The Plant Based Revolution – Part 1

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Hippocrates was a brilliant man. Food can help or food can harm…which do you choose?

6-weeks ago, my husband and I went “vegan” (along with my mom, then eventually my dad too!). I say “vegan” because that word has such bad connotations, but it’s what most people know to mean, no animal products. The preferable term is “Whole Food Plant Based”, but not many people have heard of that. The difference is that “Whole Food Plant Based” is narrowing down the vegan diet to foods that are in their natural form, not highly processed and from plants. Technically, Oreos, Potato Chips and Coke are vegan, but that, of course, would not constitute a healthy diet. Oreos, Potato Chips and Coke are not whole foods and they’re all highly processed, so, they would not be a part of a WFPB diet.

I know the power of food. Suffering from migraines and eczema and actually healing my body with foods, I understand the importance of what’s on the end of your fork. What you put in your body is as important as what you leave out. Stayed tuned for future posts on my journeys to healing!

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I love research and scientific information. I love documentaries on health and nutrition. Knowledge is power and I believe in having a lot of it. So, when we came across the documentary What the Health on Netflix, I was really excited to watch it. It was shocking. Not only because we are ruining our planet by raising so much livestock, or because of the inhumane, cruel treatment of the poor animals that end up on our plates, but also because of the corruption of leading health organization, the government, Big Pharma and agribusiness. I wanted to learn more, so we binge watched more documentaries: Eating You Alive, Forks Over Knives and Vegan Everyday Stories. They all had the same basic premise: animal protein is not health promoting, corruption of our system, inhumane treatment of animals and the detrimental effects that agribusiness has on our environment. This led me to read the book, How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger, and watch videos on his website, www.nutritionfacts.org. With all of this scientifically based information, it all started making so much sense. Because of my eczema, we had already eliminated most of the animal protein we were eating. This time last year, we were having animal protein at least three times a day, then we reduced down to twice a day, then eventually, only once a day. I had researched how animal protein was acidic and inflammatory to your body, and with an inflammatory condition like eczema, I figured that cutting back was a good idea. After adding all of this new information to my knowledge toolbox, we went full-on vegan and haven’t looked back.

I also had an epiphany. Ever since I was a small child, I’ve always had a profound love of animals…any living beings, really. I’ve always been the kind of person that catches the spider in a glass, then carefully takes it outside rather than just squishing it. After witnessing the treatment these animals endure, it turned on a light bulb that really made me question why I had been eating the very beings that I so love. Like most everyone else, I was culturally and socially conditioned to not make the connection between what was on my plate and what it used to be. I felt so guilty and ashamed. The first Yama of the Yoga Sutras is ahimsa, translated as: nonviolence. Being a yoga instructor, I know this. But, by eating meat, I was condoning the violent treatment of those poor animals. It may have taken 35 years for that awareness to slap me in the face and open my eyes, but I’m certainly glad that it did. For me, there’s no turning back… I intend on fully practicing ahimsa without blinders on. I already feeling like I’m making a difference by not voting for violence with my dollars.

Of course, we’ve encountered the very common questions… “Where do you get your protein?” “Where do you get your calcium?” The same place that the biggest, strongest herbivores like cows, horses and elephants get theirs… PLANTS! Protein is found in abundance in the plant world, just like calcium. I mean, just look at these poor malnourished vegans, lol.

For us, we have loved the switch. Typically, we had a rotation of about 6 or 7 meals that we would have all of the time. Since we’ve gone plant based, I haven’t made the same thing twice! You try things you would have never tried before. It opens all of these possibilities and it’s been quite fun. I also sleep better, have more energy, my skin continues to clear, I’ve had less knee pain, and the list goes on. There’s no question that my body prefers the plant based lifestyle. We finally convinced my dad a few weeks ago to join us on this journey… He recently went through surgery to remove a massive tumor from his colon. In my studies, it has been found that animal protein and processed foods are the leading contributors to colon cancer. Luckily his tumor had not spread, so he got a second chance. We felt that he should make the most of it by taking better care of himself and not indulging in the very things that contributed to his cancer in the first place.

Plant based diets have been scientifically proven to REVERSE the number one killer in America, which is heart disease. (Check out Dr. Esselstyn) That is powerful! If simply changing your diet can prevent and reverse the leading killer in America, then you must be able to see why more organizations aren’t promoting this change. Money. Plain and simple. Doctors, hospitals, Big Pharma & health organizations don’t profit from you being healthy. They profit from sick people… If they can keep you just sick enough to keep coming back for medicine after medicine and procedures and surgeries, then they keep making their mega dollars, all the while, the cure for your ailment was probably right there in the produce department. It’s all so mind-boggling to me that our system is set up that way, but, it’s the sad truth.

I know that nutrition is so confusing. One day you’ll read that ______ is good for you. The next day you read it’s bad for you. Ahhhhh! So what do you do?!?!?!  For one, you must consider the source. If a study is funded by say, the beef industry, then of course their funded study will have favorable results. Dr. Greger put it best… He says that if all of these industries can keep you just confused enough to the point you don’t know what’s right and what’s not, then you’ll eventually just throw up your hands in frustration and decide to just do what you want to do. Most everyone will tell you that they don’t eat enough vegetables or that they know they need to eat more. Why is that? Because most everyone will agree that vegetables are what’s healthy for you. If you know that, then just eat more… it’s that simple and it might even make you feel better! What you eat now is going to affect you later in life. Why wait until you have a health problem to make a healthy change?

It is not my intention to bash anyone that eats a certain way, or to try and force anyone into my way of thinking. Each to their own… Everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do and I certainly respect that, just as I hope you respect my decision for doing what I do. My goal is simply to share my own personal experiences and knowledge I’ve obtained through research, then you may do with it what you will.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Peace & Love,

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Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.

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It’s not everyday that you see a smiley face on a water tower, but, it’s interesting how much of an impact on your day something like that can have. I don’t know about you, but, it makes me want to smile too!

I found these interesting facts on Smiling on pickthebrain.com by nursingschools.net and wanted to share them with you:


  1. Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.
  2. It boosts your immune system: Smiling really can improve your physical health, too. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
  3. Smiles are contagious: It’s not just a saying: smiling really is contagious, scientists say. In a study conducted in Sweden, people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling, and their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.
  4. Smiles Relieve Stress: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.
  5. It’s easier to smile than to frown: Scientists have discovered that your body has to work harder and use more muscles to frown than it does to smile.
  6. It’s a universal sign of happiness: While hand shakes, hugs, and bows all have varying meanings across cultures, smiling is known around the world and in all cultures as a sign of happiness and acceptance.
  7. We still smile at work: While we smile less at work than we do at home, 30% of subjects in a research study smiled five to 20 times a day, and 28% smiled over 20 times per day at the office.
  8. Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles: Just smiling can require your body to use up to 53 muscles, but some smiles only use 5 muscle movements.
  9. Babies are born with the ability to smile: Babies learn a lot of behaviors and sounds from watching the people around them, but scientists believe that all babies are born with the ability, since even blind babies smile.
  10. Smiling helps you get promoted: Smiles make a person seem more attractive, sociable and confident, and people who smile more are more likely to get a promotion.
  11. Smiles are the most easily recognizable facial expression: People can recognize smiles from up to 300 feet away, making it the most easily recognizable facial expression.
  12. Women smile more than men: Generally, women smile more than men, but when they participate in similar work or social roles, they smile the same amount. This finding leads scientists to believe that gender roles are quite flexible. Boy babies, though, do smile lessthan girl babies, who also make more eye contact.
  13. Smiles are more attractive than makeup: A research study conducted by Orbit Complete discovered that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
  14. There are 19 different types of smiles: UC-San Francisco researcher identified 19 types of smiles and put them into two categories: polite “social” smiles which engage fewer muscles, and sincere “felt” smiles that use more muscles on both sides of the face.
  15. Babies start smiling as newborns: Most doctors believe that real smiles occur when babies are awake at the age of four-to-six weeks, but babies start smiling in their sleep as soon as they’re born.

So, as you can see, there are many benefits to smiling! 🙂

Here’s your mission should you choose to accept it:  Try these tips anytime you need to turn that frown upside down!

  1. Pull up a picture on your phone, computer, etc. of someone that you love dearly and that makes you happy.
  2. Do something silly! This could mean, dance, hula hoop, run through a sprinkler…the possibilities are endless!
  3. Listen to one of your favorite songs.
  4. Make a game out of seeing how many strangers you can get to smile just by smiling at them first.
  5. Do something nice for someone else. This could be for someone you love, or a complete stranger. Buy someone a coffee, help someone carry groceries to their car, send a sweet text to a friend…

Have a bright, sunshiny day! 😀

Namaste,

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Be your own kind of beautiful.

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We are all unique. Our individual attributes, personalities & characteristics are what make each of us unmistakably beautiful. Be your own kind of beautiful and don’t try to do things to change yourself into what you think others perceive as beautiful. Just know that you are, and embrace the unique beauty that is yours and yours alone. 🙂

We tend to make a habit out of focusing solely on the outer façade of ourselves and/or others to determine beauty. The fact of the matter is that true beauty is not just skin deep. It’s also a very subjective matter. What I find beautiful about myself or someone else will most likely vary to what your perceptions are…kind of like art. Is there a specific set of guidelines to outline what beauty is? Absolutely not. That determination is a judgment that each of us make personally based on our opinions.

The easiest way to distance yourself from the idea that someone is absolutely either Beautiful orNot, is to first acknowledge the fact that: EveryoneIsBeautiful. Rather than looking at yourself in the mirror or someone in the street and making an ultimate decision, alternatively, hone in on what you do find beautiful. This also applies to situations you are in, places you go, or personal circumstances. Make it a point to seek out beauty rather than ugliness. Isn’t that a much better way to view the world? Appreciate the beauty of your neighbors kind heart, or the beautiful rainbow after the storm. Love your beautiful laugh lines, and enjoy your friends beautiful singing voice. Beauty can be found in everyone and everything! 😉

Here’s your mission should you choose to accept it:  Each day, try these 5 things to make you appreciate beauty:

  1. SMILE!
  2. For everyone you encounter, find one thing you find beautiful about that person. This includes yourself each time you look in a mirror!
  3. For every place you visit, find one thing you find beautiful about your surroundings.
  4. Listen to a song that you find absolutely beautiful.
  5. Share your beauty with someone else. That could mean visiting an old friend, making a donation to a charity you support, or complimenting a stranger.

Namaste,

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Happiness is an inside job.

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Do you ever make deals with yourself regarding happiness? Sadly, I think we are all guilty of that. “Once I get that promotion, then I’ll be happy.” “When I’m able to move into that new house, then I’ll be happy.” “Once I finish school, then I’ll be happy.”

If you notice, once those things do happen, you find something else to delay your happiness. It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle. We’re like rats in a maze trying to find our way to a happy life, but we can never seem to get there. The exciting truth is that we can be happy… today… no strings attached, no deals to be made. Happiness is something we can choose every morning when we get up!

Happiness comes from within. Material things and life experiences are not what actually MAKES us happy. It’s how we CHOOSE to REACT to those things or experiences that make us happy…or not. This applies to anything that happens in our lives. If you get ready to leave for work and realize you have a flat tire, you can either choose to let it ruin your day, or just laugh it off and have a great day anyway. The choice is yours and will always be yours. There’s no reason to delay your happiness when you can have it now. The present moment is all that is certain. The past can’t be changed…it’s over and done with. The future is not guaranteed, so there’s no point in fretting over the what if’s. Decide today that you will be happy!

Here’s your mission if you choose to accept it: The next time you find yourself compromising your happiness, or you’re feeling down & out, try these 5 things:

  1. SMILE!
  2. Think of 3 things that make you utterly happy. If your mind wanders to what is making you unhappy, bring your attention back to those 3 things.
  3. Look in the mirror and repeat to yourself: “I am in complete control of determining my emotions.”
  4. Take a brisk walk outside. Nature has a way of nurturing your soul.
  5. Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. Yes…call…no texting or Facebooking!

Namaste,

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Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from the negative.

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Our brains seemed to be wired to “survival mode” to constantly focus on the “what if’s” and attempt to plan for every possible one. This usually means thinking negatively. Have you ever noticed how one negative thought leads to another? Then, negative things start happening around you? If negativity consumes you, then where’s the room for positive? The answer is there isn’t any.

Negative energy is only going to bring more negative into your life. Having a pity party and feeling sorry for yourself is not going to suddenly makes things right in your world. The only way to do that is to distance yourself from the negative, and focus on positivity.

I’ve noticed on days when I’m super positive and think happy thoughts…lovely things happen. I hit every green light, my hubby will show up with flowers for no reason, I get a call from an old friend, I gain a new client, that cool breeze shows up just when I need it…   Positive = Positive. 🙂

When things don’t seem to be going your way, it’s best to take a breath, then look at everything that’s right and good in your life. The world is a very beautiful place if you look at it in the right way. When you exude positivity and love, it rubs off on others around you…and that’s pretty awesome. Be the reason that those around you are feeling positive today.

Your challenge should you choose to accept it: Whenever you are feeling negative today, try these 5 things to turn it around:

  1. Smile!
  2. Take 5 deep, cleansing breaths.
  3. Write down 3 things you are grateful for.
  4. Write down your negative thought(s) or feeling(s), then try to reword it in a positive way.
  5. Do something nice for someone. (This could be anything from buying a stranger a cup of coffee to sending your significant other a sweet note…anything to brighten someone else’s day!)

Namaste,

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Life is Short. Choose Love.

Does your relationship need a little pick-me-up?  Then try something new together!
The other night, my husband jokingly told me to sit on his feet and he would lift me up… He was referring to the little game that my niece and I play to see how long she can balance sitting up on my feet.  When he mentioned this, it made me think of some articles I had seen about Acroyoga. We pulled up some photos to get an idea of what kind of poses you can do, then proceeded to give it a try.
3 hours later, we were tired & sore, but, it had been SO much fun.  We laughed… A LOT! More than we have in a long time. It made me really see and appreciate his strength, and how he was concerned about making sure I didn’t get hurt.  We both had to fully trust the other and we had to work together on all aspects of our little endeavor. Not to mention it was a great workout for the both of us!
What started out as a little joke turned into an incredible bonding experience.  All I can say, is stay tuned, because I have a feeling this will be something that we continue to practice!
I challenge you and your Honey to do a little bonding by trying something together. It doesn’t have to be Acroyoga (although, it IS really fun), but something that will get your blood pumping (endorphins = happy) and that you’ve never tried together before. You could jog, take a scenic hike, lift weights, run a Mud Race, go skydiving, go ice skating, try a yoga class… Your relationship deserves the effort. What’s better than feeling deeply connected to the one you love?
“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”  -Audrey Hepburn
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