If you feel inspired to Just BE Enlightened please read some articles from our awesome nutrition and wellness experts who embrace the merits we share around “cooking consciously”!

Honoring the Space Between No Longer and Not Yet

Honoring the Space Between No Longer and Not Yet


It’s been awhile since my last blog. With good reason. In my last (the first) post, I wrote how I was frustrated because we hadn’t found our location. And so I wrote a company Manifesto. And I was doing my BEst (see what I did there?) to honor the…”space between no longer and not yet.” My spiritual coach, Nancy Levin, taught me that. I didn’t come up with it myself.

Well, guess what? I honored that space. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. I used the time to reflect, to get clear on how I wanted Just BE Kitchen to look & feel. I let go of all the things that I didn’t truly want to be part of the space but “they” (you know THEM) kept telling me I should do. “They”, “Them” and “Their” should’s are judgy little beasts.

Meaning, things like not having industrial furniture. “They” told me it was important for high traffic. “They” also told me I had to have a specific menu of plates, soups, sandwiches, etc. I struggled with this because I didn’t want our menu to scream “health food” or “lack and sacrifice.” And I wanted traditional cheat meals done healthy. “They” told me we had to have standardized uniforms and should only hire people from industry. Instead we have hired experienced & mean non-experienced people with stories of amazing transformations.

Now, “they” are obviously successful. But the difference is that it just wasn’t MY vision. Maybe my vision won’t work. Maybe it will. But at least it’s mine and not “theirs.”

So, I also wrote the manifesto. I know, I keep talking about it. Well, guess what? It’s on our website now. www.justbekitchen.com – It’s under our purpose. Read it. Tell me what you think. I mean, it’s ours, I don’t expect it to be like you. You have yours. Not theirs.

And then guess what? We found a location. A kick butt one. And we have opened. And life has been crazy, hectic, tearful, joyful, scary, uncertain, constrained, limited, fulfilling, stretching & literally everything in between since. But it’s been my journey. NOT “theirs.”

The reality is that I wasn’t sure if going “my way” was going to work. I still don’t. But at least it feels better, even if uncertain. I do believe that it was only once I got clear on what I wanted and put my own voice to “the plan” that is when the space revealed itself and we got selected to sign the lease.

Even when I stopped doing Instagram posts that didn’t feel like me but instead were what I “should do”, I felt excited to post. It was a subtle shift, but one that felt more inspiring.

But you what? I’m so freaking scared about doing it “my” way. Why? Yes, of course, afraid of failing. But the bigger issue is afraid of REJECTION. I mean, what if everyone rejects what is ME instead of THEIRS. That’s the shitkicker in the decision. At least if THEY are rejected, then I secretly know that it wasn’t mine to begin with. Ugh.

I’m still not at a place where I can walk into Just BE Kitchen and feel relaxed. I mean, I can feel amazed some days – like I can’t believe it’s really happening. But I’m still too much in it. I’m still on pins & needles and can barely keep up with email, bills and the rest of it. I know I’m not the only one and that’s comforting. I know other business owners go through the same thing.

I WILL talk about the joy of opening soon – Because there is real joy. Especially when I think of the team and the customers. But I wanted to share this first.

BE Well xxx

The Conscious CEO & The Awakened Corporate

The Conscious CEO & The Awakened Corporate

This is my first blog post of The Conscious CEO. It kinda feels like giving birth. Ok, really, I have no kids so I don’t know what that feels like. But it does have this feeling of being eager to “pop out” something that is precious and lovely enough like a baby. And, that someone – anyone – just one person – may want to read and cherish it .

There’s been a whisper inside me to write on this page for awhile. But fear held me back. Then, through a “mastermind/entrepreneur” club that I’m in, I was encouraged to write a Manifesto for the business.

And in case you’re reading this and don’t know what the business is…well, our mission is: To provide mindful mouthfuls from a conscious kitchen with kindness on a plate.

We do that through offering a mindful space where people can be nourished, feel at peace and order 100% gluten, grain and refined-sugar free food. And let me tell you, the menu rocks. But more on that later.

Anyhow, the above is our intention. See, right now…we’re looking for our first location. It’s been a loooong process. There have been tears. There has been aggravation. There has been doubt when the hell this will happen. I have definitely questioned IF it will happen.

So when I was challenged to write the Manifesto…it was like my fingers flew on the page. It was so easy to write. I literally think I edited a small portion of it once. And I was done.

And what emerged…was that I’m meant to be right here. Waiting for the perfect location. Honoring this space between no longer and not yet. Offering our retail products to the market for now. That I’m doing this to reach my highest potential even though it feels some days that I should just give up. It’s not happening, so it’s not meant to BE.

But our manifesto says otherwise. It says we are destined for greatness. That doesn’t mean we are going to conquer the world but it can mean that we change the world. One person at a time. One meal. One plate of food. One employee.

It can mean that the aches inside our souls to BE all that we can truly BE transform into patches of softness as we transform too. It can mean we surprise ourselves, and find delight in each of our days.

See, I know, based on the events of 2015 (I’m sure they will make their way into this blog someday), there will never be an opportunity to be lower than I was. So…I just wait, grow into who I’m meant to be, for us as a team to grow into a powerful force and get ready to receive what’s coming.

Along with the manifesto, birthed a strengthening of our core values, our mission and our intentions. It’s good to have the space to reflect on those as they are the foundation for what we will be based. It’s empowering to have to have the space to dream about greatness and coming into our own.

So, all of these things helped to “birth” this blog: The Conscious CEO & The Awakened Corporate.

Oh, and I’ll share the Manifesto soon. Right now I’m still savoring it as ours. As Just BE Kitchen’s. But I’ll share with you soon.

BE well xx

Battle of the Sweetness: Maple Syrup vs Sugar

Battle of the Sweetness: Maple Syrup vs Sugar

Organics maple syrup is often talked about as being better than sugar because it is a “natural” sweetener. I agree that maple syrup is a good choice when deciding which sweeteners to use and take into your body. However, those who know that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “good,” probably want to know more.

Higher Nutrition Value:

The first reason that most paleo-diet proponents and whole-foodies prefer to use “natural” sweeteners like organic maple syrup is that they are more nutrient-dense than regular sugar. Here’s what I mean: nutrition (photo credit: huff post)

Less Processing:

Another reason real food advocates like to use maple syrup is that it’s less processed. Maple syrup starts its life as sap in a maple tree and then is concentrated by boiling off the water into the syrupy texture that we are familiar with and put on our paleo/gluten-free pancakes. Sugar starts its life as a piece of sugar cane. The sugar cane is shredded and the shreds are then squeezed to extract sugar cane juice. This juice is boiled until it thickens and molasses-rich sugar crystals begin to settle. The molasses-rich crystals are sent to a rapidly spinning centrifuge to remove molasses and leave pure naturally white sugar crystals. The sugar crystals are then dried. As you can see there is more processing involved in making white sugar. The more a food is processed and taken out of its natural (whole-food) form the more nutritional value it looses.

Lower Glycemic Load

The glycemic load (GL) is an accurate–more accurate than the glycemic index–way of describing how a certain serving of a food will affect your blood sugar levels. A food with a “low” GL is 10 or lower. A “medium” GL is 11-20, and a “high” GL is anything above 20. Here’s how maple syrup and sugar stack up: 1 Tbs pure maple syrup: 8 1 Tbs table sugar: 11 As always with a real food diet and/or paleo diet make sure that you limit your intake of sweeteners. Most anything that tastes sweet contains fructose, no matter what form it comes in (fruit, maple syrup, or corn syrup). Our bodies were not made to handle large amounts of fructose, so eat sweets diligently and with caution, especially if you are overweight or have blood sugar balance issues. Make sure to indulge only in paleo, refined-sugar free treats, and you can have your gluten-free cake and eat it too.

Coconut Shreds and Oil: The Healthiest Type of Fat

Coconut Shreds and Oil: The Healthiest Type of Fat

Once ostracized by the conventional medical community for its saturated fat content, the fat contained in coconut is finally getting the bill of good health it deserves.

The meat, juice, and oil of coconuts all have amazing nutritional properties. Coconut oil and coconut shreds have an incredible amount of health benefits. They are both made up of 90% saturated fat and have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

Coconut oil also helps with the absorption of minerals and has many antioxidant properties.

Coconut oil and shreds are an excellent source of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which have been proven to have many health benefits.

Medium Chain Triglycerides

Most of the other fats people consume are long chain fatty acids that must be broken down before they can be absorbed by pancreatic enzymes and bile. Coconut oil is high in short and medium chain fatty acids, which are easily digested and sent straight to the liver for energy production.

Because MCTs are funneled right to the liver for digestion, no bile or pancreatic enzymes are needed for digestion, making coconut oil a healthy food even for those with diabetes or those who have gallbladder problems. They are also wonderful for people who have damaged gut lining and have a hard time breaking down other fats, or people who have been vegetarian for a long amount of time and have issues breaking down animal fats.

MCTs can help increase metabolism since they are sent directly to the liver and give the body an instant source of energy. Most of the MCTs in coconut oil are the highly beneficial Lauric Acid.

Lauric Acid

Lauric acid is found in abundance in human breast milk and converts to a substance called monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has been shown to be useful in increasing immunity and fighting viruses and disease.

Lauric acid in coconut oil in combination with oregano oil, has even been found more effective in fighting the staph bacteria than antibiotics. Lauric acid has also been shown to be preventative against some cancers.

Coconut Oil is over 40% lauric acid, the richest source naturally available.

Benefits of Cooking with Coconut Oil

Cooking with coconut oil is also a powerful healthful alternative to cooking with other plant-based oils as it has a very high smoke point and will not go rancid easily. Most other plant-based oils (safflower, canola, corn oil, soybean oil, ect), with the exception of avocado oil, coconut oil, and some olive oil, go rancid very easily because of their molecular structure, their sensitivity to heat and light, and the process by which they are extracted.

Rancidity causes the molecular structure of oils to change. Our bodies cannot recognize these altered molecular structures and will try to fit warped molecules of oils into our cells and structures causing inflammation, storage of fat in unwanted places, building of a toxic burden, and general physiological breakdown.

Cooking with coconut oil allows us to combat this issue we come up against with other plant-based oils and make sure that we are eating fat our bodies recognize and is good for us.

The Importance of Treating Yourself

The Importance of Treating Yourself

We spend a lot of time stopping ourselves from doing things we believe are not good for us. We reign in our eating. We exercise early in the morning even though we would love to sleep in. We skip dessert. We stay late at work. We do these things because we want to have better future. Sometimes we must keep this perspective and know that even though these activities don’t make us ecstatic right now, in the long run we will be happy we didn’t eat an entire birthday cake.

However, what if I told you that treating yourself in a way that communicates love can be just as important or more important than staunch willpower?

Why do most of us want to be healthy in the first place?

I want to be healthy because I want to be able to play with my dog. I want to enjoy hiking up a mountain. To be perfectly honest, I want to be desirable to my husband. I want to live a long, active life where my biology and physiology allows my mental state to be one of joy and connectedness.

I don’t want to be healthy so I can always say no to cookies and treats. I want to able to be balanced enough to say yes to a cookie and a treat when it’s appropriate. I want to be able to indulge in a balanced and loving way. And when I go over board, which inevitably I will (thanksgiving anyone?), I want to have the experience to know that I’m worth getting right back up on that healthy bandwagon.

When we don’t get any treats, we feel depleted, resentful, and angry, and we feel justified in self-indulgence. We start to crave comfort — and grab that comfort wherever we can, even if it means breaking good habits. “I deserve this, I’ve earned this, I need this”

I embrace treats but I’m also very wary of treats. Treats help us feel energized, appreciated, and enthusiastic–but very often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. An extra glass of wine, an extra brownie, an impulse purchase…

So how do we treat ourselves in a way that “communicates love”?

To me this means seeking out the highest quality ingredients in food-related treats. Choose paleo treats made free of gluten, grains, and refined sugar, as these ingredients cause inflammation in the body. We want to indulge in treats that nourish our bodies, but still satisfy our need for something decadent and emotionally fulfilling.

This could also mean treating yourself to day of actively doing nothing, getting a massage, or doing a stay-at-home yoga retreat. Ultimately, communicating love through treats comes from a mindset of doing something for yourself because you love yourself, and doing it consciously and making an agreement with yourself not be feel guilty afterwards.

Real loving treats are things that contribute to your life force. They are things that make you feel cared for and loved. Just make sure that you are always giving your body the best, especially when you are treating it.

Action Steps:
Answer these questions:
• How can you treat yourself in a way that contributes to your life force?
• What are the treats you normally reach for? Why do you pick those treats?
• When you reach for a treat or treat yourself what kind of feeling are you actually reaching for?
• How can you commit to treating yourself next week? Be specific. What day? What time? Where? What will you do? Who will be with you, if anyone?

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