Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Heart Food

Today - more than ever - food has become a central focus in our culture.  It seems there are restaurants, delis, convenience stores, hot dog stands, and food trucks on every corner.  A multitude of television shows are devoted to food, even several whole channels!  Our culture's obsession with food is very complicated.  Another post for another day.
On a personal level, I have always loved food. In grammar school, I would watch my mom prep dinner until she shoo'ed me out of the kitchen to do my homework.  Growing up in a Chinese family, I could not avoid being a "foodie" if I tried!  There is a Chinese or American holiday almost every month in which I gathered with my seven cousins and brother and aunts and uncles and grandparents to feast! In middle school, my enjoyment of cooking and baking went to a new level as I watched the CIA and Martin Yan cooking shows on PBS every Sunday from 3-5.  In high school, I even contemplated attending culinary school!  My emotional connection to food, driven by my meals with my extended family, is very strong. Eating is comfort in tough times and the mode of celebrating in good times.
Although I have luckily never had a severe weight problem, I can get carried away with food when I am stressed or unhappy.  I'm sure you can relate - it can be a downward spiraling staircase. Eating when unhappy leads to jeans being a little tighter or unwearable which causes more unhappiness and leads to more eating.
About 99.9% of people have an emotional connection to food.  It is something that can be difficult to control since we eat at least 3 times a day and often even more than that.
My secret to breaking a spell where I keep reaching for food is to start eating quality foods.  When I start feeding myself nutritionally dense foods, I tend to become more clear-headed and break the cycle.  This process has helped me start to better understand my connection to food and be aware when I start tumbling down that rabbit hole.
I am very excited to share with you a new program that I have put together centered on weight loss while touching on emotional eating.  My Quality, not Quantity Program focuses on eating and living with regard to quality - not quantity! It's a 4 week webinar series that will cover topics like ideal and not ideal foods, eating on a budget, organic foods, and eating with awareness.  To sign up and for a full description of this mind-blowing program - click here. I can't wait to share with you this helpful information in shifting the way you eat and live!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Quote for the Week: re: Your Path

This week's quote goes out to those who are chasing dreams or stuck and not sure how the pieces of their life fit together.  I'm in the same boat but this quote eases my anxiety and I hope it does the same for you:

"Trust the process."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cheap Food Ain't So Cheap

As humans, we need two major resources to survive - water and food.  With more than 37 million people in the US falling below the poverty line, how to afford water and food becomes a major day-to-day issue. Especially when we have competing "necessities" (importance depending on the person) like daycare, clothes, back to school supplies, car and gasoline expenses, a computer, bus passes, a cell phone, utility bills, cable, etc. 
Many of those necessities' prices are fixed.  You can get school supplies on sale but it will still cost a pretty penny. And compound that with the number of kids you have.  And you can spend less on electricity but you can only do so much to lower the electricity use of  your refrigerator and oven.  Food is very different from these items because you can get food very, very cheaply.  Thanks to government subsidies and modern technology, you can get a hamburger for the same price as you'd pay for a mango.  With a short term vision (which many people have), the cheaper food is the better choice.  Filling a rumbling belly is more important than nutrition. Unfortunately, there are long term costs when you neglect nutrition.  Eating well is essential to your wellbeing (and your children's, if you are a woman).  Diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes do not just show up on your doorstep one day uninvited.   They take time to build up and if you take a long term view to food and health, you will eat every day to prevent those diseases.
Eating well does not require for you to spend 50% of your income on food.  People have lived in poverty for centuries and have eaten well and not fallen prey to the aforementioned diseases.  One solution is to buy cheap but healthful food items.  Some items are staples in many indigenous diets: whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, barley and millet, beans - even canned aren't that expensive, and seasonal vegetables from the local farm.  Most indigenous diets contained more grains and vegetables than meat. Meat does not need to be the centerpiece of our meals.  Make the vegetables the main dish and have a side portion of meat.  Another solution is to "Eat less, pay more" as Michael Pollan says in this article.  Most of us are nutritionally vs. physically starved.  We are eating more hours in the day than our ancestors because we are eating empty calories.  We need certain amounts of vitamins and minerals in our bodies and when we don't achieve those needs, our body starts craving and showing signs of hunger because it needs those nutrients to function.  So invest in nutritionally dense foods and you'll eat less!
Mark Hyman wrote a great article about how cheap food isn't cheap (see below).  
Please share your tips and tricks on how you eat cheaply but well!
Posted: August 14, 2010 08:00 AM
I was in a grocery store yesterday. While I was squeezing avocados to pick just the right ones for my family's dinner salad, I overheard a conversation from a couple that had also picked up an avocado.
"Oh, these avocados look good, let's get some."
Then looking up at the price, they said, "Two for five dollars!" Dejected, they put the live avocado back and walked away from the vegetable aisle toward the aisles full of dead, boxed, canned, packaged goods where they can buy thousands of calories of poor-quality, nutrient-poor, factory-made, processed foods filled with sugar, fat, and salt for the same five dollars. This is the scenario millions of Americans struggling to feed their families face every day.
The odd paradox is that food insecurity--not knowing where the next meal is coming from or not having enough money to adequately feed your family--leads to obesity, diabetes and chronic disease. Examining this paradox may help us advocate for policies that make producing fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole other foods cheaper, while rethinking the almost $300 billion in government subsides that support the production of cheap, processed food derived from corn and soy.
At the same time, a Food Revolution, along the lines of that advocated by Jamie Oliver, a radical chef, can help Americans take back their table and their health from a food industry that has driven us to eat more than 50 percent of our meals out of the home compared to less than 2 percent 100 years ago. And most of those meals eaten at home are produced in plants, not grown on plants, are from a food chemist's lab, not a farmer's field. Cooking and eating whole fresh foods at home, can be cheaper, more fun, and simpler than most people think.
So I would ask you to consider: Have you ever made poor food choices because of cost? What is the REAL cost of this cheap food--the cost in dollars, on our health, on our environment, and even on the fraying fabric of our social and family systems?
This is what you need to remember:
1. The true cost of unhealthy food isn't just the price tag--in fact, the real costs are hidden.
2. Eating healthy doesn't have to cost more.
Sure, it seems cheaper to eat a burger, fries, and a soda from McDonald's than to eat a meal of whole foods, but there are healthier options. Let me review why the true costs of eating unhealthy food are hidden, and give you some suggestions that will help you save money and suffering by eating well for less. Poverty or financial limitations do not preclude eating well, creating health and avoiding disease.
Let's start by looking at how our economy and public policy are geared toward the production of cheap, unhealthy food.
Government Policy Supports the Production of Unhealthy Food
Unhealthy food is cheaper because our government's policies support its production. We're spending nearly $30 billion a year to subsidize corn and soy production. Where do those foods go? Into our food supply as high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fats), that are the foundation of almost all fast food and processed foods that are "manufactured" by the food industry.
Since the 1970s--when our agricultural policies where changed to support corn and soy farmers--we're consuming, on average, an extra 500 calories (mostly in the form of cheap, artificial high-fructose corn syrup) per person.
Corn and soy are also used to feed cattle for the production of meat and dairy. In fact, 70 percent of the wheat, corn and soy farmed in this country is used to feed animals used for our food. The world's cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people--more than the entire human population on Earth!
So, when our government helps pay for these foods--well, of course they're cheaper! That explains the low price tag. But what about the OTHER costs to you?
The Hidden Costs of Eating Poorly
We all know that bad foods are bad for your health. It turns out they are also bad for the national pocketbook. For example, one expert has estimated that healthcare costs related to obesity are $118 billion per year. That's nearly 12 percent of total healthcare expenditures--and more than twice that caused by smoking! Seventy-two percent of Americans are overweight and over one third are medically obese. One in three children born today will be diabetic in their lifetime and the life expectancy of our population is declining for the first time in human history.
A report from the Worldwatch Institute called Overfed and Underfed: The Global Epidemic of Malnutrition documented the real costs of obesity related to poor diet--and this does NOT include the other effects of poor diet such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, autoimmune diseases, and osteoporosis. Here were some of the conclusions of that report:
• Obese people account for a disproportionate share of health-related absences from work.
• Obesity accounts for 7 percent of lost productivity due to sick leave and disability.
• 7 percent of all of North Carolina's healthcare expenditures are related to obesity.
• Obese people visit their physicians 40 percent more than normal weight people.
• Obese people are 2.5 times more likely to require drugs prescribed for cardiovascular and circulation disorders.
• Liposuction is the number-one form of cosmetic surgery in the US, with 400,000 operations a year.
• Over 100,000 people a year have gastric bypass surgery.
According to a recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine (i), we're spending about $20,000 per person for each extra year of life gained from medical interventions like drugs and surgery ... as if that's something to be proud of!
That doesn't even take into account the $282 billion in costs resulting from medical interventions that go wrong--hospital infections, medical errors, deaths from drug reactions, bedsores, or unnecessary surgeries.
And what if that $20,000 per year was given to each person during his or her lifetime to support better nutrition, lifestyle, and stress management? My guess is that we would save trillions of dollars in health care expenditures on chronic disease!
As these numbers prove, the costs of eating fast, junk, and processed foods are often deferred until later. And that's the key point: When you go to McDonald's for a cheap burger and fries, you might immediately compare that lower price to whole organic foods which are more expensive in the short term. But the total cost isn't reflected in how much you pay for your meal in the immediate moment, it's the cumulative cost of what those decisions cost you over a lifetime.
For example, when you eat unhealthy foods like these, the costs of medical visits, co-pays, prescription medications, and other health services skyrocket. There are other non-economic costs of eating poorly as well. You reduce your ability to enjoy life in the moment due to increased fatigue, low-grade health complaints, obesity, depression, and more.
The biggest advantage of eating well now is not just preventing disease and costs later, but simply enjoying each day to its fullest. You can make that happen. Eating well doesn't have to cost more.
It's true that there are very few, if any, subsidies for the production of produce or healthier alternative foods. And the same government agency that supports the production of the ingredients for junk food provides less than $300 million for education on healthy nutrition.
But change is in the air. Dean Ornish, MD, has shown that a program to teach people to eat better, exercise, and learn stress reduction can prevent heart disease and reduce the need for heart bypass or other treatments. Insurance companies are starting to take notice as some cover the costs for that program. Paying $5,000 for such a program now, Medicare has finally recognized, is better than paying $50,000 later for a cardiac bypass operation.
A number of us advocated last year that a "health council" be established to coordinate and develop national polices that create and support health for Americans. This was part of the health reform bill and the National Council on Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health was created by executive order of the President in June. Drs. Dean Ornish, Memhet Oz, Michael Roizen and I, among others, have been nominated to be on a twenty-five member advisory council that helps guide the council. The council is made up of all the cabinet secretaries in charge of departments that in some way affect our health--agriculture, health, transportation, environment, trade, labor, and more--and will be chaired by the Surgeon General. This provides a way to influence national policies to support and create health--including our food and agriculture polices--for the first time.
The idea that you can save money by eating well is further supported by studies like the one published by the American Dietetic Association (ii) that shows eating well to lose weight is actually cheaper--or at the worst, no more expensive--than eating poorly! The authors of the study concluded that "adopting a lower-energy, nutrient-dense diet did not increase dietary costs over time. Consequently, cost should not be a barrier in the adoption of a healthful diet."
That's powerful evidence that eating well is not just good for your body, it's good for your wallet, too! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Four Tips to Start Eating Healthy for Less Today
1. Listen to Gandhi. Yes, Gandhi! He said that we should never mistake what is habitual for what is natural. Case in point: Some Chinese are very poor and yet they eat extremely well--small amounts of animal protein, with an abundance of vegetables.
2. Be willing to learn. We have to learn new ways of shopping and eating, new ways of ordering our priorities around our health and nutrition that supports our well-being, even if it is hard at the beginning.
3. Do your research. There are ways to find cheaper sources of produce, whole grains, beans, nuts, and lean animal protein. You just need to seek them out. It doesn't all have to be organic. Simply switching from processed foods to whole foods is a HUGE step in the right direction.
4. Make an effort. Eating healthy does take more planning. It may require you to find new places to hunt and gather for your family. You might have to reorder your priorities regarding where you spend your money and your time so that you can make healthier eating choices.
Remember, eating healthy foods without spending a lot is possible--and you can do it.
Now I'd like to hear from you...
What do you think about the long-term costs of eating poorly?
Do you agree or disagree that eating poorly in the short-term has dramatic long-term consequences on your health care costs?
What other costs of eating poorly have you seen or experienced?
Are you also worried about the exploding costs of health care, whether insurance, medical, Medicare or other costs?
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, MD
(i) Cutler D.M., Rosen A.B., and S. Vijan. 2006. The value of medical spending in the United States, 1960-2000. N Engl J Med. 355(9): 920-7.
(ii)Raynor, H.A., Kilanowski, C.K., Esterli, I., et al. 2002. A cost-analysis of adopting a healthful diet in a family-based treatment program. J Am Diet Assoc.102(5): 645-650, 655-656.

Mark Hyman, M.D. is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a four-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter at

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Affirmation for the Week: Non-Attachment

I have a set of Law of Attraction cards that I use on a weekly basis to provide a quote that I use to inspire me.  This week's pick is the card of Non-Attachment.  I am very much guilty of over thinking and over analyzing the what if's and so what's of all situations.  Non-attachment enables me to not be disappointed with an outcome.  I believe everything happens for a reason so being not attached allows me to believe that not everything will go my way but it will go the right way.

"I am certain that I will reach my goals while letting go of how it will happen."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Puberty Hits Girls As Young As 7"

Girls are hitting puberty at younger and younger ages.  This is a steady trend over (at least) the past 50+ years.  Scientists have not pinpointed a single source but most of them have either been dietary or environmental.  The ramifications of early puberty can be very severe to a woman's life.  Studies show that there is a higher occurrence of breast cancer in women who are exposed to estrogen for longer periods of their lives (also can be linked to birth control use).  Girls also experience psychological issues when they hit puberty earlier.  As they have "a child’s mind in a woman’s body,"they are unprepared for the new emotions and new reactions from friends and strangers (source).  This can result in depression, low self esteem, eating disorders, and even cause suicide.

Possible dietary causes of early puberty include hormones found in milk and meat products and chemicals with estrogen-like qualities in soy and other foods.  Being overweight has also been linked with early puberty as body fat produces more estrogen.  Additionally, there are hundreds of chemicals used in our day to day products as well as industrially of which we do not know the effects, including materials used in hospitals!  Many of these can interfere with baby and young children's delicate hormone system.

This post especially goes out to the moms and dads (present and future).  Take care of your bodies and your children's bodies with fresh, nutrient rich, organic (if possible) whole foods and natural home products.  You are responsible for those bundles of joy. Cherish and nourish them.

Here are some articles about this growing issue:

Early puberty for girls is raising health concerns

American girls are hitting puberty earlier than ever — a change that puts them at higher risk for behavioral problems as adolescents and breast cancer as adults, a new study shows.
About 15% of 1,239 girls studied showed the beginnings of breast development at age 7, according to an article in today's Pediatrics. One in 10 white girls, twice as many as in a 1997 study, showed breast growth by that age, as did 23% of black girls and 15% of Hispanic girls.
The median age of breast development fell from 10.9 years in 1991 to 9.9 in 2006, according to a Danish study published in Pediatrics last year.
The new study doesn't explain why girls are developing earlier, but it did find heavier girls with a higher body-mass index were more likely than others to begin puberty early, says pediatrician Frank Biro, director of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
A third of children are now overweight, and the early puberty trend could be related to the obesity epidemic, says Marcia Herman-Giddens of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. A growing number of researchers also are concerned about hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment. Animal studies suggest that many environmental toxins can affect the age of puberty, although scientists aren't yet sure exactly how they affect people.

Suspect chemicals include pesticides used in farms and lawns, flame retardants found in furniture and electronics, and bisphenol A, or BPA, an estrogen-like ingredient found in plastic bottles, the linings of metal food and beverage cans, Biro says. He notes that researchers are collecting blood and urine samples from girls and will be able to analyze their exposure to toxins.

Animal and human studies suggest certain chemicals may affect male sexual development.

The herbicide atrazine, for example, has been shown to chemically "castrate" some male frogs and turn others into females able to lay eggs, according to a March study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And a 2008 study found that baby boys are more likely to have genital changes, such as undescended testicles and smaller penises, if they were exposed before birth to high levels of phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals found in medical tubing, vinyl and other products.
The chemical industry says these chemicals are safe and have never been definitively proven to harm humans.
Hitting puberty at a young age can be confusing and distressing, Herman-Giddens says.

It also increases the odds that girls will develop low self-esteem, eating disorders and depression. Girls who hit puberty sooner are more likely to attempt suicide and to have earlier sexual activity. As adults, these women are at greater risk for breast and endometrial cancers, possibly because they have a longer lifetime exposure to estrogen.

Puberty Hits Girls As Young As 7

Huffington Post  |  Sara Yin

First Posted: 08- 9-10 04:27 PM   |   Updated: 08- 9-10 05:27 PM

More girls are reaching puberty at a younger age, often as early as 7 or 8, according to a new study.Published today in Pediatrics, the study links the alarming trend to rising levels of obesity and environmental chemicals found in everyday items-- like water bottles and makeup-- that mimic estrogen.

Dr. Frank Biro, lead author of the study and director of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, told the New York Times:

"It's certainly throwing up a warning flag... I think we need to think about the stuff we're exposing our bodies to and the bodies of our kids."

Obesity is cited as a major factor, because body fat produces estrogen, which in turn triggers breast development and menstruation.

But he also suggests the role of endocrine-disrupting chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is used to make the plastics in water bottles and baby bottles. In January 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised concerns over the widespread use of BPA's in consumer products, but so far little has been done to regulate its usage.

The study measures puberty as the start of breast development, the most ostensible sign of puberty in girls. Biro's team took breast measurements of 1,239 girls aged 6 to 9 living in San Francisco Bay area, greater Cincinnati and East Harlem in New York. Each age group was made up of 30% each whites, blacks and Hispanics, and 5% Asians.

According to the study's abstract, at 7 years old, 10.4% of whites, 23.4% of blacks and 14.9% of Hispanic girls were developing breasts. At 8 years, the figures increased to 18.3%, 42.9% and 30.9%, respectively.
Interestingly, these proportions increased the most among whites when compared to 10 years ago, the study says. A Time magazine article questions exactly how young puberty can start -- and why this matters.

The fact that the onset of puberty has not shifted earlier among African-American girls over the last decade, says Biro, may simply reflect the fact that they have reached the minimum biological
age at which sexual development can occur. "How young can you go? Maybe white populations have not arrived at that biologic minimum," he says.
There are other far-reaching consequences of early puberty: increased risk of breast cancer (linked to an overexposure of estrogen), depression, youth violence.
But perhaps most alarming of all are the quieter emotional repercussions, as the Times article notes:
Socially and emotionally, life can be difficult for a girl who has a child's mind in a woman's body and is not ready to deal with sexual advances from men and boys, or cope with her own hormone-spiked emotions and sexual impulses.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Best Sources of Fiber

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, fiber is essential to our overall health. It's found in many sources now, but what are the best? Believe it or not, there are differences between the fiber added to cereals and yogurts and the fiber found naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. As always, I'm a proponent for the natural, whole foods route.

The fiber added to foods is called “functional fiber.” It has been extracted or isolated with chemicals or some other new fangled scientific method. Their effects are not extensively studied and benefits are not the same as natural soluble and insoluble fiber. Although they may bulk up stool and prevent constipation, they do not have the cholesterol-lowering effects of natural soluble fiber. The American Dietetic Association even states that natural fiber is superior to functional fiber.

The bottom line is look to natural, whole foods for the best sources of fiber. The following foods contain a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber, but they have been categorized by the fiber that they contain more of.

Some great sources of soluble fiber are:
Nuts & Beans: Black-eyed peas, chickpeas, pinto beans, flaxseeds, kidney beans, lentils, northern beans, soy
Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, jerusalem artichokes, most root vegetables, most (e.g., sweet potatoes, onions, daikon, burdock white potatoes, beets, turnip), summer squash, winter squash
Fruits: Apples, apricots, avocados, citrus (e.g., oranges, grapefruits, tangerines), figs, mangoes, plums, prune juice, strawberries
Whole Grains: Most starchy grains, barley, brown rice, oat bran, oats (rolled), psyllium seed husk (a mucilage soluble fiber), quinoa

You can find insoluble fiber in:
Nuts & Beans: Cashews, lima beans, cocoa powder-natural, peanut and peanut butter, pecans, seeds (e.g., sunflower, pumpkin), white beans
Vegetables: Artichokes, bitter gourd, carrots, corn, celery, leafy greens, parsnips, peas, pepper, sprouts, tomato, vegetable skins (e.g., potatoes, cucumber, tomato, squash), zucchini
Fruits: Bananas (slightly more insoluble), blackberries, cherries, grapes, melons, persimmon, pineapple, skins of fruits
Whole Grains: Bran cereals/muffins, granola, muesli, popcorn, rye products, wheat bran, whole grain bread, whole wheat

My favorite form of healthy fiber is steel cut oats with tons of cinnamon and almond milk for breakfast. What is yours?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Let's Talk about Fiber, Baby

Fiber has got to be one of my most favorite diet and health topics. No, it's not just about the Metamucil crackers or prune juice and it's not just for grandmas.  Fiber is essential to your wellbeing from age 0 to 100.  Important fact, it can only be found in plant foods - that means fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, legumes, and whole grains. Nature's goodness. :)

Fiber has become all the rage lately. Food producers are adding it or amping up the amount of fiber in everything from orange juice to cereals to yogurt. New studies constantly show the link of fiber to overall good health, low LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, diabetes prevention, and lower risk of colorectal cancer. It's probably the most essential component to our digestive health and the most lacking component from the Standard American Diet (SAD indeed).
Fiber is the key to proper waste elimination. Lack of or too much fiber can lead to many problems. There are two kinds of fiber. Soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber adds water to our stool and allows our waste to move steadily through the colon.  Insoluble fiber adds bulk to our stool and allows it to pass quickly fro stomach to small intestine. It is very important for us to get a balance of both kinds of fiber. Each has its own role to play in our digestive system and complement one another.
The American Dietetics Association recommends that adults consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. On the standard American diet of white bread and pasta, meat, potatoes, pizza, chicken nuggets, soda and coffee, we are not getting anywhere near that amount. That is why we have so many incidents of diseases and disorders in our digestive system including stomach and colorectal cancers, colitis, Crohn's, and irritable bowel syndrome. Even illnesses that seem unrelated to our digestive health can be linked to it. These include eczema, acne, diabetes, and depression.
It is extremely important that we get enough fiber in our diets and from good sources too! Check in tomorrow to find out the best sources of fiber!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tip for the Week

Hi all!  I've missed you!  I took a weeklong summer break from the blog to take some time to refocus and now I'm ready to continue sharing more information with you all!
An exciting update on my end is that I am taking classes to receive my Level 1 Reiki certification! By the end of August, I will be able to provide Reiki services. Stay tuned for information on where you can receive it (and a post to explain to you what Reiki is)!
Today was my second class with Joanna Scaparotti, a Reiki master in Beverly, MA.  It was really fantastic and afterwards, I felt really cheerful, relaxed, and connected to the universe.  On my way to the train to return to Boston, several people said "Hi. How are you?" to me. Not something that normally happens everyday.  The only way I can explain those greetings is that I had a very welcoming energy around me and they probably felt that energy.  Then at the train station I sat next to a woman with a bag of delicious looking tomatoes, peppers and basil and asked her what she was going to make.  After telling me her plans, she offered me some of her basil!  Maybe this isn't atypical in your town or community, but this is not something that really happens around Boston.
My tip for this week is to not be afraid of radiating good energy! Maybe you'll seem like a crazy person saying hi to strangers or holding doors for little old ladies, but others can feel your energy, even if they don't "believe" in such things. Wake up each morning, get to a place where you feel good about yourself and can think good thoughts (maybe through exercise, meditation or another method), and fill your energy field with welcoming, happy, and blissful thoughts.
Try it out for the week and let me know how it goes.  I'd love to hear your experiences!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Quote for the Week: Be the Change

Every Sunday I will post a quote, thought, or tip to ease you into Monday and carry you throughout the week.
Today's quote is a personal favorite of mine and as I learn more about myself, becomes even more relevant in my life.  I have always felt like I had a purpose in my life, although I was never really sure what it was.  My life since my program at IIN has clarified that perspective.  Take time today, on a lazy Sunday, the first day of a brand new month, to reflect on your purpose.  What will your impact be on this world?

"Be the change that you want to see in the world."  - Mahatma Gandhi

Today's post inspired by