I adore anything that has to do with a kitchen. I relish shiny appliances. I savor fresh spices and local food markets. I covet ramekins, woks, casserole dishes, and kitchen-aides (oh elusive kitchen aide!). Naturally, too, I venerate the art of cooking. Me, in a fully stocked kitchen, with any tool, any appliance, any container at my disposal – along with any ingredient at my insatiable fingertips…this is an undisputed happy place. (Of course, insert plenty of people to cook for and chat with while preparing all the food – and it’s the perfect occasion) I could stay occupied in that one room until forcefully removed.
Lately, I’ve been trying to get back to the place where I take care of myself, of my body and my internal and external health. No, I’m not great at it. It doesn’t come naturally to me. Especially exercise.
I love to be outdoors, enjoy hiking and climbing (though it kicks my butt and I almost never get to do it) and if there’s a game of football or ultimate frisbee going on, I itch to join in. But I’m not a gym-lover or anything resembling a runner (laughable), and I sometimes have to talk myself into a fun dance class or pilates (which I always love and enjoy the most out of exercising, save walking) because I’m not easily self-motivated.
However, putting together these two subjects: food and health – I do find myself in a much more positive, endorphin-enriched place when I work at it. I’ve been trying to be more creative in my foods – testing my palate for veggies, willing myself to enjoy them more, looking for ways to go beyond lunch meat or simple chicken. When I make the good choices, when I talk myself into the activity, I’m happier. I’m sharper, have more stamina, remain in smiling moods and creativity. It really isn’t as hard or complex as our culture makes it out to be – being healthy. There’s a thousand little things that can get you there. And yes, they can be different for everyone – the specific ways a person can find joy in a healthful lifestyle. At least in the way of a lasting regime. My best friend is great at running and anything cardio. She’s talented at it and does it (pretty much anything active) almost seamlessly and quite well. I cannot run. I look ridiculous trying, and need a standby cardiologist 1/4 mile down the road. No joke, though it’s pretty funny. So what works well for her, doesn’t always for me – yet I find what does. Her mantra is “do what you love”. She maintains that it’s as easy as finding a workout that you enjoy – it’s the only way it will be fun, and is the only way it will last.
The same with food. I do not like beets. Or red peppers (or any pepper honestly, except the spice black pepper). Or sweet potatoes. All those can be wonderfully beneficial to health – but if I force feed myself these things simply because I know they’re healthy – I’ll be downing alfredo sauce and chocolate cake by the pounds, just to reward myself for choking down the “good” stuff. Instead, I don’t even try those veggies I hate, but I’ll buy broccoli and green beans and spinach, carrots (which I’ve recently begun enjoying), tomatoes and avocados. And fruit…I love fruit. So it’s all about making it work for you, while being reasonable and allowing yourself the guilty pleasures too. I have chocolate almost every day. I cherish pasta and bread. But I know how to moderate it now. Portions. Knowing when I’m full and stopping. I believe this approach to be healthy. And it works. I’ve lost weight and gotten into my height’s healthy range. It’s a great goal to accomplish. And it’s not difficult!
I’ve obviously digressed enormously. Let’s get back to my haven of bliss. The glistening kitchen. There are few stores that I can get lost in. I’m not a shoe girl. I can mostly say no to a clothing sale (unless it’s Target or New York and Company, but I can still stay strong) and make-up shops doesn’t get me dancing. However, it is rare indeed, to walk past this favorite, glorious store, or this one, or the kitchen/food department of this fun place without disappearing behind the rows of pots and pans, or being mesmerized by the stainless steel cookware. If I had disposable income I would spend 80%, if not more of the spending portion on that kitchen-aide, or Rachel Ray pans/Emeril pots, granite rolling pins, ramekins, tart plates, durable cutting boards, top of the line knives….oh I could go on. It’s mouthwatering to dream. One day, a stocked kitchen will be mine. I’ll work for it. Or if I get married, guess what the registry will be heavy of?
Enjoy your week! Try something new.