Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Smallest Acts


On impulse I purchased
a Meditation-a-Day calendar
in January from the clearance
table at Barnes & Noble.

Those of you who have been
reading along with me for a
while know that I love quotes.


Often, when I read one that
really resonates with my spirit,
I massage the words over and
over in my mind....

And often, that leads to some
deeper thoughts ~

And often, I like to share
those thoughts
with
you.


Because I know, if we were
talking over steaming cups of
tea or coffee, frosty glasses of
iced tea or wine, we would have
a wonderful conversation sparked
by an idea that was born from
one of these quotes.

Here is one that 
particularly
stayed with me:

Put your heart, mind, intellect,
and soul even to your smallest
acts.  This is the secret of
success.
~ Swami Sivananda


Do you live with this kind
of passion, where each day
you greet every task with your
whole heart?

I try to.

Try.

Some days are more 
challenging in this regard 
than others.

But still, I try.


One of my all-time favorite
quotes, from Mother Teresa,
is very similar to the Swami's:

Not all of us can do great things.
But we can do small things with
great love.

Yes, we can fold the warm
laundry with great love ~
for the most basic of blessings
such as life, family and freedom....


Yes, we can put our hearts into
weeding the garden, thankful for
the feeling of sunshine on our
backs, fresh air in our lungs and
the joy of birdsong....

Yes, we can put our mind into
creating nourishing meals that
fuel these bodies that allow us
to do so many things, every day....


Yes, we can put our intellect 
into loading the dishwasher, walking
the dog or writing a birthday card,
honoring the brain that takes care
of blinking and breathing and putting
one foot in front of the other, freeing
our minds to dream as well
as to take care of business.....

And yes, we can put our souls 
into how we meet the world each
day, via the smile to the cashier,
the wave to the neighbor, the hug
we give a friend.....


It's all a matter of passion and
gratitude and how we frame
our life's work, whether that
is done behind a desk, behind
a wheel, behind a rake or
broom, camera or piano ~
or behind little ones, gently 
guiding them forward.

I'll leave you with another quote
from an extraordinary woman,
Helen Keller.  It has been at the
top of my blog page since I began
this adventure in 2010.


I long to accomplish a great and
noble task, but it is my chief duty
to accomplish small tasks as if
the were great and noble.

Love her.

Love you all.

Thanks for inspiring my 
passion, not only for writing, 
but for sharing the
beauty that is this life.

xo
Suzanne

all pictures:  P&H





Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soy-anara



With all the lovely
fruits and veggies
beginning to arrive in
our local grocers and 
farmer's markets this time
of the year, I was already
inspired to up the ante
on healthy eating.


So when my doctor advised
me to avoid unfermented
soy, unless it was organic
edamame or soy nuts,

I figured, 

I'm up for this....
how hard can it be?  


I rarely eat tofu unless
we are eating out an
 Asian restaurant.

I rarely drink soy milk 
unless I have a Chai Tea 
soy latte at a coffee shop.

I rarely cook with soy
products unless I am trying
a recipe that calls for it.
{And soy sauce and miso
are fermented.}


No big deal, right?

Wrong.

So,
so,
SO
wrong.

My friends, when I began
reading labels for soy, I found 
that it is omnipresent....


It's in most brands of

bread
vegetable oil
mayonaise
frozen waffles
tortillas
salad dressing
breakfast bars
canned soup
cereals
canned tuna
meat balls
sauces
protein bars
chocolate
cookies
crackers
frozen foods
baking mixes
chips
ice cream
ice cream cones 
carmel corn
rice cakes
pudding
pet food

just to name a few.


So what?  you ask.

There are a multitude of reasons
to avoid unfermented soy for better
health.  The top case in my mind
is that 99% of soy is genetically
modified {gmo} to be resistant
to pesticides and herbicides and
is considered to be one of the 
most highly contaminated
food products in the U.S.

Ugh.

In North America, only soy
products labelled organic are
guaranteed not to be genetically
modified and not to be treated
with pesticides and herbicides.


But even organic, unfermented
soy may be bad for our health,
despite the millions of dollars
that big food companies
have poured into advertising
and label claims.

Why?

It contains plant estrogens,
toxins and anti-nutrients,
which cannot be removed
through processing, and
can adversely affect 
our well-being.

The bottom line?  Soy oil, soy
flour and processed soy products 
such as soy lecithin and soy protein
isolate, are cheap.  And inexpensive
ingredients mean more profits for
the companies that manufacture
the foods we eat.


Even those we assume
are nutritious.


When was the last time you
added soy lecithin to your 
home cooking?  

The ideal way to avoid soy
is to stick to unprocessed
foods or to make your own.
But since most of us do not
have or make the time to
bake our own bread or
whip up our own mayo,
ice cream, crackers, etc.,
it is imperative to read
labels and to know what
you are consuming.


Because knowledge is
a powerful tool for creating
and maintaining wellness
for ourselves and for
our families.

So, I say, 
soy-anara! 
gmo
unfermented soy.


How about you?

The first wealth
is health.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

xo
Suzanne


PS:
You can learn more about
 the soy controversy 

here
and















Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Season for Growing Young


So much about the
summertime season
brings out my
inner child.

The thwack! of
a bat when it makes
contact with a
baseball.



The slam of a
wooden screen 
door.

The taste of a
juicy, ripe peach.


The softness of
the morning air
before the day
heats up.


The dit-dit-dit
of the sprinklers.


The joy of watching
a seed become a
seedling.

Bare feet on
cool grass.



Thunderstorms.

Porch swings.

Root beer floats.


I was watching
a video blog a
few weeks ago
and the blogger 
reminded viewers
that when we were
little, we would
proudly announce
that,

I'm six and half,
but soon I will be
seven!

And you were very,
very excited at the
prospect of becoming
older.



She pointed out that
it would be oh-so-cool
if we heard adults
say,

I'm 36 and a half, but
soon I will be 40!

embracing our wisdom
and the prospect of
a new season of life.


That's how I feel about
the summer; it makes
me grow younger, at
least for a few months,
as I celebrate the simple
pleasures that seem to
abound at this time.

It's May 18th,
but soon it
will be July 4th!


I have already warmed
the bleachers at 10 baseball
games, often viewing the 
sun setting below the 
horizon. The lights, the 
cheering, the scent of 
popcorn wafting on the 
breeze, take me back to a 
time when life seemed 
like nothing but a giant
possibility.


What summertime
joys make your 
heart
sing?

Can you feel
yourself,
growing
younger?

xo
Suzanne