Parade’s End

I have blogged about this before, but when I received the official word that I had breast cancer, I was at EPCOT in DisneyWorld. I remember vividly where I was standing when the call came from the doctor.  That was in 2012.

When I visited Disney again in 2014, I had my husband take my picture to celebrate my return.

Disney China

Last week, I had the privilege of chaperoning my son’s band trip to Disney and I took the opportunity to take another photo. Yes, I’m still alive and well!

Disney China 2018

(Apparently I like the color pink, but it’s not because of the ubiquitous pink ribbons!)

Disney trips are always hard work, even as they are loads of fun. The temperature was hot (85-90), the humidity high, and my feet have never hurt so bad from all the walking and standing! But it was a great trip — our students are awesome and we couldn’t be prouder of their march down Main Street in Magic Kingdom!

One thing I realized on this trip? That I’m in better shape than I give myself credit for!

On the day the students marched in Magic Kingdom, I got in roughly 20,000+ steps in the heat (“86/feels like 92” kind of day…), and this included some serious running along the parade route to get ahead of the band for purposes of video and photos, and then running back to the back lot gate at Pirates of the Caribbean. It also included unloading/loading the van with some of the other chaperones in the back lot in the blazing sun. (Note: at least I was wearing shorts… our poor kids were wearing their wool uniforms, so I’m not really complaining!)

I was exhausted at the end of the day, and maybe a little faint at the parade’s end, but I did it! At least I know my heart and lungs are pretty solid, and considering where I was just a mere 6 years ago, I’m incredibly grateful!

This photo op will be part of every trip I take to Disney because it’s a reminder of where I was, and just how far I’ve come!

IMDb: Parade’s End (2012)

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Worthy

A common sentiment with many of my female clients, friends and family is this:

“I take care of everyone else, but I never make time to take care of myself.”  

I am surprised at just how often I hear this; it’s not 100% of the time, but it’s close. So on this Mother’s Day, I thought it might be helpful to write an affirmation for all the women out there who struggle to make themselves a priority. Read this. Say this. Embrace this. Live this.

I am worthy.
I am worthy and deserving of self-care.
I will make my own well-being a priority.
I will nourish my body with good food, movement, water and sleep.
I will nourish my mind with meditation, good books and stimulating conversation.
I will nourish my soul with nature, laughter, and letting go.
I will find time for me. Without guilt.
Taking care of myself is the best thing I can do to take care of others.
I will make my own well-being a priority.
I am worthy and deserving of self-care.
I am worthy.

self-care-squad-21

IMDb: Worthy (2017)

 

Bread and Roses

Who doesn’t love bread? Warm, soft, airy bread with gobs of melted butter…?

Since adopting a whole food plant based no oil diet in 2012, bread has been a challenge for me. Most breads are made with oil, and the ones that aren’t tend to be dense and/or dry. I’ve tried a number of different breads and I’m not really a fan (nor is my family) of most of the “healthy” breads; perhaps I have just not found the right one…

I don’t have the time or energy to read the ingredients on every single loaf of bread at Wegmans. And it’s not just the oil, but eggs, “natural flavors” and all sorts of other questionable ingredients. (Remember the “yoga mat” stuff?)

In the search for a healthy bread, I just opt for doing the best I can. Whole wheat. Wheat. Multi-grain. Organic. Close enough. And sometimes, you just need a crusty loaf of white Italian bread or some kind of bun that’s totally processed. Bread is just one of those areas that I have conceded we’ll never be perfect.

I’ve considered making my own (see prior comment on time and energy…) but that also entails digging out the bread maker and finding space for one more kitchen gadget.  Then I found this recipe for a 5 ingredient bread… no bread machine, no kneading, no oil, no artificial ingredients. (I’m sure you’re also thinking “no taste”.)  It only took an hour to make (20 minutes for rising; 40 minutes to bake).  We ate it warm with a smidge of butter, and it was pretty good. Depending on what you are serving it with, you may not need the butter, but I felt like it needed a sauce or something. It was still a little dense, but it had a nice crust, was warm, and (best of all) healthy. There wasn’t a bite left, so I think it passed the family inspection. I think I’m going to try to tweak the recipe a bit…playing with the salt and maple syrup, and also trying some additional seasonings for a more savory flavor.

Bread and Roses 2

As for the roses… Just wanted to wish all of the Moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day weekend!  I hope you are spoiled by your loved ones and get to relax a bit. I’m hoping to sleep in and go to see Avengers: Infinity War.  🙂

p.s. Your history lesson:
As my followers know, I always use the name of a movie as my blog post titles (to align with the “lights cancer action” theme). When I was searching for an image, I found that Bread and Roses was actually a political slogan after being referenced in a speech in 1911 by Rose Schneiderman, and is most associated with a textile strike where women were appealing for both fair wages and dignified conditions.

“The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”

IMDb: Bread and Roses (2000)

A Work in Progress

Things are progressing quite nicely on my new business. I am purposely trying to take things on the slower side to ensure I am giving 100% to anyone I work with, and to make sure that I am not taking on more than I can handle while establishing other components for the business.

I have several active clients and am very grateful for the referrals and opportunities provided by Dr. Denise Karpowicz! I am continuing to network with other local businesses in the field of wellness, and have a few speaking engagements lined up to help get my name out there.

I also have a presentation series on plant based nutrition planned for the month of April.   For my local readers, if interested, you can enroll in one or more of the 4 classes via my website: http://metamorphosismindbodyspirit.com/pages/Store

The details are as follows:

4/4/18 – Plant Based Nutrition 101: Definitions, Benefits and Myths
4/11/18 – So what do you eat?
4/18/18 – Getting started (planning & preparing for the transition)
4/25/18 – Cooking Demo

All sessions are from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm and will be held at Wonderful, an art studio in Moscow. Each session includes the presentation, handouts and food samples.  Sessions are $15 each, or $50 for the full series.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at metamorphosismindbodyspirit@gmail.com.

*****

If you are looking for a super easy, delicious dessert, I recently discovered chocolate hummus from Don’t Waste the Crumbs. It was super easy to make and absolutely yummy! Your family won’t even know it’s healthy!  I served mine with fresh strawberries and raspberries. I meant to take a picture but we all ate before I remembered to do so!

*****

IMDb: A Work In Progress (2002)

Cut the Cord

It’s hard to believe that I am just shy of 8 months since my “retirement”.

One of the perks of being a Pru retiree — versus just a regular person whose job was eliminated — is the assignment of a retirement counselor. This person helps you navigate all the paperwork and online updates, and helps answer all questions related to retirement benefits. My assigned counselor was fabulous — responsive, knowledgeable, punctual, pleasant.

Additionally, I’ve had the benefit of a career coach during this time, who has helped with updates to my resume and LinkedIn, as well as offering a lot of professional advice, in general. She, a some-what plant based eater, was supportive of my career direction change and was the person who suggested the IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) health coaching program. (That alone was worth every penny Pru paid her!)

I’ve been blessed to have these advisors in my corner for the past several months. The time has flown by and they were always there when I had a question. I couldn’t have asked for better support.

But it is, as they say, time to cut the cord. Today I said good-bye to my retirement counselor, as she has completed all her assigned tasks to support me. The next step isn’t until I’m really, truly ready to retire, and I’m hoping for at least a few more productive years before I need that. I will also be saying farewell to my career coach soon when my contract expires in early March. With my coach, however, I feel I gained a friend and hope to stay connected.

I’m very grateful for the resources provided to me, and glad I was able to get so much from them. Maybe I would have figured it all out on my own, but certainly not as efficiently, timely or calmly. It is amazing how quickly the time went by and how much we got done during that time. (Of course, the list of household projects remains incomplete, but I couldn’t get them to help me with that!)

Lucky for me, I have so many other wonderful resources in my life — people who inspire, encourage, support and advise — so I’m never flying 100% solo!

None of us does it alone, do we?

IMDb: Cut the Cord (2012)

Unleashed

Around this time five years ago, I winding down on my treatments. I had completed chemotherapy in January 2013 and finished radiation in March 2013. Since that time, I have continued with a pretty rigorous schedule of doctors’ appointments. Seeing my radiologist and oncologist twice a year; my surgeon, urologist, and gynecologist once a year or more.  Throw in all the testing that was required and I felt like I was always on my way to some medical appointment.

During my last appointment with my surgeon in 2017, he gave me the option to not see him anymore — an offer I jumped on.  In the fall, my radiologist switched me to one time per year. And today, my oncologist also unleashed me from her schedule, moving me to a once a year schedule also!  Yea!

I am so encouraged by this news, as it’s a final confirmation that I’m doing ok. Actually, better than ok… I’m thriving! Cancer is no longer a daily thought for me (although it does rear it’s ugly head in my subconscious from time to time). And now I don’t have to worry about always running to a doctor.  Schedule is freed up, I’m saving money in co-payments, and I have a clean bill of health from all my docs. AND my oncologist is interested in learning more about my health coaching business! (She took my business card and talked about how I might be able to integrate into some of their existing programs!)

Life is good.

*****

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any recipes. I continue to add recipes to my new webpage: http://metamorphosismindbodyspirit.com/apps/recipe/

Last week I added several, and the goal is to add some every week.

I am continuing to work my way through Dr. Greger’s How Not to Die Cookbook, which I love! I highly recommend it, as we have enjoyed everything I made from the book. It’s completely “WFPBNO”… Whole Food Plant Based No Oil… so no modifications are needed.

Peace!

IMDb: Unleashed (2005)