April – A Month of Saying “YES!”

This month I’ve been saying yes to basically all the things that once held me back…all the things that I once feared or thought I feared. April – a month of saying “YES” has changed me to the extent of what I’ve said “YES” to. These changes I dreamed about but couldn’t fathom doing because they were just too big for me to tackle now that they’re done, I realize they were holding me back.

I decided to say “YES” to anything that was in my best interest, that didn’t go against my value system, and that which I deemed wasn’t dangerous. I’ve been able to overcome my fears in this process. My “YES” moments have led me to different challenges and helped me to see my little plot of the world in a different light.

During April, I’ve said “YES” to highway driving, roads with roundabouts, and even rush hour traffic. I’ve said “YES” to fitness challenges (100 squats and 100 crunches a day). I’ve said “YES” to adventure planning with my husband (he always planned where we’d go, but has wanted me to take the lead here). I’ve said “YES” to new health routines, including 4 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in my daily diet. Refraining from eating any grains and sugar. I know I’ve talked about this before but coming from a sugar addict, this is still a constant issue for me. I’ve said yes to completing a book in 3 months. Now I’m working on a chapter every couple of days. I’ve also said “YES” to gaining more students and clients. My red hair is back because I said “YES” to a color option.

During my time of saying “YES”, I’ve been able to experience new ideas and new approaches to life. The one “YES” of planning our Adventure Sunday’s led me to this blog post because I saw a chain that cordoned off a portion of our hike and loved it’s rusted out appearance, yet tough strength that showed it was still useful. It showed me that even though life has kicked me around a bit, and I may have some battle scars, I, too have a lot of use left in me.

Saying “YES” to 100 squats and 100 crunches a day has shown me that I’m stronger than I think I am. It’s like I tell my students. “You are smarter than you think you are!”

In doing the squats and the crunches, I’ve decided to continue with formal workouts and do alternating days of upper and lower body with a day of stretching on Friday. Working out like this has helped me lose some inches and a few pounds. It’s also given me tons more energy.

The ACV (apple cider vinegar) addition to my diet has helped my digestion 100%. I am no longer hooked to taking baking soda and water every night and I kinda like the taste.

My new “YESes” for this last full week of April include

  • no devices after 7 p.m. and before 8 a.m.
  • going for a reflective walk after my morning workout,
  • reinstating my yearlong book reading list.
  • going for after dinner walks with my husband
  • taking 3 photos a day of my life

We each have many ways we can say “YES” to life, “YES” to happiness, and “YES” to overcoming fear. What are some areas you’ve said “YES” which in the past your immediate response was no? I’d love to hear your ideas or questions as I’m going to continue saying “YES” into May and June. And who knows maybe the rest of the year.

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Spring Pesto

If I had to choose just one sauce that’s the most versatile for me in my cooking adventures, it would have to be pesto. I’ve put pesto on almost everything from baked salmon, to stewed pesto chicken, a baked potato and even had it on popcorn. Yes, I said it! Pesto popcorn is the bomb!  While I am gearing up for my yearly May through September no oven use (more on that in a future post), I’ve been on a taste adventure to come up with unique ways to liven up our food. My husband said I nailed it with this Spring Pesto.

I’ve been experimenting with Pestos for over 20 years. It’s such a versatile sauce and can be made with many leafy greens without using basil at all. I’ve made pea pesto. It’s good only if you like peas…I don’t! I’ve also made pesto with carrot tops, cilantro, kale, spinach, beet greens, and my favorite asparagus! Nothing says Spring is around the corner like some good asparagus and it’s in season and on sale.


Spring Pesto 

  • 1 lb trimmed asparagus, steamed 8 minutes
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino romano cheese (If you are making it totally dairy free and vegan, use nutritional yeast)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup chopped greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard or even fresh basil)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley

Pulse it all together in a food processor until smooth. Serve over zoodles (zucchini noodles) or use as a topping for baked fish and chicken. Dollop on a baked potato or as a spread for sandwiches. Use by the tablespoon on popcorn.

Enjoy!

Pesto makes enough for 4 servings.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 244
  • Fat grams: 22.5
  • Cholesterol: 14.7 mg
  • Sodium: 181 mg
  • Potassium: 276 mg
  • Total carbs: 5.9 gr
  • Fiber: 2.1 gr
  • Protein: 7.5 gr

JOURNEY INTO THE REAL YOU

Did you know that when you venture out of your comfort zone the real you emerges? We all have that comfortable spot on the couch like Sheldon does in the Big Bang Theory. Maybe we have a chair that’s only for us and everyone knows it. Each time I embrace life I venture out of my comfort zone only to find the real me.

JOURNEY

Five years ago my husband and I moved away from everything we knew, we left our adult children and the rest of our families to JOURNEY into the unknown of the Pacific Northwest. This was a career move since his field was drying up in the Midwest. I was terrified because I didn’t want to leave my sons even though they were grown and not living at home anymore. I didn’t want to be 2000 miles away from them, because I knew that we would grow apart and I didn’t want that. But I also knew that I needed to be a submissive and loving wife to my husband and follow him where ever his career took us.

Something happened to us when we moved out away. We opened up our hearts and brought more people in. We learned to stand on our own and lean on each other when times got tough. That was 2008 and we all know what happened then. My husband along with thousands of other people lost their jobs, companies collapsed and families who were separated by miles were also separated by lack of money to make trips back to see each other. What money we did have went to pay our bills because in our case my husband lost his job right when I was starting college.

Many times family told us to move back, at least we gave it a chance. But we decided to stick it out and find a way to continue where we were. Granted it’s been very difficult emotionally to be in a place where we don’t get to see family but once a year or once every two years.  It’s not easy, but as we journey on this road we are constantly finding out who we really are. We are closer to each other and closer to God.

Take the time to JOURNEY into the real you, get out of your comfort zone, learn to experience life instead of just going through on auto-pilot. Yes the story of our journey is not the most pleasant, all the time. Yes we don’t get to spend time with our family the way we’d like, but we’ve made friends who fit into our family and we’ve fit into someone else’s life who needs us most. We’ve journeyed into the unknown and found the adventure of a lifetime.

Do I still miss my sons, their wives, and their children? Words cannot express how badly I miss them, how much I think about them, and how much I pray for them.