Awareness, Diverticulitis, Diverticulosis, Eating Clean, Eating Heathly, Food, Lessons Learned, Life, Relationships, Thoughts

Food Relationships

“Prayer leads us to catch a glimpse of the-best-version-of-ourselves and it helps us to develop the virtue necessary to celebrate our best selves.” ~ Matthew Kelly

Every Sunday morning, I look forward to reading Maria Shriva’s words because I just love the way she writes and how she keeps everything real. Last night, after getting hit with another flare up from diverticulitis, this morning, on so many levels, her words just hit home…”I used to think that I could eat whatever I wanted, for however long I wanted. I was wrong. Bad choices catch up to you. Before you know it, you could be that one that cancer decides to knockout. You could be the person that Alzheimer’s decides to take hold of. Make your health (especially your brain health) a priority. And, while you are at it, get to the bottom of your relationship with food. Cookies are not a substitute for real love. They don’t love you back. Trust me. Candy, cake and Swedish fish don’t either. Rest is critical to your mental and physical well-being, so make time for it. No one else is going to give it to you.”

For me, it has been a six month learning experience with getting to the bottom of the things that aggravate my relationship with food and for a person who has a love relationship with cooking great and delicious food, this has been a challenge. But this I know for sure, I can no longer eat whatever I want and we are given one life and one body…so why abuse it? And there’s no reason why healthy food choices can’t taste delicious, savory and decadent. Trust me, you just have to be consistent, a little adventurous and very creative with making and finding the right food choices.

As my food research and experimenting journey continues and while I am savoring over a liquid diet for the next few days (not!), I share with you just some of the foods that don’t irritate or aggravate my digestive system. I have learned that finding the right foods is not a one size fits all. It’s individualize and your body dictates what your own right choices should be. The real challenge will be in rethinking and adjusting my Christmas Eve menu. Well, at least my own Christmas Eve food choices…that is. In the meantime, it’s back to eating clean and eating healthy and with no exceptions…making my health a priority. That’s what I am thinking about on this rainy, yet beautiful Sunday morning. ❤️

Stuffed Peppers with Turkey, Rice and Black Beans

Organic Cottage Cheese with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Grilled Organic Chicken and Eggplant on Whole Grain Bread

Grilled Organic Chicken Tenders with Lemon and Cilantro with Grilled Eggplant and Broccolini

Sautéed Organic Tofu with Garlic, Lime, Cilantro and Green Beans

Organic Greek Yogurt Egg Salad Baguette with Arugula and Baby Cucumbers

Panko Crusted Baked Organic Chicken Tenders Wrap

Broiled Citrus and Garlic Wild-Caught Salmon over Organic Baby Spinach

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Lettuce Wraps

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Quinoa with Grilled Organic Chicken, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Eggplant

Egg White Omelet with Garden Tomatoes and Hot Peppers

Roasted Organic Acorn Squash stuffed with Organic Turkey Chili

Creamy Bacon Mushroom Organic Chicken Thighs with Thyme

Organic Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins Cod Fish Tacos with Crema, Guacamole, Spicy Red Cabbage Slaw and Pickled Red Onions

Awareness, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Fearlessness & The Crusade

“The first part of looking at our fear is just inviting it into our awareness without judgment. We just acknowledge gently that it is there. This brings a lot of relief already. Then, once our fear has calmed down, we can embrace it tenderly, and look deeply into its roots, its sources. Understanding the origins of our anxieties, and fears will help us let go of them. When we practice inviting all our fears up, we become aware that we are still alive, that we still have many things to treasure and enjoy. If we are not pushing down, and managing our fear, we can enjoy the sunshine, the fog, the air, and the water. If you can look deep into your fear, and have a clear vision of it, then you really can live a life that is worthwhile.”            ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

A little over a year ago, my niece, Christina, at the age of 22, who a few months early had just graduated from Quinnipiac University, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It was devastating news to her, and the entire family, and life would never be the same. As a family, we always have believed, “things happen for a reason”, and that there was a bigger reason than we all could have imagined as to the why. I believe it was facing that fear head on that provided Christina with the courage, and strength to get through probably what will be her most difficult life challenge. I also believe that once you read Christina’s story (in the link below), you will most certainly agree, she is an amazing, incredible young lady, and a shining light of hope for all of us. I ask who wouldn’t want to be a part of trying to help someone find the strength, courage, fearlessness, and hope to fight the fight, and more importantly, taking part in supporting, and helping to find a cure. Spreading the word doesn’t take a lot of effort, and interestingly enough, a stranger found Christina’s link on Facebook, and she was so touched by Christina’s story, and found her to be such an inspiration that she not only donated but left a beautiful message on Christina’s Crusaders homepage.

Recently, I looked up the definition of a humanitarian…”someone who is devoted, and actively engaged in the promotion of human welfare, along with the happiness of people. A person having the interests of mankind at heart, and a person who is markedly or motivated by concern with the alleviation of suffering of others”. When I think of the word humanitarian, and its definition, I think of Christina, and all that she has accomplished in the last year, both personally, and with helping others. This past month there was an article written in the New Rochelle Patch noting Christina’s achievement of being named by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as an Honored Patient for its 2013 Westchester Light The Night® Walk. As an Honored Patient, she will be making a speech at this year’s walk at Rye Playland on November 2nd .  Her family, friends, and Christina’s Crusaders will be front, and center, with great pride, to support her, and to hear her speak about her year long journey.

This year, Christina celebrates her remission, and continues her work on the path of her new found “life purpose” of helping, encouraging, and supporting others with cancer to fight the fight, and proving to them that they can beat cancer. Christina is a remarkable young lady, with an enormous amount of courage, and strength. She is my inspiration to continue the course as a Crusader with helping to find a cure, and as I get older, and older, the words…Someday is today, has more, and more of a meaningful definition with finding a cure, and about life…a precious gift, never to be taken for granted.

As a Crusader…my vigorous concerted movement for the cause is to continue to be a voice of awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, for Christina, and a champion for finding a cure. Many have heard the story of her journey, and her fight with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma through Facebook. However, do many also know the stories behind the lives of Jaymie, Kimmie, Gail, Doug, Alex, Melissa, James and Isaac (just to name a few), and their incredible, challenging life journey with getting to the promise land of remission. They are all survivors with heart wrenching, touching, and miraculous stories just like Christina’s. I find when I read their stories, they touch me so deep that it just makes me want to crusade even harder to find supporters who understand how important it is to help find a cure.

My mission has always been to be a voice, and over the last month, and the past year, my Facebook posts have been about awareness, and pleas for support with helping to find a cure. Now, I am here and please allow me a moment to put some insight around my efforts. Between my two Facebook pages, Divine Delectables and Divine Designs by Deborah, my recent posts have reached 16,230 members. As a page owner, each post I promote cost dollars…dollars, which I am willing to spend just to increase the audience, who read my awareness posts, and to find additional supporters willing to donate with the hopes of finding a cure.

Here are some simple math facts…just ONE DOLLAR ($1) of a donation from each one of those viewers would have brought the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, $16,230 closer to finding a cure. Now, let’s put a meatier twist on that number, and say each viewer donated FIVE DOLLARS ($5)….that’s $81,150. Oh, but wait, let me take it to whole other level of a TEN DOLLAR ($10) donation…that’s $162,300 closer to finding a CURE! Absolutely, incredible! However, interestingly enough, even with the high number of viewer’s…very few donations have come in, which is a little mind boggling to me. What does it take to sacrifice one small thing, today, to help others towards a better tomorrow? Not much! Who is willing to sacrifice one latté, one beer, one martini or maybe something as simple as a dessert or a candy bar, and donate those small dollars to help find a cure or to assist a cancer patient with their medical treatment? Is it you?

So here’s Divine Delectables and Divine Designs by Deborah’s challenge, and this is where all you readers come into play…are you a crusader for the cause or are you just a curious reader that’s leaving the fight to find a cure to everyone else? No donation is considered too small, and if you are worried about the amount appearing on our homepage, you have the option to donate anonymously…your donation amount does not need to appear nor does your name.

Every single one of us has a purpose in life. Maybe you have been lucky enough to find yours or maybe you’re still searching or working towards finding it, and maybe my ultimate calling is to be a voice…a voice of awareness, a voice of inspiration, and a voice to ignite a deeper passion inside of all of us. But for today, maybe’s don’t count…it’s the level of awareness that truly counts, and just as important, my hope continues to be that each of you dig real deep, and search for a small place in your heart, and wallet, and make a donation, today!

It takes a small army to help but I’m looking for a few thousand Crusaders with the willingness to support LLS, and the research for finding a cure. Please donate…TODAY not someday!

Please feel free to share my message, and Christina’s Crusaders homepage link. As always, thank you in advance for your consideration, support, and your continued kind thoughts, words, and prayers.

No one fights alone!

http://pages.lightthenight.org/wch/Wstchstr13/ChristinasCrusaders