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September 2009

Who's the bigger Biggest Loser villain: Icky Vicky or Evil Tracey?

Wow, last night's Biggest Loser really torqued up the gameplay and introduced this season's villain -- Evil "Crazy Eyes" Tracey. Her machinations and alienation of the rest of the team brought to mind a contestant from season 6 -- Icky Vicky, who could peel off the pounds while ticking off teammates.

You can read my entire recap HERE at

But here's the poll from that page:

Oh exercise, how I've missed you!

ExerciseDear Exercise:

What was I thinking? The siren song of that stupid Time magazine cover story (The Myth About Exercise) was too strong and I thought "Yeah, why do I need to exercise?"

So I didn't. And I felt like crap.

Tired, wheezy, stiff, cranky.

That magazine came out a month ago, and for a month I figured I would just work on the diet. So I did but it didn't work. I lost maybe a pound.

But what was I thinking? The premise of the article was that working out makes you extra hungry. But I didn't have that problem. Still, the article gave me the ammo to ignore the stacks of fitness DVDs awaiting review.

Over the weekend, I decided that my exercise-free diet was draining the life out of me. So Monday morning, I popped in a DVD from a new series by former Biggest Loser trainer Kim Lyons. The series is aimed at diabetics who have not exercised in a long time, so out of the six workouts I did the fifth and sixth one. The first four workouts are done seated.

It felt so good to workout for that hour -- pumping the hand weights and doing lunges. Immediately I felt better, more alive.

Why did I stop this? What was I thinking?

I was thinking that a stupid magazine article was an excuse to sit on my butt, but I was beginning to rust.

Oh, exercise, I'll never leave you again!

Tonight's dinner plans come from Sesame Street

Vegetables I'm so old that when Sesame Street made its premiere in 1969, I was 7 years old and technically too old for the educational value. But my younger brother and sister watched it, and I have one video burned into my memory.

The film clip, which I found on YouTube, is about Jennifer, a city girl who goes to visit Mrs. Wilson, one of her mom's friends. (The point of Sesame Street way back in the day was to expose apartment-dwelling city kids to the world around them). Jennifer and Mrs. Wilson go out back and harvest vegetables from Mrs. Wilson's garden.

What struck me about the video was how darn yummy it made veggies. C'mon, it was the 1970s and most of the vegetables I ate came from a can or were pushed out of a square frozen box and boiled until gray. I didn't eat fresh broccoli until I went away to college.

So when I made my grocery list this weekend and saw that fresh corn on the cob was a quarter apiece, I put it on the Labor Day menu along with turkey sausage. To that I added whole portobello mushroom caps and halved chayote squash. The chayote was a mistake -- I had intended to buy jicama for a recipe but had a brain fart and picked up chayote.

Since the air conditioner is broken (again!) I enlisted my husband to put everything on the grill (he is Grill King) so as not to heat up the house. All the veggies were drizzled with olive oil and dusted with garlic salt and wrapped in foil and cooked indirectly over the coals (Propane? Perish the thought!).

So, as you bask in the afterglow of your Labor Day celebration, take a look at what inspired my love of fresh produce: