Today, as I write this on the last day of 2017, I am reflecting on the fact that this is my first post of my fourth year writing this blog. I have yet to miss a week and that in itself is quite an accomplishment for a person who didn’t know if she could write one blog let alone 156. There are so many things that could get in the way of writing but I believe my need to write is what keeps me going. When I started my journey to become a Health Coach I had visions of coaching many people and helping them towards their goals. I planned on doing it one person at a time. Frankly, I found it quite demanding to do one-on-one coaching and so I decided to put my energy into writing my blog. Six months into my course of study I had my own health scare when I had a heart attack. I was lucky that there was great treatment nearby and also that I knew myself well enough to know that something wasn’t right at all. Now I write to share my own health journey and its ups and downs along with sharing exercise tips and food tips as I learn about them. My goal is to support a healthy life style for myself, my family and my friends as well as many I do not know. It makes my heart sing when I hear from someone who has gleaned something of importance from my writings. Or if I hear from someone who is motivated to get out and walk or take up Yoga or meditation and that it is improving their life in so many different ways. I love it when someone says they have tried a recipe and then comes back to me with a suggestion to improve it or with their own twist on the recipe. One reader wrote that she loved the vegetable soup recipe but had I tried blending it because it made a wonderful almost creamy soup. Another says that she has “John’s Maple Granola” every morning and wouldn’t think of starting the day without it. I am always so pleased to hear from those who follow the blog and am continually amazed at how many people it touches.
My own journey has changed over the last three years. I am way more focused on the walking and now participating in races on a monthly basis. I am still committed to eating a healthy diet but I am not as strict with myself as I once was. I do have the occasional dessert and I actually eat bread too although I am quite discerning about what bread I do eat. Still no Wonder Bread will be found in my bread box! We are spending the New Year in St. Sauveur Quebec with my sister and her family. I grew up here skiing and have a great fondness for the town. It certainly doesn’t look anything like it did 50 years ago as it is a bustling tourist town now with condos all over the place and hundreds of shops and lots of traffic too. However, the hills are magical and I still love to see the night skiing lights when you drive into the village. We are cozy in my sister’s guest cottage. It is about 600 square feet with two bedrooms, a living room and a galley kitchen, and a bathroom. It’s best features are the big picture windows that look out onto the snow covered pine trees and across to a section of the ski hill, and the wood stove that is keeping us almost too warm. The temperature outside has been below 0 for a number of days which has made walking a challenge. When your breath freezes it isn’t pleasant. However, I did finally get out and do a 45 minute walk with Wyke. We spotted some ducks huddled in a very small pond trying to keep warm. The reason I noticed it was because there was a big sign saying that it was illegal to feed the ducks and the sign was on the sidewalk on a busy street. It seemed odd to find it there in the middle of a heavy residential area. Not a park. Wyke so wanted to go and play with them. However, he did listen to me and stayed still and just watched them while I took their picture. Somehow he did manage to break his leash which made the rest of our walk a bit of a challenge. We were both good and cold when we got back but also invigorated too. We had braved the wild north cold and lived to tell about it.
A Traditional Family Christening
Sunday, December 31st, my great niece, Aurora Nancy, was baptized in the little church in St. Sauveur called St. Francis of the Birds or its nickname of The Skiers Church. The church is very important to my niece’s father and his side of the family. She was baptized using a silver jug that was first presented to the Hall family in 1865 and has been used by his family for generations. The baby wore the christening gown that all of my mother’s family (her great-grandmother) wore and all my cousins and the majority of the next generation have worn. In prior years the ribbon was blue for a boy and pink for a girl and it took forever to change the ribbon. Now it is white and doesn’t require a change. My 93 year old mother, Nancy, was very pleased that the baby was going to be christened and that she would wear the gown that so many had worn before her. The baby even has my mother’s name as her middle name. A lovely tribute from a granddaughter. Both of our daughters were christened in that same dress as were both of our grandchildren. One daughter was even baptized at Christmas time 44 years ago at the same age as this little one – their birthdays are four days apart. Traditions are so wonderful.
I found this infographic and thought I would share it along with a link to the page where more information was available. I follow a number of health blogs and this one came out this week. It makes sense and is easy to follow. The basis of this is make salad your main dish. If it is done with all the items recommended you won’t get hungry and you will get all sorts of good vitamins and minerals. The following information is from The Mind Body Green website.
1. Start with the greens — they’re super-foods!
This forms the base of your salad, so make it a nutritious one. Five cups of leafy greens, including cruciferous veggies, adds a powerful nutritional punch to your meal. Green vegetables are the healthiest foods on the planet. One of my favorite sayings is “The more you eat green, the more you get lean.”
2. Add lots of color.
Green, red, and yellow peppers, as well as tomatoes, berries, and other colorful foods owe their brilliant hues to flavonoids and carotenoids, which are phytochemicals that help defend the body’s tissues against oxidative damage.
3. Don’t forget the onions.
Onions, and other members of the allium family, make everything taste better with their unique flavor profiles. But their most important benefit lies in the anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of their sulfide compounds – yes, the same ones that make your eyes water.
4. Toss in some beans.
There’s something magical about beans. Not only do they add a satisfying note of starchy creaminess to a salad — beans contain soluble and insoluble fiber and lots of resistant starch. They have anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Dress it for success.
Before you dig in to that heaping bowl of fresh vegetables, remember to add in some healthy fats, which will help you absorb the micronutrients in the salad. Eating a healthful dressing that contains nuts and seeds helps dieters feel satiated and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.