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Day 5

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Yesterday, cold again and stuck in the house/studio again.  Someone said-33 below the night before.  I know it felt cold in the house.  I decided to make banana bread with some bananas that were ripening.  Not sure the calories are really good in banana bread, but I did switch half the white flour for fresh ground whole wheat and then added about 1/4 cup ground flax.  I figured that additional nutrition doesn’t hurt.  Plus, a new step for me, when it came out of the oven, I immediately cut it in half and put half in the freezer.  That meant everyone had some banana bread, but the whole loaf wasn’t sitting there tempting us all day.

By 3:00, I had had enough of tripping over whining kids who had been locked in too long, so we loaded up the van and headed to the cc.  I expected it to be busy, but it was really quiet.  I don’t know if everyone was bundled in tight or what.  Anyway, Rachel went swimming for a little while and then found a friend to hang out with.  Dacey forgot his clothes, but was able to challenge his mother at racquetball. (Make sure this time of year, you throw your extra tennies in the trunk, because the cc doesn’t really appreciate the wet shoes on the floors or equipment. )  After the kids burned off a little energy, I noticed a marked improvement in their attitudes and cooperation.  Probably we all feel that way if we are cooped up too long.

Besides the racquetball,  I did get my run in, shot a few baskets, and did a little ab workout.  When we looked at the clock, we all managed to lose about two hours up there.  Then we went to visit my grandmother.  Although the years are beginning to show its wear on my grandmother, at almost 89, my grandmother has amazed us at how she has worked to preserved her mental acuity.  Her family has a history of Alzheimers. Yet my grandmother still does her crossword puzzles and word puzzles everyday, still loves to work on picture puzzles and works to stay active in our family social life.
Always in tune to keeping my own mental acuity in check, I just read an article in this month’s Women’s Health online, “Twelve Steps to Boost Your Brain Power.” The first one was to dance. The music and the steps uses all different parts of your brain.  I can’t dance , and look as awkward as a horse doing the cha-cha,  but last year Rachel and I did take a Zumba class up at the cc, and we had a blast.  It’s a low impact aerobic class based on Latin Music.  You learn some basic steps and get your heart moving while laughing at how silly you are.  Rachel was nine at the time and wasn’t the youngest in the class, and then there were ladies in their sixties and seventies that were keeping up better than I was.  So, if you are looking for something easy and fun, give it a try.  I think it’s Mondays from 5:45 to 6:30.

Ok , so back to the article.  The second suggestion was laugh. –Well the zumba class just proved I’m good at laughing at myself.  Otherwise, find your grandchildren or borrow someone else’s.  Little ones can’t help but put a smile on my face.

Almost every article I’ve read lately has suggested the power of eggs.  I get the best eggs straight from my mom’s farm.  The Brain Power article suggests that egg yolks are better that spinach as far as lutein, because it’s easier to absorb the ingredients in the egg.  If you are high in cholesterol, mix one egg yolk to every two egg whites.  Egg yolks are also supposed to be high in antioxidants for women’s  health.

Another brain booster the article suggested was adding spices.  Their suggestions were Rosemary, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Sage.  Almost all those basics you can play with instead of  Salt.  I’m not much of a salt eatier, so adding other kicks  makes me happy.

Finally, the article suggested the regular hints you hear, like read a book, study a foreign languare, get enough sleep.  All those things you know we should do anyway.  So suggestion for Today:  Turn off the tv, turn up the music, do a little cha-cha for me.  Then do a crossword puzzle or help your son with his algebra. You will feel that gray matter perking up,  and  you will be adding one more step to a healthier 2010.

Thanks again, for the new members of the team;  we are so excited to have you join.  If you haven’t joined a Fitness Challenge Team yet, here’s your last call.  You need to email your weight in today to  Let them know you are on the Black Studios team.  Then email us to let us know your email address and your mailing address. Mike needs a few more men to keep him in line, so, guys, listen to your wives, or listen to me, and sign up today.