A little sweaty

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I’m trying to find my inner “Om”. So far, I attended a yoga class that used aromatherapy and meditation. My favorite take away from that class? “If you’re not connected to your breath, you aren’t doing yoga. You’re just exercising.”

A friend took time from his day to work with me on chi gong. I found myself doing some of it in the kitchen this morning. My body just wanted that quiet reflection.

I met up with a bookkeeper (one of the wonderful ladies that encouraged me to start the newborn screening business way back when), and she was wearing her Om shirt – she too is a yoga teacher. She’s going to do my books for this crazy journey of private practice and in doing so took so much stress off my shoulders that I cried. Happy crying. Relieved crying.

Movement has to happen inside and out. It is necessary for the brain, the creative thought process, and peace. It doesn’t have to make you a lot sweaty, but it needs to get you in touch with your body. Open the body, open the mind. Namaste.

Taking Inventory

I’m taking inventory of what is adding to my life and what things are taking away from it. Some decisions are easy while others….let’s just agree that facebook can be addictive.

The number one thing I complain about is time. Not having enough of it to get things done, running out of it, time moving too slowly (yes, I agree those contadict each other). The current plan:
1. Facebook is a huge time suck. I’m limiting myself to 10 minutes in the morning while I drink my coffee and then it goes bye bye until the next day.
2. TV. There are a few shows I watch, but I have an elliptical machine upstairs getting dusty. The new rule: I have to work out for an entire netflix show (which I can watch on the ipad, propped on the elliptical) before I am allowed to sit my ass on the couch to watch mindlessly. That ensures at least 30 minutes of moving.

Traffic
This has been a major life stressor for me, so much that we are looking at moving closer to my new office. Living 45 minutes away from work, family, hairdresser, dentist, doctor, etc….it adds up to a lot of driving. Which adds up to a lot of gas money, lost time, and anxiety.

In addition to moving, my practice is my own business. Yes, a huge dream come true. In that spirit, I’m going to play with hours of operation – opening after rush hour in the morning and having some later evening appointments or Saturday hours.

Money
Leaving a hospital job was a leap of faith in my abilites. I gave up a steady paycheck and good benefits but decided I could not thrive in that environment or provide the patient experience I envision is necessary. That job was so full of stress it took me weeks to get back into a mentally healthy place. Flash forward and I’m seeing patients, relying on the kindness of friends in the field and other professionals that are allowing me use of their space while my office is being built. Good people who share the same vision starting popping up in my life once I lifted myself from the situation I was in.

The bad part (to me) of business ownership is figuring out the freaking taxes and money stuff. I just want to see patients. Sigh, but I need money to keep the doors open and don’t want to screw up anything with taxes. I don’t know how much I don’t really know so I am meeting with an accountant to turn that part of the puzzle over to someone who knows what the heck they are doing. It’s worth it – I sat down and figured out how much time I spent doing that paperwork, researching to see if it was correct, time spent avoiding the paperwork and stressing, and came to the conclusion that the hourly fee was a worthy expense.

Weight
This is a big one for me. I struggle daily and have multiple shelves of healthy cook books, food philosophy, etc. I spent about $3000 on integrative health coaching classes hoping to find the answer. Spoiler alert: everyone is different. Now you don’t need to take those classes. I’ve tried weight watchers, diet pills, paleo, vegan, gluten free, psychotherapy, hypnosis – this list is getting embarrassing. So for right now, I’m telling my body that it is ok just the way it is. I’m looking for ways to incorporate the best nutrition and figure out what I’m lacking, why I’m craving, and how to build a better relationship with my outer half. I may or may not blog about it. It depends on what feels right, but I will continue to share recipes.

Activity
I want to like exercise but it cuts into my ass on the couch time. However, I found a yoga class that is a bit different and I can do the movements. There is a focus on breath and meditation, getting in touch with the body. This is a good start for me right now. Plus the elliptical for my TV time :)

I did ask for square dancing lessons for Hanukkah….the husband is not amused but said he would look into it. If not, I may take myself to another type of dance lesson. I want activity to be fun.

Friends
This is probably why I spend/spent so much time on facebook. Being part of a community and feeling like an “in” kid. I’m moving towards more genuine face to face friendships – it involves pushing out of my shell, but that will bring much better things to my life.

That’s the inventory for now.

A Vacation Tale

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Vacations are expensive and exhausting so we tend to take them infrequently. The past few times, my husband has picked the venues. Las Vegas and now Colorado/Utah. Next month we are taking the 10 hour drive to NJ and back to see his parents. Let me say that I am enjoying spending time visiting and getting to know my SIL better. I think Vail is a beautiful place and the scenery is gorgeous. However, I hate Utah. I hate the desert. And for everyone who has said, “but it’s a dry heat” about the weather – screw you. If it’s 102 degrees and sunny, it’s too damn hot. It’s especially too damn hot to go traipsing up some hiking trail to look at rocks – even if they are red rocks and in an arch pattern. Let’s put it this way: my people wandered the desert for 40 years; had I been one of those people I would have told Moses to stuff it and my family would now be idol worshipers.

The arch I took I the picture of above? 10 steps away from an air-conditioned car. That’s the only way to do the desert.

Meanwhile, the beautiful evergreens and river are in Vail. There are lakes so very blue it seems as though they are not real. There are colorful flowers everywhere; along the streets, in windowboxes, growing wild…the Vail Village appears to be a sweet European town (with prices that make you look twice to be sure you are seeing the decimal point in the correct spot- yikes!). Vail is also at a higher elevation than we are used to, so despite drinking copious amounts of water and eating ibuprofen like pez, I have had a headache since the plane landed on Saturday (if you are counting – and I am – that is 4 days). That’s what happens when there is 15% less oxygen in the air to breathe.

For the cost of this vacation – half of which sucked – we could have gone to somewhere tropical with a beach. My dream vacation. The one I have been wanting to take for years. The one I never get. The one where the water is clear, there is a slight breeze coming off the ocean, and there is no plan for the days. The one I come back with a slight tan and am rested from. Is it wrong to want a vacation where I don’t have to eat at fast food restaurants and pee in dirty gas station bathrooms because we’re driving and need to make good time?

So, what have I learned from this experience that I can share to make it worth your while to have read this far?
1. Subway makes a decent salad if you have to eat fast food.
2. Pack plenty of ibuprofen and drink a lot of water at high elevations. It
won’t help your headache, but that is about all you can do.
3. If someone asks if you want to visit Arches National Park, just say NO.
4. It is the heat – dry or humid doesn’t matter. It just sucks when it is hot out.
5. I will not let my husband plan the next vacation. Or maybe we will take
separate ones.

Being a Before

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We’re on vacation and this is the only picture I’m happy with. Despite working out more regularly and training for my first triathlon, every picture with me in it has been a disappointment. I see the excess weight and am not happy with how I look.

Reframing some of these as my “before” pictures and continuing to exercise and eat carefully. Time, patience, and consistency. Next vacation I plan on being in a lot of photos as an “after”.

Jumping Without a Parachute

One week ago, I walked into my place of employment, quit, and walked out. It was something I knew would happen eventually. While I was initially happy there, a lot of changes took place that made it a soul-sucking, panic-attack-inducing, mean-girls club.

Since that moment, I’ve spoken to other women who are in jobs like this. They may be satisfied with the type of work they do, the hours, or the pay – but they are miserable because the people they work with are backstabbing, gossipy women and men who share personality types typical of middle school mentality despite being adults.

Why do some adults never leave middle school behind?

So, I quit and have thrown my energy into my own business. I’m writing, marketing, blogging, and planning – busier now than I was before but happy. My stress is decreased despite having more at stake. I’m finding my inner voice and joyful self again.

The moment I knew this was the best choice for me? I was sincerely grateful the people/management I worked with were so horrible because without them I never would have found my wings to soar.

Gluten-free “Spanikopita style” Crepes

SAVORY CREPES
Makes 8-10 savory crepes

1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix*
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Cooking spray for pan

Preheat a 7 inch skillet/crepe pan over medium heat.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix well.
Spray pan with cooking spray. Pour batter (about 3 tablespoons) onto heated skillet with one hand; with the other hand, tilt the skillet so the batter completely coats the bottom (pour any extra batter back into the blender so the crepes are not too thick). Cook about 1 minute, until the underside is very light golden brown. Loosen the edges of the crepe with a spatula and turn it over in the skillet. Cook the other side about 30 seconds, until it is a spotty light golden brown. Slide crepe onto a plate and cover with foil.
Repeat Step 3 with remaining batter (be sure to brush skillet with more butter before you make each crepe).

The flour mix I use can be found here

FILLING
This is where you can get creative! I sauteed a chopped onion and 10 ounces of fresh spinach until tender and then mixed with farmer’s cheese and feta cheese. You could use cottage cheese or ricotta, kale, Swiss chard – whatever beautiful greens and protein are available.

I fold the filling into each crepe and brown the package on a pan and then serve them with a side of fresh seasonal fruit.

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On Grief

Grief is part of the human condition. We can grieve for jobs, health, the death of a love oned, or even a certain way of life. In the past 7 years I lost my first marriage, almost lost my child in a custody battle, lost my mom and grandmother, and almost lost my brother to addiction. Time does heal some things.

I am married to a wonderful man and we will celebrate our 6 year anniversary this fall. My child is with me, although now she is slipping into becoming a teenager and that will be a whole new letting go process. My mom has been gone since 2011 and I still have times I want to pick up the phone and call her. My grandmother has been gone a year; she adored my dogs and when they get into trouble or do something funny I want to tell her and hear her laugh.

There are days when I don’t think about those losses – there is acceptance. And the next day I may find a recipe stuck in a book with my mother’s handwriting on it and it makes me cry.

Grief and loss changed me. I appreciate the people I have in my life and don’t waste time on people who drain me. I pick up the phone (to call or text) friends and make it a priority to spend time with them. And now I’m making the transition to working for myself because life is too short to be unhappy 8 hours a day at work.

When I turned 30 years old, I measured success by what I had. By my doctorate, my house, my dress size, my job.

When I turned 40, I measured my success in friends, happiness, and the love in my life.

It will be interesting to see what 50 brings….