A recap of the year is one of my favorite things to write, because it’s a place to be really honest. Here you’ll find several stories, learning experiences, celebrations, and strategies that you can use, which all come from my 2014 year in business. (The recap from 2013 has some fantastic ideas in it, too!)

 

 

What Happened in 2014:

 

Updates on “The Book,” as of the end of December 2014

All I can say is that this has been a BIG project. I was hoping that the book would have been completed in 2014, but writing an entire book is a bigger and more detailed project than I anticipated. Currently, the manuscript has just gone through it’s first round of structural edits, and I’m now restructuring the layout, and naming chapters.

Ava dancing

A photo of my dance warm-up while getting ready to write at my writing retreat in January 2014.

I’ve taken several personal writing retreats throughout the year, which have greatly helped me complete the manuscript. Back in January of 2014, I spent 3 weeks at a waterfront mansion that was on loan to me, and I had the opportunity to write a good portion of the book then. After that, I took a break from the book for about 5 months. When I was inspired again, I resumed writing at home, on airplanes, and at a cute little house in West Seattle that was loaned to me for a weekend. Writing in different locations helps me to be more creative.

Midway through the year, I also recognized that I needed to have some one-to-one support to really finish the book. I hadn’t quite found the right person to assist me in this…until fall of 2014. In the most magical way, I was reunited with a friend and colleague of 5 years, who happened to be exactly the right person to guide me to complete the rest of the manuscript. I hired her right away, and we’re still working together.

 

Collaboration

It’s been a lot of fun to interview fabulous colleagues all year long, and I am very grateful to all of my guests, as well as those of you who invited me on your telesummits in 2014. At www.AvaWaits.com, you can easily scan the Blog and find recordings of many of the interviews from guests that joined me in 2014. The topics range from “Cracking the Charisma Code” to “Why Creative People are Often Broke & How They Hold the Greatest Prosperity Potential” to “How Your Physical Health will make you Rich.”

 

I started watching Oprah

I will admit it: I’ve only ever seen one episode of Oprah in my life. But after discovering how much I enjoy interviewing other people, I started scanning the internet and really admire her interview techniques. I also figure that I should pay a little more attention to Oprah, because this year, I found out that I have some huge astrological similarities to her. It’s made me very curious.

 

Traveling in 2014

Ava and Jack CanfieldI took a couple trips to Los Angeles this year. One was for The Unstoppable Gala, where I was very excited to meet author Jack Canfield, who co-created the Chicken Soup for the Soul series (I’m currently learning book marketing techniques through a training course that he developed). I couldn’t resist another journey to Maui and Kauai, so I talked my boyfriend into going back (his family lives on Maui), and also made a quick trip to visit my brother Monks on Kauai. I’m so glad that I went to the Hawaiian Islands again, because one of the swamis gifted me with an entire outline of a new chapter for the book I’m writing. It feels as though the book has been blessed, and I am very grateful.

Later in the fall, I attended a nutrition conference in New York City. Many of my clients and students attend or have attended The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I was so excited to meet some of them in person in NYC! Right after that, I traveled to Richmond, Virginia to visit family and museums (because giving your brain a break from work and wandering through Art Deco and Imperial China displays is very important every now and then).

 

Dancing

Dancing on Maui ~ September 2014

 

 

Money

At the beginning of 2014, I considered my money goals, and decided that this year would mostly be about maintaining the level of income that I received in 2013. Sure, I was open to income growth, but I wouldn’t put a lot of pressure on myself to expand. The biggest intentions of 2014 have been to write the book, maintain my income, and also have money to cover business expenses and big projects. It all worked out.

Back in 2013, I had doubled my income from the previous year of 2012.

In 2014, my business income rose by about 20% over 2013.

 

Sometimes I feel like there is this misconception that you take home all of the money you make in a business. I wish that more people understood that this is not true. Much of my business income gets happily reinvested into my company. I made some large company purchases this year (book costs, writing mentorship, photo shoots, a high quality camera, a new website that is near completion, and a new car to take me to speaking engagements). I also paid back somewhere between $6,000 to $8,000 toward debts, which felt really great.

 

photo

Huge thanks to Devi Brule for our photo shoot in Los Angeles! And thank you Kari J. Stuckey in Olympia, WA for gorgeous photos with gold and lilies.

 

Feels like bliss biz card front Oct2014

Here’s my newest business card, which will give you a little hint about what the new website will look like!

 

The Car

Some of you know that I didn’t own a car of my own for about 9 years. With the location of my home, I was in close proximity to most everything that I needed, without a car. Over the years I have walked many miles, borrowed several vehicles, rented cars, and enjoyed the company of my wonderful boyfriend, who adores driving his car with me in the passenger seat.

As the book started getting closer to publication, I saw that it was absolutely going to be necessary to have a vehicle to drive to speaking engagements. I needed a car that would have room in the back to hold copies of the book, have great gas mileage, and be very easy for me to use. In the summer of 2014, I bought a little black commuter car, and took it home.

10514565_673733631064_7698004836956147771_n(1)The adjustment to being a full time driver again wasn’t easy for me at first, and I’ve even had to learn some driving skills for the first time (prior to this car, I had never driven through a roundabout.) At this point, I’ve become much more comfortable with it, and have turned many of the road rules and techniques into a game that I play in my mind.

In case you’re curious, my car is named “Nooblet.”

“Noob” is a popular term right now for “newbie,” as in someone who is new to something. When you add the “let” at the end, it adds an endearing youthfulness to the term “Noob,” kind of like a “piglet.”

 

My own health

As a self-employed person, I didn’t have health insurance for quite a few years. I would simply pay in cash for health services, and that worked fine. With recent changes to healthcare within the United States, I had easier access to insurance coverage, and have been enjoying a plan with naturopathic care, and access to a chiropractor and acupuncturist. Sometimes I speak with clients who are concerned that transitioning to a business will mean that they won’t have health care, but I wouldn’t let that stop you. There are lots of ways to get covered, and to receive all of the care your employer may have once provided. In fact, I’ve found that my new insurance plan covers more alternative care options than many of the employed people I know, and I’m very appreciative of that.

In 2014, I continued to focus on natural self-care, because that’s a passion of mine. Nutrition is also what I was trained in before I started supporting entrepreneurs around money and marketing.

These topics have been of the most interest to me over the past year:

~ Pituitary gland cleansing and overall hormone balancing through the use of herbs and vegetables

~ Strengthening the teeth naturally and nutritionally

~ Jaw relaxation

~ How our emotions relate to physical issues in the body

~ Essential oils

I have never been a runner, but my body began to ask me togiggles with bouquet small take it out for sprints and quick jogs during some of my workdays. For me, it’s not about being on a certain running schedule. I simply sprint when I feel like it, just like a little child would go out and play. Two nights ago, I felt like jogging at 11:30pm in the icy cold weather, so I did.

I’ve also started to sleep without a pillow, as a natural way to keep my spine and jaw in alignment. It makes sense, right? In the wild, we humans wouldn’t be using pillows.

 

 

My favorite inspirational music from 2014

~ David Guetta’s newest album, called “Listen”

~ Dido’s song, “NYC” in her Greatest Hits CD

~ Taylor Swifts song: “I Know Places”

~ London Grammar’s album, “If You Wait”

 

And a few personal things that brought tears to my eyes this year:

~ The sad moment when one of my favorite trees was cut down by the Washington State capitol building.

~ Seeing the Northern lights dance in the sky for the first time (this was a lifelong dream for me) on a flight from the East Coast to Washington State. I realized that I was probably the only one on the plane who was watching the electricity in the sky, while so many other passengers were buried in their electronics.

 

 

Here Are My Intentions and Plans for 2015:

 

I’ll be on a 5-week cleanse, beginning in January of 2015

As an entrepreneur, your health must come first, and I love doing diet adjustments and self-care. The particular cleanse I’m about to start is a sugarless cleanse, designed to balance the body, and flush out heavy metals. It will be full of delicious natural foods and superfoods. I’ve timed it all so that it starts after a Half VIP Day in Seattle with one of my clients (I want to fully enjoy my sushi lunch with her), and then the cleanse is complete right around Valentine’s Day (because I want to have some sweet chocolate that day).

 

Finish the book

Bread Peddler flowers and hot chocolateI can’t quite put a finish date on the book, but my hope is that it will be out and available in mid-2015.  Before it goes to the publisher, the manuscript will go through more structural editing, receive feedback from a few key readers, and then go through several rounds of copy-editing. I’ve seen too many books lately that have spelling errors in them, and I am very committed (both with my time and my money) to having a well-polished book.

 

More speaking, more interviews, more stages

I love to speak, and look forward to being part of more telesummits in 2015, and getting on more stages. Before the book comes out, I will also collaborate with many of my colleagues to bring my training programs to audiences around the world.

 

Traveling in 2015

My passport is about to be renewed (thankfully with a much better photo than the one 10 years ago!), and although I’m not actually sure where I’ll be going next, I am very open to more adventures and plane rides in 2015. The travel schedule mostly depends on speaking opportunities related to the book launch, and I would love to get back to the Hawaiian Islands again.

 

Several new training courses will be available for YOU in 2015

For over a year now, I’ve had ideas for new training courses for entrepreneurs, and they are finally ready! These classes will provide a very accessible way to receive marking guidance outside of individual coaching, and the first set of classes begins on January 21st! I’ll be sharing how I turn total strangers into paying clients in about 10 days, how to promote your BIG projects in 2015, and how to have your first $8,000 month in business.

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

© 2014 Ava Waits

Ava under arches croppedAva Waits is an inspirational speaker, business mentor, and forthcoming author. She believes that making money should feel like bliss, and through her work, she helps innovative women build service-based businesses that richly fund their lives.

Clients worldwide have used Ava’s processes to release financial constriction and bring more business opportunities and income into their lives. For more information, to view article archives, and to schedule a Strategy Session to discuss your business visions, please visit www.AvaWaits.com.

Last week, two people asked me what I do in my business.

My intention is to always teach you what I know, along with whatever I’m working on for myself. Come walk through a romantic memory lane today. It’s a timeline of treasured information and experiences from the past 4 years.

 

~ When I began college, I only knew how to cook 4 entrees (steamed broccoli, rice, eggs, and macaroni and cheese). For years, I experimented with food, and then shared many of those recipes with people who read my Ava’s Ray of Sunshine weekly newsletter.

~ I had gum inflammation and gingivitis (I always thought it was odd that it would happen to a young and healthy woman). While I healed it, I showed you how I cared for my teeth with natural products and food.

~ Dental decay was one of my biggest health struggles. When I learned how to halt and reverse the decay, I was very excited to share this with you.

~ My digestion was a source of discomfort. Natural food was the answer, and you saw what was on my plate and learned exactly why I was eating it.

~ With a packed schedule, I discovered how to make meals in less than 10 minutes, and then taught you how to do the same thing.

 ~ When eating slow and luxuriously became more important that speed, I shared how I brought more pleasure into all of my meals and life experiences. This dedication to pleasure brought big business opportunities to me, and then I led many of you through the same wonderful process.

~ I discovered a few variations of my own life purpose, and then showed you how to tap into your potential and discover what you are most passionate about.

~ I traveled with my business each year, and learned how to be a healthy traveling professional, instead of one who is exhausted and irritable. I’ve enjoyed showing other business owners how they can also be Global Entrepreneurs.

~ I have built a business that is a combination of all that I love: nutrition, marketing, personal and business development, world travel, and Europe. Entrepreneurs I coach have been learning how to do the same thing with their passions.

~ Most recently, I have been studying wealth consciousness in depth, and how patterns in our finances mirror our physical health. I’ll be teaching more through upcoming seminars and in 30 Days to Release Your Financial Constriction

 

I’m so happy you’re on this journey with me!

 

© 2013 Ava Waits

Ava Waits helps her clients feed the source of their success through nourishing meals, delicious experiences, expansive travel, and a professional life that bends to their itinerary. Please visit www.AvaWaits.com for more tips, articles and videos.

Lettuce Spring Rolls

Use lettuce in place of rice paper, and fill with your choice of sliced: carrot, burdock root, red bell pepper, or cucumber. You can also add sliced green onion or sprouts.

 

Roll up, dip in sauce, and you’re done!

 

 

Mango Chili Sauce

2 large mangoes

1 large red bell pepper

1 teaspoon or Tablespoon red chili flakes/chili powder

1/4 cup soaked dates

1/4 cup soaked apricots

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons tamari soy sauce

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

 

Blend in a blender and use as a dipping sauce.

 

 

Coconut Peanut Sauce

1 can of coconut milk (usually 13-14 ounces)

3/4 cup organic peanut butter

4+ cloves of garlic, finely chopped

5 Tablespoons tamari soy sauce

5 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

 

Blend all ingredients in a blender, and adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.

 

© 2012 Ava Waits

7 Days of Easy Lunches

Have you every woken up in the morning, and stood in the kitchen completely stumped by what you’re going to put in your lunch bag?

Let me take care of that for you.

Here’s a list of 7 different lunches that you can easily pack and take with you for the day. If you eat meat, animal products can easily be added for a more filling lunch. I’ve chosen ingredients in each lunch to satisfy many of our needs for salty, sweet, savory, crunchy, and soft foods. Variety is important.

It is still preferable that fruits be eaten on an empty stomach, so if you pack the fruit I’ve suggested in these lunches, use them as a snack at another point in the day. Fruit does go great with fats, like nuts, so apples and peanuts are fine.

All of these ingredients are available at the Olympia, WA Food Co-Ops. You’ll also be able to find similar ingredients in most health-minded grocery stores.

 

 

Lunch 1 ~ Sandwich on gluten-free bread, with avocado, lettuce, tomato, optional meat ~ Apple ~ Roasted peanuts ~ Hardboiled egg

Lunch 2 ~ Soup (lentil or split pea soup work well when cold) ~ Organic tortilla chips with sliced cheese ~ Celery sticks ~ Carrot sticks

Lunch 3 ~ Bagel sandwich topped with onion, sprouts, tomato, cream cheese or goat chevre ~ Organic granola bar ~ Dried fruit

Lunch 4 ~ 2-3 soft tacos – Keep the corn tortillas separate from the filling until you’re ready to eat. Fill with beans, salsa or enchilada sauce, green onion, and lettuce. ~ Cucumber slices ~ Chewnami sesame bar

Lunch 5 ~1 bag of already prepared Indian food (most of these are rich in spiced lentils or beans) ~ 1 entire bell pepper, chopped ~ Dried mango

Lunch 6 ~ Salad with olives, garbanzo beans, avocado, cucumber ~ Salmon jerky ~ Carob or raw chocolate energy nuggets (often found in the bulk section of grocery stores)

Lunch 7 ~ Rice topped with sliced celery, feta olive, and seasoned with sriracha chili sauce or another hot sauce, and olive oil ~ Pear ~ A side of chopped veggies (bell pepper, carrot or celery)

 

© 2012 Ava Waits

Enjoy Your Peppers

Do you have a runny nose, a stuffy head, or a digestive tract that doesn’t move? I suggest you try some spice!When I traveled through India several years ago, I got a huge dose of spice with every meal that our cook prepared for us. It was quite intense at first, and as my taste buds began to adapt, I opened up to the world of spicy food. I made a lot of other health mistakes in India, like living off of Cadbury chocolate and pizza (this was long before I put some important habits in place), but the spicy food remained a steady ally on my trip.

Spice assists the body in many ways. When your face turns a little red, and you sweat, you cleanse toxins through the skin. When your nose runs, you are clearing out your sinuses. Spicy food may also urge you to the bathroom. Do be sure to go slowly as you bring more spice into meals. Some body types don’t tolerate a lot of hot, so it’s important that you pay attention to the reactions that you have and go slow.

If you’re interested in bringing even more spiciness into your meals, I suggest spending some time in a local spice shop. Mingle through the aisles, peak into the containers, taste the salt from around the world, and notice the subtle differences in dried chili.

Spicy Rice Noodle Soup

Ingredients for a single serving:

1 and a 1/2 cups of water

½ cup of thin rice noodles

1 teaspoon miso paste or a 1/2 cube of vegetable bouillon

1 teaspoon of red chili sauce (I like the Sambal variety)

Chopped green onion

4-5 Mushrooms, can be sliced

Tamari or soy sauce

Bring the water to a boil on the stovetop. Add rice noodles to the water and cook until limp. Toss in the mushrooms at the same time as the noodles. After the noodles have cooked, turn down the heat and add the vegetable bouillon or miso paste. A dash of soy sauce can also be great for the flavor. Turn off the heat, pour the soup into a bowl, and top with chopped green onion.

You can make this soup in a large batch at home and bring some of it to work. If you’d like to make it on the spot, it takes about 10 minutes when you use quick-cooking rice noodles. If you are without a stovetop or burner to boil water, you can still dissolve the bouillon in hot or warm water, exclude the noodles, and then add the vegetables in their raw form. Veggies like celery, kale, or sliced fennel bulb will still wilt and cook in the hot water.

© 2012 Ava Waits

If you stock all of the ingredients at your home, the meals I’m showcasing today will come together in under 10 minutes. These dishes are quick to prepare, and I hope that you’ll take the leftover time to sit down and enjoy each one of them as fully as possible.

 

The Bagel Sandwich  

I used to eat these all the time when I was younger. Since then, I’ve switched to a gluten-free bagel, which I toast in the oven and then decorate with toppings. Add a side salad, and you’ve got a quick meal!

Topping idea 1:  

~ Goat chevre or cream cheese (Local organic dairy is best, especially when toxic chemicals are found in most large-scale dairy products produced in the United States.)

~ Sliced onion (The sulfur in onions helps to strengthen connective tissue and cleanse the liver. Learn more in this book.)

~ Sprouts or lettuce (Be sure that your sprouts are fresh, and always keep them refrigerated between using.)

~ Avocado

~ Tomato

 

Topping idea 2:  

~ Basil pesto (Just like raw chocolate, basil contains a healthy dose of magnesium, which improves blood flow.)

~ Artichoke hearts (Buy them in a glass jar so they do not soak up chemicals and the metal flavor of aluminum cans.)

~ Sliced black olives

~ Fresh organic spinach

 

Tostada 

Ingredients:

~ Organic corn tortillas

~ Small amount of butter, oil or coconut oil

~ Black beans

~ Black olives

~ Melted goat gouda

~ Sprouts

~ An egg (optional)

 

On the side, serve with:

~ Sriracha chili sauce

~ Sliced avocado

~ Tahini Goddess dressing.

 

Heat up a stovetop pan, add a small amount of butter or coconut oil to the pan, and lay the tortillas flat in the pan. Lay slices of cheese on one tortilla so the cheese melts. On the other tortilla, lay down the beans. When the beans are warm, add sprouts and sliced olives, then place the cheesy tortilla on top. A fried egg over this adds extra nourishment, and will keep you full longer.

 

A 3-Part Plate

Try this combination of 3 foods for a satisfying meal:

~ Salad (Add toppings to organic lettuce, like bell pepper, green onion, cucumber, raisins etc.)

~ Hard boiled egg with sea salt (It’s easiest to make a batch of these at the beginning of the week so you can have them on hand.)

~ Steamed Broccoli (Lightly sprinkle with tamari and sesame seeds.)

 

 

© 2012 Ava Waits

This recipe makes 3-4 Servings

For the crêpes:

·      1 dozen Eggs

·      1 tsp Vanilla Extract

·      1/4 Tbsp Baking Powder

·      ¾ C. Garbanzo or Rice Flour

·      2 Tbsp Rice Milk (optional)

·      Coconut oil

 

In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, and baking powder, using a whisk or fork. Slowly add the flour until the mixture becomes a thick creamy consistency (the amount of flour is approximate). Sometimes I add a little bit of rice milk, but this is optional. To make each crêpe, heat ¼ teaspoon coconut oil on medium-high heat in a small pan. Add a thin layer of batter that spreads over the whole pan. Cook for about 1 minute, then use a thin spatula to loosen the edges of the crêpe before flipping over and cooking for another minute. Transfer to a cooling rack or plate, then make another crêpe!

 

For the purée:

·      3 C. Berries of choice

·      1-2 tsp Honey or Coconut Sap Crystals

·      1 tsp Coconut Oil

 

Combine the oil and berries in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the berries cook down to a sauce, add the sweetener. Remove from heat, and enjoy on top of your crêpes!

Tangy Orange Quinoa Salad

A recipe by Ava Waits

 

The quinoa grain is a complete protein with a high content of iron and magnesium. Over 80% of U.S. population is deficient in magnesium, and having more of this mineral in your diet helps to relax muscles, ease cramps, build strong bones, support the heart, lower blood pressure, and help migraine headaches. Quinoa is also a non-gluten grain, and is a helpful substitute for people who are allergic or sensitive to wheat. This grain comes in white, red and black varieties.

 

1 cup quinoa, cooked by boiling in water until the liquid evaporates – (for quick cooking, rinse the grains, soak the quinoa in water overnight, and cook like you would rice. It should be ready in about 15-20 minutes)

A few sticks of celery, thinly chopped

¼ cup raisins (can be soaked in water for 10-15 minutes to make them plump)

½ cup sprouted sunflower seeds (soaked overnight in water, then rinsed every few hours for a day)

Top with 1 orange, pureed in a food processor. Let the salad sit for a few minutes to soak up the orange juice.

 

 

© 2011 Ava Waits

Berry Mousse Tart Recipe

A recipe by Ava Waits

 

It’s nearly time to break out the pie recipes and get creative in your kitchen, but for those of you who can’t eat one or a few of the most popular Thanksgiving pies, I’m sharing this recipe so that you can still create a stunning dessert this holiday season.

Ingredients:

Please note that the amounts of these ingredients will need to be adjusted, based on the juiciness of the berries that you use.

 

1-1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 1-2 hours)

1 cup of the berries of your choice (try blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries)

½ cup almonds

½ cup walnuts

½ cup dates

Use miniature cupcake wrappers, or small bowls to serve the tarts

 

Directions:

Blend the berries and soaked cashews until very smooth in a food processor. It may be necessary to add a splash of water to this mix. If you’d like a slightly sweeter mousse, adding a few dates to the mousse will help.

Next, blend the almonds, walnuts, and dates in a food processor, to make the crumb layer for the bottom of the tart. Press the crumbs into the miniature cupcake wrappers or small serving bowls, then top with several spoonfuls of the berry cream. Decorate with a whole berry, and you’re done! It’s also a nice touch to freeze these before serving.

 

© 2011 Ava Waits

Pumpkin-Coconut Freeze

This is a yummy sweet dish, and it’s very quick to make. I admit, it’s not the best to eat while you are outside staying grounded in the cold, but it’s the perfect treat to share instead of ice cream (which tends to cause a lot of mucus build-up in people, and can create the perfect environment for a cough or cold).

 

Blend the following ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth:

1 cup coconut water (available in drink containers or from the inside of a young coconut – it tastes much better fresh like this!)

1/2 cup pumpkin or other sweet squash puree

a couple spoonfuls agave syrup or rice syrup

Season with a dash of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon powders

 

You can also add ground pecans to the mix for a little crunch.

Place in a bowl and freeze until frozen and somewhat flaky. Eat it just like that, or blend your frozen treat again for a creamier consistency.

 

 

© 2011 Ava Waits