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4/29/10

'Two World Class Events this June that you don't want to miss...'

Don't miss the first ever 7-day festival for Women Empowering Women!
Attend The Grail Lady Faire ~ June 27th to July 4th!




WorldShift Symposium! June 26th, 10am to 5:30pm, followed by  book signing with several renowned authors and presenters.

4/27/10

Eating Animals: Number One Cause of Climate Change

If we care about the environment and believe that kindness is a virtue – as we all say that we do – a vegan diet is the only sensible option. The question becomes: Why eat animals at all?

Animals are made of flesh, bone, and blood, just as you and I are. They form friendships, feel pain and joy, grieve for lost loved ones, and are afraid to die. One cannot profess to care about animals while tearing them away from their friends and families and cutting their throats – or paying someone else to do it – simply to satisfy a fleeting taste for flesh.

What does it say about us that we’re willing to give animals a safe pasture and freedom from suffering only to betray them by killing and eating them in the end? Nicolette Hahn Niman argues in her recent book that it’s acceptable to raise animals for food as long as they are treated humanely and killed quickly. But we wouldn’t extend that philosophy to dogs, cats, or children. The inconsistency means that eating animals simply cannot be justified.

Ms. Niman assures consumers that the animals at the ranch that she manages with her husband, Bill Niman, have a “good life and an easy death.” This likely conjures up images of pigs frolicking together, getting belly rubs and playing in mud puddles while turkeys strut about, gobbling along to music and eating fresh corncobs, melons, and grapes until they’re peacefully euthanized at a ripe old age. Think again. While the animals at BN Ranch may have a better life and may face an easier death than the animals killed for Smithfield or Butterball, “good” is not an accurate description. What kind of good life ends at age 12, which is the human equivalent of the oldest non-breeding animals on farms such as hers? Niman’s arguments are similar to those of slaveholders who advocated treating slaves more kindly but did not actually want to abolish slavery.

Ultimately, it’s not our farming practices that need to change – it’s our diets. As Niman knows, we cannot use only pastureland to produce the amount of meat that is currently consumed in this country. Approximately 10 billion cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys are killed for food each year in the United States alone. The sheer number of animals killed to satisfy people’s taste for flesh makes it impossible to raise and slaughter them all on small family farms.

Re: PETA's undercover investigation photos: Everyone agrees: Industrial livestock operations, where cattle live amid their own manure, are horrible.

Claiming that meat eating can be ethical or eco-friendly tends to pacify people who want to feel as if they are doing the right thing but don’t want to stop eating meat. Yet raising and killing animals is neither moral nor green. As Niman knows, meat production is resource-intensive and plays a role in nearly every major environmental problem, including climate change.

Animal agriculture is one of the world’s largest sources of CO2 and the largest source of methane, which is more than 23 times more powerful than CO2 when it comes to trapping heat in the atmosphere. Research by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, the authors of Livestock and Climate Change, indicates that raising animals for food produces 51 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions each year. Of course, animals on feedlots produce more greenhouse gasses than pasture-raised animals, but all farmed animals produce methane while digesting food, and their feces also emit methane.

One of the world’s leading authorities on climate change – Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and himself a vegetarian – believes that everyone in the developed world should consume a vegetarian diet for environmental reasons. According to Pachauri, “In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity.” The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has reported that climate change mitigation costs could be reduced by 80 percent if everyone around the globe went vegan.

Meat consumption is also a major contributor to food shortages. There would be more food to go around if more people went vegan because many staple crops are fed to farmed animals instead of to hungry people. This is especially wasteful considering that animals can only turn a small fraction of that food into flesh. It takes about 700 calories worth of feed to produce just one piece of 100-calorie beef.

More food can be grown on a given parcel of land when we aren’t funneling crops through animals. Vegfam, which funds sustainable plant-food projects, estimates that a 10-acre farm can support 60 people by growing soy, 24 people by growing wheat, or 10 people by growing corn – but only two by raising cattle photo courtesy bn ranchHappy cows? Rajt argues that sustainable ranching is like “treating slaves
more kindly” without actually abolishing slavery.

The United Nations’ special envoy on food says that it’s a “crime against humanity” to funnel 100 million tons of grain and corn into ethanol while nearly 1 billion people are starving. So how much more of a crime is it to divert 756 million tons of grain and corn per year – plus 98 percent of the 225-million-ton global soy crop – to farmed animals? With 1.4 billion people living in dire poverty, reserving these harvests for animal forage is tantamount to stealing food out of people’s mouths.

Meat production is inefficiency at its worst. When you factor in all the water squandered on animal agriculture and all the fossil fuels needed to operate slaughterhouses and processing plants and to transport meat from the plants to the stores – not to mention the air and water pollution that results from it all – you’ll understand why it just makes sense not to eat animals. As Ms. Niman – who herself has been a vegetarian for years – can tell you, one can live quite healthily and happily without eating animals.

~ by Lindsay Rajt
A vegetarian since her teenage years, Lindsay Rajt manages grassroots campaigns at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Rajt has coordinated campaigns targeting KFC’s “torture” of chickens as well as the treatment of horses at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.

4/22/10

Earth Day Celebrating 40th Anniversay Today. "We The People" have the Power to Make Change Now.

It was forty years ago today when thousands of individuals took to the streets in Washington Square and sent a message to Congress to start passing laws to protect the planet against climate change. Forty years later we are still sending the message and still no one is listening. 

BUT the tide has changed. And we've come to realize that we do not require a dysfunctional group of power and greed driven men in Congress to decide whether we thrive or die. 'We The People' have the absolute power today to change the world and the secret lies in our minds and in our wallets. We only need to make the right decisions today; stop purchasing products that cost the planet its limited resources and only purchase products that are sustainable, local, organic, humane and of fair trade. If we the people, the consumer, stop feeding into the corporate money machine by being a little more disciplined in its choices, 'think before we buy', we would not need to wait another forty years for congress to pass laws to protect our planet. Corporations would be forced to change direction or go out of business. After all the global market place is all based on the fundamental laws of 'supply and demand'. 

To wait forty more years is too late.  Ten years is too late. The time is NOW.

It's Earth Day. Raise your awareness, get involved, own your power and commit to being a responsible consumer. Today.

4/20/10

Today's Newsweek Headline: "100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear

Last night I attended a private screening in New York for a documentary film entitled "Wake Up". The executive producer was Sting's wife Trudie Styler. The lucky few who were invited were hosted by Sting, his wife stuck in London due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, and the very same reason why I was able to go. Friends in the UK were unable to get a flight out like the millions of others and I was asked to take their place. Where one door closes another opens as they say.
The film was a provocative look by another young film maker who tragically lost his best friend in a motorcycle accident. That trauma opened up a portal to the 'other' world. He was and has been from that moment on, changed. What was first a scary, disturbing yet curios show of angels, demons, aliens, energy patterns in people and spaces, led him on a journey to test all of his human relationships, his sanity and his beliefs about what is reality. The outcome...well I'll leave the ending for you to discover on your own. The DVD will be available later on this year.

While in New York, myself and my colleagues took the opportunity to discuss WorldShift, a campaign that will be launched at an event Grail Springs is hosting on June 26th with the likes of Deepak Chopra, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Dr. Ervin Laszlo and many other world thought leaders. The campaign has been birthed out of the necessity to engage the masses in a grassroots movement to shift the world before it is too late. "Shift One Thing" is the campaign. Naturally there was a lot of discussed themed around the volcanic eruption and how Mother Earth is pushing back on the stresses we have pushed and continue to push on to her. And predictably it will get worse. Earthquakes, tsunami's, floods, ecoli, mad cow disease, world economic collapse, global warming and volcanic eruptions. What more do we need to 'Wake Up'? How is it that people are still so complacent in their reaction to what is going on?
As I just now got to the airport to return home, pondering on the 'what more can I do' personally, what else can I 'shift' in my life that will cause less pressure on the planet but also what else can I do to help heal the planet. Before I sat down at my gate I proceeded to spot the Newsweek magazine with the headline '100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear'. A stark 'in your face' message that we are clearly a planet in peril. It is time to ‘Wake Up’ and 'Shift One Thing". Think about one thing you can do today to make a difference and do it.

4/18/10

Grail Springs Rejuvenation Cocktail ~ best after a good workout. So delicious and fulfilling!

•    1 bottle (48 ounces) tomato juice or V8 type cocktail (low-sodium)
•    3 cups filtered water
•    2 cups assorted sliced vegetables (roots, onions, green & red bell pepper)*
•    2 celery copped
•    1 large carrot chopped
•    4 tomatoes chopped
•    1 bunch parsley
•    2 bay leaves
•    ½ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper, or to taste
•    2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
•    ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
•    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

*    Avoid cabbage family vegetables as they impart a strong flavour

•    Purchase and utilize organic vegetables whenever available

In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine the tomato juice cocktail, water, vegetables and herbs.  Bring to a boil over moderate heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes. Transfer to a strainer set over a bowl, pressing firmly with a wooden spoon to extract all the juices, or process through a food mill.  Discard pulp.  Serve hot.  Freezes beautifully for later use. 

Yield: 10 cups ~ Calories per cup: 35
Carbs:  8.3 gm
Protein: 1.6 gm
Fat: 0.2 g
Fibre 2.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 486 mg

4/11/10

Congratulations!

Day 21- Cleanse
Congratulations!!! You made it !
Now is the time to look back on all you have accomplished during this cleanse.
What dietary changes have you made , that you could continue with to maintain good health and vitality?
Think about how good you feel right now, and consider this when re-introducing old food habits.
If you have anymore questions…Today’s call is the time to ask.
Cheers!

Fitness Day 21 - Hara Meditation

Hara Meditation - Building Strength & Energy in your Body

Hara is a Japanese word meaning 'the centre'. It is the physical centre point of your body and resides just below the belly button. Hara is also the energetic centre in your body. In Oriental Medicine, the Hara area, which is the whole abdomen, is also a major diagnostic region. All organ and meridian imbalances can be diagnosed from the Hara. Hara strength is developed by building Qi, through breath, exercise and meditation.

Hara strength cannot be seen from the outside. It is perceived as a deep inner strength, with a peaceful demeanour. When the Hara is strong, a person will be flexible yet stable, grounded firmly in reality, while emanating an alertness of spirit. A person strong in the Hara will be intuitive and able to follow their 'gut' reaction. This kind of intuition is fully centered in the body. It is not a mind sense. Rather it is a physical/body knowing that is not dominated by thought processing.

If you would like to have an inner strength that helps you to remain focused and balanced when faced with a physical challenge, then building Hara strength will assist you. If it is strength of mind that you need, once again, building Hara strength will help.

QI


Basic Hara breathing Technique.

This can be done while standing, walking or sitting or lying down.

If you want, lightly rest your hands on your Hara.
Start by breathing in and out slowly. Focus on letting go of any tension as you release your breath. When you are ready, begin to breathe and visualise a big golden ball of energy or light in your Hara, just below your belly button. As you breathe in, imagine the ball expanding, as you bring your breath right down into your Hara. As you breathe out, visualise the ball contracting slightly and becoming very solid and heavy. Focus on holding onto some of the Qi in your Hara as you release your breath. Continue this process until you feel centred and focused in your Hara.

Being focused in the Hara is a meditation. It is the source of all strength and is the point where all aspects of your being come together. A physical centre, it grounds the spirit, allowing it to radiate and express its truth, and gives the mind a calm place in which to focus.

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"May your connection to the Divine and the healing energy awoken inside of you, stay with you forever and for always"





Life Coaching - Day 21 - Your Plan

Oh my goodness, here we are at the end of the cleanse. What an incredible thing you've done for yourself.

The last thing you want to happen is the cleanse ends, and life goes back to how it was before. Actually, that is impossible, because you are different now. But, you can use this momentum to create lasting change in your life.

Look back at your journal entries over the cleanse, especially over the last week.

What are the most important things you ARE SURE you want to effect in your life moving forward?

For each of those most important things, create 3 simple, concrete action steps for moving those things forward. Be specific, and give things definition such as time and amounts. Also give yourself an inspiring sentence or two about why those things are important.

Take those action steps and get them into a system. How will you remember the steps? Do you need to add some things to your day timer? Your PDA? As part of your morning routine? Do you need outside support such as a coach?

YOU are important. By filling your own cup first, you have the Universe to give to others. I encourage you to continue the effort of incorporating important practices and action steps for your holistic health into your life moving forward. Your mind, body, soul, life and world will reap divine benefits.

Congratulations!

4/10/10

Life Coaching - Day 20 - Your Spiritual Growth

You've done a lot in this cleanse for yourself, and no doubt it has been a transformative experience for you.

You've been exposed to some different parts of yourself, and you've been exposed to a lot of different ideas and concepts. You are probably also getting some unique and new inspirations about things that may be important for you in your development.

Of course, your spiritual growth is inevitable, and you are already perfect. Nothing needs to change. That being said, there are probably things that you are drawn towards, and you are drawn towards them for a reason.

What practices do you want to continue?
What new practices do you want to bring into your life?
Where have you noticed that small changes can make big differences for you?
How do you feel most whole? Most expanded? Most peaceful? Most joyful?
What does your inner wisdom whisper to you?

You have an incredible opportunity to take this cleanse experience and expand upon it. Now is the time to create those intentions.

Happy Cleansing...

Coming Off Your Detox

Day 20 -Cleanse

It is important to PLAN for after your detox so that you come off gently and gradually to allow your body to adjust to the foods you are reintroducing. Doing this part well will set you up for improved long term health.

1) Consider what you’ve learned so far during your detox.If you have kept a Journal , check in with the changes you’ve made and how they have affected you.

2) Think about the aspects of your detox diet that you’d like to incorporate into your daily life. Which recipes could you eat regularly?
Which foods could you leave out or reduce in your regular daily diet?

3) Climb back down the detox ladder, reintroducing one food group at a time over a period of 2-4 days. Pay attention to your body’s reactions to the different foods as you do this. Remember you don’t have to add them ALL back in. This is a great opportunity for you to make some conscious choices about what you’ll be eating from now on. One or two sustained improvements can make a huge difference in your long term health.

4)Set your intentions for your next detox. Next month? Next season? Next year? Detoxing on a regular basis helps you stay clear and allows you to continue to improve your health as you age!

Any Questions? Please ask away :)
Cheers!

Coming off your detox!

Fitness Day 20 ~ Jumping Around! :)

Joyful Jumping Jacks!!


Do you remember jumping around in gym class?
Well, now is the time to revive the kid in you and jump, jump, JUMP!!



How to:
Stand tall and keep abdomen taut.
Stand with feet together, hands at side, knees slightly bent and relaxed.
Jump and spread legs, swinging arms upward and touching them over the head.
Return to start position with feet together and hands at sides.
Remember to move slowly, smoothly, and avoid jerky or bouncy movements. Keep knees slightly bent and toes pointing out.

Benefits
It increases balance and stability.
Jumping ability improves.
It strengthens the cardiovascular system.
Stamina and endurance are enhanced.
Coordination for sports and other athletic pursuits is improved by doing jumping jacks.
The immune system is strengthened
Add this exercise to your daily routine, use it as a warm-up, or to wake you up during the day if you become sluggish from sitting too long.
Enjoy!
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"Joy is not in things, it is in us!"
R. Wagner

4/9/10

Life Coaching - Day 19 - Your Work

All of us have a special and sacred part of our lives, our work. Our way that we contribute to the world to make it a better place. Our way that we get to express our special gifts, our ways of being, our skills and our experience. Our way that we get to enjoy the wonderful feeling of community that comes from cooperating towards a higher goal. Our way that we are deeply fulfilled because we are doing what we are meant to be doing and helping the world in some way.

Does your "job" sound just like the description above, or maybe not so much? Would you like it to reflect that description more? What else would you love in your work?

For most of us, we will spend more time with our work than any other precious aspect of our lives. Are you giving it proper due as the main focus of your life? Is your job worthy of the main focus of your life?

Decide what you want more of in your job. Decide what you want less of in your job. Some of you may decide that major changes are in order after this cleanse. Anyone, however, can start to create change right where they are at, by being more yourself, and speaking more of the truth, in whatever environment you find yourself in. In that way you'll be communicating your intention to the Universe for change, and change will come, often in miraculous ways.

Happy cleansing...

The Seasons of the Body, Mind and Soul...

Every ending has a new beginning of some sort. And once you learn to honor the ending for what it is, it is usually a good thing. Honoring the end allows for new space to be created in your heart and mind, to embrace that new thing that is waiting around the corner for us. As a child I was often in an unconscious state of fearfulness ~ that life would change around me and that the change was always a bad thing, hurtful and painful. Most of my actions were influenced by making sure that nothing ever changed. Which of course set me up for disappointment, heartbreak and eventual anxiety.

Thankfully that too came to an end when I started on the path of self reflection and began to see the Circle of Life. Nature has its seasons. Everything changes; sky, landscape, temperature, lighting, wind. And with it, our psyche, chemistry, emotions, mood, energy level, and our desires. Each change of season has an affect on our body, mind and spirit. And this doesn't have to be a bad thing. If you can begin to connect with the power of each season and what gifts it brings to you, you can harness those gifts and use them to uplift, energize and harmonize your life! For example, instead of dreading winter and giving in to a sense of depression, embrace the winter as a time to hibernate for a few months and enjoy the opportunity for self-reflection, writing and creating a plan for the new year to come.

The Celtics embraced nature's changes in this way as they had a deep and intimate relationship with the land, trees, animals, sky, sun and moon. Each considered a living being and revered as such as was with all indigenous ancient peoples. We've lost touch with our relationship with nature, with the land, with animals. We've severed the connection with nature and have come to strip away, use up resources, become carefree to the suffering of animals in factory farming, and the list goes on. But all can be restored if we want it to. We are in control.

Perhaps when you think of what you have learned over the past 21 days of your cleanse you've started to feel a greater sense of connection again with your body, with food, with your breath, your feelings, and how you perceive life in general. Keep this up. And go deeper now. Your body, mind and spirit move with the influences of mother nature. It is the natural law. When we go against that nature law, chaos happens.

If you can commit to listening to the messages from nature, and how each season offers up a different intent, you can begin to move with the flow of the seasons and allow your body, mind and spirit to do the same. It will tell you what foods to eat that will be good for you, what kinds of exercise are good for which seasons, what needs to change in your lifestyle in order to feel more harmonious. The key word here is 'Harmony'.

What will it take to create more harmony in your life. Just look to Mother Nature. She whispers to us everyday. There is only one factor that wields the power to connect or disconnect and that is 'how we think'. If you look to continue to have harmony and good health in your life, stay focused on that alone. The signs will be all around you and your intuitive nature within will get stronger and stronger. And before you know it, you will be full engaged with the world around you and the changing seasons of the body, mind and soul. And that ultimately brings the one thing we are all in search of....Joy.

Blessings, Madeleine 

Fitness Day 19 ~ Core Strength


Today we will put together 2 core exercises to bring strength to your newly cleansed core! Powering the mid part of your body!
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Superman & Superwoman!!

Starting Position
Lie facedown on the floor, legs together and straight, arms straight and extended above your head. Keep your head/neck in a neutral position.

Action
Keeping limbs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form a gentle curve with your body. Hold for a slow 30 counts.

Special Instructions
Don't hold your breath! Try to keep breathing steady and even. Make it easier: Hold for fewer counts and don't raise legs/arms quite as high. Change it up: Lower to the ground to complete one rep and do a 2-3 sets.
This will strengthen your lower back muscles!









Lying Straight Leg Raises!



Starting Position
Lie on the floor/mat on your back. Keep lower back in contact with the floor, feet and legs straight and together. Place hands to sides or under lower back for support.



Action
Keeping legs straight and together, back flat, lift legs upward until they are straight above hips. Lower down to starting position slowly and with control (but do not allow feet to touch the ground between reps) to complete one rep. Begin with sets of 10 x 3



Special Instructions
Make sure back stays flat on floor and abs are tight (pull navel in towards spine).

This will strengthen your abs & hips!

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“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare,

it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”

Seneca

4/8/10

LIfe Coaching - Day 18 - Your Social Environment

Again, you have more of a clear head than you have had in a while! Not to mention, clear access to your heart and soul, where your real wisdom comes from.

What is working for you in the people you hang around, and what is not?

What do you want as part of your social environment moving forward?

More truth?
More good energy?
More people that can grow you in positive ways?
More fun? Adventure?
More love?

Set out for yourself, in detail, how you want your social environment to look moving forward in your life. It is your prerogative and your responsibility.

Happy Cleansing...

Fitness Day 18 - Power Walk!

How are you all feeling?
Stronger?
Leaner?
Lighter?

More in Love with your life?

Have you created fitness plans to help you continue on this wonderful path of healthy living?


Using a combination of the fitness posts you can beging to develop a personal program that will keep you in connection with all you have learned here during the 21 Day Cleanse.

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Today's fitness tip is one that I am certain most of you already do - each and every day!



WALK!!

Did you know that a 30 minute daily practice of power walking can:


Help you live longer
Help you lose weight and keep it off
Help you reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke
It boosts your brain power
Improves your mood and relieves stress


Now - let's get walking!!!!

How do you develop a sustainable walking practice?

-set realistic time goals at the beginning
- make a walking schedule
- chart your progress
- keep it interesting


Think of your walk in three parts. Walk slowly for 5 minutes. Increase your speed for the next 5 minutes. Finally, to cool down, walk slowly again for 5 minutes.
Try to walk at least three times per week. Add 2 to 3 minutes per week to the fast walk. If you walk less than three times per week, increase the fast walk more slowly.
To avoid stiff or sore muscles or joints, start gradually. Over several weeks, begin walking faster, going further, and walking for longer periods of time.
The more you walk, the better you will feel. You also use more calories.

Walking right is very important.
Walk with your chin up and your shoulders held slightly back.
Walk so that the heel of your foot touches the ground first. Roll your weight forward.
Walk with your toes pointed forward.
Swing your arms as you walk.

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4/7/10

"Mindful" Eating

Day 17- Cleanse
We are nearing the end of our cleanse, so I would like to insure you have the tools to continue on a lifelong journey to staying healthy
Most of the time, when we’re craving cookies, we’re really hungry for love, sex, friendship, peace, a sense of purpose and meaning. And when you’re gripped by that kind of hunger, all the tips and tricks in the world won’t save you.
Instead of focusing on the food, Try tuning in to address the emotions that make you stray.
Here’s how to start:
1. Feel your hunger. After a lifetime of denying our hunger, it’s hard to tell when we really need food. But we’re all born with the capability to eat when were hungry and stop when we’re full. As children, we eat in response to our bodies’ hunger signals. As adults, we eat in response to the clock, the latest magazine article, or our uncomfortable feelings.
Get back in touch with your body’s signals by carrying a small notepad and charting your hunger before you eat, rating it on a scale of 1 (starving) to 10 (uncomfortably full). If you do this day after day, feeling your body’s cues will soon come naturally. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you start eating in response to your body—a rumbling in your belly, a slight lessening in your ability to concentrate—instead of your thoughts or emotions.
2. Stop counting. That means calories, fat, carbs, grams, portions—whatever number you use that keeps you out of your body and in your head. When you count, measure, weigh or calculate your food, you’re eating according to your intellect rather than your body’s cues. For a life-long food counter, the prospect of free-for-all noshing can be scary. Start small: eat one meal a day without counting anything. After several days, eat two meals without counting. Continue at your own pace until you’ve stopped counting your food—and start eating in response to your body, not the numbers in your head.
3. Examine your cravings. When you’re feeling the urge to eat, what are you really hungry for? If you’re craving chips, does your jaw want to chew and crunch, to relieve stress and tension? Does the noise the chips make drown out the racket in your head? When you’re aching for ice cream, maybe the soft, creamy texture makes you feel nurtured, or fills up some empty spaces. Once you have a better idea of what you’re really craving, you’re better equipped to make a conscious choice. Maybe you massage your jaw, minimize sources of stress, visit a friend who makes you feel nurtured. Or maybe you have a scoop of ice cream—but you do it as a conscious decision.
4. Practice mindful eating. There you are, in front of the fridge at 9 p.m., noshing on leftover Chinese right out of the container, with no recollection of how you got there. It’s called “eating amnesia,” where the unconscious, hand-to-mouth action of feeding yourself becomes so automatic that, before you know it, you’ve wolfed down a whole box of cookies. Become fully aware of the act of eating. Always put your food—including snacks–on a plate. Then sit down at the table, remove distractions like television, and observe your plate. Notice the colors, textures, shapes and smell for 30 seconds to a full minute before you take the first bite. As you eat, notice the chewing action of your jaw, the taste of the food, how it feels moving down your throat and into your stomach. It’s such a pleasant practice, it will soon become second nature.
5. Be in your body. Many of us walk around all day in a state of half-awareness, not really present in the room, on the earth, in our bodies. And when we’re not in our bodies, we can’t tell if we’re hungry or when we’re full. How often are you aware of your body? Tune in right now, as you read this, and check in, starting your toes and moving up through your body. Pause at your stomach, and notice how it feels. Is it empty, or satisfied? Does it feel rigid and tense? Numb or dull? Or is it soft and relaxed? Once you become intimate of your stomach’s sensations, you can begin to identify true hunger.
6. Pause. When you experience a craving for food, just stop and observe it. Don’t try to make it go away, but don’t indulge it. Sit with the discomfort of the craving. It may become intensely distressing, even painful; that’s okay. Stay with it, and notice what comes up. You’ll often find a vast ocean of emotions like fear, anxiety, even grief, under the craving for food. It’s a powerful exercise—but quite illuminating, and sometimes life-changing.
7. Be happy now. Maybe you’ve been postponing your happiness until you lose ten pounds, give up sugar or eat more greens. But the happier you are now, the more likely you’ll be to stick to your eating goals. The “do-have-be” mindset tells us that success breeds joy when, in fact, it may be the other way around. Once you’re able to accept yourself exactly as you are, you’re more likely to achieve your dietary goals, and less likely to eat from stress, depression or anxiety. And anyway, there’s no point in postponing joy. Be happy now; the rest will come.

Life Coaching - Day 17 - Your Home

It was so enlightening, the other day, to hear from Feng Shui Expert Katherine Russ, wasn't it? I'm sure it got you thinking about what parts of your home have good energy and reflect your soul, and which parts surely do not.

What areas of your home need change? How do you want to do that?
What colours do you want more of in your home? What types of art?
How can you bring the four elements into your home?
How do you want to handle paperwork in your home?
How is the energy flow in your home?

Take a walk around your home from your new, fresh, cleansed, clear self. You'll know what sits right with you and what doesn't. You'll know what you want to do to support your soul.

Your home is just another extension of you, and the manifestation of your home will be a direct reflection of your other manifestations. This is your chance to heal yourself on the inside and the outside at once!

Happy cleansing!

Fitness Day 17! ~ Let's pump it up!!!

Skipping!!

Are you ready to move your newly cleansed and healthy body? It is time to rev up your life, and pump your heart to increased health and vitality!
First you must invest in yourself - a good quality rope should cost you around $20, or borrow from your child, a friend or neighbour!

Seek, find and make friends with your new skipping rope!







Skipping is an excellent cardiovascular exercise which is far less hard on the muscles and bones than jogging. From an energy standpoint, jumping rope at about 130 revolutions per minute is similar to running at 6 miles per hour or cycling 12 miles per hour. Just 10 minutes of rope skipping is equivalent to a one-mile run!

A great benefit of a skipping rope workout is that it helps you improve your overall bodily coordination, forcing you to keep regular speed and proper form. It is also a great way to lose fat, as it encourages almost all of the muscles in your body to work out! Yeah!
Start your workout by skipping 2 minutes a day, for 5 days, then add on 1 minute each day for an additional 5 days - bringing you up to a daily 7 minute workout. Once this time frame is comfortable, add on 2 minutes each day, going up to a daily maximum of 15 minutes!
WOW! Imagine how incredible you will feel!
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"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall"

Confucius

4/6/10

Tips on making affordable healthy eating, on a daily basis!

Day 16 Cleanse
Congratulations my fellow cleansers! we have made it to the 3rd week of our cleanse.
We’ve cleared out the toxins, had time for reflection, and now we will learn of ways to rebuild and continue on the path of health and wellness, long after the cleanse is over.
Tips on affordable healthy eating and preparing ahead:
1. Double or triple your normal recipes and freeze the leftovers. You’ll dramatically cut down the cost of buying prepared and packaged foods. And, you’ll eat healthier when you’re tired or in a pinch for time.
2. Use seasonal fruits and vegetables as much as possible. When food is in season it is cheaper. Plus, you’ll be doing your part for the environment by eating more locally grown food.
3. Watch for sales. Plan your meals around some of the cheaper sale items you find.
4. Add more beans to your diet. Beans are not only the “magical fruit” they can work magic on your budget since they are super nutritious and cheap. Dried beans can be cooked effortlessly overnight in a slow cooker. Place 1 cup dried beans and 6 cups water in a slow cooker before going to bed and cook on low overnight. Drain and rinse in the morning and they are ready for use in your soup, stew, chili, salad, or other recipes.
5. Eat more vegetarian meals. Meat tends to be more expensive (not to mention takes a higher toll on the environment and your body).
6. Shop at your local farmers markets instead of grocery stores as much as possible. Most farmers’ market food doesn’t have the built-in costs of lengthy transportation, distributors, warehousing, and other costs. Plus, the food is fresher and frequently more nutritious, and eating locally is better for the environment.
7. Buy seasonal produce in bulk and freeze it. From berries to sliced peaches, to chopped green and red peppers, many fruits and vegetables can be frozen.
8. Hit the bulk bins at your local health food or grocery store. Here’s where you’ll find the lower cost whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, and flour. They’re usually substantially cheaper than their packaged counterparts. And, less packaging is good for your wallet and the planet.
9. Shop the perimeter of your grocery store. You’ll find the fresh, healthier options there. The center aisles are primarily reserved for the packaged, convenience foods that tend to cost more and be full of dangerous additives, trans fats, and sugar.

10. Make your own snacks. Prepared snack foods are not only full of junk ingredients that you should avoid, they tend to be expensive. Make a batch of cookies, muffins, granola bars, with wholesome natural ingredients.
11. Plan ahead. A few minutes of planning the meals you’ll make and your grocery list can save you plenty of cash on impulse purchases you’ll be less likely to make.

Fitness Day 16 ~ Gaining Strength

Downward Dog!

Go down on all fours, on your Yoga mat. Place your hands a little in of your shoulders and your knees right below your hips. Spread out your palms; your index fingers should be slightly turned out or parallel to each other. Now, turn your toes under.
With an exhalation, raise your knees up from your mat. Initially, you may keep them slightly bent, your heels raised up from the floor. Press your tailbone slightly toward your pubis and stretched away from your pelvis. Now, shove your sit bones up towards the ceiling, and then draw your inner legs up into your groins, from your inner ankles.
Exhale and push back the top of your thighs, then push your heels down into your mat. Without locking your knees, straighten them out, firm your outer thighs and roll your upper thighs slightly inward. Contract the front of your pelvis.
Squeeze your outer arms and press the bases of your palms firmly into the floor. Next, raise your inner arms from your wrists to the apex of your shoulders. Widen your shoulder blades and then draw them up toward your tailbone.


At all times, your head should be between your upper arms without hanging.
Hold the pose for anywhere between 1 – 3 minutes.
To exit the pose, with an exhalation, bend your knees and, gently, drop them to the mat, and rest in (Balasana) Child’s Pose for a while.



Benefits
It elongates and release tension from your spine
Stretches the calves, hands, arches and hamstrings
Strengthens your shoulders, arms and back
Improves mobility of the digestive system
A mild inversion can calm your nervous system and helps in relieving stress
Relieves headaches, fatigue, back pain and certain level of insomnia
It also helps in relieving the symptoms for menopause


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"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."

A. Lorde

Life Coaching - Day 16 - Your Body

We are recreating our world from the inside out! We started with our internal environment, now let's shift our focus, only slightly, to our bodies.

You're having an incredible experience that is giving you a chance to learn what you do, and do not want in your body. You are learning how your body can feel. You are learning how well you can operate when you are at your physical best.

How much of this cleanse do you want to continue? As you focus on your health, are there parts of your physical system you could be supporting better? How do you want your body to feel? How do you want to be moving and using your body? How can your body better support you?

Your cells are alive, they are listening, and will respond to your mental images about your body. What images do you plan to give?

Happy cleansing...

4/5/10

Create Your Own Cleansing Kit for Your Home

This is an ancient ritual that is to this day taught, practiced and passed on by almost every indigenous people from around the world. It's called 'smudging'. It it revered as a powerful cleansing ceremony 'to clear out' old energy patterns and to let in the new. Thoughts are things. And just as old photographs hold many memories and feeling for us, so does a place or a space hold thoughts, memories and feelings. Smudging is a way of clearing the energy patterns that are trapped within the space, hindering the allowance of the new to come in.

What you'll need:
  • a sage stick - easily found at health food stores, new age book stores
  • an old plate or cup. A shell is used in traditional ceremony.
Quite simply ~ you set your intention, light the end of the sage stick, blow out the flame and allow the sage to smoke. To keep the smoke active, wave your hand over the end occasionally. Slowly start to walk around the room you are wishing to clear; a bedroom, your office, a kitchen, or do your entire house. You particularly want to get into the corners, raising the stick up and down where two walls meet. Keep the plate or shell under the tip of the stick as the ashes will drop. Stroll through the entire space until you feel complete. Give thanks and express your openness to allowing something new to come into your life.

Life Coaching - Day 15 - Rebuilding from the Inside Out

Congratulations, cleansers. You've made it to week 3, and it is time to rebuild. We've cleansed a lot of what we don't want out of our lives, we've got deep to reflect and understand more about ourselves and what we want. Now it is time to start creating our future.

We are going to rebuild from the inside out, so let's start with the most intimate part of your life. Your internal life of mind, heart and soul connection.

What do you want your internal environment to be like? Do you want it to be quiet, peaceful, energized, soulful, directed? Do you want to feel love, peace, joy, happiness, balance? Do you want your mind to be focused, creative, relaxed?

Write in your journal, your specific vision for exactly how you want your internal environment to be...

Fitness Day 15 ~ Stand Strong in Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose


As we move into our phase of rebuild & strength we can begin by standing strong and bring energy to our root chakra - that which brings us stability.




How to do this pose.
1. Stand tall with you feet hip width apart.
2. Inhale as you lift and spread your toes and the place them back on the ground (imagine your toes are like fingrs reaching up then gripping the ground.
3. Balance your weight evenly between the soles of your feet, and alow your toes to relax
4. Your lower body should now feel grounded and stable
5. Tuck you tailbone under to lengthen the spine
6. Relax your shoulders down and alow your arms to hand loose by your sides.
7. Point the crown of your head to the ceiling and softly gaze at a fixed point in front of you
8. Relax your face, eyes, jaw and throat.
9. Hold this pose for 1-2 minutes and really be aware of your body and balance.
Benefits
Improves posture
Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
Firms abdomen and buttocks
Relieves sciatica
Reduces flat feet
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“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”

4/4/10

Feng Shui Your Life with Katherine Loader

Feng Shui, considered by the Chinese as an exact science, is the ancient art of special design and object placement that first balances and then enhances the positive energy of a living or working space in order to help you move forward in life, to help support and achieve your goals, including fitness, better eating habits, and your general overall health and wellbeing.

If you would like to know more from Grail Springs's Feng Shui experts Katherine and Russ Loader, you can email them at info@powerofplace.com!

Fitness Day 14 ~ Happy Baby!

Be a Happy Baby!! Ananda Balasana



Lie on your back. With an exhale, bend your knees into your belly.
Inhale, grip the outsides of your feet with your hands (if you have difficulty holding the feet directly with your hands, hold onto a belt looped over each sole.) Open your knees slightly wider than your torso, then bring them up toward your armpits.
Position each ankle directly over the knee, so your shins are perpendicular to the floor. Flex through the heels. Gently push your feet up into your hands (or the belts) as you pull your hands down to create a resistance.
Coax the thighs in toward your torso and down toward the floor as you lengthen the spine—release your tail bone toward the floor and lengthen the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
Hold the pose steadily for 30 seconds to one minute. Then release the feet back to the floor with an exhale and rest for a few breaths.

Benefits:
Gently stretches the inner groins and the back spine Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue


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"Every now and then, when the world sits just right,

a gentle breath of heaven fills my soul with delight..."

Hazelmarie ‘Mattie’ Elliott, A Breath of Heaven

Life Coaching - Day 14 - Reflect on Your Life

You've been doing a lot of inner and outer work. Your vision is continuously becoming clearer.

It's time to take another look, with cleansed eyes...

Ask yourself these questions in your journal...

What aspects of my life are working for me, and which are not?
When do I feel most comfortable in my life? The least?
What goal did I used to tell myself I couldn't do, or wasn't good enough for?
What strengths have I discovered that I didn't know I had?
What is most important for me to live a life of balance and health?

These questions will open up even more areas of reflection, so don't be shy, let your wisdom come through.

Happy Cleansing...

4/3/10

Boost your health through nature

Day 13-cleanse

Good morning happy cleansers!
We made it through the juicing phase!! yah I would love to here about your experience with the juice fast. How are you feeling?
Spring is here...new growth..rejuvination..Lets see what nature can do for us.
Nature can actually make you healthier with fewer doctor’s visits. Human nature is enmeshed with nature. Learn to get along with nature’s rhythms to reset your own biorhythms from technology overload — focus on the benefits.
Here are some ways nature can boost your health:
* Silent communication. Overscheduled and endless demands, you need to detoxify your senses with solitude, setting aside quiet time to reflect. You can hear a bird, smell a flower and feel the wind on your skin. Learn to pay attention to feel alive and alert —
* Slow you down. Being crazy busy sets you up for chronic stress. Nature reduces the inflammatory response of stress which is damaging to all your bodily processes and sets you up for unhappiness.
* The sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D as transmitted by sunlight to your skin and helps to release serotonin to improve your mood. Exposure to sunlight stimulates the pineal gland to produce melatonin which plays a role in quality sleep, so that you wake up refreshed to start your day — without irritability. Vitamin D boosts the immune system and helps prevent certain cancers like breast and colon.
* Nutrients. Eating local, organically grown pesticide-free fruits and vegetables provides superior nutrition because they go directly from harvest to table. Better yet grow fruits, herbs and vegetables in your own garden or a community garden. Did you know that gardeners don’t tend to get osteoporosis and get a great workout that many gym members envy?
* Natural self-expression. Nature reminds you to be your authentic self — embrace your body and run with wolves — metaphorically speaking. Silence, suppression, pretense — take their toll on your mood and cardiovascular system.
* Movement outdoors. Take your workout outdoors because we were designed to walk and run outside. Look for opportunities to move all day instead of sitting in front of the TV or a computer.
* The power of green. The fewer chemicals the better, as everyone has a tipping point for illness. Chemicals stress the body. Also, the color green helps to promote healing. Nature has many shades of green.

" Peace be with you "

Fitness Day 13 ~ Rest and calm in Child's Pose

Childs Pose - Balasana - The Prayer Stretch
This pose stretches the knees and the lower back. It is a very good pose to do to get blood to the brain and is recommended if you have dizziness or extreme fatigue. You may want to open the knees a little more if you suffer from over acidity. This will create more room around the belly. It also allows deeper breathing.
Finding deep breath in this pose will massage your organs, aiding in the release of toxins.

While you are at rest in Balasana clear your mind of mundane thoughts, and connect to the Divine - say a prayer from your heart as you heal and renew.



Sit on your knees with your feet together and buttocks resting on your heels. Separate your knees about the width of your hips. Place your hands on your thighs, palms down.
Inhale deeply, then exhale as you bring your chest between your knees while swinging your arms forward.

Rest your forehead on the floor, if possible, and then bring your arms around to your sides until the hands on resting on either side of your feet, palms up.

Breath gently through your nostrils as you hold the posture. Hold for about one to two minutes. Then return to an upright kneeling position with your back straight and your hands on your thighs.

Repeat the posture at least one more time.

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When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing - nothing.


~Saint Francis of Assisi




Life Coaching - Day 13 - Your Ideal Day

You've cleared a lot of things away, and you've examined yourself, what matters to you, and your life.

Now that you are so deeply connected to yourself, it's a great time to develop (some would say discover) your vision.

Let's start with an exercise that is meant to help you tap into your imagination and your most important values. This is a no limits exercise...Forget about limitations, barriers and fears.

Describe your ideal day! What would be the perfect day for you and your family?

These questions may help to get you thinking:

- What time would you get up?
- What would you feel like in the morning? What would you be excited about?
- What kind of house are you in?
- What do you do in the morning? What kind of family interactions do you have?
- Will you be working or doing some other sort of activity? What and where?
- How does what you do fulfill you? Why do you love it? What kinds of people do you work with?
- How does your work make a difference?
- What would you do in your spare time?
- What would your family relationships be like?
- What would your physical self be like?
- Where in the world would you be living?
- What else would you love?

Remember, describe your ideal day as if anything is possible for you...Because it is! :)

Happy Cleansing...

4/2/10

Fitness Day 12 ~ Balance and connection


Tree Pose - Vrksasana



"Standing straight on the left leg, bend the right leg and place the right foot on the root of the left thigh. Stand thus like a tree on the ground. This is called vriksha-asana."
Gheranda-samhita II.36


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Within the balance of Tree Pose, we can begin to regain balance within ourselves. Stand, connect and allow for your inner being to grow tall and strong, just as the mighty trees upon our Gaia Mother Earth stand, filled with love for us all.

The challenge of the vriksha-asana is maintaining balance on one leg. Poor balance is often the result of a restless mind or distracted attention. Regular practice of this posture will help focus the mind and cultivate concentration.
I invite you to take this pose to many places over the next few days; outside, grocery store, line at the movies! Sharing with us where you found your balance and how you have begun to clam and clear your mind, illuminating your soul.
Namaste ~ Amanda





1. Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides.

2. Bend the right leg at the knee, raise the right thigh and bring the sole of the right foot as high up the inside of the left thigh as possible.

3. Balancing on the left foot, raise both arms over the head keeping the elbows unbent and joining the palms together. Hold the posture while breathing gently through the nostrils for about 10 complete breaths.

4. Lower the arms and right leg and return to standing position with feet together and arms at the sides. Pause for a few moments and repeat on the opposite leg.



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“ Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony"
T. Merton

Life Coaching - Day 12 - Forgiveness

Hmm...There is one thing that can take this cleanse even deeper, and remove some toxins we keep very close to the heart.

It's the past injuries, the slights, the times we got hurt when someone around us, or we, were scared.

When we hold onto this pain, it gets in the way for us. The truth is we've all been hurt, and we've all hurt others. We all deserve forgiveness, or we don't. That simple choice can make a world of difference in your life.

Are you ready to let go and forgive? Others, and yourself?

It's easy. You feel love, compassion and forgiveness, as you say...

It's OK. I forgive you. I love you. Thank-you.

You can visualize giving the person a bouquet of flowers, or sending light from your heart to theirs. Do what feels natural to you.

When you forgive, you give a gift to yourself, to the "other" person, and to the Universe.

4/1/10

Life Coaching - Day 11 - One Question

Cleanser, you have given yourself a special gift...A gift of clarity. When toxins are cleared we enjoy a strong connection to our higher selves, our truth, to Spirit.

A special opportunity exists for you at this moment. It is an opportunity to ask ANY question you would like an answer to.

Decide on a question that ignites powerful feelings of desire to know the answer, desire based on higher reasons, such as the highest good for all.

Get quiet and centered, then clearly ask your question, mentally or aloud. Feel your sincere desire to know the answer. Be sure to record your question in your journal.

Pay close attention in the next 24-72 hours for your answer(s).

Happy cleansing!

maintaining our "human engines"

Day 11- Cleanse
Day 3 Juicing….Yay, we made it to day 3….kudos my fellow cleansers!
I’ve often wondered why we seem to care more about the quality of the fuel we use to get the best performance from our cars, and less about the quality of nutritional “fuel” we eat to get the best performance from our bodies, our “human engine”.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a human handbook that came with all the specific general maintenance tasks we need to do to ensure our own “engines” are in good running order and free from malfunctions? Plus tips on how we can achieve even better than expected performance results!
It’s too bad we don’t receive a friendly reminder, customer service letter from our healthcare provider. letting us know we are due for a “service check” and to make sure we are being “well maintained.” After all, the penalties for ignoring our own health are a lot more significant than just financial. We only have to tune in to the latest debate on health care reform to understand the larger problems, but closer to home…it’s our life and we want to live it “penalty-free” for as long as possible.
My friendly cleansers, you have taken this step on your own, to clean out your engines. It is solely up to us as individual owners to maintain our “human engines” from here on in.
Here are a few tips to reflect on for future maintenance
1) Recognize the healthy value of natural/organic food: eat food you recognize (not processed, convenience, packaged food) carry around healthy snacks just in case good food isn’t available.
2) Appreciate the power of your immune system: support your immune system everyday with Vitamin supplements and antioxidants
3) With each piece of food you enter into your mouth, ask yourself “Is this going to give me good energy and vitality, or is this piece of food going to leave me feeling lethargically yucky?”

Fitness Day 11 ~ Sit in easy pose outside!

The Easy Pose or Sukhasana is a relaxation pose intended for Meditation. It promotes inner calm and straightens the spine, opens the hips, and relieves tiredness.
As the name suggests, this pose is very easy to do.
Take this pose outside today - seek out a serene space where you can settle comfortably into your body, practice your deep breathing and tune into the sounds of nature.
  1. Sit down on the floor, grass or a Yoga Mat.
  2. Cross your legs, placing your feet below your knees.
  3. Clasp your hands around your knees.
  4. Keep your body straight.
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I would love to hear from you - please comment and share with us how you have begun to connect with your physical self as you cleanse out the toxins, creating space for healing.

How do you like the legs up the wall pose?
Are you enjoying this wonderful pose each night before bed?
How often are you connecting to your ever expanding breath?
Do you feel lighter and more limber?

Namaste ~ I bow to the Divine in you
Amanda