Saturday, December 31, 2011

11 Lessons From 2011

    1. Listen to your gut. Literally and figuratively. When you eat something your body doesn't like, your stomach will tell you. Too often we ignore those little signals, telling ourselves it's not a big deal. But over time, those small pains become bigger and bigger, until you can't ignore it any longer. Don't wait until it gets to that point. If you know something isn't sitting well with you, cut it out of your diet. At least until you figure out why's it causing you a problem. Same goes for life problems. If your instincts are telling you something isn't right, listen. Ignoring it won't make it go away. 
    2. Don't let history repeat itself - unless you want it to. When I'm faced with a problem, I ask myself how I've responded to similar challenges in the past. Then I ask myself if I got the desired result in the past. If I did, great. I know how to handle it. If not, I do the opposite of whatever I did last time. I've been doing a lot of the opposite this year.  
    3. Vision boards work. Make one. No, seriously. I made my first vision board in January of 2010. I made my second one in January of 2011. Today, I'm making my vision board for 2012. When I look at my vision boards from the last two years, I see that everything on them actually happened, including the words and pictures that didn't even make sense to me when I first glued them on. Okay, in all honesty, there's one thing on my vision board from this last year that hasn't come true...I never finished the romance novel (it's okay, you can laugh) I started writing way back in college. It's still one chapter away from being finished. Unless I get motivated and finish it tonight?
    4. Our bodies hold a lot of buried emotions. From the time we're born, we begin to take on emotions. They settle deep in our bodies, in the cricks in our necks, the headaches behind our eyes, and the dull throbbing behind our breastbones. When you begin to move in new ways (yoga, dancing, etc.), those emotions can pop up. It can feel painful or amazing, but the more you let those emotions out, the more open your body will be to new, joyful emotions to settle into those now empty spaces.
    5. The best things in life are not planned. Remember when you were little and you had a life plan? I was going to be married and having babies by the time I was 24. I hated NYC and never wanted to live there. And there was no way I would ever live on the West Coast. Oh yeah, and I was going to follow in my mom's footsteps to be a daycare provider. Turns out the world had a different plan for me. Thank God.
    6. There are no animals in this world that sit and stare at a computer screen for hours on end. None. Sometimes I'd rather be a monkey. My shoulders would probably hurt a lot less. But then I'd miss out on all this fun blogging business...
    7. If you have thyroid problems, you're not supposed to eat a lot of cabbage and brussels sprouts. Of course, this would be the year I discovered I love both of these vegetables and could happily eat them every day. And most of the time, I still do.
    8. Applegate Farms beef hot dogs rock my world. They're made from organic, grass-fed beef, have no sugar, and are one of the few processed foods I can eat with no reaction. None. Nada. Yes, my world has been rocked. 
    9. There's no point in being in school if you're not in the right frame of mind to learn. Everyone has something that comes easily to them. School has generally been that thing for me. But I can get A's without actually learning, and it took me a year to realize I was going to waste my degree (and money) if I continued in that vein. So I took a quarter off, wrote a cookbook instead, and am now ready to actually appreciate my classes. I'm just taking it a little bit slower this time.
    10. Taking the easy route is bound to be...well...easy. And you might look successful to the people around you, but you're probably not going to feel all that proud of yourself. When you take on a challenge that you're not sure you can do, you'll learn more than you ever have in the past. You'll grow in ways you couldn't imagine. And you'll feel truly proud because you know you worked harder than you ever have.
    11. When all else fails, there are two things that can make me feel better: talking it out or dancing it out. Either way could end with tears or laughter, and in both cases I'll feel happier. 
    My 11 favorite recipes from 2011
    1. Pot Pie Crust
    2. Italian Artichoke Salad
    3. Quinoa with Walnuts, Mushrooms & Raisins
    4. Vegan, Yeast-free English Muffins
    5. Baked Fruit Pockets
    6. Summer Fruit & Herb Salad with Cucumbers
    7. Sauteed Salmon & Cabbage with Kelp Noodles
    8. Carrot Cream Soda
    9. Sugar-Free Cherry Pie
    10. Tangy Cilantro Dressing
    11. Cinnamon Chocolate Cookies
      See you in 2012! Happy New Year's Eve!


      Stephanie said...

      Love your 11' List! You are always so inspiring! Thanks for sharing... and I also love your new blog colors and format. Much love and light to you in 2012!!!

      Maggie said...

      Love your bright new design Iris :) And I love your list. So much of it resonated with me, I think we shared some similar learnings this year. By the way, my ND told me people with thyroid issues could eat cruciferous (sp?) veggies as long as they're cooked! So cook em up :)

      charitydas said...

      Ditto on the new format,colors.

      hmmm, I have never done a vision board and I have heard the same thing from many others. Perhaps this is the season!

      Thanks for the connection this last year Iris. That pizza post you linked to still gets comments!

      Melaina said...

      Absolutely love this!!! What a perfect way to wrap up a year and be ready for the next. Thank you for your wonderful recipes and blog posts, they are truly inspirational :) Also, can't wait for your cookbook to come out!! Happy New Year, bring on 2012!

      Pure2raw twins said...

      great list! and so true about things in life are better unplanned. just enjoy life as it happens.

      Pure2raw twins said...

      great list! and so true about things in life are better unplanned. just enjoy life as it happens.

      Cheryl Harris said...

      Love your list! Such wisdom in it, and hoping it brings you even more joy and love!
      BTW, the goiterogens in cabbage and brussel sprouts are greatly reduced when cooked...

      gfe--gluten free easily said...

      I want to write succinct posts like you when I grow up! ;-) Seriously, I do. Today is my 3rd blogiversary and without a doubt I should be writing a post to commemorate that and close out the year, but I'm waffling on it because I'm too long winded. Might not go up until tomorrow and may be an atypical one for me. Anyway I LOVE your new blog design! You know I already love these shades of blue. Overall, it's fresh and light and so optimistic, like my favorite color combos in a beach cottage! Your 11 list is a really good one. I especially like the one about doing the opposite, and the fact that it's working for you!!

      Much love to you now and for 2012, Iris!

      gigieatscelebrities said...

      #8!!!! WOOOOOOOO They rock my world too!!!! Ah ha ha ha!

      Check out the diet fads I think are going to hit the US hard this 2012. LOL.

      Tasty Eats At Home said...

      Great list. I too am finding out that I need to listen to my body (and am just now finding out how to interpret its signals!). And those hot dogs? OMG. So so good.


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