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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The New Human Need- Thrive or Survive?

We all need a number of things, as human beings, to survive. But what about the things we need in order to thrive? Thriving is different than surviving.

According to the Microsoft Word Dictionary, Thrive is defined as:

1. Grow well: to grow vigorously and healthily
2. Do well: to be successful and often profitable

I think it's safe to say that we all know what it means to Survive. But, here is the definition (again, from Microsoft Word Dictionary):

1. To remain alive or in existence or able to live or function, especially succeed in staying alive when faced with a life-threatening danger.

Do you want to Thrive or Survive? I truly think we all get the choice. We are faced with decisions at every single moment, of every single day, and we make choices. We choose to do the dishes or not do them. We choose to get up, or to stay sitting. And on and on and on...

We need only to ask ourselves what we want to do: Thrive or Survive? And then, what do those things mean to you? I am still trying to figure out what these things mean to me. I have been living in "Survival Mode", or something that has felt like that, for a long time.

I am not homeless, nor am I without food. I am not without water, although often I let myself go thirsty. I am making choices, and I am only now realizing that the choices I am making are determining whether I am moving forward, or allowing myself to merely sustain my existence.

More to come on this as I delve deeper into my semi-consciousness.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Evolution and Cooking Spray

Just now, as I was literally prying my recently baked granola bars from the glass pan that I cooked them in, the thought bombarded my mind "Why are you still wasting time trying to remove your baking from these dishes, when for your whole life you could have been using cooking spray..You know, like Pam or the other kind."

How many hours in my lifetime will I spend trying to remove baked goods from old pans? How many hours will I spend soaking the dishes, and then scrubbing those dishes? Is it worth my time?

This is not the first time I have considered using cooking sprays. Until now my reasons for not using it have been:

1. The packaging is bad for the environment
2. The oil is probably hydrogenated
3. It's probably made with chemicals and additives
4. It's a waste of money- I could just use margarine or cooking oil

Now, where I am with this decision has changed in these past 20 minutes because now I am considering TIME, whereas before tonight, my major motivation behind senseless prying, soaking, and scrubbing, was the environment, my health, and my pocketbook (what a cliche. Do you really think I carry a pocketbook? Does anyone even carry a pocketbook anymore?)

Yes, I have been thinking about my life lately- how long do I really have here on earth? What if these are my last few months and I am diagnosed with some rare form of cancer? I have never thought of these things before recent. Maybe it's because I am 27 now. One of my teachers told me that a person only begins to think long-term once they get to be 27. It sounds true to me.

So, back to the cooking spray. If this is boring to you, it will get worse. How do Evolution and Cooking Spray interrelate? Please remember that I have only just begun to think this through. Very honestly, it has been 30 minutes since the thought arrived in my consciousness.

HERE IT IS! My BIG idea. If people are unwilling to adopt a technology such as cooking spray, are they denying themselves a connection to evolution as we know it? We are a society whose understanding of life is gigantically dependent upon physical objects. We need food, homes, cutlery, dishes....

I can speak for only myself and the people I am surrounded by, when I say that the old norm of "food, clothing, shelter" as basic human necessities is OLD indeed. We don't just need those basic things to feel satisfied. We need more. Some people will argue that the 'need' is only a fictional need, and that what we truly need is within ourselves. If that is the case, then I simply cannot agree. How is it possible that I am happier with a closet full of beautiful clothes than I am with my basic necessities, if what makes people truly happy is found within? Please refrain from answering that question, because I have heard countless explanations, and none of them fit better than the one I am explaining to you- the one that makes me truly happy.

So back to Cooking Spray. If we do not adopt cooking spray, and we spend countless hours cleaning "baked on grease," we are limiting our ability to evolve. We are becoming less efficient individuals. The people using the cooking spray have more time to self reflect. They have more time to put their energies to better things than cleaning.

Environmental damage due to aerosol is likely, but debatable. Health effects from chemicals are extremely unknown. We're living longer than ever before (as far as we think). Is a $10 can of cooking spray worth my time?

It's an unfortunate stress that a person must face, when making a decision in today's world. Will my decision impact the environment (most will). Will I be hurting my body (have you see the grocery store and our food practices?) Will I be hurting my family by choosing chemicals over natural (possibly, but it's equally as likely that the air we breathe is just as polluted as the foods we eat). Is it worth my money (what money? We pay for everything with pieces of plastic- better yet, pieces of paper and metal that are nearly extinct).

So, let me ask myself again, "are you willing to fall behind in the evolution of our human species just because you're too cheap to buy a can of aerosol cooking spray?"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why I Like Groupon

Local Business

I am most definitely a fan of Groupon (as you can tell by the giant advertisement on this blog's home page). I like Groupon because local businesses do well with it. As a consumer, I like to make local choices as much as I can. Sometimes buying local is just too costly though. I will admit that I walk into WalMart on occasion to find a deal. It's not that I prefer to buy cheap- I have a family to think of. We buy a lot of milk, for example. Milk is about $100 less expensive at WalMart, per year, than it is for us to buy it at a local grocery store. A young family can do a lot with $100 extra per year. But Groupon supports local, and I appreciate that about them.

Online Purchasing

What is more convenient than clicking a button these days? Well, telepathy. Yes, that is true. But, realistically, we're in a digital age. Groupon is online, and I appreciate that about them.


Groupon doesn't just say that they have good deals- they actually have good deals. Damn good deals, pardon my language. Honestly, where else are you going to get 45 dollars worth of anything for 20 dollars?

Environmentally Friendly

You don't have to print your coupon with Groupon. You can show the digital coupon on your iPhone or BlackBerry...Or whatever the kids are using these days to show their digital Groupons. They're technologically advanced, and I like that about them.

Anyone Can Earn Money

Once you're a free member, you get a referral link that you share. You earn $10 when someone clicks on your link and buys a Groupon (within 72 hours of becoming a member, I think is their rule). Either way, sweet deal.

So, that's why I like Groupon.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Delicious Granola Bar Recipe c/o Nadine Staaf

1/3 Cup Butter
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Corn Syrup or Honey

1.5 Cups Rolled Oats (or Quick)
1/2 Cup Hemp Seed Hearts
2/3 Cup Walnut Crumbs
1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon

1 egg
1 tsp Vanilla

Bring first 3 ingredients together, to a boil in a small saucepan. Take off heat.
Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and mix together with warm mixture.
Pour into a greased dish/pan. Bake for 24 minutes in preheated 350F (180c) oven.
Let cool 15 minutes in dish, and then cut into pieces. Let cool fully before freezing/tupperware-ing.

And then love them to pieces!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Autism Cookbook: Very Interesting indeed

I love that there's such a thing as an Autism Cookbook. It just goes to show that people can help to heal themselves. Sometimes it takes a bit of guidance, and a lot of learning though. I do not have an autistic child (although his tantrums can make me think I do). I realize it's not a laughing matter to have a child who is suffering, and I realize because I am a mother myself, that you would want to do everything in your power to make things better for yourself, and for your child.

It takes the mother/parent/guardian, to help to shape the world for a young being. The idea of autism is scary, and from my point of view in seeing how home remedies and foods can help cure disease, I recommend parents with autistic children become educated on the benefits of healthy food for their children, whether they are autistic or not. If you suggest a better book than the one I found below, please comment. I would love to know about it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Juice from Bliss Cafe with a Good Friend Makes Me Happy :)

Discovered Cafe Bliss for the first time today. The atmosphere was excellent, and the juice was delicious! They even have heart-shaped raw chocolate. mmmm...556 Pandora, Victoria, BC.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Version of the Poutine

With the Boivin Fromage from Quebec, I made my own version of the Poutine. It's hashbrowns cooked with Dill, Seasoning Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Pepper. After the hashbrowns were cooked, I topped them (in the pan) with chopped Spinach and the Boivin Fromage, and then drizzled with Ranch Dressing. Scrumptious! http://fromagerieboivin.com/

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What about when you're not feeling good?

Earlier tonight, I was physically not feeling well. I decided to lay down on the couch and rest. Almost as soon as I did, my husband & four year-old son made a beeline to our son's bedroom where they got all of his blankets and pillow and brought them back for me to be cozy. It made my heart warm and, in turn, my body began to heal. Within 20 minutes, I was better again! Life is grand, even when it may not seem that way in the beginning :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nike App for iPod/iPhone makes me Happy :)


I love that this App exists. It gives examples of everything, and has so many workouts! Thank you, Nike! Bonus...It's Free!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fast Email Replies make me happy :)

Tonight I am having a hard time coming up with something that makes me feel happy. My day was very happy, and I spent time with hundreds of people. Walking through the halls as school makes me appreciate these people, many of whom I will probably never meet.

So, it's a small thing, but what makes me happy, on a daily basis, is when I receive a quick email response. Equally as happy do I feel when I am able to produce a quick, yet meaningful, email response. Often I have something taking priority, when I check my email, so I very briefly read through everything in my inbox, and then I hope I will be online again soon to respond. Some emails even get pushed on to another day completely. Shame on me ;) On that note, I will make this post brief. Happy Night to you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Boivin Fromage from Quebec makes me happy :)

It's been years since I spent time in Quebec. When my new friend from school told me that she would be going back home to Quebec, she offered to pick me up some special Poutine cheese (you know, the squeaky kind). She brought it to me today and I feel so blessed. Thank you Kathleen! When I make it, I promise to post pictures of the Poutine!! http://fromagerieboivin.com/

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mom's Russian Chicken Recipe Makes me Happy :)

Courtesy of ma mere. Thank you and I love you.

Use 8 pieces of chicken (either 2 breasts cut up, 8 drumsticks, or 8 skinned thighs).

Mix together to make a sauce:

1 package onion soup mix
1/2 cup peach or apricot jam
1/2 cup Kraft Russian dressing, or other brand or no name. Make it Russian!
1/4 cup water

Place the chicken in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 325 C for one hour. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Enjoy!

My Hemp Seed Walnut Banana Loaf Recipe makes me HAPPY

Preheat oven at 325 F (160 C)
Use a 2L glass or metal loaf pan, greased

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup hemp seed hearts (or other chopped nuts)

2 eggs
2 ripe bananas mashed (3 if your bananas are really small)
1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar

In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a bigger bowl, beat eggs, mash in bananas, and stir in oil, honey and brown sugar. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined, but don't mix too long. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and cook for at least 1 hour. Ovens vary, so check
at 1 hour with a chop stick, tooth pick or other long poky thing. If the stick comes out clean, it's done.
Take out of oven and let cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack of some sort.

Bon appetit!