Spring Cleaning From The Outside In (a checklist)

Today I want to talk to you about connecting to your life and your relationships in a deeper way.
 
I am 11 days into my REVIVIFY REBOOT and at this point in the journey we are disconnecting more from food and all the baggage that so often comes with it, while taking the opportunity to reconnect with a deeper place in ourselves, our environment, and the people around us.

I notice the sky looks bluer and I am trying to listen with more openness to my loved ones. I smell the rain and see the popping green of Spring more vibrantly. 
I think it's pretty darn amazing to recalibrate your taste buds, but hitting the reboot button on your entire life and all of your relationships – now that's out of this world!

I'll say it again, that's the power of REVIVIFYING your life! 

I've heard that how a person manages their stuff is the same way they tend to manage their emotions. Take a look around today. What's your stuff trying to tell you? Is it neat and organized or is it all stuffed away in a closet that you don't have to look at?

As I move deeper into cleansing myself from the inside out, I have the urge to take better care of everything else in my life.
So in the spirit of deep cleaning my body & soul, I deep cleaned my house. Extremely intensely, I might add. I pulled each and every thing out of each and every cabinet and each and every drawer, and either tossed it, recycled it, or organized it.
And I wiped everything down.
Needless to say, my car is now completely filled to the brim of things to recycle, donate, return, and clean. But my house feels like an absolute sanctuary!!

I promise, the feeling of finally wrapping up some unfinished business or of giving your closet a good purge will leave you feeling lighter and more energized – purified from the outside in!

I encourage you to take some time this weekend towards cleaning up your space. Even if just with baby steps. Clear off the counters, clean out your inbox. When our stuff is clean and organized, our thoughts are clear and focused. And when our thoughts are clear and focused, our emotions are real and authentic. The net result is a better, more balanced, fulfilling life.
Can I get a Hell Yes?!

Spring Cleaning From The Outside In (a checklist)

Deep Clean Your House

_____ Clean out your closet: take all of your clothing out your closets and drawers and go through everything one-by-one. Pair your collection down to your most essential and most beautiful basics. Get rid of the rest. Wipe down your closet, invest in matching hangers, then fold and hang everything to perfection and put it back into place. Take any shoes that need new soles to the cobbler. Take any clothes that need to be altered to alterations. Take any dry cleaning to the cleaners. Do all your laundry.

_____ Clean out your kitchen: take everything out of the cupboards, wipe everything down, and get rid of anything non-essential or that you haven’t used in awhile or that is expired (you wouldn’t believe how many expired spices I had in there!) Do the same for the inside of your fridge. Put only the essentials back into place.

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_____ Clean out your desk & your "junk" drawer: take out everything from your desk or "junk" drawer, wipe everything down, and get rid of non-essential items. Toss old business cards, pens that leak, markers with no ink. Get a desk or drawer organizer and put everything in a place organized. Get rid of any old electronic cords or headphones that don't work. 

_____ Deep clean your house: Empty every drawer, cupboard, or closet, wipe everything down, get rid of anything non-essential. Put only the essentials back into place. Wipe every surface down, dust everything that needs to be dusted, sweep every floor, mop every floor, and vacuum every rug. If you haven’t gotten your rugs professionally cleaned ever, take them to the dry cleaners (you’ll breathe a lot easier!) If this feels overwhelming, just take it in baby steps. Choose a room or a project and start on that first. 

_____ Deep clean your bathroom: Take everything out of the cupboards and drawers. Wipedown your cupboards and drawers. Get rid of your plunger and your toilet brush and purchase new ones on Amazon. Clean your toilet and your bathtub/shower. Get rid of anything non-essential or that you don’t use. Recycle empty bottles. If you wear retainers, take them out of their cases and soak them in white vinegar. Put their cases in the dishwasher. Scrub the retainers with a toothbrush then put them back into their case. If you use a tongue cleaner (I highly recommend you do), throw it out and purchase a new fresh one. 

_____ Shred all papers: I am pretty focused right now on not having any kind of “paper” in the house. Especially since it tends to accumulate over time. Go through all of your papers, determine what you can recycle, and what you actually need to keep. Then, of the things you need to keep, get the Evernote app, create a notebook (mine is called “Essentials”), and scan all of that paper into the notebook. Then shred the paper copy. This is a process for me because I love to hold on to old cards or love notes, and old journals. Just find a balance that is right for you. 

Clean Your Bags

_____ Clean out your purse, your luggage, and your toiletry bags: Take everything out, wipe down the inside and outside of your bags. Throw out anything old or that you don’t use anymore. Refill your travel toiletries. Take the bags to the cleaners if they are overdue to be professionally cleaned. Put only the essentials back in place.

_____ Clean out your makeup bag: Get rid of anything that is old, expired, or never worn. Wipe down or clean the bag. Wipe down all of your makeup containers. Clean your makeup brushes using water and a gentle cleaner (like Dr. Bronners), dry them. Put only the essentials back in place.

_____ Clean out your grocery bags: Throw away all the veggie bits that have somehow accumulated in the bottom of your shopping bags. Turn the bags inside out and throw them into the laundry. You only need 2-3 grocery bags so get rid of all the extra ones that have accumulated over the years. Dry and put in the back of your car.

Clean Out Your Electronics

_____ Organize your computer: Delete any old files, and organize your file folders so that there is a place for everything and everything in its place. Clean out your “download” folder and your “trash” folder.

_____ Organize your phone: Delete apps you no longer use on your phone. Organize your apps so that everything is nice and tidy. Delete old Spotify playlists and pare them down to your favorite songs.

_____ Delete old social media profiles: Delete any social media accounts you don’t use anymore. That includes Periscope or that old Twitter account you got just so you could follow the musings of certain presidents.

_____ Unfollow people: Go through everyone you are following on Instagram and unfollow anyone you are not obsessed or who does not inspire you. And definitely unfollow anyone you are not really friends with or are just following because you are afraid to unfollow them (this is not Facebook people, they can keep following you, you can just stop following them!).

_____ Unfriend people: If you are on Facebook, unfriend anyone that is not actually one of your CURRENT friends. If you are hanging on to them just because you knew them at one point, you’ll just feel the weight of them every time you post. Plus they take up valuable social space that you can use to invest in the friends who are currently filling you up.

_____ Tidy up your online presence: Google yourself. You may be surprised to see all of the places you or your picture pop up. If anything out there is not relevant to who you are right now (or could hinder you in future job searches), email the person or company that mentions you and ask if they can please remove the post. And if you see any links to online profiles you used to have, log into those and delete them. Keep it clean.

Give Yourself A Reboot

  • Reboot from indulgent foods: This means eating less food overall (never feel completely full); eating less oils, trans fats, and salts; and clean out processed sugars from your diet. This includes: white sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, & corn syrup. Artificial sweeteners like Truvia, Equal, Splenda kick em' to the curb. Sweeteners you can incorporate: Honey, maple syrup, molasses, date syrup, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar. 
  • Reboot from excessive spending: This means eating more at home and cooking simpler meals. It may mean no shopping sprees or purchasing big vacations. Use money for simple joys, not exorbitant delights.
  • Reboot from time fillers: Spend less time watching TV and less time on your phone.

Once this process was finished, I had several piles of things to take care of: things to throw away, things to recycle, things to send to Goodwill, electronics to be recycled, things to return to friends, book donations for the library, coins to deposit at the bank, clothing and upholstery to be dry cleaned, and a couple random disposable cameras to have developed. I piled all of this stuff into my car and will be making my rounds of errands throughout the next two weeks.

Now that our lives are empty of all excesses we have the time and space to focus on sleeping well at night, eating healthy and nourishing foods, spending more time in nature, playing with friends & family, quiet mindfulness and journaling. 

I wanted to deep clean my life so that I feel nice and open to whatever the Universe has in store for me. It’s like when you get rid of all of your clothes (Marie Kondo style) and then suddenly your closet has a lot of space in it. A few months later when you find the perfect top or shoes for your current shape and body there’s the perfect space for it in your closet!
You aren't holding on to that shirt waiting for the time when you can fit into it again. You are celebrating you and your sanctuary right NOW! 

That’s how I feel. I don’t know what is missing in my life, or what is coming up for it, but I would like to make room for it so that when it comes, I’m ready. Whether that’s a new job, a move to a new home, or simply a new haircut, we’ll have the space in our lives to welcome it.

 

Simple Lemongrass Coconut Curry

I have been on a coconut frenzy lately and can’t get enough of it. Coconut curry is usually on my weekly dinner rotation because it is so versatile!  Pair it with a spicy red Thai curry paste and you can put a tire in the sauce and it would still be finger-licking good. Seriously. 

 Ok, so granted this is no new recipe. I mean you can search for coconut curry and probably find a million hits. But..this is the curry I eat weekly, the curry I modify with whatever I have on hand. Sometimes I sub halibut in place of chicken which is fabulous. The fish cooks slowly in the sauce and I will serve it with quinoa. Today, I had chicken in the freezer because it was “clean out the fridge” day and added leftover veggies. Honestly, you can add anything and everything you want!! 

A few gorgeous aromatics of lemon grass and lime really make the curry pop and add whatever ingredients you have on hand. Easy peasy. Don’t you just love 1 pot dinners??
I know I do! 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups favorite veggies (I like carrots, zucchini, onions, and broccoli!)
  • 8-12 oz. lean protein (e.g. 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 2 stalks lemon grass (cut in large chunks and bruised)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 cup veggie stock or water (use to achieve your ideal consistency)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, chopped (seeded if you want less heat) optional
  • ½ inch ginger, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa or whole grain brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala (if you have it in your pantry. not crucial if you don't!)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • 1 green onion, chopped, for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cashews, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, onion, jalepeno, red curry paste, turmeric, garam masala and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add your favorite veggies, protein, and lemon grass. Sauté for 5-10 minutes (or until protein is done cooking).
  4. Pour coconut milk over veggie mixture. Add ¼ cup veggie stock or water. Cook until veggies are soft.
  5. Serve over half cup cooked quinoa or whole grain brown rice.

Vote With Your Fork!

Food choices serve as a mirror of our values. Through our shopping and eating, we can help support a healthy food culture.  Author Michael Pollan encourages us to make every food choice matter by voting with our fork.

Why do our food choices matter?

Food is not just fuel. Food is about family, food is about community, food is about identity. We nourish all those things when we eat well.
— MIchael Pollan

There is a lot of cultural wisdom in food. In a particular way that’s how we knew what to eat for all this time. We didn’t have scientists. We didn’t have industry, marketing products they want us to buy. We had food culture. Whether it’s the Mediterranean diet or the French diet or the Indian diet—there are so many traditional diets on which people live long, happy lives with very little chronic disease!

The one diet, so far, that we do not appear to be well-adapted to is the Western diet—the way most of us eat. This diet of lots of refined carbohydrates, lots of fat, lots of sugar. The diet that essentially has been invented over the last 50 or 75 years. We know we’re not well-adapted to it. Why? Because it’s making us sick.

Four out of the 10 leading killers are chronic diseases linked to food!!

One of the earmarks of the industrial food chain is keeping us in the dark about our food choices, not giving us information. And the story of your food is very important, because it is the beginning of thoughtful eating.

How can our food choices express our values?

There is organic. The label "organic" has shown up in supermarkets all over the country now. When you support organic, you’re supporting food that’s been grown without pesticides, without chemical fertilizers, and usually with more respect for the land.

There’s also local food. The local food movement is one of the most exciting things going on in the food world today in my personal opinion.  We’ve seen an explosion of farmers markets—the fastest growing segment of the food marketplace. If you’re concerned about climate change, that’s one reason to change the way you eat! Eat closer to home, and eat less processed food, and you will cut down on the carbon footprint of that food choice.

Another way we can support sustainable agriculture is by talking with the people feeding us. Ask questions. Ask if there are organic alternatives. Ask what people are growing. Get  involved and get to know your local farmer!  

Good food tastes better-- it is just such a rush of flavor. We have farmers who are growing unique and delicious varietals of so many amazing fruits and veggies! The pleasure of eating these things and sharing with your loved ones is just something you don’t want to miss.

What does it mean to vote with your fork? 

The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world. Now, it may seem a little daunting to think, “Oh my God, I’ve got to vote right three times a day.” And, you know, in fact, you don’t and you won’t. We all have our junk foods that we can’t resist, and that’s fine.
— Michael Pollan

But if you get it right once a day, you can produce a more sustainable agriculture, a cleaner environment, diminish climate change, and improve the lot of animals. That’s an amazing power that we have, and we all have it!

We have a powerful choice that we get to make EVERY SINGLE DAY! 

What are other ways that you vote with your fork? Share with us in the comments below! 

Mighty Miso

There's a great debate about soy in the health food world today.

Once thought to be the cure-all for many ills and the lifesaver for vegetarian and gluten-free diets, more and more studies are showing what my feelings on the subject have been for some time: soy is NOT the health food you may think it is...unless it's fermented and non-GMO (not genetically modified).

Unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, PMS, endometriosis, reproductive problems for men and women, allergies, ADD, higher risk of heart disease and cancer, malnutrition and loss of libido.

Who Is At Risk? 

While sales of soy are slowing as people learn about the risks, there are still people using soy. According to Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, who wrote The Whole Soy Story, the most at risk populations, are: infants who are taking soy baby formula, vegetarians (especially vegans) eating a high soy diet and mid-life women eating a lot of soyfoods thinking it will help with the symptoms of menopause.

So how can you get the benefits of soy, without the risks?

Fermentation To The Rescue

Fermented foods and drinks are an important component of the MHW REVIVIFY Nutrition Program because they help build your inner ecosystem. When your inner ecosystem is healthy, it is full of friendly microflora (beneficial bacteria in your intestines), that help you digest and assimilate nutrients and boost your immunity.

In fact, healthy microflora actually go to work for you, creating the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay strong and energized.

When you follow the REVIVIFY Whole Body Reboot or the REVIVIFY Nutrition Program, you begin to create energy so that your body can correct digestion, conquer infections and cleanse. Once your body has had a chance to reboot and balance, we recommend adding fermented soy foods like miso soup, natto and tempeh. 
Soyfoods are high in copper and we have found that high copper foods often are not tolerated when a person has candidiasis. So we eliminate those from the diet for a short period of time while we give our body a chance to reboot, rejuvinate. 

Amazing Miso

Miso has been eaten in Japan and China for many centuries and has been attracting the attention of many of us because of its health and anti-aging benefits. It's also quite delicious. When you aren't feeling well a bowl of miso soup can be especially soothing.

While it was once thought that soy was the reason for the low rates of heart disease, breast and prostate cancer in Asia, more evidence is now showing us that it is the consumption of traditional fermented soy products (usually eaten every day) that are providing the real benefits.

Traced from ancient China, where it was known as hisio, a seasoning prized by aristocrats, miso was perfected in Japan from the 7th century to today.

Making miso is an art form in Japan. It is made of soybeans and koji, a culture starter made from beneficial molds, yeast and lactic acid bacteria. As long as you choose unpasteurized miso, you will be getting the benefits of live friendly microflora for the health of your inner ecosystem.

There are many types of miso, some made with just soy beans and soy koji (called Hatcho miso, a favorite in Japan) and others made with barley and rice.

No matter which type you choose, this fermented superfood has many health benefits.

Miso Benefits

Many studies have been done on miso, some on humans and some on animals.
These studies are showing the following benefits of miso:

  • Reduces risks of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.
  • Protection from radiation
  • Immune strengthening
  • Antiviral -- miso is very alkalizing and strengthening to the immune system helping to combat a viral infection.
  • Prevents aging - high in antioxidants, miso protects from free radicals that cause signs of aging.
  • Helps maintain nutritional balance - full of nutrients, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, miso provides: protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, tryptophan, choline, dietary fiber, linoleic acid and lecithin.
  • Helps preserve beautiful skin - miso contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps your skin stay soft and free of pigments.
  • Helps reduce menopausal complaints - the isoflavones in miso have been shown to reduce hot flashes.

Length of Fermentation Matters

Soy protein is hard to digest and takes a long, slow process of fermentation to break it down. Bacteria that can digest soy are much more hardy than the more fragile bacteria used to ferment vegetables, young coconut water and milk products.

With miso, length of fermentation matters. Hiro Watanabe, PhD, an expert in developmental biology and cancer prevention in Japan, conducted several animal and human studies using freeze dried rice miso to better understand how miso protects against cancer, radiation and other diseases.

Dr. Watanabe's studies showed that when it comes to healing illnesses like breast and prostate cancer, the ideal length of fermentation was between 180 days (6 months) and 2 years.

Dr Watanabe also found that miso fermented for 180 days is typically a rich color and has plenty of healthy microflora. After 2 years of fermentation, the amount of friendly bacteria has begun to disappear. And while the miso would still be a fermented food and is not "spoiled", there is a risk that other pathogens can grow in the miso.

Sipping Miso Soup For Your Health

According to Dr. Watanabe's studies, the sodium in miso did not show adverse affects for people with salt sensitivity and hypertension. Here are the amounts of miso soup he recommended for different health conditions:

  • Cancer - 3 or more cups per day
  • High blood pressure - 2 cups per day
  • Menopause - 1 - 3 cups per day

Special Note:  I recommend eating less miso in the summer months because our body needs much less salt in the hot months. Though can be really beneficial to add it to salads, cultured veggies or salad dressings during the summertime. However, right now it is winter and much of the country is having extremely cold weather. Miso is a great food to eat every day.

For health maintenance, follow your intuition when it comes to how much miso soup you enjoy. This delicious, healing food is a great way to nourish yourself to great health!

Make Your Own Miso Soup

When you are ready to introduce the benefits of miso into your diet, you have more options than just sipping on soup. For example, you can blend certified organic miso (made with healthy sea salt) in with your cultured vegetables or add it to salad dressings for a delicious dose of protein, minerals and anti-aging power!

Or, sip your miso in a warming cup of soup as the Japanese have been doing to stay healthy for centuries. If you are really in a hurry simply dissolve a heaping spoonful of your favorite miso paste into a cup of hot water that you've poured into a favorite coffee mug. Spoon some cultured veggies into another bowl, add some roasted pumpkin seed oil and some sea salt to these and enjoy a perfectly balanced meal. This is fast food at its finest!

To make a more traditional miso soup, follow this easy recipe:

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups spring water
  • 1-2 inch strip of wakame, rinsed and soaked 5 minutes in 1 cup of water until softened
  • 1-2 cups thinly sliced vegetables of your choice (see notes)
  • 2-3 teaspoons barley miso (I really enjoy a non GMO white miso paste)
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

Directions:

1.    Chop soaked wakame.
2.    Discard soaking water or use on houseplants for a boost of minerals.
3.    Place water and wakame in a soup pot and bring to a boil.
4.    Add root vegetables first and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until tender.
5.    Add leafy vegetables and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
6.    Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from pot and dissolve miso into it. Return it to the pot.
7.    Reduce heat to very low; do not boil or simmer miso broth.
8.    Allow soup to cook 2-3 minutes.
9.    Garnish with scallions and serve.
 
Note:
Any combination of vegetables can be used in miso soup.

Here are some classic combinations:

  • onion-daikon: cleansing
  • onion-carrot-shiitake mushroom-kale: mildly sweet
  • onion-winter squash-cabbage: great in wintertime
  • leek-corn-broccoli: great in summertime

 Variations:

  • Add cooked grains at the start of making the soup. They will become nice and soft.
  • Add a tablespoon of uncooked quinoa or millet at the beginning and let it cook with vegetables for 20 minutes.
  • Add cubed tofu toward the end.
  • Add bean sprouts toward the end.
  • Season with 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice for an interesting twist.
  • If using dry shiitake mushrooms, let them soak for 20 minutes, slice and add at the beginning.

If you have a favorite miso combination let us know in the comments below!

Roasted French Green Lentils

Roasted French Green Lentils

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Robust, earthy flavor and rich verdant color makes French green lentils – also known as lentilles du Puy one of the world’s finest legumes. Use these lentils in soups, salads and side dishes. In this casserole, French lentils are roasted in the oven with root vegetables and herbs. So hearty, earthy, warming and delicious!

 

Roasted French Green Lentils

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup French green lentils
  • 3 small beets peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Optional: add beet greens or any green of your choice, goat cheese, walnuts, or cabbage. 

    Note:  This recipe is awesome because you can literally add anything that sounds delicious. Want more root veggies or onions? Add them! The more the merrier in this dish. 

Directions:

1.  Sort and rinse lentils in cool water and drain.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium roasting pan, place beets, carrots, shallots and 3 tbsp. olive or coconut oil. Coat vegetables evenly with oil. Add thyme, salt and pepper and cook in oven until vegetables begin to brown, about 20 minutes.

3. Add lentils, 3 cups of water, stir, and then cover pan with foil. Cook until the lentils are tender and all water is absorbed, about 1 hour.

4. Remove pan from oven and dress lentils with vinegar and remaining oil.

5. Cool slightly and stir in chopped parsley.  Enjoy!