Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Big taste in a Tiny's bag

"Hey Stace!  It's Nic.  I just got my produce bag from Tiny's Organic and am loving all the good stuff.  I want to cook this chard, but it's connected to the beets.  I'm a little confused over here, so will you give me a call so I can run some ideas by you?  Thanks!"

I left this message for my gardening guru friend after picking up my first 12 pound bag of local, organic produce from Tiny's Organic.  Chard connected to the beets?  Why don't they just call it "beet greens?"  These questions run through my head as I scan the amazing recipes and information on the Tiny's newletter.  The fresh chard tastes even better once I've learned that it contains phytonutrients that have disease prevention properties.  Chard leaves are also an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps maintain normal connective tissue, prevent iron deficiency and also helps the body develop resistant to infectious agents by boosting immunity.  It ALSO contains vitamin K which has an important role in strengthening bone health and formation.  Regular inclusion of chard in the diet is found to prevent osteoporosis and anemia and is believed to help protect the body from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.  Forget vitamin supplements.  Hit me with the chard, beets and leeks.

I combined the Tiny's chard recipe with some advice from Stacy.  I wanted to eat the stems because their bursting red color signaled my vitamin radar.  It would be a waste to toss those nutrient-rich stems in the compost.  So I first sauteed the stems with chopped onion in olive oil to soften them up first.  After about 3 minutes I added the chard leaves and 2 cloves of chopped garlic.  I sauteed for about 4 more minutes.  The result was a quick, delicious and healthy dish.

The health benefits of eating local and organic food can not be ignored.  Food that is fresh and recently picked contains more nutrients and enzymes that have been proven to prevent disease.  Many Americans, myself included, have never lived on a farm or grown their own food. Supermarkets allow us to enjoy all food at all times of the year, so many of us are disconnected from the natural harvesting seasons. Ordering a local, organic produce bag educates you on what actually grows in your area and when.  Summer in Seattle is bursting with Farmers Markets and friendly ways to incorporate all this yumminess into your diet.  Tiny's Organic also now offers a mini-sized bag, delivery and weekly payment options.  So get out there, keep it fresh, keep it organic and enjoy the summer abundance! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When money runs low, turn your gratitude up high.

Everyone has been there.  Your bank account is looking a little sad, and the anxiety sets in.  Money is linked to so many emotions like shame, embarrassment and worry.  However, money can also be empowering, especially if you learn to cultivate feelings of abundance REGARDLESS of your financial situation.  This spiritual wealth can support and sustain you.  You will remember that you're safe and provided for by the Universe.

Here are examples of how to cultivate gratitude even when funds are low.
Meditate and breathe.  Enjoy the feeling of a full breath.  Watch your body inhale and exhale this sweet air that is always available to you.  As you slow down and look around, think, "Wow.  What a beautiful candle.  What a soft rug.  What a beautiful tree outside.  Look around with the eyes of a stranger, observing and appreciating the beauty that surrounds you.

As you move to the shower, don't judge your body.  Instead say an affirmation like, "Thank you, body, for supporting me every day.  Thank you for your strength, for digesting my food, for carrying me through the world."  Feel the warm water in the shower.  You do not need to buy more things.  Celebrate your soap that you already own.  Celebrate the smell of a clean towel.  Celebrate that you get to be clean.

Move to your closet.  Dress up today.  Wear a bright color that brightens your face.  Or a dress.  Thank yourself for taking good care of this item.  Put on pretty underwear.  Admire yourself in the mirror and remember that you already own cute clothes.  You do not need more in order to be happy right now.  You are enough and you have enough.

As you head to the kitchen, remember that you are an intelligent, creative and happy person.  You get to make the rules for your life, and you choose to feel the abundance.  Look around at what you have.  Even if you have very little, you have more than many people in the world.  Make the best of whatever you have.  Why not eat rice for breakfast?  Add a little cinnamon and viola! breakfast of champions.  Congratulate yourself for your creativity and resourcefulness.  You will find ways to nourish yourself and sustain yourself through breath, patience and smart decisions.

Money will come.  You have so much to offer and so much to give.  Focus on the ways you can give today.  If you are ready to educate yourself on smart investing and money management, watch this incredible video by Marie Forleo, Secrets for Building Serious Wealth.  She addresses the feelings that surface as women become primary breadwinners in many homes.  She also debunks the fantasy that a man is going to swoop in and save us financially.

As you educate yourself, make smart decisions and cultivate gratitude, you will begin to experience the richness of life.  You are of the highest worth right now, regardless of your financial situation.  Enjoy the abundance!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Agni, the energy of transformation

Digestive fire or agni, is the energy of transformation that governs our life, strength, health, energy and luster.  By balancing agni, we can properly break down food to nourish healthy tissues.  These easy tips help us digest our food properly, release wastes and prevent disease.

1. Follow a consistent eating routine.  Have breakfast between 6-8am, lunch between 12-1pm and dinner between 6-7pm.

2. Make lunch your biggest meal of the day.

3. Sip warm water (preferably with lemon and ginger) about 30 minutes before meals.  This prepares your system for excellent digestion.

4. Drink about one cup of room temperature water every hour.  Food in the stomach should be in a semi-solid or semi-liquid form for optimal digestion.

5. Eat with a calm mind and a calm environment.  Conscious eating is vital for smooth digestion and waste removal.

At a subtle level, agni clears the mind, thoughts and ideas.  It transforms raw material.  It activates creativity, energy, strength and radiance.  By taking care of your body, you mind also receives the benefits.  Enjoy these tips and video to balance your agni and enjoy digestive health!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Confronting change

Change is hard and often stressful.  I'm making some big decisions in my life right now and staring change straight in the face.  My current experience is teaching me about how to welcome and gracefully handle change.  Here's my current situation...I'm considering moving home to my parents' house for 4 months before moving in with my boyfriend in January.  Here are two VERY different scenarios that have passed through my head:
1. OH MY GOD, no one will ever rent my condo.  It's the size of a shoebox with no washer/dryer/dishwasher/parking.  If I ever do get a renter, they'll probably trash the place and destroy my beautiful floors.  I'll be stuck paying my mortgage while my boyfriend pays all the bills, resents me and breaks up with me in a ball of flames.  By moving home, I'll have to sell my stuff, give up my life and admit complete failure at everything.


2.  I am so happy the day I pay off my credit card and dance around the living room with extra money in the bank.  My parents love seeing me more and our relationship has never been better.  I'm feeling fit and healthy from all the runs with the dog and less late nights out partying.  My friends love our weekend sleepovers.  My renter is awesome and pays on time every month.  My boyfriend is thrilled that I've spent more time at his place the last few months and is stoked to move in together in the city.  We have first-and-last-month's rent saved with extra money for decorating.  We are so blissfully happy, the move goes smoothly, and we fall even more in love.

These exaggerated scenarios keep swirling around in my head.  Here is my first learning about change.  Have faith.  I've conquered every other life challenge up to this point, so I know I can make it through this one.  My mentor, Mastin Kipp, inspires me through many life experiences.  Here's what he wrote about change in the Daily Love.

“We have faith the MOMENT we take a step out into the unknown – even if – and especially if – we are terrified to do it. That is what faith is all about. And consider, that the crazy and unforeseen things that happen in your life are preceding something amazing. Maybe this is exactly how it had to be, so that your prayer COULD be answered. Maybe this thing that seems like a disaster, or not fair or something totally scary IS the answer to your prayer. And instead of asking for a lighter load, perhaps it’s time we have more emotional muscle.

It takes balls, guts and total belief to walk on the Path. Because the further along you go, the bigger the test is. Remember this: wherever you doubt – THERE is the edge and limit of your faith. Maybe you trust The Uni-verse to help you find a parking lot, yet you fret about the rent. Perhaps you trust The Uni-verse to provide a moment of synchronicity when a friend calls you right as you are thinking about them, but you don’t trust The Uni-verse to deliver to you the perfect romance at the perfect time.

The goal is to surrender it ALL! To let it ALL GO and detach from the outcome and step into the unknown, knowing that you are guided and you are safe. And that even in the middle of the crazy shit that goes down sometimes, it’s all a divine soup that is creating the perfect outcome for you right now, even if you can’t see that in this moment."

Now I am ready to answer the call, seize this opportunity and detach from the outcome.  I trust the Universe to find me a renter, infuse my relationship with even more love and take care of me every step of the way.  It's a fresh time in my life with newness and possibility.  I welcome change with open arms.