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Beyond Good and Bad

overhead shot of a cup with a hand wrapped around the side and  tea with lemon and ginger insideI don’t know about you, but as much as I appreciate and value people I know, choose and trust offering me refinement, celebration, feedback, reflection advice and wisdom…

I don’t much like people telling me what I can and can’t do.

Especially as most of it turns out not to be true.

I’ve turned Trail Blazer, remember?

I mean if I’d listened to all the people who told me I couldn’t do something, I certainly wouldn’t be here writing to you today.

And so I don’t really like categorizing my life into ‘that’s not for me’. Of course there are things I have no desire to pursue – recreational drugs, roller coasters, and alcohol spring to mind. But here’s the thing, I could do them if I wanted to, I just choose not to (apart from the drugs, that’s illegal. Stay legal, darlings).

Instead of saying, ‘I can’t do that,’ I focus on what I want and what behavior will support that goal.

I practice this philosophy in many parts of my life:

- I could stay up and finish this project, but I want to feel well, so I choose to sleep instead.

- I can eat a huge plate of chips with loads of hummus (I’m vegan, I eat hummus with everything, it’s like our butter) but I want to feel good in yoga tonight, so I choose a quinoa salad with miso tahini dressing (want recipes? Head here gracequantock.com/plantbasedwellness)

- I’m upset and I really wish I drank alcohol because something to dull the emotional pain sounds pretty good right now. But I’d rather be congruent and stay present with my feelings so I check in with what I need and nourish myself with journaling, horse/dog/furry therapy and ritual.

If I want to feel optimum, I choose optimum behaviors. (Click to Tweet!)

If I’m ok with feeling less than optimum, then maybe I will do something that doesn’t feel quite so good but that I need right then.

If you’d like to read more about my Optimum and Non-Optimum practice, it’s all in my new ebook, along with interactive worksheets and examples. Grab your copy here.

How do you differentiate your activities? Do you grade yourself bad/good? Please respond in the comments below.

Featured image courtesy of Dominik Martin (via Unsplash.com)

overhead shot of a cup with a hand wrapped around the side and  tea with lemon and ginger inside

Lindsey-libesar-150x150“Grace’s e-book is like being spoon-fed that delicious, juicy, green drink you’re craving in the morning, but too lazy to make for yourself. I’ve dabbled with plant based and raw food eating in the past, but never had a compass to guide me through the process. She takes the guess work out of preparing and planning your food adventures, as well as lovingly guides you through the transformational process of how we can use food to heal our bodies. This book is a gift for your mind, body & soul!” - Lindsey Tibesar, Prenatal Yoga Teacher, Passionate Entrepreneur, Marathon Runner.

Buy it here.


In Your Own Hands: New Hope for People with Chronic Medical Conditions – Mindfulness-Based Practices for Mastery and Wellbeing. Larry Berkelhammer, PhDDr Larry Berkelhammer first appeared on GraceQuantock.com in a Trail Blazer Interview (here). A psychotherapist, author and researcher, Dr. Berkelhammer believes millions of people who live with chronic medical conditions can manage their pain through various mind-training techniques. As a sought-after teacher on pain management, and with 19 years in private practice treating patients, Dr. Berkelhammer’s interview resonated with the GraceQuantock.com community. Now, his book, In Your Own Hands: New Hope for People with Chronic Medical Conditions (Empowered Patient Coalition Press, Jan. 2014, 978-0991243709) has arrived, and it’s one that connects just as deeply.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer lives with seven chronic illnesses himself and has made it his mission to help others live fuller lives in spite of chronic conditions. It’s a timely tome; today, 133 million Americans – nearly half of all adults – live with some sort of chronic medical condition. A Johns Hopkins University study reports 75 percent of health care costs in America are spent on people with chronic illness, including cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disease. America’s most common disability, arthritis, affects a staggering one in five adults. With the number of people affected by chronic illness rising, Dr. Berkelhammer notes that In Your Own Hands not only deals with chronic illness, but is “about how we live our lives. Readers will learn how to identify value-based behaviors and live in accordance with those personal life values to maximize well-being.”

Indeed, the doctor combines his personal and professional experience as patient and licensed psychotherapist, then proposes an action-based approach to change the lives of those with chronic illness. In Your Own Hands is a pragmatic guide that uses science-based practices invaluable for empowering readers to truly take their lives into their own hands, despite physical limitations. His philosophy on the nature of disease and suffering coupled with his expertise as a licensed psychotherapist, prove compelling cornerstones for a book unafraid to tackle both science and solutions.

Dr. Berkelhammer’s work is a hefty 417 pages, but reads like a well laid out anthology. Chocked full of so much – and such powerful – information, this reader found it best to take all the wisdom offered in measured sips rather than large gulps, to appreciate it fully.

In Your Own Hands skillfully guides readers through Dr. Berkelhammer’s unique three-part mindfulness-based mastery system and his scientifically proven mindfulness-based mastery practices to improve overall health. Additionally, the book delivers his methods for discovering – and living by – one’s personal values, and a series of well-being practices that focus on a variety of useful skill sets, from embracing gratitude to finding humour.

These exercises alone ensure the book is an excellent investment, but what’s made it priceless for me personally, are the comprehensive appendices that have served as easy to use resources over and over again. They include specific sections for caregivers, the science of mindfulness, conscious breathing, and the cultivation of medical self-efficacy – how to become an empowered patient. Many of these critical areas are often overlooked in similar publications, and much of the practical advice for medical self-efficiency and advocacy simply cannot be approached in Dr. Berkelhammer’s authentic way unless you’ve been a patient yourself.

In Your Own Hands: New Hope for People with Chronic Medical Conditions is, quite simply, the book I searched high and low for when I first became ill, and could not find. Now, this vault of richly layered, easy to digest information and principals is available to all.


Grace Quantock's Plant Based Wellness Ebook Image

Hello, Trail Blazer!

I have exciting news. I’ve been hard at work over the past few months and I’ve created something I’m ever so proud of. I’ve been keeping it under wraps for a while but I’m finally ready to share our new arrival.

It’s an e-guide called Prepping Your Kitchen for Plant Based Wellness. And it’s going to make transitioning and living a plant based life easier and more awesome.

The kitchen can be such a powerful arena on our journey to wellness, but it pains me to see so much confusion, stress and resentment around what we put on our plates and in our glasses.


As a beginner Trail Blazer I struggled through overwhelming piles of information, waded in seas of judgement and confusion. Even with all the information available online, offline and in person, I was confused, scared, sick and didn’t know what to begin. This served to send me away from the kitchen and I missed valuable healing time in worrying over the best juice recipe or what food I ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ eat.

I knew that how I fuelled my healing body would be instrumental in my wellness journey, and so I sent myself to Healing University to study, seek out the most embodied and compassionate experts and unravel the health myths from the mysteries.

This book is the result of my years of study, combined with my coaching practice. I’ve been blessed to work with thousands of people on their journey to wellness and the practices I share in Prepping Your Kitchen for Plant Based Wellness have been refined and celebrated through this.

I’ve been living on a plant based diet for 27 years, I’ve been vegan for 12 years, and I’ve been successfully high raw (in a temperate climate) for 10 years. I’m so excited to share with you the tools to rock your healing journey from the kitchen to the wide, gorgeous world!

Tweet: I want energy. Plant-based food is so quick, full of nutrients, it makes me feel alive. Agree? Join me http://ctt.ec/q0T3d+


Shifting our diet is shifting our lives, and this book will fully equip you for the Trail Blazing Kitchen path! Will you join me?

Prepping Your Kitchen for Plant Based Wellness is the ultimate healing handbook with printables, recipes and how-to guides.

Together, we will:

-Get clear on your relationship with the foods you keep holding on to.

- Understand why you make the food choices you do (making it easier to change them).

- Learn the non-optimum foods for you, and what to replace those with (create a go-to healthy snack list).

- Learn how to clear your kitchen and what to fill it with (with handy printable shopping sheets).

- Learn tips and tricks to eating well on a budget.

- Get a printable meal planning worksheet.

- Get all the info you need to eat well sustainably.

- Get ideas and actions for the food savvy – taking your wellness to the next level (suitable for beginner or seasoned wellness warrior).

You deserve abundant energy and ease. I believe in you and your possibilities.

I want to help you take on the world and feel great doing it. I’ll be honest, I’ve created Prepping Your Kitchen for Plant Based Wellness for just that purpose. 

Do your future self a favour, and grab your copy here. You’ll be glad you did!