Life is an adventure full of trials & tribulations where we are constantly reminded of the importance of gratitude. I reflect upon this during times of good and bad. We make choices each and every day, some more difficult than others. And, no matter the pains, there is almost always someone else out there who is not as fortunate. The reality of life is that it is what you make of it. Preachy words…I know. Nonetheless, words deriving from self-talk that exists to save ourselves from self-absorbed behaviors.
Depending upon perspective, you live life with a glass half empty or half full. Optimists are taught to crave a glass half full while having a glass half empty is associated with a negative perception. I’d like to flip the switch on this age old idealism.
What is so wrong with longing for more in life? Does this necessarily translate into not appreciating current blessings and what may already be in the glass? I believe the answer to these questions may come down to an exercise of self awareness.
On one hand, my glass is half full. I am truly grateful. But on the other and more humbling hand my glass will always be half empty. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers and can always make room for more. I personally don’t believe there is anything wrong with craving more patience, wisdom, understanding and empathy while at the same time appreciating what is already in my glass. I think the real lesson is that, whether your glass is half empty or half full, it is important to make every effort to raise it up and share it with others.
So proud of my son, graduating middle school. And my daughter who is moving into her final year of elementary school. They are my joy of life. Nothing makes me smile more than to watch them grow, celebrating achievements both big and small along the way. And nothing makes me happier than seeing them at the start and end of every day. 💜
I am spending a lot more time in the produce aisle these days. In fact, my kitchen counter is beginning to look like “Hawaii” according to my daughter:
Three weeks ago I claimed one shelf in the fridge. As of today, I have taken over all but 1 shelf and the “meat & cheese/deli” drawer:
I am noticing that the more I spread out, the easier it is to make better choices. I am thoroughly enjoying trying new things.
Today, I prepared a snack of steamed artichokes (feature picture). I brought water, garlic, lemmon juice and mustard seed to a slow boil. I placed the artichoke inside of a steamer basket for 20 minutes. While the artichokes were steaming, I decided to make a bean dipping sauce for them by placing chick peas and black beans in a blender. I plated the artichokes when ready and added some of the steaming water from the artichokes into my dip for a final blend. Soooooo good!!!!
I am gratful for change of seasons and Spring, my children who have been helping me in the test kitchen, and the strength within.
Tonight was my 3rd session with the coaches and group at Pro-Activity. It was a tremendous session. I felt a lot more motivation and energy in the air as we push on together into week 3 of the Plant Based Diet. We supported each other by sharing perceptions, ideas, recipes and even our stories. My coach Anthony told his story which again was the inspiration for my journey and this blog. His story serves as motivation, encouragement and support to all of us in the room tonight who may have been feeling a little overwhelmed, perhaps going through withdrawal as our bodies and minds struggle to make that connection…to break the cycle of polluting our bodies and minds with garbage.
One homework assignment from week 2, left unresolved, is setting my daily affirmation. I thought long and hard about this. I even looked through old pictures, searching for a happier and healthier version of me. I realized that I did not have many pictures of myself. Digital photography was not yet born when I was feeling good as a teen and into my early twenties. And when digital photography really did take off, so did I, straight down the path of trouble with my health. It seemed easier to be taking all of the pictures of my family so that I could conveniently not be in them. It is time to put the camera down and get into the picture.
I decided to switch it up this AM by taking a break from my usual oatmeal and fruit. I threw some kale, Pomegranite seeds, orange & cucumbers in the blender for a smoothie. It was satisfying. I was amazed at how long my hunger was curbed.
Leftover Vegetable Lasagna
Apple plus baked my own banana-coconut-oatmeal-cocoa bites. They were ok. Think I need to add more banana next time:
Today’s feature picture. Leftover vegetarian chili served in a bean sprout tortilla topped with crunchy alfalfa sprouts. YUMMY. I 💜 leftovers. I am finding it convenient to make dishes bulk and enjoying them throughout the week. Have been enjoying these sprouted grain tortillas:
I am grateful for the coaches at Pro-Activity for sharing recipes, insight and themselves. My family, friends and possibilities.
Tomorrow night will be my 3rd session for the Plant Based Diet Program @ Pro-Activity.
Reevaluate your initial goals ✅
🔜Set daily affirmation
Metrics/goal setting (create list: eat more/eat some/eat less)✅ in progress
Watch Forks Over Knives (Netflix) & Fuhrman/ Nutritional Science talk ✅
It has been another good week. Managing to stick with healthier choices. I feel as though my hunger is increasing even as I pack more fiber into my diet. Move minutes are up and I am entertaining picking up a Jawbone or Fitbit Flex to monitor not only my physical activity but also my sleeping patterns. I recognize that I am not getting enough sleep, but am curious about exactly how much I am getting.
Made a breakfast sandwich this morning topped with greens, tomato and portobello mushroom. It was pretty darn good. I also made a tofu veggie chili with quinoa that came out awesome!
I could not resist tasting some birthday cake tonight. Chocolate mouse….me bad! I somehow convinced myself that because I did not eat the cake, just a little filling, that this would be ok. It was tasty and there is just no substitute for an occasional taste of the chocolate sweetness of mouse…besides absence of course😉
So, many people who quickly increase intake of fiber and veggies experience bloating and gas 😳😷. I did some reading and plan to continue with my ginger tea before meals to help aid digestion and cut back on bloat. Some other good remedies that I have read about include chamomile and peppermint teas.
Hit my exercise bike for 35 minutes today, getting easier to push on. I can recall a time when 20 mins felt like torture, just did not have the energy then. This provides more motivation to continue down this path.
Feel thankful for ginger tea, hugs and kisses from my children and tomorrow.
Finding healthy substitutes has been an eye opener for me.
In fact, all of these great substitutes are defying the idea of “Less is More”.
An example of such a substitute is a great suggestion from my coach to cook down berries to use as syrup for whole grain pancakes or waffles. I was never a huge fan of pancakes or waffles but do make them for my family and can on occasion be caught eating one dry. My family finds this very strange as they thoroughly enjoy theirs topped with pure maple syrup direct from my in-laws home state of Vermont.
Reality is that the more berries and fruit that I add to top my dry oatmeal, pancakes & waffles in the AM, the more energy I will feel throughout the day.
On the other hand, less truly is more to the point of LESS empty calories vs. MORE nutrition packed choices making finding healthier substitutes important. Each day I am finding more healthy & enjoyable substitutes.
An open mind is key. I am pleasantly surprised of all of the great tricks I am learning to help steer away from sweeteners and oils. Another great substitute that I know I can happily stick to is the use of citrus and fresh fruit juice in place of dressings that contain oil and sweeteners. I thoroughly enjoyed using juice from 1/2 orange, 1/2 lemon mixed in with 1/2 of an avocado over kale. I highly recommend trying this. Mix it together real well and let sit for 5 mins to allow the greens to become saturated. Yummy!
I am grateful for curiosity and creativity that make the world interesting, family, friends, and the sunshine enjoyed today
Encouragement & Support
One of the motivators for me with the Plant Based Diet program at Pro-Activity is the support and encouragement offered from coaches and group peers.
We all have different personal goals and challenges.
I feel motivated by the diversity and enjoy exchanging ideas understanding that this is a completely personalized journey for each of us. What works for me might not work for you and that is all good. No one is comparing or judging.
Finding what works for YOU is what matters.
As does, keeping positive….all key to a sustainable lifestyle/diet change. If someone does not make you feel positive about your path because it differs from theirs…don’t talk to them about your journey. There are plenty of other things to talk about. And if all else fails …don’t talk to them at all or kindly restrict your comments to the weather❄️⛄️😉
Today’s feature picture was taken by my sister Kate while sharing a recipe for a homemade hot tea consisting of grated Ginger and Turmeric. I tried making it today:
SOS awareness: Salt, Oil, Sugar
Sub-zero temperatures call for some bone warming soup. A bowl of soup while dining out = oil and over 1000mg of sodium. A can of a “healthier” soup, take Amy’s for example, is half the sodium (not sure about the oil). Made my own today: 0 sodium and 0 oils. whole grains, whole grain pasta, and lots of veggies simmered in a water base. I seasoned with garlic and red pepper. It was ok. I will maybe make with 1/2 low sodium veggie broth next time for a little more flavor. The broth looked a little on the grey side but tasted better than it looked:
Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
Made “Rip’s” sweet potato veggie lasagna recipe (feature picture). No cheese-used tofu as ricotta substitute. Topped with pecans and nutritional yeast. I loved it!!! Was a hard sell for the family though…went in a little too hard for them. Will add chicken and a little cheese next time. Don’t want to scare them away. Baby steps!!!
Feeling great. Need to increase my water intake a bit more as I continue to pack more fiber into my diet. Move minutes are up. Dusted off my Total Gym and am really enjoying it now that I have more energy.
I am grateful for a warm home, wooly socks, my children and husband who was a great sport with tonight’s dinner!