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January 22, 2011


Steven Rice Fitness

Lucky grandson to have such a healthfully doting grandparent. And luck you.

I use the child or grandchild example a lot when training people. The main point of course is to retain the ability to pick them up. Beyond that, kid lifting illustrates how real-life strength involves picking up things from the floor(squats and dead lifts) and loads that aren't constrained by a machine(free weights). Children also weigh a lot more than the tiny weights people often use, so if you want to be prepared to safely pick up a 50 pound child you had better be exercising with more than 5 pound weights.

Healthy Librarian

Thanks for your great professional advice--and sweet words. Thanks to you I've totally branched out with my weight-training. What a difference real weights, barbells, & free weights make, compared to the machines.

Any interest in giving us all a good 30 minutes routine we can do at home with free weights?

Also, just starting to get into kettle bells--thanks to my husband. Any thoughts about them?

Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner

Your "Little Man" is such a cutie!!! I love that he loves green smoothies -- you don't hear kids very often asking for more "green juice," But he proves that if you feed your kids right, they crave fruits and vegetables. :)

Healthy Librarian

Kat, I think you might be right. His parents have only given him super healthy food, so maybe that's why he drank the juice. It totally surprised me. He also loves to drink water--never heard my kids ask for water when they were kids--it's was always apple juice, back in the 80's.


I wish Forks over Knives would hurry up and get here in Seattle. I hope there will be lots of DVDs available to the public for sale too.

I wish I had known then what I know now about nutrition as it relates to disease, and my grown kids would be eating healthy food and feeding their kids healthy food. Sadly, now they don't believe what I say, even though they've read some of the books I've given them, e.g., "The China Study."

I wish I had the recipe for your no added fat vegan burgers. I've come close to the perfect one using lentils, but still not nirvana. I can't wait to try yours.

Thanks so much for this amazing blog and the time you spend to create it.


Thanks for the terrific post!
Really 5-6 posts in one(or more).
Kessler's book really turned my head around.
Tonight for the first time in ages I ate dinner at the table instead of in front of the computer. What a difference.
I couldn't even finish my food!
Thanks for helping to change so many ingrained eating habits.
I can't wait to try the Lemony-tahini sauce.


Great post! We had so much fun. "Little Man" keeps running around the house calling for "Oma, Poppy".
Come back soon.

Healthy Librarian

Glad you liked the post Les! Poppy's fave picture was the "Little Man" checking out the preteen books. Can't wait to get back to the Loo to see you all. So...what's the story with the leftover Jeni's ice cream?

Steven Rice Fitness

A full workout is a tall order, but here are a few exercises I recommend, especially for anyone of grandparenting age.

The core of the body is intended to maintain stability between the top and bottom, so strengthen by holding plank, side plank, and doing bird dogs. These are well documented on the web.

For shoulder and hip mobility "up chops" with a light medicine ball, dumbbell, or even plastic bottle of water are good.

Stand with feet a bit wider than shoulders, holding the weight near one hip. Swing the weight up and across the body, ending with it as high and far behind you as you can. There should be a long stretch diagonally from the hands across the front of the body to the feet. Be sure to pivot at the hips. Move with control. This is approximately a golf swing in reverse.

For functional lower body strength and balance step downs and step ups are great. Get a small platform or stand on the bottom step of some stairs. Step sideways up, raising the "downhill" knee in the air, then step down. Hold a weight when this is not hard for you. You can also start on the platform and reach down with a foot, tap, and come back up. To really work balance, cross the downhill foot in front of the other when it goes down, then swing it around behind and tap there.

General thoughts are-
-think movements, not muscles
-maintain a neutral(straight) spine
-think up and down, and side to side
-pull toward you more than push away
-moving your body is more important than moving a weight NB: Core exercises
are different in that you want to emphasize holding the core steady

I hope that helps.

Oh, kettlebells are great. I would probably favor them slightly over dumbbells.

Gael in Vermont

What a fun post, Deb! I feel the same way as you and newly veganized Bill... eat well, move much in order to be the best grandparent I can be.

I impatiently await my turn. About the Whole Foods food court - I frequent the ones in Massachusetts and Venice California (son resides there) and

frankly, I'm awestruck at the vegan selections. It's like heaven for me, and they will share recipes if you ask. You can check their website as well.

I can't wait to try the mousse and the lemony sauce. I have downed a few banana-cocoa-almond milk smoothies in the past year but I add some

spinach (don't tell the little man!). It's such a treat.

You and your husband are just glowing with sheer glee in the photos. It's lovely to see such happiness.

Healthy Librarian


Thank you thank you for taking the time to write a "core" work-out down! I really appreciate it. Wish you were living in my neck of the woods so I could get a thorough consult. I think your list is spot on: planks, bird dogs, & platform steps. Do you have favorite book or DVD for functional strength & fitness?

Steven Rice Fitness

Hello Debby,

I don't have any book or DVD recommendations for lay people. Moving is of course a natural act for everyone, but when heavy weights are involved some professional
guidance is important.

Something that can use clarification in my first comment concerns moving the body versus moving weights. I'm not saying that walking, dancing, etc are more important than weight lifting(or more generally called resistance training,) although those are very, very healthful. What I mean is that when weight training the idea is to move your body or part thereof with an added load, not to move a weight for the sake of moving a weight.

Also let me say that, within your boundaries of health and safety, the most benefit is from constantly pushing yourself with harder exercises and heavier weights. If you stay within your comfort zone you won't be doing yourself very much good.

By the way, I think I'm from your part of the country. I grew up in Massillon, but I've happily been in California for many years.


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