This week I was reminded of a lesson on the power of caring for one's self, from two incredibly beautiful women, who are both in their 60s
I settled onto the comfy sofa in the waiting room of Toyota's service department. As one hand rummaged through my backpack, my eyes caught a glimpse of People Magazine. “Oh my gosh, is that right?? Christie Brinkley is 60!”
No gimmicks or plastic surgery. Instead she's lived a life of clean eating, daily exercise, a positive attitude, and staying engaged with the world around her. Not perfectly, but consistently; for a very, very long time
(ps: She also credits monthly facials & hair extensions. I had to smile)
A few nights later, I stood in front of a room full of people; lucky enough to say a few words about each of the women I'd coached through the latest 9-week health challenge Each had done beautifully, accomplishing so very much; it was fun to celebrate not only for them but with them as well
As I neared the end of my stories, I grew ever more excited to share about a woman; I now get to call friend. In two short weeks, she'll be 67; as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside.
Her job is physical, working outdoors in the elements rain or shine, and logging more steps on her Fitbit than most will in their entire day. After work, she comes to a rigorous exercise class before heading home to a life filled with kids, grandkids, friends, and neighbors.
She's done it consistently for many, many years; never complaining, everything done with a smile and a twinkle in her eye. If you asked her (I did), she feels like she's 25.
I told her that night, in front of everyone that I hope I've helped her, but at the same time, she's done just as much for me. One day, when I'm her age, I want to follow in her footsteps. A shining example to someone else of the power of being kind to your body, feeding it well, staying in motion, and never slowing down on the journey to be just a little better each and every day
Over the weekend we cooked one of her favorite meals to give to her. Kik Alicha, a classic Ethiopian dish Kathie brought (from Minneapolis!) to January's food swap.
It's a simple stew; inexpensive to make, full of onions, garlic, and split peas. It's mild as well as savory, creamy yet not oily, a wonderful diversion from the spiciness that typically accompanies Ethiopian cuisine.
Serve with injera instead of eating utensils if you'd like to be truly authentic.
ps: Thank-you Kathie for making the 3 hour trip to come to our swap! The effort was non-trivial, and we're so very glad you did. Please, come again anytime ..
Kik Alicha (Ethiopian Yellow Split Pea Stew)
- 5 large purple onions
- 1 cup olive oil
- One 16 oz. bag yellow split peas
- 2 tsp tumeric
- fresh minced garlic, to taste
- salt, to taste
- In large, heavy pot, cover peas with 3” water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook till tender, about 30-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, puree the onions in a food processor or blender. Cook the puree in heavy pot until they're tender and just staring to turn brown (note: they will be dry).
- Add the olive oil, tumeric and strong pinch of salt, stirring to combine.
- Add the cooked split peas (water included) to the onion mixture, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook to a consistency similar to pea soup.
- Stir in garlic and serve with injera