The first move was done, and it felt incredible! It was exciting to be back in Old Saybrook. The cottage rental turned out to be a comfortable pleasure only five houses from the water. The atmosphere was relaxing, dinners were delightful, and it was fun reconnecting with the farm stands I once frequented. I was running into old acquaintances everywhere I went. Though I could not get settled in too much knowing I had to move out for a few days, but being there was like a long overdue vacation, and the vacation was about to be extended.
Most of what I owned was moved to inaccessible closed storage, therefore it was only a matter of moving around 20 bins of office supplies and equipment, clothes, and exercise gear including dumbbells into a shed. The week of September 10th was a short week, only two days of outside consulting since my in-house private practice was temporarily closed, leaving me with few clients via phone or telehealth.
I knew in advance I needed a second rental from September 14-17, and although my face was still healing from the topical chemotherapy, I thought if I had to be put out by moving around it may as well be a getaway on the beach in Montauk, NY. I took a chance and called my friend Debbie who is married with a family, but surprisingly said she could break away to go. I booked the ferry and made a reservation at my favorite waterfront suite. We packed up the night before at the cottage on the 13th to allow others to move in, and off we went at 7:00 AM the next morning following a smoothie to catch our ferry from New London, CT to Orient Point, NY. The 80-minute ferry ride allowed us to grab a coffee and yogurt while relaxing on the upper deck.
Before heading into Montauk, we took time to make a few stops along the way including lunch at Claudio’s in Greenport on the harbor before taking the North Ferry to Shelter Island, then the South Ferry to Sag Harbor where we shopped around before heading to East Hampton and Montauk.
Debbie graciously put up with my many habits from NPR news she finds depressing to joining me in morning meditation she discovered she liked. And she put up with my music. I have a habit of playing certain music or artists depending on my activity such as baroque, particularly Vivaldi for stress reduction, jazz for relaxing evenings, or rock and blues other times. As for road trips, I listen to Richie Kotzen while driving because he is diverse and not too hard or soft. I shuffled over 100 of his songs, old and new, rock, funk, blues rock, and jazz, including many with relationship-break-up lyrics, Debbie had to listen to for two hours in the car when she finally made a comment about Kotzen’s lyrics being dispiriting and deep. I laughed and switched up the playlist. She likes pop music, but overall, she enjoyed the scenic ride and had fun!
From the moment we arrived the activity was abundant! It was Debbie’s first time in Montauk, she was amazed at the vast size of the waves. We took a walk on the beach and walked around town before checking into our room. It was a fun-filled four days away with beach running, hiking on the bluffs, swimming, yoga, shopping, great food to eat, and evening fires in the sand while listening to the waves crashing and watching the moon shine down glistening on the water.
The food in Montauk– The first night we went to a restaurant I’ve been to a few times – the Gig Shack with healthy inexpensive food and good entertainment. There are too many restaurants to talk about, instead, I will leave you with many photos and names of the restaurants from delicious breakfast and lunch shops to fine dining on the water. With the exception, of one huge dessert we shared, most of what we ate was fresh fruit, vegetables, and seafood. I also packed a cooler full of food for us that included cheese, yogurt, fruit, crackers, nuts, dried fruit, ready-made protein shakes for early morning, along with water, extra coffee, herb tea, wine, nice glasses, and of course cocktail napkins and plates. This way we did not have rush out first thing in the morning for breakfast, and we could also relax with appetizers before dinner, or grab a snack between meals.
There are many excellent restaurants I’ve been to in Montauk, but here are the main ones chosen from this trip, not including our stops along the way in and out of town.
Gig Shack above – offers plenty of seafood with local bands nightly.
Inlet Seafood Restaurant – Owned by fishermen.
Harvest on Fort Pond – Tuscan-style Italian serving family-style.
Naturally Good Foods and Café – Offers groceries and nice salads.
Joni’s Kitchen – My favorite for breakfast and lunch.
On our return trip, we took an extended route through East Hampton and Southampton and made a quick stop the radio station in Water Mill where I was promoting my Nutrition for Musicians video series and eBook. The final stop before heading back to the ferry was at Kontokosta Winery in Greenport wrapping up a fun-filled four-day weekend! Next, it was moving back into the cottage in Old Saybrook where I could unpack my 20 bins stored in the shed and settle in until November 8th.
Back to business only to find my website went down, and it was my biggest day of advertising! I knew my business would be slow working remotely, what I did not realize until no emails were coming in, is my website went down, my site not only went down, it was not until days later I realized my old business number was not redirecting my calls to my cell phone. During this time, it happened to be the weekend of September 22, with the most advertising promoting both my business and my Nutrition for Musicians video series and eBook. I turned on the radio hearing WEHM Long Island Broadcasting personalities Anthony and Joann who were broadcasting live at Farm Aid in Hartford, CT talking about me and my nutrition business during commercial breaks. The entire time unknown to me, not one person listening could get onto my website, email me, or call me! This mess was eventually cleared up in days with a lot of time, phone calls, and hiring someone.
The weeks at the cottage overall remained a much-needed break. I consulted two days a week out of the area, continued phone consultations and saw a few clients at the cottage while rebuilding a new business. The upside was the ability to go for frequent beach runs, and I was able to work-out in the mornings before work without having to join a gym because I brought stackable dumbbells and a weight bench with me.
The end was near, and finally, I found a house; my offer was accepted on October 3, and the closing was scheduled for October 31.
NEXT UP, PART 4, The Final Move: The last relaxing cottage days included cooking, and good friends, followed by the move. The filth, the nightmares, and the ugliest house in the world ready to undergo a transformation. How to survive and eat well without a kitchen.
PART 2 – On the Move! How to eat well, stay calm, fit, and healthy while packing and putting your life belongings in storage!
In the middle of this craziness having to find a new home, I had a couple of little breaks when I was working with Long Island Broadcasting radio stations WBAZ and WEHM in Water Mill, NY for advertising, consulting, and some live broadcasts. Although I was still red from the topical chemotherapy, I took the Cross Sound Ferry over from New London, CT to Long Island Orient Point, NY. An area I know well from Greenport to Shelter Island, and Sag Harbor through East Hampton to Southampton. The area has beautiful scenic views, and many great little food stores, shops, and restaurants to stop at while driving through! It felt great to break away for a day to be live on the BAZ show hosted by their broadcaster Jo. On-Air Joann Blog working with Kathy. The last stop recommended by Jo after the show before getting back onto the ferry was Kontokosta Winery in Greenport which is worth the trip alone for the gorgeous views! This was my first time at this winery, it was a fabulous way to end the day before the ferry trip back. More on the Hamptons, a long weekend in Montauk, and Kontakosta later. For now, it’s time to get back to the moving.
On August 25 I officially backed out of purchasing the house in Essex, Connecticut due to the bad inspection. The closing was supposed to be August 31 with my intentions to move the first week of September. My rental was being sold, but I was told at the time I could extend my lease until the end of September. Meanwhile, while searching for other homes to purchase thinking I had more time, I stopped packing and rescheduled my movers to a later date while I searched on for
Now for the first move, the food, the eating out, where to live, and “how to stay fit and calm” starts, and what about business, and when to find time to work and pack in one week? For one, no more groceries except my staples that included milk, yogurt, fruit and a few items for salads. With no time for real cooking or grilling, I decided the old Cuisinart Griddler I once loved had seen its day and went to the recycle center. It was time for quick healthy fixes on the run! I kept my home gym intact since most of this would be carried off with the movers. Both meditation and working out early in the morning kept me calm and at ease. It is amazing what food and activity can do for the mind. I went for one last early morning beach run on September first, the rest of the days were simple workouts, work, and packing.
I needed no mess easy clean up foods that included making mini veggie pizzas with store-bought whole grain pizza crust, organic pizza sauce, cut up broccoli, spinach, tomato, olives, onions, and whatever other veggies I had to use up along with shredded cheese mixed with 1% fat cottage cheese as toppings, and olive oil sprayed on top using my “Misto” spray pump. I then baked the pizza on foil for around 15-20 minutes and had it as a quick meal after work and in-between packing. Other fast meals were ready-made lobster cakes, ready cooked shrimp cocktail, and veggie burgers that were microwaved in 80 seconds. My breakfast and lunches were about the same as always as it is easy to make oatmeal, salads, wraps, and sandwiches. Most of my sandwiches are veggies that include spinach, tomato, Kalamata olives, red onion, cucumber, bell peppers, and cheese on whole grain bread, or when pressed for time I chose natural peanut butter with blueberry preserve with a glass of milk or organic soy milk, or kefir – all this works. As the last few days in my rental with most of the kitchen now packed, I only left out the minimal essentials to cook with, or I should say kitchens because of the second kitchen in my office. I purposely did not pack my blender to make my morning smoothies and left out one small frying pan for scrambled eggs I enjoy on the weekends and used foil for baking all other items. Everything else was packed except for my coffee maker, my favorite kni
I had a few sleepless nights while packing after work, but I knew this was temporary. Meanwhile, in-between work and packing I found two other homes, one in Essex that did not work out, the other one in Old Saybrook, Connecticut that needed a great deal of work and it was going to take 60 days to close on, but I was out of options within my budget so I made an offer. Now with less than one week to move, I continued searching everywhere for rentals from academic to bed and breakfast suites to Airbnb, and after a few applications explaining I only needed two months to rent, I found a beautifully furnished comfortable cottage in Old Saybrook, CT. The cottage was only five houses from the water, and I would be able to work out of it too! Only one glitch, I was told I could move in for the first five days, then I would have to move out for three or four days before returning as it was rented to someone else. Once returned I could stay until November eighth. I agreed to provide I could have a place to leave my large container plants and find a place to store over 20 bins filled with business machines, files, supplies, and personal belongings including clothes I would need in the cooler months to come. Fortunately for me, the woman who owned the cottage was delightful and accommodated me with an empty clean storage shed that was a former summer cottage for me to store all my belongings in. What a relief! From here, every day was a new adventure of the unknown, it was fast-paced, exhausting, and exciting at the same time!
While finishing my final days with clients who came until three days before I moved, I could not start packing the office until the end as I wanted to continue a comfortable atmosphere for them and managed to pack up everything in the office in two days.
My food choices came down to take out sandwiches, purchased store-bought smoothies, and NuGo Slim protein bars to get me through the final 48 hours including multiple carloads on moving day.
Less than 16 hours to go before the mover’s show, time was running out to pack! I never would have managed without the help of my friend Debbie who came to my rescue by driving ninety minutes the night before to help me to box up the final items for the movers arriving the next day! It was pizza delivery that last night and was great seeing Debbie who only recently relocated back to Connecticut with her husband from South Carolina a few weeks earlier. She too was exhausted and left late in the evening. As for me, I stayed up the night to make sure all was packed for the movers and finished loading my two cars with my bins and boxes. Come the morning of the eighth I grabbed one last smoothie before packing up my blender and made it just on time for the movers! I was moving less than 30 minutes away, but it took several car trips, and this time my realtor Deb, came to my rescue by helping me with the last loads of multiple large plants, and she drove me back to pick up my second car. I was now awake for a couple of days, it was already evening, it was dark out, and I was exhausted and hungry. My last stop was an eggplant sub, then to the cottage to unpack.
Stay tuned for PART 3 On the run! Fun times in the Hamptons, Montauk, Old Saybrook, and lots of great dining and food!
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PART 1 – Pre-Move – Staying Positive in Business, Health & Fitness During Unexpected Times.
It was the end of July 2018, what should have been a beautiful summer while living in a waterfront home on a private road with panoramic views of the Niantic River off Long Island Sound in Connecticut. A time not to be forgotten as I was finishing up topical chemotherapy treatment for pre-skin cancer on my face and hands, and one cancer spot on my foot. My face looked like a cooked lobster, only swollen, excoriated, my eyes were half shut, it was painfully excruciating, feeling like poison ivy on top of sunburn with no relief. I was unrecognizable to most people due to the red, raw skin.
Treatment was only twice a day for two weeks, then post-treatment for one week consisting of four treatments per day. During post-treatment, my skin became tight and cracked in areas, and every morning I awoke with blood spots over my entire face, but I had no complaints. I had no time for complaining, and my thoughts were this is temporary, many people have it much worse going through regular chemotherapy with a life-threatening diagnosis. Instead, I was too busy thinking about work to be on top of my game for clients, and I was thinking of food to heal myself. It’s my nature being a registered dietitian nutritionist and exercise specialist, I think about staying nourished, healthy and fit, therefore, I kept a positive attitude as I had to continue my life including not missing one day from work.
The treatment meant, no make-up, I usually like wearing at least a little lipstick and mascara, and the treatment prevented me from wearing my hair down, therefore, it was tied back for six weeks, while wearing large rim-hats when going outside. I wore long sleeve fleece shirts and gloves during 90-degree weather with a huge sunscreen hat that looked hysterical when I mowed the yard at sunrise or sundown as I was not supposed to be outside during the day because sunscreen could not be worn with treatment, and fleece was the only material that did not hurt my hands. My appearance also made me laugh, though I tried hard not to because laughing made my face hurt!
I had to remind myself what I tell my clients, one is there is always a solution to every problem, two is to look at the positives in your life. For me, it was a summer without kayaking mostly related to risking an infection, but I continued to maintain my lifestyle of health and fitness by managing some beach runs at 4:00 AM before the sun came up while wearing fluorescent green to be seen in the dark. A good walk or run is always uplifting especially along the shore, and four in the morning is not unusual for me, it is my normal time to work-out, and I continued my usual weekday weight training sessions in my home gym, along with daily meditation before work. On the weekends, I was able to relax on the patio overlooking the water and boats after sunset, therefore it was not all that bad. And, it was also a summer without the top down on my convertible until late summer when I would venture out for a night ride!
Fortunately, I have very high pain tolerance, and toward the end of three weeks, I took a couple of Aleve to ease the pain due to the tightness and wounds. Eating was tough but manageable. As the treatment continued, I had to hold back further from smiling or laughing because the corners of my mouth were cracking open and I feared to open another wound and scarring. My main thought was healing, eating frequently with the necessary nutrients, and this meant days of a liquid diet consisting of smoothies loaded with fruit, veggies, and protein powder because I could no longer open my mouth to bite into anything. At this point I did not care what anything tasted like, my only concern was my caloric and dietary needs for healing to get back to normal eating, cooking, and shopping! Stop & Shop Peapod delivery for groceries came in very handy rather than expose me to sunlight from driving to the store.
The food part – What to eat when you hurt too much to eat or open your mouth!
My go too food was my favorite unflavored whey protein isolate powder “
While this temporary way of living due to the topical chemotherapy was going on, little did I know at the time what was about to follow!
The great little waterfront home I was living in was a rental for a few years between home ownership that included an in-law apartment with a separate entrance I used for my office. It was a home I had the option to purchase, only it did not meet my personal needs, nor was the town of Waterford where I intended to settle down. I desired to move back to where I call home, that is either Essex or Old Saybrook, Connecticut where I previously owned houses. While actively looking for a home with my realtor, the house I was renting had a few open houses and multiple showings as soon as I was starting to heal, this meant once again quick food fixes and no messes in the kitchen, but at least I was able to eat solid food again. At his point, I opted for the indoor Cuisinart Griddler that I eventually wore out! What I loved about the grill is I could cook an entire meal of fish, veggies, sweet potato, or grilled sandwich, or any food in five to ten minutes including all the added fresh herbs, pepper, and lemon for flavor and seasoning. The best part was the easy clean-up since the grill plates could be removed to wash or put into the dishwasher.
As for myself finding a house, I knew time was running out, therefore I soon made an offer on a home in Essex, and the offer was accepted! The same day I gave notice to my landlord he told me he sold the house I was renting, I thought great, a win-win situation. After agreeing on a date for me to move, the house I intended to purchase did not pass inspection, and now nowhere to go! A bit of a difficult situation because I had to move both my home and office, only with no place to go, no place to see clients, no business phone, and no time to find a home to close on a mortgage in time. But the good news was I was feeling well, still a bit red, but healing as it was now mid to late August. Here is where the journey begins!
Stay tuned for – PART 2 on how to eat well and stay calm, fit, and healthy while packing and putting your life belongings in storage! Fun, food, activity and adventure in the Hamptons, NY and Old Saybrook, CT.
Meanwhile, here is my recipe to my High Power Smoothie many of my clients know all too well because it can go anywhere you have access to a blender and refrigerator, and it can be reduced or increased in portions to adjust to your caloric and protein needs. For me, I break it up in half for a pre and post-workout.
My Morning High Power Smoothie – Split in half for a for pre-and post-workout
539 Calories, 46g Protein, 74g Carb
2 Cups (16 ounces) Fat-free milk (I use lactose free)
1 scoop Whey protein isolate powder – unsweetened, unflavored preferred
2 tsp Cocoa nibs (unsweetened chocolate)
1-2 tsp Flaxseeds or mixed chia seeds
1 medium Banana
½ Cup Blueberries (or ¼ cup blueberries, ¼ cup cherries or berries)
½ Cup Baby Spinach
Blend all ingredients above together
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Winter Grilled Swordfish and Fresh Veggies with Squash and Carrots
Whether you are grilling indoors or outdoors, enjoying swordfish and fresh cut veggies are quick, easy, and nutritious!
Recipe for Two
Swordfish 10 ounces
Zucchini – 1 medium – slice, julienne or cut into chunks
Yellow Squash – 1 medium – slice julienne or cut into chunks
Carrots – 2 – julienne
Olive Oil – 1.5 Tablespoons or place into a spray bottle and spray to flavor
Fresh Lemon to flavor
Pepper and Fresh herbs to flavor – marjoram, basil, or rosemary can be used
Cut all vegetables, and season with pepper and herbs
Season swordfish with pepper, lemon, and herbs to flavor
Use olive oil on grill and lightly spray on vegetables for non-stick and flavor
Grill swordfish and vegetables for around 10 minutes, every grill is different, therefore watch the food carefully.
The recipe makes 2 servings. Nutrition Data Per Serving.
Calories: 410, Carbohydrate: 17g, Protein: 36g, Fat 23g, Sodium 340mg, Potassium 1105mg
Recipe by Kathy LaBella