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!