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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 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!

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

 

Just Because Simply Wholly Living

I wish you enough

April 26, 2015
I wish you enough...

I wish you enough…

This was originally posted by Kindspring in 2007  but it is timeless and too true not to share.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Good-bye.”

I wish you enough too…

Simply Wholly Living

Connecting with others and healing yourself

April 12, 2015

The Power of Healing through Connection

As part of my journey to whole health, my primary focus is getting my soul, mind, spirit, chi – whatever you want to call it – “right”. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of the mind/body connection. My diagnosis was the slap in the face that I needed to take a long hard look at how the choices I was willingly, or unknowingly, making were sending my health into a death spiral.

My healing process requires me to reopen some of the closed connections and emotional walls/blocks that I unconsciously or consciously built to protect myself from feeling whatever it was that I didn’t want to feel: fear, jealously, insecurity, abandonment, etc. This has led me to some awesome and entirely unplanned chance meetings with some really inspiring people.

Last Monday, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting through Jury Duty and luckily avoiding impanelment on a Grand Jury.

Healing through Connection

Cathy, India and I

While reading, my attention kept being pulled away. I was overhearing bits and pieces of a very brave conversation unfolding right in front of me. Two perfect strangers started to chat it up and share intimate and private details about their lives with each other. Some of the things they were talking about deeply resonated with me.

At lunch break I could not resist the chance to introduce myself and tell one of the women, Cathy, how awesome I thought it was that they were sharing so honestly.

10 minutes later, Cathy, India and I were in my car and off to lunch together! In a matter of an hour we were sharing our stories, listening without judgment and offering each other empathetic hearts.

Empathy is our innate ability to “feel” what another person is feeling and truly sense what they are feeling. Empathy often oversimplified and described as a cognitive ability. But true empathy and the connection gained through an empathic experience goes much deeper than that. When we experience real empathy the separateness that exists between you and the other person you are sharing the experience with seemingly disappears. And it is deeply, deeply healing.

On the outside onlookers may have seen three women laughing it up. We definitely were. Unseen to the eye, was a transfer of energy to and from each of us. A loving, healthy, energy pulsing from one to another and cleaning up some of the little potholes, cracks and fissures in our hearts enabling our bodies to heal.

I left court that day a different, better, healthier person and I believe that they did too. And I know this to be true: We are the vessels through which the Holy Spirit spreads its grace.

Make the best of the week! Share and connect! You never know the positive impact you can have on another.

 

 

Simply Wholly Living

Soul Work

April 4, 2015

I’ve spent a lot of the last few weeks focusing on the topic of nutrition on this blog. The problem with that is that I am not offering you a true depiction of the real work that I do every day.

I know how powerful the right nutrition can be. I am a living example of that. No MS symptoms, replenished levels of energy, 10+ lbs lost, glowing skin, healthier nails, and healing scalp. The list goes on and on.

But the real work is happening in my soul – my spirit. And that story has been really scary for me to tell because my drama-queen, sensationalist, never content, worst enemy that lives in my head has been spewing a whole lot of nonsense and I’ve been listening even though I know better. Sharing like this, being vulnerable, honest, well…it’s fucking hard. Plain and simple.

I’ve started 5 blog posts this Easter week and finished 1 of them. This one. I knew every time what I wanted to share but would sit here and stare blankly. So, I took a break and dialed back in to me with some meditation (which I am absolutely awful at) and prayer. Then I grabbed yet another great book, asked my guides for a little help and WHAM! Right there smack before my eyes, were the words I needed to see/hear. And I think they are the words you need to see too.

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

What a week this has been. Both personally and professionally, but more than that, it is a week of such deep significance for my faith and Easter Sunday wraps it up.  Stated in the most simply terms ever, actually oversimplified, Easter Sunday is a day of rebirth and redemption.

It symbolizes so much. But more than anything else, I feel like it’s an open invitation to start over. To put my past behaviors (my cross) and self-defeating ways where they belong – in the past – and truly trust in the higher good that is meant for me – and every one for that matter. How freaking amazing is that. I feel energized just typing those words.

It’s a new season. Literally. It’s Spring. And life is going to start to pop up everywhere and all the beautiful things are going to start to grow. We are some of those beautiful things. And I am not going to miss this this opportunity to grow by listening to that freaking crazy in my head. I am a going to honor my spirit that keeps telling my to be brave and share. Just share. Connect and listen.

During this weekend, I hope you can find a chance to relate to the story of Easter in your own personal way and tell that crazy voice to go fly a kite.

Happy Easter! xo

 

 

Simply Wholly Living

5 Quick Ways to Clean-up Your Fridge

March 26, 2015

I made a completely aggressive overhaul of my fridge and pantry within 48hours. That was my plan and it has worked for me. But it was only meant for me. Get in touch with you and be honest about making small achievable changes.

Here are 5 easy ways to get started. Even just picking ONE is a huge step in the right direction.

1. Make the switch to almond/soy milk.
Dairy Milk is inflammatory. If you have an AI disease like me or are genetically predisposed to one genetically, this is especially important. If you simply just can’t live without dairy in your coffee, I get it! Take it slow. And if non-dairy milk is not your thing, try an organic milk. My son drinks FairLife. Admittedly, it is expensive, but it is the best milk I have ever drank in my life bc of their unique filtration process.

2. Add some collard greens to the mix.
Yes, COLLARD-GREENS. This cruciferous veggie is like the mother of all veggies. A TON of vitamin K which is a huge cancer fighting agent, a ton of vitamin C and E. Nevermind the fact that it is rich in natural calcium so if you were concerned with decreasing your dairy intake, eating collard greens should ease that fear. And it’s just like cooking spinach. No crazy prep needed here – although I put a splash of peach balsamic to sweeten them up. So good!

3. Sprinkle a little Flax Seed on it. 
To be fair, this is not the cheapest item in your fridge but it packs a ton of benefit and you don’t need to buy it that often because you only add a little at a time. You only need 1 tablespoon a day to reduce inflammation, reduce onset of cancer, prevent heart disease and even reduce hot flashes. I like to add the tablespoon to my morning eggs, pancakes, or even my green juice. It’s basically tasteless. So easy.

4. Eggs. That is all.
I will go out on a ledge here and assume that you already have eggs in your fridge, so this should be easy peasy. Simply keeping a few hard boiled eggs in the fridge can provide an effortless snack or breakfast option. This is perfect for those of us that are always on the go! They can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, so make them on Sunday and get snacking.

5. ContainQuinoaer of quinoa.
Quinoa packs a lot of punch and a ton of protein for this fantastic little grain. And guess what? You can make it ahead and store it in your fridge for a week. Replace your normal rice or grain with this super healthy alternative. You can even toss some on salad or make a quinoa bowl if your feeling adventurous. The options are endless.

 

 

 

photo credit: via photopin (license)

Simply Wholly Living

Welcome to Simply Wholly!

March 23, 2015

So, it’s officially official. I have a Blog and this is it’s debut. I am so glad that you could make it!

In the coming days and weeks, I will be serving up fresh content on Tuesdays and Thursdays because, let’s be honest, I can barely find time for lunch and 2x/week seems manageable. I do have aspirations for that to grow as I learn more about what content will make you happy and help you on your own path to where ever you may be going. I haven’t figured that out yet myself, but I know it’s somewhere awesome.

For now, my posts will be neatly divided into for the following categories:

  • Simply Wholly Living (spirit, faith, home, beauty, reading list, supplements)
  • Simply Wholly Eating (nutrition, recipes, shopping lists, what’s on my plate photos)
  • Just Because (a rant, a cry, a prayer, a poem, a picture, a quote, a joke)

Albert SchweitzerAnd of course, if you want more or less of something or something entirely new, please contact me. I am all ears!

More than anything else, I hope that my blog is a welcome solace to the every day rat race that many of us are in while also trying to overcome our own challenges whether it’s an auto-immune disease, a broken heart, the incessant voice in our heads that questions everything, etc. With any luck, you’ll learn something new that ignites your commitment to start treating yourself kinder and taking control of your own health – soul, mind & body.

Welcome to my journey. Enjoy the ride.

Be well, Lisa

 

Just Because Simply Wholly Living

Perspectacles

March 11, 2015

Today I’m wearing my perspectacles as I sit at Dana Farber Cancer Center. My diagnosis pales in comparison to the many beautiful adults and children that are fighting for their lives here.

That includes my mom who has been battling Stage IV Melanoma for the last 4 years!  That alone has been its own miracle.

While her cancer is terminal, we come in for scans every three months to monitor the disease’s progression. So far, it’s been “stable”.

Hopeful for another “stable” report today and continued health. She doesn’t have a single ache or pain yet although cancer has invaded her whole body.

And because life can’t help itself but to throw more at you, when we walked in my phone rang and I learned that my beloved Godfather (her brother) was just diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The journey begins for another.

So whenever you are feeling low, remember to put on your perspectacles. Life can be so harsh but is much, much more beautiful if you stop and absorb each and every moment.