Friday, December 25, 2015


What do Jews do in Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? If family is nearby, it is a good day to get together as everyone is off from work. Of course, the movie theatres are open everywhere.  Problem is, we already saw the new Star Wars movie - What else is there to see? It is a common tradition for Jews to go to a Chinese Restaurant on Christmas Day. That option is unavailable to us as our daughter has declined a trip to Chinatown in Chicago. Looks like we won't be going sledding either.  Temperatures across the country are unseasonably high and there is hardly any snow cover anywhere. All retail stores close early on Christmas Eve so shopping is out of the question as well.  Although this brings us to our 'Christmas Miracle'.

My daughter and I often will take an evening walk to a specialty candy store on Michigan Avenue right on Chicago's Miracle Mile. Dylan's Candy Bar. This small chain of candy stores is owned by Dylan Lauren,  the daughter of internationally famous designer, Ralph Lauren.

As I review this photograph, my guess is that founder and owner of Dylan's Candy Bar, Dylan Lauren, spends more time counting  the money that the stores take in on a daily basis rather than consuming her product(s).

Among the reasons that I particularly enjoy going to Dylan's is that I can purchase some very small amounts of candy that is priced by weight. The best benefit of the trip to Dylan's is that  it requires a roundtrip walk of a minimum 3.5 miles and it is a good way to accumulate steps for my 'hungry' fitbit. I anticipated that the store would close early last evening. I checked the website and the store announced that they would close at 6:00PM. I timed my late afternoon 92 minute workout on the elliptical machine to end around 5:15PM. As soon as I returned home, I announced that I was going to go to Dylan's. My daughter is almost always ready to accompany me for this trip. I told her that in order to get there before 6:00PM we could not waste any time. We walked there at a speedy power walk speed of 5 mph, which is faster than my usual speed. Usually my daughter implores me to 'slow down' when we walk together. Last evening, my daughter was moving faster than me! We arrived at the store at 5:48PM. This was more than enough time to make our regular selections and be on our way. The only problem was that the front door was locked with a sign taped to the front announcing that due to the Christmas Eve Holiday the store closed at 5:00PM. My daughter was very upset and I admit I was not too pleased either. There were still some employees within sight and I knocked loudly, yet politely on the front glass door. An employee did come to the door and open it to find out what my 'problem' was. He explained that the store closed early for Christmas Eve and I explained that we checked the website and had just walked two miles in order to get there before closing time. After a few back-and-forths of us each repeating our cases, the young man offered to get the the manager. A young respectful woman came to the door and without too much fanfare, did let us in.  We quickly made our usual modest selections of some bulk candy and when we asked to pay - we were told it was a gift. On the way out, we were asked one more time if we had gotten everything we needed. My daughter, was very respectful of the gift and said that she did not think it was right to take more after we knew we would not be paying for it. It was precisely then that the original employee we spoke with asked us if Sara would like a 'gingerbread house.' A gingerbread house may not have been something that we would have purchased - but my daughter did have fun making the icing and decorating it. At first it looked like we were going to be locked out of Dylan's - but, we were let in, we made out selections, the store made it a gift to us and gave us a gingerbread house too! I don't want to be too dramatic about this: However, it was a 'Christmas Miracle' for our Jewish Family.

My daughter had fun decorating this gingerbread house

My day started at the doctors office for my annual wellness visit. Everything checked out real well.  My doctor continues to be somewhat amazed as what I accomplished this year. I showed him by before/after pictures that I had posted on by blog just yesterday. Before I left, he said that I was his 'hero.' That may have been over-the-top, but I did get the impression that he might have told my story to some of his other patients over the course of the past year. Before I left, my doctor, who is about one inch taller than me, and surely even thinner than I am, hugged me. I can not recall being hugged by any medical professional ever before. The best thing he told me was that my next appointment with him should be one year from now. What a great thing to hear from one's doctor!

Your Food Diary For:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

BREAKFAST Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar
Marianos - Spicy Curried & Kale Walnut Salad, 1 Cup 360 36 26 6 460 0
Mariano's - Asian Broccoli Kale Slaw, 1 C 200 28 10 4 520 0
Mariano's - Chicken Milanese (Estimate), 6 oz Chicken Breast 461 11 18 60 560 11

1,521 75 54 70 1,540 11
Shrimp - Raw, 10 medium 64 1 1 12 89 0
Wegmans - Deli Roast Beef, 2 oz (aprox.4 slices) 60 0 2 10 230 0
Broccoli - Broccoli, 1 cup 60 6 1 5 49 0
Mushrooms, white, raw, 1 cup, pieces or slices 15 2 0 2 4 1
Bread - Bread Baguette, 1/4 baguette 150 30 1 5 0 0
Emi Swiss Knight - Fondue Au Fromage Suisse - Swiss Cheese Fondue, 0.5 cup (57g) 260 4 18 16 720 0

609 43 23 51 1,091 1

Totals 2,130 117 77 121 2,631 12
Your Daily Goal 4,507 563 150 226 2,300 169
Remaining 2,377 445 73 105 -330 157
Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar
*You've earned 2,577 extra calories from exercise today         

       Your Exercise Diary for:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cardiovascular Minutes Calories Burned
Walking, 4.5 mph, very, very brisk pace 29 368
Walking, 5.0 mph 19 405 <-speedy walk to Dylan's Candy Bar
Walking, 3.5 mph, brisk pace 25 236 <-slow walk back from Dylan's Candy Bar 
STAR TRAC ELLIPTICAL 92 1,478 <-(resistance level set to '20')
MFP iOS calorie adjustment Ic_i N/A 90

Daily Total / Goal 166 / 30 2,577 / 590  
Weekly Total / Goal 902 / 210 13,293 / 4,130             

total calories consumed 2130 calories
total calories (5.25 miles, 92 minutes elliptical) 2487 calories
total net calories 357 calorie deficit

fitbit day 113
26384 steps
A girl and her gingerbread house... Shouldn't this be eaten once it's made? or is only for show?
That is my daughter, Sara, peeking through the gingerbread house 'window.'

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