Healthy Lifestyle Blog

September 27, 2013

Live a Lifestyle that Nourishes

When I tell people that my mother had two sisters who were centenarians, and that she was with us until one week shy of her 98th birthday, most respond that I must have great genes. For a long time I believed that to be the case, but have learned that a nourishing lifestyle is far more important than genes.

Bruce Lipton, in “Biology of Belief,” demonstrates that cellular environment can control cell function, and states that genes only account for about 5% of disease. After reading John Robbins’ book, “Healthy at 100,” and listening to Dan Buettner’s TED talk, “How to Live to be 100+,” the impact of lifestyle on longevity has become even more clear to me.

Both Robbins and Buettner studied societies where longevity is prevalent, and came to similar conclusions. Yes, a nourishing diet is important (typically plant-based), as is exercise (usually integrated into daily life). But to me the most compelling factor that contributes to longevity is social and spiritual nourishment. In each of the communities that are noted for longevity, the the elders are respected, valued and celebrated; they are connected to family and friends; and they are also connected to purpose, the reason they wake up in the morning. Do you know what your purpose is?

For the past four years I have attended RISE, the BraveHeart Women annual gathering of women from all around the world. These five days in California nourish me. They connect me with a community of amazing women and provide the spiritual and social nourishment that helps me transform. I wouldn’t miss it.

Isn’t it time to live a life that nourishes YOU?

 

RISE is sold out but I purchased a block of tickets and still have a few left at a VERY discounted price. Call Marilyn for details – 802-254-9121.

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Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef, educator and healthy lifestyle coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly - Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 802-254-9121. If you would like to receive more recipes and a monthly newsletter including articles about health and the environment, event updates and more, please submit your email address at the top of the right sidebar. For notification of blog updates only, you may subscribe directly or via RSS. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Filed under: Health,Nutrition,Women's Empowerment — Tags: , — Marilyn @ 4:44 pm

September 2, 2013

Healing Our Waters

A Prayer for the Water

This is a modification of the prayer Dr. Emoto wrote after the BP oil spill that continues to contaminate the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. To make the prayer more global, in the first sentence I replaced the phrase from “the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings” with “the Earth’s waters and their surroundings”.

I send the energy of love and gratitude to the waters and all living creatures in the Earth’s waters and their surroundings.

To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, plankton, coral, algae…

to ALL living creatures…

I am sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

I love you.

Whenever you are near a body of water, please consider taking a few minutes to send gratitude and loving healing energy to our planet’s life blood.

 

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Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef, educator and healthy lifestyle coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly - Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 802-254-9121. If you would like to receive more recipes and a monthly newsletter including articles about health and the environment, event updates and more, please submit your email address at the top of the right sidebar. For notification of blog updates only, you may subscribe directly or via RSS. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Filed under: Environment,Peace — Marilyn @ 5:30 pm

August 29, 2013

Water, Water Everywhere?

Water… Essential for Life

Our bodies are comprised of about 60% water. It is no wonder that we cannot live for more than a few days without it. Yet humans continue to waste and contaminate the very water that we rely on for life.

There are many threats to our water supply, whether accidental, a result of industry or deliberate introduction of contaminants supposedly for the public good. Industrial threats include fracking (wastes millions of gallons per well and contaminates ground water with chemicals), oil spills, nuclear accidents (Fukishima is still leaking billions of gallons of radioactive water into the Pacific), runoff from farms (includes animal waste, pesticides and fertilizers), and dumping toxic waste into waterways.

Our government deliberately adds chemicals to public water supplies at so-called safe levels. One such chemical, fluoride, accumulates in the body, so it is likely that a person who drinks a lot of fluoridated water have much higher levels of this toxic industrial waste in his/her body. Fluoridated water is used in the preparation of many beverages and foods, so even if the municipal water is not fluoridated, it is difficult to avoid this chemical.

So what can we do to maintain health in light of such contamination of our water?

  • Drink filtered water. Many contaminants are removed from water with standard filtration. Fluoride is more difficult. One of the few ways to filter it out is with Reverse Osmosis, but that also removes the dissolved minerals that are healthful. Adding a pinch of Himalayan salt replaces some of those minerals.
  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables. Much of the water we consume comes from our food. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide water in a delicious package.
  • Avoid processed foods. Most processed foods contain contaminants from the water used in processing.
  • Have pleasant, loving thoughts. This might sound silly, but Dr. Masaru Emoto demonstrated in his experiments that water samples, when frozen and examined under a microscope while still frozen, appear very different when different music or words are directed at it, or when it comes from different sources. Here are two photos with different phrases:

"Thank You"

 

"You Disgust Me"

Considering that our bodies are mostly water, wouldn’t you rather nourish yourself with kind loving thoughts and words?

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Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef, educator and healthy lifestyle coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly - Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 802-254-9121. If you would like to receive more recipes and a monthly newsletter including articles about health and the environment, event updates and more, please submit your email address at the top of the right sidebar. For notification of blog updates only, you may subscribe directly or via RSS. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Filed under: Environment,Health — Marilyn @ 9:06 pm

August 6, 2013

Tears of Joy

I am sitting in my VT living room with the sound of my sister’s laughter permeating my soundspace and I feel such joy from her joy. While I was on LI last week, my sister’s boyfriend (who she met at my moving sale two months ago) proposed to her. Such JOY!!!

…And last night I felt such joy facilitating a Harmony Circle. I was truly in my essence. My first Circle since April (before the move). Eighteen beautiful souls showed up fully.

Upon reading a BraveHeart Sister’s suggestion that we connect monthly to meditate on healing Gaia’s waters, I was called to include a meditation at my Harmony Circle. So after we did the circle, I played “So Much Magnificence,” by Mitten and Deva Premal, and offered a slightly modified version of Dr Emoto’s prayer for healing the waters after the BP spill. Throughout the meditation/music, you could hear sniffles (water flowing). And later, Yolanda shared that she was moved to tears because, “The angels were here – they came because they heard our prayers.”

Tears of Joy.


Filed under: Compassion,Peace — Marilyn @ 1:58 am

December 2, 2012

Your Priceless Gifts

As we enter the 2012 gift-giving season, it is a good time to go inside and recognize the gifts that reside deep in your heart and soul. Rather than succumb to the incessant commercialism, take a few moments to go deep inside and recognize the gifts you have to offer.

One practice that I find very helpful is to start by making a gratitude list. In making your list, consider not only those things that are external, but what are the qualities that reside within YOU that you are grateful for? Is it your compassion, patience, intelligence, beauty, skill, listening ability, consciousness…? What gifts do you have that you can share with others?

All too often we run out to the store to purchase a gift for a special person, when the true gifts we have to offer are within ourselves. Consider alternatives to giving material things that eventually will end up in the waste stream. Your inner gifts are priceless, and can last a lifetime.


Filed under: Compassion,Environment,Health,Peace — Marilyn @ 8:40 pm

September 18, 2012

Your Right to Know: An Update on GMO Labeling

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced into the food supply in 1992. At that time the FDA declared that genetically engineered foods are not substantially different from conventionally grown foods and do not require special regulation or safety studies.

This opened the doors to continued infiltration of GMOs into the food supply with no requirement to label such foods. Today, almost 90% of all processed foods in the supermarket contain at least one genetically engineered ingredient.

The safety of GMOs is questionable. This is a huge human experiment that could have disastrous consequences on health and the environment.

Several states have introduced GMO labeling laws, but backed down after Monsanto, a major producer of GMOs, threatened legal action. Fiscally strapped state governments had to back down.

In a grass roots effort, Californians have met the requirements to have a GMO labeling proposition placed on November’s ballot. The biotech and food industries are gearing up to defeat this effort. Hopefully Californians will continue to organize for their right to know and pass the initiative, which would likely result in other states following suit.

If you wish to learn more about the health and environmental effects of GMOs, and which foods are free of GMOs you may email me or visit http://www.responsibletechnology.org/ or http://www.nongmoproject.org/.

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Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef, educator and healthy lifestyle coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly - Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 802-254-9121. If you would like to receive more recipes and a monthly newsletter including articles about health and the environment, event updates and more, please submit your email address at the top of the right sidebar. For notification of blog updates only, you may subscribe directly or via RSS. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Marilyn @ 2:30 am

June 6, 2012

Fresh and Local

Summertime is the best time of the year for enjoying healthy locally grown produce. Here on Long Island there are increasing numbers of farmers markets, where you can find an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other locally produced goods.

I love the Brattleboro Farmers Market where I can chat with local farmers, purchase freshly harvested veggies and fruits or plants to add to my garden, enjoy a delicious homemade lunch, browse the handcrafted items and maybe even buy a gift or two, enjoy some live music and watch the children in the sandbox. Whenever I am in Vermont, I make a point of spending some time at the Farmers Market. New farmers markets are cropping up all over the country. To find one near you just visit http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/.

Another option for enjoying the local harvest is to become a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). CSA members support local farms by prepaying for a share of the harvest, and in return they receive a weekly share of the harvest – vegetables, fruits, herbs, and/or flowers. It’s a great way to try new foods while supporting local farms, your health and the environment.

If you are transitioning to a mostly raw plant-based lifestyle, summer is a great time to do so. Enjoy your bigger meals early in the day, and save dinner for something light. I typically start my day with a bowl of fresh fruit or a delicious smoothie. For lunch I enjoy a huge salad dressed with freshly squeezed lemon. I often add some hemp or sunflower seeds, or some diced avocado, for a healthy fat. If I am hungry for dinner, it is usually something light.

 

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Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef, educator and healthy lifestyle coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly - Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 802-254-9121. If you would like to receive more recipes and a monthly newsletter including articles about health and the environment, event updates and more, please submit your email address at the top of the right sidebar. For notification of blog updates only, you may subscribe directly or via RSS. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Filed under: Environment,Garden,Health,Nutrition,Raw Food,Vegan — Marilyn @ 6:57 pm

January 15, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Non-Violence

As a child, I was deeply influenced by the power of the civil rights movement and the eloquence of Martin Luther King, Jr. His message and example of non-violence was so moving and influential. I watched in awe as TV reports showed demonstrators maintaining their non-violent stance even while they were assaulted by police and others.

I am still affected by the words and passion of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I still support non-violence, whether it is toward our so-called enemies, toward protesters, or toward other sentient beings, human or not.

Sadly most of us play a part in large scale violence daily without even giving it a second thought. The victims of this violence are voiceless, and are enslaved, tortured and killed for human pleasure and profit. In the time it takes to read this post, more than 100,000 sentient beings will have been slaughtered by the meat, dairy and egg industries (far more if you included fish and other aquatic animals).

The violence toward other species doesn’t end there. The humans who work in slaughterhouses are exploited and subjected to horrendous working conditions. Their frustrations are often taken out on the animals or on their families when they go home, continuing the cycle of violence.

So in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and in support of of non-violence, I propose adopting a more compassionate, non-violent diet. It would not only benefit the many beings whose lives would be spared, but doing so would also provide health benefits and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

“One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef, educator and healthy lifestyle coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly - Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 802-254-9121. If you would like to receive more recipes and a monthly newsletter including articles about health and the environment, event updates and more, please submit your email address at the top of the right sidebar. For notification of blog updates only, you may subscribe directly or via RSS. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Filed under: Compassion,Peace — Marilyn @ 6:56 pm

December 14, 2011

Don’t Just Survive the Holidays, THRIVE!

I often hear from friends about how they can’t believe how much they ate at a holiday event. They complain about feeling sluggish, gaining weight and wonder how I survive the holidays.

Rather than survive, I would rather thrive! So  I have a few strategies that help me feel great throughout the season.

  • Bring a delicious healthy dish to share. This way you know there will be at least one thing that you will eat and you can show others how delicious your healthy lifestyle is!
  • Eat something whole and nutritious so that you won’t be hungry at the party.
  • Focus on socializing and connecting with friends and family rather than eating.
  • Decide ahead of time which foods you choose NOT to eat. As a vegan, it’s easy, since much of what you find on the buffet table typically contains some animal products. I don’t feel deprived, though, because I have already eaten something before leaving home, and I brought a dish that I love!
  • Commit to only one dessert. Or, if you must, a small taste of two. Choose wisely!

When it comes to gift-giving, try to be mindful in your choices. Check out my previous post on Mindful Gift-Giving for ideas.

 

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Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef, educator and healthy lifestyle coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly - Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 802-254-9121. If you would like to receive more recipes and a monthly newsletter including articles about health and the environment, event updates and more, please submit your email address at the top of the right sidebar. For notification of blog updates only, you may subscribe directly or via RSS. You may unsubscribe at any time.


November 23, 2011

Mindful Gift Giving

The holiday season of 2011 is a good time to start a new gift-giving tradition, and it would be so amazing if we extended mindful consuming to all our purchases in the future.

It is time to shed excessive consumerism and vote for a better world with your dollars. What better way to start than to support our local producers of goods and services?

Rather than support foreign sweat shops where cheaply produced products that use precious resources to ship across oceans, only to end up in a landfill, it is time to be more creative with gift choices begin to support more meaningful, sustainable options.

Consider, for example, the wide range of local services that people consume regularly. You might want to consider gift certificates. Here are just some of the many local businesses where you can purchase gift certificates: hair salon or barber, restaurant, theatre, housekeeper, computer repair, gym, gardener, auto mechanic… the list goes on. This isn’t about national chains, let’s support the local home town shops.

If you would like something more personal, consider locally produced crafts, like pottery, jewelry, knitted or woven scarves, wooden boxes, baskets, or the gift of local talent in the form of tickets to a performance of a CD.

Or if you have a particular talent, you might want to go with a gift of your time or something you make. “Love” coupons for your services are welcome, as they can be personalized and redeemed when the recipient wishes. For example, I have given a collection of coupons for raw vegan dishes, and the recipient can make custom requests for his or her favorite dish(es). Other possibilities for love coupons include babysitting, pet sitting, raking leaves, planting a garden, providing a ride to or from the airport – use your creativity here.

Love coupons, gift certificates, or any gift, for that matter, can be wrapped mindfully in a beautiful reusable box, in a dish towel or fabric, or food storage container. Other alternative gift wrapping ideas include:

  • Reusable gift bags – I always save gift bags to reuse. If you don’t have any handy, a reusable shopping bag is a great way to wrap a gift and something that helps reduce waste all year long.
  • Newspaper or magazines
  • Fabric – you can either wrap a gift in fabric or make a reusable gift bag.
  • Use ribbon made from natural materials like waxed hemp twine or raffia.
  • Natural decorations like pine cones and sprigs of holly.
  • Mason jars for food items or anything small. Throw in a 6-inch square of screening material (available from a hardware store) and the jar can be used to make sprouts.

For more gift wrapping ideas visit http://eartheasy.com/gift_wrapping.htm or http://life.gaiam.com/article/top-10-green-gift-wrap-ideas

Do you have any gift suggestions for a more mindful compassionate holiday?

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Marilyn Chiarello, founder of A Taste of Light, is a certified raw vegan chef, educator and healthy lifestyle coach. She offers a variety of services including health coaching, classes, dinner parties, consultations and presentations. For more information, visit aTasteofLight.com or contact her directly - Marilyn@aTasteofLight.com or 802-254-9121. If you would like to receive more recipes and a monthly newsletter including articles about health and the environment, event updates and more, please submit your email address at the top of the right sidebar. For notification of blog updates only, you may subscribe directly or via RSS. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Filed under: Compassion,Environment — Tags: , , , , , , — Marilyn @ 6:32 pm

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