Simply Wholly Living

Are you willing to witness your fear?

July 20, 2015

Let’s be honest. Change is hard. Whether it is losing weight, moving your home, changing your job, it doesn’t matter. The upheaval can leaving you feeling off balance and unsure.

I’ve been doing more and more introspection these last 6 months since my diagnosis and if there is one thing that I know for sure, it’s that the stress of change manifests itself as fear in me. Fear can be debilitating. I never identified it until recently and that scares the crap out of me too. All the personal new discoveries can be exciting but equally frightening. (What else don’t I know about myself, yet!)

So, I had to dig a little further and I realized something really important. It’s not just random, broad fear. It’s fear of not having enough. A fear of scarcity. And here is the funny part. My commitment to positive thinking was probably masking that understanding until recently.

But the bottom line is this, if subconsciously I am always second guessing all that I have, then that is exactly what I will get in return – just barely enough.

What if I don’t have enough? What if….what if… what if….

Sound familiar?

When there is nonstop and unfounded worry about not having enough, then you are no longer in the driver’s seat of your life – Fear is. And that flipping stinks.

As Katie Courageous says, There’s no ease, no expansiveness, no faith in oneself, trust in the world, when you avoid making choices that will lift you up, because you’re afraid of not having enough…

I read that quote and I laugh at myself.  I have grand plans to overcome MS and I have 100% confidence that every force and resource in my life is going to help make that happen. THERE IS NO DOUBT. It’s already the truth. Yet, I fear that if I buy the wrong house, or chase down a new business, that I will end up with nothing even though everything in my body tells me to take the leap and do it. It’s not even logical.

My career is dedicated to finding solutions. There are always options. Yet, in the quietest moments, when my brain starts racing, I forget that there will always be options for me too no mI'm willing to witness my fear, #expectmiraclesatter what I choose and those options will always be enough.

That I do not have enough, I am are lacking something I need to be happy, or that who I am is not enough is not true. None of it is true.

The truth is I already have everything. I already am everything.

The good news? The same is true for you. Here’s to living abundantly.

 

 

 

 

 

Simply Wholly Eating Simply Wholly Living

Dates! 5 Reasons Why You Need to Add Them to Your Pantry.

July 13, 2015

Dates have become a staple in our kitchen. I love them for so many reasons. The best reason of course, is that they make a F-A-BO-LO-US sugar alternative for a multitude of recipes. They’re especially good to sweeten up my morning green smoothies. Not that Kale, Collard Greens and Spinach aren’t sweet enough on their own or anything… 🙂

But, if their sweetening benefits weren’t reason enough to find a place in your pantry for these little guys, here are a few more:

Dates. Up close and personal.

  1. They are incredibly “fiber rich” (aka, they’ll may help you become “regular”!) Why does this matter? Because the dietary fiber found in dates helps to move waste smoothly through your colon – gross stuff like LDL (bad) cholesterol and other crap containing cancer-causing chemicals – neither of which you want in  your body.
  2. They keep your eyes healthy. My mom not only has melanoma, she also has suffered from early onset macular degeneration for years. But, do you know what helps fight against macular degeneration? Yup. Dates. I had no idea either. The B-vitamins contained in dates, such as the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, absorb into the retina to maintain optimal light-filtering functions and protect against macular degeneration. You like seeing, right? Yes, me too. So, eat a date and get your Vitamin A.
  3. Dates are great for muscle recovery. If you’re actively participating in a favorite exercise routine or about to get started. Muscle recovery is super important.
  4. They are the healthy sweet option.  Fruits, such as dates, are important both for what they offer and for what they do not offer. California dates are sodium-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free! Trifecta!
  5. Bow-Chickie-Bow-Wow. I cannot make this stuff up. Apparently, studies have shown that dates are beneficial for increasing sexual stamina. Organic Facts, suggests soaking a handful of dates in fresh goat’s milk over night, then grind them in the same milk with a mixture of cardamom powder and honey and drinking it for the full effect. Who knows! It doesn’t hurt to try right? (Honey, if you see goat’s milk in the fridge later, now you know why!)

 

But don’t take my word for it. Do your due diligence and check out these reliable sources:

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/dates.html
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-dates.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/17923-nutritional-value-dates/
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/natural-foods/natural-weight-loss-food-dates-ga.htm

 

 

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Recipes Simply Wholly Eating

Hangover Helper Smoothie

June 29, 2015

Okay, okay. So, this is not going to cure your hangover, but it definitely will fill your depleted body with the yummy goodness, nutrients and vitamins that you need to start your week. Get some.

I know I needed it after my celebratory birthday weekend of adult beverages and processed food.

Enjoy!

Ingredients List

Prepping the Vitamix!

Prepping the Vitamix!

2 cups Kale
2 cups Collard Green
1/2 cup Parsley
3 Celery Stalks
1 Anjou Pear
1 Peach
1 small Avocado
3 Dates (or more if you want it to be sweeter…like my preference)
1 tablespoon Hemp Seed
1 cup Almond Milk
Water (as much as you need to get to the desired/preferred consistency
Plant-based protein (optional)

Recipe Steps

  1. Add liquid to blender then pile on other ingredients and BLEND AWAY! (If you have a high voltage blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec this will take no time at all. For other blenders it may be more of a gradual process and consistency may still be grainy.)
  2. This recipe blends a full batch. I take one to work and store the remainder in the fridge for the next day. Do not store for more than 48 hours as there are no gross preservatives in here.

 

Hangover Helper Smoothie

Et voila! Enjoy!

Just Because

THE BEST birthday week ever.

June 27, 2015

This was the best birthday week I have ever had. Full stop. It’s true.

Best Birthday Ever

Best Birthday Ever

 

Not because of presents, birthday dinners, snuggles with my son, Facebook messages, sweet texts or emails. But because my 36th year marks some serious advancement for our people.

On June 26, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. I have sobbed every time I’ve read an article, seen posts on social networks from friends or strangers or watched news clips.

The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after today's historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Washington June 26, 2015 (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after today’s historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Washington June 26, 2015 (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The news brings such joy to my heart. It has been said, over and over again, but love really is winning, you guys. It’s taking a while, but yesterday wasn’t just a glimmer of hope, it was a fireworks display!  If that doesn’t fill your heart with overwhelming joy, then well…. I’ll just leave it at that.

But as if THAT wasn’t enough love and bravery for one week, Bree Newsome, took a stand against what is considered by many of our fellow citizens as a symbol of racism and slavery and removed the Confederate flag from the capital grounds in South Carolina. This woman is AMAZING. I just want to hug her. People like this are catalysts for change.

(Bree Newsome takes down the flag. Reuters Media Express/Adam Anderson Photos)

(Bree Newsome takes down the flag. Reuters Media Express/Adam Anderson Photos)

The Confederate flag has been at the center of a debate in Columbia the past week in the wake of the massacre of nine African Americans in a Charleston church by a white supremacist. My heart aches just thinking about it. But if you have been keeping up with the story, you will also learn how the church and the victim’s families have responded with three simply powerful words: “I forgive you“. Hate will absolutely not win. Love’s streak continues. Yes!

Meanwhile, not far from Bree, President Obama was giving the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was gunned down in that terrible massacre. Closing what was already an incredibly rousing and pointed speech on race in our country he led everyone in the singing of Amazing Grace. If you haven’t had a chance to hear that speech and the song, then you should. (Like right now.)

President Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Emotional Charleston Eulogy (Getty)

President Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Emotional Charleston Eulogy (Getty)

And so that has been my birthday week. Really how could it get much better? People being kind to each other, even strangers. Freedom and equality extended – granting others the liberties that they deserve. Hate losing over and over again.

You may not see God in this. I do. I see it everywhere.

But, whether you have a faith, or you don’t. There is no doubt the goodness that radiates from theses scenes across the country this week. There can be no doubt the unity that has been formed between neighbors, friends and strangers alike. We are building bridges. One by one by one.

And there is definitely no doubt that my heart has expanded 3x over. What a happy, happy birthday indeed.

 

 

Recipes Simply Wholly Eating Simply Wholly Living

Three Bean Salad with Balsamic Reduction

June 22, 2015

Seriously this recipe is so yummy.

I made it for Father’s Day and it was a hit. Such a quick and easy lunch too. Enjoy!

Recipe Ingredients

1 can (15 oz) BPA-free black beans, rinsed and drained

Rinsed and drained beans

Rinsed and drained beans

1 can (15 oz) BPA-free garbanzo, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) BPA-free kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large shallots, chopped super fine
Unrefined sea salt to taste
1/2 balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons organic maple syrup OR raw honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons organic Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup fresh and finely chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper to your preference

Recipe Steps

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Reduce to medium heat, then add the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. The shallots should become very soft.
  2. Pour the balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce to a mixing bowl and stir up well. Add the mixture to the saucepan and let us reduce by about half.
  3. Pour the sauce on top of the beans and stir well so they are all nice and coated. Add parsley and toss well. Season with salt and pepper based on your preference.
  4. Allow the beans to sit a room temperature, cool off and the flavors blend together before serving. (I personally love these at room temperature or a little warm!)

Enjoy!

A Day in the MS Life Just Because

We’re breaking up.

June 9, 2015

Perception is everything. And our perception of reality has been forever changed…for the simpler.

So, we’re taken this living thing to the next level. But first, we’re breaking up with conventional norms. At 35, we’re downsizing. (Yes, you read that correctly.) We are intentionally promoting the things we value most and the removing everything that distracts us from it.

We are putting the house on the market soon and looking for a smaller, more intimate, and more cost-effective home. The reaction by most people when I tell them our plans is comical. The majority of the folks I know are constantly seeking bigger, better, faster, etc. I was one of those folks. I get it.

“Well, what about your mother?”, “Well, you don’t plan on having any more kids do you?”, “Well you can’t live further from the city. How will you get to work?”, “Well, what about the school system?”, “Well, I can’t imagine you living there…Are you sure?”

Well-intentioned and equally hilarious.

But we are not stopping there. We are going to blow minds a little more and chase down dreams that we’ve always had and been too scared to chance. My husband is throwing all caution to the wind and starting a new business that will stretch his creative spirit. I am going to continue to do some internal house cleaning until it hits me. I don’t know precisely what’s next yet, but it’s definitely not golden handcuffs.

My son doesn’t understand now, but I like to think that someday he will. Someday, he will know about the decision his parents made to be true to themselves and honor their authentic selves. And I hope he sees that as a shining example of bravery and an invitation to do the same*.

We only live once. Live it like you mean it and don’t believe the hype.

They tried to bury us. They didn't know were were seeds.

*Or he will blame us for not keeping up with the Jones’. But a mom can dream, right?

Just Because

Where will you place the talent you’re given?

May 21, 2015

This past week has been AWEsome. Stars have seem to align, signs are landing square in my lap and I have been feeling full of life. But nothing prepared me for Sunday.

After all my introspection of late, I was floored when this was in our church bulletin as words for meditation. 

Where will you place the talent you have been given?… Where will you focus the potential for creative action that is yours? Those are the questions before the man and woman of our time. I think we do not improve on the answer given by Isaiah twenty-five hundred years ago, “Here I am, Lord, send me.” – Dwight Judy

Prior to my diagnosis, I always asked myself this question. During some periods of my life I desperately clawed for the answer, others I wandered aimlessly in search of it, sometimes I simply ignored the burning question and most recently I am deeply aware of it but experiencing commitment issues and quite frankly, looking for the answer in the wrong places.

Then my angels doubled down to be sure I was paying attention and our call to worship read, 

God wants our lives – not Sunday morning shiny, but all the fragments of our failures, the shards of our struggles and the sins that we’ve gathered and hidden away…our pains become gifts to be used for others. Our weakness becomes the dwelling place for the Spirit’s strength. Our broken-open lives become bearer’s of God’s grace.

And in that moment I really began to let go of the shame of all the messy, crazy, unpretty stuff of the past and present and clear some space to allow me to receive. I got really, really still. Silence in a room full of people. And for the first time, I understood what this advice from my dear friend, Amy D, really meant. (Thank you, Amy.)

But, just to drive the message home, our unison prayer went in part like this, 

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to see both of these as blessings.

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to be grateful for both of these blessings

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to gratefully acknowledge gifts given and blessings received.

Amen.

There I sat. In awe of the words being spoken to me. I am not any closer to knowing where I will place the talent I have been given, but I know exactly where to place my trust. And that’s all I need to know. The rest will be shown to me when it should and I’ll be ready to receive it.

So, where will you place the talent you’ve been given? If you’re not sure what that talent is, maybe you just need to make some space in your heart for it. Who knows? It’s at least worth a try.

Be well.

Recipes Simply Wholly Eating Simply Wholly Living

Crunchy Salmon Burgers & Honey-Vinegar 3-Bean Salad

May 19, 2015

This was a labor of love but so worth it. Perfect for a spring/summer lunch or dinner. Pair this with your fave white wine (or water, like I did) and greens and you have yourself a patio worthy meal.

Salmon Burger Ingredients

Salmon Burger Ingredients

Salmon Burger Ingredients

1 cup whole grain flake cereal
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (14 oz.) can Wild Alaska pink salmon, drained and bones picked out
Unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro cilantro
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Salmon Burger Recipe Steps

  1. Do yourself a favor and get all your ingredients diced, measured etc. before starting this recipe.

    14oz. can Wild Alaska pink salmon

  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set it aside for a bit.
  3. Put the cereal in a blender and blend into fine crumbs. Then split the contents in half. (Just eye ball it.)
  4. Heat up 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the red pepper and sauté for another couple of minutes.  (Check that the heat is not getting to hot and turn down if needed. The onion and red pepper should be softening but not turning super brown.)
  5. Next stir in the flour and cook for about a minute before adding in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and cereal crumbs.
  6. Now, add in the salmon that you have already drained and deboned. Break up the salmon really well and watch for any bone that you may have missed. Stir all ingredients together as evenly as possible.
  7. Season with the salt, pepper and then form the mixture into 4 burgers.
  8. Pour the remaining crumbs into a mixing bowl, add the last tablespoon of oil, cilantro, parsley and parmesan. The coat each burger by gently pressing the mixture into each side.
  9. Place each burger on the baking sheet and bake in the over for 20-25. They should be a nice golden brown color and crispy on the outside.

Tip:
If you don’t have avocado oil. No biggie, Use olive oil or another of your fave oils that can be use do to cook at medium-high heat.
If you are not a parsley or cilantro fan, it’s not a problem. Use whatever you prefer or don’t. This recipe is really flexible which is my favorite part.

3-Bean Salad Ingredients

2 tablespoons avocado oil (not shown in picture)

Black beans, garbanzo beans and kidney beans

Black beans, garbanzo beans and kidney beans

2 large shallots, minced
2 tablespoons peele and grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 packages (10 oz.) BPA-free beans (like Jyoti’s pictured) rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen organic corn, thawed
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt, to taste

 

3-Bean Salad Recipe Steps

  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shallots, ginger, and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes or so until everything softens nicely.

    Rinsed and drained beans

    Rinsed and drained beans

  2. Add the well-drained, 3-bean mix and corn to the skillet and stir well. Then put into your favorite serving bowl.
  3. Mix together the honey and vinegar and pour over the beans and coat well. Season with salt. Serve as-is, at room temp, or chilled! Any way you prefer.

 

 

 

 

 

And there you have it! Crunchy Salmon Burgers & Honey-Vinegar 3-Bean Salad

Crunchy Salmon Burgers & Honey-Vinegar 3-Bean Salad

Crunchy Salmon Burgers & Honey-Vinegar 3-Bean Salad

 

Recipes Simply Wholly Eating

6-Step Snack: Almond Butter Chews

May 17, 2015

Whipping up this treat is super easy and super fast. And my son loves them. That’s a recipe trifecta!
This recipe was actually part of my Purple Carrot delivery that was gifted to us from one of my husband’s former clients. Incredibly kind and generous and we are very grateful.

Almond Butter Chew Ingredients

Almond Butter Chew Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 brown rice syrup
1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
1/4 raisins or cranberries

 

Recipe Steps

  1. Add all of the almond butter to a microwave safe bowl and melt for about 30-40 seconds.
  2. Pour in all of the brown rice syrup and give it a stir.
  3. Gently fold in the puffed brown rice cereal.
  4. Add your raisins or cranberries and mix gently to form a dough.
  5. Roll into balls by taking about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and coaxing into 1 inch balls. You should be able to make about 14-15. (The instructions that came with the recipe said to wet your hands before rolling the balls, but I didn’t. Probably why I thought the “rolling” was a bit difficult.)

Tip: Wedding bands, rings, etc and this dough are not friends. Take the jewelry off.

And voila! In 6 steps, you’ll end up with a batch of Almond Butter Chews just like this…

Almond Butter Chews

Almond Butter Chews

Just Because

My yo-yo spirtituality

May 12, 2015

I hit a wall these last fews weeks and fell victim to some old self-defeating ways also know as my “overachiever” complex. I took some time and listened to the wise, sage advice of my dear friend, Amy and “got quiet” for a bit.

Then tonight I received a gentle reminder from Molly Hamill to get back on track and accept the little step backward as a fresh opportunity to start anew. It struck a chord. I hope it does for you too!

Check it out: Break the cycle of yo-yo spirituality with these 3 steps

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