Music and Joy

To me, these two words have become almost interchangeable when it’s about music that sparks joy in me. Literally, since I remember myself I could be in a good mood for at least a day when one of my favorite singers produced a new album.

I was born an a family of two musicians and was taught to love this joyous experience every time when I hear a good bass guitar improvisation or someone sing in this naturally flavorful authentic tuneful manner coming from the heart and soul of the singer. My parents and my elder sister would always point these moments to each other and taught me feel so grateful for the existence of this amazing thing – music.

Sometimes, when I feel sad or overwhelmed with something, music becomes my healer. At those moments when I feel weak, I just need to listen to Diane Shuur or Etta James and sing along to feel better about myself. Yes. I feel so much better after singing and sometimes even crying at the same time. I do it when nobody sees me.

I used to study vocal back in Russia and my teacher Galina Filatova would listen to a song I chose for my performance and even though, sometimes, she wouldn’t understand the lyrics, she would still try to make me match emotions of the singer and talk to me on a very emotional level about my personal life, use my demolished hopes or fantastic experiences in order for me to make her cry by singing as emotionally as I could. We had two posters on the wall at the singing room, – two posters of famous black musicians and she made me imagine that they were alive and talk to them pronouncing the lyrics of my song before I start singing. I remember it felt pretty real.

Even though I understand that my life is wonderful and there are so many things to thank God for… but sometimes, when there’s an obstacle on my family’s way, I become very sad. Especially if I can’t fix a problem myself at that moment. This morning I woke up sad. I needed joy and it wouldn’t come. So I decided to sing. I sang until I couldn’t control my voice anymore, until I couldn’t see the lyrics of the songs I chose through my tears. And you know what? I felt enlivened. Music brings this feeling in me – the feeling of being alive. Maybe that’s why it was so easy for me to love New York, – the heart of jazz music.

Some Etta James for you. And some Ukrainian heart-singer also. EnJoy.

Advertisements

What I eat in a day tag.

Dear friends, as I promised, I am going to show you what I do and how easy it is to keep the weight in moderation, eat relatively well and substitute bad foods with foods that will make you feel happy, healthy and energized!:)

2 things that help me do this are:

This kind of food scale:16805031_1535363756481553_172769851_o

And  this app:2709036278373Screenshot_20170218-204009.png

This app is built into any Android phone. It will help you to playfully put calories in and see how healthy you actually eat. I set my limit at 1500 calories a day, but almost always go a little over it. I am trying not to go over 1800 calories and today I did 1700 calories, which is good for getting rid of calories. I try to take a yoga class or/and workout 4 days a week, so it will make it easier for my body to constantly maintain my weight and metabolism rate.

So, what I ate today for breakfast:

16804834_1535355436482385_1580140444_o

Of course, I, as a person who, before moving to GA, used to live in NY, drink coffee. To make it less harmful I add about 100 grams of Dream Blends Rice and Quinoa instead of milk and 15 grams of honey to it, so it feels warm and tastes delicious.

In this breakfast I used:

Cinnamon Raisin Organic Gluten Free Bread (Rudi’s) – 1 serving

Low Fat Turkey Bacon (Butterball) – 2 slices

1 egg – to fry it I used extra virgin olive oil. In order to use less oil, I use a cooking brush to oil a pan.

16804986_1535417396476189_16837728_o

Broccoli Sprouts – 0.5 serving

Portabello Mushrooms – 0.3 cup

Tomatoes – about 50 g

Arugula – 15 g

Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise – 5 g

All of this including coffee came down to 374 cal and was super-delicious!

I subbed the regular bacon with the turkey bacon and still used a slice of a delicious, but organic and gluten- free bread! Yumm!

Next meal was very simple but scrumptious! I didn’t have time to cut the peaches and the strawberries, but a promise is a promise, so here it is:

16776963_1535355129815749_1669354463_o

Snack: Oh My Yog! 3 layered strawberry yogurt with 1 peach and 2 large strawberries – 259 cal

Lunch! Oh My Lunch!

16810702_1535355309815731_1130055608_o

Baked Chicken Thighs with no extra oil added – 130 g

Hint of lime tortilla chips 32 g

Guacamole: 1/2 Avocado, red onion – 15g, tomatoes – 50 g,  jalapeño peppers – 4 g, cilantro.

1/2 Lime Juice

salt, pepper

600 cal

Well. It was VERY GOOD!

Then I had my cheat drink Starbucks Green Tea Latte!

16804758_1535355203149075_1341824838_o

Well, I wouldn’t usually do this, but today my husband and I had a meeting at Starbucks so

130 cal

Dinner – salad. Very nutritious!

16805241_1535355066482422_1805025295_o.jpg

Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus (Eat Well, Embrace Life) – 52 g

Sweet peppers – 20 g

Strawberries – 57 g

Broccoli Sprouts – 17 g

Avocado – whole – 131 g

Cress – 17 g (0 cal!!!)

Arugula – 16 g

Spinach – 21 g

Peach 1/2

Seasoning

360 cal

So, guys, you can see here how simple it is to eat delicious and fresh food with JOY!

All I had today was only 1723 cal and my nutrition score, given by SHealth is 81, which is pretty good. Here’s the breakdown:

16810372_1535456616472267_2040877598_o.png

Also, I am trying not to eat a lot of diary products, so as a result I usually lack Calcium. But I promise, tomorrow I’ll be better!

Have you seen all this food?! It is so much better than this:

1415667701593_image_galleryimage_indulge_gtraph_jpg

(I took this picture from here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-2828587/Hungry-Horse-s-Double-Donut-burger-1-966-calories-53-grams-saturated-fat.html)

So, guys! Let’s watch our diets and support each other in our healthy lifestyle.

I myself can eat a couple of servings of lo mein here and there, but generally I try to eat healthy and love my body as it deserves to be loved.

EnJoy your dreams and cheers. 🙂

Disclaimer: I’m not a dietician, and I can’t give you 100% right advice, but this is what I do and what works for me.

To diet or not to diet; that’s the question!

It is so hard! It’s so hard to start dieting! But a good thing is… you don’t have to! Tomorrow I will show you what I ate in a day today and you will see how easy it is to maintain your weight or slowly (which is the best way to do it!) get rid of pounds and stay healthy without starving yourself to death! Posting some pics of healthy fruits, veggies and berries that I recently took on our porch!:) Hope you enJOY!:)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy Everyday Day!

TODAY I LEARNED SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT FROM MY HUSBAND. AND THIS IS THE FIRST JOY I’m going to talk about.

16776956_1530010757016853_1080620511_oMy husband is mostly Italian, and even though he was born in the US, he still has this passionate Italian personality that shows when we talk about things we perceive differently. I’m Russian and I feel and act the same way. 🙂 So very often we find ourselves looking for compromises to fulfill emotional needs of each other.

TODAY I LEARNED SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT FROM MY HUSBAND. AND THIS IS THE FIRST JOY I’m going to talk about.

I’ve always thought that Holidays bring special moments into our lives, I’ve always looked for opportunities to experience this Joy of giving and receiving, and holidays have been something I couldn’t do without. When I found out that my husband wasn’t really interested in celebrating anything, I was not only surprised, but also sad because Holidays to me were special days when you share love and kind words with your close people and feel accomplished when you see their smiles, teary eyes, give and receive hugs etc. So when I asked my husband what we were doing on the Valentine’s Day, he looked at me and asked why we had to do anything and of course I felt very offended. I didn’t even pay attention when he was trying to explain to me that our marriage – our every day already became celebration of our love. I didn’t want to see it, until… I sat down, calmed down and started thinking about every moment we have spent together during past two weeks and I understood that even if we sometimes argue over stupid little things, we do celebrate love every day. And here is the question… why do we need to celebrate only today, if we can do it every single day in our little ways? Then, a celebration of anything would turn from an obligatory action into a voluntary, everyday love-giving.

So, today for Valentine’s Day I received a Polish-Russian can of smoked fish, some German waffles and pirogues. I also received kisses and hugs. I received my husband’s warmth and his smile. I received his understanding and most importantly, Love. And I think I am one of the happiest women on this planet.

This is my DAILY JOY that I haven’t really noticed the way I should have noticed it. I decided that from now on I will be grateful for it every day.

So in order to feel happy today I thought that this might be a nice exercise for all of us:

Sit in a comfortable position in an empty room, park, backyard or any available space where you can be alone for some time. Close your eyes and ask yourself these questions:

Do I appreciate my life enough? Don’t judge yourself. Just answer.
Do I see miracles in my life every day?
What are those miracles I see?
What are those miracles that I might not have paid attention to?
What should I celebrate today?
How can I cheer someone up today? Do it.

Answer the questions. You can even write the answers down if you want after this little practice. But aren’t you feeling better? Told ya! 🙂

Enjoy your Valentine’s day every day! Love yourself, your families and friends!

P.S.

In the picture you can see a gift that I made for my husband after experiencing my “enlightenment”, just to share an idea! 😛 And yea, I’m 33 y/o! 🙂 Making cards or gifts can show deep authenticity!