Christmas, Spirtuality, and Fitness

If you haven’t already seen A Christmas Carol, based on the 1843 book by Charles Dickens, click the link, and watch the entire movie on YouTube.

This version was released in 1951, and is considered the best production.  It stars the late British actor Aleister Sim.  The main character is Ebenezer Scrooge, a chronic miser who hates Christmas, is disgusted with the poor, and dislikes the merriment associated with the Christmas season.

Written in six weeks, Dicken’s book has never been out-of-print.   The plot centers around the emotional, ethical, and spiritual transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge, after supernatural visits from his late partner, and the ghosts of Christmas past, future, and present. 

You might be wondering what this film has to do with fitness, and why I’m writing about it.

Your spiritual life has all to do with your well-being.  How you treat others, whether you abuse your health, whether you’re a perpetual liar, take what belongs to others without remorse, or whether you drive your neighbors crazy with your noise.  It all boils down to chosing a selfish or selfless attitude.

Fitness is more than keeping your body in good shape. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself what sort of person you are.  Your emotional life affects your health.

Make resolutions for the New Year to be less like Ebenezer Scrooge.  If he hadn’t changed, he probably would have died of a broken heart, for all his unhappiness of things past.

Copyright 2012 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Healthy Stocking Stuffers

Quick Healthy Ideas for Santa’s Stocking  

For easy shopping, search where you’ll find a wide selection of all items on this list.  You can also buy Amazon Gift Cards, by searching under Gift Cards Store category at their website.ion

Body Loofah: Comes in all sizes.  Gets your skin really clean.

Facial Loofah: Small round loofahs to scrub your face clean and refreshed.

Exercise Tubing Kit: Portable, easy-to-use.  

Exercise Bands Kit: Folds up, portable, easy-to-use. Great for travel.  Perfect for seniors.    

A Green Drink Gift Certificate:  For people who don’t have time to eat their veggies.

Package Organic Pasta: Introduce someone to organic whole wheat, spelt, rice or kamut pasta.

Vegan Holiday Turkey Gift Certificate: Meatless delight for the vegans and vegetarians in your life.

Organic Cosmetics: Non-toxic, no chemicals Lipstick, Blush, Eye Color, Fragrance, Foundation.

Organic Herbal Tea Sampler: For tea-lovers.

Organic Coffee Sampler: For coffee-lovers.

Portable Cappuccino Milk Frother:  Battery-operated.  Fits in your bag, goes anywhere.

Stainless Steel Water Bottle:  Fill it up, and toss in your pack.

Dried Vegetable Soup Mix: For the backpacker in your life.  Also good for emergencies.

Portable Water Purification Bottle:  Comes in handy for, camping, emergencies, everyday, travel, or whatever needs arise.

Cast Iron Skillet Gift Certificate:  Start someone off with a 6″ pre-seasoned cast iron skillet.  Healthy alternative to chemically treated cookware. This gift won’t fit into Santa’s Stocking, but your Gift Certificate will.

Pilates Ring Gift Certificate: For the Pilates-lover in your life.  Using the ring will help them get stronger with more challenging exercises.

Copyright 2012 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Pediatricians Endorse Cell Phone Safety Legislation

On December 13, 2012, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP)  announced its endorsement of H.R. 6358, the Cell Phone Right To Know Act.


H.R. 6358, introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), is a bill to grant a consumer’s right-to-know, by providing for warning labels on cell phones.

The bill would create a new national research program to study cell phones and health, and would require the Environmental Protection Agency to update the outdated Specific Absorption Rate (SAR).  The current standards are 16 years old.

In 2011 the World Health Organization concluded that there was sufficient evidence to classify cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Because of the differences in bone density, children are more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, and are subject to absorbing higher levels deeper into their brain.

Copyright 2012 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Florida City Issues Warning About Cell Phones and Cancer

In an effort to raise awareness, and protect public health, the city of Pembroke Pines, Florida recently passed a unanimous resolution to warn its residents that cell phone radiation may be dangerous, and linked to cancer.

The resolution was inspired by Jimmy Gonzalez, a Pembroke Pines resident, who had brain tumors removed from the same region he uses his cell phone, just above his left ear, and his left hand.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission), responsible for establishing cell phone safety standards, is long overdue in reassessing the limits on cell phone radiation.  The current standards are 16 years old.

A warning to the wise: even if you’re sceptical, take precaution when using your cell phone. Better safe, than sorry.  Some types of brain tumors are fatal.

Here are more links about the possible connection between cell phone radiation and cancer.

CNN: August 8, 2012 FCC Asked To Consider Raising Limit On Cell Phone Radiation.

PBS NewsHour Video and Transcript: May 31, 2011 Dr. Keith Black Your Cell Phone Is Not Necessarily A Safe Device.

CNN Health Video and Transcript: May 31, 2011 WHO: Cell Phone Use Can Increase Possible Cancer Risk.

New York Daily News: May 31, 2011 Cell Phone Cancer RiskTips On How To Reduce Exposure To Cell Phone Radiation.

Copyright 2012 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Off The Grid: Quick Holiday Cappuccino

English: Classic cappuccino

Off The Grid means no electricity.  If you really want to get down to basics, it means no batteries either.  All the work is manual. 

Traditional Cappuccino is an espresso coffee drink.  Black coffee is poured into a cup, and then hot milk is added, and then another layer of hot milk foam is placed on the top.  To enhance flavor, powdered cinnamon, chocolate chips, chocolate powder, or carob powder might be used to top the foamed milk.

Froth, or foam are the bubbles formed at the top of milk after processing.

Veering away from tradition, and for the sake of saving time, here are three ways to make your Quick Holiday Cappuccino.  


Equipment: A glass jar with a snug lid.  Hand powered shake method.

Pour milk into a glass jar, leaving space for bubbles to form.  Shake vigorously for about one minute. Open lid, and spoon some of the foamed milk into coffee.  If the milk foam isn’t sufficient, shake some more, or use a different type of milk.

Equipment: Hand-powered milk frother.

Purchase a hand-powered milk frother.  Follow directions that come with your frother.  There are various models, from low to high priced.  Some are made from stainless steel, others from glass. 

Equipment: Battery- powered milk frother.

Battery-powered frothers are off grid, but you’ll need to keep batteries on hand to use your frother. 


Not all milk will foam.  Some types of milk will foam, but won’t have much body.  Experiment with your favorite milk, to see what you like.

  • Cold evaporated milk will produce foam, and body.
  • Cold rice, hemp, or almond milk will not foam well, or have body.
  • Cold skim milk will foam, but won’t have much body.
  • Cold heavy cream will foam, and have body.
  • Cold soy milk will foam, but won’t have much body.


1 Cup unflavored soymilk
2 Teaspoons maple syrup, brown sugar or honey
2 Teaspoons grain beverage powder or unsweetened cocoa
1/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch ground cinnamon
Optional garnish: Chocolate shavings, Cinnamon, Chocolate Powder, Carob Powder.


Heat soy milk in saucepan until just below boiling. Remove from heat.  Stir in remaining ingredients. Beat with egg beater until frothy.  Garnish with chocolate shavings, cinnamon, chocolate powder, or carob powder.