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Free Thought Fridays: Handling peoples disappointment

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As I get older I realize that time and energy are precious commodities. When you’re the type (as I am) that is sensitive to other people’s feelings you can sometimes get to be a bit of a people pleaser. Being around happy people is such a high. I used to believe that what I did for people would make them happy. I hated to disappoint anyone. So I would sometimes run myself ragged. Now I know that you cannot “make” people happy. Happiness is something that comes from within. It’s a waste of my time and my energy to do something to please someone, especially if it makes me unhappy doing it. I’ll give you an example. I was often invited to parties with people I didn’t really want to spend much time with. I would go because I felt “hey I’m young, I should be going out, partying, and socializing”. I felt I would be thought of as boring if I wasn’t always out doing something. But inside I was cringing. I knew that some of the people at the party would be obnoxious. I didn’t really want to go, but I went anyway and had a crappy time. So now if someone invites me to something I don’t want to be at I just say “thanks but no.” I don’t even care about disappointing them anymore. Life is too short. You can’t live your life trying to please everyone. You can’t control everyone’s reactions. All you can do is what’s right for you. Though, I’m still polite about declining to attend such events. After all, it was thoughtful of them to invite me. But that doesn’t mean I’m obliged to go. Also, you get a chance to learn who your friends truly are in these situations. If they still want to hang out with you even if you don’t go to their parties then they are a real friend. And real friends are keepers.

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Free Thought Fridays: Listen to my drum weep, Poem by Jim Poitras

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Listen to my drum weep…

As I beat and gently sing, a honor song

Of days gone of the past, of all the wrongs…

Children, family and culture, forever lost

All for the land, the riches, done at all cost…

I sing of lost love, so many lost empty years

Not of anger but grief, a silent river of tears…

I cry for the elders, our men,our women

All those parents, relatives,not forgotten…

The beat of mother earth, the sacred drum

Beats for the hundreds of millions, I am one…

From creator, ancestors and all living things

The healing, begins and comes, deep within…

So to all my relations, today, past and future

Listen to my drum weep, to honor, to endure…

All My relations…

Poem by Jim Poitras


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Free Thought Fridays: Stop waiting

I’m really good at procrastinating sometimes, especially when I’m afraid of doing something. It’s almost the end of summer and I realized that life was just passing me by because I was afraid of change. I’m human, who isn’t afraid of change? It’s natural to fear the unknown. But I realized I had to stop waiting for things to be perfect for me to take action. Life is messy and sometimes chaotic. But we can get the greatest growth and enjoyment out of life when we’re thrust out of our element. I decided to stop waiting and take things in hand. Next year I’m planning on attending a yoga retreat. It’s quite expensive, but it’s the trip of a lifetime in my mind. We’ll be going to Hawaii and the teachers included are some of my favourite spiritual authors and people I look up to in general. I’m going to be out of my element for much of this upcoming yoga retreat but I know I’m going to learn so much and grow so much as well. So what are you waiting for? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do and kept holding back? Everything is possible if you really want to find a way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with accomplishing your dreams. Most people would be happy to help you!


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Free Thought Fridays: Pets in cars

Now that the super hot days of summer have arrived, I wanted to remind people not to leave their pet in a hot car. A lot of people think that their pet may suffer from separation anxiety if they leave them at home and that a few minutes in the car can’t hurt them. But think about this, if you wouldn’t leave a young child or a senior citizen with breathing problems in a sweltering hot car, then why would you leave your dog, cat, rabbit or other pet in the car? A car’s windows are basically like a magnifying glass for the sun. Even in the shade or with the windows open, the heat inside a car can quickly climb to an unbearable temperature. Take a look at the chart below to see how hot it can get in a car. The only way you could leave an animal in the car is if someone else is with the animal and has the air conditioning running. Otherwise, leave your animal at home where they will be more comfortable and have access to food and water. Every year I hear sad stories about animals dying from heat stroke due to being locked in a car during the summer time. It’s gotten so bad in some cities that the police will break into a car to rescue the animal if someone reports it. It always saddens me to hear about these deaths when they can be easily prevented with a little forethought.

Here is some good news for you though. Some businesses are now getting more pet friendly. An Ikea store in Cologne, Germany has a dog parking lot where you can leave your leashed dog with some water. Also, some Ikea stores in Japan allow small dogs and cats in the store if they are in carry bags. I’m glad to see that some malls in my city allow animals inside as long as the animal doesn’t enter a place where food is prepared. For those living in the USA, here’s a listing of pet friendly malls in the country. Note that guide dogs however, are supposed to be allowed everywhere their owner goes.

So think twice before you bring your pet shopping with you on a hot summer day. If you’re on foot and the store doesn’t allow pets, put them in the shade and leave a bowl of water for them. If it looks like you’ll be in the store for longer than you expected you can always come back another day. Remember that a lot of stores now offer delivery to your home so you don’t always have to go out to do your shopping.


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Free Thought Fridays: Letting go and fear

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I stumbled across the quote on facebook and loved it. It is so totally true. I always wonder, why do we fight letting go of things? I think for many the reason is fear. There are many fears but most common are the fear of the unknown, fear of failing and fear of being fully ourselves. You might think huh? How can I have the fear of being fully myself? Believe me, it’s possible. We all have within ourselves the possibility to express the highest and lowest qualities of our being. Most of us aren’t comfortable being the best version of ourselves that is possible. Being normal is often perceived as good. It’s good to be normal, to be accepted, to be nice, not to push against the boundaries of society. Who doesn’t want to be normal? Being extraordinary can carry connotations of arrogance besides excellence. But if you aren’t happy in your life why not let go of what isn’t working for you? Another well known saying is: “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Change is certainly hard and it’s what I’ve been facing lately. I’m making baby steps towards my new goals and some big changes will be coming. I hope at the end I will become a better and happier version of myself.


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Free Thought Fridays: 8 Tips on How to Juice Effectively

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Ever since I got the Earth Diet book and started juicing I noticed some wonderful health benefits. I feel more energetic, my mind feels clearer, and my body feels cleaner. My skin and hair have improved too. My hair is thicker and my skin has a better texture and tone. I would encourage anyone who is contemplating juicing to do a little bit of research first however. I actually bought my juicer before doing much research and I didn’t fully realize the differences between the juicing machines. Once my current juicer burns out (a centrifugal juicer) I’ll get the kind that I want. Below are some things for you to think about if you want to try juicing.

1. Buy a juicer that fits your needs

What is more important to you? Quality, quantity, or cost? If you’re on a budget, the cheapest juicers are the centrifugal juicers. If you want high quality juice then perhaps a masticating juicer would fit your needs. If you want to squeeze the most juice out of your produce then a hydraulic press juicer would work best. Each type of juicer has its pros and cons. For example, centrifugal juicers are low cost but noisy and not completely efficient at getting all the juice out of your produce. Masticating (single gear) and triturating (twin gear) juicers are more expensive and take longer to extract juice. But they are also quieter and more efficient at extracting juice. The hydraulic press juicers are the most expensive of all (e.g. $2,000+) and works slowly as well, but produces the best quality juice that can be stored for longer periods of time. So think long and hard about what is important to you. Just as a general guideline, if you are a beginner you should start with the most affordable juicer. Then if you decide you want to become serious about juicing you can get a more expensive juicer later on. Read up on the different types of juicers here.

2. If you have time, juice once a day

It’s a good idea to drink fresh juice, especially if you have a centrifugal juicer which produces lower quality juice. The benefit of juicing is that your body can absorb the nutrients much quicker since the fibre is absent. But at the same time, the nutrients and enzymes in juice oxidize quicker once in liquid form. The optimal time to drink your juice is as soon as you make it. But if you don’t have time to juice every day, you can also juice once or twice a week and freeze your juice. Thaw the juice a day before you want to drink it. The nutrient value in frozen juice will not be 100% but at least you will still get a lot more nutrients into your body than if you were to try to eat all the produce you’ve used to make the juice.

3. Store your juices in an airtight mason jar

Having an airtight mason jar can help preserve the nutrients in a green juice. It prevents oxidization as well. More tips on how to store your juice. I like to make large batches of juice on the weekends and then freeze them immediately. Some juice snobs may sniff at this and chide me, but until I get a better juicer this is what I will be doing to keep my juice fresh. I find the frozen juice tastes almost as great as the fresh juice and I still get to experience the health benefits from juicing.

4. Juice leafy greens first, then soft fruit, then hard veggies and fruits

When I first got a juicer I just threw them in without any order. Using a centrifugal juicer, I found a lot of the produce was coming out in the pulp almost whole and not fully “juiced”. Then I read Vani Hari’s book which said the leafy greens should go first, then soft fruit and lastly hard fruit and veggies. The harder veggies and fruits will push the softer items through the juicer. Since then, my pulp doesn’t contain whole pieces of produce that didn’t get through. From The Food Babe Way by Vani Hari.

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This is the kind of juicer I have. A Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer. It’s a centrifugal juicer.

5. Don’t use more than 1 high sugar fruit per juice

Some fruits like pineapple and mango are very high in sugar. Although it’s a natural sugar it’s still a good idea to limit those fruits to one per juice. For example, you can do: kale, apple, ginger, lemon and carrot. The sweetness of the apple and carrot are balanced out by the rest of the ingredients. Here’s a very useful list of low sugar fruits. Plus an article on low sugar vegetables, fruits and what fresh juice does to your blood sugar.

6. Drink your juice on an empty stomach

The best way for your body to absorb the nutrients of juice is on an empty stomach. If you eat something before having juice you may experience stomach upset. If you want to eat food soon after having juice, Food Babe advises to wait at least 20 minutes. I have waited about 30 minutes before having solid food and not experienced any problems when I do this. Reasons why to have juice on an empty stomach.

7. You don’t need to use a recipe book

The great thing about juicing is that you can just go with the flow and follow the tastes you or your family like. Like it a little spicy? Add some ginger or garlic which adds a little zing to the juice. Recipes are good if you’re a newbie to juicing and want to focus on a certain goal like boosting your immune system or losing weight. But otherwise don’t feel you need to have a recipe book to start juicing. You can find tons of free juice recipes online and then change them to your tastes. I agree with the intuitive eating theory that the body knows what nutrients it needs. If you find yourself craving something then as Liana Werner-Gray says in the Earth Diet book, give in to that craving but get the most natural version of that craving that’s possible. Want some kale or broccoli but don’t like the taste? Juice them with some apple or carrots to help mask the tastes you don’t like.

8. If you want to do a long juice cleanse, make sure you speak to a nutritional expert

A lot of people jump on the juicing bandwagon very quickly. While I applaud that enthusiasm, you have to realize that if you’ve been eating junk food most of your life then doing something drastic like a juice cleanse will cause some major detoxing symptoms. I don’t know anyone who would want to feel lousy while trying to get healthy. Before you leap into a juice cleanse, take a look at your eating habits. If you don’t eat healthy then start to gradually eat better. You can always do a juice cleanse later on. Then before you do the actual juice cleanse, get a physical to make sure your body can handle it. If you will be doing a long juice cleanse (e.g. more than a week) then speak to a nutritional expert. You want to make sure that you’re not depriving your body of essential nutrients. Juice cleanses should be tailored to each person’s specific needs and body issues.

Some great resources on juicing:

Joyous Health

The Food Babe Way – Vani Hari

The Earth Diet – Liana Werner-Gray

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (a Joe Cross film – documentary movie)

More articles on juicing:

Juicing Basics – Juice for Health

Juicer types – Huffington Post

6 Things to consider before buying a juicer – Summer Tomato

Juicer Buying Guide – Reboot with Joe (He was the star of Fat Sick & Nearly Dead)


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Free Thought Fridays: Doing nothing


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Some days we just need a breather. The pressures of daily life are vast and plentiful. But always allow yourself some time to do nothing. Even if you have a deadline at work and you’re stressed, taking a short break like a nap or a walk outside can re-energize you to get your task done. If you google “doing nothing” you’ll see lots of articles on how doing nothing can help you at times. Doing nothing allows you to de-stress and prevent adrenal fatigue. Chronic stress can take a toll on your health and result in “anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.” It can also contribute to the development of major illnesses. So next time you feel guilty for doing nothing remember that everyone needs chill out time and that you’re actually taking care of your health when you take time to relax.


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Further reading:
How doing nothing helps you get more done

10 ways to enjoy doing nothing

The art of doing nothing