Thoughtful Thursday – The Magic of Autumn

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Photo taken by Maria Vidaurre

Summer is officially coming to an end on September 22nd as we welcome the Autumn Equinox. Here in South Florida, we don’t really experience a change in scenery. The weather cools a bit but there is no major change in season visually.

This was a photo I had taken while hiking 10 miles on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia with my husband. The air was cool and crisp on the morning we embarked on our hike and the scent of wet leaves permeated the air. Mother nature had graciously painted a stunning canvas of yellow, red, orange and brown for us to enjoy. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking on the trail.

It was a magical hike where I found myself again and remembered what I was made of. There were parts of the trail where I had to dig deep to find courage and endurance to push on. One section had a small brook covered with leaves which were very slippery. Even though I was super careful, I ended up taking a fall but luckily it was nothing major and just ended up with a bruised knee.

The most treacherous part of the trail was a section that was covered with large boulders from an avalanche that wobbled and moved as we crossed them. This part slowed us down considerably and the sun was setting soon.

To say the least, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting stuck on the mountain, at night, out in the cold. I much preferred my warm bed that was calling my name back at the lodge. So with all the grit and determination I could muster, I forged on to reach the end of our hike.

As the sun started to set in the horizon, the temperature began to drop pretty fast and darkness was setting in. Just when I thought we wouldn’t make, we came to the end of the trail. I was so happy and soooo relieved. We did it 😅

Looking back on our hike I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. It was quite the adventure and I loved every minute I spent with my husband. Time on the trail renewed my energy and sense of wonder. It was a great recharge for my mind, body and soul.

We’re going on another hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail this fall but it will be at a different section of the trail and a shorter hike. Really looking forward to seeing all the beautiful colors again!

What do you like most about autumn?

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“Notice how autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” ~Freidrich Nietzsche

Photos taken by Maria Vidaurre

Angel Daniela – Watercolor

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Meet Angel Daniela, my newest angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. I really like the bright green and doodles at the bottom in this one. Hope you do too 💖

Have a wonderful week!

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Angel of Promises

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My latest angel from my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal, Angel of Promises. I tried a playing with the wings a bit more. I kind of like how they turned out. What do you think?

Would love to hear your feedback.

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Thoughtful Thursday – Adverse Affects of Dairy

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As most of your know, I went vegan about 4 years ago. Not because it was the “in thing” to do but because of health issues I was having at the time. I drank lots of milk when I was a kid and I think we’ve all heard the slogan, “Milk, it does the body good.” But does it really?

I grew up thinking that cows were put on this earth to give us milk and that was that. But when you think about it, the only reason a cow produces milk is to feed their calf. So their bodies have to be in a continual pregnant state to produce milk for us.

There’s been a lot of research done showing milk may actually do us more harm than good. For starters, one of my problems with milk was that I was constantly congested. When I’d get a cold, the congestion would get really bad. I thought by drinking only organic milk and eating only organic dairy products, I was being healthy. But my congestion just kept getting worse even though I wasn’t sick. After reading an article in a magazine I decided to give plant based milk a try and found that my congestion completely cleared up in a few weeks.

After experiencing that I started doing research and found that milk contains harmful hormones which are given to the cows to increase their milk production. Even the organic milk still has hormones in it. I also learned that milk causes your body to leach calcium from the bones which in turn can make you more susceptible to osteoporosis. Not to mention, that milk and dairy products can cause cancer. Yikes! And these were just a few of the adverse affects of dairy that I stumbled upon in my research.

There are a lot of documentaries that you can watch like Food Inc., What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Plant Pure Nation to name a few. These films were a real eye opener for me and although I didn’t go vegan initially, the more educated I became, the more I realized I needed to stick with it to stay healthy. Once I did that, I was living proof that what they were expressing in these films had a lot of truth behind it. Granted a vegan diet isn’t for everyone but there’s always room for improvement no matter what diet you consume.

Please don’t take my word for it but do your own research. You may be surprised and shocked at what you find. Your diet is the foundation to your health as well as your happiness. Because the bottom line is, if you don’t have your health, nothing else really matters. You can’t bring joy to the world if you don’t take care of yourself first. Hope you found this information helpful.

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“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” ~Ayurvedic Proverb

Sources:

Forks Over Knives: “7 Ways Milk and Dairy Products are Making You Sick

The Miter: “Harmful Effects of Cow’s Milk on the Human Body Becomes More Prevalent”

Dr McDougall: T. Colin Campbell, PhD: Link Between Dairy Protein, Casein, & Cancer

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Thoughtful Thursday – Effects of positive energy

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The average human body is made up of 50-65% water. Considering half of your body weight is water, that’s a lot of water! Dr Masaru Emoto (b.1943 – d.2014) was a world renowned Japanese scientist who for over 20 years studied how the molecular structure in water transforms when exposed to words, thoughts, prayers, music, sounds and intentions. The results were astonishing.

Think about it for a minute. When you’re happy, ecstatic and filled with elation you can feel that positive energy in every cell in your body. You feel energized and great in every way. But when you’re angry, you feel drained, exhausted and even sick.

Dr Emoto’s study literally showed how water molecules responded to positive energy by transforming into beautiful molecular formations. However, water exposed to negative energy transformed into disfigured molecules.

Legacy Of Dr Masuru Emoto - Polaric Therapeutics

Wouldn’t it stand to reason then, that if we’re made up of 50% water, that the water molecules in our body would react the same way as in Dr Emoto’s study? I mean if you’re exposed to positive energy, you’ll undoubtedly feel healthy and vibrant. But if you’re exposed to a borage of negative energy whether external, like someone else causing you anguish or internal where you tell yourself hurtful things, you’ll eventually become ill.

And lets think about the world we live in today. There is so much negativity at every corner making it harder and harder to stay positive. So why not change your attitude and create more positivity in your life. Get outside and leave your electronic devices at home, connect with nature. Instead of watching TV, turn it off and read a good book. Spend time with friends and family that uplift you and make your feel energized. Replace negative thoughts in your mind with positive ones and stick to this mantra: “If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, then don’t say it to yourself.”

Never underestimate the power of positive energy and see how good you’ll feel!

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“Too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, too determined to be defeated.” ~ William Boyland, Jr.

Twin Ports Bridge Festival Announces International Speaker ...
Dr. Masaru Emoto

Sources:

https://thewellnessenterprise.com/emoto/

Thoughtful Thursday – Vegan Chocolate Smoothie

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Ok, I confess I’m a chocoholic. But who doesn’t like chocolate? I mean it’s just awesome! There are so many varieties of chocolate out there like white, milk, dark and all flavors in between.

Besides tasting so delicious, studies have shown that dark chocolate, at least 75% or more has some pretty good health benefits too like reducing stress and food cravings, fighting fatigue, improving blood circulation and so much more. It’s even considered nutritious and contains nearly the full RDA of copper and manganese, plus it contains descent amounts of magnesium, iron, fiber, zinc, selenium and potassium.

The 75% dark chocolate has the least amount of sugar as compared to white or milk chocolate. So it won’t contribute to weight gain as long as you don’t over do it. What I have noticed personally is that the more sugar that’s in the chocolate, the more I’ll want to eat it. I find that with the darker chocolate I only need 1 square to satisfy chocolate craving and I’m good to go.

As most of you know, I’m vegan so I’m always looking for vegan chocolates. They do make more of them now and they’re very tasty but a little more pricey than regular chocolate. With that being said I’m always on the hunt for new ways to satisfy my chocolate cravings.

I found a great smoothie recipe online that I tried. It was good but just wasn’t satisfying that rich chocolatey flavor I was looking for so I made changes and came up with this delicious Vegan Chocolate Smoothie that has a rich chocolate flavor and contains about 16 grams of protein:

  • 1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk (or any unsweet non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 3 Tbsp Organic Gluten Free Oats
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Cacao Nibs or 1.5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (see note below*)
  • 2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp No Salt or Sugar Added Almond Butter
  • 2 Tsp Organic Chia Seeds
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Organic Date (pitt removed)
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Instant Espresso Coffee
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 1 C Ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

(*) Although I love cacao nibs and all the antioxidants they provide, I found that using Cocoa Powder gives the smoothie a richer and creamier flavor.

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

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“I’d give up chocolate, but I’m not a quitter.” ~Unknown

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Thoughtful Thursday Vision Boards

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Vision boards are a way of putting your goals and dreams into one place so you can focus on them everyday and bring them to fruition. There are no rules for creating vision boards. They can be big or small, neat or messy, on a wall or foam board. You fill them with photos, words or both, it’s entirely up to you. Personally I like to use photos from magazines or the internet. They help me visualize my goals more easily.

Think about what you really desire in life maybe it’s better relationships, a better job, more time with the family, finding love, etc. Then find photos that relate to your desires and put them on the board. For example, if I’ve been dreaming about taking a cruise, I’ll look for an ad with a cruise ship and the destination I want to go to and put that photo on my board. If I want to get healthy and in shape, I’ll find a photo of an athlete and put that on my board.

The vision board will help you to attract the right circumstances in your life to make your desires a reality. It will also help keep you focused and on track. The photos will help you to visualize yourself in the circumstances you desire. But what is even more important is that you feel the positive emotion related to your desires whether it be joy, elation, happiness or any other strong positive emotion. And I don’t mean just think about the feeling, I want you to really feel the emotion in every cell in your body. Imagine yourself attaining your goal and think how good you’ll feel when your desire becomes a reality.

You want to keep the vision board in a place where you can see it everyday so you stay focused and have clarity on your goals and desires. The vision board will help keep your passion and energy fueled so you can attain your goals. Imagine the possibilities. The sky’s the limit so dream BIG!

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“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walter Elias Disney

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Thoughtful Thursday – Milky Quartz Crystals

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Crystals are beautiful gems treasured by many. Some are worn as jewelry or placed in homes as decoration. They have been used throughout time for their healing properties as well.

I was introduced to crystals by my late sister many years ago. One Christmas she gave a quartz crystal candle holder. It’s a large 3.5″ square block of white quartz with a hole in the center big enough for a tealight candle. It’s a stunning crystal to say the least.

Right after Christmas, I spent the next several nights tossing and turning, unable to sleep. When my sister called I told her how tired I was from lack of sleep and she got pretty quiet and asked, “where did you put the candle holder I gave you?” I replied, on my nightstand. Then she asked “when did your sleepless nights begin?” I said, “basically right after Christmas.” She instructed me to move the crystal into the bathroom, cover it with a towel and close the door at night. I was pretty skeptical at the thought that her candle holder was causing my lack of sleep. So I did as she asked and to my surprise, I had no problem sleeping once I moved it.

I tried putting it back on the nightstand and yep you guessed it, I couldn’t sleep again. This began my journey into exploring different crystals and their properties. I still have the large quartz candle holder but now it sits on my office desk where it charges my energy throughout the day. If you have the chance, stop by a crystal shop and explore these magical gems and see how they make you feel.

Milky Quartz Crystal Properties:

  • increases concentration
  • boosts your energy
  • purifies negative energy
  • removes energy blockages
  • enhances properties of other crystals

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“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” ~Rumi

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Rosie Angel Watercolor Journal Page

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My latest angel from my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. Her name is Rosie. I tried limiting the colors in this one. I really like the iridescent blue that I used around the stars, in her hair and clothes. It has a beautiful shimmer. But looking at her, she reminds me of an Easter or Spring Angel.

What do you think? Would love to hear your feedback.

Have a wonderful week!

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Liza Angel Watercolor Journal Page

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I haven’t posted an angel lately and I really miss my girls. I find such peace within when I paint them. It’s pure contentment and joy when I can get them out of my mind and on paper for everyone to see 😊

This is my latest angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal, her name is Liza. I’m playing with different ideas on the wings to see how I like them.

What do you think? Would love to hear your feedback.

Have a beautiful week!

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