Recipe for a Great Bottle of Wine


In my previous blog post, I took you through the amazing adventure of Grape Camp in Sonoma, California.  As you learned in that post, Sonoma Valley is near and dear to my heart because of its beautiful terrain, quaint boutique wineries, sustainable agricultural practices and, of course, it’s award winning wines.   So, other than the obvious reasons, what is it about wine that gets the nutritionist in me so fired up?  Read More »

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Help, I’ve overindulged!

Pam's PizzaAs a fitness and health professional, I know better.  But I still find myself splurging on my favorite comfort foods (burritos, pizza, pasta, etc).  Okay, maybe splurge is too mild of a word. I admit it. I tend to go totally overboard at times!  What I’m talking about is eating to the point I feel over-full.  Loosen the belt buckle, unbutton the pants.  That miserable, uncomfortable, almost sick to your stomach feeling. Help, I’ve overindulged!

Don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s fine to eat the foods you like in moderation.  Have you ever tried to cut out your favorite indulgent food?  You know what happens, you just end up wanting it more.  Research shows that eating the foods we like fulfills an emotional and mental need.  But how do we enjoy the foods we want without the risk of overindulging?

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Lessons from Danny

My family dog Danny barks at everything...constantly. Knowing this makes the following story even more remarkable:

My Dad and Danny were in the backyard when a possum approached from the other side of the fence. Once he caught Danny's attention, rather than running away, the possum continued to approach. Face to face with this possum what did Danny do? He stuck around; he didn’t run away or bark. According to my Dad, the possum and Danny hung around each other for hours. But the last time my Dad checked on them, the possum was dead. (I know what you’re thinking – no he wasn’t “playing possum”.) My Dad contacted animal control to see how to best remove the body and explained to him what had happened. The man wasn’t surprised. He said he had heard of dying animals seeking out the comfort of other animals – and animals staying to keep vigil with dying animals. You may have heard similar stories of cats or dogs doing so for humans in their last hours of life.

When I worked in hospice, I shared this story often as I tried to reassure families of the power of their presence when a loved one may not be able to interact in their last days of life. I’d always say if Danny could bring comfort to a possum, imagine what your presence can bring to another. I’ve reflected on this story when thinking ahead about the holidays and realized there are some other lessons to explore:

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Grape Camp in Sonoma


After several years of visiting the wine country of California, my husband and I have grown to love Sonoma Valley – it’s climate, it’s laid back atmosphere, it’s sustainability mindset, and of course, the Wine.  Yes, Napa Valley is the big dog in wine country where most of the large wineries exist but the quaintness and beauty of Sonoma Valley is unmatched. This is where you will find some of the best kept secrets in the California wine industry. Charming boutique wineries abound producing amazing wines in small quantities (400 cases instead of 20,000 cases).  These wines often sell out to beloved wine club members before the public ever gets a chance to taste them. Read More »

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Stay Active During the Holidays - 3 tips

Fall on the ATT by A Pack

The holiday countdown has begun. With less than 1 month until Thanksgiving and less than 2 months until Christmas, we are already beginning to plan out our holiday travel and family commitments. Often lost in the maze of planes, trains and automobiles (and feasts, gifts and holiday cheer), is physical activity. We tend to over-everything during this time of the year and then vow to begin anew in January. It’s a vicious cycle for many every year. So this year, vow to be different; be better. Whether on the road or at home, stay active during the holidays with these 3 tips. Read More »

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Chasing the carrot at the end of the stick...or...?

Years ago, during a performance review at a non-profit, my supervisor wrote the following comment at the end of my self-evaluation,  "Page, you have exceeded my expectations, and, clearly, are adding value to the organization, but I wonder sometimes if you know how to stop and celebrate what you have achieved.  It seems like you are always chasing the carrot at the end of the stick."

Hmmm.  That caused me to pause and reflect.  Deep in my gut I knew she was right.  Why am I not stopping to enjoy what has been accomplished and celebrate?  I realized that a lot had to do with my focus.  I was always looking ahead to what was left to do.  I measured everything against the whole and minimized the importance of the small victories.  I clearly saw what was wrong and needing improving, but failed to see the value of the steps that had been taken.

I thanked my supervisor for caring enough about me to point this out.  After all, she benefitted greatly from my drive and productivity.  Her comment showed that she also cared about my personhood.

Halloween_2015_Frog1I write this because I am on a journey to learn more about stopping to celebrate.  This past weekend, we had a "trunk-and-treat" event in our neighborhood.  The kids had fun and so did I as I decorated my car.  Sure, there are a lot of issues with the kids and families in my neighborhood.  There are academic struggles, financial crises, and difficulties with the justice system, but there are kids who want to embrace life and have fun.  If all I focused on is what is wrong or missing, I would never "waste" my energy on transforming my car into a frog.

So, what about you?  When you think about work...or your friends...or your family life, are you taking time to see what there is to celebrate and enjoy?

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Music and Motivation

Music is the beat of my life! Ever since I was little I was dancing around the house and singing. Remember when you could go to an amusement park and do a video while lip syncing? That’s right – me at about 9 or 10 years old singing and dancing to Madonna’s Like a Virgin!  My parents loved music and that’s where I get it from. We always sang in the car, danced around while dusting the house, had music playing outside on a boom box while swimming, etc. Music has played a major part in my life both as a child and now.

dancing-to-wii-225x300Since I’m no longer on a high school dance team or a little girl in pigtails dancing on the bed, music plays a different part in my life. The number one thing that comes to mind is my everyday life. My son is now growing up with his mother singing in the car (as is he!) all the way to school or the store. We love dancing to the Wii too! Read More »

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Skip the Boxed Stuff


Today’s society is all about doing things faster, smarter, better—including the food industry. While on the surface this may sound like a great idea (who wouldn’t want cooking to be faster, smarter, better?!), in reality the luxury of today’s convenient processed foods comes with a price tag: your health. Read More »

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Pink and Blue - The Colors of Breast Cancer

Pink-and-Blue-bracelet Breast CancerPink and blue.  These colors are often synonymous with gender. In fact, when I was pregnant 16 years ago, we had no idea of our baby’s sex. At the shower, we received lots of blue, green and yellow clothing, but no pink. It’s interesting how blue can represent both male and female. When our daughter finally made her grand debut, albeit 12 days late, there was a pink card in her nursery bassinet and an abundance of pink balloons, streamers and congratulations.

The way that things evolve and become what they are just fascinates me. I wanted to know where this pink ritual came from, so I checked some reputable resources. In the early 1900s, when color started making its way into clothing, pink was actually affiliated with boys. Pink was considered the stronger color while blue was dainty and retailers in big cities were happy to accommodate. It wasn’t until the 1940s that pink was promoted as feminine. Over forty years later, the pink ribbon as we know it today was born. What’s interesting is that the original breast cancer ribbon was actually peach, not pink. Pink was determined to be the quintessential female color, so with the launch of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, the pink ribbon became the symbol. Read More »

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Prevail Over Processed Carbs


“Everywhere modern processed foods go, chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease soon follow.” -Kris Gunnars

The typical American diet is inundated with highly processed carbohydrates.  We have a bagel made from white flour and sugar for breakfast, a sandwich on white bread for lunch, potato chips for snack, white pasta with dinner, cake and ice cream for dessert…I could go on and on. Read More »

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