Remember all that rain we got back in May? I think it’s fair to say that spring 2016 was something of a letdown. But you’ve got to admit—your lawn looked pretty darn good!

Between those days of downpour, I attempted to keep our acre of yard subdued. I’m the official Mower of the Grass in my family, so it did not escape me that we had some very tall, green, soggy grass thanks to the record-breaking rainfall.

Just as everyone started to wonder if the deluge would ever cease, the last raincloud moved on, temperatures soared and the sun scorched. Four days later, I was mowing brown grass. Brown! Grass that had been nearly drowning just days before was now dying from thirst!

It struck me then how fragile the balance of life is. Without the correct amounts of nutrients, water and sunlight, living organisms suffer or even perish. Though nature is resilient, its equilibrium can be disturbed so easily. The poor grass, I thought. Good thing humans are around to help set things right again. Then I hopped onto another train of thought.

What compels us to preserve and protect things? What sets us apart from trees, grass and the like?

Our big, beautiful brains.

Brains have launched us to the top of the food chain. Brains are behind all of our analyzing, inventing, and problem solving. Our brains instruct us to care for our families and our possessions.

So then, ah… Why don’t we use our brains to take care of ourselves?

According to a study published this year, over 97.3% of Americans do not meet all of the standards of a healthy life. Here are the four standards that were measured in a pool of 4,700 test subjects:

Get moderate exercise
Eat right
Avoid smoking
Keep body fat under control

Yep. That’s it. It’s the same advice you’d get from a doctor. Or your mother. And almost no one is doing all of these things at once to keep their bodies in balance. This is not an opinion: As a society, we disregard the state of our health.

It’s easier for us to take responsibility and care for what is outside of our bodies—maybe because it’s easier to see them for what they are. Somehow, we don’t have the same clarity when it comes to ourselves. We can’t look at ourselves the same way we look at an acre of dying grass, or a wilting flower in a garden bed. Though it’s hard to see (and even harder to admit), our own state of imbalance, which is infinitely more significant than an imbalanced lawn, affects us long-term. Adversely.

We get sick. We have cancer and other chronic issues. And for the most part, we treat the symptoms but not the cause. As a collective whole, we have perfected the art of ignoring what is at the root of our most threatening problems. We can’t see that we’re wilting inside, that our systems need care!

So here’s a thought. Perhaps the “transformation” fad that is synonymous with what we think of as “good” health has it totally wrong. Maybe our brains feel defeated by the task (more like chore) of transforming ourselves, or have us believe it’s something we can put off until tomorrow. But health statistics scream that we cannot put it off until tomorrow!

Instead of making an abstract goal that someday you’ll have the body you want, make it a goal to find the proper balance for your body. Then make it a lifelong goal to maintain that balance.

The sooner we can make things about our long-term health and wellness, the body that we want will come to us naturally. If we can strike a balance, we’ll get the good body, the energy, the youthfulness and the happiness.

I don’t care how weird this sounds: Think of yourself like you think of your lawn. Your goal is to stay green. Give yourself water, but not too much water. Give yourself sunlight, but not too much sunlight. Balance is health. Balance is happiness. You can do it now, and you can do it all the days of your life.


Kim's Corner

Spring is in the air! The sun is shining! Energy levels are on the rise! It’s time to spring forward, literally!! No more thinking about eating better….let’s do it! And let’s not make it too complicated! Let’s DO something we know we can do! Often people tell me they are quite successful throughout the day, but they usually fall apart nutritionally in the evening. Let’s see if we can create a healthy eating habit just one night a week – what a doable start!

This was dinner for my family on Sunday evening – It’s unusual as I am the only one in my family that likes fish. In fact, most of the time, I am preparing myself something completely different from what the rest of my family will eat. But not this Sunday! I decided to just DO IT and they enjoyed it!

food-300x300 Here is Halibut baked in parchment paper with a side of fresh green beans and half a sweet potato. The Halibut is delicious, flavorful and really easy to make – here is the recipe:

You will need:

1/2 sweet onion, chopped
8-10 shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 14-oz can artichokes (in water) drained and chopped
1 tsp thyme
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 tbs olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (this is optional)
1 14-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
several dashes of tabasco
1/4 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
4 6-oz Halibut filets, skinless (or any other white fish that you like that is similar: cod, rockfish, etc. will work just as well)
Old Bay seasoning
freshly squeezed lemon
4 pieces of parchment paper (about 15 inches long)

Sauté’ onion and mushroom in olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add minced garlic and thyme and sauté’ for another minute. Add wine and chicken broth and allow to simmer and cook down until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add tomatoes, tabasco, sugar, salt and pepper and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Now, add the artichokes and stir. Allow to cool.
(This ragout can be made a day in advance and kept in the fridge if that is easier for you.)
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take your parchment paper and fold it in half to make two rectangles. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray. Place about 1/2 cup of ragout on one side of the parchment paper (next to your fold line), then place the fish filet on top of ragout.Salt and pepper the fish and then add some Old Bay seasoning. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top. Fold the other half of the parchment paper over top of the fish and bring the edges of the paper together. See the video below on creating your parchment packet. It’s super easy! Don’t think about it – just do it – you can! Place all packets on top of a cookie sheet.Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes – it will be done perfectly – no need to worry. Once out of the oven, place on plates and cut an “X” in the top of the parchment. You can either eat it in the parchment or simply slide it out onto your plate with all the yummy ragout! Enjoy your fish with a green salad or green veggie and half a sweet potato or brown rice. Or, eliminate the potato/rice all together and just double your veggies!

So, this spring – just do it. Cook an easy, delicious and nutrient-dense meal at home just once a week. I will keep posting recipes this month for you to try. Challenge your cooking skills weekly – creating a weekly habit of healthy eating will be realistic to achieve and oh so good for you!Let’s build on these good habits all spring long – adding a healthy breakfast in a few weeks (recipes coming) and so much more! Spring forward, summer-ready!

Bon appétit!


Kim's Corner

When you first begin an exercise program, results are noticeable almost immediately. Most individuals reach a point, however, where they are no longer growing faster, stronger or losing weight. This frustrating experience is known as reaching a fitness plateau. Don’t let a plateau discourage you! Follow the tips below to put your body back on the forward track.

1.) Keep Your Body Guessing

If you consistently perform the same types of exercises, you will consistently see the same results. Keep your body guessing by introducing different types of physical activities. If you always use the elliptical machine or stationary bike, for example, try a group fitness class or running outdoors instead. Vary your workouts weekly for optimal results.

2.) Check your Diet

Keep a food journal for a week or two and take a good look at the types of foods and amounts you are putting into your body. It is easy to pick up small habits that add up to big calories (such as drinking iced mochas instead of black coffee in the summer months and snacking on handfuls of popcorn and candy at the movie theatre).

3.) Increase the Duration, Intensity and/or Frequency of Your Workouts

Slowly increasing the duration, intensity and frequency of your workouts is a great way to progress your personal fitness program and push through plateaus. If you have been exercising for 30 minutes, three times per week, try going up to 45 minutes, three times per week. If you have been walking, pick up the pace to a light jog.

4.) Get Inspired! Consider Training for a Fitness Event

Training for a special event or activity is a great way to stay inspired and take your fitness routine to the next level. Consider joining a sports league or registering yourself for a charity race.

5.) Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Rest

Too much exercise can also lead to fitness plateaus if your body is tired and burned out—so be sure not to overdo it. The quality of your workouts is much more important than the quantity. Also be sure you are getting enough sleep so that muscles have time to recover between workouts and you have the strength and energy to perform at your best.

A fitness plateau is simply our body’s way of telling us it is time for a change–so go ahead, mix it up!


Kim's Corner

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