At first thought, for me, gratitude seems to be something you show only when you receive a tangible gift. A birthday or Christmas present, maybe someone picks up the cheque at lunchtime, that kind of stuff. But the more that I delve into myself and the world around me I realize, “hey, I have a lot more that I should be grateful for”. And so do we all.
There is a very real healing effect initiated in your body when you express gratitude towards people or things outside of yourself. This can be measured biochemically, while other aspects of it are currently beyond scientific measurement. Expressing gratitude initiates a powerful healing effect in your own mind and body.
What do I have to be thankful about? Plenty.
Being able to genuinely express gratitude requires you to shift your focus away from the negative and on to what you are actually thankful for.It is easy to forget to be thankful for all the amazing things in our lives every single day, and I’m writing here to help you find your way too!
Western society tends to focus on what we don’t have. We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough time, we don’t have the partner we’re looking for, the list could go on forever. The more we take the time out to find what is REALLY important to us, the more we can find our true gratitude, accelerating inner healing as a result.
Some truly AWESOME things you have to be thankful for:
• Your health – be thankful for the health you have.
• Your family
• Your freedom
• Your brilliance, consciousness and awareness.
• Your experiences/memories
• The sun beaming through your window right now
• Food and seeds, gifts from mother nature
• The income that you create to support yourself
• Your desire to learn new things
• A realization or philosophy that you follow
• Your pets
Take a few moments and think about what you are thankful for. You may even wish to take a few minutes to jot down some notes for yourself to look back on when you may have lost your gratitude.
Take a time out – just a couple of minutes per day!
Take the time each day to review the list you have made and truly feel thankful for the things that you do have. Try saying it loud, it may change your perceptions when you hear your own voice being thankful! This will help you to create positivity and you will increase the joy in your day.
How is gratitude “healing”?
Every type of energy that you express to someone else is reflected in you. So if you express hatred toward some other person there is an element of that energy that is also expressed internally. To hate someone else is to subject yourself to some reflection of that own hate, in other words.
To express thankfulness towards something else causes a reflection of that positive energy to be felt inside.
Anger cannot coexist with gratitude
Anger is a destructive emotion that causes stress, adrenal depletion and tension throughout the body. You can learn to replace negative emotions with gratitude, anger cannot coexist with gratitude.
This doesn’t mean you have to run around blindly thankful for everything without discerning times when criticism or anger might be called for, but the more you can find the gratitude everyday, the more active your body’s inner healing processes.
I’ll start here; I am thankful today for my health, my love, the sunshine, my family (furry and otherwise) and the awesome feeling I experience knowing this blog is helping out someone out there.
Sometimes when we are starting out on a new life path, or even just changing up our diet, there are a lot of NO’s and Negatives associated with that. If you are someone like me who went from Carnivore to Vegetarian to Vegan and now on to Rawfoodist…you will find that you grow weary from time to time of all of the NO’s. Avoid cheese, avoid sugar, avoid diet sodas, avoid processed meat, avoid MSG, etc. For many people, the list of things to avoid becomes so large and confusing that they just give up trying to be healthier.
Instead of whittling your way down to eating dust and being discouraged, wouldn’t you rather actually eat more? Yes, that’s right, MORE. It may sound familiar – eat 5 small meals per day NOT three – but it’s more than that. If you are interested in finding out more about keeping your belly AND your heart full, read on dear readers. Read on.
How eating more promotes real healing
Here’s how: There’s a physical limit of how much stuff you can eat in one day. So by adding certain healthy foods and aiming to achieve the goal of eating MORE of those foods, you will automatically end up dropping something else out of your diet without really trying.
Aim to eat three whole fruits per day; one before each meal. Each day consume a total of three whole fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, mangos, large plums, etc. But here’s the key in all this: You must eat one whole fruit BEFORE each meal.
Eat whatever it is you normally eat, but add three whole fruits per day. (Not dried fruits. They must be fresh, whole fruits of a significant size.)
Let’s say you eat at McDonald’s each day, for example. And let’s say you order a Big Mac, fries and a Coke for lunch each day. Now, with this “eat more” principle in place, you precede each McDonald’s meal with the consumption of a whole, fresh fruit. Two important things will happen:
#1) The fruit contains nutrients that will help protect you from the damaging ingredients of cooked foods, processed foods or chemical food ingredients. (Because fruits contain natural medicines.)
#2) The whole fresh fruit will take up more physical space in your stomach, making you feel full faster and causing you to stop eating the other stuff sooner. You may find yourself suddenly unable to finish your Big Mac and fries, for example. You may not even know why but then it hits you: Oh yeah, I ate the fresh fruit before this meal!
Naturally, I hope you choose organic fruit for this, but even if you don’t, eating conventionally-grown fresh fruit is better than nothing!
Eat more superfoods
Microalgae like chlorella, spirulina or food-based vitamins like those from Pure Synergy (this could be in the form of powder, tablets or capsules). So at some point each morning take as directed on the product labels.
DO NOT swallow a handful of vitamins, many of which are made with synthetic chemicals. Only real food here — superfoods in a supplement form.
Doing this will cause something else quite amazing to happen in your body: Unhealthy cravings will start to vanish. Within just 30 days, in fact, you may suddenly begin to notice that your cravings for unhealthful snack foods and carbohydrates begin to fade. You may no longer feel the need to eat the cookies, donuts, ice cream or fried foods that you were once drawn to.
Why does this work? Because many cravings are simply biochemical translations of your body’s cry for nutrients. And superfood supplements fill your body with abundant nutrients that you might be missing. As your body realizes it’s no longer deficient in crucial minerals and other micronutrients, your cravings are automatically turned off, putting YOU back in control over what you choose to eat.
Eat more REAL salt
This one will shock many people. Some doctors swear this is bad advice, but that’s only because they don’t acknowledge the difference between real salt and processed “refined” salt. Refined salt is bad for you. Real, full-spectrum salt is good for you!
Processed salt raises blood pressure and promotes disease. Full-spectrum salt, on the other hand, may actually have the opposite effect. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that cravings for salty snack foods are often just cravings for full-spectrum salt.
See some full-spectrum salt products here:
If you already exhibit symptoms of high blood pressure, don’t add salt to your diet without removing some processed salt from it first. Check with your naturopathic physician on this matter. But if your blood pressure is normal, adding full-spectrum salt to your diet is generally considered remarkably safe by some, but I’m no doctor so please do consult a physician if you need to.
Drink a fresh superfood smoothie each day
It doesn’t even matter what time you drink it, really: Just find a way to add a full 8 oz. glass of freshly-squeezed fruits and vegetables to your daily intake of foods and beverages.
The ingredients should be fresh produce only. Examples: Celery, parsley, cucumbers, apples, pears, watermelon, beets, kale, broccoli, berries and so on. You may add a natural sweetener such as stevia.
You’ll need to make this juice yourself in a juicer or at least in a high powered blender. Blentec and Vitamix are recommended brands, but the “regular” ones do just as well. .
Alternatively, if you cannot make fresh juice each day, the next best thing is to drink a superfood product that you mix with water instead. There are many to choose from in this category here are some recommendations:
Rejuvenate (http://www.naturalnews.com/028242_R…), Boku Superfood (http://www.naturalnews.com/024479_s…), Pure Synergy (http://www.naturalnews.com/027006_f…), Healthforce Nutritionals (http://www.naturalnews.com/023398_J…), Living Fuel (http://www.naturalnews.com/021637.html) and so on. These aren’t quite as fresh and “alive” as homemade juice made from fresh produce, but they’re the next best thing.
Naked and Odwalla Juices DO NOT COUNT!!
• Eat three fresh raw fruits each day (one before each major meal)
• Superfood supplements each day
• Eat more full-spectrum salt (ideally as a replacement for processed “refined” salt)
• Drink a fresh superfood smoothie each day
As a person with skin problems including psoriasis and itchy skin I am all over this segment of the healing yourself series. The consumer products industry wants you to believe everything they say and do to keep us buying their products. Including the notion that the chemicals you put on your skin don’t get absorbed into your bloodstream. So there’s no need to make sure consumer products are actually safe.
Some members of the conventional medical field as well as the FDA refuse to acknowledge the absorption properties of the skin, so they tend to say that all the things you put on your skin are perfectly safe for your health even if they contain toxic chemicals. (Of course, these very same people then promote nicotine patches and other drugs delivered through the skin, so they do indirectly acknowledge that the skin absorbs chemicals.)
Items that come into contact with your skin and are absorbed into your body::
• Perfumes, colognes and other fragrance products.
• Shower soap or shower gel products.
• Pesticides used on your lawn which are carried to you through pets or children.
• Skin creams.
• Sunscreen products.
• Antibacterial hand soaps.
• Laundry detergents and dryer sheets (through your clothing).
• Dish soaps.
• Furniture polishes.
• Household cleaners such as window cleaners.
• Artificial dyes found in clothing.
• Feminine hygiene products.
• Deodorants and anti-perspirants.
• Shaving creams and after-shave products.
• Hair dyes.
• Massage oils and lotions.
• Hair sculpting products and hair sprays.
• Tattoos and temporary skin art.
• Insect repellants.
• Over-the-counter creams: Anti-itch, pain creams, etc.
• Chlorine in your shower water.
• Anti-flea and tick chemicals acquired by touching your pets.
Some, not all, of these items have been identified as Cancer-causing chemicals due to specific ingredients they contain. Try googling the ingredients on your shampoo bottle for starters.
The average perfume product contains over twenty cancer-causing chemicals all by itself — these usually are not listed on the label. Antibacterial soaps are made with a chemical that’s similar to the nerve toxin chemical called Agent Orange which was used as a chemical weapon in the Vietnam War.
Hair dyes contain highly toxic chemical solvents. Conventional laundry detergents are made with extremely toxic cancer-causing fragrance chemicals. Conventional cosmetics are loaded with not just cancer-causing chemicals, but also heavy metals like lead. Lawn pesticides contain chemicals that promote Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The products listed in this blog post could contain over 10,000 different synthetic chemicals, and virtually none of them have ever been safety tested or approved as safe for human consumption by any federal agency. The EPA doesn’t know what many of these chemicals are because companies claim they need to protect their formulation “trade secrets”, ommiting their listing on the product contents.
Why are you putting them on your skin?
Consumers are influenced by advertising. Take for instance the advertising of a cologne product called “Axe” which is marketed to clueless teenage boys who naively believe that wearing these toxic chemicals will magically bring them hoards of women who want to have sex with them. Use Axe, get laid. Gee, don’t we all wish it was that simple? Sex sells.
People are poisoning themselves by poisoning their skin with synthetic chemicals all the while believing they are being health conscious.
Action items: What you can do right now
Go through your entire house, covering every room including the garage, under the kitchen sink, the bathroom closet and so on. Gather up every “chemical” product and throw them all out. (You’re poisoning the environment by doing so, of course, but you’re going to make up for that by never buying these products again…)
Include conventional cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, fragrance products, cleaning products, laundry products, bug sprays, air “fresheners”.
More importantly make a commitment to never buy these products again. That’s the only way to enjoy a long-term benefit for your health, of course. Short-term pain to your wallet, long term gain for your health.
Detox your body from these synthetic chemicals using a variety of detox products: Zeolites, chlorella supplements, cilantro, spirulina, etc. Drink a lot of water. Take liver detox herbs to support healthy liver function during all this.
I have included some pictures of some safe products here that you can use! I highly recommend 7th Generation for cleaning, The Body Shop and Tarte for personal care products.
Many times have I committed to a juice cleanse and never have I managed to document any of the experience for clientele or the general public. Because I have embarked on yet another cleanse I feel that I had the time and space to do this – because I’m not leading a group cleanse or making juices myself.
This time, I decided to go with a commercially purchased cleanse. I looked at several options before taking the plunge and took several items into consideration:
– what was the company selling the cleanse all about
– where were they located
– price & value
– ease of starting/receiving juice
I had initially chosen a company out of Calgary as this would be a place to pick up from that was easily accessible and had nearly 0 carbon footprint. Unfortunately, they took more than forever to return emails (terrible, spoiled Albertan vendors with no idea of the rest of the worlds customer service initiatives *steam*, this province is so alienated by the oil and gas industry) and when then did, they were not helpful, or cheery, with getting a cleanse to me outside of their prescribed days and times – even though I said I would pick up.
So, as it has been going lately, I decided to look out of province. Why? Well, their markets aren’t as inflated and their vendors generally care about having paying customers.
It took me just 2 days and $200 per person for a 6 day cleanse to arrive via courier to my office. Tina, the proprietor was very helpful. We had a bit of a hiccup with juice types and after sending an email, I was assured the additional juice would arrive next-day (today hopefully) to get the sequencing of juices done right. Wow.
If you are interested in the juices I have been drinking you can find them HERE.
The juice arrived at 10 am to our offices. It came packaged in a styrofoam cooler with cooling gel packs above and below the juice. The package also contained a juicing reusable bag, a note on the expiry, a 25% off coupon and a quick reference card for consuming the juices in the right order.
Because I was ravenous, I opened up the cooler and immediately (took pics for all of you) then shook and guzzled my first “Clean Greens”. I’ll just put it out there, green smoothies are NOT my favourite, never will be. I understand their vital importance in balancing our vitamins and minerals, but they are sour, and so was this one.
Next, on my way to a meeting I grabbed the ginger berry. WAY more my style and super easy to drink with a lovely ginger taste – can’t complain.
I did a couple random circles around the office looking at trail mix and bananas, but I did not partake. Win. Next, Cool melon. This is where I learned I didn’t have any cool melon but double the almond milk variety. So I drank an almond milk one…it was great – a little extra nut fiber in there, but it was good. Cool melon – for real – on the way home I snaked a cool melon out of my boyfriends order. Simple, sweet and minty – I actually use the same recipe for watermelon martinis in the summer.
On the way home, I was feeling like I needed a nap. By the time I got home, I completely thought I would have one – except work got in the way a bit. I felt SUPER agro for about 1 hour, so I ate a handful of cashew nuts – raw ones. By the time I walked the dogs and puttered around with small chores, I realized I might as well just get on with it and do my day 8 of 21 Day HIIT challenge. During this 20 minute super workout I felt like I had OK energy and could cope with all the exercises without utter exhaustion.
I then used the next Clean Greens as a post-workout drink – it still tasted bad. I was in bed reading by 8:30pm and sipped away at the final Citrus beverage until I fell asleep. I LOVE this one. Spicy, citrus-y, deliciousness. At this point, I was feeling full and so far haven’t felt starving. I don’t think Jeff can say the same.
I fell asleep and was probably up around 3am. Not sure if the lack of sleep ability was the dogs or what, but it was a tough night.
Waking up was a bit hellish. I managed to get back to sleep by 6 am and slept until about 7:45.
Got out of bed, guzzled some water and had my first Clean Greens. I didn’t feel hungry at all, and I still don’t.
As I sit and write this I miss coffee. The smell, the taste and the buzz. Hoping that getting through my errands and a big dog walk will pull me into the land of the living by 11 am.
I headed out of the house just after 10 am with my second (and favourite) juice in-hand to have a scoot through the country with my pups. I took the dogs out for a walk in the woods and nearly left them there – woah nelly, settle down. A little bit more easily aggravated these days I have to admit. Hangry. By 1130 am I was still tired and now annoyed at my dogs. Again, I drove home and thought I was going to crash heavily, and didn’t. Instead, I had a handful of cashews, brewed up an herbal peppermint tea and hunkered down to watch a very disturbing movie on Netflix. I hopped up for one of the many million pee’s during the movie and grabbed by third juice of the day for “lunch”. I have just taken the dogs out for another walk, wrote a letter and am now going to attempt my HIIT for the day: WORK OUT .
It is currently 7 pm. I made it through a HIIT and 12 minutes of a 20 minute spin – legs were far too tired – I also managed a bit of Yoga without issue.
I lapped up half a clean green for a recovery drink, with a small handful of cashews.
Let me tell you , my stomach was grumbling, so I had another cup of herbal mint tea and did some laundry. I think I may pay heed to the recommendation of “moderate” exercise. I don’t even listen to my own good advice.
I currently have two juices left and am feeling quite alert. Not aggravated, that was definitely a morning thing. Though, I have been fantasizing about food for the last couple of hours. Poor Jeff, went to his grandmas and she ordered a pizza. Ruthless day for him.
I would call day 2 a success……nighty night until tomorrow!
Day three arrived. My sleep wasn’t nearly as interrupted as last night however, I still woke up a little tired. Getting the ball rolling on the day seemed a little less painless and I had no desire to eat or any hunger.
The work day was 10 hours long with no breaks, a few times I had to run to Jeff’s office to scarf down some almonds & cashews. Probably ate at least 3/4 of a cup of each throughout the day.
I thought about food all day. When I wasn’t stressing about something, I literally only thought about food. I had to plan a luncheon for tomorrow and ordered about twice as much pizza for 15 people as I should have. I could taste it.
I think today was the hardest day by far. Knowing it’s nearly over and hearing a little voice inside your head say “c’mon, just have a snack”……I’ve been beating that voice back all day.
There is one more drink to go before bed. I know I can make it, I think Jeff has at least 5 meals prepared for us to eat tomorrow – which is SUCH a bad idea when you’re coming off of a cleanse. Honestly – ease into it with soup and salads….or suffer the wrath.
The dirty bits: bowel movements still occurring however, not at the mass and frequency expected. I didn’t go at all yesterday, no urge either. Jeff wont let me talk about his poops in public. Sissy.
Overall, today I felt the most spacey I have and the most weak. I opted for a longer walk with the dogs instead of exercising at full out capacity.
I will say that removing meals does remove a sense of community and that is one part of the human culture that I quite enjoy. There is a certain void left in a day where there is no communion with others, a sharp empty space that only cooking and enjoying a meal can fill. That, is what I truly craved most in this cleanse.
Living in a new City and Province since June has been an amazing experience. Not only am I just 1.5 hours in the air away from beautiful Vancouver, BC, I am also worlds away culturally speaking. From being a Vegan in “Cowtown” to experiencing the actual change between seasons, it’s been a unique and perspective producing Summer turn Autumn.
In celebration of all things Vegan, and as a warm “thank you” to Calgary – I am writing today to share a bit of info on some colourful fall flavours, colours and cruelty-free menu options. Hit up Calgary Farmers Market to find these delicious recipe ingredients.
The days are shorter, our schedules build back up after our summer sleepyness, and we realize it’s time to turn in our short-shorts for our long-long underwear. Colour, flavour and nutrition do not have to be tossed aside when our beautiful summer veggie beds are put to rest. Let’s take a look at some fall stars here now!
Swiss Chard – beet relative and vitamin rich in A & C as well as Calcium and Iron.
Beets – bulb and greens are both delicious and nutritious to eat. Vitamin A & C as well as Iron &Folate. Trim stems before storing over the winter to reduce water suction from the root.
Apples – Rich in Vitamin A,C & K as well as Choline (similar to B vitamins, protects our livers from getting fat). Continue to ripen after picked, store in a cool place to save over winter.
1 pound of Beets peeled and diced
1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes diced
Pinch or two of celtic sea salt
Fresh ground black & red peppercorns
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion diced 2 tbsp parsley
*Option* 1 pound organic, firm, tofu – chopped into small cubes
METHOD: In a high-sided pan cover beets & potatoes with water and boil. Seson with salt and cook 7-10 minutes or until tender. Drain and wipe out pan. Heat oil in skillet and add beats & potatoes, cook until potatoes are golden brown. Reduce to medium heat and add onion & tofu. Cook for 4 minutes until tender. Adjust any seasonings as necessary.Add parsley in last minute or two. Serve hot!
“Chardley any work” Pizza
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch swiss chard (1 lb)without stems, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
Celtic Sea salt
1 gluten free or vegan pizza dough *Community Health Item!!
1 cup grated Daiya Vegan Cheese *Community Health Item!!
METHOD: Place pizza stone or inverted baking sheet in oven and heat to 500 degrees. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet on medium. Cook garlic in oil until tender – 1 minute. Add Chard leaves in batches until just wilted, then remove – 5 minutes per. Season with salt. Transfer pizza dough to parchment, brush with remaining oil and season with salt. Sprinkle with “cheese”, top with chard & transfer tooven. Bake for 15 minutes and top with pepper flakes.
2 apples sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick “wheels” with seeds removed.
***I love Gala, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady for this one.***
Cinnamon – to dust with if desired
Heat oven to 225, arrange slices on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 1.5 hours. Flip and continue to bake for 1 more hour or until crisp. Remove and cool completely. Should store for 1 week in air tight container.