Wednesday, December 18, 2013

one simple change – a giveaway


I met Winnie Abramson by chance a few years ago at a blogging conference in Atlanta. Somehow it came up in conversation that she didn’t have a room and was going to sleep on a cot in someone else’s room, and since I had two queen sized beds and was using only one, I just up and offered it to her. I didn’t know her very well, but she was friends with my friends, and I wanted a friend of my friends to be comfortable.

This decision was really how Winnie and I became friends. We spent the following morning sitting around in our pajamas, drinking tea, and talking. I think we might have even missed the morning session, which was fine by both of us. I told Winnie about trying to make a transition to food writing full time, I learned about Winnie’s parents’ restaurant, her passion in nutrition and whole foods, her family, and aspirations. The entire time I kept thinking, “This is such a healthy approach to eating and thinking about food – we need more of it.”

Fast forward to now. Winnie and I are better friends – having gotten to know one another over several years. And now, Winnie has an excellent book out, One Simple Change, that helps people make small, manageable changes in their lives bringing them closer to a healthier lifestyle. There is no dieting, there are no hard and fast rules. Instead, there are gentle suggestions on what might work better for you. Simple changes – that is key. Use one, use two, use them all – Winnie’s voice is kind, non-judging. She is here to help you make sense of wholesome approach to eating, drinking, sleeping, and so on, but she isn’t dogmatic about it, nor does she tell you that you have to use all of these rules.

There are a few wonderful-sounding recipes in there. And I wish I wasn’t so up to my gills in recipe testing before starting to pack up my kitchen. Winnie’s recipes will have to wait for the new apartment – and the new kitchen, so that’s something to look forward to.

My immediate simple change (it’s in the beginning of the book) is now I drink a glass of water immediately upon waking up. Winnie talks at length about the health benefits of having a glass of water immediately after getting out of bed, and I’ve noticed an amazing shift in my energy level even before I have my cup of coffee. I add a slice of lemon to mine – to make my sleepy self want to drink water in the morning. It’s working – and it’s wonderful. Best of all, I feel like I start my day off in the best possible way.

Perhaps what I love most about the book is how approachable it is – anyone can benefit from something there. Yes, Winnie is a friend, but honestly, I couldn’t write what I just did if I didn’t genuinely like the book, friend or not. Given that we’re about to enter a New Year, it might be a perfect book to pick up as we turn a new page. I’m not a big fan of resolutions – they sound so absolute – but I like the idea of one simple change (or a few), to try on for size. To me, “I will try” sounds much more attainable than “I will” and I’m more likely to stick to healthier habits when I give myself a little wiggle room.

And because I think this is going to be a useful and helpful book to just about anyone, I’m doing a giveaway of One Simple Change. Leave a comment below with something you hope to accomplish in 2014. Comments will be open until Christmas Eve, December 24, 11:59pm, and I’ll randomly pick a winner by New Year’s Eve. [Giving myself a few days since I’ll be unpacking and settling in.]

**UPDATE** The winner of the giveaway is Liz (comment #7). Liz, I will be in touch! Thanks so much to everyone who commented – you guys are so inspirational! Wishing you all luck with your changes – and 2014 in general!

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 4.36.10 PM

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  • 1
    Sharon said:

    I hope to lose 20 lbs. ideally without giving up cookies

    December 18, 2013 8:07 am
  • 2
    Whitney said:

    I want to be happier. I’ve been letting my job and long commute drag down my marriage and the happy things in my life. Ready to turn the chapter and move onto 2104!

    December 18, 2013 8:25 am
  • 3
    Faith said:

    Let’s see…in 2014, I hope to plan my wedding, while staying sane, happy, and on budget. No fussing over little details, no putting myself in debt for a party, and DEFINITELY no turning into a diva!

    December 18, 2013 8:30 am
  • 4
    Sarah said:

    I want to go to bed earlier. I’ve always been a night owl but now that I have a 1-year old I need to be energetic in the morning. Dragging along just isn’t cutting it. If I get to sleep earlier I can be better for her and show up at nap time – the only time I have for me- to keep my creative projects moving forward.

    December 18, 2013 8:31 am
  • 5
    Suzannah said:

    I want to be nicer, especially to my husband.

    December 18, 2013 8:52 am
  • 6
    Carley said:

    Hi! In the new year I want to have my writing published somewhere. I don’t care if it’s just once, if it appears on a website or in a small magazine, wherever or however. The point is that I’ll take the first steps toward writing professionally. I’ve been noodling this goal for a while. Thanks for prompting me to say it “out loud”!

    December 18, 2013 8:54 am
  • 7
    Liz said:

    I would like to ramp up my exercise routine in 2014. Crossfit, here I come!

    December 18, 2013 9:44 am
  • 8

    Thank you for the chance to win this awesome book! I hope to finally get serious abut creating and packaging, and ultimately marketing, the Pakistani simmer sauces I have been tinkering with. Also I hope to “unplug” more, and focus on family and being in the moment….but, not unplug too much, otherwise I would have missed this giveaway!

    December 18, 2013 9:45 am
  • 9
    Lena said:

    I would like to exert more control over my life in a lot of different ways, more sleep, better eating habits, more exercise, cleaning! I would just like to feel like I am empowered to control those things/myself and not just live in a reactionary way – solving problems as they arise.

    December 18, 2013 10:16 am
  • 10

    I hope to create a more sustainable routine for exercise, nutrition, sleep and relationships. This looks like a wonderful book and I’m always looking for small changes that can be easily incorporated.

    December 18, 2013 10:35 am
  • 11
    Mona said:

    I want to eat more vegetables, less meat.

    December 18, 2013 10:42 am
  • 12
    Mindi said:

    I hope to have better relationships – with everyone. Two years, I lost 50 lbs and had a great outlook on life. I’ve stopped a lot of the healthy habits I acquired through that journey and I feel like it has impacted my entire life, especially my relationship with myself. I will try to do better in 2014.

    December 18, 2013 10:54 am
  • 13
    Alycia said:

    I hope to be more brave and dare myself to go for it! (Whether “it” is a potential move out of state or asking for a raise, etc)

    December 18, 2013 10:55 am
  • 14
    itzia said:

    I hope to sustain what I accomplished in 2013 and get more healthy in the coming year.

    December 18, 2013 11:02 am
  • 15
    Carla P said:

    I hope to get fully moved into our new condo. It’s been six months already so it’s not a given. :-)

    December 18, 2013 11:13 am
  • 16
    Meg said:

    I hope to eat healthier, sleep more, and be nicer to everyone (especially to my fiancé).

    December 18, 2013 11:15 am
  • 17
    Ellie said:

    I want to make realistic goals, and accomplish them! I want to spend more time in the kitchen.

    December 18, 2013 11:35 am
  • 18
    sofia said:

    i hope to feel more calm and less stressed in the new year!

    December 18, 2013 12:52 pm
  • 19
    Cristina said:

    We really want to have a baby.

    December 18, 2013 1:43 pm
  • 20
    Jessica said:

    I want to feel more energetic and be more active.

    December 18, 2013 1:45 pm
  • 21
    Eliza said:

    I hope to be more positive, explore new things, and write it all down.

    December 18, 2013 1:54 pm
  • 22
    Tina said:

    I want to add one day to my current exercise routine.

    December 18, 2013 3:02 pm
  • 23
    Kay said:

    I’m hoping to be more consistent with my fitness routine in 2014!

    December 18, 2013 3:42 pm
  • 24
    Margarita said:

    For 2014, I simply want to just start making things happen instead of being sad about things that are not happening. Be more proactive and positive.

    This sounds like a great book! I drink water before I do anything else in the morning and learned that from “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano.

    December 18, 2013 4:09 pm
  • 25
    Cristina (a different one!) said:

    In 2014 I want to make progress towards not being so afraid of revealing myself.

    December 18, 2013 4:09 pm
  • 26
    Karla said:

    I do the water thing, too! I’m hoping to make more progress in my garden this year.

    December 18, 2013 4:33 pm
  • 27
    c. said:

    I want to remove the sharpness from my voice. It is self-judgmental and leaks out when I talk. Others mistake it for me being mean. I am only being mean and self-loathing to me. But I want it gone.

    That is my goal. To change the tone of my words.

    December 18, 2013 4:56 pm
  • 28
    Meagan said:

    I really hope to cultivate a more go with the flow attitude.

    December 18, 2013 6:01 pm
  • 29
    whimsy2 said:

    I hope to get an insulin pump so I can better manage my diabetes.

    December 18, 2013 6:16 pm
  • 30
    Adrienne said:

    In 2014, I’d like to have more purposeful interactions at family gatherings.

    December 18, 2013 8:00 pm
  • 31
    Rebecca said:

    I’ve been drinking a glass of water on waking for years and it is great! I would like to try to remember to do the same thing at about 3pm – that’s when my energy flags again and I’m likely to cheat on my diet with a cookie. I think an additional glass of water might help with that.

    December 18, 2013 8:55 pm
  • 32
    Jennifer said:

    In 2014 my goal is to follow through with a dream I’m in the process of achieving. The challenge is I have a problem with sticking with something and completing it. Of I do stay on course it would be life changing for me with the opportunity to do the same for others.

    Good luck everyone.
    I hope we all have an amazing 2014 and reach our goals and far beyond.

    December 18, 2013 10:06 pm
  • 33
    Marci said:

    I hope to find a more fulfilling job , run another marathon in my hometown, and be more accepting of myself and things I cannot change.

    December 18, 2013 10:49 pm
  • 34
    jacquie said:

    to continue to find the strength to heal from the trauma of caused by a long time abusive domestic situation that I let 1 1/2 years ago. It is a long journey and I’m struggling with it. mostly I don’t want to be made bitter by and would hope at some point to be able to trust again at least a little. I don’t know if it is possible put I would like to continue to work on that path.

    December 18, 2013 10:57 pm
  • 35
    Antoinette said:

    To be more generous. To myself and to others.

    December 18, 2013 11:52 pm
  • 36
    Holly said:

    This past year tested me in so many ways, that my health began to decline. I’m hoping that staying positive, in spite of the hardships I am facing, will make the new year better for me and my family.

    December 19, 2013 2:52 am
  • 37
    sybille said:

    I shall reconsider again to start up my small little bookshop combined with offering lunch, even though friends and family literally “dis-persuaded” me a year ago from this idea. I shan’t detain this time, if I think it’s right.

    December 19, 2013 2:56 am
  • 38
    Leslie said:

    Oh goodness, this year I turn 60…water with citrus as I awake is a solid goal I believe I can achieve…as much as I can change my life to live in a more rural environment. I want to leave the cement and asphalt CA life suburban to the rural life.

    December 19, 2013 3:06 am
  • 39
    sabine said:

    Be grateful for all the goodness in my life

    December 19, 2013 6:27 am
  • 40
    minervasowl said:

    It is so encouraging to see all of these hopes and goals. 2013 has been a stressful and expensive year for me, especially the last couple of months. I am hoping that in 2014 I can recover a bit financially and get back to a more positive, relaxed state of mind, focusing on activities that make me happy and not spending a lot of time worrying about things which are out of my control and instead just try to be prepared.

    December 19, 2013 6:47 am
  • 41
    sharon said:

    Family and personal health problems really through me off track. Water in the morning sounds like a gentle way to refresh my body, get me back on track.

    December 19, 2013 6:54 am
  • 42
    Marianne A. said:

    i am going to reign in my tendency to pick and eat mindlessly throughout the day. The calories from aloof those BLT’s ( bites, licks and tastes) really adds up.

    December 19, 2013 8:20 am
  • 43
    paula said:

    Be better and true to myself and my family – starting with taking vacation days before losing them to the man!

    December 19, 2013 8:21 am
  • 44
    kathy said:

    Be healthier.

    December 19, 2013 8:35 am
  • 45
    Dawn said:

    I want to sort through and eliminate most of the years of boxes stacked in our garage. There’s nothing like a clean slate for a new year.

    December 19, 2013 8:53 am
  • 46
    Tina W. said:

    I want to figure out an organization system that works for my studio space.

    December 19, 2013 9:05 am
  • 47
    Tina Street said:

    I want to be home more, travel less….

    December 19, 2013 9:16 am
  • 48
    Maia said:

    I want to be more open and allow myself to not be so anxious.

    December 19, 2013 9:20 am
  • 49

    I want to open my heart and mind to the universe and invite its guidance into my life.

    December 19, 2013 10:06 am
  • 50
    Georgie said:

    My hope is to have a better relationship with me. To manage my weight, educate my mind, and to thine own self be true and do all the things I love.

    December 19, 2013 10:36 am
  • 51
    Susan said:

    I hope to pay off all of my debt…except for my student loans.

    December 19, 2013 10:37 am
  • 52
    Kyenne said:

    I want to slow down. And be a kinder person. I know that these two choices will lay a foundation for any other changes I make.

    December 19, 2013 10:37 am
  • 53
    Jason said:

    I would like to be more of a risk taker in 2014

    December 19, 2013 11:49 am
  • 54
    jennifer said:

    I hope to be more patient…both with my partner and with my crazy children!

    December 19, 2013 11:50 am
  • 55
    Carole said:

    In 2014, I hope to create a family cookbook of legacy recipes to pass on to my daughters.

    December 19, 2013 12:03 pm
  • 56
    Molly said:

    I will try to put healthy food choices first instead of going for easier, less-healthy options.

    December 19, 2013 12:05 pm
  • 57
    Heather said:

    I want to get my novel published!

    December 19, 2013 12:09 pm
  • 58
    Gloria Stafford said:

    I want to write more and blog more often…thanks for the inspiration.

    December 19, 2013 3:39 pm
  • 59
    Lavi said:

    i want to do one push-up, a real one, not on my knees…i am in good shape but thsi has always escaped me :)

    December 19, 2013 3:55 pm
  • 60
    Beverly said:

    In 2014 I want and am going to learn to knit socks.

    December 19, 2013 4:51 pm
  • 61
    Gloria R. said:

    In 2014, I want to start a journal up again. I did it a few years back and it helped me so much in day to day living. I also included a daily grateful list. I have lost some of the people and special fursons (pets) in my life, but I have new beings to be grateful for. It’s time to keep it in the written word again. :)
    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have a wonderous New Year.

    December 19, 2013 4:53 pm
  • 62
    Heather said:

    I am going to keep working towards a healthier and more earth friendly lifestyle, and I’m going to create a plan foe less screen time! Have a wonderful Christmas!

    December 19, 2013 5:26 pm
  • 63
    Lauren S. said:

    I want to really truly organize my home so it will be easier to take care of so that I can give me energies and joy to the really important things in life and not get distracted by moving dirt and papers around (i.e. cleaning).

    December 19, 2013 6:23 pm
  • 64
    SHScott said:

    I want to do more cooking at home and less eating out. The bustle of restaurants makes me eat faster and over eat, while cooking is relaxing and even better when a couple friends come over and we try a recipe together. Plus, I can control the fats in the recipe, which helps my other goal of losing my “buddha belly”. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

    December 19, 2013 6:42 pm
  • 65
    Andrea said:

    I will try to be stronger: in my convictions, in my body (from my workouts), and in my work/school performance.

    December 19, 2013 7:50 pm
  • 66
    colleen said:

    I am planning on working less but working better. I want to remembering how to care for the people I work with every day rather than just focussing on getting the job done. I am going to take the time spent NOT working to take better care of myself and my husband, and have the time to enjoy our cats, our garden, our kitchen…and all the other things I love but have been too busy to appreciate fully.

    December 19, 2013 8:20 pm
  • 67
    Cherish said:

    In 2014 I am hoping to become an even better cook for the sake of my health and my family’s health.

    December 19, 2013 8:52 pm
  • 68
    Ulla said:

    I’m hoping to avoid palm oil. And be more grateful in 2014 .

    December 19, 2013 10:00 pm
  • 69
    rachel said:

    I hope to eat more seasonally. There are berries and fruits available year-round in my market, and that isn’t a good thing.

    December 19, 2013 10:08 pm
  • 70

    I want to kick autism in the ass in 2014.

    December 19, 2013 10:35 pm
  • 71
    Heather S said:

    I’d like to volunteer more at a local women’s advocacy clinic and grow my business too!

    December 19, 2013 10:53 pm
  • 72
    Ambu said:

    In 2014 I hope to grow into the big commune I just moved into, start training as a therapist, and continue to grow into love and awareness in this new environment… A beautiful challenge! :)

    December 20, 2013 3:57 am
  • 73
    Lys said:

    I would love for more spare time to put into my YouTube comedy channel. It’s been a very busy year! #dowhatyoulove

    December 20, 2013 8:37 am
  • 74

    […] Loves Writing Sassy Radish Lucid […]

    December 20, 2013 11:00 am
  • 75
    Alice said:

    I gave up Cokes, the “real thing” red can cokes. My mouth still waters when I see one but my A1C dropped to a healthy level.

    December 20, 2013 11:33 am
  • 76
    Jean said:

    I want to be a more positive person.

    December 20, 2013 1:59 pm
  • 77
    Michelle S said:

    I hope to make more meals for my family from scratch with healthy ingredients.

    December 20, 2013 2:47 pm
  • 78

    Hoping to make a bigger impact in 2014 helping others change and create vibrant health!

    December 20, 2013 4:17 pm
  • 79
    Amanda said:

    I want to blog more (i.e., more than twice a year) and write more letters.

    December 20, 2013 9:18 pm
  • 80
    TheGeek said:

    There are always health and fitness goals for me, but this coming year, I have to non-related goals that I’m much more focused on: finish one novel in the universe I’ve been building since high school, and make a quilt for a dear friend’s wedding in July.

    December 21, 2013 10:14 am
  • 81
    Sarah Kelly said:

    Run an ultra-marathon (50k) ;-)

    December 21, 2013 10:15 am
  • 82
    Diana said:

    For the new year , I would like to find simplicity in all my areas of life. I believe if I can simplify, the true gifts of life will come to the forefront of my life and I will find the balance that I am looking for.

    December 21, 2013 5:40 pm
  • 83
    alice said:

    I want to get through more books than I did in 2013. So I am letting my magazine subscriptions lapse. And maybe I can manage a little less time on the internet… ;-)

    December 21, 2013 8:13 pm
  • 84
    rebecca said:

    In 2014 I’d like to buy a house, it seems intimidating and immense to be a homeowner but it’s been a goal for a long time :)

    December 21, 2013 9:47 pm
  • 85
    Amanda said:

    shockingly enough I plan to be a little more scheduled and hopefully thereby become more efficient – I have become way too good at de-stessing and going with the flow! ;)

    December 21, 2013 10:40 pm
  • 86
    Abby said:

    My goal (since Rosh Hashana) has been to be more compassionate & less judgemental – a good thing to keep on into and through 2014! But as you say – one simple thing – a glass of water first thing – sounds good too!

    December 22, 2013 1:03 am
  • 87
    Rachel said:

    Getting my nutritionist license!

    December 22, 2013 5:46 pm
  • 88
    Debra said:

    I need to lose my anxiety!

    December 23, 2013 12:35 am
  • 89
    Peter said:

    I want to cook more meatless meals.

    December 23, 2013 5:51 pm
  • 90
    Alissa said:

    I want to make the full transition to a vegetarian diet…and get more sleep!

    December 23, 2013 10:13 pm
  • 91
    Michael Meserve said:

    I want to write. I create recipes everyday, refine, test, but need to have greater fortitude and organization in writing down the bones.

    December 23, 2013 10:26 pm
  • 92
    sonya said:

    i would like to be more consistent in the new year.

    December 24, 2013 12:33 am
  • 93
    Irina said:

    I plan to return back to regular exercise as I my little girl gets older :) Best of luck in your new apartment!

    December 24, 2013 3:07 am
  • 94
    Debbie Fine said:

    I want to stay more centered and in the moment in 2014.

    December 24, 2013 5:45 pm