How was your Thanksgiving? I have to admit I ate more than I planned, but I really tried to stay connected with what I knew I should do and what I actually did. I turned down seconds, stuck to one glass of wine and I skipped dessert. I was bit heavy handed with the vegetarian gravy I made and somehow two Stuffin’ Muffins ended up on my plate, but over all it wasn’t a total dietary disaster. Because I had thought about what I wanted to eat beforehand I was able to focus on my family and really enjoy their company. This week I will balance the checkbook!
Last week Erica Bryant, a columnist in the local paper, wrote about a 77-year-old woman who is a self-taught power lifter. Her name is Willie Murphy, she weighs 105-pounds and she can dead lift 215-pounds. My favorite part of her story is when she says she saw a sign at the Y where she works out for a weight lifting competition, told an employee she was interested in entering and he said “Go for it, Granny.” And she did! Obviously, based on the employee’s statement, she started her training within the last few years. Reading her story is very inspirational. She encourages people to get moving by telling them everybody has to start somewhere. She didn't start with 100-pound weights. She started with 5-pound dumbbells. Not everyone aspires to participate in competitions, but everyone can take part in some kind of physical exercise. It is instrumental to maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle. As I keep saying, if you aren't planning on staying healthy, what are you planning? Seeing everything Willie Murphy is able to do motivates me to keep moving, and hopefully in 30 years I will be as strong and healthy as she is at 77.
Willie Murphy is doing some amazing things, she is self taught and she had to work up to where she is now. No one can jump right in and start at the end, so to speak. We have to be smart about our choices and our journey. Make a plan, decide how to implement that plan and stick to it as best you can. Do whatever you need to be good to yourself. Involve your friends, think about how nice it is to play with your children or grandchildren, remember the great feeling of being able to walk on a beach, rejoice in how great you look in your clothes, keep in mind how good it is to walk up and down stairs easily, etc. None of these activities are possible without keeping your body moving in some way. Motion is lotion! Skipping a workout or a walk is shortchanging your future. You are worth the time now!
Phew! Time for a bowl of soup! This recipe comes together quickly and is delicious! If you have the time allow to simmer up to an hour to really bring the flavors together.
Artichoke and White Bean Soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced (or one small sweet onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed and lightly mashed
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as possible
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on before serving (optional)