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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine  
    January 2, 2004    PAGE 9       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

  Featured Articles
 The End of the Resolution
 The Art of Letting Go
 Shades of Gray
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Cosmetic Surgery: A First Look
 Indulge on Induction
 Harmonic Convergence
 Coming Full Circle
 A Time for Self Evaluation
 Resolutions for Healthy Eating!
 Summit in Denver
 Snapshot: TGI Friday's



            Self Evaluation by Jarret Hughes

Jarret Hughes has held numerous cooking positions at cafes, diners, and family restaurants. He takes a "keep it simple" attitude toward cooking, preferring olive oil to truffle oil. Jarret strives to inform readers about the history of various foods while offering professional advice regarding food purchase and preparation.

For this issue, we get a double-dose of Jarret!
Turn the page for Jarret's Resolutions for Healthy Eating!

                                                             "Life is a succession of moments.
                                                                     To live each one is to succeed."
                                                                                      Corita Kent

"Peace. Love. Joy." The red and green sign is lit up every night in my neighbor's yard this time of year. I pass it so often that I really don't even think about it anymore. I was getting ready to pull into my driveway yesterday after a very long day at work when I noticed the sign.

Yesterday, my boss announced that the company was doing very poorly financially and that employees would not receive holiday bonuses this year. Further, no raises will be given. Some employees are even being asked to take pay cuts — employees who recently got married, recently bought their first homes, and recently had their first children. In short, the environment at work has been downright depressing.

After a few seconds, I realized that I'd stopped in the middle of my quiet side street directly in front of my neighbor's house — about 20 feet from my driveway. I've seen that "peace, love, joy" sign hundreds of times before, but I'd never really thought about what it was saying. I always just assumed that it meant peace, love, and happiness for all people. I thought to myself, "On a global scale, that will never happen." There will always be war, hatred, and unhappiness. I found the sign quite silly.

Then it hit me. It was an epiphany. The sign was talking to me on a personal level, not on a global one. The sign was asking me to take a look inside myself to see if I have found peace, love, and joy. I thought a lot about that sign last night. I decided to take an introspective look at myself based on the three elements pointed out in the sign.

There will never be world peace. Therefore, I need work on being at peace with myself. To see if I have achieved inner peace, I needed to ask myself the following questions:

  • Do I tell the truth in order to be honest with myself and with those around me?
  • Do I do everything I can (within my means) to help others?
  • Do I live my life without fearing the uncertainty of tomorrow?
  • Do I welcome the challenges of life in a calm and rational manner?
  • Do I realize that peace is not a destination, but a way of living and being?
For me, all of these things are key components to finding inner peace. For others, the criteria may be quite different.

Do I love myself?  Again, I asked myself some tough questions:
  • Do I spend a significant amount of time criticizing myself for my faults?
  • Do I praise myself often for all the good things I do?
  • Do I love myself enough to treat my body as well as it should be
    treated — through good eating habits and exercise?

I know that before I love others, I must love myself. Loving myself doesn't mean being egotistical — it simply means that I'm being good to myself. Again, I must realize that nobody is perfect. For this reason, I need to accept my faults and limitations and not beat myself up because of them.

Am I, for the most part, happy? With all of life's challenges, it's impossible to be completely happy 100% of the time. Being happy comes from the inside, and not from outside circumstances. Of course, I may feel sad when life throws a challenge my way, such as a death in the family. However, the manner in which I deal with these situations will determine whether or not I am a truly happy person. I asked myself the following questions:

  • Do I confront difficult situations head-on rather than sitting around and feeling sorry for myself?
  • Do I feel content with where I'm at in life in regards to my career, friends, and spiritually?
  • Do I take the time out of my busy schedule to do things that make me happy?

After I thought about all of these things for a couple hours, I reached my verdict. The bottom line is that I haven't totally achieved inner peace, I don't love myself as much as I should, and I'm definitely not as happy as I could be.

I scored very well in the "peace" category, but the "love" and "joy" categories are definitely lacking. On the "love" side, I am my own worst critic, and I don't give myself nearly enough credit for the things I do well. In addition, while I have taken a huge step forward by following a low carb way of eating, I could be doing much more to take care of myself physically — especially in terms of exercise. On the "joy" side, I don't take enough time out of each day to do things to make me happy. I often spread myself too thin. I need to put myself first sometimes, rather than always coming last.

There will always be room for improvement, and I shouldn't trap myself into striving for total perfection. However, I do need to be true to myself and strive for the best possible marks on all three counts. I'm not one to make resolutions at the beginning of the year that will be forgotten before February rolls around. But I do owe it to myself to improve as a person. Not only do I owe it to myself — I deserve it.

I can't help but think what the world would be like if everyone worked on improving themselves rather than criticizing others for their faults. Maybe then we could all think about my neighbor's sign on a more global level.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all peace, love, and joy in 2004.


Copyright © January 2004  Jarret Hughes and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury

Southern Fried Crispy Catfish

The secret to fried catfish is cooking it at just the right temperature to seal in the moisture and flavor. When you first drop it into hot oil you want to seal it and then cook it. You can use fresh catfish fillets, or you can use the farm raised variety available in the supermarket freezer section.
    Southern Fried Crispy Catfish
  • 1 lb catfish fillets
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup almond or macadamia nut meal
  • 1/4 Atkins or other low carb bake mix
  • 2 teaspoons corn meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Macadamia nut or peanut oil for frying
Rinse the fillets thoroughly and then pat dry with a paper towel. If using fresh catfish, skin the catfish and then wash thoroughly. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Roll the catfish fillets in a mixture of the next seven ingredients. A quick way to coat the fish is to place the mixture it in a plastic bag with the fish and just shake it.

Drop into deep fryer at 325F. Fry until it turns golden brown; about 5 minutes. Remove onto paper towels and allow to drain.

Serve with collard greens, and sugarless cole slaw for a real Southern feel.

Makes 4 servings — 5.9 effective grams of carbohydrate per serving.


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