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Monday, March 29, 2010

In Search Of Greater Temeh

Actually, I was not searching for better tempeh but I did know it existed. I had heard of a brand you could order from Montpelier Vermont. I had met a woman in the Santa Monica Co-op who told me she ordered that and Amasake. I never ordered to experience it and kept purchasing what we had at our local store. I was moving to New York soon and that was how we had gotten on the conversation. Her daughter was going to the school I eventually wound up at. It was one of those Coincidental meetings that you never exactly know how or why our paths crossed.

Now perhaps 5 months later I went to a gathering of healthy eaters last night. A young man with a lot of excitement for his products was there contributing tempeh to the pot luck. Big chunks of Tempeh with different flavors sat on plates with toothpicks to pick them up. Now I have always been a fan of the fermented soybean stuff since I was first introduced to it. I like the hearty meat like quality of it and that it is versatile to what ever flavor you care to give it. This was by far the best tempeh I have ever eaten. Softer and richer somehow. He had made his own but the company he cooks for: rhapsodynaturalfoods.org does almost as well with pre-packaged and already cooked and seasoned tempeh. They also have very fresh and homemade amasake they can ship out.

Ironically my parents have been going to Montpelier to get groceries six months out of the year for the last 20 years and I had never had the pleasure of discovering Rhapsody before. This year I will make an extra effort to go there when I visit enjoy a meal and definitely bring back some tempeh.

No waiting required though as you can mail order from them too!!
www.SusanMarque.com

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Steps To Love

"It's all love" has gotten to be such a warped new age sounding overused phrase or idea. It is true. Love is an energy and that energy is universal and everywhere. So what does that have to do with eating well or living better? Finding out where you can allow love a little more is often a wonderful answer to feeling better, living better and eating less quantity or more of the things that are beneficial.

This works. It works if you allow yourself to play a new game in your life where you open up to love. Self love. It starts with self love. The outside world is giving you terrific feedback on how you are doing with this self love. I personally was not taught this. Quite the opposite. I was taught self loathing or at least not completely loving ones self was how you kept things going. If you toot your own horn I was taught no one would like you and when young that is equatable to perishing on the spot. Other people were responsible for loving you and it was your job to be worthy of that love. I have discovered what I was taught is a load of _________!

If you find yourself over eating or not getting good foods into yourself, who is responsible? You are. If you find that relationships are not satisfying or you hear yourself saying men are this or women are that as an excuse for not having love in your life, who is the real culprit? You are. I'm as guilty as the next person of pushing love aside for my ego and for simply living in the culture we are swimming in. A culture that likes to blame and indulge and hide instead of loving.

I assigned a game you might recognize to a client a couple of weeks ago. The assignment was to keep a log every night. Every night she might write out a very similar list to the previous night but the list was to list all of the positive attributes that she could give to herself such as "I have beautiful eyes, I dance well, I have a nice laugh, etc." Anything she wanted to put on the list was fair game as long as she believed it and it was positive. No or not must be excluded. Instead of saying "I don't make a mess like my brother", she was to say, "I'm neat." Now I gave her this assignment knowing it was good for both of us so I told her I would take it on too. By telling her it gave me even more impetus to do it. I am writing in my notebook every single night. I'm noticing how it is opening things up. Slowly. It's subtle. The outpicturing will come in time. These are the daily baby steps to getting there. Another step I assigned to her was to start noticing where her thoughts might be less than loving towards other and shift! Shift the thinking as soon as the noticing occurs. Shift the feelings associated with the thinking. Heighten the good feelings and then leave it alone.
www.SusanMarque.com

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Deliciously Clean - An Ozu Experience

Happy first day of Spring! Here in New York the trees are budding, it is 75 degrees, sunny and the energy in the city, more alive than ever. Just beautiful to walk through Central Park and enjoy being here. Since being alive also involves the pleasures of food, I got to experience another restaurant new to me here in Manhattan - Ozu. What a wonderful experience. Ozu reminds me of why I enjoy Macrobiotic food so much. Clean food feels fantastic. It's such a subtle difference that I am sure most people miss it. I've always been ultra sensitive and picky with what goes near or in my body. Macrobiotic food is gentle and nourishing and has that aliveness of Spring when you eat it.

The word Macrobiotic simply means larger life. It doesn't just mean a diet of Japanese foods or that you must eat miso soup and brown rice every day. The quality of the ingredients is such that many people say how great they feel. More clear, focused and alive. Healing happens because the body is getting what it needs and doesn't need to deal with things it has a difficult time with.

Try to explain that aging just doesn't need to occur. You do not need to say oh I have aches, pains, gas, acid reflux, dry skin, extra pounds or need more sleep because of age. You can change your diet to correct these imbalances. Only so many people just do not want to change. I had breakfast with a friend who did not even notice that after telling me how great his diet is, he was experiencing mucus and phlem in his throat from the yogurt and granola breakfast he had just consumed. Yes, it is the food. No yogurt is not that great for you if your condition is already acidic. The small amount of good bacteria doesn't make up for the clogging dairy. In America we are so duped by advertising and false information it makes changing what we eat difficult. We all get wedded to ideas, our favorite treats and fun habits.

Hey guess what - me too! That is until I was willing to experience something new. I do not eat perfectly macro clean all the time. I do notice and feel better when I do. I keep balance going as much as I can. Sometimes that means ultra clean food to feel smooth and nourished and sometimes it means eating what I can when out with friends. Still other times, I'm eating for pure pleasure and fix things later with a few more simple meals or a remedy when needed. Macro living is balanced living and have a large great wonderful life. Full of great experiences. Ozu reminds me sometimes those great moments can be clean and extraordinarily delicious all at the same time.
www.SusanMarque.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Food Solutions to Embarrassing Health Problems

We have all had those moment of discomfort, embarrassment or feelings of betrayal from our very own bodies. It depends on how you were raised, the level of negativity you give to gas, bloating, thinning hair on your head or added hair elsewhere. What about cold sores, or bad breath? There are solutions you can easily incorporate into your regime! Here are just a few:

Gas and Bloating can arise from many different conditions. Overeating being a huge factor. Allow yourself to slow down and really enjoy your meals and stop when you are starting to feel satiated. Even if it tastes great and you want to keep going, you can wrap up the leftovers and bring them with you for a later treat.

Another culprit is decreased digestive bacteria, so be sure to take a probiotic daily. Find one that you really feel works well for you. Jarrow EPS is one I like myself because I can take it with me and it doesn't need to be refrigerated. The strain of bacteria in the non-diary Bio-K plus is another absolute winner.

Thinning Hair is such a downer for many people. I've seen even bald spots reversed from a whole foods diet that includes sea vegetables daily. These magical foods are filled with minerals that nourish our hair and nails, helping them grow back thick and full. Dulse, Arame, Hiziki and Nori are all delicious when cooked or used properly. For tips on cooking them, look in cookbooks such as mine and experiment.

Sea veggies are also a great preventative for those pesky cold sores. Extreme temperature changes can trigger them so while you can cover up in Winter, during the warmer months you might enjoy cooling roasted barley tea, mint tea and roasted rice added to tea to help regulate body temperature.

It is difficult to have a conversation when someone is leaking bad breath your way. The best thing to do is clean up the diet completely since this sign of overall acidity. (Coffee drinkers beware.) No mint can cover up the stench from an out of balance system, so clear it up by eating more leafy greens, whole grains, and keeping the digestive system happy with what I mentioned above for gas and bloating.

These are just a few quick things to get you started. For more info, and great recipes, please go to www.SusanMarque.com

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reggie brings back the cheese!

My friend Reggie was ordering some Daiya cheese. I knew this because I saw her post on Facebook. I'd tried it before but was not sure if the reactions I experienced were from the cheese itself, the other ingredients in the pizza I had it on, or the combination? I had only tried it that one time and it had not impressed me much. Vegan cheeses are just not like my memories of solid gooey substances I used to enjoy before I knew how much they contributed to my health problems. But Reggie is somewhat of a stickler for quality and I trust her judgement so I thought I might give Daiya another try.

Whole foods uses it on their vegan pizza's so I went up to the pizza counter to see if they would sell me a chunk. They were ahead of me. So many people must ask for it, Whole foods puts into containers and sells it by weight already shredded. They even have varieties. I took home a white cheddar that I thoroughly enjoyed without any reactions. I had grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and even ate some straight out of the container. It's light stuff and does not sit like lead in your stomach. Made from plants, it is not like those plastic like soy cheeses of the past, this stuff melts so easily and makes a fun treat.

Thanks Reggie for bringing back the cheese!!!

www.SusanMarque.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

Do We Live by Our Labels?

I surmise that many a person lives by their labels. I'm not talking about designer. Well actually I am, designed by you! Labeling is easy stuff and can be a fun cultural game. We label automatically. We are taught to do this. That is a tree, that is a car, that is the color blue, etc. We use expressions like "Bitch" or "Loser" in jest. The harm comes from living by what labels you believe yourself to be. They are only true if you make them true.

I have a dear friend who keeps referring to himself as "A bit of a nightmare". Yikes! Why keep that label. I say just drop that and adopt something that is more fun. Sure, to live up to your new label might require effort. It might require monitoring yourself, your thoughts and actions and living up to who you want to be rather than who you have been so that you can have a new experience. If you do what you have always done you will get that result. Most creatures will create habits because that makes things easier. Labels are a habit. Stop - Drop - and roll with things that create more energy and aliveness. If you are late guy decide to be early guy and work at it. If you keep letting things slide and be good enough, experiment with going the extra mile.

In the beginning of anything new, you need to put in energy. Then it will eventually become a habit and will require less from you to keep it going. Take a look at what labels you choose and find fun new ones that give you more! Spring is a great time to lift up out of the old and into the new!!

I just had to watch Jerry Maguire for a class I am taking. Jerry didn't like the man he had become but if you watch, it took a lot for him to finally stretch himself into the man he wanted to be. In a two hour movie time gets compressed and we enjoy the show. If you look deeper this man had to go through some pretty rough stuff to get himself to change. He may be fictional but that is often what it takes for many people to wake up. That does not have to be you. You can decide to have great relationships and notice where you trip yourself up. Notice what labels you have that might keep you overeating or not exercising or being who you have been and start working on being who you would like to be. Who you are proud to be. It takes actions and it takes new labels.

If you need a little help - get some coaching!
www.SusanMarque.com

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eczema

A woman emailed me because she is still dealing with her childhood eczema and looking for a cure. My cure was diet. My cure is still diet. Without my way of eating I would still be a bloody scratched up mess. If you have ever had a mosquito bite and remember the itch, just multiply that by 1000 and imagine those bites multiplied by 10,000 all over your body. That was what it was like before I started to learn to eat well. I itched so badly that my scratching was constant.

I remember being strapped down in the hospital at night with white terrycloth mittens on my hands and feet so that I wouldn't scratch myself. The night time was the worst. For some reason the itch was always more pronounced at night and I scratched myself bloody in my sleep. Not even those restraints in the hospital helped. I found a way to relive the itch contorting my body and scratched any way I could.

Of course then with enough scratching there are a lot of oozing bloody sores that dry up and cake over and then I couldn't move my arms and legs because it hurt. It hurt when I had to take my daily oatmeal baths. The sting of the hot water as it seeped into the sores was anything but soothing. Plus who feels clean sitting in a brown murky bath? I wanted to shower after the bath but I was supposed to let the thin film of oat stay on my skin and pat not rub myself dry with the bath towel. Then slather cortisone cream all over. At one point the doctors decided to add menthol to my tubs of cortisone cream. I grew up in Minnesota. Menthol in my cream during the winter was the last thing I wanted to put on my body. I would have much preferred something soft and cozy and warm like a chamois cloth robe or something. The cream was thick and sticky and I had to wait for it to seep in somewhat or my clothes would stick to me. My clothes stuck to me anyway. In the spots where my skin was oozing it would seep through the cotton of my clothing and dry. Then at night when I changed to pajama's I would rip the wounds open again.

It was an endless battle and my Mom took me to see doctor after doctor but they didn't have any answers. They tried drugs and more cortisone and nothing helped that much until I learned how food works. Food worked and still works! Learning what the individual foods do in our bodies gives everyone a bag full of tools to create with. What you create is up to you. I choose health and well being. What do you choose?

www.SusanMarque.com