Tuesday, October 13, 2009



What is this, talk like a pirate vacation?

Nope, I’m taking off for a few weeks to:


Repeat all of the above…

And then...eventually, sadly, inevitably, but Ready and Raring to go...


Aloha and peace,


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Find Your Spirituality

When we talk about spirituality, most people automatically think of faith, their high power, their feelings about their god of choice. While I find all of that very spiritual, I feel that spiritually is so much more; it has to be. Why? Because to be in total harmonious balance, to be a complete human being, we have to be physically fit and healthy, mentally strong and focused, and spiritually sound. To limit one’s spiritual health to just having faith, higher powers, and communal worship is akin to running ten miles a day then smoking a pack of cigarettes--something’s missing.

I am constantly searching for that inner peace, that tranquil happiness, that meditative state that I feel only total spirituality can give us. Again, going to a place of worship every week, celebrating with like people, and practicing one’s faith is a good thing…I just feel we have to do more to be more.

For me, finding one’s spirituality is a daily activity, just as working on my mind and body, improving my triad of balance is. Some of the things that help me find my spirituality can be found in this video:

Find Your Spirituality

For those of you who prefer the written word:

Ten Ways To Find Your Spirituality

1. Take A Walk In The Wilderness. For me, there’s nothing better than getting out and communing with nature, away from the noises and distractions of the busy world (and your busy life). Find a tranquil spot that you can share with the birds and squirrels and you will find yourself.

2. Exercise The Mind And Body. To achieve balance in my life, I need for my mind and body and spirit to be aligned. What better way to strengthen one than by working on the others. Working up a sweat, for me, is a natural spiritual high; as is working a crossword puzzle. Work the mind and body, and the spirit will come around.

3. Reach Out And Touch Someone. When was the last time you received a hug? Or initiated one? Hopefully it was as recently as today. Physical contact with another human being (or even a dog or cat, to a lesser extent) is not only spiritually uplifting, but an essential necessity for happiness and spiritual wholeness.

4. Be Kind. One of my favorite adages is: Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you. Good vibes are contagious. What goes around comes around. Spread joy and you will be joyous. A smile goes a lot farther than a snarl. Random acts of kindness should be second nature for us all. Think about it.

5. Live In The Moment. I am a planner, a multitasker, a busy guy with lots of irons in the fire. I often have to force myself to slow down, take a breath, stop and enjoy what is happening in the here and now, and not what needs to be done in the then and when. Enjoy the ride, the process, the journey…the moment.

6. Keep Busy. An idle mind is the devil’s playground. While it is good to live in the moment, it is also very good to have lots to do. That doesn’t mean to never chill out, take a vacation or relax. It just means to have some hobbies, a few vocations, careers, goals, things to do. Every day, as much as your schedule permits. The more the merrier, as long as they are positive endeavors that add to your personal resume as a complete, happy, fulfilled person.

7. Give Of Yourself. When I help someone less fortunate than myself it makes me feel good--and it should! There’s nothing wrong with feeling good when you’ve done a good deed. Just don’t make that the main motivation for doing it. Do it because to not do it would be as unnatural as not eating, or bathing.

8. Hang Up The Phone! Living with all of the amazing innovations in this technological age is something I never would have dreamed of twenty years ago. But too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. I spend way too many hours in front of my computer out of the necessity of having to earn a living and passion for this website, but I shut it off as often as I can. You should too. Toss the cell, pull the plug on that ipod, stop texting, switch the TV off, and find a quiet spot to reflect, think, meditate…live. You will be happy you did.

9. Keep The Faith. Believe in yourself as much as your higher power. Go to your place of worship and sing the praises of your faith. Share your feelings with those like-minded people and your spirits will soar. No matter what floats your boat or makes you happy, faith is a good thing; it is the foundation of spirituality.

10. Stay Positive. These days the news, at times, can bring you down, test your spirit, your happiness. But the good thing is: we can choose to be happy, to be positive. Why would anyone choose otherwise? Even when times seem darkest, when life is at its worst, opting to be positive, to see the glass as half full, is still a personal choice. Choose to be positive and good things will not only follow, but it will be one giant step toward finding your spirituality.

Is Your Glass Half Full?

These were just a few of the many activities and practices I follow as I constantly work at improving my spirituality. I hope some of them work for you. I would love for you to share some of yours with me.

Until next time…



Thursday, October 1, 2009

What Is Quinoa?

A better question may be, What is one of the most complete (vegetable) proteins in the world? The answer is quinoa (pronounced: “keen-wah’).

Last year when I was researching my Super Foods video, I inadvertently forget a few foods that several people pointed out to me were quite super in their own right. And I agree that there are dozens of foods that are just as super or more super than the foods I lauded in my video: ARE YOUR FOODS SUPER? One of those omitted super foods is quinoa. What exactly is quinoa? Whenever I’m confronted with questions like this I tend to do two things: I put my researcher hat on and study up on the topic in question. And then I produce a video, like this one:


Quinoa is often mistaken for a whole grain, but it is actually a seed from the goosefoot family. Today, it is mostly grown in South America, but it has been around for over 5,000 years. The Inca and Aztec civilizations were so fond of this super food they considered quinoa the “mother grain.” Why is quinoa so highly regarded? One word:


Actually, two words: COMPLETE PROTEIN!

Why is this important? Amino acids. Most of you meat-eaters get plenty of amino acids as you gnaw away on your protein-rich meats; that’s one of the major benefits one derives from animal protein consumption. It is also one of the main challenges for someone like myself, and hundreds of millions of others around the world, who has chosen a vegetarian lifestyle. Sure there are lots of wonderful vegetable protein choices, from nuts to beans to soy to whole grains, but few, if any, are considered complete, offering all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is especially rich in lysine, which is helpful for tissue growth and repair.

Okay, sounds great, right? But what does quinoa taste like? And how does one cook it?

Quinoa is delicious served on the side with veggies, or in salads or soups. It also is excellent added to cereals, and I use it to add complete vegetable protein to my Italian and Vegetable main dishes.

You didn’t answer my questions: How does it taste and how does one cook it?

A: Amazingly delicious. And:


Why else should you add quinoa to your daily diet?

* excellent source of manganese (which helps with migraines)
* high in magnesium (good for cardiovascular health)
* fiber
* good source of iron & riboflavin
* low fat, low calorie food
* gluten free

Just because a food is considered super and good for you doesn’t mean it tastes good. I mean, I love broccoli and Brussels sprouts, but my wife tells me I’m stinking up the kitchen every time I prepare them. Quinoa is one of those special super foods that not only will help you live a healthier, happier, longer life, but will also add gastronomic pleasure along the way.

Until next time…



For the funny bone: QUINOA OUTTAKES