Well folks....I'm going to let you in on a little info here. Today I want to share with you what I buy and where I buy it when I go grocery shopping! Yes! Here is a plant-based shopping list!
But first, let me explain what that pasta stuff is in my photo. It's raw zucchini "zoodles" that you can make with a spiralizer in a homemade marinara. I LOVE this meal. I get so silly happy when I eat it and end up annoying my family. But please excuse my salad served in a salad spinner!!! Embarrassing! I was not planning to take a photo until halfway through my meal. I also have my delicious Tahini Dressing! A mainstay in this house! I ate until I was so full last night I could hardly drink my nightly herb tea. So, you CAN get full on a plant-based diet. Keep eating until you are full. DUH!
Now! Onto the Shopping List!
Cory’s Shopping List
Try to grow all the food you can. If it’s not an option, try to grow spices. Thyme, Sage, Oregeno and Cilantro are all easy to grow and very medicinal- the first three are good for tea as anti-virals and anti-bacterials.
ALL ITEMS SHOULD BE ORGANIC. Whether I call an item on the list "organic" or not- look for organic and try to go 100% organic. Some fruits, like melons with thick skins, may be conventional. (But only if you can't find organic.)
Try to get all your vegetables at the local Farmers Market!
Dark greens (kale, spinach, collards greens, etc…)
Strawberries and other season fruit, such as peaches…
Lemons and limes
Celery (if you can find it)
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
you get the picture
Organic Tempeh/Tofu (if you eat soy)
Organic Rice/quinoa Pasta
Organic Marinara Sauce (watch for added ingredients)
Black Beans in can
Pinto Beans in can
Garbanzo Beans in can
Jackfruit in can
Organic Wild Blueberries
Wild Salmon and Farmed Tilapia (if you eat fish)
Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Frozen Garlic cubes
Watermelon and other melons
Organic Fresh Blueberries and Strawberries
Frozen Organic Fruit (cherries, mangos, strawberries…)
Organic Dates and other dried fruit
Organic Chia Seeds
Organic Laundry Detergent and biodegradable Dish Soap
Case of Organic Coconut Water
Whole Foods or other natural food store
Gluten Free Bread (check ingredients carefully)
Coconut or Rice Tortillas
Coconut Chips (in place of tortilla chips)
Fresh Ginger and Turmeric
All organic fruit and veg when you can’t get it at the market - such as Papaya
Fresh Aloe Vera (or grow some! Only one kind is medicinal, check with your local nursery)
Herb Teas (Traditional Medicinals)
Tecchino or Chaga (coffee replacement)
Nori and Dulse (Seaweeds)
Organic Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, oregano, thyme, etc…)
Natural Household Cleaning Supplies
Bulk foods such as Oats, Lentils, Split peas, any other beans you like, Hemp seeds, Raw Cacao Nibs, Organic Pumpkin Seeds...
Bulk nuts such as Cashew and Almonds
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Plant Milk in cartons such as almond or coconut (beware of natural flavors and other crappy ingredients.)
Body Care (read ingredients carefully)
Unfiltered Organic Olive Oil (also has some at Trader Joes)
When we move into plant-based, we must learn to check labels on EVERYTHING we buy that is packaged. Certain oils, like canola oil, and "natural flavors" are really horrible for us and it's frustrating to find that they are in seemingly everything. Granola bars, chips, breads, and MANY things labeled "organic" (Remember a product does not have to be even close to 100% organic to label it so!!!) Canola oil is mostly GMO at this time and very inflammatory - especially for the digestive system. Natural Flavors are biohazards - they are essentially made of MSG and can disturb our nervous system, including our brain.
What we have to remember is that all these things that we keep out of the diet are because one way or another they bring our health down- while the Plant-Based diet BOOSTS our health. It doesn't just boost it just by bringing in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and more... it supports the body in detoxifying all the things that make us ill (such as viruses, bacteria, fungus, heavy metals. etc...) In the case of disease, a plant-based diet creates a homeostasis in which disease simply can not exist. Arterial heart disease, for example, is 100% preventable through diet. Cancer, too... although we are always "fighting cancer" in our bodies, a Plant-Based diet keeps cancer from progressing into a tumor (i.e. creating it's own blood supply.) And as you know, tumor-stage cancer has also been reversed in many people through a plant-based, or totally raw diet!
Anthony William, one of my mentors, talks about how a Plant-Based diet essentially starves out viruses in our bodies (while the Standard American Diet feeds them) and goes so far to say that cancer initially starts from a virus!
Our bodies are always acting and reacting in response to our environment and everything it throws at us. It's far beyond our comprehension how exquisitely brilliant the body is. But, we DO know that we can aid our bodies in every way though our diet. William reminds us that our bodies LOVE us and want us to be well. And I find, where diet is concerned (which for most of us is 100% in our control) it is the ego that wants to create any separation that keeps us from our natural, vital health.
So- that's it for today. I will connect again here SOON with my "7 Day Sample of a Plant-Based Diet" and I look forward to sharing many other things too. Until then....
Sorry about the silly picture with me having just woken up- but we are talking more about quality of life today.
On Mother's Day, my kids knew I would want celery juice brought into bed, not coffee. No- not pancakes and bacon. Hell, no. Celery Juice. And that is my quality of life.
I consider myself on what I call an "eternal detox." I know it scares people, I know it's not for everyone. But (knock on wood) I've cleared myself of all my "issues" this way. All those issues that made me wonder..."Is it normal to wake up feeling groggy and crappy every morning?" Yeah- I didn't drink any alcohol so WHY do I feel like this? I figured, for a while, that is just what happened when you got to your mid-40's.
Because all the doctors looked at me and said I was perfectly healthy and that I just needed stronger migraine medication, or to consider going on The Pill to stop my PMS, or to take drugs to stop my acid reflux. Doctors shrugged their shoulders at my perfectly normal MRI, while I went back home and couldn't pick up my babies.
I would call my mom crying saying I felt like an old lady. Severe nerve and muscle pain and...And THAT is how I felt for much of my 20's and all of my 30's and half of my 40's. Ok, maybe not ALL the time. But isn't one day too much? And when we are looking at months and months of consolidated time....then, it's just ridiculous. IT'S NOT NORMAL. Still. I'm sure the doctors can find SOME kind of pill to give those of us that feel like that. Yes, let's shrug our shoulders and throw drugs and burden the poor liver even MORE, shall we?
So- now all of that is gone. POOF. But you know, and I know what I had to do. Pull out:
Natural Flavors and of course Artificial Flavors
Soy (though I do have a little tempeh or tofu here and there)
And what I ADDED IN is a whole other post (or many posts)- but, in short, we know that my diet is Plant-Based.
And...I'm moving into month 8 and you know what I say to myself when I'm driving to teach and my period is in full flow? FEELING GOOD, BABYYYYY!
Yes, giving up all those things is hard for many people. It's not hard on the body though and it's not hard on your spirit...it's only hard on the MIND because the mind wants the cheese plate and the mind is a bossy ass! The mind wants whatever it wants. BUT if you can override the mind a little, once you start eating this way- at least for me- you realize what quality of life REALLY IS. And it tastes delicious and it's NOT difficult because you FEEL amazing and your tastebuds will change and eventually you won't crave "bad" things all the time.
When people tell me they have health issues but can't change their diet because they don't want to lose "quality of life" ...I feel like that's the toxins talking. Quality of life is already obviously impaired in the body from not being well. We must all agree on that. And I promise you this- all your body ever wanted was for you to have TRUE quality of life. And once you really feel it, it's the best "addiction" ever. I know the journey there isn't easy- but it's SO WORTH IT. Every month I feel a little better. Still! That's how much of a journey it has been for me. Every month I don't think I could feel better, but I do. Just a little bit. Step by step. You can do it, too.
I launched my Plant- Based Nutrition consulting business last week after receiving my certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from the Nutritional Studies Program at Cornell University. Immediately after putting the word out, I got a blast of people interested in consults. It was wonderful to talk to individuals of all ages about their different curiosities and needs.
What we really need to understand when moving into the plant-based diet (PBD) is that it's a lifestyle. Unlike other "fad" diets that focus on quick results without addressing deep nutritional needs, the PBD is really a way of life, more than a diet.
One thing people are scared to give up is eggs, because eggs are a real "lifestyle" food. Our culture is very attached to eggs. In fact, I had someone cancel a consult with me because they decided they couldn't give up eggs! I hadn't even talked to them yet!
But- there ARE good reasons to bring eggs out of your diet if you want to start the journey to health. It's just the way it is. For example- if you have what is labeled an "auto-immune" disease, such as Lupus or Fibromyalgia. If you have diabetes 1 or 2. If you have cancer. If you have symptoms that doctors can't rightly classify, and you just don't feel right. If you have heart disease of any kind - coronary or otherwise... Those are all examples of illness in which it's important to bring eggs out of the diet.
In a nutshell- as far as blood pressure and coronary heart disease and that side of things-eggs have TONS of saturated fat and cholesterol. ( We make our own cholesterol in our bodies and we don't need more!) Eggs make the liver sluggish and the arteries clog.
On the other end of the spectrum, auto-immune diseases for example - we are dealing with inflammation. Auto-Immune, in my education and deep belief, is not caused by the body attacking itself. It's the body attacking a virus and egg FEEDS viruses. (They grow experimental lab viruses on egg.) So, in order to kill a virus in the body, we have to take away it's food supply.
Diabetes Type 1 is classified as an auto-immune disease. See above. With Diabetes Type 2, insulin resistance is caused by fat messing up the process by which cells unlock themselves when insulin signals the cells to take in blood sugar. Yes FAT not sugar. Sugar just dumps more glucose into the blood that can't be pulled in by the locked cells. (And by saying that, I am not advocating refined sugar! It has plenty of it's own problems!)
This isn't some crap I've made up in my spare time. If you need a doctor to agree, try this one and this one.
In closing, I'm not sure what eggs are really good for except hatching baby chicks.
BUT- I always come back to this: how do you feel? And what is your health worth to you? Because some people would rather live with their health issues and eat Eggs Benedict. And that's OK! It becomes very personal. See? It's not wrong or right. It's about what we want for our lives. It really does become a choice. What do we want our lives to feel like and look like? What do we want the future of our planet to feel like and look like? Because yes, how we eat has THOSE implications too! But more about that on another post.
Dear Friends- As you know, I've been in a big "information absorption" phase. Some of it my own reading and education and most of it, most recently, from my Plant Based Nutrition program that I am enrolled in through Cornell University. I only have 2 more weeks left until I am though the program and certified, and then I am planning to start offering Plant Based Nutrition health coaching and support.
There is so much misinformation out there concerning what is good for us, and yet what I've been learning recently through my Plant Based education really holds scientific proof. Unfortunately, it often takes more than proof to get attention in this world.
We are living in a broken paradigm where meat and dairy and pharmaceuticals are king. We are living in a world where everyone thinks that protein is the most important thing. And, well...how many people have you known that are protein deficient? Exactly. Here in our culture there is no protein deficiency. It's deep nutrition, not protein, that our bodies are craving. Protein comes from all foods, including fruits and vegetables, and our bodies really need very little of it. In fact a high protein diet is part of the reason our Western culture is sick. Refined sugar, processed foods, high protein and fat are all making us so very physically sick as a culture. And so much of this sickness, if not all of it, is fixable through a diet that is rich in plant foods and low in fat. Everything from heart disease to auto-immune to acid reflux, even cancer and both types of diabetes can be strongly bettered or healed completely by what we eat. And, conversely, what we eat creates these diseases as well.
But, it's not that simple. It's not JUST diet that betters or worsens our wellness, it's what we bring in from our environment in the form of (for example) the polluted air we breath, radiation, pesticides and fungicides as well as viruses and bacteria that Western medicine and medical science don't yet acknowledge or understand. These things coupled with a Standard American Diet are what really can begin to breed disease.
So, while we can't have full control of our environment- we CAN have full control of our diet. And a healthy plant-based diet brings in all the dense nutrients we need to deal with that which we can't control. Eating plant-based makes the immune system strong and able to fight off cancer cells, kill viruses and bacteria and enables us to rid ourselves of toxins such as heavy metals, radiation and even plastics.
Easier said than done though, for most of us, and that is why I want to be an educator and voice of reason. Not only is our way of eating hurting ourselves, it's hurting the earth, greatly. And, so...these are things I will be sharing and helping people with- now more than ever, with this new website and my blog. Also, I share daily on my Instagram account: @corysipper
I have a few more weeks of school until I get my certification. And a few more weeks of a heavy work schedule. My plan is, after that, to be able to dig into this new avenue a little more. So, stay tuned. xoxo
I wake up in the morning at 6:30 a.m, and get a 2 large glasses of filtered water, each with a half of a fresh lemon squeezed in. I sip on it and jump on the rebounder for 10 minutes. I don't do the rebounder every morning, but most. Then, I usually have to get the girls ready for school, make lunches and breakfast, etc...
Then Brad walks them to school and I get ready to teach yoga. 6 mornings out of the week I need to be at one location or another by 9 a.m. I dry-brush before getting into the bath. Sometimes I forget to dry brush. It's hard to remember to do everything in my new life, but I am getting better. It takes time.
Almost always, I eat fruit as I move through I morning. Bananas. magos and dates or whatever is on hand. Pears, tangerines.... Today I had a papaya and bananas and dates. Dates are filling so I most usually have a few of those with whatever other fruit I'm eating. I may run out and teach a class then and come back and eat more, or I may just wait an hour or so at home and eat more, depends on my timing and schedule. The MORE is: a fresh squeezed juice and then about 20 minutes later- oatmeal with more fruit and coconut milk OR several pieces of gluten-free (and plant-based) toast with avo.
For my juice I might do straight celery, or I've been on a kick of carrot, orange, celery, pear, fresh turmeric and fresh ginger. Sometimes I do a gnarly green juice. Just depends on how I feel and what I have on hand.
See?! This is how you get REALLY full for breakfast on plant-food. After all that, I am super full until lunch.
I also do some supplements in the morning. I won't go over these today...but I will for SURE soon. I think I did share them some posts back as well.
Lunch depends. Unless I get a salad out somewhere, which is more rare these days, I'll make a huge salad at home-maybe with a baked potato or sweet potato or if I'm in a hurry I'll wrap greens and beans up in a coconut tortilla (no grains.) Sometimes I will have soup or hot grains with a salad. It depends, again, on how hungry I am and what food I have on hand. I may do veggie "sushi" with rice as I really like seaweed.
Snacks include...fresh fruit of course! Sometimes dried fruit and nuts. Or a big smoothie. Sometimes I might do a smoothie for lunch too and add in nuts or a nut butter or an avocado. I've been adding a bit of Dulse in, which is a sea vegetable and good for drawing out environmental toxins. More on that in another post.
Dinner--- well, Brad makes dinners usually so I'll take parts of what he makes and make my own dinner. Last night he did Gluten-free pasta with chicken and goat cheese and a big salad. I just had a little bit of the pasta and mixed it into a huge bowl of salad. Usually I mix in bits of what he makes into a salad. Sometimes there's cooked salmon or shrimp. I will often have a little salmon but not the shrimp. Salmon and a few other smaller fishes is the only thing I eat from the sea, besides seaweed of course. He will often make a non-gluten veggie pizza - and top his and the girls with turkey sausage and cheese and mine will be vegan. Often there will be cooked veggies too, with quinoa or rice. And he knows to use no butter (or very little) and mostly olive oil or coconut oil.
At this point, my meat intake is very slight. Almost "condiment-like" in terms of portion. Health-wise it is totally fine for me personally to eat the very little cooked fish or chicken meat that I do. It is not fine however for me ethically, so I struggle with this still. It has never been ok with me ethically and now I am down to eating the very smallest amount that I ever have. I would say about 5 days out of the week I am vegan, and the other two I have a combined 6 oz's (3 oz's each day) of cooked fish or chicken. Very little, but nutritionally at this point I feel I still need it. That may be because I am not yet well versed enough in the plant-based diet to fill that nutritional gap, or it may be because the rest of my family eats chicken and fish and my husband cooks dinner and I am too tired at the end of a long day to try and bridge my own gaps. Not sure, I'm working on it. I don't LIKE eating chicken at all. I mean, I like the taste, unfortunately, but I HATE the concept. On first thought, I don't seem mind eating fish as much. That is until I think about the fish getting caught on the line, and then I get upset.
So, as I said, this food transition has it's easy parts and more challenging parts. But feeling good, with a busy job and kids and running a household is important too so I strive for balance. I understand I am still learning. I think many people fail because they go to far too fast. Becoming vegan is still new to me, there is much to research and much to learn so it can be done without vitamin and mineral depletion.
My NEWS is that last week I started my Plant-Based Nutrition Education through Cornell University (online.) Within a few months I will hold a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition!!! I am already learning a LOT and I am excited to gain my certificate and, eventually, as part of my job, help others to transition to a plant-based diet through my health coaching and wellness support. I am doing a lot of study outside the program too, there is a LOT of info going into this brain right now.
Enjoy this Warrior I with an added forward fold and shoulder opener!!! I love this pose, thought it can be challenging. Remember to ground your back foot while coming in and out of it. Strong legs. Soft face. Here is some info on Warrior I, which you need to know well before folding over with the shoulder opener.
Much Love to you this weekend.
I think a lot about the resistance we sometimes have to getting well. I remember a point in my life when there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to do the things I needed to do in order to get better. I was in an extremely toxic relationship (the word "toxic" has never found a more meaningful use.) I was eating somewhat healthy I guess, but not at all enough. I was very thin. I drank alcohol out of sadness. If someone had tried to get me on the diet I am on now, there was no way I could have done it. When I met Brad, I became much happier. When I got married, happier still. Then had kids, happier still. But I still wasn't ready to let go of coffee or alcohol or dairy or wheat. Not really. As time went on, I physically felt crappier and crappier. Until, I was able to, in one instant, see what I had to do in order to feel my best. And everything you need to know about that transition rests in the posts of this blog.
I come across people now in my work as a yoga teacher, or people I know through my kids school, etc... and I see how unwell they are. I suggest the journey I am on, but there is such resistance. "You mean I have to cut out EGGS? I have eggs every morning!"
Yes. IF you are feeling unwell, if no doctor can help you cure what you have, then you should stop eating eggs. Eggs, dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol,corn, soy, natural flavors, artificial flavors, and canola oil.
Anthony William tells us that "medical mysteries" (AKA diseases and symptoms that can not be cured -or often even understood- by Western Medicine) are caused by one or a blend of four things that he calls the Unforgiving Four: viruses, heavy metals, radiation and pesticides. Without getting into the brilliant depths of his understanding and explanations (his books will do that for you) what's important to understand here is that certain foods FEED (or otherwise support) the Unforgiving Four and then sickness and disease start to prevail.
Some people are more at risk, or weakened by the Unforgiving Four than others. But William goes on to say that almost all cancers, and most other diseases and unexplained symptoms are caused by a combo of a virus in combination with one of the other Unforgiving Four. (Eggs feed viruses. That is a scientific fact, as labs GROW viruses in egg.)
But again, back to my point. When we are suffering....when doctors provide drugs and shoulder shrugs but no long-term answers. What do we do?
It is my understanding that to be in full emotional health, we also must be in full physical health. This doesn't mean we feel great 100% of the time, or that we are not still healing constantly, but that we are committed to letting go of that which doesn't serve us. Similar to letting a relationship go, or even a friendship that isn't supportive of our personal well-being- in this way, we let foods go that do not support us physically. We try the path long enough to see what is under the resistance. It is my experience that when we can really make some changes, and get through the physical withdrawal. And then through the emotional withdrawal. What is underneath is very strong and informative. But we can't get there until we let go.
If you experience your life as having any chronic health issues, or if you feel less than great, I invite you to spend some time thinking about why you have such resistance to letting certain foods go and SEEING what happens. Why do you feel you can't? Would you rather stay unwell? Are you not worth feeling amazing? These are powerful questions and they take time.
I remember when I was in that really horrible relationship, before I met my husband, I was in therapy trying to get out of it. And I was telling my therapist how much I wanted to be able to, essentially, be strong enough to be a doormat. To be strong enough to be abused. That's what it eventually came down to for me. I wasn't focused on getting strong enough to get OUT of the relationship, but trying to become strong enough to take the abuse. Soon after I came upon that realization, with the help of this brilliant therapist I was able to start changing that sick thought pattern. This was after 3 years in this specific terrible relationship and many,many more years of other failed and painful relationships.
That is what healing is like. You realize that trying to be strong in the face of holding onto addictions is futile. Your strength lies in overcoming that which holds you down.
Some of us become addicted to being unwell. It is so ingrained in us that we don't even consider there is another way out. It's always a choice, though. No matter how sick you are or how old you are. And like I say, you'll bloom when you're ready. If there is a tiny part of you that finds some possible truth to what I am saying...take a walk, or a long bath...and think a little more. Or stop thinking, perhaps, and let your heart speak.
Much Love to you,
My 10 year old is a girl scout, and a proud one at that. Every year there are cookies sales- and every year I cringe. If you have ever read the ingredients on one of those cookie boxes, and really studied them on the internet, you are probably not eating girl scout cookies anymore. Or maybe you are. Maybe you shrug it off. I can no longer shrug things off, and more than half the time every one around me just rolls their eyes when I pass on, say, the Girl Scout cookie, because I won't ingest those ingredients.
WHEN will we, for ourselves, do the research on "natural flavors" and find out that they are THE FARTHEST FUCKING THING FROM NATURAL that you could possible imagine? When will people start to care that companies are allowed by the FDA to put "natural" in there to pull the wool over our eyes! And yet I let my girl have her cookie-selling experience and I keep my viewpoints, on that front, to a minimum. Because I want her to have a HAPPY childhood full of sweet memories of Girl Scouts. And she will. Because I don't want to be the raving freaky mom who won't let their child have a "normal" childhood. Rather I am clear with my kids on food ingredients. I have taught them from a young age, and continue to teach them, what the truth is. And more than that, how to inspect and question how they feel after eating certain things. From there I encourage them to make their own decisions.
My younger daughter (8), who suffered from health issues with chronic rhinitis and allergies, is on this Plant-Based Alkaline diet with me a little more so than her dad and older sister. She even checks ingredients in the store now. She was shopping with Brad the other day and stopped him as he began to toss a box of granola into the cart. "It doesn't have natural flavors!" Brad said. She grabbed the box, looked quickly at the ingredients and pointed it out to him: "Canola Oil."
The reality is, such toxic ingredients don't affect everyone the same way. We've all heard the story of the grandpa that smoked and never ate a vegetable and lived until he was 99, but we also know that is not the norm. Look: It always comes back to the same question: do you feel amazing or do you feel anything less than that? If you feel anything less than amazing, what are your symptoms? And then the journey begins.. then we may start looking at ingredients. Then we may start to really delve into symptoms and the food we eat. Our lives may change, considerably. For the better of course...but perhaps you only see the better after the physical and emotional withdrawals. And even then, you continue on, and it is still a journey.
But only if we want to take the journey. Truth is most of us choose to look the other way. We are are emotionally dependent on cheese and alcohol and some box of crackers that has who-knows-what ingredients in it. (If we say we "like" to eat that way, regardless of if it's "good" for us- then that is, in my view, an emotional dependence.) Most of us will say "well I cut a little bit of stuff out of my diet." In my experience, then you can expect to feel a little bit better. Most of us give into our emotions and make jokes about how we just got so low, or so tired, that we had to get the Oreo cookies. As if it's not our fault at all but rather LIFE is just too tough. And that is surely a thought to meditate on. I was that person. I drank frequently, even smoked for a while as a young adult. I was emotionally addicted to coffee and lots of cream. I "needed" it to get up in the morning and deal with my busy day ahead. The truth is, I thought I needed it, but I didn't. And actually the caffeine was making me feel worse in the long run.
The more ACID in your diet, the more unhealthy you will be. The more ALKALINE your diet is, the healthier you will be. A Westernized diet is typically very acidic. Western prescription medicine is very, very acidic. Funny that the diseases that are brought on from a body being too acidic are then treated with medicine that can be in some ways harder on the body than the initial amount of acid you were dealing with in the first place! And so we move into the realm of quelling symptoms and tricking the body and not really finding our TRUE natural health.
I am always careful when I start to talk about Western medicine, because if I needed it, I would take it. I bow down to the science of Western medicine. But....if you have high blood pressure for example....you can either try and treat it naturally through your diet...or start taking meds. If you have eczema, migraines, insomnia, acid reflux... or any one of many symptomatic illnesses... my question is...WHY would anyone look to medicate before looking to our diet? The reason is that it's the way we've been cultured. A culture in which it is relatively against the norm to take matters into our OWN hands and feel empowered by being our own physicians.
My long-list of physical issues has abated. I feel so much better in so many ways. I am still journey-ing though. My future plans include making my own herbal tinctures and salves from the herbs I grow and becoming more clear on what juices are good for what times of the month (for me personally) and what soups are most nourishing and easy to make and on and on... I am still learning so much.
I need to continue to branch out in my food preparation/cooking. Last week I brought in Chia Pudding. We have been adding it to bowls of fruit and granola with lots of other toppings such as hemp seeds, cacao nibs, raw nuts and coconut flakes. The kids LOVE to make their own bowls with all the toppings. And, I got this book, which I absolutely love. I don't know if it's the photographs that sell me or the recipes, but it's a super fun book to have around.
This book has been inspiring me to work with homegrown herbs. Wow. What a wonderful book, it's so soothing to read about the medicinal power of herbs and to have such clear instructions on how to make salves, tinctures and more. I made a homemade Elderberry Syrup last week and we all take a spoonful a day. I know this is powerful medicine and so does my family. We can feel it.
So - in closing, I hope you understand that I appreciate that everyone has their own journey. My dad, who is 84, has always taken Western Medicine and antibiotics and drinks alcohol and eats meat and doesn't really like salad. Yeah, he's one of those guys that still looks good and, for the most part, feels pretty good and he takes a good handful of Western meds everyday for everything from acid reflux to cholesterol. This lifestyle clearly works for him! I have helped him bring in herbal teas and broths and a fresh veggie juice every day, and I know he would agree these things have benefitted him.
We become our own physicians. As only WE know, individually, how it feels to be in our bodies. While meat doesn't really bother me physically, I know that I don't like to eat it for ethical reasons. These are thing things that surface when we really drop in. They are personal, and come up from the deep. Self-awareness, asking the big questions, and sometimes crying the big tears, helps the world at large. When we do deep work, it goes much beyond ourselves. Much more than we may ever realize.
Much Love to you today,
I'm on month FOUR of eating a plant-based diet. No dairy, wheat, eggs, alcohol, caffeine, canola oil, soy, corn or anything with artificial or natural flavors. That leaves my diet to be based in a LOT of organic vegetables and fruits, some grains and nuts and tiny portions of chicken and fish here and there. My animal protein intake has been lessening as time goes on, and as of now, I ingest very little. Some of the reason behind this, of course, is for health reasons - meat is hard to digest and can be an irritant to the body on many levels (and worse).
While I do appreciate a homemade nutrient-dense chicken bone broth, and I do like some kids of fish, the reality is that I have a very hard time with the way animals are treated in this world. My heart breaks over it and has since I was a child. And with this current administration, it doesn't look like our animals are going to fare much better in the next set of years. (Thousands of documents detailing animal welfare violations nationwide have just been REMOVED from the website of the United States Department of Agriculture. These are the inspection records and annual reports for every commercial animal facility in the U.S.—including zoos, breeders, factory farms, and laboratories.)
So while I do appreciate the right to protest in an outward way - first it seems that one must protest inwardly. That is: TRULY walking our talk in our own lives. So for me, part of my journey is finding the balance of feeling amazing, while not bringing into my body any foods that are not in alignment with what I feel in my heart. And while I am not 100% vegan, I am close...closer than I have ever been, and I feel MUCH better than I ever have. The difference is undeniable.
This month I had much less PMS than I normally do. Many difficult 30-year-old symptoms either did not present, or presented very weakly. Anthony Williams, author of "Medical Medium," tells us that PMS is not caused by hormonal imbalances as we've been told for the last 60 years, but rather a sign of the body not being able to withstand the huge amount of work it takes to have a monthly cycle. He says that 90% of the body's reserves are used during the time of menstruation and if one is not in top health, then any weaknesses in the body (adrenal fatigue, viruses, bacterial issues, migraines, chronic dehydration, and on and on and on and on...) will be exacerbated. Thus, PMS. I am seeing the truth in this as physical proof.
So- there's no going back for me. This is not a temporary cleanse. This is a lifestyle. And, I have to say, one of the most beautiful journeys I have ever been on and I am so grateful that I found the trailhead.
Today's YOGA! With everything going on in the world today, it is helpful for us to stay grounded. Grounded in our own dreams and visions for ourselves and the world. It's hard to believe that ONE can make a difference. But actually, that is all one CAN do: make the difference for themselves and let their own positive experience shine out for others. It's a ripple effect. With that in mind, todays pose is: Malasana. (see photo above.) Also known as squat pose- this pose offers a quietude, centering and grounding quality that is very profound. If you are not sure how to do this pose, look here for directions and modifications.
Also I wanted to share this website which many of you will know is a wonderful and powerful organization for the treatment of animals. I recently signed up to make a monthly re-occurring donation. My donation is only $10 a month for now, but at least I know I am doing something and in the years do come, as I am more able financially, I plan to do more.
When the heart breaks- it's like a geode. There is such beauty inside. So I let my heart break again and again, and I know it is for good, I ask for guidance to make a difference. And when I do the work, when I walk the talk, I feel the difference. And it's undeniable.
Much Love to you today.
When we rest, the nervous system goes into the "rest and digest" mode. This is when our body can catch up and, essentially, do all the things it needs to do to keep us alive. When we wake in the morning, we are coming off a fast, (thus the word "breakfast" - literally we are breaking a fast.) And what we put into our body first thing really matters.
One thing we can do to help ourselves is flush the liver upon waking up. The liver does a lot of things, but one thing it does is work when we sleep to clean the sludge (toxins and waste) from the blood and separate out the useful nutrients our bodies needs for daily functioning. Yes! The liver cleans our blood for us. That clean blood is then pulled up to the heart. (Think about this: the cleaner the blood, the easier the heart can pull it...the dirtier the blood, the more sluggish the liver, the harder it is for the heart to pull it up...hello high blood pressure.)
The hubs and I drink fresh celery juice every morning on an empty stomach. The girls get a celery-apple juice about 5-6 times a week (apple makes it sweeter and more tolerable for kids). They also have it first thing in the morning. I usually bring smaller glasses of juice into them when they are getting dressed for school. Sometimes they love it, sometimes they complain a little. Either way: down the hatch.
Not gonna joke ya. Straight celery is a strong flavor. Sometimes, if I'm feeling a little less bold, I put lemon in mine which gives it a little more salty flavor that I love. But, just plain on it's own, the effects of celery juice are even more powerful. Celery has deep cleansing benefits for the liver and all internal organs, supports digestive and intestinal health and is an anti-inflammatory for inflammation caused by "auto-immune" diseases (I put auto-immune in parenthesis because I don't believe that the body attacks itself - it is attacking something else, such as a virus. More on that another time.) Celery Juice is strongly alkaline, yet it helps restore hydrochloric acid in the stomach so it STOPS bouts of acid reflux (YES! I really can attest to this benefit. And Acid reflux SUCKS and I am SO HAPPY mine is gone.) The benefits go on and on.... (check out here and here.)
All that to say....if you do not have a juicer, or don't feel like making fresh organic celery juice every morning, lemon water is another good hydrator and over all tonic to sip first thing when you wake up. Though lemons have a tart and acidy taste- they are actually alkaline to the body. Lemons offer many vitamins and minerals and are very "deep-cleaning." Just squeeze an organic lemon in water and you're done! We are blessed with a beautiful lemon tree in our backyard that gives lemons all year round. It's like having a doctor on premises. : )
Imagine how you feel when you are overloaded and tired. How efficient are you? Well, it's the same for our internal organs. If we want them to work at their best (so we can feel our best) we need to treat them with a little more respect and flushing our systems in the morning is one of the best things we can do.
As far as yoga poses go, to cleanse the liver, anything that stretches the inner legs will trigger the liver meridian. I showed a good one the other day here. So for today here is something else you can do to stimulate your liver meridian. Put pressure on this point between the bones right under the big toe and the toe next to it. You can do it on both feet. Read more about meridians and pressure points here.