Superfood Moringa Cheesecake (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

16 Jun 13461211_10103981130140204_2104834425_o

Moringa: the Superfood you are not eating!!

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The Miracle of Moringa Tree Leaves (Moringa Oleifera), commonly called the ‘drumstick tree”, and ‘horseradish tree’ is native to India but has been planted around the world and is naturalized in many locales. Moringa is one of the most powerful health-enhancing plants. While many things found in Nature can have one or two health benefits, Moringa has many. India’s ancient tradition of ayurveda medicine sites 300 diseases that are treated with the leaves of the Moringa tree. Recent scientific research has proven that these humble leaves are in fact a powerhouse of nutritional value.

Benefits:
Detoxification – Moringa is used to reduce inflammation  and in this process takes out toxins.
Antibotic – Moringa is used as a topical and internal treatment for minor infections. Its antibiotic property is identified as Pterygospermin, a bacterial and fungicidal compound. Its chemical description is glucosinolate 4 alpha-L-rhamnosyloxy benzyl isothiocyanate.
Skin Treatment – Moringa leaf and seed oil has great healing benefits for the skin. They can be used to treat cuts, scrapes, sores, and rashes as well as cracking and other signs of aging. The Seed Oil is cell-regenerative, working to heal scars and wrinkles. It has also been used for eczema and shingles.
Anti-inflammatory – Moringa is also found to be effective in trauma initiated chronic swelling.
Diabetes – An extract from the Moringa leaf has been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels within 3 hours of ingestion. Though less effectively than the standard hypoglycemic drug, glibenclamide. The effects increased with larger doses.
Adaptogen– Moringa works to bring the body to a balanced state of health – capable of toning down or strengthening the activity of the bodies hyper functioning systems, depending on your body’s needs.
Rejuvenating – restorative Chi tonic, increasing the bodies’ resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety, and fatigue.

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Superfood Moringa Cheesecake (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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Ingredients:
 CRUST
  • 1 cup packed pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp cocao powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
FILLING
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk 
  • 1 Tbsp organic moringa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon
 Instructions
  1. Add cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let set, uncovered, for 1 hour, then drain thoroughly.
  2. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Make crust by adding dates, walnuts, cocao powder and salt to a food processor. Blend until small bits remain or it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.- it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. 
  4. Press the crust into the parchment-lined dish
  5. Add your drained, soaked cashews to a high speed blender, along with vanilla, maple syrup, coconut milk, sea salt, oil, moringa powder, and lemon juice. Blend on high until creamy and smooth.
  6. Pour filling over the crust. Put in freezer to set.
  7. When ready to serve, set out cheesecake to thaw. Top with more moringa powder. 
  8. Enjoy immediately. Store leftovers in the freezer up to 3 weeks.

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Peace, Love, Superfoods

❤ Colleen Poling, RD

3 Daily Routines That Will Change Your Life

1 Jun Routines_51

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Surprising Vegan & Organic Finds at Costco

29 May 13313923_10103937249397564_408619238_o

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Today I ventured into Costco for the first time! I was a very overwhelmed at first with the huge carts and all the STUFF people were buying, especially with this being Memorial Day Weekend. Carts were full of junk food, electronics, paper products, clothes and anything else you can imagine. Although, this did bring me back to my childhood, when my dad would bring my brother, twin sister and I to Sam’s Club to buy giant boxes of Rice Krispie Treats, Jumbo Rope Licorice and Ice Cream Snicker’s Bars! That was heaven for a little kid. However, now as a conscious consumer, it was my goal not to get sucked in too far, and only buy what I needed. Much to my surprise I found some AMAZING vegan, and organic items. Check them out:

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List of Finds: Organic Frozen Berries, Organic Peanut butter, Organic Frozen Broccoli, Organic precooked Love beets, Organic Frozen veggies Galore, Dates (Non-GMO), Organic Tofu, Dried Figs (Non-GMO), Suju Mighty Greens Juice, Organic Hemp Seeds (serious deal here!!), Organic Chia Seeds, Nut Milk, LaraBars, Organic Edamame Spaghetti, Frozen Acai berries, Organic Apples, Organic Full Fat Coconut Milk, Vega One protein, Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup, Organic Cashews, Organic Hope Hummus, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Avocado Oil (Non-GMO), Organic Edamame, Organic Coffee, Organic Butternut Squash, Organic Vegan Protein, GT’s Kombucha, Organic Black Beans, Coconut Oil, Organic Bananas, Organic Agave, and even a Vitamix was there to buy!
I highly recommend getting a Membership!!!
❤ Colleen Poling, RD

The “Fuck Yes” Diet

24 May fuckyesorno

fuckyesornoHave you heard of the Law of “Fuck Yes or No?” This law applies to relationships stating that:

  1. When you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.
  2. When you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.

Basically both you and the other person need to be Fuck Yes about something, otherwise you’re just wasting your time. Check out Mark Mason’s website if you are interested in learning more on this law with relationships.

How can this apply to ours diets? Consider this quote:

“Perhaps the most intimate relationship each of us will ever have is not with any fellow member of our own human species. Instead it is between our bodies and our food.” –Scientific America, 2013

You will never have a more intimate relationship, not with your partner nor your child in this lifetime then you will with food. Food can be enveloped into our emotions and feelings. Food is makes up our culture. Food is a huge part of our social lives. Food breaks down into tiny chemicals and becomes you. Food affects every aspect of our wellbeing, from our mood, energy levels, thinking capacity, brain power, sports performance, sex drive, and longevity. We have over 100 trillion cells in our bodies and these cells need nutrients to thrive. If we fail to provide them with the essential nutrients we are harming ourselves rather than healing ourselves. Let’s work on creating a more positive relationship with our food.

Just as we can provide self-respect with applying the Law of “Fuck yes or No” to relationships with people, we can do the same with food. Why? Because non-needy, high self-worth people don’t have time for food they are not excited to eat. Don’t have time for food that doesn’t nourish the body, mind and soul. And certainly don’t have time for complicated food relationships.

Simply ask yourself this:

  1. When deciding to eat a certain food, THAT FOOD and FOOD RELATIONSHIP must inspire YOU to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed to eat it.
  2. When deciding to eat a certain food, THAT FOOD RELATIONSHIP must in turn respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with it.

OK, now you are probably thinking, how can a food say “Fuck yes or no” to me as a human would?

Let me translate specific human relationships you might have had to food relationships:

The Stage 5 Clinger:

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Human: You are the clinger, super needy, not able to let go. You are a total “Fuck Yes” to committing to the other person. Them, a “Fuck No”. You are ready to give the relationship 100%, you are devoting your time and attention to this person, texting, calling, analyzing every move. Giving up this person feels impossible. This person is like a drug to you. Your love drug. You are high every time you are with this person. You have lost all self-control with this person. Unfortunately, the person you are clinging to is not that into you. In fact, they are keeping you strung along. Keeping you wishing, hoping. Keeping you on edge for that next love drug high.

Food: You are addicted to a certain type of food, fast food, sugar laden foods, processed foods. The food is a drug for you. You feel cravings for it. You cannot see yourself living without these types of foods. You have been devoting your time, by investing your money and eating these types of foods daily. You have lost all self-control with these foods.

Solution: It is time to practice some self-respect, and be the rejecter! By detaching yourself from the foods you crave, you will soon say “Fuck No,” too. You will then find yourself choosing much healthier foods when you let this unhealthy relationship go.

The Mindless:

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Human: You go with the flow with relationships. The other person is into you, a “Fuck Yes.” This doesn’t bother you one way or another. For some reason, whatever comes along you take it. You can feel so-so about someone, and go with it because no one better is coming along. You are mindless, uninterested in how the relationship will proceed, but continue moving forward with it because it is available to you.

Food: You go with the flow about what food goes into your mouth. For example, the staff break room has donuts and you already full, but you still eat it anyway, because it is there. You mindlessly choose certain foods, because it is easy and convienent to you. You eat in front of the TV, computer and/or with devices in front of you. You have no concern about how the food is affecting your body. You are a complacent and basically a “Fuck No” in this food relationship. The food relationship is responding back to you, “Fuck Yes.” You two are not on the same page.

Solution: Stop being so complacent with your food choices, and get excited about what you are eating. Choose foods that are nourishing to you. Be more mindful when you eat, by really tasting, and connecting to the food. Maybe you need to try a cooking class, or go to a gardening class for some inspiration. Connect with your food in a way you would want to connect with another human being.

The Booty Call:

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Human: You are the booty call. You are called at late hours of the night for a fun time. You enjoy the time between the sheets, but long for something more. You two are not, “Fuck Yes” about the same relationship goal.

Food: Is your food Booty Calling you? Do you find yourself with late night binges? Do you have fun eating these foods in the moment, but are then left with feelings of longing, guilt or regret? Do you feel something is missing in this relationship? Do you long for something more? You and your food relationship are not on the same page. It seems that you are not a “Fuck Yes” in this relationship.

Solution: Give yourself stronger boundaries to follow as you would with a human relationship. You deserve better. Find out what is causing these binges. Is it a void you are trying to fill? Sit with your emotions instead of reaching for food.

The Asshole:

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Human: The person you are seeing is a complete fucking asshole, and you know it. They make you feel inferior. They undermine you. They disrespect you. They can be liars, cheaters, manipulaters, and can sometimes be abusive. You cry out, only wanting to be heard. You want from the deepest part of yourself for your partner to embrace you, connect with you, not abuse you. You want a deeper understanding and respect. This person is “Fuck No,” you are a “Fuck yes.”

Food: The food you are in a relationship does not love you back, because you do not first love yourself. You deprive yourself of food, or restrict your food, because you long from the deepest part of your soul to just be heard. You want control. Your relationship with food hurts you. It disrespects you, it lies to you, it cheats you. You don’t feel like you are enough. You cry, because you want it to embrace your whole self.  What you really want is to deepin the understanding of who you really are. This food relationship a complete asshole, and it is responding as a “Fuck No.” It is time you do as well.

Solution: Stand your ground. It is time to fight for yourself. Trying to control only leads to more suffering. Discover yourself by working with a counselor on why you feel incomplete and the need for control.

 

“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savor it.” Evelyn Tribole

❤ Colleen Poling, RD

5 Cutting Edge Ways to Optimize your Health

26 Mar Epigenetics-image
Epigenetics-imageDid you know it is possible to increase your brainpower, immunity and cancer fighting ability with not only your diet, but also by how you live your life? Epigenetics is a growing field of research that focuses on changes in gene expression of our given DNA without altering the underlying genetic sequence. New scientific studies are supporting that by the way you eat and live your life, you can turn on or off certain genes. Making you more prone, or less prone to certain cancers, for example. You have the power to turn on or off certain biological characteristics simply by how you live day to day. Include these 5 tips in your diet/lifestyle everyday to optimize your health by making sure you get the most out of what your momma and dad gave ya!
1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
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Omega threes are vital to our heart health, cardiovascular health, memory, and to prevent inflammation.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid, and is the precursor of the longer chain omega 3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and to a lesser extent DHA can be made in the body from ALA.  Flax seed, chia seeds, walnuts, sacha inchi (incas peanut), are great sources of ALA. Fish and Algae are good source of EPA and DHA.
DHA has been shown to be extremely important for brain health. DHA turns on the growth of new brain cells, offers protection for existing brain cells, and enhances the of ability of one brain cell to connect to the next. This is called neuroplasticity. DHA also acts as an anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation of the brain plays a huge role in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and virtually every other neurodegenerative conditions. DHA also produces glutathione, the master detoxifier, master of our immune system, and major antioxidant of the nervous system. Glutathione also helps regulate the function of how protein is produced. To make sure we are producing enough Glutathione, we need to make sure we are getting enough DHA in our diets.
A vegan and vegetarian diet provide little EPA and DHA, even those consuming a lot of walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds can be still be low in DHA. Try supplementing with Dr. Furman’s EPA/DHA supplement, it is derived from lab-grown algae and has no environmental contaminants. Vegans need to load up in this department for optimal neurological function. Non-vegans and non-vegetarians need to be careful as to where they get their fish, and what type of fish, due to the mercury content.
2. Turmeric
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Turmeric is a root with a deep orange/yellow color that has been used throughout history in Chinese and Indian medicine. We are just now catching on to the powerful healing benefits of Turmeric here in the west. Research is showing that Turmeric can possibly treat depression, and be as effective as the medication prozac. The main phytochemical in turmeric, called curcumin, fights against depression by reducing inflammation, modulating the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, and turning on a gene to make a growth hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is known for making knew brain cells. Regular physical activity and getting enough DHA can also activate the gene for making BDNF.
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Black pepper combined with turmeric enhances the bioavailability of curcumin, which means you get more benefit from it. If supplementing, be sure to buy a supplement with organic curcumin extract that contains black pepper. Check out this amazing recipe for Golden Milk too!
3. Prebiotics & Probiotics
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Did you know that you are made of 90% microbes, and only 10% human cells? You do not look like a giant blob of bacteria because your human cells are much larger than your microbes. Your gut makes up much of the microbes, and they play a special role in your health. The bacteria inside you right now can affect your digestion, immunity, and even mental health. The emerging science on this topic is very exciting, and the variety of bacteria in your gut can say a lot about you.
A bacterial infection called Clostridium difficile, or Cdiff resulting in debilitating diarrhea, and sometimes death is common in patients visiting the hospital. Patients are treated with antibiotics, which kills all of their good and the bad bacteria in their guts. Sometimes the antibiotics fail, and this is where a Fecal Microbiota Transplant can come in. Fecal transplantation is the transfer of stool from a healthy donor into the gastrointestinal tract for treating the recurrent C. difficile. This treatment is very safe and effective. Fascinating, right?
Did you know that the gut bacteria of obese people are imbalanced too? The obese microbiome has an increased ability to extract energy from food, breakdown fiber, and absorb dietary fat, due to the abundance of the two dominant bacterial strains, the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes.  In one study scientists gave germ-free mice a fecal transplant with obese microbiota, and this resulted in an obesity! This diminished biodiversity in the gut’s ecology explains the loss of functionality to maintain proper physiology.
Increasing the diversity of the gut bacteria can help to manufacture some of the vitamins and cofactors needed for building bones, including B6, B12, K, and folic acid. Scientists also suspect that a healthy gut flora helps the body properly digest calcium, and increases vitamin D receptor expression.
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Here I am making homemade Sauerkraut at the San Diego Fermentation Festival this past Jan 2016!
There are a number of ways we can increase our gut diversity. Limiting antibiotic usage is important, and including more prebiotic foods and probiotic foods in our diet. Prebiotic foods feed the good bacteria in our gut. Prebioitcs include garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, dandelion greens, baobab tree powder. Also include probiotic foods daily,which contain the friendly bacteria themselves, such as kombucha tea, water kefir, kvass, rejuvelac, fermented veggies like kimchi, sauerkraut, and fermented soybeans like natto.
4. Medicinal Mushrooms
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Mushrooms have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits. Research has shown that certain mushrooms can increase the immune system, decrease inflammation, restrict blood vessel growth feeding tumors, cause programmed cell death of cancer cells, provide antiviral properties, restrict growth of harmful bacteria and even assist with conventional anti-cancer drugs to work more effectively so they can be given at lower doses. Mushrooms are functional foods, which support our systems on a multi-factorial level. Try including some of these medicinal mushrooms in your diet.
Reishi: The Queen of medicinal mushrooms. Reishi is highly researched, and has been shown to reduce stress, detoxify the liver, increase immunity, and promote better sleep. Reishi is an adaptagen, which means if you are feeling tired it will give you energy, or if you are feeling anxious it will calm you back down.
Lion’s Mane: Helps to improve memory, boosts creativity, helps with concentration, has anti-dementia effects, helps with neurological damage and can penetrate the blood brain barrier. Lions’s Mane is a think food. Plan on taking Lion’s mane consistently for maximum benefits and noticed results.
Chaga: Is considered “black gold,” and has one of the highest sources of antioxidants in the nature. It fights against pathogens, and balances out the immune system. Chaga is also very high in zinc.
Cordyceps: Supports adrenals and produces long lasting energy levels. Cordyceps is wonderful for endurance athletes because it increases oxygen uptake, decreases recovery time, and increases ATP levels. You will feel cordycep’s benefits relatively quickly after consumption.
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Check out FourSigmatic.com for their amazing mushroom powder drink packets. I highly recommend them!
5. Meditation and Mindfulness
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Neuroscience research has shown that staying in the moment, and being mindful changes the way your brain functions. It changes and  improves the way we experience ourselves in the world. It is not just mumbo-jumbo! We spend a lot of our day in the personal narrative of our life. We obsess about the future, we dwell on that conversation we had last week, or last year, and we remain entrenched in the storyline of our life. Researchers call this the “default network” and it’s dominated by cortical midline structures (CMS). While this “default network” has benefits, when we spend too much time in self-referential thinking, especially if we are caught up in negative thinking, it can lead to poor emotional and behavioral outcomes, including depression and anxiety.
Mindfulness practice is about attending to the present moment. It teaches us to notice how the body feels, right now, paying attention to the breath and observing, without grasping onto our current state of mind. By definition, mindfulness moves us away from our personal narrative about how our life should be and into how life actually is, moment to moment.With as little as a few minutes a day, studies have shown increases in grey-matter density in the hippocampus region of the brain, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Studies have also shown that meditation decreases grey-matter density in the amygdala region of the brain, which is known to play an important role in anxiety, stress and the fight or flight response.Decreased grey-matter in the amygdala does not negatively impact the fight or flight response. If you get chased by a bear, you will still be afraid and want to run away. The decreased grey-matter helps you lower the stress and anxiety levels faster after a stressful situation, say getting chased by a bear or getting in trouble with your boss at work. Check out a guided youtube meditation or buy a guided journal to de-stress at the end of your day, or to start your day off stress free.
Happy optimizing!
❤ Colleen Poling, RD

The Secret to Happiness

21 Mar Nathan-Myhrvold-Photography-of-modernist-cuisine-vegetable-garden1

 

Most of us go throughout our days living in monotony. Day in and day out we follow daily routines. We don’t give much awareness to our surroundings, and blindly move from task to task. We end up feeling empty with this sameness and cannot pinpoint where our unhappiness is coming from. If you are feeling lost, it is because there is no intention in your life. Having no intention in 5 key areas of your life causes feelings of discontent. These include diet, exercise, relationships, career, and adventure. Intentionality means paying attention. It means doing things on purpose—not passively, not reflexively. Learning  how to embrace the power of intent can bring you back to life again.

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1. Diet: The way most of us eat food in America is centered around our egos, and with zero intention. We are not connected with our food, and that is why we are getting so sick. We crave food certain foods. These foods make us powerless when we get sight of them, a whiff of them, or even think of them. We ache at the thought of an oozy gooey slice of pizza with salty ham, succulent pineapple, and a garlicky crust. We are already thinking about the next heap of mac and cheese when we haven’t even started our first bite. We stop at the drive-through window after a long day at work craving a bacon hamburger and crispy fries, because it is fast and fills our bellies. We have come to a place where we are now eating what is fast, convenient and disconnected. We are so far from the original source of the food we eat that it seems to not matter where it comes from anymore. Food has the power to affect how we feel: energetic, lethargic, positive, negative, healthy or sick. Food is not just about filling our bellies. We need to nourish not only the physical body, but also the mind and soul. We need to eat to live, not live to eat. Don’t get me wrong though, enjoying our food is a part of this process. We need to learn how to be intentional with how we eat food, and how we prepare our food, with positive, loving energy for example. If we don’t do this then we will continue to have trouble to tap into a higher awareness.

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  • Diet Challenge: For one week avoid going out to eat for your meals. Grocery shop, and meal plan. Choose mostly organic, plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, beans, and legumes. Avoid boxed foods, breads, cookies, bottled sauces, processed foods with added white sugar, and frozen foods. Cook your meals with positive energy and a smile on your face. Eat your meals by sitting down at a table with friends and family. Turn off your TV, smartphone or computer when eating your meals.

2. Physical Activity: Just like with food, most of us are very unintentional with our physical activity. Our bodies are designed to move, not to sit at a desk all day long, then come home sit on the couch and then go to bed. We all know the benefits of exercise, but have still become detached from our natural state of being because of modern conveniences. It is easy to get in a rut and stop moving our bodies for weeks at a time. It is no wonder we are feeling depressed. Exercise has been shown to decrease depression, create new brain cells, and create stronger connections within our brains. Our bad exercise habits have rubbed off on our children, and now we are seeing childhood obesity on the rise. We are teaching our children that it is more fun to play video games then to play outside. Remember when, as a child, you were playing outside, having fun? Suddenly, your mother announced dinner was ready, but your didn’t want to go in. The passion of play took all of your attention. It is time we give some intention to this area of our lives again. Let’s learn to play outside like kids again. Athletes of sports like crossfit, and triathlons need to be intentional as well. Each movement must have intention and skill behind it, our else you risk the chance of getting hurt. Athletes must give intention to how they are feeling and push forward when it is time to push, and to back off when time to slow down to avoid injury.

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  • Physical Activity Challenge: At the beginning of each day or each week intentionally set a goal for physical activity. It doesn’t have to be a set time of day. It can be 10-minute bouts at a time. Get up every hour and do 10 squats. Get in 6,000 steps a day. Make it fun. Go on a beautiful hike. Try a zumba or spin class. Sign up for a local mud run and work toward that as a goal. Plan ahead and make your movements intentional. Stop making excuses!

3. Relationships: Are your relationships intentional or just convenient? The act of intentionally choosing someone to enter your life generates a huge amount of energy, hope, and joy. It’s a catalyst that has the potential to ignite a lifelong, soul-deep relationship. When we go to someone and say, “Dance with me,” and they take our hand, it creates great possibilities. It doesn’t mean we’re already skilled on the dance floor, but it does mean the two of us have chosen each other as partners to learn and grow with. The connections you make with the people in your life may be intentional or convenient, but they’re rarely both. Culture tells us that relationships need to be efficient, and if they’re not, it’s time to move on. This kind of upside-down thinking says that relationships just randomly come our way like traffic on a freeway, and we have no choice but to go with the flow. Great relationships are based on active choices. The very best relationships are highly intentional, built on the solid rock of shared vision and goals. This art of relationships is beautifully simple but often forgotten in the rat race of our lives. You have to have a direction, a purpose, and sometimes even a plan for your key relationships. You must act with purpose, not just react to what happens. It is also important to have an intentional relationship with ourselves for us to connect with others on a deeper level.

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  • Relationship Challenge: At any given moment you have several relationships going on in your life, such as family, friends, and romantic. If any of these relationships are giving you stress or anguish, sit down and write your vision for this relationship. Where do you see it going? What do you want out of it? Then share these visions with the person in the relationship with you. If they do not agree, or do not try to compromise with you, then maybe it is time to move on. For a more intentional relationship with yourself, try a guided journal or guided online meditations to dig deep and connect better with YOU!

4. Career: We hunger for leadership, success, and fulfillment in our chosen careers. We spend 40+ hours a week working, so it is vital that we feel satisfied in it. Life is too short to spend wasted hours on a job that causes boredom or stress. If it is impossible to change your day job at this time, then try engaging in a new project at work, ask for ways you can lead, or spend 10-15 minutes a day working on an outside project that could lead to something down the road. Stop being miserable at work, and start being intentional with what your want in a career.

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  • Career Challenge: Write down 5 things you are passionate about. Writing? Cooking? Photography? Teaching? Incorporate these passions into your current job, or start something during off hours in which you can include these passions. It is possible that your enthusiasms could lead to a future job opportunity.

5. Adventure: Just like we hunger for love, romance, relationships, a passionate career, leadership, success, self-expression, we hunger for excitement and adventure. The extent to which we are able to incorporate adventure determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel. Everyone is called to adventure. Yes, adventure may hurt us, but monotony will certainly kill us. We need to start planning extraordinary adventures in our lives for newness and fun. Stop the madness of repetitiveness and explore something new. Plan more short vacations. Try a new class. Learn. Whatever you do, don’t be boring!

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  • Adventure Challenge: Every month plan a new adventure. Go skydiving. Travel to a National Park. Try backpacking. Try a new painting class. Read a new book. Try a yoga class or crossfit class. Sign up for a race. Join a meet up group. Learn a new skill.

❤ Colleen Poling, RD

20 Documentaries That Will Change You

3 Dec
I am obsessed with learning. Learning makes a person more open minded. Learning helps a person think critically. Learn more about the world with these awesome documentaries. Some can be found streaming on NetFlix, and some for free on Youtube.
1.Blackfish
BLACKFISH tells the story of Tilikum, a notoriously aggressive orca that killed three people while in captivity. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite uses shocking footage and emotional interviews to present a convincing case against keeping these wild animals for human entertainment.
2.Cowspiracy
COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret (http://cowspiracy.com) is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.
3.The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest 9 part Documentaries Series
Advanced doctors “Tell All” about how their patients are treating and beating cancer in this original docu-series.
4.Vanishing Of The Bees
This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee.
5.What’s For Dinner?
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/73461798″>WHAT'S FOR DINNER? Official Trailer</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/brightergreen”>Brighter Green</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>
What’s For Dinner? is a short documentary that provides a unique look into the rapidly growing consumption of meat and other animal products in China. Through interactions with a range of people within Chinese society, the film examines the impacts this monumental dietary shift is having in terms of sustainability, climate change, public health, food security, and animal welfare.
6.Fruit Hunters
A film about fruit-inspired lust, obsession and adventure.
7.The True Cost
The True Cost is a documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet.
8.Damnation
This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move us through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.
9.Fed Up
This is the movie the food industry doesn’t want you to see. FED UP blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.
10.Forks Over Knives
FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
11. Bite Size
Bite Size tells the stories of 4 kids around the country as they embark on a journey to become healthier and lose weight. All it takes is someone to believe in you and the will to try.
12.Vegucated
Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated is a award-winning documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers from different backgrounds who, for six weeks, adopt a vegan diet and a whole new way of thinking about food.
13.Tiny
What is home? And how do we find it? TINY follows one couple’s attempt to build a Tiny House from scratch with no building experience, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space. Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the changing American Dream.
14.The Harvest
THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA is the story of the children who work 12-14 hour days, 7 days a week to pick the food that we eat.
15.Dive
Follow Jeremy Seifert and his circle of friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of L.A.’s supermarkets. In the process they uncover thousands of dollars worth of good food and an ugly truth about waste in America: grocery stores know they are wasting and most refuse to do anything about it.
16.Bananas
Juan “Accidentes” Dominguez is on his biggest case ever. On behalf of twelve Nicaraguan banana workers he is tackling Dole Food in a ground-breaking legal battle for their use of a banned pesticide that was known by the company to cause sterility. Can he beat the giant, or will the corporation get away with it?
17.Soul Food Junkies
Baffled by his dad’s reluctance to change his traditional soul food diet in the face of a health crisis, filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out to learn more about this rich culinary tradition and it’s relevance to black cultural identity. He discovers that the love affair that his dad and his community have with soul food is deep-rooted, complex, and in some tragic cases, deadly. Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians and scholars, as well as doctors, family members, and everyday people, Soul Food Junkies puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its benefits and consequences. Hurt looks at the socioeconomics of predominantly black neighborhoods, where it can be difficult to find healthy options, and wonders if soul food has become an addiction in his community.
18. Sushi The Global Catch
From Texas to Seattle and New York to Moscow, the demand for sushi, a cuisine formerly found only in Japan, has grown exponentially and a multi-million dollar industry has been created to support it. In a rush to please a hungry public, the expensive delicacy has become common and affordable, appearing in restaurants, supermarkets and even fast food trailers. The traditions requiring 7 years of apprenticeship in Japan have given way to quick training and mass-manufactured solutions elsewhere. This hunger for sushi has come at a price and has the potential to upset the ecological balance of the world’s oceans, leading to a collapse of all fish species.
19.The Rise of the Suberbugs Resistant to Antibiotics
The nightmare is here. Rampant use of antibiotics coupled with an explosion in global travel has led to superbugs spreading worldwide. Join us as we step into the lab with leading experts and listen to shocking stories of the health implications. Let’s face up to the horror of antibiotic resistance before it’s too late, as once a superbug gets out, there may be no stopping it….An authoritative, timely film, on an issue we ignore at our peril.
10.Planeat
A group of leading international scientists, doctors and professors have spent their lives trying to find out what is the best way to eat. A pattern has begun to emerge in their research, which shows that our animal-based diets are the cause of our most challenging health and environmental problems. Having to battle against their own beliefs, and those of the institutions they worked for, they have come up with a solution that will change peoples lives forever. They share their ideas on how we can not only prevent prevalent diseases like cancer and heart disease but also cure them. And also how applying the same principles can dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time as providing more food for the planet. In accordance with this scientific evidence, pioneering farmers and chefs around the world are discovering new ways to produce and prepare the food we should be eating.