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Dear Potato

Dear Potato,
I am writing you an apology letter.  I am so sorry about the way that you have been treated.  You have become villainized.  You have been misunderstood.  Through negative publicity, your reputation has been injured.  People say you are terrible for them.  They say you make them fat, get high cholesterol, and get sick.
The real truth is that people don’t treat you right.  They fry you, mash you, butter you up, make you cheesy, or cover you with sour cream.  Your real potential is rarely prized.  Many people focus on the negative results they receive from mistreating you.
The truth is that you are a wonderful gift, potato.  You are such a diverse and versatile food!  You can be sweet, red, golden, and even petite.  You give us baked potatoes, hash browns, cubed potatoes, baked chips, and even vodka!  Seriously, all wonderful gifts to our dinner table.  You should come around more often.  As long as you come as your happy, real self high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a healthy dose of complex carbs.  See ya soon potato!
Sincerely, a fan
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Dig Deep

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“Trust yourself…dig deep down and ask yourself who you want to be? Not what, but who?” -Arnold Schwarzzeneggar

“Dig deep and believe in yourself and have the self-confidence you need to forge ahead.”                  -Katie Ciouric

“The rewards of the wild and the rewards of the survivor go to those who can dig deep, and, ultimately, to the guy who can stay alive.” -Bear Grylls


We live in a society that puts such emphasis on superficial things and external motivations. We like items and people for how they look. We only do things for a promised external reward. Days seem like a rat race to get more and more.


This approach can work in the short term. We focus on the outside motivators and get rewarded through our work and in relationships. We find the most attractive partner and the beginning is bliss. However, these outside rewards have an expiration date. They do not have lasting effects and aren’t sustainable in the long term. Beauty fades and toys break. That’s how it works.


I encourage you to look inside. Look for your internal motivators. Search oyur heart, mind, and soul for those factors that push oyu when you have nothing. When you don’t feel like gong, when you don;t have energy, when you hit an obstacle. Find what motivates you to make your way towards your goals without any outside force pushing you. Once you find that, you will win! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

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Eat.Move.Improve. Logo Poll

Hi friends!  I am looking to nail down a more professional logo for my blog.  I am using a platform called DesignCrowd to collect logo designs from visual design professionals.  I was surprised of how many submissions I collected in a few days!  Can you help me decide by taking this poll? I appreciate your feedback!

Thanks, Anthony

https://www.designcrowd.com/vote/eatmoveimprove-logo-poll

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Spice Things Up

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“Spices: the friend of doctors and the pride of cooks” -Charlemagne
“All those spices and herbs in your spice rack can do more than provide calorie-free, natural flavorings to enhance and make food delicious. They’re also an incredible source of antioxidants and help rev up your metabolism and improve your health at the same time.” -Suzanne Somers
“I believe in the magic of preparation.  You can make just about any food taste wonderful by adding herbs and spices.  Experiment with garlic, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs vegetables to make them taste great!” -Jorge Cruise

One of the biggest issues in this country is high blood pressure and heart disease.  The “Silent Killer” threatens more people than most know.  High blood pressure is scary for anyone who develops the condition.  High BP is caused by too much salt in the diet.  I used to work with high blood pressure patents regularly.  I would tell them to cut down on the salt.  I would get countless weird looks from every one of them!  How will they get by without salt?  How will they add flavor to their foods?

There is a common misconception that salt is the only flavoring agent out there.  While salt has a strong and distinct taste, it does increase blood pressure and can be addicting.  Instead, focus on herbs and spices.  These natural flavoring pack a large punch in small quantities.  They bring benefits like healthy skin, healthy eyes, health hair, and most importantly a healthy heart.  Consider some of these herbs and spices in your food prep:
-garlic
-basil
-oregano
-rosemary
-thyme
-mint
-black pepper
There are countless herbs and spices.  Try some out and you will find a new favorite!  As Always, Eat, Move and Improve!
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Dear Chicken

Dear Chicken,
Where do I start?  There are so many things I can say to you.  All of it has been said by someone at one point or another.  I want to keep this short and sweet, so I want to thank you today.  I want to thank you because you do so much for me.  You give my life strength, fullness, and variety. First of al, you are so high in protein.  Most people see you as the gold standard for quality protein.  You give my muscles strength to do their daily activities.  Along with strength, your protein provides me with fullness.  After eating you, I feel full and satisfied.  Through you, I feel full and satisfied each and every day.
I think most of all, I want to thank you for the variety you provide chicken.  You do it in so many ways.  All of your many forms provide different tastes and possibilities: eggs, breast, thighs, eggs, ground, wings, white meat, and dark meat.  Again the way we can prepare you is endless: scrambled, grilled, baked, curried, fried, and so many others.  But you do not stop there, do you chicken?  Oh no.  You still go one more level.  You take taste from so many ingredients and sauces.  We all enjoy you spicy, cheesy, garlicky, seasoned, savory, and countless others.
In conclusion, I thank you chicken for providing us with rock solid quality nutrition and listless possibilities.  you are a true chameleon and please everyone around the world.  You have always been a team player and never much as complain.  Keep doing that and people will be tahnkful for you a thousand times over.
Sincerely, a grateful meat eater
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Embrace the Suck

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“Embrace the Suck” -Military saying
“There is no way around it, the hard work.  Embrace it.” -Roger Federer
“Storms make trees take deeper roots” -Dolly Parton


Today, I had to do my laundry.  I HATE doing laundry.  It’s tedious and no fun. It takes forever and I never get a sense of accomplishment from this chore.  To make it worse, our dryer short circuited today.  I didn’t even have a convenient way to clean my clothes!

Instead, I had to lug all my dirty clothes to the local laundromat.  On top of it costing an arm and a leg to wash clothes, this place is sweltering hot, has no internet, and has no place to sit. I literally have to stand in a 90 degree room while my clothes get cleaned. I could very well have hemmed and hawed the whole time going through this.  Any reasonable person would.  I had to sacrifice my entire night going to a strange and uncomfortable place to do a chore I hate.

But, I decided to embrace the suck instead.  I took on the chore without any kind of anger or resentment. I went right onto work in sorting my clothes and filling up the machines.  I spend the extra time finishing a book and writing a bit.  So, after this ordeal, I say to you:  embrace the suck.  Whatever uncomfortable situation you find yourself in, decide to go about it joyfully and with a new perspective.  The situation will appear better than you thought!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!
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Dear Apple

Dear Apple,
They say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  I couldn’t agree more!  You do so much for me.  Your colorful skin and crunchy bite makes eating you a fun experience. You make me feel good when you come around. You’re so easy to grab and go.  I can eat you at home, in the car, or at the office.  However, that is only the start.
Your crunchy and juicy flesh gives me so much refreshment.  It is so relieving when I spend time with you.  You give me hydration and energy, especially when I need it quickly.  Besides that, you are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water!  You definitely pack a nutritious punch!  I want you to know how much I appreciate you.  I am joyful when you come around.  Please promise to continue to be there for me when I need your juicy sweetness!
Sincerely, a big fan
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Inspiration out of Desperation

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“In life you either need inspiration or desperation” -Tony Robbins
“In 1995 I had $7 bucks in my pocket and knew two things: I’m broke as hell and one day I won’t be.” – Dwayne Johnson

“I don’t think human beings learn anything without desperation. Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.” – Jim Carrey


You and I have been there before.  In fact, we all find ourselves in “hopeless” situations.  You know what I am talking about. We have a goal. We take steps and work toward that goal.  Something, or even several things, happen that move us away from our goal.  We begin to think we will not make it to ur destination.  We get frustrated, angry, or maybe downright depressed the we are putting in the work and not getting what we hope for.

In this time where anything is accessible through a click, it’s easy to begin believing everything is easy.  We will not meet obstacles while working toward our goals.  Why would they?  Most of our lives are easy to us.  However, many goals and things we really want tend to be challenging or difficult to gain.  When we become sensitized to easy situations, we expect things to come easy without a fight.  When our expectations are not met, we grow frustrated, angry, or even hopeless at ourselves or the goal itself.  These feelings make it easy to give up and stop working to what we wanted at first.

However, it is crucial to step back and take another look at where you are.  Assess the situation.  Are there other factors that are hindering your progress?  Are there steps you may have missed?  Or, is there an obstacle separating you from your destination?  For whatever reason, choose to HARNESS your feelings, beliefs, or attitudes around your obstacle(s).  Instead of letting them defeat you, allow them to fuel you to change your approach or KEEP GOING!  You got this! As Always, Eat Move, and Improve!
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Dear Licorice

Dear Licorice,
I am writing you today with some bad news.  You’re not going to like it.  For reasons I will explain below, I want to break up with you.  I am sorry that it has to come to this, but starting today, we are done.
Your colorful, playful, and sweet.  We cannot argue that.  I cherish our times together.  You bring me so much glee and comfort when you come around.  At the movies or at home, you’re there for me when I need you.  You don’t change and always bring me so much excitement when we get together.
Unfortunately, the after effects are not as desirable.  You leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth.  I never get enough of you.  You don’t fill me up.  I am always hungry after spending time with you.  My high expectations are never satisfied once you give me what you have to offer.
I am truly sorry for this, but I suggest we don’t see each other as much anymore.  I will gladly say hello every once in awhile if I see you around.  But, I will not actively spend time with you anymore.  I can’t afford for you to leave me empty and unsatisfied anymore.  I am sorry for this, but I wish you all the best!
Sincerely, over you
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Embrace the Dark Side

 

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“There’s a dark side to each and every human soul. We wish we were Obi-Wan Kenobi, and for the most part we are, but there’s a little Darth Vader in all of us. Thing is, this ain’t no either or proposition. We’re talking about dialectics, the good and the bad merging into us. You can run but you can’t hide. My experience? Face the darkness, stare it down. Own it. As brother Nietzsche said, being human is a complicated gig. Give that old dark night of the soul a hug! Howl the eternal yes!” -Stuart Stevens

“Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance.”- Deepak Chopra

“Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living.” -Travis Barker


We all have bad days.  Sometimes, we just can’t win. They seem to come out of nowhere and linger for awhile.  And for no obvious reason at all. I have had a few days recently where they started rough and didn’t really improve.  For some reason, I slept restlessy through several nightmares.  I woke up tired and anxious.  I felt unmotivated and was not very productive on those days.  I felt guilty for doing only the minimum on those days.  It’s probably the worst I have ever felt.


I am sharing this because it’s important to know- emotions have power.  They can either control you or you control them.  Our inward reality creates how we view the outside world.  Many people allow negative events and experience shape their emotions.  They allow the world to make them angry and uninspired.  They have a negative view of the world because it’s not fair in their eyes.  Oppositely, people who create a positive viewpoint of the world around them tend to be more happy, healthy, and productive.  They see all of the wonders and miracles this world has to offer and choose to focus on those.


It is imperative to learn how to control your emotions.  The first step would be to identify how you feel and react to certain events in your life.  Do you react in a negative or positive way?  What thoughts do you think?  How do you feel physically during those periods?  Next, acknowledge that all emotions are temporary.  The are fleeting reactions to present moments or events.  Once we acknowledge these triggers and reactions, it is important to identify the ones you would like to change.  Once you become aware of negative emotions, decide to do all you can to transfer that energy into something productive.  Use those raw emotions as constructive instead of destructive  Here are some tactics to let go of negative emotions and harness positive ones:


-Allow yourself to fully feel the emotion in a safe setting.  Cry your eyes out, yell your voice hoarse, punch until your knuckles bleed

-Share your emotions and feelings with a trusted loved one

-Practice yoga

-Go work out

–Take up meditation or deep breathing

-Sing in private or public

-Punching an object- a pillow, punching bag, or mattress

-Yell to your hearts content!


It is critical to identify how we react emotionally to life events and change our negative reactions.  Anger, jealousy, anxiety, hate, and others are toxic to the body and soul.  These emotions can be changed to happiness, joy, peace, or gratitude.  It just takes the right mindset.  Above all, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

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Dear Coffee

Dear Coffee,

I am writing you today to thank you. You have made such an impact on me I need to say something.  Your presence in my life has been a positive one.  You give my day flavor, excitement, and energy.  In fact, I don’t know how I ever go a day without you!
Let me explain.  You give me a jumpstart and refreshment in the morning.  You are one of the many things I think about right in the morning.  You give me a positive boost when I try to make my day the best it can be! There is no form of you I don’t like.  You can be dressed up in a paper cup, a glass mug, or a metal thermos.  I like basically every form of you too: iced, black, frozen, or all dressed up with other ingredients.  But, you are always the best to me when you are just yourself.
Coffee, don’t change.  Some people may try to change you.  They may try to mask you under a bunch of other ingredients and odd names.  Be true to yourself.  Stay bold, strong, and hot!  That’s how I like you the most.  Again, thank you for all that you offer.  You make my day so much more brighter!
Sincerely, I need you every day
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Sleep On It

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“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
-Ernest Hemingway
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”Irish Proverb
“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”
― Homer, The Odyssey

Anyone who truly knows me as a person knows I love to sleep. I take any opportunity to nap or sleep in when it presents itself.  To me, sleep is the ultimate level of rest.  My body is completely at peace and comfortable. I am safe and at the lowest risk of being hurt.  My bed is a safe place where problems do not exist and I can hide from the reality of life.

 I only tell you this because I know I am not perfect.  I truly understand that our lives change and things happen in the “awake” hours of life.  Sleeping more than needed can be detrimental to your health, stress levels, and time management.  I understand, that to make major changes and get ahead, it is essential to sacrifice hours of sleep at times.  Many successful people see sleep as unproductive time and would rather sacrifice sleep in order to get ahead.  There is great truth to the idea that the person moving and working hard will make it farther than the person who is resting.

However, sleep is essential to the human body.  Sleep allows your body and organs to reset, heal, and recover from the days activities.  Sleep is essential to physical, mental, behavioral, and emotional health.  There are thousands of studies that state how sleep can improve peoples lives.  It can improve someone’s mood, weight, stress levels, and even personality.  Think about it, how do you respond when you haven’t slept enough?  I know that, for me, I get groggy and lose the power of being present to the moment.  I miss opportunities and have a low amount of focus.

I know I am dragging on.  But, what do we do if both arguments make sense?  The answer is to find balance. Find a sleep routine that works for you.  Fins out how much sleep you need to be at your best self.  Create your lifestyle to include a routine that encourages high energy, healthy weight, lack of disease, and at your best.  Some pointers to get the best sleep:

-limit screen time before bed time:  blue light makes your brain active!
-sleep in a cool, dark place
-drink water before bed time
-limit food or snacks before bed time
-limit loud sounds or noises s much as possible
-meditate or journal about your day.  Your brain will have less to sort through

These are only some examples on how to rest well.  Most importantly, find what works best for you.  Create a routine that makes you feel on top of the world every single day.  As Always, Eat, Move, And Improve! 
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10 Ways to Have Fun When Eating Right

IMG_3958“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.”
-Maya Angelou
“I get way too much happiness from good food”. -Elizabeth Olsen

“Learn how to cook- Try new recipes. Learn from your mistakes.  Be fearless.  And, above all, have fun!” -Julia Childs


It’s a common misconception.  When people hear of diet, they think “I am going to be so deprived.” Or, “eating healthy is boring.”  Bet yet, “this is going to suck!”  I have noticed how many people decide not to take action because of their preconceived notions.  They look at a decision or commitment they want to make.  If they even suspect any negative connotation to a decision, they run the opposite way or rationalize why its not worth it.


However, the truth is that there are pros and cons to every decision out there.  For example, unexplainable taste and joy of eating french fries and cheeseburgers is a pro.  But, weight gain, bloating, and drowsiness could be considered cons.


I propose you look at eating right or dieting in a different way.  Focus not on the downside, but on the positives.  You have the power to make nutrition and eating well fun!  Here are some examples:
  1. Experiment with bright colors- orange, red, green, blue, purple, yellow etc.We eat with our eyes and bright colors make people excited!
  2. Switch things up.  For example, switch between, chicken, shrimp, fish, and other lean meats
  3. Mix 2-3 food groups into 1 dish.  Instead of having 3 separate food groups on a plate, mix them up in a salad, pasta dish, soup, or rice bowl for example!
  4. Try different herbs and spices.  Each herb and spice contribute different nutritional benefits.
  5. Mix up your cooking techniques.  Grilling, baking, broiling, barbecuing, and others change the taste and experience of the meal
  6. Change your eating environment.  We tend to get bored by sitting in the same spot-  eat at your table, outside, or at a friend’s house!
  7. Cook with a friend!  Sharing an experience with a loved one will make it more pleasurable.
  8. Try ethnic dishes or flavors you haven’t tried before: sushi, curries, Mediterranean, Asian.
  9. Flavor your water differently. Infuse it with citrus fruits, mint, or even ginger!
  10. Listen to your favorite music!  We tend to be happier and more willing to try something new when we’re jamming to our favorite toons.
Obviously, these are just 10 off the top of my head!  There are plenty of other ways to make eating healthy a fun experience.  Which is your favorite?  Comment below!
As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!
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TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE GOLF OUTING


Twas the night before the outing, when all through the course, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The golf carts were parked by the clubhouse with care, in hopes that clear weather soon would be there.

The golfers were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of skins and birdies play in their heads.

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long Summer’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen dew Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a mysterious man came near
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be my golf partner.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!” Now Nike! now, Calloway! now, Taylormade and Ping! On, Titelist! On, Slazenger! on, Cleveland and Maxfli!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So up to the fairway- top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and My golf partner too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the green. The prancing and pawing of each little swing.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the fairway my partner came with a bound.

He was dressed all in golf attire, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with dirt and soot.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And tees up his drive, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the cart path he rose!
He sprang to his cart, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, “Happy outing to all, and to all a good-night!”

 

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Dear Fruit

Dear Fruit,
I want to apologize to you on behalf of countless critics out there.  They have villainized you.  They have hurt your reputation.  Most specifically, they have blamed you for making people gain weight.  In their defense, their logical thinking makes sense.  We know as a fact that calories from sugar make people gain weight.  To their defense, you carry alot of sugar inside you.
But, it’s not your fault.  Their way of thinking is skewed.  They do not understand.  They do not understand that two forms of sugar exist in the world: added and natural.  You contain the latter.  Your sugar comes from the real you, not from a factory.  What people fail to realize that what you lack in ounce you gain in tons.  You provide nutrients, fiber, water, and other heath promoting ingredients.  You bring joy to so many people with your sweetness and refreshing texture.
On behalf of those who do you wrong, I want to apologize to you.  I am saddened to observe how people mistreat you. They place you in a category where you do not belong.  But, it’s not your fault!  I encourage you to never change.  Continue to bring people joy and excitement when they eat you.  People will sort their own beliefs about you soon!
Sincerely, An Apology
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Dear Body

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”  ~Jim Rohn
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~Buddha
“If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Dear Body,
Hello, old friend.  It’s been awhile since I have acknowledged you. Despite having you around all the time, I have been focused on so many distractions and to do’s.  Life got in the way and you have taken the back seat.  I have neglected you more often than not.  It’s not your fault at all.  I just forgot how valuable you are.  It’s about time to say something.

I only have you for one lifetime.  I realize that now.  I haven’t appreciated you enough.  I finally recognize how awesome you are.  You give my life so many possibilities.  Through you, I can see clearly, move independently, speak fluently, breath deeply, and many other things  You work like a machine with so many complex parts.  You are truly amazing.

My actions have hurt you.  I have stuffed myself with tasty food, missed out on exercise, and exposed myself to harmful chemicals.  I didn’t mean to.  I have made rash decisions and forgot who I was affecting.  You don’t deserve that.

I promise, from now on, to treat you well.  I will think of your needs before acting.  I will fuel you with only healthy and natural foods.  I will feed your brain with positive thoughts.  I will move you as much as I can.  I will make you the best you can be!
Sincerely, Me
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I’ll Be Back!

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Hey readers!  Sorry for my prolonged hiatus.  I had started a new job a few months ago.  I needed some extra time to get up to speed and used to working full time again.

I am happy to announce that I am planning on returning to posting again VERY SOON.  You will begin seeing consistent and new posts on my blog in the next few days.  Stay tuned!

In the mean time, I had a new idea for a string of posts.  You may or may not be aware, but we all have attachments to food.  We have feelings, thoughts, and relationships with food.  I had an idea to write “letters” addressed to foods as if they are people.  Would you like to read them?  Comment below!

Photo credit: https://blogcineonline.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/i-ll-be-bk.jpg

Dear Eggs

Dear Eggs,

I am writing today to apologize on behalf of all of us. We have shamed you. We have dragged your name through the mud. We didn’t understand. For years, people shamed you by saying you cause heart disease and high cholesterol. You cause built up plaque in our blood vessels. Your golden yolk is so dangerous!

However, we have come to realize that you are awesome! Not only do you not cause heart disease, but you are also a part of a healthy diet!! Your golden yolk may have some choleterol, but it also have many essential vitamins and minerals. Not too mention that you taste fantastic! Also, your egg white brings solid lean protein to my day. You make me strong and start my day off right.

You know the best part about you?? You are so versatile! We can boil, fry, bake, poach, and even scramble you! In conclusion, I am sorry that we put you in the corner. We just didn’t realize the gifts you brought us! I hope that you can forgive and forget.

Sincerely, Sorry from everyone