Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Future of Food - Josh Tetrick Shares How Plant Food Innovation Can Save Us All (TED Talk)

What would living in a world with a more sustainable, more responsible, more affordable, more healthful, more compassionate, more humane, safer food system look like? What would it feel like?

Check out this TED talk from Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek Foods, a food technology company selected by Bill Gates as one of three companies revolutionizing the future of food.  He talks about the broken system and leads us toward a future where plant foods & plant food technology harness the power to rise us up into a food system that works - for everyone.

What are your thoughts on The Future of Food? 

All the best and yummiest to you.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Becoming a Vegan Gladiator & MASSIVE Vegan Proteins/Health & Fitness/Bodybuilding Giveaway!

Here's a quick journey in pictures (and some words) of my vegan bodybuilding & fitness journey over the past two months.  At the end, you get the chance to win part of a $300+ multi-prize package in the coolest giveaway ALC has done.  Get started & finish strong.  Have fun & good luck!

This is what I was planning on running (and eventually ran):
This is what used for training:
Insanity: The 60-Day Total Body Condition Program.  Six days a week for nine weeks, working out from the comfort of my own home. Thirty to sixty minutes of pure sweat, extreme core & endurance workouts.  Interested in trying it out? Connect with Team Beachbody Coach Jessica Pease Jessup - she'll get you going.

This is what I used for my Vegan Power:

Vega Performance Protein (Chocolate's my favorite!), Pre-Workout EnergizerRecovery AcceleratorProtein Bars (Oh, how my taste buds crave Chocolate Saviseed), VegaOne Bars(Chocolate Almond? Chocolate Cherry? Can I have two faves?), VegaOne Nutritional Shakes,WarriorFood (Vanilla was quite tasty.)

This is what I wore:

After two months of training with Insanity (with a lapse for vacation), the gym, and finally my own-invented RUNSANITY (contact me if you wanna hear more about it), I got into the shape I wanted to be in for the run (picture timeline from left to right to bottom), for me to prove mySelf as a... Vegan Gladiator.


And so I ran. Here are some highlights:


There was rope climbing, burpees with cinderblocks, laps with 40 lb. bags of rice, an ice-cold pool (which I had to submerge myself in), 8 ft. walls & dumpsters to scale, wooden pegs and log bridges to traverse, and, oh yeah, lots and lots of mud. Mud to crawl through, mud to walk through, mud walls to get over.  I'll be posting a video compilation sometime - here's my facebook page if you want to follow along.

Now that my 2nd Gladiator Run and training journey is over, it's time to start the next. For me - and for you. So Ahimsa Life Coaching, Kiss Me, I'm Vegan!Vegan Proteins is teaming up to put you in prime position to enhance your health, bodybuilding, and fitness goals with a MASSIVE giveaway, featuring prizes that total over $300 in value.

Here are the prize packages:

Vegan Gladiator Grand Prize - NEW Vega Sport Energizer (new formula, sugar-free! & ONLY available at Vegan Proteins, now on pre-sale exclusive), Vega Energizing SmoothieVegan Bodybuilding & Fitness book, Vega t-shirt, blender bottle, Vega tote bag, AND a BRAND NEW Training Meal Program by Dani Taylor (Official Online Training Coach & Online Personal Training Coach)

Vegan Gladiator-In-Training Runner-Up Prize - 250g tub of Warrior Food (vanilla), 1 lb tub of PlantFusion (cookies 'n creme), VitaMineral Earth, PlantFusion shaker bottle, and PlantFusion t-shirt

Check out the Vegan Proteins website here.  This giveaway is special because it features a product and a service which are brand spankin' new. Excited to get people boosted with the new energizer and on-track with training meal plans with Dani.

Meet Giacomo. He's running the show at Vegan Proteins (with Dani, co-founder and Giacomo's trainer extraordinaire) and has the body to prove it:


And here's how you enter! - it's simple and fun. Check out the Rafflecopter widget below. Earn yourSelf more entries into the raffle giveaway by following directions for each task.  NOTE: if you utilize a method to grab an extra entry, please make sure you've actually done it or it will be considered ineligible if chosen as the winning entry.

Good luck to all you Gladiators of Compassion (and so much more)!

All the best and yummiest to you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lumosity: Having Fun While Training Your Brain

My brother-in law, Jon Wolf, of YouTime Coaching, introduced me to Lumosity several months ago. I grew very interested in the platform yet, after dabbling in a few days of free trial, faded away from the website.  As I began taking on more projects & undertakings, for coaching, for Reiki, for acting, for fitness, and more, I remembered Lumosity and thought, "Maybe now is the time to try it out... see if it can help me enhance my brain/mental function." And so I jumped back in with a year's trial. Well, it's only been one month of training so far, and I'm already feeling, experiencing, and seeing the differences. 

Lumosity, the #1 brain training program online, is built around the process known as neuroplasticity.  Here is more on the subject:

"Over the last few decades, neuroscientists have discovered that adults' brains are constantly changing - growing new neurons and connections - in a process of neuroplasticity. Lumosity takes advantage of the brain's innate neuroplasticity to help shape it into a more effective, powerful organ... Lumosity targets core cognitive processes... memory, attention, and other abilities that are critical in the real world."

Through playing games such as Eagle Eye, Pinball Recall, Familiar Faces, Speed Match, Word Sort, and Disconnection, these different cognitive processes are tested and, with consistency & time, grow stronger.  

Practical benefits used in everyday life that you will receive from training are: remembering people's names and faces (and connecting the two), remembering directions, increasing your peripheral vision intake, multitasking more effectively, thinking faster, becoming a better logical decision maker, developing your vocabulary, deepening your focus and attention span, and a whole lot more.

When I first started, my BPI (read below, right) was 1230; it's now increased to 1474.  Here's a look at my progress over the past month and current status:

It's been a blast playing the game and experiencing the fun and benefits of Lumosity simultaneously.  I look forward to spending a few minutes engaging mySelf in the scheduled training for the day - plus some extra games if I'm in the mood.  It has benefited me in numerous ways, especially pertaining to how I structure my time & schedule, my focus throughout the day, and more impressive memory recall. It is also very helpful to have a better grasp at meeting new people - and remember them by the end of the day/night (or even just a few minutes after introduction!).

Check out their blog for interesting articles on the science behind neuroplasticity and enjoy some puzzles they provide:  They offer very reasonable memberships for getting involved - I recommend the year or two year plan, if you can do it.  There's also a Friends & Family plan that provides the best price for the greatest number of people (we're talking $20-25/person a year).  This is the definition of "tremendous value."

It took my focus and dedication for active & fun growth to get up to the 98th percentile in my age group (and better in others!).  Will you join me? Can you work your way to a BPI of 1500+ and the 99th percentile? I look forward to developing our brains together. (Please keep me posted on your progress and growth!)

All the best and yummiest to you.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Celebrate Earth Day & VegWeek 2013! Make a Pledge!

It's that time again! Celebrate Earth Day and VegWeek 2013 with a revamped Kiss Me, I'm Vegan! post from last year.

Today, Monday, April 22nd is our 43rd anniversary of Earth Day, a day observed to celebrate this amazing planet on which we live by doing "green" acts of good to positively benefit our Earth.  Over 1 billion people all over the world actively celebrated this year's Earth Day, as shared by the Earth Day Network, with pledges ranging from planting gardens to "unplugging" for the day, from recycling to limiting water usage.

Within the past couple of years, the United Nations has been outspoken on the one greatest contributor to our global climate/environment issue: the consumption of animal products.  Some recent articles, here and here, detail the latest environmental statistics.  With the meat and dairy industries' blatant over-usage of earth's precious resources (water and fossil fuels specifically), with the devastation of rainforests to clear space for animal agriculture, with unnecessary pollution, runoff, waste and excess climate-changing gases produced from factory farms (and other smaller animal-based industries), our planet - and therefore, all life on it - is suffering tremendously.  While all of the pledges listed above are valuable in their own ways, there is one specific choice that can make the most difference: adopt a compassionate, healthful, Earth-friendly vegan diet.  And here's why!

A 2011 study conducted by the Vegetarian Resource Group showed that 2.5% of the US population - that's about 8 million people - consume vegan diets, double the amount from 2009.   And along with this "market for vegan food," there's been a distinct decrease in the amount of meat, dairy, and eggs consumed, as noted in Nil Zacharius' HuffPo article.

We still have a long way to go though, and that's why we're reaching out to you to help make a difference this year - which will end up making a difference for all years to come. 

This week is VegWeek Running from today, Monday, April 22nd through Sunday, April 28th, this week is all about making those compassionate, healthful, Earth-friendly choices to benefit all life on our planet along with our Earth herself!  What can you do?  So many things!

1) Do you eat omnivorously?  Not sure what to do?  Start simple and try one day of plant-based meals.  Just one day.  It's amazing what even one day can do to benefit the TriVegta (health, animals, environment)... 

Yeah, still proud of my invented TriVegta.

The late Oreo at Animal Acres. (Photo © Cameron O'Steen)
2) Are you bold?  Do you want to make a difference?  Take a 7-day Veg Pledge (and maybe win some cool prizes from Compassion Over Killing)!

3) Vegetarian? Go Vegan one day! Or even better: the whole week!

4) Vegan? Encourage at least one friend, family member, coworker to try any of options #1-3!

5) Human being? Well, if you are (I think that means every one of you), then please share this blog post to help spread the word about the greatest choice to save our world!

Check out COK's resources, upcoming events, participating VegWeek restaurants, and sponsors, and do your best to make every day an Earth day.

Please comment below with your Earth Day/VegWeek 2013 pledge!  Help make the biggest difference you can!

All the best and yummiest,
Steve and Lindsay

Enjoy some more of these articles on veganism, the environmental toll from eating meat, etc.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thank You! But Your Goal Is In Another Castle!

If you owned a Nintendo (an original NES)...
If you played Super Mario Brothers (the very first SMB)...
If you were mostly in the know of popular culture in the 80s and 90s (you know, 20-30 years ago...)
Then you are probably familiar with this:

You remember? I remember.  Before I was familiar with the full layout of the game, and was prepared for Toad's repeated message at the end of each level, I responded to the first level's exclamation with a sense of excitement and laughter.

"Aw man! Well, the game just started, so of course I haven't found the princess yet... here we go to Level 2!"

"Okay... to Level 3!"
Groundhog Day, anyone?
"Gotta figure... Level 4."
Groundhog Day, anyone? 

.....     Level 5 (sigh)    .....     Level 6 (double sigh)    .....     Level 7 (triple sigh)    .....  

For a kid, or an adult, playing a video game, this, in no way, would ever be considered a nuisance.  Right?  "Another level to play? Awesome!" The experience of getting to continue on the journey - having fun, making discoveries, failing some, succeeding eventually, and pushing forward - would be entirely embraced.  

So... why do we make our goal/outcome journey process more difficult? How often do we huff and haw about delays, give up prematurely when we don't reach our anticipated finish line, allow our frustration to build rather than enjoy the ride?

This is the journey of many.  This is why the word "failure" is used so often and so improperly.  This is why New Year's Resolutions get dropped after a couple months and only a few attempts.  Maybe we ought to put ourselves in the place of our inner Nintendo gamer - or Mario himSelf!  What if Mario gave up after Toad delivered the news the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or Nth time?  I mean, come on, he's a plumber, probably losing some decent jobs while attempting to save the Princess, getting zoinked by Goombas, having fire spit at him by flowers and Koopas, and falling in tons of (bottomless?) holes.  Super Mario Brothers would be a lot different if the option to retire, to stop, to give up - after another empty castle was discovered - was available.

Dr. Oz... Dr. Phil... Watch out. Dr. Toad is coming your way.

Instead, what happens when we embrace our journey? The ups, the downs, the failures, and successes? Not only are we able to achieve, our resolve grows stronger, our foresight gets sharper, our valued and valuable connections expand, our skin gets tougher.  We earn our way to a stronger, wiser, more prepared Self.  And this Self is ready for the next challenge, the next goal, the next Quest.

Here are some bulletpoints to take to heart the next time you set a goal or are struggling with your current journey:
  • Start with your Purpose. This will be give the greatest meaning to any pursuit you'll endeavor. Without it, it'll be too easy to waver or falter as you work toward your goal. What do you ultimately want? Why do you want this?
  • Tune into the feelings you want to experience when you achieve your goal now. Don't wait to feel sexy, stronger, richer, etc. Start incorporating those feelings into your daily life however you can each and every day as you pursue your greater vision/goal. Like attracts like, and your goal will surely be attracted to those active feelings.
  • Live every day in the present and allow each present day add up to your optimal future. Nothing destroys momentum more than dwelling on past "failures" and "regrets" or looking too far ahead in the future and letting it get us down ("But it's soooooo far away!").
  • In addition to the above, Plan Ahead.  Create a plan, an outline; chart a course, design a blueprint.  Allow each day that you live in the present to be for a greater something and not just aimless wandering.
  • Understand that the path is not always straight, it's not always clear, there are twists and turns and bumps along the way.  When you get those guiding light paths toward a goal, accept them, embrace them, be eternally grateful for them - don't think that they are the norm though.  Be ready and flexible to run into some "obstacles," to go off on tangents and then return, and more of the like.  This doesn't mean you're off-course; this is the course - it's a Labyrinth in which you just have to keep moving.
  • If you're following the above and you're consistently taking action, you're always getting closer.  Some outcomes arrive quickly and others take much longer.  Don't give up or relinquish your passion because you're not quite there yet. More often then not, you're close.  Possibly even just a couple of millimeters away.  (Check out my previous post about the slight adjustment or the extra step you may need - and you're there!  You'll see the Success diagram for a better understanding of your journey here too.)
  • The little successes are still successes.  How about that?! You get to wrack up a boatful of successes along the way. That should only fuel you further. Completing Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are all worthy accomplishments. And without them, you can't make it to Level 8. (Unless you know those shortcut pipes... search them out in life and use them to your advantage if you can.)
  • Infuse your pursuit/actions with accountability.  If you can hold yourSelf accountable, excellent - do so.  Setting deadlines, offering rewards, whatever works best for how you operate. Often, finding an accountability partner/buddy helps more.  We all have a much easier time letting ourselves down... but letting someone else who we trust and care about down also?!?!  Not gonna happen.  (There are websites out there to help you with this too.  Check out - I haven't tried it, but I'm sure it could be valuable to you if you need it.)
  • Take care of yourSelf during the process - and celebrate once you reach your goal!  We work too hard. We do.  Which is completely different from putting in hard work.  Think big, play big, move forward, but don't exhaust yourSelf completely.  Leave time to breathe, make sure you have some YouTime (or contact The YouTime Coach for assistance with that).  Eat healthfully, get quality rest/sleep, schedule chunks of time for play and/or with others.  The You that functions at your peak ability will be the You that reaches your goal the quickest and with what seems like the least amount of effort (in the sense that everything will flow to you more naturally while you put in your hard work).  Once you get there, celebrate!  You deserve it.

So, when we do reach out goal and achieve our desired (or destined) outcome, we wish we could get this:

Obviously, Princess means Mario has grown on the inside. (He sure doesn't look "grown" physically.)

But, of course, this is what we get:

"May I take a quick nap before I jump into the next Quest?"

Seriously, after proving yourSelf wildly successful in braving the immense venture of your first Quest, why not accept another one? (Hint: they will keep coming to you regardless.)

Enjoy your Quests, and good luck finding your Princesses.

All the best and yummiest to you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Connective Giving & Receiving Experiment

I had an excellent conversation with a wonderful friend today about asking for help.  My friend is also a coach and provides questions for me to ponder along with insight and inspiration that moves me forward in my pursuits and passions.  The conversation inspired this blog.  Thank you, friend.

Asking someone for help can be a fearful experience.  I always remember the joke/stereotype of the guy who'd drive his family around, in circles, all over the place, lost while on their way to vacation instead of pulling over to ask someone for directions.  

There's a certain pride to doing everything yourSelf.  To knowing, or thinking you know, everything yourSelf.  Asking for help means you're not almighty, you're not all-knowing, you're weak.  Asking for help means you're not worthy.

Now you may read the above paragraph and think "that's ridiculous!" But, for many, it's true - or made to be true.  Whether consciously or unconsciously, asking for help is most often related as a sign of weakness, of vulnerability.  And, sure, while the process of asking for help may be a vulnerable request - someone could say "yes," but someone could also say "no" and what would that mean? - I've learned it actually relates a lot more to a greater strength, willingness, and acceptance that can only benefit the connection between people and toward one's Self.

How excited have you been in the past to be able to help someone with a request or a favor?  What have you, as the Giver, gotten out of that experience?  Whatever feelings you've experienced have placed you in the Receiver role too - allowing the person who received your gift to give back an intention, a compliment, thanks, etc., and you the benefit of receiving in addition to giving.  

You see the amazing circle/cycle in action?  This is the Law of Abundance.  The more you strengthen it, the more expansive your opportunities to both give and receive become.  There's immense joy and reward in giving and receiving.  Reciprocation has always been a treasured value of mine, and it's proven to be rewarding in so many ways for the people I've helped and the people who have helped me. Asking for help is a courageous act and answering that call is the quickest way to Abundance.  Do you want Abundance in your life?

You may or may not know about my Reiki Certification Retreat fundraiser.  If not, take a quick gander at the link.  You can read about my passion, connection, and desire to make this experience a reality and the many ways you can both help by giving and benefit by receiving a gift of greater value, at the same time. (Gifts to you include coaching, Reiki, promoting/blogging, and other services.)

I'm reaching out to you with a Connective Giving & Receiving Experiment.  You are my many friends, family, Ahimsa Lifers, and other acquaintances - you total in the thousands (maybe tens of thousands, who knows!) - with this amazing world of online connections and social media in which we live.  Here's the experiment:

  • I know this experience will be tremendously valuable to me - to my spirit, my growth as an individual, my growth as a coach, my growth as someone who provides service and help.
  • We've been connected, most likely, by birth, blood, play, school, business, a common passion or pursuit or philosophy. In at least some way, we both believe in each other, support each other, respect each other, love each other.
  • I am asking each and every one of you for your help and would love to initiate the cycle of Giving and Receiving with you. (Check out Unity, Caring, Kindness, and Friendship!)
  • If everyone could help me in even the smallest way by contributing at least $1, those dollars would add up to provide me with this opportunity to explore, discover, experience, and reciprocate value to others. 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 ... and so on makes a difference.
  • In doing so, you'd be a part of such an incredible supportive and helpful whole without going beyond your means or negatively affecting yourSelf.
  • If you cannot give at least $1, or are choosing not to give at least $1 for your own valuable reasons, there are no worries or disappointments.  Your energy and support is very much appreciated and helps too.
This Connective Giving & Receiving Experiment allows for many opportunities and greater Abundance for both mySelf and for You.  Give to Receive.  Receive to earn opportunities to Give.  And continue.  If you are open to it and willing to participate in it, this is one of the greatest gifts life can provide.  

Thank you for reading, and I hope you will participate in Giving & Receiving with me.  I am grateful for you.  Please believe in me.  

I'll leave you with a few quotes from Rumi, whose words I love, and you may love also:

"And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, 'You owe me.'  Look what happens with love like that.  It lights up the sky."

"What you seek is seeking you."

"Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond."

"Give up to grace.  
The ocean takes care of each 
wave 'til it gets to shore.  
You need more help than you know."

"Set your life on fire.  Seek those who fan your flames."

"Give your weakness to one who helps."

"You must ask for what you really want./ Don't go back to sleep./ The door is round and open./ Don't go back to sleep."

All the best and yummiest to you.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Unprocessed by Chef AJ: Book Review & Giveaway!

We're all looking for help in some way or another.  Advice from a family member or a friend.  A film to allow us to escape.  A book to shed some light on a topic or provide valuable information.

We're always looking for a new tool to add to our personal toolbelt, a new skill for our repertoire, a new resource to make sure we have everything we need for our heads, hearts, bodies, and spirits.  

My most recent resource that I added into my life was Unprocessed: How to achieve vibrant health and your ideal weight by Chef AJ.  I've only known Chef AJ for a short time but have learned so much from her, in person and through her book.  She has really worked her way into becoming one of the premier plant-based/vegan chefs and is incredibly accessible with information and recipes.  Currently, in addition to her website, Chef AJ's Healthy Kitchen, where you can sign up for cooking classes, workshops/events, and more, you can find her teamed up with The Plant-Based Dietitian, Julieanna Hever, in the fun and tasty videocasts, "The Chef and the Dietitian," where you can follow the two making recipes from soups to salads to smoothies to dinners to desserts.  It's a big delicious video experience.

So I recently read Unprocessed, and what I love about it is that Chef AJ leads you, the reader, through simple, relatable, easy-to-understand steps to benefit your mindset and journey toward eating an unprocessed, or whole-food, plant-based diet.  Starting with her very own life story - which you'll have to read yourself! - Chef AJ takes us through what easily could be your life experience or your life experience or your life experience.  Let me tell you, I was surprised to find out a lot about what's happened in her life. AJ definitely had to overcome some major obstacles in order to discover her passion, optimal health, and happiness.  Though many challenges were thrown her way, she succeeded - and the value of plant-based eating was definitely at the core of it.

After Chef AJ connects with you, as an author, as a friend, she continues on as a guide, a teacher, and a coach, breaking through the initially-legitimate (but ultimately flimsy) excuses for not wanting to or "being unable" to eat plant-based and unprocessed.  Once you realize "She's right!" and begin to think "Well, what do I do now...?" she swoops in like a superhero(ine), providing all of the basic information on why eating an unprocessed, plant-based diet is best for you - and then helpful tips on how to make it work in your life or your life or your life.  Finally, AJ opens up the vault and you get to cash in on over 100 delicious nutrient-rich and gluten-free recipes!  

That Chipotle Corn Salsa sure looks Smokey!
(courtesy of Forks Over Knives)
Unprocessed is personal, informational, fun, and so helpful in relaying how unprocessed, plant-based eating is valuable for everyone - yes, even you and you and you.  And when you're done, you can jump right in and enjoy with simple recipes that will wow your taste buds and contribute to (and not against) your health.

Here are some favorites that I've tried or that have caught my eye and will most likely end up in my tummy sometime in the near future:

Mmm mmm soup.
(courtesy of Forks Over Knives)

That's only 8.  Which means there are over 92 more for you to enjoy. How to do that?  Well, get the book, of course!  And I'll give you a head start!  

We're giving away one signed copy of Unprocessed to the lucky raffle winner of this last giveaway of the year.  It's super simple - you may already be a pro at this - just go to the Rafflecopter widget below, sign up for free if you need to, and follow the easy directions. The more items you complete, the more raffle entries in your name, the better chance you have at winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All the best and yummiest to you.