Category Archives: Health Nutrition Fitness Beauty

Cookies for Summer

Summer Cookies with Flair and Flavor

Cookies Ease the Mind and Satisfy

Cookies are my weakness. What better way to feed a sweet tooth than by baking them yourself. I’ve been collecting some great cookie cutters for months and finally found time to put them to use. You can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe to bake these. This summer, I came up with an idea to give my cookies a fruity summer twist. Yum!

The secret ingredients for my Summer Cookies are cardamom and ground coriander seed. Also, for a refreshing fruity twist, I’ve added orange, lemon, and lime oils to the mix—just a 1/4 teaspoon of each will do. Always use fresh ingredients (butter, eggs, and flour). Remember, when you bake cookies at home from scratch, it’s real food with actual food value—even if they are a little high in calories and fat. Moderation is the key. It’s fun to decorate them too!

Robert Reoch Summer Cookies

These won’t last long. . . nom-nom-nom….

Happy baking!

Robert Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch Publishing

Images for Robert Reoch

Robert Reoch Writes “Mind Pastry”

Robert Reoch is Mind Pastry

Robert Reoch Bakes

Robert Reoch measures, beats, and sometimes whips ideas to death. Welcome to “Mind Pastry,” a bakery of thoughts from my mind to yours. 

Robert Reoch is the Name

My last name, Reoch, is pronounced, Rē’ŏck (rhymes with Reebok). That  image of a piece of cake floating among the palm trees in my page banner is a slice from a red velvet cake that I actually baked! Robert Reoch's Mind Pastry CakeThere’s more to Mind Pastry than just the analogy, though. I actually love pastry—and I bake it too!—but that’s another post.

Mind Pastry is Layered

I offer a dose of conscience to the Internet through many of my posts. I believe we have too many “reality TV” shows and deceptive news outlets in the media. Too often, issues are discussed from just one point of view in the news. Many pop “journalists” aren’t doing their homework. They aren’t getting out to the field to research their stories. Much of current reporting relies solely on popular social memes—mass hysteria, as I see it—rather than on verified facts and nuanced examination of the gray areas. Please, people, stop thinking only in black and white. Look for what’s in-between. Ask what is the back story you’re not getting from the media. I try to present layers and perspectives that encourage people to discover full truths. I live by three principles: Love, Truth, and Knowledge. I resent journalism that ignores these values in favor of ratings and profit. I hope you find something new and thought-provoking in Mind Pastry.

Robert Reoch Writes

I’ve written a couple of books of short stories under pen name, Robert George Reoch. I wrote my Travelers’ Shorts books with the traveler in mind, even though my stories not about travel. The idea was to provide short stories for the traveler who didn’t want to start a heavy novel. Short stories provide entertainment in manageable chunks for the person on the go. My short stories are written with taste and richness (just like pastry). These epic tales offer drama, adventure, and laugh-out-loud humor. You can order them here:

Travelers Shorts

Travelers’ Shorts: Stories That Move


Travelers Shorts 2: Tethers by Robert George Reoch

Travelers’ Shorts 2: Tethers

Please enjoy my books!

Robert Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch Publishing

Robert Reoch Christmas Cookies 2013

Robert Reoch Christmas Cookies 2013

Christmas Cookies or Duck Sex.

Real men don’t manufacture devices to call ducks for sex and then shoot them (hello Duck Dynasty). Real men bake cookies.

Christmas Cookies

Merry Christmas!

Robert George Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch

Get Sober on Your Own Terms

Get Sober On Your Own Terms

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety. Become sober on your own terms without meetings or guilt.

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety Gives Straight Forward Answers

Get sober when you’re ready, on your own terms.

How can you fail if it’s your own plan? Using this book, my plan becomes your plan. I provide the framework. You succeed on your own terms. No meetings, no AA, no rehab. Just a simple modern approach. Make your move now.

Use this link to get what you need to succeed:

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety: The Alcohol Recovery Aid.


SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety. Become sober on your own terms without meetings or guilt.


Best of health and good luck!

George Legacy

Copyright Robert George Reoch Publishing

SOS Stands for Safely Obtaining Sobreity


SOS stands for Safely Obtaining Sobriety

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety: The Alcohol Recover Aid

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety. Become sober on your own terms without meetings or guilt.

This SOS book provides the modern approach for attaining sobriety and keeping it. You do this on your own terms without the negative impact that many rehabilitation programs impose.

With SOS you have a positive alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and rehabilitation clinics. Written by a fully recovered former alcoholic, George Legacy, you get a wealth of information relating to alcohol dependency, alcohol addiction, and recovery. It’s all in one simple book written by an expert with decades of real experience. This uncomplicated plan works safely and quickly! After years of struggling and trying various programs, George Legacy used his own insight to put together a fool proof plan for getting sober and staying sober without all the shame and guilt of conventional, ineffective programs. George Legacy gives you the modern approach. It’s timeless. It will work for anyone for years and years to come.

SOS is the AA Alternative. This is the way to attain sobriety without institutions. There is no shame or guilt, and no religious affiliations. Explore this site. Click on any of the images for ordering. This book costs very little–far less than the thousands of dollars one might easily waste on institutionalized treatment. You can beat alcohol addiction on your own terms. This really works! The author has been sober for over six years, as of this writing.

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety. Become sober on your own terms without meetings or guilt.

 Best of health and good luck!

George Legacy

Copyright Robert George Reoch Publishing

You May Not Need a Full-Blown Rehab

Rehab or No Rehab?

Becoming Sober May Be Simpler Than You Think

You May Not Need a Full-Blown Rehab. Not Everyone Does.

Being trapped in alcohol dependency can feel like a slow death. Even though you may function at an acceptable level (or just slightly below that), there is an underlying anxiety because of not being able to stop drinking alcohol. There’s also the stress of being afraid to seek help—of being exposed. You hear about the Betty Ford Clinic and other rehabilitation programs, but they seem daunting and expensive. Organized groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can feel intrusive and too public. There’s the fear that everyone will know your business and you’ll give up your privacy. A good reason for at least making an attempt at becoming sober is that it can actually be simpler than you think. You can do this on your own terms.

Have you been considering going through an alcohol rehab?

It is possible to get sober without checking into a long-term clinic. I explain this in simple terms in my book, Safely Obtaining Sobriety. Years ago, I stayed in a rehab clinic for a month, but it didn’t work out for me. I stayed for the full program. I didn’t leave early, but I came away feeling negative about myself and I remained sober only for about 30 days afterward. I eventually slid back into drinking heavily again, and struggled for another decade before finally figuring out how to beat my alcohol addiction on my own terms.

I knew I didn’t want to go back to rehab. I knew that Alcoholics Anonymous made me feel embarrassed and ashamed, so I invented my own simple program from becoming sober, and it worked! I have been sober for several years now, and have not had a single drink. I don’t even struggle with it.

Find out more in my book, Safely Obtaining Sobriety. It’s available as a quick download to your PC, Mac, iPod, Tablet, or any computer. You can also order the book in print in a handsome softcover. The price is low. The cost is far less than a rehab clinic. Try reading my book before doing anything else. You may come out ahead by following my simple plan on your own terms. It worked so well for me, my family encouraged me to write this book. Order my book now and then get started when you are ready. Use the links on this site to order your copy. Make your move now.

Best of health and good luck!

George Legacy

Copyright Robert George Reoch Publishing

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety: The Alcohol Recovery Aid is at Amazon Worldwide

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety: The Alcohol Recovery Aid

is now available worldwide at Amazon in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

Obtain this powerful book at the following Amazon sites. Just click any link, or copy and paste to your browser:










SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety. Become sober on your own terms without meetings or guilt.

Best of health and good luck!

George Legacy

Copyright Robert George Reoch Publishing

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Today, just for fun, I made cupcakes. I used a mix from one of TV’s more famous ladies (the one without shoes). Delicious pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, which I cranked up with some pumpkin spices.

Yes, these taste even better than they look! I’m getting good
at this stuff. Yum!
Happy Holidays!

Robert George Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Alcohol Problem Solved!

Alcohol Problem Solved

Sometimes the answer to a problem comes in a blinding flash of the obvious. Such is the case with a new book by George Legacy, which I recently published. Readers are saying it has helped them find a new perspective in dealing with alcohol dependency. The book has a plan that anyone can follow and it works! The author tells his personal story and then provides a detailed plan for attaining sobriety and keeping it. George Legacy is living proof, himself. His family encouraged him to write the book following his success in beating alcohol dependency.

Read SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety: The Alcohol Recovery Aid  by George Legacy. It is a great human interest story as well as a fantastic self-help book for those struggling with addiction.

Click on the image link below for more:


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Spring Break Reading Store for Your Online Shopping

Spring Break Reading Store

Bookmark this site for your online shopping. Everything you need can be found at my Spring Break Reading store with highly recommended products at the best prices anywhere. Click on the image below and browse through the  list of categories, then bookmark the site. Make this your first choice for convenient online shopping!


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Boston Snow

Earlier today, I was considering where they might put all the extra snow we’re getting in Boston. The streets are full. The snow farms are full. I was thinking about them dumping it in the Charles River. Then, I thought twice. Think of all the pollutants from the streets. They only recently finished cleaning up the river and the harbor.

Fast forward a few hours. The talk now on TV news is of dumping the extra snow from the streets of Boston into the Harbor. Hmm. Let’s have a party! (Remember the one with the tea?)

I say, let’s just stay home. Ha!

Remember your ear muffs and mittens. And for Pete’s sake, watch your every step. Someone I know just slipped and broke her foot while walking her dogs out on the icy sidewalks. She won’t be walking for weeks and weeks! Oy!

Keep warm and stay healthy.

Robert George Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Alcoholism Treatment

Getting Sober in 2011

Even if you aren’t planning to get help just yet, you would do well to get a copy of this newly released book, SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety: The Alcohol Recovery Aid .  The book, by George Legacy, tells exactly what to do to get started on obtaining a clear head, which is where many alcoholics and addicts fall down. They don’t know how to stop the insanity and make a fresh start. This book provides key information that anyone can use.

The book is available as an ebook, and only on Amazon. It can be discretely downloaded immediately. If you know someone who is struggling with dependency, you may be able to help with the information in this book. The information is vital to know. It can mean the difference between life and death for some, or the difference between finding peace in sobriety rather than continuing a battle with addiction.

Order through Amazon below, or get more information by clicking the web site image below. I highly recommend this book. Best of luck!

Robert George Reoch

              Amazon:           Book Web site:   

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

The Great Pumpkin Cheesecake Disaster of 2011

The Great Pumpkin Cheesecake Disaster of 2011 (Almost)

At Least It Tasted Good…

I bought myself a new stand mixer because I had never used one and I found a really great deal on a new one. After so many years of watching Martha Stewart and The Barefoot Contessa merrily whirring their machines, I finally decided to expand my own baking horizons. (I will spare you any plugging of the brand name until I have more experience with it.)

Of course, the first recipe I tried out, using my new mixer, was for one of the most difficult culinary confections to bake–a cheesecake.

I thought it would be useful to share my experience so that others may benefit by learning from my baking gaffs. My photos (below) really help tell the story. 

I decided to make it a pumpkin cheesecake instead of just a plain everyday cheesecake. (Thrill seeker, me.) I also decided to make it low-fat, so I could be proud of myself for baking healthy. (Freak, me.) I had months ago found a good recipe for pumpkin cheesecake, so that gave me a good place to start. The process includes several involved steps, just as on TV cooking shows. Baking always takes me longer than TV cooks, though, because I’m a neat freak and I clean up as I go. I also tend to mull over every step repeatedly as I execute a process. I know that in baking, you can’t go back and fix things. You just have to start over if you mess up. A lot of good that does a scatter brain like me.

I had read somewhere that one could substitute “farmer’s cheese” for cream cheese in recipes to drastically reduce fat. I had never even heard of farmers cheese, yet I found it right next to the cream cheese at my local grocery store. It’s worth it to take a chance to save some fat calories, right?

I assembled all my ingredients, first allowing this and that to come to room temperature (eggs, butter, and farmer’s cheese). I proceeded to measure and sift and dump things into my new stand mixer, one at a time, as per directions. I also very wisely unplugged my mixer each time I changed paddles and whisks so as to avoid breaking any tools or digits.

I assembled my springform pan (also a first-time implement for me) and then pressed-in my homemade graham cracker and toasted pecans crust, and baked it according to directions. Then I poured in my new pumpkin cheesecake batter.

I followed the rest of the directions, including placing the cake in a bath of water in a roasting pan. Eventually, I had the cake in and out of the oven in exactly 90 minutes, just as the recipe suggested. (I should have paid more attention to my own instincts when I removed the cake from the oven and noticed it seemed a bit too wiggly.)

As directed, I allowed the cake to cool for thirty minutes and then put it in the refrigerator for four long hours to cool. (The recipe called for chilling the cake for four hours or overnight.) Meantime, I prepared honey glazed pecans for topping the cake as the final touch.

Once I had taken the cake back out of the refrigerator and carefully removed it from the springform pan, I clumsily arranged the sticky pecans over the top. It looked amazing! I was so proud, I took this photo of it:


Beautiful, eh? I even placed my pumpkin cheesecake on a fancy gold charger plate, as you cn see. La-tee-da.

When it finally came time to cut and serve a few slices of my fabulous cheesecake, my pride gave way to disappointment. A couple of poor decisions came with consequences.

It turns out my low fat farmers cheese isn’t as creamy as cream cheese. It has a consistency more like ricotta (it being a tad watery). The cake also didn’t set up as I had hoped. I probably should have kept the cake in the oven for another 30 minutes. Also, I put the bottom of the springform pan in upside down. The result of that was the pan bottom lip was on the outside edge of the crust, preventing me from sliding a knife cleanly underneath to lift out the first slice. Another goof was my too large chunks of pecans on the top of the cake. I didn’t chop them up small enough, so while slicing the cake I needed to move my nuts around in order to make a clean line from where to insert the knife. (I had to move my nuts around. Ha!)

The first slice was a mess. It went as badly as it could. What ended up on the plate looked like canned dog food, all gushy and broken up. The second slice held up better. The outside of the cake had firmed up okay, but the center was still rather weak. The second slice stayed half intact. (I was also able to get underneath the bottom crust better on the second slice.)

As you can see by photographic evidence of the disaster (below), the center of the cake slumped like a sinkhole after the first slices were removed.


The moral of the story is don’t try to reinvent the wheel on your first test drive of your stand mixer by fiddling with a cheesecake recipe. Even though my mixer stood up well and did its job, my tasty pumpkin cheesecake might have turned out a lot better if I had used regular cream cheese. Forget cutting the fat. It’s cheesecake goddammit! Also, be sure you put the bottom of your springform pan right side up, with the lip facing out of the bottom, not inside. And, if your cheesecake is still jiggly through most of the middle after baking for the suggested time, you probably need to bake it longer. That was probably my biggest mistake. I was afraid I would overcook it. Not next time.

[Jump ahead 12 hours.]

The following morning, after the cheesecake had chilled in the refrigerator overnight, it had actually set completely. I was able to trim away the part that had sunk, leaving half of the cheesecake standing up fine and slicing neatly. And, not to boast, but it even tasted better the next day! Yum! At this writing, I have actually eaten at least half of the cake myself, while the rest of the household has stayed away (having been horrified the night before by its frightening collapse).

Keeping with my usual calorie counting strategy, I ate less of any other foods today, while I helped myself to extra cheesecake. I realized late in the day that my body was feeling like it was actually burning fat. Apparently, because my cheesecake was made using low-fat farmer’s cheese, I probably didn’t consume the same amount of calories I would otherwise eat on a Sunday of TV football and splurging. Makes you sick, doesn’t it? The pumpkin cheesecake diet by Robert George Reoch.

I plan on trying this experiment again next weekend. Maybe I’ll use real cream cheese too. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Robert George Reoch

About My Blog:

There’s plenty more to discover on my blog, such as my books of short stories. Available in print as well as digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Not your typical newsstand fare. Engaging reading anytime. Click on the images below for more information on Amazon:


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Alcohol Addiction and Dependency: New SOS Book Offers Powerful Solution

SOS Safely Obtaining Sobriety: The Alcohol Recovery Aid

Author: George Legacy

Update 01/03/2011: This book is taking off.  For those looking to break away from alcohol in 2011, this is a great place to start!

This powerful book provides a logical plan for beating alcohol. Getting sober can be the most difficult hurdle. Many alcoholics repeatedly try and fail to stop drinking, even when they know it’s killing them.

George Legacy offers a most concise, realistic approach for breaking the cycle of alcohol addiction. Available as a discreet, inexpensive ebook on Amazon.  Download formats for any computer or ereader. This book will certainly be a life saver.  No guilt and no games. Just straight forward information that can help change lives.

Available exclusively on Amazon. Click on the image below for more information.


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

I Just Received a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!

I am bowled over with holiday cheer. My brother, David, sent me an authentic Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! It is perfect!

To know me is to know that I was a Charlie Brown follower all through my childhood. It started when my mom began buying me Peanuts comic books and it grew from there. A child of the sixties, I was brought up on all of the animated classics still on TV today, including “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I even taught myself how to play the Charlie Brown theme on the piano, just as the character, Shroeder, does on the animated specials.

To be a Peanuts fan is to know what “Pumpkin Carols” are, and to build things that resemble Snoopy’s doghouse. I used to paint watercolors of Snoopy wandering the French countryside in the dark, as a downed military pilot, the “flying ace,” looking for shelter from the enemy in lonely fields. My Peanuts artwork was legendary and my younger brother remembers from sharing a bedroom when we were kids. I know every nuance of every character in Peanuts lore, including last names. Every year, I play the music soundtrack from the Peanuts Christmas special during the holidays.

From this, you must appreciate my delight in receiving my very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree as a gift from my younger brother. (It came in a box and was very easy to put together.) Unfortunately, my brother is in and out of the hospital this year, as he as been for the last several, because of complications from diabetes. He is the first-ever recipient of a pancreas transplant and the doctors are still making adjustments after a few years of my brother’s continuing vitality.

Thanks Davie! I am loving my sad little tree, which has me laughing. You are in my prayers. I hope all goes well during this next phase of your continued treatment. I wrapped the base of my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree with a baby-blue hand towel and it looks just like it does on TV! It’s crazy how exactly like the original it appears. I will think of you whenever I look at it. Hmm. There’s a joke in there somewhere.


I encourage everyone to contribute to the American Diabetes Association. Research continues to make great strides thanks to donations from caring people. Please follow this link to contribute:

Happy Holidays to all!
Be safe. Be loving.

Robert George Reoch

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Cholesterol Test Check-in

Are Home Cholesterol Test Kits Bogus?

Have You Had Your Cholesterol Checked?

I have a few important points to make about cholesterol. First, the home test kits I have tried are crap. Second, you may have dangerously high cholesterol and not even know it. Sometimes high cholesterol is due to an inherited trait (as was the case with me), so it is important to get proper testing and to receive professional care to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

As to those home test kits, here’s what I did: I conducted my own experiment at home. I bought a home cholesterol testing kit on the internet. One reason was sheer curiosity. The other was I wanted to compare the results from the home kit to a professional blood test.

The kit required me to prick my finger (with a tool provided) and then squeeze a drop of blood onto a small device, which is supposed to measure total cholesterol. (Home kits do not provide a breakdown of the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol, just the total number.) I followed the directions and the the home test kit results indicated my cholesterol level was normal based on the standard index. I then saw my doctor and had a professional blood cholesterol check. Those results indicated my good cholesterol was very good, but my bad cholesterol was very high, and not just slightly high, but much higher than the home test kit had indicated. My doctor was concerned enough to suggest prescription medicine. Even though my overall physical health and dietary habits were excellent, my doctor pointed out that some people have a hereditary propensity for high cholesterol. We decided to wait three months and test again before starting a prescription regimen.

In the meantime, concerned about the inaccurate test results from the home cholesterol test kit, I decided to try another experiment with some additional home kits. I ordered 6 more home testing kits from the internet. Three of the kits were from one company and the other three were from a different company.

I conducted two separate tests, one for each manufacturer, in each test using three kits, all at the same time, from the same manufacturer. I wanted to see if there were any variations in the three devices from the same company when I used the same sample of blood in all three, at the same time. In the first test case, using three kits from the first company, the results shown on each of the test devices were as different as they possibly could have been. One device gave me a low cholesterol reading. Another device showed a higher reading than the first, and the third one was slightly above normal.

A day later I repeated the experiment using the other company’s three test kits. Again, the results were all over the charts. No two tests were even within 25 points of any of the others. My conclusion is that these home test devices are a scam at best. I spent my money for a product of critical importance to my health, and the results were plainly inaccurate and unreliable.

Meanwhile, in the three months interim since my doctor’s visit, I continued with my usual healthy diet and regular exercise. I also ate more fish and nuts, which are shown to promote the good type of cholesterol.

After three months, when my cholesterol was checked again professionally, the test results were still very high for my bad cholesterol, but my good cholesterol had actually increased slightly (most likely from eating more fish and nuts).

My doctor prescribed a medication called simvastatin, which I began taking immediately. After three months (with no side effects at all), my blood was tested professionally again and my cholesterol had dropped over 100 points to an ideal level. My cholesterol levels were awesome! I continued taking the medication for six months and my cholesterol remained at optimum levels. We decided to try another three months without my taking the simvastatin and then test again. After the three months, my bad cholesterol level had shot up to being very high again. (The good cholesterol was still very good.) I resumed taking the prescription medicine and when later tested, the results were, once again, excellent. I remain on the medicine. I have never had any ill side effects. It gives me peace of mind knowing my cholesterol is the best it can be.

Two significant conclusions: 1) The home test kits I tried were a sham and a waste of money. I would not trust any home test devices. 2) Some people really do need to take prescription medicine to keep their cholesterol levels safe, even those of us who eat like saints and exercise regularly.

I encourage anyone reading this to take your cholesterol seriously. I was shocked when I realized I was actually at risk of serious health problems because of unusually high cholesterol, which can only be attributed to genes. My lifestyle and eating habits alone should have been reason for normal cholesterol levels. Instead, I was at very high levels. I am glad to have had a proper professional evaluation and to now have it under control.

Take action and get your cholesterol checked. You may be able to add a few years to your life.

Robert George Reoch

[About My Blog]

There’s plenty more to discover here on my blog, including my books of short stories. Click on the images below for more about those. My books are also available in digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Great for the those times when you don’t feel like a heavy novel. Not your typical newsstand fare. Engaging reading anytime. 

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Lean Muscle Leads To Desirable Weight

More Lean Muscle Increases Static Weight Loss

You may have heard this before, but it’s true: Maintaining lean muscle mass increases your metabolism. It is one of the best ways to keep your body consistently trim. This does not mean you need to look like a body builder or buy larger clothes to accommodate a bulging physique. Lean muscle mass is not necessarily bulky, depending on your goals and routine.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to take an hour at the gym to achieve desired results. I suggest a simple routine using inexpensive dumbbells, which do not take up very much space in your home or apartment, and which allow you to workout at your convenience at home in any room of the house, without going to the gym. (It’s one less excuse to not work out too.)

For a slim profile, you can sustain lean muscle by consistently working out doing longer sets with lighter weights. For more bulk, use heavier weights with fewer repetitions, if that’s your goal.

I recommend buying a combination of dumbbells that provide for flexibility in the amount of weight. There are many inexpensive models which allow you to add and remove small weight plates, or you can use the non adjustable type dumbbells in a few sets of varying sizes. It won’t take long to design the size and weights that suit your routine best.

The gist here is to make it easy to keep your metabolism working for you instead of against you by increasing lean muscle. I am not providing basics on how to use dumbbells. Just remember good form and breathe. And, as with any workout routine, always do some gentle stretching first. Warm up the way you would do for any exercise, and then stretch the muscles you intend to use in order to avoid injury. Always, always, always stretch carefully first or you are very likely to injure yourself.

This is what I do. After I have finished stretching for a couple of minutes, this is how it goes: I have 2 sets of dumbbells I use for upper body and a third set I use for lower body. I alternate days, doing upper body one day and lower body the next. It takes less than ten minutes each day. (You don’t necessarily need 3 sets of dumbbells. You can use one or two and change the weight plates as needed. I am too lazy. I use three sets for my purposes so I can keep moving and use less time.)

For my upper body, I do standing shoulder presses in a lengthy motion starting from my waist (with a dumbbell in each hand) and extending up to and above my shoulders with arms nearly fully extended, and then slowly bring the weights down in front again in a smooth motion, so the dumbbells meet in front of my waist at my stomach. Doing it gracefully and controlled works a lot of muscles in the upper body including shoulders, chest, and forearms. Continuing with my upper body workout, I then do 3 sets of biceps curls with the same weights, followed by 3 sets of triceps curls using slightly lighter weights. (I keep a separate third set of a lower weight dumbbells just for triceps because it is generally a smaller muscle.)

For my lower body, I use heavier dumbbells (25 lbs in each hand) to do lunges. I hold the weights with my hands hanging at my sides. Practice your balance by keeping your feet about five or six inches apart. You will want to start at a much lower weight (such as 5 lbs) and work your way up to heavier weight over time. Start by training the muscles to do lunges at lower weights. Do small sets of 20 lunges on each leg (alternating legs) during the set. Soon, your muscles will become accustomed to the movement and balance will come easily. Over time, you can increase the number of lunges in each set and also the number of sets. I am happy with the muscle size I have achieved, so I maintain my routine using 25 lbs in each hand (that is 50 lbs total) during lunges.  I do one long continuous 8 minute set and I’m done. That is my own personal design for myself. It maintains the muscle mass and stamina I have gained in a relatively short amount of time. You may decide to vary your routine to include multiple sets of shorter time to suit your own goals.

What you end up with is a body that has more lean muscle mass. You also achieve better balance and strength overall. I like to turn on CNN and catch up on the latest news while I’m doing lunges in my home office. I follow my workout by consuming some good useable protein to be sure my muscles have what they need. (You already know which foods have good protein: fish, chicken, beef, protein shakes, eggs, nuts, protein bars, milk, liquid protein supplements, etc.)

This article is not about providing precise how-to in using free weights. If you aren’t familiar with proper technique, do a little homework and read up or ask for some instruction at your gym. It isn’t rocket science, however it is very important that you use common sense to avoid injury. While doing lunges, if you feel knee pain, stop the set. Don’t panic. You probably haven’t done any damage if you stop right away. It is normal for you to experience a little discomfort at first. (I won’t repeat that tired phrase about pain and gain). You should likely be able to return to your routine after a 24 hour period of rest from lunges, perhaps longer if you still feel a little pull and you aren’t sure. If you listen to your body and stop if you feel something isn’t right, you can avoid serious injury. Don’t worry. You will recover more quickly than you think and you can get right back into it. I experienced some knee pain myself upon beginning a new lunge routine in one of my early workouts. I promptly stopped to avoid serious injury. By the next day, I was surprised to be able to resume the same workout without any recurring pain. Again, rest another 24 hours if the discomfort continues. If you feel you may have done some damage, see a doctor of course.

…which brings us back full circle. The idea is to gain some muscle mass and increase the metabolism so you burn more calories even at rest. The strategy is to make it quick and reasonably painless. (Working out can sometimes be boring or a drudge. While working out, turn on the TV as I do, or listen to your favorite music.) When you’re done, look in the mirror and notice your body transforming before your eyes. It gives you motivation to continue.

Good luck. I don’t claim to be an expert, but if experience counts, you have  it straight from someone who has been exercising nearly every day of his life since 1980. I have actually learned a thing or two along the way. Trust me…

Robert George Reoch

[About This Site]

There’s plenty more to discover on this site including my sensational books of short stories. Click on the images below for more information. My books are also available in digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Great for the those times when you don’t feel like a heavy novel. Not your typical newsstand fare, either. Engaging reading anytime.





Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

The Monster Chocolate Muffin That Drank Spy Pond

Grocery Store Chocolate Muffins

I bought a box of four dark chocolate (Double Dutch) muffins at my local grocery store. I won’t mention the name of the store because I shop there all the time…but it’s a major grocery chain… (Stop ‘n Shop!). Oops!

The muffins looked monstrously good! They were as big as muffins ever get. One muffin top had grown out of its paper so far that one side of it reminded me of the original “Blob!” from the old movie. It looked like it was reaching for one of the other muffins in the box. (Muffin cannibalism.) I was glad the box was taped shut.

However, besides being repulsed by the hefty boxed blobs, I was also attracted by these muffins and their deep dark color–almost black. How chocolaty could they possibly be? They were shiny too, as though there were dark chocolate chips somewhere in the mix. How could I resist? I had lost an inch off my waist in the last week, so I tried to justify eating a chocolate muffin or two. I promised myself I would not eat more than one and throw away the rest.

I got the box home where I could examine the bottom and read the label more easily. The store “bakery” put the label conveniently on the bottom of the box so if you try and turn it upside down to read it, the muffins might get stuck on the see-through plastic of the container box top.

At home, as I read the fine print on the nutrition label I could hardly believe my eyes. They had to nerve to list a serving size as 1/3 of a muffin! Diabolical! Those bastards! ONE-THIRD? Who eats one-third of a muffin? The idea is cowardly and bold at the same time. They are required to disclose the awful truth about their muffins, but they are careful not be too open about it. And yet, they are bold enough to list the fat and calories only in thirds. Ha! Such open disdain for the consumer. It’s as though they know just how gullible some of us are. The fact is, one third of one muffin is 210 calories and 12 grams of fat. That’s a total of 630 calories in one monstrous muffin and 36 grams of fat! Run for your lives!

Guess what? I ate a couple and they weren’t as good as they looked, anyway–at all. The number one ingredient? Sugar. Then flour. The rest of the components were an amalgamation of several different types of fats, chemicals and emollients. Yes, emollients! I am not kidding. There are ingredients listed which I am sure I have seen on the labels of hand lotions! That’s probably what makes these monster muffins so shiny.

There really wasn’t much flavor in my hand lotion monster muffin. It was all in the eye appeal. But all that sugar and the strange fillers made for a muffin that tasted more something clogging the sink (which is now clogging my arteries). I’ll admit I ate two of the little monsters over the course of three days. I heated them in the microwave and put vanilla frozen yogurt on top to add some flavor. They really needed it.

At night, I dreamed I threw one of the muffins into the pond next to my house. When I awoke the next morning, the pond had nearly gone dry and the muffin had grown to 5 stories tall! I watched from its shadow as the monster muffin sat on the island in the middle of Spy Pond. The big black muffin was waiting for little day camp kids to come tripping by.

(Read this to your kids at night when they’re bad.)

Robert George Reoch

[About my site]


There’s plenty more to discover on this site including my sensational books of short stories. Click on the images below for more information. My books are also available in digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Great for the those times when you don’t feel like a heavy novel. Engaging reading anytime.

Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Working Out – Exercise Starts and Stops

Bouncing Back from Taking a Break From Exercise

Sometimes the most consistent exercisers among us are forced to quit for a period of time and it may seem daunting to get back into it after being sedentary for an extended period. Whatever the reason, what I offer here may surprise you. If you have been a consistent exerciser and have taken a longer than usual break, it isn’t that difficult to get back into it. Don’t be discouraged if your first workout feels more difficult than you expected.

Life gives us interruptions. Sometimes even the most diligent of us  exercisers get sidelined. Maybe you broke your toe, or you’ve had a severe illness, or needed an operation. These things happen and they can feel like quite a setback to a person accustomed to working out regularly.

The good news is that most of what you worked so hard to achieve does not just go away overnight just because you took a break for a few weeks. Even if you take a few months off from your routine, it won’t set you back that much, unless you’ve been overeating and packing on some extra pounds. Still, you can bounce back quicker than you think.

The simple plan: Just do it. It all comes back far more quickly than you think. Your first couple of exercise sessions should be light to allow your muscles and joints to re-acclimate. But, after only the first two or three sessions, you will notice your body still has what it takes. Keep at it.

I said it was simple. Remember to stretch before and after to avoid injury. Warm up a bit before you stretch. You don’t want to stretch a cold muscle. Just run in place or walk for a couple minutes to get the blood flowing. Then get on with your stretching and exercise.

It will only take a few weeks to catch your full stride again, but you will soon find renewed enthusiasm and feel your same energetic self again. The hardest part will actually be to re-establish a consistent habit again. It takes 21 days to start a new habit. Be consistent for 21 days and it becomes routine.

Don’t be afraid if you have taken a break. It isn’t as bad as you may think. It all comes back quicker than you expect and it is worth the effort to get motivated again. Best of luck!

P.S. Since I have been posting these tips, it has been gratifying to hear people are finding them useful and getting back to the gym and paying attention to their diets. Best of luck to all who put in a little effort. It will pay off for you!

Robert George Reoch

[About my site.]

There’s plenty more to discover on this site including my sensational books of short stories. Click on the images below for more information. My books are all original reading and priced low.  They are also available in digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Great for the those times when you don’t feel like a heavy novel. Engaging reading anytime.


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Disastrous Store Bought Baked Goods

Another Diet Strategy for Weight Control

Baked foods in groceries stores, to me, are like poison. I’m targeting mainly the sweets. People would do well to reconsider their consumption of these products.

I’ve been examining pastries, pies, cakes, and cookies in major grocery stores for years. How well do you know the bakery section in your grocery store? Do you ever consider what it takes to produce all those confections in mass quantities? They call it a bakery, but its not the old mom and pop outfit (do they still have those?). Your grocery chain is part of a huge conglomerate with mass production either on-site or off-site. They manufacture baked goods like bricks. They are food construction sites. The majority of the ingredients are fat (all kinds of saturated oils and lard), sugar (every kind of processed sugar including high fructose corn syrup), and flour. If you look at the label, the fat and sugar are usually the first listed items after the flour. The flour is usually broken down into a long list of sub ingredients to throw you off before you read the other sizeable proportions of fat and sugar.

Still, you can readily see on a label when a muffin has 400 calories and 32 grams of fat. Those non-labeled donuts have 400 calories of lard, sugar, and flour. An individual slice of fancy cake is comparable in fat and calories. None of it is nutrition. Where’s the protein?

Your store bakery uses the cheapest ingredients thrown together to look tasty. The result is consistently cartoonish and pretty, but also really, really bad for your constitution. Ever notice how after eating a big fat donut, you sometimes feel a little foggy or slow? It’s your body trying to deal with all that gunk clogging up your bowels and arteries and turning into body fat.

Even many small independent bakeries are bad. They use cheap, unhealthy ingredients too. The fat sticky ingredients are the easiest to shape into pretty confections that look nice and will last until the next millennium. You buy the tantalizing looks on the outside, but more important you are also paying in another way for what happens to your body on the inside.

I enjoy eating cakes and cookies like anyone else. They don’t have to be dangerous to be delicious and even healthful. Bake them yourself! (Right there, a few readers balked. “I don’t know how to bake!”) People should get back to basics. Learn! Bake and cook from scratch and you can control what you ingest. It’s fun. It takes practice. It brings families closer too.

Another creepy aspect of store bought baked products is that they are also practically indestructible. I’ve notice this. Look carefully at the products in your baked goods section. If you peruse the same shelves over the course of a month, you will find the same items still on the shelves after several days, even weeks. I don’t know if they change the expiration dates, but from what I have seen, the same items are remaining on the shelves like rubber toys for more than just a day or two. I recognize the same apple gallette with spirals of apple slices neatly circling the top of pastry with that one cherry slightly out of place. A week later I see that same little tart still sitting there in a plastic container, all glazed and shiny. I bought one once and it tasted like nothing. The apple slices had gone hard and the glaze was like glue but it had stayed looking pretty for who knows how long. People don’t usually return baked items because it just isn’t done and its not worth the trouble anyway. I have learned my lesson not to buy the fanciest looking items. They are usually the ones that have sat around the longest and are made primarily of some kind of preserved shortening and sugar. (I’ve also gone shopping really late at night and seen them left out overnight in little groups. The bakery people know they are indestructible.)

The empty calories of store bought baked goods are just plain bad for you. Homemade tastes better and you can control the ingredients. You know it’s fresh. You use real butter. It’s okay once in a while. You don’t bake every day. And you can train yourself to resist the everyday temptation to buy prefabricated phony baked goods. I’ll tell you how to do it below. You’ll save yourself from empty calories and unhealthy fats and chemicals in your body. If you are counting your calories, the last thing you want is to throw your entire day off with one 400 calorie prefab “baked” glob of flour, lard, and processed sugar.

That’s the trick. Bake it yourself or don’t eat it at all.

One last tip–how to resist: If you do purchase the occasional pound cake or shiny tart at the store bakery, do yourself a favor. Take a few bites when you get home and then toss the rest in the garbage where it belongs. Don’t feed it to your family either. You don’t even want them to know you bought the stuff. Allow yourself a little decadent splurge when it looks so yummy in the store that you can’t resist, but don’t commit to eating it all and ruining your waistline. Go home, have a bite or two of the frosted cream-filled cake or donut, and then throw the rest out. Make it your firm policy before you buy it. Tell yourself if you buy it, then you must agree not to eat all of it. Hide it at the bottom of the trash after you’ve had a few bites to satisfy the urge, or stuff it down the garbage disposal. The next time you are tempted at the store, it will probably be easier to resist buying junk that you don’t need, knowing you plan to throw most of it away. Save yourself the trouble and expense. Be healthy. Lose a few pounds by cutting out those manufactured bakery goods.

Finally, I am not a doctor, but I walk the talk and I am in excellent shape. Furthermore, I’m not perfect. Once in a while, I still buy that mysterious clump of chocolate covered goo that’s supposed to be a gourmet brownie. Just ask my trash can or my garbage disposal. Oy!

Robert George Reoch

[About This Site]

There’s plenty more to discover on this site including my sensational books of short stories. Click on the images below for more information. My books are all original reading and priced low.  They are also available in digital formats for any computer, including wireless delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories.  Great for the those times when you don’t feel like a heavy novel. Engaging reading anytime.




Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Counting Calories Seriously and Seriously Counting Calories

Counting Calories Seriously – Seriously Counting Calories

This is by far one of the easiest tips for losing weight and maintaining your existing weight.

The objective is to set a fixed number of calories and to limit the total calories you consume during a single day by sticking to that number without going over it. Going 100 calories over or under won’t hurt if you take it seriously.

Most people don’t have any idea of the total calories they consume during the day. It only takes a little practice to get pretty good at estimating your total intake each day. Foods are labeled. Read the label before you eat something (or look it up on the internet if it isn’t labeled).  Don’t even worry about fresh vegetables. You can’t go wrong with those. High sugar (fructose) fruits, such as oranges, do pack substantial calories though. So, count those accordingly. Remember to look at the portion size and number of portions on a packaging label. You may be eating one package, but that package may consist of several servings. You need to be sure you count the total calories you consume. Don’t fool yourself my misreading the label. Seriously counting calories is easy after you read a few labels and get the general idea.

Average required daily calories for an average male of approximately 5’9″ and 140 to 155 pounds is 2,000 calories. Women, you know you need to adjust this downward a little. Suppose you want to lose weight. You need to either consume fewer calories or burn off extra. I recently discovered that your total calorie intake matters far more than the number of calories you think you expend exercising. In other words, even if you run three miles to try and burn off that extra piece of pizza or cake, the total calories you took in during the day will still have more impact on your waistline, although the exercise certainly helps.

Here is a slightly extreme example of how I lost ten pounds over a period of a few months. I simply put a cap of 1,000 calories per day on my intake. Believe it or not, I did not starve myself. I always take a multi-vitamin, so I wasn’t too worried about poor nutrition, and I rarely felt hungry. I always waited an hour or so after rising to eat a very light breakfast (an individual container of non-fat yogurt: 90 calories). Then for lunch, I usually ate a protein bar (200 calories) or perhaps a small portion of leftovers from dinner, plus a handful of nuts and cranberries. (I make my own mix of store bought bulk raw almonds and dried cranberries and or cherries. It’s easy and fun.) (Total lunch calories approx. 300 calories.)

At this point in the day, I have consumed approx. 600 calories. For dinner, I have room for 410 calories which can be a normal serving of spaghetti with light meat sauce (I make mine with ground turkey), or a large slice of pizza. In addition, I can add to that all the fresh veggies I want in any combination (salad or raw pieces) with light dressing and that’s that. I’m still way under 2,000 calories and I am dropping weight quickly, day by day. 

There are plenty of ways to switch this up. I could pig out at lunch and then eat a really light dinner of soup and low fat crackers or salad. You don’t have to write down the number of calories of everything you eat. Try and keep a running total in your head (or jot that down if it helps) after each meal. For example, I always knew if I ate the same yogurt each morning, I was as 100 calories after breakfast (round it up). After lunch, I could add whatever those calories were to the 100. That’s easy! Then by dinner, I can easily determine what my limit will be to stay under my target number.

Taking this calorie counting a little further–but not quite as extreme, I could still add 500 calories to this example and stay under 2,000. I would still lose weight effectively. This means, I could eat a delicious crazy dessert after dinner and enjoy it! (Try every other day, just for discipline.) How about having that 500 calorie chocolate cake and ice cream? Or, have a couple of homemade brownies. No sweat! As long as I stay under 2,000 calories, I am still going to lose weight.

Guess what else? It does not matter as much whether the calories are fat, protein, or carbs. It’s the total calories that determines whether your body is overloaded or not. As long as you cut off your eating at, say, 8 PM, and are done for the day, and as long as you have stayed within your target, you are going to lose fat and inches.

It takes 21 days to create a new habit. Stick to this plan for at least 21 days and it will become second nature. Watch those pounds and inches melt away by simply incorporating this daily calorie limit. Incorporate that with a cut off time for eating for an even more effective weight management plan.

Count Calories Seriously by Seriously Counting Calories. Stick to your own magic number.

Robert George Reoch

[About This Site]

There’s plenty more to discover on this site including the fascinating books I have written of short stories. Click on the images below for more information. My books are delightful reading and priced low.  They are also available in digital formats for iPad, Kindle, PC, and Ebook in general, including wireless 3G delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories. A wide variety of themes and memorable characters. Great for the those times when you don’t feel like a heavy novel. Engaging reading anytime.


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013

Managing Your Daily Calorie Intake

Managing Your Calorie Intake

Health and Fitness Tips:

This is my first official Health and Fitness Tip. I hope to offer additional valuable advice based on my own years of experience with everything from diet and nutrition; aerobic exercise and weight training; to stretching and yoga, as well as skin and hair care. I am not a doctor, but I could fill a book with my tried and true methods and habits. Take my ideas or not–as you please.

Today’s Tip:

Losing Pounds and Inches: This first tip is simple, but effective. If you are trying to lose weight and inches, one of the simplest ways to achieve this is to change your eating habits to include a daily cut-off time–the time you stop eating at the end of a day, before bedtime. If you work a 9 to 5 job and usually eat dinner between 6 PM and 8 PM, I suggest you make your cut-off time 8 PM at the latest, even if you don’t go to bed until much later at night. Try to have stopped eating and snacking by at least two-hours prior to going to bed.

If you have an evening fitness regimen (such as going to the gym), then adjust accordingly. Just be sure to stop eating and snacking immediately following meal after your workout and well before going to bed. By adopting a cut-off time, you create a longer period of time to metabolize the daily calories already consumed.

In the morning, wait an hour or so after rising before eating. It’s fine to go ahead with your morning coffee or tea, but wait a while before eating. You will utilize more residual fat and calories left from the day before. Then, have a light breakfast that includes some protein, such as an individual serving of yogurt or cottage cheese. Modest carbs are good, such as a single slice of toast or half a bagel. Forget the store bought high fat and sugar loaded donuts and muffins. I suggest removing those from your life altogether. Bake your own healthful cookies and muffins, or go without. All of the store bought pastries are full of garbage that makes you fat and lazy.

The core emphasis of this strategy is simply to create a long gap between meals. Stop eating a few hours before sleeping. Wait an hour or so in the morning. You will create a window of time for the body to use up excess calories and to burn stored fat. This daily habit will lead to easily shedding excess pounds without necessarily making other drastic changes. Try this for a month and don’t be surprised if you lose at least 1 pound a week. It’s a safe way to drop weight. Imagine the pounds you can lose in just one year.

One last VERY IMPORTANT KEY to this method. Keep this habit constant throughout the month, without taking time off for good behavior on weekends. It’s those weekends that can sabotage the best weight and calorie control plans. You will gain back those pounds you lost during the week if you don’t continue through on weekends. There is no break. If you splurge, get back on track, but realize you will have been set back. (I’ll discuss more on counting calories later.)

It takes 21 days to create a new habit. Stick to this plan for at least 21 days and it will become second nature. Watch those pounds and inches melt away by simply incorporating this daily cut-off for eating.

Robert George Reoch

[About This Site]

There’s plenty more to discover on this site including my books of short stories. Click on the images below for more information. My books are available at low prices and also in digital formats for iPad, Kindle, PC, and Ebook in general, including wireless 3G delivery. 
Fascinating shorts stories. A wide variety of themes and memorable characters. Great for the those times when you don’t feel like a heavy novel–engaging reading rather than the typical newsstand fare.


Copyright Robert George Reoch 2009-2013