Irresistible! My niece has a knack for finding heart shaped treasures. She recently found a bee hive and then this lemon leaf from my folks' tree!
Aaaah...a year in review...I am processing this as I write and am grateful for the medium to share and check in with intention and purpose. There are so many beginnings I can roll back to in my journey through nutrition, health and human potential. Up until my sophomore year in college, you could find me at Jack-in-the-Box ordering a collosal burger and milkshake. I was always so active playing soccer and excelling in school, that I never thought much about food and how it affects our body and mind. Then, my Anatomy and Physiology teacher gave me an article on Macrobiotics that instantly opened me up to an exciting world where food was Medicine...Wow! I was up for hours researching in the library and have continued ever since. That 1st discovery was in the era of the no/low-fat craze. I started eliminating meat, eating Gardenburgers and steamed veggies, but also had crap like Dannon non-fat yogurt (before I knew about the dangers of aspartame) and fat-free cookies. My diet has evolved over the years to more whole foods, gardening and wild-harvesting plants for food, teas and tinctures. Near 2000, I did my 1st juice fast, which ended up pretty much being a water fast because the green drinks and powdered barley grass made me want to puke. I have added more greens and raw foods-had even started making dehydrated yummies with the Excalibur, but it had never occurred to me to eat all raw. At the beginning of October 2007, I was drinking a beer while excitedly reading all of my cousin's books from the Hippocrates Health Educator program and knew I had to try it! I realized that every moment that my inner excitement for this knowledge and a desire to give it a try didn't correspond with the outer (ie. drinking a beer), it felt like I was giving my power away...not the greedy, manipulating kind of power, but the being my fullest potential and living Truth kind of Power. On October 14th, 2007, over my favorite eggplant parmesan salad at an Italian restaurant in town, I broke the news to my honey...I wanted to start taking steps in this direction beginning with no meat and no drinking. I wasn't sure how he was going to feel, not sharing a bottle of wine over a beautiful meal we harvested ourselves (ie. venison steak over fresh-picked salad greens), but he was very supportive. Once I admitted to myself and to my hubby out loud that I wanted to dive in, I dove. I was eating mostly raw within the 1st week. On December 29, 2007, I began my Juice Feast, which was such an amazing journey...30 days of all juice and 10 more days of juice, green smoothies and raw, blended green soups. I felt amazing...energetic, meditative and strong! On March 26th, 2008 my Love and I went to Guatemala for our Honeymoon! I knew I might not be able to stay all raw when I was there, but when the moment came 3 days into my trip and I didn't have any raw options I could see, I felt stressed and disappointed (I had been pretty strictly raw since my Juice Feast). I was still able to access lots of yummy raw food and lots of delicious fresh fruit supplemented with fresh made corn tortillas and beans. In May 2008, I went to Bali and savored an amazing Yoga Teacher training with all raw food catered by the radiant Elaina Love! Ooh la la! Over the summer and fall, I slowly became more lax about having a glass of wine, a beer, some cooked food, some snack food like tortilla chips from the health food store. I have continued many great habits that I have adopted this year like so many more fresh foods (salads, green smoothies, sprouts and fresh fruits) and have also relapsed into habits I thought I had released (packaged food, even if it is from the health food store, organic dark chocolate and some drinks, etc.). I have gained weight back and am essential at the same weight I was before I got all gung-ho about raw. I didn't get into it to lose weight-I got into it for optimum health, energy and spiritual clarity. I realized I could probably lose 5, or even 10 lbs, but didn't realize how good I would feel at an ever lighter weight. My clothes that used to fit me just right got baggy and now I am filling them up again! We don't own a scale and I never payed much attention to my weight before the Feast. #'s aside, I know I feel better when I cut out processed foods and best when I drink lots of green juice! I have been sticking mostly to green smoothies, rather than juice because we aren't growing anything besides sprouts right now and we have lots of beautiful frozen fruit harvested from this fall, but I am realizing it's time to order up some veggies (celery, cucumbers and greens) from the health food store because the juice works for me and I deserve it whether I am able to grow it at the moment or not. I'm certainly not growing the corn for the tortilla chips I have bought at the health food store recently! So, the beginning of the New Year is a good time to be an observer, tighten the reins where it feels good, focus with intention on what makes my body and soul sing, and Live with Love!! This year, may I be brave enough to give to myself (consistently, in balance and in the moment), so I can share this radiating full cup of Life with others! My hubby has even inquired about doing a cleanse with me for the 1st time ever...stay tuned!