A Matter of Balance: A Woman's Quest for Health, Harmony & Kick-ass Heels

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can't change the weather, can choose how we react.

 Pina and I decided to get on track with our adventures month, but lo and behold, wouldn't you know the weather had other plans for us.  Seems like that's the tune everyone's singing these days.  Well we decided not to let the weather get us down.  And although disappointed our original plans had to be put aside, while we can't change the weather we can change our response to it.

The night before I had passed what looked like a very cool cafe while in Fairfield.  I thought it might be a place I'd like to check out.  No time like the present.

So we decided to venture to Las Vetas Lounge for lunch and tea (and a yummy chocolate cookie for me!).  We had a lot of catching up to do and while it wasn't crazy it was an awesome afternoon with lots of girlfriend chat, a delicious grilled cheese sandwich (can't remember when I last had grilled cheese!), and steamy tea.  

Sometimes it's the little things.....and while we couldn't change the weather, we choose to make to a beautiful day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sometimes, we all need some ice cream.

I received this great story from  my friend Sally.  Sally is truly a beautiful soul and I'm blessed to be surrounded by so many loving friends. Sally and I have been in a prayer group together for over ten years.   We're currently on a hiatus, but she continues to be a reminder to me to keep my eye on the really important things in life.

 Sometimes we forget the really important things in life.
Last week, I took my grand-children to a restaurant. 

My six-year-old grand-son asked if he could say grace. 

As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Nana gets us ice cream for dessert. And liberty and justice for all! Amen!" 

Along with the quiet laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark loudly, "That's what's wrong with this country.  Kids today don't even know how to pray.  Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!" 

Hearing this, my grand-son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong grandma? Is God mad at me?" 

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. 

He winked at my grand-son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a truly great prayer." 

"Really?" my grand-son asked.  

"Cross my heart," the man replied. 

Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream.  A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes." 

Naturally, I bought my grand-children ice cream at  the end of the meal.  My grand-son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.  

He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you.  Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes - and my soul is good already."

The End

I love this story!
Sometimes, we all need some ice cream.

I hope God sends you some ice cream today!

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's the little things that make my day

Love this...but won't tell you who it's from :)

Who is YOUR hero?  Tell them today. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What I learned from 28 days of abstinence

No.  Not from THAT!  Let's not get carried away.

After battling some medical issues for some time and exploring traditional methods as well as considering possible surgery, I decided to try the alternative route.  I'm much more included toward holistic brouhaha anyway.

So at the suggestion of a new doctor, I decided to attempt a 28 day detox (note that this was done under the care and recommendation of a physician and included a medical food supplement to ensure it was done safely).  That's my disclaimer for don't try this at home kids.  

  It was definitely an eye opening experience. I had to meet several times with a group, each participating for similar reasons.  The facilitator in fact had reversed ALL symptoms of his Crohn's disease through diet alone.  I was eager to see what I'd learn.

Here's how it went down:
  • No caffeine - I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I do start each day with a small (not supersized) cuppa Joe.  This was surprisingly easy.  Replaced it with a cup of herbal caffeine free tea and once the headache went away after a few days, I didn't miss my coffee.
  • No alcohol - Ok this one was a bit harder. And not because I'm a huge drinker.   Believe it or not I made it through college with only a few wine coolers here and there (pathetic showing at college, I know!).  Although there was that one night in NYC after the Big East Tournament....but wait I digress.  Anyway, I realized it was not so much the alcohol, as the rituals around it.  My husband and I would have our little "happy hours" over the weekend on our patio.  We'd read, chat and drink wine.  Drinking water during these little dates was just boring.
  • No sugar - That was a tough one because sugar is in EVERYTHING.  While I do consider myself to be a chocoholic,  the reality is that I don't eat chocolate every day.  But nevertheless, reading the labels looking for this was an eye opener.
  • No gluten - Another challenge, but I learned a lot about the pricey gluten free products available today.  Needless to say, I ate a lot of rice that month.  Which incidentally is gluten free.
  • No dairy (or soy) - Now I've never met a cheese I didn't like, but I've weaned myself off of a lot of dairy with soy products.  Since soy was also off the list, I began experimenting even more with things like almond milk and rice milk. 
  • No processed foods - That one was a no brainer and one I've been trying to eliminate from my life anyway.
  • No red meat  (and no chicken or fish for 7 of the days) - Here I'll confess that I cheated big time in this category, because I did not refrain from chicken or fish for the required 7 days.  My job is too physical  to limit protein to that degree, even with the medical food supplement.   The facilitator of my group agreed. 
 Here's what I learned:
  1. I already have pretty healthy eating habits.
  2. I have the power within me me to do ANYTHING I choose.  
  3. We don't need as much food as we think
  4. Making better food choices can COMPLETELY change how you feel every day.
  5. Changing our health is absolutely in our hands.
  6. Our food determines our energy and defines our mood
  7. Many chronic conditions which we become accustomed to living with can be reversed naturally
  8. Having such a powerful awareness of the impact of my food choices empowers me to choose more carefully.  
  9. Hippocrates had it right "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food"
I'm happy to say that after completing this process, I no longer had an immediate need for surgery, and my symptoms were under control. I also learned a lot about the chemicals that we're exposed to, how it affects us and that we can all benefit from a minor detox (5-7 days) a few times a year.   

I'm planning to do another short one (this time using the NutriClean 7 Day Detox product.  It's simple and is designed for anyone who just wants to 'clean out the junk,' basically like an oil change for your body.  If you want to join me, send me a message and I'll let you know how to get yours.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Burned Biscuits

I received this great story from one of my dearest friends.  

I thought it was a great reminder not to be so hard on the people around me and just as importantly myself. 

Burned Biscuits-author unknown

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every
now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made
breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago,
my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned  biscuits in
front of my dad I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all
my dad did  was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my
day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I
do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that  biscuit and eat
every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom
apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget
what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he
really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said,
"Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And
besides – a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"

Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not the
best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just
like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that
learning to accept each other’s faults - and choosing to celebrate each
 differences - is one  of the most important keys to creating a
healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the
good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet
of God.  Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give
you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the
base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep
it in your own."

So Please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some
kind of battle.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Happiness Project

"One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows of the necessary ingredients of happiness   simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain."
 George Sand

I do truly believe that happiness is a choice. And there are certainly some days where I just simply don't feel like making that choice. Anybody with me on that one?   

In my continuous effort to make that conscious choice, I'm teaming up with my associate Beth to facilitate a book club gathering based around The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

I'm calling it the underachiever's book club, because we're only reading one book - at chapter a month.  Then we'll get together on the last Tuesday of each month at 10:30 am and discuss.  All are welcome.   Hope you'll consider joining us (even if you haven't read the chapter yet). And as the song goes....don't worry, be happy.