February 4th

theresa albert - my friend in food


Thank You to My Friends. Four of Spades.


My Journey Through Ace Your Health – the Four of Spades

A Testament to My Friends. If you are not here, worry not, you will be included soon in another post.

Like everyone else, I have a list of personality traits I struggle with on a frequent basis.

  • I eat when stressed
  • I sometimes see the glass half empty
  • I worry
  • I have a temper
  • I have a problem turning my brain off when stressed

For the most part, I have created coping strategies. I try to jog when stressed, I visualize positive events, I take deep breathes and I count. I count the number of guests I am inviting to a party. I count the number of moves a particular climb may take (or I did when I climbed). I count movies starring George Clooney. You get the picture.

This week’s challenge could not have come at a better time. In 24 hours the entire first floor of my house will become a construction zone. Kitchen is getting gutted, carpeting is being ripped up. Walls knocked down. For periods of time we have to vacate our home. This will all last for 4-6 weeks.

Stress in a sledge hammer I say.

So with this amount of stress swirling around my dwelling, I have found a need to eat and eat and eat. I have had trouble sleeping as my brain is racing a mile an hour. I have worried enough for a town filled with Jewish/Catholic mothers.

There has been one thing that has chilled my otherwise fiery temper. Quieted my brain. Stopped my hand from reaching for bad food. And that has been counting. I counted the 15 people who have influenced my positive eating or exercising habits:

Tim, My Cheerleader

1.       My husband – My #1 cheerleader.  And he taught me to climb, made me a better sailor, helped improved my flick (Ultimate slang for forehand throw).  He encourages me in everything I do

2.       Mom – as a single parent, she always made dinners that had all food groups represented

3.       My Sister – she taught me about aerobics and we always talk about food together

4.       Kim – she was the first person who introduced me to the world of “make your own really big salad” (we were University housemates) and to the world of jogging and snowboarding

5.       Jackie – she is my grocery shopping BFF and my “what do I feed the kids” sounding board

6.       Theresa Albert – need I say more?

7.       Katarina Simons – she is my fitness gal. She is my age and has the most phenomenal and athletic body

8.       Brigid – she bikes everywhere, plays a mean game of Ulti and is a fabulous cook who uses a lot of organic and local products

9.       Vicki – she loves food, runs 10kms and is a big cheerleader (not literally, she is not in high school)

10.   Teresa – my sounding board when my food/exercising falls off the rails, a 10km guru

11.   Gail – my old fitness instructor (I moved), a great cook and loves food but eats wisely

12.   Dominique – She is a great climber, eats tons of organic stuff and never gives a second thought of going on a strenuous  hike with both her young kids in tow

13. My brother and his kids (that makes 3) – my brother is vegetarian and has been for ages. He always eats well and cooks delicious foods without meat. His sons are athletic and aware of what they eat. They are real inspirations. My sister in-law should be there too, but that makes 16 and I decided to stop at 15. Zohar, you are there in spirit.

Figuring out those 15 worked for a night or two, but then I got my list together and soon I was left with my worry demons.

Onto list #2. Top 5 TV characters I find influential

Burn Notice, Mike & Fiona

1.       Michael Westen (Burn Notice). He is fit as a fiddle and eats yogurt all the time (and he is HOT)

2.       Fiona Gelanne (Burn Notice). See above

3.       All contestants on the show So You Think You Can Dance – they are fit and are following their dream

4.       Zoe Washburne (Firefly) – strong yet feminine. Loyal. Fit. Independent but still married

5.       Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) – see above minus the married part

Soon I progressed to the challenge. Since my house is under renovations and I am relatively new to Toronto, I am not about to have a dinner party. So, here is my list of people I would invite to a party if I could have one this weekend.

Pot luck dinner party – theme is HAVE FUN with the Lochners and bring your signature dish.

Food category Guest Name Dish Reason
Soup Dionne Vegetable Soup One of the best mommy cooks I know and can whip up a meal in a very small area (like a boat!)
Appetizer Andrew/Nadia Cheese Plate They know local artisan cheeses and always make a tasty plate for parties. Get on their guest list!
Salad Ted/Erin A giant green salad They will pick most of the vegetables from their garden. What is not available will be bought at the local farmer’s market. And I haven’t yet met the newest addition to their family.
Vegetable Suzanne Grilled Asparagus Buys her vegetables from the Granville Island Market and always adds a unique flavour and taste to her meals
Vegetable Debbie Potato Salad By now, she is probably growing her own potatoes in her new backyard. She is becoming a nutritionist and is a health conscious nut. Debbie and her husband are outdoor enthusiasts.
Bean Side Dish Brigitte Bean Casserole She knows how to make it and its yummy. Always has an ear for listening and is as funny as me.
Dessert Blake Chocolate Chip Cookies She makes the best cookies with whole wheat flour. She is actually one of the best bakers I know.
Protein Ravi/Cynthia That spicy meat dish from your wedding These two are awesome cooks and had the most awesome dish at their wedding (made by a relative but they have also made it). They are fit, athletic and great parents.

Theresa, your dad was right. I see that clearly with these lists. Every person I have listed here, and many more who have not been included due to space, have helped make me the person I am today. I try my hardest to surround myself with positive people who make me a better person. Whether it is your cooking, exercising, independence or sprit; each one of you have helped me along my path.

Already I know who I have not included (um, I think that delicious Carbonarra sauce is not the best item on this list and you know who you are) and I am sorry to others as well (um, the third gal on the 10 km Chocolate Run this summer or that friend who introduced me to Coconut Oil or those Chris Craft boat fanatics who we ate great meals with while at anchor or my pal who exercises every day). My friends are important to me, and help shape my world.

Thank you.



Heather Lochner is a mother to two wonderful and energetic children and a freelance writer. Together with her children, husband and dog, she has recently relocated to Toronto after spending 15 years on the West Coast – many of which were spent living aboard her sailboat. Heather loves to exercise but always finds a reason to sit on the couch. While she knows carrots, whole wheat pasta and lean meat are good to eat, Heather loves to munch on a burger, chicken wings and poutine. Heather loves to cook, but is notorious for ruining every batch of chocolate chip cookies. She looks forward to seeing what’s in the cards during this Ace journey....www.heatherlochner.com


10 Responses

    Theresa Albert
    March 30, 2011 at 5:02 am Reply

    This is my favorite change in the entire book! I would not have the courage, strength, knowledge, wherewithal, contacts, support…without my friends. Including you Heather!

    March 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm Reply

    So what time should I be there? And who cares about the food? – I’d be most excited to see you Heather. I miss you tons. Why don’t you just come out here to Cumberland and hang with us while you get your place done? Okay, okay – you probably have lots of answers to that “why”, but know your welcome anytime. I could introduce you all to our nightly frog symphony which you can enjoy while sitting under the canopy of stars.

    Love ya – Deb

    March 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm Reply

    And you need to add “being too hard on yourself” to that list.

    Thank you for including me in your ultimate dinner party list. It would be amazing to get all those amazing folks and fabulous dishes in one room.

    Ironic, isn’t it, that we met IRL at a farmers’ market?

    March 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm Reply

    Great post..here is one of my favorite relaxation, going to sleep techniques…try and figuring out what I would do with the $150 million that a nice stranger just left me. Who I would share it with and how (trust funds or cash/ how much of each etc.)…what charities I’d support…and if I’d move or stay put. After just finished having my place renovated, I think I’ll just stay put!

    March 30, 2011 at 7:53 pm Reply

    Another great blog entry. I love your coping strategies..Im going to count movie stars like George Clooney too. What a great idea. LOL.
    Cant wait to run a 10k with you.
    Sporting LIfe – May 1st?

    March 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm Reply

    Excellent! So I have some soup waiting here for ya!! We be off to Center Bay, hoping to get lots of crab and prawns!

    March 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm Reply

    Heather you rock! what a great post! i love how you think about your people, your connections, and how you count everything, that’s so cool! You keep moving your body, push yourself in all the ways your’re counting, and you’ll be living your dreams too. (^8 i’m honoured you thought of me and wrote about it.

    March 31, 2011 at 1:15 pm Reply

    I love how honest you are being, and I hope you know you are not alone in any of your struggles!! I’m honoured to be on this list.
    BTW you still need to share the black bean and kale recipe. Speaking of kale, at Pike Place we tried a kale caesar salad; sooooo good! I’ve also been chopping it up really fine and including it in pesto.
    Also, thought of you a couple of weeks back when we were up at Whistler. Peter’s dad came to babysit so Peter and I could ski (snowboard) together. My best snowboarding memories are with you up at Baker.

    March 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm Reply

    Gee I miss you! Wish that I could get my galley over there and cook for you while you’re doing your renos. I just got home from aa art residency where I was served delicious and healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners for a month! Sounds dangerous but I didn’t even have the urge to overeat. So my solution is to have a personal chef 24/7. Unfortunately John won’t step up to the plate! Good luck with the renos. xo C

    April 1, 2011 at 10:24 am Reply

    You are an inspiration – what a lovely way to look at how friends / family have shaped us in food. Wish we lived closer so that we could help out with a dinner or two. I know the kids would have a blast looking after Lucas and Aiden while you jack-hammer away! Still running – SunRun just a couple of weeks away, and the pounds are slowly but surely coming off.

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