June 21, 2018

How to Establish a Daily Rhythm

Daily rhythms (or rituals if you prefer) are very powerful ways of creating structure in your life. Remember that freedom thrives within structure.

Rhythms, or frequencies, are part of everything that exists (ex. heart beat, breath, day/ night, seasons, fertility, etc). You can create your own frequent (frequency) habit in order to manipulate and influence your physical reality.

A good set of daily practices, especially when started first thing in the morning, give you a powerful launching pad that helps to set the projection for the rest of your day. Mornings are powerful and you’ll be surprised how a simple habit can affect you!

The mornings and evenings for most people are the times of the day that we have the most control over, and therefor are the times that we should focus on.

The truth is, if we don’t intentionally set habits that bring peace, clarity, and vitality to our day then we naturally adapt habits to fill these times that do not serve us very well... in other words you either choose your habits or your habits choose you. An example of a habit that a lot of people have that does not serve them is waking up and checking email (which starts your day in a reaction mode - reacting to other people’s agendas for you), reading/listening to the news (and emotionally reacting to things that are outside of your circle of influence), and eating a quick breakfast before running out the door. If you’re into the above mentioned values of peace, clarity and vitality - these do not help you accomplish those goals.

Choosing the habits that lift you up out of bed and set you on the right track are hands down the best way to pick yourself up out of a rut or fine tune your perfect day.

Below are a some examples of “mini-habits” that you can start plugging into your daily rhythm. Your challenge is to start with three of these habits (or make up your own) and stick to them every day. Your brain will be rewarded with little hits of dopamine and serotonin, which will positively influence your mood, leading to a better outlook and better choices while improving your overall quality of life.

Note that you don’t necessarily have to do the same things every day, although you can. If you prefer, you can be flexible with yourself and leave some freedom to choose what exactly you do, as long as its a healthy habit. For example, on Monday and Tuesday you can read a few pages of a self improvement or poetry book and then on Wednesday and Thursday you swap that out for a guided meditation and listening to inspirational music or a motivational video on YouTube. The point is to CHARGE YOURSELF UP, so remember this key purpose when deciding what to do! See the lists below for some ideas, and stick to it in order to make your rhythm and create your frequency.

  • Hydrate by drinking a full glass of water (bonus points for adding a fresh squeezed wedge of lemon
  • Drink a cup of herbal tea
  • Step outside and take 5 deep breaths of air
  • Open up that non-fiction book you’ve been meaning to get to and read a few pages
  • Go for a walk, jog, swim, stretch, ride a bike, or do some type of yoga or other exercise
  • Listen to a motivational speaker or compilation on YouTube
  • Write a letter to someone you care about
  • Plant something or weed you garden
  • Color a mandala
  • 
Draw

  • Play music
  • Listen to a TED Talk on a subject that inspires you
  • Journal

  • Meditate (guided or non-guided)
  • Listen to inspiring music

  • Make a healthy smoothie or fresh low glycemic juice

These are just some ideas to get you started. Please feel free to add your own or print the image below for a quick start. 

May 24, 2017

The 3-Part Formula to Reach Your Goals


Goals are imperative for most happy people. But if you're not reaching your goals it is important to make sure their not all extrinsic goals, the ones that only satisfy your ego. Some examples of extrinsic goals are being liked/being popular, attractiveness, and financial success. These are okay, just don't stop there.

Extrinsic goals typically just aren’t strong enough to motivate a person through to the very end. This isn't the category of goals that to orient our lives around. People that only set extrinsic goals are less happy and less fulfilled than those who set intrinsic goals. Extrinsic goals are best when they are a bi-product or coherent partner of our deeper and more meaningful intrinsic goals.

One contributing factor to being genuinely happy is to create intrinsic goals. This type of goal relates to self awareness, self development and personal growth. Some examples include deepening our relationship with our lover and our family, donating to a cause, reading more, or shaking a destructive habit. These are strong intrinsic goals, goals that focus on personal and spiritual growth.

We always have the power to change the thoughts that saturate our minds and penetrate us.



To seed a new thought and to germinate it is 100% within all of our abilities. A new thought is divine. A new thought to upgrade Self in some way can clear the emotional and mental clutter that might be surrounding and stifling us. It allows a new path to unfold. The seed of a new thought, when attended to, will bloom. BUT, a thought is only one of three ingredients necessary. A thought that is well attended to can erase internal conflict and obstacles that may have previously stood in the way. To nourish it so that it takes root we also need emotion and will.

Your emotions (energy-in-motion) have to be congruent with your thoughts. If you think that you want something but fear failing or even fear attaining it, there is discord, disharmony and success will be very unlikely. If you feel excitement for the challenge of actualizing your thoughts and dreams, you should start to notice yourself figuring out your "next action steps".

Now you must summon your will. Will is Action, so take a physical step in the physical world in order to initiate. Even taking a series of tiny actions will create positive momentum and lead to something tangible. When this action is combined with the energy of emotion and the clarity of mind, you become destined to create a real life result. Now you just need to keep up the motivation. We will talk about sustaining your motivation in the next blog post, meanwhile, download our "Next Action Worksheet" below!






















April 22, 2017

Let Go of Stress – 3 Steps to Help the Process

Too often we forget how simple and sweet life can be, how it is supposed to be. In the hustle of life we tend to loose track of what ACTUALLY matters…which is OBVIOUSLY a terrible thing!

Over the past several months I have been allowing the seriousness of life to link up with everyday stresses, resulting in a perpetual chain of things to do and time to spend in places other than those places that deeply nourish me.

But a few weeks ago I renewed an important commitment to myself, which is to tap back into the blissful state of mind that is waiting just on the other side of stress. It’s funny how easily we can forget to come back to this “home base”, this alive, peaceful, and conscious mindset/place.

Being busy is fine and can be very fun and rewarding on many different levels, but to allow it to cut into those personal practices that nourish you is not the way to live a long and joy-filled life. We create Heaven and Hell on earth through what we CHOOSE to focus on… and the world will push you into that place of torment if you allow it to. We have to vigilantly stand guard of where our minds go if we truly want to tap into our personal power and the deep well of love that fuels us.

The careless breeze, happy birds, and kid’s songs I heard this morning reminded me of one of the best things you can do for you body and your mind…. which is none other than rest. This morning’s moment was inspiring and it was the perfect reminder for me to continue (and to deepen) my commitment to nourishing myself.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in day to day activities and responsibilities, but we must remember that the MOST important thing is to spend sufficient time rejuvenating ourselves. Doing so enables us to show up more fully in the world, to face challenges with alert optimism, and to be present while giving our undivided attention to the job at hand.

Focusing is a lot easier when we aren’t daydreaming about escaping our duties! Remember, we can only give sufficiently if our cup is overflowing. I implore you to wake up each day with a plan of how and when you are going to etch out a little bit of time to take care of yourself. Will it be yoga? a bike ride? meditation? a walk in nature?

It is so easy to forget, but taking care of oneself really should be the MOST important thing. We cannot give sufficiently without nourishing ourselves first. If the fruit tree doesn’t receive enough water, it won’t fruit. For me, reminders are crucial. Here are a few helpful ways to keep yourself on track.

1. Pre-Commit. When you make a plan and budget your time appropriately you enable yourself to exercise, meditate, enjoy a nourishing tea, etc. WITHOUT guilt. Commit 100%…not 99%. That one (missing) percent gives you an easy out that may soon spiral out of control. When you commit 100% you won’t let this sacred time be compromised!

2. Take care of the most important things first. Because will power is fueled by glucose, you have more will power during the morning hours than you do in the evening, so take care of the hardest, most important, or most dreaded things first. Getting a win or two under your belt first thing in the morning is an important way to trigger serotonin release and to create healthy momentum for a productive day.

3. Prominently display encouragement and inspiration related to your goals. Just like new years resolutions or weight loss programs, we like to think we will change – but often we do not follow through till the end. These types of reminders are a great way of getting and keeping yourself going. Reminders can be simple post-it notes in specific places (moved around occasionally so you don’t start ignoring them), quotes, or emotion-provoking/visually appealing displays. For example, if you want to create a new habit of reading and drinking herbal tea, position your tea cup and book in a place (and in a way) that will invite you to follow through on that decompressing and energizing activity. Symbolic reminders need to be…well, symbolic! They need to mean something and instantly remind, encourage, and inspire you on a subconscious level.

Sometimes keeping stress at bay only takes 10 minutes a day. So what will you add into your life that will take away some of those burdens on your mind?

What we eat affects what we think

When analyzing brain foods, one of the most important things to look at besides toxicity (foreign to our bodies, i.e. artificial) is the glycemic index. If you don’t already know how important it is, start paying attention to the glycemic index (GI) of food and observe how you feel in relation to this one marker. Our brain thrives on a steady stream of glucose in the blood stream and when that steady stream isn’t so steady, the brain (as well as the rest of the body) suffers with irritability, depression and sluggishness to name a few.

Pastas, breads, and white potatoes are the worst offenders when it comes to upsetting the blood sugar and depleting nutrients.

Before we get to the good foods, check out some more of the “bad” ones. Artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, sugary foods and drinks, hydrogenated fats, nicotine, and alcohol are the worst “non-food” foods. The sad news about alcohol is that it doesn’t even need to be ingested…it kills brain cells if it is just smelled!

Did you know that both the Air Force’s magazine, “Flying Safety”, and the Navy’s magazine, “Navy Physiology”, published articles warning about the many dangers of aspartame? The methanol in aspartame is found to build up in the tissues causing a potential cumulative effect. It is also reported to increase the likelihood of birth defects. Pilots have linked the use of aspartame to seizures and vertigo and most flight agencies warn against its usage. It is also reported to disrupt the chemical makeup of the brain and lower the levels of serotonin – which could affect sleep, appetite, mood, and behavior. Aspartame (and other chemical sweeteners) disrupt amino acid metabolism, hormonal equilibrium and nerve functions, to name a few. Read more here.

So that’s the bad news, and although there is MUCH more to be said about those “non-foods”, that is a subject for a whole other post. Here are some foods that you can incorporate into your diet that will enhance your cognitive function and decrease brain fog. When you eat the right foods you are able to see things more clearly, become more confident and overall add quality to your life and the life of your valuable brain through balancing your hormones, and nourishing your brain’s functions.

The top brain foods include:

Salmon and other fatty fish
Cacao – this is the raw bean. Chocolate has sugar (read about sugar above)
Green tea, especially Matcha
Acai berry and blue berry
Avocados – great fatty acids
Brewer’s yeast (great source of RNA)
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, and all leafy greens
Eggs- great source of protein and readily used cholesterol (yes, the whole egg!)
Seeds and Nuts: flaxseed (freshly ground), walnuts, chia, pumpkin, etc.
Also, be sure to incorporate all of the colors that call to us from nature. Those colors, called bioflavonoids, are what gives wine and pomegranate so much value – they’re loaded with antioxidants that scavenge free radicals in the brain and in the body.

To break it down very simply: Get enough omega 3 fatty acids, plenty of protein (especially from non-meat sources), a variety of colors, and don’t forget plenty of PURE water (avoid unfiltered tap water). These are the ingredients that help people maintain a high quality of life and great mental clarity and cognitive function well into a ripe old age.

February 27, 2017

What You Focus On Grows

The whole idea that by simply focusing on something will actually bring more of it into your life may seem strange. However, if you play with the idea for a little while, you will quickly see what is meant by “What you focus on grows”. For an easy example, think about body builders. When they focus on building muscle, the muscles grow. Of course it takes more than just thinking about it and hoping that it will happen. When you focus on building muscle, it will probably lead you to research how to actually do it. You will probably be led to talk to people who have successfully built up their own bodies, you will likely research the topic on the internet and you may hire a personal trainer to direct you and speed up the process. Focusing doesn’t mean staring. Focusing doesn’t mean magically creating. Focusing means devoting significant amounts of time and energy to accomplish your goals.

Really, we are talking about manifesting what we want out of life (think: law of attraction), whether it be health, happiness, love, intelligence, money, fame, or combinations of different things. When we want something in life, we can acquire it. And as the old addage goes, don’t worry about the “how”, that will come.

When we focus on a health issue in the wrong way, it grows in the wrong way. What does that mean? Well, when you focus on your shoulder pain or your migraines using a language such as “why does this pain have to be so bad” or “why does it have to happen to me?” you actually play the role of a victim disallowing yourself the ability to gain control of the situation. Thinking of how bad the pain hurts and how much you hate it is not something that I recommend. Think about it this way, when you hate something that is part of you or your own body, you are hating a part of yourself. When you hate a part of yourself, you are trying to deny that piece of your Whole Being from love and attention. Stereotypically, men will “hate” a health issue or pain by ignoring it, and in general women will ignore it also but in a different way. Men ignore their symptoms by “being a man” about it and not complaining and not worrying about it. Women tend to ignore their symptoms by continuing to say “Yes” to people and situations they know they should say “NO” to, just not listening to their body when it says (or screams) “Slow Down”.

So, try this for your health complaint or pain…Think about the situation in a solution oriented way opposed to a problem oriented way. We are so used to looking at the problems of our world and we don’t have enough time or pay enough attention to creating solutions. The next time that you have a problem, first of all don’t deny it. Give it some credibility and let yourself believe if only for a moment that it is actually there for a reason and that it is actually NOT an accident. When you think about things in this way, you cross the bridge of being someone who is a victim into someone who is a Powerful Co-Creator of his/her reality! If you don’t think that this style of thought is for you or that it would really make a difference, try it out before dismissing it. I can tell you that living in a left brain dominated society has made us imbalanced and has led to us missing out on many experiences for ourselves. The right brain is the part of ourselves that is not linear and logical. Let it take up its role in our reality by starting to shift from problem oriented to solution oriented. I’m sure that you will be happy that you did. Leave your comments below to share how this approach has changed your circumstances.

December 24, 2016

End the Old & Begin the New!

Regardless of how every little piece of it turned out, it’s important to acknowledge what you accomplished this year.

It’s time for two things now.. to relax and to celebrate! Whatever your faith or spiritual angle, there is no denying that this time of year is special for many reasons. December 21st is the Winter Solstice… the shortest and darkest day of the year. Going forward into the new year we will begin again, be reborn to another year. And of course it’s customary and popular to be thinking about intentions and setting new years resolutions.

I think this is great because it is essentially goal setting, and goal setting is something that we should all be doing regularly!

Winter is of the water element in Chinese Medicine and Taoism. Winter is important to me because here in central Texas we don’t naturally get very many snow days (usually none) or even prolonged periods of cold days. Society in general really doesn’t respect the type of energy that the water element brings with it either. As Westerners, well most of the world now really, we take on more and more every year while demanding that our body and mind keep up. We don’t value recuperation but at least in most U.S. states we get some cold weather that forces us to slow down and take some time to read by the fire. THAT is why I love winter, slowing down is a big part of what winter means to me. The water element gives us the opportunity to be reflective and to be still. Physically, when we look into water it shows us reflection. This time of year is asking us to listen, to unwind, to become more present and more aware, and to let go of our fears (you know, those fears – based only on the stories we tell ourselves – those stories that trick us into worrying because we know something is “going to go wrong”… or not go the way we want).

Slowing down and reflecting also means letting go of missed opportunities and mis-takes. It is about accepting what was and what is, and to be genuinely grateful. In fact, if you don’t incorporate some sort of practice like this in your life on a regular basis (or at least yearly) you will likely find yourself in a prolonged dark place, steeped in regret and self criticism.

So, let the winter holiday’s be your time to enjoy just being. Allow yourself to indulge in some self-care and in some peace and quiet. While you’re there, reflect about your life.. what you like about it and what you don’t like; what you want to change and what you WILL change! What you really, really like about your life and want more of.

“The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.”

Thomas Carlile

Make some tea, think and ponder, reflect and FEEL your how your thoughts affect you. Make some more tea, journal, do some yoga, take a bath, think and ponder more!

How do you want your life to be? Remember, IT IS YOUR LIFE and it is happening RIGHT NOW! You’re in the middle of it. It’s so important to engineer your life so that you can live it the way that makes you happiest. We should aim for a life that nourishes us on all levels and that allows us to express our gifts and our love the most.

If you were 99 years old and looked back on your life, what would you regret if you don’t change it now? What legacy do you want to leave? Are you pursuing your dreams or have you given up on them? What do you need to let go of this year?

If you like these questions, I have a bunch more for you. Get The Essential Questions Here. Journaling exercises are exceptionally valuable and there are all sorts of studies out there on the topic.

Be intentional and set aside at least a half-hour to answer these questions for yourself. Get into the zone and enter into that blissful state of “stream of consciousness writing” or the similar state of “brain dumping”. You’ll feel great afterwards because you’ve put pen to paper (or words on a screen) and now it actually exists. You’ve become more aware of where you are and where you are going. You’ve stated what is important to you and what you need to let go of.

Spring isn’t for a couple of more months at least so if you don’t finish all the questions over this holiday break come back to it soon. I promise that you will be happy you did.

Please leave me a comment below on how you renew and restore yourself. I’d love to hear!

I appreciate all of you, my wonderful clients and subscribers. I wish you peace and a filled up, centered and expanded heart this season.

December 1, 2016

Raw Super Food Chocolate Truffles!!!

Complete deprivation only works for so long. Today we are surrounded by healthier alternatives to all the junky foods we used to love. This desert is quite lovely and guilt free.

Why guilt free? Well, THERE'S NO SUGAR HERE!​

Only organic cacao, coconut, & wildflower honey.

Rest assured though that these truffles have plenty of good stuff in them.. and actually every ingredient is considered a super food. Briefly, chocolate is rich in antioxidants, iron, calcium, and exceptionally high in magnesium. Cacao has the highest source of magnesium of any other food (this is probably why most of us crave it, especially many women on their moon). Dark chocolate stimulates endorphin release resulting in an anti-depressant effect too. Coconut is also a superfood and is now being studied in the prevention and treatment of mental diseases such as dementia and alzheimer's. Coconut is also full of Medium Chain Fatty Acids and enhance fat burning, while providing energy. It also has great antimicrobial activity and helps repair the gut and immune system... I could go on but I'll leave it at that for now. I could go on but I'll leave it at that for now...You're likely interested because they're yummy and make great gifts, the fact that this is a superfood combination is just a bonus right?

Enjoy them for yourself or share the LOVE!

Click the button and while you're there be sure to check out our holiday gift options for acupuncture and neurofeedback too!

March 1, 2016

Workshop: Medicinal Herbs We Can Grow!

Interested in learning more about growing medicinal herbs in your backyard? Click below to sign up!

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[button target=”_self” text=”RSVP!” link=”http://www.meetup.com/AquaponicAnswers-com/”]

We will be talking about 12 medicinal herbs that we can grow here in Central Texas, the benefits those herbs have to offer and preparation methods. We will also have a special demo on how to make a delicious tonic herb elixir, plus a tasting of some of our home grown culinary herbs.

Would you like to attend?

<<<RSVP!

Coconut Crusted Chicken Bites with Creamy Cauliflower Mash and Mango Salsa

Creamy Cauliflower Mash:

4 servings

INGREDIENTS
4 c. cauliflower
1 c. coconut milk
1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 – 1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper taste

INSTRUCTIONS
Steam or boil cauliflower until soft. Process it in a food processor with the remaining ingredients until smooth.

Coconut Crusted Chicken Bites:

4 servings

INGREDIENTS
1 lb organic boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup shredded unseetened coconut
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
2 – 3 tbsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a bowl toss the chicken with the shredded coconut until coated.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken in two batches. Flip when golden and crisp, about 3-5 min. per side.

Mango Salsa:

INGREDIENTS

1/2 mango diced
1 1/2 tbsp red onion diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 lime juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Millet Breakfast Porridge

IMG_27331-587x391As with the other gluten free grains that have been mentioned on this blog, millet too should be properly (traditionally) prepared in order to A) get the full spectrum of nutrients it has to offer, and B) prevent the protective coating called “lectin” from irritating your intestinal lining. Pretty much all grains have some sort of coating on them in order to protect the seed from insects and animals. These coatings prevent us from absorbing the nutrition in the grain and often even block the absorption of nutrients from food we consume with the grain. Some examples of these “anti-nutrients” are the phytic acid in wheat and quinoa, the hemicellulous in corn and the lectins in amaranth and millet.

This porridge (recipe and image from Fountain Avenue Kitchen) may be prepared the night before, refrigerated, and gently reheated in the morning for a speedy breakfast. You can also make a bigger batch and portion into several bowls for easy breakfasts throughout the week. When preparing in advance, simply remove from the heat about five minutes early as the millet will continue to absorb the liquid overnight and as it is reheated.

  • 1/3 cup millet, rinsed and drained in a fine mesh strainer
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I like almond or coconut; skim milk works well, too)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons raisins, optional
  • Optional toppings: sliced bananas, peaches, berries, or fruit of choice; nuts of choice, shredded coconut
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the millet through optional raisins and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook at a very low simmer for 20-25 minutes, without stirring, or until the liquid is absorbed and the millet is the consistency of oatmeal or cream of wheat.
  2. Remove from the heat, drizzle with maple syrup or desired sweetener, and add toppings of choice.
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