Recommiting

Today I am recommitting to this blog. I have put it on hold for quite some time now. As I’m sure you can attest to, things come up. Children, jobs, spouses, friends, and everything else under the sun will come up…if you are not committed. I wasn’t. As it turns out there were a few other things that I loved that I didn’t have the time for anymore. I didn’t like that feeling of giving up so I took some steps to stay committed to things that are most important to me. I am going to give you my list of things that I am 100% committed to and then I am going to give you my 3 steps to successfully commit to anything you have been putting off in your life. I used these steps in my own life and had great luck. I hope you do too!

YOU CAN DO IT!

YOU CAN DO IT!

My List for 2014

  1. This blog
  2. My health
  3. Taking my fitness routine to the next level
  4. Unplugging after work to spend uninterrupted time with my family

Here is how I have been able to stick to prior commitments to myself and how I plan to stick to these as well.

  1. Write down your commitments or goals

Make a list of all of your goals, aspirations, dreams, and things you wish you could commit to. Then list out why. Why would this make you happy? Why is this important? Maybe you would like to take a yoga class once a week to distress from work (great idea J) Next to each goal list the action steps that you can take to make sure you stick to this commitment. For instance, next to your yoga class you can write “put yoga bag in car, pack snacks for after work and before yoga, make sure my husband can pick up the kids this ONE day, etc.” Make sure you are very clear here. Be clear with your goals and be clear with your action steps.

  1. Adjust your priorities

If this is truly important to you (and I suspect it is) then adjust your priorities to make it work! Get a babysitter to watch your kids while you are at yoga. Prepare everything the night before so you have no excuses not to go. Here’s the key: STOP MAKING BULLSHIT EXCUSES! Make the time! You are important and so are your goals! As soon as an excuse comes up to not do something, STOP, DROP, and FEEL. Feel the feelings of achieving your goal or sticking to your commitment. Go back to your list of goals and re-read WHY this is important to you. Visualize yourself during and after. How do you feel? I can’t begin to tell you how important this step is. This will help you manifest your end result and motivate you to take the next step.

  1. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate

I committed to an exercise class not too long ago. As luck would have it, things came up! I got busy with work and kids. I stopped going. But I was using these three steps so although I stopped going to the class, I started my own exercise routine at home instead. I re-evaluated my goals. My ultimate goal was to have a fitness routine. The exercise class was a good way for me at the time to stick to this commitment. However, it no longer served me and I took note of that. So I adjusted and came up with something even better! Now I workout at home and don’t have to leave my house in 14 degree weather! Check in with your goals periodically, and don’t be afraid to adjust them if necessary. Lastly, don’t forget to also celebrate how far you have come and how good it feels to stay committed and focused to something that you love!

What are you recommitting to?

XOXO,
D.

Inspiration

Who is your inspiration/motivation? Today I have been thinking a lot about what keeps us going. Mentally, physically, emotionally, we all get run down once in a while. So who do you go to to bring you back up? I get a lot of my inspiration from motivational teachers. I actually have a dream team of teachers that I go to whenever I need a boost!

When my spirit needs a lift I go to Gabrielle Bernstein. She is a miracle worker and a teacher of A Course in Miracles. She is an amazing woman who inspires me daily to meditate, love, and believe in myself and miracles. She has two books (Add More ~ing to Your Life and Spirit Junkie) both of which are fantastic. Her next book about miracles is due out later this year. Gabby also has a social networking site just for women to connect, learn, and share.

Feeling run down and in need of a stretch? My girl Tara Stiles is an excellent yoga instructor. She is actually Deepak Chopra’s very own yoga instructor. She also has books, videos, a youtube channel, and a blog with wonderful advice on getting your body moving and your mind relaxed. I find her yoga videos to be challenging but very relaxing at the same time. But I need a real butt-whopping I go to Lisa-Marie of BodyRock.

For food matters I head over to Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life site. I have spoke about Kris in other posts, she is just amazing. After being diagnosed with cancer in her 30s she took charge of her health and food choices. She completely turned around her life and became an advocate for healthy, cruelty free eating. Her Crazy Sexy Diet book is excellent. She is also coming out with a cook book later this year/early next year.

Lastly, for some business advice for women I turn to Marie Forleo. She has built an empire on giving women business advice and is a superb teacher. She also has a weekly video newsletter that she sends out answering her readers’ most burning questions. I always learn at least one thing when I tune into her channel.


Do you have a dream team? What/who is your motivation or inspiration? Check out my team of pros!

XOXO,
D.

Give yourself a break…a Kit Kat break

I am often times asked what I eat when I have a sugar craving or a craving for something comforting. As much as I would like to say that I don’t get these cravings often, it would be a lie. I try to eat VERY healthy but I’m only human, as are you, and deserve a break every once in a while.

I know we talk a lot about how to be in tip top shape by changing the way you eat. And I don’t want to feel like a hypocrite but I do cheat every once in a while and believe that everyone should. Just make sure it truly is every once in a LONG while 🙂

Although I try to pack myself some healthy snacks for work (such as fruit, dark chocolate, or almost anything from Chocolate Covered Katie), the occasional Oreo, pumpkin bread, or doughnut may creep its way toward my desk. And you know what? That’s okay. If I don’t have that small indulgence when the urge hits (and stays), I tend to have a big indulgence sometime later. So I cut myself a break and I have half the doughnut or just 1 Oreo. The key is moderation not denial. Don’t go crazy and don’t let it happen often. It sort of takes the fun out of it and that’s typically when guilt sets in.

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Ah, guilt. My thoughts on guilt is that is sucks and it’s completely useless. What’s done is done is done. Ponder on it, learn from it, forget it. That’s it. Don’t stew in your guilty feelings because that will only promote more guilt, depressing thoughts, and negative perceptions. Good for nothing! So you had 2 pieces of cake, no biggie. Have a large glass of juice with dinner or vow to drink extra water the next day. Acknowledge how you feel and remember those feelings next time. We are repetitive creatures. Practice makes perfect.

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So tell me, what is your favorite tiny treat to indulge in every now and then?

XOXO,
D.

Dangerous food additives

I came across this really interesting article about the top 10 food additives to avoid. This article was mind blowing. I mean I knew that processed foods were horrible for one’s health but some these side effects are down right deadly. What are your kids eating? Are you unknowingly feeding your families poison? Educate yourselves! This information is crucial for living healthy, non-diseased, clean lifestyles.

Here is the list. For more information on where these additives are commonly found and why they are bad for us please visit: Hungry For Change

1. Artificial sweeteners
2. High fructose corn syrup
3. Monosodium glutamate
4. Trans fats
5. Common food dyes
6. Sodium sulfite
7. Sodium nitrate/nitrite
8. BHA and BHT
9. Sulfur dioxide
10. Potassium bromate

For more information on where these additives are commonly found and why they are bad for us please visit:Hungry For Change

XOXO,
D.

What’s for dinner?

I often find myself starving and not in the mood to cook. So the other night I decided to make some soba noddles and veggies. YUM. Soba noddles are made out of buckwheat. Buckwheat has a lot of fiber and usually less calories than regular pasta. It is common in the Asian world and has been linked to living a healthier, disease free life. If you purchase the right kind, it is not highly processed which is another plus. Try it out with sauce, vegan butter, or just garlic.

I decided to saute whatever veggies I had in my freezer which turned out to be a delicious and nutritious meal. As you can see below, I sauteed green beans and leeks. Once soft, I added kale for a few more minutes. Season with garlic, sea salt, and a tad of vegan butter for a rich taste.

Add to the soba noddles!

The great thing about these noodles is that they rock hot or cold. I had these for lunch the next day in my salad. It was a perfect combo! Try soba noodles this week!

XOXO,
D.

I have been looking for a natural makeup remover. Thought I would give this a try since Jesica mentioned she uses coconut oil. I was shocked by how much LOVE it! Sure, it makes your skin a bit greasy but it totally beats red burning eyes from chemical removers! Thanks Jesica!

Feel More Gooder

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Coconut Oil

This post is about the many uses for coconut oil.

Contains: pure, organic, extra virgin coconut oil. (is solid at room temperature, liquid when in the palm of your hand or heated otherwise)

Description: Coconut oil boasts many health benefits from its healthy Omega fats. One of the good fats, lauric acid, makes up about 50% of coconut oil. Lauric acid is a rare medium-chain fatty acid found in human breast milk. It supports healthy metabolism and is being studied for its anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties. Some researchers predict that lauric acid will become as well known in health circles as Omega-3 is today.

My personal favorite product that Nutiva makes is their Coconut Oil. This stuff is the real deal and is exponentially beneficial to both the inside and outside of your body. If you have ever read the ingredient list on, say, body lotion…

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Healthy Baked Falafel

Here is a recipe for healthy falafel. You can fry but I prefer to bake. I am continuing to improve this recipe so check back for an update.

What ya need:
1 can Garbanzo (chick) beans. Or approx 2 cups fresh
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley (approx 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
1 tbls cumin
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbls olive oil
1 tbls water
1 tsp kelp seasoning (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup flour and more for rolling (I used whole wheat but you can use any you like)

This is the kelp seasoning I use. I actually put it on almost everything including pastas, rice, veggies, and salads.

Kelp is a form of algae that is very good for you. Kale has high levels of vitamins,  A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as a number of minerals, trace elements, and amino acids. It helps improve the immune system, maintain a healthy metabolism, digestive system, may reduce blood pressure, and aids in healthy skin. You can buy kelp powder, tablets, and flakes.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375.

Add all of the ingredients above to a food processor. Process for about a minute until it is well combined and has formed a paste.

Coat cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Form into balls and roll onto excess flour to coat. Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes on each side.

Enjoy on a salad, in a pita with hummus, or alone!

XOXO,
D.

Organic: to buy or not to buy

Organic. Just how important is it? Well it depends. It’s no secret that our produce is sprayed with toxic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and more chemicals that I can’t pronounce let alone spell. Organic produce, less so. There are certain regulations that farmers must adhere to in order to become certified as organic. They use natural fertilizers that benefit the environment as well as the fruit/vegetables. When it comes to packaged foods, organic plays a big part as well. People want to know that the items they are eating are free of harmful chemicals, GMOs, and other toxins.

So who decides whether something is organic? The USDA for one and other 3rd party certifiers. Not surprisingly, the USDA is more lenient then some of the other agencies out there (i.e. QAI). The USDA has a list of 30+ chemicals that they allow be used in organic products. These are NON-organic chemicals! They are also very easily swayed by corporations with deep pockets as we have discussed in previous posts.

What can we do to protect ourselves against these toxins? Buy organic! Of course I would love to buy all organic, but frankly I can’t afford it! So I buy the dirty dozen (see below) as organic and not the clean fifteen (see below). I try to buy the veggies that I am going to juice as organic (to avoid direct absorption of chemicals). Certain things that have been known to be genetically modified I will buy organic (tofu, corn, soy). When it comes to organic certifiers, I personally don’t even consider what is labeled as USDA Organic as organic. I don’t trust them and prefer an organic seal from another company.

Dirty Dozen: think anything with a soft shell that you may eat as well
**This has been updated for the new 2012 list from ewg.org

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Sweet Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries
  11. Lettuce
  12. Cucumbers
    and perhaps Kale/Collard Greens

Clean Fifteen: Anything that you peel to eat

  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mango
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Mushrooms

You can get the 2011 shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce here.

Again, I encourage you to do your own research as well.

XOXO
D.

Green juice 2.0

If you have read my previous juice post you know my love runs deep.
I usually make juice the night before for the next few days. Raw, fresh vegetable and fruit juice using a centrifugal juicer (like the Breville Juice Fountain) will only last for 24-48 hours in the fridge in an air tight container. I prefer glass so I use empty bottles of Synergy raw kombucha (very tasty and super healthy!)

Anyway, here is what I made tonight:

Kale
Rainbow chard
Cucumber
Dandelion greens
Bok Choy
Apple

I also added some carrots later to ensure both bottles were filled to the top

Enjoy!

XOXO
D.

Fresh Spring Pasta Salad

One of my favorite vegan/vegetarian recipe site is vegkitchen.com. I altered it slightly in the pictures below for the things that I did not have on hand (artichoke hearts and dill) Here is the easy pasta salad recipe:

Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Peas

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 8 ounces tri-color rotini,
  • 8 ounces slender asparagus
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas, lightly steamed
  • One 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water.

Meanwhile, trim 1/2 inch from the bottoms of the asparagus spears, and cut them into approximately 1l/2-inch lengths. Steam in a large saucepan with a small amount of water until bright green and tender-crisp, then drain and rinse until cool. I used the steamer below. I also steamed the carrots as well (for about a minute).

Combine the cooked pasta, asparagus, and peas with the remaining ingredients in a large serving bowl. Toss gently but thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until needed or serve.

*please note this is not my recipe and was taken directly from vegkitchen.ccom

XOXO
D.