Thursday, April 22, 2010


I bet you think daily affirmations are silly. I know I did. But after giving them a try I noticed that somehow I felt different. I was calmer, happier and more centered. A great source for affirmations is Louise L. Hay. She has books and wisdom cards which I find very positive. Yes, some of them are hokey but for the most part they make sense. Here are a few from Louise.

I love being me. I no longer judge or criticize myself. I am free to love who I am.

I am perfect exactly as I am. If I wait until I become perfect before I love myself, I will waste my whole life. I am already perfect right here and right now.

I am good enough. I am not restricted by old, limiting beliefs from my family or from society.

I deserve only good in my life. I release other people’s fears and limitations. I think my own loving thoughts.

I love and accept myself right now. I am in the process of becoming my own best friend-the person I am most joyous to be with.

I am worth loving. At least three times a day, I stand with my arms wide open and say, “I am willing to let the love in It is safe to let the love in.”

I release all old hurts and forgive everyone, including myself. I can never get even. Revenge does not work, because what I give out comes back to me. The buck has to stop somewhere.

You can also make your own. Take something you are negative about and turn it into a positive. For instance, if you hate your thighs you can say, “My thighs helped me run 3 miles today and for that I am grateful.”  Or, if you feel you are not lovable you may want your affirmation to be “I am lovable” or “I am worthy of love.” Whatever your negative thoughts are write them down and turn them into a positive statement. The more you do this the more you will start to love yourself.

Put your affirmations in a place that will allow you to see them every day (front door, mirror, computer monitor). I have my favorite affirmation taped up next to my front door. When I leave every morning I get a little positive energy flowing before the craziness of the day sets in. 

Be Well!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Green Smoothie

My friend Valerie has an amazing recipe for a green smoothie. I can't wait to try this one!

Peach Cobbler Green Smoothie:
2 cups raw baby spinach
5 oz frozen peaches
2 cups sweetened vanilla almond milk (try the unsweetened version, it's still sweet but has less sugar)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Asking for HELP!

One of my New Year's goals was to run the Country Music 1/2 Marathon. I even blogged about wanting to do it in October. Now it's 1 week away and I am really nervous. My training has been inconsistent up until about a month ago.

My biggest problem...I didn't ask for HELP! Why is it so hard for us to ask for help? Does asking for help make you feel weak? Insecure? Are you afraid of being rejected?

I felt insecure about asking for help. I thought no one would want to run with me because I am super slow and would hold them back. I was also afraid of being judged as a crappy runner or completely crazy for attempting to run 13 miles when I am not in the best shape.

About a month ago I finally met my friend SM in Central Park and it was great! In the last month she's had me running up and down hills, doing drills and speed work. Although I was nervous about my slow speed she was thrilled. She usually runs solo and was so excited to have someone to talk to (she's a talker) even though I couldn't talk back. (I cannot talk while running. It's either talk or breathe and I choose breathing!) After a month of working with her I feel a little more confident about the race. I do plan to continue our runs together after the race. We motivate each other and generally enjoy our runs, even if she is going at a much slower pace for my benefit :)

I often think about all the time I wasted by not asking for help. My friend never judged me, in fact, she has been extremely positive and motivating. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and you should not be afraid to ask your friends and family for assistance when needed. Asking for help is a proactive and mature approach to problem solving. Next time I will not wait so long to get the help I need.

Next Saturday, I am taking the plunge and going for it. I imagine I will walk a lot of it which is ok with me. My goal has always been to cross the finish line. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cook Once, Eat Twice

I am a huge fan of cooking once and eating twice....or more. I live alone and always found cooking for 1 to be a waste of energy. In the past I would go for quick, processed, frozen meals and take-out over cooking. This is not only unhealthy but very costly as well!

In the last year I have made a huge effort to cook more. One of my favorite recipes is Black-Bean Quinoa Salad which is easy to make and freezes well. Anytime I cook chicken or fish I cut the piece in 1/2 and bring the other 1/2 for lunch the next day. With grains such as couscous, quinoa or brown rice I will make 2 or more servings so that I have them around during the week. I also keep regular and frozen veggies in the house at all times. With all this extra food there is no excuse for not throwing together something yummy for lunch & dinner.

I also like to freeze baked goods. As much as I love to bake, I also love to eat! This is dangerous. To make sure I don't scarf down an entire loaf of pumpkin bread or a dozen muffins I freeze what I bake. After it's cooled I cut the bread into slices and wrap in foil or wax paper. For muffins I just put them in a large Tupperware container. When I feel the need for bread or a muffin I just grab it from the freezer. Since these are homemade they are much healthier than what I would find at my local deli or bakery.

Whether you cook for yourself or for your family cooking extra is the way to go. Leftovers will not only save you time but will save you calories and $ as well.

Be Well!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time Management

Have you ever wished for a few more hours in the day? The secret to managing your time well isn't working more hours. The secret is working smarter, not harder. It is about prioritizing the important things and learning to use the time you have more efficiently and effectively.

Some of us, by nature, organize and get tasks out of the way before we relax, while others of us play first and work later. It is important to first recognize which type you are and whether your style is allowing you to have the life you really want. Maybe you are super-organized at work, but burned out because you don't know how to make time for yourself. Maybe you are naturally a less organized person who knows how to relax, but you are dissatisfied because you aren't fulfilling your goals and dreams.

Rather than labeling yourself or beating yourself up, realize that time management is an area of your life that you can strengthen. Like a new muscle, it takes practice and repetition to make it stronger. To help you get started, here are some steps to streamline your days at work and at home. Try the first one or two that jump out at you:

*Allocate time for planning and organizing.

*Create to-do lists that are realistic, not intimidating. Use only one to-do list.

*Under-schedule your time: Leave time for the unexpected and for interruptions. When you estimate how long something will take, add on a third of that time.

*Schedule your time in a way that reduces interruptions that lower your productivity.

*Practice the art of intelligent neglect: Eliminate trivial tasks.

*Prioritize what is most important and do that first.

*Consider your biological prime time: At what time of day do you work best? Plan to do your most important work at that time.

*If you say yes to everything that comes your way, learn to say no.

*Ask for help and delegate.

*In the evening make your to-do list for the next day, so it will be out of your brain and on a piece of paper. Leave work with a clear head and a clean desk.

*Acknowledge yourself daily for all that you have accomplished.

Also take a look at the two biggest hindrances to using time effectively: procrastinating and lacking purpose. We usually procrastinate when a task seems too daunting, too large or too complex, or when we feel we won't be able to handle it. When you get that "deer in the headlights" feeling, try breaking the large task into smaller, manageable action steps and start with the first one. We also often drag our heels or use our time inefficiently because we are bored, unengaged and uninspired. The most effective people will tell you that they love what they do. When it comes to managing your time, you may need to ask the larger questions, "Am I doing what I love to do? Am I doing something meaningful to me?"

As you strengthen your new time management muscle, keep your focus on getting organized so that you can live the life you came here for. Instead of being a chore, good time management can be your ticket to more fun, greater satisfaction and a vibrant, exciting life.

Be Well!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I had this delicious salad the other night for dinner w/homemade orange vinaigrette dressing (recipe below).

3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste

Whisk everything together and pour over salad. So simple!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spinach & Mushroom Melts

Spinach & Mushroom Melts
from Vegetarian Times
Serves 4

8 oz. portobello mushroom caps (about 4 medium), stemmed
2 Tbs. pine nuts
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 green onions (white and pale green parts), thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
1/2 lb. fresh spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
4 slices country bread, 1/2-inch thick, lightly toasted
3/4 cup shredded smoked mozzarella (I used smoked cheddar b/c I couldn't find smoked mozz. in the store)

1.Preheat oven to 400F.
2.Wipe tops of mushroom caps. Using spoon, remove gills from inside caps, and discard. Cut caps in quarters, and thinly slice.
3.Toast pine nuts in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer pine nuts to bowl.
4.Heat 1/2 Tbs. oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and green onions, and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mushroom mixture to large bowl.
5.Add remaining 1/2 Tbs. oil to skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, 15 seconds. Add spinach, and toss until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and add to mushroom mixture; toss to combine. Stir in pine nuts.
6.Arrange bread slices on baking sheet; top with spinach-mushroom mixture, dividing equally, and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake 5 minutes, or until cheese melts. Serve sandwiches warm.

I was very excited about these but found myself a little disappointed. I did not like the pine nuts at all and I found the sandwich to be a little too salty for my liking. I did love the spinach and mushroom flavors though. I will definitely try this one again omitting the pine nuts and the salt.