Good Old Home Cookin'

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Growing up, my family did not eat out for meals except on special occasions like a 16th birthday, Christmas Eve, or Sundays when my mother was too tired after church to cook. Otherwise, we ate three home cooked meals a day at an antique round kitchen table that my father bought on a long extended sales trip to Ohio.

My mother (and Dad too on the weekends) cooked every meal, and taught all four of her children how to do so as well.

My mother is now 90 years old. She recently had all of her bloodwork done because she has to have a left hip replacement surgery next month. The doctors and nurses were astonished by the results. She has the blood work of a 60 year old, takes no medication, and has all her wits about her...and then some.

The nurses gathered around asking her to spill all her secrets, but she just smiled without saying a word! I’ll tell you her secret however: she has cooked and eaten at home the majority of her life. She had complete control over the spices, herbs, and foods that she consumed every day. This led to a very healthy lifestyle that has served her well throughout her aging process.

Is it any wonder that I too ascribe to cooking and eating at home regularly?

One of my rituals is to make dinner on Sundays that will last a few days. Last week I had my staff over and made a pot roast that took me 10 minutes to prepare and 8 hours later, voila, it was ready to go! I included veggies and an easy-to-make salad in order to round out my food groups. The result was a healthy and easy to make meal. Jordan was especially happy since he got a lot of the leftovers! It was also incredibly inexpensive in comparison to restaurant food.

It’s wild that I can buy a pound of lettuce at the Farmers Market for $8 and have it last me more than a week. If I dine out, it costs $8 for a dinner salad! What a waste!

I even got my husband on the bandwagon. He used to drink iced tea every day all day long. When I met him he was frequenting establishments on every corner to fill up and get a new cup. I suggested another solution: a cooler filled with ice from his own ice machine, self brewed tea put into tall thin cylinders that transported well in the cooler, and a reusable 24 oz. plastic cup with a permanent straw that fit perfectly in his car cup holder.

He brought it home every night, cleaned it out and started all over again in the morning. He was set, saving thousands of dollars a year and saving precious minutes in his day by not having to go into corner stores.

So, let me challenge you all to take a good look at how, when, and what you eat. Healthy, home cooked meals not only give you the health benefits that my mother enjoys, but can also give you a slice of extra financial stability that my husband Brian accrued. And, who knows, maybe you can put those pennies saved toward attending a Judy Stakee retreat!

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Start a diary. Write about what you’re eating so you can assess if what you’re consuming is healthy

  2. After that assessment you can get rid of bad habits and put new good habits in place that will serve you on your journey of developing you and your career.

  3. Keep up your new good habits


Vision Board 2019

Well, well, well... the holidays are over and a new year is upon us.

To harness the magic of this new year, I’ll be using an old trick: a vision board. During this time of resolutions, making lists, and manifesting a path forward, vision boards help to visually remind me of my life’s goals. This will be my 10th year in a row making one!

I began the ritual in 2009, the year I left Corporate America to begin my own path. Using scrapbook paper, clippings from magazines, my trusty glue stick, and flat cardboard poster paper, I created a visual collage of my dreams. Each subsequent year I’ve used this tool as an expression of what I want for my life personally, creatively, and in business. I can’t predict the future, but my vision board helps me manifest the one I want.

When I start this project anew each year, I never really know exactly what the board will look like. I flip through stacks of magazines and rip out anything that catches my eye: a word, a phrase, an image, etc. Letting my intuition lead, I always seem to compile a collection of images that speak to me.

Ten years ago I had stacks and stacks of magazines, old and new, to choose from. But, as any other 21st century person will tell you, we’re all purchasing fewer magazines. This year I only had five! However, these five magazines coughed up a decent amount of images and phrases. They weren’t enough to complete the board, so I supplemented them with intentional searches on Google Images. For instance this year I searched for the goddess of education, Saraswati, in order to represent my intention of creating a songwriting class for 4th and 5th graders.

After compiling my images, I glued them all onto the board to see how they might fit. That’s when the magic happens. The first time I did this, I had the feeling that the universe was nodding at me because the images seemed to know how to fit together. I still feel that way each year when I complete this ritual. It still surprises me how well this process gives me a visual representation of my heart’s desires.

Here’s my finished product.

For 2019, I invite you to make a Vision Board to steer your journey in the direction of your dreams.

Happy New Year!


For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know how picky I am about what food I put into my body. If you come to one of my retreats, you will experience how much food plays a part in your well-being as a songwriter. I believe that your physical health affects your mental health. Bottom-line is that when your body is happy, you get much more done!

I eat a consistent diet filled with a mostly crew of superfoods: fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and oatmeal. But, just like anyone else, I love a good snack. However, I don’t look towards Doritos or sweets to satisfy my cravings, instead, I turn towards Trader Joe’s nuts and raisins. These individual packets are the perfect snack and come in a bag of ten. They have no salt, no sugar coating, and haven’t even been roasted. They’re just plain nuts and raisins.

Why, you ask, am I blogging about nuts and raisins? Because twice in the last few weeks I have been faced with trying to find a different healthy snack.

Here’s the skinny.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Seattle for the evening and left my lunch, along with my snacks, on the shuttle to the airport. I got distracted by a group of fourteen-year-old kids on the shuttle who were flying to DC for a rocketship competition...fascinating. Ugh, I was so mad at myself. Not only did I have to buy my lunch at the airport (I don’t eat on planes unless I absolutely have to), but I also had to find a snack. I went into every store and airport bodega, but all I could find was roasted trail mix with salt and added M&M’s. Eventually, I found a bag of cashews, not raw and lightly salted, that would have to do.

A few days later I traveled to upstate New York for two back-to-back retreats and brought along two bags of my individual nuts that ran out the final two days. I sent one of my staff to go into the small town we were staying in to find me more nuts and raisins. Anticipating what I went through at the airport, I asked him to, if necessary, get me a bag of walnuts and some raisins I could mix them myself.

He came back as frustrated as I had been. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Every trail mix and nut concoction had salt, sugar, and roasted nuts mixed in. He bought me two bags of the least offensive mix and I picked the salted almonds out of them. I ended up eating my fruit for a snack instead.

On the last day, I could hardly wait to drive back into New York City and hit up Trader Joes for my snacks. I realize I have a much simpler palette than most, but I like that what I put into my body comes from the earth. It makes me happy.

Nothing packaged, nothing processed, nothing not real. Hopefully small towns and airport bodega will get on board soon.

The Importance Of Harnessing Your Power

The Importance Of Harnessing Your Power

How you use your words is important for your future. Words are the tools that will help you present yourself as professional and likable throughout your journey. When you lead with excuses, you immediately tarnish your reputation. Always speak with confidence, intent, and remember, less is more.