Willpower Begins the Journey But Discipline Helps You Stay on the Path!

It’s been some time since my last post and the many reasons fill my head now as just excuses. But time is of the essence, it’s fleeting, and there are just 24 hours in a day. The business is flourishing, and I’m writing curriculum which takes the place of writing about my health challenges…practices. Time is incremental when I look at the health of both us…myself and my husband. My health is like a rollercoaster lately running the gamut of hills and valleys – sunny days and cloudy disparity. While my husband turned his willpower into the discipline he needed to stay on the path.

Willpower, is it a power of wills? Is it a will of power? Do you have control of your will? Dictionary. com says willpower is the control of one’s impulses and will. Well, what it doesn’t say is that my husband has an abundance of it when he finally makes up his mind to do or not do something. Dictionary.com says this about discipline. It’s a training, activity or a regimen that develops or improves a skill. Well, this explains a lot of why the two nouns go together. You have to possess the willpower to discipline yourself so you can improve your life or a part of your life.

Starting Point

So what’s the point of talking about willpower and discipline?  You see, back in January of 2017 my husband had bilateral pulmonary embolisms, his left leg had a blood clot from his ankle to his groin. The doctors at the hospital told us how lucky he was because normally they don’t give this diagnoses to men over 50 – they find it in an autopsy. So, yes, he was lucky,  but I liked to think that he was blessed.

Over the last year and a half, we changed diets, we changed lifestyle and we changed our health outlook. My husband spent only 6 months on the meds and with my research help and finding the right naturopath he transitioned to supplements. But he had a strange inflammation issue in his left leg that would worsen if he moved or sat still. Nothing would work long term. Diuretics (prescription and natural) only work when you’re taking them, they don’t address the cause of the inflammation. So back to the research I went.

About three months ago, my research took me to a place I never thought about, but wow it’s changed our lives. Health research more precise alternative health research is my forte, in being a holistic life coach. I had exhausted every avenue I knew but I was coming up short on answers. I remember it was about 2 a.m. one morning back in March,  I laid it all out on my desk before God and asked God to direct me. I got an answer three days later when my husband was talking to our friend who’s a doctor. “Have you looked into the lymph system?” I had never thought about that. I was thinking food allergies, side effects of the meds, scar tissue from the damaged veins,  wrong exercises, not enough exercising, etc.

The lymph system

We have more lymph fluid in our bodies than we do blood. And the lymph nodes in our abdomen area control the lymph movement in our legs. The lymph nodes in our neck control the lymph movement in our chest and arms. (Organic Lifestyle Magazine) This is fascinating stuff to me, and I’m talking about it constantly to my husband but, as is his usual,  he just wants the cliff notes. To make a long story shorter, I found a lymph cleanse for my husband to do. I used my knowledge of intermittent fasting and combined a raw, plant-based, high-fat, low-carb, low protein, alkaline plan to help my husband lose the inflammation.

First Three Week Regimen

A gallon of Cranberry Cayenne Flush

He also ate one huge salad every day made with alkaline veggies especially the red ones: beets, red cabbage, red carrots (nightshades excluded because they cause inflammation). I make salad dressings for him with avocado oil, garlic, cucumbers, ginger, blackberries, lemon juice, avocados and Himalayan salt.

The calorie count during this the first two weeks was 300 and 400 calories every day.

During the third week, we added a veggie smoothie to his huge salad. It was filled with full-fat coconut milk (no gums added), kale, carrots, beets, celery, avocado, cucumbers, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries (I would alternate the fruit for him), maca powder, our favorite raw vegan protein powder (Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend has no sugar, soy, or grains in it, it’s raw and it’s our favorite) and some water.

Fourth week and Onward

We added raw organic nuts but only the high fat, low carb, and low protein varieties: macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. We also added coconut oil fat bombs. I make my own with coconut oil, coconut butter, sunflower butter, maca powder, and carob (recipe below) which my husband calls fudge chunks because of their texture. Coconut Mama has a pretty good recipe that I started with and then started tweaking to make my own recipe with ingredients we can eat.

And he continues this plan now at the 8-week mark.

As you can see he doesn’t eat much only about 600 – 800 calories a day. He cut out all sugar even high sugar fruits and veggies. He doesn’t eat any grains. He eats all raw veggies, nothing steamed. He drinks a gallon of lemon water daily. He walks about 3 miles a day and does about 50 squats a day (squats are great at getting our lymph fluid moving). He also spends time on his spinning bike when it’s raining out.

2-month stats:

  • 50 pounds lost
  • Down 4 pant sizes
  • Lost 6 inches off his waist
  • Demeanor changed, he’s calmer and happier
  • Tons more energy
  • He’s got laser focus now
  • He doesn’t get overheated anymore. He had an issue since he was a teenager (he was a runner and very fit then) where he would overheat when the temps rose above 70. It was 87 degrees a couple of weeks ago and he was fine, even had on a long sleeve shirt.
  • His recovery time from hikes and workouts is getting shorter and shorter. As a landscape photographer, he hikes all over the place on different types of terrain. His first hike of the season was last week where the grade was steep at 19%. Yes, he was sore and what used to take 3 – 4 days to recover only took 24 hours.

This plan is a cleanse that will clean up your lymph system and your whole body. It will balance your hormones. It will reset you on a health journey by cleaning out the toxins that not only clogged your arteries but your life. This plan is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t have the willpower to start and the discipline to say “NO” to food that’s sitting right in front of you or all around you at your office and social gatherings then it’s not for you. It’s not for everyone. But, if you are at the end of your rope, and you need to make a change that’s going to save the quality of your life, then you may want to take a look at some of the links I’ve posted above.

My husband’s willpower led him to say yes to this journey but it’s his discipline that keeps getting stronger every time he says “NO” to food that’s not right for him.

He can say yes to these!

carob-fat-fudge-e1528995792940.jpg

Carob Fat Fudge

  • 1/2 cup each coconut oil, coconut butter, and sunbutter (no sugar or salt)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder or raw cacao (cocoa and cacao have caffeine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 10 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 Tablespoon organic maca powder

Melt the coconut oil and butters in a small saucepan over very low heat. You only want to melt it without boiling it. Stirring till melted. When totally melted, immediately remove from heat. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool. Then add the vanilla, almond extract, and stevia. Whisk till blended. While whisking, add in the carob powder, salt, and maca powder. Whisk until smooth and incorporated. Pour into a 2-cup glass measuring cup for easy pouring. Pour into small candy molds or a mini muffin pan with paper liners. Only pour to about 1/4 to 1/3 full. Refrigerate about two hours to set. Remove from molds or pan (I removed the paper liners.) These can be stored on the counter or in the fridge. Makes 20 pieces of fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Being Ready For What Comes Next

So it’s January and I’m again following the 50 Day Cleanse. I’m on day 16 of it. I’ve lost another 6 pounds. I’ve eliminated the calluses and dry skin from my feet and hands. I can smell and taste so much better. I’m no longer tied to taking digestive enzymes and probiotics to aid my digestion. My craving for sugar and even sweet fruits are all gone. Now I eat for the sake of nourishment instead of feeding a craving. I’m still making yummy foods and smoothies (Working on a raw food smoothie book right now). I also am finding out that my countenance or rather my control grows stronger by the day. If you’re following my progress on our Facebook group, then you know what I’m talking about. The plan gets easier when we work the plan. I am not so much concerned with making sure everyday I eat in a set window of time. I eat during a four or five-hour window, but it all depends on when I’m hungry enough for that window to begin. And I never eat after 6 pm. But what does it mean to be ready for what’s next?

Being ready for what comes next means different things to different people. To me it’s making peace to whatever may come my way. I have a favorite quote up on my office wall. It’s from a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author, Dag Hammarskjold.

For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be yes.

I love this quote because it resonates with what I’ve been thinking and praying about. Living in gratitude is more that just being thankful for all we’ve got and experiences we’ve had. It means being thankful for what comes next. Being ready for the next surprise, being open to the next adventure, accepting the next challenge, saying “YES” to something that would normally get a “NO!” These are ways of accepting what comes next. It could mean a job loss, it could mean learning through a new trial in life. To me this quote also means you’re not going to sit and let life pass you by. You’re going to get uncomfortable for a while. It’s in our uncomfortableness where we grow the most.

This 50 Day Cleanse has much to do with expanding our thinking, moving into a new mindset, and a new healthy lifestyle. Yes, it takes courage, control, change, overcoming, and vision. But through all this you will gain a better, healthier version of yourself.

Are you ready for what comes next?

Great Green Smoothie 

At the end of my 5 days of water fasting, I’m always thinking about my first “meal” after the fast. I have found it’s always good to break a fast with fresh raw alkaline veggie juice or smoothie! My husband always reminds me that naming my smoothies a smoothie is misguided because they are more like a “juithie” (he makes up his own words). He’s right, though. My smoothies don’t have the usual basic ingredients. I’m always on the hunt for a more nutritious ingredient to opt out those nutrient devoided imposters. This Great Green Smoothie is a juithie not a smoothie in the conventional sense. It’s the best way to break an extended fast because it won’t raise your blood sugar like a veggie juice will.

Juithie deconstructed

Cucumbers:

It’s the skin that holds many of the nutrients which is why organic, non-waxed cucumbers are the best for you.

Nutrients

  • Flesh: Vitamin A, C, and Folic Acid
  • Skin: Magnesium, Molybdenum, Potassium, and Silica

Health Benefits

  • Regulates body blood pH and neutralizes acidity
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Contributes to the proper structure of the connective tissue in our bodies (muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons)
  • Normalizes body temp especially in hot summer months
  • Diuretic properties prevent kidney stones
  • Counters the effects of uric acid preventing arthritis, asthma, and gout

Carrot

Nutrients: Vitamin A, C, K, B8, Pantothenic Acid, Folate, Potassium, Copper, Manganese

Health Benefits

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Relaxes tension and lowers blood pressure
  • Antiseptic and Antibacterial properties which boost immune systems
  • Stimulates white blood cells
  • Fiber: stimulates peristaltic motion and secretion of gastric juices which boosts elimination of excess LDL cholesterol from arteries and blood vessels
  • Stimulates gums and induces excess saliva (saliva is alkaline and first line of defense when combating bacteria and foreign invaders)

Celery

Nutrients:

  • Vitamins: A, C, D, B6, B12, K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Fiber
  • Minerals: Calcium, Sodium, Copper, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Potassium, & Fatty Acids

Health Benefits

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Antiseptic properties in seed eliminates uric acid and stimulates urination
  • Keeps joints healthy
  • Anti inflammatory capabilities: reduces swelling and pain in joints & can increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints.
  • Improves immune system function

Avocado

Nutrients

  • Vitamins: C, B6, B12, A, D, K, E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin
  • Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc
  • Antioxidant: Xanthophyll
  • Fatty Acids

Health Benefits

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Enhances the absorption of other nutrients when eaten together with other healthy veggies
  • Keeps eyes healthy
  • Aids in digestion
  • Reduces liver damage
  • Anti inflammatory properties
  • Decreases signs of aging
  • Helps level out blood glucose levels

Wheatgrass 

Nutrients

  • Vitamins: A, C, E, K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, Pantothenic Acid,
  • Minerals: Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Potassium
  • Protein
  • Fiber

Health Benefits

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Corrects bowel problems and gastrointestinal issues aka IBS
  • Detoxifying properties
  • Nullifies cancer causing agents
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Extremely alkaline

Plant based protein powder 

My favorite is Warrior Blend from Sunwarrior it has all the amino acids, it’s made from pea and hemp protein and has only 3 grams of carbohydrates.

Essential Seed Mix 

I make this myself, it’s just an extra boost of minerals that we need while going through the cleanse and afterward. It helps me personally in knowing I am getting nutrients even though I may not be eating as much. Click the name to find out what goes into my seed mix.

Water

I only used reverse osmosis water, it has everything, including the minerals, stripped out of it like distilled but it’s also ionized, this way I can add back natural minerals if I choose too.


Great Green Smoothie

  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 large carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 ounces wheatgrass (not the juice, the wheatgrass cuttings)
  • 1 T Essential Seed Mix
  • 1 Scoop Warrior Blend protein powder
  • 10 drops liquid vitamin D 
  • Water to fill line on Nutribullet large cup

Whirl together

Enjoy

Wishing you many more glimpses of health.

 

Research 

Cucumber info

Carrot info

Celery

Avocado

Wheatgrass

Art of Contentment

When I started thinking about the subject of contentment a couple of weeks ago, I began to notice the questions that began surfacing in my dreams. My subconscious mind told me there’s an art to contentment and I needed to concentrate on it to have it in my life.

  • What is contentment?
  • Is it the same as happiness?
  • Am I content with what I have and where I am in life?
  • How do I contribute to the contentment of my family?
  • Is my family content?

In my dream, the questions ran on like a ticker tape one after another waiting for my answers. But as I’d answer one question another appeared more in depth than the one before until I got down to the truth of the matter. For me, this is remarkable because my word study for this year has been “Truth.” The truth is I am not content with everything and I believe none of us is content with everything in our lives which is why we are always striving to do better in the areas of discontent.

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With my areas of discontentment all around me, I’ve decided to go on a fast and change two big areas in my life and that of my husband’s. It’s interesting to note that whatever change I want to make my husband is always on board with and tells me so, “I guess I will have to follow your lead on this!” The two big areas in my life, I think, go together. Health and Wealth. For 50 days we will follow variations on fasting for health and wealth. How do you fast for wealth? You join the Buy Nothing movement. Fasting for health is easy if done correctly and with a bit of medical and common sense.

My 50 Day Health & Finance Cleansing Plan

Health is first because being healthy is a wealth all its own

First 5 Days: A water fast (Preferably electrolyte water or distilled water that has Himalayan Sole solution added to it). Drink as much as you want and as often as you want. These first five days will prove interesting as you’ll be cleansing your body of harmful toxins and turn your body into a fat burning machine instead of a carb burning one. (I plan on doing a 5-day water only fast while my husband who is on medication plans on doing a 5-day fast with one fresh veggie juice once a day so he can take his medication.) This beginning phase is to help switch our bodies into burning ketones and gently move the toxins out of our bodies.

6th – 12th day: Add two alkaline veggie juices to your day along with all the electrolyte water or Sole Water you want a day. Notice you are having veggie only juices. The only fruit that’s helpful at this point is lemons and limes. You can also heat up some water with the juice of one lemon in it first thing in the morning. This will also help when not fasting as it will alkalize your system.

13th – 20th day: This is a two-parter:

  1. Add one piece of alkaline fruit.
    • Lemons
    • Limes
    • Avocado
    • Tomatoes
    • Coconut (oil, butter, water, milk) *No sweetener or chemicals added to the water or milk
    • Pomegranate
    • Watermelon (pH neutral)
  2. Try to have your first meal, veggie juice five hours after you get up in the morning your second meal, alkaline fruit, four hours later, and your last veggie juice four hours later. Try to have all your meals within a 6-hour window and use water for fasting the remaining 18 hours as necessary.

21st – 27th day

Along with what you are already doing add 1 fresh made, plant-based alkaline veggie salad to your meals and omit one veggie juice. Also, add 2 ounces of alkaline, organic, raw nuts. These include almonds, pistachios, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts, Macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts. (I also recommend soaking nuts in fresh non-tap water overnight to aid in digestion.)

28th – 50th day

Continue with the eating plan as is and turn your veggie juice into a veggie smoothie with a scoop of plant-based protein powder. (SunWarrior makes the Warrior Blend that I like the best, but it does have some sugar in it. They also make Illumin8 blend which has brown rice in it. It’s a personal choice we have to make. I like both of them for different reasons.)

The Finance Cleanse

It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s enlightening.

Simple as this Buy Nothing. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Here’s what’s allowed: Food, medications, paying existing bills, and meeting your needs. Gone are multiple trips to the grocery store, cafes, fast food and everything we don’t need. When you go to the store, make a list ahead of time and only buy what’s on your list. If you’re in need of something and don’t want to purchase it outright, head to your local Buy Nothing Facebook group and ask if anyone has one that is willing to let go of it. I’ve done this with several items. I recently noticed that my four lonely wine glasses don’t cut it when I have a crowd of people over so instead of buying them, I found a set of 12 of them on my BN group on Facebook and asked if I could be considered for them. I’ve also found a 2 drawer filing cabinet for my tutoring business. I’ve even asked for a couple of items on there and people are willing to give up what they can in order to help. I had a friend who didn’t have a TV and I was able to get her a working one with a DVD player, so now she can watch her movies from the comfort of her recliner instead of an office chair. I’ve also given away the items I no longer use.

Besides buying nothing I need. I’ve also asked myself if I continually need the things I have. Do all these things make me content? Saving only those items that give me joy has helped us let go of the things and clothes we no longer wear.

Changing our health status has also allowed us to be more content with what we have. Change is a process it doesn’t end in 50 days or 50 years. Once we reach our goal we set another one and another one. The art of contentment comes from knowing we are progressing to what is of most importance to us. Find out what’s most important to you and work towards it.

 

 

 

Creating Change

Creating change begins in our mind. Reading many articles and books on how the mind can be used to heal our boo boos has led me to finally understand the how and the why we humans can make or break our own lives. It’s been fascinating to watch as my husband transforms his cells from the inside out.

Different websites tout different foods cause inflammation and cutting back on the culprits will cut down the inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation says these foods are the eight worst.

  • Sugar
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • MSG
  • Gluten and Casein
  • Aspartame
  • Alcohol

As always I also read about inflammation on the alternative health websites. Dr. Axe says the following foods should be added to this list.

  • Corn and Soybean oils
  • Pasteurized Dairy
  • Conventional Meats

In reading the many journals on alternative health and inflammation I have found out that it’s associated with almost every health condition we know. By attacking the inflammation we can reverse these diseases and lead a vibrant life. So my husband and I have embarked on a journey to reduce the inflammation, not just with food, but actions, thoughts, and words.

Attacking the inflammation in our bodies begins with creating the change in our mind. We need to think about every we do, say, eat and think. We can think our way out of inflammation by visualizing ourselves becoming less inflamed. Our cells do what we tell them to. We think our cells do their jobs on their own, they do but to a certain point we can change their trajectory and create the change within us. If we think we hate a certain food and never taste it, then we create this ill feeling when we see or smell it. If we’re inflamed we can talk our bodies out of it by saying how much we love to exercise (lowers inflammation), for instance. We’re then finding ways to exercise. Same is true for giving up all the foods that cause inflammation. If we say how much we love their healthy alternatives, we’ll eat them more often.

We all have the power to create the change we seek right in our minds. If we think it, we can do it.

 

Getting Back Our Health

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my last blog post. Why? The simple answer is I let one negative comment and subsequent email derail my writing. That one negative comment cut me to the core, and I began to question everything I did. I stopped writing openly. I stopped sharing my thoughts. I stopped my healthy life journey. I stopped being me. 

We live in such a negative world where people are constantly at odds with each other and themselves. We think it’s our civic responsibility to point out other people’s faults without taking consideration of our own. We see each other as competitors instead of brothers and sisters. We don’t make the world better by constantly correcting each other. 

Getting from there to here. 

The last year has been filled with hills and valleys. Making adjustments and accommodations as life threw me curve balls and granted me with abounding blessings. As my health took a self-made detour, the scale went up and has remained at the steady unsightly number I am too ashamed to say outside my bathroom walls. I’ve missed out on life changing moments only to eat away my pain in silence. Until only recently, when my husband’s life altering health challenge has shown both of us the dire need of getting back our health. 

Taking control of our health 

Most people don’t make changes to their health until the whistle blows and they’re lying in a hospital bed wondering “How did I get here?” Putting the pieces together in your mind, they really knew how they got there. Opting to sit in front of the TV instead of going for a walk, sleeping in that extra hour instead of working out, eating all the wrong foods thinking “It’s okay, it won’t hurt me!” Drinking everything else except water. Sitting, working, sleeping, eating too much. 

Now our quality of life depends on us making the necessary changes so we can get back to being as healthy as we can. It’s not just about food choices, it’s about quality of life choices. We’ll never know how healthy we could have been but we can make these changes now and be as healthy as we can be possibly reversing the damage we’ve done thus far. 

I know this journey will have its highs and lows…I hope we can travel this journey together, taking it one step at a time. All I ask is your love and understanding in hopes that we may turn this journey into a friendship. 

Life’s health

Keeping It Going!

Keeping It Going!

My favorite blog post over the last several years is one from 2013.

Keep It Going

Keep moving!   Keep smiling!   Keep shining!   Keep dreaming!    Keep Imagining!   Keep planning!   Keep laughing!   Keep deciding!   Keep giving yourself a chance!   Keep paying it forward!   Keep singing!   Keep dancing!   Keep running!   Keep reading!   Keep asking!   Keep doing!   Keep sharing!   Keep saving!   Keep encouraging!   Keep inspiring!   Keep writing!   Keep blogging!   Keep helping!   Keep praying!  Keep serving!   Keep listening!  Keep searching!   Keep my eyes open!   Keep finding!   Keep learning!   Keep playing!   Keep loving!   Keep speaking!   Keep hearing!   Keep watching!   Keep bringing!   Keep painting!   Keep creating!   Keep it real!   Keep telling the truth!   Keep living the word of God!   Keep natural!   Keep organic!

Keep on Doing

Keep breathing!   Keep living in the present!   Keep changing!   Keep growing!   Keep putting one step in front of the other!   Keep improving!   Keep showing up!   Keep forgiving!   Keep calling!   Keep compassion in your life!  Keep empathy a part of your life!   Keep thinking!   Keep camping!   Keep hiking!   Keep climbing!   Keep walking!   Keep swimming!   Keep hugging!   Keep your lamp burning!   Keep spinning!   Keep digging!   Keep eating healthy!   Keep taking your supplements!   Keep cooking!  Keep sowing!   Keep harvesting!   Keep pruning!    Keep mentoring!   Keep building bridges!   Keep tearing down walls!   Keep recommitting!   Keep appreciating!   Keep standing!  Keep feeling!   Keep talking!   Keep making peace!   Keep staying positive!   Keep praising!   Keep journaling!    Keep journeying into reality!   Keep promising!   Keep coaching! Keep loving!

Keep it going!

These are the areas that I want to keep going at since I want to make a consistent effort to be the best me possible I need to keep doing the things above. If you have some more positive, uplifting things you do every day, let me know. We all could use as much help as we can get.

Keep it going!