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Music & Stories- “I created an event especially for me!”

So here I am writing about something I only dreamed would happen. It’s just that, this was no longer in my plans. I sing. Yes. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. As life went by, my singing evolved from just the church to audiences on a professional level. Always for someone else, never just for me. I had my run and it was great. I kinda forgot about the things I wanted to do musically. I moved on, and started pursuing life in a different direction. Then, just like that, because of one decision, some of the things that I always wanted began to happen. FAST!

In June I shared an idea I developed to do a house show with a good friend of mine. She loved the idea and immediately saw my vision. Not only did she see my vision, but she helped me get to work in planning to make this happen!  The original house show idea came from one of my favorite artists, Jason Mraz. I was watching him on you tube many years ago and he was encouraging people that love to sing and perform not to wait on something big. He advised to “just invite your friends over and sing!” I thought this was just such a creative idea! So I took the idea and created an event especially for me….

Grateful!

Music & Stories

As many of you already know, I have a deep rooted purpose to inspire others. There are many ways that I have done this and will continue to do this in the future. I wanted to create a show that would allow me to inspire others through words and music.  The focus was never just on the music, but it was about reaching people through music and my words.  So, this show had two main goals; to inspire people through my words and to introduce the Danish lifestyle of “Hygge” in order to encourage the most comfortable atmosphere I could.  The song selection was based on the message I wanted to give through each story.  Music is what brought us all together. It’s amazing how we can all speak the same language through music.

Hygge

What is Hygge?? (pronounced HUE-gah) Here is the best dictionary definition I could find….”A quailty of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” It is a very hard concept to define. Hygge is about creating an atmospher and an experience. It’s about being with the people you love. A  safe feeling of home. A feeling that you can let your guard down and enjoy some guilty pleasures together. I have found this lifestyle to be simple but complicated at the same time. There is a lot of language that describes it but the idea of the atmosphere is simple. Family. Friends. Conversation. Candles. Coffee. Tea. Hot Cocoa. Blankets. Pillows. Fluffy Socks. PJ’s. Sweets. Comfort Foods.  All of these things and more help to create the desired hygge atmosphere.

Why Hygge?? I included this lifestyle as a part of my show because; I have adopted it in my own life and I look for different ways to incorporate it and  I wanted to create an atmosphere that would allow people to feel safe and comfortable. Hoping that they would be more open to receive the messages I had to give. So that’s it! That’s Hygge! If you are interested, there is a wonderful book that goes into great detail about this lifestyle called The Little Book Of Hygge by Meik Wiking. It has wonderful pictures! Check it out!

Culture

One of the things I enjoyed about this show is that there were so many different cultures and backgrounds that attended. I felt blessed to have people from as close as Japan to as far as the continent of Africa! There can be so many barrieres when it comes to culture, but music brings people together in a way that can’t be described. Check out the pictures and videos below. If you didn’t attend, hopefully these pictures and and video clips will give you an idea of the amazing atmosphere and a peek into the world of Music & Stories!

Thank you’sJiro-san (Guitar) Words can not express how deeply grateful I am to you! You were amazing and helped make this night possible.  Sono-san (Transltor) You rock! I know it was not an easy task but you did it!! Thanks for bridging the gap! Ukba-san– You saw my vision and pushed me to see alot more! You were there every step of the way. Thank you for letting me lean on you.  Rieko-san– I’m gonna have you run the fan club! (lol) You are my biggest cheerleader and you never miss an opportunity to tell others about little ole me! Thank you for helping me organize this and making sure the night was perfect. To my family and friends over the seas that couldn’t be here….I love you! 

 

 

How I changed the way I think about food PERMANENTLY!

This June, during Ramadan, I decided to take a closer look at myself holistically.  Everyone around me was fasting, so I thought it would be the perfect time for me to do so as well. I made a commitment to complete the Daniel’s Fast, a 21 day Christian based fast. Although I have done this fast before, I wanted to approach it in a different way. I wanted the spiritual benefits AND the health benefits. So I did a little research and found the strictest version that I could follow.  The one that would lead me the most beneficial results.

Not a big salad girl but sometimes I experiement with making different kinds of salads! Food is fun!

Daniel’s Fast Outline

The Daniel’s Fast is a biblically based partial fast referenced in the Bible. It is a partial fast because you can eat throughout the day, but what you eat is restricted. The fast is generally done for 21 days. Along with the fast, you should have extended prayer time and restrict some normal activities. Let’s talk about what you eat or what you don’t eat!

I think it’s easier to list the things that I DID allow myself to eat. Let’s take a look….

  • All fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables ( No dried or canned)

  • Brown rice, quinoa and oats (No whole wheat, pastas,etc.)

  • All nuts and seeds

  • All dried legumes

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Water

  • Seasonings, herbs, spices and SEA salt

I eliminated all meat and meat products, deep fried foods, dairy, sweeteners, bread, processed foods, solid fats, hearbal teas, carbonated beverages, and alcohol.

The Process

So, during this fast I increased my prayer time and decreased social interactions both physically and electronically. This was a time to grow spiritually and focus on my health and well being. 1 year ago I became a minimalist and I recently started researching the Danish “Hygge” lifestyle. So I used this time to reflect on that as well. I will tell you more about the both of those in another blog.

One thing I did different during this fast is experiement with different receipes! I wanted to find dishes that I could enjoy and have fun preparing. I wanted to make sure I didn’t become bored with eating because that would make it easier to cheat! I wanted to change the way I thought about food permanently.

I was a BEAST! I have to pat myself on the back for sticking to this like my life depended on it! Wait, it kinda did! Ha! Here are a few tips I used to get me through this like a champ!

1.) I NEVER ate out. Not one time in 21 days. I had to know exactly what was going in my food and how it was being prepared.

2.) I ALWAYS thought about what I was going to eat at least one to two days ahead. Most times, 1 week in advance. This included snacks.

3.) I used fruit to kill my sweet tooth! I love sweets! Especially after I eat a meal. Fruit was my savior and I also ate a handful of raisins sometimes.

I had a very successful 21 days. I lost 20 pounds. 10-15 in the first 10 days. I was sharp. I had a lot of energy. I slept better. I heard from God much clearer. I was more patient. I was more disciplined. I was definitely a better version of myself. YAY ME!

How I have changed

I’m no stranger to clean eating. Before I left the states, about 50% of the meals I cooked at home were vegeterian. I shopped at my local farmer’s markets and I even started growing a few of my own vegetables and herbs. I discovered this book by Alicia Silver stone called The Kind Diet . This book changed my life! She does a wonderful job breaking down the clean eating lifestyle. She doesn’t condemn but instead gives you FACTS on the reality of food choices. She also offers support and sugggestions for the different levels each person is at in this journey. It is beautifully written and has lots of amazing receipes!  I would reccomend this book to anyone serious about changing the way you eat. It will give you many things to consider and offer help along the way. She also has a blog called  The Kind Life . Another wonderful resource! Please check her out!

I love the feeling of eating clean and I enjoy shopping for beautiful fruits and vegetables. The thing I have become to realize is that many of the foods I was choosing to eat made me feel like crap and made me look like crap. Yet, I still chose to eat them. Why? Instant gratification. That feeling of satisfaction in the moment. What’s sad is, it doesn’t make sense to continue to choose what doesn’t make me feel good in the future. I want to live a healthy and guilt free life. Now and Later! (lol) So I found that I can still have some of the things I really enjoy that may not be the best for me. I just greatly reduce them. (Portions and frequency)  I can also substitute non-healthy ingredients for healthy ingredients and still enjoy the same dishes.  Here is a list of things I do differently now!

This is one of my favorite breakfast meals. It can also be used as a dessert! It’s delicious. I split a banana, then topped it with peanut butter granola and frozen mixed berries. I drizzle a little honey and chia seeds for extra protein on top! Yum!

1.) I only cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. No exceptions. That’s right folks NO BUTTER! There are other good quality oils you can use. Do a little research to find what best suits you.

2.) Condiments are a pure luxury and almost always get eliminated. This also keeps me from eating foods that are not favorable.

3.) I don’t buy canned and processed foods. Now, I might have a cookie or something of that sort but it’s not something I buy a package of and keep at home.

4.) My breakfast looks like my lunch and dinner! I eat vegetables, brown rice, potatoes, etc. It’s delicious and I’m more satisified.

5.) Cheese and bread are rare. I have just found dairy and bread to be terrible. Especially when it comes to fighting belly fat. Make no mistake, I LOVE these two things. So yes, I still have them. I just greatly reduce them.

6.) I stay away from most beverages outside of water and tea.

7.) I am up to about 75% meatless meals! Not sure if I will eliminate meat all together but I certainly don’t want to eat it every meal or even everyday. I love the way I feel when I don’t eat it.

All in all I am just more aware of what I eat. I think about everything I put in my mouth and how it will affect my body. I want to have a good quality of life while I am here. Do what works for you! This is no competition but the application of knowledge is power. So whatever you choose, commit to it. Know the facts and enjoy life!

Ty

 

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My life is not an adventure, it’s a JOURNEY

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. Time well needed and well spent. One of the things that I thought about is a phrase that so many people have said to me since I decided to temporarily leave the country. ” Wow, your life is an adventure” or ” You are going on an adventure!”  I honestly cringe when people say that to me. Now I know exactly why…….

“Living life in another country is no walk in the park.” 

When you are visiting another country it’s all fun and games. It’s exploring, relaxing,  and eating good food. It’s all about finding the beauty in a place with a limited amount of time to do it. It’s about making connections with yourself and what’s familiar and unfamiliar to you. Ahhh, now that’s the life! That’s the dream some people must imagine my life to be like. NOPE! Not exactly. It’s a little more intense…..

  • Like walking around hungry for hours because I can’t find a restuarant to eat at that I can actually understand what’s on the menu. Can I have SOME English, pictures, ANYTHING! I’m hungry!

  • Not having a good day? Too bad, the stares don’t stop, the sad attempts to have basic conversations in English don’t stop, the jaw dropping expressions don’t stop, the questions don’t stop!

  • Have banking needs? Good luck getting English assistance and don’t be in a rush to send money home, it’s going to take time. Lots of time.

  • When are my clothes gonna dry?? In southeast Asia, most people don’t have dryers in thier homes. I’m apart of the “most” group, so that means sometimes waiting countless hours and days for clothes to dry in the humidity and in the cold.

  • Mold has completly taken over my life! Moisture is such a big problem due to humidity and climate that you just have to surrender to the Gods!!

  • I don’t remember what life was like without google translate! I use it to talk to people in the stores, read my mail, read street signs, read posters on the street, and the list goes on! It has become a way of life.

  • Grocery shopping is like “Pick and Pray!” Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t.  When in doubt, leave without!

I must admit that the major struggle comes with the language barrier. I have found that even if you know the language there is still a barrier if you are not a native. Some things just simply can’t be translated. Everyone’s experience living abroad is different based on the country you live in and the individual situation.

“THE JOURNEY”

I view life in general as a journey. What I am doing by living abroad is apart of my destiny. It goes far beyond the “adventure” of it all. Sure, I expereince some adventures along the way but there is a method to my madness. An order in which things have happened and will happen. Each step is calculated, considered, and contoured to directly influence myself and others. I want to be responsible for conducting a life that I can be proud of. A life that will inspire those around me. Each day is different, each expereince is motivating, each cycle changes. It’s a series of ups and downs, ins and outs. Through the happy times, the sad times, and the devestating times I find strength. I’m choosing to live life on my own terms. To navigate the path that God has given me, as he leads and guides me along the way. I’m loving every minute of it! I couldn’t always say that, so I’m grateful I can today. This journey, with some adventures, is the best of life as I know it. I stand proud and accept the challenge!

 

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5 keys to living an EMPOWERED life!

Have you ever been going through something and it just feels strange. It feels like all roads point back to you in areas of your life that you didn’t even realized exsisted.  There are so many lessons in life that come in many different forms. Its our job to be true to who we are and what we are purposed to do in order to get the fullness out of every experience. When we are in tuned with our mind and with our spirit, we can focus and accomplish great things in our lives and the lives of others. You wanna know how to do this? Try starting with these five things…..

1.  NEVER LET OTHERS DETERMINE YOUR ACTIONS  

It’s easy to say that you are independent and you don’t follow the crowd. It’s convenient and cliche to “dance by the beat of your own drum.”  What’s a little more difficult is to forgive that person that wronged you. To treat someone with respect that has not respected you. To not hold a grudge. To always be honest. To love someone inspite of. To be there for that person in need, even when they don’t deserve it. To give instead of  loan. To make the call. To just be you! Sometimes the best version of ourself is never seen. This is because we spend too much time allowing others to determine how we will react to situations. Before you act on                   anything in your life, ask yourself one question; “What’s in my heart to do?” Erase all the thoughts, suggestions, and actions of others that fill your mind. Trust yourself, go with your gut and be you!

2.  BE CONSISTENT

There is nothing more empowering than consistance! In every area of your life this should be your #1 goal. You should also consider this in how you approach any type of relationships. You may be the only consistent person in someone’s life. Don’t let them down. Keep your composure.

3. RESPECT YOURSELF

When you can wholeheartedly repect yourself under all circumstances everyone and everything HAS to fall in line! When you respect yourself, it will reflect in every decision you make. Especially those concerning your well being. It’s all about respecting your path in life. What God wants for you and what you want for you. Stand firm on that, and center all of your actions around it.

4. HAVE CONFIDENCE THROUGH LOVE

Love and fear cannot exsist together. Having confidence cancels fear so you can love. Love is more than a romantic feeling or something you feel for family and friends. It transends through everything  you do. Confidence supports love. Confidence supports the real you that is often hidden. There is something special about a person that is not afraid to be confident. It shows that you are willing to take a risk on yourself. That you are willing to try and never give up. That you firmly stand behind everything you support and believe in. Who doesn’t want someone like that in their corner!

5. BE THOUGHTFUL

Have you ever received a kind remark from someone you weren’t expecting? Maybe a gift that showed up at your door that surprised you! Have you been encouraged by someone at just the right time? Being thoughtful is one of those things that is SO powerful but is often overlooked. It takes on a different form of being kind and extends to your character. It speaks volumes of who you are inside because there is an intentional effort that is made. When you take the time to reach out to that person, to lend a helping hand, to be there even when you’re not asked, to honor your word; you have then stepped outside of average. Be thoughtful today and everyday.

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10 Helpful habits for your morning routine

Believe it or not, what you do in the morning can determine your success throughout your day.  Establishing routines can be extremely beneficial in your life.   I’m a morning person. Always have been. I really enjoy getting up early enough to ease into my day. When I begin early, I can take the time I need to think through the tasks I need to complete and it also helps to ensure I am “on time” for my duties. Although I am an early riser, I tend to take my time and not get much accomplished some mornings. I found that through establishing a morning routine I am able to complete simple tasks and start meaningful processes that continue throughout my day. So what does that look like? Here are my 10 morning must haves.

 

  • WAKE UP & STRETCH it may seem obvious to wake up, but you should give this some thought. First of all I’m always thankful to see another day. I usually whisper a Thank you to God when I awake to show my gratitude. You should practice getting up after your alarm goes off the first time, so NO SNOOZING!!! For some people, it helps to place your alarm on the opposite side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off. However you do it, just remember that you really don’t get more rest when you hit the snooze button. It’s just a delay  that could sometimes throw off your entire day.  STRETCH!! Just simply stretch out your limbs. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. Just a conscious way to wake up your entire body after it’s been asleep. It just takes a moment, but it’s very important.Black woman waking up in bed
  • DEEP REFLECTION This has become my favorite part of my morning routine. I love journaling. Well, I love the idea of journaling. Truth be told, I sucked at being consistent with it. However, when I organized this morning routine I thought long and hard about if I should include journaling. I identified my weakness with journaling and created this format of deep reflection. After I wake up and stretch I sit at my desk or in my floor chair and just write. No format to it, no special length, no order. I use this as a time to empty out any thoughts from yesterday, record and reflect on dreams I had that night, and identify with my feelings and emotions at that moment. Anything goes! I can make a list of things I remembered through the night, I can note goals, whatever! I try to keep my writings short. Only spending about 5 to 10 mins. I want to be as authentic as possible, so for me that means not forcing words out, but simply letting my thoughts flow.
  • MEDITATE After I am fully awake and I have emptied out my thoughts on paper, I make a conscious effort to mentally just BE! I sit quiet and clear my thoughts. I know this is very hard for some people and it is for me to. Try to focus on something that is natural and pure. I like to imagine a sunrise or sunset. It helps me appreciate the fact that I am alive, well, and I love the idea of chasing the sun. Knowing that my dreams can take me as far as I let them and realizing that like chasing the sun, they are never ending. I do this for a short time, only about 5 min. You can choose what length best suits you.
  • PRAYER This is probably the most important part of my routine. Time set aside to speak and listen to God. There is not much to say about this. Just do it! Remember that praying is listening too. Reading scriptures during this time will help you hear from God. It my also help to have a list of things and people you want to pray for. Take as long as you need on this one. Praying will regulate your day.
  • HYDRATE I am probably one of few people who drink water throughout the night. I started doing this as a teenager and it is a habit that I kept. For most, your body has gone about 8 hours, give or take, without water. It’s important that you hydrate first thing in the morning. Warm lemon water or apple cider vinegar water is best. You wake your organs with the warm water and the lemon or apple cider vinegar have amazing benefits for your body. Although I hydrate through the night, I find it nice to drink that warm cup of water before eating breakfast. I like to switch between the lemon water and acv water to get all the benefits!coffee-flower-reading-magazine
  • MAKE YOUR BED I do this step while sipping on my water. It takes about 2 mins to complete! That 2 mins helps to bring order to your day. It helps you feel accomplished! The obvious is that it’s great to be tidy. There is nothing more welcoming than stepping into your bedroom with a nicely made bed! I love pulling back that blanket before hopping into bed for the night!
  • PRIORITIZE Take a few mins to make a quick list of things you need and want to get done that day. Then, put them in order of priority. This is an important tool to master if you want to be productive! I plan my weeks using the Passion Planner every Sunday. So I just look at my list to make any adjustments and as a reminder to what I need to focus on for the day. There is nothing better than having a plan for each day! I cannot stress this enough! Begin with the end in mind!
  • EAT BREAKFAST I don’t have to tell you how important it is to eat breakfast in the mornings. Some people do and some people don’t. I wake up STARVING in the mornings! Breakfast is a must for me. Even if it’s just something quick, grab something to kick start your metabolism!
  • AFFIRMATIONS Take a few moments to speak positive things into your life! You shouldn’t look to others to do something that you can do for yourself. You know you best! Remind yourself of how great you are, that you are loved, that you will be productive today, that you are unstoppable, that you can do anything you put your mind to, that you are beautiful (handsome), that you are enough. Whatever is in your heart at the moment. Encourage yourself. After I am dressed for the day, I stop by the mirror, look myself in the eye, and speak a few affirmations to myself. Eye of the tiger!!DSC_0007
  • START YOUR DAY You have now prepared yourself for a productive day! This whole routine , although reading it seems lengthy, should only take about 60 mins give or take. It’s really all up to you. I find it totally worth it to get up early and prepare myself for the day. If you are someone who always runs late, this is your savior!!Try it! I would love to hear how it works for you!TY
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The 5 strengths in sacrifice

What is sacrifice? Sacrifice is to give up something of value for the sake of other considerations. Some of you may be reading this and saying “yup I do this everyday” because you believe everything in your life is valuable. I want you to consider this. Can the things or people you value be replaced? Probably most of them. Can the meaning of that value and the timing behind that meaning be replaced? Probably not! I have learned that everyone places value on different things. We all see things from the perspectives in which we have been conditioned. I think that is what makes sacrifice so powerful. Most of us never even look at sacrifice as being powerful. I want to show you five ways that sacrifice can show strength, and through strength we have power!

 sacrifice

Strength in altruism

The unselfish concern for the welfare of others. There are times when it is necessary to show concern for the wellbeing of others beyond using your words. I mean, how deep is your concern really if you are not willing to do something about it? I believe it’s when we take that extra step that strength begins to form. Sometimes you give and assist others when you’re  actually the one in need. In my opinion, this is the best time to show altruism. Imagine the power you walk away with when you know you’ve  sacrificed your own needs for the needs of someone else.

Strength in passion

Passion is desire + energy. It’s the thing that drives you. The thing you can’t live without and don’t want to live without. The thing that has become a part of who you are. The thing you will do for free or without acknowledgement. Sacrifice is necessary when it comes to your passion. You sacrifice a lot for the things that mean something to you. When you sacrifice for your passion something magical happens. You become more passionate. The strength in this is undeniable. The collection of ideas, the endurance, the courage, and the personal fulfillment are all remarkable examples of strength gained through passion.

 success

Strength in success

How do you define success? My definition of success is achieving personal goals on a consistent basis and inspiring others to do the same. It is through this that true strength is built. The ability to never give up, the gratification of physical reward, the actions of pursuit, and the ability to humbly commit. There are many definitions for success, but one of the greatest rewards no matter the definition is the strength you receive through your journey.

Strength in happiness

What does it mean to be happy? There are so many forms of happiness. Most of us should know by now that happiness is found within. If we look to any one thing or person, we have already lost. Things or people can assist in your happiness but they cannot make you happy. When you finally grasp that concept you will find a strength that no one can understand. The strength to live life under your own terms. The strength in knowing that it’s you that make the decisions for your life. The strength in knowing that you cannot be controlled by what this earth has to offer but you can live for the things that are not seen. Sometimes we do have to sacrifice certain things that make us happy in order to achieve another level of happiness. This only increases our strength in sacrifice because we know in the end we win!

Strength in love

Love is a word I speak about often because it alone is powerful. When you consider sacrificial love what comes to mind? Your spouse? Your children? Your family? I think of all of those things. I believe that the sacrifice of love comes in many ways and for many different people. So often, we sacrifice ourselves, financially, emotionally, and physically for the people and the things we “love.” The sacrifice in love is always you, but through this sacrificial love you gain patience, wisdom, and understanding.

 strength

Whatever path your journey in this life takes you on, I pray that you understand the strength in sacrificing. Not just for yourself, but for others. Somebody’s counting on you, and sometimes that somebody is you!

 Ty

Try connecting with the Earth!

Now I’m no tree hugger, but I am a believer of preserving our planet and “living off the land.” Our wonderful planet gives us so much that we don’t take advantage of. For example, the simple process of growing your own food is simply amazing! It’s like growing your own money. Is it easy, NO, but I am also a believer that everything won’t come easy. If we take the time to learn about natural resources that are available to us, we may find that for quite some time, we’ve been doing it all wrong. That brings me to my topic today!

EARTHING

Ty Earthing 2

When you make direct contact with the surface of the earth our bodies receive a charge of energy that makes us feel better fast! This is called Earthing! The process of actually walking on the ground/grass barefoot.  The earth’s energy is crucial for good health.  We are physically made from the earth. The physical body is made up of minerals.  Minerals and elements are a part of our natural resources. Earthing is said to relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation, thin your blood, prevent sleep apnea, and enhance well being.  Making this physical contact with the earth can improve your health almost instantly!

Earthing is recommended for those who travel to physically align you with your new environment. Especially if you will remain in a place for a long period of time. Understanding this concept, I wanted to be sure to try it upon arrival in Japan. Unfortunately, it was cold when I arrived and I was unwilling to do it then. Now that it has warmed up a bit, and I do mean just a bit, I decided to give it a try! I must say I did feel an instant connection. The more you do it and the longer you do it for, the better. I plan to continue Earthing on regular bases. It’s free to try so what have you got to lose!!

Ty Earthing 3

 

My mornings just got better!

Before you reach for that cup of coffee please try my new morning loves! These beauties have many health benefits and are sure to give you more of a morning boost. Each drink is packed with metabolism boosting and calorie burning health benefits.  Without further due, allow me to introduce you to my first and favorite drink. I call it….

Morning Motivation Matcha

Morning Motivation Matcha

Water

2 teaspoons of matcha powder per 8 ounces of water

½ teaspoon of lime juice

2 teaspoons of honey

2 mint leaves

 

Pour the water in a shaker or directly into your water bottle. Add the matcha powder, lime juice, and honey. Shake, shake, shake and drink! It’s so easy and delicious but it’s sure to give you the boost you need first thing in the morning. Matcha powder is packed with antioxidants, increases energy levels and endurance, boosts memory and concentration, burns calories, fortifies the immune system, improves cholesterol, and has amazing flavor!

Now, I just happen to be living in Japan where I can find this tea practically anywhere but I’m sure you can find it at any health food store in the states. You might even find it in some grocery stores. So let this be your morning motivation!

 

The second reason I get up in the morning…..

 

Sparkling Sunrise Spritzer

FullSizeRender (1)

1 cup of sparkling water

½ cup of orange juice

¼ teaspoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

¼ cup of frozen berries

2 tsp of honey

3 mint leaves

 

Simply put all ingredients together in a shaker, (I would crush up the berries a little) and shake, shake, shake! This drink is the perfect balance of flavors. Even the apple cider vinegar flavor! Apple cider vinegar is just some of the best stuff on the planet! It can be used in so many ways and has amazing benefits. Here are a few reasons to have apple cider vinegar every day! It lowers cholesterol, prevents indigestion, aids in weight loss, clears acne, boosts energy, cuts down on nighttime cramps,  and controls blood sugar just to name a few! It is always best to buy organic apple cider vinegar and it can be found at your local grocery store.

 

Try these, especially you coffee drinkers, and let me know what you think!  Make it a great morning!

Ty

 

 

Not so Cherry Blossom

I was told the best place to see cherry blossoms in the north was in Ogawara. It’s about a 30min ride on the train from Sendai so I packed my camera and headed to the JR station.
As soon as I got on the train I became sleepy. It’s so quiet on these trains and peaceful. Nice scenery, consistent movement, I dozed right off. I had a short dream about this juicy hamburger I was enjoying. It was quite delightful. To my surprise, when I woke up I was physically going through the motions of eating my imaginary burger! Uh! I was so embarrassed! Thank goodness I only had about two people side eyeing me. Anyway, I had no time to focus on that because I didn’t want to miss my stop. I was hoping I had not already. Turns out I didn’t miss my stop. I was two stops away. Perfect!

When I got off the train I was greeted with materials about the area. When I stopped to look at a map, the same guy that gave me the materials asked if I would like to join a free guided tour through the area. “Sure! Why not!” So I was taken to the area where others were gathering. The people were so nice and accommodating. The downfall was that the night before it was very windy so all of the cherry blossom trees were empty. No big grand scenery I was hoping to see. Although, the natural beauty of the area was worth the trip alone. There were a few trees still in bloom and the back drop of the snow capped mountains was amazing! I learned a lot about the area and I enjoyed seeing the farming the locals had accomplished.

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We walked up this mountain to see the view of the cherry blossoms and mountains from there. Just beautiful. We were given a ride down in a bus and I met this college student who seemed very eager to speak to me and practice her English. She had a lot of questions. Lol she was very sweet. She told me ” You are so friendly!” I replied, ” I try to be.” She was from Taiwan. When I walked away to take the train back to Sendai, she ran after me and gave me a hug. “Good luck to you in Sendai, it was so nice to meet you!” It’s true when they say you never know the affect you have on the people you meet.

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Let the healing begin with this sweet chewing stick! (Licorice root)

Welcome to the healing properties of licorice root!!

I was casually browsing around little five points in Atlanta, GA one Saturday at a natural foods store called Sevenanda. I saw one of the workers chewing on a stick, like a piece of bark! Confused, I decided to ask him about it. He looked at me and smiled and opened up his book of knowledge…..

He must’ve shared with me for about 30 to 45 min of information that was priceless. A new world of potential healing that I was completely ignorant to. When I left him that day I felt compelled to do my own research, (which I always do) and these are a few highlights of what I found.

Prevents tooth decay and gingivitis

Research shows that moderate doses of licorice root can help reduce tooth decay and gum disease. I have found that ingesting large amounts of it in other forms such as teas, and candies can cause health problems.  Chewing on the root should provide effective amounts that can be beneficial. It can also be used to clean the teeth. When you chew on it, it creates this brush that you can gently sweep across your teeth with! It will help whiten your teeth and reduce plaque.

Asthma 
Know someone who is suffering from Asthma? This chewing stick could be of great help! It has been shown to effectively soothe , swollen airways acting as an anti-inflammatory. It has also been found to actively inhibit histamine release and coughing. It eases congestion by helping to loosen and thin mucus and airways.

Heartburn

The stomach is supposed to be acidic. This is why antacids aren’t the answer. Licorice root helps to get to the root of the problem by soothing the stomach lining and overtime healing it.

Other healing properties

They include: healing canker sores, chronic fatigue, coughs, arthritis, stomach ulcers, sore throat and viral infections. Please use caution when using Licorice root. It has shown to be harmful in HIGH doses. Just remember that anything done in excess can be damaging.  My favorite use for it is dental hygiene! It really works! You should break one root in half, peel back some of the bark and chew. You can reuse many times. Try it and come back to post your story in the comment section.

Ty