Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Joys Of Dieting With A Double Gemini

Along with a large number of the other people, right around the first of the year, my husband and I decided we needed to make some dietary changes.  We are headed south to warmer climates and will be wearing shorts and bathing suits.  We both need to drop between 20-40 pounds.  With a 20 pound weight loss, I'd look better.  With a 30 pound weight loss, I'd look good. With a 40 pound weight loss, damn, I'd look great.

My initial thought was to start with Atkins.  We bought Atkins products - frozen meals, meal bars, desserts.  I don't like to cook.  I can cook, but I don't get the pleasure from it that those who list "cooking" as a hobby do.  This lasted a few days.  It really is hard to eat that much protein.

Next up, the low carb plan.  Okay, this was better.  I do like my veggies with my meat.  I'd heard eating at least 60 grams of protein a day was what I should aim for.  There are these protein drinks from Costco, I think they are called Premium Shakes, that we were using.  Two shakes per day gave you the 60 grams of protein that this meal plan called for.  They were filling but they weren't anything I looked forward to drinking each day.

Two days later, jeez, I want a sandwich!  Scrap the low carb plan, I'm on to proper food combining.  I had followed the Fit For Life plan (based on the work of Harvey and Marilyn Diamond) for a long time many years ago, and I did feel wonderful.  I could have a tomato, lettuce, onion, cucumber and avocado sandwich.  Yummy!  However, now that I look back at it, I didn't really need to lose any weight at that time.  I just wanted to eat more healthily.  I can do this!  Proper food combining is not difficult.  Well, except when you want cheese and nuts on your side salad accompanying that roasted chicken.  Or if you want a toasted cheese sandwich.  Oy vey!

I was driving my husband nuts.  He is still using the shakes and leaning toward low carb meals.  For my part, I try to cook only meats and vegetables plus a salad for dinner; no white potatoes or bread.

For me, well, I am currently trying to eat just whole foods.  However, I have found this harder than I thought.  There are a lot of processed foods out there.  A lot of the items used in recipes are processed.  I knew I would not commit to this either, for more than a few days.

While browsing Pinterest looking for recipes, I stumbled on a blog that cracked me up.  If I can find the blog again, I will share it here, but of course, at the time I didn't know I was going to want to refer back to it.  It was written by a regular mom, wanting to provide good food for her family.  She started her blog by saying that she was sharing recipes she found or developed.  She didn't know the calorie count, or how many grams of protein were in each serving, or any other nutritional information.  And she wasn't going to figure it out for anyone.  If the reader wanted to know that information, the reader could just go to another site to work it out.  (FYI, here is a website that will calculate nutritional values for your recipes, if you are interested.  http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp )  She went on to say that if you posted a comment asking for the information on her blog she may either delete the comment or respond with a smart ass comment, depending on her mood.  This is my kinda gal!  She cracked me up.

However, what I came away from her blog with was this little gem, which I have paraphrased because I said above, I don't remember what the name of the blog is.  "I do the best I can, keeping processed foods out of my family's diet.  But everyone is going to splurge at some time or another.  I can't control what my family eats outside of my home.  I'm not going to tell me kids they can't eat a cake made with a mix at a birthday party.  We go to the movies, yes, we are going to have popcorn and candy.  I figure if I can do 80% whole foods and 20% processed, I'm doing good."

So that's where I am, right this minute.  I try to do proper food combining.  I try to use only whole foods.  I try to serve my husband a dinner that works with his low carb diet.  I've been following the exercises in a dandy little book called The Ancient Secret Of The Fountain Of Youth by Peter Kelder.  I've been journalling my food and reading Julia Cameron's book The Writing Diet.  So far I've learned that I really need to quit blaming my weight gain on the 4 years of Prednisone I had to take while treating Graves Disease.  Granted, it is what spurred the weight gain initially, but it has been almost six years now since I have taken that medication.  I haven't lost the weight because I haven't put the consistent effort into the process.

Over the last few weeks, my husband has lost a few pounds.  I've lost a grand total of 0.2 pounds.  However, and I say that with emphasis, I have lost a few inches!  I am thankful for that, and I look forward to losing quite a few more - never to find them again!

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Few Gems From Florence Scovel Shinn

We all have our challenges in life - different ones at different times.  I've been struggling with some minor health issues.  And by "minor", I mean teeny, tiny, little ones - like this damn cough that won't quit.   It is so frustrating.

I am really good at affirming my way to most everything I have ever needed or desired.  However, this is one area which I find very challenging.  I feel like it is being stuck for 100 plus days on some level of Candy Crush.  I know I can do it, but what little hint or tidbit of wisdom am I missing here.

Although I rarely use oracle cards/tarot cards any more (meditation is more useful to me at this time), when I'm stuck on something, I find the cards to be a useful tool.  My card deck of choice today is Florence Scovel Shinn's The Game Of Life Affirmation and Inspiration Cards.  Here are a few gems that spoke to me personally as well as a few for others who may be struggling with a different sort of challenge.


Divine Love floods my consciousness with health, and every cell of my body is filled with light.

I put this situation in the hands of Infinite Love and Wisdom.  If this situation is the Divine Plan, I bless it and no longer resist; but if it is not divinely planned, I give thanks that it is now dissolved and dissipated.

I am always under direct inspiration; I make right decisions quickly.

I am one with Infinite Intelligence.  I know everything I should know on this subject.

I call on the law of forgiveness to neutralize this situation.

I have wonderful work in a wonderful way.  I give wonderful service for wonderful pay.

I deny this appearance of disease.  It is unreal, therefore it cannot register in my consciousness.  I am a perfect idea in Divine Mind, pure substance expressing perfection.


Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Achieving Goals - Long Lost Notes

When you make that New Year's Resolution to clean up your office, sometimes you get a surprise.  For instance, I stumbled across some notes I had taken.  I'm not sure what I was reading or listening to, so I cannot credit the source.  It dates back to about 2010, based on what else was written on this notepad.  The main subject seems to be about achieving goals.  Here's what I apparently thought was note-worthy.

Raise your own vibration before doing a visionary plan.  From that place, you will write more of what you want, not what you think is possible.

Write down the vision for your business.  It is a powerful way to bring it from the "unseen" world (imagination) into the "seen" world (physical).  Writing it down impresses on the unconscious what you want to manifest in the here and now.

Ask the angels for specific guidance and direction, then take inspired action based on what they say.

Does spiritual marketing sound like an oxymoron?  Sell is not a four letter word.  Actually, it is a five letter world - serve.

The Law of Attraction has the word "action" in it.

Whether a class has 4 or 44 or 444 participants, always give your best.   Remember, Louise Hay started out giving classes in her living room.

To be successful, you need to keep on keeping on.

Be selective in your listening.  Turn off the doom and gloom about the economy.  As Louise Hay says, "It's not about the economy; it's about consciousness."

Let your uniqueness, beauty and wisdom shine.  The world needs you!

Your light, love, and prosperity consciousness are precious gifts and beacons of hope for humanity.

Sit back, don't worry about how to make it happen.  When we work with Spirit, we can get clear guidance every step of the way.

If you had all the money you needed, and there were no worries, what type of clients would you want to attract?


Not sure why I found these notes at this time in my life.  Of course, not all of these little nuggets apply only to teaching classes or promoting your work.  I'm at a point where I'm getting ready to start writing again, more for myself than anything.  I'd like to learn to paint and to speak Spanish.  I pray each day for spiritual understanding, wisdom, intelligence and opportunities to be of service.  Perhaps it is because of that last part (the opportunities) that I needed to read these notes again.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting From "Oh Crap" to "Holy Shit"

You know you are gaining ground on your spiritual path when you find yourself with a mixture of "Ah-ha" and "Holy Shit" moments.  The Ah-ha moments are when you read or hear or think of something that just clicks, and the flood gates open, and you all of a sudden understand a little bit of how the Universe works.  The Holy Shit moments are what Metaphysicians and New Thought Teachers (yes, I know, they are basically the same thing) call a "demonstration".  I call them Holy Shit moments because when they happen, the first thing you think is, "Holy Shit, this stuff really works!"

I've had my fair share of both kinds of moments.  And the "Crap" moments that come in-between.  Those are what we optimists call "Opportunities For Growth".  Makes you want to gag, doesn't it? However, it is okay to call a spade a spade.  Those opportunistic moments usually suck, big time.  And it is very hard when you are right in the middle of it to remember what to do to shift to the place of Ah-ha, and then wait for your demonstration.  But if you practice, it will happen.

When I first started studying New Thought/metaphysical techniques, it took a lot of reading and studying, but I finally made my first big demonstration.  I manifested the money to attend a class in San Diego that I really wanted to take.  From there, I went on to demonstrate a dream job that allowed me to work at home and that paid very well, all expense paid travel to very cool places, and the opportunity to teach and be of service.  For five plus years, I was experiencing Heaven On Earth.

And then …. wait for it …. (cue the music) da-da-da-duh.  Crap!  I got fired, let go, released, freed to explore new opportunities.  Whatever you want to call it, it sucked.  Luckily, I remembered what I had learned.  I affirmed, over and over and over, "Out of this situation, only good can come."

And it did.  It wasn't instantaneous; it took time.  I had a lot of personal anger and issues to work through, but eventually I got there.  I'm back experiencing the Heaven On Earth.  I'm retired.  I've reached Critical Mass.  For the last four years, I've got to spend unlimited time with my grandsons.  And now in 2014, my husband and I are getting ready to travel in our RV, and hope to see large parts of our wonderful country over the next few years.

It's a New Year.  Are you finding yourself wanting to get from Crap to Ah-ha to Holy Shit?  The path is different for everyone.  I really can't tell you how to do it.  I can, and will, share some books and teachers and ideas that helped me.  You will have to take your first step on your own path.  I think one of the big keys to help you jump start the process is to trust your instincts.  When you read, hear or think something that is totally right for you, you will know it!  And when you read, hear or think something that doesn't click with you, you will know it!  Trust your gut.  What works for one, does not always work for another.  And that's okay.  All paths lead to the same destination, eventually.

Here are some authors in general and specific books that I found helpful.  Perhaps you will too.  If you are not a "church" person, and I'm not either, don't get too hung up on the use of the word "God" in many of these books.  Either find another term that you can relate to, such as Spirit or Divine Intelligence or Unconditional Love, or just get past passed over it.  Personally, I find the idea of The Force from the Star Wars movies a good substitute.


Emmet Fox
Florence Scovel Shinn
Catherine Ponder


The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
The Jesuit Guide To (Almost) Everything by Father James Martin
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Creating True Prosperity by Shakti Gawain

Wishing you all the best in 2014!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I try to start each day with a little spiritual renewal time for myself.  One of the books I read each day is 365 Saints: Your Daily Guide To The Widsom And Wonder Of Their Lives  by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker.  Although I am not Catholic, I became fascinated with the idea that your every-day, normal (well that's debatable), regular folk could be inspired and then become inspiring.  I have found that many times it is just a casual comment someone makes, or a little snippet you read in a book, that just clicks.  It turns out to be the key that unlocks a puzzle that you may have been struggling with.  My spiritual path started that way (and continues to do so) with a casual comment a woman made to me many years ago. After over-hearing a conversation I was having with someone else, she leaned over to me and said, "You really should read Catherine Ponder's The Dynamic Laws Of Prosperity."  At the time, I did not take her advice too kindly.  Fast forward a few months, and as I am wandering around a used book store, take one guess which book fell off the shelf and hit me on the hit.  Yep - good old Catherine Ponder.  I took it as a sign, and read the book.  It started me off on a path that there was no way I could have seen coming.

The entry for January 1st from Woodeene Koenig-Bricker's 365 Saints book says:

"….As we begin a new year, let us resolve to accept with joy the twists and turns life brings us.  Let us open our hearts to the wonder of each new day and trust that our lives are unfolding the way they ought."

Did someone say twists and turns?  From that day in the bookstore through the present, I've had so many twists and turns I should be puking from motion sickness.  I'm happy to say that the blessings have far outweighed the losses.  However, even those losses have turned out to be blessings in disguise.

Woodeene ends her entry for the day with the following affirmation:  "Today, and everyday, I will trust in the goodness and wisdom of life."

And I do!

(Side note:  The journalling question that accompanies the entry is "Do I have to be in control of everything?"  Oy vey, do I really need to answer that?  That's a therapy session in and of itself!)

My Favorite Things - The 2013 Rendition

And yeah…I don't mean raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens.  I'm thinking more along the lines of Oprah.  Unfortunately for you, I'm not gifting each of you one of everything on my list. However, many of the things are my list are under $20 so you can try them out.  I am including links so you can see what I'm talking about - I haven't figured out how to import just pictures.  (Obviously, I'm a long way from calling myself a professional blogger, but that's another blog entry for the future.)

Here we go - my top 13 product finds from 2013.

1.  Jockey Underwear - specifically I love the 100% cotton Elance French Cut .


2.  DHC Skincare Products - I really love The Cleansing Milk, Antiox C,  and the Camu Camu White Day Milk with SPF 20.


3.  Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner - Although it says "waterproof" - it comes off easily with the DHC Cleansing Milk (which is not your mother's cold cream - but works like it).  The eyeliner is easy to apply, a definite plus for a make up klutz such as myself.


4.  Physicians Formula Lash Extending Mascara - I hope they continue to make this product.  It doesn't clump and it removes easily with the DHC Cleansing Milk.


5.  Tempur-Pedic mattress.  I'm not even sure which model we got, but I think it was the "Cloud" line.  It was the middle of the road - not the plushest but not the bare minimum model either.  It takes a few weeks to get used to it, but I sleep so well now.  I'll never go back.


6.  Blue Bunny Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream - Yummy!  Better than chocolate!


7.  Obsession by Calvin Klein - For many years, I worked in an industry where it was inappropriate to use perfumes.  I understand that many people are sensitive to scents, but I missed wearing fragrances.  I missed smelling good.  Now that I am retired, I can wear perfume if I want.  And mostly, I want it for myself and my husband, but it will also be nice to have the grandkids associate a fragrance with grandma….much like every time I smell White Shoulders, I think of my grandma.  My sister-in-law, Rebecca, often wears Obsession, and I always remember how good she smells.  This year, I bought myself a bottle.  Not the $70 version below, but the $8 small bottle I found on eBay.


8.  Fleece Microfiber Sheets - I stopped to look at these at Costco and got into a conversation with an elderly woman who just swore these were the most comfortable sheets ever.  I was skeptical, but needed to replace my old flannel sheets for the cooler weather, so I took a chance.  I love them!  Not so much the fleece pillowcases, but the microfiber ones that come with set are divine.


9.  M&M Pretzel - Salt and chocolate!  Does it get any better?


10.  Apple Products - I made the leap from android/PC products to Apple.  I love my iPhone, iPad and Mac Book Pro.  The screens look basically the same.  I am able to navigate around the systems and figure out much of it on my own - without calling my husband for assistance, who then complains because he is a true PC guy.  I won't go back.  I would like to figure out how to capture a picture (non-copy righted) to post on this blog.  Then you would have pictures, not links, after each product, but oh well - maybe in 2014.  A big thanks to all my friends who encouraged me to make the switch!


11.  Subaru Forester - My first Subaru and I love it.  There are a few things I would change, the primary ones being the cup holders in the front seat and the arm rests between the front seats.  They are awkwardly positioned and difficult to reach, especially if you have short legs.  The seats could be a little cushier, but as my husband pointed out - we did not buy a Lexus or other higher end vehicle.  They aren't bad, and I don't spend that much time in the car for it to be a real issue, but it will be something I consider in 10 years when we go car shopping again.


12.  Embryolisse - A skin care line that is fabulous.  I discovered this in a Birchbox I received (makeup and skincare samples).  I love this line.  I use this in the winter, and then the DHC products in the warmer weather.


And last, but certainly not least……

13.  Murphy Goode Winery - I discovered this vintner when one of their Merlots was served as a dinner pairing at The Bellagio.  Loved it so much, we made a point to stop at the Tasting Room when we were on a road trip to California.  I've joined their wine club, and every bottle I've received has been wonderful.  They run about $20-$30 a bottle.  (My back up is Columbia Crest Merlot - $8 - $10 a bottle which is more in my everyday range).

I hope you enjoyed my list of my favorite things of 2013.  I hope to find 14 new things to add at the end of 2014.  Or perhaps it will be my favorite 14 destinations of the year as we will be hitting the road again soon.

Happy New Year to all.  May your 2014 be filled with blessings, love and laughter galore!