Monday, December 16, 2013

Zen Habit's Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy- Week 6

I highly suggest you ready Zen Habit's Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy

Just a few reasons that Leo Babuta says to be grateful: 
  • Because it reminds you of the positive things in your life. It makes you happy about the people in your life, whether they’re loved ones or just a stranger you met who was kind to you in some ways.

  • Because it turns bad things into good things. Having problems at work? Be grateful you have work. Be grateful you have challenges, and that life isn’t boring. Be grateful that you can learn from these challenges. Be thankful they make you a stronger person.

  • Because it reminds you of what’s important. It’s hard to complain about the little things when you give thanks that your children are alive and healthy. It’s hard to get stressed out over paying bills when you are grateful there is a roof over your head.

  • Because it reminds you to thank others. I’ll talk about this more below, but the simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in that person’s life. Calling them, emailing them, stopping by to say thank you … just taking that minute out of your life to tell them why you are grateful toward them is important to them. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. It costs you little, but makes someone else happy. And making someone else happy will make you happy.

How to Live a Life of Gratitude
The thing is, simple acts of gratitude don’t cost you much (especially once you get over the initial discomfort some people feel with thanking others). But they can make a huge difference.
If you’re interested in living a life of gratitude, here are my suggestions:
  • Morning gratitude session. Take 2-3 minutes each morning to give thanks, to whoever or whatever you’re grateful for. You don’t have to do anything, other than close your eyes and silently give thanks. This one act can make a huge difference.

  • Say thank you. When someone does something nice for you, however small, try to remember to say thank you. And really mean it.

  • Call to say thanks. Sometimes you might think about something nice that someone did for you. Perhaps you remember during your gratitude session. When you do, pick up the phone and call the person, just to say thanks. Let them know what they did that you’re grateful for, and why you appreciate it. Takes a minute or two. If it’s too early to call, make a note to call later. Even better is telling them in person, if you happen to see them or if they’re on your route. Almost as good is a thank-you email — keep it short and sweet.

  • Give thanks for “negative” things in your life. There’s always two ways to look at something. Many times we think of something as negative — it’s stressful, harmful, sad, unfortunate, difficult. But that same thing can be looked at in a more positive way. Giving thanks for those things is a great way to remind yourself that there is good in just about everything. Problems can be seen as opportunities to grow, to be creative. See the prayer below for more on this.

  • Learn a gratitude prayer. There are many prayers, religious or not, that can remind you to be grateful. Find one you like, and print it out or make it your desktop wallpaper. Here’s a religious one, and here’s a collection from a multitude of religions. You can find many others on the Internet, or write your own. If you’re not religious, make one that doesn’t include the concept of God. A good one is below.

Let me leave you with a prayer of gratitude that I’ve always found … well, perfect:
Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

Simple Plant Based Foods We Can Be Grateful For (Grocery List)- Week 6

On my 52 Weeks til the best version of me thing I'm working on, I started Week 6 off by talking about gratitude.  Ah yes. That word that crops up every year around this time and is heard over and over, but does anyone truly stop to think of its meaning?

As I am being eternally grateful for Kennedy's life right now after her near death experiences, I am spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about, meditating on, and journaling my gratitudes. Both large and small.
This program I put myself on to focus on one thing per week and grow on that to become the best version of myself hasn't found me perfect. Quite the opposite. Focusing this way on my own personal development has made me truly aware of my flaws...those spaces in my daily habits and personality that I would like to improve. Rather than dwell, I acknowledge...journal and move forward. I am imperfect and that is okay. Most importantly, I am being gentle with myself. Forgiving. Something I have never been good at. 

In the spirit of that, it came to me last night that I should post about all the many easy to find, inexpensive plant-based foods that are hearty and healthy this time of year. This a great time of year to get fancy in the kitchen, but it can also be a great time of year to get back to the basics.

Here is a list of simple, easy to shop for items will up your plant food intake, but keep your budget in check:
  1. Gluten Free rolled oats
  2. Bananas
  3. Spinach
  4. Frozen fruit
  5. Carrots
  6. Onions
  7. Sweet Potatoes
  8. Russet Potatoes
  9. Vegetable broth
  10. Mixed Greens
  11. Nut butters
  12. Gluten Free bread
  13. Quinoa
  14. Wild rice
  15. Beans/legumes
  16. Brown Rice Wraps
  17. Tempeh
  18. *chia/hemp/flaxseeds
That simple list can make: 
  1. Soups
  2. Sandwiches
  3. Salads
  4. Green smoothies
  5. Fruity oatmeal
  6. Hearty oatmeal
  7. Stir fry
  8. Burritos
  9. Quesadillas
Things I am Grateful for Today:
  • The Make a Wish foundation who is coming today to make Kennedy's one true wish come true :)
  • Waking up knowing the kitchen is clean. It's the simple things, but I can go down there and prepare a huge feast with no muss and no fuss
  • Afternoon appointments for Kennedy. This means a pajama filled morning and french toast for Kay and green juice/then coffee for me :)
Today's Goals:
  • Crafts with Kennedy
  • Balance bank account
  • Make a deposit at the bank
  • Get Kay to therapy intake
  • Gather all paperwork for Make a Wish
  • Exercise for 15 minutes (gee I know:)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 6: Gratitude and Goals

Long days. Cold wintry snowy days. Nights filled with Christmas movies and tea with cream and sugar. Hanging with Kennedy and feeling grateful for all I have.

My entire focus this week is on gratitude. At this time of year a lot of us focus on what we want. What will make life better (or so we think). It is really good to get grounded and focus on the small and big things that we are grateful for. Truly grateful for. What do you feel when you close your your heart and just feel

I can get so overwhelmed with gratitude that I actually tear up. It happens a lot at the end of my 5-10 minute daily yoga practice.

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Today's Gratitudes:
  • Warm house with fuzzy socks and cute pajamas
  • Watching Christmas movies while drinking tea with Kennedy
  • Feeling prepared for this crazy week ahead
  • Kitchen filled with amazingly good food
Tonight's Goals:
  • Hot bath while reading my Kindle
  • Getting to bed at a decent hour
  • Writing in my journal
I'm going to work really hard not to be so overwhelmed this week that I don't make time to post. Working on my time management this week and my self-care practices of getting to get on time. 

Are you ready for the week?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tropics Wish Smoothie

Yep. 11 degree wind chill. Cold bones and I am still craving smoothies :) And while this may seem crazy is a great idea for health, people think of smoothies as "Summer Food". Well let me tell you, they aren't! They are a sure fired way to get veggies/fruits in your body.



  1. 1 tbsp Matcha Green Tea powder
  2. 2 Frozen bananas
  3. 3/4 c frozen pineapple
  4. 1 c frozen mango
  5. Tons of spinach
  6. 1 c Almond Milk
  7. Blend. Bliss. Enjoy

Things I Love Now

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chocolate Coffee Almond Protein Smoothie (Great Post Workout)

I love smoothies. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. This one has been amazing lately. I keep enjoying it and it never gets old. Most likely it's because it tastes just like chocolate ice cream!

Chocolate Coffee Almond Protein Smoothie

I've been enjoying:

  1. 1 c almond milk
  2. 1/2 c iced coffee
  3. 1 scoop SunWarrior chocolate protein powder
  4. 1 tbsp crunchy almond butter
  5. 2 frozen bananas
  6. Optional (spinach, flaxseeds)
  7. Blend. Bliss. Enjoy 


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