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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Know Your Numbers

Awareness is key. You can check your bp in almost any pharmacy for no cost. It's worth knowing where you stand :-) ~j

Your doctor may have told you that your blood pressure is too high. Maybe put you on a medication to help reduce it, or simply told you to reduce the stress in your life. No matter what you are doing to manage your blood pressure, it's important to know where you stand and what levels of blood pressure are considered optimal.

Both of your numbers (systolic and diastolic) do matter. For optimal health, you want both numbers to be within a certain range. If one number is high and the other is considered healthy, you still have high blood pressure and its associated risks. Remember that systolic blood pressure is the top number and diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number in your ratio (i.e. 120/80).The following chart will help you recognize the differences between optimal and high (hypertensive) blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Categories for Adults (measured in mm Hg)

Category Systolic
Optimal <> and <>
Normal <> and <>
High-Normal 130-139 or 85-89
High (Stage 1) 140-159 or 90-99
High (Stage 2) 160-179 or 100-109
High (Stage 3) > 180 or > 110

Only a medical professional can truly assess your risk and provide proper diagnosis and medical advice. To lower your blood pressure, talk to your doctor first. Together you can start a treatment plan that will probably include lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes and exercise, stress reduction.

No matter where you lie on the chart above, you may find it comforting to know that even small reductions in blood pressure can have a big impact on your health. Lowering your blood pressure by just 12 to 13 points can lower your risk of heart attack by 20 percent; stroke by 37 percent and cardiovascular death by 25 percent.
The CIA Recruits Spies on the Radio

Really? I am not so sure I know what this means these days...

Monday, March 30, 2009

7-Minute Sautéed Crimini Mushrooms

Enjoy this easy-to-prepare recipe for a tasty complement to many of your favorite dishes. You will be enjoying a rich source of selenium, B12 and copper along with the great flavor of crimini mushrooms. 7-Minute Sautéed Crimini Mushrooms

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 1 lb medium crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 TBS low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Optional: sliced onions

  • Mediterranean Dressing
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop or press garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting properties.
  2. Heat 3 TBS broth over medium heat in a stainless steel skillet.
  3. When broth begins to steam, add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes. they will release liquid as they cook, but crimini mushroom are not as watery as other button mushrooms, so it is best to stir constantly for the last 4 minutes. Liquid will evaporate, and mushrooms will become golden brown but not burned.
  4. Transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss crimini mushrooms with the remaining ingredients while they are still hot. The Mediterranean Dressing does not need to be made separately.
Serves 2

Healthy Cooking Tips:

  • To prevent overcooking crimini mushrooms, it is best to use a timer.
  • To melow the flavor of garlic, add garlic to crimini mushrooms for the last 2 minutes of sautéeing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today's Recipe

Try this meal-in one...

It is low in calories, easy to prepare, and will keep your kitchen cool during the warm months. Healthy stir-fry is one of the Healthiest Cooking methods, which avoids the necessity to use heated oils that can be damaging to your health. It is a great way to combine high protein foods such as chicken with a variety of nutrient-rich vegetables for a complete meal that is ready in a matter of minutes.

Enjoy! ~j

15 Minute Stir Fried Chicken & Bok Choy

15 Minute Stir Fried Chicken & Bok Choy

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 TBS low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped scallion
  • 2 TBS fresh minced ginger
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 1½ cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 cups chopped bok choy
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS rice vinegar
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes


  1. Heat broth in a stainless steel wok or skillet.
  2. When broth begins to steam add scallions and Healthy Stir Fry for 2 minutes
  3. Add ginger and continue to stir-fry for another minute.
  4. Add chicken and continue to stir.
  5. After about 2-3 minutes add shiitake mushrooms and bok choy. Continue to stir fry for another 3-4 minutes and add soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Serves 4

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart"
Kahlil Gibran quotes

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Great Teacher
Living Like Water

The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our own paths through life. Water begins its residence on earth as it falls from the sky or melts from ice and streams down a mountain into a tributary or stream. In the same way, we come into the world and begin our lives on earth. Like a river that flows within the confines of its banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern our identity. We are born in a specific time and place, within a specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges. Within these parameters, we move through life, encountering many twists, turns, and obstacles along the way just as a river flows.

Water is a great teacher that shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination, and humility. When a river breaks at a waterfall, it gains energy and moves on, as we encounter our own waterfalls, we may fall hard but we always keep moving on. Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what’s familiar. Water is brave and does not waste time clinging to its past, but flows onward without looking back. At the same time, when there is a hole to be filled, water does not run away from it in fear of the dark; instead, water humbly and bravely fills the empty space. In the same way, we can face the dark moments of our life rather than run away from them.

Eventually, a river will empty into the sea. Water does not hold back from joining with a larger body, nor does it fear a loss of identity or control. It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance. Each time we move beyond our individual egos to become part of something bigger, we can try our best to follow the lead of the river.

Monday, March 23, 2009

'You are a spirit born into flesh, to enjoy life and grow in experience. Trust and inspire.' ~j

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The “Dirty Dozen”

With Spring in the air, it is time for a revisit of the top pesticide laden foods. As the fresh tastes of luscious fruits and tantalizing vegetables arrive at the market, take a refresher of those that require a little more attention before purchasing. ~j

Must-buy organic foods (EWG - Environmental Working Group)

  1. Apples
  2. Cherries
  3. Grapes, imported (Chili)
  4. Nectarines
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Raspberries
  8. Strawberries

  1. Bell peppers
  2. Celery
  3. Potatoes
  4. Spinach

The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables, above, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides.

Other organic foods worth considering:

* Milk
* Beef
* Poultry

Reduce the risk of exposure to the agent believed to cause mad cow disease and minimize exposure to other potential toxins in non-organic feed. These foods contain no hormones, and antibiotics — which have been linked to increased antibacterial resistance in humans — have not been added to the food.

Additional consideration in going organic with these foods:

  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn - should be organic due to GMO's
  • Onions
  • Peas
These products tend to contain less pesticide residue.

Wild or farmed fish can be labeled organic, despite the presence of contaminants such as mercury and PCBs. No USDA organic certification standards for seafood — producers are allowed to make their own organic claims.

Having “organic” or “natural” in its name doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer. Read up on your cosmetics by visiting Organic Consumers Association - Coming Clean.

Managing the high cost of organic foods:

Why does organic cost more?
Growing the food is more labor-intensive. And even though organic food is a growing industry, it doesn't have the economies of scale or government subsidies available to conventional growers.

How to save money buying organic food:
* Comparison shop in local grocery stores.
* Take advantage of local farmers' markets: Many farmers do not charge a premium.
* Order by mail: Products such as organic beef can be shipped nationally.

How to protect yourself from “non-organic” pesticides:

  • Buy fresh vegetables and fruits in season. When long storage and long-distance shipping are not required, fewer pesticides are used.
  • Trim tops and the very outer portions of celery, lettuce, cabbages, and other leafy vegetables that may contain the bulk of pesticide residues.
  • Peel and cook when appropriate, even though some nutrients and fiber are lost in the process.
  • Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This would limit exposure to any one type of pesticide residue.
  • Purchase only fruits and vegetables that are subject to USDA regulations. Produce imported from other countries is not grown under the same regulations as enforced by the USDA. Examples are strawberries and cantaloupes from Mexico.

Wait until just before preparation to wash or immerse your produce in clean water. When appropriate, scrub with a brush. Experts at the University of California-Berkeley report that this removes nearly all insects and dirt, as well as bacteria and some pesticide residues.

Special soaps or washes may not needed and could be harmful to you, depending on their ingredients. Read the label!

Trim the fat from meat, and fat and skin from poultry and fish. Residues of some pesticides concentrate in animal fat.

What organic means:
  • Animals have not been treated with: antibiotics, growth hormones, or feed made from animal byproducts.
  • Animals must have been fed organic feed for at least a year.
  • Animals must have access to the outdoors.
  • Food hasn't been genetically modified or irradiated.
  • Fertilizer does not contain sewage sludge or synthetic ingredients.
  • Produce hasn't been contaminated with synthetic chemicals used as pesticides.
What the labels mean:
  • “100% Organic”: Product must contain 100 percent organic ingredients.
  • “Organic”: At least 95 percent of ingredients are organically produced.
  • “Made with Organic Ingredients”: At least 70 percent of ingredients are organic. The remaining 30 percent must come from the USDA’s approved list.
  • “Free-range” or “Free-roaming”: Misleading term applied to chicken, eggs and other meat. The animal did not necessarily spend a good portion of its life outdoors. The rule states only that outdoor access be made available for “an undetermined period each day.” U.S. government standards are weak in this area.
  • “Natural” or “All Natural”: Does not mean organic. There is no standard definition for this term except with meat and poultry products. (USDA defines “natural” as not containing any artificial flavoring, colors, chemical preservatives, or synthetic ingredients). The claim is not verified. The producer or manufacturer alone decides whether to use it.
Source 2008

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bell of the Ball

Looking for a great workout, have you tried Kettlebells?

A girlfriend of mine came over and I had my 'bells' out in the entry. She stopped, looked closer and said..."Whhhhat are THOOOSE?"
To some they are not pretty to others, a vision of beauty.

Well, in my house there is always something strange, new and different as part of the rotation, but these will be staying. I had to launch into how I have found a new romance with these lugs for my workouts. Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to incorporate them via CrossFit and now even as a wod (workout of the day) themselves.

Today's workout was taken from Encinitas Kettlebells and quite a butt kicker I might add. You may not want to start off here, but then again, you might. It all depends on your fitness level and health. Please be wise and take those into consideration before starting any new program as well as checking with your health care pracitioner if you have specific health related concerns.
Fitness experts like Robert Budd (BAM! Fitness) and Rob Ord (Brass Ring Fitness) can assist you when you choose to move into new dimensions of your fitness program. Please consult with them, they are ready willing and able!
Looks too tough? Well the great news is that it is all scalable and a great compliment to other methods of training. So don't be nervous to shake things up a little and try something new.

So what's the word (or wod):
  • 10 pull ups
  • 20 thrusters
  • 20 SDHP (sumo deadlift high pull)
  • 20 V ups
  • 20 snatches (10 each arm)
  • 10 renegade rows (5 each arm)
repeat for 5 rounds total. get ready for a cool breeze or shower. hot hot hot! ~j
Today's Recipe

If you don't know what to have for dinner tonight ...

The beautiful orange color of the squash reflects its rich concentration of vitamin A— 49% of your Daily Value! Combine the nutritional value of the squash with the great taste of the red chili sauce for a side dish that will become a family favorite.

Steamed Butternut Squash with Red Chili Sauce

Steamed Butternut Squash with Red Chili Sauce

Prep and Cook Time: 23 minutes


  • 1 medium sized butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 medium onion cut in half and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup +1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 TBS chopped cilantro
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Slice onion and chop garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance their health benefits.
  2. Bring 2 inches of water in a steamer to a boil.
  3. Cut squash into cubes and steam in a steamer with a tight fitting lid until al denté, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium size skillet. Healthy Saute onion in broth for 3 minutes over medium heat stirring frequently. Add garlic and spices and mix well. After about 1 minute add rest of broth and begin to simmer gently.
  5. When squash is al denté, almost done, but still firm on the inside, add to simmering sauce and cook together for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cilantro.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."
~ Albert Einstein

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Seven Factors of Aging

According to a recent interview with Dr. Aubey de Grey, aging can be seen as disease and therefore we now have the technological capacity to significantly improve human life - vibrant human life. Well, the vibrant part certainly caught my eye.

Many things go wrong with aging bodies, but only a few of them are primary changes in the structure of the body itself — that is, aging damage. Other changes (such as increases in inflammation and oxidative stress) are the secondary consequences of this primary change: either the direct results of those damaged components' inability to carry out their normal role in metabolism, or the body's adaptive or maladaptive attempts to compensate for those changes. - Methuselah Foundation

The seven factors of aging are :
  1. the loss of cells we that we need, (healthy)
  2. the accumulation of cells that we don't need, (ie. cancer or other mutated)
  3. DNA mutations inside the cell nucleus,
  4. DNA mutations inside the cell's mitochondia,
  5. the accumulation of 'junk' inside the cells, (intracellular matrix)
  6. the accumulation of 'junk' outside the cells, (extracellular matrix)
  7. the formation of cross-linked protiens outside the cell.
For each of these factors Dr. De Gey offers a solution. Well, based on the factors I can see that the solutions may not be as easy as one might think, but then again, if you have been following me for a while you know that I firmly believe your environment strongly influences your cellular health. can't be all that difficult can it?

I love looking and physiology and the bio-chemical make up of the body and when reading this article felt that finally someone out there was going to talk about the importance of biology, aging and health. Well, while this was discussed, I was disappointed to find that the human lifestyle factor was not included but the cellular research was the main objective.

Yes, it is important to change policy and become innovative in our research.
Yes, I would donate to this foundation head and shoulders about many others out there.
Yes, it is important to be looking in the right direction.

But don't dismiss the importance of the enivornment that our cells live in. How we think, feel, what we eat, drink and when we move, breath are all vitally important to being able to go back in and repair the damage done in the first place.

From my perspective of the 'seven deadly factors' can be impacted and dramatically changed from cells replicating unhealthy to healthy. Now that doesn't mean one can live on the Standard American Diet (SAD) any longer, so quality of life will need to be a priority. A motivation for change.

It is nice to know though that science is finally taking seriously that aging isn't just about vanity, but about absence of disease. I hope to talk further about this in a series of posts. Taking each of the seven factors and offering options where lifestyle can support a positive change.

Here's to keeping the life in our years! ~j

5-Minute Asparagus5-Minute Asparagus

"Healthy Sauteé" allows you to enjoy all of the great taste and health-promoting nutrients of asparagus while the easy Mediterranean dressing enhances its delicate flavor.

Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 3 TBS low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

  • Mediterranean Dressing:
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop or press garlic and let for at least 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting properties.
  2. Heat 3 TBS broth over medium heat in a stainless steel skillet.
  3. When broth is heatiing, snap off the woody bottom of asparagus stems, then cut the spears into 2-inch lengths. Cutting them into short pieces of equal length ensures quick, even cooking.
  4. When broth begins to steam, add asparagus. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. the outside will be tender and the inside will be crisp. thinner spears will take about 3 minutes. "Healthy Sauté" will concentrate both the flavor and nutrition of asparagus.
  5. Transfer to a bowl. for more flavor, toss asparagus with the remaining ingredients while it is still hot. (Mediterranean Dressing does not need to be made separately.) Research shows that carotenoids found in foods are best absorbed when consumed with oils.

    Serves 2

    Healthy Cooking Tips:

    To mellow the flavor of garllic, add garlic to asparagus for the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Thanks to The World's Healthiest Foods. Enjoy with a side of roasted chicken and spring mix salad.

Delicious! In good taste. ~j

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

OM for a good reason! when it comes to the spirit, wash, rinse, repeat~ j

In Line With Spirit

Staying On Track

In a world where we have routines for nearly everything—our route to work, our physical fitness regimen, and our weekday schedule—it’s amazing how many people forget to create a routine for meeting their spiritual needs. We run around in an attempt to be at our many appointments on time and meet our many obligations. In our efforts to be as productive as possible, however, our spiritual needs tend to take a backseat. After all, taking care of our spiritual needs doesn’t directly pay the bills or tone our abdominal muscles. We may even wonder who has time to meditate or write in their journal when there are more pressing matters to see to. The truth is that nurturing ourselves spiritually is what gives us the energy and grounding that we need to make sure that our lives stay on track.

How you choose to nurture yourself spiritually is a personal choice. For some people, meditating once a day may be what they need to stay centered. While spending 10-20 minutes with your eyes closed and your brain devoid of thought may seem like a lot of time doing nothing, this state of nothingness actually allows you to stay calm and focused so you can be as productive as possible. Writing in your journal everyday lets you stay in touch with yourself so that you are always tuned in to your feelings. Repeating affirmations for success, happiness, and well-being on a regular basis can help you live with optimism and enthusiasm and create what you want in life.

Having a routine for nurturing your spirit that you do each day lets you feed energy to your soul and can serve you well if your life suddenly takes an unexpected turn into a difficult period. This kind of routine grounds your spirit in your body so that you stay anchored in yourself as you move through each day. Nurturing yourself spiritually allows you to not only stay on track in your life, but it allows for your life to stay on track with what your spirit wants.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reasons for remaining ashore.

-Vincent Van Gogh

How to Wipe Your Mind Clean of Health Wisdom and Plug yourself Back Into the Mainstream Matrix

Thanks Mike! Great reminder that we can fall for anything if we want to :-) Awareness is actually an important key to health! ~j

(NaturalNews) If you talk to many people about health, medications, toxic chemicals and food, you'll quickly come to realize that most people have very little knowledge of reality in these areas. And yet, ignorance is often bliss because these people can just wolf down a cheeseburger, get vaccine shots, drink fluoridated water and take all sorts of toxic chemical medications without even a hint of concern (that is, until a few years later when all the toxic build-up starts to kill them).

So as a public service to those individuals who might want to rid their minds of any knowledge of true health and live their lives as members of the ignorant masses (a la being "plugged back into the Matrix"), I've put together a mind wiping recipe that you can freely use to join the ranks of all the doctors, journalists, politicians and consumers who think there's nothing wrong with exposing yourself to an unlimited number of toxic chemicals from multiple sources.

Just follow these simple directions and your mind will be wiped clean in no time:

Step 1:

Stand in front of a mirror, with your hands placed calmly at your side.

Step 2:

Look into the reflection and focus on your own eyes. Take three deep breaths to eliminate any tension.

Step 3:

Repeat the following mantras three times each:

"America has the best health care in the world."

"The FDA is my friend."

"Synthetic chemicals are good for me."

"Pharmaceuticals are priced in a fair way that helps drug companies afford to find new cures."

"Food comes from factories, not dirt."

"Food and drug corporations are looking out for my best interests."

"Vaccines protect me from evil germs."

"Fluoride is good for me."

"If we all would just buy more products that donate money to the Susan G. Komen pink ribbon cancer research fund, a cure for cancer would be readily found. (The only reason cancer hasn't been cured yet is because not enough people go shopping.)"

"The more pharmaceuticals I take, the healthier I will get."

"The human body only needs calories, not nutrition, to survive."

"My genes are faulty and I was born deficient in patented chemicals. These chemical imbalances must be corrected through pharmaceutical intervention."

"The sun is my enemy. I must fear it at all times."

"Dead, cooked foods are nutritional equivalent to live foods."

"There is no such thing as a dangerous ingredient in personal care products. If chemicals were dangerous, the FDA would never allow them to be used."

"My purpose in life is to conform to the wishes of authority figures."

"The planet is able to absorb an unlimited amount of pollution from human activity. There is no cause for concern."

"Global warming is a hoax. Human activity has no effect on the climate."

"Man has conquered nature. We no longer need to concern ourselves with learning from or protecting nature. Whatever we need can be invented in a lab."

"The way to prosperity requires the use of genetically-modified foods and patented seed technologies controlled by caring, compassionate corporations like Monsanto."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Today's OM is epic...quality of life, love and service. ~j

Giving Your Gifts to the World

Being Happy with Your Job

In our search to define ourselves, we often look to our job to show us our worth. Society does not judge all professions equally, however, and it is not uncommon for the individuals who hold what others may consider to be ordinary or menial jobs to feel that they themselves are ordinary or menial. Yet, in truth, many wonderful and wise people throughout history have held what have typically been perceived as ordinary jobs, and this in no way has had any bearing on whether or not they have managed to contribute their skills and talents to the world. Whether you work in business, education, medicine, retail, or another profession, you worth is inherent to who you are and not what you do for a living.

A job that you enjoy, lets you meet your needs, and allows you to live in accordance with your values will always be more gratifying than a high-status job that you dislike. But while experiencing professional satisfaction can be a vital part of being fulfilled by your work, it is important to remember that it is possible to find happiness in any job. This is because what you do is often less important than how you do it. Your attitude and intention can turn a mediocre job into work that fulfills you because of the way that you approach it. If you do your job well and what you do benefits others, then you are doing work that is making this world a better place.

If you are happy in your current line of work and feel that it allows you to be yourself and live authentically while meeting your emotional and physical needs and allowing time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor, then you have found a job that adds value to your life. If you are a waitress, then be the best waitress you can, take pride in your work and others will notice your passion. You can contribute your talents and skills to this world while doing any job. It is not the kind of work you do that allows you to be of service. It is you who must choose to be of service through the work that you do.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Best Thing
to Save for Old Age
Is Yourself

Monday, March 09, 2009

Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro Pesto

Unlike basil pesto, this pesto requires no Parmesan or garlic. The complementary flavors are red onion and serrano chile instead. Also, almonds are used instead of pine nuts. Almonds seem to enhance the flavor of the cilantro, rather than compete with it.

Use with whole grain dishes, as a filling, or with chicken in tacos. Mix in with some cottage cheese for a delicious tortilla chip dip.


  • 2 cups, packed, of cilantro, large stems removed
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped and seeded serrano chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


In a food processor, pulse the cilantro, almonds, onion, chile, and salt until well blended. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream.

Add more oil as needed for your use.

Makes about 1 cup.

Whatever you don't use, you can freeze. Line a ice cube tray with plastic wrap and fill in the individual cube spaces with the pesto. Freeze and remove from the ice tray, put in a sealed freezer bag for future use.

Beautiful OM today~

Here's to the wonderful taste of adventure! ~j

Capturing Life’s Flavor
Taking a Field Trip

When we were children, few words were more exciting to hear than the phrase "field trip." Field trips were a break from schoolwork and an opportunity to go on an adventure with friends. Now that we are grown ups, taking a field trip can be just as fun and memorable – if only we were willing to sign our own permission slips so we could go on one.

Allowing yourself to get stuck in your routine can make life seem boring. Adding a touch of variety to your life in the form of a field trip can break up the monotony of your days and lead you to adventure. Unlike the jaunts that were regulated by teachers or monitored by parents, taking a field trip as an adult can lead you anywhere you want. You can go on a daylong retreat or spend just a few hours at your destination. A field trip can be an opportunity to explore a new landscape or discover something about yourself. Taking a day trip to another town or visiting an unfamiliar spot in your neighborhood can be educational and fun. There is also much to be said for finding a beautiful spot under a tree where you can read a book. You can even go to one of your favorite spots and allow yourself to experience it as if you were visiting there for the first time. Going on a field trip is as much a state of mind as it is a change in the scenery.

During a “grown up” field trip, schedules, clocks, and duties are put aside so you can focus wholeheartedly on mindfully enjoying yourself. Planning a field trip can be almost as fun as going on one. A field trip is an excursion to look forward to and an experience to be savored after the fact. Wherever you decide to go and whatever you decide to do, going on a field trip can add much pleasure and excitement to your life.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I heard this statement today while previewing a dvd made by Depak Chopra.

"...we metabolize the experiences today which become our (physical being) of the future."

WOW! So what I hear is that the way we emotionally handle our experiences will manifest the health our our bodies tomorrow. It really hits home, how connected the mind/body/spirit is connected.

Have a great day! Hope it is sunny and beautiful where you are. ~j

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Quiet Please!
Taming Monkey Mind In Meditation

It’s been called the monkey mind – the endless chattering in your head as you jump in your mind from thought to thought while you daydream, analyze your relationships, or worry over the future. Eventually, you start to feel like your thoughts are spinning in circles and you’re left totally confused.

One way to tame this wild creature in your head is through meditation – although the paradox is that when you clear your mind for meditation you actually invite the monkey in your mind to play. This is when you are given the opportunity to tame this mental beast by moving beyond thought – to become aware of a thought rather than thinking a thought. The difference is subtle, but significant. When you are aware of your thoughts, you can let your thoughts rise and float away without letting them pull you in different directions. Being able to concentrate is one of the tools that allows you to slow down your thought process and focus on observing your thoughts.

To develop your concentration, you may want to start by focusing on the breath while you meditate. Whenever your monkey mind starts acting up, observe your thoughts and then return your focus to your breath. Some breathing meditations call on you to focus on the rise and fall of the breath through the abdomen, while others have you concentrate on the sound of the breath. Fire can also be mesmerizing, and focusing on a candle flame is another useful tool for harnessing the mind. Keep the gaze soft and unfocused while observing the color, shape, and movement of the flame, and try not to blink. Close your eyes when you feel the need and continue watching the flame in your head. Chanting, devotional singing, and mantras also still the mind. However you choose to tame the monkey mind, do so with firm kindness. The next time the chattering arises, notice it and then allow it to go away. With practice, your monkey mind will become quiet and so will you.

Great OM today. With breath and observance ~j

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March is National Nutrition Month! Come back by during this month as we talk about all facets of nutrition from eating whole foods to cleansing to getting the biggest bang for your nutrition buck.

Today we'll start with an article from eHow (of all places) on the topic of how to eat whole foods, thanks to the editor for a job well done. Mange! What a crazy time for me to be fasting with all of this food talk. But spring is in the air down here in San Diego and my normal time for cleansing out the impurities of winter. Raise your water glass in cheers to rejuvenation! ~j

7 Steps to Whole Foods
Most of us have busy lifestyles and are looking for a quick meal. We reach for pre-packaged foods that are convenient to pop into a microwave. The problem is we loose the vital nutrients our body needs when we eat processed foods. We should be eating whole foods to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and high cholesterol. Be smart. Eat healthy. Read on to learn more.

Know what whole foods consist of. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds that are in their natural form and have not been processed are considered whole foods. Animal whole foods are small fish, shellfish, small fowl and eggs. Good choices for pork and beef are the smaller body parts like kidney and liver.

Buy foods that are fresh rather than canned or frozen whenever possible. The sooner you consume the whole foods from where they originated the more nutritional value they have. A lot of nutrients are lost in packaged food.

Shop at farmers markets for fresh food. Fresh vegetables and fruits don't contain the additives and preservatives of their canned and prepackaged counterparts.

Eating whole foods provides more vitamins and minerals in your diet. These foods are high in phytoestrogens, fiber, antioxidants and resistant starches. Resistant starch is a special type of carbohydrate that works well with your body.

Prepare whole foods baked or broiled in light oil like sesame oil or the heartier olive oil. Both are healthy for you. Don't ruin the benefits of nutritious foods by cooking them in harmful fats.

Learn to read labels. Always avoid partially hydrogenated oils and saturated fats. Check the amount of cholesterol, sugar and sodium too. Reach for high fiber and protein rich foods.

Eat organic whole foods for an added health benefit. Pesticides and herbicides are sprayed on non-organic food to preserve it and keep pests away. Consuming these chemicals can be harmful to you. Drink organic milk (dairy) which does not contain hormones and antibiotics.