Soda Wars

Soda Wars: New York Vs. Mississippi

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial ban on large soda was overturned on March 11, by Justice Milton Tingling of State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The judge said the ban was arbitrary and capricious, with too many loopholes and exemptions, because it applied to some but not all food establishments, and to some sweetened drinks, but not others.  Read more in the March 13, 2013 issue of the New York Daily News. Continue reading “Soda Wars”

Bored With Beets

Raw Beets – Nutritional Powerhouse

Bored with beets?  Try combining them with avocados.  The combo is well worth a try, because beets and avocados are a health blockbuster.  

Cut your prep and clean-up time, with this simple veggie combo.

If you’re in a hurry, or don’t like spending alot of time in the kitchen, this is for you.

Beet Preparation Methods

Cooked: remove tails, leave skins intact, slice and steam the beets.  Serve.

Raw: remove tails, peel the skins, grate and serve.

Raw: remove tails, peel the skins, and crank them through a Veggie Spiralizer.  Serve.

For added zest, squeeze a fresh lemon over the beets, add salt and serve. Or, use apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice. 

Avocado Preparation Methods

Peel, remove seed, slice avocados and serve alongside beets.

Peel, remove seed, and mash avocados just as you would prepare mashed potatoes.

Raw Avocados – Omega 3

For added flavor, squeeze a fresh lemon over the avocados, add salt and serve.

Health Benefits

Beets contain potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, fiber, and B Vitamins.  Avocados contain Omega 3 fatty acids (Oleic), antioxidants, carotenoids (antiinflammatory).  Lemons are anti-biotic, anti-cancer, and an excellent source of Vitamin C.  More about beet nutrition here, avocado nutrition here, and lemon here.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore, and Blue Moon Personal Training

Running Marathons Past 90

Like they say, it’s never too late.  Jonathan Mendes 93, runs marathons in New York City.  He started running at 46, after quitting smoking two packs a day.   He stands 5’6″, and weighs 160 lbs.  He says you must have goals in life, and it’s no disgrace to fail, only not to try.

Mendes got motivated to exercise after his doctor told him that he’d lose the desire to smoke, if he ever saw the diseased lungs of a smoker during an autopsy.  With that, Mendes quit cold turkey.

Soon after he started jogging with a neighbor, and then took to running longer distances as he got stronger.

Read the full story, After 90 Years What’s Another Marathon? in the November 6, 2010 issue of the New York Times.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore, and Blue Moon Personal Training

Pizza: When Your’re Hungry, Broke or In A Hurry

Pizza isn’t bad.  It’s good.  It’s just bad when you make a habit of eating it as a substitute for fiber-rich food such as veggies, and fruit.  For anyone with gluten


sensitivity, wheat crust invites problems.  Salt, sugar watchers, and calorie counters, need to use caution.  Added toppings increase calories, and so do beverages.

Reasons People Eat Pizza

  • When they’re on the run.
  • Pizza parlors are prevalent.
  • It’s fast.
  • It’s cheap.
  • It’s filling and delicious.
  • Contains protein, carbs, and veggies.
  • Easy to order from home, take out, or eat in.
  • Fun to eat, and great for parties.
  • Seems to go well with soda pop.

Pizza The Good

  • Contains nutrition.

  • It’s filling.
  • Good source of protein.
  • Many varieties for all taste buds.
  • Good way to get kids to eat their veggies.
  • Time-saver.

Pizza The Bad

  • The crust and sauce contain white sugar.
  • Made from refined white flour.
  • The wheat crust contains gluten. 
  • Low in fiber.
  • Habit forming.
  • Veggies are overcooked.
  • Meat contains hormones, and preservatives.
  • High in sodium.
  • Cheese pizza is high in saturated fat.
  • High in calories.  One slice of cheese pizza contains between 240 to 360 calories.

Pizza Healthy Alternatives

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore, and Blue Moon Personal Training

Exercise of the Month: March 2013


Exercise Type: Core Stabilization

Scissors On The Ball Position One
Scissors On The Ball Position One

Level: Advanced

Equipment: Exercise Ball, Sticky Mat, Athletic Shoes optional.

Muscles Worked: Gluteals, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Hip Flexors, Abdominals

How To Perform Scissors On The Ball

  • Place a sticky mat on the floor.  Place the exercise in front of your mat.
  • Remove your shoes.  Lie on your back on the sticky mat, with arms at your sides, palms down.
  • Place both legs on the ball.
  • Take one deep breath.  Exhale fully as you lift up off the mat, balancing on the ball, as shown in Position One.  

    Scissors On The BallPosition Two
    Scissors On The Ball
    Position Two
  • Take another deep breath.  Exhale fully as you lift your right leg off the ball as shown in Position Two.  Slowly bring your leg down onto the ball, and change sides.
  • Do 5 to 8 repetitions.


  • The closer the ball to your feet, the harder the exercise.  To make the exercise easier, place your calves on the ball, instead of your ankles.
  • Lift leg a few inches off the ball, instead of 90 degree angle.  Only lift your leg as far as you can maintain a steady balance.
  • The exercise is easier if you wear athletic shoes, rather than doing the exercise with bare feet.
  • If raising one leg is too difficult, remain in position one, and then lower your back to the mat.
  • Use a smaller ball if you’re experiencing difficulty balancing.

Correct Technique

  • If you wobble, modify the exercise.
  • Maintain level hips.  As you lift your leg, don’t allow your hip to drop.
  • Avoid sagging.


  • Don’t overdo it!  Your legs can slide off the ball, if you’re not careful.
  • Perform this exercise in an area free of obstacles, such as furniture.
  • Use the correct size stability ball.  The smaller the ball, the easier it will be to do the exercise.  See my post on selecting the correct size stabiity ball.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore, and Blue Moon Personal Training