Today is “A Beautiful Day”, to start a Healthier, Holistic Lifestyle (….featuring Cotopaxi Backpacks and Outdoor Gear)


"When your eyes are opened, you'll see things differently…'s just 'A Beautiful Day' "
              –Ziggy Marley (from the Song "A Beautiful Day")

Cotopaxi, a Utah based Outdoor Gear company, is doing some uniquely inspiring things, one of which is using some of their profits to help people around the world better their lives.

I was flattered that Cotopaxi ask me to participate in their challenge to bloggers to help promote Healthier Lifestyles.

So, after checking out the Cotopaxi Facebook page, I connected with their "vibe" immediately, their amazing hikers photos took me back to when I was laid off from my job in Chicago 9 years ago, with no money, no sense of purpose, no clue where I was going….. my future looked very bleak.

After a "nomad existence" working in 5 states, I moved to the Northwest in 2011, and looking at "real" mountains for the first time, the wind seemed to whisper  "Everything is gonna be fine…" (like that final scene in that movie "Grand Canyon"). Note self, do a "Dinner and a Movie" on that flick..

Anyhoo, this "cyber-collaboration" with Cotopaxi is like a visual victory celebration of how far I've come (and I freely admit, I'm always gonna try to smoothly slip in a little nutrition science  on 'ya 🙂 ).

Though my #1 prescription medicine I pass out freely to my readers is a simple concoction, shaken not stirred, of one ingredient ………called "Positive Energy" 🙂

So, shall we begin?     It's "A Beautiful Day" to get started with a healthier lifestyle!!!!

It's "A Beautiful Day" to:  start buying at least a few organic items

Buying organic is no longer a "trendy luxury". It's really important as more toxins contaminate non organic foods. These contaminants could be the root of your bad skin, sleeplessness, inability to lose weight, restless kids, etc.

One example is Toxic Glyphosate, a GMO herbicide, is popping up in "supposedly" natural foods read more

It's "A Beautiful Day" To: develop your custom daily smoothie recipe

Because, there are so many healthy superfoods that we cannot squeeze into our normal diet, but can be added to smoothies. There are endless superfoods to address your specific needs, i.e., youthful vitality, clearer skin, women's health, weight loss, etc.

You'll soon be bringing in powerful superfoods daily, they become addictive!!! my daily smoothie recipe here

It's "A Beautiful Day" to:  add one new superfood to your diet

…be it a  Prostate Cancer fighting superfood, or one of many Breast Cancer preventing superfoods, or Coconut Oil , before you know it, you'll have a health food army watching your back

The key is to find one you can eat consistently…and still be enjoying what you eat…..

It's "A Beautiful Day" To:  remove one unhealthy thing from your diet

….you don't have to totally change your diet overnight. You won't continue eating what you truly don't enjoy. Better to eat what you enjoy, but swap out the bad ingredients with quality ingredients.

Try removing toxic oils like canola for starters. Make your French fries with organic potatoes fried in coconut oil, sprinkled with mineral rich pink Himalayan salt.  More ideas on things to remove from diet here

It's "A Beautiful Day" To:  ease your way into a little light exercise getting off the elevator one floor short of your apartment, and walking up one flight of stairs. Next week, walk up two flights, and so on.

Get off the bus/train a few blocks from home and walk the rest of the way. Build up more distance, be creative!!!

It's "A Beautiful Day"  To:  start a little yoga (at the least, a little light stretching)

I'm probably my own best example, because I don't have time for a yoga class, but I learned to do a quick stretch frequently throughout the day, mainly grabbing my bed frame, bending over, stretching, and trying to relax a bit.

It has really helped me get more limber, more relaxed, and less backache. Eventually, I'll get into true yoga.

It's "A Beautiful Day" To:  let the "Healthy Living Bug" bite you

Many people told me once they got started, they didn't have to force themselves to continue. I been told many times their bodies started "craving" more exercise and more superfoods ( I tell them they were bit by the "Health Bug")

…and once their clothes started fitting better, and got compliments on clearer skin, and so forth, they were hooked!!!

It's "A Beautiful Day" To:  try some form of meditation and/or stilling the mind

So many ways to approach this, but I'm not a big "Lotus position", legs contorted meditator. I just try to "slow down" my mind when walking or grocery shopping or working out, or whenever.

..though my favorite time is in the morning for an hour before I get out of bed, I just lay there and enjoy the quiet.


(below) Tiffany Nguyen, practicing a little lakeside "Dolce Far Niente" (The Sweetness of Doing Nothing) in a Luzon 18L Daypack

It's "A Beautiful Day" To:  say "What the Heck", try some advice, and just see what happens

…I'm not a doctor, but a self-taught nutritionist, and when people write in to ask my best tip to get them started, I tell them is to trash all toxic cooking oils (i.e., Crisco, Wesson and the worst of them all, Canola), and use only Olive Oil and Coconut Oil  for three months. Another option is to switch from refined sugar to Coconut Palm Sugar.

You can even try rubbing your skin with Coconut or Olive Oil and hour before your morning shower, and see if there are in any changes 3 months later…..

It's "A Beautiful Day" To:   put down the cellphone for a few minutes

I know I may get no "takers" on this point, but I'm not part of the cellphone culture,  and I spend many hours away from my phone each day. If nothing else, you can try leaving the phone in the locker at the health club !!

Check out a VERY GOOD,  MUST SEE VIDEO on this issue of unplugging from the cellphone for a bit….

It's "A Beautiful Day" To:  spread a little positive energy

For whatever reason, in Seattle, the Police often say hello to me, so I instinctively started speaking back to them.

I have friends back in Chicago who are Cops, and it is not an easy job, especially for those Cops trying to do the right things, be a positive influence, and make a difference. I can sense they appreciate the "What's Up". 

It's "A Beautiful Day" To:   GET STARTED!!!!

That first step can take on any shape or form that is easiest for you. So take one day and think on it, about how to make one simple choice that might start creating that new, healthier you!!!

"A  journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" –Lao Tze


(below) "It's a Beautiful Day" in Kvernufoss, Iceland,  in the Luzon 18L Daypack.  Photo credit, Tiffany Nguyen     [Cotopaxi Travel Journal Story Here]

More About Cotopaxi….

Cotopaxi is a Salt Lake based company that wants to do great things for those in need.

The company also ties each purchase directly to a specific impact. For example, if you buy the Inca backpack, you’re giving one week of tutoring to a child in an orphanage in Bolivia. If you buy the Sambaya fleece, you’re giving one cancer treatment to a woman in Senegal. If you buy the Cambodia water bottle, you’re giving six months of clean water to someone in Cambodia. They donate a percentage of every sale to various organizations that support global health initiatives, which is why they are so excited for all ways that to promote better livelihood!

Cotopaxi is the first public benefit corporation to raise venture capital from day one. Cotopaxi has durable, high-quality products for the outdoor adventurer without the retail markup as they sell directly online to the consumer.

Cotopaxi clearly stands by its mission of selling amazing outdoor gear while giving back to humanity. It’s hard not to be inspired by this company and their passion for humanitarian efforts.

If you want to help a great cause while enjoying the outdoors with a quality product, Cotopaxi has your back[pack] :).      

Check them out on the Cotopaxi Website  or the Cotopaxi Facebook Page


(below) "Cool Waters" in Kvernufoss, Iceland,  in the Luzon 18L Daypack.  Photo credit, Tiffany Nguyen     [Cotopaxi Travel Journal Story Here]


Ziggy Marley:

"A Beautiful Day"

(my all time favorite, "looking out at the view at the end of the Hiking Trail" song  🙂 )
ENJOY!!! while you browse more Cotopaxi photos below, they're too nice to leave out of the post!!!

(below) A remote glacier hike in Homer, Alaska with the Luzon 18L Daypack. mobile upload Photo from Cotopaxi Facebook page

(below) Britnee at Tiamem Mountain, Huan Province, China [Cotopaxi Travel Adventure Story here]

(below) Beautiful views from Banff, Alberta. Photo by Alija Bos Photo from Cotopaxi Facebook page

(below) Watching crashing waves in the Cotopaxi Aquateca Jacket,               [photo source and Jacket design story here]

(below) Sporting the Cotopaxi Toliman Pullover Hoodie    (I named this photo…."CLIFFHANGER")   [photo source Cotopaxi Facebook]

(below) "Even in ages past, kids didn't obey parents commands not to write on the walls", Rock Art Ranch, Arizona   [Cotopaxi Travel Journal Story here]

(below)  Photo by Michael Boren       the Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell Jacket

 "You could be sad, but I'd rather you not be. Don't dwell on the negative, just the positivity, it's just a beautiful day"  -Ziggy Marley

(below) David Waugh's winning photo in one of Cotopaxi's weekly photo contests. Grand Canyon National Park

(below) The Colored Earth of Mauritius (an Indian Ocean Island). Photo by Michael Boren with the Tikal Active Shell Jacket

(below) Gaining perspective while sporting Kilimanjaro Backpack and Cotopaxi Water Bottle at Yosemite Park   [photo credit and travel story here]

(below) "The Journey of a thousand miles begina with a single step"  -Lao Tze        (….Hiker in Cotopaxi Samburu Shorts)

 "We're always trying to satisfy these wants and needs, take you some time for that inner peace"  -Ziggy Marley

 "Free myself from worries, so I can see, it's just a beautiful day"  -Ziggy Marley

(below) Salt Flats Hiking in the Inca 26L Backpack    [photo source and interview with Cotopaxi founder here]

(below) "A Room with a View" in the Inca 26L Backpack    [photo source and interview with Cotopaxi founder here]

(below) Sportng a Cotopaxi Pacaya Jacket, traveler Mark Johnston "reflecting" on trip to Torres Del Paine, Chile [photo source & travel story]

(below) Britnee Johnston, in Kilimanjaro 20L Backpack  deciphering stone carvings at Angor, Cambodia [photo source & travel story]

(below) Canyoneering in Hogwarts Canyon, North Wash, UT. in the Inca 26L Backpack 

(below) World traveler Britnee Johnston in a Cotopaxi Sambaya Fleece Jacket, on lonely tracks en route to Uyumi Bolivia [photo source & travel story] 

(below) Chasm View at Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo by Jacob W. Frank Photography.

(below) Britnee Johnston, in Kilimanjaro 20L Backpack   Angor, Cambodia [photo source & travel story] 

(below) "Cooling Out" (pun intended), in a Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Daypack in Hornstrandir, Iceland [Cotopaxi Travel Adventure Story here]

              (below) "Future's so Bright, Gotta Wear Shades" in the Inca 26L Backpack    [photo source and interview with Cotopaxi founder here]

(below) Cotopaxi Gear serving "double duty" as a headrest at Yosemite National Park   [photo credit and travel story here]

(below) and finally, if I may borrow the Cotopaxi Mantra……….ADVENTURE ON!!!

~stay healthy~


check out all my articles in
"Sustainable Gardening, Eating, and Living"


click here or below for all my articles in
"Food for Thought" (a.k.a., "Soul Food")


click here or photo below for
all my articles in "Eat Smart"

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“Body”, (Part 48)
a.k.a. “Watching You”
(…a “Locked Down” Summertime Slideshow)

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Duke University tests and ranks the effectiveness of 14 different facial masks for COVID-19 protection

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Bento Box Turkey Club
Roll Ups

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“Misty in Manhattan”
(Ballerina Misty Copelnd gives a tour of her Manhattan Home)

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Pinterest shuts down my Pinterest Page because of my Kolin Kaepernick article

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“Dressed to Grill”
…Sophisticated Skewers (Part 11)

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Cilantro-Lime Chicken Wings

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“Music is the Best Medicine”
“The Lady In My Life” -Stanley Jordan (…my Cover Version)

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Jamaican Jerk Skewers

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Ms. Rashidat Owe, Vegan, talks Detox, Fitness and how Yoga saved her life from Drug Abuse

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Chicken and Avocado Sandwich Bento Box

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“It’s a Beautiful Day”
(…for Ziggy Marley’s Pancakes)

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Shrimp Kabobs with
Pistachio-Tarragon Pesto

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Michael B. Jordan Reveals his Body Transformation Secrets for “Creed” and “Black Panther”

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Cheesy Avocado Toast

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Black Owned “Foot Print Farms” in Mississippi Gets Meals to Children During the COVID-19 Crisis

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Healthy Herb Fries

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Girl Talk:
Beauty Secrets from Africa
(Part 3)

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Orange and Avocado Salad

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Cool Fitness Gear!!!
(Part 4)

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Fifteen Creative Five Ingredient Smoothies

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Fifty+, Fit and Fabulous!!!
Angelique Miles, Age 53 !!!
Wellness “Influencer”

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Pan Fried Cod in a Citrus Basil Butter Sauce

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African American Men are at High Risk of ‘False Positives’ in Prostate Cancer Screening

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Sheet Pan Roasted Spring Veggies with Eggs

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Planning the Perfect “Picnic Date” at an Esparanza Spalding Concert

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Chocolate Espresso Waffles

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“Sustainable Lenny” !!!
(…a sneak peek inside Lenny Kravitz’s Farm and Ranch)

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Chicken Souvlaki Bowls
with Garlic Fries

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Beauty products marketed to Black Women more likely to contain toxic chemicals (…says a recent study)

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Spicy Chicken Meal Prep

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One Woman’s Journey into Fighting Acne With Essential Oils

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Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes

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Black Sesame Seeds help fight Prostate Cancer (…easy to add to daily Smoothies!!)

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Eggs Fried in Bell Peppers

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Ballerina Misty Copeland’s
Five Ways She Eats, Trains and Lives Healthy

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Mediterranean Chopped Salad with Lemon Garlic Shrimp

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Men’s Natural Body Care
(…becoming an all-natural, GQ “Smooth Operator”)

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Farmer’s Market Salad

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Girl Talk: Natural Contraceptive Methods

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My Top 30 Superfood
“Power Rankings”
(….numbers 1 thru 10)

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Visual Medicine…
Amazing Street Dancers

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Rainbow Veggie Skewers

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“Loves Times Love”
(..a Bright Brooklyn Wedding Affair)

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Turmeric Fruit Salad

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Putting Monsanto in Your Vagina?
…Many Tampons Contaminated with Toxic Glyphosate Herbicide

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Mango Chicken

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The Prostate Cancer Fighting “Fantastic Four” : Broccoli, Turmeric, Green Tea, Pomegranate

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Sheet Pan Sweet Potato Hash

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Toxin Levels in women drop sharply  just 3 days after switching to natural makeup  (…a recent study says)

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Simple Baked Italian Oregano Meatballs

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The “Gangster Gardener”
He plants food gardens on vacant lots all over South Central L.A.

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The “Green Goddess” Sandwich

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Men’s Health: Nutrients for Male Vitality and Well Being (Part 7)

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Chicken, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

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“The Wanderlust Food Diaries”
“Grab Your Hat, Here We Go”
…to Bajacu Villa, Turks and Caicos
Menu: another Tropical Lunch

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“Hanging” With India Arie
…On St. Lucia Island, Caribbean
Menu: Vegetarian Kabobs

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“Clean Eating” Bento Boxes

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Potato, Pepper, and Egg Skillet

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New Study Reveals Importance of Zinc in Prostate Health

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Summer Glow
“Buddha Bowl”

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Dinner and a Movie:
On the Menu: Healthy Philly Cheesesteak

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Almond Banana Pancakes

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Health and Safety Tips When Getting a Tattoo

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Moroccan Chicken Skewers

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See all articles in “The Healthy Chef’s Cookbook”
(The Art of Food)

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See all articles in “Eat Smart”
(The Science of Food)

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The GAIA Health Blog
Ranked in Top 100 Health Blogs!!!

…and top 100 Natural Food Blogs for 2018

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(BELOW) Links to my favorite sites who are ”Raging Against the Machine”
(and also some fun cooking blogs)

One Bold Soul: Artist and Writer

(…”Healthy but Smart” is one of the best websites I’ve found, if you want to find unbiased, informative, and understandable research and info on superfoods and so forth, to aid in taking your health back!!)

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(same name, different blog, no need to fight about it)

Real Food Freaks

Kim’s “Nutritionally Well”

Special ‘shout out’ to this food blogger. Totally different style than me, but my favorite food blog in creativity. She inspired me to start my ‘Dinner and a Movie’ and “Wanderlust Food Diaries’ articles.