Thursday, August 28, 2008

ARE THEY DEAF OR IS IT YOU?! (Trust me…it’s you) by Terri Cole

Hello Gorgeous Posse of Peeps-

Do you feel heard? When you interact with your spouse or kids do you get the results you seek? How about with your family of origin? Is there satisfaction and understanding in your communication? Or do you feel like you have the same frustrations and complaints about these relationships over and over again? Well it’s time to shake it up people!!

Did you ever consider that when you change, the people in your life have no choice but to change as well? Human relationships are a dance. When you change your steps, your partner cannot do the old dance. It won’t work. Think about all of your relationships; you do this and inevitably they will do _________ (fill in the blank), right? We know the dance, but can we change it? Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This is also true for the change you wish to see in your relationships.

So the answer is yes to the possibility of changing your relationship dance. Let’s start by breaking it down. Effective communication is a key component to healthy relationships and it starts with you. What is your style of communication? Do you speak your truth or act it out? Do you deny what you need or secretly wish your partner had a crystal ball? If you have a desire to communicate with integrity, the first step is to acknowledge what needs to change within you.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think. How do you communicate in all of your relationships? Are you passive? Do you withhold in anger instead of saying what is on your mind? Do you exaggerate and shout using ALWAYS and NEVER statements that can’t possibly be true? Do you minimize your own feelings? Is everything OK with you…always (again, not possible)? Do you have the disease to please? Were you taught that being honest is the same as being rude or mean? Are you a martyr who never says anything to change the unfulfilling interaction? Remember, you alone are responsible for how you interact in your relationships.

There are only two ways to communicate: effectively and ineffectively. Below is a comprehensive list of communication characteristics compiled by author Phil Rich, EdD, MSW, DCSW. Take a look and see what resonates.

Ineffective Communication:

Indirect-not getting to the point, never clearly states purpose or intention
Passive-timid and reserved
Antagonistic-angry, aggressive, or hostile tone
Cryptic-underlying message or purpose obscured and requires interpretation
Hidden-true agenda is never stated directly
Non-verbal-communicated through body language and behaviors, not words
One way-more talk than listening
Unresponsive-little interest in the perspective or needs of the other person
Off base-responses and needs of the other person are misunderstood and misinterpreted
Dishonest-dishonest statements are substituted for true feelings, thoughts, and needs

Effective Communication:
Direct-to the point, leaving no doubt as to meaning or purpose
Assertive-not afraid to state what is wanted or why
Congenial-affable and friendly
Clear-underlying issues are clear
Open-no intentionally hidden messages or meaning
Verbal-words are used to clearly express ideas
Two way-equal amounts of talking and listening
Responsive-attention paid to the needs and perspective of the other person.
Honest-true feelings, thoughts, and needs are stated

Now can you create a snap shot of your communication style? Is it what you want it to be? If not, what right action are you willing to take to make it better? Are you motivated to be vulnerable or to try something different in your relationships? If so, what stops you?

I had an epiphany about my power to change relationships when I was in college. I had always been sorely disappointed with my business like relationship with my father. When I got a card from him I used to tell my friends that he sent me an inner office memo because that’s how it felt. He was very successful and dutiful, but distant and chilly. He was a star athlete who had four daughters and I was his last shot for a boy. His communication style looked like this: if we were on a four hour car ride and he wanted you to close your window, he would point at you and motion the “roll up window” sign. We were all afraid of him and he rarely spoke. After blaming him for years with no satisfaction, I found a wonderful therapist who helped me realize that I was the only person I could change in that dyad. So I faced my fear of being vulnerable and spoke my truth.

Trust me, it was awkward at first, but with time things changed. We changed and I am forever grateful. He responded positively to my shift and my fear fantasy of abandonment was not realized. We developed a relationship that thrilled me and puzzled my sisters. The therapist helped me realize that my father did love me and although his love did not come in the warm and fuzzy package I had fantasized about, it was still valid. She challenged me to feel loved by things like college tuition, a used car, and his inevitable final shout to “Buckle up!” as I drove off. I learned to ask him for what I needed emotionally. This is not to say he could always do it, but my healing came from my right action of honoring my truth. My father died suddenly at the age of 61, ten years ago, and I was left with no regrets and a mountain of gratitude.

So what relationships would you like to transform? How do you want to communicate in your life? Now that you have a place to start, make a list of what is not working for you in what relationship. Then make a list of what right action YOU need to take to change that relationship…and DO IT! You taking care of you in relationships=self-love. This right action creates the possibility of real intimacy. Being dishonest separates us from the people we love.

Explore your truth then speak it LOUDLY.

I know you can. I am here to help if you need a nudge. As always I want to hear all about it!

Love Love Love,


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

LA chow and fabulous friends

Greetings peaches!

Brian and I just got back to our nest in the pines of Woodstock after a week full of LA love and adventures. Wow, and I thought NYC was the be all, end all. There are so many righteous raw restaurants to choose from in starletville. Upon deplaning from the Jet Blue metal bird, we drove straight to Real Food Daily in Santa Monica. It's not all raw but the cooked food is made by fairy Godmothers and it is full of TLC. Put it on your wish list and pick up a copy of their cookbook if you can. It's well worth it.

Day 2 was filled with tons of time in the car on our way to "take meetings" (no one in LA uses public transportation or walks - so weird). The day ticked by in conference rooms. I was supposed to be focused on my pitches but I couldn't help but drift into fantasies of the night ahead - dinner at Cru. Our own Debbie Does Raw arranged an impromptu CSL dinner with a few regulars from the forum. The food was out of this world, the company - stellar! I wish I took pictures of the chow but alas, I was too blown away to snap. I inhaled (refusing to share) a pad Thai that made me riggle like a school girl at a Bon Jovi concert (circa '89). The chef made it with Kelp noodles, cilantro, lime and cashews! Yes, Kelp. I swear I will eat seaweed everyday now. EVERYDAY. I'm not a fan of the veggies from the sea but these babies were seamless. You can buy them at Gold Mine. Try em, love em, welcome to mineral city!

Brian loves the ladies

Me and Debbie

Dinner was topped off by deserts sent to our table by Bueller. She couldn't make it to the raw chow fun fest but like the good woman she is, Lady B sent SUGAR in her place. SWEET Debbie delivered tambien. She made amazing take home goodie bags filled with raw truffles from my friend Matthew Kenney's new book Everyday Raw. Matthew - how do you do what you do? This is another great book for your arsenal peeps. Grab it. Debbie, thanks for taking the time and energy to jack us up and fill our hearts with life ZOOM. Miss D is quite the uncooked chef. "Oh, what a night!"

Next day: Lunch at Leaf filled me with Christmas morning giddyness, ooh's, and ahhh's (it takes so little - sorta pathetic). But whoa Nelly Furtado did I order too much. I had no idea how big the portions would be. Most raw places are stingy. They get away with small portions due to the high nut content which makes any meal (small or large) filling. Leaf is like the hummer of raw restaurants and dang-o-la was it tasty. I had an amazing raw falafel wrapped in lovely collard leaves, a Caesar salad with walnut croutons and a juice (not so great - mudish. Definitely not the cocktail of choice).

On our last night we finally hooked up with Bueller at Matt Amsden's Rawvolution. Each of us ordered the Big Matt with Cheese (Flax seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, lettuce, onion, tomato, celery, parsley, olive oil, mustard, pickles, rosemary, cumin, garlic, nama shoyu, lemon juice). OH MY GODDESS. Now that's a Happy Meal! A side of Kale Chips (dehydrated) made the meal complete - well almost, chia seed, chocolate and ginger pie. Sexy! Sexy bexy bo bexy banana fanna fo fexy fee fi fo mexy - SEXY!

Back at the ranch it's pretty low key in the kitchen. Boring compared to all the magic that filled my tummy in the city of angels. Oh well, I'm inspired and I have 500,000 cookbooks so no excuses.

How the heck have ya'll been?

Peace and raw restaurant bopping,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Menu Muse Monday: Strawberry Mint Lemonade

Hi herbs,

First of all, thank you so much for all your awesome comments on my last blog! Wow, it means so much to me. I'm on my way to JFK airport but I wanted to share this awesome recipe with you before I go. My parents had a huge bash this weekend and they allowed me to take over part of the kitchen and play. I created this fantabulous (if I do say so myself) concoction - with SAKE in it. Needless to say, people were refreshed and loose. He he he... Maybe I added a bit too much Sake. :)

Virgin Style:

* Portions designed for one blender load.

1 Cup agave
1/2 cup fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
1 Healthy handful of organic strawberries
3-4 Sprigs of mint - gently pull of the leaves
Fill blender with purified water - 3/4 full
Wiz and pour over ice - you can strain it if you don't like pulp (good to do for a party so people don't walk around with a garden stuck in their teeth. Awkward. Should you tell them, not tell them? Best to avoid.

Sake Style

Same as above just add about a cup (or so) of sake. HOLY HEAVEN HELL-O! Now, that's a fun drink.

Peace and punch,

PS. Sorry I didn't have time to post an image. :(

Friday, August 8, 2008

A surprise-y

Oh goody, a package at my gate! I love packages.

Brian Lights my way with the beams from our pickup truck named Duke.

HOLY CRAP! It's my new book. GULP, I'm trying not to pee on my couch.

Brian says "I'm proud of you Doll" which makes me giggle and well up.

We dork out, read a bit and then snooze...

The new baby hits the stores in early September. As always we'll have signed copies on our site and ya know we'll give some away. Thanks for caring about what I clack out. I still pinch myself daily. Love you very much.

Off to LA! Messages from my West Coast Road trip to follow.

Peace and Publishing,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Menu Muse Monday: Spotlight on Kale

Hiya peonies,

I must confess, I love my kale but until recently I have only experimented with it in juices, smoothies, steamed or lightly sautéed. What about the Kale salads? They’re delish but sadly I don’t make them on my own. When I was training at Hippocrates we would massage and marinate the kale with lemon (some folks use salt) till our hands hurt. Then Chef Ken would let it sit for a bit in order to break down the fiber and welcome the softness. Great when at Hippocrates, but at home I’m LAZY.

1-2-3 easy breezy bitchin’ kitchen gal - that's me. I rarely deal with chow that take extra planning. My weeks are random and wonky. Travel on planes, trains and automobiles are the norm. Thus, I often come home to a fridge full o’ nada.

Last week was a purrfectly pathetic example. After a quick visit to Ohio for a speech I returned to find a ghost town in my fridge. At first glance all I saw were a few sprigs of kale blowing around like left over tumble weeds of a forgotten time. F@CK! I was alone, hungry, tired, and ready to order take out – yet again. Wait a second, my grandmother trained me in the kitchen. A whirlwind of chef by trade, her creativity was in her hands. She could see a jar of mustard and pickle and make a four-course meal. So rather than cave in or cop out, I vowed to re-survey my fridge with the eyes of forensic detective.

Ah: two Ezkiel wraps (somewhat stale, but acceptable), Ooh: a few oil cured olives, ½ an avocado and a borderline lemon. Voila: hemp seeds and a little red onion. Presto: Down & Dirty Kale Wrap City! Screw the massage, I barely have time for one so the kale will just have to deal.

Muse Monday Recipe:

De-vein the kale and chop into tiny strips
Make a delish dressing with Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (and/or lemon), organic olive oil, and braggs
Toss together – Add some dulse to the mix if ya got it
Take the avocado (AKA natures butter) and spread it on the wrap
Chop up some oil cured olives and disco them into the mix
Chop red onion – add to the orgy
Shimmy those hemp seeds all over the place

Wrap it up, lock and load.

I ate 2. Total heaven. Much to my surprise it wasn't that tough at all - a little extra chewing was all it took. I also added some raw (cheese-free, nut based) parm. And heaven’s to Betsy look what was for desert. How did that get in my fridge? Sheesh! YUM!

Kale Factoids:
The green goddess is high in calcium, iron, vitamin A & C. It’s a good source of protein phytochemicals and potassium. Did I mention fiber? Oh, la la the intestinal broom!

Peace and Leafy’s,

Anyone else have a menu muse spotlight on kale for today? What's your recipe for the King of the leafy's?