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Former Ben-Gal’s New Cook Book

Brooke Griffin Skinny SuppersCreating healthy family meals as a parent on the go
Fox2now (St. Louis)
March 24, 2016

ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI)- A former NFL cheerleader and Fitness Universe champion has developed a book for light and healthy meals for families and those constantly on the move.

[Watch the video]

Brooke Griffin has written the book “Skinny Suppers: 125 lightened up, healthier meals for your family” in the hopes of creating simple recipes that are also waist-friendly and tasty. Most of the meals in the book are under 350 calories per serving.

Griffin’s website, SkinnyMom.com features pages of healthy recipes and articles for healthier living. During her time in the NFL, Griffin was a cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals.

All recipes in the book feature ingredients that are quick to prepare, making it easier for busy parents to create healthy dishes for their families.

Sample of dishes appearing in the book:

Blackened fish la torta
Cajun fresco chicken pasta
Skinny broccoli salad with Sargento cheese
Spicy cashew pork stir-fry over Uncle Ben’s Rice

Sasha sidebar: The book is also available on Amazon. Brooke was a Ben-Gal 2006-09, and won Miss Fitness Universe in 2009.

Brooke Johnson

Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Signs with VIP Ink Publishing

VIP Ink Publishing
April 8, 2015

Former New Orleans Saintsation, New Orleans Hornets Honeybee, and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Deryn Derbigny has signed with VIP Ink Publishing to tell her story of overcoming the obstacles she faced in achieving her success as a professional dancer. Her story is one of perseverance and is an encouragement to many.


Deryn is a 32-year-old native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She has spent countless years polishing her skills as a professional dancer. As a five-year member of the New Orleans Saintsations, she was chosen to represent the team as a Pro-Bowl Cheerleader. After losing everything and being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, she continued her professional cheer-leading career as a member of the World Renowned Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. As a member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, she was afforded the opportunity to tour overseas in the team’s elite show group.
Deryn has proven her diversity in the NBA as a member of the New Orleans Hornets Honeybees.

As a child of a single parent household, she has faced all challenges head on and prevailed. At no point did she allow herself to become a victim of her circumstances. Deryn has gone on to become a loving mother of two children and a professional entrepreneur. She is now the owner and part owner of several up and coming businesses.

Deryn and VIP Ink Publishing will be working together to publish her book in the near future.

Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader Launches New Memoir

viewSome of the greatest football fans in the world purchase seats on the fifty-yard line, but only a select few actually have the privilege of touching the turf. Brandi Jones does not have to imagine standing four quarters on the sidelines of a football game: she was a professional cheerleader in the NFL.

Jones shares a unique perspective from the fifty-yard line as she offers an intriguing look into a professional cheerleader’s role on game day. Jones, who started cheerleading at a young age, leads others through her personal journey as she discovered a love for cheering, trained and prepared for the game like an athlete, and fiercely competed for spots on squads. While demonstrating that cheerleading is not really all about hair and makeup, Jones highlights behind-the-scenes realities as she details grueling practices, promotional appearances, and skill requirements, proving that inner strength and grit determine whether a cheerleader succeeds or not.

The View from the Fifty-Yard Line shares a former NFL cheerleader’s take on the successes and failures, ups and downs, and glory and pain she experienced while cheering for some of the greatest football teams ever.

[The View From The Fifty-Yard Line at amazon.com]

Former Energee! Director Pens New Book

By By Gery Woelfel
The Journal-Times

If you had ever arrived early for a Milwaukee Bucks game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center over the last couple of decades, you couldn’t help but notice Lois Koepke.

She was constantly moving about the court, showing the intensity and fire reminiscent of a coach. In fact, she was a coach, although her official title was director of Energee!, the highly-energetic, highly entertaining dance team for the Bucks.

For 22 years before her departure two years ago, Koepke was the heart and soul behind Energee! Her almost-obsessive attention to detail and her incessant quest for perfection transformed Energee! into one of the premier dance groups in sports.

Suffice to say, Koepke has tales to tell about her life and times as the director of Energee! She’ll be sharing some of her better ones, not to mention some of her juicier ones, in a forthcoming book titled: “Lady of the Court: Behind the Scenes of NBA Entertainment.”

“I started working on this book about two years ago,” Koepke said. “People have always asked me about what was going on behind the scenes, what were our rules. I’ve been asked a whole bunch of questions and I talk about them and answer them in the book.

“I think this is an informative book; I think it’s an honest book. If you’re an NBA fan, you would be interested in reading this book. Even if you’re an average fan, in any sport, and don’t know the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, you’d be interested in this book.”

Koepke’s book touches on an array of subjects, from how dancers are selected to her strict stance on prohibiting dancers from dating NBA players — and the repercussions if they did — to delicate business and entertainment matters.

Working for a high-profile business like the NBA has its share of peaks, like meeting with the industry’s stars, and valleys, like having confrontational clashes over organizational decisions.

Koepke is quick to note much of her time working in conjunction with the Bucks and the NBA was memorable and favorable. But she also candidly concedes there were times that weren’t so pleasant.

She brings those encounters to light in the book as well.

“Ninety-five percent of the people (in the Bucks organization) were awesome to work with,” Koepke said. “I never had any issues with the majority of people there. Most of the issues that came up were handled fairly.

“At the same time, there were two big events that happened, two events that changed the court of my career and I had to write about them.”

Koepke noted how one of those events pertained to an injury suffered by one of her dancers while at practice. She didn’t divulge the other incident.

Koepke’s book is bound to draw instant attention. Just a glance at the provocative cover will arouse curiosity. It shows the back legs of a woman in nylons and cherry-red pumps with a basketball next to her.

“There are only 30 of us (dance directors in the NBA); it’s a small community,” Koepke said. “But there’s never been a book written about it. Obviously, this is from my perspective. It’s about passion, about dreams that come true and it’s about disappointment.

“I will say this: I don’t know if the Bucks organization will be happy with it or not. But I’m OK with that. What I wrote is truthful.”

[Lady of the Court at Tate Publishing]

Former Raiderette Writes Memoir

Susie Sanchez, Former Oakland Raiderette Cheerleader, Released Her First Book. “The Dream Lived” Is a Memoir That Reminds Us to Shoot for the Moon and Reach for the Stars

The Dream Lived is a story about hope and determination.. never giving up and living your dream.

New book “The Dream Lived” from Page Publishing author Susie Sanchez describes how, defying all odds, Sanchez, a lifelong dancer, perseveres through the trials and tribulations of balancing family life with dance life as she dreams of performing on a grander scale. Whether she’s teaching dance to neighborhood children, helping raise her granddaughter, or achieving success as a Professional Cheerleader in the NFL, Sanchez embraces each and every experience, and aspires to positively impact everyone she meets throughout her incredible journey.

“I would describe my book as heartfelt, emotional, inspirational and real. I would describe its message as powerful, motivating and attainable.” Susie Sanchez’s poignant tale provides a window into the life of a woman who would not be deterred from realizing her dreams. Through heartbreak and hardship she persisted to reach her pinnacle of achievement.

Susie Sanchez is a devoted wife, mother and a grandmother. In 2010, Susie became a member of the San Jose Wolves (American Indoor Football) dance team – The She Wolves. However, she is best known for her venture dancing as a professional cheerleader in the NFL during the 2011-2012 season for the Oakland Raiders as a Raiderette. Featured in numerous media, network and Internet outlets, Susie captured the attention of many on a national level in her pursuit of living her dream. Named by FoxSports.com as one of 15 Sports Mothers we salute on Mother’s Day 2013, she continues to inspire others with her determination, passion and commitment.

Readers who wish to experience this inspirational memoir can purchase “The Dream Lived” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play or Barnes and Noble.

Former NFL Cheerleader Shares Keys to ‘Vibrant Living’

From 9News.com


Molly Shattuck was a 38-year-old mother of three when she picked up her poms for the Baltimore Ravens, making her the oldest cheerleader in NFL history. Her “Vibrant Living” offers a 21-day plan to “transform your body, burst with energy and live your life with purpose.”

The rules she created are based on decades of careful study – of herself.

“My experience comes from my years of living,” says Shattuck.

When she retired a few years back, she took everything she learned from her time in training and created a program for wellness. She now crisscrosses the country leading workshops and teaching people how to live better. Her book is based on the premise that we are all a product of our decisions, not just our DNA.

One fundamental: water.

“Water is the wonder drug,” says Shattuck, who realized the power of hydration after the birth of her first child. The more water she drank, the more milk she produced and the faster she lost the 50 pounds she’d gained during the pregnancy.

Her recommendation for people trying her program? Drink at least 90 ounces a day. The first 30 should come within 40 minutes of waking up, and before eating breakfast. Finish the second 30 before lunch, and the final 30 before dinner.

“You’ll be so much more awake, and it keeps you from overeating,” Shattuck says.

That’ll help you stick with her 21-day meal plan, which limits processed foods and loads up on fruits and veggies. And when you want to splurge? Just have a little.

“Put seven french fries on the plate, chew them slowly and enjoy it,” Shattuck says. Then, “walk away, drink water, brush your teeth and be done with it.”

You can balance out any extra calories by embracing Shattuck’s strategy of exercising daily. When it comes to what to do, Shattuck is open to any activity – and the more you can mix it up, the better.

She recommends copying her every-other-day pushup routine, which she credits for keeping her stomach taut. (“I’d heard of an NFL player who didn’t lift any weights and became muscular from push-ups. I decided, ‘I’m going to try that.’ Now I’m 100 percent convinced,” Shattuck says.)

In her book, she offers 21 days of workouts. On top of that, she tacks on an additional daily “knockout move,” such as leg lifts and lunges. Get up during commercial breaks when you’re watching TV to check those off your list, Shattuck suggests.

Besides the many other reasons why sitting is bad for you, Shattuck is convinced that pressure on your rear end can make it get wider.

The last piece of her plan: “living for others” – by volunteering in a soup kitchen, reading books to the elderly or finding another way to help out in your community. Shattuck says it has a real impact on how you feel.

“I know it doesn’t sound as important as exercise, but it elevates your spirit and mood,” says Shattuck.


The winning formula: Pro cheer’s Wynne Lacey has written a new book, An Enlightened Cheerleader

Wynne Lacey, long associated with professional cheerleading both as a director and NBA dancer herself, has now written a book geared towards women who have been, currently are, or aspire to be in industries like pro cheer, where outer appearance is a major factor in determining success. As an author, Wynne explains her simple Life Formula designed to help any woman understand what it really means to be the’ Total Package.’ Wynne’s book is entitled An Enlightened Cheerleader: Volume 1: A Journey to Self-Mastery.

Wynne danced in the NBA with both Chicago (four years) and Milwaukee (one year). Wynne also danced/captained for the AFL’s Chicago Rush dancers before becoming a professional director of her own teams. Wynne’s most visible directorship is with the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew (2003 to present), in addition to directing the Chicago Soul FC Dancers and Promotional Outreach Team, Chicago Slaughter Indoor Football Dancers, the Adrenaline Rush Dancers, and Chicago White Sox Pride Crew. Also, in 2011, Wynne completed her professional Life Coach training.

Pro dancer, choreographer, captain, and dance coach Katie Knepler says about Wynne’s An Enlightened Cheerleader:

“Those who know me well know that I am not one to promote a book, because they rarely appeal or engage me so. But this, my new bedside bible, is now a stable foundation for the life I wish for myself. Wynne Lacey, for those who know her, has spent many a year in the public eye and has observed females in the professional world. Her reflections noted in this book are life changing. Being one who has been in the spotlight as a pro dancer, this book opens your eyes to what lies beneath all the glitz and glamour. What I never took into account was myself, and what my inner self was and truly meant. Even through years of working with Wynne and hearing some of her values and wishes for her teams and women alike, her words really drive it home in this book. I, after reading this, have the drive to find the pure joy in my inner self. I want people to know me for my soul and beauty in the inside, not just the outer beauty that pro dancers are known to hold and maintain. I want to thrive, not just survive. This book is a guiding light… Not just for women in the spotlight, but for all women! It’s an honor to know this wonderful woman, as she has been a role model, sister, coach, and wonderful friend in my life that truly anyone’s life would be enriched to be in her presence. Her book itself is the inner cheerleader that will give support to that woman out there that is buried beneath all the false beliefs of beauty and lack of identity and confidence. Every woman should read this book.”

Wynne shared with UltimateCheerleaders her goals in writing An Enlightened Cheerleader, her writing process, and what we can gain from a life coach:

Wynne Lacey (right) at her first book book signing, with her friend and fellow author Nicole Knepper

UltimateCheerleaders: Wynne, what prompted you to write your book?

Wynne: I have been writing and researching for many years. But to actually publish a book and get it out in the public, it took a couple years of me as a certified life coach and seeing how this process was positively impacting other women. It took me a while (and a good editor) to finally take the leap to share with others in a way that wasn’t one-on-one but through writing.

-Who would you say the target readership is?

Any female who currently is, aspires to be, or is retired from industries (like professional cheerleading and pageants) where their outward appearance is a major factor in determining their success.

-Your book’s cover art contains a key, butterfly, amidst other graphics; tell me about the artwork’s inspiration, meaning, and your role in its design.

My sister (Fairel Rank of Fairel Anne Designs) designed this graphic and it contains my three favorite symbols. I believe the KEY to unlocking our potential is to embrace our feminine traits (FLEUR DE LIS) that honor cooperation over competition and will also show us the way out of our self-imposed cocoons into becoming the rest of her story – the BUTTERFLY!

-Do you think the current generation of young women has new, unique challenges as they try to advance in their own journey to its optimum goals?

I think we actually have unique ADVANTAGES right now instead of the challenges of the past. At this point in time women have more power over their lives than they ever had. I believe that if we started to follow our own feminine design, one of cooperation, nurturing and support and stopped following the old masculine rules of getting ahead, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.

-Is there a young woman that is memorable to you who took the concepts that you teach that allowed her to achieve the next level of success?

Katie Knepler is a great example! She is leading a small team at North Park College who just won their dance competition because Katie doesn’t give up on ANYBODY! She embraces her heart-space and uses it to help others advance.

-What was your writing process? What did you learn about yourself as you put your thoughts in writing, and do you have any advice for new writers?

I did two things at once – journaling about my own experiences and researching other works to help find answers to what I was asking about in my own life. I have been writing for many years….and it is true therapy! I would have a hard time giving advice about writing since mine was so personal. I think I would want people to understand that this book of 100 pages was 1000 pages at one time and I pared it down to make it enjoyable to read. Someone once told me that “people don’t have to know everything I know, just what would be useful to them.”

-Describe what a life coach does and what types of people that it would be beneficial to have a life coach?

The best way to describe a Life Coach in my opinion is to compare them to a therapist. A therapist takes a person from dysfunctional to functional. A Life Coach takes you from functional to optimal. Everyone could benefit from a Life Coach the same way as a sports coach…having someone who knows what you can do, wants you to constantly strive for your best and doesn’t let you fall short of your goals. If the whole world strived for greatness in their personal life, we would be at a very different and higher level of collective consciousness.

-Where were you born and where did you grow up? What is the derivation of a very appropriate first name, Wynne?

Born in Wheaton/Winfield area and grew up in Naperville, Illinois. That is my full name – Wynne. And it’s funny – every team that I directed a pro team for (White Sox, Slaughter, Rush, Hawks) won their championship while I was there! I am a good luck charm!

-Who were particularly influential in unofficially ”life coaching” you as you grew up?

As I grew up I didn’t have any “life coaching” mentors that really guided my life. I think that is why I longed so much for the support as an adult and want to be a “personal cheerleader” for others.

-Tell me about your dance journey…when did you start dance and the “steps” (as it were) that you took prior to trying out for the NBA?

I didn’t remotely consider dancing until I was in high school. I didn’t make my volleyball team. My brother told me that to be popular I should do cheerleading or poms…so I did! I became captain of the Naperville Central Arrowettes. After a brief try at college Rugby, I went back to dancing as an Illinette at the University of Illinois. Then after graduate school I tried out for the Luvabulls and didn’t make it. I went up to Milwaukee to dance for Energee! and loved it. The commute was tough so I went back to audition for the Luvabulls and stayed there as a captain for three of the four years. Dancing for me has been a way to use my athletic ability and create friendships…not the traditional creative outlet so many dancers find through dancing.

-What are your favorite memories of your time dancing in the NBA?

For sure I have some hilarious memories of being on an NBA dance team. The best memories were creating inside jokes among some of my closest team mates that you would not remotely find funny because you had to be there to experience our weird senses of humor! I think traveling to Amsterdam for the Holland Basketball Tournament created the most sleep-deprived humor that we still joke about to this day.

Continue reading The winning formula: Pro cheer’s Wynne Lacey has written a new book, An Enlightened Cheerleader

Professional Cheerleading Audition Secrets – Free Ebook Thru Wednesday

Subtitled: How To Become an Arena Cheerleader for NFL®, NBA®, and Other Pro Cheer Teams, this just published book is being made available as a free ebook from Amazon.com for the next three days. And no you don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can use the Amazon app for your smartphone or tablet. You can even download and read it on your PC or Mac.

Flavia Berys is an experienced judge and organizer for professional cheerleading auditions worldwide. The Wall Street Journal, Fox 6 San Diego, KFMB Channel 8 San Diego, Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Woman’s Digest, The La Jolla Light and other media have featured stories about Flavia’s involvement in the world of dance and cheerleading. Her 20-year involvement in the sport includes three years as a UCLA Cheerleader, five years as an instructor for the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), and two years cheering professionally for the NFL as a San Diego Charger Girl before taking her cheerleading career behind the scenes.

[Professional Cheerleading Auditions Secrets on Amazon.com]


What I Learned Half Naked: Tales of a Pro Cheerleader

Leslie Shaw-Hatchard shares the full experience of being a professional cheerleader in Texas. For the first time ever she honestly reveals a hidden and sometimes questionable side of cheerleading. The book is titled “What I Learned Half Naked: Tales of a Pro Cheerleader” as it documents the many lessons Leslie learned in uniform during her cheerleading journey. The book reflects good and bad times spent working as a cheerleader, choreographer, assistant director and director. Leslie was privileged to spend time working with the Dallas Mavs, the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Burn, the Coca-Cola Cheer team and the Dallas Sidekicks.

Leslie has spent the last 19 years performing and teaching dance throughout the U. S. as well as France, Germany and Switzerland. Her dance training began at the age of 5, and has since developed into a professional career, with such credits as performing for the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Soccer League and the Major Indoor Soccer League. Leslie’s involvement with professional sports began in 1990 when she was selected as one of 36 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders from a field of over 300. In 1991, Leslie began dancing for NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and she continued entertaining basketball fans as a Dallas Mavericks Dancer for the next five years, receiving recognition in 1996 as the Dallas Mavericks Dancers’ Veteran of the Year and Dancer with the Most Positive Influence. In 1997, Leslie joined the dance team for the Dallas Burn, Dallas’s outdoor soccer team. She most recently was the founding Director for the NBA D-League Texas Legends Dance Team in Frisco, TX in 2010. For eleven years Leslie was the Company Director at the Broadway Dance Center in Garland, Texas. She regularly choreographs award winning routines throughout Texas and the U. S. She often serves as a guest instructor and professional adjudicator for Marching Auxiliaries Dance, Crowd Pleasers drill team organization, and Halftime Entertainment (HTE). Leslie has been married for 15 years and resides in McKinney, Texas. She teaches full time as a dance instructor at Power House of Dance and is currently the Cheer Power Director in Frisco. Leslie is also the proud mother of 11 year old daughter, Kennedy and 13 year old daughter, Madison. Leslie recently completed writing her first book and is looking forward to its release.


Ivy Leaguer, PhD, Author, NBA Dancer

After earning a BA (summa cum laude) in History and English from York University (1998),  Theresa Runstedtler spent a few years working as a professional dancer, model, and actress in Toronto, Canada. She had already been performing professionally since her junior year in college, splitting her time between studies as a scholarship student, dancing  for the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak and other freelance gigs. She says it was such an interesting time to be a part of the scene in “Hollywood North.”

Although she loved the creative energy and camaraderie of working with other performers, Theresa decided to go back to school for radio and television production at Ryerson University in the hopes of establishing a more lucrative and “legitimate” career on the other side of the camera. (Her parents and former professors were very skeptical about my work as an entertainer, so she was searching for something more “respectable” to make them proud.) However, realizing that she lacked the passion for media production, she dropped out of Ryerson and spent a year working in the public relations department of what was then CTV Sportsnet (now Rogers Sportsnet).

Still in search of her dream job, Theresa left Canada in 2001 and returned to school, earning a PhD in African American studies and History from Yale University. During her grad school years, she was a proud member of GESO. Since 2007 Theresa has  been an Assistant Professor of American studies at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). For the 2011-2012 academic year she will be a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

And now she’s  the author of a new book:

Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line

In his day, Jack Johnson–born in Texas, the son of former slaves–was the most famous black man on the planet. As the first African American World Heavyweight Champion (1908-1915), he publicly challenged white supremacy at home and abroad, enjoying the same audacious lifestyle of conspicuous consumption, masculine bravado, and interracial love wherever he traveled. Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner provides the first in-depth exploration of Johnson’s battles against the color line in places as far-flung as Sydney, London, Cape Town, Paris, Havana, and Mexico City. In relating this dramatic story, Theresa Runstedtler constructs a global history of race, gender, and empire in the early twentieth century.


[Theresa on Twitter]

Mediterranean Cookbook a Tribute to Author’s Grandmother

By Monica Villar

Vero Beach will get a taste of easy Mediterranean recipes when a South Florida native introduces the Treasure Coast to her new cookbook, “Nahima’s Hands: Unique Mediterranean Cuisine.”

Andrea Cassell, 55, will sign copies of the book and let guests taste her favorite dishes at the Vero Beach Book Center on July 16.

Cassell, who lives with her husband in Wichita, Kan., said the book was inspired by her grandmother Nahima Albert, a Syrian immigrant who raised her and taught her how to make most of the recipes in the book. After Cassell’s mother went back to work as a first-grade teacher, her grandmother took care of her.

“She would prepare food for my mom when she got home from work, and from watching my grandmother cook, I captured all that love and giving from an early age,” said Cassell, a mother of four. “She was extraordinary. She was 101 years old and was never on medication, never colored her hair and always had a smile on her face.”

Nahima was born Sept. 21, 1908. In a time of arranged marriages, she was matched at age 15 with her husband Antonio, and they were married in 1926. They moved to a number of countries and ended up in Miami, where they owned Tony’s Curb Market.

“I remember going to my grandparents’s grocery store as a kid and knowing and chatting with all the employees. I think that’s where I formed my outgoing personality and love for people and for food,” said Cassell, who was a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader in the early 1970s.

Mrs. Tony, as neighborhood residents often called Nahima, died in 2009. Cassell wrote the book to capture the memory of her grandmother, using what she learned from Nahima to create recipes to fill out the book.

“It’s an easy cookbook with easy ingredients,” Cassell said. “All the recipes in the book are Mediterranean and healthy. Nothing is fried.”

Creating the recipes was easy; writing them down was difficult for Cassell.

“I’m not used to cooking with measurements so I had to make everything five or six times to make it work,” she said.

The book features appetizers, salads, dressings and marinades, soups and stews, grains and legumes, vegetable dishes, meat dishes, dessert and breads. There’s also a slow cooker section and wine pairings to go along with many of the dishes.

But the book is about more than just good food to Cassell.

“When you have someone who passed away, the memory can last forever,” Cassell said. “But how many people can hold that memory in their hands every day? I hold my grandmother in my hands every day with my book, so I can never forget her.”


Serves 10 or more


1 16-ounce jar grape leaves

1½ pounds ground sirloin or chuck

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

10 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup rice, washed and drained

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup lemon juice

4 large tomatoes, finely diced


1 In a large bowl, combine meat, rice, garlic, salt, pepper, tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix well.

2 Lay grape leaves on a plate smooth side down; cut stems. Place leaves one at a time on a flat surface. Spread with 1 tablespoon of mixture. Fold sides in and roll leaf very tightly. Repeat method until all leaves are rolled.

3 Left-over leaves can be used to line the bottom of your pan. Line rolled grape leaves in pan side by side. Cover the bottom.

4 Place second row in the opposite direction. Cover with a heavy plate to keep them in place while cooking. Add water to cover the plate. Contemporary method: Use chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor. Bring to a boil.

5 Cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes until rice is done. Remove plate. Pour lemon juice over leaves.

6 Cool 5-10 minutes, then remove leaves gently to avoid breakage. Place on platter and garnish with sliced lemons.


Serves 6


¾ cup fine bulgur wheat

¾ cup finely chopped green onions

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped (optional)

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 cup diced cucumber

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Black olives to garnish


1 Place bulgur wheat in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Drain excess water if necessary.

2 Mix wheat with onion. Add mint, parsley, tomato, cucumber, seasonings, oil and lemon juice. Tabbouleh should have a distinctive lemony flavor.

3 Serve chilled and decorated with black olives. Tabbouleh is eaten scooped up in bread or, more traditionally, in fresh lettuce leaves.


Former Raiderette’s Children’s Book Wins 5-Star Rating

Alise Cayen is currently an award-winning English Teacher, Dance teacher and Police Academy Magnet Coordinator at Reseda High School in Southern California.

This multi-faceted, multi-talented woman is also a former model, pageant queen, and a former professional cheerleader for the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders. In addition to teaching, Alise is an established television producer. Her first book, entitled Patty Pom-Poms, was released in the summer of 2009, and recently won a 5-star rating by the Readers’ Favorite Awards.

[Patty Pom-Poms at Readers Favorites]


Former Dolphins Cheerleader’s Memoir to be Released Next Week

Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey from NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer by Mireya Mayor with a foreword by Jane Goodall (National Geographic, $26)

Anyone who thinks it is impossible to reinvent themselves and dramatically change courses should put this book at the top of their reading list.

Miraya Mayor was a former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader. She added Fulbright scholar, National Science Foundation Fellow, and two-time Emmy Award-nominated television producer to her resume. One of her biggest challenges, however, was when she emerged as a National Geographic Explorer.

Mireya grew up in a home that was controlled by an overprotective Cuban immigrant mother, a woman who even barred 7-year-old Mireya from joining the Girl Scouts since she felt camping would be “far too dangerous.” After graduating from high school, the young woman became an actress, then a slot as a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader. Her passion for animals prompted her to take an anthropology class in college which led to work that established her as a renowned primatologist and eventual quintessential explorer. From swimming with white sharks to tracking gorillas in the Congo, her life has been anything but dull. Her new book documents her unrelenting determination, incredible sense of adventure and fierce love for animals. “Pink Boots and a Machete” is informative, exciting, and just the ticket for animal lovers and armchair adventurers.

[Pink Boots and a Machette at Amazon.com]

Former NFL/NBA Dancer Publishes Book Half-Time Highlights


Dance studio and retail owner, Ashley Worrell, published her book, Half-Time Highlights: A Guide to Dancing in the NBA/NFL in April 2010. A native of Kansas City, and a graduate of Missouri Western State University, Ashley has been dancing since the age of three. Her studies have included tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, drill/pom, and social/partner dancing. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Commercial/Private Business, she moved to Dallas to pursue training and a career in dance. Her professional experience includes dancing for NBA teams, such as the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs, as well as her hometown NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs. Now that she has been a dance studio owner for several years, her goal was to publish a reference guide for dancers wanting to dance in the NBA and NFL. “When I began the audition process, I was clueless. At the time, there was nothing to reference or help me along the journey. I hope this book will help others realize the dedication it takes to dance at that level and motivate them to achieve their goals.”


For more information on Half-Time Highlights, visit Half-TimeHighlights.com

Also available at Amazon.com.

Mom, Published Author and Former NFL Cheerleader Miranda Lobs of Allamuchy has Many Facets

By Sheila Abrams
The Warren Reporter

mirandaMiranda Lobs wears many hats. First and foremost, the energetic resident of the Panther Valley community is a wife and a proud stay-at-home mom to three young children.

But demanding as that job is, she doesn’t stop there. She is a psychologist. She is a dancer, She is a former NFL Cheerleader. And, most recently, she has added to her resume the title of published author.

Lobs, a native of Florida, is the author of “What No One Ever Told Me About Motherhood,:” published in 2009 by Tate Publishing. The 148-page paperback is a breezy, light and amusing look at the female side of parenting, from a viewpoint which is also honest, sometimes painfully so.

“I don’t want to scare people,” Lobs said in a recent interview. “But there are things even your best friends don’t tell you beforehand. “

Lobs’ research for the book began with an email survey of friends and acquaintances, asking the question, “What did no one ever tell you about motherhood?” Some of the answers she received are quoted in the book. She also kept a journal during her early days as a stay-at-home mom, and the book ultimately evolved. It was her second book. The first, written while she was still in college and is thus far unpublished, is about dating and relationships.

“Before you have kids,” Lobs said, “you know everything – or at least you think you do. You see other parents with their kids misbehaving in public and you say, ‘That’s never going to be me. My kids will never behave like that.’ And then you have kids and one day you realize that everything is not in your control. Motherhood is nothing if not unpredictable.”

The book includes chapters dealing with becoming a parent, the early days of parenthood, which may not match the idyllic storybook image a new mother has, and then the nitty-gritty of dealing with having young children. A light and amusing book, it looks at issues not from the perspective of the professional, handing down advice from on high, but from that of the real live woman who is living with those issues every day. Practical, realistic and comfortable, it may be very reassuring to the young mother who thinks she’s the only one with these problems. It’s also an amusing look back for someone who has been there herself.

Lobs earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Florida, with a major in psychology. Subsequently she earned a Master of Arts with the same major. After college, she worked as a psychologist, conducting psychological testing for clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry.

A dancer from early childhood, Lobs had taught dance since the age of 16, and was a member of a prize-winning competitive dance team while at college. While working in the field of psychological testing, she decided to try out to become a Cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins football team. Her husband, Josh, was particularly supportive of her efforts because becoming a  Cheerleader would give her access to tickets to Dolphins games.

Out of about 600 women who tried out, Lobs was one of the 40 who were selected. Out of those 40, she eventually became one of 16 who toured as an elite show squad. She enjoyed the experience but resigned after a year, when she learned that she was expecting her first child, Joshua, who is now six.

The Lobs family moved to New Jersey in December 2006, where Josh works for Novartis, a pharmaceuticals firm. Along with Joshua, the household includes Jonathan, 4, and Julia, 2. Lobs’s book speaks honestly about her problems with conceiving her first child, and the surprising ease with which she conceived her younger two, as a caveat to young mothers.not to take anything for granted.

In addition to raising her children, Lobs works as a dance director for the New Jersey Football Classic cheerleading squad. She also continues to write. Information about purchasing ““What No One Ever Told Me About Motherhood” can be found at the website www.mirandalobs.com or at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore.