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What are your conditions on happiness?

Stop getting in your own way, and start satisfying your life’s cravings!

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What are your conditions on happiness snapshot

This one’s so good, the landscapers were trying to get close to listen in 🙂

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Monday Makeover: French Toast Casserole

Adopting a healthy lifestyle does not mean saying good-bye to the things you love forever. It’s a continuous shift; a shift away from the things that are not serving you, and towards that which allows you to shine.

monday-makeover

Today’s Monday Makeover is actually a health, time and wallet makeover.  My family is one that still eats grains, albeit healthy grains, and in moderation at that. I realize that many people are completely off grains now, but in the great wisdom of different bodies require different fuels, we have realized that we thrive with some good quality grains in our diet.

Going off grains/ gluten or dairy completely is considered an elimination diet, which is a technique that you use to isolate the source of an allergy or food intolerance. Generally once you have identified the problem, you can avoid it while healing your health issue. Once you have improved your health issue and strengthened your immunity again, many times you can begin reintroducing that food in a carefully, regulated plan.

The Ayurvedic Perspective

Gluten is a hard-to-digest protein that comes from a grain that was traditionally only harvested in the fall for winter eating, when the digestive strength is much stronger and more capable of digesting denser foods. It is believed that the real culprits regarding the epidemic of gluten intolerance are:

  1. Overeating it – every day, 3 times per day.
  2. Eating it out of season.
  3. The global weakening of digestive strength due to stress and a diet of processed and impossible-to-digest foods.
  4. The processed nature of most wheat or gluten products.

*Source John Douillard’s LifeSpa – http://lifespa.com/be-free-of-gluten-free/#

Another point to mention is that you may be hearing a lot about your mindset affecting your life and your success, well that goes for meal time too. If your thoughts while eating something are about how poorly that food will affect you, then that is what will become. Eat with gratitude for your Health & Harmony!

So, getting back to the makeover… Since I am fussy about the quality of grains we eat, we splurge on good quality breads such as Ezekial and Dave’s Killer Bread, which can cost anywhere from $3.50 a loaf up to $7 depending on where you find it. With that said, it’s painful for me to throw away the crusts at the demand of a 3 (now 4) year old. To make us both happy, I started putting the crusts (and heels) in a bag in the freezer, once the bag fills up we make a French toast casserole.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Oil a large casserole dish and fill with broken up pieces of crust and loaf heels (enough to fill a gallon bag)
  • In another bowl beat about a dozen eggs, and double the mixture with your milk of choice (ours is almond milk – it turns dairy isn’t a great choice for us – different bodies, different fuels). Then add your favorite spices to dress it up such as:
    • Cinnamon
    • Vanilla or almond extract
    • Nutmeg
    • Cardamom
    • Cloves
    • Ginger
    • Maca
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the casserole dish making sure it gets nearly to the top of the bread and bake it at 375 until it is cooked through
    • It will probably take about a half an hour although I’m not totally sure, as I usually set it all up, throw it in the oven, and am freed up to do something else until it’s ready instead of being stuck there soaking bread and flipping it in the pan – win, win!

Some extra notes – different family members enjoy this in different ways

  • Some like it right out of the oven with butter, honey, or syrup
  • Some like it moister, and warm some milk in a pan which they pour over it
  • Sometimes we warm frozen berries as a delicious topping
  • It’s basically French toast, you know what to do, go enjoy!

 

If you are searching for a way to makeover your Health & Harmony find out more  at www.kalusion.com or get your copy of The Kalusion Cleanse

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Monday Makeover: Hot Cocoa

I know, I seem to be stuck in a rut with chocolate makeovers, but in my defense, I think there’s pretty good inspiration for this one. You may or may not know, I was originally from New York, but moved to Florida  about 20 years ago, where I stayed until this past summer when my family moved to North Carolina. So this is the first winter in about 20 years for my husband and me, and the first winter ever for the kids. Yesterday brought our first SNOOOOWWW!!!! As soon as they woke up, both kids went straight to the window, and exclaimed “WOW!” Right away, we started piling on layers, and bundling up to run outside and begin some joyful snow play – sledding, snowball fights, snow angels, or just rolling around in the snow. Eventually, it began to occur to us (or at least to me) that we hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet. So we headed in to dry off, warm up, and get some food in our bellies.  After heading in from playing in the snow, it’s a right of passage to have hot cocoa.

When it comes to hot cocoa, I choose to pass on the store bought mixes, and instead make my own. Here’s why I choose to make over hot cocoa rather than indulge in store bought mixes. These are the ingredients of a popular store bought hot cocoa mix:

Sugar (processed white sugar is problematic to health), (100% glucose is problematic to health, and can cause allergy and inflammation), Vegetable Oil (Partially Hydrogenated Coconut or Palm Kernel and Hydrogenated Soybean) (hydrogenated oil is problematic to health), Dairy Product Solids (from Milk) (can cause allergy and inflammation), Cocoa Processed with Alkali (processing reduces the natural flavenols of cocoa), Calcium Carbonate (not suitable for all people), and Less than 2% of Salt (processed salt strips the naturally occurring beneficial elements), Cellulose Gum (not digestible by the body), Sodium Caseinate (casein can cause allergy and inflammation), Dipotassium Phosphate (safety of this is controversial – I’ll err on the side of caution), Sodium Citrate (generally safe in small doses), Guar Gum (generally safe in small doses), Skim Milk (can cause allergy and inflammation), Sodium Aluminosilicate (contains aluminum which has been linked to Alzheimers disease), Mono- and Diglycerides (eek – very problematic to health), Artificial Flavors (really? I have yet to figure out why we process foods and strip out all the natural flavors, to in turn add artificial flavors. We will definitely be laughed at in the future), Sucralose (main ingredient of splenda, an artificial sweetener thats health risks are controversial. Yet another note to ponder is why add artificial sweetener when there’s already sugar and corn syrup solids?)

I have underlined the ingredients that can be problematic for your health. Note that only two ingredients aren’t underlined, and they offer absolutely no nutritional value.

Here are the ingredients for another popular hot cocoa mix:

Sugar (processed white sugar is problematic to health), Corn Syrup (problematic to health, and can cause allergy and inflammation), Modified Whey (can cause allergy and inflammation), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali) (processing reduces the natural flavenols of cocoa), Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil (hydrogenated oil is problematic to health), Nonfat Dry Milk (may cause allergy and inflammation), Less than 2% of: Salt (processed salt strips the naturally occurring beneficial elements), Dipotassium Phosphate (safety of this is controversial), Carrageenan (causes inflammation), Artificial Flavor (don’t get me started on this again ;-P), Mono- and Diglycerides (very problematic to health).

While this one looked like it would fare better with less ingredients, it turned out that every single one of them are problematic, and there is once again absolutely no nutritional value.

This inspired me to begin making my own hot cocoa a long time ago, but I have to admit, many attempts did not provide the rich, chocolatey cup of deliciousness I was craving, and I even found myself giving up on it – until now. Like I said, coming in from the snow almost requires a cup of hot cocoa, so I went back to the drawing board. This time I approached the recipe in the same fashion used when making turmeric milk and it was awesome! The entire family gave it an enthusiastic two thumbs up (even the picky ones). Without further ado, here’s my makeover for hot cocoa.

 

What you’ll need:

Unsweetened cocoa powder

Almond or coconut milk

Coconut oil

Raw Honey

 

  1. I started out with making a cocoa paste: Take ½ cup cocoa powder and ½ cup water in a small saucepan on medium low heat, and stir until it becomes a thick paste. Once complete, you can store the extra paste in the fridge for later cups of cocoa.
  2. Use 1 Tbsp cocoa paste to 1 cup non-dairy milk (more or less depending on your taste preference), and warm in a saucepan on medium low heat. I don’t let the mix get scalding hot; firstly, to enjoy right away, and secondly, to not cook out the health benefits of the raw honey
  3. Once the cocoa mix is warmed, you can add the honey and be done, but I like to take one extra step to make a frothy cup of cocoa. Instead of adding the honey to the cocoa mix, put 1 Tbsp coconut oil and 1 Tbsp honey in a blender or bullet, add the cocoa mix and blend for 30 seconds

You now have a wonderful cup of rich, frothy chocolate deliciousness. Enjoy!

 

If you are ready to start making over your life, come join me in The Have It All Method 9 week intensive to reset * rejuvenate * and receive in your personal and professional life so you can make the shift from doing it all to HAVING IT ALL! Learn more here.

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Permission to indulge this Thanksgiving with Health & Harmony

Thanksgiving is coming, and so many start to worry about holiday weight gain with very different reactions. Some diet before so they can balance things out when they gain over the holiday season, some get militant with their New Year’s resolutions in January that tend to last until March, and some throw their hands in the air and give up altogether.

mouth

For so many years, it has been reported that the average person gains 7-10 lbs over the holiday season. Yikes! That’s a lot. However, what you may not know is this may have been debunked. More recent reports state that people gain about 1 pound over the holiday season.

Hooray! So does this mean to go nuts at Thanksgiving dinner? Not exactly. Everything is a balancing act.

One thing that can make you feel like you’ve had some massive immediate weight gain is bloating. What causes bloating? Dairy, sugar, alcohol, and wheat all cause bloating. Overindulgence of these foods also cause a variety of other uncomfortable side effects, such as brain fog, energy crashes, lack of focus, irritability, cravings, and hyperactivity.

Good information, let’s avoid dairy, sugar, alcohol, and wheat during the holidays. HA! Good luck, right. Not to mention, you should be able to enjoy the holiday season too. That’s where the balancing act comes in.

When you are loading up your plate, fill up with veggies, salads, and turkey, of course. Then treat the other stuff like samplers. Take enough for a couple of bites to enjoy it, but not overdo it. Use the sampler method at dessert time too. Pick a couple of favorites to sample, and take a small amount.

Take care of your mind and body this holiday season with your food (fuel) choices, and you will be clear, focused, and ready to conquer your goals in 2017.

Having Health & Harmony is not about deprivation, but about balance. We’re in Kalusion for your Health & Harmony.

Don’t forget to apply for the boot camp for your Mindset, Body, and Soul, The Have It All Method(™), beginning a 9 week session in January 2017 to Reset, Rejuvenate, and Receive your desired rewards.

Apply to The Have It All Method(™)

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Apple Peanut Butter Pie

This was quite the put together, but came out delicious and rich tasting. Not to mention you don’t have to feel guilty with this one. We actually had it for breakfast.

apple-peanut-butter-pie

Start with the filling

5-6 peeled and cut apples

2 parsnips

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp ghee (or butter)

water

1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix all the ingredients (except peanut butter) in a saucepan and add about 1/3 of the mixture worth of water. The amount of water may need to be adjusted by how juicy the apples are. Bring to a boil on high heat, then let simmer on low until the apples and parsnips are soft. Use a potato masher to mash it into a chunky applesauce texture. Then add peanut butter.

While the filling is cooking, prepare the crust.

The crust (adapted from the Perfect Paleo Pie Crust Recipe)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour

1/2 cup cold butter or palm shortening

1 egg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flours, then cut in the butter until pea sized. Add the egg and mix until it becomes a dough. Form into a ball, then flatten into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 min. After refrigerating, press the dough into a greased pie pan. Bake on 375 degrees for 10 min.

Finish it off: Add the filling to the pre-baked pie crust, and top with granola. I also lightly dabbed a little coconut oil on top to let the granola get a bit crispy. Make sure to read your granola ingredients, as they can be very high in sugar. We use our Nola Granola, which is a chocolate peanut butter granola that is naturally and minimally sweetened. You can order your own in the online Kalusion BouTEAque.

This was a great break from the same old thing. We really enjoyed it. I hope you do too!

 

 

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Cleaning & Clearing

I am still in the midst of a major spring cleaning of my home and myself. I have already donated about 5 garbage bags filled with things that I really don’t need at this time, passing them on to someone else that can really use them, and opening space in my life for what I need right now

I wasn’t always so good about clearing things out, and still work at it, as I have a tendency to create emotional attachments to things. My most obvious lesson came from a pair of pajama bottoms stowing away in my closet some time ago. They sat at the bottom of my drawer because I really didn’t like them, there was nothing wrong with them, I just didn’t like them. However, I refused to get rid of them, opting to keep them as a “just in case” pair of bottoms. Yet every time I would get to the bottom of the drawer and see those dang things peeking back at me, I’d grimace at them and throw in a load of laundry just to avoid them (which is really saying something). Finally, I said enough is enough, I don’t care if there’s nothing wrong with them, I’m getting rid of them. I’m not really a shopper, so to replace them brings thoughts of digging through racks of clothing, blah, but whatever, I wasn’t wearing them anyway. I kid you not, the next day I was walking through the store because I had to pick up something for my son, and as I walked by the women’s pajama department, an adorable pair of pajama bottoms screamed out at me “pick me” from their spot on the rack. I ran right over to them, grabbed them, and was on my way. There was no miserable shopping and digging for a new pair, and I wear them all the time, I love them and how comfy they are. It was as if, I couldn’t have them until I made room for them. While I know pajama bottoms are not exactly spiritual enlightenment, they were definitely a lesson towards my growth.

What are you holding onto that is blocking you from what you really want?

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5 Ways to Simplify your Home and Life

“Simplify, Simplify, Simplify”
Henry David Thoreau said it, and he meant it, as he took off to live in an isolated cabin in the woods with barely any earthly possessions.
Now, nearly 200 years later, it still holds true. Even in this time of unlimited choices and advanced technology, the simplest answer is usually the best one for us. The simplest foods tend to be the healthiest, the simplest drinks tend to be the purest, the simplest medicines (herbs, nature) tend to be the most healing and least damaging, the simplest toys encourage more creativity, and the simplest lifestyles tend to be the most fulfilling.
One of the places where I like to encourage beginning simplification is the home. I work with so many Mom’s that feel overwhelmed with day to day life, and keeping up with the breakneck pace that their entire family is committed to. Life is busy, but when your home is busy too you can find yourself in constant overwhelm. Tackling your home gives a very visual sense of accomplishment and allows you to drop your shoulders and breathe fully.
When your home is organized and uncluttered, it actually drastically reduces your “to do” list. You don’t have to spend as much time managing your belongings, you can dedicate your time to things that are more important to you such as family time, and you still have everything you need. Accomplishing this actually reduces your “there’s not enough hours in the day” feelings. It creates a less over-stimulating environment for your children, and can actually improve their attention and focus. Not to mention, there is more family harmony when everyone feels at ease in their home sanctuary.
Sounds great and so simple, so what’s the catch?
Personally, I believe that clutter and crap have the same reproductive lifecycle as fleas, lice, and cockroaches. They’re always in abundance no matter how much we don’t want them. Every time I clear out my home, I seem to get an influx of well-meaning friends wanting to “hand down” their children’s toys, or the next holiday arrives and fills things up again. It’s especially challenging if you develop sentimental attachments to things (ahem).
So, how do we go about this? After many years working at this assignment, here are my recommendations.

Simplify Home Photo
1. Tackle one area at a time
You are more likely to be successful if you tackle small projects. It’s less overwhelming, and once completed you will be inspired and motivated to continue the work. I once did a drastic clean out of my clothes closet. After parting with 4 lawn and leaf bags (and this came from a small closet), I felt great. Getting ready every morning was quicker, putting laundry away was quicker, and I just felt at ease every time I approached my closet instead of tense. It gave me a huge push to tackle the next area of my home.

2. Do your toughest project last
If you have one area of your home that you know is really tough for you to clear out, do it last. Completing easier projects will give you a sense of accomplishment, and enjoying what you have done already will give you the momentum to clear out your toughest area. For me, clearing out the kid’s toys is the most difficult. I think I feel bad making those decisions for them, and am actually quite grateful that now my daughter is able to do it for herself. It actually took some training for her to be able to clear her space well after years of her Mom not being so great at it. She also feels amazing once it’s completed, and stops avoiding her room.

3. Don’t relocate your clutter
Moving clutter from a closet to the shed or storage is not clearing it out. If there is no way you are ever going to host that yard sale; then get it out. If there is no way you will ever get around to putting it on Craigslist; then get rid of it. If you want to make some money from your clothing and possessions, look for local consignment shops. Also, there are some really worthwhile donation centers such as women’s shelters in every community that can make you feel good about passing things on.

4. Accept that this isn’t a one-time deal
As I mentioned before, clutter reproduces quickly and silently. You can be living your happy life when all of a sudden you feel it weighing down on you again, eek! The good news is usually you get so used to enjoying your clear space, that it takes much less clutter to jump start you again.

5. Have fun with it
Re-imagine your space with simple, clean, family-friendly design projects to really feel good about all your hard work. And, don’t feel like you have to get rid of everything you love just because it’s not functional. Hold on to your favorite mementos as part of your design, and they will stand out more now that they aren’t hidden behind so much other stuff.
Enjoy your space, your family, and your life!

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The Best Gift a Mom Can Give

relaxing oilsI often prescribe self-care to Mom’s. I post Facebook statuses ad nauseam instructing women to nurture and love themselves. I have even jokingly gone so far as to make someone confirm that they would with a yes ma’am. Yet, I still get the glazed over, yeah sure okay response from most women. Then recently, my husband was looking at my Valentine’s Day posts urging women to remember to love themselves for the holiday. He said to me so simply and brilliantly “explain why”. Hand to forehead moment, of course.
So, I get it. I’m a mom and in the course of the day you have to meet a lot of people’s needs; children, spouse, boss, co-workers, teachers, and on and on. You are like a well-oiled machine; you have to be to get everything done and to fit it all in 24 hours. Not to mention, the world around you tends to be a little more expecting of moms to get it all done for their family and a little less forgiving if they miss a beat. Usually, there is very little time left over to indulge in luxuries for yourself, and if there is, you are so high-wired the best you can do is a glass of wine at the end of the day. Does this sound at all familiar?
I’m going to explain to you why it is not only essential for you to put yourself at the top of your priority list, but why it selfish not to.
1. You teach the world how to treat you
Translation, if you are constantly putting yourself last, what are you teaching those around you? If you get frustrated that your family isn’t treating you as you’d expect them to, it could be what you taught them. Part of our job as parents is teaching our children how to get along in this world. We should be teaching them to honor their mothers, as is done in many other cultures, not expecting them to appreciate martyrdom. No one does. By teaching our daughters to honor their mothers, we teach them to love and respect themselves as well, and we teach our sons to take care of themselves and one day love and respect their future partners. Children model our behavior, showing them to nurture themselves sets them up for a lifetime of good mental and physical health. It’s actually selfish not to give your children this gift.

2. A good habit does not just happen after 20 years of pushing it aside
I’ll take care of myself when the kids get older, or when the kids move out, or when the kids have kids. The start date continues to get pushed back until it’s just you. The kids have their own families taking up their time now. What now? Why do you think empty nest syndrome hits so hard? Everyone thinks it’s easy to just start taking care of themselves when they need to, that it will naturally kick in. When you have told your mind and body for 20 or more years to ignore doing something, it doesn’t just start doing it with the flip of a switch.

This is actually a scenario that has become really personal. A family member unexpectedly lost her husband a few years ago. All of her children were long gone with families of their own. They all wanted to support her in any way they could. She resisted all of their efforts not wanting to be a burden. At the time, this woman was beautiful, healthy, and vibrant. She did yoga and ate well. However, not being prepared for the scenario of suddenly being alone, and not knowing what to do, she chose to give up. This same woman, just three short years later, lays bed-ridden barely speaking, with a tube in her nose to provide sustenance despite no medical problems. I can’t even think about this without tearing up. Many will dismiss this as an extreme case that can’t happen to them, but the truth is she was no different than most of us and you have no idea how you will respond until you are in the situation. We have no guarantees in life, but by practicing to take care of ourselves even just a little each day, we prepare ourselves to take care of ourselves when we really need to. Imagine how difficult it would be for your family to see you deteriorate when it’s totally preventable. Preventing this is an amazing gift to give your family.

3. You are freakin’ worth it
Sorry I didn’t mean to get vulgar there ;-), but think about you and your life, and the person you are, and the kindness and love that you give. Don’t you deserve to feel as amazing as you make everyone else feel? Besides that, how can you keep giving love if you aren’t replenishing it from within? Depending on others to provide you with the love and nurturing you need can be a dangerous game, and lead you to co-dependent, unhealthy relationships. Start showing yourself the kindness and love you deserve.

Great I’m convinced, how do I do it? For everyone it will be a little different. If you are still working on feeling worthy, I want you to spend a couple of minutes every day in the mirror making eye contact with yourself. Tell yourself out loud: I love you, you are amazing, you deserve everything you desire from this life, or whatever else comes to mind, but you get the idea. It may feel awkward at first. Have you ever heard the saying “fake it ‘til you make it”? That’s what you are going to do here. Just do it until it feels authentic, and you can really look yourself in the eyes, say these beautiful things and mean it.
Also find moments in your every day, to capture for yourself. Sit and relax with a cup of tea, stop at a favorite store, read a chapter or article, get a massage, whatever gives you enjoyment. Even if it’s only a few minutes each day, eventually you will get so good at this that you will start pursuing hobbies and activities that fulfill you without feeling the least bit guilty about it. As we have already covered, you should not feel guilty, you should feel proud of the lesson you are teaching.
If you have trouble with this, don’t feel bad, its hard work to break a bad habit, and its hard work to start a good habit. Get an accountability partner, someone who will check in on your progress without judgment, or work with a holistic wellness coach (make sure they use a holistic approach). A well trained wellness coach or adviser is trained to support you without judgment, give you individualized progressive goals, and give you the tough love you need to hold you accountable so you are successful. No more excuses, no more saying I don’t have enough time. There is always enough time for what’s important. Make this important. Let me get a “yes ma’am”!
Good.
Gotta go, if you need me I’ll be in the mirror.

relax, body, soul