Need Some Laughs?

I was in need of a feel-good mood the other day and I turned to some stand-up comedy on Netflix. For a while I had been wanting to check out Ellen Degeneres’ Relatable. I have never seen, or felt moved to watch any of Ellen Degeneres’ comedy, until now. Mostly because I simply haven’t paid much attention to her. Recently, perhaps it was by watching Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee featuring her, I recognized her genuine, down-to-earth character.

I had a feeling that this quality character trait would deliver the perfect, feel-good stand-up comedy I was looking for. I’m glad I finally got around to watching it because it was hilarious! I absolutely recommend you watch it.

I still needed some more laughs though (home life has been slightly chaotic due to a kitchen remodel, which I will report back with later about how to stay healthy (and sane) without a kitchen sink and all the other good stuff a kitchen provides). I needed some more Ellen in my life! And so YouTube, once again, saved the day. Watch her Here and Now stand up from 2003 here.

You cannot deny yourself a laugh from this woman.
Enjoy!

Ellen Degeneres

31 Days of Health. Day 13: Eat a Plant-Based Diet

Do you think you can go just one day without any animal products in your diet? That is today’s suggested healthy action. Research has continued to show that plant-based diets are associated with a higher quality of life. Plant-based diets can lead to a healthy weight, reduced chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer; reduced frequency of getting sick, and overall longer life!

I am not an advocate for eating vegan, nor do I follow a vegan way of life. But nixing the animal products for a day, or at the very least significantly reducing them in a day, brings a different, delicious dose of wellness into your life. I don’t think it’s necessary you go hardcore to make this happen for one day. It is actually quite simple to do, especially if it is only for a day. Here are the foods that should be ignored to qualify your intake as plant-based:

  • Eggs
  • Beef, poultry, pork, fish, and any other source of meat
  • Dairy milk, cream, yogurt and cheese
  • Butter

Sources of protein can come from legumes, or tofu. If you like cooking with butter, you can try cooking with olive oil; if you like putting butter on bread, try extra-virgin olive oil. Throw some garlic and herbs into the oil to give it a little flavor if that is something new for you. Which, trust me, it’s a stark difference in taste! If you like drinking milk, you can try almond milk, or other nut-milks. Non-dairy yogurt is available if you want to explore some more options. If you like cream in your coffee or tea, try it black or with coconut milk (the canned, actual coconut milk – not coconut beverage sold in the same section as dairy milk).

Do continue to keep this reminder pulsing every day: keep food as close to nature as possible. So instead of bread, you could have brown rice, bulgur, or quinoa. And instead of having olive oil with that bread, you could eat a few olives.

Plant-based diets tend to offer a whole lot more fiber and phytonutrients that you aren’t getting from animal-sourced foods. I suggest trying the plant-based diet – or a mostly plant-based diet – just for one day to assist you in exploring ways to reduce your intake of animal-based foods. It is not wrong to eat these foods, but for some people, they take the place of more veggies, fruit, or whole grains (btw, I am getting sick of these two words because it seems many folks are misunderstanding and abusing them, so please note that when I refer to whole grains, I mean a minimally processed, whole food: not cookies made with whole wheat flour). The low intake of fiber, alone, associated with a typical American diet is one that significantly raises the risk for colon cancer. To me, it is a no-brainer: why play this game of Russian Roulette?

If you’re ready to try this action today and you need some assistance, I am here to help you through! Comments are below, or contact me directly if you’re looking for some healthier oomph in your life!

Thanks for reading, and I will see you here again tomorrow!
Alyssa

31 Days of Health. Day 3: Plan Next Week’s Meals

Welcome to Day 3 of 31 Days of Health! I hope you have embraced Days 1 and 2 and are excited for more!

Your healthy action for today is to plan your meals for next week. Start with a “Meal Ideas List” where you will include healthy dishes that you are confident in making. If you don’t have many or any at all, start searching around online, through cookbooks or magazines. Keep a handy notepad on your phone where you can jot down ideas when an idea strikes

Decide how many meals you can, or need to, actually prepare in one week by looking at the week ahead. Also decide what you want your diet to include: do you want to eat more vegetarian meals? Eat less red meat and more fish? Do you want to stop eating so many foods that are high in added sugars?

By designing your diet goals and plugging them into a week, healthy eating habits will begin to take shape. For me, honestly, I plan only about three different dinner meals a week. I cook from scratch, and cooking from scratch and heart tends to take a little more time than “30-minute meals.” My three dinner meals a week lead to reheated leftovers, or I turn them into a different meal. For example, baked salmon for dinner could be a cold salmon salad for lunch the next day.

As you decide on the week’s menu, write up a grocery list that includes all the ingredients you will need to properly execute those meals. And once it comes time to do your shopping, you are well prepared to collect everything your home needs, and you waste no time walking down the aisles stocked with food you don’t need, like candy, cookies and other foods commonly called “snacks.” (I put snacks in quotes because I don’t classify chips, cheese puffs and pretzels as snacks).

Happy Day 3!
Alyssa

Hey, if you have any questions or want to share your planned meal, go ahead and drop those in the comments below! See you tomorrow.

What a Wild Summer

It really bothered me all summer I did not write a single post, especially considering I had publicly set a goal for myself that was left behind in a short time. I’m talking about my very enthusiastic plan to embark on some Farmers Market Adventures . . . every. single. weekend.

Well let me tell you what: this summer has been off the chain (I don’t care if off the chain  is or is not a cool thing to say anymore; I have no other term that absolutely depicts what the past three months have been like for me. Bat shit crazy also comes to mind).

Although hind sight is 20/20, I still feel awful that I claimed, that because I wasn’t getting produce from a CSA this year, I would get it from Farmers Markets each weekend as an alternate/supplemental method to grocery shopping, meanwhile connecting with the folks selling their products, and sharing with you what I found, what I did with it, and some tips for navigating your way through the market. I think I visited the market a total of three or four times this year, and yes, only wrote about one. Because honestly, I couldn’t write about much.

Number one, like many people this year, I was way anxious for winter to be over and I was ready to get outside and do everything I can’t when it is snowing. So when I first came up with the idea of visiting farmers markets each week, I completely forgot it was only May, winter overstayed it’s welcome, and there really wasn’t much local produce even ready yet! It wouldn’t be for a while! When I did visit the market, I found that a lot of things were super expensive (I know, I was enthusiastic about supporting our local farmers, but it is NOT in my budget to purchase a small organic chicken for $25). So oftentimes, I didn’t come home with much to work with.

Number two, I had no idea what was in store for me this year. In May, I was coasting at my full-time day job. There really wasn’t a ton on my agenda. I was so bored I really wanted to leave ASAP. (Side note, I am the type of person who finds work to do, there is no such thing as boredom. I was BORED). Then, in June, I had two enormous projects thrown at me, and they needed to be done by the middle of August. And this did not surprise me – one of the reasons why I do still intend to move on. At least one of these projects did not have to be kept a secret from me. I could have been getting it in motion in January – JANUARY! – and I most likely would not have been sitting around with my thumb in my ass for months. I am frustrated and bitter about it. And this happens every summer.

Aside from work, I was asked in June to be the maid of honor for my sister’s wedding in September.  (It’s next Saturday!)

I don’t ignore my own desires when shit hits the fan. I still needed to fix my closet, and I wanted to get the house painted. I did fix the closet, and I was going to share my accomplishment, but considering my perfectionism, it isn’t quite finished. It still needs a shoe rack, hooks installed, and other organizational items. Perhaps because it is not perfect – picture shoes accumulating in a pile where a shoe rack should be – would be absolutely perfect to share. No, I won’t call it finished, but shit happens, dude, and I’ll get there. I think it is amazing. I couldn’t be more proud of myself. And I guess I’ll save all that for the day I do share my finished closet with you! Along with the fixed and painted hallway that used to be royal blue. It is incredible what colors can do to us. Ahhh, I can breathe now!

Considering how much has been on my schedule on a daily basis, buying and making food was a chore that barely fit in to my day. Even on the weekends . . . ESPECIALLY on the weekends! Although I am doing a lot of venting now, I have a feeling this can spin off into a very helpful post for people who live like this often. I can’t live like this permanently, and I won’t, but I know many people do! Fortunately for me, I have a whole nine more months before another over-ambitious project is thrown at me way too late in the year. I have time to get a word in now with the bosses: I’d really like it if you can give me a better heads up next time. I’m learning, and we’ll see how that goes. And during those nine months, I hope to focus more time back into this.

I’ll close out with a poem I wrote last night:

Some Days Are Hard

Some days are hard
Some days are easy

Some days it’s okay to live
like a tub of lard
Some days, smiling so sweet
is too easy peasy

No one is perfect.
Not you
Not me
Not him, nor her.
Sometimes we all move through moments
with our consciousness blurred

My wish for you
is to feel peace now.
Feel your heart beat
Close your eyes, breathe deep . . . wow.

Your life is a miracle
. . . always has been,
and always will be

Don’t dread so much, my friend
. . . always remember:
Some days are hard,
and others are easy

Have a Fabulous Friday, my friends,
Alyssa

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

Heyoo! So I NEED to get this info out to you now therefore please excuse any potential poor grammar. I really dislike poor grammar and bad spelling, but for the sake of informing you of something I feel very strongly about now, and doing it before my daughter wakes up, I’m not editing!!! Foggetabbotit. (PS, I just edited this line. MOVING RIGHT ALONG!)