food

Keep On Moving

Howdy There! So the wheels may have come off during this holiday weekend.  You may have found yourself sitting in front of an empty pint container of ice cream or you may be eating more leftovers than you need to.  Studies show that you eat more in a group setting than when you are alone.  Soooo it is no wonder why we gorge ourselves during the holidays with all of the family and parties and groups of people munching away on food.  We often overdo it and then the guilt sets in.  We feel derailed from our normal workout/eating routine and we are faced with a big decision:  Stay off the tracks and off-road it for a while or get back on the rails and back to your life, your health, and your fitness.

One, two, or three days (or more) of crazy eating doesn't actually set you back, what sets you back is how you think about it.  Get over the fact that you are human, make decisions based on emotion and that you sometimes don't keep your goals at the forefront.  Get back to where you were, just do it, don't talk about it.  Move on and let the past go.  Sounds simple doesn't it?  It is.  We make things more complicated than necessary.  Usually the complication is the judgement.  Imagine your fitness goals without judgement.  Imagine your holiday feast and the next day's workout without judgement?  Imagine not letting your past dictate your future.  Imagine being absolutely supportive of the choices you make.  Imagine trusting yourself to do what is best for you.

When you trust, support and let go the ego doesn't have a lot of room to eat away at you.  You are able to make choices out of love instead of guilt.  You are able to let go of not doing something "right" and just doing what you would prefer.  When ego isn't in charge happiness has a way of surfacing and life has a way of falling into place.  So, have your cake (and mashed potatoes) and eat it too, then get on the next bike, or treadmill, or open road, or yoga mat and keep on keeping on.  You will be fine.

xo

a

Eat This

Helloooooo! Here is a quote from Freelee Frugivore:  (http://www.facebook.com/freeleeVegan)

"I had someone say to me yesterday --> "But compared to most people I am REALLY healthy!"…Do you really want to compare yourself to 'most people' ? Remember most people already have (or are heading for) Obesity, Cancer, Heart disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis and other life-threatening (but preventable) dis-eases. If you want to compare yourself to others then compare yourself to those who are not only dis-ease free but looking, feeling and performing at their best. In this way comparing yourself to others is a positive as it can help you step up and OWN your health responsibility instead of letting apathy and excuses rule your World."

I cannot tell you how often I hear this same thing and how often I reply in the same manner.  We compare ourselves to the worst and see how we are doing better…. instead of comparing ourselves to our ideals and deciding where we still need work.  It is like we are afraid of working for something.  We are too used to doing a lot of nothing so that doing more than others is doing something and needs to be praised to high heaven.  What you are doing may not actually be enough.  Just so you know, you may need to step it up and move to another level of health & well-being.

Stop making excuses.  Stop piling drugs on top of issues and find out what caused the issue to begin with.  Stop saying you love the food that actually could be making you sick, itchy, inflamed, achy, tired, grumpy, fat, lethargic, sad, hyperactive, etc.  Think about it.  If milk is making you ill, causing your joints to hurt, you lungs to have mucus, your body to age, your tummy to hurt, how the hell can you love it?  Really, continuing to use that which causes us harm is not necessarily what most of us wants.  Please take a moment to look at what you are doing to your health and decide what is more important, how the taste is good or if it is really food.

xo

a

Body Talk

Howdy Dooodee, How connected to your body are you?  How important do you think it is to be connected to you body?  Would you know what it was saying to you if it needed help?  Have you in the past?

Whether it be disease, infection, exhaustion, allergies or any other ailment, our bodies try to speak to us on a regular basis.  The big issue isn't that we don't hear it, it is that we think it means other that what it does.  We have normalized so many things that are actually signals that something is wrong.  Do you have extra weight (you know what I mean, no muscle definition and a nice layer or not so nice layer of fat over our body), do you have watery eyes, itchy or dry skin, do you have mood swings, do you get tired during the day even if you slept well, do you have feelings of rage, does your breath smell or do you have any other body odor.  How about your sleep, your joints, your muscles.  What are some of the excuses you make for feeling less than great?  Why do you make them?

We look around us, at all of the people eating like sh*t and we say, "everyone ages, everyone feels bad, everyone blah blah blah."  Who is everyone?  Are you talking about people who actually eat as much fresh food as they can, exercise regularly, have some sort of personal development practice for their soul, and are happy?  Or are you talking about most of the people who eat and live pretty crappy?  We believe when we only drink a few times a week, eat sweets once or twice a day and move our bodies 2-3 times at most a week that we should be FINE!  "My goodness" we say, "what is the deal, I work out, I eat good food, yet my body just doesn't cooperate."  Hmm...I hear about people eating good food all the time, yet I know people aren't eating good food, it may taste good, but it isn't healthy or what your body is wanting.  We lie about what we do to ourselves, on all levels.  What about your thoughts.  Are you thinking thoughts that support your health and well-being?  Do you know what kind of thoughts are supportive your self?  

On top of it, we believe that doing any more than what we already do is "extreme."   What if our bodies actually needed to be taken care of 90% better than we take care of them to actually function normally?  What if we don't know what "normal" is because we are all sick?  What if the secret to feeling great all of the time was never touching drugs, meditating in some way and eating foods that have high vibrations?  Would you do it?  What if it brought you to a place where you were rarely tired, never achy, always energetic, positive, completely trim, super strong and generally happy?  Would you put in the work to take care of yourself or would you grab that drink that tastes so good because it tastes so good?  At some point we will have to cease blaming our taste buds for our lack of cherishing our bodies/temples.

Look, I love yummy tasting things as much as the next chick.  I love my sweets.  I find them in the form of bananas, grapes and whatever fruit I can get my hands on.  I get the feeling of letting go of what you have been doing around your health ad well-being.  However, when you know what is at stake, your health, there really isn't any excuse to not take care, all of the time.  If you don't take care, someone else could possibly be burdened to do so for you.  I believe having compassion for the world includes taking the best care of yourself that you can so that no one else will have to… not that it won't happen, but to minimize the chances is a loving thing to do.

xo

a

Work And Wait For It

Hello, How long have you abused you?  How long have you taken drugs, eaten like sh*t, lived a sedentary (or close to it) life, thought jacked up thoughts about yourself and everyone else, judged everything, allowed others to take advantage or taken advantage of others?  Are your firm, muscular.  Do you have quick reflexes?  Are you alert?  Do you sweat daily?  Do you have any addictions?  If you can say yes to any of the above questions you have work to do.  The work isn't temporary; it will take some time to undo what you have done so well and so consistently.

I have to remind many of my clients that it took them many years to get where they are and it will take 'some' time to get to a place that they have possibly never been or haven't been to in a long time.  In all honesty, it is amazing how quick our bodies, hearts and minds are when it comes to recovery.  A smoker can smoke for 20 years and undo a huge portion of the damage by quitting for less than a year.  Our bodies want desperately to be healthy, feel great and carry us to and fro.  As soon as we show a sign of wanting to actually care for them (our bodies), they work overtime trying to rid themselves, you, of the mess that had been compounded for years.  Think about it like a neighborhood that just keeps getting dumped on.  After years of neglect all sorts of mayhem sets in.  Critter infestations, rot, mold, mildew.  To clean up a neighborhood would take a lot more time than a week, or two.  The manpower and patience alone would be intense.  Cranes may be needed, teams of folks might volunteer to assist.  All in all it would not be an overnight fix.  It could be months before the smell of old, mildewed materials is lifted.

Our bodies are the same way.  We need to give more than two weeks, one month, 6 months to heal the damage we have done.  We have to get it out of our heads that we should feel better after a few days of ridding our daily intake of allergy causing, inflammatory substances.  You have to understand that we are a very complex system.  Our bodies cannot always get rid of the "poison" we ingest in the form of 'food, medicine and libation.  It may be a long process to get ourselves back to a point before we began the slow and methodical destruction of our bodies.  So next time you want to see immediate results from a quickie cleanse/diet/exercise routine ask yourself those same questions I asked you.  How long have you abuse you?  How long?  How long?

xo

a

Find A New Love

Hi There! I love potato chips.  I love potato chips with vegan cream cheese.  Unbelievably delicious.  I have eaten my weight umpteen times over in potato chips.  I have gained weight eating my weight in potato chips.  I have stopped eating potato chips almost completely.  I don't know when I had them last.  3 months ago maybe.  I have had Pop Chips but that is the extent of my potato chip indulgence.  I feel great not being weak around potato chips and, honestly, not craving them either.

I gave them up because I was tired of eating things that didn't have a purpose.  I wanted to stop counting calories and eat what my body needed.  When we eat the foods we are meant to our bodies don't get heavy, sick, laden with fat cells.  So many of the things we eat have an ingredients list.  Often we cannot pronounce what is  in the foods we feed ourselves and our families.  It is scary.  We have been trained to look at serving size and calories.  We have to stop eating at a certain amount regardless of whether or not we are actually satiated/full because the serving size is a, b or c.  Wouldn't it make more sense to eat until we felt satisfied and not concern ourselves with the contents or calorie count?

So often I hear people say that they "could NEVER give up _________.  You can fill it in with cheese, meat, eggs, gum, candy, wine, coffee, or anything else you have heard or felt yourself.  They need to eat it.  They love the taste of blah blah blah.  I immediately think about what they are really saying.  When you say you could NEVER give something up (that isn't air, water or nutrition) I think ADDICTION.  Just an FYI.  Maybe you would prefer to always have it, but if you knew it was keeping you heavy, sluggish, irritable, weak, foggy and sick would you want to continue?  If you knew that without that thing you just needed to have, the quality of your health would increase, would the taste of that thing be enough to keep you attached to it?

Own what you do and what you eat.  Know that you have the power to let it go if it isn't serving you.  Learn about what you are eating.  See how what you put into your body affects everything.  Your moods, your nervous system, your digestion, your energy, your clarity, your ability to feel and share love are all either dulled, taxed or cleansed by the fuel you put into your body.  I am not sure how we aren't all clear on food being the number one issue in life.  When you eat something that has no life in it how do you expect it to nourish you?  When we are concerned about too much of some 'food' item being a bad thing maybe that thing needs to be looked at with an objective eye, or two.

Finding a new love around what you eat and how isn't awful.  When you align your food/fuel with what makes sense for your mind, body and soul your worry floats away.  You may find yourself wanting to sweat more, move more, and/or possibly look in the mirror more.  I have a lot of new loves that trump potato chips.  One of which is cashews and dates.  Mmm Mmm delicious.

xo

a

Your Responsibility

Sweat.  Daily.  Seriously. I know that my fitness routine (my life) is sometimes daunting and to many seemingly impossible.  I am never trying to get someone to move their body as much as I do, unless they would like to.  But, movement is what life is about.  There are all kinds of ways to get a good sweat and all you need to do is try various activities to find the one that works for you.  Self-care also includes what you use to fuel your body and your mind.  These are your tasks in this life along with whatever you decide is your work (spiritual or otherwise), however, many of us refuse to accept the responsibility of taking care of ourselves and instead make excuses as to why it doesn't or isn't happening.

One of my favorite excuses to staying stuck in stillness are not having enough time.  Enough time for what?  20 minutes?  You don't have 20 minutes?  Really?  Are you being honest?  Maybe your excuse is you don't know what to do.  Ok: Jumping Jacks, Push Ups & Sit Ups - Do 20 each, 19 each, 18 each, 17 each all the way down to 1.  Now you have something to do.  Next.  You don't like exercise?  Do you like looking and feeling good?  Sometimes you have to do things that aren't fun for your own good.  Next.  Maybe you don't think that how you think about something matters.  Ask others, pay attention, see how thoughts become reality.  If this is something you already know and you feel like having to pay attention is too much work, ok.  I think that living a life that you don't like is a lot of work.  Mastering your thoughts is hard but has a much better outlook.  It is your choice of course.

Let's face it, most excuses are not valid.  At some point you will matter.  What you use for your fuel will matter.  How you think about yourself will matter.  Whether your body moves regularly or not will matter.  Imagine waking up feeling ready to go without needing an outside stimulant.  Imagine not needing 10 hours of sleep.  Imagine having energy that allows you to dance, play, sing, enjoy your entire day.  Imagine that for yourself and really see it, visualize what that person would look like, feel like, speak like.  How would that person behave.  That person is you.  It is possible, but you first have to care about how you treat you.  How you feed you.  How you move you.

One day you will begin to stop making excuses and begin living a life you never thought was possible.  One day you will expect, from yourself, the very best and, one day, you will actually be able to give it.  It feels great to hold yourself accountable, to take charge of your life and to feel great in the process.  It really does.  We have been given this wonderful life to take care of.  We have been entrusted with our selves and most of us are abusive parents.

Get started, get going, get it done.

xo

a

A Vegan Story

Hello!!! When I was 15 I lived with my father in Manhattan.  During a vacation that my father took to the Ivory Coast I was under the loving care of my grandmother.  She went to great lengths to take care of me and that included making sure an active teenager was well fed.  She made me yummy food and left a bunch of things prepared for me to run in and cook up for myself whenever I was hungry.  In the freezer she put homemade hamburger patties for me to fry up at a moments notice.  (You know, it is funny.  I haven't had meat in 23 years so it is strange to think that I used to eat it… oh well, back to the story.)  She informed me of all of the food that was available so that I would never worry about going hungry.  She is a great grandma.

I grew up with a mother who made everything from scratch.  My sister informed us that she was a vegetarian at the age of 12 and my mother simply made meals for us both.  No fuss, no resistance.  At times as a family we had gone without processed sugar and meat, so my sister declaring a special diet wasn't a big deal.  Changing my mind was accepted in my home, and for that I am thankful.

On one particular day I came home starving.  I was excited to have a hamburger and probably fries, I can quite remember.  I pulled a hamburger out to cook up and got all of the fixings ready.  As I went to bite into my hamburger I distinctly heard a "Moooooo" coming from the direction of the burger in my hand.  It was, at that moment where I became a vegetarian.  When I announced this change to my grandmother she, if I am remembering correctly, clasped her hands and looked toward the heavens.  She prayed to Jesus Christ and dropped her head in worry.  My sudden change left her confused and concerned.  She has since grown to accept that choice regardless of whether or not she understands it.

Since that time I have gone on to become vegan (7 years ago).  When I stopped eating dairy so many things changed.  I stopped getting bloated, I became more flexible, my complexion improved, my asthma went away and I was no longer highly allergic to the myriad of things listed on my medical records.  I have had to field many questions around my diet.  The two most popular questions are:  "Where do you get your protein?" and "What do you eat?"  Due to the fact that I work out multiple times a day, most people don't ask me about having energy.  Additionally, the fact that I have good muscle tone and am not a waif, no one asks if I eat "enough."  :)

So, here are the answers:  I eat everything that isn't meat or dairy!  Come on, think people… really.  Go to a grocery store and walk into the produce section.  See all the goodness!  This is what I eat!  Mmmm mmm good.  I also can eat a bunch of unhealthy crap that is found throughout the store.  Tons of things are vegan… to the dismay of the healthy goddess inside of me.  Now, to the protein question:  Protein, what is it?  Well, this is a question that needs a lot of education, but I will try to put it plainly and cite references for you to delve in further.  Protein from animals is called high quality because it has is the closest protein to what we already have.  Proteins are made up of amino acids, of which there are hundreds of thousands of different kinds.  "They function as enzymes, hormones, structural tissue and transport molecules, all of which make life possible.  Proteins wear out on a regular basis and must be replaced.  This is accomplished by consuming foods that contain protein." (The China Study)  The most complete protein would be human flesh actually (chew on that!)  However, because proteins don't wear out all at once and all don't need to be replaced at the same time, you don't actually want or need to eat 'complete' proteins as a way of life.  Too much of something is, well, too much.  What you need is to replace the proteins slow and steady.  The way you do that is with plant-based foods.  Additionally, you don't lose protein like you have a big 'ole leak.  So worrying about having the right combination of plants based protein at every meal is kind of ridiculous.  I suggest you actually read up on what protein is, how it is synthesized and what our history is around the meat and dairy industry.  Knowledge is power, and in this case, health.

When asked about protein I often tell people to look at me.  I am the product of a non-dairy, non-meat diet.  :)  Any questions?

If you actually have questions please ask.  Also check out these sources:  The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD; Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman http://www.drfuhrman.com/; Thrive (any of his books) by Brendan Brazier; The Savvy Vegetarian - http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/protein-veg-diet.php

There are so many more sources but those are great places to start!

xo

a