Category Archives: Holistic living

When nurturing is hard to do #1000Speak

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There is so much going on in the world that is bad, sad, disheartening and dare I say evil. When you have a kid you just want to protect them from all that bad stuff. I want to stick my daughter in a bubble and not let any of those bad things touch her. I don’t want her to know there are people who are cruel to animals. I don’t want her to see the devastation of deforestation. I don’t want her to see children starving. I don’t want her to see polluted waters and animals dying from it. I don’t want her to see what happens in oil spills. I don’t want her to know anything about terrorist or suicide bombers. I don’t want her to see or hear or be part of any kind of hate or discrimination.

Ultimately parents should do what is best for the child and I know as harsh as it seems, hiding her from those things will not help her.

Why in the world would I want to expose her to any of this? Well, if she doesn’t know about it , I can’t nurture any feelings of compassion for those children, animals, plants, whatever. If I bite the bullet and have the courage to talk to her about these kinds of things, I can help her see more than just one point of view. I can nurture a point of view that comes from compassion and love.  I can help her separate the behavior from the person. I can help her see how much even just voicing her dissent is important. I can help her see that even if it seems no one hears her dissent what matters is she voiced it. I can help her appreciate what she does have and how valuable just knowing where her next meal is coming from is. I can try and make sure the information she receives isn’t biased or warped. I can help foster her natural compassion for nature by open and honest conversations. Perhaps we can even learn together ways to do better , make an impact or just have a better understanding.

When I was in third grade I had to go to summer school. I had to go to summer school basically every summer but that is besides the point. This summer was memorable. Mr. Kelso was this amazing teacher I had that took a week to talk about Earth Day. In the middle of the summer! For years I assumed Earth Day was in the middle of the summer. When it came to my attention it was in April, I was like um what? No it’s not. Did they change it? He had made such an impact that it never occurred to me that it wasn’t actually Earth Day that week. When I think of that summer I think of Mr. Kelso and planting seeds and exploring the ocean tide pools and a bright hot pink Earth Day t-shirt we got. I can truly trace back my wonder in nature and the amazing world we live in to him. He nurtured a compassion for the Earth we live on just by using free materials because they were “old”. Did he think it was no big deal? Just something to fill the time that was also free? I don’t think so. He had an excitement about the whole week that just couldn’t be faked. Even if he did what a great example of how the smallest cheapest things can make such an impact.

This is what inspires my desire to make sure my daughter’s summers are rich in education and fun at the same time.  I started by trying to spread out what I remembered in that one week in the summer of third grade and spread it over the entire summer. We go to science museums and events that are geared toward specific issues. We go to things that to her just seem fun, Puppet shows and gardening events and such. Those puppet shows are about the rainforest and why its important to save it. They are pretty spectacular in and of themselves as it is not just a regular puppet stage type set up. The whole front half of the room is the stage.  We go to Gardening events that have focuses on growing your own food, on the importance of trees and many more. We go on nature hikes with biologist to learn about different insects, last year it was dragonflies. We went to demonstrations on controlled burns and demonstrations on the hazards of water pollution.   This summer we plan to go to a village that is run entirely eco-friendly. Don’t tell Rick Scott but they talk about climate change there.

Maybe all those summer’s ago, Mr. Kelso figured out what I have learned. It is not going to be me that changes the world for the better. It is the seeds I am planting. One of those seeds happens to be my daughter. The seeds I am nurturing in her are hopefully going to be planted in turn and continue in a ripple affect.Ultimately they are seeds of compassion in its many forms.

Link up or read other post that are part of 1000 Voices of Compassion Speak here:

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All the Meme’s, #1000speak, April announcement

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When I get on the internet sometimes it is like this:

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Sometimes it even gets to this:

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I have enough pages and friends that I follow that I even get this :

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However this is often what happens

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Which is why I am so glad to be part of the initiative of 1000 Voices of Compassion. There is one day of positivity and good happy reading. We have had two great months of posts. I have to has gone a long way to helping me have faith in humanity on a regular basis. The best part is there is so much to read that I can go back when the news is a little overwhelming.  While March was a hard brain bending topic of Bullying and showing compassion, we had some just simply amazing pieces linked up.

April’s theme has been announced.

Nurturing. Which we brain stormed , so the link will take you to some prompts to get your brain going. Or to interest you into coming back to read and share the posts.

While that might not sound exactly like it is a hard concept, remember the overall theme is compassion and being positive.

While I know all these fantastic writers and followers of 1000 voices are great. I am pretty sure it is not like this

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Our goal is to help spread happiness and kindness , love and compassion around.

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We hope that we can share some of it with others and in turn they will share it with more others and soon others will spread it as well. Maybe we could even bring back unicorns!!! Okay well probably not but, I would love it to see if more people spit out rainbows instead of hate and anger.

I don’t like it, but I do it.

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It started in an attempt to make sure my husband ate healthier. At the time he had been eating oatmeal for breakfast and often ramen noodles for lunch and dinner. I had a genius idea to cook a lot at once and portion it out and freeze it for him to have better meals with all the work he has been doing to support our family.  Then one night I got home and I was just done. There was nothing in me to cook. We were out of milk so cereal wasn’t an option. I used two of his freezer meals and felt better about what my daughter and I ate for dinner. Soon after this I started working part-time. When I picked up my daughter she had been fed. I just had to feed myself. Cooking for one just does not appeal to me. Some weeks I go really crazy and prep lunches for my daughter and me plus the freezer dinners. One week was going to be really really busy so I even prepped breakfast.

Chronic illness takes so much from us, taking back my nutrition has been one way to fight back. True I do have to plan for most of the day to be spent cooking and prepping and resting. It really does take a lot out of me however, I have found it’s value far out weighs the energy spent doing it. When I first started doing it took me a lot longer. The more I have done it the more efficient I have gotten at it. This is what works for me. When I first started this was almost a six hour process for me.  I really don’t cook using exact measurements. The food you will have to use your sense of judgement of how much your family would eat. Some I know the amounts only because I was able to dig up Farmers market receipts and find the amounts I got. So if you are looking for exact measurements, this is not for you.  However, I do know that the more nutritious meals I can eat the more my body will thank me for it. The easier I can make it to get veggies and fruit in my diet the better I function. When I have complete meals like this ready,the less likely I am to resort to cereal for dinner or other crap, like pizza.

Here is how I do my food prep/cook days.

Grocery store list:

8 pounds of chicken

one head of cauliflower

1/2 lbs Green beans

Baby Carrots

Two sweet potatoes

1 lbs Parsnips

Quinoa

Brown Rice

 1 head of Broccoli

about 1/2 a lbs Sugar snap peas

2-3 Squash(whatever is in season) I normally stay with acorn or butternut squash as they will hold up the best.

Eggplant- I often get the baby eggplants as they are easier. I get between six to nine

Tin foil

Olive oil

If you don’t already have them Ziploc or Glad entree containers (this normally does about 12-14 individual dinners)

So then I come home and clean all the veggies. Turn the oven on to 350

Line two trays and two baking pans with tinfoil(this makes clean up simple) (and by the time I am done I need simple)

Place your chicken in one of the foil lined baking pans. Add olive oil and seasonings to your liking. I have found the best combo is garlic rosemary and sea salt.

 Toss the chicken in the oven and set the timer for an hour. It does best on a top rack.

Then in the other baking pan I place the cauliflower and baby eggplants  and sweet potatoes. Cover well with olive oil. We like to use garlic and dill on the cauliflower and garlic and salt on the eggplant. The sweet potatoes I individually wrap in foil and just toss a splash of olive oil and salt in with it.  This normally takes me about fifteen minutes and I toss it in with the chicken.

Next up are the parsnips and carrots. Peel and place on baking sheet. coat in olive oil and season. Again we tend to do garlic rosemary basil and salt.

Toss that baking sheet in.

Half the squash and de-seed it. sprinkle some cinnamon nutmeg and clove on it.  Slap it face down on the baking sheet lined with tinfoil and a bit of olive oil. Toss that baking sheet in.

Now go lay down. There should be about twenty minutes to thirty minutes left on the timer.  I sometimes cheat and just sit down and snip green beans.

The timer goes off.

Take out the parsnips and carrots first and set aside. The cauliflower and eggplants are also normally done. The sweet potatoes if the very center is still firm that is fine. Remember you will be microwaving them so they will finish cooking.

Check the chicken. Most of the time it is done but it could need a bit more.

On the stove you will need four pots.  In one you will mix brown rice and quinoa and set it to boiling. I normally save the kale and spinach pulp in my juices and toss that in with it. I make quite a bit but as usual I don’t normally measure it. I would approximate a cup of each. It will make a lot which is what you want.

Then the green beans and sugar snap peas and broccoli in the others. Cook them to just shy of being done.  This way when you microwave them later they finish cooking the last little bit and are perfect.

Now you can line up the gladware or ziplock containers. I throw about a tablespoon of quinoa rice mix in all of them. A chicken breast. Then two veggies. Mix how you wish.

Quinoa rice spinach and kale mix

Quinoa rice spinach and kale mix

Quinoa mix, chicken sweet potato and green beans

Quinoa mix, chicken sweet potato and green beans

Quinoa mix chicken and caulflower. I believe the carrots got lost under the caulflower

Quinoa mix chicken and caulflower. I believe the carrots got lost under the caulflower

Sugar snap peas caulflower chicken.

Sugar snap peas caulflower chicken.

Quinoa rice mix, parsnips and carrots and chicken.

Quinoa rice mix, parsnips and carrots and chicken.

Top and toss in the freezer.

Take out as needed.

For lunches I normally do a salad with some cubed ham or turkey shredded cheese, hard boiled egg and mandarin oranges. In ziplock bag, fried noodles  or a seed mix(pumpkin and Sunflower) then in small containers dish out a squirt or two of dressing. This keeps it from getting soggy.

For breakfasts we like to do a layer of greek yogurt a layer of granola a layer of fruit drizzled with honey sprinkle on some ground chia and then a shake of cinnamon. These stay good for about three to four days. For the other days I normally portion out oatmeal and mix in ground flaxseed, wheat germ and some cinnamon. Then all I have to do is add water.

Another meal I normally toss in the oven after all the food prep is brussel sprouts mushrooms onions baby carrots, minced garlic a  little lemon zest and olive oil then season with whatever you wish. Toss that all in some tinfoil and wrap closed. Toss THAT in the oven for about thirty minutes or so. Most of the time I just turn the oven off after thirty minutes and leave it in the oven. I normally have a bit of quinoa rice mix left over so I spread that on plates and top with the brussel sprouts mix.

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It is not over …..A call to action…..#1000speak

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Did you miss linking up for `1000 voices speak for compassion but want to? Well the good news is; it is continuing!! Be sure you are following the FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+ and the BLOG!

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Quote found on Pinterest Robert E. Ricciardelli

March 20th 1000 voices speak for compassion is continuing.The subject is still compassion but has a more specific tone, building on bullying. You can write on any subject about compassion and link-up. We just thought compassion encompasses so much we could narrow it down a little as well. Please do not feel you HAVE to write about bullying. We do want to stress that the emphasis should remain on a positive light. Some thoughts to consider: Can we have compassion for bully’s? Why should we have compassion for bully’s.  Do Bully’s deserve compassion? How would I show a bully compassion? Do I model being compassionate to ALL people(including bullys) to my child? How can I show compassion to someone I consider a bully? I will be writing specifically about having compassion for bully’s, not the behavior but the person. It is quite a thought to wrap your brain around, I know.

 

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Quote found on Pinterest

Stay tuned for the link up on March 20th and GET WRITING!!!

What Exactly is this Compassion you speak of?

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Sometimes I think as adults we forget the basics. The things kids just know and don’t even second guess. Somewhere in the pursuit of being an adult we forget the most important things. We allow the world to jade us and become cynical. Kids just naturally see the good in people. Until you give them a reason, you are good. Sometimes people call this growing a thick skin. Let’s not forget though that thick skin can still be soft, bendable, pliable, giving.

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 I put out a call on my personal Facebook page, on Chronically sick Facebook page, on twitter. on Google + and even Instagram.  It was really difficult to get people to take part in this.  I was not interested in judging anyone for what their child said. I expected a lot of,

“I don’t know.” ‘s

A lot of shrugging

My daughter even asked me to define my question more.  What do you mean Mommy?  Compassion about what? I think that in and of itself was very telling. She didn’t spit out a definition. She automatically knew it was about an action. It just furthered my belief that children just instinctively know what compassion is. They may not know what the real word for it is, but they know it.

A two-year old may not be able to even say the word compassion. However,burst into tears around a two-year old and most of them will either join you or give you soft touches and ask what is wrong. Isn’t that like compassion personified?

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The very next comment I got was from a two-year old. They really just boil it down to the basics, don’t they.

Since getting involved in 1000 speak for compassion , I have been naturally thinking of compassion more and more. I have seen some areas in my life where it is lacking. I have really been paying attention to more and more that is going on around me.

I would describe myself as a compassionate person to begin with. I found it strange to even be thinking of ways I can be more compassionate. Even at the same time as I am thinking, we can always be more compassionate.

We want our kids to be compassionate but are we really showing them what compassion is. That compassion doesn’t limit anything. Every thing, living or nonliving, deserves compassion.Does that seem weird? Non living needs compassion? How in the world can non-living things need compassion. Really just sit there for a minute with that.

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If compassion is caring and loving something and wanting it to be whole and complete. Then it can be seen as treating your things with compassion. Some call that respect, but I see compassion being applied here too. Have you watched how a child plays with a treasured toy? Lovingly and not wanting to hurt them. While we know toys are not alive, we don’t stop them. Eventually they learn their toy is not alive, they still treasure it.  Books may not be able to feel when there pages rip but does that mean it feels any less hurtful?  There are those that would argue that since paper is made from trees, it is in fact a living thing. I can completely see that as well.

Let me just gush for a moment about what Monkey boy says compassion is. School.  It seems silly at first but , really passion is school. Compassion does teach us so much. If we let it.  Those last four words, they matter the most. Compassion can teach us things, but we have to let it in. It also has to be a lesson we are ready to receive. Sometimes when this happens to me, I have had a particular lesson several times, I wonder what took me so long to ‘Get’ it. Here it was for me to see all this time. Sometimes then it is also a lesson we didn’t even know we needed.

 So what exactly is this compassion? It seems we can sum it up by what the kids have said. We don’t necessarily know the word for it but we know it when we see it;It is whole and accepting love, it is learning and most of all it is an action. Whether we are giving or receiving, it is an action.

All the things TTOT 85

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This week went by so fast. It was so incredibly busy but it was apparently one of those good busy.It was like I kept waiting for everything to fall apart. I felt it was just around the corner. Everything would come crashing down. It never did.At the end of the day, everything that absolutely needed to be done was done. Homework was done. Lunches had been packed and shockingly eaten. Freezer dinners got done. Well the house is mess but really is that such an important thing?  So what am I thankful for this week? I don’t think I could pick one thing to be the one thing I am most thankful for. So think of it as I have ten things I am the most thankful for.

I think number one has to be #1000speak for compassion. There have been daily inspiring quotes and blog posts. I have turned to them many times when I was just sure I was moments away from falling apart. We have surpassed the 1000 bloggers goal and we are still going strong. It was incredibly exciting to reach the 1000 bloggers that was our goal. It has been more and more exciting,mind blowing, amazingly awesome to see it keep growing. I have read so many inspiring posts, seen so many inspiring and not to mention well timed quotes.

Number two is going to fall into that I am thankful we have such a great church community.They work so hard to encourage the kids to ask questions, explore and really embrace our seven principles. Recently we had a celebration of our newly chosen  settled Ministers. One of the dignitaries said she had never seen a group of youth religious education kids who knew the principles as well as ours do. Simplified in kid version they are: 1. Each person is important. 2. Be kind in all you do. 3. We are free to learn together 4. And search for what is true 5. All people need a voice 6. Build a fair and peaceful world. 7. Take care of the Earth.  They are definitely inspiring my daughter to keep an open mind and an open heart.

I struggle this week to find things that I have not mentioned yet. I don’t want to say the same things over and over again.However it seems like each week I have new reasons to be grateful and thankful and all that jazz to the same old things.

Number three is for the farmers market.  I was able to get such a good variety of fresh fruit and produce. We truly were able to eat the rainbow! Even gorge myself on clementines which I still have no idea how I ate so many and yet did not get a stomach ache.

Number four is my husband.Seriously not a day goes by that I don’t think about how hard he works for us. How much time and effort he puts into everything. To keeping our family afloat, to fostering a good relationship with our daughter, to making sure we have quality family time,to making sure he still takes times for his friends and to take care of him.It is not an easy thing to balance but he seems to do it with such finesse.

Number five is a work in progress for me. This week I should have gone home and done dishes, and laundry. The house is an absolute mess. Instead I drove to the river.The whole way arguing with myself.

“The dishes are getting ridiculous.  If we go home now , we have an hour to work on them and laundry. Does anyone have clean clothes for tomorrow? I am not sure.”

” I just need to take some time for myself.”

“what was sitting at Starbucks? That was time for yourself.”

“no that was writing,It was work. it does benefit me to get the words out of my head but that is not why I do it.”

” This is so irresponsible, you have responsibilities.GO HOME.. You are going to the river on Saturday anyway.”

” I have a responsibility to center myself too. I am going to the river on Saturday.A different part of the river,with others -not by myself. “

To which point the whole argument devolved into …shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up.

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It was exactly what I needed. I followed my gut and not my brain.It was the right decision.

Number six is that: my size eight jeans I got almost two months ago,fit this morning. I definitely have a muffin top with them.However they buttoned and zipped. MADE MY DAY TODAY. This means in the last six months since I have started serious walking and dedication to walking and eating healthy I have dropped from a size fourteen to a size eight.!!!!!!

The rest of my thankfuls can be summed up in these two quotes I ran across today:

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I am sure somewhere in the rule book this is allowed.

#1000speak Finding our way back. Join Us.

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On my post Gratitude Vs Depression Vs Anxiety at the end I added a bit about a new initiative that I am participating in.

This is a little more about that:

The newest news on that is that you don’t have to be a blogger to join: We now have a site where we will publish anyone who does not have their own blog.

What is this #1000speak all about?

Somewhere we lost our way.

Somewhere we forgot compassion.

We say we have compassion but, I think we have forgotten what true compassion is.

This is what the Free Dictionary say about compassion

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We forgot how much kindness,mercy and love tie into compassion. We forgot to be genuinely happy for others. Instead we are judging them. We are telling them they are wrong. A lot of times we say this with good intentions. We say it is because we care. Because we love them. We forgot that by doing things this way, we are forgetting how absolutely unique each person is. What makes you happy, isn’t necessarily what makes me happy. What makes your life gel is not necessarily what makes my life gel. In fact,if I tried it your way my life would probably fall apart. When I listened to what others said I had to do,I fell apart.I grasped at straws. When I stepped back and listened to my inner voice, When I was true to myself, things started clicking. It is hard because we want to prevent our friends families and even strangers from struggling and grasping like we did. We forget that during that struggle, during that grasping, I was learning. I was learning things about myself, about how I work, How I function.They were lessons I needed to learn.Sometimes they were lessons I had to have several times.

When you add in the horrors that have been in the News lately. Terrorism, death, people falling apart and the news is there to blast it in our face. Is it any wonder that people are loosing their faith in humanity? That depression is on the rise? That people are striking out in anger?In fear?

The best way to make a change in the world is , model the behavior we want to see in the world. If we want to see more kindness, we need to be more kind. If we want to see more love, We need to love more. True non-judgmental I accept you for who you are love. We can’t teach our children compassion if we don’t show them what compassion actually is.  Compassion for humans, compassion for animals, compassion for the Earth. To start modeling it maybe we need to just do it, the feelings and the actual want to be compassionate will follow.

I am proud to know some of the founders of this initiative. Flooding the internet with goodness. With stories of love ,kindness and compassion. Reading about it often inspires us to do more. 1000 bloggers may seem like a small little pebble in the grand scheme of things. It is just the first step. The ripples. That is what I am excited to see. How many ripples will this have? It’s the ripples that make the actual change. I hope for our ripples to be as big as a humongous boulder dropped in a river. Ripples that start in one spot and travel far down the stream.

(all links will open in a separate window for your convenience!)

Here is the post that inspired this initiative. Here is the post that started this in motion. Yvonne and Lizzi are just plain amazing. Their compassion is astounding.

If you would also like to join this initiative-sign up here.  Don’t have a blog? No problem. Send your writing to THIS EMAIL.

We also have a Facebook page you can follow the progress on!

Follow on Twitter under the hashtag  #1000speak

And of course stay tuned on this blog!!!

update on product review of ultracur

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I have a habit that when I find something that works, I am not always picky on the brand. This one I am. I can honestly say it works better than anything I have tried before.

Nature’s Made and Sundown being my normal go to brands. I ran out of Ultracur and I had some sundown on back up. My daughter actually takes it to boost her immune system in the winter. It wasn’t like from one dose to the next I noticed the difference. It was more once I reached the 24 hour mark without Ultracur. I started noticing aches, pains that had quieted. Could I have really pin pointed when they quieted. Probably not. It was like. oh hey, that was gone. Don’t worry there were other areas that were yelling. When it kicks in, it tends to be just as subtle. I know for me when I am not functioning my brain is constantly checking my body. NOW? Can we go do something now? Can we at least sit up? Can we stand? Once I am up and moving I tend to think less about my pain issues.

My routine has become I get up and take two. About thirty minutes later, my morning stiffness is noticeably less. I should note I also use Ginger,either in juiced form or in my Chai. Often two to three times a week I take a four mile walk. When I return from my walk. Two capsules and ginger. Most of the time thirty minutes later I can function again. Sometimes if I have really pushed myself it takes an hour.

At this point a little over a month after starting it, I have completely stopped taking aspirin. I only take Tylenol at night to help me sleep. For whatever reason Tylenol knocks me out. It is worth mentioning there is some minor risk taking aspirin and curcumin together. I never took them at the same time it was either one or the other. Until I tried this one, I had not found anything that would work at bedtime where I could stop using so much aspirin to help the muscle pain and the Tylenol to take the edge off the joint pain.

There have been some nights I have begun to question if I even need to take Ultracur at bedtime. I have skipped it several times and surprisingly had decent sleep.

If you missed the original product review you can read it here.

Please still contact Casey if you are interested. We continue to work together.