NEAR HIT 3 Feet From Gold

Have you ever had a near hit? Most people think about near misses – barely avoiding disaster. I think of near hits – barely missing success. Near hits when I was so close to the sweet spot of life and didn’t even realize it.

One of those near hits was about 20 years ago when I left a corporate job to start a food truck called Health Wagon Concessions. I sold healthy treats at fairs and events. I thought surely people would want healthy alternatives to the deep fried foods offered at the fair. How wrong I was. People give themselves permission to indulge when they go to these once a year events. Sales at Health Wagon were dismal and after two summers I was out of business. My daughter told me my idea was before it’s time and I believe it. Look how popular food trucks are now! Of course most of them still sell junk food. I remember the first time I saw deep fried vegetables at the fair. I thought why didn’t I think of that?! It would make a perfect transition food to the raw veggies I was trying to get people to buy.

So along with my failed business also went my resolve to stay on the health wagon. My health and career spiraled downhill. I adopted the attitude of if you can’t beat them, join them and I went back to looking forward to elephant ears and sugar laden lemonade at the fair too.

That experience was a near hit. I was so close to my passion and didn’t even realize it. Even though I fell off the health wagon both in my health and career, neither thought ever completely left me. It has been nagging at me all these years to get it together. And like sleeping beauty waking from a food coma, I am left with 20/20 hindsight and the realization that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. I was three feet from gold and unlike the guy who sold his dream to someone else in the Napoleon Hill story, the gold is still there, waiting to be mined.

Keep digging.

Kathy G
facebook.com/vegformation 

Three Feet from Gold by Sharon Lechter and Greg Reid
Books I reference on my blog are linked to my Amazon affiliate page which costs nothing extra to use and gives me a few pennies. If you use my affiliate link to purchase books or other products on Amazon, thank you for your support! 
Posted in business advice, concession stand, fairs, food truck, Greg Reid, health wagon, ideas, mining, Napoleon Hill, never give up, Sharon Lechter, success, vegformation | Leave a comment

The Reading and Writing Diet

“If food is the barricade we put between us and trauma, 
words are what takes the barricades down.” 
~ Julia Cameron, The Writing Diet

Have you missed me? I like to imagine that there is at least one person out there in the WWW (whole wide world) that looks forward to my blog posts. I originally was going to post every day, but decided I would rather post when I have something to say, quality over quantity or something like that. I am recommitting to posting at least once a week. I will post more often if something juicy comes up that just can’t wait, but you can expect to see a new post from me every Monday. I like Mondays, that’s when I start everything, especially when it comes to eating clean and exercise, might as well throw blogging in the Monday mix too!

Even though I haven’t been posting every day I am still focused on my Vegformation – transformation from the SAD (Standard American Diet) and Junk Food Vegetarian Diet to a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) lifestyle. Some days are better than others, but when people who have been there done that say it’s a process, I get it. There is no rushing this lifestyle. It’s not a diet and cannot be looked at as something you go on or off. It’s just an effort I make every day to eat enough veggies and fruit so that I don’t cave to the junk food devils. Plus, there is a lot of mental and spiritual work necessary to recover from food addiction and get to a place where I am thriving with abundant energy – that’s my goal.

So, what have I been doing while I was away these past couple weeks? Well, I was sick for a few days. Some flu bug decided to set up residence in my body, but I evicted that blood sucker by nursing myself. As soon as I came home from work I went to bed for three days straight in a row. I also drank lots of water with lemon and local, organic honey. That’s my protocol every time I get sick, which isn’t often, and it works like a charm. After the three days I started feeling better. I added a couple extra days of taking it easy just to be sure. I often see people (like my daughter) still go hard with their workouts once they get sick. Then they are down for two to three weeks, sometimes longer. I just nip it in the bud right away by getting plenty of rest and a couple key elixirs.

While resting, I caught up on some reading with two very enlightening books:

1) Mind Your Body: 4 Weeks to a Leaner, Healthier Life by Joel Harper

2) The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size by Julia Cameron

Both of these books opened my mind and helped me tremendously on my wellness journey. I am a big fan of Julia Cameron and her book The Artist Way. I have done morning pages off and on for years, but got away from it after all my journals burned up in the fire last August.

I vaguely remember hearing about The Writing Diet when it was published, but had forgotten all about it until Joel Harper mentioned it in his Mind Your Body book. Joel’s book has an extensive mental exercise that woke me up to my “real” problem areas which surprisingly have very little to do with food directly, but a whole lot to do with overeating and emotional eating. Just becoming aware of it seems like a giant leap forward in my progress. I feel like Joel and Julia’s books go hand in hand. Joel is making me aware of the underlying issues and Julia is encouraging me to write about it.

In The Writing Diet, Julia goes right to the heart of the matter too when she says, “If food is the barricade we put between us and trauma, words are what takes the barricades down.” I have known the power of words to heal my soul for many years, long before I wrote about my childhood traumas in Break The Cycle. For some reason I never thought of journal writing as a working solution to get past the barriers that have kept my weight in the danger zone for two decades.

So, along with my blogging commitment, I am recommitting to morning pages. I like that Julia refers to them as “mourning” pages because it’s where you can release what’s eating at you, go ahead and spill your guts on the page. It’s an ever ready friend.

The Writing Diet is my kind of diet indeed.

Write on!

Kathy G
facebook.com/vegformation

P.S. More on Mind Your Body in a future post. It is well worth the read and deserves an in depth review!

P.S.S. By clicking on the links to purchase books on my blog posts, you help support my writing through Amazon’s affiliate program, which costs you nothing extra to do. If you use my affiliate links, THANK YOU, I appreciate your support.

Julia Cameron talking about her book, The Writing Diet

Posted in break the cycle, Joel Harper, Julia Cameron, Mind Your Body, morning pages, SAD, The Writing Diet, wfpb, writing | Leave a comment

Do You Ever Wonder How You Never Knew

I love it when I discover plant based experts. What amazes me is how they were never on my radar before given how much I study this field. I spend at least an hour a day, sometimes much longer listening to plant-based podcasts, watching videos, reading books, etc. I would say I’m definitely passionate about it. My biggest regret is that I didn’t pay attention to the vegetarian world when I was younger. I do believe it’s never too late to turn your life around with plant based food and a positive attitude. 
Today I discovered Karyn Calabrese as I was checking out an Autumn Calabrese video! I am constantly amazed at how young people look who adopt a plant based lifestyle long term. It’s like it reverses aging! Karyn is 65 and looks half that age. She’s big into detox which is not something I have yet mastered. I think the longest I have lasted doing a detox was three days and I felt like I was dying. I’m a big baby when it comes to feeling sick. I know it passes, but I think I have so much toxicity built up in my fat cells from a half century of eating junk food that I have to release it slowly or be medically supervised. I would love to go to True North and do a water fast. Someday, when I can afford it. In the meantime, I will keep fueling my body with fruits and veggies and learning from people who have been there, done that. I’m so grateful for people like Karyn who consistently walk their talk and share their gifts. 
Kathy G
Posted in Autumn Calabrese, detox, get healthy, Karyn Calabrese, lose weight, plant based, raw food vegan, raw foodist, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Listen Up! FREE Plant Based Nutrition Classes

I LOVE Chef AJ’s FREE teleclasses! She does weekly interviews with leaders in the plant based movement. This week she is talking with Rich Roll and his lovely wife Julie Piatt about their new book, The PlantPower Way. I’m a big fan of Rich and Julie, so this is a triple treat for me. The Rich Roll podcast is one of my favorite podcasts. I listen to it every week. I’m waiting for Julie to get her own podcast. Hint, hint Srimati! I have learned so much from all three of them and am super stoked to hear more about their new lifestyle book and plant power recipes that Rich has been teasing his listeners about for months. I can’t wait until the book comes out and am happy to help them spread the power power word through my blog and Thunderclap.

YOU are invited to listen in on the call along with me and many others who are on this empowering wellness journey. The info to join the call is posted below. I am so grateful that Chef AJ opens up these calls to the plant-based community and the plant-curious!

WHAT: Chef AJ Teleclass with Rich Roll and Julie Piatt
WHEN: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 6 p.m. Pacific, 9 p.m. Eastern
CALL: 712-432-1212
MEETING ID: 263-629-008

Posted in #ThePlantPowerWay, Chef AJ, Julie Piatt, plant based nutrition, plant based recipes, Rich Roll, vegan recipes, vegetarian cookbook | Leave a comment

Color Your Stress Away

A friend sent me a link to an article about adult coloring books being all the rage in France. It instantly reminded me of when I was a little girl and would sit and color for hours. My grandmother kept coloring books and crayons in a dresser drawer she had in her front room. She kept it in a drawer I could reach. The first thing I would do when I walked in the door was go straight to that drawer, get my stash, and start coloring. No matter how I was feeling, it would always calm me and make me happy. I went through some traumatic experiences as a child and loved escaping to my grandmother’s house. I was quiet as a church mouse for hours on end while I sat and colored. It comforted me in a way I didn’t understand until now.

I have thought before how cool it would be to have adult coloring books with more intricate designs, but I never thought about the therapeutic aspect of coloring – how the geometric designs and color hues can affect your mood and calm your nerves.

I am sure this coloring therapy trend will soon make its way to the USA, but why wait. You can create your own designs or get some templates online and color your stress away today!

Kathy G
facebook.com/vegformation

Posted in adult coloring books, art therapy, color therapy, color zen, health trends, meditation, stress relief | Leave a comment

Plant Pure Nation Coming to Indy!

 for the Plant Pure Nation Premier – Saturday, April 18, 2015 
12-2 p.m. at Regal Cinemas 10400 U.S. 36, Avon, IN, 46123
I am super-stoked to see the Plant Pure Nation team stopping in Indianapolis on their nationwide tour! Dr. Colin Campbell is my hero and he will be there supporting his son, Nelson Campbell who directed the documentary. I attended the kickoff rally in Louisville, KY last summer which was a blast. You would have thought a big superstar was about to perform when Dr. Campbell stepped on the stage. We all stood to our feet and went wild with thunderous applause, whistling, cheering. It went on for several minutes. I had goosebumps and was nearly in tears to see Dr. Campbell witnessing the respect he has in the plant-based community. If it wasn’t for him and his bravery to stand up for the truth he discovered in his research on animal protein, we would have never known and would have continued to make uninformed choices. I’m so glad he has lived to see his work reach mainstream and I think the Plant Pure Nation documentary will take the truth even further. It’s the next step in our evolution which makes this one of the most important events of our time. I am honored to be a part of it and can’t wait to meetup with my plant powered friends in a few weeks so we can learn and grow together. 
It is exciting times we live in, a time when truth prevails and people can positively change the world with their vision and determination. I have no doubt that we will eventually become a PLANT PURE NATION. I just hope it will be soon enough to save ourselves, our planet and future generations. It’s a choice we make by sorting through the chaos to find the truth. This documentary puts a spotlight on the problem and the solution. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to see it.
Kathy G

P.S. You can support the tour and get a copy of the DVD/Cookbook by contributing to the Plant Pure Kickstarter Campaign. 

Posted in Dr. Colin Cambpell, FOK, Forks Over Knives, Indianapolis, meetup, Nelson Campbell, Plant Pure Nation | Leave a comment

Spring to Summer Challenge

Spring is my favorite time of the year. I love seeing everything come into bloom, getting fresh air and sunshine after being cooped up inside all winter, and moving my body more. I love that the first day of spring is International Day of Happiness. I think the first day of spring should be a national holiday! We are celebrating this day in our community with a Spring Into Happiness event where we have invited local artists and independent business owners along with not-for-profit organizations to get together and have some fun through music, games, conversation, food.. that reminds me to make sure I take a cooler of food so I’m not tempted by all the savory treats I’m sure will be available.

I have decided to start a challenge for myself and anyone who wants to participate to go from SPRING to SUMMER. I just want to pick a stretch of time and stick with the program, any program! For me, it’s just getting consistent with the things I know to do like exercising daily, eating my veggies, drinking water, keeping a food journal and gratitude journal. I think what I’m going to do is write all these things down every day first thing in the morning then check them off each day. Just from Spring to Summer. I can do it! YOU can too if you want to.

Time2getfit.com is linked to my Team Beachbody affiliate website. I decided to use Beachbody’s platform because it has so much to offer. I LOVE their workouts, celebrity trainers, and support groups. Plus, they are now offering their workouts online for only $2.99 a week (billed quarterly). That’s very reasonable in my opinion. I lost all my workout videos in the fire last August, so this is a blessing to me. Of course, you can join the site for free if you want to. That’s what I love about them too. You can participate on whatever level you want to. I’ve been a big fan for years and it’s an easy way for me to have some accountability as I make my transformation from a junk food addict to abundant health and wellness.

I invite you to join me in whatever way works for you – from NOW until the first day of summer, let’s be consistent and see where it leads. I have a feeling we will be pleasantly surprised!

Kathy
facebook.com/vegformation

Posted in accountability, beachbody, BOD, challenge, consistency, spring, summer, time2getfit | Leave a comment

Victory Acres CSA Local Organic Farm

I’ve never had much of a green thumb. I’ve grown a few things, but when the weeds come in, that’s when the trouble starts because I have an allergy to some of the weeds that breaks my skin out in a rash. To work in the garden, I have to cover up with gloves, pants and long sleeves which can get really hot in the summer. So, instead of going through all that, I prefer to go to the farmer’s markets.

A few years ago, I was looking online to see where the farmer’s markets were located in our community and I ran across information about Victory Acres – a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm in Upland, Indiana which is only a few miles away from me! I couldn’t believe that I had access to fresh produce so close to home. I signed up for their membership program and went to get my allotment each week. It was nice because I had access to vegetables I would have never grown or picked up at a farmer’s market. They also have events throughout the summer to get their members together to learn about them, their mission, and other fun and educations events.

It’s almost time for the growing season to begin. Victory Acres is offering a gift certificate for the early birds who sign up this week. If you are in a different area, you can check out LocalHarvest.org which the the website where I discovered Victory Acres. I’m so glad there are people who offer local produce to their community so we don’t have to guess where our food came from or what’s in it. The mission they have to reach kids in the inner city is important too. It’s an investment in our community and future that I am happy to make.

See you at the farm!

Kathy G
Facebook.com/Vegformation

Posted in csa, farmers market, fresh food, indiana, local farm, organic coop, organic farm, upland | Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” ~ Albert Einstein

I love spring. It’s my favorite time of the year. It’s a time when everything is in bloom and the world seems to come back to life. It’s a time to clear out the clutter both in our home and in our mind because when we clear out the clutter, we open the door to abundance – I truly believe that. I believe that when clutter surrounds us, it makes it hard to concentrate, focus, be clear. After our fire last August, all our clutter was gone in an instant. That’s not the way I would have chosen to clear our 30 years of accumulated stuff, but in a strange way it freed me of the desire to accumulate material things and put life in perspective. It made me realize that the most important things in life aren’t things at all. So, now we have a different house, a much smaller one and already I can see things starting to accumulate. Spring is the perfect time to take inventory of those things that serve us and let the things that don’t go. Pass those clothes that don’t fit, the dishes and items we don’t use, and the books we’ve read or will never read on to someone who can get some use from them.

Then, there is the clutter of the mind. How many times has too many thoughts, especially negative ones held you back in life? For me, more times than I can count. It is a good practice to regularly clear out the thoughts that do not serve us. Just let that stinkin’ thinkin’ go! Forgive and move forward inviting peace and harmony along the way.

How do you clean up the clutter of your mind? Forgiveness, gratitude, prayer, meditation, affirmations, deep breathing, exercise, clean eating, learn something new… it’s all intertwined. Seem overwhelming? Pick one. Start somewhere. That’s what I’m doing. One thought at a time!

Happy Spring.

Kathy G
twitter.com/liveempowered

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness.html

Posted in abundance, affirmations, clutter, hoarding, spring cleaning | Leave a comment

Food Not Lawns

Today, I listened to the Plant Yourself podcast #90 that featured Heather Flores who is an advocate for creating gardens instead of lawns. One of the things that stood out the most to me was when she was talking about how the oil spills from lawn care is more than the Exxon Valdez incident that spilled 11 million gallon of oil which is equivalent to 17 olympic size swimming pools!  That’s crazy. I never even thought about that before.

The other thing that stood out was when Heather talked about how seeds have intrinsic value that can be used in trade. I love the idea of a seed exchange that she talked about. So many positive things can come from having a home or community garden. I think everyone should have a garden. I can’t wait to get started on mine. I liked that she shared about the easiest trees to grow. I’m looking forward to reading her book. She also has a Kickstarter campaign going on right now to raise money to take her program to communities around the country. I love this and plan to support it even if it’s a few dollars. We need this type of program in our world. Just think how much healthier we would all be and how much hunger it would eliminate. The possibilities are endless and exciting! 

I encourage you to check it out and support it in whatever way resonates with you.

Kathy G
facebook.com/vegformation

Posted in community, food not lawns, gardening, kickstarter, seed exchange, vegetables | Leave a comment