Winter and fall used to be my favorite seasons and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. I always preferred wearing a jacket or coat to cover up my body. I felt that, if I was covered, no one would see my body shape. Wearing a coat or jacket put me in a comfort zone. I rarely fussed about my clothes, so for me winter and fall were great for hiding.
When spring would arrive, everyone would say, “Spring is so great and beautiful.” I would think to my myself, “oh great, now I have to wear a light jacket/sweater and eventually it will be summer and then I won’t be able to even that! Now what am I going to do?” I was miserable and self-conscious and I didn’t enjoy going out very much. So when everyone was out enjoying the spring and summer weather, taking walks outside, going to the beach, riding bikes, etc., I would stay in my air conditioned home looking out my window watching life pass me by.
Well, spring is here and summer is not too far away so what am I going to do? Am I going to look out the window and watch life pass me by or am I going to be a participant? I have decided to become a participant in life. I have wasted too much time watching instead of doing.
I started my wellness journey since February 9, 2010 when I appeared on The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Oz asked the audience if they thought I was beautiful and everyone clapped and cheered, as did my husband. That moment changed how I felt about myself inside. I realized that what everyone saw was not an overweight woman, but simply a woman. I slowing began to come out of hiding. So how did this transformation happen? How did I escape my comfort zone and stop hiding?
- Within the next few days I went through my closet and got rid of all my baggy clothes.
- I went shopping and bought a few things that were brighter in color and fit more closely to my body shape. Before this, I had 2 colors of clothing in my closet: black and brown. So I bought some clothes that made me feel happy and smile.
- I went to the hair salon and changed my hair style to fit my new personality. Not a major change, but a change.
- I looked into the mirror and realized that I need to love myself and know that I am important.
So for anyone out there who is going through a wellness journey: Enjoy who you are right now. Beauty comes from deep within and will shine on the outside as long as you love yourself. We are all so special. Don’t do what I used to do and watch life pass you by, instead become a participant and enjoy life. Everything else will fall into place.
Weekly Food Menu
Sunday and Tuesday: Italian Asparagus and Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Monday and Thursday: Tuna Balls in Tomato Sauce with Whole Grain Pasta
Wednesday and Friday: Whole Wheat Pizza topped with grilled chicken and grilled veggies
Saturday: Turkey Burger on a Whole Grain Bun
Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
(Pollo con i pomodori seccati al sole)
10 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and cut into thin strips
1 cup grated Parmesan/soy cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, opened, halved and pounded flat
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs lemon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp fresh oregano
Handful of whole-wheat flour
Ovenproof pan or skillet
In a bowl, mix together sun-dried tomatoes and cheese. Add olive oil and blend to form a paste and set aside. Arrange flattened chicken breasts on a flat surface and distribute tomato/cheese mixture evenly between the chicken pieces and roll up each and secure with kitchen string. Dust with a little whole-wheat flour, shaking off excess. In an ovenproof pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add chicken rolls and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer pan to preheated oven to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning rolls over once or twice. Carefully snip kitchen string and discard. Transfer chicken rolls to a serving platter and keep warm. Wearing oven mitts return pan to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add wine, thyme, salt and pepper; bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs and adjust seasoning. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with chopped parsley and basil and serve immediately.
Serving size: (1) chicken breast
Have a happy and healthy week and please keep me posted at Riare43a@aol.com as I enjoy hearing from you!