Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolution Solutions

The statistics about New Year's resolutions are dismal. Less than 3%, if that, of people who make them, keep them.

One reason I see that many do not stick to their proposed plans, is that they aim too high. If what you think you want is so vastly different than your current habits, the odds are slim you will be able to make such a big change and stick to it. Familiarity will most likely win out, and slowly, (or quickly) you revert back to what feels comfortable. That is until you get comfortable with the new way of doing things.

This comfort thing takes commitment. Change requires commitment and awareness. When you notice the discomfort of the new is creating discord, you can let the discord go. If you are unaware, you might just fight, or justify yourself right back to where you started. Think about some of the major changes people go through, like a marriage or moving to a new city. There are usually moments of wanting to go back to the known old way of living but since the commitment has been made and there is no turning back, most people will adjust and dive into their new situation and adapt. Only when it is a desire to eat in a new way, exercise, or start a new business idea, there is often a dabbling instead of a diving. That reserving the right to quit or draw back is what kills many a good intention.

I love the title of Wayne Dyer's "Excuses Begone" book. If we take out our excuses and just take actions, we can lead a different life. Joe Vitale recommends in his new "Attracting Wealth" program to watch "Yes Man" (not sure why it is not available on itunes...) because so many people say maybe or not yet instead of Yes to their lives. Yes to what they want. Yes to living happier, wealthier, healthier, etc.

Where would you like to be in a year? 6 months? 3 months? 3 weeks? One of the most successful people I know simply writes her year out of what she wants, keeps her eye on those things, takes actions and consistently creates her life to be magically wonderful! Let's all have an incredibly great 2010!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Camping

I've been so busy moving all month I have not posted anything in quite a while. It's been a big job, this back to school, sell everything I own, and move 3,000 miles back East. I'm enjoying most of it. Sometimes I have to remind myself to enjoy it. There isn't much in the way of help. Aside from the usual L.A. shy away from anything that is work, and doesn't offer a possible movie role/writer/director/etc. credit in the future, there are not that many people in town to assist. The exodus begins early here. Then there are pleasant surprises.

The very first person to respond to my webpage I created(susanisgoingbacktoschoolandneedstoselleverything.html) bought a desk and some tables, lamps, plants and dishes. She was from New York herself and she said she also wanted to buy my bed as she was furnishing a room to rent. I asked her if we could wait for her to pick up the bed when I moved over to my neighbors. That wasn't going to work for her, so I figured I would sleep on my couch until that sold. When the couch sold, I was prepared to make a sleeping bag out of an old comforter and use my yoga mat as the ground cover.

Interestingly though, the day she was to pick up the bed she and I both had a stomach flu and I was grateful she didn't want to come and get it yet. Then it was her birthday and she was busy. In the meantime I moved over to my neighbors apartment as my neighbor went out of town and needed me to look after her cat. It was perfect timing for the bed to leave when it did.

My bed buyer came to get the bed, which happens to be a futon on a wooden frame that can be a couch and two tables with a mattress on top. The futon is a bit heavy and awkward and we were like a comedy show as we pulled and dropped and dragged the futon to her waiting SUV. Luckily though a sweet neighbor happened to be out on his deck and said hello. I asked if he could help and he came over like the Calvary to save us. It was wonderful. He swiftly got it all set for her to take the bed away. I'm now camping in luxury in my neighbors apartment until her return. Then I will be on another friends floor for a few nights but its' all been perfectly wonderful.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Only 1 week until Thanksgiving. How did that come around so quickly. Wasn't it just September a few days ago? I guess I've been busy and forgot to look up at the dates going by. "Sigh".

I posted my now traditional Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes in my last mailbag for I love these recipes. I will have to make a pumpkin pie. I ought to make whatever I love the most and be thoroughly grateful for it before leaving most of my cooking things behind. It's been a good run here in California. It will be a good move to NY.

In all the chaos and excitement of change, there is comfort in the familiar. The yearly traditions. I remember making up this recipe from changing around a couple of different recipes I had found and it worked out so well. Holidays are good markers in time. Looking back you can see where you have been and where you might like to go now.

I do not really know where I am headed. What might going back to school bring? Yes, before I leave, I will have to make a pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie


3/4 C. unbleached white flour

3/4 C. whole wheat pastry flour

1/8 tsp. Sea salt

1/4 C. safflower oil

1/4 C. brown rice syrup

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the flours and salt in a mixing bowl and then add the oil using a fork to mix until you have beads of dough. Add the rice syrup and mix using your hand just until mixed. Please do not over mix the dough. Gather the dough and form into a ball. You may refrigerate to make it easier to roll out. Roll out thin between pieces of wax paper. Peel off the top layer of wax paper and flip it into a pie plate. Trim the excess with your hands and save the dough to make cut outs. Using a fork put a few pricks in the bottom of the crust. Flute the edges of the crust with your fingers or make tracks with the fork.

Roll the crust trimmings into a ball and then roll out just like the pie crust. This time use a small heart or star shaped cookie cutter to make small crust cut outs. Transfer to a baking sheet with a parchment paper on it. Keep rolling up excess dough to form a ball and then roll out in the same manner to keep making cut-outs until all the dough is used. You will get about 21 small cutouts. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just golden brown.


2 cups Pumpkin puree or 1 can of organic pumpkin

3/4 lb. Tofu

1 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Ginger

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

3/4 C. Brown Rice Syrup

1/4 plus 1 Tablespoon maple syrup

1 tsp. Vanilla

1/3 C. light vegetable oil

Blend all filling ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 1 hour. (Note: you may need foil so as not to burn the outside crust, just apply to crust about ½ way through cooking or start with foil and take off after 30 minutes.) Top with the cookie cutouts if desired. Let cool and chill in refrigerator. Use Tofu whip topping to decorate.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I love chivalry. When a man opens the door for me or does any number of small niceties to make sure of my well being, a tingle of appreciation runs through me and a smile springs up from the center of myself. Manners seem to be disappearing. I go into a very nice restaurant where I put on a dress for dinner. I notice most people dining in baggy shorts and flip flops. I met a man recently at a film screening and we talked about many things. He felt the lack of style and manners was making women appear cheap. I agree, and men too. Street style might be cool but when did shooting down your neighbor or finding the most disgusting idea you can, and calling that fun, become the norm?

With all "The Secret" touting, yogi headed, spiritual seeking and self-help reading folks watching Oprah, where have the manners gone. Those little things that say, thank you? It's the little things you do each day that add up to your life. For years I have taught people that with food everything counts. You get to be committed to what you want with each bite. What are your habits. Habits of thoughts, habits of actions and habits of being? Being kind and honoring your word is more than sending a card for someones birthday. It is a day to day way of living.

Perhaps if we step up our game and be more for ourselves it can seep out into everything. Start now with yourself. What do you want for your life? How do you want to look and feel about yourself. What is your relationship with food?, your body?, your belongings?, your co-workers?
What would your ideal relationships look like? How could you uplevel every area of your life? It might as simple as treating each with a little more manner.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Plan A

It's 90 degrees F. but it feels like 100 and dry. It's days like today when you know Los Angeles is a dessert. I biked to the post office and then walked down to the ocean where even there it was calm and scorching. The waves lapped up offering only a little relief from the heat. I didn't stay long. I might like to come back tomorrow in a bathing suit with an umbrella to sit under and have a picnic but I have meetings all day and doubt it will happen until a weekend.

There are only a few of those left here by the Pacific Ocean and I intend to make more of the time than I have all of these years. As I dropped the last of my application materials in the post office this morning I felt that tingle of excitement that comes when you know your life is about to change in a big way. I don't have a plan B so plan A better work out well.

It was comical to see the men building the outdoor ice skating rink that has now become a yearly event near the 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica. They are early this year. Perhaps they forgot how it can be blazing just around Holloween, when the rest of the country is preparing for snow. We make snow here and it must be more lucrative to keep the ice cold and let people skate than to wait for cooler temperatures to happen naturally. It does start making everyone think of Holiday time and it's a cheery artifice.

I go home and make a shredded cabbage, apple, carrot, seitan salad that is cooling and satisfying with cold barley tea to sip. I contemplate my options and I only see plan A. I'll be moving soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Over the weekend I pulled out a small book from my shelf that was one of my first introductions to whole foods cuisine. I saw some recipes for jinenjo, the Japanese mountain potato that I recently discovered was also grown by Native Americans. Jinenjo is an odd veggie that not only provides a nice hit of energy, it has a list of health benefits that is long. Everything from helping stomach ulcers and digestive problems to alleviating pain and was even an original source of diosgenin that is now synthetically made for birth control pills.

I love its sweet mild flavor and odd sea foam consistency when grated. You can use it raw as a condiment mixed with soy sauce and ginger or cook it into as many potato sorts of recipes as you like. I hopped on my bike and went to the Japanese market to buy some.

Once home, I grated it, added chopped green onion and fried it up to be solid and crispy on the outside. Yum!

In folk wisdom, the jinenjo is used to increase sexual vitality in men. Experiment and see what you think!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I got home from Bali to find out that 2 cousins and a friend died. Two of cancer and one of old age. Both cancer cases were under 40 years of age. Before I left a dear friend in NY had had 3 friends and relatives die in a span of 3 days. I wonder what the next Oscars, Grammy's, and other award shows are planning, as the entire program could be one long tribute to those entertainers that went with Micheal, Farrah and Patrick this year.

Billions of dollars go into cancer research and drug research and yet it seems people are more unwell than ever.

In Bali people were more connected to their families and Deities. They seemed more connected to each other and their land. I saw little if any sickness and a whole lot of smiling, well looking people and children. They were not over weight nor starving. They were living how people have lived for thousands of years.

I could eat in Bali without any problem. Most of the food seemed to be about the kinds of things I normally eat at home. Fruits, veggies, grains, a little meat, a little bread or crackers, some seasonings. I was surprised at never needing to say no this or no that. I just ordered, ate and enjoyed. I discovered new flavors and generally felt great.

Perhaps a sense of belonging and keeping busy and happy throughout the day is their secret to staying well. I do not know for sure. I do know that one friend who just died never got to do so many of the things she wanted to. She was frustrated and talented and felt she had failed at life in many ways. Her beauty didn't save her. Her goodness didn't save her. I wish for her that she had taken more trips and gone to more auditions.

I loved seeing the small amount of the world I just got to see. What do you want for your life now? Find ways to explore the possibilities and make the most of your days. Let me know what your doing. I'm interested.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Someone asked me yesterday if food has really changed all that much. What she was asking was, am I eating the same kinds of whole foods humans have eaten for thousands and thousands of years. Yes and no.

We live in a luxurious time. Don't let the headlines fool you. We can get any kind of grain or bean or vegetable, just about anywhere, even at odd times of the year. Our ancestors never had that. They were limited to what ever grew around them. One or two kinds of grain where what they had in their cave or hut. I've got 8 jars on my counter right now, each filled with a different variety. (rice,oats,amaranth,red quinoa,barley,jobs tears and rye flakes, just in case you were wondering...)
In ancient times when grain was money, I would be very very rich!

I'll be heading to my local farmers market tomorrow where I can choose from fresh strawberries, jujubes (September/October only), peaches, pears, apples, blueberries, raspberries and more. There are oranges and avocados and lemons just hanging off trees. We have mixed and mingled and brought in all sorts of seeds and plants to all corners of the world. It's not just a melting pot of races but also cuisines.

Learning the properties of different foods can make a real difference as diet does affect every cell, every thought, every sparkle that simmers through our incredible beings. Our lifestyles have changed with time, just as everything else. We no longer spend our days outside, gathering, hunting, making things for our community in the way people who ate simple diets did. If someone spends a lot of time flying for work, they will need foods that re-hydrate, and ground them. If they eat a lot of drying foods or ungrounded foods, they will feel lousy.

Most people do feel less than stellar. They don't even know to know that their normal is really far below what they could feel. Getting back to basics is a great way to elevate. Then fine tuning with knowing how individual foods contribute to the mix. Might as well enjoy the luxury we live in and use it to the fullest.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Home made frozen yogurt is surpisingly simple...

I used to love frozen yogurt. It's been incredibly hot here in L.A. the last couple of days, and I've seen frozen yogurt shops pop up like popcorn over the last few months. Now I see people eating out of cups with Pink Berry or Froplay or any other number of yogurt names on them. Since both cane sugar and chemicals mess with everyone, and cause me to feel just lousy, I don't ever partake anymore of what's in those stores (oh and of course dairy messes with most of us too).

Several years ago I had bought a frozen yogurt/ice cream maker. It's one of those pretty simple ones where you freeze the canister overnight, pour in your ingredients and let the little mixing arm stir it up into a perfectly frozen treat. I had been dating a man at that time I so wanted to get closer to. He loved frozen treats, and I thought it would be a fun thing we could create together. Various frozen confections, toppings, etc. He and that thought, never came to any fruition. I somehow let the dust collect on my machine.

Today I dusted it off, pulled the canister from the freezer and decided to experiment a little. I simple added plain soy yogurt (Wildwood), agave and fresh strawberries sliced and mashed a little. I let the machine run for about ten minutes and sure enough - strawberry frozen yogurt was what I got! It was quite nice. I still might like it with a little vanilla and perhaps something with oil in it. Must be why so many ice creams are made with cashews?

If you had a whole lot of yogurt and different mixes to mix in it could be a fun thing to have at a party! Especially when it is so hot like this. Watch out, next we'll be seeing the frozen yogurt machine at all the catered events. I was just at a premiere where they had an incredibly fun photo booth machine where they could also project the photos up on a screen all night as well as give you a copy. Why not personalized frozen treats?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Peaches are not as profitable as Poptarts

I just got done being interviewed about weight loss. It is always fun to see what comes out of my mouth when people ask me questions. One of the things I spoke about was the simplicity of how as a society we have deviated so far away from eating whole foods. "Peaches are not as profitable as poptarts." I said. I used to eat a lot of poptarts in the morning. Now with my whole grain, I have whole fruit. I can see how someone who wanted to capitalize on my simple and satisfying early morning meal, came up with a poptart. It's like having a slice of pie for breakfast and even more convenient.

Now as we strive to be more "green" I would imagine that many would see the waste in such food stuff. You've got the packaging that is wasteful and the less then beneficial does of sugary non food that wastes your energy, ages you faster and slows you down. Children are getting diabetes and other diseases at an alarming rate, not to mention obese.

I don't remember any obese kids when I was growing up. There was not a lot of soda drinking, snacking or super sized anything that has become normal today. Portions seem out of control here in America as well as the junk that gets passed for food. What is normal for you? Where would you like to upgrade or shave a little?

You can save money and have more energy eating more whole and take a peek at how much "fun food" you might have in your life. Where you marketed into believing it's really okay? Remember, Peaches are not as profitable as poptarts and good health doesn't pay for the drug companies but you are worth more than allowing less than supreme living into your life.... I reminded the interviewer that weight loss can be easy when you learn how food works.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Easy, Fast and Cheap

I was relishing one of my old favorites yesterday. A simple black bean saute with carrots, onions, romaine lettuce, thyme, and tamari that can be put over rice along side fried plantains or an ear of corn. It's so simple fast and delicious. You must have all of the ingredients for it to have just the right flavor. Without the romaine for example it would just be like a black bean soup, just less water.

As I sat enjoying this dish I looked at how even my all organic ingredients still only came out to pennies per serving. Sure my Eden Organic black beans might be 50 cents more than Trader Joes's, only I like them better. With three or four servings per can, it's still quite reasonable. The entire meal was maybe $3. The time it took to put together was only about 10 minutes.

That would be the obvious cost factor. The less apparent cost effective benefits are in the quality of the food. More nutrients in how fresh and organic it all was, equals better health and less need to visit doctors or healers later. Less buying of supplements. And the biggest benefit comes from the added energy.

What most people do not seem to realize as they choose fast food or convenience foods is the energy costs. If your food is draining you instead of giving you abundant energy, that is a very big deficit. Not to mention that then you might be tempted to get stimulants to keep you going. Coffee, chocolate, energy bars all can add up to weight gain, lower immunity, lower real energy and even mind fog so you get less done which is often why you might be eating them in the first place.

To not take the time for fresh healthy food is costing many a lot more than they bargained for. So what really is easy, fast and cheap? Take a little time for higher quality living and take all your saving on a vacation....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Healthier Brownie

I just read a post where someone asked for a gluten free brownie recipe and the response was a brownie with black beans in it. It reminds me of those books on how to sneak foods into your kid. I always found this devious. In this case it sounds abusive as beans and sweets often, well most of the time, well, pretty much give you gas! Sometimes painful, horrific gas.

Would someone who already has digestive troubles really want beans in their desserts? Maybe no one is noticing because they already do have digestive troubles so flatulence and abdominal pain are ordinary occurrences? Many people who believe themselves to be gluten intolerant really have other issues going on undiagnosed. Gluten intolerance effects a small percent of the population and those that have celiac understand how that is a very difficult thing to have. It's starting to be popular to cut out gluten because doctors seem to be getting lazy in their ability to uncover what is really going on. The elimination of gluten can help a myriad of things for a while from allergies to weight issues, chronic fatigue, bloating, etc. If it is not the real problem though it's not going to help for that long. It could be viral, candida overgrowth, overtaxed adrenals or more. Find out what the real culprit is and until then, I wouldn't put any beans in your brownies...

Here's one vegan brownie I came up with years ago.
This version is low in cholesterol and fat typically associated with rich chocolaty brownies. If you wish to use oat and barley flour or spelt or another non wheat flour - try it!

3/4 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3/4 C. Unbleached White Flour
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1 1/4 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
3/4 C. good quality cocoa powder

1/2 C. Safflower or Rice Bran oil
3/4 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. barley malt
1/4 C. water
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

Oil an 8” square brownie pan. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet to the dry and mix thoroughly without overmixing. Pour batter into the oiled baking dish and even out the batter in the pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes. The top will crack but it’s a brownie it is supposed to be moist and not like a cake so don’t go doing the knife test and leaving it in the oven too long. Allow to cool and then place in fridge for a few hours before cutting

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Home made graham crackers

I was looking at the graham crackers today but I didn't end up buying any. Later that evening I decided I would like a cracker so I made some. I just happen to have some graham flour in my fridge just for such an occasion. I tried an all graham dough that has a slight wheaty taste to it. While not as sweet as a cookie and not as plain as a cracker I would feel very good about giving these to kids with such simple ingredients in them.
  • 4 T Earth Balance
  • 1 egg
  • 4 T Agave
  • 4 T Brown Rice Syrup (or any combination of sweeteners you like.)
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 C graham flour
  • 3/4 C unbleached pastry flour (or use all graham flour or your own combination.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine the Earth Balance and sweeteners in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the egg and blend.
  4. Add baking soda into the butter mixture.
  5. In another bowl mix the flours and then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix into cookie dough. If it is too wet add a tad more flour.
  6. If you can roll right on your cookie sheet just line with parchment and roll out 1/2 the dough on each sheet. If not you will need to roll on a floured surface and then cut out your cookies.
  7. With a knife, score the dough, without cutting through, into squares or use cookie cutters.
  8. Prick each square a few times with the tines of a fork.
  9. Bake for about 15 minutes until edges get brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool on racks. (They will crisp up as they cool.)

Here is an M cafe inspired salad at home. I met three friends there last night in Culver City. The four of us sat at one of the little tables near the window with our array of different orders. I love going to M because there is a freedom in that they only use good ingredients. I do not need to ask for anything special and I can just relax and enjoy. I wanted to go there originally to have a celebratory strawberry cupcake. I had been there with my neighbor two months prior for one the day before I started a two month cleansing experiment. This was the end of that and so we were bookending and acknowledging what I had just accomplished.

I did not know it would not just be the two of us and the four seemed better than I could have imagined. There was a lovely synergy at the table. The food was an excuse to share stories, laugh, learn a little, laugh, create community, laugh. By the time I went for the cupcake it really was literally unnecessary icing. I did enjoy it, but I enjoyed the company so much I needed nothing else to make the evening sweet.

I watched as community was sewn into a beautiful garment that we all share now. It is something that I feel many people need far more to stay healthy. The village used to lift people up and support the health of each individual, because that supported the health of the tribe as a whole. Each contributing her/his part. There is a lack of real community here. It's a transient town and hugely competitive. Superficialness rules and keeps the Botox flowing. The struggle for many with food is an intrinsic need to fill up that void and try to satisfy the depths of ones self that can never really be filled by substance. No amount of shopping or eating or even sex can fill up the desire for real community.

My neighbor is terrific at creating, seeking and finding it and I hope to carry her lessons where ever I go.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Farm Fresh vs. Store - Why Pay More?

I found myself at the farmers market today wandering more than purchasing. I did get some lovely fruit and flowers but not much else. Simply why pay more for vegetables than I would at the store? A bunch of carrots at the farmers market was $1.50 or $2 when they are only $1.29 at my co-op. All organic of course. The onions are currently 99 cents at the store and farm stand fresh they are $1.50 so I end up not buying the produce because why would I pay more? The flowers on the other hand were only a fraction of the cost and the fruit at the farmers market is not only fresher and often sweeter, the organic strawberries were only $2 a basket.

I do love the camaraderie at the Wednesday market. Each week it is like meeting up with old friends as we exchange stores. The avocado grower knows my whole love life and Richard who sells the sugar snap peas reminds me of my Dad. He always has something cute to say. Perhaps that is why many people don't mind the few cents more to have those interactions. Perhaps those interactions make the food taste even better all week long? You can also purchase it all in one place and be done with it. Eggs, milk, even organic meat and juice and bread are there right along side the vast array of California produce. It's beautiful and fun....still though, why pay more....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Non Dairy Queen Bliss

I went to Whole Foods this afternoon to pick up a couple of things for dinner. I decided I would like some ice-cream sort of thing to go with a meringue cookie. (See this month's newsletter from for the recipe.) At first I grabbed a bottle of amasake and thought I might make my own. Then I took a peek at all the new vegan, non-dairy, agave sweetened ice creams out there. While I have loved Tomberlies, I don't love the price tag. I picked up one that was far cheaper and it looked great. Great that is until I read natural flavors towards the end of the ingredient list. Natural flavors is a great way for food manufacturers to hide glutamates. I'm particularly sensitive and I never feel well if products contain them.

In case you don't know what a glutamate is, it is an excitotoxin to the brain when it is used as a food additive. Basically exciting cells to their death and can create little holes in the brain. I find that I feel oddly awful from them, and it makes the food eaten not so much fun after all.

Then I picked up one called Coconut Bliss. While I'm not a coconut fan, I do like coconut water from immature coconuts so I took home a vanilla and gave it a try. I loved it. So smooth and creamy and light. It reminded me of a dairy queen only cleaner. The ingredients are simple and organic. I'll have to try other flavors of it now. Plus it went great with the meringue cookie and fruit. I'm sure it will be excellent with chocolate sauce.

Is it still a stir fry if you use white wine and thyme? Well it is good regardless of what to call it. Good food can be as simple as that. A good attitude, a good life, it can be as simple as that too. It's all how you make it up. This has taken me a very long time to really "get". It's easy to understand but to buck the old habits and take on freedom can take practice.

Anything you practice you get better at. Practice bad habits and they seem normal and when you decide to switch you might find yourself falling back. You just keep marching towards what you want instead of what you don't want. Keeping at it until the new habits are well worn enough they become automatic.

If your relationship is stuck, or your diet or how you are living your life in any way. Add something new. Relax more and find thoughts that make you feel great. Be kinder when you can. Take advantage of what you can do now to make things fun, fresh and new. It might be adding a little white wine and thyme - who knew?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Has anyone ever given you a gift certificate? Probably. I got one from a friend for my birthday to a restaurant I'd never been to. It's an organic restaurant called Kreation cafe on Montana avenue in Santa Monica. It looked okay, but didn't entice me all that much when I had first looked at the menu. The certificate had to be used at dinner and you needed to spend about $10 more than it's value in order to use it. In other words, I needed someone to eat dinner with who would want to go to this restaurant.

Six months later my friend Andy is sitting on my couch and says he wants to take me to an early dinner, where could we go. I was just going through some papers and there was the certificate. "You want to try this place?" I asked. He is always up for something new, so off we went.

I was happy from the moment we stepped into this little organic oasis of wood and greenery. You get to eat in the back in what feels very greenhouse like with succulents beautifully adorning the walls. We split an appetizer of eggplant dip. The plate decorated with a fennel and celery salad and three lovely blanched almonds, served on a white square plate. The entree was presented on a long rectangular plate and was perfect for splitting. Four large chunks of tender organic meat cooked to perfection, surrounded with a fantastic array of vegetables from sweet grilled corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, another salad, it was lovely. At this point I would have been quite happy. The desserts were then the crowning jewel to the meal. Andy was in bliss with a chocolate fudge cake and I was perfectly pleased with three lovely squares of pistachio baklava adorned with berries. and of course tea for me. I like having tea at the end of a meal. It makes it feel wrapped up and complete.

Somehow it feels like I'm still living the Julie & Julia material with all of these gourmet treats. It is wonderful there are getting to be more restaurants that have wonderful options, all organic and this restaurant features many vegan plates as well. I loved the atmosphere, the presentation, it all makes such a difference. When you eat at home make it just as much fun with making your food look beautiful and have the dishes be fun for you too. I like to tell clients to make one new dish each week. Then you build your repertoire of things you know how to do.

Long blog today but I hope you are inspired...sometimes all it takes is one good meal....
For more inspiration - sign up for a session at!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cooking Cucumbers

Cucumbers have never been a particular favorite of mine. Well, except when at a facial and someone is delicately placing slices over my eyes. Those cucumbers are especially nice. Experiences like that have been few and far between in my life. The common cucumber that turns up in salads or languishes on my plate even when someone has taken the time to marinate them and sprinkle elegantly with parsley, have left me with a so so opinion.

When reading in Julie & Julia about the fact she wasn't a big cucumber fan either, I could relate. Then the enormous delight in the ones she cooked in butter (Yeah, everything she was eating was pretty much cooked in butter...)got me intrigued. So I pulled out the remains of the one I bought and had used in some sushi rolls last night. I figured rice bran oil might be a tad too plain so I sauteed them in sesame oil and sprinkled in a little ume vinegar. Yes! I am now a fan of the sauteed cucs myself!

Thanks to both Julie and Julia!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie & Julia and Me...

I just finished reading Julie & Julia this morning and I'm off to see the movie this afternoon. That must be why I needed to make meringue cookies this morning. I like making something fun on Sundays so that was it today. I'm going to put the recipe in the newsletter tomorrow.

Back from the film and it was terrific. Nora Ephron is La writer supreme!!! I love her. No offense to the lovely Ms. Powell but the film beat the book for once. They could give Nora an adaptation award in my opinion. Anyway, both were very close to my heart in many respects. The food, the search for more in ones life, the writing...

I am grateful that I learned cooking that is fast and simple to do. I made a quick yaki soba tonight for dinner since my friend wanted to go to a later movie and I never eat dinner this late. Fast, simple and satisfying, I don't use as much oil as they do in a restaurant. Sooo easy to saute what ever veggies you want, and what ever meat or tofu you wish. While the noodles boil, slice and saute away and then add the noodles and some soy sauce and you are good to go. Meringues with ice cream and chocolate sauce can be a perfect ending...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Savvy Travel - Part II

Phrew am I glad for some refreshing Barley Tea right about now - That's the fun food fact of the day: Barley Tea can cool you down. Roasted grains for tea seem to be an Asian thing that we westerners can start adopting. I buy the stuff already roasted ( and ready to steep, making as big a batch as my pan will allow. Cool and put in the fridge for handy sipping as long as it lasts. If you make it the night before, it is perfectly cool for the next day.

However we can't take liquids from home on planes anymore, so make sure you bring appropriate foods with you for your flights. In flight is a great time to be vegan for the day. Taking animal foods on trips can be asking for spoilage trouble but vegan type foods can last and last and most do very well without any refrigeration. I love taking quickly made sushi rolls. (stay tuned to the videos at for the simple how to...) I fill 'em with different veggie fillings. usually raw stuff in the hotter weather like a little ume paste, carrot, cucumber and maybe some tofu filling or even my pumpkin seed pesto. When I don't have time to cook or I'm coming on home, I like to pick up a sandwhich or wrap to take with me. I've also found noodles to be getting prevelent in airports. Both Italian or Asian noodle dishes pack up well or give me fuel right there in the airport. Thank goodness for all of the gladware type to go containers, for taking just about any solid food dish you might want to toss in your carry-on. I suggest packing an extra plastic bag or two in your luggage so when you do purchase food to carry on, slip it in an extra wrap just to be sure of no spillage.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Groovy Cooling Cucumber

Fun Food Fact of the Day:

Groovy cooling cucumber can restore your health. As long as you don't have a damp condition like candida, cucumber can cleanse and purify the blood and clean up your intestines. Quenches thirst while being a diuretic, cucumber is a terrific summer vegetable and good to have on hand in case of sunburn! (yes, you can rub it right on the skin too.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Air Travel Part 1

Flying Free across the country, across oceans, we can all fly anywhere on the planet. What does it mean to be free? Hopefully that you will still feel good in flight and once you've landed. I like to take some homeopathic "No Jet Lag" tablets. Bach flower rescue remedy can help too. Being on airplanes is like being in a pressure cooker with very bad air. You lose liquid and get constricted. The worst things to eat then would be those that dry you out more and create contraction. And that seems to be just what the airlines like to give you. Pretzels, cookies and other dry hard baked things with poor quality salt or immune paralyzing sugar involved. I just told my friend flying from London to L.A. today to go and get herself some green apples to take on the plane. Refreshing, re-hydrating, and very low in sugar, they will help her be more at ease. Smarty that she is, she picked up some yummy cashews too, so she'll have some fat and protein to keep her going for the long haul. Being high in magnesium the cashews can help her relax her muscles and get some much needed sleep!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Can food cure everything? Certainly not. You do have far more power though if you know what the players on your plate are doing for you.

Fun Food Fact of the day: Eggplant stops bleeding.
No, don't go dabbing it on wounds. It stops internal bleeding so it can be useful for those women who practically hemorrhage each month and slow things down to a normal flow. This cooling veggie can be helpful for bleeding ulcers or hemorrhoids but beware it is a nightshade. If there is any kind of arthritic or inflammatory condition, I'd say steer clear.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where Would You Like to Be More Free?

I watch as a client stops coming right before her breakthrough to having success with her weight. I can only hope that enough of what I taught her will sink in and she will utilize it later. She has done this before though. The pattern is to make it about money. It isn't about money, it's about the fear of change more than money. Money is the obstacle she uses to stay the same. Stay safely in the opinions that she knows. It does seem so real though. Circumstances even show up to make it look real. The illusion becomes reality because she makes it so....

Where might you have a similar pattern? Do you find yourself having the same relationship problems over and over? What about work? What about your own health or body? Are you willing to finally be free and live the way you dream about? It is possible but it takes courage! It takes courage to spend money when things look like they are shrinking all around you. It takes courage to step out and risk having.

What I see so often is that the risks usually pay off. Things might not look like what we think they should look like. Risks do not usually feel comfortable or safe or even sane sometimes. Risking in the direction though of what you really want in your heart. That pays off. If you find yourself making excuses for why you can not currently be or do or have something. Just stop. Do it or be it or have it now to the best of your ability. Or look to why you cover with not enough money or resources or what ever you use as the obstacle. Clear the real reason and then see if the resources show up.... Sometimes it's instant and other times it isn't but usually when a client is ready to leap and they find a way to allow themselves. I get to see their magic and miracles show up far better than they would have ever imagined.

Keep playing with you life and be more free!!!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One Cookbook?

Recently I had a student who asked, "Isn't there just one cookbook that would pretty much suffice?" He was asking for the one cookbook he could have on his shelf that would tell him how to cook anything and he would never need to look at another. One? When I showed him my cookbook shelf he was slightly taken aback.

I can never have enough cookbooks even if one like The Joy of Cooking might give me a nice array of technique. It certainly did 30 years ago anyway. I love to be inspired by the ever growing array of current cuisine. Today the entire world is becoming a melting pot of ethnicity and traditions. Cooking has always been an expression of the culture. So as culture changes so do recipes. In this case it certainly is a good motto to "make new friends but keep the old." Old and new recipes alike can be intertwined and enjoyed.

Pick one item like a turnip and each cookbook will portray it differently. Bread varies so much from country to country, and the authors personal experience with making it, there are numerous books to have just on bread alone. The beautiful pictures might inspire you to buy something new, or serve your food in a new way too.

I love learning something about the cultural history of the people that created the food. Eat the many tantalizing tastes that make up a Japanese meal or enjoy a hearty Irish stew and you will notice how climate effects the meals created. What the people might have experienced or had growing nearby.

Just one cookbook? I hope to always have a growing collection. We eat everyday of our lives.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Healthy Thin

I was just looking at Lauren Greenfield's website. She is one of my new heroes as I embark on learning photography. I watched the "Thin" trailer and it made me want to learn shooting film even more, and make breathtaking but uplifting photos/films and such.

I remember being consumed with needing to be thin. I love helping those clients that come in and do not even know they are already thin enough. Beautiful enough. They long to be one of Hollywood's elite or maybe just adored by their family and friends. They do not feel good enough.

I can't wait to see the films Greenfield has shot because they tie very well together. The never enough stuff. The social breakdown for kids and adults where the feeling of lack is looming so large they fill up with stuff or starve...maybe in some cases both.

I was biking on the bike path following an anorexic girl on her bike. She had a little dog in basket on the front of her two Wheeler. She wore fashionable shorts and shirt with high wedge heels and over sized sunglasses. With her bleached blond ponytail, she resembled Paris Hilton. Only her limbs were beyond thin. I know she did not see this. She had one of those perfect Hollywood tans as well. I wondered if she is a want to be model or actress or socialite or is one? Might someone tell her, her idea of thin has gone awry?

The quest for thinness can go awry in several facets. I've seen girls obsessed and feel that thier lives depend on being just a little thinner no matter what they look like. They don't know what they look like. They see fat when many would give a fortune to look like these girls. Many women do spend a fortune, because they only look at the food or the exercise. Never addressing that psychologically they may have very good reasons for keeping some extra weight on. They do not feel safe for one reason or another being thin. Sometimes it can be some small thing said or done that they do not even recall but it sticks until they actually uncover the feeling of it.

Feelings are one reason people are eating too much. Run, duck and cover those feelings at all cost only feel even more feelings from the over eating or the foods consumed. Unraveling the ball of feelings can feel like combing tangles from knoted hair. It does get smoothed out though and perspectives can shift quite rapidly. Willingness is the key.

Where are you willing to own your feelings and not run away? Is there someone you know that you can be there for and listen to theirs? Be a safe place for them to come to? Or are you weighting? Begin begin begin and recover your esteemable self - being the size you choose and like being. Without the anxiety!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Have the magic of whole foods - break the resistance!

Sometimes we all would like a personal shopper. Someone who knows the latest and greatest of what is currently offered. Someone who really gets who we are and what would look best on us and fit into our personal lives. Choosing the perfect lamp or chair, just as much as, the best haircut for our face, and of course the picks of the runways with a price that fits our pocketbook. I feel I am that sometimes for my clients in the area of food. I go into the field of possibilities and bring to light the options that fit their bodies, their goals, needs, time-frames for cooking or gathering, budgets and of course tastes!

It’s got to taste great or why bother. It’s got to work or why put forth the effort. Whole foods work. They clear out the cancer cells, cut the colds and successfully flatten tummies and slenderize thighs. Why oh why wouldn’t you try them on for size?

Resistance and habit run rampant, that is why it is only just getting hip to be eating millet for breakfast or lentil croquettes instead of a steak. Human beings resist change. Even when that change is clearly in their best interest, it can be difficult to jump on board. I understand. I like the old familiar foods I grew up with too. I also am logical. When I learned how all of my ailments, mood swings, weight fluctuations, etc were being dramatically affected by my diet. I found it easier to embrace the new way. Enjoy it too.

Currently more than 64% of adult Americans are obese. (That’s just the adults with the kids following rapidly.) As of 2007, 23 million Americans had diabetes and the odds of getting some form of cancer in your lifetime are up to one in 2. Meaning at least half of us will get cancer. These are not good odds. Whole foods keep you whole much better than any pill or potion. They can prevent, treat and even reverse disease.

Be bold and go beyond just broccoli. Check out the endless variety you can get from a garden, be it your own or your local store. Start to know how different whole foods taste alone and in combination. What each does for you or not… Just because a food grows doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best for you. For example tomatoes may be high in lycopene that have gotten some good press for being beneficial for the human heart. That is lovely, and I love a good tomato slice in a sandwich. Tomatoes are in the nightshade family though, and can aggravate many conditions and even cause more inflammation. Definitely not something to be eating loads of if you live in a moderate climate and would like to have optimal energy and stay looking young. For some people, and hotter climates, more can be tolerated or even adored. Just not for me, here, now.

Turnips often get overlooked for potatoes. Turnips are cooling and detoxifying and go nicely many places a potato would go. Roasted, in stews, soups, made into quick pickles or fried up as in hash browns, you might take a turn with the little white roots rather than another high in alkaloid nightshade vegetable. (The potato) Alkaloids inhibit our B vitamin absorption and we need those especially for stressed out, cell phone driven folks…

Then there is the whole area of sweets. Wow do I love sweets. Sugar though is powerful stuff. Three feet of cane equals only 1 teaspoon of sugar. Who uses just one teaspoon though? Most desserts are loaded down with sugar that paralyzes the immune system for up to six hours. No wonder many people are so tired. Stressed out and grabbing for a stimulant like sugar to pick themselves up, they then take a hit to their immunity and get slammed with insulin to avoid going into a coma from consuming massive feet of sugar cane consumed in just a few minutes. The blood sugar goes too low and crankiness creeps in. That was my life before. Only that was “normal”! Whole fruit doesn’t do this nasty cycle or the consequent weight gain. The occasional agave sweetened treat doesn’t hurt nearly as much. Now sweets really are pleasure because there isn’t a subsequent pain that lasts for days afterwards.

Getting coaching was key in the beginning for the support. I have been happily eating a grain and veggie based diet now for years. It just gets better and better. My health reaches new heights, my mind is happier and clear and weight is a non-issue. I have stayed one skinny size without any effort for years and years. (I really love this part….) The more results you see, the more you want to keep going. That’s how you do it. You break your own resistance by catching yourself and going in the direction you want to be in. You keep practicing, trying things and making it work for yourself and you don’t give up. Giving up and grabbing fast food or having bar or bag of something instead of a meal isn’t satisfying or living well. If you do fall, just get right back on the whole food wagon and keep going. Recognize your resistance and retrain yourself to the new way. It might not be comfortable at many points along the road. It is just worth it. It gets easier. If you want the personal shopper touch, find a way to get that. As many have said for centuries, there is magic in the pursuit, you just have to begin.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Anti-Aging is Anti-Inflammatory

What is the real deal behind anti-aging? One key ingredient for sure is keeping calm inside and out. Anti-inflammatory ingredients are powerful in helping us stay well, slender and youthful. Things that cause inflammation will exacerbate joint pains, back aches, head aches, allergies, arthritis, forgetfulness, any just about any bigger ailment you can think of.

Acidity in the diet is one way we cause more inflammation. Eating an anti-inflammatory herb such as turmeric or popping something like benadryl is not much against a diet that is rich is caffeine, sugar, vinegar, refined foods, etc. All of those acid producing edibles that will create a body fighting to survive and you won't have the energy you need to thrive. Thus - you are probably aging faster than you need to and looking into ways to keep the wrinkles at bay and your body slim.

Think about the word inflammation. In flames. Sounds like an emergency situation. Then for many people after years of eating in a way that creates a constant emergency in their bodies, they start cutting parts out that no longer work or shooting up with Botox. What if you decide to just start eating well instead. Start creating peace. I've seen people give up sugar and start doing yoga and meditation go from looking 60 to 30 in less than a year. Why do you think that can work? Most likely because they are less inflamed inside and out. They learn to flow their energy positively and eat foods that do that too.

It's not really magic even though it can look that way. Where ever you are, no matter how "good" you think you are doing. See where you might be a tad less inflamed in your own life today. Could you find ways to be kinder to your body and have more ease in your mind?

For more ideas on how to - sign up for a session at or join a class today!

Monday, March 16, 2009

It was terribly disappointing for me to see an article in a recent magazine - one that is devoted to food no less - do a whole grain article that was almost devoid of whole grain. I'd love to give them the skinny on what the difference is. They are saying their pizza crust or pasta dish are just as good as the brown rice, millet or quinoa. Sorry foodies - that's false. Once those delicious wheat berries (or brown rice, etc.) are crushed up into flour they lose most of their nutrients quite quickly and then the oxidizing flour also becomes rancid fairly rapidly as well. Whole grains are full of water and nutrients that bodies can absorb. Flour products, especially hard dry ones, can rob you of invaluable fluids, while the body tries to utilize what you have just eaten.

Do you get tired after you eat? Probably compromised digestion. Your body is working diligently on that food so it doesn't have as much energy for you. Whole grains can build you up and give you more energy instead of draining it. Not to mention all the incredible nutrition in whole grains where the germ and bran are still intact. Protein, b-vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, iron, etc. are all inside of these tiny seeds. Quinoa and amaranth are so nutritious that they have been dubbed super foods and are especially good for athletes and pregnancy.

If you grew up opening boxes of cereal or bags of bread, you might be wondering what do people do with all of the various whole grain options? While some grain products are still a fun part of many a meal and you can buy or make some good quality bread products, pastries, cereals and pasta. Those are only a fraction of what makes up a healthy daily diet. They are more like condiments and the main stage is the whole grain, vegetable and protein based meal. Millet can be fun used like polenta or cooled in a pan and then cut into wedges or squares it's fun to top with all sorts of things from pate to taco salad. Salads are one great way to toss in some whole grains. They work both warm and cold. Many a country has some sort of stew type of dish over brown rice or barley or what ever they grow in their region. Adding a little herb or spice to just cooked rice gives it a gourmet flare in less than a minute. Mint and peas and parsley, garlic and lemon, cinnamon and carrot just to name a few. Play and experiment to see what you like. Roll up some brown rice sushi rolls or make a Thai curry. You'll start seeing your energy soar and your waistline be slender....

Remember you only get those whole grain goodies from real whole grain!!!
For more great info, please visit ! You might want a personalized coaching and start seeing even more incredible transformation today!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What would you like from your diet? Many people are on a Ferris wheel that they don't ever get off of because to do so would mean they have to ....yes, you guessed it - change! They would have to get on some other ride instead.

Personally I would have been the same as most but the pain from eating things that are not very supportive became too great and so I now get the benefit of that gift. If you really want to lose weight, have more energy, clear your ailments, etc. You must start taking a look at what you eat realistically and stop saying oh I'll get off this Ferris Wheel tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. Today is the only moment you have. What might happen if you said, yes, I'll do that now? What might happen if you took each meal and said, yes, I'll eat a tad less right now. Oh, I'll pass on that dessert. I am only having desserts on Sunday. Oh, I'll pass on that acidic coffee and have some herbal tea instead today....

What might happen is, with each choice you make that supports you, you build confidence, self-esteem and more personal power than ever before. You gain a level of health that most people walking around you today might never allow themselves to experience. I would like that not to be true. That is one reason I share, teach and keep exploring all the time. If I have been able to turn my health and life around starting with a few simple choices, than I know others can too. So many are stubborn fighting for what they feel safe with. Seaweed, as Elizabeth Gilbert pointed out in her TED talk, can scare people who are not familiar with all of it's incredible gifts. Whole grains seem somehow foreign to the American mind while flour products somehow get touted to have the benefits of the grain they once came from. Mostly they don't. Don't be fooling yourself into thinking your eating healthy because your fat free sickly sweet health bar has a little whole grain added.

The bottom line is what the food is doing for you. Is it giving you what your cells need to create outrageous energy? Do you have a sparkle in your eye and your moods are mostly upbeat? Do you stay completely well most all of the time? Do you have clear, smooth, soft skin that glows? A nice flat tummy? Do you feel fantastic about your body? Take a look at what you feed yourself. Does it come from the earth or out of some package?

Have you perhaps put convenience above actual quality of life? It is not so convenient if what you consume is draining you, making you fat and costing you in pills, potions or running around to fix what need not be broken.

Cooking can take less time than going to get food and be far less expensive. I'm working on a new cookbook with pretty pictures right now of meals that take about 15 minutes or less - done healthy.

Changing your diet is about creating new habits and patterns. It is about adopting a sense of adventure to try new things and boldly go where - well the ancients where going all the time but now you have more options than they did. Get out of the comfort zone you are currently in. Have a mix it up night or two. Challenge yourself to pass on things you know are not doing you any good and at least opt for a more fun Ferris wheel if you don't choose to get off that ride all together!

Check out more tips and tools at

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's February already. A special month of hearts and flowers, presidents day and my birthday. Plus it's a short month. I just posted the new newsletter at where I started to give a few interesting bits using the five elements. One element each month for the next five months.

Spring is associated with wood. Wheat is in the wood category and wood nourishes fire so perhaps that could mean the shortbread heart cookies I made can induce a little zip into a valentines day?

That may be stretching things a tad... Energy though is fascinating stuff! The energy of food, the energy you flow and how you flow it. We all have habitual energy patterns that we carry but they need not get stuck. Chinese medicine is excellent at creating more flow in the energy. Seeing a wonderful friend you have not seen in a while - Whrew, I can attest to that also creating some terrific flow in energy.

I had that experience this past weekend when a dear friend showed up out of the blue. He happens to have been a doctor of Chinese medicine in his past and now does Spiritual healing work that is simple and can be incredible. It reminded me to get going on what I want to do with different areas of my life in a bigger way. Have you gotten complacent about the pace you are going at to achieve your goals?

Did you make New Years Resolutions that have practically dissolved about now or do you keep putting them off into your future. This common occurrence is why so many people live with less than what they really want. They might continually wish to be thinner or more fit. They might continue to wish to be living in a different part of town or city or country. They might dislike their job but only think about writing that novel or going out on acting auditions. Where in your life are you letting the energy stay somewhat stuck? Are you willing to have a more magnificent life right now? How do you want to do it?

I may not be ready to leap as quickly as my friend was pushing me to do but it did entice me to start doing more actions towards my goals to get where I want to go. Get some coaching because it is an invaluable investment for your entire life and well being. Play, create and start living the dreams you can barely allow yourself to dream. You do deserve that right now! Hearts and Flowers abound....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Start to Finish

I watched as she got nervous around food. She scanned the restaurant for the plates that could be hers. She pondered the menu like a person who had not been in a restaurant for years and didn't want to make the wrong choice. Or maybe it was more of wanting everything all at once or the fear of ingredients making her feel badly. Her nervous, anxious energy, seeped over the table and I found myself uncomfortable. I found myself eating too quickly once the food arrived, and not enjoying my meal. I tried breathing, slowing down. It didn't help. I went with her to the bakery section and partook in choosing a dessert to take home for later. She again, got agitated making her selections and interacting with the staff. It broke my heart to watch her. I hoped my example of taking home a single dessert and being happy with that, might let her know that desserts were okay in moderation. I watched her take more than one and plunge in as soon as possible. I know I could help her but I didn't want to say anything and upset her. I didn't want her to feel badly. I just know that food isn't what is going to make her feel good.

This is a huge would wide epidemic of not just using food as an addictive substance but a substitute for feelings, or taking responsibility for ones actions. There seems to also be many who think since it is coming from a health shop or restaurant that eating more is okay. That might be true to a point because without the dairy and cane sugar and all the whole vegetables and grains, etc., a person might feel a tad better or lose some weight eating more. I've seen clients who lose enormous amounts eating simple foods even when they over eat, but the quantities were not recommended.

If only I could help my friend find more joy in her life, help her to get excited about each day and let food just be one small pleasure in a sea of many. I wish I could help her to know that there will be so many opportunities to be in this restaurant or some other, and that just enjoying what ever selection she makes today, slowly and thoughtfully will leave others for another day and nothing is lost. It might just leave more to look forward to. If it was fun for all then she would get many more invitations or start enjoying going by herself.

I used to feel badly eating in a restaurant by myself. I thought it meant I was a loser or pathetic and I wanted to hide. I'm glad I don't feel that way at all anymore. I usually don't like to read or do anything either. I am happy to be with my own company and think my thoughts. Occasionally writing down an idea for something to work on later. I enjoy each bite of food and am very in tune with where my full point is. I take home what I can not finish and I have a great experience. Food can be a great experience from start to finish. In restaurants and at home. It's all up to you and what you are willing to allow for yourself. Make it fun. Take your time and clear anything in the way.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Perils of Indulgence

I love desserts. I always have. I just don't love the consequences all that much. Last night, after a simply delicious slice of lemon meringue pie, I felt happy and contented. It did not have cane sugar in it and was just the right size. Not too much leaving me overstuffed and not too little as to wish for something more. No, it was a lovely dessert both sweet and tart, soft, melt in the mouth filling with a crisp crust. I have not been eating any meat though lately. I've had only a small amount of fish. Therefore I have less of a buffer against the sweet stuff.

Aside from sugars paralyzing the immune system the incoming swoop of of sweet sticky stuff into the blood, is just more than my body likes. I wake up the next day a tad tired. Okay, so not so much as to ruin the day or anything, but everything is a little cloudy and slower than normal. I have loads of terrific things to do, I don't want to just pith away a beautiful Sunday sleeping late and mulling around on my couch for hours just because I had a fun slice of pie.

I know what your thinking. Make some kudzu tea Susan and be done with it and move on. Get the alkalizers to work for you and you'll be fine. True enough. It just takes a while for my cloudy thinking to even think about that. It takes spilling tea all over my floor to realize how foggy my thinking really is. It's blazing hot outside today and the thought of salty warm liquids is unappealing until I decide how much I do want to come back to full control of my senses here.

I grab an umeboshi plum from my fridge and quickly feel the effects bringing me back out of the fog. It's time to run. I'll leave the sweets alone for now. Perhaps next weekend if I do indulge again, I'll remember to fix myself a little sooner.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Play a Free To Eat Game - More Freedom, Less Weight

I named this blog "Free To Eat" because so many people seem to be in food prison of some kind. With the stats raising daily of the number of obese people in the western world, clearly our land of freedom here in the U.S. is not living up to the constitution. Well, okay, we have the freedom to destroy ourselves and our fellow man as well I guess for a profit or entertainment.

When you are really free, you can see from a different vantage point though. Not that I am all that lofty myself, but I get to keep steadily finding more freedom in every area of my life and the food freedom has been increasing the more I take control of my thinking and indulge in delicious foods that grow from the ground and not from a factory.

I'm still amazed that people believe that if it is made from whole grain that is the same as the grain when they eat it. My audience laughs as I ask if you can grow a bread tree. I ask them what happens when you plant a loaf? Will anything sprout? Probably not. The same goes for crackers, cereals, etc. They are all fun. They are not going to give you as much freedom in your body and mind as the whole grains they came from.

Being free of worry about extra weight, disease, fitting in clothes, fitting in, looking good, taking pictures, who gets paid more because they look better, etc. etc. etc. Being free of all this kind of thinking is a giant relief. Can whole foods give you that? They sure seem to. But not whole foods alone without changing the internal dialogue as well.

Free to eat is taking responsibility for the consequences of all of our actions and thinking. Certainly you can justify the donut, the chocolate or the latte. But they will have a consequence that you then get to live with. Bargaining with yourself by playing the calorie, or fat gram, or any other games of - if I do this I get that - will keep you in prison. It's way too much work besides.

What if you play the healthy Free to Eat game? What if you had freedom around food and your body? What if you learn to embrace what you know will ultimately bring you pleasure instead of succumbing to constant indulgences day after day with the blame, shame and pain of the results? Are you interested? I am.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Drop the Excuses

Did you resolve to do something that you have been meaning to do? I love the new year. It is just another day, yet we turn a page and begin again. There is a mass consciousness to getting more done and drop the excuses.

Peeking at the excuses, can you really drop yours? Are your excuses tied up with who you believe you are? Do you resist your life and just have things basically the same year after year - problems, good stuff and all? Most seem to.

Where in your life might you just let go and do something that you want to do and see your way out of the obstacles in the way? My friend recently told me she was thinking of coming to visit me, but it's been cold here and she doesn't have any warm clothes. Now, the obvious thing to do could simply be, buy a sweater or two, and go, if that is what you want to do. No, that would be too simple and obliterate the thing that keeps her life and her routine - the same and safe!

We all have some habits. Do you like yours? Which ones might you be willing to let go of? Where is your biggest resistance to your life? For many, the beginning of the new year is a time when they are geared up to let go of some excess weight. The joke is that the resolve never lasts. It can not last until you are ready to actually have new habits. They won't feel good all the time. There might be moments of uncomfortableness like hunger when you eat less. You just are not used to the feeling so you might label it bad and want to run and get something to eat. Do anything else. Jump up and down, go for a walk, call a friend. Do something that distracts your thinking from taking you down that road to your old life. The one you just said you were dropping for the new and improved version. You can't have what you want if your standing rooted in your past behaviors.

What is your excuse? Money? Time? Kids? Parents? Your Job? We all have some fall back thoughts that sound so logical we can justify not going for our dreams fully so we don't look so foolish if we fail to make them a reality. We justify to ourselves as well. Look to see what you say you want but are not living. Take the scary step of not listening to your thinking. okay, a little disclaimer here, if it is dangerous or illegal or something that is your dream, forget it altogether, I'm talking about average stuff like losing weight, going on a vacation, buying a new camera or iphone. Stuff you say to yourself - I would like this but I can't.... Drop the excuses and let this be the year you really do start living happier, healthier and more alive!!!