Sunday, June 21st we celebrate the men who have filled the role of “father” in our lives. The transition into motherhood and fatherhood can be so different. Women experience a physical change that clearly reflects entering this new phase of life. It’s very hard to miss that something new is happening. For men, however, there is no growing belly, second heart beat or fluttering of a baby’s kicks to signal a new page outside of watching their partner. This means becoming a dad can be just as much about deciding to step into the role as it is contributing DNA. It means readily accepting the care and responsibility for a new life and that is a big job! Continue reading
Where I am concerned, my Dad’s heart is always on his sleeve. He is so grounded in truth, so deep in his thinking, and so moral about humanity that I wonder how I got so lucky! Of course he doesn’t see it that way, and wonders instead how he got so lucky to have me. We have been through a lot together over the years, and in his “lead by example” way I have learned so much from him that I have taken into my own adulthood. My favorites:
1. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. You never know what kind of day someone is having and what they’re going through. Know that most bad moods, angry words, or scowling faces have nothing to do with you. Put yourself is someone else’s shoes when you can and try to see life from another’s perspective.
2. Don’t judge someone by what color their hair is, what their job is, how many tattoos they have, or who their parents are. Just because they don’t fit a socialized mold of “acceptable” doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the most caring humans you might ever meet.
3. Every dream and every goal is attainable no matter how far out of reach it may seem at the time. Break down your dream into small steps. Do three things a day that will lead you closer to your dream.
4. Religion is a personal decision and something to be used with respect and love. Don’t push your beliefs, or your lack of belief, on anyone else. We simultaneously walk our path alone and together, and each person has their own way to self-discovery and their own definition of “divine.”
5. Your past is not an excuse for your present. Not. An. Excuse.
6. Don’t hide who you are just to make the people around you more comfortable. You have every right to shine and to be yourself, because yourself is pretty fabulous!
7. Be dedicated to your body and your health. Life is so much easier when the body is whole.
8. “Disappointments, failures, weakness, making wrong decisions and mistakes are all part of life. Some of the most valuable life lessons come from these times,” taken verbatim from a letter sent to me in college from my Dad.
9. When your family needs you, really truly needs you, drop absolutely everything and go to them.
10. Anything worth doing has a certain amount of fear associated with it. Don’t be afraid of that fear and know that moving forward can be scary. Again, taken verbatim from a letter my Dad gave me upon high school graduation…”As you head in a new direction in your life, don’t let fear keep you from moving ahead. Moving forward can be scary because you are going into the unknown. Staying where you are is usually safe and comfortable but you never get anywhere. You have so many qualities that will take you anywhere you want to go.”
Above all…always let your kids know you support them one thousand percent, no matter what they do, where they go or who they become. They need you and life is a whole lot easier to manage with that kind of love.
Summer is here at last, and with it comes beach days, lemonade stands, and, of course, barbeques! Lucky for us, Father’s Day is just a few days away, and it’s the perfect time to get out the grill and have an outdoor meal.
If you’re among the health and wellness-conscious, though, then you might be wondering: What about the health risks? Isn’t there a link between grilling and exposure to cancer-causing chemicals? Your fears would not be entirely unfounded. The primary risks associated with barbequing come from using a high heat, grilling high-fat meats, and inhaling the smoke produced by this combination. But never fear! There are steps you can take to ensure a healthy, hazard-free Father’s Day BBQ.
Here are 5 tips to help you have the perfect BBQ feast Dad will love on his special day:
- Turn the temperature down. This will minimize flare ups and charring which can be harmful to health. Grill at a medium heat – and you can always pre-cook meats and fish a bit in the oven before throwing them on the barbeque.
- Opt for low-fat foods. This isn’t anything personal against healthy fats, but for grilling purposes, vegetables, fish, and lean meats are the way to go. Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, both carcinogens, tend to form as fat drips off into the flames and creates smoke. Less fat, less risk!
- Use olive oil, lemon juice, or soy sauce for delicious, anti-char marinades. Thick marinades tend to smoke up more, so these thinner, healthier glazes will not only add great flavor but keep charring to a minimum.
- Line your grill with aluminum foil and/or place food on the perimeter. Anything you can do to minimize grease dripping into direct flame will ensure that your barbequing experience stays healthy and smoke-free. If you just must have that blackened taste, then get your fix through vegetables, whose proteins aren’t affected by heat in the same way meat proteins are.
- Clean the grill before your party! This goes without saying, but it’s healthier, more hygienic, and less hazardous to cook foods on a freshly cleaned grill.
Now that you’re all set for healthy, risk-free Father’s Day BBQ, here’s a mouth-watering recipe that will make the perfect centerpiece for your feast. It uses a lean meat, a thin marinade, and a healthy dose of spice that Dad will love. Enjoy!
Asian Barbeque Chicken
- 1 pound chicken
- ¾ cup plum and/or apricot sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1½ teaspoons Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger Powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Sesame seeds (optional; sprinkle on after cooking)
Stir all ingredients together until well blended. Adjust spices according to your taste. Meat can be marinaded in sauce or just brushed on at barbecue time. Brush glaze on meat at least twice per side while cooking, and turn meat often to minimize charring. Serve with a side salad or baked beans.
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