Monthly Archives: June 2012

WritersButt Wednesday Getting Down with Fish Oil

Another WritersButt Wednesday is here.  Yay!!  You’re cheering with me, aren’t you? Really, I can’t hear you … put some effort into your enthusiasm people.  I know we’re all spread out over the world – yeah, WritersButt has an international following – so what’s the weather like in your slice of the universe? As many of you know, I’m in central Texas and we are melting and breaking heat records. I’m not kidding. See, here’s a little visual of yesterday.

My daughter, Delaney, and I got into the car to run some errands and I said,

“Holy mother of all that is merciful, it’s hot in this car.”

And my little Miss Sassy, being a deadpan comedic, replied,

“It’s a good thing these seatbelts are black.”

She kills me!

So, before I get into the topic of Fish Oil and why you should all be taking this supplement, I want to follow up with the super fabulous guest blog by the awesome Kassandra Lamb with her announcement of the winner of the drawing.

The winner of the misterio press contest for a free three-book set of Kassandra Lamb’s Kate Huntington Mystery series is Coleen Patrick! Congratulations, Colleen!

Kassandra also wanted me to pass on her appreciation to everyone who stopped by and read her interviews and posts doing her blog-hop week and especially to those who contributed to some wonderful discussions.  ((Isn’t Kassandra uber-awesome!!))

Now, we move on to Fish Oil!

As someone who is deeply involved in the health and fitness arena of life, I’m always exploring different supplements that will help with a variety of things.  My husband and I will often try different supplements, sort of like guinea pigs, to see what works so that we can pass along that knowledge to our clients. Anything from protein powders, super green powders, products for energy and recovery, all the way to things that will help promote lean muscle mass and fat loss.

If there is one single supplement we’d recommend that everybody take, whether you are a gym-junkie or not, it’s Fish Oil. This supplement packs a powerhouse of healthy goodness.  There is a ton of info about fish oil out there so I’m going to keep this simple. Trust me, if you want the nitty-gritty details, it’s out there.

Fish oil comes from the tissue of fatty fish and contains Omega 3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA.  These acids are essential to the human diet because our bodies can’t produce them. We have to get them from other sources.  The reason it’s recommended to take fish oil in supplement form is because it’s nearly impossible to eat enough fatty fish or other food sources which contain Omega 3’s to get enough.

This wonderful Fish Oil FAQ from Whole9Life (a site I highly recommend you follow!) will give you tons of valuable information. I’ll point out some highlights from the post.

You might be wondering why EPA and DHA acids are so important to your health … from the Whole9Life’s post you will learn that:

EPA and DHA are natural anti-inflammatory agents, and as such, play a role in brain health, heart health, protection against cancer, Alzheimer’s and depression, improvement of skin conditions like psoriasis and acne, fetal brain development, inflammatory bowel disorders, and arthritis, to name a few.

You interested?

The most commons forms of supplement forms for fish oil are capsule or liquid form. But what’s important is to find a source that is concentrated so you get enough. Many forms have very little per capsule or spoonful, leaving you to have to take about 10 pills to get your daily amount.  I have taken both forms and I prefer the liquid form. It’s super easy to add to a protein drink if I’m having one that day or I just take it straight. It does not taste fishy or gross as most liquid forms come in flavors. I love the lemon the best or Stronger Faster Healthier’s mint flavor, which when mixed with a chocolate protein powder, makes me think of a thin mint.  ~swoon~

How much should you take and which sources are best? As I mentioned above, a good clean source can be found from Stronger Faster Healthier. We’ve also taken Carson’s and even the generic label from The Vitamin Shoppe. The SFH brand is by far my favorite though because of its super clean quality and because it truly does taste good enough to drink.

Whichever form you take, you want to make sure you’re getting the right amount.  Look at the label carefully and your goal it to aim for 2-4 grams of combined EPA/DHA per day. This is why a concentrated form is the best.

Worried about Fish Burps?

Keep the oil in the fridge. It doesn’t like heat or bright light. Same with the capsules – in the fridge. This will eliminate fish burps or any fishy aftertaste.  Trust me.  Also, take with a meal, especially if you are prone to a queasy stomach.

Now, one more thing … there are some people who will want to talk to their doctor before taking fish oil supplements. Fish oil reduces to the stickiness of platelets,  so people who have bleeding tendency, are taking blood thinning medications or about to have surgery should discuss with their doctor.

Next week — the recipe for our dinner last night which was seriously, one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I know I say that a lot, but really you guys … this was gooood!  Let’s call it: Lemon and smokey paprika chicken over veggies of amazing goodness. I KNOW I’ll see you next week after that tease. With the recipe, I’m going to talk about why you should buy and try veggies you have no idea how to cook! Think Adventure!

Advertisements

WritersButt Recipe Wednesday

I hope you all are in the mood for recipes for some yummy summer meals today, because that’s what I have for you! Summertime eating in our house is all about simple. We do a lot of grilling, as I’ve mentioned before, but even my indoor cooking get simplified during the long, hot days of summer.  Last week I made a slow cooked shredded BBQ chicken meal that was amazing. I paired it with coleslaw.

Ingredients:

*onion, chopped

*4-5 garlic cloves, smashed

*Large packet of skinless chicken breasts (natural, hormone-free, free-range, etc is best!)

*Jar BBQ sauce (here’s where I cheated this week because I was pressed for time and got the best store bought one I could find with NO high fructose corn syrup.  But there are some great homemade paleo BBQ sauce recipes, so I’ll do that next time.)

*Bottle of beer (recipe didn’t specify which kind of beer. I used one with a lime flavoring to add some zesty action)

*kosher salt and cracked  pepper

*1-2 tbsp of smoked paprika powder (SOOO good!!)

Put your chopped onion and smashed garlic in crock pot. Pour in sauce and beer and seasonings. Add your chicken to the pool.  🙂  I started on high for a few hours and then switched to low for a couple hours until we were ready to eat.

Coleslaw:

So here’s what’s funny. Everyone loves my coleslaw. The reason this is funny, to me, is that it’s not special at all. I buy angel hair cabbage already shredded in a bag. I add what I guess is the ‘magic’ ingredient, MAYO. And please do not insult your cabbage by slathering it in non-fat or low-fat mayo. I’m serious. The cabbage will not be happy. Don’t make the cabbage cranky! I splash a bit of rice vinegar in there, salt/pepper, little chili powder …. mix it up. This gets better after sitting in the fridge a bit before dinner.

This is how the chicken looks after it’s cooked. I put it all in a bowl and shredded it up easy-peasy with a fork.

Since I don’t eat bread, I just had mine next to my slaw. Seriously YUM! The kids had theirs on a fresh roll, like a chopped chicken sandwich.

William’s Sweet Potato Chips

I have to credit my husband for these because he made them before I did and I have no idea where he found the recipe but they are SO good. Just slice a sweet potato into very thin slices. Arrange on cookie sheet. Drizzle with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. Season with kosher salt, cracked pepper, crunchy minced garlic and we added some of the smoked paprika powder.  Into the oven at 350 and just keep checking on them.  I think they took roughly 30-ish minutes.

What they look like raw.

Finished! Ok, they may not look super impressive. Maybe I should have put them in a pretty bowl or something, but I’m not writing a cookbook here. Trust me, these are delicious. My favorite ones are the ones with the burnt parts. Crispy goodness! Every one of these were devoured.

Burger Night

Took a little help from the store for these salmon burgers. They were already seasoned mediterranean style, to which I added some minced garlic, pepper and smoked paprika. Grill them on the foil. Tip — which we did not do but will next time — spray your foil with a little olive oil or coconut spray for some non-stick help.

Salmon burger, slaw and sweet potato chips w/ a lovely glass of wine. I *heart* summer!

Miss Sassy wanted her picture on the blog. Here she’s showing her grilled burger w/ sweet potato chips, her newly streaked hair and her summer smile!

EASY LUNCH

I know a lot of you think it’s hard to grab something fast and healthy for lunch, especially when you’re writing and don’t want to take a break to ‘fix’ anything. Below was my lunch on Monday. I had some delicious broccoli slaw from the salmon burger night in the fridge. I almost always have plenty of hard-boiled eggs on hand for a quick protein snack. Sliced up a couple eggs over the slaw. Took no more than 60 seconds and I was back at my computer having a healthy lunch!

 

So, what about you guys? Any healthy summertime recipes you can share.  Here in Texas, we have long, hot, summers, so I need some ideas.

Coming soon to WritersButt: How to eat healthy while away at conferences and still have some indulgences!

 

A Check-Up From the Neck Up

Happy Thursday everyone! I have a huge treat for you today. The fabulous Kassandra Lamb is in the house and is going to hang out with us. You know how I like to go on and on share my thoughts on fitness and nutrition. Well, Kassandra is going help us tune-up our mental state.  I don’t know about you, but I needed to read this blog because I’m totally messed up sure I could use a minor adjustment. Trust me, we are in good hands, as you can see from her bio.

Kassandra Lamb:

Writing and psychology, have always vied for number one on Kassandra Lamb’s Greatest Passions list. In her youth, she had to make a decision between writing and paying the bills. She was partial to heat, electricity and food, so…

Now retired from a career as a psychologist, she spends most of her time in an alternate universe in which her protagonist, Kate, is always the kind, generous and insightful person that Kass wishes she were. When not at her computer, transported in mind and spirit into Kate’s world, she lives in Florida and Maryland, with her husband and her Alaskan Husky, Amelia. She also hangs out on Twitter –> @KassandraLamb and Facebook.

So, without further adieu, here’s Kass!

A Check-Up From the Neck Up

 

Thanks for letting me hang out with you today! Since you’re so in to health and fitness, Ginger, I thought I’d talk a bit about mental health.

Most of my clients when I was a psychotherapist, came to see me because they were really hurting. Going to therapy is right up there with having a root canal for most people; it tends to be a last resort kind of thing. And once my clients had cleaned out their psyches sufficiently that the pain went away, i.e., they were ready to leave therapy, I rarely heard from them again. Which was okay with me. It’s the nature of the job that you work yourself out of a job.

If I did hear from them, it usually meant that something was causing them pain again. So when I got a call one day from a former client, who said she felt that she was due for a “check-up from the neck up,” I thought, Uh, oh, I wonder what’s happened.

When she came in for her session, she talked about how her elderly mother was starting to need some care-taking, then segued into some quite normal frustrations with raising teenagers. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop: she was getting divorced, her kids were into drugs, she’d been abducted by aliens. Nope, she just needed to talk through a few things, get my take on them, make sure she was on the right track with her mother and her boys.

Every year or so after that, she’d come in for her check-up from the neck up. And I realized that this was a very healthy thing she was doing. She was checking things out with a professional before they became a big deal, making sure she was on the right track as she handled life’s stresses.

I’m not sure what reminded me of this client recently but I got to wondering why we don’t have mental health check-ups, like we do for our physical health. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we nipped our psychological problems in the bud, instead of waiting until they abscess and we can’t ignore the pain anymore? Equally important, we should have more emphasis on preventive mental health practices. Like we do with our physical health.

So here are my Top Ten Tips for a Healthy Psyche:

#1: Drink more water.

Wait that’s Ginger’s list. I picked up the wrong one. Okay, here it is.

#1: Remind yourself daily that you are responsible for your own happiness. Others can’t make you unhappy. Oh sure, their actions can affect your feelings, but then you have a choice about whether or not you go on letting them affect you. You can (a) confront them to try to get them to change their behavior (good luck with that one, but certainly give it a try), (b) choose to ignore them (this is not pretending that you don’t care; you have to truly let it go), (c) change your attitude about what they are doing or the situation, and/or (d) get away from them. When you think about it, that’s a simple checklist of options whenever we don’t like something: change it, ignore it, adjust to it or get away from it.

#2: Check in with yourself several times a day and ask yourself how you are feeling. Make it a habit that you link to something else in your routine, like mealtimes or driving to and from work. Just stop and take a second or two to assess where you are emotionally. If you’re not reasonably content, then ask yourself why not? This ties in with…

#3: Avoid doing things you don’t like to do, if possible. What!?!? you may be thinking, There’s lots of things I don’t like that I have to do. I’m a responsible adult. Key words are “if possible,” but there are often a lot more possibilities than people realize.

I hate to exercise! (Ginger’s frowning at me.) But I know it’s a necessary evil, so I looked long and hard for a way to exercise that I at least didn’t mind. And I found one. I love Zumba! Now I’m only facing minor inertia when it’s time for exercise class; not dread and loathing!

When faced with a task you really don’t like (I’m not talking minor annoyance here) you can also ask yourself how you might do the task differently. I hate cleaning even more than exercise, but I discovered that if I did one or two chores every day or so–clean a toilet here, dust a room there, as needed–I always have a relatively clean house without spending an entire day, every few weeks, on the drudgery of cleaning (yes, I used to put it off for weeks).

We can also look at delegating and trading off options.

When my husband and I were dating, we would quite often end up at K-Mart during the course of the evening, where he would buy yet another package of underwear so that he could put off doing laundry awhile longer. Now you might be wondering why I kept dating this guy. Actually I am too because it sounds kind of creepy in the retelling, but we’ve been married almost 36 years, and that’s pretty much the weirdest thing he’s ever done. He just really, really disliked doing laundry.

But he likes to cook, which I’m not all that fond of. So when we got married, he took over the kitchen and I rule in the laundry room and we’re both a lot happier.

#4: Really avoid the things you truly hate!  Why? Because if you hate them that much, they are probably pushing your psychological buttons. And if you keep forcing yourself to do them, it will make you mentally and emotionally sick. Kinda like forcing yourself to eat spoiled food. Ick!

If you can figure out why that thing is pushing your buttons, that’s great! Then you may be able to pull the wires loose inside your psyche and disconnect the button. But even if you can’t do that, at least you will know why you need to avoid that thing that you really hate. You’ll go from feeling a little crazy to knowing you are taking good care of your mental health.

If you can’t figure out why your buttons are getting pushed or how to disconnect them, then look for a way to get around doing that thing that you hate, or again perhaps doing it a different way (See #1 and #3 above).

After about 14 years of doing psychotherapy, I started to burn out. I got into teaching part-time, so I could cut back on my therapy practice some. My first department chair and I, well, it’s not that we didn’t get along; it’s more that we didn’t quite know how to react to each other. I had trouble reading him and he seemed to have just as much trouble figuring out where I was coming from. Now I was used to being self-employed, with no boss at all. I discovered that I really hated working for someone else again, and worrying about whether or not they were going to keep me on as an employee (I was contractual, so I worked at his whim). My stomach was so twisted in a knot over it that I was contemplating quitting, even though I loved the teaching itself.

I had a little conversation with myself, and eventually realized that this situation was pushing my control buttons. I didn’t like somebody else having control over my ability to survive (i.e., make money to pay the bills). But then I realized I was thinking about it all wrong. I needed to think of myself as a self-employed contractor who chose to teach for that particular institution, and if I didn’t like it there, or if they didn’t renew my contract, I’d go teach somewhere else. I changed my attitude toward the situation and suddenly I felt in control again. I taught for that institution for nine years and, aside from private practice, it was the best job I ever had.

Now let me make an important distinction here, between the things you hate and the things you fear.

#5: Face the things you fear if they are obstacles to getting where you want to be. If you’re afraid of snakes and you live in the city and hate hiking, don’t worry about it. We do not have to face every one of our fears. Only the ones that are stopping us from achieving our goals. But facing our fear doesn’t necessarily mean you just forge ahead, making yourself do something. That may make things worse.

One approach is to try to figure out why we are afraid of something. Again identifying the button may help us to disconnect it. But sometimes, often even, we are just afraid of the unknown or the unfamiliar.

I was that way regarding promoting my books. I had no idea what I was doing and I knew I’d have to learn about Twitter and Facebook and blogging, and…, and… *grabbing paper bag*

I am techno-challenged and this all felt very overwhelming. So I gave myself some of my own advice. I told myself to…

#6: Slow down and “chunk it down” when you feel overwhelmed. I gave myself permission to take it slow, to just learn one form of social media at a time. So I got on Twitter (it helps if you get some instruction in a case like this as well; thank you, Shannon!) Once I was tweeting away with ease, I tackled Facebook. Now I’m starting to develop some confidence in my ability to learn these networks and I’m getting kind of antsy to try Pinterest, or maybe go get some bones over at Triberr, whatever the heck that means. But I remind myself to take it slow. I’m not quite there yet with Facebook and I don’t want to get overwhelmed again.

#7: Don’t procrastinate! If you are nervous about doing something, start it as soon as you possibly can. Then one of two things will happen: (a) you will get it over with, breathe a sigh of relief and can stop worrying about it, sooner instead of later; or (b) if it really is as hard as you imagined, you’ve got plenty of time to deal with it.

#8: Trust your gut! If you’ve got a gut feeling about something, know that there is a reason for that feeling. What we call our gut instinct is really some part of our brain, that we are not currently in direct communication with, that has noticed something is off, or has made some connection between two or more pieces of information that puts a different spin on whatever is happening.

Your gut is never wrong! Let me repeat that, your gut is never wrong! The problem with our gut instincts, however, is that the gut doesn’t talk. So we have to figure out what it’s trying to tell us. And sometimes we misinterpret the message. But that gut feeling means our brains have picked up on something!

The tricky part about this is that we need to trust our gut even when others are telling us we’re wrong, overreacting, being silly, etc. We are none of those things. We are just trying to figure out what our gut has picked up on and what it means; in the meantime, we need to keep ourselves safe, physically and emotionally, by remaining a bit on guard. Better safe than sorry, as the saying goes.

#9: Relax at least three times a day. And one of them needs to be right before bedtime so you sleep well. This is basic stress management. And no whining that you’re too busy and can’t do this. I’m talking about a 5 to 10-minute break (although 15 to 20 minutes is better). If you stop and relax, and lower your stress level for a few minutes, you will be more focused and more productive when you go back to what needs to get done.

#10: Get and give lots of hugs! Research has found that physical affection increases the release of a hormone called oxytocin, in both men and women. This hormone calms us and helps us cope with stress, and it also works on our brains to encourage “affiliative behavior.” That’s psychobabble for it makes us want to hang out with others more, which helps us get our emotional needs met, and helps us get more hugs. Isn’t that a cool little hormone!

Now I’m not saying that doing all these things will guarantee good mental health, any more than eating more fiber and drinking lots of water will guarantee physical health. But training yourself to do these things on a daily basis will drastically increase the chances that you will be more mentally healthy, and happier!

Ginger’s over there on the treadmill, so we have a little while yet. Any thoughts about all of this? Any helpful hints for mental health that I’ve forgotten to mention?

Oh, by the way, I had a new book come out this week, in my Kate Huntington mystery series (she’s a psychotherapist too), and to celebrate, misterio press is holding a contest. Anyone who comments here today will get their name put in the hat to win a free three-book set of the series. If you go to www.misteriopress.com and comment on my blog there, we’ll put your name in the hat again, and you can get a third entry by showing up tomorrow over at Jennifer L. Oliver’s place,  http://www.small-escapes.com  where she and I will be chatting about writing, eating and puppy dogs. And there’s another way to get a bonus entry, but you have to go to misterio press to find out what that is (because we like to be mysterious).

Here comes Ginger.

Hey thanks for letting me come visit today. You’re the best, Ginger!

~Isn’t Kass awesome! Thanks so much for your tips. There were a lot of those that I have been neglecting to do in my life.

Now I know you all want to run out and get Kassandra’s book. I know I do! Check out this fabulous cover.

As an added bonus, Family Fallacies is only .99 cents until June 30th! At the end up the month, price goes up to $3.99, so grab your copy fast at AMAZON or at BARNES and NOBLE!

WritersButt Wednesday-Taking my own advice

Happy WritersButt Wednesday!

I’ve thought about this WritersButt journey a lot this past week. I started this weekly theme back in January with my first WritersButt post. Now, 6 months later, we’ve come a lot way. I have ‘met’ so many people online through these posts and made some great friends. I also realized that with the announcement that I’d be presenting WritersButt at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in October, that I’ve gotten quite a few new people to my blog who are just now jumping on the WritersButt fun-train.  I thought it might be helpful if I offered up all the previous WB links in order, in case anyone would like to refresh their memories or if you’re new, see how we started. There is a lot of great information packed in those first couple months. I’ll list all the links at the end of this post.

Lately I’ve been crazy busy in my life. Nothing catastrophic or even hugely momentous, just a lot of stuff on the various plates I’m juggling. Guess what happened? My workouts slipped through the cracks a bit. Sure I’ve worked out, but a couple times a week instead of at least four. I slashed them in half as I ran around getting my kids to all their annual appointments and all the other little errands penciled into my calendar.  At first, the lighter workout load was great. My body enjoyed the extra recovery time. But then, this past week, I started getting cranky.  Ok … crankier!

 

For me, I have to be active and working out in order to be at my best. But I was busy. Then I heard your voices. Yes, I really did! You asked me, “Ginger, aren’t you teaching us how we can incorporate our workouts into our busy schedules?”

DOH!

I wasn’t following my own guidance. What the heck? There has been many days that I didn’t want to spend the 30-60 minutes to run over to my gym and get in a full workout. But I KNOW I don’t need to do that to get my heart rate up, make progress and boost my creativity. That’s what I’ve been telling you all since January.

It was time to get back to the basics.

*100 oz of water a day

*10-15 squats and/or push-ups every potty break

*1-2 mini-workouts a day – quickies I can do right here at home.

*Gratitude journal

I’m telling you all this to remind you that it’s so easy to let life come in and take away your plans. But you are in charge! Just work your plans around your day. It can be done because nothing I’ve suggested takes more than about 10-15 … usually less than 5. I will still get 2-4 full workouts in a week but if I have to miss some, I don’t need to panic because I have WritersButt to back me up – no pun intended!

If I don’t at least do the WritersButt basics, I feel tired, cranky, unmotivated, creatively sluggish and I crave all the wrong foods.

To heck with that!

I’m back on track. I have writing goals, which include writing 1 thousand words a day.  (Come hang out with us on Twitter at #1kwaday) I have a WritersButt workshop to organize so that it’s awesome and fun — and I hope has some cool SWAG! I don’t have time to be irritable and uninspired. And you all sure as heck won’t want to hang out with me.

If you have been feeling overwhelmed and scattered. You are not alone. I empathize.  But I’m over that. Join me in getting back on track and forging ahead with our WritersButts in high gear!

Since I know y’all love recipes, here’s what was grilled for dinner the other night at Casa Calem.

Beef Sliders — preformed, I added seasonings

Turkey burgers w/ mushrooms and bell peppers:  1 pkg of lean turkey breast meat, 2 eggs, generous handfuls of diced bell pepper and portabello mushrooms, kosher salt, cracked pepper, minced crunchy garlic, smoked paprika

Grilled Veggies: Fresh zucchini and summer squash from a friends garden, mushrooms coated in olive oil, and all the same seasoning from the turkey burgers above.

Cucumber Salad: Fresh cucumbers from a a friend’s garden, sliced into disks, coated in balsamic vinegar, and same seasoning as above. 🙂 (I did this first and put it into the fridge to stay really cold and absorb flavors of seasonings.)

WritersButt Links:

The Start of it all

Week 2 — endorphins

Nutrition Basics

Let’s Talk Sleep

Pep Talk

Recipes!

Make your healthy normal

Create a powerhouse in you

Buddy Up

Let’s Chew the Fat – recipes!

Your Journey

Time to kick the sugar-crack habit

Eviction Notice

Ginger’s Tube-Feeding Bride Rant

Road Trip

Calling For a Group Hug

5 things you’re NOT doing which could be sabotaging yourself

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

WritersButt Goes International (Woo hoo!)

Thank you and a Field Trip

Wow—that’s a lot of WritersButt posts. Thanks so much for supporting me. I hope to continue to offer tips, motivation, recipes and fun!

WritersButt – Thank You and a Field Trip!

Before I get into this week’s post, which is a day late, (I’m sorry), I want to say something from my heart.  Thank you all to infinity for your support, love and enthusiasm about my news last week. I can’t describe how loved I’ve felt seeing all the comments here on my blog, on Twitter (@GingerCalem), and on Facebook. You all seriously amazed me.  Thank you, thank you!

 

***HEART***

Ok, that said … remember a few weeks ago when I gave you all permission to ‘cheat’ on your nutrition, only y’all know I prefer indulge to cheat, but let’s not split hairs. Well today, we’re going on a field trip. Or rather, I want you all to plan one and get out and do something fun. This is along the lines of what I blogged about in April, when I gave you an eviction notice to get our of your comfort zone.

I’m guessing most of you reading this blog are busy, like really busy with crazy schedules. You have deadlines. You have jobs. You have kids demanding all sorts of ridiculous things from you, like food and clean underwear.  But you have to have some fun. It’s crucial to the little kid in you.

As children, every day is a new adventure. Ever notice how kids turn the most ordinary things into fun discoveries? Often they’re the ones begging to go and ‘do something’. They feed off the magic of fun. As adults, many of us have forgotten this and we need to be reminded how much our soul needs this outlet to explore and play.

My husband and I have recently taken up SUP boarding. Here’s a great video that shows a bit about the origins and how much fun it can be and see why it appeals to the writersbutt in me!

I’m an outdoors girl and I also crave exposure to bodies of water, especially the lake. SUP boarding fits the bill for me when we’re not waterskiing. Outdoors in the sunshine, fresh air, having fun on the lake, yep, that’s Ginger’s kind of fun.  In addition to that, it feeds my writer’s soul. The beauty of the water and the warmth of the sun calm me. While the physical activity challenges me and taps into those endorphins we talked about ages ago.  This combination never fails to put me into a super creative state. My thoughts wander, clinging onto the most amazing things that would never have had room to expand if I hadn’t given them the right environment.

I don’t know about you, but often I sit and look at my laptop, or a notebook, and I can’t pull out a decent sentence, much less a chapter. My brain is too pressured to produce. Then I feel guilty for not writing enough or writing well enough, so I force myself to stay there and browbeat my muse to get her act together.

Can any of you relate to this? I know I’m not alone. So come on, let’s get out of here, break our muses out of jail and go on an adventure!

 

One year my husband and I were in Washington, DC and we rented Segways. Oh my gosh, we had a blast. It was a 3 hour tour, on Segways of course, of all the different monuments and sights around our nation’s capitol, including the White House. All the sights were really cool, and I enjoyed it, but I have to admit, the best part was zipping around on the Segways. You guys have to try them out. They look hard but they’re intuitive and a blast to ride. Most major cities offer tours.  See if there’s one near you.  I’ve always wanted to try zip-lining and para-sailing, so those are on my list. The other night my daughter Delaney said she wanted to be underwater and hang out with the fish. Guess she’ll be trying out scuba diving some day.

If you go field trips already, tell us where you go and what you do. I’d love some new ideas!

I haven’t given you a recipe in a while so I’ll share this one we had the other night for my birthday. We had fish tacos for dinner – YUM! Often I make this fresh pepper and bean salad to go along with it.

Ingredients, which you can alter to your tastes:

~ 3 bell peppers. I mix yellow, orange and red

~ some spicy pepper, like anaheim, poblano, jalapeno

~ 2 cans black beans, fully drained and rinsed (important so salad doesn’t look dirty)

~ corn (I normally don’t add corn but my mom had some fresh on hand)

~ large avocado

Seasoning:

~splash of vinegar

~Extra virgin olive oil

~garlic powder

~kosher salt and cracked pepper

~chili powder

~little cumin

~juice of a lime – you can add some zest too for added zing

Mix and enjoy.  Note: This salad gets better as it sits a bit and the ingredients really soak up the seasonings. I rarely eat beans so this is a treat for me occasionally, and it was my birthday after all!

Now, I’d give you the recipe for my “secret sauce” that goes with the fish tacos but my kids tell me I couldn’t continue to call it secret.  I’ll see if I can convince them. If not, I’ll tell you but you can’t let them know!  ~grin~

Keep up with your 100oz of water, especially now that it’s getting hot in many areas of the country.

This week let’s have some fun and do ‘jump squats’ every time you visit the restroom. That’s a ‘potty squat’ with a vertical jump, then right back into your squat, repeat 10 times. That’ll ratchet up the heartbeat a bit!

Enjoy the week!

%d bloggers like this: