Archive | July, 2014

Why is Stillness So Dang Hard to Do?

28 Jul
Lauritzen Botanical Gardens, Omaha, NE. I find peace in nature.

Lauritzen Botanical Gardens, Omaha, NE. I find peace in nature.

It’s scary to be still.

Our brain can be such a nasty thing when we want to be present. “Hey lazy,” it will shout, “how about you get off your butt and do something for once! Try losing a few pounds, loser. You aren’t going to get that promotion–you’re not good enough. Ya sure, they’d go out with you–if you were the last person on Earth.”

Ouch.

It’s a blessing that we aren’t our thoughts. In fact, sometimes they desire a verbal Kung Fu chop back to reality with factual examples of all the times you’ve experienced success–big or small. “Hey Brain. Actually, I just finished a 30-minute workout and replaced my daily soda with this awesome herbal tea–I feel great! And even though I’m nervous waiting to find out about the promotion, that’s okay. I’ve increased my productivity and I’m proud of it. And… I really want to get to know this person and the only way I can know for sure is to ask. Plus, if I was actually the loser person you say I am, then I wouldn’t have such great friends.”

Ka Pow! Kung Fu chopped.

Turn your attention inward again. Listen to your breathing for 10 deep breaths. Listen to your body, not your brain. What is it telling you?

And smile… always smile.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you ever find your monkey mind trash talking yourself with negativity? If so, what do you do or say to silence it?

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Simply Delicious Beef Tacos

20 Jul

IMG_1946Me gusta tacos! This meal is perfect for health conscious awesome people like yourself who want to quickly put a meal on the table. This entire meal took less than 30 minutes (45 if you make a more difficult side dish) to make, so don’t let the ingredient list fool you, it’s mostly just dried spices. And, if you have a set of extra hands, it will take you even less time.

 

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs grass-fed ground beef

4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp paprika

20 turns cracked black pepper (or 1/4 tsp)

1 tsp cilantro, chopped (or to taste)

2 scallions, chopped

8 chives, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup water

1 container butter leaf lettuce (organic, triple-washed)

Garnish: avocado, salsa, black olives, mango salsa, guacamole, etc.

 

Directions:

1. Brown the meat in a skillet and drain the fat. Add all of the spices, cilantro, scallions, chives, lime and water to the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While the beef is browning, throw together your side. I made a salad of chopped zucchini that I let sweat and patted dry (learn how here), chopped red bell pepper, avocado and Whole Foods mango salsa (for a homemade recipe, try this). Rinse and pat dry the butter leaf lettuce so it is ready to go.

3. Layer the ends of two butter lettuce leaves and fill with the taco meat and any garnishments you like.

4. Enjoy with friends, family or in solitary peace on your porch.

 

Serves 6

How to Go From Desk Jockey to Wellness Warrior in Five Simple Steps

14 Jul
Stack some shelves, a coffee table, or nail a few pieces of wood together and create your own standing workstation such as the one featured here from www.standupdesktops.com

Stack some shelves, a coffee table, or nail a few pieces of wood together and create your own standing workstation such as the one featured here from http://www.standupdesktops.com

We all know that sitting on your tuckus for 8+ hours per day will strip you of energy, health and a svelte body. Not cool. However, I’m not into using statistical scare tactics to help you reclaim your health–I dig positive action. Here are five simple steps you can implement for a health upgrade.

 

1. Ask For a Standing Workstation (or buy one yourself). If your company doesn’t value your health and productivity enough to invest in a standing workstation after you’ve asked, then step up to the plate. Buy it or build it–just know you are worth it.

2. Get Mobile. Talking on the phone? Put it on speaker or use a headset and walk around while you chat. Need to email/ call a co-worker or pick up a report? Walk to their office and talk in person. Elevator to the fourth floor? Of course not, silly. Stairs will do just fine.

3. Redefine Meetings. Whether you are meeting a co-worker or doing some networking, skip the boring office and coffee shop, grab your digital recorder and hit the trails. Walking meetings are far more productive and creative because you are getting more oxygen to your brain. If weather outdoors isn’t cooperating, then hit the gym, mall or museum.

4. Take a Weight Break. Stash weights in your office/ cubicle or simply use your body to build strength, stretch and move. Your office/ cubicle, stairwell, hallway or outdoor areas are great places to do this mini desk workout or other energy-building exercises such as jumping jacks and walking lunges. Fear feeling foolish with your co-workers? Ask Staring Stan and Chatty Cathy to join you. Will people talk about you, will you be different? Yes, probably, if “different” means you’ll be the person who is energetic, efficiently and effectively performing their job and dropping pant sizes. Then… yes, please!

5. Eat Real Food. When you care about something, you treat it well. Your body is no different, so treat it right by eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and high quality fats and proteins.  Greatly reduce or eliminate processed foods, caloric beverages and sugar, and you’ll feel vibrant, look healthy and perform like a rock star. Pinky swear.

The Hero’s Journey

8 Jul
The Avengers

The Avengers

I love superhero movies…. and it isn’t because of the spandex (although I won’t complain). It’s the simple fact that these superheroes choose compassion despite their hardships.

 

… and it’s not because they’re pure goodness . They are remarkably human–minus the genius gizmos, gamma ray goodness and demigod status, of course. They make mistakes and face a ton of setbacks along the way. They have a shadow side that doesn’t always act in the best interests of others (well hello Mr. Dark Knight!). There truly is no black and white or good versus evil in my opinion… and I find this refreshing and hopeful.

 

You see, we can learn a lot from superheroes. We can learn to feel our emotions fully and channel them towards the greater good. We can learn to embrace our shadows because therein lies our creativity. And we know that bottling up anger turns us into big green creatures of destruction. True story.

 

So if your brokenhearted, feel the sadness. Grieve the loss, recognize your role in the relationship ending and channel that heartache into volunteering at Habitat for Humanity where you meet the cool volunteer plumber whose best friend just happens to be the future love of your life. Yeah, life really is that generous… if we let it be.

 

Embrace every emotion. Act with compassion. Enjoy the journey.