Jennifer Hudson book signing at Lincoln Park Barnes & Noble

She’s gonna tell you

This almost came and went under the radar. Oscar-winning actress and Grammy-winning singer Jennifer Hudson can now add author to her resume. She comes to Dallas to sign copies of her newest inspirational book I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down at the Barnes and Noble store in Lincoln Park. The memoir details her loss of over 80 lbs. and learning to adhere to a new healthy lifestyle. Sounds just like the right book for the new year.

Just so you know, the store has special instructions. From Barnes and Noble.

Wristbands: 9:00 am, January 19 — Present B&N receipt for I Got This for band to save your place in line. One band per person. Ms. Hudson will sign I Got This and CDs purchased at the event only. Limit two books and two CDs per customer. No books or CDs from home allowed. No personalization, no pos.

DEETS: Barnes and Noble, Lincoln Park, 7700 W. Northwest Hwy., Ste. 300. 7 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez

Dynamic duo

For partners Jeff Duffey and Matt Maynard, working out is just part of the life cycle


RACKET, CLUB | Jeff Duffey, left, is a tennis fanatic and his partner Matt Maynard, right, enjoys golf, but both enjoy training together as they did for the MS 150 Bike Ride earlier this year. (Arnold Wayne Jones/ Dallas Voice)

Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way. Or in the case of this month’s dynamic duo, it’s more like four wheels to get the job done. Although golf, tennis and running factor into their weekly workout routines, it’s lengthy bike rides (78 miles and counting to date) that really help partners Matt Maynard and Jeff Duffey to keep their healthy lifestyle in high gear.

— Jef Tingley

Names and ages: Matt Maynard, 37, and Jeff Duffey, 33. (Together 10 years.)

Occupations: Maynard: owner & founder of Discount Sport Nutrition and; Duffey: real estate broker and owner, Jeff Duffey & Associates.

What sports and physical activities do you both participate in?  Biking, running, tennis, volleyball and golf.

Exercise regime:  Maynard: Running or biking at least three times a week is my goal. If I am training for a race or ride, I try to make it four times a week.
Duffey: I play tennis three to four times a week. Otherwise, I try to bike or run a couple times a week.

Most memorable athletic accomplishment:  Maynard: A year ago, I played in a high-profile charity golf tournament in San Diego and my team won first place. The prize was two, first-class tickets to Europe. It was Jeff’s first time to visit Europe, so that meant a lot to me.

Duffey: I have a few. Back in 2003, my men’s tennis league finished first in Texas and we went on to play in the National Tournament in Tucson — it was a great experience. Completing a 78-mile bike ride with Matt and several of our friends at last year’s MS 150 Bike Ride was pretty awesome as well.

Workout preference: mornings or evenings?  Maynard: Mornings.

Duffey: I wish I could work out in the mornings, but I gave up on trying to be a morning person a long time ago. I’d much rather go to the gym at 10 p.m. to run five miles than force myself out of bed at 6 a.m.

And words of advice for people trying to work fitness into their life?  Maynard: Do it in the mornings and get it out of the way. Most people get tired as the day goes on and other things can come up allowing you to make excuses for not working out. Getting on a good supplement program can definitely help you reach your goals faster.

Duffey: I’m probably not the best person to tell people they need to make fitness a priority in their life, since I’m one of those people who is guilty of finding excuses not to go to the gym or workout. But you really do have to treat fitness as you would a social engagement or business appointment. It helps that with tennis, biking and golfing there is usually someone else there to keep you accountable.

If you could become an Olympian in any sport, what would it be and why?  Maynard: Curling, just because it looks fun!
Duffey: Playing tennis is an obvious answer for me, but I’ve secretly always wanted to be a gymnast. But I’m 6-foot-3, and being tall isn’t exactly a great quality to have in gymnastics.

Do you have a favorite song or playlist for working out?  Duffey: I’m sure if you heard some of the playlists I run or bike to you wouldn’t know what to think about me. For the most part, I like pop and hip-hop, but you just never know when an awesome rock ballad or Tupac song might show up.

Which celebrity or athlete’s physique would you like to have and why?  Duffey: It bothers me a little that he’s less than six feet tall, but you can’t get much more athletically and aesthetically perfect than David Beckham, although I do think Michael Phelps has a superior physique. So, yeah. Put David Beckham’s head on Michael Phelps’ 6-foot-4 frame and that’s pretty much perfection in my book.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 25, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Dynamic DUO

Whether running in the Turkey Trot or going for a swim, husbands Enrique McGregor and Mark Niermann make marriage (and exercise) look easy


TAKING THE PLUNGE | McGregor, left, and Niermann have been together 15 years, marrying legally last month. For a slide show of their aquatic antics, visit (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Although they’ve been together for 15 years, it was only about a month ago that this month’s dynamic duo, Enrique Macgregor and Mark Niermann, officially got hitched. (Thanks, New York!)

Judging from their exercise regime and overall healthy lifestyle, they take those “sickness and health” and “for better or worse” vows pretty seriously. … Well that, plus margaritas, chocolate chip cookies and generous helping of motivation and support make up their recipe for a successful marriage.

— Jef Tingley

Names and ages:  Enrique MacGregor, 47, and Mark Niermann, 48 (just barely)

Occupations:  MacGregor: management consultant; Niermann; lawyer

Length of relationship:  15 years, but legally married on Sept. 28, 2011, in New York’s Supreme Court Building.

Sports & activities:  Members of Dallas Aquatic Masters (DAM); occasionally play golf with Different Strokes Golf Association.

Exercise regimen:  MacGregor: I swim or run two or three times a week; I do weight training once or twice a week.
Niermann: Cardio (swimming or running) three times weekly; weights two times. I don’t have a rigid exercise schedule other than my objective to work out at least four times weekly. When we’re training for an event, like a biking or running race, we’ll do more running or biking.

Upcoming fitness goals:  Both: the 8-mile Turkey Trot race in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.

Most memorable athletic accomplishment:  MacGregor: I rode my bike right behind Lance Armstrong at a Livestrong event in Austin as we both crossed the finish line at the same time. Of course, I was finishing a 45-mile ride, and he was finishing a 90-mile ride.

Workout preference: mornings or evenings?  MacGregor: I don’t have a set workout time unless I’m working out with a group. I try to think about my work schedule a day ahead and then plan a workout time around that. I’m jealous of people who can get up at 5 a.m. to workout. I am not a morning person.
Niermann: Either, and lunch too — whenever I can fit it in depending on my schedule and the time of year (especially for running outside).

How do you motivate yourself to workout?  MacGregor: I sign up for an event, like a race. Then I know I have to make time to get ready for that event. I am much more engaged in a workout when I’m preparing for an event.

How does your partner motivate you to work out?  MacGregor: He offers options. For instance, he’ll say: “Do you want to go for a run today, or would you rather go for a swim?” Or, “Would you like to do our run before lunch or would you rather do it later in the afternoon?”

Words of advice for people trying to work fitness into their life?  Niermann: Enrique and I are not workout fanatics or super athletes. We try to get regular exercise and generally eat healthy food. (We include wine, margaritas and chocolate chip cookies in the category of “healthy food.”) We enjoy training for special athletic challenges, like running races, but we don’t always have a specific goal or race we’re training for. We also enjoy playing golf (aka “hacking”) and skiing, and like to stay in shape in ways to complement those sports.

Like everything in life, exercise is easiest and most effective if you can find a balance, both in terms of the kinds of working out you do and how often you do it. Working out doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) take over your life — you can pack a lot of good into a 30- or 45-minute workout of any kind.

Follow common sense rules of not overdoing it when or how you eat and exercise. Being healthy is more than how much weight you can lift or how fast you can run — it’s about achieving a good balance in life of healthy eating, regular exercise, healthy relationships with friends, family and partners and finding ways to minimize stress.

Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise outdoors:
MacGregor: Stevens Park Golf Course (and don’t tell me that golf doesn’t count as exercise).
Niermann: I don’t really have one, though I belong to the Baylor–Tom Landry Center. Though if I had to pick, I’d say Neiman’s Downtown – Last Call.

Favorite song or playlist for working out?  MacGregor: I like to run listening to Lance Armstrong’s “Run Longer” playlist. Aside from good music, Lance’s voice takes you through interval sets where you speed up and slow down in four-minute increments. This technique is supposed to improve your performance.

Which celebrity or athlete’s physique would you like to have and why:  MacGregor: Chris Evans. He has a nice athletic build, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Niermann: Any AussieBum model … have you seen their ads?

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 21, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Body & Fitness: Back for GOOD

“If you were told you were getting a car and you’d never be allowed to get another one, you’d take very good care of it,” Dr. Peay says. “Your body is your car and you aren’t getting a new one! Take care of what you’ve got now.” (Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones)

With an ounce of prevention, you can be chiropractically perfect in every way

Contributing Writer

No longer do you have to get hit by a bus to benefit from chiropractic care. In fact, one local doctor is ready to dispel myths about his profession once and for all. And we might all feel healthier as a result.

Dr. Eric Peay, owner of COREhealth Wellness Center, is as passionate about his practice as he is his patients. But he understands that there are a lot of misconceptions about chiropractic care. Some people associate the field simply with car accidents or on-the-job injuries. Many fear that having their spine adjusted will hurt. And still others are skeptical about professional care that doesn’t involve prescription medications.

“People consider dental health important and see a DDS every six months for teeth cleanings. The dental profession has done an excellent job of educating the public on the dangers of decay and that it leads to other health issues not just inside the mouth,” Peay says. “It’s the same thing with spinal health. If pressure is on a spinal nerve, the nervous system is disrupted. Because it controls everything in your body, you want it working as efficiently as possible.”

Therefore, anyone can benefit from the treatment of a chiropractor, even if they aren’t feeling any pain in particular. Simply the act of living can cause one hip to be higher than the other, or the neck to not have as wide a range of motion as it should. Chiropractors are also a good source for creating an overall healthy lifestyle plan through wellness initiatives of all types.

“We like to educate our patients on the reasons why it’s so important to eat healthy, exercise, get proper sleep and stay in proper alignment. It’s no coincidence that regular chiropractic patients are generally healthier and in better shape than most,” he says. “I always explain to patients that dieting is never a good thing. However, making lifestyle choices on a daily basis is what creates long lasting habits, which will lead you to better health and keep you there.”

And that means eating healthier on an ongoing basis, not just for rapid weight loss to get into that swimsuit or pair of jeans from high school and then heading back for 50 McNuggets after the goal has been achieved.

One of the biggest myths about chiropractic care is that it’s going to hurt. Peay is often asked if he’s afraid he’s going to break someone’s neck. The answer, of course, is no. And a single spinal adjustment isn’t going to immediately alleviate all pain if a person’s back is in really bad shape.

“Another thing some people don’t understand is how long it will take to resolve their particular problem. Everyone’s body is different. If you hired a personal trainer, you may start seeing results after ten sessions while your friend may have not seen results until after 20 sessions,” he says. “I always treat each person individually. I work with them on whatever their goals are. Sometimes it’s just relief care. Other times it’s corrective or maintenance care. That’s something the patient and I talk about from the beginning. That kind of relationship makes my patients always feel comfortable and that’s something very important to me.”

Interior designer Jason Jones is a firm believer in regular treatment.

“I have been going for about four years. I cannot imagine my life without my adjustment appointments. I breathe better, sleep better, never have headaches and have even discontinued use of three prescription medications,” Jones says. “I generally try to get at least one or two adjustments per month.”

Peay also dispels the belief that an injury means all physical activity has to come to a complete halt. It’s often one of the first things people stop doing when they feel back pain, and that can make things worse.

“Lack of movement will eventually result in weight gain, sleep disorders and even more fatigue. A vicious cycle ensues. Most importantly, if your spine is out of alignment, your nervous system cannot function at its highest level. When this happens, the immune systems suffers, resulting in colds, flus and all the other nasty crud going around,” he says.

Even if you never see a chiropractor, there are ways you can keep your spine in as good a shape as possible.

“Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Add in plenty fruits, vegetables, grass-fed lean meats, nuts. Alcohol, dairy, gluten (found in wheat and most other grains), and caffeine are all pro-inflammatory,” says Michele Schamburek, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant at COREhealth. “Regular exercise and soft tissue massage are also key elements.”

Other ways to keep that back in tip-top condition are probably things your mom always nagged you about.

“Lift with your legs,” Peay says. “Think about your gluteal muscles. Flex them when you lift something to avoid putting so much pressure on your lower back. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, you’re not using your glutes much, so squeeze them with every step you take. Use your glutes every chance you get.”

Most of all just treat your body right.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 18, 2011.

—  John Wright