'tis the season where everyone's scrambling for the latest diet craze for the upcoming swimsuit season to screw with their metabolism only to gain it all back and having to lose it all again for the next swimsuit season (gee, did I write that....?). Please don't be part of this crowd.

janet jackson nutrisystem pic

Apparently, this season is the season to have a Supastar represent a diet company. Let's see...we've got Mariah Carey representing Jenny Craig, Jennifer Hudson representing Weight Watchers, and over in the final corner we have the queen of pop who took over from Marie Osmond......Janet Jackson representing (drumroll please.......) Nutrisystem! I'm certain I've missed some other supastar who is representing a diet company, but these are the big three.

mariah carey jenny craig pic

I do remember Mariah Carey on the Oprah show not long ago shouting the virtues of another diet guru from some other method she used to lose weight -- at that time. If we are using the stars to guide our weight loss decisions, we are in trouble people. I don't have to tell you the amounts they get paid to represent these companies. Do you actually think they use the store bought hair color you see them advertise in those commercials, or the make-up, or the facial cleansers? Please.

jennifer hudson weightwatchers pic

There is no single device, exercise, meal, food, or berry that will help cure anyone in and of itself. When you put together these 3 pieces that's where the magic happens:

The concern for muscle, moderate aerobic exercise, the right (supportive) nutrition.

If you have no idea what that means you need my seminar.

To cook or not to cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

I probably spend more time at Trader Joe's than I do my house, and I have them to thank for being able to afford the food that I eat on my budget. I have not found anywhere else to buy healthful, beautiful food for reasonable prices. I love Whole Foods, but man they are E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E. I do admit getting my meats and fish from there, and they generally have things I cannot seem to find anywhere else. They are building one closer to my house and I am beyond giddiness with excitement. Love Whole Foods!

Anyway, somehow, I found myself in a conversation with one of the employees at Trader Joe's who was trying to convincingly tell me and my oldest son Seth, that it's okay to cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. He was setting up a demonstration sampler of some bread with Olive Oil. I frowned at him and told him I didn't believe him. He then spouted off some statistics of why it remained structurally sound when heated and how it does not become toxic when heated past the smoke point. I frowned again and told him, "I still don't believe you". I told him what I knew to be true and we obviously did not agree. As we were leaving the store I thought to myself, "he sure sounded sure..." So this is how this article came to be. I wanted to squelch this once and for all. Here are my findings:

Gluten for dinner anyone?

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

My Nutrition Coach

I visited the Arnold this first weekend in March and met with my nutrition coach pictured here with me to plan our game plan for my next competition season.

The AHH-nold was the same: crowded! I really wasn't into taking pictures for some odd reason. I went for two days, Saturday and Sunday. It was fun to watch all the athletes compete from fencing to wrestling and my favorites-the gymnasts, cheerleaders and, of course, fitness and figure competitors.

I hung out in booths with a few of my friends who owned businesses and traipsed around gleefully. It was fun.

As always, if you have any comments, thoughts, or questions don't be afraid to CONTACT ME!!

In the meantime, please take care of yourself. You're worth it and you deserve it! - Velma