Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gun Control: Make Your Own Opinion

   Gun control has always been a huge debate in politics. the question is :should there be a ban on ban control? Due to recent events the debate has flared. We have had to deal with the massacres of a movie theater, mall, college, and an elementary school as the most recent tragic event. After an array of facebook posts from the news, media and from friends I have realized that everyone is pulling a Romney (no offense to him). You all in the past have believed in guns in homes but with light restrictions or more restrictions but now you are flip flopping and changing your mind. Here is my belief on that:

   You all aren't just hypocrites but you are uneducated niave hypocrites (and my apologize on the cruelty). People who flip flop on there beliefs flip flop because of two reasons 1. is money and power (seen in politics on a daily basis) and 2. is knowledge on what you believe in. So allow me to educate you a little bit so you can make your own opinion on the fact and that you can actually believe in that opinion.

Fun history facts about Guns:

  •  1774 there was a ban on guns and ammunition in the colonies pushing the conflict between the colonies and Britain into a full blown civil war.
  • There is a huge debate on what the second amendment states. If you read it in it's grammatically correct form it does not say that all people have the right to bear arms but that the people have the right to have a militia that can bear arms to protect the people. 
    "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Bill of Rights 1791
  • Firearm regulations didn't begin till 1927 when mailing concealed weapons was outlawed. 
  • This one is sad; In 1929 the Soviet Union placed extreme laws on gun control and later 20 million unarmed civilians were exterminated because they couldn't defend themselves. This isn't the only country to ban guns for the purpose of power: Turkey, Germany, Uganda, Cambodia and other countries begin with "gun control" then extermination of civilians. It's called GENOCIDE! 
  • After gun control laws were placed in Austrailia, Homiced by gun control increased. 
  • Japan passed stricked gun laws and restrictions in 1971 and has the lowerst gun related homicides. 
Lets Talk Japan. It's not that guns are completely bannned in Japan. In fact any person can get a gun in Japan they just have to work for it. In Japan you have to begin with taking classes and taking a test that only occurs once a year. That does not inclue the classes and test required to take at a shooting range (something that should have been done before someone gave Cheney a gun). After these tests you are ordered to go to a hospital to get a mental assessment and a drug test which need to be done periodically as well while owning a gun. The last test is a background check to make sure you haven't already done anything scetchy or you don't belong to like the KKK or something like that. While owning the gun you have to send a report to the police yearly about where your gun and ammo are placed at home which also need to be placed seperately and locked away. Lastly the police get to inspect the gun and where you hold your gun yearly. 

alright the yearly police check ups my be debated but everything else I feel is legitate! Why not have all these tests done? Think about it..... Every story you here about some psychotic homicidal bastard (excuse my language) is about A. how easy it was for this psycho to get a gun B. get numerous guns C. the lack of mental stability in his/her life, and D. Where was the gun control? Japan that isn't the question at all. 

What are the federal laws of gun control?  First know that the National Firemarms Act  taxes manufacting and distributing of machine guns, pistols, short barrel guns, revolver and other guns seen as "especially lethal." WTF is "especially lethal mean? That which can kill? Can't all weapons kill? 
The gun control act of 68 prohibits selling mail order guns, guns to anyone from out of state, not of age, and to persons wich criminal background. It also prohibits imprtation of guns not used for sporting firearms (seriously WTF does that mean?), and requires records of all commercial gun sales and sets the penalties of the use of a firearms in drug trafficking and violent crimes.
  Basically if you tell them your sane and get a license not only can you buy guns but ou can sell them as well. 

Let's talk about today's sad stories of young children being killed. A man who was seen as having some proplems was able to get more than one gun, shoot his mother at home then go to an elementary school and shoot up a firestorm killing over 20 people including a large percentage of children. WTF!!. I would never want to bring down the emotions that we all should have towards this horrible situation. It is devastating and my heart goes out to everyone. There is a but.... But I don't believe guns should be completely banned. I believe that guns should be more strongly ferderally limited like they are in Japan. Having not only rules against the types of guns used and where those guns can be used but have any person who owns a weapon like a gun go through mental and background checks as well and have to annually have these test redone along with other laws. I believe that a person should have the right to be able to protect themselves and a person (although I wouldn't do it myself) has the right to have a gun for sporting reasons (deer hunting, bird hunting etc..) and I believe a person should feel safe with a person next to them with a gun. I feel safe whenever I see a gun on the streets in Israel knowing that A that person has been trained in shooting their weapon and B it is most likely that person has that weapon because he is there to protect me and the other people around me.

Please Please Please don't go flip flopping your ideas of what is right and wrong just because of a tragity. Take this situation to really understand fully what you believe than give your opinion. I will gladly say I have never changed my belief in the rights of others to protect themselves but I also believe that I myself should never own a gun because I know I am not mentally fit for a weapon in my hand and people should have those restrictions.

I hope you all take this into consideration

Till Next Time!
Nicoly

Saturday, December 15, 2012

my first freelance writing

If you are keeping up with my facebook statuses I have been doing so freelance writing on the side. Ok so far I have done one article for the product Sukugo. Anyways I just finished and here it is:
Sukugo

Family Holiday Fun



Have you ever realized the true memory of the gifts you get on the holidays isn’t when you see them under the tree or even when you tear apart the wrapping paper but it is the time you spend after with the gift you have gotten? With clothing it’s when you wear it, whether you love the clothes or not, With the toys you got it’s the memories of playing with your friends and family, with food it’s either how sensational that high quality Swedish chocolate tasted or how you have to  feed the rest of that nasty burnt home fruitcake to the dumpster, and when it’s money you remember that with that $25 you bought a new CD you have been wanting for so long or a movie.

Because of this I have been on a mission to find a gift I can enjoy with friends and family. Something I can buy (really for myself) so that I can enjoy my time with my parents, brothers, grandmother, cousins and friends. I have looked all over, I looked at decorations for the house, movies that my entire family would enjoy together, food, recipes to attempt, a small trip somewhere (even if it is just to the zoo), but nothing came up that didn’t cost to much or that everyone would really enjoy. The only people who would appreciate decorations for the home would be my parents and myself, choosing a movie everyone likes is just down right impossible, and a small trip (no matter how small) is still pricy and food isn’t really that sentimental unless it’s made by my grandmother and it is her ice cream cake or my grandmother (not by birth) who makes these spectacular brownies that non can beat and my recipes are experiments that may or may not go wrong so why should I even attempt. Don’t be let down just yet because I finally have found what I have been looking for, Sukugo!

What is Sukugo? It is a Sudoku board game made to be shared and played in groups. Sukugo is litarly a board game shaped as a large Sudoku with two different shaped chips for the board. The Smaller chips represent what may fit in the specific spot and the large chips are the correct numbers that should be placed in a spot. For those who are unfamiliar with Sudoku, it is a brain puzzle square-shaped game, there are numbers placed randomly in the puzzle in each square (there are nine within a large square), and with those numbers permanently placed you need to figure out how to get all the rows, columns, and squares to have numbers one through nine written down. Usually you find Sudoku books being sold at gifts shops in the airport or in the puzzles section hidden away in a bookstore and it is made to be played alone when you can’t sleep, are board or are flying to the end of the world and back at least that’s when I usually play. I was just on a flight to Israel and finished an entire book of Sudoku. I love the game and I know many people who love it but sadly it is not a multi-player game. That is, it wasn’t a multi-player game until now. Now there is Sukugo, the multi-player version of Sudoku. A game I can enjoy with my little brother on Saturdays instead of playing monopoly, a game I can take to my grandmother’s when Lucy is there and actually playing Sudoku together rather than just sharing our Sudoku stories, or having some bonding time with my mother which as a child used to be over Chinese checkers.

As I do more and more research on the game, I see it being sold as a learning tool for kids. I think now a days that is how every toy is being sold. Just the other day I watched a commercial about a soccer ball that teaches a baby to talk and

1.       Rather than using standard educational methods…  teach kids numbers and logic by playing a game.
2.       Rather than playing Sudoku alone… have fun while collaborating and cooperating with a friend using teamwork..
3.       Rather than being afraid to ask “why”… challenge each other and change your perspective.
4.       Rather than limiting yourself to black and white numbers…add vibrant 3-D color to your day.
5.       Rather than writing little numbers in squares… set smooth rounded pieces on a large board.
6.       Rather than exercising only your left brain with numbers and logic… engage your right brain at the same time with colors and creativity.
7.       Rather than just seeing and writing… engage your senses with a hands-on tactile experience.
8.       Rather than buying one type of game for kids and another for adults… get a game everyone will enjoy.
9.           Rather than sticking to one game… use your imagination to invent new games.

what Ipad game doesn’t have some sort of lesson for children? That didn’t really interest me at all especially since I don’t have any kids myself. What interested me was when I was on the homepage of the Sukugo site (http://sukugo.com) there was a list of reason’s why I should go on Amazon.com and buy the game. The three out of the nine reasons that caught my eyes were: numbers 2.  Rather than playing Sudoku alone… have fun while collaborating and cooperating with a friend using teamwork, 8.  Rather than buying one type of game for kids and another for adults… get a game everyone will enjoy, and 9.  Rather than sticking to one game… use your imagination to invent new games. Number two pretty much explained throughout this article already but what about numbers eight and nine? Eight I did touch base on a tiny bit but let me go deeper a little. Sudoku is a game known to be played by the older generations or by puzzle nerds like myself so you know you can get adults to play if they play sudoku as for kids it’s a fun new game to play with the family. Imagine your son or daughter opening up that board game under the Christmas tree. As I mentioned he/she might be stumped considering it wasn’t a more known game like Monopoly or Apples to Apples but then you say, “how about we all play together?” If your family is anything like my this game will turn into a full fledge competition to see who can get the most chips on the board or it will become one of those games you get to see who can finish the game the fastest because heaven for bid a board game stays peaceful. Both you as an adult, your kids, and even grandparents can enjoy this game and as I mentioned it might even become a tradition. I did pretty much just explain number nine a little bit. How can you be inventive with a game that is pretty much self- explanatory? Make it a competition! It will become a competition in my family and with my friends. How about changing up the rules like you would with an extreme Sudoku book? In a Sudoku book you can find different ways you have to place the numbers like having the diagonal lines also needing the numbers one through nine or a zig-zag and so forth. Why not pick an extreme Sudoku book with these types of puzzles and make it into a Sukugo game? You can do so much with one board game why not explore a new way to play on the holidays?

            Sukugo, Sudoku for everyone to enjoy after opening up presents. The game you can make a tradition during family time around the table. Sukugo, a game you can enjoy, your kids will enjoy, and your friends can enjoy for the holidays and for holidays to come. Now go buy at least one and then one for your friends who live far away (make it a social networking game). My plan is to do just the same. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Sukugo!

Ok for some reason the pictures aren't showing on my blogger but there were some there. sorry about that. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hawky?

I know this is really random but I have to ask....

       I think since I moved into my room  (as a baby) I have had a hawk every morning land on my balcony and give me a good morning call. I think (along with some nightmare issues) he is the reason why I like waking up oh so early. He comes by around 6:00 to 6:15ish in the morning and says his hello. Sometimes I get up and say hi back and then he runs off. This has been going on for years. Recently I have seen him flying around more often and a little while ago saw him with either another larger hawk or some sort of crazy looking eagle.  It was such an epic show to watch. The reason why I tell you this because after telling a few people this story of mine it has come to my attention that I don't have a name for the Hawk that wakes me up every morning. A friend of mine had the idea of Hawky so right now that is just a nickname because lets be honest, how lame is it to have the name Hawky?  So....... I ask you do you all have any ideas of names for a medium sized hawk who I have grown fawned of? He is your average looking hawk with a white belly brown feathers up top and a mix of white and brown coloring on the inside of the wings and dark eyes. He loves playing around with the more little birds considering he chases that one that sings every morning and then goes of to the church across the mini canyon which I am assuming is where he has a nest or something. If you care about the type of hawk I think he is a Ferruginous Hawk.
not Hawky but this is what he kinda looks like.
I can never get a good picture

I know this is ridiculous but as I mentioned, I have grown very fawned of this hawk. He has become like my pet. I am not saying I feed him or really go near him all to often but he is my morning hawk who I look forward to hearing in the morning.

Till Next Time!
Nicoly

Thursday, November 22, 2012

post holiday workout!

I know we all are going to splurge a little more than usual this Thanksgiving. Not only that but we are going to be adding on the pounds up until New Years, right? In a 1995 study done by CNN it was indicated that the average person gains 5-10 pounds in the holiday season alone. More recent studies have put the belief aside with new results. According to  The effect of the Thanksgiving Holiday on weight gain by Holly R Hull, Duncan Radley, Mary K Dinger and David A Fields the average person can gain up to .5kg which is 1.1 pounds. I know this may seem small but look at it this way: In an assessment of weight loss in correlation between the holidays done by Meagan Stoner, BS, RD, LD it was found that a person can gain over half of the yearly added weight within the holiday season. Now keep in mind every other holiday you celebrate with food and leisure time and think of every morning after when you get on to the scale and see that extra weight added on then add on the 1.1 pounds from the season and what do you get? I like to think of it this way: for every holiday I celebrate there is a chance of me gaining about .5 pounds. Now considering I am a Jewish American that is a whole lot of holidays to celebrate. I would say that can lead up to a good 17 pounds within the year and if I let myself free with food it can be much more than that. I tell you all of this to honestly just get your attention for the moment. After Thanksgiving you can easily shed the weight you gained the night before and after the holiday season you can keep your weight steady. The question becomes how can I do such a thing? There are two key components to keeping your weight steady. First is your lifestyle and exercise routine and second is what and how you eat. Just remember as you try to keep your weight steady over the holidays that it is a simple task to do so.

Exercise is key component number one. that doesn't mean it is more important than what you eat but it is the easiest aspect to control mentally (at least in my opinion). Tomorrow after I have a delicious Thanksgiving I am first going to go for a beautiful hour long walk. don't over do it right away!!!! although you probably are considering going straight to the gym and packing on the weights or going for an epic run or bike ride please resist for at least 15 minutes and get yourself warmed up first. I like the hour long walk because it also gets me prepared mentally. Starting up strong will just put your muscles into shock and that is never fun. after a warm up then I recommend getting to the weights. In fact if you really don't want to think up a routine many gyms have post thanksgiving workout classes. check out your gym hours for the week and which classes are being offered along with any special they have going on. if that doesn't help look around other gyms. I know you don't want to cheat on your own gym because that is my thought as well but you can get day passes at many other gyms and I think you will be forgiven if it's just a day. As for the actual hard core work out it wouldn't hurt to go for a 5 minute jog or run after your warm up. I have been attempting to create a routine for you but to be honest my creativity skills when it comes to routine creating is lacking. instead I recommend  checking out my friend Melissa's blog post Express Bodyweight Workout. Pick the rendition of your choice  (you get two options) and have fun. I also recommend checking out a new site I just stumbled upon: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/12/17/advanced-body-weight-workout-warning-this-will-kick-your-ass/.  Myself I will definitely mix up the two different sites. Honestly if you can be creative go for it and if not well follow the instructions or as I mentioned check out the classes in the gym you are a member of or any gym close by. Lastly don't just end it with one workout day after the holiday. Dedicate 30 minutes to an hour just to working out six times a week. This will keep your weight steady even after the holiday season.

As for what you eat, that begins the moment you wake up and decide on what you will eat during the day. Don't act like you don't think about it because you and I both know in your mind you are thinking "maybe I just won't eat to make up for it." my recommendation for that is DON'T DO IT!!!!! Starving will just mess you up big time. if you wanna cleanse out your system do so with the proper cleanse. I still am a big fan of a cleanse especially after the holiday season and for that go to my cleansing expert Annette Borsack with Zen Enterprises Inc. you can find out more about her and how she works at http://www.zenenterprisesinc.com/. If you are looking for a do it yourself kind of routine here are 5 tips you should consider:
  1. Prepare before the holiday- eat lightly before the big meal and DON'T starve yourself.
  2. Enjoy the holiday!- don't just eat during the holidays. Thanksgiving is a day for football, fun and family, which all should be enjoyed throughout the day.
  3. Try not to over-overindulge. Overindulging is not the culprit, going beyond that is. stick to one plate for the meal and no more than one to two desserts. or go with the little bit of everything idea and take half a slice of pumpkin pie and half a slice of the cinnamon swirl bunt cake. 
  4. Next day start of with a healthy breakfast:
                  1 Cup of quinoa
                      2 cups light vanilla almond milk
                      2 cups unsweetened apple juice
                      2 tbl ground cinnamon 
                      1.5 cups  of craisins
                      2 tsp vanilla extract
      5. Eat light throughout the day- eat snack foods like yogurt with fruit or a light protein bar. My favorite protein bar of the day is Perfect Food Bars Cranberry bar. SO YUMMY!!
      6. Stick to a healthy routine of eating 5-6 clean meals a day after the day after routine. Don't be afraid of fats, carbs or proteins and remember to keep a healthy balance of clean, healthy foods. 

I hope that helps you all out. For now I am going to spend my day walking and enjoying the holiday with my family. For dinner I am staying strong with sticking with sugar free. smoked turkey breast, with green beans and mushroom, braised sweet potato and parsnip, and a home made cranberry sauce: 1 Trader Joe's bag of frozen cranberries, about 1.5 TB Seaport Oil & Vinegar red apple balsamic, half a medium sweet onion and stevia to taste. put it all in a pot with water and let it reduce down. Lastly a pumpkin dessert: 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, stevia to taste, vanilla, 1 TB almond/cashew cream, a little bit of egg white, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste, place in oven at 400 for about 20-30 minutes. I am also making a whipped topping and if it works out I will share the recipe. 

Till Next Time! 
Nicoly


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanks before the Shopping

Thanksgiving is coming soon and I feel like it has been a forgotten Holiday. I have been walking around town, in malls, grocery stores, at the beach and in town and I notice that everything is about Christmas. I know that this is because we live in a world where consumers need to be sold to and Christmas is the biggest selling holiday there is but honestly people before you put up your lights (which I know it's to late for some) and before you buy your Christmas gifts breath a little and remember that this month on November 22nd there is in my opinion a more important holiday.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are family oriented but if you look at history that wasn't always the case with Christmas and as for Thanksgiving although the history is harsh it still the truth that it started as a way to give thanks to friends and family. Christmas started as a more community based holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. In the late 19th century this changed after a ban on the holiday. It was brought back more as a family oriented holiday. I wouldn't say in recent years but it hasn't been long since Christmas became a consumer based holiday. Not saying I don't love Christmas cause this is one Jewish girl that loves Christmas time. I love seeing my neighbors put up their large Christmas tree, going to the stores and watching everyone buy gifts and considering in my house hold we do tend to celebrate an Americanized Hanukkah I totally take pride in saying I join in the shopping, and I love the concept of it being not just about Jesus's birthday but a continuation of being thankful for Jesus and for your family. As I mentioned before though Thanksgiving has been forgot because of this change in what Christmas has become and I hope that you all begin to remember the importance of thanksgiving after this blog and in the long run.
  The first example of Thanksgiving was the thankful feast that was put on by pilgrims in November 1621 after a couple Native Americans taught them how to harvest crops and fish successfully. This however wasn't the start of a holiday. A thankful feast wasn't brought back till two years later after the end of a drought for the pilgrims and throughout history there have been days of thanks for end of wars, droughts and so forth. In 1817 several states began to celebrate some form of thanksgiving as a state holiday. It wasn't until 1863 when president Abraham Lincoln made the last Thursday of November the national holiday we know today as Thanksgiving.
   Isn't it interesting how this one man has been brought up so frequently lately? Two movies about the man just this year in theater (One isn't exactly historically correct but it still depicts him as one bada** president and vampire slayer) and to top that off this past election he was brought up numerous times. In my belief he has been one of the best if not the best president this country has had. off topic I know, I am continuing on...
  Today thanksgiving has been a bridge between Halloween and Christmas. It was a sign that sales for     Christmas will begin in a few hours. I kid you not. Black Friday has become a nuisance and to top it off you don't even have to wait for after Thanksgiving anymore. The biggest stores like Wal-Mart and Target are actually starting their sales on Thanksgiving. Seriously What happened to family time for Thanksgiving.
Soon thanksgiving with the family will be the Monday before spending it online with your family buying them the gifts they want for the holidays then Thursday night going out to Wal-Mart to get the new Nintendo system or the new and improved Furby up till the next morning where you will still be shopping. I guess I talk from a passionate place in my heart where Thanksgiving family dinner is. I grew up appreciating the meaning to Thanksgiving. If we put aside the horrible truth about the up coming of Thanksgiving and how pilgrims basically kicked out the Native Americans after years of a shared friendship and trading relationship than we can go up to why Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday and in fact go beyond that. Abraham Lincoln wanted Thanksgiving to be a way of the country to be gratetful that we are "One Nation," he wanted the country to see this holiday, both the confederate states and union states and be reminded that we are grateful for this great country. Thanksgiving today has been and should be more than that. Thanksgiving has become a feast at home with the people we love sharing what we are grateful for along with a rather large turkey feast.
  For myself it is both a national and family holiday. Ever since I was a child we would celebrate mainly at my grandparents' house with anyone who was family and that includes even distant cousins and just friends. We gave thanks for what we had and for myself and my brothers sometimes that included the spoiled aspect of toys and computers and so much more along with things that have occurred in school and with friends and family, but most importantly although we never would really all say it, we were all grateful that we were American. Because of America and it's wondrous opportunities my grandfather was able to move states and cities, follow his dream to be an actor, switch careers for his family and marry the woman he fell in love with. Because of America my grandmother was not only able to graduate high school at a young age, raise three children to be great parents and cook as much as she wants, America also let her do this after they allowed her to move here after the Holocaust and the loss of her family. Thanks to America I wouldn't really exist and we wouldn't have such a strong large family that loves each other. This year on the 22nd of November this is one thing I will be giving thanks for along with my recent good health, and the fact that my parents haven't kicked me out of the house yet.
  Even while all of the change in our society is occurring all around my family somehow we never really bought into black Friday. I went with my mother once to the Macy's in Fashion Valley and it was really just to experience the craziness of it all. To be honest it is so overrated. The truth is that we had a great time. We woke up way to early to get to Macy's before it opened and we did buy a few things in the hustle and bustle but with my mother's shopping skills somehow we always get a good deal no matter what day it is so black Friday meant nothing. It really just became a way to spend time with my mother although it was done shopping(not my favorite activity).
  I guess it all just confuses me. Why is it the Thanksgiving has become such a consumer drawn holiday, why is it that many of us are forgetting to just sit down with our families and give thanks for one on other and what we are blessed with in life, and why is it that I am passionate about this topic? I guess it is because I was raised with such a strong family so that I won't give in to this new found reason to not celebrate thanksgiving and I guess it truly is because if I see one more commercial about buying on layover for the holidays or how Target has the best deals for Thanksgiving shopping before black Friday I will have to restrain myself from breaking the T.V. Either way I think we all need to just stop before we shop this year, sit around a table with whoever we want to and just be thankful we are where we are in life. Hopefully we all can do this because believe me when I say it will be a great way to relieve stress.
  I Hope this Thanksgiving for you will be just like mine shall be. An all American family gathering with the ones you hold true to your heart and is a day you give thanks to who ever you believe in and to those around you along with this great country we live in (even if Texas disagrees).
 

Till Next Time!
Nicoly

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bruised Ribs and kiwi & Vinegar Sweetness

  This past week I have wanted to write about my bruised ribs, Kiwiberries and of course Thanksgiving coming up soon. I don't really know how to put them together in one post without it sounding like such a bizarre post. I have come to the conclusion that this week there will be two different posts starting with this one.   

   I guess I should start with the bruised ribs, give you the bad news before the good news. a little over a week ago I bruised my ribs, left side to be exact about it. I don't know if you all know this but bruising a rib HURTS. Honestly though I haven't really thought of it aside from preventing pain with these amazing homeopathic pills called Arnica Montana from my favorite health food grocery store down the street, Windmill Farms. They have been a great help but sadly the mental toll brought on by an injury kind of sucks and yesterday I think it got to me. Yesterday I was so Hungry for some weight training. I have my weights at home and every Sunday I go to the gym for a strength class. Yesterday I was sitting at home looking at my weights thinking if I stay home I know I am going to take those weights and cause this bruise or crack whatever is going on in my ribs to get worse. For those of you who have gone to Real Life with me you know in about five minutes or less I would have had those weights in hand. It upset me that I had to stop myself but I did. I thought to myself if I go to the gym to this class I have a great trainer who would give me that you are out of your mind look and point to a treadmill. That is exactly what happened for the most part thank goodness. I did sneak in a lower body upper body twist with weights which is where I got not just the look but a mouthful of "are you kidding me" then the point to the treadmill. Needless to say I watched the entire group do burpies, twists, medicine ball tosses, rows and a bunch of other things while I was at a 5.0 incline at 3.0 speed most of the time. Honestly I was perfectly fine with it until after about 15 minutes on the treadmill. I all most forgot how dull it is to be walking on a treadmill. at the 15 minute mark not only did boredom set but thinking had begun and like any other person sometimes thinking is never wise and for me that is why I have such an empty mind at points, I try to prevent that type of thinking. Anyways I didn't really think of much except for the fact that I was dreading not working out to my full potential and that just sucks so bad. To be honest my ribs have been healing rather quickly considering they only hurt at certain points and if I do something stupid but still it sucks that I have to slow down. It is like driving on the 1-5 with no traffic, you are speeding up to the 80s and even 90s and then there is that one slow car that slows you down. I was still getting some exercise in just like I would still end up at my destination. Anyways I needed a little pick me up after that and although I would have gladly said it was a Ben and Jerry's pint it wasn't thank goodness. Nope I went to the fridge opened up the door and remembered something, "it's so not worth it especially for something so tiny in my mind." 

   This leads me to the kiwiberries. I wasn't really thinking about Ben and Jerry's when I opened up the fridge but about the new fruit I had stumbled upon at Sam's Club the other day. I stood at the fridge looking at the container of these sweet berries that I have become intrigued by and fell in love with. I had some before I went to the gym with breakfast and fell in love. the kiwiberry is this lip puckering sweet fruit that is related to a regular kiwi. It even looks like a little baby kiwi. The difference is no hair on the skin, the skin is edible and the kiwiberry is as small as a grape. It tastes like kiwi that was drenched in sugar (in a delicious kind of way).  So I am looking at this container, with probably two or three servings and at the time did not really care up until the positive thought of "it's not worth it" came into my mind. Instead I started questioning everything about this new and amazing fruit and what do I do when I have questions? I do what every other person raised on a computer does, I went to the computer, typed in www.google.com and did my research. I learned so much so far. I know that it has more Potassium than bananas, a low sodium count, no fat or Cholesterol, it has numerous other minerals like Manganese, Calcium, Zinc and many others. It has More Vitamin C than an orange, Twice the amount of Vitamin E than an avocado, a few different Carotenoids and Flavonoids, and a few different B vitamins including B6, B2, and Folate, along with 4 grams of fiber in a serving. So ya it is very healthy for you. What you should also know is that the calories vary depending on types of kiwiberries and if they are cultivated in the states or wild in Asian countries. The wild kiwiberries have less sugar and can range between 90-100 calories give or take and cultivated berries can have about 130 calories per serving which is about 6 oz of berries. The sugar thing actually got me to curb my craving for them even more considering it is extremely hard to get wild kiwiberries and I am sure the fact that the ones I bought aren't screaming Wild Kiwiberries on the front of the packaging I am just going to take a guess as to whether or not they are wild. Not saying they still aren't healthy considering most farms that cultivate the  kiwiberries are considered organic farms and the amount of vitamins that prevent cancer and minerals that help balance out the body's system are enough to say have a serving every so often. Instead of eating all of them at once I will be savoring them with a serving in the morning and I have made a delicious shake with them which included the kiwiberries along with a mix of other berries, almond milk and protein powder. I loved it and I believe my dad did as well. 


To be honest I don't know how to end this post aside from assuring you that the next blog will come sooner than usual since I am getting excited for some Thankgiving goodness. maybe I will even add my new found love for kiwiberries into the mix or... OH I totally forgot to mention the amazing flavored vinegars  I couldn't resist buying at Seaport Oils and Vinegars. Seaport Oils and Vinegars is a company that has mastered the art of infusing oils and vinegars with other flavors. They have oils infused with Blood Orange, basil, Lemon, Cilantro & Roasted Onion, and even harissa infused EVOO. I tasted that harissa oil and can I just say it is so spicy, yummy but spicy if you wouldn't mind a bit of spice in your salad or in whatever you cook it is amazing. I however didn't want the oils I wanted the vinegars and I wanted to test out the balsamic vinegars. I tested nearly every single on of them and there are many different ones including chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and pomegranate but the one I fell in love with was the fig balsamic. The undertone of Fig creats this sweet bitter after taste that I couldn't resist so I got a bottle. What was even more amazing was that with the purchase I got a small bottle of another vinegar. I chose the red apple vinegar which made my day today. It inspired me to change up my Ketchup with some sauteed sweet onions, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and the red apple balsamic and I think it is one of the best I have made. this is a very odd ending to a blog but the vinegars popped into my head while typing so please forgive me. I will try to make the next blog a little more ending friendly. 
Till Next Time
Nicoly! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Harvest

  Any one else getting sick of those pumpkin blogs and posts. For the first year in a long time pumpkins have been in abundance and people are not only noticing they are acting as though it will never happen again by ignoring every other squash, fruit and vegetable that flourish during this time of year. I love fall to some extent because of the seasonal veggies I get the chance to find. They other reason is the great weather here in San Diego (although my heart does go out to all my east coast friends and family. I have been able to go out to the market on a beautiful breezy sunny day and find some unique foods and I plan on sharing.
  As I mentioned pumpkin has been on every ones minds but there are numerous squashes you may find at the market this fall. Some of the squash you can find this season are Autumn Cup Squash, Butternut, Buttercup, Carnival, Delicata, Fairytale Pumpkin, Gold Nugget Squash, Hubbard, Spaghetti, and Sweet Dumpling squash. It;s a lot to take in and to be honest you will only find a few of these around and that all depends on how well the season has been for the squash and where you live or where your grocery store or market gets the squash from. I have had the luxury of attempting quite a few of these. Spaghetti squash has been great year round I like to roast it and substitute it as spaghetti. The flesh is stringy enough to do so just take a fork and play with the squash a little, a Delicata squash I just ate as is after roasting it and I had the amazing idea to bake some Carnival squash stuffed with curried rice here is the recipe for that one:

1 small-medium squash
1 serving of rice
yellow spicy curry powder
a spoon full of tomato paste
a dash of chili powder and green dill weed

in a pan par cook the rice with all the seasonings.  stir in the tomato paste with a small amount of water if needed. with the squash cut enough of the top off to scoop out the seeds. after scooping those narly seeds out place the rice inside. in a pan place the squash with the top coving and cook it in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until soft. after cooked add a little extra dill for some green and freshness. The squash itself is so buttery you don't really need to much oil or added butter, the squash does the work for you.

although squash is the popular plant based food to go to this season we cannot forget about the rest of the food out there. How about your greens? or your fruits? I have seen more spinach and kale in the grocery store lately than any other green aside from cabbage. Costco even has out a kale salad they are selling and let me tell you have attempted it and it is one of the best salads I have eaten. It is a crunchy delicious salad that everyone should try. and I have been making spinach salad and sauteed spinach almost everyday this past week. Nothing is as simple as putting spinach with some garlic in a pan for some delicious sauteed spinach. If you jar and pickle your own veggies or want to start get some rice wine vinegar, Fresh Ginger, Salt and some of your favorite sweetener (try going with minimal bitterness, a mild honey, stevia can be good if you pick the right brand or even experiment with adding some fruit pectin or just plane fruit then add in some peeled Diakon Radish of the season for a unique flavored pickled Diakon. One of my favorite veggies looking perfectly white and large this season is the Cauliflower. You can do just about anything with cauliflower even make it into ice cream or "risotto". My favorite recipe is my mustard drenched Cauliflower. Some how this one always changes on me with the seasonings I choose but here is one I just did:

1 Cauliflower
Yellow Mustard
Ginger
jarred horseradish
garlic powder
paprika
stevia

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, Cut the leaves and clean the Cauliflower, Mix all the other ingredients together to your liking and enough for a good generous spread on the cauliflower and lastly place it on some foil rubbed with some oil (this time around I go for EVOO), set it in the oven for about 15 minutes for a crunchy goodness then lower the temp to 350 degrees for another 20-30 minutes. (FYI Mustard is also in season if you go for all organic fresh mustard).

Of course we can't forget about our fruits. Grapes, Kumquats, Jujubes (yes they are a real fruit), Crab apples and sugar apples, and Cranberries are just a few of the fruits out their this season. My favorite fruit out though is the cactus fruit also known as the cactus pear. The cactus fruit is something very popular in the Middle East including a small country I am going to be going to in December called Israel. It is also a fruit that is growing popularity here. the best way to enjoy a cactus pear is cutting it in half grabbing a spoon and scooping out the meat and seeds and cherish the moment you taste the sweet pomegranate like fruit.

I know it's tough for some of you out there with the storm to even go grocery shopping for any of these yummy foods. but this has been on my mind and I know you are all going to pick up life right after plus you have to celebrate survival some how and why not with some scrumptious fruits and veggies. Anyways I was honestly writing this blog before the storm got started and finally finished but I am thinking about you all with all my heart so stay strong for me and do me a favor and let me know how you all are doing.

Till Next Time
Nicoly!





Friday, October 5, 2012

Sea World with the cousins

  I have just made a visit to the fun filled Sea World San Diego. It was a great day spent with my cousins who have been visiting with us for Israel. We saw most of the shows from One Ocean with Shamu, Blue Horizon with the dolphins, and a special spooktacular with Seamore and Clyde. In-between these cute amusing shows we went on Manta and Journey to Atlantis (both twice), some little kiddy ride, Shipwreck Rapids, pet the stingrays, stared at some starfish and many other fish, took a glimpse of the Cirque De La Mer theater, watched Pirates 4D, and walked through some of the shops.
  I have come up with two different discoveries while at Sea World. First off I have forgotten how different it is during the school year. When kids are in school there are not as many shows and the park is EMPTY!! Summer time the park is so packed that you have to arrive  at a show 30 minutes early and pray you get decent seats. This time around we got to shows maybe two or three minutes before it started and we were able to find prime seating. Even going to the One Ocean Show with Shamu we were able to get the perfect seats maybe 8-10 rows up where we were in the soak zone section but far enough up where we won't get the full feeling of soaking Shamu water all over us and close enough to the center of the stage where we can see everything but are not to far into the center so that our view is altered by that weird center section where the killer whales come up to say hi. To top that off there were no lines at all! We literally just walked onto all the rides we went on which is always a great way to enjoy any theme park. 
  The second discovery of mine, which is more of a realization is that I have no idea where you can find healthy food in Sea World. Could you imagine me not knowing where to find healthy food in a place before arrival. It's not something that occurs often today. After this realization I figured I would make a blog about where you can find some healthy eats in Sea World San Diego. I really Have to first tell you how this all came to be. The first thing that I notice was right up front there are the booths that sell Dip n' Dots, Popcorn, and some other junk food. Then as we kept on walking I realized that the booths are always there. There are booths for ice cream, popcorn, hot dogs, those ginormous turkey legs and whatever else can be sold in a booth or cart. Then it came time when we walked passed Mama Stella's, an "Italian" restaurant. Notice the quotations? Mama Stella's is a place where you can get ridiculously oily pizza, raw over sauced pasta (and the sauce is just sugar with tomatoes), a tiny little house salad or caprese salad, or you can get the eggplant  parmesan smothered in sauce and cheese. With little girls who haven't hit puberty yet you could imagine them seeing the images of the pizza and pasta and immediately wanting to go there for lunch and that is unfortunately what we did. luckily I have all my food issues so I snuck in my own snacks that I munched on instead but I did come to the thought while eating my snacks and while they are complaining that the pasta is actually disgusting that I should know what I can have here and what is healthy here just in case. The rest of the day was great but my mind was on writing this particular blog, so here I am writing to you all. 
  Yesterday I decided to have a look at the menus of the restaurants and little shacks that are in sea world and have actually found some healthy choices. To be honest I thought it would take a little more digging but it really didn't, as I looked around I started to remember a few things which I am glad I did because now I know what I can get if I decide to spend a ridiculous amount of money on food. If you dig a tiny bit into what is in Sea World, dig just a little underneath the funnel cakes, ice cream, the funnel fries that looked so yummy, and the hamburgers and pasta drenched in oily, fatty cheese and this is what you will find: 
  For breakfast I honestly don't think you would need to worry considering this time of year Sea World opens at 10:00 and it would be great to do breakfast at home or even go out to a restaurant like Broken Yolk in various locations, The Naked Cafe in Point Loma or The Olive Cafe right by Santa Clara Point. However, if you really want some breakfast food in Sea World they do have some. They have a fruit and yogurt bowl at the Seaport Market and eggs as well. To top that off you can find a cup of fresh fruit in just about any restaurant and shack in Sea World.  
Keep in mind three restaurants. First is Calypso, which has a fun tropical vibe to it. For healthy variety not your best bet but they do have a veggie wrap and a side salad you can enjoy if you want to go for the environment. The second restaurant is Shipwreck Reef Cafe. This is where I would most likely be for healthy and any other kind of food I want. It is a meat lovers paradise with burgers, sandwiches hot dogs and other choices. To stay healthy at Shipwreck you can get some Grilled Salmon, Carved Turkey (ask for it with a sandwich and eat a slice of bread with the turkey if you need the extra carbs to re-energize) and if you are a veggie lover they offer the garden salad, veggie salad, house salad, and a veggie burger and lastly a seafood salad. As you can see the choices are numerous in Shipwreck Reef Cafe. The final restaurant in the top three you should check out is Seaport Market which I have mentioned. This restaurant is almost hidden. It's right by the entrance on the way to Journey to Atlantis but it really doesn't look like a place to eat. They made it look like stables and they do hold horses along with other animals in the area but hidden is Seaport Market with a few tables to relax and they have some healthy choices as well.  you can get a veggie wrap are some carved turkey deliciousness with a house salad here and as mentioned before they have some breakfast options as well you can enjoy. If you want to splurge a little have fun and dine with Shamu. At night you get to be in a secluded little area right by Shamus tank and enjoy a healthy dinner that includes oven baked tilapia, caprese salad or panzanella vegetable salad or go for that juicy tri tip and ax the sauce and ad some local veggies. and for dessert if you are like me and usually want more than just plane old fruit go for the fruit tart (although they do serve fresh fruit).  
  Don't forget to just enjoy it there. The weather is cooling down for some prime Sea World time and there is nothing better than a day laughing at the terrible yet amusing acting done while watching Seamore and Clyde, feeling like your about to throw up after you just got of Manta, and learning about new creatures like the Cownose Ray, known for it's pectorals. I know ridiculous but it is really cool they are pectoral fins that split into two.They are known to be rather shy so they tend to be nonthreatening unless someone does something stupid and believe it or not if you are out in the ocean and you think you have seen a shark it might just be a Cownose Ray. Their wings sometimes hit the surface of the water scaring people off. That is your Seaworld lesson of the day and you can get plenty more while enjoying a fun filled healthy day at Seaworld San Diego or any Busch Garden theme park in the country.

Till Next Time!
Nicoly  
    

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yom Kippur

Tonight is the beginning of Yom Kippur!! It is debated to be one of the most important holidays in the Jewish  religion. It is about going back into the past year and looking at what you are sorry for and asking for forgiveness along with giving it.
I found it interesting why Yom Kippur the day of repentance comes after Rosh Hashanah the day of judgement and new beginnings. Now after doing my research online at myjewishlearning.com, ohr.edu, and reading The Rebbetzin's Husband blog (very insightful) I have come to a conclusion of my own not saying that you all should take what I say as your official answer to me I do recommend actually going to a rabbi and asking them). I thought of it similar to a Brit Milah or a Baby Naming, where we wait eight days after a child is born to name them and if it is a boy to have a circumcision ceremony. We wait days because truthfully it is a health thing. for one we don't know what the baby's health is like the first few days so we must act with caution, and second blood clotting mechanisms begin to truly work after the seventh day. I know it is not some miraculous purpose (I am not a kabbalist so I wouldn't even know where to begin with that). thinking about that I went back to Yom Kippur. We are not fully prepared to ask forgiveness yet and we must prepare and wait till we are developed enough mentally to ask for forgiveness and Rosh Hashanah is the day to start preparing. from there we have several traditions, mitzvot (deeds), and ceremonies that take place up until Yom Kippur to rid ourselves of our sins, ask g-d and the people in our lives for forgiveness and ask for a new start. on Yom Kippur we are called to begin a fast and think of nothing but what we have been preparing for. G-d is ready to give his forgiveness and the people around you are just as ready. In my opinion though I say ask the people first. G-d has all the patience in the world to wait but your family and friends are fasting so they are going to be a little grumpy by the end of the day.
The night of is really important health wise. For twenty five hours we are meant to fast meaning no food or water, bathing, leather and an array of other dos and don'ts. Before some of you go off judging why we do this let me give you an answer. It's pretty much like a Buddhist acid trip in my opinion and I don't mean that in the wrong way. What I mean is that we are more in-tuned with our spiritual self while fasting. It is actually commanded that we spend the day in Tefilla (prayer) over eating so that all we are doing is becoming more spiritual, more angel like and less animalistic in our ways. Of course this may be difficult for some and if you are sick or just can't survive without some water or food know that g-d is not a cruel being and it is believed that HEALTH COMES FIRST!!! If you need to go for a granola bar, go for the granola bar.
With this in mind if you do intend on fasting I have some nutrition tips and recipes for a pre-fast meal and post-fast meal.

Pre-fast tips:

1. WATER! try getting in twice as much water as you usually would
2. eat small meals the day before or the day of Kol Nidre (the beginning of Yom Kippur)
3. keep the salt and caffeine to an absolute minimal
4. carbo load the meal before you begin. go with grains, legumes and add a little fat in there for storage.
5. (this one I am still debating on) eat a sugary dessert. that doesn't mean go for a reese's (although I would want to). go for a fruit. it will give you the energy you need for the services coming right after.

Pre-fast recipe:

Chicken and Winter Squash Tzimmes (ashkenazi stew)


9 cups cubed peeled butternut, buttercup or hubbard squash (1-inch cubes; see Tip)
1 cup small pitted prunes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 1/2 pounds), trimmed
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place squash, prunes, garlic, shallots, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and place on top of the vegetables. Mix broth, orange zest and juice in a small bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover the baking dish with foil.

3. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, basting often, about 1 hour more.
http://main.kitchendaily.com/recipe/winter-squash-and-chicken-tzimmes-141042/

Steamed Spinach and Cashews.

1 costco bag of spinach
1 cup chopped chashews
Hot sauce or salsa and Dijon mustard to taste.

Steam the spinach till soft, mix with the dijon mustard and hot sauce, let it cool and add the cashews.

Post-Fast tips

1. pace yourself
2. start with a juice or something with nutrients and sugar
3. go low sodium
4. WATER!!!!
5. if you are able to go with a dairy meal over a meat meal. the sugars in your body are depleted and this will help plus at this time it may be easier on your stomach if you are not intolerant or allergic to dairy.

Post-fast recipe

Baked Eggs with Zucchini (serves 1)


    6 eggs, beaten
    2 cups sliced zucchini, unpeeled
    1/3 cup almond milk
    dash of salt & pepper
    Feta cheese

Mix everything together and place in a casserole dish and into the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. a few minutes before it is done sprinkle the cheese on top. 


Beet and Sweet Potato Casserole with Goat Cheese

4 cups of cubed beets
4 cups of cubed Sweet Potato
3 cloves of garlic minced
4 TB chopped scallions (give or take)
1 bag (250 -350 g) goats cheese
Olive oil

lightly toss veggies with some EVOO, place them in a casserole dish with the cheese and bake it for 1 hr-1.5 hrs and serve almighty deliciousness!


As for myself I am letting others do the cooking for a change because I really want to take the time to ponder on what I need to ask for forgiveness. As for now I am sorry to those I haven't been in contact as much, sorry to my parents for being a little to spoiled as for g-d... I am not sorry for what you have made me to be but I am sorry I haven't done what I set out to do this past year. I am sure there is more so I must go now and contemplate.

Till Next Time!
Nicoly








Monday, September 17, 2012

Recipes from Rosh Hashana


One of last night's great success!!

Cilantro Avocado Salad
  - Arugala
  - Spinach
  - Sundried tomatoes
  - Cucumber
  - Red onion
  - Cilantro
  - Toasted sunflower seeds (optional)
  - Fennel (absolutely needed for shear awesomeness)

  Dressing
    Avocado,fresh squeezed lemon and lime, distilled vinegar, roasted garlic, roasted onion, and roasted red jalepeno all bended up for deliciousness with a tiny bit of salt and pepper.

The other two awesome dishes:

Sweet Potato Black Bean Stew
  - Sweet Potatoes cut into 4s
  - Black beans
  -  Snow Peas
  - Cherry Tomatoes
  - Garlic (minced)

  - Ginger powder
  - Onion  
  - Red Bell Pepper
  - Pasillo Pepper
  - Chili Powder
  - Fresh Squeezed Orange and Lemon Juice

With this one I learned the hard way if you are going with beans from scratch COOK THE BEANS FIRST. Apparently they can take HOURS to cook. Dice everything else up except for the tomatoes, sautee the onion and place everything together once the beans are par cooked and cook on till the sweet potatoes are perfectly tender. 

Lastly: Eggplant Meat "Lasagna"

- Eggplant
- Ground Beef
- Ground Turkey
- Brown Mushrooms
- Red Bell Pepper
- Cherry Tomatoes 
- Roma Tomatoes
- Tomatoe Sauce
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Tomato Paste 
- Basil (dried and fresh)
- Nutritional Yeast
- Stevia 
- Oregano
- Thyme
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Pure Coco Powder
- Chili Powder 
- Salt & Pepper

dump all the tomatoes in a pan place a top and cook till all the tomatoes are easily smooshable (yes, I do have my own dictionary), add in a tiny bit of oregano, thyme,dried basil, coco powder, chili powder and Stevia and cook for a little bit more and add the tomato paste, tomato sauce and balsamic and let it simmer for a while. in a bowl mix meat, mushrooms garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, oregano thyme and basil together and lightly mix it together then brown the meat and mushrooms in a pot while baking slices of eggplant (with drizzled salt and pepper) at 425 degrees for 5 minutes each side. layer up eggplant, meat, sauce, sliced peppers and basil (in this order) and sauce at top place it in the oven at 375 for an hour then drizzle on nutritional yeast at the top and broil for nutty cheesy hint. 

Now to get ready for morning services! Chag Sameach Happy Holiday! 

Till Next Time! 
Nicoly



               

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rosh Hashana 2012

Tomorrow night is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I am celebrating with friends and family here at home and I get to do a little cooking.
Rosh Hashanah as I mentioned is the Jewish New Year. Rosh in Hebrew means head and Hashanah means the new year so the literal translation is head of the year. Like the more known new year Rosh Hashanah is a time to look back at our year and ourselves as a whole and decide where to go from here. next holiday is Yom Kippur which I will write about and I see as a sequel to Rosh Hashanah. For now I will concentrate on one holiday. Rosh Hashanah is a time not only to think and take a look at ourselves but also a time to have one great day. No working or school (although considering finals are coming up soon I may cheat a little), We scarf down sweet foods like pomegranates, apples and honey, delicious round raisin challah and any creative dishes we can think up like a sweet apple raisin kugle my mom has cooked up for tomorrow.
Each Rosh Hashanah for me is important. Every year I think of what I want changed, if I can change it myself and how I can do that. Each year it is pretty much all the same. I usually have the thoughts of wanting to be a better daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend, I want to have the courage to do many things that I should have done the year before and what my new goals and plans are for this year. This year I am adding the Israel National Trail to my list of new things along with start my career as a nutritionist and one goal that I have each year is finding friends and love. So those are my goals.
My next step is thanking Hashem (g-d) for everything. I thank him for my parents who have been spoiling me    all year and for my life, my brothers who are just down right awesome brothers, my grandma who shows me strength each day, the rest of my ginormous family that I have the privilege of enjoying life with, my friends all over the world and letting me learn how to live life through so many different experiences.
Next step is a little selfish. I ask him for help for the next year. Help in giving me courage, help my family and friends, help me find work and well sadly the list goes on so I sum it up in one line "Hashem, Please help me be honorable, committed, and courageous for the life I am meant to live for this next year."
Lastly I make a list of mistakes and faults that I was able to prevent and unable to prevent so on Yom Kippur I know exactly what to tell him.
I recommend every person take these steps. Even if your not Jewish you can do so, you can choose to do it January 1st for the new year or tomorrow for Rosh Hashanah:

1. what do you want to change and how?
2. What are your new goals and ones you have not fulfilled yet?
3.What are you thankful for this year?
4. Ask for help.
5. Make a list of faults to apologize for. You can list them for g-d and for the people in your life. for instance I am really sorry I wake up my parents every morning just to cook. wait for the right moment and say what you need to say.

There it is five steps to creating a new spiritual, emotional year.

I get to do this all while cooking for tomorrow. I have no clue how this is going to work but I am experimenting with a sweet potato stew, eggplant turkey "lasagna" and a salad. I will give you the details of them if it works out.

For now I am almost done cooking for this day and will go to bed to do the same tomorrow till the shofar (rams horn) is blown and everyone comes by to have one hopefully delicious meal.



Till Next Time!
Nicoly