27 August 2010

Summer Cooking has been good looking!

This summer has been wonderful, not only because of all the normal wonderful things that occur during summertime, but also because I was able to really try a bunch of new things.  One amazing thing that happened for me is that I did the Insanity 63 Day Challenge and I am currently doing Turbo Fire, 2 new workout programs for me that have unleashed a new level of creativity in my life.  I have a renewed sense of belief in myself and my abilities.  Would you ever expect a workout to produce this result?  A good workout program can and should produce such a results, and that is why I continue to encourage people to get on a great health journey because you can't even begin to imagine the benefits... it's beyond just being physically fit.

I learned how to cook years back when I was 9 years old, but I can't say that I remained faithful to the skill.  I am a self-taught culinary artist.  I am perfecting my skill on a daily basis and I enjoy it.  At one point it surely felt like a frustrating chore.  For quite a few years while I was still working on Wall Street, I grew to love dining out mostly in New York City, and in other wonderful restaurants while traveling all over the world, and so I embraced that wonderful period of my life when I could be spoiled by some of the world's best chefs!  Though I may not have wanted to cook, I certainly wanted to taste all sorts of great cuisine.  

Now that I am a blessed mother of 2 children, it's very important to me to educate them in many ways as it pertains to nutrition and health.  First, I teach them about healthy cuisine and the fact that they have choices.  Second, I hope to pass on this wonderful gift of being able to cook.  I come from a very confident cooking family!  My darling children already beg me to let them help in the kitchen, so I believe we are on the right track.  The third thing that has recently become apparent to me, that I would like to teach them, is that food has a purpose.   It nourishes the mind, body and soul.   Not only is it important to eat foods that are healthy for the body, but it is also important (to me) that the food offer a well balanced purpose.When you sit down to eat, you should enjoy the moment, truly reflect on how the dish looks, and savor the goodness of what you are putting in your body. 

This has been my mission all summer:  To prepare healthy foods, in a short amount of time, that looks and tastes amazing.  My mission will continue because I have enjoyed it thus far.  For the past 2 1/2 months, I have made some of the most amazing dishes... dishes that I have never made before, and this is only the beginning.....the best is yet to come!

Above, in order, Guacamole Wrap, Salmon Zucchini Fritters, Pink Grapefruit and Avocado Salad, Tilapia Piccata with Oven Roasted Vegetables, Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Stir Fry

23 August 2010

Helping yourself does help others

I really thought we were hearing about big increases in the percentage of people who are making their health a priority, but so many statistics say otherwise, and as a matter of fact, I think I get a good reality of this by the people I interact with daily.  There seems to be a lot of people who really want to, but have not committed to prioritizing their health concerns. 

One of the biggest barriers is guilt.  Mothers feel guilty about taking an extra hour or so a day for themselves.  Fathers feel like their jobs or yard work is their priority.  Some people think it's expensive, and this is not true.  Some think they should spend their money on other things.  In the long run, if you don't take care of your health, you will be faced with huge expenses.  The problem with guilt, however,  is it has no truthful role in our lives when it pertains to health.  Guilt actually makes you unhealthy.  A person forms irrational thoughts and opinions about something and then they lead themselves to feel a negative way about .. the thing.

At first I used to believe that one person had the ability to make someone else feel guilty.  This is not true either.. another false belief.  We are in control over how we choose to feel, and that is the truth.  It's important to look at the facts of a situation and then ask some very important questions:

Would taking care of myself benefit me? Yes.  Better than that.... Would taking care of myself benefit others in my life?  Most definitely.  Beyond all the obvious physical health benefits, there are emotional, psychological, spiritual benefits that can be put on a very long list. 

Today I was listening to a great talk about relationships and how it's important to establish them in life, in business, in every aspect of your daily existence.   People need people.   Though success is measured in many different ways,  you can't be successful without other people.  It's important to get to a place in life where you maintain good relationships.   I heard during this talk, that despite all the dismal news we hear daily, people actually like to be helpful to one another.   Honestly, if we could hear more "feel good" or humanitarian types stories everyday, most of us would feel more positive and healthy.
This is what it comes down to, the practice of healthy habits.   Being healthy is not just about exercising, it's also about how you live, how you treat others, and how you process life. 

Very quickly, the whole thing came together for me.  People, relationships, help must be combined with good health.   When it comes to health and making an effort to improve it, first the guilt needs to be sent packing.  People need to stop feeling guilty, and/or stop making others feel guilty.  We need to HELP one another to make the effort to work on being healthy on a daily basis.

I look at the faces of all the people who are on a journey to take care of their well-being, and I always see smiles.  I hear people shouting from the moutain tops about how they lost weight, lowered their cholesterol, ran a marathon, got really fit or flexible.  People love to share all this great news.   It's nice to hear it and it truly seems to draw people nearer, closer.

Whether you are a mother, a teacher, a scientist, or a dog walker, you are entitled to a huge slice of healthy living.  Most likely once you start on (or stay on) some type of program that is working, the people around you will want to know what you are doing and will want to do it too.  If they don't, perhaps they need some help??

Helping yourself  to be healthy does help others!