Monday, November 30, 2009

May 16, 2010 - Fairfield/Westchester "We Will Rock the Ride" Training Ride

Currently on calendar is a bike ride on Sunday, May 16. We will be running this as a club/training ride. We request a minimum registration donation of $18 towards our Grassroots Fundraising fund, however, to particpate per rider. If you would like to solicit additional donations from friends or family, you can direct them to

At this time, there will definitely be a 75+ mile route ridden, as this will be used as a training ride for those participating in the Hope in Motion ride as part of the Fairfield/Westchester Benefiting LIVESTRONG Team, as well as those of us participating in the LIVESTRONG Challenges.

We'd like to see this become a recurring event, as well.

If you are interested in participating, and/or would be willing to volunteer as a guide or leader for this ride, or any others, please leave a comment here, "register" at or email me at

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2010 LIVESTRONG Fairfield/Westchester is REGISTERED!

Ok, gang...

After a chat with LIVESTRONG Headquarters today, we are set up and registered to accept funds for 2010!

For now, let's see if we can get a group of riders/runners together for some training rides and meetings! And get sponsors for your training!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To Screen, or Not to Screen... why is it even a question?

This week, the internet and water-coolers near and far are abuzz regarding the latest positions taken by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (found at Mammograms will no longer be recommended for women 40 and up, but rather 50 and up.

Here is the Lance Armstrong Foundation's official statement:

Now, here's my take. I will freely admit that I am terrible at remembering to perform self-exams. I've been told I've got "lumpy breasts" anyway - as some of us do - so, when I've done self-exams, and mentioned this to doctors in the past, they just tell me the same thing, "you've just got lumpy breasts." I'm under 40, and well under 50. So by any standard, I wouldn't require a mammogram. And, when I've said to my doctors, "Look, I know I have lumpy breasts, but, really? Are you sure there's nothing to worry about?" I'm told, "Nope, nothing, these are normal for lumpy breasts."

Which leads me to wonder: 1) Are lumpy breasts normal in the first place? 2) What if just ONE of those lumps isn't just a "normal" lumpiness lump, but a bad, malignant lump. And it's getting lumped in with all the rest of the "normal" lumps? 3) How many women out there are also dismissed as "just having lumpy breasts", only to discover, at a later date, that they didn't "just" have lumpy breasts, but breast cancer?

So, even when I was diligent about my self-breast exams, and I found a lump, it was dismissed.

When I asked this year about having a mammogram, just to "be on the safe side", I was told that not only was it not necessary, but that my insurance wouldn't cover it because there wasn't enough cause.

Now, this is NOT a dig at my doctor - I LOVE her to death. I happen to trust her when she says I have nothing to worry about - to date, she hasn't been wrong about anything. BUT... what about women who don't know without question that they can trust their doctors? Or that don't know to continue to question or push?

Forgetting, temporarily, about women without insurance, what about women who have insurance, and, even with the old standards, cannot have a mammograms covered without "due cause"? What qualifies as "due cause"?

Here I am, a woman in my, well, under 40-years (and no longer 21... ), who has found lumps in her breast, asking for a mammogram, with a family history of cancer (including an Aunt who survived breast cancer), being told I can't have one?

Can you imagine what is going to happen with the new standards?

To me, it just seems like insurance companies and like-minded physicians are trying to set themselves up for protection as the current health care system is being reviewed and possibly becoming a federal mandate. After all, the best defense is a good offense, right? Are they really taking the stance of, "Ok, you want us to take care of everyone? Fine, Mr. Do-Gooders, we're gonna make you pay. Now this isn't necessary, and this isn't necessary, and neither is this, so get out the checkbooks, because someone is going to pay us the premiums we want... "

Am I being extremist? Perhaps.

But I happen to like my breasts. Lumps and all. They have a small fan club, in fact. So, I'd rather not lose them in the near future because I'm told I'm too young for a mammogram.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

"A Taste of Yellow" will be returning in the near future...

Last night saw a small, but enthusiastic group of LIVESTRONGers! Given that there were more people that wanted to attend, but couldn't make a weekday, I think we'll give it another go on a weekend! But, we enjoyed a lovely spread!

Curry-laced chummus with "Taste of Yellow" Peppers

Since this seems to be THE asked about recipe, here it is...

  • 2 cans of Garbanzo beans (yes, I used canned - I am notorious for either burning, undercooking or fermenting dried)
  • 3 tablespoons of sesame paste (tahini) (to taste)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of Za'atar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder (or, if available, 1/8 teaspoon curry powder and half a handful of fresh curry leaves)
Add the drained beans, tahini, garlic and lemon juice into a food processor and turn on. Once smoothing out, slowly add the olive oil and spices. Stop processing and taste. Re-adjust seasoning to taste (all depends on the brand of the garbanzo beans and strength of the tahini). Once to taste, and completely smooth, pour into a bowl. Take a fork and create "grooves". Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with curry powder.

Cran-Orange-Oat-Almond Muffins

Tossed salad with yellow heirloom tomatoes, yellow peppers, feta and a citrus/cumin/banana pepper dressing

Maple-roasted squash soup

Yellow cake with mandarin-icing, decorated with the LIVESTRONG band in mandarin oranges

The table, along with the lemonade (vodka on the side for those 21 and up)

The centerpiece (the kids made it... aren't they cute?)

Please contact me for recipes...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Crazy Busy *AND AMAZING* Week...

Wow, what a week! A week ago yesterday, I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Craig D. Tifford Foundation gala, which honored the Lance Armstrong Foundation's CEO, Doug Ulman. I had the opportunity to steal a few minutes of Doug's time (YES, there is a photo of the two of us... somewhere... I don't know where at the moment - trying to get a copy from the foundation!) I had the chance to tell him about what we, LIVESTRONG of Fairfield/Westchester are trying to achieve, and he was very happy to hear about it!

On Halloween, my son, in an effort to contribute towards the $25,000 goal for 2010, chose to collect money and sell LIVESTRONG bracelets in lieu of Trick or Treating. Well, we are $69 ahead of the game, now, as a result! (That's him, dressed as Lance Armstrong, selling his wares at the Pound Ridge Fire Department Halloween party!)

Then, on Sunday, we went to the NYC Marathon to cheer on members of TEAM LIVESTRONG - a group of 252 runners from all over the world that ran in order to raise money for LIVESTRONG. Of course, as you can see by the obnoxiously large, but effective banner, we were there cheering on Jose "Cheo" Biton, an old and dear friend of mine from my Young Judaea years, who is almost at his $3,500 goal! Cheo was running in honor of both his parents, who survived cancer.

As you can also see, we weren't alone! Many of the LIVESTRONG crew, including Doug (second from the right, in the grey jacket, behind the woman with the yellow LIVESTRONG sign and grey hat), Collen Wilson (with the pig tails and grey hat) were there to cheer on fellow runners. (Yes, that's me, on the far left with my daughter. I agree - I should have been wearing the hat - my hair looks like a cross between the old Malibu Barbie with the awful highlights from the 80s and Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction". Never leave home with your hair wet!)

So, a second chance to catch up with Doug, some of the other staffers from LIVESTRONG, and the chance to introduce the kids to their "heros". Not to mention, watch Cheo and others run for a great cause.

On top of that, we now have commitments from more artists to donate items to our gala, including Carol Rosen, noted sculptress and artist, Aaron Bigio, an artisan bike decorator and rack builder from Boston, and Marie Olmedo, a photographer sending us a piece from Europe!

What a week!