Monday, May 23, 2016
This post is a tribute to Memorial Day today.
I am about to share my experience with you of the 2016 Invictus Games held in Orlando, Florida USA last week.
Long story short: This is about inspiring everyone to keep on going in life NO MATTER WHAT. To get back up again when we get knocked down. When we get knocked down we might stay there for a time, but we must remind each other not to get stuck there, and to ask for help. The healing process can be a long one, but one that must be walked and it involves healing all aspects; mind, body and spirit. My experience shared here also proves how we are all a team in this world and we have the power to uplift each other. Often times when we are in a rough spot we feel disconnected and alone, like the world is against us, when that is far from the truth. We just need to reach out and then be open to receiving the healing and guidance.
I was so honored to be able to be part of the Invictus Games 2016 in Orlando. It was fun, empowering, inspiring and heart touching.
The Invictus Games are an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.
The actual meaning of “Invictus”, is “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin, is a poem by William Ernest Henley. The poem was written while Henley was in the hospital being treated for tuberculosis of the bone, also known as Pott's disease. The speaker in the poem proclaims his strength in the face of adversity:
"My head is bloody, but unbowed....
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul."
I now sport two shirts I got from the games, one saying I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL.
I wear them loud and proud and it starts great conversations! So far in Orlando, New York City and Canada.
Why this games is important to my heart…
I first heard about Invictus Games on the Internet. It came up in my feed as all the advertisements do when the Internet knows we like related things. I saw wounded warriors, men and women who went to the war and lost limbs, arms and legs. When I read more I learned it was also about veterans who suffered internal injuries like brain damage from explosions, or even "invisible wounds" like post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Then I learned that 22 veterans commit suicide every day in USA, and that's when it hit my heart. When I was 18 I declared to myself and the world that I would contribute my time here to help reduce depression and suicide with the time I have here. It's a subject close to my heart because a family member of mine first attempted suicide when I was 17 years old, and at that time I was so confused I didn't understand or know what depression was. I traveled the world and interviewed people on depression and visited some of the countries that had high suicide rates like Latvia and Lithuania. Since then I've experienced severe depression myself and gone through thought processes where I thought I was worthless and should take my own life. I have been recovering from this the past few years and feeling much better and happy to say I do not experience those feelings or thoughts anymore. Because I overcame it I know that others can to. And others do to, but sadly many take their lives. It takes a lot of things to heal from the darkness of depression; I did a lot of healing using food, and also did a lot of mental, emotional and spiritual work.
“Happiness is not ready made, it comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama
My role in this… Helping people heal with food.
Veterans, service men and women who go to war experience traumatic things and it's understandable they take their lives. But it doesn't have to be that way. And that’s why Invictus Games was created. To bring together the wounded, and the family and friends of Veterans, to uplift each other. The Invictus Games was also about bringing awareness to invisible wounds like post traumatic stress.
When we feel like we don’t matter… and we don't belong remember this:
The Invictus Games was created by Britain's Prince Harry. You may have seen the video he did with the Queen. The first Invictus Games was in London in 2014. The inaugural Invictus Games in London 2014 used the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. The next Invictus Games will be held in Toronto in 2017. Loblaws a supermarket chain in Canada is one of the sponsors, I will do my best to make sure there is natural and organic awareness for healing the body at the event. I am proud to say that some copies of The Earth Diet books have been donated to athletes and I will be working with the USA team on healing and strengthening with food.
I thought it was a great time to publish this today Memorial Day, which is usually on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.
DAY 1 - Opening Ceremony
The crowd were excited and energetic!
About Adaptive Sports
Competitions like the Invictus Games aid in holistic healing throughout the recovery and rehabilitation process: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically & socially. The Invictus Games serve as a reminder that there are Service men and women who adapt to a "new normal", long after the Games are over. Military or not, anyone who experiences the Games will walk away changed.
It’s true, Invictus Games changed my life. And it created a ripple effect for everyone I am in contact with. I am more grateful especially for my physical and mental health, and I point out to others to appreciate what they have, not focusing on their problems. I remind them it could also be worse, they could be dealing with their problems plus without the use of arms and legs. It did that for me, imagine that it also did that for all of the people who attended.
Monday, February 29, 2016
This is a great second guest blog post from my good friend and nine-time New York Times best selling author Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. who just came out with a great book on how good fats will make us thin, improve our health and support our happiness. This blog post is on the best ways to optimize cholesterol. I hope you enjoy!
Friday, February 26, 2016
This is a great guest blog post from my good friend and nine-time New York Times best selling author Dr. Mark Hyman where he reveals a shocking new medical discovery that turns our understanding of why we get fat and sick completely upside down. I am so excited and honored to share this great blog post with you!
Monday, November 9, 2015
You know I love visiting farms and being close to nature as much as possible. It’s a great way to ground ourselves and balance ourselves from the technology overload. A lot of people think farms are boring and so you will see from this blog that Maris Farms have captured a vibe of being one of the most fun filled, exciting and entertaining packed farms in the world!!! I was recently visiting Washington State USA and during a Halloween themed weekend I had the opportunity to visit Maris Farms! It is the Halloween month and so some willing friends gathered and decided we would go get frightened for the night at a Haunted Woods! Here we are, us willing participants with a sense of frightful anticipation for the unknown...
This farm meets nature with entertainment, an amazing healthy combination to fulfill our human playtimes. I wanted to share this blog post with you because if you get a chance to visit this farm – DO! Right now during this Halloween season they have an epically fun adventurous “Haunted Woods” which is now a famous attraction, so known in fact that when we arrived people were lining up for 3 hours!! But it is well worth the wait for a Halloween fright treat! Entertainment value included brightly colored lights, dense heavy fogs, and wrenching screams from all angles. My first experience of actual live people jumping out and scaring you during a walk through was at Dream World on the Gold Coast in Australia, about 10 years ago and I remember thinking surely only people with strong hearts and good sense of humor could handle this type of attraction. Maris farms added theirs in 2003 which took the farm to “legendary status” claims the locals! There are more than 35 sets and 50+ actor types inhabiting a 35-45 minute walk though trail. If you practice meditation you know how challenging it can be at times to focus and be in the present moment, well this trip through the haunted woods certainly forces you to be in-the-now! It is an extremely refreshing way to put yourself in the present moment.
As you wait in line there is still entertainment value to help make the wait go quicker, including a live band, an 8-foot tall menacing clown and the cackles of an evil white-faced witch as she snakes her way through the crowd.
TIP: Visit Maris Farms in the beginning of October when it’s quieter to avoid long lines. And don’t bring your kids at night, unless they are up for the adventure of being shocked and frightened. Bring the kids during the day as Maris farms is known as a family farm. It’s also known as Pierce County’s favorite family daytime destination! And it all started with a little pumpkin patch! If you love searching for pumpkins they have 8+ acres of beautiful pumpkin patch to choose from! Plus an added bonus is Mt Rainier is just majestically hanging out in the background, such a beautiful view.
|Photo from Christie Fierro Flikr|
And who enjoys a maze? I for one am a major maze lover, especially when creative people use actual nature to create human sized mazes where we get to use our entire bodies rather than just our brains – the best kind of physical activity is when it’s a fun experience and we are really enjoying the movement! Maris farms have a 5+ acre corn maze!
For those seeking a farmish vibe visit there are also some Earth Diet food options, you can take a scenic hayride around the pumpkin patch and they even have an animal barn full of goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens and pigs. Don’t ever say farms are boring! And especially this one, Maris farms have adrenaline-driven activities including live pig and duck races! Kids can enjoy a huge jumping pillow, that doesn’t exclude us playful adults too! My sister and I first jumped on giant pillows in New Zealand almost 8 years ago! Another great way to get a physical workout without being bored of the activity! There are also zip lines at Maris Farms, mechanical bull riding for the game, large tube slides and a new activity ‘bubble soccer’. There is so much to do which includes the great outdoors, fresh air, and being connected with nature – you can imagine I was in heaven!
TIP: Spend at least half the day at this farm! There is an activity for every age group and it’s affordable wholesome entertainment and fun.
|Photos from MarisFarms.com|
Quite a first impression for my first time to the farm, one I will remember indefinitely. Farms like these deserve to be acknowledged. Plan your visit to Maris Farms! Comment below if you have been to this farm or plan to go – I’ll share the excitement with ya!
I already can’t wait to go again next year!!!
AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN
P.S Locally, Maris Farms has been featured in the Enumclaw/Bonney Lake/Sumner Courier Heralds, The (Tacoma) News Tribune, Seattle Times, Seattle PI, KOMO TV and KING 5’s Evening Magazine. Nationally, Maris Farms has had air time on National Public Radio and on MSNBC.com….. and now THE EARTH DIET BLOG:p !!!
P.P.S For the maize seekers... Maris Farms is part of a larger organization known as The MAiZE , which has more than 250 mazes in the U.S., Canada, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom. Each MAiZE affiliate offers its own form of “agritainment” in its marketplace but the group shares ideas and advice in the areas of marketing/promotions, employee training, accounting, farming, maze cutting and several other areas necessary for a successful agritainment business. There is also instant name recognition and credibility connected to this organization. Since the introduction of its first location in 1996, MAiZE sites have drawn millions of visitors. Making a name for itself, The MAiZE has attracted the attention of newspapers, television and radio stations across the country-among them: Paul Harvey News, CNN, USA Today, The Today Show, Progressive Farmer, Time, Newsweek, National Geographic and Family Circle.
I love farms that can attract people to check out that part of the Earth, unique and wherever it may be in the world!