Taking the Wheel

Summertime Black Bean Salad

Summertime Black Bean Salad

I was just thinking how I haven’t had the time to sit out back in the morning, sip my coffee, do a little blogging, and get creative, which are some of the things I cherish and enjoy most and keep me balance with the daily “to do’s”.  I can see myself withering if I haven’t had a moment of creativity.  Lately, I have been doing things at full speed, not taking the time to really enjoy what I have been doing.  And then, I read the wonderful words from “My Daily Om” written by Madison Taylor. This is what she said so beautifully.

It’s easy to go through this fast-paced world feeling as if you are being dragged through your weeks on the back of a wild horse. Many of us go from one thing to another until we end up back at home in the evening with just enough time to wind down and go to sleep, waking up the next morning to begin the wild ride once more. While this can be exhilarating for certain periods of time, a life lived entirely in this fashion can be exhausting, and more important, it places us in the passenger’s seat when really we are the ones who should be driving. When we get caught up in our packed schedule and our many obligations, weeks can go by without us doing one spontaneous thing or taking time to look at the bigger picture of our lives. Without these breaks, we run the risk of going through our precious days on a runaway train. Taking time to view the bigger picture, asking ourselves if we are happy with the course we are on and making adjustments, puts us back in the driver’s seat where we belong. When we take responsibility for charting our own course in life, we may well go in an entirely different direction from the one laid out for us by society and familial expectations. This can be uncomfortable in the short term, but in the long term it is much worse to imagine living this precious life without ever taking the wheel and navigating our own course. Of course, time spent examining the big picture could lead us to see that we are happy with the road we are on, but we would like more time with family or more free time to do whatever we want at the moment. Even if we want more extreme changes, the way to begin is to get off the road for long enough to catch our breath and remember who we are and what we truly want. Once we do that, we can take the wheel with confidence, driving the speed we want to go in the direction that is right for us.

I am going to take the wheel today.  I will smell the gardenias blooming out my front door.  I will sit a minute longer with my coffee.  I will dance with my daughters while the music is playing in the background.  I will take a moment to smell each fresh herb I am chopping.  AND, I am going to get creative with a new dish!  Yum, I just tasted it.Fresh Veggies

I had some time this early morning before the girls woke up to go to the market to see and buy whatever fresh veggies struck me as inspiring.  I don’t always have the time to do this because my menus somewhat stay the same and time doesn’t always allow it.  This is what I came up with.

Ingredients

2 Fresh Corn on the Cob  (I found some beautiful white and yellow mixed)

1 bunch of cilantro chopped

1/2 purple onion diced

3 cloves garlic minced

1 avocado diced

1 orange bell pepper diced

1 jalapeño pepper finely diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes cut into quarters

2 cans organic black beans drained and rinsed

1 fresh lime

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, boil some water and add your corn on the cob to cook for 5 minutes.  When the corn is done, remove them from the water and let them cool so that you can cut the kernels from the cob. In a large bowl mix cooked corn, cilantro, onion, garlic, avocado, bell pepper, jalapeño, tomatoes, black beans, and fresh lime juice.  Let this mixture sit out at room temperature for an hour or refrigerate for a few hours to let all the flavors mix.  This can be eaten as a salad or a side to grilled fish.  Either way, the dish is excellent and another perfect dish for the summer.  With every bite, your mouth will sing.

My father always taught us when cooking to see how many colors you can get on your plate.  I think we have accomplished the rainbow with this one.

“It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.”  -Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf knew the importance of dreaming and creativeness in the midst of the mundane.  I know I have written about it a 1000 times but I have to be reminded 1000 times that I have the wheel to my own life.  Here’s to driving, creativity and a damn good summer salad!  Cheer’s!

We’ve Got Great News!

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Greek Salsa with Grilled Chicken Breast

I received an email a couple of weeks ago from my client who is trying to lower her cholesterol.  It’s wonderful news!  Her bad cholesterol has dropped 10 points and her good cholesterol has gone up!  Her Dr. says she can stay off the cholesterol lowering drugs if she can continue to lower it another 10 points.  He has given us another 6 months to achieve this.  She mentioned she hasn’t been doing as much exercise as she would like, so I am hoping with the added exercise and the continuing diet from Grits and Honey, we can achieve this goal!  This is really exciting and I absolutely love being a part of this journey.

One of the meals that I fix for her is this Greek Salsa with Grilled Chicken Breasts.  This is super easy to make, fresh, and absolutely perfect for the summertime.

Ingredients

4 Chicken Breasts

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 fresh lemon juiced

1 clove of minced garlic

1 European Cucumber seeded and diced

4 Campari Tomatoes seeded and diced

Hand full of dill, chopped

Hand full of parsley, chopped

1 cup of Kalamata olives sliced

1 cup of feta cheese (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Place Chicken breast on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.  (I like to make my chicken breasts the night before.  This way, I don’t have to heat the oven in the hottest part of the day to prepare for dinner.)

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the next 8 ingredients.  Let this sit out at room temperature for at least an hour to let all the flavors blend.  And, there you have it!

Sometimes being conscious of eating healthy, living a stress free lifestyle and excercise can seem overwhelming.  I know I can feel it.  As you see, it is not an over night accomplishment to lower cholesterol.  We may not be doing all that we could be doing but we take one foot in front of the other to accomplish the end goal.  I am at fault for wanting a quick fix to things in my own life but it does take time to let go of old habits.  I have to consciously put forth the effort to relax during these wonderful months of summer so that I can enjoy it with the girls.  Otherwise, I blink and this summer will be over.  This recipe is exactly what I need to have a simple, healthy dinner for my family.   It gives me so much pleasure to share it with you and with my clients because of its simplicity and its benefits.  Here is to living healthy, enjoying the summer, and doing it one meal at a time.  Cheers!