Designing a life optimized for health isn’t always easy. On the best, shiniest, happiest days, things feel in balance – we get a workout in, fill our plates with lively greens, smooch our loved ones, and connect to a purpose beyond ourselves. And on the worst days, things feel wholly out of whack – we miss a few hours of sleep, eat junk while we’re driving in our cars, sit still, and feel scattered and maybe even a little bit frantic. It can be so easy to throw off the delicate balance of our bodies and our lives, and it can be so hard to restore a sense of peace. When we’re spinning, we need to work to regain our center. Read more
Healthier people have healthier friends. Less healthy people have less healthy friends. Kale eating gives way to kale eating, and smoking gives way to smoking. So asserts Nicholas Christakis, a Yale physician and researcher who is an expert in the relationships between social networks and health. His research is compelling — leveraging the ever-increasing information we have about how people are connected to more deeply understand the nature versus nurture debate. He has a few TED talks that are worth watching if you’re interested in learning more. Read more
Salmon always tastes better to me in the summertime, evoking the nostalgia of eating simple filets and buttery corn on the cob on my parents’ screened porch overlooking their peaceful Midwestern lake. Everything seems to taste better on that screened porch, amidst the din of boats puttering along and the waves lapping against the rocky shoreline. Home is where the heart is, but in the summertime, my heart is where the lake is. But that’s another story for another time. Back to the salmon… Read more
Where do you come up with your best ideas?
Most likely, it’s not at your desk. It’s not navigating to summer camp while trying to sing camp songs with the kids sitting in the backseat (not that I’ve been doing that lately, or anything). And it’s definitely not trying to type an email and talk to your mother on the phone at the same time. You likely come up with your best ideas while you’re swimming or walking or painting or most famously, in the shower. In my case, the best ideas usually arrive 20 or 30 minutes into a long run. Read more
The Western States 100, is “the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race.” Some people call it insane, others dream of doing it, and many of us are somewhere in between. Meet Sean Harrington, a finisher of this year’s race, who remembers seeing a TV special on the race when he was in middle school, being in awe that people could complete such a massive physical and mental challenge, and filing it away in the back of his mind. Twenty-something years later, he finished the race this past weekend — climbing 18,000 feet, Read more
There are lots of ways to begin to get to know a new place, slowly understanding depth and nuances about people and places that a guidebook alone is incapable of exposing. For an artist friend of mine, this deeper level of insight comes from immersing herself in a city’s art scene, browsing gallery after gallery in search of a piece of the city she can take home. A foodie friend scours every place she goes for the most local and authentic meal. Read more
The Wall Street Journal ran an article last year about how to run your family like a business. Once you get past the potentially off-putting juxtaposition of business and family, it includes some great ideas — things like weekly meetings and a family mission statement. This translation from a business organization to a family makes sense; businesses have worked for more than a century to run efficiently, build community, and solve complex problems — things we need to do in our families and in our lives. Read more
“Hey mom, does yogurt have gluten in it?” my 3-year-old daughter asked recently. “Nope, no gluten in yogurt,” I replied in a hushed voice, blushing until I remembered we were boarding a flight to San Francisco and likely surrounded by people whose kids talk about gluten as freely as they talk about legos and Frozen. I have cut gluten out of my diet for the last few months for a specific health reason, and even with intentionally little discussion about it, my kids have noticed. Read more
I watched the movie Forks Over Knives over the weekend, and without a doubt, it makes a compelling case for plant-based eating. Meatless Mondays are officially back in our house. I liked the film most, not because of its content, but because it didn’t feel like it was forcing one way of thinking on me. Instead, it used data to make a compelling argument for eating less animal-based food, leaving me thinking, “you’re a grown up….make good decisions.” In other words, get back to basics — which for me, will mean more plants, a bit less meat, and knowing where my food comes from. Read more
Dear Mom, Thank you for being patient with me as I learned to walk and tie my shoes and fill my belly and do arithmetic and assemble outfits and find myself and lose myself and find myself again. Without a doubt, this patience took serious work.
Dear Child, May I be patient with you, during the moments of sweetness and the irrational tantrums and everything in between. Read more