♡ Brought to you by Darling Niki! ♡
May your world be surrounded in peace, your heart filled with love, and your thoughts a fountain of wisdom.

GOOD NEWS!

I apologize for the lack of posts on my blog lately, I've been immersed in work and exams for school while turning my blog into a website. I'm too busy to spend much time on here right now, but I'll be back soon. I have been posting informative articles on my Facebook page, though, so check it out: http://Facebook.com/HealthHappinessandHottness. My website is going to be awesome, so stay tuned!

TAKE CONTROL

I want to share a post with you from The Daily Buddha, a site that I visit often. Jim's words speak to me in so many ways, and I hope they will for you, too.

The Daily Buddha
Http://TheDailyBuddha.com
Who’s in control of your life? Who’s pulling your strings?

For the majority, it seems to be other people – society, colleagues, friends, or family. We learned this way of operating when we were very young, of course. We were brainwashed. We discovered that feeling important and feeling accepted was a nice experience and so we learned to do everything we could to make other people like us. We didn’t want to be singled out by the crowd for being different because this wasn’t such a nice feeling. We learned this way of being so well that, as adults, we continue – mostly through mutual peer pressure – to keep each other in check. Like sheep without any need for a sheepdog, we keep each other in line.

So consider this carefully - "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” – Oscar Wilde

First, we are afraid of disapproval. Am I dressed right? Will people laugh at my accent? Will I look stupid? Will I make a mistake? When we feel that others think badly of us, it makes us feel bad and so we try to avoid this. Second, we all want to feel important and so we crave the positive attention of others. We crave this good feeling like a drug – we are addicted to it and seek it out wherever we can. Unfortunately there are plenty of family members, spouses and others who will unknowingly support this addiction!

As with any drug, there is a price to pay. The price of the approval drug is freedom – the freedom to be ourselves. Do you want your approval or do you want to be free? You cannot have both. If you want to pull your own strings, you need to stop giving away your power – you need to genuinely stop caring what other people think about you. The truth is that it’s all an illusion anyway – you cannot control what other people think. If we try to live by the opinions of others, we will build our life on sinking sand.

So how can we take back control? If we are truly ready to give up the drug of approval and importance (which most people are not), I think there’s only one way – make a conscious decision to stop caring what other people think. This doesn’t mean that you should start to treat people badly, step on them or use them. Why would it? I have written before about guiding your life by means of a set of values – not values imposed from the outside by others, but innate values which come from within. If we are driven by these values and not by the changing opinions and value systems of others, we will live a more authentic, effective, purposeful and happy life. We will be actualized and successful.

Only one question remains – do you really want to be free?

Peace and Love, Jim

I love this! Self-acceptance and a positive attitude lead to true happiness, and that's a fact! There is no person or thing that can "make" you happy besides yourself. Depending on someone else to fulfill your needs doesn't work, because you'll find yourself lost and confused (I would know). Once you stop giving away your power and trying to please others all the time, you'll realize that if they can't accept you for who you are, they aren't worth your time. I've never fit in and was always considered "weird", which caused insecurity, anger, depression and a lack of self-acceptance.

I no longer care if others think I'm "good enough" for them, because being true to myself and embracing what makes me different has brought more positivity into my life. Sure, bad things happen, but beating ourselves up won't bring results. Its time for us to stop letting shame from our pasts and stress for the future control us, we must do our best to focus on the present and accept each moment as positive individuals.


So what if I still screw-up every now and then? Life is a continuous learning experience, and we must learn from our mistakes in order to move forward. I've spent my entire life wondering if I could ever learn to love and accept myself, and its finally happened! I refuse to let the words and actions of others bring me down now, I am enough, I am in control of my life and I am a phenomenal woman. This is why my site and brand that I'm developing is called 'HEALTH, HAPPINESS & HOTTNESS': Each one benefits the other!

GIRL PANIC

I'm obsessed with this video/song! Now I want to join a chick rock band, whether its fake or not! I get to be the guitar player ;-D.

ONE OF THE HOTTEST

Even though I quit the Lingerie Football League (LFL) after my team, the Los Angeles Temptation won the 2010 Lingerie Bowl National Championship, I just got listed in the LFL's "Top 40 Hottest Players" list. The fact that my old fans still support me so much is awesome! I copied and pasted the article on here for you to read:


Lingerie Football League: The 40 Hottest Players Ever
20. Niki Connor, Los Angeles Temptation
Niki Connor played offensive and defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Temptation during the 2009 Championship Season.  

Someone's Name Dropping Fact: Connor tweeted to me that she bailed on the LFL after winning the championship because there was too much drama! Dozens of women playing competitive sports in their underweardefinitely sounds like it could get dramatic.  
Fleeing California Fact: Connor ditched the west coast for NYC and is currently studying for her certification as a Health Coach while building her business. 
Thanks Bleacher Report! http://bleacherreport.com/articles/932578-lingerie-football-league-the-40-hottest-players-ever/page/22


Here's more info on my LFL experience: http://healthhappinessandhottness.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-did-i-get-here.html

RATION SATISFACTION

Though all of our bodies are different, its important for everyone to stop giving in to "Super Sized" American portions that are causing more health problems in this country. Our healthcare system is making so much money off of keeping us sick, so don't give in to the "healthier choices" at major food chains with large portions. Even restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory have a small salad at over 900 calories and a large salad for nearly 1,600 calories! Portion control is essential for maintaining and losing weight, and consuming healthy snacks between meals makes it much easier. The average portion sizes have increased up to 50% over the past 30 years - yikes! 


We must avoid buying larger quantities of food, because even pre-packaged foods have suggested servings that are sometimes nearly twice the amount than the recommended portion size. The easiest way to avoid consuming larger portions while eating out is to order an appetizer and a side or a main course and a side as your meal at a restaurant. Remove whatever comes with your main course dish and replace it with veggies or just push it off your plate and request a side of steamed veggies. As I have explained in a previous post ("Keeping Cooked Foods Delicious and Nutritious"), steamed veggies are the healthiest way to consume them (besides raw), because most of the vitamins and nutrients stay intact, unlike other cooking methods of cooking at higher temperatures.


It is also important to make sure that your waiter tells the chef to substitute butter for olive oil wherever it is used. You may think that egg white omelette or halibut that you're eating is a good choice, but most restaurants cook everything in butter to "add flavor" when they're really just adding bad fat. I say "bad fat" because olive oil is in the "good fat" group of healthy fats unlike those solid "bad fats" that make you unhealthy and gain weight. 'Clean Plates' has an online guide to help you make better restaurant choices, I highly recommend it: http://cleanplates.com 


Cooking and eating at home is the easiest way to keep the portions small and avoid extra calories in general. Use smaller plates and bowls rather than large ones so that you don't feel encouraged to fill up. As you can see in the photo below, I even eat my cereal in a coffee cup! Add vegetables before other protein and starches (good carbs only, please) and measure sauces and dressings with a spoon rather than pouring it directly onto your food. Drinking lots of water before and during your meal is a great way to avoid "empty eating" and excessive alcohol consumption - juice doesn't count! 


The most important thing to remember when it comes to eating is to follow the "hara hachi bu" method in Japan: Stop eating when you are 80% full. This is another reason why it is so important to eat slowly and chew each bite as many times as you can, because it takes about twenty minutes for our stomachs to communicate with our brains to determine how full we are. When we claim to be "starving", it is simply the brain sending signals to the stomach that its time to eat. Wait at least fifteen minutes for this feeling to pass before eating so that you can avoid overeating and eating too fast. It may take some time for you to get used to this method (it did for me), but its so worth it! 


Being completely full makes us feel bloated and uncomfortable because its not healthy! By adding this method of eating with organic foods and eliminating processed foods and drinks, making greens and healthy grains the main part of your meals and consuming healthy snacks, your health, weight and overall well-being will improve, its already making a big difference for me!
My homemade granola (fiber, potassium, iron) with organic cranberries (proanthocyanidins, antioxidants), raisins (iron, calcium, protein, Vitamin C, fiber), flaxseed oil (omega-3s, Vitamin B, manganese, magnesium, fiber, antioxidants, etc.), cinnamon (reduces fasting blood glucose and cholesterol) and almond milk (Vitamin A, Vitamin D, riboflavin, iron). As you can see, I enjoy brewing my favorite chai tea the old-fashioned way!

"ENVIROPIG"

Genetically modified pigs? It sounds ridiculous, but its true. This could eventually reach the United States if we don't take action now and help save the pigs, we must always support local farming!

Here is the story from "Think, Eat, Act" (http://www.thinkeatact.ca/):

Enviropig™ - attacking the wrong end of the problem
Intensive hog farming raises pigs in giant complexes that bear little resemblance to what most of us would call a farm. Now, science is ready to provide the hog industry with a pig that has been genetically engineered to include mouse and bacteria genes, as a technological response to deal with the pollution problems created by turning the raising of livestock into an industrial process. Enviropig™ may well be the first GMO food animal approved for human consumption in Canada - without regulatory guidelines - in spite of the existence of other simpler, cheaper, more effective and less invasive ways to deal with pollution from hog manure.
The genetically engineered "Enviropig"
One of most serious impacts of the rapid shift to intensive hog production in Canada is water pollution. By confining and feeding thousands of animals in huge barns, their manure has become a pollutant.
It is expensive to haul millions of gallons of liquid manure, so hog barn operators seek to spread manure on nearby land. The nitrogen and phosphorus in the manure fertilize crops, but too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Many lakes and rivers in Quebec and Ontario, as well as Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba have become seriously damaged due to phosphorus pollution, which occurs when all the nutrients contained in manure cannot be used by crops and instead wash into surface waters with rain water and snow melt.
The solution? Genetically engineer the pig!

That is what the University of Guelph is doing, with funding from Ontario Pork and the Canadian and Ontario governments. As a result of splicing in genes from a bacteria and a mouse, the genetically engineered pig is able to digest phytase, the indigestible form of phosphorus found in grains and beans.
This pig is trademarked “Enviropig” and has been patented in the US and China. But the pigs will still produce millions of gallons of manure which will still be spread untreated on farmland. The manure's odour, salt content, nitrogen content, and drug resistant microbes will not be affected by this genetic modification. Likewise atmospheric pollutants – methane, nitrous oxide, ammonia - will still be emitted from the manure. Enviropig™ certainly does not solve the environmental problems of industrial hog production.
The University expects to sell Enviropig™ breeding stock and collect license fees from farmers who would produce pork for sale to Canadian consumers and for export. However, many hog producers in areas that regulate manure spreading based on phosphorus content (Manitoba, Quebec) now add a phytase supplement to their feed. It has no net cost to producers because it improves feed efficiency - so the cost of the supplement is offset by reduced feed costs. Would hog producers use a genetically modified animal when a much cheaper, more flexible and more acceptable way to deal with phosphorus pollution exists?
Canadians have not had a say in whether or not we want genetically modified farm animals as part of our food and agriculture system. The federal government has stalled the process of developing a regulatory regime for GM animals. Yet Environment Canada has already approved the Enviropig™ for segregated reproduction and for export. The University has asked Health Canada to approve Enviropig™ for human consumption. It is likely that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reviewing Enviropig™ for feed safety, as the byproducts and dead stock would be rendered for animal feed. All data submitted by the University is kept secret from the public, as it is considered confidential business information. There is no mandatory labeling of GM foods in Canada.
The democratic values of openness, transparency, dialogue and freedom of choice are their absent from the Enviropig™ process.
The solution to environmental pollution caused by intensive livestock production is not to tinker with the genes of farm animals. Pollution is a management problem that can be solved by simple changes such as altering sources of feed, reducing concentration of livestock and changing manure management methods. If we accept genetically modifying animals to allow industry to avoid necessary changes, how far will we as a society go? Where do we draw the line?
GMO Pork? No thanks!
There is no genetically modified pork approved for sale in Canada, so far, but most of the pork sold in large grocery stores is produced on factory farms that have significant environmental impacts.
Factory farms also focus on just a few breeds of pigs which have been bred to withstand intensive production.
To support genetic diversity and healthy ecosystems with your consumer dollar, seek out sources of pork that use smaller scale, ecological farming methods and heritage breeds of pigs.
Organic
The Canadian standard for certified organic production specifically excludes genetically modified organisms, and recommends the use of livestock breeds that are adapted to organic production systems. Livestock breeds chosen for organic production should be adapted to local conditions and should have the characteristics of vitality and resistance to disease and the absence of disease and health problems specific to breeds or strains (page 10, Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards PDF). The organic standard also calls for a feed ration balanced to meet the animals' nutritional requirements and for pigs it mentions the need for vegetable matter other than grain (page 12). The number of animals on an organic farm in relation to the space available for raising them also must be appropriate to local conditions, feed production capacity, livestock health, nutrient balance of livestock and soils, and environmental impact. (page 16).
Heritage Breeds
Heritage breeds are generally raised outdoors and on smaller mixed farms. The animals are well adapted to outdoor life, and thrive on a varied diet. Because smaller numbers of animals are kept on each farm, it is possible to balance manure output and the farm's crop fertilizer needs. When manure is composted, rather than liquified, manure management is even more environmentally friendly.
Find the meat you want to eat
To find sources of organic and heritage breed pork near you, check out the Eat Well Guideor Beyond Factory Farming's Buy Local Directory.
Stop Enviropig approval
If you do not want to have genetically engineered farm animals in Canada's food and agriculture system, it will be necessary to take your concerns into the public sphere and become active.
Learn about the issue, inform your networks and send a message to the decision-makers.Beyond Factory Farming is working with the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network in a joint campaign to stop Enviropig™ and prevent future genetically modified food animals (and fish) from becoming approved and marketed in, and from Canada.
Inform yourself
You can read more detailed information in the backgrounder, "Enviropig™: Genetically Engineering Pigs to Support Industrial Agriculture". This seven-page document answers the questions:
  • What is Enviropig™?
  • Is Enviropig™ An Environmental Solution?
  • Who "Created" and Owns Enviropig™?
  • Is Enviropig™ Safe?
  • When will Enviropig™ be on the market?
  • Do Farmers Need Enviropig™?

For on-going information and updates on new developments on this file, join our email list-serve.
For a global perspective on corporate control of livestock genetics, see Livestock breeding in the hands of corporations an article published in Seedling, January 2008.
Write to the Minister of Health
Write a letter to the federal Minister of Health and ask her to reject the request to approve "Enviropig™" for human consumption. This letter includes opposition to GM fish, which comes under the same regulatory category as genetically engineered pigs. Your letter will be copied to key bureaucrats in the Ministry as well as the Health critics in the other federal parties.
Spread the word
The resources on our website are available to be downloaded so you can print them and distribute them to your own networks.
Feel free to put a link to this website on your own website, and/or in your email signature.
Circulate this Action Alert to your email networks - feel free to add your own introduction but please do not edit the alert itself.
Think Eat Act!
http://www.thinkeatact.ca/campaign/enviropig%E2%84%A2-attacking-wrong-end-problem


Rick Owens is one of my favorite designers, and I'm obsessed with this look!

TRUST YOUR BODY, NOT THE HYPE!

It shouldn't be a "diet", it should be a lifestyle! Don't listen to all the hype, pay attention to your body and give it what it needs to look and perform at its best, not what they claim that your blood type, body type or fitness level needs. Its so simple, yet many make it so complicated: Exercise, don't starve yourself, don't binge, don't purge, don't take diet pills, don't eat because you want to, eat because you need to. Honor any food allergies you may have and nourish your body with water and nutritious veggies, fruits, grains and other organic foods. When you embark on a complete lifestyle change, these things will become second nature, I guarantee it.