Ahh…an exotic vegan chili! Sometimes I go though food slumps, where I couldn’t care less what I eat…and then all of a sudden I try something and it just re-inspires me! That is what this delicious vegan chili did for me. I found the basis for it in the office of an excellent Oesteopath I took my daughter to called Balance Point. I didn’t follow the recipe word for word…but here is what I did. Mmmmm!
Ingredients Needed for the Vegan Chili:
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 medium onion
4 mini bell peppers (different colours)
1 red chili pepper (seeds removed)
2 cloves of garlic
touch of cayenne pepper
touch of cumin (what an interesting taste it adds)
touch of black pepper
touch of sea salt
540 g tin of chickpeas
540 g tin of chopped tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Cooking Instructions for Vegan Chili
Preheat the oven to 425F, peel the sweet potatoes, cut into roughly bite sized cubes. Put some olive oil on a baking tray, spread out the sweet potato cubes, then sprinkle generously with cayenne pepper, cumin and some sea salt. Cook until brown on the bottom and soft to chew.
In a pot, put some olive oil on med high and cook the diced bell peppers, onions, and chili pepper for about 5 minutes.
Rinse out the chickpeas and add, along with the can of tomatoes, and add a little water if you want it more liquid. Bring to a boil, then turn down to med low, cover and let simmer. Stir as needed. Add some black pepper, cumin, cayenne and sea salt to taste. When the potatoes are ready, throw them in and stir…adding a touch more water if needed.
Let simmer on low, covered for at least 30 minutes.
I had lots left over for lunch the next 2 days, and it was even MORE flavourful the next meals!
You can eat with some nacho chips if you want…it’s up to you.
Mmm Mmm Mmm…a super tasty Vegan chili that made me sweat…but not want to pass out!
Today I want to share with you a man who is a living inspiration to so many people…Nick Vujicic. (You have to watch video at the bottom of this post all the way through)
I saw a video he made a number of years ago, and I know it hit me hard.
I was feeling down. I was feeling sorry for myself. My health wasn’t the greatest. I had lost my zip. I had lost my passion. My attitude was bring me down. Boo hoo. Poor me.
And then this guy, Nick Vujicic comes on and basically stared into my soul, looked me in the eyes and said “what have you got to feel sorry about?”
Listen we all have problems. Stuff happens to us all.
But could it be worse? I think for sure it could be.
Part of transforming your health is getting your stinking thinking right. Getting a better mindset. A happier mindset. A more positive mindset. As Nick says in his video, “Attitude is Altitude”.
I want you to know that anything is possible. For you. For me. For all of us. Anything is possible. Anything. You can do anything you want. Yes you can. You will go wherever your attitude leads you.
Whatever you think is holding your back, whatever happened before….realize….it doesn’t really matter now…because it is now in the PAST.
Ahead of you is YOUR FUTURE. You are going to design your own future.
Watch this video now. I hope it hits you somewhere. I hope you can use it for fuel when the night seems dark…because there is always a light out there…and that light is in your mind. Light up your mind, light up your attitude and transform your self. Transform your life.
(If the video is not showing, sometimes if you double click it to expand it, it works. Or try this link )
Let go of your past and the future can be whatever you want it to be.
There are no restrictions on your future when you let go of your past, and what better time to launch your new future than the first day of this new year.
I want you to picture an old dilapidated building. The windows are broken. Bricks are missing here and there. Graffiti has been scrawled on it. The yard is unkempt, weeds are growing everywhere. Gray clouds over overhead. It is a desolate image. When you hold on to old painful memories…when you hold onto anger and jealousy…when you fill your body with fattening food void of nutritional value…when you don’t follow though on things or honour your commitments…when you live a life that it incongruent with who you see yourself as … that is how you become that dilapidated building. It hangs over you. It shows in your attitude. Your aura loses it’s shine.
To start of 2013 let us do the following exercise.
Imagine a HUGE bulldozer first ripping down that old sad building. It demolishes it quickly and efficiently. It removes all the debris. Everything is completely wiped clean. All that is left is just a patch of dark fertile earth.
You can now do whatever you want with this fresh start. You can build any kind of building you want. You can plant a huge garden. You could install a basketball court. You could put there ANYTHING you want. Whatever you feel passionate about. Whatever ignites your soul!
If you are unhappy with how things have gone in the PAST then you need only change them. You have that power. It all starts with your state of mind…and that you DO have COMPLETE control over.
Let go of your past and the future can be anything you want it to be.
Start that bulldozer up, and rip down and wash away anything that doesn’t belong in your new life. You are leaving only a beautiful patch of the most fertile soil…and anything will grow in this new soil. If you just plant your old stuff again…you will have what you had before. But if you plant only ideas that EXCITE you then your mind will blossom with beauty and passion…and your life will change.
If the past doesn’t exist, then there is nothing to hold you back. The only thing that exists is the future that you install.
Let go of your past and the future can be whatever you want it to be.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Let’s make this your best year ever!
Feel free to share something you are going to do to make this happen for you!
A friend posted a video of the most amazing thing…a guy called the Dance Walking Guru… on facebook the other day.
I was feeling just generally worn out that day. It’s been a very hectic fall, so many exciting things happened (and are happening). I had, and am exerting a lot of energy. I found that some times when I get to immersed in something I begin to take it too seriously. This is a form of stress.
You ever had that happen? You let life get just a little too serious?
Enter The Dance Walking Guru
This is just some relatively unknown person, who becomes famous (at least virally on the internet)…for being the dance walking guru…and doesn’t even know it.
He had inspired literally thousands of people…and didn’t know it.
And when he finds out, he just has the most wondrous look on his face. It is priceless.
Please take a moment and watch this video. I hope it lightens up your life and your day like it has done for me.
I tried dance walking today…let’s spread the joy of being alive!
Reiki is one of the most powerful stress relievers I know. Reiki helps keep me at peace, keeps my mind, body and soul in harmony. I feel it has saved my life, and whenever I feel run down, or my family members are ailing, I always turn back to Reiki for healing.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is so much to so many. Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and healing. Reiki uses the life force that is within us all, that connects us all, to bring balance and harmony to the body at all levels. Reiki is all knowing, it is 100% natural, it is 100% goodness and love, it can only heal, it can never harm. Reiki is God’s love. Reiki is universal energy.
Reiki is the rain that falls on the rice paddies.
My very first Reiki master that I trained with, Helen, gave me a very powerful analogy that Reiki was the rain that fell upon the rice paddies. She asked me to contemplate on what that meant. I thought about how rain was the life force that fed the rice. It was a beautiful thought and really helped me connect with the Reiki energy within me. I now think of Reiki as a beautiful energy that feds all living things, it is so gentle and it “rains” downs on us all, surrounding us with life and love and comfort.
Reiki helped save my life
I was first introduced to Reiki in the mid 90’s by someone who became a good friend, Peggy Margarite. At the time I had just had to quit my career because I had become lost. Lost physically (constantly sick, constantly on a carousel of antibiotics), lost spiritually, emotionally…I felt just directionless, burnt out…the walking dead…going through the motions. I took a full year off, and began to re-explore life and re-awaken myself…and I have absolutely no doubt…this saved my life. I got to know my 2 year old daughter (and have every since spent every waking hour I can involved in my kids lives), I explored “alternative things”, turned vegetarian, and was introduced to Reiki.
I am a Reiki Master
Throughout the years I have studied with a number of Reiki Masters, taken numerous courses, done Reiki on hundreds of people, taught Reiki courses…and risen through the Reiki levels until I became a Reiki master. I sometimes feel uncomfortable with the word master, because it brings to my mind someone who knows everything, that has mastered something…and I know I have soooo much to learn still. Then I came upon something in my readings that said in Japan a master was simply a teacher…and I became comfortable with the title because I love teaching (be it financial teaching to my clients, sports and life skills teaching to the amazing kids that I coach youth sports, to teaching Reiki to my students and clients). So I can now say I am indeed a Reiki Master, and feel at peace with that.
What does a Reiki “Treatment” look like?
I will keep this simple for now, and go into more detail in future posts. Suffice it to say, the way that I learned, and the way that I practice Reiki is to have a comfortable table (I have a massage table) for the person to lie on. They are fully clothed, and I also place a blanket over them so that they are warm (when you have energy work done, you never know what to expect because every session is different depending upon what you need…so at times people will feel hot or chilled, or many different sensations…so nice!). Many Reiki people will gently lay their hands upon the client, however I find I get the best results when I work about once inch above the body, working in the energy field surrounding the body. I will have peaceful music on in the background, and I love to have a beeswax candle burning in the background. I will begin by moving my hands up and down over the body, with my hands “listening” or “feeling” the energy patterns. The energy patterns tell me where things are out of whack, and where I will need to spend my time. I can actually feel the energy, it is the most amazing feeling, it is like a gentle wind blowing on my palms, tickling them. At times it is quite strong, at times gentle, at times hot and at time cool. Some times it forces my hand away from the body and at times it draws it right down to the body. A person experiencing a treatment may experience different sensations, the energy may tickle or feel hot or cool, they may see cool colours, or visions, or feel the energy coursing through their body, and when the body releases or balances energy that has been stuck people will often experience a burst of emotion and smile, cry or laugh! Some people pass right out on the table into a deep sleep (with is obviously something that their body is needing). Nearly everyone will emerge from the session feeling a deep sense of relaxation and peacefulness they seldom feel….and they love it. I remember after my first session, everything seemed so clear to me, I noticed the leaves on the trees with great detail, and felt like everything was going to be ok…it was beautiful.
I will stop here for now, but I have so much more to share in future posts.
Music is very important to me in Reiki, and I have over the years built up quite a collection of healing music, and I wanted to leave you with a link to a video on YouTube that you might find relaxing (and if you don’t keep searching there seems to be an endless supply of different music there…simply a wonderful thing).
If you would like to experience a Reiki Treatment, and you are local enough (southern Ontario area) feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial stress is something that can affect anyone. This post is about potentially reducing your stress by actually facing your finances and learning about them… not ignoring them. Knowledge is power. One tool I will discuss is Expensify.com
I know from talking with many people that one of the most potentially powerful stressors is financial stress. Worrying about money. And one of the things I find from many people when they are worried, is that they begin to ignore the details, to try not to think about them. For example, they may have a large credit card bill that keeps piling up…but they believe that by sweeping it under the rug and just not thinking about it, their stress will go away.
Sweeping A Financial Stress Under The Rug Does Not Make It Go Away
What I have found is that when mentally trying to ignore something, you 1) actually spend a lot more time thinking about it, because you have to keep thinking about it to ignore it 2) your energy becomes very negative because it is spent on avoiding rather than welcoming in to your heart and 3) the very action of ignoring something leads to uncertainty, because you constantly worry about what “could” be happening…which is in itself very stressful. It is far better to know something…only that way can you lay it to rest. And attacking your financial stress can be done by learning everything you need to know about your enemy.
Attack Your Uncertainties…Learn As Much As You Can About Your Financial Stress
One thing that I counsel people on in reducing financial stress is in attacking their uncertainties. What does it mean to not have enough money? It usually means they are spending more money than they really should be. And when we dig into this further, the reason for this is because people have no idea where their money is going…they have never taken the time to actually track their expenditures. If you know where your money is going, where it is being spent, then you have already won half the battle…because you have removed the uncertainty, the uneasy background feeling of not being in control of your money.
Rule: Spend Less Than You Earn
I was reading the Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton, and this was one of the rules he had in his book. Seems pretty simple, but just thought it was worth bringing up here.
Expensify.com Is One Tool You Can Use
Expensify.com is one tool you can use in attacking the uncertainty that leads to financial stress. It is a website where you can enter all your expenses, categorize them, and then create reports to see how much you are spending and on what. What I did was download a version to my blackberry, and EVERY time I spend ANYTHING I quickly input how much, to whom and for what into the program. Literally takes 10 seconds. It is so convenient. Then when I set some time aside in my schedule to follow up on this, I log onto the Expensify.com website on my computer, and I find all the things I entered into my blackberry already there, and I just organize it. You may be surprised at how much you actually spend on the little things….they can add up. You can print out a report to share with your family if you want to provide them with knowledge. Just the fact of knowing your spending patterns is very empowering in itself, because it feels like it has helped you take some control back over your financial situation…rather then your financial stress controlling you.
The Latte Factor
David Bach talks about how the little things add up, and calls it the Latte Factor. You may find it interesting.
A Task For You
So here is a task for you … if you are up to it. Check out the expensify.com site (I don’t get anything for promoting them, I just have found their services useful … and free … and love to promote things I think are good). And if you use some other tool, like another website, or program, or even good old pencil and paper…just do it. Attack you financial stress. Invest some time to learn about your spending habits. Decide if you like what you see…and if you don’t…then change it. But you can’t change it if you don’t even know what it is. Empower yourself with knowledge!
For a number of years, I have been drinking something that I feel is worth its weight in gold…Matcha Green Tea.
I had read about it in various magazines and sites, and finally journeyed into the health food store to purchase some. One stuck out to me (DoMatcha) because it had a really cool “ancient” looking label. (Yes marketing really does work…lol!) So that is the tea I originally bought and continue to do so…tastes good, is healthy, and looks cool…what more could I ask for?
Matcha Green Tea Finally Allowed Me To Avoid Colds?
I drank it over that winter, and whether it was a coincidence or not I am not sure, but that year was THE year I broke free from getting winter colds! (Amen bothers and sisters!)
The cost of matcha green tea is…well it is not cheap…you get a small container…but it lasted me for a long time because I only added a tiny bit of the powder. And some days (being a financial advisor I try to think of small ways to save money here and there) I would just keep refilling it with hot water as there was still powder in there, and the flavour was always still great! It truly was the gift that just kept on giving.
Matcha green tea is a high-quality green tea that is covered before picking to accentuate the color, then stone-ground after being picked and before being sealed into small tins. Matcha tea can be enjoyed in many ways. I know they say you can just make a paste out of it, or you can drink it as a tea…or I am sure there are other ideas.
Here are some claims that have been made about the health benefits of matcha green tea. I am simply reporting what I have found and I do not support any of these as truth necessarily…use your own judgement.
“A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that matcha green tea extract has unique thermogenic properties that promotes increased fat oxidation” (taken from this website). So basically some people are claiming that drinking matcha green tea could help you burn fat quicker and lose weight.
Other claims are such (and again…I am just reporting what others say may happen)
That matcha green tea is very high in antioxidants, some claiming it could be over 100x more (I guess it depends on who is selling it…lol!)
Theanine (ingredient in matcha green tea), may help to reduce mental stress reactions…and that sounds good to our readers who are planning to participate in the next 21 day health transformation!
And according to the website Miss Olive studies seem to indicate that consuming matcha green tea may potentially help with:
So wow! With all that how can you not help but go and buy some right now! lol!
Listen, whether or not matcha green tea can actually do any of those things, I cannot tell you with any certainty. All that I can tell you from personal experience is that since I started drinking matcha green tea about 4 years ago, I have been able to escape/fend off/elude colds almost completely (knock on wood). Of course I have also done other things, eaten healthier, exercised, ect…but my intuition tells me that this tea plays a role in it.
Here is a quick and simple recipe for veggie tacos (with no soya in it)
Naturopath says avoid soya…
We went to a naturopath the other day, and one of the things she suggested was to avoid soya products as much as possible.
Yikes…but we love veggie tacos!
One of the things we love of late are veggie tacos, and we use the fake meat soya product in it, because we were always used to ground beef in our tacos from years back. So being told not to eat soya (which I know is a good thing to avoid as much as possible) was a bummer. My daughter really wanted tacos, and so was disappointed. So I went to the grocery store, got some salsa, and … actually bought some ground beef (that hasn’t been in my shopping cart for years). The problem is that after I brought it home my wife and both agreed that it just didn’t seem right to do that…there had to be a better way. So I went through my memory banks, looked through the internet a bit, and came up with an idea I wanted to try.
Veggie tacos instructions
Step 1: sauté a medium minced onion in a bit of virgin olive oil
Step 2: add some diced red and yellow bell peppers
Step 3: add one cup of water and regular taco seasoning
Step 4: add one can of black beans fully rinsed
Step 5: cook until most of the water is gone, but still juicy
Step 6: Heat up taco shells (we like the hard taco shells because they give a satisfying crunch)
Step 7: We add LOTS of all of the following….grated carrots, shredded lettuce, salsa, guacamole (cheese if you want)
Step 8: Serve with water to drink, place mats and napkins because it is VERY messy!!!
Anyway, I thank my family for trying my quick experiment, and everyone agreed it was quite delicious. There are left overs, and they are going to go great over top of my salad tomorrow.
Eating better will definitely help reduce your stress in soooo many ways.
Even if you are crazy busy. Even if it seems like the last thing you can do is take time for yourself.
We live in a crazy fast paced world where things can get away from us really quickly. Often we don’t even realize that things are getting away from us, until we are really sick, or just feeling burned out.
Our bodies need time to recover, to recoup….mentally and physically. We need to allow ourselves to refocus.
Lately I have been super busy at work…and I am not complaining…that is a good thing. However, I found myself going non-stop through the day, days on end…and before I knew it I lost focus.
Have you ever found that? Doing something and forgetting why you are doing it?
So one of the things I have learned to do, to ensure I take time for myself, to refocus, is to put in my calendar some time just for me, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. I turn off my phone. I close my eyes if I feel in a safe place. I just allow myself to think about things, I let my mind wander where ever it wants to go, I breath deeply, I relax my body. It is amazing how rejuvenating this can be. I may go for a walk . I may listen to music. I may read an inspirational book. I may cook. I may clean. I may plot out basketball plays.
If I am out on the road and need to refocus, here are a couple of my favorite places.
I will usually have a pen and paper with me, because I find I am often struck with inspirations when I am least expecting it:
Chapters (book store)…I just find walking through the isles, browsing books by people that I look up to…I just find it very inspirational.
The food court at the mall…What? Am I serious? Yup. I don’t know why, but I get some of my best me time at the food court. There’s never any pressure at a food court…I mean people are just there to sit and eat, and people are more relaxed, and I can just sit there and stare aimlessly around, scribble an occasional note, nibble at something. I am telling you that I have come up with some amazing ideas doodled on the back of a napkin in a food court…many of which have led to my BEST business campaigns!
Go see a movie. This allows me to escape for a few hours, and let the movie carry me away. I try to see movies my wife doesn’t want to see…lol! I was in Vancouver on business one time, I was so busy, so tired, and I missed my family. I found myself rapidly become unable to be productive…but I couldn’t stop…could I? There was so much to do! But I ended up listening to my gut, just put my stuff down, saw a movie, and came out refreshed, invigorated, and immediately got everything I needed to do with vigor.
I know a lot of people use exercise to spend time with themselves. Others use meditation. There are sooo many ways to do it.
Question: What are some other ideas (crazy or not) that you do to take time for yourself?
What motivates you to jump out of bed and embrace the day?
Can you shout it out loud right now? Is it on the tip of your tongue? Are you having difficulty identifying it? Do you know? You did know! But perhaps you have forgotten? It is easy to happen. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves.
Life is meant to be wonderful! Life is meant to be full of wonders! It inspired me!
What inspires you?
I went for a walk today with Shandog, and tramped through the fallen leaves. They made rustling noises as we trecked on. There was a beautiful breeze that both shocked and tickled my face. The sun played with the clouds, peaking in and out. Shandog saw a squirrel across the park and took off at the speed of light…not to catch the squirrel…just to let it know she was there. Running all out through the leaves, totally free, I could imagine a huge smile on her face. It seemed so clear to me that was her inspiration.
It was a priceless moment. I was filled with beauty and awe. It reminded me that I need to take a second and remind myself of what inspires me.
At times like that the energy of the universe shoots down into me and fills me with the most beautiful feeling in the world. I get that feeling when I see my family smiling, my Sabrina feeling confident and ready to take on the world, or hear my Sierra humming happily at night. I get that feeling when I see my wife so proud of the family we have raised. I get that feeling when I think of my parents and how much I love them. I get that feeling when I coach my girls basketball teams, when I see the fun they have, or the pride they have in overcoming obstacles or doing more than perhaps they thought they could. I get that feeling when I have just done a KICK ASS workout.
Yes life is meant to be wonderful!
Make sure you take a moment each day to remind yourself what inspires you! Daily life can make us all tired, and lose focus. So make sure you get that focus back!