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August 21, 2019

Back to School, Back to Basics

When we break it down, practicing healthy habits is rather elementary. It can also seem rather complicated. Since school is back in session, I figured

August 15, 2019

The All or None Syndrome

Ever experience Pause Button Mentality? Perhaps during the holidays, your birthday, after vacation, when work gets crazy, or kids go back to school? H

August 8, 2019

Lessons from Nature, and Grounding

We must be moving into fall, as school supplies are in the sale ads. Didn’t summer vacation just get rolling? As I look around, I see many of my lil

August 1, 2019

Creative, Easy, Grilling Ideas

Summer is for taking it easy, and that includes mealtime. Lately, Mr. Non-Compliant and I have been playing with food. Our latest game: How much can w

July 18, 2019

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This ye

July 11, 2019

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to b

July 4, 2019

Relax and Enjoy

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of lig

June 27, 2019

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a

June 13, 2019

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose? A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, wi

June 6, 2019

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), a

What’s Your Story?

Our lives are fascinating. Sit quietly for a moment and consider a story about your life that someone would find compelling.

And don’t tell me you don’t have one. Yes, you do.

Like the time you and your friend took a bus trip to the largest hosta farm in the Midwest for the weekend, and you don’t even like hostas. In fact, when asked about the variety you were seeking, your response was “green.”

Or how about the time you went out with your buddies, acted like college kids, and laughed so hard that your face hurt the next day.

Or how you got “lucky” and ended up with front row seats to see Kenny Chesney.

Stories hold our memories. Stories connect us.

Sometimes, we tell ourselves stories that do not serve us, and are not REALLY true.

Like:

–I used to be in shape. Those days are gone forever.

–With my schedule, I don’t have time to exercise/eat better/have fun.

–I can’t cook/take time for myself/give up my diet sodas.

These are the stories we can rewrite. We simply need to get to the place of being ready to get creative and try something new.

Ever try to do something you thought you could NEVER in a million years accomplish? Pretty scary. Then when you succeeded, well, talk about empowerment!

I felt that way when my PC crashed and I figured out how to write my blog posts, then upload them to my website, on a MAC. Oh. Yea.

I still feel that way when I try a “new-to-me” class at the gym, and walk away fairly unscathed when it’s over. Look out Wonder Woman.

So, today, what’s your story? Is it true? Is it REALLY true?

If you have an old story that you’re tired of playing over and over and over again, I’d like to hear it. Odds are good I’ll have some creative ways to rewrite it that are really pretty simple. Oh. Yea.

“Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.”—Susan Statham

Change Begins with a Meal

I find this to be an interesting statement, since most people have an aversion to change; yet most people enjoy a meal.

How does it resonate with you? (Pause, and consider this for a moment.)

I heard this because a radio station was giving listeners an opportunity to make a donation of any size to a shelter that feeds those who have nothing to eat.

A person who had experienced fellowship and meals at the shelter gave his testimony about how much better he felt on so many levels because of the food he was given. He felt healthier, stronger, loved.

Change begins with a meal.  

This is true on many levels as well. Think of the different ways you feel depending on who you share the meal with, the location, conversation, food, your state of mind, etc.

I take my food for granted. I have never been in a situation where I didn’t know where, or when, my next meal would appear.

There are those times when I choose to overeat, make poor choices, and don’t take the time to really appreciate all that I have. Ouch!

Today, I chose to focus on my meal in a more conscious way. I was truly hungry, the flavors were wonderful, and the conversation light.

How about you? What was your most recent meal like? Did you feel good when you were finished? Are there opportunities for you to make mealtime a more positive, joyful experience?

Our lives revolve around food. We need it to survive and it’s even better when it helps us thrive.

Scripture is filled with stories centered around food. Change began with a meal.

A couple things as I close out today’s post:

  1. If you have the means, donate to a local food bank. Since we’re between holidays, many of them are running low on food. People get hungry in the summer too.
  2. If mealtime brings more stress and anxiety than it does happiness and fulfillment, let’s talk. Let’s explore why you can’t lose the weight, have no time to exercise, and hate buying new clothes.

Change begins with a meal. And change begins with self-love.   

Begin today.

“If we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”—Louise Hay

Just Do a Little Bit Better

In our journey to a healthier, happier life, we often get a bit overzealous.

We think we can conquer it all, all at the same time.

We work out everyday for an hour, give up the sugar and bread, eat massive amounts of fruits and vegetables, and drink only water.

We do really well and start feeling like a million bucks—for a week or two. Then it gets too hard and we quit.

It’s impossible to stay motivated for the long haul.

Here’s an idea. How about trying to do just a little bit better? Practice one habit at a time. ONE.

Maybe you let go of the before-bedtime snack a couple bedtimes a week.

Or you skip devouring the bread basket when you go out for dinner.

Or in my case, eat the ice cream only a couple times a week instead of five.

Whatever it is for you, remember that little things, over time, add up to big results and a happier life.

Patience, persistence, and understanding why any of this is important to you is key.

Life is delicious. Eat it up.


“To live well is to eat well.”—
Author Unknown

Keeping it Real, Recipe Included

I’m writing this after returning home from Julia Child’s birthday celebration. This evening, at Mrs. Dornberg’s Culinary Experience, we toasted to a wonderful cook, who would have been 106 today. 

There is much that we could celebrate about Julia and what she brought to American cooking. After viewing some television clips, what is quite obvious is that she was real.

She burned food, ruined recipes, dropped chickens, and kept right on going. Nothing stopped her from teaching us with great zeal and humor, as imperfect as she was.

I find that quite comforting.

Our birthday meal consisted of:

  • Gruyere Stuffed Mushrooms (Champignons Farci)
  • Eggplant Pizza
  • Salad greens with Basic French Vinaigrette
  • Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce
  • Buttered String Beans (Haricots Verts a la Maitre d’Hotel)
  • Chocolate Mousse topped with whipped cream

We toasted with a bit of champagne, and appropriate wine pairings were also available. Julia did lots of wine pouring and toasting, celebrating food and life.

As we continue to celebrate summer, kids going back to school, and beautiful sunsets, I offer you a recipe we enjoyed. It is from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, by Julia Child.

Basic French Vinaigrette
Makes about 2/3 Cup

  • ½ Tablespoon finely minced shallot or scallion
  • ½ Tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1/3 to ½ Cup excellent olive oil or other fine, fresh oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Either shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar or mix them individually as follows. Stir the shallots or scallions together with the mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when well blended start whisking in the oil by droplets to form a smooth emulsion. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste by dipping a piece of the salad greens into the sauce and correct seasoning with salt, pepper and/or drops of lemon juice.

Vinaigrette is always at its freshest and best when served promptly, but you can store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for several days. The shallots and fresh lemon juice will eventually go off, spoiling the taste of the dressing.

*Add minced fresh herbs to dressing as desired after all the oil has been added.

A true French salad is simply mixed greens with vinaigrette such as this. It helps to cleanse the palate between courses.

Cheers to Julia, eating amazing food, and keeping it real.

“Remember, ‘No one’s more important than people’!” In other words, friendship is the most important thing—not career or housework, or one’s fatigue—and it needs to be tended and nurtured.” –Julia Child, “My Life in France”