Tag Archives: Allen Stone

Cultivate “awe” for a more health-friendly attitude! (And Happy Birthday, Brent!)

Airport Arrival - More Fun Than the Departure

Brent, with wife Marina and sister Becky

Today at around 9am EST, my first-born turned 30. He lives in Seattle, but this momentous day will be spent near New York City, close to his birthplace, while on tour with Allen Stone; my son plays bass.

We toss around the word “awesome” these days like we used to use the word “wonderful.” Break the words apart, and clearly the number of times either is used far outnumbers the actual moments in our lives that are truly full of awe or wonder. A sunset can inspire genuine awe and wonder; these words lose their impact after being repeatedly used to describe things like a trip to the mall or a hot fudge sundae.

During my pre-bedtime reading ritual last night, I picked up a Sierra magazine that just arrived. The title of the cover article is “The Science of Awe.” As I flipped open the pages, I thought, ‘there may be something in here to incorporate into my app (In the Moment – Mindful Eating).’ In fact, there is plenty to consider in terms of more mindful eating, but as I read the writer’s descriptions of awe-inspiring moments, personal memories took over my thoughts . . . and I felt open, hopeful, and positive – all from simply remembering my “awe-filled” moments.

One moment in nature popped up: a trip to Ecuador, where I walked barefoot out onto the most expansive beach I have ever seen, at night when it was all lit by nothing more than the stars. Other times in the outdoors made the hairs on my skin stand up (a sign, the author asserts, of being awed) even as a mere memory. At the top of my awe list, however, are the births of my two children.

Thirty years ago today, shortly after giving birth to my son Brent, I was in a very small, dark hospital bathroom with a single small window when I felt a sensation of complete happiness, that everything in the universe was “right” and everything was connected. Clearly, this was not the result of my surroundings, a bathroom that was far from the most beautiful bathroom I have ever occupied! I felt unlimited gratitude and a completely open heart toward everything and everyone. While I do not consider myself a very “churchy” religious person, there was no denying this experience; it was clearly much bigger than me, like the beach in Ecuador I would walk on many years later.

The Sierra article uses research to explain what happens to a person at times like this. We behave differently. We treat people better, we are more generous, we are simply nicer to “hang with.” While the article did not specifically mention health or how we treat ourselves, I’m going out on a limb to say that I believe awe is worth cultivating because of the health benefits it offers.

We know that being more mindful is better for our eating and psychological well-being. Since awe, which cannot be felt in the absence of mindfulness, seems to inspire the kind of good feelings that are connected with better self-care, it doesn’t take much of a leap to conclude that being in nature, nurturing relationships, and creating other truly “awesome” moments will cause us to treat ourselves more kindly.

That’s what being healthy is all about: being kind to ourselves. I’m feeling grateful today, just thinking about what happened in my life 30 years ago. Happy Birthday, Brent. You are truly a gift that keeps giving!

Music Video and Easter Recipe

Best music video ever . . . has nothing to do with the fact that the bass player is my son.  It will be appearing on VH1 soon.  I thought the theme was in line with Easter celebrations – the name of the song is “Celebrate Tonight”.

In order to make this post NOT all about me and my family (!), here is a great recipe I will be making along with my leg of lamb tomorrow.  With a side of mashed potatoes and some steamed asparagus, the meal will be completely well-rounded, healthy, and delicious.

LOADED SPINACH SALAD

CREAMY BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/3 cup buttermilk or nonfat milk

1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar or white vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

SALAD

8 large eggs

6 cups baby spinach

4 tablespoons Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing, divided

1 8-ounce can beets, rinsed and sliced

1 cup shredded carrots

2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted

To prepare dressing: Whisk mayonnaise, buttermilk (or milk), yogurt, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Add cheese and stir, mashing with a spoon until the cheese is incorporated.

To prepare salad: Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook at the lowest simmer for 10 minutes. Pour off the hot water and run cold water over the eggs until they are completely cooled. Peel the eggs; discard 6 of the yolks. Chop the remaining yolks and whites.

Toss spinach and 2 tablespoons of the dressing in a large bowl. Divide between 2 plates. Top with the chopped eggs, beets, carrots and pecans. Drizzle with 2 more tablespoons dressing. (Refrigerate the extra dressing for up to 1 week.)  Serves 2 (about 4 cups per serving).

           

Per serving: 270 calories; 12 g fat ( 3 g sat); 189 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 6 g fiber; 803 mg sodium

From EatingWell 

 

 

 

 

Livin’ The Dream

I just had to post this.  My son, Brent, was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, performing with Allen Stone.  He’s playing the bass, on the far right.

It’s great when anyone gets to do what they love.  When that person is your child, it’s a blast to watch.

Something old, something true, something followed, something brewed

photo

Pike’s Place Market – decked out for the holidays

Seattle is one of my favorite cities.  I am here for the weekend, mainly to see Allen Stone and the band (which includes my son, the bass player) perform at the Paramount Theater.   The show last night was sold out, and the group did not disappoint Allen’s home town crowd.  Of course I was not disappointed, but hey, I’m the mom of the bass player – not exactly unbiased, I admit.

Don’t worry.  I’m not going to just go on and on about my wonderful son.  I know that may not be all that interesting to many of you.  So . . . I promise to tie in some health and nutrition themes.

Something Old

Let’s talk about age.  My kids call me “old”, a “geezer”, etc.  (all in fun, of course, because otherwise I would give them a good whack, even if they are 20-something).  There is, in fact, no more of a reality check on chronological age than attending a show put on by a group of young musicians.

This is not so true when one attends a show by an older artist – say, Jackson Browne.  When Peter and I recently did just that, we found ourselves in the midst of an amazingly homogeneous group of people with lots of gray hair (or no hair at all).  We looked at each other, wondering if it could really be possible that we did not look out of place, considering how young we must look – hah!  We may be a bit in denial about the aging process, but we are not completely delusional.

This is when I remind myself how much FUN I am having!  I am truly happier than ever, and I am looking forward to many of the parts of what comes next:  grandchildren, travel, time with friends, time for hobbies, in general more TIME.

So I am a little on the more “experienced” end of the groupie spectrum.  I’m OK with that.  A young spirit can be cultivated.  Staying healthy really, REALLY helps.  And please try to avoid magnifying makeup mirrors.  Every time I stay in a hotel, I am reminded of how “distorting” they are.  I prefer the look from a few feet away – which actually works just fine as my eyes get more “seasoned” with time. Continue reading

Oh My! Dave Matthews’ Catering

A dietitian’s (and mom’s) dream come true:  watching my son (bass player) open with Allen Stone for Dave Matthews at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountainview, CA on Sunday . . . AND eating dinner backstage from Dave’s catered spread.

Beam me back to reality, which ain’t bad either, but wow!  I’m so proud of my son, and for a moment or two I felt 21 again.

Mmmm . . . yummy veggies and some scrumptious scallops with avocado on top!

On the tour bus with my son and daughter

Go Brent!

My son was on Letterman last night.  He’s to the right of Allen Stone, playing bass.

So tell me . . . Are you feelin’ lucky??

Allen Stone and his band

I was riding home on the train yesterday, after a day trip to Chicago to see my son play with Allen Stone and his band at the Manifest Urban Arts Festival.  I was feeling lucky all day.  Grateful really.  It completely fills my tank to see my kids happy and doing what they love.

AND it’s like the hummus on my rice cakes (or cherry on an ice cream sundae?) to feel so welcome in their world.  Brent’s world happens to be a fast-paced existence on the road, playing bass with a very talented young soul singer from Seattle. Continue reading