Redefine beautiful!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pausa di Tiempo per Bodeci

My computer needed a rest.  I was a bit ready for one myself.  Am I going to grow old with my lap top strapped to me?

I took a break.  A rather long break.  And while it felt good, I had to work at not reacting to those demon voices in my head.  I decided I'd let them talk, and I could listen if I wanted, but it didn't mean I had to take heed.   And so, I took a break, senza sensi de colpa (without guilt).    

It was hot and my son came home for a surprise visit.   (Here with girlfriend, K)

After saying good-bye to my last client of the week Friday, I felt some angst because I wasn't prepared for my next BODECI body post.  Then it occurred  to me; what if I were to put my computer to rest over this entire HOT weekend and prendere il sole?  (soak up the sun)
Had to stare out this window for no good reason.   My chia pet is happy sitting around, and look how productive he is!

It wasn't difficult to put my computer away for a bit.  It was, however, kind of painful that I wasn't posting my next blog or responding to emails.  But, to live Bodeci means to take a rest when you work hard.  And, so I did.

K and I went for manicures and pedicures then she colored my hair.    Just as she slathered the last bit of color on my head, I informed her I had guests coming for dinner in a few minutes.  Yes, I had hair dye all over my head and no makeup on my face.  Not cool.  But, it was my dear friend Adrienne (Rich Life on a Budget) and she didn't seem to notice.  Oh, and guess what?  I didn't run through my house perfecting it like a freaking crazy woman before company!

When I was young, before kids and never ending responsibilities, I had plenty of time to fissare intorno (lay around) and still get stuff done.  But, after nearly twenty-three years of motherhood coupled with the role of breadwinner, I don't know how to just be these days.  I am reawakened to myself and there are times when I need to become still and simply be.  It was one of those weekends.

Mi e' piaciuto!  (I loved it!)

When was the last time you took a break from your computer, cell phone or "to do" list?  What did you do differently?  How did it feel?  I am living to find out!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Venti Ora

The Wagon Wheel bar.  Seen it for eons, never went in,  Great guys and   Bellisimo Martini

After teaching my class on Tuesday, Randy and I went for a cocktail at famed "Wagon Wheel" bar in Santa Rosa, then met friends for dinner at Gogi, an Asia fusion restaurant nearby.  I couldn't help but stuff my face as the food was saparoso!; all organic vegetables and spices with free range chicken, wild fish and tofu.   Plus, we had a date with Tony.
Tony Bennett 
Tony sang all of his most loved songs and ballads.  I don't think of myself of his genre, my dad's, for sure, but I was raised with his music.  At 80, he is damn near gorgeous.  There he was, within fifty yards of me, belting out "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" arms extended, hands open as if to say, "it is all of us here tonight that make us feel so fantastico!"

I knew I would be learning to can fruit the next day with professional farmers!

 I didn't get to bed until after eleven and didn't sleep well.  Sleep has been rather spotty lately.  Tuesday evening turned to Wednesday morning quickly.  My six AM and seven AM client are both out-of-town so I could sleep in a bit, and that was slendido.  

Teddy greeted me at Nana Mae's farm

By eleven, I was tying on my favorite apron, stashing my best paring knife and heading out the door to Nana Mae's country garden for canning instructions and a garden luncheon.  I had gotten the invitation from Rebecca of "Sonoma Lavender" and Karen of "Hello Beautiful Skin Clinic", to be part of only eight lucky uomini e donne.  We were to learn from the owner/ operators of Nana Mae's Organics, Kendra, and her husband, Paul, and associate, Marilee (professional consultant to small, organic farming operations here in Northern California) in the fine art of preserving fruits and vegetables.

One of the many delicious products from Nana Mae's

Let's get it started!

Given our handmade aprons (Oh, I've got to get the name of those) and our instructions, we began peeling, chopping, mincing, boiling, sampling, chatting and photo ops.  Oh, and we enjoyed Mumm champagne and Paul's fresh pressed apple juice.

Love my new old school apron!

Rebecca, Ce Ce, Cindy, Marilee, Marchelle, Karen, mia and Marissa.
After spending an hour or so making pears in lavender honey syrup and apple chutney, we sat down to Kendra's freshly prepared and delectable lunch under the shade of her fruit trees.  We dined with in the  dappled sunlight about her floral and vegetable garden.

Lunch is served.

We ate foods grown from Kendra and Paul's home garden.  There were three different salads; potato, purple kale, and tossed green, all with varieties of amazing flavors and textures, like of pungent cheeses, spiced nuts, mild garlic and Nana Mae's own apple cider vinegar (so good for you).  There was a basket full of baguette with fromage and prosciutto.  On our table was champagne and apple chutney.  No wonder Rebecca's hearty salute' during lunch, "I'm in heaven!"

Yes, we ate here.
Having a client at two (I know, why did I do that?), I had to be the first to leave and making my way to say good bye, I found Kendra whipping fresh heavy cream in her kitchen.  I am still dreaming about the possible dessert my friends enjoyed after I left!

Bella, no?

Twenty hours after Randy and I had our cocktail, I was back in my studio with Nicola doing what I do.  I felt a bit tired, but rejuvenated by all of the beauty and creativity of the past twenty hours.  There is so much that is giola di vivere in our world, go and seek it!  Tell me of your twenty hour vacanza.

la mia casa 

What is your deliziare?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Place to Hide

Blue will do it?

I love the whole psychology around eating.  For example, the color blue is a natural appetite suppressant.  One study, detailed in “Mindless Eating” by Brian Wansink, found when people dined in a blue room they ate 33% less than those who ate in a yellow or red room.  Another interesting bit of information from a “Health” magazine poll is that 83% of their readers do the most calorie damage when alone. A full 71% said they’ve stuffed a food wrapper down deep in the trash to hide the evidence.  (I think that number is probably higher but it is “Health” Magazine, after all).  And when questioned what the strangest thing they’ve eaten when alone, the most common answer was:  something dug out of the trash.  (There seems to be a common theme here with the trash.)

If it is in my home, there is certain foods I am tempted to sneak rather than to eat openly, but that’s not to say I would feel embarrassed if observed eating it.  Well, not usually.  Like the time I’d bought a dozen tubs of frozen cookie dough balls for a holiday fundraiser my kids were pushing for their school.   I got the bright idea that I would make it easy on myself that year and buy a bunch, thus sparing me (and my potential victims; family, friends and clients) from having to look through the slick catalogue of Holiday crap while they obligatorily filled out the form.

I was in the final stages of a yearlong remodel to my home and we were all frazzled.  The weather becoming windy, wet and cold while work crews slopped in and out of our torn up home and the boys behaving like caged animals, I was not in the mood for one more parent duty.  My plan was to wait until the last few days before Christmas and bake cookies in my brand new kitchen.  The visual of me in my apron, the kids studiously finishing homework by the roaring fire and the entire house spotless and decorated like Ma used to in the old days, kept me sane. I could use our new stove and bake all four hundred and thirty-two dough balls into perfectly round, moist and chewy chocolate chip, fudge, oatmeal and white chocolate macadamia cookies!  I would then disburse them to neighbors, family and friends.

All I want is one.

A few weeks before Christmas, my boys and I returned to our plywood floors and half painted walls with yet another take-out pizza for them and salad in a box for me.  The boys began to play a game they called “chong” where they wrestle on the bed trying to whack the other with the heel of their foot; sounds of their screams mixed with non-stop giggling was more than I could handle.  My salad sat in it’s unopened box as I walked in trance to the freezer and pulled out a white chocolate macadamia tub and proceeded to eat a frozen dough ball.  It was scrumptious, really.  I think I blacked out after having the second one; I wasn’t in my body any longer.
One turns into ten.

That weekend the paint crew was in full force painting the inside of the house while it poured outside.  At some point I went to the freezer and pulled out my personal tub and noticed that some of the balls had shrunk in size having little teeth marks on them.  I had been nibbling at the balls thinking if I didn’t eat the whole thing it didn’t count.  Carefully pulling out a ball with index finger and thumb, I began to take a bite when one of the painters came into the room to ask a question.  There I was, poised over my tub with a frozen dough ball up to my mouth and an attractive young man looking square at my dough balled fingers.  I fumbled some stupid babble about wondering what cookie dough tasted like and tossed the remains into the trash.  I’ll never forget his parting statement, “I hope it was tasty.”

Couldn't I just bake them and eat one or two?

When the work crew finally packed their tools for good that day, each carried three tubs of cookie dough and a few freshly baked cookies.  I have never purchased holiday cookie tubs since and never will.  In fact, like Scrooge, I won’t even purchase Girl Scout cookies.  The memory of my animalistic behavior and the man who caught it square on, documenting my embarrassment has turned me off to fund-raising cookie purchases forever.

"Can't you little brats take NO for an answer?!"

In my humanness, I am flawed, so I can forgive myself those times when I think the whole world would pass judgment on me for my little “sneaks”.  In forgiving myself it gives me more strength, not less.  Besides, I know I am not alone.  What strange thing have you eaten in the privacy of your solitude?  Please share!

Monday, September 20, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

My honey.  He's so fun!

My son, G and his lovely girlfriend, K.
My son, J and his lovely girlfriend, R.

My cat, Tickles.  She wakes me up every morning before five.  Most times she brings "gifts".    She's amazing.

On my night stand at 5:17 this morning, my favorite brew.  Made by a simple machine called Senseo, by Phillips.  I cannot believe the yummy flavor and "la crema" foam.  A bit chipiped, my fav cup handmade by famed ceramics artisan, Catarina of Sienna, Italy.
My raspberries picked fresh and eaten for breakfast.

I get love from so many: my honey with Boomer, left, and Rocky.

And Baby.  She doesn't ask for a thing.  She's so sweet!

And Duders.  Adopted from my son because he couldn't have pets in his new dorm room.   

And, having my dear friends play with us on Saturday.  They are the best!

What more is there?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Of Women, Wine and Weight Loss

Sophia says, "eat, drink and be merry,  mia amore!"
I am a fitness trainer. I am a woman.  I am a mother.  I am a wife.  I am a sister, a daughter, grand-daughter, niece, aunt, a friend, associate, acquaintance.  I am a an artist and a writer.  I am many things and not defined any one of them.
"What am I doing here?"

Many times I have been in the grocery store, shopping for my family, and my cart will bump into another belonging to a client or a student from my fitness class.  Their eyes dart to my cart to sleuth out my weaknesses.

She asked for it!

Before my boys went away to college, I may have had a frozen pizza or a bag of chips in my cart.  I may have had a bottle or two of wine.  I am sure I had half and half; it's all I'll use in my morning coffee.  It seems they find pleasure in inspecting what is in my cart like I'm up for public scrutiny; I do not get the same 'privacy policies' as the rest.

Yes, I've bought these,  and worse, for my kids.  

"You let your kids eat frozen pizza?"  "I didn't know you ate fat?" "I thought dairy was bad for you."  "So, you drink wine, huh?" "Why do you eat meat?"  "Is that for you?"
Can we live without wine and chocolate?

I am a human being.  Yes, I eat fat and dairy as well as white fluffy carbs.   And I enjoy a Martini.


I am a fitness trainer, yet do not hang out with many in my trade.  They can bore me to tears.  "Join our 'Runner's Club!'"  "I'm having a potluck.  Can you bring the edamame?"

I run all the time, thank you very much!  I run when I need to get somewhere quickly, but I prefer to walk fast.  Hit the gym?  I'd rather clean my windows so I can clearly see the beautiful countryside that surrounds me.
Can we play, now?

I have a lot of energy and use it for purpose or fun.  And, I understand the importance of having prescriptive exercise; exercise that creates balanced muscle and strength as well as cardiovascular health. This kind of exercise can be achieved in as little as fifteen minutes a day.  You simply have to know what prescriptive exercises your body requires to keep progressing and/ or maintaining it's youthful abilities.
are  beautiful.

I think of the fifty year old (plus) and exceptionally youthful, beautiful women I know and have known.  Most do not spend a second in a gym and they drink wine.  And eat fat.  And may even have a cigarette at a party.  They live life on their terms, with a sense of youthful abandon mixed with educated choices.

To them I say, "You are Bodeci, Il mia amore!'

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Italian in Me Wants Fall Clothing!

Italians love their shoes!  Oh yes, make sure no one has the same pair.
Sitting at the Piazza de Fiori at 5:00 on a gorgeous Spring evening, I was rapt with the women parading like models in front of me.  It was '99 and my first trip to Rome.  I knew then my fashion style would change forever.

I am a fitness trainer by profession, not by life!   So she had a cigarette.  The trick is to not be addicted!
Italian women dress with sophistication, but with an 'edge'.  An 'edge' I happen to rather enjoy!  They dress sexy, but 'not in your face'.

Without the midriff showing, I could wear this!
Sophia Loren has to be one of the most beautiful women in this world and she is smart and powerful!
Sophia is gorgeous.   A little cleavage went a long way!

I live BODECI.  I dress BODECI.  BODECI is sophisticated, edgy and subtly sexy.

Italians aren't too fond of overtly sexy.  They love clothes, not the lack thereof.  Great body, but she's young. 

Next week, I shop to enter Fall.  Thanks to all of my blogging friends for showing me their Fall wardrobe.  You are beautiful and unique.  You do not subscribe to a fad or set standard. You are not afraid to show your beauty and your individuality.  Thank you for the inspiration.

There is independence and freedom in the Italian woman.   Fun, too.  
My goal:  Find those few pieces I can use to create my BODECI  look, which is sophisticated, edgy and gently sexy.  Thank you Une Vie Chic for your help with my boots.