Monday, June 8, 2015

A New Beginning... Again

                                                             A beautiful moutain trail in Polson, MT
A few weeks ago, I went running with some friends along this trail. It had been a long time since being able to run in the mountains, and with these wonderful friends. We each took the same path, but there's no doubt in my mind that it was a different experience for each of us- different, and wonderful.
I have missed blogging. Since we've moved to Ashland, and even before, it seems fear had the stronger hold on me which held me back. Now, with Sam writing regularly (something I am beyond thrilled about) I think about doing it too- but what I've decided to do now is a slightly different than the path I began on.

Everyone's path is different. Everyone has unique experiences, and from them takes something different away, and we become. We become what we think, and what we do.
Recently I've struggled with things I didn't think I would ever struggle with. Not that I think I'm immortal or have super-human strength, but in some regards, maybe I did. Sometimes we think that there are certain experiences, challenges, that we are exempt from- we think that we can avoid certain problems or issues, just because we want to. Now, with the beginnings of empathy and understanding in my quiver, I can move forward. This is a different experience in my path than I would have ever predicted I might face.
I am going to the doctor this week to follow up with a previous visit where I was given a prescription for acid reflux. I took the medicine for 1 day, and decided I knew better, and quit taking it. I suffered because I refused to think that I couldn't fix the problem by myself. Now, 2 weeks later, the problems and pain isn't completely gone, but I'm thankful for a husband who helped me see that sometimes we just can't change the things that happen to us; we can only decide how we will respond to them.

Needless to say, this new path is more about sharing what I learn on this journey to health and healing. I want to help others to achieve goals and become the person they want to be, just as so many of you have helped me. So, here we go... again. Life is all about beginning again... and again, and again. Here's to life; and to becoming our best along the path. It might be hard, but it will be beautiful.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Healthy- It's NOT Just About Food; plus a recipe for Homemade Hand Soap

     I have been blogging and talking about the importance of our nutrition- what we eat- but not until recently have I taken into account personally, the fact that being healthy isn't just about food anymore. How often do we misunderstand, or simply ignore the fact that our skin is our biggest organ, and what we use and do with our bodies on the outside is just as important as what we put on the inside? And I get it too- I will admit that I love the smells and conveniences of luxurious lotions and Bath and Body Works soaps; cleaners that make your home smell fresh or like there has never been a presence of germs- and never will be. It's been hard for me to transition. On the other hand, I feel more empowered and capable than ever! And, if there is something I want to do, or make, and I can do it naturally, then I can and will find a way. I have learned (and re-learn everyday) the power and success that comes from patience and perserverance. This power is giving me more opportunities to learn, to serve, and to teach my family, and to accomplish anything I really think I can do. So, I am feeling REALLY good about this transition. It is difficult to let go of old things, old habits, and what seems at first to be real or genuine needs- but as my perspective has changed and my learning increased, letting go has become easier; and, "That which we persist in doing becomes easier- not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do has increased!" Thank you, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

     So, the first thing I did, was learn how to make my own hand soap, then my own laundry detergent. I'll share both recipes on the recipes site- or you can just click here to get it.
It's the first day of a new week- The first week of a New Year. C'mon, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Be Bold

It's been since April that I have posted anything- and yet I have thought about sharing something almost every day! Every day, I cook. Every day... okay, not every day (but I think about it every day!) I exercise, and yet there are no new recipes, no new workouts, no new thoughts. I am reading a book called "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", and the thought that has remained with me is "In the real world, most often it is not the smart that get ahead, but the bold." I am not trying to criticize myself by saying this, but I have not been either smart OR bold. I have just waited. Waited for someone to tell me what I can or can't do, waited for perfect opportunities to shout at me, and wave their arms frantically in my face, screaming, "Hey! Hey you! Now's a good time to do what you want to do!" Seriously, sometimes I am slow...

And, I just haven't known what exactly I want to do, or how to do it. And, I haven't wanted to do anything where there is a good chance I might fail; because I might. But, I might not. So, I'm going to do it:

I am certifying as a personal trainer and nutritionist. I am going to focus especially on pre and post-natal nutrition. I guess that could potentially include all of us women, but if it doesn't, you are still included! So, the reason I am blogging today is to share my good news with you, and to say to you all, and myself (again): BE BOLD! You never know what you can or cannot do until you try. Don't give up on yourself. You deserve your love, your patience and help too. We can only truly help others when we are standing on higher ground than they are. How can we help, if we have not made the effort, exercised the faith, and to get ourselves to a level we believe those we love are capable of reaching too, right?

So, here's to a new day. As Billy Joel put it nicely, "You are the new day."

P.S. I created a new recipe! It's delicious, and healthy, despite what you think about bacon. :-) Try it- or try your own recipe, and share it with the rest of us. Have you created anything new lately?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Everything is Connected

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” 
― Herman Melville    

I have been listening to a book titled In Defense of Food;  You may have read it, or heard of it. It's taken me a long time to get through it, from start to finish. I have started reading it a few times, but I am finally on the last chapters. It's the most recent chapter I listened to that I wanted to share. It's about how everything is connected.

I don't know why this is such a revolutionary concept for me. I know well, despite my often poor use of agency, the ripple effect our actions have on those around us- directly or indirectly. So, naturally, this makes sense. But, I think I had forgotten that in order to be a more conscientious consumer, a more thoughtful eater, better example, and a better person in general, the world demands my commitment to understanding my connection to the world. It's not just what I have to offer the world, but how it affects me, what I have to learn from it, and how I can share that with others.

On Saturday, I went running with some friends. The first thing I realized as we started running uphill, was that I should not have eaten that donut the day before! The second thing I realized was that every place I stepped left an impression on the ground; every branch I touched, or puddle I stepped in, left its mark on me. After going up the hill, which was windy and not very enjoyable, we started going downhill, and experienced a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains and trees. The long, arduous process of getting up to the top was all worth it as we came down the mountain. And I hope that in all experiences and moments in my life, I can enjoy both the climb, and the descent. Both had beautiful views; and both left its impact on me in a positive way. 

Anway, I try to make my food choices the healthiest and most natural that I possibly can- but I am learning that there is yet a higher level of concientiousness in consumerism. It's not just buying the apples and bananas- but understanding how those apples and bananas got there; logically, but mostly unnoticed, how our food is grown will largely determine it's nutritive value. The mass production of apples, or milk, or potatoes, means for us that we don't get quite the value from our food that we think we are getting. Nowadays we need to eat two, or three apples to get the same nutitional value of an apple grown in the 1950's. And so we do... I know I do. Unfortunately, sometimes I don't choose those apples. But I feel the need to consume those extra calories anyway. I am working on changing that. One of those ways is by working on my variety.

I saw a recipe posted on a blog for Bison Stew. At first, I was turned off. Ew, how could I even consider eating an animal we rarely even talk about?! But the more I think about it, the more I am understanding that this is just it- it is the conscientious addition of things we don't normally incorporate into our diet, that makes us more conscientious of the things we do eat so much of. Maybe, just maybe, by carefully adding something new to our diet, we will think about how it will affect the other things we eat. And this might be really cheesey, but all of this might get us thinking about how our choices will influence our childrens' choices, maybe our friends' choices, and even the community in which we live. 
And we might make a small difference in ways we never considered. "By small and simple means, are great things come to pass..." And that connection to the world will change us; and we will never be the same. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Personal Journey: Beginning Again

I have wanted to do this for a while now, so I decided to just sit down and hash out my thoughts right here and now... finally.

It has been a long time since I have posted anything, and I felt like my nutritional knowledge and ability waxes and wanes so frequently, that I don't know what to share, what to say. I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that the value is not in what great knowledge I think I have to share, or what astounding research has developed, or whatever- I had forgotten that the purpose for this blog was to share things that I have learned, experiences I have that teach me something valuable, and a chance for me to hear and learn from you. I was too caught up in the "look at me" aspect, and not enough in the "what have I learned", and "what CAN I learn" element that makes this journey for me so inspiring and motivating.

So, I'm going to blog regularly, but keeping in mind that I may only be sharing opinions and feelings, not necessarily founded upon any solid research or facts cited. I will do my best to speak the truth though.
I would also love feedback, thoughts and opinions from whomever reads this, too. I have so much to learn. I know I can learn something from everyone, and I know that I am not the only person who could benefit from you sharing your experiences and thinkings. I would sincerely love and appreciate your presence and comraderie.

As a family we took a trip to Florida over Spring Break, to spend some time with Sam's family. We spent our time at a fantastic resort, and ironically spent much of our time eating. The food was incredible to say the least, and even the pickiest of eaters tried something new during the week- I mean, how could you not? I learned what Baba Ganouj was (it's delicious!), had a delicious salad with green beans, onions, cawliflower and bacon (yum!) that Grace was SO excited to re-make when we returned home (I'll share the recipe later), and enjoyed dessert EVERYDAY- yes, everyday. I was inspired by the variety of creative dishes, and I realized that it's not in the quantity, but QUALITY of healthy food we eat that's important. I have too often found myself mindless eating handfuls of candy, cookies, and chocolates, thinking that I'm enjoying them, or that I need them. I have decided (that's half the battle, right?) that that was the "old" me. The new me is going to think more, and enjoy more. As Mormons often say,"Pride cometh before the fall"- and it's true isn't it? One day in Florida, I thought I had finally reached the point where I could surround myself with temptation and be strong enough to resist because I had been physically satisfied by the enjoyable experience of eating... but psychologically, I was still the same, and I found myself eating more than I needed to, even when it wasn't dessert. I hadn't changed completely. It was the first step of many that I need to take... and I had forgotten that the process and journey are the most important part. Without them, there is no result.

So, this is where we begin again. Another step; another experience; another piece of valuable insight into who I am, and who I want to become. I guess then nutrition is not always about just food- but everything that we were, are and can become, and how we act with the knowledge that we are given. This is our journey.

A wonderful friend of mine has shared some great nutritional articles and news clips with me, so I thought I would share one with you- because we are leading by example, and teaching our children what's important to us... what do you want them to learn from you?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Art of Sprouting

It has been a long time since I have posted, and I hope you are all well and happy. I decided that I needed to post again thanks to some friends we had over for brunch today. They came over especially because we had had discussions before about foods that helped improve what they felt was a diet struggling to make them feel really healthy, clean and conscientious of their overall well being. Of course that motivated me to try to share with them all that I know, in 30 minutes. IMPOSSIBLE! But I realized that with all I have experienced since living in New York City, I cannot keep quite about this nutritional beauty any longer.

There is so much to share with you about the art of sprouting that I can only graze the surface right now. The rest is up to you to discover, enjoy and experience for yourself. Here is a link to some information about the science and nutrition behind sprouting. The essence behind this understanding is that it gives you a good understanding of why sprouting might be beneficial to you. I'll give you a couple of reasons here, just for fun:
Soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes releases the Phytic Acid- enzyme prevents the absorption of many of the nutrients found in the food, into your body. When this enzyme is released, the amounts of protein and fiber increase, and the amount of life-building enzymes increase as the sprouts grow. Just like the small sprout of a new seed lives and grows to potentially become a full, complete creation, so do your sprouts also contain all of those beneficial vitamins, minerals, and  the LIFE of that plant- in that tiny little seed. One of my favorite sites: The Nourished Kitchen, can provide you with more answers if you have questions.

So, now that you know what you know, why not try? Get a glass jar or container, and measure 1 cup of your favorite beans. Note: Lentils and Mung Beans sprout the fastest (quinoa is a quick sprouter too, if you have some of that on hand instead!). Pour your measured grain or bean into your glass container. Completely immerse in warm water, with 1Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (or fresh whey, or kefir- that's another post for another day) and leave to soak overnight (or 12 hours. Whatever comes first). Drain, cover with something that allows the air to circulate but keeps out the flies, and let it sit for about 8 hours. Rinse and drain again. Depending on what you're sprouting, you may already begin to see sprouts after this cycle. If not, let sit for another day. Rinse and drain again, until you begin to see sprouts. Now cook them. The required cooking time is also significantly shorter. Eat them. Enjoy them. They are living. And they are wonderful, tasty, and incredibly good for you. Honor yourself by doing something good for yourself. And for your family. You deserve to have what you are willing to work for.
It's so easy, I promise even your dog can do it- if you have a dog.:-)
Happy Sprouting!
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, speak your mind! I would love to hear from you!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Relief from Tummy Aches

Beginning yesterday, Grace was complaining of a stomach ache that has progressed into unbearable pain today. All this prompted some research- some which I thought was really interesting, and can be helpful for children AND adults; so I thought I would share it with you.

A stomachache can be caused from a number of things, two of the most common being gas, and constipation. There are also many essential and helpful bacteria living in our bodies. However, consuming too much meat (especially undercooked meat), and chemically engineered and processed foods, this bacteria no longer thrives and gives room to other bacteria, more harmful and debilitating than we realize. This bacteria can often include worms, including roundworms and tapeworms. These worms cannot live outside our body, so it is vital that we always keep our bodies clean on the inside as well as the outside! It really is quite simple to do this, but sometimes may take an honest and sometimes painful look at our diet to see if there is a need for change. Eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains and limiting our sugar intake is the best, natural way to flush these harmful substances from our bodies, as well as adding exercise to our daily regimen. Yoga is comprised of poses (called asanas) and movements that help not only relieve our muscles of Lactic Acid buildup, but also helps to move these harmful toxins through our bodies. One stretch that I often do is performed by sitting on the floor with your legs crossed. Begin by moving your right foot to the outside of your left leg. Twist your torso to the right, allowing your left arm at the elbow to rest against your right knee as you breathe deeper and deeper into the twist. The best way to describe how I feel while doing this is like a wet towel being wrung out. And literally, this twist helps to wring out the toxins from your body- so drink a glass of water afterwards to flush them out!
Speaking of drinks... here is one that I found on sparkpeople, but also has information regarding this recipe and the background of it.

Homemade Lemonade is a great detox drink for adults and children alike. Recipe is as follows:
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1 T. Grade A or B Real Maple Syrup
1/10 t. cayenne pepper (I left this out for Grace's sake!)

The result is a tasty, refreshing drink that helps flush a buildup of toxins from your body. The Lemon juice acts as a purifier and provides some vitamins including potassium. The maple syrup adds the natural sugars for digestion, and the pepper adds minerals as well as speeds up your metabolism. It's great!

Other options include gentle laxatives including 1tsp. sea salt to 30 oz. warm water (add a splash of lemon juice to make it bearable), oils such as castor oil, psyllium husks, or other over-the-counter products. Prune juice is also effective (just ask Grace!) :-)
She is now a happier, more active girl today! Hooray!


One Step at a Time

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier. Not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do has increased." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson