Archive for March, 2011
Spring is the time to cleanse, detox the liver and awaken the body, mind and spirit from a long winter hibernation. There are many cleanses you can buy at health food and supplement stores, but I believe you will have a much more effective cleanse if you eat the foods Mother Nature brilliantly provides for us at this time of year.
A store-bought cleanse can be a good jump start, but you can’t expect something that lasts for one week or even 30 days to clear out all of the toxins you have accumulated over the year(s). It makes so much more sense to eat the foods that are designed to cleanse the body, for the entire spring season. Food is incredibly powerful and medicinal, so from now until Summer begins, ensure you incorporate the following principles to ensure your body does its necessary and essential spring cleaning job.
- Drink lemon in your water every day
- Add liquid chlorophyll to your water (it’s available at health food stores and it’s an internal deodorizer and cleanser)
- Incorporate organic vegetable juicing (ginger, apple, lemon, celery, fennel, beet greens)
- Add wheatgrass (you can buy frozen wheatgrass at health food stores or go to Booster or Jugo Juice)
- Eat one to two salads every day and include liver cleansing greens (dandelion greens, radicchio, arugula, endive—included in the boxes of Organic Spring Mix as well as radishes and organic sprouts)
- Enjoy the vegetables that are unique to spring such as fiddleheads
- Add parsley, cilantro and watercress to your diet (add to salads, with eggs, or to garnish your foods)
- Drink dandelion tea or fresh ginger tea
- Incorporate cleansing and purifying broths such as potassium broth, Bieler broth and chicken broth (all recipes are available in my book, Journey to Optimum Wellness through Sound Nutrition)
To learn more about seasonal eating and all of the important nutritional and lifestyle principles to incorporate at this time of year, join me for my annual lecture.
Seasonal Eating: Transitioning to a Spring Diet
Date and time: Saturday April 9th. 1-2:30pm
Location: 2031 25th Street SW
To register, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited so register ASAP.
Spring is the most important time of year to change your diet and lifestyle. Don’t miss out on this important time of year to cleanse your body, mind and spirit!
We all have dreams. And we all do things to make those dreams come true. Some of us work very hard at it. But today, I was struck by the idea of doing things to help others achieve their dreams. It hit me that we all have something to contribute. It’s amazing and wonderful when our dreams come true, no doubt. But it’s also amazing and wonderful–almost moreso—when we help others realize their dreams. It’s really the best kind of giving. What greater gift to yourself and that other person than to have participated in the realization of a dream?
Here’s an example: my friend, Tara Scott of Versus Boredom, was the person who helped me realize the dream of this blog. She spent almost a whole day setting it up, getting my hosting sorted out and walking me through all of the technical pieces. She even fed me lunch while doing it! This blog wouldn’t have happened without her. I’m so grateful to Tara for sharing her knowledge and skills with me.
Here are a few examples of what you might be able to share with someone to get them that much closer to realizing their dream:
- Your talents or skills
- Your ideas and inspiration
- Your services, whether in-kind or paid
- Your past experiences and learnings
- Your personal/professional connections
What can you do to help someone else’s dream come true? What have you done to be a dreammaker?
Sona: Tah-dah! I’m so pleased to introduce my mom, Ruby Bedi. I’ve blogged about her before, but this is her first guest blog post on the site and it’s in honour of Hola Mohalla which was celebrated just yesterday.For those of you who know my mom, you know she is a woman of unconventional wisdom and profound insight. She teaches meditation, does personal consultations and just released her second book, The Soul Promise.
There are times when all inner noises come to a screeching halt followed by dead silence and then suddenly you have a realization that simply can’t be absorbed by you alone; you must share these soul gems with others. It would be meaningful if I shared some of the background before releasing the gem.
My day started with a phone call from my friend NKO in India. “It’s Hola Mohalla today. This is the day Guru Gobind Singh, the only Indian saint/soldier who, five hundred years ago, officially established an army to protect and preserve the people and their religion, culture and tradition from the Mogul emperors.” Facts reveal notorious details of atrocities committed with thousands beheaded, burnt and tortured at the hands of the Moguls wanting to convert Hindus to Islam. The women and the children were punished equally hard. To stop this forced induction of religion and tradition, Guru Gobind Singh—an enlightened poet and saint—arose and took on arms to uphold the purity and the originality of the people.
I suddenly realized that the war is still not over. We are now controlled by an enemy that is inside, one that has beheaded us and robbed us of our originality. Rather than being unique, we try to fit in, even if it means compromising ourselves. We seek things and not truth; we’d rather impress than express. We play to the gallery and in the process lose our authenticity. We know that we have fallen, but we don’t know how to rise. Like the saint/soldier Guru Gobind Singh, we need to pick up arms to protect our personal ethics and nature, except the weapon in this age will not be a sword but instead awareness, wisdom and truth; it shall set us free, that I know.
An intense desire to be our full authentic self is enough to ignite the spiritual fire that will burn to ashes any illusions and conspiracy against our Self. The hard part is not getting there but remembering our desire to get there.
You hear people say it all the time. She’s super smart. He’s a really smart guy. And that’s supposed to mean something. But it doesn’t. It just means that person has knowledge, information or skills. So what? Lots of people are smart.
It’s what you do with your smarts that matters.
- Do you apply your knowledge at the right times and in the right places (something I’m tempted to call “Contextual Intelligence”)?
- Do you offer your knowledge, skills and information to help others grow?
- Do you share your smarts for a cause bigger than yourself?
- Do you apply your skills in surprising and unconventional ways?
- Do you take what you know and use it to learn more about what you don’t know?
- Do you ask intelligent questions? Of others, and more importantly, yourself?
- Do you take risks and put yourself in situations where you don’t know what you’re doing?
- Do you have anything to show for your smarts? Have you created anything with them?
Too many times I’ve heard someone talk about a boss, co-worker or unlikeable individual and say, “yeah, he’s not that great of a person, but he’s smart.” So fucking what? There’s too many bloody smart people out there actually doing something of value.
Being smart is good for the one. Sharing it, applying it and challenging it is good for the many.
I don’t know about you but I’ve been experiencing a lot of change lately—some in my outer world, but a lot in my inner world. Based on conversations and catch-ups with long-time friends, colleagues old and new, and my immediate family, I’m not the only one who’s going through something inexplicably uncomfortable. My friend Redreeds (also known as Rabboud) validated this inner chaos with tales of her recent visit with an astrologer, who confirmed that there’s something wacky and weird going on at the universal level.
Finding myself over coffee
When so much of my inner world is in turmoil and uncertainty, I look to the people and things that bring me back to who I really am and what really matters. Recently I went for coffee with my long-time best friend from Grade 2, Sarah. Somewhere in the middle of coffee, I snapped back into who I really am. I looked at her and thanked her for bringing me Home (yes, I’m being cheezy and capitalizing the “H”). And then while parting in the parking lot, I yelled back at her that every time I need to be reminded of the real me, I would call her up and say “Home time!”
Home with a capital H
It makes me think about the things that bring us Home. Baths, meditations, long walks with the dog and long talks with the husband, meals with family, weekend catch-ups with faraway relatives, coffee with friends from grade school, hot cups of Chai.
What brings you Home? Is it Home time for you too?
Recently, I had the pleasure of being a guest blogger on Laurel Vespi’s site, Stone Circle Coaching. My guest blog, called Being bold: the executive who unleashed his girl cells, is all about taking risks in business. Not your typical risks, but the personal kind that can truly change the way you approach your work and co-workers.
About Stone Circle Coaching
Stone Circle Coaching is Laurel’s coaching business and Loving the Chaos is her blog. She’s bright, she’s funny and she’s unorthodox. I loved reading her small but mighty book, Spontaneous Combustion, and I love reading her short and sharp blog posts centred around living the best life you can live. Check out her site, you might find a few nuggets of wisdom that nudge you in a new and different direction.
Have you ever wondered what your Meeting Personality (MP) is?
The all-new Meeting Personality Test (MPT)
Which Meeting Personality are you? Read the descriptions below and tell us which one best describes your style in the comments section. Or, if you think that your Meeting Personality is missing, add it in the comments. Please note that it is 100% okay to evaluate others on their behalf since most of us see other people more clearly than they see themselves anyways.
The Meeting Dominator (Type: MD)
- Shows up to meetings with big, powerful and overbearing energy
- Starts talking without even getting into the swing of the conversation
- Speaks for three reasons and three reasons only: 1) To hear the sound of their own voice; 2) To validate how smart they think they are; 3) To re-iterate what others say using different words so they can claim good or popular ideas as their own
- Runs other peoples’ meetings for them
- Hijacks the agenda with their own agenda (usually for one of the three reasons above)
- Assigns take-away tasks to everyone but themselves
The Meeting Meanderer (Type: MM)
- Saunters into a meeting, early or late or on time, but often with low energy
- Doesn’t contribute to the agenda items but does contribute to the side conversations and asides quite well
- Doesn’t run their own meetings, but lets others run them for them (often defers to the Meeting Dominator)
- Gets lost when discussions go off topic and doesn’t know how to re-focus the group
- Gets engaged with Meeting Distractors and Meeting Socialites without even realizing it
- Isn’t offensive, but isn’t really adding a whole lot of value either
The Meeting Distractor: (Type: MD2)
- Can be equivalent to the class clown, often jokey
- Contributes a large proportion of tangential and/or off-topic comments that can be entertaining but aren’t related to the topic being discussed
- Brings up unrelated issues that appear related, but really aren’t, and is known to use these as reasons to justify why work shouldn’t get done on the task at hand
- Offers up long-winded comments that get less and less relevant as the meeting goes on
- Distracts other meeting types, most notably Meeting Meanderers and Meeting Socialites
The Meeting Socialite (Type: MS)
- Uses meetings as a way to catch up with everyone attending
- Often shares too much information about their personal lives in meetings (and sometimes too much information about the personal lives of others)
- Uses meetings to develop personal relationships
- Is busy commenting on how much they like your haircut or your new sweater
- Can often be found on their Blackberry or iPhone chatting, texting or emailing with their spouse or work BFFs
The Meeting Multi-tasker (Type: MM2)
- Brings their laptop to every meeting they attend
- Uses ineffective or poorly run meetings to get other work done
- Does the tasks that are assigned to them in the meeting itself
- Often found on their Blackberry or iPhone getting other, unrelated work done
The Meeting Master (Type: MM3)
- Sets an agenda, communicates it and sticks to the time slot for the meeting
- Facilitates discussion and ideas, when appropriate
- Acknowledges when there are digressions and effectively parks issues that don’t belong in the meeting forum
- Keeps all meeting participants engaged and dismisses participants if they are no longer needed
- Encourages discussion from less participative attendees
- Introduces themselves to people in a meeting they’ve never met before
- Respects people’s time
- Stays friendly and personable without making that the meat of the meeting
The Meeting Militant (Type: MM4)
- Sets the agenda, sticks to the agenda, but won’t let discussions digress even for a moment and even if it’s valuable
- Over-controls the discussion, not letting everyone participate fully
- Is ruthless and unforgiving when it comes to meeting tardiness
- Is always all business
Which MP are you? Is your MP missing? Be sure to add it in the comments!
*In case you didn’t get the sarcasm in my post, I want you to know that I just created this personality test today in about 30 minutes. I also made a bunch of acronyms and capitalized a lot of the types and the name of the test to make this personality test more official and palatable for corporate types (whoops, more sarcasm!). But in all seriousness, I LOVE personality tests and am horribly guilty of being corporate-y, so I decided to poke a bunch of fun at myself today.
As we approach my baby’s first birthday, I am reminded of the day I had her. We ended up having to schedule a C-section as we found out our baby had flipped in the last few weeks and was in a breech position. A C-section was absolutely the last thing I wanted. It was a complete 360 degree turn from the home water-birth with my midwives that I envisioned and planned for. But Lily had her own way of how she wanted to enter the world, so all I could do was surrender to that (it took me two weeks to surrender, but using The Demartini Method and other healing practices, I came to peace).
The one thing I could take control of was how I wanted to nourish myself post-surgery. I was adamant that I would not touch one morsel of hospital food or even drink the water. So my husband and I took the time to prepare all of the healing foods I would need for the 24 hours I would be in the hospital and for the few days after when I got home. Not only did we take the time, but we infused our love and our intention that these foods would help me heal and give my baby the nourishment she needed in the first few days of her life.
So this was what filled our two large insulated bags (it was more than the bag of clothes I brought for myself and the baby!). The nurses and my midwife thought we were crazy, but I knew a lot more than they did about the importance of having this food with me. In fact, over the course of the day and night, a few of the nurses commented on how well I was doing and how fast I was recovering. I was up and walking around the ward quicker than expected and they were shocked at how much urine I passed and so quickly (that was key for me being able to go home – I had to fill a three-litre bag in 24 hours, which I did and more!). It was all in the power of foods my friends! So without further adieu…
Amy Bondar’s healing foods for recovering from a C-section
- Filtered, oxygenated and mineralized water
- Liquid chlorophyll in water (oxygenates the blood)
- Coconut water (Replaces electrolytes)
- Fresh ginger tea (anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, soothing)
- Peppermint tea (soothes the stomach, relieves gas which is common with a C-section)
- Homemade chicken broth (heals the nerves, incredibly nourishing, easily digested, hydrating, relaxes and gives strength)
- Protein shakes (goat whey protein which rebuilds, heals wounds and speeds up recovery, banana for potassium and fibre, blueberries for antioxidants, ground flaxseed which prevents constipation in case of taking Tylenol 3, and water). I froze the shakes and they thawed by the time I was ready for them.
- A few crackers felt good too (I resisted, but they really did help)
- Kitcheri (This East Indian dish is very easy to digest. It has a perfect combination of protein, essential fats and carbohydrates. The spices are anti-inflammatory. It is especially recommended for post-partum and makes a great medicine to rebuild the body after surgery).
• 1 cup split yellow mung beans
• 2 cups basmati rice
• 1 inch fresh ginger root, chopped
• 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
• 2 Tbsp ghee
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp coriander powder
• 1 tsp cumin powder
• 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
• 1 tsp mustard seeds
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 pinch hing (asafoetida) – optional and found in Indian grocery stores
• 7-10 cups water
Wash beans and rice together until water runs clear. In a large pot on medium heat, mix ghee, mustard seeds, turmeric, hing, ginger, cumin seeds, cumin powder and coriander powder, and stir together for a few minutes. Add rice and beans and stir again. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until rice and beans become soft (about 30-40 minutes). Add the cilantro leaves just before serving.
So for all of you women warriors who have to go through a C-section, take the time to put your healing foods together so that you nourish yourselves and your baby for the speediest recovery.
Yours in health,