Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The First Snow

I have never been a fan of the cold weather. However, today, I am developing a very different view point.

For once I am grateful that I look out to a blanket of beautiful white sparkling snow. It's pristine, soft, and calm. When the sun comes up, I'll snap a photo and share it later...

I have a different perspective today because I am not obligated to drive in it. For the first time in twenty years, I can say without guilt, fear, or shame that I AM STAYING HOME AND I'M KEEPING MY SON WITH ME!

With the cooler weather, I'm noting a shift in my approach to food and movement. I want to slow down, physically, and I'm attracted to warmer foods rather than cooler foods. I am not positive, but I don't feel many smoothies will be for breakfast in the months ahead, and I certainly don't feel like a cold stalk of celery.

Instead, I'll be turning to homemade vegetable soups, breads, roasts, and grains.

Movement, for me, will be moved inside. The cold weather makes my hands hurt and I have a tendency to feel extra tense.

I'm actually looking forward to the change in the season this year, and am ready for all that it brings with it. Snow included.

p.s. I shared earlier this year that I had some pounds to lose. I hope this next is motivating for you: I've lost 7 pounds and am only 5 pounds from my final goal weight! Yay!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Enjoying my Movement

Walking in nature is extremely fulfilling, but if you live a busy city life like I do, getting away from it all may not be an option. Don't let the lack of the perfect environment prevent you from moving your body in ways that nourish you.

When I moved my business to the city of Englewood and opened my integrated wellness center, I found that the unfamiliarity of the neighborhood hindered me from enjoying my usual daily walks. I don't think it was really that I was afraid I would get lost, but rather just didn't have an established route or routine to fall into. I had to recreate my movement routine and this in itself while I was relearning a daily work routine posed a new challenge.

If you have kept on top of my posts, you see I've managed a few hikes, lots of fun entertaining walks through community spaces like zoos and museums, I've had a walk or two through the local community, but really  most of my walks were in the basement of my home on my treadmill. (boring and uninspiring)
Last week, while pondering this very topic, I recognized I needed to begin to create this routine, mainly by creating a schedule, then, by taking note of things I really enjoyed about my walk.

Making changes and living in transition can often create disruption in even our most regularly scheduled habits including sleep, eating well, exercise, time with our children and husbands. I've put together a few simple guidelines to create a new habit of walking at least three or four times a week that I'd like to share with you.

1. Start by identifying where you'd like to walk. This is most easily accomplished if you can walk there to begin with. Near my office, there is a really pretty walkway but I have to drive to get to it. I found that in itself a hindrance so decided to just walk in the neighborhood that was directly near my office building.
2. Decide how much time you want to walk.  This is most often determined by how long of a lunch or break period you have away from your office. This was interesting to me, since I recently started working for myself. Well, okay, it's been 9 months, but I still feel like I'm breaking the rules if I walk longer than 15 minutes. My last walk was 45 minutes and I felt great when I got back to my office.
3. Put it in your schedule. I use an old fashioned Franklin Covey type scheduler and actually write in break times and times to work on self care. I even schedule days off for myself so I don't forget to take them. Being self employed is sure weird sometimes.
4. Make note of all that you enjoy about your walk. I personally am a very curious person, so enjoy viewing architecture, gardens, flowers, bugs, animals, people, how high the trees grow, pretty much anything that is out of my day to day life. I guess I'm easily entertained. If you don't find this entertaining, bring your Ipod with your favorite music, latest audio book or audio classes.

Below are a few pictures of my latest walk. Find inspiration and encouragement out in the world! I always put myself in the space of feeling like I might forget something if I don't get out and connect to the world around me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Guys

I was surprised when Jim called and said be ready to go, The Children's Museum lot was full so they must have fun stuff going on.
I was really excited to play, to go spend time with my guys.
I am so grateful that I have such an amazing family, including two amazing guys who fill my heart with so much love.

My Little Artist

Experimenting with My Dad

Fun with Food in the "Store"

Spending time with family to me is priceless. This is one of those huge spaces for me that I don't necessarily need food if I am fulfilled with time with my kiddos and hubby. Love is nourishing all by itself.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin - not just for decoration any more!

   I remember having this weird epiphany when I realized you could eat pumpkin. All I could think of were the slimy stringy insides and how my hands would be covered in goop after a few hours of pumpkin carving at Halloween.
   The truth is Pumpkin is a highly nutrient packed food. Pumpkins are actually considered a winter squash! Winter squash is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, Potassium, fiber, Manganese, B1, Copper, B6 and a bit of B3! They are also loaded with carotenoids which protect your cells from the damages of free radicals.

   Since most of the pumpkins sold at your local grocery store are for making jack-o-lanterns, they are usually a bit stringy and not as flavorful as the smaller Sugar Pumpkins. It makes sense to opt for a smaller pumpkin or ask your grocer for the Sugar Pumpkins specifically to have them pointed out. I choose a smaller pumpkin from my garden to use for baking.

Want to bake your own pumpkin? 
   To bake a pumpkin, first wash the skin, cut it in have or quarters, making it small enough to fit in a baking pan. Carefully, using a spoon, scrape out inside strings and seeds. Set seeds aside for roasting in a seperate dish.
   Place pumpkin flesh side down in a covered roasting pan. (I actually have a covered stone baker I use from Pampered Chef for this.) Add 1 - 1/2 cups of water. You may also add organic vegetable broth for additional flavor.
   Bake at 375 for 45 - 60 minutes. Test for softness. You should be able to smash it easily.
   Allow to cool enough to handle and remove flesh from skin. Season with sea salt and pepper and add a bit of butter or coconut spread.

Want to learn how to roast those seeds?
   Using seeds set aside from above process, rinse thoroughly. Remove all pumpkin chunks and string. Add 1 tsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil. Season with salt, herb mixes, garlic salt, seasoning salt, dulse or another favorite seasoning and toss. Try to be sure all seeds are coated somewhat.
   Spread evenly onto a cookie sheet.
   Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.
   Allow to cool and enjoy!

After I baked my pumpkin, I set it in the fridge until near dinner. I reheated it using a bit of olive oil and minced garlic in a sauce pan. Stirring constantly and mashing pumpkin until it was a mashed potato like consistency.

I can tell you that filling my home with the smells and flavors of baked pumpkin is perfect for setting the tone of a fun family meal and is a step in preparing our bodies for the colder days that lurk right around the corner!

Yummy! Happy October!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lunch Time Leftovers

I've made it part of my regular routine to cook in bulk. This has made it really easy on busy days like today when I am juggling the IIN's student coaching, family, and things around the house.
My lunch today is a prime example of reaping the benefits of leftovers. Beets and Green Bean Casserole - Tammi Style.

Which reminds me to put the recipes for both on this very blog.

Roasted Beets

Coconut Oil

Sea Salt

I like to roast fresh beets straight from my garden, either in my oven or on my grill. To do this, remove top and root, wash your beets using cold water and a vegetable scrub brush until all traces of the earth are gone. Cut in half or quarters and place skin side up in a glass baking dish along with a tablespoon or two of coconut oil.
Roast your beets at 425 - 450 for 30 - 45 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork.

Allow to cool and remove skins.
Enjoy with a dash of high quality sea salt.

Green Bean Casserole - Tammi Style

Fresh Green Beans
Barley - prepared according to directions
2 T - Organic Butter
1/4 cup Vegetable Broth
1 small zucchini

1/4 white onion, diced finely
Fresh Mozzarella Balls

Preheat oven to 325. spread butter in a 9x13 glass baking dish.
Wash and cut green beans, discarding ends, into bite size pieces Wash and cut zucchini, discarding ends, into 1/4" round discs, then cut in half to make half moon shapes. Mix together Barley, vegetable broth, onion, green beans, and zucchini. Top with mozzarella balls, as many as you wish.
Bake for 30 - 45 minutes.

Serve warm.

So originally, I made the beets fresh from the garden and peeled them, then placed them in the fridge for an element to any meal. The casserole was our dinner just a few nights ago. Bringing them together for lunch today gave me a satisfying warm meal filled with vibrant nutrients!

To reheat without a microwave you may place a little oil in a saute pan and heat through on medium heat until warmed to desired heat.