Amazing Avocado Honey Cup (Looking for a new name for this recipe. Got one?)

Easy? Check.avocado
Delicious? Check.
Versatile? Check.

Only 3 ingredients and NO COOKING involved? YEAH!

I made this recipe up one morning when I wasn’t too hungry for breakfast, needed something filling and satisfying and easy to eat to hold me off until lunch, and I had a bunch of odds & ends in my fridge… as usual when it’s close to the end of the week. And given that I need to manage my blood sugar levels and adrenals carefully due to my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue tendencies, this was the perfect breakfast – healthy fats, a good dollop of protein, fabulous fiber. For me, this is intuitive “cooking” at its best.

I had this as breakfast, but it can easily be an appetizer or snack (1/2 the recipe).

Creamy, crunchy, sweet, savory, deeeelicious, and nutritious. A great recipe, I say. Let me know what you think.

Oh – and I’m looking for a new recipe name for this. I don’t think what I have is deserving enough. Enter a comment below to send me your ideas!


Avocado Honey Cup

Makes enough for 1 breakfast serving. Have 1/2 for a snack or appetizer, or dessert!

Ingredientshoneyjar

1 ripe avocado, cut in half and seed removed
2 tsp honey (get locally made honey)
1 TBS raw pumpkin seeds

Directions

  1. Prep avocado.
  2. Drizzle honey over both sides.
  3. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
  4. Marvel at how pretty it looks.
  5. Grab a spoon and scoop away!

Variationspumpkinseeds

  • Use ground walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or whole sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin seeds
  • Sprinkle with 1 TBS ground flax seed
  • If you’re really hungry, add a side of brown rice bread, toasted, spread with 1 TBS of organic goat cheese or creamy sheep’s milk cheese
  • I haven’t tried this – but if you’re having this for dessert, melt some 70% dark chocolate in a ben-marie (double boiler) and drizzle instead of the honey. WOWEEEEE YUMMYYYY! Believe it or not, avocado and chocolate go really well together. I love making up recipes on the fly. Just thought of this.

If you share this recipe, please include this blurb with it:

This recipe shared with you courtesy of Delicious Health, Inc., a health, nutrition, and lifestyle consultancy whose mission is to transform busy bodies into healthy, balanced beings (TM). Find us at www.enjoydelicioushealth.com or www.delicioushealthblog.com. Have a deliciously  healthy day!

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September 9, 2009 at 1:21 AM 4 comments

Hear ye! Hear ye! F*R*E*E 5-Day Virtual Conference: Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2009

National Chronic Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2009

F*R*E*E 5-Day Virtual Conference
September 14-18, 2009

Do you live with an invisible illness or have it in the family? Cancer, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Lupus, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression… they’re all invisible… they’re all very real.

Join one or join all 20 free seminars, for F*R*E*E! Get inspired and get tons of tips on living with an invisible illness, or join with a family member / friend to show support.

Read more and join the Virtual Conference from here.

September 6, 2009 at 11:42 PM Leave a comment

Cook! SF’s Fall Cleanse – Delicious, Easy, and with a Special Discount for Delicious Health Peeps!

Do you want to break your sugar addiction?

Lose weight?

Rocket your energy levels?

Heal from the inside, out?

WITHOUT having to shop, wash, prep, cut, chop…
or plan a full week’s worth of menus…
or deprive yourself of deliciousness?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then join us for the

7 Day Cook! SF Cleanse September 18, 2009!

available for San Francisco Bay Area residents only… for now.

Based on Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultrametabolism principles, endorsed by Drs. Marsha Nunley and Neha Sangwan, and in partnership with Delicious Health, the Cook! SF Cleanse is designed to decrease internal inflammation by removing common allergens from the food we eat during a weeklong feast of delicious, fresh whole foods meals.

Cleanse Options:
Essential Plan (7 days: 3 meals a day) – $315
Complete Plan (7 days: 3 meals & 2 snacks a day) – $415
Active Lifestyle Option (larger portions for men and / or athletes) – add $80
Delivery – $18.95 in SF / $29.95 outside San Francisco (within the Bay Area)

The Cook! SF Cleanse week begins Sept 18th, so please sign up by Saturday,  Sept 12th to join us. Use Coupon Code cDH 0909 for your Delicious-Health-only $10 discount.

Details and sample menu are on the Cook! SF website:
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE & SIGN UP.

September 6, 2009 at 12:07 AM Leave a comment

Interview with Lisa Copen, Founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

Lisa Copen joins us today as the founder of National
Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
. This year it will take place over September 14-20, 2009 and there are lots of ways to get involved, including a free 5-day virtual conference. Lisa is on a blog tour to help people know about the event and how it can specifically encourage you. Read on!

Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen

Thanks so much for joining us today, Lisa, here at Delicious Health’s blog!

LC: Thank you for the honor of being here. I read a lot of blogs, but recently
I’ve visited more than ever before and I’m amazed at how the quality and quantity of blogs on health and illness matters have grown over the last couple of years. Both the readers and writers of blogs have changed how people perceive different illnesses, because they reveal not just the symptoms of illness, but the daily lives of the people who live with them.

Yes. Speaking of awareness, tell us about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. That’s quite a mouthful!

LC: It is. A lot of times we just call it Invisible Illness Week. Our mission
is to have a designated time, worldwide, in which people who live with chronic illness, those who love them, and organizations are encouraged to educate the general public, communities, health care professionals and government officials about the affects of living with a disease that is not visually apparent. Through programs and resources, we seek to recognize the daily challenges of more than 100 million adults and children who live with invisible illness.

Its also a great chance for people with any illness to be involved in a national
event to increase the understanding of their own particular disease. They can use our event to blog about the emotions of living with their illness, for example, how they often may look perfectly fine but are in deep pain.

Explain to our readers what a virtual conference is.

LC: A wonderful opportunity to “attend a conference” without every
having to get dressed! The main part of the Invisible Illness Week is our 5-day virtual conference–which is completely free–September 14-18. There are 20 speakers who are experts in their area and with chronic illness they will be giving a 40-minute presentation and then taking live calls. The seminars are M-F, 4 times a day on a variety of topics: going to college, marriage, applying for disability assistance, cleaning, finding the right job, faith, preparing for surgery and many more. All are free, listened to live or later, and even downloaded from itunes to your ipod or purchased on a CD.

That sounds amazing. So, do you have last year’s seminars available?

LC: They are available. Before 2008 we used a chat room for seminars so we
had written transcripts, but now one can hear 2008’s workshops directly from a computer, at tunes, or on a CD.

I know many of us would love to opportunity to go to a 5-day conference but ironically, because of our illness, things like traveling, finances, sitting
that long, etc. it’s just not possible, so this is an ideal solution.

Tell us why you started Invisible Illness Week? What made you see this as necessary?

LC: For a few reasons. I began Fest Ministries in 1997, a Christian organization for people who live with any kind of chronic illness or pain, because I saw the need to connect with others who are going through a similar journey in their life. We are also the sponsors of Invisible Illness Week. I witnessed a lot of people who were very bitter and frustrated because they felt so alone and invalidated in their pain. Some people even had spouses who questioned whether the illness existed at all.

I also saw lots of family members, caregivers, doctors, churches, etc. who
wanted to reach out to people with illness, but they said all the wrong things.
Eventually they distanced themselves from their loved ones because they just didnt understand illness or how to respond to it.

The fact that illness and pain is invisible to see can make it hard for healthy
people to understand. And those with illness can easily become bitter when their loved ones believe it is being exaggerated. It makes for a sad situation all the way around and I thought communication could be a helpful first step.

Having lived through chronic, excruciating pain and having being told through most of it that I “looked great,” I can relate. It was frustrating, isolating, and disheartening, to say the least.

LC: It is, isn’t it? Even those of us who cope rather well with our illness
on a day-to-day basis can still have moments of frustration. We may park legally in a disabled parking spot and we get the look from someone walking by. A friend may ask, So are you all better now? People don’t always comprehend the difference between being sick and being chronically ill.

animated

 

So this is what made you decide to start Invisible Illness Week? To start some communication about these different issues and emotions?

LC: Yes, I wanted to bring people together to encourage one another. I saw
people burting with joy when they had every reason not to and I knew they could encourage others.

It really doesn’t matter what illness we have, where we live, what age we are,
how long ago we were diagnosed, etc. The fact that most of our illnesses are
invisible and not seen by people gives us a lot more in common that most of
the physical symptoms of our specific illnesses ever could.

What illness do you live with, Lisa?

LC: Rheumatoid arthritis is my main disease I struggle with. I was diagnosed
in 1993 at the age of 24. A few years after my diagnoses I started having symptoms of fibromyalgia and was later diagnosed with that. Unfortunately, I’ve never experienced any kind of remission that all the doctors hoped for, so the last sixteen years have been a real challenge. I know I could be worse off now and that in some ways I’ve been very blessed, but I’m also going through the emotions of my illness becoming more visible. My illness isn’t just painful every day now, but it’s hard to do dishes or drive because my hands and feet are becoming more and more deformed. I take a lot of medications that have slowed the disease progression down, but I’ve been in a new season this last year and have many surgeries in the near future.

I heard that you type with just a few fingers.

LC: Yes, it’s true. I use just three fingers and my two thumbs to type. One
adapts. I think I still can type about 50 words a minute, but sometimes my fingers start to go numb. I have a voice program I can use, but I am a fast talker and tend to get impatient with its limitations.

How can people get involved with Invisible Illness Week and find out more information?

LC: Thank you for asking because just by helping us spread the word, for example, sharing about this blog post or by linking to it or posting it on Facebook, is the perfect ways to help our grassroots cause. I probably don’t have to tell you that we don’t have a marketing budget! When people introduce their friends or family to her virtual conference or retweet out our twitters or articles, they are making a significant difference. We also have some fun items to help spread the word like buttons, and tote bags, silicon bracelets that say “Invisible Illness, Visible Hope,” awareness pins, and of course bumper stickers.

Our theme this year is “A Little Help Gives a Lot of Hope.”

We are also accepting blogs from people to be featured on our site as a guest
blogger. And we have a place to sign up to commit to blog on the topic of invisible illness on one’s own blog. You can join our cause on Facebook and share it with others, tell people about our video, our twitter facts about illness, things like that. Tell your doctor, counselor, pastor, colleagues; we have brochures available too.

Some people call their local newspaper and share about the week, their support group, or their illness experience. Since it’s listed in Chase’s Annual Events, journalists can tie in the personal story with the annual event.

How has blogging and twittering and other forms of social media made a difference? Has it helped in how you’ve been able to let people know about Invisible Illness Week?

LC: Absolutely. Exponentially! For example we’ve done a series of tweets on
20 things not to say to a chronically ill person and 20 things to say. Our twitter hashtag is #iiwk09 to find Invisible Illness Week tweets easily. A lot of interesting conversations have been spurred by these tweets. Be sure to follow us @invisibleillwk on Twitter!

We have over 1600 people who have joined our cause on Facebook. And we have some amazing prizes we are giving away to people involved in these different outreach areas.

There are so many people who feel really alone, as if no one in the world can possibly understand how much they are suffering. What would you tell these people?

LC: If I could I would just give them a long hug and sit there beside them
to listen first. Listening is one of the hardest things to do! I struggle with
it myself! But I know that is what people need.

Secondly, I would also validate that they are right–no one really can understand what they are going through. Illness is a unique and lonely experience. That said, there are a lot of ways to connect with people who understand more than they may expect; they just have to find them. There are lots of ways online to connect when you can’t drive to a support group. Our social network is Rest Ministries Sunroom and I recently began Illness
Twitters
to connect people who Twitter about illness or health issues.

You have written a book that gives 505 ideas on how people can reach out to someone who is ill, right?

LC: I do. It’s called “Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.” It’s actually a very helpful book because even though I wrote it, I still refer to it frequently for fresh ideas on how to encourage someone who is hurting. Too often I get stuck in the rut of not being able to think of anything other than another meal. Food is a nice gesture, but there are so many more creative and memorable ways to show someone you care. We also have cute little JOY gift certificate cards that you can give a friend when you are offering to do something for them. JOY stand for “Just Offering You” and one can fill out what they are able to offer (errands, laundry, taking your child for a play date, etc.) and when the best time is for them to volunteer to help.

That’s a terrific idea! I would imagine that it would be easier to accept help from someone if it looked like a gift certificate. Sometimes asking for help is really hard to do.

LC: Yes, that’s the idea. The cards are a perfect addition for a women’s ministry, a support group, or really anyone who wants a way to say, “I’d like to help. Here is what I am able to offer to do.”

What are some suggestions you have for approaching an invisible illness with positivity versus hopelessness?
 
It would take me a book to answer that (smile) but here are some of my best tips:
 
Learn the balance between being a good advocate for your health/illness and well-informed and digging too deep into the information on the internet and symptoms. You need to be well-educated, but not obsessed about your illness and all the things that “will” happen to you. You may never experience some of the symptoms or the severity and there is not “normal” for any particular illness. Each individual is different.
 
Have reasonable expectations of others and be honest with yourself about your communication skills. People will say the wrong thing or not react to your symptoms or comments the way you wish they would. Truthfully, do you even know what you want or need?  Whether you need to improve communication with your spouse, kids, parents or friends, learn to do it with grace and not get too emotional about it all. Learning to say, “I need to find a place to sit down” to “I am just going to stay and hour” is part of a lifelong learning process, but the sooner you learn it the easier your life will be.
 
Find a friend who understands some of what you are going through. Whether it is a loved one, someone from a support group, or an online friend, it really only takes one person who speaks the same language to help add perspective to your situation.

Search your soul for what is going to get you through those darkest moments when a friend, medication, or a cup of tea comes up short. For me, that is my faith in God and the ability to know there is a purpose in it all. Knowing I am doing my best at living health with an illness, yet my body still turns on me, makes me feel out of control. It’s these times I most heavily rely on knowing God is in control and I’m not just spinning in a universe without meaning.

Thank you again so much for joining us today, Lisa. And thank you for starting National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. I know that you have your own health struggles and that you are also a wife and mother, so I know it can’t be easy to do it all.

LC: Honestly, it’s not, but it has always kept me going too and I couldn’t
do it without my husband’s support. Thank you for hosting me at your blog today! I hope all of your readers will visit us at National
Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
and let your friends know about our free 5-day virtual conference! We’re going to have a great time!

August 26, 2009 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

Stuffed Green Peppers – Turkish Style

This is one of my personal favorites; one of the dishes I beg my mom to make each time I go home to Turkey or they come visit us in SF.

NOTE: The use of nightshade plants in this recipe can be avoided by omitting tomatoes from the stuffing and stuffing zucchinis rather than eggplants, tomatoes, or peppers.

Stuffed Green Peppers – Turkish Style
Makes enough for 4 servings.

Ingredients

4 small green peppers, washed and tops cut off carefully (will be put back on after stuffing, and the insides cleaned out of seeds, spine, etc.)
1 lb leanest organic ground beef (ideally grass-fed)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley, separated from stems
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, separated from stems
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, yep – separated from stems
3 medium, ripe tomatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1 medium-large yellow onion, grated
the juice from 1 lemon, fresh squeezed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups filtered water or broth
1 flat tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (which is not really a pepper)

Directions

  1. Put green peppers, olive oil, and water/broth aside.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients well.
  3. Stuff the green peppers equally. Put their “hats” back on.
  4. Place stuffed peppers upright in a pot big/small enough to prop them all up.
  5. Pour the olive oil over the stuffed peppers.
  6. Cover with water or broth.
  7. Bring to a boil on high heat; then reduce to medium heat.
  8. Cook until done, about 40-45 minutes, when the rice is visibly cooked through.

Variations

  • Stuff small eggplants, medium tomatoes, or small zucchinis using the same recipe. These veggies need to be big enough to be able to carve out the insides in order to stuff them, but small enough to have a reasonable serving size (about 1 cup of food per stuffed veggie, or less).
  • Use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef. Will be a bit Americanized, but hey – all in the name of health, right? =)
  • Sprinkle hot red pepper flakes in the stuffing, to taste.
  • Get creative with which veggies you stuff, and let me know!

Enjoy!

If you share this recipe, please include this blurb with it:This recipe shared with you courtesy of Delicious Health, Inc., a health, nutrition, and lifestyle consultancy whose mission is to transform busy bodies into healthy, balanced beings (TM). Find us at www.enjoydelicioushealth.com or www.delicioushealthblog.com. Have a deliciously  healthy day!

August 12, 2009 at 8:30 AM Leave a comment

From Invisible to Invincible ™ Part I – a.k.a Healing from Fibromyalgia and Much More

I’ve been procrastinating again. I finished a book, started another one, woke up at 5am because I had half a glass of red wine last night for the first time in ages, lay awake in bed for two hours, worked out for 1.5 hours morning, chatted with a neighbor, chatted with another neighbor, made tea, made breakfast, watched a cat catch and eat a bird, doodled on some other social networking site. Now I’m writing this paragraph. Everything to keep myself from starting to write about what I really need to write about: my how-I-got-really-really-sick-and-how-I-got-well-again story.

I know part of why I don’t want to do this: I don’t want to relive it, I don’t want to focus on the negative (I never do!), as I’ll have to do when I write. But there’s something else nagging at me and I haven’t figured that one out yet.

But it’s time. And as much as I’m dragging my fingers right now, I know I’ll gain steam when I get started. So here I go!

***

3 years ago I felt like my life was over. Almost everything I had worked so hard for – my 10-year career including  a prestigious master’s degree, my fit body, my intellect – went up in proverbial smoke. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t think, remember things, or feel anything but pain all over. On the outside, I looked fine most of the time. But my body, my head, and my insides felt like they were crumbling.

Literally overnight, years of chronic stress and running on empty caught up with me, finding and seeping through the hairline cracks in my body until the built-up pressure broke down all the defenses. Up until that moment, I was a highly accomplished Type A, perfectionist, busy professional who was totally in control of her world, high heels and all.

But now, I felt invisible, like a non-entity:  I was not able to be productive and feel good about myself, I was scolded on the bus by older women because I sat up front in the ‘reserved for disabled’ seats because I couldn’t stand (hey – I looked fine!), I was a nuisance to drivers because I crossed the road so very slowly (I could barely walk because of my severe neuropathy), I barely had enough energy to brush my teeth on most days, and even if I had the energy to, I had nothing to talk about and couldn’t relate to other people because I was consumed by my pain and medical agony.

Something shifted when I hit rock bottom:  I wasn’t going to have it anymore. I wasn’t going to play by others’ rules that said “You have to be on this medicine,” “You will be pain for the rest of your life,” “You have to have this surgery,” or even “There’s nothing wrong with you.” I started playing by my own rules. And that’s when I started becoming Invincible. Even if I had to live in pain, I was going to do it on my own terms. I was going to rebuild my life.

Now I feel great, having been on the mend since about November 2008 after about two years of really hard work using my own body, mind, and spirit trio as guinea pigs, when all of a sudden ‘one step forward, two steps back’ started becoming ‘one step forward – oh, wait, look! another step forward! and another! wooo hoooooooooo!’

This is now the best I’ve ever felt, really:  high energy, high spirits, my body is strong, my skin is glowing, no symptoms (as long as I mind my triggers – more on that later), no weird stuff, no colds / flus / headaches / asthma / etc (see below), and I am at peace with my life and my world. I love my life, my  work / passion, my body, and everything this experience has taught me.

My standing diagnoses as of 3 years ago are (were?):

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disorder
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Immunotoxicity
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    (with the Trauma being the overnight dissolution of my health at the age of 32)

These are what I’ll be writing about most of the time. But my past health history includes the following, which I may deign upon now and then as some of these may apply at some point:

  • Chronic asthma (no more asthma now)
  • IBS
  • Many food allergies (down to a very few now)
  • Chronic bronchitis (no more)
  • Pneumonia (no more – no colds anymore either)
  • Chronic tension headaches (very, very rare – maybe 2 x year vs 3 x month)
  • A gallbladder full of stones due to heavy antibiotic therapy (gone – avoided surgery – got rid of them naturally in 2 months with the help of my Naturopathic Doctor)
  • Medication-induced hepatitis and pancreatitis (liver still temperamental – hence the wine’s effect on me last night – but otherwise healed)
  • Unexplained fevers (with no other symptoms – thankfully no more)
  • A probable diagnosis of viral meningitis (yikes!)
  • An atrophied left ankle due to faulty cortisone therapy (my ankle is fully healed now)

Eeek, right? No wonder I’m an “expert patient” and can emphathize with my clients – most likely, if you’re struggling with a health issue, I’ve been there too!

The good news is that the story has a happy ending, per se. 

Okey doke. This is all I feel up to writing for today.

To be continued – stay tuned for Part II and beyond! I’ll keep digging deeper and sharing insights, tips, and more details about my healing as I go.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions. I have a little bit of a backlog to get back to earlier posts, so please bear with me if you’ve reached out to me already…

Have a delicious day!

August 11, 2009 at 3:01 AM Leave a comment

Slowing Down

Remember those summer days that seemed to last forever when you were a kid? When you’d forget to eat or had not a care in the world because you were having such a great time doing other things? When you’re living your days with abandon and savoring each delicious detail, recreating this type of flow is easy. You’ll feel and be healthier, more positive, and more resilient against the ups and downs of your life.

After a super hectic year, I’ve been having a slow summer and invite you to craft one for yourself as well. Busy? You don’t need a lot of time. When you see a puppy, pet it. When you feel overwhelmed, remember that you are not THAT important – the world will go on without your deadline being met. Savor your favorite cup of tea by tearing your eyes away from the monitor and closing them for a few seconds as you take a sip. These are the details that make up your life.

As a recovering Type A and perfectionist, I am constantly monitoring and countering my natural tendencies to overthink, overwork, and overdo my workaholism (it’s hard when you love your work so much). I know many of you can relate to these tendencies, as super overachievers yourselves.

The past four weeks have produced some of my most successful counter-strategies to date =). Here are some of the ways I chose to get slow this summer. Do any of these inspire you to find your own busy-life-counter-strategies?

  • Checking email only 1-3 times a week.
  • Listening to crickets and petting puppies.
  • Not watching any TV. Definitely not watching the news.
  • Spending tons of quality time with my family and my love, Andy.
  • Watching over 20 hot air balloons pass by literally over my head, at dawn, in the midst of the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. (photo below courtesy of Andy Wickless)
My Mom and Me in Cappadocia

My Mom and Me in Cappadocia

  • Hiking through a pristinely silent valley, once home to several ancient civilizations, munching on a fresh-off-the-branch wild yellow plum. (See photo – courtesy of Andy – thanks, Andy!)
Wild golden plums. A couple made it into my happy tummy!

Wild golden plums. A couple made it into my happy tummy!

  • Taking a much needed break sitting on my bum in the middle of aforementioned hike. (See photo below. That’s me in the red hat. Also by Andy.)
Taking a break in the shade of a makeshift cafe in the middle of nowhere. Gotta love entrepreneurs.

Taking a break in the shade of a makeshift cafe in the middle of nowhere. Gotta love entrepreneurs.

  • Celebrating my brother’s farewell to bachelordom and welcoming an AWESOME new sister-in-law.
  • Taking long showers (much to the chagrin of my father).
  • Eating beautiful, lovingly and simply prepared food, slowly. (Right now: four lusciously ripe figs, with the skins on.)
  • Reconnecting with old friends over tea, walks, and more great food.
  • Meeting new soul-friends and acknowledging this uplifting connection. (“Wow! We just met but I feel like I’ve known you forever!”)
  • Buying another gorgeous Turkish carpet, after 5 hours of Turkish-style bargaining. (I didn’t say ALL slow pleasures were free!)
  • Sifting through family heirlooms and enjoying the honor of wearing my grandmother’s antique ring and watch to my brother’s wedding.
  • Marinating on new business ideas and the age-old question: What do I want to be when I grow up?
  • Being quiet with myself, by myself, for myself.
  • Getting a massage. After the sauna.
  • Reading trivial and monumental books alike.
  • Appreciating history as well as the blip that is our own lifetime.

I admit, it’s easy to slow down on vacation or during the warmer days of summer that seem to lull your body into a slower state. But how about when you get back to real life? As I mull over what shape I want my work to take this coming year, I need to keep reminding myself that my work is but one part, one slice, of my life (I said I was “recovering,” didn’t I?).

A lot of us seem to define ourselves by our work. We use words like “lazy” and “free time” to define the time that we don’t spend working. Isn’t that awful? What woke me up to this tendency in myself was when I found myself writing to-do lists consisting of the items “Brush teeth” and “Eat” when I was too ill to do much else but sleep 20+ hours a day. I felt guilty because I couldn’t DO anything, because I was “useless” and “not productive” and this was my subconscious trying to make it right. It was many months later when I realized I was doing a lot during this time – my body was working hard to heal years of stress and the self-inflicted abuse that workaholism brings, teaching me how to rest, and teaching me how to just be.

Each slice of your life should be defined on its own terms, not by what it isn’t. The way I describe this to my clients is to stop defining your life as “work” and “not-work”, and start identifying distinct slices / buckets / categories of activities that you enjoy doing and want to bring (back?) into your life. Make time for these. Without feeling guilty. Or if you do feel guilty, listen to where this is coming from and see how you can learn from that source. Later, as you wean off of the belief that work defines who you are, your life will flow better and you won’t need such distinct rules to ensure your life is fuller, richer, and deliciously healthier.

As for me, I know I want to learn yoga, take hikes more regularly, take more daytrips around the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, learn how to prepare more Turkish recipes as an homage to my heritage, host the dinner parties I keep promising to friends, and find that elusive new hobby that Andy has been telling me I need. There’s a joke in Turkish about the man who married his mistress and how that left a vacancy. Well, my current work used to be my hobby, my mistress. Now I’m married to my ex-mistress and I need a new mistress!

Suggestions, anyone?

***

© 2009 Delicious Health, Inc.

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“Simla Somturk Wickless, MBA, CHC, CNE, Founder of Delicious Health, Inc., is an integrative health, nutrition, and lifestyle coach and change agent whose mission is to transform Busy Bodies into healthy Balanced Beings (TM). To learn how to increase your energy, tame your stress, and take back control of your health, register for her free monthly eZine at www.enjoydelicioushealth.com.”

August 3, 2009 at 7:50 AM 3 comments

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