Bucket List Item-Learn Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

Michael Jackson's Thriller jacket
Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was this manifestation book I read earlier this year that suggested making a list of 49 things you wanted to accomplish within a year, 30 things you wanted to accomplish in 5 years, 20 things within 10 years, and 10 things within 30 years and so on, until it basically made you narrow down three things you wanted to do in a lifetime. That was a very powerful thing for me to understand. I had wanted to do a lot of things, but it really made me see which goals I had that were tangents and which were leading me towards what I really wanted to accomplish with my life.

When I made that list of things I wanted to accomplish within a year, I didn’t look at it like a bucket list at the time, but in a way it kind of was and is, similar to making New Year’s resolutions. One year I had a very silly yet serious New Year’s resolution and that was to learn to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

I started learning the dance around a month ago and yesterday I participated in an event called “Thrill the World,” with nearly 200 people at the Arizona state fair. This is a one day event that takes place every year around Halloween time where people from all over the world dance to “Thriller” at the same time in order to break a Guinness World Record, raise money for local charities, and just have fun dancing. On www.thrilltheworld.com, you will find instructional videos that break down the dance and make it pretty easy to learn.

I started learning the dance around a month ago and yesterday I danced with nearly 200 people at the Arizona state fair.

Mom and I in full zombie mode!
Mom and I in full zombie mode!

It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. I also learned how to do zombie makeup from some youtube tutorials. Super cool. Just wanted to share another creation method that has assisted in my growth and healing. Dancing is fun and a great release of energy. And I don’t care what people say, I love Michael Jackson. He was a person who had enough money and power to make change and that was threatening. Sure, he seemed weird, but that’s because he had a stolen childhood due to fame. All he wanted was peace. That’s what most of us want.

Advertisements

Lentil Salad staple

Lentil Salad
Lentil Salad
I’ve been compelled to cook lately and one of the vegetarian staples I love to make the most is lentils. I usually make lentil soup but since it’s still summer and I’m in Arizona hell heat, I thought I would research how to make a lentil salad.
I created a hybrid recipe inspired by “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters, with ingredients I had on hand that I thought would be cool to add. And it came out scrumptious so I thought I would share.

Ingredients:
lentils (any color but I used green) (1 cup)
sea salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

red wine vinegar (3 tbs)
stone ground mustard or dijon (1 tbs)
shallots (3 whole, diced)
carrots (two, diced)
celery (3 diced)
garlic (3 minced, to taste)
coconut oil (1 tsp)
parsley (1 1/2 bunch)
green onion (1/4 cup, sliced)
olive oil (3 tbs)

How to:

Cook your lentils with sea salt to taste. Drain the liquid and let it cool. While the lentils are cooking, you want to heat your coconut oil in a skillet then add your shallots, garlic, carrots, and celery, until your veggies are softened slightly. Let that cool.

Chop up your parsley and green onions and place in a large bowl. Add your lentils and softened cooked veggies. Add the red wine vinegar, stone ground mustard, olive oil, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine and there you have it.

Ughh (sigh of love, joy and excitement). It’s so easy, simple, healthy, tasty, satisfying, and good looking. This is a great recipe to pack up and take to work for lunch or wherever you go and need a good meal to keep you going and it’s awesome because you can basically eat it everywhere since it travels well. Yay lentils! Go Lentils!

Leave your friends alone

So I was listening to Louise Hay’s audio book, You Can Heal Your Life 4 CD Set by Hay. Louise L. ( 2004 ) Audio CD again. I reference that book a lot because I listen to it on my Ipod when I take breaks at work and I always hear new things that I feel are important for me to hear. I put my Ipod on shuffle and I often hear the same tracks from the book over and over again. I feel like I’m just meant to hear certain things. I love the shuffle function for that reason, almost like the universe is speaking to me through my Ipod.

Anyway, so there’s a track that talks about mirroring and focusing on yourself rather than focusing on others. Louise Hay straight out says, “leave your friends alone.” She says that we want to fix others before we fix ourselves. She says that you can’t change anyone. If you want to change the people around you, you must start with changing yourself. After hearing that, I just have become more aware of how the people around us are really mirrors of ourselves and we can’t change others. We can only change ourselves.

This track or chapter from Louise Hay’s book really resonated with me because this whole trying to change others has been true for me up until I came here to Arizona. I used to have a need to fix others or at least try. I would see people who seemed in bad situations and feel like I had to help them. I had an alcoholic friend who I tried to help out with nutrition and yoga who ended up drinking alcohol while doing the lemonade cleanse and ending up in the hospital. I had another nutball friend who had just gotten out of rehab. I’ll never forget taking her to her first Bikram Yoga class and waiting for her to finish smoking a cigarette around 30 minutes before the class began.

Boy was that exhausting. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t change them. Now that I’m here on my own, I have no choice but to focus on myself but sometimes I think about helping people. I just can’t help it. Most of my jobs up until now have been in the non-profit sector helping people but did I ever focus on myself or my own creative endeavors? No. I like to help people, I like to make a difference but there came a point when I realized I had to take care of myself first.

The last time I tried to help a friend it was because she asked me. She asked me what she could eat to lose weight and stop having so much gas in her stomach. So, I invited her over my mom’s house and we prepared two salads and a pasta dish. I didn’t want to scare the crap out of her by going all raw so I added the pasta dish so she would have something familiar to her.

I think the problem with that experience was that I didn’t have a plan. I kinda got together with my mom that afternoon before my friend came over and we decided on what we thought we should make. By the end of it, I don’t think my friend really enjoyed the food. The thing is, I have thought about coming up with a diet plan for her ever since that day…But I started thinking, maybe I won’t come to her with this diet plan. I’ll just write it out and experiment on myself. I mean, what better test subject than myself? I’ll just leave my friends alone and focus on me.  Maybe those people were in my life before because I had a need to fix messed up people. Now I think my need is to really focus on myself, rather than others. There’s always room for improvement. I need structure and guidance just as much as anyone else. That’s why I did the Ani Phyo raw cleanse in the first place. I needed the structure. Now that it’s over, I find myself wanting to take from different recipes and authors that I’ve read, tried, or want to try and come up with my own plan, one that is more familiar to people who are transitioning from eating Taco Bell to cooking or preparing their own meals. Dairy-free, meat-free, and inexpensive. This is the task at hand.

I use helping others as my inspiration but inevitably I have to leave them alone and not focus on pushing an alternative lifestyle on anyone. I will get prepared and if anyone comes to me, I will be ready to help.

Day 20 of 21

I’ve got some demons in me right now. The writing will purge them out of me. I can totally be honest in saying what it is that bothers me even if it’s not completely positive all the time. I find myself wanting to be cautious now that I have some followers, but why should I be? I’m not writing vulgar things. This is a documentary of a diet cleanse and why should I censor myself when I am writing exactly what I’m feeling?

I guess today when I woke up I got upset because I’ve been wearing these big ass shorts that I bought when I first came to Arizona because it was so hot and I barely had any clothes and I needed shorts. Well, now that I’ve been cleansing and exercising, those shorts don’t really fit me anymore. They are super huge! Great news, right?

So I went to my closet and I looked in two bags where I keep three pairs of pants that I used to wear when I was thinner. I started thinking I had come really far so I tried them on and they still didn’t fit properly. There’s nothing like trying on clothes that don’t fit to put you in a funk. Yea, that’s pretty much why I got mad this morning. Yea, I’m one size away still. Like I mentioned before, vanity is not my only motivation for weight loss and healthy eating, but I thought I was there already. I guess I shouldn’t get down on it so much because I have lost weight. It’s a freaking journey. Really. It’s not like I’m going to do one cleanse and I’m going to fit into my pants that I was able to wear three years ago.

I gained thirty pounds over the course of three years, so I have to give it time to fully get back to where I was before. I’m almost there. This cleanse is nearly over but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop eating right. I have to keep going. I’ve worked too hard to give it up.

I mean, I feel really good. My skin looks great, I’ve lost weight, I don’t get sick, I think positively. Should fitting into a pair of pants really be the measure of my progress? I don’t think so.

Day 15 of 21

Phase 3 is in full effect. It has to be said that the Kreamy Chipotle Dressing is orgasmic. I thought I loved the Thermo Dressing but this one is competing for my taste buds’ affections.

The Kreamy Chipotle dressing consists of pre-soaked cashews (1 cup), 1/2 cup water, 1 tbs miso paste, 1/2 tsp chipotle chiles. Goodness. The title of Kreamy is with a K on purpose, just to note. All the vegan mock creamy dishes use a K instead of a C on the word Cream or Kream. And the Kreamy Chipotle dressing goes over the lunch salad consisting of romaine, 2 tbs diced celery, 1/4 cup red bell pepper, and nutritional yeast.

Wasn’t too impressed with the Vanilla-Blueberry Shake. What’s cool about the dinner for today is you finally get to have zucchini noodles with raw marinara sauce. Now, I’m very excited for these noodles because I’ll be using the spiralizer to make them. Last time I did this cleanse I just used kelp noodles that I bought from the Asian market in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo arts district. Kelp noodles are from the sea, crunchy and packed with protein. Since I’m in Arizona now and don’t know where to find an Asian market that has kelp noodles, I’ll just make my own.

The spiralizer is a very cool gadget that makes noodles out of almost any vegetable. Zucchinis work best since they are long and pliable. It’s just crazy. Obviously  zucchini or kelp noodles aren’t like regular pasta noodles but have a similar consistency that is satisfying enough to trick your brain into believing you are having pasta since the mouth feel is reminiscent of a pasta noodle. But what is mostly satisfying is the marinara sauce which uses tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt all blended together and just poured over the noodles.

I love this Phase and I love that my mom has a Vitamix. I was planning on buying one but for now hers will do. This is the essential blender for making raw food sauces, ice creams, soups, shakes, etc. When I did the cleanse last year I used my roomates’ cheepo blender that eventually sounded horrible because of my overuse. A Vitamix is fully equipped to chop up nuts and seeds and pulverize food into a pulp if so desired. The Vitamix really made the Kreamy Chipotle Dressing happen today. I know it can be a little expensive but you would save money buying the Vitamix once since it has a lifetime warranty rather than buying a bunch of blenders that will break down due to raw food preparation. My old roomates’ blender sounded awful and almost seemed like it was smoking sometimes when I would use it.  Anyway, just wanted to share that as well. I’m just so excited for  Phase 3. We get to use the food processor in this phase as well and have dessert later in the week 🙂