Eating on the run

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I have a friend who is a long distance runner.  She thinks nothing of running 15 miles in the morning.  On her long runs, she  literally eats on the run.  Long distance runners have special high carbohydrate, low fiber packaged food designed to provide energy during vigorous aerobic exercise.

Most of us are not long distance runners but we eat like we are.  We eat high sugar, low fiber foods that provide a lot of calories without supplying the essential nutrients we need for long-term energy and vitality.

For most of us, “eating on the run” doesn’t actually mean eating while exercising.  It means eating while having a business meeting, sitting at a desk banging on the keyboard or behind the wheel in traffic on the way to that next sales call.  Eating this way usually means consuming processed food selected for convenience rather than  nutrition.  This wouldn’t be such a bad habit if 1) we were actually running at the time and 2) all of our other meals were designed to give us the nutrition our fast meals lacked.

The problem is we often carry our rushed habits into creating all of our meals.  Healthy food can be more time consuming to prepare and keeping fresh produce around the house takes planning and more frequent trips to the grocery store.

Many people feel that taking a little extra time to eat well is time wasted.  On the contrary! Time spent planning and creating healthy meals is a smart time investment. While good eating habits don’t guarantee great health, poor eating habits will lead to poor health. In the end, doctors’ visits are quite time consuming (and expensive!)

Fortunately there are many quick and easy healthy options for eating on the run (or in the car or at your desk.)

Examples include:
-nuts including cashews, pistachios, walnuts and almonds
-chopped fresh fruit
-canned salmon, tuna, herring or sardines
-deviled eggs
-lettuce wraps

How to make a lettuce wrap:
1-2 whole lettuce leaves such as red leaf or green leaf
Sliced chicken, turkey  or ham
1 dill pickle slice
1 slice of Swiss or provolone cheese
Mayonnaise

Directions: Wash leaves and pat dry. Spread mayonnaise in the center of the leaf.  Place remaining ingredients in the center of the leaf. Roll up and skewer with a toothpick.

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If you don’t want to catch a cold, meditate!

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Cold season looms on the horizon as fall approaches and if you’re like me, you don’t like sniffling, sneezing and feeling less than your best.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin have been studying how to prevent colds and they came up with a novel, and highly effective, solution.

The scientists recruited a group of 149 people and divided them into three groups. The first group received 8 weeks of meditation training. The second group received 8 weeks of training in moderately intense exercise. The third group received no training and functioned as a control group.

At the end of the study period, the meditation group experienced the fewest days missed from work and had the least severe symptoms. The exercise group also showed marked improvement over the control group. The third group spent about 30% more of their time under the weather.

Over the years, I have tried many types of meditation and found significant benefits from all of them. Mental clarity, a sense of control and increased ability to focus in the midst of very stressful situations were some of the biggest boosts. And I got fewer colds too.

This fall I’m going to meditate as I walk around the neighborhood looking at the changing leaves and I’m going spend less time indoors on the couch curled up with a box of tissues!

 

 

The Benefits of Breakfast

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It’s great to get up in the morning and have time for a leisurely breakfast while sipping a steaming mug of hot coffee or tea and reading the paper. But even if you don’t have time for a leisurely breakfast, it’s important to have breakfast.

A recent study performed by Daniela Jakubowicz MD of Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel showed that obese adults who ate a large breakfast followed by a lower calorie lunch and even lower calorie dinner lost significantly more weight than dieters who ate a low-calorie breakfast and ate their larger meals later in the day.

More important, the higher calorie breakfast eaters continued to lose weight during the maintenance phase of the study while the low-calorie breakfast eaters regained a large amount of the weight they lost during the initial weight loss phase of the study.

Researchers found the high calorie breakfast helped suppress production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Dieters reported less hunger and cravings after a large breakfast. Interestingly enough, the participants in this study finished their breakfast meal with a sweet treat such as a cookie.

I’ve always heard “Life is short-eat dessert first” but now I think I’ll do that starting with breakfast tomorrow.

coffee

Enjoying a cup of coffee and a newspaper

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

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Imagine you could go to a department store and buy happiness. How would a package of happiness look? How much would it cost? More importantly, how long would it last? In our affluent culture, much emphasis is placed on earning more, spending more, getting more. But what price do we pay to get more? How long are we satisfied before we need to go to the next level?

Money and happiness are related, just not as much as we think. It seems that the most important thing we can do is be born in an affluent democracy rather than an impoverished dictatorship. People are much less likely to be happy when they are scrambling to meet their basic survival needs. Once people get over the poverty line, extra money doesn’t contribute that much to happiness. In fact happiness researchers have found that in spite of rising standards of living, the percentage of people in the United States who described themselves as “very happy” has dropped from 34% in the early 1970s to only 30% in the late 1990s.

Affluence can have a dark side. In a recent study, researchers found that people with higher incomes didn’t report being happier during the course of a day but did report higher levels of anger and anxiety. They also spent more time commuting, working and maintaining their homes and other material possessions. These activities tend to lower one’s level of happiness.

Our children aren’t immune to money’s dark side. In “The Price of Privilege” psychologist Madeline Levine says there is an epidemic of emptiness and despair in affluent teens. Between 30 and 40 percent of affluent teenagers suffer from emotional illnesses such as depression and anxiety, three times the rate found in the general population of teenagers. They also have higher rates of drug abuse and are more likely to self mutilate. Levine says this is due in part to their greater connection to material possessions than to people.

We can’t just blame parents for this. Our culture emphasizes individualism and competition, fostering an “I win, you lose” mindset. Competition destroys intimacy and isolates people from one another. To build meaningful social relationships and create a sense of community, we need to stress the virtues of cooperation and reciprocity. Before we became prisoners of our affluence, neighbors helped each other to build barns, sew quilts and harvest food. While we can’t go back to this, there are financial choices we can make to increase our happiness.

We can shift our priorities to getting time instead of money. Working less overtime, taking all of our vacation time, even taking an occasional day off without pay will make us healthier as well as happier. Cutting down our commute can help.  Daniel Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard University says that commuting is so unpredictable that humans cannot adapt to it. At least keep the commute under 30 minutes. It takes about a minute of recovery time to de-stress from every minute of commute time. If your commute is too long and you have to dive into household chores and family responsibilities the minute you get home, you are unlikely to recover and will be living with chronic stress.

When we free up time and reduce our stress, we have more energy to spend our leisure time on the things that contribute the most to our wellbeing. Instead of getting home too tired to do anything other than watch TV, we can take a walk with a friend or take a class.  When we are not spending our weekends doing household chores or maintenance on our stuff, we can take mini-vacations. Taking vacations reduces our risk of heart disease and with health care costs rising, who can afford to get sick?

(References: Clements, Jonathan. Touchy-Feely Finances: How to Find Out What You Really Want From Your Money. Wall Street Journal, Sept. 13, 2006.

Clements, Jonathan. Money and Happiness: Here’s Why You Won’t Laugh All the Way to the Bank. Wall Street Journal, Aug. 16, 2006.

Halicks, Richard. Teens of Means. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. July 23, 2006.)

Exercise: What does money mean to you?

How can you get that another way?

If money were not an issue, what would you be doing?

How can you do that now?

Girl and puppy

Small Bites of Happiness

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I love the Spanish tradition of tapas. In Spain, dinner is served late in the evening so people snack on delectable bites of food between lunch and dinner. They may be hot or cold and range from simple to sophisticated.  They evolved with input from many cultures and are crafted with a variety of highly flavored ingredients including tomatoes, chilis, olives, garlic, spices, meats and seafood.

chilis, tomatoes, garlic

Tapas ingredients

Tapas are appetizers, designed to fill the gap between lunch and dinner.  Individually they don’t look like much but when you put several of them on a plate you have a substantial meal. Alone they may be insignificant; together they are scrumptious.

Ed Diener, one of the founders of the emerging field of positive psychology, said that happiness is made up of many small happy moments a day rather than a small number of transcendent moments.

Too often we don’t take the time to savor the small moments of joy in a day. We are too busy thinking about the imaginary future and the great big juicy experiences we think will make us happy. When these experiences come and all-too-quickly go, we are left with a feeling of dissatisfaction and the question “Is that all there is?”

Waking up beside someone you love, petting a soft purring cat, burying your hands in the rich soil of your garden, drinking a cup of hot tea, having dinner with friends: none of these activities can be described as earth-shattering yet each is a contributor to a happy life.

Often we feel too pressured and rushed to stop and reflect for even a brief instant on what really contributes to our happiness.  Our headlong and heedless rush to pursue “the good life” has blinded us to the things that actually constitute a good life.

Every day, no matter how over scheduled, has space for small bites of happiness. It is important to create room for these moments and to pay attention to them when they happen. Savoring  little positive experiences is like enjoying tapas. One appetizer is only a snack but put several together you have a satisfying meal.

Bites of happiness have more value than they appear when viewed in isolation and should be respected for what they can do. Initially it may take a conscious effort  to create these moments  if you are not used to pausing and savoring small things.  In a short period of time, the shift in your awareness will become an entrenched habit and happy moments will become part of your day.

What are your opportunities for happiness today? What can you do tomorrow? This weekend? It doesn’t have to be big or take a lot of time or energy. It just has to be done.

Would you do this to your car?

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Imagine you have a car and you couldn’t replace any of the parts if they break.  You need to keep it going as long as possible on the original parts and in as good a condition as possible.  (Like in Cuba, where, due to the embargo and lack of ability to import new cars, you see a lot of cars from the 1950’s still on the streets.)

If this car was designed to take premium gasoline only, would you give it regular gas?  Would you skip changing the oil or would you change it regularly?

I’ll bet you would take the car in for routine maintenance on a regular schedule.  I’ll bet you would make sure this car had what it needed to run a long, long time.  I’ll bet you would check the fluid and check the tires and check the hoses.

Most people would not hesitate to do this for their cars, to get their cars what they need, to take them in for checkups and maintenance.  Yet they hesitate to do this for themselves.  Many people skip having  regular physicals, hoping that nothing is wrong and avoiding having the screening tests that can alert them to a problem when it’s early enough to do something about it.

What happens when your car’s radiator gets low on  fluid?  The engine overheats and steam comes from the radiator.  This lets you know that something is wrong, that you need to stop, let the engine cool down and then add more radiator fluid.  What happens when your car has an oil leak and all of the oil drains out of the car?  A red indicator light comes on and let you know there is a problem with your oil levels.  If you continue to drive the car without taking care of this problem, the engine can seize.

What happens when your body becomes dehydrated?  Most of the time, there aren’t any symptoms.  Certainly there’s no indicator light telling us we need to drink more water.  And as we age, our thirst mechanisms aren’t as good at letting us know we need to drink more water as they were when we were young.

When we are dehydrated, because there’s less fluid in our blood vessels, our blood becomes thicker, more concentrated and more prone to clotting.  This can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.  Dehydration also makes us feel tired.  Often we perceive this lack of energy as a signal that we need to eat rather than a signal to drink more water.  Our misinterpretation of this signal causes many of us to overeat, to take in calories we don’t need.

Many people don’t give their bodies the proper fuel to keep them running or they don’t drink enough fluids or don’t get enough exercise.

Too bad our bodies don’t have indicator lights like our cars.  If we did, we would be alerted to the fact that something is wrong and we need to get a checkup.  The problem is many of our illnesses develop slowly over time and without symptoms until our bodies have sustained irreparable damage. This is why physicians have screening tests.

You may not feel colon cancer until the tumor is large enough to obstruct your bowel and cause a great deal of pain and an emergency hospital admission. You may not feel diabetes until one day you wake up and your numb foot has turned black from gangrene. You may not feel hypertension until you collapse in your bedroom and wake up without the ability to move the left side of your body.

I saw this stuff every day on the job. I don’t know how many diabetics’ amputated gangrenous  feet and legs I examined. I can’t tell you how many times I was the first person to know someone was going to die of a horrible disease because I lost count a long time ago. To me these things are not abstractions but are very real.

When I hear people trivializing this I get irritated. And when I see them feeding their children sugary sodas and processed food, I get angry. If an adult wants to consistently make poor health decisions, that’s one thing. They’re adults and they have the right. Condemning a child to a disastrous future is something else entirely.

The way things are going, an estimated 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes. This is a completely preventable disease. Physicians are having to screen 8 year-olds for high cholesterol. High cholesterol in children is also preventable. A healthy diet free of heavily processed foods and refined sugars and rich in fruits and vegetables will prevent many of the appalling diseases that plague so many.

Our bodies are tremendously resilient and have great repair capability, at least for a while. But if we persist with bad food and unhealthy beverages and too much stress and not enough exercise or sleep, eventually they will break down. And by the time there is an indicator, it may be too late.

1953 Dodge M37 truck with the original flathead 6 engine

1952 Dodge M37 military truck with the original flathead 6 engine. Still going strong after 60 years.

Spice it up!

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It happens to all of us.  We get into a rut with our cooking and wind up eating the same dishes over and over again.  Boredom is the enemy of a healthy diet.  When we get bored, we’re more tempted to go out to eat and let someone else do the cooking.

Restaurant food is designed to keep patrons coming back, not to keep patrons healthy.  It’s higher in salt and fat and calories than what most of us would make at home.  (I know I wouldn’t put a stick of butter into most of my dishes.)

A great way to get out of the rut is to try food from different cultures.  Other culinary traditions include ingredients that may be unfamiliar to us.  For example I didn’t grow up using chipotle chilis or ginger garlic paste or lemon grass but I love these ingredients now.  Spices add excitement and flavor to cooking without adding excess calories.  In addition many spices contain phytonutrients that scientists are finding can help prevent disease..

Many of these ingredients are surprisingly easy to use.  A tablespoon of Thai green curry paste and a can of coconut milk transform a simple vegetable stir fry from ordinary to spectacular. A couple of teaspoons each of curry powder and garam masala makes ordinary squash taste extraordinary. (And those of you who grow squash know how important it is to have many, many squash recipes during the summer squash season.)

How do you learn about these ingredients?  Easy ways include buying a cookbook and experimenting with some of the recipes.  One of my favorite cookbooks is Indian Cooking by Khalid Aziz. I bought this book in 1986 when I first moved to Los Angeles. An Indian friend marked some recipes for me to try and told me where to shop for the ingredients. Going to the Indian market to buy the unfamiliar spices was a great adventure that left me with a lifelong love for curries.

You can get a terrific education on the Internet. There are many food sites full of  great recipes, cooking tips and even how-to videos.  If you live in a large city, visit an international market such as Super H Mart or 99 Ranch Market.  Ask other shoppers how they prepare unfamiliar produce or use exotic ingredients. Some markets even offer cooking classes.

Today even small towns are likely to have a carniceria, a Hispanic butcher shop.  There is a small one a couple of miles from my house, in the same strip mall as one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.  I am embarrassed to say I never went into the carniceria until a friend started raving about their chicken wings.

When I ventured into the store a few months ago, I was struck by the variety of fresh produce.  I recognized many of the staples such as cilantro and poblano peppers but they also had cactus, epazote and purslane. In the back was a well stocked meat counter with fresh chorizo and multiple kinds of marinated meat.  The prices were reasonable and the quality was great.  Now I go into that market all the time.  It was an overlooked gem I had never noticed because it did not fit into my preconception of a grocery store.

Stepping out into a different cuisine gives us a sense of adventure. Opening an unfamiliar door gets us out of a rut and banishes boredom. Humans need variety. Without it, life seems bland and we lose some of our zest. Too often we do the same things over and over again in both our work and personal lives. While it’s nice to do something enough times to develop skills, we need the challenge of the new to help us grow. Without challenges, something in us atrophies.

When we get bored, we develop pathologies. Some of us overeat, others gamble and others get depressed. Spicing up our food is just one way to add something new and different and exciting to our lives.

What great resources do you have in your town?  What new flavors can you add to your next dish to take it from ordinary to extraordinary?

Al pastor stew

Al pastor is thinly sliced pork marinated in chili and pineapple juice then cooked slowly in an oven or on a grill. You can get it in a carniceria.

Al pastor stew

Al pastor stew

1 pound Al pastor

2 poblano peppers,, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped*

4 tomatoes, peeled and diced (or 1 28 oz can tomatoes)*

1 small onion, diced

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups chicken broth (or 1 can)

Brown the meat in a large pot.  Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer 15 minutes.

*How to roast a pepper: Wash peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Place on a cookie sheet and put under the broiler. Roast until the skin is brown and blistered. Turn and continue roasting until all sides are done. Place in a paper bag or covered pot for 15 minutes and let them “sweat”. Peel. (After the peppers have sweated and cooled, you can place them in a freezer bag and freeze them. When you defrost them, the skin will easily come off.)

*Peeing tomatoes: Wash tomatoes and put in pan filled with boiling water. Simmer 3 minutes. Remove and immerse in cold water. Peel.

Quality of life

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I had a conversation recently with a relative who admits he has a weight problem.He listed his favorite foods (all processed and fast food) and said it’s a quality of life issue.  He associated eating a healthy diet with deprivation and said he would rather trade several years of his life for his favorite foods.

Like many people who eat a Standard American Diet (SAD), he has not made a connection between fresh, real food and great tasting food.  There’s no such thing as deprivation on a healthy diet.  A poor diet is deprivation.  It deprives your cellular structure of nutrients.  It deprives your body of what it needs for vitality, energy and longevity.

When you change your diet for the better, your taste buds change and adapt.  You start enjoying real food and lose your taste for junk.  Junk food makes me sick now.  To me, deprivation is being forced to eat empty calories devoid of nutrition.

People don’t think of their final years when making food choices but maybe they should.  They don’t have a picture of themselves bedridden or in a wheelchair due to amputations or in a dialysis clinic hooked up to the machine that is keeping them alive.

People don’t think of the time they won’t spend with their grandchildren or enjoying nature or pursuing hobbies.  They think of the Twinkie or the pizza or the cupcake and the momentary flash of enjoyment they get. For many, the sugar rush trumps all.  Like an addict’s response to drugs, they are in an endless cycle of cravings followed by momentary satisfaction followed all-to-quickly by more cravings.

Many people want instant gratification and damn the long-term consequences.  Living with heart disease, cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases lowers your quality of life.  When you get a taste for real food, you get both instant gratification and long-term health.  What could be better than that?  Now that’s quality of life.

Walkway to the beach

Walkway to Sunset Beach

 

What I Learned at the Farmer’s Market

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I have friends who hate grocery shopping. They complain about it, do it as seldom as possible and as a consequence tend to eat poorly. They eat more restaurant food, more fast food and less fresh produce. I believe they just don’t know where to shop. Buying local items and local food from local producers is more than a mere financial transaction; it’s a soulful act that feeds the spirit as well as the body.

It’s much more fun to shop at a local farmer’s market than it is to shop at a supermarket. You meet and buy from local artisans who create their own unique products. They all have stories about how they started their businesses, how their items are lovingly made, where their inspiration comes from. Sometimes it’s a family affair. My friend Susan who makes beautiful hand-spun and hand dyed yarn from the wool of her own sheep is ably assisted by her 9 year old granddaughter.

There is a profound satisfaction in buying from the source and having something unique and special. Handmade objects have a quality that is not found in mass market items from China. Shopping like this is a social experience which helps ameliorate the feelings of isolation and impersonality plaguing modern life. Spending money at home supports the local economy and gives back to the community in a way that giving money to a chain store does not.

Locally grown produce is healthier because it doesn’t have to be picked early so it can be shipped for 1500 miles. Food that matures on the vine has more time to absorb minerals and nutrients from the soil. It’s juicier and more flavorful as well as more nutritious. You are a lot more likely to find vine-ripened produce on a table at a local farmer’s market than at even the most expensive specialty grocery stores.

More than that, you can talk to the people who grow your food. You can find out what type of plants they grow, what kind of pesticides they use, what their attitude is towards the environment.

Two years ago, I met a delightful couple at our local farmer’s market. Their passion was heirloom tomatoes and they had tomatoes I did not know existed. They knew the origins and history of each of their heirlooms and were eager to share their knowledge. They also shared how to prepare and save the seeds for planting.

I bought six of their beauties and took them home for dinner. The tomatoes were all shapes, sizes and colors ranging from light pink to a deep dark greenish-purple. I carefully diced them and extracted as many seeds as I could. That night we dined on the most flavorful fresh Pico de Gallo I have ever tasted.

I prepared the seeds following their directions and refrigerated them for the winter. In the spring, we started some of these precious seeds indoors in small pots.   Big Rainbow, Caspian Pink, Hungarian Ox heart, Paul Robeson, 117 and Black Krim plants emerged from the soil, strong and vigorous. Having never planted these heirloom tomatoes, I did not know what to expect.

What I got was the best tomato harvest ever. Our pride and joy was a 26 ounce Big Rainbow with beautiful stripes of pink, yellow and green.26 oz big rainbow tomato

The tomatoes were sweet and succulent and juicy and amazingly flavorful. The plants kept bearing fruit until frost and I filled the freezer with enough tomatoes to last until the next year’s harvest.

Family and friends enjoyed the heirlooms too.

Of course I saved more seeds. After that experience, I started seeking out other heirloom varieties. This year we added Cherokee Purple, Coustralee, Golden Sunburst, Green Sausage, Pink Brandywine and Mr. Stripey. Commercial hybrid tomatoes have their own strengths and uses but the flavor, variety and fun of heirlooms is unmatched. I probably would have discovered heirlooms eventually but meeting this couple at the farmer’s market jump started the process and shortened the learning curve.

When is the next farmer’s market in your area?

Pico de Gallo

6-8 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped

½ Vidalia onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced

½ cup chopped cilantro

Juice of 1-2 fresh limes

Salt to taste

Add all ingredients to bowl. Refrigerate. For best flavor, let sit 2-3 hours before serving. Pico keeps several days (although it never lasts that long at my house)

Women Who Stare at Goats

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For many years I waged a war against the jungle invading my backyard. For those of you who have never lived here, northwest Georgia has some of the qualities of a tropical jungle – tenacious plants, dense foliage, roots the size of your forearm, hard-to-dig clay soil and bugs. Big ugly biting bugs. And lots and lots of poison ivy.

We also have kudzu. Kudzu grows a foot a day. (How do you plant kudzu? Drop a seed in the ground and then run very fast.) My yard has invasive wisteria which is a lot like kudzu. It’s pretty for a couple of weeks in the spring when it is covered with beautiful purple flower clusters. Then it morphs into an evil green vine that smothers trees and buildings.

For many years I spent hours and hours every week engaged in a fruitless attempt to reclaim my yard. And for many years I had to admit defeat. No matter what I used, the weapons in my arsenal were ineffective against the invaders. Poison? Wisteria laughs at herbicides. And I felt uncomfortable spraying toxic pesticides near a pond with nesting ducks. Pruning shears and loppers worked as long as I spent every weekend chopping and hacking. Large gas-powered turbo weed whackers worked as long as I used a special metal blade designed to cut vines but the resulting wrist and elbow pain was not good.

Nothing I tried had any long term effect and the holding action was sapping my energy.  What I was doing was not working and would never give me the results I wanted. I finally realized it was time to try something new.

Inspiration came from an unexpected place. Reading an article about brush clearance in Southern California led to my discovery of the power of goats. That’s right – goats. Clearing brush is what goats are designed to do. They thrive on brush. Wisteria is a delicacy. Invasive Chinese privet is dessert. Poison ivy is no problem. Little goat hooves have great traction on the steep slopes that caused me so much grief.

Goats are undemanding and require minimal maintenance. Provide shelter from the rain and they are happy. Goat chow is cheap and they only need it as a treat when they have space to browse on brush. Goats don’t bark like dogs and they poop small neat pellets which make great fertilizer. I say that my goats are the ultimate green landscapers. No chemicals, no fossil fuels and they weed and feed at the same time. They also work better than most of the people we have hired to clear brush.

goats

Chewy and the Colonel

In a year, Chewy and The Colonel tamed our jungle. In fact, they did such a good job that two of our neighbors asked to borrow them. Today they are off at summer camp at one of our neighbors, working their magic on the neighbors’ backyard.

I don’t miss spending my spare time doing something I was not designed to do well. I had to think outside the box and look for answers in unexpected places. It took a little creativity and a little research to find this solution to my problem but it was worth it.

Now instead of slaving away with loppers and power tools, I stand in my backyard sipping a cup of tea and staring at the goats as they happily do what they were meant to do. And I spend my time doing what I was meant to do.

What is your jungle? Is it losing weight, clearing out clutter, changing jobs or careers or finding that special person to share your life? When what you have been doing isn’t working, it’s time to look out of the box for a solution. Keeping an open mind and exploring many options can open new possibilities for you. Acting on these possibilities will empower you to make a difference in your life.

Taking bold action allowed me to free myself to spend my time staring at goats instead of acting like one. What action can you take today to tame your jungle?