Monthly Archives: June 2009

I think I mentioned in my I love Salad post that my husband and I have been really enjoying what we call the “Big Salad”.  We have this for dinner once a week now and giggle about past Seinfeld episodes (did you catch the reference?).

I find it funny that without even trying to convince him, my husband is fully on board with whatever I put in front of him these days.  This one is a big hit though, so I thought I would share.

Big Salad

2 servings

Marinade Chicken

  • 1 boneless skinless free range chicken breast
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • couple good grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced

Put this all in a Ziploc bag with one chicken breast and let marinate for a couple of hours.  At least one I would say but you could probably leave it for as long as 24.

Croutons

  • One slice sprouted wheat bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • pinch salt
  • one or two grind of fresh black pepper

put all ingredients in a medium skillet and toss with your hands to coat the bread well with the oil and spices.  Cook over medium until desired brownness and then turn on low (as low as you can go) while you prepare the rest of the salad.  Stir occasionally.

Leaving them on low will allow them to crisp up a little and keep them warm while you prepare the rest of the salad.  They are better if you put them on top warm.  If they start to get too done, then turn them off and then give them a quick sizzle on medium high right before you eat to get them warmed up.

Cooking the Chicken

I like the chicken cooked on the BBQ myself.  This way it has that touch of smoky charcoal flavor that compliments the rest of this meal so well, but you could also use a grill pan, broil it or even cut it up and saute it if you are in a big hurry.

You will want the chicken to be done about 5 minutes before you are ready to eat so that it can rest for a few minutes, but still be warm when you put it on the salad.

We cook it on the BBQ and it takes about 20 minutes.  You will need to figure this out for yourself based on your chosen cooking style.

Assembling the Salad

These are just the veggies that I like and choose to use, but you could use anything you like and try to use what is in season right now for fresher, healthier vegetables.

  • 4 handfuls of organic salad green mix – I have the guy at the farmers market mix half baby lettuce and half spicy mix.  Yum!
  • 2 carrots (or one if it is large – the ones I get at the farmers market are about 4 inches long, so I use 2), diced small
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful of sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (use whatever kind of tomatoes you like or are fresh and cut them to bit size)
  • raw sunflower seeds, raw pepitas, raw almonds (or whatever seed/nut combo you like) – about 2 T total per plate.
  • 2 T freshly ground flax seed
  • Your favorite dressing

Split the above ingredients between two plates and top with half the croutons and half the chicken.  Dress and enjoy.

There really nothing more to say…

I simply could not believe it, I had to take a picture.

CIMG3951

We are very lucky with our long haired cat in that he doesn’t require the same level of grooming of other long-haired cats that I know.  His hair doesn’t mat up and he is generally pretty good at keeping himself clean, not counting the occasional burr and a not so pleasant dingleberry every now and again.

But, a couple of times a year, he starts getting really antsy and kind of snickety.  He meows really loud all the time and is generally a real grumperpants.  I’m not sure why, but I aways spend at least a week, sometimes several weeks, wondering what the hell is wrong with him.  But inevitably it is always the same thing and I usually catch on as I notice the large balls of hair he leaves behind him whenever he gets up from a lounging spot.  Ohhh, he’s shedding.  Duh!

So out comes the nifty cat brush and away we go.  This is not really an uncommon result of this lengthy grooming process.  The amount of hair that comes off this animal is out of hand. What’s funny is if I were to brush him any other time of year, this would not be the result.  A much much smaller pile to say the least.

What nifty tool do I use to accomplish such amazing results you ask?  Hee hee, I make myself giggle sometimes, what a ridiculous thing to say…

But, it is true that this particular cat brush puts the rest of them to shame.  I have seen nothing work as well on long-haired cats.  My dog has really short coarse hair so I don’t know if it would work on dogs, but I assume so.  Maybe they even make a dog version.  Let’s take a look…

It’s called a Zoom Groom and I just found out they do make them for dogs as well.

It really is a brilliant little invention and he absolutely loves it more than anything.    He rolls around on the floor and butts his head up against anything in the vicinity and I just keep going until he tells me he’s had enough.  Amazing, really.

I picked up my Gabriel Method book this morning to reread some of the nutritional stuff as I have been concentrating on my mental health and identifying and eradicating my emotional blockage.   I was looking through the monthly plans and nutritional information and realized that I am already doing everything in month 3, just naturally without thinking about it.   How cool is that?

Unfortunately, I am still giving into the still too frequent junk food cravings and not being as active as I should.  I find that when I am busy and overwhelmed, instead of turning to exercise as a stress release and break from it all, I look at it like the worst possible thing ever.  Rather silly, really.    But, I am not beating myself up over it.  This just gives me tangible goals for this next month.

This month I will begin using the craving killing visualization.  Couple of interesting things about this…

I have been searching through the book for weeks looking for the section on the craving killing visualization and could not find it for the life of me.  I swear I flipped through every page.  Then this morning I opened the book directly to that page.  There is was, right in front of me.  I love that kind of thing.  I guess I am ready to take this step now.

I also think that it is interesting that this is the same visualization that Paul McKenna uses in his “I Can Make You Thin” book for killing cravings.    Must work pretty well.  Really, there is quite a bit of overlap between the two systems and I think they are very complimentary to each other.

Another thing to concentrate on this month are adding in activity several times a week.  I have many opportunities for this, it isn’t a matter or not having enough time, I just need to do it.  I will start adding being physically active to my evening visualizations and using the idea of making the better choice.  When the choice arises simply say yes to a stress relieving, personal time, break from the family, feeling great activity and no to sitting around wishing I was doing something else.

And lastely, this month I need to start adding a morning smart session.  I think this will be really calming and helpful for me, starting my day with a more positive and centered attitude and a focus on what I want to accomplish during the day.

If things keep going the way they are with my business, I am definitely going to need this increased focus and productivity, never mind someone to help clean my house and possibly even watch my kids a couple mornings a week.   All I have to say is be careful what you manifest for yourself, you just quite possibly might get it.  A little overwhelming, yet really really exciting.

Karli gets up 15 to 20 minutes earlier than me with the kids so this gives me plenty of time to lay in bed and wake up a little and then do 10 minutes of SMART mode visualizations.  I know,  isn’t he great?

On the emotional front, I have taken a big step that I am really excited about.  I have signed up for the Landmark Forum seminar.  This is a three and a half day very intensive look at yourself.   A good friend of ours just did it and he said that it was really life changing for him.  Karli also signed up to take it the month after I do.

I really think this is one of those right things at the right moments for us.   We have been through so much over the last year.  We as individuals and our relationship could really use a serious retuning.   I have been talking for months about needing to get away for a few days and just be with myself, but haven’t gotten around to it.  This is the perfect compromise, three and half full days (a total of 40 hours) with myself, if not by myself.  And I get to sleep in my own bed and kiss my kids each morning.

Can you tell I am excited about this?

Overall, a good month despite the fact that I still don’t think I have lost more than a few pounds (no weighing until October).  No worries,  all in the right time.

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I love salad.  I think one reason that this eating plan works so well for me is that I love salad.  I eat at least one, if not two, large salads a day.  I’m lucky that my husband loves salad too.

I have been experimenting with different toppings and styles of salad, but for most meals it is pretty much the same.

  • Organic baby greens
  • A variety of chopped veggies depending on what is available that week at the farmers market, but in general carrots, onions, radishes, snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes etc.
  • Handful of seeds and/or nuts
  • Tablespoon of freshly ground flax
  • Salad Dressing

So for lunch, I generally have a big salad and then a small portion of whatever sounds goods that week.  I usually make a big batch of something each week and eat it at least three times.  Generally some sort of saucy chicken (cacciatore, curry, tikka masala etc.)  and sometimes I will have a little brown rice or sprouted bread, but not always.

This week I made homemade chili with pork tenderloin and beans and organic veggies.  For this , I actually put the salad on top and topped with homemade creamy dressing.

For dinner, we generally have some sort of meat and then a salad and sometimes an additional vegitable, especially right now when asparagus is in season.  I have my husband hooked on what we call big salad, which is basically the above plus grilled chicken marinated in lemon, olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper, and some croutons made with sprouted wheat bread, a little olive oil and some garlic.

My latest favorite salad dressing

I don’t really measure so these are really just guesses.  Tweak with it until it tastes how you want it to.

  • 1/4 cu finely shredded romano cheese (I found a really yummy pecorino made with sheep’s milk)
  • 2 t. red wine vinegar
  • 2 t. fresh lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • couple good grinds of pepper
  • 1 t. fresh oregano (picked right out of my garden for “vitality” points)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. honey
  • couple of tablespoons of olive oil (or you could use flax oil) – Just add a tablespoon at a time until it tastes balanced.

Streamlining the salad process

Although salad is relatively easy, it can be a little prep intensive for making lunch before work or throwing something together when you just have a few minutes.  But with a little prep ahead throwing together a great salad can take only a matter of seconds.

I buy organic salad mix at the farmers market, but this is generally available at most grocery stores these days as well.  Too keep it fresh longer, put it in a gallon Ziploc with a damp paper towel.

I also cut up a variety of veggies, mix them together and store them in a Ziploc or Tupperware.  Seed and nuts can be mixed and stored this way as well.  Buying small tomatoes eliminates the need to cut them fresh.

I do grind my flax fresh, but I keep the seeds in a closed mason jar on the counter next to the grinder, which makes this very easy and quick to do.

With these small steps, a handful of this and a handful of that and a few seconds later you have a great healthy salad with little to no work.

It seems like this week has been the week of small realizations.  I was looking in the mirror this morning, washing my face, and I noticed that something was different.  I stared at myself for a few moments and realized that my skin was looking better than it has in years.

The dark circles under my eyes are lightening up and there was a few sun/age spots on the side of my face that are fading as well.  A lot of the redness is gone too, leaving my complexion more even.

I only wear makeup when I look in the mirror and say “wow, I really need to cover that up”  or when I’m going out.  When I thought about it I couldn’t remember putting makeup on, outside of last friday when I went out with a friend, in several weeks.

A little bit of a tan helps as well, but I continue to be pleased with all the effects The Gabriel Method is having on me.  Now if we could just get those pounds to start flying off.    In good time.

I’m not hungry.  I use to always have some level of hunger, that “I could eat” feeling, pretty much all the time.  Now I don’t even think about food until I’m actually hungry and sometimes even then I have to force myself to eat something because real hunger isn’t something that I am used to, it feels different – not so urgent.

Sometimes I will even find myself in the fridge looking for something to eat just because it is habit and then realize that nothing sounds good because I’m not hungry.  And now, instead of shoving something in my mouth just to feel better, I close the door and walk away.  Usually it is just boredom or thirst, so I have a glass of water and engage in something.

The one exception is the afternoon, when I inevitably still get my daily sweet craving.  I have been better about the fruit and nut snack in the afternoon, but I still find I am getting urges to stop for a chocolate milkshake or an apple fritter.  Most days I don’t, but I still do sometimes.

The other day I was reading some older posts on the Gabriel Method Forum that I frequent and a woman was talking about how she had switched to flax oil for her omega and her cravings and hunger had returned, so she switched back to fish oil and it all went away again.  I haven’t used flax oil (I prefer to grind them fresh), but I did notice that when I forget to take my omega pills, everything goes a little wonky.

Taking omega fish oil pills really curbs my cravings and keeps me on track.  When I remember to take my supplements that afternoon craving is usually mild and the fruit does the trick, but If I forget to take them with lunch then watch out.  I guess concentrating on remembering to take my supplements needs to be a higher priority.

Why is it so hard for me to form a habit and be consistent about it?  Not beating myself up, just wondering.  It can be pretty damn frustrating sometimes.  This is one of the major things I concentrate on during my visualizations.   It will come.

It’s funny how many things are pointing me in the right direction.  Hmm that’s funny.  I tend to write in stream of consciousness and then come back and edit and rewrite.  What I meant to say was “the same direction” but what I wrote was “the right direction”.  Guess that tells me something in and of itself.

Lately it seems like my whole life is interconnected like a big web instead of being all these disconnected legs like it used to be.  Information from all different directions is correlating and relating in uncanny ways.

We talk about something at therapy and then I come home and read a totally unrelated novel before bed and the  story relates directly.

I read something in The Gabriel Method book and then later find an author in my The Mystery Of 2012 book talking about something directly related.

Conversations are overlapping.  I am having a lot of those moments where you say “Wow, I was just talking/thinking/reading about that earlier”.

I think that this is an excellent sign that I am moving in the right direction and doing the right things.  I believe that when the universe speaks so directly to you it is very wise to listen carefully and to learn more.

Every year before our Memorial Day Weekend camping trip to Banks Lake in eastern Washington we make a “mix tape”. Wow, I’m old. What do you call it these days anyway? A compilation CD? Too formal. A Mix CD? Sounds dumb. Oh well, anyway…

We create this cd as a sort of time capsule, documenting the popular music of the year and it becomes my summer soundtrack, mostly because I am one of those people who never changes the cds in the car. Karli also does a lot of music discovery and comes up with stuff that I would never find but usually grow to love. I also try to include songs from several other categories. Something that was just released. Someone making a comeback. Songs that were influential this last year. And there always seems to be one old song that we just discovered or rediscovered.

Because it also has to serve as the music that lives in my car for the next year, it needs to upbeat, happy and sound good loud. No slow songs unless they are incredible or fit perfectly into one of the essential categories. I also take great care in the ordering of the cd. Making the perfect mix tape is an art form that I have been enjoying and partaking in since high school. The order of and grouping of songs as well as the transitions between songs are very important.

This was the first year that we had to take the kid’s likes and dislikes into account. We don’t listen to any children’s music really, sometimes some Barenaked ladies or Jack Johnson who both have children’s albums. But really our kids just like to listen to regular music. We mostly make them listen to what we like, but the Rhapsody Tivo interface was wonky for a few months and all we could easily get through the TV and stereo system in the house was the Rhapsody Top Tracks, which includes mostly top forty stuff. Because of this the kids have developed a definite opinion about what they like and so we gave them a nod on this cd.

Nickelback for Ian, he likes the hard stuff and for some reason Nickelback is his favorite, and Flo Rida and Lady Gaga for Ada, she likes the dance tracks.

I want to keep a record of these so i am posting this here and hey, maybe you will like it too. Every song has a reason and a place and I am really pleased with this year’s creation.

1.  Make It MineJason Mraz
2. Poker FaceLady GaGa
3. Break Me Out 2.0The Rescues
4. All Around MeFlyleaf
5. I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’Scissor Sisters
6. The FearLily Allen
7. PeacemakerGreen Day
8. Burn It To The GroundNickelback
9. Right RoundFlo Rida
10. I Kissed A GirlKaty Perry
11. You Found MeThe Fray
12. Walking On A DreamEmpire Of The Sun
13. HomecomingHey Monday
14. Falling AwayJupiter Rising
15. LisztomaniaPhoenix
16. WomanizerBritney Spears
17. DecodeParamore
18. Boom Boom PowBlack Eyed Peas
19. Sink Into MeTaking Back Sunday
20. Help I’m AliveMetric
21. Sunshine Lady (Alternate Mix)Two Spot Gobi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s kinda weird.  I look in the mirror and see the same body that has been there, maybe a little thinner but I think that is just the fat goggles being removed.  

But I feel thinner, especially through my middle where I carry most of my weight.

The fat there has always felt like heavy weights, holding me back and weighing me down.

I’m not exactly sure how to explain it, but it feels almost like when you suck your stomach in.  Tight and strong.  But, it feels like this all the time.  The fat is still there, it just doesn’t feel so heavy, more like it is just sitting on top of this new thinner me.

It’s almost like I can feel that thin me inside there, just waiting to come out.  Hmmm.  Curious and a little exciting.

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Over this last week I have been noticing some subtle, yet important, changes in the way I feel. Because the emotional and self perception issues are so huge for me, I have vowed not to weigh myself or even measure myself until October. I am letting go of numbered results and concentrating on how I feel and healing myself.

Over the Memorial Day Weekend I had a big breakthrough on becoming comfortable with my body as it is.  I even stated out loud that I would be fine to stay this way forever as long as I didn’t gain any more,  a very important step according to Jon.  I have listened to the CD before going to sleep every night except one over the last two weeks and have changed the way I do the visualizations.

When I visualize the following days, I concentrate mostly on being happy.  I say “Tomorrow I am going to be happy”.  I say this several times and then I see myself doing any really important things I have to get done the next day as well as the habit I am working on right now.  Right now that is remembering to take my supplements.  I also try to fit in the love, appreciation and forgiveness visualizations that Jon describes whenever I can or is appropriate.  As I result I have been feeling a lightness around me, happier, more patient, more feelings.  I even feel more productive in a different way than usual and I find it hard to explain.

I got the idea to change the focus of my visualizations from a book I am reading right now on the 2012 prophesies (The Mystery Of 2012).   The book is a compilation of essays and book excerpts by many of the people who are studying these prophesies.   All angles are covered, everything from physics, astronomy and archaeology to spiritual and astrological perspectives.  

Although some of the articles are quite dense and others are a little far fetched, it has been really interesting to explore this time we live in as a time of significant change.  One of the essays that is about spirituality talks about being happy versus being good and how being happy and radiating unconditional love into the world (things Jon also encourages) can transform us not only as individuals but also as a global society.    Here are several quotes from the essay “Wild Love Sets Us Free” by Gill Edwards that helped me change my perspective a little and concentrate my energy more on joy and love and less on being good or bad.   I am hoping I will get a chance to read more from her.

Most of us have internalized a cold, critical, repressive inner voice…that tells us how to behave, constantly criticizes us, keeps our noses to the grindstone, and squashes or denies our true feelings…  To the extent that we give our power to this inner judge, we are tamed and locked away.  We feel trapped and disempowered…The inevitable result is anxiety, depression, physical illness, dysfunctional relationships, or a pervasive joylessness that we cannot explain. — The Mystery of 2012 p. 245

This just struck me like a brick to the head.

Whenever we split the world into good and bad, conflict and neurosis are inevitable.  Our energy becomes split or divided.  Whenever we pride ourselves on saying “no” to a cream cake, working through our lunch break, or pleasing our partner at the expense of our own feelings, we are bowing to the old cosmology.  Trying to be good stems from a dualistic way of thinking.  It is based upon judgement, or conditional love.  It fuels self-righteousness, which means someone is “in the right” and someone else is “in the wrong”–some part of self is right (the judge within) and another part is bad and wrong (our feelings, thoughts and desires).  This inner conflict will be mirrored in conflict with others.  Splitting ourselves internally leads to projecting our shadow onto others…This dynamic creates a huge proportion of the misery in the world and blocks our natural ability to love with an open heart and speak honestly without blame or defensiveness. — The Mystery of 2012 p. 248-9

She goes onto discuss how this can effect us as a whole society and even globally. Our outlook and attitude effects the world around us. Why not give love and positive creative energy to the universe rather than negative unproductive energy. Maybe if I learn to love unconditionally and be truly happy I will also be able to improve the communication in my marriage and be more patient with my kids, have more tolerance with others and less judgement bringing positivity not only to myself but to everyone I interact with.

When we aim to be happy…we give off vibrations of self-love, self-worth, and appreciation, and our relationships mirror this by becoming deeper, happier and more authentic. In other words, much of what we have been taught about “what love means”–self-sacrifice, putting others first, being loyal to others at the expense of our own feelingz or authenticity, or feeling entitlex to have others behave as we wish them to–actually leads us away from loving relationships and into the twilight prison of codependency. It leads us toward tame love, which constantly slips into toxic cycles of control and sacrifice, blame and guilt. Tame love splinters our awareness and strangles our potential. It holds us hostage… — The Mystery of 2012 p. 250-1

I started to think that creating a life that not only makes me happy, but also makes my family and friends happy and leads to living an authentic and giving life, may lie in my happiness, that I have the ability to create change and improvements by loving myself and radiating love outward.

Instead of seeing life as a harsh training school for wayward souls, or a karmic wheel from which we might eventually escape (if we are good or lucky enough), or merely a statistical accident with no inherent meaning or purpose, we instead see life as a wondrous gift. We are not here to be good or perfect. We are not here to prove ourselves worthy. We are not here to serve others (at our own expense) or to save the world. We do not have to earn or deserve love. We do not have to “behave well” or conform to external rules and expectations. In a loving universe, we can relax. We are safe. We are worthy. We are loved without condition. We are cosmic voyagers on a magnificent adventure in physical reality and…we can have, do, or be anything we wish. No limits. No strings attached… The key to doing so is unconditional love–for self, others, and the world. — The Mystery of 2012 p. 256-7

It sounds a little idealistic, even to me, but that is a world I would like to live in. A peaceful, loving, accepting world where we live together with respect and love for one another.

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