Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Is Tempeh?

A city in Arizona, is the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of this tasty and nutritious protein-loaded staple of vegetarian cooking. But what is tempeh? This video may shed some light on the subject:



1. made from whole soybeans that are soaked, dehulled, and partially cooked
2. it’s the only major soy-based food that did not originate in China or Japan
3. is created through fermentation
4. loaded with vegetable protein (20 grams per serving)
5. easy to digest
6. often used as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian cuisine
7. a staple food in Indonesia for over 2000 years
8. very good source of manganese
9. great source of fiber
10. tastes great!

As a vegetarian, I am always in search of vegetable protein sources, and tempeh is an excellent addition to the legumes, lentils, beans and whole grain products I consume daily. And because of its texture, it can be prepared in many ways:

· stir-fried
· sliced
· diced
· grated
· shredded
· baked
· pan-fried
· grilled
· stewed

And, the best part, it tastes delicious.

Tempeh has inspired me to get back in the kitchen and create a few new veg out with mike vids—stay tuned.

Also, a soy-base, meat-substitute food like tempeh, that is low in calories, high in fiber, and loaded with healthy protein, will help you lose weight. How much weight is up to you, as this video will help explain:


If you’re looking for a meat substitute, or just a delicious addition to your vegetarian diet, look no further than tempeh.

Until next time,



Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Cynical Optimist

Is your glass half-full?

Or is the grass always greener on the other side of the street? Do you feel that no matter what happens, as long as you try your hardest, do your best, be kind to others and think nice thoughts things will work out? Or do you feel that it doesn’t matter what you do, bad things, eventually, will happen to good people. Maybe you think that all politicians are crooks; bankers and lawyers too? And the government—they don’t really care about us, they are just hanging around taking kickbacks and creating scandals, right? Perhaps that’s being too…what? Cynical? Or am I being too optimistic? Jeez, I can’t win!

Maybe that’s it—we just can’t win!

That’s crazy, of course you can, you just have to keep on keeping on and put your nose to the grindstone. It will all work out in the end—time heals all wounds, right?

The heck with time: what about all the world’s problems—hunger, war, terrorism, racism, unaffordable health care, unemployment, corruption, apathy!

Okay, but what about the miracle of watching your child come into the world, the awesome naked beauty of a sunset, the natural sensation you get from laughing so hard that tears streak your cheeks?

Tears are right! I feel like crying whenever I think about not having a job, the cost of gasoline, the jokers in Washington (and Europe), and my child support payments!

Tears of joy for having the ability to earn a living, being able to afford to own a car that you can drive across this amazing country; the freedom to choose your leaders, vote for change, and the blessing given to you to have the opportunity to raise a child.

Man, talk about a cockeyed optimist!

Boy, what a negative cynic!

Who am I describing? Anyone you know? Or do the above diatribes hit closer to home?

Are you one of those people who believes that everyday brings with it the opportunity to do something incredible?

Or one that dreads waking up to another miserable twenty-fours of getting stepped on, tossed aside, paranoid that someone is going to do something bad to you?

Me? I like to think that good things will happen to me—and you too!—if I put a positive spin on everything in my life. In fact, I strongly believe that a good mental attitude, filled with positive energy and happy thoughts, goes a long way toward a healthy, happy, fulfilling life.

Yeah, but what about—

I know, I know, there is a lot of bad in the world, lots of heartache and pain; suffering. And there are often terrible and unavoidable pitfalls and horrors that befall each and every one of us, sometimes daily or weekly, but certainly several times throughout our lives.

Guess what? It’s called LIFE. And LIFE happens, with us out without us.

“Life is the definition of imperfection.”
- Mike Foster

You can’t have a gorgeous sunset without clouds, can’t put a roof over your head without cutting down some trees, and cannot live life without a few (or several) tough breaks occurring along the way.

The key to a successful, happy, healthy life is staring at you in the mirror every morning when you brush those choppers—you. I’m not saying turn your back on your problems, or ignore the atrocities that afflict millions of innocent human beings by just smiling at the new day and hoping for the best.

What I’m saying is we all have a choice, to either find that happiness, that hope that resides in all of us. Or embrace the darkness, the negativity, that cynicism that lives within us too.

And even if you are faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, have to deal with daily drudgery and setbacks; even if your life, or a loved one’s life, seems destined to turn into nothing but bad luck and heartache, you, too, have a choice.

Deal, cope, survive.

Smile, love, live.

Am I as hopeful and cheerful and optimistic as I can be all the time? No. Do I sometimes fall victim of feeling victimized, or think that the world, and my little slice of it, seems hopeless and a waste of time? Sometimes, but, thankfully, not very often.

The key, again, is right inside your head, your heart and soul. And embracing the wonderful paradox derived from living each moment, striving for the best possible existence, every day in every way.

Until next time…



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Diet, Nutrition, and Weight Loss

As much as I hate to admit it, I feel as if I’ve let myself go over the past few months. Okay, I know, I know: relax, Mike, take it easy, Mike,; have a bowl of potato chips, Mike; that second helping of pasta is too tasty too pass up, Mike—LIVE A LITTLE, HUH?

Problem is, I have been living more than a little these day. Having just returned from a wonderful vacation with my lovely wife, my belly is not what I'd like it to be. But more to the point, my overall health is not what I expect it to be. Now don’t go rushing to conclusions: I am very healthy, nothing going on here that one would consider major, save for some weight gain. Only getting away from what I’ve made a habit of over the past several years, successful programs and practices that allow me to go through life with healthy cholesterol numbers, good blood pressure, and the ability to fit into a nice pair of jeans.

The good news? I know what needs to be done and how to do it. That’s one of the main reasons I created this blog and my video site,—to share my knowledge and successes on how to eat right, lose weight, maintain a healthy, happy, lifestyle, every day in every way.

I may sound like a broken record, but for me, it all starts with fiber. But I also have a chip problem, as this video will attest:


And I used to think that I had a handle on it, as this video demonstrates:

Reward Your Weaknesses (By Turning Them Into Strengths)

Alas, as the years go by our metabolisms slow, those cheating ways (see above videos) take their toll…and sometimes you have to slap those chips from your hands, and grab the almonds. Why almonds? They are loaded with fiber, have healthy fats, can lower your cholesterol, and are a wonderful alternative snack to, say, POTATO CHIPS!!

The key, though, is the fiber...and portion control. I mean, you can cram handfuls of healthy snacks, like almonds, into your maw all day and still gain a bunch of weight—there’s no getting around the calories consumed versus calories burned ration. What am I talking about? This:

Empty Calories

But by adding fiber to the mix, your hunger pains decrease, because fiber stays in your system longer, thus taking more time to digest. Besides being full of nutrition, fiber also:

· aids in regularity

· alleviates constipation

· reduces the risk of heart disease

· regulates blood sugar

· provides energy, which helps you lose weight

Several years ago, I lost over forty pounds in six months. Since that time, I have gained some of that weight back. But any time I need to drop a few pounds, I always return to the program I used back then. What do I do?

1. Count my calories. Every day. I keep a dietary journal and keep track of everything—and I mean everything—that I put in my mouth

2. Make my calories count. I make sure I eat plenty of vegetable protein, lots of fruit and veggies, and maintain a balanced diet.

3. Limit my caloric intake. Depending on my weight loss goals, this can be 1500-2000 calories a day.

4. I workout often, walk daily, and strive to burn many more calories than I consume. Burn goals: 2500-3500 calories a day.

5. I do the math. The math is simple: you have to burn 3500 calories more than you consume to lose one pound.

6. I keep score. I weigh myself every morning at the same time. If you don’t know where you stand then you will never get to where you need to be.

7. I load up on the fiber (see above and this video)…

And this video:


I also cut myself some slack, by taking the weekends, kind of, sort of, off. By that I mean, I will eat a slice of pizza for lunch on Saturday, but not overdo it so as to sabotage all that hard work I put in during the week.

And speaking of pizza—stay away from the carbs, especially the empty carbs (like those aforementioned chips). Since I am counting my calories and making them count, as well as limiting my intake of food, I have little left in my dietary regiment to add empty calories to my diet…unless I want to gain weight, rather than drop those excess pounds.

The other key is this: SACRIFICE!

You have to remember that that belly didn’t happen overnight; it took months of pigging out and sitting on your duff watching bad TV. So dropping all that “Dancing With The Stars” weight will take time too.

My goal is the same it was when I lost all that weight the first time: Two Pounds a Week.

Here’s a video that may help:


And lastly, here are a few of my favorite foods that taste great and help me stay fit and lose weight:

· Beans, lentils, wild rice, quinoa, soybeans

· Broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, spinach

· Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage

· Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds

· Apples, bananas, oranges, kiwifruit, papaya

· Water, fruit juice, green tea

· Oatmeal, flax seed

Eating right is a daily activity—so is living a healthy, happy, long and fulfilling life. Sometimes snacks get in the way. The good news is you can always choose to change for the better. I have hundreds of videos that can help at my website, Hey, they helped me. They can help you too.

Until next time…



Saturday, May 1, 2010

Success Is In The Effort

Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoy a good sweat, getting my hands dirty and digging into a project; whatever that task or chore may be.  And my contentment is not a byproduct of merely completing a job or solving a problem, I also derive great pleasure in the doing, the effort.

What, you may ask, is old-fashioned about that?  Sadly, for many in today’s got-to-have-it-now world, plenty.

In a way, we are victims of our technological successes: email, instant messaging, texting, cell phones that connect us to every form of electronic media and communication…especially the Internet.  While these amazing innovations have made our lives somewhat easier than they used to be, in return they may have also created more problems than they’re worth.

Maybe it’s just me, my generation?  Or better put: my generation’s generation gap.

“Oh, these kids today!”  Every generation has adults offering up that lament, for as many diverse reasons as freckles on the sunburned face of a fair-haired teen.

But I see it all the time, from my perspective as a leader at my workplace, to observing my soon-to-be-college-graduated son.

What do I see?

An aversion to that age-old rite of passage in ones life when the youth of the day must pay their dues, start from the bottom and work for peanuts, with the hope and goal, through arduous effort and some luck, of getting somewhere.  Hopefully a well-paying job, a satisfying career, but mostly the gratifying feeling of accomplishing something that was worth rolling up those sleeves and breaking a sweat for.

Call is sweat equity or the school of hard knocks.  Or how about that good, old-fashioned sensation one derives from enjoying the journey, no matter how long it may be, despite how dire the odds may seem, pursuing a goal that you may or may not attain?

That’s what I mean by old-fashioned.  Because today’s generation looks at me like I suddenly sprouted a third eye in the middle of my face whenever I talk about not just the necessity of effort, but the satisfying feeling said effort brings.



Hold on, I’m getting a text…

Okay, what were you saying?

This:  No success gained without effort, real effort, is worth having.

And this: No successful individual got that way without first failing: more than likely several times!  You can look it up.


And if  you discover someone who somehow appears to have attained greatness unscathed…look again!  Somewhere in that so-called successful person’s past, or future, failure lurks.


Without failure we never learn.
Without failure we do not grow.
Without failure we do not try.
Without failure we do not succeed.

And without effort you will never fail, thus you will never succeed.

All I’m really saying here is:


And working hard at something that occupies your mind (and body) in a positive, creative, interesting, challenging, altruistic, humane, productive, and worthwhile way, is the only way you, or anyone, will every become successful.  Or fulfilled.  Or content.

Or, ultimately, happy.

Work is an integral part of life and without effort you are not alive, not living.

Roll up those sleeves, put your nose to the grindstone, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.  It will be worth the effort, in more ways that you can imagine.

Until next time…