Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's not a mistake, it's a course correction!

I used to be very afraid of making the "wrong" choice. "What if I don't do something and I miss out? What if I'm 'supposed' to be somewhere and I miss an opportunity? What if I hate what I pick?," my mind would scream. My what ifs went on and on and on. I was so disempowered by all of these what ifs and the questions I kept coming up with that it was very hard to identify and trust my intuition. If I felt like I was leaning towards one choice by checking in with myself, I would immediately negate it by all of the questions. I didn't see the bigger picture: that any and every choice is "right," and opportunities can't be missed because that's not how God or the Universe works. You don't make a "wrong" choice, miss an opportunity, and then God says "Well, that's it- you had your chance. Nevermind!!" Life doesn't work that way. And thank God for that! Pun intended. I forgot that there are no mistakes, only opportunities for the Universe to guide us in a new direction, and that if we veer off course, that's all that will happen. My amazing life coach calls it "course correction."

But before I realized all of these things, I was in the midst of making a pretty big choice about where to attend school for my master's in nutrition. A very prestigious (and expensive) school in Seattle had been in my mind for some time, mostly because it was touted as the Harvard of natural medicine, and that definitely interested me. (I have a BFA in musical theatre, aka a pointless degree to most of the world, so it excited me that I would have such a great credential). I also liked the emphasis on whole foods nutrition as opposed to the food pyramid crap. But, from day one of finding out about the school, there was this doubt in my mind about it being right for me, almost like a heaviness that I felt about it. I didn't really know what that feeling was about exactly, but even though I knew it wasn't a feeling of "yes, this is right for me!" I chose to try and ignore it; after months of deliberating and probably boring my life coach and anyone else who would listen to tears with my confusion of where to go, I chose to go to the school and move to Seattle. So, on September 15th, I packed up my apartment and moved 20 hours up the West coast, despite a total breakdown the previous night about leaving. But at that point, in the eleventh hour, I couldn't distinguish between intuition and fear- so to get myself out the door, I told myself that I didn't need to stay if I didn't like it. Which is exactly what ended up happening. The moment I stepped into the school to attend orientation, I knew it wasn't for me. It sounds dramatic, but there was just this pit in my stomach, not from nerves, but from a feeling (my inner knowing) that was just screaming, "this isn't right for you!!!!"You know how you just get a good feeling about something, and other things not so much? Well, that is exactly what happened. But I told myself, "Erinn, you chose this, and you need to stick with it. It will get better."

So, I basically checked out for the next three and a half weeks because that was the only way I could stay in the program, knowing so clearly that it wasn't right for me. This period felt very inauthentic to me. I studied all of the time because I had to keep my mind busy and not focused on the fact that I didn't feel right about what I was doing. I had a beer or two (at least it was gluten free, ha) almost every night to not think so much, and I just felt like I was in a fog. I didn't feel like myself and I didn't feel present or grounded. Not only that, but I also discovered that the program wasn't as great as it was displayed as being. The teachers weren't great and the curriculum left a lot to be desired. I found that I already knew a ton of information and already had so many skills that I hadn't given myself credit for; I didn't need this specific so called amazing program in order to become a great nutritionist and counselor.

I made the choice, with the support of my counselor and some friends to leave the school. You think this would have been easy knowing what I now knew, but I kept saying "who leaves a prestigious master's program?" and "what will people think?" Ugh! I was forcing myself to stay in a situation that wasn't right for me just because I was afraid that others would judge me. What was that??? I also grew up with the mentality that you don't just quit things; you finish what you started and push through simply because you started! Well, I decided it was time to throw all of these things out of the window because life is too short to be miserable because of silly fears, judgements and beliefs. I was so clear in my choice that after I reminded myself that it didn't matter what others thought, and that it was completely in my power to leave, that's exactly what I did. I left and came back home to California. And I'm so incredibly happy about my choice. I'm so incredibly happy that all of this happened, actually, because I learned so much from this experience and have grown on the learning line in so many ways.

Some might call this a mistake, but this was not a "mistake" at all, but simply a long, slightly inconvenient course correction. I veered in a direction that wasn't serving me, and I was re-directed. And in the process I learned incredible lessons that I wouldn't have learned if I had chosen to stay right from the beginning. I learned very clearly how my intuition speaks to me, I learned (in an experiential way) that it truly doesn't matter what anyone else thinks if me when I am clear about something, I learned to trust myself deeply, I learned that I have the strength to pick up and move somewhere even if I don't stay there, I learned that if I make what some might call a "mistake," that it's ok- I just choose a different path, and I learned that I have so much more knowledge and skills than I thought! Above all, I gained a sense of freedom that I didn't have before making the move and then choosing to leave and move back; a sense of freedom in making choices that I feel safe to do so now- I don't feel so paralyzed when faced with a decision. Sometimes you just need to take a leap just to do it, whether you fall or not because you will learn a whole lot in the process.

Are there any choices in your life that you are having difficulty with because you are afraid of making a "mistake?" Remind yourself that there is no such thing and that you have all of the answers you need. Then just take a step and I guarantee the Universe will guide you. You just have to take that first step.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The L word

Nope, not that L word! This L word is Loss. Loss is something everyone experiences, no matter how old or young you are, where you come from, how much money you have or don't have, what your upbringing was, etc. Loss is a part of life, as much a part of life as joy is. There are small losses and there are large losses, and there are just as many responses to loss as there are ways of losing. I am beginning to learn that how we deal and cope with loss is SO very important, on so many levels. Loss is a part of one's spiritual journey, and in my case, the catalyst for it. And even though I continue on my spiritual path and continue to raise in consciousness, I must admit that coping with loss seems to be my ultimate challenge. I am (up to this point) not very good at it! I won't lie. I like to think that I am, but I'm not. Especially when the loss is traumatic and life changing.

Grief is defined as the emotional response to loss. I began my journey with grief almost 9 years ago, when my mom died. Actually, probably way before that, as grief isn't experienced only with death, but with any loss that has an impact on you- abandonment, loss of job, divorce, loss of pet, moving away, or even something such as a loss of status. But the grief that still lingers with me is the grief due to the loss of my mom. And though it has been almost 9 years (I can't even believe that), sometimes the pain is a fresh as I remember it being when I was 19. 

Psychologists and other professionals have gone further to classify grief due to loss through death as bereavement. When I look up bereavement (which brings to mind pictures of old, sad and wrinkly ladies wearing black veils over their faces while huddled in the rain), I am met with many different definitions, symptoms and "cures" for this state. Most of the information is very clinical, and in my experience with it, not very helpful. In looking it up online, one site looks at it like a disease, with symptoms, treatment plans and timelines ("some milder symptoms may last for a year or longer," which makes it seem like it's chicken pox and eventually it will "clear up"). Ha. Another site clearly defines bereavement, it's many forms, and what one can do for help, and yet another talks about the ramifications on the body and mind if one stays in a state of prolonged grief, and the reasons why one might stay in this state.

As I read all of this information, a part of me wants to throw something at the computer, another part of me wants to cry, and another part of me worries that I will never "get over this" because I have, and continue to do, all of the things that are suggested. And I'm still struggling. Granted, I have come SO far, and healed many things around my grief, but at the end of the day, it still seems to come down to the fact that my mom is not alive. I know that everyone's experience is different, so I'm trying not to judge mine, but it isn't always easy. I don't know if I am holding onto my grief because it connects me to my mom, or  bc there is something that I just haven't tapped into that needs to be healed and released. I often feel very isolated bc the death of a mom isn't something that is fun to discuss, isn't as socially acceptable to talk about as say, breaking up with a boyfriend, and a topic that (gratefully) most of my friends and family don't understand. The support available to me, in the form of information (such as Kubler-Ross' and others' writings) and emotional support from my amazing life coach, have helped me so much. And from a spiritual point of view, I have been told to meditate, Gestalt (a form of therapy) with my mom' soul, reframe my judgements and the way I hold my mom's death, and realize that the love I had with my mom doesn't ever go away, and that it's not attached to her, it comes from me. And that is all wonderful. But there is still a piece of all this that is missing. It has been suggested to me that the issue might lie in me judging losing my mom as a "bad" thing, and I would very much like to stop viewing it as such. But I don't think I am that spiritually evolved yet!

I am on this journey of discovering ways to truly heal from a very deep loss, and though there are wonderful tools out there, sometimes I feel like I am paving my own path through the dense jungle with my machete. I hope to find ways new ways to help myself through the grieving process, so that I can help others as well. Or maybe my opinion of the process will change, and I will see it for what it is: a process. One day is up, another day is down, and that's all ok.

How do you deal with loss and/or grief, in any form? What helps you? I would love to hear your stories.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weight Loss- A Mind/Body Perspective Part 1

Are you struggling with your body perception? Do you want to lose some weight, either for health or vanity reasons? Do you wish you looked better in a swimsuit or in your clothes? Do you constantly compare your body to others? I do! I continue, even through all of my healthy eating and nutrition knowledge, not to mention my spiritual growth journey, to struggle with my body image and weight. So much so that I almost let my short trip to Austin, TX be ruined because I looked in the hotel mirror and decided that my stomach was "fat" and "how could I let myself not look like a perfectly toned supermodel, especially when I am in the nutrition and wellness business?!!" Well. That was the last straw (hopefully). After 2 days of body hating and wishing that my shoulders were smaller like all of the other girls in the yoga class I took and for a flat, completely toned stomach like the girls in the bikini bar ad (that was next to my hotel, I might add), I had had enough. Why do I equate my weight with my self worth and happiness? Why do I feel shame when I think my body isn't "perfect?" Why do I think I am not worthy of love if I don't look like a model, am as smart as the President, as funny as Ellen Degeneres and as cool as ??... Well, you get the idea. If you ever have any of these feelings, read on. I am right here along with you, and this blog post is as much for me as it is for you! It's long, I warn you, but keep reading if you can. Together we can find a way out of this negative body image cycle, and into the freedom of love, compassion, and life.

Let's look at weight and body image from a deeper level and discuss some concepts and issues and how we can shift our thinking into a more holistic and enlightened point of view. Ready? Here is a look into a more mind/body approach to weight loss, one topic at a time:

Myth 1) Weight gain or issues = BAD

If you are anything like me, you view excess weight (and even more so, PERCEIVED excess weight) as a problem. It's bad, it's disgusting, it's an issue. We want to remove it, burn it, attack it, and kick its ass. Then, and only then, can we get on with our lives. The problem is that this is a very negative and shallow (not as in superficial, but as in only looking at it from one angle) way of looking at weight and body image. Issues around weight are actually no more than your body getting your attention; an entryway into showing you something that you need, whether it be compassion, self love, a less stressed lifestyle, or a better relationship with food (which can lead you into more self growth!). If you are looking at your current body weight as something that you need to fix, or change, or something that you despise, the weight isn't the actual issue. It is your reaction to the issue that can lead you to healing and growth. Looking for the larger meaning to your weight issues can bring you deeper into yourself and offer you the most beautiful journey into healing; following this journey can lead us to far more gifts than just getting rid of some fat cells.

Myth 2) Weight loss is as simple as calories in, calories out.

Weight loss, unlike most doctors, nutritionists and personal trainers tell us, is about a lot more than just calories in, calories out. Notice how those types of weight loss programs rarely work, and if they do, they fail to continue to work. That is because it's just not that simple! The human body, as we are finally starting to learn and apply to all forms of medicine and healing, is much more complex than just the physical parts. We now know that thoughts and other things that we can't physically identify have a huge impact on our bodies. So many factors, including lifestyle, health, environment and inner factors, not to mention the differences between each individual, effect metabolism and how our bodies burn fat.

Stress and anxiety, two non tangible items, can greatly effect our bodies ability to metabolize food and run efficiently. So can negative thoughts, which cause a physiological stress response. Self judgements and thoughts such as "I'm not good enough," "Once I lose 10 more pounds, I can really start my life," "Life is hard and cruel," and "I'm all alone in this world" negatively effect the body's ability to function. Negative thoughts act as a stressor and actually cause levels of cortisol and insulin (hormones released when stressed) to rise. Continuous raised levels of stress hormones causes the body to perform much less efficiently, and at a lower performance level. SO, and here's the real kicker, any weight loss strategy that creates stress, is not fun, is depriving, or you have to push yourself to do, is ultimately causing you more stress!!! Yes, you might lost some weight because of a drastic diet change, but in the long run, it's just putting more emotional stress on you.

Myth 3) Moving away from weight gain and issues is the goal.

This goes along with the issue of stress and its effect on the body and metabolism. Doing any weight loss process that is inherently negative, ie restricting diets, low pleasure diets (have you ever been excited to eat a rice cake??), excess exercise, negative reinforcement to lose the weight, is really just causing more stress to the body. My brilliant life coach always says that it's the energy that we do things on that matters the most, not what we do: moving AWAY from weight gain and feeling fat is a negative vibration, yet moving towards feeling healthier, freer, lighter and more vibrant is very positive. Do you see the difference? Moving away from your real or perceived excess weight also is really you saying "the way I am right now is bad." (see Myth #1). You are judging where you are as wrong, and most likely others as well; we are taught as a society that any body that isn't like a photo-shopped model's body isn't quite as attractive. So if you are judging yourself, chances are that you are judging other people as well. (Which is just something to look at for more growth). In other words, losing weight isn't about running from the weight and losing the "enemy," it is about loving your body and coming into who you are authentically; lightening up on an emotional level, not only on a physical level.

Myth 4) The only reason we want to lose weight is to fit better into our clothes.

While this is certainly one aspect of weight loss, most people, including myself, think that if I lose weight, my life will get better. I want more confidence, more beauty, more love, more fun; I want to feel lighter and freer, etc. Well, I will tell myself this, and you: weight has nothing to do with those things. It seems like it does, but truly it doesn't. Really what I think most of us are saying is that we want to be more involved in life, we want to live more fully. Somehow, we think that weight loss is a doorway into this. But I don't think this is true! We can get to the state that we want to be in without losing the weight, and losing the weight is usually a lovely addition to being in that state. Or, when we are happier, we wont feel the need to lose weight because it wont be what we are focused on! Either way, it is a win win situation.

Myth 5) We can love ourselves fully once we lose the weight; then life will be great.

Going along with Myth 4, a common thought is that "if only I were a little slimmer, I would absolutely think I was beautiful and worthy of having a full life." But until we get into the present moment, and really sink into it and accept it, how are we going to get into future moments? If we can't truly accept and appreciate what we have now, we are always going to strive for "better." How many people do you know who are, in your eyes, slim and beautiful, and actually prize their bodies and themselves? I don't know many people like that- and I think it's because there is always something better, something more, and something more beautiful that we can strive to achieve. All of this really means that we are throwing away the present and the life in each moment. We aren't letting ourselves truly live because we think there is something wrong with us. Well, I challenge myself and you to start loving and accepting what we have NOW. Love what is and embrace who we are RIGHT NOW. We are beautiful, worthy, deserving whole creatures RIGHT NOW. I might not have the body I want or be at the weight I would like to be, but that is OK, because I am a lovable being. I have compassion and love for myself in this moment.

Ok, I'm going to leave you with that thought. Stay tuned for Part 2, and let me know if you have found any of this to be interesting! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Raw Dessert Company!!!!

This is just a quick blog to let you all know that I have officially launched my Raw vegan dessert company, called 2Good2beRaw. You can check out the facebook page at   (I know, it's a weird link. haha) The website is coming! I will be starting at the Melrose Place Farmer's Market in a few weeks, and also will be selling in certain stores in the area- I will of course keep you posted!

Thanks for supporting me, and I hope to supply you with lots of healthy treats!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spicy Jicama "Fries!!"

I have seriously been slacking in the blog post department, but I'm going to be easy on my self and treat myself with love, and say that it is ok. I have so many great posts for you to come, but between my raw dessert company getting off the ground, graduate school and my damn organic chem class, (I mean, my wonderful o chem class...), I haven't had much time to sit and write. Luckily o chem is finishing in the next 4 weeks, so I will finally have some of my life back! :) I'm so excited. I've decided that to congratulate myself for finishing up all my science pre reqs (anatomy, physio, 3 chems, math, bio, med terminology...) over the past 2.5 years (with a 4.0 so far, btw. lol), I'm making myself a gigantic, multi layered raw vegan ice cream cake. I think I'm more excited for that than I am for my classes to be done!! I haven't decided yet what flavor it will be, but I'm leaning towards some sort of butter pecan/caramel with maybe banana. Or maybe brownie and cookie dough. Or mint chocolate....Ok, I 'm basically just leaning towards an ice cream cake in general :) I guess it will depend on how I'm feeling. Carvel, but in a healthy-raw-vegan-I won't die after-I-eat-this way, here I come!

Now for today's recipe! I have been slightly addicted to jicama, and to my jicama fries, for quite some time now. The farmers at the market I go to often set aside all of the jicama they have for me to make sure I get my fix. Up until the past few days, I just thought I liked them just bc I have weird tastes, but two of my friends, Bobby and Collette, both tried them and went nuts over them! So I guess they are good. The best part is that they are easy to make, super healthy, extremely low in calories (if you are watching that), and delicious! They make a great snack or addition to a meal.

You can eat them two ways: either raw, which is a crunchy yummy snack, or you can dehydrate (or cook) them to make them extremely similar to french fries. It really just depends on your mood. Same with the spices you use. I will tell you what I like best currently, but you can always experiment with flavors to suit your own taste buds.

Easy as Jicama:

Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lime Juice (squeeze from 1 fresh lime)
Garlic Powder
Turmeric (just a few shakes, bc it can have a bitter taste)
Sea Salt
Cayenne Pepper (you can control how spicy you want them)
Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Nutritional Yeast (this makes cheesy fries)

To Do:
-Peel the jicama and cut it into slices roughly the size of thick french fries. Put into large bowl.

- Pour olive oil (I don't know exactly how much, but probably 3 tbsp- just enough to very lightly coat the jicama) and lime juice and stir with a large spoon until all the pieces seem coated.

-Add all the other spices except the nutritional yeast and stir. Basically, you just want to coat all of the fries with the spice mix. Taste, and add any ingredient that you feel is lacking. I use a LOT of garlic and pepper!

-Add nutritional yeast to make them cheesy tasting and stir until the flakes have blended into the coating.

****Nutritional yeast is non active, and is an amazing source of vitamin B-12, which many vegans have trouble getting enough of. It is also a complete protein, and naturally low in fat and sodium! I love this little guy, and adds a cheesy flavor to anything.****

-You can either enjoy them as is, or dehydrate at 130 degrees for roughly 2 hours, or until most of the water has been evaporated- You can tell bc they resemble the old french fries you used to eat. You can also bake them on tinfoil in the oven.

YUM! Store them in the fridge in an airtight container. If you have chosen to make them into actual fries, they will get a little soggy like "normal" fries, so it's best to eat them right away, though they taste amazing either way.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yummy Yummy Raw Vegan Smoothie Monday!!!

Hi! It has been way too long since I have posted a blog! I've missed you. I've been writing a bunch in my head (ideas will pop into my head at the strangest times, let me tell you) but now I'm finally sitting down to write. And do I have a fun recipe for you. Lately, I have been craving a lot of smoothies, probably because it's starting to get warmer out. If any of you are smoothie fans out there, you are in for a treat because I've decided to make Monday smoothie day :) So every Monday, you will get a new smoothie recipe.... Until I run out of ideas. Ha. Feel free to give me ideas or suggestions of your favorite flavors and/or ingredients, and I will play and come up with something yummy for you.

I call this my Way 2 Good to be Healthy (but it is!) Chocolate Smoothie:

2 cups almond milk
1/4 - 1/2 cup coconut milk for extra creaminess (optional)
1 banana  (frozen, but doesn't have to be)
1 1/2 tbsp raw organic cacao
1 tbs chia seeds
1/2 tsp stevia (I use the green organic kind from Navitas Natural)
small handful of raisins
tbsp hemp seeds or flax
tbsp maca or lucuma (optional, but adds extra nutritional punch!)
* maca is great for reducing anxiety, and lucuma is nutrient dense and gives a slightly caramel flavor*
Chocolate Rice Protein Powder (optional)                
* I use Nutribiotic Brand- it is whole grain rice, enzymatically processed at the lowest temp possible and with no chemicals, gluten free:

Blend in ice slowly so that it reaches the consistency that you prefer (you can also drink it without the ice, but I find it more fun to eat with a spoon). :) I garnished mine with whipped "cream" and some raisins.  Now all you need to do is enjoy the deliciousness and smile as all the nutrition enters your cells. Yes, life can be this good.

Above: All gone :(

Monday, April 5, 2010

A peek into my kitchen

Hi y'all! I hope you had a wonderful Easter or Passover. I spent most of my day in the kitchen yesterday, concocting lots of yummy treats, and also some "real" food. I made some amazing raw bread with my dehydrator and am currently making some "fake-un" bacon, so be expecting a post on raw vegan BLT's soon! It's always fun to try and make standard comfort foods healthy. I never used to let myself eat things like BLT sandwiches, but now I can. And I'm making fries to go with it (no, not real fries- you'll see! Even better than the real thing).

What I want to share with you today are a few things that I am asked about a lot lately: What exactly do I eat? How do I shop? What's typically in my kitchen? I've shared my delicious green breakfast smoothie with you, but I am excited to take you through my normal shopping routine and give you some tips to make creating these recipes easier (its such a mood killer to have to run to the store to get one or two ingredients). Having a stocked kitchen makes me happy.

Erinn's Kitchen:

These are the items that I always have on hand (I buy organic most of the time, if possible):

VEGGIES: Kale, Lettuce (red leaf and romaine), spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers (all but green- they are not well digested), onions, zucchini, alfalfa sprouts, mung bean sprouts, jicama, carrots, fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, thyme, cilantro, dill and rosemary, and celery (I don't particularly like the taste, but I like the crunch). Pumpkin.

GRAINS: Quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, gluten-free oats (Bob's brand), buckwheat, amaranth, rice pasta, popcorn kernels (ok, not the healthiest choice, I admit.... but I make it with coconut oil and sea salt and I'm not giving it up!)

FRUITS: Apples, oranges, pears, lemons and limes (a necessity for many recipes), avocados, tomatoes, blue berries, strawberries, sometimes raspberries or blackberries, frozen mangos and bananas (for smoothies and to snack on), grapes, raisins, goji berries, mulberries....

BEANS: Chickpeas, lentils, fava, kidney, black turtle (lots of protein!). I'm not really a huge fan of beans in general, but I usually have a can or two handy in case I want them.

RAW NUTS AND SEEDS (Always use raw nuts, as roasted nuts are actually rancid): Almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds (really good for puddings and cereals), hemp seeds, almond meal (ground up almonds for easy using), almond butter. Almond milk as well. Coconut flakes and milk.

SEASONINGS: Himalayan or Celtic sea salt, ginger (fresh), paprika, garlic (fresh), ground garlic, turmeric, black pepper, lemon pepper, Bragg's liquid aminos, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg, alcohol free vanilla, cayenne, mustard seed, cumin, coriander, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, cloves

SUPERFOODS and SWEETENERS USED OFTEN IN UN-BAKING: Cacao powder, cacao butter, coconut butter, lucuma powder, maca, stevia (I use the green powder at home, and take the little packets with me to go), agave nectar (I only use Ultimate Superfoods raw blue agave bc it is the least processed),   mesquite powder, soft dates (I like Medjool), extracts such as mint. Also superfoods chlorella, spirulina and camu camu (more on these in the future). Green Powder

OILS: For dressings: Cold Pressed Olive, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil. For cooking: Coconut oil (by far the best for cooking as it is the most stable), sesame oil, grapeseed oil.

MISC: Tempeh, Teas (naturally caffeine free- not decaffeinated), Teecino (coffee substitute made from chicory root- it's so good!!), kombucha (if it's on sale. ha), coconut water, rice protein powder (enzymatically processed), hemp protein powder.

So this list is not conclusive, and I'm sure I've forgotten something I use everyday. But you get the idea! I do most of my shopping at my local farmer's market, then at Trader Joe's for a some things that I can get there for less than I would at Whole Foods but can't get at the farmers market, then to Whole Foods for whatever I still couldn't get, and then finally to Erewhon if I need a specialty product. I do this bc, let's be honest, it's not cheap to eat healthily, and this allows me to get more things for less money.

One of my favorite things to do is to go grocery shopping, so if you would like some help in finding products, feel free to contact me. And don't worry about getting all of these things at once! I once had the barest kitchen ever, and it has taken me a while to accumulate all of these products.

Peace and happy shopping. And eating :)

   Above: Jicama Fries: Coming Soon!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Walk the Raw Line somewhere in the middle....

As someone who is constantly studying nutrition, health and wellness, I find it extremely interesting (and maybe a little frustrating) that there are so many different opinions on what is healthy for us. This post is inspired by a recent conversation I had with a friend about being or not being raw, and also a debate about agave nectar that was brought to my attention. It seems that everywhere you look, someone is saying something completely different about a food or health tidbit that you thought for sure was the truth. From "stop eating by 7" vs "it doesn't matter when you eat, just what you eat," to "cooking food destroys the vitamins and enzymes" vs "heat is needed to release certain vitamins and minerals," it goes on and on. (Btw: "it doesn't actually matter when you eat, just what you eat" is true, and both of the raw vs cooked food statements are true). So how do we ever find the actual truth? Good question! Lol. I'm not exactly sure. But what I do know is that usually when something is extremely on one side of the equation, it is most likely NOT the truth (unless it is something obvious), because the world isn't as black and white as maybe we would like it to be. To relate it to something, think of a relationship that you debated about staying in.... Some parts were probably amazing, while others maybe not so much; it wasn't all positive or all negative. It's the same thing with nutrition and health. 

I changed the title of my blog from Selki's Raw World of Health to Selki's (Mostly) Raw World of Health, because I didn't want to give the wrong impression. I am not 100% raw, nor do I strive to be. I do think that eating a lot of raw foods is beneficial to the body, ie greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, etc (all the things that are naturally raw), but this doesn't mean that cooked foods are not healthy as well. Grains and pseudo-grains like brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat (not actually a wheat), and amaranth are great sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals, and cooking foods with the proper oil and the proper amount of heat is also very healthful. I actually follow what I like to call a "whole foods diet." (no, I don't only eat food from the grocery store of that name!) I try to feed my body with real, whole foods that occur naturally and haven't been processed, because this is when my body feels the best. The reason I am so drawn to the raw way of eating is because you are pretty much guaranteed that no chemicals have been added to the food, and that no processing has occurred. (This isn't always a given with vegan foods, because just because it is is vegan doesn't mean it is healthy. Using an oil that can't withstand heating (more on oils in a future post!), evaporated cane juice or white flour can all make a seemingly healthy dish more on the unhealthy side). So this is why I like it raw. :) Simple, clean ingredients all added together to make a delicious, still clean dish. Same with raw desserts- almost every ingredient is a whole, unprocessed and naturally good for us food. No flours, gums, , chemicals, fake sugars, yeasts, evaporated anything.... It's just simple ingredients put together to make yummy, healthy treats for when you need something that is not a piece of kale. 

So don't think that I am on the "ONLY RAW" bandwagon, because I am not at all. I'm not even on the completely vegetarian bandwagon, believe it or not. I don't choose to eat meat or any animal products, but I do believe that some people benefit from the protein from meats (as long as they are grass fed, hormone free and organic, and from local farmers if possible). (I am however, very against the consumption of dairy, which is another post in itself). What is important is how you feel on a certain diet. My body feels the best on a mostly raw, sometimes cooked vegan diet. Many raw foodists fight against their cravings for cooked foods and try to adhere to strict guidelines, and I think that this is more unhealthy in the long run than eating some well prepared cooked food. Creating stress and trying to force yourself to do anything is not going to improve your health no matter how many veggies you eat. So I encourage you to listen to what your body is saying. I mean really listen! If you become tired or cranky after eating pasta and meatballs, maybe stop eating it and see how you feel. Or if you are fatigued because you are only eating raw, maybe add in some cooked grains and see how you react. 

To make my point about not being a raw food only groupie, I have included my recipe to my favorite Thai Coconut Stir Fry meal! Its soooo good, and the sauce is one of the only stir fry sauces that is soy free. Its delicious and I highly recommend trying it. Being the weirdo I am, I like it leftover, cold. (I was always like that as a kid too, which explains why I fully enjoy being mostly raw). 


1/2 cup low fat coconut milk
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, shredded
1/2 tsp coriander powder
squeeze of lemon or lime

1 hot chili pepper, finely chopped, or cayenne pepper to taste
Salt to taste

What you do:

If you like rice or quinoa, make that first. I make it in a rice maker bc it's so easy.

Mix all ingredients (above) in a blender and let sit until the stir fry is almost done.

Stir Fry: Take your favorite veggies (I like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, spinach or red leaf lettuce, carrots, mung beans...) and toss them into a wok with coconut oil (this is the best oil I know of to cook with), and then cook until they are a little crispier than you want them. Then add your sauce and stir for a few minutes until the veggies reach the consistency you like. That's it!

I also like to throw in some tempeh, which I cube and start cooking before putting in the veggies. The coconut oil gives it an amazing taste. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We Can "Have our (raw) Cake and Eat it Too"

I spent the morning talking to my dearest friend Bobby about all of the logistics of my raw dessert/snack company undertaking: websites, business licenses, securing a commercial kitchen, food handling tests, even a seemingly little thing like where to order packaging from. Not to mention knowing how much to sell my products for to the stores, who will then jack it up so that they too make a profit. It's a little overwhelming. (just a tad) Luckily Bobby knows me better than anyone on this planet, and knows exactly what to say and how to say it to make me feel safe and like I can do it all easily. He is truly a blessing in my life. After talking to me logically about all of my next actions and breaking down even the seemingly difficult tasks into easy peasy steps (he didn't actually use that word, just so you know), I felt so much more capable bc I know he is here with me and supporting me. I am not alone with all of these daunting tasks looming over me. Which could lead me into a post about how leaning on others for support and help makes life so much grander, but that's not where I'm going with this. After we talked logistics, we started talking about my logo and what I wanted it to represent. Bobby reminded me to think about why I started making these healthy raw desserts in the first place, and I want to share this with all of you.

The story behind my creating all of these raw creations, especially the desserts, is bc I spent most of my life obsessed with my weight and trying to eat (or rather not eat) to stay skinny, so I never ever allowed myself to have sweets, (unless it was a holiday, in which case I would go crazy and spend the entire Christmas vacation feeling sick- a few New Years' ago, I ate so much cheese dip that I literally doubled over in pain and fell asleep at 10:30 bc I couldn't bear to be awake). Ha. Anyway, I would try all of these fat-free, sugar-free crap things that didn't taste good, left me feeling sick, and didn't satisfy me at all. Then, over a year ago, I discovered that if I ate REAL foods, that haven't been processed and that were good for my body, I could eat things that I never would have thought to eat before, such as chocolate (raw, made with healthy cacao) and even cupcakes (made out of nuts with a little natural sweetener). I allowed myself to eat oils (gasp!), fats from avocados and other natural sources, carbs (another gasp!), and "naughty" things like cacao and nuts. All of these foods, which make up most of my daily intake now, would have made me cringe a few years ago. But, as I changed my diet and realized how good I felt and looked, not only did I not gain any weight, but I actually lost some weight and settled at my normal weight for my frame. After years of suffering, punishing myself, having a terrible relationship with food and being down right miserable about "nourishing" my body, I was finally free from those chains. I now love what I eat, and I love how what I eat makes me feel. I finally get the joy of eating.

After I started making raw desserts for myself, (bc I could finally allow myself to have sweets!!!), I started making them for others. Which is where this whole thing began. My whole motivation is that these desserts aren't something one should feel guilty about eating- they are part of a healthy diet, and can be consumed not just as a "guilty pleasure" treat, but as something that is contributing to the person's overall well-being. This is really important to me. I want to break the whole "dessert is only for special occasions, and/or I should feel guilty when I eat it" mantra, because it's not true! We truly can "have our cake, and eat it too."

Left: Mango Coconut Rawpie

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pepp-raw-Mint Patty

Just a quick post to let you all know that I have perfected my "Pepp-raw-mint Patty!" It even makes the "swoosh" sound so famously attached to the York's SAD version (if you don't know what that means, it stands for Standard American Diet, which fittingly, happens to be a very sad thing indeed). But this minty, refreshing, melt-in-your-mouth piece of heaven is healthy!! Wahoo! Not only does it taste amazing, but it has health benefits: coconut oil (one of the ingredients I use to make the filling) is high in lauric acid. In the body, this is converted into monolaurin, which is claimed to fight viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as colds, the flu, herpes, and even HIV. Coconut oil supports the immune system, digestion, weight loss/control, skin and hair, the liver and kidneys, and even the teeth (coconut oil facilitates the absorption of calcium in the body). Add that to the superfood cacao in the raw chocolate outer shell, and we have a health masterpiece. Cacao has been found to be higher in antioxidants than both red wine and green tea (4x the amount in green tea), and because it raises seretonin, endorphins and phenylethylamine (the neurotransmitter responsible for the high we feel when in love), it promotes a positive outlook and acts as an anti depressant. (Speaking from personal experience, I definitely became happier once I started eating chocolate on a daily basis. Haha) Cacao is also one of the best sources of magnesium, which regulates brain chemistry, keeps the heart functioning properly, our bones strong, and aids in absorption of calcium and potassium.....So, are you ready to "get the (healthy) sensation?"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Variations on a Raw Theme

What's the theme, you ask? Could it be..... cupcakes? Yup, sure is. Still on a cupcake kick! Luckily, my friends (who are my guinea pigs for my creations) don't seem to mind :) Which is good, because I have a lot more coming. (Hear that guys?)
I only make (or should I say let) them try the ones I think are really delicious. I've been having fun playing around with different ideas, and while some turn out great, others, not so much. Haha For example, I learned that mixing raw chocolate with fresh strawberry paste, which sounded like a great idea to me, is not so much in reality. Just take my word for it. :) Very strange tasting. But I learn a lot from my "mistakes" bc while attempting to make this strange strawberry chocolate, I mixed too much strawberry into not enough chocolate, and made a sort of strawberry chocolate crumble that is yummy! So I'm glad I "messed up" bc I found something very fun.
I was thinking about how this applies so often to life: We head in one direction that feels right to us, and then things get a little muddy and don't go the way we planned, and we think that we were headed in the wrong direction the whole time. Maybe we feel like we made a mistake. But I bet if we looked around and saw where that path had taken us, we would see that it took us to exactly where we need to be; it's just that this place is different from what we had pictured. There are no mistakes, only variations from our expectations. That is a very freeing way of looking at life, and a true one! Nothing is ever a mistake unless you make it one. I encourage you, (and myself!) to look at your so called mistakes as blessings and see the gift and light in them. I bet if we look with altitude, we will see that they weren't "mistakes" at all, rather simply a different path on the road.
Anyway, back to the food. :) I just want to share a few variations on the Chocolate Strawberry Bliss Cupcake before I move on to another flavor.... AND I promise I will post the recipe to the chocolate frosting soon, as I have been getting lots of requests. It is ridiculously easy and really seems like real cake frosting to me. I also want to see if you have any specific flavors you want to see, or anything in general that you want me to make. I would love to try and create based on your tastes, so let me know.

Above- Layered CSB cupcake, Right- CSB with strawberry filling, Below-2Good Chocolate Cupcake, and Far Below- Almond Surprise CSB cupcake

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Little Cuppycakes that Could

My idea of an exciting Saturday night is fooling around in the kitchen coming up with some new raw recipes (what? that's not yours?). And because I have such a sweet tooth and all I felt like eating tonight was sweets (oops), I created some lovely YUMMY new treats for you all. I must warn you that I am on a cupcake streak, so be prepared for some variations in the coming week. Raw cupcakes are pretty delicious, but they aren't light and fluffy like "real" cupcakes.... So I might have to keep experimenting, and maybe even bake (gasp!) some vegan cupcakes using coconut flour. We'll see. The frosting, however, is to die for, in my opinion, and I had to stop myself from eating it all. Here are two of my favorites from the evening:

Chocolate Strawberry Bliss (pictured above):

1/2 avocado (I know, just trust me!)
Coconut Oil (Maybe a large spoonful)
Dash of sea salt
Dash of vanilla
Agave to taste

Mix in food processor or blender, adding agave and taste testing until it is to your liking. Put in bowl and place in fridge while you make the cake part.

1 cup walnuts
6 dates (pitted)
1/8 cup cacao
1 tbsp coconut oil
Dash of vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix walnuts and dates in your food processor, then add the remaining ingred
ients. Form into little cupcakes and press into mold. Then top with your frosting and keep in fridge! Viola! That's it.

Vanilla Banana Fun:

Same as above, but substitute 1/2 banana for the strawberries- if you aren't a banana fan, you can use the above frosting, or add coconut "meat" instead

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup coconut flakes
5 dates (pitted)
1 tbsp coconut oil
Dash of vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

Prepare as above. And try not to eat it all before putting it in the fridge... It's hard, I tell you! Or maybe I just have issues. :)

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do, and stay tuned for more cupcake madness.

Love Erinn

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Green Superfood Incredible Smoothie!

Hi everyone! I just enjoyed the leftovers from my morning green smoothie, and as I licked my lips and wished I wasn't too lazy to make another one, I figured it would be the perfect day to share the recipe with you. It's getting warmer out, and there is nothing better than a cool, refreshing, "so healthy your cells will sing" smoothie. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, protein and countless other good for you things. Not to mention flavor! My smoothies taste so good that my friends who have never even heard of half of the ingredients decide they like them after one sip. I promise. So with that promise, I give you the base of my Green Power Smoothie:

1/2 banana (or more)
1/2 avocado (or more) (This and the banana make it creamy)
1/2 cucumber (or more)
4 or 5 stalks of kale, take stem off
Big handful or two of any other kind of lettuce
Green powder (I put this in every other day) Green Vibrance is the brand I use- it's great, and not as expensive as some others
Blueberries or frozen mango or whatever fruit appeals to me at the moment I make it (throw in a handful or so)
Protein powder (I use rice protein, enzymatically separated, vanilla or plain flavor, or hemp protein)
Hemp seeds (If I feel that I need a bit more protein, I throw in a tbsp or 2)
1/2 tsp green stevia powder for sweetener (the green is less processed)
Almond milk
Dash of cinnamon
Water- fill the blender so the water comes to about 1/2 way up to the greens if you want it thicker, and more if you want it thinner

Sometimes I throw in a superfood or two such as maca (for calming), chlorella (for circulation), goji berries or spirulina (protein and immune defense) if I'm feeling it. I throw in other stuff too, like celery, or carrot juice, coconut water (instead of almond milk), cayenne pepper, pumpkin.... to mix it up, or if I know something will go bad if I don't use it soon! Mix it up and have fun- you really can't go wrong.

Hope you enjoy drinking to your health!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Chocolate!

Happy Valentine's weekend my loves!!!

I've always thought that Valentine's Day was a strange holiday (if you can even call it that). From back in elementary school when you handed out those little valentines cards to your friends and your secret crush, and tried to figure out whether little Tommy LIKED you, or just liked you like he liked everyone else he had to give a valentine card to so as not to leave anyone out.... To high school and college when then, no longer forced to be fair and hand out valentines to everyone, you had the obvious distinction between the happy in love couples with their flowers and candy, and the wishing, maybe a little lonely singles without the roses or sweet-tart hearts.... To today, when it just seems silly to me that there is this one day of the year that everyone is supposed to show the ones they love just how much they love them- isn't that what every day of the year is for??? I love the idea of Valentine's Day, obviously -candy and roses? Duh, I am a girl!- but the pressure and the hype and press it gets seems so silly to me. (And yet here I am writing about it. Ha.) What I'm trying to say is that maybe we should all take the message that this day is supposed to be about- Love, honoring the people you care about, telling people in your life how much they mean to you, and taking a second to think about how grateful you are to have all the love you have in your life- and carry that through our everyday lives. Though fun, there is no need for a holiday to remind us who we love and why- we can remind ourselves of that everyday. And if you are single and don't have a romantic love in your life, it doesn't have to be a sad "woe is me" day like Hallmark and Eharmony and FTD flowers would have you believe. Look at all the blessings and love in your life, and especially the love you have for yourself, and start cherishing it! Give yourself a Valentine gift that you really love, whether that is a day at the beach, a day to do nothing, a day spent with friends or family, a day with your favorite Erotica book (heehee), or a day spent making and eating healthy, no guilt chocolate (recipe to follow). Just love yourself and cherish who you are, because that person is beautiful.

Ok, so I want to share this recipe with you. It is one of my favorites because it is shockingly delicious and also healthy. All the ingredients are whole, non-processed, organic and raw, so your body will actually thank you for eating this chocolate. The health benefits of raw chocolate are significant- loads of antioxidants, lots of magnesium, fiber, iron, calcium, zinc, copper, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E. Pure cacao also contains flavonoids (organic compounds that have antioxidant effects) that can help prevent arteries from clogging, lower blood pressure and also combat against cancer by inhibiting cancer cells from multiplying and growing. I also just learned that cacao has natural anti-depressants and MAO inhibitors :) Chocolate, you say?? Yes!! But we're talking about chocolate that isn't processed and loaded down with toxins, sugars and excess non-natural chemicals that your body isn't made to process. I guarantee that once you eat the real deal, you won't ever go back.

Simple, yet healthy and delicious chocolate

*1/2 cup raw chocolate powder (cacAO, not cocOA) I use Navitas Naturals or Ultimate Superfoods brands- find at Whole Foods

*1/2 cup cacao butter, liquid This comes in solid chunks, same brands as above, and you can melt it either on very low heat on the stove (if you aren't concerned with keeping it raw, which is technically under 115F), in a dehydrator if you have one, or you can melt it in a bowl by putting the bowl over boiling water. I usually get lazy and just melt it on very low heat on my stove.

*2 tablespoons raw agave nectar This is a natural sweetener, much like honey, except from a plant source. 2 tbsp is a base line, but if you like it sweeter, just keep taste testing until you get the chocolate to the sweetness you like

*Brazil nuts (optional, but add great texture and source of selenium)


It's super easy. If using the Brazil nuts, slice and set aside in a small bowl (slicing is the hardest part!). Stir the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl until smooth. Pour chocolate mixture over Brazil nuts and stir so that the nuts are fully coated with the chocolate. Then pour onto plate or into fun molds and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Store in the freezer.

You can also do many variations, like adding raspberry sauce, coconut, or sprinkling chia seeds on top... Use your imagination and have fun!!

Hope you love it, and yourself, this Valentine's Day :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Trying vs Being

Lately I noticed that when it comes to creating the things that I want in my life, I generally tend to try very hard. I put a lot of effort into the act of doing what I assume will create whatever it is that I want, and spend a lot of my energy on this doing. I have this belief that if there is something that I want in my life, I must work hard and do, do, do in order to create it. The truth?? NOT SO. In fact, I have noticed that the things that happen the easiest, and with the most joy, have occurred not because I tried, but because I simply set the intention. I put my energy into feeling this intention, and into being with the feelings of what I wanted to create, and things just sort of magically came into my life. "How so?" you ask. Well, I really have no idea. Ha. Seriously. I don't know how or why this occurs (and I'm not going to throw some mantra from The Secret out at you), but I do know that it does. It goes against everything that I was taught growing up about needing to put effort into doing, but I'm thinking that it's time to recycle that old limiting belief and step into a new one because the old one isn't serving me anymore. All the trying and doing isn't fun, and I end up drained and tired and discouraged; I lose all sight of the beauty of my original vision. All of my trying actually creates the opposite of what I wanted!

What are your beliefs about trying vs being? Do you feel like you try too hard? Do you feel the need to work hard and always have an action plan in order to create what you want? If so, that's ok! Join my club. It's hard to feel sure that you will create your dreams if you aren't doing- Doing creates a false sense of "control" that we cling to in order to feel safe. What is funny though, is that control and safety are just illusions created by our egos, and really have no place in our hearts. They actually get in the way of our ability to create the life we want. I invite you to join me in letting go of all the trying and doing!! Let's together free ourselves of the need to Do, and just let ourselves Be. Feel instead of Act. It certainly can't hurt, right? Lets experiment and see how the Universe responds.

There is really a lovely quality in allowing ourselves to simply Be and not feel the need to Do. The pressure we place on ourselves is lifted, and yet we are still manifesting our dreams because the feelings and intentions are there. Being has a grounding and centering feel to it, while Trying tends to feel frenetic and scattered: Maybe it's because when we are Trying, there is a built in option of failing, but when we are Being, there is no option to fail- it just is.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Health Balancing!

Hi everyone. Welcome to my very first blog post!! I'm starting this blog because I absolutely love talking about health and nutrition and wellness.... and my friends can only take so much. Ha :) I do really love talking about health though, and find myself wanting to share new things that I learn. And clearly, in our technologically advanced society, there is no better way to do so than a blog. So welcome, and I hope you enjoy it! Let's all together strive to be happier and healthier in 2010 so that we can live the life we have secretly (or not so secretly) dreamed of living. Here's to loving and experiencing life!!

A Picture of Health:

To become healthier and be able to live a more full and joyful life, it is helpful to get a clear picture of where you are currently. Just like when we read store maps in malls, we need a "You are here!" point before attempting to forge ahead. I encourage you to do this simple exercise to give yourself a broad overview of your health as you perceive it. Then, once we have a general picture, we can slowly make improvements on one area at a time. Achieving a higher state of health is meant to be fun and invigorating, not overwhelming, so be gentle with yourself! Acknowledge yourself even for simply having the mindset to read this post and being willing to take a look at where you are at.

1) Draw a circle on a sheet of paper, approximately 4-5 inches wide.

2) Separate into 8 different sections, like a pie (a healthy, all natural one!) by drawing a horizontal and vertical line through the center, and then an X through that point.

3) Label wedges with the following categories: Diet and Hydration, Physical Activity, Weight Management/Body Image, Self Love and Care, Stress Management, Unhealthy Habits, Fun and Recreation, and Meditation/Prayer/Quiet Reflection (whichever one applies best for you)

4) Now, on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being "I don't feel like this is a strength of mine" to 10 being "I am SO great at this!!" give each category a number that describes how you are feeling right now. (For the Unhealthy Habits category, 1 means you have a lot of unhealthy habits that get in the way of living healthfully- such as smoking, eating junk food, not sleeping.... and 10 means that you don't feel that you have any unhealthy habits.)

5) Be honest with yourself! No one is judging you, and if you find that you are judging yourself, forgive yourself. The purpose of this isn't to beat yourself up, but rather to be truthful and take notice of what is.

6) Now, with each category, draw a mark in the respective wedge representing the number you have chosen. For example, if I chose 5 for Stress management, I would place a little mark directly in the middle of the wedge. If I chose 6 for Fun and recreation, I would put a mark a little further out than the mark I made for the "5" in the other category.

7) The point of this is to now draw a new circle within the initial circle to have a representation of our current balance (or unbalance!). The ultimate goal is to have you personally feel that you are balanced and at 9's or 10's with all of the categories, resulting in a full, even circle of health. If this is not the case, don't worry!! The whole point is that we see where we are in order to support improvements.

8) Pick a category you might like to improve, one that is calling to you in this moment. Think about or write down the reasons you gave yourself the number you did. If you gave yourself a 3 in Self Love and care, maybe you realize that you talk negatively towards yourself often. Or maybe you chose a 2 for Physical Activity bc you rarely get involved in anything active. Write down anything that comes to your mind.

9) Now pick one SMALL thing, one that you know you can absolutely do in the coming week, to support yourself in improving your health in your chosen area. For example, if Physical Activity is your category, and you find yourself rarely exercising, instead of making a goal to all of a sudden go running everyday, maybe make it a point to take the stairs at work or walk instead of driving someplace. Make this action extremely attainable and easy for you to do. I mean EASY!!!

10) Incorporate this easy action into your life in the coming week (and weeks thereafter). If you find yourself keeping your goal, acknowledge yourself! If not, that's ok too-maybe you want to make an even easier step the next week to ensure that you keep your commitment to yourself. The point isn't to be hard on yourself and focus negatively on thing you are doing "wrong," (bc actually there is no "wrong"!!) it is to support you in achieving your goals and in becoming a healthier, more vibrant person.

11) Do this exercise weekly, bi weekly, monthly... whatever feels right to you. Keep taking new small steps toward a healthier you, and really allow yourself to prize and congratulate yourself for even the smallest of changes. Notice how your circle of health keeps getting larger and larger :)