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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ups and downs ~Life's Joy Ride!

Emotions are always high during the holidays. We feel elated, depressed, stressed, joyful. Which one is the one though, that you share with your neighbor, your workout partner, your kids, the love of your life?

Start telling a better-feeling story about the things that are important to you. And don't be fooled...take a moment to really consider what is important. The line at the market check out? A cookie that you feel guilty about? A missed workout? Talking to long distance relatives? Volunteering in the soup kitchen? An anonymous gift? Knowing the hearts of your children?

Do not write your story like a factual documentary, weighing all the pros and cons of your experience. Honestly, how long did you go on about how long it took to park at the mall? Your online ordering experience? The politics of today's water cooler chat? Um, needless FB viewing? Instead tell the uplifting, fanciful, magical story of the wonder of your own life and watch what happens. It will feel like your life begins to transform right before yours eyes, but it is not by magic. It is by the power of intention, creation and your perspective and deliberate alignment with your spirit. If you aren't paying attention to the joyful moments in your life, who is?

You don't have to feel good every single moment, that would not be real. You can feel better in those moments though. Sad news from a friend, listen to an uplifting song. Tough day at the office, dedicate your workout to someone that you could be a little more understanding of. Feeling lonely or missing a loved one, pour a glass of sparkling cider and honor their memory by sharing stories of the past.

Here's to finding your joy whether up or down ~jgirl

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"We act, behave and feel according to what we consider our SELF IMAGE to be and 
we do not deviate from this pattern."  ~Dr. Maxwell Maltz

Thursday, December 08, 2011

This time of year always finds us with emotions high, stress in abundance and the pressure to deliver unrealistic. Time for reflection, enjoyment and gratitude can be lost in the holiday shuffle. Treat yourself to a moment, close your eyes and imagine a time in your life when you felt anything was possible and wishing was like that feeling of riding your bicycle full speed ahead, confidently. Wind in your hair...ultimate freedom to fly!

There really is magic in the season but the real secret is that it lasts all year long. God chose his son to show us the way home. What a gift! Don't get lost in the matrix, follow your heart.

Love transcends all!

A Magical Mind

When we wish for something our consciousness opens to receiving it like a flower unfolding its petals to receive a bee. 

From blowing dandelion seeds into the air to throwing a penny into a fountain, we have all felt inspired to make a wish, to whisper our secret desires into the ears of the universe and wait for signs that we have been heard. Some wishes come true while others remain ethereal visions that either stay with us or fade like a star in the light of morning. Whether they come true or not, wishes are important missives, expressing our heart's desire as well as our intention to create something new in our lives. When we wish for something, our consciousness opens to receiving it, like a flower unfolding its petals to receive a bee.

There is something innocent and magical about making a wish, something that recalls the energy of childhood. Wishing is not about formulating a plan and following it step by step to attain a goal, which is the realm of adulthood. Wishing is more like a playful volley across the universe, an invitation to play. Waiting for the response is an integral part of the process. Wishing inspires an innocent opening to the possibility of magic as we wait to see if the invisible realm will bring our wish to life. This opening is a beautiful gesture in and of itself, regardless of the outcome. We place ourselves in a magical mind, and this mind is arguably as wonderful as the fulfillment of our wish itself.

In our straightforward, action-oriented society, we may tend to dismiss the power of this seemingly passive process, yet the power of a wish is well known, hence the cautionary phrase, "Be careful what you wish for." If you have given up wishing in favor of more adult pursuits, you might want to bring its magic back into your life. The next time you see the first star of the evening, or find yourself in front of a birthday cake covered in flaming candles, give yourself the gift of the magical realm that you knew so well as a child—close your eyes, open your mind, and make your wish.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Internal Chatter
Being Aware of Your Thoughts


We seldom accept negative comments from others, however, we so often accept our own inner negative chatter.

Few people enjoy the company of individuals whose attitudes are persistently negative. Yet many of us tolerate the critical chatter that can originate within our own minds. Since we are so used to the stream of self-limiting, critical consciousness that winds its way through our thoughts, we are often unaware of the impact these musings have on our lives. It is only when we become aware of the power of such thoughts that we can divest ourselves of them and fill the emptiness they leave with loving, peaceful affirmations. Many people, upon paying careful attention to their thinking patterns, are surprised at the negativity they find there. But when we take notice of involuntary thoughts in a nonjudgmental way, we initiate a healing process that will eventually allow us to replace intimidating and upsetting self-talk with positive, empowering thoughts.

While the occasional downbeat or judgmental thought may have little impact on your contentment, the ongoing negativity that passes unnoticed can have a dampening effect on your mood and your outlook. When you are aware of the tone of your thoughts, however, you can challenge them. Try to be conscious of your feelings, opinions, and judgments for a single day. From sunup to sundown, scrutinize the messages you are feeding into your subconscious mind. Consider your thoughts from the perspective of an observer and try not to judge yourself based on the notions that come unbidden into your mind. Simply watch the flow of your consciousness and make a note of the number of times you find yourself focusing on gloomy notions or indulging in self-directed criticism.

As you become increasingly aware of your patterns of thought, whether positive and negative, you will gradually learn to control the character of your stream of consciousness. Endeavor always to remember that the images and ideas that pass through your mind are transient and not a true representation of who you are. In training yourself to be cognizant of your thoughts, you gain the ability to actively change your mood. The awareness you cultivate within yourself will eventually enable you to create a foundation from which you can build a more authentic existence. 

Take action on today's OM. Make awareness the key and decide what to do with the information that you have gathered later. ~jgirl

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Art of Manliness

The Four Archetypes of the Mature Masculine: The Warrior 

What a great read! This falls closely in line with John Eldridge's writing Wild at Heart and our missing rites of passage, societal cues and characteristics. As a woman, we can certainly see the lack of manly men in society and while I cannot even begin to understand that side of it, this offers some fantastic insight. ~j

DO NOT miss the full read, The Mature Masculine Warrior

Every great civilization has a great warrior tradition and accompanying warrior myths.

Today the Warrior archetype lives on in our reverence for those who serve in the armed forces and in modern books and movies. William Wallace from Braveheart and General Maximus from Gladiator embody the Warrior archetype.

But in general, modern culture is not comfortable with Warrior energy. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Putting Yourself First 

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself.

This is daily OM is oh, SO VERY IMPORTANT :)~ 

Be sure to be aware that if you don't take care of YOU no one else has it on their agenda. You are responsible for your life, your happiness, your health. Check in regularly. Have you let a few things slip? Are you eating healthy, moving, playing, relaxing? Have you taken care of your hygiene? Your house, your car? Seriously, it may seem like little things, but they all add up to YOUR LIFE.  

The oxygen you need is all around you, sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe! ~jgirl

We have all heard the instructions of an airline attendant reminding us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs. This advice is often cited as a metaphor for self-care because it so accurately expresses why it is important. It seems to say, ironically, that if you can’t take care of yourself for yourself, do it for others. Few situations in our daily lives mimic the wake-up call of an airplane emergency, so it’s easy to keep putting self-care off—easy, that is, until we get sick, overwhelmed, or exhausted, and suddenly don’t have the energy to care for the people who count on us. That’s when we realize we haven’t been getting the oxygen we need to sustain ourselves. We begin to understand that taking care of ourselves is neither selfish nor indulgent; it’s just plain practical.

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us, there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, and it helps to remember the oxygen metaphor. You can even encourage yourself by saying “I am caring for myself so that I am better able to care for others” or some other mantra that will encourage you. It also helps to remember that self-care doesn’t have to be composed of massively time-consuming acts. In fact, the best prescription for taking care of yourself is probably small, daily rituals; for example, taking one half-hour for yourself at the beginning and end of the day to meditate, journal, or just be. You might also transform the occasional daily shower or bath into a half-hour self-pampering session.

Whatever you decide, making some small gesture where you put yourself first every day will pay off in spades for you and the ones you love. The oxygen you need is all around you; sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Head in the Clouds
Sweet little OM ~jgirl

Following a cloud with our eye and drifting through the sky with it can be an easy and relaxing meditation.

When people use the phrase “head in the clouds,” they usually refer to a mental state that appears to be drifting rather than concentrating. For this reason, putting our heads in the clouds can be a wonderful meditation tool. Whether puffy and white or tinted with the colors of dawn and dusk or shades of gray, those vaporous sky dwellers can remind us of so many things about life and about ourselves.

For this meditation, we can find a physical place to relax and look upward, or we can look to the skies from within our imaginations. Directing our thoughts to the endless of expanse of sky that clouds inhabit, we feel our souls expand to reach beyond any seeming limitations. Following the clouds, we are free to unleash our imaginations. We may choose to merely drift along with them for a time, enjoying their distanced perspective on the world. Or we can look for messages in their fantastical shapes, or feel the joy of bounding between their immense billowy puffiness. However we interact with them, we do so from a peaceful place. Clouds drift above the hustle of the world below, knowing they belong to another realm that cannot be affected by its frenzy, reminding us that peace is always available to us. By directing our vision beyond the ordinary, clouds also remind us of the illusion of appearances. While appearing to be solid, their vapor and mist appear like cotton balls ! from below, giving little indication of the heights they reach. Sometimes they may cast shadows, leaving us in shade, but like life’s difficulties clouds change shape and move onward, revealing the shining sun, twinkling stars, and blue sky that are behind them.

When a ray of light breaks through the clouds, their dramatic filtering only makes the light more beautiful by contrast, just as we can shine more brightly in the midst of life’s challenges. When we allow clouds to offer us a welcome respite, they help us visit the realm of illusion to see the truth beyond.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Well done! 

Thanks Coach Divine (SEALFIT) for sharing these insightful thoughts. Very close to my heart and practice. ~jgirl 

Know the Elements
The other day I was contemplating the saying, "still water runs deep" - one of my favorite quotes from my martial arts mentor Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura of Seido Karate.
The still water of the deep section of the river runs pure, slow and silently, like a calm, deep mind. The choppy, shallow rapids are murky, turbulent and dangerous, like a sloppy, undisciplined mind.  

I am so grateful for Kaicho Nakamura for teaching me to access the still water and avoid the rapids. Osu!
I then started to think of how the metaphor of the elements is so powerful, and came up with some thoughts on how we can use the elements for optimal health. Here goes:
1. Water: Train your mind to be like still water. Let your energy and attitude flow like water, around and over obstacles rather than through them with force. Detoxify your body with fresh water daily and immerse yourself into the comforting water of the ocean or a lake to create a peaceful re-connection with the earth-mother.
2. Earth: Eat foods that are close to the earth, such as organic veggies, grass fed beef, etc. This food has more nutrients, a higher energy and is not contaminated with the hormones and chemicals often used in the preparation of processed foods.
Ground yourself by walking in nature and barefoot, if possible. There is a grounding current that comes from the earth, making you actually feel more "grounded" once out of your clumsy footwear. I know it may not be practical in the city or in cold environments, but if you can, give it a try. This is one of the many benefits about living in Southern California that I am grateful for.
3. Wind: Learn to breathe properly! We train breath awareness and control at length during our SEALFIT Academy. It is one of the most beneficial skills to learn and develop - basic yet not easy to do. Also I highly recommend a physical practice that flows your internal wind (energy), such as yoga, qui-gong and the like. Our Warrior-Yoga program integrates breath control, physical poses, qui-gong and functional fitness into a nice tight package. A video educational tool for warrior yoga is coming soon!
4. Fire: This element is powerful. First, get outside and into the sun. I love to spend about a half hour (minimum) in the sun daily. We are like plants and need the sun for optimum health. If you live in a sun-deprived area, then book a flight to SEALFIT HQ for some training in the sun. Also, creating fire in your body is a key aspect of yoga for the detoxifying effect on your internal organs. Ashtanga yoga (my teacher Tim Miller from Ashtanga Yoga Center in Encinitas is world class) or any good vinyasa (flowing) yoga program will create a fire in your body. Another option is a good sweat a couple times a week with hot yoga or a sauna. Before I practiced hot yoga, I would do yoga in a sauna - and got some strange looks I admit. The idea is to flush and detox your system with an incredible sweat, then replenish with a ton of fresh water. This practice is very rejuvenating and will also keep you flexible in body and mind.

Finally, having a "fire in your belly" means you have kindled your warrior non-quitting spirit and will fight for things that are good and purpose driven in your life. Hooyah to that!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 7 (of 30)
Breath is the bridge which 
connects life to consciousness, 
which unites your body to your thoughts.
Thich Nhat Hanh 

Breathing is one of those things that we completely take for granted. It happens all the time without us having to even think about it. Well, so many of us do not give the breathe enough credit. It assists in carrying oxygen throughout the body which has many physiological effects. It can help lower your heart rate, calm you in an uncomfortable situation or in a situation of excitement.

The point is, we as a society are shallow breathers. We only bring air in to the chest and then let it go. We should be bringing that air in down to the abdominal area or diaphram brathing. Yes, it takes longer by a second or so, but you've got the time!

There is so much more on the significance of the breath and breathing. I will have to revisit it later. If you have an opportunity to take a yoga class, this is a great place to learn about it. Just ask my good friend Trish at Shri Kula. Also, you can find exercises that include breathing ladders, Kettlebell practice with VO2 max or even dance. No excuses!

You can also just take a couple of minutes a day and do some breathing exercises before you get out of bed in the morning. It will improve your health. You lungs are one of the elimination channels and trapped toxins escape through the breath.

The breath helps still your mind and gives you a sense of calm that we often rush off and forget. You know it's true, when you take a deep breath, it is usually because something is about to happen or you are trying to re-balance from something big that just has.
Take a couple of minutes to try one or more of the breathing exercises in the link below. When you know why breath is so important to your health and how to kick it up a notch, you will enjoy the rewards :-) ~jgirl

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day after day people ask me 'what are you drinking?' Answer...lemon or lime or lemon/lime water. I don't drink it all day long or at a specific time each and every day, but it is an integral part of my lifestyle and here is why. Great re-post. 

Enjoy and drink up! ~j

Ten reasons why you should have warm lemon or lime water daily

Sunday, August 21, 2011 by: Paul Fassa
Learn more:
(NaturalNews) A glass of warm lemon or lime water first thing in the morning is surprisingly helpful in several ways. This Yogic or Ayurvedic ritual was primarily for stimulating digestion and eliminating ama, the Ayurvedic term for toxic slime that builds up in the gastro-intestinal or GI tract. This ritual has even more health benefits.

The Ten Reasons Why

1) The warm lemon water helps purify and stimulate the liver. Lemon/lime water liquefies bile while inhibiting excess bile flow.

2) Warm lemon/lime water aids digestion. It's atomic composition is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices.

3) The liver produces more enzymes from lemon/lime water than any other food, according to A.F. Beddoe, author of Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition.

4) The lemon/lime water helps bowels eliminate naturally and easily.

5) Lemons and limes are high in potassium. Potassium is an important mineral that works with sodium for smooth electrical transmission in the brain and nervous system. Depression, anxiety, fogginess, and forgetfulness can often be traced to low potassium blood levels. That same nervous system needs potassium to assure steady signals to the heart. So your heart health is improved from the lemon water's potassium.

6) Calcium and magnesium are plentiful in good ratio to each other in lemon/lime water. Magnesium is important for heart health and calcium prevents rickets.

7) Lemon/lime water can help lower blood pressure.

8) Lemon/lime water has an alkalizing effect in the body as it is buffered. Even if you drink it just before any meal, it will help your body maintain a higher pH than if you didn't drink it. The higher or more alkaline your pH, the more your inner terrain is resistant to minor and major disease.

9) Helps dilute uric acid, which if it accumulates it creates arthritic pain or gout.

10) Helps reduce phlegm in the body.

How and When

Warm purified fluoride free water or spring water should be used. At least a half of a lemon or lime should be thoroughly squeezed into a half glass of the warm water without any sweetener. It's better to use a lemon/lime squeezer to get maximum juice with minimum seeds and effort. This should be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and don't start eating breakfast right away. Some recommend an hour before eating for maximum results.

One technique to assure proper timing would be to heat up water and put it into a thermos before going to bed. Then mix that hot water with room temperature purified lemon or lime water upon arising. Drink it down quickly, then go about your other morning routines before eating breakfast.

The warm lemon/lime water daily habit is as cheap and easy as it gets to help you improve and maintain your health. Bottoms up!

Sources for this article include:

About the author

Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 6 (of 30)

Key points:
  • “normal” aging isn’t normal at all. It’s a choice you make by the way you live your life. 
  • But our bodies are designed to age slowly and remarkably well. Most of what we see and fear is decay, and decay is only one choice. Growth is the other. 
  • The hard reality of our biology is that we are built to move.
  • Your body is made up of trillions of cells that live mostly for a few weeks or months, die and are replaced by new cells in an endless cycle.
  • You replace about 1% of your cells every day. That means 1% of your body is brand-new today, and you will get another 1% tomorrow. 
  • You choose whether those new cells come in stronger or weaker. You choose whether they grow or decay each day from then on. Your cells don’t care which choice you make. They just follow the directions you send.
  • It’s not a miracle or a mystery. It’s your biology, and you’re in charge.

Enjoy today's news...this is a great plug for exercise, but it holds true for nutrition just as well. 

Each nutrient is processed inside the body and either supports health or the decline of health. What a great combination for wellness. Pay attention, it's your choice! ~j

Parade Magazine 3/20/07 
New research reveals surprising facts about our changing bodies. You Can Stop ‘‘Normal’’ Aging
By Dr. Henry S. Lodge
Published: March 18, 2007

From your body’s point of view, “normal” aging isn’t normal at all. It’s a choice you make by the way you live your life. The other choice is to tell your cells to grow—to build a strong, vibrant body and mind.

Let’s have a look at standard American aging. Barbara D. had a baby when she was 34, gave up exercise and gained 50 pounds. Exhausted and depressed, Barbara thought youth, energy and optimism were all in her rearview mirror. Jon M., 55, had fallen even farther down the slippery slope. He was stuck in the corporate world of stress, long hours and doughnuts. At 255 pounds, he had knees that hurt and a back that ached. He developed high blood pressure and eventually diabetes. Life was looking grim.

Jon and Barbara weren’t getting old; they had let their bodies decay. Most aging is just the dry rot we program into our cells by sedentary living, junk food and stress. Yes, we do have to get old, and ultimately we do have to die. But our bodies are designed to age slowly and remarkably well. Most of what we see and fear is decay, and decay is only one choice. Growth is the other. 

After two years of misery, Barbara started exercising and is now in the best shape of her life. She just finished a sprint triathlon and, at 37, feels like she is 20. Jon started eating better and exercising too—slowly at first, but he stuck with it. He has since lost 50 pounds, the pain in his knees and back has disappeared, and his diabetes is gone. Today, Jon is 60 and living his life in the body of a healthy 30-year-old. He will die one day, but he is likely to live like a young man until he gets there. 

The hard reality of our biology is that we are built to move. Exercise is the master signaling system that tells our cells to grow instead of fade. When we exercise, that process of growth spreads throughout every cell in our bodies, making us functionally younger. Not a little bit younger—a lot younger. True biological aging is a surprisingly slow and graceful process. You can live out your life in a powerful, healthy body if you are willing to put in the work. 

Let’s take a step back to see how exercise works at the cellular level. Your body is made up of trillions of cells that live mostly for a few weeks or months, die and are replaced by new cells in an endless cycle. For example, your taste buds live only a few hours, white blood cells live 10 days, and your muscle cells live about three months. Even your bones dissolve and are replaced, over and over again. A few key stem cells in each organ and your brain cells are the only ones that stick around for the duration. All of your other cells are in a constant state of renewal.

You replace about 1% of your cells every day. That means 1% of your body is brand-new today, and you will get another 1% tomorrow. Think of it as getting a whole new body every three months. It’s not entirely accurate, but it’s pretty close. Viewed that way, you are walking around in a body that is brand-new since Christmas—new lungs, new liver, new muscles, new skin. Look down at your legs and realize that you are going to have new ones by the Fourth of July. Whether that body is functionally younger or older is a choice you make by how you live. 

You choose whether those new cells come in stronger or weaker. You choose whether they grow or decay each day from then on. Your cells don’t care which choice you make. They just follow the directions you send. Exercise, and your cells get stronger; sit down, and they decay.

Men like Jon, who go from sedentary to fit, cut their risk of dying from a heart attack by 75% over five years. Women cut their risk by 80%—and heart attacks are the largest single killer of women. Both men and women can double their leg strength with three months of exercise, and most of us can double it again in another three months. This is true whether you’re in your 30s or your 90s. It’s not a miracle or a mystery. It’s your biology, and you’re in charge.

Dr. Henry S. Lodge is on the faculty of Columbia Medical School and is co-author of “Younger Next Year” (Workman).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 5 (of 30)

Water and Your Bod! (Another great reminder of what has been said over and over again!)

This is the number one issue that I see with my clients. Are you hydrated? It can alter your metabolism dramatically if you 'forget' to make this a health building priority. Not rocket science gang! Now, quality of water is important to so, get educated. Get hydrated. Get it?!

Glug, glug, glug ~j

Pure Water

Like the battery in your car, your cells are responsible for charging you up with energy and vitality. When you feel lifeless, you are suffering from a lack of vital energy, much like a stalled car. Since every body is in essence a rechargeable vehicle, it can be reinvigorated to run smoothly and efficiently; it takes the right fuel and constant care. The second most important element of life itself, after oxygen, is pure water.

Water is the primary conductor of the body’s electric current, and our cells require pure water on a regular basis. Water that is full of impurities and biological incompatible chemicals prevents the constructive interaction of bodily systems and encouraged cancer causing activity.

Pure water is an unrestricted highway on which all intercellular activity moves freely. This unrestricted flow allows the meridian system, the body’s electrical roadway, to stay fully charged at all times, creating a powerful, protective shield that prevents free radicals (reactive atoms that are produced in the body and can damage cells, proteins, and DNA by altering their chemical structure) from destroying healthy cells. Free radical damage is the cause of disease, premature aging, and all the body’s internal plagues.

The natural metabolic process of the body-including digestion and elimination-create toxic by-products. Because the production of these by-products is a perfectly normal function, they occur even in those who follow the Hippocrates Lifeforce Program. Exercise encourages perspiration and the flow of blood, which cleanse the respiratory and circulatory system of particulates that stifle systemic electrical functioning. Eliminating positions from the body allows greater absorption of nutrients and accelerates all healthy body function.

Hormones, the chemical messengers of the body, flourish in a clean bloodstream, because the communication between cells, tissues, and organs requires a constantly clear channel. Many kinds of brain disorders and body malfunctions occur because of a hormonal imbalance often caused by the absence of clear cell-to-cell directives. Thyroid dysfunction, which is increasing worldwide at alarming rates, has a profound impact on our minds and metabolism. In many people, the pituitary gland, at the center of the brain, is apparently dysfunctional. This core of hormonal generation empowers other glands, so when it produces either too few or too many hormones, all other glands and their anatomical connections malfunction and degenerate-sometimes permanently. Electrochemical charge, the foundation of functional life, must be constantly renewed-with the assistance of abundant pure water-otherwise, our health, emotions, thoughts, spirit, rest, functioning, and movement all suffer.

Here are three steps for success in keeping the water that enters your body pure:
  1. Do not drink tap water provided by local governments. Not only does most of it contain harmful levels of chlorine and fluoride, it is also contaminated with a wide range of synthetic chemical toxins that water purification plants cannot remove. If you are not convinced...check it out and make your own decision.
  2. Do not drink most bottles water. Many brands, such as Aquafina and Dasani, the two best selling brands in the United States, are just municipal tap water that has been crudely filtered. Here is another opportunity to find out what is offered locally.
  3. Do your homework! Purchase your own high quality water filter that is right for your lifestyle and health. Use BPA free bottles, stainless steel or glass for trips to the gym, to work or away from the house. If you don't look into a house filter, consider shower or bath filters (whole new topic!). They are very inexpensive and very helpful at taking out the crud. Especially if you use organic soaps, lotions and other hygiene products. 

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Day 4 (of 30)

    High-tech tomatoes.  Mysterious milk.  Supersquash.  
    Are we supposed to eat this stuff?  
    Or is it going to eat us?  
    ~Annita Manning

    Think Globally, Eat Locally (YES, it is worth repeating! AND just as important today!)

    Now it is more important than ever to eat locally and shop your local farmer's market and small grocery store.

    We all know that the quality of our food is in jeopardy these days. Farmers, politics and disease are all related in a crazy world. But what can we do?

    Awareness is a powerful tool. 

     Believe it or not the simplest of things...speak with your dollar, vote with  your choice...on a daily basis buying and eating food that is grown locally.

    Food that has been transported long distances doesn't contain as much life force (energy) by the time it gets to your kitchen. Making a commitment to shop, buy, and eat locally is not only a very important part of creating positive change, it can also be delicious, fun and far more nourishing than you thought.

    One of the best places to begin the adventure of eating locally is a farmer's market. Stalls brim with fresh fruits and vegetables grown on nearby farms. Not only is this good for the environment (fuel, transportation expenses etc.), it's good for the farmers since they benefit from selling directly to the you, the consumer. You benefit, too, from the intimate experience of buying food from the hand of the person who grew it. In addition, the food is fresher and more diverse. In supermarkets, particular varieties of fruits and vegetables are favored due to their ability to survive transport to a far destination. Alternately, at a farmer's market, you will find versions of the fruits and vegetables you know that will surprise and delight your senses—green striped heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, white carrots, and edible flowers, just to name a few.

    Make an effort to buy as much of your food as possible directly from local farmers. You will become one of a growing number of people eating delicious food to balance our resources on the planet and having fun doing it.

    Thursday, June 09, 2011

    Day 3 (of 30)

    "Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es."
    [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are].
    ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

    Knowledge is power! It is time to pay attention and wake up to quality of your foods if you aren't already on that path.

    Become aware of the foods that you buy and eat! Whole foods that are closest to their natural state are your best options. Example: An apple instead of apple juice. Stay out of the packages, shop the perimeter of the market instead of the packaged isles filled with chemicals and advertising.

    Consider getting your produce from a local farmer or farmers market. Go local or organic! Support your community by buying fresh, herbicide and pesticide.

    The basics for healthy food choices:
    • eat foods that are fresh, seasonal, local and in their closest to natural state.
    • eat foods that are grass-fed, pasture raised, without hormones or antibiotics
    • eat foods that are free from chemicals, food dyes and pesticides
    • eat foods that are local organic over industrial organic - yes, there is also a war going on inside the organic world these days...the point is to be conscious and not get hung up on it.
    • eat foods that are non-GMO and non-irradiated, this is huge, you much corn and soy do you see along the side of the road in your community?
    • eat foods that support sustainable agriculture and reduce your ecological footprint
     Here's to increasing your awareness today and tomorrow and...! ~jgirl

    Wednesday, June 08, 2011

    Day 2 (of 30)

    Perfect sincerity and transparency make a great part of beauty, 
    as in dewdrops, lakes, and diamonds. 
    ~Henry David Thoreau

    Beauty thing that we use to look younger and feel good about our outward appearance. What we don't always realize is that these products can be having the opposite effect on our skin and overall health.

    The European Union has banned more than 1,000 ingredients from cosmetics, while the United States has banned only 10. Did you know that your nail polish may contain formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen? Or that four common chemicals in perfume are classified as hazardous waste by the US Environmental Protection Agency?

    Every year we each absorb an estimated two kilograms of chemicals through beauty and cosmetic products. Chemicals found in lipsticks, skin lotions and hair dyes have been linked with tumors, cell mutation, allergies, reproductive complications, endocrine disruption and cancer.

    Look for some alternatives or at least look at the ingredients that are in the products you are using today ;-).

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011

    Day 1 (of 30)

    There's so much pollution in the air now that 
    if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all.  ~Robert Orben

    We have looked at some choices recently for cleansing our bodies, now is a good time to consider our environment, a little closer to home. Just what you are 'cleaning' with. It is no secret that chemicals run abound in our cleaning products, just one whiff down the 'stinky' isle (as my daughter calls it) at the market and you know it is true. Get rid of toxic household cleansers like dish and dishwasher soap, laundry detergents and bathroom scrubbers. If it has a poison sign on the label you don't want it in your home. Not only does it leave lingering chemicals in the air just after cleaning, but there is off-gassing that happens when it is stored in a cabinet or on the shelf. 

    Look at the back of your cleaning products...poison sign? What to do, what to do...there are so many options out there now for a 'greener' clean both good for you, your family and the environment and you get to choose with every dollar you spend or you can use some easy to make at home options as well!
    Breathe clean and easy peeps! ~jgirl
    30 DAYS
    Ever wonder what you can do in 30 days? Most people believe they can anything for just about 30 days.

    How about some ideas. Over the next 30 days I will offer some options that support continued movement toward a more natural and healthy lifestyle. 

    Personally I have decided to engage in the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30 day writing challenge. Kind of outside of my comfort zone, but hey! The sun is finally shining and summer is on it's way. What better time that now that to take things up a notch.

    As usual, when it comes to your personal decisions and responsibility, take what you like, discard the rest ;-). Comments, recommendations and suggestions always welcome. 

    Join in the fun! It's only 30 days. ~jgirl

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Can Gluten-Free Grains Contain Gluten?

    Here is a little ditty. The pubmed (gem) article brings a nice touch to this tidbit brought around again by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

    Choose wisely my friends, choose wisely.

    Twenty-two gluten-free grains, seeds and flours, not labeled gluten-free, were purchased and sent to a lab for gluten content analysis . Products included white rice and flour, brown rice, corn meal, polenta, buckwheat and buckwheat flour, amaranth seed and flour, flax seed, millet grain and flour, sorghum flour, and soy flour. Gluten contamination of mean gluten levels ≥20 parts per million (ppm) was found in 32% of the samples (7/22), mean gluten levels ranging from 8.5 to 2,925.0 ppm was found in 41% of the samples (9/22) and 59% (13/22) of the samples contained less than 5 ppm for gluten. The authors point out that inherently gluten-free grains, seeds and flours are not gluten free and co-mingling can occur anywhere along the line from field to package. Some degree of contamination exists in naturally gluten-free grains.

    J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jun;110(6):937-40.
    Note the date here...this is NOT new news, just new news to the public...

    The results of this study suggest that inherently gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours not labeled gluten-free may be contaminated with gluten. This raises health concerns for clients who must follow a gluten-free diet, as the consumption of these products can lead to unintended gluten intake.

    This is why I advise my clients to go grain free! If you must OR a few times a week, choose naturally gluten-free grains, flours, seeds, and products made from them that are labeled gluten free. Keep in mind that a gluten-free label is not a guarantee that products have been tested and contain below 20 parts per million of gluten, but they are still more likely than unlabeled products to have been tested. Buyer beware or at least accepting of the consequences ;-).


    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    Spring Cleaning~
    Does your inside, match your outside?

    One important and still relevant life lesson stems from the old term no pain, no gain. Throughout the peaks and valleys in your life you'll discover that true strength comes from the ashes of struggle. This is the same way with physical fitness and it's a big focus in my training and coaching programs, because a lot of people are trying to understand how to get from where they are, to where they want to be. How do you get out of debt, shed 50 pounds, and achieve the life of your dreams? It seems impossible when you're in the pit of depression, when you're in debt, when you're overweight, or struggling. But it's all possible, and I coach people how to take one day, and one step at a time to transform.


    Step 1: Take action in your life today.
    You must be willing to let go of the life that you have (or some things within it) in order to grasp the life ahead of you, the life you are destined for! This lesson is about letting go, and moving on. It's about taking action in order to live the life of your dreams!

    Are there people, places, or even things you need to let go of? Make a list today and you'll be amazed at how this one simple act ignites transformation. Once you do you are free to take action towards your dreams because you're moving in the right direction, without any anchors or unnecessary baggage.

    Step 2: Keep moving.
    Movement is about creating inertia, in your body, mind and soul. When you move mentally, you create change. When you move physically, your external body transforms!

    There is power, in movement.
    Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and body. That increases the amount of oxygen and removes cellular waste products. Physical exercise causes the lungs to draw in extra oxygen to bathe the tissues and help power the heart. Exhalation removes carbon dioxide, and waste products from biochemical reactions. It's the same when you exercise your mind and take steps towards your dreams. When you take action, instead of waiting to attract something, your life unfolds and things start to happen!

    Step 3: Take a holistic approach.
    Don't allow yourself to focus too much on one area, only. Give yourself a brief assessment. Are you in the best mental, and physical shape you could be in? If not, what can you do to change? Taking a moment to pause, and think about the condition of your body mind and soul, will help you stay balanced and healthy in all areas. Taking a holistic approach means understanding what's out of balance in your life.

    Step 4: Get into a routine.
    Successful people who live healthy lives have learned to incorporate some sort of routine in their day. That's because consistent healthy patterns on a daily basis, create the foundation for real growth and success. Add physical and mental fitness to your schedule. Focus on your physical routine (exercise) as well as your mental routine (reading a positive book, affirmations, or studying something that will expand your mind).

    Step 5: Re-wire your mind.
    Program your brain for healthy thoughts! Listen to positive music, ipod downloads, and CD's in the car. Your thoughts drive your future, and if you tend to process things negatively, be self-aware enough to turn that around. Top athletes like Tiger Woods, are masters of their minds, focusing on positive thoughts, concentration, and mental management. Having a healthy and positive outlook is essential for your best life.

    Getting Mentally Fit and Physically Fit
    In life, your mental and physical routines should be intertwined. One thing affects the other, and even if you're physically fit on the outside, it's important to be just as physically fit on the inside. Ask yourself today, does your inside, match your outside? The benefits of a regular fitness program are increased muscle mass, toned legs, buttocks, arms, abs, and healthier looking skin. But the benefits of paying attention to your emotional and intellectual state of mind are a healthier outlook on life, and more positive relationships in life, and also in business. When I coach someone in fitness, I always emphasize the power of routines, and a holistic mind, body approach.

    Are you satisfied with your progress in all quadrants of your life -- physical, spiritual, emotional and financial? If not, what's holding you back? Find your compass, and get in sync. Take steps that will lead you to live the life of your dreams.

    By John Spencer Ellis, co-author of The Compass.

    Very nicely written! Had to repost! Get Spring Fit peeps! Now is the time~ jgirl

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    I believe in you, and I believe in your destiny. ~Kahlil Gibran

    Every day we have the blessing to start fresh, new and it is time to acknowledge how BIG that is. If you are trying to make postitive changes in your life and you find that you stumble a little here and there, well, that's part of life. You will keep trying until you are strong enough to make it through. That is called growth.

    We are all here for a purpose, whether you know what that purpose is or not. If you look, it will be plain as day. Clearing the body of weight, toxins and other debris opens up the flow. Gives you increased physical health so that you can focus on things that are bigger in the big picture.

    Below are a couple of  links that can help you on your way. More of the 'how to' to eating fresh, local and sustainable, recipes and delicious options. You may have very little time for cooking, but just changing one meal a day will impact your health, your community and ultimately the politics of food. Plus, you just might enjoy it.

    Sustainable Kitchen
    The Foodee Project

    Wednesday, April 06, 2011

    What is the question?
    Diet, exercise and stress management...the BIG 3, life changers~

    Let's start with food.
    So, the question  is...where are you right now? Is there something in your life that is holding you back when it comes to making healthy food choices? Maybe you just don't have enough guidance or information...

    In my ongoing quest for finding healthy local produce, I came across a very knowledgeable woman offering demos for the store. We struck up a conversation over greens, yogurt and rescue remedy. In talking with her and both being practitioners of different modalities, I realized that no matter where we are in our walk toward health, there is always somewhere for us to go. So whether you have decided to eat a salad a day, stop eating fast food, delve into the world of raw and fermented or are just mulling all of this information over, there is always something new and exciting waiting for you.  

    You don't have to do it all or know it all right now.
    As you gain more knowledge, your viewpoint will change toward what you believe is healthy. I have people come into my office all the time and tell me that they 'eat healthy.' Then, they tell me what they is not necessarily healthy. Just because you don't eat fast food, doesn't mean it's all good. There are many hidden carcinogenic (cancer causing) agents in A TON of our foods. 
    As a matter of fact, A few years ago, the FDA approved a viral cocktail that will be sprayed on cold cuts, sausages, hot dogs, sliced turkey, and chicken. To be fair, please read both links below, then decide whether you'll want to eat these foods or feed them to your kids!
    Now, after reading these articles, has your viewpoint opened up, just a little? Maybe you've realized that you might be willing to change, just a little?

    Little tip in case you have...Read labels: anything mentioning bacteriophage preparation, AVOID! If you get cold cuts and meats at a restaurant, ask them if they use meats prepared this way. The same rule goes for irradiated foods, and foods that contain hormones and antibiotics.

    In your best health ~jgirl

    Sunday, April 03, 2011

    When we consider the consequences of our actions,
    we can determine the best choices to create the outcome we desire.

    So what is this 'real foods' thing all about?

    God designed us in an amazing and intricate fashion. In a nutshell, our bodies were meant to eat from nature to provide fuel to our cells which in turn run the metabolic machine that keeps us going.

    Things like chemicals, food dyes, pesticides, herbicides, plastic, trans fats, fake sugar and such actually clog, congest and confuse our internal body functions. This is generally what the Standard American Diet (SAD) is made up of. This is why so many people feel crummy and are on one or more prescription drugs, act crummy- depressed, angry, unpleasant disposition and are generally cranky butts - stuck in their lives watching reality tv, gossiping about others, no sex drive, hate the neighbor and never really smile. Most of us know there is a problem out there, but what can we do about it. Well, we can WAKE UP and get informed. We have been trained and misinformed on so many things. The media has educated us brilliantly. Now it is time to think for ourselves.

    The basics for healthy food choices:
    • eat foods that are fresh, seasonal, local and in their closest to natural state.
    • eat foods that are grass-fed, pasture raised, without hormones or antibiotics
    • eat foods that are free from chemicals, food dyes and pesticides
    • eat foods that are local organic over industrial organic - yes, there is also a war going on inside the organic world these days...the point is to be conscious and not get hung up on it.
    • eat foods that are non-GMO and non-irradiated, this is huge, you much corn and soy do you see along the side of the road in your community?
    • eat foods that support sustainable agriculture and reduce your ecological footprint.
    • eat foods that are healthy for YOU (grains, dairy, legumes etc. do they fire up your gut?)
    Most of these things you have already heard of, but maybe don't know how to transition in your home. That is our journey. We have to start at somewhere.

    Where does your food come from. Most of it comes from processing plants and factories far far away. It takes more fuel to get it here than you put in your car on a weekly basis. It was once food, but has been denatured or ripped apart and put back together...kind of like Frankenstien. The difference is, our food gets dressed up real pretty with shapes and colors and packaging before it goes out in public, but Franky, well, you've seen him.

    Sustainable - Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals--environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.

    Translation - Sustainable agriculture is a way of raising food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers and animals, provides a fair wage to the farmer, and supports and enhances communities.

    If we don't get our food from 'home' or our local community we will become dependent on other countries for our basic survival. Sounds extreme, but look at what happened with the ecoli spinach ordeal. One location, one mishap, one big deal. Are you ready to make a change?

    Look up your local grocer. You will find farmers markets, farms and stores from the links below. Maybe take a field trip in and see what it looks like. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There may be stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods in your area too, but they usually won't come up on this site. It doesn't mean they aren't good, it just means that they are a chain, more industrial and corporate. We are looking for options.


    Friday, April 01, 2011

    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward. And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. ~Abraham Lincoln

    There is always a lot of information that comes at you fast. In the news, from a friend, a class, a blog, the tv. Sometimes it is too much, sometimes it is very confusing, sometimes we actually want more. The point here is...don't stress about it. Do the best you can. Make the best choices you can with the information you have today. But don't stop listening, learning or growing.

    I go through periods of time when I just can't process one more thing. And the information doesn't stop, it waits until it is relevant for you. I know this is true because when it is time, I just can't get enough of it.

    We can only handle so much at once. We have to mentally digest, sometimes rationalize, consider a plan when we think about change. Most of the time we don't even think about change unless we are forced to or get a rude awakening. A friend is sick, we are diagnosed with something that couldn't possibly be, an incident, an accident... then, we will use what we have learned as a building block for the next steps that we are ready to take.

    So, sit back, have a farm fresh salad or homemake your soup today.
    Enjoy your kitchen instead of thinking of it as a chore and chew your food.
    Laugh with your kids, your spouse, your friends.
    Kiss your loved ones.

    Food is a necessity, but it is also an enjoyment to be shared with others.
    By reawakening and training their senses, Slow Food helps people rediscover the joys of eating and understand the importance of caring where their food comes from, who makes it and how it’s made.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Ending The Cycle
    Start Today

    Hi there this one isn't new...but one of my favorite Om's. Just a reminder that you have the choice, we always have the choice and not choosing is also a choice. ~j

    Today we can make the choice to end a cycle or way of being that is not in alignment with our soul’s desire.

    One of the hardest things in life is feeling stuck in a situation that we don’t like and want to change. We may have exhausted ourselves trying to figure out how to make change, and we may even have given up. However, each day offers us an opportunity to renew our resolve and to declare to the universe that we are ready for change. We may even say out loud that we have tried and struggled and have not found a way, but that we are open to help, and that we intend to keep working to create change for ourselves. Making this declaration to the universe, and to ourselves, may be just the remedy for the stagnation we are experiencing. And, it can be done today, right now.

    It is difficult to understand, even with hindsight, how the choices we have made have added up to our current situation, but it is a good idea to examine the story we tell ourselves. If we tend to regard ourselves as having failed, this will block our ability to allow ourselves to succeed. We have the power to change the story we tell ourselves by acknowledging that in the past, we did our best, and we exhibited many positive qualities, and had many fine moments on our path to the present moment. We can also recognize that we have learned from our experiences, and that this will help us with our current choices.

    When we do this kind of work on how we view our past self, we make it possible for the future to be based on a positive self-assessment. This inner shift may allow us to get out of the cycle we’ve been in that’s been keeping us stuck. Now we can declare our intentions to the universe, knowing that we have done the inner work necessary to allow our lives to change. Allow today to be the day to end cycles and enter into a new way of being.

    Friday, March 04, 2011

    Under The Hood
    Importance Of Looking Deeper

    If we aren’t engaging in the deep, inner work of self-examination, we may not be aware of the real substance of our lives.

    It’s easy to get caught up in examining our actions instead of really deeply examining ourselves. This can be deceiving because our actions may be very spiritual—we meditate, are nice to people, take care of ourselves and others—and yet, we may not be penetrating to the issues below the surface. It’s as if we’ve washed and shined the surface of our car without taking the time to check under the hood. We may appear to be in great shape, but if we aren’t engaging in the deep, inner work of self-examination, the chances are good that we are not deeply aware of the real substance of our lives.

    We live in a very appearance-oriented, externally focused world, so it makes sense that we place a lot of value on how our lives look, sometimes to the detriment of noticing how our lives really feel. When we get too caught up in what we are doing and lose track of our core, we sometimes begin to feel dissociated, as if we are not fully awake, alive, and grounded. This is a sure sign that it’s time to engage in the hard work of going deep within to rediscover the foundation of our lives. Without the substance that comes from looking at ourselves deeply, and working through the difficult things we find, our spiritual lives can start to feel hollow or shallow, as if there’s nothing at the center holding it all together.

    Of course, the peace that comes with prayer, meditation and spiritual practice is an essential part of the whole picture of our development, but it serves us best in conjunction with the less settling, more chaotic work of digging around below the surface to see what needs to be healed, owned, or released. Then our actions are more than just an attempt to keep everything in control, looking pretty and nice. Fueled by the energy of a life in transformation, they become powerful expressions of courage and faith, further inspiring our own inner work and that of those around us.