Jun
14
2013

Daily Exercise is Essential for Happiness and Balance

And It Makes Me A Better Mom

Daily Exercise is Essential for Happiness and Balance

HALLS Vitamin Drops has asked me about my "Daily Dose of Delicious" and it is feeling my body move and excel.

Besides enjoying an oversized mug of morning coffee, there is something else I do every single day — exercise.

Sure fitness is not everybody’s cup of, err, coffee, but I am hooked.

My biggest adrenaline rush comes from running (I once capped off a 19-hour flight to South Africa with an hour-long run, to give you an idea). But whether it’s lifting weights, yoga, tennis, biking, hiking or simply walking, I do something active daily. 

Truth is, without a good sweat or stretch, I am not the best version of myself. Some ... ahem, hubby ... might even say I get cranky, or to quote him directly "just slightly less spectacular." 

Truly, fitness gives me balance, and that has never been more important than it is right now.

As a new mom, balance is a very fragile thing, which is to say the symbolic ‘boat’ can very easily tip over (oh, you know baby’s sick, cranky, teething, gassy, hungry, thirsty, hot, cold, bored, you name it). 

It is precisely when these moments happen — times when you feel like you’re stuck deep in the weedy mess of life’s demands — that being healthy does its best work.

As I write this, I’ve just survived a very tough day. Our son is getting four top teeth at once and spent the last eight hours erratically jumping from happy and giggling to angry and screaming. He is in pain, so he is extra clingy and cranky.

While the words ‘serenity now’ have been playing on repeat in my mind, I credit an early-afternoon jog for helping me take it all in stride. Deep breaths, fresh air, movement and a pinch of me time. Ahhh. 

I could feel my body’s knots untangle and mental stress dissolve as my feet hit the pavement. Afterward, I was rewarded with feelings of vitality, clarity, positivity, and patience.

For a yummy pick-me-up, I tried the new HALLS Vitamin D and Antioxidant Drops. And boy did I need it. If I didn’t take care of myself, keeping up with our constantly cruising baby would be impossible. While he is a lot of fun, he is also very tiring.

Fitness is the essential ingredient for my rather simple recipe for happiness, wellness and balance (well that and my guilty pleasure of a nice big cup of coffee). 

When I feel great, my son gets the best mama I can be, and that is no small thing.

Jun
11
2013

How I Became an Unprofessional Cook

SLOWING DOWN TO MAKE A GOOD MEAL IS ONE OF LIFE'S SIMPLEST PLEASURES

How I Became an Unprofessional Cook

Food is love. A different kind of love than being a mom, but a true love no less.

Few things are purer than carefully selecting fresh ingredients to slice and dice, stir ,and sauté in order to make a home-cooked meal.

Both the preparation of food and the eating of it are good for the soul.

Truth is, I didn’t always cook.

For many years I was the microwave-meal gal. I would hastily rip open the cardboard box, tear off the plastic wrap, and zap the solid mass of unappetizing food until it was mushy enough to eat. 

Frozen, prepared cuisine was an easy (albeit unhealthy) solution for eating at the office. 

My co-workers and I ate with our faces buried in computer screens, barely registering what we were forking into our mouths and deriving little pleasure from it.

It was this lack of pleasure that led me to become my own personal chef. Well that and a new boss. She was a tyrannical bully who was eventually fired, but not before she inspired a mass exodus of staff. I too decided to leave my once beloved job in search of something better. You guessed it — pleasure.

This journey took me to South Africa. It was there among rolling landscapes and giraffes lazily grazing on lush green leaves that I experienced the power of food for the first time in years.

The dishes I experienced were mouthwatering, some fuss-free and eaten on the beach, others more complex and made with creative mixtures of herbs and spices. All of them were eaten slowly. Until that trip, I hadn’t realized how much I missed the ritual of sitting down to enjoy a meal.

And there it was — uncomplicated pleasure.

In South Africa, locals say pleasure daily. This scrumptious word is a shortform of, ‘my pleasure,’ or you’re welcome, and it is said with a singsong chime that is lovely to the ears.

The pleasure I experienced there left such an imprint on me that when I arrived home it lingered. Whenever someone said thank-you, I’d think, ‘pleasure!’

It also left me hungry for more. Quite suddenly, I found myself cooking from scratch. I was creating feasts of spicy curries, pastas and gourmet brunches.

They were all made with love.

Looking back I realize I was feeding my body and soul, while simultaneously concocting a delicious recipe for life which called for the simplest of ingredients — to slow down and revel in the pleasure of good, healthy meals. 

I tell you, once you’ve done that, there really is no turning back: Rushing through a five-minute meal will no longer do. 

After all, is there really any pleasure in that?