Blog Archives

Origins Exclusive & Free Worldwide Premier & Cowspiracy, A Ground-Breaking Film Environmental Organizations Don’t Want You To See


I’m so, so happy to continue to see conscious awareness, documentary films being produced consistently these days to provide revealing and eye-opening information that no longer provides an excuse to remain blind to things. What you do with the information is up to you as an individual, but you DO have a choice and you DO have the power to create change with that choice.

Two days ago my sweet friend Dawn Vierra posted the film, Origins, which was the first time I had heard of it. I had the opportunity to watch it since and felt inspired to share it here, especially since it is being offered as an exclusive, worldwide FREE viewing until November 22, 2014.

The link is below for your viewing. I think the film makes some great points and connective dots. Like with anything, there is always more to the story and there are different opinions to explore when it comes to health, in particular, through educating ourselves, but also connecting with the nature of you.

Origins touches on how it’s important to return to our “origins”, connect and align with Nature, and that eating whole, organic foods is key to our health and well-being and integral to Earth’s vitality, ability to sustain us, and the web of life. Nature is within us and connects us and by fostering a deep respect and love for Earth, we protect our future and create our hope. The power of change happens when we work as a community.

I decided to share Origins alongside the documentary film, Cowspiracy ~ The Sustainability Secret, which I believe is incredibly important to watch and takes some of these things to the next level that are touched on in Origins. Although Cowspiracy is not available for free viewing, unless organized as a community screening, it is available here: http://www.cowspiracy.com/

As David Simon, author of Meatonomics (and makes a guest appearance in the film) shares in his article interview of the film’s producers, Cowspiracy is a “source of embarrassment for many of the nation’s leading environmental organizations and government agencies, including Greenpeace, Surfrider, Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, National Resources Defense Council, the California Water Resources Control Board, and others” that turn a blind and/or convenient eye away from matters at hand.

Having watched the film myself, I whole-heartedly agree and cringed for these organizations as they evaded truth.

 

Cowspiracy may be the most important film made to inspire saving the planet.

— Louie Psihoyos, Oscar-Winning Director of “The Cove”

A documentary that will rock and inspire the environmental movement.

— Darren Aronofsky, Director of “Noah” and “Black Swan”

 

I hope you get a chance to watch both of these and the many other “awakening” films out there, as well as hope that you invite an openness to the educative resources you have available that can change the course of your life and this planet at large.

Here is the FREE viewing of Origins…but remember it is only available until November 22, 2014.

Food As A “Work Of Art” Enlivening My Life


tropical fruit, granola and smoothie

breakfast of tropical fruit, granola & smoothie in grenada

I always look forward to meals, especially my morning smoothies, which really get me over the hump of waking up – something that can be a bit of a challenge and a process to take “smoothly”. 😉

Since I went vegan about 8 years ago, my whole relationship with, and experience of, food is so enlivened. I don’t remember loving food so much, nor consciously understanding the whole picture connection of it as a source of overall well-being even beyond just myself. Each meal is nature’s “work of art” and making meals has simplified into a lively whole food experience that is circle-of-life-encompassing.

These reflections nudged me while I was having lunch and so I was inspired to share this for whatever reason. And now, having just finished my lunch, my tummy is feeling so content right now and I am feeling clear and ready for today’s creative process of painting.

mixedvegetablesI am enlivened and blessed by the foods that Mother Earth provides. And today that was a “bowl of gratitude” filled with a beautiful salad of baby kale, broccoli and sunflower sprouts, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, strawberries, and a touch of sauerkraut, all sprinkled with hemp seeds, chlorella, and fresh pepper.

I find making meals to be simple and quick (the more simple and quick, the better – not only for time efficiency, but in terms of assimilation) and I see how every day is a cohesive experience of all aspects of my life working in partnership to support optimal results.

Yet no matter how simple a meal may be, it is exquisite in nature whether intentionally created into a work of art, or simply realized as the work of art it truly is – much like our beautiful temple bodies.

My personal motto is “creating life as a work of art”, as you can see by the title/theme of my Blog. I see every thing as an integral part of the “painting of experience” I am creating each day, with each stroke of color having great meaning and depth. The more clearly each color is expressed and chosen, the more vibrant the “life picture”.

And I do LOVE vibrant colors, as one can tell by viewing my painting portfolio. The colors of my creations mirror the spectrum of nature’s miracle wonders and bounty.

Everything is always so filled with synchronicity, as not long after I felt guided to share this short thought today, someone sent me this video below that seems so fitting. Perhaps a different song choice would have reflected the beautiful images even more so, but nonetheless these are stunning images of fruit and vegetable sculptures that mirror this sentiment I am sharing.

I hope you enjoy these “works of art” as you contemplate your own life’s creation.

Meatonomics: The Eye-Opening New Book by David Robinson Simon That Lifts The Veil On The Meat And Dairy Industry


meatonomics

“This important book joins the ranks of T. Colin Campbell’s Whole and The China Study in its power to expose the truth and begin to repair the health care crisis.”

~ Patti Breitman, co-author of How to Eat Like a Vegetarian, Even If You Never Want To Be One

“Consumers can only make wise purchases of meat if the price they pay reflects the full cost of producing it—when there are no ‘hidden’ costs like subsidies or environmental damage. Simon is the first author to attempt a complete accounting of all these hidden costs, something that should be applauded by the vegan and meat-lover alike.”

~ F. Bailey Norwood, Ph.D., author of Compassion By the Pound and Professor of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

There are some incredible visionaries “being the change” and channeling pivotal and illuminating material and creations these days, especially via the medium of books. David Robinson Simon is one such literary visionary whose new book, Meatonomics, is creating major waves across the collective web of life.

If you aren’t familiar yet with David, you will likely hear more about him, as he is a leading voice in the field of sustainable consumption and a voice for the voiceless.

He is also making waves of change for First Amendment rights. Read on below in the interview to find out more about this.

David also happens to be my partner in life and I couldn’t be more proud of the service he is giving from his heart.

David at Animal Rights National ConferenceHowever, partner or not, there is no doubt he is one of the most passionately dedicated and influential people I know, working to create a new reality. I’m always amazed by people like him who are able to accomplish so much and who are “doing” so much in terms of helping things to shift – not just talking about it.

Meatonomics has received some astounding and compelling reviews by some influential people and publications, which I’ll let speak for themselves. Some of them include John Robbins, Will Tuttle, Ph.D., Rory Freedman, James McWilliams, Ph.D., Publishers Weekly, Patti Breitman, and more.

I highly recommend you check out what they have to say here: Meatonomics Praise and Reviews 

But before getting into what David’s book is about, I decided to do a short interview with him, to provide an inside look at who he is a bit more and how the evolution of his life has brought him to write Meatonomics.

David Simon doing OutreachInterview with David Robinson Simon:

Tania:  I understand that the majority of your life you have consumed meat and dairy, and in fact you ate a lot of fast food. How long have you been vegan, what brought you to this lifestyle choice, and how has your life changed because of this choice in terms of quality of your life and your relationship to the world at large?

David:  Yes, it’s true: for most of my life I was a classic junk-food junkie, living on chili dogs and bacon double-cheeseburgers.  I went vegan in the spring of 2008 after watching a few factory-farming videos that simply stunned me with their cruelty.  Although I didn’t change my diet for health reasons, I started to notice immediate health benefits.  Within the first few months, I lost 15 pounds and my cholesterol dropped from 200 to 160 (now it’s 140).

But for me, the main benefit of a vegan lifestyle has been a greater feeling of connectedness with the planet and its inhabitants.  I tread with a lighter footprint.  And I think I’ve become more empathetic and compassionate in my interactions with others.

Tania:  What was the driving force behind writing Meatonomics for you?

David at the 3rd National Animal Rights Day in LADavid:  A few years ago, I emailed a slaughterhouse video to a friend who taught at a major law school to see what he would think of it.  He wrote back that while the practices in the film were clearly inhumane, they were likely illegal – and for that reason, they were anomalies.  But after doing some research, I learned that in fact, the cruel practices that show up in slaughterhouse videos are generally legal.  That’s because unlike most other animals, who are protected from cruelty, farmed animals are not covered by most states’ anti-cruelty laws.  For example, Connecticut makes it completely legal to “maliciously and intentionally” torture, mutilate, or kill a farmed animal.

These laws are bad for animals and consumers, and they serve only one purpose: to help factory farmers make more money.  Further, such laws – and the behaviors they spur in producers – are responsible for a variety of social ills, including health problems, environmental damage, and classic “market failure” in the meat and dairy system.  The economic forces of factory farming have not received much attention, so I thought this would make a good subject for a book.

Tania:  Speaking of laws, can you share a little about your work in regard to exercising the First Amendment and how you are helping to protect this right?

David doing OutreachDavid:  California is one of the few states where free speech rights can be exercised inside a shopping mall.  However, since most shopping malls would rather not have people inside protesting or doing outreach, the malls do their best to quash these rights.  By writing letters and sometimes threatening – or actually pursuing – litigation, I’ve convinced a number of malls in Southern California to let people engage in much more meaningful expressive activity.  I’m currently litigating a pro bono case for an animal advocacy group against South Coast Plaza, the biggest mall in Southern California and one of the biggest in the country.

Tania:  If you could only share one thing that you felt it important for people to know about food consumption and its effects, what would that be?

David:  Despite the conventional wisdom that says meat and dairy are good for us, the overwhelming body of objective, clinical research shows the opposite – that these foods are damaging our health.  Americans’ meat consumption has doubled in the past 75 years, and that’s the main reason why one in three of us have heart disease, two in three are overweight, and we have three times the incidence of cancer as the rest of the world.

Tania:  What do you hope people take away from your book?

David with Monkey friend in GrenadaDavid:  I hope readers will see that U.S. animal food producers use a variety of sophisticated techniques to make consumers buy more meat and dairy, which causes Americans to eat more meat per capita than any other people on the planet.  I hope readers will learn how they’re being manipulated by factory farmers, and that, particularly in the huge quantities Americans consume these foods, meat, fish, eggs and dairy are not healthy.  And finally, I hope readers will use that knowledge to reduce their consumption of animal foods – or better yet, give them up completely.

Tania:  When you aren’t practicing law, advocating for animals, or helping to create a conscious world through your insightful and inspirational work, what do you enjoy doing in your off-time?

David and Sweet PeaDavid:  Spending time with family and friends is one of the most important things to me.  Since get-togethers seem to typically revolve around food, they often involve interesting vegan restaurants (two of my favorites are Crossroads and Shojin in Los Angeles).  I also try to get some exercise a few times a week; which usually means yoga or swimming at the gym and I try to meditate or stretch in the mornings when I can.

I like to read and am a big fan of classics that I can read for free on my Kindle (I found most of Thomas Hardy’s novels that way).  I also like independent films and documentaries and watch a few of those a week.  We don’t have regular TV so aside from indie films and documentaries there are a few Netflix series I enjoy, including Portlandia, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and Hemlock Grove.

Weekends are the best.  If I’m not on a hike, at the beach, or struggling in the garden (unfortunately I do not have a green thumb), I might be lying on the couch taking a cat-nap – with a real cat curled up next to or on top of me.

About Meatonomics:

David Simon’s Meatonomics (Conari Press, 2013) is a leading book in its genre to actually explore the unseen economic forces driving our animal food system, and the eye-opening, strange ways these forces are affecting consumers’ and taxpayers’ spending, eating, health, prosperity, and longevity. It also sheds light on how consumer decisions are largely influenced by external and extremely misleading factors, taking away our conscious decision making process in terms of what, or even how much, we consume.

For almost as long as they’ve been in use, factory farms have been synonymous with three kinds of problems: environmental, nutritional, and ethical. But today, new data compels us to consider an overlooked fourth category: economic.

Meatonomics illuminates this bizarre system and provides ways to fix it. It is also a new look at the upside-down industry of meat and dairy production/factory farming, and its revelations are shocking.

David shares: One curious fact to emerge from the book is that animal food producers impose almost $2 in hidden costs on Americans for every $1 of product they sell at retail. Another is that by “externalizing” most of their costs in this fashion and taking other steps to keep prices artificially low and manipulate buying behavior, these producers deprive consumers of the ability to make informed, independent decisions about how much meat and dairy to eat. That’s the main reason Americans consume more meat per person than anyone else on the planet.

Here’s an inside look at sample chapters and information you can look forward to exploring with David in Meatonomics:

Part I: Influencing the Consumer
1. The Brave New World of Government Marketing . . . . . 3
2. Massaging the Message: Shaping Consumer Beliefs. . . 16
3. Sausage Making and Lawmaking: Influence in the
Political Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
4 . Regulatory Conflict and Consumer Confusion . . . . . 55
Part II: The Hidden Costs of Meatonomics
5. Feeding at the Subsidy Trough . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
6. Diseases and Doctor Bills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
7. The Sustainability Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111
8. The Costs of Cruelty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
9. Fishing Follies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144
10. Recipes for Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .162

Meatonomics is scheduled for release in September 2013, just under two weeks away, but is available now on Amazon at special pre-order price with free shipping here: Meatonomics

It is also available at Barnes & Noble and Powells

You can follow David and explore all of the latest updates, upcoming events, reviews of the book, sample chapters, ordering information, and provocative posts on the forces of Meatonomics and how those forces affect our individual health, the environment, how we treat animals, and ultimately, our national prosperity at www.meatonomics.com.

David has already been speaking at engagements about Meatonomics this summer, but the official book launch tour begins August 31st on the East Coast (Martha’s Vineyard, NYC, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston) for the first half of September and then will hit the West Coast (LA, San Diego, Orange County – and more to be announced) starting September 28th. David will also be giving the Keynote Address at the Toronto Vegetarian Festival on September 6th. So there are many opportunities to catch one of his illuminating and engaging talks (including upcoming Radio and TV interviews), meet David in person, and pick up a signed book.

For a list of all the events, dates, and times visit: Meatonomics Events

David Robinson SimonBio:

David Robinson Simon is a lawyer and advocate for sustainable consumption.  He works as general counsel for a healthcare company and serves on the board of the APRL Fund, a non-profit dedicated to protecting animals. David received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and his J.D. from the University of Southern California. He is also the author of New Millennium Law Dictionary, a full-length legal dictionary.  He lives in Southern California with his partner, artist Tania Marie, and their rabbit, tortoise, and two cats.

You can also find David on Facebook at: Meatonomics

Or you can follow David’s Tweets on Twitter at: Meatonomics

If you’d like to contact David with any questions you can do so here: Contact David Simon

And any publicity questions can be directed to either Bonni Hamilton, Director of Marketing and Digital Content at Email: bhamilton@rwwbooks.com or Anne Sullivan, Publicity Consultant at Email: anne.a.sullivan@gmail.com

David Simon Discusses “Meatonomics” in this Video Trailer:

“V” for Vegan – Pure & Simple Sacred Tattoo Design


vegan tattooVegan logos have gone through an evolution, but the message and symbolism remains the same:

“Veganism is pure and beautiful, a growth towards the perfection of compassion in action, victorious, alive and the part of the ultimate peace movement. An idealistic peace not just amongst human beings but peace with other species and our environment.” ~ http://vegansociety.jp/

I was asked to create a personalized “V” for a vegan animal activist who wanted simply to wear his statement of life path choice and compassionate mission in life as a signifying mark on his “Spiritual Skin.”

Nothing fancy. Just a new “V” that felt more aligned with him than “V’s” he’d seen out there and yet still felt to be part of the collective veganism movement. Something stand-alone potent and symbolic in its own unique way.

Use of the “V” symbol has become a signifying symbol for things certified vegan or certifying an organization fostering veganism. It also has come to designate that something involves “no animal testing or ingredients.” And of course, has been adopted by people who choose the veganism lifestyle, philosophy, and beliefs.

Pictured here you can see some examples of the “V” symbols out there found at http://vegansociety.jp/.

vegan-logo-square

The “V campaign” has spread far and wide including at one time being found all over Facebook with vegans adopting the “V” in a circle by their name to signify their life choice, until Facebook took that option away. You now only see a few stragglers who managed to find a way to keep it.

It’s also been a way for consumers to more easily and quickly identify completely vegan, animal-free products – meaning they contain no animal products, were not tested on animals, and they did not involve the use of animal products in their manufacture.

As the use of the “V” spreads, it will also be a way to easily identify companies that share people’s support of veganism. And, the logo definitely also propels veganism into the mainstream of public consciousness more, raising interest in, and awareness of, the vegan lifestyle that people have chosen, as well as makes it easier and more accessible to take part in.

We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of people who are making conscious choices based on their own individual reasons, in reflection to shifts in their life, and this has led to more and more people adopting a vegan lifestyle. For many, it is a life commitment choice that people choose and desire to share as a reflection of who they are.

Today’s sacred tattoo design is representative of one person’s unique voice who has chosen to speak for the voiceless.

If you’d like to see an example of another vegan tattoo conveying a message of compassion, you can find it here: Vegan Sacred Tattoo Design. This design is available if it calls to your heart. 

If you would like to partner in co-creating your own sacred tattoo design to embody the empowerment you desire, you can contact me at tania@spiritualskin.com.

For more information about the process and pricing please visit: What is a Tattoo Design Consultation

Some people have preferred to read my book, Spiritual Skin ~ Sacred Tattoos: More than Skin Deep, especially if they are new to sacred tattoo designs, before embarking on this journey.

If you are drawn to learn more about sacred tattoos you can order a copy of the book here: Spiritual Skin

It is also available in Kindle and PDF formats here: Spiritual Skin

Join Me & Others in a Healing Meditation for You & the Planet at this Sunday’s Earth Day Celebration Event


aprl earth dayEvery day is Earth Day…

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” ~Marshall McLuhan

As many of you know, one of the main focuses of my work is supporting a return to natural harmony within and without – for individuals and the Earth collective at large. This is a soul commitment I practice daily and on recognized days of awareness, such as the upcoming Earth Day, I like to join together, whether energetically or literally, with others so that perhaps many more might choose to integrate the same conscious awareness into their own daily practice.

The power of one is great, but many coming together with the same focused intent is limitless in its potential effects.

This Sunday April 21st I will be leading a “Healing Meditation for You and the Planet,” combined with Reiki to empower the process.

If you’re in the area, I hope you can come out and join APRL’s Earth Day Celebration this Sunday at the San Joaquin Wildlife Preserve for a day of unity and fun.

Event Details: All Are Welcome!

Sunday April 21, 2013

11:00am until 3:00pm with option to join in at conclusion for the meditation and energy circle

Location: 15 Riparian View, Irvine, CA – San Joaquin Wildlife Preserve

Day’s Program:

11:00 am Coffee / meet and greet

11:15 am Welcome and opening remarks (Brenda Calvillo)

11:30 am Presentation of the Wildlife on the Preserve (Sea and Sage Audubon Society Representative)

11:45 am

Option 1: Vegan cooking class and demo (Melissa MacDonald)
Option 2: Nature walk on grounds (Audubon Society Representative)

12:30 pm Potluck lunch

1:15 pm (During lunch) Preview of the book Meatonomics (Dave Simon

1:45 pm Break

2:00 pm Keynote talk by Kurt Lieber, President of Ocean Defenders Alliance

2:45 pm Preview of the Movie Unity – Alec Pedersen

3:00 pm Official program concludes; optional 15 minute post-program begins:
“Healing Meditation for You and the Planet” (Tania Marie and concluded by Dave Simon)

At the Preserve:

  • Butterfly Garden
  • Many species of birds – Great Blue Herons, Hawks, Great Egrets, vultures and many more
  • Vegan Potluck – Please bring a vegan dish to share (no animal derived matter – no meat, eggs, dairy, honey and also no palm oil)
  • Please bring your own plate, utensils and reusable water bottle
  • Please note that the preserve does not invite outside furry friends and we have to respect their rules**Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause nor activities of organizations which use the district’s meeting rooms that are made available as a public service.

Please Don’t Cry Mother Gaia!


Today I wanted to highlight Sonya Oak’s lovely short story ebook: Please Don’t Cry Mother Gaia! which mirrors my own heart’s reflection and work towards creating a return to compassionate harmony on Earth and throughout the Cosmos.

Sonya contacted me while she was writing this, to ask permission to use my article information, which helped confirm her understanding of what Mother Gaia is: Gaia – Earth Mother and Turtle? Ancient Wisdom For Conscious Living” – http://ezinearticles.com/?id=1341797. She so graciously listed me along with other contributors in her bibliography, but it is she who I would like to place the spotlight on, as I LOVE her story!

Please Don’t Cry Mother Gaia! is a quick and colorfully sweet read, which she is granting rights to others to post, copy, distribute and embed freely, at no charge. Her intent was to create a story about Earth and animal rights issues, as well as health and veganism that is more playful and easier to digest, while still maintaining the integrity of the information that is serious at the core. And she managed to do just that! Her story is sweet and presents the information in such a loving, endearing, magical way through the eyes of the animals, Earth and beyond. A great and easy, quick read for children and adults alike.

I love the energy of it, which emanates in such a positive and compassionate way! I think it’s great, and as I am a child at a heart, this touches the child within me and us all, at a vulnerably innocent level without intrusive rhetoric. Things don’t have to be complex to make a difference.

Thank you Sonya for being a part of spreading this light and love, sweet sister, in an accessibly easy way. I hope that many will discover the messages you share from your heart to theirs.

For more about Sonya Oak visit: http://creatorblessings.com/about_me.html

Here is the link:   https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=Pw1tP7IpC2gBSOZBYy3FLQ

My Vegan Journey and Then Some


My personal journey led me on a natural progression
to follow a raw vegan diet, which for me was simply a process of
becoming aware that my body was telling me what my soul already
knew and desired. A time for change and evolution was to take place for
me. I realized that my body had reacted cellularly, even before it could
register mentally.

Eating products from animals would affect my stomach, making
me feel ill and certain products would also make me cough with extreme
and irritated congestion. As a sensitive and empath, anything relating to animals would affect me greatly.

The more I opened myself up to embracing who I was, acknowledging the
path I was on and where it was to lead me, the more it manifested in my life
clearly, as to the steps I needed to personally take in terms of everything, including my conscious food choices. This helped to align myself with the choices that were most supportive to living the life that I believed in and came into this life to express. It also simultaneously helped to raise my vibration and provide better clarity and vibrant energy. It increased my sense of connectivity, depth of compassion, unconditional love, joyful exuberance for life, as well as supported creative inspiration, and channeling my authenticity, as a direct reflection of my chosen spiritual nature.

This was “MY” path and time, for change and understanding on a
whole new level, which would start to take shape in my dietary choices. For me,
my diet, health choices, lifestyle, beliefs, service and creative expression were starting to
all interweave and become cohesive. I believe in being consistent with my spirituality and honoring what I feel in my heart and what I soulfully believe. And I can’t tell you how much my experience of life has changed with this choice. Life gets to be as bright,
colorful, beautiful, succulent, and as vast as the variety found in Mother Earth’s natural beauty. And the array of veggie delights are no exception!

It was just simply time for me to experience life in a different way and
to live and choose consciously. And so for me, while the trigger was a message from my physical, the core driving force for my decision was heart-felt and spiritual. I see life to be about consistency and walking the walk and so I do my best not only to be the change I want to see, but to live by what I believe and feel in my heart is right for me.
That is what works for me and it’s important, to me, that I be consistent with the
energy I am putting out there and what it is I am sharing with others. So what
you see, is what you get. There are no “behind closed doors” behaviors and thoughts in my world.

I feel that part of my journey is to live my life openly so that
others can feel safe to do the same. It’s not about right or wrong, but about
being true to yourself, whatever that means. I feel it is important to listen
to what our bodies tell us and to go with what feels natural. Part of knowing
and understanding what is natural is to understand what is authentic to you and
what is not, and to find that right balance.

It is increasingly important to become more conscious and to be more proactive in decisions and choices, to listen more to ourselves and to keep informed, but with a wise filter that takes in only what feels right and is not just accepting of whatever the
majority is doing. So many of us don’t know why we do certain things, and never even think to stop to ask the question why, as we are much of the time on auto-pilot. We just
do it because it’s what we’ve always done, or it’s “just the way it
is,” or it’s what we’ve been shown or taught, or it’s what everyone else
around us is doing.

And sometimes we think change is too challenging and believe a sense of loss or isolation will happen, or that it’s just too hard or timely to figure out how to do it differently. These beliefs, while valid because you believe them, are the very and only thing that holds you back from the change. As what lies on the other side of the wall you can’t see over, holds more joy, freedom and fulfillment than what you think you have now. The only hurdle is the decision to step over or stop straddling the wall, if in fact that is what you want. And there are many to help support you, moreso than ever before. And the process is so much easier now than it used to be, because so many are paving the way, which energetically creates an open path for everyone else to easily follow.

I follow what I am feeling as true to my heart and authentic self, as much as possible, in the moment, and if in question as to where those thoughts or behaviors came from,
then I ponder their source and explore their authenticity to my life. Is this really a me thought or feeling? Does this feel right to me? Does this match the authentic me I have come to know? Is it consistent with everything I believe in and my passionate service? Is this the desired result I want to see in the world around me? How will my authentic decisions affect not only me, but the collective? Does it matter to me that my decisions create an effect on the struggles, pains, traumas and tortures of all other beings that walk this Earth with me?

In learning to follow my natural flow, I also realize that just like nature and the Earth, we all go through cycles. Some of us more than others. And it is important to listen to what your body and intuition is telling you. Doing things just because you are good at discipline doesn’t always produce the most benefit to your life. Doing things because it is your heart’s passion and consistent with your core beliefs and authentic self, will reap abundant fulfillment without feeling a sense of loss. And along with this, there are times our bodies and paths energetically need certain things more than others. Not because some doctor, the FDA, commercial, or article you read said so, but because your body, heart and soul needs so.

This leads me to vary the percentage of raw vegan and cooked vegan foods I may
intake at any given time. I have been vegan since 2005 and raw since
2008. I find that I mainly fluctuate between 85-90% raw (lately more like 50-50 with changes and needs in my life), depending on how I feel and circumstances I desire to put myself in. That is, I balance raw with vegan cooked foods, but if I do cooked I always try to choose very healthy, light, organic options including things like steamed veggies and rice, tofu, beans, etc. I allow myself a few vices too, when I have a craving, and
usually if i honor that, then I’m not in need of having it all the time. I have found
this balance to be very healthy, to feel good, and keeps me grounded and at optimal functioning, as well as maintains a level of tolerance in my body that enables me to travel and be in different social situations when needed.

It also supports honoring my body’s natural rhythms and needs, which allows me to flow more and to not be so structured. It feels good to keep a balance and to simply listen to what the body needs at any given moment and not what the mind thinks it needs. There
are times outside of balancing that I can be very extreme, briefly varying
my percentages even more, depending on what my body is relaying to me, if
I’m traveling and at social events or outings. I will then supplement the
balance of my diet choices with very healthy, vegan cooked foods. Yet, I always
make healthy, conscious, preferably organic choices.

I personally believe, and have experienced, that vegan foods really support more conscious, clear, healthy, harmonious and loving vibrations for individuals and the collective planet. Any small shifts towards some vegan foods, in your own way and timing, can be extremely transformative and effective in your life and for the Earth. And supplementing at least some raw vegan veggies/foods or green juices can increase all of that to an even more optimal level and when needed, can produce miraculous results in reversing illnesses, shifting behaviors and emotional challenges, as well as create clearer channels of creative inspiration and vibrancy.

No matter how I swing, I ALWAYS maintain a 100% strict vegan diet across the board, which means I never consume any animal products, and I make every conscious effort not to purchase any commodity that comes from, or has been tested on, animals.

For the sake of being open, I also have personally opted to leave all alcohol out of my life (not touching any for the last 6 years )and have never once in my life touched a cigarette or any form of drug or mind-altering substance. These are all personal choices and my chosen path because they authentically mirror “my” beliefs and what is authentic to me and my heart and what makes me feel I’m operating at my optimal. Everyone has their own path and it is not for any of us to judge what that path is. For myself, I have just never had any resonance towards certain things since I was a little girl and part of that stems from my desire to utilize my own capacity and abilities to go to desired states of experience. Interestingly, I have been told that some of the art I create is similar to what some have seen in their altered states. Hence, I have no reason personally to go there. My inner world, imagination, dreams, and “travel” are crazy enough as it is!

For me also, a high raw diet is what feels most balanced and healthy and I can instantly feel the difference when I stray off of that, unless cooked vegan foods support more of the energy I’m needing. I also prefer simple, light raw foods and unless I’m out, I don’t
do too much of the complex or high nut raw meals. My body operates much more
smoothly with low nut density and less complexity, but do enjoy gourmet foods
when I’m out or feasting with friends!

I follow what my body tells me, consciously, and I find that the less I try to create rules, the more my body falls into its natural rhythm and doesn’t have to do the extremes as often.
And, if it does, I allow it and by doing so it quickly gets back into finding a new, healthy balance, which is ever-changing as I am, because I honored it.

Being vegan, or for that matter a vegan raw foodist, is not as hard or
challenging as one would first think. There is always a way to simplify things
and there are so many restaurants and services available these days that truly
help make life more convenient if you don’t have enough time yourself to
prepare or shop for meals and ingredients. I find restaurants to be very
accommodating if you simply ask! Asking is the key and most chefs are much more
than willing to do what they can to help your dietary needs and a lot of times
find it an adventurous or exciting task to step outside of their normal routine
box of menu items to explore their creativity. Chef and delivery services are
another option, as well as local meetups and potlucks.

I used to live in Reno, where I did not have all the plethora of options as I do here in Southern California, but I STILL managed to get what I needed, whether thru personal chef services, ordering out-of-state weekly meal boxes from such places as “Seed” in Northern California or Rawvolution in LA, getting quick and easy recipe books to do myself and asking local chefs to help out. If I can do it, anyone can. Maybe if you have a friend or friends interested as well in switching diets, you can each take turns making meals. Make them in servings that can be enough for each of you to share and it will cut down on the amount of time to prepare yourself.

There is so much variety to explore out there in terms of food, life and experience. Part
of the key is in being open to change and trying new things, to explore new
horizons and possibilities and above all to live life with conscious choice.

Sometimes we neglect to ask ourselves the questions  like, “Why do I do this?” and don’t follow through with the answers. Perhaps because we don’t want to really know the answers for fear of what that might mean to our lives as we’ve known them, or that we might find ourselves alone, which never really is accurate, as the moment you make a decision and act upon it, suddenly you draw in resonating others that mirror the new choice.

If we stop to be curious for a moment, we may hear a different voice speaking through that could energetically change the way we see and experience life, may affect our
health, draw in interesting synchronicities and like-mindedness from others on
similar paths and wave-lengths and expand our awareness in
totality.

Everyone has their own journey along the path of life and everyone is operating on their own time, which is EXACTLY as it should be. Yet, everything is happening in
synchronicity and cohesiveness and unravels perfectly. The beauty of life
is choice. With choice, there are eternal possibilities and such is ALL THAT IS
– it is eternal and ever-changing. What would be the purpose of life if we were
all the same? So while I celebrate the beauty of the creatures of our Earth, I
also celebrate the beauty of every human who shares it with them.

Nutrition can be a spiritual experience and enhances your spiritual nature.

Conscious choices are empowering choices.

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