Chicago Fermenting Class: 6/5 Cultured Foods/Intuitive Eating Class

We’re taking our healing machine hearts on the road to talk, teach, learn and share with you. So, let me know if you are interested in having us come to your neck of the woods.

June 5 Cultured Foods Class with Sass

Gut Health Marries Gut Instinct

2 – 5:30 pm

Chicago, North Side private Res. email Gina@Blissedlife.com for details

$44 

I’m bored with the same-old fermenting classes where I shred some cabbage, and show you how to handle the precious probiotic bugs.

This class will teach you everything you need to know about making your  own DELICIOUS fermented foods at home. But, I also have to show you why you’ll love them.

Discover how to use and improve upon your intuition, and create the most satisfying diet for yourself! Join me for an interactive workshop that will totally Bliss your socks off.

You’ll learn how to nourish and listen to your “gut feelings” in order to align with what foods are right for you.

We’ll ferment vegetables, coconut kefir, nuts, seeds, butter and even CHOCOLATE!  Plus get the heaping scoop of fermenteds that will make animal products more digestible, and help turn toxic by-products of meat into useful amino acids.

For centuries, people have fermented foods for the sake of preservation. Now, we realize the importance and DELICIOUSNESS of adding them into our daily lives.

Fermented foods are full of healthy bacteria (probiotics) that make your gut happy. And, a happy gut means that you can digest your food better.

Fermented foods were a Major factor in my family’s healing from autism, candida, seizure disorder, fatigue, acne and more. I can’t wait to share them with you.

The Intuitive Side:

  • Intuition Building exercises
  • Gut Health and Gut Instincts
  • Getting Grounded
  • Asking and Receiving Intuitive Answers
  • Using Your Dreams to Guide You
  • Eating Clean (what does that mean for your body?)
  • Food  Energy (yin/yang) and Healing Powers

Everyone leaves with

  • A jar of cultured veggies
  • A recipe book
  • Tons of info on how to easily incorporate fermented foods into your busy life.

Plus enjoy some of my fave fermented food treats

Can’t wait to see you!

The class is $44/person. Prepay through PayPal to secure your seat.

xoxo Gina


photo credit: Maxime Vallette

Autism Recovery Videos: Dougie’s Dad Speaks Out About autism Recovery

This Article was first Published on BodyEcology.com in April 2010.

Today, Dougie’s father, Doug has shared his experience as a dad on this journey to help his son recover. Body Ecology was the first step in really helping little Dougie regain his health. But, as his dad puts it, it was a struggle for him to understand the importance of diet until he tried it on himself. Doug’s candidness and honesty are an inspiration to any parent.
Q: Doug, will you share your feelings about how you discovered that your son had autism?

A: I would love for those reading this interview to know that when we brought Dougie home from the hospital, he rolled to his side at two days old. He made eye contact with us. He slept through the nights, loved to be held and even came on dates with my wife and me. He was beginning to walk and talk at eight months old. He was pointing. He remembered relatives.

We started him on organic baby foods when he was around seven months old. He absolutely loved zucchini squash, rice cereal, spinach and blueberries. Gina often made baby food from scratch. We were so in love with our little guy. We would have family dinners where we sat him on a cushion between us, and talked to him as if he were an adult just like us. It was just so much fun!

We made all of our Well-Visits to the pediatrician and were so excited that our son was never sick. Other children around us were sick all of the time.

Until my beautiful, alert, active baby boy regressed from all smiles to tantrums, illness, and eventually –loss of eye contact, loss of language and stopped wanting me to hold him — the only thing I ever understood about autism, I learned from the movie, Rain Man. My wife was the first person to mention the word “autism” to me regarding Dougie. And I was furious with her. To me, autism was a disability, and my son was not disabled. My son was sick.

I knew something was wrong with him, but I didn’t know what to call it. There were so many layers to what we were experiencing. My son was sick. My son had a toxic overload.

I still refuse to call it autism because I completely disagree with the way that label is used and thrown around these days. So, yes, my son was labeled as having autism. But, I was never one for labels.

I was feeling like I should know what to do, but I had no clue how to help him. Here I was, blessed with this amazing child who needed my help, and I was helpless. It wasn’t about getting him to be like anyone else. You hear that a lot when you attempt to recover your child from “autism.” It was never about that for us. My wife and I have always lived outside the norm on many levels. We just wanted Dougie to thrive. We wanted him to have great health.

I think most people in my shoes would feel the same. We are simply not taught that there are toxins in the environment and that the way we eat can affect our brains and our development. So, how did I feel? I felt angry. And, this lead to so many difficulties between my wife and me.

She just wanted me to come to grips with this idea that Dougie had “something” so that we could work together to get rid of it.

Gina and I couldn’t sit down to talk very much to even come up with a plan for how to make things better. Dougie was so sick that Gina would pass out from exhaustion after spending 24+ hours awake rocking him; walking him or whatever else she could do to soothe him. In the beginning of his health issues, our home would be loud with crying tantrums. Toward the worst part, our home was silent with the fear that Dougie would never communicate with us again. And, as he healed, he went through months of dangerous behaviors, no sleep and sadness.

For a long time, Gina just held the emotional, and physical burden of this all. And I buried my pain. Gina never stopped working. If Dougie slept she was on the computer looking for answers to help him. She wasn’t talking to me much because I didn’t understand her. I missed her.

Both of us were so young and confused that I feel grateful that we found answers to make it out. But, I have to admit; there were times when I didn’t see that light at the end of the tunnel. Gina says she couldn’t talk to me because she had to focus on the positive in order to pull our family out of the situation. It seems like so long ago that we were in that place in our lives.
Q:   How did you feel about the diet changes in the beginning?

A: I resented these changes for sure. When we found Body Ecology my son was physically ill with viral and bacterial infections. He didn’t want to eat anything. The antibiotics he was on completely killed his taste for vegetables and healthy food. Gina told me this was called candida, a yeast overgrowth that becomes pathogenic, feeds on sugars and causes us to crave processed foods. She assured me that she was doing the right thing by introducing healthy foods and fermented foods.

We could get an occasional French fry into Dougie, but that’s about it. So, when my wife wanted to give him this sour smelling coconut drink, coconut kefir, that took days to make and would spill everywhere when Dougie spit it out – after a long day’s work, I really resented this. I knew that if I had given Dougie a fry or a cracker he would settle down and be happy. And, we would be able to get some food into him. When Gina first began Body Ecology with Dougie I did not agree with it at all.

I was afraid he would get malnourished just because he wouldn’t eat at all. In hindsight, we were not starving him. Gina was giving him foods he liked between bites of Body Ecology style foods. And, it didn’t take too long before we found some foods that he really liked. Stevia became a savior for us. Because of its sweet taste, he loved it on anything from quinoa, to kefir and even his cultured vegetables.

I was a meat and potato fan myself. And soon, my wife, who once made me a one-pound burger – the best burger I’d ever had, was refusing to make the dinners I loved because she felt they were toxic to have in the house.

Dougie didn’t seem to like the food. And, I would sit there and have to listen to him tantrum while his mom struggled to get him to eat a green bean or a piece of spinach – things he previously loved.

Now, I see the stress that my disapproval caused our family. I believe that even if Dougie didn’t understand my words, he certainly understood my negative energy; I didn’t make these changes easier on them in the beginning.

Really, in almost no time, Dougie was eating fermented foods, loving quinoa and vegetables and gesturing for green smoothies. This was a great thing. When he started loving the foods I was totally fine with the diet changes. His health improved right away after beginning Body Ecology and he hasn’t needed medications for the last three and a half years.

But, it even took me a while to catch on that the diet was the reason he began to heal. I just attributed it to my wife’s healing abilities. I was still sneaking my fast food on the side and still really feeling confused about what was going on at home.

But, Gina began to get happier too. She began calling me at work to tell me that Dougie threw a ball to her or called her mama or pretended to talk on the phone. When Dougie started to heal I would receive 5-10 calls from Gina each day. We were so excited about his progress.
Q: What did you do to change things around for your family?

A: For a long time I hid behind the idea that I did what I could when I was home, but that my role in the family was that of the financial provider. In the beginning, when I would step in the door after work, it was like I entered a disaster area. I never could understand how our little apartment got so messy with green gooey smoothie spills, broken toys and our child, still crying like he’d been in the morning when I left.

I never came home to a happy family anymore. That was rough.

I argued with Gina over nonsense, like stating that I was doing my half by working and she was not doing her half because our house was a mess and our child’s and her health were disastrous.

But, Dads – Listen up – Taking care of a child who is recovering from a severe toxic overload and working a 9-5 corporate job are not equal jobs. I was not doing HALF. I was barely doing my share.

So you know what I did? I finally gave in and began implementing Body Ecology on myself. I gave up pizza, bread and candy. It was so hard at first. But, it was literally the only way I could see and feel the effects of this diet. It wasn’t long before I realized that I could still eat delicious foods, even the foods I loved with some minor adjustments. Quinoa is a great replacement for pasta and rice. Green smoothes take some getting used to, but man, do they make you feel good. I literally felt like the good food I was eating was making my cravings for sweets and junk foods disappear. In the beginning, I would get angry with Gina when she told me that I probably had a candida yeast infection too, like Dougie and her. I guess I just wasn’t ready to heal. But, now that I feel the effects of the fermented foods, green smoothies and proper food combining I am healthier than I’ve ever been.

Body Ecology and raw foods reduced my stress, gave me energy and helped me deal with my own health issues.

Once I did that, I was able to jump on board with all of the changes Gina was making for our health. With my support, we felt like a team again and the energy in our home really settled down.

We believe that it’s very important to create structure in a family. In the beginning when I was eating differently than Dougie, I know he felt strange. Now that we all eat the same way, we are one solid unit. Dougie knows that he is cool for eating cultured foods.

Then, besides Body Ecology dietary changes, Gina and I decided to take our healing one step further and simplify and detoxify our home environment. We got rid of Our TV, microwave, washer and dryer, house phone and desktop computer to reduce electromagnetic fields. We keep cell phones and a laptop, but we unplug all electricity when we’re not using it and we don’t let Dougie use the phone.

We made a commitment to cook only in non-toxic cookware or keep our food raw. We got rid of toys that had any toxic chemicals in them – sadly this was most of our toys at this point. And now, our most recent step was to move our family to a warmer climate where it’s easier for Dougie’s body to heal.

We never had any real funds to help Dougie recover. We were able to accomplish all of this with hard work, research and a lot of faith that he would get better. If it seems crazy that we got rid of his toys – it’s not! We now spend much more time together in nature. We make art, ride bikes, go rock climbing – all things that are also very healing.

Green smoothies are highly nutritious and gentle on the digestive tract. Try adding some Vitamineral Greens, Spirulina, or even Body Ecology’s Potent Proteins to your green smoothie for a heightened nutritional value.
Q: What was the most important step you took to help your family connect during this time?

A: We needed balance. In our family, that meant beginning by eating healthfully and eating together in a peaceful manner. I had to join in on eating the foods that Dougie needed for recovery. We created love and peace at the table where there was once fighting and chaos. Because of this, our son can look at eating as an enjoyable experience rather than a struggle.

Families need to get on the same page and stick together. Whether you are the mom or the dad of the affected child, trust each other. If one of you discovers an answer, decide together to make that your plan. Act it out together. Support each other.
Q: What does autism recovery mean to you?

A: Autism recovery means that Dougie is engaging in social interaction now. He wants to talk to people. He introduces himself to kids and asks them to play with him. Dougie can communicate his needs to us. He understands us when we talk and is interested learning more. He asks so many questions. When he doesn’t understand something he tells us.

Once his digestion was clean, our main focus was eliminating behaviors that caused harm to Dougie, like hitting himself, putting everything in his mouth, banging his head – he no longer has these behaviors. Next, we wanted to be sure that Dougie would be safe in social situations, like understanding to stop before crossing the street – He now totally gets it.

Dougie is happy. He laughs and makes jokes. He makes up his own songs and plays pretend. Dougie can express his feelings. He can tell us what he wants.

Just yesterday he said “ It’s just so boring here, dad. I want to go ride my bike.” You can’t imagine how my heart filled up because my son knew how to express that he was bored.

Autism recovery means that nobody knows my son had autism. Nobody knows that he was even sick. My son is happy and everything about him shines. He is a rock star and I am so thankful to know him.

I’d love to help you create Bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!

 

If you dug this piece and want more tips for tapping into your own intuition, click here to get your free 3 Days to Bliss-Ness Toolkit — chock-full of mantras, recipes and exercises you’ll LOVE!

Vegan Guacamole Burger Recipe

You hungry?

You better be. This recipe blissed my family out so much that my hubby made me write it down. It’s probably due to the fact that we eat so much raw food. Once in a while we like to enjoy something cooked. Luckily, I also created a raw version that is equally as delish.

Friends, I am no Rachel Ray. I don’t follow recipes, exactly. I make huge kitchen messes. And, I never open canned food. But, what I admire about Rachel Ray is her ability to make something tasty in a pinch, and recreate recipes to be used over again.

Vegan Guacamole Burger

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups soaked/sprouted and steamed red quinoa (soak in water and 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar for 8 hours or more)
  • 2 cups home made rice/sesame flour
  • 2 cups chopped wild mushrooms
  • 3 stalks chopped celery
  • ¼ chopped purple onion
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 2 tsp yellow curry
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • ¼ cup wheat-free/gluten-free tamari
  • 1-cup tempeh crumbled

With a little prep work you can have several healthy eats.

Step 1: Make Homemade Flour (or buy gluten-free/allergen-free flour of your choice)

Rice/Sesame Milk:

  • Soak your sesame seeds and brown rice in water for 1 day
  • Rinse. Add to your blender with 1 quart of fresh water. Blend. Strain pulp through  nut milk bag

Your pulp is your flour. You can use it wet or dry.

This milk can be added to smoothies, used to make horchata or enjoyed alone.

Step 2: It’s Burger Time

Burgers:

  • Marinate mushrooms, celery, onions and tempeh for a half hour with tamari and spices.
  • Add steamed quinoa to the mix. Blend on high speed until it’s all smooth. Fold in your flour and form patties.
  • Pan sear with coconut oil and place in the oven on 350 to finish cooking.

Serve with guacamole and cultured salsa between lettuce leaves or on a sprouted tortilla.

Holy yum!

Raw Foodie Option:

This whole recipe can be done raw by eliminating the quinoa and adding sprouted sunflower seeds in its place. Then you can dehydrate it for about 5-10 hours depending on thickness of burger. I also love this method.  Holy yum plus living enzymes!

OR, you can try another one of my Faves.. the Midnight Mushroom Wrap — an all raw magical feast.

Enjoy!

Gina

Note, I wouldn’t call this a “healing recipe” by any means. But, enjoying some cultured food along with it will aid in digestion…and of course, soaking your grains makes them much more digestible too.  If you want to simplify it even more you can opt to delete either the quinoa or the tempeh…I’ve done it any ways.

Image credit: Making Guacamole by: blmurch


Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.

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I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!


 

Autism Recovery: Letting Go of the Autism Label

We are moving all of our posts from Heal Artfully  to solidify our mission in one place.  originally posted this on  a while back, but it’s still pretty relevant to me.

Gina

emily shaules 006

When Dougie was ill,  autism was a word I needed. I was looking for answers to my son’s illness, behaviors, developmental regression and complete change of character and consciousness. I needed a definition. I needed a reason.

I needed to call it autism and beat it with a bat. Scream at it. Punch it. Kick it. Spit in its face and hate it for all it did to my boy. For the night terrors and 36 hour sessions without sleep. For the vagueness in his eyes. For his sadness. For the loss of the boy who hugged and kissed. For all it prevented us from doing.

I hated autism. And I needed the word. I felt as though the definition would fuel my reason and research. But the word quickly became a taboo in our home. My husband refused to hear me say it. And he refused to ever say that Dougie had it. This made me angry. And I stored that anger in a little box marked “nobody in the world understands me.”

I’ve lived in close proximity to autism for my entire life. I’ve taught in “special” programs for “special” children. I have an aunt who works specifically with children on the spectrum. At age 10, I befriended a woman named Rosie who probably had the label. So, when Dougie fell into chronic illness and returned without the language he previously had, without the social skills he previously had, without the spark that the previously had –I had an instant inkling that I was witnessing autism happen.

That’s what got me. I never understood that autism could happen. I only understood that the children I previously worked with were just the way they were because they were born that way (and maybe some of them were). I never had a feeling of needing to “cure” them. I loved them. They glowed. Maybe they learned differently or occasionally hurt themselves – but there was something that made them magnificent. I taught them and worked with them with love and believe that we made a difference together. I never connected inner health with outer behavior/symptoms during my time with them.

But, at home, I was watching my son change. And become sicker and sicker. The behaviors and sensory expressions, like licking everything, seemed to be connected to his illness – not simply some unique character qualities. Dougie rubbed his face against the carpeting, spun in circles, stacked and lined up toys, containers or whatever he could get his hands on. I’d watch him and hold the little angel. And there was no question in my mind whether or not I could help heal his predicament. I knew I could, and I knew he wanted me to.

I felt that if I couldn’t call it autism I couldn’t recover him. But the majority of my early studies on the word only provided superficial reasons for these symptoms. No one was saying that there was a physical, scientific, reason that the body responds with exaggerated sensory activity. I was hearing that these children are “special” and there are so many great teachers and doctors out there who can help them succeed. I was hearing that there is no cure but there would be hope that he could get a “job.”

And, as soon as I began talking to other parents of children with autism, I ran into those who thought I was egotistical, insane, cold, un-accepting and of course a terrible mother and role model for wanting to rid my son of this beautiful illness. Have you heard of autistic children referred to as Indigo children or crystal children? I started to question whether this autism was a gift and if I should just let go of trying to help Dougie heal from it. I never questioned my son’s magic. We always had a very deep intuitive connection. And, I wanted to do right by him. Was this his true path?

But, then I thought… if my son fell and got a gash in his head, I would stop the bleeding. If he had a cold, I would help him heal. If he was sad, I would hold him until he wanted me to stop. If my son was licking the floors and the walls and people in public because that consciously made him happy, and he wasn’t displaying other symptoms of unrest, I would accept him. I would teach him that people do not like to be licked. I would help him find healthier ways of fulfilling this need.

And I tried doing that. But my instinct kept telling me they there was something deeper to this autism. No matter how many physical/cognitive attempts I made to help him stop behavior that was dangerous to him I didn’t seem to be able to succeed that way. No matter how many times I pointed to myself and self “mommy” – he wouldn’t respond.

Along the journey, I saw a life changing video made by a woman with autism that opened my mind about how she perceives the world in a really sensory way. How she communicates with water and air. How even though she couldn’t talk she could write eloquently and felt so much joy about her life.

I could deeply relate to her. I too can see energy in the air. Feel emotion from animals, people and water. I honestly started to question whether or not I had this “autism.” I began remembering spinning in circles as a child, not talking to anyone but my parents, rubbing my face on everything, putting everything in my mouth, crying all the time, lining up pop bottles and biting people in public. They mystery behind autism was beginning to unravel for me.

I’ve never been one to conform and this has never been about conformity for me. It’s been about helping my son become his healthiest self.

Many of his behaviors were not socially acceptable. But I never flinched when taking him out in public. I used to get shoved to the front of the grocery checkout line because of his screaming. I took him to the park nearly every day where he would insist on banging the metal slide pole to hear the sound. And I never felt the need to say “oh he has autism” to explain us.

I needed the word only for me. I needed the word to help heal him – or so I thought. And I allowed him to be evaluated and labeled by the school system – a long and painful process, so I could get my answer. And we accepted the label because we were promised help if we did so. We interviewed the Chicago Public School staff who performed the evaluation. We explained that we would completely recover our son from his illness. We explained that we would accept a label if it would bring us help that reflected our beliefs. We explained that although we generally don’t accept the idea of labeling a child, we would take this one if it meant that Dougie could get real help. Help that brought us closer to recovery. And most of all, we didn’t want him pigeonholed because of it. We didn’t want the word spoken around him.

I signed a piece of paper agreeing that my son had “autism.” I did it against my deepest intuition. My husband wouldn’t sign it. In the instant that I crossed the last “t” in my last name, I regretted it. My son did not have autism as defined by the school system so they could never help recover him. They could only offer services with the notion that he had speech and occupational difficulties. They couldn’t get the root cause of those issues because they did not have the tools.

Then I began to hate autism even more because of the way the school system made extra money from it. I hated it because it put a cloud over my son at his school… and the word was repeated over and over and over. I hated it because no one believed that we could end its destruction on Dougie’s life.

Early on, I began to understand Dougie’s condition as a toxic manifestation. As I studied I learned where those toxins came from and as many of you know, we have brought him into a very healthy light.

But I continued to struggle with what to do with this label that kept coming up. All of the negative comments I continue to get from people who call me an autism hijacker. And, the sick children out there whose parents struggle like I did over how to handle a disorder that is only defined in social, sensory and outward symptoms.

Finally, last summer I really embraced shamanism and studied with some amazing spiritual teachers. Dougie’s and my recovery through raw foods helped open both of our bodies for deeper healing. But, food could not bring us to the level of peace we now have.

Shamanic journeying, meditation, chakra balancing though sound and movement, and touch therapies like reiki all helped me realize the insignificance of labels. But most of all they helped me let go of my need to label our situation.

The autism label, as widely defined never described how my husband and I see our son. My husband knew this all along. We create our own lives. We manifest our desires. We are completely responsible.

By believing that my son does not have “autism,” but merely an overload of toxins that continue to melt away I am defining it more scientifically because this is actually what he has. And, by understanding how these toxins can be released energetically helps add more valuable tools to our healing regime.

As time goes on, I continue to practice shamanism and reiki and I continue to gain deeper acceptance for who my son really is.

I have realized that yes, this is about acceptance. Yes this was supposed to happen. Yes my child does have a magical reason for being here and for displaying these behaviors. There is something very intuitive about him. He can use touch to heal me when I am in pain.

I believe he was put here to help us all heal. Because we were able to heal him against the odds, I know that anything is possible. I don’t know if I realized that before. Letting go of autism has helped me let go of my addiction to all labels. Now I can enjoy life for what it is. I can enjoy the feeling of water on my skin and wind in my hair without having to define it. I am more relaxed thanks to my little angel.

It just so happens that as we continue to physically heal and release toxins though diet and energy healing, Dougie’s speech and communication becomes more and more typical. But his magic and his power also increase. I would love and adore my son if he never said a word to me. If he never looked at me. But, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t lead him in the direction for complete wellness and fulfillment.

Dougie is not autism. Dougie is Dougie. He’s my magical little spunkmuffin – a glimpse into the heavens, and my strongest role model.

I’d love to help you create Bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!

 

Looking for some Major Healing like our family had? Check out our 3 Days to Bliss Toolkit…Free!

9 Suitcases 9 days to Pack: A Challenge in Simplicity

Beginning our road adventures without the house on wheels is forcing us to release more of our possessions than we first planned. Amtrak allows for 9 suitcases. I’m thinking, okay great – let’s travel lightly: First pack the Vitamix (20 lbs of blender), now the water ionizer, my massage table, food dehydrator (nope, we’ll ship that to our first stop)….. We really don’t own many “things,” but our stuff is expensive, heavy and well – very useful for our lifestyle. While I know we will be happier without a hub-bub of material, I need some serious and quick reflection on what’s truly important to us.

So I made a list. Well several.

Necessities for RV Living

  • warm blankets and pillows
  • towels
  • clothes
  • toiletries
  • tent and camp supplies
  • bikes
  • beach umbrella
  • kite
  • Vitamix
  • spiral slicer (oh yes!)
  • food dehydrator
  • water filter
  • minimal dishware and utensils (bamboo and handmade bowls + McDonald’s Dinnerware )
  • yoga mats
  • weights
  • kitchen supplies (nut-milk bag, cutting board)
  • cds
  • family photos
  • food/herbs

Work and Homeschool

  • 2 laptops
  • camera
  • Flip Cam
  • books and research
  • biomat
  • healing stones
  • massage table
  • tapestries
  • drum
  • rain stick

Dougie

  • blocks
  • crayons and paper/coloring books
  • fave toys (Woody, Buzz, Toy Story gang)
  • ball and glove
  • puzzles
  • playing cards

We have to cross out things like the massage table and bikes which cannot fit on the Amtrak, and are easily replaceable after a quick stint on Craig’s List. The kite and weights will have to go too. Our clothes are already minimal and ready to be squished in the vacuum travel bags.

Things like my juicer, ice cream maker, Magic Bullet Express, which is awesome for cultured veggie making, are all going to have to stay behind. So is my Dyson Vac– The King of Clean. I sure will miss him.

Good thing the dehydrator is being shipped to meet us when we arrive in Chi-town. Can’t live on the road without kale chips.

So, is this list practical?

We’ll need to replace our cookware once we score the RV because lugging it doesn’t make sense. Have you lived in an RV? Any tips on living light and still covering all the bases? We’ve made a commitment to make only sustainable purchases – those which are as eco friendly as possible, long-lasting, and can be re-used, re-purposed or recycled. Of course, we’re not opposed to alley shopping.

Now, to do something sustainable with the great items that will be left behind.

Making the decision to simplify isn’t always easy as pie – even if you aren’t completely married to your stuff. Fact is, we bought our stuff (or rescued it from the alley). So, we are responsible for it. We won’t throw it away. Where is “away” anyway? We won’t give it to someone who won’t use it or someone who will dump it soon.

We’ve chosen to list the big stuff on Craig’s List and host a Bon Voyage Easter Potluck to give the rest away to friends. If you’re in Santa Monica this Sunday and want to have dinner and possibly take home a crock pot – talk to me. Whatever is still here Monday will be taking a walk to the best alley locay for dumpster diving or the Salvation Army down the street.

I can’t wait to see what actually makes it on to the train with us, what we ship to meet us and what we say goodbye to. I’ll keep you posted.

We’ll be back in SoCal this summer for more adventures and with even less stuff!

xoxo

Gina

Bliss Tour, Chocolate, Reiki and a Sustainable Lifestyle

This Post was originally written in January 2011, at the beginning of our Bliss Tour! It’s cool to see how far we’ve come — buying and selling the RV, traveling the US and living in Mexico for 6 months. Life is BLISS!

Back in December 2010, I drew the “retreat card” from a deck of angel cards and the events that have ensued have been crazy style amazing.  I gotta say that as an energy worker and one who constantly witnesses the results of the “super natural” in action –I’m quite the skeptic. I’m not one for tarot cards. I’m not one for listening to “guides” or psychics — UNLESS the messages ring true for me on a deep level. I mean logic has got to play some role in my decision-making.

That retreat card symbolized the simple sustainable adventurous life that Doug and I have dreamed of our whole lives. 2 years ago, the same energy brought us to Santa Monica, CA to get healthier, expand our minds and our business ideas. Things just move fast in Bliss Land.

We’re growing so quickly, we can’t help but feel the urge to use that expansive energy to spread the Bliss to you. I recently wrote a blog titled “How your intuition can save the world.” This trip is my husband’s and my intuitive answer to the next step in fulfilling our purpose.

How can we all live a more sustainable, Blissy, earth-loving life?

We hope to find out. Purging more possessions and gearing up to live in and travel via RV (on veggie fuel and/or zero emissions vehicles), composting, wild food forging, planting, unschooling, sharing from our hearts will  help us discover that. So will connecting with all of you.

We feel that there is a better way to feel good and accomplish your goals, and we’re on the road to discover that. It’s time to change things around. Re-allocate the wealth to the people, shift our priorities and wake up to what we can do to help.

Our gift is primarily our energy and our experience. By giving of our truest selves we hope to inspire you to do the same and find your purpose.

Life on the Road

Do you know that at the rate of waste that we create — we actually require the equivalent of 3 planet earths to manage our crap? We cannot subscribe to that which so deeply harms our planet… anymore.

Need the Bliss Machine

We’re in search of a used RV that can be made to run on veggie fuel or some other sustainable fuel. We’re jumping without the net because our message has to get out there. If you know of an RV for sale…  (or rent, buy, barter or borrow) send the deets our way.

Look Forward To

We’re hosting camping retreats, classes, potlucks and offering all of our current coaching and healing services. The only difference is that this time – it’s very likely we’ll be able to talk and work with you in person. Check our Tour Events link for scheduled cities, and blogs for our latest updates.

Reiki

We’ll be incorporating energy Healing and Reiki in most of our workshops. Our final Santa Monica (Reiki Level 1 and 2) certification class before we leave, takes place this Saturday April 23. Please email me at Gina@BlissedLife.com if you’d like to join us.

Host Us in Your Area

Contact us if you’d like to host a class in your home or town. Hosts get free classes and private sessions.

Chocolate

I can’t leave you without some chocolate. My Italian Nana taught me better than that. For some of you celebrating easter next Sunday, you might like to make these for your loved ones as a much healthier option.

This is from my upcoming book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?”

Cultured Cacao-Wows

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cup raw organic cacao powder
  • ½ cup cacao butter
  • ½ cup – 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vitamineral Green powder
  • 1 packet Body Ecology kefir starter
  • 1 packet Body Ecology culture starter
  • Glass jar or bowl with lid
  • Candy molds of choice
  • Blender

Add-ins: sea salt, cacao nibs, and mesquite; cherries, cayenne and sea salt; maca, mesquite and lucuma; , cinnamon,maca, mesquite and lucuma; spirulina and mint; Gojii berries, bee pollen and anything else you like with your chocolate!

Process:

  • Melt cacao butter at 80 degrees in food dehydrator or in double boiler
  • Stir in cacao powder
  • Blend with coconut sugar in blender
  • Pour into glass jar
  • Add green powder and culture starters
  • Let ferment for 36 hours
  • Add your add-ins
  • Pour into molds
  • Refrigerate and Bliss Out!

Thanks to all of clients, friends and family for helping make our lives so full. We can’t wait to see what unfolds here.

Learn more about Gina and Doug.

xoxo

Gina

Happy Birthday Pisces- My B-Day Gifts to You

Pisces A~
Image via Wikipedia

My favorite thing about being born in Pisces is sharing the sign with some amazing,creative and compassionate people like my Nani, whose birthday is March 8th.  She was born 2 days after my favorite author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

My cousin Dana– who is like my sister, and grew up rollerskating, playing Truth or Dare and telling secrets with me — makes my heart jump and dive every time she feels joy or pain. I love that March 5th Pisces girl. What a gorgeous Artist.

When I hear someone sing or read their words I can tell if they share this watery astrological sign. And, although what’s in the “stars” is only one tiny beauty in the vast beautiousness of the universe– I love to celebrate any chance I get!

I CELEBRATE  one of my new fave writers who came out of the woodwork of real-estate. I celebrate other Reiki healers who have taught me and who I have yet to meet. I sing James Taylor and I swim through this dream you guys call reality.

Sure, if my “sign” said I was mean and critical, maybe I wouldn’t rock it so hard. But, there’s something about this time of year that I always look forward to. I once wrote a complete novel while sitting under a tree in Southern Illinois during the month of March.

My dad always went overboard to make my birthdays really special. And, for that I kind of grew up thinking I was perfect. Good thing. Cuz those thoughts have saved me these days.

I’m fabulously blessed. The depths of the aloneness I’ve ever felt only killed me a little. Then it made me grow. Now, the light is bursting though me.

I bet you want your gifts now Don’t You? Well here goes!

If you are a Pisces,  Happy Birthday Love! – Enjoy Donation Based Reiki and Intuitive Healing Sessions throughout March 2011.

If You are everyone Else Who I Love – Enjoy:

Msg me at Gina@BlissedLife.com for questions or to schedule your appointment.

I wish you love. And I leave you with this:

We’ve also got Reiki Certification Courses and an Intuitive Eating Class coming up. Big Bliss all around, and discounts offered if you wish to take more than one class!!

 What do people think of our services?…

Love You!

Gina

Become a Certified Reiki Practitioner: Reiki Levels 1 & 2 and Family Reiki (Santa Monica, CA)

Hello Loves,

As my hubby and I prep to take our Blissy show on the road, we are offering  some new Reiki Classes in Santa Monica, CA before we go.

Energetic Unschooling

Reiki is a gentle healing art that  brings you physical, emotional and mental relief. Pronounced “Ray-Kee,” this beautiful vibrational healing feels like a surge of love pulsing through your veins, and can bring great clarity and openness in little time.

As a Certified Reiki Practitioner, You Become a Channel for that Energy to Flow Through

You can use it to:

  • Help empower your goals
  • Bring healing to yourself, family and friends
  • Reduce stress
  • Help eliminate pain and illness
  • Expand or grow your own healing practice
  • Compliment massage therapy, yoga, shamanic work, healthy eating, and  all other  natural wellness practices

Wherever You are Right Now, Reiki Quantum leaps You Forward. That’s Why I love it so

Here are the Class Details..

These are attunement and certification classes, which means that you can use Reiki professionally to expand your current practice or begin a new one, if you like.

Class 1: Reiki Levels 1 and 2 (advanced): Valentine’s Day Edition

Bring the power and beauty of Reiki into your relationships. We will be using this class opportunity to to explore how Reiki can help heal our relationships with self, spirit and soul mates.

Date: Friday February 11

Time  10 am-6pm

Where: Santa Monica, Private Residence (msg. gina@blissedlife.com for address)

Price: $411

Reiki Level 1 covers:

Learn the history and principles of this ancient healing art, and begin to experience the flow of energy through your own body. We will also cover:

  • Reiki hand positions
  • Energetic protection
  • Self-treatment
  • Using Reiki in your healing practice/with clients
  • Practice time
  • Unlocking your own healing power
  • The difference between Reiki and other energy healing practices
  • Support for post-attunement 21 day cleanse (foods to eat, affirmations, journals etc)

Level 2 Covers:

This level of Reiki helps you discover emotional connections to your own and others’ blocks and illnesses. It also helps you find a balance between the mental and emotional conflicts you may have. Becoming attuned to Reiki Level 2 often inspires balance in all of your relationships as well. You will also learn:

  • 3 Reiki symbols and how to connect to them for use in practice and with yourself
  • How to send Reiki through time and space
  • How your body can read intuitive messages during a session
  • How to connect deeper to spirit
  • Support for post-attunement 21 day cleanse (foods to eat, affirmations, journals etc

Every class is designed to serve the unique you and the energies of our group. So, every class is a new experience.

To register for class, simply send an email to me at gina@blissedlife.com to let me know your interest, and then send payment through paypal.  Payment must be received by  2-5-11  to secure your seat. Space is limited.

I  cannot wait to share this with you. A vegan, gluten-free lunch will be served, but feel free to bring your own snacks if you wish.

Click here to learn more about Reiki

Click here to learn more about what each  level entails

Class 2: Family Reiki (Reiki Level 1 with Advanced Energy Healing Technique)

Date: Sunday, February 13

Time: 1-6pm

Where: Santa Monica, Private Residence (msg gina@blissedlife.com for address)

Price: $333

This is a new class that we are offering to families of 2 or 3. Bring up to 3 members of your family (ages 0-111) and, learn about how to use Reiki to bring upon heightened consciousness, better relationships and healing to what ails you. Everyone receives a Reiki Level 1 attunement (or healing attunement, if you prefer) There is a charge of $50 for each additional family member.

Family Reiki Includes:

  • All Lessons from Reiki Level 1 shared in a family friendly manner
  • All energy exercises will be tailored to the lovely people who attend this class
  • Special consideration and attention will be put toward involving your child and helping you carry on the energy work at home
  • Children will be asked to sit with parents or participate in our energy play (puppet show and games), in a very serene setting

To register for class, simply send an email to me at gina@blissedlife.com to let me know your interest, and then send payment through paypal.  Payment must be received by  2-5-11  to secure your seat. Space is limited.

I  cannot wait to share this with you. A vegan, gluten-free lunch will be served, but feel free to bring your own snacks if you wish.

Click here to learn more about Reiki

Click here to learn more about what each  level entails

Namaste,

Gina