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Family life is often centered on food. There are special foods associated with holiday gatherings, seasonal celebrations and even recipes passed down from one generation to the next. Today feeding our family can be a challenge since many of us have dietary restrictions based on health conditions, preferences, and beliefs. There are even people taking a strong political position by consciously using the power of their dollar when choosing the food they put in their body. You may have family members, who are diabetic or have nut or gluten allergies. Then there are people who keep kosher, vegetarians, pesca-tarians as well as those eating macrobiotic foods, raw, raw-vegan and others who will eat meat…but only grass-fed. What is a parent to do?

Growing up in Detroit Michigan area, like most young women, Veronica Bosgraaf struggled with body image and with making healthy choices when it came to eating and exercising.  When she became a mom, Veronica was frustrated by the lack of healthy packaged, convenient foods in the markets. She wanted an organic, raw, healthful and delicious snack to throw into her daughter’s lunch bag and so she headed for the kitchen and created it herself. She calls it Pure.

PURE PRODUCTS

JUST THE FACTS – PURE ORGANIC & PURE NATURALS

Made with Only Real, Simple, Whole Ingredients

Minimally Processed

Contains Some to All Organic Ingredients

Vegetarian/Vegan

Gluten-Free

Non-GMO Project Verified

Certified Kosher

Full of Fiber & Protein, plus Antioxidants & Omega-3s

A FLAVOR TO APPEAL TO EVERY TASTEBUD:

Chocolate Brownie

Cherry Cashew

Wild Blueberry

Apple Cinnamon

Cranberry Orange

Banana Coconut

NEW! Dark Chocolate Berry

INGREDIENTS YOU CAN COUNT ON IN EVERY BAR:

  • All ingredients are certified organic – All the ingredients are grown without the use of herbicides and pesticides.
  • Pure bars are between cold-processed, which allows them to retain higher levels of nutrient density and enzyme activity.
  • Instead of refined sugars, organic Agave nectar is used. This nectar, harvested from the Blue Agave plant, looks and tastes just like honey without significantly raising your blood sugar.
  • Walnuts can be found in each flavor. They provide a-linolenic omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient. Omega 3’s are the good fats that help with brain function, stabilize cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.
  • Almonds are rich in vitamin E, a tremendously heart-healthy vitamin. Almonds also work as a natural preservative, giving the bars added shelf life.

Food nourishes, rejuvenates and heals when at its best. Serve your family foods that are free of preservatives, artificial ingredients, harmful additives and Trans Fats. Serve family and friends more organic fruits and vegetables.

In many cultures it is believed that food is love. Pure Bar is love in a wrapper.

When designing beautiful rooms, buildings, offices and homes, bring nature’s elements indoors using the EcoChi® EcoChi Design brings Nature Indoorsphilosophy-blending feng shui, green and sustainability and environment psychology. The focus in this design system is the relationship between nature, the beauty of buildings and the wellbeing and happiness of the inhabitants. It is possible to purposefully arrange an environment so that it has a positive effect on the people who live, work or visit there. Nature’s beauty is for all to enjoy. It is a right we earn at birth. When bringing nature’s elements indoors people feel happier, healthier, calmer, and at the same time more energetic and optimistic about their lives.

Here are some easy to implement tips for your indoor environments:

1. Shop for an indoor water feature, fountain or fish tank • Whether it is natural or man-made, people love to be near water. They gather around fountains all over the world. • A water fountain is relaxing to look at and the sound comforts us. • Hours can go by as we entertain ourselves by peering into a small fish tank or an aquarium. It makes us calmer because it reminds us that we are a small part of something grand.

2. Accessorize your space with green plants and trees • Plants are natural air filters. • The color green is restful and calming for our eyes. • Plants absorb electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that are emitted from electronic equipment that may have harmful effects on our health.

3. Freshly cut flowers are beautiful to look at and the fragrance delights our senses • Pastel colors have a relaxing energy; vibrant colors create an excitement in the room. • Keep it fresh! Change the water every day. • As soon as the flowers start to wilt throw them away.

4. Take a walk in nature and bring some beauty indoors to create a feeling of harmony • Create a rock garden with stones you have collected. • Pine cones and acorns can make a beautiful centerpiece-place them in a dish with a candle. • Take your collection of sea shells and display them in a bowl with small soaps in your bathroom.

5. Decorate with art that expresses the beauty of nature • Select a painting, photograph, poster or painting that inspires you. • Purchase Furniture artistically crafted with organic materials that helps to create a naturally beautiful and healthful space. • Utilize art constructed in Mother Earth’s studio! Display a crystal, geode or fossil in a place where all can enjoy it.

Bring the outdoors, indoors as part of your interior design strategy. It will bring about a sense of calm and optimism for the people who live and work in these spaces!

LoPan CompassLife in the New Year will be lived the way it is designed.  So prepare your home, your mind and body, and be conscious of the environment so you can attract all the things you desire in your life this year. Your home should be your “red bird” so that it reflects your promising future. This is a feng shui expression and it is a powerful tool that can help you create abundance in all areas of your life. Your mind and body should be refreshed, renewed and ready to accept opportunities. Do one good thing for Mother Earth and we are one step closer to a better world. So where do you start? Follow these simple tips and enjoy a healthy, happy and prosperous year!

Clean, de-clutter and beautify your home. This changes the energy and prepares the space to celebrate the wonderful things that are about to come into your life.

The cleansing properties of sea salt are used to renew the chi of spaces. To cleanse your home of old energies and create room for fresh energy follow these easy steps:

  • In a small bowl place 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • add 2 cups of warm water
  • Moisten a cotton cloth or dish towel with the solution
  • Wipe down your front door and all of the doorknobs in your home

Pay down an overdue bill. Even if you can’t pay it off entirely the intention is to begin to pay off some debt so it makes room for money to come in this year.

Instead of focusing on not eating to lose weight, have a healthful snack before you go out to dinner. It helps to keep your energy level up and keeps you from gorging on bread and butter at the restaurant.

Update your lighting to include earth-friendly compact florescent light bulbs or LEDs. Just changing the six incandescent bulbs you use most often could save you over $100 a year on your energy bills.

Wear red to bring in the New Year. If red is not part of your wardrobe, fresh flowers or decorative pillows in this auspicious color is sure to set the atmosphere for a promising New Year.

Make a list of all the things you want to come into your life this year. Light a candle and burn the list just before midnight releasing your wishes so the universe can provide them. If you are home when the New Year arrives, open your front door to allow this new energy to enter.

Start the New Year off right by making a change. Large or small revisions help to welcome in new energy. So go ahead, get a haircut, change your route to work, make a conscious effort to recycle or take ballroom dancing lessons and enjoy!

These tips can be accomplished on any budget so no excuses! Did not have time to tackle this list before New Year’s Eve? Do not worry…this is also a wonderful way to start the Chinese New Year which begins on January 23rd and is the year of the Dragon. The Dragon energy fills most people with energy, vitality and unbridled enthusiasm.

Let go of last year, especially if you’ve had challenges or troubles. Process them in your mind and then clear out your thoughts and emotions. Let go of expectations and make room for positive energy flow. Embrace optimistic thoughts, dream, laugh and love. This will attract wonderful things into your life this New Year.

Debra Duneier is an accredited LEED® Green Associate, Certified Eco-Designer, Feng Shui Master Practitioner, Creator of EcoChi® and Author of EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience. http://www.ecochi.com

 

North Fork, Long Island

KKs Farm Stand

As the creator of EcoChi some might say that I am a pioneer. I believe that there is a universal consciousness and that we are
headed towards a more holistic way of living. I see it all around me and hear it from my clients, family and friends, I write about it, and speak about it.

If you are one of those people like me, who believes that there are no accidents then this unremarkable story  is just that-I was where I was supposed to be in that moment. On the North Fork of Long Island I stopped at a roadside farm stand called KKs and found a treasure.  The vegetables were the discovery and they were like no other produce I had ever seen or eaten. Each one boasted its own unique natural beauty and taste. These full flavored gifts of the earth surprised my taste buds.  The delightful,
light, multi green lettuces had a spicy personality and then there was the gentle sweetness of a lemon cucumber (round and yellow in color) never overwhelming, and always beautiful to look at on the plate.
This produce is organic-but not just organic. They are biodynamic vegetables that take organic to a whole new level. Biodynamic farmers believe that the soil, mother earth and even the universe have a life force. Utilizing this energy or Chi they plant their crops with intention and claim that they taste better, are more natural, and deliver more nutrients. These farmers use nature’s own pesticides and fertilizers and stay clear of artificial, chemical treatments. Wow! This is like “feng shui for farming” which is right up my alley, and I am not alone…
The east end of Long Island has a community of biodynamic farms, vineyards and even beekeepers! Nothing tastes
like raw honey from the Hampton’s Honey Company. Many of the gourmet restaurants out east both new and established are choosing to serve biodynamic produce, wine and honey whenever possible. Prices are higher than on traditionally grown fruits and vegetables but it adds so much to the food experience many are willing to pay the price. However there are some that
are skeptical.  Even though these growers are certified biodynamic-how different can the veggies and fruits taste? I invite you to explore this subject and send me a note with your opinions and experiences.
As a feng shui practitioner I work with energies. Some can be seen-like the arrangement of furniture and some energy cannot be seen. My clients’ stories speak for themselves and prove over and again that there is more to life than what we see.  I believe that there is a universal consciousness and that we are headed towards a more holistic way of farming, eating and living. May the essence of the foods of the season bring you health and joy!

Poison ArrowThe Chief Architect of our world clearly loves curves. Picture the swirls and curls of the ocean waves, the gentle arc of a flower petal, the perfection of a full moon, or the spiral motion of caressing winds on a balmy evening.

We are energy, and so are all of the things around us, both animate and inanimate. Invisible but powerful patterns of energy exist everywhere. This is the basic principle of quantum mechanics, which has been observed and documented by scientists at the scale of atomic particles. All matter has this “Chi” energy or “life force.” What‘s important to note is that some energy patterns are supportive and others can be destructive. Energy patterns are affected by a great many factors, all working in tandem. This can include the colors and shapes we choose, the positioning of furniture, the lighting, the floor plan, the site, and even the size and location of the doors and windows. The way the space will be utilized also factors in as does its history, whether it’s a home, office, hotel room, movie
theatre, or any other location. What has happened in that space? Was someone sick? Did someone die there? Were toxic paints, materials, finishes or adhesives used in building or renovating the property? Was there love in that space, or violence and anger? So many variables enter into the equation,
including the basic fact that energy is always in a state of flux. For this reason, making sure a new building or renovated space has good nurturing
energy, enhancing that positive energy, and, when necessary, containing or eliminating the stressful energy, is an essential part of the EcoChi process.

The building may be green but does it have poison arrows? Poison arrows create a stressful fast moving energy also referred to as cutting chi in feng shui. They
are sharp angular lines directed towards a person or a structure. Jagged edges of buildings aimed at a home or office building at right angles, table corners,
and pointed objects are some examples of poison arrows. It is an inauspicious energy. Having only straight lines and sharp angular shapes in our personal and
public spaces would be like being in a room full of arrows of different sizes and colors that point straight at us, from all directions and heights. Not
surprisingly, this kind of environment will make us feel uncomfortable, nervous and agitated. These sharp angles cause energy to move very fast and can make
people feel restless, interrupt sleep, and can negatively impact the health of the occupants of the building. Architects, builders, contractors and designers
should be aware of any potential poison arrows when constructing or renovating spaces.

In Hong Kong buildings have been torn down in mid-construction when creating bad feng shui. If you are  constructing a new space be aware of any poison arrows directed towards your site and plan accordingly. Avoid creating cutting chi that will point at neighboring buildings. If you are working in an existing space that exhibits “poison arrows” an EcoChi tip is to soften these edges with plants, wind chimes, curtains or decorative screens. This added beauty brings a positive quality to the experience of the space while slowing down the Chi—all of which makes for a healthier environment.

Available September 17, 2011

I created the EcoChi system of design because I needed it in my own life. EcoChi is a lifestyle shift that meticulously blends the powerful ancient and modern lessons of classical feng shui, green and sustainable living and environmental psychology to revolutionize how people feel when they are in a building.

In Eastern philosophy, it is believed that life and the natural world are inseparable from one another. As we become more attentive to nature, we become more aware of ourselves. During my studies, I realized that if I could find ways to bring nature’s elementsinto indoor spaces, it would change the energy and the effects on the inhabitants and would be extremely positive with the following benefits:

  • Attainment of personal goals such as wealth, love, happiness
  • Physical and mental well-being
  • Moving forward after a loss or crisis
  • Taking back the reins of control over one’s life
  • Living in harmony and balance

When applied to businesses, it adds other benefits:

  • Improving ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Happier employees resulting in lower turnover
  • Healthier working environment and reduced absenteeism
  • Satisfied customers and brand loyalty
  • Environmental responsibility for our planet and lower energy costs

Energy patterns are affected by many factors, all working in tandem. This can include the colors and shapes wechoose, the positioning of furniture, lighting, floor plan, the site, and even the size and location of doors and windows. The way the space will be utilized also factors in as does its history. What has happened in that space? Were toxic paints, materials, finishes or adhesives used in building or renovating? Was there success in that space, or did the last business fail? So many variables enter into the equation, including the basic fact that energy isalways in a state of flux. For this reason, making sure an office has good nurturing energy, enhancing that positive energy, and, when necessary, containing or eliminating the stressful energy, is an essential part of the
EcoChi process. Here are some tips which you can implement yourself:

Tip 1- The energy of water is most closely linked to prosperity. Place a water feature, such as a fountain or a miniature waterfall, in the southwest corner of your office and watch greater abundance enter your life. Remember to always keep the water and the fountain clean.

Tip 2- Clutter clogs up potential! Organize your office and you change the energy flow and clear the way for new business, success and prosperity.

Tip 3- Position your desk chair so that your back is up against a wall and you can see your office door. This position is called the “Mountain Energy” in
feng shui. This is the energy of support and protection for you and your business.

By implementing the EcoChi system, you can open doors to new energy that will advance you professionally
and bring greater joy to all aspects of your life!

Written by Debra Duneier for the Women’s Leadership Exchange

We all have the opportunity to have several homes. No, I am not talking about buying real estate. I am talking about the public spaces available to all of us. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that there are many opportunities to find the energy and balance we need right in our own city and surrounding areas. The real blessing of technology is that we can do our work anywhere—on a blanket in a state park, on a seaside rock, in a library, restaurant, museum or even a sculpture garden. Most cities have a rich plethora of environments to choose from. I love my city apartment in Manhattan. It is perfect for me in many ways. However, living in the heart of “the city that never sleeps” is not generally the most relaxing place to be. New York’s fast-paced, vibrant, 24/7 energy is very “yang.” On the positive side, it offers endless activities, opportunities and cultural events—a diverse, ever-changing smorgasbord of people, places and things. But whew! Sometimes just thinking about it can exhaust me.

To help keep my life in true balance, I also have a second home, one that slows me down and helps me connect and stay in tune with “yin” energy- nature’s moons, tides, rhythms and seasons. Our yin and yang (masculine and feminine) energies are interdependent and complement each other, representing
the polarities of the universe and the ever-changing balance of life. One EcoChi principle is that a second home can and should be an opportunity to create a natural balance between these two opposite but complementary and equally
necessary energies. My second home is on the North Fork of Long Island just 1 ½ hours from the city. Over the last 10 years I have stayed at friend’s homes,
rented motel rooms for a night, did weekends at a B&B and even have taken rides out just for the day. Eventually I rented a tiny house for 2 weeks and ultimately bought a “handyman special” that is a short walk to the beach surrounded by trees, vineyards and organic farms.

However, what I am talking about here does not require the deed to an actual house! A viable option, and one that may even be preferable, is to

make an agreement with yourself that you will explore nearby neighborhoods and the outlying community until you find a public space—or several spaces— that offer you the balance you need. Change your energy—and thus your mood—by heading out to a café, museum, library, park or beach. Vary your environment from time to time and I promise you that you will be pleasantly surprised. The only limit is your imagination and willingness to explore other areas both near and far to find the balance of yin and yang you desire in your life.

(EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience,Chapter 10) www.EcoChi.com

Take a few moments to share with me stories of your favorite second home!

Every space has a life of its own,and impacts us as we go about our lives. Our actions, energy and thoughts, as well as our physical well-being, are all profoundly influenced by our surroundings. The design, color scheme, textures, light, furnishings, accessories and placement of each item in our indoor environments impact our senses from moment to moment and shape how we feel about ourselves and others I created the EcoChi system which meticulously blends the powerful ancient and modern lessons of classical feng shui, green and sustainable living and environmental psychology to revolutionize how people feel when they are indoors. We spend about 99% of our time inside so it is easy to forget our connection to the outdoor world. Still, some of the happiest moments of our lives are spent outdoors. With EcoChi I bring nature’s elements into indoor spaces. The effects on the inhabitants are transformative and the added bonus
is that it is also great for the planet.

East Meets West

Eastern philosophies are based on awareness of nature as an endless cycle of transformations, rather than as a succession of unrelated phenomena. In Western culture, we name and categorize things and put them into boxes. Animals are in one box, the ocean in another, seasons in another, and human beings in yet another. This compartmentalization distances us from the reality that we are part of something much larger and grander than our daily lives. Look at the bigger picture. See the stars, the galaxies and observe how small our Earth is—a mere speck of dust in the vast horizon of space. When we accept our small part in the order of the universe, we are truly free to celebrate our place in the natural world. By shifting our perspective this way, we are able to see our planet for what it
truly is, a spiritual place, our mother, our temple and our ultimate home. I believe that this is where the solution to the environmental crisis lives. When
we love something this deeply we act responsibly to keep it safe—forever.


The Eco-Chi Circle

As an interwoven system, all three of the disciplines described earlier and briefly summarized below have been integrated into the EcoChi System. The purpose of this new design for living is to help you establish and materialize your goals, nurture your health, and bring you greater harmony and prosperity.

  • Classical Feng Shui is an ancient art form and system of purposefully arranging an environment so that it has a positive effect on the people who live or work there.
  • Green and Sustainable Living protects the environment and sustains its natural resources for today and for future generations by choosing environmentally friendly lifestyles and practices.
  • Environmental Psychology is an interdisciplinary science focused on the interplay between humans and their surrounding environments.
  • Healthy Choices is a bonus category that I added to this list, because optimal health is one of the core objectives of EcoChi.
  • Far eastern cultures believe that our minds, bodies and souls are intricately connected. The components of EcoChi are linked together in the same holistic manner.

Begin looking at this diagram at any point in the circle and you will see that the result is always the same—each sphere overlaps and influences the other. Each is strong enough to stand on its own, but together the whole creates an undeniable force, one that has the power to revolutionize the way we live.

by Debra Duneier as seen on www.GreenCityChallenge.org

For more information about EcoChi and Feng Shui visit www.LivingHomeByDebra.com and www.EcoChi.com

May is the perfect time for a spring cleaning; but have you heard of a space clearing? I am not talking about de-cluttering. That subject is for a different day…

Learning about space clearings was an unexpected part of my Feng Shui training. I had never heard of a space clearing before that. When I was informed that it was a required part of the curriculum, I was taken off guard. I thought, “What is this and how could it be helpful to my clients?” I learned that a space clearing is a method used to dissipate negative or stagnant energy (Chi). The intention of this ritual is to revitalize energy in a property while also raising the space’s vibratory level. Using a variety of techniques, this ritual allows for new beginnings and sets positive intentions for the home, office or other location.  The purpose is to refresh the energy in your indoor space. Although anyone can do a basic space clearing, I recommend calling in a professional after a stressful event, conflict, divorce, illness or death. It is also one way that I address the “Predecessor Law.” All of us have seen this kind of lingering bad luck. For example, a new restaurant or store opens and everyone knows that the new venture is doomed, because every business that opened there before had gone out of business. A space clearing is one of the many tools I use to remedy this situation. The clearing creates a clean palette and makes room for new energy. It can also be a cathartic ceremony as one releases the old to make room for the new. My methods variously include the use of music, incense, dance, pendulum techniques, song and sound.  Here are some simple things you can do to refresh your space and your life!

  1. Give your place an “air bath.” That’s right…open your windows and let the breeze embrace you and every room.
  2. Light a smudge stick (dried herbs wrapped together.)  You can usually purchase this in a store that sells organic foods. If there is a WholeFoods in your neighborhood they usually carry it.Once you light it move the smoke in a circular motion with intention: thoughts of clearing out old energy and making room for a fresh start.
  3. Ring a bell, musical instrument or hang wind chimes strategically in areas that feel stagnant-especially corners of the room and dark areas.
  4. Use a scented candle or incense to infuse your environment with fragrance.
  5. Place a small bowl of sea salt in every room. Once a day discard the salt in the bowl and fill it with fresh sea salt. Do this every day for 9 days.
  6. Play your favorite music. Push up the volume and sing, dance, swirl and twirl!

 As you celebrate this season of rebirth “good vibrations” will awaken your environment to endless possibilities!

When we connect with nature we feel happier and regain our natural rhythm. All ofour senses become alive and we are reminded of our innate ability to heal ourselves.I created the EcoChi® system-because I was searching for ways to heal in my own life. I am excited to share this new concept with you blending both the ancient and the modern disciplines of Classical Feng Shui, Green and Sustainable Living and Environmental Psychology. EcoChi allows you to design the healthy life that you desire by bringing nature’s elements indoors in a whole new way.

Sight

“What you see is what you get.” What do you look at every day?

Art: beautiful pictures of nature on your wall will create a peaceful, healing environment.

Plants: Indoor trees and plants are not only pleasurable to look at but bring additional health benefits. Plants purify the air through tiny pores in their leaves that act as air filters.

Hearing

  • Nature: Listening to the sounds of nature on a CD has a healing affect on us-very soothing…  If you are in the country or close to the beach open the windows or doors so you can listen to the birds, ocean, wind and rain.
  • Music: Play music that makes you happy, and smile. Studies                          

 have shown that smiling improves your health, your stress level and your attractiveness!

Touch

Infants cannot survive without the human touch. For maximum health human beings need to touch and be touched.

  • Massage: Bring home massage oil from your favorite spa      warm it over a candle and massage your feet, legs and hands before starting your day. 
  • Clothing: Choose natural fibers. You will feel the difference when it touches your skin because organic fabrics are gentle and breathe.

Smell 

Healing with aromatherapy is so pleasurable and easy.

  • Incense and Candles:  Utilize them to recreate the healing scents of flowers, fresh rain and the ocean air which are essential to our well being.
  • Food: Nothing reminds us of good times like the smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Try a variety of ingredients like vanilla or cinnamon and experiment with baking an old family recipe.

Taste

Your path to healing can begin right on the tip of your tongue!       

  • Sweet, Salt, Bitter or Sour: It takes all kinds of tastes to keep us happy and healthy. Give in to your cravings within reason. Your body tells you what you need. Choose healthy options like fruits to satisfy a sweet tooth or sea salt to gratify your desire for salt.
  • Organic produce: There is nothing like the taste of home grown vegetables and fruits. Live in the city or have no garden?   Grow           food and herbs in organic soil near your window. They smell great, taste good, nourish and heal you!

  “EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience”  AVAILABLE SPRING 2011

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