Fun in Recovery: Q&A with Heather C.

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woman in sunglasses and purple shirt hiking in forest

Q: What TV show are you currently loving?

A: The Magicians on Syfy. I love science fiction. This show has an interesting story line that I haven’t seen before. There’s suspense, romance, and it’s very graphic. Not my usual taste, but I’m really enjoying it. I also like Mom on CBS, airing Thursdays at 9pm EST, about women in sobriety. This show is really funny and truly relatable for someone in sobriety. I’m waiting for the day they 12th step Ben, Bonnie’s boyfriend. But you know, I can determine he’s a problem drinker, but he has to diagnose himself as an alcoholic.

Q: How do you like to unwind after a long day?

A: My cat rescued me in 2010. Her name is Baby Chicken, and even though she is 12, she acts like a playful kitten. I find a lot of joy in giving her attention. She’s a total goof. After brushing her, I collect her fur and leave it in a little pile. Her own fur is what she chases around the most. It’s weird, and I love it!

If you want to call it “down-time,” I am also studying for my graduate degree. I am enrolled in grad school at SNHU online. I’m hoping to get my Master’s degree in Public Health. This is actually a “service” type career, so I will be living my step 12 in my career. I do that already by “practicing these principles in all my affairs.” When I pray, I ask my Higher Power for “clarity of purpose.” I tried to ignore the message, but I kept hearing “Public Health” repeatedly. I’m growing in so many ways.

Q: What is your favorite exercise move?

A: I like full body Kettlebell workouts. I use a book Body Sculpting with Kettlebells for Women by Lorna Kleidman. I have exercise-induced asthma and for some reason my asthma typically is not triggered. In the introduction of the book, Lorna Kleidman shares that is how she found kettlebells as well. The image on the cover is of a strong female and with muscles. I do these workouts at home and find it more convenient than driving to the gym.

Q: What is your favorite thing to order when you are at a café or restaurant?

A: Chicken Caesar Salad. I’m in search of the best Caesar Salad in my area. I have found versions with very garlicky dressings and others that are more vinegar. After a salad, my other favorite is BBQ. I’m a BBQ judge and love trying new restaurants. Recently, I tried the Stand in Branford, CT. The rub on the brisket was peppery and reminded me of pastrami. I also had a chopped BBQ sandwich from Bear’s, which was pulled pork and brisket, at the UCONN women’s regular season basketball game, which was the 103rd straight win.

Q; Guilty pleasure at the moment?

A: Brown Butter Blondies with dark chocolate, pecans, and dried cranberries. I have had many service commitments over the past 1.5 years. They really do help you stay sober. I’m on my 3rd coffee commitment at the North Madison, Christ Chapel, Thank God I’m Sober Meeting at 5:30 on Fridays. I learned at my 2nd commitment how fun it is to bake and how appreciative my community is toward fresh baked goods. I was using Yummly and inputted the ingredients in my pantry, and that’s when I came across the Brown Butter Blondies. I have switched to Lime Bars recently. The blondies are so delicious because they have a pound of brown sugar in every batch. The batter starts off tasting like caramel.Yum!

Q: Favorite health or beauty tip?

A: Smile lines are more attractive than frown lines. SMILE MORE! Seven reasons why:

1. Neurotransmitters called endorphins are released when you smile.
2. Endorphins make us feel happier and less stressed.
3. While the release of endorphins is increased, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced.
4. Laughing expands the lungs, stretches the muscles in the body, and stimulates homeostasis.
5. A good laugh can be an effective way to release emotions.
6. Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away.
7. A happy, positive expression will serve you well in life.

Also, wear sunblock!

Q: The phone app that you can’t live without?

A: The Yummly app has been providing me with recipe ideas based on ingredients I have in stock. Everything from Paleo Korean Short Ribs that I made in the InstaPot to the Brown Butter Blondies and Lime Bars mentioned earlier. Groupon, because who doesn’t love a good deal?! I use this mainly for restaurants.

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