Thursday, October 25, 2012

Being you...IS good enough.

My feet are in the sand on the beach in Cancun; living up the moments with my sister. The warm Caribbean sun is beating down on us and tiny beads of sweat trickle down our face. I stand up to take a dip in the pool and I notice I am wearing a bikini! But stomach is flat and I have this intense feeling of self confidence!! I climb into the pool and then as quickly as the cool water hits my face, I am awake....

Several months ago I wrote a blog about someone using not so kind words to describe what they thought I looked like. They said I was short and chunky. And I know, as I had said before, that it was not meant with ill intent, it still hurt. I find myself, once again, in the same situation at work. One of the guys at work went to the doctor and had a physical. He came in and told everyone how his cholesterol level is 785 - which is insanely high. This man is in no way fat, he is just short. So they got on the topic of how his cholesterol could be so high and he said that his doctor considers him obese. I was standing next to his desk discussing possible natural options because I work in a supplement shop,  and one of the guys that ALWAYS makes fun of me states: "Well, look at Patti; she's fat! If she were six feet tall, she would be skinny; but her cholesterol is fine." Now, it's one thing if I ask - "Do you think I look fat?" And how do you know my cholesterol?? I know the truth, I look in the mirror every day. I don't need you to tell me that I am fat. The girls around him and the guy that sits next to him just turn and glare. I understand that he was just saying what he thought was truthful, but I was so incredibly embarrassed. Three times this week he had made some comment toward my weight - One of the girls asked if he thought his wife was fat; his response: "She's not skinny, but Patti is fatter." I mean, what the hell?! Why am I the target of his ridicule? I'm not pleasing to the eye? Then keep it to yourself. It's such a cliched saying; but if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. 

The next day it became the thing to talk about - how can someone eat healthy like me, but stay fat? I am facing my computer screens when they start talking about what I ate for breakfast and what I brought in for lunch; I slowly turn around to them and shake my head. I just couldn't believe it. There is so much work to be done and some people are more worried about the affect of the good food I am putting in my body is having on me than doing their job. I just want to scream out: WHO THE HELL CARES?! I should be the only one concerned with me, and you should be the only one concerned with you. Yes, I eat healthy. No, I am not skinny. But, please, tell me...why does the entire world need to know my insecurity about being fat?! Why do you feel it necessary to tell the people with in a six-foot radius that you think I am fat? I have a bad enough complex about myself, and you feel the need to add to it. And they sit there and laugh because to them, it's a big joke. It's not funny - it hurts.

Today I wore black slacks with a fitted sweater and black flats; normally I will wear a scarf over my sweater so it sweeps over my stomach and hips or I will wear a flowing dress or some other fabric with many layers; but I didn't today. The girl that sits next to me tells me that I should wear things like this every day because I look 10lbs lighter. Maybe it was a compliment; but it still angers me. If I wanted to discuss my weight with my co-workers then I would. But I don't! I obsess over my weight enough in my head and with my twin. I tell her every day in an email what I am eating, what I have planned to eat and what I bought at the grocery store. I write my food in a daily journal, and count calories every single day of my life. If you ask me how many calories are in a piece of chicken, I can tell you. Skin on? I can tell you that. Cooked in olive oil and served with rice? I can tell you that too. So the last thing I want to do is come into work and have to discuss with people who don't care, things that are so detrimental to my well being.

This brings me to my title that being you is good enough. I was made fun of so much when I was a child and through middle school that I don't need to endure this as an adult. I am not that far away from being 30 years old and the last thing I need is for some 30-something-year-old man to tell me almost every day that I am FAT. I strive to live a healthy lifestyle and I eat as healthy as possible. It doesn't mean that I will be a size 0. It means that I will be as healthy as I can be on the inside. You cannot listen to the negative things others may be saying to you. You are good enough. Being you is good enough. You don't have to be something that others think you should be. Keep that in mind the next time someone says anything negative to you. Exuding positivity from within will make you a happier and healthier person.

Thank you for listening to another rant of mine. I think it's important to share things such as this because I know that there are others who go through this, too. I can't be the only one who struggles every day with their self image. Who feels like the mirror is going to break in disgust whenever you step in front of it. One day it will get better. You just have to remind yourself that there is no one else in the world that can be a better you. So you have to be your best you. And your best you starts with, none other than YOU.


Health and Wellness to all

Patti xox

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Busy working girl getting back on track...

Hello my friends! It feels great to be back! I have been stretched thiiin. haha! I still have about 12,000 more photos to go through and edit, but believe it or not, I have made a dent. Which brings me to the topic I am about to discuss. Weddings. During the week I have a pretty set regimen of my food intake for the day. I have a banana and plain oats for breakfast, a mid morning snack, a salad with protein for lunch or a sandwich on sprouted grain bread, then an afternoon snack (usually raw almonds and a piece of fruit and last but not least, a protein and vegetable for dinner. Sometimes I will have a sweet potato if my fat kid is really screaming. 

Now... that's during the week. The weekends are a bit harder. I am usually photographing a wedding or on a shoot so I am not able to eat at the correct times or always eat the right thing. Recently I completed a 24 day challenge and I had to eat super clean AND cut out  coffee. Ouch. I don't think I could have picked a more challenging time to do the challenge. In that 24 day period I had 4 weddings and a few portrait, and engagement sessions and with that, came the wedding food. The food usually consists of mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, pasta,  stuffed chicken breast, and a salad... but it's caesar salad. I had to come up with a plan to make sure I wasn't going to slip up at the weddings! Remember:

 It IS possible to be healthy and eat right when you are constantly on the go. I decided that I could either take on the challenge or not. It was that simple. I continued my new way of eating for my monotonous M-F work schedule, and when it came time for the back to back weddings, I felt prepared and found myself excited to see what the weekend was going to bring. I also knew that this would set the tone for the rest of the 24 days. The night before, I acted like it was going to be another work day. I packed a lunch and tried to get plenty of sleep. (Yeah right.) I woke up and had an Orgain organic protein shake and a banana for breakfast. I got ready with Patti and then made sure that I had packed enough food for us. For the rest of the day we had a snack bag of grapes, raw almonds and a few clementines. I made two salads that had grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, spicy peppers and crushed red pepper. For dinner we had a piece of chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans. 

By the time the weekend was over I had made it! I proved to myself and every other busy working person that you can be healthy. You just have to plan ahead and remember that sleep is a big factor as well. Even though I can't pack my food for the wedding we have in December in Mexico, I know that I will be prepared for whatever is placed in front of me!

I hope you enjoyed my blog today! I will blog some of my new recipes soon!


love and health to all

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Staying busy on an unproductive day...

...Well that's kind of a contradictory statement, now isn't it. But is it? Most of us work hard, and work a lot; so when it comes down to a day where you don't have to do anything you might not know what to do with yourself or your time...

I found that I was lost today. I woke up early and realized that I didn't have to do anything. Nothing. I walked out to my living room and stood there for a minute;. Looked around and then went to the kitchen. I made myself some ginger pear tea and filled my 34oz mug with water and plopped on my couch. I sat there and pondered for a few minutes what I would do today to ensure that I am not sitting on my butt being useless. Nothing came to mind that seemed to fit how I was feeling. So I opened my kindle and just started reading my latest purchase. Today was a day that I could have to myself - mostly, as my job demands a majority of my time; that I didn't have to feel the pressure of answering to anyone or being around people. Everyone deals with their emotions on different levels, and I really love the time that I have to myself. 

As an hour passed and I was still in my pajamas, I started getting this nagging feeling of guilt. I was just sitting there, reading when I could be doing something productive with my time away from work. What do I do? I pull out my lap top and start making corrections to this big project we have going at work. This absorbs about a good 4 hours of my time. Awesome. Let's spend the day working when you're supposed to be OFF work. (We have a running joke in the office: (PTO is not "Paid Time Off," it's "Pretend Time Off"). Such conflicting feelings! I feel like I should be working, but then I get angry for working when I am supposed to be enjoying the one day off that I have! Geesh! I know what can settle this argument in my head..."COFFEE BREAK!" YEAH!!! And then I realize...I gave up coffee one week ago today. Grrrr, okay so now what, I think to myself. Oh - tea! Wait, no...Lunch, lunch would be good since I skipped breakfast; shhhh, don't tell Nikkie. It's not part of the cleansing routine. You have to have eaten at least two servings of fruit by now. Oops. I stumble into the kitchen as my legs are half weakened from sitting for the last 5 hours (that is just terrible). And I make a turkey burger with some steamed zucchini and eggplant. YUM! I go back to the warm spot on my couch and enjoy my delicious lunch - I flip on the T.V. and watch the X-Files movie on Netflix. (I found that I can hook my computer up to my television and watch movies on T.V. while streaming from online)! 

Now what? I am trying to stay busy on such an unproductive day...Do I take a nap? No...that's just being really lazy; I hadn't even been up for 10 hours. So, I make another cup of tea. Sooo good! So calming, I think and so worth sitting on the couch once more - still in my pajamas. Should I go to the gym? No, every excuse in the book comes flooding to my mind. I don't hate exercising; I just don't want to be around people today. Decision made; I get up and start doing push-ups on my floor. What? Yes, random push-ups, which turn into squats and then calf raises. I'm done. I sit back down and sip my tea again. Ahhhh! I am starting to get really antsy. I should be doing more! I should be outside enjoying this beautiful day - I hear rain and then I feel a little better. I tell myself that's it's okay to be home right now. It's raining outside and you don't like to drive in the rain - it will just make you miserable and have outbursts of hatred-filled road rage. The less rational side of my subconscious wins and I stay in. Just to sit back down on the couch and shop online. I need new things for my place as I am moving in December. OH CRAP! I am moving, which means I need to pack. I don't even know where to start. There is just so much stuff!!! So much to pack. Will it all fit? Will my bed fit in the bedroom?? Will I have to purchase a new bed?! It's a house - with a basement, how am I going to lock the door to the cellar?? Do I need new curtains? I need to call my leasing department and tell them I am not re-signing. Too much to think about. Geez, this isn't working. I close the computer and just shut my eyes for a minute to bring me back to a non-panic state. I decide to just put on another movie and lay down. I put on Georgia Rule and just sink into the couch with my blanket wrapped around me, the shades all drawn, my 3rd hot tea and my pillow tucked under my right side. I feel my body start to physically relax.

I am telling you my crazy day because it's not really a crazy day. It's a non-productive day physically, but a mentally hectic day in my mind. I feel like I should have done so much more like search for answers for things I need answers to, or planted a pumpkin garden, something that would have physically told my body that, yes,  you did good today, now you can rest. Instead, my mind is still completely active because I feel like I was under accomplished today. I am sure you are asking yourself how this has anything to do with health and wellness. It has everything to do with it. When your body is stressed it releases hormones into your body that can cause internal damage. You have to find ways for your mind and your body to relax and not be in a constant state of anxiety.  Once I find them, I will blog about them each time one comes to me that truly works.

It is 12:18am and I STILL don't know what I could have done differently today. And I think that's okay. Sometimes you just have to figure it out. 


Love and Wellness to all

Patti xox

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Back to the basics...

Hello to all my blog followers!! Many apologies - as it has been over 2 months since my sister or myself have written. :'( So our promise to you is to ensure that we are keeping up to date with our latest shenanigans!

About 1 week ago I decided that my body and my mind needed a complete overhaul from the stress induced environment I have been in lately. My sister started it a week prior and she is feeling incredible. What we started was a cleanse - not a detox as you would think. It is a complete cleanse of anything that promotes inflammation within the body. So yes, this means I have given up coffee! (Everyone beware). Just kidding ;) The cleanse also prohibits sugar, salt, processed foods and dairy. It's very much like the Paleo diet - vegetables, lean protein, complex carbs (meaning legumes and brown rice). My water intake has increased to just about a gallon a day, sounds easy enough to drink that much, right? Well, let's put it this way; 1 gallon of water is equal to 128ounces. That's tough, but a mix of herbal teas, water in between meals and some energy mixes has made it easier. In doing this cleanse, I have been introducing myself to new ways of cooking my food and new recipes. I just may even have a cook book by the time I am through with this. And so I am writing to not only share that so far I am feeling better, but also one of my favorite things I have cooked thus far.

It is baked sweet potato with onions and sauteed chicken in garlic infused extra virgin olive oil:

Here is what you will need:

1 Organic large sweet potato
1 Organic sweet onion
1 Package of boneless, skinless chicken breast (Trader Joes has a good selection of hormone free, free range, no antibiotics chicken). 
2 Tablespoons of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil 
1 Tablespoon of Oregano
1 Teaspoon of garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 Teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic 

1-gallon ziploc bag
Baking sheet
Small frying pan or wak

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your sweet potato as you will leave the skin on. It is so thin and there are many added health benefits to eating it. Cut the potato in thin, round slices. Then take those slices and cut them into quarter pieces and empty into the ziploc bag. Chop your onion and add to the potatoes.  Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic EVOO, and the rest of the spices to the mix. Shake up the bag. Line your baking sheet with either parchment paper or aluminum foil and empty the contents of the ziploc onto the baking sheet. Spread evenly so the potatoes and onions are covering the entire surface. Place in the oven on the middle rack for about 25-30 minutes. (I have found that baking them for 28 minutes in a gas stove is the best - it gives them the perfect texture and takes that raw crunch out). While this is baking; add the remaining EVOO to your frying pan or wak, and place burner on medium heat. Cut up the chicken into thin slices; it cooks faster this way - but you can cook as desired. (Be sure to wash your hands and the counter where you just cut the raw chicken; safety first). Add the cut up chicken to the frying pan and season to taste. Add the minced garlic cloves. I added more oregano to the chicken. You want to cook the chicken after the potato and onion mix are in the oven as it does not take as long to cook. The chicken should be thoroughly cooked within 18-20 minutes; but timing may vary depending on your stove. The best way to check is to cut one of your bigger pieces in half and make sure there is no sign of pink. The juices need to run clear - and a cooking thermometer is also very useful. Once cooked, serve :)

This yields between 2 and 3 servings. 

This recipe is packed with many nutritional benefits and is also very tasty. I hope you all get a chance to try this. There are many alternative foods that you can substitute if you're not able to eat sweet potatoes or are vegan! You could use butternut squash and/or zucchini as an alternative to the sweet potato and firm tofu for the chicken. All just as delicious and something I just may have to make tomorrow!

Thank you all for to tend to the chicken drumsticks I currently have simmering in the crock pot...


Love and Wellness to all

Patti xox

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Esto no es un adios; sino hasta luego! Translated to English: This is not goodbye, but see you later...

While I am excited to get back to my comfortable bed, little old car and the normal life I live at home; I am also muy triste about leaving such a wonderful place. I have experienced so much in the last six weeks that I feel as if I am a part of this beautiful culture. The people treat me as if I am as well - and they are such beautiful people inside and out. I just cannot get over the things I see every day, and what is even more mind boggling is that this is the "normal" day for them! 

This morning I woke up and just laid in bed for twenty minutes looking out of the window at the city that was eye level with the bottom pane. The sun was shining through the sheer curtains and it made the room glow like a soft touched photo. I struggle to get out of bed; the warm beams of sun laying across my body is so comforting I feel like I could stay in bed all day. I finally get up and shuffle to the coffee pot and make some coffee. I get ready and meet my team outside of the hotel to head to work. While we are walking, there are construction workers on our left that are re-doing the sidewalks to expand them; which will accommodate a city this large with so much foot traffic. - You would think that seeing construction workers is a normal every day expectation; but it's not how it is in the USA. What I am seeing are men very hard at work, so dedicated and such quality going into what they are doing. There is almost an assembly line happening. They have the area blocked off with fluorescent orange netting held up by steel poles, and the only way for the workers to get in is by walking all the way around to the other side. There are two men inside the area with flat metal tools that I can only describe as looking like a pie serving knife. There are three other men on the outside of this net that are mixing the cement by hand. Yes, by hand...they have a mini cement mixer, which has a wheel on the other side that looks like a steering wheel and they crank it by hand. There are two other men that use wheel barrels to wheel back and forth the cement mixture to the men inside the netting using the pie servers. Each man will dump the mixture and the other ones will work quickly to smooth out the area that was just dumped. This repeats and repeats, and all I do is stare in awe. True hard labor.

We arrive at the office and I go through my normal routine of saying hello to all the agents that are already there and setting up my mobile office for the day. As I am sipping on my coffee and reviewing the cases from the night before, an agent comes to me and asks if I enjoyed my time in Mexico. I literally grinned from ear to ear and tears started to well in my eyes. I answered and told her that yes, I have enjoyed my time, and reason being because of people like her. She vows that the next time I come - because there just has to be a next time, she is going to take me to get the most amazing hot chocolate and churro I've ever had. I am definitely looking forward to that :) Lunch time arrives and generally the Hartford team and I go out together, but let me tell you that if I had to look at the inside of another McDonald's someone was going to get a french fry to the nostril! So three of the agents invited myself and whom I will call Uncle Sam out to a local place to eat. We ended up at this small taco stand about a block from the office. The last trip I was on in Mexico City, I walked by this little quaint stand every day. It smelled divine every time, but said I would NEVER eat there. Well, well, well...look where I ended up! So as we approach you can smell the meat cooking; the aroma that spills over the glass counter fills your entire nose. It's mixed with the sweet stinging smell of chopped raw onions, ripened tomatoes and fresh cut parsley. The cook is standing behind this glass counter patting down what look like mini pitas; but it's made from corn. The little puffed taco shells are then cut in half and the mix of skillet fried pork and the onion, tomato, parsley mixture is stuffed in. They are served on this pink plastic plate. The agents advise Uncle Sam and I that we need to put on the verde sauce that was sitting in front of me. Although very wary, I put it on. I take a bite: SO DELICIOUS. It has to be at the top of the best foods I have ever eaten. This is the culture, this is what they wanted us to experience all along. This is them. We all huddle in the little taco stand, some of us standing at the mini metal bar, some sitting on the large red, plastic stool all enjoying the gordita carnitas.  I couldn't get over how much flavor these had to them; the best part of it all? It was about twelve pesos for two of these...that is about $1.20. Quality food for less than you could imagine...why? Because they believe in preserving their culture. I had only wished that I was brave enough to try these before.

We head back to the office, ride out the rest of day - and then it's time to say goodbye. I received many many many hugs and kisses and "Can you just stay another week," "We are going to kidnap you," and other little things that wear just so endearing. Two agents drew me pictures to hang at my desk at home and another gave me an apple covered with chili and tamarind. I felt like a teacher on the last day of school. So appreciated. It was very difficult for me to say see you later, to these agents. They are incredibly receptive, and so willing to learn. They want to learn, and it makes me want to teach. As I am going around, saying bye, I can't help but start to get teary eyed. I have grown to love some of these people and I don't know if or when I will see them again. I start to get really sad and my body feels so heavy. I find it hard to walk. Uncle Sam - who has been such a savior on this trip understands exactly how I feel and tries to cheer me up. We start to walk out of the call center, and one of the agents calls out my name. I turn and they are all standing giving me the peace sign and hand hearts. I almost lost it!

Intent on making the most out of my last night in Mexico, I really absorb what is going on around me. We walk out of the large building that houses our office, and standing at the door is a man with a machine gun, cocked and ready to use. I make it a point to walk out of the other door, just to look directly in front of me and see another armed security guard. This is not something you see everyday; at least not in the USA. Whenever it comes to money in this country, you know you will see at least three men staring you down with machine guns in hand, old in style, but very much efficient. You can tell just by looking at them that they have been used. I literally shudder at the thought. We turn the corner near the magazine stand and I get that sad empty feeling again, like I am leaving something precious behind. I am. Such mixed emotions as we continue forward. We head to Cafe Tecuba for our last dinner in Mexico before heading home. I ordered de caldo de pollo con arroz - which is chicken broth with rice and I added some freshly squeezed lime juice and a teaspoon of chipotle sauce.

We set out taking a different path to the hotel. We have driven this path in the tour bus, but on foot it is a completely different experience. We walk by the IngenierĂ­a de Edificio. This is one of the first Engineering schools built in Mexico. The building is gigantic and the architecture is absolutely breathtaking. There is a steel structure on the opposite side of the road of a man riding a horse. It's beautiful! There is a building that is just off slightly to the right. This building is so unique. There is a noticeable crack right in the middle of it and you can see that the side of the building is detaching from the other building it is connected to. What a lot of people don't know is that Mexico City was built in a valley on top of a lake. It is literally sinking. And you can see it in these old buildings - which give this city so much character.  Instead of walking forward, we decide to cut through traffic and walk down an alley that I would never give a second glance if it were two hours later. Walking through you see tables and tables of books. There are new books and old books and very very old books. If any of it were in English, the group would have been hard pressed to pull me out of there. It was just so amazing. The smell of the leather bindings and old paper reminded me of my Nana. I could have stayed there.  We end up on the infamous Madero pedestrian road and Uncle Sam and I wonder into one of the Cathedrals. There aren't any words that I can say to describe the beauty. We walk inside and I shiver. Every single hair on my body stands up. There is silence except for the faint ceremonious mass going on in the room in front of us. We take a step up into the room and it's just awe inspiring. The alter where the priest is sitting is made up of all brass; every detail. The stained glass on the windows is so incredibly beautiful, and the carved statues look so realistic. The feeling I have standing inside in indescribable.

We head back down the road toward the hotel. The light turns red for the pedestrians and is still red for the automobile traffic. We decide to make a run for it! We cross the main road and Uncle Sam and I talk and walk. We get closer to the hotel and those construction men are still so hard at work. They have accomplished so much in the short time that we were gone. I can only imagine how this sidewalk is going to look once it's finished. Uncle Sam stops to get his shoes shined on the side of the street and the rest of us continue on for one sweet indulgent goody before we close in for the night. Again, we walk and can smell the fried dough of the decadent churro. I order one for me and one for my buddy. I take a bite; the outside is sweet from the sugar and crispy from being fried, while the inside is so chewy and warm from the leche. The combination makes your taste buds dance and it just makes you happy.

Getting off each floor at the hotel, we all say our goodbyes. It's a bittersweet time - Uncle Sam has a special place in my heart just like the agents here. I will miss them both so dearly. Esto no es un adios; sino hasta luego.


Love and Wellness to all

Patti xox

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Market

In a city with a population of twenty-two million people, you think that you would feel very small, very insignificant; but walking around Mexico City, you feel just the opposite. There are people pulling at you from all directions trying to get YOUR attention. From street performers and vendors to little children holding out empty pink plastic cups begging for pesos - they are all looking to you to pay attention to them. There is something new around every corner you turn, and it captivates every being in your body. I want to take you on another little journey, and my hope is that you can experience through my words what I see and physically feel.

There are five of us down here from my office that are  helping out our partners here in Mexico.We went into the office today for a few hours to make sure operations are running smoothly for a hot summer Saturday. The five of us gather in a small circle and discuss what has been our plan from the beginning of the week, and that was to go to Coyoacon. Coyoacon is a market within Mexico City that is equivalent to any large Flea market in the United States, except this one runs all year. Then someone breaks the news to us that the scheduled transportation is no longer available due to mechanical issues. I have to admit that I was briefly disappointed because I had been so excited to go and experience this all over again. However, this was not going to stop us from enjoying such a gorgeous day. So we set back out to the hotel and once we arrive, agree to meet in the lobby in one half hour. 

We decide to walk across the street to the park which is directly in front of our hotel. Every day families come in and set up shop for a few hours to sell what they've made or bought themselves. As we approach, the park looks like it just unfolds before our eyes, almost like a magic scarf a magician uses to pull out of his bottomless hat. It's filled with so many people and street vendors and I am reveling in the culture. I walk along the tables and there is just so much to take in that I find my eyes bouncing back and forth between the shiny beaded necklaces and knitted bags. I walk on marveling in the beauty that each family has to offer. Then we stop at this one table. It's laden in leather wallets and coin purses. The air is filled with the smell of genuine leather and it takes me down memory lane. I pick up this adorable little coin purse that is made of three different color leathers; brown, dark brown and black and it has a band around it so colorful it looks mosaic. I ask how much it is, and the gentleman tells me it's "diez pesos." Which is equivalent to about eighty-five cents.You know that I now own that little beauty! We walk on an fall upon this table just dazzled with shiny jewelry. There are silver bracelets with colorful rocks set on top, beaded necklaces that have details so intricate, you wonder how long it must have taken to make. My eyes are then drawn to these uniquely colored stone bracelets; the stone is shiny, but has a deep color - almost black, but not Onyx. They are so beautiful that one of the guys I am with purchases three of them for his daughter. 

We walk and walk "window" shopping at every table there is to offer. There isn't enough time in a day to stop and really appreciate all the merchandise and things happening around; but we try as hard as we can to soak it all up. We walk our way around the perimeter of the park and then tackle the middle. As we are walking, we can hear salsa music blaring not so distant from us. When we approach the area, there are couples dancing to the rhythm. Everyone moves in fluid motion with one another. It's as if they've practiced these moves day in and out. Hundreds of people are gathered around watching in complete happiness and basking in the serenity that the dance radiates towards them. I stop and admire these brave individuals. 

Walking on, all three of us cannot help but stare at this one booth. It's covered in different sized bags, headbands and jewelry all covered with cultural print. We step closer and sitting behind all of this are two young girls - seemingly quite accomplished entrepreneurs for their age ;) The older girl, who couldn't be older than twelve or thirteen was able to communicate with us; her English being very little and our Spanish vocabulary even more lacking. She helped one of my co-workers pick out four beautifully crafted bags for his granddaughters. So impressed by their dedication (and admittedly cuteness), we all purchased merchandise from these lovely little ladies. I am excited to sport my new purple, black and white back-pack! While we are making our final purchases, stomach somersaults are at their peak - we are all starving. Diagonal from this booth, there is a stand that is cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, across from them, there is guy frying bananas and freshly cut potatoes. We don't give in....just yet. 

We decide to walk the back area of the market and discover more dancing. There is a different flow of music sounding in the air and more people are lined along the wall sitting and enjoying the glow of the afternoon sun and the joy of the people around them. I am completely enthralled with what is going on about five feet up; there are gentlemen playing chess and drinking coke on the side of the street. The seemingly silent camaraderie that these individuals share with one another is so precious it makes me feel proud that I get to witness this. It's beautiful.

I want to stand there and watch them play, but the hollow feeling inside of my stomach is enough to keep me moving. We stumble through a very crowded area in the back with merchandise much different from that of what we have been rummaging through all day. Lined in almost perfect order on blankets spread out on the ground are original Nintendo and it's games, individual action figures, not wrapped and other items that looked as if they could be collectors items. It was action figure, super-hero glory! Making sure we didn't leave any path uncovered, we started to make our way back. We stopped at the most American restaurant there is: Chili's and finally fed our hungry stomachs - where the other two joined us. 

The five of us headed down Avendio Juarez toward the Zocalo (where the President's Palace resides). There are literally thousands of people walking to and from their own destinations. We are hoping to visit more market places; which, to no surprise were already packed up for the evening. However, that did not damper the mood in the least. On our way we saw some pretty exciting characters. There was Woody and Buzz Lightyear hanging out on the corner of Modero and another adjacent street; children huddled around hoping to get a picture with them. On another street there was a life size dancing Elmo with Cat in the Hat. I couldn't help but laugh! Up on the stairs to the right of me was Predator (shamefully, I took a picture for my boyfriend), and with him some other character that was so elaborately put together. I am just so impressed with the effort put into these costumes, and the excitement these people have to perform.

The day is turning to night and I happen to look up and witness one of the most beautiful skies I have seen in a long time. The mix of the uniquely shaped storm clouds and the sun setting created this picturesque scene. I stopped to take a picture. The sun reflection off of the tall building is so perfect.

Last stop before we rest our heads for the night is this little quaint churro stand a block down from our hotel. I have never had a churro before; something everyone tells me I need to try. As we get closer, the smell is so intoxicating it makes me take another breath. There is a line for this little churro stand, and I can't understand why. Until I get my churro. It's called "Churro Rellanos" meaning a filled churro. Mine was filled with this decadent melted chocolate and covered in cinnamon and sugar. (So not healthy, but completely worth it). This was honestly the perfect ending for such an incredible day. You don't have to go somewhere special to experience something special. 

Thank you for reading :)


Love and wellness to all!

Patti xox

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Not Your Ordinary Post :)

Flying over Mexico City in the middle of the night is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. With its vast array of illuminated lights radiating into the night sky, it reminds me of a childhood fascination with Lite-Brite. There is something so mysterious about the incredible depth of the black sky at night and the twinkling fire balls so seemingly put in perfect places. It swallows me whole, and for a moment I forget that I am flying. The thud of the tires hitting the pavement as we land on the runway is enough to jolt me back to reality. I walk in to the airport groggy from the six hour plane ride, with other passengers zooming by me and I feel like I am in a whirlwind; it's a race to get through customs, and I finally make it through. 

Greeted at the airport by a familiar face; I screech. "Hola, Nacho!!! Buenos noches!!"  and he gives me a quick, strong hug. The expression on his face makes me believe he is as equally surprised to see me again as I am that he remembers me.  The ride to the hotel is full of welcomed silence. I sit in the back of the van and once again, am fascinated by the world my eyes see around me. Mexico City is like a tiny world in itself. When you are here, everything about it captivates you; the sights, the smell, the sounds. We arrive at the hotel and I go up to my room on the 18th floor at the Hilton Reforma. I settle in and the first thing I notice is the size of the window. I get a panoramic view of the city from the large window that spreads from wall to wall. The view is just spectacular. I feel like I am on one hundred foot stilts, just more stable! I lay on the bed, in the cool air and stare out the window through the sheer curtains letting the city lights twinkle and dance among themselves as I drift off to sleep. 

I wake the next morning, open the curtains to let the sunlight fill my room with a beautiful glow and get ready for work. I meet up with a few of my co-workers and we set out on foot towards the office. What an experience this is. The scent of fresh coffee and warm baked Mexican pastries fill the air along the sidewalks we are walking. There is much hustle and bustle of the people around us also on their way to make a peso. Cars and buses are honking, people are walking fast going past one another, but all the while smiling and saying hello. We cross the large intersection and start on Madero. Madero is a long road only built for pedestrian traffic. As we walk on, all the businesses lined up next to one another are just opening for business. You see them with the gate rolled half way, soapy water spilling out onto the side walk as they clean their stores and again, that incredible aroma of freshly made food. I could possibly consider trying the meat on a stick that even the locals advise to steer clear of. Street vendors are firing up their make-shift stoves and start cooking away. Breakfast is one of the largest meals here in Mexico. so it's no surprise when I see tamales being made at eight o' clock in the morning. They smell divine - I inhale deeply and take in the smells that are so unfamiliar to me. What a strange sensation this gives me. There is so much contained excitement, nervousness, and awe that surge through my body all at once. 

On our way back to the hotel from work, it feels like I am experiencing the city all over again in a new light. New characters come out from all walks of life and it's hard not to appreciate whatever it is they are doing. People gather around street performers and encourage them, clapping and chanting. On one side of me there is a man dressed as robo-cop moving his limbs like he is an actual robot. To the right of me, there is another man standing on a stool covered in silver paint an wearing a mask that looks like a skeleton; which is also painted silver. I witness him take a boy's hat off in a playful manner and hand it back to him by holding it against the boy's chest. He then grabs the boy's hair and they pose for a picture. He looks like a statue, and I just have to giggle. In the background there is a steady techno beat seeping from the bar three stories up and I fall into the moment and do a small wiggle to the beat as I walk.

As we continue walking and the music fades, you can't help but notice the large divide in the socioeconomic status of the people around you. On the stairs just a few feet ahead, there is a homeless woman cradling her child, holding an empty cup hoping someone will be kind enough to spare some money. I walk over and drop in some pesos. I walk on holding back tears and I feel for her. I look back and stare at the woman as more people just walk past her like she doesn't exist and it makes my heart ache. I want to run back and give her and her child what they need. It truly makes me appreciate every single thing that I have. We take for granted the every day luxuries that we so casually enjoy and complain about when we don't have them.

Closer to the hotel, the sidewalk widens and off to the side roller skaters have set up mini obstacles. They glide in and out of the made up course like they are Olympian ice skaters. They can move with such precision and it makes me wonder how they make this look so easy. Immediately I am distracted by the giant half Colosseum across the street. I turn my attention to it and just gawk. The architecture of this place is breath taking! I stop and take a picture and vow to myself that this time, I really am going to make that scrap book. Up in the distance is the faint drum of a jackhammer gutting up the damaged concrete sidewalk. We walk past them, so hard at work, all the while we are heading back to the hotel. I ponder for a brief moment if they have a warm bed to sleep in. 

I come back up to my hotel room, kick off my shoes, change into comfortable clothes and lie down on the bed. Once again, I am basking in the cool air and staring out the window watching the lights beam back at me. Off in the distance you can see the mountains that surround this beautiful city. Tonight is different. My view on the city is unchanged from the last visit, but my heart is forever changed. 


Love and Wellness to all!

Patti xox


Sunday, July 8, 2012

When you're feeling blue...

"When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do, is take a look at you....then I'm not so blue."

And I love this little excerpt from Phil Collins' song; because it is so true for many people. There doesn't always have to be someone you have known your entire life - it could be someone that you just met; that can  literally take you out of "blue" place. This was so true for me today; so I wanted to write about it. 

I don't have much self confidence in terms of how pretty I think I am, or how fat, too short,  but I know that I am a hard and dedicated worker. Whatever it is I am doing, I try to do my absolute best at it. So lately I have been feeling as though I am failing at that and it's making me feel extremely inferior to those around me. There was a particular incident that happened today that I will not completely disclose here, but this is a brief synopsis of what happened. One of the gentlemen I work with has the idea that he knows best and whatever solution he chooses is the right one because he is in the position he is in and I am below him - which seems to be an unforgiving pattern I fall in. There was this problem that was called into me today and I spoke with the person who called it in multiple times ensuring that the problem was being handled and protocol was followed. About an hour after the first phone call; I received another call from my "boss." (He is not really my boss, but being in the hierarchy of the corporate world, he feels he can tell me what to do). The reason for his call was to have me call someone else to find out who was working in the office today as the supervisor because he needed to discuss a few things. One of those things was regarding the issue that I was already handling with the other person. Because he did not feel the choices I made were sufficient, instead of asking me why and telling me directly how he felt this should have been handled, he went around me to "fix" the issue the way he felt it should have been done. Talk about making me feel like I am an idiot and don't know how to solve problems. I felt like I was a 10-year-old all over again. It's like saying; "I think you screwed up, but you are too dumb for me to explain to you that you screwed up, so I am going to tell an adult." In reality, he screwed up! Because he decided to go through hoops and not follow the proper process, duplicate issues were created, more money was spent than necessary and the route that he chose caused a delay in service. And this is just one of the many things he does that gets me feeling blue. It is everyday; asking me to do things that he should be able to do, but feels above having to do it; so it adds to my daily workload. 

Today it made me feel terrible and I think it dug deeper in my gut because I know that he was saying how terrible he thinks the team is, and that I "suck" and he can't depend on anyone but himself. It's so hurtful to feel like you let someone down or that someone who you think respects you does not; you are just beneath them: an ant that can be squashed with the slightest pressure. 

And then...there is that person that really knows how to brighten your day. Like I said in the beginning, it could be a life long friend, or it could be someone that you just met. This just happens to be a person I met about six weeks ago and I confided in this person today after the incident happened - as I wanted another point of view on how the situation could have been handled. And this person gave me some sage advice. I cannot recall every detail, but I do remember them saying that the one thing that they admired about me was the respect that I had for everyone around me and the care that I put into the work and helping the individuals understand what they are doing instead of reprimanding them for making a mistake. This was HUGE to me. Huge. It really helped me feel a bit less blue about disappointing someone who doesn't respect me. 

This blog isn't about losing weight or giving you a healthy recipe; I wanted to share with you  another point of view that has an affect on living a healthy and productive lifestyle and that is balancing your feelings of self worth - there are people in the world that do respect you. Feeling respected is essential to having a positive self image. When you feel like there is someone who doesn't respect who you are or what you do, especially in an environment that you are in every day, it chips away at that self worth you have built up over the years. So it's important to let those types of people dwell on themselves and seek out and surround yourself with the positive values of those who do appreciate you and what you do. And although this is not the obvious permanent solution, having someone there who tells you that they care, you are intelligent and a hard worker can help you feel a little bit more pink and less blue. And there's always a blog :)

Thanks for listening! You all help me feel more validated.


Love and Wellness to all,

Patti xox

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

No es lo que piensas! (It's not what you think)!

Hola mis amigos! Como estas? Yo soy bien!

It has been a little over a week since I have been in Mexico City for work and what an experience it has been so far. Upon the many challenges of being here, there are just as many incredible triumphs. I had so many reservations about making such a long trip and being away from the confines of my comfortable every day life; that I didn't look at the bigger picture and  realize what an amazing experience this truly is.

One of the biggest challenges of being in a foreign country is the language barrier; I do have to give a big "thank you" to my sixth grade Spanish teacher as the basics have helped more than I realized they ever would! I am mistaken a lot down here for knowing the language - must be the dark hair and eyes; the agents in my office that I am just meeting for the first time as well as everyone else I try to communicate with automatically start speaking Spanish to me. It's quite amusing :) So, even though knowing the basics have helped, it is very difficult trying to read and speak the native tongue - although I am able to order an Espresso Americano from Starbucks, haha. This morning I ordered juevos con jamon sin queso y jugo de naranja all on my own; eggs with ham, no cheese and orange juice (which was not on the menu; I had to piece it together from what I am learning and compensate the words I don't know with hand gestures; I am still laughing because I was imitating whisking eggs in the air to the waitress for her to understand "scrambled eggs." At least she laughed too). For me, it has been important to really embrace the culture because it is makes it easier to navigate and feel more comfortable being so far away from home.

My second challenge? That would be eating what I think is "normal." The first day we got here, we went to this cute, little authentic Mexican restaurant. I ordered what my co-worker ordered as he has been down here before and knows what is good and what isn't. The food seemed pretty ordinary for what Americans typically classify as authentic Mexican food, so I wasn't hesitant to eat it. We got back to the hotel and I felt fine. The next morning on our way into work, we stopped and I grabbed a coffee. I have cut my coffee habit dramatically in the states, but being in Mexico, and not knowing what is safe to explore, I chose to stick with what I thought I knew. No es lo que piensas! I drank about three sips until I realized that it tasted like they reused the coffee grinds about nine times before they brewed this coffee, AND it was non-filtered water. First mistake. Later that morning, a few co-workers and I stepped out and went to this amazing little fruit stand that makes fresh fruit juice cocktails and cut up mixed fruit. This time I decided on cut up strawberries and mangoes. Muy delicioso!! It's fruit...a common food among many cultures, so I convinced myself it was fine. And it was...that day. Because I am a creature of habit, the next day, I coerced my colleagues into getting fruit for lunch as I was in no hurry to dive right into the unknown culinary world of Mexico City. We strolled our way up the city street to the fruit stand and I got the same thing, only later in the day. In this culture, refrigeration is more of a commodity than a necessity - and my body is not used to such. Mayonnaise is not even refrigerated! So, it was mid afternoon by the time we went and it didn't even dawn on me that this cut up fruit had been sitting out since 7am in the morning. As the day progressed, my stomach grew increasingly upset and it felt like someone was repeatedly stabbing my intestinal tract with knives. (Sorry for the graphics). I was completely under the weather for 2 days. I felt like I had the flu and only drank water and ate saltines! My stomach has not been right since. You have to be mindful of the way things are prepared no matter where you are. You cannot assume that because you eat or drink a particular food at home, means that you can where ever you go. Things are prepared and grown differently in other cultures from your own. The positive thing about this, is that I was thinking proactively and brought some probiotics down here with me :) - I will definitely be more prepared for the next trip I take out of the country. Here's a tip: if a co-worker advises you to go see the doctor downstairs because you are not feeling well....don't do it. They will offer you a shot for any ailment you see them for. Be prepared.

My third, but not last challenge thus far? Greeting people. Every day you walk in the office here, they all hug and kiss you, some kiss on the cheek, some kiss on the lips. I was mortified. Plain and simply mortified. WHY ARE YOU KISSING MY LIPS?! I do not know you!!! It is their way of saying hello and goodbye every day. This is completely uncomfortable for me and have not gotten used to it. However, I have identified the people who like to kiss on the lips and I politely turn my cheek when saying hello. It may make me feel bad, but I would rather feel bad than be kissed on the lips! Talk about culture shock!

I have another nine days here, and going to make the best of it. Although these challenges have presented themselves, I have found ways to cope with them and turn them into a learning experience. It is just another way to help me grow. Mexico City is a beautiful place. And although I was sent here for work, I am privileged to have been given this opportunity to come and work here for a few weeks.

Aside from the challenges of eating, speaking and saying hello, I must say that this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The architecture here is unlike anything I have seen. The buildings are so large, and original stuctures have been here since the 1700's. I mean, c' HAVE to be able to appreciate such architecture. The cathedral has been my favorite place to visit, and across the "street" there is what is left of the pyramid that they built the Cathedral from. This Cathedral is the largest in Mexico and the third largest in the entire world. When I walked inside, I literally stopped and gasped. I was in such awe. I also visted the House of Tiles...which survived the earthquake of 1985 - when you walk inside, everything leans slightly to the left - the entire place is made of tiles. Explaining this in writing does not do it any justice; but I just am so lucky to see this. If I were to write about everything, this blog would be too long! So I will write again before I leave this place :)

OH! One more thing I want to share with you amazing co-workers took us to this market called Coyacon, where they sell everything from flowers to whole dead chickens. And when I say everything, I am talking everything...right down to grass hoppers! We have this running joke between us down here that I speak the culture, but Jeremy lives the culture. Well, let me tell you how much I lived the culture at this market. I ate a dried grasshopper! It was lime and chili flavored. The best way to describe it? It was like eating the earth - which, in some way, makes it more enjoyable. Will I do it again? Absolutely not. But the people around me really appreciated the fact that I didn't shun their every day culture.

If there is one thing that I have learned, while I am here is: No es lo que piensas!!! Everything is not what it seems. While being careful and making mindful choices, also live up the experience that has been given to you.


El amor y el bienestar a todos los,

Patti xox

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stress Eating or Not?

Before I get started; just want to sincerely apologize for not blogging the past few weeks. Although things have been crazy and stressful, there isn't any reason that I cannot blog. The positive note is that it gave be the inspiration to write this one ;o)

So I know I use my office as an example for just about every blog, but I am there for most of my day. I am sitting there every day and it never fails I hear someone saying: "I am so stressed out, can someone PLEASE get me some CHOCOLATE." Or "I can't take it anymore, let's order some fried food." There is also the opposite such as myself, that turn away food when they are stressed, and just skip it altogether. Neither is a good choice and you are doing more harm to your body than you know.

The past few weeks have been extremely stressful between both jobs and home. I have found myself feeling very fatigued, easily agitated, and not hungry. You might be thinking that I am lucky that I don't "stress eat," but I'm not. Not at all. See I skip meals when I am feeling stressed and then when I am feeling better, I eat. Not only does it slow my metabolism, but it is also slowing my digestion process making me feel incredibly bloated and uncomfortable when I do decide to eat. I am thinking about how I am feeling right now...and I am miserable. I didn't each much all day because of the amount of stress my body felt like it was under. Everytime I felt a hunger pang and wanted to eat, I would immediately become nauseated and decide I couldn't eat. Thinking back on the day, and feeling as bloated and cranky as I do, I am wishing I could have pulled myself out of this slump. In the end, if I ever want to truly be healthy and be at a healthy weight, I need to ensure that I am doing whatever I can to make my body happy.

Whether it is stress eating or not eating when you are stressed, you need to find some way to ease your mind and body. If you are over eating, it's time to take a step back and ask yourself if you are truly hungry or if you're just trying to comfort yourself. Instead of reaching for the fried, greasy or sugary substances; try going for a quick walk. Take five minutes away and call your twin :) Or if you don't have a twin (as I usually assume everyone does), drink some water. Do anything that will take your mind off of food. This will be in the moment, but just say no. You're body will surely thank you for it. Now if you are on the opposite end of the spectrum, and you don't eat when you are stressed, you have to remember that you need to eat. Eat something small and something that will energize you, not bloat you and that you know agrees with your body. For me, I try to eat something like a handful of almonds, maybe a granola bar or a protein shake. It gives me the nutritional sustinance my body needs while also satisfying my hunger pangs without making me feel like I just ate a Thanksgiving meal.

Like I said, it's definitely in the moment. You have to stop and think; yes I need to eat something or no, I am not going to reach for that chocolate cookie. Today I did not stop and think in the moment which is why I am now writing this blog. I did not give myself time to react in the stressful environment and I made the wrong decision. And when I left work, I allowed myself to eat - and I ate what didn't agree with me. There isn't any way for me to undo what I did to myself today, but knowing what decisions I made today, I can look back tomorrow and make sure that I am making the decisions that I know my body will be thankful for. I have prepared my food for tomorrow so that I cannot come up with any excuses not to eat or not eating the right thing.

If there is anything that you can take away from this short post it is to make sure that you are thinking about your body first. If you are stressed and you can take the time to really notice what is going on - that you are not eating or you are eating too much - stop, take a breath and just think about what you are doing. Stress can take a big toll on your mind, body and spirit. You need to make yourself a priority and do whatever YOU can to make your body at ease.


Love and Wellness to all

Patti xox

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus

I would be lying if I said that I have always liked asparagus. In fact, I DESPISED it. I never gave that green stalky vegetable a chance. That is until recently.... I bought fresh asparagus about 7 months ago and fell in love. I figured I would share with you a recipe that I put together for a quick, healthy and delicious meal. 

I call it:

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus

What you need:

  • 1 lb of thin asparagus
  • 3 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 cup water 
  • butter spray (optional)
  • salt and pepper

What to do:

In a frying pan, add the minced garlic. Wash the asparagus thoroughly and cut off about an inch from the bottom. That part tends to be very chewy and stringy... Add the asparagus to the pan. Turn on to a medium heat and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Once the garlic starts to bubble, add the water. Sprinkle on the garlic powder and then spray about 10-15 pumps of butter spray. Add the parmesan cheese and mix until all of the asparagus is coated. Add more or less seasoning and parmesan to taste as well as the salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let simmer for another 5 minutes. The asparagus will be hot and still have a light "crunch." You can cook longer if you prefer your vegetables to not have a crunch to them.

I like to pair this with garlic tilapia or swordfish and wasabi.

I hope you will try this recipe and like it!


Love and Health to all


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

But I want it!

Do you have a favorite food? I know you do, because I do. That favorite food of yours, is it bad for you? Or a better question: do you know if it's bad for you? It could be a food that by normal standards is considered good for the general population, but it could be doing damage to your body if you're not aware that you shouldn't be eating it.

I have many favorite foods...from potatoes to asparagus to coffee (Okay, coffee is not a food), but one of my all time favorite food groups is dairy (and coffee). I know...dairy, it's weird. I DO NOT DRINK MILK. That is gross. But I do love cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream and cheese. I could eat cottage cheese until it's coming out of my ears, haha. And poached eggs...oh my goodness, how I love poached eggs on a plain English muffin with a cup of coffee and an orange. For years I have been eating these things and for years my stomach has been rebelling on me. I didn't know it was rebelling, I thought it was just the natural progression of digestion, but it wasn't. Whenever I eat these foods I feel bloated, I get indigestion and sometimes even get a headache. I never paid any attention to these symptoms and just brushed it off, until one day I ended up with an ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux disease. This was from years of eating food that I thought was healthy. I was ignoring the other signs that it actually wasn't healthy for MY body because I loved the taste of them; and I was informed that they were good for me to eat. This is when you have to ask yourself if your favorite food is bad for you, even if it's "good" for you. 

It's not easy giving up your favorite foods, I still struggle with it all the time! I love coffee...some would even say that I am addicted to it. I used to drink two pots of coffee a day. Yes, two pots. I am not in any way exaggerating when I tell you this. I love the taste, the smell, the emotional connection I feel when I drink it, but it's one of those things in my life that is "bad" for me. And it's not bad in a way that you might be thinking. I drink it black - it is bad in the way that it gives me terrible reflux whenever I drink it; yet it is the toughest thing for me to give up. So I have to ask myself if it is worth it. Is it worth the discomfort it gives me after I drink it? Is it worth the internal damage it does to my esophagus? No. There is always an alternative. And you might think you're depriving yourself of the amazing sensation this particular food gives to you, but you need to also think about the deprivation you are putting your body through.When you are consuming something that your body cannot process, you are putting unnecessary stress on your organs and over all well being. 

You might ask then -"Well how do I know if the food I am eating is affecting me in a negative way?" I will answer that I am not sure! Only you and your doctor will know for sure. Start small. Start by logging what you are eating and how you feel after you eat or drink a particular food in a diary. Write everything down. EVERYTHING - even if it gave you diarrhea. These are important things to tell your doc or natural path when/if you decide to go. If the food you are eating is giving you indigestion or a stomach ache, it's a possibility that you may have a sensitivity to it. That is how I came to the realization that I cannot eat pasta or eggs or yogurt or drink my beloved coffee. Whenever I eat pasta, I immediately get a stomach ache that feels like spikes are shooting out from all sides of my torso. Whenever I eat eggs, they constantly repeat on me...and yogurt gives me indigestion. I have been trying for the last year or so to test different foods and see what my body will allow me to eat and what it won't. Even tonight, I am sitting here writing and I have TERRIBLE indigestion. I can't think of what I had today that would have given it to me. I ate soup for lunch from Panera Bread - the problem with eating out is that you don't truly know the ingredients, and I can almost guarantee that there was something in that soup that didn't agree with my body. It's tough, but eventually you can eat what is right for you. We can learn together. 

I can't wait for that day when I can say that I ate my favorite food and it was delicious and not: I ate my favorite food and now I am paying for it. - the excuse "But I wanted it" cannot be a phrase you settle for anymore. Remember that eating your favorite food goes more than skin deep.

Thanks for reading!


Health and Wellness to all,

Patti xox

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I took the stairs this morning

That's right, I took the stairs this morning...8 flights up. Significant? If you're claustrophobic and cannot take the elevator, yes...but this is not the meaning I am going for ;) See, I like to emanate optimism and positivity; almost two in the same and what I am talking about here is the difference it made to me by taking the stairs at work rather than the elevator. (Although, if you're a Steven Tyler fan such a myself; you might think you'll find love in an elevator).

Every day is a new opportunity to make better choices than you did the day before. This can be anything; as small as taking the stairs in the morning or as grand as helping a person in need. Making that "right" choice for you is important. Taking the stairs at work for me, was a right choice. It put me in such a great mood, and this just set off a domino effect for the rest of the day. I felt like I made a decision that was a "step" in the right direction. You can get such an adrenaline rush from making a choice that makes you happy, and this was one for me.

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Similar to the stairs at my office ;)

Since I was in such positive spirits, I felt like not only was I more productive at work, but I also had more clarity and this made me feel like I had all the answers - well...maybe not all the answers, haha. I mean, I am still blogging from my one bedroom apartment and not a three story condo sitting on a Miami water way with Manatee right at my fingertips. But the clarity I had was more than just answering questions of my co-workers, it was also answering questions from myself. Like, should I drink this protein shake instead of eating all of these gluten, processed, fatty laden girl scout cookies that every one is so proudly eating; or do I go a step beyond what I feel comfortable with and offer to take on a more challenging task than normal so others can catch a break today or just complete my own tasks at hand. You'll be happy to know that I did not give into the cookie monster that has so happily taken over my office. Although I do love to support children and their local fundraisers, I gladly gave away the ones I purchased. I was going to put a picture of cookie monster on here to show you I caught him in action, but He was just too fast. I was able to make the decision of not putting the processed junk in my body and also help out a co-worker who was feeling overwhelmed. In this instance, the choice I made this morning impacted another person in a positive way. I was happy to help, and this person was able to feel less stressed about the rest of their day. The rest of the day I made smarter choices. I ate a lot better, I was happier, I didn't feel as agitated and I stayed optimistic about the challenges that day brought on. These are very small examples of making what you think is the right choice that can promote a positive well being with you. When I am talking about making a choice of taking the stairs, I am also speaking metaphorically.

I want to share with you something that impacted me with an overwhelming sense of compassion. I hope that when you read these next few sentences that you can feel the deep emotion that has impacted the way I think tremendously. It was a few weeks ago at work - I worked in a different department in my company for about 6 months last year and became very close with one of my co-workers because of the way were able to work together -we worked side by side - and he actually respected my work and work ethic. He made me feel a lot smarter than I am. About six months ago, I was asked to join another part of my company, which I accepted, however, it meant that I would no longer be working with him or seeing one another on a regular basis. This was a lot more difficult than anticipated. Now even though I say we were close, it's not the "huggable" friendship you would imagine. Since I have been on the "other side" we are able to only occasionally say hello in passing and exchange a quick IM as we are both so incredibly busy. So a few weeks ago, I decided to stop by his desk to say hello and chat for a quick moment. I gave him a hug, we chatted for about 5 minutes and then I went back to my desk. A week passed and I didn't think anything of our brief encounter; but then he came to my desk and said: I just wanted to tell you that I really needed that hug you gave to me the other don't know how much that meant and it was so significant that I went home and told Emily about it. He went on to tell me that him and his fiance just lost someone and about other heart wrenching things - The hug that I gave him to say hello really moved him and uplifted his spirits that much because of the tumultuous time he had been having at home; this really moved me. It moved me to tears. Something that I did helped another human being without even questioning my motives. He was so thankful and just couldn't believe out of all the days, I chose that day to come and say hello.

A small or grand gesture that lends a positive light is always good for the soul. It's amazing what one choice that makes you happy can do for others and for yourself. When you are walking by someone, smile. You never know if they are moments away from hurting themselves. When you are walking through a door, hold it for the person behind you. You don't know how many doors have been shut in thier lives. When you see someone crying, don't just brush it off like they are looking for attention, hand them a tissue and smile. Just this simple gesture can let them know they are not alone. If someone is speeding behind you, let them go and just think - it could be someone they are trying to get to. So the next time life offers you to take the stairs or ride the elevator, make the better choice, for you - and for me.

I took the stairs this morning and will take them again tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. What about you?


Love and Wellness to all

Patti xox