Put the Lime in the Coconut…

Ok, so you don’t ACTUALLY have to put the lime in the coconut, but it is a catchy song (and blog title!).  One super food that I’ve come to know and love is coconut oil.  It can be used in so many ways!  It can be used as a cooking/baking oil (obviously) but also for many other things that you may not be aware of.  I add it to my coffee (trust me, it’s delicious!).  You can also use it as a butter/margarine replacement, a hair conditioner (even helps to promote/increase hair growth!), skin moisturizer, massage oil, diaper cream, homemade toothpaste ingredient, and oil pulling (if you don’t know what this is, look it up!).  There is some chatter that it may also be able to help with thyroid function, weight loss/maintenance, and increase your ‘good’ cholesterol/decrease your ‘bad’ cholesterol.

So my short but sweet blog post today is an ode to coconut oil.  Such a versatile food should be praised and promoted!  Go check it out for yourself and let me know how you use it and why you love it!

Coconut-Oil-cartoon

A Community of Support

One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is the importance of surrounding yourself with a ‘community’ of like-minded people who are there to truly support you.  Life is tough at the best of times.  Trying to do it alone makes it even tougher.  It’s one thing to have family and friends supporting you (which is a true blessing), but to be able to have people who are on the same path as you, striving to be ‘better’, is just as important.  If all you have are negative people surrounding you, or even just people who don’t understand/can’t relate to who you are striving to be, then you may never reach your true potential.  This doesn’t mean that you have to cut those people out of your life completely, but it is important to at least recognize these differences so that you don’t let them hold you back.  A specific example would be all the negative comments that people give when you are trying to live a more vegetarian/vegan lifestyle (like I am right now).  So many people just don’t understand it at all (or totally disagree with it for their own reasons), so they act negatively/defensively about it. (‘but how do you get your protein?’; ‘what about your iron levels?’; ‘don’t you feel weak/tired all the time now?’).  It is important to understand that everyone is on their own journey, and dealing with their own ‘stuff’, so some compassion and empathy can go a long way in any situation.  But don’t let these people hold you back!

I am definitely aware of all of the drawbacks of technology these days, but one big positive for me is the use of ‘groups’ on Facebook, in particular.  One group that I am currently in is so positive and supportive, as well as informative.  The members are from all over the world but have one big thing in common…we are all trying to be healthier overall (mind, body, and soul).  What a big difference a supportive community makes!  So please, go out and find people (even one person!) who can be a ‘supportive community’ for you and your dreams.  It will make a big difference, I promise!

Two stuffed animal bears in embrace

Rainy Day Reflections

On a rainy Thanksgiving Monday, in between sips of hot coffee while listening to the rain outside (still in my pajamas of course), I’d like to take some time to describe the people and things that I am thankful for in my life.  Like a lot of things in life, this should be a frequent practice in your everyday life, but taking the time on this special day helps to make sure that you do it at least once every year.  So here goes…

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY MOTHER, D.  Acting as both Mom and Dad for myself and my three younger siblings has forever made her a Super Hero in my books.  I will never be able to understand how she was able to accomplish this feat.  All I know is that I am a better person for all that she has done for me, and continues to do to this day.  She taught me so much, including my love of reading and writing, which I am eternally grateful for.  To know that someone always ‘has your back’ is a special and irreplaceable gift.  On top of that, she is also a wonderful person; smart, athletic, funny, sympathetic, hard-working, and beautiful.

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY BROTHER, S.  Being the closest sibling in age to myself, he was the ‘annoying little brother’ that followed me and my friends around when we were younger.  Luckily, as soon as we hit our teenage years, we became much closer.  He’s been through a lot in his life, and I am so proud of the man that he has become.  He is smart, driven, compassionate, funny, giving, and of course ‘ridiculously good-looking’ (Zoolander).  I truly consider him one of my good friends, as well as my brother.

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY BROTHER, M.  I would describe him as a typical middle child…a ‘misfit’ really.  He always seemed on the ‘outskirts’ of our family somehow, even from a young age.  He didn’t participate or even speak much.  But I was (and still am) always amazed at how smart he was and what he was interested in.  He was the ‘typical’ boy; loved taking things apart and putting them back together, usually in totally different ways.  He was glued to the Discovery Channel from a young age and knew so many ‘facts’, seemingly about anything and everything.  They say that ‘geniuses’ are often anti-social and ‘in their own worlds’ a lot of the time.  That was totally him.  He has definitely been through his own ups and downs (especially more recently) but I think he’s only become a better person for it.  I am so proud of who he has become, and continues to grow to be.  He is super smart, ambitious, hard-working, driven, funny, and truly handsome.

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY SISTER, S.  Being the baby of the family, she definitely had her share of spoilage.  We are 15 years apart in age, so I feel like I helped raise her more than my other two siblings.  I will always remember walking down the street with her or in the mall (from a very young age) and literally everyone we passed saying hello to her…she’s always been so social!  So opposite of me.  I feel privileged to be able to pass down some of my ‘wisdom’ to her (especially as I don’t yet have any children of my own).  As she continues to try to find her way in this crazy world (as I still am myself!), I look forward to helping her out in any way that I can.  I can’t wait to see the woman that she becomes.  She is outgoing, social, funny, emotional, and truly uniquely beautiful.

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY BOYFRIEND, L.  We definitely have any interesting ‘path to Love’ story; beginning with a brief ‘crash and burn’ crack at dating, and then continuing in friendship for 5 years before a ‘Take 2’ at dating each other.  Even though it had its ups and downs, I love ‘our story’.  Our ‘Take 2’ has lasted almost 2 years now, and it’s still going strong.  I am so proud of who he is: a great son, brother, and uncle, a very talented writer, smart, funny, loving, supportive, honest, communicative, handsome, etc.  The ability to deal with and understand my ‘moods’ is huge as well!  I’ve never been with someone before who knew the real ‘me’ (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and truly loved ALL of me.  I’m excited to see what the future has in store for us and how we’re able to tackle life together, as a true team.  Go Team L & L!

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY OLDEST FRIENDS, G & A.  Friends since junior high/high school don’t usually stick around for the ‘long haul’.  Thankfully, these two have and I am so grateful.  One of the best feelings in life is to know that there is someone (besides your family) that was there for some of the major events in your life, and has seen you grow from an awkward, self-conscious youngster into the adult that you are today.  To be able to share ‘remember-when’ stories together is such a blessing.  I love the saying ‘you can’t make new old friends’…it is so very true.  I am so proud of these two friends of mine and so glad that we continue to support each other, no matter how near or far away we are.

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY AUNT, L.  Like most people, I have an assortment of quirky and lovable aunts and uncles in my family.  I love them all, but this Aunt holds a particularly special place in my Heart.  I consider her my second Mother, as she helped to raise my siblings and I since we were born.  I remember school lunch times spent at her house, along with many days after school and on weekends playing around with my four cousins and their various animals (usually adorable cats).  She is another ‘soft spot to land’ in my life and I am so grateful to have her in my life.  She has been through so much in her life (too much), and yet she continues to be one of the most selfless people I know.  Her generosity and support know no bounds and I am so proud to have someone like her in my life.

I AM THANKFUL FOR new friends that I’ve met over the past few years.  I’m definitely not one to have a ton of ‘acquaintances’.  I prefer to have a few really close friends.  I’ve had friends come and go, and some stay around, over the last few years and I am thankful for them all.  They have all contributed something to my life, big or small.

I AM THANKFUL FOR my current job that helps me pay the bills and helps to provide a steady ‘routine’ for my life.

I AM THANKFUL FOR my good health.  I am lucky enough to have never had any major surgery and rarely get sick (knock on wood).  I try not to take this for granted and continue to work on my path to true wellness every day.

I AM THANKFUL FOR the apartment that my boyfriend and I share.  It is cozy and it is our first apartment together so it will hold a special memory for us someday.

I AM THANKFUL FOR living on the West Coast of Canada.  It is truly beautiful here, with the mountains, beautiful weather, and abundance of nature.  I am lucky to live in such a beautiful corner of the world.

I AM THANKFUL FOR the many freedoms allowed to me in this day and age.  The freedom to work, wear whatever clothing I want, vote, have this blog to express my thoughts, etc.  Many people do not have the kinds of freedom that I do and I am so grateful that I am lucky enough to have these freedoms.

I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU, the person who is reading my blog.  Thank you for your interest in my life, and my goals and dreams, however big or small.  I am thankful that there can be community found online, where we can all support each other and our own individual life stories.

FOR ANYONE OR ANYTHING I HAVE NOT MENTIONED ABOVE, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!

** For your listening pleasure, please enjoy one of my favorite 90’s bands, Boyz II Men, sing ‘Thank You’ below **

thank-you-1

A Journey Is Not A Straight Line

It seems as though whenever I’m trying to get ‘back on track’ in my life (physically and/or mentally) something pops up to challenge my attempts.  Sound familiar?

It’s been a fairly rough week for me this week.  The Father of one of my best friend’s passed away this week.  I haven’t experienced death too much in my life (thankfully) so this hit me harder than I thought it would.  I’ve known their family since junior high and he was just one of those ‘fixtures’ that was always there whenever I spent time with my friend.  I’ve definitely been going through feelings of loss for him not being around anymore (along with utter disbelief) but mostly feelings of true empathy towards my friend.  I can’t even imagine what she must be going through right now, especially as an only child with no siblings to help support her and her Mom through this difficult time.

This week has definitely challenged my attempt to bring more positive energy into my life.  I think that it’s definitely important to feel your feelings and ‘let it out’ when life throws challenges your way.  But it’s also just as important to pull yourself out of it and get back on to the path of the visions that you have set for your life.  One thing that I have definitely learned is that the journey of your life is not a straight line.  There will be ups and downs, zigs and zags, and ‘pauses’ along the way.  These ‘detours’ are inevitable, we all have them, but it’s the ability to get back on to your personal journey that shows your true strength and perseverance.

So here I go…pulling myself up and dusting myself off to continue following the path on my personal wellness journey.

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