What’s Your Community? 1

World Community

We each thrive on human connection. “No man is an island.” We can never be truly independent, when our nature is interdependence. In a way we are all one life rolling and flowing together. Perhaps that’s why even the least social of us crave some form of community. This could come in many forms and it is an essential part of any healthy human experience. I’m not suggesting that solitude isn’t healthy, but as with anything in life, it’s all about finding a balance. We need somewhere to go where we can feel like we’re a contributing part of a powerful whole. Maybe this group has come together due to a common interest like a genre of music or for a common cause like helping the homeless or people who suffer from a specific disease. Regardless of what the purpose of the community is, there is a reason for this amalgamation. With people, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. We can do together what we can never achieve in solo.

I personally wasn’t fully conscious of the communities I was part of until fairly recently, and therefore wasn’t a fully contributing or present member; more of a drifter. Having this deeper awareness for my various communities has made me a more powerful member and thus a more powerful man. Here is a breakdown of the communities I belong to and how you can foster a sense of community in your life!


1. Long Island DIY music scene – I have been playing music for the past 15 years. For a while, in the beginning, I was not attached to any particular scene or group. I had my friends that I played with we had the bands we loved to listen to, but there wasn’t that sense of community that I am speaking to. It took a while, but some friends and I eventually became part of a band and started playing shows that my friend Mike (now my bandmate and founder of Dead Broke Records) was booking. I finally had that sense of belonging and contribution that I had longed for. It was here that I formed many strong bonds and relationships with people I continue to have incredible times with. This community made it possible for me to fulfill my dream of touring the country with a band; something I continue to do this day. I love being part of this awesome community of talented, loving, creative, and fun people. There’s always been this unspoken “all are welcome” rule to this group. There’s nothing elitist about it, perhaps that’s why I took to it so easily.

Iron Chic

Iron Chic at the “Murdershack” Summer 2010

2. Health & Wellness - This community has taken form in various ways in my life. Firstly there is the local health scene where I would put health stores I frequent on Long Island, such as Sherry’s Market, Organic Corner, Juice and Blends, and The Water Well. All of these stores contribute to the health of my local area, and that is why I show them my support when I can. Many of my friends and colleagues are either health mentors, coaches, or involved in the health & wellness field in some way.  I am also part of The Earth Diet community, which is for both business and pleasure! Founder and Author, Liana Werner-Gray, with the help of myself as online designer and mentor, does her best to foster a community of health conscious people eager to learn more and share their knowledge of natural remedies, healthy delicious recipes, and tips for sustainable healthy living. We actually started a members club which includes all downloadable products offered (over $500 worth) and an invitation to The Earth Diet Members private Facebook group. There people get to share their health goals and any questions with a community of health mentors and fellow members. It is just the beginning, but we’re seeing amazing things happening already. One area where I plan to get more involved is with the local farms. I will surely spend more time this year at the farmers markets and farms on the east end of the Island. There’s nothing like freshly picked kale and other veggies! Last but not least, I am a part of the Integrative Nutrition community, as a current student enrolled in the program and someone who is already in the field of health coaching. Here I am expanding my knowledge and skill set in health mentoring to the next level. I am very happy to be able to share this expansion with a flourishing group of driven, ambitious health professionals and wellness entrepreneurs. 


3. Momentum Education - I feel a very strong connection to the people I have shared experiences with in the amazing, life-changing workshops offered by momentum. They run weekend group workshops focused on major personal growth. Since I’ve been on this path of deeper self-awareness, personal health, and all around bettering myself, I have seen my biggest breakthroughs within these workshops and while applying the work in my life beyond. I can’t go into detail about what happens in the exercises because I would potentially spoil your own unique experience. I will say that this is the kind of work that will change the world. I sometimes wonder what our planet would look like if every person put one weekend aside to do the Basic Workshop. I am currently enrolled in their Leadership Program, where every person is held accountable to reach where they want to be; to go out of our comfort zones and beyond where we ever imagined we would. We are creating someone really incredible together, and it is only the beginning. I have a feeling I will be connected to the Momentum community for a very long time. I sincerely want every person to do this work, so f you have any questions, feel free to email me or simply take the leap and enroll in the Basic Workshop here. 

Momentum Education

How to find a community that’s right for you?

What are you interested in and deeply passionate about? Write down all of your personal interests. Make a large list of everything you are currently doing or desiring to be involved in. It could be anything. Choose a few that stand out the most. Here’s where you get to find other people who are also doing it. Do a simple online search and find out who else is interested in what you’re doing. It could be an online community, or in person. Contact who you need to contact and get involved. Contribute in any way you can, even if it means simply showing up somewhere. If you’re like me, when you came to figuring out what communities to be involved in, I had the realization that I was already a member of communities that fell within my passions. It was all a matter of stepping up and being an active member rather than a bystander.

What are some of the communities you are currently involved in?

Recipe Guide: Hearty Healthy Meals 1

As someone who thrives on a majority plant based diet, I still crave a heavy meal quite often. I typically fulfill this hunger with a hearty healthy meal as described below. This post is another sneak peek for the book I’m putting together. Bon appétit!


1. Choose a Grain (quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, amaranth, farro, or a blend) 

Set this to cook first. This is a good base of protein, fiber, iron and many essential nutrients. If you don’t feel your body does well with grains you can always substitute potato or sweet potato for another form of healthy heavy starchiness. You can also use a rice or quinoa pasta.

photo credit: Rob Qld via photopin cc

photo credit: Rob Qld via photopin cc


2. Pick a Green (1 or a mix – spinach, collard greens, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage) 

Simply add it to the pot where the grain is cooking and it will steam together OR fry, steam, or boil in a separate pan or pot. If you add it to the pot with the grain, be sure to add a bit more water, so the grain thoroughly cooks. The greens will provide fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, which are heart healthy and help the body heal and stay in a state of great health. Leafy greens pack more concentrated nutrition than nearly any other food, so get your greens on! 

Recipe Guide: Hearty Healthy Meals

3. Legume it up (1 or a blend – lima beans, peas, kidney beans, butter beans, black eyed peas)

Add pre-cooked or canned (organic bpa-free) at the end and mix it in OR you can add the beans in with the greens, but they will end up cooking more and getting mushier, which can be great. The beans will provide protein, heart healthy awesomeness, weight loss assistance, digestive aid, antioxidants, fiber and many essential vitamins & minerals.

photo credit: Roger Smith via photopin cc

photo credit: Roger Smith via photopin cc


4. Veggie add-ons (onion, garlic, ginger, beet, peppers, carrots, cauliflower, organic corn)




Here’s where you can get colorful. Keep it simple if you want or go wild. Add a diverse and colorful mixture of veggies to receive a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The more you add, the more likely you may want to cook these separate from the grain OR you can just use a very large pot and make it a stew. If you are adding onion and garlic, a good idea for proper flavoring would be to lightly saute’ them on the side in avocado, olive, or coconut oil until brown and add to the mix. The meat eaters can also add organic chicken or grass-fed beef, just cook it up on the side with onion and garlic if using and add it to the mix when cooked. You can add sliced avocado at the end for a creamy raw element.





5. Oils, Vinegar, Herbs, & Spices

(Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Oils – olive, coconut, avocado, grapeseed, sesame. Spices & Herbs – curry, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric, fennel seeds, nutritional yeast. Fresh or dried basil, cilantro, parsley, sage, rosemary, & thyme.) 

Add the oil either while cooking the veggies or mix it in at the end. The oil will supply healthy fat, omega-3, and other nutrients. Add the spices and herbs you like, but also don’t be afraid to experiment. Garnish your final creation with a fresh herb and bask in the glory of your home cooked goodness.


Here are some recipes similar to what you can create with this guide…

*All recipes are from www.TheEarthDiet.com, some of which I contributed myself.

What are some of your favorite hearty healthy recipes?

When Your Health Honeymoon Is Over 1

photo credit: bruckerrlb via photopin cc

photo credit: bruckerrlb via photopin cc

When I first started juicing, incorporating raw foods, and living an all around plant-based healthy lifestyle I became so passionate it was as if I had fallen in love. Not that it wasn’t for good reason. I finally was taking control of my life and was feeling better than I had in years. I had more energy, happiness, and a sense of adventure that only a new discovery can bring. I was in something similar to a love buzz.


Part of that has never gone away for me. That’s why I write this blog and do health mentoring, and why I will continue to promote health for as long as I can. Many people are waking up and realizing that what they eat does matter, and I feel it is my mission to be part of helping people make the transition, to realize their own power in a sense. Still, however, there was that point after the initial puppy love phase that I stopped caring a little bit. The buzzing of carrots through a juicer didn’t have the same excitement that it used to come with. I was starting to think more about the cleanup if anything. Preparing a favorite salad was beginning to feel like a chore. I was craving convenient take out food. I just wanted life to be easy and I wasn’t having as much fun as I had in the past.


Like any relationship, you can either walk away or look at what’s missing and bring it to the table to repair what you have. Someone needed to spice things up, and since we’re talking about food, obviously it had to be me. This required a shift. I knew I wanted to have a long-term, sustainably healthy life, so I set out to find a way that I could live this lifestyle without it feeling like a burden or a bore.

photo credit: thornypup via photopin cc

photo credit: thornypup via photopin cc

Here are some realizations and methods that helped me stay healthy and sane at the same time…


A. Take it 1 day at a time. Ask yourself  “what can I do today?” If there’s one bit of edible self-care that will be easy and doable for you today then do that. Don’t worry about sticking to some crazy eating regimen that doesn’t fit your lifestyle, that wouldn’t be healthy either. Through my work at The Earth Diet, we usually tell people that even if all they do is drink a simple lemon water today, they still gave their body a whole lot of nutrition, so do something feasible and surrender.


B. Go easy on yourself. People demand way too much of themselves and at the end of the day look at what they could have done and diminish all they accomplished. Look back at your own health journey and take stock in all you’ve learned and applied already. Depending how far along you are, I’ll bet you nourish your body much better than you once had and have come quite a long way. Give yourself a little credit, you deserve it! You are enough.


C. Add in before you remove. Integrative Nutrition calls it “crowding out”, the idea that you will be more successful when making dietary changes if you focus more on adding healthy foods rather than taking junk food out. Naturally over time you will only have room for the healthy food and you will see the contrast between what makes you feel good and what makes you feel bogged down. 


D. There’s no slipping with a solid foundation. If you live healthy consistently you don’t have to worry about eating non-health food once in a while because you’ve built yourself a solid foundation. For example, a friend of mine made cupcakes the other day that had dairy and white sugar and I ate one with no regret. I’m a grown ass man and can do this if I feel like it. I wasn’t always this free with myself, but l must say, it’s great to be at this point of non-judgment. I’d rather eat my friend’s delicious dessert that he made with love than be the health nut in the corner with no cake.


E. Don’t take it too seriously. At one end of the spectrum I think “wow food is everything”. Everything we consume, our cells absorb and become the building blocks of our future body, so essentially, “we are what we eat” as the adage says. Even so, there’s no reason to be serious to a fault. As much as food is everything, also it’s only food. Maybe that’s just my attitude about everything. Sure, take things, seriously, but really don’t take anything truly seriously. This may seem contradictory, but so is almost everything in life. I have unintentionally played the part of humorless health man and it’s no fun. Relax, eat a burger if you want, it’s going to be okay. You don’t have to be perfect.


F. If it’s stressful, it’s not healthy. Stress will kill you a lot faster than processed meat. Some people eat healthy food, but think junk thoughts and live junky lives and speak junky words and treat others and themselves like junk. I don’t care how many kale salads you eat, if you are starving for love and that part of your life is inadequate, you’re going to feel that deficit. No amount of organic produce can heal a relationship, give you a sense of community, or fix any social, emotional, or mental imbalance. Food can carry the energy of love, but it isn’t love in itself. That said, if you’re stressed about sticking to a schedule of healthy eating, maybe it’s just not right for you. And if you’re willing to forego other important aspects of your life for the sake of eating, than that’s not going to work either. Find a way of living that works in harmony with all the other aspects of your life, Health is holistic. 


G. Eat intuitively. My colleague and Earth Diet founder, Liana Werner-Gray, does this fun exercise: Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, hold it and exhale slowly. Do this a couple of times until you feel centered. With your eyes closed, ask yourself “what food do I want to eat right now”. Whatever the first image that comes into your mind is likely what your body needs. Simply learning how to “listen to your body” is a way to tap into your intuitive powers. The more you listen, the more you hear. I need only get quiet and wait for the “message” to come through. It’s strange and magical. Kind of like food sorcery, but it works. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, simply do this and you will likely have a breakthrough.


Where are you at on your health transformation? Leave a comment below. 


Looking for a little guidance on your journey? I offer personalized programs through The Earth Diet. I would create a meal plan to fit your lifestyle and goals and a month of coaching via email. Go here to view my profile and fill out the questionnaire. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Free Spring Salads Recipe eBook 1

IIN Salad Recipe Guide

Click here to download

Springtime is here. We can finally thaw out from the winter freeze and hibernation. I don’t know about you, but I was eating a lot of heavier warming foods in the winter. Heavy soups and stews were what I was craving for the majority of the time aside from the occasional raw foods. As the weather gets warmer, our bodies naturally crave lighter foods. This season is also great for detoxification and there’s no better way to do that than eating raw greens. This guide, containing 18 delicious recipes, shows us that we can spring clean our system in a way that is enjoyable and delicious.

This guide, included in the eBook, shows us how to incorporate seasonal, local vegetables to create our own salads…

IIN Spring Salads Guide

Click to download the guide!

This free guide is being offered by the school I am currently enrolled in, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Full discloser: these are affiliate links. If you end up enrolling after downloading the guide, I get a little kick back. You would also get a tuition discount for my referral, so it’s win-win. Obviously there’s no obligation to enroll, so at the very least you’re getting a free ebook loaded with great recipes and information. At the most, you’d get that plus a tuition discount for the best nutrition school in the world. Can’t beat that!

Enjoy the recipes. Happy spring to you all.