Sunday, December 31, 2017

Words of Wisdom

It is hard to fathom that 2018 is upon us.  I can remember when I graduated from high school in 1975, that the mere thought of the 21st century was mind blowing.  Living like the Jetsons (for those to young to know who they are), was only wishful thinking.  But most of those conveniences are common place now.  We hold the access to most any knowledge in the palm of our hands.  We can connect with anyone in anyplace in the world in seconds.  Sometimes this power can be overwhelming and we take for granted the power and love of face-to-face communication.  Sometimes just turn off or put down your phones, tablets or laptops and have a real conversation, laugh or a meal with those you love.

I love inspirational or motivational quotes and sayings.  We have a chalkboard in our kitchen that I will usually put a new quote on every week. It might be something that pertains to what we are dealing with that week.  Or it might just be words of motivation for the coming week.

Here are some that I'd like to share.  They are not in any particular order. You might recognize some of the authors and others will be new.
Words of Wisdom

*Compassion leads to understanding.  Accept and be kind to yourself and those around you.
*Love is not what you say, but what you do.
*Make gratitude a habit. Simply say thank you in any given moment.
*"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give" Winston Churchill
*"The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today" Elbert Hubbard
*Boldness calls on your willingness to let go of what you have in order to create something you dream of.
*Its not about what happens, its about your reaction to what happens that matters.
*"Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts." Buddha
*Its not about being perfect, its about being the best you at the moment.  Allow yourself to listen inwardly, pause to hear your own wisdom. 
*"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one" Marcus Aurelius
*"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated" Confucius
*"All that we are is the result of what we have thought" Buddha
*"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.  Work together.  Finish together" Epictetus
*"Know your True North.  If you don't know where you're going, you're never going to get there." Joe DeSena
*"The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping stone in the pathway of the strong" Thomas Carlyle
*Use your obstacles in life to get stronger,  Obstacles are opportunities.
*"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it" Thucydides
* Here's today's challenge. Go and meet it.
*"Confine yourself to the present" Marcus Aurelius
*"Learning never exhausts the mind" Leonardo da Vinci
*"The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand" Sun Tzu
*"You have power over your mind-not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength" Marcus Aurelius
*"Look well into thyself, there is a source of strength which will always spring up if you wilt always look there" Marcus Aurelius
*"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain" Joseph Campbell
*"Every moment is utterly unique and will not be continued in eternity. This fact gives life its poignancy and should concentrate your attention on what you are experiencing now" Joseph Campbell
*"Your health account, your bank account, they are the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen. Together you have a kingdom" Jack LaLanne
*"Energy makes people beautiful. You don't want to be close to someone who's dead and crapped all the time, who's bitching that it's a lousy fucking world and Christ, my ulcers are killing me" Jack LaLanne
*"Associate with people who are likely to improve you" Seneca
*A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time--pills or stairs. ALWAYS take the stairs. Always. All day. Everyday.
*"Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone" Jesus John 8:7
* It always seems impossible until it's done.
*"Face the flames of adversity til they bow before you" Guru Singh
*"Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die" Buddha
*"You're 100% in charge of your life. Stop fucking complaining!" Gary V
*Be unbreakable in 2018
*Don't forget to breathe.

You are in control of your action and reactions.
My mantra for 2018 is "No Excuses"

Have a great week.
Be kind. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Gifts of the Magi

We will be traveling for the holidays, so I wanted to repost this from last year.
I hope you all are having a blessed time whether with family or spending time alone.  Remember that you are never truly alone.  You are always in someones thought and prayers.  Peace.

The Gifts of The Magi

The gifts of the Magi were carried a long distance from the east (Eastern medicine) to be presented to the newborn Christ.  The gifts of  Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were highly valuable (and still are) revered herbs that were potent medicines.  The resins of Frankincense and Myrrh have been used for over 5000 years to treat everything from serious infections to spiritual practices. 

Myrrh seems to be brought as a gift for use in an antiseptic purposes for both Jesus and Mary, healing wounds, umbilical cord cleansing etc. We can only imagine the sanitary surroundings of a manger in a stable.  It has many benefits including:
*Heals wounds.
*Skin diseases (ringworm, eczema).
*Gum and mouth ulcers. 
*Stimulates uterine health, relieves contractions and cramping.
*Strengthens the immune system.
*Prevents/helps microbial infections.
*Works as a fungicide.
*Stimulates blood circulation, digestion and nerves.   

Frankincense is similar to Myrrh having some of the healing properties.  Its sweet woody scent has a soothing and calm effect on our mind and body.  Some of its health benefits include:
*Heals and protects skin from boils, acne and wounds.
* Eliminates germs (antiseptic).
*Promotes urination to purify the body of toxins.
*Relives body pain, headaches, toothaches and reduces fevers.
* Strengthens absorption of nutrients.  
*Regulates estrogen helping PMS.

As for the "gold" gift, scholars note that the word gold was often used interchangeably for the golden spice turmeric.  The gold the Magi gifted to Jesus may well have been turmeric.  All three were highly prized for their powerful medicinal properties.  Here's two great articles on turmeric benefits and Golden Milk.

These gifts can be used by us today also.

 As the year comes to an end, lets all make a choice to live a healthy and "wellthy"  life.

Have great week. 
Be kind.
Be yourself.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Healthy Tips For The Holidays

With the Holidays upon us, we tend to slack off the healthy way we eat and live our lives.  We need to stay the course to stay strong mentally and physically.  By eating the right foods we can keep our immune systems strong, especially being around many relatives and friends who might not be feeling well.  Being stuck in closed quarters, travelling on airplanes, etc. we need to be strong and able to fight off germs and viruses wanting to take up residence in us.  For more information on the importance of a strong immune system see my 5 part series on "Gut Health".

Here are a few tips on "surviving" the holidays.
*1- Feel and Give the LOVE!,  our families and friends are one of the most important parts of keeping good mental health.
*2- Stay hydrated with quality waterKeep the alcohol at a minimum.
*3- Eat a healthy fiber-rich breakfast, it will keep you going for most of the day and keep you from looking for sugar rich snacks.
*4- Make most of your meals with raw whole foods. ( fruits, veggies, nuts.)  Consuming these will "fill" you up and decrease your appetite. When the feast begins, load up on sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, green beans etc.  If you indulge in a portion of meat, go with a small amount.  Remember it takes a long time for your body to digest meat products.  It is very taxing for the body and makes it work overtime.
*5- Wait for awhile before desserts, your body is already in overload and needs time to rest.  Just don't have dessert right before bed as this will not make for a deep regenerative sleep.
*6- Go for walk, especially if its a little cold outside.
*7- Don't talk politics! We all have our different opinions.  Let's respect them.
*8- Do something different than normal.  Even if its just reading a book or looking at my past blog posts, there is a lot of great info!
*9- Get plenty of rest, but don't hibernate! 

Holidays can be quite hectic and chaotic.  Our nerves can be rattled.

"Be like water making its way through cracks.  Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it.  If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.  You must be shapeless, formless, like water."  Bruce Lee

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Recommended Reading 12/10/17

It's recommended reading time.  I hope you enjoy the articles, videos, etc. that I share with you.  I try to give a wide range of different ideas, as it is always good to broaden our horizons.
With the winter Olympics just around the corner ,the first suggestion is podcast by 
Rich Roll who talks with Bryan Fogel on "How he exposed the biggest doping scandal in Olympic history"  The interview is quite interesting, but the real eyeopener is the actual documentary on Netflix called Icarus. Not only does this expose the extensive doping scandal in sports but also how this effects world politics. SCARY.
Next up, we all know someone who has student loans. This University says "no more". The US government needs to do this for all future student loans and reduce/remove interest rates on current loans.  That would sure help those are paying high monthly payments now, wouldn't that help the economy? 
Here's a tip on keeping our berries fresh, and longer in the refrigerator.
For a healthy great brekkie recipe try this Blended Date Oatmeal.
Here's another great easy recipe from "The Happy Pear" for "Mango Tempeh Noodle Curry Bowl"
With the holidays upon us,   "8 Holiday Foods You Should Never Eat" , from Spartan Life.
As I had mention in an earlier post, my son and I joined the "Spartan Trifecta Tribe" yesterday by completing the "The Beast" (and may I say at a record pace).  We've done the Sprint, Super and the Beast in 2017.  There were over 5000 participants yesterday, of all shapes, sizes and ages. It is an accomplishment that anyone who sets their minds to it and "gets off the couch" can achieve.  It will totally change your mindset and life.  "You will know at the finish line".  Check out Spartan.  

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Take Control of Your Health

The research is in.  Years of study.  Tens of thousands of people studied.  Whole plant-based diets are the number one recommended diet for ultimate health.  In 2013, a "Nutritional Update for Physicians" was published by Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed-care organization in the US.  They cover about nine million people with 15,000 physicians, who were told that healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet and discourages meat, dairy and eggs as well as refined and processed foods.  They went on to say, physicians typically ignore the benefits of nutrition and quickly prescribe medications instead giving patients a chance to correct their disease through healthy eating and active lifestyle.  Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. 

"Want to “lose weight,…feel better,…improve, stabilize, or even reverse chronic…disease,” get off some of your medications? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then a plant-based eating plan may be right for you.” Side effects may include lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar, reversal or prevention of [our #1 killer], a longer life, healthier weight, lower risk of cancer or diabetes—may even slow the progression of certain types of cancer,” and improve inflammatory conditions, like “rheumatoid arthritis.”   

Sounds like a pretty good deal

Here's a great video from on: "Lifestyle Medicine"    
I know I am always linking podcasts from Rich Roll but this one one is incredible: "The Alzheimer's Solution"  This is a must listen to podcast.  The research they have done shows how important our diets and lifestyle choices are to having a healthy life.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


This weeks post is a little different.  You might have seen people wearing those rubber wristbands with different sayings or recognizing certain causes. "Livestrong", "Autism", "Breast Cancer Awareness" to name just a few.  One of these bracelets that I have noticed more of is "Unbreakable".  In our ever changing world we need to be more aware of our own personal strength.  We need to unlock the potential we have within each of us.  "Unbreakable"  bands come from a company called Mind in Motion.  One the first products of theirs I came across was a canvas tote my daughter had purchased. "Look Within" has a inspirational message on it that I have to share.

" I am a movement unto myself.  Energy is not something I burn.  It's a force I create.  I will get the most out of every step I take during my finite time on this earth.  I have the power to believe in myself.  With each deep breath, I fuel every cell with oxygen.  When my body is in motion my mind will follow.  Every movement will be guided by an inner power.  I will defy everyday gravity.  I will carry my mental couch to the curb.  I will not allow an ounce of negativity to weigh down my human spirit.  I will live.  I will laugh.  I will love infinitely.  I will soar above mountaintops.  I will never give up or give in.  My passions are unrelenting.  Fear cannot weaken my will or lessen my determination to lift others up.  My strength comes from within.  This is my core.  And it is UNBREAKABLE".

Please check out their website for awesome products and inspiration.

We hold the power inside of us that can change the world, but we must let it flow out of us in our actions and the words we speak.  The entire world and everything in it are connected.  One cannot operate correctly without the others.  A kind word to someone you don't know could be life changing.  Start everyday (not just Thanksgiving) with Gratitude, being thankful for what you have and the ones in your life who have loved and influenced you.  Being grateful will bring joy to every moment of you life.

Have a great week. 
Be kind.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs

There is a lot people out there who believe that "carbs" are bad.  Most people want to cut out all carbohydrates thinking that's the only way to lose weight.  There are good carbs and bad carbs.  Along with protein and fat, carbohydrates are the three main macro-nutrients that are bodies need. Their primary function is to provide energy for us.  Simple, complex and refined carbohydrates encompass a broad range of sugars, starches and fiber.

Complex carbohydrates are good carbs which we should base our diets on.  Complex carbs are sugar molecules that are strung together in long, complex chains.  The body digests them very slow and generally doesn't produce a spike in blood sugar.
Sources of complex carbs include:
*Oatmeal, Barley
*Brown Rice
*Beans, Lentils
*Sweet Potatoes
*Green Vegetables
These are also a great source vitamins and minerals.

Simple carbohydrates or "simple sugars" are just that, simple.
They are comprised of one or two molecules and the body is able to digest them very quickly.  They are a fast acting source of energy.  Athletes in competition use them for quick burning energy.  If you are sedentary, simple carbs are more likely to spike your blood sugar and cause you to gain weight.
Sources of simple carbs include:  
*Raw sugars
*Corn (high fructose)syrups 
*Baked cakes
*Fruit juice concentrates 
*Energy drinks(Gatorade/Powerade)
Raw fruits are simple sugars, but along with those you are getting a lot of fiber and minerals.
These should be the only types of simple sugars you consume.
For an easy, quick burning energy, try my recipe for Spartan AROO Balls.

Refined Carbohydrates are even more "simple". 
These are foods that the fiber is removed.  These come from whole, natural foods which has been processed to where they no longer resemble their original form. High fructose corn syrup and bleached white flour are common examples.  Most pastas, breads and even fruit juices are refined carbs and contain little to no nutrients.  All of these spike your blood sugar levels and cause you to gain weight.  You should consume "sprouted" whole grain breads, pastas, etc and just eat the whole fruit, fiber and all!

Why you need Complex Carbs:
*Energy: They provide the body with energy immediately, consume early in the day, and they will keep you from being tired and fatigued later in the day.
*Digestion: Since carbs contain fiber, they help aid digestion and keep you "regular".
*Metabolism: Without energetic calories(carbs) your metabolism suffers. Low carbs=slow metabolism=no energy.
*Filling Fiber: Not only does it regulate your digestion, it keeps you full longer. Aim for 25-35 grams of fiber per day.  Whole food sources of carbohydrates have a lot of fiber.
*Brain and Nervous System Function: Complex carbs help to maintain a grounding effect on our bodies, reducing nervousness and anxiety.  Without good carbs we become sad, depressed and it's hard to concentrate.

Eating more of complex carbohydrates will benefit you and you will hopefully suffer less health consequences.

Have a Happy Thanksliving!
  Have a great week. 
Be kind.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Recommended Reading 11/12/17

Its recommended reading time. This month I have some interesting articles, videos and recipes that I would like to share with you.
The first one is a little scary but very relevant with the debate(REALLY?) on climate change:

We all should know by now the dangers of plastics in our oceans.  Here's another reason that plastic is influencing climate change:

  This is one way to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles:
Ooho Edible Water Bubbles I would love to have these!

Conventionally grown foods are heavily sprayed with pesticides.  If possible, we should stay away from these and buy organic. It might be more a little more expensive but well worth the price you will pay later. You should ALWAYS buy spinach organically!:

This could possibly be a solution for the ever growing need for healthy foods for the growing population:

Science-backed research now says 8 common diseases can be cured by a Plant-based Diet.

This why we must:
Even the former President American College of Cardiology believes this to be true;

On a lighter note, my 7 year old grandson produced an awesome "powerpoint" presentation(by himself) for his 2nd grade class using an amazing animated program called, Powtoon
I am really proud of him. I might have to use the same program when needed. 
Check out his video: Africa

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Iron Deficiency,

Did you know that the most common nutrient deficiency in the US is low iron?  Low iron, is the leading cause of anemia.  The good news is, low iron deficiency can be easily treated by dietary changes.  Iron is important for the production of red blood cells.  Red blood cells deliver oxygen from our lungs to the rest of the body.  As a result, you become tired, short of breath, headaches and dizzy.  If the iron deficiency becomes too low you can become anemic. When you become anemic your tissues and cells become deprived of oxygen. NOT GOOD! 
Some common causes of anemia are:
*A significant amount of blood loss.-  Blood loss can be caused by heavy menstrual periods, surgery, traumatic injury, cancers or bleeding in the digestive or urinary tract. 
*Low RBC production- The body requires certain nutrients to produce red blood cells, including iron, folic acid and vitamin b12. If not sufficient amounts are gotten, insufficient amount of red blood cells are not produced.
*High RBC production- Some inherited blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia destroy the cells at a faster rate than the body can replace them.

It is important to have the correct amount of iron in your diet.  There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Non-heme iron is found in plants and plants comes with healthy dose of fiber, minerals, nutrients and no cholesterol.  Heme iron is found in blood and muscle and is more easily absorbed by the body.  Although the problem is heme iron from meat comes with a lot of other complications such as TMAO.  PLEASE WATCH: The TMAO Connection, and The Safety of Heme vs Non-Heme Iron

By consuming a wide variety of leafy greens, beans, legumes, seeds and fruit you can supply your body with the sufficient amount of iron.  By combining iron rich foods with foods with high vitamin C, your body absorbs the iron more completely.   
For breakfast try:

  Oatmeal with red quinoa, blueberries, raspberries, topped with flax seed and sunflower seeds. Very high in iron, vitamin C, fiber, protein and many minerals and nutrients.

For an easy lunch or dinner:
A combo of Jasmine rice and quinoa with cherry tomatoes, avocado, sunflower seeds, black pepper on a bed of ORGANIC spinach(always buy organic) with a little dash of sweet chili sauce.  Quinoa is full of protein, complete amino acids and iron.

Here are two great articles for more information:

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Power of Seeds

It's amazing how much nutritional power a tiny seed can contain.  Seeds are some of the most powerful foods you can consume.  If you think about it, a seed contains all the nutrients it needs to grow into a mature plant.  Therefore, we get a tiny power punch of nutrients to boost muscle growth and provide us with a lt of clean energy.  Seeds are full of amino acids(protein), magnesium, B vitamins, iron, fiber, healthy fats and many more minerals.  
Some of the more common seeds are:
*Chia Seeds- they provide much more omega 3 fats than omega 6 keeping that ratio balanced to fight inflammation. For more info see Chia
*Flax Seeds- Known for their high fiber content, they assist in lowering blood sugar. You MUST use ground flax seeds, as our bodies cannot digest whole seeds. You can add them to just about everything like salads, smoothies, oatmeal, baked veggies and even substitute in gel form for egg replacement in baking.
*Hemp Seeds- hemp seeds have mega dose of magnesium which regulates muscle/nerve functions, blood sugar and blood pressure. They provide a mild nutty flavor to just about everything. For more info see this: Benefits of Hemp Seeds
*Sunflower Seeds- everyone loves sunflower seeds. They promote healthy cardiovascular systems, full of magnesium,, healthy cholesterol levels, promotes healthy mental health and "Selenium" maintains healthy thyroid and hormone levels. For more info see this: Benefits of Sunflower Seeds.
Pumpkin Seeds- with Halloween this week, it's a great time for pumpkin seeds. When cleaning and carving your pumpkin don't throw away the seeds! Roast them!  They are full of potassium, protein and vitamin E.
*Sesame Seeds- sesame seeds have long been a favorite, topping buns, making tahini paste, in stir fries and curries. They are high in iron and calcium and provides fiber to lower cholesterol and protect the heart.  Tahini makes the greatest hummus.   
*Quinoa- a replacement for dishes using rice, Quinoa is a high protein packing seed. High in manganese, magnesium, copper, fiber, and folate. Also, it's gluten-free! For more info see: Quinoa

For those quick, easy and nutritious snacks throughout the day, just a carry a pack of mixed nuts and seeds. You can never go wrong with that option.

Image result for seeds

Correction from last week's post:
I found out that almonds and walnuts are actually seeds, not nuts😏
Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

"I'm Going Nuts"

Most people think that eating nuts and seeds are going to contribute to weight gain.  It happens to be just the opposite.  Consuming raw nuts and seeds actually help you lose weight and increase your lifespan.  Tree nuts are high in healthy fats which our bodies need for optimal function.  To optimize your health, weight, and longevity we need to shift our bodies from sugar-burning mode to fat-burning mode.  In order to begin burning fat we need to swap non-vegetable carbs like sugar and processed grains to high quality healthful fats.  Raw nuts are a great source of this type of fat.  Roasted nuts and seeds minimally lower the nutritional value, but by soaking nuts and seeds first you actually increase the nutritional value.

Here are some reasons to add nuts and seeds to your diet:
*Nuts can help with weight control. Although high in calories, the high concentration of fiber and nutrients offset the calories consumed.
*Walnuts can lower cholesterol.  
* Eating nuts 5 times per week: reduces heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer.
*Lowers blood pressure.

The healthier nuts are:
*Almonds: Rich in anti-oxidants.
*Walnuts: Great source of omega-3 fat, natural phytosterols  which helps prevent prostate and breast cancer.
*Pecans: They contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals, which lower cholesterol and promotes healthy hearts.
*Brazil Nuts: An excellent source of organic selenium, a powerful antioxidant-boosting mineral that helps prevent cancer.

Here are a few videos to watch on the benefits:

Next week: Benefits of Seeds

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Chewy Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Fall is in the air.  
It doesn't really seem like it here in Florida but I know its on the way.  Our daughter Bree is moving to NYC in a couple of weeks and she has got fall fever.  She baked up some of Chloe Coscarelli's Chewy Ginger-Molasses Cookies from her "Chloe's Vegan Desserts" cookbook to get in the autumn mood.  Nothing says Fall like ginger cookies.  Recipes from Chloe are regularly made in this household and are a treat for every type of eater.  I've never heard a complaint from anyone.  We've said it before and I'll say it again, "You have to get ALL of her cookbooks". You can follow her on Twitter @ChloeCoscarelli
Here's the recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Whisk all together in large bowl

1/2 cup vegan butter
3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup molasses
 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350'
Line 2 or 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat butter, sugar, molasses and water. 
Slowly beat in flour mixture.

Scoop about 1 rounded tablespoon of dough and roll in extra sugar.

Place them onto sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. 

LET COOL! You can do it!
Enjoy with a glass of cold nut milk or cold brew coffee.

Have a great week. 
Be kind.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


I don't believe I've met anyone who doesn't like tacos.  I could eat tacos everyday being there are so many variations of ingredients that are available.  
According to research the origin of tacos dates back to the 18th century in Mexico.  The word "taco" referred to little pieces of paper wrapped around gunpowder to be used as an explosive device placed into the walls of silver mines.  Miners would use them to excavate the ore from the rock walls.  Basically they are named after a stick of dynamite!  You can imagine the corn tortilla like a piece of paper wrapped around some goodies. One of the first ones were known as "tacos de minero"  miners tacos.  When the lure of industry in Mexico City, migrant workers began using them for inexpensive breakfasts and lunches.  With different cultures from around the world, especially Lebanese workers, they began to fill there corn tortillas with spit-cooked pork.  By the early 1900's with the influx of Mexican migrant workers ( working railroad construction and mining) tacos and tortillas made there way to the US.  By 1920, the migrant workers began to advance economically while still eating traditional Mexican fare, but then began to use more beef, lettuces and cheeses.   In 1954, Glen Bell created "Bell's Drive In and Taco Tia in San Bernardino, California.  By 1962 he opened his first "Taco Bell" in Downey, California serving "Tay-Kohs".  And so began our love for tacos.

For the plant-based eaters there are many recipes and variations of excellent tacos.
Here are some of my favorites:
First start with an exceptional organic non-GMO shell like:


Don't forget Breakfast Tacos

Check out the Happy Pear video 5 Minute Vegan Tacos

Just use your imagination, there is no right or wrong way to make tacos.

Image result for vegan tacos

Have a great week. 
Be kind.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Recommended Reading 10/01/17

It's recommended reading time!  I prefer to give you recommendations for unusual ideas on reading, viewing and listening.  Subjects that make you think outside the box.

Communication doesn't just happen by satellites:  *Watch How The Internet Gets Across The Ocean.
We all know how bad bottled water is for the environment, but this is crazy: *Nestle Pays $200 per year to bottle water near Flint, Michigan.
The next time you need new running shoes: Are they really worth the price?
With Hurricane Matthew and Irma wreaking such havoc this will make you think about "Hookworms can affect everyone"
With your next cup of coffee read: Protect The Future of Coffee.
For a great podcast listen:Rich Roll talks with Drew Sams, "Live a life filled with wonder and curiosity. Ask questions"
This is just plain cool: Surgo Rescue Vehicle.

That's it for this month recommendations.
Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Power of Dates

Dates have been used as sweeteners, snacks and and even used as breaking "fast" by Muslims according to their culture.  By doing this it helps in not overeating of food once the fast is over.  Dates are easily digested, allowing our bodies to make full use of all the minerals and nutrients they contain.  The dietary fiber helps move waste through the colon reducing the risks of colon cancer.  The soluble and insoluble fiber and amino acids help to improve and maintain a healthy digestive system.  The iron content in dates is a major component of hemoglobin in our red blood cells, which helps in maintaining healthy oxygen levels in the blood.  Potassium, which is a an electrolyte, in dates helps control heart rate and blood pressure.  All the B vitamins such as carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are absorbed into the retina to maintain light-filtering functions and protect against macular degeneration.  

Despite all these benefits, one cup of dates has almost 30 mg's of fructose sugar , but have a low glycemic index number which can maintain blood sugar level significantly.  Dates are a whole food, but by weight they are 80% sugar. Fruit Loops are 40% sugar, but not a whole food but highly processed along with many other "nonfood" products.  Israeli scientists did some research on the subject and the results were astonishing: Dates are fantastic!  Some consider dates are the most ideal food!

By just eating 3 dates per day here some of the many benefits obtained:
*Improved digestive health- the high soluble fiber draws water into the digestive tract.
*Treat and prevent anemia- they are a great source of iron which reduces the effects of anemia.
*Bone, blood and immune system health- keeps bones strong with magnesium, manganese and selenium. Diets rich in selenium are known to prevent cancers.
*Heart health- the potassium helps to reduce strokes, heart attacks and lowers LDL cholesterol.
*Energy boosts- being filled with natural sugars and fiber keeps energy levels up without the crash.

Here's a quick, easy and raw recipe for an energy shot that I use all the time: AROO Spartan Balls.
For some more information on the "Power of Dates" here's a great article from Organic Facts.

AROO Spartan Balls

Food for Thought

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Oxygen, The Life Force

Everything needs oxygen to survive, except for a few  multicellular organisms .  Oxygenation is necessary for sustainability of our oceans, lakes, rivers and complete water supply.  Our soils which grow our foods need oxygen to feed microbes, organisms etc. which provide nourishment for crops.

We breathe because oxygen is needed to burn the fuel (sugar and fatty acids)in our cells to produce energy.  Oxygen is transported by red blood cells to our entire body where it is used to produce the energy our cells need to stay healthy.  Ever since 1931, Dr Otto Warburg, won the Nobel Peace Prize in medicine for the discovery linking low oxygen and cancer cells growth.  Cancer cells don't use oxygen for energy, instead use glucose for fuel.  Oxygen-rich tissues equal good health.

So how do we get these oxygen rich tissues and good health?

When we eat properly, our food can provide oxygen.  By being hydrated properly it allows for greater oxygen exchange.  By maintaining a slightly alkaline inner environment  our cells will be naturally oxygen-rich.  If our detox system is strong it clears the cells of metabolic debris and helps to maintain healthy cells.  On the other hand, a lousy diet, processed foods, too little water, stress and excessive acidity all add up to an overwhelmed immune system.
With a diet consisting of mostly raw foods such as raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds will help keep our cells healthy and thriving. Plants with high chlorophyll content like kale, chard, spirulina and chlorella have high oxygen levels.  Raw, fresh food equals higher oxygen. Cooking speeds up the oxidation of anything we eat.  We should try to eat most of our food raw or minimally heated for optimum health.  Although some foods like tomatoes and carrots are even better for you when slightly cooked. 

Some tips for getting more oxygen:
*Go outdoors. The concentration of oxygen is higher than indoors and usually a lot cleaner. 
* Breathe consciously. Inhale deeply, fill your lungs and empty them completely. Too many of us breathe to shallow.( our bodies will be stressed and tight)
*Inhale thru your nose. It filters out the dirt, pollution and other strange things that would otherwise go in our lungs.
* Get some exercise everyday. Physical activity requires us to inhale and exhale deeply and in a controlled way.
*Eat more veggies. They are full of oxygen and nutrients.
*Drop the animal products, processed foods and sugar. They are like the "Dead Sea"

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Amazing Aloe Plant

After a long day at the beach nothing feels better on your sunburned face or shoulders then some cool aloe vera gel.  After a quick burn from that hot pan on the stove, reaching for a slice of aloe is the first thing you want to do.  But there are numerous other uses for this miracle plant then just burns.
This succulent has been used throughout history as a medicinal ingredient in Egypt, China and India. Legend has it that it was Cleopatra's beauty secret, favored by Aristotle and Alexander The Great, it is mentioned in the Bible numerous times, and scientific research has supported its many benefits.  Also known as the "Lily of The Desert" this succulent is known for soothing scrapes, burns, healing infections and even promoting weight loss, controlling type 2 diabetes, boosting the immune system and detoxing the body.  I have said this before "It amazes me the healing power of plants and how we benefit from them".

Here are a few reasons to work Aloe into your wellness routine:
*Its great for the skin: Aloe purifies the blood, reverse collagen damage and wrinkles. Great for scrapes, cuts and burns. (Alexander the Great was said to have conquered the island of Soctra just to replenish his stock of Aloe for his army!
*It balances you: In Ayurvedic medicine it's said to be tridoshic which means it balances out the five elements of earth, water, air ,fire and ether within our systems.
*It boost immunity: Aloe's polysaccharides are anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti viral. It supports both the liver and spleen.
*Its a superfood: It is very nutrient dense with vitamins A,C,E, and minerals such as calcium, selenium, magnesium, chromium and zinc. Also high in fiber, amino acids and enzymes, which makes it great for:
*Digestion: It balances the entire digestive system from mouth to lower spout. It helps to heal IBS, colitis and ulcers. It dissolves intestinal plaque and helps replicate healthy epithelial cells that coat our digestive pipes.
*Fights Inflammation: Aloe contains many natural steroids which reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis. See here for a great article.

Aloe Vera can be easily grown anywhere, even indoors in colder climates.  It should be a definite plant to add to your garden or indoor plant selection.  If using for internal purposes such as smoothies, juices etc. you can only use the species aloe barbadensis. Just check the plant label when purchasing from your nursery. Or you can just buy aloe gel in bulk on Amazon, etc. As always organically grown is preferred.

This is our 200th post!
Thank you for being a part of our journey.
Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Recommended Reading 09/03/17

Lizzie says "Listen Up!" it's recommended reading time. There is a sign at "The Hemingway Home" in Key West that states "Dogs have owners, Cats have staff".  It couldn't be more true with Lizzie, we have been blessed with her Majesty being part of our family for almost seventeen years now.  From being a stray 6 month old alley cat to her "staff" lovingly taking care of her she is quite the character. 

Here are the recommended reading and viewing suggestions for the week:

We all know its hot out so stay hydrated with the "5 Healthiest Beverages You Should Be Drinking Right Now".
"King Curtis" would never say bacon is NOT good for you.. don't eat them, love them.."8 Things You've Never Known That Pigs LOVE To Do"
Another important reason from last weeks post on our breathing.. "Why You Should Practice Breathing Through Your Nose(And Not Your mouth)
It amazes me that there is still a debate on if "climate change" exists.."Exxon Misleads The Public" It doesn't surprise me at all after reading "Run To Failure and The Making of Deepwater Horizon Disaster"
Nearly 660 million people in the world live without clean is doing something about it.  Listen to its founder on "Rich Roll Podcast with Scott Harrison" we all can make a difference.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Our bodies need oxygen to survive.  Healthy blood plasma is at least 90% oxygen.  Nothing happens anywhere in our bodies without oxygen.  It is required in just about every chemical reaction,  it  ignites the activity in our cells.  It is the spark of life for us. Over the next few weeks I am going be posting about the importance of oxygenation.

Breathing is an involuntary act.  We don't think much about it, until we don't have it.  Surfing for over 40 years, I have had my share of being pinned to bottom after being thrown off a wave or being held under what seemed like endless thick white water.  Clawing my way to the top to get some much needed oxygen, just to be hit by another large wave and repeating the process.  All you want is a deep breath of air.  

Our breath helps us to gauge how comfortable or uncomfortable we are at that moment.  When we are stressed, frightened or ill we tighten our bodies and breathe faster.  When relaxed calm or happy we soften our bodies and our breathing slows.  This why it is important to learn to slow our breathing and help ourselves to get as much oxygen as we can.  Ancient yoga teaches us that we are given a certain amount of breaths for our individual life span. The slower we breath, the longer we live.  This is not to say we shouldn't breathe heavy as in exercise or teaching our lungs to expand for more oxygen capacity.  This means that when we know how to work with our breath, we can change our mood, manage panic attacks and even lower our blood pressure.  Not only is breathing meditative and good for calming stress, it also improves brain and immune system function, cleanses our bodies of toxins and purifies our minds.  

A simple way to start training our mind and body to slow the breathing is a method called 5-5-5-5. Start doing this in the morning upon waking.  In a sitting position inhale slowly thru your nose on a count of 5, then hold your breath for a count of 5, slowly exhale thru your mouth for a count of 5 and finally count to 5 with no breathing at all(emptying your lungs). do this for 5-15 minutes per day.  You can do this in the evening also to slowly unwind from your daily routine to prepare for a restful night.

Try this for a week and see how you feel.

Have great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Living A Plant-Based Lifestyle

Health is a state of balance, and illness indicates a state of imbalance.  When we restore balance, healing will take place.  Living a plant-based lifestyle has the power to guide our bodies to optimum health.  Not only is this true in what we eat but also in what we use on our bodies and our surroundings.  Long before man-made medicines were available, people sought relief from physical and mental ailments with natures healing plants and botanicals.  Chinese and Ayurveda medicines have been in use for thousands of years, both using nature's healing plants for their healing properties.  All of the cleaning products we use to clean our homes, clothes and bodies can be replaced with a less chemically harsh product using a DIY plant-based cleaner. Easy to make vinegar/essential oil mixture is an excellent  household cleaning product.  It is a lot less expensive then having to use numerous other individual products to get the same results.  
For thousands of years essential oils have been used in many ways including medicinal, emotional, mental and beauty purposes. Just a few days ago while at work, I cut my hand.  I lost about a 3/4 inch square of layer of skin and was bleeding quite profusely.  After washing it with a homemade sanitizer, I covered it with a bandage.  When at home I treated it with a drop of Frankincense essential oil with a jojoba carrier oil a few times per day. Within two days, it is already 90% healed up.

For a great hand sanitizer, which is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and smells awesome try:
*1 tbs Witch Hazel.
*8 oz Pure Aloe Vera Gel.
*5-10 drops Eucalyptus, Peppermint or Tea Tree essential oil
5-10 drops Lemongrass, Lavender or Rosemary essential oil 
Mix all together in small squeeze bottle.
Shake before each use.
This will not kill good bacteria on our skin which we need.
It's definitely does not contain triclosan, 
Which seems to be in everything.

Living a plant-based lifestyle means living in a way that is good for both you and the environment.
It encourages us to make thoughtful and responsible decisions so we may have a positive impact on ourselves, others and our planet.

Have a great week. 
Be kind.