It's been one month since I attended the amazing Raw Food Institute's Immersion Program with my mom and two of my daughters in Simsbury, Connecticut. The experience exceeded my expectations! My head is still spinning with so much amazing information that it has been difficult to sit down and choose what to say about the experience. I want to make sure I do it justice! But I reminded myself tonight that I preach to myself daily, "progress not perfection" and just get something down! This may be my rough draft and if you revisit this entry there might be some changes but I did want to get something on "paper" now about the experience.
So you may wonder why a girl from Austin, Texas went all the way to Connecticut to attend a Raw Food Program when there are plenty of programs closer. Two words...Lisa Wilson. Lisa is the founder of The Raw Food Institute and from the moment I met her I knew she was special. She did not disappoint!
I had a "chance" meeting with Lisa two years previously when I was at another wellness conference with my mom. In 2014, it was my mom's 75th Birthday so as a present to her we attended the Longevity Now Conference in California. There were a couple thousand people at that event which is hosted by David Wolfe. During lunch breaks, as often happens at big conferences, the restaurant ran out of seating. Lisa was there with her adorable daughter, Harper and they asked if they could join my mom and me at our table. Thank God we were eating salads and not hamburgers when this amazing Raw Foodie sat down next to me! LOL! In hindsight, maybe she asked to sit with us because we had salads! Either way, I'm glad they sat down. We had a lovely conversation and I wrote down her website.
When I got home I checked it out and immersed myself with her content and gems. I "stalked" her Facebook and started interacting with her and after awhile I knew I wanted to visit her raw food program some day. My oldest daughter also started following Lisa's blog and videos. We put it on our bucket list.
Then on a whim during the Christmas Holidays I decided that I wanted to give myself and my mom another Christmas and January birthday gift "experience" vs. things. Since my oldest daughter also has a January birthday I decided we should include her too. Then we added my youngest daughter as well because why not have 4 people in a hotel room and save some money on the program. I also thought it would be good to have them along to help learn how to "not cook" our meals! They both love "cooking" and luckily for me they have a passion to learn everything they can about wellness and how we can continually improve our health.
The 7 days went by in a flash! The first few days of a cleanse are always "painful" but getting to the other side is amazing. I've done plenty of cleanses before but never something this extensive. Thank goodness we have been on a healthy living journey for a few years now or the discomfort would have been even greater. It's always worth it but sharing a hotel room with 4 people during a cleanse can be even more challenging. Did I mention there were enemas? Yep, we didn't know that part either. We laughed a lot and got over it. Like the cleanse, all the information Lisa gave us was not brand new to us but this was also a whole new level! She brings in amazing speakers and holistic healers who provided some treatments we were familiar with but some we were not. And of course the food!!!! Yes we ate raw food for 7 days and it was amazing! No I will not be going 100% raw yet. I do believe it is the healthiest way to eat (especially if you are in a healing crisis) but it is not sustainable for my family and me at this point in our journey. However, we will be cooking our foods at a much lower temperature and including more raw and less cooked. That is totally doable for us!
In addition to the awesome treatments that were available to us and the yummy, nutritious foods we also got to meet some amazing people that I'm happy to now call friends. From the other attendees to the volunteers who come back to help serve. The program is intimate in nature so by the end of the week we felt like we had known these people for months. I can't wait to go back and volunteer and have the rest of my family go through RFI! What an amazing community Lisa Wilson has created!
When another social media platform pops up I usually ignore it because I'm not the most tech savvy individual and who knows if it will be around next month. Facebook has been my go to for the last several years for keeping up with family & friends and for amazing resources for healthy living. I'm comfortable with it. However, when Pericope hit my radar I found it pretty intriguing. I started connecting with other like minded individuals re: healthy living. You can really get a sense of who they are in a short amount of time. Like many people, I'm also a very visual learner, so pericope really comes in handy from that aspect.
It is a bit intimidating when you are first learning all the intricacies of it and if you are not a natural on camera (clearly I am not) it takes putting your fears and nervousness (& perfectionism) aside. My children have found it great entertainment in critiquing my scopes. There have been a few that have been so embarrassingly bad that I took them down for their sake and mine. The ones I've collected on my katch.me account are not going to win any awards but maybe you will learn a thing or two that might help you live a more vibrant life or at the very least give you a good chuckle. Here's my collection: on Katch. My periscope is @ commonsensecorn because somehow I messed up and the corner wouldn't fit (LOL) and now I'm having difficulty updating. Did I mention that I'm tech-challenged! https://www.periscope.tv/commonsensecorn
Update March 2016: I finally made the change to my periscope name because I just could not stand being Common Sense Corn ;) so I'm now at LisaAnnEmbree on periscope & here is my Katch channel: https://katch.me/lisaannembree Please join me on periscope & give me some hearts. Thanks!
Summer 2014 - San Jose - Our little fire walkers...minus one because she sat with the Youth Leadership Group. This was mine & Kevin's 2nd Unleash the Power Within event but the kids first one. It was so incredible to have them join us for the event that was the catalyst for all of us living a more vibrant life! Kevin & I have also attended Tony's other programs: Date with Destiny, Life Mastery, Wealth Mastery and Kevin has attended Business Mastery and I've "crewed" a few events. We are definitely raving fans of Tony Robbins!
"One weekend can change everything" is the tag line for Tony Robbin's event called Unleash the Power Within (UPW). It's 4 days, always a Thursday-Sunday. If you will play "full out" and "drink the kool aide" as the joke goes, it will be a life changing experience! I'm not going to lie, the event will seem a little cult like on day 1, especially if you are not familiar with Tony and his programs.
When I started this vibrant living journey back in November 2012, I decided to add yoga to my routine consistently. I felt like the least flexible person in the room and sometimes I still feel like I don't belong there but the truth is I NEED yoga more than the flexible people so I put my insecurities aside and I fell in love with yoga. It truly integrates your mind, body, spirit like no other exercise. I was researching how to bring more integrative practices into my PT practice and I came across this amazing video. It is one on the most amazing and inspiring transformations I've ever seen. It confirmed for me that yoga is for everyone, especially people with physical limitations and their caregivers although you do have to find a class that fits your needs and limitations. I'm excited that I started steps to get my yoga certification for medical professionals through this amazing program. Please comment below to share your yoga experience.
My husband and I love the mission of the YMCA. Kevin has been on the Metro board of the YMCA of Austin for several years now. He is so passionate about helping YMCA's promote their message that he devoted his company, Level Seven, to helping them and other non-profits with their digital marketing management. I'm super passionate about the food revolution movement that is happening so when the Austin Y asked if they could interview me on why we donate to the Y, I said absolutely...well maybe with a little arm twisting because my family had me a little paranoid about my on camera skills. (Please excuse my weird hand and eye movements). I'm super proud of our Austin Y and how they promote a healthier lifestyle to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. Please comment below to tell us about your favorite non- profit organization.
Making some of the food shifts is confusing and difficult especially in the beginning of making changes. I cannot recommend enough that you hire a holistic health coach! I was meeting some serious resistance from the "troops" and I needed some help and reinforcement. The pictures are from our first meeting with Carly (circa April 2013). It didn't hurt that our health coach is a beautiful young lady who is a lot closer to my kids age than I am and a lot cooler. Yes, it was a brilliant move! Personally, I think Carly is the BEST and she takes clients from all over the world, but I just highly encourage you to find someone that you have a good repoire with if you need some support. You can find out more about Carly and some of her programs here.
Two years later, I'm fortunate to not only call Carly our health coach but also a dear friend and colleague. Recently we did a presentation together about creating a vibrant life with healthy foods and essential oils as part of a wellness class. "The student became the teacher"...WITH her teacher. It was an AMAZING experience and we have decided to do more presentations together for corporations wellness programs. Contact Carly or me if you are interested in having us come do a presentation for you and your co-workers.
I really don't enjoy sharing bad pictures of myself but I think a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Often pictures are what sparks a change in some people especially when they don't "recognize" themselves.
Like a growing child, the changes can be subtle but over time the change is quite obvious. Sadly for me, seeing this picture was not my catalyst to make any changes because I was so exhausted that I couldn't even muster up enough energy to start learning about new ways of eating/living.
I realize my weight wasn't extreme here (probably about 30 pounds heavier than I am today) but what I think the picture really expresses is how exhausted I am. We were visiting family out of town and they had baby goats they wanted to show the kids. All I could think about is I want to be inside, in the A/C, sitting on the couch, drinking a glass of wine. And not necessarily in that order!
I've had a ton of "mentors" during my vibrant living journey but these are my "tried and true" top 10 that I turn to often. Thanks to an abundance of resources on the internet you don't have to meet or even know your mentors. Obviously, if you can meet them in person, it will be a more meaningful connection. I've met 5 of these amazing people and I hope to meet them all one day (except Rachel Carson, RIP). Please comment below to add some of your favorite mentors.