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Allergies to Negative People

23 August

Getting rid of negative people

If you are on Facebook, you’ve seen that picture floating around that has an arrow that points to your name and says “This Person is Allergic to Negative People” or the one of the button that says  “I’m allergic to Negative People”. There are several versions of these pictures, and I had posted one on my profile a few months ago. I received many likes and was shared by several of my friends. That inspired me to “unfriend” a lot of people on Facebook that are negative or use FB as a way to rant. I told a friend at work about getting rid of negative people, and she shared with me that she had done the same both in real life and in FB.

It made me think of so many people I know that are nice but are afraid to “break-up” with the negative people in their lives. It’s the hardest detox I know! So I wrote a blog post on MentalBlox.com about this. Here is the post:

 

The Hardest Detox | Getting Rid of Negative People in Your Life

Detoxing is a very important step in recovery; it frees you and empowers you by resetting your body to start the new life you want. However, there is a type of detoxing we all hate to do. We can survive all sorts of cleansing and withdrawals, but this type of detox is one of the most difficult ones to do and can sometimes delay our recovery process: Getting rid of the negative influences in our life.

Staying Strong

Without the correct support, it is difficult to stay strong. Having people that support you on your path is probably as vital as taking the first step. If you have people in your life that are holding you back, your chances of staying strong decrease significantly. I have seen it with many of my friends that refuse to let go of some of the people in their lives that contribute to either addictions and/or have not taken that first step of admitting they have a problem too.

Freeing Yourself

Letting go of negative people in your life is simple, yet challenging. I find that breaking up with friends and family has been harder than breaking up with a partner. We tend to hold tighter to our friends and relatives and we defend them against almost anything.   So how do we “break up” relationships that are not serving us? Well, the first step is to stop denying that a person is holding you back or contributing to your addiction. Voicing it, saying it out loud helps: “(fill in the blank) is no longer serving me and my greater good.” “(fill in the blank) doesn’t have my best interest at heart”, “(fill in the blank) causes drama and negativity in my life”, “(fill in the blank) is not supportive of my health and recovery path”.

I finally broke up a relationship that was draining me; a friend that for years fed me her own drama and addictions. I stayed in the relationship because I thought I could help her, but also I was in denial that I enjoyed her weekly calls with drama and stress. It was hard to admit that to myself, but once I did and was honest that I was feeding my addictions thru her drama, I was able to let go.

Learning to Build and Nourish Healthy Relationships

After being in abusive relationships or accepting life with negative people that bring you down, it’s hard to recognize and accept those in our lives that bring us joy and have our best interest at heart.  It will take time to heal and learn how to build new relationships that are honest and loving. Once you have broken free from the negative people in your life, you will have space for new healthy relationships.   If your cup is full of negativity, how can you fill it with positivity?  Empty it first, and make room.  That’s how!  Remember, most unhealthy relationships are one way street, where only one person gets heard.  Once I stopped taking the weekly calls from my negative friends, I gained so many wonderful, healthy friends and learned to have two way friendships instead of just being “the sponge” that soaked up all the other person’s junk.  Now I have true friends and we love each other for who we are… and we all get time to share our lives with each other.   Now that’s healthy!

One of my favorite hobbies is clearing clutter, as in physical junk in my surroundings.  However, now  I knew it was time for me to “clear the clutter” in my relationships. It’s scary at first, but so are all new journeys we take in life.  You will know who those people are and the universe will guide you when you are ready to take that step.  Try to recognize these unhealthy relationships sooner than later so they don’t take a toll on your health and recovery path.

 

How different would your life be without negative people in the picture? Share with us three positive things of not have negative people in your life.

Photo by .Habeeba.

 

 

The Spiritual Vegan Diet

21 August

Ahimsa The Spiritual Vegan Diet

Last year at Bhakti Fest, one of the MCs talked about a lifestyle challenge he entered as a way to improve his health. As he started the new vegan raw diet, he realized that his new diet is part of what Ahimsa in the yoga world means: Non-violence towards animals. I connected to that because being a vegan for me now is more of a choice-of-energy that enters my body than non-cruelty towards animals. But I knew Ahimsa meant much more beyond food. I was inspired by this topic and wrote about it on my post for MentalBlox.com. Here is a copy of the post:

 

Ahimsa | The Non-Violent Spiritual Diet

If you are a student of Yoga, whether it’s the asana practice only or all the other parts of yoga, you have heard the term Ahimsa. It means non-violence and avoiding harming ourselves and others including animals. Many yogis and yoginis are vegetarian or vegan, because, a true practitioner of yoga will take a vow of non-violence. Eating animals is part of Ahimsa because of the suffering and the violence animals are submitted before they died to become food on a plate. Vegetarism is a start, but Ahimsa is much more beyond being a vegetarian.

You Are What You Eat

I chose to become a vegan many years ago, at the beginning for health reasons, but now I choose to stay vegan for energy reasons. I don’t want the energy of another being in my body; I feel it affects my spiritual path, especially if the animal was hurt and tortured during the dying process to become food for humans. I’m fortunate to be allergic to eggs and dairy and therefore I’m not able to eat those either. Many of my friends have been able to get deeper once they adjust their diets to the principal of Ahimsa. And it’s no surprise that many religions avoid eating certain animals because they might not be as “pure” as others or because some animals are sacred and cannot be consumed.

Walking The Walk

When I started learning more about yoga, deepening my practice thru my teacher training, I became more aware of the term Ahimsa and why it was important in order to advance in my spiritual path. I felt great I was a vegan and thought that was all to it. Ahimsa doesn’t just refer to food and the killing of animals for food. It refers to everything in our lives, not having harmful thoughts about ourselves or others and other violent actions that lead to negative emotions like anger, frustration, fear, rage, and anxiety. So I had to stop wishing people on the road traffic tickets for bad driving, getting angry at my cat for spitting hairballs on my white couch, or killing roaches that come in to my house after a rainy day.

But the most difficult part has been not wounding and hurting me with my thoughts. Every time we judge ourselves and say mean things, we hurt our souls and self-esteem. I know it sounds corny but it’s true. Saying “I’m fat and ugly, nothing fits me”, or “I have a horrible hair day”, or “I’m so stupid”. Even not saying it out loud but thinking it, we are hurting ourselves. And if you have children or siblings that look up to you, they are learning from you to say those things about themselves too.

The Process

It may take a while for us to get used to being more loving towards ourselves and others. I started moving to the middle lane when I see a car coming fast behind me on the left lane, so instead of wishing them a ticket, I let them pass me. I stop telling myself how “fat I feel” when clothes don’t fit or calling myself “stupid” for closing a drawer on my fingers. One might be clumsy at times but it doesn’t mean we have to call ourselves a name or attach a negative feeling to that. Love your clumsy curvy self and the roaches or other animals that share this earth with us. That is the first step to Ahimsa.

Are there other ways you have come to realized Ahimsa applies in your life? Share with us!

Moody Mornings | Self Awareness in your Spiritual Path

20 August

Since I have memory, I remember not liking mornings. Specially when I was in school and had to wake up at the crack of dawn to get on a bus and be at school bright and early for prayer, etc. Even in college I had to get up early because of the kids and now because of work. In 2010, I decided I was going to stop saying I wasn’t a morning person and instead decided to try to wake up early and do things, fun things. I also decided to find what makes me wake up in a bad mood.

The Why

So I started asking myself: Why do people wake up in a good mood every morning? Is that the rule for everyone? Am I the only human that wakes up in an awful mood and ready to “kill someone and destroy the world”? When did I become this way? Was I always so angry in the morning? I found out a few of my friends don’t like morning either, but they don’t wake up angry. Denis didn’t used to like to wake up early and most days doesn’t get enough sleep, but his mood is best in the morning.

I went through many theories in my head and testing each to see what affects me and makes me wake up angry. It doesn’t happen every morning, some are less than others. I’ve been lucky to wake up in a good mood a few times. Last year I counted three mornings when I woke up happy. Earlier this year, every morning I woke up angry and more angry as the days went until I dealt with a huge issue that was starting me up in the face for a few years now.

The Solution

I know in my case, the anger comes from a horrible childhood and what happened to me during the night that makes me wake up angry. But if I dealt with all these issues why is the anger still there? It turns out we hold anger in our liver. I’ve been learning a lot about where we hold emotions. The Liver holds anger, fear, frustration, and jealousy; emotions I’m very familiar with. As I read more and educated myself on the Liver, I realized a lot of little things I’ve physically shown for many years were in fact symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation.

Acupuncture for Liver Qi

I recently started acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treatment for the liver and the anger. It has worked well and many symptoms have left. I don’t get angry much often or in the way I used to before: ready to explode. I’m also being treated for stress and mood swings, which is awesome because that’s always been an issue for me.

Doing the Homework

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine alone are not the cure. Meditation, acceptance, forgiveness, and awareness is what helps to not have that moody morning. There is no pill to cure our issues, we MUST show up and do the work everyday! It’s hard, I KNOW! I hate doing the work, but I want to stay healthy, I have to do my spiritual work to stay balanced.

What are some of the emotions you are holding on to? Share with us and tell us what type of spiritual work you do to release them.

 

Day of Organic Vegan Beauty

23 July
South Florida Organic and Vegan skin and hair care products and services

Vegan Lipstick from Lush Cosmetics

I’ve been pretty un-girly most of my life, not much into makeup, nails, and anything pink. But I do take care of my body inside and out at home. I put my money where my mouth is when it comes to skin and hair care and products. Because I’m a strict vegan, I won’t use anything that has bees wax even. So it’s difficult to find places and products that I’m willing to try if they don’t meet my expectations. However, I was happily surprised in the last six months to find that I won’t have to order online or wait until I go to another state to find the kind of establishments and products that do meet my requirements. So I had a nice day of organic vegan beauty right here in South Florida.

 

 

Organic Hair Salon

My hair is one the best assess I have, at least I believe so. I’ve never been afraid to try new styles and colors because fortunately hair is one of the few things we can grow back and try again. We are lucky to have Debbie Carusso in South Florida of Capello Salon and Boutique in Fort Lauderdale. She’s not only a great hair stylist but also has started a great conscious business that many of us in the health community needed. For many years I had to get my hair cut by people that do not live my reality and therefore understand why I’m so “picky” on what I use. But with Debbie, she understands why some of us are sticking to our beliefs. They also offer organic vegan nail services too!

 

Organic Vegan Waxing

As my life got busy with my full time job and our new business, I was finding less time to spend grooming. So I had to outsource my eye brows grooming to an expert. The problem was finding someone who would not use Bee’s wax or chemical waxes on my face. So one day, on my way to my yoga class at Red Pearl, I passed by 1111 Organic Day Spa. I went to their site when I got home, but I hated the site. One day I found a Groupon for a massage, so I bought and went. I felt in love with the place I had judge by their website. So next I asked about the ingredients in their wax and it was not only organic but also vegan! So I schedule a time to go get my eye brows done and haven’t stopped going there since then.

 

Vegan Makeup

My bff took me to the mall, which we both kinda hate. But she had to go purchase a face wash that she had ran out of. So I tagged along just hoping to get some tea at Teavana, but instead I stumble upon vegan makeup! The place she took me was launching their new vegan line. I played with some colors and other things and found the best mascara yet. My eyelashes are one of those top assess for me and I take really good care of them, and therefore have always been very strict about what I use. I was really happy to find vegan makeup that wasn’t at whole foods or online that I could try and see if it worked. The place is Lush Cosmetics and they have a store at the Aventura mall. The girls working there were so much fun and helpful that it made want to get a job there. But I can only take the mall for about twenty minutes every six months!

 

Body Oils and Soaps

Tree of India is the cutest soap and body oil shop in South Florida. It recently opened and its owner, Jessica is not only a yogini but connoisseur of oils. I’m obsessed with natural soaps and had traveled miles to get handmade organic vegan soaps, but now I’m able to go to Fort Lauderdale and get my soaps at Tree of India. I had been using Aubrey organics skin creams but started to make my own oil mixes in spray bottles instead using Jojoba oil from Whole Foods and avocado oil from Dr. Young. When the spray ran out, I decided to just keep using Jojoba oil. But once I discovered Jessica’s shop, I got the best oil I have tried so far on my skin.

 

It’s exciting to see our little South Florida organic vegan health community growing and providing the quality of services and products we all deserve to have accessible in our own backyard. As I discover more places, I’ll post them here. In the meantime, share with us any other places you have found in South Florida.

Zen and Diet: Can Food Assist You on Your Spiritual Path?

22 July

denis sunduki

Denis and his friends started this project last week. It’s a documentary on whether a person with a strong spiritual practice can take their practice to a higher level with the introduction of a healthy diet. Here is some information on the current project as described by Denis below.

Outline for the Documentary

  • Carlos Londono as Director/Star, Frank Padron as Director of Photography, Denis Soukhanov as Producer/Expert
  • Daily spiritual practice should include: meditation, yoga, satsang, kirtan
  • Weekly recorded conversations
  • Expert Interviews
  • Daily Video Journal
  • Diet is based on pH Miracle by Robert Young

Phase 1: Yogic Diet (30 days)

  • End of First Week: coffee replaced with green tea
  • Whole Food Vegetarian Diet
  •  “Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as salt, carbohydrates, or fat.” – Wikipedia
  • Organic when possible
  • Avoid stimulants (coffee, alcohol, drugs)
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement
  • “In the Ayurvedic tradition, foods that are considered sattvic include most vegetables, ghee (clarified butter), fruits, legumes, and whole grains.” – Yoga Journal
  • Learning Ahimsa
  • Fasting on Ekadashi days (11th lunar day, twice a month)

Phase 2: Beyond Ahimsa – Vegan Diet (30 days)

  • All of the above
  • Avoid all animal products (no dairy, no honey, no eggs)
  • At least one big salad a day
  • Learning about pH of the foods
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement

Phase 3: Alkaline Diet  (30 days)

  • First week (Green Juice fast)
  • 80/20 pH balanced
  •  80/20 Raw Vegan
  • Green Juices and Green Smoothies for breakfast
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement

 

My New Edible Beach Garden

10 July

Beach Organic Garden

Each Spring, Denis and I plant hot peppers and other foods to grow. Living on the beach hasn’t change that. We have been able to grow kale, collards, red peppers, figs, herbs, and more.

We buy supplies and the vegetables we are planning on growing at different places. One place we like a lot is the organic nursery at Food and Thought in Naples, FL. We also get edible plants, vegetables, and other small fruit trees from our local farmers in Homestead and Miami.

We make our own compost in two batches and then mix it with the existing soil as well as new organic soil to grow food.

Even though we are not great at gardening, we have been able to get a lot of food from our own tiny urban backyard. Our neighbors also grow many greens and herbs in a much bigger space than we do and often share with us their collards and kale. And since I recently started to eat a little steamed vegetables, I enjoy steaming collards for less than 10 minutes to stay alkaline all the time.

Organic Fig grown at the beach

Planting a edible garden is not that difficult even for busy people like Denis and I with no green thumbs! So I hope more of you get inspired to convert your backyards into a food source. Not only is a rewarding experience, but also a great family project!

Read more about Urban gardening at my favorite place to read about growing food in your own backyard.

organic grown vegetables at the beach

After planting all new vegetables including hot peppers and herbs.

 

 

My New Favorite Organic Market & Clothing Store | Food & Thought

08 July

Organic food market and cefeteria in Florida

Too bad is 111 miles away from where I live! Food& Thought is an awesome organic market, cafe, juice bar, clothing store, and nursery. It’s located in Naples, Fl and it has a great space where people can shop for food, prepared and groceries and enjoy their meals outside in the nice patio. After you meal, you can cross over the patio over to the organic nursery and shopped for plants and supplies for your garden including worm castings, seaweed fertilizer, and garden decorations.

Afterwards, you can walk next door to the organic clothing store where each item has been handpicked for the store. From organic jeans to underwear, bedding, towels, and children’s clothing and more.

organic clothes in Florida

Everything is organic! Whether you go to the nursery, the cafe, juice bar, or the clothing store, all items are organic.

Denis and I enjoy taking a drive there once in a while to shop. Not only do we get to cross alligator alley and enjoy the view, but also, we get to spend the day in Naples shopping for great organic products, and if we plan it right, watch the sunset on the west side of Florida!

Organic Nursery in Florida

The last time we were there, we bought a trunk load of supplies for our edible garden that included about 5 different types of hot peppers, kale, sweet peppers, and herbs. We also found an awesome seaweed fertilizer for both vegetable and plants.

Organic soil and organic plants in Florida

 

We then walked over the clothing store and found great items to replace in our wardrobe.

This is one of the greatest places we are lucky to have in Florida! If you are visiting Naples, it’s a great organic market, cafeteria, nursery, and clothing store to visit!

Eating More Alkaline Vegetables

23 February

Alkaline Vegetables

Until about 4 weeks ago, my diet consisted of raw junk food! Yes, I was eating tons of raw cashew ice cream, raw chocolate bars, and more cashew based foods. I had stopped drinking my Thank God from Josh’s Organic Garden and any other green leafy vegetables. I think the stress of having opened our new consulting firm and planning and traveling to Colombia made me go for easy raw meals that were not alkaline, drinking caffeinated tea with sugar, and tons of Kombucha. I even started to eat corn and mushrooms again! Yikes!

Many health issues I had before when I was on a regular SAD diet came back. Infections, weak immune system, migraines, sinus issues, and low energy. So I took my copy of the pH Miracle book and made a list of all the vegetables that were high int he Alkaline scale and went shopping. But the challenge was that I didn’t want to eat them raw. I didn’t want to eat anything raw that was healthy! Just the junk!

 

Alkaline Vegetables List including Oils and Nuts

  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion
  • Broccoli
  • Endive
  • Celery
  • Sorrel
  • Green Beans
  • Lemon
  • Lettuce
  • Dill, Parsley, and Cilantro
  • Carrots (not carrot juice)
  • Watercress
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Lima Beans
  • Snow peas
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Onions
  • Kale, Collards, Chard, Sprouts, and Spinach
  • Black radish (the rockstar of pH!) I don’t eat this steamed, I eat it raw in salads
  • Hemp oil, Borage oil, Flax seed oil, evening Primrose oil, and Chia seed oil
  • Almonds & Hemp Seeds
  • Avocados too 🙂 Thank you to Lisa for reminding me!

 

I knew the reason why I couldn’t eat these veggies raw and oils was because I had been eating so bad the last 5 months that my taste buds would not allow anything healthy in.

Resetting my Taste Buds

Denis suggested I do a green juice fast but we all know what happened the last time I did that! hah hah! So instead I decided I would steam these veggies for 28 days until I was able to get used to an Alkaline diet again.

The next challenge was that I don’t have a stove in my kitchen. So I went and bought a vegetable steamer for two people. I decided I would eat about 20% of my dinner steamed. That way I would stay mainly raw and 100% Alkaline. That meant no sugar, no cashews, no caffeine, no alcohol, no mushrooms! The only fruit I allowed myself to have was grapefruit everyday and blueberries once a week.

The first few days I went thru sugar and caffeine withdrawals, and I was dreaming of cupcakes and pizza. But after 2 weeks, I was fine.

Results

I’m about 20 days in, just eating alkaline and can see the difference. I haven’t gained any weight even though I have not exercised, and I have been able to heal all health issues I had. I’m drinking/eating hemp and flax seed oil with no issues and feel great!

I’m very excited of returning to my healthy path on the Alkaline diet! I carry this list of vegetables everywhere with me so I don’t forget what is Alkaline.

 

Raw Vegan Cream of Spinach Soup

09 January

Raw Vegan Cream of Spinach SoupI love soups! I think I have mentioned that many posts ago and if you noticed, a lot of my recipes are for soups.

Denis and I recently took a trip to Colombia in South America and had a blast. But after 14 days of plain salads, I was ready for some “fancy” raw food. However, we got home and drove to the Green Wave Cafe right after the airport! Yes, we wanted some raw food!

The next day though we had no food in our refrigerator but fortunately it was Sunday and time for shopping at Josh’s Organic Garden. He had everything I wanted and more! The spinach, for some wild reason, looked amazing to me. I’m not a big fan of spinach but once in awhile I go crazy for it. And when I saw last Sunday at Josh’s, I wanted Cream of Spinach.

So I googled it and then modified the recipe for my raw lifestyle and here is how I created my own Raw Vegan Cream of Spinach Soup.

Ingredients:

Fresh Organic Spinach (about 2 handfuls – about 1/2 of your vitamix)

1/3 cup of cashews (you can also use 1/2 cup sun flower seeds instead)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 Tb Spoon of white miso paste

Onion (I did one large amethyst/green onion, but it could be about 1/4 medium size onion)

Garlic to taste (I did a small clove)

Bariani Olive Oil to taste

Real Salt to taste

Black Pepper to taste

 

Add everything in the vitamix and blend until smooth. If too much water or not enough spinach, add more spinach or cashews. I also like to add a celery stalk and some Italian seasoning even though the common cream of spinach soup doesn’t call for either.

Let it blend until it has the consistency that you like, if you want more creamy add more seeds or cashews. I let it blend until is a little warm or sometimes I add warm water so that it’s a little warm.

Serve with some raw crackers or raw bread and sprinkle some black pepper. It’s delicious and nutritious!

 

 

 

Yellow Soup

28 September

Raw Yellow Noodle SoupI love soups! Specially when I’m tired, I just want soup. But until today, I was stuck with my soup-creating ideas. All I kept making for months was my Tomato Bisque soup or my Miso soup.

On my last trip to California for Bhakti Fest 2011, we made a stop at Au Lac’s in LA for raw food. I love their Paella and soups. This time I tried a Tumeric soup that I don’t remember the correct name, but it had kelp noodles.

So today, in trying to come up with something that had noodles in it, I came up with a brand new AMAZING recipe for soup, which is now Yellow soup.

This what you’ll need:

1 handful of kelp noodles

1/2 Red Bell Pepper

3 Celery stalks

2 Medium Carrots

1 Medium  Heirloom Tomato

Cilantro (about 2 handfuls not chopped)

1 Kale Leaf

1 Chard leaf

1 handful cashews (optional)

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

1 Tea Spoon Red Miso paste

1/2 Lime

Bariani Olive Oil

2 long Green Onion (scallions), chopped

Real Salt, Tumeric, and Paprika to taste

Water

 

Start by rising the kelp noodles and then place them in a bowl. I like to cut them in half or even in quarters so that they are easy to take out the bowl while eating the soup. Sprinkle some salt and olice oil on them. Cut half of the red pepper in long strips or juliened and throw on top of the noodles. Chop 1 of the celery stalks in small pieces. I make mine tiny, like for a baby to chew because Denis and I don’t like celery otherwise. Place in the bowl with noodles and pepper.

Take the Kale and chard and cut in strips and add to bowl. Chopped half of the cilantro and  the tomato and add to the bowl as well.

Cut the carrots and place them in your vitamix or blender. Cut the rest of the celery, red bell pepper, and cilantro and add to blender as well. Add the miso paste, salt, tumeric, paprika, and coconut oil and some water to begin blending. When it becomes smooth, begin adding the cashews. Add as much water as you want. I like it on the smooth creamy side so I didn’t add more than  1 cup. Squeeze the lime before you stop blending. Leave as long as you want to warm up or not. When you feel is ready, pour over the vegetables and noodles in bowl. Mix well and let it sit for a few minutes.

Serve and sprinkle the green onion/scallions on top of each bowl of soup. Makes about 6 servings (of course Denis and I finished the entire thing!).

I also put some sprouts on the table and plantains to accompany the soup.

Hope you enjoy my Yellow Soup 🙂