Happy Healthy New Year!!!

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you from the bottom of my juicer for reading this lil' ole blog.  The fact you take time out of your colorful, busy lives to read about my nerdy obsessions warms the very cockles of my heart.  That's right.  I said "cockles."  Chatting with you has made my year so thank you, thank you, thank you…and thank you again!!!  Happiest of New Year's to you, my Veggies!!  May 2012 bring each of you joy, peace and buckets of love!!!

-♥ J :)

**I will be taking a little blogging break next week, but I will be posting again starting January 9th.  See you next year!!


The Year in Review

On the off chance that you are not my mother and therefore have not read every single post this year (Thanks, Mom!!!), here are some Happy Healthy Belly Highlights from 2011...

There were detoxes, detoxes and more detoxes.
Followed by cheating, cheating and more cheating.

I lost 20 pounds.  (Not those kinds of pounds…)

I made organic vegan meals for $2.36.
I bought juice for $92.43.

There was hot yoga, Nina's spin and lunch with Tracy Anderson.

There were workout videos.  Tons of workout videos.
And Lululemon fun. Tons of Lululemon fun.

I begged you to cut the cheese...
And the yogurt.
And the meat.

I told you about the easiest diet change ever.
And the hardest.

Erin won big.  Cara got Clean.  John was a good sport. 
A very good sport…

There were recipes, videos and bossy books.
As well as snacks, treats and, yep, more cheats.

We broke our bad.
We freed our minds.
We changed the world…one belly at a time.

-♥ J :)


Food for Thought

photo via Clean

What's the next chapter in your life, Veggies?? Are you starting 2012 with a bunch of New Year's resolutions or, like Leo, are you approaching the new year with no goals at all??  Hop on over to the Happy Healthy Belly Facebook page and tell me your thoughts. 

-♥ J :)


Sh*t Vegans Say

"Oh my God!!  They have vegan donuts!!"  Hilarious.

-♥ J :)

P.S. You know I love me some vegan donuts.



Whatever you worship, may your holiday season be filled with peace, love and joy!!!

-♥ J :)


Let there be light!!!

photos via A Cup of Jo*

Happy winter solstice, Veggies!  Two years ago, my good friend Sara had a winter solstice party at her home.  She explained the custom and its history in a wonderfully heart warming, life affirming way.  I will not be able to replicate that.  Instead, I will sum it up for you using a quote that I learned from my god...the god of musical theatre:

"In Ancient days…in winter…when the sun started to sink lower in the sky…man started to wonder if he would die.  'Look,' he said.  'The day is being eaten by the night.'  'Look,' he said.  'The darkness is devouring the light.'  And he was frightened."** 

Basically, it got dark and everyone bugged the hizzle out.  Then they ate and drank and hugged each other and sang songs and danced and prayed and partied like it was the end of the world as they knew it and they felt fine.  Then a miraculous thing happened!  The sun came back and the days got longer and there was more food and more drink and more babies and everyone continued on this wacky road called life, grateful to have lived to dance another day.  Then they did it all again the next year.  You see, ancient man/women never believed that they were entitled to the sun.  There was an understanding that while they were blessed with its favor, the sun was not theirs to harness.  The sun was theirs on generous loan, never to be taken for granted.  

In present day USA, it is very easy to lose the connection to the magic that is winter solstice.  We don't harvest in the same way.  We don't rely on the sun in the same way.  We sit in our artificially lit apartments and microwave a hot pocket and wonder why our internet connection is so slow.  Oh, silly humans.  How we have tricked ourselves into believing that we are in control.  Don't get it twisted, friends.  We may think that we run this show, but we are mere renters of our space on this planet and, as my friend Tommy once said, Mother Earth could shake us off like "a bunch of unwanted fleas" if she wanted to.  So today, as the darkness devours the light, raise your glass and bow your head out of respect for great lady Earth.  Thank her for her hospitality.  Be ever grateful for this beautiful, gift of a planet and vow to keep her safe from harm.  And for the love of Buddha, recycle already!!!

-♥J :)

*Seriously, how gorgeous are these photos from Cup of Jo???  My blog crush on her grows stronger by the day.

**Quote from the 1969 musical Celebration.  Big thanks to my dear friend Vera for reminding me which musical it came from!!


Nuts for Ballet

Last night John, Cara and I went to see The Nutcracker* at the Westside Ballet in Brentwood.  If anyone needs me today, I'll be hopping around my living room pretending to be a ballerina.  I think it may be time to get THIS workout video.  Santa??  You reading this???

-♥ J :)

*Yesterday was their final performance of The Nutcracker, but for info about future Westside Ballet shows click HERE.  


Festivus for the Rest of Us

One year when my friend Jennie and I were in high school, her father declared that they were forsaking their traditional Christmas celebration to jet off to the tropical islands of Turks and Caicos.  They would purchase no gifts, but rather make funny hats for each other that they would exchange on Christmas morning.  I remember Jennie relaying this information to me and then showing me the (quite elaborate) funny hat that she had been working on.  My fifteen year old self was horrified.  "But..but..NO presents at ALL?!?!  NO tree?!?  What the heck is a Turks and Caicos?!?!"  In hindsight, however, I have decided that Jennie's dad was a genius.

Without exception, ALL of my favorite holiday memories are of the things that my family did together, not of the things that we accumulated.  I couldn't recount to you one gift I got the year a blizzard trapped us in a deserted motel in upstate New York.  What I remember from that Christmas, is the look of joy on my younger brother's face as we spent hours sledding on the freshly fallen snow.  I don't recall what was under the tree the year my mom couldn't get the tree to fit in it's stand.  But the hilarity that ensued as she marched into the house with a chain saw to fix it, is a gift that I will treasure always.  And of course, there is the food...I always remember the food.

We give presents to show that we love each other, but what if there was another way to express that??  What if we gave time together and memories instead??  Isn't that what everybody really wants, anyway??  Well, that and a funny hat...

-♥ J :)

P.S. A zero waste Christmas.
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