10 GOOD Choices on the ready!!

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”   – J.K. Rowling

With almost every weight loss coaching client there is a conversation early in our work about a binge eating situation usually when they have downtime in life.   Since I don’t believe in “free foods or “cheat days” to shove their discomfort into I had to direct people to good choices.  It is important that the choices are good for them, for their moments where the indulging is eminent and so I ask for a list.

What are 10 things you can do all by yourself to make yourself calm/happy/full/fulfilled?

For me today (it changes often) here’s my list of good choices rather than taking down time to snack:

1)   Spend time improving my garden

2)   Chopping vegetables to make something yummy, for later

3)   Check the Linked In of my cousin who is rebranding herself and make a positive notes in cyber space

4)  Listen to my best friends’ incredibly talented daughter’s  podcast http://www.rrpod.com/hilarious-online-reviews-out-loud-podcast and laugh till my side aches (hey it’s core work)

5)   Put pictures in my children’s photo albums

6)   Go for a walk

7)   Make a new playlist

8)   Clean a drawer with the intention of giving 5 items to goodwill

9)   Leave a positive voicemail for a friend

10)  Read one of the 4 books my husband is sure I will love!  (and I will, I just haven’t made time…)

 What are 10 things you can do all by yourself to make yourself calm/happy/full/fulfilled?

Go out there and make good choices! Fill Your Cup….

Squash Blossom Salad Recipe

This recipe idea was born from scanning from several internet sites that came up on my smart phone while I was waiting with Andy at the DMV for our truck title paperwork.   Normally when I’m waiting in lines in the every-day-adult-job-kind-of-way, I practice pelvic floor work.   After all, no one can tell what you are doing. But since I was with Andy all weekend with no kids, I thought “that” was covered so I started asking my smart phone about squash blossoms. We have a raised vegetable garden in Park City that is growing the most incredible blossoms and I couldn’t remember if they were edible or not.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

I found that they are edible! So taking some suggestions from Google and then add the Julie-flavors you will recognize from my twitter feed as my favorite ingredients avocado, honey, sweet vinegar, and seeds, I came up with this:

Ingredients:

  • Butter lettuce,
  • A sliced avocado,
  • Squash blossoms
  • Sesame seeds
  • Prosciutto
  • Dressing: any sweet vinegar, light virgin olive oil, sea salt and orange and lemon zest whisked with a half-teaspoon of brown mustard.
  •  Stuffing for blossoms: plain goat cheese blended with honey

I tossed the butter lettuce, a sliced avocado, prosciutto, with dressing whisked from a honey vinegar (I found it at a specialty market in Salt Lake City called Caputos.) olive oil, sea salt, a bit of mustard, orange and lemon zest.  Then scattered the stuffed squash blossoms and a few sesame seeds for texture – and a bit more protein – over the top. It was a nutty, earthy, savory, sweet, light and healthy cup.

photo 4

Vacation Core from your Treadmill (Advanced)

Traveling can be difficult, schedule a little time each day for your body maintainence.   A little core work and a little cardio each day can keep your energy level high and protect your body from injury.

Advanced Pilates students who have good midback and shoulder strength can try this:

Click here for core work from a treadmill > Treadmill to Obliques

midback from treadmill Treadmill Core

Pain in the neck??

One of my favorite students came into the mat class today and told me of her neck pain.  I replied, “The simple solution to a pain in the neck is to keep your chin up”  “how metaphorical!” another student replied.

It is bio mechanically sound, if you keep your head balanced on top of your shoulders, your neck muscles won’t fatigue as quickly.

It’s also true, that if we bring our perspective on life up a notch, lots of pain will dissipate.

Just a few hours later I was speaking to my son about his last days of Biology in summer school.   His study plan for the final had none of the skills I hoped he’d demonstrate.  My chin sank, my shoulders hunched in frustration and then my neck hurt.  I scolded and scoffed, and then my stomach hurt.  It took about 10 minutes and I realized I could choose to look up.  I could elect to elevate my headspace.   I don’t really know all he’s done in preparation since he’s at school for 5-7 hours a day and spends half his free time at his dad’s house, I reasoned.  More importantly if your own mother looses faith in you, that’s more of an issue with the faith of the mother.  Well, since I am she, I can affect that piece a great deal.

I looked up.

My neck released.  Jared and I printed notes from the website he needed and made a plan for organization.

All in one magical day… Neck pain and the metaphor that fixes it came into consciousness.

Look up!  (I’m high — in the tree)  From Tree Hammock

 

Quick Cup-size Recipe with Kale

It was the last day I could use the Kale I bought at the Farmers Market last weekend.  It had started to wilt in the crisper, I took the small bunch of Kale rinsed it in the sink and chopped the kale with my kitchen scissors, I added half of a red onion diced and 3 cloves of fresh garlic.  I added a splash of water and olive oil to attempt a cross between steam and sauté for the mix.  When the color popped on the Kale and it was deep green I put it into the cup then using the leftover olive oil in the skillet I scrambled an egg for protein on top of my semi-salad-sauté with a shake of garlic salt.  It took less than 10 min to make!photo-blog

Small Bunch of Kale

Half red onion diced

1 TBS Minced garlic

One Scrambled Egg

Dash of Garlic Salt on top!

Ready for Launch

Delta IV - Ready to Rocket!

Delta IV – Ready to Rocket!

What’s it like to see a Rocket Launch?    CICK > 

For the outsider it’s Awesome!

But for the crew perfection and expectation bring loads of stress before the launch.  The excitement and anxiety balance each other and create a high energy buzz you can feel on your skin.  The love of space and awe of the power in front of us is apparent in the eyes of everyone working and reporting on the launch.  No one wants their job to be the failure of this majestic experience.  Any minor mistake will make the launch scrub, (or stop.)  If the weather or orbit window closes, then it’s over for now.  With any imperfection a team of approximately 2000 people slump their shoulders and ache with disappointment.  I’m told every person feels the immense weight of the rocket on their shoulders, and they really seem to love it anyway.

Imagine a team of 2000 where everyone has different conditioning/training regimen yet mutual commitment to not greatness, but perfection.

That’s Aerospace.

To leave the atmosphere requires a velocity of 6 kilometers per second,  it costs about $10,000 per pound of payload, and employs over 5000 people for 36 months. (The numbers depend on the payload or what the rocket’s carrying.)

Today the United States launches military and commercial rockets for weather and communications.  That investment keeps our GPS’s alive and well, that’s pretty much it for now.  This generation offers no good looking astronauts, no missions to the moon or mars, no sexy new frontiers.  On the other hand, Wi Fi from the Airplane is incredibly useful, and with in one day of this launch I was using GPS to find my son’s basketball game.   A nod of gratefulness seems appropriate.

That leads me to ponder, what is the government’s roll?  Besides funding our Wi-Fi from the military budget,  I believe it’s to keep us civilized and to protect us from danger.  Government protects us from our narcissistic habits by spending our earnings to provide schools, to develop and repair roads, to offer tax breaks on food and on giving to the poor and tax penalties on tobacco.  It also protects us from harm, ensures our liberty and all the tenants of our bill of rights are safe.

Whatever size or scope of government you endorse, a donkey or an elephant doesn’t matter here. Consider that civilization and protection from harm is their goal and it’s easy to connect the dots up into the sky.

A civilized country keeps hope and national pride alive.  It supports education for what’s possible.  So, without a final frontier we have a brain drain, our best and brightest in math and mechanics are making video games and developing shopping apps for our smart phones.  Those are individual activities not unifying or creating national pride.  They don’t inspire collaboration or connection that improve our civilization.

The Aerospace companies, NASA and the Defense Agencies have a merchandising challenge for sure.  Rockets are big, dangerous, expensive and they have to be secure.  They can’t run tour busses over from Disney World to touch the rocket.  Yet, Aerospace needs to come to the public and show off their sizzle.  Obama shut down Space Shuttles in part because I dream of Jeanne didn’t have a modern daughter swooning for an Astronaut.  Let’s face it, a GPS Satellite just isn’t as handsome as Major Nelson.  The public isn’t attached because they don’t see the eyes of the believers.

The industry needs sexy marketing.  Time Life isn’t knocking because no one is offering a story.  But there is a rich story here, the awesome magic of nature and science, liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen contained by the collaboration of geniuses safely in a structure and then brought together to make space accessible – that story needs to be told in modern terms.

Yes, launches have thrilled us before, and so have roller coasters, race cars and multiple orgasms and yet those still flip our switches.  The difference is with rockets most people aren’t allowed to feel them, the others we can.  Aerospace needs to let us close enough feel the magic.  When more people feel the force of chemistry, overtake the law of gravity the aerospace world will expand again. Then we’ll have hope, pride, civilization and protection all flying high.

launch movie - Click here to see Delta IV, BLAST OFF!

Launch Day and 99 Red Balloons

This is Andy and me in front of Delta IV in the 4-2 configuration.

This is Andy and me in front of Delta IV in the 4-2 configuration.

Those who regularly read the blog, know that I am married to a Rocket-guy named Andy.  He’s Director of Commercial and Missile Defense Rocket Motors for ATK.  For my birthday this week I met him in Cocoa Beach to see his industry in action. A Rocket is launching.  This launch is for a GPS Satellite.

During the day we got to see the rocket up close, Andy and the PR director Trina explained the rocket boosters, component parts and some of the structures were all made by ATK.  There was a nervous excitement in the air.

Some of the reporters at this prep time were reporting for news stations, some for educational and industry science websites others seemed more like students of Science Fiction trying to extract vocabulary for the next issue of their graphic novel.  But everyone was excited to be part of the launch.

The tower backs away from the rocket that stands over 200 feet high.

you can see the edge of the tower on the right side of the photo almost out of the frame.

you can see the edge of the tower on the right side of the photo almost out of the frame.

Photographers scurry and we all look up in awe at the majesty.   The Rocket represents  a billion dollars invested by over 100 companies and thousands of people who bring this dream to the physical monument before us.  It’s just huge – people on the mechanical scaffolding look like insects as they prepare for launch.

Next they fill the tanks with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

These are the Liquid Hydrogen and Oxogen tanks.  It looks like my house could fit inside one of these tanks 3 times!

These are the Liquid Hydrogen and Oxogen tanks. It looks like my house could fit inside one of these tanks 3 times!

They have to complete that fueling process with no lightening and we’re in Florida where storms are eminent.

We, the reporters, leave for the afternoon storm and hope the evening skies clear.

They fill some balloons with lighter than air gas, the balloons carry weather instruments to report back about winds, and if the clouds are too dense they can’t get the data back about the winds.  You’d think these clever people who defy the laws of gravity could get past a balloon failure, right?  I asked a first ever asked space question, what color are the balloons?  The engineers had to ask around and found out that they were off white, so I sent them a link to 99 Red Balloons.  CLICK > 

But the balloons can’t manage the weather and the launch is Scrubbed (that means cancelled) for the night.  They must remove the liquid Hydrogen and Oxogen, but it is okay they can remove the fuel and refill the rocket tanks 3 times.   Everyone is deflated (balloon pun intended) this moment but since tomorrow the weather looks 90 percent good, we’re all very hopeful the launch window is set for 8:08pm tomorrow.

Where to BE…

Many of my students have asked this week about the 2 hammocks in the tree in front of the Fill Your Cup Studio in Phoenix.  I can’t find the ones I bought but if I were buying one today this is the one I would choose.  hammock swing

It is available at Urbanoutfitters.com, and called the Marrakech Swing.   A soft easy rocking motion is where all of my children, my husband, his children and I all feel at peace.  In the home we have in Park City and the home we have in Phoenix there are several places to rock or swing.   Since the many of my posts encourage a balance between being and doing I thought you may like a recommended BE-ing space.

Swing softly, enjoy filling your cup with a special moment with yourself.

Does doing your best compete with being your best?

You know when you are at your best.  You feel great you roll with the punches your sense of humor is easy.  You are likely well rested, have eaten moderate amounts of healthy foods, exercised and loved.  Being your best is a lovely thing.

Think back to when you studied language.  The word “are” has its root form in the infinitive to be – I am, you are, she/he/it is, and we are.

To BE our best, takes some time and attention.  Time we could spend doing.  Doing our jobs, doing our laundry, doing the shopping and doing our busy lives until we are no longer being our best.

Can doing and being, complement or must they compete?

I hope they can complement since functional life skills like keeping a roof over our head, food on our table and finding inspiring ways to spend our energy (a job) is critical to our survival.  Those to do activities are important.  But being at peace, sleeping well, taking deep breaths, enjoying good food, sensing our space, meditating, all the ways we re-charge so to speak, are the being activities.  When we invest in being, the doing seems less strained.

Take a moment and list what you do in a single day and then list how you invest in being. What percentage of your day consumes each list?  Does that work for your values?

Most people I work with on weight loss over eat, when they over do.  I ask again, does doing your best compete with being your best?