Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and feels ready to start the new year! I was telling my husband that it seemed strange to have New Year’s Day fall on a Friday, the start of the weekend. I felt I had a couple extra days to celebrate and put off making resolutions. But now it is Monday and time to think about what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.
I went back and looked at last year’s blog to assess how I did with 2015 resolutions. I am going to give myself a C+ because I did stick to a few of them for quite awhile and couple of them have become a habit. Today is a whole new year, though, and I can try again! One commitment is going to be to aim for a better grade next year!
I’d be willing to bet many of you have made goals related to your weight or fitness. I can certainly relate. I could talk about how important it is to stick to those resolutions, but you can read about that everywhere this time of year. A quick google search of the phrase “New Year, New You” will produce over a billion results. Seriously! So I will leave that information to Dr. Oz and Oprah and talk about a different resolution, namely, being more accepting to others.
Check out this article from the Huffington Post. It is three years old, but still very relevant. It talks about a woman photographer, Haley Morris-Cafiero, and how she set up cameras to take pictures of herself doing everyday activities. The purpose was to capture the expressions of the people around her, many of whom appear to be looking at her. It is astonishing. I looked at a couple of the pictures and thought she might have just caught a moment of inattention or distraction, but then I saw images of people, young and old, outright laughing at her or smirking or even looking disgusted. The conclusion is they are assessing her based on the fact she is overweight. Their judgments are written very clearly on their faces and it isn't pretty. It made me really stop and think about my own prejudices. As the article points out, fat-shaming seems to be an acceptable form of discrimination, even though more than half of Americans are overweight. Can you imagine the outrage if these same photos depicted a person of a certain ethnicity, sexuality or religion receiving similar looks? I’d be willing to bet it would be on every news outlet in America. But somehow openly judging a heavy person in an unflattering way is just glossed over. And yet, unless you have walked a mile in her shoes or know what her history is there is no way to know her. Why do people think it is okay to openly give looks of distaste at another human being who is a stranger?
After reading that story, this is the resolution I have made for myself: try to always look at people with a smile and try to find at least one positive thing about others. For example, in the pictures Ms. Morris-Cafiero posted I love how independent she looks. I have had a few opportunities to put this into practice when I went and checked out the sales at the mall last week. As I stood in check out lines I looked at the people around me and tried to find one positive thing about each person. A couple of times I even mentioned it out loud, admiring a color of a coat on one woman and a haircut on another. It seemed to take them by surprise, but then they smiled. I hope it made them feel as good as it made me feel!
Of course I have other resolutions, but I think this is the most important one this year, and I hope I can give myself an A+ on it next year!
Cold weather makes me crave comfort food. This recipe fits the bill, providing a warm filling meal with lots of flavor.
Italian Seasoned Tempeh Sandwiches
adapted from Vegetarian Times
2 green onions, minced, white and light green parts only
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 8-ounce package tempeh, sliced into strips
1 red or orange pepper, sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 rolls for serving
*I topped mine with sliced cabbage and a sauce made with a mix of plain greek yogurt blended with the left-over marinade.