Thursday, October 31, 2013

Health 100: Food and Your Health -- Fall '13

This marks the second academic year Clark College -- Vancouver, Washington is using my cookbook "Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box." Today, I guest lectured for the first time this year. It's always a good time when I'm on campus and being teamed up with my mentor Veronica extra-sweeeet. I really, really love what I do!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's for Dinner? Herb Roasted Chicken

There's nothing simpler than roasting a chicken. And few things are more delicious and satisfying. The aroma as the chicken roasts creates an inviting, cozy ambiance in the house. Served here with roasted carrots and sautéed green beans. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Power to Change

You, yes, you have the power to change. I know this to be true not because I've read about it in self-help books but because I've changed. Not on accident, but on purpose.

Most people who meet me these days don't believe this about me, but I used to be a bitter, unhappy, carping person with a very negative outlook. I think part of my ugly disposition stemmed from carrying so much excess weight. I mean weighing 388 pounds is hard. Being overweight makes the simplest things much harder: walking, tying shoes, being social, on and on.  It takes a toll on your body and consequently it weighs down the spirit.

After a series of unfortunate events in 2009 I began to realize that the physical weight was causing most of my unhappiness but there was a lot of other things about myself that I really didn't like. It's been a long time coming and I'm still a work in progress, but I've changed. I changed because I realized that I had the power to change.  Yes, it's just that simple -- make the conscious decision to do something and then put forth the effort. I'll be honest, it's been hard, very hard. But, today I'm happier, friendlier, healthier, and 170 (give or take a few) pounds lighter.

Might I suggest, if you have areas in your life that you'd like to improve (weight, health, attitude). Take the time and take the necessary steps. You, yes, you have the power to change. Take it from someone who knows, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Related post:

The better part of my life
Kicking and Screaming

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall Stroll

I absolutely love fall. It's arguably my favorite season next to spring. Then when spring arrives I say spring is my favorite. Oh well, luckily I don't have to chose. I just enjoy each season in it's unique splendor.

Here's some photos from my strolls around my neighborhood and Pacific Community Park.

My first time ever noticing this type of tree. But today it caught my eye as I was rounding the corner coming home. The picture doesn't quiet do the berries justice. They were plump, bright, and beautiful. 

Come to find out it's a dogwood tree. A Kousa Dogwood tree those are edible berries sometimes used to make wine.


Pacific Community Park 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

TBT: Cooking class fun

Throwback Thursday. Wow. These photos take me back to a happy place. What fun we had on this day! I didn't expect Roasted Vegetables to draw such a crowd but the class was packed!  The energy in the room was electric. I've said this before I love to speak and share my story, but when I speak and cook at the same time -- I come alive! This was the first class at Chuck's where  I had Clark College students in the house!

This was also the day Cari Hachmann (former photographer from The Portland Observer) shot the photos for my first cookbook "Bringing Cooking Back" and lots of the photos for my second cookbook,  "Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box." including the popular cover.

I taught upwards of 40 cooking classes at Chuck's Produce & Street Market over a two year span and this was one of my top three classes. Delicious fun!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Staircase

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I had a big meeting a couple of weeks ago. I was really excited about the opportunity. When I found out I had been selected to present my ideas to the committee I went to work putting together my presentation.  As always, I poured my heart and soul into creating the best presentation.

Of course, my loved ones knew of the opportunity and they were rooting and praying for me. Some of them had even claimed it for me. It seemed to all of us that it was the perfect fit. For goodness sakes the deal was with Clark College. Hello! I already have a huge in there.  C'mon. My cookbook is used in the curriculum and I guest lecture there too.

During the much anticipated meeting, I didn't get that warm feeling I typically feel. The committee didn't seemed to be moved much by me or my ideas. I had so many ideas I wanted to share, but didn't get the green light to share them. It was more of a Q & A session. I was able to share a little of my enthusiasm, but by the end our meeting I felt that I fell flat. I figured if I was chosen they had the best poker faces -- ever.

Two days later, I received a phone call from the head of the committee. She said they were  impressed with my ideas, loved my enthusiasm, and noted my professionalism, but...they chose someone else.

At the time, I was very disappointed. Truthfully, I still am a little bit. But, instead, of hanging my head, I've chosen to highlight the positives:

- She took the time to personally call me
- She was personally inspired by me and my story 
- I was a strong candidate: one of three finalists of six interviewed; out of a pool of 36 applicants

I'm constantly putting myself and my ideas out there. Being told no or not now is a part of that process. I can't see the entire staircase and that's frustrating, but I'll keep climbing knowing that when I get to the top it will be worth the effort.

The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News