As a peaceful warrior, I would choose when, where and how I would behave.
With that commitment, I began to live the life of a warrior.
~Dan Millman

Monday, April 30, 2007

Plastic Brains: The Latest Health Craze?
A quick tip from RealAge.

When you hear the word "plastic," you might think of Tupperware, Barbie dolls, and smooth-skinned celebrities. But plastic isn't a bad word, neurologically speaking. Brain plasticity is how scientists describe your brain's ability to reorganize neural pathways as a result of new experiences. This is incredibly important when it comes to your health and aging. It is truly a miracle of the human body.

In plainer terms, a plastic brain will learn -- and retain and use -- information better. So what's the price of plastic? About the cost of a pair of walking shoes. People who are fit have more plastic brains.

Get in step and you'll boost circulation in all parts of your body, including your brain. That's probably why the folks who walked regularly in a recent study were able to focus better on a task, compared to the people who performed only stretching and toning exercises. Walking is so good for your brain that it may lower your risk of dementia as you get older. In fact, walking may be just about the best thing you can do for your overall well-being. Walking can:

Grab at least 30 minutes a day and you'll also help keep your weight in check, boost your energy and stamina levels, and probably handle stress better, too. It's pretty hard to come up with an excuse when you see the laundry list of health benefits, isn't it?

Here's to the only plastic that I recommend! Whatever you do for 30 minutes...Enjoy!~j

Monday, April 23, 2007

"In the Midst of movement and chaos,
keep stillness inside of you."
~Deepak Chopra

Okay gang! Just came across a great tip on the Sundance Channel's new series, The Green, on tv.

Every Tuesday night, they are running a documentary called Big Ideas for a Small Planet. It's just great stuff. Check it out. Fab, fun people, making you laugh as they explain how we need to change to save the world.

I like that - a little freak out, peppered with a lot of humor. Case in point - a quote from the inaugural episode:

"I feel as if we are in a giant car, heading into a brick wall at a hundred miles an hour, and everybody in the car is arguing about where they want to sit. It doesn't matter who's driving. Someone's gotta say 'For heaven's sakes, put the brakes on and turn the wheel.' A few of us are saying that... but we're locked in the trunk." - David Suzuki
Seriously - Tuesday nights.
Give it a go...

Tip from - very cool, very fun...lots of good green energy!

Tipping well! ~j

Get to know where your food comes from. Bottom line!
Two great articles. Again, I am not saying be fanatical, I am saying do what you can when you can.
With knowledge and the power of choice! ~j

Sunday, April 22, 2007

May you be praised, my Lord,
for our sister, mother earth,
who sustains us,
producing good green plants.
~Saint Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Courage is not the absence of fear,
but rather the judgment
that something else is more important than fear.
~Ambrose Redmoon
This completely fit! And I was compelled to share this message.
We are all magnificent in our own perfect way. Fear often squelches our dreams and our lives. Fear of the unknown, fear or change, fear of failure. And in a moment of fear when you do the thing that you did not think you could do, it is usually because something greater is at stake. At that moment you know you have to act, courage must overcome the fear or the consequences could be grave.
When is your moment? What moment is it that will change your life? Will it be a life and death situation? An intense drama? Or is it as simple (but not easy) as an aha moment. Your epiphany. Really, take more than a minute to think about it. You have been blessed with something amazing that is unique to only you. Whatever gift has been given to you, share it with the world and turn it into action. What is the thing that makes your heart skip a beat, quicken your pulse and open your eyes wide.
Follow it, share it, enjoy it. People will usually think you are crazy when you follow your bliss, that often means you are on the right track! Find the warrior inside of you that is passionate to fight for your dreams. If you are lucky and find someone who gives you a high five...take it and smile...
Hand held high! ~j

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spinach and Lentil Salad With Toasted Walnuts

Toasted walnuts give this spinach salad some extra crunch! Top this dish with a homemade red wine vinaigrette for a tasty, tangy kick.

START TO FINISH: 30 minutes MAKES: 4 servings

1 cup water
1/2 cup brown or French lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
6 cups torn spinach or mixed salad greens
12 ounces cooked chicken breast, sliced
red wine vinaigrette & extra virgin olive oil dressing

1. In a small saucepan combine the water and lentils. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Drain lentils and place in a medium bowl. Stir in bell pepper, green onions, parsley, and walnuts.

2. Divide spinach among 4 serving plates. Top with lentil mixture and chicken. Drizzle with red wine vinaigrette.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 341 cal., 14 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 72 mg chol., 166 mg sodium, 19 g carbo., 10 g fiber, 36 g pro.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Where the will of God leads you,
the grace of God will keep you.

I thought this was a nice reflection for today. Sometimes we think that we are in total control. Well, we do have free will, but ultimate control? For many that is a lifetime of contemplation, study and/or the 'on the road, take the off ramp for a break' approach. Some know in the depths of their soul what their purpose is here and others discover it along the way. I am always brought back to the discussion around the human experience. It isn't what happens to you in life, it is what you do with what happens.

Have a wonderful day, whatever comes your way! ~j

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's time for spring clean-up...inside your body especially!

Enjoying the balance! ~j


According to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) analysis of data from over 43,000 tests on pesticides in conventional produce, over 90% of ingestion of pesticides in foods can be eliminated by avoiding the most contaminated foods.

The "Dirty Dozen" most contaminated foods are peaches (97 percent tested positive for residue), apples (92 percent tested positive), sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes.

The "Consistently Clean" are onions (90 percent tested negative), avocados (90 percent), sweet corn (90 percent), pineapples, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papaya.

"Federal produce tests tell us that some fruits and vegetables are so likely to be contaminated with pesticides that you should always buy them organic. Others are so consistently clean that you can eat them with less concern." Says EWG Senior Vice President Richard Wiles.

Download your wallet-sized shopper's guide here:

Monday, April 09, 2007

This information is a little scary to me. I often talk about being aware...and I feel as though my eyes are still opening for the first time! ~j

ps. Remember...I am not saying to buy into an article here or there and get all freaked out. No one can make productive choices that way... I am saying, might be a good idea to take a few minutes to find out what this means. I am pretty well convinced that we have little or no privacy already when it comes to the government, but tamper with my food sources or options for immediate choice and I get a little antsy! Have a great day gang!

Here is info on the National I.D. card.....only one year away!!! Montana,Nevada, and Maine (soon to be Hawaii) have stated that they will not comply with this.
Please note that item # 9 ( (9) A common machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements.")has now been updated to RFID chips. So, the national I.D. card will have a radio chip placed in it that allows you to be tracked and identified for every purchase you make, every place you go, and more.
US National ID Cards by May 2008 - article the Jones Report

"Man is made or unmade by himself.
In the armory of thought
he forges the weapons
by which he destroys himself.
He also fashions the tools
with which he builds for himself
heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace."
~James Allen
Busy busy today. Here is an article that I think reflects important points to ponder when you think about breakfast choices. ~j

Power Breakfast -- Healthy Breakfast at the Root of a Healthy Day

Power Breakfast
I seem to have a daily fight with my teenage daughter about eating a good breakfast. She goes for the carbs, and I push the protein. However, if you don't like eggs, the remaining standard breakfast fare includes dairy products (allergenic for many) or bacon and other breakfast meats. If breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, shouldn't we select what we eat more carefully? And what exactly are the proven benefits of eating breakfast in the first place?
"There's an old saying that goes 'Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper,'" said nutritionist and weight-loss coach Jonny Bowden, CNS. "But most of us do the opposite." According to Bowden, this is exactly the wrong way to eat if we're trying to lose weight. It also works against us if we're trying to keep our energy up during the day and our performance level high. "Remember, you've just completed eight hours without food," he told me. "You're literally breaking a fast. Your body is craving nourishment, and your brain needs glucose to function at its best. Skipping breakfast is one of the worst possible things you can do. You set yourself up for disaster in a number of different ways later in the day."

Indeed, the research points that way. Between 35% and 40% of all Americans skip breakfast, and many kids leave for school without it. The implications are dramatic, both physically and mentally (more on that in a moment). "People who skip breakfast are more than four times as likely to be obese than people who eat something in the morning," Bowden informed me.
Then there's performance. "Numerous studies over the years have shown that skipping breakfast impacts the behavior and mental performance of school kids," Bowden said. "Kids who eat breakfast have better memory, and higher math and reading scores. And kids who are hungry have a large number of behavior problems, including fighting, stealing, having difficulty with teachers and not acknowledging rules."

Additionally, people who eat breakfast are far more likely to get a healthy intake of vitamins and minerals than those who don't. In one study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found that people who ate a hearty breakfast containing more than one-quarter of their daily calories had a higher intake of essential vitamins and minerals and lower serum cholesterol levels to boot. Sounds weird, doesn't it? Getting adequate and sufficient nutrients when your body needs them is the best way to maintain optimal body function.

So what constitutes a good breakfast? Is it the high-carb, low-fat "Breakfast of Champions" that was so in vogue several decades ago? Or is it a plate piled high with meat and bacon minus the bread and potatoes à la "Robert Atkins"?

"Higher protein breakfasts translate into a more sustained level of energy throughout the morning and possibly the day," Bowden told me. "Protein fills you up longer, and you're less likely to have midmorning cravings. You're also less likely to overeat at lunch." And higher protein at breakfast may increase metabolism, helping you to maintain a healthy weight. "In one study, a high-protein breakfast increased the metabolism of healthy young women by a shocking 100%," Bowden said.

"There are definite advantages to higher protein intakes in the morning," Bowden continued, "but that doesn't mean 10,000 calories of bacon."

  • Eggs. "I think eggs are one of nature's perfect food sources," he told me. "They are loaded with protein and other nutrients such as phosphatidyl choline for the brain and heart." A Bowden breakfast favorite: Scramble some eggs with spinach and sliced apples in some coconut oil, and season with turmeric and lemon pepper. "It's loaded with protein and nutrients for the eyes, like lutein and zeaxanthin," he explained. "Plus the turmeric is one of nature's great anti-inflammatories." (Note: Bowden strongly recommends free-range eggs -- from hens that had access to the outdoors where they could run around and eat more natural food, which changes the fat content and nutrition of their meat and eggs.)

  • Yogurt that contains active cultures. "One of my favorite quick breakfasts is yogurt with nuts and red or purple grapes," Bowden said. "I always use goat's or sheep's milk yogurt because it's less likely to have hormones in it and has a better nutrient balance. Then I sprinkle on some walnuts or almonds or pecans."

  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich. "If you're someone who can tolerate grains," said Bowden, "buy a good whole-grain bread, preferably sprouted grain, take one slice and make a 'half sandwich' using natural, unsweetened peanut or almond butter, a banana and, if you like, a dollop of yogurt on top."

  • Shakes and Smoothies. "You can make a nutritious shake using water, protein mixes and frozen fruit and/or berries, with a little cranberry or pomegranate juice. Or almond or rice milk. Throw in a handful of raw oats for texture -- it tastes much better than it sounds. Experiment. Peanut butter is another great add-in."

  • Muesli or granola cereal. Add nuts, berries or sliced apples, and flaked coconut. You can also use raw cold-pressed honey or blackstrap molasses if you like."

Friday, April 06, 2007

"Be aware of images you create about yourself
when you speak to others."
~Sanaja Roman

Too Skinny to Be Fat?

True or false: You can have a normal weight and BMI (body mass index) and still be "obese." It's true. Even if you're no bigger than a minute, you could still be at risk for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome if your fat mass is greater than 30 percent of your body weight. It's called "normal-weight obese syndrome."
Check your BMI here:

Overall weight and BMI are a good start when estimating health risks, but they don't tell the whole story. (Please be aware of this! You need to look at all of the factors!) What's more important is how much fat you have relative to your overall weight and where that fat is on your body.

The higher your percentage of fat mass -- and the more fat you have bunched around your middle -- the more proinflammatory cytokines you have racing around in your blood.

What's so bad about that, you ask? These chemicals signal inflammation, and the more inflammation you have in your body, the greater your health risks. Cytokines also affect the way your body uses insulin and contribute to hardening of the arteries. Once the inflammation ball gets rolling, your risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome go up. Which helps explain, in part, why skinny people can still get heart disease and may pack on pounds after a certain age. Also why allergies, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions are on the rise.

To lower your risk, use the triple threat:
cardiovascular exercise, weight training, and a balanced diet.

What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical conditions that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It is a very common and dangerous medical problem.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of 3 or more of the following health conditions:

  • excess weight around the waist (waist measurement of more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women)
  • triglycerides blood level of 150 mg/dL or more
  • HDL cholesterol levels below 40 mg/dL for men and below 50 mg/dL for women
  • blood pressure of 130/85 mm HG or higher
  • prediabetes (a fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125) or diabetes (a fasting blood sugar level over 125 mg/dL).

Other terms used for metabolic syndrome are insulin resistance syndrome and syndrome X.

Gang! This is really big. Many people are walking around at risk and have no idea. It is easy to find out what is going on and how to make the best choices for health. Be aware. A simple annual blood test. A few calculations and you are informed! You don't even have to go through your dr for the, comprehensive wellness package will tell you volumes about your health status. Have someone read the results functionally or call me and I'll do it. It's too easy not to check in at least once a year.

Educating and informing today!! ~j

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Today's Tip

Cage-free eggs and free-range eggs are not the same. As far as the USDA is concerned, all eggs are "natural" so buyer beware.

Cage-free means the chickens are out of a small cage and into a big cage with no outdoor access to grass and insects.

Free-range means the chickens do have access to the outdoors. Be sure what they eat is organic. You may want to ask the source how long they are allowed to be outdoors (the longer the better).

Also, remember, healthy eggs do not cause cholesterol problems. Sugar and excess refined starches do.
Eggcellent!! ~j

source - price pottenger foundation

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"Every spirit builds itself a house,
and beyond its house a world,
and beyond its world a heaven."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tomb filled with gold jewelry, coins unearthed in Greece

I am often fascinated by the ancients. Holding on to treasures to take with them to the next life. And many other rituals of their time. Strong, deep beliefs, those that life often hinged on. It is amazing to read of these discoveries in our world today. Enjoy a moment of reflection on a time when life was distinctly different, however...very similar.

With spirit, old and new...~j

PS. not completely unrelated is a book I have recently finished, Magic into Science, the Story of Paracelsus by Henry M Pachter. Fascinating! A curious and contradictory figure of the Renaissance period, physician, scientist, healer and alchemist...just in case anyone is interested in this kind of historical information on medicine & psychiatry ;-)

Whoa...deep thoughts~

Monday, April 02, 2007

"Once we believe in ourselves,
we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight,
or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
~ E.E. Cummings

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Do or do not. There is no try.
'The Empire Strikes Back'

Okay gang! This completely applies to your nutrition as well. When you decide to make healthier food choices, just do it! You will be so glad that you did.

Now, I am not saying to do it all at once. But take it one step at a time and take each step with confidence and completely. You may need a little supplementation to give you a boost, a little direction on how to choose clean, nutrient dense foods or just a basic plan of action to get started.

Doing it! ~j