Blog Articles

Eat Plenty of Healthy Fat for Optimal Health

When it comes to the topic of dietary fat, we’ve been sold a mountain of falsehoods over the past decades. The fats we were told were good, like industrial seed vegetable oils1, are actually largely toxic and can cause disease, while healthy fats can help protect against it. The good whole-food based fats, even quality saturated fats2, are an important part of a healthy diet.Healthy Fats

We were told that eating fat made you fat and we heard little about sugar and refined carbs’ role in weight gain (or disease). The evidence is now clear though: Good fat is crucial to thriving health and the real triggers for weight gain are often sugar, refined carbs and bad fats.3 4 The healthy fats you eat in your diet, are not the same thing as stored fat in your body. There is a whole other set of mechanisms at play to trigger fat storage, and that fat storage is often born of glucose (sugar).

Having enough quality fats in your daily diet actually tends to increase metabolism and leads to sustained weight management. It’s important for most people to get enough quality fat when trying to manage weight. Our body needs nutritional caloric satiation to function properly. When you try to lose weight simply by calorie restriction, it actually reduces metabolism. It’s important to eat enough good fats so that your body isn’t overly stressed and can perform its key functions well.

Fat was also supposed to be the big cause of heart disease and a number of other health conditions. When it comes to healthy fats, the exact opposite is true. By depriving ourselves of the good fats we need, we’ve shifted towards needing to eat and burn sugar and carbs for energy, which are literally killing us!

Healthy fats are calorically very nutrient dense. They feed the body far more per calorie than carbs/sugar. Therefore, you get a much better bang for the buck and are able to satiate yourself more than you can with carbs/sugar. You have to eat a lot more carbs/sugar for your body to get the energy it needs to run than you do with fat. This is a particularly important point for those who are trying to manage their weight.

Now as I said earlier, there’s a big caveat. Highly processed and easily oxidizable and inflammatory industrial seed vegetable oils, which we’ve been told for decades are so much better for us, are actually a big villain. We’re talking canola, soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, the so-called “safe fats.” These oils are extracted through chemical processes, often using toxic substances.

Alternatively, good quality fats are essential to our existence. Here we are talking about:

  • olive,
  • coconut,
  • avocado,
  • sustainably sourced palm oil,
  • nuts and seeds,
  • quality animal fats (grass-fed in particular),
  • egg yolks,
  • butter and ghee (yup, I said butter).

These are whole-food based fats. When not eating a whole food source, independent oils attained should be through expeller pressed methods, which, unlike toxic chemical processing, are safe and provide a nourishing food.

The good news is, by bringing in more healthy fats and replacing the bad, you don’t have to stop eating or cut something out of your diet, you’re simply swapping it with a form of fat that is much healthier and actually tastes even better. So it’s a win, win!

You want your fat stores to be of the utmost quality. The industrial seed oils that are often oxidized before you even use them, work against your body in a myriad of ways. Source quality is always critical! You are what you eat.

Most people find that when they shift to a diet that burns more fat for energy instead of glucose, body weight quickly stabilizes and energy is gained. Fat and glucose burn differently in the body. In most cases, good fat actually speeds up our metabolism. And it’s a more sustainable source of fuel for prolonged energy.

Oxidization is not our friend:

A key risk of consuming bad fats occurs because of a process called oxidation.5 Oxidation is a disaster for the body, and another main driver of disease, including: heart disorders, cancer and strokes. This is one reason that most vegetable oils are a problem. The bad ones oxidize easily.

Oxidation is damage caused by oxygen. It’s like when apples or bananas turn brown from air exposure. This happens with fats too, and it’s essentially what happens inside your body when you eat oxidized oils. It’s kind of like rusting on the inside. The ensuing “oxidative stress” creates “free radicals” that are inflammatory and can damage your body. Most of the bad and highly refined vegetable oils listed above cause great risk of this happening inside you.

Fried foods from industrial seed vegetable oils, leave your cells and arteries looking just like the fried foods — rugged, crusty, torn. They disable cells functioning in the short term, and ultimately destroy healthy cells, causing heart attacks and strokes. This process is also how oxidation fries arteries! While eating food fried in these bad oils is the worst of the worst, eating the oils themselves generally does the same thing over time. Eating fried foods from these oils is one of the very worst things you can do to yourself. It creates both short term damage and suffering as well as dire consequences in the long term. (You can fry your own foods in certain oils; see below for more details).

Trans & Hydrogenated Fat:

This type of fat that is now universally understood to be toxic and linked directly to coronary artery disease is called trans fat, or hydrogenated fat. Transfats and hydrogenated or even partially-hydrogenated oils are highly processed foods, typically made from industrial seed vegetable oils. They are created this way through processing, so that they can be more “shelf stable” and thus cheaper and easier to produce and store. These fats should be avoided at all times. Be mindful, even when your label says “0” trans fats, it can still include some as it allows for .5 grams or under to be listed as “0”. The more processed foods you eat with these bad oils, the more the grams will add up. ANY amount will do damage.

The lesson here: ditch the margarine and bring back the butter!

Learn much more about fats and other crucial dietary steps, by downloading my free guide “Your Path to Vibrant Health.”

Learn more about fat from the experts: For those interested (or who need more convincing), you can really geek out on the various types of fat our body needs, and those it doesn’t. There are so many roles fat plays in thriving health. If you are interested in learning more, I’d highly suggest reading the work of Dr. Mark Hyman and/or Dr. Catherine Shanahan. Google their names along with the word “fat” for a myriad of informative articles and videos. Here are a couple of good ones:

Dr. Hyman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgWBKJsJtk0

Dr. Shanahan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbpX41oCi1M&t=508s (this one’s really only for those who want to geek out on the deep science, it’s in-depth but fascinating.)

 

Delicious Chocolate Chip Spice Cookies – Low-carb Paleo

Chocolate Chip CookiesEver since I changed my eating habits towards a much healthier lower carb, lower sugar paleo style diet, I’ve been looking for occasional dessert treats that are healthier but still delicious and satisfying. I’ve found some nice chocolate chip cookie recipes over the years, but I’ve finally perfected one myself that I really love!

This is a mouth watering treat. The cookies are soft and tender on the inside, flaky on the outside. They’re not overly sweet, but hit just the perfect spot.

The base in these cookies is almond flour/meal. The good news about this flour is that it has about 1/3 the carbs that wheat does.  Wheat clocks in over 75 grams per cup vs. about 22g for almond flour. Let’s not be too crazy by calling this a full-on health food, but it’s certainly a healthier alternative for the occasional treat. Try them out!

Delicious Chocolate Chip Spice Cookies
(Lower-carb, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free*, Paleo Friendly)

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook Time: 10 minutes.
Organic and grass-fed ingredients always preferred.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups almond flour or meal (blanched preferred, any will do)
1/4 cup butter, ghee or *coconut oil (your choice)
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Add in pre-softened or melted oil/butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly.
4. Fold in chocolate chips.
5. Spoon out a rounded tablespoon sized amount. Roll and lightly compress in your hands. Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (optional) and gently flatten out.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the outside edges turn golden brown. Let sit for about 10 minutes and enjoy!

Download Printable .pdf

Raw cookies, slightly flattened prior to baking.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Finished cookies.

 

Scrambled Eggs with Blueberries: A Nutrient Dense and Delicious Breakfast (and Tastier Than You Might Think!)

I recently added something to my scrambled eggs that you might think crazy, but it was sooo GOOD! I added blueberries.

Might sound awful, it did to me when I heard about it last week, but it is pretty amazing.

Pasture raised eggs are already a great source of choline, b vitamins, good fat, protein and more – they really are a super-food. Add in the blueberries for a powerful burst of antioxidants to kick off the day. Be bold, try it out! I’d love to know what you think.

Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients

3 pasture raised organic free range eggs
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh organic blueberries
1 Tablespoon of grassfed ghee or butter
Splash of coconut milk (or substitute)

Directions

Put you ghee/butter (I used both) and blueberries into a pan on medium heat and let them soften for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix together your eggs and coconut milk in a separate dish, then pour into your pan. I use a small whisk and stir constantly until desired consistency. Eat and enjoy!

Sunday Morning Smoothie Recipe!

This paleo friendly smoothie is silky and delightful.

Veggie and fruit smoothies can be a great way to get a nutritional kick-start to your day. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, healthy fats and protein (if using powders). All crucial elements to living a vibrant life.

In my smoothie recipes, I typically go with about three quarters vegetable and one quarter fruit (no need to overdo it on the sugar). It’s easy to make and gives me a nice, clean, healthy boost of energy. Has all that I need to get rolling.

RECIPE:

(Makes substitutes as desired or needed. All organic ingredients. I don’t use protein powders, but they can be a great addition.)

1 zucchini
1/4 avocado
1/2 endive
radicchio (handful)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

Blend, pour and imbibe.

Eat Your Way To Awesome: Three Most Important Things You Can Do To Feel Amazing! Video

An overview of my forthcoming new book, “Eat Your Way To Awesome.” Reviewing the three most important things you can do to improve your health and live a vibrant, energized life (and if desired, lose weight while your at it!)

Watch my video overview below for and overview and some good tips.

Plastics Are Far More Toxic Than Most Realize: Tips On How You Can Reduce Exposure

There are numerous known toxins found in the vast majority plastic products we are exposed to everyday. Those related to food and our bodies are particularly worrisome, as these chemicals can leach out into our foods, beverages and onto our skin, and are unfortunately easily stored in the body where they can do significant damage over the long-term. Especially when combined with numerous other environmental toxins we are exposed to constantly.  It all adds up.  Every area we can cut back, the better our body will hold up.

Some of the primary plastic toxins include: formaldehyde, phthalates, BPA and toxic flame retardants to name just a few. When stored in the body, they have been linked to obesity, infertility, endocrine disruption, asthma, heart disease and even cancer.

A recent study released by Environmental Health Perspectives showed that most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps to water bottles, can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen. Yikes! This is of course not what most of us want our babies exposed to. The rest of us don’t need it either.

It’s easy enough to reduce at least some of our exposure (even in a plastic filled world). Knowing that some things are unavoidable, below are some good tips.

Tips for reducing your Plastic exposure:

  • Avoid heat: Plastics are known to leech out trace chemicals, especially when heated. Avoid touching when you can and don’t use plastic to reheat (like in microwaves, especially in plastic or plastic coated take-out containers! By the way, most take out containers are now coated in plastics, so be mindful). And when you go to Starbucks to get that piping hot coffee, be aware that all the cups are lined with plastic. Yikes indeed! Might be good to bring your own real cup and ask them to make it in that (or save money in the long haul and buy a nice coffee/espresso device to make yourself). And, how many times have you left that plastic water bottle in the hot car for days (weeks) and it tasted funny, yup, those are likely various leached chemicals. At least you don’t have to worry about storage or shipping of the water cases to stores, I’m sure they air condition all those semi-trucks that deliver the water bottles in the scorching summer heat?!!? (Not likely.)
  • Drink liquids out of glass, ceramic, uncoated metal or other less toxic materials. If you like to carry a water bottle, same goes. I always keep one with me to avoid plastic water bottles (which are the cheapest material and have been shown to leach some of the toxins mentioned above). My favorite is glass that has a silicone mesh cover to protect it from breaking.
  • Silicone is a better replacement. Silicone is believed by many to be far safer. If you buy plastic coated products, especially cooking utensils, consider swapping out for heat resistant silicone.
  • Use glass for food storage. Glass containers are much better than plastic. They don’t leach. For some bulky things, like my cleaned lettuces, I use zip lock bags but line them with unbleached paper towels first to minimize exposure.
  • Buy food staples stored in glass instead of plastic. I buy most of my staple items, like mayonnaise, beverages, etc. in glass jars. There are plenty of good options.
  • Skip the receipts! Almost all receipts now are printed on thermal paper which are lined with BPA and other harmful chemicals. Research has shown even touching these can cause BPA to leech into your skin and it shows up in urine and blood tests. If you don’t need it, ask them to toss it.
  • Metal cans are coated in plastic. Almost all metal cans that store foods in the grocery store (tomato sauce, beans, soups, etc.) are lined with plastic coatings, often with BPA. There is not really much you can do on this front except to prepare whole foods.
  • BPA alternatives may not be any better. I always look for non-BPA products. That being said, there is emerging data showing that the alternatives may not be much better. The jury is still out, but best to be cautious and just avoid plastic as much as possible.

This and more information will be part of my upcoming book Eat Your Way to Awesome: 3 Most Impactful Steps To Feel Amazing. You can sign-up to make sure you are alerted upon its release.

“Eat Your Way To Awesome” Health & Nutrition eBook Coming Soon!

Sign-up here to be the first to receive a free copy upon it’s release in early 2018


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About the Book:

Vibrant health is within grasp for most people. There are many nutrition and lifestyle steps we all can and should take to get healthy. The three nutritional steps highlighted in this book are some of the most highly leveraged for creating good health, and at the top of the list of many leading nutritional experts. It’s a great place to start and a solid foundation for anyone seeking a better-quality life. They will almost certainly make a tangible and noticeable impact on your body’s overall health and vitality. You’ll likely feel better, clearer headed, less inflamed, reduce disease risk, and if needed, stabilize towards a healthy weight.

Even those of you with a crazy busy modern life can implement some of this and start to improve. Every step you take, even small ones, make a difference.

These tips can help you:

  • Prevent disease and in some cases reverse,
  • lose weight without worrying about calories (eat plenty of the good stuff!),
  • generate more energy and vitality,
  • improve blood sugar and cholesterol,
  • shed longstanding body aches and pains,
  • clear up foggy-headedness,
  • create vibrant skin,
  • improve your mood,
  • help you sleep better,
  • likely many more improvements.

I’ll take you step-by-step through how you can integrate these changes into your current eating habits with relative ease, while creating maximal results. I’ll also give you some healthy and delicious alternatives for the things that you feel the most resistance letting go of. It will be a positive change away from the standard American diet (or as many in the Functional Medicine community call it, the more fitting “SAD” diet), to a more healthy and nutritious one that focuses on eating fresh whole foods, not processed. All three of steps work in powerful concert with each other. Each supports the other in key ways that will reveal themselves as you read further.

Following these steps can also help you lose weight, without having to count calories. Getting your body back in balance and eating nutrient dense foods your body desperately needs will often do the trick when it comes to weight management. Not only does the scientific research point to this, I’ve seen it happen many times with folks I’ve worked with, as well as through my own personal experience. I lost weight I wasn’t even trying to lose just by taking these steps.

Delicious Pumpkin Custard, Paleo and Gluten Free

This pumpkin custard recipe makes a great lower carb paleo alternative to pumpkin pie.  It’s really decadent while also a nutrient dense, healthy dessert treat. The custard still has a similar consistency to the “meat” of pumpkin pie, without the crust – though it’s a little more silky.

Paleo Pumpkin Custard
Servings: 6-8 ramekins (either 6 or 8 ounce size)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45

Ingredients:

1-15oz canned organic puree pumpkin (or 2 cups fresh roasted pumpkin, sugar pie pumpkins have best flavor)
4 large eggs (use 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks*)
½ cup full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup organic maple syrup, or coconut sugar, or Lakanto’s Monkfruit no-sugar alternative sweetener
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
Optional: coconut cream for “whipped cream” and chunks of dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor combine pumpkin puree, and eggs (just enough, don’t overmix)
  2. Pulse in coconut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, ginger and salt
  3. Place empty ramekins into a deep cookie sheet or baking pan
  4. Pour filling into ceramic ramekins until almost full (leave about 10% empty space for rising)
  5. Pour boiling water around the ramekins in baking dish, try to cover at least ¼ ideally ½ of the height of your ramekins
  6. Lightly dust top of each filled ramekin with nutmeg
  7. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out relatively clean
  8. Allow to cool then refrigerate for 2 hours to set up

For whipped cream alternative: Take a can of coconut cream (not milk) and chill it for at least a few hours, overnight ideal.  Whip it until frothy, like you would regular whipped cream.  Doesn’t take as long to whip.  Add in a small amount of vanilla before whipping as desired.

To roast your own pumpkin: Buy a small sugar pie pumpkin. Cut it in half.  Scoop out seeds. Turn them face down on cookie sheet and bake for approx. 1 hour at 350 degrees.  You want the pumpkin flesh to be very soft.

Download printable .pdf

Favorite Healthy & Delicious Foods – Shopping List

Favorite Foods

The items listed below are my favorite healthy foods! They are all very tasty, paleo friendly, gluten free and on the healthier side compared to mainstream options.  They are linked to Amazon. However, another really good option is Thrive Markets online. They have really good prices and deal exclusively in health foods. They do have a yearly membership fee, but the cost savings are pretty significant. Amazon doesn’t always have the best prices.  You can also find most of these items at a local health food store, like Whole Foods (believe it or not, Whole Foods can have better prices than Amazon.)

Alternative Flours/carbs:

These are lower glycemic load “carb” alternatives that won’t wreak as much havoc on your body as many refined flours. You can bake with these or use them for a number of cooking needs.  They taste great. They are paleo friendly and gluten free. You should still be mindful about how much you indulge.

Paleo Pancake and Waffle Mix by Birch Benders.  This mix is sooo good.  Totally hits my need for occasional pancakes, without the giant carb hit.

Cassava Flour by Otto’s Naturals: This flour is made from Yucca root. Another great alternative baking flour that is a staple in low glycemic non-wheat flour baking.

Nutiva Coconut Flour: This is a great alternate for baking.

Cassava and Coconut Flour Tortilla’s by Siete. These taste good and are a great alternative for those that really want some kind of carb alternative for wraps or other uses.

Miracle Noodles Shirataki noodles made from a Japanese yam. These are zero carb and gluten free. Taste good. They have an assortment of styles, fettuccini, angel hair, etc.

 

Snacks & appetizers:

Mary’s Crackers: These are gluten free and relatively clean ingredients if you want a crackery snack. They have many flavors.  Crunchy and nice.

Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips: These are AMAZING! So light and crispy. Tastes surprisingly like corn chips. They are made from Cassava and fried in Avocado oil.  Both are much better for you than other chips made with cheap industrial seed vegetable oils which are rancid and toxic.

Sweet Potato Chips or Blue Corn Chips: Jackson’s Honest chips are fried in coconut oil, which is a far better option than cheap vegetable oils.

Coconut Almond Butter: by Maranatha. This is so tasty! Creamy and delicious. A blend of almond butter with coconut cream. One of my favorite treats is a tablespoon of it.

Sardines: by Wild Planet. These are a great snack.  Loads of good omega 3 fats and decadent. I like to get the ones packed in extra virgin olive oil as they help protect the fat from the fish.

Roasted Seaweed: by SeaSnax. This is one of the only seaweed snacks that uses olive oil to roast in, not a cheap, crappy oil like canola.

Meat Bars, Grassfed: by Epic.  These are paleo friendly.  I bring them with me when traveling and flying.  Make a good jolt of nourishment.

Hummus, Organic by Hope: Make sure to get a brand that has good oils.  Most use canola or other cheap, bad oils. Hope brand uses extra virgin olive oil.

 

Sweeteners:

You don’t have to fully give up your sweet tooth! These sweeteners are less negatively impactful as cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener: Tastes good and makes a nice replacement for cane sugar. You can use it the same, cup for cup. This has almost no glycemic load (blood sugar raiser).

Stevia: Liquid or powdered packets: Avoid cheap crappy stevias, they don’t taste good. Only get 100% Stevia, not mixed with other types of junk sweetener.Just say NO to Truvia.

YS Raw honey: Be sure to buy raw honey, unfiltered if you can.  Heat processing kills many of the good nutrients in honey.

Coconut Sugar, Organic: Nice flavor, works well for cooking.  Occasional treat.

Maple Syrup, Organic: by Coombs Family Farm.  This should be used only occasionally, it still has a lot of sugar in it.

 

 

Oils and Fats:

Olive Oil, Napa Valley Naturals Organic: Great flavor and good quality. Always buy cold pressed extra virgin.

Amphora Olive Oils: This is a great company that carefully sources its oils (and amazing flavored, barrel aged Balsamic Vinegars).

Ghee, 4th and Heart Plain

Ghee, 4th and Heart Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Love these. Ghee is a great alternative for butter. Both of these are grassfed. Ghee has a high smoke point, so you can sauté with it at higher temperatures. I use the plain for cooking and the sea salt version for snacking.

Coconut Oil Artisana: Nutiva brand is fine as well, it’s more affordable, but I like Artisana’s taste.

Avocado oil: I use La Tourangelle for more delicate flavorful needs, like salad dressing.  I use Chosen Foods for cooking. Avocado oil has a high smoke point, and doesn’t oxidize as easily. So you can sauté with it at higher temperatures. Or even for frying. Chosen foods makes a pan spray as well.

Avocado Oil Mayo: Chosen Foods. Tasty and much better than almost all other mayo’s, as they all use cheap, unhealthy vegetable oils.

Macadamia Nut Oil: by Roland. Mac oils are great for salad dressings.  Healthy oil, don’t need a lot though, just a splash mixed in with olive and avocado. Another option is Piping Rock.

Dairy Alternatives:

Coconut Milk, Simple, Native Forest: This is one of the only brands that makes it without Guar Gum, which can cause digestive problems for some people.

CoYo Coconut Yogurt: This coconut based yogurt is very delightful and surprisingly creamy.  It also makes a great substitute for sour cream.  A similar consistency. Since it’s refrigerated, it’s at stores only. Check here to see if it’s in a store near you.

 

Herbs, Spices & Flavorings:

Celtic Sea Salt

Himalayan Sea Salt

Real Salt, by Redmond: This “sea salt” comes from an ancient seabed in Utah that was not exposed to modern toxins like sea salts are often today.  Another bonus is this is one of the only sea salts that has iodine.

Balsamic Vinegar: Amphora makes these barrel aged vinegars that really are pretty amazing. My favorites are the red “cinnamon & pear” and the white “apricot”. These are slightly thicker and a touch of sweet. But it doesn’t take much to flavor a great salad dressing or for a drizzle.

Swiss Chard Powder by Dr. Cowan’s Garden: This delightful flavoring powder is nutrient dense. If you have a hard time squeezing in enough vegetables in a day, try this out.  They also have Kale and number of other great options. I put a spoonful in salad dressings, sprinkle into soups, etc.  Great way to spice up and packed with nutrients!

 

Miscellaneous:

Bone Broth, Grassfed: by Kettle and Fire. Great source of nutrients for your gut and skin health, plus so much more.  Should be a dietary staple.

Wild Salmon: by Wild Planet. These are a great alternative to tuna (which is high in mercury). Loads of good omega 3 fats and decadent.

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Quotes

 

Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. Big, undreamed-of things— the people on the edge see them first.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.
~ Albert Einstein

Don’t drink at the water’s edge, throw yourself in. Become the water. Only then will your thirst be quenched.” ~ Jeanette Berson

Yesterday is gone and its tale told. Today new seeds are growing.” ~ Rumi

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?” ~ Rumi

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”  ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
~ Nelson mandella

The words you speak become the house you live in.” ~Hafiz

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~ Audre Lorde

Your life is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ J. Krishnamurti

It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery, rather than to chose the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ~ Marianne Williamson

In just the last three weeks, a quadrillion atoms have gone through your body, that have gone through the body of every other species on this planet. The atoms in your fingernails could have come from one galaxy, and the atoms in your nose, the same carbon, could have come from another galaxy.

You are the total universe, recycling at this moment, as this body, which is constantly and ever, never the same.

So being a dynamic process, in consciousness, through consciousness, we can change the physical body. Our moods, our feelings, our emotions, the images we have, our thoughts, our personal relationships, are affecting this wholistic system that is at the same time, mind, brain, epigenome, genome, microbiome — the whole of your biology and the totality of the Universe.” ~ Deepak Chopra, MD

Your destiny is eternal expansion. Whether you do it in joy, or not, is up to you. But you cannot stop expansion. In the same you you can’t stop the Earth from spinning. Expansion is our destiny.” ~Esther Hicks

To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” ~ Robert Muller

Peace is not something you wish for;
it’s something you make,
Something you do,
Something you are,
and something you give away.
~ John Lennon

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” ~ Edmund Burke

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl

What is to give light must endure burning.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~Marianne Williamson

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh

Each side thinks it’s the other side who are the ‘bad guys’… this is I guess part of the mythology of our culture. It’s a formula for making the world a better place. And the formula says, first, find the bad guy, blame something, and then go to war against it, control that thing… What’s missing here is the deeper matrix of causes that is much more complicated. So, two things happen when you realize the causes. One is that you don’t know what to do. The usual solution of finding the bad guy, and fighting the bad guy, doesn’t work…. The second thing that happens is that you realize that I’m part of the problem too, or we’re part of the problem too. It’s not just some other person.
~ Charles Eisenstein.

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh

Inter-meditation provides many methods for closing the gaps between self and others, allowing us to see through the illusory veils beyond the individual—the “small self”—into the universal—the “Big Self”—obliterating the borders between the two. This boundary-less, shared spirituality takes us into the infinite space and buoyancy of the transpersonal—what my old friend, the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, has termed interbeing. To understand both the Big Self and the small self simultaneously is to see beyond the limits of our egos and recognize that there is no separation between us and the rest of the cosmos—the entire population of the earth, the microbes in our digestive systems, the stars in galaxies we can’t even imagine. In the Indian epic theRamayana, Hanuman, the monkey god embodying selfless devotion to a higher purpose, says, “When I forget who I am, I serve God. When I remember who I am, I am God.” This is how our small selves are part of our Big Selves. And it’s the essence of the spiritual path, the ongoing dialogue between our human and Divine nature.” ~ Lama Surya Das

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” ~ Pierre-Marc-Gaston

The true sign of intelligence isn’t knowledge but imagination.” ~ Albert Einstein

When we run away from difficulties in our relationship, we’re actually running away from ourselves and our own path of potential breakthroughs. Constantly escaping discomfort like this keeps us moving in circles, not forward. Avoiding the wounded places in ourselves because we don’t think we can handle them is a form of self-sabotage, self-rejection, and internal weakness. Personal intimacy is like a spark flashing out across the divide between self and other; the spark’s development, growth, enhancement, and continuity depend on strong, courageous individuals making warm, personal contact, mutually sparking and enriching each other with complementary qualities and synchronizing energies throughout the entire dance of relationship, regardless of temporary ups and downs or sidesteps.” ~ Lama Surya Das

Maharajji said, “We look for God in all the wrong places. He’s hiding in the last place we ever look, within our own hearts and souls. We think we’re chasing after and following Him, but it’s more like He’s trying to catch us and we’re running away!

Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.
~ Rumi

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
~ Lao Tzu

So often we look for God in all the wrong places — in the shadows of our fear, in the illusion of safety, in the comfort of the familiar, in the confines of judgment and exclusion. And then we wonder why our lives seem so dark and fearful and small. But when we turn our attention outward and take the risk of opening ourselves to the wild and dangerous oneness with all of creation, we will find ourselves coming face to face with the God of life and love and abundance. We can live life in the outer darkness or we can live it in the joy of our master. We can live in fear or we can live in faith. The choice is ours. May our choices be filled with wild, reckless abandon. May our choices be filled with God.” ~ Pastor Roger Lynn

Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.” ~  Jack Korenfield.