Monday, March 7, 2011

The Power of Music

An amazing thing happened at my friend's house yesterday. Her and her husband had to leave for a little while, and I stayed with her son and her sister. As soon as they started to leave, her son started crying—it was more like wailing! I’ve never seen him cry that hard. It was intense!


I said a quick prayer in my mind…something like: what can I do?? I looked over and noticed his toy drum. So I picked it up and started to gently tap a rhythmic beat. He stopped crying almost instantly, and he just watched me. I kept it going for a while and he calmed down really quickly! I was amazed.

This reminded me of the Baby Bob Marley video I saw on youtube a few months ago. I’ve only shared it with a few people because the father makes some comments that might offend people. Which is sad because it’s such an astounding thing to watch. In the video, the little boy, who is probably around 18 months old, is throwing a tantrum. But then the father puts on Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley and the boy instantly smiles and starts bopping his head to the music! I will always remember that remarkable scene…

I wish more people knew about this! I’ve seen so many parents struggle to make their child stop crying and “behave” when it could be as simple as just putting on some soothing music, or even singing to them. I remember when my nephew was little, someone was changing his diaper and he was fussing and just didn’t want to stay still. I started singing “So Fresh, So Clean” by Outkast (it was the first song that popped into my mind!!), and he just looked at me and smiled!

I’ve learned, just from observing my friends who have kids, and parents in general over the years, that children love music. They respond to it. And I’ve also noticed that they require something that captures their attention. Their minds are so creative, so active…they don’t want to just sit still! They want to utilize their creativity. If a child has a toy or a game, they’ll be happy and occupied, especially if they’re in a restaurant, a waiting room, etc. I don’t have children, so this is all purely from observation, and of course, these are just my opinions J

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Power of Peace, Love, and Joy

You really can find inspiration everywhere. I just turned on my tv and saw the end of an episode of “Chopped,” which I hardly ever watch. They showed the winner, who was talking about how much he loves his daughter. I loved seeing all three judges moved to tears. I love that I was also moved to tears! It’s amazing how powerful love is. He taught his daughter that it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. At the end of the show, he said, “No matter what, always do your best.”

This is something I was just reading this afternoon in Russell Simmons’s book, “Super Rich.” Russell talks about treating the bottom rungs of the ladder with the same passion and intensity as the ones at the top.

Which reminds me: there were lots of synchronicities that happened today.

I spent the day with my close friend Rebekah, her son, husband, and sister. We watched “Did You Hear about the Morgans” and ordered Chinese food. Her sister’s fortune cookie mentioned the choice of non action, and I was just reading about that in Russell’s book today!

In the movie, Hugh Grant’s character opens the movie with a very long voicemail message, in which he mentions an ice sculpture. After the show “Chopped” ended, this other show began called “Ice Brigade” which is about a team of ice sculptors! Seriously, what are the chances? That movie came out in 2009, and I how often do I watch the Food Network? Not that often!



This reminds me of another significant synchronicity:

I’ve had this desire to just escape to an island and live a simple, quiet life, away from all the stress and pressure of modern life. But then I read a different perspective from two very different authors: Lee Carroll (channel for Kryon) and Russell Simmons. Russell talks about how we don’t need to go to a mountain top and meditate to be peaceful and happy; we can live life as a moving meditation, and be peaceful and present no matter what.

Kryon talks about how we might be living in a place that feels unenlightened, yet we are needed there to hold the energy. This feels like such a relief! I always thought I was supposed to move to a laid back place like California or some island where I could meditate and be at peace 24/7. I love this idea of being wherever I am and holding the energy of love, joy, and peace.

I could easily write pages and pages on these ideas…and I probably will eventually! But for now, I’m sending out rays of peace, love, and joy.






(image from wedding-zine.com)

Part of it All

Lately I’ve really been feeling like I’m truly part of everything and everyone. So many synchronicities and delightful surprises keep happening. Like yesterday, when I was driving home from the bookstore, I was thinking about the beautiful orange drink on Sarma’s book cover (I know, I take pleasure in the simplest things!) and as I was appreciating this in my mind, I turned to the right and there was an orange Volvo, almost the same exact color of the drink! How funny is that?

Another thing that happened: As I was getting dressed earlier, I was thinking about people’s youtube styles—how they introduce themselves, the background, the content, etc. And my former personal coach from back in 2007 popped into my mind. Later on, I opened my email, and there I found her newsletter! Now I haven’t received a newsletter from her in probably a year or so!

And one more thing: I’m part of an email Love list, which I highly recommend. There are five of us and we email each other every day with a list of things we love. The other day, I noticed one of the women mentioned Tibetan prayer flags, and I remembered my brother used to have them. Later on that day, I flipped open one of my cookbooks and what did I see? Tibetan prayer flags! I have not seen or thought of or heard anything about them for quite a while, and all of a sudden, there they are.

These synchronicities have been so much fun for me. I feel like they’re winks or signs or hugs from God and the angels. I feel so connected when these things happen. I feel like I’m part of something magical. What I love most is that I can’t really explain how they happen. I can’t control or predict them. I can only enjoy them and stay on the lookout for more J

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Inspiring Images

I am a very visual person. I love reading and of course I love writing, but I am also deeply inspired by the beauty of an exquisite image. I find that I get a rush of inspiration when I see a beautiful picture. I always fall for beautiful packaging and I will easily buy a magazine or a book for its cover alone!

And that brings me to cookbooks. I feel that it’s almost a requirement for cookbook writers to include the pictures of their recipes. I’ve come to the conclusion that you can find a cookbook with the most magnificent recipes in the world, but if there are no pictures, how can you feel inspired to make them?

Perfect example: yesterday I was leisurely strolling around Barnes & Noble and I was flipping through the pages of Sarma Melngailis’s book “Living Raw Food.” The cover itself is gorgeous. Sarma looks radiant drinking a beverage that is the most refreshing shade of orange ever! I was totally reveling in the gorgeous photographs throughout the entire book.

I also came across Rod Rotondi’s book “Raw food for Real People.” In this book, he has a small section of about 15 photographs. There’s one picture of a berry smoothie that had me at hello! It was a deep, vibrant shade of raspberry. It looked so refreshing, so alive, and so delicious!

This one picture inspired me so much that I actually made one this morning! And here’s the thing: I didn’t even read the recipe!! I just threw in a bunch of things that appealed to me, and voila!

Here’s what I used in my vibrant, delicious smoothie:

One banana
Frozen raspberries and blackberries
A few chunks of papaya
A nice amount of baby spinach
Some fresh lemon juice
The juice of one orange
That’s it!

It was so delicious, so refreshing, and so nutritious! I’ve been drinking it all morning J
The color is kind of nondescript. It would be fun to make it look as yummy as it tastes.

Cheers!






Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eating Simply

I’ve been more and more inspired to cook these days, and I love this concept of eating simply. Yesterday I saw a recipe online for sweet potato soup. It looked amazing and I felt a rush of inspiration, so I made some. I love being inspired by a picture and a recipe, and then making it in my own way. I never ever follow a recipe to the T. I always make it completely my own.

So this is how I made my glorious, quick, easy soup:

1 sweet potato
2 carrots
Fresh parsley
1 shallot
Ginger (powdered, but you can use fresh)
Some veggie broth
Some water

I chopped the shallot and sautéed it in a little bit of olive oil, and while that was going, I chopped the sweet potato and carrots, threw them in the blender, and then threw that in the pot, along with the veggie broth and water. I added some fresh chopped parsley, some ginger, and lightly simmered it for only about 15 minutes.

It tasted so refreshing and vibrant. I love that I cooked it gently and for a short time. The flavors were wonderful, simple, and delightful!

Fun with Words

I’ve always loved words. I love looking up their meanings and where they came from. I even find it amusing to ponder who thought of certain words. I wonder: who named all the flowers and trees? Who named all the animals and the street names and shapes?

And that brings me to this: who came up with the word vegetable? To me, it has lots of negative associations, and it even sounds weird! Many of us were forced to eat vegetables when we were kids, and so there might be a kind of rebellion (“I can eat whatever I want!”). I looked up its origin and I was delighted to find the following on dictionary.com:

c.1400, "living and growing as a plant" 
from O.Fr. vegetable: living, fit to live
from M.L. vegetabilis: growing, flourishing
from L.L.vegetabilis: animating, enlivening 
from L. vegetare: to enliven
from vegetus: vigorous, active
from vegere: to be alive, active, to quicken
from PIE *weg-  be strong, lively, 
related to watch (v.), vigor, velocity

Have you ever held up a leafy green to the sunlight? You can see life! You can see veins! To me, vegetables (and fruits obviouslyJ) are filled with life, and overflowing with vibrant life-giving energy.



It would be fun to coin a new word for vegetable. I had fun with the word vivies, because the root “vivere” means to live—but I realized that vivie sounds like a nickname for Vivian, so I’ll think of a new one J



Check out this gorgeous, innovative cookbook from celebrated chef Yotam Ottolenghi


(Image from linvilleray.blogspot.com)