Tag Archives: Father’s Day

Care & Strength: The First Moments of Fatherhood

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

Top 10 Life Lessons Learned From My Dad

Screen Shot 2013-06-16 at 9.55.32 AMWhere 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.

5 Tips for a Healthier Father’s Day BBQ (Recipe Included!)

asianbbg_chicken_ribsSummer 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions:

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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A Letter To My Father

Patrick, you turned thirty the day I was born and now, as I enter my third decade, I am fixed in the age you once were, the same indexing of years, as you looked upon my face for the first time. But you are not here, gone, ashes in a box kept in some secret place.

There is a path worn in my mind—21 years of memory you carved into my neurology. And then you disappeared. When I die, the you, that I know, will be gone forever.

In my late twenties I began to imprint objects with patterns of memory, reconstructing your life digitally and on acid free paper. But there is no resurrection, just a recounting. Even now, as I address you, I am not speaking to a ghost—I am conversing with a reverie. It is a monologue. There is no way I can preserve you. No way I can save you from death. And yet, I cannot help but continue to leave more traces of you—to let others know you existed, that you were significant, and that you meant something, at least to me. Today, I’m leaving another trace because there is still so much grief.

Sometimes I dream of you alive, meeting me now, as a man, instead of that bitter leaving, where you slipped the reins of legacy into my uncalloused hands. This year you would have been sixty, if you had lived, and we would have met each other, this once, exactly halfway in the decades. But no such world exists. In this world, I am a part of your light impelled forward through time, leaving you as I progress your name—like the light of a dead star.

Dad, I remember you. You are not forgotten. I am learning to weave the parts of you, in me, into a life of mirth as the absence grows longer. I am nothing that you would have imagined—when you first kissed my brow to the moment you last held my hand—and I am far, far better than you could have ever hoped.

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