Thank you, Pam Grout…

Reading Pam Grout’s Thank & Grow Rich while eating my breakfast smoothie bowl.  I’ve been reading it for the past week, or so.  On and off.  Reading.  Taking it in.  Pausing to reflect.  Picking it up, going back a chapter, or two, and re-reading.

As the title implies, the focus of the book is to be grateful to increase your own ‘capital’.  Grout has a very different portfolio that she suggests we review, and hopefully adopt, as our own.  What sort of capital could she be referring to — a self-help guru?!!?@**?!

Glad you asked.

Pam has 5 different types of capital for us to consider.  I’ve taken a stab at summarizing my understanding of each one.  They are:

  1. Alchemic Capital – the capital of change; of evolution.  We should be in a different place in our lives/in our thinking/in our behaviors than we were 10 years ago.
  2. Spiritual Capital – the capital that creates beautiful art, that has inspiring conversations; that contemplates meaning; that strives to be in service to other people.  Most important, follow your joy/bliss to connect with this part of ourselves.
  3. Creative Capital – to bring new things to light in the Universe.  To birth new ideas/movies/plays/inventions.  It’s the thing you’d want to do if you never heard of the word money.  Follow your (internal) beeps; the ‘Divine Buzz’ (your internal GPS) and feel the chills and excitement.  That’s how you access and know it’s your creative capital.
  4. Social Capital – Friends.  People to have beautiful food with; to have meaningful conversations with; to have fun with.  If we’re not having fun, what’s the point??
  5. Adventure Capital – Step into an unfamiliar place; shake things up.  Try a new dish.  Say ‘yes’ to something you normally say ‘No’ to.  (And, maybe say NO to something you normally say YES to.)

Pam wants us to assess where we are in each of the above areas because a full life has all of the 5 types of capital working well and vigorously in a person’s life.  She suggests we take an initial personal earnings report and using a scale from 1 (poor) to 10 (awesome), note how we’re doing with each type of capital.

Then, after 30 days (and following her simple AA 2.0 system), take another assessment of our personal earnings report.

The AA 2.0 system?  Okay, it’s 2 steps, and 2 steps only.

A. Before getting out of bed each and every morning say, “Something amazingly awesome is going to happen” to you today.  Or, change it up and say something magical will happen.

B. Become an investigator on the lookout for ‘all the beauty and largesse in the world’.  In essence, instead of figuring out what could go wrong — do the opposite.  Observe and take note of what’s going right.

Simple.  Easy.  Almost ridiculous.  However, the shift in perception and viewpoint is wonderful.

I’m still reading.  Still reflecting but I like what I’ve reading.  A lot.

Thank and Grow Rich_Grout_cvr


Do We Need to Care About BPA?

In a word…Yep.

BPA (bisphenol-A) is a chemical used in plastic production that mimics estrogen.  It is most dangerous for children which is why it is banned in Europe, Canada, and China.  However, it is widely used in the USA.

Where can BPA be found?  Everywhere there’s plastic and canned food.  So, it is in canned coconut milk, canned fruit, canned meats, canned juices, yeah — pretty much everything in a can.

For those who say that you don’t buy canned products, no problem.  It’s in the plastic containers that your water is shipped and stored in leaching into the “clean” mineral, and spring waters we drink so religiously.  Therefore, we are imbibing this toxic chemical each and every time we drink that life-sustaining beverage.  A better alternative?  Drink filtered water and store it in a BPA-free water bottles such as Contigo, or a stainless steel water bottle, such as The Flow bottle.

Also, don’t put your plastic containers in the microwave as the microwaves will break down the plastic and allow BPA to leach into your food.  Fun, right?

However, this is what we are supposed to do.  Check our environment, and our daily actions, to ensure that we are living in harmony (as much as is possible in today’s world) with the earth and our bodies.

You can read more about BPA and what can happen to our bodies if we ingest too much of it here.  As noted earlier, babies and children are the most susceptible to BPA ingestion.

Ta-ta for now,



Weekend Inspiration: Intentions & Sisterhood

It has taken a full week for me to truly process and be able to speak about my participation in Start Within, Finish Strong!, a sisterhood New Moon event hosted by Coach Colette Ellis.  I am very glad I went as I had an uplifting inspiring afternoon filled with new thoughts, reminders of practices I used to do in my early 20’s, and nudges to release old behavior patterns that lived and breathed in my psyche’s blind spot.

Due to the busy morning I had last Saturday, 6/24, I arrived at the event 30 mins late.  I was bummed…until I walked into the heart meditation.

coach colette ellis

Coach Colette asked us to visualize the sister to our right and imagine her heart full of all of the love she has and how it fills her, and how that love can heal that woman, and all of the women in the room.  Then we were directed to imagine the woman on the left and visualize the same.  After that, we were to visualize the world, however that appears in our mind’s eye, and all of the sisterhood groups in the world doing the same new moon gathering.  To see and know that we are connected to these other groups and we are sharing our energies with them, and they with us.  To see our combined global energies healing the world.  It was a beautiful meditation!!

There was sharing afterwards about how we each felt and what we experienced during the meditation.  It was lovely to see how each woman had a different perspective and a different meditative experience!

Then we went into breathing with Amy Jindra of Choose Love.  Amy showed us four breathing techniques to help us energize and clear our chakras of stagnant energy.  These were powerful experiences that raised my inner fire and my body temperature!  These breathing techniques also flooded me with endorphins in a natural uplifting way.

amy jindra_choose love

Something key that Amy said during the sharing after the breathing exercises was this (my paraphrasing):

Find out where the fear lives in [your] body, recognize the fear feeling and sensations and do whatever is opposite of the emotions.  OR, step back, review the intuitive information, and then respond to the situation (never react).

This is very compelling yet difficult to do when in a moment that is full of emotion.  Yet, this is precisely what we should do; this is also a form of mindfulness.

Did I mention the pasta salad that Chef Allie Pisano prepared?  She kept people with food allergies/sensitivities in mind when she made a pasta salad made from Banza pasta (made from chickpea flour!) with walnuts and veggies.  [Did I mention she’s available to cook for your next event?  Or, just for you?]

Start Within_Pasta_6 24 2017

And the delicious healthy snacks were to die for!  Especially the Divine Chocolates!  I loved the Kale Chips covered in yummy goodness.

Start Within_Snack Table_6 24_17

Lauren Servin of DiLoren Acacia Silk was on hand providing facials to all participants using her company’s product Acacia Silk in which the main ingredient is desert date oil, aka dattier du desert oil.  This oil is rich and moisturizing without being heavy so it will not clog your pores, or leave you feeling oily.  This oil was found in the tombs of  the Ancient Egyptians.  They used it as a part of their beauty regimen.

start within_facial closeup_6 24 2017

The most gratifying portion of this half-day event was the section where we discussed our intentions for the upcoming month.  After a discussion about the New Moon in Cancer and what it could mean for each of us in our personal lives, we were asked to digest the information and create intentions for what we want to accomplish for this next month to continue our plans for the year.  This event is the half-way mark of the year and is meant to invigorate us and help propel us towards our annual goal(s).

There was also a crafting/vision board table for us to use while we set our intentions as well as a deck of Angel Dream cards to help pull down inspiration.  There was great conversation and networking  among the women as well as quiet reflection time, if you so chose.

start within_angel dream cards_6 24 2017

We closed with another breathing exercise from Amy; a Yes! breath that filled us with joy and a feeling of powerfulness.  I’m going  to leave you with my first impressions of this event…

  • Powerful
  • Energetic
  • Uplifting
  • Spiritual (in a non-religious way)
  • Creative
  • Nurturing
  • Helpful

I will definitely be at the next event which will be held on Thursday, July 27th, 2017. Will you be there?

My Thoughts 2 Weeks in on Green Cleaning Products

For two weeks and three days, I have been testing out some green household cleaning products by City Maid Green.  Their tagline is: Powered by plants.  Cute, catchy, environmentally alluring.

City Maid Green products_6 28 2017

Or, is it a bunch of fluff to capture the awareness of a particular demographic?  When you’ve only used Comet, bleach, Lysol, Windex, Fantastic, Mr. Clean, etc., this is actually a real concern.  You know, like I have.

For the first three days after I purchased City Maid Green’s Eucalyptus Mint Multi-Purpose Cleaner and their Lavender Multi-Purpose Cleaner, I left both untouched and unused.  I was absolutely petrified that these ‘plants’ would not remove germs and leave my house in a less than ideal condition.  I mean, come on!  All that’s in these cleaners are:

  • Water
  • Saponified Olive and Coconut Oil
  • Borax
  • Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Essential Oils

Okay.  But, what the heck is saponification anyway?  Merriam-Webster’s dictionary states that to saponify means, “to convert (something, such as fat) into soap; specifically to hydrolyze (a fat) with alkali to form a soap or glycerol.”  Okay, good.  Next question, what is the compound used to start the saponification process?  In bar soaps, NaOH, or lye.  In liquid soaps/cleaners, it is potassium hydroxide (KOH).  What?!  This sounds un-natural to use lye, or potassium hydroxide in a natural product.  However, what my brain did not initially compute is that this is a chemical reactionThere is but so much that can be done to avoid getting to certain compounds, such as soap and cleaners, without using actual science.  I checked around to see what else can be used and I kept seeing KOH and NaOH no matter where I looked even on the From Nature With Love website.  FNWL (a wholesale brand) offers a full range of organic, natural and essential personal care items.  FNWL also prides itself on its green initiatives including “harnessing 100% clean energy to power its 30,000 square foot corporate headquarters.”

Alright.  KOH won’t kill me! 🙂 [And, when we use bar soap, in the saponification process it is calculated to burn off the lye so it will not end up in the final product — the bar of soap you use on your skin.  That’s a relief! (If you click the NaOH link above, you can read up on the actual process by reading the saponification lab experiment.)]

Now, back to City Maid Green.  Once my mind was at ease that I wouldn’t kill myself, or my family, via this previously un-heard of saponification process, I tried it out in the bathroom face basin.

It smelled clean, fresh and did a pretty darn good job of cleaning the soap scum off.  In fact, the sheeting action we all know all love to let us know surfaces are clean.  Here is the best explanation I found to describe why we love “sheeting action” taken from Chemical & Engineering News (Dec 3, 2001, Vol 79, Number 49)

The surfactant breaks the surface tension of water droplets, flattening them and allowing the water to run down in the form of a sheet. The phenomenon is called sheeting action. Those droplets contain soap scum; oils and debris from the body; and salts of calcium, magnesium, or iron. If allowed to dry on their own, the droplets will leave residues that would build up over time. The chelating agent sequesters the ions of these salts, rendering them soluble. The alcohol helps to dissolve all the ingredients in water and to remove oily human debris.

While we are not discussing shower cleaning products (read: traditional chemical cleaning products), the sheeting action description remains the same and  is what we, as consumers and home cleaners, still want to see to know that our surfaces are clean!

I can tell you that City Maid Green’s 2 products that I used do work and provide sheeting action in the face basin and in the bathtub (yes, the one that gets the biggest ring!).  Sure, you do have to put in a bit of extra elbow grease but for a home that is clean, that does not have chemical (read: noxious) fumes emanating from the place cleaned for several hours after use — it’s worth it!

Before, when I used traditional cleaners, my children could smell that I was cleaning before they opened the front door; they could smell the bleach from outside our home.

Now, they smell eucalyptus, mint, lavender and tea tree oil!  Much nicer, and much easier on the lungs and body.  (You can see we love it because both bottles are almost finished!)

Two weeks later, I am comfortable enough to try other green products such as Mrs. Meyers, or J.R. Watkins Aloe and Green Tea Window Cleaner.  Real Simple
magazine has a great piece about 8 green cleaning products that I am planning on taking a look at very soon.  Here’s  the link:

Living Your Dream

I have been neck-deep in trying to understand how wellness and I can co-exist.  However, it seems my thinking was erroneous.  It’s not that I did not invite wellness into my life, it’s more I thought that stepping away from solid wellness practices every day was okay.  Semantics you say?  Maybe.  But, it was my logic.

It’s okay to have a Greek yogurt for breakfast but then have a hamburger with all the fixings (sans the bread; no gluten, please!) for lunch.  Then, jump to having a big kale salad for dinner with cranberries and walnuts.  I thought this was just fine.  And for many people, it IS fine.  My body doesn’t think so.  My body wants something a bit more consistent.  Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune blistering disease that left my body covered in skin eruptions and blisters.  While the medication has taken care of the blisters, I am left with the marks from all of the skin activity.  So, I now have a constant reminder that my body requires something more from me in terms of health and nutrition.  I now eat smoothie bowls for breakfast and am investigating buddha bowls for lunch and dinner.  I am working towards clean eating much more on the paleo side of no packaged foods.

However, my self examination did not stop there, I continued to look at other areas of my life that may be out of sync with reality.  My career and my day job immediately came into focus.  I needed balance in this key area of my life where I spend 55 hours a week (we only have 168 hours each and every week!).  That’s a huge chunk of my time — 32.7% of my week is spent at work, or traveling to/from work.

My brain began thinking about living a life where everything comes up roses (I know, so cliche, right? But, I love roses!).  And I began to research more about living one’s dream and how to go about doing it.  I even created a life binder with a plan to help me follow my dream and, more importantly, remember my dream!  Because in the busy-ness of life, we can forget that we planned out to the nth degree every detail of our dream life.  We’re too tired to remember!

I even wrote a post about what I’ve learned.  It’s called Living Your Dream: Seeing the Roses In Your Own Life.  I hope you find 4.5 minutes of time to read it.

Happy Father’s Day!!


Epic Fail: My Finger Is Too Tough

Some years ago, I learned about eating right for your blood type.  There’s a book by the same name written by Peter D’Adamo.  There’s a swirl of conversation and controversy about this idea but I did want to review it and figure out if it has any meaning/value for me, personally.

First step is you need to know your blood type.  No problem!

I purchased the “Eat Right For Your Type” blood typing kit online at Amazon.  It’ was quite reasonable — less then $7!  The reviewers almost unanimously said that it was easy-peasy and they were able to identify their blood type in just a few minutes.

blood typing kit_new

The kit arrived in 2 days.  It looks so easy!  There’s a video you can watch online to make sure you do it just right.  Here’s the short video…

Okay, so I watched it and I felt confident.

Get home.  Set it all up.  Get to the poke-your-finger part – BAM.  A bit of a pinch, yes.  But, not bad.

Here’s the issue: I get enough blood for TWO of the FOUR circles.  Uh-huh.  Half of what I needed.  And the stabby-thing?  It’s a one-time use device.  <sigh>

I asked my 17-year old to help stab me with a sterilized needle.  He couldn’t/wouldn’t.  I asked my 20-year old.  He wimped out then came back strong and wanted to cut me with a knife in the vein…(yeah, I dunno know ’bout that one).  Needless to say, I got frustrated and scraped the whole deal.

Blood Typing Kit_Failed 2 circles only_6 12 2017

But, I am going to re-order and try again.

However, I re-read the written instructions contained in the package (the brochure you see in the above picture), I realized I missed a step.

I needed to have soaked my finger for 2 minutes in warm water.

So, I did NOT do this one little part.

Therefore, I guess I’ll figure out my blood type another day! 🙂

Totally not the kit’s fault, this is all my own epic fail.

Have any of you tried this blood typing kit?  Did it work for you?

Ta-ta for now,



Vegan: Back-in-the-Day Healthy

Years ago, I was a vegan foodie.  I made ALL of my own food.  Yes, breakfast, lunch and dinner for my two boys and my husband.  We ate tons of tofu, veggies, pasta, a variety of grains, legumes and salads.  We even had a special littler concoction for getting our Omegas in.  Something like, fish oil, COQ10, water and an Emergen-C pack.  Stir and knock back.  We were so healthy, we glowed.

We religiously carried our Hyland’s Kids’ Kit with us everywhere we went.  This way, we were never caught unawares when a sniffle, a boo-boo, or a tummy ache struck.  Arnica gel was an absolute necessity (it still is!).  Anytime we had a fall, adult, or child, we’d whip out the Arnica gel by Bioiron and put on the cooling salve to immediately calm the pain and reduce the redness, or swelling fast.

And, who dared enter the winter season without a large dose of Nat Mur (say, 200c)?   Nat Mur kicks out the excess salt out of one’s body which helps one to avoid catching colds.  (Works for when you decide to indulge in Chinese fast food, too.  Kicks the salt right out.)

Those were my Golden Days of eating well, and paying attention to what went into my body.

However, I did not take into account the large amounts of soy (plant-based estrogen) I was ingesting.  Nor, did I think about the high amounts of gluten (plant-base source of high protein made from wheat flour) I ate on a monthly basis.

Now, 25 years later, I have a marked gluten sensitivity as well as an autoimmune issue where my body attacks healthy skin and forms blisters all over my body.

I am not blaming a vegan diet for my health issues.  I am saying I should have been more mindful in the quantities I ingested.  We all know the golden rule is moderation.  Tofu every day, sometimes 2 – 3 times per day (with each meal) was the order of the day because to feed a family of 4 on a strictly vegan diet with a hefty vitamin supplement monthly budget is a lot.

If you go Vegan, or already are vegan, I urge you to add lots of raw green veggies, fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, stay away from the readily available processed vegan fake “meats” (which are full of gluten, soy and sodium!), and make your own foods from scratch.  You will be healthier, and much happier down the road.  And, yes, it’s a better diet for the planet.

Here’s a great vegan starter meal kit: This is to give you an idea of how you can structure your meals.  You can also glean some more from RealSimple magazine’s 20 Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes.  Oh, and One Green Planet has a list of 10 vegan recipes everyone should know how to make.  Number 9 is Veggie burgers and OGP offers several recipes for hearty burgers such as Zucchini and Corn burgers, Chipotle Maple Sweet Potato burgers, Roasted Beet burgers, and many more!  Go check it out here:

Whatever your diet may be, it’s always a good idea to mix it up and eat different foods each week.  If you eat the same thing over and over, this puts you in a rut and sets you up to binge on items that may not be best for you.  This is especially true if you’re on a restricted meal plan choice like the vegan diet.

Well, ta-ta for now,