Where the rubber meets the road

Where the rubber meets the road.

“The most important point for something, the moment of truth. An athlete can train all day, but the race is where the rubber meets the road and they’ll know how good they really are.”-UsingEnglish.com

On average, according to all those studies the universities put on, women talk an average of 20,000 words a day…and men roughly 7,000. Before getting into this post I just have to say it: is it possible that us girls say 13,000 more words than guys a day?!?! (I’m kinda shy though…so maybe this is why this number gap is hard for me to fathom.) My basic point of these statistics is to simply point out: we talk an awfully lot.

As I was thinking about where the rubber meets the road kind of moments, I kept thinking about all of the hopes, dreams, ambitions I’ve shared with people. I’m gonna get my master’s degree…I’m gonna write a book…I’m gonna travel hear or there…etc. But it’s not just the big dreams or plans…it’s the little ones too: I’m gonna try a new look, I’m gonna loose weight, I’m gonna help out some good cause, I’m gonna call so-and-so because I haven’t talked to them in forever, I’m gonna fix up the mustang, I’m gonna talk to the cute guy that sits across from me on the subway, I’m gonna start running every morning…IT COULD BE ANYTHING. Anything you think you could, should, or might just want to try doing.

But realistically, how many of us actually get around to doing these things? How many of us just end up talking about doing them instead?

Where the rubber meets the road. The moment of truth.

NEVERUNDERESTIMATE the power of action.

At the end of the day, Words are just words…all 13,000-20,000 of them.

Action is what turns words into reality. 

Actions accomplish goals.

Actions will get you where you want to be.

Actions will make you a better person.

Actions will help you find the right person.

Actions will help you write your book.

Actions will help you get into a new career.

Actions will help you get healthy.

Actions are what dreams are made of.

Actions will make your dreams come true.

Don’t just talk about what you are going to do. Do it.

Let’s not be people with hopes and dreams and well…people who just end up with hopes that never happened or dreams that never came true. Let’s stop talking and get to work. Let’s put some action behind our words. Let’s accomplish things, let’s be someone who did something about their hopes and dreams….and all the little things.

Whatever that thing is that you’ve been talking about doing…just DO IT (stealing from Nike, I know).

 

 

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Persistent

Things happen when you are persistent.

I was reading success stories this weekend, in particular author success stories..the stories of those lucky souls who have gotten their books published. To tell the truth at first I was discouraged. It seemed like the book publishing dream was all up to chance…a 1 in a 1,000,000 shot. Then I saw the light…the key…the common link. The people who have gotten their book published wrote, rewrote, sent in submissions, got rejected ….over and over again. But they never gave up. They were persistent and it paid off.

Persistence is hard because it means facing failure …it means being patient …it means knowing results may not come right away…it means work. Three years ago I lost 30 pounds–thirty pounds I had been trying to lose for years. What changed is I realized the workouts..the healthy eating had to be day in..day out…for many many days. Change wasn’t going to happen unless I determined each day to work out and to eat right. What is crazy after a few weeks, eating healthy got easier…and easier…now it’s habit. (But I still enjoy cheese covered fries every now and then…gotta live a little! =) )

The BEST things in life usually don’t happen overnight. They are grown, cultivated, worked for. It has been said that the harder the work, the sweeter the victory. Some of the people I admire the most are people who don’t give up easily…who are persistent. Being persistent can change your body, your job, your relationships…and your life.

DON’T QUIT!

The young boy, Han Velsing, stood frozen in fear. The snow covered world around him suddenly filled with an unholy presence. He felt his eyes burn from the evil that permeated the air. He knew what was coming. He heard the thrust of powerful wings bat the air and then the crunch of snow when it landed. Sweat began to trickle down Han’s forehead even though it was bitterly cold. His predator stood towering in front of him. The Vampire’s skin was white as a porcelain picture. His cheeks were sucked in and hollow. He smiled wickedly, showing off his sharp teeth. Han dashed away knowing it was pointless. In seconds the vampire thrust Han brutally into the snow. Han’s trembling fingers gripped the item in his pocket. It was something his Mother always told him to carry with him for good luck. As the Vampire’s fangs lunged towards him, Han screamed and shoved the pungent “good luck” charm in the beast’s face. The Vampire screamed like a mountain lion and his body began to convulse violently. He thrashed and jerked and then was still. Han had killed the monster. Amazed, Han stared at the object that saved his life….a clove of garlic.


 

Garlic…the ancient herb

This bulb which is  bursting with flavor, is probably one of the most usedGArlic spices around the world…or at least in my kitchen. I am a garlic fanatic!It is one of those staple ingredients that is a MUST in every kitchen and for every cook. Just take one whiff of a garlic bulb and you will know that it is a strong cooking ingredient when used raw, however when you cook it the garlic sweetens.

  Garlic has been used by people all over the world for ages. Not just centuries; we’re talking THOUSANDS of years.  The exact time garlic was cultivated isn’t certain, but it was grown in Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C. Culturally, garlic has been a prized spice.

In Egypt,  “Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids 583px-037_1941_-_Great_Pyramid_at_Giza_Egypt_by_Tom_Beazley_03and were placed in Tutankhamen tomb.” -from Spice Islands Website.

In the works of Hippocrates, Pliny the Elder, the Bible, Homer and several other famous historic documents have noted garlic in their writings used as medication.

Garlic was given to the ancient Greek athletes when they were competing in the Olympics.

Garlic was believed by many cultures to increase strength and endurance.

In many countries, garlic was a staple food for soldiers.

Henry IV of France was baptized in water with cloves of garlic.

Garlic was hung on door posts and around necks to ward off evil spirits. In Europe it was believed it would ward off werewolves , demons and evil spirits, The Plague, and rabid animals (probably how the werewolf legend was born).

According to a Korean legend garlic was considered to be sacred food.

China is the largest producer of garlic…23 billion pounds are grown annually. WOW!

Garlic is full of vitamin C and research shows it is a cholesterol fighter, cancer fighter, fights infections and has anti-aging properties.

It has been referred to as “The Stinking Rose”.

Different cultures all over the world seemed to believe that garlic was good for pulmonary disorders and respiratory disorders as well as being beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

The only thing I don’t quite enjoy about garlic is the way it makes your hands and breathe REEK. There have been times when I have chopped garlic and scrubbed my hands 10 times and still the smell remains. And when it’s in my mouth? No toothpaste, no mouthwash, no liquid can seem to rid that horrid smell. During my garlic research I found that parsley is something that will kill garlic breath. I haven’t tried it but I will! One thing I have tried is swishing my mouth out with organic, unrefined coconut oil; it seems to get rid of the smell/flavor for the most part.

Garlic is really good for you and it is so easy to add this ancient ingredient to practically all of your cooking. Sprinkle garlic into your pasta, dice it and add it to vegetables, put it in your marinades (always turns out good), make homemade ranch dressing (That’s what I do! you need 1 clove of garlic, lots of dill, chives, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, a little bit of milk

This stuff is from heaven!

This stuff is from heaven!

and salt and pepper. Toss is a blender and walla! Ranch Dressing goodness!). Use in olive oil with Parmesan and Italian Spices for bread dipping oil.  Basically, garlic is what’s for dinner!

Are there any special ways you use garlic?

 

Sources:

The American Society for Nutritional Sciences, “Historical Perspective on the Use of Garlic”; Wikipedia; Spice Islands; Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy.

While we don’t know the exact date garlic was first cultivated, we know it was grown in Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC. Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids and were placed in King Tutankhamun’s tomb – See more at: http://www.spiceislands.com/Adjustable_Grinders/Garlic_and_Herb_Adjustable_Grinder#sthash.WcfwA8iF.dpuf
While we don’t know the exact date garlic was first cultivated, we know it was grown in Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC. Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids and were placed in King Tutankhamun’s tomb – See more at: http://www.spiceislands.com/Adjustable_Grinders/Garlic_and_Herb_Adjustable_Grinder#sthash.WcfwA8iF.dpuf

Eat to Live, or Live to Eat

One thing that has really taken over our country is over eating. Gaining weight doesn’t just leap on us, it creeps up on us. Its the extra donut here and the few extra chips there that turns into six donuts and an entire bag of chips! Before we know it we shun bikinis and begin buying sweatpants. Inside we are feeling less confident and that triggers us to eat even more! Its a vicious cycle; but it can be stopped. Here are a few tips that helped me loose weight.

  1. SEIZE THE DAY- You have a dilemma, you had planned all last week that Monday (which is now today) you would start being healthy and eating better; your grandmother called you and after a half hour long chat you are meeting her tonight for dinner at the local Applebees. Lets face it, Grandmas have it engrained in their minds that their grandchildren are living off of water and saltines. You are starting to envision her telling you to order an appetizer because you need more meat on your bones (which makes you seriously question her vision), then you picture her insisting upon paying for the dessert. You imagine the chocolate lava cake’s gooey sweetness in your mouth and the decision is quickly over. “No use in fighting with Grandma!” You say to your self and then add, “I will just start my diet tomorrow.” Tomorrow is a dangerous word. Tomorrow is the word that can also be translated, under certain circumstances as failure! You can find an excuse everyday to start your diet tomorrow. Today is the day. Whatever you may face, choose today to stick to your guns and eat healthy. If your grandma suggests a place where you just can’t resist the french-fries then invite her over for a specially planned feast made by you! Or explain that you have made a life change to eat healthier and suggest an option where you are in control and not your appetite! You can do it, but you have to do it today! Carpe Diem!
  2.  Learn to say NO- This was a hard step for me but the best for me when I got it down. I love food! (Doesn’t everyone?) I remember times where I would be on a diet but at the time I worked in the food industry. We could pretty much eat what we wanted there, and the chef was amazing. After a while of a small bites of Wisconsin mac and cheese or bruschetta on bread I realized I wasn’t loosing weight anymore. I had been working out and eating healthy the rest of my meals throughout the day. Those little bits here and there were costing me. Finally I determined to say NO. I told myself I had to say no even to one bite because I realized that one bite would lead to more bites. Saying no is hard. Sometimes I felt like If I didn’t eat something I would be missing out or never get a chance to try it.  Realize that you really aren’t missing out. And that you will get to try it, just not today. Realize that if you aren’t saying no, you are saying yes to potentially having to workout more (no more running please!)  I have said in my mind to help myself out with saying no, “I will be able to eat this another day, but I don’t need it today.” And you know what’s great? Saying no gets easier! After a couple weeks you will be used to passing on the extras you don’t need or really want. Remember it goes the same for saying yes, the moment you give it once it become easier to give in again. Words to live by: “Thank you, but I’ll have to pass on that!”
  3. Replace- Replace your morning latte with a cup of tea; replace a bag of chips with your lunch with your favorite fruit or vegetable; replace soda with water (do it! you will be amazed at the weight you will start to loose);When I went on my diet I replaced my usual lunch with a bunch of vegetables and maybe a few nuts. Crazy you might say,  but when I did that I cut out a significant amount of calories, got a lot of nutrition, and wasn’t hungry. Replace your large plates with small plates so that the plate looks fuller and you are getting the proper size (note: the size of plates that are given to us at the restaurants are unfortunately almost enough for one small family, beware!);replace the junk food in the cabinet with healthy snacks only, don’t wait till they are gone, donate them to the local soup kitchen (you will be helping others and yourself!).  And the list goes on and on….Replace!
  4. Activate-I think why today obesity is such a phenomenon as opposed to the past is that we have technology that does the work for us. People in the old days would go out and plow the field themselves, walk to town, chop the wood, clean the house (without vacuum, Swiffer, automatic shower cleaner). They needed a lot of food to keep up with them! Today we have machines that plow the fields while you sit in them, we drive everywhere, we buy those ready to light bags of fire wood, and we have invented robot vacuum cleaners. Technology is wonderful but we have to get moving! Find something that will get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day. This doesn’t mean you have to sentence yourself to the treadmill and staring at the wall. Find something active that you enjoy, or at least don’t hate. Get into different sports, offer to walk people’s dogs, search for cool hiking destinations, take dance lessons (zumba and hiking are my favorite!) Activate, your body will thank you!
  5. Eat good food- I saved this for last because it is the most exciting thing about weight loss! You can still enjoy the food you are eating! Eat things that taste good is what I recommend. Often diets are started with the notion that you cannot eat anything that tastes good. We eat boiled flavorless chicken and steamed broccoli for three days and end up feeling like an animal that has just come out of hibernation. This is just a sure road to a diet blow out at the nearest Golden Corral. My co-worker brought this to mind when she was telling me about her diet and what she was eating and how she was going crazy. With the food she described I would go crazy too! Do a little digging online and find nutritious recipes with similarities to food you may like. Learn how to cook lean meats just right (tip from someone who trained under a chef, always marinate…always..), follow the recipe and get a thermometer so that you don’t over or under cook. If you do opt for pasta have a pasta night! Get your small plate out and enjoy! (one tip that I found effective is to skip the meat if you are going to focus on grains for a meal) When you are eating make the meal about the people you are with and enjoying every bite. Serve fruits and veggies as sides instead of buttered rolls (just get used to having to eat vegetables! They will grow on you in flavor and God made them as our natural diet-sooooo good for you!)This way you become fuller faster and are having a meaningful conversation. There are so many healthy delicious options to find and enjoy! I will post some recipes that I recommend!

I hope this blog has been helpful! I lost weight and you can too! Loosing weight won’t be easy…at first; ask God for His help, He will help you!When you get into a habit of making good choices you will find it easier, feeling more energized, looking at that bikini and thinking about wearing it (unless you are a dude =) ) and being more confident. If anyone has any other tips or success stories or frustrations comment!