Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Day After.....

After drowning my frustrations in cookie crumbs I I could eat some more cookies! But I need to get back on track, let go of the emotional drama and not allow my feelings to dictate my mood and my food!.....until next time, and there will be a next time and maybe I will deal with it more successfully than with this particular episode, although the cookies were quite delicious! We all need to be understanding of ourselves, I am not going to beat myself up for slipping in a really BIG way, I won't tell you just how many cookies I ate!! But it is in the past as is the emotional drama, I'm letting go and MOVING ON :-) After all, we can't live a deprived life, I am just shooting the the healthy life and occasionally that does include some of my favorite cookies!

Whole Foods

Whole foods information found at the following link:

Excellent information!

Words for the Day

Esoteric - intended for or understood by only a few

Irascible - prone to outbursts of temper, easily angered

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cookies For Dinner

I know, you are thinking cookies for dinner?! YES! There are those days when you just need to embrace the unhealthy bad choices and rejoice! It could have been worse! I could have eaten pizza and then cookies, but instead I skipped the pizza (not that there was any pizza, but just go with me here) and just had more room for more much as we try to be good and eat the right foods all the time it just isn't going to happen and my inner dialogue has been duck taped shut by my id who just wants what she wants and she wants MORE COOKIES! It has been one of those days and if you read my earlier blog you know where I have been emotionally and this type of distress is best relieved by large quantities of sugar and flour combinations such as found in cookies! My favorite monster is the Cookie Monster and I have apparently been abducted from the inside out and my belly is now plump and full of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and I feel fine about all of this! Milk anyone?!

How Much Protein Do I Need?

Great information from the Weider Nutrition Site:

Daily Protein Requirements: How Much Protein Do You Need?
For those who are physically active, research has shown that between 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight is optimal. However, the amount of protein you need will vary depending on certain factors, such as weight, activity level, health and age.
The chart below gives approximate daily protein intake suggestioin for your weight and activity level...Check their site to see the chart!~

Did I Sign up for THIS?!

Ever feel blindsided by someone or something that comes so far out of left field that the speed and force almost knocks you down?! Your immediate response is not a calm, relaxed, mature, intelligent or classy one but instead you just feel like spitting, kicking and screaming??!! Yeah, I have had them and it doesn't feel good....really gets you off track and it can wreck your day or your week depending on how long you let it drive you around...I am trying really hard to get back into the drivers seat and eject my feelings that are trying to emote me off the road and down into the ditch...your inner dialogue just keeps repeating, "how dare they" and "are you kidding me?!" and "what the #*@#!!!"...... I don't care how you rationalize with yourself, how educated you are, your age, how mature you are, there are times when we just feel like a baby fit is coming on and we want to stamp our feet, pull our hair,cuss and scream and let it all hang out...but then I think WHY?! I realize that none of these things are going to change the individual or the situation that has created this emotional response inside of me and only I can help myself get free from my own tangled emotions, which I sometimes HATE FEELING! How ANNOYING is it to FEEL ANNOYED?! Like a train wreck happening that you just can't stop and now you need to sift through the wreckage to make some sense of all this...I just want to be able to calmly walk away and buy a new train!! I don't think I signed up for THIS!!! Life really knows how to WOW me sometimes...and sometimes its a super sucky WOW! OK, SERENITY NOW!

Words for the Day

Perfidious - deliberately treacherous; dishonest

Obdurate - hardened against influence or feeling; intractable

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sink or Swim

Sometimes life feels black or white, and sometimes we live in those grey areas, not able to be decisive about our status or direction..Making a commitment to our projects, goals and/or strategies for personal and professional success must be renewed and refreshed daily..There are days when there is no doubt or question whatsoever about what we need to accomplish, we just continue undeterred on our mission..Then there are those days when we are being ruled or reigned by our feelings, our emotions and this is when we can be weak and give in to unhealthy tempations of thoughts and/or actions..This can be translated by giving in to negative lines of thinking, eating the wrong foods, making the wrong decisions, and sinking in the water which I promise will only make things worse..But if you do sink, if you do stumble, if you do fall, it only matters that you get back on track..We are always going to be tested by ourselves, others and our circumstances to determine whether our committments stay true to our original goals and if we will display the strength to carry out the positive thoughts and actions necessary to bring our end goals into fruition..Some days are just more work than others, this is when we build up strength, when it is difficult to do the right thing..Even though I may feel weary today, I want to swim!

Words for the Day

Assuage - to make less severe; to appease or satisfy

Enervate - to weaken or destroy the strength or vitality of

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Great Healthy Snacks - No cooking required!

Create healthy snacks quickly with few items on hand and even though I love to cook, these two quickies require no cooking at all and are great for kids and adults alike! (these are two of my favorites ;-)

Fruit, yogurt, nuts and granola - I use vanilla yogurt, Yoplait or any brand you like, take it out of the container and put into a bowl, take some canned pineapple chunks in only pinapple juice, mix in about a handful of pineapple chunks with some of the juice, stir it in and then top it with Bear Naked brand granola in the Banana Nut flavor (again whatever your favorite is or try this one!) and then top with a few nuts of your liking, I love the almonds, walnuts and pecans. This is a healthy and delicious treat, filling, and gives you energy to go!

Orange Julius!! - This is a favorite of my childhood! Put all these contents in your blender: Juice some fresh oranges, 2 per serving, or use some OJ from a container about 1 cup, add a half cup of milk, add a tablespoon of honey, (4 spoons of sugar if you don't have honey, or you can substitute with splenda or stevia), and add about 3/4 cup of crushed ice. Blend until smooth and pour yourself a glass full of sweet goodness! Healthy and delicious!

Words for the Day

Inchoate - in an initial or early stage; incomplete; disorganized

Ineffable - undescribable; inexpressable in words; unspeakable

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Words for the Day

Tyro - beginner; person lacking experience in a specific endeavor

Saturnine - having a gloomy or morose temperament

Friday, April 25, 2008

Detoxing from Fast Food and Poor Food Choices

Detoxing is a painful event! The fillers and chemicals in the processed foods we consume are harmful and many times vacuous..When we stop eating these "food products" our bodies in the process of ridding ourselves of these toxins begin to experience real pain in the form of headaches, soreness and other bodily aches and pains..So if you know to expect this discomfort then perhaps you won't be tempted to revert back to the junk food intake and you can sweat it out until the battle has subsided! Drink lots of water to flush your system, another daily ritual of mine is to take acidophilus which is a probiotic promoting intestinal health via positive bacteria to help "move things along" if you get my drift :-)..You can also purchase thirty day cleanses from your health food store that can aid in detoxifying your system..Once you have been cleaned out in more ways than one, your body can begin to enjoy the right foods and you begin to crave healthier choices instead of McDonalds or Pizza Hut or chips or ice cream..Not that these things can't be added back in moderation once you have won the battle in this war you are embarking upon..I have found that in the beginning I would go to Pizza Hut or out for ice cream on my "cheat day" on the weekend..But as time progressed and I became healthier I really did not have the craving or desire to have these foods and I still enjoy pizza as my all time favorite food but I make it myself and I make it with whole wheat flour and make my own sauce etc...Acidophilus is also great for spastic colon or irritable bowel syndrome, so it serves so many fantastic purposes I incorporate it in with my daily vitamin which if you are a woman a pre-natal vitamin is excellent even if you are not expecting or nursing, it just incorporates everything you need in a single dose...
Skipping meals is not an option whether you are working to lose weight or not, it creates an imbalance in your body brain chemistry and it can send the message to the body that there is a shortage of foods and your body will then hold on to everything it has and not begin to process and release as it should..We need carbs, proteins and fat in a healthy diet and we can get these from the proper foods: there are great carbs in breads, rice, cereals, whole-grains, fruits and vegetables; there are great proteins in meats, eggs, dairy products, nuts, legumes and grains; healthy fats like the omega-рей oils are rich and healthy sources found in fish and oils that help with brain function, olive oil, coconut oil, and some meats and dairy products..The following information links particular foods to specific vitamins:
Thiamin is a B vitamin found in enriched grain products, pork, legumes, nuts, seeds, and organ meats. Thiamin is intricately involved with metabolizing glucose, or blood sugar, in the body. Glucose is the brain's primary energy source. Thiamin is also needed to make several neurotransmitters.
Alcoholism is often associated with thiamin deficiency. Alcohol interferes with thiamin metabolism in the body, and diets high in alcohol are often deficient in vitamins and minerals. Individuals with a thiamin deficiency can develop Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is characterized by confusion, mental changes, abnormal eye movements, and unsteadiness that can progress to severe memory loss.
Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is found only in foods of animal origin like milk, meat, or eggs. Strict vegans who consume no animal-based foods need to supplement their diet with vitamin B-12 to meet the body's need for this nutrient.
Vitamin B-12 is needed to maintain the outer coating, called the myelin sheath, on nerve cells. Inadequate myelin results in nerve damage and impaired brain function. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can go undetected in individuals for years, but it eventually causes low blood iron, irreversible nerve damage, dementia, and brain atrophy.
Folic acid
Folic acid is another B vitamin found in foods such as liver, yeast, asparagus, fried beans and peas, wheat, broccoli, and some nuts. Many grain products are also fortified with folic acid. In the United States, alcoholism is a common cause of folic acid deficiency.
Folic acid is involved in protein metabolism in the body and in the metabolism of some amino acids, particularly the amino acid methionine. When folic acid levels in the body are low, methionine cannot be metabolized properly and levels of another chemical, homocysteine, build up in the blood. High blood homocysteine levels increase risk of heart disease and stroke.
Even modest folic acid deficiency in women causes an increased risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in developing fetuses. Folic acid deficiency also increases risk of stroke. Some studies suggest that folic acid deficiency leads to a range of mental disorders, including depression, but this concept remains controversial. Folic acid deficiency can lower levels of serotonin in the brain.
The B vitamin niacin is found in enriched grains, meat, fish, wheat bran, asparagus, and peanuts. The body can also make niacin from the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is found in high-quality animal protein foods like meat and milk. Niacin deficiency used to be common in the southern United States but is now common only in developing countries such as India and China.Niacin is involved in releasing energy in the body from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A deficiency of niacin produces many mental symptoms such as irritability, headaches, loss of memory, inability to sleep, and emotional instability. Severe niacin deficiency progresses to a condition called pellagra, which is characterized by the four D's: dermatitis (a rash resembling a sunburn), diarrhea, dementia, and ultimately, death. The mental symptoms in pellagra can progress to psychosis, delirium, coma, and death
Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-6, also known as pyridoxine, is found in many plant and animal foods, including chicken, fish, pork, whole wheat products, brown rice, and some fruits and vegetables. In healthy individuals, deficiency of vitamin B-6 is rare, but certain drugs, including some antidepressant drugs, can induce vitamin B-6 deficiency. Vitamin B-6 is needed by the body to produce most of the brain's neurotransmitters. It is also involved in hormone production. Although rare, vitamin B-6 deficiency is characterized by mental changes such as fatigue, nervousness, irritability, depression, insomnia, dizziness, and nerve changes. These mental changes are related to the body's decreased ability to manufacture neurotransmitters with vitamin B-6 deficiency.
Just as vitamin B-6 deficiency causes mental changes, so does excess of vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 supplements are used by many individuals for a variety of conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, and fibrocystic breast disease. Doses of 500 mg per day or more can cause nerve damage, dizziness, sensory loss, and numbness.
Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is plentiful in the diet, particularly in plant oils, green leafy vegetables, and fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin E deficiency is very rare, except in disorders that impair absorption of fat-soluble vitamins into the body, such as cystic fibrosis, and liver diseases.
Vitamin E deficiency causes changes in red blood cells and nerve tissues. It progresses to dizziness, vision changes, muscle weakness, and sensory changes. If left untreated, the nerve damage from vitamin E deficiency can be irreversible. Because it is an antioxidant, vitamin E has also been studied for treatment of neurological conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Although results are inconclusive, vitamin E shows some promise in slowing the progression of Parkinson's disease.
Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found in meats, fish and eggs. A form of vitamin A, beta-carotene, is found in orange and green leafy vegetables such as carrots, yellow squash, and spinach. Headache and increased pressure in the head is associated with both deficient and excess vitamin A intake. Among other effects, excess vitamin A intake can cause fatigue, irritability, and loss of appetite. Generally, doses must exceed 25,000 international units of vitamin A over several months to develop such symptoms.
Minerals and mental health
Iron is a trace mineral that is essential for formation of hemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body. Iron is found in meat, poultry, and fish. Another form of iron that is not as well absorbed as the form in animal foods is found in whole or enriched grains, green leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas, and dried fruits. Consuming a food rich in vitamin C, such as orange juice, at the same time as an iron-containing plant food will enhance iron absorption from the food.
Iron deficiency eventually leads to anemia, with insufficient oxygen reaching the brain. The anemia can cause fatigue and impair mental functioning. Iron deficiency during the first two years of life can lead to permanent brain damage.
The mineral magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and bananas. In areas with hard water, the water may provide a significant amount of magnesium. In addition to its involvement in bone structure, magnesium aids in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Magnesium deficiency can cause restlessness, nervousness, muscular twitching, and unsteadiness. Acute magnesium deficiency can progress to apathy, delirium, convulsions, coma, and death.
Manganese is a trace mineral found in whole grains and nuts, and to a lesser extent, fruits and vegetables. Manganese is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and brain functioning. Although very rare, manganese deficiency can cause abnormalities in brain function. Miners of manganese in South America have developed manganese toxicity called manganese madness, with neurological symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.
The richest sources of the trace mineral copper in the diet are organ meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, whole grain breads and cereals, and chocolate. In addition to other functions, copper is involved in iron metabolism in the body and in brain function. Deficiency of copper causes anemia, with inadequate oxygen delivery to the brain and other organs. Copper deficiency also impairs brain functioning and immune system response, including changes in certain chemical receptors in the brain and lowered levels of neurotransmitters.
The trace mineral zinc is found in red meats, liver, eggs, dairy products, vegetables, and some seafoods. Among other functions, zinc is involved in maintaining cell membranes and protecting cells from damage. Zinc deficiency can cause neurological impairment, influencing appetite, taste, smell, and vision. It has also been associated with apathy, irritability, jitteriness, and fatigue.
Good sources of the trace mineral selenium include seafood, liver, and eggs. Grains and seeds can also be good sources of selenium depending on the selenium content of the soil they are grown in. Selenium is needed for the synthesis of some hormones and helps protect cell membranes from damage.
Although selenium deficiency is very rare, selenium toxicity has occurred in regions of the world with high selenium soil content, such as China. Selenium toxicity causes nervous system changes, fatigue, and irritability.

Words for the Day!

Garrulous - verbose, talkative; rambling (I personally am really great at this! :-)

Vacuous - empty; without contents; without ideas or intelligence

Thursday, April 24, 2008

GIGO Theory: Food and Thoughts

I am a firm believer in the GIGO Theory; Garbage In - Garbage Out..Whether it is mental or edible garbage, we must make the effort to be healthy on all levels of our lives and ensure that our input will create the best output..If we are intransigent in our thoughts which then equate to our actions, we can never progress forward in life to experience broader horizons..It is risky to change but that which does not change risks stagnation..Living in the rut of life harbors no safety..Regarding our food intake, we are effected by what we eat just as we are effected by what we think, it all effects our brain chemistry..Our food fuels our mind and our body just as our thoughts fuel our emotions and our actions..Our food intake effects our moods, our behavior, and our brain function..We need the proper nutrients for positive, balanced brain chemistry and nerve function..The chemicals in our brain, neurotransmitters, effect our moods, our sleep patterns, and our thought processes..When we don't nourish ourselves properly we are shortchanging ourselves..Why not optimize our opportunities? Whole foods are a strong factor in this equation along with the right vitamins and nutrients which are found in these foods..The following is a list of vitamins and how they contribute to our health..Tomorrow I will list what foods which vitamins! :-) Cheers to healthy living!

What It Does For The Body
Vitamin A (Beta Carotene)
Promotes growth and repair of body tissues; reduces susceptibility to infections; aids in bone and teeth formation; maintains smooth skin
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin)
Promotes growth and muscle tone; aids in the proper functioning of the muscles, heart, and nervous system; assists in digestion of carbohydrates
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)
Maintains good vision and healthy skin, hair, and nails; assists in formation of antibodies and red blood cells; aids in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism
Vitamin B-3 (Niacinamide)
Reduces cholesterol levels in the blood; maintains healthy skin, tongue, and digestive system; improves blood circulation; increases energy
Vitamin B-5
Fortifies white blood cells; helps the body's resistance to stress; builds cells
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)
Aids in the synthesis and breakdown of amino acids and the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates; supports the central nervous system; maintains healthy skin
Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin)
Promotes growth in children; prevents anemia by regenerating red blood cells; aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; maintains healthy nervous system
Aids in the metabolism of proteins and fats; promotes healthy skin
Helps the liver eliminate toxins
Folic Acid (Folate, Folacin)
Promotes the growth and reproduction of body cells; aids in the formation of red blood cells and bone marrow
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
One of the major antioxidants; essential for healthy teeth, gums, and bones; helps to heal wounds, fractures, and scar tissue; builds resistance to infections; assists in the prevention and treatment of the common cold; prevents scurvy
Vitamin D
Improves the absorption of calcium and phosphorous (essential in the formation of healthy bones and teeth) maintains nervous system
Vitamin E
A major antioxidant; supplies oxygen to blood; provides nourishment to cells; prevents blood clots; slows cellular aging
Vitamin K (Menadione)
Prevents internal bleeding; reduces heavy menstrual flow

Vocabulary Words for the Day

Intransigent - stubborn; immovable; unwilling to change

Laconic - using few words; terse

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How I Lost One Hundred Pounds the Right Way

Weight loss equals self-gain! There is so much to cover but I will just jump in with both feet..(The right way means SLOWLY, this did not happen overnight)
Why was I overweight? I believe that this is the first step for everyone..We need to ask ourselves why do we have all this extra weight? Are we stress eating? Are we bored? Are we covering emotional pain? We first need to get to the bottom of that question before we start the journey of weight loss or we won't have or sustain success..I personally had many issues including losing a house and a business while pregnant and having gestational diabetes..I was at the point where I did not care what I was putting in my mouth I was building a fleshy pillow between me and the world at my own expense..Let me say also, that I do love food, I love to cook and to eat and the Food Network is my favorite channel..Having said that, there are healthy ways to cook and consume exciting foods without going overboard..I had built up more than two hundred and twenty something pounds on my five foot four inch frame and it was really paining me..I got to the point where I was ready to face my issues, decompress, let go and cut back..BABY STEPS is the way to start this process..I began walking everyday, I could not walk far but I started and if the weather was bad I walked in the mall or a super Target, I was committed..I stopped drinking soda altogether and believe me that alone was HUGE for me, I really loved my soda! Before I cut it out entirely I just started gradually drinking less..Slowly, I began cutting out other unhealthy food choices and adding in healthier foods..I kept my eye on my goal, I had a specific weight in mind, I had a photograph of a woman's body that I really wanted to have and I was not deterred..Gazelle-like focus (like Dave Ramsey would say about finances, but that is a whole other blog post! and clearly I needed his advice!) Anyway, I slowly replaced my fried foods, sugar and white flour products with fruits, vegetables, yogurt, lean meats and so on....I once heard that sugar was the devil! and that must make white flour his best friend! Now, don't run because you think I'm a radical, I assure you that now that I have reached my goal I still have my sweet treats, just in moderation and not as an entire meal! :-) My theory about eating everyday is to eat like a King at breakfast, a Prince at lunch and a Pauper at dinner..Some of the specific foods I eat or that I have replaced are as follows: I don't eat regular bread anymore I eat Ezekiel Bread, it is sprouted grain and not made with flour, I substitute Splenda for sugar or Stevia for sugar and I make gallon pitchers of decaf green tea with Splenda and fresh squeezed lemons so that I have something somewhat healthy (green tea is full of antioxidants) and still sweet to fill me up and I drink it throughout the day..When I do have a crave for soda, I keep some Diet Coke with splenda in the fridge so that I can have something cold, somewhat sweet, and bubbly..I eat a lot of chicken and I bake it in the oven in a variety of ways to bring flavor to the table..I never read the labels of foods for fat content but I did pay attention to carb and sugar grams because this is what winds up "sticking to ya"! I also started substituting protein shakes for a meal, usually dinner, depending upon my schedule and my day..I buy Smoothie King Gladiator Vanilla protein powder which is a combination of whey and egg proteins..One serving (two scoops of powder) gives forty-five grams of protein, and many times I just use one scoop with a half cup of milk (I only drank skim milk, always organic!) some pineapple chunks with its juice, some fresh squeezed oranges (usually one or two), flaxseed oil, a little extra virgin organic coconut oil, a spoon full of royal jelly (a bee product suspended in honey, gives you energy and promotes acetylcholine in the brain along with lowering cholesterol and a host of other beneficial qualities) about a cup of ice and blend away, truly tasted delicious kind of like a pina colada and sometimes I throw in some frozen strawberries..The key to everything is to tailor the specific ingredients to your taste..But whole foods and not processed, organic milks, eggs, and meats if you can afford it and snack on fruits, nuts, vegies, and cheeses..For my sweet treat I love Stacy's Pita Chips in the sugar and cinnamon flavor or Hershey's dark chocolate nuggets with almonds..We do need something to feel like we have something to fulfill that sweet tooth..I started slow, gave myself cheat days on either Saturday or Sunday or rearanged if there was a party or special occasion..Eventually, after I started seeing my results I became less interested in the cheat days and more focused on seing more results..I kept walking, eating right, taking a good vitamin (important!), drinking lots of water and then I added in a yoga ball and a thigh master into my mix..This way I could do some stretching and work out in my living room (and no I don't love exercise but it is a necessary evil!!)..You can use the ball to do situps, stretches, push-ups and create your own routine..Many of the balls come with a DVD with some routines and you just use what works for you.. Another tip is that I never ate out, brown bag lunches and brown bag snacks so that you always have your own foods.. If you must eat out, order so you know exactly what you are eating like a ceasar salad with grilled chicken breast, light dressing and you don't need to be militant with yourself..If you cheat, be forgiving of yourself..It is a process not perfection! Once you reach your goal weight, celebrate and gradually add things slowly and with moderation..YOU CAN DO IT!!!! My process and journey of weight loss took me around twelve months and I am feeling awesome and weighing in the one twenties! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Words of the Day

Lugubrious - weighty, mournful, or gloomy, especially to an excessive degree

Disabuse - to free a person from falsehood or error

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Words of the Day

Blandishment - speech or action intended to coax someone into doing something

Cadge - to get something by taking advantage of someone

Making it Happen Everyday

There is beauty and joy that can be found in every day if we will only look..I think that our expectations and our perspective have much to do with how we see our world and our reality on a daily basis..It is easy to get mired down in the daily drudge of negativity and violence in this world that we all share but it is only because this kind of action is what seems to grab the spotlight..How much more uplifting would it be to see all the goodness and beauty in this world because it does exist out there..So for me, I want to narrow my focus on my own little corner of reality and look for the beauty unfolding around me because I don't want to allow the media to shape my perspective in my own life or about the lives of others as a whole..I still believe in human goodness and random acts of kindness..Just because channel two is not rushing out to cover something wonderful happening does not mean that it does not happen..I know in my heart that caring people are giving of themselves even if it is as small as a smile to a stranger..Don't underestimate the power of something as simple as a smile, because the person on the other end of your smile may desperately need do see that little bit of cheer..Start simple if you need to but look for joy and beauty everyday..We can make a difference!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Words of the Day

Ambrosial - extremely pleasing to the senses, divine or delicious

Antediluvian - ancient, outmoded

Every Flood Starts with One Drop of Rain

Every goal we have in life (and we should all have written goals) seems perhaps unattainable when we first conceive it in our heads..It is sometimes hard to wrap our minds around what we would like for our end result to be and we need to break it down into small increments or baby steps..It does not matter what the goal or goals are, they all start with small accomplishments that will eventually equal the goal being brought to fruition..When we write down our goals we should include absolutely everything that we would like to have, to do, or to accomplish, no matter how outlandish it may seem..We should have our goals in plain view to see daily..Sometimes we can get creative and create a goal poster to include photos of what our goal looks like, it could be a job, a house, a car, a spouse, children, it does not matter, we all have different desires and goals in life and we owe it to ourselves to work to bring them into our reality..Just like a mathmatical equation, goals need to be broken down into seperate entities so that we can create small wins and start to feel successful..We also need to realize that failure is a huge part of success..No human being on the planet has experienced any measure of success without first tasting or even drowning in failure first! It is all part of the experience, trust the process..Everything that happens in life, (even though we may not see it in the present moment), happens to build within us the ability to best handle our future..Hindsight is almost always twenty-twenty..I can certainly look back in my life and can see how particular travesties prepared me for even more difficult times so that I could handle them with more grace and sanity..Life is not easy and life is not fair and we need to understand that we need to make the very best of what we have to be peaceful, happy and successful..Our journey is not meant to reach a particular destination and then quit, the journey is the journey, and we need to mentally pack light, stay positive and enjoy the trip..I want to reach my goals and sometimes to reach goals we need to really STRETCH!!! Everything worth having comes with hard work and a price..I want to make things happen and enjoy the process, the journey and the experience..Many small wins over time ALWAYS equal big wins down the road and I look forward to getting there!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Indulging our Senses: The Beauty of our World

Crystal sands, blue ocean, golden fiery sun..Mighty winds curling into gentle breezes and gliding through open sails of tiny boats in the distance..They sit atop cresting waves..The strange salty smells fill my nostrils..Clumped seaweed lie up and down the beach..A single pelican floats on what seems to be an invisible like above the ocean, suddenly, it spirals downward crashing into the water for fish or just cool pleasure.. Puffy white pillowy clouds hang lazily in the sky making abstract formations against a backdrop of powder blue..The sound of the ocean is hypnotic in its auditory sense, the constant whir of the waves rolling into shore. Long legged birds stalk through the shallow waters picking through the sand for edible treasures..Millions of periwinkles bury themselves again and again in their life-long arduous task. The tear drop shape shells painted so vibrantly, bright purple, orange and yellow, like bright little rainbows in the wet sand.. White mountains of sand are the dunes on the beach dotted with slender green sea oats swaying tenderly in the breeze..Standing in forceful juxtoposition is the red brick lighthouse trimmed around the top with a black wrought iron walk and cap-like dome..Sternly built with purpose climbing into the blue and white swirled sky..From the top of the lighthouse one can see the entire island peninsula..The water sparkles in the sun like diamonds in all directions and the housetops looke like small squares amidst a managerie of bursting, frenzied color......

The burnt orange sun finishes the day with a sunset of glorious proportion..It sinks slowly into a hazy pink horizon tinted delicately with hints of violet and baby blue..The water ripples gently across the golden river catching the reflected colors of the slowly dimming ball of fire slipping into the sky..Evening glides in slowly showing her twinkling glittery lights..Far in the southeast corner of our evening cover appears the glowing pearly moon..Over on the beach the water is peaceful with small waves caressing the sandy shore..Tiny fish break the surface of the glassy still waters in the distance as they jump out of the ocean and into the cool evening air..Their skins catch the moonlight making them shimmer and shine..The sweet aroma of gardenias growing in the woody park nearby tickle my nose..There is nothing more beautiful than a deep blue night, a glowing sky, sparkling waters, and a cool rustling breeze.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Go Green: Less is More

Going green for me is keeping green growth paramount in my life....fresh, new positive perspectives for life on a daily basis... I think that one of the biggest deterrants to being green is complaining....complain and takes work and effort to keep things fresh and new and why not use our energy to stay positive as opposed to allowing our energies to drain from negative thoughts and actions... Less is many times more when we are able to de-clutter, stay simple and focus on what is truly important in our lives and to not let negative energy, negative thoughts, and negative situations become overwhelming drains from our positive stores and our green growth turns to a dark demise.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Motherhood and mastitis

Oh the things that happen to us as mothers! I finally went to the Dr yesterday because I have been feeling so horrible and I was registering a low-grade temp and I found out I have mastisis (flu-like symptoms, fever, just bliss I tell you!) least I'm curable! I started antibiotics and I am taking my probiotic and can't wait to return to normal! Being a mom has never brought so much joy and pain, but mostly just pure joy! My children are the lights of my life and I want nothing more than for them to be safe, healthy, and happy! I am thankful and grateful for both of my babies even though the oldest is now in kindergarten and my youngest is not yet two.......she feels so big when her brother is around she just doddles after him like his shadow, copying everything he does, so adorable! When you see newborns it ALMOST makes me think about more but whew!!!! not for this girl! Pregnancy was horrible for me, gestational diabetes both times and the last time I could not control it with diet and I had to needle in insulin every night, gained weight like an elephant balooning up to around 220 something lbs and I have worked hard over this past year with diet and exercise and lost one hundred lbs and I am very proud of myself! Except for the regular old aches and pains of a body almost forty, I am feeling pretty fantastic!! Happy to be getting better!!! Love being a mom, something I never aspired to be and I would not change it for the world, it has become the most positive experience of my life!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Domestic Bliss - Food Network Stalker!

I am feeling better today and I think I woke up a carbivore! I just finished making and eating homemade buttermilk biscuits!!! They were amazing! I had one with syrup and one with mayhaw jelly! What did we do before Food Network? If I don't have kiddie programs on in the background it is on the Food Network। I LOVE to cook and to eat!! What would life be without amazing food? I could watch and cook all day, every day! The way to the heart is definately through the stomach and the kitchen is the heart of every true home। Domestic bliss for me is being able to attend to the needs of my children first, keeping good food coming for every meal, having beautiful flowers growing in the yard to clip and share and having a smile in my heart and on my face। Staying positive!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Is is live or is it memorex?

blah blah blah, I am feeling very disoriented today and not like I am all here. I am not sure that I am in fact attending a live performance of my day or if I am "memorexing" on auto-pilot. We all have these days......up since 3am, horrible headache, my eyes feel as they are being squeezed out of their sockets.....prescription please! and no I don't have a hangover. I just took 2 extra strength tylenol and mixed a diet dr. pepper with a diet coke over ice and hope and pray that this helps me in some small way. I can't think about anything except please won't this headache just go away!! I am however very thankful for friends and family, they really pull you through the tough days. I don't mean just having a headache day but through those life draining days when your emotions are running the show and all perceived logic has been tossed out the window and you need someone to be your sounding board and to tell you that your possible crisis isn't going to lead to your fatal demise. I always go to the thought of what is the worst possible thing that will happen if I choose "option A" here and since death would be the worst possible thing to happen, if death will not ensue then perhaps it is a viable option! My optic nerves can't take the computer screen any longer so I am going to be alone with my diet soda over ice :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pain gives birth to beauty

Life just happens without a script and without our consent or control things just happen for the good, the better, the bad or even worse. We don't always have explanations as to why things happen to us or around us that we would not wish upon our worst enemy but they happen anyway. We have opportunities with every hand we are dealt to either rise to the occasion or to just give up and give in. When I think of how natural beauty comes about I think of the grain of sand agitating the oyster and it eventually gives birth to a beautiful pearl, the stress and pressure on a lump of coal in a dark mine gives birth to the most sought after stone, the diamond, and most precious of all, after 40 weeks of sheer discomfort and untold hours of LABOR we give birth to our children. Anything worth having in life comes out of some kind of painful transformation or metamorphisis and sometimes we are the butterfly unfolding our wings emerging from our own cacoon. We don't always know why horrible things happen in life but they unfortunately do and the only control we have is in the way in which we respond or react. I hope that I can always rise to the occasion when I am challenged with horrible circumstances or situations and that I can deal with them in a manner in which I can be proud of myself. I am in awe of people that still move forward regardless of their own obstacles where others would have literally given up! I strive everyday to have the strength to monitor my thoughts and actions to make the best choices with the information I have at the time and remain in a positive mindset for the benefit of myself and my family.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Do I want to be bitter or better??

I feel like everyday we have opportunities to grow, get stronger and be better people. With these opportunities we can certainly regress to go in the opposite direction. We can in essence be bitter about situations and circumstances that are perhaps unfair or not to our liking or that just plain super suck or we can choose to take the high road in our lives and use these potential stumbling blocks in our day or our life as stepping stones. I hope that I am always able to get better as opposed to becoming bitter about people or things in my life that are not going my way. Being bitter is just a way to keep us muddled down in perverbial quicksand not being able to move forward or to move at all. Bitterness eventually seeps into every fiber of your being and traps you inside yourself and poisons you from the inside out. We can obsess about hopes and dreams, think positvely and grow in life or we can choose to obsess on negativity, become bitter, stagnant, wither and die. I WANT TO LIVE BETTER!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Good, the Bad, the Beautiful and the Ugly

It seems that life is simultaneously juxtaposed with the good, the bad and the beautiful with the ugly. We can be experiencing the best of times and the worst of times all at the same time. We are never guaranteed a life full of peace and bliss. And how can we fully appreciate or experience the wonder and beauty in life without experiencing sorrow and pain as contrasting comparison? It is many times the depressing, trying, difficult and painful times in life where we learn some of our best lessons and are able to determine our own strengths and weaknesses. You never know the strength of a tea bag until you put it into hot water! I have tried to embrace the pleasure and the pain in my own life and look at my circumstances, my thoughts, and my perspective to gain my own life lessons on my journey here. I want to remain in an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness for all the blessings and to focus on the positives in my life so that I can press on and move forward. I want to start every day with a clean slate, frame my mental images with positive perspectives, focus on the good and the beautiful and appreciate the bad and the ugly for what it can give birth to in my life which is many times increased inner strength and the ability to face adversity with a quiet confidence. When we dig deeper in life we grow stronger!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Free your mind and the rest will follow....

Every day I need to de-clutter my mental screen. I want to start fresh everyday so that I can attend to the present and not be distracted by past frustrations, circumstances, worries or fears. Unforgiveness, agravation, worry and fear can mentally drain the strongest and the best minds and these emotions serve no good purpose except to sap your energy leaving you drained and lifeless. I believe that attending to my thoughts are synonomous to weeding the garden in that if it is not done on a daily basis then the weeds will eventually choke out the beauty that is intended to be planted, grow and bloom. If I am able to free my mind of the negative energy and negative thoughts that will indeed make an effort to gain center stage then I will be able to be free to enjoy my present and experience an inner peace and joy. I want to be peaceful and joyful not only for myself but for those around me as well. I work to stay focused and attentive daily to pursue happines in every moment!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Life, Liberty and the "Pursuit" of Happiness!

Happiness does not come as a natural by-product of life! We must actively PURSUE it! It takes work as everything in life does and it takes conscious living, and conscious thinking to obtain happiness. I think that many times peace and happiness seem elusive and that we live life on auto-pilot and get sucked into our circumstances instead of being "in each moment" of our day. We are all guilty at some point of not paying attention to our own lives and either get stuck in the trauma and drama of other's lives so we don't deal with our own issues or we are just exhausted and have tuned out to our own needs. We all need quiet time to ourselves to be able to think and re-fuel to live our lives effectively, with purpose and with the ability to pursue our own happiness! When we are happy in our own lives it is much easier to be there for our friends and family members in their times of need. Life is so DAILY! I want to try to make each day count and it takes work to get it right!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Failure is the foundation for success!

Failure is the Foundation for Success

“It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures.”
Samuel Smiles

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
Oscar Wilde

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Robert F. Kennedy

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas Alva Edison

"Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions: they become your habits. Watch your habits: they become your character. Watch your character for it, WILL... become your destiny."

Approaching 2007, what I thought would be the best and most successful year for us yet, I had a 4 month old baby, our business was on its last leg, our home was in pre-foreclosure, we sold my $50K Landrover, returned my husband’s Jeep to the bank, and we were forced to move in with my mother. I could not physically or emotionally afford to wallow in my own cesspool of failure as drowning was not a viable option. I want to have a breakthrough but I feel like I’m going to have a breakdown!

Perfection is overrated, control is just an illusion, and failure is the foundation for success. It is in the battlefield of the mind that we lose life’s battles. Life is like a beach, there are always waves hitting the shore, some big, some small, and a few tsunamis. We are constantly bombarded in life with either obstacles or opportunities; it is our perception that defines them and they can make us or break us. The tsunamis in our lives are the biggest test of the strength of our character and of our mental fortitude often revealing the truths of who we really are, stripped of the mundane trivialities of life that run amuck mentally and physically crowding our capacity to think and see clearly. It is in these times that we have the opportunity to emerge with real purpose, after experiencing the refiner’s fire, the phoenix rising from the ashes.

We learn life’s greatest lessons not on the mountain tops but in the valleys. Failure is not permanent; it should be embraced and celebrated for what it gives birth to in our lives. The lows in our lives are important ingredients in creating who we are and we can gain new life, wisdom, and new perspective with the pain that we suffer from failure, defeat, and even death. We need the lows and the highs of life to create the balance we experience as it also creates depth in our character that would otherwise leave us stagnant and one dimensional.
Thank you for visiting! Together we journey through life seeking to find our purpose and experience peace and joy along the way. I have found through my own personal experiences that by guarding our thoughts is by far the most important task we have in life that will ultimately lead to our own personal and professional success or demise. If we each carefully guard our mind and pay attention to the thoughts that come across our mental prompter, we can either accept or deny their transmission and control where our paths lead. Thoughts lead to action! Therefore, positive thoughts lead to positive actions and positive actions lead to success!