Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Excercise doesn't have to be a drag.

If you are like me, the idea of running down the road a few miles is about as appealing as a boiling colonic.  Ok …maybe not that uncomfortable but can you feel me?

One of the things that helps me get motivated to move is tapping into the energy I had as a child and finding ways to play. I loved to dance and play circus games, gymnastics, hide and seek outside and anything in or near the water. Swimming and hiking are favorites now, along with yoga, spinning poi and hooping. Hula hooping and spinning fire were a natural extension of my love of dance and music, and since the others are pretty self explanatory we will focus on those.

Hooping can burn 600 calories an hour if you really get going. I like to just put on some music and play.  Benefits of hooping include:
  • Massages your intestines and organs as it circles your waist
  • Allows for meditative time
  • Gets your heart rate up
  • Increases the fitness level of the entire body
  • Increases the flow of blood to the brain
  • Increases energy level
  • Improves coordination
  • Strengthens torso muscles
  • Enhances spinal flexibility

As you can see it is fun and allows for a lot of spontaneous movement. Check out for more information and instructional videos.

My other favorite is spinning poi. This ancient practice brings me into a centered place of joy. When I have the fire poi lit, it is much more spiritual. Practicing with fabric poi is a great workout that  allows for a lot of creative expression. Your mileage on calories burnt will vary but the more you move the more you lose.

...a glimpse into the joy of dancing with fire. Please note: As fun as this looks, you should be trained by a professional before actually lighting up.  Stick with practice poi and get your due diligence done before introducing fire, unless you would like to check out your local burn unit for an extended vacation. See the video below for a simple intro to making your own practice poi at home.

(video with how to make sock poi) For more info on Poi.

Maybe neither of these flip your switch but the idea is to find something fun that gets you moving and get into it.  Even if you enjoy Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong it is a good idea to do something that gets you moving for 30 mins 3 times a week. Your body will reward and thank you.

Nourish Yourself!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Agave testing too dangerous?

Agave nectar has been removed and banned from the list of approved low glycemic foods by the Glycemic Research Institute due to health dangers. I read somewhere a while ago this would be the next corn syrup.  Did not know what they meant then but this development is very interesting. Sorry fellow agave lovers!

If you have heard about this and have other links please share. I first heard about this at David Wolfe's blog.  Gosh, I love that curly haired man.

"The Glycemic Research Institute® announced that they have halted and banned all future clinical trials of Agave and are issuing warnings to manufacturers and the public about the dangers related to Agave.

The Medical Advisory Board of the Glycemic Research Institute® (GRI) made the decision to halt all future clinical trials involving Agave as a result of the latest round of GRI Human In Vivo Clinical Trials, in which the diabetic subjects experienced severe and dangerous side effects related to the oral ingestion of the sweetener Agave.
This announcement came as a surprise to the scientific community, and has generated hundreds of inquiries involving the safety of ingesting Agave.
Physicians and diabetes health educators are now being advised to caution their diabetic patients, both adults and children, about the use of Agave.
This also applies to persons with Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance, and Pre-Diabetes. The medical community believes that up to 70% of the American public has some form of Insulin Resistance, due to the rise in obesity and weight gain.
The ban on Agave includes “The use of Agave as a sweetener and/or syrup, as found in foods, beverages, Nutraceuticals, chocolate, and any other consumable product.”

Full info here:

Mama's Chavocado Mousse

These recent forays into raw cacao have proved quite fruitful. This treat may mean the end of ice cream for me. It is delish, and on the healthier end of the sweet tooth spectrum. Twas inspired by several other recipes for raw mousse and dedicated to all the mama's in the world.

Chavocado Mousse
  • 2 -3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut cream
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar         
  • Few tbsp raw dark honey( to taste)
  • ½ c powdered raw cacao ( more to taste)
  • 2 avocados
Makes three 1 cup servings.

First things first: Take a few deep breathes and feel your toes. Take in the smells and sights of the kitchen and the beautiful food you are about to orchestrate. 

Blend all of the above until smooth. This part is important to get the right whippy texture and hide the avocado. If this is done thoroughly, no one will even be able to tell there is avocado in it. Just tastes like very rich chocolaty goodness. Adding more cacao if it is too runny, coconut cream if it is too gloppy and sweetener as your tastes dictate. Play with it.  You cannot get it wrong.

I topped with a dollop of honey flavored Greek yogurt, some raw cacao nibs and granola pieces.
It is very versatile and can be layered with fresh fruit, nuts or used as a simple icing for cupcakes. Whatever flips your fork!

Enjoy this at the end of a long day with the kiddos and please your body as much as your palate. Nourish Yourself.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mayan inspired Chocotonic

For a real dose of chocolaty medicine and spice give this elixir a whirl:

Spicy Chocotonic
5 tbsp dark Venezuelan cocoa Powder
4 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp raw sugar ( can use rice syrup in cup with water)
2 tbsp Cordyceps
2 tbsp Maca
1 tbsp Cayenne
1 tbsp Cinnamon
2-3 tbsp Coconut Cream

Relax and take a moment to breath and be present. Mix dry ingredients. This recipe is spicier than it is sweet. Adjust according to your own tastes. Add a couple tablespoons of coconut cream to the bottom of your cup and mix in 2 tbsp of the choco mix. Making a nice whippy frosting consistency. Slowly add hot water to taste.

This is thick, super spicy and an amazing tonic for your body. For the first batch I used more of the roasted cocoa than raw cacao but next time I think Ill make them equal to increase the nutrient content. Enjoy!

The benefits of these ingredients is too long to list but here are a few:
*Cinnamon is a natural source of chromium and helps control appetite/regulate blood sugar, boost memory, helps bad breath, digestion, toothache, arthritis
*Maca is an Incan Superfood known to increase fertility,mental clarity, nourish glands and stamina, cancer fights, restores endocrine function, supports adrenal health
* Cordyceps boosts immune function, is anti aging, improves respiration,builds muscles, kidney and liver protectant,  improves circulation, regulated blood pressure, strengthens heart muscle.
*Cayenne works to improve circulation, nervous stimulant, relieves cold symptoms, helps with digestion, benefits kidney spleen and pancreas.
*Coconut Creamits lauric acid content (which scientists and researchers found in human breast milk) also helps you fight intrusive viruses, bacteria, promote normal brain development and contribute to healthy bones. And its anti-carcinogenic and anti-pathogenic properties can keep cancer at bay too.
*Raw Cacao let me count the ways...increases levels of neurotransmitter function, metabolic protection, raises serotonin and endorphins,  rich in essential minerals, #1 source of magnesium according to some sources, essential fats,  promotes cardiovascular health and protects from environmental and metabolic toxins. ( Not these benefits are from RAW cacao not necessarily in tact in processed chocolate.)

Most importantly- this stuff is a cup-o-yum. Drink it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Awesome Recipe Apps for simplicty

I am a bit of a Luddite in spirit. That being said, I can not pass up great tech tools that help free up hard drive space in my brain. If you would like to simplify healthy shopping at the grocery store and have better access to your personal recipes, give these a gander.

VeganYumYum Mobile lets you search, view, and organize all your favorite recipes from the award-winning food blog, (This one works offline and is great!)(Free)

Whole Foods App
"You asked, we listened: Whole Foods Market Recipes now includes shopping lists!

Just click on the Add to List button at the bottom of each recipe and items will be added automatically, including quantities so you don't buy too much. You can also add items by hand, edit, rearrange, and send lists via email.

Looking for healthy and delicious food? Search Whole Foods Market Recipes for recipes featuring the finest natural and organic foods. You can search recipes by ingredients and dietary preferences such as gluten-free, low fat, and vegetarian/vegan. Every Whole Foods Market recipe includes nutritional information and cooking instructions.

Use the App's store locator to find Whole Foods Market stores near you. Each store page includes links to the store website and specials of natural and organic foods on sale at your local Whole Foods Market."(Free)

And the my absolute favorite:
Handy Cookbook
This nifty gadget can be used to upload your own personal recipes. The categories can be customized. I use mine for herbal recipes and DIY beauty products as well. You can upload your own pictures, email recipes, and create shopping lists. When you change the serving size it adjusts the recipe! Worth all 199 pennies.($1.99)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Video: Unplug the Signal

This is an important message about what we experience when we flip on the tube. Consider turning off your TV this weekend and spend that time engaging in something more inspiring. Let your creativity shine!

"Unplug the Signal" is a campaign to turn off televisions across the country. It draws attention to the gross manipulation of reality that is broadcast by the six major corporations controlling the content of television. The television has been used as a weapon of mass deception for the last half of a century as it manages society and culture through such techniques as perception management, predictive programming, and crisis creation. Unplugging the Signal is of urgent concern for the television remains our greatest threat to individual sovereignty and the largest obstacle to becoming a truly informed individual."

Unplug the Signal: The Truth Will Not Be Televised
Nathan Janes
A flow of information is constantly streaming from the television set; a bombardment of words and pictures.  The speed at which this information is communicated makes it easy for the signal to take control, switching the viewer's brain to stand-by as information is absorbed without analysis or question. Today the television's constant signal shapes the conclusions of the masses and produces the collective norm.  The signal prescribes what is news and what is truth through the words of so-called experts and authorities, gelding the consciousness and independent thoughts of those subjected to it. Through television, the masses can be made to accept the most monstrous distortions of reality. The signal is a chill wind of continuous oppression over the minds of the masses. It controls the management of society and culture, creating uniformity across all subjects. 

The fuel for this vehicle of mass deception is a technique known as perception management where an array of psychological techniques are used to alter the truth, leading the viewer to a desired conclusion. Some call this spin or propaganda while others know it as lying.  According to Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister for Adolph Hitler, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it... It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." Most of what can be found on the nightly news is nothing but advertisements selling more government and a false reality that benefits only those in control. Television is the dictator of information; newspaper and radio are the whisper campaign of the television's message.

It is expected that Americans will consistently prescribe to the doctrine of the television. It is subtly communicated that one should stay within the collective and never challenge the message, for doing so may be considered an aggression towards culture. The message is, "Be a good consumer; always obey authority; you know nothing; listen only to experts; be content and never question or express new ideas." This signal is being broadcast across millions of screens, indoctrinating the unconscious minds of those who choose this as their only reality. Self-censorship occurs when these individuals become so deeply indoctrinated that they are afraid to discuss any information outside the paradigm of television-created culture; they police their thoughts to ensure they won't conflict with this culture. Sadly, many people's reality today does not allow any outside information to process, instead it is written off as conspiracy or blatant lies. Our consciousness has been destroyed so much that fiction has become reality. An entire lifestyle of poisonous foods, pharmaceuticals, and fluoridated water are accepted as safe and sold to us at the cost of our health and well being.

Those of the establishment are using the incredibly powerful weapon of mass psychology as a method of controlling the minds of the masses and altering the behavior of individuals. Edward Bernays, a pioneer in the field of public relations in the 20th century, applied Sigmund Freud's theory of psychoanalysis to manipulate the masses by engineering consent. According to Bernays, "If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it." Advertisers and psychologists of the billion dollar culture creation industry manufacture trends through the proliferation of insecurities; and manipulating desires and emotions. These concepts are also employed to control how individuals think about politics, as well as the possibilities and limitations within society.  Those wielding power within our streams of mass communication market their plans into each generation as individuals adopt specific ways of thinking and never suspect that all the major events and trends within their lifetime are actually planned by an elite few before they are even born. In our society today, culture is created from the top down. Virtually all forms of culture are created by the ruling class to build a false sense of reality, ensure social compliance, and control the future course of cultural evolution.

Predictive programming is a tool used by the establishment to acclimate the public to new ideas, trends, beliefs, and threats. It is used through television by including certain situations or ideas within the plots of many fictional shows, familiarizing the viewer with these concepts no matter what they may be watching.  When similar situations occur or like ideas are circulated in the world we think that these particular things are quite natural for we have unknowingly been made familiar with them through television. By viewing nearly any popular show on television, one can see the same propaganda that will be aired on the nightly news. Propaganda on a wide array of subjects has been interwoven into a great number of television shows. Just a few of these subjects include global warming, vaccinations, torture, terrorism, national security, the militarization of police, and the degradation of the family unit. Through predictive programming, television shapes culture and prevents individuals from asking questions.

Crises are created on a daily basis and broadcast across the airwaves to keep individuals in a state of panic and fear. Whether it be the threat of a pandemic or terrorism, the constant state of crisis has created a form of mental illness as we are slowly acclimated into an age of crisis. By using Hegelian dialectic, the television promotes the problem, guides our reaction, and presents the solution. The problem of terrorism was exclaimed, a strong emotional response was evoked, and it was stated that our rights need be sacrificed in order to protect us from the threat. We've lost personal sovereignty under the guise of terrorism; we're stopped and searched; we're watched by cameras as we go about our lives; and we're encouraged to spy on our neighbors.  We have been trained to accept the life of a prisoner.

America is in a state of enlightened despotism where most individuals live only to satisfy selfish inner desires and remain ignorant of the state of the world around them. In most public places one can find a television transmitting propaganda around the clock ensuring the masses remain focused on trivial matters. From birth we take the world as it’s presented on television.  We don't question it and any serious criticism of TV is becoming psychologically impossible in society. Who would suspect getting born into a world where everything around you is a continuous lie? The youth of today are convinced that the experts and personalities on television are the authority of credible information while parents and older generations are foolish with dated ideas.  Children are conditioned to disconnect from what is truly important to their well being and instead focus on mindless trivia, sports, celebrity gossip, and buying an array of material things. They invest their psychological worth in fantasy characters on television while ignoring or even scorning individuals contributing to the betterment of humanity. They are discouraged from getting involved in their local community and often lack the ability to think independently or to resist corruption. As their children's minds are molded by television, there is barely a murmur from the public.

For over half a century, our society has lived under this signal of mental programming and conditioning. The message is clear: don't be a leader, don't engage in critical thinking, and don’t care about the people in your life. Until individuals become aware of the current information war, our standard of living and our liberties will continue to be degraded and we will continue to lose communities and meaningful relationships between people. Currently, pockets of resistance are beginning to spring up everywhere as some unplug the signal and regain control of their own thoughts. Informed individuals are canceling their cable and satellite subscriptions and instead spending time with their families and children while participating in meaningful experiences. They are seeking alternative news sources. They are reading about those who wield incredible influence over culture like Edward Bernays, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Charles Galton Darwin, Plato, Bertrand Russell, and Aldous Huxley. However, it is a continuous battle to educate the masses for the television remains our greatest threat to individual sovereignty and the largest obstacle to becoming a truly informed individual. Fortunately, unplugging from the signal is easy. The television can simply be turned off. Through doing so, you may realize nearly our entire world is now a hoax; things once known as truth are fake. We have been trained like dogs to be obedient to our television; our master has had our minds on a tight leash. Let us never forget the truth will not be televised.

For more information:

Study finds mind is frequent, not happy wanderer

November 11, 2010 

Harvard psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth (right) and Daniel T. Gilbert (left) used a special "track your happiness" iPhone app to gather research. The results: We spend at least half our time thinking about something other than our immediate surroundings, and most of this daydreaming doesn't make us happy.

People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they're doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy. So says a study that used an iPhone web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects' thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives.

The research, by psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University, is described this week in the journal Science.

"A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind," Killingsworth and Gilbert write. "The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost."

Unlike other animals, humans spend a lot of time thinking about what isn't going on around them: contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or may never happen at all. Indeed, mind-wandering appears to be the human brain's default mode of operation.
To track this behavior, Killingsworth developed an web app that contacted 2,250 volunteers at random intervals to ask how happy they were, what they were currently doing, and whether they were thinking about their current activity or about something else that was pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant.

Subjects could choose from 22 general activities, such as walking, eating, shopping, and . On average, respondents reported that their minds were wandering 46.9 percent of time, and no less than 30 percent of the time during every activity except making love.
"Mind-wandering appears ubiquitous across all activities," says Killingsworth, a doctoral student in at Harvard. "This study shows that our mental lives are pervaded, to a remarkable degree, by the non-present."

Killingsworth and Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, found that people were happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer.
"Mind-wandering is an excellent predictor of people's happiness," Killingsworth says. "In fact, how often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged."

The researchers estimated that only 4.6 percent of a person's happiness in a given moment was attributable to the specific activity he or she was doing, whereas a person's mind-wandering status accounted for about 10.8 percent of his or her happiness.
Time-lag analyses conducted by the researchers suggested that their subjects' mind-wandering was generally the cause, not the consequence, of their unhappiness.

"Many philosophical and religious traditions teach that happiness is to be found by living in the moment, and practitioners are trained to resist mind wandering and to 'be here now,'" Killingsworth and Gilbert note in Science. "These traditions suggest that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind."
This new research, the authors say, suggests that these traditions are right.

Killingsworth and Gilbert's 2,250 subjects in this study ranged in age from 18 to 88, representing a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and occupations. Seventy-four percent of study participants were American.

More than 5,000 people are now using the iPhone web app the researchers have developed to study happiness, which can be found at

More information: by Harvard University (news : web)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Food Democracy Now: GMO Salmon

Food Democracy Now sent out a call to action with their weekly newsletter:


Dear Friend,
I recently found out that Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has intentionally hidden key scientific evidence from the American public regarding the safety of GMO salmon. I am concerned about the impact that our food system and GMO foods have on human health and the environment and I'm alarmed by this discovery.

Right now the FDA is only weeks away from approving genetically engineered (GMO) salmon as the first transgenic food animal animal for human consumption and we need to stand up for our basic rights to have our food truthfully labeled.

The scientific community has sounded the alarm, saying that GMO salmon could render wild salmon extinct in only 40 generations if they escape into the wild. And the consequences to our health and the environment are not yet known. So what happens to people when they eat this stuff? At this point, no one really knows, but the FDA is on the verge of approving GMO salmon.

Join me and Food Democracy Now! to keep these mutant fish off our plates. Click below to stop the FDA from approving GMO salmon.

Thanks for your help!"

Embarking on a journey together...

 Our Earth is undergoing a lot of changes internally and externally and many of us feel this in our core. As these transitions occur we can be driven to move in certain directions, and either healing or destructive patterns can emerge. It is my greatest wish to share some things here that are helping me along my path that may inspire and inform you on yours. With respect and compassion, let us endeavor to change ourselves and in turn the World!

Nourish Youself.