What? Niksen is Dutch for “nothing,” and it appears in this article, The Case for Doing Nothing. Being busy gets confused with being important and it’s causing us all issues, some of them major like burnout (especially for millennials), anxiety disorders, and stress-related diseases.
Daydreaming — an inevitable effect of idleness — literally makes us more creative, better at problem-solving…more productive.
Tips to help you stop and be:
- Make time for doing nothing, and do it with purpose
- Be unapologetic that you are doing…nothing
- Sitting still might be uncomfortable at first, practice
- Create the right place – devices out of reach, a perching spot you like (at home, at work, in a park…)
Get busy niksening.
When I first read this Washington Post Wellness article, I admit I scoffed at the very notion of “non-physical exercise.” The author poses the question “could non-physical exercise or “exertion of daily living” offer the same benefits as regular physical exercise?” The current CDC recommendation is 60 minutes a day of physical activity), which sounds daunting to someone who does not enjoy exercise in any form.
Most of us are familiar with the benefits of exercise-lower risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, depression, & obesity to name a few. While I personally find exercise enjoyable, I understand there are many who find exercise punishing. For my clients that do not enjoy any type of physical exercise, we work on finding nontraditional activities that will get their body moving.
Options for non-physical exercise in a nutshell:
- Move more (think of a fidgety second grader)
- Sit less (Americans spend an average of over 40 percent of their working days in a chair)
- Engage in home maintenance activities (housework that involves labor such as making beds, carrying laundry up the stairs, gardening, etc.).
- Schedule walking meetings at work, move trash cans away from your chair, take the stairs.
For more details on non-physical activity, I highly encourage you to read this article. Bottom line, exercise lover or hater, we all benefit from more movement in our day.
“Success doesn’t come from playing to your strengths. It comes from playing your strengths in the right situations.”
This article references a study where co-workers rated their managers in four leadership areas: taking charge, empowering others, creating a vision and executing. They used the Goldilocks question: did the managers do too little, too much, or the right amount of each behavior. More than half were overdoing at least one behavior. Guess which one? Their strength.
Ambitious managers? Overdid decisiveness and underdid empowerment. Sensitive managers? The reverse: they were too encouraging and not assertive enough. Inquisitive managers overemphasized innovation and underemphasized results. And conscientious managers also did the reverse: they were so busy trimming the weeds that they paid too little attention to the big picture.
“Often our greatest weaknesses are the other side of our strengths…if you’re a spellbinding storyteller, you need to ask whether a dinner party is an ideal time to perform!”
More areas to practice self-awareness and self-management. Day by day, we are humbled by all the opportunities to learn, grow and improve.
½ c rice wine vinegar
1 T kosher salt
2 T sugar
7 c cooked sushi rice
2 T mayonnaise
2 t fresh chives, finely chopped
2 T powdered wasabi, mixed with 2 T water
1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T pickled ginger, fine julienne
3 sheets nori, lightly toasted
⅓ c finely diced vegetables, such as cucumber, carrot, red pepper, radishes OR ⅓ – ½ c favorite recipe tuna poke
1. Combine vinegar, salt & sugar; stir into hot, cooked rice. Let cool.
2. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, chives, 2 t wasabi mixture, lemon juice, s&p, 1 T julienne pickled ginger; let stand 10 min.
3. Place toasted nori sheet, shiny side down, on dry work surface; top with 2½ c rice, cover with plastic wrap, level with rolling pin.
4. Remove plastic, brush with wasabi mixture. repeat with remaining nori, rice & wasabi mixture.
5. Trim edges, transfer to a plate. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
6. Slice cake 6×7, yielding 42 approx. one inch cakes.
7. Top each cake with finely diced vegetables OR tuna poke & remaining 1 T julienne pickled ginger.
6 medium golden beets
2 cinnamon sticks
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced half moons
2 T honey
1/4 c orange juice
zest of one orange
1/2 shallot minced
1/4 c chopped fresh dill
1 t kosher salt
3/4 extra virgin olive oil
1. Coat beets with some olive oil & sprinkle with salt.
2. Place in roasting pan with cinnamon sticks & 2 inches water.
3. Cover & roast at 350°F for two hours, until fork tender.
4. Let cool, people beets & slice into wedges.
5. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
6. Toss beets & sliced radishes in the dressing.
7. Chill & serve.
We have been talking a lot about EQ, lately: self-awareness, self-management, be kind and empathize with others (always).
But, what about PQ or BQ? I’m talking about physical or body intelligence. Recently I found myself saying to someone half my age: keep in mind that your body of tomorrow is a direct result of the choices you make today. And, alas, a day later I saw this article in my news feed: exercise helps you live longer no matter when you start.
The good news continues. It is never too late. This is true of EQ and PQ. If you really want to have better relationships (now and tomorrow), take a step forward… maybe that first step is as simple as asking more questions and listening. If you want to feel better or make an investment in that body of tomorrow, take a step forward… whether it’s getting a move on or kicking a habit that no longer serves you. It is never… too late.
Sunshine and spring have finally made it to Virginia. Fresh strawberries, crisp lettuce & of course asparagus, just to name a few of my spring favorites. Spring brings a much greater appreciation for the simplicity of fresh, local food. The farmer’s market is showing signs of spring, inspiring me to break out some of my classic seasonal recipes. This recipe is an old favorite I bring out when the first asparagus comes to harvest in Lynchburg.
Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest & Cheese
· 1-pound asparagus
· 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
· 1-2 tablespoons finely grated hard cheese, such as 3-year gouda or parmesan
· 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus lemon slices for garnish
· Salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Fit a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut the last inch from each stalk of asparagus and discard. Spread stalks out on a prepared baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, using a pastry brush to coat each stalk, or simply turning the stalks over with a fork until they are well coated.
4. Sprinkle with cheese and lemon zest, and then season with salt & pepper.
5. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until tops of the asparagus, start to turn crisp and stalks are bright green. They should be tender through. Serve hot, with lemon slices for garnish.
Source: Foraged Dish
2 t salt
1 c fresh or frozen baby peas
4 c penne or cavatappi
3 T olive oil, divided
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, quarted, drained
2 t fresh garlic, minced
1 c feta cheese, crumbled
2 T fresh parsley, minced
1 T lemon zest
2-3 T fresh lemon juice
⅓ c grated parmesan cheese
1. Bring 1 gal water to boil with salt. Blanch peas 1 minute, shock in ice water, drain well.
2. In same pot, cook pasta al dente. Drain, reserve 1 c pasta water. Return pasta to pot.
3. In large skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over med heat. Sauté artichoke hearts 3-4 min, add garlic, cook 1 min.
4. Add to pasta, along with peas, feta, parsley, lemon zest & juice, remaining olive oil & pinch of salt. Toss to combine, add pasta water as needed to coat. Heat through, serve parm on side.
Maintaining (or improving) our relationships, work and personal, is directly tied to how emotionally intelligent we are. And how emotionally intelligent we are starts with our self-awareness. But how easy is it to be self-aware? How accurate are you at diagnosing whether your mood and behaviors are picking people up or dragging them down? Before you interact with others (arrive at work or walk in the restaurant to meet your best friend) check in with yourself. How am I feeling: positive and upbeat? Tired and deflated? Full of dread or doubt? Thankful? Resentful?
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” —Eckhart Tolle
Recently, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of educators about nutrition. My focus was on “wellness’ and what that actually means. We live in an era of diet culture (often masked as wellness) and one of the biggest challenges is navigating our way through the misinformation. Over the years, my stance on diets has evolved and I would now consider myself an “anti-diet” dietitian. I work with clients to support body positivity & intuitive eating. I encourage clients to shun dieting “rules” and focus on nourishing their body with good food. This philosophy is certainly not meant to oversimplify the challenge of weight loss (39.8 % of Americans are considered obese), but to accept the reality that our current culture of dieting is not working. The following opinion piece Why You Can’t Lose Weight on A Diet is a must-read for anyone who has struggled with their weight and/or eating.