Everyone Should Be This Lucky

On the right hand column on this blog, you’ll notice three categories. I decided to break the contents of my ongoing journey down into three major aspects of the human experience…and to underscore that paying attention to only one usually results in imbalance.

The question I’m asked most frequently regarding dropping 170 pounds is ‘what do you eat?’ Sometimes people demand to know my food intake to the letter in hopes that the weight will melt off, and so will the problems. I’ve been at this a long time and have learned the solution is a multifaceted one: food choices, physical exertion, feeling the feelings, finding things other than French fries to center me and make me feel calm.

There’s no one answer and it’s truly a mosaic, and one of the most important jeweled elements of it are relationships. Specifically, choosing healthy ones. This has been a work in progress for 20+ years. Getting good at it has progressed in tandem with my rising self esteem.

Having a life in balance means having relationships that are affirming and nurturing. As author and motivational Marc Mero is fond of saying:  ‘Friends are like elevators…they either take you up or take you down”

I make it a point to surround myself with people who are respectful, supportive, honest, and who genuinely wish me well. I may not live in the country’s most affluent zip code, but where my personal (and business…they count just as much) relationships are concerned, I’m one Wealthy Woman.

Case in point: my friend Sally Longo. She has a heart of solid gold and also happens to be a caterer with formidable culinary skills. A major score for me is being invited to one of her parties, or just a simple girlfriends dinner. Sally knows I eat gluten-free and although I’m fine with bringing g-free options along for the ride when I’m invited to dinner, she doesn’t give it a second thought to create a sumptuous, g-free meal fit for a pair of food-loving Queens. Now how great a friend is that?

The dinner below that Sally created one winter evening had me fanning myself in delight. Every ingredient was sublime…from the crispy planks of bacon in the spinach salad and the velvety mashed rutabaga, to the meatloaf that oozed steaming rivulets of tamarind glaze (chef Suvir Saran’s gorgeous recipe http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/030734150X/smallfarms-20 ).

Sally is also a cookbook author and her fantastic collection of recipes from her 20 years as a caterer can be found at http://www.amazon.com/Aunt-Sallys-Adirondack-Kitchen-Cookbook/dp/1604028645 .

So here’s to beautifully set tables, food made with Love, and the thoughtfulness of friends!

One of Sally’s salad’s…fully loaded

Chef and cookbook author Suvir Saran’s famous Tamarind-Glazed Meatloaf

How creative is this?  Mashed rutabega – surprisingly delicious and slightly sweet

Dessert was g-free cake. At first it was frosting-free, then Sally had a lightbulb moment and returned from her basement warehouse with a giant jar of Nutella. It was the perfect, creamy touch.

The artist and her masterpieces…including the table setting

Sally and I sharing a laugh at a catered book signing with Kim Sunee, author of the best-selling memoir, “Trail of Crumbs.” (www.kimsunee.com )