It’s hard not to be grateful this time of year when I can reflect and count my many blessings that have been bestowed upon me in my life. My forever, adoring husband Ken, my dazzling and brilliant daughter, Erinn; her dashing boyfriend Mike; his wonderful family; my warm and loveable home; my spicy and HOT mom, Colleen; and my beautiful sister, Shannon; her wonderful husband, Peter and their two uber-amazing kids, Connor and Lizzie-Loo-Hoo. I have my health, my undying passion (that no one can take away), my business called LettuceLove Cafe and (soon to be NEW bakery location) Kelly’s Bake Shoppe. to share my love of food and people and my genuine concern for the health and direction of the population on this planet…..we live in such a fascinating day and age of opportunity and I’m so fortunate to have been given this platform to reveal the health choices and life-changing options we all have in our life.
Almost everyone makes New Year’s resolutions. It is a way to begin anew and leave old skeletons behind. Yet, isn’t it funny that by February each year, many well-intentioned attempts to make changes in one’s life get quickly forgotten with hardly a glance back in time.
Why are so many well-intentioned resolutions never fulfilled?
Life happens. That’s really it. Sometimes we make too big of a commitment about a resolution that overwhelms us and is too difficult to accomplish and gives us every reason to give up and fall off the wagon. If individuals choose goals that are more easily attained on a daily basis, the success rate for New Year’s resolutions may improve along with the quality of life. Keep it simple and attainable, no pressure…. just accept yourself fully and move forward with the excitement of something new. I’ve included some potential resolutions you could work on for 2012. Try to think about one or more of these new ideas in your life. Any one of them will be sure to change the way to look at things again.
I know it’s January 5th and I’m a little late out the gate to share this with you but I was out of town and had the chance to feel and write about what was important this year. It’s not about just losing weight or finally quitting smoking or even cutting back on your red wine consumption (yup, very hard to do). These are life changers for sure, but I’m talking about connecting on another level like really changing your foundation that YOU have been built on. Recreate your spirit and mind. A change that will filter down into your kids and be absorbed by your partner/husband/wife, your boss will eat it up and so will all your friends and other family members. It’s about being content and happier. Make a decision to be joyful. Make a decision to put YOU first. Decide to be the most important person in your life. Only YOU can do that for you.
There is so many things we should be grateful for, like our warm bed, choice of healthy food, abundant clean water, being able to communicate in a literate society, being safe and warm on a cold day winter’s day……how about being grateful for waking up in the morning – that is always a good place to start too.
I want to add more to this thought about being happy with your life and I feel that it is so much more difficult to be grateful if life is physically and mentally painful every day. I know I may sound like I’m heading out to left field here but I really think that if our focus was making our bodies and minds healthy and happy on the inside, it couldn’t help but radiate out toward the outside. You’d be walking around like a glowing tomato or a beaming leaf of radiant kale or something like that. We all want to glow; we want what those ‘happy people’ have. What is it? Contentment, deep love for one another and ourselves, deep connection to the spiritual side of life and accept what is. It comes from within…..and if you aren’t eating well ……you can never be well. (Simple enough)
My thoughts for 2012……
1. Avoid MSG and Artificial Sweeteners. Crazy important!!
These deceptive hidden ‘killers’ certainly make food taste better but at what cost?? These are neurotoxins that do not do anything to contribute to your health in any positive way. They manifest many disease conditions such as cognitive and neurological disorders and dysfunctions, cancers, pancreatic and insulin disorders too. They contribute to ADHD and Autism and the list goes on and on. What I find is that the more ‘processed foods’ people eat, the more they are inclined to suffer from these ailments. Kids are especially prone as they are growing quickly and any kind of arificial harmful chemical and wreak havoc on brain and nervous system development (See my post about Excitotoxins here) Excitotoxins and Nitrites. Think WHOLE unprocessed foods and have fun in the kitchen making your own food!
2. Avoid GMO Foods. Why would you want to eat them?
Foods that are genetically modified are done so at the expense of life-building nutrients and a healthful environment. Genetically modified crops destroy the ground in which they’re grown, damage natural environmental life cycles and cause a variety of nutritional deficiencies and digestive disorders. Our genes are weakening and mutating to accommodate GMO nutrition and therefore we end up having stressed bodies and we pass these weaknesses on to our children. The most common GMO crops are corn and soy, but all foods can be GMO so be vigilant and look for your organic options in your produce section. It does make a difference.
3. Buy and Eat Local.
There is no greater statement than this…. kind to your body and to the planet and to your local economy. Supporting local growers and artisans supports the community in which you live. Locally grown food can be produced on smaller farms, providing positive support for sustainability. It’s so much fun going to farmer’s markets!!!
4. Eat Organic.
Eating organic foods provides natural nutrients to sustain life and build healthy immune systems. Organic food is real food, without additional chemicals or foreign genes added to alter its makeup. Integrate organic foods into your diet throughout the year until it becomes a primary eating style.
5. “Go Vegan” one day a week.
This is such an awesome thing to do!! In 2007 the World Cancer Research Fund report recommended limiting the consumption of red meats such as beef, pork ad lamb because of a ‘convincing’ link with colorectal cancer. Links have also been found between high meat diets and obesity and heart disease. Reducing the antibiotics, saturated fats, casein, hormones, etc., from one’s diet is move in the right direction. My recommendation is to go meat-free (and yes, that includes dairy) for two weeks and feel and see the results, but we are talking realistic ideas here and for most, two weeks can sound daunting so this is about keeping our commitments, right? One day a week, anyone can do so let’s get busy. I have recipe ideas here on my blog and also, I can provide resources/book ideas for meal creation. This is not hard I promise.
The rewards are HUGE and just by doing this for one day, your sleep, digestion, skin, and mental clarity (just to mention a few) can all see improvement.
Try Meat-less Monday (they have tons of ideas) Meatless Mondays
The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine does a great job promoting their 21 day Vegan Challenge. I encourage everyone to check this site out. There is so much to learn on it.
6. Use only Natural Medicine
Avoiding pharmaceutical drugs can shed more light on real health. In 2012 try to venture out of comfort zones and seek more alternative approaches to health care. Many health problems can be treated with natural medicine with outstanding results, healthier outcomes and funny enough, lower cost to the consumer. When you eat more fresh organic vegetable and fruit, you also get more naturally occurring vitamins and minerals – so keep up the good work! Also, nothing beats getting a half hour of sun a day…. powerful Vitamin D is a cure-all (funny enough, it’s really a hormone that is produced in the skin when the sun’s rays are upon us and is essential to ‘life’- I’ll be writng much more about this in the next few weeks).
Every morning when I wake up, I have my journal beside my bed. I reflect on my life for a few minutes and begin to write what I grateful for. My husband and having him beside my every morning when I wake up, my beautiful daughter who is also my best friend, that she is in a great relationship, my cozy bed, my eyes so that I can see this beautiful world, the brilliant animals we share this planet with, my funny mom, my dad who has always guided me and is still doing so as my ‘Guardian Angel’ now, my desire to help people, my cooking and baking skills, I’m grateful for the people I have helped already……I can go on forever. To appreciate what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have provides grounding, shifts the mind’s focus and creates a sense of satisfaction and contentment with one’s life. You visualize and feel uplifted in that moment of writing and stay more centred through the day with these loving thoughts. Try it and see what happens!!
8. This is the BEST!!….Smile More Often!!!
A smile is a ball of light moving between people, leaving a mark of happiness on both the “smile-er” and the “smile-ee”. Smiling connects people from the heart without words, and its effects linger for much longer than it takes to create a smile. Smiling relieves stress, boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure and releases endorphins that act as natural painkillers. Go for it!!! It’s a win-win for everyone.
Let’s have our best YEAR ever and make EVERY day count. This is your life to live, no one else can do this for you, and I want you all to live it the best way you possibly can.
Happy New Year to you all,