Thursday, January 18, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute Jan. 15

Happy Martin Luther King Day and best wishes all ‘round...

On the resolutions front, I discovered a great way to keep up with my resolve to have some spectacular fun each day. I’m calling each tasty life-treat a piece of candy and, in contrast to those years of resolutions about never having candy, I’m now resolving to have at least one piece of this kind of candy every single day. On the weekends I can have more. Yesterday, for instance, I nearly downed a box of it:

First piece - a session with my personal trainer. He is my big splurge, but so worth it. With all I’ve been going through with the headaches I wouldn’t have done anything if I didn’t have the commitment to see him twice a week.

Second piece – a visit with my friend Lane. I was just going over there to drop off a blender, but it was such a sweet time. We’ve known each since 1989 and every time I see her, I see myself.

Third piece – church at Unity of NY ( and it was really special. The minister asked everyone who was going through a remarkable healing to come on stage. I went up. I was nervous. I’ve spoken there four times and I don’t get nervous; I know I’m a good speaker and I have good information and there’s nothing to be afraid of. But this was different: I was being vulnerable. I was saying, “I’ve been going through a very dark night and I trust I’m coming through it.” There were about 20 us onstage (and it is a stage – the church meets in a concert hall, Symphony Space, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan), and the whole congregation prayed for us. It was extremely powerful.

Fourth piece – lunch with my friend Olivia. She is a super-networking expert ( and a super human being. We went to Mana, a macrobiotic restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue and totally caught up. (And a lovely young woman came up to me there thanking me for these Monday minutes! I was so surprised I think I mumbled. Please, if you’re seeing this, drop me an email via Joya - -- and introduce yourself so I’ll know you by name next time.)

Fifth piece – an afternoon class in restorative yoga at Yogaworks ( I was introduced to restorative yoga at the spa (if you didn’t read last week’s minute, the spa where I greeted this New Year is It is a luscious form of gentle yoga -- all about props and getting in a perfect, comfy position and staying there for a very long time – like fifteen minutes. In the meantime, one of the two instructors comes around to give hands-on corrections, like gentle mini-massages, while at the same time one of the instructors talks about some yoga precept. Yesterday, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, she talked about ahimsa, the power of non-injury, dynamic harmlessness, the roots of Gandhi’s and King’s nonviolent movements.

When you get five pieces of candy in a day, it sweetens the sour stuff like having to take down the Christmas decorations – but even that I did with the show-tunes channel on, which enlivened things quite a bit.

Some other people sent in resolutions to share:

My resolution this year is to be vegan. I've been a vegetarian for 25 years but I finally felt the push to go vegan. I guess I finally figured out it was really possible especially since Native Foods moved into the city! My second resolution is to try and live in balance. I am forever doing too many things. Maybe they are really only one resolution! -- Bajamama

I technically do New Year’s affirmations. The work “resolution” seems so negative – you resolve to do this or not to do that. It puts a down spin on whatever your goal or pledge for the year would be, which technically puts a stamp of failure on it. An affirmation on the other hand is a positive statement or pledge in which a great outcome is visualized. My affirmations: losing some weight so that my lifespan is stretched and I can have as much active fun as possible with my three young grandsons, donating 20% of the “clutter” in my home to charity (not to mention the clothes that will no longer fit me as I lose weight), and learning a foreign language well enough that I can help someone if they are having trouble communicating with others – you never know when a situation like that will come up, and I am sure it is a helpless feeling. There is also a desire to write and illustrate a children’s book, but that may take several years of affirmations to complete. -- Paula

(If you’d like your resolutions in the newsletter – there are two more Mondays in January, so there’s time, send your resolutions to Joya:

Question of the week:

“My current problem is menopausal weight gain around my middle. I hope to start the New Year with continued dedication to health and fitness, and intend to re-read Fit From Within during my holiday vacation. Is there anything in particularly you can recommend that would target any hormonal issues that might exist for weight gain around the waist?” – Irene

Irene, you have discovered a fact of life that the world doesn’t seem to want to tell us until we get there. I talk in the first part of Younger by the Day about how there was invasion of the body snatchers in my bedroom, and how virtually overnight my flat stomach was traded for a round one and my round bottom for a flat one. It was horrifying.

On the one hand, it’s nature. Just as an eighteen-year-old body and an eight-year-old body are shaped differently, a woman’s body after menopause has a different shape from the one she had before. Somebody even said it’s nature’s way to make sure men won’t be attracted to women who aren’t fertile, but that is just depressing and ugly. So, in my experience and opinion, you can’t totally change this nature-imposed shape-shifting without surgery, but you can do a lot with exercise. You know you need cardio work to keep your heart healthy, but it also keeps your fat level low. Look at runners: they’re lean, regardless of age. The roll we get around the middle, even if hormonally motivated, is made of fat, and consistent cardio can help keep your fat level down. (The old Fit or Fat books by Covert Bailey are still among the best on this.)

In addition, around menopause, weight training becomes more important than ever before in life. It not only protects your bones, but it shapes your body. Your abs might not be a washboard or a six-pack, but they can get pretty darned decent, and your waist, although not a Scarlett O’Hara 17 inches, won’t melt into oblivion. (You didn’t ask about thighs and triceps, but they’ll be a lot stronger, leaner, and more toned as well.) While cardio can help keep you fat level low, weight-training gives you muscle. Otherwise, you’d just be “skin and bones” – no shape, no energy, no sex appeal. With weight training in the mix, you’ve got your best shot at a youthful-looking body in your fifties, sixties, and beyond.

Now, if you read Suzanne Somers’ books (Ageless: The Naked Truth About Biodentical Hormones and Suzanne Somers’ Slim and Sexy Forever: The Hormone Solution for Permanent Weight Loss and Optimal Living), I think she’ll tell you that taking bioidentical hormones will help keep your body pre-menopausally shaped for just about as long as you live. I am not making any medical recommendations, but if you want to read up on these from a source I trust, you can visit

(Note: if you’ve sent in a question that I haven’t answered, I do have it and it will be answered, as they say on the voice mail, in the order in which it was received. If you have a question you’d like answered, please send it to


The New York Times does it, so I guess we can, too... Last week, with the pumpkin pie recipe, I gave a wrong website for Lori Finlay Hamilton. The correct one is (Sorry, Lori – and all of you who went to the site I listed and didn’t find her.

Have a great week, everybody!

All good things,

Victoria Moran

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute Jan. 7

Happy New Year to all! I hope 2007 will bring you success, peace, and every opportunity to fulfill your happy destiny.

I’m thrilled to report that I am feeling much, much better. I spent a week at a marvelous, healing place, the New Age Health Spa in the Catskill Mountains about 100 miles from New York City ( When I first arrived there, I felt so bad I thought I’d made the wrong decision, that I should be at a starker, more medical kind of place. But within a couple of days I was feeling better and now I’d say that 90% of the pain in my head in gone. I don’t know the reason: I had some amazing treatments there – hot stone massage, acupuncture, cranial-sacral therapy, foot reflexology, and several steams and wraps and scrubs to detoxify. In addition, there were two yoga classes and two meditation sessions each day, plus other classes in tai chi, Alexander Technique, Nia, Chinese healing, and more. And I started to reread Deepak Chopra’s wonderful book, Perfect Health, and I’ve been following an Ayurvedic lifestyle for my body type. (According to Ayurveda, having Vata dosha out of balance – I’m a Vata, so that imbalance is what I’m prone to – exacerbates nerve pain. Very interesting.)

In addition, before I left one friend gave me Reiki, another treated me to a massage, my fabulous Chinese healer from KC just sent me some specially compounded herbs for the condition I’ve had, and I just learned that someone dear to my heart has been doing distance healing for me from the Midwest. And I’ve been on the Silent Unity prayer list this whole time. (If you don’t know about Silent Unity, they use affirmative prayer for people of any faith or no faith, 24 hours a day, and they’ve been at it for over 120 years. Their number is 816-969-2000 and you can call any time day or night.) It all adds up to feeling more well than I had dared to hope. I’m seeing a medical specialist on Wednesday and it will be interesting to see what he thinks of my recovery via these unusual methods.

Anyway, I have a new lease on life – a perfect way to start a year, I think. I wish you this kind of joy (but without being sick first!).

(Note: This is a longer Minute than usual – okay, it’s a 4-or-5-Minutes)

Love and Light to you in this New Year,

Movie of the week:

Miss Potter. This is the Renee Zellwegger film about Beatrix Potter who wrote and illustrated Peter Rabbit and other classic children’s books. It is visually exquisite, charming and heartwarming, and a lovely look at a woman’s life in a time when women had precious little freedom or self-determination. I loved it, my husband loved it, and all the women in the bathroom afterwards loved it. Only the critics pooh-poohed it as “too sweet.” It’s not! I don’t go for gooey-sweet myself, and this isn’t. It’s just a beautiful movie and one that you could take a child to without wishing you’d brought a blindfold and earplugs.

Recipe of the week:

In the pre-Christmas newsletter, Joya and I forgot to include the pumpkin pie recipe kindly sent by Lori Finlay Hamilton ( We’re adding it here. Certainly it’s okay to enjoy pumpkin pie in January!

Happy Heart, Happy Hormones (low fat, dairy free- "guilt free" pumpkin pie)

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)
1-1/2 package Mori-Nu Lite Tofu (firm or regular Silken Tofu)
1 cups (480 ml) canned or cooked pumpkin
2/3 cup (160 ml) honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin pie spice
1 unbaked 9" pie shell

Place Tofu in Blender or Vita Mix container. Blend until smooth, about 20-25 seconds on medium speed. Add remaining ingredients, and run until well blended. Pour into a 9" (22.5 cm) unbaked deep pie dish shell and bake for about 1 hour. Filling will be soft, but firms up as it sits . Chill and serve.

Great for breakfast treat- without the guilt!

A note from Lori: I've served this with company and they had no idea this was a "tofu pumpkin pie" :)

In search of...

...the lovely reader from out West who is an Arbonne representative. Please email me: I want to do a little write-up on Arbonne in a future newsletter (the products are yummy) and my daughter is craving body butter and some kind of magical masque. Thank you.

Question of the week:

I apologize: I was so sick before I left town, I managed to somehow delete your questions. It was some kind of Blackberry-to-regular-computer misstep on my part. In any case, please accept my apologies, kindly resend your questions to, and I’ll answer all of them next week. The whole Monday Minute can be a sort of tribute to Ann Landers. Thanks for understanding.

My resolutions:

Yes, I make them, and they are: Enjoy life each day (I write more about that in the blog entry, pasted below), and: Live Ayurvedically for one full year. I find an assortment of ways of being and ways of living so fascinating that I’ve never really stayed with one system of well-being consistently for an extended period. This year I intend to stay close to the Ayurvedic principles for all twelve months and chart my progress. This includes keeping a regular schedule, getting up early and to bed on time, doing warm oil massage most mornings, meditating twice a day, doing yoga regularly, and eating the diet that’s best for my body type. Much of this I’ve done before or do a good part of the time, but this year my intention is to have a serious commitment to this way of life. I also want to go for panchakarma, a special Ayurvedic cleansing/healing program, at least twice this year as well. It seems like a lot but I have a lot of incentive. I’ll keep you posted. (If you’d like to share your resolutions with the rest of us, send them to Joya ( – and we’ll include them next time with your first name or, if you’d prefer, in total anonymity.)

Help for a friend:

To any New York area readers who might be able to help: my dear friend Alima is looking for an apartment-sitting situation for a minimum of six weeks. I’ve known Alima since I was 22, when she and her mom and brother were renting a big house in Kansas City with Patrick, my then-to-be-husband, and his sister. Alima is a gifted intuitive and for some years has divided her time among Kansas City, Sarasota, and New York City, never having a permanent residence here. When she last came up to see clients in NYC, however, she was struck with a serious illness and has been hospitalized for nearly five months.

As you can imagine, not being able to work for that long, plus dealing with uncovered hospital expenses, has made a huge dent in her financial reserves. When she is released in the next few weeks, she’ll need a place to live in New York. If you or anyone you know is looking for someone to stay in their place while they’re away---especially is there is a cat (or cats), bird, or fish to care for---this would be a godsend. (She is using a cane and is not physically able to care for a dog.) A perk is that she is an animal communicator and would be a lovely friend for a pet whose family is away. And she would probably work something out with you so that you could get regular readings for some extended period. She is very good at what she does. If you can help, you can call her directly at the hospital (212-636-8521). She cannot be reached by email there, but if you’d like to visit her website as an fyi, it is Thanks, all.