Friday, February 27, 2009

All or nothing?



What you give may be what you get.

I have been rolling this over in my mind this morning as I was kicking myself in the butt. Why was I kicking myself? Because I found myself in a situation of having to do something when it could have been done already. Months ago as we finished off projects around our condo before we listed, I was told to not paint the basement....there was so much other things to do. I knew there was lots to do,but the way the basement looked was a HUGE turn off for me being left in such an unfinished state SO close to being done......especially in contrast to the rest of the space. I went through many sleepless nights pondering the things we needed to get done and I decided to get out of bed and head to the basement and paint. I finished off the mudding and sanding in the stairwell and primed and painted the walls and the stairs as I thought about the other things I had to get done in other areas of the house and my life. I couldn't do much else while others were sleeping and in the end, it turned out well. But one thing lingered on my mind...."I really should finish off the walls in the living space as well.....it just needs a little sanding and I could prime and paint it while I have the stuff out. WELL.....I didn't. I didn't give it the couple hours of attention to just finish it off. I know I did something, but I didn't do it all and now I am back at having to finish it anyhow. It's taking more time as it is now a furnished instead of an empty room and I have to shuffle around and move furniture in order to get at the walls.

In all this I thought about applying myself to anything I want to do it life. I shuddered at the fact of doing anything with a half-attempt, not really caring how I do it or not or doing the work grudgingly. Where is the satisfaction in that? If I am going to do anything, I am going to give my all (or whole heart) to it....regardless if it is something I think I won't like. Because I realized, that regardless of liking what I do or not, it the getting it done and done well that I get a KICK out of. Every clean up dog doodoo in the spring time......not fun. However, after cleaning it all up off your lawn,you know that you can enjoy taking care of your lawn and going onto it without worrying about rolling in a dog's leftovers.

I also thought about wanting to get something out of what I put into it. If I am all or nothing, and I put nothing into it, what am I going to get out of it? NOTHING! If I put my half-effort into doing something, how much do I expect to get in return? I should expect half. But if I put my ALL and full effort into doing something, then I can hope to expect a whole lot in return. As I did my workout this morning I gave it my ALL. I didn't finish it all, but for what I did do, I got the most out of it. I did do something as opposed to nothing, but in the SOMETHING I did, I gave it my all! I have muscle awareness all over the place HAHA and it is soooo satisfying. I know that my example of giving my full effort to whatever it is I do, will be seen and hopefully lived out in my children, in my friends and family too. I AM going for ALL as half or nothing doesn't sit well with me. =D



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Allergies! Aren't they a pain? .....or are they?

"What alergies do you have again?" Yes, I do have a list of allergies and intolerances. It affects going out in public places, dinner dates, staying at the homes of family and friends, inviting people into our home, and going out for dinner. People feel as though they need to be walking on egg shells when someone has allergies, but if I live with it well, then it's not so bad.

I was asked a couple days ago if I would be going to a get together at a Thai restaurant. In my past experiences I know that with my peanut allergy I would be wise to not go back into a Thai restaurant (not fun to interrupt a meal with gasping for air and being rushed to the hospital.....ahhh the memories). I did suggest to my friend that we get together in another way, and in a setting that is encouraging for the both of us.

I am thankful for my allergies and intolerances and it has made me a well-informed and knowledgable person and aware of how many people are living ignorant to what they may be exposing themselves to and causing themselves pain and suffering with. My gluten intolerance (discovered at 25) has helped me to come away from a lot of processed and junk foods and eat more healthfully. I may have an allergy to peanuts (realized at 25), but I am able to eat almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and a few other tree nuts. I have been allergic to eggs since I was a baby, but didn't find out until I was 19. I have eaten eggs in almost every preparation and I don't feel I am missing out on anything, because I did have the experience of enjoying them. It has also helped to motivate me to find alternate protein sources and experiment with ways of modifying baking recipes. I inherited an intolerance to pork and glad for it (nuff said!). But the one allergy that is the most difficult to live with is my fragrance allergy. I am thinking that it may be more of a chemical sensitivity (i.e. phthalates), but it is quite dibilitating and painful, causing sharp pain throughout my body, and triggering my asthma. It has also caused issues in my relationships with my family and friends as it is literally a physical barrier that is difficult to get around. Over the last week, after having friends through our home, I was left in pain and struggling with my asthma as the residue of fragrance lingered long after their departure. It affected how I would take care of myself and my family and I have been really fatigued in all I am doing. After every fragrance encounter, it is the same thing, the same pattern of symptoms that I experience. I resigned from my last workplace for the reason of over exposure to fragrance and that was after helping to implement a change in arrangement of desk assignments to accomadate those with similar needs.

Many have asked if there is anything I can take to help with the symptoms and the answer is no. Not only because I choose to live as naturally as I can, but even from the advice of doctors based on my medical history, I am unable to take drugs without putting myself at risk for triggering another condition (again, the question of what is in the drugs in the first place and if it is REALLY necessary to be taking certain perscriptions or not). I know that through being mindful of what I expose myself to and being observant to how my body responds in its environment, I have improved my standard of living as well as my tolerance to my exposure to allergens. I don't walk around in constant pain, continually medicated, and swollen and bloated from not thinking of what I put into my body.

Starting next week, I will be starting on Dax Moy's Elimination Diet as it is the one year anniversary of when I first did the diet. It's an easy 30 day detox and the information you gain about what you can and probably shouldn't eat is really helpful, whether you are trying to lose weight, tired of being sick and bloated all the time, or looking to live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.

Here's to living a conscious, healthy lifestyle catered to your body's specific needs.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heaven on Earth - What does that mean for you?

I was asked about a month ago to think about what Heaven on Earth would be like for me and how I could enjoy more Heaven on Earth.

As I went over the question today and began to ponder, I received a knock at the door. I opened the door to see a lady and her friend who go around sharing their faith and the good news God called them to share and I welcomed them in. You see, as she has continued to come to my door on a more consistent basis, we have shared in a bible study each time. I challenge her and she shares with me and we both come away more encouraged and more convicted of what we hold to. Today the study turned to Heaven on Earth. And as we shared and studied and read through the scripture, I had these images in my head of what we were talking about and how that would look like.

God promises me that if I hold to his teachings, and obey his commands that I may share in eternity and that for me is my Heaven on Earth. (John 8:31- )

I am overwhelmed by how God is conversing with me, encouraging me, connecting me to his word, and urging me to continue on to the end sharing his good news of salvation and a life to the full through him. How AWEsome!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quote of the day

"you need a valley to reach a peak" - Annik

Thank you Annik! This made me think of all the contrasts we live in life and how we need one to help define the other for us.

What "valleys" have you been through to help you reach (or aim for) the "peaks" in your life?


Elisa

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Wall-E"....reflections part 1....use it or lose it



"Wall-E"....reflections part 1....use it or lose it

* Posted by Elisa on February 18, 2009 at 2:30pm



I can't share enough about this movie so I am doing it in parts.

First point: Use it or lose it!

What do we have to use? Our bodies, our minds, personal interactions, our choices. If we don't keep moving we will not be as mobile. If we don't keep thinking and challenging our mind and grow in what we know...well, we won't grow in what we know and everything changes and evolves around us, so better to keep up than get left behind. If we don't keep social and interact with others, we will not only miss out on challenging our senses, but lose on important feedback as well. AND if we leave our choices to be made by others, we will lose the experience, knowledge and wisdom gained from making our own choices.

DISCLAIMER - If you haven't seen the movie, try and get the opportunity to do so and then come back and read this beyond this point as I may spoil the movie for you =D.



Currently I am feeling like one of those people floating around on the hover thingys as I am experiencing joint pain (could be gout) and cramping. I haven't been very mindful of my eating amidst the stress either. I know I'm not going to stay that way, but as I am watching the movie with my boys, I am reminded to keep at it in the best way I can.

We are provided with a lot of information from the media and multiple sources telling us one way or another to do this or eat that. I would like to think that I question enough to want to check out the info for myself and make my own decision based on the information I sought out and was given. Of course, I wouldn't have sought out the information if it wasn't presented to me in the first place, but I can always expand on what I was exposed to. (Instead of letting a company tell me what to think, do, eat, wear, etc).

Our personal interaction helps us to learn and gain feedback and experience the fullness of life. Let it be with our environment, nature, the sun, the moon, the stars, flowers, plants and how things grow, we are a part of it and it influences us. Being involved in a community that offers support or being out and about and encouraging others and your environment gives encouragement in return.

And last but not least, the continual use, nourishment, and challenge of our bodies will help us to better interact mentally and physically with what is around us. If you want the change, choose to make the commitment in your mind and follow through with continual actions. Every little step counts. Put one foot in front of the other and start walking, jogging, running and skipping and enjoy life! (use that jogging track and help your muscles encourage your bones to stay strong and useful)


Keep on steppin'!


Elisa

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Carrot banana muffins

This is one of my favorite recipes I make. I modified it from Martha Stewart's Carrot cupcake recipe as I am gluten intolerant, allergic to eggs, and use natural sweeteners as often as I can. I switch it up all the time and it's quick and easy.

Spiced Carrot Banana Muffins

Ingredients (Makes 12)

  • 1/3 cup honey (or 1/2 cup maple syrup) and some stevia (...original recipe called for 1 cup sugar...can also use 1/2 cup coconut sugar)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use olive oil and/or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (2 large ripe bananas or 1 banana and a tbsp of plain yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup flour (I use a mix of what I have available...chickpea flour, bean flour, gluten free flour, coconut or almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (could mix it up and use some shredded zucchini too)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional....I don't use them)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine honey, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs (or mashed bananas).
  2. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, stevia, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.
  3. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.
  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes.
Enjoy!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

From the heart - living passionately

Over the last week I have been in a living and learning experience of being loving,passionate,and fruitful. I was very encouraged last weekend by the time I got to share with friends and in being encouraged through scripture to not only use my talents to the full extent as they were given, with our fear or laziness, but to also have a heart fully devoted to loving up on God in the midst of prosperity or trial.

As King Solomon was a man that was granted a discerning heart, wisdom and wealth, he lacked the heart for God that his father David had. Even with having full knowledge and wisdom, he still chose to not love and honour God fully. Since sharing in this lesson, I have realized not only to use my talents fully, but to dig up any talents I may have buried and put them to use as well. Let me not be lazy or lacking in passion and heart for God.

I met with a group on Wednesday and after discussing connecting with God, we were also challenged on what our motive is for wanting to connect with God. What is our "Why" for being a Christian? This week has been encouraging and challenging and at the end of it, I have concluded that in the end, all that matters for me is to glorify God. Why? I am thankful for the life he has given me, I am thankful for the life he has saved me from. He holds me when I am alone, there for me to talk to, comforts me in my pain and struggles, encourages me to grow, and provides for me what I need. A life outside of God is without love, dark, and without comfort. If I long to be loved and wanted, I am going to go where that is at, in God's grace. Out of my overwhelming gratitude and desire, I will be devoted to do what it takes to remain in the grace of God.

I sang love songs and songs of praise to God yesterday and it was a beautiful time of peace, of love, and of encouragement. My boys were smiling and hugging me and it encouraged me to act in a righteous way =D. To love up on my neighbours and strangers, to be patient and nurturing....I was living out my life as I wanted to.... according to the vow I had made. As others are celebrating Valentines day, I will focus on loving passionately my God, my husband, and others that are in my life. I will express genuine interest and concern for them. I will look for ways to meet their needs. I will look for ways to encourage them and their dreams. And I will look for ways to bring glory to God through what I do.

Have a loving, encouraging,and passionate day.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

On the road again.....the ease of meal planning

I just finished my breakfast at my friends house a few hours south from where we live and I was satisfied with not only the meal, but with how easy it was for me to plan out our meals for the weekend while at our friends house. It's funny how I have been struggling with meal planning at home on a day to day basis being that last year it seemed to be simple enough to do. It took me, at most, 5 minutes to write down in my planner easy snacks and breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for 3 days. Let me share what I brought with us:

Cooked quinoa
Trail mix bags I put together (almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, raisins)
Sliced zucchini and red pepper
Apples
Hummus
precooked chicken
Organic plain, unhomogenized yogurt
Carrot muffins I baked
Rice milk
Hemp Granola
Multigrain tortilla chips
Juice

I packed the trail mix in little snack bags at the beginning of the week and set them aside. Then the morning before we left I cooked the quinoa as we had breakfast, sliced the veggies and mixed up the muffin batter before I walked my son to the bus stop and then baked the muffins as he was in school and in between packing up our stuff.

With just a little time spent planning at the top of the week, I had 3 days of fun options for the kids and myself, and we can spend our time having fun and enjoying the company of our friends instead of worrying about what to eat and if we can eat it or not. As it is not just me with food sensitives, but my kids as well, I wanted to make sure that my options were better than the tasty temptations we may encounter, but also simple to prepare. It also took up very little room and that is always a good thing when you are bringing food that needs to be refrigerated (and the fact that we were packed into the back seat of the car).

I have given myself a little peace of mind that one of our fundamental needs are met and not left in the control of those that may not know how best to meet that need. It's all up to me.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stepping into unfamiliar territory

We have had our condo listed for sale for 4 months now and we are in need of a move soon. We are looking at renting our condo now and then moving to a place that has 3 bedroom (or more), 2 toilets (son's request), good sized living space and a basement to rent out (hubby's request). We are also in need of a garage and would definitely like some outdoor space (younger son's request). I have searched and saw that for what we want it would be available in the range of $300K or more in our city. We can definitely afford that as we pay mortgage plus condo fees plus storage and all that in one property and payment would be great.

Our passions and interests are in need of a place where we can do them. I love to garden and with hubby's handy work that involves painting and fixing stuff, as well as his interest in motorbikes and wanting to fix up the one he has, we are limited in what we can do in this condo. Definitely we were made for having a garage =D. We are at a place where we want to be doing the things that interests us and the season to be doing them is fast approaching. Spring is upon us in just over a month and as the freshness fills the air, we will want to be doing what inspires and enriches us even more. Our minds our set and there is no going back and with that comes a level of impatience and frustration as well.

I had booked for us to go and see a property yesterday. It was not exactly what we were looking for, but could work with some creative thinking and the right person to rent. However that property got an offer after I booked to see it and the offer is pending. With not having all our "ducks in a row", we are not able to make a move in that situation and did not go to see it. SO we went to see another home that was "similar" in the area and it was NOT going to work for us. After viewing that property, our realtor had one for us to see that he has listed on the market. It was a nice place and my hubby really liked it. We met back at our place to run through the scenarios that would help us to not only have our place as a revenue property, but would allows to purchase a new home for us as well.

All this financial and business information is not my area of study (I took art and science), so there is a lot of information to put together in a way of thinking I'm notfamiliar with. Also, as the information comes to make more sense to me, I desire to know more so that I am able to make all this work to our benefit. So what to do when you have questions in stuff you don't know fully about? Approach the experts. And not just one. Go tot many sources so you can get a fuller picture and tap into the info that everyone has figured out. Not every mortgage broker goes about doing mortgages the same way. Similar, not every doctor practices the same approach to medicine, but their focus is still on the health of the human body. I will go to the experts that are in business, that own revenue properties, that deal with mortgages and how to get money to do what they want in business ventures and get the info. Time to become a student in a new class, and I plan on getting a passing grade =D.