Death is so diverse. Even after volunteering for two years with Vitas Hospice, I am surprised to see what dying looks like. Sometimes dying looks like they could go out and play 9 holes of golf. Sometimes dying looks like my grandmother: just old and sweet. Sometimes dying looks just like dying. It is deforming, crippling and painful.
Sometimes dying feels joyous. Sometimes it is just…accepted. Often dying is ignored or feared.
Each person handles it their own, unique way. All of their past accumulated to this one point in time. All the memories, feeling and beliefs influencing the process.
No matter how many people I meet, I am often surprised at when the transition from life to death occurs. Sometimes the healthiest looking ones can be the first to go. Maybe because they are ready? And the sickest can often grip onto life so desperately that they last longer than anyone expected. YOU JUST CAN KNOW FOR SURE when it is going to happen.
I just had my college roommate die yesterday after a year-long battle with breast cancer. Only 39 years-old and leaving two young children behind. It is such a sad loss.
I knew she was at the end. But, still I was so shocked! I thought there was more time. But, I should know more than most people that you just never know what death looks like! Even if they just had a bunch of friends come visit and they looked darling in their Anthropology pants.
Dying can still look pretty.
Here’s to you, Amy! Pretty until the end :)
When I drastically changed my eating habits about 5 years ago, something totally caught me off guard: I had the worst gas and the weirdest poop FOR A MONTH.
I shit you not (couldn’t help myself), it lasted a month.
I remember going in for a massage and having to warn my long-time masseuse that she was about to experience something that may change her forever.
We both survived that day and she still agrees to work on me, God love her.
What you should know about suddenly and drastically shifting your diet like I did is that it can put stress on your digestive track, causing what I like to call: shit shock. Even when you are changing from junk food to whole foods, the flora and fauna of your digestive track is being effected. You may experience stinky farts, sticky poop or floating poop due to the increased gas from the hard-working bacteria.
It can get ugly, so warn your roommate, partner and children.
Herbivore Farts vs. Carnivore Farts
Generally speaking, carnivores product a smaller amount of smelly gas and herbivores make A LOT of gas that isn’t as offensive.
When you are drastically changing your diet, however, other things come into play.
Our bodies are unable to digest cellulose, which is the main component of vegetables, so it passes through our system as fiber, “scrapping” the intestinal track along the way. Any caught-up gunk left over from your unhealthy eating days will get loosened by the fiber and pass. This is why initially it can get a little stinky when you start eating healthy.
No worries, your digestive track will eventually settle down. I changed my diet very abruptly and never looked back, which is why my poor intestines took a month to balance. You may opt to ease in slowly, which may not be a bad idea.
DETOXERS BEWARE: you may see some crazy crap!
What can you do to help the gas situation?
During that first month of diet transition, I tried Beano, and found it didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work for you.
Yes, they are known to neutralize the smell of gas, so while you still may have a lot, it may smell just a little bit better. Put some jarred artichokes on your salad and keep your fingers crossed.
3. Invest in some charcoal underwear
I am totally kidding. But they do make them. They also make charcoal pads you can sit on that absorbs the smell. I need my boys shoes to be infused with charcoal.
It’s the price we have to pay for health, fellow health visionaries. But it doesn’t last forever!
Good Luck this week!
Remember I told you in My Personal Lows and Highs of 2011 that I was working on a new website? Well, one of the main reasons is because I can’t figure out how to do a “print recipe” button! I bet that is so annoying to you guys. Just breath though it…one day I’ll have that button.
I also don’t know how to attach PDFs to a blog post so that you can print, say, a grocery list? Wouldn’t that be helpful?
So, instead, if you want to print this post, you will get all of the other mumbo jumbo on my blog home screen and will likely have to print 27 pages.
Just sayin’, I’ve warned you. If you love trees, you may want to print a “range” of pages.
Ok, now back to business!
By now you have selected a couple recipes and know what ingredients you need for them.
Here is a list of other food/meal/snack ideas. Don’t over buy, you don’t want to throw things away. For example, pick one smoothie recipe and have the same one every day rather than having to get the ingredients for three different kinds. Unless you have the refrigerator space and pocket book!
Breakfast Ideas and Grocery List Items:
Warm Lemon Water and Tea
Toast with Almond Butter
Non-Dairy Yogurt with fruit and gluten-free granola
Oatmeal with Topping Ideas (tip: I make big batch of oatmeal and eat during week)
Lunch Ideas and Grocery List Items:
Mixed Green Salad with Topping Ideas
Snack Ideas and Grocery List Items:
Dinner Ideas and Grocery List Items:
Roasted Vegetables over Brown Rice
Sautéd Spinach with Garlic over Rice or Gluten-free pasta
Phew! I’m exhausted. You get the picture, right?
Now get to the store by Sunday and start cooking! If you are purchasing vegan meals, you will still want breakfast and snack items, so don’t forget!
Have an amazing weekend, friends. Talk to you Monday.
So, you decided you are going to try the 5-day Jumpstart Detox. Awesome! I really can’t wait to hear about what you feel and think along the way. You have to promise me you will share the good and the bad with me. Others will want to know your tips and turning points so they know they are not alone!
It isn’t always a piece of cake…but don’t worry. If you take time to prepare yourself, you will be much more likely to succeed and feel in control.
Before Monday, Answer These Questions So You Are Totally Ready!
1. Why did you decide to try a cleanse? To lose weight? To stop cravings? To jumpstart a longer commitment to healthy eating? Kick a caffeine addiction?
Getting an idea of your goals for this detox will help ensure you don’t blow it in the end.
I am doing it for all of those reasons. I have found that eliminating inflammatory foods – like wheat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and animal products – and being very strict for a manageable amount of time kicks my cravings fast and helps me lay the foundation for continued healthy eating. Thus, I don’t plan on eating more Christmas cookies on day 6 :)
So, don’t stop after the detox! Use it to propel you into a year of healthy eating! This isn’t a diet…it is about changing the foods we put in our bodies permanently. You may find that eliminating some of these foods makes you feel so good that you don’t want to add the back!
2. How does your calendar look?
How Does next week look for you? Is it full of things that will have you running all around town? Do some of your appointments back up to each other not allowing you to get a healthy meal in?
Make sure you set yourself up for success by allowing yourself to have an easier week. I know that isn’t always possible, but if you can reschedule some meetings or errands, do it!
I am one who’s eating deteriorates when I am too busy to deal with food: I’ll just grab something that isn’t the best for me. I don’t even care and think I somehow deserve it because I’m busting my butt.
5. What is one life-giving thing that you would like to do this week?
I’m going to make an appointment for a massage! What can you treat yourself to?
Maybe a lunch with an old friend at a place that has wonderful salads? Or trying that yoga class you have always wanted to check out. What about walking through the museum exhibit you keep telling yourself you will do. Have you always wanted to get energy work done?
Think about this and don’t stop there: MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AND PUT IT ON YOU CALENDAR!
4. What foods are you going to eat?
If you are planning on ordering food from Conveniently Natural, make sure you call them (913-475-8004) by Friday and mention the Dalai Lina cleanse for 10% off!
If you are making your own foods, start looking NOW at possible recipes that you can eat from all week. I like to make one soup and one side like a rice, bean or quinoa dish.
Remember, you can make most recipes vegan by altering some of the ingredients!
Here are some ideas:
Lickable Lentil Stew (substitute vegetable stock)
Mexican Quinoa (omit the cheese)
Curried Quinoa (substitue vegan sour cream for the yogurt)
You can find so many amazing recipes on the internet, if these don’t tickle your fancy, spend some time looking at some food blogs. Here are some of my favorite: Oh She Glows, Peas and Thank You, The Edible Perspective, Sketch-free Vegan, and The Wannabe Chef.
If anyone has an amazing recipe, please share the link in the comments!
Once you have your recipes, print them off, highlight what ingredients you will need, and tuck them aside until tomorrow when we will make a grocery list.
So, stay tuned! Tomorrow, I’ll give you some foods to put on your list so you can go to the grocery store this weekend and be all ready for Monday!
Until then, chill out today on the sugar and caffeine…
Looks tasty, doesn’t it? Good thing I used the Biggest Loser’s stock photo instead of mine, because I wasn’t channeling Ansel Adams today. Here is my picture:
I’m just not capturing the magic. And there is magic in this simple, healthy soup. It is so awesome, I can’t even tell you. You will not feel deprived eating this stew and your shouldn’t feel guilty getting a second helping!
Here is my slightly modified recipe. Funny enough, I made the whole soup with only 2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth and didn’t notice my mistake until I was done. And I didn’t notice that it needed any more liquid…so maybe mine is more like chili and if you add more broth it is more like soup. Your call. Easy to add additional liquids later!
Broke Bean Stew (a Biggest Loser Recipe)
- Broke Bean Stew
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chopped/minced garlic
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (14.5oz) (I used one can fire and one can tomatoes and green chilis)
- 3 cans (15.5 oz each) any beans: dark red kidney beans, black bean, white beans; rinsed & drained
- 4 cups fat-free vegetable broth (I used 2½. Seems crazy but it worked)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 5 ounce container of fresh baby spinach leaves
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in 4-quart saucepan. Add onion and sauté about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Do not brown garlic.
- Add spices and tomatoes and simmer about 5 minutes. Add beans and broth and bring to a boil. (don’t add cilantro yet!) Reduce to a simmer.
- Place 3 cups of soup in blender or food processor with cilantro and puree until smooth. BE CAREFUL AND LET MIXTURE COOL A BIT FIRST! Otherwise it may explode on you. Ouch. Add mixture to stew. Add spinach and heat just until wilted. Stir well and serve hot.
Here is a great soup if you like a southern, cajun flare. It is an awesome soup for detoxing since it is vegan and chalked full of greens and fiber.
Spicy Collard Black-Eyed Pea Soup
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
- 4 vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon double strength tomato paste (or 2 tbsp. regular)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cans of black eyed peas
- 1 bunch collard greens, tough stems removed and greens chopped
- Look at the original recipe here if you are interested in using a pressure cooker and dry beans.
- Heat a large pot and add olive oil. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic, thyme and oregano and cook, stirring, for 3-5 more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes through black pepper and simmer for 20-30 minutes to let all the veggies really incorporate.
- Add the black-eyed peas and collard green and cook for at least 25 minutes to allow flavors to develop and the collard greens to soften. Serve alone, with brown rice, or with additional hot sauce.
- Makes at least 6 servings. Each provides 242 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 488mg Sodium; 11g Fiber.
ARE YOU READY?
Of course you are. So am I, Lord Jesus. I am a belly full of cookies and BBQ (thanks to Dalai Dan and his recent smoked pork butt). This body of mine is ready to kick some ass.
Today, I am going to give you some general rules of this MILD cleanse. Nothing crazy like only drinking lemon juice and cayenne pepper for 5 days. I won’t make you consume ghee or epsom salt. You don’t have to submit pictures of your poop or eat only kale.
(Don’t stop reading yet, because there is a special deal for my KC readers. Non-KC readers can stop only if you didn’t gain 5 pounds like me)
Here is What You Are Going To Do:
Cleanse Length: 5 days (Monday, Jan 9th – Friday Jan 13th)
DO NOT consume: wheat (gluten), processed sugar, coffee*, sodas, alcohol, dairy products, or animal products**
DO consume: detox or other favorite tea, fresh-pressed vegetable juices, green smoothies, steal cut oats, brown rice, beans, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, vinegar, fruits, vegetables, hummus, quinoa, rice/almond/soy milk, vegan yogurts/cheeses, gluten-free products***
DO NOT: freak out if you go off course, put too much on your schedule, be mean to yourself if it feels hard, starve yourself, compare yourself to others.
DO: start every morning with warm lemon water, eat when you are hungry, have your last meal around 6pm, eat a grapefruit if it is after 6pm and your are starving, try yoga (hot!) or any life giving exercise, drink lots of water, exfoliate your skin, take baths (try epsom salt or himalayan sea salt), take a nap, get a massage, start each morning with a prayer or vision for the day, try a colonic, BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
There are Two Ways You Can Do This:
1. Prepare some key foods over the weekend that will last you all week.
I am going to provide you with some ideas and recipes tomorrow. They will include things like,
- Vegetable/bean soups
- Quinoa salads
- Roasted vegetables and other vegetable recipes
2. Or, use a vegan meal service if one is available.
This, my friends, is what I am doing this time. Thankfully, here in Kansas City, we have Conveniently Natural, a company that provides awesome vegan meals right to your door. I have talked about them here and have used them several times throughout the year.
IF YOU CHOOSE THIS ROUTE, call them directly at 913-475-8004 (BY FRIDAY!!!) and mention you are participating in the Dalai Lina cleanse for 10% off your order. The meals will be delivered on Monday, January 9th. If you are doing the cleanse alone, a 1/2 gluten-free order should be perfect. Kim at Conveniently Natural will gladly help you with your order and any food questions when you call. She and her husband are amazing!
This choice makes it much easier and is very economical, but you will still have to do some grocery shopping and preparation over the weekend….
So, stay tuned over the next couple days for recipes and a grocery list!
In the mean time, eat sensibly this week – it will make next week SO much easier!
*coffee: I know this is a killer for some of you. The acid and caffeine in coffee is hard on our bodies. Try really hard to see if you can do it! Black tea (which has a little caffeine) can take the edge off. Otherwise, if you need to, have a cup of decaf coffee with a vegan creamer or non-dairy milk.
**gluten-free products: try to limit the number of processed food. There are some great gluten-free cereals, breads, and crackers, but try to keep the cleanse about whole, fresh foods.
***animal products: if you feel like you must incorporate some animal products, consume “light” meats like fish or eggs for lunch (along with lots of veggies). Still avoid dairy!
Do you believe in psychic abilities or are you a skeptic?
Until recently, there has been a chasm between science and spiritual beliefs. It seemed as if there was no way to measure or prove things like a unified field of consciousness or mental interconectedness.
Dr. Roger Nelson, a Princeton University scientist, has been working for 14 years on the Global Consciousness Project. The project involves researchers from from across the globe, involving several institutions and countries, all exploring if interconnected consciousness can be scientifically proven.
For the last 12 years, the Global Consciousness Project (GCP) has focused its efforts on collecting data from GCP instruments. These small electric devices are random number generators. Essentially, it is a little computer that throws out the number 1 or 0 randomly. Over time, like the flipping of a coin, the odds of seeing a 1 or a 0 will be 50/50. The project has about 70 of these devices working 24/7 all over the world, continuously collecting the random numbers.
What they found, however, it that at specific times, the random generators no longer acted randomly. In fact, it was remarkably the opposite. Imagine tossing a coin 100, 1000, 10000 times and hitting all heads…
That’s what scientist saw on the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Similar spikes have been mathematically calculated in numerous global events, such as Princess Diana’s funeral, Haiti’s earthquake, and the Japanese tsunami.
The scientist believe that our collective consciousness (or another way of looking at it: all of our minds focused on the SAME thing) has the power to effect events outside of ourselves. Essentially, our unified minds can make a coin flip heads 90% of the time instead of 50%.
This in and of itself is amazing proof that we are all interconnected and that our thoughts are powerful.
The most amazing thing about the 9/11 attacks, is that they started registering on the ECP network 4 to 5 hours BEFORE the attacks began.
Suggesting that collectively we had a premonition of what was about to occur. The devices were not merely registering our emotions after.
This opens up endless possibilities: not only can we change things with our attention and thoughts, but that we can tap into a web of information from the past and future when making decisions.
It is there for all of us. Not just gifted intuitives.
So the next time you have a hunch, a bad feeling, or a sense that something may happen, listen! The more you listen and trust yourself, the better intuitive you will become. It is like a muscle being exercised.
Sonia Choquette recommends flexing your intuitive muscle through fun games, like guessing who is calling when the phone rings. Acknowledge when you are right and pat yourself on the back so you will be more inclined to trust yourself
Do you believe in a collective consciousness? What about intuition?
I have always been a believer, but I bet there are still some skeptics out there!
Everyone is talking about New Year’s Resolutions.
Resolution: determining a course of action. Seems simple enough. You would never start a business without a plan, so why take your life any less seriously? Yes, you will still evolve and grow without a plan. That’s inevitable. Intentions, however, make the trip a little faster and a little easier.
Before looking forward, I find it helpful to take a look back and see what I have done well and when I have come short of my highest good. This helps me realize my progress. I’m always surprised at how much progress I make because it never really feels like much. I also am much more inclined to remember all of the things I didn’t accomplish over the great highlights of the year.
Do you have that tendency too? If so, take some time to think about the lows and the HIGHS of this past year. Pat yourself on the back for all the good things you have accomplished and use that momentum to propel you into an even more amazing 2012!
So, here is my personal review: Five Lows and Five Highs on 2011
I’ll start with My Not-So-Stellar-Moments. Get them over with and end on a good note.
1. I really fell off meditation this year. I have my own meditation room that is collecting dust and that really bums me out! I’m not sure what point in the year it happened, but it did and I completely felt the difference. I have been more snappy, more disconnected, and more stressed. I can’t rely on the 5 minutes of shavasana at the end of a yoga class anymore. I need to make this a habit and priority in 2012.
2. Snapping. I have been unnecessarily snapping at my kids and losing my patience at little things. I’ve slipped into these old habits and I know it is because I have let myself shift out of balance. I have been so busy trying to improve and grow DalaiLina.com (more on that later) that I allowed my regular meditation, energy work and massage to suffer. And it shows. Believe me, just ask my kids and Dalai Dan. And if I want to be REALLY honest on an international platform, when I completely lose it, I swear like a sailor. My potty mouth is as big and colorful as Yankee Stadium restrooms. My poor kids have just about heard it all. God forgive me.
3. This one is a little harder for me to articulate…I have a tendency to try to do everything myself. That coupled with my introspective nature and reluctancy to reach out to others has held me back. I am finally realizing that the more authentic connections I make, the more I offer to help others, and the more I let down my guard and ask for help, the easier this journey will be. This is particularly true for DalaiLina.com – if I want to reach and help more people, then I need to get over my fear of rejection and start making meaningful connections to like-minded bloggers. Collaboration increases creativity and success exponentially: I can’t do it all myself.
4. My evening routine has got to go. With lap tops, iPads, and the television, Dalai Dan and I are totally plugged in to technology instead of each other. We have gotten in a bad habit of finishing up business until right before bed. Dalai D’s sleep is suffering and I am feeling like I’m living with a roommate. We have let it go too long and it has to stop.
5. Nutrition! Lordy, this end of the year has got to be one of the worst in Dalai Lina’s history. I have let things get in the way of me preparing nutritious whole foods and my body is pissed off. I know that it all ties into being too busy and letting my foundation of support (like meditation) crumble. When stress is higher, you are more likely to let yourself be run by old habits and unconscious triggers. I’m starting off 2012 with a beautiful cleanse and follow it with whole food eating!
So, there goes all my blunders. Can you relate to some? But it wasn’t all bad…
The Highlights of 2011
1. 209 posts. Really? I wrote 209 articles in a year? That is definitely something I am proud of. Most bloggers don’t last after the first year, but I am just picking up steam. Many people ask me why I do this (since I make no money…maybe someday) and the answer is because I truly love it and I have a passion and vision of helping others. I want people to leave with a smile, or a feeling that they are not alone, or an inspirational idea. If one person is a little bit happier after reading one of my posts, I have accomplished more than money can show.
2. I am always striving to learn and expand. I love evolving. I love being challenged. And 2011 was no exceptions. From dozens of books, to countless articles, videos, podcasts and seminars, I am in this life to learn and to pass it onto you. You can count on me for that. I am proud of my thirst for information and openness to new ideas.
3. Travel. It is in my blood. I long to explore all the corners of the world. Beyond Disney World and the occasional beach resort. Real, meaningful travel. I had been feeling deprived and made it a goal in 2011 to change that. With a trip to the rainforest and another trip to France, I’d say I nailed it. Now I just have to keep that momentum going.
4. Website development. Yep, big changes are coming to DalaiLina.com. I have been using a free WordPress blog site and its limitations are killing me. Finally, in November, I found and went under contract with Tilpro, a local website developer, to come up with a custom look and more helpful website for you all. I have no clue how long these thing take, but I’ll keep you posted!
5. Connections, connections…I mentioned in #3 above that I was disappointed in my reluctancy to use the tools it takes to make connections. I was never on Facebook. Never on Twitter. I didn’t attempt to make personal connections to fellow beloved bloggers. Well, I have already started turning that around the end of 2011. I met with Cannon Social Media and got the low down. I’m no longer am intimidated (well, I sorta still am, but its getting better) by the social media world and hope to fully embrace it in 2012.
What are you the most proud of? What did you accomplish that you would like to thank yourself for? Don’t be shy, I love to hear from you!