As the weather warms and we begin to shed the extra layers of clothing we've been wearing, it seems like a good time to resurrect this old blog post that I wrote for an old website...
As I sit here on my porch in the warmth of the sun's rays, sipping coffee, and looking for some inspiration. I'm noticing the vibrant colors of the flowers and how the sun hits the lines and shapes of my favorite things all around me. I love to surround myself with things that are beautiful, because it makes me happy. As I sit admiring the beauty of nature, my mind slips back to earlier in the week when I did a natural skin care workshop for a group of moms. I have to admit, that as I looked around the room that day, I felt a little intimidated. I was surrounded by a group of naturally beautiful woman and not one of them was wearing make-up. At the beginning of the talk, I asked them to tell me what they were hoping to get out of our time together. As we went around the room, I heard things like this:
"I have these freckles. Is there anything I can do about them?"
"I have these sunspots. Is there anything that can fade them?"
"I tend to break-out here and I haven't found anything to help."
"I get dark circles under my eyes."
"I have these dark patches that appeared when I was pregnant and they still haven't gone away."
So, as I sit here on the porch, I begin to wonder, why is it that we can often see the beauty in other people and things around us, but when we look at ourselves, we tend to focus in on a part of us that we see as a flaw? With perfect timing, I notice the birthmark on my leg. As a child, I was very self conscious of it. I dreaded when other kids saw it and asked questions about it. I can remember my mother calling it my "beauty mark." She said that it made me unique, and so that is what I told others, but really, I didn't think it was beautiful, and I wished I didn't have it.
Fast forward to a few years ago, I was at my annual physical and my doctor asked about my beauty mark. She said that I could have it removed, as a cancer preventive measure, if I wanted. I gladly accepted the referral to the dermatologist thinking, yes, my wish finally came true! Then a very strange thing happened as I dialed the dermatologist. I suddenly experienced a sense of loss. I sat contemplating whether or not I should remove my "beauty mark." Suddenly, I couldn't bear the thought of not having it. I decided that since it didn’t have any of the warning signs, I didn’t need to take any action at that moment.
Today I still have my beauty mark, and I have to say that I look at it differently than I used to. I no longer see it as a flaw, and I no longer try to conceal it or get rid of it. I've actually grown quite fond of it. Of course, there are times when we should make note of our appearance, use it as a barometer of our wellbeing and do things to keep ourselves healthy. But, how do we get to a place of seeing our own beauty rather than being self conscious about things that we see as flaws? Here are a few exercises to try.
Step 1. Find a picture of yourself that you really love. Hang it in a place that you see every day and spend a few minutes each day looking at yourself. As you look at the picture, take a deep breath in and tell yourself how beautiful you are. Do this for at least one week.
Step 2. Spend a few minutes observing yourself in the mirror each day. You might be automatically drawn to a flaw. Tell the flaw that you will come back to it in a little while. Before giving any attention to the flaw, find at least 3 things that you love about the way you look. Is it the color of your eyes, the tone of your skin, the shape of your lips or the dimple in your chin? Once you find 3 things that you love, take a deep breath in and out and say, “I love my ______, ______ and ______.” Say it aloud, so that you hear it in your own voice. Notice how it feels to hear these things. Now, you can give attention to the flaw. Ask it what its purpose is. Is it there as a sign that you haven't been eating healthy or getting enough sleep? Does it serve as a reminder of an event that happened in your life? Embrace all the unhappy feelings about the flaw and then tell it that you love it, because it is a part of you. Do this for 2-3 weeks or until you start to feel differently.
Step 3. Beauty shines from the inside out. Spend some time thinking about the qualities that make you a beautiful person. Is it your kind heart, your passion for life, your sharing nature, your love and devotion to your family…? Document these things in a journal or on index cards and look at them every day. If you feel stuck, ask a friend or family member for some ideas.
These activities might seem a little silly or uncomfortable at first, but sometimes exercise or yoga poses feel awkward in the beginning and through practice, they strengthen, deepen, and expand our awareness. As you engage in these practices, you will have a deeper understanding of yourself and begin to see yourself through a different lens.
Joan Bender, MA, LMHC, HC is a Certified Health Coach, Reiki & Craniosacral Therapist in Delmar, NY.
During Times of stress, worry and pain, we can become too much in our thoughts, and not enough in our bodies. This guided meditation brings you into your body, helps you be more grounded in your skin and taps in to greater health and happiness.
Mediation has been shown to ease pain, increase blood flow to the brain, improve productivity, improve memory, boost energy, and reduce stress. It can help one to feel more balanced, more aware and connected to a higher Source. I hope you'll give this guided meditation a try. Just click the image below, and you'll be taken to the guided meditation.
Buyer Beware. There are new food labeling regulations that went into effect on January 1st of this year. They are supposed to provide a national standard for labeling foods that contain bioengineered (genetically modified/GMO) foods, but there are many exemptions. For instance, a can of stew or soup where the main ingredient is a nonGMO meat, does not have to be labeled as bioengineered if it contains GMO corn. The labeling is determined by the weight of the ingredients. If the bulk of the product is nonGMO, it doesn't need to be labeled. Another example is alcoholic beverages, because they fall under labeling requirements of the FAA(Federal Alcohol Administration Act).
Here is the regulation's definition of Bioengineered: A food that contains genetic material that has been modified, and that the modification could not be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature. However, when it comes to disclosure, “For refined foods that are derived from bioengineered crops, no disclosure is required if the food does not contain detectable modified genetic material.” The regulation goes on to state that testing for detectable genetic material would be difficult to enforce, expensive and present barriers to international trade. What does this mean? It means that there is a good chance that GMOs will end up in most processed foods unless they are labeled otherwise. Products will not be tested for GMOs. Instead, companies will have to show documents that they produced their products with nonGMO ingredients. Also, fresh produce does not have to be labeled under the regulation, and disclosure is optional. The regulation also did not define “conventional breeding” or “found in nature.”
The regulation includes a list of current genetically modified foods. “For example, products made from field corn, such as grits, corn chips, corn tortillas, and corn cereal are human foods and may be subject to disclosure if they meet the definition of bioengineered food. The following foods comprise the List of Bioengineered Foods: alfalfa, apple (ArcticTM varieties), canola, corn, cotton, eggplant (BARI Bt Begun varieties), papaya (ringspot virus-resistant varieties), pineapple (pink flesh), potato, salmon (AquAdvantage®), soybean, squash (summer), and sugarbeet.” These foods have been modified for things like non-browning, pesticide resistance, virus and fungus resistance, and enhanced growth. The regulation also states that this list is not exhaustive and will need to be updated in the future.
Other exemptions: Ready to eat items prepared by restaurants and supermarkets do not need to disclose GMO ingredients under the regulation.
What can you do?
1. When possible, buy from local farmers at farmer's markets. There you can ask questions about their growing practices, and let them know that you are not interested in buying GMO products.
2. In supermarkets, buy organic fruits and vegetables. They will be labeled organic and/or have a PLU # that starts with 9. Organic produce under regulation is nonGMO.
3. Look for the nonGMO project certification symbol. Companies pay this 3rd party company to test their product for the presence of GMOs and give them a certification. The process is expensive for the company, and sometimes makes their product a little more expensive, but they do it, because they know it is important to the consumer and they want to have a quality product. Spending a little more money on food can help save money on medical bills.
Why all the fuss about GMOs? The foods that grow in nature were designed to be consumed by the people and animals of the earth. Foods that have had their genes altered, are more difficult to be broken down by the body. The body doesn't recognize the alteration, and doesn't know how to break it down. This causes stress and inflammation in the body which can lead to digestive problems, leaky gut and the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Over time, the body can become malnourished, the immune system can become weakened, and diseases can develop.
You can read more about the regulation on the USDA website by clicking this link.
New Year Healthy You 28 Day Challenge Begins February 1st:
Are you in a food rut? Have you been trying to get yourself to eat healthier, but don't know where to begin? Have you been feel unmotivated or just Blah? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider joining me for my 28 day challenge. We'll be resetting our eating patterns, hormones and stress response. You'll receive a menu of healthy foods to choose from, packet of healthy recipes, assistance with food allergies and dining out, information on working with your cravings, as well as daily inspiration and guidance. Learn More.
Cooling Summer Treats
This summer has been hot and steamy! So I’ve been playing around with some frozen nice cream recipes. A few years ago, my sister got me an ice cream maker for my birthday and since then I’ve had fun making homemade ice cream. When I planned this blog post, I thought I would share some of those recipes, but I seem to have misplaced that booklet. I also came to realize that many of you might not have an ice cream maker, so I decided to focus on versions that can be made without an ice cream maker.
Why make your own ice cream? My main reason has been to control the ingredients. Many of you have food sensitivities, and have to avoid certain ingredients, so I know you get that. There is also tons of sugar in most ice creams. Way more than we need to eat or that is good for our health. Many store bought ice creams also contain things like GMOs, artificial colors and flavors as well as preservatives that can cause havoc in our bodies. Plus, making ice cream is fun and easy!
Today, I’ve included a few recipes that are made from coconut cream and oatmilk. I hope you’ll try them and experiment with your own ideas. I use dark chocolate chips in most of my recipes, but feel free to leave them out if you prefer. You might also want to try these healthy add ins: chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds, berries, cherries, raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, bananas, shredded coconut, 2-3 drops peppermint vitality essential oil, or swirl in all natural peanut butter. The consistency of these nice creams will be harder than what you buy in the store, because they haven’t been churned and because they don’t contain emulsifiers. To remedy this, I pour the cream into muffin tins and then freeze. This way they are frozen into individual “scoops.”
Blackberry or Strawberry Dark Chocolate Chip With Coconut Milk
1 can coconut cream
1 cup strawberries or blackberries
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Chill the coconut cream in the refrigerator for about an hour. Simmer berries with water on medium low heat until a lumpy sauce occurs. Add in sweetener of your choice and tablespoon of arrowroot powder. Stir until sauce starts to thicken and then remove from heat and cool. Remove the solid portion of the coconut cream from the can and combine it with the berry sauce. Fold in chocolate chips or other add ins, and pour into muffin tins. Freeze for 2-3 hours until set. When taken out of the freezer, allow to sit for a couple of minutes to slightly thaw. Use a butter knife to loosen edges and pop out of the muffin tin. Makes about 6 pieces.
I made these with my children’s nutrition groups a couple of summers ago and they loved them!
2 cups vanilla yogurt (dairy or non-dairy)
1 cup sun butter
1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
1/4 cup Hersey unsweetened cocoa or raw cacao
3-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into paper cups and put a popsicles stick in the middle or pour into popsicles molds. Freeze for 2-3 hours until set. When ready to eat, peel the paper cup off, and enjoy! You’ll feel like a kid again.
If you try these recipes, let me know how it goes in the comments below, and feel free to reach out with any questions. I also have three yummy frozen Bon Bon recipes in my gluten free cookbook on Amazon.
Weeds & Seeds
"The difference between a weed and a flower is a judgment." -Unknown
This was the quote on my cup of dandelion tea recently, and it sparked a whole host of thoughts about weeds and seeds both physically and metaphorically. I like to use metaphors in my work as a health coach, and gardening is near and dear to my heart. In the garden, weeds are invasive. They take over. They suck all of the water and nutrients out of the soil, depleting it so that other plants can't grow. The seeds of the weeds often blow into our garden and take root before we even realize it.
For some the dandelion is a weed, and they do everything they can to eliminate them. For others, the dandelion is a powerful medicinal herb. In my vegetable garden, I allow a few dandelions to grow, because I like to add their leaves to my salads. I also try to save some of the roots and leaves for drying and making a tea. Dandelion tea is a powerful detoxing tea. It is known for it's abilities to decrease liver and gallbladder inflammation, increase bile production, stimulate digestion and support the urinary system. It is also a good source of vitamins A, C, D, & B-complex as well as the minerals iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc, manganese & potassium. So what do you think? Is a dandelion a weed or a powerful herb? They have nutritional benefits, and are pretty to look at, but they most certainly can take over and deplete the soil, if not carefully maintained.
Negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are like weeds in our lives. They are invasive. They often blow in from somewhere else. As they grow, they deplete us, and suck the life out of us, making it hard for us to flourish. Ideally, we want to pull weeds out when they are young, and their roots are small, but some of our weeds have been around for a long time, and their roots go deep. These weeds may be harder to get rid of, and you may need to pull them several times before they are gone for good. Have patience when they grow back, and commit to weeding them out again. What are some of the "weeds" that you want to pull out of your garden?
As you think about what weeds you'd like to pull from your garden, ask yourself what weeds you'd like to eliminate for good, and which ones you'd like to keep around in scarce amounts, because you can see they have some benefits or they make you happy in some way, but you don't want them to become invasive and take over your life. An example might be overly critical thoughts. Having critical thoughts all of the time can deplete one's energy, but one critical self thought at the right moment, can be a catalyst to creating a healthy change. Another example might be indulging in a decadent activity. It may be energizing and make you happy, but too much of a good thing over time may throw you into an unhealthy spiral. As you reflect on this, you might ask yourself, "What thoughts or activities are no longer serving me at this time?"
Setting Intentions crowds out weeds:
Setting intentions are one way that we can control what's growing in our thought garden. Intentions are like little seedings. As we plant intentions, we crowd out the weeds, and plant the medicinal herbs that nourish us and help us heal and grow.
Seeding- Our thoughts, feeling and behaviors are like seeds, the more we focus on them, the more we plant and grow. As we go along creating the gardens of our dreams, we want to be aware of what we are planting. When we live a life of intention, we are aware of the thoughts, feelings and behaviors we bring into our lives, and we do so with purpose. Keep reading and I'll give you ideas for setting intentions throughout your day, so that other people's seeds don't blow into your garden, and your old deep rooted weeds don't take over.
Planting your garden- Below you'll find some ideas for areas where you can bring intention into your life, so that you can feel like you are being true to yourself, creating your reality and taking charge of your life again. During the next week, try to bring intention into as many areas of your life as you can.
Morning Intention- Setting an intention before you get out of bed in the morning is a way to plant seeds for how you'd like the day to go. Some of my favorites are:
"I flow through the day with ease."
"Troubles roll off of my shoulders for today."
"I choose to be true to myself today."
Eating with intention- As you decide what to eat, set an intention that you choose something that has the nutrients that your body needs today. While you eat, set an intention that the food you eat nourish your body, mind and Spirit, and that anything in the food that isn't good for you, be filtered out by your body's elimination system.
Setting an Intention before starting a task- Think about what it you want to accomplish with this task, and set an intention to help guide you. An example might be, "I am setting an intention to stay on task without getting distracted."
Setting an intention before having a conversation- Before engaging in conversation, especially ones that you anticipate might be challenging in some way, set an intention to help guide you though. Some examples might be, "I will listen with an open heart and mind." and "I will share my thoughts in a caring way."
Setting an intention before going to sleep- Here you can set an intention to sleep peacefully, wake up feeling refreshed, have a happy dream, etc.
You can write your intentions on index cards, sticky notes or put them in your phone as reminders. You can put them in your planner or keep them in a place where you will see them throughout the day. Let me know how setting intentions works for you. I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share them.
Change Your Health
Take some time to listen to my interview with Cheryl Meyer, The Health Muse. Cheryl is a fellow Health Coach and Author who is determined to get the message out about toxins in our food and environment, so that people can heal their bodies and feel good again. Her motto and title of one of her books is, "It feels good to feel good." Cheryl alternates podcasts between providing healthy living information and interviewing people about their healing stories. She is a great resource. Click the here to listen to our interview. We talk about my healing journey, health coaching, Reiki and taking charge of your health.
This year has been a milestone year for me. I entered the year with some trepidation thinking about the number of years that I've been on this earth. Can you relate?
I knew it was coming, but I'm not sure how I got here so quickly. A half a century seems like such a long time, and feels so old, but honestly, most days, I still feel like I'm in my 20's, and on my birthday, I enjoyed turning my rose gold, 50 balloons upside down, and making them into 20. After all, isn't time a man made concept, and don't we create our own reality?
I came into the year kicking and screaming and resisting. I know, it makes no sense. I was going to turn 50 no matter how much I resisted. At times conversations with friends and family were helpful, and others only made me feel worse. As the year progressed, I watched many of my childhood friends turn 50 with grace and ease, and thought, I want to get to that place too. At some point, I remembered something that my Mom used to say to her friends, "You are only as old as you feel." This became my new mantra, and I said it every time I felt anything but positive about my age.
Reflecting back over the past 50 years, I realized that I didn't always feel this good and this young. In fact, in my mid 30's, I felt sick everyday. My bones and joints ached. I had digestive problems, and I was exhausted all of the time. I felt like I was in the last years of my life, and honestly, if I didn't make lifestyle changes, I would have continued on that trajectory.
These reflections got me thinking about how lucky I am to still be here on this earth. I have some childhood friends who didn't make it this far. So being here truly is a gift. Slowly, my attitude has shifted from sulking to feeling grateful and celebrating life!
I've started to focus on how I want to feel moving forward for the next 50 years. I want to feel energetic, positive, flexible and strong. I want to enjoy time in nature, enjoy time with friends and family, and enjoy my career. I know that in order to continue to feel young and healthy, I've got to eat nutrient dense foods that are free from harsh chemicals. I need to move my body daily, and I need to make time for reflection and play. I need to nurture my body, mind and Spirit, and appreciate my life here on earth.
As the year progresses, I find myself tuning in, and listening more and more to my Inner Guide, and I've been feeling the pull to do cartwheels and elbow stands. I wonder, is this my ego's resistance to turning 50? Is it my body calling for greater upper body strength? Is it my spirit wanting to recapture being a kid in acrobatics class? Whatever it is, it feels good to be doing them. I can feel myself getting stronger each day. I also feel my posture getting straighter. You can catch videos of my cartwheels on the beach, and my elbow stand on my Instagram page.
I plan on doing them as long as I can, and hopefully, I'll still be doing them in my 80's. If I listened to my fear mind, I wouldn't have even attempted to try doing them again. You know, that little voice that says,
"You can't do that,"
"You're not in shape,
"You're too old,"
"You haven't done that in 30 years, you'll hurt yourself."
What I love about listening to my Inner Guide about doing these exercises is that it doesn't feel like a chore. I don't feel like I have to discipline myself to do it or force myself to do it in anyway.
What is your Inner Guide calling you to do? What have you been holding yourself back from doing? What have you been telling yourself you are too old to do? How do you want to feel moving forward?
We Are All Given A Gift
By: Angela Landeros
My first job was working with children and adults with disabilities. Yes, and even women with multiple sclerosis. In my youth I wanted to massage horses, and I eventually got certified. I never wanted to massage people, because I thought it couldn’t be the same as working on an animal, for one, they don’t talk to you with words, and I was ok with that -- horses were what taught me how to truly listen.
When I was really sick right before I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I was no longer teaching, but instead I worked at a local saddlery -- closest thing to horses was helping horse people. I had also eventually, for some reason, become a massage therapist who -- worked on people, who could talk!
I couldn’t concentrate on what you were telling me, but I tried. I kept working multiple jobs, but my brain wanted to explode! Many things were changing, and it seemed physically not for the better, and I didn’t know why! Wasn’t I doing what I should? I had a good mostly gluten-free pescatarian diet, and took lots of supplements.
I was following my path which seemed to be meant for me. I mean, how’d I get to be massaging people?! Something I had never wanted to do. How’d I get out of the arena teaching riding lessons to very special people -- something I had never thought I’d stop doing?
My husband and best friend were there every time I needed them, through every appointment with doctors, neurologists, MRIs and a spinal tap. My skin was on fire, my brain was on fire...my body was on fire. But why? No one could answer that question. I kept going, working and trying to listen. I prayed! And then I met a girl from church, the only one to join my meet up group, for people with MS who didn’t want to sit and complain -- but rather lift each other up! She’s the one who told me about my first online summit: The Autoimmune Summit.
I listened, and listened and listened some more, because finally people are telling me why I was sick and why inflammatory foods were -- well inflammatory, and causing all my symptoms. I truly believe I could have been diagnosed with any autoimmune condition, MS just happened to be what I got on the “Spin The Wheel of Disease” board game. I believe it’s a game of chance, and we are the victims. We won’t get into who’s at fault for ruining the food supply, but I will tell you, that you have more control than you think. Self control and disciple are hard, but disease is harder. Changing my diet to a non-inflammatory diet reversed my skin issues, anxiety, depression, restless leg syndrome, numbness and tingling, and the list goes on.
People I talked to about my health journey were so amazed that the right food could have changed my health and could have empowered me to stop MS treatment! When I say I talked to people -- it’s true I could finally hold two sided conversations, because finally my brain was cool and calm, although now what wanted to explode in me were my revelations! My new knowledge was spilling over! You can’t stop me from talking about my healing and discoveries once you give me the chance to speak. Writing about it and creating a tool for others just seemed like the natural next step.
Someone like me who never wanted to work on people was meant to heal other people through my health journey. A tough girl who never wanted out of the arena -- had to get out of the arena because life was going to change. My health was going to change. Massaging people?! Yes, because MS would cause enough damage so that I couldn’t walk and ride, and be out all day in the sun, I couldn’t walk the sales floor all day at the saddlery either.
By a miracle, I was meant to heal and be strong enough to do it. The left side of my body doesn’t work so well. I can’t walk far without a limp, and I have an action tremor in my left arm. All that and I’m the toughest massage therapist around! I work on athletes 6’4 and 250 pounds, makes the ladies feel like feathers in these tough hands. I told the doctors from the beginning, that my job helps my body. I may not be able to do many hours in a day (to the disappointment of many) but by grace I can do it, and with a fierce passion.
Now I am also meant to heal through telling my story, inspiring others to follow a food protocol that heals and that can, I believe with my whole heart, prevent disease in the body. Publishing my book, The FLog JournaI was a huge leap of faith! My wish is to help people take control of their health by learning to make good food choices with food journaling.
I don’t get discouraged that damage is slow to heal, as long as I believe and know I am healing by small improvements. I WILL keep going. The tremor in my left arm has improved over the years, and I feel better than ever. That’s proof for me!
This is a list of 16 of my favorite gluten free foods from my trip to the the San Diego Nourished Festival, plus an awesome gluten free app that helps you find gluten places to eat when you are on the go. I've included links to their websites, so that if you have additional food sensitivities, you can check out their ingredients.
Find Me Gluten Free App- www.findmeglutenfree.com
Enjoy Life- Most people with food sensitivities are familiar with Enjoy Life Foods. They set up this fun "play ground" where you follow a path to gluten free treats. My favorite, of course, is their chocolate chips. www.enjoylifefoods.com
Lilac Patisserie- This bakery had the best gluten free bread I've ever tasted. The texture was moist. They are local to California, but they ship their bread anywhere in the US. Www.lilacpatisserie.com.
Rickaroons- Coconut energy bar that takes like dessert! These are amazing! Organic, certified gluten free, certified non-GMO, vegan and paleo. www.rickaroons.com
Little Northern Bakery- More delicious gluten free bread. littlenorthernbakehouse.com
Cook's Sourdough bread- It is a yummy gluten, soy and nut free, non-GMO and vegan. Check it out at Www.cooksglutenfreesourdough.com
RW Garcia- For yummy, wholesome, non- GMO, gluten free chips and crackers, try these. rwgarcia.com
Jovial Foods- Love cooking Italian? Jovial foods has everything you need, GF flour, pasta, tomato paste. The list goes on. Check them out at www.jovialfoods.com
Gem City Fine Foods- I sampled their amazing pomegranate cheese cake. They are certified gluten and nut free. Available at www.gemcityfoods.com and Amazon.com.
Kabayashi Gluten Free Ramen Rice Noodle- No MSG, vegetarian, egg free, peanut free, some flavors contain dairy. Www.kobayashiseimen.jp/english.
Farmwise Foods-I had my first onion ring in about 15 years and it was delicious! The coating was made with cauliflower. Farmwise Foods has Veggie fries, veggie tots and veggie rings. www.farmwisefoods.com
Gomacro- Organic, vegan, gluten free, nut free, kosher, non-GMO, certified RAW, certified CLEAN. Their tag line says, if there was a certified delicious, they'd gave that too, and I agree.
Amy's Chocolates- They are a perfect balance between taste and nutrition. They are non-GMO, organic, gluten, dairy, soy and nut free with no wax or fillers. They purely decadent and delicious. amyschocolate.net
Hearthy Foods- This company has every type of gluten free flour you can imagine, plus lots of other yummy treats. Check them out at hearthyfoods.com
Ocho- These are yummy organic, gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO chocolates. www.ochocandy.com
Hopkins AG Almond butter- This wasn't at the expo, but I stumbled upon it at a farmer's market. It was the best Mexican Chocolate Almond butter. You can check it out at www.hopkinsag.com
Miyoko's Cultured Vegan Butter- This is another product that wasn't at the festival, but I stumbled upon it along the way. It is an amazing butter substitute for those who have to eat dairy free. It is made with cashews, but melts like butter and tastes like butter. It is also USDA organic. www.miyokos.com
That's it for now. If you try any of the above, let me know what you think. I'll be sharing more in my newsletter, and I'm hoping to have a guest blogger tell her amazing story in a future blog.
This Year, Do What Makes You Happy
A new year is coming upon us. Some are sad to see this one go, and others are ready to leap into a new year, and have a fresh start. With a new year always comes conversations about resolutions. How successful have you been with making new year's resolutions in the past? Are you planning on making one again this year? I recently read that about 8% of the New Year's resolutions that are made are actually achieved. Maybe this is why so many have given up on making them. I think there are a lot of factors that influence or success or lack there of, including what we choose, how we go about making resolutions and working on them, and how we might inadvertently sabotage our own efforts. So, here are some things to consider when choosing a new year's resolution.
1) What makes you happy, and what do you feel really passionate about doing? Choose this for your resolution. When you feel passionate about something, you are more likely to invest your time and effort into it. Often people choose things that they feel they "should" be doing rather than what they actually want for themselves.
2) Join others who have chosen the same goal. Having social support to carry something through can increase the likelihood of achieving your goals.
3) Break your resolution down into small attainable goals. Write the goals down, check them off and celebrate their completion. When we create too much change too fast, our brain becomes stressed and resistant, so take it slow and steady, and remember to celebrate your efforts.
4) View your resolution as a journey, allow yourself the flexibility to change your pace and route as needed. If you wander off your original path, decide if you want to get back on it or if you prefer to change direction.
For more thoughts on resolutions, read my past article Savoring Life Once Again.
Also, check out my New Year, New You Program
I'm a nature loving, garden growing, foodie who loves to eat sweet treats, walk barefoot, snuggle with my dog, discover waterfalls, gaze at the stars,explore my dreams and co-create my own reality.