Caju To You!

I never knew cashews grew on trees, until my recent trip to Brazil.

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The Caju trees are native to the coastal regions of Brazil.

I was so surprised to see how the nut grows on the end of the fruit, called the “Caju” apple. 

The juice from the apple is a traditional Brazilian delight, and is made by grinding the fruit in the blender with some ice a to make an amazing healthful refreshing drink!

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The “apple” is high in vitamin C, helps to strengthen the immune system.

The juice is also used in preparing sweets, sorbets and liqueurs.

Even the “raw” cashews we get in the store are lightly steamed to neutralize the toxic liquid surrounding the nut.

Cashews are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like vitamins E, K, B6, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron and antioxidants.

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Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in cashews and other nuts are valuable to help manage your weight and reduce the build-up of fat and cholesterol thus protecting the heart. The fats found in cashews are also high in Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant that encourages cell growth.

Cashews may be beneficial to help protect against heart disease, cancer, lowering blood pressure, improving eye sight, weightloss, and helps to prevent diabetes. The copper and iron work together in helping the body form and use red blood cells which then keeps blood vessels the immune system, nerves and bones healthy.

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The cashew leaves have been used traditionally in healing wounds.

Although it can cause skin irritations, the peel of the cashew has been used in the treatment of cold sores and throat infections.

The wood of the cashew tree is valuable for use in construction and carpentry.

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Indulge, Enjoy and Elevate your Health!

 

 

The Dark Strands of Grief

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This photo came up on my timeline this year…

Must have been from 1985! Only 2 of our amazing 6 children were born…

Yesterday was the 16th year anniversary of Ken’s passing…
 So many thoughts, emotions, memories flood through one’s mind when reflecting on life, what was, and what now is.

When this time of the year rolls around, there is a sense that is different from other times and rightly so as a person is indelibly marked by hard circumstances… loss especially.

Every year is different, but there are still traces and remnants of grief woven into the fabric of who we are.

Grief weaves those darker strands into the tapestry of our lives that add dimension and depth to our life story.

Life goes on and so do we… in a totally new and uncharted direction as our course was so abruptly changed.

And we kick and scream and try to get our bearings in a sea that tosses us to and fro in grief and sadness and tears…

But…
 Eventually…

Those brutal waves die down and we surrender to what is..
 And as we begin to surrender, a sense of rest and peace enfold us…
 It’s like the sunshine then breaks through the clouds and warms us and nourishes us…

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And we begin to heal and gain strength…
 And then a spark ignites inside of us…
 And we once again slowly come to life…

And then the pain lessens and the memories make us smile…
 And yes, we still cry because our emotions are heightened forever…

But we are free in our tears and our laughter…
 Because they have become dear to us…

And we have become more beautiful and scarred and deeper because of the love and loss of someone so very special that was once a part of us and always will be!

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 Ken Aigner…
 11/10/1946–12/09/2001

A Luxury Lifestyle

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“Your Collective Culture”

Unique

Vision

Vibe

Energy

Effective

Strategies

Flexibility

Luxury…

I want to touch on this word luxury today…

When I say “Luxury” what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

What do you sense?

What do you feel?

What do you see?

Often when we think of Luxury, we think of very expensive items…

A Rolls Royce, a large Diamond, an extravagant over the top lifestyle that only a select few entertain.

And while all of that was certainly true, the definition of luxury is shifting.

Remember when I spoke to you about the new era we are living in.

Within our Collective Cultures, our people are not just looking for monetary compensation… they are looking for rich, meaningful life experiences.

I want to challenge you to see luxury in a new way…

I want to introduce you to luxury as a lifestyle, an experience that all of us can participate in daily…

Luxury is looking at life around us and taking the time to enjoy the beauty we see.

It is creating pleasant experiences out of ordinary everyday tasks.

For instance…

Take time for a relaxing bath, light candles, add a few drops of essential oil to the water and sit back in the tub with a good book instead of hopping into a quick shower.

Instead of grabbing a snack and eating out of the container at the kitchen counter, how about arranging your snack on a nice plate, sit down and take the time to savor and taste your food unhurriedly?

My youngest son and I got into the habit of having afternoon tea or coffee in a china cup with a saucer. It was fun, and created a special time as we sat down and enjoyed our afternoon treat.

If you are dining by yourself, set a nice tray with a carefully arranged plate of food, fold your napkin in a new way, maybe even grab a flower to adorn the tray if you have one close by…

Or how about treating yourself to a fresh bouquet of flowers for no reason at all but just because it makes you smile?

How about allowing yourself some time in nature just focus and breath, relax and gain clarity for the day ahead of you?

Luxury is an experience and the more we focus on enhancing those mundane activities in our daily life, we can find creative ways to make them luxurious.

Luxury carries with it an attitude of gratefulness for the life and moments we have.

It becomes an adventure to find ways to create luxury experiences and soon, it can become a part of our Collective Culture and that is what we are looking for…

To enhance your vibe and energy by serving those in our communities and drawing others to us.

 

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My new book, “Your Collective Culture”

“A Step-by-Step Guide to Ignite Your Team for Success”

Presents Innovative Solutions for Success and Profit for Collective Cultures in the 21st Century Workplace for Cultures, Corporations and Organizations.

Order your copy from Amazon:

http://tinyurl.com/y7dxgmqr

Parched and Dry, Those Desert Places

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You can find beauty even in the desert…
You know, those dry times in life when it seems like you are parched and thirsty…
and never reach the green lush valleys with the spring fed bubbling brook?
Look up and around you…
Focus on what’s to come….
And just around the next bend…
When the lessons that were handed to you in the desert are complete…
You will walk into that lush valley…
With strength, character and a maturity you didn’t have before!
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Vickie Aigner
Alive, Fit & Free, The Method
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Expert Consultant on Cultural and Corporate growth for Individuals, Communities and Organizations

A Positive Transformational and Aspirational Life Design

vickie.aigner#alivefitandfree#alivefitandfreemethod#choices#CulturalCorporate #CollectiveCultures#character #comealive#culturaldesign#culturalexpert #culturalcreation#culturalwellness#corporatedesign#community #corporateconsultant#aspirationallifestyle#personalculture#transformation #transparent #travels#adventuretime#letgo

Creating Your Personal Culture

Personal Culture, what is it?

It is a way of life, that encompasses all the behaviors, beliefs, values, thoughts, actions, vibes, energy, likes, dislikes, social habits, cuisine and symbols that we examine, accept and carefully choose to have in our lives; those beliefs that are serving us at our utmost, our highest sense of being, for nurturing ourselves and others, for creating and displaying who we truly are.

Your "Personal Culture" is your Life, your Lifestyle, your Lifestyle Design...

You, my friend, can make that be whatever you want it to be, whatever you want it to look like...

And if you don't create your "personal culture" the way you want it to look, feel and taste... 

The world around you will dictate how that should be... 

Make the choice...

Create Your Personal Culture! 

The Alive, Fit & Free Method…

Expert Consultant on Cultural and Corporate Growth for Individuals, Communities, and Organizations

A Positive Transformational and Aspirational Life Design

 

 

Through The Eyes Of Zanzibar

As our van rambled across the Zanzibar countryside, and cajoled through the hills adorned with tropical jungles, the busyness of community and the interaction of people in this simple lifestyle not only impressed me, but challenged and humbled me as I found myself awed by the rhythm of life within this raw country.

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You see, being a consultant, I get caught up in always looking for ways to help, and to improve and in my haughty perception, I set off to Zanzibar viewing life through this faulty lens.

My second day there, I heard this loud voice in my head say, “Stop it! Can’t you just step back, observe, marvel in, taste, touch, feel, breathe in this land and its people?”

It was exactly the slap on the face I needed to take off my high and mighty coach’s attitude and become enthralled with this life.

I observed villages tucked away in small clearings, and clothes lines adorned with vividly colored clothing flapping in the breeze. I saw women laughing together as they swept the dirt floors and washed their dishes in tubs outside. I saw barefoot children gleefully laughing as they chased broken tire rims with sticks.

I saw men riding on bicycles, their backs harnessed with loads of sticks, off to market to with their goods. I saw resourceful, creative people selling whatever they could find and sometimes that was a pile of coconut husks along the side of the road, or 5 tomatoes stacked up neatly on a makeshift table under a torn up salvaged piece of plastic, or old pieces of bicycle rims and parts, bent and rusted.

Whatever they had in their hands to sell and present to the public they did knowing that selling one tomato or the pile of coconut husks could feed their family for a week.

 

I saw a spirited people, with eyes that sparkled, black shiny skin and beautiful white smiles and when they spoke they did so with an air of royalty and grace. I saw sharing and caring about one another. I saw relationships and community at the center of their lives.

We ordered breakfast one morning… five people joyfully traipsed to the kitchen to prepare our meal and they conversed and laughed and it was a fun, joyful time.

They did not have much materially, but they were oh so rich in the ways that matter most.

Yes, I was not only impressed, but challenged and humbled me as I found myself awed by the rhythm of life within this raw country. And I am choosing to live my life through the eyes of Zanzibar!

Where Do You Live?

Culture… Where you live from the inside out…
your beliefs
your thoughts
your preferences

Isn’t it time to design your culture to elevate you to the “High Ground”?
The Alive, Fit & Free Method…

Revolutionary Consulting for Positive Transformational and Aspirational Lifestyle Design
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#alivefitandfree 
#expertconsultant
#culturaldesign
#transformation 
#lifestyledesign 
#create 
#highground
#aspirationallifestyle

Let The Adventures Begin...

 

I have a fun game to play to usher in a new year. 
Upon contemplating 2016, pick out 3 character qualities that you became last year through all of your many circumstances… That’s it…..
Now….
Think of 3 adventures… adventures that are totally outside of your comfort zone…
That you want to participate in this coming year…
Got them??
Now the fun part….
Couple your powerful new character qualities with your out of the comfort zone adventures…
See them coupled together for strength and victory…
Now…
Cement the two together by writing them down, drawing or painting a picture or make a vision board of them in celebration of the enhanced you and your journey for the coming year.
Keep this visual in front of you so you can remind yourself often who you are and where you are headed…
Let the adventures begin!

This is The Alive, Fit & Free Method
Come create your unique culture with me!
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#alivefitandfree #highground  #adventure #strength #transform #breathe

be alive, fit & free,

Vickie

Treasure Hunt...

We can be surprised and in awe of unexpected treasures each day, if we can only focus outside of ourselves and observe the world around us! 
Perhaps during this busy season we can purpose to observe outside of ourselves and find a wonder or two… join me?

#alivefitandfree #highground #create #observe #travel  #transformation #joy #wonder

be alive, fit & free,

Vickie

Ahh... The scents of the Season

The scents of the season.... cinnamon, cloves, orange, anise, peppermint..... they can uplift our spirits, fill us with a sense of peace, joy and warmth.... they can invoke memories of times past and also create new memories for future times.... breathe it in baby, and then observe the sensations you are experiencing... Happy Holiday

#alivefitandfree#highground #joy #holidaycheer #aromatherapy #culturalcreation #transformation #corporateconsulting #lifestylecreation

Your Culture... Pass it on!

Time for baking Biscotti's.... a Christmas tradition from My Auntie Olga....

What are some of our cultural traditions?


We all have our own culture and we can create it how ever we wish... the choice is yours...design it exclusively your way...

That's the Alive, Fit & Free Method for transformation...
Come create with us... .
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#alivefitandfree
#highground
#culturalcreation
#transformation
#tradition
#corporateconsulting

be alive, fit & free,

Vickie

Bright & Shiny

Not going to lie here... this has been a difficult month... one daughter in the hospital since before Thanksgiving and now looking at a kidney removal, time of the year when we've lost loved ones and I have found myself overwhelmed by sadness and grief a lot of the time. 
BUT...
This morning I drove through Dutch Bros coffee to get lil a drink and this bright and shiny girl just bubbled life and joy out like crazy! It made me snap out of it, get out of my own head and realize life is still amazing even when we are engulfed with the hard circumstances it can present. There are others around hat need that smile, that touch on the shoulder, a word of encouragement...
When I left that window with coffee in tow, I was smiling!
So to the Dutch Bros girl... thank you for uplifting my spirit and shaking me out of myself....
So I pass that sparkle, that glimmer of hope, that touch of joy, that encouragement that you can... and it will get better...

Today I will be that bright shiny bit of life to those I see...intentionally

be alive, fit & free,

Vickie

 #highground #culture  #joy #live #breathe #transformation

A Dream, A Vision, A Transformation

A dream, a vision, a transformation…
It’s getting from here to there…
It’s a process…
It constantly needs adjusting…
It’s challenging,
Exciting,
Hard,
Invigorating,
Frustrating,
Sometimes taking us to the point of giving in, giving up, walking away…
But…
Therein the journey lies the strength,
The character,
The life lessons,
The fortitude,
The peace,
The fulfillment… 

The transformation

The alive, fit &free method guides you in the process of transformation, walks with you through the highs and lows and provides you with simple to use, effective tools for you personal transformative journey…
Come journey with me!

#alivefitandfree #highground #transformation #culture #live #create#process #journey #fulfillment

be alive, fit & free,

Vickie

The Battle With Styrofoam Snowballs

So, I took another job at World Market to earn a little extra cash …

Such a fun place to work. I feel like I’m traveling the world with all the cool stuff and I haven’t even left home!

I was busily unpacking some huge turkey platters the other day… well, trying to unpack the turkey platters that were totally ensconced in layers of cardboard, paper, Styrofoam and more Styrofoam pieces, tightly wrapped with rolls of packing tape I’m sure. 

Now who ever planned this packing operation must have a highly engineered technique as only two platters were in each box and believe me I struggled to get them set free!

As I started the procedure of setting loose the infamous turkey platters, I had no idea how they were packed and I began digging in and frantically tearing away pieces of cardboard, cutting through the many rolls of packing tape and the worse part…. chipping away at and ripping up the “fun” Styrofoam that, oh yes, falls into little snowballs that viscously cling to your hands, face and clothing!

Seeing as I had about 10 of these lovely boxes to battle with, I began to slow down and evaluate just how this process, notice that word, process might unfold differently if I had a plan! 

Now, you must understand this is not my Type “A” style… I’d rather dig right in and get the job done, but after the mess I was making… I was rather proud of myself that I would think to slow down long enough to figure out the process.

I did and the next 7 boxes became my ally as we worked together, following the process, the procedure that assured the most effective way to unleash these lovely platters with the least amount of Styrofoam snow attached to my hair, face and body!

My point is… if we slow down and get a method, a system, a procedure or a process set into place, the job or goal we are striving towards works more effectively and smoothly, helping us to reach said goal quicker and implement lifestyle changes.

So, when embarking on a new transformation or lifestyle design project, consulting with a professional that has that process, procedure, that plan, that tried and true system that will gently, efficiently and effectively get you to your new destination is invaluable for your success.

Alive, Fit & Free Corporate and Cultural Consulting does just that… 

I have a system, a process… simple yet profound that is enjoyable and custom designed to easily and efficiently transport you into the new culture you want to create for yourself!

Contact me... let's process

be alive, fit & free, 

Vickie

 

Shot Glass Motivation

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I have a friend that is rather laid back, moves slowly and rather, um, should I say phlegmatic vs myself, an energetic, fast moving type A person. So as I'm constantly moving quickly, intrigued by every squirrel that I see, he is skeptically weighing every situation to see if it warrants his time and energy!

So on I Saturday morning, we had planned to go the the local farmers market and it was 1/2 hour before time to wake him, when low and behold he shows up fully dressed and ready to head out the door. Now, the farmers market is not something that excites him, but he was joining me as he knows it is a favorite experience of mine. 

I' m thinking to myself... wow.. he's really wants to go with me, when I say to him... hey you're up early and raring to go... what's up?

His response was not what I expected, but rather he says.. “I’m going to get shot glasses…”???

Me scratching my head…”I beg your pardon... shot glasses?”  

“Yea”, he says, “I put in for some free shot glasses and the guy answered so I'm going now to get them”. He explained that he used to get shot glasses for one of his sons when he traveled and this was kind of a blast from the past.

So honestly, shot glasses? 

Who would have guessed that shot glasses would have put a fire under him to create such movement!

Hey, I'm not judging here at all...

My point is…

We are all motivated by something, right? 

Like me rising early on Saturdays to join the festivities at the local farmers market..

So what's your shot glass?

What motivates you to action?

Pay attention

Use that shot glass in other ares when you need a fire under you for positive action...

Motivation, inspiration, transformation!

The Alive, Fit & Free Method for High Ground Transformation

be alive, fit & free,

Vickie

Gold Plated Coconuts...


When I was recently in Africa, not only was I impressed but also challenged, humbled and awed by the rhythm of many within that culture. They were ruthlessly diligent in selling anything and everything, persistently, day after day… and sometimes that was a pile of coconut husks along the side of the road, or 5 tomatoes stacked up neatly on a makeshift table under a torn up salvaged piece of plastic, or old pieces of bicycle rims and parts, bent and rusted.

Do they become self - conscious? Do they say, “My coconut husks are not as good as so and so’s?”

Do they think, “I’m not good enough to sell these coconut husks?”

NO… whatever they have in their hands to sell and present to the public they do knowing their lives, their livelihood depends on it…

Add in…. are you afraid to share what you have because you think it’s not good enough?

Are you comparing your coconuts to your neighbor, colleague, business partner?

Silly Us!!!

We can’t compare ourselves to anyone else because no one is us…You and me….

We are all one of a kind and uniquely created with a passion and drive and flavor all our own. Be proud and confident with humility, of who you are and the uniqueness of your coconuts…  

Our gold plated coconuts will be just right for someone!

Ahh… SO, we should have that attitude with our coconuts, our gold plated coconuts… who we are, what we have to share, our uniqueness, knowledge service, wisdom… As if our lives depend on it… because if we don’t…

That spirit, that life, that spark and fire inside of us dims and dies…

So we should persistently, passionately and with an urgency share who we are… as if our life depends on it… because….It really does!!

 

Contact me for tips on shining your gold plated coconuts!

Vickie Aigner, CFT, CA.

Vickie@alivefitandfree.com