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Speak Well Being

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For Your Well Being: Food, Fitness and Fun

Dec. 13, 2012, Vol. 10, Issue 24

Dear Friends,

There aren’t many speaking events this time of year, but there are certainly plenty of parties — those you may be putting them on, as well as those you’re attending. An abundance of rich (and sweet) foods that you may not usually include in your diet are plentiful and alluring. Just a bite of this, a bit of that, one little cookie. Unfortunately, it all adds up. I’m speaking for myself here while knowing the importance of being mindful — or paying later.

I asked one of our star speakers, Polly Pitchford, for some reminders and tips to help me (and you) through the holiday season, and her reply is here for us all to share. She’s all about food, fitness and fun, and making those a part of life every day, including the holidays.

And, something to brag about — One of our other star speakers, Patricia San Pedro, recently won an Emmy for her documentary, The Cancer Dancer. Congratulations, Pat!!! Read about it below.

Polly’s Holiday Health Tips for Celebrating with Food, Fitness and Fun

Do you approach the holiday season with joy laced with a little fear? If it’s fear of losing self-control and packing on unwanted pounds, you are not alone. “Even as a speaker on healthy lifestyles I, too, can fall into the traps of delicious temptations that are offered endlessly at this time of year,” Polly says. “I have discovered a handful of strategies, however, that help me stay on a healthful track while still allowing plenty of enjoyment of the treats that are woven into our traditions of celebrating this holiday season. I invite you to keep these eight ideas in mind as you move through your holiday celebrations one bite and one step at a time.”

Plan each day – What you’re going to eat and How you’re going to get or keep some movement in your daily schedule, especially if that schedule is different than your normal routine.

Start new, healthier holiday traditions – Provide a basket of seasonal fruits instead of (or next to) a plate of cookies. Replace a bowl of hard candy with a bowl of nuts in the shell. Provide one baked fruit dessert instead of two varieties of pie.

Plan for treats – Ask yourself: “Will this food be available year round or is this the only time it’s available?” If it’s always available, pass on it. If it’s only made once a year, enjoy 2 servings max!

Follow These Party Tips – Eat light but balanced meals throughout the day. Don’t go to a party hungry, eat a salad or bowl of non-creamy soup before you go. Alternate one alcoholic beverage with one non-alcoholic beverage. Instead of avoiding foods, just go for smaller portions. Look over the buffet table first and decide on 1 or 2 high calorie choices only – no seconds! Bring a dish that you know is healthy so you know there will be something there that you really like that is good for you.

If you are hosting a potluck party, ask people to bring fresh fruit salads, vegetable salads and soups.

Move, move, move! Go out dancing, walk around the block or mall, work on outdoor winter sports or hit a treadmill at the gym. You will feel better about yourself and be inspired to continue healthy habits.

Aim for maintaining your current weight, not gaining or losing.

Enhance the celebration of the holidays with a reverence for your health.


About Polly Pitchford:

Optimum Health is all about Food, Fitness and Fun

Polly Pitchford is a cookbook author, natural foods chef and healthy cooking television show hostess. She is passionately committed to the healthy lifestyle that she’s developed for herself over 30 years.

Polly’s unshakable commitment to optimum health stems from firsthand experience of the adverse effects of a long-term debilitating illness on a family — her family. As an adolescent she watched her beloved father suffer for 20 years after a cerebral hemorrhage. She witnessed the physical and emotional toll the disease took on everyone in her family – especially her mother. When she received a timely invitation to a vegetarian cooking class, she suddenly felt in her bones what would make her a healthy person. From then on she decided that for the rest of her life she would do everything in her power to be that person.

That decision grew into a passionate life purpose — to learn about all the facets of healthy living, and to share that information with as many people as possible. She noticed early on that making it fun makes the medicine go down a whole lot easier. As a result you’ll find her programs pulsating with her vibrant energy and joyous approach to food and fitness.

Her commitment led her to write two books, Starting Over: Learning to Cook with Natural Foods, and Cookin’ Healthy with One Foot Out the Door. As a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has produced several accredited fitness videos and is also a popular presenter at fitness industry gatherings.

As a speaker, Polly will not only give your audience members concrete, easy-to-do food and fitness tips that they can start using immediately, but she will show them, in her funny, high-energy way, how to bridge the gap between wanting to be healthy and actually doing what it takes! By the time they leave, they will have caught her unbridled enthusiasm and passion for luscious, colorful, healthy, life-giving food as well as for fun, easy, strength-building and heart-supporting fitness. And they will have boatloads of fun in the process

To learn more about Polly’s energetic programs, give me a call at 500-699-5031 or email me at

The Cancer Dancer Wins Suncoast Emmy® Award

Patricia San Pedro‘s documentary The Cancer Dancer was awarded a Suncoast Emmy® Award in the documentary category at the 36th Annual Awards ceremony in Miami on December 1.

This Emmy was not her first, of course. A few years ago Pat, already a star in the broadcasting industry at WTVJ NBC in Miami, created an environmental awareness campaign called “A Matter of Pride,” which earned her three Emmy Awards. This time the award was for the quality of her personal video and her courage in making it.

Pat dedicated it to the support group she created in 2010 called The Link of Hope Sistas. These are courageous women who’ve heard the words, “You have cancer” and have chosen to dance their way through it in joy. You can see a nine-minute highlight reel of Pat’s documentary on her speaking profile page here.

“This is reality TV on steroids! Well, actually . . . on chemo,” laughs Pat. “I’m proud of all my Emmys but this one means the most since it represents my own breast cancer healing journey and my desire to be of service.

Four hours after hearing the words, ‘You have cancer,’ I started videotaping because I intuitively felt that I was meant to help others through my own dance with cancer. I was patient, talent, director, camerawoman and producer . . . all wrapped up into one. Through my double mastectomy, seventeen sessions of chemotherapy and several reconstruction procedures, the camera never stopped rolling.”

To bring Pat and her inspiring story to your event, call me at 503-699-5031 or email me at

Holiday Happiness

Well, at our house these days, the Christmas tree, not to mention various surfaces, nooks and crannies, are decorated. Living in a Christmas tree growing Mecca, we always go out early to a special, nearby farm run by a jolly old elf-like man and cut our own. We have a graceful Noble fir again this year. A Noble is a fine, long-lasting species. It has space between the branches that allows room to show off my collection of angels, harps, and other treasures given to me over the years. It’s satisfying to view tree, ornaments and decorations in place early and with little fuss this year.

I haven’t baked a cookie yet or bought a present — all in good time. My husband and I are anticipating the arrival of daughter, Sudi, and grandchildren, Gigi and Hope, on the 21st. We’ll pack lots of love and activities into the few days they’re here.

I’ve never had the girls here to decorate Christmas cookies before, so I’m excited to get all my preparations — sprinkles, frosting, paint brushes, tweezers, etc. – lined up beforehand for them to work with, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with. They did do Valentine’s cookies with me a few years ago, so I know they have an inkling about decorating cookies with Granma B – and they liked it. Now they’re older and ready to go for the extra creativity of Christmas. So that heads the agenda, followed by with skating at Lloyd Center Mall, Zoo Lights, and probably some shopping and maybe even singing in our local sing-along-Messiah at the Lutheran Church across town. Loving it all . . .

I trust that all of your holiday plans are developing to bring out the best in your family, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,


For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!

The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they know how to connect with women and give them life-changing information served on a silver platter of joy, camaraderie, with a side of sauce (spicy, of course).

Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me endless joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.

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