Unplugged

Perfecting Meal Portions

I know that I have an issue with my portion sizes, especially at dinner time! I do pretty well all day and when it’s dinner time, I’m not starving because I ate healthy all day but I find myself going for seconds. I say it’s because it tastes so good but in reality, I know that I do it because something is missing in my life so I fill that emptiness with food. I know I do this so why do I keep doing it instead of filling the emptiness with the thing that I truly crave?

Making changes in our lives is difficult and exciting. Making change means going out of your comfort zone, getting creative and being bold to an extent. Making changes sometimes means letting go of the fight inside of us and accepting what is if even just for now. Finding happiness isn’t as hard as we make it out to be, happiness is a choice we make; change is a choice we make.

Portions out of control is something we do that hurts our body and makes us feel bad about ourselves emotionally. Portion sizes are our way of gaining our own control of a situation that we feel is out of our control – but the price is high.

It’s time to make changes. It’s time to fill the emptiness with the truth, the thing that is missing, the thing we long for but haven’t worked out how to grasp it. When you want something badly enough, you can achieve it. You can have that dream, lose the weight, travel to that place of your dreams, have that item you can’t live without – it just takes a little work and a lot of heart.

Begin shifting your focus from food to fulfillment. Write down what you feel is missing from your life, keep that note in clear view so you will see it every day as a reminder of your deepest desire. Take control of portion sizes, if it helps, use a 6″ appetizer plate so you can fill it twice and feel okay with it, or stick to a dinner plate and strictly have just one plate of food. Eat slowly so your brain registers that you’re eating and always remind yourself of why one plate is enough.

Fulfillment of life isn’t filling the emptiness with food, it’s filling it by making your dreams and wishes reality. One plate – fulfillment.

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Tempeh & Carrot Patties

During these difficult Covid19 quarantine days I’m doing my best to keep busy. I’m using this time at home to get some projects done and to cook and create some new interesting flavors; boredom will do that to me. Today I was inspired to cook up some veggie patties for lunch and they are pretty tasty!

If you want to make some and don’t have all the ingredients I used on hand, don’t sweat it – just improvise; creating can put you in a happy mood. I’ll share how to improvise in my ‘recipe’.

Tempeh Carrot Patties

3 large carrots, shredded (use cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli)

1 package of tempeh, crumbled (or 1 can chickpeas rinsed, drained & mashed)

1 small onion, chopped

a few stalks of parsley, chopped (can use dried or any other fresh herbs)

1 cup of mushrooms, chopped (4 large)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

a few grinds of black pepper (1/4 tsp)

1/4 cup flour – use any type of flour you choose, almond, coconut, chickpea etc.)

2 eggs

Omit any ingredients that you don’t like. Add green peas, shredded Brussels sprouts or asparagus…there are almost no limits – [just don’t sprinkle nutritional yeast on your Shredded Wheat Mom!! ;)]

Mix all ingredients well and drop by tablespoon full into hot pan with oil, coconut oil or butter (add more between batches as needed). Cook until browned 3-5 minutes, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. Repeat until batter is gone.

Yogurt Topping

about 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (sour cream alternative)

handful of parsley chopped

2 tsp. nutritional yeast

squeeze of lemon or 1 tsp lemon juice

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Blueberry Muffins

Everyone likes a little extra treat once in a while and I say, “why not”? I’ve become a fan of this particular blueberry muffin recipe in the past two years. The recipe comes from a great book I found at a Polish pottery store in MA, you can find the book online here. Each of the recipes in the book makes a dozen muffins. They’re simple and quick.

I sometimes add walnuts or pecans and I often leave the tops without sugar. I used brown sugar with cinnamon on this particular day.

So, while I don’t take credit for creating the recipe, I will take credit for making them often and sharing the recipe with you.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that keep us motivated, happy and hopeful.

Enjoy and share your muffin making experiences below!

Life

Do You Feel Emotionally Well?

It has taken me half a lifetime to feel emotionally well and it feels good. I don’t often write about my personal life and innermost feelings but I believe sharing our stories helps others. I’m often taken by surprise when I hear or read about someone’s experiences that are similar to mine; it makes me know I’m not alone.

I spent my entire life believing that I was not worthy of, well, anything good. I believed anything bad that happened was somehow my fault and anything good that I did would be appreciated – but in reality, I didn’t think it was even noticed. That didn’t stop me from being kind and doing anything I could to please others; I believed my life, my purpose, my reason for being was to make others happy.

I was taught all of that behavior by my parents. They were strict, unkind, demanding, inappropriate and selfish. My siblings and I were trained up to meet my parents expectations whether realistic, appropriate or not, and we obediently tried. For some reason I didn’t walk away after becoming an adult and moving on with my life. Even as an adult with kids of my own, I kept on being a people-please[r] with my parents as well as others. It didn’t serve me well to put my own needs and innermost feelings aside. In the past two years one at a time, my parents passed away. First my father, then my mother most recent. The last two years were pretty rough on me as my mother needed my help on a constant level. I always obliged. Each time over the years, that I would help her or visit her I always thought it would be different – better; but it wasn’t. Everything I or my siblings (in-laws included) did for her went unappreciated. N’er a thank you.

I found courage to heal. I found an excellent psychiatrist, [don’t stop at one, it has to be the perfect fit for you] and I saw her twice a week at first and once a week after that for nine years. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Another best thing I did for myself was to take lessons in martial arts, Kempo karate for twelve years. It taught me self-confidence, inner peace and how to react calmly.

The number one best thing I did for myself was to raise my kids with love, appreciation of who they are individually, respect, nurturing, and kind. I had rules but I was fair. My kids might not think anything of it and that is perfect. It’s perfect because that means they didn’t have anything negative to compare it to. They were given the love a parent should give. They were treated the way a parent should treat their children. I taught my kids honesty, empathy and compassion. That’s not to say that they didn’t have rough moments along the way, they did. I took steps to help them and protect them as best I could. I certainly made mistakes along the way but I always learned from them, owned them and I apologized when I was wrong. I was the parent to my kids that my parents could not be to me and my siblings.

The whole world is suffering with this corona virus Covid19 epidemic and it’s a bit scary. This epidemic will make history. During these difficult times, I find myself wanting to call and check on my mother and hope she would want to check on me. Then it hits me that she is gone. It also hits me that she never called to check on me when she was here, why do I still hold onto hope that it would’ve been different or better? I can dream of a different set of parents all I want or I can be that parent to my kids, now grown but still loved more than the day before. So, I pull myself together and check in on them.

Life isn’t always the way we wish it would be. In fact, it’s almost never how any of us dreams of. But we have the choice to heal grow and get free. Free from our own poisonous thoughts, free from other’s thoughts/feelings about us and free to respond to life’s happenings in a way that nourishes our soul and spirit.

I have a choice, you have a choice. Find your options, talk it out, write it out, be open to opportunity and failure because with those comes growth.

I’m here for you. My heart is open, my mind is open and my ears are open. Come on in and sit a spell, share your thoughts, release your pain. You can email me any time, I’m quick to respond.

Be well. God bless.

Life

Feeling Anxious in the World Today; and Trying to Find Balance and Peacefulness

Everyone everywhere is aware of the Covid-19/Coronavirus outbreak that is pretty much world-wide. Each of us is handling it differently based on our job, our health, our contact with others and such. How I’m dealing with it at this very moment is in a sort of tangle.

I’ve always been a bit of a germophobe, clean hands, clean surfaces and a clean home has always been at the top of my list of importance; my kids, while fully grown now, would agree. If I made/make food for you, or for family you can bet that it met/meets all sanitary standards.

I’m a hairstylist and a personal health/lifestyle coach by trade. I have lots of one-on-one contact with my hair clients and mostly internet contact with my coaching clients. Coaching feels a whole lot safer lately than hair styling! I’m trying not to let that stop me from caring for my clients as expected but I am making calls beforehand to make sure they have not been sick; it’s not a guarantee but it makes me feel a little more confident with contact. I will be diligently washing hands, keeping as good a distance as possible and spending as little time as I can with each client. I will bring water with me as I read that sipping water will wash down any germs and stomach acids can kill them.

I find myself confused if to see my clients or postpone their appointments. Confused whether to go buy groceries or clean out the pantry and refrigerator/freezer for the next few weeks. I have put myself in a state of anxiety wondering what to do and I’m certain that I am not alone.

I don’t want to over-react but I also don’t want to under-react. I don’t want this moment in time to make you feel like you are prisoners in your homes. Make this urgent time of little human contact be a kind of respite for you. Become a little bit selfish. Find time to reconnect with your inner peace, your spirit, your own comfort and God. Take time to clean that which you have put off but also find time to read, write, meditate, nap, garden, walk alone, cook something special, be comfortable with being alone with just yourself and with your family.

What are your doing during this awful moment in history? What are your thoughts? Anxieties? What is your plan while hunkering down away from social activity? What do you want to get off your chest? How are you doing?

For a moment close your eyes, breathe deeply and let calm wash over you.

Life

Begin Again

In the silence of snowfall

Today is the 364th day of the year. I feels like it has been about that long since I have written to you, my faithful readers. I want you to know that I appreciate you and I promise to be more active in your life as you are in mine. I also appreciate your emails of caring and concern.

Twenty-nineteen started out pretty normal (normal is very different for each of us) for me. I set goals, dreamed of new opportunities, planned steps to reach emotional and physical wellness and I felt optimistic.

As winter faded and spring opened its wings I lost my uncle whom which I was quite close to. My heart ached for my cousins and for the rest of us as we learned to accept our loss. Several weeks following I lost a cousin and my heart broke a little more especially for his sister, nephew and brother. Add two months and my mother passed away. My schedule basically worked around helping her daily with various appointments, chores and general lifetime duties. Getting through cleaning up what is left behind becomes a full-time job as well as staying strong over emotions is. Fast forward two months and I learned that another cousin has passed away. Feeling overwhelmed with sadness over the devastation of this news and living far away from his family left me feeling helpless; I wanted to be there for them, to give a hug, lend an ear and just be caring and supportive. Move ahead a few more weeks and the news of a newer friend’s passing came through. The heartache his family has been suffering is heart-wrenching.

Dealing with everything involved when someone leaves this world is overwhelming and emotions are kicked aside until you find the time to deal with them. The loss of five people in five months has been emotionally exhausting. Now that Christmas has passed and a new year is hours away, my heart and head are fighting agreement. Life with my mother in the past 3 years has been a pretty constant duty. While it wasn’t easy, anyone who knew her understands, it was part of my daily life. Having that removed in a flash is jolting. I feel both sadness and relief. I’m working through it and I know I will be okay.

Something my mind has been doing to me is feeling that I could be next. So many losses so close together is quite overwhelming and not allowing yourself to show the sadness hurts more than it helps. I’ve recently been retreating from gatherings and other invitations so that I can process all that has happened in the past seven months. I’m allowing myself to exhale.

I plan to stay optimistic; I’ve always been a glass half full kind of girl. I plan to spread love, happiness and my optimism throughout 2020 and I invite you to tag along!

Again, I appreciate you so very much.

This post is dedicated to those I’ve lost this year: Michael Parent (uncle), Alan Hamel (cousin), Jacqueline Hamel (mom), Steven Black (cousin), and Michael Cunningham (friend). May you all rest peacefully and fly free.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Beat Sugar & Carb Cravings with Spring Produce!

Seasonal eating fuels your body properly..contact me for your personal list of seasonal foods.

Some of us, in fact all of us, get cravings every now and again. Cravings can tell a lot about your body both physically and emotionally. Physically we often crave what our body is missing such as certain minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. Emotional cravings can come from the stresses of everyday life; we crave sweets when things are difficult, crunch when we are angry, carbs when we feel fatigued both physically and mentally, and so on.

Each season causes our body to shift as well as our cravings. Winter brings on warming, heartier foods, spring, cleansing, purifying foods, summer, lighter, raw and cooling foods and fall leaves us in-between summer’s bounty and winter’s chill.

Spring cleansing foods that are available right now help to clean out and purify the blood. These foods also offer great amounts of phyto-nutrients – which help feed the body’s cells, boost the immune system and even reduce inflammation. Phyto = plant, the best fuel and disease defense is plant nutrition.

So how does this help curb sugar/carb cravings? By eating these in-season, fresh phyto-nutrients (leafy greens, dark green veggies, other colorful veggies and fruit, your body can clean out the ‘gunk’ and refresh or reboot your system. Focus on these whole and natural foods and note how your body changes.

Remember, your body will crave what you feed it most. Happy, healthy body rebooting!

Try this simple recipe, from Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook it’s cleansing and alkalizing. Add Arugula in other dishes as well, sandwiches, multi-greens salad, soups, stews…add it last to keep it nutritious!