In the past few years, health has been an important focus for me.
When I say focus however, I actually don’t do much thinking about it. I made some changes a while back, committed to them, and then put my brain on autopilot. But only because I knew it was important. My body was sounding the sirens. So I listened.
I could improve. Walking is a great love. I could do it more, and kick up that speed! I also can’t ever be satisfied with a wholesome breakfast. If it isn’t a muffin or pastry, I will cry in my cereal the rest of the day.
Muffin! Muffin! Muffin! – one of my favorite words in the dictionary.
I could also vary my vegetarian diet. I like kale, yet never purchase it, even though I know it’s good for you.
Note to self – Michelle, eat your kale.
In any case, I was thinking about health the other day. In spite of my shortcomings, I really do make a serious effort to eat for my health. And I thought – for all the vegetables I eat, aren’t we told that something magical happens? Like unicorns and glitter and stuff? I’m supposed to feel amazing, right?
I don’t have a direct example of who has done this brainwashing. The media, I guess. But I feel the message is always, if you do this-and-this-and-this, then you’ll have so-much-energy! And you’ll look fabulous. And you’ll glow. And you’ll probably have lots of friends, and a great personality too!
I eat more spinach than Popeye, yet I still crawl to the coffee every morning.
Now, I’m just joking around here, but I was thinking about these ideas. That they were kind of funny. Yes, doing good for your body has many benefits. But for me, it’s been more of a, reaching for neutral ground sort of journey. Aspiring to just feel normal. Because, I’d lived it up in this body for so long, I’d forgotten what normal was. Or was supposed to be. If I ever even knew in the first place.
I’d forgotten to listen to my body.
I had to relearn.
To sum up, I think I’ve finally eaten enough carrots now, to just feel more or less, normal.
But glowing and full of energy and perfect skin and happy all the time? HA! HA! In this human and rebellious body – yea right!
What I mean to say is – don’t listen to all that noise out there. Just listen to you. Listen to your body.
It will tell you what you need.
Good Day, Good Friends!
Wishing you most well today! Do say hello – it buoys my spirits to hear from you!
Veggies! Veggies! Veggies!
I love them – I live on them – I can’t live without them
I used to eat veggies straight out of the dirt in my Grandma Ina’s garden. True story. You know – if you could pick moments to go back to, a summer’s day in my grandma’s garden would be one of them. And she didn’t just grow your average garden items. She had gooseberry bushes that appeared monstrous, an overcropping of rhubarb (at least to my young eyes), and even a trellis bearing deep plum-colored grapes.
In the heat, those grapes used to be warm and sweet. I just picked ’em and ate ’em. But they had hard seeds, so I had to spit like a cowgirl.
And what I wouldn’t do for a slice of grandma’s warm rhubarb pie right now…with some vanilla ice cream…and coffee…
Ok – sorry, got a little off course there. PIE! I mean…VEGGIES!
I’m certain there are many different opinions about ready-made. Some find it convenient. Some shun it. Some believe it costly. Some not taking to the idea of their veggies being wrapped in plastic.
I get it – for certain. You may recall my post titled Prepackaged Lettuce? Let us not! – in which I shared how horribly ill I became from bad greens that came in a plastic tub. Greens that always seem to spoil before their date – ultimately wasting money. I said I wouldn’t be buying that kind anymore (however convenient).
I have not kept to that – but let’s just say I have a keener eye now when it comes to my lettuce purchases. If the greens in the package look even a hint poorly, I search for a better option. I want FRESH!
In any case – as a serious vegetarian whose diet is principally vegetables, I have come to really value ready-to-eat.
I purchase carrot sticks already cut, celery sticks already chopped, sugar snap peas that just need a rinse. I do this, because if I have to prepare veggies at lunch and dinner, every single day (I’m often in a rush, or tired, or just want to go watch a movie, man), I am less likely to keep my diet veggie-varied, or to eat what is best for me. I will move to something even more convenient, but less healthy.
Further, the packages are the perfect portions for me – I can throw a plate of mixed veggies together in 5 minutes, or toss them on salads, or grab a snack, or steam them up, so quickly and conveniently. I use every, single, veggie (unless it’s fallen on the floor – no 5 second rule for me). And these hardier veggies rarely go bad before I consume them all – I haven’t been wasting.
But this inspired post today, is really to say, take care of yourself.
Listen to your body. Do your best to do what is right for you. And, eat those veggies! Even if it means picking up a pack like one of these for your fridge for the week – I know in my case, it makes me more prone to nibble on the good stuff.
Wishing you good health!
Sending you Light – Wishing you Health – Hoping for your Happiness
Here’s to a brighter 2021!
Welcome Friends! What’s going on in your world?
I hope life is bringing you health and happiness, wherever you are!
I just sat down for a quick lunch bite, but soon off to finish my chores. I’ve laundry drying, and some dishes and dusting yet to do. How the dust bunnies add up to be dust tumbleweeds around my house each week, is a particular mystery of interest.
I find dusting very satisfying.
I’ve also learned to be aggressive about chores. Get them out of the way, so I can play (a.k.a. – drink tea, eat cookies, and lay around reading).
I’m reading a book of classic short stories, by Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Wharton, Washington Irving, and such. Delicious. Absolutely delicious. The stories, and the cookies I’m eating while I’m reading, of course.
Maybe that’s why I sweep up so much from the floors. All the cookie crumbs.
But I just wanted to say to you all today, that I wish you a spring full of positivity, energy, fresh air, lovely blooms, blessings, and new beginnings. I really do.
I call this photo…
Self Love for breakfast…
Self Love for lunch…
Self Love for snack…
Self Love for supper…
And of course…a little extra Self Love sprinkled in…
Love yourself. Love one another. Stay Inspired.
Though I was tempted toward something sweeter to follow up my lunch bite today, I had an orange instead, and it was perfect. After, my house smelled like oranges, and that was perfect too.
I love anything citrus.
Some years ago, while out at the antique shops, I had in mind that I wanted a vintage glass juicer. But though I saw some transparent ones, and probably some other colors too, when I happened across this delightful yellow piece, I knew it was mine. There is nothing like a fresh glass of orange juice.
I can say however, making a glass takes a lot more oranges than you’d think, which can get rather expensive. A bag of oranges hardly gives you a few glasses. But, once in a while, it’s worth it for a sip of sunshine.
Once I ate mostly for pleasure.
Now I eat, mostly for health.
And it’s funny how…
I’m happier now.
In a way I cannot measure.
Good Day, Good Friends!
You know I’m wishing you well today! Most importantly healthy, but also wishing you happy…
I am taking my ease today, as it was a long few weeks. I need a quiet day.
I’m up in the tree house as usual. I really do have the prettiest trees, sunlight, and breeze…
I am thinking about my birthday a bit. It’s September 2nd, and I am turning 40 years old. I’m not one to dwell about such things. But all of a sudden, I’m thinking about it…
I’m going to be 40.
The day will come and go. Any regular Wednesday. And my 30’s will be gone from me. But I can say, I learned so much the last decade. About what I need to feel my most healthy and happy…
Which means I can enjoy, all those things I gleaned, in the years still to come…
I went to my annual dermatologist appointment last Monday. The nurse spoiled me with samples when I asked for them. I left feeling like a bona fide kid in a candy store.
I am always prepared that they might need to cut something out right then and there, and leave me with a stitch or two to wait out a screening result…
This is one of the lessons I learned in my 30’s.
I learned to embrace and commit to going to the doctor. When you are young, you rest on your health. But young people don’t see the dark clouds that might be awaiting them. Many preventable.
You must go to the doctor for your regular screenings. It could save your life.
I remember in my late twenties, a colleague who was talking at the lunch table about all the interesting results of her doctor’s visit. About how she could view it all online, and see things more in-depth. Really understand her body. I thought she was really brave.
I envied her. Why was I so scared?
I finally learned to toughen up too. And I’m so thankful I did.
Now may I toot my own horn?
My dermatologist said my skin was beautiful. I told her it’s because I’m a vegetarian and drink my green juice everyday.
Let me just bask, okay? Drinking a bottle of ‘front lawn’ and eating salad for dinner every night has to get me somewhere, right?
My dermatologist is so sweet.
That is another lesson I learned in my 30’s.
Eat to feel healthy.
You know, I was lucky. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up, and grandma had a garden. And grandma made me eat my veggies. And grandma made home cooked meals from scratch.
Of course, as you grow into adulthood, you have the choice to indulge, often to one’s detriment. And trust when I say, I have indulged friends. I lived one heck of a few decades, of pure, insane, sinful, indulging. I have lived. I lived a little too much…
And had one cheese plate too many.
And then, the foundation grandma wisely planted in me, came full circle, and I would need to call on it.
I started to get sick. From my overindulgence…
You know, I remember grandma taking those lettuce greens right from the garden, shaking up a mason jar of homemade dressing, and eating that salad. She wanted me to have one too, but even though I did eat and learn to love my veggies, I wasn’t too keen on that salad. I was a kid. But today, I’m guided by that memory. Grandma Ina, I appreciate you so much. Thank you.
Now, I think the most fortunate gift, is simply to have healthful food in my house…
A calm place to lay my head. To be able to afford to go to the doctor, and heed their advice. To have a good night’s sleep, with peace in my heart. To listen to myself, and know when I’m overdoing it. To not stir stress within myself or others, whenever I can avoid it. To tame the hornet I can sometimes be; to have more patience, acceptance, and love…
I gained temperance in every way by the end of my 30’s.
It was sometimes painfully gained. But I am glad.
I’m ready 40. Let’s do this.
Next on my list of Lovin’ That! is Soul Vegan’s vegan lasagna! Soul Vegan is a wonder food provider in Chicago that makes the most amazing, healthy, tasty dishes…
Even as a vegetarian, I indulged in their lasagna regularly. They sell pre-packaged slices, wraps and full meals at the Whole Foods in my area, and according to their website, they also provide for the local Mariano’s…
The first reasons why I love this lasagna is that it’s delivered to the store very freshly made, is only chilled (not frozen), and provides a perfect portion size that doesn’t leave me hungry…
Further, I like meals that can be thrown together quickly. I get home, slide two or three bake dishes into the oven, and done. Especially on a chilly, dark night! (I’m not a fan of microwaves when I can help it. I prefer putting a few things into the oven and stepping away to relax before supper). When I return to the oven, voila! The perfect meal!
I also love this lasagna because someone else made it (lasagna takes quite a bit of time to make). I enjoy it further because it’s a healthier version of this dish. But most especially, I love it because it tastes AMAZING. I prefer this delicious slice to any lasagna I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. It’s so good, I could eat it every day. I even served it to handsome and he said, “Mmmm, this is better than real lasagna.” That’s coming from a meat eater…
What I also really like is Soul Vegan’s message. Love life. Live life. Care about your community. Lovin’ That! You can check out their values and offerings here. If you are in Chicagoland, be on the lookout for Soul Vegan’s delicious meals. Try this lasagna and tell me it isn’t simply divine!
*Soul Vegan did not fund my obsession with their crazy awesome lasagna. I stumbled on these addictive slices all on my own! All opinions are mine, all mine.
Love Life, Live Life! Stay healthy! Stay Inspired!
Some of my favorite local restaurants that serve healthy food options also provide earth friendly containers to take your food away in. Who wouldn’t be pleased to take their food to go, and eat out of, a container that is both compostable, but also serves up less chemicals to the body like plastics and styrofoam items?
In an effort to cut back on a run of unhealthy lunches (and an insatiable daily craving for potato chips) after the holidays, I revisited thoughtful lunch prep. I also purchased a bulk of earth friendly bowls and lids from World Centric. These bowls are fantastic, for they are roomy, stackable and convenient…
For lunch, I like to toast up some healthy wild rice or grains and let cool. Next comes a plentiful handful of greens, covered in whatever chopped veggies I have on hand…
I also plop on a good spoonful of hummus or guacamole (or both), and maybe some pine nuts or almond slivers for crunch. I also love to put sriracha sauce on my hummus to jazz things up! Some fresh cracked pepper, a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and I’m ready to eat my veggies!
I find that when I prep ahead in the evening when I’m cooking in the kitchen anyway, it frees up precious time in the morning and I don’t feel so rushed and grouchy at the start of a new day. And though I love eating out for dinner when I’m not cooking (evidenced by dozens of my posts), I prefer to make my own lunch. I make my lunch almost every day of the year…
Now, I’m no expert on healthy eating (or on chemical-laden tableware and environmental practices for that matter), but I thought I’d share one small way I tried to do better for myself. More veggies for lunch, in a plant-based, less toxic, compostable container that I don’t feel guilty tossing…
Now who’s ready for some delicious, good-for-you greens?! ME!
Here’s wishing you good health today, and everyday! And here’s a pat on the back for making even little changes that lead to a happier, healthier you!
I haven’t eaten a single bite for nearly 42 hours. Right now, I’m gingerly sipping on veggie broth, hoping to work my way up to food. On Sunday evening, I started feeling not quite right and didn’t really want to eat my dinner. When I woke up Monday morning, I felt like my feet were heavy and I was very fatigued. By 10:00 a.m., I knew something was working on taking me down…
The flu was my first thought, for it is highly contagious and is working its way around these parts like wildfire. For all my hand-washing precautions, the flu can get you airborne style. No one is safe. I spent last night in agony. I went to Hades and back in my feverish dreams, praying for deliverance. I was quite sick. This morning, I knew that it wasn’t the flu. Food poisoning had come to pay me a visit…
And though I don’t have a lab working on it right now, I can pretty much say with certainty where I got it from. Prepackaged lettuce. As a vegetarian, I eat A LOT of lettuce. I throw the greens over everything…sandwiches, soups, as a garnish. The prepackaged, prewashed stuff is obviously convenient…
However, I have lately felt very dissatisfied with my prepackaged salad purchases. I buy the plastic tubs, and even though there is always plenty of time before they expire (as per the date on the packaging), when I open them, I frequently find unsavory lettuce. Slimy lettuce…eww. Black, rotten bits…gross. Some healthy, while much is wilted and distressed…not for me!
Just this Saturday, I’d made a sandwich and had to pick the best pieces from a package that ought to have been entirely fresh but wasn’t looking all that great. I even thought, I hope I don’t get sick. Handsome came home with a fresh package from the grocery, and I promptly told him how annoyed I was getting with the packaged kind (as I threw away the bad lettuce from the fridge). We were wasting money on convenience…
It only takes a few minutes of online research to learn of the risks of prepackaged lettuce. Recalls are rampant, and pre-washed on the label holds no certain safety value. As I lay fitful and feverish all night, unable to even sip water without nausea and sharp pains, I thought to myself, I’m pretty strong and healthy, but what if an elderly person or child got this? They would be at serious risk…
I won’t be purchasing ready-made salad mixes anymore. Apart from the bacterial risks, I was losing money anyway with as quickly as they were going bad. Henceforth, this lettuce lover will be buying a fresh bunch/head every few days, and taking the extra time to prepare it myself. But as for just this moment, another cup of warm broth and a long nap is calling my name. Be safe, all you gobblers of greens!
Here’s wishing you a very happy and healthy new year!
May it be a wonderful year for you, filled with family, friends, good food and splendid adventures! May 2016 bring you much joy and inspiration!