Who’s That Lady?

In my previous post, I shared my personal story about writing a poem intended for a friend of mine, which turned into an eye opening and painful realization that I was my own worst enemy. Self image is a tricky subject to think about, and even more challenging to talk about. I’m just going to throw it out there and say that a lot of us struggle with the image of ourselves. And I’m pretty sure a lot of us are hypercritical about our appearance. I used to think that this only applied to women until I recently discovered through one of my podcast guests that men struggle with their self image and body image as well. Who knew? I am certainly not an expert on the subject, and can only speak from my own personal experience. I used to be the master of self denigration and self belittlement....

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Through Someone Else’s Eyes

“If I could see what others see I think I’d be surprised If I can only see myself Through someone else’s eyes …” These are the opening lines of a poem I wrote several years ago. I was inspired to write it for a close friend because I was sick and tired of listening to her tear herself down about everything. And I do mean everything. From her looks, her body, her mind, her relationships — the list went on and on. I was tired of her negative and deprecating self talk, and I was exhausted from building her up. It was a full time job and it was wearing me down. Besides, she was a beautiful young woman. She was also smart, funny, tons of fun and the most loyal and devoted friend anyone could ever have. And I thought that if she could only see herself through someone else’s eyes, she might...

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To Knit or Knot

To knit or knot. That was the question that I asked of me. But what was the answer? I learned how to knit when I was in my early 20s, and I loved it. It was relaxing, entertaining, and I got really good at it. I even consider myself a master knitter, and if you could see some of the lovely tops, sweaters, afghans, baby blankets, Christmas stockings, etc. I created, you would probably agree with me. There was something so mesmerizing about the sound of the needles clicking, the feel of the yarn in my hands, and watching a simple ball of yarn turn into something beautiful to wear or to give away as a gift. And don’t even get me started about going into a yarn shop. I could spend hours on end looking at the patters, the yarns, and dreaming about all of the wonderful things I could make. However,...

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Summer Heat, Health, and Hydration

It’s summer, and the heat is on. Along with the heat and the fun in the sun comes the risk of dehydration. Whether you are relaxing on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or biking around town, it’s vital to stay ahead on your fluid intact to avoid inadvertently becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, low blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, arrhythmias, and fainting. Prolonged dehydration can even cause organ damage. Yikes! Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize we are on the brink of dehydration until it’s too late, so that’s why it’s important to take in fluids even when you don’t feel thirsty. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to stay hydrated, besides drinking water. There are a lot of fresh,...

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Mindful Meditation or Back Yard TV

Ahhh, meditation. Every “expert” I know sings the praises of mindful meditation along with the many health benefits including stress management, reducing negative emotions, and increasing patience and tolerance. I have often been told by multiple experts, “You need to meditate. You’re so high strung, and it’s the only way to calm your mind.” To say I’m high strung is an understatement, but I prefer to think of it as high energy. One of my ballet teachers once said that I had “big energy.” I took it as a compliment until one of the dancers said, “That’s a nice way of putting it.” Hmmm….I wondered what she meant by that. The look on her face indicated it wasn’t a compliment. Along with having high energy, I...

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Salad for Breakfast, Chocolate for Lunch

I came up the title of this post over 6 years ago when I was having a casual conversation with a friend, who happened to be an acupuncturist as well as an athlete and a top notch martial artist. Our conversation turned to nutrition, and I jokingly said, “How about having salad for breakfast and chocolate for lunch?” Here it is, several years later, and I am now eating salad for breakfast almost every morning. And I’m loving it! After taking photos of my mega-nutritious, vitamin-packed breakfast salads and sending them to my sisters, one responded by asking me for the recipes. She said they looked delicious, and she had been struggling trying to find healthy options for breakfast. Uh-oh. She wanted recipes. Recipes I didn’t have. I always start with a base of avocado...

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Vanishing Vegetable Soup

I love soup, and I love cooking it. However, sometimes the recipes end up being rather blah, and I’m left staring down a pot of leftovers thinking “meh.” I don’t want to eat that, and it ends up in the garbage disposal, which hurts my soul. I hate throwing food away. But, true to my incomparably stubborn nature, I keep trying. And trying. Instead of following a recipe exactly as written, I have also begun taking a few liberties, using my imagination and whatever ingredients I have on hand that might work out. This vegetable soup recipe originally called for either beef or chicken, but I decided to use nothing but veggies. The result? By the end of the second day, there wasn’t a spoonful of leftovers in sight. My husband and I ate the entire pot, and the garbage...

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Fresh Green Veggies and Pasta

Nothing quite says spring has sprung like fresh green vegetables, and this fast and fabulous recipe is a great way to get more vegetables in your diet. Even though it has a cream and butter sauce, I like to think that the health benefits of the broccoli, asparagus, and snow peas levels the playing field. In my opinion the sauce isn’t nearly as rich and decadent as other cream based pasta sauces, but maybe I’m just kidding myself. Regardless, it is a very tasty recipe that feels light and healthy. You can boost the health benefits by serving it with a fresh green salad with an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. See? Guilt free pasta in a delicious cream sauce! Ingredients: 2 cups fresh broccoli florets 1 cup fresh asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces 2 cups sliced fresh zucchini 1/2...

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Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

I love chicken. It’s versatile, high in protein, easy to digest, and if you cook it right it can be low in fat as well. It can also be easy to prepare for a low maintenance meal, leaving extra time for the things you really love to do. Like going to the dojo and beating up bad guys in my case. But that’s just me. Which is why I love cooking with my crock pot. It’s just so darn easy, and it’s a great way to cook chicken. However, I prefer to use either a whole chicken or thighs and drumsticks rather than chicken breasts. I don’t like the texture of chicken breast cooked in the crock pot, but thighs and drumsticks turn out tender, juicy, and tasty. In this particular recipe, I use bone in chicken thighs and remove the skin before cooking. Here is a quick and easy,...

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Creamy Mushroom Soup

I never learned how to cook until I moved away from my hometown and my mother’s cooking to Denver to seek my fame and fortune. Since then I have become a pretty good cook if I do say so myself. However, it was a steep learning curve and there were a lot of unpalatable mistakes along the way. This mushroom soup was one of the first recipes I made that had any degree of success. Over the years, once my cooking skills improved, I changed the recipe a bit to make it even creamier, tastier, and more satisfying. In my humble opinion, it’s the best cream of mushroom soup I’ve ever had. And the health benefits of mushrooms are almost as amazing as the soup itself. Ingredients: 1 pound button mushrooms, chopped 1 Portobello mushroom, chopped 1 bunch scallions 3 cups chicken broth 2...

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