10/10 Challenge – Introduction

Think you can hike 10 climbing trails in 10 days? Of course you can, and I’ll show you how. 

Here’s one of the hikes from the first challenge during the last 10 days of 2015. We traversed Malibu and Pt Mugu in the Santa Monica Mountains Urban Park to Rattlesnake Canyon in Santa Barbara and many in between. Just one hike each day with 3-5 miles and elevation gains that varied from 600 – 1500.  Bring your hiking boots and Leki pokes – let’s do this! 

I’ve included topo maps in a few and actual pics of the hikes. More detail is included in the eBook Happiness Handbook; Method to the Madness.  More on that later. Anyone up for a hike in the beautiful  Gokd Coast of California? 


The Pleasure Principle 

The Pleasure Principle 
You are what you EAT? 

enjoying the holidays yet? Tis the season and I’m in the middle of a whirlwind myself. My mantra Breathe Balance Believe bums thru my mind lately. 

While we all strive to do our best this time of year. In order to accomplish our perceived goals, we may have more options as we personally evolve causing us to move at a quicker pace. If you’re nodding your head, you’re not alone. There is another way. Yes you’ve heard this before.  I challenge you to consider integrating just a few easy enhancements to everyday activities – eating and sex. While both of these activities are basically hardwired inside each of us, we all have a very unique and personal signature expression of these very powerful urges. There are so many options, it can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing when making choices.  

Let’s start with the old adage “You are what you eat”. I like to think of it this way –

E – Enjoy

A – Attention

T – Thankfulness 

This acronym for EAT helps me remember to slow down and actually become more mindful of the meal I’m about to enjoy. Seeing the food on the plate (or in your hand) and smelling the aroma enhances any meal. Secondly, and just as important is becoming mindful of any activity around me while eating. Notice any negativity from the environment for that energy will be consumed unconsciously which could raise issues not only with digestion, but metabolism as well. MINDFUL EATING is by far the easiest and most profound act of kindness you can offer yourself. Get rid of the ‘love handles’ by just paying attention on a consistent basis. In no time, you’ll begin to see the excess fat melting off your torso without any gimmicks. Last but not least, practicing gratitude at every meal – blessing those who planted the seeds, tended the livestock or shopped & prepared the meal is foundational to better digestion and overall wellness. 
Recent studies have suggested we have an option every time we eat to increase (or decrease) the nutritional value in our food. Pleasurable eating can increase nutritional value in a meal by 30-40%!  

Does this mean that you can eat that Hostess treat without guilt AND enjoy more nutritional benefit? Honestly, only to the nutritional extent that the sugary treat has to offer (zero to none). But it may be somewhat offset according to Emily Rosen. However, no one is promoting the delusion of fast food or slow food. Basically eating the best value of nutrients will give you the most bang for your buck. (More on Value Food Choices in another blog). 
In an interview on The Spa Dr podcast, Emily Rosen spoke on the metabolic power of pleasure studies. These two discussed recent studies that focused on our innate hardwiring to seek pleasure and avoid pain. “Sex and food are both associated with pleasure, so by denying yourself pleasure in food, you will start to seek pleasure elsewhere. Emily emphasizes that eating should be a pleasurable experience. In fact, pleasure is a metabolic enhancer and studies have shown that when people eat food they enjoy, they absorb 30%-40% more nutrients.  Pleasurable food also catalyzes a relaxation response, allowing you to digest your food better.”
Ironically it’s these simple pleasures that can be the driving force in our life. Eating and sex are innate pleasure powerhouses in our DNA as a matter of survival. Why not hone in on these inherent gifts to potentially increase not only our life satisfaction, but also enhance our health with simple mindful choices. The choice is, of course, up to you. 

Why Epigenetics Matter

Today’s news
Elle Kimi’s Happiness Handbook

Excerpt 01

What is epigenetics and why should I care? If you suffer from anxiety (depression), then this may be of interest. Sorry it’s so late but my juices are flowing. 


(Happiness Handbook excerpt)
Blocks to Happy Happy
Anxiety and Epigenetics

Genetic predisposition can attribute to our anxiety. 

Epigenetics are the study of our ancestors DNA. While only 5% of our reactions or responses affect our actions, they are deep seated emotions (anxiety, depression, …) that are often attributed to past lives that are inescapable. Deepak Chopra’s latest book highlights the effect of our choices in life. 
In 1998 I came to the conclusion after being told by Sylvia Browne that past lives or not, I believe THIS is my Last life. She didn’t believe in the past life theory, nor does Deepak. In fact, they come from 2 different perspectives and now agree on this: Some of our memories are not our own, but the DNA inherited from our ancestors … 7 generations back. 

Stress can also created by finances – good and bad.  Sudden windfalls or loss of a job create the same stress. What differs is our reaction. 

I’ve been known to work difficult and challenging deadlines and pulling them off magically. It’s exciting projects like this that actually can cause the most collateral damage with a family. Similar to Ariana Huffington’s story who nearly worked herself to death, she also learned the value of rest. Who has time for rest? Vacations can be more exhausting than work! In my case, the past 7 yrs, especially the last 5, have been extremely tight – juggling long periods of unemployment between spouses, multiple jobs, going back to school – these can all add stress to relationships, especially within family. Owning my own business gives me job security and time freedom. 
Since the 2008 Recession, life changed drastically for most in the U.S. For us, we rode it out working for a client in Oklahoma City just before it hit our hometown hard. I continued my commute to Big Bear keeping my design business and property management profitable. Coming back two years later, we still had a house but now saw a need to relocate. 
Triggers? Different for everyone! Know thyself. It helps a lot to know your weaknesses in order to be better prepared. Think of all senses. Is Work a trigger? Is it the load (55 hrs/wk) or is it your boss? Maybe the light or smells? 
Anxiety with New Places or People? If it’s an irrational fear, my biggest and best tool was to (finally) say YES! for a measured amount of time and suck it up. For Shonda Rhimes she believes being your own person requires saying yes even when you’re not expected to. For me, I started with one week and watched it expand to a month, a year, and now a lifetime. Liberating! This truly gave me more confidence to do more scary crazy things I would usually avoid. 
Does Time heal all? Well no, not always. Sometimes Father Time needs some help. Enlist Mother Nature by all means, and don’t forget yourself. Only you are truly responsible for every reaction and subsequent life choices. Anxiety can be circumstantial or chronic. Who hasn’t experienced some stress around finances in the past 7 years? It’s been quite a test of character for most of us. Anxiety can cause one to age prematurely causing unwanted dis-ease let alone aesthetic concerns of biting nails and chewing on your lip.  
Treatment Options

Medication vs Meditation 

Do a cost benefit analysis – is a dry mouth worth minimizing 4 panic attacks a day? Or would ‘talk therapy’ help in the time that you could use PRN instead. (Self) Hypnosis and Meditation have been a blessing when changes need to be be made easing the transition in my life. I personally am trained in Hypnosis by my own dear mother, a clinical psychotherapist certified in hypnotherapy, who also used journaling as a personal escape hatch in her stressful field of psychiatry. Although rewarding, her inability to share her own experiences due to her license car restrictions. In fact, much of this book is indeed straight from my own journal. (See Facebook group, Happiness Handbook for the real journal). Spending time in nature is uplifting for many reasons. In fact, even a landscape picture or painting in your work space can aide in deeper breathing. 

Enjoy your life with healthy choices.  

Share it with joy. Dance like you mean it. 




This material is experiential and anecdotal not a medical diagnosis. If your symptoms last more than 2 weeks, you should consult your health professional. 

Neuroplasticity –https://youtu.be/NdqKhkma4Pg

Deepak Chopra, lecture at LinkedIn 11/20/15

Thrive, Arianna Huffington 2014

Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes 2015

#TBT #dancingwithmyself #twinkletoes