There is nothing more agonizing than being hungry and having no idea what to eat! I need not ever allow myself to get to a point where my stomach is seemingly screeeeaaaaming at me for nourishment! That’s just my being unnecessarily negligent! I love food waaay too much for that, but I digress. Today I decided to ransack my kitchen and be a bit creative with what I found. Clearly I need to go food shopping, but upon choosing to look at my circumstances positively, my current hunger pains were actually presenting me with an opportunity to be creative! In fact, I actually enjoy cooking … when I have time (and apparently when I am consumed with hunger).
Ahh-haa! I was determined to somehow turn noodles, butter, and shrimp into the most incredible masterpiece of a meal to ever end up in my belly! I mean really, thank God I had shrimp … I can’t go wrong with shrimp right?Â Right!Â I mean, if all else failed, at least I would have some reeeeaaallly buttery shrimp over pasta!Â But I knew I could be more creative than that.Â Please keep in mind that at time of dire hunger, I don’t believe in calculating and measuring ingredients … I just don’t have time!Â When I’m on operation ‘Get Food In My Belly’ everything I cook is calculated by my taste buds… so bear with me!
Over a medium light I melted some butter with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Once melted, I added some fresh minced garlic, cleaned frozen shrimp, a few fresh sprigs of thyme, and sprinkled some adobo and creole seasoning lightly. In another pot I boiled some spaghetti noodles until they were perfectly al dente, firm but not hard “to the tooth.”Â In my opinion there is no other way to eat noodles … unless of course, you enjoy mush or breaking your jaw.
Just before the shrimp were cooked completely I added the juice of a whole lemon (a small lemon) to my butter sauce and let everything simmer for maybe a minute. In these last few moments of waiting for my food, I suddenly realized that I had managed to take myself to a new level of hunger torture. The aromatic compound of flavor that filled my kitchen was KILLING ME!! I could not wait to eat. Does anyone else dance when impatient for sustenance? It can’t just be me! I probably could have eaten the noodles by themselves, as hungry as I was, but I’m glad I waited…
I strained the noodles, placed a good amount of shrimp upon my noodles, poured some of the sauce on top … .and VoilÃ ! Yummy in my tummy!!Â In hindsight, I really should have timed how long it took me to finish eating this bowl of pasta … I know I set some kind of record!Â And oh yea, I ate TWO bowls! Ha!
While engaged in quite an intriguing conversation about life and attaining goals, a good friend once said to me “you can do what’s easy, or you can do what’s necessary.”Â At the time of our discourse, though recognizing that his statement was profound, I didn’t have any reason to apply his philosophy to the current events in my life.Â Â I was in a very comfortable place, and for the moment, everything necessary was being taken care of.Â Â But then, somewhere between that conversation and this very moment, something in me decided I wanted more than what the current circumstances of my life could offer me.Â I decided to make changes, to really sought after what I desire, and thus found myself resurfacing this friendly quote which has been lying dormant in my subconscious for quite some time.
Today I am inspired to be still, think, plan, and hone in on being the master of my own destiny. Not just allowing things to happen, but making the right moves, taking the right steps, and solidifying decisions that will propel me to acquire the goals that I have set for myself.Â I have full intention to holistically live the life I envision for myself.Â Of course life has a way of being life and presenting you with happenings that you could not foresee occurring .Â HoweverÂ if you stay ready, you never have to get ready, and it becomes easier to deal with unexpected obstacles when they arise.
I love my life, I really do.Â I am grateful for everything, especially this very moment of clarity, growth, and reflection.Â I believe in myself more than I ever have before, and that in itself is enough to make living this day to the fullest worth while!
“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
As I laid in bed this morning, the sunlight peered through the curtains into my otherwise dark room, and landed on my face. I found myself somewhere in a state of consciousness that exists between being awake and being asleep. I lay there quiet yet deep in thought, taking a moment to assess all that I knew to be true. I thought about all of the things that I have accomplished this year, just because I believed it could be done. Life has offered me an amazing ride thus far, and the year is not over yet.
In this moment I am filled with appreciation for everything that I have, everything I am, and everything that I have experienced. Sometimes I feel that we, myself included, do not take enough time to reflect, regroup, recharge, and re-believe…but today I find exuberant peace in doing just that.
May your weekend be filled with joy, happiness, and all the courage you need to fulfill your deepest desires… After all, our goal here is to “Live the Life of our Dreams.” Let’s start by being thankful for what we already have.
As this weekend’s theme music, I leave you with William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful For What You Got” (1974).
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a Skinny Girl who wished to take a group of children apple picking. They had a marvelous time spending the day in the land of apples; climbing and swinging from trees, rolling down grassy hills, and picking all the apples they desired.Â As they basked in the sun, The Skinny Girl and children found great pleasure in filling their bellies with tons and tons of apples.Â They ate so many apples that their breath and skin smelled of nothing but the sweetest apple perfume.Â Ah, it was delightful!
When the day began to wind down, just before the sun started to set, The Skinny Girl and the children pioneered through the forest to head home.Â Bounds upon bounds of beauty surrounded them and the children could not help but to become explorers of the land.Â Suddenly they stumbled upon a mysterious meadow where they found artifacts and skeletons of civilizations past.Â The Skinny Girl and the children soon discovered that this meadow was an enchanted meadow, and possessed a secret protection against intruders!Â When the sweet apple-perfume smelling children ventured too close to unlocking the secret of the enchanted meadow, they were greeted with a terrifying surprise … But oh what a BEE-utiful, BEE-utiful, day it was!
During a session, a client of mine inquired, “Why is it so important to strengthen your core muscles?”Â Because I am commonly asked some variation of this question, I believe it would be best to answer it here on The SGE.
First of all, What ARE Core Muscles?
Core muscles are the muscles in the body’s lower and upper torso.Â More specifically, they are the muscles found at the obliques, abdominals, lower back, and glutes, which attach to the spine, pelvis, and hips.Â Core muscles are the body’s source of stability, which maintain proper posture and protect the body’s inner organs in the abdominal region.
Why are Core Muscles Important?
What many people do not know is that core muscles provide the foundation for every move your body makes.Â Â The abdominal and back muscles work together to support the spine when we sit, stand, bend over, pick things up, exercise and perform any other physical or athletic movement.Â The torso is often referred to as the body’s “power house” or central strength.Â Thus, the stronger you are in that region of the body, the easier it will be for you to carry out physical activity.
So why don’t more people focus on strengthening their core muscles?
The reason why people tend to give little or no attention to strengthening their core is that there’s nothing visually glamorous to show off and boast about.Â Many of your core muscles cannot be seen because they are buried underneath other muscles.Â Although conditioning your core involves the utilization of abdominal muscles, building core strength does not necessarily result in having a visible six-pack or a flat stomach.Â For this (very superficial) reason, although core muscles can greatly help determine how high you can jump or kick your legs, how fast you can run, and how far you can throw a ball, their development often becomes secondary to more visibly obvious muscles in your body.
So what do you do to strengthen your core?
The answer to this, my friends, can be an entirely seperate post itself (and it probably will be in the future).Â The quick answer is that participating in dance, yoga, and/or pilates training will greatly benefit anyone looking to increase their core strength.Â In any of these genres of movement it would simply be impossible not to give your core muscles a good workout.Â When you think about it, you might notice that professional dancers, yogis, and pilates practitioners generally stay fit well into old age.Â They stand straighter and have more energy at a time when many of their peers appear to be winded.
However, if I were going to suggest one exercise to perform for core conditioning IT WOULD NOT BE SITUPS OR CRUNCHES.Â Contrarily, I would highly suggest variations of PLANK POSITION (see images below).
There are many ways to perform plank position.Â If you have never tried holding this position before, you may want to consult with a professional, or at least have an exercise buddy nearby.Â Why?Â This is because maintaining the integrity of the pose is far more important than how long you are able to hold yourself up.Â As I like to say, “Working hard at something that doesn’t work, DOESN’T WORK!!!”Â Having someone with you will not only be encouraging, but they will be able to help “fix” your form.
I trust that this post has been informative enough to inspire you, my lovely readers, to further your care and conditioning of your core.
Con nada mÃ¡s que amor, como siempre,
(with nothing but love, as always),
I was definitely overdue for a visit to SEA Thai Restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Â I mean seriously, even my friends in Los Angeles were boasting about this place!Â Needless to say I jumped at the first chance I got to see what all the hype was about.
One of my oldest friends and I decided to get together for a late lunch at SEA. Â We had so much fun! Â Before we knew it 4.5 HOURS had passed, the day had progressed to night, and SEA easily transformed from a cozy sun-lit restaurant for lunch to a trendy bar/lounge for dinner.Â The DJ was spinning, dim lights were flickering, and the now packed restaurant was filled with people enjoying themselves.Â The art deco ambiance of this restaurant was worth the trip alone.
I have to admit, though our food was filled with fusions of flavor, this was not the best Thai food I’ve ever had. Â Yet at the same time, it definitely was not my worst experience eating Thai food either. We ordered:
Po-Pia Sod vegetarian rolls with peanut and tamarind sauce
Grilled Chicken Breast with green vegetable, and three flavors sauce
Seafood Rice Bowl with shrimp, squid, scallop, broccoli, mushroom, and carrot in a gravy garlic-pepper sauce
And Thai Tiramisu (made with thai iced tea)
As you can see, the presentation of the food on our plates was absolutely enticing. Â Every dish that we ordered, as well as those that passed us by to land on other tables, were visually stimulating. Â The service was good, our food didn’t take long to arrive, and the meals were moderately priced. Â Needless to say we both thoroughly enjoyed our time at SEA. Â I will definitely go back again.
SEA Thai Restaurant
114 N 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
I really love to laugh.Â I love to laugh so hard that I begin to cry, laugh so hard that I test the strength of my bladder, laugh so hard that sometimes I actually have to fight to breathe!Â It makes me feel so good inside!Â Sometimes we can become overwhelmed with what we think we should do, and in turn, find ourselves denying the things we love to do â€“ the things that make us most happy and most fulfilled.Â I believe that it is imperative to reserve time to enjoy the things that genuinely make you happy in life.Â Sometimes you get exactly what you ask for handed directly to you, but sometimes you have to create exactly what you want, yourself.
In addition to the things I need to do, today I am giving myself a little extra time to smile, laugh, and explore something new. Ahhhâ€¦ life is grand, and today I am thankful I get to experience another day of it…laughing.
â€œYou will never â€˜findâ€™ time for anything. If you want time you must make it.â€ â€“ Charles Buxton
It can’t be Michael Jackson’s Birthday again already!!! Is it me, or do you too still get teary eyed and choked up every time you are reminded that Michael Jackson now only lives in our hearts? I still can not believe it has been over a year since the worldâ€™s greatest entertainer, and arguably one of the worlds biggest humanitarians and overall expressions of love, has passed on to a consciousness that we the living have yet to remember. I almost feel like I lost a family member â€“ a voice I will never hear speak or sing a new word, nor will he ever again impress me with dance moves or acts of selfless kindness.
This year, my life has been nothing short of an exciting whirlwind of constant adventure. I have experienced much growth, change, love, made new friends, and have been given opportunity to give old friendships new life. Since returning to the states from Brazil, I too have had to push past several obstacles â€“ including dealing with MY COMPUTER BREAKING DOWN!!! One canâ€™t possibly imagine how frustrating that is to a new blogger who is TRAVELING, unless of course, you have been one!!! I sincerely apologize to my readers for my stint of absence in cyber world. Though my computer complications have yet to be fully rectified, I intend to be in touch more frequently, continuing to share some of my colorful view of the world with you.
My absence should not suggest in your mind that I have been living a boring, uneventful life â€“ in fact it has been quite the contrary. Still infected with a deep lust for travel, I have been all over the United States in the past few monthsâ€¦ Big Bear Lake, Hollywood Hills, Atlantic City, New York, eating, practicing and teaching yoga, birthday parties, dance class, eating, singing, weekend getaways, weddings, throwing reunion parties, spending quality time with loved ones, and enjoying the end of a warm summer â€¦ eating!!!
To celebrate Michael Jacksonâ€™s birthday, and the many people who help me see the world in high definition color, I have created and posted a video of some of the things Iâ€™ve been up to lately. Thank you Michael for the life that you shared with all of us, and too, thank all of you who allow me to share the life that I have with youâ€¦
â€œI simply want to be loved, wherever I go.â€ -Michael Jackson
Keep sharing, and of course, living the life of your dreams.
P.S.Â Thank you to those readers who have sent emails of encouragement and words of kindness.Â I do read them, I do respond, and I do appreciate it all!Â Enjoy the video!
How do you begin to describe a place that seemingly possesses the ability to stop time?Â That appears to heighten your senses, and broaden your awareness of everything in one breathe?Â And yet, leaves you wondering if it was all a dream, once youâ€™ve leftâ€¦ because it was just that good?Â Salvador, Bahia certainly left me with a warm and lasting see you again kiss of a memory, planted firmly in my mind.Â I will do my best to share that sentiment with you.
I must admit, taking this trip to Salvador was a test on my faith, will, and determination.Â I didnâ€™t know anyone there, nor did I know what to expect upon arrival, but I did know that I wasnâ€™t going to leave Brazil without visiting Salvador.Â To say that I am glad that I was able to fulfill my desire to visit Salvador, would be as huge of an understatement as calling the Atlantic Ocean a mere puddle.
I spent most of my time in and around the historical district of Salvador known as The Pelourinho.Â In Portuguese, Pelourinho means â€œThe Whipping Post / The Place to Whip Slaves,â€ and was the location in which slaves were auctioned.Â Today, The Pelourinho is a rich cultural center filled with colorful colonial buildings and cobblestoned streets.Â The arts, music, dance, dining, and nightlife thrive in the Pelourinho, making the area a highly desirable tourist attraction.Â Yet, unfortunately (and not so surprisingly), the people who reside in the surrounding areas are often very poor â€¦ very, very poor.
In a constant state of wonderment and awe from Salvadorâ€™s warmly embracing energy, I never really had any idea about what time it was or even which day of the week it was… nor did I really care to know.Â Giving attention to the confines of time just somehow wasn’t important – at least not more important than genuinely enjoying the time I was given to experience life there.
In Salvador I learned to strengthen my belief in the power of my own words and thoughts, and that chance encounters may not be as coincidental as they might initially appear to the rational mind.Â Countless times I watched myself speak something aloud, and within minutes or even moments receiving exactly what I asked for, needed, or wanted in some capacity.Â The more passion I possessed in my words and thoughtsâ€¦ the quicker I seemed to receive what I was asking for.Â Everything appeared to be associated with another occurrence in some way, and I was simply just connecting the dots as life and time passed.Â I met some amazingly wonderful people – both natives and international globe trotters.Â Everyone was welcoming, everyone was kind, everyone had a story to tell / an experience to share, and each time I was graced with intrigue and amazement.Â I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll ever forget anyone I had a conversation with while I was in Salvador.Â They say that sort of thing is normal in Bahia â€¦ I was just appreciative to experience it, even if only for a short time … for now.
Sometimes you really don’t have to search far to find pure bliss and beauty.Â I went on an excursion in Floresta da Tijuca (The Tijuca Forest) and found a little piece of paradise hidden under a waterfall.Â Amazing wouldn’t even begin to describe all of the natural beauty I was able to behold.
A little bit of history: Â Located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,Â Floresta da Tijuca happens to be the world’s largest urban forest – located right in the middle of the city. Â In an effort to replenish what had been destroyed after years of intense deforesting and to protect Rio’s water supply,Â this huge forest was initiallyÂ hand-planted by Major Manuel Gomes ArcherÂ and his 6 slaves … yes over 12miÂ² of vegetation was initially hand-planted by just 7 people.
We drove up to the highest point the road would take us, then we had to climb the rest of the way to the top.Â Wearing any type of shoe while hiking the rocky and slippery terrain upstream proved to be a very dangerous idea, thus leading me to travel barefoot.Â Initially, the city-girl in me wanted to take my chances wearing my flip-flop sandals while I hiked … the rocks under my feet were killing me!!!Â But, as I began to relax and take in all the nature that surrounded me, I realized that the sensation of untouched earth and fresh water between my toes was quite pleasurable.
I had to pass by some of the tallest trees and venture through some of the thickest bush I’ve ever seen.Â In them, I could hear all the wild animals they housed such as monkeys, bats, and snakes.Â I didn’t see many of them, but I knew they were close by – probably just checking us out, watching our every move.
Every so often I would get a great view of the forest below where I stood, and for a second would need to stop and stare.Â With every step I was blown away by something else, even as simple as a radiant flower randomly blooming within a sea of green.Â I couldn’t help myself but to occasionallyÂ stop and say hello, as they seem to be asking for my attention.
Bearing the rugged road under my toes was worth reaching the top of the forest where I was presented with a beautiful waterfall.Â The water was so strong that one could almost mistake the stream for light.
If you’re wondering … OF COURSE I PLAYED IN IT!!!Â There was really no stopping me from immersing myself in all the beauty and glory that waterfall possessed … and it was quite refreshing to say the least.Â For a moment, I felt as free as a five year old.Â Clean and carefree, I felt like I was clearing myself of anything that may have been weighing on me with every drop of water that touched my skin.
I am so thankful for this experience.Â This memory will last me a lifetime.Â I look forward to sharing the story with my great grandchildren, or maybe even taking them to bask in it themselves.
Feeling Free and Always Me!Â Continuously living the life of my dreams!