Archive | March 2013

When You Don’t Like Your Reflection, Change It!

Have you ever had a moment where you’ve looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person staring back at you? It’s in those moments that an internal shift begins. You can continue as this unrecognizable person, or you can make a choice to find yourself again. It’s not an easy decision to make, let me tell you. A few months ago that was me.

It seemed my life was spinning, and I was struggling to regain control. I was discouraged and disappointed in myself for various reasons. I noticed that I was attracting energy and people that reflected what I was putting out into the world. I blamed others for their actions, when, in reality I was allowing people to treat me according to how I felt about myself. I put more time into thinking about what other people thought about me rather than focusing on how I felt about myself. Now, at the time, I would have never believed any of this. But you know what they say: Hindsight is 20/20.

That moment I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I was seeing was the moment I decided to take a stance. Enough was enough. But sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can start climbing towards the top. I begin to take responsibility for my life and my actions. No more blaming others for their actions towards me, no more misplaced frustrations, no more blaming the world. This negativity was attracting negative people (whose lives were in as much upheaval as my own), causing me to engage in negative actions, placing doubt on my self-esteem and self-worth, trying to hold on to unreciprical relationships (all encompassing)…all so I did not have to think about or focus on what was really going on. I mean, who wants to really do that? I had to realize my place and responsibility in the spinning tornado that was my life. It was time to take control.

I am finding myself in a new place of happiness. It wasn’t an easy place to get to. Within this, I have noticed that my postitive energy is attracting positive things. I am meeting great people, establishing new, healthy relationships (all encompassing), and not allowing the negativity of the world to have a place in my life. I’m taking more control of my thoughts. I’m not giving time to the over analyzation of ill actions or things that I have no control over. I’m appreciating my time and using it towards positive thinking. I’m reading books to help shape my thought. I’m not putting time into relationships that are not recipricol, but I’m also not holding a grudge. I am learning I cannot control other people’s actions, but I can control my reactions. I am confident in myself and my abilities. I’m finding new hobbies and ways to use my time. I appreciate the moments I have alone to myself. I smile at the small things and stay in a space of gratitude.

No, my life is in no way perfect. It’s a daily effort to be positive, but it feels SO much better.

Life is beautiful, and I love what I’m seeing in the mirror. 🙂

The First Step to Self-Improvement is Changing Your Self-Talk

I am an intensely spiritual person deeply embedded in my faith. I believe everything happens for a reason, life is a journey to a larger purpose, fate is outside of my hands and is up to a higher power, and people come in and out of our lives – some being seasonal, others here to stay. Well, I also believe in a lot of other things too, but for the sake of this post I’ll keep the list short.

Have you ever had those moments where it seems like you’re receiving the same message over and over from various sources? It could be different people that have no connection to each other, a message you come across on a Yogi Tea bag, or even a book recommendation that aligns with a larger thought that you’ve been processing in your mind. Well, that was just the experience I had over the weekend.

The start to my day began with a lengthy conversation with someone I’ve known for a while and hold dear to my heart, I was pointedly told about my tendency to lead my life by assumptions: about what people think, how they may feel, and the actions I then take according to the new reality I have set for myself. I found it quite interesting. Instead of completely shutting down the idea and being on the defense, I decided to reflect on it.

The day concluded with a long overdue conversation with my twin. (No, I don’t actually have one, but we might as well be.) We talked about life, self-realization, growth and change, recognizing one’s behavioral challenges, and finding the tools to overcome them, improve, and change. Within this came two recommended books by Don Miguel Ruiz: The Four Agreements & The Mastery of Love. I looked them up and loved what they were about, so I ordered them from Amazon:

The Four Agreements reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. When we are ready to change these agreements, there are four deceptively simple, yet powerful agreements that we can adopt as guiding principles:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

“The Mastery of Love illuminates the fear-based beliefs and assumptions that undermine love and lead to suffering and drama in our relationships. Using insightful stories to bring his message to life, Ruiz shows us how to heal our emotional wounds, recover the freedom and joy that are our birthright, and restore the spirit of playfulness that is vital to loving relationships.” 


The next day I got to work and found a devotional book a co-worker had left on my desk. I was going to put it away and read it at a later time, but something told me to open it up to the message of the day. Imagine my surprise:


Coincidence? I think not!

Sometimes, things line up for us to recieve a larger message, and it’s up to us to pay attention and be receptive to what the universe is trying to tell us.

As for me, I’m looking forward to spending this upcoming weekend reading and reflecting, heading down the path of continuously becoming a better me, trying to plant better seeds of positivity, releasing myself of fear, and creating healthy self-talk & better self-fulfilling prophecies. 🙂


When Life Hands You Strawberries, Make a Mimosa Brunch; But, Don’t Forget the Beets!!

My weekend was full of fun, sun, and cooking! I’m enjoying finding new recipes and ways to eat clean, stay clear of non-natural sugars (i.e.: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, etc.), and rediscovering the joys of a Farmer’s Market.


I made another trip to Little Italy’s farmer’s market in downtown San Diego. I must say, I’m THOROUGHLY enjoying access to fresh, organic produce.


I am getting in the habit of buying my groceries on a weekly basis. Though a challenge, it helps me plan my meals week by week, as fresh produce does not last long and must be used rather quickly. It also keeps me on track with my goal of clean eating.

After coming across some GORGEOUS fresh, and sweet strawberries, I decided to try a gluten free pancake recipe a friend of mine posted. Her and her sister keep a food blog. Here’s the link:

I used egg whites, as I do not buy eggs. After trial and error, I learned that if you substitute egg whites for eggs, you have to double the content. Example: this recipe calls for 2 eggs. 2 eggs = 1/2 cup of egg whites. So I used 1 cup of egg whites.


Do not expect this recipe to give you the pancake consistency you’re used to. They are a little more spongy in texture, and they were pretty flat. But they were DELICIOUS!! I cut up fresh strawberries and used 100% pure maple syrup (no sugar added). Next time I think I will try using whole eggs to see if there’s a consistency difference.


Gluten-Free Pancakes

And, what better way to enjoy a gluten free pancake breakfast than with mimosas?! I must say, the champagne you use in a mimosa is important. I typically buy an inexpensive one, but I decided to try this brand. So delicious!! Less dry, and slightly sweeter. A good compliment to the orange juice.


Ballatore Gran Spumante Sparkling Wine

With brunch being covered, and taking advantage of the fact I had a friend over and actually someone to cook for, I decided to retry the white-balsamic glazed beet recipe I had made the weekend before. It’s very simple. The recipe comes from this site:

Farmer's Market Finds

Farmer’s Market Finds!!

At the farmer’s market, I discovered white balsamic vinegar. Though it’s not new, I had never heard of it before. It’s lighter and a bit sweeter than dark balsamic vinegar. I used it for the beets.


When roasted, beets have a nice, glazed look fresh out of the oven!

image-4  Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

I also learned to cook with the beet greens so as not to waste them. They have a texture similar to kale. I chop them up along with fresh cut garlic. Sauté on medium-high heat in a little olive oil, add a few tablespoons of water, and cover with a lid. Let them steam until the leaves are the consistency you want (I prefer mine a little more on the firmer side so they aren’t soggy). It takes about 10 minutes.


Together with the white balsamic-glazed beets, beet greens, and chicken breasts grilled on the Foreman, dinner was SERVED!


I’m learning that eating clean and healthy is not as hard as it sounds. I used to think of it as a chore, but it’s really all about planning and prepping. Make a list every weekend of the fruits and veggies that you’ll be using for your meals during the week. Use the world wide web to access the hundreds of recipes that exist! The only thing holding you back is an excuse. 😉