How we grocery shop vegetarian(ish) Mediterranean

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Our modifications to the above chart: 🚫 meats, poultry, or cheeses. Yogurts when we have them, which isn’t very often,  are non dairy based. 

Hubby and I both did a ton of research. On my end I was checking out vegetarian, fruitarian, vegan and flexible nutrition plans and Keith was checking out keto and intermittent fasting plans. I know in the past I blogged about the direction we were headed with nutrition and food and I thought I’d update on what we finally decided works best for us and is as “clean” as possible, and steps forward as far as going vegetarian and ultimately vegan healthily. 

Vegetarian Mediterranean nutrition plans are vegetable heavy, so we experimented with recipes. Tried veggies in different ways, like cauliflower crust pizza. We eat kale or spinach salad with roasted sweet potato, eggs and peppers often for breakfast. And we have been working on making our three meals a day very balanced. I know we both used to eat barely anything in the morning and minimally at lunch, with dinner being our heavier meal. We are trying to balance that out and move towards breakfast being our heaviest meal and lunch being somewhat lighter and dinner being our lightest meal.

Think about it, we wake up after not eating for around 10 or more hours, shouldn’t our big meal be in the morning? We don’t need as much fuel when we sleep, do we? 

We’ve also been doing the intermittent fasting thing on the weekends. This where you eat your daily worth of food between certain hours and then “fast” the rest of the day/night.  On the weekends we finish your last meal at around 8pm and then don’t eat until 12 noon the next day, so we are technically fasting for 16 hours between meals. It is generally recommended that women only fast 14-15 hours, because they seem to do better with slightly shorter fasts, so I eat a small snack, like a handful of nuts, around 10am.

Taking it Vegan

Vegetarians who follow the Mediterranean diet “rarely need to worry about a deficit in protein if they eat a varied diet including nuts, beans, seeds, dairy, eggs, tofu, and high-protein whole grains such as quinoa.” ` Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN

And if you want to take a Mediterranean Diet Vegan, stay healthy with a Vegan Omega-3 supplements. Omega-3’s help with mood, eye and brain health, and can improve risk factors for heart attack. Omega-3’s are a great inflammation fighter and studies link higher omega-3 intake to decreased age-related mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (737475). The list goes on and on, so this is not something our bodies should be deprived of, even as Vegans, Vegetarians or humans for that matter.

ps…I’m always in search of new vegan and vegetarian tried and true recipes so if you have any to share drop the recipe or link in comments!

🥬ORGANIC VEGETABLES

  • Green leafy veggies
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Broccoli
  • Squashes (mostly winter, I think summer squashes are bitter and nasty)

🍠TUBERS

  • White potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams

🍓FRUITS

Fresh and frozen 

  • Watermelon
  • Cherries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Plums
  • Lemons
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Frozen pitaya & acaii packets 
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Melons

🌿FRESH HERBS

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

🥚ANIMAL PROTEIN

Two or three times per week

  • Wild-caught shrimp
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Eggs

🌰NUTS & SEEDS

  • Nut butters
  • Tahini 
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds 
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Macadamia nuts

🍞WHOLE GRAINS/NO GRAIN

  • Quinoa 
  • Rolled oats 
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain pizza crust

🧀NON DAIRY 

  • Cheese
  • Milks (coconut for me, almond for my hubby and Oat for random other things)

🥜LEGUMES

  • Chickpeas 
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Peanuts

🥥OILS & HEALTHY FATS

  • Coconut oil 
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Walnut oil

🍯NATURAL SWEETENERS

  • Liquid Stevia
  • Organic coconut sugar 
  • Raw, local honey
  • 100-percent pure maple syrup

💧DRINKS

  • Water
  • Coconut water 
  • Teas
  • La Croix & Bubbly
  • Unsweetened almond & coconut milk 
  • Wine

🍵SUPERFOODS & SMOOTHIE EXTRAS

  • Maca powder 
  • Raw cacao powder 
  • Collagen peptides 
  • Protein powder 
  • Coconut flakes   

💁TIPS!

  • Eat locally and seasonally
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Eat more beans
  • Lower meat consumption, and eat more plants
  • Reduce food waste

*”Scientists estimate that switching to a Mediterranean diet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 72%, land use by up to 58%, energy consumption by up to 52%, and water consumption by up to 33%. Remember, we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. Your children and your children’s children will thank you!”

*Excerpts from: SUSTAINABILITY TIPS FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN

Arbonne Independent Consultant

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Since April 1, 2017Print
Consultant ID#21610097
http://susanhalloran.arbonne.com/
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My Mission:
To help every woman, man and family I know to make healthier choices and live more abundant lives through our products and opportunity.
My Vision:
To build a strong team who has financial freedom while making their own lives healthier!

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Arbonne is a member of the Direct Selling Association, which means we abide by the DSA Code of Ethics. You do too! The Code of Ethics is available at http://www.dsa.org/consumerprotection/code-of-ethics and if you have questions, you can contact DSA at www.dsa.org

Arbonne Code Of Ethics

Meatless Monday

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About Meatless Monday
Meatless Monday is a global movement with a simple message: one day a week, cut the meat. It can make a big difference in personal health and the health of the planet. Excessive consumption of red and processed meat has been linked with a variety of chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer. In comparison, substituting plantbased foods for meat has been shown to reduce these health risks, resulting in a better quality of life and increased longevity. Raising livestock for our current level of human consumption requires an extraordinary amount of resources and takes a devastating toll on our planet. Meatless Monday helps conserve land, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save water, and save energy. Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns working in collaboration with the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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On a personal note Meat Free Mondays are a great stepping stone to reaching a point where you can reach vegetarian or vegan goals. It gives you a chance to start experimenting with recipes and new flavors, using ingredients you may have never thought could substitute meat as your main course. The reasons for going meat free are many. Do a little digging up of facts yourself and you’ll see. More and more health care professionals are recommending Mediterranean Diets, and vegetarian nutrition. Becoming 100% meat free has been a desire of mine for many years. But it was confusing where to start. It all seemed overwhelming. This is a great starting point, Meatless Monday Recipes!!

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Let’s talk diet specific goals and shame….

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forward-right-arrow-button_318-76852.jpg No, no they don’t. And they don’t want change. I resisted so many changes for so long. Change means leaving a comfort zone. I retreated back to my comfort zone more than once. But it doesn’t change the facts. Somewhere in my deepest inner being I know that eating animals is wrong, wrong for me, the animals and the environment.  Despite nay-sayers I know that eating animals is contributing to global warming. And I KNOW eating all the junk food consumers eat is horrible for our health and longevity. But despite knowing, we have a hard time with change and accepting something is bad or wrong for us. We will make every excuse in the book to continue eating something that’s so wrong but tastes so good. I made every excuse in the book. But the biggest and truest is that I had a hard time when I tried to go full vegan. I haven’t taken enough time to work with beans and legumes to know how to cook a variety of dishes and I don’t want to use soy and need to limit wheat gluten. Plus my husband was a hard core meat eater when we first got together. 

 

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For a long time I battled a war inside me bouncing between veganism and being a meat eater. Every time I ate meat I felt it was wrong. But I had no clue how to juggle healthy vs compassionate. And I began disliking myself more every bite I took. I was ashamed to stand and say I was an animal rights activist and yet I still ate meat. I lied often, so I could still stand up against animal cruelty and not receive condemnation from vegans. I think a large reason I have had weight issues has been over guilty eating and dislike for myself because of eating meat. Most of the time when I was trying to be meat free, I ate a lot of junk food. I wasn’t healthy. 

And it’s difficult trying to speak with people who go meatless because of animal rights issues when quitting meat was a breeze for them. But nutrition is a complicated jungle and if you have any health issues stacked on top make it even more difficult. And many in the animal rights community (at least who I’ve encountered) meet people with nutritional concerns and questions with disdain and anger. Feeling they are not actual issues when compared to the plight of animals. And although I agree, a life is indeed more important that a pork chop in my belly, my human life and health is also important. 

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So why did I personally struggle so much going vegan? I only knew how to cook your basic meat and potato meals. I was born and raised on meat, potatoes and sweets. Vegetables were not a big part of my Mom’s cooking, but meat was. Beef and pork were like an every other night swap. With a night for chicken, or a pasta night thrown in. I grew up in a turbulent home and sweets were a refuge and an “I’m sorry” for what I did. Into adulthood I loathed the taste of almost all vegetables. My staple veggies on my adult table were, corn, corn and oh yeah, corn. Eventually I branched out into salad with a cucumber thrown on top with mounds of cheese and croutons to cover the taste of the green stuff.

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Fact was, when I first tried to be a non meat eater, my diet may have been kind, but nutritionally it was a major disaster. I ate salad (as in lettuce), processed boxed crap, pastas and, you guessed it, sweets. I lived off coffee cake, muffins, and bread. I was tired allllll the time. And during this time is when I found out how unhealthy all that boxed stuff was that has a list of 30 ingredients with names you can’t pronounce. And was also finding out that many of the vegan brand products (which I already thought tasted like cardboard or too much green vegetation) had the same problem, a lot of unhealthy added ingredients. Plus I was hearing the negative aspects of eating soy and wheat gluten on a daily basis and recently learning that wheat gluten makes me bloat and may have a big part in my stagnant weight loss. And processed sugars are extremely unhealthy period!

But I’ve learned a lot and am ready for the next steps towards a kinder, more environmentally friendly, and healthier nutrition plan. What are my nutritional goals based on all I’ve learned? As we move closer to the end of my 30 Day Challenge and headed towards the New Year, here is what I’m aiming for in our kitchen…

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My husband and I have been moving towards a gradual shift to become meat free. We’ve both been at different stages, and at different times, for different reasons. My husband’s tastes lean vastly more towards a Mediterranean Diet. And I too have found greater health benefits in the Mediterranean Diet, the more I learn about nutrition, and how my body reacts to foods. But I also know that wheat gluten affects me, so now I know that after this cleanse is over I need to lessen the amount of gluten I have in my diet. I won’t be eliminating it, but I do see the reasons to reduce the amount I eat. It’s a filler for the most part, with minimal nutritional value in comparison. And I’m sick of belly bloat!

You can lessen the amount of gluten you eat with some simple changes. Switch from eating regular pasta to a rice pasta, or you can easily make/buy gluten free breads. Also watch labels.  

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life worrying what others think of me and my choices, and I’m tired of playing this game. I worry what vegans will think, I worry what my friends and family will think. No more. My husband and I have taken the time to learn about nutrition and alternate choices when it comes to meat, dairy and sweets. We are making a hard core commitment now in implementing all we’ve learned along the way and all we will learn as we make changes permanent. The chart below shows the breakdown of  the nutrition plan that my husband and I can both work with as we progress our way to a Vegetarian/Vegan lifestyle. I modified the Mediterranean Diet to rely less heavily on fish, this would be called an to be Ovo-Vegetarian/Pescatarian diet. 

This Is The Basics Of A Mediterranean Diet

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Starting From The Top….

Tier 1 – Sweets, especially those made with processed sugars and animal products will be severely limited. There are enough raw recipes that have no funky ingredients that can be sweet and delicious. It’s just a matter of either taking the time to learn to make them, or finding a good vegan bakery that maybe specializes in raw treats. Here are some examples …. Raw Deserts

Tier 2 – is all about my glass or two of wine I have when we go out to dinner or are at a social event where drinking is available. We don’t buy alcohol for the house unless it’s the holidays usually. In the summer we may get sangria or beer. But it’s an occasional thing. 

Tier 3 – Fish and sea food for now will remain in our meal planning. But over time I want to phase it out and either move it up to the top and one day I will finally be completely meat free and it will no longer be in our kitchen. 

And tier 4 – Eggs are a pretty regular part of our diet and like fish will be phased out too. 

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This right here is the future of protein and could very well one day be our main source of protein. I highly recommend this soy free, gmo free product for your Meatless Monday and beyond!

 

 

I could survive almost completely off of tier 5 through 8 –  I’m a pasta lover but until I discovered and actually used gluten free pastas, it meant I had to live with tummy bloat. Tier 5 through 8 is my rock now and we already have been about 90% dairy free (cheese on pizza mainly),  but are now 100% dairy free. The supplements I use from Arbonne keep it all nutritionally sound. 

Avoiding: 

  • Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.
  • Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
  • Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.
  • Refined Oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others.
  • Highly processed foods: Everything labelled “low-fat” or “diet” or looks like it was made in a factory. Other than Beyond Meat and a few other similar plant based meatless options. 

One day, I will be completely meat free as I play with more and more recipes and become a better cook in my kitchen. I tried and failed so many times doing it the wrong way so that it would become permanent change. Soy can be unhealthy, as well as gluten can be. I feel very lucky to have come across Arbonne. Because in learning how to be gluten free I’ve learned how I can leap to being meat free without being unhealthy. You just need the right fooducation 😉. To be healthy, you need to cook. And to be a more compassionate consumer you need to cook, and cook the right things to be healthy. We are changing our habits, and you can too. For the animals, for the planet and for YOUR health!

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How To Talk To Friends And Family About A Plant Based Diet

In summary: Just like 3/4 of the rest if the world I’m trying to find healthy. And just like all the other animal advocates out there I’m trying to live kinder, but I also want to be healthy. I know I’m not the only other animal rights person who has had issues with becoming vegan. And I know many vegans don’t understand my dilemma. I know many who had trouble with health and veganism hide in the shadows afraid to admit they just don’t have the skills to live life a healthy vegan. I’m trying to find my way back there, but this time in a healthy way. So don’t bash me if you’re a vegan who just doesn’t get it. Help me, share recipes with me and tell me how you found the balance. And in the meantime, I will continue to move forward towards healthy and ethical sustainable living by learning and experimenting with cooking. And as I learn, I will share what I’ve learned so others can lead a kinder more ethical life with food.

Why Veganism Is The Future

 

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The info below is from PETA. I am personally not a fan of PETA and the way they themselves treat animals and their views on euthanasia and especially their views on the Pit Bull breeds. There are many other animals rights/welfare organizations that are more compassionate and much less egotistical. But they are a wealth of information on veganism and sources for vegan products. Arbonne is PETA certified for the products being vegan and cruelty free!

 

 

Meatless;  Soy-Free and Gluten-Free 

  • Neat “meat” is a new product made from a mix of nuts and garbanzo beans. It comes in four flavors: Mexican, Italian, Breakfast, and Original.
  • Great Life by Lucinda has a variety of veggie burger mixes.
  • Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef Crumbles come in both Feisty Crumbles and Beefy Crumbles flavors, and they’re made from pea protein.
  • Beyond Meat’s Beast Burger boasts the fact that it contains more iron and protein than its meaty equivalent, and more omegas than salmon.
  • Cool Foods’ Vegi Bacon are “bacon bits” derived from pinto beans, and are ready to top your baked potato, salad, or soup.
  • Sunshine Burgers are made from a variety of beans, seeds, and brown rice. They come in eight flavors, including Shiitake Mushroom, Loco Chipotle, and Hemp & Sage.
  • Amy’s Sonoma Veggie Burger is made from quinoa, garbanzo beans, nuts, and vegetables.
  • Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Bites and several types of veggie burgers are made with grains, beans, seeds, and greens and are certified kosher as well.

Meatless; Gluten-Free (*These are not certified gluten-free, but the ingredient labels do not list gluten or wheat.)

  • Gardein offers four gluten-free varieties: Chick’n Scallopini, Chipotle Black Bean Burger, the Ultimate Beefless Ground, and Garden Veggie Burger. These delectable options are made with a soy protein base.
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is a dehydrated soy product that looks like little flaky nuggets and is a great stand-in for ground beef. It can be rehydrated in about a minute and works well in spaghetti sauces, chili, tacos, and veggie burgers.
  • Butler Soy Curls are perfect for grilling or cooking in soups, salads, stir-fries, and fajitas.
  • Simply Balanced Smoky Chipotle Meatless Chickenpacks a lot of protein and is perfect for the summer grilling season.
  • Simply Balanced Korean Barbecue Meatless Chickenis another variety from this brand, which is carried exclusively by Target.
  • Simply Balanced Mushroom Miso Meatless Turkeyis the brand’s third faux-meat flavor. Mushroom miso sounds delicious. It’s time to taste-test these cruelty-free meats!
  • Tempeh is a fermented soy product that comes in the form of a dense cake, perfect sliced or cubed and then steamed or fried and added to stir-fries, pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches. It’s especially delicious when smoked for a “BLT.”
  • Praeger’s veggie burgers come in both kale and California varieties.
  • Amy’s Veggie Loaf is packaged ready to eat! You can also opt for the low-sodium version.
  • Beyond Meat has delectable chicken tenders that you should stock your freezer with ASAP.

Meatless; Soy-Free

  • Seitan is a delectable meatless option made of wheat gluten. Available from many companies, it’s popular because it soaks up flavors extremely well and the texture is chewy and satisfying. You can also make your own!
  • Field Roast vegan meat products are all wheat- and grain-based. They specialize in links, roasts, and meatless loafs—perfect for the holidays or anytime.
  • Bahama Rice Burgers are rice-based and come in seven flavors.
  • Amy’s California Veggie Burgers come in original and low-sodium varieties.
  • Hot Dang Original Grain Burger is so delicious, but remember that only the original flavor is vegan.

*I found a pretty clear explanation here about my issues with soy, and she lays it out much better than I ever could!  Wellness Mama – Is Soy Healthy

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Ugly

Ted-Talk: Why thinking you’re ugly is bad for you

About 10,000 people a month Google the phrase, “Am I ugly?” Meaghan Ramsey of the Dove Self-Esteem Project has a feeling that many of them are young girls. In a deeply unsettling talk, she walks us through the surprising impacts of low body and image confidence—from lower grade point averages to greater risk-taking with drugs and alcohol. And then shares the key things all of us can do to disrupt this reality.

Love yourself first, as you are RIGHT NOW. That’s where you need to start.

Hiking/Walking

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BENEFITS YOU GET FROM HIKING AND WALKING

Improved cardio-respiratory fitness for your heart, lungs, and blood vessels

Improved muscular fitness

Lower risk of early death

Lower risk of coronary heart disease 

Lower risk of stroke

Lower risk of high blood pressure

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Lower risk of high cholesterol

Lower risk of high triglycerides

Lower risk of colon cancer

Lower risk of breast cancer

Increased bone density or a slower loss bone and bone strength

With kids it lessens the chance of developing obesity

Reduced depression

Better quality sleep

More vitamin D absorption

Get out and walk 💚😀

 

Pledge To Go Veg! Veg Week 2017!

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Join me and pledge to go veg for a week (at least)!

For more info and to sign up (it’s free), just Pledge To Go Veg!

If We Were Having Coffee

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Health and living life to it’s fullest has been on my mind a lot lately. As well as self improvement and not being lazy about it.

Life is such a balancing act isn’t it?Like a huge puzzle that takes time to interlock all the right pieces to make us whole. Lately I’ve been trying to retrace steps that were effective and long lasting for my health. And to dabble in and experiment with new things to make life more alive, longer and more fun. I’m trying to  gain inner peace and add excitement to every day living.

It’s a goal I guess,  many of us have. Finding harmony between the, physical, emotional, personal and professional aspects of our lives. We all seek to enrich our lives and too often we fall back into the easy immediate gratification ways to do that. And more often than not, doing so knocks the harmony we are so eagerly trying to achieve, off balance.

I’ve thought that a doughnut will make me feel better. And yeah, it will for a moment. And while there may be nothing (fundamentally) wrong with having a doughnut once in a while, it’s going for that doughnut as gratification for something else that’s lacking. Now there’s where my problem is.

I’ve been one of those people. And more than once in my life. Let’s face it, life can be hard. Life can suck and it can kick your feet right out from under you once in a while. Life has moments of being unfair and ruthless. But I, we don’t have to let those moments defeat or define us.

We work with food and exercise to care for our physical selves. But we need to remember, to care for our emotional self. Meditation has been a life saver for me with this. Meditation calms me. Meditation awakens my mind to new ideas and ways of tackling challenges in life. I seem to get the most out of meditation when I am in nature,  near wildlife. Nature allows me to focus and exhale the crap from my mind.

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In this ever changing modern world filled with the latest technology it becomes increasingly important to unplug and not just go to nature but be a part of the whole experience. The more I focus on the intricacies of a tree, or moving stream, roar of the ocean, or habits of wildlife in their environment, the easier it is when it comes to narrowing down focus on my day to day matters. You’ve heard the phrase, “don’t sweat the small stuff”, haven’t you? Well, meditation reminds me what the small stuff is and allows me to focus on what matters most.

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To gain perspective….

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“There are so many joys to be gathered watching wildlife and one of the greatest is when we feel we have blended into the landscape and become part of the day, night, or ecosystem. Our pursuit of the little details of nature – a species of moth or a type of birdsong – are intrinsically pleasurable but they are also sense sharpers, that bring us alive to the possibilities in a landscape: the muntjac standing quietly behind us, the crackle of autumn leaves, the pong of the honey fungus.

They give us an excuse to loiter in a landscape, to stand still and simply be. They are a pathway to a much broader experience. On my nights out, I realised I was not really badger watching at all, I was dusk watching, listening to the creatures of the day as they were superseded by the creatures of the night, with their rustles and screams and unfathomable signals which I did not comprehend but could still savour.” ~ Patrick Barkham

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Being near the ocean is my favorite place to meditate, or just BE.  The sound of the waves, the ocean mist on my face, the sun warming my skin, just basking in the hugeness that is the vast ocean expanse. I feel re-charged and ready to tackle life after a day at the ocean and bit of meditation.

Meditation is kind of like a vacation re-boot for my inner well being. It’s so hard for people to shut off and out of technology these days our minds never stop thinking about a zillion things at once. Letting nature in and becoming a part of me levels the playing field and mentally refreshes me.

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In the past I’ve focused wayyyy to much on calories and DIEts! What what I need to focus on is loving myself enough to not want to injure my health with foods or really, non foods that are in no way adding to my longevity or health. We should all try and find a healthy relationship with real food. Over the years as consumers we’ve added more and more unnatural garbage into our diets. Fruit which is naturally sweet, to some doesn’t even taste sweet anymore because we are so used to manufactured cakes, deserts and artificial sweeteners. We lose sight of the fact that sugar is in everything that pre-packaged and mass produced and white sugar is as addictive as drugs if used often and in larger quantities.

I’m learning the process of mindful eating which is helping me so much in terms of combating the unhealthy relationships I’ve learned over the years. Learning to love myself with the food I put in my body instead of just comforting myself with food because of external stresses has been HUGE in permanent change in eating habits. Mindful eating makes me slow down and focus on why I do what I do and how it makes me feel. Usually your body will tell you if you ate something good for it, or something that would cause an adverse reaction. Here’s a better explanation of mindful eating if you’re interested in knowing more.

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I’ve also decided to go back to having a meal replacement shake and or green juice/smoothie daily.  I overeat at night because I don’t eat right during the day. I don’t get enough vitamins and minerals because I usually have little appetite during the day. A few years ago I tested out quite a few protein shakes. My favorite for flavor, texture, and overall health benefits is Vegan Shakeology. And I tried a zillion of them. So between that in the afternoon with a salad and vegetarian protein and juicing or acai bowl in the mornings I will be sure to get my dose of vitamins and minerals. And also will stop overeating at dinner and going to bed on a stuffed tummy!  Sometimes you have to re-learn your proven lessons more than once lol.  It’s all about finding out what works for you. What will keep you healthy, help you live longer and help you achieve whatever goals you set!

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I love rainy days! Sitting down with a cup of tea  (or coffee 😊☕) and pouring myself into a good book is an amazing day! I’m currently reading (finally Girl On a Train and after that I am doing Prince Lestat & Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis and them move onto The Wolf Gift. I’m a HUGE Anne Rice fan!  But I’m always looking for new reads so recommend a book to me and have a beautiful Sunday and fabulous week!

 

 

 

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MOVE

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My Intention Word for the month of January is MOVE. Since the 1st I have diligently woke in the morning and immediately started the day with warm water and lemon (a new thing for me, even before my morning coffee. I’m liking this new morning ritual a lot more than I thought I would. And liking it so much, my morning coffee seems to be becoming more a beverage of taste choice more than necessity. I kind of am amazed by this. It’s the same feeling I had when I first decided to quit smoking. I though, nahhh that’ll never work. But even being healthy and making healthy choices can become a habit. Also since the 1st with my water I am heading directly for the elliptical and spending a half hour or so waking up my body with movement. This will likely get replaced with a morning yoga sequence later this month but will stay a part of my weekly movement schedule!

The other thing I noticed is that the less bravado I seem to have about starting a new habit, the easier it seems to accomplish. I took this new year to be a reset for myself. A complete re-alignment of my body, mind and soul. I’m one of those people who rush headlong into something with lots of fanfare and gusto and then I get bored or uninspired. So I needed to learn to work within my own boundaries and roadblocks to learn how to overcome them. And to learn to be my own inspiration instead of searching for outside sources. So I begin anew.

MOVE being the word for January had different meanings to me, multiple ones. For one, we are physically moving in a few months and making some decisions as to where later this month. Also move…ment out of my own negative head space that I’d been in regarding my progress with races.

You see I know a lot of very fast runners. I even know quite a few very fast race walkers. And I found myself kicking myself down for not achieving things as fast as others do. This again is another bad habit of mine. Never feeling good enough for myself. Not embracing my progress because my progress did not meet MY expectations.

Well, enough of that nonsense. I am only damaging myself and slowing myself down. So, MOVE…ment away from self deprecation and negative self judgement. And replace it with embracing accomplishment and even minuscule advancement.

I entered this challenge for this month. I adore yoga and have been avoiding it knowing that yoga makes me come face to face with the underlying issues that trouble me. But my new mindset has me excited to take this journey . Some times you have to take steps backwards to move forward and this is my step back. (If interested, click the image to find out more about the free challenge).

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And also this month I’m setting up my new running schedule and cross training schedule. Instead of doing what I read others say to do, instead, I’m going to do what feels right and what inspires me and absorbs me in a fabulous way! More on that as the year progresses!

But for now I’m just happy that I am inspired with movement and feeling the joy again as I begin my re-set year! The last six months of this past year were pretty rough. I’m happy to say it’s 2017!

 

Coconut Oil & A Recipe

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COCONUT OIL PIECRUST

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) refined solid (not liquid) coconut oil
  • 8 tablespoons ice water

Place flour and salt a food processor and pulse briefly to combine, or combine by hand in a large bowl. Add coconut oil and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, making sure there are no large pieces of coconut oil remaining. Or, cut coconut oil in by hand with 2 table knives or grate coconut oil into the flour mixture using a box grater.

Add ice water a couple of tablespoons at a time, and continue to pulse, or mix by hand with a fork, just until dough begins to come together.

Turn dough out onto a cutting board or a smooth surface and form into a flattened disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface when ready to use.