Monday, May 23, 2016
I began my journey thinking primarily of health, the planet, harming animals fewer times, with a burning question about what food really is. I began preaching organic living 20 years ago because it’s safer. I have been passionate about the purity of what goes in and on my body. What is applied soaks in. But what I have learned so far this year is stunning me and taken my journey to another whole level.
Most of my family has been killed off by cancer. I lost my dad before I was 18. Mother passed in 2015, a brother in 2014 and currently I have 2 family members who are terminal (a brother and cousin). All of my people were meat eaters, who did not embrace an organic diet. Then I was laid off at my job of 26 years where I was a project manager. It’s been a perfect storm. With what I knew already, coupled with the deaths of loved ones, and time to study, this solidified my goal of a preemptive strike. I am asking you to walk with me and then help others take the blinders off that Agribusiness and Corporate America wants to keep tightly in place. All of us deserve to live our best life, with abundance on all levels.
The Planet – We have harmed her greatly. We have polluted the air, our water, and soil with the way we do our business, all the chemicals, hormone disruptors, toxins. There seems no end to it. Pesticides, like DDT, began as chemical warfare. After the war, corporations had surplus and wanted to find a use and profit. We didn’t even know how DDT worked when we began using it as a pesticide spread far and wide on our crops to kill off good and bad bugs and while this toxin was banned decades ago, it is something that will always be here as it takes so very long to break down. DDT is in all US soils which means it is also in the bones of our beef who dine on grasses. (What cows really eat, they do not actually eat corn and their bodies don’t process corn well at all. This is a forced cruelty perpetrated by the meat industry to fatten the cows cheaply.) We no longer rotate crops and rest our soil. Because of this and CAFOS, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, otherwise known as Factory Farms, with our addictions to meat, to beef and the dairy industry, we have soil erosion. It takes 40 bowls of spinach to equal the iron content of 1 bowl of spinach from 1950. We have depleted our soil of nutrients. If you are buying your lettuce from the grocery store, you should be aware. Because of Corporate choices in the way business was conducted and continues to unfold there is not only less nutrition in our vegetables (although Organic is higher and better) there is no absolute safe haven from toxins. You and I share what is known as a body burden because of this. For those not already vegan, try adopting a more plant based diet where meat and dairy is consumed not more than 2 days a week. When you do shop, buy local and organic from known farms so you understand the quality and how the animals are treated. But I encourage a visit. It can be quite eye opening. After a long search for the holy grail of animal kindness in the meat and dairy culture, it turned me vegan.
Health – The oil and gas industry, Monsanto and GMO and pesticides all contribute to our body burden, which is the level of toxins our bodies cannot get rid of, that are tucked away someplace in our fat cells, in an attempt by our bodies to continue existence. Our body is an amazingly resilient self-healing machine, capable of fighting off numerous diseases, even cancer. Cancer is simply a mutated cell and a healthy body fights it every day. When our immune system gets tired, the system breaks down and we begin to fail. It is paramount that we detox daily, exercise to flush out toxic waste and minimize the chemicals we put in and on our bodies.
Food - Many animals are taught by their elders how to hunt and what is food to them. Otherwise, they would not know. This accounts for why some Whale Pods will either prey on fishes or marine mammals, but not both. Some even kill moose and sea birds. These skills are taught by the parents and become the pods culture that is passed on to the next generation. We are a product of our environment and how we were raised. I recently met a vegan who had been raised in the vegan lifestyle. He had never tasted meat. I was a bit envious that I had not been raised similarly. I remember my family giving me treats for eating my meat, which I did not want to consume as a small child. It turns out, I was onto something. What is food to us is by our culture. But our bodies are set up, from our teeth, our jaw design, down to our digestive tract, to eat plants, vegetables. I advocate growing your own organic vegetables and herbs wherever possible. This can be on a patio or a window sill. Buy organic when you shop. Every day we support companies and their decisions, with our dollars.
Harming Animals – Everyone can google search these days, so go do that. It is shocking how we treat our food. I always had felt our food should be honored and kept safe from harm, both plant and animal. Films like Food Inc. were eye openers for me and fueled my drive toward organic farms. Factory farming methods are the most inhumane of the bunch and should absolutely be shunned. To buy from them, perpetuates untold suffering for both them and us, as we consume that unhealthy, unsanitary meat and dairy. There are many things I could say here and all of them would turn your stomach. I leave you to your google searches where folks have worked undercover at these places and provided snapshots of what takes place.
Is there a kinder killing? The flat answer is that we are taking animals with their own thoughts, goals and awareness, who do not want to die, who see their buddies go before them, are so scared, want out, badly, but cannot do anything but march forward. I watched a cow desperately try to walk backwards, turn around, get away from death, before finally bowing his head in despair to the reality that he was next. Even organic meat is not in our best interest health wise. Meats and animal fat hold the highest levels of toxins. When we eat animals we consume those chemicals too. The truth is that we don’t have to consume meat to live a robust and healthy life and doing so is actually shortening our life and putting us in the clutches of heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer. I urge you toward a compassionate diet, one that will extend your vitality and years of great health.
The Hippocrates Diet – The Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI) is a vegan diet, with at least 80% of consumed foods being raw. If you are healthy, 20% may be cooked. Enzymes and oxygen are in all raw food. Yes you actually eat oxygen, not just breath it! Vitamins require Oxygen and Enzymes for utilization. Cooked food is depleted of Oxygen and enzymes. Digestion is the #1 thing. If you lack enzymes from your food, your body will borrow it from other places (not good). Due to soil erosion, and the toxins in our environment, there is a huge focus on sprouts and wheatgrass juicing.
Alternative Lifestyle Consultant- What I do is help clients shift to a vegan or more plant based diet. I help them with best products, juicer, sprouters, blenders, food processors, to set their kitchen up with to make it easy as possible. I realize that a lot of us travel or for other reasons, may not be able to sprout their foods on a consistent basis. This is why I became an independent rep for Miessence.
Miessence – Body Tonics & Skincare/Body care – It is vital that what we apply on our skin be pure, be free of pesticides and other toxins. The way we guarantee this is by buying organic. Fantastic skincare you can feel good about is just the beginning. The superfoods, what I call Body Tonics, are great for on the go, or for those folks who cannot sprout their wheatgrass at home on a regular basis. Cancer doesn’t like an alkalized environment. Deep Green alkalizes our body with algae and grasses. Probiotics increase the body’s enzyme production. And Antioxidants help us repair and fight off daily onslaughts from the air we breath, the water we drink (get a purifier) and the (organic) foods we eat.
No matter how cleanly you choose to live, you need to daily detox because the body burden is there. It takes a full 7 years of this diet to eradicate most of the body burden. Some of it is always going to be with you, but I encourage you to take steps now toward a brighter, enlivened future!
Suzanne O’Brien – PureTemple Ph 214-334-8517
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Whether you crashed before getting the job done, as my cat Tiger did here in this photo, or knocked it all out beautifully but still didn't get credit, we've all been there. You feel like you failed and not just yourself but everybody else involved in your life perhaps. How do you climb back out of this doldrums? A friend reached out to me earlier because they were just fired after working diligently for the last 6 years. Whether you lost a client, lost a project or lost your job, it sucks to be you right now. But please understand this is temporary and you are going to move onward and upward to something far better! It's just time for some re-tooling.
An Opportunity in Failing
Whatever your fail, know that failing provides us new growth opportunities. Find some quiet time to sort through what happened and your part in what took place. Taking ownership for any actions on your part that landed you in the fail zone just helps you learn and do better next time. If you look back and see that you did everything flawlessly but still things went awry, then you are just in the wrong situation. Perhaps a change of people, circumstances or organizations is in order.
Drama can be very addictive. Before long, you just live drama and believe it's normal but it is not. What is normal is peace at your center. Daily, we tell others how we want to be treated by what we accept. Who you were last year, last week or even last minute may not be who you are right now because we all have that amazing power to grow and change. We may not control others, but we sure can control how we think, feel and act. And we can reset our boundaries that range anyplace from what we work for on an hourly basis to who is at the forefront of our lives, who sits balcony row and who is curbside.
Take Control of Chaos
The first step to minimize drama is reducing chaos. Clear clutter, clean your home, your car out, maintain your stuff. When you look around at a clean car, a clean home with things you love that are clearly well cared for, that has a strong impact on you and that impact hits everytime you cross the threshold, grab a drink and sit on the sofa. Make your spaces inviting to you. This conveys pride in a healthy way and will help boost your self worth if that is flagging.
Finding Your Super PowerAnalyze the past for wins and losses but don't get too hung up on your history of fails. Instead, try to focus on your history of wins. What were the intrinsic qualities you possess that was the catalyst in all of your successes? I'll give you an example from my life. I have tenacity coupled with a strong grasp of what is right and what is wrong, or fairness. I once accepted a position that turned out to be very different than what I thought, and I quickly realized that, no, actually did not have the knowledge base I truly thought I had, to be in the position I now found myself in. I called upon my super powers. In spite of fear, not knowing the buzzwords, the work, the tools, I was tenacious and I had a strong desire to get it done for my client and get it done right and timely. I wowed management that year and I learned a whole lot.
Reallocating your Super Power
Mentors and Good People
So now that you know what your super power is or super powers are, look for ways you can take those skills and re apply them elsewhere in your life for a win.
Surround yourself with people who care about you and are a positive influence. When you have suffered a failure, the last thing you need is a Debbie Downer telling you how life is cruel. True, life is a mean thang sometimes, to be sure, but it is also filled to the brim with glorious fabulousness. Hanging with the right crowd will help you bounce back faster.
Job Loss Help - If you've recently been laid off or fired, I've included a helpful links below but while you sort through all of the stages of grief, and some all over the map feelings, know that there are reasons for everything, even if we don't yet know why they happened.
Monday, May 2, 2016
Sprouts are an abundant source of vitamins, minerals, oxygen and protein. I recently learned that we need to eat our oxygen not just breath it. Living foods, such as sprouts, are abundant with it! With our factory farming methods and soil erosion, sprouts should be a good part of your diet these days and with so many seed blends available, they are tasty and easy peasy.
Converting to a plant based diet, I find sprouts to be expensive and hard to find at the store because I can make a salad that uses an entire bunch at a time. So I researched and found the very best way to grow them in my kitchen and am very excited to share this with you! Rather than jars or planting them in soil which would both require more effort from me when I am really busy with other projects, I wanted something simple where I would not need to keep monitoring them, spraying them throughout the day etc. En voila, I located the iPlant. Click on the iPlant picture to take you to Amazon, the best place, best price to buy it!
The iPlant comes in colour choices, so for fun, I got the hot orange. But you can go green or mod white if you prefer. Set up is so easy. Your iPlant will come either double decker or single deck depending on how you order it. Each deck has 2 seed trays so a double decker will give you a total of 4 trays and that also means you have 4 growing options too. Maybe you want a mix of seeds in one tray, just broccoli sprouts in another tray, spicy Radish seeds for another, then this set up provides you this flexibility. If you plan to be a sproutaholic, as I am now, you will want to just go ahead and order the double decker and also an extra set of seed trays too, that I ended up ordering a few weeks after getting my iPlant, so that I could keep a constant rotation of sprouts going and not run out.
Here are the steps to growing:
1) follow all the directions provided but you basically soak your seeds in their trays and overnite is best.
2) Place water between the low and max line in your iPlant. I typically put just a hair over the minimum in mine at home.
3) After an overnight soak, place the trays into your iPlant, with the water level good and plug it in after you have it all together with the lid on.
The iPlant will periodically water your seedlings and keep the temperature perfect. Once your seedlings are sprouted and perhaps an inch or 2 or so, take them out, and rinse them very well while they are still in the trays. Place some paper towels down on your counter and pull the washed sprouts out of the mesh seed tray and pile them onto the paper towels. Pat them firmly but gently dry and then either put in in a baggie with a paper towel to shore up moisture or you can buy a hemp sprout bag to store them in. They last a week in the fridge, use them swiftly for the most benefit and freshness.
Cleaning the trays - After pulling out the sprouts, I gently scrub the mesh with a vegetable brush. I also soak them a while in soapy water and periodically soak them in hot water with a bit of bleach.
A recipe I love, other than of course tossing them into salads, on sandwiches, on top of stir frys, is to put a bunch of sprouts in a bowl, toss in a sprinkle of Mirin which is Asian sweet Saki that you can get in the Asian section of most any store, and a sprinkle of toasted Sesame oil. YUMMO!!!
Feel free to comment here with any question, suggestions on recipes etc.