I want you to have all these awesome tools I’ve found at your fingertips. This is the best of the best and it has taken me a few years of intensive searching to curate this list. But as I sat down today, it flowed right through the keyboard- now that I know, it’s second-nature. I want to help you cut right to the chase so here goes! This is an epic amount of tangents I’m leading you on, so feel free to explore and read this over the course of a week if you have to.
10. DIY Workouts
Being able to work out without a gym membership, when and how I want, is priceless. With just a few videos and pieces of equipment I am ready to rock. “Barefoot” running in my Vibrams + Injinji socks has been revolutionary to my routine. I never thought I’d be able to run, let alone run the Bolder Boulder in minimal shoes. But reading Born to Run got me so pumped to do it, and then luckily I found Chi Running which explained how to do it.
I have several DVDs that I rotate- I know it seems expensive, but I really don’t need all of these, I just love them and have bought them when I could over the last few years. I still think this is way cheaper than paying monthly for a gym, and now I’m set for the next decade and beyond. It’s like having your car paid off. And just like having your car paid off, you’ve got money to spare for… a new car! 😉 Or extra workout programs. 🙂 So I have all these “programs” that are meant to be followed, but honestly I love to just pick a workout and do it. These programs include Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, P90X, and Insanity.
I also enjoy New York City Ballet Workout (lots of stretching and toning,) MTV Yoga and MTV Pilates, Dance the Chakras (gentle kundalini yoga with lots of breathwork) and my newest addition is Reebok’s Soft Weighted Ball Workout- it’s a short video with two workouts, both nonstop, full-body blasting (and here’s a free workout download they offer!) This reminds me of the workouts I was doing with a personal trainer in Denver, only once a week 30 minutes I could not believe the results using a few weights with core/total body work. Love my soft medicine ball. I create my own moves with it all the time, it’s really fun.
9. No more chemicals (including shampoo?!)
Yes, like a lot of things, this sounds impossible and gross at first. Well, it’s not. It’s so simple it’s crazy. I’ll admit I still do wash my hair with regular shampoo sometimes while traveling and in weird transitions, but I totally know now it’s possible to go sans-shampoo forever. Just google the no-shampoo method. (And yes, you’ll notice many people call it the no-poo method. I think if we’re trying to make this not sound gross, that’s an interesting choice.) It involves a baking soda solution and optional vinegar rinse. There are a lot of “recipes” out there, but that’s the gist of it.
I like to add a drop or two of essential oil to my rinse (neroli and sweet orange are my faves so far) and have also added some to a mister bottle to spray on my hair, use as deodorant, and mist for aromatherapy and soft perfume since any “real perfume” makes me sick. Joel uses it for his foot spray, and loves a few drops in his hot bath water. I make my own “Pine Sol” blend from water, a few drops of eucalyptus and a few drops of lemongrass. If you want more info on the world of essential oils, check out my girl Ari L over here- she can tell you how powerful these oils are and introduce you to the best oils out there, DoTerra. All of my friends (friends from all different groups who have never met) are all crazy about DoTerra. This changes everything- the way you clean your house, care for your body, soothe your mind and more.
8. Eating Some Cooked Foods
For a few months I was totally raw, feeling great but also struggling a little. I was sprouting beans and quinoa, but I can tell you it’s not the same as warm, fluffy quinoa or soft, chewy beans. I thought maybe I’d never have those things again, but it made me sad because I think they are healthy and easier to digest cooked.
Feeling empowered to eat healthy cook foods again gave me the balance I needed to stay healthy vegan, not let the pendulum swing back to junk food, isolated supplements or animal products. Now I still mainly eat a ton of raw food, every few days I’ll steam some sweet potatoes, cook some wild rice or quinoa and I enjoy traditional Mexican-style homemade spicy beans with jalapeno, cumin and lime. I also frequently make vegan Thai curry-style vegetables by lightly steaming any veg with a little vegan Thai curry paste that’s made here locally called Thai and True.
I know raw works for a lot of people, and if it calls to you I say go for it- everyone is different, and I will never knock the power of raw foods. But I do implore everyone to be on the lookout for imbalance and know that it’s ok to change your mind sometimes. It doesn’t make you less of a person to do so- if you’re in a group that will ostracize you for choosing a slightly different path, it could be time to re-evaluate.
7. Embracing Fats & Oils
Coconut oil is a miracle oil- I use it for oil pulling, the oil cleansing method, and I do use it to stove-pop organic popcorn every once in a while- my mom and I agree it makes the best popcorn on earth. Coconut oil is also great for cooking because it has a higher tolerance to heat, a higher smoking point than other more delicate oils. I use coconut oil, sunflower oil, sacha inchi oil, hemp oil for face and body. Whole olives, avocados, nuts & seeds, and coconuts are my favorite fats for eating. Flax and Udo’s oils are great too, but I don’t use these often in my food (and remember to keep them in the fridge! Most oils you buy in plastic and not refrigerated in the store are already rancid!) I’d rather have the whole seed or nut for eating the way nature packages it. Oh, and making my own coconut yogurt has opened up a whole new world of flavor, tanginess and super-charged probiotics. I add a little Friendly Force powder sometimes.
I’ve been constantly guided to the most amazing mentors, teachers, and tools it’s ridiculous. I love being in the zone, in the vortex. Yes, I read The Secret and got a little out of it, and then I read The Power and learned a little more about how to actually apply the principles. It was a nice intro to the power of attraction. But it wasn’t until I found Mike Dooley that I really turbo-charged the process of manifestation. We made it back into town after traveling just in time to see Mike Dooley speak and sign books in San Diego. The place was packed, standing-room only but no one moved a muscle except to thumb-type a tweet-tweet. We gave him a hug, he signed our copy of Leveraging the Universe, and sent us off into an electrically charged universe. We were magnets for awesomeness like never before.
And now we are blessed to be studying meditation and mantra with a wonderful spiritual teacher, Aly Dunne. Sanskrit is a sacred language, spoken by generations of spiritual masters for thousands of years. If you’re into learning more about this practice, enjoy a free guide- Aly’s blog, The Way of Mantra.
Aly also chants and sings on her beautiful 2-CD set, Dreaming Dharamsala: Sanskrit Mantra and Mediatation For Empowering You Through Difficult Times. This is a glorious achievement, 9 tracks of mantras you can use to build your own practice, and another disc of meditation with instructions and timers. The first time I heard her recite the Vajrasattva long form mantra, I knew I wanted to someday learn it, it is so hauntingly beautiful. Now with only a couple days practicing with her CD, I am already halfway there. This practice helps me stop my monkey mind and really focus. For those who aren’t ready to chant, this is beautiful music. It feels like a massage for your chakras and a gift to your spirit. Joel was delighted to find that one of our business mentors, Chris Brogan has also been incorporating mantra into his daily spiritual practice!
Ok, there’s the first Half!
Let me know in the comments- what did I miss? What do you predict will make my top 5? Check back in the next few days for part deux.