The Place of In-between

The month of August has always felt a bit melancholy to me. Always a fan of school and the fall,  I relish the cooler days and the rhythm of life that September brings. But this year, after a major health scare, every day feels a bit more poignant if it isn’t well spent.

Being present to life in the moment is a gift that we can all too often take for granted. Instead of focusing on what we have, we look to the “someday.” The truth is we may not get that someday, especially if we’re not taking full advantage of the moments that we have to make changes NOW.

When it comes to eating well and moving more, many clients create timelines around upcoming events and dates that they’re anticipating -certainly understandable as we are a very social and food-oriented culture. If you’ve got a big vacation coming up, you wait until you return. If you have a busy social month, you may wait until it’s over.  But, if you’re always waiting for time to pass to fit health into your life, it may not happen. You have to make it work.

So, this August, while summer is still in full effect and you’re in the in-between – wait no more! Seize the day and do some stuff that’ll have you feeling better mentally and physically before September starts. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1) Check out a local farmers’ market and grab some fresh, organic produce. There is truly something special about locally grown vegetables – from the way that they taste to knowing that they were grown by people that really care about what they’re doing.
2) Try a new-to-you outdoor activity. Have you been wanting to try paddleboarding? How about blowing off some dust on that bicycle of yours? Find a trail you’ve never been on before for a hike or kayak down a local river. There are so many options!
3) NOW is the time get some vitamin D and boy does it feel good when you do. Head outside in short-sleeves and shorts to get some sun on that skin. 10 minutes will help to boost your vitamin D and give you that happy, summer feeling!
4) Eat outdoors. Have you ever noticed that when your body is a bit warmer, you feel a little less like eating a lot of food? If you’re feeling a bit warm, vegetables and lighter fare may feel like exactly what you need.
5) Don’t wait to get started. Sometimes, we may treat the entirety of summer as one big vacation. While I can appreciate the idea of wanting to go with the flow and relax, we may be a bit too disconnected from healthy eating as cookouts and camping reign supreme. Be sure to stay focused on lean and clean proteins along with fresh vegetables all summer long. And with all of the sweet fruits in season, swap out sugar-laden treats with “nature’s candy.”

As I say quite often, our health is the ultimate expression of all of the choices that we make. And the best time to make those choices is now.

Plants & Oils: Simple, Natural, Versatile

“Oil thank you in the morning,” she said to the plant…

Preferring a simple life, I like to use things in my life that are functional and versatile. Thankfully, nature has provided us with many gifts that can benefit our health and life while preserving our natural environment. Keeping it simple, we’re going to talk my favorite oil and summertime blooms that embody duality and adaptability. (more…)

Need Something Fast to Bring to that Potluck?

 

In full disclosure, I need to give all credit where credit is due. This recipe is straight from the webpage AHealthyLifeforMe.com. But it just sounds so yummy and so simple that I couldn’t help to to share it with you. It’s made up of a few ingredients and requires almost no cooking! Isn’t that the best?

Veggie trays are found at quite a few gatherings and potlucks but are usually accompanied by some not so healthy sides. So if you’re headed off to somewhere and need something quick to make, try this out! I’ll be making this for Easter Sunday along with a simple green salad.

Broccoli-Pesto-Dip-2Broccoli Pesto Dip

Ingredients

  • 3 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
  • 3 medium garlic cloves. peeled
  • 2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese

    Instructions
  1. Cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking.
  2. Add broccoli, garlic, the almonds, Parmesan cheese, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil while machine is running, once blended and ricotta cheese and pulse until smooth.

Spring Cleaning Your One True Home…Your Body

Spring 2016 Detox DatesJanuary is a great month for metabolic detoxification. But you can do yours in April for a good ol’ Spring Cleaning!

Every year, my husband Craig and I participate in a personalized version of a month-long metabolic detoxification program.  We typically do this in the month of January as it’s a good time to help break our food and drink cravings created from our Thanksgiving-through-Christmas holiday eating. We do this to gain the energy we need to get back to the gym and to implement our New Year’s resolutions (flossing daily makes the list every year).  We do this to give our adrenals (coffee) and digestive system (cheese) a time out to build up our reserves for optimal health and function. And all of this allows for our bodies to get reset back to their normal weight versus the post-holiday gain.

Here’s what we do.  (more…)

A “Type-A” Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving SQuareSure, I’ll host Thanksgiving.

Actually, saying it that way means that I was answering a question.  As in, “Will you host Thanksgiving?”

And that’s not really how it went.

It actually came out as, “Hey, I can host Thanksgiving.”

I grew up in a small family where my aunt hosted Thanksgiving in her home every year. While the last minute cooking was underway with gravy simmering and grandpa carving the turkey, my ten year old self was enjoying shrimp cocktail, black and green olives, mixed nuts and a cheese ball with crackers. Eight of us would then sit around her dining room table quietly enjoying a thoughtfully prepared Thanksgiving feast. I would sip cranberry ginger ale from a pewter wine glass and anxiously await the arrival of the next dish to scoop onto my plate.

After dinner, we would find ourselves in the living room while Kenny G lulled us into a turkey-induced nap. Upon waking up from our food comas, round two would be taking place with at least three different pies, coffee and vanilla ice cream.  And if I was lucky, after dessert was done, I would have birthday presents to open with my birthday falling toward the end of November. I did this every year for almost 25 years.

When I volunteered (sacrificed) myself to host Thanksgiving, it was for my father-in-law’s family. There would be around 35 people in attendance. A few years earlier, I had hosted a combined Thanksgiving and Christmas for my mother-in-law’s side with close to 70 people so I thought, “I got this.”

Gone were the relaxed, intimate holidays I had grown up with. This was a whole new ball-game- the kind with no referees, or rules, but still lots of yelling, cheering, booing and whistles.  It is here that I should mention that I am also a type-A introvert so clearly, this was a great plan. (more…)