Archive for September, 2018

TRUMPeting My Voice

I was born in 1963 and was raised by two parents who told me that I could do or be anything that I wanted to. Growing up, I didn’t feel that I was raised much differently than my older brother. I’ve also had positive relationships with men throughout my life. I have always been my own person, I have never cared too much about what other people think, and I have never had issues making things happen for myself.

Having said all of this, I know for certain that society has also shaped me. It’s been a subliminal force, influencing and molding many of my behaviors. While I consider myself to be a strong woman, I have also struggled with being assertive. In fact, it’s been much easier for me to constantly soften the message instead of being direct. I’ve done this message “massaging” my entire life.  Men get positively reinforced when they are direct.  Women do not.

A few years ago, I received a stark wake-up call when I read a New York Times op-ed piece about how women apologize for things that they shouldn’t be apologizing for. I realized that my lack-of-assertiveness was also accompanied by too much apologizing!  This was the genesis of my journey to change my behavior.

Since then, we have a new president, a Me Too Movement, and more women than ever download-1.jpgrunning for leadership positions. Just like in my past, I am now being shaped by what is going on around me.  Women are speaking up and I have felt empowered by each and every one of them. At 55, I am emerging as a stronger woman—someone who is no longer afraid to be direct. I refuse to apologize unless I’m truly sorry about something, and I refuse to soften the message.

My take away: It’s never too late to evolve into the person you want to become. No matter what it is, you can make it happen.

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ONIONS LENTILS AND RICE

Lentils are one of my favorite legumes because they don’t need to be soaked, cook quickly, and are packed with nutrients. This is a great dish for vegetarians or a perfect side dish to accompany any lean protein.  Really delicious!

ingredientspicwhisYE

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 medium onions, sliced (not diced)

3 ½ cups water

1 cup lentils

1 cup rice

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cumin

directions

Heat olive oil in skillet, sauté the onions with 1 tsp cumin until lightly browned (can add some garlic too, if desired). Remove 1/3 of the onions and set aside. Continue cooking the rest of the onions until dark brown and black in places.

In the meantime, bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add the lentils, reduce heat, and cover, simmering for 15 minutes.

To the lentils, add the 1/3 lightly browned onions, rice, salt, and remaining 1 tsp cumin. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Remove from heat and stir in the well-browned onions. Cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Serve! Especially good with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top. Also good with cooked spinach.

(Recipe found on http://www.geniuskitchen.com)

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ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD WITH DRIED CHERRIES AND PUMPKIN SEEDS

This salad DOES involve a lot of steps but it is truly delicious and worth the extra effort! I loved  the combination of ingredients and flavors.

ingredientsdownload.jpg

1 large head of cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds), quartered lengthwise and cored

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 thyme sprigs

3 garlic cloves, crushed

Kosher salt

Pepper

½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

¼ cup capers

1 bunch of red or green kale (8 ounces), stemmed and cut into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons

6 cups baby arugula

6 radishes, trimmed and cut into ½-inch wedges

½ cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped

¼ cup roasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)

directions

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut three-quarters of the cauliflower into 2-inch florets. Thinly slice the remaining cauliflower and reserve.

On a rimmed baking sheet, combine the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the thyme and garlic; season with salt and toss to coat. Spread the cauliflower in an even layer and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until golden and tender. Discard the thyme and garlic. Sprinkle the cauliflower with the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, season with salt and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the remaining ½  cup  of olive oil and 3 tablespoons  of lemon juice with the vinegar and capers until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the kale with ¼ cup of the dressing and mix, gently massaging the kale to tenderize it. Add the arugula and another 2 tablespoons of the dressing and mix well.

Arrange the roasted cauliflower on a platter and top with the radishes, cherries, greens and the reserved raw cauliflower. Spoon on the remaining dressing, scatter the pepitas  on top and serve.

(recipe found on http://www.foodandwine.com)

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THE POWER OF YOU

As many of you know I love to go for long bike rides in the summer. Over the past 5 IMG_0326years, this has been a passion that I have shared with my husband, who has been riding for a few decades. Our summer rhythm has been to take two long bike rides on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We would be on our bikes for hours riding anywhere between 30 and 45 miles.

The problem with this pattern is that it included two very challenging workouts, with no rest and recovery in between. As a trainer, I  know the importance of rest. It is a huge factor in making both endurance and strengths gains.  And yet it took a bike professional, who adjusted my bike this summer, to blatantly ask me “WHAT ARE YOU DOING AND WHY ARE YOU RIDING LIKE THIS?” Yes, there was an incredulous tone in his voice.

I had answers to his questions. I rode like this because I didn’t want to go out alone. I was scared. I was afraid of being on the road alone, navigating the traffic, getting lost, or getting a flat tire.  However, that ARE-YOU-KIDDING-ME tone gnawed at me and so I decided to make a change. I realized that my desire to improve on my bike was greater than my fear of being alone on the road. So, I ventured out alone so I could spread out my rides.  I always carried a phone, some money, and  instructions of who to IMG_0364call in case of an emergency. I navigated the traffic,  learned how to fix a knotted bike chain, and got lost. There were several times, where had to take out out my i-phone and say  “Hey Siri….I need directions to xxx road.” It wasn’t always easy but I DID improve. A lot.

Every time I finished a ride, I took a selfie to show my husband that I was safe and sound. But I was more than safe and sound. I had a powerful sense of accomplishment.  When I was finished with some rides, I often had to fight the tears.

We all are powerful. We just have to tap into it and push aside our fears. A fear doesn’t have to be a physical challenge—it can be anything: making  a job change, moving, having a difficult conversation with someone, making sure that your voice is heard, or stopping procrastination.

I learned this summer, that there is nothing better than that feeling of accomplishment, that only comes from you.  So go on and tap in!

 

 

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