Words of Wisdom

It has been a great past few weeks of reading!! I just finished two books which were fantastic!! I highly recommend them both. The first is called The Alchemist and the second is The Last Lecture. Look them up and read! They are both pretty short so you’ll be able to get through them in a jiffy. Apart from being good stories, both of these books were chalk full of wisdom. I felt like page after page was just a gem. Below are a few of my favorite quotes that I pulled out from both books. I hope they make you think and inspire you.

Quotes from The Alchemist

  • Beware of the place where you are brought to tears. That’s where I am and that’s where your treasure is
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  • My instructor explained to me that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. She helped me understand that the problem isn’t the presence of imperfection, but more so my reaction to it that gave it its power.
  • The desert will give you an understanding of the world, in fact anything on the face of the earth will do that. You don’t have to understand the desert: all you have to do is contemplate a simple grain of sand and you will see in it all the marvels of creation
  • Listen to your heart. It knows all things because it came from the soul of the world and it will one day return there

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  • Wherever your heart is that is where you’ll find your treasure
  • The boy continued to listen to his heart as they crossed the desert. He came to understand it’s dodged and tricks and to accept it as it was
  • There is no heart they has ever suffered when it goes in search if it’s dreams, because every second of the search if a second’s encounter with God and with eternity
  • When we strive to become better everything around us becomes better too
  • Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World
Quotes from The Last Lecture
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Random Quote
  • Everything in moderation, including moderation — Oscar Wild

Happy New Year!!

Happy-New-Year

Yay! Happy New Year everyone!! I love new years. I mean who wouldn’t? It’s a time to be with friends and family, to reminisce about the good time had over the past year, to reflect upon challenges, and, most exciting, to look forward and to create new goals for the upcoming year. One of my resolutions is to make at least 75% of the food I eat myself. This means homemade granola, chips, dried fruit, sprouted nuts, nut milks, chocolate, etc. I absolutely love hearing about new years resolutions and traditions. For me its super important to begin the new year on a good note. This is where traditions come into play. Maybe your tradition is sleeping in to make sure you start off the year with enough sleep, or perhaps its the opposite. Maybe you like to get up bright and early on January 1 to get into the habit of waking up with the sun and starting each day early. I like to start off the year with a new years day hike. What better way to being the year than out in nature exercizing with your best friends and family. Below are some picture from the hike we went on yesterday. It was such a gorgeous hike, a little eerie how dry everything was (the hills are supposed to be a beautiful lush green color this time of year), but beautiful none-the-less.

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Nature is so incredible. Why did we invent mirrors when we have lakes like this to give us a perfect reflection of the sky above or of our faces looking into them.

photo 3 The lighting was so magnificent. We went in the late afternoon as the sun was on its way down. The fields just had this amazing glow to them.

photo 4Pretty sky 🙂

After getting back from our hike we hit the kitchen and made a wonderful new years day dinner. It’s also important to make sure you being the year eating well. Your actions today set you up for success tomorrow and what better way to start off the year than by filling your body with fresh nutritious foods in order to give you the energy you need to achieve all your new goals.

First Meal of the Year: Warm Raw Beet and Avocado Soup

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Isn’t the beet soup beautiful! Be careful not to get it on your clothes though because it will quickly turn your crisp white shirt into tie die. This recipe was so easy too. A perfect conclusion to a hike when you’re starving before you even start cooking. It takes about 10 minutes to make, unless you haven’t pre-soaked the cashews for the cashew creme on top. Then it will take about 20.

Beets are also an amazing way to start detoxifying and cleansing your body in the new year. Beets support the liver, help cleanse the blood, and prevent cancer. They are also really high in vitamins and minerals. Beets contain a high concentration of potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, beta-carotein, beta-cyanine, and folic acid. The carotenoid antioxidants (A vitamins including beta-carotein, lycopene and lutein) are key in the elimination of free radicals that when left in the body can increase the risk of cancer and macular degeneration. Carotenoids also help promote healthy skin, bone strength, eye function and immune function. Beets are also good for your brain. They contain betain,  the same substance that is contained in anti-depression meds, and trytophan, which helps relax the mind and creates a sense of well being. They also help lower blood pressure. See, they are the perfect food to begin the year with and in this soup we’ve complimented them with some other highly nutritious foods including avocados, lemons, garlic, and ginger.

Avocados, similar to beets, are very high in carotenoid antioxidants, and are filled with healthy fats that assist in the absorption of the carotenoids (carotenoids are fat soluble). Since beets are also high in carotenoids, the fat in the avocados makes them the  perfect compliment.

Lemon are also a great food for detoxification. They support the liver by stimulating its natural enzymes. The citric acid aids in the elimination of calcium deposits in the arteries and helps to prevent both pancreatic and kidney stones. Lemons are also filled with vitamin C which promotes immunity and healthy skin through the elimination of free radicals. Lemons are also a great source of electrolytes (calcium, potassium,  and magnesium) which help keep the body hydrated. And finally, they are rich in flavonoids which help maintain normal blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and boost the potency of the vitamin C.

Ginger  is high in compounds called gingerols which are potent anti-inflammatories. Ginger also helps sooth digestion and strengthen immunity.

Garlic, similar to ginger, is an incredible immunity booster. It also helps to lower blood pressure and may even help to regulate the number of fat cells that our bodies produce (research on this is limited). All of these properties are due to the sulfur components of garlic which undergo a number of complicated chemical reactions within our bodies to produce these amazing health results.

Beet and Avocado Soup

Ingredients

1 peeled beet

1/2 avocado

1 lemon

1 tablespoon raw coconut aminos (You can also use tamari or soy sauce)

a dash of salt and pepper

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon ginger

pepitas for garnish

For the cashew cream

1/4 cup cashews

water

dash of cinnamon

dash of salt

Directions

Squeeze lemon juice into a blender. Chop all the remaining ingredients and throw them into a blender as well with 1 1/2 cups warm water. Blend away until the soup is nice and creamy. Serve and top with cashew creme and pepitas

For the Cashew Cream

Soak raw cashews in water overnight or in warm water for 20 minutes. Throw soaked cashews into a blender and cover them with water. Add a dash of cinnamon and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Connecting With Nature

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Yesterday I went on THE most fabulous hike! It was the first rainy day we’ve had in a long time and the air smelled amazing. From the minute I woke up and felt the fresh cool air coming through my window I knew that I had to get out there. In reflection though, it’s interesting how excited I was to get outside because in the past I have never been someone to want to run around in the rain. I’m usually much more of a sun person and considered myself pretty exclusively a warm weather girl. Recently however I’ve noticed this beginning to change. All of a sudden my eyes seem to have been opened in a whole new way to the sheer magnificence of the natural world. I have always had an appreciate for nature and its beauty, but it seems to have reached a whole new level. I am smelling things in the air I’ve never before took the time to notice, and I am aware of the smallest sounds, such as the slight rusting of leaves, a bug whizzing by, or the slight flapping of birds wings. I’ve also noticed just how vibrant the colors of the trees are, especially now that it’s fall. Everyday I find myself looking up at the sky or into the trees and smiling because I am in such awe at the amazing beauty around me. It’s far more fantastical than anything man could ever create or imagine. 

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It think it was this new hyper awareness to my natural surroundings that made this cold misty hike so incredible. The forest smelled amazing and certain colors stood out like neon signs contrasted against the white foggy sky. It’s interesting, even though I’ve hiked these trails a hundred times before they looked so different in the rain and my attention was drawn to a whole new array of plants and animals. I saw a banana slug for the first time in years! I also came across a salamander (I think that’s what it was), a bunny, and tons of birds. The birds were having a field day since all the worms and little bugs that usually hide deep within the ground were surfacing to soak up the rain water. 

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From the moment I stepped onto the trail I felt so incredibly alive. I had one of those moments where I thought if I could spend everyday out in the forest I would be in heaven. In my search to find myself and my calling I’ve been trying to listen carefully to my gut, hoping that it will guide me to where I’m supposed to be. This intense feeling of belonging that I felt as I entered the forest made me think that maybe I should look for a career that will allow me to spend time among the trees, or at least a job that allows me to interact with nature in one way or another. We do our best work when we are happy and alive. If all it takes is a little fresh air and natural beauty to awaken me inside and out then maybe I should capitalize on this and use it to my advantage. 

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Happy Tuesday: Weekly Update

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Leaf Angel!

Hello everybody, happy tuesday! Time for a weekly update. My first week back at home has been wonderful! It’s been a great combination between relaxing (and recovering from the uber stressful previous 6 months) and productive as I take steps to figure out what my next steps are. I met with a career counselor last week and had fun taking a number of personality, value, and career tests. I think I’m going to really enjoy this process of discovering my path. I also started doing some research on different types of life coaching and the steps that I would need to take if I wanted to be a coach. I also spoke with Victoria Moran who is an inspirational speaker, corporate spokesperson, certified holistic health counselor, certified life coach, vegan lifestyle coach, and founder/ director of Main Street Vegan Academy, about how she got to where she is today and about the steps  I would need to take if I wanted to pursue a similar career. Additionally, both yesterday and today I am attending an online conference hosted by Jacob Sokol called I Kinda Wanna Be A Coach. Hopefully by the end of this I’ll have a bit of a better understanding about what the job might entail and if it’s something I want to further explore.

Some of the things I’ve been loving this week:

Riding my bike everywhere!

It’s the best. I love getting out early and riding in the cool fresh air, feeling the sun on my face in the afternoon, and getting to watch the sunset every evening.

The fall leaves

The are so incredibly beautiful! I can’t get enough of them. Yesterday after my run I just laid down in them and made leaf angels (see the picture above).

Running

I finally have time to run again!!! I have missed it so much. It’s definitely a bit of an uphill climb to get back into shape (I’m always amazed at how much it hurts to run when you haven’t been running for a while) but I’m slowly getting back into it. Every day I can feel my legs have a bit more spring in them and my lungs are slightly more adjusted. I’ve decided to start a winter streak in order to motivate myself to keep running even when its a bit tough. For those who don’t know, “a streak” is a term used by runners to describe a commitment they’ve made to run at least one mile every day. As long as you follow through with your commitment you keep the streak going. One fay missed though and the streak is broken.

Researching

I finally have time to do all the research my little heart desires. I absolutely love learning and have missed academics so much these past few months. Last weekend I went to The Green Festival in San Francisco where I purchased two great books on nutrition by Brenda David, RD, and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, Becoming Vegan: the everyday guide to plant-based nutrition and Becoming Raw: the essential guide to raw vegan diets. They are both chock full of information and have given me plenty to sink my teeth into.

photo-6Oh, and go check out my latest post on my health blog, www.naturallywholesome.wordpress.com. I provide the recipe for a super yummy tea and describe all the health benefits associated with it.

 

Refocussing

Hi everyone! Sorry for my extensive absence. This past June I began an internship with a PR agency in San Francisco called Allison + Partners. Oh boy, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life, yet at the same time it was an absolutely amazing experience! It took me on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but through the ups and the downs I have learned SO much about myself. I have a better understanding of my personal values, an idea of the type of life I want to lead, and have developed incredibly valuable communication skills, skills that can be applied in any social or professional situation.

This past Friday was the last day of my internship and I have now moved onto a new chapter of my life. While I have no idea what lies ahead I’m excited to see where life take me and what path I go down. I’m planning to spend some time meeting with a career counselor, volunteering, and learning as much as I can to figure out what the right path is for me looking forward.

I’m actually really excited that this internship came to a close right before the holidays. This will give me the time to really be with my family and to enjoy this special time without the stresses of work constantly hanging over me.

I also have to say thank you to my family. They have been an invaluable support system over the past few months and I am incredibly lucky to have them in my life. I also feel so blessed that I have a family who is willing and able to support me in these upcoming months as I try to figure out the most appropriate next steps and which road I want to begin heading down.

Also, on a totally unrelated note, I just started a new blog to specifically celebrate my passion of holistic health. In case anyone is interested you can check it out at http://naturallywholesome.wordpress.com I’m hoping to update both this blog and that one fairly regularly. This one is more a space to share my experiences and random thoughts, where as the other is a bit more thematic. And on that note, I think I’m going to take off and go for a run. My first run in months!!! Wish me luck. The schedule I had during my internship didn’t allow me any time to run during the week, unless I wanted to get up super early in the morning while it was still dark and freezing. As much as I love running, I valued my sleep and sanity a bit more so until now it has completely fallen off the to do list. We’ll see how this goes. Its kind of cold and cloudy out this afternoon which isn’t a preferred way to begin running again, but I’ll take what I can get.