Braised beef tacos – gluten free – grain free – dairy free – kid friendly

Braised beef tacos – gluten free – grain free – dairy free – kid friendly
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It sounds a bit gruesome but I love to split a whole cow from a local farm with friends and family.  Other than hunting wild game (which, there is just no way) this is probably the most economical, humane and sustainable way to eat meat.  You know exactly ‘who’ you are eating and how they lived.  Its easier to meal plan when you have a couple months supply of beef in the freezer, there are less trips to the grocery store and less food waste overall.

Throwing out meat is something that just does not happen around my house.

For a long time I was vegan, and for an ever longer time I completely abstained from red meat, opting instead for poultry or fish.  In turn, for a long time, my blood tests have revealed super low ferritin levels (ferritin is just a fancy word for a body’s total iron stores.)

As it turns out, having low ferritin is often associated with hashimotos, and low ferritin can even end up being the true culprit behind many hashimotos symptoms (specifically, hair loss, cold sensitivity, fatigue and even heart palpitations!)

No amount of Spinach, molasses, lentils or supplementation could ever seem to do much for raising those stubborn ferritin levels.  For years, they consistently hovered between 4 and 17, but when I finally added red meat back into my diet (and cut out those grains) all of my symptoms slowly began to improve.

My ferritin levels finally crept above 20, and best of all, my hair shedding slowed dramatically.

I still love a good plant based meal, but I no longer believe that eating meat is ethically wrong.  I feel it is my first priority to be a good mom to my kids and being a suffering wreck riddled with autoimmune disease and anxiety was truly effecting my ability to parent and just exist in the world.

Anyone who has experienced either can attest, hashimotos (and PCOS) can be downright painful.

I now believe eating ethically is all about making better choices about the meat we do eat and eating less of it overall.  The most important thing we can do is listen to our bodies.  If something in our health is amiss, chances are high that something in our diet is amiss too.

I love Mexican flavors and find that this braised beef is a foolproof yet super flavorful way to cook almost any cut of beef. I have tried this with chuck, sirloin and tip roasts, it always turns out.  When in doubt, ask your butcher to recommend a roast that braises well.  The key to this beef is in the long game.  You have to make the time to cook it super low and slow, and if your cut of beef is particularly large and lean, cut it into smaller chunks before searing and braising.

My husband begs me to make this at least once a week and thinks I’m an absolute superstar every time I pull it from the oven.  My picky kids like it too.

I love this beef on grain free tortillas, but it is also a treat served over mashed potatoes or cauliflower rice.  Pair it with a side of guacamole, pico de gallo, and slaw and you’ve got dinner.

Tip * Feel free to sub the beef for chicken, just reduce the cooking time by half.

Ingredients:

3-4 pound beef roast

Spice rub ; 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder

4 tbsp olive oil

2 cups beef stock

1 diced jalapeno

3-4 whole garlic cloves peeled

2 diced roma tomatoes

1 cup salsa verde ( I highly recommend the Herdez brand)

1 lime

1 bunch chopped cilantro (include the stems)

Directions :

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Let the beef sit at room temperature for about a half hour prior to cooking

Prepare the spice rub

Cut the roast into smaller roughly 1 pound pieces

Drizzle the beef with 2 tbsp olive oil and roll in the spice rub to coat

In a dutch oven or heavy pot with a lid heat the remaining oil and sear the beef on all sides to a light brown color

Pour in the beef stock and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pot into the liquid

Toss in the salsa verde, tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic cloves and a handful of chopped cilantro.

The liquid should come no more than 1/2 way up the beef

Bring up to a low simmer, cover with a lid and put into the preheated oven

Try to forget about it for 2.5 -3 hours

Tip * If you are using a super lean cut flip the beef halfway through cooking so both sides spend some time immersed in the cooking liquid.

Assemble your tortillas, slaw and guacamole

After three hours turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven another hour

Pull out the beef and shred with forks

Optionally you can use an immersion blender to turn the liquids in the pot into a smooth gravy.  If you are feeding kids you might want to pull out some, or all, of the jalapenos before pureeing.

Mix the shredded beef back into the sauce and enjoy!

Swimming rama – Thai style beef peanut curry with cauliflower rice – low carb – paleo – grain free – gluten free

Swimming rama – Thai style beef peanut curry with cauliflower rice – low carb – paleo – grain free – gluten free
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Swimming Rama is my favorite of the Thai curries.  Maybe because I have such a soft spot for the ever controversial peanut butter.  But yum.

It is so rich, flavourful and satisfying.  If you can’t do peanuts you can substitute for cashew or almond butter, it will taste slightly different but will still provide that rich creaminess we are all chasing.

This curry can be made vegan by subbing the meat for tofu, it also is great with chicken, prawns or whatever protein you have on hand.

The magic is in the sauce.

Traditionally, swimming rama is poured over a bed of wilted greens, and served with rice.  I like broccolini, spinach or bok choy, but again, just use what you have on hand.

Because I’m feeling so good eating grain free, I obviously recommend subbing out those grains for a fluffy, steaming bowl of cauliflower rice, but that’s your call.

Meat or vegan, rice or cauliflower this is a perfect meal any day of the week that comes together quickly and pleases even picky family members.

Ingredients :

1 shallot

1-2 tbsp. red curry paste (adjust to personal spice preferences)

1 tbsp. coconut oil

1 can coconut milk

1-2 limes

chopped cilantro

3 tbsp. peanut butter

1 tsp fish sauce

2 cups protein of choice

As much steamed or sautéed greens as you like

As much cauliflower rice as you like

Directions :

Finely chop shallot and lightly saute in oil about 30 seconds

Add curry paste and continue to saute until the paste becomes fragrant

Toss in protein and roll around in the curry sauce and shallots

Slowly add coconut milk and allow to lightly simmer (don’t boil)

When the protein has cooked through (about 10 minutes) turn off heat

Add fish sauce, lime juice, peanut butter and cilantro

Stir to combine and salt and pepper to taste if needed

*Tip* Serve with an extra lime wedge and let everyone add their own chopped red chilis at the end to individually customize the heat and acid.

If you try this recipe and like it tag me @tha_wild_sage and give it a pin!

An 11 step plan to heal your body from the inside out

An 11 step plan to heal your body from the inside out

pexels-photo-965161.jpegCheesy photo aside, this is a super important and detailed blog post so if you want to learn what I have done to make huge strides in healing my own illness, get comfy.

First a mandatory disclaimer, though I have studied nutrition, I am not a doctor and would never suggest that anyone should neglect a doctors recommendations in the face of critical illness. This being said, I also believe it is everyone’s responsibility and right to take control of their own health and choose a healing protocol that they can feel good about and believe in.  I am simply sharing what has worked for me and many others in improving heath and even reversing supposedly irreversible disease.

It is becoming a more common opinion that most illness starts in and is cured by the mind (followed by the gut), so if you believe the only road to healing your own body is following a western medical route, I would agree that you are probably right.

(Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. ~Henry Ford)

Many people facing illnesses ranging from the flu to cancer have been healed by western medicine, but on the same note, people also heal themselves every day using natural, less invasive methods. Listen to your body first, believe in its ability to heal and go from there.

These days it seems everyone is sick to some degree and it is actually more rare to meet someone experiencing vibrant health than it is to meet someone who has some form of illness. The list of modern day medical afflictions seems to be endless. Even the common cold seems to run through my kids school multiple times a year.

I truly don’t believe we were designed to live a life of illness and suffering, but sadly, our modern diet, toxic environment and lifestyle choices has predestined us to these fates. We put far too much trust in our traditional medicine that puts far too much trust in textbooks and dogma. Health care providers often fail to truly listen to their patients which then leaves us tuning out our own inner voices who are screaming at us, ‘hey, remember me, your body? Something serious is going on in here.’

Regardless of your current state of wellness, I believe it is vital for everyone on the planet to take a serious look at the foods they put in their body followed by a full body and mind detox to hit the reset button on their health.

If you are currently undergoing treatment for a life threatening disease I DO NOT recommend following these suggestions in lieu of treatment but rather integrate or turn to them after your critical illness has gone into remission.  These steps will help create an environment where your disease will be less likely to return.

Don’t be intimidated by the long to-do list, just put one foot in front of the other and check them off one at a time. Listen to your body, pay attention to how you FEEL. If supplementing, add only add one supplement at a time so you can appreciate the differences it affects in you. In no time you should feel like a completely new person.

1. Undergo an elimination diet followed by a complete diet overhaul. Hidden allergies and intolerances also cause constant inflammation leading your body ignite an autoimmune response. Some experts believe all modern autoimmune diseases are caused by chronic inflammation as the result of undiagnosed allergies and infections. Gluten dairy and soy are BIG ones to watch out for. You can also get professionally tested for intolerances but these tests are expensive and not always accurate. You already intuitively know what your body needs to heal, you just have to listen.

2. Begin a mostly whole foods, anti inflammatory diet and be sure to omit all ingredients you have found you have an intolerance to. You should try to make all your own sauces and become a vigilant label reader if you purchase anything processed.  Soy, gluten and sugar are hidden everywhere.

3. Replace all products that you use on your skin, hair and home with natural non toxic ones. You can make these yourself, or purchase them if you are not the DIY type. Your skin is your bodies largest organ and soaks up everything you put on it like a sponge.  A good rule of thumb I try to follow is, if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth don’t put it on your body.

4. Get tested for hidden infections, viruses, candida, heavy metals, parasites and bacteria. If your immune system is working overtime fighting off a chronic condition your body will be in a constant state of inflammation which leads to many forms of illness and will keep you operating below optimal levels.  Many MD’s are reluctant to test for these things so I recommend seeking out a naturopath.

5. Begin to detox. This part of healing is controversial, some health experts claim that your body is more than capable of detoxing itself but recent studies show everyone on the planet is carrying a toxic load (even babies are being born with thousands of toxins already in their system) and when your body is working to fight off constant inflammation it may put detoxing on the back burner. The detox phase can take a while, but will ignite a radical transformation to your overall health.  For me this was a huge game changer.  Some good detox strategies are dry brushing, saunas, Epsom bath and using herbal preparations.

6. Heal your gut. When you have eliminated all food intolerances and begun to detox their residual effects it is time to repair all the damage they have done. Gut health is so super important more and more experts are being led to believe that all disease begins right there. Taking bone broth, and supplementing with the Amino Acid L-Glutamine are two proven ways to heal that precious gut lining. Probiotics (good quality ones) are also super vital to replenishing your good bacteria, especially if you have recently done a herbal cleanse/ detox.  However, there is no point even beginning this step if you have not already done step two. As long as you continue irritating your gut with foods that you are intolerant to, it will never fully heal.

7. Find your supplements. All bodies will need and respond to different supplements so it is a great idea to work with a holistic nutritionist, Chinese medicine practitioner or naturopath to determine the things your body is lacking and start adding them into your diet via high quality nutritional supplements. Not all supplements are created equal, I was anemic for years taking daily iron fumarate tablets (at my GP’s recommendation) before an integrative physician recommended iron bisglysinate and I was finally able to raise my iron levels quickly and painlessly.

8. Change your mindset. A toxic mindset creates a toxic body. Having a positive mindset is important not just for healing but for affecting all elements of your life from money and career to love and happiness. Releasing patterns formed over a lifetime takes work and time, but it is time well spent. Integrating daily meditations, gentle movement, affirmations and breathing exercises will improve not only your quality of life but your health as well.  And NO MORE negative self talk.  You are a miraculous being so lets take a moment to acknowledge that.  This step in particular has been a huge change for me.

9. Sleep. You need at least 7 hours and 8 if you are dealing with illness. Period. Even if you seem to function well on 5-6 hours chances are your body wants more. Your cells do the most healing work while you snooze so this area of your life should never be neglected. Also sleep makes you look better which never hurts in improving your overall quality of life.

10. Exercise. You have got to get sweaty. While sweating in saunas and baths is a big part of a good detox plan, actual physical exercise that pushes you to your limit and makes you sweat buckets is a vital component of your journey to lifelong health and happiness. I have left this to the end because intense physical exercise before you are ready, can stress your adrenals and lead to raised cortisol levels (wich actually can make you hold weight and increase inflammation). When you have completed all the steps above and are starting to feel like a new person it is time to start pushing your body with both weight training and cardiovascular training. You’ll know you are ready for this phase when you actually WANT to exercise and (mostly) look forward to your workouts/ feel energised rather than depleted when your workout is over.

11. Remove the toxic people from your life, or at least limit the energy you give to them. You’ve done all this work removing toxic ingredients from your diet, skincare and household products, and improving your mindset, so why are you still allowing toxic people to suck the joy out of you. You are a sum of the people you spend the most time with so make sure these are high quality people and you will notice your energy levels and outlook improve drastically.

I know this can seem like a daunting amount of work to do but if you are sick of feeling run down, dealing with illness and quite frankly, looking like shit, this is a great place to start.

Health is a journey not a destination, and if you really want to get the most out of your life, you’ve got to care for this body you are living in.
Life is so much more enjoyable when you have energy, a positive mindset, and quality people surrounding you.

In 2017 I began implementing these changes and am finally feeling like a new person going into 2019. Hopefully this helps someone else who is suffering feel like they have their life back.

Grain free moderate carb diet

Grain free moderate carb diet
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Photo by Tofros.com on Pexels.com

Since going grain free I have noticed a few major changes.

  1. My skin is consistently clear.  I am used to getting at least a couple doozies every month mainly around my period, but recently I have gone through 3 grain free cycles with flawless skin.
  2. My energy levels are higher.  Quitting gluten helped  tremendously at first, but then I reached a point where I felt like my progress had stalled.  Ditching grains and dairy has been the final push I needed to get me feeling like a woman in her early 30s rather than a rickety 90 year old.
  3. My breath is always fresh.  This is a weird one but a very welcome change.  In the past I have definitely had moments where I’ve had to fish through my purse for an emergency breath mint.  I’m not sure if its quitting the dairy, the grains, the uptick in chlorophyll from all those leafy greens, or a combo of the three, but I’ll take it.
  4. I can handle stress better and feel more positive about life.  Like most humans on earth, my life can occasionally get a bit nutty, and in my SAD diet days I Just. Could. Not. Deal.  Now I feel like there is no challenge I can not face. Even in the most hectic moments I feel a steady sense of calm, like my inner voice is able to speak more clearly than before, and give me constant reassurance that I’m on the right track.

I loved my new grain free life so much that I decided to push it all the way into Keto, I was already half way there and more of a good thing is even better right?  Big mistake.

Within weeks all of my hashi symptoms had accelerated.  My hair was coming out in handfuls (this is always the first alert my body gives me that something is amiss) and I was super cold.  I did have a slight uptick of energy but my breath was gross and I just really wanted a banana.

Finally, I did eat that banana and I haven’t looked back.

I’m sure a low carb lifestyle is great for some people as we are all so unique.  There truly isn’t a one size fits all diet plan. However, individuals with Hashimotos actually need a decent amount of carbs to convert T4 to T3 (the active thyroid hormone).  Dramatically reducing your intake can slow down your thyroid function and speed up its dysfunction causing a myriad of related hormonal issues.

Low carb diets are also extremely stressful on the adrenals. Most people with any autoimmune disease experience some level of adrenal fatigue and our bodies needs healthy carbs like a car needs fuel.

Carbohydrates have gotten a super bad rep in recent years but like with many things in life I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity.

I generally consume somewhere between 100 and 150 grams of carbohydrates per day and they all mainly come from fruits, and veggies. I eat sweet potatoes on the regular and when I go to the movies with my kids I sneak in plantain chips to distract me from the glorious smell of popcorn.

Potatoes are still on the menu in moderation because they seem to agree with me, but I always choose organic and leave the skins on.  Potatoes are one of the dirty dozen so I eat them organic whenever I can.

For some hard science to further back up the benefits of grain free living I highly suggest the Wheat Belly books.  They are written by an MD and filled with mouth-watering recipes.

My mom keeps trying “grain free” but still eats croissants and has the occasional slice of pizza, she is adamant that grain free just doesn’t help improve her autoimmune symptoms. “How would you know?” I want to scream. Grain free (and gluten free) are things you have to commit to, you are either all in or all out if you want tangible results.

If you are suffering from autoimmune, adrenal or hormonal issues I challenge you to try one month completely grain free. Really get inside of your body and notice any changes that come, both good and bad. Journal it. Enjoy it. But don’t cheat! Even a little slip up puts you back at square one.  Take before and after pictures, the changes externally can be almost as dramatic as the internal ones.  And if you make it through alive (you will) and want to document your success feel free to tag me on Instagram @wildsagewellness.

Happy healthy carb-ing!

It’s all in your head

It’s all in your head

pexels-photo-256302.jpegWe are part of a limitless universe, and yet though our own perceived limitations most of us never get to experience our full potential? If we are all born a blank slate why do so many of us grow up to be sick, sad and less than what we could be?

While its true that some of us come into the world with a golden spoon in our hands it’s also true that many of us are born into circumstances that may ‘seem’ to set us up for failure. I personally know privileged people who live lonely, loveless lives filled with illness and pain, and likewise have met people who were born with nothing, and have ended up building great fortunes and living a life full of love and vibrant health. (Just look up the SELRES_86837e3f-92ee-4e49-b30b-8a1bb265316aSELRES_d6475fb2-b0ff-44ff-a5d9-c37e59bb4e6dSELRES_424af9af-7e38-4006-b666-3d5f396a847eSELRES_4507549a-d088-4328-9644-94bc745a263eSELRES_d36ecaac-5de2-4dc8-9d21-0c941e2c3a93SELRES_44a323e4-ecfa-4279-b285-139719d33080SELRES_c62f8074-9e3b-40ae-824b-c8f7ab3c1031SELRES_8ed41df1-8938-4c28-b597-263d69a075b2SELRES_38c48204-2eb2-4961-8e49-ecc46dfa8a9cSELRES_7b5a03c9-92e8-409a-9fd4-993b9269ca14Charles Mulley story)SELRES_7b5a03c9-92e8-409a-9fd4-993b9269ca14SELRES_38c48204-2eb2-4961-8e49-ecc46dfa8a9cSELRES_8ed41df1-8938-4c28-b597-263d69a075b2SELRES_c62f8074-9e3b-40ae-824b-c8f7ab3c1031SELRES_44a323e4-ecfa-4279-b285-139719d3308)SELRES_d36ecaac-5de2-4dc8-9d21-0c941e2c3a93SELRES_4507549a-d088-4328-9644-94bc745a263eSELRES_424af9af-7e38-4006-b666-3d5f396a847eSELRES_d6475fb2-b0ff-44ff-a5d9-c37e59bb4e6dSELRES_86837e3f-92ee-4e49-b30b-8a1bb265316a

The reality is, the playing field is much more even than it seems. The main reason so many people are living lives that don’t measure up is not a result of our outer environment but our inner one.

I have personally observed in my own life, how choices, thoughts and words shape my reality daily.

Most of us have it ass backwards, we think to ourselves when I have money – then I will feel rich, when I have love – then I will feel worthy, when I have health – then I will feel whole. The reality is we must first feel we have the things and be grateful for them before we can attract them in abundance.

Wouldn’t it be easier to get fit if you walked into the gym every day feeling super strong?

Life is a complex dance of energies and like attracts like. Why do so many millionaires say the first million is the hardest to make? Because once they have made that first million they are no longer living in a mindset of lack, and all of their existing wealth can go out and earn/ attract more wealth.

This applies to health as well. I recently read the story of about a woman who fought and beat cancer, mostly with health and a positive mindset (AMAZING!) But one thing about her experience that stuck with me is that she somehow knew she was going to get cancer years before she was ever diagnosed. In fact, she started making funeral plans, wrote up her will and even had dreams about getting cancer long before the illness manifested. Was this woman psychic and having premonitions or did she literally create cancer in herself by believing to her core that she was going to become ill? Only the Creator truly knows that answer, but I have a strong sense it was the latter.

Every cell in our bodies is 99% empty space. We are made of 1% protons neutrons and electrons and 99% nothingness. Matter, at it’s tiniest observable level, is energy, and human consciousness is connected to it, human consciousness can influence it’s behavior and even re-structure it.

Ever heard of SELRES_13224304-ce64-4b0d-8c02-166474624f82Emoto’s water experimentSELRES_13224304-ce64-4b0d-8c02-166474624f82? In the early 1990s Dr Masuru Emoto did a series of experiments extensively studying how water, at a molecular level, is influenced by its environment. In a nutshell, the good scientist used photography to capture images of water exposed to different energy frequencies, music, thoughts, and prayers. The results were pretty much mind blowing. When the water exposed to positive, loving, thoughts and compliments froze, it formed into beautiful symmetrical ice crystals. But the water that was blasted with insults, ill will and hatred froze into ugly, chaotic, jagged formations.

We are all anywhere from 50% – 80% water. So just imagine what constant negative self talk, and thought patterns are doing to us on a molecular level?!

For a long time I struggled with the woo woo-ness of it all. ‘Yeah suuure, I’m making myself sick, I’m making myself poor, I’m making myself unhappy… with my thoughts. Riiiiight.’ Yet, if you look at it from a purely logical scientific level it becomes abundantly clear that we are in fact writing our own stories with out minds.

“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” (R.C. Henry, “The Mental Universe” )

So how do we break through years of mental programming that has convinced us we are *insert thing here*; too ugly, too sick, too old, too fat, destined to fail, destined for illness, destined for loneliness etc etc etc? It takes work. Period. But like everything else that has brought us to where we now are, it all simply begins in the mind.

If we want to change our health we need to examine our diets, detox our cells and exercise, but if we still believe we are sick we are just spinning our wheels doing all that work. If we start by believing we are healthy it becomes intuitive and easy to make the small changes our body needs to keep us in that state.

One of my favorite ways to break through mental programming is using positive affirmations. Just as the Emoto experiment demonstrates, our words hold more power than most of us even realise. Positive affirmations, can apply to any area of our lives and can have a profound impact on shifting us out of a negative mindset into a positive one.
If we are dealing with an illness this affirmation can be a simple as ‘I am a healed healthy and whole’ spoken out load daily anytime thoughts of illness creep into our minds. If we are dealing with feeling of lack we can say something like ‘I am abundantly provided for, (insert whatever I need) flows freely into my life and I am deeply grateful for it.’

It might seem silly and even a little cheesy at first but sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zones to effect real change.

Another super helpful exercise is through writing down our limiting beliefs (skip a few lines), crossing them out and write our TRUTHS below them. So it would look like this.
I will always be alone.

I am attractive, I am worthy of love, I attract love into my life, I am so thankful for the quality relationships I have, I am a magnet for men/women, my life is filled with love, I am never truly alone, etc.

It’s important we speak in the present tense with all affirmations, if we speak in future tense (I will have love some day) we are always chasing that future day and not inviting it in right now.

Hypnosis is another effective tool for mind reprogramming. Ironically, I am a trained hypnotist and still spent years not fully grasping how important my thoughts truly were in shaping my reality. There is a reason hypnosis can be a useful tool in quitting addictions, losing weight, and changing many other areas of our lives. A good hypnotist communicates directly with our subconscious, which then communicates directly with our cells. This communication reprograms our entire being on an atomic level. Mindset also explains why hypnosis doesn’t work on some people who believe they can’t be hypnotised. (‘Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t you are right’ ~Henry Ford.)

No matter where anyone is in their healing journey, it is inevitable that negative thoughts will squeeze in from time to time, as long as we have some positive affirmations at the ready to squash them with we will be well on our way to re writing our reality.

A great man (Jesus) once said, ‘ If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’ Matthew 21:21

By reprogramming our minds, crushing negative self talk and limiting beliefs, we can all move mountains in our own lives. Through faith, mindset and positive thinking anything is possible. We are all healthy, wealthy, lovable, beautiful, limitless souls having an experience in these human forms, by understanding the true power of our thoughts we have every ability to make the very most out of our time here, no matter how our journey began.