Tuesday, June 30, 2009

bye bye aphid and fly

The ladybugs did their jobs, devoured the devourers. No longer are the aphids sucking the life out of the chrysanthemums and the white flies are no longer flying. Unfortunately, the ladybugs seemed to have moved on with the (now) lack of food. I cannot believe how quickly they did the work. They must not be union labor!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


This weekend consisted of a sick Groovy and my own doctor appointment. On a positive note, the white flies and aphids will now be a feast, for I picked up a bag of ladybugs and we set them free at dusk!

Groovy is getting over his icky-sickies, but more tests for me. I am feeling positive, though.

Friday, June 26, 2009


This term should be used more often.


from www.dictionary.com


1. pertaining or conducive to happiness.
2. pertaining to eudemonics or eudemonism.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"i am not eating that unhealthy tidbit...."

"...but I'll feed it to my family."

Oh this annoys me to no end. So often I hear adults on personal weight loss journeys talk about the junk foods that that are rebuking in their quest for better health. This is wonderful, but unfortunately this is often followed by, "My kids will eat it." It upsets me that people would be so concerned with their own weight and health, but find it perfectly acceptable for their children to eat unhealthy stuff in their own houses. Do not get me wrong, I understand that kids will often buy and consume unhealthy items when at school or when hanging out with their friends, but their deep seated habits are formed at home.

Though I have had my struggles with food and healthy choices. I am grateful that my family of origin made healthier foods and behaviors a staple in our house. I was always the kid with whole wheat bread for my jelly and banana sandwiches and skim milk was introduced early on. Going to fast food restaurants was a rare event. To this day, I could not imagine buying white bread (even "enriched" - what a joke) and gag at the thought of whole milk. Today, the only thing that I choose to put cow's milk in is coffee. My whole grain cereal gets nice cold rice milk.

My parents have been into fitness for as long as I remember. Jogging, yoga, weight training and sports were a given in my household. My brother and I were encouraged to go play outside and run around on any (and every) nice day...and we did and we loved it! We now have so many fun and fond memories thanks to this.

Our parents' positive influence is helping us well into our adult years. My brother, who is a few years older than me, still plays ice hockey and softball (on multiple leagues, no less) and I have reignited my inner yogini and fitness nut. I shop for whole foods and find joy in healthy eating now. All of these healthy habits were established and reinforced in the family. Heck, my father still weight lifts and plays golf, mom hits her weekly yoga class and walks most days.

I thank the Universe every day for the family I have. Hey, Universe! Thank you for giving me parents that were not "health hypocrites."

image from health in motion

Monday, June 22, 2009

art, music, movement

I find deep inspiration in experiencing (viewing, watching, hearing) passionate creative individuals demonstrating their crafts. Every time I hear musicians' melodies in my ears, watch the strength and fluidity of bodies in motion or view artists' creations my heart swells and my soul dances.

I believe we all have a musician, dancer and artist inside of us. Mine get sparked by viewing others who embody these parts fully in themselves. Recently I have been pondering what would happen if I begin to tap into each of these parts in myself. Will they work in harmony? Will they compete for attention? Will they create a fuller me? Will they distract from each other? Will each one enhance the others or be their cheering section? Will stimulating all of these parts in me create such joy that I burst?

The time feels right to explore the possibilities and answer these questions and more.

Now this is maitri.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

s.o.s. (search of snapshots)

In my "unique organizational style" I have completely misplaced my camera battery charger. I even recall telling myself, "I am putting the charger here, so it does not get lost." Unfortunately, I cannot recall where "here" is located.

I wonder how much a personal organizer costs since my "system" is apparently not working. Any volunteers?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

a little late...

I never did follow up on my "i said yes" post so here it is. Groovy completely surprised me and proposed to me on Christmas. The silver band he presented with a "will you marry me? circle yes or no" note were pure perfection. Very apropos, not only because we share moments of silliness together, but also because we first met during our high school years. (Not that we went to the same school, so there would have been no note passing between us but just the symbolism.) The silver band, which I now wear on my right hand was the perfect placeholder until we went out and found the perfect ring together. It truly was a surprise considering I had all but given up on the idea of marriage, or at least I was trying to convince myself of that.

Now we are planning a simple, yet personal wedding. Thus far a tentative guest list is made, a vague date is set, the wedding favor is possibly decided on, a hiking honeymoon idea is a potential plan and I am finally getting past my wedding planning panic attacks. Luckily, I'm not a bridy-bride. I really want to keep it simple. Honestly, the most important thing is becoming Mrs. Groovy. That will be my name, right? ;)

Monday, June 15, 2009

bug on my finger

bug on my finger
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
oh bug off!

as the garden blooms, so do i

I have this amazing sense of joy permeating my life.

I am growing and changing daily, and peace is the reward. Life and work entail a lot of stress, but I have learned to approach it with new eyes. Even though I have experienced a lot of exhaustion the past couple of weeks, I feel wonderful deep down.

This past week, I crossed over the half-year mark on my daily yoga practice. Holy shhh....shanti! This practice is truly integral to my journey. This has become part of me.

A couple of days ago, we added the addition of some lovely pink/salmon impatiens. I find myself drawn to the salmon and green colors in the garden. They are inspiring.

I want to paint.


Friday, June 12, 2009

good thing i'm dragging my butt...

...because, with the slow but sure caffeine withdrawal, I don't have the energy to beat up the people that I am finding more irritating due to said caffeine withdrawal.

I am on day three of only one cup...ONE CUP!!!! Me!?!? Driving past a Starbucks yesterday, I longingly stared out the window...non-fat hazelnut latte', I miss thee so! Already? Of course! We truly want that which we cannot have! HA!

As I sit here sipping my first and only cup o' joe of the day, I am grateful of the fact that I have not suffered the dreaded withdrawal headache. I will be giving myself some time at one cup before I cut down more. Perhaps, this week was not the ideal week for the cutback due to being extra tired and stressed at work already, but I feel it is time and I am as ready as I am going to be. I truly hope that my natural energy level will improve with no stimulant dependence and I look forward to experiencing the outcome of this "experiment."

You will know I have truly changed, when I can get myself to order a...what are those things called? Um... Oh yeah! D-e-c-a-f *GASP LOUDLY*

And now, for your viewing pleasure...

I know I'M working for the weekend!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

how apropos

After yesterday's post, Newsday had this article:



Kick the caffeine habit and kick up your energy level


By Caroline MacDougall

6:10 PM EDT, June 10, 2009

It's the common complaint you hear uttered by friends, family and co-workers throughout the day: "I just can't get going without my cup of coffee!" Although we hope to boost our energy levels when reaching for a cup of coffee, in truth we're actually inducing a state of stress.

Caffeine drives the adrenal glands to produce stress hormones that can remain in the bloodstream up to 18 hours after consumption.

These hormones produce the "fight or flight" response that nature designed to help save our lives when every bit of energy is required to survive an impending disaster, such as an attack by an enemy. In today's world, where we're more often sitting at a desk, driving, or eating a meal, caffeine can put us into a chronic state of stress with no way to burn off the extra fuel and hormones.

Caffeine-induced stress can produce mood swings and insomnia, increase muscle tension, impair digestion and nutrition, restrict blood circulation to the brain, elevate blood pressure, create blood sugar swings, and accelerate the heart rate.

Yet the lines at the local coffee bar still stretch out the door with people desperate for their next caffeine "fix." In addition, while your adrenal glands are busy pumping out cortisol to send energy to the muscles and divert energy from the digestive and immune systems, there's a very important hormone they aren't making: DHEA. It turns out that the adrenals have to reduce their production of the most important anti-aging hormone your body requires for youth and longevity in order to produce the stress hormones that ultimately weaken your immune system and impair your health.

DHEA is the mother hormone for all the sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, and it also increases your brain's seratonin levels naturally. So if you've been feeling down in the dumps and your lover no longer interests you, check out how much caffeine you're consuming daily in that coffee mug of yours!

It turns out that a "cup" of coffee is not your normal 8-ounce cup, but a mere 5-ounce cup. So when you read that a couple of cups of coffee a day shouldn't be any problem to your health, think of one 10-ounce mug. When you add to that the statistics for caffeine content in a cup of coffee brewed at popular coffee bars, you'll find out that you can expect up to 300 mg in that 10-ounce serving, not the 150 mg you might find in a cup of coffee from your own coffeemaker.

Decaf coffee drinkers who think they've switched to a healthier choice will be surprised to find out that a Stanford University study showed that decaf coffee raises the cholesterol higher and faster than regular coffee. A cup of decaf coffee still contains around 7 mg of caffeine. Plus, the beans chosen for decaf coffee have a higher acidic content than regular coffee to compensate for flavor loss during the decaffeination process.

You may be wondering what alternatives exist. Stephen Cherniske, M.S., author of "Caffeine Blues" (Warner 1998), recommends switching to caffeine-free herbal coffee over a 2-week period. Herbal coffee, made from carob, chicory, barley, dates, figs and almonds can be brewed right in your coffee maker.

It's not as hard as you might think to ease yourself off of caffeine. If you use a 2-week weaning program, by slowly reducing the amount of caffeine you consume daily, you can avoid withdrawal headaches and help your adrenal glands recover. You may be surprised to find in two to three months that you feel better than you've felt since you were a kid and once again have an abundance of energy and enthusiasm for life!


Caffeine withdrawal headaches can be incapacitating. Often they're accompanied by fatigue as your body starts to recuperate from its former caffeine-driven pace. Caffeine constricts blood vessels in the brain and decreases circulation. When caffeine is not present, the sudden increased circulation causes headaches.

To slowly wean yourself off of caffeine, start by making a pot of coffee by mixing of your normal coffee with caffeine-free herbal coffee. Gradually reduce the percentage of your coffee in each pot until you're drinking 100 percent herbal coffee.

You should be able to avoid the headaches and also gradually adjust your body to less reliance on stimulants.

Try these herbal tonics to help rebuild adrenal health and detoxify the body (speak to a holistic practitioner for dosages and directions on how to use them): Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) Panax Ginseng (Panax ginseng or quinquefolius) Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera)) Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)

Some serious coffee drinkers experience "brain fog" in the first month or so after quitting caffeine. Good nutrition along with a bio-energetic supplement, coupled with some herbal extracts including gotu kola and gingko biloba can help you clear that "fog" and restore your normal brain clarity.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

i may have lost my mind

I am contemplating giving up caffeine. Yes. Me. Without coffee. Can you imagine?

My current habit consists of two cups of coffee in the morning and an occasional cup of tea or coffee during the day. Yes, I know this is not a tremendous amount, but it feels more and more like a necessity rather than an enjoyable beverage. Plus, I wonder how I will feel after a period of caffeine-free goodness.

The idea of stopping bubbles up the anxiety. (Or perhaps "percolates") Can anyone say, "addicted?" Ugh. That is not good. That is the perfect sign that it is time to purge my system of the stuff.

This morning I stopped at one cup. This does not seem so bad but we will see how I feel around noon. You might want to avoid me for a spell. I may be cranky. Ha!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vajiradhammapadip Temple

Originally uploaded by misslissa13
We attended the 25th Thai Fair at Vajiradhammapadip Temple in Centereach, NY. Events like this are such great ways to get a taste of other cultures (and sometimes your own). Quite an enjoyable afternoon. (more pictures on flickr) Good food, beautiful people, lovely costumes, and lively music and performances.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Now that I am at day 174 of my daily yoga practice (but who's counting?) I have not only gained flexibility, increased strength and calmed my mind...I have also created an animal. Grrrrrrrowl!

So what is this creature within? A mad-passion-for-fitness animal. (Where the heck did this come from????) I just got me a new pilates DVD and gathered up some old VHS tapes (at least they're not Beta) from my folks house. Hip Hop Body Shop, Balletcize, Tai Bo...Bellydancing (good thing I'm not afraid to look silly) and I am gitty as a school girl...an athletic school girl, that is.

Now, maybe some martial arts...

Monday, June 1, 2009


Originally uploaded by misslissa13
One would think that having this sticker on your car would prevent your car from being rear-ended. I guess they were wrong...or they put this on post bumper bump.