An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it (the light). – James Michener

That quote makes me think of the era we are about to enter. It is up to each of us to continue to be aware, to stay informed, to educate others and to shine the light on the truth. The Trump presidency stands a better chance of darkness if we don’t keep the light on the injustices, if we don’t call our Congressional Representatives, our Senators, our Governors, our state legislators. But, this week I am also shining a light on our health. There is so much for us to do in 2017 to stay sharp and be ready for what the Trump administration is going to throw at us. We have to be strong and up for the challenges to come. Women will march on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC … that will take energy and a healthy body. More marches will be planned, more protests will be needed. We cannot be silent and we cannot be weary. Let’s be healthy for what’s ahead.

Healthy focus – Healing the world starts with you. “There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies.” – Friedrich Nietzche  “Your body is the vehicle for your spirit and your soul. It is the piece of the universe you’ve been given to tend, to care, to cherish.” – Geneen Roth. So, all this to say that January is a perfect time to get healthy, be healthy, and re-start your focus on having your best body to carry you through.

I was blessed to really focus on my body’s health in the last quarter of 2016 and I am starting 2017 healthier than I started 2016. My challenge is to keep it going, and that takes just as much focus as getting to this point. I love sweets but I had to learn moderation. In fact, moderation is a key to all of the foods we consume. So, I can’t drive up to Edible Art or Goodberry’s Frozen Custard every week. I can make my mother’s recipe for New Orleans pralines but I have to have someone to give them to and not keep them in the house. I used to love to bake biscuits on Saturday mornings when our daughters and son were growing up and bake a cream cheese pound cake but can’t keep doing that when it’s just me and hubby here to consume all of those calories.

I eat more salads and drink more protein drinks than I used to. I give credit to our son for sharing some new recipes for very creative salads. Forget about just using iceberg lettuce. Kale is flavorful and rich in nutrients. Add chick peas, chopped bell peppers, grated carrots, crispy onions, radishes, chopped broccoli. You can make a large bowl at the start of the week that will last the whole week. Go very light on dressing, try just a little olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, little bit of mayo and Mrs. Dash. This saves money and calories.

Learning new habits is what we all must do as our bodies “mature” so I encourage you to adapt to new habits in 2017 so that these physical vessels will carry us through the journey for many years to come.

Are you exercising regularly? My goal is to walk three miles every day. Some days it is only two miles but I rarely miss a day. Some days my energy level is low and I might not want to go but I never regret getting out in the neighborhood for a walk. I do regret the few days that I miss getting out for a walk. For 2017, my goal is to add in weights more often, three times a week is a good target. And, don’t be a pansy. Starting with three to five pound weights is fine but progress to 15, 20 or 25 pounds. (I will let you know how I’m doing.) Jumping jacks and squats are simple additions. We don’t have to spend money on fitness clubs, there is so much we can do to be healthy without opening the wallet for a club membership. If you will be more motivated by joining a club, then do what will get you going. The main thing is to do what you can to be your healthiest this year.

Keep in mind that the mountain is not going to lower itself to you. It is up to you to rise up to the greatest accomplishments in life.

In The New Yorker magazine, President Obama gave some good advice a few weeks after the election: “This is not the apocalypse,” Obama said. History does not move in straight lines; sometimes it goes sideways, sometimes it goes backward. A couple of days later, when I asked the President about that consolation, he offered this: “I don’t believe in apocalyptic—until the apocalypse comes. I think nothing is the end of the world until the end of the world.” Obama’s insistence on hope felt more willed than audacious. It spoke to the civic duty he felt to prevent despair not only among the young people in the West Wing but also among countless Americans across the country.

“A President who fought with dignity to rescue the country from economic catastrophe and to press for progressive change—from marriage equality to the alleviation of climate change—was putting on a mask of generous equanimity for a visitor whom he had every good reason to despise, an ethically challenged real-estate brander who had launched his political career by promoting “birtherism,” and then ran a sexist and bigoted campaign to galvanize his base. He fully grasps the nature of the bigotry and the nihilism that Trump has espoused in the name of working-class empowerment. Obama’s way is to keep cool while insisting on, and embodying, a faith in institutions.

Obama was convinced, accordingly, that Trump won less as a champion of working people than as an anti-establishment insurgent. “The President-elect, I think, was able to make an argument that he would blow this place up,” he said. “Hillary may have been more vulnerable because she was viewed as an insider. …I don’t think it was fair, but that’s how it played itself out.”

“Our job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding.”

A link to the full article interview is here: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/28/obama-reckons-with-a-trump-presidency?mbid=nl_Sunday%20Longreads%20(12)&CNDID=46597679&spMailingID=10183133&spUserID=MTcyNjEzODI2MDYwS0&spJobID=1080500581&spReportId=MTA4MDUwMDU4MQS2

Thanks for reading this second edition of The Calliope Hummingbird Project Blog. Have a good week.  

Janine

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