You want me to do WHAT??, or Achieving the Impossible

I am the type of person that makes lists every now and again entitled, “TEN THINGS I WANT TO DO”.  I like lists and I really like lists that make me stretch way beyond my comfort zone.  Way back in the fall of 1998 I made just such a list and the #1 thing on my list?  Learn kickboxing.  I don’t know why that was number one, but it was.  My intuition was knocking and I was listening.

A couple of months later, I moved from Northern California to LA and one of the first things I did upon moving here?  Took a kickboxing class.  Turned out, a good friend worked at a martial arts studio that taught two forms of kickboxing: Muay Thai and Savate. Savate is a little-known style of kickboxing that originated in France.  It’s not very popular here in America, but is much more widespread in Europe.

I took an intro class in both modalities and instantly signed up for Savate.  Savate is known as the “ballet” of the kickboxing world and that suited my dance background-self perfectly.  My instructors were both from France and both had fought competitively, so they knew their stuff.  I instantly began taking classes 3 to 4 times a week.  I was HOOKED.  And the classes weren’t bag classes.  I think I sparred the very first time I took a class.  I use the word “spar” lightly as I’m pretty sure I looked like a deer caught in headlights as I desperately tried to avoid getting hit.

Six months later, I got a phone call from my coach.  He left a message saying he had something he needed to talk to me about, would I please call him.  I was very confused.  What on earth did Michael want to talk to me about?  Turned out, the first World Cup Savate Championships were being held in June of 2000 in France and Michael wanted me go and represent America.

“Uh, you want me to do WHAT??”

Sparring in class, fine.  Fighting for realsies??  Like, in a ring with judges watching?? Oh, hell no!

Then I paused for a moment and thought about it.  What was the worst thing that could happen?  I could get hurt, obviously, but I got hurt sparring sometimes, so what was the difference?  But….me??  Seriously??  I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it.  I had been a cheerleader in high school and college.  I wore small pleated skirts and held pom-poms.  That girl couldn’t be a fighter.  Right??

It seemed insane.  It wasn’t even on my radar of life possibilities.  Was this something I was seriously considering?

Yes.  Yes, it was.  And so you know what I said?

“WHY NOT?”

That decision would prove to change my life.

All of the sudden, my world revolved around kick boxing.  I continued taking Savate classes 4 times a week, I was working with a personal trainer twice a week on strength and speed, plus I worked with my coach twice a week in one-on-one sessions.  I was bruised and battered, totally exhausted, and hand wraps hung like streamers in my apartment.

My eating schedule had become regimented.  I had to make weight!  Instead of eating to eat, I ate to fuel.  My whole life paradigm had dramatically shifted.  And I absolutely loved it.

But every time I thought about fighting IN A RING IN FRONT OF PEOPLE my stomach dropped and ice-cold water ran through my veins.  So, I just didn’t think about it too much.  Avoidance?  You bet.

The day soon arrived, though, when I had to face that ring.  I had to fight in order to win a spot on the American team.  I was terrified.  Every single atom in my body was screaming, “FLEE!! RUN AWAY!  FAR, FAR AWAY!”  That whole fight or flight instinct had kicked in and my body had chosen flight.  Overriding that impulse felt insurmountable.

Stepping into the ring for my first fight felt like an out-of-body experience. 

But as soon as the referee said, “Allez”, that all fell away and I was fighting.  For realsies.  In front of people!  And it wasn’t that bad.  In fact, there were moments that it was really, really, really amazing.

I was obsessed.  For the next six years my life revolved around Savate.  I went back to the Worlds in 2002 and placed 2nd.

In.The.World.

Like, the entire planet!!  It was crazy.  Unbelievable.  And I never would’ve achieved it if I hadn’t stepped into the big scary realm of the impossible.  I did it again in 2006 and it was epic.  I had the fight of my life in that tournament.  I lost again in the finals, but it was a split decision.  Meaning, some of the judges had picked me as the champion.

Saying yes to something that seemed completely out of reach powerfully altered my entire life.  Now I’m addicted to striving for those seemingly crazy, scary goals.

Want to quit your job? Take an art class? Run a marathon? What is that thing you’ve always wanted to do or try, but seems impossible, not doable, insane?

It’s that thing that niggles at you down deep. 

Maybe you’ve never told anyone about it.  Maybe saying it out loud scares the shit out of you. You know what I’m talking about.

That.  DO THAT.

For therein lies the greatest reward.

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!  Head over to my website and leave a comment.

Eat well.

Culture of SUGAR!

Every holiday has it.  Every special occasion has it.  Every treat has it.  And it must stop.  It must.

What is “it”?  “It” is sugar. There is a culture of sugar in America.  We pay homage to it, we bow down to it. And it must be stopped for the health of our children, ourselves, and our nation.

Why has it become standard procedure to give our kids a big Easter basket filled with chocolate and candy?  Jesus rising from the dead is celebrated by a chocolate bunny? What?? Why is the made-up Hallmark holiday of Valentines Day now celebrated by the exchange of cheap paper cards and candy between 10 year olds? Why, oh why, is it now obligatory to bring cupcakes to our kid’s classrooms to celebrate their birthdays??  As if there isn’t enough sugar craziness surrounding their birthday already?! The insanity MUST stop.

insanity

It’s ingrained.  It happens automatically.  We have a great day and want to “treat” ourselves.  What does this almost always mean? Sugar.  We go buy a cupcake or a pastry or some chocolate.  And if it’s not obvious sugar, it’s hidden sugar.  We order pizza or pasta or a glass of wine.  These foods physiologically affect us the same as sugar.  They create a glucose spike with all of the resulting responses.

Why do we do this?  Where does this come from?

Partly it comes from the BILLIONS of dollars spent by the marketing geniuses behind the food industry, which I will be discussing in my next post, and also the fact that when we eat sugar our body releases endorphins.  Endorphins make us feel good.  And who doesn’t want to feel good? So starts a vicious cycle: eat sugar / endorphins release / feel good.  We want to celebrate, we want to feel good, ergo we eat sugar.  We eat sugar more and more and more because we have now subconsciously made that connection between eating sugar and an endorphin rush and, just like a heroin addict, we crave that rush.

sugardrug

 And we are passing this onto our children.

This is what is really the issue. By promulgating this culture, by participating it, by nurturing it, we are setting our kids up for health problems.  That may sound harsh, but step back for a second and think about it.  I firmly believe that one of the most important things we can do for our kids is to teach them healthy eating habits.  It’s not easy, I know.  But it’s also not as hard as it seems.  Just say no to the Easter basket.  Just say no to the cupcakes with two inches of frosting for a treat.  Just say no to the gigantic-size box of Red Vines at the movie theater.  (watching a movie DOES NOT require candy, by the way!) Just say no to the culture of sugar because the alternative is passing it onto our kids.  And this will have health consequences, either in the short-term or the long-term. There is no getting around it.

Instead, let’s create a culture of vegetable gardens in our backyards.  A culture of eating whole, real food as often as possible. A culture of moving our bodies every single day.  Break the culture of sugar by making a transition to fruit for dessert.  Slowly cut back on the amount of candy put in the Christmas stockings.  On the number of pies you bake for Thanksgiving.

Let’s piss off the soda industry executives who STILL try to claim that drinking a Coke with 34 grams of sugar in one serving isn’t an issue.
 
Who’s with me??


The recipe this week comes from At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen.  I really like this cookbook.  It’s a recipe for pancakes that isn’t laden with sugar and one you can feel good about serving your kids.  Mine loved it!

Coconut Quinoa Pancakes
Makes ten 4-inch pancakes

  • 1/2 cup (85g) uncooked quinoa, soaked for 12 to 24 hours in 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup (45g) rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup (60g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup (250ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg or 1 tsp chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup filtered water for 15 minutes
  • 2 tbsp melted extra virgin coconut oil (more for cooking)
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Drain and rinse quinoa, and place it in an upright blender.  Add oats, k1/4 cup coconut, almond milk, chia egg (or regular egg), coconut oil, vanilla, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Blend on high speed for about 40 seconds or until completely smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.  Add remaining coconut and lemon zest and stir with a rubber spatula to combine.
  2. Warm a wide cast iron skillet over medium heat; add about 1 teaspoon coconut oil and spoon 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.  Spread the batter out a little with the back of a spoon to make a 4-inch pancake.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until surface is covered with bubbles and bottom is golden and beginning to brown.  Flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining batter.
  3. These pancakes are best hot off the pan, but they can also be kept warm in a 200F oven as you cook the whole batch.  Serve with fresh fruit.

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

Trips Around Stars.

I celebrated another successful trip around the big star with an extended weekend in Napa.  It was an amazing trip filled with hot air ballooning, wineries, good food, and friends & family.  Just about the best way to celebrate, ever.


Hot air ballooning in Napa is rad!


The BEST iced coffee! And in that bag was an amazing almond croissant.  Birthday weekend, y’all.

I was incredibly luck to go to the Morlet winery and attend a private (there were 5 of us) tasting conducted by Luc Morlet himself.  The tasting lasted 2 hours and we easily could have stayed another hour.

I learned an enormous amount from Mr. Morlet, not only about wines (as the wine critic, Robert Parker stated, “Run, don’t walk” to purchase his wine), but also about life.  He is brilliant, passionate, and his philosophy about wines I extrapolate here towards life:

You must let nature shape your path.

I always take some time on the day of my birth to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’d like to go.  And what I realized this time around is how much easier it is when I let nature shape my path.  When I take the time to pause a moment and listen to the universe, or my intuition, or my gut, or whatever else you want to call it, I make better choices.  (Yes, I am a little bit of a hippie and proud of it!)

But when I come up with some lack-goal (see my previous post about this if you just went, huh??) that a magazine or some other artificial source of inspiration told me I should want, things tend to go sideways.  And feel really shitty.  Why?

Because it’s not my path.  It’s someone else’s. 

Honestly, it’s hard sometimes for me to do this.  To make choices that others view as weird, or crazy, or that they just don’t understand.  I want approval just as much as anyone! But in my acquired wisdom, I now know that approval is fleeting and shallow.  It doesn’t last much more than a minute, really, and then you’re back with yourself, like you will always be, feeling icky because you just experienced a moment of approval for something you don’t really want. Let YOUR nature shape YOUR path.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not wasting any more trips around stars on someone else’s path.  That’s just insane.


No filter.  Seriously.


The tasting here was a game-changer.  I HIGHLY recommend it!


This week’s recipe is from the blogger fANNEtastic food. I make these egg muffins at least twice a month for clients.  They hold up really well.  Make them in advance and then grab and go on your way to work!

Scrambled Egg Muffins

  • 9 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup spelt flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon or turkey bacon or smoked salmon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Lightly oil a muffin pan.
  2. Add the spinach, cheese, tomato, basil, and bacon (if using) to a mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl.  Add milk and flour and combine until the lumps disappear.  Add salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the eggs over the other ingredients, mix.
  5. Using your 1/3 measuring cup, pour the liquid directly into the pan.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, checking to make sure they are done.

Nicole’s Notes:

  • One trick I use when cooking with more than 5 or 6 eggs is using my blender to mix them as I do not have the forearm strength to whisk 9 eggs!  I then add the milk, flour, salt, and pepper directly to the blender.  Voila!

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!  Head over to my website and leave a comment.

Eat well.

“‘Getting ahead of yourself’…can suck it!

If you haven’t yet heard of Danielle La Porte, the author of the above quote, I highly recommend you check her out immediately.  She is the author of The Desire Map and one of my favorite bloggers.  I anticipate, open, and immediately read the emails of only 4 bloggers and she is one. Check her out!

But, not yet!  First finish reading MY blog. 

I see people stopping themselves before they’ve started all the time.  For fear of doing it “wrong”.  For fear of  looking stupid.  Because they won’t do it perfectly and that scares the living daylights out of them. (all you Type A people, I’m looking at you)  Why?  What for?  Who cares?  My motto – go big. Scream out those seemingly crazy, impossible goals and start before you’re ready because all that “getting ready” is just a bullshit excuse to not do it.  Get ahead of yourself.

Why not do the exact opposite?  Throw yourself headfirst into that dream goal and see what happens.  Charge into that dance class you’ve wanted to take and tear it up.  Enroll yourself in a class to get started on that career change you’ve been dreaming about and get your study on.  Cut your hair and dye it purple.  Run a marathon.  Hike the Grand Canyon.  Drink a green smoothie every day starting TODAY. No matter how small or big it is, just do it. Get ahead of yourself.

I have a joy-goal for myself that I have only told a few  people but I am going to state it right here, right now.  And this is scary for me, but I need to walk the walk, right?  This year my goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Typing that sentence made me feel a little nauseous, because I, too, have that nasty inner voice whispering “you’re not ready, you’re not fast enough yet, you can’t do it this year”.  You know what? Screw that. So now it’s out in the world and you will all know if I succeed or fail at my goal.  AAAAAHHHHH.  But, who cares?   Really.  Who cares?  It’s qualifying for a race.  If I do it, awesome.  If I don’t, you better believe I will next year.

Getting ahead of yourself can suck it.

_________________________________________________________________________________

This week’s recipe is from the blogger Oh She Glows.  Another one that I open and read immediately.  These are nut-free, vegan dream cups and should be called sex in a cup.  Seriously.  Make these immediately.

3-Layer Nut-Free Dream Cups

Ingredients:

For the base layer:

  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut butter

For the middle layer:

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, softened
  • pinch fine sea salt

For the top layer:

  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 – 3 tablespoons unsweetened large flake coconut
  1. To make coconut butter, process 3-4 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut in a food processor until it is smooth and liquid.  This will take about 7 minutes.  Make sure the coconut you are using is fresh or it won’t turn into butter.  Leftover butter can be kept in the refrigerator for a month.
  2. Spoon a scant teaspoon of melted coconut butter int a mini silicon cupcake mold (or a metal cupcake mold with liners) and spread out evenly.  Place in the freezer.
  3. Prepare the middle layer: In a small bowl, stir together the sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, oil, and salt until smooth.  Add a scant tablespoon of filling to each cup. Smooth out and place in the freezer.
  4. Prepare the top layer: Add the coconut oil into a small saucepan and melt over low heat.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt until smooth.
  5. Add a tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each cup.  Top with a teaspoon of large flake coconut and gently press down.
  6. Freeze for about 25 minutes until solid.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before enjoying.  Store leftovers in the fridge, or for longer storage, the freezer.

Nicole’s Notes:

  • This recipe only makes 8 cups and you will DEFINITELY want more.  So double or triple it!

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

Please don’t use the “c” word or the “d” word around me!

That’s it. I’ve had it. If one more company uses the words “cleanse” or “detox” for one more product, I will lose it. Lose it! Because, guys, it’s ALL MARKETING. Which is another way of saying, it’s all bullshit. It’s just like the milk = strong bones correlation. Which is totally, factually, 100% incorrect yet is now indelibly imprinted into every American’s brain. The marketing geniuses have struck again and created the detox-cleanse myth. And now every product and program out there wants you to believe you NEED one because your body is so vile and dirty and filled with toxins.

scam

It’s a scam.

Stop. Stop, exhale, and read these next words very carefully:

Our bodies have an amazing detoxification system built into them. It is called our kidneys, our liver, our skin, and our lungs. Boom.

The reason this gets me so upset is the whole cleasining/detoxing industry succeeds by preying on people’s insecurities. Are you feeling fat? Detox! Have you been drinking too much alcohol? Cleanse!

And they further enable the “magic pill” wishful thinking that the entire diet industry lives and breathes by which boils down to this: it doesn’t matter how crappy I eat most of the time, I’ll just do a cleanse for 7 days (or take this new supplement or try this new diet, or, or, or) and all will be forgiven.

No! It does not work that way. That only results in damaging your metabolism and ensuring you will put any weight you’ve lost back on immediately. And probably a couple of extra pounds.

Here is the scientific, factual truth:

Toxins don’t build up in our body. If they did, we would die or be in need of serious medical intervention.

Are you still with me? Here’s a couple more things to think about:

  • Most cleanses or detoxes say your body is releasing “toxins”. What toxins? What exactly are they talking about? And, if they are “releasing” said toxins, show me a blood panel that proves this. Or a spit test or a poop test. Show me something that backs up what you are claiming! They can’t.
  • If, indeed, your body released toxins, guess where they would go? THROUGH YOUR KIDNEYS AND LIVER THEREBY RESTRESSING THE ORGANS YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DETOXIFYING AND CLEANSING.
  • Most marketing materials link toxin buildup general symptoms like fatigue, headache, insomnia or weight gain. They aren’t idiots. Who hasn’t experienced one or all of these in their lifetime?? However they fail to link specific toxins to specific symptoms or illness because they can’t. There is not one scientific study proving that a detox or cleanse treatment has had any useful medical effect.
  • Peter Pressman, an internist at the naval hospital in Jacksonville, Florida states, “There is absolutely no scientific basis for the assertion that the regimens popularly defined as ‘detox’ will augment the body’s own capacity for identifying and eliminating your own metabolic wastes or doing the same for environmental toxins,” he said. “I advise patients that these detox programs amount to a large quantity of excrement, both literally and figuratively.”

Instead, focus on making real, lasting changes to your diet. Changes that can be sustained for a lifetime. Not just 7 days. And these can be so easy. Drink more water. Eat more vegetables. Exercise more. Cook more food at home. Boom. Cleansed.

cleansing


This week’s recipe is from what may quite possibly be my most favorite cookbook ever.  And I have a LOT of cookbooks!  The recipe I chose is a great one for cleaning up your diet and getting more veggies into your day.

Kale Slaw with Creamy Mustard Dressing 
From at home in the whole kitchen

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt, to tasate
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salad:

  • 5 cups thinly sliced kale (from about 1 medium bunch)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in matchsticks
  • 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds

MAKE THE DRESSING:

  1. Place cashew butter and water in a small bowl, and mix until smooth. Stir in garlic, vinegars, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add olive oil, mix again until smooth and creamy, season to taste, and set aside.

MAKE THE SALAD:

  1. Place kale, red cabbage, carrot, fennel, scallions, and sunflower seeds in a large salad bowl; toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing; toss until slaw is evenly coated and serve.

Nicole’s Notes:

  • This salad will last quite a long time in the refrigerator. Make it on Sunday and eat it as your lunch for a couple of days.
  • You can easily add whatever protein you desire: garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, shredded chicken or tuna.

Questions?  Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

Are you setting joy-goals or lack-goals?

I have lists of goals.  There are six-month goals, one-month goals, 5-year goals, pie-in-the-sky goals, lots and lots of goals.  I’ve been doing this for a long time because I am a list-making fool.  And what I realized a couple of years ago was that the goals I actually achieved were joy-goals and the goals I fell short of were lack-goals.  And I am certain this holds true with most of you.  Let me explain:

A lack-goal begins with a self-critical thought

I don’t like my body.

The goal that is created from that thought is phrased like this:

I need to lose weight so I will go to the gym 4x a week.

Just reading those two sentences makes me feel restricted and small.  Yuck. Yet this is what most of us do.   And it does not work.

A little backstory on me:  I struggled with my weight during my 20’s.  I was heavier than my friends and while they could seemingly eat whatever they wanted, I could not.  I put myself on diets, I Jane Fonda-ed it up at home, I thought about food ALL THE TIME, and what did that get me?  Depressed.  Angry. My negative self-talk was LOUD and it was MEAN.  I had all kinds of goals like the one above and I never achieved a single one of them.  So what turned it all around for me?  When I had a joy-goal.

I made a list in 1998 of lifetime goals, things I wanted to learn or achieve or try,  (seriously, did I mention I love lists?) and #1 was “learn how to kick box”.  I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and began training in the French art of kickboxing called Savate.  I loved it from day one.  I felt like a badass and it brought me so much happiness.  There was NEVER a question of missing a class or a “crap I really don’t want to go to the gym today” moment.  My kickboxing goal was created out of joy. And when I decided to fight for a spot on the American team for the 2000 Savate world championships, I weighed myself for the first time in months.  Guess what? I had lost weight.  Without even trying.  It wasn’t my motivation behind my goal.  And that made all the difference in the world.

 1929605_23227824360_828_n (1)

Joy-goals.  Try it out.

Psychologist Kelly McGonigal from The Willpower Instinct states, “Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control.”  So the next time you bemoan your failure to achieve a goal, stop a moment and investigate the source of that goal.  Is it coming from that negative, nasty place inside us all?  Or is it coming from your quiet, joyful place?

I bet I know the answer.

________________________________________________________________________


The recipe this week is from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook.  If you have never heard of these guys and swear words don’t offend you, I highly recommend you check them out!  They are devoted to a plant-based lifestyle and their recipes reflect their joy and passion.  Plus, they are irreverent, raunchy, and hilarious.  My favorite kind of people!

White Bean and Red Lentil Burgers

  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups cooked white beans
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of your favorite no-salt, all-purpose seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Grated zest of ½ lime
  1. Combine the lentils and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let that all simmer until the lentils are soft and mushy and the water is mostly gone, about 10 minutes.  Drain away and extra water and let the lentils cool while you prep all the other shit.  (I warned you!)
  2. Mash the white beans in a large bowl and then add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients. If you find the mixture too wet to hold its shape, add some more breadcrumbs.  Shape that mix into patties (you know, burger size) and put them on an oiled baking sheet.  Chill that in the fridge, covered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  3. Crank the oven to 400F when you’re ready to go. Coat the patties lightly with some cooking spray and bake them for about 30 minutes, flipping them over halfway.  You want them to be golden on both sides.  Serve them up with whatever the fuck you like on a burger and then go to town.

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.

We SERIOUSLY are all the same!

We go through our days wrapped up in our life. Our trials and tribulations that we believe are uniquely ours: work, kids, traffic, husband, wife, friends, eating, when am I going to exercise?, my life is so crazy, I just don’t have time! But recently, through an exercise done with the running teams I coach, what became blindingly obvious was this:

Even though we are unique and wonderfully weird and crazy in our own way, we all worry and stress about the same shit.

 So this was the workout:

  1. Write down a grudge or a bad habit or something that you always worry or stress about that you will COMMIT to letting go of for two months. Next run a mile as fast as you can. The pain you feel running that mile is a symbol of that negative pattern leaving your body.
  2. Now you write down something positive you are committed to manifesting in your life. It can be anything and it does not have to be connected to what you chose to let go of. Then you run a mile at a nice easy pace and come up with action steps you will take in order to manifest your intention.

First of all, I take no credit for coming up with this workout. so when I say it’s brilliant, I am not merely bragging. It was a powerful experience for a lot of my runners. And when I read what they wanted to give up or let go of, guess what? They were all the same. Out of roughly 130 runners, they broke down into 3 categories:

  1. Body image. Too skinny, too heavy, not fast, not strong, whatever. We all have it and we all seem to be worrying about it.
  2. Finances. Regardless of how much or little someone makes, they still stress about money.
  3. Relationships. They want one, they don’t want one, their kids are making them crazy, their friendships aren’t satisfying, they feel disconnected from their coworkers – you get the idea.

While we worry and stress and COMPARE (see my last blog about the comparing if you didn’t already read it) ourselves to others, they are busy doing it, too. NO ONE escapes it, so why don’t we all just stop? Stop because what has the worrying and stressing ever done for you anyways? Did it make it better? Did it resolve it?

I know the answer! NOPE.

Worry 2

This is not to belittle the challenges that life just loves to throw at us, but holding on to grudges and bad habits and negative self-talk are NOT productive and, ultimately, destructive. Focus on what you can change RIGHT NOW IN THIS VERY MOMENT and let everything else go. All that other stuff does is rob you of your happiness and joy. And you should all know by now how I feel about joy. It’s my drug, my reason for being. Get on that joy train, people! Or, as one of my most favorite people to quote, states:

life is short

You know something you can do right now in this very moment? Make this quiche. It is so, so easy and absolutely delicious. And the variations are endless.

Spinach and Feta Quiche with a Quinoa Crust

Taken from Cooking Light.

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  1. For the crust, preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Combine quinoa, pepper, and egg in a bowl, stirring well. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes; cool.
  3. For the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add spinach; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
  4. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a boil; stir with a whisk. Arrange spinach mixture in crust; pour egg mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with feta. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into 4 wedges.

Questions?  Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.