, Chuckie.  (That dog would eat anything.  Once, he ate the entire Easter ham!)

I can’t tell you exactly when my relationship with asparagus changed, but today I absolutely love the versatile vegetable packed with nutrition.   Maybe, like Brussels sprouts, asparagus is just an acquired taste.  But I think the difference is in the preparation.

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When life gives you lemons, don't stop with lemonade

24. June 2013

Pucker up and enjoy the health benefits of the lowly lemon!

Most married couples fight over things such as finances, how to raise the kids and control of the TV remote. Not Tom and me. No sir. We argue about lemons.

My love of lemons has caused a scene in plenty of restaurants. It starts as soon as the server delivers the water. Tom begins to squirm and I make my request for lemon slices – as many as he or she can carry or is allowed to give out without getting fired. And it’s not just water. I go for lotsa lemon in hot tea, iced tea, Pelligrino, tonic water, diet Coke and yes…lemonade.   

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Sunscreen Solutions

17. June 2013

Thanks to the Food and Drug Administration and San Diego Union-Tribune journalist R.J. Ignelzi, I finally have clarity on one of the mysteries of the Universe.


Armed with the FDA’s revised labeling and R.J.’s recent article which clearly explains the new rules, I can now boldly and confidently approach the sunscreen display at my neighborhood Rite Aid.

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Coronado's Fabulous Flowers

10. June 2013

Do you love lilies, lilac and lavender? Are you fond of fresia, foxgloves and fuchsia? If sunflowers and snapdragons make you smile and pots of pansies and peonies bring you joy then you simply must plan a trip to Coronado soon!

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Loren Nancarrow: Beating brain cancer with a smile

03. June 2013

Loren Nancarrow is battling a brain tumor.  You may already be aware of the sad news because the popular Fox 5 News Anchor made the announcement himself in his blog posted February 13, 2013.  “The reason I haven’t been in my anchor chair for the past few weeks,” Loren explained, “is because I have brain cancer.”

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15. April  2013

I love my in-laws. Seriously. I realize that’s anathema for many of you. I know. I’ve heard the horror stories. It’s just not my story. When I married Tom, I hit the jackpot. Along with finding the love of my life, I became part of a most remarkable family.

Last month, nearly every branch of the Hamilton family tree was represented at a reunion of sorts in Destin, Fla. Since most of the clan hail from the eastern and mid-Atlantic states, a little time in the sunshine along Florida’s Gulf Coast was a welcome break from the late winter’s wrath.

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Fat-Fighting Foods

10. April 2013

Spring may be in the air, but summer is just around the corner and that means swimsuit season is upon us. (At my age, it’s actually become more like capris and T-shirt season!) But whatever stage of undress you plan to display this summer, now’s the time to start paring down and tightening up.

Exercise is a great start, but eating right can get you to your goal weight faster than anything.

Like you, I hate, HATE dieting, but love little nutrition “tricks” that help maintain my weight without embarking on some cumbersome, complicated diet “program.”

Fortunately, some foods can actually help you fight fat! I’ve been “sneaking” some of these slimming super foods into my diet lately and already last year’s capri’s are feeling a little looser!

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A Dose of Humility

06. April 2013

Humility is not a word usually associated with a leader these days. Yet that was the word the media have most often used to describe the new Pope of the Catholic Church…to be known only as Francis.

While extensive media coverage highlighted the new Pontiff’s impressive academic background and doctrinal stands, the “buzz” kept coming back to his servant’s heart.

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Allergy Myths

04. April 2013

From the cheerful red geraniums adorning my neighbor’s patio to the symphony of color popping up along the freeway…spring has arrived in the southland in an explosion of buds and blooms. That’s the good news.

The bad news? For many of us, springtime means seasonal allergies. But is it really those poor little petunias, poppies and pansies causing my eyes to water and itch? Are daffodils, daisies and dandelions to blame for my incessant sneezing? I wanted to know so did a little research that helped separate fact from fiction when it comes to allergies.

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The Best Banana Bread Ever

11. March 2013

Sadly, “Stretch’s” was sold last year and today a new restaurant has taken over the space. Boy, I miss that warm, moist banana bread.

By chance, I recently ran into the former owner of “Stretch’s,” Vicki Jones. Vicki was also responsible for baking their famous banana bread…fresh and warm every morning for years. After exchanging pleasantries, I told Vicki how much I missed her famous bread.

Vicki quickly found a piece of paper and began writing. It took a minute for me to figure out she was giving me the “secret” recipe for her mouth-watering banana bread! Oh, joy! “Don’t worry,” Vicki smiled. “It’s not a secret anymore.”

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Learn to Listen

10. March 2013

Our pastor recently gave a thought-provoking sermon on prayer. While extolling the virtues of communicating with God, Pastor Jim also emphasized the two-way aspect of the discipline. “Prayer is more than rattling off a laundry list of needs and concerns,” he explained. “We need to “be still and listen to what God has to say.”

I keep trying, but truthfully it’s often a struggle to clear my cluttered mind long enough to hear from the Almighty. And that got me to thinking. Do I keep my mouth shut long enough to actually listen to those around me? The answer? A resounding NO!

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Have you seen "The SDSU Show?"

10. February 2013

Have you seen a San Diego State Aztecs men’s basketball game lately? And I don’t mean on TV but up close and personal inside the Viejas Arena? OH MY GOSH! I haven’t been to something so fun and entertaining since the Rolling Stones performed at the “Q” back n the 90’s!

I confess, I hadn’t been to an Aztecs game in years. And it’s my loss. I had no idea what I’d been missing as the Aztecs men’s basketball program has grown in recent years.

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A Dog's Purpose

04. February 2013

I recently read a story about a veterinarian, a 6-year-old boy and his dog, Belker, that so touched me, I’m passing it along to you.

A veterinarian was called to examine Belker, a 10-year-old Irish Wolfhound. The dog’s owner, Ron, his wife Lisa and their little boy Shane were all very attached to sweet Belker and they were hoping for a miracle.

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Listen to Your Heart

01. February 2013

Emily Taylor hasn’t missed the Susan G. Komen 3-Day™ walk for breast cancer in nine years. Along with tens of thousands of other enthusiastic pink-clad advocates, the 48-year-old Northrup-Grummon administrative assistant makes the annual 60-mile trek in passionate support of her sister and other breast cancer survivors.

But Emily, a wife and mother of three, came dangerously close to missing her 10th Komen 3-Day in October. While on a training run a couple months earlier, the avid softball player and triathlete came face to face with a disease even more deadly for women than breast cancer.

A mile into her routine run, the Ramona resident felt something “really different.” She described it as a “very centered, deep chest pain.” Emily admits, “I didn’t think it was a heart thing.” She figured she’d pulled a chest muscle moving boxes days earlier. No big deal.

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Local Swimmers Recognized by La Jolla Cove Swim Club

04. January 2013

Local Swimmers Recognized by La Jolla Cove Swim Club

As one who loves open water swimming I can attest to the fact that La Jolla Cove and the bay between the Cove and La Jolla Shores is one of the best places in the world for ocean swimming.

Making the experience even more enjoyable, hundreds of us water buffs smitten with the breathtakingly beautiful underwater park belong to the iconic La Jolla Cove Swim Club (LJCSC) – an fun outlet for swimmers of all ages, shapes, sizes and skill levels who want to share the joy with others who love open water swimming.

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Air Blowers or Paper Towels?

03. January 2013

I’m a pretty easy-going “go-with-the flow” kind of person.  Few things truly bug me.

OK.  Maybe a few things.  Drivers who don’t use their turn signals make me a little crazy.   So do people so afraid of being politically incorrect, they refer to Christmas trees as “Holiday Trees.”  (For the record, there is no other winter holiday for which a tree with lights and ornaments is used…except Christmas!)  Oh…and that ridiculous TV commercial touting the benefits of a drug for erectile dysfunction.  You know the one that ends with the couple sitting in separate bathtubs in the middle of nowhere! I go a little nuts every time I see it.

>>Read the rest of this entry


02. January 2013

If your New Year’s resolution is to finally and forever lose weight, I’ve got some encouraging news for you.  You can do it.  There are many effective diet plans from which to choose, but I’d like to highlight one through the eyes of my sister, Denise.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Managing Your Holiday Shopping Stress

10. December 2012

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Many of us agree with the sentiment of the familiar Christmas song and eagerly anticipate the excitement, joy and spirit of the holiday season.

But let’s be honest. The holidays can also cause significant stress.

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The Great Pumpkin

07. December 2012

The holidays are here and that means it’s finally pumpkin season! For me, that’s reason to celebrate because I love, love pumpkin pie. My husband will tell you it’s just an excuse to eat whipped cream (another of my most fave foods!) But that’s just not true. I actually picked up a pumpkin pie at Albertsons the other day…just for me!  Within two days, my personal pie was no more than an empty pan.

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Meet Bing, My New Cat!

04. December 2012

I lost my sweet kitty “Little Girl” recently.  I can’t even describe how much I miss the not-so-little rescue tabby that brightened my life and our home for many years.

In a bizarre twist of fate, the faithful feline who never left my side as I recovered from breast cancer surgery earlier this year, succumbed two months ago to an aggressive form of lung cancer.

>>Read the rest of this entry

How to Know if You're Too Sick to Exercise

02. December 2012

The moment I woke up, I knew something was wrong.  The left side of my throat was scratchy and sore.  Mildly dizzy and a touch achy, I felt like going back to sleep.  In retrospect, that may have been a good idea.

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The Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt

11. November 2012

I have a confession to make.  I am a snob.  A yogurt snob.  It hasn’t always been that way.  For years, whatever brand of good ole American yogurt was on sale – Dannon, Yoplait, Albertson’s was fine with me.

>>Read the rest of this entry

My First Introduction to the Batiquitos Lagoon

09. November 2012

Staying in touch with old friends and co-workers is important to me.   But coordinating busy schedules to meet for a leisurely lunch can sometimes be a challenge.

My good pal, and former 10 News colleague, Janine Nakama and I have come up with a way to stay connected by skipping a lengthy lunch.  These days, we multiply our time by combining our monthly gabfest with a workout…in our case, a nice long walk.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Laughter Really is the Best Medicine!

06. November 2012

It’s been a long time…years maybe.  But yesterday I laughed until I cried.

It all started after opening an e-mail from my friend, Julie. Along with a cheery greeting and update from Denver, she attached a link to a YouTube video and wrote, “for a good chuckle, check this out.”

>>Read the rest of this entry

Shingles Prevention

03. November 2012

Happy to report my annual physical went pretty well recently.  My blood pressure and heart rate are good, my cholesterol numbers are just fine and my blood work unremarkable. (The one time “unremarkable” is a good thing!)

But just when I thought it was safe to shed my paper gown, my doctor apparently, wasn’t quite finished with me.  First he reminded me it was time to schedule a colonoscopy.  (Oh joy!) Then, as I was about to head for the door, he handed me a sheet of paper from his prescription pad and informed me I needed to get a shingles vaccine.

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Cancer... AFTER the Treatment Ends

11. October 2012

My oncologist smiled broadly as he entered the treatment room.  “Congratulations, Carol,” he exclaimed. “You’re now considered cancer-free!” While his words elicited a sense of relief and gratitude, I couldn’t help feeling a little empty and sad as I walked to my car.

>>Read the rest of this entry

One for the “Gipper”

My First Visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

09. October 2012

Mindlessly sorting through a pile of mail one day, a postcard awash in red, white and blue caught my eye.  On the front was the smiling face of our country’s newest president, Ronald Reagan.  On the back was a brief message penned by my Dad.

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Eating for Wellness

05. October 2012

I have to tell you about my favorite, new cookbook!

As some of you may know, cooking is not exactly on my “Top 10 list of Fun Things to Do.”  However, since my breast cancer diagnosis earlier this year, I’ve been more concerned about my diet.   While eating healthfully has always been important, now it’s become a life or death proposition.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Breast Cancer: It Can Happen to Anyone

01. October 2012

Two years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend and former 10News colleague, Bill Griffith for an article in Palomar Health’s “The HealthSource” magazine.  A six-year male breast cancer survivor at the time, Bill spoke candidly about his rare experience with the devastating disease that kills 40,000 women a year in the United States.

>>Read the rest of this entry

How to Pack for a Trip

07. September 2012

I have a confession to make.   I hate to travel.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love visiting friends, family and new places.  It’s the “getting ready” partthat drives me bonkers.  I’m 58 years old and I still don’t know how to pack for a trip.

>>Read the rest of this entry


06. September 2012

I hate beets! 

As long as I can remember, the taste, texture… the very smell wafting from the bowl of beets on the buffet at Souplantation makes me want to well – b_rf!   It’s visceral!  No matter how hard I’ve tried to buddy up with beets, a close encounter with the earthy, red vegetables never fails to trigger the gag reflex.

>>Read the rest of this entry

California Cuisine in a Car Dealership?

03. September 2012

OK.  So I’m a little late to the party! 

The spectacular, new and hugely popular Vintana Wine and Dine restaurant in Escondido opened in May.  Finally, last week, I got to see for myself what all the excitement is about.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Good Reasons to Walk

01. September 2012

I’d like to invite you to go for a walk with me.

And I should probably tell you about the more than a thousand other San Diegans who’ll be walking as well as we support the great work and mission of Girl Scouts.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Party at Palomar!!

20. August 2012

What if you threw a party and 15,000 people showed up?!  That’s exactly what happened Saturday, July 28, when Palomar Health welcomed the community to celebrate the opening of the magnificent, new Palomar Medical Center.

It was a sight to behold as thousands of guests lined up to take a tour of the facility while thousands more enjoyed the grand opening bash on the grounds surrounding the hospital!

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Fight Pain With Food

10. August 2012

Did you know more than a third of the U.S. population –116 million American adults suffer from some form of chronic pain?  And while pain pills – over-the-counter or prescription reduce suffering, they can be addictive and produce side affects.

I’m having surgery in a few weeks…the start of the breast cancer reconstruction process.  During recovery, I’d like to keep pain medicine to a minimum, so I have been looking for an alternative.  Well, I found it in, of all places, my kitchen!

>>Read the rest of this entry


06. August 2012

It’s late summer and that means prime time for peaches!  And this season’s crop is well…peachy keen!

I recently picked up a bagful of the summertime staple at Boney’s Bayside Market in Coronado.  After ripening a couple of days, my perfect peaches were so sweet and juicy; I had to eat one over the sink!  And it was worth every indelicate slurp!

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01 August 2012

I hope you don’t mind, but I just have to brag a bit about my Dad.  A “health nut” before it was fashionable, my Dad, Carter LeBeau, not only taught me the importance of healthy living, he has inspired countless others. 

Dad was honored recently at a celebration in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for 40 years of participation in the bicycling event known as RAGBRAI.   But even more than his participation in the ride, at 86, my Dad has been an inspiration and encouragement to thousands of cyclists…in Iowa and beyond.

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My Tour of the New Palomar Medical Center!

20. July 2012

With its majestic almost surreal presence – North County’s new Palomar Medical Center has been on the rise since early 2008.  At last, the technical architectural wonder is ready for business and you can be among the first to see it!

The Community Celebration is Saturday, July 28, from 4 – 9 p.m. and you don’t want to miss out…because if you think the 11-story edifice glistening in the sun atop a hill in Escondido is awesome on the outside – wait till you step inside!

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Moldy Berries?

11. July 2012

For me, summer means the beach, a best selling book and big bowls brimming with fresh, sweet and juicy berries!  

Berries are delicious…and nutritious.  But they’re also kind of delicate.  Whether you buy them at your local farmer’s market or in bulk, like me, at Costco – berries can go bad in a hurry! Raspberries, in particular, seem to grow mold before you even get them home from the market!

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Ocean Swimming - "The Water is Open"

03. July 2012

You’ll have to forgive me.  I’ve got a bit of a “buzz” on today.

I’m still “high” from the invigorating swim I enjoyed this morning in the breathtakingly beautiful waters off La Jolla Cove. What a blessing to live near one of the best locations for open water swimming in the world!

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Friendship and RESPECT - Good for the Soul!

16. June 2012

I was warned recovery from breast cancer surgery and treatment is not a straight line.  I’ve been on the journey for more than three months and I’m still dizzy from the roller coaster of emotional ups and downs.

On the down days, hibernating at home is often my coping mechanism of choice.  But even I know social isolation doesn’t help and can even hinder the healing process.

>>Read the rest of this entry


06. June 2012

When it comes to eating, I’m pretty disciplined. But all bets are off when it comes to chips and guacamole! At a Mexican restaurant…forget the entrée.  Just put the bowl of guacamole and basket of chips in front of me.  I’m good for the night.

Not only is the creamy dip yummy, guacamole is a treat I can indulge in without guilt! Avocados are good for you!

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Vacations are What Summers are Meant For!

01. June 2012

Have you been to Coronado lately?  The summer vacation season is in full swing and the beautiful beach community is teeming with tourists. Driving along Orange Avenue - the island’s main drag, in six short blocks, I counted seven out-of-state license plates (including one from my home state, Iowa! Go Hawkeyes!)

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Eat Your Veggies!

15. May 2012

Mom always told me to eat my vegetables and she helped make it easy.  Even before the health experts began touting the benefits of a diet rich in veggies, she made sure dinner at home included everything from beans and broccoli to beets and butternut squash.

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Don't Worry, Be Happy!

12. May 2012

I received my cancer diagnosis January 2 of this year.  “Slow-growing tumors in both breasts,” said my doctor. It was like living a nightmare as double mastectomies and lymph node dissections were performed less than a month later.  The good news?  The cancer had not spread and my prognosis was good.  Treatment would not include chemotherapy but a five-year course of anti-estrogen therapy would give me a nearly 86% chance of being alive in 10 years.

>>Read the rest of this entry

YWCA - Helping Women Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence

10. May 2012

Michelle’s cheerful email lit up my Monday morning inbox.  On behalf of the San Diego County YWCA, she was inviting me to be part of their upcoming fundraising and awards luncheon.  A check with my calendar revealed Monday, April 16 was wide open.  But what really sealed the deal?  Michelle was hoping I’d agree to co-emcee the event with my longtime friend and former colleague, Channel 10 news anchor, Kimberly Hunt.  What fun!

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Understanding the Seriousness of Teen Depression and Mental Illness

02. May 2012

When I need a little emotional pick-me-up, a visit with my dear friend, Connie Kennemer always gets me back on track.  Connie’ sunny disposition, encouraging spirit and dry sense of humor can lift my spirits like no one else.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Spend your Next Movie Night at the Vintage Village Theater!

12. April 2012

Tom and I just saw the movie, “Act of Valor” and my heart is still racing!  The film’s producers call it an “adrenaline-filled, edge-of-the-seat journey” and let me assure you, that’s not an understatement!

The film is a blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking – sure to be up for many awards.  “Act of Valor” stars a group of active duty U.S. Navy SEALS…a fictionalized account of real-life SEAL operations.

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MASSAGE - Great for your Health!

05. April 2012

I just made an appointment for a massage.  And I don’t feel a bit guilty about telling you! Turns out…that relaxing rubdown comes with medical benefits.

Let's face it, massage has a reputation for being a decadent treat for people who love pampering. For years, I agreed. Though, there were times I justified the extravagance. I remember my first massage. Tom and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary at a resort in Sedona. A couple's massage was part of the weekend package. Why not? After 10 years, we could use a little relaxation and romance!

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Crazy for Kiwis!

03. April 2012

When I need a pick-me-up, there’s nothing that works like fresh fruit…especially when that mid-afternoon slump leaves me listless and low on “mo.” When my focus fades, I can always count on a crisp apple, sweet pear or a big bunch of juicy grapes to lift me from the fog.

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Improve your Health with Omega-3 Fatty Acids!

01. April 2012

For years, I embraced every new food fad… until it fizzled!  Remember the 90’s? And the joy of soy?  It seemed as though everything was fortified with the power-packed protein.  From the buzz over bran to the hype over goji berries…we love nutrition news.  It’s just too bad we don’t take it all with a grain of salt!

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Girl Scout Birthday

05. March 2012

Courage.  Confidence. Character. 

Three words that pack a powerful punch.  Three traits not often found in a world often defined by a wimpy, whiny  “me-first” mentality. 

Those three words just happen to be the mission of an iconic organization that’s been serving girls for nearly a century.  Girl Scouts is about to achieve a major milestone and I think we should celebrate!

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!  100 years on March 12!  For any centenarian, that’s a big deal, but for those of us whose lives have been enriched because of our Girl Scout experience, we feel especially proud.

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04. March 2012

I’m writing this from home as I recover from major surgery.  I’m feeling much better now, but the first couple of weeks were tough…pain (pain meds!) fatigue, and the inability to do much of anything but rest and heal. 

While grateful to loved ones who sent flowers and cards and called to check on me, I will never forget the kindness of a group of women who reached out to me in a way I could not have imagined…helping Tom and I get through those first, difficult weeks in a way that was loving, personal…and practical.

The beautiful ladies in my Bible study group got together and decided to minister to me with meals!  What a gift!  Every day, a delicious, nutritious, home-cooked meal appeared on our doorstep…lovingly prepared by a different gal each day.  When I learned how my friends organized such a feat, I just had to tell you about it. 

>>Read the rest of this entry


Cold or Flu?

02. March 2012

When my friend, Susan, called to cancel our lunch date, I could tell something was wrong.  Her voice sounded raspy and her energy was clearly low.  “I feel awful, “ she complained. “I don’t know whether I’ve got a cold or the flu.”

My friend’s not alone. How do you know whether your sore throat and fatigue may be signaling a cold?   Or could those sniffles and body aches the first signs of the flu?   I decided to find out what the experts have to say.  The good folks at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases have some pretty good guidelines regarding the difference between cold and flu symptoms.

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Chronic Pain...

15. February 2012

Bill Walton is a pretty tough guy. His numerous NBA records rank him among the best in the history of professional basketball. But even a world-class athlete has his limits. 

Lying face down on his kitchen floor…the only position in which the basketball great could find relief from his excruciating pain…the affable Bill Walton admitted to an newspaper reporter his searing back pain was so severe, he’d thought about ending his life. That was several years ago. Fortunately, Walton eventually received treatment that alleviated his suffering. Today, his spirit renewed, Walton flashes his million-dollar smile all over town at the many community and charitable events he supports.

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Who knew?  Sacramento is home to North America's largest railroad museum!

13. February 2012

On a recent trip to Sacramento, I connected with an old college pal. I was in the State capital for a speaking engagement, after which Julie and I enjoyed a couple of “girl’s” days – shopping, lunching and re-living some of the escapades that defined our time at the University of Northern Iowa and cemented our friendship for a lifetime. 

These days Julie lives in the Denver area, but she lived much of the 90’s in the Sacramento area and was eager to show me around her old “stomping grounds.”   The State capital building, Vietnam War Memorial and Sacramento River front were all on our itinerary, but Julie is a big history buff, so she wasn’t going to let me out of town without also stopping at Old Sacramento State Historic Park.   

Following a brief walking tour of quaint, Old Sacramento, Julie gushed, “Now I want to show you the California State Railroad Museum!” I looked at her, dumfounded. A railroad museum? You’ve got to be kidding?! On my Top 10 list of “un-fun” things to do, I would probably rank a trip to a railroad museum right up there with a monster truck competition! Not really my cup of tea. But Julie was insistent.    

>>Read the rest of this entry


Kindess is the Greatest Wisdom

10. February 2012

Ah, February! Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day brings cards, flowers, chocolate and romance to millions of couples.  The question is – will chocolate-covered caramels and moonlit dinners keep love alive? 

Tom and I recently celebrated our 27thwedding anniversary at a lovely waterfront restaurant with a spectacular view of San Diego Bay. It was a perfect evening.  A stunning sunset…fabulous food…even our server was a delight. In fact, when young Marissa learned it was our anniversary, she couldn’t wait to tell us all about the love of her life. 

>>Read the rest of this entry

Red versus White.  What's Your Chili Preference?  

01. February 2012

And then there were two! The Super Bowl matchup is officially set. The Giants and Patriots will kick off Sunday, February 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET and all eyes will be on Indianapolis. 

While some 70,000 lucky fans will jam Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the annual spectacle in person, the rest of us mere mortals will be watching the Big Game on big screens in living rooms and sports bars around the country. 

And let’s not forget, the players aren’t the only ones expending energy that night.  As fans, we’ve got to power through the turnovers, sacks and dropped passes, too…not to mention Madonna’s half-time performance and the serious critique of the best (and worst!) TV commercials.  So be sure to fortify yourself with plenty of good eats. 

At my house, no Super Bowl game is complete without a pot of steaming, hot chili.  But this year’s chili is going to be a little different.  There’ll be no kidney beans, tomatoes or beef…nothing red at all.  I’m planning to score points with my family and friends with my somewhat unconventional….white chili!

>>Read the rest of this entry


The "Green Flash" Lives!

05. January 2012

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was a “green flash” denier for years.  Oh, I’d heard tales of the optical phenomenon…the brilliant flash of green that occurs as the sun sets over the ocean since moving to San Diego in 1981. 

Many confirmed reports and trusted friends have testified to the existence of the green flash. Even Wikipedia believes…calling the atmospheric event “a green spot visible for no more than a second or two just above the sun as it sets.” It’s just that I’d never seen the green for myself.   

>>Read the rest of this entry


The Amazing Apple

04. January 2012

Forget berries – today’s trendy apples are all the rage! 

Apples.  They’re in the same food group as many of the other nutrient-rich foods we’re encouraged to eat each day.  But have you noticed your favorite Fuji doesn’t get the same pub as some of the flashier fruits and veggies out there?  Check out any “top 10” list of power-packed fruits and poor old Granny Smith doesn’t even make the cut.  The mighty McIntosh is forced to take a back seat to “super fruits” such as pomegranates and goji berries. 

Why is that?  Growing up, apples were a healthy mainstay in my diet alongside a sandwich and Oreos in my lunch box – sliced and dipped in peanut butter for an after-school snack…cooked into a sweet sauce with pork chops for dinner.   Whatever happened to, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?!”

>>Read the rest of this entry


Dealing with E-Mail Forwards

03. January 2012

It’s getting so I dread opening my e-mail. It’s not the day-to-day business correspondence or updates from friends and family that bug me. It’s those annoying, e-mail “forwards!” The seemingly endless flow of forwarded attachments, chain e-mails, religious and political commentary…usually part of mass mailings from someone I don’t even know – drive me crazy! 

I can put up with a quick quip or the latest cat freak-out video. But my patience runs low when it comes to those touchy-feely, super-sweet videos telling me how to live my life. You know, the still-photo displays of spectacular seascapes or soaring eagles reminding me “Life is short…eat dessert first” or “Learn to embrace your inner child.” They make me want to gag.  

>>Read the rest of this entry

A Slimmer You in 2012

01. January 2012

There’s still no magic bullet for losing weight! 

If you’re among the millions of Americans starting the New Year in your “fat” jeans, don’t despair.  It may not be as bad as you think. 

Despite reports to the contrary, most of us did not gain10 pounds over the holidays.  In fact, according to the American Medical Association, the average American gained just a tad over one pound between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  That’s the good news. 

>>Read the rest of this entry

Handling Holiday Stress

06. December 2011

I found it while going through the “piles” on my desk - a birthday card from my husband.  Along with his sweet message was a gift certificate good for one 90-minute “acu-massage” at Indigo Acupuncture in Coronado. My birthday was seven months ago and I’m ashamed to say I’d completely forgotten about Tom’s thoughtful gift enclosure. But my joy at discovering the lost coupon quickly turned to disappointment as I read the fine print.  The certificate was within weeks of expiring!   

But when Char Self from Indigo Acupuncture returned my frantic phone call, the news was good and bad! The good news? The popular massage therapist and acupuncturist was able to fit me into her schedule. The bad news? Her only available slot was on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving! You’ve got to be kidding! Who has time to relax for 90-minutes two days before Thanksgiving??!!

>>Read the rest of this entry


52nd National Girl Scout Convention 

05. December 2011

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was a “green flash” denier for years.  Oh, I’d heard tales of the optical phenomenon…the brilliant flash of green that occurs as the sun sets over the ocean since moving to San Diego in 1981. 

Many confirmed reports and trusted friends have testified to the existence of the green flash. Even Wikipedia believes…calling the atmospheric event “a green spot visible for no more than a second or two just above the sun as it sets.” It’s just that I’d never seen the green for myself.   

>>Read the rest of this entry

Chocolate - The Gift that Keeps on Giving

02. December 2011

'Tis the season for over-indulgence! The holidays are here and that means eating, drinking and feeling bad about it later! 

Well, here’s some news that may put the cheer back into your holidays. Some of those decadent desserts you’d die for may actually be good for your health! Just make sure you go for the chocolate! Chocolate cake. Chocolate frosting. Chocolate chips. It’s ok! According to the latest medical research, your affinity for chocolate may just save your life!   

>>Read the rest of this entry


Don't Let the Holidays Get You Down

01. December 2011

A newspaper advertisement recently caught my eye….an ad for a local shopping mall.  According to the tag line, that mall was a place “where all your holiday dreams come true.”   

Really?! Will the mall heal my sister’s chronic pain? Repair my friend’s broken marriage? Pay off the mortgage? Give me a trip to the Great Barrier Reef? (Never hurts to dream BIG!) Of course not! And that holiday ad is just one of countless examples of the unrealistic media messages and promises that can set us up for disappointment and pain during the holidays.

>>Read the rest of this entry


Mayor's Recipe

04. November 2011

Have you seen Jerry Sanders lately? San Diego’s mayor is a mere shadow of his former self!

After years on the “rubber chicken” circuit … campaigning and representing America’s finest city at countless luncheons and charity dinners … Mayor Sanders decided it was time to tackle his expanding waistline.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Fall Foliage

03. November 2012

I love living in San Diego. Perfect weather. Beautiful beaches. The world-famous Zoo.

But every year when fall rolls around, I get a case of the blues. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the bright, sunny days and comfortably warm evenings. I just miss the change of seasons. I don’t mean to complain, but autumn in the southland is, well, barely discernable. Oh, a handful of liquid amber trees are kind enough to change color and drop their leaves. But for this Midwestern transplant, it’s just not enough. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but I long for the cacophony of color that adorns the tree-lined streets where I grew up.

>>Read the rest of this entry


02. November 2011

I first saw it while driving along the Strand in Coronado just south of the Naval Amphibious Base … a weird, sort of bicycle-looking thing zipping along the popular bicycle and running path. The guy riding the device was standing up, and for good reason – the contraption had no seat! “It couldn’t be a bicycle,” I thought. Maybe it was a scooter. But the rider was pushing against enormous pedals using a motion that mimicked that of the elliptical trainer at my gym.

Maybe I was hallucinating! Fortunately, a quick Google search assured me I wasn’t losing it. I typed in “bicycle” and “scooter” and up popped the site for something called the ElliptiGO – a device that replicates outdoor running without the impact. The ElliptiGO was developed by ultramarathoner Brent Teal in his Solana Beach garage. Cool. Mystery solved! I saw a few more of the bizarre bicycles after that, but wrote it off as just another crazy southern California fitness fad.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Is Sitting the New Smoking? It's Time to Take a Stand!

01. November 2011

Have you heard? When it comes to your health, sitting may be the new smoking! While the analogy may seem far-fetched, many scientists and medical experts are convinced prolonged sitting is bad for your health.

Perhaps we should know this intuitively. After a long road trip or plane flight, doesn’t it feel good to get up and stretch? Now there’s solid science that proves it’s more than a feeling. A leading science and sports association recently released the results of a study that found time spent on our backsides is linked to higher rates of death and disease.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Mayor Sanders Sheds 85 Pounds

04. October 2011

He may just be San Diego’s “biggest loser!” In less than two years, Mayor Jerry Sanders has lost nearly 85 pounds! No diet. No surgery. No magic bullet. The mayor’s secret weapon for weight loss? Walking!

I met Mayor Sanders one morning on the last leg of his morning walk through Kensington to learn more about the mayor’s new passion.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Shrimp and Mango Skewers

03. October 2011

Summer may be fading away, but it’s not too late to put some shrimp on the “barbie” and enjoy a delicious meal on a perfect fall evening.

This recipe is so good and easy with a healthy, tropical flair. It’s all in the vitamin C-rich mangoes, mint-and-lime marinade and grilled low-fat shrimp (just 80 calories per 4-oz. serving). The couscous delivers plenty of fill-you-up fiber.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Surprise in Lake Havasu

02. October 2011

You know what’s great about retirement? You finally have time. Time to sleep. Time to read. Time for friends. And my very favorite – time to do something new and different. In fact, since leaving my day-to-day duties as a news anchor and reporter at San Diego’s 10 News, life has gone from being tightly scheduled to wildly unpredictable!

Since my “new” job with Palomar Health allows for a little more flexibility, I’m slowly learning the art of spontaneity. So, a few months ago, when a wonderful woman named Carlene called and invited me to be a guest speaker for her women’s group in Lake Havasu City, I said “sure, why not?” Then I looked at a map.

Located in the high desert of Mohave County, Lake Havasu City is a six-hour drive from San Diego through a rather bleak and desolate corner of Arizona. Road trips of any distance typically include Tom. There’s nothing my husband loves more than “road behind him!” But Tom had work commitments, so I was on my own for this trip.

>> Read the rest of this entry

The Health Benefits of Walking 

01. October 2011

There’s an easy way to get and stay healthy. Almost anyone can do it. It fits into just about any schedule. And, best of all, it can be done alone or with a friend. It’s inexpensive, versatile and the health benefits are almost too numerous to count.

It’s walking.

Boring, right? That’s what I thought. Heck, for decades, I was a runner. I thought walking was for wimps! No more. Following a frustrating foot injury and a couple of surgeries, running was no longer an option. So I started walking – and I haven’t stopped! It’s a great workout, it’s fun, and I’m no longer on injured reserve!

>> Read the rest of this entry

Living with Prostate Cancer

14. August 2011

Living with Prostate Cancer

When my brother, sister and I decided to get together this summer, it wasn’t for an exotic vacation in Europe or Hawaii. Instead, we took our spouses and children to a monumental celebration in, of all places, Davenport, Iowa! The family reunion, of sorts, was for the purpose of honoring and celebrating our dad’s 85th birthday.

It was a wonderful time of porch-sitting, pork-eating and gift-giving to the father who taught us so much about life, and loving life. Bucket lists? Our dad invented them. Trekking in the Himalayas, scuba diving off Grand Cayman Island, bicycling cross-country – he’s done it all. When he finishes one list, he just starts another.

>> Read the rest of this entry


Newport Beach 

12. August 2011

If you love the beach, but have already explored all that San Diego’s local coastline has to offer, there’s a lot more to see just up the road!

As a Master’s rough water swimmer, I’ve had the joy of competing off Coronado and Oceanside, Catalina and Alcatraz, Oahu and Maui. But I think my very favorite ocean swim is in the waters off Orange County.

>> Read the rest of this entry


Benefits of Berries

09. August 2011

“Life is like a bowl of cherries!” Did you know that familiar quote dates back all the way to the 1930’s? It’s one line from the lyrics to a delightful song about not taking life too seriously.  

Good advice. But while I can be less-than-serious about life, I take cherries VERY seriously … along with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, not to mention acai and bilberries! When it comes to foods that pack a nutritional punch, berries are some of the healthiest foods on the planet.

>> Read the rest of this entry



08. August 2011

Have you been “shellacked” yet? I have, and it’s great! (And no, I’m not talking about what happens to the San Diego Padres when they can’t mange to get a run!) I’m talking about the “shellacking” I got at my nail salon recently, and I’m looking forward to having it done again.

Seriously, when I first heard about CND Shellac, it sounded too good to be true. The sign at “Tammy’s Nail Salon” in Hillcrest touted the benefits of the new procedure – a “30-minute, in-salon manicure that dries almost instantly, promising perfect polish for two weeks!” Right.

>> Read the rest of this entry


Cruising Cuisine

28. June 2011

It was our first cruise vacation. Full of anticipation, Tom and I headed out on the trip of a lifetime through Alaska’s Inland Passage. Little did we know, we’d be full all right … full of BAKED Alaska, puff pastries, chocolate soufflé, fettuccine Alfredo and beef tenderloin! And that was just the first night!

Oh, we’d been warned the food aboard a cruise ship was over-the-top. But we weren’t prepared for the endless feast that began as we opened our cabin door (champagne and snacks) and continued with a lavish lunch, Captain’s cocktail hour, an elegant, five-course dinner and midnight dessert buffet complete with an ice cream sundae bar! (Have I mentioned butterscotch sundaes with extra whipped cream and nuts are my weakness?!)

>> Read the rest of this entry

A Talk with Tina Mickelson

26. June 2011

When you think of ‘golf’ and ‘San Diego,’ it’s hard not to add ‘Phil’ to that word series … Phil Mickelson, that is. But another San Diego Mickelson is equally passionate about the game of golf. I recently talked with Phil’s talented sister, teaching pro Tina Mickelson, about the game she loves and why this golf “ambassador” believes time on the links is good for body, mind and spirit.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Alaskan Adventure

24. June 2011

Tom and I returned from a wedding in May. And you say, “big deal,” right? Well, THIS wedding was a big deal … and the celebration continued for an entire week … aboard a cruise liner bound for Alaska!

We’d been looking forward to Adrienne and Jeff’s wedding for months. Adrienne’s Dad is Tom’s cousin. Growing up together in West Virginia, Rob and Tom were more than cousins – they were best friends. And the marriage of Rob’s oldest daughter was reason to celebrate. Little did we know, the nuptials would be part of the trip of a lifetime!

>> Read the rest of this entry.

Swing "Fore" Fitness

22. June 2011

Are you looking for a way to lose weight that won’t keep you stuck in a sweaty gym or taking the same walk around your neighborhood? Would you like to add a little weight training to your cardio workout? Does adding natural vitamin D to your diet, better sleep to your nighttime and making new friends interest you?

Take a swing at a golf course and all this could be yours! Seriously, golf is not just for out-of-shape guys making business deals while knocking a little white ball around the links. Not anymore! In fact my fabulously fit husband, Tom, has played for years and loves it! As for me, I’m not really feelin’ the love just yet. I’m just a hacker still working on it … but it’s fun! And it’s an activity Tom and I can enjoy together surrounded by the great outdoors.

All that AND it’s a great workout! I was astounded to discover the number of health benefits that come with a round of golf.

>> Read the rest of this entry.


11. June 2011

I’ve heard it said that confidence is belief in yourself… belief that allows you to take action.  I’m not sure I agree with that.  In my life, taking action usually comes first.  Confidence comes later.

For me, confidence often means, “Just Do It!”  Whether riding a bike at age 5, doing a live TV report at 26 or climbing a rock wall at 57… confidence is the reward for taking a chance, trying something new!

>> Read the rest of this entry.


04. June 2011

Bliss… What a great word! It’s that unbridled sense of joy and wellbeing that comes from deep within. Webster’s calls it ecstasy, intense satisfaction… spiritual joy. Even “happy” can’t beat bliss.

Don’t get me wrong. Happy is good. Happiness is that burst of feeling that comes from a word of affirmation, a favorite song, an unexpected check in the mail or the sight of a dog… ears pinned pack by the wind hanging out the window of a passing car. (OK, so that makes ME happy!) But happiness is often fleeting, typically based on the events of the moment.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Find Your Health

28. May 2011

As a health reporter for nearly 30 years, I learned a lot about healthy eating. But believe me, there’s a big difference between “knowing” and “doing.”

For years, I blamed a hectic schedule for my atrocious eating habits. Too busy for breakfast and too late for lunch, I’d find myself surprisingly hungry after the 5 ‘clock news. So I’d dash down the hall to the vending machines… load up on M&M’s and coffee… work the night shift until after the late news at 11, drive home exhausted and wired, and have a couple of glasses of cheap wine to relax. And I wondered why I wasn’t feeling good! After all, I was getting nutrients from the four major food groups… sugar, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol! >> Read the rest of this entry

Find Your Balance

22. May 2011

I’d never been on a paddleboard. I’ve often watched from the shore as they glide soundlessly across the bay. I’ve even stopped mid-swim to exchange pleasantries with a solitary boarder as we both “paddled” beyond the break off Coronado. It looked like fun, but probably not for me.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Find Your Strength

14. May 2011

For me, there’s nothing like the feeling that comes from stroking through the pounding surf. I love the sense of strength and power as my body cuts through the surf line and breaks free into the gentle chop. But it’s more than a good feeling. It’s knowing that with each stroke, I’m positively affecting my health… especially my heart health.

A sedentary or inactive lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Fortunately, it’s a risk factor you can do something about. In fact, regular exercise… especially aerobic exercise, has benefits too numerous to ignore.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Toning Shoes

12. May 2011

I feel like the old cliché. “I’m in pretty good shape… for the shape I’m in!” At 57, I guess I’m pretty healthy. My energy’s good, I can still swim a mile in 25 minutes and my weight’s ok, too. I understand I’ll never have the body of a 25 year-old again. But I just can’t get past the loss of my once firm behind!

Seriously! My flat fanny has really got me bugged! I tried on a cute pair of jeans at Macy’s recently. The view from the 3-way mirror was the last straw. I needed help! You see, the sport I love does nothing for my backside. Rough water swimming is great for my back and shoulders, but does nothing to tone my aging bum. (And did I mention I hate squats!)

>> Read the rest of this entry

Super Salads

11. May 2011

I’m a terrible cook. And it’s my mother’s fault! Don’t get me wrong… Mom was an incredible cook. But she “enabled” me to become culinary-challenged by failing to insist I learn my way around the kitchen. Oh, I had to clean and do yard work on weekends, but sports and other after-school activities didn’t allow time for learning the fine art of separating eggs or reducing sauces. After swim practice, I’d come home to a foil-covered plate in the warming oven with a beautifully-balanced, healthy meal… a la Mom!

I got away with it for years. Working the night shift is a great excuse for an empty fridge. Even my long-suffering husband tolerated his wife’s ineptness in the kitchen. Tom never once complained, even when dinner was a bowl of raisin bran with a side of apple slices!

>> Read the rest of this entry

Royal Slumber Party 

06. May 2011

Did you know I was invited to the royal wedding? It’s true. The official-looking invite arrived in a timely fashion, about a month prior to the much-anticipated nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton. But alas, I was not being summoned to Westminster Abbey. (The local postmark should have been my first clue!) It was not a royal wedding to which I was invited. It was a royal “slumber party… in Alpine!

While I may not have been in the company of Elton John and the Queen Mum as Kate and William took their vows, my dear friend Maggie – lover of all things royal – threw a wedding viewing party and sleepover at her home fit for a queen!

>> Read the rest of this entry

HRT: First safe, then risky...now safe?

05. May 2011

What’s a woman to do? Honestly, when it comes to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you need a scorecard to keep up! The latest? You may want to start popping that Premarin again because new research finds HRT may be a good thing for women entering menopause.

That news may be hard to swallow for tens of thousands of women who quit the hormone treatment back in 2002. I’ll never forget reporting on the high profile study that found estrogen therapy led to heart problems and strokes. The news caused such fear and panic, you could almost hear the collective “whoosh” as women frantically flushed their estrogen pills down the toilet.

So, what’s changed? >> Read the rest of this entry


25. April 2011

In March of 1981, I was 26 years old and had never traveled outside the Midwest. That was about to change. I’d just accepted a job offer at Channel 10 News in San Diego. Excited about the career move, I was also scared to death about making the move all alone. Fortunately, my best friend, Julie, offered to help drive me AND my stuff halfway across the country. We packed up my Oldsmobile Omega in Peoria, Illinois and headed west. It was a fabulous trip that cemented our friendship for a lifetime.

Through marriage, children, careers and crisis, Julie has always been there… just not geographically. We’ve had plenty of “visits” over the years, but hadn’t hit the road together for nearly three decades. We decided it was finally time for a girl-friend getaway… our 30-year anniversary “road trip!”

>> Read the rest of this entry

Spiritual Health

23. April 2011

Spring is my favorite time of year. I love the lingering evening sun, the brilliant freeway flowers and the high holy days?! It’s true! Passover and Easter are just around the corner and I look forward to the annual religious traditions that remind me to pause and reflect.

That wasn’t always the case. Although I was raised in the church… when I headed off to college, I ditched my religious traditions for what I thought were more important pursuits… a college degree, successful career and the right boyfriend.

In my late 20’s, I got a wake-up call. My mother died. She took her own life… the result of untreated, end-stage depression. I channeled my grief into a personal search for truth and meaning.

>> Read the rest of this entry


04. April 2011

My Mom was big on breakfast. Maybe it was just an Iowa thing. But every morning we awakened to the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee and the beginnings of a boffo breakfast. Eggs, buttered toast or English muffins, oatmeal, o.j. and fruit. It was just part of our family routine.

I can still hear Mom reminding us to eat our breakfast. “It’s the most important meal of the day!”

Turns out, Mom was right… about a lot of things, actually. Too bad I didn’t heed her advice as I embarked on my own. As a young woman, I’d skip breakfast (thinking I could save the calories until later!) run on fumes for much of the day, then gobble up whatever crossed my path later. If a bag of Oreos was handy, that would be dinner. Big mistake.

>> Read the rest of this entry

HCG Diet

02. April 2011

As a broadcast journalist for nearly 35 years, I got to cover a broad range of stories. But nothing was as fascinating as reporting news about health, fitness and well-being. It was my regular “beat” for nearly three decades in San Diego.

It was great! Everyday was an opportunity to learn something amazing… from medical breakthroughs and new technologies… to nutrition tips and exercise techniques… from mental health to dental health.

But the news that got the most “buzz” from viewers was the latest in weight loss. Every new book or fad, from “The Grapefruit Diet” to the uber-hyped exercise guru, Richard Simmons… it seems everyone’s looking for a new way to lose weight. Fact is, whether it’s Atkins, South Beach or Weight Watchers, the key to weight loss has never changed. Eat less. Move more. It’s that simple.

But while weight loss books and other fads are usually no more than a waste of money… others can be downright dangerous. Diet pills and supplements packed with caffeine and other stimulants can cause a wide range of side affects. The popular weight loss drug combo PhenFen was pulled from the market in the 90’s following reports of serious heart problems and even death.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Brain Food

17. March 2011

“Getting older is not for sissies.” I can’t take credit for the popular cliché, but I know it to be true. I’ve got the aches and pains to prove it! Last week I pulled a muscle reaching for the phone. I’m dead serious! I work hard to stay fit, but my 55-plus body is beginning to feel its age.

While turning back time may not be an option for our bodies, here’s some encouraging news. Research shows you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy BRAIN well into old age… especially if you add just a few “smart” foods to your daily eating regimen.

Give these foods a try and see if that Sunday crossword puzzle becomes a little less intimidating!

>> Read the rest of this entry


16. March 2011

Last week I was home sick. Coughing, sneezing, body aches. It was miserable. I didn’t have the energy to do anything… couldn’t exercise and felt as useless as “teats on a boar hog!” (Sorry. You can’t take the “Iowa” out of the girl.)

Well, that’s just when “Little Girl” does her best work! “Little Girl” is the chubby, multi-colored tabby cat Tom and I adopted several years ago. When I’m sick or down… I swear my tubby tabby considers it her personal mission to make me well! Whether lying in bed or crashed on the couch, that darn cat will nuzzle and nudge… then set up shop on my lap, purring like a turbo-prop! Honestly, I can’t help but smile as she settles in keeping watch over me as I drift in and out of sleep.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Naval Aviation

03. March 2011

Saturday, February 12 was one of those “Chamber of Commerce” Days in San Diego. The sun shone brightly across crystal blue skies… not a cloud in sight. Perfect conditions for the air show to end all air shows in the “birthplace of Naval aviation!”

Tens of thousands of us converged on San Diego Bay and Coronado for the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CONA) to honor the pilots and air personnel from the last 100 years from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Tom and I were among the throngs who caused the population of Coronado to nearly triple for several hours that day. And that didn’t include the mass of humanity on board the USS Midway… the wall of people lined along both sides of San Diego Bay, and those spectators forced to watch from their cars, stuck in a massive traffic jam on the Coronado Bay Bridge.

My heart swelled with pride as each aircraft in the 189-plane flyover roared overhead. We viewed the awesome air display from NAS North Island… where Tom was stationed for much of his Navy career. Tom is a retired Naval aviator. He was a carrier landing instructor and flew the S-3 Viking throughout his 20-years of service to our country. (You bet I’m proud!)

>> Read the rest of this entry

Surviving Seasonal Allergies

03. March 2011

“Spring has sprung. The grass is ris. I wonder where the flowers is?”

I recited the little verse for my husband the other night and he looked at me like I’d lost my mind! Come on! It’s the first little poem I learned growing up in the Midwest. Surely some of you have heard of it!

Truth is, the days are getting longer… the temperature is warming up and the flowers really are beginning to bloom, along with the mustard weed and other powerful allergens in our region.

Seasonal allergies… They’re miserable, incurable and they affect tens of millions of us. Springtime allergies kick in when our immune systems, mistaking pollens for harmful substances, respond by triggering the release of chemicals including histamines (that’s what causes those watery eyes, sneezing fits and runny noses.)

On the bright side, an allergic response is actually the sign of an active immune system (small comfort when my eyes look like I’ve pulled an all-nighter!). Research has found that allergy sufferers have lower rates of many types of cancers. Still, allergies should be managed. Left unchecked, they can lead to sinusitis.

I checked with the pros and found some advice that just might let you smell the roses without a swollen nose!

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Road Trip

03. February 2010

I like to travel, but have to admit, going by air is not as much fun as it used to be. Planes are packed full. Security checks are beyond annoying and you can’t even carry a decent-sized bottle of shampoo on board. These days I’d rather take a “road trip!” And there’s no better place to travel on a tank of gas than Southern California.

Early last year, when I accepted an invitation to be guest speaker for a women’s group in Indio I had no idea a vacation get-away was in store… just a couple of hours down the road. The “East Valley Women’s Connection” meets monthly at a beautiful country club in the heart of the Coachella Valley. Tom and I decided to hit the road together and make a long weekend of it.

We were pooped from an unusually busy holiday schedule. So we booked a few nights at the Marriott Desert Springs… gassed up the car and headed north on 1-15 on a Thursday afternoon in January.

Avoiding rush hour traffic, we arrived at the hotel in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Talk about stress-free! We travelled light... grabbed an early supper at a local eatery and woke up refreshed… in the same time zone! Tom got in a round of golf while I hit the gym.

The next day… a 10-minute drive brought us to Indio, the oldest and largest city in the Valley. My brunch speaking engagement left Tom and I with much of the day to explore. The desert sun turned the chilly morning into a spectacular afternoon of sightseeing. The Valley boasts beautiful vistas, distant foothills and miles of blue sky. We were not disappointed.

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Beef Stew

02. February 2010

I know we’re not exactly buried in snow drifts, but it is winter in San Diego, and the chill in the evening air makes me long for the hot, hearty “comfort” food I grew up with in Iowa.

So yesterday, I broke out the Crock Pot, filled it with my favorite ingredients and last night the aroma of beef stew wafting through the house took me back more than 40 years.

Vegetable beef stew was one of my Mom’s specialties, and it still hits the spot. Her recipe is timeless. I’ve just made a couple of simple adjustments – with the help of my friend, Carolyn – to make her heart-warming stew a little more heart-healthy and a little easier for her domestically-challenged daughter!

The key to a healthier stew is more veggies and less beef. Just make sure it’s a good cut! So get out your crock pot… here we go!

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Dr. Dennis Leahy, "The Surfing Doc"

01. February 2010

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Ironically, it’s also one of the most preventable diseases. Good science is proving more and more a healthy lifestyle can save lives.

Why aren’t more Americans willing to make the necessary changes? I asked Palomar Health cardiologist Dr. Dennis Leahy about the phenomenon. He’s been treating cardiovascular disease at Palomar Health for nearly 30 years. He not only sees the difference exercise and healthy eating makes in the lives of his patients… he lives by example.

In a recent interview with Dr. Leahy, the dedicated doctor talked about two of his passions… keeping his patients healthy and surfing!

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Love Your Heart

01. February 2011

Did you know about every 25 seconds, an American has a coronary health event? Sadly, that sobering statistic gets even worse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each minute, one American will die from some form of heart disease. It’s also a major cause of disability in the US.

I’m not trying to be a downer here, but the numbers don’t lie. This is the time of year we focus on heart health. February is American Heart Month. What better time to learn what’s new in the fight against this killer disease.

Fortunately, there is some good news to report. The American Heart Association recently released last year’s top 10 advances in cardiovascular research, and it’s encouraging.

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Winter Skin Care

21. January 2011

Winter came with a vengeance to much of the country this season. Bone-chilling cold and snow falling as far south as Florida. For the folks digging out of their driveways and spinning out on the roadways, it is no fun. Been there. Done that.

In fact, growing up in the Midwest, I remember walking to school dressed like the Michelin man to protect against bitter, gale-force winds that literally blew the snow sideways! To get warm, I’d stand right next to the hot, bone-dry air coming from the classroom radiator. I could barely swallow it was so dry. How dry? With my shoes and a piece of carpet, I could literally generate electricity!

But we deal with the “dry” here, too. Whether it’s winter in Waterloo or chilly in Chula Vista… tis the season for dry, itchy skin, chapped lips and split fingernails.

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January 2011

The holidays may be over, but at my house the guest room still looks like gift-wrap central. The fridge is a disgusting mess and a pile of Christmas cards is still scattered over the kitchen table. And did I just see the cat fly through the living room with a Christmas tree ornament in her mouth?! I think it’s time for a major clean-up. But for me, getting “clean” this time of year also means “eating” clean for the first time in weeks. After all the sugary Christmas cookies, homemade toffee, Chex mix and egg nog… I’m a mess inside as well as out. I know it’s bad because I’m actually starting to crave… salad! Something green! That’s what I need. And I’m going to start with my favorite leafy green… arugula.

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Lowry Theater

15. January 2011

Lowry Theater

My husband, Tom and I recently celebrated 26 years of wedded bliss. There’s no doubt I got the better end of the deal. Tom’s put up with a lot. As the wife of a long-time TV newscaster, Tom simply got used to being called “Mr. LeBeau.” (That’s my maiden name, by the way!) He knows who he is and that’s enough.

I suppose it has something to do with his military training. After 20 years as a Navy pilot, Tom (Thomas Dunlap Hamilton) retired as a Commander some years ago. He’s had two careers since, but I must say I’m awfully proud of his service to our country as an S-3 pilot and flight instructor. To this day, Tom will tell you there are three things worth fighting for. Family. God. Country.

You see what I mean about the “better end of the deal?” And to make the deal even “sweeter,” as Tom’s wife and military dependant, I have privileges on the local bases. I can shop at the commissary, work out at the gym and take in a movie at the most wonderful old theater in the United States

I recently took my nephews for their first visit to the fabulous Lowry Theater on NAS North Island (Naval Base Coronado.) While the theater may not be a household name most locals are familiar with the base situated at the north end of the Coronado peninsula on San Diego Bay. It’s homeport to several US Navy aircraft carriers.

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Favorite Things...

01. January 2011

I’ve been an Oprah fan since the mid 80’s when she first appeared in syndication on San Diego’s Channel 10. She’s a tremendous on-air talent, a brilliant businesswoman, down-to-earth and has managed to maintain a level of class you just don’t see on other TV talk shows.

When I met the “Queen of Talk,” I got to see first-hand what makes Oprah so loved, by so many. Success has never corrupted Oprah, and after all these years, what you see is what you get. She’s the real deal.

I’ll miss her show, but am excited to see the launch of her own broadcast network.
There’s no doubt, Oprah’s ability to re-invent herself over the years has been key to her success.

One of my favorite things about Oprah is her annual list of “Favorite Things.” The show (and companion article is her “O” Magazine) highlights her personal picks, for gift ideas and herself. In fact, because of Oprah’s latest recommendations, I ordered the Discovery Channel’s DVD set “All Creatures Great and Small.” It’s phenomenal.

And it got me to thinking. I’ll bet we all have a “favorite things” list. So I jotted down a few of my own.

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Holiday Eating Tips

10. December 2010

Whew! The first phase of the holiday eating frenzy is over. I’m happy to report I got through the Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole… cranberry jello mold, pumpkin pie and my personal favorite, whipped cream… relatively unscathed. By the end of the weekend the scale revealed an increase of just over a pound!

I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a major victory! Most of the year, I’m pretty disciplined when it comes to diet and exercise. But like millions of Americans, the annual month-long holiday “eat-a-thon” leaves me feeling bloated and bummed.

At least I’m not alone. According to a recent Weight Watchers report, Americans gain, on average, between seven and ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

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Hawaii...The Big Island

09. December 2010

Hawaii… The Big Island

When I signed up for the San Diego Master’s swim program more than 25 years ago, I had no idea just what an adventure I was in for.

I am NOT a risk-taker by nature, but when a group of gals invited me to join their relay team for a race around Coronado I had to give it a try. I got my first open water “rush” stroking alongside the mammoth supports underneath the Coronado Bay Bridge. From that moment, I was hooked!

Over the years, my swim pals and I have competed in rough water races from Coronado and La Jolla to Oceanside, Newport, Lake Tahoe and Alcatraz. We’ve even braved the wind chop and chilly temps in the Catalina, English and Maui channels. (OK. The water off Maui is warm. But the swells were seven to ten feet!)

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Foot Health

02. December 2010

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Saturday, July 27, 2007. Davenport, IA. I had just completed the popular “Bix” 7-mile run… one of many weekend activities surrounding the annual Bix Beiderbeck Jazz festival.

Thousands of us had just made the hot, hilly trek through my hometown… a scenic city along the Mississippi River in the southeastern corner of the Hawkeye state. Exhilarated, but sweaty and exhausted, I made my way to the water station to re-hydrate. Just as the first sip of water began to cool my core, a searing, hot, knife-like pain shot through the instep of my right foot.

I’d never felt pain like that! Stunned, I hobbled over to a nearby bench. I figured I’d just “pulled something.” A couple of Advil, a little ice and some rest and I’d be fine, right?

I haven’t run in more than 3 years. As the pain persisted, there were X-rays and MRI’s… stretching, icing and cortisone shots, and an array of “non-invasive treatments ranging from acupuncture and electrical stimulation to “cool” laser and shock wave therapies. Nothing helped. A failed surgery left me with a damaged nerve. It’s been a frustrating journey, to say the least.

Today, though, things are looking up! I’ve been working closely with Palomar Health podiatrist Dr. Joan Meyer, DPM, to zero in on the source of the problem. I’m hoping and praying a final solution may be just around the corner. I’ll keep you posted.

I share all of this because I’m hoping my experience might actually help you avoid such a foot fiasco.

Fact is, my injury was most assuredly due to a lifetime of foot abuse. I admit it! Excessive running in broken-down shoes… hours in 3-inch heels (better to look good than feel good, right?!). Absolutely no attempt to take care of the two things I most needed to literally carry me through the rest of my life. Please, don’t let this happen to you!

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Kimberly Hunt

21. November 2010

Kimberly Hunt has a full, often stress-filled life. Even so, the popular (and ageless!) 10 News anchor is the picture of health… a fact she attributes to good genes, long walks and a Mediterranean-style diet.

Carol LeBeau sat down with her friend and former colleague to learn more about the food plan that keeps Kimberly going strong!

Carol: What convinced you to “go Mediterranean?”

Kim: Initially, I just wanted to maintain my blood sugar a little better.
I have a sensitivity there.

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Mediterranean Diet

20. November 2010

For years, we’ve been hearing about the health benefits of a “Mediterranean diet” – a heart-healthy eating plan that combines elements of Mediterranean-style cooking. And for years, much of the evidence of those health benefits was anecdotal… hearsay.

But the proof is in the pudding (I mean olive oil!). Actually, the proof is in the research. Eating a traditional Mediterranean diet really does reduce the risk of heart disease along with a host of other disease conditions.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains is the hallmark of most healthy eating plans. But while the Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of good eating you can add a splash of flavorful olive oil, interesting spices and perhaps a glass of red wine if you want to adopt the cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The food plan also includes slight variations in proportions of certain foods.

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Lamb's Players

08. November  2010

After 34 years working the night shift as a TV news anchor and reporter it’s wonderful being home in the evenings with Tom. You can find us most nights, TV trays on our laps, watching the news, followed by the “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” (Mr. and Mrs. Excitement!)

But to celebrate our wedding anniversary recently, I wanted to do something special. Tom agreed. Warmed-up meatloaf with Alex Trebek is no way to mark 26 years of marital bliss.

We agreed on dinner and the theater. We’d heard rave reviews about the new Lamb’s Players production called “mixTape… A Musical Journey Through the 80’s.” It sounded fun. “mixTape is playing at the downtown Horton Grand Theater at 4th and Island. (www.lambsplayers.org). My plan was to get reservations at a restaurant nearby.

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Home Health Care
"A Servant's Heart"

01. November 2010

There’s nothing better than an early morning ocean swim! But when it comes to rough water, it’s not good to go it alone. Fortunately, my swim pals are there for me.

We meet most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Sandra, Janis, Dudley and I trudge through the deep sand to the water’s edge off Coronado. After assessing the conditions, we head out, ducking under the rolling waves… breaking free into the open ocean!

But for a time, our foursome dwindled to three. You see, Dudley’s husband, “Rocky,” has Alzheimer’s disease. The forgetfulness and confusion started several years ago. Eventually, it was no longer safe for the former Navy pilot and trial attorney to be alone. Dudley was now at his side 24-7. The avid athlete put her morning swims on hold.

But constant care-giving, even for the love of your life can take a toll. “I became very short-tempered,” says Dudley. “My patience nearly ran out by 2 p.m. By sundown, I was pulling my hair out.”

Emotionally and physically drained, Dudley needed help. Through a neighbor, she met Margie, a licensed home health care provider. Dudley calls her an angel. “We clicked immediately,” says Dudley, of the woman who changed her life. “She’s like a sister to me.”

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Great Grains!

25. October 2010

Tom and I recently returned from the trip of a lifetime. (click on the “GO” section for more.) Our tour of the Holy land was not only a historical and spiritual encounter… it was also an epicurean delight!

Everywhere… fresh vegetables and fruits, fantastic fish and whole grains in every configuration you can imagine! All through Israel, we noshed on couscous, bulgur, quinoa (keen-WHA) and spelt. In hot dishes and salads, these great grains started to grow on me.

Now I’m slowly breaking free of my tired old rice and pasta “sides” and experimenting with some “new” grains that have actually been around for millennia! (Today you can find them in the bulk bins at your favorite health food store.)

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Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

25. October 2010

I think it was on the 4th day of our trip to Israel it hit me. We were on a peaceful boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. The jet lag was finally gone and I found myself overwhelmed by emotion. I really was in the Holy Land.

We’d arrive in Tel Aviv three days earlier. Since then, we’d visited Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth. There we saw the church of the Annunciation, where it’s believed the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. We continued to Mt. Carmel. That’s where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal.

The next day, we traveled to Capernaum… the town used as a base by Jesus during his ministry… then to the ancient city of Jericho and the mountain on which Jesus was tempted. We even made a stop in Caesarea Philippi where Peter’s faith was challenged by Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”

The following day… staring out at the Sea of Galilee, the Bible came alive! The people and places I’d read about since childhood Sunday school were real! I could almost see Jesus walking across the gentle waves. Christians like me believe the Sea of Galilee was host to many of Jesus’ miracles and teachings.

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Don't Go It Alone!

08. October 2010

Want to experience better health and well-being in the New Year? Along with exercise and good food… call a friend! Seriously, many well-researched studies have found the more friends we have, the better our physical and emotional health.

I know it’s true because I’m a “recovering loner!” Take care of yourself. Be independent. Don’t trust anyone. Those were the messages I got as a young woman. I didn’t have time for emotional attachments. I had plans.

Well, my plans never called to see how I was doing, never gave me a hug, never sent me a funny card to cheer me up. Isolation violates basic human nature. We need one another.

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What's Best for Your Breasts

04. October 2010

What’s Best for Your Breasts? Try Eating Less and Moving More.

Last year, 40 thousand women lost their lives to breast cancer. Two hundred thousand more were diagnosed with the dreaded disease. Despite all the best efforts of medical scientists and researchers – those numbers continue to climb.

That’s the bad news. Now this. Up to a third of breast cancer cases in the U.S. could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more. I know. You’ve heard it all before. Those holistic, new-age, wacko health nuts have been prattling on about diet and exercise for decades. Well, guess what gals? The medical community now agrees. The “health nuts” are right!

While better treatments, early diagnosis and mammogram screenings have dramatically slowed the progression of breast cancer, experts worldwide say the focus should now shift to changing behaviors such as diet and physical activity.

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Breast Cancer: It Happens to Men Too

04. October 2010

Bill Griffith knows about breast cancer firsthand. The popular Channel 10 news anchor is a 6-year survivor. I sat down recently with my friend and former colleague to talk about his very public battle with cancer.

CAROL: How did you learn you had breast cancer?

BILL: I felt a lump and had it checked out. My doctor wasn’t concerned, but a year later, the lump became inflamed. A biopsy confirmed it was cancer.

CAROL: Did you know men could develop breast cancer?

BILL: I knew it was possible. I just never thought it would happen to me.

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The Joys of Swimming

27. September 2010

My love affair with the water started when I was five years old in my hometown of Davenport, Iowa. Dad took me to the municipal swimming pool where I learned to splash and float. Thanks to the local Family “Y,” I subsequently learned to swim and then compete in the sport that’s kept me fit and been a source of joy for 56 years.

For me, the only thing better than swimming (my license plate holder boldly proclaims ‘I’d rather be swimming!”) is helping someone else discover the thrill of being surrounded by water for the first time! As a swim instructor for years, it was a delight every time one of my young students finally called up the courage to jump into the deep end or swim all the way across the pool for the very first time.

So imagine my excitement when Palomar Health asked me to help with a brand new program designed to give North County kids the opportunity to learn to swim!

Palomar Health, The City of Escondido Parks and Recreation Department and Neighborhood Health Care all came together to create “Carol’s Swim Club.” The July kickoff included a family movie night, health screenings and free swim classes at Washington Park’s swimming pool in Escondido… but they’re also looking to the future.

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Healthy Summer Desserts

22. September 2010

San Diego’s summer nights can be hot and dry all the way into October. So it’s time to “think cool!” If it’s your turn to bring dessert to the next family gathering, whatever you do, don’t fire up the oven! I’ve got a few healthy, no-bake recipes that are so easy you won’t even break a sweat!

I LOVE anything lemon… so first up? A totally cool, lemonade pie SO easy there are only 3 ingredients!

I’m also including 2 fruit dessert recipes. One for you, and one for the kids.

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Summer Skin

19. September  2010

While folks across much of the country are putting away their white accessories and preparing for the first frost of the season… we’re just getting started! San Diego’s “endless” summer means warm days and balmy nights, often well into October!

But there can be a downside to those bonus hours of sun. The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 11 thousand people will die from skin cancer this year. Not surprisingly, the risk is greatest for those of us living in “sun-belt” areas such as Southern California.

I think most of us are aware of the risks. Wearing hats and applying sunscreen are part of our daily routines. But if you’re like me, it’s easy to let down your guard as the sun continues to shine past Labor Day.

The Heartbreak of Alzheimer’s

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06. September 2010

Just months before her death in 1980, my mother was able to live out her lifelong dream of traveling to Ireland. I still have the photo of Mom’s joy-filled face as she kissed the Blarney Stone. While touring Ireland recently, I too performed the ancient Irish ritual. As I bent over backward to “properly” kiss the famous stone, a wave of emotion overtook me. After more than 30 years, I was able to share a special moment with my Mom.

Born and baptized Dorothy Marie Gallagher, Mom made sure my (French Canadian!) dad, my sister, brother and I appreciated her Irish heritage. From Irish Beleek china in the living room curio cabinet to our annual St. Patrick’s Day party at “O’LeBeau’s” in Davenport, Iowa... my family was “goin’ green” long before it was fashionable!

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Coast Bistro & Catering

27. August 2010

Although I’ve sometimes been a bidder at auctions, I’ve never actually been an auction item! But there I was on the silent auction table at the Palomar Health Night of Nights Gala.

“Lunch with Carol LeBeau at one of Escondido’s top restaurants!”

As the evening wore on, I began to panic. What if no one bid on #122?! I tried to get my husband to bid on me. No luck. “I can eat lunch with you whenever I want,” Tom reasoned. “That’s not the point,” I hissed! “What if no one makes a bid? My reputation’s at stake!”

Then, as I hovered nervously near the auction table, a smiling woman stopped at item #122… filled out the bidder form and saved the day!

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Grilled Caesar Salad

18. August 2010


As it turns out, this Caesar salad is GRILLED! Now that’s news! As I jotted down Deb’s recipe, I got even more excited. It’s unbelievably easy, but just unusual enough, your family and friends will think you’re Martha Stewart! Oh, and did I mention… it’s delish!

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Memory Loss

12. August 2010

Yesterday, I found myself staring into the closet in my guest bedroom. I had no idea why I was there! On the verge of panicking, I retraced my mental steps. Oh yeah! That’s where the blouse I wanted was hanging, with the rest of the dry cleaning I’d hung there days before.

And that’s not the first time. It seems I’m forgetting more all the time… the keys, the shopping list, the name of my husband’s colleague, the question to the “Jeopardy” answer I SHOULD know!

Does this ever happen to you? Are you finding it’s getting harder to remember things? If so, take comfort – you’re not alone. And it’s rarely due to the onset of some dread disease. Fact is, as we age, our memories can fade. But some of those “brain fades” can actually be due to factors you can control and prevent. Here are a few memory improvement tips that just may help keep you sharp for years to come.

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The Heartbreak of Alzheimer’s

06. August 2010

Maddie’s recent high school graduation party was a festive event. Her Mom… my dear friend, Rene’ put on a lasagna feast fit for a king! There was cake, ice cream, flowers and gifts. Everyone who loves and cares about Maddie was there… friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, her proud grandma and, of course, big brother, Patrick.

Sadly, Maddie’s step-grandfather, “Rocky,” wasn’t there… not really. Oh, we all talked with him, laughed with him and shared a meal with him. But sadly, he hasn’t really been with us for some time. We’ve all watched helplessly the last few years as our dear friend, “Rocky,” sinks deeper into the private world that is Alzheimer’s disease.

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Ranch Breakfast Muesli

21. July 2010

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start your day at dawn with a challenging 7-mile mountain hike and see if you don’t agree! 

That’s how every day begins at Rancho La Puerta… the world- famous health spa just south of the border in Tecate, Mexico. Fresh air, exercise and breathtaking vistas should be reward enough for taking on the early-morning trek. But what awaits you after the hike in the Ranch’s dining hall is icing on the cake.

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Rancho La Puerta

21. July 2010

It’s been a year since I retired from full-time work as a TV newscaster. For 28 years I also covered health and fitness news… the best “beat” in the biz! Fortunately, I still get to promote good health and well being as a health champion here at Palomar Health… and as a motivational speaker. So I was thrilled to be invited recently to speak at Rancho La Puerta. But I never dreamed accepting their invitation meant I’d also be staying at the world famous health spa!

My trip to the “Ranch” was a pleasant 40-minute drive from San Diego across the border into Tecate, Mexico. The quaint Mexican border town is home to the world’s first destination resort and spa. The sense of peace and tranquility filled me as I drove through the gate at Rancho La Puerta. In the coming days, I was to experience first-hand why the “Door of the Ranch” is the“favorite spa in north America,” according to SpaFinder.com.

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Beach Books

16. July 2010

The low clouds are gone and the heat is on. It’s summer in San Diego! Time to hit the beach for a little relaxation and fun in the sun. So pack your sunscreen, shades, bocce ball and beach chair. And whatever you do, don’t forget a beach BOOK! Nothing too heavy, just a pleasant read to help you relax and escape into a world of romance, adventure, inspiration or intrigue. 

Now, if you’re like me, it’s hard to relax when you don’t know where to start. So many books, so little time! It can be overwhelming. So this summer I’m going to keep it simple. One classic novel. One inspirational read, and at least two… maybe three, of my favorite political thrillers by Daniel Silva.

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Bone Health

09. July 2010

Have you thought about your bones lately? They can be easy to forget. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But “them bones” are pretty important if you want to remain upright into your golden years.

Did you know by the time you turn 30 your body starts losing more bone mass than it can create? The news gets even worse for women over 50. Menopause can trigger the first step in bone loss called osteopenia, followed by osteoporosis, the more serious form of bone loss known to cause fractures and debilitation.

It’s estimated half the people in the U.S. over the age of 50 have osteopenia. Once you’ve been diagnosed, you may not be able to completely stop bone loss… but here’s the good news. Whatever your age, you can SLOW bone loss and start building better bones right now!

No magic bullets. No gimmicks. Just some simple, common sense tips that really work.

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Enjoy that Cup of Joe!

23. June 2010

If you love coffee, I’ve got great news! Sit back, relax, enjoy a cup of your favorite brew and read on!

Turns out, the latest coffee buzz doesn’t come from caffeine. It comes from new research showing a cup (or more) a day may actually keep the doctor away! It’s true! That daily Venti Breakfast Blend may do more than wake you up. It may just extend your life.

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Cinema Under the Stars

19. June 2010

Got any plans this weekend? How about a movie? Better yet, how ‘bout a movie UNDER THE STARS? Surprise someone you care about and head to Mission Hills and “Cinema Under the Stars,” San Diego’s unique open-air movie theater. Tom and I have been enjoying this unique cinema experience for years. We want you to know about one of San Diego’s best-kept entertainment secrets.

The weather’s getting warmer, but even if it’s cool, you won’t care. The intimate outdoor venue tucked away in Mission Hills has a fantastic heating system and cozy throws to keep you warm. But watch out, you may just drift off during the opening cartoon in your super-comfy zero-gravity recliner.

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Dazzle ‘em With This Dip!

15. June 2010

How’d you like to be the life of your next party? (And I don’t mean dancing on the table with a lampshade on your head!)

Seriously, next time you’re asked to bring an appetizer to a pool party, barbecue or special event, try this super-simple snack that will have everyone asking for the recipe!

I got it from my friend, Susan who got it from her friend, Peggy. From where it came before that, I have no idea. All I know is that this delicious dip is quick, easy, über healthy and will be the first to disappear from any buffet table.

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Men's Health

02. June 2010

I have a terrific husband. He works full-time, volunteers and is a huge help at home. Tom takes care of cars that need service, commodes that need plunging and cat-boxes that need cleaning. He’s neat, thoughtful and washes the dishes. I’m a lucky woman.

But guess who keeps food in the fridge… replenishes the health-care products and makes all the doctor appointments? Without ever really discussing it, Tom has abdicated anything to do with our family’s health to me! Left to his own devices, Tom would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, go without aspirin and floss and wait years to schedule his annual physical. Tom may be a take-charge guy, but when it comes to our health, he’d rather I’m in charge.

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Super Snacks

17. May 2010

If it’s mid-afternoon and you’re already out of gas, you may be tempted to fill up on M&M’s and coffee (Two of my former favorite food groups!). But if you’re like me, the crash a couple of hours later is even worse (only now my head hurts, too!) Next time you bottom out grab something that will get you back up and running for the rest of the day. A handful of almonds, a couple of fig bars or a banana buys me a little time. But if you really need to power through a project, go for a high performance snack.

Nutritionist and community outreach specialist for “Jimbos Naturally,” Patti Milligan, recently turned me on to her secret snack. It’s delicious. It’s different. And it works! I convinced Patti to let me share it with you!

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Claire's on Cedros

10. May 2010

Have you been to “Claire’s on Cedros” yet? You gotta check out this charming café in Solana Beach. My friend, Dana, has been raving about the popular eatery since it opened less than a year ago. Now I know why! Lunch at Claire’s is an adventure in good eating and going “green!”

The lunch crowd had not yet thinned as Dana and I entered the restaurant… still bustling with activity. Hostess Eva welcomed us with a bright smile and ushered us through the dining area decorated with bits of whimsy… onto the patio so well designed and landscaped, we soon forgot busy North Cedros was only feet away!

The food was clean and delicious (even the coffee is organic!). Chef Claire uses nothing but the best natural ingredients. And she doesn’t have to go far. The restaurant’s landscape is also a one-of-a-kind edible garden! It’s not only beautiful… the eco-“greenscape” supplies herbs, fruits and vegetables for the restaurant’s kitchen.

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Mental Health Support

03. May 2010

May is Mental Health Awareness Month… a time to focus on those who suffer from any of a variety of mental illnesses and disorders. That’s great! But I’d also like to give a shout out to all of you who support loved ones battling mental illness. I know it can be a challenge.

My husband, Tom, is a chronically happy man. He wakes up happy every morning, stays happy all day long, and falls asleep with a smile on his face. As someone who fights the “blues,” I often find Tom’s non-stop good cheer annoying. But years ago, when the dark cloud of clinical depression descended on me, I was grateful for his strength and positive outlook.

Initially, Tom tried to cheer me up. But as I fell deeper into the black hole of depression, he realized we were dealing with something a walk on the beach or funny movie couldn’t fix. As I became paralyzed with panic and despair, my concerned husband took action.Get Some Sleep

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Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness

02. May 2010

My mother committed suicide. She died 30 years ago next month at the age of 53 from untreated, end-stage depression. I was 26 and had reaped the benefits of a loving, devoted mother. All I could do was watch helplessly as she fought the overwhelming symptoms of anxiety and despair.

Mom’s death was a tragic loss, but I found comfort knowing she was finally at peace, free from the bondage of a devastating illness over which she had no control. What made it unbearable was the reaction to her death.

It was never discussed. My dad didn’t talk about it. My brother, sister and I went through the motions of her funeral and burial, but never spoke of it. Friends and neighbors avoided it. Our pastor couldn’t even look us in the eye because of it.

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Destination: Coronado!
A "Slice" of Orange Ave.

08. April 2010

Coronado is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and why not? The view from the bay bridge alone is breathtaking. Everyone loves a trip to the fun-filled Ferry Landing, the Hotel Del Coronado and one of the most beautiful beaches on earth! But the “Crown” city offers so much more! Dig a little deeper and you’ll find there’s something fun to do and see in every corner of this small beach community. Tom and I recently enjoyed an incredible day in Coronado, and never left the 11 hundred block of Orange Ave.

Orange, of course, is the main drag through the delightful village of Coronado, home to both the historic Hotel Del and popular pub, “Danny’s,” (known for its famous “Slam Burger!”)

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Something Fishy, Is Good For You!

06. April 2010

A healthy diet almost always includes fish. No wonder! Besides containing protein and other nutrients such as Vitamin D and selenium, fish contain omega-3 fatty acids… a specific type of fat that may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other medical problems.

I like fish, but my craving for crustaceans and hankering for halibut came later in life. Growing up in Iowa, “fish” meant tuna salad sandwiches and Mrs. Paul’s frozen fish sticks. Then I moved to southern California. After my first bite of truly fresh, savory salmon, I was hooked! From swordfish to mahi-mahi… these days, fish is my friend. But when it comes to preparing a proper prawn I still come up short. So I enlisted the help of two of my favorite fish-fixers, my sister, Denise and my friend, Carol!

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Get Back in the Game with P.T.

04. April 2010

They say foot surgery is the worst. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I can tell you it’s no picnic. After two years of treating a persistent, painful running injury with every non-invasive procedure known to man, I finally had to accept the fact that surgery was the next step.

I found a wonderful foot surgeon… underwent a successful procedure last summer and began the months-long recovery process. I won’t sugar-coat it. It’s been tough. And I’ve had several major setbacks along the way. (The problem with feet is you eventually have to put weight on them!)

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Get Some Sleep

01. April 2010

Get Some Sleep!

Last night I slept nine hours. There, I said it. And tonight, if I can I’ll sleep nine more! I used to apologize for getting so many zzzz’s. No more. Turns out that’s how much sleep I really need, and when I try to get by on less, I feel lousy, am less productive and cranky!

Turns out, there’s no reason to feel guilty about getting a good night’s sleep. In fact, medical research has proven a lack of sleep can be deadly! When people get less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep each night their risk for developing a variety of diseases increases. Studies prove it. If laboratory rats are regularly deprived of sleep, they live only 5 weeks of their 2 to 3 year life expectancy.

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My Playlist

08. March 2010

There’s nothing better than a good workout… the endorphin rush, that healthy glow. Just not yesterday.

Yesterday, I literally dragged myself through my stretching routine, upper body weight workout and a 45-minute recumbent bike ride. I thought it would never end. You see, I forgot my iPod. It’s a crutch, I know, but without my favorite workout tunes, I can barely break a sweat.

Turns out, I’m not alone. There’s actually scientific proof that music enhances workout performance!

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The Incredible Potato

04. March 2010

Pity the poor potato! During the “low-carb” craze, the lowly spud got some pretty bad press. But “las papas” are making a comeback and I, for one, am thrilled!

Unfortunately, not everyone’s on board. After ordering a baked potato with my grilled salmon at a local eatery the other night, my girlfriend told the waiter she wanted double veggies on the side. Smugly, she announced, “I don’t do carbs.”

What?! This is the vegetable that conquered the world, the peasant’s staff of life, the gourmet’s delight. One writer called it “nutritious, delicious, lauded and maligned – the paradoxical potato… the amazing spud.”

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Social Seniors

01. March 2010

Friday night’s the time to party! And that’s certainly the case at North Coast Calvary Church (NCCC) in Carlsbad… especially for the 50-plus crowd! As I walked into the all–purpose facility at NCCC recently, there was such a din of music and laughter, I thought I was in the wrong place. Church people - certainly those over fifty - couldn’t be having that much fun. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

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Exercise for Your Heart….and More!

05. February 2010

Back in the ‘60’s, my Dad was a huge fan of Dr. Kenneth Cooper and his theories about aerobic exercise. (Because of Dr. Cooper, Dad may actually be the first guy ever to jog in the state of Iowa!) The now-famous medical doctor had the then wacky notion that exercise was good for your heart. (cooperaerobics.com) His research panned out and Dr. Cooper’s theories, of course, became universal truths.

Since then, more studies have proven exercise can stave off heart disease, lower blood pressure and stress levels and help maintain a healthy weight. But what’s exciting to me are the other benefits of exercise… the hidden benefits!

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One Step at a Time

03. February 2010

February is Heart Health month – a great time to get going! Only one month into the New Year and not too late to make good on that resolution to move more… one step at a time! It’s easy. Nothing fancy. No equipment needed. Just a good pair of walking or running shoes. Here’s how you make it fun. Get out there a couple of days a week on your own, then book one “destination” walk or run every weekend. Alone or with a friend… in San Diego, your options are endless.

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Kids and Heart Health

02. February 2010

Heart disease isn’t just for adults anymore. Childhood obesity is an increasing threat to the health of our young people. An American Heart Association study concludes overweight kids are “coronary time bombs!” In fact, health experts predict overweight children and teens are on track to develop heart disease between the ages of 35 and 50!

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Bachelor's Chili

01. February 2009

If you’re planning a Super Bowl party or just want some comfort food to keep you warm on these crisp winter nights, how ‘bout a steaming pot of chili? I know many of you take pride in your elaborate, even “secret” recipes. That’s fine. But if you’re like me and just want something quick and easy that tastes good, here’s my not-so-secret recipe for “Bachelor’s Chili.”

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Carol’s Tips for a healthy, HAPPY New Year!

01. January 2010

You’ve recycled your Christmas tree. The Menorah’s packed away. And your extended family is back where they came from. Congratulations. You’ve survived another holiday season!

But for many of us, the pressure of the holidays continues right into the New Year with a list of resolutions as long as your holiday shopping list. Well, this year, let’s keep it simple, with a few lifestyle changes guaranteed to set you up for success.

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Don't Go It Alone

30. December 2009

Want to experience better health and well-being in the new year? Along with exercise and good food… call a friend! Seriously, many well-researched studies have found the more friends we have the better our physical and emotional health.

I know it’s true because I’m a “recovering loner!” Take care of yourself. Be independent. Don’t trust anyone. Those were the messages I got as a young woman. I didn’t have time for emotional attachments. I had plans.

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The Best Kept Secret

25. December 2009

Winter doldrums got you down? Granted, it’s hard to complain living in southern California…but it is January and the short days and chilly temperatures can bring on the blues.

I have a suggestion. It may not technically be beach weather….but I guarantee a trip to La Jolla Cove will lift your spirits. My friend Pam and I just celebrated her birthday with lunch and a stroll along the Cove. Listen, winter at the beach may just be the best-kept secret around!

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Easy and delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup

20. December 2009

I don't like to cook... but I love to eat! If you're like me....too busy and "culinarily impaired,” let's help one another! I'll share my super-easy recipes with you if you'll return the favor! I'm looking for no-brainer dishes with very few steps, but lots of nutrition and taste. They also need to pass the "husband test." I'll try them out on Tom and report back. (And please include an occasional chocolaty dessert. I believe chocolate is a major food group! Right now I'm into soups, so here's an incredibly easy, recipe from my dear friend and workout partner, Rene.

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Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.