May 6: Feelings and Anchovy pasta

kit yoon

I will forever be grateful to Orly, our marriage therapist, who introduced me to one of the most important lessons of life:

We are responsible for our own feelings.

Before our first session with Orly, I believed that other people, things and events had the ability to make me feel something.

For instance, I am down on a rainy day because it’s raining; I am anxious before a talk because there are lots of people watching; I feel unseen because my husband ignores my questions.

“Nobody can make you feel anything,” Orly started our very first counseling session.

“Jim can’t make you feel good or bad, loved or unloved, sad or happy,” she continued.

“You get to decide how you feel,” Orly delivered the permission I needed to hear.

Little did I know that our time with Orly was the beginning of a journey into health, life, and self coaching. The missing piece that I didn’t get from Orly was the difference between thinking and feeling.

Most of the time, thoughts occur before feelings.

“You get to decide how you feel” actually means you get to decide how you think about something. You get to interpret the situation in a way that makes sense to you. You get to make up your own stories.

For instance, if it’s raining, what do you want to think about it?

You can think:

  • I love the rain – it’s so refreshing!
  • I love that it’s raining – the plants will be happy!
  • I love the rain – I get to stay inside and be cozy!
  • I hate that it’s raining – my plans are ruined.
  • I don’t like rain – it makes me depressed.
  • I can’t believe it’s raining – the forecast did not predict this!

Rain is rain. We don’t have control over when it rains. But we have control over how we want to think about the rain, which will determine the feeling we have about the rain.

We could be happy, sad, excited, depressed, grateful, frustrated, neutral… about the fact that it’s raining. It is entirely up to how we decide to think about the rain!

We are responsible for our own stories which means we get to be in control of our feelings.

I don’t know about you, but my husband and I happen to have wonderful thoughts and feelings about anchovies.

It was one of the first things that solidified our love for each other, for food, for sharing a dish we love with…yes,  anchovies!


Spaghetti with garlic and anchovies


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 8 oil-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound spaghetti, uncooked
  • 1 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or more 


  • In a large sauce pot, bring generously salted water to a boil.
  • Place a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil.
  • Add the garlic, anchovies, and pepper flakes, coat with the oil, and cook slowly until the garlic is fragrant and the anchovies are melting into the oil, 5-7 minutes.
  • Keep an eye on the pan to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn or toast, adjust the heat if necessary.
  • Once the pasta water reaches a boil, add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
  • Add 1/2 of the parsley to the sauté pan and toss with the other ingredients
  • Use tongs to carefully transfer the pasta directly from the boiling water to the sauté pan
  • Increase the heat to medium and toss the pasta with the pan ingredients. If needed, add a small drizzle each of oil and pasta water to keep everything smooth.
  • Taste the pasta and season with salt to taste.
  • Transfer to individual serving plates or bowls and top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and more parsley.


Ready to move forward in your health and wellness journey? Contact me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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