Because all MEALS Matter……

People would be surprised to see how much VEGAN food they really eat–but somehow when you attach the word VEGAN to food, most people just imagine tofu and lettuce.   So I am positive the word VEGAN denotes negative thoughts to many non-vegans.  This really needs to change.

If you like peanut butter, bagels, salads, pasta, hummus, fruits, potato chips, popcorn, oreos, rice and beans, french fries, hash browns, chick peas, vodka, coffee, pretzels, nuts, raisins, ghiradelli chocolate chips, english muffins…I can go on, but I think the picture is clear, then you already are eating many naturally VEGAN foods.  I just had a peanut butter and banana sandwich on nice grainy bread–absolutely NO sacrifice there!

My intention is not to try to convert people.  It’s simply to bridge the gap between the animal eaters and the non-animal eaters.  So many people ask me what I eat…my simplest answer is I eat most everything you do, except the foods that came from animals.

We all have so much more in common, that what divides us.  Peace out and if you can look at the above list and put together an animal free meal today, that would be an amazing way to help so much more than the animals.  The earth and YOUR BODY will both benefit….from even just one meal.  Because ALL MEALS MATTER (and so do ALL animals)

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Does this look like sacrifice?

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These are the Important Questions

Well, it took a full week, but we are all getting into the 21 day meditation challenge now, here at our home.  This morning Roxy made it to savasana and even stayed in position for quite a while after Mitch and I were done and out of the room.  This is a real reminder for all of us…routine and repetition go a VERY long way towards forming new habits!

https://chuckieb123.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/negative-and-positive.jpgI have gotten a few great tidbits out of this meditation challenge.   The one I will be focusing on today, and tonight in 7pm class, is the concept of positive and negative input.  In short, Chopra says that our days are filled with a lot of negative input (stress from work, finances, family, injury, illness, world news, just to name a few)  This input wreaks havoc on our physical, mental and spiritual health!  The only way to combat it is with POSITIVE input.  This is found in the things that bring us joy!  Many of us have to go out and find and make that positive input happen.  Whether it’s holding a baby, bonding with nature, a great workout, playing an instrument, painting a picture, watching a sunset (and I could go on and on) there is MUCH positive input for all of us IF we take the time to seek it out.

For the past few weeks, we have been repeating 4 important questions during yoga class.

Who am I? 

What do I want? 

What is my purpose

and most importantly,

What makes me happy?

Letting images, thoughts and words come freely after asking those questions, helps us answer them HONESTLY.   Learning what makes us happy allows us to fill our free time with POSITIVE input, hence counterbalancing all the negative input.

Chopra also suggests at the end of the day we ask ourselves what was the BEST part of our day, helping us to focus even more, and end the day, on the good stuff!

Whether you are at home, at work, coming to class tonight, participating in the meditation challenge or not–try giving some quiet time to these important questions and I promise you will not only learn more about who you are at your core, but also bring more joy into your life, which will make you healthier!

THIS, is just one of  the quiet ways in which meditation enriches our lives and improves our health and well-being.  Always, but especially during these crazy times in our world, we need that more than ever!

NAMASTE

 

Bunnies, BOGOS, and all the Peeps…..

Lots of people will be celebrating Easter, tomorrow, and lots of parents will be out, today, trying to grant their children’s wishes for their very own cuddly bunnies.  Personally, I am all about pets, and bunnies are absolutely adorable.  Just make sure that if you are bringing one into your home (or even more so, the home of another) that you have done your homework.

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Bunny rabbits will live over 10 years.  They need the proper amount of space to get in ample exercise and play.  If they are not given this, they will get bored and boredom ALWAYS leads to trouble.   They need a lot of fiber– probably access to grass and/or hay, all day.  They need to be litter trained.   No two bunnies are the same.  They may be affectionate, but also can be aloof and have a need for alone time.

Rabbits are absolutely adorable.  They are not, however, stuffed animals.  If you do all your homework and still decide this is a great animal for your home, please find one you can rescue.  Every Easter there are a lot of bunnies sold to people who find, soon after, they really can’t care for them and give them to a shelter.  Rescuing one, which will probably already be litter trained, is a fabulous option and a win/win situation.

On a totally different note (but then again, not really)….Gardein products are BOGO at Publix this week, starting Monday.  This is a big celebration in my home where I stock my freezer with breakfast patties, crabless cakes, fishless fillets and chicken(less) tenders.  There is such a big selection and Publix has been doing a great job of making them available to us.   It makes me very happy to hear how many NON-vegans have added Gardein products to their shopping lists.  I stay away from the ones that come with sauces, because of calories, but I bet those are REALLY good.   Additionally, Earth Balance products are also BOGO @ Publix this week.  It’s a good week for stocking up on some animal free products!

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And while I am on the topic of awesome plant-based foods, I tip my hat, once again, to the good people at the Falafel Bistro in Coral Springs/Parkland.  This place consistently makes me happy.  Yes, the prices can be a bit high, but seriously the food makes it all worth it.  I had there food 2 days in a row this week.  Not too many places in town make a vegan tofu scramble with tons of veggies, served piping hot in a cast iron skillet with all kinds of side dishes (hummus, pita, salad)…and the mushroom kabobs (which are really patties) are so good, also served with amazingly delicious sides (many to chose from)…I am pretty excited about the leftovers in the fridge!  Most of their soups are vegan and enjoying a cup helps us to understand how UN-necessary creams are, when making creamy soup!  Last night Mitch and I shared some creamy garlic cauliflower soup that was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

Happy shared birthday to two women that are both so special to me, Joy and Lesley.  You both add such a bright light to our world and I am so thankful to have you both in my circle.  Hope you each have a wonderful day celebrating with your families…and have many, many more!

Wherever you are enjoy your Saturday and your Easter weekend.  I am keeping good thoughts for my family in NY this weekend, as I know it will be a tough “first.”  I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all of my friends and family for all the kind words, cards, thoughts, hugs, love and contributions made to the fund set up for my 13 year old great niece and nephew.  It will certainly help their dad, who is a police officer, provide for them these next few years and is appreciated so greatly.

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And one last thing…beware the sneaky peeps…they start in your mouth but definitely end up on your hips.  They have SOOO much sugar in them, one or two should really satisfy your craving without doing any damage!  Remember–it’s all about balance.

 

ALL Lives Matter

It was so beautiful to look at all the pictures of dogs on the internet this week…people celebrating National Dog/Puppy Day.  We humans sure do love our dogs, our cats, our birds, our pet fish and turtles, etc.  Basically, we are a society of self-proclaiming animal lovers.  http://www.mysantosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/animals.jpg

OR ARE WE?

Because ALL lives matter, please consider a meatless meal or two today.  Remember what’s good for the animals is also good for the earth and definitely so good for you!  Happy Vegan (Feast) Thursday.

Love, Sweet Love

Who is doing the meditation challenge?  I am interested in feedback.

Mitch and I are on schedule with it.  The first day was ok.  Yesterday, the second day, didn’t do much for me and the mantra was WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too hard to remember, making mediation more of a challenge than a time to relax.  Ironically, Roxy cat is having a hard time settling in this time, too.  Not sure if it’s the background music or that it just takes days of repetition.  She usually LOVES meditation time and almost always ends up in a true savasana pose, but not yet this time around.

All that hat said, we are happy to be back to taking the time to just SIT each morning, and today was so much better.  If you haven’t joined in yet, you can still get it from the beginning.  If you scroll back a few days you can find the link on here, or just google 21 day meditation challenge.  Just like there is no such thing as a bad day at the beach, there are no bad meditations.  I look forward to watching these 3 weeks unfold and come together.

In keeping with my trying to have new experiences every day (such a hard challenge but so far so good) I held not one but 2 little babies yesterday, Sienna and Kale, each just a few months old.  They were both delicious and holding them was very joyful!  I am sure way back when the boys were young there were days when I held more than one, but that is a lifetime ago, so this counts as new!

After the terrible tragedy in Brussels yesterday, I found it quite ironic that just by coincidence, today, I put in a cd to cool down to at the gym and hit the button and the song was What the World Needs Now–(is love sweet love)  NO, not just for SOME but for EVERYONE….Certainly I feel this is very true.  All my healing energy goes out to all those that are suffering physically or lost loved ones in this senseless bombing.   While we all agree these extremists are incredibly dangerous and need to be stopped, I am not sure anyone short of Superman has the power.  Personally, I refuse to be terrified.  If I am, haven’t they won?

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Instead I will continue to work on living each day to it’s fullest.  Hoping wherever you are, you are doing the same.  Much love…….

 

 

 

Next Stop…(Hopefully not) The Twilight Zone

Being a HUGE fan of The Twilight Zone, I have seen all of them countless times.  I hope where my brother is, he somehow knows he instilled this love, which started out as a way to terrorize his MUCH younger sister.  It is said that “art imitates life and life imitates art,” and bizarre as some episodes are, I always feel this is true.

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Many episodes, which were all written well over 50 years ago, are as timely now as ever, some even more so.  Consider the episode where the earth is continuing to get hotter each year.  Was there any talk of climate change circa 1960?  I particularly loved one where the news anchor woman wanting to stay young looking, bought into a water system that would reverse her aging looks…only problem was, there was no way to keep up with the rising cost of looking young and once she stopped drinking from “the fountain of youth,” the aging process sped up in overdrive.  Whenever people try to sell me products that will make me look more youthful, my mind immediately goes to this episode, which is one of my favorites.

Serling always ended the show with the same tag line about how these things can happen only in Twilight Zone.  There was only ONE episode which ended quite differently.  It was the episode called Death’s Head Revisited, and it was about the ghosts that linger in the concentration camp of Dachau.  This was an amazing episode and I highly recommend if you are going to watch JUST ONE episode of this show, this is the one.  The episode concludes with this question:

“Dachau. Why does it still stand? Why do we keep it standing?”

Serling replies with this closing text:

“There is an answer to the doctor’s question. All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes – all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers. Something to dwell on and to remember, not only in the Twilight Zone but wherever men walk God’s Earth.”

Personally, I am very frightened by the amount of hate floating around in our world and our own country right now.  Hatred and discrimination NEVER fix hatred and discrimination.  I have NO question that Hitler felt very justified in singling out people that he hated/feared.  Lots of people followed his lead, because I am sure he was quite believable…and he was, after all, a leader!

People have walked around for almost 60 years wondering how this could ever happen.  That answer lies in the answer above.

We must be very, very careful what we wish for and who we chose to follow, or have lead us.

Me, I will ALWAYS chose peace and chose to follow leaders that best reflect that choice.  While I am saddened by today’s news of the attack in Brussels, this or any attack by sick extremists will NOT force me to be hateful or to discriminate against a particular race or religion.

I will NOT be a gravedigger.

Thanks for “listening.”  Wishing YOU  peace today and every day.

Regular schedule at the gym tonight.  See you there.  Or back here.

 

Springing Into the Season

Yesterday we celebrated the first day of spring in Largo/St. Pete, with Kyle and Nicole.  Wanting to do one new thing every day, we headed to the Sunken Gardens and they were so peaceful, filled with tropical plants, turtles, fish, birds and more.  What a great way to spend my favorite day of the year and also get great inspiration to do some flower planting!  We came home with that peaceful, easy feeling.  We are quite grateful we always do, after spending time with any of the “kids.”

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Today, we begin the 21 day meditation challenge.  Looking forward to doing that shortly and starting the day off right.  Then, it’s off to a full work day and a full work week.

Wishing you all the beautiful possibilities that spring holds.  It’s the season of rebirth, renewal and growth and everywhere we look–it is!  Enjoy….