Happy Back to School & New Year!

Wow summer sure flew by didn’t it?! I have been super busy and super excited to share with you a few things:

1. I hope you all had a great summer. I must first apologize for not posting more often, but I have been passionately working on a NEW 12 WEEK HOLISTIC HEALING JOURNEY that will launch in October/November…so, stay tuned! I will be offering YOU, MY AWESOME FOLLOWERS, A HUGE DISCOUNT! Thanks to tech we can now work together!

2. I went to a life-changing retreat in Florida and met a super-talented new friend who is Hosting a Virtual Summit & Retreat with 7 Talented Healers of all kinds(mind, body, spirit)!! I have been invited to Present about healing through food and diet on a Virtual Healing Summit/Retreat! I really hope you will join us for the free calls and sign up for the Summit and please share this on your FB/Social Media. oxox This will blow your mind and touch your heart. For more info http://practiceselflove.com/virtual-retreats/

3. Finally, my new favorite Bagel! Yes I said Bagel! OMG, IT IS THE BEST I’VE HAD IN 18 YEARS OF BEING GLUTEN-FREE & DAIRY-FREE! See my Recipe page for a homemade Dairy-free Cream Cheese recipe-after you read this article/interview!

I have longed for a chewy New York Style Bagel that is gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free  for 18 years, and FINALLY  found one after trying every single one I could find on the store shelves which were all light, airy and so unsatisfying! I cannot tell you how many bagels I have thrown away and finally gave up until this summer when I found an Everything Bagel while shopping at Bi-Rite Market in San Fransisco.

I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve b/c I could not wait until the next morning to have my new Bagel! Then, I realized I needed to make some cashew cream cheese first…and the wait was prolonged! I could hardly wait for it to come out of the toaster as smells of home-baked bread with onion and garlic wafted across my kitchen. And, When I finally got my Bagel and Cashew Cream Cheese,  without all the allergens, I was in food Heaven…a Sally met Harry foodgasm moment happened! So, I had to call the company that made it and…

I interviewed Andre of the ODD BAGEL COMPANY, in Oakland, and here is what he had to share.

Our story started in 2013 when my business partner, Brent Woodard, discovered he was gluten intolerant. Having lived nearly a decade in New York (as did I, coincidentally), his perfect morning routine was a cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese – which he now sorely missed. He tried a lot of the options out there, but everything he found was severely lacking; they were primarily just “bread in a loop”, and not even very good bread, at that.
Luckily, Brent’s a very process-minded guy, so he went in the kitchen and started experimenting until he found a recipe that actually started to resemble a “real” bagel. He started small, baking every night and making drops every single morning to couple coffee shops and places like Berkeley Bowl and Saul’s in Berkeley.
Fast forward a few years, and after finding space in a number of shared kitchens over the years, we finally moved into our own dedicated bakery space last year. Most importantly, this means we are now finally working out of a true, dedicated gluten free facility (and as mentioned, will hopefully be certified gluten free as soon as tomorrow!). But it has also allowed us to really accelerate the improvement of the recipe. It also let us get our Kosher designation.
From day one, once we were gluten free, we didn’t really want to stop there – we wanted to make this a bagel that was accessible to everyone. Step one was to make it a vegan bagel, as well. Most true bagels ARE already vegan, but a lot of the gluten free options use egg as a binding agent. Besides the vegan aspect, we also noticed that a lot of people try to avoid dairy and eggs for a wide variety of dietary reasons, including allergies. So, Odd Bagels became a gluten free AND vegan bagel! 
But we didn’t stop there – we’ve also managed to avoid using peanuts, tree nuts, corn, soy, and potato – a large portion of the top allergens out there. (Also no shellfish… 😉  ) Then, in the past year, we’ve also been able to eliminate the sugar and oil from our recipe. We’ve ended up with a highly refined recipe that is really just “simple”, and gets back to the elements of what makes a bagel a good, baked item!
Our final step is that we also hope to transition to organic by the end of this year, which has finally become realistic now that we’re a bit bigger – it’s hard to find organic, gluten-free flours, unless you have it milled specifically.
I think that’s really what sets us apart from a lot of the other gluten-free options: the fact that we are really accessible to just about anyone. That’s pretty hard to find in the Bay Area, even without talking about gluten-free! And most importantly, we’re a real New York style bagel that is boiled and baked! 
And even more most importantly… Odd Bagels are delicious! Although I might be just a little biased when I say that. 🙂 That covers a lot of our story!, said Andre.
Okay, even your friends and family that don’t think they have a problem with gluten, dairy, egg or any other food will looooovvvvveeee these Bagels! I recommend you make your own cream cheese(my recipe) or buy dairy-free Kite Hill Almond Chive Cream Cheese. Great with Smoked Salmon or Lox-see recipe later.
 I order 12 bags at a time, the Everything is the #1 seller and its delish, the plain is great for when you want to spread something sweet on top like jam or nut butter. They have many more flavors.
These bagels DO NOT NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED, so you can send them to school or take them on outings and traveling. The shelf life is 10 days without refrigeration and a month in the refrigerator and a few months in the freezer! I recommend buying a lot if you have the space in your freezer b/c you are going to want more. Do remember that they are high in carbs so, if you want to release some weight keep them in the freezer and save them for a weekend treat! If you need to gain weight, these will help and I say go for it as long as you are eating a lot of healthy food too! I will post recipes on my Recipe Page. Hey, lets help this small artisan company grow…ask your local grocery store to carry them! Get them now and you’ll have them by next week and for Yom Kippur. Happy Holidays and Back to School! Oh, do toast them for sure!
Just for YOU my readers: Order Online a discount code. Enter “LAUREN” at checkout, you’ll get 15% off your first order with ODD BAGEL which expires at the end of September! Order now! http://www.oddbagel.com

Happy, Healthy New Year! A Love Letter from Me to You!

From my heart and soul to yours…I wish you a very happy, healthy 2018!  Please take the time to read this entire heart felt letter from my heart to yours. I don’t do this often!

This is a new beginning. A time to reflect on what we accomplished in 2017 and what we learned and how we grew.

This is an opportunity to forgive ourselves for any shortcomings, and to affirm that we did the best we could at the time with what we knew and were able at the time. A very wise quote I hear is that, “Forgiveness is looking back and knowing that nothing could have been different, and learning from it.”

Today we can start setting our intentions, goals, hopes and dreams for our best in 2018! My husband and I love to pull out all the magazines and make a vision board this time of year to solidify and put onto paper our hopes, dreams, intentions and goals. Every time we do this we can look at it throughout the year and see things coming to us and feeling so grateful and blessed. Then, at the end of the year we are in awe and enormous gratitude that not only did most or all of these things on our board come true, but we were blessed with so much more. It works! It really really works! I promise you.

Making a vision board:

Get a big poster board, glue stick, magazines and markers, or print out words & pictures from your computer.

Draw two lines on your board to make 4 equal squares.

Give each square a category like:

  • Work/Career
  • Personal Growth
  • Family/Romance/Marriage
  • Fun/Travel
  • Spiritual Life/Growth
  • Volunteer/Giving Back/Paying it Forward
  • Physical Well-being(exercise, diet, stress reduction)
  • …you may need to make 2 vision dream boards!!

Then, cut up those magazines…mind you, you may need to go buy some positive magazines or create your own words, and pictures or print from internet! Be creative and don’t limit yourself…DREAM BIGGER!

Remember we are a body, mind and spirit and all of these aspects of ourselves need to be tended to like a garden. What does your body, mind and soul need and long for at this moment?

You may like to put on meditative or classical music and do a meditation and prayer before starting this project.

How do you want to be a positive influence on this world, on your community, on your friends and family, at work? Shine Brightly this year, be big and bright! The world needs us all to come together and SHINE and love and support each other for the greatest good. Love conquers ALL! We all need more LOVE! How will you show your love and compassion this year? What matters to you? What charities can you volunteer or contribute to this year? Start at home and with your neighbors! Too many times we forget the people within our reach and think we have to go to great places and lengths…when the people who need us most are right in front of us!

My prayer is that 2018 will bring all of us our heart’s desires and all our needs will be surpassed with many blessings. I am sending you all so much love, many blessings and a big hug.

I promise that I will walk my talk and will post my vision board soon. Some of the things I am doing are:

  1. helping each patient I have as if they were the only patient I will ever have…helping them heal with love, patiences and kindness along with great tasting, healthy food!!! ;P
  2. Being a more loving and kind person
  3. Volunteering at the Animal Shelter and giving animals as much love and attention and healing I am able.
  4. Learning as much as I need to grow in order to help others with their health(physical, mental and emotional)

Donating to causes that call to my heart and bring tears to my eyes(Feeding Hungry Children and Americans, Building Wells for clean water and education for girls that would otherwise have to spend their days fetching water! Saving Elephants! Planting Trees! Shopping Consciously on Thrive Market and local farmers markets, small artisan companies, CredoBeauty.com, Credo Cell Phone Service, Buying organic, local, sustainable, reducing our footprint, Spending time with Animals! Blogging/Vlogging more helpful information. Living more mindfully each day, one day and one moment at a time. Surrendering to going with what arrives and arises. Healing my own health. Loving my husband better. Giving up control! Stepping into other peoples shoes asking myself what they must be feeling before I respond….finding the silence between the many thoughts that bombard me…quieting my monkey mind. Accepting that I am enough. Learning to love myself more…this will be my biggest challenge!

Looking back at 2017, it was a very challenging year for me. I had many health challenges because I did not listen to my body, or my loving Husband, screaming at me to slow down and to stop. Now, I am forced to stop some things and really slow down and change some of my habits and create better ones. Not easy, but essential to living my best life. That said, I also did do some positive things like learning to play the violin which gave me great joy and also taught me balance! I lost my balance because I played so much everyday for 7 months that I developed tendonitis in my elbow! I had to stop playing, which saddened me, for a few months and I healed my elbow…along with CBD Oil Balm! Now, I will resume with more balance…playing 10 minutes every other day and slowly working up to more as my body allows.

I have learned that being ambitious vs. being stupid is a delicate balance! I have pushed myself hard, too hard, for too long and it has lead to poor health and mental exhaustion. I have momentarily lost that sense of drive b/c I am just exhausted.

Some things I have found to be helpful are remembering to use the tools and resources in my box! Listening to Hay House Radio .com and APP, turning off the news and only listening or reading the weeks review on Friday, Listening to educational webinars, summits, podcasts and Pandora Radio. Music is so healing and moves my soul! Watching documentaries and comedy and movies that touch my heart. Starting my day with opening my eyes and being grateful, finding something to appreciate, praying and setting my intention for the day, swinging my feet out of bed and grounding myself and lighting up all my chakras, releasing any negative energy and bringing in the love of God throughout my whole body and resonating love, setting a morning routine that makes me feel good(sauna, hot shower, aromatherapy, hot drink, healthy breakfast, supplements, petting my kitty and sending him outside surrounded in love and God’s protection, sending my husband out into the world with love, a good healthy lunch and God’s love and protection and surrounding him with Angels to work though him with ease and grace to heal all of his patients(who adore him)! Remembering throughout the day to take breaks, go in the sunshine, breathe deeply, do a short meditation, listen to music, learn something new, reach out to someone who needs some love or my time or just to listen to them(hard for me), and keeping my balance throughout the day! Finishing my day with a prayer of gratitude, telling my husband how much I love and appreciate him, telling our fur baby that I love him and feeding him the best raw food diet money can buy, listening to a meditation(Glenn Harrold Relax & Sleep) and setting the intention of what I want to dream about! I have also bought a library of books to read and now I need to use time management to schedule that in along with my violin playing! Remembering to schedule in fun and time to do NOTHING! Time to remember to use my 5 senses and take in the here and now!

Every time I start to freak out that the world is going to Hell and wonder where I can move to that is better…I stop myself, look around and get really grateful and give myself a reality check…all is well at this moment for me and I am blessed, safe and grateful! You can do this too. It works so well! I think of Cher, saying “Snap out of it”!!! ;P Old movie!

Also I have a milestone birthday next week, and its been a very interesting year of shifting for me in all areas of my life and mind and body! At my age, I will not say, I am learning to be wiser…thank God! I am now listening to my body, mind and spirit and honoring what it needs and wants. I am trying to live more simply and mindfully. What was once important to me is no longer. I am focusing on what really matters and how I can use my life to matter…really matter and leave a positive legacy. I believe that I came here with what I am suppose to have and to be…each day I try to use my gifts for the greatest good. I always feel I could and should do more. I am setting the intention that I will do my best at the time and that it will be enough. I wish that for everyone.

I am so inspired by watching Oprah interview amazing people who have had an enormous positive impact on countless people on Super Soul Sunday. This is my Sunday morning ritual to watch and be inspired while sipping my Matcha Tea Latte(see recipe on Resources page)! I never feel that I am making a big enough difference or that I can, and seeing that 1 person really can have a huge impact inspires me and drowns out my own insecurity and false beliefs! Watch and be inspired…there are still super good hearted people doing super good things in this world…we just forget especially when we get sucked into the news and media hype!

If we all focus on being loving and kind and radiating that energy into the world imagine what an impact and ripple effect it causes!!!! Just close your eyes,  take a deep breath and IMAGINE! I truly hope that I am helping you on your journey because you matter….you really matter. You are loved….very loved….but you must open your heart and receive that love. Let love flow into your heart and from your heart to all.

Now, be safe and have a fun and wonderful New Years Eve and Day! We are off to a spiritual celebration tonight with friends and community to ring the New Year in with a healthy dinner, meditation, dancing and healthy dessert, yes there is such a thing!!! Be safe, use UBER & LYFT, read my post on Gluten-free Alcohol and stick to your diet…no cheating! Until I post next time…be safe and you take good care of YOU! Find at least one new tool you will use in 2018, many are listed above. Now, go make that vision board and please post on this blog post that you did it! Share it on your FB!

Happy, Healthy, Fun 2018! May you be blessed beyond your wildest dreams. May you thrive instead of survive! I am here for all of you who are ready, willing and able to address your diet to create a customized diet and meal plan with recipes just for you according to your health. Feel free to contact me for Health Coaching. Find a Naturopathic Doctor if you don’t have one: in CA, wwwCALND.org, outside of CA, www.Naturopathic.org…need to find one through these sites to ensure they have have had a 4 year degree/are Licensed ND’s & primary care physicians and not a unlicensed Naturopath that only took an 18 month course! Get your team together to support you for your highest good! Thanks for taking the time to read this love letter and for supporting my life’s work/passion in helping you Thrive.

Blessings and Hugs!