Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category
So, I made it back before the end of the month. Aren’t you proud?
I’ve been slogging through recipes and, as I said before, I’ve been rather uninspired. But one that struck me (ouch! OK, maybe not that hard) last week was another one by the lovely Chocolate Covered Katie. She has healthified so many recipes and adapted them to a variety of special diets–vegan, gluten-free–but that’s not what matters to me. What I care about is that they still taste good, and that she uses real food, not something synthetic!
I won’t steal her thunder, but I’ll post a link to the recipe that I’m going to make again either today or tomorrow (time-pending). It’s a bean-based (yes, you read correctly) pie that really does taste like a cinnamon roll! The only thing that I’d consider remotely unhealthy is the presence of white sugar. Everything else…. I don’t hold back and let myself have dessert!
I make it in a square container (pi R squared…. ha, whatever) and I didn’t even feel the need to add any icing. She does provide an icing recipe if you’d like even more sweet goodness. Here’s the link:
Now, on to point 2, inspiration: I read a lot of books, several I like, but right now, I’m reading a book that I cannot put down. It’s the first book by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, called Pour Your Heart Into It. It tells the history of Schultz’ joining the company, leaving the company, rejoining, etc etc… but he also adds in his inspirational tidbits, phrases such as “what if I hadn’t made that second phone call to convince X that this was the right move? Imagine where the world and the company would be now. I”m so glad I took that risk.” and so on. (I’m totally paraphrasing, but you get the idea!) I think of these types of things all the time, but the way he and his co-author write… really inspire my entrepreneurial side! Great stuff, highly recommended.
So, now you have something to bake and a side of coffee to read this weekend! Get on it! 🙂
So… I’m not one for resolutions, for the same reasons as everyone else… (you go all-out for a few weeks, and then what? Strong and steady in the long run is what’s gonna win, right?)
I’m also not much of one for this “new year” business. It’s just a day on a calendar. (It’s a great excuse for a celebration, but aside from that… why save all of your do-gooding until the beginning of the year? I got back in town on December 27th at 12:30 am… and recommitted to my fitness plan on December 27th. That was my “new year”.) Every day, you wake up with a new opportunity to do something healthy for yourself!
That said, I’m taking a cue from Chris Brogan, an online business guru, and I’ve come up with my word to set the tone for the year. What’s one word (or, a few, if you can’t come up with just one) that you want to focus your life on this year?
My word, this year, is comeback. It didn’t hit me until this morning how dedicated I’ve been in my return to my former self, as though the past year and a half have been a mere bump in the road. (In the past 20 months, I’ve been through two major hip surgeries–the second to fix the first–and then got seriously ill last summer, and needed months of recovery and rehab to get through the effects of that.) Now, I’ve returned to teaching several group fitness classes per week, and I’m starting half marathon training again… in other words, I’m well on the road to the former me.
Along the way, I’m taking a lot of time to think about whether or not I want to continue along this same journey, or if I’ll modify it slightly–but the key focus is getting my body back in line again. And it’s doing fine, so far! (with a fair amount of effort! This doesn’t come for free!)
I really believe that having a long-term focus–even on the scale of a month, or several months–helps us plan what we’re going to do on a daily basis. And that helps us live healthier, happier lives! All good, eh?
So, what is your word for the year? How will you set your tone for the next several months?
Before we get to the recipe, can I share one little victory?
OK, maybe it’s huger than I make it out to be. Once up on a time, I was a runner. Marathons, even. I just did it because “everyone else did” around me. I abused my body nutritionally, and didn’t really follow a good training plan. I was young and dumb. (I like to think I’m a little bit wiser now… some days…)
Fast forward to my work injury, which also revealed a congenital problem, all dealing with my hip. Come to find out that all of the running I’d done was pretty destructive, without my knowing it. (Well… I knew that running while 50 pounds overweight, subsisting on beer and garlic fries, was also not the healthiest behavior in the world. Ah, youth is wasted on the young.)
September 11th of this year was roughly 18 months after the last time I had run (and after 2 hip surgeries, the second one successful). I went out for 30 minutes of 4 minutes walking, 1 minute running. It was hard. But I knew it was the right thing to do. I needed to get back in the game.
I’ve been building myself up since then, three times a week on the walk/run routine. Today–about a month since I resumed running–my half-hour consisted of 2 minutes walking/3 minutes running. In just that short amount of time! I’m hoping to get to a 4:1 ratio before the end of the month, and will keep you all posted.
Anyway! This is a recipe I tossed together yesterday via experimentation. Next weekend, I’m hosting a mini-yoga retreat for some friends at a neighbors’ cabin in the Cascades–another friend is doing the teaching, and I’m doing the mostly healthy cooking. Here’s the salad dressing I’m using, more or less. Modify amounts as you see fit. Make it your dressing for your tastes!
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mustard (I used Dijon)
~3 tbsp vinegar (I used red wine vinegar; white balsamic would also work well)
~1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a small container, whisk the first 3 ingredients. Add the oil while constantly whisking (the mustard should allow the mixture to emulsify). Add any salt and pepper to your liking. Tarragon might also be nice, here.
This makes a small amount of dressing, true. It should scale up just fine…
I think this would go great on a simple romaine with fresh tomatoes and cucumber… but if any of you have other suggestions about a salad that you think would work well with this dressing, that would be great for a crowd–let me know!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
I’m finally resurfacing from reading the virtual piles of Steve Jobs articles, here to see you all again. As a business owner, I very much admired his keen sense of really knowing his clients, and especially knowing what his market wanted before they themselves knew. He truly changed the consumer electronics game especially in the past 15 years.
I read an anecdote on a site in the past week, where an author described having visited a big box electronics store in 1999, when the iMac came out (you know, the ones that came in different colors). The author overheard a customer expressing her disappointment that the store was out of the tangerine-colored iMacs, since they would best go with her drapes. Now… that’s design innovation.
Enough of the business chatter–but before I move on, I’ve used these events as motivation to expand my corporate fitness clientele. One seems like it’s going to be a sure bet (though lots of paperwork on my end) while the other may take some convincing. But–stay outrageous, my friends, in this one precious life that we have. What one step are you going to take today to change your life?
(It can be simple… eating one more vegetable serving than normal, exercising when you didn’t feel like doing so… trying a new exercise class and maybe making it a part of your ongoing routine… calling up an old friend that you haven’t talked to in ages…)
Here are some ideas to get you started, including some healthy and not-so-healthy recipes: (hey, you gotta just have fun sometimes)
1. Healthy crockpot recipes at Skinny Crockpot
2. And now, for something less healthy: cookie dough recipes that are safe to be eaten raw.
4. Ohhh, so many fun indoor Halloween decorations! (You didn’t think I was done with Halloween last week, huh?)
5. Recipes for homemade condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, chipotle sauce)
OK–now, it’s time to go and do something outrageous with your life! What’s it gonna be?
Hope everything’s well! My theme of the day (week?) is gratefulness. My body has been through so much the past 18 months or so… including two major hip surgeries (the first one didn’t go so well). No one really knew how I was going to recover, but I was given the green light to do anything, as long as it didn’t hurt beyond the usual residual soreness.
Guess what–this former marathoner has been RUNNING for the past two weeks!
(OK, so right now, my definition of “run” is “walk 3 minutes, run 2 minutes, repeat to total 30 minutes”–and it’s really hard for me–but after so much time away from running, this is my way to build back up.)
I am so GRATEFUL that my body is able to do this! I had no idea if running was ever going to be an option again. I’m taking it slowly and not jumping ahead toward marathons yet–thinking of 5K’s in my future, in case my body isn’t up for distance–but I’m just happy to be moving the pavement under my feet.
Here are some interesting tidbits for this week!
1. Ah, how stalking has changed.
2. Oh boy. What our pets do while we’re away.
3. Fruit salsa with homemade cinnamon chips–great healthy recipe for a party (or…. to mosh the whole thing by yourself)! I’d love to try this with regular salty chips, too, since I love sweet/savory combos.
4. It’s getting to be that time of year–how about some homemade pumpkin butter?
5. Have you tried oven-roasted chickpeas? If not… you’re missing out. Cheap, easy, healthy snack! Here’s a recipe for an Indian-spiced variety of chickpeas.
Have a great rest of the week! I’d love to hear what all of you are grateful for! It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of our day-to-day lives–let’s think of things to be thankful of in the grand scheme of things!
I just read the following quote:
Someday, everything will all make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.
Yesterday, I spent some time at a clinic specializing in voice disorders, since I’ve spent the past 2 1/2 months unable to speak. These folks are the first to come up with a workable solution, as it’s already started to solve my problem. Apparently between a bad June illness in which I experienced heavy bouts of coughing plus intubation from my February surgery, the musculature in my throat got out of whack… and pulled my larynx out of alignment. Just a minor adjustment made it so that I could produce some (quiet, hoarse) sound. Still isn’t much, but it’s promising! And I’m hoping for more progress soon.
So, what does this have to do with the quote? Prior to this voice problem, I’d been out with a hip surgery… and a second hip surgery to correct what went wrong in the first one. Between the two, I relied heavily on my Pilates and anatomy background to get myself back on my feet again. While it didn’t prove 100% successful the first round–I still had plenty inside the joint that needed fixing–I’m doing great after the second surgery. I’m doing so well, in fact, that I’ve leveraged it into a few jobs doing rehabilitative Pilates work!
Sure, the whole time I studied Pilates, my focus was more rehab. But having spent so much time on my own body, I’m very passionate about using movement to make people feel more comfortable in their daily activities. So, while the two surgeries weren’t the best experience in the world… look what came out of it! (And just think… five years ago, I was teaching rinky-dink Pilates classes at the gym.)
I’m still trying to figure out the “reason” for all of my voice problems (other than forcing me to tap into my creativity a lot more, and appreciating life, and truly learning who and what are the most important to me)–until then, here are some interesting links of the day:
1. Who doesn’t go out now and then to show off their fit body? This is a great tutorial on an easy, casual up-do. I’m wondering if it would work with my almost-shoulder-length hair. I already have the waves, naturally…
2. Fun! Make a bell pepper octopus to put in your veggie dip.
3. If you can still find a few peaches or nectarines where you live, this recipe for cinnamon roasted peaches with yogurt sounds delightfully healthy!
4. Yes, I know. This is a Thanksgiving link. But I think I’d have to start now to set up this Thanksgiving veggie display (you have to scroll down a bit).
Have a great week, everyone! We still have a few days of sun left… I’m going to go outside in a bit and appreciate it!
As practitioners and teachers of bodywork (Pilates, yoga, massage—it doesn’t matter which modality) we frequently remind our clients to enjoy the present moment, to let go of the stresses of the day (can’t change the past) and not to worry about what lies ahead. Though I often speak of this, do I really walk the walk?
Just a few hours ago, I realized how much tension I was holding about the supposed future, about data I don’t yet have. My mind was spinning stories. I was doing everything I tell my clients not to do.
If you just joined in: in the beginning of July, after a bad bout with flu and sinus infection, I completely lost my voice, which has still not improved. In theory, it’s a temporary (on the order of months to maybe a year) nerve injury. My otolaryngologist has sent me for several tests to rule out other problems before pursuing a potential temporary semi-fix. (Yes, lots of qualifiers there. I’m staying hopeful.)
Yet, yesterday, rather than simply scheduling the consult appointment for the procedure to fix me (in theory), which was the original plan, the new plan is apparently to send me for more consultations with another ENT, a neurologist, perhaps someone who specializes in larynx problems……
It suddenly hit me: why the change in plans? Is there something the first round of tests found that I wasn’t told about? Should I be worried? I know the body all too well, and started going through the mental checklist of deadly diseases…..
And then I reminded myself of what I tell my clients: live in the present moment. Right now is the only guaranteed time we have.
The tendrils of worry started to release their grasp from around my brain. If there is a serious problem, I’ll find out in my appointment next week with the doctor. Until then, I’m not going to let the unknown ruin my precious days.