Monday, August 30, 2010


Saturday I ventured out to New Jersey to Ridgewood Country Club for The Barclays golf tournament. It is a spectacularly beautiful country club and I had the privileged of playing there once at an advertising industry event - I set the course record for poor play.

Besides being a great way to spend your Saturday I made a few observations:

A.) Tiger Woods seemed especially intense this Saturday, and the kids who adore him seemed a little disappointed with his stone-faced intensity while entering and leaving the practice tee, and practice putting green. Many of the other golfers would give a wink and a nod to their well-wishers. It was peculiar to see the most famous athlete in the world less than three feet away from me, munching on a whole wheat sandwich on the practice green. He is the only golfer I always see munching away on the golf course - I find that quite interesting. I was rooting for Stuart Cink and Padraig Harrington - both class acts of the PGA. And my guy Mickelson had an early exit so I was unable to see him.

B.) On the 5th hole Harrington's tee shot landed just a few feet from where I stood with my friends. It was on the cart path and as he waited for the PGA official so he could get relief for his ball he was close enough for me to notice a black band around his torso through his white shirt. Turns out Padraig has lost 12 pounds this year and now he is really interested in how many calories he is burning up so he wears a heart monitor during tournaments. Interesting. He saved par by the way.

C.) The concessions were your typical fare - soda, hamburgers, hot dogs, candy, and beer. They did have a turkey wrap which looked like it was left over from the last tournament. Sadly, the only thing that I enjoyed(except for a cold beer on a hot day) were the bananas. Maybe I should start my own sports concession company -- save the unhealthy classics, but at least offer one, just one, healthy option!

Laying Down with Lambs

While perusing my Facebook wall with various photos posted I was struck by one of about 8 women tri-athletes. It was posted by a friend and I inquired about the group - a team of women competitors - and was introduced to one of them. The purpose behind this was to expand my social circle with the extremely physically fit. Do I want to do a Sprint Triathlon (0.45 mi. swim, 13.2 mi bike ride, 3.1 mi run)? Yes, I think that is a manageable, even with my poor knees. It is a small, but not insignificant challenge.

So, any thoughts of this new tri-athlete friend being a pathway towards hanging out with healthier people were quickly dashed when I realized she was Australian, and could drink with the best of them. But, it was terrific meeting someone so passionate about fitness.

Now, most all of my meals are plant based, and I'll have fish a couple of times a week. However, I must write about a particular meat meal. The Aussie and I went to a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant called Taboon on 10th Avenue and 52nd in Hell's Kitchen. The restaurant looks like a county home with antique-white tables, chairs and walls, but with a giant "taboon" or clay oven front and center.

Like most NYC restaurants, regardless of nationality, the staff is a hodge-podge of immigrants that rival the U.N. Our waitress was Ukrainian and was probably the most friendly waitress I have ever had -- the Aussie said, "I thought she was going to sit in your lap!" The place had a great vibe, we ordered the Zucchini Cake to start -- feta, parmesan, scallions, fresh mint, parsley, dill, Greek yogurt and fresh lime. I had my eye on  the Vegetarian Grill which was grilled fennel with goat cheese, served over homemade chickpea potato gnocchi, grilled zucchini, tomato, asparagus, oyster mushrooms, and parmesan cheese and chives. Much more cheese than I normal would eat, but I felt less guilty since I was feeling healthier through osmosis sitting so close to a tri-athlete. I was about to order... 

She had the Heraime halibut, taboon baked in a ragout of roasted pepper, tomato, cilantro, mild Moroccan spices, artichokes and hot paprika oil. Before I ordered, as an aside I said, have jokingly, "How's the lamb?" The sweet, diminutive, Ukrainian's eyes widened and with passion like she was on the front lines of the Orange Revolution, she said, "The Lamb Kebabs are the best you will ever have!" Her conviction won me over, and for maybe the 7th time since I ended my vegan quest in May I had red meat.

The portion was not overly large, but by the last kebab I felt I was eating just too much meat, and if not for those starving kids in China I would have left the last half piece of mouth-size kebab on my plate. However, I must admit, it was by far the greatest piece of lamb I ever ate, period, and all told, one of the best (non-vegan) meals I ever had! The lamb was just melting in your mouth, and like with other meats I can love it, but have no desire to eat it more than once a month. However, I strongly recommend Taboon,  an amazing restaurant with delicious dishes - it was spectacular from the décor to the service to the food and even the Mediterranean bread was out of this world!

We rounded out the uniquely New York evening with a night-cap at the famed Elaine's chatting with a couple of old, grizzled, and properly sauced reporters for the Daily News, and NY Times, plus a retired NYPD detective. This was old school, authentic NYC with all the celebrity pictures on the wall, and Elaine herself (sadly she is now morbidly obese) holding court at her same table front and center.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

An Argument for Beer?

Here is an interesting article in London's Daily Mail that someone forwarded on to me:

“There’s no fat in beer and no cholesterol either, and it’s ridiculously low in calories and carbs,” he says. “Your spare tyre is probably due to all those pork scratchings you ate alongside your pint or even due to your breakfast orange juice which, health clubs please note, does contain fat.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pizza Party

So my company bought pizzas for our entire's lunch time, and about 20 pizzas were just wheeled by with the aroma wafting in the air.

Not so tortuous...heading to Bonobos right now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The New Food Pyramid

Here is a great guide from Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of "Eat to Live!" As he says,  Forget counting calories. Make the quality of the calories count!  For a more complete understanding of nutrient dense foods for weight loss go to this link:

Tuesday Musings

I just can't function without breakfast. It was 10 AM yesterday and I was starving - I needed my oatmeal and fruit! Eating breakfast without fail will always keep my appetite in check throughout the day!

Late in the day, though, I had a small handful of chocolate covered almonds because of a terrific sweet tooth - as my penance I decided to walk the twenty-odd blocks and three avenues over after work to meet a friend for cocktails (seltzer for me).

As I was swam upstream on 7th Avenue darting amongst the meandering, and ever-changing gate of mindless tourists my blood-pressure was rising so I escaped over to the throngs of regular commuters on 6th Avenue. Still the same number of people on the crowded sidewalks but locals know how to bob and weave through the crowds so there is more of a flowing, corralled-cattle, waltz, and brushing the shoulder of your fellow New Yorker is the most contact you'll have. However, in rushing through the crowds of tourists it is all chaos, fits and stops, and bumping smack into a gawking tourist in black socks and sandals, and who's belly is stretching his "I *Heart* NY" T-Shirt out over his fanny-pack is the norm. But, God love 'em they spend money in our city. And when we start offering more healthy restaurant options, starting in Times Square, those belly's will shrink!

My mobile rang as I whizzed past Radio City, it was the sweet Irish manager of the Pig 'n' Whistle who called to tell me that the chef, on his own, decided to make my vegetarian wrap the special of the day! It sold "fairly well," and "No" it was not named the Terry Wrap. My reiteration to name this healthy option and putting it on the permanent menu was met with a thick brogue, "Baby steps, Laddy." But, nice to know they gave it a try!

Club Macanudo, NYC
I met a girl friend up at Club Macanudo cigar bar, a great wood-paneled, leather couch, and shiny brass public club of A-type personalities, mostly men, smoking giant cigars and swapping stories as if they are in their own private tree house. My friend gulped down a couple of Chardonnays while I sipped my seltzer (at $5 it was a travesty!) and smoked a Cohiba to relax. It never fails, I always see a celebrity in these cigar bars - ever more popular since the Bloomberg smoking ban. So, as I sat on the tan leather couch telling my friend of the precise moment I decided to try this vegan quest I heard a distinctive voice sitting in the chair besides me.

Rudy Giuliani
As I looked to my right former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was brushing past me. "Hey, Mr. Mayor." Giuliani was in a jovial mood, said hello to me, and we chatted for 1 1/2 seconds about a friend of his I used to work for. Throughout the next hour a parade of well-wishers came by to shake his hand, say thanks, get their picture taken, and give him free cigars.  You'd think it was 2002! In political terms, a cigar bar on the Upper East Side is what you'd call his "base." It is amazing to see the once very powerful, who used to travel with a phalanx of aids and security, loping into a cigar bar by himself, banging on his blackberry, and chatting with other patrons about NFL trivia  while waiting for his pal.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern
Now, I know you might think that I embellish some things to make this blog entertaining, but, no, I swear to you I sometimes feel like Forrest Gump in this city - always finding myself in situations in which I bump into people in the news. One entertaining story seems appropriate, if not wildly off topic (apologies), now: when the smoking ban first went into effect I was at my typical perch at Pig 'n' Whistle slaughtering Guinness when the Prime Minister of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, came in.  He was a frequent patron of this pub whenever the UN was in town. That week, as Bloomberg was engaged in his Pickett's Charge against smoking, former mayor Giuliani happened to be in County Cork dismissing the wisdom of the idea. So, knowing that Ireland was contemplating a similar ban, I summoned my rusted artistic skills and drew a political cartoon of Ol' Bertie as a boxing referee between the fighting Bloomberg and Giuliani.
Loyola Rugby with Bertie Ahern, Dublin

A year later, as a result of him remembering that cartoon, which he allegedly kept, I was able to schedule a meet and great with the Prime Minister and the visiting Loyola Marymount rugby team, my Alma Mater. When the university caught wind that this mere "club team" was visiting a foreign head of state, they foot the bill!

For dinner we decided to grab some Chinese at China Fun restaurant. I got the Chinese broccoli (much bigger stalks than regular broccoli with a head more like kale) and brown rice. I tried some of her Kung Po Chicken, but after a mouthful I felt decadent. That is a huge difference from the old me - one mouthful of Kung Po Chicken is good? Then 87 is better!

Now, I can taste some of my old favorite foods for enjoyment, and just a taste only for enjoyment, but not for nourishment -- save that for the great tasting healthy foods.  And yes, this broccoli was tasty!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday Meal

After training in the park I showered and went up to meet my friend at Candle Café for dinner. Sitting at the bar area I spoke with the GM and one of the waitresses about my vegan quest. Of course, the big question was did I stay vegan after 6 months? Like, did we convert you? But they seem pretty satisfied that although not fully a vegan I eat mostly a plant-based diet. The GM was getting married in a week and was having Candle 79 cater the wedding. He then told a story about a guy who had a vegan catered wedding, but his friend snuck down the street and brought back a large pastrami sandwich for dinner. He was upset that this guy could not go one meal without having meat.

Now, if he told me that story 9 months ago I would have said, "Hell, I would have done the same thing! Actually, if I went to a wedding and all the food was vegan I would have hired one of those giant trucks that sell In-N-Out burgers to back into the driveway for all the 'normal' people!" A couple of years ago I was in London over Thanksgiving and my girlfriend suggested Thanksgiving dinner at Heather Mill's country house. I thought it was a great idea until I was first told that she was vegan. What? Screw that! I happily celebrated Thanksgiving eating pilfered finger sandwiches at the tiny old Victorian pub, The Red Lion. Boy, looking back I really regret my ignorance!
Red Lion, London

I will tell you the meals we had last night at Candle Cafe were better than 90% of the wedding meals I have had in my lifetime.

The restaurant was packed at 9 PM with many more coming in for take-out food.

Then the COO, Benay, came over to say hello to us. Funny, I felt just as comfortable in this famous vegan restaurant as I did in my old Irish pubs through the years! My friend is a nurse who works 12 hour days and complained that it is too hard to go vegan, though she would like to. Well, Benay took great interest in pointing out all the places on the Upper East Side where you can get great salads, and coffee with almond milk, etc. Acting like a friendly guidance counselor she then gave my friend her business card and asked her to contact her any time with questions about soy, veganism, etc.

My friend got the cold avocado soup - which looked like regular guacamole dip, but was thin and soup-like. It tasted quite good. I just got the edamame.

For our entrees I had the GINGER-MISO STIR-FRY which was seasonal vegetables and tofu in a ginger-miso sauce over brown rice. It was excellent. I was really famished from my work-out, and I was in need of some sustenance - the stir-fried vegetables and brown rice really fit the bill. My friend got the CHILE-LIME GRILLED SEITAN which was roasted vegetable quinoa pilaf, sautéed greens and an avocado salad. Served with a black bean sauce and chipotle coulis. That was really good - the seitan (wheat gluten that looks and tastes like meat), was excellent, as was the sautéed greens.

This was a meal that one would be hard-pressed to believe this was 100% vegan. Nothing better than gorging yourself on healthy food after a work out. I also had the protein smoothie that lasted a few seconds.

Often I have walked out of a restaurant totally full, and begin to feel guilty or less than healthy with a giant steak and macaroni and cheese sitting in my stomach like a lead balloon. However, last night I felt completely full, but light on my feet from such a great meal, and such friendly people at Candle Cafe.

As we walked home I could smell the scent of hamburgers coming from the famed J.G. Melons steps away. I have to admit, although I still enjoy that smell, per se, it felt great to have a tasty meal that was void of animal products - for dietary reasons.

Former Athletes in the Mist

After months of oppressive heat and humidity, tonight was a welcomed change to have a cool mist in the 69 degree air as I rode my bike to Central Park. The clouds looked ominous, and like most humans a small part of me secretly wanted the sky to open so a downpour would cancel our Monday night training. But a larger piece of me looked forward to the class. I love that gun-metal blue/gray sky, like a 6 year old swirled his paint brush around and around in gobs of blue, white, and black paint. It's the color of a wet dusk void of all reds and orange and yellows. It's the color of the start of football season on the East Coast.

With rain threatening, the class was half the normal size, but we wasted no time with the training. The ground was wet and the rain was really just spittle, like someone with a spray bottle was standing 4 feet away and squirting you. In addition to our "old school," but terrifically effective exercises, we ran the slick steps at Bethesda Fountain, and of course plenty of work on the TRX which I am feeling as I type this. A big part of this class, especially for former athletes, is de-programming much of what you learned about physical training during your playing days. It is not some new revolutionary exercise regime, for I already discussed the many basic, old school movements we do. Rather it is about proper from and function that concentrates on how the body actually works - that is pretty revolutionary. These training sessions really are remarkable and I always get an intense workout that sort of sneaks up on you. Check out his website:
Afterwards I rushed home to shower so I could meet my friend up at Candle Cafe where we had an excellent meal - more on that later, I need my rest.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vegan in Vegas?

A friend just sent me a link to this story about Steve Wynn resorts in Las Vegas now serving vegan dishes:

The article states that a Harris Interactive survey taken last year found that 3.4 percent of Americans were vegetarian, while 0.8 percent said they were vegan. Although those are tiny numbers it is obviously a huge deal to have mega-mogul Steve Wynn add veganism to his successful hotels. It's significant and welcomed. One thing that I have learned from my vegan quest was that even though there are a ton of options, as far as restaurants go, in NYC, there are virtually no options for either vegan, or healthy meals at places like Yankee Stadium, and the old Giants Stadium. So, I think its great that a place like Vegas, which does not really scream healthy living, is offering a high-end vegetarian/vegan alternative.

Today I battled the rain down to the Union Square Farmer's Market which is a great place for farm fresh fruits and vegetables that are cheap. Being that Whole Foods is literally steps away it is good to see large veggies at half the price. Also, there were 1 lb cartons of blueberries for $4 -- that is twice the amount of frozen blueberries I bought for my smoothies, and 70% of the price. With cheap apples, and corn (3 for a $1), and other inexpensive fruits and vegetables it is a welcomed alternative to grocery stores. It is actually refreshing to see vegetables like carrots and squash that look different from each other and not all picture perfect as you see in the grocery store because I think that might be because of some creative engineering. Also, at the market the stalls selling chicken they have large blown-up photos of their free range chickens walking around to prove that they are not the chemically altered ones at those massive industrial farms.

I went down there for lunch, and I must say, the more I eat the vegan wrap at the Coffee Shop down there, the more I know mine is so much better!
Maybe I should open up my own shop!

Slow Sunday...Except for the Emails

Tonight I was pretty hungry when I went to D'ags (D'Agastinos grocery store), always a no-no. But instead of doing my weekly shopping I decided to only buy what I was going to eat and drink for dinner: I bought a head of broccoli, humus, a bag of cherries, bananas and frozen fruit. That means I was in and out of the store quickly and as I played this delicious dinner (more of a giant snack actually) over in my head I did not have any cravings for non nutrient dense food that I passed in every aisle.

I know raw broccoli is tough for many people, but I love it dipped in some humus. Then I ate a bowl of cherries, and with the bananas and frozen fruit, and almond milk I made those delicious smoothies.

It was a rather slow Sunday and it rained most of the day. I got caught up on email and other writings, and I must say I was touched by all the emails I got from people just discovering the blog. The fact that my story was on the AOL home page resulted in over 7,600 people visiting My Vegan Quest today! So, thank you, welcome, and I hope you stick around! Not all posts are as dreadfully boring as this one!

I have got a busy week with plans for every night, so it will be a fun challenge making sure that I continue to stay faithful to my nutrient dense, mostly plant based diet all week!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Weekend in the City

Bobo Terrace
Friday night a girl friend of mine took me to Bobo in the West Village. One of those hip restaurants that was once an apartment and has the quirkiness of your typical Village haunt. I was early and sat at the bar in the basement chatting with the bartender about different Rye's -- although not the drinker I once was,  not even close, I can still talk for hours about my favorite whiskeys . Then for dinner we were seated up on the terrace outside. A great location and the service was terrific. From their list of vegetable appetizers (all quite small) I had them make a vegetable entree for me. It was good and interesting, but my friend's scallops looked much better! My one form of decadence was the ordering of the fried pickles with crab dip - we were told it was a crowd favorite, and although not tops on a nutrient dense scale, they were pretty incredible.

It was a tourist-busy Friday night down in the Village and I got rather annoyed with more than a few people - sadly, not all of my impatience slipped away with my excess weight over the last half year. My friend then took us to a cabaret show that, oddly, featured no singing. It was just actors doing a modern, edgy, comical interpretation of classic fairy tales. Now, one would think with the abundance of creative people in NYC this would be hilarious, but it was so average that it could have been staged by a part-time theatre group in Kansas City. OK, apologies to all my friends in KC.

Saturday morning I took a bike ride in Central Park - part of it with my friend the nurse (who asked me for advice on dealing with unruly patients--yes, a salesman giving advice to a nurse on dealing with angry people in an over-crowded emergency room).  But mostly, it was just me solo cruising around the outer-loop of the park (which is just over 6 miles).  Now, there is the 97th Street Traverse which cuts across the park so you can eliminate the Harlem section - thus the incredibly steep hills - and that is what many of the faint of heart do.  My first visit to the hills of Harlem in Central Park was when I first got roller blades about 16 years ago. I had no idea of the landscape past the 97th Street Traverse and I was soon zipping down a hill which starts at around 100th Street and ends at 110th. So basically a half a mile down a hill that if covered in snow would be categorized as a Black Diamond ski slope! And what goes down must come up, so once you cruise over to the West Side of the park, it is a steep climb back up. More than a few people on bikes were walking them up the hills on the West Side - not I.

I went one and a half times around the park pedaling madly as if I was in the spin class and it was a rather decent, if not quick, work out. Then riding back to my apartment I cruised down the broad street of Park Avenue which was closed this Saturday to all but bike and pedestrian traffic. To ride down Billionaires row with a thousand others was pretty cool - although it felt like China sometimes.

It was lunch time so I parked my bike and sat at the sunny table on the sidewalk in front of the Pig 'n' Whistle. Since I have lived on this street for more than 11 years I know all the merchants and others who live and work on this tiny stretch of 3rd Avenue between 55th and 56th. The Uzbekistanian owner of the frame shop next door calls me "Senator" and is afraid I am getting "too skinny." Then the assistant super of my building walked by holding his arm - he pulled a muscle as we dragged my new TV up my four flights of stairs the other day. I felt really bad for the guy, but I did tip him quite handsomely for the gruelling climb up 67 steps with a 250 lb TV (it took 3 of us). I only bought my buddy a jar of beer for the same effort.

Soon the Irish manager, and the Polish waitress were outside chatting with me about my morning bike ride, and other gossip about 3rd Avenue. I then complained in mock-anger about the lack of healthy choices on the menu. Her logical response was quite sound, "Jaysus Terry, its an Irish pub!" But, still. So, I petition to have a healthy wrap made. And they were great...they did! In a whole wheat tortilla they threw in guacamole, avocado, mushrooms, broccoli, lettuce, onions and tomatoes. It was brilliant! However, my petition to have the wrap on the menu and named after me fell flat.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cheap Food

Often, when I walk down 43rd Street to the Green Symphony deli the large stage doors of the Hilton Theatre, where the Local 1 guys are building the sets for the upcoming Spider-Man Musical, are open and the union guys are hanging out and eating during their breaks. I started to pay attention to what they were eating over a couple of days so I can make some grand statement about the eating habits of your typical hard hats. But there was one guy who always had fruit in his hand as he sat in a chair leaning against the stage door. Finally, today I stopped and asked him about it. Turns out he is on Weight Watchers and he lost 63 lbs. Funny how regular guys who lose weight talk passionately about it as if we were talking about the recent Yankees vs. Tigers series.

For lunch I went to Bonobo's for my delicious, fresh nori rolls of finely cut vegetables and vegetable spread. I saw a couple of obese people in there and that was good to see especially since there is a Quiznos sandwich shop right next door. One other thing about Bonobo's vs a Quiznos is that my nori roll which included a small salad was $9 and Quiznos was advertising a $4 meat sandwich. So, when I think about the freshness of farm grown vegetables versus a food chain that buys chemically-altered processed food, plus an enormous advertising budgets and the infrastructure of countless store fronts, why is this fresh roll twice the cost of their sandwich? I'm all for entrepreneurial capitalism, but I can't quit figure out how farm fresh vegetables are so much more expensive than processed foods from big chains? I mean it is NYC and rents are high, but is it fair to say that healthy food is purchased by more educated and wealthy individuals (as the Danes said about Denmark)? And because the hip, more well-to-do crowd in the Flatiron District eat at Bonobo's they can charge higher prices? I don't know. But, it would be great if healthy food were able to compete with $4.99 for a burger, large fries and a chocolate shake!

Speaking of shakes I walked through Madison Square Park and decided to count how many people were in the queue in front of Shake Shack. No joke, 103 people! Seriously! Who would wait that long for a burger which is not really that much better than hamburgers found at J.G. Melon's, the old P.J. Clarke's, Corner Bistro, and even Jackson Hole restaurants?

Oddly enough tonight I am going to the fashionable restaurant Bobo tonight. Two places that could not be farther apart in food, decor, price, and patrons!

Friday Musings

Some passing thoughts on this Friday afternoon:

I. There was a recall of 380 Million eggs because of an outbreak of Salmonella. As someone who ate eggs daily, and had an atomic cholesterol-inducing predilection for hard boiled, soft boiled, over easy, and scrambled, I find this very interesting. So, today, now that I have no interest in the them anymore (although I do think eggs still taste good), it was a relief to not have to worry about whether my breakfast was tainted or not.

II. Professional football player Max Jean-Gilles was 400 lbs. This year he underwent lap-band surgery and lost 50 lbs. I am not a doctor, but I think lap-band surgery would be risky for a professional athlete. I just read that he seems to be fine, however, he has had a hard time keeping the appropriate amount of fluids in his now tiny stomach and did faint once during practice. I think it is a shame that he got to such a place to think that surgery was the best route for him. Max plays for the hapless Philadelphia Eagles...OK, cheap shot coming from a Giants fan - apologies to my friends (and newest family member!) in the City of Brotherly Love... and his season ended in January of this year. So Max had 6 months before training camp to lose weight - I lost 60 lbs in 6 months, Max Jean-Gilles underwent serious surgery to lose 50 lbs and he still has some complications. So, if I could put forth my opinion -- I strongly think he would have been better off losing the weight naturally.

III. I am very happy to post this link here since I was profiled on AOL's That's Fit section of the website:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

There is No "I" in Team...But, I Take it Too Far Sometimes.

My training session in Central park this week was intense. I just finally figured out my trainers motto, "Exercise is Optional, Movement is Essential." However, I am still learning the concept that my trainer Chris preaches: "If you train with poor movement, you will place fitness on top of dysfunction." Now, for me, an hour in the gym with boxing gloves hitting the mitts leaves me beyond exhausted and drenched to my socks in sweat. My spin class left me rubber-legged, equally drenched, and almost convulsing at the thought of riding a bike ever again. In both cases I loved that feeling of total exhaustion. It is the feeling of athletic accomplishment and knowing that my body worked to its maximum capacity and will be burning this extra fat away.

However, when I do the training in the park we often do exercises or movements that in and of itself are rather routine. If I close my eyes during some of these drills I would swear that I am standing on some burnt grass field at Chaminade College Preparatory during two-a-day practice gearing up for the High School football season. I mean look at gyms circa 1985 compared to today! We are so much smarter about training and movement, so why are we doing these rudimentary drills that I first learned on the hard asphalt in 7th Grade P.E. class? Yet, when we put all those movements together over a sustained period of an hour I am tired, and sweaty, but not more so than boxing or spin class. The secret is the next day, really they next two days. That is when all my muscles, muscles I didn't know I had are aching - so much more so than the boxing and spin. This is not a boot camp type class, far from it. There are no barking of orders, or screams to pick up the pace. Rather, there is a slavish demand to perfect movement. It is not about doing it hard or fast, rather doing it well. Obviously, using the TRX at certain stations during this class also add so much to this total work-out. And, once again, I just can't get enough of the team aspect. You know, it's funny, I was talking to my trainers Mike and Chris and I complained about a guy who got water on his own. Now, I am 42 years old, have not played competitive sports on a team since 2001, and this training group is not a "team," rather just a group of people meeting in the same spot in Central Park. Also, there are plenty of water breaks - especially during these hot, humid August nights. However, in my brain, some guy who I don't know, and I do not depend on in any team capacity whatsoever, jogs over to his bag for a swig of water on his own and that really ticks me off!

It's comical, really!

I am so condition from years and years and years of playing competitive sports that even after living a sedentary lifestyle throughout my 30's and early 40's and gaining 75 lbs, and being a decade removed from pulling on an athletic team uniform, I still revert to the days when I was young and fit and on a team - you never walk on the field (in this case the field is the volleyball courts in the corner of Sheep's Meadow and the steps to Bethesda Fountain), and you never get water unless the coach yells, "water break!"

Now, why is this silly story important? Because you can not ride a bike for 20 years and get on with no problem! And you can be away from exercise or healthy eating for decades and then when you start again your mind does not forget - therefore, ignore all that pain and disruption and trust your mind to adapt to a healthier way of living. It certainly did for me! One month I am on my couch watching reruns of Entourage with a Ray Bari pizza box on my chest, and a virtual Maginot Line of beer bottles between me and the kitchen, and the next I am doing sprints with high knees and getting pissed off that some guy is taking a non-sanctioned water break!