Saturday, December 29, 2007

Realistic Resolutions for 2008

After touting my own good intentions to the world wide web at the beginning of December, I feel as though I have already gotten a bit of the New Year's Resolution fixation out of my system. I have always been put off by the idea of making annual claims, yet each year I find myself gearing up once again, ready to right the wrongs of the previous year, purposing towards more glorious outcomes THIS time around.

So, as I awoke and checked email this morning, I had a great one from Raw Summit's, Kevin Gianni, that I'd like to share with all my readers. His reflections on making and keeping resolutions are certainly worth a read and worth taking to heart. He has also put together more help on is website, and you can finish reading the article in its entirety there.

If you are making any resolutions or "intentions", I would love for you to share them with me. Sometimes it helps to put them out there and gain support. I am taking a little different approach this time around and I'll share those details with you in an upcoming blog. So, for deepest wishes to you for a beautiful and healthful 2008. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Step #1

Set your intentions. To make this New Year’s Resolution last, you have to be very clear about your intentions. You have to set them with specifics as well as figure out why you really want to achieve them. It’s not enough to say “I want to eat more raw food and less animals.” You have to know why you want to do it. Is it to live better? Feel better? Be better?

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Step #2

Learn to fail graciously. We’re not perfect beings. Never were. So here’s the deal. You have to accept that you’re going to waiver a bit along the path. Most of us stop when the going gets tougher and revert to our old patterns. If you want to succeed with your New Year’s Resolution this year, know that you might fall off track a bit along the way. If you do, pick yourself back up and keep going. There’s never a straight line between point A and point B. Enjoy the ride.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Step #3

Clean out your gut and keep your immune system in top condition. You may think this doesn’t have much to do with New Year’s Resolutions, but it surely does. You have to be clean physically to make good decisions. Does alcohol impair your thoughts? Of course it does. What about processed sugar or soda or a piece of kale. If alcohol can change the way you operate, so can those other foods. If you’re not clean on the inside, then you’re thoughts will be impure and lead you down the wrong path. Gut and immune system cleansing and maintenance are the first places to start even before you change the way you eat!

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Step #4

Learn the program for your own body type. Don’t just jump into any fitness or wellness program without knowing your body type. They are plenty of things you can do to improve or master your health and wellness, but without knowing if you run hot or cold or in between you could find yourself down the wrong path.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Step #5

Learn how to deal with pitfalls. If you already know how to deal with the ups and downs of a healthy diet and fitness program… you’re going to know what to do when the hard times hit.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Step #6

Create a wellness toolbox. This is simply a place where you can go for options. A wellness toolbox has ideas and items that will help you make decisions when you have little time or little mind capacity left (due to stress, work or anything else that drains you). This can be an idea file or even a physical box where you keep recipes or workouts or things that inspire you.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: Step #7

Know how you make decisions and know your personality type. I’ve identified 3 types of personalities when it comes to health and fitness and just about anything else. These are the caretaker, the go-getter and the researcher. Each one has specific qualities that helps them make good or bad decisions. If you know which one you are the better off you are keeing your New Year’s Resolution.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Loving Luscious Lavender

I ordered edible lavender online over a year ago when I was making Sarma Melngailis' recipe for Lavender Ice Cream (see Raw Food Real World). I somehow ordered enough lavender for an army so it still sits in my pantry, waiting with purpose, for another raw creation. A wave of artistry swept through me this morning and here is the sweet and delicate result....

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

1 heaping cup soaked cashews
meat of 1 young thai coconut
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup pure water
1/4 - 1/2 cup almond flour (finely ground cashews would work too)
1 tbsp. edible lavender flowers
1 tbsp + 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. gold quality sea salt
a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if desired

Put all ingredients, except flour, into your high speed blender. Churn on high until all ingredients are completely smooth. Use a spatula to scrap batter into a medium sized bowl. Fold in 1/4 cup nut flour, mixing thoroughly, adding in additional flour until you achieve a batter like consistency. Should be a bit thicker than pancake batter. Warning, this mixture is killer delicious and hopefully you won't eat it all before it makes it into the dehydrator. (However, I hope you'll feel free to lick the bowl clean as I did this morning!)

Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, put rounds of batter onto teflex sheets on a dehydrator tray. (Mine looked like little footballs more than circles). Very gently shake or tap tray until you have the desired thickness of your cookie. Place in a 115 degree dehydrator until cookies appear firm enough to peel away from the teflex sheet, about 12 hours or more. Put cookies back onto tray and continue dehydrating until they are a bit crisp or firm on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. Approximately another 12-24 hours, depending upon your personal preference. ENJOY!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

'Tis the Season to be a Raw Foodie

It is a cold, windy and overcast day in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, this weather somehow doesn't fit my feelings on the inside. Recently I've been aware of this warm humming deep down in my solar plexis. That grand feeling that something wonderful is happening, yet I am not exactly sure what it is or how to define it just yet. Maybe it's the feeling like one has when they are pregnant...that expectancy of knowing the baby is coming, but there's no idea of how everything will ultimately go or what the baby will look like or how he/she will be, once delivered and in your arms.

As many of you know, I am not 100% raw in my daily life. I eat a high raw diet, but I still continue to eat a bit of cooked here and there. That's just my life and I have a level of comfort with that, yet there is always the elusive, full blown, hard core commitment that I see in others I've admired. You know, those special ones, the 100% raw food elite club, the members of the raw Admiral's Club, you know those I speak of, right? I watch them....I study them....I am impressed by their level of commitment and discipline. I ponder this group with high respect and honor, yet, there I go again, a hand full of potato chips into the cake hole before I realize what I've done. Just lost my membership into the inner sanctum once again.

I know....Dhrumil says this, "People fail on raw when they look for it to define their Being. You are much greater than any diet could ever be. Go 100% raw if you like, treat it as a game or a challenge, not as reflection of who you are. Don't find or define yourself in your diet." The raw guru has spoken. Even though I could technically be this hipster's mother, I respect his wisdom and his experience with this whole raw game. His success in life is merely fueled by his raw diet. My new friend Justine adds, "Raw is alive and living and supports the life choices I make...definitely doesn't define me though!" Amen to that. Finally, Jennifer adds, "I am a flame burning by Divine Inspiration, My spark is fanned with nourishment alive & vibrant. I am the fire, the food is my fuel." Enough said.

So, here is my deal.....I will give up my attachment to being 100% raw for the sake of saying it. That whole percent issue is probably overrated because it is not about the food. And it certainly shouldn't be about a competition or about being holier than thou. Raw food is NOT a religion. It is only about the food choices we make for our health. The only reason those members of the Raw Admiral's Club are so amazing is because raw foods, full of enzymes and life, recreate the body, mind and spirit on a deep cellular level. When you give your body the best fuel possible, the body responds and is capable of doing and being more than if could ever be on a heavily cooked, processed, chemical infused food diet.

I've been circling the airport and now I am gonna land this's the deal - I am making a commitment, to myself and anyone that maybe reading this, to go 100% raw for this final month of December 2007. I am not doing this to earn my gold winged club pin or anything like that. I am choosing to do this because I want the next level of optimum health. Although I've been on that road, moving in that direction already....I want to start 2008 with the court advantage. I want to reduce the inflammation that comes from dabbling and tasting all of the treats that come around during the holidays. I want to wake up fresh and alert every morning...not partially hung over from overindulgences and foggy brained from one too many toddies. I would like to lose these lingering pounds that have clung on like a leech to my hips, thighs and stomach. I want to have my spirit clear and free from the attachments to wrong foods for the sake of tradition.

Many who read this may already be where I am going because you are living the high life and dining on a diet that is 100% raw. If you are there, save me a seat....I'll see you in January. And for any of you who would like to come along with me for this ride, hop on. Let's encourage one another. If we stumble, we can scoop one another up and get right back on track. Let me know your thoughts....I'd love to hear from you.