Archive for June, 2020

CORONAVIRUS: START WITH THE POSITIVE

Yesterday I went to the dentist for the first time since Covid-19 started. There were numerous precautions in my dental office other than the copious PPE worn by the staff: my temperature was checked at the door,  and my blood pressure was taken in the dental chair. I wore googles and rinsed my mouth with some minty potion before starting.

I had a new hygienist—let’s call her Carrie. Carrie was a no-nonsense hygienist. The first download.jpgthing she said to me, when I opened my mouth was, “Wow–you have a lot of gum recession.” I told her about my dental hygiene routine: brushing with an electric toothbrush, using a waterpik, and then quickly flossing. Carrie commented, “Yes, I can see that you’re a quick flosser.” Within 2 minutes I felt as if I had accumulated two demerits. There were more comments like this along the way.  With a lot of self control, I suppressed a giant eye-roll.

Carrie wanted me to change some of my brushing behavior. I can tell you with certainty that I would have been much more open to her suggestions if she merely started with a positive.  She could have pointed out that it’s great that I religiously come every 6 months–even in a pandemic, that I have an established routine every night, that I have healthy, pink gum tissue, or that I have low blood pressure and a low pulse—ANYTHING. The dentist, instead, thought I was doing very well. I left the office knowing that I will NOT see her again.

Starting with the positive leaves people open to what they need to work on. In this pandemic, many of my clients have been eating too many treats or drinking too much. I would love them to tweak some of their behaviors. I tackle this by first reminding them of what they’re doing right: Some are exercising more. Some are cooking more. Some are eating healthy food along with the not-so-healthy food. I feel a shift when I do this—they ease up on their self-deprecation and become more open. To me, this is the best and only way to approach a difficult process.

In this pandemic, we need to hear some positive news and embrace it! I will cling onto my dentist’s message: “Rhonda, you’re doing just great!”

 

 

 

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FRESH CORN SALAD

Here is a simple and delicious Ina Garten recipe!  LOVED it!! I added some chopped avocado to this and it was sublime!

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5 ears of corn, shucked

½ cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons good olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup julienned fresh basil leaves

directions

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

(recipe found on https://www.foodnetwork.com/)

 

 

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GREEK FARRO SALAD

Oh my goodness did I LOVE this salad!!! Packed with vibrant colors and a plethora of nutrition……it is a hit for the summer!!! A must try!

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1 cup dried farro, rinsed

5 cups lightly packed arugula (if it’s not baby arugula, you might want to give it a few chops to break it into smaller pieces)

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)

1 large cucumber (about ¾ pound), seeded and chopped (to yield about 1 ½ cups chopped cucumber)

1 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper

20 kalamata olives, sliced into thin rounds (about ½ cup)

1/4  cup feta cheese, crumbled

½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

¼ teaspoon salt

dressing ingredients (see note*)

⅓ cup olive oil

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste

2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup

2 garlic cloves, pressed

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

directions

To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed farro with at least three cups water (enough water to cover the farro by a couple of inches). Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender to the bite but still pleasantly chewy (pearled farro will take around 15 minutes; unprocessed farro will take 25 to 40 minutes). Drain off the excess water and return the farro to the pot. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt and a little splash of the dressing. Set aside for just a few minutes to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, combine the arugula, chickpeas, cucumber, peppers, olives and parsley.

In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes and pepper until emulsified.

Add the warm farro to the serving bowl and drizzle in the remaining dressing. Toss to combine. Add the feta, toss again, and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

*NOTE: I found that I didn’t need to use all of the dressing. I saved the what remained, and used it on other things!

(recipe found on https://cookieandkate.com/)

 

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CORONAVIRUS: HELLO DAY?

My husband and I are very close friends with another couple, Julie and Jeremy.  The beauty about the four of us is that we accept and embrace the good, the bad,  and everything in between. Yes, we often make fun of each other.

I get poked fun at for my undying, over-the-top enthusiasm, which can be annoying. Once, the four of us were talking about whether or not we were morning people. I told them that not only was I a morning person,  but that when my eyes open in the morning, the first thing I think is, “HELLO DAY!”.  I’m sure you can imagine how that went over. 🙄

When the coronavirus came, my days of waking up thinking “HELLO DAY”, were over. I thought many things but NOT that.  It was more like,  “FU DAY”, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME, DAY?” or, “WTF, DAY!”  I missed that part of myself. I yearned to be made fun of for my excessive enthusiasm.

Julie is a jewelry designer. Prior to meeting Julie, I didn’t care much about jewelry one way or the other. Now, I want to buy all of her stuff! She is extremely creative and talented. (SHAME-FREE PLUG: https://julielambny.com/) I make fun of Julie’s creativity because it’s everywhere! The way she sets her table, the way her room is lit, the way  she cooks food and how it is presented on a platter. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Last night, we celebrated my birthday. Julie knew not to bake a cake for me so, instead, she created a masterpiece out of vegetables. A landscape of grass,  flowers, puffy clouds and a bright sun. She brought it to me saying, “I call this, “HELLO DAY!”  My heart soared. I was beyond delighted.IMG_5095

Last night I must have fallen asleep with a smile on my face. Guess what happened when I woke up this morning? For the first time since the coronavirus descended upon us, I said….

NEVER MIND……..I’m not saying it because it will be too annoying!  🙄 😂

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CORONAVIRUS: THE JOY OF HAIR COLOR??

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am an extremely routine-oriented person. The good news is that this means I have a lot of discipline; the bad news is that this means I’m not a huge fan of change. So, when the coronavirus came, it knocked me off my feet until I equilibrated to the new normal. My new normal included virtual training, nutritional counseling on the phone and yes, coloring my own hair for the first time.

In my pre-covid life, I found going to the salon to be too time consuming, which annoyed me. However, after a few rounds of boxed hair color, I started YEARNING to step foot into my local hair salon. Here in New York, we are opening up in phases so the minute phase 2 began, giving salons permission to open, I was ready!

Yesterday, armed with a mask and hand sanitizer, I got my hair professional colored. I 61358733133__39FF3EEF-DE56-4E8D-8B96-BF9281D9A345found the experience to be sublime. I was shocked at how luxurious this all seemed to me given that I’ve been coloring my hair for decades. In previous trips to the salon, there was always a hidden eye roll. Yesterday, I was exploding with pure, unadulterated, glee.

As we slowly and carefully re-open, I hope to continue to bask in all the experiences that I have so taken for granted. I’m sure you will, too!

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