Tag: creativity

Fact and Fiction: Vegetarian Lifestyle

Fact and Fiction: Vegetarian Lifestyle

One of the things I’ve been learning about is the vegetarian lifestyle. This blog and next week’s blog will focus on this lifestyle. Today, I want to dispel some of the myths surrounding it. There are many, but I’m only going to talk about 6 and answer 3 questions about it.

Myth: You can’t get enough protein from plants.

Fact: lentils, beans, nuts, seeds and almond milk are excellent sources of protein.

Myths: Your workout routine will suffer

Fact: A vegetarian diet will give you the energy you need if you keep your protein and vitamin B12 levels high enough. And my friends Dana Arcuri and Shannon Cleary have told me that they have excellent B12 levels. Both very much die-hard vegetarians.

Myth: It guarantees weight loss

Fact: Being a vegetarian does not guarantee weight loss, if you are eating processed foods the odds of you losing weight is slim. Weight loss occurs when you follow a healthy diet without processed foods.

Myth: Only liberals are vegetarians.

Fact: I have friends who are liberals, conservatives, and in the middle who are vegetarians.

Myth: It costs too much!

Fact: Meat is expensive! And if you eliminate meat from your diet, you will save money.

Myth: It must be all or none

Fact: Trimming your meat habit even a little can cut your risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. On my previous entries on the Mediterranean Diet I talked about this. We would all be healthier if we cut meat (especially red meat) to 2 or 3 times a month.

Questions I have been asked, or I asked myself regarding this:

  1. With the quality of our food today how does one eat healthy enough to actually nourish ones body?

Answer: when the vegetarian lifestyle is followed correctly, you can get all the nourishment you need from it. Next Thursday I will show a 1-week meal plan based on the vegetarian lifestyle.

  1. What about B-12? Can I only get that from meats?

Answer: No, you can get it from fortified foods or from a supplement. There are times and lifestyles where a supplement is absolutely needed. This is one of them.

  1. Doesn’t the vegetarian lifestyle get boring? I don’t want to eat just salad all the time.

Answer:  I’ve been looking up recipes to develop a week-long eating plan, I’ve been surprised to see all the choices available! This lifestyle is anything but boring!



Are you a Winner or a Quitter?

Are you a Winner or a Quitter?

I’m serious. You see me tell names like Reggie Cochran, Andrea Harkins, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Tony Zolecki and many others on this blog. What sets all of us apart from the people who are “the silent majority?” Are we smarter? Or more talented? Or somehow special in a way that you can’t be? You know what, I am smart. And the people I just listed are smart!

But more than that, we are determined! We decided that we were going to follow the Law of Victory I talked about on Monday. If you haven’t read that blog, you need to. Determination will carry anyone further than talent. I’m living proof of it.

In high school, I struggled in science. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more determined. And now I’m in college studying a program dominated by science. And I’m getting excellent grades in it. I’m on track to graduate with honors next year. Do you think it’s become smarter or more determined?

A winner is someone who doesn’t quit. One of the things I know as a fact is that hard work will beat talent every single time. You may have a talent, but if you don’t use it, someone with half the talent you have will come out on top every single time if you don’t use it.

So, here is your challenge: become determined to have the life you want. And be willing to put in the hard work needed to have the life you want. And don’t ever quit! Become QuitProof! You can do it!


Energy and Success in Martial Arts

Energy and Success in Martial Arts

Welcome to part 2 of this series on martial arts. How often have you wished that you had more energy so you could have more success in your life? One of the things I love when I’m working out is how I can go into a class tired, but come out energized! And also empowered!

There are some very physical reasons that contribute to having energy after working out, but for today, I’m just going to leave it at this: your body loves it when you exercise and it will pay you back with more energy if you expend some energy. If you doubt me, go take a class for a month and see if you don’t have more energy at the end of the month that you do at the beginning of the month.

Do you want to feel empowered? Martial arts can help with this also! Imagine the confidence you would have if you knew that going into any situation you would emerge victorious. Maybe you live in an area that has gang problems. Or maybe you live in a home that you don’t feel safe in. Something else I’ve realized in myself since I started training is that I have the confidence to take on things that that I normally would not have.

In the past 2 weeks I’ve talked about several different reasons to get into martial arts. Next week, I’m going to close this part out by describing some of the different styles of martial arts. Some are Chinese based, others are Japanese, some are Korean, and there are also American styles. I’ll describe some of them. It would be nearly impossible to tell about all of them. But this will give you a starting point as you consider joining this family.


Exercise? Who me???

Exercise? Who me???

Yesterday I introduced the topic of the Mediterranean Lifestyle. At the base of the pyramid is exercise. People tend to think of diets only being connected to what we eat. But the reality is: what we eat is only one part of being healthy. We also must exercise. With all the choices, available there really is no reason not to get active. I have friends who are into martial arts. I have friends who do cross training. I have friends who dance. I have friends who just walk. I have friends who run. Most of the people I know do a combination of these. For instance, my friend Marian Kirby is a wonderful dancer. But she’s also a Grandmaster in Tae Kwon Do. I have heard people say things like I can’t exercise. As I’ve learned in school there is only a couple of short term reasons not to exercise. One, you just had surgery. And that is usually only for a few hours. Doctors have realized that exercise helps recovery speed up. Two, you are on complete bed-rest for cardiac reasons or pregnancy complications. You may be reading. this from a wheelchair. But even from a wheelchair, you can still exercise. There are basketball teams made up of people in a wheelchair. So, where do you start? First, think about what is fun for you. This is a purely personal decision. I enjoy just moving. So, I walk and do martial arts. But I also enjoy trying new things. So, yesterday morning I did a workout from Youtube. YouTube can be a fun way to try something new. I also do yoga from a DVD. There are so many available options. I know you’ll find one you love.

If I can help, let me know. I am on Facebook as well listed as Malissa Elkins Van Zee. Tomorrow I will talk about the next level in the food pyramid.


What’s Possible?

What’s Possible?

When I first decided to change my own life I was thinking, “can I do this? What if I’m not smart enough? What if I fail?” But along the way I met people who said, “what if you try?” And eventually I started trying something new. I am still trying new things. And in fact, one of the new things I’m doing is going back to school. And I’m getting a 98% in one class and a 99% in my other class. And I still have some projects to finish, plus 1 final exam. My friend, try something new. Need help? I’m here…


Are You Caged In?

Are You Caged In?

Mohini was a magnificent white tiger that lived in the US’s National Zoo in Washington DC in the 1960s. Mohini was a special gift presented to the US president Eisenhower, and the US people. The Zoo started a major project to build a large enclosure for Mohini, their star attraction. The enclosure would simulate Mohini’s natural habitat as closely as possible. It would have many acres of lush forest with rolling hills and a large pond. It would be Mohini playground for her to stretch and express her natural self as one of nature’s most splendid and powerful creatures. Meanwhile, while the large enclosure was being built, Mohini was kept in a 12 x 12 feet cage with iron bars and cement floor. Mohini would pace around ceaselessly in this cage while her eventual home was being built. Finally, the enclosure was completed and the big day of releasing Mohini into it had arrived. A large excited crowd had gathered to witness this much awaited event. To everyone’s surprise, instead of frolicking in joy in her new sprawling enclosure, Mohini headed straight for a perimeter wall at the enclosure’s edge. At the wall, Mohini started to pace around in an imaginary cage, just like the way she had while waiting for the enclosure to be build. Mohini stayed in this tiny corner at the wall for the remainder of her life, oblivious to the freedom and choices she had.

How many of us live our lives in a cage like Mohini lived in? We deserve more! A lot more!!! So what can you do? Yesterday in church my pastor talked about this. There are 4 things that can help he taught.

  1. Redeem the routines. What are you doing that allow time to be redeemed? Are you getting ready for the day? Listen to a audiobook. Are you driving  for 20-30 minutes? Same thing. Get creative. And have fun with this.
  2. Reduce the hurry in life. Slow down and make some time in your schedule to just rest. Carl Jung said “Hurry is not of the devil, hurry is the devil.” And he is right on target!
  3. Regularly meditate the Word. Yes, I said the Word. Go beyond meditating on the word to really thinking on The Word itself. You will be amazed at the results you get!
  4. Finally,  review and renew life paths. Is what you’re doing working? If it isn’t maybe it’s time to change some things. Failure is only failure if you quit. You can change how you do things as often as you need to.