29 October 2009

A Turkey Chili true story

This is all that was left as I was getting ready to devour it a few minutes ago, and then I remembered that I forgot to photograph the entire meal last night!  

My darling son had one of his monthly eye appointments after school yesterday and this usually means a 30-40 minute drive to the office, sit and wait for a long time (anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hrs, sometimes more) and then the 30-40 minute trek back home.  From there we cram in homework, dinner, showers, cuddle-time, bedtime by .... 9:00 pm??   Not at all possible at times!   

My intent was to give them a leftover noodle chicken dish to save on time, but I am starting to realize that my children don't love having "pasta" as much as they once led me to believe.   This is a good and a bad thing.   I was getting sick of all the "pasta" requests and wanting to introduce them to other foods, but I also started to learn 200 ways to prepare "pasta" dishes!  Perhaps a cook book would have been in print by now written by "yours truly!"  Chapter 4,  "50 different Chicken Soup recipes !"  As I was driving back from the doctor appointment with them in tow, the inquiries started to ripple through the car (one of their school friends was with us too), "What's for dinner???" and the best remark of them all, "I'm hunnnnnnnnnnngry!"  Great, SUPERMOM to the rescue!  I shall create a masterpiece in ... in....40 minutes!  They can do homework while I cook! 

I had picked up some ground turkey the day before and so I quickly decided that I will make a Quick Turkey Chili, rice and a veggie.   As the cooking got underway, they ran back and forth into the kitchen wondering, "what are you cooking?"  The aromas were permeating their little tummies big time! 

I don't really measure when I cook since I have been cooking FOREVER --- so I don't have actual measurements here.   My advice --- add and taste as you go--- make adjustments.  Anyone cooking should do this anyway so that you know AHEAD of time if the food will taste good before you give it to someone else to eat :)!  

The recipe:

1 lb Turkey chili
Onions - chop

Garlic - chop
Medley of peppers (red, green, yellow) - chop
15 oz can organic black beans
Frontier Chili Powder seasoning

Bay leaf
Salt (or other seasoning salt)
Black pepper
Tomato sauce
Broth (chicken or veggie) -- or just plain water
If I forgot to mention something, I apologize!  

Saute the onions, garlic first in olive oil, add in the meat, stirring to break it apart.  Once heated through, add all the veggies and seasoning.    Add Broth just enough to create a nice consistency.  Simmer, stirring lots.  Sauce should be thickening as it cooks (so watch for need for dabs of water/broth).    I add Ketchup towards the end to add a nice "kid friendly" flavor to the chili. 

The Frontier seasoning(a salt free organic seasoning) is a bit spicy (not for me, since I had to add lots of hot sauce thereafter) but it was not too much for the children.   Along with the chili, I made some basmati rice and a stir-fried eggplant seasoned with some greek spices, olive oil and a bit of lemon.   It went lovely with the chili.  Why did I make the eggplant?  Because I had picked it up at a farmer's market last Friday and said, "hey, why don't I cook this eggplant?"  Cooking a lovely meal does not have to be a PRE-planned effort all the time.   Last minute throw togethers can produce some of the most amazing creations!  

You remember my lovely "picky eater" daughter right?  The one who only eats about 10 different things.   Well, she has maintained all the way up until last night (before I served dinner) that she does not like ground meat in any form.   Once or twice a year she will tackle a burger, but she would NEVER EVER ask for one voluntarily, and if you ask her, she will undoubtedly respond, "No ThankYou!"  I knew this was going to be a very agonizing moment for her, but I was determined to hold her hand and guide her to understanding that "Mommy's Turkey Chili" is not to be feared!  

As I set the plate before her,  her face sent forth some involuntary grimaces with mostly a look of, "OMG!  Mommy please don't make me do this!!"   For some reason though, she did not utter a word, and I think it was because her friend was sitting right beside her with a very bright happy look of anticipation on her face.  I believe she wanted to be "brave" in front of her friend.  Maybe I should invite someone over for every meal from now on ?  

The tears came flowing down and she cried as she ate, saying, "Mommy, I am so tired, can I go to bed when I am finished?"   I think she thought she was going to die while she was eating my delicious turkey chili!   My son, our friend Ally and I, all sat eating together with Nia, smiling at her and at each other, "oooo'ing and aaahhhh'ing" over the food, trying not to laugh as Nia cried, chewed and swallowed.    Everyone BUT Nia, asked for seconds.  

As she finished eating, she begged me to take her to her room and let her change into her pajamas.  Poor baby.   It was time to put her down.  This was it.  She was done.  I hugged her and kissed her and told her "take it easy, you should rest."   

She layed down on the couch in the living room because she did not want to abandon her friend who was over, and just when I thought we were going to lose her completely, she perked up when she remembered that her father had given her a big FAT CHOCOLATE cupcake to have after dinner!    There is something about sugar and chocolate... it's helps to soothe a "turkey chili" invaded tum-tum!  

10 minutes after she downed 2/3 of her cupcake, she was back to normal and over the trauma of dinner.   A while after dinner, Ally's mom came over too, and she was able to indulge in a lovely plate of the chili, rice and eggplant.  All SMILES and no tears from her, what a big girl!

Tonight we are having Moroccan Chicken and perhaps I will set Nia's  pjs now .... just in case!

28 October 2009

Lessons on Life

"Best be yourself, imperial, plain and true!" ~  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Lesson time again while driving to school this morning.   We were talking about food, one of our favorite subjects, and I asked Nia if she liked chicken... again, since she tends to change her mind about food from one day to the next.  It's very challenging for me as a mother to figure out what to feed her at times because what I think she enjoys today, suddenly becomes a "dislike" the next day.   My goal was to ascertain what would be ok to make for her lunch today and feel confident that she would eat it.

She said she liked chicken and then added that one of her friends in school thinks chicken is "DISGUSTING."   I know this friend well, and I know that he and his very lovely family are VEGETARIANS and so they do not eat meat which I explained to Nia.  They asked me "why" would anyone not want to eat meat?  From there, my darling "foodie" son chimed in to say, "well, if you don't eat meat, you don't fit in well with the rest of the world."

Thus the lesson got underway, and I proceeded to explain to the children that a true human being only needs to FIT in by being a GOOD person, treating people the way they want to be treated.  We don't judge one another based on how we dress, what we eat, what music we like, etc.   The true joy of human interaction, is being able to accept one another for our differences and appreciate the diversity of being able to live, love and continually learn TOGETHER.

We spoke some more and they realized that the person (well at least for this morning) that they would most enjoy being is themselves, able to choose what they like, do what they want, and be around people who accept them for who they are.   They also want to be able to choose their friends based on the friends being fun to be with, kind, respectful, loving and giving.  And, if they have similarities, that just makes it even more exciting!  They seemed like they were noticeably content with this morning's "Lesson on Life," as they joyfully jumped out of the car and dashed into school!  

We love to explore glorious FOOD (well, at least the "Foodie" child of mine and I do) , and over time,  we will further learn that the world's culinary experience FITS just nicely into our palate whether or not it includes meat or not... LOL!

27 October 2009

Everything yields benefit

"On this day of your life, Jacquie, I believe God wants you to know that no effort is ever wasted, although some pay dividends later than you think.

Do not imagine that you "wasted your time" because something didn't turn out right. There is no such thing as "waste" in the Universe. Everything -- everything -- yields benefit.
It's true. And your life will show you this. So don't decry the "effort that failed."

All things lead to your highest good. You just may not know it yet.

You know even now why you just read this...

This friendly "nudge" came from your Self, you know..."

Love, Your Friend....


I love this little note from Neale Donald Walsch that I received in an email!  So true for ALL OF US!  We work so hard and it seems that it takes so long to reap the fruits of our efforts.   

People are all around us telling us what to do, what not to do, casting their opinions, knocking down our efforts, trying to destroy our focus and our dreams, constantly expecting more, never giving praise, questioning our abilities.  There is no benefit when you give up and don't try.   It's hard not to listen when it seems sometimes that there are people who seem so adamant about cutting you down, jamming "their beliefs" into your brain, causing you lose sight of your goals.  

Much of the benefit to working towards something, is learning as you go, even when you make mistakes.  There is NO successful person walking around that did not make many mistakes along the way.  Mistake is not taboo -- it allows you to adjust and keep pressing forward.   If life was so simple that we could all "do the same thing, by following advice," we would all live perfect lives. 

It's is so important to FIRST consider WHO are you taking advice from???   Most people who give advice tend to be people who are regurgitating what they read, or telling you that you have to match what everyone else is doing.  God created individuals, not clones.  We have individual personalities, and individuals gifts and abilities enabling us to make different contributions to this world, and I wholeheartedly believe that we each can make a signficant contribution in a positive way!   This is what is missing in this great world of ours! 

Everything is not attainable overnight, and diligence and focus is the key to getting closer to your goals. 

Time to trust and believe in yourself and figure out what would work best for you.   Work hard, go forward!  Where do you want to be?  What do you want to be doing?  Keep your goals and chip away as best as you can!  Never let anyone break you down along the way! 

If you are working towards something that is truly uplifting for you as a human being, or perhaps for the HUMAN RACE, every step towards that GOAL is a HUGE BENEFIT!

26 October 2009

FALL Faces

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Don't WHIMP out, go for the "slow burn"

There's a chill in the air, and winter is near, so what is the best way to start the day warming up the body without adding some EXTRA layers of winter's flab ?

OATMEAL!  Steel Cut Oatmeal!  But don't whimp out with the "quick oats,"  go for the Steel Cut Oats.  Why?  Because the quick oats have been PROCESSED.   Stripped of some of their true "wholeness" though still healthy, not as exceptional as the real deal. 

What is this "slow burn" that you often hear about?  Quite simply, it's the rate at which the carbs that you are eating gets burned up.  Slow burn is slow digestion, and this is a nice gradual process that takes place before the sugar is released into the bloodstream.  For breakfast, you want the "slow burn" carbs to keep you FULL longer, and you are less likely to overeat (and thus snack on things that are detrimental to your nutrition program). Because the Quick or Instant Oats have been processed, they burn up a lot faster.   Instant Oats, by the way, are actually "precooked" oats and that is why they cook so quickly and come out so mushy with NO texture -- you basically are just reheating them.  In the spirit of freshness, that is not appealing! 

Don't be afraid of the Steel Cut Oats!! The Steel Cut Oats are the true WHOLE grain oats, that have been cut with a steel blade... that's it!   They have not been tampered with and so you get to consume the true goodness that it has to offer !  Much of the time people are turned off from the "cooking process" of the Steel Cut Oats.   They take 30-40 minutes to cook as opposed to the Quick Oats that take about 10 minutes and the instant that takes only 2 minutes or so.

You can get around this by (a) finding a good process to prepare it, (b) making a few servings at a time, so that you can have it ready to reheat when you want it, (c) perfect your own recipe, (d) put it on to cook when you are doing something else.

You can soak the oats over night in hot boiling water, and then put on the cook for 15 minutes the next day.  You can toast them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, and then cook them about another 10-15 minutes with milk and what ever else you like to add into your oats.   You can also put the oats in the food processor if you would prefer a "finer" textured cereal.   When making Oat Pancakes or cookies, be sure to use the "Quick" Oats... not the Instant. 

Steel Cut Oats, cook in 30-40 minutes, that is it!  The key is to do the correct measurement of liquid (water or milk), low flame, stirring often, and adding a little liquid as necessary.   They should come out nice and soft, but still hearty.  Do not overcook your Oats.  You can, however, cook them in a slow cooker for 7 hours, but I truly can not understand the necessity of this.  If you make them the night before, keep it a bit dense, and then when you go to reheat in the a.m., you can add some extra milk to make it rich and creamy.  30 minutes for a bowl of GRAND GOODNESS to warm your body, give big nutrition, and ward off hunger pangs, seems simple enough! 

Don't forget to add your spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, etc.), choice of sweetner, fruits, nuts, protein.. whatever you like for added taste and nutrition! 


20 October 2009

A matter of necessity

As I am typing this, I just heard a quote which states, "when people show you who they are, believe them... the first time."  That is from Maya Angelou, and this wonderful quote carries over to what good caring people will say to you when they are telling you about the state of your health.   There is very little room for argument if you are not treating your body well.

It almost seems like people are complacent with the idea of "having a medical issue," as if it is a "normal"occurrence in the unveiling of their lives, perhaps because it runs in the family, or perhaps because they are surrounded by people who echo the same or similar issues on a regular basis.  There is a silent "high fiving" going on amongst people with illnesses.  Submitting to the statistics and choosing to believe that "this is normal," is NOT normal, and is very untrue about how a person's health journey can go.  

It does not matter if certain issues run in your family, you do indeed have the ability to choose a different road.  I can also state that I have come to realize that many people do not intentionally choose to neglect their health in an effort to continue the "norm" of what is in their families, but they subconsciously live out their lives in such a fashion and it manifests in the end. 

A family of 5 sisters, in which 4 are obese.  A family of 9 siblings, and 5 have diabetes, 3 have high blood pressure, 7 have high cholesterol, 2 have cancer, Mom had cancer.   People walk around sharing these familial statistics as if they are "surrending" to some false notion that they too will inevitably contract one or more of these illnesses.

You have a choice, you really do.   It takes a sacrifice.   People sacrifice all sorts of things throughout their lifetimes to achieve what is most important to them, but it seems that often times, they won't make the necessary sacrifices for their HEALTH.   Well, without decent health, all the other sacrifices that you make will be meaningless BEFORE you know it.

The Surgeon General staes that EVERY single person should walk 5 miles A DAY -- A DAY.  Not twice a week, not 3 times a week.... EVERYDAY.  Professional health experts will tell you that EXERCISE is a priority for everyone.   Ideal health and fitness can only be achieved by having a healthy diet and exercise.  Exercise should be a FULL BODY program to enhance the entire body to be at it's best fighting condition, to fight disesase, fat, weight gain, stress and other toxic invaders.

When you sacrifice health, all else that you are working so hard for, could suddenly be put on hold if you end up with a serious illness, having to take medications, and not being able to do certain things.

The true statistics about the American population is that 2/3 of the population is overweight.  Can you put that in true perspective?   Of that 2/3, 50% of the American people are OBESE.

The National Institute of Health reports that 84% of ALL medical claims -- let me repeat -- 84% of all medical claims, are the direct result of a lack of exercise.

Much of the people who are getting sick and running to their doctors, it seems, could have tried to AVOID this completely had they chosen to address their diet and their exercise needs.   It's a matter of necessity.

You can sit around and tell the world how you postpone getting into the better health because you are busy with your job, with your children, etc.., but the only conversation that will ultimately RESONATE will be the conversation you (a) have with yourself when you are not well, and (b) you have with your physician when you are being prescribed with certain medications.

It seems that very few people are following up with the Surgeon General's suggestion to walk 5 miles a day, and again that is because we have some excuses that can't be helped.  Many people complain that they can not get out because of the weather, lack of sidewalks, type of neighborhood.... These things deter people from being able to stay true to their workout program.

Other people seem to be worried about how they look if they join a gym, or if they are walking around the neighborhood.  Again, a very unimportant excuse to not exercise.   What you look like when you are trying to IMPROVE your HEALTH, does NOT matter.   Keep doing what you have to do!

Men--- prostrate cancer is enhanced by high fat diets and obesity.  So why not try to avoid Prostrate Cancer?

The resounding question in this tough economy is, how can people afford to eat healthier foods when they are losing their jobs, getting pay cuts, or not getting any raises?  The better question is, "Can you afford to get sick?"   "Can you afford to get very sick, stay in a hospital, and then deal with surmounting health bills?"  "Can you afford the time that you will be unable to live, function in your family, function on your job?"

You are NOT a hero if you neglect your health and then have to walk around and tell the world about your illnesss that came about because of years of neglecting your health.  Sorry, but that is no way to become a hero. 

Child obesity is the alarming epidemic right now.  It has QUADRUPLED in the past 25 years, and so, WHERE ARE WE HEADED?   We, adults, parents, etc., have to assume the responsibility to save our children from OBESITY.   It is our job.  It's not about looking and being overweight  -- a very superficial thought in most people's mind... it's more about being overweight and being significantly prone to major health illnesses.  

Whatever happens with healthcare reform will happen.  People need to address their health right now and always.  Take control.  Exercise, eat right and make a choice to NOT continue the family history.  It can be done.  It's a necessity.

Nurse Mommy

Here we go again!  Luckily I worked out hard over the weekend and I think I did so because I anticipated that this day would come.  Saturday's soccer game was quite cold and ended with a light drizzle. The children were spending the weekend with their father which meant I had no control over what would happen.

Miles battled the entire week with congestion, but Nurse Mommy managed to keep him strong and healthy enough to not miss one day of school.  Nia had missed 2 days of school over the past couple weeks, but again, Nurse Mommy was working hard to keep her healthy.  N.M. is the queen of "beefing up security!"  I wholeheartedly believe in proper nutrition and preventative efforts to ATTEMPT to ward off unwanted germs and illnesses.

When the children left me on Friday evening, I had no idea what their weekend would comprise of, and that always makes me a bit uneasy, but I learned a long time ago that the more I stressed and agonized over the situation, the more I would only make MYSELF crazy.  When I first arrived at the field on Saturday morning, all bundled up myself, I immediately noticed that my son was not properly dressed.  His congestion was very apparent, and his hands were very cold.  Always remembering that the methotrexate injection that he gets weekly, suppresses his immune system, I am always erring on the side of CAUTION when it comes to his health, how he eats and how he dresses.  I immediately took off my gloves and made him wear them.

After the game was over, the winds had kicked up and the drizzle started and my first thought was, "time to leave and go home."  But, they were not coming home with me, so I had no say so.   I prolonged my departure, but realized that their father was not rushing to leave despite the rain, and as I was proceeding to get more and more stressed, I decided it was time for me to just leave and not continue to witness what I knew would inevitably make me "lose it."   I have no idea how long they remained out in the cold and rain playing, but I would later hear on that evening that "Nia is coughing a little."

We all know that rain and cold does not "cause" one to get sick, however, if one's immune system is not strong, the cold and rain wear one down even further, and consider that Nia had been running up and down playing soccer, probably sweating underneath the layers.   And remember, she is my "picky" eater.

Knowing how she is, I know what I have to do to keep her as well as possible.  I make it my life's mission to do this on a daily basis, analyzing what I feed her with purpose for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Those soups I love to make over and over again, have a ton of great "goodness" in them because I know it's my best "ONE" shot for the day with her.

Sunday morning, I called to speak to the children and I was told that Nia was in the shower, and I immediately knew what that meant -- she was coughing the night before.   I spoke to her father and asked how she was doing and he said, "she coughed a bit but she is fine."  He said he was giving her cough med and mucinex.  Wonderful.   I then offered, "can I make some soup for her."   He responded, "no thank you, we are fine."

Something told me (most likely it was God) to still break out the SOUP ARSENAL, and so on Sunday I prepared 2 pots of soup.  One Chicken Noodle Vegetable, and a Chicken Brown Rice Vegetable.  

Monday morning before school, I called to speak to the children and again I was told that she is in the shower.  GOTCHA!!!!  I know she is not fine, but she is not with me, so what can I do.   Her father took her to school and I picked her up and we left straight from school to head over to the farm for pumpkin picking with her fellow Brownies.  I noticed she was coughing, but she was so happy to be with her friends, AND I had committed to take 2 other girls with us, so I had to follow through.  It was only 1 1/2 hrs, so I did not worry too much about it.  

I was not going to believe that she "suddenly" started to cough.  As the evening progressed, it got worse, and it was "one of those nights!"  Violent coughing attacks.  I made her drink so much, she had to get up to go to the bathroom about 3 times during the night and woke up at 4 a.m.  At that time, we just stayed up, had tea, lots more water, until we dozed off for a bit.  YES, I was soooooooooo tired!   Miles ended up coming into the living room where we were at about 6:45 a.m. and woke me up (as I slept sitting up on one end of the couch with Nia on the other end).  She remained asleep........... only for another 20 minutes to wake again coughing.

So here we are, another day, home together,  and I will be Nurse Mommy doing "my thing" to get her well.   She already had some lovely "Mommy made" soup, tea, water, some vitamins and now we will make a lovely bath for her with some lovely soothing eucalyptus oils.

A cough is a natural reflex that protects your lungs.  Well, we will work on loosening up this cough and I can already anticipate that it will not go away in one day.   Nia has had this issue since she was about 2 years old.  One day I came home from work, and found my nanny (it's hard to find great nannies.  She informed me by phone that Nia was not well, but she really did not convey the true gravity of the issues - she did not know) at the time, holding her as she was breathing erratically and her body was jerking.  At the immediate sight of her, I knew something was very wrong and quickly took her to the emergency room, where we stayed for many hours until they stabilized her, and that was when we were introduced to the nebulizer.  Over the past year, she seemed to be growing out of it, but I truly feel that this time, her issues are based on "lack of proper" care.   A situation left to get out of control.  I felt bad keeping her home today given the fact that it's picture day at school (and she was going to look so beautiful) but I certainly could NOT send her to school with this obnoxious coughing that she is doing.

Gosh, it's only October -- as I reminded her father.  "Campbell" Soup for breakfast and morning showers will not heal my precious little one.   The funny thing is, her and her brother always look forward to coming back to me when they are sick.   I used to resent the fact that I was always left to deal with the children's illnesses, but I also know that I will do whatever it takes to get them WELL and HEALTHY again - I give them my very best.  I believe in my program and anything less is just not good enough under the circumstances. 

I know that my ex-husband relies on me to do what he knows I will do - get the children straight.  I can't even count the amount of Mondays that a sick child was given back to me after they spent the weekend with him.  There have been nights that I have had to jump out of bed, and go and get Nia because she was "too much" for him to handle when she is sick.   A little over a month ago, Miles had an accident at 10 pm at night, tripped, fell, hit his head, and had to go to the emergency room -- again, I had to go RESCUE my angel.  She was so distraught over what happened to her brother, seeing him bleeding and crying, she could not settle down.  But, once I got her back home, and held her tight, it was a matter of minutes before she was calm and drifted off to sleep.  The magic of Mommy! 

A situation left to get out of control... that is what one has to avoid when it comes to illnesses.  Some may think I am overly cautious, but if I sense something is "happening," I start to implement a "plan of action" to ATTEMPT to offset what may be happening!!!  Often times you will hear people say, "I think I am coming down with something."  They go home and take some aspirin or something and think that will "prevent" them from getting sick, and that will NOT work.  The key is to build up the IMMUNE SYSTEM as quickly and strongly as possible.

A compromised immune system will continue to be able to be further compromised.  This I learned recently.   You often hear some people say, "I never get sick," or "If I get sick, it's usually not a big deal."  A strong immune system works hard to keep the body well.  Then you have the other people who seem to get sick often, and that is because they are NEVER getting themselves STRONG enough to combat the NEXT germ or bout of something that is coming.

There are ALWAYS germs EVERYWHERE, and ALWAYS opportunities to get sick.   It takes a STRONG body to be able to fight and win the war!

I have a bible right by my bed, and right before I carried my beautiful daughter into the kitchen at 4 a.m. this morning, she asked if she could have it to say a prayer.  And this is what she said,  "Dear God, please help me to get better.  Please help me to remember to eat all of my lunch and drink all of my liquids when I am at school so that I can be healthy." 

She said more, but you get the gist!  We talk daily about how it's important for her to eat the healthy foods I give her, and drink all her liquids.  She told me, "Mommy, I don't like being sick."  I can appreciate that.  I don't like her being sick either.  She loves school and she especially LOVES her teacher! 

It seems reasonable to want to keep your children well so that they can be well enough to go to school to learn and do all the great things that children are supposed to be doing.  Since my efforts are only MY efforts to keep the children as well as possible, I can only do the very NEXT BEST reasonable thing...

Keep myself well, so I am able to take good care of them!   Luckily I worked out hard over the weekend.  Not getting great sleep last night is a downer, BUT, I feel very well and very strong.  I also feel great that Sunday was to be my exercise "rest" day, but I did not rest, so TODAY, I can rest with my darling baby!

16 October 2009


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. ~ Helen Keller

Woulda-shoulda-coulda.....how many of us have uttered one or all of those words at one time, or many times in our lives? Missed opportunities. Missed events. Missed occasions. Missed memories. Missed relationships.

Even the little things we choose to do or not do in a given day can make all the difference in the world.

This morning, I thought about how I felt when I started my workout at 5:30 a.m. I was not so eager to do it, but I realized that the time was perfect since the children were sleeping and I had NOT one single excuse to not do it. I had no reason to DENY myself ONE SINGLE HOUR to do something good for my mind, body and soul. Finish by 6:30, the day is open for all else I have to do... so truly NO EXCUSES. I jumped right in and got it going and within 10 minutes I was so happy that I did not HESITATE to workout.

I thought about how we do this and why? We are sitting around worrying about problems, worrying about what we have to do, what we don't have, how bills are piling up, the disagreement that was had the night with someone, all the housework, the weather, the upcoming holidays.......

But none of those things remotely matter for ONE HOUR out of your day. An hour that can truly prove to enhance your ability to better deal with all the above mentioned issues. You have to stop and say, "I need this for myself so that I can feel better. I need to feel healthy, energetic, optimistic, clearer, more focused."

When you hesitate you fall into the TRAP of never being able to address your needs and desires FIRST. You fall into a false belief that everything else is more important, but while you are hesitating, what are you TRULY accomplishing? What do you have to show for your choice to hesitate?

When we hesitate, we give away time that we will never get back. To hesitate is to doubt, to act unwillingly, to pause...to waste time..

We hear the "little birdie" talking to us. We have an intuition, or a "feeling" about something. Go with your GUT! That's a good one.

Is it really your conscious sensible "gut" feeling talking to you telling you not to take care of yourself?? Can you truly believe such a thing would be true?

Everyone's life does not have to be a daring adventure because that may be undesirable, or simply unattainable for many people, but it should be somewhat of an adventure, something that makes you go a bit beyond just living, breathing and doing the same mundane things day in and day out.

Love should be part of the journey for all of us which encompasses at least one other somebody that you share with -- share time, love, feelings, experiences. And LOVE should be what you have for yourself throughout.

Is something preventing you from loving yourself? Before you can love others, you have to love yourself. Loving yourself means taking care of yourself. When you are able to take good care of yourself, you are then able to take good care of others. You are strong enough to lend that helping hand to someone else.

Moments of hesitation are not bad -- we are all entitled to those days when we make a choice and say, "I think I will sit this one out," knowing that you put good effort in prior to that decision and you WILL come back tomorrow and get back on track.

The problems, the work, the people , the "stuff"--- will all be there waiting for you AFTER you WILLINGLY take that time out for yourself... a small amount of time out of each day to do something VALUABLE for YOU.

Don't hesitate -- your life is passing you by.

15 October 2009

Belly bumps Part 2

Yesterday I wrote a blog about how it is actually a great idea to plan ahead and start a workout routine before getting pregnant so that it can be sustained through the pregnancy and after.   Being a fit mother-to-be is a wonderful way to embrace motherhood as well as giving a stronger ability to manage weight during and after the pregnancy.  So many women struggle with weight issues after childbirth to the degree that it lingers for many years after. If your doctor says it 's ok (and be honest about the TYPE of workout you will do), then go FORTH and exercise Mommy!

More memories came to mind yesterday's blog about my two pregnancies and I decided to come back today and share some more.  I had many other friends and work associates who went through pregnancies before, during and after my own, and so I definitely witnessed different experiences.  It was very easy for me to maintain my fitness program during my pregnancies for two reasons, (1) I had exercise equipment at home, and (2) I had a  FULL-service, FITNESS CLUB in the building where I worked, and I would go EVERY MORNING, Monday -Friday at 5:15 a.m.

For the first 4 months, I did not tell anyone that I was pregnant, though I suspected that they could tell that my body was looking different week after week.   I got very "BUSTY" almost immediately and it was very difficult to hide the "GROWTH," a growth I should have definitely embraced (LOL), but I did not because (a) it gave away my "secret", and (b) it was harder to run with the extra "BOUNCY" volume!  See how my mind worked?  I was more worried about not being able to exercise than being "BOOB mama!"  How did I manage this?  I wore 2 sports bras together for extra support and minimization of "bounce!"

I was not one of those women who did not show until month 7 --- my "BELLY BUMP" was protruding from month 3 despite my 5 day a week workout routine, and it was a pretty intense routine.  I think I was more self-conscious about it because I was used to having a FLAT stomach.   I was still running 4-5 miles a day up until about month 6, and I cut back to about 3 miles in month 7 with the first pregnancy.   I lifted weights and did the machines throughout both pregnancies.    I did not have the opportunity to do "pregnancy" exercise classes, but I know that NOW, there are MANY fantastic ones to pick, choose and refuse, as well as home pregnancy workout DVDs.   Prenatal YOGA seems DELICIOUS! 

During my 1st pregnancy, my company attire was very "corporatey" and so I purchased quite a few very lovely suits and dresses.   Three years later for my second pregnancy, we had become a "dress down" firm, and so I was able to be more trendy and cute, sporting things like, leather pants, tight tops, designer jeans, and I have to mention (don't recommend this) that I was quite vain about how I looked walking, and I wore heels throughout BOTH pregnancies.  I refused to "WADDLEl!"   There was a very sweet security guard who greeted me every morning as I entered the building to go to the gym, and he was always amazed that I was showing up every morning as usual.   He would often comment, "so, when are you going to start waddling?  All pregnant women waddle."   That's all I had to hear.  I REFUSED to waddle.

I truly think "exercising" helped me to not waddle.   I felt strong, had good posture, strong legs, and I did continue to wear a 3 inch heels throughout and I can proudly say.... NO WADDLING occurred.  My security guard will attest to this fact. Again, I am not recommending that anyone wear heels... just sharing what I did.   

I can truthfully tell you that during my first pregnancy, I was the "center" of attraction.   All eyes were on me every morning!  "Here she comes, Miss Belly!"  There were no other "very" pregnant women coming to the gym everyday.  Most of the time, the women who got pregnant would start out with good intentions, and then stop coming after their 5th month or so.   I was a bit self-conscious of how I "looked" and thought about only working out at home, but I truly "FELT" great all over, so why did I need to change my routine?? The only thing I did change was I stopped driving in around month 7 and my husband would drive me in  -- door to door service!  Milk it if you can Mommas!!   This we did because I was lugging a big backpack and clothes everyday so it helped to not have to walk from the parking garage with all that stuff and MY BIG BELLY!

The guys at the gym (who by the way, I worked with them) started getting nervous when I was still showing up in month 9... it was HYSTERICAL.  Some of them would crack jokes saying, "hey you need to be careful, your water may break and I want to use that machine!"   Ha ha!  Making them nervous was a LOT of FUN!!

I was truly a TREND setter!  A few women who became pregnant toward the end of my pregnant approached me and said, "I hope I can last as long as you did!  You are my inspiration!"   I rooted for them even when I was at home on maternity leave, I would sometimes call the job to find out if they were still "at it."

I also ended up sharing some of my clothes with other Mommies-to-be because I knew how they felt, and I knew how expensive it was to buy a lot of "cute" maternity clothes.   I knew how it felt to wake up to get dressed for work and stand in front of the closet wanting to cry because nothing fit, or nothing looked good when you put it on. 

Though it was hard to be energetic while pregnant, I can say that I was sooooooooooooo happy I chose to work out consistently with both pregnancies because I truly felt strong and healthy during both pregnancies, and I recouped quickly from both c-sections within a few days.

Often times when a woman gets pregnant she considers the pregnancy like a time to "take a break" and "rest" as if she is going through an illness or recovering from a bad wound.   This is not the case.  You do NOT have to do strenuous exercise, and should not if you were not doing it before your pregnancy, but you should do something that is HEALTHY and good for you.   It can help to improve your mood, relieve stress, and prevent you from developing certain conditions like gestational diabetes for starters!  

Consider if you already exercise, why would you stop?  You have lovely toned arms, legs, back.... keep working on them so that they remain that way throughout!  

Exercising tends to keep a person disciplined about how they eat as well.   Being pregnant does not mean "open season for gluttonous" eating.   Your baby deserves good nutrition and so do you!   Just how some foods can trigger headaches, mood swings, stomach issues, etc., when you are not pregnant, they still have the same capacity when you are pregnant.

To all the Mommies-to-be, don't agonize over being pregnant.  Sit down and figure out how you want your pregnancy to be, and try to "plan" out what few things you will do that will ultimately make you feel better, healthier, happier, and excited about the life that you are bringing into the world.

There is "LIFE AFTER PREGNANCY," so consider that what you do for 9 months will have a huge impact thereafter.   It's a tough job alone having to be a parent, possibly dealing with a colicky baby, adjusting to the new life .... so if you can combat the issue of HEALTH and WEIGHT to some degree beforehand, it will make things a bit (or a lot) easier down the line!

Maybe you will be the trendsetter at your job, in your family... in your neighborhood!   Don't worry about how you look... just take care of you Mommy!

14 October 2009

Belly bumpin' and runnin'

It came to me in a dream....... LOL!  While working out this morning, a pregnancy memory came back to me that I wanted to share.   During my pregnancies, I worked out for the entire 9 months with both pregnancies with my doctor's approval.  I love my obstetrician, a truly dedicated doctor, and he would say to me, "Well, as long as you feel fine, go ahead."  He also told me about one of his other patients who did rock climbing for a while during her pregnancy.  When I heard that, I knew I could continue going to the gym everyday!

Let me just repeat that all pregnant women should get their doctor's approval if they want to work out while pregnant.  I have met many women who went into a bit of a panic when they found out they were pregnant and wanted to START a workout program thereafter.  This is much like putting the cart before the horse... wrong order!   If you are in the child-bearing years, I urge each and every woman to include a workout program as part of her lifestyle prior to pregnancy, and this will make the transition before, during and after pregnancy so much easier.

With my first pregnancy, I was running a lot and did so about 5 days a week up until my 7th month when I had to take a time-out due to a cold that I caught around December 1998.  I also did some outdoor biking up until month 4 and the only reason why I stopped that is because I was afraid of falling off my bike :)!!  With the growing belly pressing into my diaphragm by December, and the labored breathing with the cold, I just could not sustain a decent jog anymore, but that did NOT deter me from continuing with my workout.   M-O-D-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N!   That was all that was necessary to keep my pregnancy fit program going.  I took to more walking, doing the elliptical training and continued with light strength training.

I loved my pregnancy!!!  I was determined to be a very healthy, fit, and "hands on" mother.   No!!.... I had no clue about what it would be like to have a baby to take care of but I was walking into the situation bright-eyed, STRONG, HEALTHY and determined to do my best.   After about 18 hours of non-progressive labor, I had a c-section and had my lovely, handsome 8lb. 8oz. son!   He was very demanding but I managed to walk on the treadmill at home a few times a week until returning to work 3 1/2 months later down about 15 lbs.  He was born in February and so it was very cold!  I went back to the gym on the exact DAY that I  returned to work, and got back to my 6 day a week workout routine immediately.  The last 10 lbs fell off and I was back to myself a few months after that!!!

My pregnancy with Nia was about the same but I did not run as much with her.  I had some strange pelvic discomfort (it would be especially apparent after sitting for a long while and then trying to stand up) that set in around month 6 so I did more elliptical training and strength training this time around.  My nutrition was very important to me with both pregancies.  I ate 3 big meals a day and had a couple snacks in between.  I did not have any cravings for anything fattening, but I loved my spicy foods.   I would enjoy weekly Mexican lunches and lovely big fat pasta dishes!!  Lots of calcium, lots of WATER, and my prenatal supplements that I bought from the vitamin store!!!  No I did not take the supplements that the doctor would prescribe, but he knew that I was taking a GREAT supplement in it's place!!

My doctor was going out of town on Nia's due date, May 13th and this made me CRAZY and INSANE.  Remember how I told you that I love my doctor?  You want to know why?   Because he agreed to schedule Nia for a C-section the day before he was leaving town.   Isn't that sweet?  It gets better.  Knowing that she WOULD be born on May 2nd, I decided to get up at 4 a.m. that morning and do a 20 minute workout on the elliptical machine ..... .just because ...... LOL!  And so I did!   By noon that day, my lovely 7lb 6 oz angel came into the world, healthy as ever!  

With both pregnancies, DAILY EXERCISE, I only gained 32 VERY HEALTHY pounds with each child.  Yes, the same weight gain with both, though I looked slightly different each time.   The advantage of having Nia in May allowed for me to get outside and start running again about 3 weeks after having her!!  I worked out just about everyday for 12 weeks on maternity leave.   Woohoo!  By the time I returned to work in September, I was back down to size... AND FIT!

I feel very blessed to have been able to work out and stay fit and healthy during both pregnancies.   Gaining 32 lbs with each of them was FANTASTIC!!!  It was not cookies, ice cream and cake gain, but just real, natural, healthy MATERNAL weight gain.   I feel more blessed that I brought two amazingly healthy children into the world.  My original pediatrician pointed this out to me one day when he told me that I was indeed very lucky and very blessed since this does not happen with all pregnancies.   I will never forget what he said.  I still feel lucky and blessed!! THANK YOU GOD!

No, my pregnancy was not some fairytale blissful happening.  I did stress, cry, scream, etc., like all normal pregnant women.  I remember losing my mind a few times with both.  I remember hating the "smell" of a BANANA and wanting to beat my husband at the time with the bananas that he would love to eat despite my telling him not to!!! LOL!   I remember the very bad toothache I had when I was pregnant with Nia, which afflicted me for about 4 months up until the morning of her birth!!  I remember crying about clothes and what to wear!!  I remember the WORSE, WORSE, WORSE heartburn!!!  I remember the GAZILLION trips to the bathroom every night!  I remember going to work wanting to sleep at my desk!

There are many more memories, but the one that stands out for me is that I stayed true to my "BELLY BUMP" and took good care of me in an effort to hopefully bring 2 healthy children into the world!!!  And then I knew it was one less thing I had to worry about -- the weight, thereafter!!!

There are so many great workouts today for pregnant women, and I urge any woman who is pregnant or considering getting pregnant, to choose to be active and healthy BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER !!!

You will thank yourself for years to come!!!

11 October 2009

Operation: Projects, organization and nurturing

"Start your child's day with love and encouragement and end the day the same way."  ~ Zig Ziglar

A three day weekend that has lots on tap, and the children and I discussed what we have to do to be successful this weekend.  Last night I told my son that along with finishing up 2 book reports, he will need to clean his room.  To my delight, he woke around 7:45 a.m. this morning (which was decent, he needs extra sleep on the weekends and today he gets his injection which will have him a bit fatigued over the next 48 hours), and he shut his room door.  About 8:30 a.m. he walked proudly out of his room to beckon me to come and see what he had done. He started "organizing" and cleaning up his room.   Woohoo!

Fifth grade is surely a huge step up from Fourth grade because the teachers are encouraging a lot of independence from the students.   I realize how very important it is for them to learn this at this age (10-11 years old), but as a parent, I also know that I MUST, consistently, do my job to make sure they are staying on track and not missing a beat.   There are no "hard" lessons to learn right now , but more so lessons to be taught, over and over.  It's important for me to impart the necessary wisdom to help create children who understand that FOCUS, and PERSISTENCE will generate satisfaction. 

Well, I will end here, and go forward on this sun shiny day to help my children do their best work possible so that they can walk into their classrooms on Tuesday sharing smiles, integrity and confidence knowing that they spent their weekends productively.

Happy Sunday!

08 October 2009

Again...a day in the life of... balance

“Health is wholeness and balance, an inner resilience that allows you to meet the demands of living without being overwhelmed.” — Andrew Weil, MD

I posted this quote on my Facebook page this morning around 5:00 a.m or so this morning while my children were sleeping, only to hear my daughter coughing at around 5:30 a.m.  I quickly dashed to her and gave her water in hopes that it would settle her down and she could get back to sleep. She has been fighting something since last Thursday.  I had to keep her home on Friday and again yesterday because she does indeed have a cold.  Some may say, "AGAIN? Wow, she seems to get sick a lot."  Well, I am not sure a lot is a proper choice of words, but she does not eat well on a consistent basis and I think her immune system is often compromised.  

I pride myself on being overly cautious and very "hands on" when it comes to taking care of my children because I know that in order for them to feel good and perform well, particularly in school, they must be strong and well.   I teach them about nutrition to the best of my ability so that they can understand why I do what I do.   Some parents/people may think it's too much, but I do not.   

First of all, having a child like Nia puts me at a disadvantage because she is definitely "picky" about what she eats. She sits and analyzes the texture and color of foods before she will remotely consider tasting certain things.  I try my best to convince her that I would never feed her anything that is "disgusting" in taste, but she challenges me each and every time.  Luckily I was able to introduce her to "soups" at a very early age, and so I can get her to eat a very nutritious bowl of soup that is packing with value.   People may notice that I often post on my Facebook page that I am making soup.... AGAIN.  When you find what works, you have to run with it and make it work to your advantage.  

I go out of my way to feed the children healthy breakfasts and dinners so I know they start and end the day strong, but I have no control over what happens at lunch time.  Though I make their lunches daily, I have no idea if they will eat it, all or part of it and this is especially the case for Nia. She loves to bring home "unfinished" lunches.

I feel however that my constant limited food selections done for Nia's picky ways puts my son at a disadvantage because he enjoys ALL sorts of foods.  I blogged before about how he could definitely be my "obese" child if I allowed him to quench all of his culinary THIRSTS.   Color, texture, aroma ALL appeal to his senses, and he is always curious about how various delicacies "taste."  I admire this trait of his, but it's a bit scary at times, so with this adventurous child of mine, I have to take time to explain to him that "shoveling" each and everything he sees could have severe repercussions for him that may not unfold until he is a teenager or an adult.   I give him the plain simple facts about "abusing" the right to eat.  

My mind wondered all over the place this morning after I prepared a lovely cup of GINGER and PEPPERMINT tea for Nia since she complained about her stomach, which I suspect was ailing from post nasal drip or the "CABBAGE" dish I prepared for dinner last night... LOL! Imagine she did enjoy it!   Miles was very fatigued which seems to be the case for him a lot given the fact that his weekly injections of Methotrexate truly slow him down, so for him, I made a weak "regular" cup of tea to give him the "feeling" that he was getting an energizing cup of "adult" tea.   He had to redo some homework that he had not done correctly last night.   Now that we are in 5th grade, his responsibility to his work has increased incredibly, and it's a challenge to make sure he is getting everything done, on time, neatly and properly.   I actually sit with him and go over EVERYTHING, making sure (to the best of my ability) that he is really understanding  the "WHY" and the "HOW" of all his work.  I don't want any surprises later in the school year.   He will be getting these injections until at least next June 2010, so it will be a process throughout. 

A lot of "day in the life of..." things occurred in this one little morning, and quite frankly, they occur daily and it got me realizing that my quote at the top of this page is really significant to all our lives and how we go about handling the "little" things.   The "little" things can truly become "big" things if you don't handle them properly.  

Friday and yesterday, my life was stopped, once AGAIN,  dead in it's tracks, as I had to drop everything and tend to my child to get her well.  Keeping her home from school is not a simple, "keep her home from school," where I do my work and she just lays down.  It entails "nursing her" "feeding her well" to get her strong enough to return to school the next day -- hopefully.   I could not go against the "parenting schedule" that I have in place with my ex-husband last weekend, but if I had kept her Saturday and Sunday, I would have worked on her to get her truly well for school on Monday.  Monday she was clearly still congested but her symptoms were being "masked" with cold remedies.   Cold remedies from the drugstore do NOT cure anything.  

Tuesday she ate dinner with her father, and remember my "finicky" eater does not appreciate certain foods, so imagine (she told me) her distress when she told me that she had "fried catfish" for dinner that night.  Her belly was not full, and certainly had nothing nutritious in it to help her "build" up her immune system.   

Back to those parents/people who think that "caring" for children is no big deal or does not warrant certain effort, that is not the case.  It's a very big deal.  I have actually witnessed my children's behavior when they have eaten certain things and thought to myself, "never again."  It could be that their focus is affected, or they get stomach aches, headaches, hyper, jittery, fatigued or just "blah," and this is why it's just as important to monitor what they eat like how an adult would if they care about their health.  

I used yesterday and this morning to pack as much nutrition as possible into my babies, and I thought about the "great" feeling I had that I make this effort because I know it serves a purpose.  I actually sit down and "talk" EYE to EYE with my children explaining my purpose so they understand.  I ask them if they ever feel sick in school because I want to know if it could be related to something they ate so that we can know how it affected them and know what to change for next time.  I am not going to just send them off and not know "why" they may struggle on some days when I could have done something to prevent it.  

Back to those crazy thoughts.  Hang in there with me.   I also thought about how I used to be a few years ago when I had a nanny and would leave the house at 5 a.m. to get to the gym before work, a time in my life that I truly appreciate, but I can say, "wow, my attitude is different now."   At that time,  I don't think I had the thought of "balance" in tact as I do now.  I am much more "aware"and in tuned to the "present moment" as it affects health.   I actually stop and think about what choices I make for my children, at a given moment, knowing that it is IMPORTANT for their health.   What I do NOW, will make all the difference in their FUTURE.   Perhaps I can help them to grow up WITHOUT the struggles of worrying about weight and health -- which ends up ROBBING people of a lot of their time.  Time that they invest psychologically, mentally and emotionally.  

I also realized that I used to get "crazed" when the children would get ill, definitely feeling overwhelmed, upset, angry.   You know that feeling, the "oh great, this is all I needed!" attitude that does not help anyone.   Dr. Weil truly made a great quote when he talks about having that inner resilience that allows you not to be overwhelmed.   It's not about my daughter being home sick AGAIN, it's about me knowing what I have to do to keep her well, and ME also realizing that as much as I want to complain about what OTHERS are feeding her and not doing effectively for her health is OUT of my CONTROL.  I can only do my part to teach her and eventually as she grows up, she will know what is BEST for herself. 

Managing your health and wellbeing definitely gives you that INNER RESILIENCE that enables you to not let any small mishaps with health overwhelm you because you know you are doing your best to avoid the big mishaps later down the road.  


05 October 2009

Whole Living

What does it mean to be healthy? ... and...
What does it mean to be alive?  

Many people are disllusioned by what is the meaning of true HEALTH and what it means to be ALIVE.  Let's start with what it means to be ALIVE.   Being alive means being able to enjoy health and vigor of mind, body and spirit. 

To have VIGOR is to have the capacity for strength, intention, doing,sustaining an activity.  Oh, there goes another key word, "ACTIVE," and the definition of ACTIVE, is an act of doing something or causing something to happen.  ACTIVE actually has a broader meaning because it is not only about physical activity, but also about the underlying meaning of HEALTH, which includes having a positive functioning mind, and an upbeat spirit.

No matter what is going on in the world at large, your first priority should go to LIVING with good HEALTH on all levels -- mind, body and spirit, which means achieving a BALANCE.  I am writing this blog because I am disturbed by the choices of some people who do not seem to realize that just eating healthy FOOD will not enable them to be HEALTHY at all.  You don't get a second chance to do it over.  Now is the time to stop and think about what is not right, FIX it, and LIVE out the best life you can. 

A person could have the most amazing nutrition program filled with all the best organic, natural wholesome foods and still be the most TOXIC, negative, unhealthy, unhappy person walking around daily.  I happen to know a few people like that, one being a very healthy woman who could truly call herself (though she is not) a "nutritionist," because of her wealth of knowledge about foods, and her commitment to her diet.  She is one to be admired for her diligence to "clean" eating, but you can not admire her beyond that when she starts to talk.

We have a choice in life to REFUSE to live in a self-induced mental prison that has us focused on all the bad in the world.   In that prison, there is a continuous breaking down of the mind and spirit that causes the person to become blind about what TRUE LIVING is about. They don't have the capacity to feel gratitude, love, compassion, grace, or the desire to even seek help.  They criticize everyone and everything around them, and do it so much that they come to believe in a FALSE sense of reality.  They don't see any beauty in the world, and they don't believe that GOOD does indeed exists.  They don't realize that they have a LIFE that has a purpose and it is to find JOY and help others to find their JOY too.

If a person's spirit is broken, it needs to be fixed.  It needs a new form of exercise, nutrition and habits to get it to be HEALTHY again.  It does not matter if it was broken for a long time, the key is to get it fixed so that the person can START living and appreciating TRUE health and goodness.

Something horrible happened to the person who decides that they want to live with a toxic negative mind, resisting love, and resisting love from others.  Can we figure out how to get them healthy ?  They need to know that they are not healthy until it's fixed. 

Whole Living is about taking care of the mind, body and spirit.   Exercise helps on all levels, nutrition helps on all levels..... getting help ... HELPS.   Wanting to be WHOLE is a good thing.  Wanting to be unhappy, negative and resistant to LIFE and all it has to offer is unhealthy. 

Throughout life, we all should strive to be active as it is the best way to feel ALIVE.   You need an active brain, an active spirit, and ACTIVITY to maintain a healthy life, which includes fitness, working at home, working at work, interacting with loved ones and finding other fulfilling things to do.

Once you slow down, everything slows down.

This brings to mind my thoughts about both of my GRANDMOTHERS.  Two women with BIG HEARTS.  One is 92, and went to church on Saturday and she has a great spirit, loves seeing people.  Over the years, she inspired others, helped many, and brought great joy to the hearts of many, along with her amazing talents in sewing, cooking, singing, and reciting many stories and poems  -- and still to this day! 

My other grandmother is not quite 90 yet, but she too has amassed many decades of GREAT loving, giving, energy, and dedication to all those around her.  Over my lifetime, I can't say that every single day both of these women "climbed mountains" and displayed perfection, but I can say, they BOTH kept their WILL to be VIGOROUS throughout!

Dear Diary

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.~ Jim Rohn

Dear Diary, 

Saturday night I was up rather late and I dreaded the thought about how I would feel on Sunday because I knew I had a full day planned to workout and tend to many different things.   I really could not detach myself from what I was doing so I can not say that I felt guilty, but I started to feel like Sunday would not be as purposeful of a day for me.  

I opened my eyes sometime after 7 a.m. on Sunday and thought, "ok, I got over 6 hours sleep, I should be ok."  No need to overly analyze exactly how I was feeling physically because I just know that I will not get a clear reading until I am up and walking around for at least 15 minutes.  I certainly had no intentions of trying to sabotage myself so early in the day either!!!

I followed my normal routine, coffee, computer, tv, open windows, started some laundry (that endless laundry which is like a stubborn rash!), and then I logged onto my "Team Beachbody" website to enter the SuperGym and get my workout underway.  I was not even supposed to workout yesterday because it was a "rest" day on my P90X schedule (Day 41),  but I decided to go against the schedule because (1) I felt good and in need of some sweating (2) I wanted to.  

I had a great 3 mile run and some great toning exercises thereafter, and then I went about my day to do all that I had to do.  I decided on Friday that I would tweak my nutrition habits a bit just to see what would happen over the next few weeks, so I prepared a Brussel Sprout and Kale soup, which was quick and came out amazingly delicious and nutritious, along with a lovely Jamaican Jerk roasted salmon.   I enjoyed eating this creation as I knew it would do wonders for my body with all it's goodness.   

But Diary, do you know what happened a little later?   While in the midst of running around, doing, going, going and doing, etc., I got tired.   Noticeably tired.   Well, I did not bother to get upset and I did not try to fight it.  Instead, I took a one hour nap and felt amazing thereafter and then I resumed my activities for the day.  The body and mind just needed a little "time-out."

Good health requires different things on different days and it all comes back to balance.  The human body needs exercise, good nutrition and lots of rest in between.  Resting ties up all the loose ends and keeps you able and strong.   Exercising and eating right are essential, but those two by themselves can not enable you to be ideal.  

Diary, I just love the fact that I listened to my body yesterday because TODAY I feel great!  It's one thing to PLAN to take a nap during the day because you want to just have a lazy day, but it's another to ANSWER a call your body is making to you!!!! 

See you tomorrow! 

02 October 2009

My Love Life

Is still a slightly sensitive topic of interest for my children, and I am very comfortable with that.  I certainly do not intend to introduce them to one man or various men at this stage of their lives since it's very obvious that they are still coping with the divorce. 

Due to them NOT having any knowledge about whether or not I have a love life, in their minds, they think that I do NOT, plain and simple.   We discussed this earlier this year here at good ol'  "Sync in..." when I blogged about how my son told me that I will never ever get married again (April 3, 2009, "Miles andMoments").  He said it bluntly with all the love in his heart and meant it.  If you recall, he told me that my "Elizabeth Taylor/Cindy Crawford" mole at the side of my mouth will scare men off!  This I am sure he said to make me feel hopeless ... LOL!  He is so wise. 

A few months have passed since that endearing conversation, and guess what?   NOTHING HAS CHANGED ...

How do I know this?  I certainly did not purposely bring up the subject today but as "life" would have it, it did indeed rise to the surface all on it's own.  Lucky me.  Well, cease the opportunity, right?

The three of us were walking from school today and my darling son was mumbling something and I thought he said "date," and so I made a joke and I said, "I need a date!"

He replied, "NO WAY!!  You are not dating anyone!"

So I asked him, "still you say this?  ....Why? .... I am allowed to date you know."  I told my handsome little man that I could be dating right now and if so, what then?  And we continued to drive to the house. 

Nia never really touches on the subject which has me believing that she just does not know what to think of the whole thing, but she is not totally against the idea.  

As I pulled into our driveway, she yelled out, "Mommy, you should start a website called, 'WHY NOT DATE ME.COM'...You could probably get lots of dates that way."

I could not stop laughing.   I certainly do not think it is appropriate for me to discuss "dating" with my 7 and 10 year old, but skimming the surface to see what is on their minds seems totally healthy and certainly entertaining.   They still believe I am not dating and not in love with anyone, and that is MORE THAN OK with me, and it's good to know we can engage in these refreshing conversations from time to time. 

They are little people with big thoughts and I love to hear them!

Out of sight, but still in mind

The phone rang the other morning, and to my surprise, as I looked at the caller ID, it was my last nanny, Ms. Murvia, calling to say hello and see how we were doing.  She told me she was sitting outside of her job (a preschool where she works) and got there a bit early and said, "I am going to call Miss Jacquie and see how she and the children are doing."  We had a lovely 15 minute conversation and it warmed my heart and made my day.

Last year January 2008, when I lost my job, I had to let her go since there was much uncertainty about the coming months.  She lived about 40 minutes away and had a very full life, very devoted to her family and very active in her church, so she would certainly stay busy despite not coming to help me.  In fact, during her 1 1/2 years with us, she did an amazing amount of driving back and forth between my house and her house, tending to first her dying sister, and then her dying brother who ended up dying around April/May 2008.  So when I let her go, she was off to Florida a lot see him and help him.

This was her spirit and still is today, a true lady who my children came to feel like she was a "grandmother" to them, because in everything she did, she did it with genuine love and concern.  Often in life, we meet people, spend a certain amount of time together, perhaps months, perhaps decades, and once we go our separate ways, we sometimes never reconnect or check up on one another. 

We all do this where we say to another, the few times we see each other, "you know you are in my thoughts." Well, if you had a good relationship in the past, of course you can say that and it should be believed.  We do, we certainly do think about various people who left meaningful stamps in our hearts (and even some of those who did not) on occasion, some more than others.   Their impressions will remain forever.

Today, I happened upon an email from a friend who shared that today was the birthday of her brother who passed away recently, and she was sharing that she still misses him.  I thought it was a brave and wonderful gesture on her part to reach out to her friends and family and let them know how she was feeling today, and she included some people who had NO idea that she even had this brother who passed away.   It was a moment to stop and reflect.

I thought about the fact that though we can assume that our loved ones, be them family or friends, know we are thinking of them, we can not know WHEN that certain person(s) is at a crossroad that has them sad, or hurt, or ill, or just alone, and how if you reached out with a CARING phone call, note, letter, email or something, it would mean the world and change the spirit of their day.

 Ms. Murvia and Miles

This I thought of when my wonderful dear Ms. Murvia called a few day ago to "check in."  She reminded me that out of sight does not mean "out of mind," and that at those MOMENTS, where you have just 5 or 10 minutes and someone comes to mind, why not try to call and just say "HELLO, How are you? I think about you all the time."   We need to remember to live for TODAY, and never be afraid to check on those you care about when it crosses your mind!