I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Katherine Fisher (via email) this past June. After a few email conversations, I decided that I would be hopping a plane to Mexico where I would be volunteering with PEACE (Protection & Education, Animals-Culture-Environment) and while there, teaching a women’s self defense class.
Katherine, along with her sister Molly, came up with the concept of Destination:PEACE as a way for people to enjoy a volunteer vacation. It is for the person who wants to do more than just give money to an organization. It is immersion into a culture with hands on experience working with the local people. Please see destinationpeace.com for more information about these two extraordinary ladies as well as what DP will be doing next.
Katherine put us up in a beautiful house overlooking the ocean where I got to see the most magnificent sunsets every evening.
She fixed Ayurvedic meals consisting of mung beans and quinoa and other natural foods and showed me how to make ghee and introduced me to my new addiction – chia seeds (among many other delectable meals). That’s right, chia seeds -as in chia pets. Every morning I awoke to a glass of water with lime, honey and chia seeds. I now buy chia seeds in bulk from Amazon.com and have two glasses a day as well as add them to various dishes (mostly unbeknownst to my family).
THE HISTORY OF CHIA SEEDS
Chia or Lamiaceae is a flowering plant in the mint family which is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. There is evidence that chia seeds were first used as a food as early as 3500 B.C., and served as a cash crop in central Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C. Chia seeds were eaten as a grain alone or mixed with other seed crops, drank as a beverage when dissolved in water, ground into flour, included in medicines, and pressed for oil and used as a base for face and body paints. Aztec rulers received chia seeds as an annual tribute from conquered nations, and the seeds were offered to the gods during religious ceremonies.
30% of the chia seeds oil is omega 3 oil and 40% of its oil is omega 6 oil. They are high in antioxidants and a great source of protein. It is an all natural energy drink. This is how I am able to still be up working on this post at midnight.
Each day started and ended with a yoga practice. Katherine, a practitioner of Bikram Yoga led the practice each day. It was a nice way to energize at the beginning of our day and wind down at the end of the day. These things all added to a wonderful soul fulfilling experience.
All of this was the beginning of a different way of thinking for me. I now try to center myself each day with a little yoga practice (although an IT band problem is preventing me from much more than a little stretching), I fix my family all natural meals – It is not easy nor particularly inexpensive but we all feel so much better because of it and, it has cut our garbage by half. No more boxed foods! But the greatest change for me occurred when I started working with the local people.
Stay tuned for day by day posts on my experiences with PEACE.