Friday, March 29, 2013

faith in yourself (and where you're going)

Amanda Sizemore, farmer, handling the crops that survived devastating rains.
i don't think about faith much. haven't used the word in many years. i don't tend to say things like "ya gotta have faith!". i always thought that was more of a christian-thing, referring to of course to "faith in god". but as i have considered what keeps me from meeting my personal goals and staying on track with my health, i have decided that it is not lack of willpower or lack of desire, but rather a lack of faith.

change is difficult. even when it is change for the good. even when it is self selected change. changing the way you think about food, how you prepare it how much you eat and when and where. and focusing daily on gratitude and goals and breathing and walking. all change for the good. and the results are good too! the slimming effect is good. more energy is good. but, alas! sometimes exhausting. i begin to wonder "how much longer can i keep this up? will my dreams come true? is it all worth it?"

and this, my peeps, is where faith comes in. faith in myself. not faith in some far away place or person or idea. faith in being alive today. faith in knowing that good things will sprout from the seeds that i labor to plant today. faith like a farmer has faith!

when i went looking for a "faith" image to accompany this blog post, i was afraid of what i might find, and all my fears came true. it was mostly churchy-imagery with hookey slogans attached. but when i changed my search to "faith in where you're going" it lead me to the image you see above and to the story of two farmers, Jeremy and Amanda Sizemore who know about faith:
Storms swamped their fields with rain that sometimes totaled 3 or more inches in a day. In May alone, the area absorbed a record-breaking 9 inches. So much rain makes it logistically difficult to get in the fields to plant crops, and it creates a perfect environment for pests, fungi and other diseases. The Sizemores estimate their revenue came up about 50 percent below expectations because of lost crops. But they never quit, and they plan to come back bigger next year. “Farming is more about having faith in what you're doing than having control over it,” said Jeremy, 35. “If you ain't got faith, you ain't going to last long.”
so as i move back into my body and eating the right stuff that nourishes me, "the whole me" rather than feeding my diseases, i have to give thanks to my faith for keeping me on track. because just as mr. sizemore says,"If you ain't got faith, you ain't going to last long.”

for the rest of the story about the sizemores go here.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

in a search for passion i discovered seth godin.

in my ongoing search for authenticity, creativity, passion and "doing the right thing", i have been following the blog of permission marketing guru seth godin. his concepts of how things work now are boldly different from anything else i have read, and putting these ideas into practice takes courage and commitment. i thought it was unfair of me to keep all these ideas to myself, when i am sharing so much of what i am thinking about, and when i read today's blog post by mr. godin at 3am this morning, i decided it was time to share the wealth. how, you may ask, does this stuff go with body+mind+and spirit? and my answer is, i'm not sure. but i suspect that it does. these are uncharted territories we are marching in these days and we all need to take the responsibility to be leaders (says seth). reading seth's book entitled "tribes" is part of the reason i decided to write this blog, to take risks, to share, to create, to say "here, i made this". whether you are a marketer or a mother, i hope you find this new information inspiring. here is some of what seth has written:
What matters now:
  • Trust
  • Permission
  • Remarkability
  • Leadership
  • Stories that spread
  • Humanity: connection, compassion, and humility
All six of these are the result of successful work by humans who refuse to follow industrial-age  rules. These assets aren’t generated by external strategies and MBAs and positioning memos. These are the results of internal struggle, of brave decisions without a map and the willingness to allow others to live with dignity.
They are about standing out, not fitting in, about inventing, not duplicating.
TRUST AND PERMISSION: In a marketplace that’s open to just about anyone, the only people we hear are the people we choose to hear. Media is cheap, sure, but attention is filtered, and it’s virtually impossible to be heard unless the consumer gives us the ability to be heard. The more valuable someone’s attention is, the harder it is to earn.
And who gets heard?
Why would someone listen to the prankster or the shyster or the huckster? No, we choose to listen to those we trust. We do business with and donate to those who have earned our attention. We seek out people who tell us stories that resonate, we listen to those stories, and we engage with those people or businesses that delight or reassure or surprise in a positive way.
And all of those behaviors are the acts of people, not machines. We embrace the humanity in those around us, particularly as the rest of the world appears to become less human and more cold. Who will you miss? That is who you are listening to .
REMARKABILITY: The same bias toward humanity and connection exists in the way we choose which ideas we’ll share with our friends and colleagues. No one talks about the boring, the predictable, or the safe. We don’t risk interactions in order to spread the word about something obvious or trite.
The remarkable is almost always new and untested, fresh and risky.
LEADERSHIP: Management is almost diametrically opposed to leadership. Management is about generating yesterday’s results, but a little faster or a little more cheaply. We know how to manage the world—we relentlessly seek to cut costs and to limit variation, while we exalt obedience.
Leadership, though, is a whole other game. Leadership puts the leader on the line. No manual, no rule book, no überleader to point the finger at when things go wrong. If you ask someone for the rule  book on how to lead, you’re secretly wishing to be a manager.
Leaders are vulnerable, not controlling, and they are racing to the top, taking us to a new place, not to the place of cheap, fast, compliant safety.
STORIES THAT SPREAD: The next asset that makes the new economy work is the story that spreads. Before the revolution, in a world of limited choice, shelf space mattered a great deal. You could buy your way onto the store shelf, or you could be the only one on the ballot, or you could use a connection to get your résumé in front of the hiring guy. In a world of abundant choice, though, none of these tactics is effective. The chooser has too many alternatives, there’s too much clutter, and the scarce resources are attention and trust, not shelf space. This situation is tough for many, because attention and trust must be earned, not acquired.
More difficult still is the magic of the story that resonates. After trust is earned and your work is seen, only a fraction of it is magical enough to be worth spreading. Again, this magic is the work of the human artist, not the corporate machine. We’re no longer interested in average stuff for average people.
HUMANITY: We don’t worship industrial the way we used to. We seek out human originality and caring instead. When price and availability are no longer sufficient advantages (because everything is available and the price is no longer news), then what we are drawn to is the vulnerability and transparency that bring us together, that turn the “other” into one of us.
For a long time to come the masses will still clamor for cheap and obvious and reliable. But the people you seek to lead, the people who are helping to define the next thing and the interesting frontier, these people want your humanity, not your discounts.
All of these assets, rolled into one, provide the foundation for the change maker of the future. And that individual (or the team that person leads) has no choice but to build these assets with novelty, with a fresh approach to an old problem, with a human touch that is worth talking about.
I can’t wait until we return to zero percent unemployment, to a time when people with something to contribute (everyone)  pick themselves instead of waiting for a bureaucrat’s permission to do important work.
read seth godin's whole blog post and/or subscribe here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

finding helpful resources.

here is a link to which is a great ongoing source for eating right and staying fit. of all the sites i have discovered this one makes the most sense. although the good info is surrounded by lots tacky ads, check it out. you'll find helpful info like this:
You make the choice every day as to whether you will follow the plan or not. Here are some examples of these types of goals:
  • I will decrease my calorie intake by 500 calories a day, for the next 10 weeks.
  • I will eat lean protein with each meal and replace processed carbohydrates with whole ones, 90% of the week.
  • I will exercise no less than 5 times a week for at least 40 minutes at a time.
  • I will add a cup of vegetables to each meal every day for the next 10 weeks.
  • I will increase the amount of miles I run by 1/4 mile each week for the next 12 weeks.
  • I will decrease my soda intake by one per week.
  • I will start bringing my own healthy food to work 5 days per week for 12 weeks.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

shifting gears

when i started this project, 50 pounds to passion, my intention was to bring my life into balance. and when i looked at my life i could see that the most obvious place to start was with my body, because this weight imbalance was the "easiest" to correct because you can see it in the mirror. i changed the way i ate and increased my level of physical activity. now i feel better and i do have a better sense of self. all good.

but now as i struggle along with this effort, i am aware of some of the stumbling blocks to my success: i'm hopelessly under-employed.

why is this a stumbling block? because when i am there i am so bored i can focus on little else than where my next little treat might come from and at the end of the day i feel like i need to reward myself with food and drink just for making it through the grind of it all. on the contrary, when i am engaged in activities i enjoy, writing, editing video, solving a graphic design challenge or collaborating on a project with creative people i respect, the last thing on my mind is food.

if my goal is to find passion, and find balance i am going to have to resolve this issue. but there are few places to turn to get the answers. when everyone says "follow your bliss", i think to myself, "wow, i have followed my bliss in the past and it has lead me straight to the poor house". so in these next few weeks, i intend to maintain what i have started with diet and exercise, but my blog posts will be more focused on setting new goals, and finding new roads to accessing a healthy, happy life.

Friday, March 22, 2013

what type of juicer should i buy?

There are 5 main types of juicers, or juice extractors. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Centrifugal Juicers:

Centrifugal juicers are the most common type of juicer that you will find in department stores. They are often upright and cylindrical in shape. They extract juice from fruits and vegetables by grating them into tiny pieces, then using a sieve to “spin” the juice out of the pulp at high speeds (in a similar manner in which a salad spinner extracts the water from washed greens).
Advantages: Centrifugal juicers are much faster when making juice so they are more convenient. They usually have larger “mouths” so you don’t have to cut up fruit as much which means less prep work. They are sometimes easier to clean than other types of juicers. There is a huge variety of centrifugal juicers on the market that can be had on any budget.
Disadvantages: Centrifugal juicers generally do not perform well when juicing leafy greens. If you are serious about making green juices, then look into masticating or triturating juicers. Centrifugal juicers are not as efficient at extracting juice from pulp (resulting in wetter pulp) and they may produce foam in the juice and speed up oxidation.
Examples of centrifugal juicers include the Breville Juice Fountain series and the ever popular (and budget-friendly) Jack Lalanne juicer.

Masticating Juicers:

Masticating (aka “single gear”) juicers use a screw-type auger to grind, crush and “chew” fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. It distributes the juice and extracts the pulp into separate containers.
Advantages: Masticating juicers do a much better job at juicing leafy greens and vegetables than centrifugal juicers, and they produce drier pulp – which means they extract more nutrients. These types of juicers usually last much longer and come with longer warranties – up to 10 years or longer. Masticating juicers can also be used to make nut butters, sauces, baby food, pasta and frozen banana ice cream as well as fruit sorbet.
Disadvantages: Masticating juicers have smaller “mouths” so there is more cutting and chopping of fruits and vegetables when juicing. It takes longer to make juices with these machines than it does in a centrifugal type juicer. Masticating juicers have more parts and take a little longer to clean up after. They cost more money than centrifugal juicers, although high-end centrifugal juicers may cost the same as a mid-range masticating juicer.
Examples of masticating juicers include the Omega 8005/8006 series and the Champion brand juicers.

Triturating Juicers:

Triturating (or twin gear) juicers are high-end juicers and are considered to be the best ones on the market. They work similarly to a masticating juicer but the motor runs slower, which preserves maximum nutrients and promotes efficient juicing. They also have two, interlocking “screws” that grind, crush and “chew” produce in order to extract the juice.
Advantages: Triturating juicers are the best you can get. They are the most efficient juicers and extract the maximum amount of juice (and nutrients), which results in the driest pulp (fewer wasted nutrients). Like masticating juicers, triturating (twin gear) juicers can be used to make nut butters, sauces, baby food, pasta and fruit sorbet.
Disadvantages: Triturating juicers are high end machines so they come with a high end price tag. They are not as quick and easy to use and some force is required to push things like carrots into the gripping, twisting gears.
Examples of triturating juicers include the Green Star brand juice extractors.

Wheatgrass Juicers:

If you want to juice wheatgrass, then you should get a dedicated wheatgrass juicer. Centrifugal juicers are not appropriate for extracting the juice from grasses, and masticating juicers are not the best option either. Wheatgrass juicers are specifically designed to do this job.

Citrus Juicers:

Citrus juicers are specialized to extract juice from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes. Obviously, they are not suitable for making green juices. Citrus fruits can be juiced in centrifugal, masticating and triturating juicers so it is not necessary to get a separate citrus juice extractor if you are getting one of these other units.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is setting goals, setting yourself up for failure?

Just when i began questioning the whole process of setting and being side-tracked by goals i came across this blog post by Dr Mark Hyman.
Eat better, exercise more, learn more, love more, love better, be a better son, father, friend, be a better doctor, reach more people, heal the planet, end obesity, starvation, and global warming – ARRRRRGGHHHHHHH!!
It’s enough to make me want to stay in bed and watch movies on iTunes. How can I do all of this? How can I wake up and figure out what do to first, second, or third? How can I achieve even one of these things?  I actually fail all the time.  There is absolutely no way I can achieve my goals.
Our culture is awash with endless pressure to do more, do better, be skinnier, be richer, be happier, be fitter, and be healthier.  We are offered endless lists of what do to, how to achieve more, reach our dreams, lose weight, attain the five steps to immortality, find the seven ways to stop wrinkles, or how to lose 100 pounds in ten days.
We go for these promises because we have this innate yearning to grow, to evolve, to improve, and to be better.
I am in the change business, the transformation business.  I want people to feel better, live well, be happy, be awake, be alive, and to be healthy.  I have to set goals for myself, and I help others to set goals for themselves.
Unfortunately, this leads to inevitable disappointment because we can never reach our goals.  And once we do reach some desired result there will be another goal that will grab our attention.  It is hard to do, but I have found that if you give up your goals magic happens. (go to the blog post here)

Monday, March 18, 2013


it's been a few months now, and i have lost 30lbs, improved my well-being and had a lot of fun along the way. i started with protein smoothies, moved to fish and veggies, began walking, got a juicier, lengthened my walks, started using the juicer and did a lot of research on setting goals and quieting the mind. i started packing my own healthy lunches for work, making big batches of lentil soup to eat when ever i didn't know what else to eat and i began to have a re-newed confidence in myself and my ability to make positive changes to my lifestyle habits that with last a lifetime.

today, i am on a brief vacation away from home, so of course their are many disruptions to my usual patterns. i also celebrated a birthday. but i am pleased to say that i have done so mindfully.
not to my usual strict codes of conduct, but with loving gentle self compassion. bending some of the rules, some of the time, while knowing that the path to health remains a gentle slope, is a good way to let your body and ego mind know that the beautiful world we live in with all the complexity of dark chocolate, and coffee, and a perfect slice of pizza on the street is still there to be enjoyed. (without guilt).

the time and effort i have put into improving my body, mind and spirit, is not lost when i break from my rules for myself. rather, my long term goals are very much in sight as i take little detours along the way.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the future and food

to celebrate my birthday, it flew north to spend some time with a friend in the bay area, land of the original fruits and nuts. i'm enjoying my stay. people seem smarter here. more open here. more connected here. so it does not surprise me that they are ahead of the curve on food consciousness too. every body up here knows exactly what i am talking about when i go off on probiotics and integrated nutrition. even my friend's healthy young son, a berkley student, was talking about white fat cells vs. white fat cells and how it relates to weight loss. it seems the next generation will have a whole new wealth of information about body science to help guide their nutritional choices (thanks in part by all the research that has gone into space travel)

the future of food is changing. experts are predicting that by 2030 nearly half of americans will be obese. the fat will get fatter and the strong will get stronger. it's a matter of educating ourselves, changing life habits, and demanding healthier, whole food options from our schools, stores and eating establishments.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

30 pounds to passion (i'm getting there!)

i have now lost 30 pounds, turned my diabetes around and have perfect blood pressure!
to day is my birthday! i started this blog and my new improved 50 POUNDS TO PASSION lifestyle just a little over 3 months ago and have now i have now dropped 30 pounds, turned my diabetes around and have perfect blood pressure! the first thing i see when i look in a mirror or reflective glass window when i am walking down the street is no longer my big belly protruding from my body, but someone i barely recognize: the new improved me!

i am so happy to know that there are a few individuals out there who are following me on this journey and even joining me in it. it pleases me to know that i have inspired others to take action towards a healthy, more passionate life. but i really do want to reach out to more people out there who are suffering now the way i was just a few months ago. feeling hopeless that the medical community's idea of fixing diabetes and obesity is just prescription drugs and lighthearted encouragement to "exercise". i want to reach those people. can you help me?

for my birthday gift today, would you forward this link to 3 people you might know who could use a dose of improved health in body+mind+spirit: 
thanks for being here. thanks for caring. and thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

juicing for smarties

before and after: home grown sprouts, ginger, turmeric, carrots, bok choy, beets, cabbage, kale.

juicing for smarties? yes! juicing is decidedly NOT for dummies, although it's the easiest thing in the world to do. even though i am a novice, and i am sure that there are many places online that can tell you a million things you ought to know about juicing, this is my blog, and this is how i roll:

1. go shopping just for veggies. don't pick up anything if it's not a fruit, veggie or some kind of root. just for today, be a purist!
2. buy a rainbow of colors. carrots, beets, cilantro, ginger, turmeric, bok choy. not only is it pretty, it's good for you.
3. don't be a sissy! go big or go home. buy a lot! see just how far 40 bucks can go when you are just buying greens. it's amazing!
4. have you ever heard of "shop & chop". this is how it's done: when you get home chop up all the leafy greens in a size that fits easily into your juicer and toss them in a dry plastic bag so they are ready to go when you are. (leave the carrots whole or cut the the long way so you can use them to help push things thru if needed)
5. gather together or buy various sized glass jars. i like mason jars... but also check out your local asian market place as they sometimes have cute glass jars with interesting lids at a good price! you're going to want to make more juice than just one serving at a time and the individual jars make it easy to store and to take with.
6. fire up the juicer and start feeding it the goods! it's best to rotate the leafy and meaty items with watery items to help flush the juice thru the machine and avoid clogging. make enough juice to last a day or two. go nuts.
7. pour the juice into the pretty jars all the way to the top, leaving as little air as possible. (you don't want the juice to oxidize). store in fridge.
8. clean the messy and then progress. that is, clean the juicer right away. it makes cleaning it so much faster and better.
9. top off a nice glass with the freshly made juice. take a big swig and enjoy the sensation of goodness, then take a pix to show-off to your juicing pals.
10. enjoy the rest of the day knowing that you have done something good for yourself. you have prepared several power meals the will nourish your body, mind and spirit! congratulate yourself!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

wabi-sabi weight loss

Wabi-sabi is not only a style, but a Japanese philosophy based in Zen and built on three principles: nothing lasts, nothing ends, and nothing is perfect. “Wabi” means a deliberate humility, a lack of materialism, and a deep connection with the environment. “Sabi” is different. It literally translates as “bloom of time.” Taken together, Wabi-Sabi is a worldview that perceives beauty in roughness, elegance in imperfection, and serenity in the natural process of decay. Wabi-Sabi is homespun and homemade, the chip on the lip of a pot, the patina on a copper box, the new colors and textures objects take on as they age. More than just aesthetics, wabi-sabi extends into all parts of life. It’s a philosophy that believes enlightenment comes with the acceptance of material impermanence.

So how does Wabi Sabi come into weight loss? For me, calming down and accepting things (and myself) for what they are helps me stay focused on what is true. Thoughtless commercial food consumption is an extension of materialism (and probably hoarding). It is that haunting need to have more. To have the bright shiny thing that comes in a package: a big mac, a snickers, a deep-fried happy hour special that comes piled high on a plate. Wabi sabi is not like that. Wabi Sabi is quiet. It is humble, like an ordinary apple, a bowl of black beans or a handful of green beans. Wabi Sabi is pure, and intentional, and imperfect.

Monday, March 4, 2013

asking for help along the way

one day i had to ask myself

"you've used all your brilliance and made the best choices you can and still, everything you've done up til now has gotten you exactly where you are. is that where you want to be?" 

i weighed too much, and although i enjoyed life most of the time, there we often moments of sadness and helplessness. i needed to make some drastic changes. but how?

about a month into my 50 Pounds to Passion journey i met someone. her name is suzanne lawrence. in our initial conversation at a christmas party we talked about energy, change, nutrition and purpose. it turns out each of us was embarking upon our own unique paths, mine toward wellness and passion and hers toward sharing her knowledge of nutrition and whole being. we fit.

about half way through our a second meeting at a raw food restaurant where we ate fruit stuffed dates and hummus platters, i realized that accepting help along the way, inspite of how difficult it may be, was going to be a key to my success. i needed to see and do things in a very different way that i had seen and done them in the past. then, suzanne offered her services to coach me.

i didn't like the word "coach" at first. i thought it was too new-agy. i thought the word "nutritionist" might feel better. but suzanne insisted on coach and so that's what we went with. now, many weeks later, i can tell you that "coaching" is exactly what suzanne has provided. in addition to give-n-take talks about life goals, nutritional needs, and personal relationships, suzanne spent time with me to show me HOW to food shop, HOW to cook and WHAT to eat. this had made all the difference. grumpy-old stubburn me had to loosen my grip on what i thought i knew and allow myself to learn something new.

let me say this: it helps to have a coach.

accepting the coaching guidance and friendship of suzanne lawrence has made all the difference on my path to recovery. if you are serious about attaining wellness, do yourself a favor, seek out those around you who are already on this path: ask for their guidance, do what they do. it works.

find out more about suzanne at her new website:

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Being mindful in the moment is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Being mindful of the gifts we have been given and the love that surrounds us, is the first step in knowing that we are enough and we have enough.

Mindful eating has the powerful potential to transform people’s relationship to food and eating, to improve overall health, body image, relationships and self-esteem. Mindful eating involves many components such as:

  • learning to make choices in beginning or ending a meal based on awareness of hunger and satiety cues;
  • learning to identify personal triggers for mindless eating, such as emotions, social pressures, or certain foods;
  • valuing quality over quantity of what you’re eating;
  • appreciating the sensual, as well as the nourishing, capacity of food;
  • feeling deep gratitude that may come from appreciating and experiencing food
Mindful eating draws substantially on the use of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness helps focus our attention and awareness on the present moment, which in turn, helps us disengage from habitual, unsatisfying and unskillful habits and behaviors. Engaging in mindful eating meditation practices on a regular basis can help us discover a far more satisfying relationship to food and eating than we ever imagined or experienced before. A different kind of nourishment often emerges, the kind that offers satisfaction on a very deep emotional level.

For more info on this topic go to: 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

juice "feast" / liver detox

liver detox tea

where have i been? detoxing my liver.

i am on day four of a liver detox program which includes, juicing a rainbow of veggies, drinking pure water and drinking detox tea day and night. cleansing your liver is one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health as it means inducing the liver to purge fats, old cholesterol deposits, gallstones, poisons, drug residues, and other toxic waste. While you do this, you also clean out other vital organs including your blood and intestines. there are many benefits to regular liver detoxification. Following are just a few:

Weight loss and reduced cellulite – Improving liver function can help with weight loss as your body will start to release liquids and fat that has attached to excess toxins.
Better cardiovascular function – The structural position of the liver as a bridge between the returning blood from the digestive system and the lower part of the body to the heart makes the liver an important organ for the health of the heart. It is especially important to keep the liver clean if cardiovascular health is a risk factor because a weakened and swollen liver can obstruct the venous blood flow to the heart causing heart palpitations or even heart attack.
Improved Libido – Even a mildly sluggish liver can seriously affect your energy level as well as your libido. 

Improved immune function – Detoxing the liver strenthens your body‟s fight against harmful (i.e. cancer) cells and helps to generate healthy cells, resulting in less illness and disease.

Improved digestion, cleaner blood and clearer skin – detoxifying your liver helps to cleanse mucous, congestion, fermentation and inflammation in your digestive tract resulting in improved intestinal health, cleaner blood as well as clearer skin.

Improved lifestyle – any form of detoxification can help to reform you lifestyle addictions for substances such as sugar, salt, high glycemic carbohydrates, alcohol, junk foods, nicotine, etc.

Fewer aches and pains – by reducing the liver‟s toxic buildups, health problems such as fatigue, arthritis and joint pain, as well as other chronic diseases are minimized. The theory is that cleansing the liver with specific foods and beverages will clean these buildups from the liver, thus making you feel better.

If you look after your liver, here's the list of diseases you won't get include:
  • Cirrhosis
  • Cancer
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Gall stones
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
Cleansing your liver also cleans out other vital organs including your blood and intestines, so it actually has multiple benefits for your overall health.

(here's some info on juicers)