Wellness 1-2-3

My friend Niki Pappas at First Day Wellness wrote the article below – it’s so succinct and helpful I asked her if I could republish it:

WELLNESS 1-2-3

Most of the important things in life aren’t at all simple, so when something comes along that is, I believe it’s worth sharing. After I read the article referred to in #2 below a couple days ago, it struck me that daily wellness can be as simple as 1-2-3. I’d like to offer this simple 1-2-3 plan to you today, to support your wellness journey!

1 – Do ONE Thing at a Time. We may pride ourselves on our multitasking abilities – and fellow women, I’m talking to you! – but guess what? Multitasking is a myth! Studies of our brains in action show that we are capable of focusing on only one cognitive task at a time. Our attempts to do two things at once are actually about “task switching”, and we’re not nearly as efficient or effective as we think we are. In a recent Forbes article, Dr. JoAnn Deak states that in the short term, multitasking doubles the amount of time it takes us to complete a task and usually doubles our mistake rate, or worse. Other research suggests that task switching reduces our productivity by up to 40%. Not good!

Clearly there’s a downside to multitasking, but the good news is that there’s such an upside to monotasking! We perform, feel, and just are so much better when we focus – our eyes, our attention, our time, our energy, our love. I suggest to my clients that they mindfully “sink in” to whatever they’re doing, for greater effectiveness, efficiency, and most importantly, enjoyment.

2 – Walk TWO Minutes of Every Sedentary Hour. A recent study reported in the NYT Well blog links “gentle walking” for just 2 minutes per hour with a 33% reduction in mortality. Respondents in this large-scale longitudinal study wore fitness trackers to measure their movement, and the researchers measured death rates 3-4 years later, thereby discovering this strong association. What better reason to get up from your chair on at least an hourly basis and take a little walk? You will give your body and your mind a break, and your pause can serve as a transition from one task to the next (in service of goal #1 above!). Of course, intense exercise provides incremental physiological and psychological benefits, so please continue to include it in your routine as well!

3 – Eat Fruits & Veggies THREE Times a Day. There’s no better dietary advice than to eat more fruits and vegetables. I like the simplicity of including produce with every meal – for example, luscious berries at breakfast, a crunchy salad and an apple at lunch, and any one or two of hundreds of veggie possibilities at dinner, whether sautéed, steamed, or even spiralized. Fruits and vegetables provide a multitude of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, and they have been shown to protect against various types of cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. They are truly the best medicine, and bring color, texture, and delicious flavor to every meal. Bon appétit!

 

It’s SEAFOOD Time!

 

Ruby Red Trout Skin

Summer tends to make us want to eat lighter, and fish feels that way to me…so with a little “Deadliest Catch” in mind, I’d like to give you a few tips about purchasing your seafood:

  •  Stay away from purveyors who don’t display their seafood directly on ice – all seafood needs to STAY as cold as possible at all times.  It’s the protein that spoils the fastest!
  • If you’re buying something premade and packaged (like a stuffed flounder), there should be virtually no accumulated liquid in the package.
  • Fish should smell like a cross between the ocean and a clean running creek. If it smells too fishy, something’s “fishy”.
  • It’s best to not be lazy about your shrimp.  By it shell on and clean it at home – the shell holds in moisture which keeps your shrimp plump and firm.  Besides, the shells can be used for a broth or sauce that will GREATLY enhance your shrimp!
  • If you’ve got a recipe you want to try but can’t find the particular seafood it’s asking for, ask your fishmonger.  Virtually EVERY fish has one or two perfect substitutions – get what’s freshest!

Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering wishes for you the most fabulous summer ever – loaded with delicious fresh seafood!  The picture above is of a GORGEOUS Steelhead Trout (this particular filet weighing in at about 4.5 pounds… 🙂 )

 

Make your own Herbed Vinegar!

app Baba Lula Ganoush

Wanna be fancy?  Wanna “look” fancy at your next get together?  Pick your vinegar:  Apple Cider, White, Wine, or Rice …let’s stop there and keep it simple.  Add 3 tablespoons fresh herb or mixture of herbs of your choice (mix a couple and make it a “house” vinegar”) for every quart of vinegar.

Don’t use ground herbs or spices because the vinegar will get cloudy.  Store it at room temperature, with a lid on, making sure your herbs are covered in the vinegar.  It will be ready in 24 hours, and after you use some, you can top it off again with the same original vinegar.  Just make sure your herbs stay covered.  If you’d like, you can remove the herbs after a couple of days.  Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering uses our Tarragon Vinegar to make pickles that we put in several recipes ( see pic of our Baba Lula Ganoush garnished with them!)

Vinegar is a preservative, but it does have its limits.  The word itself is derived from the French “vin aigre” meaning  “sour wine”.  Don’t use more than around 3 tablespoons of your herb mix per quart because too much foreign “matter” can result in food poisoning.  Happy Creating!

The Definition of Exhaustion

The Definition of Exhaustion

wine reducing

 

First, let’s make my grocery list. It’s 8:45 AM and I can get to Jazzercise by 9:30 if I just concentrate on the list. Exercise is essential to keep the panic attacks at bay! Hard to do – no sleep last night; so excited about all of the commitments that have been made  to deliver a wonderful culinary experience. Finish the list just in time! 2 pickups to make; shouldn’t take too much time right after Jazzercise – I can be back in the kitchen whirring away by 11:30AM.

Head to the car. Life is good. Get in the car, and realize there’s no grocery list. Exasperated, walk back in the house to retrieve the list which must be on the counter by the door where I keep my purse. Not there. Go into the office – gotta be on the desk, right? Not there. Search the kitchen – there’s a counter where I always put my lists – recipes, menus, work orders, all things pertinent to the business I RUN – that’s easily visible from the “slinging hash” station and the sink and fridge. Not there. Have a meltdown. Sink to the floor, tears streaming, cursing why? WHY? WHYEEEEEE? as my husband jumps up and frantically searches the whole building for the list that is preventing me from starting my day. Tears still streaming, I rise to the occasion (literally) and retrace all steps screaming “Now I’ll NEVER get to Jazzercise!” which is indeed, true. I am too late now to get the exercise I so desperately need to keep my meltdowns to a minimum. Husband does not find list. One last time, I retrace my steps and LIGHTBULB, I remember I dropped a pizza box (Marco’s, if you haven’t tried it) into the recycling bin right before I opened the car door. Check the bin. List on top.

Relieved now, let’s re-think this. Perhaps missing Jazzercise isn’t such a bad thing. I can get a head start on my long day; gain an hour. I’ll just head straight to the first stop and get a jump on this “I’m wonder woman I can do this” day. Get to my destination, realize it’s Sunday and the store doesn’t open till 10AM – so I wait. Wait in the car for 25 minutes. Watch everybody else who knew better slowly start herding toward the door and I am reminded of an amusement park line. I wait till 10AM SHARP to get out of my car and think I’ll waltz right in. No…it IS an amusement park line! Everyone jostling and trying to cut the line, and evil determined faces making sure no one is going to get that melon before THEY do! I slowly and resignedly wait my turn, enter, saunter to the back of the store (I’ve got plenty of time, remember- I missed Jazzercise- even though I just lost 25 minutes). I pull my list out, no, wait, the list isn’t in my purse ? I dig deeper. No list. Must have left it in the car. Frustrated, I retrace my steps back to the car hoping it might be on the ground somewhere in between and save me a few steps (I would rather park far away from the store right next to a cart drop off than close to the store and have to return the cart). No list. All the way back to the car. The list sits waiting for me. Retrieve the list, smile (it’s a choice!), and resume my day.

First leg of the journey of this day done. Should have been the 2nd leg, but what the heck. I’m only exactly where I intended to be at the beginning of the morning – on schedule as if I HAD attended Jazzercise.

Next stop. Retrieve list from the seat beside me, no, wait…where’s the list? I ALWAYS put the list on the seat, or at LEAST in my purse. My purse, that’s it. Look in the purse. No list. Dig deeper. No list. Turn the car back on, drive back to my last purveyor and check the parking lot – first stop – cart drop off. There sits my cart! But no list. Frantically drive to front of store and park illegally (I don’t have TIME for this) with blinkers on, run in, first to the customer service center (surely someone would be NICE and hand it in). Not a chance. Retrace steps to checkout line – no one has seen a thing. March furiously back to the vehicle, contemplate giving up, scratch that idea because I CAN’T give up, people are DEPENDING on Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering (note to self – a sense of self-importance might lead to panic attacks)!  Drive back to destination # 2 , wander around the store helplessly, hoping to remember 3 or 4 of the most necessary items on my list, spend about an hour drifting amongst the aisles, happily recognizing a list member or two and throwing it in my cart. Wander aimlessly to checkout, pay, drive slowly and giddily home. Slower and slower now…each item gets put in its proper place. Realize this day was simply not meant to be. Float upstairs, crawl under the covers, and wait for another day. It’s 11:30 AM.

I’m too tired to figure out the moral of this story. Please submit.