Every once in a while it’s necessary to step away. Just like taking breaks through the work day is good to do (and really best for your safety and sanity), I was reminded again that stepping away is good. Really, really good! This weekend I spent two quiet nights at my family home visiting with my parents, a trio that has not been alone together in 16 years prior to this. 16 years! It seems in the midst of my other three siblings coming and going and having two children of my own, it had been almost half of my life since I’d had time alone with my folks, just me and them, them and me. Continue reading
Tag Archives: kale
What do you get when you cross shredded raw winter greens with delicious crispy apple and sweet orange persimmon? Well the answer is simple. Your newest favorite winter salad! This fresh & nutritious bowl of delicious has become mighty popular in the meal rotation these days, as there is usually a few kale leaves & brussels to be found lingering in my crisper along with two of my favorite winter fruits that are always in my fruit bowl this time of year. Continue reading
Don’t major in minor things.
~ Author Unknown
Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I am a mess.
And no, I don’t mean in the kitchen (but I am that too and I LOVE it).
I mean, I worry. I try to worry (just a little) less at times, but catch me at a bad time late at night and it’s game over.
I worry about my schedule, or I worry that the kids won’t have the strength they need to stand up to a mean kid at school. I worry about the tall tree in the neighbor’s yard that might fall on the house in a windstorm, and I worry that I could get sick with some scary awful disease and leave my kids and my husband all alone (completely unwillingly of course).
Now please don’t get scared, I am not going somewhere dark or deep here.
I’m just saying, I think it’s in us all to worry, right? And we should be responsible, and do our diligence by living healthily and reducing our reasons to worry needlessly.
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things happen. Don’t be afraid.
~ Frederick Buechner
So cue the checklist to healthy living.
Eat well (check). Live well (check). Exercise (check). Laugh (check). Give thanks (major check) Give yourself regular breast exams.
Am I the only one that is (so far) dangerously lax in this department?
This week I decided to take action on that front & was quite terrified when I actually found something. It was indeed a painful lump in my armpit (SO tender!).
It was late at night at the time of this discovery, time for bed. After my discovery and the inevitable irrationality of thoughts that followed, a little visit to the Mr. Internet Self Diagnosis department, and more irrationality (there may have been tears & attempts to hide them from the husband), I finally fell asleep.
Like I said, I am a mess sometimes. But aren’t we all? (And it WAS late).
The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.
~ Chinese Proverb
Waking up that morning I vowed to be better. To check more often, and to visit the doctor more often. After all, I am in the prime age for this kind of stuff, and statistics show 1 in 8 of us will be diagnosed with breast cancer during our lifetime.
Shira you owe it to your family to do a better job (check).
After several hours of worry that morning, trying to work but only really thinking of my sore armpit (it was really really sore), and (maybe) a call to work announcing that I’d found a scary evil worrisome lump (in my pit), I managed to see the doctor in the clinic.
Even waiting there in that room (evidently the very same room almost 10 years ago that I learned I was pregnant the second time), I was a mess. Biting back tears, I explained my case.
I told the lovely doctor about the discovery, and about how I’d rubbed that lump extra hard to see just what kind of lump it was. I told her it really hurt (it really did).
When she didn’t seem to look worried, I started to (maybe) feel like it wasn’t going to be so bad.
Then when she asked me to take my shirt off and started poking around under my arm, I pretty much realized it was going to be okay.
Less worry and more action means you can spend energy on real matters. Less avoidance of important issues means more facing things head on. Fewer reasons to fret needlessly means more calm in your center, so making room for thoughts that are fruitful comes easy.
More action on health issues means fewer reasons to lose sleep. More calm, confident feelings means more rational sound thinking. More healthy food and healthy thoughts means more wholeness and good, wholesome living. So the need to worry can go out with the compost.
Apple, Kale & Hemp Seed Green Smoothie:
- (1) organic apple, seeded and chopped
- (1/2 – 1) avocado
- (1-1.5) cups mango juice, (or apple juice if you don’t have access to mango)
- (1) tbsp hemp hearts
- (3-4) leaves green kale
- (3-4) ice cubes, if desired
Blend all to a creamy consistency and enjoy immediately for full health benefits. Don’t worry though if you do need to blend it and enjoy it later..it will still be good for you (but maybe not if you worry too much about it)
This makes a generous amount that can easily feed 2-3 hungry people, but if you are at all like me, this could be just for one worry-free wonder woman (or man) as well. I often use this as my main daily sustenance until late afternoon, which means I have no problem enjoying the full recipe over the course of the morning.
Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
~ Dr. Seuss
Turns out, I managed to strain a muscle in my armpit. I learned from the very nice doctor lady that there aren’t any nodes in there, but there are a lot of tendons (apparently ones that don’t like being pressured frenetically late at night).
I’d rubbed the heck out of that node the night I discovered it and caused myself a whole lot of pain for no other reason but to give myself a little wake up call.
I’m glad it was all okay.
And I don’t wish for the day when it isn’t. For anyone out there that has had a scare, or (heaven forbid) has been through cancer, I was reminded this week of how lucky we all are to have our health.
Only a few things are really important.
~ Marie Dressler
How can something bother you if you won’t let it?
~ Terri Guillemets
I don’t know how I strained my armpit, and it doesn’t really matter, the point is, I am going to be okay (it’s all healed now too so that’s good). For now, at least, and that is worth celebrating, and protecting, every day.
And I hope you are too.
So don’t delay on giving yourself some well-intentioned attention. Check yourself regularly, and eat well. Go to the doctor for check ups, and try not to worry (I think it comes with the Motherhood territory and having a majorly over-active imagination).
Surround yourself with friends that care about you.
And treat yourself to a green smoothie. Just be careful not to strain any muscles while tearing up your kale
That’s for you, JY and MN Love.
Yours in Less,
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
I went, I saw, I ate, I reveled. I went home.
Freshly back from a visit to the country, my senses are still reeling from the sights and sounds of water, birds, soft grass, good clean food, laughter and plenty of pure unadulterated stillness.
A typical weekend visit to the family home means (weather permitting) farmer’s market visits, long runs in the quiet breezy air, and plenty of ocean-side time to the sounds of lapping water and the odd speed boat off in the far salty distance.
There, my phone doesn’t work, and neither do I.
This time of year, there is bounty in the gardens. Meals come from the yard and ingredients are picked not days, and not hours, but just minutes before preparing (and eating of course!).
Back home during the growing season, planning meals is as much about what is ready as it is about what your appetite tells you (actually quite a bit more).
Peas come and go for three weeks only, the strawberries show their bright faces only long enough to remember their soft red cheeks, and (thankfully) the kale grows for many prosperous and green months on end.
It’s a different (and refreshing) way to look at food.
I hope you’ll humor me as we walk through the garden and take (just a few) extra moments of island time.
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
~ Chinese Proverb
I always start by removing my shoes. The grass feels better that way, and somehow, everything seems just that much more beautiful. And real. Something about dirt in my toes.
This simple example (to me) embodies the ‘less is more’ lifestyle with crystal clarity – enjoying what there is when it is and making it last.
I won’t try to deny these strawberries were most thoroughly enjoyed. Yes, all 5 of them.
Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
A quick (slightly disappointing) visit to the local grocery store offers a stark contrast to the bounty that is seen on display at the Farmer’s Market.
There at the market you can meet the guys who make your white chocolate scones and work through the night to make your loaf of daily bread.
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
~ Michael Pollan
It brings a new appreciation for where your food comes from – to see the hands that create the food for your nourishment and to lay eyes on the mouths that smile from a life of honest work.
For those of us who are blessed to live where produce grows in abundance, it seems an easy choice to buy (and eat) local.
Here in the city if I miss the Farmer’s Market, I’ve got a great grocery store in just about every neighborhood I can hit up as I need.
In many smaller communities this often isn’t the case. So more and more communities are relying on themselves, and on each other.
There are many communities across the globe who don’t have this…..yet.
After a visit like this, I return feeling more resolved than ever to work towards ways to bring food security to everyday people. Like me, (maybe) you, and (maybe) our neighbors.
There is just too much capability for abundance not to.
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
It seems so easy.
1. Grow food.
You need soil. You need seeds. Add a little sunshine and diligent watering and watch it grow.
I didn’t get my veggie garden in this year, as I mentioned there is just so much abundance all around me, there is no urgent reason not to support those who are working hard to produce amazing food for the region right now. It’s on the list, but for now I am happy to support those who are already in the game.
2. Cook it.
Prepare your meals with love. Plan around what there is. Use what you have, and what you can reasonably afford.
Maybe even tuck (just a little) away for someone else. Who knows? It’s all up to you, and to us as a whole, if we decide.
3. Eat it.
Eat with mindfulness if you can. Chew with gratitude. Swallow with awareness, and look your meal-mates in the eye. Talk with one another. Fully be. Wherever it is you may be.
4. Be nourished.
Being nourished is about so much more than just good food. Start with a helping of healthy, homemade vegetables & proteins, add a generous sprinkle of gratitude & and a moderate side of humility, and enjoy the fruits of your (or someone else’s) labor. After all, it is surely delicious. Isn’t it?
These are the simple things we can do.
From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.
~ Arthur Ashe
I want to take a moment to thank all of the supporters of this blog. Having such a supportive group of readers has made this whole project take on a completely new life. This isn’t just my project anymore – I really feel that it’s ours.
I have been touched to receive notes from a few of you looking to connect about health topics ranging from the importance of fitness to a holistic lifestyle (so true – link to Susan’s site here) – to the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle for those living with terminal illnesses such as cancer (link to Jillian’s blog here).
All of you have such amazing stories to tell and I am happy to do what I can to bring awareness to wellness initiatives everywhere.
But for now, let’s eat, and take off our shoes.
We all have things we do to escape and break what can seem like difficult patterns or routines we are stuck in – or simply just to get away. I’d love to hear what you do to step away.
- Are you a garden lover?
- Where do you take your shoes off and really relax?
For now, let’s eat well, and enjoy!
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
~ Muhammad Ali
Next up I’ve got a super delicious chickpea salad in the wings – you’ll want to catch this one it is that delicious! Wishing you all a super fabulous week!
Yours in Less,
How many things there are which I do not want.
suspect know that I have a thing for vegetables. Most kids would travel to the big city (Toronto) to visit relatives and enjoy the spoiling that inevitably unfolds when in the company of doting extended family. Not this girl.
I can only imagine the shock and bewilderment when I arrived at my aunt’s house in Toronto (at the ripe old age of 12) – and upon being asked which of my favorite foods I would like to stock the house with, I promptly jotted down a list of my favorite vegetables. For steaming. It’s true.
Things really haven’t changed much.
Time is what we want the most, but what we use the worst.
~ William Penn
Always start with the freshest greens you can find.
It is insanely good either fully vegan or with added cheese, and it makes a wonderful addition to almost anything (including the delicious spelt pasta pictured here).
Case in point this recipe for roasted cauliflower.
Roasting cauliflower produces a taste and texture experience that is (IMO) out of this world, or rather ‘totally out of bounds’ as a few of my besties have been known to say (but not about cauliflower).
It is easy to cook, cauliflower is quite cheap, and guess what: it’s totally good for you too.
The years teach much the days never know.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Less fried or deep-fried foods means less troubling gas or potential indigestion. Less grain based or overly starchy side dishes mean more vegetables to compliment meals and make easy work of food combining. Less regular ways to prepare old ‘standbys’ means more variety to add to your tables, so even one or two ingredients tastes like a party on your tongue.
More ways to eat veggies more easy filling meals. More cruciferous greens and plant foods means more anti-cancer and disease fighting properties. More fiber, roughage, and water based foods means ‘using it and losing it’ is effortless. Because digestion needn’t ever be that taxing.
Roasted Cauliflower & Kale Pesto:
- (1) large Cauliflower
- (3-4) tbsp good olive oil (or a few good glugs – I learned that term here and love it)
- a few pinches of salt
- (1 – 2) tsp fried cumin seeds (optional)
- (1) recipe Killer Kale Pesto
Start by heating your oven to an aggressive 400 degrees. This is by far the best roasting temperature and can be used to roast all veggies from sweet potatoes, to tomatoes to zucchini & eggplant.
While the oven heats, trim and wash your cauliflower. Remove any of the leaves that are still on and discard or compost. On a cutting board, turn the whole head of the cauliflower upside down and slice into ‘steaks’ just under an inch thick, starting from the base of the head. Cut them as thinly as you can while still having them hold together is the key here.
You should end up with several ‘steaks’ and a few other smaller pieces that will not hold together with the rest. It’s all good, and the strays will be just as delicious as the larger ones. Sometimes even more so.
Generously oil with the olive oil a flat baking tray and set the cauliflower pieces down on the oiled side. Once they are all on and oiled on one side, turn them over to ensure each side gets coated (just a little).
Sprinkle the pieces lightly with a little salt if desired and put up to roast. Cook for 20 minutes and then flip to the other side and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray before serving.
Before serving, feel free to sprinkle with fried cumin seeds and serve however you wish. This version with Kale Pesto was so amazing that I just had to share it with you all!
This kept also incredibly well and the leftovers made for a wonderful midday meal while I was out and about.
Serve warm or at room temperature alongside a green salad, a protein dish, or (my choice) on its own.
It is quite filling and the nuts & oil in the pesto provide more than adequate sustenance and calories to make a light & satisfying meal for most (just not my overly manly husband – bless his heart).
So whether you are old pals with cauliflower or just getting to know it, this is a most enjoyable (and completely delicious) way to serve it to even the most newbie vegetable eater.
Leftover kale pesto can find it’s way into the rest of your meals long after you devour this cauliflower. Or you can just make it again too!
And it’s so easy, there really is no good reason not to.*
*Unless there is.
Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion.
I hope whatever you do that you will do so with joy (as much as we can muster which at times is hard), and with gratitude and also with pleasure.
We don’t have long in this life but we do have right now.
I’ll be taking the weekend to visit some family with my youngest daughter before we run out of time this summer. Now that summer is finally here, it’s time to enjoy it while it lasts, and with that I am off yet again to visit the islands this time.
- Have you always loved veggies?
- What is your favorite way to eat cauliflower?
- Did anyone enjoy the coconut quinoa this week?
Wishing you all a most fabulous weekend (thank you all for reading!) with whomever you choose to spend it with. Be it friends, family, or just yourself. Enjoy!
Yours in Less,