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What kind of a human do you want to be?

A couple summers ago I took on the challenge of ‘you need a trainer’ from an awesome trainer J.S. The sessions were at a gym where they measured your body composition as a marker for progress. It was uncomfortable getting on a scale that ‘analyzed’ your fat content with an extremely lean trainer and I am a fit person myself! I was reminded that we are all so much more than a measure of percentages of muscle, fat, and bone. I posed the question to myself, if I were to assign percentages, what kind of a human do I want to be?

I want to be 72% Wonder Woman, 7% ridiculous 7 year old kid and the remaining 21% is always up for development and evolution. Having a concept of what you stand for as a human being is actually very important, as it will clarify your dreams/purpose, which will inspire you on how to lead your life on a daily basis. Once you know who you really are and what you want to become, then all the various challenges you face in life can be seen as various tests of character and strength.

Ps. 7 year olds are among the most enthusiastic humans I’ve seen, so great to keep our inner child alive and well

Recipe: Homemade granola bars

I have been buying granola bars the past year or so to throw into my bag as a quick snack between meals in my busy schedule. The best part of the granola bars is it comes in a wrapper and is fairly indestructible, otherwise it felt like they could be healthier and more satisfying.

I looked at many recipes and decided to try the one from Oh She Glows, as the recipes do work. I made some modifications, adding a little honey makes for a sweeter bar, so here is an easy recipe for nutritious homemade granola bars:

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

3 very ripe bananas mashed

8 pitted dates chopped

Honey to taste if more sweetness is desired

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnut or pecan pieces

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish or pan with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, mash bananas and add dates, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir in oats until well combined. Fold in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins, nuts and chocolate chips. Pat mixture into baking dish. Use a spatula to smooth out to even thickness.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool and cut into squares or bars. Store in an airtight container or freeze wrapped in desired airtight packaging. Enjoy on the go!

Recipe: Banana chocolate chip walnut bites

I love sweet treats and sugar. I may the only fitness and wellness professional to publicly share this feeling. There is a spectrum of healthy sweet treats and indulgences. I have been working with some gluten free banana bread recipes lately and decided to make these coconut flour bites in a silicone mini muffin mold. There is a much higher likelihood of success in gluten free baking if smaller pans are used. I have enjoyed these little treats that are low in sugar and high on taste as a bit of fuel on the go to keep me going between meals.

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

2 eggs

2-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon or less honey or to taste

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, coconut oil and honey. Add coconut flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Spoon batter into mini muffin mold. Bake approximately 20 min or until tops are slightly brown. Cool and enjoy. Keeps in an airtight container for a few days refrigerated.

Recipe: Gluten Free Banana Bread

Recently a client gave me a piece of her favourite banana bread. Her absolute favourite recipe after many years of baking. Truly outstanding. She was kind enough to share the recipe and it comes all the way from Australia! I went to try the recipe and had eaten enough wheat in recent times, so I tried making it gluten free. First it was dry, then I forgot xanthan gum and on the third attempt, replacing the walnuts with chocolate chips, it turned out amazing! Here is the recipe, be sure to use mini loaf pans, the smaller volume increases odds of success, as gluten free baking can be finicky. Also check for doneness sooner than you think, as this banana bread goes dry very quickly while baking.

1 3/4 cups gluten free flour blend (I used millet, chickpea, sorghum, rice, banana and teff flour, more types of flour is better)

1.5-2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3-4 very ripe bananas

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In another medium bowl, mash bananas then whisk together with sugar, eggs and melted butter. Fold dry ingredients into the banana mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into 3-4 greased mini loaf pans. Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking for doneness at 15 min. Tops will be cracked, if a fork comes out sticky, the loaves can sit in the oven that is off for a few extra minutes to finish cooking. Enjoy at room temperature and store in an airtight container.

Last thoughts of the Day

I recently read a Wayne Dyer book called Wishes Fulfilled. From this book I am now inspired to read Neville Goddard.

One concept I put into practice from the book is to be aware or mindful of the last thoughts I have before drifting off to sleep. From what I understand, 95% of our behaviour is unconscious(Subliminal-Leonard Mlodinow) and the few minutes before we drift off to sleep are the bridge between our conscious and unconscious mind. We can choose to have more positive thoughts so we have a more peaceful sleep, feel better upon waking and have a better experience in life by participating in creating our reality. We can steer our unconscious mind towards who we want to be and how we want to feel rather than doubt, rumination and worry.

I have just started practicing this concept and I can share that feels like a special form of meditation to simultaneously steer your mind towards a more positive realm, such as envisioning who you want to be and how you want to feel and participate in the letting go process of falling asleep at the same time. I have really enjoyed it so far. I am reminded of the practice of yoga nidra, however, this process I enjoy a lot more, as I allow sleep to happen. In yoga nidra, there is the thought that one must stay at the edge of sleep and wakefulness(I fall asleep most of the time!)

2018 reflections

The start of 2018 brought to mind the concept and practice of gratitude. I practiced something of a gratitude journal and after some time realized gratitude is more of an attitude, a frame of mind, a form of consciousness. With the continual practice of placing focus on a more positive frame of mind, I noticed being grateful helps build strength towards being inspired.

As the sun sets on 2018, I’m taking stock of all the amazing things that happened and all that I learned. The challenging experiences I take note and consider how I can improve and learn. Every challenge in life is a test of what you really stand for-

Tomorrow, the first day of the year, I’ll take extra time to meditate and reflect on my intentions for 2019. Happy new year!

Real Magic

I celebrated my birthday recently by choosing a Wayne Dyer book for myself. I chose Real Magic and I have been loving the book. Essentially the message is we can experience real magic in our lives by choosing to align with our invisible spiritual selves first and foremost. Another way to understand this is to develop our intuition and use it to guide us.

Intuition is visible and invisible information experienced in the body as sensations that guide us. The discernment and application of knowledge through all of our senses and mind in combination with any extra information we perceive/sense is the effective use of intuition. Our first impressions are quite useful as a marker of our intuition. Be it a person or life situation, using our first impression as guidance can be helpful.

I discussed crystal balls and tarot cards at my last yoga class. I believe these are tools that can be used as guidance for yourself. We cannot know the future, however, we can clarify what our intentions are, which will guide us in the right direction. Developing your intuition through trusting it and taking appropriate action guides your spiritual growth to help you find the best path for yourself.

 

Right Speech

Recently I was asked what my most important value(s) are. It was a great question and I had to say it was my word. I’ve written a couple pieces over the past 6 years that reference the habit of saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Or being mindful of your speech. What we say can be meaningless or hugely meaningful. It is a powerful choice we can make. The concept is referenced in the bible-‘in the beginning was the word’

In Buddhism, the concept is right speech. Right speech can be practiced by asking the questions of: is it true? is it necessary? is it kind? can it be heard?

Before we speak. This is a level of mindfulness that brings about compassionate communication that is bound to bring positive change to the world-

 

Being Inspired, being happy

The past few weeks I have found myself giving the unsolicited advice of making sure to take time on a daily basis to take care of yourself by being around or doing something that inspires you. The literal meaning of the word inspire is to breathe in-when we take in ideas that come to us in sparks and act upon them, we can learn the path of our spirit. Day by day, step by step we live our true purpose. Being happy and fulfilled in life is a lot easier when we are fuelled by what really inspires us and live aligned with our spirit, as our true self.

Social media-unrealistic

I have social media accounts facebook, instagram and twitter. I have been meditating on what it all means for some time and I am drawing the conclusion that social media sets up unrealistic expectations for real life. Kim Kardasian is apparently an ‘influencer’, and that is hard for me to understand…it seems to me that she insidiously sells fashion or procedures of the moment and she makes being fake normal.

I have been off social media for nearly 2 weeks and I notice how much more time I have for myself and my original creative endeavours. I also notice that spending time on social media creates unrealistic expectations especially in terms of our appearance. Why is it that women are held to the standard of having no wrinkles and being a certain size??

I think it is important to reflect upon what standards we are holding ourselves to and the influences in our lives. I believe it is always better to follow our own path and live for ourselves to be who we really are.