Friday, March 18, 2011


If you have a pet, especially a dog, you will understand.


Miss Winnie was found in a very desolate place but I have a suspicion that she landed here by way of Paris. She just seems so…well…French. She is always dressed well – her hair is coiffed and her tail is like a plume – elegant and fun. She is a very persnickety eater, and when she eats, she eats slowly, savoring her food. When given a treat, she takes it ever so gently from you and will drop it, look at it like a gourmet surveying meat, and decide whether or not it is suitable for her palate. She stands completely straight with head held high. I once was stopped by a lady who told me that Miss Winnie had perfect posture.

In fact, we get stopped all the time due to Miss Winnie’s beauty, charm and effervescent, inviting personality. It is rather embarrassing when I am out with friends and their dogs because most often than not, Miss Winnie is the center of attention and gets big oohs and ahhhs. She is, in a word, perfect. I am often asked what breed Miss Winnie is and the only thing I know is that she is part chow. I believe she is chow and spitz. Some say she looks like a giant Pomeranian. Either way, she is a true original and shall never be duplicated. One woman demanded I tell her where I got Miss Winnie so she could go get one and I have heard “I want that dog!” more than once. One woman held Miss Winnie’s head in her face, and said “What a Cover Girl face!” I agree.

Miss Winnie is a social butterfly. She loves everyone. She may growl at first, a deep Chow growl, but it is mere dramatics that dissipate once she is given a rub on the head. She loves people. The UPS man is in love with her and brings her treats every time. She tolerates children – they are a bit rambunctious for her taste. She despises their loud toys. She adores other dogs, all kinds but mostly the ones smaller than her so they can “look up to her.” Hee hee. She is a princess in every way. She has outfits, however she usually does not wear them, only showing how Miss Winnie prefers to be herself and does not need pomp or circumstance to shine. Like a Parisian refined lady who wears barely any makeup and simple, elegant clothing, Winnie too prefers a subtle elegance.

Miss Winnie does love to run, and play, and will jump in the waves like she is posing for a swimsuit calendar. She does not like swimming, she leaves that to the labs and other more hearty breeds. At 11 years old, she is still spry as a young lady. On our walks, people are incredulous when told her age. They usually guess she is about 2 or three years old. This is probably due to her diet of organic cuisine and fresh chicken every day. Miss Winnie does not like loud noises. Getting used to living with her mother’s new husband was difficult as these man creatures tend to be loud, banging things, making a mess. Miss Winnie prefers a calm, organized environment.

Miss Winnie can be sassy. She whips her hair. That is, if she had hair, she would whip it. Let me ‘splain. You know the song “Whip My Hair?” Ok. I LOVE it. So much fun. Every morning, Miss Winnie gets SO enthusiastic about her walk, you would think she was a kid going to Disneyland. She literally bounces down the stairs and runs back and forth near the door and breathes heavily. And she throws her head around as if she is whipping her hair – almost in circle motion. It is amazing.

Miss Winnie wears a pink collar with sparkly rhinestones. Miss Winnie sleeps on the bed. No exceptions.

Miss Winnie is the light of my life, the most special furry person in the whole wide world and my first-born!
LADIES – enjoy your pets!! It is one of the most meaningful relationships of your life.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Happy Tuesday Ladies!
I am on a quest for the Fountain of Youth in the form of plastic bottles with liquid inside. Yes, it has come to this. I am doing a juice cleanse.

Like Scarlett O'Hara said, Tomorrow is a new day. For my husband and I, this means starting our super exciting cleanse!

In order to prepare, they recommend you do a raw food diet the day before. So, I pick up some raw juice at Whole Foods (just to get me in the mood) and some raw hummus. In the morning, I hand my husband a banana and send him to work. I tell him to have a salad for lunch (not the usual salad he gets from Costco (so gourmet) loaded with chicken and cheese and probably a million calories, but something vegan-esque. I will then make lovely salad for dinner. “Oh goody,” my husband says sarcastically.
I eat a banana and start working. I head downstairs in robot mode to make coffee and Oh SNAP! I can’t have coffee. Sigh. I fill a giant glass of water. I eat the raw hummus for lunch which is kind of gross. Oh well. For dinner, I make a really nice salad and I do cheat and put some parmesan on top and I use olive oil even though raw means you are not supposed to. But good lord people, I have taste buds and they are crying out for some flavor!

The next day, the hubby stays home from work so he can be here to welcome the juice arriving from Fedex so we can begin our cleanse properly. We wait. 9:00. We wait. 10:00 We wait. At 10:20 (cutoff time for fedex priority is 10:30), a ginormous box arrives. We open it to reveal two soft pack coolers. We might as well be transporting live organs the way this is so delicately maneuvered and anticipated. We take out the juices and load up the fridge and open juice labeled #1. There will be 6 juices each day. The first juice is a green juice. Oh joy. I can’t believe I have to start my cleanse with the friggin worst juice I could imagine, the green one. But with a tentative sip, I realize it’s actually okay. They have put in just enough pear and lemon and ginger to cut the kale and dandelion and other cow-eating greens. “Mmmmmmmm, I LOVE the green juices!” my husband explains as he gulps his down. I roll my eyes.
Juice #2 two hours later is my favorite. Grapefruit and mint. So refreshing and delightful! And I don’t feel hungry. I do, however, feel a little out of it due to lack of caffeine. But onwards I go. I am the warrior of health.

Juice #3 is THE SAME DAMN GREEN JUICE again. Whatchou talkin’ about Willis??!! I have to have not one but TWO of these a day? Ugh. But sip away I do. Juice #4 is young coconut water which I normally don’t like because it has a funky taste to me. But the hubby again oohs and aahhs and tells me how much he loves coconut water. I note how ironic it is that I was the mastermind behind the cleanse and persuaded the hubby to do it and now here he is LOVING every little drop of every juice and I…well… it’s okay. Life is funny. Haha.

After juice #4, around 5 p.m., I am a bit grumpy. I have the start of a bit of a headache and I am feeling sluggish. The evening should be most exciting. We have juice #6 around 6:30 and I am surprised that is mostly a beet-based juice with more veggies and not much fruit. Where are the blueberries and Acai and guava and passion fruit my friend? Where’s the mango when you need it? The juice people at Cooler Cleanse must know what they are doing so I shrug my shoulders and drink up.

The final drink #6 is an almond milk drink that is sweet and kind of tastes like a milkshake. It was good, but I would rather have had a real milkshake.
We watch TV to distract ourselves from the non-food dining portion of the evening. My mind wanders and I think about the leftover prime rib and the homemade banana muffins and coconut pie that is in the kitchen. We had houseguests just a few days before and had whipped up a feast and it is haunting me. And it’s only been a day. Not even a day. We go to bed around 9:30 because there is nothing else to do.


I wake up feeling good. I’m not hungry, just in a bit of a fog. We have our lemon water (recommended starter) and at least it’s refreshing and good. I use meyer lemons which are like crack to me. Green juice #1 I sip ever so slowly. Feels like a very big bottle of juice eventhough it’s not. Juice #2 is easy. I drink juice #3 while I head to a meeting noticing EVERY SINGLE fast food and donut shop as I drive. They are on every corner of L.A. and the OC and I already knew that. But with my senses on high alert like a bear coming out of hibernation, I feel all of these food places screaming to me for attention. Be strong my friend.

That night, Jonathan and I look at each other grimly as we clink our juice bottles. “Bottoms up,” I say. Jonathan’s stomach grumbles angrily. I say “Just keep saying to yourself “NAPA” honey.” You see, I have a confession. Yes, we are doing a three day wonderful healthy cleanse. But then this weekend, we head to Napa to meet up with my little sister and her boyfriend for three days of food and drink extravaganza.  So in just three days, I will be gorging myself. “Toughen up you pansy!” I scream to myself.

We go to bed feeling a sense of accomplishment that we have gotten through two days now with only one more to go.

I awake feeling lighter. I don’t feel like the energizer bunny but I feel a hyper-sense of my body which is kinda cool. We go through the day almost on auto-pilot. Just knowing this is the last day makes it much easier. I am tempted to grab a handful of almonds from the cupboard but I don’t. I will be SO MAD AT MYSELF if I can’t do this. Three days. Come on! I go for a massage and don’t even have a mint that is sitting on the counter on the way out. I will do this pure and true dammit.

We go to bed thrilled and as proud as peacocks that we did it!


My husband jokes that we should have eggs and bacon for breakfast to celebrate but I say that we are supposed to go slowly back into food and that means trying to stay raw. (I am being the voice of reason now??!! HOLY sh*t!)
I make the lemon water and then we have some green juice that I bought from Trader Joe’s that is actually pretty good. Could I have developed a palate for green juice?! Eureka! I weigh myself. I have lost FOUR pounds in FOUR days. That would make ANYONE a believer! I look and feel great. My skin looks peppy. The husband I decide the cleanse was a grand success and we both agree that we would do it again. Maybe in two weeks before we head to Hawaii.
For now, we are headed to Napa to reverse all the good we just did to our bodies. Yin and yang ladies. Yin and yang.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Howdy Ladies!

I feel fat. And sluggish. And dumpy. Too many steaks. Too much red wine. And way too many fab dinners that I make for my husband every night. I can’t help it. I love to cook good food. And desserts.


So, to the land of cleanses I go. Oh yeah, that’s right. I’m doin’ it!! I’m drinkin’ the Kool Aid!  I usually run far away from the wheat grass, hippie granola, mumbo jumbo that is everywhere around me in L.A. The first time I tried a wheat grass shot at Whole Foods, about two weeks being in L.A. from NYC, I drank it, went to work, and proceeded to roll around on the floor screaming that my organs were playing musical chairs in my body. And then I challenged myself with some other vegetable concoctions at different establishments only to find that I really don’t like the green gunk they call refreshing and delicious. To me, green means gag.

I am much more likely to be seen at the wine bar, not the juice bar. Don’t get me wrong. I am relatively healthy. I eat oatmeal with berries for breakfast, only one cup of coffee per day and we try to eat fish twice a week for dinner. And, I do a 2 mile walk every morning with my dog and a couple of exercise classes each week (when I’m being good). But I still have gained weight since my wedding and I still feel like Jabba the Hut. So change must be made!!

I read somewhere about the Cooler Cleanse. I’m not sure which magazine I saw it in. Could have been Fitness, InStyle, Shape, Elle – who knows. I read so many bloody magazines! Anyhoo, this cleanse has Salma Hayek as part owner. Looks ultra chic. Then I see an article in the New York Times Style Magazine about an editor who does a 10-day cleanse from The Juice Press. Hmmm…. It would be SO me to choose a cleanse out of New York when I live right smack in the middle of cleanseville in California!
I must choose a cleanse that is healthy. There are so many kooky programs out there and so many kooks in L.A. who will gladly try it. The Master Cleanse is one that many have tried. In fact, my friend Wanda just told me that her friend did the master cleanse and got extremely ill. “I don’t think you should do a cleanse,” she says. “Well, considering the Master Cleanse has practically NO nutrition and is ridiculously unhealthy, I’m not surprised they got sick!” I reply. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that if all you drink is lemon, water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper, you are NOT going to get the proper nutrients your body needs. Duh. I tried it for ONE day in a moment of insanity and almost threw up just with the first glass. Disgusting.

Considering my not so stellar experience with juice-type regimens, I still decide to do a cleanse even if it may taste like poop. I decide on the Cooler Cleanse because they seem to know what they are doing and well, their website was snazzy. And I decide on the beginner 3 day cleanse because I am a total whimp and this means baby steps. Just the thought of no solid food for ONE day makes me start hyperventilating.

No, you DO NOT want to know what this costs. Let’s just say that for three days of juice, I could have bought a very nice pair of shoes. But I figure that if I am going to do this, I am going full throttle and doing it the celebrity way. High-end, high quality product, hopefully great results. I ask my husband if he wants to do the cleanse with me because misery loves company. He says sure – I love that he is up for anything. I offer to pay for his cleanse too as I know that my frugal husband would be astounded to know what I am spending on juice. He does ask “Can’t we make it ourselves rather than order it?” “Why sure honey,” I say in my smart ass tone. “If you want to go buy an expensive juicer and go get the beets and kale and berries and all the accouterments for this, and make it for us each day, then yes we can!” I myself am going the easy “Cleanse for Dummies” route and ordering the stuff. He complies.

So, I sign us up and schedule delivery of my most precious, fountain of youth, super fancy cleanse.
I am so cool. I mean, I am just like those celebrities with their cool diets and exclusive health regimens.

If you can do it Selma, so can I!