Monthly Archives: April 2011

Lurking at Labels

Hi Friendlies!! Adding to my post earlier this week on grapples I’ve been inspired to talk about…grocery shopping. I know, I know. It’s not the most inspiring thing in the world, but it’s a necessity. And it’s a necessity to pay attention to what we are buying (because it will eventually go in our mouths!), so I’d like to shed some light on it!

Tonight on the HeyMonicaB Radio Show I’m going to be talking about what’s in our food. It’s pretty easy to make smart choices if we know what we’re looking for. In a nutshell, the least amount of ingredients, the better!! See the Lara Bar photo below. THREE ingredients! Yumm!!

Now! Check out the ever popular Power Bar below. Do you SEE (well, it’s a blurry phone photo, but you know what I mean) aaaallll those ingredients!? Why? Why do we need all those additives, preservatives and fillers!? We don’t!!

Together we’ll talk about how to choose foods wisely even if we can’t get to a “health food” store. I find “health food store” kind of ironic…because why should we have to go to a special store to get “healthy” food? Shouldn’t all grocery stores be healthy? Anyway, I’m not an expert in this area of food labeling and nutrition but I definitely have some tips to fill our lives with better food. Also, because I’m not an expert I see am able to see through the eyes of YOU and the majority of America. I make the best choices possible to work around the crappy foods. Yeah…I got some stuff to say tonight and I welcome your comments and questions. If you are an expert I’d love to hear some of your ideas too!!

If you miss it, I’ll attach the archives to this post so you can listen later :) XOXO!

What the Fruit?!

OH.m.g. I am beside myself.

We went grocery shopping today. It was produce time and usually my favorite because it’s the warmest part of the store :) My husband picks up this package which held 4 “apples.” See the label below.

My husband kinda giggles in anticipation for my reaction. I was like, “What. Did they GMO a grape and an apple? They look like apples…” And then he sticks the package in front of my nose and squeezes it. So I sniff. Smells like grape soda. Um, what the fruit? (that’s what we say instead of the offensive version…we got a kid on the way afterall ;)

Then he puts the package right in front of my eyes and says, “Look at the ingredients.” My first thought was, “Ingredients? In apples?” So take a look at the ingredients.

REALLY!?!?!? Grapple people, did you REALLY inject a perfectly nice apple with fake grape flavoring?! WTF!? LEAVE OUR FRUIT ALONE! Also, notice the patent pending. Yes, patent pending on a piece of fruit. Fruit comes from nature while patents are reserved for inventions. Huh! Someone just invented a fruit that tastes like grape kool-aid. Basically they turned this otherwise sattvic food into something tamasic, by injecting chemicals into our lovely gift from nature.

Guys, nature gives us exactly what we need and we don’t need to look any further. Start looking at labels (if you don’t already) and make sure there’s nothing funky in your food!

Also, a sweet client (thanks Chrissy!) of mine gave me this cool tip. When choosing fruit/veggies, the little sticker on them tells us a lot. Ready?
If the number starts with a 4 it’s a conventional fruit/veggie
If the number starts with a 9 it’s organic
If the number starts with 8 it’s genetically modified. Stay away from 8’s!!!

“What Do I Know?”

A story. This past weekend we took a lovely get away to San Diego, just for an evening. We stayed at a dog friendly hotel so we could bring the pooches without worry. All was pretty good except when we went to leave for breakfast on Sunday morning. Our little Blossom dog sometimes gets separation anxiety when in strange places and that morning it was horrrrrible. We stood in the hallway and waited as she screech-barked and tried to scratch out of her crate. Lots of stomping, crying, just a bunch of racket (sorry neighbors!). We stayed in the hall for 15 minutes looking at each other hoping she would calm down. She got a little better but not entirely.

We made a decision to go back in, pack up our stuff and grab something to eat on the drive back to LA. We weren’t exactly angry, but we weren’t exactly pleased either. We left her in her crate (with a happy tongue-ey grin on her face) while we got packed and checked out. Note: I don’t enjoy my plans being messed with (pitta) especially when it’s foils my relaxation time. Hence, this situation could have easily made me crabby…but I didn’t let it.

To our surprise, we found a cute little brunch place 20-some miles from San Diego and about 2 blocks from the beach! It was not only cute, but had all outdoor seating and there were other customers there with their dogs too. Score! We all sat in the sun, had a lovely little breakfast (and a chilled chai tea, mm!) from this adorable mom & pop cafe and the dogs were happy. At that point, I thanked my little Blossom dog for having a fit in the hotel because otherwise we never would have found this place.

Because of our little detour we ended up taking a different highway, all along the coast! There were cute beach towns, sun was shining, just gorgeous! Who knew this existed!? Plenty of people obviously do, but it was new to me. And at that point I was reminded, “What do I know?” I suddenly felt powerless yet free at the same time. It was freeing because I know I don’t have control necessarily of what lies ahead. While some people might find that constricting, I just felt free in my faith.

See, when we hold on too tightly to expectations and become rigid, we might force a situation OR completely miss a clue that there is something better for us. Often surrender and fluidity are the closest path to exactly where we belong…because we might not know this part of our path even exists! My point is, when making wishes, setting intentions and creating plans, always leave room for “something better” because there is a giant world out there full of happy surprises. Our minds can be limited by what we know, so set it free to expand into the unknown. Maybe what you wished for isn’t as great as it could be or as great as you deserve! But how would you know if you plan too closely? ;) Always remember to leave space and surrender for life’s twinkles and special prizes. You might find yourself spontaneously surrounded by something better than you could have ever imagined. xoxo!

Quick Complainer

My daughter is vata as am I. She comes home from work and talks 500 mph about the stress in her day. It stresses me out, but I don’t want to tell her that! Help, please! – Shelly

Tuesday night I got the above question during the very end of the HeyMonicaB radio show (episode 14) during our topic of doshas and relationships. I didn’t really get to finish my answer so I promised that I would write it in a post. If you have not listened to episode 14 it yet, I think it’s a pretty important one to pay attention to. It’s all about how we intermingle on this planet together and explains why people act the way they do.

Anywho, let’s get to Shelly’s question. Two traits that aren’t so endearing about lovely vata folks is that they a) talk way more than they listen and b) like to complain a lot, which can leave others feeling drained and stressed. If you are a vata and reading this, I love you for all your quirks, good and bad. But one thing that all vatas can improve on are their listening skills and not jumping to “worst case scenario” mode so quickly. Have you ever felt burnt out during a conversation because you can’t get a word in edgewise? Or have you ever felt like you are the dumping grounds for someone else’s stress, constantly? That’s an example of when a bubbling-over vata person is no longer vivacious, but just kind of overwhelming. This can really wear down other vatas, as in Shelly’s question, because it’s just not in their nature to withhold emotional stamina.

I gave Shelly a few tips.

1. Take out your rose. I learned this at the SoCal Meditation Center in Santa Monica, so I can’t take credit for it, but it’s a great tool. We all have a giant invisible rose that we can hold out in front of us as a buffer. Did you know that?! Yep, you do. So when someone comes at you with a bunch of stressful, negative or intense energy, hold out your rose.  And while you are listening, let the words fall into the rose petals (my rose has glitter on the edges). That way, the energy never makes it into your personal space, but you can still stay present and listen.

2. Set a boundary. Most of the time it’s good to listen to others so that they can get their own garbage out. Afterall, we heal people by listening. At the same time, chronic complaining is more habitual than anything and sometimes just needs to be nipped in the bud. It can just become additional stress for the rest of us. Sometimes we have to let people know that their words stress us out and it’s okay to set boundaries around that. A while back my husband and I got stuck in a rut of complaining about work each night, so we decided to knock it off  and agreed to complain about work only twice out of the week. We essentially had two tokens a piece to get something off our chest over a 7 day period. MAN! What a difference!! We felt refreshed, happy, and most of all stayed present in our space instead of lingering on past, negative doo da. So whether you set a certain number of complaints per week or maybe 10 minutes of complaint time (then done!) it really doesn’t matter. The point is to set something up so we know our limit. And hint hint, the less we complain, the more we will find gratitude and THAT is the fastest way to rid any neggy energy.

3. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you look at it.” Offer up this piece of advice. It usually gets people thinking. Then you can help them brainstorm all the things they can do to either change their situation OR change how they see it. Point out the positives and if they’ve outgrown the situation, help them evolve.

All in all, this life is still about helping each other and seeing the best in each other. People will piss us off, drive us nuts, and stress us out. But, if we look at them with compassion and a full heart, we will realize that they just need guidance. And maybe we can be the ones to help them! Realize that the complainer is not really in a good spot and do what you can to give them the tools to move past it. I’m not saying that you have to “rescue” them, just give them something positive to focus on. They will find their own path. I promise their energy will change almost instantly and then you both can have peace of mind and heart. xo.

Tip: Baby Steps

Don’t be afraid of taking baby steps when changing your life. Afterall, life is a big thing to change! Do it gradually to create a strong foundation. Grab on to one small habit and then add another. Don’t go into it whole hog because it won’t stick. Just go little by little.

It’s kinda like picking raspberries. It might seem a little daunting, but it’s a peaceful (and sunny!) process if you allow it and in the end you’ll have a wonderful basket of fresh fruit. Totally worth the bit of effort.