Happy Food Day!

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has declared today Food Day to promote healthier eating.  I have to admit, I just found out this morning but it makes me happy!  This is another small step in the direction toward awareness of a healthy diet.  But it’s sad that we need a day like Food Day to bring this to light.  I know it is hard for people to eat the right foods and I do sympathize that it’s hard when in a rush and the only food available is a drive-thru window where greasy, salty, yummy temptations run amok.  I also understand from an economic stand point that eating healthily, and more so, organically, is expensive, but it’s an investment in your health, your life, and your longevity.

Whenever my husband and I visit my parents in Long Island, we shop at their organic grocery store, Wild By Nature.  Family time revolves around making a delicious, big meal to enjoy and share with each other.  So when my husband and I cook, we make sure that we get the best ingredients.  A few weeks back, I was looking at the produce and overheard a woman in her 50’s say to an older woman with her (I’m assuming her mother) “eating healthy sure is expensive.”  I wanted to interject and educate them on the effects that pesticides, antibiotics and GMOs probably already had on their bodies.  I wanted to tell them that they made the right decision by shopping in the organic store rather than the local King Kullen (which may I add, the organic section is at the very least, appallingly sparse) and their health, their lives and everything it has to offer is worth the extra expense.  But these ladies walked out (in a typical Long Island woman-style)without purchasing anything and taking it personally that the store had the nerve to charge them $0.50 more for bananas.  I was extremely disheartened that they gave up, like many other American’s who see the price of organic foods and walk away because they can get it at the giant chain super market for just a little bit less in cost.

Did you know that earlier in the 20th century (I’m talking pre-1950’s) which is my grandmother’s generation and even before that, Americans spent approximately 30% of their annual income on food?  Now, American’s spend about 10% of their annual income on food.  It’s much cheaper because the quality has cheapened and the healthy methods of raising farm animals and growing vegetables has largely diminished.  Think about this: why don’t people in other countries have the chronic health issues that we face in America?  I’m convinced a lot of these problems lie in the foods we eat, and through simply becoming more aware and conscious of what goes into our bodies, we will become a healthier nation.

I salute the Center for Science in the Public Interest for creating Food Day.  It’s going to be another great step on the track to American awareness of healthy eating.  I can’t wait to go home, cook a nice dinner, and raise a glass of red wine in honor of the first annual Food Day.

I pledge to eat wisely today, and every day.  How will you spend your Food Day?

Reflections of Yoga and Chocolate

The long awaited post about my yoga retreat weekend is at last here!  (Sorry about the delay, life has been busy)

The weekend was chock full of yoga, chocolate, spa time, good heart-to-heart talks and introspection at the Hotel Hershey.  There were two restorative yoga classes in which there were long periods of time in meditation.  In a word: bliss, in Hershey (no pun intended).

Before the first class began, the teacher asked us to pick a word that is personally empowering or something we don’t normally see ourselves as, but would like to.   We didn’t have to tell anyone, but it would be our mantra to meditate on throughout the whole weekend.  I will share that I picked thoughtfulness and confidence. These were just the first two words that came to mind.

I picked thoughtfulness because sometimes I feel that I  walk around with blinders on and only think of myself (I guess it’s a good thing that I recognize this).  I can be working and completely ignore others and realize the rudeness afterwards.  I meditated on being more thoughtful and considerate towards others feelings.

Confidence then came around.  I am a shy person and I find it hard to put myself forward to break into new surroundings.  I am also not big on attention in certain circumstances (I know this is weird for someone who used to perform in musical theatre).  I needed confidence to step into this new group of women.  It was a little scary but I did well enough.  Now”confidence” is stuck repeating in my head, nearly a constant reminder, which is a very good thing.  I have found that it’s brought empowerment to my whole mind and body as I am speaking, thinking or just observing the world.  It’s a process that I know will one day kick in to it’s fullest potential.  I’ve realized that some people are naturally confident and others have to practice.

I’m so happy and thankful that I went on this retreat.  After all, going on a yoga retreat this year was one of my New Year resolutions.  It left me with a great sense of peace and inner focus, which are two things I am trying desperately to hold onto, after being thrust back into the crazy, hectic lifestyle of New York City.  Though, one practice that is easier than confidence is unwrapping and taking a luxurious bite out rich chocolate (preferably raw and dark, but that’s just me).  That can give me peace and inner focus right about now…  ;-)