I started a little project over the weekend. I am creating a list of all the things I am grateful for. This is an exercise I have done many times in my life. I often thank my Father in Heaven for the blessing that he has given me: church, family, friends, health, physical needs. It is so easy to sum EVERYTHING that we have been blessed with into a few simple words. Over the past few years I have tried to expand that list to express gratitude over my specific blessings. I am always amazed at how easy it is to expand the list of 5 to a list of 100. Now I am trying to make it to at least 1000. In doing this project it truly make me think about all the details of wonderful people, qualities in those people, aspects of situations, different parts of the church, and it is truly humbling to realize how blessed I am. I have been given so much and I hope I can always remember that and in times of sorrow or trial I can learn to focus on the good in my life instead of what is lacking. I think that part of my exercise can be applied to our quest here: to love our bodies and ourselves and to retrain our focus to simply being healthy. One of the areas I covered on my list of gratitude was health and body. Here is that portion of my list.
Health Functioning body Good heart
Good liver Good lungs Working internal organs
Ability to breath Sight Sound Smell
Taste Touch Sound mind
Ability to think and reason Ability to use all my limbs
Ability to walk Drive Run Hike
Exercise to exhaustion Dance Jump
Hop Skip Speak Yoga Pilates Crunches
Push-ups Carry groceries Write/type
Paint Clean Laundry Cook Bake
Hold children Care for kids Hug Laugh Sing
Really the list could have been longer. I could name every physical task that I am grateful to be able to do. It might sound strange to say I am grateful that I can clean and do sit ups, but when I imagine having an illness that leaves me too weak to get out of bed or a physical limitation that prevents me from using my arms or legs I am so grateful for every small physical blessing and ability that I have. It amazes me that even though the list of gratitude towards my body far outweighs the list of things I wish I could change, it is easy to forget that and focus on what I am lacking or my wish list.
Like it is with any situation in life, if we can focus on the good and all that we do have and are capable of suddenly the other list is not nearly so important. I hope you will all take some time and make a gratitude list. How extensive is up to you, but I want you to at least focus on your health and your body. Write down everything you are grateful for, no mater how small it may seem. It could even be pretty eyes or a nice smile. Write it down. Put this list somewhere where you can see it. Next time you think something negative about yourself go look at this list.
Another part of my list is all the wonderful family and friends that bless my life. I was lucky enough over the weekend to spend time with one of those friends. We made this delicious salad together. This really was a great night for me because it combined some of my favorite things: healthy food, cooking and talking with a friend. There are few finer things in life.
It sounds strange to some people when I say that salad is one of my favorite foods, but it’s true! It has been for years. They are so wonderful! You can combine so many amazing, fresh flavors and create something new every time.
This salad uses a chicken recipe I came up with one day. The combination of the citrus juice with the white wine vinegar and seasoning creates a little flavor party in your mouth.
Lime Vinegar Chicken
3-4 pieces of chicken
Lime juice (or lemon)
White wine vinegar
Chicken grilling seasoning
- Thaw the chicken if it is frozen and place in a pan on the stove. Ideally, you want to cut your chicken into small pieces first, but if you forget, cooking them whole is fine as well.
- Pour lime juice and white wine vinegar over chicken until you have created a small lake. Use a couple dashes each of salt, pepper and a chicken grilling seasoning.
- Raise heat to medium-high and bring liquid to a boil. Once it is boiling reduce heat to a simmer until chicken is cooked through and all the liquid is gone. If you liquid is gone before the chicken is cooked, add a little more of the lime juice and the vinegar.
Lime Vinegar Chicken Salad (Serves 3)
1 bell pepper, cleaned and diced
4 oz mushrooms
1/3 C raw pumpkin seeds
Lime vinegar chicken
Spinach or lettuce
- Sauté bell pepper and mushrooms in a little water with salt and chili powder. Dice tomatoes, peel and grate carrots (I prefer mine to be finely grated, but you may chose whatever size you would like) and dice avocado.
- Place however much greens you like in a bowl or on a plate. Place all your toppings over the greens, including the chicken and raw pumpkin seeds.
- I am not a fan of salad dressings so I prefer to sprinkle a little bit of citrus juice on my salads. I used lime juice this time to go with the chicken.
Looks good. Tastes good. Feels good.
Don’t forget to make that list and look at it often. I would love to hear about any experiences you have with this exercise:-)