More benefits to grassfed beef

I posted this on my Facebook page last October, but I think it is important enough to re-post for those who missed it originally. As an advocate of the Paleo diet, some are concerned that we don’t have enough land to graze cattle for everyone to eat meat.  However, as this article explains, trading corn and soybean acreage for grassland is an even trade of amount of acreage with a huge environmental and health benefit.

Raising livestock on grass has been extolled for producing leaner, more flavorful meat with omega-3’s and from liberating animals from unnatural, filthy feedlots.  A perk that’s gotten less play is that pasture-raised livestock has the potential to combat climate change, especially if the approach is adopted widely.  The math is deliciously simple, according to environmentalist Richard Manning writing in Mother Earth news (April-May, 2009).  Take cattle.  On heatlhy grassland, farmers can finish two steers per acre. That’s precisely the acreage it takes to grow grain to finish a pair of steers in a a lot.  When those acres are planted with annual crops like corn or soybeans, however, they suck water and energy.  Tilling adds oxygen to the soil, causing organic matter to decay and release carbon. The result is about 1,000 pounds of carbon emissions per acre.  Restoring acres of permanent pasture, on the other hand, sinks carbon into the soil at about the same rate., thanks in large part to perennials’ deep root systems.  There’s evidence that “grasslands are, under certain conditions, even better at sequestering carbon than forests, ” Manning writes. He estimates that converting just half of U.S. corn and soy fields to pastureland could cut annual carbon emissions by 144 trillion pounds And establishing pasture on formerly mono cropped lands also would help restore their fertility and promote biodiversity.

More opportunities to get fit

I will be starting Masters’ classes at TJ’s Gym beginning next Tuesday, March 29th at 5:30pm in San Rafael. Classes will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 at 2240 Fourth Street.

TJ’s Gym and I are LOOSELY defining the age group as 50 and over, but it’s really more about level of comfort for athletes and providing a place where participants can push themselves in realistic and safe ways, while not feeling left behind by more intense (typically younger) athletes in the regular classes.

These are actual CrossFit classes as opposed to my own programming. The workouts will be very similar to those many of you have already experienced with me as private or Bootcamp clients. The difference will be the abundance of equipment available to train in the CrossFit style compared to what is available in some of the other locations where I teach.

What is CrossFit? It is a strength and conditioning program like no other I have experienced in my 30 years in the fitness industry. As we age, we need to maintain and even increase our work capacity, working around old injuries or new limitations, so we can reach old age in the best shape possible. This program will get you there in the fastest and the most interesting way I know. .

If you are interested in joining these classes, you must have been a private client of mine and learned all the basic moves. Otherwise, you will need to sign up for protocols at TJ’s (one-on-one introductory training sessions) before joining these classes. They will be scaled to your fitness abilities, but you must know the basic lifts and bodyweight exercises before jumping in. Contact me at if you are unsure if you are sufficiently knowledgeable at this point.

Please email if you are ready to start or if you have any questions about the program. Pricing for the Master’s program will be as follows:

$350 for 16 classes over 4 months


$140/mo for 2 classes per week for 8 months

You can also attend other TJ’s Gym CrossFit classes and could add to your days per week if you choose.

I will of course still be offering my Monday 6 pm BodyShape class and Wednesday and Friday 4:30 pm Bootcamp classes all at Women’s Fitness Center. I will continue to train individually at both gyms.


Hey, is this ballet class?

It seems I get my best shots of Bootcampers when they’re stretching or resting…I’m not great with action shots. But don’t let this relaxed end-of-class stretch full you…these ladies, Maya, Natasha and Sharon, all worked hard for the previous 30 minutes.

This week I have new FitDeck exercise playing cards to entertain the troops.  It should be fun!


More proof: Exercise Keeps you Young

We all know that physical activity is beneficial in countless ways, but even so, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, was startled to discover that exercise kept a strain of mice from becoming gray prematurely.

Check out this article about the exercising mice who did not age!

A well-deserved post-workout stretch

This is Maya.  She a website whiz who programmed my website and who helps me with my blog and Facebook postings.  She and I worked together for years for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s Safe Routes to Schools program for Manor School, and though my Manor School kid is ready to graduate from Drake H.S.,  she’s still involved with the program at Manor as her fourth son finishes up there.  Mostly a runner and cyclist, she’s found she’s gotten stronger all over since joining Bootcamp.  

Sign up for Early Spring 2011 Bootcamp Series

Down with boring, repetitive, unproductive workouts! The Early Spring 2011 Bootcamp Series is here! It will run Wednesdays and Fridays, 4:30 pm, from Wed. Mar. 2 through Fri., April 22 for 16 classes @ Women’s Fitness Center. (No classes last week in April). Gym membership is not required. Purchase a minimum of seven classes for $18 each, or drop in for $20. New students are welcome…learn new, fun, effective ways to workout with a supportive group of women!

Current students: got someone you know who might like to attend Bootcamp? Have them contact me. You’ll get three free classes if they purchase seven or more classes in this series.