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ElliptiGO
By Carol LeBeau
11/2/2011 2:54:43 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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.

So, imagine my surprise a few weeks later when I opened an e-mail from my brother, Carter, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Attached was a photo of my little “bro” riding … you guessed it … an ElliptiGO! “Sis,” he wrote. “Have you tried this thing? It’s great!”

My brother works for “Push, Pedal, Pull” a high-end exercise equipment company with stores nationwide, including Cedar Rapids. According to Carter, the ElliptiGO is a big seller and growing in popularity in the Hawkeye state and beyond!

Inspired by his injured running partner, Teal designed the ElliptiGO to provide a low-impact, outdoor running experience with comfort and safety advantages over a bike. “The upright riding position,” says Teal, “provides a more natural posture that puts significantly less strain on the neck and shoulders.” And because there’s no seat, there’s no seat pain!

And, compared with an indoor elliptical machine, the EllitiGO has the key advantage of allowing riders to be outside enjoying the fresh air… not trapped in a sweaty gym.
But elliptical training in the great outdoors will cost you between $1,800 and $2,400.

Since the birth of the ElliptiGO early last year, Teal says more than six thousand have been sold, available through 175 retail locations in the U.S.

Please pardon the cheap, shameless plug … but one of those retail outlets is “Push, Pedal, Pull.” I’m sure Carter would be happy to set you up from his store in Cedar Rapids. It’s the least I can do for my little brother!
 

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

Mayor Sanders Sheds 85 Pounds
By Carol LeBeau
10/4/2011 3:40:30 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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.

Carol: What kind of mileage are you doing these days, Mr. Mayor?
Mayor Sanders: 50-60 miles a week. Five miles on weekdays and 20 miles – two five-hour walks – on the weekend.

Carol: Wow! You’re a fitness rock star! How did this happen?
Mayor Sanders: Two years ago, my doctor said I was too fat!

Carol: Has your weight been a problem?
Mayor Sanders: Always. I’m only 10 pounds from my ideal weight of 180, but there’s still a fat boy inside my mind!

Carol: Well, from inside my mind, you look pretty trim! Is it just from walking?”
Mayor Sanders: I also do gym workouts twice a week and watch what I’m eating.

Carol: Must be tough on your schedule … the “rubber chicken” circuit and all?”
Mayor Sanders: I just don’t eat everything I see. I do eat more salads, lentils, brown rice and lean meats. But no more potatoes and fries.

Carol: No more fun food?
Mayor Sanders: I love Trader Joes’ “Popped Chips.” The whole bag is only 300 calories!

Carol: Is your wife supportive of your healthier lifestyle?
Mayor Sanders: Rana’s a runner – extremely fitness-conscious. We “batch” cook healthy meals on Sundays and nibble off them all week.

Carol: And your staff?
Mayor Sanders: Oh, they poke fun … eat M&M’s in front of me, but they also munch from my stash of apples and bananas in the office.

Carol: About those 5-hour walks? Do you ever get bored?
Mayor Sanders: Nope! I “zone” out listening to Pink Floyd on my iPod and collect coins along the way. I tell Rana it’s for our Italy fund.

Carol: I know you walk every day. Do you ever just want to sleep in?
Mayor Sanders: Sure, but I’ve found the best walks are the ones you don’t want to do!

Carol: Some might call you obsessive, Mr. Mayor?
Mayor Sanders: Hmmm. That’s what Rana tells me. But my Dad always said, “anything worth doing is worth over-doing.”

Carol: Walk on, Mr. Mayor!

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

Shellac
By Carol LeBeau
8/8/2011 3:58:57 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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.

Hey, over the years, I’ve tried it all. Maintaining acrylic nails was too much work and left my nails paper-thin. None of the gels last and are a mess when they start to peel. But going “natural” hasn’t been all that great either. My nails constantly chip and crack and most polishes last about a day (especially after swimming in a chlorinated pool!)

But as I prepared for a recent vacation, I thought about the sign at Tammy’s and how nice it would be to have a manicure that would hold up more than a week. I decided to get my first Shellac and boy, I’m glad I did! Amazingly, the iridescent pale-pink on my fingers stayed fresh and entirely chip-free for 21 days! Now in the middle of my second Shellac – I’m sold!

Here’s how it works:

Shellac combines acrylic with the solvents in classic nail polish to form a liquid that brushes on in thin layers, but sets to a hard, shiny finish.

A base coat, two coats of color and a top coat are painted on just like regular polish. Between each step, you slip your hand (or foot) under a UV lamp to set the polish (10 seconds after the base coat, two minutes following each subsequent coat.) Two minutes after the top-coat has been applied, your nails are completely dry. Go ahead. Dig through your purse for your keys. No problem!

The price can range from $25 to $45 for a manicure, depending on the salon. (I paid $26.) You’ll pay between $40 and $60 for a Shellac pedicure.

Shellac is removed by a 10-minute acetone soak. Some salons use acetone-soaked cotton to remove the gel and polish. (The company recommends having your Shellac removed at a salon.)

Growing in popularity, Shellac is now available in 24-chip-resistant colors. Also, please note, because of the UV light exposure, you might want to apply sunscreen to hour hands before your appointment.

Another plus – I went from Shellac to regular manicure and back with no problem. The procedure doesn’t affect the integrity of the nail so once I’ve done it, I don’t feel “stuck” like I did with my old acrylics.

So, if you haven’t already tried Shellac, go for it! I think you’ll like it.

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

A Talk with Tina Mickelson
By Carol LeBeau
6/26/2011 4:57:56 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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.

Carol: When did your passion for golf start?

Tina: At 18 months! An avid golfer, my Dad put my first club in my hand.

Carol: You took lessons?

Tina: I don’t actually remember learning the game. Dad just let us (brothers Phil and Tim) develop our own swings.

Carol: What about the fundamentals?

Tina: Because golf is so much rhythm, timing and tempo, you can know the fundamentals, but if you’re not performing them in unison, you won’t have success.

Carol: What about hopeless cases like me? No hand-eye coordination? No finesse?

Tina: It’s more than hitting the ball. It’s the swing. The ball stays still.

Carol: Is it too late for someone like me to learn?

Tina: Absolutely not! Like anything, it takes practice. Don’t get discouraged. No one masters the game, but your misses will get better. Golf is a game of misses!

Carol: You’re an advocate of golf as a means to promote health. Why?

Tina: Golf is a wonderful tool in the quest to stay healthy. You’re in the fresh air. Your swing involves every part of your body… especially the muscles supporting your core.

Carol: What’s the best way to make the most of your game?

Tina: Instead of using a cart, walk the course when you can. You’ll get in more than 4 miles! Instead of a hot dog at the turn, opt for a cup of tuna salad.

Carol: I’ve heard you speak on the relationship between golf and relationships?

Tina: Certain topics tend to come up walking along a golf course that can’t get addressed over a quick cup of coffee.

Carol: Is that true for you?

Tina: I can honestly say some of the most memorable times with my family have been on the golf course.

Carol: As a new mom, will you be passing the torch (er, club!) to little Lucas?

Tina: As soon as Lucas can walk, we’ll put a club in his hand … just not in the house!

Tina Mickelson is Ambassador of Golf at the Santaluz Club where her mission is to grow the Women’s Club and make golf more enjoyable and accessible to women. She regularly donates her time and talent to help in the success local charity golf tournaments.

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

Toning Shoes
By Carol LeBeau
5/12/2011 4:33:14 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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!)

So I decided to shape up my derriere with a pair of those trendy, new toning shoes. Whether it’s Sketchers “Shape-Ups” or Reebok “EasyTone,” the claims made by the makers of these walking shoes are amazing! Can shoes actually help you burn more calories, eliminate cellulite, curb joint pain and most importantly, tone your butt?!

The answer depends on whom you ask. So-called “rocker” shoes were developed as a specialty shoe for people with diabetes or ankle problems. But they’re increasingly being marketed as toning shoes.

If you’ve never seen them, these shoes have an unstable, strongly curved sole. Walking in them is kind of like exercising on a balance or wobble board in the gym… or barefoot on a sandy beach. Advocates say the instability forces you to use muscles you might not otherwise use, which could lead to weight loss and other health benefits.

It sounded too good to be true, so I did a little digging and found the results of a recent study on toning shoes done by the American Council on Exercise. The San Diego-based agency found rocker shoes don’t help you exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve your muscle strength and tone.

“Toning shoes appear to promise a quick-and-easy fitness solution,” says ACE chief science officer, Cedric X. Bryant, PhD. “Unfortunately, says Bryant, these shoes do not deliver the fitness or muscle-toning benefits they claim.”

The findings are the result of a study performed at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Of the four shoe brands tested, no significant difference was noted compared with traditional athletic shoes.

That said, one possible side effect of these shoes may be the motivation factor. “If these shoes are serving as a motivator for individuals to get people moving more often,” Bryant says, “that’s a good thing.”

So, I guess it’s back to the basics when it comes to a better bum. Maybe I’ll just tone my tush the old-fashioned way… with a few squats and a jog in the soft sand. See you at the beach!

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

Spiritual Health
By Carol LeBeau
4/23/2011 4:51:40 PM


–FULL BIO
 

pring 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. Through a several years-long process of asking questions, talking with people whose faith was real, reading the Bible and giving church another try, I found some answers. I looked honestly at the claims of Christianity and determined they were true.

Obviously decisions about faith are personal, and I wouldn’t presume to tell someone how they should believe. But I’ve been interested to learn that faith and science aren’t mutually exclusive. Turns out, I don’t have to “shelve my brain” to be a woman of faith! There’s actually good, secular science that supports how a God consciousness” can fill some serious voids in our lives. Hope for the future. Peace about the unknown. And the ability to cope with whatever life hands you.

You may be familiar with some of the research on the relationship between prayer and healing. But a new study out of Harvard University may be a surprise. The researchers studied people who attend church or synagogue (the only faith traditions considered for this study) once a week and found they live an average 12 years longer than the general population. No other lifestyle choice can make that claim. The stunned researchers crunched the numbers again and the results were the same.

Now some have tried to explain the phenomenon by pointing out that church people tend to lead healthier lives and those who attend temple may have more social interaction. Both could certainly result in a longer life expectancy. But I think there’s something going on in our places of worship that’s worth investigating.

Listen. I’m no one to preach. But whether Christian, Jew, Buddhist or atheist… I am a big believer in the bumper-sticker philosophy, “Life is hard… and then you die!” Medical science agrees the chance of death is still 100%. It’s just been my experience and observation that people of faith seem to get through life’s twists and turns without as much wear and tear.

So to all of you who observe the springtime religious traditions, Happy Easter and a Blessed Passover. May God bless you with health and happiness!Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

Pets
By Carol LeBeau
3/16/2011 4:36:53 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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.

My sweet kitty doesn’t care if the house is clean, the laundry caught up or even how I smell! She just loves me, and she’s in it for the long haul. She calms me down and helps me relax. Honestly, I can’t imagine life without my pets.

And I’m not alone. Millions of pet owners can attest to the fact their pets make them feel better. And now modern medicine agrees. Our critters really are good for our health! Literally, a “pet” prescription can lower your blood pressure, ward off depression and boost immunity.

Consider these health facts:

  • Owning a dog increases the odds for survival in people who’ve had a heart attack from one in 15 to one in 87.
  • People with pets have been found to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when compared to those without pets… even when matched for weight, diet and smoking habits.
  • Studies n women undergoing stress tests have shown the presence of a dog had more of an effect on lowering blood pressure levels than the presence of friends. Wow!
  • Pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • Stockbrokers who had dogs or cats in their offices while doing stressful tasks had smaller increases in blood pressure than those without animals present.
  • People who own pets often have better physical health due to the need to exercise and care for their pets.
  • The use of prescription drugs and the overall cost of caring for patients in nursing homes dropped when companion animals became part of the therapy.
  • People prone to seizures report their dogs can sense the onset of a seizure before they can. Some dog owners report their dogs sniffed out the presence of certain cancer cells. Amazing!

My friend, Vicki, says walking her cute little terrier mix even improves her social life! Makes sense. Everyone stops to say hi to “Buddy!” He’s a great conversation starter!

 

 

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

Favorite Things...
By Carol LeBeau
1/1/2011 3:13:50 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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.

Don’t worry, I won’t plagiarize Oprah’s famous title. Under the category of health, beauty and well-being, let’s call this:

“Carol’s Can’t-Do-Without” list. (Not a very classy title, but then again, I’m not Oprah!)

  1. Penta Water. Ultra-purified water molecularly altered to super-hydrate the body’s cells. (I know… sounded crazy to me, too.) But since the San Diego-based company’s founding in 1999, I chug 16-oz. bottles of Penta before a workout or race… before making a speech… before any activity I want to be at my best physically and mentally.
  2. Zella Activewear. The cutest, most flattering and affordable workout clothes I’ve ever worn. Available at Nordstrom, shopzilla.com and other on-line retailers.
  3. Aqua Sphere SEAL swim masks. Super-comfortable goggle/mask hybrid. Patented construction allows for great peripheral vision. No deep “goggle lines.” Available in clear and tinted lenses. (I love my amber lenses on a sunny day at La Jolla Cove!) Get ‘em at Paradowski’s Swim Supply in Kearny Mesa or at swimoutlet.com.
  4. BrightReaders. These LED lighted reading glasses are great for reading without disturbing others, doing detailed crafts or hobbies, but an absolute MUST, trying to read the menu in a dark restaurant. (Wish I’d thought of it!!)
  5. Jesus Calling. By far, my favorite daily devotional. Sarah Young has compiled hundreds of encouraging Biblical promises… written 1st person, as if Jesus Himself were speaking to you! Available at amazon.com.
  6. Maybelline mascara. The pink tube is still the best! Hasn’t changed since I was in high school. I shouldn’t have either. Could kick myself for wasting so much money over the years on department store brands.
  7. “Enjoy” leave-in conditioner. Oceanside-based hair-care line. Love the styling gel, but the light spray conditioner is perfect for my fine hair.
  8. Cytomax. This high-performance drink was developed for big-time athletes. But why shouldn’t I feel just as good during MY workouts? This powerful powder (I like the Tangy Orange!) is packed with all kinds of natural ingredients and electrolytes for sustained energy. Available at all major health food stores.
  9. Oxy-Clean. Everyone knows I’m domestically challenged, but I love doing the laundry! This stuff really does make the whites, whiter!
  10. Jornee’ facial moisturizer. This is a guilty pleasure. This rather pricey (about $30 a month) restorative day cream contains a little tint with a “glow.” It’s dermatologist-grade skin-care, and worth every penny.

And I didn’t even get to Kashi cereal bars, Croc sandals and Trader Joes incredible “Purify” Tangerine Sugar Scrub! Somebody stop me!

But you get the point. Send me along some of your faves and we’ll compare notes. Word of mouth is still the best advertising. Sure hasn’t hurt Oprah!

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

Kimberly Hunt
By Carol LeBeau
11/21/2010 4:48:04 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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.

Carol: Did it work?

Kim: And then some! I just feel better… happier! I have more energy and eating well means no more dieting.

Carol: You’re known at work for your fabulous box lunches. What’s on today’s menu?

Kim: Honey mustard chicken with a colorful salad, black rice and acorn squash with Earth Balance, cinnamon and agave syrup.

Carol: Dee-lish! I’ve tasted some of your “super suppers!” How do you find time to prepare such beautiful meals?

Kim: I don’t have time every day. But once or twice a week I grill some chicken, fish and hamburger (lots of protein). I cook batches of beans and rice and chop a variety of veggies. It’s all in dishes in the fridge.

Carol: What about on super-busy days?

Kim: It takes five minutes to put it all together. It actually takes longer to stop and pick up something on the way to work.

Carol: Still… it must take planning.

Kim: Sure, but it’s fun! I love the Farmer’s Market. I love fresh vegetables. And I love putting it all together… especially in the soups I make at home.

Carol: Your soups are incredible! Must have something to do with those fresh herbs from your own garden?

Kim: Yep! Fresh is best!

Carol: What about snacks?

Kim: I snack all day! Nuts… protein bars… hummus and veggies… apples with peanut butter.

Carol: I know you’re big on protein.

Kim: Absolutely. If I have a salad for a meal, I add chicken or fish, figs, dried fruit, avocado, beans… even grated hard cheese with an oil-based dressing.

Carol: Sounds like a lot of food! But you’re as fit and trim as the day I met you 25 years ago!

Kim: Thanks, but it’s no secret. Good food just burns better.

Carol: How ‘bout (husband) Billy Ray and (daughter) Savannah? Are they on board?

Kim: They call it “Mom’s thing!” But they join in, too! They just “supplement” with pizza and Chevy’s Mexican food!

Carol: What about fun foods for you? Do you enjoy any “guilty” pleasures?

Kim: Sure! Cappuccino every morning and a glass of wine on weekends. And you know I LOVE sweets! Especially a little something after meals.

Carol: Like from your private stash of salt-water taffy at work? Still in the bottom drawer on the left?

Kim: Busted!

To learn more about a Mediterranean diet, visit the “Eat” section for my latest article.

Kimberly Hunt

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

Don't Go It Alone!
By Carol LeBeau
10/8/2010 4:01:33 PM


–FULL BIO
 

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.

Sadly, our culture doesn’t encourage the building of strong relationships. More than 26% of Americans live alone, compared with just over nine percent 50 years ago. Technology is isolating us even more. A study from Carnegie-Mellon University revealed people who spend hours on the internet experience higher levels of depression and loneliness than if they used the computer less frequently. I love technology. But let’s face it. You can’t exactly cuddle up with your Blackberry or have a “heart-to-heart with you laptop.

I’m a slow learner, but over the years I’ve let a few people into my world. And now I have a tiny network of family and friends who really know me and care about me. Look, life is tough enough. We all have our public faces to get by. But there are times we need to get past the superficial with a real, live person to share our sorrow and pain, our dreams and victories. Don’t go it alone. You’ll be happier, and healthier!

Join me on November 3rd as I lead a class on “The Power of Friendship.”

My good friend, Susan Haber and I will talk about the importance of peer relationships and how to be a great friend.

“The Power of Friendship” will be held at Pomerado Hospital from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in Conference Room C/D.

Click to register or for more information, call: 800.628.2880

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