10 Adventure Quests with a Toddler

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. — William Feather

Yesterday I awoke with a few limiting thoughts and a lack of excitement about the day with my toddler. I decided to do something different. I asked the question: How can I make today an adventure!? How could we make it more fun!?FullSizeRender_3

I thought: Make it a game. We will go on 10 quests today. I shared the idea with my son and then, we sat down and wrote out our list. He contributed the park, store and making the pumpkin porridge, the rest were my ideas that he agreed with.

We started our game at 10:30 am and ended at 5:30 pm. Below is what we did in the order we did them. 🙂

1. 7 minute Whole Body Vibration Plate workoutWe  have our own little home gym so he did his own little “workout” which consisted of not wanting me to workout, playing with legos and doing a little bit of rowing. 😉 (If you’re interested in the vibration plate there is also a less expensive one on Amazon you can find HERE!)

Image-1-12. Grocery Store — Here we got a green juice and kale chips to power us up for the start of our outdoor quests. We also stopped by a sign that I’ve walked by many times but have never read. It was pretty awesome to see people’s desires. Made me smile.

3. Find a feather — We went to the metaphysical store down the street from our house and serendipitously saw a Image-1-2bunch of feathers. #Score! I also got some more frankenscience incense and a little memento to put on my desk. Oh, and I bought a magazine which is something I pretty much never do. I know really daring greatly. HA! FullSizeRenderI thought the cover was brilliant!! 🙂

4.Discover something new — We stopped to ask two construction workers what they were fixing. We learned all about how the water actually gets into our homes so we can use it. Amazing how many people help our lives run smoother. WFullSizeRender_4e also discovered this cool free library someone created on the street outside their house and made a note to go and donate a book.

5. Walk down a different street — While we were walking down our quest street we met a local author, Robyn. If I wasn’t in the adventurous spirit I probably wouldn’t have said anything. But, we were on a quest so I said: I think I have a book you wrote. Did you write a book? She said: Yes! We talked about her book/work/parenting/etc. Then, I shared how much I appreciated her commitment to unabashedly be herself. We had a delightful conversation and hugged as we both went on our way. (Her book is Go Only As Fast As Your Slowest Part Feels Safe To Go).

6. Go to the park and do 10 different activities We visit the park at least once a day. I sometimes play but mostly just hang around and watch my son play. I wanted to get in on the action so I committed to doing 10 different activities. I went down slides, climbed walls, attempted pull ups, jumped, etc. It was so much more fun. Good reminder we can inspire play wherever we go. Don’t let the joy stoppers limit our fun!

7. Have a picnic  — I was thinking we would rock this quest in the afternoon but FullSizeRender_2it ended up raining. Later I told E we still needed to do our picnic quest. He said we already did it when we sat on the floor eating our pumpkin porridge. Indoor picnic on the floor? Works for me! 🙂

Then, it was about 4:45 and it was chilly and slightly raining and I really wanted to just stay inside. But, we still had a few more quests to complete. E said: Let’s Go! So, we put our jackets and hats on and headed out. It was actually amazing.  No one was out and it was beautiful from the recent rainfall with lots of puddles to jump in.

8. Help someone — I am reaching with this one because it was more just being helpful rather than helping a specific person. But, we are counting it. We found 8 pieces of trash and picked it up and put it in the garbage. The best part was how excited he got when he found a piece of trash and then preceded to put it in the garbage. Never would have guessed picking up trash could be so fun!

9. Climb a tree — My son is only 3 so we don’t climb that high. But, we did climb up a smaller one and explored 2 really big tree trunks. While we were sitting on one of the trucks he decided he wanted to have a pretend picnic. Great idea I said (kids are awesome!). He then went and got some leaves and some sticks and we pretended to 1079_25_gratitude-quotes-gratitude-quoteswebhave some apples, porridge, cashew butter and green juice.

10. Savor and gratitude practice —  We savored all the fun things we did before his nap. And, then, before bedtime we talked about all the adventures of the day and what we loved about it and a couple of things we were grateful for.

Bonus Quests:
* Make pumpkin porridgeE got the canned pumpkin out of the cabinet and wanted to make something with it. I haven’t eaten grains in 3 years and occasionally I miss porridge/oatmeal. So, I had the inspiration to try to create something similar. We both FullSizeRender_1*loved* the experimental creation and are going to make it again today. Will share recipe soon!

* Sprints — When we were outside completing our adventure quests I said: Let’s get some sprints in too. Wanna run? He enthusiastically said: YES! And, off we went running down the bike path, stopping to rest and take a few breaths and then starting again. So great.

Whew! What an awesome adventure! It would have been a totally different day if I would’ve believed my grumpy thoughts from the morning. I might’ve even felt kinda bored with the whole at-home-mothering thing but we turned it into a wild adventure. Happy I chose something different.

We both got lots of nature time, talked with a bunch of people, had a lot of fun, discovered new things, moved our bodies a lot, and nourished ourselves with some good food, gratitude and the joy of helping ourselves and others! I was a much happier Momma today because of it! 🙂

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P.S. Any other ideas for our next Adventure Quest day? What would be your quests for the day? 🙂

Bliss Diary – October 26, 2015

To keep faith with life is to experience that everything — everything that comes to us, whatever it is — has it’s place in the puzzle of our existence. — Roger Housden

I am starting my Optimized Brain & Body Game today. The gist of the game is to win the day for the next 5 weeks. I do this by honoring the nutrition protocol and doing 5 energy generators, 1 adventure and avoiding 5 obstacles. #wootwoot

Affirmation: I’m on fire with life! It’s all good!

Nutrition:
* 7:30 cup of bulletproof decaff coffee with 2 tsp of mct oil + tsp of ghee
* 9:30 25 oz green juiceFullSizeRender
* 10:30 celeric soup w/ sauteed purple cabbage topped with olives + a slice of bacon
* 2:30 3 scrambled eggs + sweet potato fries + probably 2 oz of my son’s smoothie (1/2 green apple, 1/3 c of mango, 1 small cucumber, 1/4 avocado, 8 oz green juice = suuuuper good!)
* 5:30 ish 25 oz green juice + then around 6:30 had a little bit of ground beef and a pickleFullSizeRender-1

Body Goodness: Day 1 and I woke up with a little bit of a headache.;)  This almost never happens but it fueled my desire even more. I want to feel really good in my body. This is why I am playing this game. I got up and did my normal routine and committed to having a wonderful day and knew that once I drank a bunch of water and got moving it would go away. By 8:30 I felt awesome! I felt on my game and inspired for most of the day. I did notice a drop in energy and enthusiasm around 3:30 pm but knew that it would pass (helps to have a practice to not dive into stories too much).

Mind & Heart Goodness: I notice that one of my biggest complaints is lack of energy. This morning in my meditation I reminded myself that I am the one who gets to choose my energy. I can do a lot of things to generate more energy and power in my body that only take 1-5 minutes. Do something – anything-  to get into motion!

I am changing the habit of fatigue. I noticed how much I can believe the lack of energy story and the more I believe it the more it keeps me locked into feeling tired. I decided to consciously choose ENERGY today. No matter what. I choose vitality, health and joy!

Even when I felt my energy dip in the afternoon I knew I could do things to increase my mojo. I acknowledged the tiredness while also noticing that I could still find aspects of joy and energy even with a lower sense of vitality. I can use tiredness to my advantage. It can be a signal to slow down, breathe and be with it (not make myself wrong for feeling this way which is another habit I am working on;). I keep reminding myself to not believe everything I think, especially when I’m feeling tired. 🙂

Gratitude & Appreciation: I feel so blessed to be able to play this game. I feel grateful for the inspiration that is flowing through me. I am grateful for all the people that inspire me daily. I am grateful for green juice (love that stuff). I am grateful for my husband and son. Life is so much better with them. I am grateful for my freedom. I am grateful to be able to create my life the way I do. I am grateful for all that books I get to read. I am grateful for all the healthy and delicious food we have in our kitchen. I a grateful to have our kitchen put back together after the remediation. I am grateful for my passion and curiosity. I am grateful for all the sweet littler interactions with have with our local community every day. I am grateful for our beautiful home. I am grateful for my Mom and all of her support and love. I am grateful Fall is here. I love this time of year. 🙂

Energy Generators: I win one point for each one of these
15 minute meditation
20 minute rebounding
10 minute morning sun + grounding on some dirt in the backyard (2 points)
Green juice
5 minute self-massage (head and shoulders)
10 deep breaths
“I’ve got spirit cheer” — This was some loud whooohoooo’s + yeaaaaaahs with some cheerleading jumps (ridiculous, fun and energizing ;))
5 + 5 + 5 minute errand walk pushing stroller
35 minute napitation
1 song dance
Gratitude practice
Family Walk
Daily supplements
Bed at 9:15

14 points

Adventures: I win 3 points for each one of these.
1. Do the work (Byron Katie style) + Daniel Amen’s ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) practice on something that is triggering me

3 points

Obstacles: 1 point for jumping over/avoiding these.
1. No kombucha
2. No sweeteners
3. No dairy
4. No legumes
5. No grains
6. No vegetable oils
7. Laziness (mostly in regards to not wanting to make food)
8. Stop negative self-talk and victim thinking (+ reframe)

8 Points

Today I won the day! #YES! Total Score: 25 points

Can I get a higher score tomorrow? 😉

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P.S. I am recording this every day and will post my diary on occasion. 🙂

The Brain & Body Optimization Game

Tomorrow I start playing a game I created called: The Brain and Body Optimization Game. If you’ve been following my journey the last few months you know I’ve been investigating the cause of 2 seizures with the biggest trigger being hidden mold in our kitchen. I’ve seen a lot of doctors/healers/practitioners and have received valuable advice. Now I am simplifying and focusing on the action steps I think are the most vital for my well-being.

One of my biggest findings is that I have mycotoxins (from the mold) in my system. These are very toxic for the brain. I found this out by doing a urine test with RealTime Labs. I am working with my local functional doctor to detox. The basic protocol is: specific supplements, eating a super nutrient dense diet, glutathione IVs, along with colonics, infared sauna and hyperbaric oxygen sessions.veggies 1

I also learned some amazing goodness from Dr. Amen about my how my brain is currently functioning. There are a few places that need some extra lovin’.

My brains scans were congruent with some emotional trauma and he recommended EMDR therapy for that. I also had one area on my QEEG that he thought neurofeedback would help. I met with his friend, Bryan Hixson, and will be starting a series of sessions soon. And, Dr. Amen generously gifted us with a month’s worth of supplements to help optimize my brain more. #jazzed #blessed

I’ve got my “team” for the next phase of healing. It consists of my functional medicine doc – Dr. Bernhoft plus the brain doc/neuroscientist – Dr. Daniel Amen and Bryan Hixson the neurofeedback brain performance expert. I still need to find an EMDR therapist and then it will be complete. I will re-evaluate in the next few  months to see if anyone else is needed but I feel pretty supported with these 3 superstars!

I will share the whole game in the next few days so you can see how I intend to play. 🙂 I’ve always loved creating my life in a gameful way. I’ve been doing it for years and with this specific game I’ve added some upgraded tools and inspiration from Superbetter. I’m golden and ready!

The game will be 5 weeks long with the focus being on healing my braiveggiesn and my body and taking my health to the next level. I will be eating a lower carbohydrate diet, moderate protein and higher fat with a splash of the autoimmune protocol to reduce any hidden inflammation in brain/body.

This is a whole family game. Because #1 it’s more fun to optimize and supercharge together and #2 because we have all been exposed to mold.

Today we made a bunch of green juice, and the guys got a blissload of nutrient dense foods at the farmer’s market and then, we made sweet potato fries, celeriac root soup, and sauteed purple cabbage. And, we just finished washing and cutting up a bunch of veggies to get ready for the week. Go Time! Yahoooo!! 🙂

Now, we are off to walk to the park! Hope you’re having an awesome day!

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Bliss Diary – September 22, 2015

There are particular types of seeds that remain dormant until they are broken open by a forest fire. Likewise, there is a seed within you that opens only by the fire of your readiness to transform. Challenges are the great awakeners, and when we welcome them we ignite the inner fire of transformation and invite a greater vision for our life to emerge from within us.” – Michael Bernard Beckwith

Nutrition:
* bulletproof coffee w/mct oil, coconut milk, ghee, stevia
* 16 oz green juice (w/ power greens) + 20 minutes later a big handful of flax crackers
* 32 oz green smoothie (romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, avocado)
* bowl of chard/kale and ground beef with a few bites of lemon/avocado/coconut milk ice cream

I have never been a coffee drinker. I really dig a lot of Dave Asprey’s work and I usually just skipped over the coffee part because I was breastfeeding (more on that below) and thought it would be a bad idea for my adrenals.  But, then I watched an interview with him and Alberto Villoldo and they were talking about how coffee activated the longevity gene. It was fascinating so I decided to try it. It’s been a week. I don’t notice much of a difference but willing to experiment. 

Movement:
* 15 minutes of rebounding + 30 burpees (watching Power Up Your Brain by my Hubby)
* 7 minute walk to library and 7 minute walk home

* ~30 minute Family stroll after dinner

Affirmation:
I’ve got this. Power up!!

Meditation:
*
15 minutes
*
75 minute napitation listening to the I am healthy blissitation (yay! for toddler naps;)

Body Goodness:
I am feeling good in my body. I’m a little bit sore from sprint (ok, a stride;) workout yesterday. I am also healing the last bit of a sinus infection which feels awesome. I will write a post on what I did to heal it naturally soon. I think doing the mold remediation in our kitchen and hello!, the last few months of change and transformation gave my immune system a run for her money. 🙂 But, feeling strong today. A new level of determination has arisen. Challenges are the great awakeners.

I also stopped breastfeeding after I had my seizures. They gave me an anti-convulsant (keppra) IV in the ER and I am currently on a low dose for 3 months to ensure I don’t have another one. I will begin tapering off soon. I was planning to stop nursing when E turned 3 and we’d been talking about it so it wasn’t that big of a transition. Yet, there was a sweet and tender sadness because I loved it so much. (tears!) But, it was also time for me to replenish my body, honor the seasons of change and the natural cycles of life.

Mind/Heart Goodness:
I had a dream last night about my college volleyball days. I was on the court playing a game and I was just off, totally not in my usual flow. I felt like a failure. I was walking off the court for a time-out and had a flash of the time my coach called me into his office and told me I was the spark plug of the team. I was the catalyst. I had a surge of energy and power and there was a feeling of yes, this is who I am.

When I opened my eyes this morning I smiled. I’ve got fire. A lot of it and a spark plug is an awesome way to describe it. Thanks to my Coach for seeing and reminding me that I am a catalyst 17 years ago. How I live my life influences everyone around me. I am choosing to embrace that part of me today, let her play and bring the fire back into my days. #bringit

I’m reading: I recently finished Unleash The Power of Your Female Brain by Daniel Amen. I loved it because I am all about optimizing the brain. I have a bunch of his books I intend on reading and I look forward to doing a SPECT scan at one of his clinics.

This weekend I read Rising Strong by Brene Brown. Amazing! I love her. It was  an especially nourishing read with my current process. “The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness – even our wholeheartedness- actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”

Now, I am reading SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal. It’s backed by a lot of research on how playing games can make you a happier, stronger and braver. I find her research fascinating on video games but I don’t play them and we don’t even have a TV. What I’m really interested in is making life more gameful. One of my top strengths is playfulness and I love to see the evidence showing that play is a smart thing to do. 🙂

Gratitude + Appreciation: I am grateful for our beautiful town. I love where we live. I am grateful my son takes naps so that I can take them too. I am grateful for my amazing husband and all of his support and hard work. I am grateful for my Mom, she is my best friend. I am grateful for all the amazing books I read on a regularly basis. I am grateful for my challenges and my choice to see them as growth opportunities. I am grateful for all the passionate and brilliant people out there doing incredible work to inspire and help others. #thankyou

I am feeling determined, inspired and content.

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P.S. My husband has a new podcast called Optimize. You can check it out HERE! There has been over 400,000 downloads in the last few weeks which is pretty amazing!! 🙂

Bliss Diary – June 24, 2015

“You are worthy of your desires.” — Danielle LaPorte

Question I’m asking: If I had it all my way I’d (fill in the blank). I’ve been playing with this today and it’s been really interesting to notice how little shifts can make a big difference. This morning as I was making breakfast I asked if I had it all my way what would I do? I heard listen to music and dance. So, I put a Michael Buble station on Pandora and got my groove on.

I love asking this question because it helps me gain clarity. I am pretty easy going and flexible but the simple act of asking this throughout the day inspired me to tune into what I *really* wanted. I get to be outrageous in my desires because I am playing a game. When I am willing to use my imagination it’s easier to come back home to what is really calling to my heart. This practice helped me have an even more delightful day today. Gonna keep playing with this one. 🙂

Nutrition:
morning delight smoothie
(see recipe)
6 big shrimp + 3 chocolate muffins
ginger tea + lemon + stevia 25 oz
big romaine salad with salmon, mayo, avocado, dulse, nori, chlorella powder, lecithin, hemp seeds all mashed together. #fav + coconut chips (I make them with bacon fat, salt + cinnamon)

Movement:
* 40 minute toddler paced stroll
* 5 minute stretching + 5 minute walk
* 10 minute walk
* 5 min yin yoga

Meditation: 15 minutes

Intention/Affirmation: This was my son’s way of picking a card for me today. IMG_3275
So, I am going to go with passion, progress, nature, my future is glorious, serving others, tenderness, progress, + creativity. 🙂 

Body Goodness: I started my moon today. I like to call it that. It feels kinda hippy but I’m down with that. 😉 I noticed an immediate shift in my energy. So much more optimistic, energetic and vibrant.
I had an acupuncture treatment today. It felt wonderful to just rest and breathe and increase my chi. I also got an in depth thyroid blood test at my new functional doctor’s office. I am *very* excited about this. I already know I am working with moderate hypothyroidism and these results will give me an even better idea on the best path to optimize.

Mind/Heart Goodness: I prayed during my acupuncture treatment today. I felt called to send love and healing to the world. I know I write about my life and the gratitude and love but this doesn’t mean I’m not aware of the suffering in the world. I know there is pain. My heart is sensitive to others. I see and feel them. I can see it in people’s eyes as I interact with them or walk past them.

I believe the way I impact the world is by bringing the love + light and be who I am here to be. To quote Gandhi, “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” If we all did this we could change the world greatly. We all have our part to play in this big divine playground and it’s vital that we do it for ourselves and for others.

Moments of Toddler Delight: My son asking for some strawberries over and over. I jokingly said: Come on where’s the patience? He said: I found it. Catch Mommy as he pretended to throw it. I laughed then caught the “patience” and threw it back. We threw it back and forth a few more times. Smile. So awesome! ❤ Watching him crack eggs for the first time so carefully. ❤ Walking hand and hand with him and looking down at his sweet soft sole shoes with yellow tractors on them. I had one of those full body smiles watching his little feet walking. These are the moments that I hope to etch into the very fiber of my being. So much love and joy overflowing. ❤

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for acupuncture. I am grateful for all the supplements and herbs I’m taking. I am grateful for the ease of my day. I am grateful for my mind, body and spirit. I am grateful for the morning sun. I am grateful for our lovely city. I am grateful for my computer. I am grateful for the money to buy incredibly healthy food. I am grateful for my husband and son. They give my life so much meaning and connection.

I am feeling…empowered, blessed and happy!

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Soul Pleasure – Interview with Alan Cohen

Do what gives you life! — Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen is one of my favorite people/teachers and a dear friend. I am so grateful to have interviewed him for an online conference I created called the Pleasure Advantage.

We talk about soul pleasure and how to give and receive more joy. One of the many things I admire about Alan is his ability to craft a his ideal life and contribute and create abundantly.

Hope you enjoy. You can learn more about Alan here: http://www.alancohen.com/

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