Sunday, January 24, 2010

Azerbaijan: Three Cups of Tea in Baku

"Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson is a must read for anyone who wants to better understand peoples and cultures different from their own - or better yet - understand anyone really. It is a true story that touches on multiple themes - turning failure into success; how giving and receiving are often the same thing; and how sometimes the most important things in life can't be hurried...In other words, it is important to take time for tea. You never know where tea can lead you. There are health benefits to be sure, but the larger benefit is when strangers are turned into friends...and sometimes even Greg's book to hear his story.

I have had many cups of tea in Azerbaijan.

Tea to better understand.

Tea to better appreciate.

Tea to better see how the patterns that are woven - between us - affect us all.

I am thankful for those who drink tea with me and have taught me more than they know...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year's Detox

I have read about the detoxing process and how one can suffer from symptoms like headaches, runny nose, etc.  Having never experienced this, I thought it did not apply to me. Wow, was I wrong!

I spent the entire past week thinking I possibly had major head trauma due to a significant bump I suffered recently.  (I know, I know, I should have gone to see a doctor, but I didn't.) Finally someone asked me what I had eaten when I was home for the holidays.  I had to admit - a two-week steady diet of cookies and chocolate (you may remember that chocolate is largely responsible for why I started this blog in the first place!).  So, I went from veggies, fruit, grains, and seeds - to cookies and chocolate - and then back to veggies, fruit, grains, and seeds (I know, I know).  So the question posed to me was, "Did you ever consider that you are suffering from caffeine and sugar withdrawal?" No, actually I did not.  (How could I feel so awful after only two weeks??) However, now, after consideration (and consultation with a medical doctor), I realize that that was as big of a reason for my pain as the bump on my head. 

Lesson learned going into 2010 - moderation might be a good idea!  Since I am committed to "living kinder," however, it also means being kind to myself and not beating myself up about my missteps over the holiday season.  So, moving forward...

An exciting discovery at the start of the New Year...I was given a membership to Costco - a wholesale warehouse that sells everything (e.g., books, furniture, food, office supplies, etc.) - only to find out that they sell many organic items in bulk!  These were today's purchases:

Okay, the pita chips and clementines were not organic, but I decided to throw them in anyway. I like this idea of buying in bulk, particularly when I can share with other people who are also striving to eat more healthy food in 2010.

Finally, going back to the issue of chocolate, I did find one way of satisfying my chocolate craving (as I transition back to more healthy eating.)  Let me introduce Dark Chocolate Organic Coconut Bliss "ice cream."

I purchased it at Whole Foods, despite some skepticism - namely because as much as I like chocolate, I do NOT like chocolate ice cream - at all.  Add to the fact that this is a soy-free, gluten free, vegan frozen dessert, I was trying to figure out what would be in it to like?  For the second time in this post, I will say "Wow, was I wrong!"  This was quite possibly the best "chocolate ice cream" that I have ever had.  It is that good.  Good thing it comes in pint size - to help with my "moderation" resolution!

Hope you all did a little better than me on the health front over the holidays and the New Year has started out right!  

Will be traveling again soon and will keep you posted...