PREPARE Curriculum: 7 Intensive Units to Be Ready for A Bright Future

I don’t know about you, but I’m not really one to just sit around and wait for things.

If I’m contained in our house, I learn to bake bread and switch to a plant-based diet, I study Buddhist meditation and become a yogi, I manage our investments to ensure ongoing passive income.

But these things have been mostly for myself and my family.

So one day I asked myself, how can I expand this to help the people and lives around the planet who are suffering and need some love?

Tim, Megan and I just finished a 4-day Tony Robbins virtual event for unleashing our beautiful inner selves, and this is what I came up with.

I was inspired by the story of Nelson Mandela describing his time in prison: “I didn’t survive, I PREPARED.” And so…

My PREPARE Curriculum. I created a self-study program that might take me a few years to fully immerse myself in and emerge from wiser and stronger.

Why? To learn as much as I can to be ready for our bright future, and to find like minds as we discover the incredible gifts of this unusual time.

I decided to share it here with you, both for my own accountability and in case you want to borrow any of it for yourself… Go ahead!

(Also, I don’t get any money or rewards at all for sharing these resources with you – I just want to contribute to our collective comeback after months of quarantine.)

Without further ado, the 7 intensive units of my PREPARE curriculum are…

1. Mindfulness and psychology

The main thing I seem to need right now is a way to balance emotions, stay grateful, and understand what’s happening in my mind. These are my top wishlist resources that I’m diving into first:

2. Compassionate relationships

The next thing I need is a sustainable way to maintain peaceful, loving relationships. Connections that are stress-proof where people love each other no matter what. I will be learning from these masters:

3. Homesteading in Hawai’i

Our plan is to create a sustainable farm in Hawai’i that provides for our food needs and strengthens our community. This is still a little ways off, but I can learn and prepare from these fine folks:

4. Sustainable income

With the uncertain future ahead, it’s making more and more sense to be self-sufficient when it comes to money as well as food. I believe it’s a wise investment to learn from these pioneers:

5. Cooking and movement

One thing we all need for a bright future is a healthy body. The ways we can help it are putting nutritious food in, moving ourselves, and getting enough rest. Here are my inspirations for optimizing health:

  • Isa Chandra Moskowitz. That’s all I have to say here. She dominates the plant-based cookbook space, and every single recipe I’ve made of hers is AMAZING. I will be studying her brilliant methods in depth. Some of her books include…
  • Sasha Martin’s Global Table Adventure for inspiration to cook recipes from the remaining 158 countries we have yet to taste
  • Paul Hollywood’s Bread – the Great British Baking Show judge shares his tips for artisan bread (I’ve already made variations on his cottage loaf and chelsea buns, which were delicious)
  • How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger (I’ve skimmed it so far, looks like useful, evidence-based tips on which foods to eat and avoid for different disease tendencies)
  • The End of Alzheimer’s by Dr. Dale Bredesen (I read it once but will need to read it again now that I’m almost in my mid-forties, since there’s Alzheimer’s in my family)
  • 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale (I have chronic shoulder pain and need to learn better ergonomics and posture)
  • Yoga with Adriene free yoga videos (we follow her YouTube channel and monthly calendar of yoga classes, which we do every evening at 7 pm as a family)
  • Kinrgy virtual movement classes – a lively and loving combination of dance, yoga, tai chi, meditation, and positivity (we have a pass until the end of September)
  • Egoscue is a method of posture-based exercises to remove pain (I’ve tried some of them and they do help, just need to try the rest and implement a regular schedule)
  • Qi Gong exercises with Plum Village (can’t wait to try these out in my daily routine!)

6. Building community

Life isn’t much fun if you don’t have people to share it with. I don’t personally need a LOT of people around me, just a few like-minded folks in person and a wider global community that I can wake up each day to serve. I’ll be re-learning how to do this post-quarantine from these lovely people:

7. Helping the planet

Living happily and healthfully is all well and good, but we still need a planet to live on. These are some things I’ll be reading and working on to do my part:

OK, that seems like a good start! Megan is starting high school this year, so I guess I’m starting my own 4-year learning program too. πŸ™‚

Now it’s time to put it all in a spreadsheet and track my progress.

I’ll occasionally share what I’m learning here on the blog as I go along, in between the recipes, so stay tuned for that.

Thanks for being here, lots of love, and I hope you keep learning and growing too, in whatever direction strikes your fancy!

Alexandra πŸ˜€ <3

Every Culture Matters: Understanding Each Other with Food

I’ve been struggling to find a way to be of service to the suffering planet and all its living beings right now. I’m not one to join crowds of people in a protest march, although I respect that right. But I do want to help.

In President Obama’s recent commencement address to 2020 graduates, he said that everyone’s talents are needed right now.

So I thought, what are my talents? I’ve done all kinds of things in my life, but what I’m doing at the moment is cooking and writing.

Could I use this as a kind of food activism to increase compassion and understanding in the world?

I took a look at our recipe data and realized that 68% of the recipes on this blog so far come from only 5 countries: United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Italy… all places predominantly inhabited by white people.

This makes sense for me because I live in the US, grew up in Canada which has a strong French influence, and my two grandmothers were from the UK and Italy. I cook from the cultures infused in me by my family and my current location.

But what if we diversify our recipes here, and try making one dish from each of the 200 countries around the world? What do people eat in Kyrgyzstan, or Namibia, or Laos?

The food people eat tells us something about their lives, how they spend their days, what they share with their loved ones. It can open our mind to other cultures and experiences, and increase our compassion for other humans.

It’s a great lesson to share with our kids too, as they grow up in this confusing time.

And since animal lives matter too, we’ll be choosing plant-based recipes wherever possible for each country.

I hope that this exploration helps us to keep moving forward, increases global understanding, and inspires you to help in your own way as well.

And now, here is the data on how many recipes we have from each country so far (also represented on the map above)…

USA: 67
United Kingdom: 23
Canada: 19
France: 19
Italy: 17
India: 8
Germany: 6
Israel: 6
Japan: 6
Australia: 3

2 recipes each from: Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Russia, Thailand

1 recipe each from: Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Jamaica, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania

NO RECIPES YET from:
Afghanistan
Andorra
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cote d’Ivoire
Cabo Verde
Cambodia
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Eswatini
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Ghana
Grenada
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Holy See
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
Iraq
Ireland
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius
Micronesia
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Mozambique
Myanmar
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
North Korea
North Macedonia
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palau
Palestine State
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Rwanda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Soloman Islands
Somalia
South Korea
South Sudan
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Switzerland
Syria
Tajikistan
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Tuvalu
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

We have a long way to go, and this may only be a small way we can help in our little corner of the world, but if we all keep taking small steps together in the right direction, we’ll end up in a better place.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.