Blog Posts by Lucy Danziger, True to my SELF, SELF Magazine

  • Making dinner with Giada De Laurentiis

    The truth is, I love a good pasta dish and especially all the cheese on top. So when SELF decided to put chef Giada De Laurentiis on our December cover, it was with the understanding that she would show us how to eat healthy and love every bite during this season, when it's more fun to pull on a big sweater and not worry about fitting in every cardio session. The holidays, after all, center around family and traditions, and more often than not that means food! Hearty, tasty, fattening and carb-a-licious food. Like pasta!

    Watch video of Lucy and Giada cooking a fantastic pasta dish here!

    Well, last month I met Giada in sunny So Cal, and she not only taught me how to make one of her easiest and freshest dishes, the Orecchiette with Mini-Chicken Meatballs you'll see here, but also to share her philosophy on pasta and eating in general. She believes in eating what you love but not overdoing it, and in focusing on fresh ingredients that pack a wallop of goodness in every bite.

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  • Investing in yourself and fitness should be recession proof

    I watched the NYC Marathon yesterday and was struck by how happy people looked running, even at mile 23 and during what is supposed to be the agony of the last half hour. And when I went swimming, for the third straight day, the gym was packed. In the pool, the lanes were so crowded that you had to circle and didn't even have half a lane to yourself. "Is the gym always this crowded?" a woman asked me as I left. I had to think about this, because she was right, there were people all over the place, on every machine, on every bike, in yoga class and each locker in the locker room seemed to have a lock on it. What, I wondered, was going on?
    The short answer is: People are investing in themselves. Investing time, mostly, but they're also establishing healthier habits. We can't control the markets, the war, the economy in general or the outcome of the election tomorrow, but we can do one thing: We can spend time taking care of ourselves. The stores may be empty, but the jogging paths, gyms

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  • My morning workout with Olympian Dara Torres


    At the gym... Andi Emerson, Dara, me and coach Robert, about to work out!

    I had the most unbelievable morning, and workout, with none other than Olympian Dara Torres. Turns out she is in NYC with Toyota to promote the "Engines of Change" program in which the car company supports athletes and their favorite charities--in her case helping college-aged women eat healthy and avoid disordered eating. They choose swimmers and triathletes, because they have the attitude that best matches the forward thinking of the company itself, plus commitment and great stamina.

    All of which pretty much describes Dara, who of course won two silver medals in Beijing and proved that at 42 years old, she is still the fastest American woman swimmer in the pool. Amazing! And she is getting faster. Dara explained that her times, which were just 1/100th of a second behind the winner, were faster than she had swum at the trials the month before, and faster than every other year she's competed. And

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  • I completed a triathlon with Jennifer Lopez!

    Just got back from Malibu. Sorry for not blogging over the weekend, but with two races, two parties, and a huge, enormously important, world-famous celebrity to worry about (I got off the plane to hear that Jennifer had injured her ankle and dropped out of judging Project Runway...hello, anxiety!), I have been very, very busy.

    Here is how it all went down, including details on the dramatic day that I'll never forget.

    Friday, I flew in and drove to the gorgeous hill town of Agoura and picked up my bike from the nice folks at Agoura Cycles, who had put it together for me. Then I drove on to the Pacific, where the Malibu Nautica Triathlon was being held--it's a two-day event that would culminate in the celebrity-packed race on Sunday.

    When I arrived at my hotel, the Malibu Beach Inn, the first thing I saw from my gorgeous balcony view were two black dolphins playing in the Pacific, about 100 yards past the surf line. This was a very good sign, an omen of good things to come.

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  • True to my SELF: I watched Jennifer Lopez train for a triathlon


    I've got a secret to share. This week, while everyone has been watching Michael Phelps and the gymnasts and all the Olympians inspire them, I got to watch Jennifer Lopez train for her first triathlon, up close and personal. To read all about her training and her reason for doing it, check back here at on Monday.

    Jennifer is a new mom, a busy working superstar singer/actress/entrepreneur, and yet she makes time to train and accomplish this new challenge, at a point in life when most women would use their downtime to nap and rest, since one new baby is often exhausting and here she is with twins. But it became clear, within about two minutes of biking in her wake, what makes SELF's Most Inspiring Woman of 2008 so amazingly inspiring. She has DETERMINATION! Plus she's nice, funny, quick-witted and warm. And her natural athleticism (she was a track star in school) has been reawakened by this new body goal. Jennifer is doing this challenging athletic endeavor to raise

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  • True to my SELF: How to stay motivated

    Another true confession: Sometimes I just don't want to get out of bed in the morning to fit in my workout.

    Sometimes I just want to sleep in, then make a pot of coffee and read the paper. Or I manage to strap on the sneakers but after two or three minutes of plodding along I don't feel like keeping going.

    This happened yesterday, Sunday, on what was supposed to be my long run. (Really the only one I have to do because I have no excuses on Sunday.) My body felt stiff and my knees wooden. My muscles didn't work the way they should and my body said let's just turn back and go have a nice cup of coffee on the couch. At that point I had zero motivation, but I have a ritual when this happens. I tell myself, "give it five more minutes" (for a total of seven) and then if it still doesn't feel good I get to stop and have a day off. I chalk it up to fatigue, or too much stress and too little sleep. And guess what? I usually do feel better within those five minutes, and my mind starts

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  • My new Massai Barefoot Technology Shoes!

    P1000905I have on these cute little weird little MBT shoes that I got shortly before my latest race. They are called MBT as in Massai Barefoot Technology, and they are designed to mimic the way the foot works when it has no shoe on. It literally rolls you forward as you walk, since the heel is basically missing, and instead the arch is the lowest point on the bottom of the sole, almost like walking on a rounded cheese cutter. Mine are cute because the uppers are a blue-gray suede mary jane, and the shoe overall is weird because it has a larger sole than top, at the thickest middle point.

    In any case they are getting me stopped on the street, or in Central Park as I walk my dog. An athlete asked if they really work, and by this I think he meant to ask if you really get a workout while wearing them, as the company touts. Now I have no idea if they lift or work my butt, but I do think they stretch out my hamstrings as I walk, and that's a good thing since I have fairly tight and tweaked

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  • True to my SELF: The triathlon sting of success


    Wow. It was the weirdest weekend. In a good way. I thought of this blog at mile 18 on the bike leg of the NYC Triathlon, when I realized I could possibly medal, if the next half of the race went well. And I thought about the stings I had already had to endure to get to here. And I thought about which one hurt and which ones didn't, and it was an amazing realization.

    The feared sting

    I'd been told you get out of the Hudson River and have black silt from the bottom all over your face so you look like you have a mustache (thereby ruining any photo ops or just plain making you look icky for what should be a great day). So I'd been told: "Go get a lip wax. You won't be sorry." Revelation: I had never HAD a lip wax, but on Thursday I found myself at Louis Licari for a hair treatment and there's a spa and on my way out I asked if they did this and lo and behold yes, the lovely Vera could see me now. I nearly panicked and ran for the elevator (had heard it's painful) but Read More »from True to my SELF: The triathlon sting of success
  • True to my SELF: I tried out the Olympic fast suit!


    Speedo, specifically our pal there, sent me a fast suit to try in honor of the Olympic trials and the fact that ALL the athletes, no matter who their sponsor, chose to wear the incredible sharkskin that was designed to minimize drag and make times faster in the water.

    I had heard and read and was warned that it takes three people and 20 minutes just to get into the thing. Pull with a nail exposed and you could tear it-the trick was to inch it up from the ankles. Though it doesn't provide buoyancy like a wet suit, it does provide added sleekness. Getting it on wasn't quite a 20-minute drill, but at one point the crotch ended up too low on my thigh and the armholes looked like some kind of porno cutouts (near the chest, not the shoulder, if you get my drift), and I had to start all over again. Once I got it on all the way, arms in the armholes, shoulders around neck, I felt OK...until I needed help zipping it up. My hubby obliged, and when I was finally plastered into it, I

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  • True to my SELF: Dara Torres and me


    Here we are, old together. Actually I am old. She, somehow, at 41, is young. How? I have read her reports about having more than one coach (in fact a head coach, like a general contractor, a speed coach, a strength coach), plus two masseuses and two stretch people, a nanny, and various family and friends to support her. And you know what? I need to grow my entourage! I have a coach, but unfortunately can't afford all those other people, and only get the most occasional massage, when I am too stiff to move or sleep. But on the whole I have a village around me of supporters who help me stay motivated and happy and healthy and balanced. And my goal isn't to try to make some kind of Olympic team, like Dara, but to stave off the aging process and try to stay young and fit for as long as humanly possible. This photo, of me and Dara, was taken at the Miami South Beach Triathlon last April, where she was doing the swim leg and I was doing the whole thing. I was stunned at how gorgeous and

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