Open Wide: June 2017 Edition

If I ever decided to print out the unabridged version of my running to-do list, it would probably require a dozen reams of paper. Sometimes, I take a look at that list and get incredibly overwhelmed––how is it possible I’ll ever accomplish all those tasks, attend all those conferences, network with all those people, if I want to meet my goals by a certain time? But I also get excited when I see all of my hopes and dreams written down and start visualizing my future and what success means to me.

Desk & Breakfast

Building an empire requires a hearty breakfast.

I often forget to reflect on the completed items, the things I set out to to do and did. When I look back at that log of checked-off items, I can’t believe how far I’ve come and how much closer I’m getting to creating the life I want to live and the career I want to have, becoming an expert in my field, and (hopefully) making a difference in people’s lives.

This week, I’ll purposely be carving out some time for reflection when I meet with two of my dear friends, who are also in the health and wellness field. These lovely ladies are part of my 2017 Board Meetings (a type of mastermind group). We meet every month, but this time, we will be at our half-way mark, allowing us to be grateful for goals we’ve met over the past six months, review goals not yet met, and revise any forward-planning items to realistically achieve whatever we can by year-end. Much like how the summer solstice signifies the time when days begin getting shorter and shorter, at this point in the year, we tend to sit back and put ourselves on auto-pilot, doing less and less, riding it out until the holiday season appears and telling ourselves we’ll just catch up in the new year. For my Board Meeting members and myself, June gives us the opportunity to re-energize and keep the momentum––and motivation––going for the next six months.

What successes have you achieved so far this year? What challenges have you had to face? Are you impressed with or disappointed in yourself? Have you been ignoring some of the more difficult tasks out of fear, lack of time, or another reason? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

If you’d like to be a part of our 2018 Board Meetings, please keep an eye out for an announcement here and on our Facebook page around mid-October. There is no cost to join, but you do have to attend monthly in-person meetings in the NYC area.

Open Wide: May 2017 Edition

These days, everyone from professor/author/food policy advocate Marion Nestle to my grad school classmates to my dietetic colleagues inspires me. In addition to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, I have also been a student member of its many Dietetics Practice Groups (DPGs) such as Food & Culinary Professionals, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, and Public Health/Community Nutrition, among others. I make a point to carve out time every morning to read the many newsletters I receive to develop as much insight as possible. The more I learn, the more driven I am to do the best I can and make a difference in the field of nutrition…locally, nationally, and globally.

My long-term goal is to help fix what ails so many people in this country by teaching them (a) how and what to eat to optimize their health and reduce their risk of disease, (b) how to be savvier food shoppers, and (c) to really understand that what goes inside their bodies can have a huge impact on how they feel and act. Becoming a Registered Dietitian, opening my own private practice, and continuing to pursue a Master of Science degree in nutrition is setting me on the path to becoming an expert in my field. But there’s always so much more I can be doing and want to do.

Macaulay

(photo credit: Vickie Savvides, Sharon Pang)

In the next decade, I want to make DishWithDina a brand across all media to reach a wider audience and help people achieve their healthful lifestyle goals, be it through a talk show or a road show. For now, I’m starting small and allowing myself to be patient in my pursuits. I’ve been keeping up with weekly blog posts that I hope you have been finding educational and/or entertaining. This summer, I plan to launch DishWithDinaTV and cannot wait to share the line-up with you! By the end of the year, I expect to engage with more and more of you, both in-person and virtually, and look forward to learning about your own food stories.

Every minute of my life up to this point has paved the way for me to succeed in these new (ad)ventures. I am fearless, I am committed, I want to continue to be inspired, and I am thrilled to have a chance to be inspiring to others.

Tending the Farm

I started the DishWithDina blog back in April 2005 (Happy Blogiversary to me!) as a way to remember all the yummy places I went to after I moved to New York City from New Jersey. In the transition from one platform to another and then integrating everything into this website, I think I lost a handful of posts along the way; but, I kept all the business cards and photographs (I was snapping pics of my meals before Instagram was even a thing) from every outing.

One of my rules of living in the city has always been to never visit the same place twice. With so much to do and see and eat, why not try something different every time you leave your apartment or venture in from somewhere else? Besides, you can’t ever guarantee your favorite places will be around long enough, so might as well check out as many as you can before they’re gone. (RIP, Benny’s Burritos and 7A.)

Sunday041705

Babies! (04/17/2005)

Such is the way with life, too, though. I don’t think any of us intentionally want to regret not doing something differently, not pursuing an avenue because it was unfamiliar, or fearing what would––or wouldn’t––happen if we ventured off our regular path. In that realm is where I find myself these days. It’s been over six months since I completed my year-long dietetic internship and I am still having issues recovering from the (albeit sometimes self-imposed) toll that experience took on my brain and body. But, as the seasons change and the year progresses and time between the “doing” gets larger and wider, I find myself reflecting on what could be instead of what should have been.

My grad school is finally letting up (one class left!) to a point that I see more flexibility and freedom in my schedule. I’m allowing myself to try new things, to remember what life was like when I would roam the streets of Manhattan, weaving in and out of each neighborhood, tasting and sampling the cultures and the livelihoods that awaited me. I went back to practicing yoga this week after a three-year-long hiatus. I bought hydrating facial masks and have been using them regularly. I met a friend for lunch and then went for a walk afterward. I find myself bolting out of the building and going for a run the minute a ray of sunshine peeks out from the clouds. For the first time in years, I’m reading books that have nothing to do with food, nutrition, or science and everything to do with helping me get back on track, refueling and improving my psyche so that I’m well prepared to develop and grow as each new season unfolds and new opportunities come my way.

In addition, I’ve met dozens of wonderful new people, after starting my private practice in October, who have donated their time and energy to help get my business up and running and now they’re contributing to and breathing new life into this blog. I look forward to sharing more of their contributions––and more of my own insights––with you over the year. And I invite you to share with us what rituals you enjoy, what goals you intend to pursue, and what old habits in your life you’re letting go of in order to make room for new ones.

GIVEAWAY: Passion Planner Limited Edition Planner

I have been having so much fun keeping my Attitude of Gratitude going and sharing my goals and dreams with all of you these past few weeks.

As mentioned in my last blog post, I have been getting back into using paper planners to keep track of my priorities and schedule. Not too long ago, I came across Angelia Trinidad’s story of how she dared to dream big and is now running the very successful Passion Planner company. Angelia is a young, female entrepreneur who gives back in so many ways to communities, universities, non-profit organizations, and the hundreds of thousands of followers on her social media platforms. This philosophy is actually built into Angelia’s company mission. (Read more about it here.)

Being an entrepreneur is no small feat. Having done so myself for the past two decades, a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears (so many tears) goes into putting together a business plan, marketing one’s services, and spending hours doing outreach in hopes for just a handful of clients who will help spread the word, all while trying to maintain some sort of work-life balance when both of those sides are now blended—nay, blurred—into one.

After passing my Registered Dietitian exam back in September and announcing I would be wasting no time in launching a private practice, I was gifted a limited edition, compact-sized, undated (Sunday start) Passion Planner by a dear friend and mentor and so, in turn, I’m giving away TWO copies of the same this week (to U.S. residents only for now). These planners include pages for your short- and long-term goals, reflection questions, blank and gridded pages as well as motivational quotes and challenges to keep you actively engaged in creating your best life.

passionplanner

 

If you’re interested in snagging one of these FREE copies (valued at $30.00 on the Passion Planner site), please leave a comment below or e-mail me (click on “Contact” page for address) by 10pm ET Thu, 12/15 with the following:

  1. What you’re most passionate about and why.
  2. How you intend to “pay it forward” (this could be in time, energy, or money).

Two recipients will be selected at random and announced on Fri, 12/16. Best wishes and happy planning!

Note/disclaimer: This is not an ad. All giveaways are new items I’ve purchased with my own funds and want to give away in hopes of passing along encouragement and positivity to others. I ask for nothing in return (though, if you wanted to follow my blog, Twitter, or Instagram accounts, or forward this post along to others, that would be lovely). In doing this giveaway, I acknowledge a complete release of WordPress and Passion Planner by each entrant or participant and that this is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with WordPress and/or Passion Planner.

GIVEAWAY: Dailygreatness Training Journal

Last week, I wrote about my Attitude of Gratitude and did my first in a series of giveaways inspired by my experience of reinventing my career—and myself in the process.

I believe that reinvention means always striving to be a better version of oneself, not just stopping once a goal has been met. The past few years of being both back in school and in my dietetic internship have really done a number on my health and well-being, which is ironic since all I’ve been doing since 2013 is pursuing a career in the health and wellness fields. Not only do I want to lead by example for my clients and practice what I preach, but, as I reach my 50th year on this planet, I want to be sure I enter it with a fit mind, body, and soul.

On that note, one of my next goals—which some of you might have already seen hash-tagged on my social media accounts as “fitby50″—is to undo a lot of the damage I’ve done since I stopped working full-time and started going back to school. In a way, I think this experience has helped me become more empathetic to my clients who have had their own health and fitness challenges. It’s easy to think that saying, “just do it” can motivate someone into changing a behavior, but that’s not always the case when you have an unrealistic workload, don’t know how you’re going to fit one more thing into your already jam-packed schedule, are perpetually exhausted, and no longer have the mental acuity to care about anything more than just making it to the next day without punching a baby in the face or wanting to stepping into oncoming traffic (as told to me by a friend).

As much as love my high-tech tools, I’ve decided to return to paper planners and journals recently. There’s just something about scribbling on a page (and adorning it with colorful sticky notes) that makes me giddy versus typing furiously with both thumbs onto a blank screen.

dailygreatness_orig

I came across the Dailygreatness journals through some random (or not so random, if you believe in the power of the universe…hmmm) online promotions and decided to order a bunch of different copies to check them out. I’ve used paper planners before, but have always thought they could be so much better if they combined a journal component, maybe threw in some motivational quotes, pretty pictures, colorful pages, etc. When I opened my Dailygreatness order, I squealed in delight because it does just that.

For this round, I’ll be giving away one copy of the Dailygreatness Training Journal (to U.S. residents only for now). From the product page:

The daily pages will guide you to create healthy habits through the 8 daily steps of training, diet & food journaling , meditation, gratitude, intentions, stretching, health tips and self-awareness. The weekly and monthly check-ins keep you committed, accountable and motivated. With a 12-week review to celebrate your progress, each stage lays the foundation for achieving your health & fitness goals, reaching your potential and creating a rocking fit body, mind and spirit.

If you’re interested in snagging this FREE copy (valued at $39.95 on the Dailygreatness site), please leave a comment below or e-mail me (click on “Contact” page for address) by 10pm ET Wed, 12/7/16 with the following:

  1. Your health & fitness goals for 2017.
  2. How you will “pay it forward” when you meet your goals (this could be in time, energy, or money).

Recipient will be selected at random and announced on Fri, 12/9/16. Best wishes and keep daring to be great!

Note/disclaimer: This is not an ad. All giveaways are new items I’ve purchased with my own funds and want to give away in hopes of passing along encouragement and positivity to others. I ask for nothing in return (though, if you wanted to follow my blog, Twitter, or IG accounts, or forward this post along to others, that would be rad). In doing this giveaway, I acknowledge a complete release of Dailygreatness, Rocking Fit, and WordPress by each entrant or participant and that this is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Dailygreatness, Rocking Fit, and/or WordPress.

GIVEAWAY: The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention by Pamela Mitchell

I’ve been keeping the Attitude of Gratitude going post-Thanksgiving by reflecting on dreams that have already come true. For me, that list keeps growing and I’m forever grateful for everyone in my life who’s supported, encouraged, and loved me unconditionally in order for me to follow my dreams. Because of the good things that have come my way, I want to “pay it forward” by doing a series of giveaways starting this week.

I’ve mentioned this umpteen times before, but one of my very early interactions in one of my many career changes was with Pamela Mitchell. Pamela’s seminar was a turning point for me and is something I would refer to at many moments of indecision over the past decade. Thankfully, Pamela has turned her guidance and success stories (you can read mine starting on p. 124) into a book and I’ll be giving away not one, but TWO copies of it this week (to U.S. residents only for now).

10-laws_mitchell

If you’re interested in snagging one of these FREE copies (valued at $16 on Amazon), please leave a comment below or e-mail me (click on “Contact” page for address) by 10pm ET Wed, 11/30/16 with the following:

  1. Your big dream for 2017.
  2. How you will “pay it forward” if your dream comes true (this could be in time, energy, or money).

Recipients will be selected at random and announced on Fri, 12/2/16. Best wishes and happy dreaming!

Note/disclaimer: This is not an ad. These are new items I’ve purchased with my own funds and want to give away in hopes of passing along encouragement and positivity to others. In doing this giveaway, I acknowledge a complete release of WordPress by each entrant or participant and that this is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, WordPress.

Tiramisu

This has been one of the toughest weeks of my life, and that’s saying a lot after having survived my year-long dietetic internship (blog post on that coming soon). For many reasons, which I will go into detail at some point in the future, I reached the end of this week feeling quite downtrodden and in need of some cheering up.

Usually, when I’m feeling low, I watch or listen to something that makes me laugh; but, this week, that wasn’t enough. No sooner did the sun peek through on my mood than the dark cloud started creeping back over me again. I began to realize that comedy was a bandage over my wounded heart and soul. Instead, I needed to be resuscitated, to be motivated, to revisit and be reminded of my will to move forward. So, I cracked open some of my old self-help books, bought some new ones, re-watched TED Talks on emotional and physical fortitude, looked at photos from my vacations, and read through many of my journal entries over the past dozen or so years.

Doing my best to honor the pain and sadness I was feeling at the moment, I also started focusing on my future endeavors and reflecting on my past achievements. I don’t often give myself props for much, but I can honestly say that I’m really proud of myself. I’ve taken a lot of chances and risks over the course of my lifetime and sometimes things went terribly wrong and sometimes things lined up perfectly; but, I can never say that I didn’t try.

And, so, try I will again to gather the strength to let the light back in so I can share, pay it forward, and shed some on others who may need it more than I do. Perhaps a part of my story will resonate with you or maybe you just need a little cheering up yourself right now, so I invite you to listen to a two-part interview I did earlier this year with Pamela Mitchell, founder and CEO of The Reinvention Institute, for her podcast, the fittingly titled, The Liftoff Project.

  • Click here for Part 1
  • Click here for Part 2

I met Pamela over a decade ago and she has helped shape and guide me as I navigated the many twists and turns my life has taken since then. In keeping with the theme of shaping, guiding, and cheering up, I plan to do a giveaway of her book The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention the week of November 28 over on my Instagram account, so please keep an eye out for it if you’re looking to pursue a little reinventing of your own.