Growing Pains

Here lately I’ve been fixated on changes needed to live my best life ever. In the Follow Your Bliss post, I wrote about the challenges some Generation Xers are having coping with the economic demands of today. My remedy was for us to follow our bliss. In the 20th century there was an ongoing battle to expand and redefine who was allowed to have the best of life, i.e. the women’s rights movement, the Civil Rights’ movement. People tired of narrow definitions of who was allowed to have the American Dream. Throughout the 20th century there have been people who championed for everyday people realizing their dreams. Self-help gurus such as Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey, Norman Vincent Peale, Iyanla Vanzant, Deepak Chopra, and Dennis Kimbro are examples of people who worked/ and are still working to help us redefine what is possible in our lives. In the 90s I believe the spiritual transition to believe you can have your heart’s desire culminated with Oprah’s Change Your Life series.

The growing pain some of us Generation Xers have is making the transition from what I perceive as the 20th century way of thinking in which once we reach adulthood we are a finished product; to the 21st century way of thinking in which we are all works in progress. We have to realize we can’t allow our skill set to become outdated assuming that what we learned in college is all we ever need to know. We have to approach our lives as if it’s a science experiment in which we are constantly researching ways to improve our lives. We, Generation Xers, can successfully navigate these changes if we accept the inevitability of change and stay current.

I hope my thoughts in this post are not too “all over the place”. These are just streams of thought I’ve been mulling over for the past few months. Thanks for reading.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

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Why?

This week I’m reading the book The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan.  It’s an exposé of the American food system. It’s a first person account of the author’s travails working in the fields as a farmworker in California, a stocker at Walmart in Michigan, and at Appleby’s in Brooklyn. The book has been eye-opening in expected and unexpected ways.

“And anyone slogging through the depths of our economy on minimum wage or less, whatever their job, knows that their survival depends less on their own individual fortitude than the community of people they’re able to draw around them for support.” p. 234

This quote articulates an answer to a question I have gotten a few times: Why do you want to open a natural food store in the black community in Houston, Texas? The quote implies that we are meant to be our brothers keepers, and to whom much is given much is required. It gave me words to explain why the location of the store is as important as the contents of the store.

Don’t you love when reasons are given to you for questions you did not know you didn’t have the answer too! 🙂

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

Resurrection

Christians around the world are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus this Easter Sunday. Today I’d like to resurrect the original reason I began this blog: to eat raw foods for 365 days. Currently one of my sister friends is on a juice fast. Her commitment has brought back those original feelings I had that sparked my desire to eat raw foods.

Self reflection is powerful! I was asked for some tips to enhance a juice fast. The first thing that came to mind was the Boy Scouts’ motto: Be Prepared! To be successful with any endeavor, most especially a change in eating habits, you must be prepared. Eating is such a visceral experience that any changes to your routine can cause all sorts of havoc if you’re not prepared for it. As I reflect on my attempt at eating raw foods, through reading my first blog posts, there was one glaring fact. I was NOT prepared for the shift to eating raw foods. I ask myself why I was not prepared and how I did not realize it.

I underestimated what it meant to be prepared. I bought food equipment, gathered recipes, attended classes and potlucks all in an effort to create a community and have the tools to be able prepare a variety of raw foods. Where I fell short was in my household. Having personal space is required to eat a raw foods lifestyle. What I found is that my household was/is out of order. Currently my household has been in transition for nearly a year now. I underestimated how not having my personal space conducive to eating raw foods has been a major impediment. It stopped me from being adequately prepared for the shift.

As my fifth grade teacher used to always say: knowing is half the battle. Today I acknowledge what has made me unprepared for eating raw foods. So, the first order of business is getting my personal space in order to eat raw foods. I don’t put any time limit on it, just as long as I am actively working towards the goal of getting my personal space in order. Though this finding throws my whole timeline out of whack, my overall goal is to eat raw foods not adhere to a time table.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

P.S. Since most of my blog posts are food-related I thought I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a few lines to recognize that today is Cesar Chavez’s birthday. Chavez was a farm labor organizer and “led the first successful farm-workers union in the U.S. He won industry-wide labor contracts in American agriculture,” according to James Harrington in the Houston Chronicle.  Check out www.cesarechavezfoundation.org for more information about Cesar Chavez’s life.

Tears

Keeping with the theme of water I thought I’d share an excerpt from Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, dated March 21st.

I cry out with my whole heart. -Psalm 119:145

Water purifies. Water nurtures. Water is the healing force of the universe. Water cleanses. Water corrodes. Water refreshes. It is the conduit of growth, protection and maintenance. Crying produces salt water. It purges, protects and expands the spirit. Crying is a release, a cleansing, an expression. However, we must learn to cry with an agenda. Are you crying to release, to purify, to cleanse? Are you angry, frightened, worried or elated? We may cry because of a particular situation, but there is underlying emotion we really need to express. When done properly crying brings clarity and healing to the body and spirit. It can be a refreshing experience, so do it as often as you like. The moment the tears start to flow, just write down your agenda.

– When I cry with an agenda, my needs are met.

This whole post has been an excerpt from Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

Benefits of Water

I know there are tomes written about water and its significance and benefits. I know I don’t have anything new to add to the subject, but I’d like to take a few lines to emphasize the importance of prioritizing water daily. It’s important that we each plan our day to include water. It may sound trivial, but it is essential to quantify how much water we’re in-taking daily. Water’s health benefits can’t be overstated. Here’s a list of reasons/ benefits of drinking a sizeable amount of water daily.

1) Our body is made up of about 60% water and needs to be replenished daily.

2) Drinking 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily helps replenish water loss.

3) It’s reported that people who drink sufficient amounts of water daily helps regulate their metabolism.

4)  Drinking enough water also helps with overeating, often our body is thirsty when we think its hungry.

5) Water keeps skin, hair and nails looking supple and hydrated.

If you want more reasons to prioritize daily water intake please reference the article “6 Reasons to Drink Water” on WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

P.S. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I value any holiday that is symbolized by my favorite color, green. 🙂

Edible Landscapes

In my workout reading I came across a delicious story about edible landscapes for an entire town. This is the brainchild of Pam Warhurst of Todmorden, England (a town in northern England with a population of 16,000 people). Pam attended an environmental conference where participants were prompted to start thinking differently about how to treat our environment. After thinking on it, Pam went to a friend with what she called the “wackiest” idea: making every available land space in the town a place to grow food. Fortunately her friend agreed with her idea. They sent out flyers requesting townspeople attend a meeting where the idea was announced. To her surprise 60 people showed up to the meeting and agreed to volunteer to turn their town into an edible landscape. Visit the website www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk to get the full breadth of this project.

The idea of edible landscapes has my mind reeling with the possibilities in my own neighborhood. For years I have planned to open a natural food store with a café (Organic Soul Foods). This March I will begin my crowdfunding campaign to prompt friends and family and friends and family of my friends and family to donate to this idea. When I think of this business idea it too is wacky because in many ways my neighborhood does not fit the suggested demographics to open a natural foods store. I met with a businessman who looked over my business plan, and he emphasized the need to be clear on who my customers are. In Pam Warhurst’s TED Talk she emphasized that small acts are not insignificant. Small acts can be the catalyst for real change. I say that if we ever want our communities to be healthier and more vibrant than we have to think of ourselves in different ways too. We can’t just go by what we think customers want based on what they buy in our neighborhoods. You can’t buy organic fruits and vegetables if they aren’t sold anywhere in your neighborhood. Think of it, there was not a market for smartphones before IPhone. Why? Simple, there can’t be market for something that does not exist.

John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, stated in an interview that when Whole Foods began organic foods’ sales was only 5%; now they’re 50% of sales. He claims the growth in organic foods’ sales in large part is due to educating the consumer. A large part of Organic Soul Foods mission will be the continuous education of ourselves/ consumers. I believe when given the opportunity to eat foods that makes one feel good, most will take it. I applaud Pam Warhurst and her incredible edible town, and hope one day that it can be said that Organic Soul Foods brought the same value to my community as she has brought to hers.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

Gratitude

Gratitude – n. being thankful; appreciation.  Synonyms: acknowledgement, recognition, thanksgiving

July 1st  to October 1st have been my transition period to raw foods. As my “Relationships” post detailed, this journey has been more about my emotional attachment to foods than anything else. So, this post I want to do nothing but show my gratitude to this process. I am grateful…

  1. to be able to eat raw foods seamlessly.
  2. for my reward stickers I put on the calendar  for each day I eat raw foods.
  3. for organized meals that can be eaten on the go.
  4. for fruits (bananas) that are very convenient .
  5. that my appetite/ cravings are for raw foods.
  6. for Green Seed Vegan’s “rocking tacos” and Almond Joi Smoothies.
  7. for 1 week of 100% raw foods.
  8. I woke up invigorated; Houston Texans record is 5-0.
  9. I went to the gym.
  10. I’m 5 lbs lighter
  11. that Whole Foods has marinated raw veggies that are very delicious
  12. to be able to pass up cupcakes for my co-worker’s birthday.
  13. that I made a great smoothie; met neighbors canvassing for the Election.
  14. for 365livefoods blog and a “fruit day”.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth