A friend of mine was doing research for a legal matter-she is a lawyer. She needed information regarding a chemical used in packaging for cat food. During her research, she was gathering information about an additive called propylene glycol. I have been on a soapbox for a while against propylene glycol, since I heard that it is a main ingredient in antifreeze. Well, my lawyer friend found new information—propylene glycol is BANNED from cat food! It’s not from human food, though! Propylene glycol is a solvent and a stabilizer, so it is used in many foods to lengthen their shelf life. This helps increase the profit margin for food companies. Please make a difference and don’t buy products with this ingredient. I’m sorry that food products may spoil faster without propylene glycol, or not be as evenly consistent as far as texture or ingredients, but is that so bad? We should be doing better as far as buying more natural foods, which do spoil. It is so much healthier, and probably lowers our risk of cancers! Please read ingredient labels to see if propylene glycol is in the food items you buy, and put them back if it is listed as an ingredient. Thanks for helping make our food options healthier!

I have been wanting to add more testimonials, before and after pictures, etc, to my marketing materials (like brochures and my website). So, I thought, what better way to get the word out about me but by offering FREE personal training! I do in-home (or in-office, or in your apartment or condo fitness center) personal training for all shapes, abilities, and goals. I am looking for some specific types of clients to give testimonials to show the wide variety of people that myself and my trainer-partners can work with (and deliver amazing results). I will offer a reduced rate on personal training in exchange for testimonials and before and after pictures. But, I am offering FREE personal training to any clients matching my “wish list” who not only gives testimonials and before and after pictures, but also pays it forward–meaning, you do something good for someone else, and I will completely eliminate fees for in-home training for a period of time. The time period will depend on how great their contribution to someone else is. For example, if  a potential client adopts a pet from a shelter, that pet is helped for the rest of its life. So, the payback in free training will be longer… perhaps three months time (depends on person’s location, etc). Keep in mind that my fees for in-home personal training are already incredibly low compared with gyms or other trainers—I charge only $45 per one-hour session for most locations in the Phoenix metro area. So, even if you are not wanting to pay it forward–even the reduced rate for testimonials or before and after pictures makes training in your home incredibly affordable!

      So what is my “wish list” of people I would like to extend this offer to?

1. A lady in her 80s or 90s

2. A young lady in her 20s or 30s who wants “butt-kicking” or “boot-camp” kinds of workouts

3. A person with orthopedic problems, any age, man or woman

4. A person, man or woman, any age, who wants to lose over 100lbs

Do you know anybody who fits any of these descriptions? If so, please let them know about my huge deal! Or, if you fit one of them, please contact me immediately–it’s a first-come, first-served deal! Contact me at Jacky@BodyDefinitions.com.

I happen to be vegetarian, but don’t tell others that they need to be. I respect other people’s wishes as I hope they will respect mine. I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian (I eat dairy and eggs). I don’t eat anything made with chicken broth or cooked on the same grill as meats. Nor will I eat a salad after picking off the chicken –I’d just rather skip it and wait till I get home. I do in general think Americans eat too much meat (read “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner–great, fun read) but not enough fish (although I don’t eat fish myself). I had some great meals this past weekend at different restaurants around the Phoenix area, so I thought I’d let others know if they are looking for some great vegetarian options.

First, Friday night my boyfriend and I went out for our first time to a relatively new restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s called 5th and Wine. We live pretty close to Old Town, so that was convenient for us, and it was highly recommended by Jay and Susie of FoodiesLikeUs.com, both friends of mine (check out their great events! Not really designed for vegetarians, but they do great work!). We started with the bruschetta appetizer, and had two vegetarian options, the apple with brie and agave drizzle, and the roasted peppers with goat cheese. Both were great. The apple one was so sweet I was considering saving a piece for dessert! Not too icky sweet, though. Then, I had the caprese panini for my main course. It was absolutely to die for! Even my boyfriend who normally choses meat dishes said he will chose the caprese panini too next time, and that we have to go back sometime to have it again! It was fabulous. Great wine with our meals too. The only negative thing I could say is that it’s a little loud in the restaurant, so probably don’t bring someone hard of hearing. But fun atmosphere, good service, and lots of space both indoors and outdoors to sit. And decently low prices–my panini was $10.95.

Then, Saturday night, we had tickets to the ASU baseball game, so we stopped at a little restaurant in Tempe on the way for dinner. My boyfriend and his dad like this Middle Eastern restaurant called Haji Baba and have been many times. I have been a couple of times. I tried something new, and was glad I did. I had a Greek salad and an order of an appetizer that I can’t seem to remember the name. I know the first word was “foul” which seemed like an odd word to use for a food item in the US! I am sure that means something else in a different language. Anyway, I liked the foul appetizer. I would definitely order that again. It is basically fava beans in a sauce, and comes with pita bread to eat it with. Next time, I will probably order the same things, but ask for the dressing on the side for the salad–came with just a little too much for me–and then make pita wraps or something with the beans and the salad contents. Might look weird but I was thinking that would be great. Also very inexpensive; I think the fava beans were about $2.99 or something.

Then, on Sunday evening, we met friends out to eat before they all scatter for the summer. It is so unusual for my boyfriend and I to eat out three nights in a row! We went to Rockbottom at Desert Ridge. This is an example of eating vegetarian, and even healthy, can actually happen in an American-style restaurant! I had a new appetizer that they just added to their menu. It was a spicy hummus and came with lots of carrots, snow peas, and something they called Tuscan bread to dip. The plate was big, and I was happy that it was plenty for me for dinner even though it was off the appetizer menu. I like carrots and snow peas and they went well with the hummus. It wasn’t incredible, but definitely enjoyable and certainly healthy! I passed on the Tuscan bread. Not so yummy, sorry, Rockbottom!

So that was my fun weekend with the love of my life, family, and friends. I am such a lucky girl! I hope to help other vegetarians in Phoenix find some good places to eat. Enjoy!