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Category Archives: On My Plate
Context vs. Strategy
For years now I’ve called myself a “contextualist”.
I claimed the name far before doing the work I do now.
What I learned for myself early on was this: Context matters.
Without context and the understanding of why, why wouldn’t a million other things get in the way of me making change and moving forward? And why would I ever venture to make dietary alterations or stick to them?
You likely can relate. . . The strategy for upgrading your diet and supporting your health may have been laid out before you by numerous books, articles, even health care practitioners. You know something’s gotta shift.
Yet you’re stalled. There’s something that prevents you from taking action. This happens time and time again. The evasion itself has become exhausting!
And I’d like to propose why. . .continue reading...
Every so often, life presents a reflection other than the one in the looking glass.
It could be a messy kitchen or a cold caught after final exams.
The lightbulb goes off and all of a sudden it’s as clear as a spring day. . .
Something critical has fallen out of my regard.
As parents, the worst of these reflections exhibit themselves in the health and well-being of our children.continue reading...
For the past few days I’ve been waking up with allergic shiners ~ dark and puffy little bags of skin beneath my eyes.
I’ve also been in California, spending the holiday weekend with my family, celebrating Passover and Easter and my son’s spring break.
But what’s up with the shiners?
What’s my body telling me & what do they shine the light on for me to see?continue reading...
Oftentimes clients will ask me how they know when they’re there.
Are we there yet?
Have we reached our dietary goal?
Is this the stopping point?
Is it all better now?
But for some of us, there is an elusive place that’s as hard to reach as OZ during waking moments. It’s not that we can’t (and don’t!) achieve our goal weight, energy and physical stride. It’s that it can be challenging to stay there. . . forever.
I’m not talking about the difficulty of Sticking With It!, of learning how to heed your prescribed dietary plan or known parameters for optimal health. Instead I’m referring to the changes that occur within our bodies themselves.continue reading...
December is a month filled with candy canes. And this year I lived strongly and boldly in the present with each celebratory moment. Yet for me, December is also a time when I go tripping down memory lane.
I’m sure I’m not alone.
The all-important milestones of the year, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, serve to remind us of times-gone-by. Perhaps it was the first Christmas you brought your partner or baby home to your parents’ house. Or the first holiday dinner without a certain loved one gracing the table. Or maybe it’s the last New Year’s Eve you spent before you made a significant life-change.
The list, and the memories, go on and on, throughout your lifetime of cognizance ~ and possibly even before mental retention even kicked in.continue reading...
Earlier this week my son and I arrived at my parents’ house in San Diego, just skirting the storms in Portland. Thanksgiving has been the holiday my parents have claimed for decades now, calling all west coast family to feast at their table.
This tradition began when they lived in Colorado. During those years, my husband (then boyfriend), Isamu and I would pack our warmest clothes and boots in preparation for the Colorado chill. We’d load our bags with books ~ the kind with recipes as well as the ones to read ~ and prepare for the mixed blessings of a family gathering.
You likely know what I mean. . .
There was always the comfort of being in the folds of my parents home. In those early years there was also the nervousness of bringing my boyfriend into the mix.; the fun of planning and preparing an extravagant meal; the satisfaction of eating the homemade goodness; and the inevitable tension around clean-up time. The latter due to my father’s propensity to run a tight ship without necessarily informing anyone of his plan-of-action.
I don’t know how many Thanksgiving there were like this before the one where Isamu’s entire family joined us for the festivities. That year our parents anticipated, with great glee, that we would announce our engagement. In fact, that was Isamu’s intention as well. Though he was unaware of the parental expectations, and I was oblivious to all their hypotheses.
We did not announce our engagement that Thanksgiving.continue reading...
Ahhh the weekend.
It’s the perfect time to make a big pot of stock, soup or stew to sustain you not only through the week, but through the seasonal change, aptly known as “cold & flu season”.
This week I’ve had everyone from my own mother to moms of little ones in my communities at school and online contacting me to ask: what do I do for the flu?
Well hang on.
I’ve got some great answers for you.
It so happens that I was just interviewed by the health department at the online resource center ivillage on this very subject. And honestly, I thought you deserved to have the answers first!
Speaking of first, for all you parents out there, a quick shout out that the Your Vibrant Child program started this week with the release of the first class! We’re off to a roaring start. That first class is all about one of the major cold & flu aggravators that creeps into your child’s diet at every turn. (The best cold & flu prevention may be right there!)continue reading...
food is the best medicine for your vibrant child
“The #1 medicine for my patients? Food. If I could find something better, I’d use it.”
~ functional medicine pioneer Mark Hyman, MD
at the Institute for Functional Medicine Conference, September 10th, 2012
Sadly we’re not a culture that’s tapping into this pharmacy.
As parents, we’ve become complacent, indulgent and (let’s face it), too busy to turn our attention to true healing on a meal-by-meal basis. The current societal swing brings a lot of pressure and we as parents are concerned that our child will be “different” among their peers. As a result, we may very well be overlooking the fact that we’re the ones, right here, right now, that have a strong hand in informing the health, longevity and disease prevention for our kids.
Is it our fault, as parents, that 1 in 4 teens today is either pre-diabetic or diabetic?continue reading...
August has been a month of highs and lows, peaks and valleys.
The best peaks were atop cliffs overlooking pristine beach and reef on the island of Kauai. The magical valleys were underwater with my son, Gilbert, communing with the creatures of the sea ~ fluorescent streaks, funny fish smiles and boy sized flippers all within my immediate vision.
I ran on the beach, not for exercise, but to beat Gilbert to the towel or to hop over steaming sun-baked sand. I climbed lava rocks with bare feet. And I finished an entire book, from start to finish, laying on the beach while soaking up my vitamin D.
And I did all of this in a state of near-nakedness, in one of the three flowered bikinis that quickly became my rotating uniform.
All the while, I started to ponder the concept of nakedness.
When do we feel most naked?continue reading...
The end of May-cation
My May-cation has come to an end.
I have no remorse. No regrets. No pining for more time to May-cate.
Truth be told, I’m ready; with more energy, more resolve and more engagement in my daily routine.
The month of May started out busy, with lots of travel, the opportunity to make great connections with colleagues and friends, and then the ensuing case of catch-up.
After it all, something happened. I didn’t contemplate its occurrence. I didn’t plan a stitch of it. But somehow, a part of me, a part not connected to my thinking, contemplating self, demanded a peaceful resistance to my usual routine.
It’s that peaceful resistance that I’m calling May-cation.
Here’s what my May-cation looked like:
I turned my computer off at 9pm (instead of aiming for 10pm like I usually do)
I removed my alarm clock from my room, allowing myself to wake-up naturally each morning (which for me is still usually around 5:30am)
“Sleeping in” like that (i.e., not getting up at 5:00am) meant that I didn’t go to any of my workout classes
And I didn’t call. I didn’t write (unnecessary emails or Facebook posts or Tweets or even a newsletter, that is)