Category Archives: Change

Goodbye 2016, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

I really wanted to write something witty, upbeat and thoughtful about the last year, however, it was a truly difficult year for me. Emotionally, it was on par with 2010, the year I lost my mother, my cat and my job… while not as catastrophic, certainly full of highs and lows.

I’ve come to realize just how complex relationships are and appreciate the importance of honesty, accountability, sincerity and remorse. I’ve also learned how an apology can make a world of difference and how we show respect in the little things we do too, when that is missing things can really fall apart. I’ve also seen how shame can beat a person down and make him feel small and insignificant.

During all of this I let myself get drawn away from the things that are important to me, the self-care rituals like journaling, meditation, yoga and exercise. I can feel the neglect both in my mental and physical state. Every day I find myself putting it off for ‘tomorrow’ and more often than not tomorrow never comes, and things don’t feel any different or get any better.

I can say without a doubt that I have absolutely no idea what 2017 it going to bring. My one sign that things just might be OK, whatever that means, is that my kitty Lola, who has been moored on the dining room table for the better part of the last year has started to venture out and has spent that last few days on my lap in the living room. She came to me in a time of need for something light in this world and showed me that no matter how dark I may feel, I will at least have a fat cat purring in my lap.

Beauty Evolution

What happens when you lose your mojo

Every once in a while I get a deep sense of mojo loss. The best way to describe mojo loss is a feeling of what you are doing, or not doing, is not that important and you would much rather watch a marathon of episodes of Angel on Netflix.

As much as I would love to watch Angel all day – and I have! It’s important to get back in the swing of things. Here are few tips to help you get your mojo back:

1. Talk to friends, colleagues, peers, anyone that knows what you want to do and are about. Chatting can help you articulate any fears that may be lurking that is subconsciously trying to squash your mojo.

2. Have a heart to heart with yourself. We are often the harshest to ourselves, would you say the same things to another person that you say to yourself? If not, then stop it – be nice.

3. Do something that pertains to your mojo, sometimes we forget why we do what we do and getting back to the roots can help center you.

4. Take it easy, it’s possible that you are feeling burnout, if that’s the case then take a vacation, if you can’t go away then take a mini-vacation, even an afternoon off spent with family and friends or alone at a great spa can help re-energize you.

Reflect, reawaken and remember, you won’t be happy if your mojo is out of whack.

It’s National Nutrition Month!

It’s National Nutrition Month! Now what?

"Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

“Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

I bet a lot of you had no idea that there is a  National Nutrition Month and that it’s in March. I know I didn’t until I started  my dietetics program. Isn’t that a shame. We get an entire month to celebrate beautiful dishes and healthy eating and hardly anyone knows about it.

How am I celebrating NNM? Well I like to think that I celebrate nutrition and healthy living all year round so I will keep doing what I am doing plus a few other things including trying new foods and new recipes. I have a NNM challenge for all of you. Try four new recipes and four new foods. So far I have made vegan tofu cream cheese and vegan chocolate chip cookies, I have also made mung beans which, believe it or not, I have never prepared.

mung beans

You may be wondering what to try, I think a trip to an ethnic grocery store could be a lot of fun. We have tons of Asian grocery stores and there’s always something interesting to try. I’ve been hooked on cassava, also known as yuca. I’m used to seeing it frozen in the bag but lately I have been buying the root and preparing it in the steamer. Something as simple as that will count for the challenge.

I saw and tasted a ton of great products at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, I don’t have any photos because I was too busy eating everything! Yay me! I have two more recipes to try and thanks to vegfest two new foods to taste.  Yikes and we only have a few weeks left, I have to think of what else I want to make and try, so do you! I would love to hear what you tried and made for my  NNM challenge. Please feel free to share in the comments section. And yes, the recipe and the new food can be part of the same dish.

PS I’ve launched my cooking show on YouTube here’s the latest episode!

New Year, New You, NO! BETTER YOU!!

The new year means getting bombarded with New Year, New You messages. I know because I have sent them myself. It also signals a time when people feel free to let you know that you just can’t cut it and a “New You” armed with resolutions looks so much better…

I say the heck with all those people who want to change you. I don’t want to change you, I want you to get BETTER!! A better you wants to make positive changes and improve on what you have already accomplished. A better you has goals, SMART* goals at that, and knows that the little things complete the big picture.

I don’t want to hear about your resolutions, I want to hear about your GOALS. I’ll share some of mine to get you thinking. Keep in mind that goals are very personal and really only matter to you. So go ahead and think about what you want to improve upon for 2014.

GOALS:

  • Fitness: Continue with fitness 45 min at least 3 times a week and add 10 min of yoga for flexibility; find a regular workout time by Feb.
  • Health: In conjunction with fitness, monitor food intake to reasonable levels (I can eat like no body’s business!) Keep a food journal and track intake 5 days a week.
  • Business: Work consistently and acquire additional clients (virtual assisting & wellness coaching) before March. Becoming more visible, somehow…
  • Family: Spend as much quality time as possible with my fur babies and stay in touch with the kids.
  • Social: Try to keep the social connections even if it means a quick text to say hey how ya doin? (This one is tough because of school and work).
  • Creativity: Read books for pleasure – read at least 2 books per month. Writing a book will come next year 🙂

Your turn! Sometimes it helps putting things “out there”, makes you more accountable

*SMART: Sustainable, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, Timely

Fitness

Some of you may have noticed that I have started posting my fitness regimen on my social media. I usually get like this a few weeks before a birthday – you know, gotta look good… But fitness has so many more benefits than just looking good.

"Dumbbell With Water And Towel" by Naypong

“Dumbbell With Water And Towel” by Naypong

According to the Mayo Clinic there are at least 7 benefits to being physically active and they include:

Weight control
Improving health to fight disease
Improving mood
Boosting energy
Better sleep
Better sex life
Fun

Exercise also helps raise HDL, the good cholesterol and it can help strengthen your body. I’ve noticed my knees and back don’t hurt as much as they used to.

I really enjoy doing interval workouts – I use the Interval Timer free app to help me keep time (check out my review of it here). The fact that I can control the workout keeps it fresh for me since I am always switching up the exercises. Another tip: great music can make or break a good workout – make sure you have tunes that will get your butt moving.

Here’s the workout I am doing today:

photo (2)

Everyone needs me time, make your workout or physical activity time non-negotiable. What do you do to keep yourself fit?

My thoughts on the Food Industry

The development and marketing methods of the food industry have drastically changed over the last seventy-five years. The spokes that make up the wheel that is the food industry works together to keep it a billion dollar business and like any business there is pressure for growth and making the bottom line is its main goal. Unfortunately, what suffers is public health.

Source: Guardian UK

With advances in food science companies have the means to pinpoint the exact formulation at which the food product has reached maximum satiety of the general population. It would be a foolish food company that would not create foods to taste as pleasing as possible. By formulating foods this way they are intentionally created to make it easier to overeat (Moss 2013).

While on the GMO front the industry has been pouring millions of dollars to block labeling efforts, the momentum of public awareness is putting pressure on local and state governments to begin labeling initiatives. With increased consumer demand labeling will most likely be required in the next five to ten years. Maine is the most recent state to tackle GMO labeling legislation with it passing in their house. Although it is a small victory since the bill will also have to pass in their senate and a final vote in the house (Stone 2013).

The states that have instituted ag gag laws are doing so under pressure of the businesses that supply food, by prosecuting whistleblowers there will effectively be no regulation changes in animal agriculture processes. Since the animal agriculture industry is largely self-regulated they are not likely to report cases of animal abuse and improper handling that can lead to foodborne illnesses (“PBIS Non Compliance Reports for Plants requested in FOIA 2011B00258 for 03J01 and 04C04 1st Shift Procedures from 3/1/11 B 8/31/11”. Table). One of the largest recalls of beef in U.S. history was the result of an undercover investigation done by an animal welfare group (Martin 2008). The ag gag laws are specifically intended to prohibit these kinds of investigations.

Marketing to children has been an issue since the 1970s. With a government that will support the industry it has been difficult to make sufficient change. While the industry has made some improvements in marketing to children on television there is less incentive to restrict online and mobile marketing to children (Nestle 2007).

Works Cited
Martin, Andrew. “Largest Recall of Ground Beef Is Ordered.” The New York Times [New York] 18 Feb. 2008: n. pag. Web. 12 June 2013.

Moss, Michael. Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. New York, NY: Random House, 2013. Print.

Nestle, Marion. Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. 2007 ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. Print.

“PBIS NonCompliance Reports for Plants requested in FOIA 2011B00258 for 03J01 and 04C04 1st Shift Procedures from 3/1/11 B 8/31/11”. Table. Foodandwaterwatch.org. Foodandwaterwatch.org, n.d. Web. 12 June 2013. <http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/PBISResponseRecords.pdf&gt;.

Stone, Matthew. “Maine House overwhelmingly supports GMO labeling requirement.” Bangor Daily News 11 June 2013: n. pag. Web. 12 June 2013. <http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/11/politics/maine-house-overwhelmingly-supports-gmo-labeling-requirement/&gt;.

Lessons I learned from my dog

As a lot of you know we really love our dog I mean really, look at this face.

IMG_1898

I think to myself what a life he has and realized how much I have learned from him.

1. Stand your ground: Luke is a very persistent beagle, he knows what he wants (to bark at) and won’t stop until he is sure he has had the last word.

2. Shit happens, kick some dirt over it and keep going: Life is full of crap that may or may not go your way. Accept it, deal with it and then move on.

3. Unconditional love: This is a hard one because sometimes people are hard to love. Loving unconditionally can be looked at as compassion and having compassion is a lot easier than loving the jerk down the street.

4. Resting is important: Sometimes we forget how important a good night’s sleep is, this is the time that our bodies restore and replenish.

5. Loyalty: Being loyal and being there for friends and family when they really need you is what makes life just a little better.

6. Eat like it’s the last meal you will get: OK maybe we shouldn’t eat every meal like it’s the last meal we’ll ever get but we should definitely live each day to its fullest because we really don’t know what the future holds for us.

7. Share your bed: Well, maybe lend a helping hand would be more appropriate. Sometimes we may not like it but we know when it’s right to help someone in need.

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What lessons have you learned from your pets?