Better Butter

Meet Butter Lettuce!
butterBoston and Bibb lettuce fall under the butter-head family and these lovely leaves are known for being very delicate but versatile!

When I first started snagging this stuff at the farmers market I was pretty peeved to watch the wonderful leaves wilt in less than 48 hours…WTF?!?! Well, my fridge was too cold and I hadn’t carefully packed the produce in an airtight container. ANYWAY, once I figured out how to properly care of it, I was able to use my butter lettuce for delicious salads and so much more.

With its subtle flavor and lovely shape, I’ve found butter lettuce to be perfect for wraps or cups, replacing carbohydrate heavy breads and tortillas. Lower in calories and carbs, replacing breads with butter lettuce can help keep you satisfied without weighing you down.

cupsI love bread! As you can see I have still included some whole wheat baguette slices with my meal, and think whole wheat options in moderation are fantastic for you! However, when breads are used as a vehicle for our yummy meals, we sometimes forget just how much we’re consuming and WAY overdo it – bummer for the belly!

Forget just knocking out some extra calories, butter lettuce is a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Potassium and has anti-inflammatory properties…not bad huh?

Bypass breads for butter lettuce and enjoy!!

Whole new kind of rockin the vote

Food for thought…you’re voting every time you make a purchase. David Wolfe, one of the most amazing raw foodists around, made this very powerful statement at the end of a lecture he gave and I’m sure many times prior and since as well!

Pretty amazing to think about, right??? Ever wonder why there are so many awful for you items stocking your store shelves and this itty bitty section of a few of them for organic, whole and raw options? Perhaps you see more packaged, processed products because that’s what’s most presently purchased.

Treat every purchase you make, regarding food or anything for that matter, as a vote….a vote for local, raw, organic food. A vote for products made with love and hope for a healthier society.

If everyone made a more conscious effort to purchase organic, healthy foods, botanicals and herbs, then they’ll more prevalently appear on the shelves of stores near you. How amazing would it be for better foods to be accessible on a mass scale?!?

Rock the vote!

Not just about goals

Happy Tuesday! Miss me?!? I missed my WordPress world but sadly life has been getting in the way of my best intentions….they’re not really daily thoughts unless there is one a day, haha!

Something we talked about during my IIN coaching circle was action steps. Sure, setting goals is amazing and a great ‘first step’ but going a little further and maybe thinking of a few action steps to bring yourself closer to that goal will make you that much more likely to take steps forward.

I know that sounds, well to me anyway, rather intuitive but not something I had ever done or been encouraged to do before. My whole life has been about setting goals and living those action steps but as life becomes more complex and those goals more difficult to ascertain, it’s sometimes hard to live my action steps. Writing down steps and thinking about realistic ways to move forward is the best way achieve the goals you want to achieve.

Don’t just set goals…set actions!

Summer Lovin’

Happy Friday!! I know, well at least in my book, summer starts memorial day weekend, but today is the Summer Solstice and the true first day of summer!

Some people mark today with BBQ and beach visits; however, in the yogic world, today is marked by something a little different. In honor of the summer solstice yogis and yoga enthusiasts from all over will do a series of 108 sun salutations. Why 108 you might ask?…well, there are many meanings for the number, some of which I will share below!

-108 is the number of Upanishads. Upanishads are a collection of philosophic texts used to form the theoretical basis of Hinduism. 

-108 is the number of names for Buddha as well as for Shiva in Hindu philosophy

-108 is the number of beads on a mala. A mala is cyclical strand of prayer beads, similar to the idea of a rosary.

-108 is twelve times nine which is the number of vinyasas in a traditional sun salutation.

There are many others you’re welcome to explore for yourself but the idea of the 108 sun salutations is to honor yourself and welcome the change of seasons with a refreshed, renewed self.

A sun salutation consists of 1. inhaling and reaching the arms overhead, 2. exhaling into a forward bend 3. inhaling and lifting half way keeping fingers touching the earth or your shins 4. exhaling to jump or step back into a low push up 5. inhaling into upward facing dog 6. exhaling into downward dog 7. inhaling to jump or step your feet to your hands 8. exhaling into a forward bend 9. inhaling, reaching hands overhead and exhaling them back to heart center.

Arguably 9 is two in one and you don’t have to exhale and bring your hands back to heart center. I feel, and I am not alone in this, it’s more complete and seals the flow to bring your hands back to heart center- plus gives you a starting point for the next 107.

Trust me when I say this is challenging and you’re certainly going to feel the warmth and ache creep through your body. However, the cleansing, detoxifying benefits and the feeling of renewal you experience upon completion is truly elating! 

Dedicate your 108 to someone or something you love and mark the start of your summer right!

 

Namaste!

 

 

 

Cookie Wisdom

cookie

We can go ahead and say himself or herself for this one as I am certainly not a man, haha, but I really liked the message.

The ladies in my office have a propensity for ordering take out and leaving the remnants in the kitchen. One of their favorites is chinese yet no one seems to like their fortune cookies. I can’t say I am a huge fan of the ACTUAL cookie, but I do enjoy the little messages inside (so I often crack it and toss it…I know, I know, there are starving children all over this planet and I shouldn’t waste food).

Admittedly a lot of the messages are a little silly but every now and again I come across a truly insightful one that helps bring meaning to my life at present.

I would say the cultivation and discovery of ‘who I am’ is a work in progress,and its scarey! I am totally not as cool as I thought I was, haha!!

Honestly though, allowing yourself to be your true self can be very intimidating. We all want to be the perfect child, sibling, significant other, friend, employee, etc.. and sometimes being ourselves and being great in those roles can seem diametrically opposed.

Here’s the thing: Who you are is perfect! You were made just the way you are for a very specific reason. Daring to be true to your inner self, no matter who that is, will always allow you to be your best self no matter which role you’re in!

 

Over the plate

Do you ever miss being a kid? I reminisce about my childhood years almost daily but last night while walking around the city, I felt a longing for those days past I hadn’t felt in awhile!

With so much going on – a lot positive and some negative – I find myself overwhelmed with worries, concerns, decisions, responsibilities, etc…

On my walk I passed a youth softball game and paused to take in the game as well as absorb the nostalgia. Not only did I play softball as a kid but I pitched. At this particular point in the game, the pitcher on the mound was getting frustrated. The young girl of maybe ten had a runner on 3rd, no outs, a batter at the plate, and a frustrated scowl as she struggled to throw the ball over the plate. With the crowd and her team supporting her the young pitcher calmed her nerves, took a deep breath and found her zone!

“God I miss the days where my biggest concern in life was throwing strikes in softball” I thought as I continued on my way. The more I walked the more I realized that even though I may not be playing softball, I still spend everyday just trying to get it over the plate!

I had to laugh a little at myself because its totally true – some days are better than others but the best you can do is try and get it over the plate!

Distinctly Different!

Happy Monday Everyone! Like many folks around the country Sunday, I had the pleasure of celebrating one of the greatest men on the planet, my father! Yesterday was filled with spending time as a family, chatting, eating and reflecting on years past.

We’re a pretty close family, so time together is in great supply! There is a lot of love but we poke fun at each other a lot – mainly because we’re so different. It blows my mind that we came from the same set of parents and how one gene pool could spit out such different, but equally awesome, people. One theory for our differences, which I came across during my studies at IIN, is that the life situation, state of mind, diet etc.. of our parents were vastly varied during conception and while in the womb.

While this may not be news to some, this little thought experiment proved very interesting to me. With each description of the process, I figured out (or more guessed) why each of us were different.

This is not to say that A LOT of other factors don’t go into making us who we are – we’re a product of our constitution as much as our condition – but I bet you’ll find it interesting to look into it for yourself. Ask your folks what things were like when you were in the womb and see if you discover some interesting things you didn’t realize before.

 

Listen Closely

I am far from perfect! I make a million mistakes a day, inevitably forget something important, loose track of my cell phone hourly and don’t always know the right thing to say. One thing I know I can count on though is this lovely little vessel I float through life in!

Yes, your body is one of the most accurate things in existence! Not convinced?…think about it! Our bodies rise and rest everyday, our hearts don’t miss a beat, our lunges don’t forget to inhale and expire, our temperature stays around 98.6, our eyelids blink every few seconds, etc..

I am consistently fascinated by the human body and always shocked that more people don’t take the time to listen to what it has to say. Just like with the aforementioned actions, our body intuitively gives us signs regarding our food, sleep, environment and overall well being.

When you’re craving chocolate, have a nasty headache, or get an uneasy feeling, they’re usually a reason – your body is trying to tell you something! Instead of blowing it off, take a moment and think about why your body might be sending you those signals.

By taking time to listen to the body, we can better understand our own unique path to the healthiest version of ourselves! Your body will give you insight into the right foods for you, the amount of sleep you need, whether you’re overexerting yourself or if you’re right on track!

Your body tells you everything it needs…are you listening closely!

Herbaceous Cod

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With my herb garden in full bloom, seriously…those suckers are going to start strangling each other they’re growing so large, I am using every excuse possible to use them!

With about thirty minutes, some cod, squash, zucchini, orzo and herbs, me and my special someone set to work at making this sensationally seasoned sea fare.

Tarragon, parsley, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil were the seasoning team – using the fresh herbs both before and after cooking to boost the flavor!

Bake the cod and veggies at 400 for 10 minutes and then pull the veggies. Crank the oven to broil and allow the fish to cook for a few more minutes (be careful because this might burn the herbs a little).

The quinoa pretty much makes itself and you toss the veggies in, cover the plate in your creation and top with fish!

Use fresh herbs and everything goes from great to sensational…enjoy!

Flow with it

flow

Happy Hump Day!

There is a saying that goes something like “When we make plans, God laughs.” For the life of me I couldn’t tell you where it comes from, but I love and hate it all at the same time!

As a planner and mild perfectionist, one of my biggest challenges is ‘going with the flow’ and adapting when things don’t go according to plan.

Learning to roll with life’s punches and go with the flow was a near impossible feat for me in the past. Sure, I can be easy going…as long as everything goes according to my plan, haha!

Through my yoga practice, I have learned how to breathe through points of discomfort, and just be with them. When things don’t go according to plan, my practice reminds me that you’ll be given everything you need in life and nothing you don’t. So if the plans changes, perhaps God (or the Universe or whatever higher power you subscribe to) has another, potentially greater, plan in mind.

Today, remind yourself you can have everything you want in this world. Things may not follow the path you’ve set in your mind but if you allow yourself to flow with it, life will take you where you need to go!