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The Gun-Man at Lake Balboa September 15, 2012

In the age of today’s unforgivable actions, America 🇺🇸 Has become land of Terror and enslavement. I No Longer Call Myself an American. I don’t know what this is anymore.

Abraham McDonald

To Whom It May Concern:

Saturday September 15th has to be the most traumatizing day of my life; an officer of the law drew his gun a foot from my face scarring me forever.   I’d been asked by a Grammy nominated Super-singer to step in on some background vocals for her at the 1st Annual Balboa Music Festival at Lake-Balboa Park, bordered by Van Nuys, Encino, Northridge and Reseda.

It was definitely an honor and a very early morning, as we had to be at sound-check at 10am.  After exiting the 405-north at Victory Blvd I met an onset of traffic seemingly backed right up to the exit of the freeway… Victory was packed headed in both directions, as was Woodley where the only entrance to the park was located for this particular event.   Unfortunately the “Talent” entrance was the same as the patrons.  I along with…

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Dream Live Thrive: Goal Met

What happens to a dream differed?  Hell if I know, I don’t quit till I get mine.  hahaha.

Tonight is Monumental for me.  I did something I never though would be possible when I started this journey.  I told myself I’d give myself a year to run a mile.  Uhm well hell, I did it today 7 months in Goal Met!!!  I’m so grateful to my team who continues to mush and believe in me.

There are times in our lives when we Need a push and encouragement.  A buddy said to me “for some reason once you hit thirty folks act like you don’t need encouragement anymore.  Uhhhh, yeah brah, that’s so true.

Well hear this, the encouragement I get from my circle and family help to keep me going.  Those smiles and words make me get up and get out.

There’s is love and energy in speaking life into other people. Working out Until Something Happens takes new energy, stamina, love, light and determination.

I’m super pumped and motivated and you should be too. Workout Until Something Happens! #WOUSH

Dream Live Thrive the Dherbs Battlefield; Workout Until Something Happens

Abraham McDonald 3alt Yeah I said it!  A fat ass will stay Fat…if you don’t get in motion.

Losing 160 pounds is kind of a big deal to some folks.  I guess for me I didn’t take note that it was happening until it had happened.  Don’t get me wrong I knew I wanted to lose weight but hadn’t set any goals etc.  I was simply doing the work not watching the progress.

Well here we are with two years of training under my belt 160 pounds down and with every reason to live.

Today’s blog is a note to my former self;m thanking me for becoming tired of being tired.  So much happens in our lives that we have no control over, I didn’t want to accept that my body was in charge of me and I’m still proving daily that I’m the head honcho.

The commitment to be committed is a serious thing.  It isn’t easy to stay committed when you’re alone with your own desires, but then again your desires to become stronger should begin to outweigh your circumstances if Change is truly what you want to see.

My note today smiles on the fact that my Mantra is my life now and I’m glad about it/

Workout Until Something Happens people.  Trust me if you do, something will happen, like maybe your ass will fall off.🙂

Have an incredible weekend.

Dream Live Thrive the Dherbs Battlefield; Harper’s Light

Fiery explosionHey family, happy Memorial Day.  I won’t keep you long today but wanted to express my content and excitement for my New niece being born today/tonight. Harper Ashland McDonald.

My blog today is my prayer for her and all that God will do with her life as we will dedicate her to His work in the earth as long as she is here and we love God.

I pray God’s wings be a shield for you

That His smile be a lamp unto your feet

His fervor the only audience you desire

His love you’ll cling to

His honesty your pool of truth

I pray for great distance in your life and that your travels reflect the favor of God on your life

I pray for creative genius

I pray for wisdom and grace

I pray God’s arms your resting bosom

I pray for continued Happiness and Endless Joy

I pray your smile the light of your parents lives

I pray your heart condition always in tow with God’s best

Today I thank God for you, your smile, your heart, your love and the dedication you’ll have to being your best.

Today I declare National HarperDay

Dream Live Thrive the Dherbs Battlefield; Lane Changing

BETBPADM100629-66Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves

Lane Changing

It’s kinda hard to not pay attention to things, actions and people around you.  Sometimes even the people you trust the most unintentionally become your greatest obstacle.  The person who doesn’t quite understand your journey, know or believe the conversations you’ve had with your Master Love Source or respect the strength it took for you to stand up in the first place.  Sometimes, it’s you casting too much hope in the hand that’s gotten you started on your road when the unmitigated truth is… It’s All About You!  Finally!  I might add.

One of my greater struggles stems from an experience I had as a child.  Since then, I may hold on too tight, or let that ass go at the first sign of disconnect.  It’s no gloat for me, but rather a flaw that seems to have impeded all areas of my life.  Business, love, personal, friendship… You name it; it has been foiled at one time or another by this particular character flaw, or rather sensational void that has – has to be continuously filled.

When I was 5 years old, I got a chance to meet my father.  (Yes, I said meet.)  Most folk, in a perfect world grow up being loved by both parents and having a strong parental board aiming them at future goals and wonderful successes.  Ok, well, I didn’t have that.  I’m grateful for a strong-willed mother and an Aunty you could only dream about. They’re the best and the reason I am who and how I am today.  So I have no “apparent” complaints.

I use the word apparent because we aren’t always aware of what’s been cultured in our psyche.   We go day in and day out formulating habits that we cannot pinpoint where they began.  I learned some years ago that that fatal meeting with my father killed not only my confidence as a youth growing up, but also my right to feel I belonged, was safe, cared for and protected.  The one element that so often affects us all was riddled and unseen, “worthiness” had been stolen from me since before I even knew the word or its meaning.

You see, that day which was stained so deeply in my mind for many years became attached to my teenage wandering and wondering no matter how gifted and talented I was.  What became real for me was that I was not enough for him.  It left me in years of turmoil, identity crisis with little resolution, no reconciliation and with a deteriorating emotional-limp.  Walking up right only when I was “on” “seen”, performing and asked to speak.  I wore a mask of confidence but there was none there.

Completely crippled by the fact that I was introduced to him and he in turn introduced me to his “son” made it immediately evident that I was not “his” in his mind, let alone his heart.  Now trust, I have an awesome mother and wonderful aunt. But it’s that thing that you don’t have that always creeps its way into your mind to be wanted so much more.  Why was I not good enough, what made his “son” so much better?  The question itself caused me to begin building emotional layers that I shielded with food, fake smiles, outrageous behavior, promiscuity, and random thoughtless encounters.  I became my worst enemy.

You see; it was definitely all in my mind.  The lack of “worthiness”, that is.  But the mind becomes whatever you feed it- so I’d fed it doubt, untruths about myself, my lifestyle, and my eating habits, even my family.  I was definitely estranged for some time.  I built a wall around me and only let people; things in that I knew would conform to my way of thinking or bow to my mask of confidence.

It wasn’t until August 2005, my mid-twenties, in the basement of a hotel that held a Sunday service that I began to believe God truly intended good for me, my life…but it took another four years, August 2009 for me to actually deal with all of the things that were weighting me down.  My “Diane von Furstenberg” I like to call it- Baggage!!!!!

On that hot August Cali day in 2009 I found myself in my closet on the floor- feeling the void; the hole in my gut was so real, so dark.  I could barely breathe, I whispered to the God that I’d grown to believe, love and trust “I can not do this” and as tears flowed down my face like a rushing stream, I realized that I didn’t have to.  There was something that spoke to my core, “there is water in the dessert.

The truth is; I had no idea of what that meant.  Water in the dessert was simple enough but what did that have to do with me?  As I put one foot in front of the other in the days that followed my “mountain top experience”, God began to show himself clearly.

The problem wasn’t that my father had “left” or that I was bullied by the kids in my neighborhood, school and my own siblings- the problem was I had never taken the time to see myself through the only eyes that truly empowered to bless me.  ME!

I had forfeited my power, my greatness, and my worthiness because I’d wanted it to come from an outside source instead of from within.  I did reconcile that as a child, that part was normal; however as we grow physically, there has to be emotional maturity and responsibility.  Look, I will never ever ever tell anyone that they have not gone through what they have.  I will never try to convince you that it was an illusion or that because we were kids it didn’t count, or that my father wasn’t wrong for abandoning his responsibility… I will however ask, what are you doing with what He’s given you?

You see, the mere Fact that we are here, proves in and of itself that I AM, and because I belong to Him, worthiness is not an option, its’ the law!!!  Yup, we all fall short of the glory, but it’s your personally identifying with inner worthiness that trumps every hurdle you’ve had to jump.  It’s that itch that tells you to go right instead of left.  Its that feeling that makes a young man stand up before the nation and proclaim that he has a dream and it Has come to pass.

I am no champion without being an example to myself first.  I had to get off of the pity pot, stop dragging my feet, let the damn potato chips go and pick up my boxing gloves to fight!

Yes, I’ve been on Oprah, yes I’ve sung for America’s First Lady Michelle Obama, Yes, I’ve traveled the country and the world, Yes I’ve pressed my hands against the very pavement that my forefathers fought so gravely to be a part of even after my ancestors broke their backs with sweat building.  All so that I can walk, stand, speak and sing across the airwaves that we all as equal living beings have a right to, but baby! All that there started with a decision.

A decision to breathe life into the body, the gifts and the soul of the one; count it now, the 1 opportunity that I have to Live!  Existing is easy baby, but LIVING! Ha! That takes self-examination, bravery, ownership and honestly, a will that cannot be faded or easily broken by the voices of all that would call its self an enemy.  Sometimes a quiet “fuck you” is the exact fuel you need to push yourself to the next level of living.

So today, soldier, fighter, redeemed, newly exhilarated.  You hear me when I say… Get that ass up and GO! Take the charge.  It is your body.  You Are Worthy Beautifully made.  Exquisite in His splendor.  You are every bit of greatness that Your Master Love Source has whispered to you in the safety of your healing temple.  Look, you will not win every battle, but know that it takes the right battle fought to win the war.

Don’t give up now.  You’ve got to dig into yourself and pull that fighter out.  No mental, physical or stereotypical bondage can hold you now.  You’ve got the juice!  Pull a team of 1 together and decide the plan.  If you can’t run, swim, you can’t swim, hit a stationary bike, you can’t pedal, grab some 10 pound weights and sit in a chair and lift until you sweat.

Stop telling yourself what you can’t do.  Rationalizing with foolishness because spaghetti tastes better.  Where is your war cry?  One day you won’t be able to taste anything if you don’t make the decision NOW.  Change the lane you’re in, by changing what you think of yourself.  Your bouts with worthiness are almost over- look in the mirror and call forth the vision for your life, passed how you look.  What good is a fabulous fool with no sense of direction?  Remember, it’s not what they say about you, it is about what you think of Yourself.

Love Your Self!

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

Dream Live Thrive the Dherbs Battlefield; Salads Up! Great Summer Salads

Hey guys, thought I’d share a few of my favorite go to’s for good eats.

Take a look below and Get Free.  Working out is an amazing thing but it means harder work for your body if you aren’t putting the right things in.  Let’s Go!  WOUSH!!!!

These are recipes I go to or have found on line that inspire me in my own lifestyle change.

salad-4

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by Tuesday’s lunch. On Tuesday, in unseasonably sweltering heat, I met my lovely friend Alina—a fellow raw foods coach—at Caravan of Dreams, which is a vegan lunch spot tucked away on 6th street.

caravan

I like Caravan because it has equally extensive raw and cooked menus; it’s all tasty, and it’s easy for me to bring friends or family who are ready to try vegan foods, but not quite prepared to dive into raw dining.

Alina and I quenched our thirst on young coconuts:

coconuts

… and agreed that we barely had appetites for anything else in the heat. But I know my workday appetite well enough to know that I needed food! I ordered the Thai avocado salad (“a mixture of avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, nori pieces, and carrots served over fresh onganic seasonal greens tossed in Thai spicy citrus dressing“). Of course, I forgot to take a photo (oops!). But fear not: I liked it so much that I decided to re-interpret it tonight.

The meal began with dressing. I played around and came up with the following, and it was absolutely delicious! Sweet, spicy, and infused with basil and cilantro, this dressing is thick enough to serve as a vegetable dip, and rich enough for a dinner salad. Best of all, it’s full of healthy fats and vitamin E.

Spicy Thai Dressing (yields almost two cups)

Ingredients:

1 Avocado
1 cup water
¼ cup cilantro
¼ cup basil
¼ tsp salt (or more)
2 dates, or 1 packet stevia
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper (I must have used 1/8 tsp) and 3/4 inch ginger for heat

Blend all ingredients on high and adjust seasoning to taste. Here’s what you get:

dressing

Then I assembled my salad. I started with a green base of spinach, cilantro, and basil. I piled it high with spirals of carrots, cucumber, red peppers, red cabbage, and pea shoots, and I garnished the whole thing with half of a sliced avocado. Here’s the final creation, pre-dressing:

salad-2

And with the dressing:

salad-6

salad-5

It was absolutely delicious! Alongside some baked sweet potato (which I forgot to photograph), it made for a great meal. This one will definitely be a keeper for summer.

So are you wondering how I got the carrot and cucmber to look so lovely? The answer, my friends, is this:

spiralizer

A new spiralizer!!! The lovely people at Paderno World Cuisine were kind enough to send me two of their wonderful Spirooli spiralizers! I’m delighted. While my Joyce Chen spiralizer (a great value at less than $30) has served me very well, I must admit that it’s not quite as useful as this one will be: the Spirooli makes three different shapes (wide ribbons, thin spirals, and thick spirals) and it’s much easier to use, especially for hard veggies, like carrots and beets (which is great, since beet pasta with cashew alfredo is a personal favorite of mine).

So what do you think I’m doing with the other model? Giving it to one of you, of course!!! I’ve been overwhelmed by your collective enthusiasm for veggie pasta, and I’m thrilled to offer one of you a chance to start making it at home. So here we are: my very first giveaway!!

Here’s the deal. To enter, you have to:

1)    Respond to this post with a comment naming the raw dish you’re most eager to try at homewith or without the Spirooli!

AND

2)    Announce the giveaway on your blog, and send me an emailat gena@choosingraw.com with a link to the post in which you do it.

If you don’t have a blog, simply send me an email saying so, and as a special bonus question, tell me what your favorite traditional pasta dish is, and you think you might be able to recreate it with the Spirooli.

I’ll announce the winner onMay 11th. I hope many of you will participate, and I’m wishing you luck!

That’s it for now, all – have a great night :)

Raw Crunchy & Zesty Coleslaw

Slide2

It occurred to me that I should post some raw recipes of mine. Our diet consists of cooked food of course, but we eat a fair amount of raw food daily, even if it does come in the form of salads, fresh raw juices and smoothies, as well as a handful of raw desserts.  So, I am going to include a few now and then, so that the raw vegan repertoire is also featured here for those who wish to expand in this healthy area.  This is an ideal salad to eat with most of my main courses.  Or if you wish to keep it raw, eat it as is and have with a raw juice. Enjoy – it’s really zesty – which as you all know I love – and it’s also creamy and full of flavour.  Enjoy !

INGREDIENTS FOR COLESLAW

½  white cabbage, washed and shredded

½ onion, shredded

1 carrot, sliced or shredded

1 sweet red apple, thinly sliced in rounds, for decoration (and consumption)

Garnish : I used flax seeds, but any other seeds of your choice, eg sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, would also be great – or even a mixture of all of them.

RAW MAYO

1 cup raw cashews, washed and drained (preferably pre-soaked for an hour or two)

1 cup (250 mL) water

juice of lemon

the zest of ½ lemon

himalayan salt to taste (I used ½ teaspoon)

1 tsp raw sweetener of your choice (I used agave

http://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/acatalog/agave.html)

METHOD

  1. Place your shredded and sliced vegetables in a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, place your drained cashew nuts in a food processor, and process until broken down.
  3. Slowly add the liquids a little at a time, and process. Continue doing this until you have added all the liquid. Then process once again for a minute or two.
  4. Pour onto your coleslaw, and toss with a salad spoon and fork.  Garnish, et voilà, ‘tis ready for the taking !  Enjoy !

All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell mouthwateringvegan.com

2 Spring Energy Salads

2 Spring Energy Salads

I adore spring! The sun is shining brightly and everything is starting to bloom. Spring is the season of renewal because the cold and dreary days of winter have passed and beautiful weather is here. Spring provides the perfect opportunity to start eating foods which are less heavy and more cooling and light.

I get so excited when I go to the market and start seeing all the lovely vegetables and fruits that become available as the weather turns warmer. Buying seasonal foods is truly the best way to eat for optimum health. Ripe seasonal foods don’t need a lot of manipulation or culinary tricks to make them taste delicious. For some fantastic reasons why it’s important to buy seasonal foods please check out my post.

My 2 spring energy salads are a tasty way to welcome spring with a bang! The first salad features some of the best produce of the season including tender baby spinach, crisp asparagus, juicy baby tomatoes, and fragrant red onion all topped with refreshing meyer lemon basil vinaigrette.

The second salad is a simple persian cucumber salad marinated in fresh lemon juice and sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Both of these fabulous salads are easy to digest and will give you lots of energy and important nutrients for healing your body. I really enjoy eating colorful salads on a regular basis because it’s such an easy way to make sure you’re getting lots of alkaline-rich vegetables, leafy greens, and fruits into your daily diet.

If you usually cook asparagus before using, you’re in for a pleasant surprise with my first salad. I like using thin stalks of raw asparagus because it’s so sweet and tender right now. If you can’t find pencil or thin asparagus in your local markets, feel free to use the larger asparagus spears and either blanch or steam them before using in this salad.

Asparagus

Asparagus contains many great nutrients that promote vibrant health. Asparagus is rich in beta-carotene, B vitamins, inulin, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and fiber. Asparagus is a potent anti-inflammatory and cancer fighter due to the presence of the saponins asparanin A, diosgenin, sarsasapogenin, and protodioscin.  Asparagus is also rich in glutathione a super antioxidant that protects and removes toxins from our body.

Spinach

Spinach is one of my absolute favorite health-promoting vegetables! Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene, folate, lutein, and fiber which all contribute to maintaining vibrant health and which protect our bodies from degenerative diseases.

Basil

Basil is a delicious herb that adds great flavor to any recipes you add it to. Basil is an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin A.

Red Onions

Red onions are rich in anthocyanins, quercetin, and sulfur which all work together to prevent inflammation and oxidation of fatty acids in our body.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are water-rich which keeps you hydrated and promotes better energy. Their high water content also supports healthy kidneys. The skin of the cucumber is loaded with chlorophyll and silicon which builds the blood and promotes smooth, supple skin.

Silicon is very important for improving the condition of aging skin, hair, and nails. Silicon increases the strength and thickness of the skin. Cucumbers are also a great source of vitamin C, and B vitamins.

I hope that eating my two spring energy salads will help renew and heal your body.

What’s your favorite fruits or vegetables to eat in the spring? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below.

Share this article with family and friends and let’s all get healthy and radiant together!

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Asparagus, Baby Spinach, Tomato, and Onion Salad

Paleo, Raw Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free

Serves 2-4

8 stalks thin asparagus spears—bottom portion trimmed off

6 cups Baby Spinach

1 cup baby tomatoes

½ small red onion—thinly sliced

Meyer lemon basil vinaigrette (recipe follows)

1. Make recipe for meyer lemon basil vinaigrette and set aside while you make the salad.

2. Clean and cut asparagus into small 2-inch pieces and set aside.

3. Rinse spinach, baby tomatoes, and red onion slices and pat or spin dry. Place all the salad ingredients into salad bowls and toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat. Enjoy immediately.

Salad Variations

Feel free to add any of these tasty foods to the basic recipe:

1. 1 small diced avocado

2. 1 cup wild salmon chunks

3. 2 soft boiled eggs

4. 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

5. 1 cup cooked  and cooled millet

6. 1 cup pea shoots

7. ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts

8. 1 roasted or poached chicken breast

Meyer Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Makes around ¾ cup

3 tablespoons meyer lemon juice

1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon raw honey

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Unrefined sea salt and black pepper—to taste

1 tablespoon minced basil leaves

1. Place lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey in a glass jar with a lid and whisk well with a fork to combine.

2. Add olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and minced basil. Place lid on the jar and shake vinaigrette until blended together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

3. Use small amount of the vinaigrette to coat the salad and store remaining vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Marinated Persian Cucumber Salad 060

Marinated Persian Cucumber Salad

Raw Vegan, Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Makes 2-4 servings

3 organic Persian cucumbers

¼ cup meyer lemon juice

2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt—to taste

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1. Rinse cucumbers, pat dry, and slice into thin ⅛-inch slices.

2. Place cucumber slices into a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine well and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to allow flavors to meld. Enjoy!

Dream Live Thrive the Dherbs Battlefield; Monday Madness

Fight-For-Life

Fight-For-Life

We all feel it, we all need it, we all want it; Acceptance.

One of the things I’ve noticed along my weight loss journey is truly my emotional state.  I had to unbury a ton of bullshit so that I could unload all of the weight of my mind.  The real thing about living is just that; you’re living and in doing so you begin to understand that it takes true hard and gritty work to continue forward when all has taken you for a ride.  We eat to curve our emotional appetite, we eat to celebrate, we eat in sorrow we eat in joy, we eat simply because we need to live.  But in living we have to begin to assess our reasoning for taking on our individual addictions.

Some addictions we take hold of knowingly and others we face after they’ve consumed us.  Food has a power that unless you’re under it’s spell you seemingly believe that it has no hold.  But for the person trampled by the every day necessity of food coupled with the emotional cadences of living and holding on to past hurts can make for a deadly food cocktail.  I’m not saying that everyone goes through these mental battles with food but I can tell you that I do.  I have had battles with myself that have left me under the table per se and not dealing with what the true issues were.  I could hide behind a plate, cover things up with a hot meal, I could make all of my problems go away in cake.

Understanding who, what and where you are is important, before it consumes your life.  I refuse to now live under a false physical identity. I know now the effects depression, loneliness, sadness and brokenness can bring upon you if you don’t assess and attack the very thing that is attempting to bring you down.

Today I find myself in an awareness that has hold of my future.  I refuse to allow outside entities to effect the power of my tomorrow.  I had to grab myself fully, stand in the mirror recognize that you can become your greatest contributor or the end of your beginning.

I refuse to fall to my weaknesses.

Stand Tall Refuse to Fall

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