Hi there humans! 
Mr. Mojito here and I have a confession to make.  I must confess to you that sometimes the chaos around here is almost overwhelming.  Oh sure, I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking that cats have relaxing lives with little pressure or stress. Well let me set you straight, sisters and brothers.  You can't imagine the stress levels when the house is full of guests...shoes and legs everywhere!  It's an anatomical jungle, I tell you.  Or that vacuum cleaner...all that noise and suction and the exhaust hurricane  -  it sets my hair on end!  But I now have a secret weapon that I use during those times of high anxiety.  And I am going to share that secret with you.  I utilize Dr. John Kennedy's breathing and visualization techniques and in just seconds I have found my "purr-fect" place and all my stress is gone.  So if you will excuse me, I must go get my "purr" on.
Breathing Techniques to Help
You Lower Stress
Mr. Mojito is always on the cutting edge when it comes to medicine and fitness and you can be too.  ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/WN/secret-lowering-blood-pressure-breathing-exercises/story?id=11656769) recently featured cardiologist John Kennedy and his non-medicinal remedy for reducing stress which triggers high blood pressure and a variety of other life altering ailments.  This remedy is as "old school" as it gets and it only requires about 15 minutes daily.

Stress, whether from the daily commute, economic woes, relationship issues, etc., prompts the primal fight or flight response from our bodies.  The fight or flight response causes biological changes that have a huge negative impact on our health.  Dr. Kennedy recommends breathing techniques to reduce stress, thereby eliminating the various other ailments that result.  This simple technique capitalizes on the spelling of "b-r-e-a-t-h-e" with each letter prompting a particular action. 

Most of us have witnessed this technique which is commonly used by athletes.  When you see a basketball player step to the free throw line and nail the shot to win a game or the golfer sink the put for victory, you can bet they have used a similar kind of technique to slow the world down and focus on relaxing into the task at hand.  Dr. Kennedy's breathing practice is the same kind of thing and the 15 minutes per day could add years to your life.  For more specific information, you can visit http://www.johnmkennedymd.com/.

Why Use a Heart Monitor When Exercising?
Imagine if cars weren't equipped with speedometers but the police still expected us to drive within the posted limits.  Some of us might inspire road rage in our fellow drivers, others might get ticketed and still others might land in jail.  And it would all stem from trying to guess if we were staying within the posted limits.  This is exactly what exercising without a heart monitor is like.

There is much continuing debate about how to calculate target heart rate but we think the simplest guide can be found by following this link.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/target-heart-rate  Without the benefit of an actual HR monitor, you are forced to use the "perceived exertion" concept which is vague and unscientific.  Depending on your mood, you may feel like you are exercising at a leisurely pace when in fact you are really pushing.  Or sometimes, you may think the exact opposite.  A heart rate monitor takes the guesswork out of your workout.  You will know exactly how hard you are working and for how long.  A HR monitor will help you plan your workouts better by allowing you to make decisions about what kind of workout you want before you begin rather than adjusting your workout effort to suit your mood after you start. 

And a quality workout will help you find your "purr-fect" work/life balance.
Golf Stretches Even if You Don't Golf
Speaking of golf, most of us won't get a chance to sink a putt for a championship on national TV, but we will bend over one on the green.  Before you take that first swing off the tee, we recommend some stretching to ensure you can enjoy 18 holes without experiencing aches and pains.  Even if you don't golf, these are great stretches just to lengthen your limbs and jump start the blood flow in your major muscle groups.   If nothing else, we think daily stretching will help you sleep better. 

The brilliant professionals at the Mayo Clinic have put together a great slide show that demonstrates proper stretching techniques.  Again, these were designed with golf in mind but offer countless benefits for anyone who moves.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/golf-stretches/SM00089.  We are almost positive that your back will thank you.  Or at least make you purr.
Pumpkin Seeds Make a Great Snack
How to roast pumpkin seeds!!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds on Watercress
& Pear Salad


  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds reserved from pumpkin, washed, strings removed
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup extravirgin olive oil
  • 3 ripe pears
  • 3 bunches watercress, washed, large stems removed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread pumpkin seeds out on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Toss well and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Toss again. Place pan in oven and roast 20 to 30 minutes until pumpkin seeds are light brown.. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, mustard, fine salt and fresh pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking so as to form an emulsion. Peel pears, cut each into quarters lengthwise, cut out cores, and halve each quarter lengthwise. Place the pears in a small bowl and drizzle on 2 tablespoons dressing to keep from turning color.

When ready to serve, toss watercress with remaining vinaigrette and divide between 8 plates. Place 4 wedges of pear on each plate and sprinkle generous amount of roasted pumpkin seeds over.

"After a storm, the sun always comes out"

Trish Chard
Trish Chard Personal Training

PO Box 541050
Orlando, FL 32854
407-619-9357 Direct
407-872-0017 Fax

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In This Issue
Breathing Techniques to Help You Lower Stress
Why Use a Heart Monitor When Exercising?
Golf Stretches Even if You Don't Golf
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds on Watercress & Pear Salad