As I was meditating about what to write to you about today, I felt inspired to share a recent experience with one of my grammar school classmates.
My friend, who recently retired from her corporate career of some 40 years, was lamenting online about the change in quality of her “date day” activities as she’s gotten older. She had just returned home from spending her lunchtime at the podiatrist with her husband and her dinnertime at a local pain management center for a medical condition that she is facing, and was half-jokingly wondering about what the next decade would bring.
There was a definite theme among the comments and good-natured banter that followed. Many recounted similar stories of health challenges, while others expressed gratitude for being ambulatory enough to get to the doctor on their own, and still others shared that a reduced state of health was better than the alternative…specifically, death.
I found it interesting that no part of the discussion addressed the possibility that it didn’t have to be that way.
So, I added a comment of my own, questioning the commonly-accepted idea that people automatically get sick as they age. Then I invited anyone participating in the conversation to contact me if they would like to know how their life could be different. Perhaps surprisingly, my heartfelt offer received no inquiries.
Where did we ever get the idea that growing older automatically equates to diminished health and vitality? Have we been so conditioned to believe this and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that it often doesn’t dawn on us to consider that it might not be so. And if an alternative comes to mind, we may simply dismiss it as being out of reach for us.
Well the good news is, we really do get to choose. Allow me to explain.
Every day we make choices that either do or do not support our health and well-being. Some of these choices are deliberate. For example, you might think “I know eating this sugary dessert makes me feel crappy but it tastes so good that I don’t care” and so you choose to eat it anyway. That’s a conscious decision made despite a past negative experience.
For many of us, the majority of our choices are unconscious. It may be because of a lack of knowledge, or because we don’t fully understand the implications of the choice or we may not be connecting the dots about its impact on us.
Living consciously is about making your day-to-day decisions with maximum awareness. As we learn from our past experiences, our ability to make different and (hopefully) more appropriate choices grows. It is about moving beyond any guilt or shame that may be lingering from the past, and moving towards living with the intent to be our best self at every opportunity.
Which brings me to my point (and yes, I do really have one): the food we eat directly impacts the clarity of the decisions we make, and making conscious food choices directly impacts our long-term health and happiness. Consider how many pounds of toxic chemicals you would consume over the next ten years as a result of unconscious buying choices at the supermarket, and how that can be avoided by choosing healthier foods such as organic fruits and vegetables. The body, in its innate wisdom, knows how to keep itself in balance when given the right fuel.
Are you ready to feel better? Contact me and let’s get started.
Things aren’t always as they seem. My latest “opportunity” to see things differently arrived compliments of the U.S. government who recently passed what is known as the “Monsanto Protection Act”, despite hundreds of thousands of e-mails, telephone calls and signatures from citizens calling for its veto.
For those of you unfamiliar with this latest development, in a nutshell, this unrelated bit of legislation was slipped into to a bill designed to keep the U.S. government funded over the next six months. That funding came with a very high price in that it also granted the biotech industry the right to plant untested genetically modified crops without accountability. Up until now, there was a mechanism in place whereby the courts could intervene to halt these plantings pending an environmental impact study if there was enough evidence that one was warranted.
To say that I was distraught about this news would be an understatement. Quite literally, I cried. You see I believe that food is life and the evidence continues to mount about the unhealthy side effects from eating these altered substances. Add to that the genetic pollution that is being created along with its potential damage to our planet and there is definitely cause for concern.
Now, here’s the pearl: in order to begin to make positive changes we first need an awareness that our current structure may not be serving us. When viewed from this perspective, the self-serving and potentially harmful behavior of corporations and their sponsors in government is clearly providing the necessary catalyst to propel us forward.
The awareness being raised around the issue of integrity in our food supply has been phenomenal, which, in turn, is generating much movement around creating alternative, sustainable solutions. People are growing their own vegetables, shopping at their local farmer’s markets, joining CSA’s and, in general, becoming aware informed consumers. They’re working together in their communities and, in some cases, even planting food instead of lawns. So, what appeared on the surface to be a disastrous turn of events can actually be an extremely powerful catalyst for change.
Since my husband isn’t quite ready to tear out our front lawn to plant a vegetable garden, I’m introducing the idea more gradually. “Oh honey, are you OK with us planting a few blueberry bushes in the front yard?” How could he refuse? He loves blueberries! Next I will ply him with ripe juicy tomatoes.
Wish me luck!
Part 1: Pantry Perfection – Clear the Clutter
Have you ever walked into a room that was full of clutter? How did it make you feel? Anxious? Uncomfortable? Like you didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time there perhaps? Even when things are stuffed in drawers or hidden behind doors their energy can be felt.
On the flip side, how do you feel when you enter a space that is clutter-free? Does it feel inviting, peaceful and comfortable?
Detoxifying and organizing your kitchen, and your life for that matter, makes a huge difference in how you feel. Since your inner and outer worlds are a mirror of each other, getting and staying organized will add a peacefulness to your life, in addition to saving you time and money. When everything has a home, there is no need to spend extra time searching for things or going to the store to purchase something you already have, which costs you valuable time and money better spent elsewhere.
With spring approaching, it’s time to release expired, outdated, neglected and broken items that have outgrown their usefulness and ceased to bring you joy! And, since food is life, today we are going to focus on the pantry.
If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while, then you know that it is my belief that eating a whole food diet, the majority of which comes from fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, is optimal. My pantry reflects my lifestyle and contains mostly “bulk” ingredients, dried fruit and other specialty type ingredients specific to my life style. It’s where I keep unopened containers of tahini, coconut oil and coconut butter, for example, which are stored on a lazy Susan to make them easily accessible. Opened containers of these items are stored in the fridge to keep them fresh, along with most nuts and seeds. Many of these have been soaked and dehydrated and are ready to use in my “raw food” recipes. I also store extra nuts and seeds in my freezer to keep them fresh.
All of my bulk items are stored in containers that are clearly marked with either an expiration date or the date they were purchased. This is a very effective way to ensure their freshness and prevent waste.
Most people keep boxes of pasta and cereal, cans of tuna, canned soups and veggies, which I don’t eat or wouldn’t recommend consuming. Many of these processed foods contain huge amounts of sodium, chemical preservatives and genetically modified ingredients which have questionable effects on health. Furthermore, canned goods often contain lead and other harmful ingredients which can leach into the food, leading to heavy metal and other forms of toxicity. I use my extra space for items such as paper products, vases, and kitchen equipment.
My challenge to you:
- Set aside an afternoon and empty your pantry
- Give it a good scrub and a coat of fresh paint if it really needs it
- Sort through and purge the contents so that they are in alignment with your desired lifestyle. I suggest three using containers: one for trash, one for donations and one for items that may have migrated to your pantry but don’t really belong there and need to be relocated.
- Group like items together, selectively and intuitively replacing items back on your pantry shelves.
Remember to take before and after photos so you can see and feel how much better your pantry feels once you’ve performed your organizing magic.
Note: Using lazy Susans will make your items easy locate and to access.
Helpful hint: Get a group of girlfriends together and take turns helping each other with this project. It will make it much more fun and enjoyable.
Oh and please do post your before and after photos. Here are mine so you can see and feel the difference.
Have you ever noticed how we can learn a great deal from nature? I’ve been pondering this lately, and taking some time to observe the squirrels that have been favoring our back yard, which has become quite a popular place. Alright, so I’ve been feeding them some nuts which, no doubt, is a big part of the attraction…that and the beautiful park-like setting that we are so blessed to look out upon each day.
It began a couple of years ago when a friendly grey squirrel decided to sit in the tree outside my kitchen window, looking in at me as I stood at the sink washing my vegetables. It was a cold winter day and he looked hungry so I put a few nuts out on the deck. As you may have guessed, we’ve been friends ever since, although I have resisted giving him a name.
In recent months, some new squirrel friends have arrived at our back door and the competition for the cache of nuts has been fierce. A pair of small native red squirrels, about one-third the size of my furry grey friend, began to show up daily and chase him away. Why was he allowing himself to be run off by these two fearless, aggressive little guys? And why can’t they just share?
It reminded me of how we often buy into the idea of lack, believing that there is not enough to go around or thinking that we won’t have what we need. Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth. Then it got me thinking about how often we are clueless about our ability to make beneficial changes in our life or perhaps don’t even realize or believe that it’s even an option for us. Ideas are simply thoughts, which can be changed after all.
Well, today something changed. That big grey squirrel stood his ground, guarding his nuts and refusing to be run off by that little fierce squirrel. Something inside him must have shifted because he just wasn’t afraid anymore. It was an exciting moment for me to witness and it reminded me of all the opportunities I’ve had to learn, move past my fears and grow, and how I now use my experiences to support others to do the same.
So, now let me ask you – what have you been wishing you can do or telling yourself that you can’t accomplish? Are you willing to take a lesson from my squirrel friend and realize that it is just a thought and that you have the power to change your mind about it?
Time and time again I have witnessed that as we make positive changes in our diets, our whole world shifts to align itself with our updated choices. As we say “yes” to life by nurturing our bodies and nourishing them with wholesome nutritious food, they say “yes” to us! Possibilities begin to emerge that never before entered our reality, and we begin to see miracles happen.
Are you ready for a breakthrough? In addition to my one-to-one coaching, I am in the process of creating a group coaching program set to begin in the spring. I am also creating an online survey you can use to help me understand the best ways I can offer my services to you; look forward to its arrival in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, you can always contact me by private e-mail to discuss how I can support you!