Keeping it Real

Well I said I would post every Monday, so here I am. I have two draft posts in the queue, but they don’t really apply at the moment. Today is one of those days when I really don’t want to write a blog post, especially about my transition away from the standard American diet to a whole foods plant based diet because today the SAD is winning. I went to Taco Bell after work and had a fiesta salad (no taco meat), cheesy fiesta potatoes and four cinnabons.  It tasted really good in the moment, but of course the regret came later as it always does. I wish the healthy food tasted as good as the junk food. Sometimes it does, but not today. I ate some green beans and potatoes and water melon for lunch. It was so bland. Every time I give in to junk food cravings it makes me feel like I will never slay the food addiction dragon. I just want to curl up in bed with some peanut M&Ms or Lays BBQ potato chips and read a book! It takes such incredible discipline to stay on track. Why can’t it be easy? It makes me want to scream sometimes. I just finished listening to The Power of Habits and the author talked about how food is often part of a routine for an issue that has nothing to do with food. He used the example of getting a cookie and talking with co-workers every day around 3 p.m. He used a food diary to determine that what he was really craving was social interaction. I spend a lot of time in my head. Maybe food replaces my social interaction too. So, I will do what I always do to get out of a funk. I will go find something inspirational to watch or listen to. I apologize to any one who happens by looking for inspiration or motivation, in my post today. I’m just keeping it real.

Kathy G

Update Tuesday morning…

Today is a new day. I will learn from the past and put it behind me. When I look at yesterday objectively I see that I did none of the things that I know will keep me on track and feeling good so I don’t turn to food to fill the gap. This morning I made sure to move my body as part of my morning routine. I did Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer. Even that little bit of exercise makes me feel like I’m starting my day off on the right foot. And it feels good to move my body after being realatively still while I sleep for several hours. My next step is journaling, affirmations, and gratitude. I always pray before I get out of bed, but it takes these other consistent actions as well to help me get out of my own way and stay in a positive place and move forward. 

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Discipline – The Power of Habit

I love connecting with positive people online (and in person). I have some friends that share the most uplifting posts on Facebook. Today, my virtual friend Bruce Fowler shared his friend’s post who shared quotes from the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. (Isn’t it cool how you can learn through the power of social media?!)

Here is the part of the post that spoke to me:

“Unfortunately, many of us had discipline forced upon us as children. Naturally, we rebelled against an externally imposed structure. We were not shown that true discipline always comes from within, and the motivation for that urge is love. When we are doing what we love, when we are pursuing something that has meaning, discipline comes naturally… discipline liberates rather than confines you.” ~ Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

The word discipline has always struck terror in my inner child. I spent a lifetime running from discipline because I had discipline in the worst sense of the word forced upon me as a child. When I grew up, the word discipline was like a landfill where I tossed my pain from childhood. I stayed as far away from that word as I could.

Whatever definition you give discipline, look at the other end of the scale and that is where you would find me. I didn’t use discipline in anything including myself or my kids. I ate what I wanted, I exercised if and when I wanted to, I spent money on whatever my kids or I wanted leaving bills unpaid, I worked when I wanted and I didn’t tolerate anyone who tried to force discipline upon me including my employers. I quit jobs I loved because I refused to have any authority figure reigning over me doling out commands. I didn’t discipline my children and wouldn’t let anyone else discipline them either including their father. If he tried, it would cause a fight. I paid a high price for rebelling against discipline which extended beyond me to my family.

It took many years of personal development for me to accept that discipline can be a good thing and is absolutely necessary for success. The shift I had to make in my mind was away from associating discipline to external control and punishment. Even the dictionary defines discipline as punishment: “The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience”… “Control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior”… “To punish (someone) as a way of making sure that rules or orders are obeyed.”

Discipline = Punishment, Discipline = Control, Discipline = Obey, Discipline = Rules, Discipline = Pain… that was my association that made my innate flight or fight response kick in like nothing else I have ever experienced in my life. Even writing about the word and long-associated definitions makes me want to rebel.

Once I started studying personal development and successful people I realized that there is an entirely different meaning of the word discipline. It doesn’t have to be a form of punishment. It can be for your greater good. Merriam-Webster also includes this expanded definition: “To train (yourself) to do something by controlling your behavior” and “To train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control.” It is this definition of discipline that I have come to respect and am becoming acquainted with after a quarter century of running away from it.

The post reminded me about the type of discipline that empowers you to pursue your passion and live a life of meaning and purpose. I was inspired to immediately get the referenced book, “The Power of Habit” so I can discover more about how to develop the discipline it takes to live my best life, reach my highest potential, and of course share my insights to help inspire others to live their best life too!

“Once you understand habits, it’s like someone gave you a flashlight and a crowbar and you can get to work.” ~ Charles Duhigg

What I found most fascinating about The Power of Habit is how it shines a bright light on discipline. No longer is it a dark, enforced obedience, but a neural pathway in your brain that is developed by your daily routine.

So, armed with this deeper understanding of habits, I am creating new habits that will help me stay on track with my Vegformation journey. My morning routine will include exercise just as brushing my teeth and taking a shower are part of my morning routine. I made an appointment to get a mani/pedi which I will use as a reward for my new habit of exercising first thing in the morning. I think I’m going to like this new way of forming habits!

Kathy G

facebook.com/vegformation

Posted in discipline, exercise, habit, routine, success | Leave a comment

PlantPure Nation Indy Premier

Saturday, April 18, 2015, I attended the Indianapolis premier of PlantPure Nation with my 13 year old grandson. I loved that he was able to share the experience with me and get education about the plant based truth. I sure wish I would have known what he now knows as a young child. He was curious after attending the event and we had a great discussion about the topic all the way home. 
I was bummed that my iPhone battery died and I wasn’t able to get pictures. I really wanted to get a picture of him with Dr. T. Colin Campbell and I’m sure he would have be happy to do it. We were only a few feet away from him on the front row. I did get an opportunity to tell Dr. Campbell thank you and that I love his work. That made my day. He is my hero. I have much love and respect for someone who dedicates their life to a good cause and is willing to put everything they have worked for on the line to make sure the truth gets out to the public. 
I also have a lot of respect for the PlantPure Nation team who are travelling tirelessly around the country sharing the PlantPure truth. I hope their documentary goes mainstream. I have a feeling this documentary will push the flood gates wide open. Every documentary and person who speaks up have pushed those gates open a little wider. It’s only a matter of time before the truth can no longer be ignored and positive change will take place one person at a time, one community at a time. 
It is an exciting time in human history. I know doom and gloom abounds, but there is also so much hope and possibility for healing and harmony. I feel it when I am near projects like this which is why I am drawn to them and want to get more involved. I plan to get Kim Campbell’s PlantPure Nation Cookbook on Amazon and support the PlantPure Nation Kickstarter project. I’m also interested in the PODS they talked about at the panel discussion at the premier. It sounds like they have done a lot of planning to take the PlantPure message to the next level. I’m fascinated by their grass roots, Guerrilla Marketing approach. I would so love to meet up with them in Washington DC on May 9th, but even if I don’t make it there in person, I will be there in spirit and continue to do what I can to spread the whole food plant based lifestyle message in my sphere of influence starting with myself and my family. I’m looking forward to this plant powered journey! 
Peace, Love & Spinach,
Kathy G
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 to put towards growing the Vegformation venture. If you use my affiliate link to purchase books or other products on Amazon, I thank you for your support! 
Posted in documentary, kickstarter, plant based recipes, plantpure, T Colin Campbell | Leave a comment

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