Eating Out… A favorite pastime of many people we meet. Today we visited a restaurant that I had never frequented before, Zoe’s Kitchen. When I walked in I noticed the cute atmosphere. It was cozy, yet modern and sleek. Now know that most restaurants that I visit, I look through the menu and think, “Well my choices are so limited. I can have either this salad or that salad, but that’s it.” While I was looking over the menu I was pleasantly surprised at the number of choices I was debating. I looked at the kabobs, chicken or shrimp, both looking divine, and also over the chicken platter which included beans and roasted vegetables. After much debating in my head I went with the chicken platter. When it arrived at the table I was very happy with the portion size. Most restaurants include about twelve ounces of meat and my chicken was the perfect size! It was grilled and was seasoned with scrumptous spices. Like I have said before spices can absolutely make or break a dish, but this was delicious. My one complaint is that the vegetables that came with the meal were cooked in oil and I felt the oil was a little much. My mother ordered a greek salad and I believe I will substitute the salad for the veggies next time. One thing about the salad, all of their greek salads are served with no dressing. The greek dressing, made mostly of oil and vinegar, is served in a bottle on the table. This made me happy because there is nothing worse than ordering a salad and not being able to consume it because it is drowned in dressing. Anyway, overall I am very happy with Zoe’s Kitchen and would absolutely recommend it to people wanting to eat out and eat healthy. It is always important when eating out to remember your guidelines and to eat accordingly. I love that 30 Days to FIt has taught me how to eat and therefore I know what I want to eat. Many diets I have been on require you to eat weird combinations and portions of obscure foods and they make it virtually impossible to eat out. It is like the saying “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”. The same applies. Learn how to eat so you can know what to eat in any situation. Enjoy the food you eat, but be sure to eat to live not live to eat.
The phrase “Never give up!” has truly become a cliché’ in today’s society. I have found that this three word phrase has become so monumental in my life that I don’t know what I would do without it. Everyday when life happens, we are faced with a choice: Do I give up or do I follow through even though I might fall on my face. You know, if we never failed we would also never succeed. If we do not take risks in life, then we will never have the rewards that we so desperately work for. Just like everyone else, there are days that I become frustrated. Whether I do not make my goal for a given sales month, or I have someone tell me that I am not going anywhere, I am faced with the choice to give up and walk away or move forward even though, in theory, I could fail. So many times we live life with the mentality of what if I fail. When we have this mentality we fail to ask the question, “What if I succeed?” Do not dwell on the possibility of failure, dream big and see what your future can hold. I take everyday with the mentality of what can I do today to further my future? And anytime that I feel discouraged I call friends and they are always there to pull me up. Find someone who you know can be an encouragement to you today. Call them up and say, “Hey I might be crazy, but I am frustrated” and if they are any type of good friend, they will tell you it is normal to get frustrated and tomorrow is a new day. Band together with a friend and take the future by storm!
Have I ever told you how much I love food? I know that sounds silly, but it is so true. I used to be addicted to things like fat and sugar, but now I have a new appreciation for food that is not tied to sugar and other ingredients that slowly kill my body. Tonight I modified my chili recipe. First, I have been searching for a spice called merken for what seems like forever. At the beginning of my journey to health, Pam Leveritt came to my home and taught me different tricks and techniques of healthy cooking. One thing that we made was a flank steak and we seasoned it with fresh garlic and a spice called merken. Well from that day I was hooked. I looked everywhere. I went to Rainbow Blossom and asked the men working there if they had a spice called merken and they thought I was about as smart as my blonde hair color. Anyway after what seems like forever, I found merken online and bought a bottle. It came in the mail today and I started brainstorming how to use this magical spice. Ok, I may be over exaggerating but it is pretty amazing. After contemplating over chicken or turkey or beef, I decided that a good lean beef chili would be a great remedy for the chilly day we are having. I started the recipe like I always do, throwing different ingredients into a pot and turning up the heat. I threw in the meat and a couple cans of beans. This was followed by a couple cans of tomato sauce, one can of tomato paste, one jar of Pace salsa and last but certainly not least, merken. As the chili was cooking I added a touch of garlic, and basil and Italian seasoning. After only fifteen minutes or so, I got to enjoy a scrumptious chili that warmed me from the inside out. I am so excited about the merken. I like it because when you first taste it, it almost tastes like barbecue. After you savor the spice for a few seconds you feel the heat rising and it gives you a kick. I plan on making most recipes from here on out with this delectable spice. One great thing about cooking is that there are endless combinations and spices that you can play with. I like to look through the spices at the store and try something new. Everyday you can spice up your food with a new splash of flavor and you will never get bored with your food. If your kids are picky and only like the one kind of food, no problem! Make their favorite and try new spices to keep you on your toes. Throw the saying, “Don’t play with your food” right out the window. Get to the kitchen and get creative with your spices and create your personal masterpiece.
Today I realized how important it is secure free time for yourself. I find that I get lost in goals and the idea of the future. I get so excited about business being good that I forget to make sure to take care of myself. Leading up to Thanksgiving I had a blast putting on gatherings; whether it was free facials or holiday presentations we had so much fun… After eleven days of having parties every night I realized that my body was starting to fight me. I was always on the run and always slightly overwhelmed by all of the things I wanted to get done and I realized all of a sudden my eye started to twitch. It would twitch constantly! I would be driving down the road and it felt like someone was tickling my eyelid with a feather… Please imagine with me for a moment… It drove me nuts. I got used to it slightly but realized that it was stress. Our bodies are not made to be constantly on the run and when we go through weeks with no free time your body starts to remind you that you may need to slow down a bit. Over Thanksgiving I enjoyed spending time with family, but again I was constantly running. I declared Sunday to be my day off. I took Sunday to relax and to not have anything on my schedule. I sat the kitchen table playing a game with my little sister and thought to myself, “This is weird. I feel like I should be doing something right now.” We live in a society that runs on adrenaline! Find time to pamper yourself and to take a nice relaxing day off.
Tonight I have realized that I don’t know everything…go figure. My mother and I bought laminate and decided that we are going to replace our carpet with new flooring. As we are still in the process of getting started and we are learning as we go. You see, my mother is a landlord and we are never afraid to try new projects. I love to try new things. With Arbonne everyday I am staring into new territory. I am constantly meeting new people and putting on new gatherings. Every week I look for one new way to really grow my business. I am constantly looking for new people who have a passion and a drive for the future. There are truly no limits with Arbonne. I would say that the sky is the limit, but no, you choose your limits. If you have a desire to succeed and to move forward take control! Most people are in a job that in five years, you will be making the same amount of money and working the same hours. Change your future. Take a minute and contemplate the question, “What will my life look like in five years if you do exactly what you are doing now? Don’t you want to make a beautiful income, drive a beautiful car, and have a beautiful future? Start today. Make your future bright.
As we come down from the high of Thanksgiving, I am loving watching the sugar walk right out of the house. Thanksgiving has helped me realize that the temptation of sugar does not even need to be in the house. I know that if I am going to be healthy and happier, I cannot have gluten or sugar in my house. I know that I do not want the foods that make me feel bad, but I know that my old self is still inside me and when a plate of truffles are sitting out on the counter, I will eat one every time I pass by and before you know it you have eaten the whole plate! Many people have told me, “Oh my children are picky eaters and they will throw a fit if I don’t have donuts in the fridge.” You are in charge of your family. Sit down with your entire family and tell them that you want to take 30 days and change the way you eat. Tell them that you need their support. As a parent wouldn’t you love to give your children a healthy future? No, isn’t it your responsibility? Don’t let your children hurt their bodies with junk food. Help them find their favorite healthy foods. Heck, make them a protein shake! I know many people who have children three and four years old and they all have spinach protein shakes for breakfast! Isn’t that wonderful!! Temptations are different for each person and you know which food is your weakness. Make a commitment today and do not tempt yourself by having your weakness in the house. If there was a tile broken in your kitchen and it cut your foot every time you walked by, would you leave it broken? No! You would not wait. You would fix it today so you can be as safe as possible. Don’t you want to be safe with your health? Why keep a poison like sugar in your home? Decide today to take control of your future and your health and make for yourself a great future. My challenge for you today is to look through your pantry and throw away just one thing that you know is not good for you.
Yesterday I did not blog because I spent the evening spending time with family and enjoying time together. As I have said previously, every year my family has a big dessert party. This year we wanted to make it more healthy, but it was not as good as we had hoped. We made the no bake pumpkin power balls (on my recipe page) and a chocolate truffle, made without gluten or dairy. We did, however, have a usual gluten and sugar filled spread of french silk pie, cherry pie, pecan pie and so on. I am struggling today because yesterday the temptation was too much. I did give in and have one small slice of chocolate pie. When I woke up this morning, I really was regretting it. All day I had been good staying away from carbs, and watching how much I had eaten, but when I woke up I was groggy and just exhausted. I know when I eat something that I am not supposed to because I wake up and feel like my old self. Anyway, one recipe that I am going to have to save is a gluten-free, dairy free pumpkin pie recipe. You see, my sister is allergic to gluten and her children are allergic to dairy. For the dessert party we decided we had to have a pie for them. Here is what we came up with:
“Healthy” Pumpkin Pie
2 cups pumpkin purée (1 15 oz can)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (1 13 oz can)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 TB corn starch
1 TB cinnamon
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs (if vegan, use 3tsp flax seeds and 9 tsp water)
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce temp. to 350 for 45 minutes.
Both my mother and my sister said it was the best pumpkin pie they had ever tasted. I think I am going to keep this recipe on file just to have for holiday parties where I am asked to bring a dessert. Another great recipe I have to share. First, every year we take the extra turkey and make turkey enchiladas. As you may know enchiladas have a ton of cheese not to mention they are made of flour tortillas. Today we came up with a new recipe…
Healthy Thanksgiving Leftovers
Mexican Turkey Chowder
1 ½ lb. diced left over turkey
1 medium sweet diced onion
1 diced large red pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. cumin
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 lb. fiesta mixed vegetables
Simmer until flavors blend, and serve
This is some of the best soup I have tasted!! It was amazing!! I absolutely love finding new healthy alternatives to our old habits. As we now are in the season of Christmas, I am looking forward to seeing family and sharing with them how they can be healthy and happy!! My goal over the next month is to share my story with at least five people. I am so looking forward to helping some people get back on track with their health destiny. I know that I am going to stay on the “straight and narrow” as some call it. I realized this morning that I know better than to eat junk and my body know it too!! I can’t go back to eating poorly or else I am sick and miserable. This Thanksgiving was a learning experience for me. I now know what my limits are for temptations and I know better for next time. Take everyday as a new start and never give up. Look to the future and see how bright it can be!!!