Sunday, May 23, 2010

  • 1 banana  (~100 cal)
  • 1 c frozen strawberries (
  • 1/2 c cantaloupe
  • 1/2 c pomegranate juice (~70 cal)
  • 1/4 c almond milk (~15 cal)
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (~50 cal)
  • 1/2 scoop ground flax seed (~35 cal)
SNACK: 10:00
  • Banana (~100 cal)
  • 1 T Peanut Butter (~100)
  • 12 oz mango tea

LUNCH: 12:00  - Small taco salad

* Lunch was a challenge because I was at work and had already eaten my little salad and then we had panko breaded shrimp and the smell of homemade dessert was traveling through the kitchen. Not to mention that my boss knows shrimp is my favorite and he kept offering me some and everyone was ooohing & ahhing over the new flavor of ice cream :0) BUT I did it!!! No shrimp, no homemade rolls, and NO dessert!
  • 2 c. lettuce
  • 1/2 c. quinoa mixture (~150)
  • 1 T Salsa
  • 1 T Non-dairy mexi cheddar-style dip (~ 25 cal
  • 12 oz peppermint tea
SNACK: 4:00
  • Somewhat healthy (lots of nutrients) chip dip  & chips :o)
    • 1/2 c quinoa mix (~150 cal = protein from beans and quinoa and veggies!!)
    • 2 T non-dairy cheese dip (~50 cal)
    • 1 oz organic corn chips (140 cal)
EXERCISE: 5 mile bike with dogs
30 min Turbo Jam Fat Blaster DVD - got me sweatin'

DINNER: 7:00
* Just felt like snacking for dinner - catching up on Grey's anatomy
  • Small orange
  • 2 Breakfast cookies  - yummy!
  • raw carrots, celery, and cauliflower
  • 4 T Cilantro Lime hummus
  • 8 Nut & rice crackers (~ 65 cal)
  • Cantaloupe
SNACK: 10:00

  • popcorn w/ earth balance & sea salt

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day #3

Woke up: 9:30 am

Brr, it's a cold, gloomy day out there...rainy & windy...I think I'll stay in my PJ's


 and maybe cuddle with Lola :o)

10:00 am - 12 oz White raspberry tea

BREAKFAST - 10:30 am
  • 1/2 c oats + 1 c H2O
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/3 c. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Wedding, wedding, wedding....making lists, called hotels, finished invitations, updated website, ordering

SNACK: While on computer (1:00 - 1: 30)
  • 1/2 c. watermelon cubes
  • 1/2 c. cantaloupe cubes
  • 1/2 apple, sliced
  • 1 oz raw almonds
LUNCH: 3:45
  • 1/2 c. leftover rice salad
  • 1 c. carrot & celery sticks
  • 1 c. chopped cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp local Roasted Red Pepper Hummus -  I measured out 2 Tbsp of my usual Salsa Ranch but then had to dump it back because I forgot about dairy. Hummus is good though!

DINNER: 6:45 --> Big tacoTaco salad
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • 5 corn tortilla chips
  • 8 black olives
  • 1/2 c. quinoa mixture (red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, cilantro, jalepeno, tomatoes, onion, red quinoa, taco seasoning, black beans)
  • 1 T local salsa
  • 1 T local cheese substitute
  • 1/4 avocado
  • + 1/2 c more of quinoa mixture by itself - up my protein w/ the quinoa and beans!!  :)
  • 32 oz spa water (lemon & cucumber slices -- SO refreshing)  
8:00 - 1 Gluten Free fruit sweetened raspberry fig bar (~60 cal)

Made dough for 'Breakfast cookies' (Pomegranate juice, Oats, goji berries, raw almonds, raw cashews, PB, vegan butter, mashed banana) I hope the final product tastes as good as the dough. It's in the freezer hardening up so I can cut it into slices. So I had a few samples of dough too :o)

10:30 - heading to bed!

Day #2

Again, this morning I slept in. I'm still trying to catch up from our Vegas trip. I woke up at 9:15 am to a crazy,weird dream. I got up and let the dogs out, fed, and gave them water and then decided to feed myself. MMMmm, a cup of dark coffee with a hint of whipped cream on top sounded delicious! Oh caffeine, no sugar, and no dairy! There goes that idea :o) Caffeine doesn't only mean coffee...I can't have green tea, dark chocolate, or coffee-flavored foods either. This could get challenging!

For now, I'll focus on why I should't take in caffeine. If you are addicted to caffeine, within one day of not having it withdrawal symptoms can set in: irritability, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, and anxiety but it should only last for 2-9 days for most and doesn't take place at all for some. How does caffeine wreak such havoc on our bodies? Caffeine is a central-nervous-system stimulant that affects our perception, our mood, and our behavior. It raises the levels of the nerurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which temporarily increases feelings of pleasure. However, like any other stimulant, a dependency can build up quickly and it can take more and more ceffeine to get these same feelings. In addition to increasing dopamine, your central nervous system mistakes caffeine for adenosine, a naturally occuring chemical in your body that's linked to calming and sleep. Caffeine binds itself to adenosine receptors in the brain, blocking their effects. This leads to a short-term feeling of alertness and levels of anxiety and restlessness can  also increase but the need for sleep or rest still remains. Caffeine further exhausts the body by stimulating our adrenal glands to produce adrenaline (remember the "fight-or-flight response?"). During this response, your body also produces higher levels of the stress homone, cortisol. In normal levels, cortisol helps with glucose metablism, regulating blood pressure, lowering inflammation, and raising immunity. However, caffeine can keep cortisol levels artifically high and can lead to lowered thyroid function, cognitive problems, decreased bone density (mine is slightly low) and muscle tissue, higher blood pressure, lowered immunity, and an overall inflammatory reaction in the body. Sounds good enough reason to me. For now I'll stick to herbal teas and decaf if I'm feeling a coffee craving coming on. I LOVE the taste and smell of coffee more than it's effects anyways :o)

BREAKFAST: 9:45 am
  • 1/2 c. old fasioned oats + 1 c. H2O ~150 cal
  • 1/2 banana ~50 cal
  • 3 strawberries ~
  • Cinnamon
  • 12 oz of decaf white raspberry tea
EXERCISE: 11:45 --> 5.25 mile bike ride with Lola which 4.5 miles into it she decided to speed up and then stop right in the middle of the trail and take a poo.....why?!?!? We walk around a park area half way through and she sniffs, pees, sniffs, pees, and sniffs some more but has to wait to poo until she's running full speed down a paved trail!!

LUNCH: 1:10 PM
  • 1/4 c Quinoa simmered in 1/2 c H2O (~180 cal)
  • 1 tsp Earth Balance vegan butter (~25 cal)
  • 2 stalks of asparagus, sliced
  • 1/4 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/5 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 portabello mushroom, chopped (marinated in fresh garlic and balsamic vinegar overnight)
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) (~40 cal)
SNACK: 2:00
  • Small Pink Lady apple
SNACK: 3:00
  • 1 c watermelon cubes
4:00 - Sitting down to figure out a few menu ideas for the next few days and having a cup (12 oz) of decaf white tea.

I'm going to make a batch of Breakfast cookies to alternate with smoothies and oats for breakfast.  For dinners I'm thinking homemade  blackbean veggie burgers and sweet potato fries, Edamame soba salad with miso vinaigrette and stir-fry veggies (Dane chicken stir fry with spring rolls), and Basmati and black-eyed pea pilaf with herb roasted veggies (throw steak and potatoes on grill for Daner). Getting some hummus, gluten free crackers, and nuts for snacks to go with my usual fruit/veggie snacks :o)

Just went and bought $150 worth of wholesome goodness!! Now going to have a snack.

  • 16 Almond Nut Thin nut & rice crackers (~130 cal)
  • 2 T dairy free cheese dip (tastes like yummy nacho cheese made locally from oats :) SO good and only ~50 cal/2 T)
DINNER-7:30 - 1 c. of Sweet & Tart Wild Rice Salad
  • Wild rice
  • Roasted yam, cubed
  • Red onion, minced
  • Apple, chopped
  • Dried cranberries
  • Tossed with EVOO, apple cider vinegar, and Agave nectar 
EXERCISE: 9-9:30 --> 30 minute jog with Bea Dog
32 oz H2O

1 (gluten free fruit juice sweetened) Raspberry Fig bar
12 oz Rainforest Red Tea (Acai & tropical fruit )decaf tea

To bed: ~12:30

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vegas Detox!!!

As many of you may know, my weekend was spent in Vegas with my girlfriends and Dane was at Lake Tahoe with his guys. Friday, my beautiful friend, Steph, gave me a ride to the airport. I was ecstatic and couldn't sleep on the way there. Two hours later I was running towards Shyla for a big bear hug! I hadn't seen her since February, which was much too long! We took a shuttle to our 2-bedroom at Summer Bay Resort, which is a block behind the Flamingo. It's gorgeous with a fireplace, full kitchen, bar, 3 flat screen tv's, patio, 2 king size beds, washer & dryer. We could have easily stayed longer than three nights! We freshened up a bit and then took off to walk to Margaritaville. Yet the weather proved to be a bit too hot for Ms. Bodine and we ended up hopping in a taxi before we were barely outside of the resort gate. Ha! It was around 4 but we didn't have dinner reservations until 9:30 so we decided on a few appetizers. MMmmm, nachos and spicy chili-rubbed shrimp cocktail. The nachos showed up and they were about 4 times the size of any plate I've had before and by the time we finished it looked as though we were just starting. The shrimp was amazingly messy yet oh so tasty! However, I did end up peeling a few for my buddy because her fake nails were getting in the way. :) Love ya Shy!! We hung out there for a few hours and each had two drinks and probably about 5 glasses of water a piece to keep us cool before deciding to head home. This time we figured we better walk due to large amounts of appetizers we just took in and stopped at the convenience store for some Corona Lights and a lime. The other girls were having plane problems and specifically requested we have drinks ready for them when they arrive (aaahhhem..cough..Krissy!!!). Kristen got in just in time to enjoy a drink and freshen up before we took a cab to the Stratosphere. Denise's plane got in a little after 9 and would have to meet us there. We got to the stratosphere and headed up to the 107 Lounge for a drink while we waited for a table and Shy had forgot her ID!!! Thankfully Denise was still in the room and able to grab it. We ordered two bottles of wine and each got a soup or salad and one appetizer. My crab cake was the best one I've had by far and then talked our waiter into taking pictures for us before heading down to Aria. We waited in line to get into the nightclub Haze before learning that it was $20 each to get in and decided we'd head back up to one of the bars. We spent the remainder of our evening at City Bar over some delicious 'Sex and the City' themed cocktails and mojitos quizzing a group of Canadians about the capitals of the states and then met up with our friends, Samer & Stu, from Bozeman. It was a great night and I believe we made it home before the sun came up this night!

Saturday morning started with some whole wheat toast topped with fluffy scrambled eggs (made in the microwave -good idea Denise), cheese, and salsa before heading to the pool to relax in the sun. Then we all began to get ready while we waited for Kara to arrive. When we heard the knock on the door, there were some excited squeals and hugs before she quickly ran to the bathroom with her Spanx on and Corona in hand to get ready for our night out. :) We ordered pizza and fried appetizers and finished decorating our room with the usual bachelorette paraphernalia until the taxi (or so I thought) showed up. We all ran
outside naughty straws in hand and to my surprise there was a limo waiting for us!! Upon jumping in we were handed roses and a bottle of champagne and jammed out until we showed up to the Excalibur for the big show, Thunder from Down Under (which I don't think I need to explain). Aussies and minimal clothing is all I need to say about this! The girls brought up on stage were fully embarrassed, one girl even opted out of a competition because her mom was in the crowd. Needless to say, we spent the evening laughing and ended the show with a souvenir picture. Then we hopped in a taxi and headed to Aria and thanks to Kara's PR skills, we spent most of the evening at Haze nightclub. We started out with a round of expensive drinks and danced to some great tunes before we made our way back upstairs to the bar and pulled out the bachelorette dare deck!!! Kara was dealing out the cards as fast as we were completing the tasks, I think we even made it through the deck twice! Ha! We made it home but not without a shuffling little penguin and the sun already shining :)

Two hours later we were awake and looking through pictures and sipping smoothies. We lounged around until 11 and then changed into our matching tanks (very cute girls), pulled our hair back, and put on another layer of make-up and headed downstairs to meet yet another limo. We drove around for two hours sipping mimosas (well most of us)  and stopped to take pictures at the Vegas sign and wandered around Fremont street before we had to take a detour to our resort to drop one of our little penguins off and then headed to Ceaser's Palace. Once inside we walked in circles until we found our way to Qua Spa. For only $45 we were treated to 3 hours of perfect relaxation! We soaked in different temps of roman baths and were in and out of an herbal steam room and an Arctic ice room where it snowed. We relaxed in the tea room where we sipped a delicious peach white tea and snacked on pretzels before taking a quick little nap on some heated chairs. We then took a taxi back to the room and relaxed before heading out to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville for dinner and drinks. After what seemed like 5 trips up and down the stairs we found a table and ordered a plate of nachos to share and Kristen and I shared a portabello mushroom burger. MMMmmm.....delicious!! After enjoying a live band and almost shivering to death, we ventured outside and walked up and down the streets taking random pictures and meeting random people. A few people must have mistaken us for celebrities as they wanted their pictures taken with us! Ha! Just kidding. We ended the night just sitting and met some very interesting people. One which was supposedly a masseuse and my girls talked him into giving me a massage and lucky for me, I ran away right before he started throwing up!!!! YYUUUCK! His friends were quite disappointed when we asked them all to leave us alone. Oh man....that was pretty much the end of our night and we headed home and sadly packed our bags. Shy got a 30 min nap before she had to catch her shuttle back to the airport and the rest of us left at 6:30. We were EXHAUSTED and as much fun as we had, we couldn't wait to get home to our beds!

I just want to take a moment to say, "Thank You!!!" My friends from P'wood had an amazing weekend planned but I wouldn't have expected anything less because they are the BEST! Shyla, Kara, Krissy, and truly made my bachelorette party! It will be a memory that lasts forever and we'll all laugh about the image of twirling boxers overhead, the moon, losing someone, paper bags in limos, and the many other extravaganzas. Ha! We had so much fun and they are the sweetest, most caring, and loving girlfriends you could ever ask for. Thanks again girls! I <3 You all!

Anyways, after 3 days in Vegas....who wouldn't need a detox?!?! Kristen & I decided we'd spend the next three weeks following our own detox programs. I'm doing Kathy Freston's 'Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21-day Essential Guide to Healing Your Body, Mind, and Spirit.' The main nutritional part is to refrain from eating the "Big Five." This includes caffeine, alcohol, gluten, animal products, and sugar. At first glance, there may seem like there's nothing left to eat but there are still PLENTY of options!! What you include in your diet is as important as what you exclude. Life can still be fully enjoyed! I'm not going to lie, thinking about a day without chocolate made me a little sad but I'm sure I will feel so much better without relying on sweets & caffeine each day. Who knows, maybe it is the gluten that has been giving me these rotten tummy aches lately?!? I'm going to document how I'm feeling, my challenges, and what I eat for each meal. I'm doing this partly to get back on a healthy track after much slacking with the stress of finals, celebrations of graduation, birthdays, and weddings and partly to get into a little better shape for my big day! Can you believe it's only 37 days away?!?! This coming Sunday, Dane & I will have been together for 8 years and our 2 year engagement has now dwindled down to 37 days?!?! Time sure flies when you're busy and having fun! :)

I was absolutely exhausted this morning and slept in until 9:30 am. I woke up and thought about what I could eat that didn't have gluten, sugar, animal products, caffeine or alcohol (Just kidding) in it. I did have some oats but was feeling a little lazy so I relaxed a bit more before heading into town around 11:30 for a meeting. Afterwards I did a quick trip to the grocery store where I mainly bought produce. I am going to have to make a meal plan for the next few days before I can get the rest. I had a banana on the way home around 1:30 pm and then made myself a big salad.

LUNCH: 2:30 pm
  • 3 cups of green leaf lettuce
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 pear
  • 1.5 T vinaigrette
  • 4 corn chips
EXERCISE: 4 mile bike with dogs

DINNER: Smoothie
  • 2 bananas ~200 cal
  • 1/2 c frozen fruit ~50 cal
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1/2 c Acai juice
  • 1/2 scoop non-dairy protein powder + 1/2 scoop ground flax
  • 66 g of popcorn kernels (air popped) ~240 cal
  • 1/2 Tbsp Earth Balance (Vegan butter) ~40 cal
  • sprinkle of sea salt
To bed around 11:30-12

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

I got this recipe from Food Network courtesy of Emerille "Bam" Lagasse

  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion (I used 1/2 a medium onion since Dane isn't a big onion fan)
  • 1 c. chopped red bell peppers (I used one red and one orange bell pepper)
  • 2 T minced garlic (I used about 4 cloves)
  • 2-3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced(I used 1 serrano and 1 hot red pepper)
  • 1 medium zucchini, ends cut off and chopped
  • 2 c. fresh corn kernals ( I used frozen)
  • 1 1/2 lbs portabello mushrooms - I left out because Dane doesn't like mushrooms :(
  • 2 T chili powder (I 1.5 T spicy version plus a little of Emeril's Southwest Essence)
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt (I left this out and it's perfect but I'm not a big salt person)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (left out because I used a spicy chili powder)
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped (I left the peels on)
  • 3 c. cooked black beans ( Used 1 can black beans and 1 can kidney beans)
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 c vegetable stock or water (I used 1.5 c. of veggie stock because I added extra beans and wheat berries)
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooked brown rice (I cooked 1/2 c of wheat berries to add to chili)
  • Sr cream or strained plain yogurt (garnish)
  • Avocado (garnish)
  • Chopped green onions (garnish)
  • Sprinkle of crushed tortilla chips (garnish)

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro (I just used it as a garnish because Dane isn't the biggest fan of cilantro) . Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl (I had already added the wheat berries right into the chili). Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream,spoonful of avocado, green onions, crushed tortilla chips and serve.

I loved this because it was filling and had lots of kick to it, not to mention all of the yummy veggies!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


 It's a chilly, rainy night and I just cozied up on the couch with Lola, a fluffy blanket and a small glass of Pinot. While driving home tonight, "Dust on the Bottle" came on and boy, did the memories come flooding back. Almost instantly, I was taken back to driving the country roads in our junker high school cars (yeah, that white 1992 Ford Escort hatchback with pink and teal stripes is still sitting in my driveway-Ha!!) , windows rolled down, volume blasted, singing at the top of our lungs, sippin' Boone's Farm, thinking there was no one "cooler" than me and my friends (and we were pretty cool by the way, well or so we thought). We had so much fun and our biggest worries involved boys (Wow! It's funny looking back on all the couples, some very interesting relationships happened--don't worry, we won't mention any names), silly drama, and what we were going to do that weekend. Life was good and I have four scrapbooked photo albums, random journal entries and the embarassing and sometimes sappy yearbook scribblings to prove it. Yes, Shyla...I just broke out the photo albums and why did you ever let me wear jean overalls or a bandana on my head?!? Ha! Ha!

 We were good kids, got good grades, involved in sports, (well not all of them....I remember a time or two where we drove by the long distance track team flaunting our DQ blizzards or how we practiced for softball by roadtripping before our games and then made the older boys come watch us), members of honor society and ran student council (don't worry Shy, Sara & I had your back since being the Vice President was SO hard-Ha!) but we sure knew how to have fun. Shy, do you also remember that pre-game roadtrip where you left Rice walking in the rain before we FINALLY talked you into finally going and picking him up!! Ha! We were one heck of a volleyball team and had many great trips on the ol' bus.  Once we even thought our parents wouldn't notice when we decided after a late arrival from an away game to stay out with a few boys but before you know it, the sun was coming up and Shyla's parent's were calling her cell phone. We thought our life was over and we would be grounded FOREVER!!! Well, we were probably out and about that next weekend playing foosball, cruisin', or kickin' it at Kislers. Or Krissy, remember that homecoming party where I got my future husband's baby sister in trouble when she was just a little frosh OR the time you, Shy, and I got stuck up on the roof of my garage?!?! :) Hmmm, how about them ramen noodles or never ending card games?? MOOSE!! Wow!

When I get to the last photo album...Dane starts popping up in the pictures A LOT. I can't believe I was a junior in high school when we started dating.Thanks Shyla!!! She set us up, planned where we'd hide my car, and from then on, we were all pretty much inseparable. The best part, he officially asked me out behind Car-Quest when dropping me off at my car on May 23, 2002. 8 years next month...I guess time sure flies when you're having fun. Aww, just flipped through a page of cute little notes and dried roses. I still remember that summer evening when I came home and found a big vase of flowers on my kitchen counter with a card wishing me happy anniversary and it had been only 3 months!!! I was smitten and I called Kara, right after she dropped me off to squeal about it. Another funny memory involved a  lots of bubbles and a jacuzzi tub....well I thought since that tub was 3 x's the size of mine, it would need 3x's the amount of bubble bath. That worked out GREAT! Well there were ups and downs, drama, and lots of memories...but we made it through it all and are an even better couple today. In fact, I will be marrying him in less than two months and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him....laughing, traveling, exploring, cuddling, and all that good stuff. This summer brings lots of new things and we'll be starting a new chapter in our crazy book of life & love. Together, as husband and wife we'll be moving away from MT and starting our own little life together. Bitter-sweet. We'll be leaving behind our close family and friends but making new ones and starting our own family (not for a few years, don't get too excited Mom and Krissy - Ha!). However, we can never replace the bonds with our close friends no matter the miles between us.

I have known every single one of my bridesmaids since we were little tikes and we are still close. I am one lucky girl to have such an amazing group of girls standing for me on my special day and I couldn't be more honored. Each one of them offers something special and as much as they are unique they share the same great qualities: loving, compassionate, caring, loyal, fun, and amazing friends. Thanks girls! Some of the best times of my life were spent with you and I know there will be many more memories to come. I love you!!

Friday, April 16, 2010


I just want to take a few minutes to write how I'm feeling today. I've been dealing with something difficult that life threw my way. Something that left me hurt, confused, and heartbroken. At first I was confused, what in the world was I supposed to learn from this?!? But the time has come to let it go. As much as it seemed like this would be a relief to do, it scared me. I felt that if I put it behind me it was saying that what happened was ok. That I was excusing it. My day yesterday was full of mixed emotions but this morning, I woke up feeling lighter. I woke up ready to forgive, to move forward. I was ready to leave the past behind. I was ready to forgive, for me and nobody else. I still don't think what happened was ok but holding that resentment in  my heart and all the negative emotions that went with it was holding me back and in a sense, changing who I was. I didn't like where it was going. As I drove into work at 7 this morning,  I looked out my window and saw the blue skies and beautiful Bozeman mountains. One of my favorite songs came on and I started singins:  (Train - Words)

♪ Like stones in your pocket people try to wear you down
Someone always wants to take the love you found
So lets run with these changes and I want you by my side
And there's not a word that I ever heard
That could make me change my mind

Words they'll try to shake you
Don't let them break you or stop your world from turning
When words keep you from feeling good
Use them as firewood and let them burn

Underneath every word somebody's heart's been broken
With or without words we try to forget ♪

 For the first time in awhile a weight lifted off of me and I knew I could move forward. I can't be scared of tomorrow for what happened yesterday. Holding resentment or anger in my heart hurts nobody but myself. That's not the stuff that life's about. If I worry too much about protecting myself, I could miss out on so much. I can't change the past, I can't waste time worrying about the future, all I can do is learn from yesterday and live today! Enjoy each day and all that it brings! Yes, there are still going to be challenges. Yes, somedays I might get upset but I will handle it and accept it when it happens and not waste time worrying about them. I'm moving forward and I'm not looking back. Life's too sweet, the moments are too precious....I won't waste them. Brick by brick, I am rebuilding myself into a more positive, fearless, and free woman. Today was an exciting day! o) So enjoy your day, hug a little longer, let your lips linger, smile a little more, laugh a little louder, give more compliments than criticisms, don't waste time talking about others, put in a little more effort, give a little more, resist a little less, see that glass half full or gosh dang it, fill it up if it needs it! :o) That's it, just had to share...I'm feeling pretty darn good and am off to making homemade pizza and sipping a glass of vino with my lovah!!

Positive vibes....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I woke up when Dane was getting ready for work and he told me it was snowing out. I immediately threw the covers over my head and went back to sleep for an hour in my cozy, warm blankets. When I woke up, I listened to a message from my Dad telling me to just stay inside and avoide driving today if I could because he heard we were getting a heck of a snowstorm. My first thought, "Hmm, I guess I have to miss classes this afternoon."  I wouldn't want to worry my Dad. :o) I stayed in my Pj's, made a big cup of Green yerba mate tea and a big boal of cinnamon and vanilla oats topped with fresh bananas, strawberries, and a drizzle of agave nectar. I then curled up in a fuzzy blanket on the couch and finished reading my Eckhart Tolle book.  The rest of the afternoon was spent bouncing back and forth between journaling, browsing for wedding ideas, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, and cutting down the size of my hotmail inbox (I had let it accumulate to 31 pages?!?!?!). For lunch, I made a big red leaf lettuce salad with cucumbers, orange and red bell peppers, a few tortilla chips and some of my favorite Litehouse Salsa Ranch. I got dressed and ready for work at Spring Meadows, which is an assisted living home. Right before leaving, I peeled a leftover Easter egg and warmed it up with a little butter and pepper and served it on a yummy 9 grain toast and headed for the door. While driving to work I called up my Grandpa to wish him a happy 83rd birthday! It was good catching up. We hadn't talked in awhile so I even had to cut him off a few minutes after I got to work even though I could've chatted for hours. My grandparents played a pretty special role in my life and even though I don't get to visit or talk to them that often they are always on my mind and in my heart. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy my job most days. Today was one of those days, I took my time and was able to get a little chatting in with all of my favorite residents. For dinner, I had a bowl of tomato florentine soup with pasta shells in it. It was actually pretty darn good and filled me up. On my way home I caught up with my good pal Shyla, man have we had some great times together. She's one of my besties and I love her to pieces! Then when I got home Dane handed over the phone so I could spend the next 30 minutes chatting with Grandma Loretta, one of the sweetest ladies I know. If you ever need an ego boost, just talk to her. She has nothing but the nicest things to say about everyone. My favorite of the evening, "I told Dane he is marrying the best girl in the whole world and I'm so proud of him that he picked you." Awww, she's just too cute! Anyways, I finally finished up my journaling so I wanted to post my last few chapters and recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a more positive outlook on life. Peace, love, and positive vibes...


Yes, happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive. I’m not going to feel happy when it seems as though everything is crashing down around me but inner peace does not depend on positive conditions. Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. I have always believed in this and it has helped me in many circumstances but sometimes the things happening seem so extreme that I can’t understand how I could possibly learn anything or maybe the lesson could have been just a little more subtle. However even a brief illness or accident can show us what is real and unreal in life, what ultimately matters and what doesn’t. Tolle explains that from a higher perspective, conditions are neither positive or negative , they simply are as they are. But how can some things not be seen as negative? I have to accept everything, pretend it is all ok? Tolle states that we don’t have to pretend anything; we’re just allowing it to be as it is. It’s an essential aspect of forgiveness. If we forgive at that moment, then there will be no accumulation of resentment to forgive at some later time. Some people need to experience q great deal of suffering before they will relinquish resistance and forgive. He also suggests that we each have an ego that perceives itself as a separate fragment in a hostile universe. The basic ego patterns are designed to combat its own deep-seated fear and sense of lack. These patterns are resistance, control, power, greed, defense, and attack. I think we have all experienced drama caused by egos coming together and creating drama in the form of conflict, problems, power struggles, emotional or physical violence and so on. This includes the collective evils such as war, genocide, and exploitation which I cannot even begin to elaborate on because they make my stomach turn. It’s sad. In addition, we can create our own drama for ourselves such as when we feel guilty, anxious, or sorry for our self. This is all self-created drama. When we live in complete acceptance of what is, the drama ends. You don’t have to just let people walk all over you though. You can still make your point clearly and firmly, but there will be not reactive force behind it, no defense or attack.

When I think about everything in the past that has upset or hurt me, sooner or later it ends or it changes. Even the same condition that made me happy at one time has made me unhappy down the road and vice versa. All that arises passes away. Offer no resistance to what is, allow the present moment to be and accept the impermanent nature of all things and conditions. All negativity is resistance. Negativity can range from irritation or impatience to fierce anger, from a depressed mood or sullen resentment to suicidal despair. Think about it. Why do we create these emotions? Tolle explains that the ego believes that through negativity it can manipulate reality and get what it wants. I know this sounds a little out there but if you do not believe this, why would you create this? Another interesting point Tolle brings up about negativity is that once we have identified with some form of negativity, on a deeply unconscious level; we do not want positive change. It would threaten our identity as depressed, angry, or hard-done-by person. He states that this is a common phenomenon and that it is also insane. It sure sounds that way on paper but I believe that I know people like that and sometimes it’s easier being the victim than facing the truth. But what do I do when someone says something to designed to hurt me? Tolle suggests that instead of reacting with negativity such as attack, defense, or withdrawal, you let it pass right through you. Offer no resistance. You can still tell that person that his or her behavior is unacceptable, if you choose. But that person no longer has the power to control your inner state. Remember, true change happens within, not without. It will take a little work but in the end it will be worth it. Be sure to not carry any resistance within, no hatred, and no negativity. Jesus said, “Love your enemies.”
Hmm, the word surrender didn’t really go over well with me. I’m not usually one to just sit back and put up with things that I don’t agree with whether it be with policy, relationships, or negative activity such as people being hurtful to others. According to Tolle, true surrender does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action. Surrender is simply yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. It is a purely inner phenomenon and does not mean that on the outer level you cannot take action and change the situation. When it comes time to say “no” to a person or a situation, let it come not from reaction but from insight, from a clear realization of what is right or not right for you at that moment. It must be a non-reactive “no,” a “no” that is free of all negativity. You do all that you can and this is positive action and it is far more effective than negative action, which arises out of anger, despair, or frustration. In this state of surrender, you see very clearly what needs to be done, and you take action, doing one thing at a time and focusing on one thing at a time. Focus not on the hundred things you can do in the future but the one thing that you can do NOW. This is something I could definitely learn from. Usually I am emotionally affected by activities and can react based on the emotions that arise. The times that I do take a deep breath and a calmer approach, are always the times that have the best outcome for everyone involved. If I can never accept what is, I guess by implication that means that I will not be able to accept anybody the way they are. Judgment, criticizing, labeling, rejecting, and attempting to change people will all still be happening, even if it is unconsciously. Sometimes “bad” things happen to people, such as in a case of severe illness. Tolle advises to not feel that you have failed in some way, do not feel guilty. Do not blame life for treating your unfairly, but most importantly, do not blame yourself. Many people turn to pseudo escapes such as work, alcohol, drugs, anger, projection, suppression, and so on but they don’t free them from the pain. When you deny emotional pain, everything you do or think becomes contaminated with it. Remember, when there is no way out, there is still always a way through. Don’t create a victim identity for yourself because feeling sorry for yourself and telling others your story will keep you stuck in the suffering.

Do you ever wonder how some people can stay in an abusive relationship? Tolle’s explanation is that the mind, conditioned as it is by the past, always seeks to re-create what it knows and is familiar with. Even if it’s painful, at least it is familiar. The mind always adheres to the known. I was never in an abusive relationship but sometimes I wonder why I would knowingly enter into a relationship with someone who struggles with the same issues that I dealt with in my childhood. Why would I set myself up for this? Was I naïve and hoped I could be strong enough to change that negativity in them, that they would “love” me enough to give up those other things, that time will change people…??? I’m still not sure but this sure makes a lot of sense. I am not learning to accept these actions and just let them continue to happen but I can accept where we are, the decisions we made up to this point and I can take positive action. I can forgive. I can realize that nothing I ever did or that was ever done tome could touch even the slightest the radiant essence of who I am.

There is the expression “the way of the cross.” This means that the worst thing in your life, your cross, turns into the best thing that ever happened to you, by forcing you into surrender, to become as God. I have seen this played through in so many of life’s different circumstances. Why is it that sometimes it takes something so dramatic, so life changing to “wake us up?” To show us what’s really important in life. To allow us to see how trivial the negative emotions we were holding onto really are, to allow us to see that they serve no purpose whatsoever in our lives.


Again, I'm killing two birds with one stone (I just realized I do not like that saying but can't think of another one - any suggestions that don't involve killing? Ha!). I'm working on my journal for my health and healing class and am loving this Echkhart Tolle book. Some of it is a little out there but most of it has a great underlying meaning. I wish we could all forget the grudges, the resentment, the regrets, and let go of all of the negative feelings that they cause. It's amazing the havoc the mind can cause when given the proper ammunition. We are told the past is the best prediction of the future. This can be true but it can also cause a hell of a lot of problems when it comes to relationships, heck with anything in life. Whether it is your partner's past or your parents', uncle's, sister's, or grandparents...holding onto these "ideas" can lead to a lot of wreckless feelings and expectations. Everyone says argueing is normal but I believe it can be done in a constructive and positive manner which then wouldn't necessarily be called arguing. This is something I will be the first to admit that I am still currently working on. I can blame, accuse, and criticize among the best of them but it is something that I am aware of and am currently working on but I am taking control. I'm not going to make up excuses anymore. We are given one life to live and there is simply no time for all of the negativity. I am no longer a victim. Anything negative that has happened to me has already happened. There's no use holding onto it. I'm not saying to get rid of the memories, man do I have some AMAZING memories (sighs a happy sigh, smiles, and even lets out a little giggle)! I love my amazingly chaotic life, my unpredictable family, my annoyingly lovable animals, my crazy-funny (so he thinks) fiance', and my perfectly unique group of friends. Sometimes these people have caused me heart-ache but I am learning to accept what is. We are all human, we make mistakes, we get put in bad situations, we are all players in this crazy game called life. What's important is how I react to whatever is thrown my way. I don't have to like everything but I can change what I don't like or accept what I can't change. I can be compassionate, understanding, and forgiving and I can enjoy this life that I'm living before I'm 90 rocking in my creaky, ol' rocking chair wondering where my life went :o) Enjoy...



Many people seek physical pleasures because they feel that these things will make them happy or free them from a negative feeling. We run around saying, “When I obtain this or am free of that-then I will be ok.” However, true salvation is fulfillment, peace, life in all its fullness. It is being who you are, to feel the good within you, the joy of being that depends on nothing outside of itself. It is a state of freedom –from fear, from suffering, from compulsive thinking, from negativity, and above all from past and future as a psychological need. Our minds tell us that we need to find, sort out, do, achieve, acquire, become, or understand something before we can be free or complete. We think that we can’t get there from where and who we are at this moment because we are not yet complete, not good enough, or not yet that person that we want to be. I know this has run through my head and held me back many times. However, the truth is that here and now it the only point from where you can get there. All we have is this moment, the Now.

When it comes to relationships, we all know the highs and lows, the passion, the excitement, the sadness, the laughter, the cries, the yearning, the confusion, the lust, and all of the other emotions that run deep while exploring life with your partner. Yes, love can be powerful, suddenly life becomes meaningful because someone needs you, wants you, and makes you feel special, and you do the same for him or her. When you are together, you feel whole. Tolle points out that many relationships may seem perfect for awhile, such as when we are “in love,” but this apparent perfection gets disrupted as arguments, conflicts, dissatisfaction, and emotional or even physical violence occur more frequently. Many “love relationships” become love/hate relationships that give us as much pleasure as they do pain. Most of us have personally experienced these types of relationships and maybe even thought it was “normal.” Sometimes it seems that if I could only eliminate the negative or destructive cycles then all would be well and the relationship would be perfect from here on out. The negatives in a relationship are easier to point out and more recognizable in our partners than in us. These negatives can manifest in many forms: possessiveness, jealous, anger, control, withdrawal and unspoken resentment, the need to be right, insensitivity and self-absorption, emotional demands and manipulation, the urge to argue, criticize, judge, blame, or attack. Some of these things can be overlooked because of “love.” Some will compromise and continue to be together in a dysfunctional relationship in which negativity prevails, for the sake of the children, security, through force of habit, for fear of being alone, or some other mutually “beneficial” arrangement. Tolle suggests that if in your relationship, you experience both “love” and the opposite of love-attack, emotional violence, and so on-then it is likely that you are confusing ego attachment and addictive clinging with love. He says you cannot love your partner one moment and attack him/her the next, that true love has no opposite. But nonetheless, there comes a point in all relationships that your partner behaves in ways that fail to meet your needs. What do you do? Sometimes painful emotions surface and with each time this happens, these painful feelings can reappear even stronger than before. Sometimes we can even perceive our partner as the cause of these feelings. Relationships do not cause pain and unhappiness but they can bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already inside of us. So we need to look inside ourselves and see where this pain is stemming from. Are you holding on to something from your past? Did someone in the past hurt you, lie to you, or deceive you? “Yes.” Does this have anything to do with this moment in time? “No.” It is the belief that other people and what they did to you are responsible for who you are now, for your emotional pain or your inability to be your true self. But it is YOU that is responsible for your inner space now-nobody else is- and the past cannot prevail against the power of the Now.

I have seen many failed relationships and see many examples of what I don’t want my relationship to end up like but why does that make it ok to focus on the negatives? It doesn’t. For love to flourish, the light of my own presence needs to be strong enough so that I no longer get taken over by the thinker inside of me. Underneath the pain is freedom, salvation, and enlightenment. The moment we let go of the judgment and accept what is, we have made room for love, for joy, for peace. First we must stop judging ourselves, and then we stop judging others, including our partners. Love is the state of Being. Love is not outside; it is deep inside of us. The next time a disagreement happens, I will try to remain present. I will create space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter. I will try not to blame, accuse, or prove others wrong. By being “the knowing” and being present rather than being “the reaction” and the judge, we can create a clear space of loving presence that allows all things and all people to be as they are. It’s best to express my thoughts and feelings as soon as they occur, so as not to create a “time gap” in which an unexpressed emotion can fester and grow. Habits are hard to break but learn to give expression without blaming and listen in an open and nondefensive way. Give your partner space for expressing him- or herself. Be present. Give your complete attention. This way, a permanent energy field of pure and high frequency will arise inside of you. No illusion, no pain, no conflict, nothing that is not you, and nothing that is not love can survive in it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Busy, busy procrastination

So I decided that my journal entries for my Health & Healing class could suffice as blog entries. There are little bits of my thoughts mixed with some great ideas from Eckhart Tolle's book "The Power of Now." I highly recommend the book to anyone looking to change their thinking patterns or just wanting a new outlook on life. :o) Hope you're enjoying your weekend! I am enjoying a lazy Sunday in my  Pj's curled up on the couch journaling for class. I slept in and I woke me up to Daner bringing me toast, OJ, and scrambled eggs with yellow peppers and spinach! Oh and of course two big, black dogs snorting in my face at the side of the bed! A perfect way to start the day!

But I still have to pay the bills tomorrow, and I am still going to have to balance work and school, and I am still going to grow old and face illnesses/diseases/tragedies just like everybody else. So how can I ever say that I am free of time? Tolle explains that tomorrow’s bills are not the problem. The loss of Now is the problem, the core delusion that turns a mere situation, event, or emotion into a personal problem and into suffering. When there’s this constant “background static,” it feeds the unease, discontent, boredom, or nervousness. Many people use alcohol, drugs, sex, food, work, television, or even shopping as an anesthetic in an unconscious attempt to remove the basic unease. Maybe I am being taken advantage of or, maybe the activity I’m engaged in is tedious, maybe someone close to me is dishonest, irritating, or unconscious, but all this is irrelevant. Whether my thoughts or emotions about this situation are justified or not makes no difference. The Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving.

How do you deal with life’s challenges when they come? Me, I talk about (ok, ok…vent) my emotions to my fiancé, my family, and/or my close friends or I eat chocolate, lots of dark, yummy chocolate. :o) I also like going to the gym or a good hike when it's nice out. Sometimes I even think about how my life could be different under certain circumstances. But this is resisting what is, making the present moment into an enemy. When these emotions arise, I can either stop doing what I am doing, speak to the person concerned and express fully what I feel, or drop the negativity that my mind has created around the situation that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever except to strengthen a false sense of self. Negativity is never the optimum way of dealing with any situation. In fact, it will most likely keep me stuck in it, blocking real change. Furthermore, any negative inner energy is contagious; it can trigger and feed concealed negativity in others. Tolle asks, “Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess?” I am responsible for my inner space; nobody else is, just as I am responsible for the planet. I don’t purposefully throw trash around polluting our earth. Why should I throw my negativity around, affecting others’ energy? So what do I do to change this? He explains that once a mind pattern, an emotion, or reaction is there, you must accept it. When I accept resentment, moodiness, anger, and so on, I am no longer “forced” to act them out blindly and project them onto others. True acceptance would transform these feelings at once. However, you can’t trick yourself, if you don’t really believe that everything is okay, the old mental-emotional patterns of resistance are still in place. To complain is non-acceptance of what is. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. Accept the consequences and drop the negativity. This can be tough because it feels like I don’t have any control over some situations yet if I just remove myself or accept it. However, I do have control. I can control how I respond to every situation I am put into. Surrender is not weakness; there is a great strength in it because it can set you free.


Wow! A few weeks in and I realized that even though there’s so much great info in this book that I want to share, I cannot keep up with writing these long journal entries for each chapter. Everything about this book makes sense but since it’s not yet a habit I have to be continually conscious otherwise my mind immediately wanders to other things. I think this is one of those books that I will keep going back to throughout my life. Everything sounds great but when it comes to doing it, that’s the tough part, well for me anyways. Presence is needed to become aware of the beauty. Tolle states that, “Mind can neither recognize nor create beauty.” That many people are so imprisoned in their minds that the beauty of nature does not really exist for them. The time that I feel the most aware, the most connected to my soul is in nature. When I’m hiking by myself, I’m the most aware. I notice the vibrant green of the moss on the rocks, the different colors and smells of the flowers, the sounds around me, my mind is free. This makes me long for summer! My worries from the day melt away and life seems simple and sweet even if just for a moment. I do wish I could look at everything that way but emotions are a hard thing to shake. The book says it is ok to acknowledge these emotions but to feel them in complete presence and to not let them take control. I have reacted in the same ways when I’m presented with something that causes anger, sadness, disappointment, and fear. This is a tough habit to break but life would be so much sweeter if I could just acknowledge and accept these emotions and move on. Sometimes they can get hold of me for days. This is something I would like to change and will work on.


“Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on the other life forms on the planet. You don’t need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity. That is unconsciousness.” This statement hit home for me. If we weren’t so focused on the regrets and grudges of the past, there wouldn’t be so much hostility. If weren’t so worried about the successes/plans of the future, we wouldn’t forget to stop and enjoy the beauty in “today.” We wouldn’t be scared of tomorrow because of what happened yesterday. We wouldn’t focus on the future for things to get better if knew we only had today to make a change. To just be and to enjoy the moment is the true beauty of life, to not be controlled by all of the “mind stuff.” The more consciousness we direct into the inner body, the higher its vibrational frequency becomes. At this higher energy level, negativity cannot affect us anymore, and we tend to attract new circumstances that reflect this higher frequency. We won’t lose ourselves in the external world, and we won’t lose ourselves in our mind. Thoughts and emotions, fears and desires, may still be there to some extent, but they won’t take us over. It’s easy to think about how we’ll react next time we are faced with something that causes these emotions but we learned the script in our heads a long time ago. The conditioning of our minds will dictate our thinking and behavior. This is especially true when something “goes wrong.” The conditioned response will then be involuntary, automatic, and predictable. So Tolle suggests that when such challenges come, as they always do, make it a habit to go within at once and focus on the inner energy field of the body. This has to be done right away though, because with any delay, all those conditioned mental-emotional reactions will arise and take over. Easier said than done, but I believe it would be a tremendous improvement if I could work on this one thing. Sometimes those emotions feel so strong, so threatening…I can’t help but react. It’s almost as to protect myself, but is that really what I am doing? Letting those emotions take over usually causes more damage than good. It is still ok to observe the emotion, feel it fully and acknowledge and accept it as it is. Actually, I feel it is important to understand what emotion is surging through me but to not let it have control is even more important. If we do let them have that control, these emotions can survive in us for day or even weeks, months, or years. Just like a parasite that can live inside us, feed on our energy, lead to physical illness, and make our lives miserable, so can some emotions. If these emotions such as blame, self-pity, or resentment are living inside us, that means we haven’t forgiven. This non-forgiveness could be towards our self or others. Forgiveness is to let go of these grievance emotions that cause no purpose except to strengthen a false sense of self. Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life-to allow life to live through us. The alternatives are pain and suffering. The moment we truly forgive, is the moment we have reclaimed our power from the mind. The mind cannot forgive. Only we can. Jesus said, “Before you enter the temple, forgive.” Right now, in this moment, look inside. Are there any lingering feelings of resentment, blame, or self-pity? Let go of these. Forgive.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Easter was such an amazing day. The sky was blue, the sun was shining. While I was getting ready for church, Dane made us waffles for breakfast! He does the maple syrup thing while I topped mine with peanut butter, a banana, and a drizzle of maple syrup...Delicious! We went to the 11:00 service at Journey Church and it was inspiring as usual. They have such an amazing band and the music just touches your soul. They had an artist on stage painting a beautiful picture while the pastor was talking about what Easter really means. After church, Dane & I stopped at the Co-Op for a coffee and then met Sissel (almost 6), Siri (4), and their Nana at SpringMeadows. It is an assisted living home where I work part-time. The girls are so kind and caring and wanted to deliver chocolate eggs to the residents on Easter. They were adorable and even scored an opera cd from Gloria who used to perform in New York City! Afterwards, we hurried home for the Lakers game and I did some food prep. At 3:30 I went to pick up the girls and we spent the afternoon dying glitter easter eggs, having dinner, frozen yogurt sundaes, and then spent the last 30 min at the park with their pup, Buoy. It was such a fun day since we didn't have any family around to celebrate with. After dropping the girls off, it was time for "grown-up" food :o)

Dane had a marinated ribeye steak accompanied with shrimp, asparagus, and red peppers sauteed with garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, and a little pepper. I made an orzo pasta salad, veggie tray, and garlic mashed potatoes. Then we topped it all off with a homemade strawberry pie topped with whipped cream! OMG, we were stuffed!

Neely's Strawberry Pie from

I followed this recipe except I have used Martha Stewart's pate brisee pie crust recipe and I love it. It is a yummy, buttery, flaky crust that it pretty easy to make. ( )

The orzo pasta salad was a perfect spring salad. I substituted the chick peas with mozzarella chunks and used vegetable broth instead of chicken. ( )

Ok, I must get back to my paper so that I can get it finished. Working on a 12 pg research paper on the alternative therapies for cancer treatment and a paper/presentation on the Effects of soy on infants/children. Back to work!