The Story of Your Life and Who is Writing it?

We are either replaying our story or rewriting our story.  Your life is dynamic.  Your life is full of change, change we cannot always foresee.  For the most fulfilling life, we need to take control of our lives.   Our lives may not already be set to lead us to a certain destiny.  And if we are destined, then we need to take an active part in what our destiny has for us.

My granddaughter reminds me of what our story looks like when we are young.  Really not much written, certainly not written in stone yet.  Everyday is a new day, a new beginning to learn as much as she possibly can in one day.  And then another day comes and she adds more to her story.  But yet her story can change easily and without regret.  And she lives her days with  all of her being.

As we get older, we add to our story.  And without being conscious of it, those stories/experiences find a happy home in our lives.  We create the messages we received as things that make us feel successful, or things that make us feel inadequate.  And because we are efficient at connections and story telling, we live by those feelings.  Have you ever seen someone and immediately had them figured out?

I wholeheartedly believe in the freedom to have choices.  If someone wants to smoke marijuana, so be it as long as they can base their choices on fact, same as abortion or any other choice that affect our lives.  So with all the choices we have to consider, it can lead to indecision.  When you see all those ads for things you “need”, there are decisions you make.  Either yes, I need it and I will buy it or not.  It goes on to I should workout today, but let me decide here….I am tired, no not going to today.  With all those decisions, it can lead to stagnation.

So here’s the plan.  Some strategies that has helped me in the past:

  1. Have a plan! If you don’t know where you want to be, then you can’t plan how to get there.  I used to think that New Year Resolutions were a bunch of crap, however when I did sit down to write on up, it manifested.  The plan needs to be what your heart is telling you, concrete and doable, and meaningful.
  2. When you have a plan, then you need to implement it.  For example,  I want to eat  healthy, feel healthy.  Specifically, less meat products and more plant based.  I start by implementing more plant based meals, trying out recipes, finding what works for me.  Slowly I add another plant based meal a week, then another.  I experiment with thousands of plant based meals.  In a years time, plant based meals become the norm.  What I am pointing out is you can make your “norm” whatever you want it to be (with persistence).  And when you are successful with one goal, you have the confidence with your other goals.
  3.  With all the decisions we make, we need to eliminate some of those.  What I suggest is if working out is the goal.  Then don’t even consider the possibility of not working out.  I planned to work out 3 days a week, then by hell or high water, I WILL work out those 3 days.  Your word to yourself is sacred.
  4. Small changes create big changes.  You will not lose 100 pounds in a month,  unrealistic.  Make your goals doable, for you.  Success breeds success, and over time the steps you take will deliver you to another goal you want to achieve.  Our human nature is to expand and we will never rest on our laurels.  Celebrate them, YES,  but not stagnate.

Write your Story, rewrite, edit, change, create our story,  be an active participant in your unique, beautiful life!

 

AZTEC QUINOA WITH CILANTRO GUACAMOLE – VEGAN RECIPE

Aztec Quinoa with Cilantro Guacamole – Vegan Recipe

Aztec Quinoa

  • 1-Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1-Onion, diced
  • 1-Poblano Pepper, seeded and minced (for more heat use a jalapeno)
  • 4-Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1-Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½-Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ Cup-Lime Juice
  • 1-(15 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-Cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1-Cup Quinoa, rinsed
  • 1-Cup frozen Corn
  • 1-(15 Ounce) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • Sea Salt and Pepper  to taste
  1. Combine the bell pepper, onion, poblano  pepper in a pot, simmer for 5 minutes with lid on. Add some water if needed.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and lime juice and stir in for about a minute.  Then add the tomatoes, broth, quinoa, corn and black beans.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer until the quinoa is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. (While that cooks, put together the guacamole).
  3. Top with Cilantro Guacamole and enjoy!

Cilantro Guacamole

  • 1-Bunch Cilantro, rinsed
  • 2-Avocados, pitted and peeled
  • ¼-Cup Walnuts
  • 2-Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 3-Cloves Garlic
  • ½-Teaspoon Salt
  • 2-Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/8-Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, or other high powered blender until smooth.  So creamy and flavorful 🙂

Love those avocados!

 

Tart Cherries-The Superstar of Exercise Recovery and Health

Research suggests tart cherries (and tart cherry juice)  have a unique blend of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents that aid in recovery faster from exhaustive exercise.  The totality of evidence confirms that tart cherries provide a realistic alternative to drugs and therapy in aiding recovery after strenuous exercise.  Tart cherries are lower in calories and higher in vitamin C and beta-carotene than sweet cherries.   Although cherries of both varieties are an important source of phytonutrients (especially the carotenoid, beta carotene) and  a source of the flavonoid, cyanidin.  Phytonutrients serve as antioxidants, enhance immune response, enhance cell to cell communication, convert to vitamin A, and repair DNA damage caused by toxic exposures.   Listed below are the benefits of including tart cherries in your diet:

  • cherries Reduced post exercise pain, reduced pain after strenuous or extreme exercise
  • Less delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exhaustive and strenuous exercise
  • Reduction in the development of upper-respiratory tract symptoms after marathon running
  • Potent anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties
  • Reduce osteoarthritis pain by more than 20%
  • Evidence emerging on the healing power of tart cherries for other disease states including gout
  • Reduces stress after eccentric exercise
  • Isometric strength recovery significantly faster in the tart cherry juice group studies
  • Aid in recovery from strenuous exercise by increasing total                anti-oxidative capacity, reducing inflammation and aiding in recovery of muscle function
  • Taking tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to a strenuous running event can minimize postrun muscle pain
  • Dosage equivalent of 50 cherries per serving or 8-10 fluid ounces of tart cherry juice
  • Asian medicine suggest cherries ones the spleen-pancreas, prevents involuntary seminal emission (?), is a remedy for gout, arthritis and rheumatism.  Part of their action in rheumatic disorders occurs from the cherries’ ability to eliminate excess body acids

Tart cherry juice is my recovery drink after working out.  The vitamin A and beta carotene in tart cherries have more than 17 times that in blueberries and strawberries.  And based on the anti inflammatory and anti oxidative properties, tart cherries are the superstar of exercise recovery and health!

 

JAPCHAE (KOREAN NOODLES) VEGAN RECIPE

Japchae (Korean Noodles) Recipe    Makes 4 servings

This dish is served at Korean parties and special occasions with seasonal vegetables.  It can be served hot or cold.  Enjoy 🙂


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Thin Rice Noodles (or Saifun/mung bean threads)
  • 1/4 Cup Low Sodium Tamari Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 Tablespoons Agave
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Chili Paste (Sambal Oelek)
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 1 small Onion, slivered
  • 2 Carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Red Pepper, but into matchsticks
  • 1 cup Edamame
  • 2 cups sliced Mushrooms
  • 4 cups chopped greens, such as bok choy, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, napa cabbage or any variety
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1.  Cook noddles according to the package directions.
  2. Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, water, agave and garlic chili paste, corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Warm up the sesame oil over medium heat.  Throw in the onions, carrots, bell peppers, edamame and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  If you cover the pan, the carrots will soften up better.  Toss in mushrooms and cook for another minute.
  4. Fold in the greens and cook until they start to wilt, about a minute .
  5. Fold in the noodles and add the sauce and keep tossing around for about another minute, making sure nothing sticks to the pan.
  6. Remove from heat, top with toasted sesame seeds if desired.

 

 

Viral Threads and Wellness

What causes a viral thread? “The most powerful predictor of what spreads online is anger.” Ryan Holiday

1. Bloggers, online media make money by page views, or clicks, so it doesn’t matter if the information relayed is true or not. So the more sharing, the more page views.
2. Real information is clearly neither good or bad, it just is. It could have elements of positive and/or negative elements Basically information is given and each of us can analyze or perceive it as we want.
3. Powerful emotions drive us to share or not.
Hopelessness, despair drives us to do nothing
Pity, empathy drives us to do something like get off the computer to act.
But fear, anger and excitement or laughter drives us to spread.
If fear and anger drives us to spread, does it really do anything worthwhile if the message is not true?

I have asked the authors of various postings to cite their references, and to no avail. Why? because when the message is out, then they are on to the next thing and telling the truth or doing the research is not on their list of importance. Sad but true.

Now I am a blogger, my posts aren’t so sensational that I get lots of views.  The information presented has been researched, the information presented has been experienced personally and through the accounts of many others, the information presented is based on scientific studies.   This blog is about the truth and sifting through all the b.s. and marketing ploys and is the driving force for me to uncover misleading and damaging advice.

 

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”                                            Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values)

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRISP-VEGAN RECIPE

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

  • 3 Cups Diced Rhubarb
  • 1 Pound Strawberries (sliced)
  • 1/3 Cup Sucanat (it’s the least refined can sugar you can get)
  • 1/4 Cup Sucanat
  • 1/2 Cup and 2 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour, divided
  • 1/4 Cup Pitted and Chopped Medjool Dates (yes, chop them, don’t get the pre-diced covered in sugar dates)
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple or Orange Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Avocado Oil
  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees, prepare a 9 x 9 baking pan
  2. In a large bowl combine the rhubarb, strawberries (or use blueberries), 1/3 cup Sucanat, 2 Tablespoons flour and the dates.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the rolled oats, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup Sucanat, walnuts, juice and oil.
  4. Evenly spread the strawberry-rhubarb mixture in baking pan, top with oats mixture, spreading evenly.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes until gold brown and bubbly.

In traditional Chinese medicine, rhubarb has been used as a laxative and is especially effective in reducing toxicity (liver) resulting from the over consumption of meat. It was one of the first Chinese medicines to be imported to the West from China.

Studies found that a pigment in rhubarb (parietin), killed half the human leukemia cells over two days in the laboratory.  It has slowed the growth of other human cancer cells in laboratory studies.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb

 

The Things We Least Want To Do Will Benefit Us the Most

Ironically the things we least want to do will benefit us the most.  If we lean into what challenges us,  it will lead us to success.

Every goal we set for ourselves, will always evolve.  As we know more, we do better.  Life is always evolving, it is not static.  Death is static.  To grow into our divine essence, to grow and evolve into our most passionate, best selves, we must believe it with all of our being.  Mistakes or failures mean nothing more than that our tactic was ineffective.  And we need to change (or evolve) our plan differently.

Life is a trip, and when we realize when we change our thoughts, we change our lives.  If you have mastery over that one annoying thought, then there are others to take control of.  Life is a work in progress. Always.  Instead of focusing on all the things that could go wrong, let’s at least give as much attention to what we would like to happen!  And I believe life is getting to know the real you, digging through all our assumptions, perceptions and experiences and understanding those.  Everyone I have even met has a bouquet of experiences and emotions like love, despair, heart break, joy, passion, struggles, abuse, friendships, loneliness, gratitude.

Change is hard, change is challenging, change is what we need to do to evolve.  In nature,  change is occurring all the time.  If change didn’t happen, life as we know it would be non existent.   All of us can find something we want to change.  To get there, we must start by making small changes holistically.  For example, you want to change your health.  In your mind, you need to change the thought of I have to do this, to I want to do this.  For your body, slowly changing the foods you eat (and forgiving yourself for missteps).  For your emotions and thoughts, ride it like a wave.  Those are learned reactions to previous experiences.  Feel it and let it pass.  You are in the driver seat, remember that.

I believe that we do our best at what we want to do, worst at what we are forced to do. Work feels like play when your strengths and passions are both compelling you in that direction, that’s when you learn the most and the fastest. That’s when you stop comparing yourself to others and when you stop watching the clock and you measure your successes by your own internal standards.

“I will tell you one thing that will make you rich for life. There are two struggles: an Inner-world struggle and an Outer-world struggle…you must make an intentional contact between these two worlds; then you can crystallize data for the Third World, the World of the Soul.”
G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Top of Form

 

WHY MILK DOES NOT DO A BODY GOOD

The common misconception is that drinking milk is good for your bones.  Drinking skim milk is even worse since it is devoid of fat and enzymes necessary for proper calcium absorption.  Bone disorders such as osteoarthritis demand increased calcium requirements.  But with that, the calcium must be absorbed.  The digestion of meat contributes to a phosphorous/calcium ratio in Americans four times greater than desirable. Too much phosphorous depletes calcium. The digestion of meat results in acids which must be neutralized by calcium and other alkaline minerals.  So the calcium in your system is used for damage control, not bone health.

Sea vegetables, dried wheat grass, turnip greens, almonds, black and pinto beans, quinoa, kale, yogurt have more calcium per 3.5 ounce portion than milk.

Below is a chart comparing cow’s milk vs. plant based milk (nutrients based on 8 ounce serving)

Cow’s milk       8 g protein   30% calcium   20% Vitamin D

Soy milk            7 g protein   29% calcium   16% Vitamin D

Almond milk  1 g protein  20% calcium    25% Vitamin D

Hemp milk     4 g protein   10%* Calcium  25% Vitamin D

Coconut milk 1 g protein  10% Calcium   30% Vitamin D

*30% Calcium if fortified

Milk comes with extra bonuses, like manure and pus.

See:  https://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-vs-cow-calcium-2/

Before you freak out because plant based milks have less protein, this is not the only thing you are ingesting!  Americans get more than enough protein, studies show we are over nourished as opposed to under nourished.  I find that almond milk (no sugars) is best with oatmeal and coconut milk is best when cooking and baking.  A much better fullness and taste than cow’s milk.  And there is nothing better than chocolate (no sugars)  soy milk with a hot cup of coffee!

Vitamin D comes from sunshine (get outside), eat dark leafy greens (including cereal grasses and/or micro algae), exercise regularly and if dairy is used, eat yogurt, cottage cheese (the fermented kinds).

More information http://yellowbrickroadtowellness.com/?p=661

If you are one to believe in karma, it is interesting to note that butchering animals (specifically in the brutal and inhumane manner that is done in factory farming) results in us dying untimely deaths.

Instead of getting the honest, even if it’s brutal, truth the information we get is from big business and let’s make a quick buck propaganda.  How can each and every one of us make an informed decision about our health, if we don’t know the truth? Your health effects you and your loved ones.

So when I hear “Got Milk?” I say No Thank You.

 

HOW TO USE YOUR GENES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Here is how to use your genes to your advantage.  Whether your goal is to lose weight, or to resolve some chronic issues or to age gracefully, your DNA carry a vast amount of information.  At this point in our lives, we can now use this information to our advantage.

There is a field of study that involves the relationship of genes and nutrition called nutrigenomics.  Based on the Human Genome Project, the variation of genes was far greater than expected-with over 3 million variations.  Studies have shown that genes can be turned on or turned off.  The food we ingest is metabolized and is absorbed by our small intestine.  Eventually it goes into our blood stream and enters the cells of our body.  The nutrients, which are the the breakdown particles products of the food we ate tell specific genes to turn on or off, expressing different kinds of proteins.

The information given from our genes is NOT a destiny, but directions  to your goals.  When you are driving and you are alerted to road construction, you would change your route to your destination.

In 2008 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a study was published that looked at a gene called the FTO obesity gene. Researchers studied a population that had this genetic variant to be obese:  the Amish people.  However, when they evaluated the community of Amish people, they were not obese.  These Amish were walking over 18,000 steps a day and by doing this the Amish turned off the obesity gene through their daily physical activities. Genetically we could have genes predisposing us to various problems, but we are not destined to manifest these problems.

How to use your DNA to your Advantage?  One way is getting a DNA test.  https://geneticdirection.com/our-products/  is a good place to start.  Based on your results and your goals, your DNA will work for you, not against you.  Contact me at http://yellowbrickroadtowellness.com/?page_id=68 and I can answer any questions, and/or assist you in your journey.

https://geneticdirection.com/our-products/

There is no one diet that fits everyone because we are unique, our genes are unique.  There are so many diet books and plans on the market boasting theirs is the one and only (and ineffective) .  The basic guidelines are to consume mostly a plant based diet.  Eat whole foods, foods that are not refined.  Refined foods have vitamins and minerals removed so it can stay on the shelf longer.  Refined food is empty food, devoid of any nutritional value.

Whole foods contain phytonutrients which boosts the immune system, prevent chronic inflammation, some are antiviral and antibacterial.  The deeper the color, the more phytonutrients. Food is medicine, what we eat DOES matter.   Chronic problems can be resolved by addressing our behavior, nutrition, physical activity, and how we deal with stress.  Our genes do not determine our destiny, but when we work WITH our genes, we are in the driver’s seat.  We are more than just parts, we are whole and all these parts work together.  When we know better, we do better.

 

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MEDITATE

What happens when you meditate?  Although there are many types of meditation,  a long history of meditation and  ways to meditate. What is meditation?  And what do I expect to get out of it?  Below are facts about meditation,  what meditation is and what it isn’t.

“Meditation is the art of fully conscious living.  What we make of our life-the sum total of thoughts, emotions, words and actions that dill the brief interval between birth and death-is our one great creative masterpiece.” http://themindilluminated.com/

I love that thought, through challenging times of our lives we forget we are creating a life, a masterpiece.  We create consciously, however unconsciously sabotage ourselves.  We react instinctively, we experience our lives through prejudices, outdated facts, and beliefs that have have outlived their usefulness.   Meditation helps us live a more fulfilling life.  It gives us insight and understanding of the true nature of reality .

A regular meditation practice increases the gray matter density and enhances connectivity between the prefrontal cortex (which coordinates attention and decision making) and the centers of emotion.  So you are able to make better decisions.

Consistent meditation affects gene expressions, favoring less body inflammation and building up our immune function.

Science has shown meditation is one of the most powerful tool for staying centered and focused.

Meditation helps with pain and reduces suffering.  Suffering prolongs pain through all the thoughts and emotions about the pain.

Meditation develops resilience, effectively “bouncing back” from adversity.  Meditation trains our mind to calm our storms of stress, and our moment to moment stress attacks.

There are 2 parts of training our mind through meditation.  One is mindfulness (also called concentration, attention) and the other is peripheral awareness.  For example, when you talking to your friend on your cell phone, you are using mindfulness which is your focal point of attention.  Whatever you are using your full attention on, that is concentration or mindfulness.  Peripheral awareness is everything else going on during that time.  While you are talking to your friend, you hear the cat meowing, or our child talking to you or the wind blowing through the blinds.  Both parts are equally important, however the peripheral awareness takes a back seat to attention.  While attention is narrowly focused, awareness sees the whole picture, it’s holistic in that you notice how all the parts relate to each other.

So when you sit to meditate, you focus your attention on the sensation of breath (mindfulness) and still are aware of whatever is happening around you (but not getting caught up in thinking about it).  Meditation is NOT sleeping or being in a trance.  It’s a fully conscious activity. Not easy!  The mind wants to produce all kinds of thoughts and judgments.  What we are trying to do is clear the waters, thoughts are not the true nature of reality.

Meditation is like exercise, you train the brain.  And it takes a consistent practice.  You would not expect to win a bodybuilding competition by only working out a couple times a month.  Not can you reach enlightenment by just meditating a couple times.

What happens when you meditate?  On a consistent basis?  You cultivate joy, forgiveness, self-forgiveness, conscious intention, less unconscious reactions, bliss, holistic perspective, balance, insight, tranquility and wellness.

 

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