Did you blink? Are you like me, wondering where the past few months went?
Before going headlong into winter (and the holidays!), I continue to take a cue from writer Emily P. Freeman, who encourages her readers to “pause to reflect on the past season before we move ahead into the future.”
I enjoyed reflecting on Summer 2017 so much that I wanted to do it again for September, October and November.
So, a bit late, here are 3 Things I Learned in Fall 2017, in no particular order.
1. Writing Every Day Brings Me Joy
If you subscribe to my blog post updates, I filled your inbox during October with my “31 Days to a Healthier You” series. Thank you so much for your graciousness in allowing that. I hope you’ve been able to go back and catch up on the posts if you didn’t have time to read every day. I loved researching the different topics and writing for you.
Really, I learned so much during October, just by writing those articles. So at least 31 things I learned within this one thing!
You may not know that I graduated from college with a degree in journalism and I worked as a reporter for newspapers in the Southeast for several years. But my love of writing began long before then – at least by 5th grade. When it seemed that my dreams of becoming the next Nancy Drew, detective and subject of exciting adventures, might not come to fruition, I turned to writing about others’ exciting adventures. And sometimes interviewing detectives.
But when my sons were little, I put my professional writing career on hold. I wrote as a freelancer for a while, then began selling scrapbooking supplies and teaching people how to capture their family stories through photo books. And I loved all those different roles.
In the past couple of years, though, I’ve yearned to return to my writing. Two years ago, I started this website and blog. It’s evolved as I have learned more about myself and tried to discern what I’m called to do in the days and years ahead, as my children leave the nest and I wonder, “What’s Next?!”
I learned in October just how much I still loved writing every day. And now my challenge – which I will be discussing with my own coach – is to figure out how to incorporate writing consistently into my life alongside other competing interests and priorities.
2. Creating a Formal Meditation Practice Takes Practice
While I’ve known about mindfulness meditation for a number of years, my health coach training really underscored the value of creating a formal practice around this. I see the benefits it has in re-centering me so that I can focus and show up non-judgmentally and with a fresh mind, not only to my clients but also in my personal relationships.
I’ve found that when I practice mindfulness, I’m more kind and compassionate to others and to myself. I am more grateful. And that I’m less likely to jump to conclusions.
But it’s a habit that I’m still trying to develop every day. So for 2018, I’ve registered for a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course at Duke Integrative Medicine. And I’m using apps such as Headspace and Stop, Breathe, and Think to help me practice every day.
3. This Safari Chicken Recipe Enters the Rotation
Always on the lookout for new recipes that meet multiple dietary needs and taste buds in our family, I discovered this Safari Chicken recipe. It uses two new spices from the Saveur spice line that Youngevity launched this fall. (Disclosure – I’m also an associate for Youngevity.)
You can play around with this recipe using any Moroccan and Mediterranean spices you have in your pantry already, but if you want to try the Saveur Foods spices, which are 100% gluten free, or research other delicious recipes using these new spices, here’s a resource for you.
And now, for that recipe:
Combine 2 T. Safari Rub and 1 pound of boneless chicken; cook together in 2 T. butter for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan.
In those pan juices, add 1/2 teaspoon Tagine Spice and a pinch of Cinnamon Blend Spice. Mix together, and add 1/2 c. chicken broth, 1-2 T. of red or yellow lentils (look for resealable bag in frozen foods, or use canned and rinse them well). Also add 1-2 T. unsulphured golden raisins, unsulphured dried apricots, fresh dates, or fruits of your choosing.
Mix together with the chicken, and serve over a bed of rice or cauliflower rice.
You can add slivered almonds on top or in with the warmed fruit mixture.
Serve with hummus, fresh vegetables, or bread.
Now it’s your turn. What did you learn this fall? Comment below, or join my free, private “Faith and Sweat” Facebook group, where we can have a larger conversation.
Thanks for stopping by! I’m Amy Hoogervorst, an integrative health coach offering grace and space for a healthier you. I’d love to hear from you and get to know you better. If you’re new here and don’t want to miss a thing, be sure to CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter and updates.