Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fresh, Organic Produce: Delivered!

Farm fresh to me, indeed!  A couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine mentioned Farm Fresh To You, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that delivers fresh, organic fruits and veggies right to your door (in the Bay Area and Los Angeles). So I signed up for a weekly delivery -- we eat a lot of fresh stuff and it goes fast, but you can also sign up for every other week, every third week, every forth, etc... -- and today, our first delivery arrived!  What a marvel!  The farmers' market right to my door!  Gives a whole new meaning to "farm-to-table."

CSAs aren't new, I know, but they're new to me.  And what a better way to support local growers, to get fantastic produce, and to eat healthfully, without doing anything, really, except answering the door.

I love farmers' markets, but I don't always have time to go.  Now, I can be assured of a weekly visit to the farm without having to go anywhere.  Genius.  They'll even deliver to your office, so you've got no excuses.  Plus, they provide recipes on how to cook all those marvelous veggies.  Want to sign up for a CSA, learn more about them or find one in your area?  Visit LocalHarvest and bring on the fresh produce.  

Today's delivery includes: one cantaloupe, two white peaches, strawberries, one Eureka lemon, six apricots, a pound of asparagus, three ears of white corn, a bunch of broccoli, a huge bunch of green chard, one head of green leaf lettuce, one giant yellow onion, and a bunch of fresh rosemary.  Phew!  I can't wait to get eating.  In fact, if you'll excuse me, I'm about to go dive into some fruit.  But don't worry, I'll be sure to share the recipes for how to cook all of this CSA deliciousness.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Living Life Passionately: A Conversation with James Stellar

Photo copyright James Stellar

In my own journey to find meaning and joy in my life, I've met James Stellar along the way.  James is the founder and director of the Spirit Nature Center for Consciousness, "A Spiritual Resource & Advocacy For Living Life Passionately."  James is also a generous and loving soul who has kindly shared his wisdom and insight with us, that we all might find what we seek.  Thank you, James!  (For more information on James and to contact him, please visit his website, http://www.spiritnature.com.)

Health-Full Life: Please tell us a little about yourself and your work.

James StellarFor over twenty five years I have worked as a Spiritual Advocate assisting people to get in their bodies (as amusing as that sounds), to live a much more positive and authentic lives, to manifest their own unique creative passions, to learn to release and Heal  their aches and pains, and to reveal their Spiritual Brightness. 

Overall I have a passion to teach.  I have a real joy to awaken in others a greater Spiritual understanding, growth and wonder, wellness and wellbeing and see it blossom in the lives of the people I meet.

There are a great many illusions in life, so assisting others to witness the bright illumination of recognition is a powerful and profound moment. I have traveled the planet sharing my information and at the same time being greeted by others and their cultures, beliefs and practices. From all of this as well – and my Astral travels – I have developed a series of programs to Spiritually reveal individuals so that they can vibrate in a much higher frequency of authenticity and joy. Some actually learn to become Healers themselves. 

I get great joy in helping people to recognize their true selves, and the great cosmic joke of all is that I learn a great deal  and increase my own Spiritual Awareness in the process. When I am not traveling and teaching around the United States, I am home-based in San Francisco where I live aboard my yacht.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Better than Take-Out: Homemade Pad Thai

For me, Pad Thai is the ultimate comfort food (one of 'em anyway): slightly sweet, slightly spicy pan-fried noodles topped with fresh herbs, chopped peanuts, and sliced scallions.  And so it was a recent revelation when I discovered that the Pad Thai I'd been making at home outshone that from our favorite take-out place.

Even better is that this recipe isn't difficult.  Yes, to be honest, it does take some time and requires some chopping, etc., but for homemade Pad Thai, it's worth it.  The good news is that the sauce is made from cupboard/refrigerator staples.  So even if you don't have a ton of fresh stuff to go in the Pad Thai, you can still get a bowlful of sweet, spicy noodles on the table.  Also, feel free to throw in some sauteed tofu, or gussy it up with more veggies.  Whatever you like.  Plus, this recipe only has 2 tablespoons of oil, which you're welcome to reduce if you'd like.  This way, you get the taste of wonderful Pad Thai without excess oil.  Everyone wins!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Try A Little Kindness

The key to a health-full life?  Kindness.  And love.

Yesterday, Oprah's guest was Geneen Roth, author of the book, Women, Food, and God.  Oprah says she'll never diet again after reading Geneen's book, and if we all lived what Geneen writes about -- self-kindness and self-love -- who would need to?

You see, food isn't just food; food is life.  In Geneen's book (excerpt from Amazon.com) she writes, "...our relationship to food is an exact microcosm of our relationship to life itself.  I believe we are walking, talking expressions of our deepest convictions; everything we believe about love, fear, transformation, and God is revealed in how, when and what we eat.  When we inhale Reese's peanut butter cups when we are not hungry, we are acting out an entire world of hope or hopelessness, of faith or doubt, of love or fear."

I haven't read Geneen's book yet, but there's a great excerpt from her book here on Oprah.com (with some specific points on how to let yourself feel what you're feeling).  And I love that she pulls a beautiful line from the incomparable poet Galway Kinnell: "sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness." Geneen writes, "Everything we do, I tell my students, is to reteach ourselves our loveliness."

Try a little kindness for yourself.  No matter how things are right now, good or bad, just accept them as they are and love yourself anyway or because of it.  Just love yourself.  No matter what.  Treat yourself with loving care.  You deserve it.  You are the most important person in the world; you're the only one of you we've got.  If you can truly love yourself, I guarantee a health-full life is yours.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Free Gratitude! (courtesy of momentary.org)

Dear readers, I have been looking forward to this post for some time now.  I've been helping a friend launch a new mobile gratitude app, and I'm excited to introduce you to Momentary.org.  Readers, meet Momentary!  Momentary, meet readers!  And let me get the freebies out here right up front: you can use the promo code "healthful" to use Momentary for free!  Hooray for freebies!

There, now that introductions are out of the way, what is Momentary and what is a mobile gratitude app?  Think of it this way: it's like a mobile gratitude journal.  Momentary is a service that sends you 2-3 text messages or emails (your choice) a day, with prompts that ask you to pause and notice something positive about your life or your day.

Here's a prompt I got today: "What is one thing that you have that no one could ever take away from you?" Think on it.  Discuss amongst yourself.

But wait, there's more!  When you respond to a prompt, your responses are collected in an online, confidential, password-protected, personal web journal for you.  So you can see your responses, download them, or do whatever you want.  And if you don't want to reply, that's okay too!  There's no right or wrong way to use the service.  The point is to pause, notice, and be grateful.

You see, there's some pretty cool research out there that shows that the more you notice the good things in your life, and the more gratitude you have, the happier you are.  And of course happier people are healthier, live longer, all that good stuff.  We're meant to be happy!  The best part is, we can find it in small ways.  That's where Momentary comes in.  These little reminders catch us when we're busy living our lives and encourage us to find a piece of gratitude right here, right now.

Try it for a week.  Hey, it's free, what do you have to lose?  (Remember, promo code is "healthful".)  I say you have a lot to gain.  Find your joy and spread it around!  And please help us spread the word about Momentary.org.  We'd be ever so grateful.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Power Snack: Banana Date Smoothie

When I was a kid, one of my favorite snacks was my mom's banana smoothies.  My mom would make them with ice-cold milk and a banana, and that simple combo turned into something sweet and delicious, seemingly far more special than just milk and a banana.  (The wonders of the "puree" button on the blender, I suppose.)  And it was the perfect accompaniment to a peanut butter sandwich.

Today, I had a hankering for one of my mom's banana smoothies (hi, Mom!), but since I no longer eat dairy, I invented my own dairy-free version.  And with a chopped medjool date added in, it feels like a fancy, grown-up version of the original.  I have to admit, it's even tastier than the ones I remember as a kid.  Of course it's ridiculously simple.