Cast Iron memories & the nest empties

My oldest son moved out this weekend. A few friends told me I should be use to him not being around. He left home to live with his new band of brothers , the USMC, two short months after he turned 18. He lived on base states away and deployed. He at one point told me he was never moving back to Connecticut, he loved the south to much. I ate my way through those times. I cried a lot too.   Things happen and life tosses curve balls and after 4 years he was loading up a car and heading back to our home. Two and half years later, he’s nearly done with a good chunk of college, has an amazing girlfriend, a great job and just found an amazing deal of a home to rent with for mentioned girlfriend. So off he goes to start his life. I am happy as can be but I admit, I am a little sad but it gives me a chance to pass things on.

Both my daughters have moved out. Of course being women of our blood line, it was with the historical drama that comes with being women with broken history of female relationships.  I am convinced the pattern of this is actually years of karmic baggage. I use to think it was a curse. I see it is just a right of passage in our family.  The short of it,  there was screaming, and tears. More on my end.

For both I packed up what I had extra around the house and sent them into the world with a few things. Purchased what I could for them. Looking back I see it is always for the kitchen. I firmly believe the kitchen is the heart of the home. Growing up my mom rarely cooked but when she did, it felt like home.  Maybe it is me, memories of all of my family are around food. Not a bad thing. Some of the food was not the best but the memories crack me up. My mom burning fish sticks and putting the burnt side down, as if I wouldn’t see them. Me, hiding them in a napkin and later tossing them out the bedroom window. Plants grew well under that window. Places my dad and I always ate when I came to visit. My paternal grandmother’s cooking that still is hands down the best I ever ate. Her jars of strawberry jam looking like jewels as they cooled on the counter. The first dish my husband ever cooked for me that made me think “this one is a keeper”. Teaching my kids to cook so they could learn math, history, and geography.

My son, who if you ask me, loves to cook just as much as he loves to eat, and also has a girlfriend who cooks amazingly well. I sat listening to him at dinner one night and decided the right thing to send off with him was my 20+ year old cast iron Dutch oven.

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My Dutch oven has been my favorite kitchen tool. I’ve cooked many a gumbo, stew, and chili in it. I’ve braised oxtail and cooked chickens in it. I’ve deep fried and baked in it.   We took it on camping trips when the kids were small where it cooked up “mountain breakfast” and even baked a cobbler over an open campfire. We have even used it over in our firepit in the backyard (that this son built for us) when we have lost power due to a hurricane.

I have a lot of memories and happy thoughts when I look as this hunk of black cast iron. I see silly faces of little kids waiting for dinner. Teaching the how to care for cast iron and the crazy looks of “don’t use soap mom?”

I hope this old but well loved and cared for Dutch oven will give my son many more memories and years of service as it has me.  I also hope that maybe as he cooks with it, he will remember some of the dishes I cooked and he and his siblings helped me with. Maybe it and him have many adventures together.

 

Got a weight loss goal? Simple tips to help.

imageIt’s the new year and a lot of people are looking to lose  weight after a holiday season of eating, drinking and being merry.  No reason for feeling guilty for the fun you have had. Look back, smile and move on. Yesterday is over, tomorrow isn’t here , you only have today, this moment and you can make a few small changes right now that will show results later on.

Here’s my list of easy steps you can take to lose weight and have more energy:

  1.  Water- Drink more water. It’s simple, easy and most of us have easy access to it everywhere. Hate water? Add lemon, lime or other fruits to give it a little flavor.  If your one who drinks a lot of soda swap out one soda a day for a week with water, the next week do two and so on. Using mineral water with fruit is a great soda swap.
  2. Stop the sugar dance-  A lot of folks have the idea that fats cause people to get fat. While there are some fats you should avoid, sugar is the true enemy when loosing weight. Most people are not even aware of how much sugar they eat and drink.  Some folks can easily cut sugar and for others it is harder. If you’re in the harder group find easy places to drop the sugar. If you’re a sugar in your coffee person. Opt to add spices like cinnamon (which helps with stabilizing sugar levels) , nutmeg, cloves, ginger to your coffee instead.  Read labels and find products with less sugar or no sugar or sugar alternative added. Like pasta sauce. Who needs high fructose sugar in their pasta sauce?
  3. Chew- I know you chew your food but do you just chew enough to get it down your throat as you have the fork waiting with the next bite to cram down your throat?  I’m guilty of this. Especially when I use to work a job that had me on the go and my break was not as relaxing. I found myself bringing my shovel my food down my throat routine from work home with me. Chewing untill your a total of 15-20 times (I know that sounds crazy) not only helps your body digest it easier giving you the nutrients you need from your food, it also slows you down which gives your brain and stomach time to communicate letting you know when you are really full. You will notice less feeling overly full if you try this out.
  4. Move- Yes, I am going to tell you to exercise . Thing is find something you like. Last year when I joined my local gym I was offered a free training session. I decided to do the session. I think the trainer was awesome but what I noticed is he did the same session with everyone, with just a few small tweets. So while my son loved the session, I was sure I would never do it again. To this day, I have not stepped foot in that part of the gym ever again.  He did give me lots of great info and I have used the things I like. While Yoga was my main reason for joining this gym it was suggested I try pilates. When I met a woman who invited me to try the class with her I found I really like it. I have yet to try the Zumba class. I am more of a Masala Bhangra girl. Think Bollywood meets Zumba.  Walk, skate, dance around your house. Whatever that will get you moving, do it. 20 mins a day is best.
  5. Meditation- Meditation has proven to cause relaxation. it helps with stress, anxiety and that in turn helps with cortisol levels that  pack on pounds that sneak on even if your eating really well. You don’t have to find a guru and have a special room to meditate. Just sitting quietly for 20 mins will work. You can chant a mantra or you can stare out the window or sit at the beach. There’s even proof that the new craze of coloring is equal to meditating. I can believe that as chopping vegetables is soothing to me.  Taking quiet time will put you at more ease during your day and help you with making better choices for yourself.
  6. Speak Kindly to yourself- I had planned on only doing 5 tips, so this one is a bonus. Please, please, drop the negative talk about yourself.  Learn to speak kindly and lovingly to yourself. Speak to yourself in the way you wish you to spoken to. No matter where you are on your journey. Love the curve of your hips, the softness of your belly, the extra junk in your trunk.  Love your body. Focus on health not numbers on the scale. Focus on increasing your energy levels and not what you can’t fit into. Tell yourself how wonderful you are . For you really are wonderfully made.

 

I wish you a very happy new year and may you have a year filled with love, laughter and lots of wonderful memories.

Blessings

Shelly

 

*If you are interested in working with me as a health coach please send me an email at Shellyowens88@gmail.com.

 

Excited to announce

I am very excited to share the news that if you live in Connecticut, there is wonderful new wellness center opening up in Ansonia this December.  While the Anam Cara Center has been around it’s exciting to finally have it in a new center in heart of downtown Ansonia with a wonderful group of healers to serve the community.

I am also excited to announce that I will be a part of this amazing group of healers by providing a space for women with a “inter-generational wisdom circle, for maiden, mother & crone”. This circle with will be a safe place for women of all ages and stages to come and give and get support.  The first one is set for Sunday, January 17th.  More info on how to sign up will be comming. Untill then plase come to one of the amazing Friday events that will be happening in December with the opening of the center.

Hope to see you there!

Blessings,

Shelly

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