Tag Archives: goals

Move Mountains, Baby.

mountains♥ On the side of my Starbucks cup (mmm … yummy latte) — The Way I See It:

“There is a subtle difference between a mission and a promise. A mission is something you strive to accomplish — a promise is something you are compelled to keep. One is individual, the other is shared. When a mission and a promise are one and the same … that’s when mountains are moved and races are won.” — Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure


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Filed under Eat, March 2009, Pray, Run

To Heck with New Year’s Resolutions … Choose CHANGE.

I am not a big fan of “New Years'” resolutions. Instead, I am a believer in the idea that you make a resolution the moment you feel an inclination to make a change. There is no better time than now.

That’s why I love the First 30 Day’s Ultimate Guide to Resolutions. Read through the list of tips and you’ll see point #1 is “Never make your resolution on January 1. Actually, don’t even make them in the first two weeks of the year.”

The reason why 80 percent of people who make their resolutions on January 1st fail is because they did not put forth the time that was necessary to properly shape their goals.first30daysicon1

Instead, sit down and think about what you really, really want this year. Use the worksheet that comes with the First 30 Day’s Ultimate Guide to Resolutions and start by reviewing the last year. What was the best thing that happened to you? What are the top three lessons you learned? Answering questions like these will help you to assess what you really, really (REALLY) want for the new year.

“What I like most about change is that it’s a synonym for ‘hope’. If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is, ‘I believe in tomorrow and I will be a part of it’.” –Linda Ellerbee

One of my favorite suggestions in the F30D Ultimate Guide to Resolutions for forming your resolution: Pick a word of the year.

Focusing on one word — whether it is “yes,” “honesty” or “health” — can train your body and brain to move toward change.

My word — Purposeful. I am working toward my goals this year with great purpose. I am excited. I am revved up. And I am ready to welcome change.

What’s your word? What’s your goal?

Like Ariane de Bonvoisin, the creator of F30D and author of The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (And Loving Your Life More), says, “You have a ‘change muscle’, a part of you that is really good at change, is strong, powerful, and intuitive and knows exactly what to do. It’s time to remember that part of ourselves.”

Now, go set some goals … with purpose.

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Filed under Eat, January 2009, Pray, Run

Hey, A Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Might Make You Smarter!


“Ever wonder why you get your best ideas in the shower or on the treadmill? You’re more likely to have an aha! moment when you let your mind wander than when you focus intensely on a problem. Next time you’re stumped, move on to a something else for a bit and let the solution come to you naturally.” — SELF Magazine

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Filed under August 2008, Eat, Pray, Run

Fancy Cheese, Wine Festival and Potatoes, Potatoes, Potatoes!


It’s been a little while since I last posted and, boy, do I have some good vacation times — food, too! — to share with you.

But first: In case you are just tuning in, I want all of my readers to understand the method behind my slightly increased madness. Starting on June 9th, I kicked off a personal 30-day health challenge based on the influence of my writing work with First30Days, a Web site devoted to helping individuals change their life for the better. I have also been reading the book, First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (And Loving Your Life More) and it has bee an amazing resource for helping me along in my journey.

However, let me tell you one thing — it probably was not the best idea to kick off this change before I went on vacation, one of the most self-indulgent times of my year. It’s been a bit tough to moderate. But we learn, right?

And I have been thinking that it may have not been so bad of a thought after all because vacation is a time for self-renewal anyway, at least, that is how I look at it. So, perhaps, it was a good time — especially, a good time to learn how to better control portion sizes of foods that are not so high on the healthy list. (; I have also been working on pushing the exercise factor despite the fact that I would sometimes rather just sit and read a fabulous book.

Now, when I left you last, I was heading off to dinner. Thursday night’s meal ended up being mahi mahi, chicken, a spicy black bean rice dish and grilled veggies. I had about 2 oz. each of the chicken and fish, and 1/2 cup of rice with the vegetables on the side.

I also had a small glass of wine. Mmm … this dinner was so good.

After we finished cleaning up, we took a night ride on our boat and my mom, dad and Dan jumped in. I had a slight earache, so the water just was not happening for me that night. But I did get some funny pictures of everyone jumping in — it was chilly!

Friday was kicked off with a bowl of the usual — Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Oats with about 1 cup of 1 % milk. But I jazzed it up by adding a side of some homemade potatoes. In case you have not noticed, these potatoes are a vacation breakfast staple. They have become particularly special to the 1000 Islands because these salt potatoes — potatoes boiled in salt — are a breakfast food my mom often ate with her family when they vacationed here. And so, the tradition of yummy potatoes was passed on. Most likely, however, they are not part of a healthy diet. (: But for vacation, I believe in some exceptions, especially, family food traditions!

After breakfast, my sister’s boyfriend, Anthony, surprised her by arriving a day early. Her face was priceless!

Lunch was a bit of a repeat of dinner the night before; I had about 3/4 cup of black beans and rice with a dried blueberry-topped salad. I was trying to keep it a bit on the light side because I knew we were having “fancy” grilled cheese for dinner.

I followed up lunch with a small bit of M&Ms.

Before dinner, my mom, sister and I went for a 4-mile walk. It felt good to get out and get my muscles moving!

Now, before I move on to dinner, I think this meal requires some explanation. I call this “fancy” grilled cheese because when Dan first came to the 1000 Islands we visited this store called River Rat Cheese, — I know, what a name, right? — and he came up with the idea to buy a bunch of gourmet cheeses and great bread to make some extra-special grilled sandwiches. Not much genius thought required behind that culinary creation, but oh-my-gosh these things are fabulous! Now, they are a once a year vacation dinner requirement, and I am so thankful my fiancé established that tradition — thanks, honey! I tried to keep it as healthy as humanely possible by putting it on whole grain bread. My sandwich was a mix of garlic and chive, tomato basil, and a dash of jalepeno cheese. On the side was some split pea soup from the The Wellesley Hotel. I know it kind of looks like baby food in the photo, but the fresh peas tasted so, so good. It was topped off with sliced sugar snap peas and I ate every bit of it! I was a bit full after this one . . . to say the least.

Breakfast on Saturday morning was the last bit of my Barbara’s with about 1 cup 1 % milk. Luke tried to steal it from me, but then her realized how serious I was about this cereal, and he gave it right back! (:

My last bunch of Barbara’s was followed by a trip to a book sale in Alexandria Bay. Yay, BOOK SALE!!!!! I know, books are pretty much the last thing I need, but I figure there are worse addictions out there, right? I bought about 20 used books for $13.00! Now, that’s a bargain you just cannot pass up!

I must not have been feeling lunch much that day because I only munched on a graham cracker and bananas with peanut butter. We had an XMen trilogy fest — yes, we are nerds like that! — and maybe the intensity just got to me . . . who knows! Looking back, I went a little overboard on my peanut butter dosage for the day!

Dinner was a chicken chili that my mom concocted, and it was mighty tasty! It was chock-full of chickpeas, black beans and veggies; I also had a piece of whole grain bread dipped in olive oil. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture — I must have been so hungry from skipping lunch that is slipped my mind. Sorry!

I had to buy a new cereal for Sunday’s breakfast, and it had to be very similar to my Barbara’s. So, I purchased Quaker Shredded Oats “with a touch of brown sugar.” They are tasty, too, and I wouldn’t mind using them every now and then to change it up a bit!

Around noon, we all headed to a food and wine festival in Clayton. It was so much fun to try bits of different wines, cheese and crackers, homemade dips, bread and herbed olive oils . . . yummy!

After the festival, we walked around town for a little while, where I had a piece of shortbread from a small cafe. We then went back to the cottage for some time in the sun! Before I went outside, I had a piece of a Pop Tart. OK — pause for a second. I never eat Pop Tarts, I mean — never. And as I was eating this piece of pastry, I was thinking, “Why am I eating this?” And then, I realized: Because I can! The truth is, if I did not have these kiddie foods around me, like when I am at home, I would not be eating them. Well, lesson learned!

For dinner that night, Dan was at it again with an amazing red pepper and sliced almond turkey burger concoction. I had mine with ketchup and light mayo on two slices of whole grain bread. I also had a salad and 12 oz. beer on the side. I am usually not a big beer fan, but sometimes it sounds good to me when I am eating something like a burger. Plus, I had to try one of these because they came straight from the festival! It was good, but I did not finish the whole bottle; sometimes the fizzy nature of beer gets to my tummy! I gave about 1/4 of it to Dan, and he finished it for me.

That night, I had a bit of work to do on the computer, and while I was working I had about 1/2 cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream. So good!

Well, I don’t want to inundate you with too much food and vacation food — this is an extra long blog post!! — so I am going to leave you with a TO BE CONTINUED . . . sound good?

But before I do, a few points I want to end with —

All in all, I am not unhappy with health decisions that I have been making on this vacation. A few things I would still like to work on:

  • Eating more fruits and veggies.
  • Exercising more, and adding much more strength to my routine — Don’t forget: I want those girly musk-les!
  • Eating less sweets!!
  • I need to stop skipping meals. Even if it is only every once and awhile, it makes me feel crappy!
  • Not eating potatoes for, like, an entire year! Ha, ha, ha, ha! (:

More 30-Day Challenge fun tomorrow, but for now I am hitting the sack!

Zzzz . . .

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Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

April Showers Bring . . . Well, That Is Up to YOU!

I hope by now you have all picked up your April issue of SELF magazine. Not only is it a fantastic issue with a focus on how to “green” your life, but it also includes the second part of the SELF Challenge!

My favorite move from the list of new strength moves is the Thigh Tightener. Any time I have ever gained weight it has always been in my butt and thighs, so I found this exercise to be particularly relevant to my, ahem, backside:


Thigh Tightener — Works arms, abs, butt, legs
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, one weight in both hands at chest. Squat deeply (as shown), then tilt forward as you lower weight to floor and straighten legs. Return to squat position, then return to standing. Do 12 reps.
As you move further into the Challenge, I also encourage you all to lean on your friends and family for support. There are also a number of online communities that have been put together to help you toward your goal for a healthier life. Check out the SELF Forum and, if you are a member of Facebook, the SELF 2008 Challenge group created by Eat, Pray, Run reader Cristina.
Reforming your life to find a more healthy YOU is tough, so don’t forget to take advantage of the many support resources that are all around you!
→ Lastly, I am am looking so forward to trying this Red Chile and Pecan Slaw — it looks so fresh and yummy!

Red Chile and Pecan Slaw
Serves 4
32 oz nonfat vegetable stock, divided
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sweet Thai chile sauce, such as Mae Ploy
1/4 cup apple cider (or rice wine) vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 tsp dark chili powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb red cabbage, shredded
1/4 lb green cabbage, shredded
1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
Stir 1/2 cup vegetable stock with cornstarch in a measuring cup until blended. Bring remaining 28 ounces stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and slowly whisk in stock-cornstarch mixture. Stir rapidly until stock is the consistency of olive oil. (It should cling to the back of a spoon.) Cool to room temperature, skim off and discard any film on top. Place cumin seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stir until aroma of seeds is released, about 1 minute. Blend 1/4 cup stock in a blender with cumin seeds and remaining dressing ingredients until smooth. (Refrigerate or freeze leftover stock.) Heat oven to 350º. Combine pecans, chili powder and oil in a mixing bowl; toss to coat pecans. Place nuts on a cookie sheet and roast until the aroma of the chili powder is released, 3 to 4 minutes. Combine dressing and slaw ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
THE SKINNY 168 calories per serving, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 21.7 g carbs, 4.4 g fiber, 3.2 g protein
♥ This month, my personal goal is to put a major focus on increasing strength. What are your goals for April?


Filed under Eat, March 2008, Pray, Run