Monday, June 29, 2015

6 Reasons to Read a Book this Summer

Books on my 2015 Summer Reading List

Summer is my favorite time to do some reading. Though I generally have something I'm either working on reading or waiting to go, there is just something extra special about reading in the summer. Lazing in the sunshine, relaxing on the beach, and filling our minds with screen free goodness.

Here are some top reasons to read a book (entertainment and education aside) THIS summer:

1) Improves focus and concentration

2) Develop verbal abilities and expand vocabulary

3) Reduces stress and lowers heart rate

4) Improves memory, and keeps the mind sharp

5) Reading before bed can help us fall asleep

6) Reading is sexy. It increased intelligence and enhances an individuals knowledge and appeal

***tip for finding a book you love:
Type in title of a book you have already enjoyed at, and related titles will pop up. This tip has kept me in endless book series, all of which I have loved.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Why I'm No Longer a "Vegan"

Over a year ago my family and I switched to the term "plant powered" instead of "vegan" because it is inclusive. Every single person is plant powered to varying degrees. When I first went vegan, January of 2011, I was very vocal about it. I was shocked about what I had learned and thought I had uncovered the secret to the holy grail. That naturally everyone would feel the same as me and want to know. Oh man, that fire burned for a long while.

Then, over time, I realized that nope, most people don't want to know. Not only that, people who may want to know will resist it if they feel like it is being shoved down their throat. I certainly would have. I was a typical carnivorous young woman, and if someone, unsolicited, started preaching about health and animal cruelty I probably would have ordered up another slice of pepperoni pizza.

This world already  has so many tools for division, and I want to do my best to break down these walls in my own life. Not only are there vegans vs all animal product eaters, there is even angst within the health foods movement.  There are the paleo's vs. vegans. Vegans vs. vegetarians. Raw vegans vs. starch solution vegans. Low fat vegans vs. high fat. Starch vs grain free....and the list goes on. Beyonce embraces a vegan diet, and instead of applauding and highlighting the positive, she is trashed and called out for being a "fake" vegan because she wears leather. It is just guilt ridden repellent.

Personally I feel there are basic parameters that lead to a solid diet, which allows us to live healthier and strong. That a diet for optimal health and happiness is:

-Rich in whole foods (not processed franken food that can live endlessly on a shelf)
-That there should be as many organic food choices as possible (genetically modified foods are taking over the market, and the best way to vote for our health is via what we buy)
-Drink an abundance of clean water (and stay away from sugary drinks)
-Fruits and vegetables are a regular staple

For a comprehensive, detailed, list check out this website here: Raw Foods World Whole Foods List

I don't happen to eat meat. That's how I feel the best. I also stay away from dairy and eggs for the most part, but occasionally they slip into my diet. I absolutely leave out white sugar and gluten. Eating this way is how I personally feel the best. I have done it for so long that it is second nature to me now.

Jesus taught of unconditional love and kindness. Though I thought I was doing my part by preaching the vegan bible, I have since realized that's not where its at. Though I post about health and diet on social media, personally, what anyone is eating or not eating is none of my business. I really don't care. I refuse to put up a division, cause animosity, between myself and another individual based on what's at the end of our forks.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to Start Eating Healthy? Add a Little Green

When we are out of the habit of it, eating healthy can seem overwhelming. When in a momentum of processed foods and sugary drinks it can be a challenge to slow that momentum down and move in a healthier direction. What to cut out (sugar, gluten, meat, dairy, grains, fats, etc)? And what to leave in? A lot of people ask, what will I eat??

My number on tip is to ADD IN something green. Dont worry about changing anything else. Whether its a green smoothie, juice or a salad. Just make your goal to eat one green thing everyday. As your body adjusts to this new habit and feeling good, you will NATURALLY crave more nutrient dense foods. 

Baby steps. Be kind to yourself. The path of health and vitality is at your feet.