Education, Prevention and Mobilization

Hello ALL!

I hope this post finds you enjoying Spring, no matter what that looks like to you :)

Today’s post is one that hits extremely close to my heart and will hopefully touch yours as well. So grab another cup of coffee (or tea), kick back and try to look like you’re working…..

Moldova Training 2

I am feeling beyond blessed as I stand here today. My journey to this stage in life has been unique and full of God interventions to keep me on my path. I have met many fascinating people and my entire world has begun to open up by leaps and bounds. The road I chose to travel was not easy by any means, but it has brought me to a place of daily inspiration and creativity. I spend my days being able to talk with people just like you (or maybe it IS you!). I educate people on healthier lifestyle choices, proper nutrition and healthy body image. I spread the word on prevention of disease as well as violence. And I hope that I am mobilizing a force to be reckoned with…a force that no longer accepts the status quo and refuses to become a statistic. THIS is my life.

Along with all of the above I am also striving to set an example for my children. A few years ago I simply wanted to teach them that you didn’t give up when circumstances got tough. I want them to be strong souls that persevere through adversity. Now, I strive to teach them more on top of that. I want my son and daughter to learn to be bold. I want them to believe that they can make a difference in a life, in a town, in a country and even in the world. I want them to know they have a voice and they can use it to BUILD or tear down. Each moment of every day affords us the opportunity to stand for something, change something and build something. I hope and pray they learn the quality of conviction and the action of perseverance. I am also loved by a man who acknowledges my flaws and believes in my dreams. He believed in me when I wanted a small studio in a small town and he believes in me when I seek to change the very fabric of a nation.

I don’t tell you all of this so you can think “Wow, she has it good.” Quite the contrary. I want to take you on a journey with me. Through this journey you will be able to visit lands you never knew existed. You’ll meet people and focus on faces who have heart warming and heart breaking stories to tell. You’ll find your “why” to this life. Why am I here? Why do I walk the path I walk? You’ll also discover your what….

I encourage you to join me on this journey with an open mind and an open heart. The best part? You can stay in your jammies on the couch! Well, I fully support moving, but you get what I mean. :)

Join me as we start a movement that will shape the world the same exact way I have been striving to shape lives for over a decade now:

EDUCATION: Just as you enjoy the little tidbits of information I give on nutrition, fitness and general health, there are others around the world who not only enjoy it, but NEED this information. Throughout my stay in Chisinau, Moldova I was able to educate young ladies who had been victims of sexual violence and human trafficking in the art of self-defense. The mere fact that I told them they were worth defending was a totally new concept…. As I go forth to help plan and fund a Self Defense Training Center for these girls and the surrounding community at risk for trafficking, I hope to educate on healthy body image and proper nutrition as well. ALL the same things you enjoy learning about, these girls enjoy as well. My heart breaks for them and I wish I could show you faces and names of those you may meet, but I am not allowed since even showing pictures of them on the web would contribute to further exploitation. Why should you consider being a part of changing someone’s life? You are here for a reason, just as they are. This very site may be where your paths collide and both of you are made a little more whole…

In Ethiopia I will be joined by my son. We will be educating again on self-defense and better body image. I’ll also be sharing any other form of fitness, nutrition or just plain fun and games they need. We will have a whirlwind week of visiting care points and meeting those whose needs exceed my own wishful thinking. They will learn how to nurture their physical bodies and grow in strength. Programs will be discussed for the ongoing help at these care points and the vital education and growth of these young people who have been left without homes and parents. Care to join me? I know, I know…Africa is quite hot in the Summer :) Their stories will be shown and people just like you can integrate them into your own story. The story of ONE who made a difference….

PREVENTION: Disease prevention is huge to me. My mother died when I was 17 and it is my full belief that it could have been prevented. It is also my belief that everything happens for a reason though. With proper nutritional guidance, you have come to know that you can prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. Did you know that with proper nutritional guidance you can even SLOW the progression of some of these diseases (such as cancer, AIDS, HIV) that run rampant in other parts of the world? It’s true. With proper education, we can be equipped to truly care for the bodies we have and that is what I will be sharing in both Moldova and Ethiopia. Along with the prevention of disease, I’ll be sharing something that will be of far more value in the short-term: prevention of further violence, especially against women. It is my heart’s desire to empower these women to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones. Please don’t misunderstand…I’m not teaching them to “fight”. I am teaching them to SURVIVE.

MOBILIZATION: Just as I have people in my own circle who have grown from little belief in their own abilities to actually teaching others, I plan to do the same the whole world over! No worries about me leaving you though, I plan to take you right along with me so you too can grow from their stories. I envision a world where women can wake up excited about what the day may hold, not fearful. I see jobs that girls have a natural affinity for (teaching, anybody?) that open up where they have never been. I see doors opening, much like the ones you may have seen as you began to take care of your body and treat yourself with a little more respect. I see a world mobilized to change.

Just like lacing up your tennis shoes or laying out your yoga mat is the first step towards many, I too have many steps ahead of me. For years it has been me giving you information. Now, I want to take you on a ride. Why? In the short-term, being involved in a purpose has been shown to help us reach our goals FASTER. Why? We’re focused on something other than ourselves, which gives us permission to change from what has become our normal. In the long run, perhaps YOU will begin to tell people what you are a part of and upon hearing YOUR story they will be inspired. Inspiration can spread like wild-fire and I am calling you to start yours today!

Live LOUD, Live LARGE, Live OFTEN,

Michelle

Don’t stay in the cage :)

Moldova 4

Get involved NOW: Chisinau, Moldova Self Defense Center

Cancer Fighting Foods and Spices

For many of us, we do not need the pink colors or ribbons at the market place to remind us of the devastating effects of breast cancer. October is National breast cancer awareness month and I urge all of us to pause and pray. Remember those in your life who have been affected and more importantly make a commitment. Commit to health. Commit to actively engage in life. Commit to never forget. There is no guaranteed way to avoid cancer, but research shows that an overall (that’s more than 5 days of healthy meals and a few trips to the gym) healthy lifestyle has been shown to help in prevention. Commit to health, commit to life, and commit to your loved ones today.

Cancer Fighting Foods and Spices

  • Avocados
  • Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Chili Peppers and jalapeno
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Figs
  • Flax
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruits
  • Grapes, red

Studies show that consumption of green and yellow leafy vegetables has been associated with lower levels of stomach cancer.

  • Kale
  • Licorice Root
  • Mushrooms
  • Oranges and Lemons
  • Papayas
  • Raspberries
  • Red Wine
  • Rosemary
  • Seaweed and other sea vegetables
  • Soy products like tofu
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Teas: Green and Black
  • Tomatoes
  • Turmeric

Consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with decreased risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.

 

 

 

Easy Recipes

Kale chips: Make sure that when you purchase your kale it is crisp and never limp. Wash Kale thoroughly and dry between paper towel sheets. Tear leafy parts into sections and drizzle 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil and season with 1 tsp sea salt and pepper to taste. Place in oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-14 minutes or until crisp. Enjoy!

Morning Mushroom Omelet: In a bowl mix 1 egg + 2 egg whites with 1 TBSP non fat milk. In non stick skillet (on medium heat) place 1 cup spinach and cook down, then add ½ cup prewashed, chopped mushrooms: cook for 1 minute then add egg mixture and pepper to taste. Once eggs are cooked through, top with chopped green onion and 1 TBSP hot sauce for a spicy start to your day.

Avocado Smash: Take 2 medium ripe avocados and mash them in a bowl. Add 2 heaping spoons non fat Greek yogurt, juice and zest of 1 small lemon, ½ tsp sea salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste. Stir and use as a dip for veggies or a topping for chili.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken: When dealing with chicken there are 2 things I ALWAYS do. 1) Soak chicken breasts or tenders in non fat yogurt for 2 hours. This keeps the chicken from drying out. 2) I mix it all in a large plastic bag to incorporate flavors and make sure I can easily pound it into even pieces. Place 4-6 chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with about ½ cup non fat yogurt, 1 lemon (zest it and juice it, then throw the whole thing in! When dealing with citrus marinades, the acids will begin to cook the chicken, so do not leave in overnight), 3 rosemary sprigs from a plant OR 2 tsp rosemary seasoning, 1 tsp sea salt, pepper, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp oregano, and 1 tsp thyme. Close bag and mix well then allow it to settle for a couple of hours. You can either grill the breasts or broil them in the oven, cooking the meat through. Pair with a salad with light vinaigrette and some green tea for a great tasting immunity boosting meal.