Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Living clean and pure

Recently I went to an educational talk with Dr. Tamara Sachs, a long time general practitioner who is very passionate about living healthy, and a National Marketing Director with the Juice Plus Company.  Her talk was "Living on a Toxic Planet," and while it's depressing to think that we are indeed surrounded by toxins, her talk reminded me that the way I've been living, and the choices I make, mostly keep my body safe from those toxins.  From choosing to live in the mountains of Colorado twenty years ago, to reading every label of every item I buy, it may take a little more effort, but the way my body feels and the longevity that results from living a pure clean life is worth it.

For nearly three decades I have been very proactive about what I put in and on by body; lotions, hair products, household cleaners, and food - all of the labels of the items I buy, I read. If you're curious as to why, read my article on Read the Label. It's important to be sure of what you're using, and my general rule is that if it doesn't come from plants, I don't use it. Furthermore, if I can't pronounce it, I find out what it is, and if it doesn't come from plants, I use it. I make my own skin-healing salve, our floor cleaner, and fabric softener. One of my core values is that plants heal, and I have countless personal testimonials of how plants have healed my body inside and out, so I have dedicated my life to educating others on this both formally and individually. This is one of the core reasons I joined the Juice Plus company in 2014. Our bodies need more plants, and our systems know exactly what to do with plants. It was a match made in heaven.

So when Dr. Sachs shared her website with us, I thought it was important to share. Her Detox Fact Sheet is so comprehensive, and I love having it on hand now to share with people.

If you think your body is suffering - whether it's with pain or immune function - check out Dr. Sachs' list and start making some changes one by one. Your body will thank you.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Eating healthy while on the road

Traveling gives me such joy- to be out exploring the world and it's many cultures, people, vistas- makes my heart sing. But as someone who has struggled for over a decade with food sensitivities, weight fluctuation due to a thyroid condition, and committed to eating a healthy, plant-based diet, traveling can indeed be a challenge.

Whether there is a language barrier or not, often what I'm looking for simply isn't on the menu - vine ripe, organic, plant-based food.

So if you're new to this way of life and type of eating, you may say "oh screw it," when you're on the road.  But if you're wise to why you're eating this way - for mind, body and spirit - then you may notice that you're more tired, touchy, emotional, sore, restless, and overall just not yourself. Or you may even suffer from physical symptoms, which are perhaps the root of why you're eating this way (IBS, gas, bloating, pain, inflammation, etc.)

The day that I shifted my thinking from deprivation, ("I can't eat that because..." and feeling deprived of the joys of life) to optimization and the value of high vibration eating and living, things shifted for me. I was ok with asking a lot of questions - versus being embarrassed or feeling like I was putting people out, I was ok with educating the person in front of me - afterall, they're in the service industry, and they want to serve (well, most of them), and I was ok with committing to what serves my body well.

Over the last ten years I've both succeeded and failed at eating healthy on the road, and here are some of my tricks to staying committed to my health while traveling:

1. Juice Plus
This may sound like a plug, but it's not. The day I committed to making this product part of my life forever is a groundbreaking decision for me. For a nearly decade I had struggled with food intolerances, auto-immune symptoms, and general mal-nutrition, and those have all but disappeared after 4 years on this product. Now when I travel, I take extra, and take comfort in knowing I'm getting the nutrients from the equivalent of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in my system every day. I don't get sick while I travel because my immune system is supported, and I don't worry if I don't get all of the fruits and vegetables I know I need each day. Also, if I do have a flare up of inflammation, the Juice Plus Complete powder and an extra dose of the Juice Plus capsules help reduce that almost immediately.

2. Healthy Snacks
Because a plant-based diet doesn't burns off quickly, I always have snacks for between meals. Whether that's nuts, a healthy bar, fruit, or Juice Plus Complete powder, I'm always prepared so I don't get too hungry, hypo-glycemic, fatigued or dizzy, or eat the wrong thing because I'm not focused as a result.

3. Ask questions
Don't be afraid to ask. I was truly shocked to find out that nearly everywhere we went in Ireland - small pubs and cafes included - had gluten free bread. I honestly wouldn't have even asked I don't think, but someone told us early on that it was a staple there now, I asked every time and was pleasantly surprised. As well as finding out what you need to know, I've found that the more you ask, the more the world changes a little for the better - supply and demand. If alternatives to dairy and gluten are needed for more and more people (IE nearly 20% of Italy is now gluten intolerant), the more they will be provided.

4. Stay committed 
If you've made a decision to eat healthy, then honor that. You're doing so for your health, your longevity, or another really good reason, and compromising that for laziness or embarrassment isn't worth it.
   a. Educate the people you're with right away. Let them know your dietary restrictions and needs and let them help you stay accountable to that. I know for me, when someone else is helping me stay on track, I have a much better success rate. So welcome the help. You deserve it.
   b. Don't waiver. For me, when I start going down the road of cheating on my commitments, it's a slippery slope. I have a lot of dietary requirements - no gluten, no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar, no meat - and it can be overwhelming and frustrating at times to stick to all of that. But the pain I feel as a result isn't worth it, and shifting my mindset to "Food Heals," and "Feed the Body what it needs, not what the brain thinks it wants," helps me stay on track. So long as I don't feel like I'm depriving myself by not having soda and doughnuts (and yes, I used to feel that way), and I remind myself that those kinds of foods bring disease and discomfort, I don't crave them.

5. Come prepared 
Know the region that you're traveling to in advance. Know what staples are there for you that you can ask for. Do the research ahead of time - whether it's just the next state over or half way around the world, prepare. We are so lucky that we have the technology to do this kind of pre-travel homework these days, and while we may not feel like we have the time to, make the time to. You'll thank yourself later. Read up on local blogs and reviews, research local chefs with the same healthy mindset, and ask the locals when you get there. We are currently in Trinidad and Tobago, and the locals are really friendly, the local food is really good! I'm pleasantly surprised to find that I am feeling so good and finding it really easy to eat healthy.

I hope this helps you stay on track! You've got this!

Stay well. You deserve to feel good, and eat better! 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

IDEA #3829 - Avocados in glass jars...

I don't really know if this is idea number 3829, but I feel like this one is worth numbering, and not to toot my own horn, but I've had a lot of great ideas over the years - as I"m sure you have too. Getting back to the reason I started writing this blog - insights, inventions, and ways to make life easier, simpler, smarter - this idea was a particularly OMG kind of a-ha moment for me. And it's truly simple.

Where do you put your half-eaten avocado? Typically, we would just leave it open in the fridge and cut off the brown when we wanted it the next day, or at worst, two days later. Sometimes it would be all brown, and we'd have to throw it out.

But last week I didn't have my own fridge, and I didn't want to just leave it out in the open. And the only thing I had at work was the cleaned out jar I'd had my breakfast smoothie in. So I threw the avocado in there thinking, "that's weird but whatever." 6 hours later is was still green. BRIGHT green. And it dawned on me... no air, no oxidation, no browning. GENIUS! I mean, most good ideas are just accidents right?

So next time you're looking to save your half of something... try it. It's better than plastic (which breathes), better than plastic wrap (which isn't sustainable), and better than just leaving it out in the open.

You're welcome. 😛

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How to live without sugar - 10 tips

Living without sugar is still a daily challenge for me. I've covered this topic often because going sugar free helps me so much, but it SO isn't easy, so I hope these posts help you, too. Especially around Valentine's Day. But let's face it, every month of the year has at least one holiday that's infused with sugar.

A February free of... - 2/1/17
Raw, vegan lifestyle isn't just for crazies anymore - 3/11/16

30 days of "no" sugar - successes and challenges, and moving forward - 2/9/16

30 days of sugar free: Kicking the Addiction - 1/28/16

30 days Sugar Free: Switching date sugar - 1/11/16

Committing to 30 days without sugar - YOU will hold me to it - 1/10/16

Partying with a restrictive diet - yes, it can be done! - 3/24/12

Healthy Living 2: Healthy Eating - 8/5/10

Healthy Living 1 - Read the Label - 7/28/10

Bottom line, I know I feel exponentially better without it - sugar gives me headaches, tummy aches, joint aches, throat aches, and fatigue.
And I know that if I go without it, I no longer crave it. And now that I've done this many times I definitely don't crave it even when I'm "off the wagon" like I used to - donuts, gummy bears, coffee with cream and sugar, sodas. But still the occasional sugar sneaks into my diet if I'm not vigilant - and it's mostly when I forget to read the label or go back to something I know I don't need. Or walk by the chocolate aisle when my hormones are spiked (which is rare, but it happens).

Once I go 3 days without it, I lose the habit of needing a chocolate treat after dinner (which keeps me from sleeping soundly anyway, so why bother). Once I go a week, I've practically forgotten all about it. And once I go 21 days, my taste buds have all regenerated and any small amount of sugar makes one bite feel like an entire funnel cake flooding to my brain.

Honestly, if you haven't tried it, do. It'll change the way you look at life. 21 days without sugar - GO!

But we're human. I mean, come on. When I commit to a month of sugar free, I have to set myself up for success and pull out all the stops to help me block something that might derail me.

Here are 10 tips to removing sugar from your bloodstream, one date at a time: 

1. Tell everyone, especially your family. This will act as an accountability system first and foremost, but also I find that telling my husband what I'm doing is paramount. "Don't bring any of that junk home!"  Yeah, surprise chocolate bars aren't good.

2. Stock up! Stock the fridge with berries, fruit, healthy snacks, and especially dates and date sugar - it's not real sugar, it's just called that because we Americans are addicted to the stuff. It's finely ground date powder, and it works in recipes just like sugar. I only use it when I'm making something for a party - because I don't want to feel left out of the dessert course. [grin]

3. Read every label. As stated above, it's hiding. In your ketchup, granola, yogurt. And learn the aliases - high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose (or any word ending in "-ose"), brown rice syrup, honey, and maple syrup are all sugars that will affect your body poorly.

4. Try unsweetened. If you drink tea, non dairy milk, 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

10 things I learned in 1997, and the 20 years it took me since then to truly learn them

I was in a book store in Oregon, about to embark on a journey across land and sea, when a book fell off the shelf and dropped to my feet. I looked around to see if someone had pushed it - the shelves were the old school library kind, where books were backed up against each other on metal shelves between narrow aisles. But no one was there. I was 23 and a little jumpy. I bent down to pick up the green book and read its unsuspecting, all-text cover. "The Celestine Prophesy," it read. Hmm, prophesy, I thought, that's cool. But what's a Celestine Prophesy? 

So I flipped it over and read the summary of a man on a journey to find an ancient manuscript. It felt somehow connected to the journey I was embarking on. I wasn't headed to South America, but it didn't matter, I had been delving into the depths of myself with my first metaphysical teacher for a year and was ready to dive further. I was headed to Scotland, and it was cold and dark and raining there. Perfect conditions for reading.

I bought the book. Little did I know it would become the syllabus for my life.

If only I'd taken those 10 celestine insights to heart and lived them like a code, I might not have needed the following two decades for them to sink in. (But where would be the fun in that?) The shift I went through that year in Glasgow, commencing with the celestine insights, affected my mind so profoundly, that I wrote my 3rd book of poems based on it, including one that summed up the insights:

What I learned from James Redfield's Celestine Prophesy in 1997:

1. Talk to strangers. 
Carl Jung's Synchronicity Theory suggests that there are no coincidences. That every connection has a purpose, a meaning, and a message. So taking that to heart, I began to talk to strangers - something that I was warned against growing up. It took me 20 years to get here, but now I know that every stranger on the plane next to me has a message, a connection, and a purpose. So I talk to them.

2. Know your history. 
If you don't, you'll likely repeat it - and the worst parts of it to boot. I loved studying genealogy early on, but what I didn't realize back then was how deeply connected to it I was. This circles back around in insights 4 and 6.

3. Get into the woods. Often.
We have the same xylem and phloem that plants do - our energy ebbs and flows, and is intrinsically connected to everything. This is the quantum field. We gain much more than oxygen from plants, and vise versa. We are connected on a deep level, and the more we notice the beauty and magic of nature, the brighter and lighter we become.

4. Release your story. 
We are programmed from birth to use one of Jung's four core personality dramas to gain energy from each other. These four dramas play off of each other, and the instant we learn to let them go - to release our "story" - we begin to draw energy from the true source, and begin to step into our natural joy. Otherwise known as "let go, and let God."

5. Love is the answer. 
After we've let go of our story, we can begin to have compassion for everyone else's. Instead of taking someone's traffic violation as a personal offense, we can think, "wow they must be having a bad day," and send them some love. What we put out comes back to us ten-fold. So put out love.

6. Clear the past, and all for a reason. (A two-for-one) 
Connecting this to #2 and #4, clearing your drama even further by letting go of what has transpired - the past is behind you, leave it there - and start to get curious about what is the real reason you chose the parents and family you were born to. How have all of those dramas made you into the person you've become? And why?

7. Engage the flow. 
Learn the true meaning of flow. Go with the flow. Allow the flow. Surrender. All of these things mean, on a deep level, to follow the breadcrumbs that the universe sends you. Combine this with #1 and you're golden. Synchronicity + Surrender = Success.

8. Raise the bar (vibration).
Using #3 to tap into nature, and #7 to allow the flow, your energy and vibration can maintain a constant, higher state, that you can in turn then help others raise their vibration. Be the positive force in the room. Connect to your higher self and do what you came here to do. Uplift.

9. Study Agape. 
When you focus on the world's beauty and light, you begin to live in a state of awe - or agape: true, one love. This is connection to source. It can be synonymous with enlightenment. Chase the rainbow.

10. Live full out.
The first time I heard that line it gave me the vision of full-throttle, pedal to the medal. And now I know that's not quite right. "Living full out" is using up every minute of every day like it's your last, but not to the point of destruction - to the point of fulfillment. Fuel your engine right so it'll run all day and sleep all night. Give back to humanity not so you'll be remembered, but because you can. Live with intention and BE the lighthouse so lost ships can find their way.

It's these 10 insights that Redfield's taught me that have put me on a course to teaching this to others. Tomorrow starts the 5th year that I've taught Manifesting with Synchronicity, based on the Celestine Prophesy, and I feel honored to facilitate his message, helping others find their way. It is in this way that I have learned to LIVE Synchronously. With nature, with my path, with my soul circle of friends and family.

Be the light.