Monday, November 16, 2009

Can we really be "Happy For No Reason?'

(excerpted from an interview I conducted with Happiness Expert and author, Marci Shimoff)

Happiness is our birthright.

However, we have an epidemic of unhappiness in our society. As a culture we are stressed out and we are being taught two very big happiness myths: the myth of more and the myth of I’ll be happy when.

The myth of more is the one that says, the more I have the happier I will be.

The myth of I will be happy when is I’ll be happy when I get a better job or I’ll be happy when I get a better husband or I’ll be happy when I lose 20 pounds. The truth of that is you will be happier for a short period of time but after a short period of time you will acclimate back to your original happiness level and it really won’t make a difference.

So happy for a good reason is only temporary. The ultimate thing that we are all looking for, that our souls are hungry for, is the state that I call happy for no reason. That is the state where you are truly feeling that you have an inner state of peace and well-being that doesn’t depend on your outer circumstances. You may have momentary ups and downs and things like that but you have a backdrop of peace and wellbeing. What I like to say is that people who are happy for no reason don’t look to their life experiences to extract their happiness but rather they bring their happiness to their life experiences.

It is our birthright!

So I decided to dedicate my life to finding out how to be happy. The research shows that we all have what is called, a happiness setpoint. That no matter what happens to us, whether it is good or bad, we will hover around our happiness set point unless we do something consciously to change it. It is not what happens to us that creates our happiness it is really our set point. And the set point is 50% genetic. You are born with that part. The other 50% is based on your habits of thoughts and behavior. That is the part that you can really do something about to change or raise your happiness set point. You can raise your happiness set point, your happiness thermostat. And I am going to take it a step farther from the traditional scientific researchers who say that 50% is your genetics, you cannot change that. The other 50% you can change. I am in the school of thought that says that even your genetics can be changed.

In interviewing 100 unconditionally happy people, I found that the only difference between them and everybody else is that they have different habits. I call them happiness habits. I distilled them down to 21 main happiness habits that anyone can practice to raise their happiness set point.

Here are some keys to creating happiness in your life particularly as it relates to successfully managing change.

  • First of all begin to see the great blessings inherent in the challenges. We often discover these blessings several years later. The first step is to see the great blessing in it now.
  • Step number two is to surround yourself with great support. You know, get really great friends that you just enjoy being with, that fill you. Find people who support you in your happiness. I suggest to people that you find a happiness buddy, someone who is going to keep you on track for happiness.

  • The third thing is to find multiple sources of emotional income. What I am really starting to do is find lots of different places for my emotional income. I am dancing. I am having a great time dancing. I am doing really fun things with people that I love. I am being really more careful to spend time meditating, to take walks in nature, to nurture myself, to give myself sources of emotional income. That is the third thing.

  • The fourth thing is to take really, really good care of your body. If you can, go off of sugar. Sugar makes you very emotionally unstable. I know it is not an easy thing to do but there are some things that I talk about in Happy for no reason to help support you in breaking the sugar habit.

Honoring ourselves, loving ourselves, taking care of ourselves, those are habits. Most of us are not in the habit of doing those things. So, part of what I talk about in the happiness habits are things that will in fact, raise your self esteem and generate more self-love.

We have another myth I think and that is the myth that I need to be unhappy in order to grow. I need to be miserable in order to motivate myself. We actually, are more motivated by love than by fear. We are more motivated to move towards what we want than away from what we don’t want. The ultimate goal in life is to be happy.

People are often asking me is it selfish to want to be happy? How self-centered is that? The truth of it is, that I believe it is the least selfish thing that we can possibly do. When each one of us becomes happier we are raising the happiness level and the consciousness and the vibration of our planet.

Here is a Chinese proverb I believe sums up this whole concept of how we change the world. It goes like this: when there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. When there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in this world.

My prayer and my wish for everyone single one of us is that we feel the light in our own souls. That we feel the love in our own hearts, that we feel the happy for no reason in our own lives and through that we create peace here on this planet of ours. So, let’s all join in on that happiness revolution and create an amazing world.

To purchase the download of this call go to:

To learn more about Marci and "Happy for No Reason" go to:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Noni Juice

So after I have had my shot of Gold Rush I go back upstairs and do any number of things except eat or drink. It is advised that you not ingest and food or liquid within one half hour of consuming the colloidal gold.

When 30 minutes have passed I go on to super foods #2: Noni. I love my noni. Again I fall back on my trustworthy Elements For Life and their noni product "Island Fire." This is a drink that when I first tried it I nearly gagged. The taste was so powerful I was sure hair was not only growing on my chest but in a number of other areas I don't normally grow hair (nor wish to). This drink, I thought, surely had to be making a difference. Nothing that tastes like this could possibly be mild in its effect on the body.

Noni is a fruit from Polynesia four or more inches in length which, when ripe, has a strong, pungent odor. According to the book Super Foods by David Wolfe, healers traditionally used "noni fruits, leaves, stems and roots in foods and beverages for the last two thousand years."

The noni fruit is full of antioxidants and health supporting compounds such as selenium, xeronine, glycosides, scopoletin, terpine and limonene. In plain English noni helps with skin health, cell structure health and regeneration, defense against free radicals (the root of chronic degenerative diseases), anti-inflammatory properties, detoxification compounds and more.

The juice provides anti-microbial and anti-fungal enzymes as well as boosts serotonin (the feel-good hormone - bottom line, who doesn't want to feel good?).

Elements for Life Island Fire has over 140 bio-active enzymes that support
  • rejuvenation
  • detoxification
  • superior energy
  • good mood
  • astonishing health
and the best part, I have come to LOVE the drink. I take a shot of Island Fire every morning and I look forward to it every day.

There are many other sources of Noni and I do not intend to sell you on one company. However, I am, at this point, only familiar with Elements For Life noni. If you are interested in products that I recommend but do not wish to purchase them from Elements for Life just let me know and I am happy to look into other sources for you.

And when am I truly happy? Drinking my morning noni. Ah, now that is a strong way to start the day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Colloidal Gold

I promised you my list of super foods. Let's begin.

The first thing I do every morning, after I take a few quiet moments to acknowledge the day and what I am grateful for, is to head downstairs and have a shot of colloidal gold.

Colloidal gold, according to Wikipedia, is "a suspension of sub-micrometre-sized particles of gold in a fluid - usually water."

Claims touting the benefits of colloidal gold are many. According to Elements for Life, my source of colloidal gold, or "Gold Rush," it provides (and I quote):
  • an increased sense of optimism
  • increased overall sense of well-being
  • sense of increased focus, concentration and memory
  • deeper more rejuvenating sleep with greater dream recall
  • and the list goes on (to see the complete list go to: Elements For Life)

I began taking Gold Rush when I learned about Elements for Life. I ordered the basic package and Gold Rush was part of it. Initially I didn't think it did much mostly because it tastes just like water and has no lingering side effects (as far as I could tell). Then I stopped taking it.

I saw that when I took it I maintained a much more consistent positive outlook and was waking up in the morning feeling rested and happy. Typically I have to take a few minutes to get into a happy state as my natural inclination veers towards anxiety. I found, when taking Gold Rush, that the anxiety was replaced by a sense of joy and well-being. Now, I also do many other things to foster happiness in my life. It is always a little challenging to tease one thing out from the many but at this point I will stick with the gold and trust that what I feel is only helped by this intriguing, near flavorless, slightly pink liquid.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I had a hamburger. I admit it. Miss Raw Food gal (ok, I gave myself that name) had a hamburger. Why do I share this? Because of my revelation. As Super Nutrient Gal I advocate super foods, super thoughts and super actions. While I have shared quite a bit about raw foods I have spent little time detailing all of the super foods that I ingest on a daily basis...when I am home.

I am still traveling and, as a result, have eaten primarily raw foods but few of my daily super foods. Today I woke up exhausted - all right, the garbage trucks woke me about an hour an half too early - but I couldn't shake it. I lay on the couch for awhile (sleeping on the couch at my sister's), ate something, drank water but still felt exhausted. Hours later I felt chilled, had a headache and was still tired.

By evening I knew something was up. On our drive back to my sister's I spotted a picture of a hamburger on a billboard and began salivating. That was when I knew something was really up. My body was out of balance and I needed to help it out. So I had a hamburger. And it was delicious. And I felt better almost immediately.

Now I know I didn't need to have a hamburger. What I needed was iron. But like a druggie with her fix, this was the quickest way I knew to get me what my body wanted. And it worked. The point - all of those extra herbs, supplements and other foods I add to my diet at home make a difference so I think it is high time I shared them with you.

I will be in transit all day tomorrow but upon my return be prepared for an education in super duper foods.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jet lag

It's Saturday morning, it's my mom's 70th birthday and I am in San Francisco on vacation so I am going to keep this really, really short.

I just wanted to let you know that eating raw, drinking so much water I almost burst my bladder (possibly more information than you needed to know) and traveling sans children, dramatically decreased my jet lag.

The food I prepared was great and I highly recommend it for plane travel. I actually had more than I needed. I wasn't exhausted from overeating or eating foods so heavy that my body had to expel a great deal of energy digesting. I fed myself plenty of live, life-giving energy with enzymes. I drank my smoothies and goji berry water before boarding the plane (hence the reason for the near bursting bladder). And for the first time in a long time I arrived in California after a whole day of traveling not only with energy but to the positive acclaim of all of my relatives, "wow, you look great."

Can't ask for more than that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Plane Travel and Raw Food

I am about to take off for a week to visit my family in California and celebrate my mom's 70th birthday. In anticipation of a long flight I have been running around like a banshee this morning chopping, pureeing and blending. I've created quite a cornucopia of snacks that I wanted to share with you. What will go in my airplane food bag:

some grapes
2 raw food bars
some dried fruit and nuts

And now the food that I made. All of the recipes come from The Complete Book of Raw Food: Second Edition.

The first is a Kale Mixed Green salad. Quite good and because it is primarily kale it won't get soggy sitting in dressing for hours on a plane (before I eat it of course).


1 to 2 bunches kale
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 to 1 lb. mixed greens (I only put in a little of the greens since I'll be taking it on the plane and it will just wilt)

For the dressing:

namu shoya to taste
lemon juice to taste
olive oil to taste
honey to taste


First tear the kale into bite-size pieces. Massage the kale gently to begin to break down the fibers.

Gradually work in each of the dressing ingredients starting with namu shoya and moving down the list. As you add each ingredient continue to massage the kale. After adding the honey massage kale until it is limp. (don't worry, it can handle it).

At this point there should be some extra dressing on the bottom of the bowl. (I didn't have any and it tasted great - I like to err on the side of less dressing. Dress according to your tastes).

Then add the remaining ingredients. Gently toss the salad and test for flavor. Add more dressing if necessary. Serve.

Next I made the Best Ever Almond Nut Pate. I disagree somewhat with the name. It is a good pate but best ever...well, it's a strong statement.


2 cups almonds, soaked overnight
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 4-6 hours
3 carrots
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt


In a food processor blend nuts, seeds and carrots.

Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients.

A little on the dry side but tasty and portable. Just what I am looking for.

And lastly, Pepper-Corn Boats. I just so happen to have an abundance of red pepper at the moment (I should always be so lucky) so I looked for pepper recipes.


2 avocados, peeled and pitted
2 or more fresh ears of corn kernels, cut from cob
2 large red bell peppers, seed and stems removed, cut in half lengthwise


Mash the avocados with the corn in a bowl. Spoon into red pepper.

On this one I made a few adjustments. Victoria Boutenko recommends that every dish have include an ingredient from all five flavors - spicy, sweet, bitter, salty and sour. This salad tasted a little bland so I added salt for saltiness, didn't need sweet (with corn and pepper), sage for bitter, dill for spicy. and lemon juice for sour. In the book 12 Steps to Raw Foods, Victoria gives a list of possible ingredients for each category. Very helpful. And the salad was definitely the better for it.

For the plane I will chop up the red pepper and throw it in with the corn, avocado mix. A bit easier to transport and certainly easier to eat when sitting right next to a total stranger in a very small space.

So now I am off to gather the rest of my things before I head out. A six hour flight may not seem like a vacation to you but as a mom with two small kids, six hours on a plane by myself sounds like heaven. And that's just the beginning.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy For No Reason

I have so many recipes I want to share with you but I'm just bursting at the seams from my interview last night with happiness expert, Marci Shimoff. The recipes will have to wait. Or you can check out two of my favorite blogs: Kirsten's Raw for a recipe on green juice pulp crackers (o.k. not the most appetizing name but you never know) or Making Love In The Kitchen for a cooked buckwheat sweet potato recipe (if you are tired of the raw thing).

Now, let's get down to business - happiness. I love talking about happiness because apart from love (which of course is intimately connected to happiness) what could be more important? Now you may say health, money, family or any number of things. But if you aren't happy, who cares how strong your body is or how much money you have in the bank. I mean really. Marci's book Happy For No Reason explores what happiness is, what prevents us from experiencing true joy and how we can bring happiness into our life moment to moment to moment.

I really enjoyed her book but in all honesty I enjoyed her even more. Marci has great energy and so much wisdom to share. If you would like to hear the hour-long interview you can do so by clicking here. I thought I would offer a little of it here and then if you are so inspired, you can get the rest on your own.

Having just read Think and Grow Rich I was inspired by Napolean Hill's stories of wealth. Last night however, Marci reminded me that in all of her years of study and her interviews of 100 unconditionally happy people, not one of them was happy because of money. They came from different backgrounds, classes, lifestyles, etc. What made them happy was the ability to cultivate happiness from the inside out. How do we do this? Well, that is her book and her new Happy For No Reason personal learning course.

But one thing we can all start with right now is choice. I keep reminding myself that I get to choose. In every moment I choose if I want to empower or disempower myself with the thoughts I think. Nobody, even though my mind would have me think otherwise, gets to decide that but me. And I swear, every time I choose a happier thought my body, my heart and my spirit say "thank you." Every time.

Not only that but all that yummy food I keep eating is better absorbed, digested, assimilated and eliminated. Our bodies actually process our food better, take in more nutrients and eliminate more waste products when our mind is at ease and our central nervous system in rest. So happiness doesn't just make us feel good it keeps us healthy, vibrant and alive so that we can enjoy our family, go after the riches (if that is what we desire) and do all we desire. It's all good when it's good.