Have you chosen your word for 2015?

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New Years is here and I’m continuing my tradition of choosing a word for the coming year, to inspire me, instead of a resolution.

My word this last year was FEARLESS and I used it as a personal theme. I was pretty fearless in my choices and went for things. My word for 2015 is SELF-CARE.

I want to focus on caring for me more, setting more time aside for things that lift me up.

What will your word be??

xo, Heather

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Why I gave up having a life plan

Planning ahead is about preparing for the future, right? It’s something we all like to think about often because most of us focus on the future and not on the present. Our lives revolve around asking ourselves what we can do, who we can be and where we can go next. For some people it’s even asking how much more they can get, when the focus should be on what we already have.

In some small way we think we control our lives but the honest truth is that we can’t. Sure, we control what clothes we put on and what route we take to work, but the bigger things in life aren’t in our control. Events at work, natural disasters, potential mates, illness, injury, financial emergencies…these are all out of our control.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I was diagnosed at 33 years old with stage 4 lymphoma cancer. I mean, come on, I’m a healthnut vegan who does health and wellness for a living and BOOM!, that happened. That was definitely not in my “plan.”

I was forced to let go of my “plan” and soon came to realize that I wasn’t in control like I had thought. We just can’t possibly know what life will throw at us. We try so hard to control when really, shouldn’t we just let go and live in the moment? This lesson on letting go has been pivotal for me. What a concept! You hear about it all the time but hardly anybody practices it.

You can bet I started practicing because I had no choice. With letting go, I no longer feel anxious and nervous about the future since those feelings have now been replaced with a sense of peace. Peace in knowing that I will receive everything I need in the right timing and that I don’t need to force things.

Letting go and learning to trust the Universe brings rewards that are truly priceless. It really allows you to open yourself up while it paves the way to a peaceful mind. Next time you notice yourself trying to control, will you close your eyes, take a deep breath, exhale and join me in in the practice of letting go?

Vegan Chili Recipe

veggie_chili
Winter is upon us! This is one of my favorite cold night meals.
3 organic tomatoes diced (2 can of organic stewed tomatoes if fresh are out of season)

3 15 oz. cans of organic tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can of organic red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 15 oz. can of organic cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
1 15 oz. can of organic corn, drained
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 white onion diced (or 1 tsp. onion powder)
3 TBL chili powder & nutritional yeast- may need to adjust based on how strong of a taste you like
1-2 TBL cumin
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1 Small jar of pickled jalepenos, diced w/ a little juice.

Directions: Sweat the onions and garlic with some olive oil together in a saucepan on low/med heat. In a separate larger size saucepan combine together all other ingredients on low-medium heat and add the onions once they are browned. Let simmer on low for 45 minutes. Serves 4 people. Serve with cornbread laying on top of the chili.

Staying Healthy While Traveling

Lake 09 001Hey All!

Just got back from a great road trip and holiday in the San Francisco Bay Area (my hometown). I did the crazy drive from San Diego and I have to say…..I got pretty lucky! Only 8.75 hours each way!

The biggest challenge is always staying healthy while traveling. I’m one of those awesome people who refuses to eat at fast food restaurants (who’s with me?!!) and that’s pretty much all there is off the freeway. I NEVER eat it. I actually question why fast food is still in business and I think it just comes down to affordability and people not knowing any better. Sigh.

To stay healthy, I packed a myraid of healthy snacks to take in the car! Lara bars, fruit, veggies, sandwiches, rice. This is what I have to do pretty much anytime I travel, mostly because of my crazy food allergies but also because I’m not willing to compromise my health.

I even managed to get lucky and find an amazing vegan restaurant in North Beach in SF when all around us was nothing but gluten and cheese laden options. Score!

The easiest thing for is to plan ahead and write out a list of snacks that you want to bring with you. Then either pack a cooler or just get non-perishables and then hit the road or plane! Did you know you’re allowed to bring food with you from home when you fly?? I didn’t know this was still allowed! Just be sure to pack it properly and check the TSA guidelines for questions.

Happy Traveling!

XO, Heather