Sunday, November 02, 2008

Vote for Hope by MC Yogi

I just came across this inspirational video below by the creative MC Yogi! It's Hot! Turn up your volume and you won't help but move your body and be inspired! (The video may take a few moments to get going, but be patient -- it's coming!) ;)

One Love!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cayenne Pepper

As mentioned in my previous post, I've begun sprinkling Cayenne pepper into and over most everything I've been eating lately, so I decided to do a little more research about this hot spice.

Shirleys-wellness-cafe.com explains that "many herbalists believe that Cayenne is the most useful and valuable herb in the herb kingdom, not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other herbs when used with them.

"Cayenne is a medicinal and nutritional herb. It is a very high source of Vitamins A and C, has the complete B complexes, and is very rich in organic calcium and potassium, which is one of the reasons it is good for the heart." Read more here.

Cayenne Hugs,

Penny

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10-Minute Workout Possibilities

Yesterday, I realized that 10-minute workout DVDs are the ideal solution to breaking up stretches of computer work. After taking six 10-minute breaks to stretch and tone, my body was feeling absolutely wonderful.

Lara Hudson's DVD (above) is a real treat I forgot I owned. Yesterday, when scouring through my DVD collection looking for another brief workout to do after working out to "Dance It Off & Tone It Up!" (below) with Jennifer Galardi, I came upon Lara Hudson's DVD. While it has been a part of my workout collection for a while, somehow I had overlooked it. Oh boy, I've been missing out!

In no time, I had done a fabulous set of yoga postures that tone the abs with Lara. That session is called "Yoga for Abs." I returned to some computer work, and then before long went back to Lara's "class" in my family room and did "Yoga Burn," which "turns up the burn-factor on yoga!" Eventually, I was there again doing "Yoga for Buns and Thighs" this time, immediately followed by "Yoga for Flexibility & Relaxation." The remaining 10-minute yoga session to try from that DVD is "Yoga Basics."


I love how Hudson has used specific and nicely challenging yoga postures per 10-minute session to target a specific section of the body. Now I want to try her Pilates one (above)!

It was the 10-minute concept of Galardi's DVD above that left me thirsting for something else 10-minute. With Galardi for 10 minutes per session, I've been doing "Upper Body Tone Up" and "Buns and Thighs Sculpt" with resistance bands that are provided with the DVD. And, when I feel like doing a dance workout, I can pick from her "Sexy Slim Down," "High Energy Fat Burner" or "Dancer's Abs" options. Like Hudson, Galardi has provided a fun and effective variety. Plus, the dance music that accompanies Galardi's dance workouts are sure to get you moving.

So, did you get your body moving today?

Smiles,

Penny

P.S. Here's a glimpse of my yesterday's raw menu (I didn't do any juices or smoothies which was primarily my diet the day before)....

~ Water for breakfast and throughout the day.

~ Lunch (appetizer) -- Pieces of celery topped with olive oil and a sprinkle of Cayenne pepper

~ Lunch (main course) -- Celery and Pear salad (cut up both and combined)

~ Dinner (appetizer) -- Chunks of avocado sprinkled with a little black pepper, sea salt, and Cayenne pepper

~ Dinner (main course) -- Salad made with romaine lettuce and topped with carrot, celery and chard that had been chopped up in the food processor. I poured some olive oil over the salad and sprinkled a dash of Cayenne pepper. I had a spice craving yesterday; perhaps it was my body's way of storing up more warmth for the temperature that really dropped later in the day (and was still quite cold this morning).

Thanks to walking around and around the field with a friend for most of my son's two-hour football practice, I stayed fairly warm, but, whoa, when the walk was done, my hands froze. That Cayenne certainly warmed me up again later, though. ;-)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Body Enlightenment System sign-ups extended to Monday, October 27 (noon)

Body Enlightenment System - Don't Lose Weight Only to Find it Again

In my last post here (forever ago), I talked about the Body Enlightenment System that I had just embarked on. Well, I'm here again talking about the same wonderful subject.

The program was great already, but now the improved version is through the roof; it includes Angela Stokes teaming up with The Raw Divas, and a greener, low-fruit menu. Registration is now extended until noon on Monday, October 27! And once you sign up, you become a lifetime member. That means you can repeat the program as many times as you like for no additional cost. What a sweet deal!

In a newsletter that Jinjee recently sent out about the upcoming BES, she wrote......

Many of you were inspired by my friend Angela Stokes' amazing before and after pictures and raw weight loss story featured recently on CNN, and in my interview with her. She lost over 160 pounds and looks great! Well, now she has teamed up with the amazing Raw Divas to run a special version of their 30-Day Body Enlightenment System, which is an incredible support program that I have sent many people to with awesome results. With Angela, I know it will be even more amazing!

The Body Enlightenment System is about much more than just raw foods, and the focus for this session is on releasing weight! They have a very special medical doctor on board this time, who helped with the menus, and will also be helping to run the session.

The attention and care and support that goes into this program is really high quality. Several hundred people from my newsletter signed up for a previous session, and I received many emails back thanking me for recommending it! You can see some of the testimonials at the bottom of this info page, where you can learn more about this program.

For any person who may be struggling with their weight, their health, their raw diet, or their relationship with food, or if you just want to enjoy a really upbeat raw health program with the Raw Divas - men can participate too - I highly recommend taking advantage of this beautiful service and signing up at: http://tinyurl.com/3xajr4

Here are some of the emails about BES that Jinjee received.....

The coaching was great! Well, I can't say enough about it. And, even though I wasn't 100% raw, I've been "raw-er" these past 30 days than ever before. ~ Alicia

Holy Batman! BES has done some really miraculous things for my health! I haven't been able to exercise properly for at least four years, because of a non-serious condition that results in really low heart rate (in the 30´s, maybe 40-something on a good day), combined with low blood pressure.

Practically, this means that when my heart rate gets too slow, my blood pressure is unable to rise quickly enough, so I faint. I've been fainting from 1-15 times a day since before the start of my pregnancy 3 years ago. Boring story aside, I haven't fainted in weeks! And this week, I've not only been able to do cardio for more than five minutes before passing out, I've actually done 40 minutes on treadmill with an additional hour of weights four times this week. Yay! I'm so not going back to cooked.

Oh, and I've lost 14 kilos (30 pounds) and gone from a size 12 to a 6, going on 4. So just do it!! All the thinking, planning, and worrying are done for you; so you just have to show up. ~ Lene Norway

The Body Enlightenment System fills in the gap. I know what I SHOULD be doing, what I SHOULD be eating... but I struggle to do it because I don't have the support network to help me stay on track. That is exactly what the BES does... it gives me motivation, accountability and ongoing contact with others who are doing the same. The Body Enlightenment System is the missing link! ~ Jane Hanson

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Strawberry Enlightenment

Whew! I haven't posted here in a LONG time! These days I'm blogging once a week on RawMom.com, which feels a perfect fit -- especially since, as you see, I haven't at all been a consistent every-day blogger at Flowing With Nature.

However, today, I feel I need to commit to posting here a little more often as I journey through the Body Enlightenment System (On this page, scroll down to about the fifth category).

After I started journaling this morning about my latest adventure, I felt it should be shared with others as a means of helping to enlighten those who are thinking about hopping on the BES Health train...driven by health divas, Tera and Amy. So, from my personal journal to my blog, here goes:

Today is the day before the first official day of the 30-day Body Enlightenment System I'm participating in. In preparation for the mono meal I will eat at tonight's dinner at 6:00, the program required me to begin a water on Saturday evening at 6:00. At the time, I was at a friend's birthday party, where food -- lots of it -- was a huge part of the party. However, thanks to the week-long support given prior to the first official day of the BES program, mentally, I believed I could be around all of the folks eating and not cave in. (Note, I've had some good experience with raw-food eating, so this situation at the start of a 24-hour fast may not be advisable for someone starting out for the first time.)

The party guests were going to be eating at about 6:00 p.m., therefore, I knew I would have to eat before everyone else. Although Tera and Amy had explained that us BES folks could have our last meal at about 6:00 p.m., I wanted my fast to start precisely at 6:00.

Fortunately, it was an informal party atmosphere and the hosts were used to my "different" eating patterns, so they didn't even question my need to eat before everyone else. I merely stated that I was starting a fast at 6:00, and they just went with my flow in a supportive way!At about 5:30 p.m., I scooped some spoonfuls of a tasty-looking salad into a small bowl and thoroughly enjoyed it as my "last supper".....until 24 hours later. Dessert for me was a little bit of fruit from the fruit mixture I had brought to the party. I think the thought of not being able to eat until 24 hours later made the dinner and dessert taste extra special. The chunk of pineapple, watermelon, piece of cantaloupe and a few grapes felt like real energy-providers that would help get me through the next 24 hours living on just water, fresh air, good thoughts and sleep.

Around the time the food was officially served to the party guests, the 2-year-old daughter of the hosts wanted to play on the huge inflatable toy in front of the house. How timely, since the majority of the adult guests were sitting around the pool at the back of the house. Relocating to the front yard with my toddler friend not only got me away from potential food temptations but also allowed her parents to eat and entertain without interruption.

However, after our play-time was done, cake was served. Now, throughout my raw-vegan journey, it's those no-good foods, such as a slice of cake or such, that makes me fall from time to time. Yesterday, though, it wasn't too much of a deal. I was not tempted to the degree that I have been in the past. At one point I told myself I wouldn't look in the direction of the cake or focus on anyone's plates. Then, I felt I should take a glance, at least, and know I was capable of looking at tempting foods and not eating them. I survived.

After arriving home, I took some more sips of water and was in bed before 10:00 p.m. (Early for me, but great way to kick-off my 30-day journey)


Sunday, March 30, 2008

A supportive e-mail was awaiting me from The Raw Divas, as will be the case throughout this month. It included the "Daily Power Thought" for the day and other reminders and supporting info.

As I tried to decide which one of the three fruits listed on the BES menu plan would be my mono meal at dinner that night, I remembered that, for a while now, I've been wanting to really focus on eating the seasonal produce grown in my local area. So, I spent a little time this morning researching that and have found a chart from which I can follow!

I was thinking I would go with Passion Fruit as a symbol of the passion I'm feeling for this BES journey, but when I went dinner shopping, I didn't see any Passion Fruit available and then felt a pull to the bright red strawberries. (They were on my local list.) I also purchased some kumquats (local, too), and that will be my mono meal for breakfast on Monday morning.

After not eating food for 24 hours (from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday), I knew I couldn't just ravishingly pop the strawberries in my mouth. I felt the need to eat with ultimate gratitude. After washing that luscious fruit with care and then patting them dry, I decided to dine in the place from which the strawberries came from in the first place -- the outdoors! I went to a sacred area of my yard while keeping this mantra in my head that I found online today: "Food is for cells, not 'me'." (Look at the picture below. I think it's easy to see that this is for our cells. Bonus: It tastes good, too!)

Next, I inwardly said a prayer of gratitude for my mono meal, followed by this mantra:

"I am aware of the miracle of food and the miracle that it finds its way to my table. I am aware of the miracle of the body, that I have a system for digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating what I can't use. I eat slowly, mindfully, with awareness."

~ From "201 Little Buddhist Reminders - Gathas for Your Daily Life" by Barbara Ann Kipfer

I stared at the strawberries -- really wanting to express every sentiment of gratitude within me that I had for this divine food. Oh, and I tell you, that first bite was "oo la la" divine. And, look at all of that light in them!

In Tera and Amy's documents about BES, they had mentioned how incredible the mono meal would be on Sunday night -- after getting through the 24-hour water fast. They were right! To have "caved" on the fast, I think, would have surely taken an element away Sunday's meal.

After eating only a few strawberries, I really was content but proceeded to eat a few more for the extra water content. I had not been incredibly thirsty at all during the 24 hours I couldn't eat and wondered if I was taking in enough water. But, I guess so since I've been urinating clear liquid, regularly.

I ate about half of my strawberry dinner outdoors and then came indoors to the kitchen table where I had a good view of trees blowing in the cool wind outside, and then ate some more. As I ate, I periodically reminded myself: "I eat slowly, mindfully, with awareness."I really could have been completely done with the meal after about 10 strawberries, but left them on the table and returned later to nibble on some more, as that particular bowl of strawberries felt sacred to me and I didn't want to return them to the refrigerator for later consumption. I felt that they had to be eaten that night!

By the time I got to the end of the bowl, my body became really warm for a brief period. Was that I sign I had eaten too many? I don't know. Even so, I did not feel guilty. There was something quite empowering that I had eaten strawberries -- and strawberries only -- for dinner, no matter how many! I felt well nourished.

A little later in the evening, I did start to feel slight pangs of hunger, but I tried not to focus on it by journaling and focusing my attention on other things (as The Raw Divas suggest). In fact, I'm feeling a tinge of hunger talking to me now. But, it's a good time to head to bed and forget all about it.

In the morning, I can eat. Hmmh, Kumquats, Strawberries or Apples (although apples are not on my local list)? We shall see! Stay tuned.

Healthy Dreams! Night Night!

And, by the way, don't forget to join me each week at RawMom.com. That's where you are sure to find me regularly! :-)

Penny

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A poem I wrote that is published in the 9/07 issue of Pear Magazine

M-A-N-I-F-E-S-T-I-N-G


M - Maintaining the thought that what we want will be

A - Attracting whatever it is that we want to see

N -- Keeping that thought near to us

I -- Establishing an intention built on trust

F -- Freedom to feel that what we want will come

E -- Exercising the thought like the constant rhythm of a drum

S -- Seeing whatever we want before it has been fully manifested

T -- Trusting that our thoughts have been well invested

I -- Inspired throughout the process...from beginning to end

N -- Never abandoning our manifesting rhythm, my friends

G -- Getting what we hoped we would...all because we knew we could!!!

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Have a Pear-fect Day!

Wow! It has been ages since I have posted here. I apologize if you've stopped by since my last post to see what's new at Flowing With Nature but found nothing. Christy, I know you said you popped by one day to see what was up; I'm sorry if you found no updates!

It's not that I haven't been writing, because I have. Lately, though, I've been doing more editing/coordinating than writing. The September 2007 issue of Pear Magazine Online recently hit the e-stands, and I had thrown my heart and soul into that issue about Manifesting Our Dreams. While I fully enjoy coordinating any issue of Pear, this latest one, however, spoke to every fiber of my being! I got such an incredibly positive feeling when working on it, when thinking about it, when talking about it.....

~ Could it have been Jinjee's article about Science, Raw Foods, Addiction and The Law of Attraction that got my heart pumping?

~ Or, perhaps it was my Soul-to-Soul Interview with Darla Tarr from Wholistic Living Retreat?

~ Maybe I received some needed clarity from Jinjee's article Embracing Difficulties, Going With The Flow?

~ Or perhaps it was Storm's article that addressed the question Why 100 Percent Raw?

~ I know, I know ...maybe it was yet another of Melissa Gilbert's interesting, insightful raw-foodist celebrity interviews...this time, Up Close and Personal with Angela Stokes from RawReform.com?

~ Hmmh, perhaps a spiritual feeling surrounded me in Jinjee's article she wrote, Why I'm A New Age Christian?

~ Then again, when Sonja Watt's in your presence you can't help but feel overjoyed. Maybe it was her article Do You Want Your Dreams To Come True? that got me all bubbly???

Yet, it could have been the enlightened raw-food related article...another one by Jinjee...The Ultimate Low-Carb Diet – Dark Leafy Greens?

Oh, Oh...but then there were the writings from the amazing raw-food author Angela Elliott and a dear friend of hers, Tom Flower, in their article Making Miracles Happen...or Angela's Gratitude, The Key To All Manifestations or Tom's How Intention, Gratitude and Prayer Work Together?

Got it! Yes, it must have been the article Sister Circle: Sharing Manifesting Testimonials, Intentions, and Song Lyrics that further raised/deepened my love of life and all things of God, and put my passion for this life in the "abundance" category? By the way, a new Pear Magazine writer, Becca Campbell, kicks off that article!

Talking about articles, perhaps it was Jinjee's I Envision Writing An Article that really gave me a blueprint -- or more perspective -- for working through the process of manifesting dreams???

But, let's get real!!! For me, it most certainly couldn't have been any one thing that got me soooo spiritually happy about this September 2007 issue of Pear. The fact -- the absolute fact -- is that all of those writings above came from some of the most positive people one could ever encounter, so how could I possibly not be moved the way I was when working my way through their articles? It was nothing but a blessing...a HUGE blessing that was manifested for me...to work with such great people and be able to feel their sincerity and love of life...and the goodness they see/feel in life. To feel all of that through their writing -- and get to "touch" their writing, so to speak, was indeed a divine blessing for me! ALL of that positive energy in one place! That must be what had my heart beating like it was dancing to a drumbeat during each and every second I worked on coordinating Pear.

I think some other folks are also feeling some of this Pear goodness I'm talking about. One reader wrote...

"...I had tears of joy rolling down my cheeks as I read all the magic in this extraordinary and special issue! My heart is overflowing with gratitude..."

Another said:

"...I love the magazine and the articles...and outlook!"

Now, I say to all.....go on and get yourself a piece of that juicy Pear! :-) I truly think it's something waiting in this issue for everyone! Just take the time to seek....and you will find! :-)
Oh, by the way, that's my son in the picture above. He'll greet you at Pear Magazine! Got to put the children's energy out there, too! :-)

One Love!
Peace & Blessings,

Penny

P.S. See, my heart's dancing to that drumbeat again :-)....and I don't even have the issue opened in front of me. Oh, yes, but I'm writing about it, huh! :-)

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Do you keep a journal?

Perhaps this letter below is my cue to get back to blogging more regularly. I've had such a busy week (in a good way) that I haven't had much time for expressing my thoughts via the computer.

Rochelle from MyHealthWealthAndHappiness.com writes:

"Dear Penny,

Do you keep a journal? I was just wondering, because I've been noticing more and more websites where people are posting their journals or diaries, or use their blogs as a kind of journal. There are a lot of benefits associated with keeping a journal –– mental, emotional, and even physical. Studies have found that, when people write about their deepest thoughts and feelings in a journal, it can result in fewer doctor visits, fewer depressive symptoms, and enhanced immune system functioning. And this is besides the mental and emotional benefits of writing about your feelings and any problems, crises, or the joys that occur in your life.

When you keep a journal, you have the chance to sort out your thoughts and feelings about conditions, issues, and people in your life. Writing helps to clarify your ideas and get your problem-solving juices flowing. And when you look back on your journals, you can more easily see any patterns that you may have fallen into, or keep track of your progress in your goals. And most of all, Penny, you get to know the "real" you.

A journal is a great tool for self-expression and communication, and you can take it one step further, by sharing a journal with the important people in your life. Relationships of all kinds can be enhanced by a kind of mutual journal that you share with someone else. You could set up a "family journal," where everyone took time to put down their thoughts or feelings, or record memories, and then passed it on to the next person. Or you could have a "relationship journal" with a spouse or significant other, or a "friendship journal," which you share with your circle of friends.

So, Penny, why not put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and get started on a wonderful journey of self-exploration and strengthening your relationships?"

Whenever there are gaps in my blogging, I believe I still receive some of the benefits that come with journaling via my e-mails to family and friends. I guess that's my journaling supplement at times. :-)

Some things I do want to journal about soon are my encounter with Passion Fruit today at the grocery store and a gymnastics class I'll be helping to teach. Fun! :-)

See you soon!

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Cup of "Tee" Runneth Over

As always, an extremely dear friend of mine, Tee Jenkins, has warmed my heart. In an e-mail I received from her on July 31, she told me that she had come upon this link and instructed me to scroll down when there. "I'm going to write down 5 things I'm grateful for before I go to bed tonight," Tee wrote, "and one of them is definitely: I am grateful for having Penny Powell in my life. She brings me joy. She accepts me for who I am and helps me to see that God is real."

Tee is truly a gem of a friend! Her description of me is precisely the way I would describe her. Indeed, in ways that words cannot even begin to tell, Tee accepts me for who I am and always, always, always sees the extraordinary inside of me (that extraordinary we all have) even when I can't quite see it. Tee is such a super positive friend; her friendship easily makes my life rich.

She's amazing; I could complain to her for a whole week about whatever, and through it all she'll make me feel as if I'm the most positive person God ever created. She just has this way about her. It's sooooooo therapeutic having her in my life because she's more than willing to hear it all from me without ever casting judgement. Additionally, her heart celebrates my joy-filled moments and overjoyed-filled moments (and I have many) as though they were her own. It's as if she connected with my core from day one and any "negative" moment I might be experiencing, well, she knows that's not really my core -- not the real Penny -- so she simply knows how to not put any real focus there....but embrace the light in me while allowing me to vent through any "gray" areas. Gosh, I love her! How I get so blessed to find such a friend?

You know, as I'm typing this, Tee's ways remind me how God must be with us......no matter what, God knows who and what we REALLY are, and that's why we are always able to shine in God's eyes. God sees our "shine" even when we don't. Tee makes me feel that way.....if I'm not feeling to be quite a shiny Penny on a particular day, she still sees that shine -- as brightly as can be. Don't you think that's how God is? I do. Tee says I help her to see that God is real. Ditto to her!To me, every word or action of hers that I've ever encountered has been a reflection of God in her!!!

Tee's so real. She's the type of person everyone needs to meet -- at least once in their lifetime. As I tell her from time to time...Everybody needs a little "Tee" in their life! :-)

Well, since she's writing her things-to-be-grateful-for list, I feel inspired by her to do the same. Any guesses what I'm putting first on my today's grateful list?

1. I am grateful for having the "richest" of friendships with Tee. She's definitely a treasure in my life, and life is that much more enriched because of her! Not just mine, but I think with anyone she encounters. She's just that type of person.

2. I am grateful that Caleb's friend Bryce has played Monopoly for HOURS with Caleb today (July 31). They began playing at about 3:30 p.m....up until about 5:30 p.m., when we left to go to their 2 1/2-hour football practice. They came home, showered, ate dinner and are still playing the game they began playing earlier. It's now 11:32 p.m., as I'm typing this sentence. Perhaps Caleb will now understand when I say that game's a little too long for my liking! I'm so thankful Bryce seems to enjoy it as much as Caleb does. Nice! :-)

3. I am grateful when I hear/feel God prompting me to fast (one beginning Aug. 1). How long? I don't know....just following God's lead, so I'm grateful I can do that.

4. I am grateful that my husband agreed to experiment with Flying Partner Yoga with me at home on Sunday. Loved it!

5. I am grateful that I have realized that every day is a new beginning!

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What is it about backbends?

I have this thing about backbends. Always have and probably always will! I recall feeling so exhilarated in a Yoga class one evening that I told the instructor I just felt so alive and wanted to do a backbend right then and there. She reminded me it was my practice and told me to go for it. I did. In fact, I did a backbend...kick-over! After class, another class participant came over to me and said: "Nice backbend and kick-over." Turns out, she was a Yoga instructor who also taught gymnastics to children.

On another occasion, after attending a Kate Potter workshop (Kate Potter from Namaste Yoga on Fit TV), a few of us took pictures with Kate. When trying to decide what pose we should do for our picture moment, I suggested a backbend. Kate realized I was quite serious with my request....so a backbend we did! There's Kate in the yellow shirt; I'm in the green pants.

I tell you, there is just something quite special in my mind about a backbend. Here I was not long ago even attempting a backbend on a boulder during our mountain trip.

From time to time, I have often wondered why the backbend passion is still just as strong within me as when I was a child.

Last night, I came upon this related blog entry by Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor, Lisa Long, who teaches Anusara Yoga and Pilates. I think Lisa has helped me put this whole backbend passion of mine into perspective. Check out her post that begins:
"What is it about backbends? Most adults cringe at the thought. We even exclaim to loved ones at times of deep exasperation, 'I bent over backwards for you!' We equate it with difficult work!....."
Click here to read more!

Thanks, Lisa! The backbend doesn't seem to be anything I'm outgrowing; I don't want to anyway...and now I understand why! :-) As you explained in your blog:
"Yes, you do have the physical support of your back muscles behind you. Even better, you have your network of family, friends, and faith as your source of strength. They’ve literally, 'got your back.' Lean into this idea. Make it your 'back rest.'"
Now it's quite clear just whom I've been leaning on when holding a backbend position! Lisa, making my way to a class with you in Jacksonville to check the alignment of my backbend has now been added to my list of things to do! :-)

Until then....

Namaste,

Penny

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Return of the Team Mom

My son has been involved in sports for the majority of his young life. He's quite an athlete and demonstrates a great deal of natural talent in the sports that he plays. He has rotated through soccer, flag football, basketball, and a few seasons of track, too.

For most of his sports journey I have served as a Team Mom or Co-Team Mom. Last soccer season, however, Caleb played on a new team and another mom had the job (and did a phenomenal job). It felt great to enjoy the practices and games without doing team business on the sidelines. But, my turn as Team Mom seems to have "naturally" returned!

Caleb has recently joined a different football league with a coach who previously coached him in basketball and flag football. The new league is more intense than what we've experienced and has more responsibilities for the Team Mom. Caleb's coach called the other night asking if I would take on the Team Mom role again as I had done when he previously coached Caleb. I hesitated to officially accept this time (must be a new me) since I might be juggling some personal goals of mine with this new and intense season Caleb's about to undergo (something he really wants to do!).

I told Coach I would help out in whatever way I can, but I hesitated to officially accept the job. He assured me that his wife would help, too. "Of course I'm always willing to help out," I said, "but I don't know if I can commit to the title. I'm sure we can find another mom who will be more fully up for the challenge, so I'll be happy to help coordinate assistance," I stated.

"But, I want someone in this role that I know and can trust," Coach explained. He has seen my team-mom work in action, so he knows I give it all I've got. I guess he wanted to stay in his comfort zone. I was starting to bend a bit; I told him I'd think about it.

In any event, at last night's parent meeting, when Coach introduced me to one set of parents prior to the start of the meeting, he said, "Penny's going to be one of the team moms, but she just doesn't know it yet." We laughed. Then, later, when addressing all of the parents as he went through the rules and such of the league, he announced me as precisely that: a team mom. I just went with the flow of it all and fell right into the role at the meeting...receiving and filing paper work, etc.

Later, I said to my husband, "Hmmh, well, how did that happen? I hadn't even officially accepted this role, but then there I was...hands-on with it, as usual. Wonder what made Coach announce me as team mom when I hadn't confirmed I would do it as yet."

"Everyone just knows your passion," Collin said. He's right. I am my son's biggest fan and it's hard for me to not let that cross over to Team Mom stuff (officially or unofficially) -- which helps the team as a whole.

I recall when a commercial starring NFL player Donovan McNabb and this teammates was airing fairly often.....McNabb's mom was shown doing the Mom thing with the guys. Whenever I saw that commercial, I would always pause, smile and imagine me being a Team Mom of some kind for a professional team that Caleb might someday play on! There have been times that I could never imagine myself not being a Team Mom!

I think Caleb's coach knows that, too, and perhaps that's why he didn't feel the need to wait for an "official" answer from me. He knew the answer in my heart although my mouth was saying something else, I guess. :-)

Now that that's taken car of, however, we all have key parts to play during Caleb's football season: Collin is serving as one of the coaches, I'm helping out in a Team Mom capacity, and Caleb will be on the field helping his team to score those touchdowns. Each of us is a piece of a bigger puzzle -- for our family and for the team!

Now that's a touchdown!

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pear Magazine Celebrates The Great Outdoors


In today's The Daily Raw Inspiration from TheGardenDiet.com, there's an overview about the latest issue of Pear Magazine......It's an adventure-packed issue that celebrates The Great Outdoors, so if you haven't done so already, I encourage you to sign-up for your online copy at www.pearmagazine.com.

Today's The Daily Raw Inspiration:

The July 2007 issue of Pear Magazine is ready for your reading pleasure. It's packed with articles about adventurous activities to do in the great outdoors -- topped with an in-depth, must-read interview between Pear Writer Melissa Gilbert and Richard Blackman, creator of FruitarianFitness.com.

Says Richard to Melissa: "I believe that getting active is way more important than what you eat......Many people get caught up in overeating, addictive raw 'gourmet placebos' and forget about getting active. In other words, they're living the raw food lifestyle by cooked food standards and then wonder why they are still having health issues. Plus, there’s too much misinformation and food obsessions going around these raw food forums..."

In response to Melissa's question, "What is your daily menu like? Summer vs. Winter?" Richard answers: "Well, I have learned that from birth we all eat to suppress our emotions, anxieties and stress. For instance, when babies cry, we feed them and it carries on from there. Letting go of the emotional addiction can sometimes be harder than the actual cooked food addiction. For that reason, I’m committed to not using food as a security blanket and for that reason I only eat when I am truly hungry. So, I usually have one small meal a day and that could be anything I am needing to replace at the time depending on the weather or the activity that I am doing."

Also in this month's Pear, you can follow Editor Penny Powell along on her first rock-climbing excursion with her son and their friends in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. Penny also has written an article about an outfitter she's thrilled to have recently learned about, Wild Women Workshops -- an organization that provides outdoor adventures for women that include hiking, yoga, rock climbing, creative writing in the wilderness and more.

Allow your imagination to take you on a camping trip in Colorado's mountains with Melissa Gilbert and her family. Need help visualizing? Read "Visualizing Summer Vacation" by Daijiro Hayashida. We also have a tent expert from the UK with us this month, David Sprake, who can guide you to just the right tent for your camping trip.

White Water Rafting in Costa Rica and/or Mountain Biking in Peru, anyone? Check out those articles, too.

After your adventure-filled summer days, perhaps you might want to use Tejvan Pettinger's "Simple Meditation Exercise" to unwind or to help you transition to raw foods if that is your intention. If so, Sonja Watt's "Transitioning to Raw Foods" article may be helpful to you.

We hope that "The Great Outdoors" theme of this month's issue will inspire you to invite more adventure into your life, as well as to take a fruit break. Why not let nature's perfect fruit fuel you for your memorable adventures?

In Adventure and Health,

Penny, Jinjee and The Pear Magazine Team

http://www.PearMagazine.com - Where you can sign up and receive immediate access to "The Great Outdoors" issue as well as all the Pear Magazine archives!

--Pear Magazine is best viewed using the Firefox web browser---

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"On Assignment" for Melissa! "What kind of fruit is that?"

On Monday, Caleb and I strapped backpacks onto our backs, hopped on our bikes and went fruit shopping in the produce department at our neighborhood grocery store. There are a fair amount of organic selections there that are steadily increasing, so we can always stop in and find something we like.

During that Monday visit, I noticed a unique-looking pink fruit. I held it in my hands for a few seconds -- studying it -- wondering if I should purchase it as I pointed it out to Caleb. I wasn't clear as to what it was actually called since not every label in that section that day seemed to have been clearly aligned with the fruit it was advertising. The produce section was pretty busy at the time we were there, and after chit-chatting with a friend I had run into, and then getting all that we figured our backpacks could comfortably hold during the ride home, Caleb was more than ready to pay for our goods and return to our bikes....so, I didn't bother to track down an employee to get the scoop on that pink fruit.
As fate would have it, the following evening, my friend Melissa e-mailed me with the word "What?" in the subject line of her e-mail. When I opened the message, low and behold, there was a huge picture of that pink fruit I had just seen in the grocery store. The picture also revealed what the inside of the fruit looked like. Melissa asked me: "What kind of fruit is that?" I couldn't recall what possible name might have been attached to it at the grocery store, but turns out, as ready as Caleb was to leave the store that day, he had observed and filed the name of that fruit in his memory. When I asked him if he recalled the name of that pink fruit we had seen, the word "Dragon" eased out of his mouth although he couldn't be completely certain because of that label issue I previously mentioned.

So, to be sure, I told Melissa I'd go on assignment for her and head back to the store the following day -- today -- to get the details. At about 10:45 this morning, I set off for an almost 3-mile walk to the store. I figured I'd get some exercise in while researching that mysterious pink fruit.

Before I could reply to Melissa, however, she had already found out the fruit's name -- Dragon Fruit! However, she was waiting for my thoughts about how it tasted.

In the grocery store I had chatted with Ben, an employee, about the taste of Dragon Fruit. Eventually, he asked me where I was from. When I told him "Bermuda," he became assured I would like the taste indeed! Bermuda is a sub-tropical island.........Ben went on to say that Dragon Fruit is like a tropical fruit and the flesh has somewhat of a peach texture, he thought. "Do you like mangoes?" he asked as he likened a feature of the fruit to mangoes, too. "Yes, I love mangoes," I replied. "Then, you're going to love this," Ben repeated with no doubt in his mind that I would certainly enjoy Dragon Fruit. He generously helped me pick out the ripest Dragon Fruit (the softest one) from the five or so pieces that were there, and then after paying $5.49 for one...wow...I set off for the walk back home.

After a morning of eating cherries and more cherries, I decided to wait to try the Dragon Fruit. As curious as I was about its taste, it wasn't until almost 5:00 p.m. -- after making banana/strawberry smoothies for Caleb and his friend Chris -- that I decided the time had come to taste............Dragon Fruit!

So, here goes, Melissa!

Ben was right. I do love it....
I sliced the whole fruit in half...which made it easier to peel the skin that smoothly peeled away from the flesh -- it was similar to peeling a mango. Underneath that pink skin, a soft-but-not-mushy white fruit with many black seeds was awaiting my taste test. I joyfully cut some slices, said a prayer of thanks, and popped a slice into my mouth. Ahhh, mildly sweet! I thought. Great texture! A slightly seeded-crunch (the black seeds) as you chew...but a pleasant crunch it was! It really is good. I like it.

Now, I haven't as yet done the children's taste test (Caleb and Chris). They're swimming and splashing a whole bunch, but I am curious to hear what they have to say about this unique piece of fruit that quickly caught Chris' attention when he arrived at our house today.

I keep going back to the counter and taking a slice of the Dragon Fruit that I have cut; I hope I won't eat it all before the boys get a chance to sample it! :-)

With the boys, I think the worse case scenario will be that they may not find it sweet enough although it's perfectly sweet for me. But, I can easily fix that if necessary; just pour a tad of Agave Nectar over their Dragon Fruit and they'll be spitting fire (in a good way) like a dragon!:-)
Penny
P.S. Melissa, this "assignment" was fun! Got another one? :-)

About Dragon Fruit, this web site says:
"Dragon fruit is a special fruit with the high export value because of its attraction in the shape, the color, the flavor and the nutrition. This fruit contains a lot of water and minerals with many different nutrition ingredients. It tastes light sweet and it's good for liver, laxative, supplementing fiber and very suitable for diet.

Besides, dragon fruit is also good for a person who has a high blood pressure. According to popular experience, an obese person who has eaten dragon fruit regularly can reduce his/her weight naturally and have a beautiful balanced body...............Moreover, eating this fruit can stop and reduce diabetes. Hence, dragon fruit is a favorite fruit of many people, especially Asian customers."

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Answer to my last post -- Maybe?

In my last post, I was curious why I couldn't shake the mountains out of my system although I've been back from my trip for a couple of weeks now. While I'm happy that those wonderful memories are forever planted in my memory back, I could feel an internal issue with the way I was still longing and longing to be back in the Appalachian Mountains. I was clinging to that moment, but as you know....when we cling to a moment that's gone, we are failing to be in the moment...and the present moment is the only moment we have (the past is gone, future moments haven't come), so why not embrace every fiber of the live moment? Why not let memories be memories and the present be the present?

Fortunately, over the past few days I've felt myself more so connecting with the present moment and have noticed a shift (for the better) in the way I've felt.

Then, tonight I sampled a wonderful introductory meditation class where the importance of filing/storing previous experiences "just happened" to be mentioned. The fact that this point came up in tonight's class was perhaps a sign to remind me to, yes, enjoy my mountain memories but realize that they are just that -- memories! Lovingly file them away....remember them....but be in this moment!!!

Tonight's class was so awesome! It's a class that uses a 5-sense approach (yes, all 5 senses) to meditating. Interesting! This was the first time I had gone to such a class although I do get a taste of meditation during the Yoga classes I take. Although tonight's journey was an hour long, we did not just quietly sit for that full hour -- as many suspect meditation to only be. Initially, I thought it might have been like that, too. However, in class, I got a brief overview about the different approaches to meditation. I think the 5-senses approach met me at the place I'm at on my journey right now. One day I'll be able to sit silently for a long, long period of time, but just not right now. In the meantime, I welcome the meditation through movement approach. I completely loved it and felt each part of my body becoming more relaxed as we worked our way down from head to toe! There was a movement of the middle body, however, that felt a bit awkward to me (I think I was tensing up a bit), but it's all a journey, right?

The class began with some lecture time in a light-hearted way. The seven or eight of us there then stood and were guided through some gentle stretches and massages that gave attention to our bodies, like I said, from head to toe. It was like an anatomy class through movement. Very cool! Eventually, we worked our way down to a squat and then to a seated position where we were guided into a quiet seated mediation position for a few minutes. We then broke that silence and stillness of our bodies by placing the palms of our hands over our eyes and then slightly putting a space between the palms to allow a crack of light to shine in. Eventually, we opened up to full light.

On that note......

Love & Light,

Penny

P.S. I feel so happy today. My son and I had a wonderful outing at The Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine. I always get a lift when there! I love that place. Warm energy and great raw-vegan food! And, my son thoroughly enjoyed his meal, too....a Sunlight Burger. Then, off to the Meditation Class for me this evening! Fabulous Day! Thank you, God, for the wonderful people I met today! Thank you! Thank you!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Asking Myself These Questions

Okay, I am still trying to get a good rhythm going since returning from the mountains. That's part of my reason for not blogging for the past few days...in addition to working on getting the next issue of Pear Magazine coordinated and ready for publication.

Just what is it about the mountains? A friend of mine says she often feels like she's in a trance for a few days after her regular mountain trips. My "trance" is now nearing the end of a week. Will I get a grip?

I've had some absolute vivid dreams -- two to be exact -- about our mystical mountain trip. I awoke from my most recent dream and carried on a conversation with my husband as though the "dream" was really taking place. Two people in our party (in the dream) were pulled in another direction while we were on the river. I suddenly awoke, adamantly telling my husband that we needed to locate them. I mean, it was so REAL in my mind. In my conscious state, the "dream" was still going on. My mission was to find those two people although my dream didn't reveal who they were. I wanted my husband to help me. I insisted. He knew I was dreaming; I didn't realize it until I eventually fell asleep again and awoke the next morning in a new state of mind.

In a dream that took place a few nights prior to that one, I felt like my bed was sloped on a cliff. I awoke and got out of the bed twice to "look over the cliff" to see just how far up we were located. (That had to have been inspired by me rappelling 80 feet -- from a cliff -- during my mountain trip.) I walked to my bedroom door, and looked out, as if I was looking down the cliff. Folks, in that part, I wasn't dreaming in a state of sleep. I was awake! Whew, had I lost my mind? :-)

But dreams aside, some level of me, really hasn't been the same since coming back home. Something has changed. There's some level of an emptiness that I'm trying to "fill"....the way that "void" was "full" before the mountain trip.

Did I meet perfect nature, heaven almost, in the mountains and now I'm trying to adapt in a less natural world again? Nothing feels the same! Did my Spirit meet nature's truth?

You know, once you know "truth" it's hard to go back!

Comments are welcomed!

Love and Hugs!

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

See You At The Top!

Here's a journal entry I wrote the day after we went rock climbing during our mountain trip.

June 30, 2007

It's the morning after an amazing, exhilarating rock-climbing adventure. My first ever! Wow...words cannot do justice to that experience. I squealed with delight as I swung -- Peter Pan style -- in the air after climbing about 35 feet...twice! The activity was by far one of the best adventures I have experienced; it truly resonated with my heart and soul. I heard a few "she's good" comments as I climbed. Regardless of what my skill level was, though, I was feeling good in every fiber of my being about what I was doing. It was an experience of totally -- 100 percent -- being in the moment. The only focus being positioning hands and feet in the right spots to elevate to the next level. Like life! And, there was a full-of-life guide there, George, who helped me move on up those rocks after Jen, another adventurous ACE Adventure Center guide assisted me in rappelling 80 feet prior to the climb. One by one, each person in our climbing group stood at the top of a cliff, secured in harness, back towards the cliff and walked down the rocks to the spot where the helpful guides George and Amy were waiting to assist us with climbing. By the time we got to climbing, we would have already experienced the feeling of rappelling. Smart!

Once I made it to the peak of my first climb, George said: "Now, Penny, you can do what we call Peter Pan. It's guaranteed to drop 10 years off of your life. Turn your body and jump away from the rock," he instructed. Trusting George with the ropes he was holding beneath me, and after a few moments of mentally conditioning myself to just jump, I did! With a slight reservation, however, I didn't leap out as far as I could have to have received the full effect of the swing. However, the second time I climbed those rocks, I knew to give a good jump when it came time for the "Peter Pan" swing. The second time around, I just couldn't get enough of the swinging. George joked with me to save the rope for another climber; for my son, perhaps, since he was totally in the rock-climbing moment like his mom.

Three times Caleb rappelled 80 feet, twice he climbed the rocks with George as the guide -- followed by the Peter Pan Swing. Twice, another knowledgeable and fun guide, Amy, talked Caleb through climbing rocks that were 70 feet high. And to think that a couple of Caleb's successful climbs were after hiking a fairly good distance with me, uphill, to the porta potty.

When I compare rock-climbing to life in general, I think of how we have to firmly plant our feet and hands on just the right spots -- after some maneuvering, after some unexpected falls -- as a means of progressing and coming more and more into contact with our life's purpose. We try to elevate ourselves -- sometimes reaching that elevation on the first attempt and others times not quite so quickly. Along the way -- like that rock-climbing journey -- we reach a spot that is comfortable to pause and rest before continuing the challenge. Then, once we reach the next milestone of our destination we may choose to celebrate and swing like Peter Pan! But, when that rejuvenating, age-reducing swing is over, the actual journey is not. We must keep on climbing -- or rappelling in the case of rock-climbing -- which is yet another integral part of the overall journey. Whatever the case -- up or down -- down or up -- in life we're always really climbing -- no matter what direction we're actually going!

Keep on climbing! See you at the top!





Friday, July 06, 2007

New River Gorge Bridge

New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia

We white water rafted nearby this bridge! TJ, our amazing White Water Rafting Guide, invited the rafters on our boat to return in October for "Bridge Day" to witness folks parachuting from this bridge. He says the best seat in the "house" for that event is on the river...in the raft!

On the back of a beautiful place mat I purchased while sightseeing (by land) during our West Virginia mountain trip, it says:

"You are visiting one of West Virginia's most scenic attractions. Two of the country's outstanding landmarks, one natural and one-made-made are combined to make this spectacular unforgettable view.......The New River Gorge is one of man's engineering and structural marvels. The bridge, the second highest in the United States, rises 876 feet above the rapids (over 325 feet higher than the Washington Monument)...."

Note: The Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado is the highest.

This site invites you to: "Join tens of thousands of visitors (October 20, 2007) as you walk across the longest, single-span steel arch bridge (in the western hemisphere) and take in the views from 876 feet up in the air." It's "One of America's Top One Hundred Festivals."

The site goes on to explain that...

"The 3,030-foot New River Gorge Bridge took three years to complete and cost nearly $37 million. Because of the chosen arch design, and the depth of the gorge, steel was moved into position by trolleys running on three inch diameter cables stretched between two 330-foot towers. More than 88 million pounds of steel are incorporated. Michael Baker Jr., Inc. was the design engineer company for the structure, which was built by the American Bridge Division of US Steel. Its cor-ten steel will never need painting. The span arches across the New River, among the oldest rivers in North America, considered to be America's best whitewater."

Wow! How exciting that we got to explore this bridge by sea and by land during our recent trip! The mountain fun was non-stop! :-)

Smiles,

Penny

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Praying for these Families in Mexico

This news story, Landslide Buries Bus in Mexico, caught my attention a few moments ago. I would like to pause from my Mountain blogging today and take a moment to embrace (in a blogging kind of way) the families of those bus passengers who were victims of Wednesday's landslide accident along a winding mountainous road.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"...Marin, who arrived at the site by helicopter, said no one was to blame for the tragedy. 'All the mountains are risky ... It's nature,' Marin said. Heavy rainfall across Mexico this week has triggered flooding and landslides that killed several people."

May the surviving relatives and friends find inner strength and comfort during this time of sorrow. God's Love and Healing Blessings to them!

With Sympathy,

Penny

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

God's Mountain Art



I am having a moment of reflection and basking in the fact that I recently experienced this type of scenery firsthand. God's art is breathtaking! I feel so blessed to have explored this territory in West Virgnina.

















Thank you, God! I am overflowing with love and appreciation for the gift of nature and the many forms of art, health and healing it provides. How blessed I feel to have set foot on each of the spots shown in these pictures and to have had the opportunity to expose my son to such beauty as well! I remain in awe of just how beautiful this world is! I embrace it wholly.

With Much Love!

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Infectious Green Mountain Smoothie

Yesterday, when out running an errand, my co-mountain explorer, Christy, called me on my cell phone to inform me that she had made her first Kale purchase. When I made green smoothies on the morning of our Rock Climbing adventure in the mountains, it was Kale and Bananas I used. Christy and her son really enjoyed the taste, and Christy was planning to experiment with a Green Smoothie of her own this morning before going to workout. She was also excited to inform me that she opted for a meatless salad yesterday when she met a friend for lunch. And, for dinner last night, she mentioned that she was making a veggie stir fry -- "with no meat," she added.

"Wow, something's happening," I said to Christy after she shared all of her healthy news. "You've got all this good news, and Caleb said he was in the mood for food at the raw-food restaurant today. Something's going on," I said.

"It's you! You're infectious, Penny," she said.

I chuckled and replied, "I just think the mountains has worked its magic."

Christy went on to say that while she's not claiming that she'll never eat meat again, she is conscious of cutting back, and she'll definitely be adding the Green Smoothie to her and her son's diet.

So, even though, like I said, not all members of Team Raw are 100 percent raw-vegan, every one is making strides at their own pace -- in their own way -- in their own time to healthier habits.

Who knows...maybe after next year's mountain trip we might really have a totally (or close to) all raw-vegan team! Go, Team Raw! It's all about the journey, right....with some tasty Green Smoothies along the way?

Happy July 4th!

Penny

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mountain Adventures Continued

Tuesday Greetings, It's the day after returning home from a fabulous mountain trip. So far, I'm feeling in somewhat of a bitter-sweet mood, however....I'm truly thankful for this recent phenomenal travel experience I had with my son and our friends, but also desiring to still be functioning, perhaps even living (for at least part of the year), in the mountains. I haven't quite adjusted, physically or mentally, to being back at sea level. I have happy and sad feelings trying to somehow co-exist. (Let's see who wins!) :-) Writing about the experience soothes me, though, so here I am remembering riding a Zip Line through through the mountain air and landing in the cool water of the lake!

Exactly a week ago, Christy, Caleb, Dalton and I joyfully, prayerfully, and giddily set off at about 8:30 a.m., in Christy's eco-friendly Hybrid car for a 9-hour journey to the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. Our destination: ACE Adventure Center. Christy had visited that area for a similar trip about 11 years ago, and this year, when wanting to create a memorable vacation for her son, she kindly invited Caleb and me to join them. She had no idea that for many months I had been deeply craving a visit to the mountains. I owe so much thanks to her for helping me to manifest such a burning desire of mine. I have now witnessed the mountains in ways I hadn't even imagined! Christy, as I told you, everyone needs a friend like you! Thank you for being in my life! Our friendship has grown even stronger and the trip is forever etched in my heart and mind.

On the way to the Appalachian Mountains, we stopped overnight in North Carolina and spent the late afternoon and night with Christy's generous friends, Deena and Andy! Heartfelt thanks to them for welcoming us into their home and making us feel so comfortable. Their neighbor who had visited ACE back in October, brought a DVD of his white water trip over so that we could get a "taste" of one of the wild activities we would be experiencing in the mountains. I was somewhat apprehensive about the white water rafting activity that Christy was gong-ho about, but saw from the video that regardless of my uncertainty about it, it was sure to be fun....even if it meant somewhat nervous fun! :-)

The next morning, we were back in the car for the final three to four hour leg of the trip to ACE. We could literally taste what was to come, especially when we started to see the mountain scenery as we drove along winding roads, traveling up and downhill often. "Mommy, can I call Daddy to tell him how awesome the mountains look?" Caleb asked. The scenery was indeed incredible. We oohed and aahed the whole way. I often let out screams of delight because this was really happening. Christy giggled at me and, at times, revealed her own ways of communicating excitement, such as rubbing her hands together in anticipation of great fun!

Eventually, we found ourselves on an even narrower winding road that reminded me of some of Bermuda's narrow, hilly roads. That road ran through a residential area with older homes lined up along it and led us to ACE's Welcome Center where we would check-in and receive the key to our log cabin, our sleeping quarters for the next five nights.



The Loft! Each time I went up to the loft, I felt as though I was climbing the stairs to a tree house! Fun!

After driving higher up the mountain and identifying our cabin, then picking out our rooms and realizing that the accommodations more than met our expectations, our first activity at ACE would be at the lake where the boys were itching to take part in the many varied activities there from riding a Zip Line high in the air down into the water, to holding on to a silver triangle (in Zip Line fashion) and swinging into the water, to sliding down a huge water slide and other slides, to climbing an iceberg, to jumping on a water trampoline, to running an obstacle course from one trampoline to another, and the list goes on.

As the boys got acclimated that first day to mountain lake life by water, Christy and I hung out on the land around the lake as we chatted to each other, other guests and relaxingly got an overall feel for the place. The majority of the folks we encountered seemed to be talking about White Water Rafting....Our all-day trip (6 1/2 hours) for Day 2.

Stay tuned for our adventure down the New River Gorge by raft. What a wild ride it was! Fortunately, I'm here to tell about it! :-)

See you tomorrow!


Penny

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Team Raw's Mountain Adventures

We have safely returned from an absolutely amazing, invigorating trip to the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia where we were about 3,252 feet above sea level. There, at ACE Adventure Center, we white water rafted, rock climbed, rappelled 80 feet, hiked, slept in a log cabin, and so much more! What an incredible time we had! We have arrived home a day early because we decided not to stop overnight in South Carolina during the drive home.

This week, I will be documenting, a bit at a time, our adventures featuring my dear, adventurous friend Christy (below right), my brave and agile son Caleb (blue shirt), Christy's loving and courageous son Dalton (pictured with my son), and mountain/rock-climbing-loving me (brown shirt)!


We often referred to our group as "Team Raw" during our mountain experiences. Although not everyone in our "Team Raw" group is raw-vegan, each person has a respect for raw-veganism and agreed that it was the green smoothies that pumped us up and got us going on the day of our

rock-climbing adventure, an activity I cannot wait to blog about. (As I thought I would, I LOVE rock climbing. Absolutely love it...and so does my son pictured on left. That's me on the right near the end of rappelling 80 feet.)

I hope you'll stop by each day this week for a glimpse of our week-long mountain trip.


With a ton of Mountain Love!

Penny & Team Raw
(Trip and Team Name Created By Christy!)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Come back around July 4

Hello:

If you should stop by between now and July 3, please visit again on the 4th. I'm off on a mountain trip and anticipate having memorable stories to share upon my return.

Have a great week!

Warmly,

Penny

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Spread Love!

Today, I've been flipping through the book Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar by Paul C. Bragg and Patricia Bragg and revisiting all sorts of inspirational tidbits. There are so many wonderful quotes, facts and thoughts in the book. One powerful quote from Mother Teresa is:

Spread your love everywhere you go; first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor...Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile and kindness in your warm greeting.

My parents came to mind when reading this quote. Here's a picture of them surrounding me with their love and kindness 15 years ago!

Much love to them for their invaluable lessons and expressions of kindness.

Penny

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Craving The Present Moment Cafe

I'm well overdue for a visit to one of my favorite places in town, The Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine, Florida. At the last visit, my husband and I sat at the Juice Bar and enjoyed green juices while we waited for my take-out order to be ready. We also enjoyed chatting with a friendly waitress who shared some more neat things about The Present Moment Cafe. She explained that if customers ride their bikes there, they get 10 percent off of their bill. Isn't that cool? By car, however, we live about 45 minutes or so away from there, so it would be quite a long journey by bike. But, who knows, one day I might be up for the challenge! :-)

Talking about traveling to PMC, my husband and I drove there in this fancy vehicle when we last stopped by. My husband's car was at the car dealer's that day; some generous soul lent him this expensive toy in the meantime. What fun we had cruising in it! Memories of my first car in Bermuda -- a Volkswagon Golf Convertible -- came flooding back.

In the Convertible BMW, however, here's what rode home with us from The Present Moment Cafe. Delicious would be an understatement!



Sunlight Burger
"Open-faced walnut, sunflower, almond, and carrot zucchini burger served over a slice of tomato and dripping with pine nut provolone. Topped with caramelized onions and served with salad and chips."


















Below -- Kale Avocado Ala Present Moment
"Our signature satisfying kale salad massaged with red & yellow pepper, avocado, tomato, lemon garlic-olive oil and topped with candied pecans."



Understand why I'm craving The Present Moment Cafe? :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Refreshing Summer Drink

I made a drink today that seemed quite fitting for the first day of summer. A Zucchini/Apple/Banana Smoothie!

I juiced about 3/4 of a super large Zucchini -- fresh from a friend's garden. I also juiced one Apple. I then poured the Zucchini/Apple juice into the blender with four small Bananas and added Ice. What a drink I ended up with. Caleb and his friend, Chris, enjoyed it, too.


"Similar in nutritional content to cucumbers, zucchini acts as a natural coolant and thirst quencher, replenishing the body with needed fluids. As it does this, it also acts as an internal cleanser. The juice is bland and should be mixed with carrots or apples." ~Jay Kordich, The Juiceman's Power of Juicing

Cheers to Summer!



First Day Of Summer

F -- Feeling full of life today

I -- Interested in life's journey all the way

R -- Revisiting memories of summers past

S -- Standing strong in my first-day-of-summer fast

T -- Talking to those who are uplifting and true


D -- Daring to embrace all that I have to do

A -- Accepting of my abilities that lie within

Y -- Youthful and vibrant, I'm humming a hymn


O -- Optimistic about the days ahead

F -- Forever grateful, no time to get sad


S -- Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year

U -- Living under God's umbrella, handled with care

M -- A summer mountain trip is on the way

M -- Creating new family memories every day

E -- Eating what God has provided the earth

R -- Loving raw because it creates and celebrates life and rebirth!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Quenna's Raw & Vegan

Last week, I had to take an impromptu trip to Virginia. However, before I set off on my journey, I checked online for any raw-vegan restaurants in the area to which I was heading. I was excited to learn about Quenna's Raw & Vegan in the Ghent area of Norfolk, Virginia. I quickly jotted down the address and phone number in a pocket-size notebook. Then, two days later, there I was ordering take-out at Quenna's Raw & Vegan located on the second floor of Health Food Center at 1701 Colley Avenue.

Quenna's inviting menu of Appetizers, Sandwiches, Main Course, Salads and Desserts vary from week to week. Some of the sandwiches there are served "in a Pocket Book" (Wheat Pita Bread), but since I wanted a 100 percent raw-vegan sandwich, Quenna suggested I try a Cabbage-Patched one replacing the Tofu with Avocado. In the Cabbage, shaped somewhat like a canoe, Quenna placed the most delicious seasoned Avocado, Celery, Carrots, Beets, Lettuce, Onions, Tomatoes, Bell Pepper, Mushrooms, Alfalfa Sprouts and Sesame Seeds and topped it with a tantalizing Sesame Dressing. Oh my! Delicious! The meal was quite filling and ended up being lunch for me for two days which prevented me from returning to Quenna's the following day as planned.

I also ordered a cucumber/apple juice and Da' Maue Whip -- "whipped Avocado and Banana sprinkled with 'Sum Nutz'." The dessert was creamy and tasty but slightly too sweet for me to eat all at once, so I consumed a small portion at a time. But, that's okay, it lasted longer that way.

I thought I would eat my Cabbage-Patched meal literally in wrap-style, but once I scooped my fork inside of the cabbage and got a taste of what rested there, I couldn't help but continue to pierce my utensil into all of that goodness. The next day, during lunch, once all of the ingredients were cleared out of the remaining cabbage, I ended up scooping the remainder of the dessert into the cabbage and created a wrap of my own. The cabbage helped offset the sweetness of the dessert and was fun to eat.

During my visit to Quenna's, I had glanced a menu listing some Friday avocado specials. Unfortunately, since I didn't make it back there to try those selections that Friday, the choices inspired me to create a new, simple avocado dish at home:
Mashed avocado seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and curry powder served on tomato.

I horizontally cut a tomato in half and smeared the avocado over the top of each side. It was absolutely delicious and has been dinner for me for the past two nights.

View additional pictures and learn more about Quenna and Quenna's Raw & Vegan in the July issue of Pear Magazine. Contact Quenna's at 757-714-2396 or e-mail
QRV@cox.net. Catering is also available.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

To Daddy

Daddy, Sweet Daddy, just whom would I be
If you had not been sent to earth to help protect and guide me?
Even though your journey moved beyond this earth 11 years ago
You are still spiritually with me and that I do know.

When I try to imagine the person I might be if your influence had not been placed upon me
I can't even visualize that person I try to see
Because your parenting style was destined for me.....so gentle yet strong as a lion
And now my sweet dad, you have made it to Zion.

Every second you invested in me, every word you spoke
Please know that the depth of my heart was constantly taking note
A completely loving, hands-on dad was you to your core
And I grow to value all of your lessons more and more.

Thanks for being the type of dad who gently disciplined even when I was bad
Who never got so mad that he didn't care what type of day I had
For accepting me for me and not only whom you thought I should be
Thank you for honoring the inner light that shone inside of me.

Thanks for always listening to me
When I expressed my thoughts
And for being kind to all of my friends
Even if it was a relationship with one that you thought should end.

Daddy, you were truly an angel father on earth
How blessed I am to have had you in my life even prior to my birth.

I love you so much! Thanks for our spiritual connection!

Happy Father's Day, My Beloved Daddy!

Lovingly Remembering You,

Penny