Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Weight of Our Successes

Alright sisters, we promised a revolution so let's get down to it. As women, we are all too often pre-occupied by the shape of our bodies and by extension, our level of sex appeal. It doesn't seem to matter how successful we are, how rich we may be, how closely we come to achieving what is currently trending as 'beautiful", virtually every women seems to spend a portion of her day concerned with the current state of her body. Some are slowly changing their wording to say they want to be "healthier, stronger, and have more energy"- this is a good shift but it's not yet the norm and those phrases are often followed by statements like, " for my children, so I can be a better mom". Like you aren't a good mom at whatever weight and energy level you are currently at. Words like "healthier", "stronger", and " more energy" etc. are great, as long as they are not replacing words like "thin", "skinny", and "more attractive" in that they create of stress over not currently being good enough in these arenas either. At Go Goddess, we believe it's the time for a shift in the understanding of a woman's true nature and purpose. I can tell you that I, for one, was not put on this earth to waste my precious time here trying to fit into skinny jeans, and neither were you. When I am on my death bed, I will not be recalling the time I fit into that size 6 pair of slacks and I won't be saying to myself, "Well, at least I never went over a size 12!". I would be very disappointed if that was the extent of my achievements and I suspect you would be, too. And yet, all too often, this is how we judge our success as women. Even with all her influence and good deeds, the one and only Oprah still struggles with how she feels about her weight. Surely she could not have achieved more as a size 6 - surely her weight did not stop here from improving the lives of so many. If it did, it wasn't the weight, or the "energy level", or her overall health, it was her views about the limitations of such things. One only has to look at Steven Hawking to realize that limitations are in the eye of the beholder.We believe that women are held back from finding their personal peace by the pressure to be of a certain weight and shape. When a human being cannot achieve a state of peace, balance and love, they are inhibited from finding their true purpose. If I spend a total of 1 hour of my day worrying about what I eat, the size of my hips, whether it is a good hair day or a bad hair day or how much time I need to spend at the gym to justify a piece of cheesecake,  I have traded an hour that I could have spent thinking loving thoughts about myself, my loved ones or the world in general.

Of course we want you to be healthy, don't get us wrong. But fresh food, clean air and exercise can happen for all of us, regardless of if our stomachs are flat.

 Better yet, I could have spent that time nurturing myself, giving myself the care and concern I deserve and being joyous instead of feeling worthless. What kind of peace could I find for myself, my family, my world if I spent the time on these things instead of dreaming up disparaging comments about the dimples on my thighs.And what is so important about findings a sense of peace, anyway? Personal peace is found when we let go of our internal struggles. Letting go of even one of our internal struggles, like our body image, is like removing one of the slats from the shutter on your window...where there was darkness, now there is light. And where there is light, there is vision. In the light, you can clearly see your true beauty, your true worth and your true purpose. Are you ready to see clearly?


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spring Soup: Leek and Chickpea

Sometimes, the family asks me for something very specific for dinner. Especially if they are feeling low, sniffly, or in need of comfort. Usually it's leek and chickpea soup. Everyone in the family has the same response to it: when a steaming bowl is in front of them, they get really quiet, mindful, and concentrate only on the bowl in front of them. At the end, they always lean back with satisfaction and say, "Thanks Mom."

The original recipe comes from my cooking partner and sister from another mister Chef/Nutritionist Christina Acevedo at Christina has the wonderful ability to mix high density nutrition with insanely delicious food. AND she is one of the best Goddesses I know! Check out her site, and make this soup.

Leek and Chickpea Soup

3 medium leeks ( about 3 1/2 cups)
2 medium russet potatoes
1 cup chickpeas (cooked)
5-6 cups chicken stock
2 garlic cloves
2 TBSP fresh chives
salt and pepper
2 TBSP butter
Optional: parmesan cheese to garnish
Cut and wash leeks well, do not use the dark green part of the leek.
In a large soup pot, heat up the butter and sauté the garlic and leeks for 2-3 minutes. Add the potatoes, chickpeas, and chicken stock. Simmer covered for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then blend with a hand blender or blender. Add fresh chives and season with Himalayan salt and pepper.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Is Childhood Obesity our Most Inconvenient Truth? or High Fructose Corn Syrop: How Does This Serve Me?

If you've read our book, Go Goddess!, then you will know that we ask our readers- our Goddesses- to use a very simple tool to see how their actions enhance their life. Asking the "Divine Question": How Does This Serve Me? is a great way for women to raise their consciousness about their choices, to come back on point when they go down the road of destructive decisions, and to help filter out people and things that TAKE their precious energy away.

As a Nutritionist, I ask myself The Divine Question every day, for many reasons, but definitely in relation to what I am putting in my body. I have asked my two girls, ages 10 and 12 to do the same.  Obviously, my kids are not Nutritionists, and they haven't gone to school to learn about nutrients and how they affect their growing bodies. But what constantly astounds me about children is how they, given the right opportunities, instinctively know what foods serve them and what do not. But RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES are what are key here.

I always tell parents that our kids control the quantity of what they eat, while it's our job to control the quality. If we continually present our children with food opportunities that are bland, beige, processed and packaged, then they have a much harder time trying to tap in to that level of consciousness that says, "I'm satisfied, I've had enough, this is not serving me" because their bodies will always want for the nutritious ingredients they are not getting. Overeating, cravings, and ultimately emotional struggle around food often stem from a body being UNDERnourished to begin with.

Hopefully by now, we as a populace are clueing into the fact our dietary choices have not served us well over the past two decades.  High fructose corn syrup and other high sugar ingredients are destroying the health and well being of the children of North America, and I am optimistically saying that I believe parents are sensitive to that fact now. We are starting to understand that illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure have no place in the lives of children (or anyone for that matter), and we are being more conscious when we make food choices for our kids. Not all of us know this, yet, though, and we are still seeing family freezers packed with food products that are devoid of nutrients and full of ingredients we can't even pronounce- all in the name of convenience.

Our favorite  cookbook of this year, The Family Dinner Book is written by a true Goddess, Laurie David. The book makes the beautiful connection between our families, the dinner table, and the health of our children. Laurie is the producer of the Oscar winning movie, An Inconvenient Truth, and now she has teamed up with journalist Katie Couric to produce a movie, The Big Picture, that examines the childhood obesity crisis. Thank goddess! In a world where much of the information we get about health comes from the media, we are finally going to be able to have a tool that will educate the masses about this health crisis. We thank you, Laurie! And the parents of the world will, too.

Mothers, remember this: give your children choices of fresh, local, seasonal, real food that will nourish their bodies. Give them the education they need about what gives them energy and what takes it away, give them the opportunity to sit at the family dinner table and connect with you and their food, and then give them the CREDIT they deserve to make the choices they need for balanced bodies, healthy minds, and joyful lives. This is how we nourish our children.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Airdrie's Amazing Women!

Barb and I and our dear and wonderful supporter Jena were delighted to be a part of the Airdrie Amazing Women's Conference on April 19th, 2012. We were honored to be invited to deliver the opening keynote speech and three breakout sessions for this special day that acknowledged women who had made a difference in their community. Our keynote was entitled The Goddess Revolution and we introduced to this inspiring group of women a simple yet powerful way to ignite said revolution.

 We asked our audience to eliminate negative self talk from their conversations with them selves and other women and not to tolerate other women speaking negatively about themselves. Instead, we said, tell yourself you are amazing, tell your friend she is amazing. Why, we asked, does this even happen in he first place? The negative, degrading comments we whisper to ourselves in the mirror achieve nothing and neither does our habit of joining in with the self slagging when our friends put themselves down. This behavior sucks the joy from our day and does nothing to inspire us to bring joy into the world. How could we bring light when we snuff our own out before we even leave the house?

We were charmed to watch this exceptional group of ladies turn to each other at our request and tell one another that they were amazing - they totally embraced the idea and laughed and hugged one another. Then we asked them to tell one another that they themselves were also amazing - there was plenty of nervous giggling that accompanied that task and many women were simply not comfortable saying these words. We of course expected that - none of us spend alot of time telling other people how terrific we are - society considers that rude and obnoxiousness behavior. Funny, isn't it - self disparaging comments, totally acceptable; self supporting speak - uncomfortable. Something to think about. 

In any case, we were so grateful to our beautiful group of attendees for participating in our mission to help women recognize their worth, especially because we were in awe of their missions and passions. This was a group of women who had been nominated to be honored by their community because they created, they supported, they challenged, they achieved or they survived. Each woman I met on that memorable day floored me with her ability, her will, her creativity or her dedication and enthusiasm. I hoped with all my heart that they had taken to heart our message - to support them selves and one another with positive language because each one of them were nothing short of, well, amazing and they deserved nothing less. 

As do you. Because the beauty of the Airdire Amazing Women's Conference nominees were that these women were just like you - they were everyday women, out there doing the best they could by their families and their community and this terrific event took the time to recognize their contributions. We wish their were more events like this because we know that you are all out there doing amazing things in your own unique and valuable way. Until there is ( we're working on it!), please honor yourself by embracing the Revolution - the next time you look in the mirror, before those negative thoughts take over, blow yourself a kiss, tell yourself you are an amazing Goddess and ignite your light! Viva la Revolution!!!

Go here to learn more about Airdrie's Amazing Women and the terrific even that honors them presented by Airdrielife Magazine.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gorgeous Goddess Green Smoothie

Your smoothie may look as delicious as this one... 

Hey Goddess! Want fabulous hair, gorgeous skin and balanced hormones? Work at getting more good fats in your every day food enjoyment! This smoothie feels so indulgent, and yet it is so very powerful and amazing for you! So go ahead- Indulge, guilt free! Your body will thank you!

Gorgeous Goddess Green Smoothie

1 haas avocado (ripe)
1 small banana
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp spirulina
1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider
1/4 cup mango coconut water
2 tbsp hemp or 1/2 cup organic vanilla greek yogurt
unpasteurized honey to taste
ice (or use frozen banana)
Add avocado, banana, coconut oil to blender. Sprinkle in spirulina. Add apple cider and begin to blend, adding other wet ingredients until desired texture is reached. Add honey slowly until it is sweet enough.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Believe In The Power Of Soup by Barb Thomas, RHN

Powerful, joyful soup!

This past Sunday, after a crazy weekend of shoveling, laundering, sorting, shopping and vacuuming, I looked around and realized that my family had scattered to their various corners of the house, each in turn doing a solo activity. It occurred to me that all weekend my daughters and I had not done anything together that really connected us in any meaningful sort of way. It was already Sunday afternoon, and we had barely had a discussion about anything other than homework, socks, braces or play dates. Soon a new week would begin, and the craziness of life would surround us. I didn’t want this for us. The week needed to begin fresh, with my daughters feeling grounded, peaceful, and secure.
Searching for a way to slow our life down and turn lights on in my daughters’ eyes, I spied my farm girl apron hanging in the pantry. I donned it like Wonder Woman and her magic bracelets. I had a mission. I knew what to do.  

It was time for soup. 
I had a chicken carcass from dinner the night before, and with no one else around, I set about simmering it on the stove to make the broth for my soup. Within about ten minutes, daughter number one shut off the tv, and wandered into the kitchen. “Whatcha doin, mom?” she asked. “Makin’ soup” was all I replied. She asked if she could get out her sewing machine and sew beside me while the broth boiled and I chopped. Of course she could. 
Daughter number two was not far behind. “Smells great, mom!” she said as she grabbed a cookbook down off the shelf. “What are you doing, honey?” I asked her. “Making dessert to go with your soup,” she said matter-of-factly. And she set about doing exactly that. 
Our house began to settle into a rhythm that afternoon. Me at my cutting board, one kid next to me making a blueberry sponge cake from scratch, and the other contentedly sewing a blouse for her stuffy. The only sounds in the house were the gentle, meditative whir of the sewing machine, the jolly bubble of the chicken soup in the pot, and the occasional question from each daughter as I floated between their stations and mine, answering, stirring, and patting on the back. 
When the cake was baked and the projects put away, we all sat down to our cup of steamy, nurturing home made soup. “This was a great day” one of my daughters remarked, as we cozied up on the couch. “We should do this every Sunday,” said the other. We sure should.
Life can’t always be that slow, perhaps. But when you need it, soup is there for you. Not only does soup from scratch give you therapeutic amounts of things like calcium, collagen, protein and other amazing nutrients, it reminds you to connect, to be silent, to be present, to nurture and to appreciate the miracles that are right in front of you. So slow down, and make soup this Sunday. Your family is worth it. And so are you. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

There you go, all your wardrobe issues, fixed. You're welcome.

When I was preparing for some tv appearances, I hired a wonderful image consultant, Miranda Wulf at who helped me understand about what clothes were best on my body. She is a genius, and solved a lot of issues for me in relation to how I dress. She really did make me feel like a Goddess. And kind of like I was on "What Not To Wear" for like a week straight.

Lately, I have been on a bit of a tear, wanting to streamline my life, de-clutter my closet and get the most for my money. My closet was packed with all the right colours, shapes and style of clothes, but I still have been feeling like nothing matches, and frankly, that things have been looking a little old.

SO- I did some great research on the internet and found the Inside Out Style Blog. . This amazing gal, Imogen from Australia, has put together all kinds of images and instructions to help us Goddesses learn how to dress well. It's really cool. Anyway, one suggestion she has is to use Wardrobe Capsules to make your life easier. I will let her tell you about them on her site, but the basic idea is that you take a limited amount of pieces- tops, bottoms and accessories, and make sure that they all compliment each other. With only 11 pieces of clothing you can get over 70 combinations/outfits.

It's pretty neat. And it has made my life SO much easier. I always have something to wear, and I always look put together and stylish, regardless of the occasion. Her advice, combined with Miranda's expert tips and tricks has allowed me to feel so confident when I am speaking in public or even just heading to pick up the kids from school. I LOVE that women are willing to share information like this that can lift us ALL up, take stress away from our choices, and empower us to be our best. GO TEAM!
Check out the video here of my completed wardrobe capsule: