When we feel guilty about the past it’s because our mind is making us feel that way. By flooding our brain with the thoughts of our past mistakes, decisions and wrong turns, our life-journey distracts us from what is real, the present. Similarly, the mind’s other favorite resource is the future which does not exist because our we live in the present. There is no crystal ball. This back and forth preoccupation of the mind has been ingrained in us and civilization since the beginning (Eckhart Tolle).
Everyone wonders what would have happened if they did something differently in the past.
I don’t know if that’s a word, maybe I invented it, but it means meditate and exercise simultaneously. M’exertation is the process of doing this. Clear the mind by stopping all the self-talk, create space, emptiness and put your mind into the muscles. Listen to the instructor, I like spin classes and body pump, and find that closing my eyes allows me to concentrate better. Both classes have music and I listen to the beat, rhythm, lyrics and focus on how my body feels.
As the physical intensity increases and the muscles start to weaken, I visualize an imaginary point in my mind where there is no pain, where pain cannot exist, and stay there until a break comes along which is usually through the instructor’s voice.
My definition of exercise would be; To separate oneself from all other distractions, concentrate on the mind-body connection and burn some calories, resulting in self-care, clearing of the mind, and physical stimulation. How’s that?
I don’t go back to the locker and grab my smart phone. Why would I after I worked so hard to get to that state of bliss? Truly how many out there can do this? If you can this is how you start to manage your life to be free from the rule of the device. I give myself 20 minutes after a workout to enjoy what I described, no phone, no radio, no T.V., minimal interaction, a mind-body experience.
The cell phone, iPhone, smartphone is only a recent phenomenon. My parents didn’t have a long extension cord for the rotary phone (what’s that? Google it) to take to the Gym, heck there were only YMCA’s back then anyway. Child care or baby sitters, same thing. Just one generation ago, we left forwarding numbers to restaurants, friend’s houses, and any other place we were going to “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.” And guess what, we very seldom got a call. Are you getting the picture? Honestly just try to put down your smartphone for short periods of time, like when you work out, eat dinner at home or out, and when you’re driving. The internet and mobile devices like smartphones are a wonderful technology to augment a life that has much more to offer.
When the emotion of joy arises, I wonder why? I believe a lot has to do with my education at the Institute for Integrated Nutrition and the concepts I have learned and applied to my life. I am less stressed, take the time to eat and enjoy my food, eat healthy foods, hydrate, give gratitude offerings, write a morning journal, exercise regularly, and I meditate. I feel so good the day will come when someone says I’ll have what he’s having about me. I am getting reborn into this life and the world with tools like the Circle of Life and Primary Food from IIN.
I read the New York Times Bestseller 'The Power of Now.' Eckhart Tolle, the author went from feeling suicidal to being enlightened one morning as he thought he couldn’t live with himself anymore. He contemplated, I can’t live with myself, are there two of me? In a void as he describes, the words ‘resist nothing’ came to him many times and he fell back asleep. After a few hours he awoke to a new world, with a bird chirping outside his window, and the sun streaming in. The beauty of the moment was in fact an Epiphany. The world changed. Everything was beautiful. After months and years of experiencing this new life, and while studying the masters of meditation and spirituality he realized he had what they were talking about. The book is a journey of his teachings and how you and I can live in a state of consciousness.
The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons (Director Tony Avallone 2018)
Bill Murray Stories is about ‘the urban legend’ Mr. Bill Murray showing up, unforetold to a host of events over the years. He pops up at wedding pictures, bars and bartends, house parties, family events, reads poetry to construction workers, and is always there to engage and not entertain. You cannot schedule him to show up for one of these wacky appearances, he does it spontaneously. Being a big star, he seems quite grounded, ordinary, and does regular things, like dance, mingle, wash dishes, and take selfies. These wonderful, joyous, and memorable experiences resonated in hearts of the folks around him. I experienced Murray’s nonchalant comedy many years ago, (Saturday Night Live) and like many became an instant fan. He went on to make many classic movies, humorous and serious. From Bill Murray Stories, I saw a clip from Caddy Shack, perhaps one of his most iconic movies, where he improvised a piece about being a caddie for the Dali Lama. The Dali Lama said he (Murray) wouldn’t be getting any money for caddying but at his deathbed he would receive total consciousness. Hmmm I thought, I am reading a book about consciousness, this sounds familiar. As the Life Lessons continued many of Murrays movie included enlightenment references. Several interviews with eye witnesses of these urban legend events suggested he had a way to wake people up, showing up in places he wasn’t expected to be. Wake up, this was a concept in Tolle’s book I was beginning to understand. We walk around in a fog most of the time? Our brains are controlled by time and we can never bring back the past and the future does not exist yet. The stimulation that surrounds us is equal in one day to what our ancestors experienced in a lifetime. No wonder we can’t get off our cell phones our minds have an insatiable desire to wonder. The fact is everyone lives in a state of Now. The universe is in a state of Now. But most of us are missing it, at least that is what I am trying to come to terms with.
Bill Murray lives his life as many of us would like, famous, care free, funny, well off. We can all march to our own beat and should. Practice being a Now person. My suggestion is pick up and read Tolle’s book, watch Bill Murray Stories and see if the correlation I got is the same for you. More important, don’t dwell too much on the past, (it’s a Now that already happened) and don’t fret about the future. Sure, the bills won’t go away, the public speech is going to happen, you are going to have to face some serious situations, but overthinking them keeps you from the being present, conscious, where you are. Use your life to be Bill Murray spontaneous and bring cheer and joy to those around you. Most importantly, bring joy to yourself. As always, I would love to hear what you think of my blog.
Here are some new over the top food items as reported by CBS Sports (www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/best-mlb-ballpark-foods-for-2019-ribs-giant-hot-dogs-and-egg-rolls-among-the-most-intriguing-new-menu-items/).
- Avocado Bites; deep fried and served with habanero sauce.
- MQ Rib Sandwich; slow cooked baby back rib meat with MQ’s black cherry BBQ garnished with dill pickles and white onions on a soft white roll.
- The Foul Pole; A 2 pound battered and fried chicken tender (yes singular) with waffle fries and sides of honey mustard and ranch dressing. (How big was that chicken??)
- 16-inch slice of pepperoni or cheese pizza.
- PB and bacon Sandwich
- Chicken and waffle cone; Filled with chicken tenders and a slab of bacon drizzled with maple syrup.
- Dinger Dog; fried 1-foot beef dog wrapped in puff pastry with cheddar and bacon jam.
- Chili cheese crunch dog; 1-foot long hot dog with chili, cheddar cheese and crushed Fritos on top.
- Fritos pie corn dog; hot dog dipped in corn chip batter, fried and topped with white cheese and chili
- Donut burger; a burger topped with bacon pepper jam served on a glazed donut
- Going Yard; 16.5-inch jalapeño cheddar sausage topped with grilled onion, roasted corn, avocado relish and drizzled with sour cream.
- Crispy maple chicken sandwich; spicy maple sauce drizzled over fried chicken with white cheddar spread, and pickles on a toasted bun.
- Smokin’ thighs sandwich; roasted skin on chicken thighs with garlic aioli, caramelized onion, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, and romaine on a toasted baguette.
- Fries covered with you name it, sliced gyro meat, feta cheese nacho cheese bacon…
Here's a Different One...
- Dessert sweet potato fries; sweet potato fries topped with powdered sugar, chopped pecans, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and Nutella.
- Bulgogi beef egg rolls; filled with beef, carrots, onions, rice, served with Gyochujang Sauce.
- Coney dog egg roll; crispy egg roll filled with a hot dog and chili drizzled with a yellow mustard and a sprinkle of diced onion.
Baseball has always been about going to the ballpark, getting a hot dog, a beer and relaxing. This food selection is on steroids. The theme seems to be big, bacon, spicy, hot, bacon (yes, I said that twice), maple syrup, waffles and a hint of Asian. Oh yeah and a lot of calories. I honestly can’t blame anyone for having food cravings.
If you are a vegan there are great concession choices also!
Target Field has vegan:
- Sriracha brats and Italian sausages
- Daiya cheese pizza
- Tacos and burritos
- Field Roast burgers and dogs
Globe Park features a vegan cart with:
- Vegan nacho’s Grande
- The vegan top n’ go Frito pie with Beyond Meat Crumbles and house-made chili
- Veggie wraps with Beyond Meat chicken, burger and dogs
Most stadiums have a veggie burger or hot dog, but finding them is difficult, because they’re not in too many spots. Vegan tacos, veggie burritos, and nacho cheese alternatives are increasing. There was one stadium that had seared tofu flatbreads, and a cauliflower cheesesteak with vegan cheese.
I would be happy to get a charcoal grilled Beyond Meat burger, with all the fixings and Daiya cheese. I’d even splurge on some fresh cut fries and that habanero sauce sounded good too.
If CBS ever wanted me to visit stadiums and search out vegan or even good vegetarian options, I’d be happy to do it. If any ballpark foodservice wanted to make some great vegan recipes for carnivores, I could help there too. After all that’s what I do, I even wrote a book about it. One other thing to remember when you eat the vegan options, you can leave the antacid tablets at home because you won’t get acid reflux from vegetables, not even spicy ones. At least I don’t.
See you at the game!
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Minced garlic, 2 tbsp
Yellow onion, one diced
Pepper (green or red), one diced
Vegan chicken strips, 1 package (10 oz)
Mexican Chipotle (Field Blend) Sausages, four sliced
Crushed tomatoes, 25 oz can
Lundberg Wild Blend Rice, 2 cups
Water, 4 cups
Not Chick'n Bouillon cubes, 2
Marjoram, ½ tbsp
Cayenne pepper, ½ tsp (be careful not to add too much)
Joe’s Stuff, 1 tbsp (optional, available from the New Orleans School of cooking online)
- Add the bouillon cubes and spices to four cups of water and slowly bring to a boil.
- In a large pot add olive oil, minced garlic, onions and peppers and cook them on a medium to high heat. When the vegetables begin to sweat, add the sliced vegan sausage and vegan chicken strips. Cook them for about two minutes.
- Next add the rice and continue to cook for about two more minutes, stirring constantly to get the rice to absorb the flavors.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and continue to stir, deglazing the bottom of the pot. After a few minutes, add the boiling Not Chicken broth and spices to the big pot and bring to a boil.
- After the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let it cook for one hour and fifteen minutes.
- Check the doneness of the rice; it should not be mushy or too firm.
Cook for an additional few minutes if needed. Remove the pot from the heat and serve. Cool any remaining jambalaya and save it for leftovers. It heats up very easily and tastes just as good the second time around.
In my quest to do more Cajun recipes, I also came up with a great red beans, rice and vegan sausage recipe. Normally all you do is replace the real meat with a vegan substitute, and they get easier to find all the time. This recipe like the real red beans and rice alternative requires it to simmer for several hours. So, I will usually start it in the late morning for a dinner delight.
Vegan Red Beans and Rice with Vegan Sausage
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Minced garlic, 2 tbsp
Yellow onion, one diced
Peppers, two (green and red) diced
Mexican Chipotle (Field Blend) Sausages, four sliced
Red beans, 6 drained and rinsed cans (12 oz each)
Water, 4 cups
Not Chick'n Bouillon cubes, two
Marjoram, ½ tbsp
Cayenne pepper, ½ tsp (be careful not to add too much)
Sugar, 1 tbsp
Bay leaves, 1 or 2
Brown rice or Lundgrens Wild rice, 2 cups
Water, 3½ cups
- Add the bouillon cubes and the spices to four cups of water and slowly bring it to a boil.
- In a large pot add the olive oil, minced garlic, onions and peppers and cook them on a medium to high heat. When the vegetables begin to sweat add the sliced vegan sausage. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and add the drained red beans.
- Stir the beans and vegetables and cook them until a boil of the liquid in the pot is visible and continue for two to three more minutes.
- Add the broth to the pot and bring it to a boil. Boil for two to three more minutes and reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for two to three hours or longer for the thickness of the broth and the desired tenderness of the beans.
- In a separate two-quart pot prepare the rice. Add two cups of Lundgrens Wild Rice to three and a half cups of water and bring it to a boil. If you use a different rice, follow the direction on the package. For the Lundgrens, simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Add the rice to the bottom of a bowl and top it with the beans and sausage mixture. I usually put about one third rice and two thirds red beans.
I hope you enjoy my variations on New Orleans classics. You can make some really delicious Vegan variations on most of the classics and they are much lower in fat and cholesterol than the originals and have the same amount of protein. Let me know if you like these or if you had any trouble making them.
Vegan Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Chocolate Crust
Makes one cake
I originally bought this cheesecake from our vegan friend Jenny Houser. She has a big sweet tooth. Jenny is so active, I think she needs the sweets to keep her energy charged — kind of like a hummingbird needs to sip the nectar from flowers to keep its wings going a zillion miles an hour. She gave me the recipe so that I could start making it at home or in the restaurant. It's always a good sign when customers or friends want to know what's in it because it tastes like the real thing.
Tofutti Cream Cheese, 3 containers
Tofutti Sour Cream, 1 cup
Non-GMO silken or soft tofu, ½ cup
vegan graham crackers, 4 cups (after putting in food processor)
Earth Balance Organic Vegan Buttery Spread, 1/2 cup
Organic ground flaxseed meal, 2 tbsp
Pure vanilla extract, 1 tbsp
Organic cane sugar, ¾ cup
Lemon, one half juice only
Vegan non-GMO semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, ½ cup
Strawberries or blueberries for garnish
Put the graham crackers into a food processor and blend them until they are finely ground. Put the graham crumbs into a medium mixing bowl. In a microwave melt, but don't heat, ¾ of a cup of Earth Balance Buttery Blend (30 seconds.) Add the melted Earth Balance to the graham crackers and mix it together with a fork. Add the mini chocolate chips and continue to mix so that it has a consistent and even texture.
Grease a springform cake pan with additional Earth Balance Buttery Blend sparingly. (A springform pan has a clip that will allow you to take the side of the pan off when the cake has cooled.) Pour the contents of the crust mixture into the springform pan and make an even layer of graham cracker along the bottom and then a ridge along the interior pan about an inch high. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, add the Tofutti cream cheese, Tofutti sour cream, silken tofu, flaxseed meal, organic sugar, pure vanilla extract, and the juice of a half lemon. Blend this mixture for about four or five minutes. Pour the filling into the cake pan and even out the top out with a spatula. I will also tap the pan lightly on the kitchen counter to help even out the mixture. Next put the cake in the oven on top of a cookie sheet. This is important in case the buttery spread leaks out of the bottom of the springform pan (which could cause a fire).
Bake it for about 50 minutes and check. Once the top of the cake has baked evenly and has a slightly light brown hue, it's done. In my oven it is exactly one hour. Let the vegan cheesecake sit on top of a counter top for about 45 minutes and then place it in a refrigerator for it to completely cool. I generally wait a total of four hours before I slice into the cake. Serve the dessert on a large or small plate with a fruit garnish, like fresh strawberries or blueberries.
Makes twelve balls
I am not a big sweets person, which is probably good. It seems that if I start eating sweet things, I want more. My energy balls are sweet, but they are so filling that you only want one or two. These are great for the sweet cravings we all get at times.
Organic oatmeal, 1½ cup
Flaxseed meal, ½ cup
Organic pure maple syrup, ⅓ cup
Honey, 3 tbsp (honey is not vegan: remember, it comes from bees) you can skip this and add a little more maple syrup
Pure vanilla extract, 1 tsp
Vegan chocolate chips, 3 tbsp
Sun butter, ½ cup of (we don't like the organic as much, but you can use that also)
Coconut flakes, 2 tbsp
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend with a spatula until you have a consistent mixture. Refrigerate the mixture until it is cold. This makes it easier to form into balls. Make the mixture into golf ball size balls and keep them refrigerated. Eat as a dessert, snack, or quick pick me up.
Please let me know how you like my desserts and have a wonderful Valentines Day.
I listened to a lecture by Bernie Siegel MD called Master the art of living. One point, of many he made, was you can make the invisible visible through drawing. Many times, he would ask patients to draw a picture of themselves. Their inner consciousness brought things to their drawings that he often was able to interpret and diagnose from deep down in the body and soul. At least that’s what I understood from his statements. I wanted to make a quest to find out what was deep down in my mind and Taryn Toomey may have given me the blueprint.
In my last blog, I couldn’t wait to go running the day after my profound experience with Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class.’ During ‘The Class’ in deep meditation, I had found this dark Spiky Ball in the middle of my mind’s eye that could be the culmination of years of negative thoughts, bad experiences and something holding me back from my potential. I needed that Fire that Toomey was talking about to get rid of it. I had an anxious excitement prior to my four-and-a-half-mile run.
I started the next day on a cool winter afternoon, in Mount Lookout, Cincinnati, and followed the protocol from Toomey, or at least my version of it. I cleared my mind and let my arms fall by my side, shook my hands out as I loosened up for the first half mile or so. I focused on my heart and breathing. Out of the blue I thought of a documentary called DMT: The Spirit Molecule, (Gravitas Ventures 2011, Director Mitch Schultz) According to the documentary ‘Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring psychoactive compound, which exists in humans and potentially every living organism.’
It’s also a powerful psychedelic narcotic. The documentary is scientific, yet a unique perspective of tripping on DMT and traveling out of body to our origin and creation. There is a place in the film with detailed interviews of the volunteers taking the DMT and their interpretations and visual renditions of their psychedelic trips. The documentary was so intriguing I watched it again later.
In one interview a person said when the drug was administered within moments a there was a noise that got louder and louder until it was unbearable, and a rod would extend up his spine pushing through his skull. Then this psychedelic journey took him back to the origins of the universe where we all came from. Hard to do it justice trying to explain it here, but it is an interesting if not amazing watch. What resonated in my mind as I was running was that rod that pushed up through the spine?
The Power of Visualization
The top of the obelisk is pressing along the bottom of the slowly rotating spikey ball and I visualize it being pushed through the top of my skull. I ask my heart to heat the obelisk, fire it up. My spine and head are straight, and I usually run with my head slumped forward. The obelisk is pushing this rotating ugly spikey thing out of my body, it’s spinning inches over the top of my head. I continue to ask my heart to super heat the obelisk and conjure the spikey ball to start spinning faster. I envision the ends of the spikes starting to spew this milky fluid out of the ball. I get very angry at the ball and am using profanities in my head to get the substance the ‘F’ out. Spin faster and push the F’in fluid out. Heat the interior of the ball resting on the obelisk so hot that the fluid turns to steam. I see the ball spinning at the speed of a washing machine in spin cycle. The fluid was gushing out and then the steam spewing all over the landscape. And the spikes begin to disappear, and the ball is still spinning but slower. The ball has the surface of a yellow orange and is turning gold and tan. I am halfway through my 4 ½ mile run and am feeling relieved as the ball begins to shine and become smooth and yellow.
As it spins, I conjure the ball to take in the eight positive emotions I spoke of in the last blog. Awe, love, trust, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, joy, gratitude and hope is all around me. I am asking god to bring it in while this ball is still outside my body. It’s a grey day but I thank the cloud cover for its blanket over the earth, the baron trees for sleeping during the winter so our resources are replenished, the beauty of nature, the awe of technology, the wisdom of our human nature to fabricate this world we live in. I make many gratitude offerings to our humanity and humility. I realize that this internal ball thing, now in the external world needs to return to my body revitalized with good omens. I let my visualization taper, and the slowly spinning smooth gold object comes back into my mind. I start winding down my run, relaxing into the last half mile.
I am feeling very tranquil as I stop where I normally do, at the bottom of the hill before my house. What happened next, I almost can’t describe. I walked up my hill and saw this person walking their dog down the street. He is the only one in the neighborhood that allows his dog to defecate on my lawn and my neighbors. (caught him once but he didn’t see me) He smiles and says good morning and in his left hand is a bag with his dogs’ poop. Wooh, I contemplated. Then I walked into my house and my wife says something to me and I can immediately sense the slight stress in her tone. This stress was something I wouldn’t normally notice. I didn’t want to listen to the TV, music or anything as my state of mind was so pure and relaxed, I didn’t want to corrupt it. I was at a peace with myself such that I have never experienced. I wasn’t tired from the run but from the mind experience fatigued me. I have not tried that run since. Perhaps, it’s use is more as a cleanup or reboot for down the road. I am still meditating, and the obelisk seems to occupy my body, ready to push any future spikey balls the hell out of my head.
Just a few notes on this bizarre blog. Please don’t think I’m out of my mind. Pardon the pun. What I just described to you was true and a stunning revelation to me. I painstakingly went back through this experience so that it could make sense to you and the effort was as almost as fatiguing as the original. I study Integrated Nutrition and spirituality and exercise are part of the 12 elements of the circle of life which is Primary Food. I believe that we can all achieve a higher potential in health and wellness. Although visualization may seem out of the ordinary, it has a lot of common practices. Refer to my page on Integrated Nutrition on this website for more information about what I do.
Thank you and until next time all the best, Allyn
In this blog I am going to talk about a recent experience with spirituality and exercise (Primary Food). I have had a very rewarding, but stressful life as a restauranteur for the past 28 years and prior to that working for a Hotel corporation for twelve years. AT IIN I have been paying special attention to ways of reducing stress. There are several exercises that I have incorporated into my lifestyle from my IIN educational experience.
Breathing exercises to reduce stress (4,7,8), breath in 4 seconds, hold 7 seconds, breath out 8 seconds as an example has worked great especially when getting stressed. Daily meditation has worked its way into my life as well. Morning Pages (Julia Cameron author of The Artist Way) free form journaling after first waking up with affirmations and thankfulness has given me new perspectives and alertness to my daily activities. I am becoming much more mindful. (observant of myself and my surroundings, thinking, inner thoughts, perspectives etc.)
Recently we had a speaker, Taryn Toomey, a mind-body expert and creator of ‘The Class’ that gave me perhaps one of the most mind-blowing experiences yet. Before we get into that experience with ‘The Class’ I would like to provide the reader with some thoughts on spirituality.
What is spirituality?
“This paper proposes that eight positive emotions; awe, love, (attachment) trust (faith), compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy and hope constitute what we mean by spirituality.
These emotions have been grossly ignored by psychiatry. Spirituality is not about ideas, sacred texts, and theology; rather, spirituality is all about emotions and social connection.”
Another thought by Jack Kruse (retrieved from jackkruse.com-energy-and-epigenetics-2-the-real-dha-story) ‘Within you lies the sun, the moon, the sky and all the wonders of the universe. At our cores we all come from stardust. When you tug on your own nature, the rest of nature moves in unison.’
She developed a 75-minute class that I highly recommend (you can find her and a demonstration on YouTube). ‘The Class’ is a meditative, high energy forum designed to hear the inner voice you have. This voice helps you visualize the thing that might be holding you back, may be keeping you from being your true self, keeps you from realizing your true potential. And you need to get it out!!
As best as I can describe, I stood in my office with my eyes closed listening to her instructions as she told us to stand and ground our body with our feet. With music and a Aboriginal tribal beat in the background, our minds became sedated as she asked us to let our arms and hands hang, shake them out, loosen your bodies, bend the knees slightly, get into the music, get into the mind. She instructed us to breathe in and out deeply and after a while, eyes closed we started rubbing our hands together. We did that for several minutes and were told to open our hands and lift our hearts.
Then in a timeless moment, she asked us to visualize the thing in our mind that’s keeping us from what we can achieve? Visualize it, what does it look like? Meditating on this, I followed her lead. I pictured in the center of my mind, a big, dark spikey ball, rotating slowly and I knew that had to be it. With the music and beat in the distant background I envisioned this oddity. As we maneuvered through this meditative fog, Taryn questioned, what will it take to get rid of it? Unable to rid myself of this vision I was led back to where we started, our class lasted 20 minutes of the normal 75-minute program.
For me it was profound. I found a spiky ball in the center of my mind, what the hell was it. Taryn, in her diminutive, calming voice, with her slight smile, as if she knew something we did not, continued to say something that struck me. She mentioned something about running with that same loosening of the hands and body and finding that inner voice and vision. I’m a runner, so my running goal was to get that thing out of me that was saying I was tired, I couldn’t do it, my legs were heavy. All the negative energies needed to be released! And I believed I could do it. My senses were enlightened, I couldn’t wait to go run the next day.
Before my next blog look up Taryn Toomey and check out ‘The Class.’
This topic is to be continued...stay tuned!
I read the article and a couple things came to mind. But first let’s examine what all the hubbub in the article is about. Gregg’s, a UK food chain announces the addition of a vegan sausage roll to the delight of some and dismay of others. The roll would quickly sell out by lunchtime, but there were others that deplore, why do we need to change the classic sausage roll?" (including a very vocal, famous T.V. personality and columnist).
1. You can’t preach from an Ivory Tower.
My skyrocketing cholesterol and high blood pressure went down to normal and my daily acid-reflux disappeared. People I ran into that hadn’t seen me for a while looked at me like, are you OK? You lost a lot of weight, or you are skinny, and I would reply I changed my diet and exercise significantly. This is where you need to be on alert. ‘I got on a plant-based diet’ would be my reply, and then the questions would start.
Q. You don’t eat meat? A. No. Q. How about dairy? A. No. Q. Cheese? A. No. Q. Fish? A. No. I always answer in a non-provocative way, not condescending at all. Then the conversation may go to the person saying, Oh I could never give up cheese, (or meat or fish or dairy) or whatever.
The conversation would end there with me saying it was a good choice for my own health but might not be for you. If you decide to become a vegan don’t be pretentious, do it for yourself and the planet. People will eventually come around and there are plenty of interested folks out there wanting to get healthier. Don’t waste your time with the naysayers.
2. Being a vegan and hanging out with carnivores is not hypocritical or vice versa.
At Allyn’s we buy local Wagyu beef and cage free chicken, steroid and hormone free. I find this to be a step in the right direction of sustainability. I am not running around the restaurant telling people what to eat and I don’t do that in my IN practice. Our growing vegan crowds come in with their carnivore friends and chow down at one table. Restaurant chains are adding Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burgers to their menus.
I haven’t heard it yet “Leave our White Castle burgers alone and keep that fake meat out of our fast food chains- we like our burgers the way they are! And maybe it’s because no big star has chosen to jump on that anti-plant protein bandwagon. The fact is all the people that are employed in the fast food industry are no different than you and me.
* It is wrong to put a label on them and their employment. They have families, bills, dreams, like us. What is interesting is the thought that these companies have the distribution channels to make big changes for the world in the future. The slight change of adding a plant-based burger on the menu has ginormous implications for our planet and food supply. (*Thoughts I got from a seminar by Joel Fuhrman M.D. at IIN)
3. Love the one you're with!
In Integrated Nutrition it’s called Primary Food. It involves balancing your career, relationships, exercise and spirituality and may be more important than what’s on your plate. (Secondary Food) Think positive thoughts, be thankful, grateful, complimentary, be wise, creative, spiritual and don’t get caught up with ridiculous chatter about trivial issues like ‘leave our bloody sausage roll alone.’
Another approach this celebrity could have taken versus attacking the Gregg’s food chain for finding a vegan substitute sausage roll might have been a tweet or blog, “Is it time for a vegan sausage roll or should we leave the bloody thing alone?” To me that is a much better approach than attacking a population or company, but I’m sure it doesn’t stir up people as much, sell newspapers, magazines or newscasts.
What I heard from this T.V. personality in regards to a vegan sausage roll is, I’ve heard this PC sh!t before, I don’t believe it, there’s no proof it’s healthier, I want what I want regardless of those that say it is a better way, don’t placate me or my listeners, don’t mess with tradition, keep your sh!!t ass diet theories to yourself, revolt that’s who I am. But that’s just my opinion.
I always have a hard time thinking of New Years Resolutions. I use the excuse that if I have a resolution, why wait till New Years Day? Is there any day that isn’t good to quit smoking, exercise more, eat healthier, treat your spouse better, spend more time with your children or grandchildren, refrain from excessive spending, stop swearing, take your dog for a walk, make your bed every day or wake up fifteen minutes earlier so that you don’t have to drive like a maniac to work and almost kill everyone in your path.
I generally don’t have a New Years Resolution. This year I do though, and I’m keeping it to myself because…funny thing is they are normally broken as quickly as they start. That’s why gyms are the busiest in January and by February are back to normal.
I didn’t realize this, but December is a month that many people let go of their inhabitations in recognition that come January 1st the proverbial sh!T hits the fan. I thought that only happened on Fat Tuesday, the famed New Orleans party tradition the night before Lent. That’s when we give up something we really like or try to be more giving towards the less fortunate for the Christian Lenten Season.
"Starting a resolution cold turkey is difficult."
Then I came up with a good and easy one for anybody and everybody. As an Integrated Nutrition Health Coach, there are some key theories and core concepts I would like to mention. One theory is that of crowding out. We work with clients to crowd out bad foods with good foods. All that you need to do is change your shopping habits a little bit over time.
Slowly but surely, make your shopping list to include some healthier items to replace unhealthier items. Replace refined sugar, (sugary drinks, pastries, cookies and donuts) with natural sugars with fiber. (Apples, kiwi, berries and oranges) Slowly, replace bad fats, (red meat, chicken, cheese) high in cholesterol and unsaturated fats with good fats (avocados, olive oil, cashews, almonds, wild-caught salmon, herring and mackerel).
If you must eat meat and poultry try to buy local, grass fed beef, and cage free chicken, humanely raised and steroid and antibiotic free. Crowding out is resolution #1. Fitting out is resolution #2. I am counting this as a two for one because we can cross off many of the things, we might be resolute for.
In Integrated Nutrition we want our clients to fit out. We all know what fitting in means, fitting out is what make you unique. You may fit out because of the cloths you wear, your personality, the hobbies you have, your mission, your diet, (sometimes vegetarians and vegans can be outcasts because they don’t fit in when eating out) and anything else that makes you uniquely you. Work on fitting out as a wonderful resolution to the New Year. And I will see you in 2019.
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The Later Gator Blog
At Allyn's Cafe, we're about so much more than cajun food! Dive into the stories and our journey to going vegan, providing local, mindfully sourced ingredients, nutritional advice, writing a book, starting a local health coaching company and more with Allyn Raifstanger.