Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Today is February 29th.  It is a leap year. As we all know it comes once every four years. It is reason enough for many to do something they have never done before, to break with tradition.  The purpose of leap year is to adjust our perception of time in tune with nature.  It was meant to help farmers plant crops appropriately.  In modern history, leap year has been associated with doing something unconventional, for example, "Sadie Hawkins Day" in which women propose marriage to men instead of the other way around.  While the idea of doing something different on a day that only comes around once every four years, sounds interesting, the concept is something we should adapt to our lives daily.

Carpe Diem - Seize the Day!

Every day can be Feb 29th.  Use each day to adjust, to adapt,  to become in balance with nature.   Don't wait for a specific time or a reason to seize the day.  Carpe diem baby - take a daily leap!  Each day can be an opportunity to do something jubilant and unconventional.  Get up, be silly, have some fun. Smile, laugh, be tickled for absolutely no reason at all.  Eat a treat that makes you feel good that is also good for you:

Raw Vegan Strawberry "Ice Cream"

4 frozen bananas or 2 frozen plantains
1 cup frozen strawberries

Chop and puree strawberries in a blender or food processor. Set aside.  Next, chop and puree the bananas/plantains in the same manner until thick 
             and smooth.  Add strawberries.  Blend well. 
                    Enjoy with a smile on your face.

As you can see, taking a daily leap doesn't have to be a complex task:

  • Wear silly socks, a whimsical tie or your favorite cartoon character t-shirt under your business suit.  Remember you have it on in the middle of a meeting and mentally tickle yourself with a smile at the thought.
  • Try skipping down the block or through the park every now and then.  When was the last time you did that?  Double your fun, bring a friend.
  • Sing along with your favorite song out loud at the top of your lungs.
  • Play a few of the games you played as a child.

After you've had some fun,  smile in gratitude for being able to remember how to experience innocent, personal amusement.  Be grateful for the courage to have taken a bold, high, strong leap, knowing that after you've experienced silliness, you will still safely be the same, competent (fill in the blank job description, duty, or responsibility) that you always were, just a little happier. 

Yoga:  Mandukasana - Frog Pose
Although there are more than one way to practice Mandukasana, each version helps tone the thigh muscles, opening the hip and abdominal regions, assisting the digestion process.  The frog pose strengthens the legs, providing full flexibility and the ability to....leap.

Friday, February 24, 2012


"How do you start over?"  This question was presented after my last post regarding willpower.  "Do not start over", I replied, "Start again".

You see, there is a difference.  You can never really start over.  When you initiate any "thing", you do so with the knowledge you have acquired up to that point.  You make choices and decisions based upon it.  When you set out to re-initiate a task, you will do so with the history of your previous attempts in an effort to either recreate or avoid it depending on your perception of the results.

Starting over fosters failure, a missed opportunity, dream deferred, an objective not reached.  It is a negative reinforcement which focuses on the possibility of falling once more as it establishes a cycle of disappointment and let down.  If you failed initially, you will do so again.  This occurs when you think the same thoughts, using the same tools in the same manner toward the same goal.  Starting again produces a different outcome.  It is a positive approach as it acknowledges previous setback.  When you start again, you move along a path you may have traveled previously with knowledge of prior obstacles and the ability to make adjustment for them.  Even if you once again do not arrive where you wish to be, you still arrive that much closer.  In this instance, you will not face a brick wall, you instead face new possibility with additional data.  You will add this new information to the foundation you've already established.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"~Thomas  H. Palmer,1847

New found knowledge obtained through starting again allows you to correct mistakes and calculate a new formula for success. As I continue to learn how to live a low-fat raw vegan lifestyle, I find the need to restart "how" and what I eat.  Things I first thought suitable to consume are not so and have led me off of the path as they trigger cravings of food I need not partake or creates a void of those I should.  Here is a list of a few things I used at the beginning of this walk thinking it was "safe"  and healthy only to discover myself "back at start" after realizing that these things do not serve wellness nor beneficial consumption:

What I used to eat  and why I no longer eat them
apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples.  All vinegar contain a diluted acetic acid which is poisonous in its natural form. Vinegar is not good for the kidneys, thyroid glands and produces mucous within the body.
olive oil  simple, Oil = fat. A waste of calories.  There is no need to add fat to your meals.  The total daily fat intake needed per day should not exceed 10% according to Dr Graham of the 80/10/10 Diet.  You can have a serving of nuts or seeds to obtain this objective naturally.
liquid amino acids contains a naturally forming high salt content that occurs during processing and glutamic acid which is the same chemical in MSG and is processed with hydrochloric acid in a procedure called hydrolization to separate and isolate the aminos.  I've learned that you can get the required aminos (protein) from eating a balanced whole fruit and vegetable diet.
agave nectar  concentrated  fructose (yes, even those that tout they are "natural or raw"). Because of its low glycemic index many think it is "healthy".   It is not.  It is simply,  processed sugar not much different than a tablespoon of refined white sugar.
soy  too many to tell. This link sums it all up
cacao  a stimulant derived from heating up and extracting the fermented result from the cacao bean pod.  In its natural form, it has an unpleasant taste and must be processed in order to produce the "chocolate" effect.  Cacao has some nutrients however it contains more toxins than nutrients

This is but a short list as I have also cut out many other things. The point however, is that the knowledge gained of how these things effect me enables me to propel myself forward should I find myself faltering.  This knowledge provides the "starting" point for the next leg of the journey.

Jumping Ahead

Each of these items landed me back at square one.  As I began again, I utilized the knowledge obtained previously to jump ahead, actually beginning at the last drop off
point instead of doing everything "over".  This method can be used for any initiative you seek to achieve whether it is weight lifting, eating raw vegan, or learning how to fly a kite.  I recently spoke with someone who admitted to me that they were not being honest when asked the question "How are you doing?".  This person would respond "Great".  Secretly, in silence, that was not the case.  In a need to "come clean" this individual confessed to me that they had indeed not been doing all that well.  After thanking this awesome human being for trusting me with their honesty, I informed that there was nothing wrong with their answer as sometimes the question is asked rhetorically, or as a gesture of politeness.   If this is the case, then the inquisitor really isn't looking for an answer.  When the person answered the question, everything in their life was not great however, a few components were.  Focusing on the positive aspects will help deal with the points in life that are not so great.  Sometimes the question is asked as a litmus test for your failure if the person asking is not in your corner.  In this instance, the answer would still be "great" since the objective is to steer away from negativity and to embrace that which is awesome in your life.   I am not advocating lying, I am advocating focus and communication of your positive truths in which to feel and express goodness.  This will always be true for no matter what you are in the midst of, you are capable of good and great.  It is always in your possession.  It is up to you to recognize it.  Use it to jump ahead over past transgressions and setbacks, arm yourself  with your new knowledge to begin once more with different thoughts and different ways to thrust yourself exactly to the point where you left off, starting again, moving forward along your path.

Yoga:  Uttanasana - Standing Forward Fold or Bend
Purpose of forward fold is to open and strengthen the hamstrings and hips.  It requires strong legs and fosters humility by introducing a quiet mind.  It is sometimes called the pose of surrender. In this instance it is surrendering to gravity and breath.  As you practice uttansana, surrender breath, acknowledging that which did not work; surrender gravity, expressing gratitude for positive opportunity to jump ahead with strong legs to begin again.