Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ahead of His Time

When I was younger, I didn't appreciate that my father had two large gardens in which he grew most of the vegetables that nourished my family.  I was too busy complaining about having to weed the onion patch to be thankful.  We also had an apricot tree and two apple trees.  Ugh, how I hated picking up those rotten apples that fell from the tree.  I remember that my sister, father, and I would take the apples to an Amish farm where they ran the apples through a press to make homemade apple cider.  At harvest time, everything would be apples: apple butter, applesauce, apple cider, dried apples, and apple fritters.  Now I'd do just about anything to get my hands on fresh apple cider and homegrown tomatoes.

Another one of my chores was to empty the compost bin.  We had a plastic bin next to the sink (nothing fancy like today's models, it was just a large margarine container) and used it to collect banana peels, apple skins, and other food wastes.   Anytime that bin was filled, day or night, it was my job to run it out to the edge of the yard, next to the garden, and dump it into the compost pile.  And while I complained about having to do that in the winter, or in the dark, I did make sure to get my picture taken next to it before my parents moved from my childhood home to the retirement community.

I used to tell Dad he was embarrassing because he was so old-fashioned.  But maybe, I'm starting to think, he was ahead of his time.  He was composting, collecting rain water, growing his own food, and eating locally before it was even popular.  I don't think he wasn't doing it because it was hip to be green, or because it was good for the environment.  Rather, it was a way to feed his family and save money while doing it.  Gardening was also his exercise and his therapy (which I'm sure he needed after having 6 kids.)

I'm writing this post to thank my father.  There were a lot of great lessons that he taught me, and some of them I am just fully appreciating now.  Of course, I'll have to print this and mail it to him.  While he was ahead of his time on the above issues, he never did master computers and has never been on the internet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Love Your Body Day

Today is the 12th annual Love Your Body Day sponsored by the National Organization for Women Foundation. According to the NOW Foundation's website, "this campaign is a giant shout out to the fashion, beauty, diet and advertising industries: No more fake images! Show us real women, diverse women, strong women, bold women. And to the women and girls who are targeted by messages telling them that the key to success and happiness is manufactured beauty, we say: It's okay to "Be You" -- the true you is beautiful."

So in honor of Love Your Body Day, I challenge you to take a moment to celebrate your body and appreciate all it does for you each day. It may not be the "ideal" weight or free of blemishes, but it carries your spirit through each day of your life all the same. It allows you to hug and be held, kiss and dance, smile and shout, hear laughter, and see tomorrow's sunrise.

So, I thank you Body. I love you. I celebrate all you do for me. And for today, I'll even love your pimples and butt dimples. But to be completely honest Body, it's not going to be easy loving those parts of you for the next 364 days until Love Your Body Day 2010. But I promise to keep at it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yummy Recipe, Funny Quote

I had an impromptu lunch with my friend Shellie yesterday. The salad she served was so yummy (and nutritious!), I just had to share it with you. I don't have the exact recipe, just a list of the ingredients. It seems so easy to whip together. I suggest you add more of what you like and less of what you don't. Be creative- it will taste great!

Brown Rice Salad (can be served cold or warm)
Directions: Mix together the following ingredients:
Cooked brown rice (main ingredient, use more of this)
Black beans
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Feta Cheese
Green onions
Lowfat italian dressing (go easy here, you can always add more later if needed)
Cilantro (just a bit)

As we were eating lunch, I asked Shellie if she saw the Oprah interview with Mike Tyson.

"No," she said, "I didn't like what Oprah was wearing, so I changed the channel to Ellen. And I did like her outfit."

What an interesting way to decide whether to watch a show! It NEVER crossed my mind before.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

No Fat Talk

Are you aware of your self-talk and how you converse with others about weight and appearance? Are your comments empowering and uplifting or discouraging and demeaning?

If you frequently participate in "fat talk" about yourself or others, consider making a change. Remember that you are not only affecting your self-esteem, but influencing the little girls and teens who hear you.

In honor of Fat Talk Free Week (October 19th-23rd) I am posting a link to this AMAZING, powerful, must-see 3 minute video: CLICK HERE

I'm so proud of my sorority, Delta Delta Delta, by making a difference with this video and other empowering body image education.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Here's to Gold Friends

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold. -Girl Scout song, from my scounting days in the 80's.

Yikes! It has been a while since my last post. Here's my excuse: I've been traveling. In the last few weeks I've been to Minneapolis and Chicago. At each stop I've been fortunate to visit with gold friends.

Gold friends are friends you've had for years. You don't get to see them everyday and may only communicate a few times a year. But when you do get together, it's as if no time has passed. They celebrate your life with you, even though it's from afar.

Thanks to all my gold friends. You know who you are. You nourish my soul. And you mean the world to me.

*These photos are of just some of the gold friends I reconnected with recently. My gratitude to all of you who went out of your way to see me on my journeys.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Nourishing Gift

I told guests at my birthday tea party that their presence was my present, but several friends brought me goodies anyway. (Which, I must admit, was an unexpected treat!)

My new friend Patti gave me a nourishing gift. I was so touched, I wanted to share it with you, my readers.

On September 24th, she brought over a homemade 3-course vegan dinner for my husband and me. It was wonderful! What made this gift so meaningful was that she shared of herself- her time, her talents, and her love of cooking.

The gift giving season is right around the corner. I challenge you this year to reflect on how you can give of yourself to those that you love.

You can read more about the dinner details on Patti's blog, Anatomy of a Dinner Party. (If you read her post, I have to add a sentence in my defense. After she offered the gift, I told her my husband was vegan, and told her I would give her an out since she didn't know that originally. Often, his being vegan scares people away from inviting us over for dinner. But, Patti took on the challenge and did an incredible job!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Color Yourself Healthy

In order to be healthy, you need to eat a rainbow! No, I'm talking about Skittles. I'm talking about fruits and vegetables! In my last post, I appealed to your vanity. Now I'm going to appeal to your desire to be your healthiest self.

You may not know that with fruits and vegetables, each color is associated with certain nutrients that have specific functions in the body.

Blue/Purple: important for urinary tract health, memory function, healthy aging, and a lower risk of some cancers
Green: aid in vision health and strong bones and teeth
White: assist in heart health and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels
Yellow/Orange: needed for heart health, vision health, and a healthy immune system
Red: important for heart health, memory function and urinary tract health

An added bonus is that eating plants rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.

So, if you are not nourishing yourself with all of the colors, how can your body function optimally? This week notice how many fruits and vegetables you are eating (goal is 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies) and the colors you consume.