Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to Deal With Life’s Imperfections

How’s this new year going for you?  Getting all those resolutions and goals figured out?  Or have you already given up, like a handful of folks do when confronted by a bump in the road along the path to achievement?

“Life is a series of one roadblock after another.”

                        ~ Mike Foster

Yes, life can be a constant thorn in ones side, or a blessing - it all depends on how you look at it.

Another thing you can say about life is that its one constant is change.  Our challenge is in overcoming adversity while embracing the change that will inevitably seek us.

Call them what you will - roadblocks, unwanted change, adversities, bumps in the road.  One thing that separates those who succeed in life and those who find excuses around every corner is the ability to adapt, to persevere, to overcome and embrace change and roadblocks as challenges to adapt to and not complain about.

What is your major roadblock standing in the way of your success?

The best way I’ve discovered in helping me deal with life’s imperfections and constant curveballs is by using laughter.  A favorite Zen saying of mine is:

"Nothing is left to you at this moment but to have a good laugh."

One of the things that separates us from all other life forms is our  ability to laugh in the face of some of the most dire situations, chuckle when all around us are freaking out, guffaw when life looks its darkest.  Like the old adage suggests: “when life gives you lemons make lemonade.”

This time of year millions of people, just like yourself, are making resolutions and setting goals to attain throughout the year.  Goals to lose weight, eat better, be more charitable, compassionate, kind.  I applaud anyone who strives to improve themselves, while also reminding anyone within earshot that goals and resolutions should not just be saved at year’s end or its beginning - set them and refine that as often as necessary, throughout the year and whenever you feel the need to improve yourself.

In summation, life is life is life.  It is up to you to make the best of  not only any bad or tough situation, but all the good ones too.  We may not be able to control a lot of what life tosses our way, but we can control how we react and deal with it.

* Have a laugh at life’s idiosyncratic impossibilities and seemingly unfair results.

* Look adversity in the face and dare to overcome it.

* Embrace not only every new year and opportunity to change for the better, but every day.

* Understand that there will be bumps in the road and challenges along the way…

* …and that you can control how you react to them, as well as your effort and energy in overcoming them.

Remember, sometimes you just gotta laugh at life.

But never, ever give up striving to do your best so that you live your life to its fullest.

Every day in every way.

Until next time...



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Start The New Year Off Right!

Happy new year, hope your holiday season was good to you and yours.  Now it’s time to get back into it, start fresh, get those resolutions and goals in order, right?

Well, one would think that this would be one of those beginning of the new year posts resolving to lose weight, eat better and smarter, be kinder, show more compassion, and vow to help those less fortunate than oneself throughout the coming year.  And while I feel all of the above are worthy notions that we all need to strive toward (me included!!), this post is about food.   Good, hearty, healthy food to start the new year off right.

But let me touch back on those resolutions and goals for a second.  I have lots, including all of the aforementioned ones I touched on previously.  I am very close to re-launching my video site, along with publishing my latest music video.  I am putting the finishing touches on my self-help book that I am going to package with a CD and DVD for distribution in the first quarter of this new year.  I also have lots of other personal and professional goals that I am constantly challenging myself with, but for now, let’s eat.

As a vegetarian and vegan-wannabe, I am always looking for tasty protein choices and this three bean chili with red quinoa is perfect - it is loaded with fiber and protein, while tasting amazing.  The quinoa not  only adds delicious flavor and texture, but important amino acids missing in most vegetarian proteins.  Enough talk, watch:

It’s easy to make, here’s how:

Sauté six chopped cloves of garlic and one chopped onion in olive oil
Mix two parts water to one part red quinoa and boil
Open and drain one 16 oz. can of low sodium organic black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans
Add 32 ounces of no sodium organic diced tomatoes to onions and garlic

Add spices:

1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
Salt and pepper

Add the beans, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes
When all the water is removed from the quinoa, add that to the mix, simmer another 15 minutes.

Some of you may be asking, What is quinoa?  It is a seed, loaded with fiber and protein, but a more complete protein than other veggie proteins.  Watch this  for more about quinoa:

And quinoa is simple to make:

Setting goals and resolving to be a better person are good things, but don’t just focus on the start or end of each year, do it throughout the year.  Just like this delicious veggie chili; it is just the ticket to get you through a cold winter’s day, but also great to eat throughout the year.

Here’s to an incredible 2011.  May all your resolutions and dreams come true.

Until next time…