opinion

All posts tagged opinion

Zoomin’ in On Healthy Pasta

Published August 6, 2020 by Maryanne

by Joan - CuteThat’s me in the upper left hand corner! 

When Covid hit the USA earlier this year, the lives of many changed. I am an author, writer, ghost writer, and public speaker. Of course during these times my speaking engagements are not so public. I had many of them lined up for 2020, and one by one my face grew long as they canceled.

But have no fear, ZOOM is here!

At first I was hesitant. I’m a technophobe and also like to stand during my lectures, and presentations. However, I got used to giving ZOOM classes. I nail them like a pro.

All summer long I’ve given classes on anti-bullying, meeting your soul mate, and being extra-ordinary. But the best one was the one featured above, “Healthy Pasta Alternatives.” Notice everyone is smiling? How can you not when you’re talking about food! We discussed the different pastas available for all dietary needs like keto, vegan, and low carb. We also talked about our favorite pasta dishes. Unfortunately students couldn’t taste the dish I made; technology is not quite there yet! Nevertheless, we had a blast. There was a giveaway too — a gift certificate to Whole Foods.

I’ve been giving this class for years and I’m grateful to the Cedar Grove Library, Cedar Grove, NJ, for sponsoring my program.

How has Covid changed your career? Share some fun stories!

If anyone reading would like to sponsor “Healthy Pasta Alternatives,” drop me a line at maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

Single Women Less Likely to Date Men with Cats? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

Published June 27, 2020 by Maryanne

kurt-cobain-with-catKurt Cobain loving his cat

Not once, but TWICE on television news this week, I heard about the study. And it’s a study that, for the life of me, I don’t get. But, yeah, I heard right, “Single women are less likely to date men with cats.” Don’t believe it? I wouldn’t have either, but I heard it with my own ears, and read it with my own eyes on many news sites. Here is just one: Women Are Less Likely to Date Men with Cats

In this study, men who had dating profiles with cats in the photo were viewed as less masculine and more neurotic.

I disagree. Men who love cats, or animals in general, are strong, good providers, fun to be around, intelligent, and sensitive. And I’m not only speaking about my husband, but the husbands/long term partners of my dearest friends. (And a few single men I’m friends with who love cats!)

When I was single, my cats were a great measure in choosing who was good for me. The great guys were the ones who bonded with my cats. Even if someone was not quite a match for me, I’ll still remember him as a good catch (for someone else) because of how he interacted with my cats. The losers…urgh, I’d like to forget them but who can forget when your cat pisses on the jacket of an asshole. Pretty funny! A very good cat who never misbehaved did that. He was letting me know in a subtle way, “beware” and he was right.

It wasn’t too long ago we were reading cool articles like this, Cats & Women: Why the Connection

So why, now, the disconnect? What made women turn on cats, or more specifically, men with cats? I can understand if a woman had a bad experience with a cat. In fact, I imagined such a thing in my fictitious erotic novel, Love Cats — where a young woman hates cats because of a bad experience, which we don’t find out until later. She ends up dating a few cat guys and eventually gives cats a chance.

Any random girl can dislike cats for whatever reason. But an entire study of females being “anti-cat” is something I just can not understand.

Back in my day, girls met potential dates in bars/clubs. I caught the tail end of online dating, so I don’t have much experience there. Like other women, I did have my laundry list. But it never occurred to me to put an animal on the deal breaker list. My deal breakers included: no smoking, no one obsessed with sports, no mama’s boys, no one who is verbally/physically abusive.

But “no cats”? Why would that be in a dating profile?

Perhaps a woman would be jealous of a man’s relationship with a cat? (I actually addressed that issue in Love Cats!) It’s not that far-fetched. Women can be catty (pun intended!). This can actually be a red flag for a guy! If a woman is jealous of your pet, would she also be jealous of your future son or daughter? Hmmm…..

But, let’s get back to why guys who love cats are AWESOME. You see, the bottom line is, cats are not instant-lovers like dogs. You need to nourish them and spend time with them in order to get them to come out of their shell. And if a man can take an independent cat and turn him/her into a playful, needy, snuggly bunny who runs to the door like a dog when he comes home, that man is a keeper! I should know, I married a man bonds with cats like that! And though we don’t have kids, I can only imagine what a good father my husband would be. In many families, pets are the stepping stones to children! (But let’s not count the idiots who give up their pets when they have kids!) Good pet parents equal good parents, period! It simply makes sense.

Perhaps single ladies need to re-think their views on men with cats. They may be missing out on a great one — and staying single a lot longer than they want to.

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is the loving cat mom to Nicholas Gray and Sammy “Whammy” Keane Clemens. Her book Love Cats is written under the pen name Krystianna Mercury and available from Flamingo Media

My Response to “Appalled Graphic Designer”

Published June 24, 2020 by Maryanne

Girls Life

Recently, an “appalled graphic designer” changed the cover of Girls’ Life to her liking. Apparently, the original cover wasn’t empowering to young women. You can read the article here: https://womenyoushouldknow.net/appalled-graphic-designer-shows-girls-life-magazine-what-their-cover-should-look-like/

My response is something not many women want to hear, but it’s a reality that isn’t talked about much.

I came from a broken home. My mother worked two jobs to support two girls. I went to a prep high school and did excellent freshman year, but because we lacked the funds, I had to transfer to a public school, which I hated.

Bottom line, I graduated by the skin of my teeth and went straight to work, without college. Nevertheless I got opportunities and became what I wanted to be — a writer!

The first magazine I worked at, I KNOW I was hired because of my looks (back then, I am now in my 50s and just mediocre). And I am fine with that because back then I had nothing else to go on. Prior to that I was a waitress, drinking on the way to work, because I lost my dear grandmother who helped raise me and I felt devastated. I felt hopeless day in and day out. Not every woman is born an Einstein; and not every woman has opportunities. Some of us work very hard at it and if being cute and stylish gives some of us an edge, why not? At the time it might be all we know.

Don’t hate beautiful women, you don’t know their story!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Being Authentic… to Ourselves and Each Other

Published May 28, 2020 by Maryanne

Being Authentic: A Memoir by Morhaf Al Achkar, MD, PhD

Review by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

While many people are complaining about being cooped up during the pandemic, I’m secretly rejoicing because I’ve been doing what I didn’t have much time for before—READING! Since the mid-March lockdown, I’ve read six books, all special in their own right.

Prior to writing this review, I questioned myself… Is it weird to say I can relate to a man who was born in Syria, two years after I graduated high school? A man who became both an MD and a PhD–whereas I struggled just to get my diploma?

First, I took the safe route and wrote the blog as a regular book review. However, after a re-read, my review appeared dull and stale. This author deserves so much more. After he exposed his deep feelings for all to read, I promised myself I should do the same. I do not see that as narcissistic, but rather compassionate. In this review I want people to see me as a person who can find something in common with almost anyone—male/female, young/older, rich/middle class/poor, black/white/mixed. Because this is what the world needs right now, to focus on what we have in common, rather than what sets us apart. (And, honestly, I’ve been quiet about politics for too long, so read on!)

Leo

Author, Morhaf Al Alchar, MD, PhD, and faithful companion, Leo! 

Morhaf Al Achkar has not reached his 40th birthday, yet he ponders death.

I question: Why is he thinking about this now? Perhaps because of his struggle with both Crohn’s disease and a stage four lung cancer; perhaps because he dealt with the devastating loss of his own mother at a young age; or perhaps because we are in the midst a pandemic, all of us facing a virus that has no cure yet. And so many people are at each other’s throats, making it political.

In his memoir, Dr. Achkar strives to be authentic—his true self. And that he is. His story is direct as he gets right to the point with no apologies. And he is vulnerable. There is absolutely no pretense. You do not feel like you are reading a book written by a doctor, with both an MD and a PhD. Instead, you are chatting with a brand new friend.

Growing up in Syria, in a family of nine children, Morhaf often locked himself in a room reading books. He was labeled the “philosopher of his family” by his father. Early on, one of his major struggles was living in a culture “with hypertrophied masculinity.” Men boasting of foolish things like beatings or shootings was the norm. There were also bullies and schoolteachers who were abusive. Wise beyond his years, Morhaf made sense of it all and did not let any of this hinder his growth as a human being. As a person who was also bullied, I relate to this.

Once I began sharing my story to others, I no longer felt shame, but rather a big relief—even empowered! When I read about other people being bullied, it’s a soft spot for me. I can’t help but get a lump in my throat. Then I immediately switch my brain to the good parts of one’s life; their triumphs!

The saving grace in this picture is Morhaf’s mother, a warm, trusting woman, but one of authority and one who greatly valued education. Reading about how his mom pushed Morhaf to take the first steps on the dance floor reminded me of my grandmother.

Grandma practically raised me since my parents were divorced and neither were around much. I think about a family reunion we had when I was about 12. My sister, cousins and I danced to the hired band. When the reunion came to an end, my grandmother encouraged me to “talk to them.” I was shy, but wanted to make Grandma happy, so with my older cousin, we went up to the stage and asked the musicians for their autographs. A parent or grandparent encouraging the kids to dance or talk to someone at a party is a great move to get a kid out of their shy shell.

Another way I relate to Morhaf is not being satisfied with religion and rituals. As a Muslim he reflects on his faith after his mother passes. I was raised without religion, so I had nothing to go by except the standards Catholic holidays that Italian families practiced. When I was 24, I met an older Filipino gentleman who became my mentor. Together we studied religions and philosophies from all over the world.

Remaining open-minded until I met some Christian friends, I decided to give Christianity a chance. But then after my grandmother died, I lost faith, the same way Morhaf felt his faith was faltering after his mother died.

I stopped going to church and celebrating any holidays that had to do with Jesus. When I returned to faith, I took it all with a grain of salt, saving the positive and discarding what seemed overbearing. I now believe in Jesus, but also Buddha, God, and The Universe.

Perhaps this is something people of all faiths go through, but not many admit. So once again, as I’m reading the book, I am grateful to Morhaf for his honesty.

Amongst his great successes, he has had his shares of disappointments too. His passion in activism inspired was an option to leave his family, but after failing a commission-based job, he returned home.

Some of the best times seem to be spent in America. At first, Morhaf lived in Columbus, Ohio with his sister and continued to study. He traveled extensively throughout the USA. In addition to his studies, he had fun adventures that young people experience like dancing, hookah nights, playing cards, consuming cheap drinks, and adopting a canine companion named Leo.

Sadly, dating was an issue, especially in Indiana, where he lived and where many women were prejudiced to his color and didn’t think twice about making racist remarks. It felt terrible to read this. I am sorry that many USA women put a bad taste in one’s mouth, but I want people from other countries to know we are not all that way.

I live in NJ, a democratic state where we are open-minded to making friends of all races and colors—without judgement. I know behind my back my conservative friends and family refer to me as a “Libtard.” It’s wrong and very hurtful.

As a spiritual person, I refuse to retaliate with words and placing derogatory memes on Facebook. Instead I pray for them. And I pray for our president, who I do not care for.

During the month Donald Trump was elected president, Dr. Morhaf was diagnosed with cancer. As a Syrian immigrant he felt affected by the ban on Muslims, fearing he would not be able to say goodbye to his family. He wrote a letter to speak of his struggles. It was published in a Huffington Post blog, entitled “Dear Mr. Trump, You Are Cancer and I Only Live If You Shrink!” The letter explained what it was like to live with what he had then perceived as a terminal illness and as a Syrian immigrant affected by the ban on Muslims. After writing the letter, he felt empowered and liberated him to engage with the Syrian struggle.

I suppose many have friends who have immigrated to the United States and have been affected by Trump’s stance. It is absolutely heartbreaking seeing families being broken up. I know one personally, and will leave it at that to protect their privacy.

Aside from the prejudice Morhaf experienced from American women, he has decided to stay single because he doesn’t want to be a burden to someone should his health fail. I seriously hope he changes his mind because true love is mending.

I’ve shared the story many times and am happy to share it again. When I first began dating my husband I was going to many doctors because I never felt right. A few doctors feared I had cancer. After many ultra-sounds, CAT scans, and countless opinions nothing was found. Seven months after dating my husband, I had one final test that showed I was cancer-free and perfectly healthy! A week later I felt better than I did my entire life! Having a supportive loving person by my side healed me. I believe that!

So, you can see why I’ve enjoyed “Being Authentic” so much. There’s enough to relate to, but also much to learn. And, that, is what a good book should be!

Morhaf’s reflections on life in his later years, while he is now, fortunately, in stable health, we see that he is a true humanitarian and invites others to be as authentic as he is. This is what I wanted from my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You.” I want others to share their stories without feeling disgrace. The troubled times are what got you to where you are today. Always remember that.

When we look deep inside ourselves, and share our notions in writing, the reader gets a peek at our true soul. A reader may not “get it” entirely, but the more open an author is, the more we can learn about each other; and love each other. After all, deep down we are more alike than different. This is a book everyone can learn from. And Morhaf will be remembered for writing it.

To purchase “Being Authentic” (and have a sneak peek inside the book) please click on this link: Being Authentic

Follow Morhaf Al Alchar on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/morhafalachkar

95849294_2817039011678255_9072810759997620224_oBeing Authentic book cover

 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

The Universe Speaks

Published May 5, 2020 by Maryanne

beyond-the-blue-horizon-my-photoTwilight photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

If you don’t believe in miracles, stop reading. If you do, carry on…

You always hear tales about rock stars or celebrities predicting their fame. But common people don’t share enough of their every day miracles–that they manifested by the positives that came directly from their own mouth.

One of the most beautiful examples, in my life, was back in late 2005. A relationship ended with yet another loser (though to be fair, I did have some cool boyfriends when I was single, some I am still friends with). After that break-up, my mother said to me, “You should be like me, just be alone.”

Easy for her to say, she was 62, but I was only 42 and did not want to spend the rest of my life alone. I simply blurted, “No, there is someone out there for me!”

Two months later I met the man who ended up being my husband, the love of my life, my rock, and loving cat daddy!

That was one of the bigger miracles and I feel another big one is about to manifest.

Everyone who is artistic and in the public eye, knows how hard it is to elevate your career from point A to point B. The process isn’t an overnight success, but moves so slowly it can feel like you’re going backward instead of going forward. But if you pay attention to the signs, you can see you ARE going forward, especially when you see things being left behind.

For example, when I first started as a public speaker, back in 2014, it was in assisted living facilities. I lectured seniors on health and history; and eventually had a “Learn & Listen” series where I’d speak about the life of a famous entertainer, followed by live music! Speaking at the assisted livings elevated to libraries. This went on for another six years.

Over the years I’ve learned that when you book something in the winter, you have to have a rain/snow date. But COVID19 reschedules don’t cut it because no one knows what the future brings. But let’s back up a bit …

As much as I loved doing gigs at the libraries, and all the beautiful memories I’ve had, once my library gigs canceled, one by one, due to COVID19, I took it as a blessing in disguise.

You see, I’ve become such a good speaker, it’s only natural that I wanted to elevate to the next step. I’ve outgrown libraries and began dreaming of the day when I’d no longer be doing the library gigs. In fact, while booking one of my gigs (which is hard work, but I never found someone I could connect with to do it for me), I blurted out to a librarian, “I won’t be doing this much longer. I’m going to be moving on to schools and universities.”

Sure enough, a week ago I had a phone meeting with a university. I’m going to be conducting lectures/classes/workshops online! This may start as soon as June! It’s a magical manifestation that I made happen.

In this day and age, with so many believing in The Secret, Law of Attraction, positive thinking, elevating yourself, and going after the gold, this story is not as “out there” as someone many have believed in the 1980s. (Though I must say, some are still stuck there!)

If something comes out of your mouth that seems a bit strange, or unlike you, it just may be from the universe, giving you the nudge you need!

Has this ever happened to you? Share your stories!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

10 Common Foods That Smell Worse Than Durian

Published April 28, 2020 by Maryanne

DurianAlmighty Durian — The King of All Fruit! 

I’ve been a serious durian eater for almost 20 years. I first heard of durian when I was a raw foodist back in the day. I learned that the durian has more vitamins than any other fruit. And that it was absolutely delicious, but had a strange smell.

The first time I tried it, it was durian “ice cream” at a raw food restaurant in NYC. Since it was frozen, it had no smell. I even asked my guest, “Does it smell?” No, it didn’t. A short time after that, I got a real durian, in China Town. That’s when I realized it did have a bit of an odd smell, but it didn’t stop me from waiting for the fruit to defrost and dig in!

Durian is the most delicious thing you can imagine! It has the consistency of custard, and tastes like a cross between hazelnut, vanilla, banana, with a tinge of onion. Weird, but it works! Durian is absolutely addicting. Because of the vitamin content, you’ll be high for hours after eating one (or some of it, as there is truly a lot of fruit pudding in each pod!)

After I first broke my durian cherry, I was so hooked I was hoofing it to China Town once a week, carrying three with me on the bus home. Yes, it’s true, I had a three-per-week durian habit. Friends said I was like a crack addict when it came to durians. I loved them so much, I had one tattooed on my inner calf. And to this day, only one stranger approached me and asked, “Is that a durian?” No one else knows what it is. But it works when I’m in an Asian market, because the workers do not understand what I want until I show them my tattoo. Then they laugh and direct me to the fish area where everything is on ice.

It’s rare to meet a fellow durian lover. I’ve tried recruiting people, but the best comment I’ve heard was from my mother, “I like it, but I don’t love it.” People are mainly turned off by the smell. The durian has been compared to paint cleaner, a gas leak, and even garbage. Yeah, it’s true. Sometimes I’ll pass garbage in NYC and start dreaming about durian.

Okay, I get it, I won’t eat durian around anyone. But why do people get so bent out of shape with the mere mention of a durian? First thing out of their mouths, “It smells.” How original! (Note sarcasm!)

So, since people are so quick to judge my durian, let me put it out there that there are foods that stink worse–and YOU eat them! Yes, it’s true, and here they are in no particular order….

  1. Cold Cuts (aka lunch meat). There’s not much that makes me gag more than lunch meat. It has a nasty stench that makes you think it was slivered off the animal right then and there. This is what I’d imagine a dead person to smell like before embalming.
  2. Cheese. If it’s so accepted for stinky cheese to be good, then lay off my durians!
  3. Chinese Food. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chinese food–the dishes that are more on the plain side, like brown rice, moo shu, or vegetable lo mein. But what is that horrific sauce that is orange? The smell is so strong it knocks me over.
  4. Vinegar. First of all, I LOVE vinegar. When it’s on a salad, you barely notice that it stinks. But when people use it in their hair, or if a bottle breaks — hold your nose! Vinegar smells like dirty feet.
  5. Hot Dogs. If you think hot dogs smell good, you are thinking of the onions and sauerkraut toppings. A regular hot dog boiling is similar to what I described above for cold cuts. Blech!
  6. Tomato Juice. I was once seated at a lecture next to a woman who was drinking tomato juice. Now that was an unforgettable foul smell.
  7. Fish. This is one 90 percent will agree with.
  8. Alcohol. This is why I don’t like to dine out. If there’s a bar, you can smell stale alcohol and it ruins your appetite. It’s as if it’s stuck in the wood; even in the fanciest of restaurants, that diseased smell exists.
  9. Coffee with milk and sugar that is sitting around. Don’t get me wrong on this one, fresh-brewed hot, black, coffee is one of the greatest smells. But, cold coffee with milk and sugar, just hanging around for over an hour, has a smell that can make you gag.
  10. Cigarettes. Okay, this isn’t a food, but the way some people are addicted, it might as well be one of the food groups to them. And they are the worst stench of all! There is nothing sexy about cigarettes. When I see someone in the street smoking, I will cross the street just to avoid them. If I’m exposed to your cigarette smoke, I should be allowed to kill you. (That’s a joke).

What foods do you find most offensive? Share in the comment section below!  

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

Staying Healthy During COVID19 Lockdown

Published April 15, 2020 by Maryanne

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One of my salad dishes with homemade dressing of raw buckwheat honey, coconut aminos, and apple cider vinegar.

When I go to my Facebook feed, I see many friends are turning to comfort foods during the COVID19 lock down; especially since many are raving that now they have more time to cook. I see types of dishes I love like pastas, pierogies, and even homemade pizzas.

But where are the greens? This is the time we should up our intake of green food to keep our immune system strong.

I get it. Sometimes there are slim pickings at the supermarkets. It seems like the produce section is usually the first to clear out. We need to get to our favorite stores as soon as  shipments come to get not only what we want, but what is fresh.

And during these unpredictable times, our moods can fluctuate from, “I got this!” to “When is it going to end?” or something in-between. One day we’re ready as warriors, able to face the world and tackle the grocery shopping. Other days staying in confinement is just fine because the outside is scary. People walking around with masks, six feet away from each other. It’s not natural. And it can be depressing.

The thing is, our diets don’t have to be depressing. Sure, indulge in a treat, but make it once a day, if that. The rest of your meals should be something that’s giving you energy and contributing to your positive attitude.

For me, I feel it’s easy to get the health stuff out of the way first thing in the morning. That’s when I like to work out, take my supplements, and make a fresh smoothie. I’ll always have frozen organic fruit in the refrigerator, for those days when I can’t get to the supermarket. Since COVID19, I’ve been trying to limit it to once a week, during a time where I see as little people as possible.

In my smoothies, I’ll add greens. It could be anything like a handful of kale, parsley, or an avocado. A great add-in is moringa. I’ve been using the powder for years! It has so many health benefits, including fighting against bacterial diseases–which is especially important during this time!

I’ve been intermittent fasting during COVID-19, so a smoothie holds me over until I have food at lunch time, which is usually a raw salad with nuts. At night I might have a pasta dish, or another salad, depending on how active I was during the day.

There are many fun recipes on line, so eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, now is the perfect time to learn something new. Perhaps you might find yourself creating some delicious dishes that are good for you? Let me know, below, if you’ve found yourself hooked on something healthy!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

When to Fire Your Chiropractor (or Acupuncturist)

Published April 15, 2020 by Maryanne

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I’ve been been a fan of both chiropractic care and acupuncture for many years. I alternate between both. Chiro is great because you’re basically in and out. Acupuncture is nice if you like to relax. Since I started using both treatments, I went through many doctors.

Finding a good doctor is like finding a good hairstylist; it takes time. And sometimes you outgrow each other. There is nothing wrong with that. I believe that as a customer, you should be satisfied. Aside from someone not doing a satisfying job, there are other reasons you may want to consider finding someone else. Here’s a few….

  1. He/she is too popular. This should be a good thing, right? Not necessarily. I used to go to someone I really liked. And everyone else liked her too. Whenever I went for a treatment, I’d be waiting at least 15 minutes, sometimes 20. To me, this isn’t cool. Also, the place became to run like an assembly line — in, wait, needles, out; while you could hear full conversations going on in the room next to you. What was once a relaxing spiritual experience with new age music, and a sweet recovery turned into a rush job and not feeling as healed as I remembered. Then one time as she was treating me, and part of my clothing was off, she opened the door to talk to someone. I found this to be rude — and the last straw. I stopped going to her. There were way too many people in the office at one time and I felt more like a number than a patient.
  2. He/she talks too much. This should be a red flag from the get go. When COVID19 lock-down began, I took it upon myself to try to get a long-time kink in my arm fixed. I tried someone who shared a space with another chiropractor I once used. From the first treatment it was constant chatter from her. Talking about things SHE wanted to talk about. Shallow bits, from one dull topic to another. I had visions of her accidentally snapping my neck and killing me because she wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing. I didn’t feel comfortable; or happy. But I figured I wouldn’t be judgmental and gave her a chance and continued going to her twice a week for about a month. It was wrong not to trust my intuition because the last day, my lower back was killing me! It took me three days of doing stretches from a You Tube doctor that I trusted before the back pain subsided.
  3. He/she seems to have a crush on you. It hasn’t happened in over 10 years, but yes, I did have a chiropractor that had a crush on me. It was uncomfortable and I simply told him I wasn’t going back to him. It’s a shame because he was a great doctor and really helped me.
  4. He/she insults you. I think it’s unprofessional for a professional to belittle you. Whether it’s your clothes, weight, or what you look like, this is not cool and none of his or her business. You can always insult them back because of course no one is perfect and we can all say something about each other if we choose to. However, some of us are way too classy to stoop to such a low level. Or we just naturally see only the good in others and would never think to put someone down. But unfortunately, this has happened often over the years. Recently I found an acupuncturist I adored. Then one day she pointed out that one of my eyes were bigger than the other and made a big deal about it. REALLY?! Doesn’t everyone have one eye bigger than the other? I thought this was weird. It couldn’t really count as an insult, but more of an observation. But why make someone feel self-conscious? Also, when I had my first book published, I was very proud and showing practically everyone. Hey, it was my first book! The chiropractor I was using at the time wanted to see the book, so I brought it in to show him. He had the gall to say, “Do you really think this will go anywhere?” I had no answer at the time. It wasn’t a nice thing to say to an aspiring author. His comment put me in a bad mood. Maybe nothing would come out of it? But it DID! That first book had many sales; I got to officiate a wedding for a fan; I was on blog talk radio all over the country, plus regular radio too! I’ve inspired young people to become writers. It led to me becoming a public speaker. I also received royalty checks until the book went out of print (and it’s being sold on Amazon for almost a grand!) I’m now on my fifth book, and it can be purchased in Barnes & Noble. I’ve come a long way since that first self-published book, which went pretty far. And where is that chiropractor? Oh, he moved into a bigger office. Good for him, but he doesn’t have me as a client anymore.
  5. Distance. There are acupuncturists and chiropractors (and even massage therapists) out there who I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, but haven’t seen in awhile simply because of distance. Maybe I used them when I had more time to travel. Or maybe I used them while I was working on a project in their area and it was convenient at the time. Or I moved. But for whatever reason, they are no longer in an appropriate distance to me. When you get out of treatment, you shouldn’t be sitting in traffic, or driving far. You should be relaxing.

Do any of these things resonate with your choice in leaving your holistic health care practitioner? Share your stores in the comments section!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

COVID-19 in the 1970s

Published April 8, 2020 by Maryanne

1970s_Albums

Everyone can use a laugh right now, so I came up with an idea. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and imagine, what if COVID-19 happened in the 1970s?

CB radio

In the 1970s truckers were communicating to each other on CB radios, a citizen’s band radio for short distance communication. If they were dealing with COVID19, the conversation would go a little something like this…

TRUCKER 1: Breaker Break. This here’s Social Distancer, can I get a check-point Charlie on a picklepark that has toilet paper?

TRUCKER 2: Good Buddy, this here’s Coughin’ Mouth. Negatory on the T.P.

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There would be no dancing. The movie “Saturday Night Fever” would be known as “Saturday Night Fever, Tiredness, and Dry Cough.”

jaws_0

Jaws would be irrelevant. No one is going in the water. No one is going anywhere. But if we did, and the shark got us, he’d definitely spit out those nasty latex gloves!

Streaking

Streaking would still be a thing. Nudists social distancing — from their clothing!

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper’s hit song “School’s Out” would also be relevant, especially the line, “School’s out forever.”

Corona Virus

Lava lamps would contain floating images of the COVID19 virus.

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And like we’re doing today, we’d just have to take it One Day at a Time.

Stay safe and healthy!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

COVID-19 Health & Safety in Health Food Stores

Published April 6, 2020 by Maryanne

Health Food -- My coconut wrap, arugula, avo, tomato, coconut cheeseCoconut wrap with avocado. tomato, and arugula 

Yesterday I had a horrible experience in a health food store. The owner sent me an email apologizing, so I won’t “name and shame” but I think it’s important to share my experience in case others have something similar happen to them. And I made a promise to myself to never support them again after what went down.

First, this is MY POLICY…

Beginning today, I am no longer supporting mom and pop “health” food stores who do not respect the boundaries of COVID19. This includes: 1. Cashiers/managers and other workers NOT social distancing. 2. Stores that do not sanitize their carriages; 3. Store that have a “policy” for CUSTOMERS to wear those vinyl/latex gloves because they are unsanitary when used incorrectly; 4. Stores that do not clean their parking lots that are filled with said gloves discarded on the ground.

Now, my bad experience…

There’s a health food store I’ve favored for over a decade. They had everything. Great produce, mineral make-up, toiletries, and perfume that doesn’t test on animals (I’ve used cruelty free products since 1996), and even a great selection of incense.

Two weeks ago, I noticed they had vinyl gloves for customers to wear to shop. These types of gloves never sat well with me. In fact, I think they are disgusting. Nevertheless, I put a pair on and within seconds I was pulling them off because I could feel my sensitive skin reacting to them. I tossed them in the garbage. I shopped, then afterwards I went to my car and noticed these gloves were discarded all over the lot. The store didn’t take care to clean up and put them in the garbage. I found this to be vile and was proud of myself for not participating in the glove thing.

Yesterday I went back to the store and now it was mandatory that customers had to wear gloves. I told a cashier that I couldn’t wear them because last week they made my hands red.

Well, she took it upon herself to come out from behind her cash register and scold me — two feet away from me! Not at all social distancing. Now I was freaking out because I knew this person was a smoker and not in the best of health. Even though I’m very healthy, I didn’t want her to pass it to me, if she had it, then I might pass it to someone else who isn’t very healthy! So not cool.

At this point, I’d also like to say, that this store does not sanitize their carriages. This is something that never bothered me before. I am not a germ phobic, but now with COVID19, I can’t…

Anyway, I told her I was going to contact the owner of the store because she was harassing me. She went nuts and told the manager of the make-up department that I was going to tell on her. What a big baby! The make-up manager wasn’t much better in insisting that I wear the gloves. It made no difference to her when I said I was a professional writer/author and I couldn’t afford to have my hands get red, itchy, or whatever else would happen because two weeks ago I had a bad reaction to the vinyl gloves. Did she give a shit? No. Instead the two women continued to behave like scary, uptight school marms as they went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about “store policy.”

I was like, “forget it,” and left. Without groceries.

Then I called one of their other stores to speak to the owner. He wasn’t there but another manager told me I could go back into the store wearing WINTER GLOVES.

REALLY?! WINTER GLOVES?! That is even more unsanitary! I practically laughed in her face.

I left feeling defeated. It was a 25-minute drive and now I had no groceries for the week. When I got home, I researched and found this wonderful article from Men’s Health: You Shouldn’t Be Wearing Gloves To Go Grocery Shopping

I smiled to myself and posted this on Facebook. A nurse friend said the article is correct. Being right was cool, but it didn’t take away from the drama of being yelled at by two misinformed puppets who seemed to take a sadist delight in ganging up on a friendly, happy, petite, attractive woman. It was an extreme level of catty I haven’t experienced in a long time; from two mean women who were stuck in a go-nowhere job. Perhaps they were pissed that they had to work during the COVID19 pandemic. But that is not my problem. They should take it up with their boss.

The incident took it’s toll on me and I had a headache since last night. This is when I realized, you can’t call a place a health food store when it’s stressing you out, because STRESS IS NOT HEALTHY!

Later that day, my husband took me to Whole Foods. Over the years I had my issues with that store too, but to my surprise, the way they were handing things was impressive. They had customers lined up outside, letting people in as others left. Everyone was politely standing six feet apart. The wait wasn’t bad at all, especially since it was a gorgeous spring day.

Inside some were disobeying the six feet rule, but my immune system is pretty stellar so I wasn’t worried. Especially their mouths were covered with masks and they weren’t scolding me, so no accidental spit was coming out of their mouths like how some people get when they yell.

When I paid, and I am not an Amazon Prime member so I don’t get a discount, my total was 20 percent less than what I usually pay at that mom and pop store. They also carry some brands I like that the other store doesn’t.

So until this pandemic ends and I can go food shopping every day like I used to and support other mom and pop health food stores, I think I’ll be just fine going to Whole Foods as a one-stop shopping place.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9