TIP # 15: Appreciate your abundance
I usually like to share food tips, ways to eat healthier and improve your quality of life. This week I’m traveling to a part of the U.S. where the inhabitants should be so lucky to share these same concerns. My best friend asked if I would go with her to visit her 92 year old mother in Virginia who she hasn’t seen in five years. Now I’m deep in the Appalachians, at least four hours away from the nearest airport. Driving along hundreds of miles of winding country roads, through tiny towns lining narrow streets of abandoned businesses and a white church in every downtown, lots of used tractors for sale, and dotted with deteriorating homes proudly displaying the American flag.
I’ve arrived in Anytown, USA. The main road is barricaded so the local fire and rescue can collect donations from the slowed traffic. I hand them a twenty and their eyes lit up like it was Christmas. We pull up to the family home and I notice it’s small and well maintained, with silk flowers and white plastic chairs with floral cushions displayed on the front porch. The home next door however is beyond what we refer to as “deferred maintenance”. It literally had a room collapse off the second story. What remains seems to be held together by an entanglement of ivy vines intertwined in the brick walls, somehow fortifying it. The people here are lovely, take the time to chat and are very hospitable. This neighborhood could literally be one of thousands of typical towns who don’t share the conveniences that we take for granted.
We work for companies with “micro-kitchens” on every floor, have incredible employment opportunities or start our own businesses, send our children to good schools, and have access to an overwhelming variety of fresh organic fruits, veggies and artisan products at specialty grocers. Oh, and we breathe fresh air and probably can’t fathom the concept having a coal cellar so we can keep our homes warm in the freezing winter months.
So consequently I’m having trouble focusing on my typical topic for you this week. I’m feeling somewhat spoiled thinking about things like how to not let our organics perish because I don’t take the time to eat them before they go bad, debating which protein powder offers the most bio-available essential amino acids; and contemplating if I should consider doing another figure completion when I’m 60 for the sheer challenge of it. Right now, as I’m nestled into a comfortable but tiny bedroom with faux wood paneling and shag carpeting, with figurines of fairies lining the shelves, I am feeling the sharp contrast between my Silicon Valley lifestyle and that of how so much of the rest of the country lives. I’m feeling just a little guilty of taking what I have for granted.
So for now my message is to share the feeling of being grateful. For whatever you feel you don’t have, take stock of what you do. For whatever problem you are experiencing, someone may have worse going on in their life. Take the time to slow down. Be present. Ask someone how they are doing like you mean it. Then listen. Appreciate that you have the resources to buy healthy food. Savor every bite. Appreciate your abundance. Love your little ones. Value your old ones.
Next week I will get back to sharing recipes and tips to keep you healthy. This week I simply want to let you know I’m thinking of you and appreciating your friendship, even if we’ve never met.
From my heart to yours,
Toni Julian is a nationally renowned health advocate, nutrition adviser, fitness expert, and author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time, as well as a 50-something mom of four! She is also the creator of TONI’S High Performance Meals, a complete and healthy hot protein meal that’s ready in minutes. Get yours at Sigona’s! Visit www.ToniJulian.com