Wow was it just me...or did March blow by? Nevertheless, it was a fruitful month for our March Challenge to learn something new, in the spirit of being a lifelong student. oh yes AND don't get us started on its anti-aging effects! Yes people, approaching life with an eagerness to learn and be inspired keeps us young at heart! We continue to gain new insights and see that there are so many possible experiences to be had.
Here's a quickie on what Alla & I have been up to this month...
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Learn Something New
Me: Learn how to cook fish. (pictured above)
Why? - I went on a 9 day detox which also coincided with an elimination diet to try to understand which foods are wreaking havoc on me. I tend to get hives or just get plain itchy, due to food sensitivities. This detox included a shake from Metagenics, which is meant to support the liver through the detoxing process. You begin by eliminating sugar, dairy and grains until you're only eating cruciferous greens and fish and the shake. Being that I needed to eat fish everyday for a week...it was the perfect time to learn how to season and prepare something that had always seemed a bit exotic for me.
What I got out of it - I got over the mental block that fish would be something that would take me forever to learn. I have been so excited to make my own mango salsa as a dressing and I could not wait to eat it! Hubby and I were so enthralled by our meal that we ate in silence for a portion of it, too busy being seduced by the fresh and vibrant flavors. It was also the first time that I tried using apple cider vinegar in a salad dressing. It was so refreshing with a barely there touch of sweetness. Not only did learning about fish force me to think about new ways to season, I also got to a point where I was no longer having physical reactions. Another bonus...we were learning how to prepare food in a way that was quick (baking fish along with roasted veggies, or simple salads) and adding to our repertoire of healthy-delicious-but-do-able dishes!
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Me: Pick up African Dance.
Why? - After being cooped up in the house all winter...I needed to MOVE! And I don't know of a dance that is more freeing (yet controlled). Oh and also because I totally have a thing for live drumming! I'm excited I found a really great teacher, Tosha (pictured). Near the end of class when we've got the choreography down, she jumps on these drums joining the main drummer and the vibration of all them literally move you! Here's a taste of the drumming if you're curious.
What I got out of it - While I have a background in yoga and definitely rely on it for centering and therapeutic affects, sometimes only one kind of activity doesn't cover what I need at the time. This kind of new activity was exactly what I needed to jolt me out of my winter coma. Also, in trying something new, I recruited friends to come along and I saw how positively it affected them (which I love) and it meant I got a chance to see these friends more frequently. Pluses all around.
Alla: Start learning and practicing flower arranging.
Why? - I always say that when I'm disgustingly rich I will have a florist on my speed dial and they'll deliver a fantastic new bouquet to my gigantesque villa every Friday. Then I stopped myself and said, well why can't I just have such luxury now? Is it really about having a huge complicated bouquet on my table obscuring my view of Vito's red beard while we eat dinner? No. I just want some fresh flowers peaking out here and there to surprise the senses. I knew Mu-Hsien is the queen of bud vase bouquets, but not until she broke it down in her glimpse post that it struck me that I could try it too!
What I got out of it - Fresh flowers really bring in a bit of luxury into the home and making bud vase bouquets is an affordable way to have something brand new every week. My oldest son, Mo, loves going to the market with me to choose new flowers for the week, it's our little adventure. Feeling like a countess in my villa... priceless!
Alla: Cook pheasant.
Why? - I actually joined Vito on this as it was really HIS challenge. He was hosting a manly dinner at our house and fittingly thought wild game and "old man's" liquor would fit the bill. After a consultation at our poultry shop, he decided to try making pheasant which had to be procured for him. After hearing his chosen recipe, Pheasant in calvados sauce with apples, I of course got jealous and demanded he make this dinner for me too! We had so much fun cooking this and it turned out incredible! It also gave us a chance to make some inroads into our bottle of calvados which I'm obsessed with ever since reading Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises".
What I got out of it - This was a great reminder that many experiences that you think can only happen elsewhere, can actually be created right at home! You don't have to go to a restaurant to eat seemingly complicated things like pheasant. And you definitely don't need to be in Normandy to indulge in a little nip of calvados.
Of course...we don't want to be having all of the fun ourselves. We invite you to do these challenges with us and share your progress in our OTSP Global Neighbors private group! It's a private experimentation space where you can ask neighbors questions about challenge ideas you're considering, motivate and inspire together. Leave a comment or let us know if you would like to join this talented and culturally diverse group of ladies.
• • • LESSONS LEARNED #56 • • •
Be a lifelong student, because being a beginner
keeps you young at heart.
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