Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Healthy Eating on Vacation

As you are reading this post, I am enjoying a family vacation in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. We usually take one big family vacation a year and this year we rented a home in the woods to unplug and get away from it all. I look forward to telling you all about it when I return.

This post however is all about preparing the food for our vacation. Normally wherever we go we find a Costco so we can stock up on food that we can afford to feed our hungry crew. Up in the U.P. however, we didn't think that was going to be an option so I decided we would stock up here and bring it with us.

I headed off to Costco and Whole Foods yesterday and I got all my proteins. I got some ground turkey that I browned and made into taco meat. We will use that to make nachos, quesadillas, or taco salad. I froze it so it could make the trip in the cooler and will last long enough.

I also bought some ground beef and made up some Italian meatballs. Most of my kids love pasta but my 17 year old hates it so I always like to make the meatballs so he can have something he likes too. I baked them and froze them too.

I bought enough chicken for two meals. I made two different marinades, adobo and Margarita and let them marinate in the freezer overnight and then froze them in their raw form. I will be able to thaw them and throw them on the grill.

I also bought some hamburger patties and bison hotdogs that are made with out nitrates, hormones, or antibiotics. Those will be easy to grill up.

For breakfast I made my own pancake mix with whole grain pastry flour and aluminum free baking soda and bought some plain yogurt that I will mix with honey, fruit, and wholesome energy bars I bought at Costco. I also hard boiled some eggs.

For lunch I got some lunchmeat and the standard PB&J for the kids. I will eat leftovers and salads.

For snacks I got some organic popcorn, organic chips and some not so healthy pretzels. It's all about balance.

I will hit a grocery store when we get up there and stock up on veggies to supplement these main meals and to save some room in our cooler. We are borrowing a huge cooler from our friends to make all of this possible.

It was a bit of work but I got it all done in one day and it is going to save us some serious cash and keep us eating a bit healthier while we are out and about.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Simple Summer Dinner


So often I try to get creative with food and make something "really good." Maybe it's my history of growing up in a restaurant and eating out all the time. I was eating really good food all the time. We ate all kinds of ethnic food and delicious prepared meals. Nothing was plain or boring and I guess I wish I could still eat like this.

There are a few of problems with this. One is time. It takes a lot a time to create meals like this on a consistent basis. Not to mention needing a ton of special ingredients that you may never use again. The main problem is the kids. They often want to eat raw veggies when they won't eat them cooked and they usually like foods that are simple.

So what's a mom to do? Make it easy on herself that's what! For dinner I put a pork roast in the oven with some baked potatoes (I don't wrap them in foil or doing anything special to them). I walked away and in an hour I added some chopped up tomatoes I got from the farmers market and some pickled cucumbers from our garden. So easy!

The recipe for the cucumbers I got from the cookbook Desperation Entertaining. Of course I made some changes to it to make it a bit healthier.

Pickled Cucumbers
Serves 8

1/2 cup vinegar
1-2 tablespoons agave (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium cucumbers

Make the dresing. Thinly slice the cucumbers. Put the cucumbers in a shallow serving bowl and pour the dressing over the slices. Serve with a slotted spon to drain off the salad dresing.

Friday, July 30, 2010

How Our Garden Grows

"Mom, come here! You have to see these cucumbers! They are HUGE!!!!!"

"Mom, can we please pick the kale so we can make kale chips? I love kale chips!"

Come on, what mom doesn't like to hear the excitement in their kids' voices when they are talking about vegetables?! What could be better?

Every year we plant a garden. Usually it includes a wide variety of tomatoes and cucumbers. This year we decided to go big! We planted a Square Foot Garden and we love it! It was a bit of work in the beginning but that's what husbands are for. :o) Hee hee. Seriously though, it wasn't that hard and you can purchase kits with all the boards pre-cut and ready to go if you like.

The idea of the square foot garden is that it is a raised bed which means you can put it anywhere. You don't have to till the earth, you simply build the box and fill it with dirt. Easy Peasy! This design means you can even put it on your driveway or rooftop.

Another cool thing about it is that the vine plants grow vertically. My hubby made a trellis and we have watermelon, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers growing upwards so we can fit more into the space.

The box can be made in many sizes but the standard size is 4x4. We made 2 boxes that are 4x8 so we got lots of goodies. The box is divided up into 1x1 foot squares and you can plant each item in its own square. The book helps you plan it out and tells you how many of each vegetable will fit into the square. Tomatoes fit just 1 per square but cucumbers fit 4 and carrots fit 16. Pretty cool.

We have onions, garlic, butternut squash, collards, kale, watermelon, carrots, 6 kinds of tomatoes, 2 kinds of cucumbers, tomatillos, peppers, and a great variety of herbs. Now that the season is winding down I may see about putting in some cool crops for the fall. It's so fun.

If you have always wanted to try a garden and you just didn't know where to start this is a great way to get started. Even if you have experience with gardening like we did, you might want to give this a try. It looks so neat and tidy, requires a lot less work, and gives you a big bounty for little space.













Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nurturing Your Creativity

As a Holistic Health Coach I help people find balance in their lives whether it is with food, career, relationships, home environment and more. One of the areas that people seem to either love or hate is the area of creativity. I have some clients who embrace their creativity and others who feel they don't have a creative bone in their body.

The truth is we are all creative, some of us find different ways to express their creativity. People get wrapped up in the idea that creative equals artistic and that just isn't the case. Creativity can be expressed in so many different ways. People are creative in problem solving, cooking, planning, taking pictures, fashion, home decorating, singing, and more.

I personally am a very creative person and I tend to be artistic. I have always loved to draw and when I was in high school I had a true passion for art. I took just about every class they offered and I joined the Art Club and the Art Staff. I loved it!

Somewhere along the way I got the idea that I wasn't good enough to really be an artist so I gave it up. I guess that's that old perfectionism rearing its ugly head. Of course if you add on my busy lifestyle it makes it even more difficult to find the time to create.

Recently I got the bug to start doing something. I decided that I wanted to do an art journal because there was no pressure involved. I didn't have to create anything for anyone else but myself and if it was no good, it didn't really matter.

It has been freeing! I have been loving every minute of it and if truth be told, I am a bit addicted. I carry my journal around with me everywhere. I doodle constantly and I even decided to try my hand at painting one morning which resulted in the painting I am sharing with you today. Embracing my creativity has felt so good. It is making me feel complete.

What do you do to express your creativity? Is it artistic or is it practical? Or have you been suppressing your creativity lately? What can you do today to unleash your creativity?


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies



This recipe was included in my July newsletter. It is really delicious. My kids couldn't get enough of them and I even shared them with people outside of my home and they all loved them. I will admit that my 16 year old decided that they tasted "weird." Let me tell you, he is suspicious of all food I make though and if it has a hint of healthy to it, he's out.

When I told him about the cookies he said, "are they the ones with the beans in them, cuz I'm not eating those." Hee hee. By the way those bean cookies are delicious. I will have to make them and share the recipe with you soon. So I guess what I am getting at is just ignore what the 16 year old says...I mean come on, he's 16! :o)

The recipe came from one of my favorite books, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. The book is all about the author's experience eating local. She moved onto a Small farm with her family and for a year only ate what was grown by them or could be found in her neighborhood. It was fascinating to see the challenges they incurred and the simple joy they experienced learning to live a simpler life.

She also shared some of their favorite recipes and this cookie recipe was one of them. I switched out the all purpose flour for some whole wheat pastry flour. This stuff is amazing. It is so finely ground that it doesn't have that "whole grain taste" but you are still getting all the benefits. I highly encourage you to go out and buy a bag and see how you like it.

One of my colleagues tried the recipe after I posted my newsletter on Facebook and she loved them so much she shared them with her people. She said the key is to make the cookies small so they get crisp on the outside and stayed chewy on the inside. I like my cookies small so I made them that way too.

My tip is to not store them in a air tight container. They will become soft and lose their crunch. The cookies are super moist so I just left them out on the counter and they stayed perfect. Enjoy!

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I love kids! They are so cute and so uncensored. This is a true story about a conversation I had with a group of kids. You gotta love it!

The other day we were sitting at the pool with about 8 kids. They were taking a break and most of them were eating ice cream. The smallest little girl engulfed her Sponge Bob Popsicle before any of the other kids and I made a comment about how much she loves her sugar.

From there the conversation took off. The older boys (9) started telling me that they didn't eat that much sugar...their Popsicles didn't have much sugar in them. Of course I had to correct them and let them know that they were eating just as much sugar as their little friend.

They proceeded to tell me about how they liked vanilla ice cream and that didn't have any sugar in it. Ha, I assured them that it did. Then someone said they thought maybe they should just get sugar free ice cream. Of course I told them how sugar free items are usually made with chemicals that were not meant to be eaten.

Then someone asked if that's what's in diet pop. I told them that it was. A few of them said they knew it was bad for you. One even said that if you drink 2 diet drinks a day for a long time you could get cancer.

Then one of them said, "Well, I guess that's why they call it DIE-it pop!"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How to Eat a Whole Head of Cauliflower...BY YOURSELF!


I was a raw foodist for a while. During that time I remember making something called cauliflower popcorn which was dehydrated. It tasted pretty good but then again everything I ate tasted pretty good because I barely ate anything.

During my raw food days I noticed a great deal of improvement in my digestion. I have struggled with digestion issues for about 12 years and I felt really good during that time. I now realize that it was less about the raw food diet and more about being grain free.

I am now eating cooked and raw foods but I have been staying away from grains and my stomach is thrilled. I recently tried adding in some popcorn and while it tasted delicious, it didn't agree with my body. But it tasted so darn good!

So last night I decided to look up that popcorn cauliflower recipe and give it a try. I didn't find the original raw recipe. I found something better! It was so simple, so easy, and oh my gosh, so good. I would love to tell you that my family liked it but I never gave them a chance to try it because I ate the whole thing myself. Yum!

I added a bit of garlic powder to the recipe but I couldn't really taste it. I might try to double the amount next time or just leave it out. The recipe says to leave the pieces the size of golf balls. I made mine a bit smaller and in the end, I found that the smaller the pieces, the better they tasted so next time I am going to make all mine teeny tiny. It will cook faster too.

It really doesn't make that much so if you are going to make it for other people, I would suggest you double the recipe. I think this one is a winner! Let me know how you like it.

Cauliflower Popcorn
1 head cauliflower
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Throw away all of the core and the thick stem.
  3. Combine olive oil, salt and garlic powder in a bowl. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat.
  4. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (you can skip that it if you don't have any but it makes it easier to clean up).
  5. Roast for 1 hour, turning 3 or 4 times until most of each piece is golden brown. The browner they are, the better they taste.
  6. Serve immediately

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Birthday Butter

My youngest son turned 8 on June 21st. We like to really celebrate birthdays around here. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed, it's all about you. You get to pick where you want to go, what you want to do, and what you want to eat. You can't get yelled at and everyone else has to treat you like royalty. Let me tell you, my little guy ate that up.

For his dinner of choice he picked macaroni and cheese. I wasn't about to break open a box of the nasty stuff so I hit the Internet and found a scrumptious recipe of the real, honest to goodness macaroni and cheese. It was loaded with five different kinds of cheese and heavy cream. It was made with regular pasta and I even buttered the dish although I left out the pancetta at my son's request.

You might be surprised to hear that I made such a thing for my son on his birthday but I am not an extremist. I believe in the 90/10 rule which means we eat healthy 90% of the time and we splurge the rest of the time. Now to be honest I eat more like that but the kids are probably more like 80/20 and I think that is OK too.

I have to tell you that the smell that was coming out of the oven while this monstrosity baked was overwhelming. It was crazy good. Even though I am allergic to every single thing in it, I had to take a bite just to see what I had created and wow, was it delicious! The whole family loved it and thanked Aidan for his birthday request.

The next day we had a bit of heavy cream left over and we decided to make some butter with it. It is a simple thing to do but I wouldn't say it was easy. You simply put the cream in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Add a marble and start shaking. You shake and you shake and then you shake some more. You are supposed to get butter in about 20 minutes but it took us longer. It didn't help that for a long time the kids were shaking and I don't think they were really doing the best job at it. The important thing was that we were all having fun.

The key is to listen for the marble. In the beginning, you will hear it clanking around in the jar. Then when the butter starts to solidify you will stop hearing. You are not quite done yet. Keep shaking until you start to hear the marble clanking again. Strain off the buttermilk and enjoy.

It was THE BEST butter I have ever tasted. You can see my little guys eating it up on some bread. They couldn't get enough! Let me know if you give it a try.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Eating Local


I picked up a new book today and I am in love with it! It is called Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers. It is everything I want a cookbook to be. It is big and filled with the most beautiful pictures and loaded with delicious sounding recipes. I have to admit that I haven't tried any of them yet because I just got the book today but I am looking forward to experimenting with my finds from the farmer's market.

The recipes are listed alphabetically and are separated into the sections of vegetables, fruits, and poultry, meat and eggs so it is easy to look up an ingredient and find a yummy recipe to whip up. Some of the recipes I can't wait to try are carrot-zucchini bread with candied ginger, grilled cauliflower steaks with tahini sauce, Portuguese potato and kale soup, roasted butternut squash soup with toasted pumpkin seeds, and slow roasted tomatoes with oregano and feta.

In addition to the enticing recipes and photos, we get transported to ten small farms like the Dancing Roots Farm or the Full Belly Farm. We are introduced to the farmers who are dedicated to making local eating possible. Their stories give you a feel for what it is like to live and work on a small farm. These farmers also have included some of their favorite recipes such as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm Ketchup and Crepes with a Warm Kumquat Sauce from the Morning Song Farm.

If that all isn't enough, there is a section in the back that tells you how to get started with your own kitchen garden, talks about composting, planting fruit trees, storing your produce, and keeping animals on your property.

I highly recommend the book. It has given me quite a thrill today and I know it will continue to do so as I experiment with new recipes. I got mine at Costco but you can also pick it up at Amazon

Friday, June 11, 2010

A New Stage in Life

This one goes out to my son Dallas who is going to prom tonight and graduating highschool on Sunday. I heard it on the radio last night and it brought a little tear to my eye. It's amazing how fast the time has gone by. It seems like just yesterday he was my little peanut that I brought home from the hospital, weighing only 6 lbs 2 oz. Now he is taller than me and about to begin a new stage of his life. Wow.




May the good Lord be with you
Down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness
Surround you when you're far from home
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you'd have done to you
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young

May good fortune be with you
May your guiding light be strong
Build a stairway to heaven
with a prince(cess) :o) or a vagabond

And may you never love in
vain and in my heart you will remain
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young Forever Young

And when you finally fly away
I'll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell

But whatever road you choose
I'm right behind you, win or lose
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young ,Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young
For, Forever Young, Forever Young

Mosaics and Tea

Something you may not know about me is that in my life before becoming a Holistic Health Coach and Emotional Release Practitioner, I was a mosaic artist. I traveled the world learning mosaics from some of the best artists in the field. I even taught mosaics in my community.

One of my trips was to Philadelphia to work with this eccentric artist named Isaiah Zagar. It was an interesting concept for a workshop. Basically we got a tour of his studio which is a wild place and then he put us to work. We broke massive amounts of tiles and then we moved to the site of his new mural and he put us to work. The next day we went back and grouted. Basically the workshop participants were his workers. My dad was impressed. "You mean you pay him to do his artwork? Genius!"

Well you might imagine it was strenuous work and it was hot. One day for lunch one of the other women in the class and I went to a local Thai restaurant and I ordered my first glass of Thai Tea. I was hooked! I loved the taste so much. Having a major sweet tooth, it was my kind of drink.

For those of you who have never had Thai Tea it is a different flavor. I've noticed that people either love it or hate it. The traditional drink is made with a blend of tea and spices, heavily sweetened and then topped with cream and sweetened condensed milk.

As a holistic health coach who doesn't eat sugar, caffeine or dairy anymore, you might think my days of Thai Tea are over but you would be wrong. I created my own version that isn't as spicy as the original but tastes delicious. I'm so excited by my yummy drink I thought I would share it with you.

Thai Iced Tea
2 cups of brewed black tea (You can use decaf, I do)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Stevia to taste
Coconut Milk
Ice

Add the almond extract and the stevia to your brewed tea. Fill your glass with ice and pour the tea about 3/4 of the way up. Stir up your coconut milk and pour on top of the tea. Enjoy

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Perfectionist? Who me?

Lately I've been working with clients that have some perfectionist tendencies. Usually when I work with a client I will see my issues mirrored in them. When they tell me how much they are addicted to sugar I can totally relate. When they describe their love of chocolate...I'm right there with them. When they tell me they just don't have any time to take care of themselves, I tell them they are preaching to the choir. I get it!

But this perfectionism thing just didn't resonate with me. I just don't see myself as a perfectionist. I've had conversations with my friends and family about this and my comment is usually something like, "Well, I know I can't be a perfectionist because I don't do anything perfect, and it doesn't really bother me."

Well, this morning I was listening to an audio broadcast about perfectionism and something strange started to happen. I began to see myself fitting into the mold of perfectionism. What? How weird! As I scribbled my notes I got an uneasy feeling. Could it be? Could I really be a perfectionist? No, that just doesn't make sense.

But then the woman said two words that hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly it was so clear. It all made sense to me. Those two words were; perfectionist procrastinator! It perfectly describes me. It explains why I couldn't even see myself as a perfectionist because I procrastinate doing things until I can do them perfectly which of course we all know can't happen so I just don't do them. Ha! What an aha moment.

Now you might be wondering how as a health and wellness coach who specializes in working with women I could miss something so completely obvious about myself. Isn't that interesting? Well the truth is, it is so much easier to spot things in other people than it is ourselves.

Just last week I was working with one of my clients and I hit one of her issues on the head and she was taken back by my ability to see her so clearly when she had been unable to figure it out for herself. That's the beauty of working with a coach or a mentor. You get insight that you most often are unable to give yourself and you get support to work through the changes.

I work with a health and wellness coach myself. We meet every two weeks and she has been a Godsend for me. She sees things I can't see and she helps me look at things with a different perspective. When I am down she inspires me to pick myself up and keep going and when I am up she fuels my momentum. Even health coaches need health coaches.

What areas of your life could you use a little support in?

If you are interested in finding out more about how I can support you, contact me today and we can set up a free breakthrough session to uncover your goals begin making changes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Loving Yourself Thin

I am still making my way through Geneen Roth's Women Food and God

and I keep finding all kinds of wisdom nuggets. It is a wonderful book that really gets to the heart of emotional eating.

Here is the quote that got me thinking today:

"Although the very notion that hatred leads to love and that torture leads to relaxation is absolutely insane, we hypnotize ourselves into believing that the end justifies the means. We treat ourselves and the rest of the world as if deprivation, punishment and shame lead to change. We treat our bodies as if they are the enemy and the only acceptable outcome is annihilation. Our deeply ingrained belief is that hatred and torture work. And although I've never met anyone - not one person - for whom warring with their bodies led to long lasting change, we continue to believe that with a little more self-disgust, we'll prevail."

When I read that passage it cut right to the bone. How many times have we looked in the mirror with hatred at the reflection staring back at us? How many times have we looked down at our stomach or our thighs and shuddered with disgust? How many times have we made derogatory comments about our bodies to our girlfriends?

So often we tend to beat ourselves up. We are never thin enough, pretty enough, or perfect enough. It is only when we begin to accept ourselves for who we are on the outside and well on the inside that we can begin to see a shift in our attitude and amazingly we see a shift in our weight as well.

I've worked with women who were so hard on themselves and when I would bring up this topic it seemed so foreign to them. They couldn't imagine loving themselves just as they are...they are fat, they are lumpy, they are ugly...don't you see?!

It is only when I get them to look deeper, to see who they are beneath the exterior that they can see that yes, they are perfect just the way they are. It may only last a brief moment, but that moment is the beginning of the shift. It takes time but soon enough they catch their reflection in the mirror and instead of being repulsed, they think, hmmm, not so bad. And soon after that, they start smiling at themselves in the mirror and before long they are truly happy with what they see. And all the while, the pounds seem to melt away.

My words are from experience. I've been living this truth for a while now and I can honestly say that the majority of the time I look into the mirror and like what I see. I am not perfect. I could definitely lose some more weight and firm up but I don't focus on that anymore and let me tell you, it is freeing. I am happier and I am content. Because I am appreciating my body and loving it, I want to feed it good foods. It's no longer a struggle or a battle or a exercise in deprivation. It's just what I do.

So, if you are stuck in a negative relationship with your body, begin to find the things you love about yourself and focus on them. Make it a daily exercise and be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself like you would a small child and see if it makes a difference.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.
-- Eileen Caddy
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In an effort to share a bit of the joy and laughter Eileen speaks of above, this blog will be dedicated to moments of gratitude each Thursday.

I invite you to share the things you find yourself most thankful for throughout the week. Just send note, a photograph or both to me by noon on Wednesdays to be featured on Thankful Thursday.

If you didn't get a chance to submit your thankful moment this week, don't let that stop you. Just leave a comment down below. I am so excited to be able to share these special moments with all of you!

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I was watching a movie this Memorial Day when all of a sudden I heard a loud
C-R-A-C-KKKKKK! My mom yelled from her bedroom where she'd seen it fall, "Pam, there's a tree in the back yard!" Sure enough. When I opened the back door this is what I saw. There's no telling why it fell because the storms had passed, and the tree looks healthy.

After a gathering of neighbors and the arrival of my sister and her husband, my neighbor Marie, the owner of the tree said, "I am sorry." Marie," I said, "this is not your fault. This just happened."

Fortunately no one was hurt, and no property was damaged. In fact, the giant limb landed just short of my new Japanese Maple. And nestled in amongst the branches was my newly planted Flowering Crab, which had narrowly escaped being smashed. It's a bit bent over but it's still standing. I am thankful for not being in my yard at the time and that no one else was out there, especially Marie's little boy, Juhan.

Pam Pulice



Monday, May 31, 2010

Inspirational Music on Monday

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you are all enjoying the day off with your friends and family. Enjoy this beautiful song!



When they push, when they pull
Tell me can you hold on
When they say you should change
Can you lift your head high and stay strong

Will you give up, give in
When your heart's crying out "that is wrong"
Will you love you for you at the end of it all

Now in life there's gonna be times
When you're feeling low
And in your mind insecurities seem to take control
We start to look outside ourselves
For acceptance and approval
We keep forgetting that the one thing we should know is

Don't be scared
To fly alone
Find a path that is your own

Love will open every door
See in your hands the world is yours
Don't hold back and always know
All the answers you will unfold
What are you waiting for
Spread your wings and soar

The boy who wonders, is he good enough for them
Keep trying to please them all
But he just never seems to fit in
Then there's the girl who thinks she'll never ever be
Good enough for him He's trying to change and
That's a game she'll never win

In life there will be times when you're feeling low
And in your mind insecurities seem to take control
We start to look outside ourselves
For acceptance and approval
We keep forgetting that one thing we should know is

Don't be scared
To fly alone
Find a path that is your own
Love will open every door
See in your hands the world is yours
Don't hold back and always know
All the answers they will unfold
What are you waiting for
Spread your wings and soar

In the mirror is where she comes
Face to face with her fears
Her reflection looked forward on to her
After all these years
However how she's tried to be
Something besides herself
Now time has passed and she's ended up
Somewhere else with regret
What is it is that makes us feel the need
To keep pretending
Gotta let ourselves be

Don't be scared
To fly alone
Find a path that is your own
Love will open every door

See in your hands the world is yours
Don't hold back and always know
All the answers you will unfold
Don't wait no more
Spread your wings and soar

Find your road
Love will open every door
See in your hands the world is yours
Don't look back in the window, you'll find your way
Always know all the answers will unfold

Oh don't wait
Spread your wings and soar
Don't wait no more
You've got to soar
Spread your wings and soar
Don't wait no more
No don't you wait no more
Spread your wings and soar
You've can soar

So what you waiting for
Don't wait,
Don't wait Soar

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Nutty Monkey

It's a rare night when we have nothing going on and we get to stay home and enjoy a leisurly dinner. Tuesday night was one of those nights and I can't tell you how thankful I am when I get them. We grilled some adobo chicken I marinated and had some Spanish rice with it along with a nice fresh salad. Of course I had my hubby grill up some steak so we could enjoy that for dinner on Wednesday. I am always thinking ahead.

On these nights when we have no where to be and nothing to do I get a hankering to make dessert. It just seems like the thing to do. I don't like to give the kids a lot of sugar and junky desserts though so I decided to whip up a dessert with fruit and natural ingredients that the kids would love...and they did!

Nutty Monkey
Serves 4

4 Tablespoons butter (organic)
4 bananas sliced in rounds
3 Tablespoons peanut butter (organic)
1 Tablespoon honey (raw and local if you can get it)

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the bananas and cook for a few minutes.
  2. Remove the bananas with a slotted spoon and put in serving dish.
  3. Turn the heat to low and add the peanut butter and honey to the butter in the skillet.
  4. Cook and continue to stir to make a sauce.
  5. Pour over the bananas and serve.

Note: If you want to go dairy free use coconut oil or ghee in place of the butter. You could sprinkle with chopped nuts, coconut, or even a teeny tiny bit of mini chocolate chips. The portion is small but a little goes a long way!
Forgive the picture. I know it doesn't do the recipe justice.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making Peace With What Is

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a summer girl. OK, a spring and summer girl. I love the warm and beautiful weather. I don't mind fall but I know it means winter is coming and I can't stand the thought of that so I usually don't like fall much.

I feel as if I were born into the wrong climate. Seriously! Even as a kid I didn't like going out in the cold. My friends would go out sledding, skating, and skiing and I would stay in the house where it was warm. Not my cup of tea!

So now I am still here in the Chicagoland area and I am still freezing every winter. I've tried changing my attitude about it. In fact a couple of years ago I started my own campaign called, "Embrace Winter". I went out and took pictures of the beautiful sunsets and looked daily for something to find beauty in every day. It worked well until February and I was miserable once again.

So why am I telling you all of this when the weather is so beautiful? I was reading in Geneen Roth's book, Women Food and God
yesterday and I ran across this passage. It was written to a woman who was unhappy in her current job situation and was asking how to be happy until she got the job she wanted. Here is Geneen's reply:

...What if this is exactly what you are supposed to be doing because it is what you are doing? What if each nitty-gritty task is perfection itself and you keep missing it because you're looking for something else?

It's like washing the dishes. If you focus on getting the dishes done so that your kitchen will be clean, you miss everything that happens between dirty and clean. The warmth of the water, the pop of the bubbles, the movements of your hand. You miss the life that happens inthe middle zone- between now and what you think your life should be like. And when you miss those moments because you'd rather be doing something else, you are missing your own life. Those moments are gone. You will never get them back.

...Even when you arrive at being Someone because you are where you were going- your life may not be any better if you haven't learned to be awake, alive, now. To take this moment for what it is. It's just as easy to be miserable when you are Someone Special as when you are No One in Particular. Because even Someone Special still has to live in her own skin and deal with boredom, rejection, loneliness, disappointment. Even Someone Special comes home at night and does what the Nobodies do: falls asleep alone. You might as well learn how to pay attention now. How to inhabit the life you've chosen. How to take up every inch of your skin. Occupy the space in this body you were given. It's your place. Only yours.

The writer Annie Dillard says, 'How you spend your days is how you spend your life.' Be unwaveringly honest. Ask youself how you want to spend your days...

...the reality of your day-to-day life has to be beter than the self-inflicted misery you are creating through the stories you are telling youself....

Come back. Break the trance. Pay attention to your breath. Your arms. Your legs...Notice colors. The royal blue of a coworker's dress. The coffee stain on your boss's tie. Wake up to the riot of life around you every second. The singer Pearl Bailey said, 'People see God every day; they just don't recognize Him.' What if every day was a chance to see a new version of God? What if what you needed was right in front of you and you were not recognizing it?

You already have everything you need to be content.

Her words are beautiful and really speak to me. This truth is for everyone whether you are wanting a better job, a better home, or a better climate. I am ready and willing to take the challenge to live every moment of my life. How about you?

Your comments are important to me. Please scroll down and click on the "comment" link to leave me a brief message.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Monday with Lee DeWyze

I had to share this video of Lee DeWyze from last week's show. You may remember when I wrote about him in this previous post. Watching him sing inspires me and I hope it inspires you too.

If you want to skip the talk and go right to the song then fast forward to 1:00 and enjoy.

Inspirational Music on Monday


I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I'm leaning on the everlasting arms

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

See I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes silence can seem so loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me, oh

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it


Hey, cause I believe in me, oh
If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it

Hey, if I just spread my wingsI can fly
I can fly
I can fly, hey
If I just spread my wings
I can flyFly-eye-eye

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thankful Thursday!


Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.

-- Eileen Caddy

In an effort to share a bit of the joy and laughter Eileen speaks of above, this blog will be dedicated to moments of gratitude each Thursday. I invite you to share the things you find yourself most thankful for throughout the week.

Just send note, a photograph or both to me by noon on Wednesdays to be featured on Thankful Thursday. If you didn't get a chance to submit your thankful moment this week, don't let that stop you. Just leave a comment down below. I am so excited to be able to share these special moments with all of you!
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I love yoga! Seriously I just love it. A while back I was doing yoga at my health club about twice a week. I would leave the club feeling so good.

Then I got sick. I got some strange virus that made it difficult for me to do much of anything. It lasted about 6 months and I put my membership on hold.

I got better and could have gone back to the gym but I never did. I don't know why. I know I had some good excuses...the woman who taught the class was gone and the I heard the new girl was no good, I was too busy, I don't know, I just didn't go back.

A couple of weeks ago one of my friends introduced me to 40 Days to Personal Revolution. In the past I always stayed away from books about yoga. It didn't seem like it would be something I would be able to do easily or something I would enjoy. But this time I felt differently. I was drawn to it.

So today I am on Day 4 of my personal revolution. I am thrilled with it. I love waking up and spending a few minutes meditating and then jumping right onto the mat to wake up my body with the beautiful yoga moves.

When I finish the session my body is humming with energy and I feel like I could burst with energy and excitement. I have gotten more done in the last four days and I have felt good doing it all.

So that is what I am thankful for this Thursday! What are you thankful for? Scroll down and leave a comment.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you. -- Eileen Caddy

In an effort to share a bit of the joy and laughter Eileen speaks of above, this blog will be dedicated to moments of gratitude each Thursday.

I invite you to share the things you find yourself most thankful for throughout the week. Just send note, a photograph or both to me by noon on Wednesdays to be featured on Thankful Thursday.

If you didn't get a chance to submit your thankful moment this week, don't let that stop you. Just leave a comment down below. I am so excited to be able to share these special moments with all of you!


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I am a mother of a seven year old autistic boy. Since his diagnosis four years ago, life has really taken turns I never imagined. I'll admit there are days when I'd like to wish all the difficulties away. Going places like the mall, or a movie theater, and even a restaurant are at times impossible. The stares and comments about my "misbehaved" child almost seem too much to bear.

I have no doubt that I was given this child directly from God. He is the most amazing individual I have ever met. Who do you know, at such a young age, could be given so many obstacles to overcome and to do it with so much enthusiasm? He is one of the most admired people in my life. If he didn't have this disability I don't believe I would have the honor to truly know this fantastic little boy. What was impossible yesterday is a reality today. That makes me happy. It tells me that he's going to be the best he can be.

I feel I am blessed with the ability to see the strength in happiness. It allows me to focus on the little things that will add up to the fulfilling life that I desire. I am reminded of the movie The Lion King. In it, one of the characters said, "you can either run from it, or learn from it". My son is my greatest teacher.

-Siobhan Arnott

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Have you noticed that the world is engulfed in this blanket of negativity and a doomsday attitude? Everywhere you look there is something horrible. The news is one bad thing after another, television shows are filled with cheating, stealing, lying, killing, and hatred. Even the funny shows have children that are disrespectful and irresponsible.

Albert Einstein once said that the most important decision you'll ever make is to decide whether you live in a supportive universe or a universe that is hostile. The power is this statement comes from our perception. When we believe the universe is out to get us, we see things in a negative way and we respond accordingly. This is the media's model of the universe.

When we see the universe as supportive and friendly,we begin to see the little events that occur, like someone holding the door open for a woman with her hands full or a shining employee that has a smile and a kind word for every customer. This shift in perspective uplifts us and bring us joy and in turn we begin to radiate that attitude out to those around us. This is the model of the world I am striving for.

When the above Thankful Thursday contribution came in, I was so moved that Siobhan would share her beautiful thoughts with me and all of you. It reinforced my belief of a supportive universe and inspired me to keep sharing these moments of gratitude with you so that you may experience life from this place of gratitude if only for a moment out of your day.

So my gratitude goes out to all of you who have contributed to these Thankful Thursday posts and who have read it. I invite you to share the energy of this supportive universe with you friends and family today. And don't forget to send me your thoughts for next weeks post.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Simply Rhubarb

When I was a kid I remember taking a bus trip with my grandma from Chicago to Rockford to visit one of her friends. I don't remember too much about the trip but I have one vivid memory and that was seeing rhubarb growing in the garden for the first time.

You see, I've always been a color freak. I love color and seeing those deep red stalks (my favorite color) peeking out from behind those large green leaves took my breath away. I had to know what that was.

Sensing my intrigue, my grandma and her friend let me cut the stalks, chop them up and put them into a pot with some sugar. Let me tell you, I was in heaven! I've been a fan ever since.

Rhubarb is actually in season now and I found it in the store yesterday. I really didn't know what I could do with it since I am on a pretty strict elimination diet right now...no grains, no sugar, no nuts etc. But I didn't let that stop me. I bought 4 stalks and a bunch of strawberries and headed home excited at the prospect tasting that distinct combination.

I cut everything up, threw it in a pot with some water and stevia and let it cook. By the time the kids got home it was a beautiful sauce and they were lined up to dig their spoons in. We just ate it like that. Nothing else. And it was beautiful.

Simplicity at its best!

Sugar Free Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

4 stalks rhubarb
1 pint strawberries
10 drops stevia*
1/4 cup water

Put everything into a saucepan and stir. Cover and cook over medium high heat until strawberries and rhubarb are soft.

You can serve this over some ice cream for a refreshing spring treat.

*I used liquid stevia. The sweetness varies with each individual brand and type of stevia so experiement with the amount needed to give you your desired sweetness.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Create Your Dream Board


Vision Boards, Dream Boards, whatever you call them, can be a great way to get you focused on what you want in life and propel you to get it.

Now Oprah has come out with a new program called Dream Boards. You can go online and create your own Dream board with photos and text. You can choose the size, the background and the layout. You can use their pictures or download your own.

You can print it out or share it through email, Facebook, Twitter, or My Space. You can even export it and save it on your computer.
Check it out and have some fun creating your dreams!

Inspirational Music on Monday

Sometimes we fall down, can't get back up
We're hiding behind skin that's too tough
How come we don't say I love you enough
Till it's to late, it's not too late

Our hearts are hungry for a food that won't come
And we could make a feast from these crumbs
And we're all staring down the barrel of a gun
So if your life flashed before you,
What would you wish you would've done

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

And if your plane fell out of the skies
Who would you call with your last goodbye
Should be so careful who we live out our lives
So when we long for absolution,
There'll no one on the line, yeah

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

Like we're dying, oh, like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

You never know a good thing till it's gone
You never see a crash till it's head on
Why do we think we're right when we're dead wrong
You never know a good thing till it's gone

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

Like we're dying, oh, like we're dying
We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you. -- Eileen Caddy

In an effort to share a bit of the joy and laughter Eileen speaks of above, this blog will be dedicated to moments of gratitude each Thursday.

I invite you to share the things you find yourself most thankful for throughout the week. Just send note, a photograph or both to me by noon on Wednesdays to be featured on Thankful Thursday.

If you didn't get a chance to submit your thankful moment this week, don't let that stop you. Just leave a comment down below. I am so excited to be able to share these special moments with all of you!
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This week I am so thankful for all of the learning opportunities I have on the internet. It is so amazing to me how easy it is to connect with so many people from all over the world and to gain their knowledge and insight.

I have been learning about spirituality, forgiveness, healing, self hypnosis, law of attraction, the power of the mind in relation to weight loss, shadow work, compression and expansion, and so much more. All of this in one week! Some of these things I resonate with and others I do not. But the amazing thing is I have access to it at the click of a mouse. So cool!

Through these connections I have been able to do some real healing this week and to feel inspired to continue to create the life I desire. It has been so inspirational and I encourage all of you to search out your group of people to connect with. If you like art, stamp collecting, gardening, or Elvis, there are people just like you!

For you women out there you might want to check out the Inspiring Women Summit. It has already started but once you register you can listen to the pre recorded calls and even download them for free.

To be honest, I haven't listened to any of them yet because I've been busy listening to calls that have a time limit on them. I have downloaded them for future enjoyment though. The topics range from leadership, spirituality, sensuality, empowerment and relationships. I expect to find some nuggets of wisdom in these.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Searching for Happiness

You’ve got to love kids! This morning I was driving my teenager to school and I had my 2 youngest sons in the car with me and we were chatting. My 9 year old says, “Mom, next year I will be closer to having a new school.” I laughed because here he is in third grade and he is already thinking about getting into sixth grade.

We talked a bit about the next two years in his elementary school and then I told him, “Well Liam, just enjoy your time in this school because once you get out, you can never go back.” I went on to say that it is important to focus on every moment that you are living because when you do that, it makes that moment the best ever.

Do you know what his answer was? It’s really so funny. He said, “So this moment, sitting in the car is the best moment of my life?” I smiled to myself about the simplicity and honesty of children and then I replied, “Well, yes, actually. We are alive, we have a car to sit in, it’s a nice day, and we love each other. What could be better than that right?”

At that point he let out a big sigh and said in his truly happy voice, “Yeah Mommy!”

How often do we sit and wish for something more, for something better? It seems we are always chasing happiness, looking for the perfect moment when we will finally achieve that happiness. I have been guilty of this myself and I know that there will never be a perfect moment or perfect circumstances. Every moment has the potential to be perfect depending on your perception.

This was proven to me recently when I was in Miami for a conference. I had set aside a half of a day to be by myself and I sat on the beach for a while just soaking in the sun and then I decided to go for a walk. I walked about a mile on the beach and enjoyed seeing the sights and listening to the waves.

I knew I had to get back so I could make my plane so I decided to walk along the boardwalk on the way back. It wasn’t as nice as walking on the beach but it was more practical. As I walked along I was looking around and kind of wishing I was back on the beach. It was so much nicer there.

But then I shifted my perspective and I started feeling how the warm sun felt on my body. I zeroed in on all the sounds that were around me and I really saw the people and the things that surrounded me. I took a deep breath and got a full sense of the smells that were wafting around me. I got in touch with my senses and I fully immersed myself in the moment.

Do you know that it was like a surreal moment? It was almost as if time stopped. It was the most amazing experience, one that I haven’t even shared with anyone because I wasn’t sure I could explain it and do it justice. In that moment I was filled with the most amazing gratitude for that exact moment and tears began streaming down my face. It only lasted for a brief moment but it was powerful and showed me the power of living in the moment.

As Eckhart Tolle says in his book, A New Earth, “How to be at peace now? By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else. Once you have made peace with the present moment, see what happens, what you can do or choose to do, or rather what life does through you.”

I encourage you to practice living in each and every moment of your life and see how it changes things. Leave me a comment below to tell me how the experiment goes for you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oh Hail the Mighty Kale


Let me tell you, there are some magical qualities to dark leafy greens and kale is the king of the greens and is on the list of the top 10 healthiest foods. One cup contains more than 5 grams of fiber and only 43 calories as well as your daily requirement for vitamins A and C, and 134 milligrams of calcium.

There are several different varieties of kale so experiment and try them all. Look for kale that in unbolted and uniformly colored. Store your kale unwashed in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. It will usually last 3-4 days.

Kale can be cooked in many different ways like steaming, blanching, sauteing, and baking. It can be added to soups or made into a side dish. One of my favorite ways to enjoy kale is in a simple kale chip. These are so good that I find them addictive. Seriously, I can sit down and eat a whole bunch of these babies. The kids even like them!!!

Kale Chips
1 bunch kale cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Strip the leaves off of the stems and cut into small pieces. You don't want them to be too big because otherwise they will not get crispy.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
  4. Add the kale and massage with your hands to coat each leaf.
  5. Place onto a cookie sheet and bake until crispy, about 12 minutes. I like to remove the crispy pieces of kale along the edges of the sheet and then put the rest back in to crisp up otherwise you end up with some crispy and some soggy chips.

Options

  • Acid is key to the deliciousness of the chip. You can substitute lime juice or a bit of vinegar. I like lime. Have a fun experiment and let me know how it goes for you.
  • Salt- I find these to be a bit salty but that's probably because I have been on a salt free diet since December. I either reduce the salt or cut it out all together. If I do that later, I add some other spices to add a bit of zip like Mrs. Dash or chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fun Friday

Last week I was reading The Art Lesson by Tomie DePaola with my son Aidan. It's all about little Tommy's passion for art as a young boy and his quest to become an artist. Tommy is always drawing and coloring and sharing his artwork with others. He is excited to go to school and have an opportunity to learn to be a "real" artist.

When we finished the story I told my son that the story could be about his mom. I could really relate to the little boy's story and his great love of art. You see, when I was little, I loved to draw! I used to draw, and draw, and color, and color some more.

When we would go out for dinner in the Greek coffee shops (which was a lot) my favorite thing to do was to flip over the paper place mat and create my masterpiece. My mom told me that I would sometimes finish my drawings and go over to another table and give them away.

The best times of my high school education were my art classes. I took them all and loved every minute of them. Of course there were a couple of kids in my class that were phenomenal artists and I figured I could never be as good as them so I decided to become a teacher instead of an artist. I thought about becoming an art teacher, but everyone knows they aren't in demand so I dropped that too.

Over the years I have dabbled in art here and there with drawing, painting, photography, and collage. I even spent some time as a mosaic artist but I never really felt confident enough to really give it a go.

It's funny how we can let our fears stand in our way of doing the things we love. I think that would be an even better children's story; how to feel the fear and do it anyway.

As part of my Fun Friday quest, I headed off to an art show at the Water Street Studios in Batavia. It is a really great place with all kinds of artists working and showing their art. It was nice to do something out of the ordinary.

I can't say I wasn't a little pulled to start creating some art of my own, maybe take a painting class and just have some fun with color. Maybe I will...next Friday! :o)

What's the one thing you would do if you knew you couldn't fail?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday


Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you. -- Eileen Caddy

In an effort to share a bit of the joy and laughter Eileen speaks of above, this blog will be dedicated to moments of gratitude each Thursday.

I invite you to share the things you find yourself most thankful for throughout the week. Just send note, a photograph or both to me by noon on Wednesdays to be featured on Thankful Thursday.

If you didn't get a chance to submit your thankful moment this week, don't let that stop you. Just leave a comment down below. I am so excited to be able to share these special moments with all of you!
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I am so very thankful for the relationship that I have with my daughter.
Laura

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I am thankful for my mom, the sweetest, kindest, most generous, free spirit on earth!! She rocks!

Kelly
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Thursday is my day to see my grandkids, which brings me a lot of joy.Their funny stories and antics and their enthusiasm about life in general is so refreshing.

Bryce, who is 6, just started T-ball for the summer. I drove him to practice last week and stayed for awhile to watch. The coach had the boys line up along a fence to talk to them. One little guy starting harassing Bryce, grabbing his arm. Bryce kept telling him to stop but the kid was paying no mind. The coach wasn't saying anything either.

I turned to talk to someone behind me for a minute and when I turned back, there was Bryce sitting on top of the antagonist. All you could see of the boy was his little head and arms flailing about. Both boys were laughing. At that point the coach finally seperated them.

I chuckle everytime I think about that scene. Maybe the big leagers could learn something from the littleguys.

Bev
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I am so grateful for a wonderful day of health coaching some of the most amazing women! And I get to do it all over again today! Yay me!!!

Michelle




Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Life Lessons From American Idol

If you watch American Idol, you're familiar with Lee Dewyze from Chicago. If you don't watch the show, I am including some videos for you.

Lee is a sweet guy with a really great voice. I have always liked him and have been rooting for him from the beginning. The thing about Lee is that he came on the show with a bit of a self esteem and confidence problem. He didn't believe in himself and he didn't realize how good he was. Check out this video to watch one of his earlier songs.







Pretty good, right? You can hear the nice quality of his voice but it's a bit lackluster. He looks scared to death and not really sure of himself. You can see it on his face, you can feel it in his performance.


Each week the judges would tell Lee that he has a great voice and that he just needs to believe in himself, to have some confidence, and to really allow himself to shine. It was as if Lee was hearing the words but not allowing them in. He wasn't owning it.


Then came his performance of Treat Her Like a Lady. It was like a different person was standing there in front of us. You could see the confidence on his face, he had a bit of swagger and he sounded amazing.



I felt it. I knew that something had shifted in him and he was believing in himself. It gave me goosebumps. I turned to my family with a big smile on my face and said, "He did it. He finally believes in himself!" Simon said to him, "This is the night that your life may have changed forever."









What a difference some self confidence can make!




I have been working with an amazing group of women who are currently going through the program at IIN. These women are bright, beautiful, healthy, strong, and so much more. They are going to be fantastic health coaches and the world is lucky to have them.




Some of these ladies remind me of Lee a little bit. They don't necesarily believe in themselves. They are afraid to put themselves out there and they worry that they don't know enough to go out and start seeing clients. Each week I tell them how they know as much as they need to know and that they are going to be fantastic. Sometimes they hear me and sometimes they don't.




Gaining self confidence is a journey and I know they are on their way. My greatest wish for them is to have that moment when it all comes together; to know that they are the amazing women that they are; to see themselves as others see them and to believe in themselves.




What about you? What area of your life could benefit from a self confidence boost? Maybe you're not the greatest singer in the world but I know for a fact that you have something you are good at, something that comes natural to you, or something that other people admire about you. How do I know? Because everyone has something. We are all here with something to share.




How would your life be different if you started believing in yourself? What are you waiting for? Start your journey today!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cooking Made Easy


Photo by Emily Kovache

I was working with one of my clients last week and we were talking about getting dinner on the table. She is a single, working mom who is stretched thin trying to get everything done and often it is dinner that gets pushed aside.

She is tired of ordering take out or popping a pre-packaged meal in the oven and she really wants to give her son healthy meals but she can't seem to find the time to dig into her cookbooks, find recipes, shop for the long lists of ingredients, and put it all together. I can totally relate!

I gave her some tips on how to make dinner time a little easier and she said she felt like a weight was lifted off of her when we finished up the call. She felt like the pressure to make difficult meals was released and she was excited to start simplifying dinner time.

So what did I tell her? Here are some of the tips I shared with her:

1. Explore the Spice Aisle- There are some great spice mixtures available today that really make cooking so easy. Try out some new flavors, sprinkle them on your meats, veggies, and grains and viola, dinner is done. I just got my Penzey Spice catalog and they have some new summertime mixes that look really good. One of my favorites is Herbs de Provence. I sprinkle that on a piece of white fish with some lemon slices, throw it in the oven to bake and it is delicious!

2. Dust off your Crock-Pot- If you haven't tried slow cooking, you've got to give it a try. It is so easy and can be so good. I love making my pasta sauce in my crock pot and these days I've been just throwing in whatever I have and it's actually good. My current favorite is chicken breast with chopped up veggies like onion, peppers, and mushrooms. I throw in a couple of can of Muir salt free, fire roasted tomatoes and a can of tomatoe sauce and it is so good. I serve it with a veggie and some brown rice.

3. Cook Once, Eat Twice (or Three times)- When I make a pot of rice for a side dish, I make a BIG pot and I use the leftovers for another meal later in the week. You can make a rice salad for lunch, fried rice with loads of veggies, or even a nice breakfast rice porridge with fruit, cinnamon, and milk. I also make extra chicken breast or fish fillets so I can heat them up for lunch or chop them up in a salad. In fact, every meal I make has leftovers!
4. Remember K.I.S.S- Who says dinner has to be some elaborate meal? It is so easy to grill up a chicken breast and make a salad. It's delicious and healthy. You can throw some fish in a baking pan and while it cooks prepare a salad or a side of veggies.

5. Package Your Dinner- I like to make fish packets. I throw some veggies in parchment paper, put a nice piece of fish on top, sprinkle with spices and lemon, fold it up and bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I let the kids pick what they want on theirs and they get to fold it up. They love opening it up and eating their own package. The best part is it's a one dish meal and there is no clean up. Just throw the paper away!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Inspirational Music on Monday

In an effort to share inspirational music with you, I would am posting a video I created a couple of years ago. It is a beautiful song called Second Chance by Miten Premal. I hope you enjoy it.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Fun Friday


When I was a kid no one had to tell me how to have fun. I woke up in the morning and hit the door. I ran around all day with my friends catching frogs, going fishing, riding our bikes, dancing, swimming and hanging out. Fun was easy.

So often as adults we lose our sense of fun. We are so busy with our schedules, our to-do lists, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, and on and on. We forget how to just let lose and have fun.

Recently I found myself with a free Friday with nothing to do. I started thinking about the things I normally like to do...head to the bookstore, no, I didn't feel like doing that...explore the craft store, nah, didn't sound good...go for a walk in nature, who was I kidding? It was freezing out! What the heck? I couldn't even think of anything fun to do. I ended up sitting around my house watching TV. BORING!!!

I decided it was time to spend some time creating my nourishment menu. A nourishment menu is a list of anything and everything that feeds your soul. It can be relaxing, fun, rejuvenating, social or solitary. Whatever gets you excited.

Once I got started it was pretty easy. I came up with some things I am actually excited about and I am looking forward to some more of these Fun Fridays.

I decided to start with something I love to do but always seem to forget about...photo hunts. It is such a great adventure to walk around and look at my surroundings with different eyes. Things come to life. I start thinking about getting low and shooting up or zooming in and filling the frame. I especially love to do this in nature.

Today I headed off to one of my favorite garden stores in the area called The Growing Place. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and I just spent some time wandering around and looking for beauty. What a joy! Everywhere I looked I saw something lovely.

I created the above collage with some of the pictures I took. The whole thing was so fun and I feel very happy and content. Fun just got easy again!

What kinds of things are on your nourishment menu? If you don't have your own list, now is a good time to get one started. Get started now and don't forget to tell me all about it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday


Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you. -- Eileen Caddy

In an effort to share a bit of the joy and laughter Eileen speaks of above, this blog will be dedicated to moments of gratitude each Thursday.

I invite you to share the things you find yourself most thankful for throughout the week. Just send note, a photograph or both to me by noon on Wednesdays to be featured on Thankful Thursday.

If you didn't get a chance to submit your thankful moment this week, don't let that stop you. Just leave a comment down below. I am so excited to be able to share these special moments with all of you!
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I am thankful for my new haircut. I got a mohawk and I got my baseball number carved on the back. Now when I go to school everyone is calling me number 7. I like it.

Liam age 9
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I am thankful for my gecko Rocco. He is cool looking. I like to take him out of his cage and let him crawl on me.

Aidan, age 7

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Last weekend I was lucky enough to take a trip to Florida with my hubby. We got last minute tickets on Spirit Airlines for $37 each way. We called my mom and she agreed to watch the kids and then I called my dad and he said we could stay at his place in Florida. Everything fell into place effortlessly.

We had a relaxing trip. We hit the beach and the pool when it was sunny and we stayed in and talked and read when it was raining. We saw a couple of movies, ate some amazing meals and just connected. It was fabulous!

Michelle

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