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The Problematic Resolution

There is a personal matter with one specific resolution. My goal in wellness coaching is to work with individuals towards their unique dreams while tacking specific hurdles to that person. However, I hear and see this resolution everywhere and with clarity: dieting and body perceptions. It’s the time of newness we are inundated with images of gyms, diets, shakes, scales, plans, and images. A lot is valuable and can be an asset, the danger lies in your why and body perception.

My own journey back to well after having my son started with weight loss then snowballed into aha moments of tackling mental wellness and all kinds of curve balls along the way. One simple resolve to set a goal in losing baby weight was what I needed. That all said. I didn’t diet. I changed it. I did shakes for nutrition but also love my chocolate and pizza. OMG olives and bacon. I work out but found being gentle is more important for my particular body capabilities. I “listened” with filters, figured out what works for me, found grace, and made permanent changes along the way. In the mix, was a real fight to address body perceptions. At first my victories were not happy. Because I wasn’t skinny. As my mental health rose with my physical health, I realized how unbelievably dumb this is. Then the step of anger came. It’s so frustrating being in an industry that bombards you with images of perfection and “how tos.” The most pinned recipes I had for a long time had the word “skinny.” I had to step away and get perspective. Thankfully, changes in how health and wellness looks are happening. Its imperative you understand that healthy looks different. Resentment for those who are “skinny” isn’t acceptable and those who may be slightly over weight or not have a certain look can be health too and it’s not your judgement call. Healthy has different forms and its an internal affair. As you navigate what is your highest wellness, please keep these few things in mind.

It’s an Internal Affair

Its how you love on your self and accept your creation. Its finding your value in your gifts and talents. It’s what you eat to healing and promote physical function. It’s discovering your favorite ways or may be tolerable ways to move to gear up your body and brain. It about you.

Fight the Expectation of Extremes, Un-realities, and Fads.

Dieting sucks. It rarely works. It’s often harmful. While there are common threads in nutrition, there are differences that work for everyone. If you want to lose weight- professionals and common sense eating. Nutritionist, health coach, wellness coach, doctors, or take a nutrition course yourself – I don’t care how. Just please, do not put your body, mind, and soul on that yo-yo or in potential harm. Look for meaningful change in your lifestyle. There are plans, points, and programs out there that can help. Know that what ever change you make, its a long term change. Then keep the scale in perspective. Your weight fluctuates naturally and it can stall out for a time being. Trust your process and listen when things aren’t working in over an extended period of time. A professional can help you guide this. In all this scale talk, muscle weighs more than fat. After I lost weight, I gained some back and still doing a little. My waistline and measurements are not going in a negative direction. I am strengthening and seeing those results. Scale, overall feeling, and all measurements should be taken into account. Make those changes stick. Stopping the yo-yo means cutting the cord to go back.

Work It Out For You

Rarely do I find going to the gym enjoyable. I am love my personal yoga studio and going to yoga studios. I love being outside. I love joining others in their active passions every once and while. Wonderful people own and go to gyms. It’s their thing. Some it’s kick boxing. Just a walk. Refit. Zumba. Pilates. Be open to anything and get to know you. Someone’s passion may become a shared passion. Or it may be love from a distance. Do not feel you have to run or do extremes. I love challenging myself and working within limitations, aerial yoga is for me. Work it for you.

Have grace in those pitfalls and don’t let it stop you getting back on your path. Love yourself while you create a greater you.

Namaste, Juls

The New Year’s Resolve

The New Year’s Resolve

For some, New Years Resolutions has the true power to bring change. For the rest of us, there are just too many memes making fun of New Years Resolutions and it holds some serious truth. Under those phrases of superficial hope is lack of trust in newness and the potency change can bring in our lives. To claim that power of purposeful change, it often takes mental shifts of how we see ourselves. Then its pulling that dream down to you in a tangible and achievable way.

Be Willing

Change is mental and mentality needs will to drive it. The monster of an impact we want in change is to train our brains into being willing. “I am willing to change” from Louise Hay’s publications is a simple yet potent phrase. You may be as surprised as I was at what little whispers come up when saying this phrase. Those whispers of doubt and mistrust are powerful blocks toward making outward growth. Commanding your willingness daily, if not hourly, is powerful in retraining your mental state. That retraining may mean tackling some deep issues. Seek help and support whether is professional, family, friends, life or wellness coach, community group, self help book or course. Let your brain know “I am willing to change” so that the rest of you follows.

Digging, healing, and retraining takes time. You can set mini goals in the mean time. Make sure they are achievable for you and enhance your process. Any way you want to be active works. Any step towards a healthier diet, not dieting, works. Do not beat on yourself or let any one do so if these changes are small or take time. Baby steps lead to bigger steps. As long as your stepping, your stepping up. Unless a professional says it’s an emergency, work with in your time frame and abilities.

I Choose

Claim you, “I choose to.” Set a tangible, you cant smell it and touch it, it gonna happen because you can choose. Set a goal. Resolution is to do and goal is where you’re headed. Know where you’re headed. If you don’t like the goal analogy then set a target, finish line, achievement, or fairy dance. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s the understanding you are set for a personal destination. Once you have that goal you need to gather what it takes to get there. Elementary my dears: who, what, where, when, and hows. Who can help you? What resource do you need? What time investments? Where is this needing to take place? When do this need to happen by or not? When should certain achievements take place before you can advance? How long should this take? Or not? Then write it. Vision board it. Make a video to your future self on how this got done. A reminder, a map is extremely helpful. It my be helpful to add your why? why do you choose to do this? for you? for a desired life style? for family? a person? to overcome? Your why can be your reminder to drive. Add that in your visuals.

There is a disclosure I must share. Initially I started with a goal and then went back to dig deeper. Goal setting may lead you to something incredible. For my personal advancement, it’s been a cycle of dig deep, know myself, and goal. Over and over and over. If a goal needs to be set first to ignite those first steps, then light it up. Trust your process.

Whatever it is you want in this newness of 2019, be gracious with yourself. Set what works for you and know it doesn’t have to take full steam right now. You have a full year! If not more! Be willing, make your choice, and be victorious.

Namaste JRiley

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The Art of Letting Go

There is always something to let go. 

Sometimes it’s a thin thread of irritation of long lines, traffic, or a thoughtless action.  Other times it reaches the catastrophic level.  Then there is all in between.  When we do not let go, any where on the scale, it builds up.  It infects our mental health and manifests itself in our physical health. Stomach ache, fatigue, headaches, indigestion may all be emotionally driven.  Anxiety and worry may be fueled by a need to let something go.  The great news is that simple steps is all you need to arm yourself.  Not so great is that it is a process and it can be messy.  For the larger issues in life it takes multiple acts and time.  Trust that process and trust yourself to find ways to cut the cords.  Make your masterpiece of release and peace.

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Photo by Free Creative Stuff on Pexels.com
  1. Never suppress the emotion or issue.  Always acknowledge it.  It’s important to note what you are feeling, why you are feeling it, and it’s trigger.  Noticing and dwelling are two different actions. Noticing is as an objective description by you.  Dwelling is nose dive into the emotion with fingers pointed, often in many directions.  Note the feeling  Note it’s cause and it’s trigger. Write it if it helps.
  2. Say it. Breathe it. Release it.  You can say out loud or in your head, ” I release _______________ as it no longer serves me.” Inhale then exhale it out. When it’s something small, like your child says momma a million times,  acknowledgement and a good breath out is generally enough.

 Then again, sometimes it’s not.  

Even one is different and digging in deep to release looks different for everyone. 

Pick what jumps out at you. This is what you need at this moment.

  • Make it a ceremony.  Most happy moments in life are marked ceremoniously; by party, pictures, commemorative dates, etc.  Letting go can be one of those moments of joy for you to make space and unburden yourself.
    • Make a bonfire, I am all for setting – environmentally safe- things ablaze.  You can use an object or write what you want to release on a paper then throw it in the pyre.
    •  Light a candle. Its is a bit less dramatic; however, it is effective in marking this moment of letting go.  Repeating the statement in step two, reciting a mantra, saying a prayer are ways to enhancing your candle ceremony.
  • Write it out.  Write a letter to your younger self, future self if the letting go centralizes on you.  Journal or write a letter to a person to unload.  If you have letting go of a person or something between you and them, write to them.
  • Make literal art.  Coloring pages may help.  Create an abstract of what you feel.  Use your favorite medium and symbolism in an artwork.  Or create art that has nothing to do with it at all.  The act of creating aids in processing emotions and thoughts.
  • Confide or confront.  Sometimes a coffee or tea meeting helps to unleash those bottled thoughts and emotions.  A trusted and honest friend may help you process through all of them.  You may need to confront a persona and feeling ready to respectfully and firmly do so.  Do so.  You are not responsible for their actions but are in control of appropriately expressing yourself.  You might want to write it out first.
  • Meditation and prayer.  Clearing the junk in your head and heart are essential.  In one or several sessions, meditation and prayer give you the opportunity to process, organize, and offer your burden to the heavens.  My favorite is under moonlight. It is one of the closest settings I feel to my creator.  Put yourself in that literal space and head space to let go.

UntitledIn everything in your art of letting go find grace and love for yourself.  It’s important to know that you are in control of you and no one else.  You are worthy to be respected and other people are worthy to be respected.  When you meet at this intersection of kindness for yourself and others, it makes creating your masterpiece of release easier.  Inhale your comfort and exhale your complication, worry, irritation, etc.  Take up your brush and design your letting go.

Namaste

Find your masterpiece of peace

Next week may be what you need in your food life.  I and #thecalmRiley certainly did.  Say “YES” to leveling out the pH in your food relationship with new recipes and quick tips.

I want to say this sharing is because of recent events.  In honesty, these losses are indicative of a pervasive reality.  Mental illness is tucked in many corners of humanity, no one is immune.   In a little more than a week I am sharing the story behind my tattoo.  My story has much to do with my mental illness and my victory in my journey.  However, yesterday in the physical pain, fatigue, and mental frustration, I know all too well how quickly I could slip.  Therapy, chemical stability aid, inspiration, and reminders are necessary.  My tattoo is my permanent reminder.

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The largest part of my tattoo is a Lotus.  This flower is unlike many others, its survives in a wide range of temperatures and muddy waters.  I am a wife, mom, advocate, friend, artist, writer, sister, daughter.  Roles built over time and ones that I cherish.  With that I am a survivor of abuse and the social taboo it comes with.  I’ve been told that I shouldn’t share that part of my life because it would make others uncomfortable.  Then I became further isolated.  Anxiety and depression were the roller coasters of much of my life.  Panic attacks and withdrawn.  I felt voiceless.  I am a medical illness hurdle jumper with stumbles here and there.   I am an ADHDian.  It’s been a wide range in my life.  As a conqueror, I am not just blooming.  I am changing.  The butterfly right up on my shoulder symbolizes that crucial mindset of transformation.  I can and do choose to change how my past and current situations are used.  They do not wholly define me.  Written below all of this is 2 Corinthians 5:17.  Those are words I have held dear to for years.  Those words remind me that my Creator designed me for a great purpose and, like a lotus, my roots are deep to thrive despite the mud.  The act of creating is a process.  It takes time, effort, and there are mistakes.  Through the transformation and healing in mental illness, it is a similar process. My creation is flawed, but valuable all the same.

Here’s the thing.  There was a time the darkness was deep.  I didn’t believe in the value of my life and my silence festered the wounds.  It was baby steps, but I found that last shred of strength and sought help.  In the battle we need allies and professional ones.  If you are in that darkness, keep one foot in front of the other with hands out.  We need you.  There’s isn’t another you.  Seeking help isn’t weak, it’s boldness.  You have it in you.  To take it further, I have taken medication in the past to help me.  I found a natural path that works best for me.  It doesn’t matter the means: talking, breathing, medication, supplements, or do all of it.  Grab a hold of your life line.  My hope is that one day your story will become a tattoo, artwork, song, writing, oral story that will empower you and empower others.

Additionally, we need advocates.  Our perceptions on people with mental illness need to change. Perceptions on the illnesses themselves need to change.  The health care system needs to change.  Our interactions with each other needs change.  A simple start is giving grace, checking in with those around us, and be present.  Compassion and deeper connections are imperative.  Become aware of yourselves, others around you, and share resources for help. Be that shoulder.  Make that call.

As always, my soul honors your invaluable soul

Life Lines

National Suicide Hotline 

  • 1- 800- 273- 8255 Hotline
  • 1-800- 799- 4889 TTY Hotline
  • Suicide Prevention Website (online chat option and specific areas of help)

Crisis Text Line

  • Text Home to 741741

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assualt

Postpartum Support International

 

The Health Foodie: Coming to a Loving Place in Her Relationship with Food.

The Health Foodie: Coming to a Loving Place in Her Relationship with Food.

I am a girl who loves to eat.  Protein shakes are great for on the fly and nutrition punch in the gut/ for the gut. However, I want real food.  For so long I either mindlessly ate and neglected the attention it deserved or hated food because we didn’t understand each other and how to work together.  From leechy junk food who hangs around- in undesirable places- to that empty feeling calorie, I struggled.  After years of the love/hate tango we have finally come to healthy terms.

 

Our arrangements go like this:  I sit to eat and no longer eat on the run.  I was horrible about not taking my time and being thoughtless.   Now we have a time to be present in choices and time to be present at the meal.  This gives me the power to keep negative and unhealthy foods are under my control.   I have the right to be choosy in who shows up to dinner, lunch, breakfast, and in between. Especially salt and fats. I can say no and send them packing. Now herbs and spices provide the excitement in the relationship without the regret.  Protein, fruit, and veggies have an open door policy.  Except Brussels sprouts.  They are banned for life.  I won’t do it.  I just won’t.  No longer is the misguided goal to be skinny which brings resentment in my diet and to myself.  We agreed on nutrition with flavor to maintain a healthy body and mind, while feeding the soul.  Soul food is a real thing my friends. Cantina salsa and dark chocolate are what feeds mine.  Seriously, salsa on everything from taco to eggs.

 

 

 

Salsa and chocolate aside, one of my food loves is lo mien. Unfortunately, gluten and I are no longer are on speaking terms.  A lot of my favorites had to be re-imagined.  Thus pork with veggie lo mien is born.  Simple and flavored pack protein and veggies. Warning: soy sauce is involved.  It’s that salt thing. Low sodium is on the invitation list.

 

 

Ingredients and prep

 

 

Pork: lean/low fat cuts, about 4-5 ounces per adult person

Cabbage (green and purple): sliced or buy pre shredded

Carrots: diced or if you do it like I do, it comes with the pre shredded cabbage

Onions: sweet/vidalia- sliced thin   OR Green onions chopped small

Mushrooms: sliced thin

Ginger: powdered

Soy: remember, low sodium

Canola oil or extra virgin olive oil

Minced garlic: pre-bought or DIY

Optional: bok choy diced, kale sliced

 

 

 
We are totally normal.  No fancy kitchen and short staff.
Get cooking:
1. Get a skillet and turn the stove onto a medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of canola oil or extra virgin olive oil (either oil in a spray works too).  Lightly sprinkle ginger and minced garlic on one side of the pork.  Cook the pork in the pan.  I am looking for browning on the outside and no pink showing.  About 10-15 mins on each side- the thinner the cut the less amount of time each side takes.  Suggested inside temp for pork is 145 degrees Fahrenheit if you have a meat thermometer handy. Let it rest 3-5 minutes and you can slice and dice it how you want.
2. While the pork is cooking-  add a tablespoon of canola oil or evoo (thank you Rachel Ray) to a wok, skillet, or whatever will hold the veggies.  Some of us lack the gourmet kitchen but make it work.  Not all veggies cook equally.  Start mushrooms and onions (not green onions).  If you are cooking bok choy, add it in with the mushroom and onions.  Cook for 10 minutes or so.  Then add carrots, cabbage or that bag of pre shredded stuff and if you are doing kale or green onions, throw it in too.  I usually find the total cooking time for veggies is twenty minutes. Slightly soft veggies is the goal.   Those last couple of minutes sprinkle some low sodium soy sauce and some ginger powder to taste.  If you like a lot of either, let someone else add and taste it.  Keep it light.

 

Pork and Veggie Lo Mein

 

 

That’s it. Step one and pork done.  Step two and veggie lo mein done.  Constructive suggestions in how to improve our relationships in this specific area are welcomed.  Raving reviews are encouraged. You know, for the the food.
 

 

Namaste and nourish love

*originally published on September 17, 2017

Moderate carbohydrate intake may be best for health- ScienceDaily

Moderate carbohydrate intake may be best for health- ScienceDaily

This is something to take into consideration. Not all carbs are equal and lot are essential to your total body function. I am not promoting at diet or radical changes. Simply, not to take on extreme diets and cut out carbs completely. Oats ,rice, and veggies are a beautiful thing. 🌾🥕🥦🍆🍚

Excerpt and link-

A new study has found that diets both low and high in carbohydrates were linked with an increase in mortality, while moderate consumers of carbohydrates had the lowest risk of mortality. The study also found that low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fats from plant sources were associated with lower risk of mortality compared to those that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fat from animal sources.
— Read on www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180817093812.htm

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Exchange of the Cookies: Vegan and Allergy Friendly (GF, DF, Peanut Free)

Ever get ahead of yourself? This morning I did. Lofty Monday goals to finish this post and life did not agree, so I panicked at my alarm when an unfinished post went out. Much like making five dozen cookies to bake this weekend, I set goals and got in over my head. This is the final product of vegan cookies that my whole family can eat. That is a victory. The allergy count as of now? No gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts, most tree nuts (coconut is okay), most fruits with digestive issues. So what’s left? Uh not a lot. In my experimentation, I have come to love oat flour and brown rice flour. They are easier flours to digest but not the only ones. All purpose is great for most things but I find making cookies with g free all purpose flour tends to be chalky. Ack. Oats expand and hold it all together which is great when eggs are not invited. There are egg substitutes but less is more for me. Especially in the nuances of baking. I was completely confident in my abilities to make purchases in a bakery years ago. But when vegan is the best option for allergies… it’s expensive. The years of baking frustrations followed but it’s paying off. Now, I am a straight forward and un-sophisticated baker, who has cookies for “Santa.”

My kids know Santa isn’t real. Mom and dad take credit for the presents and these cookies.

Iced Sugar Cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cup Brown rice flour plus 1/4-1/2 cup extra 
  • 1/2 cup Oat flour*
  • 1/2 cup Vegan butter, soften to room temp plus 1 Tbsp set aside
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (for sweeter 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla 
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp of Salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp of coconut milk**
  • Clean space to roll out dough
  • Cookie sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Basting or pastry brush
  • Optional: food coloring

*You can opt to ground plain quick oats to a fine powder.  ** Coconut milk is best, but any milk or plant-based milk can be used to accommodate allergies or lifestyle. Rice milk is nut free and dairy free but thin. Half the amount of milk the recipe calls for.

Icing Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut milk or milk*
  • 2 cups Powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Vegan Butter

Making and Baking Cookies

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  
  2. Mix sugar and butter. 
  3. Add in Vanilla Extract and 2 Tbsp of coconutmilk
  4. Dry ingredients: In a separate bowl combine brown rice flour, oat flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix.
  5. Combine dry ingredients with sugar, butter, extract, and milk. Add in food coloring here.  
  6. Mix with hands or use a baking spatula.  The consistency should be that of play dough- firm but easy to shape.  Additional Tbsp of milk may need to be added- add in on Tbsp at a time.
  7. Spread 1/4 cup of brown rice flour over clean surface for dough 
  8. Place dough on flour covered surface and roll out dough to around 1/4 of an inch in thickness.  
  9. Use cookie cutters to create cookie shapes and place on parchment paper and cookie sheets.  
  10. Unused dough can be mixed and rolled out again to create more cookies.
  11. Melt 1 Tbsp of Vegan butter in a separate bowl.  Then use a basting or pastry brush to place a thin coat of butter on each cookie.  In a pinch, use clean hands to spread butter on each cookie.  Let’s be real, having basting brush was coincidental but I am not chefy enough to have a pastry brush.  Real cookies for real people. 
  12. Place in oven for 10-12 minutes.  It should be firm on the cookie surface but slightly soft.  As they cool they will harden.

Mixing the Icing

  1. This is fairly straight forward. Whisk powdered sugar, butter, and 1 tbsp of milk of choice.
  2. If it’s too thick, that extra tbsp of milk held back can be used. You can add food coloring while whisking or just leave it plain.

Now I will be honest. Straight foward right? I am crazy sensitive to sugar and knock it down a lot, especially considering the use of icing to add in sweetness. If you have a crazy sweet tooth, add in extra sugar at your own risk. Also, the texture is going to be… well not Loft cookies, those super soft ones. It’s is supposed to be a firm outside, soft in the inside and middle. (After it cools) If your conscious, food relationship, or loved ones with either are in need of a holiday treat. This is it.
I’m heading back to the kitchen for more cookies and ideas to share. Look for more soon or hit the “yes” but to the right for it to come to you.

Extra love points. Mark your boxes of what is and isn’t there.
Extremely helpful for those with dietary needs.

Namaste. Love your light in this holiday season.

Health Foodie: Iron Deficiency Myths

Health Foodie: Iron Deficiency Myths

About a year ago I finally dragged myself to the doctor.  I was blacking out, having heart palpitations, concerning exhaustion, and muscle cramps like you wouldn’t believe.  After a few vials drawn and a few days later, I got a call everything was normal, just my iron was low.  Let me tell you, there was nothing normal about what I was experiencing.  I was given a three month prescription of iron and miralax.  Then I was sent on my way.  Since I absolutely cannot stand miralax and it’s dangerous chemicals,  I dove into various studies, organizations, and more for more options.  I found a supplement to match the dosage.  Then I became violently ill from that. Scratch that.   I also don’t eat very much meat, which was the best dietary option given to boost iron.  That’s a problem.  

There had to be other options.  I was horrified at what I found as I kept digging.  I wasn’t going to be monitored as I should, unless I forced the issue myself with the doctor but I didn’t know at the time.  It takes months to level out our iron levels, as somewhere around six months mark.  That is if supplements and diet work. It doesn’t for everyone.   For some, this is all you need.  This sudden arrival of winter and constant need of all things fleece, I am reminded of this personal wellness issue.  When you aren’t well,  it infiltrates you more than body, your mental state and soul take a hit too.   It’s important when you aren’t well  investigate (with caution) and get answers. In all of it, follow your instinct, inner voice, gut.  

I am not a doctor and information shared is intended for informative purposes only. 

JRiley

Myth One: It’s a Simple Disease

No.  Iron deficiency/ Anemia ranges from headaches and fatigue to fainting, black outs, constantly cold, muscle spasms, nerve damage, difficulty breathing, severe fatigue, and more.  Testing may be simple but dealing with it is anything but.  Testing is important as the symptoms over lap with many other diseases and conditions.  If you suspect, before treatments or supplements, seek professional diagnosis. 

Myth Two: One solution works for everyone

My deficiency is different than yours.  There are so many reasons as to why your iron or red blood cells (anemia) are low.  It fluctuates.  Stress, sickness, menstruation, cancer, pregnancy, digestion issues are among many reasons it happens. Changing diet, reducing stress levels, or taking supplements may be all your need. It may not.  Find out where you are in your levels.   More testing, specialist, and treatments may be needed. The changes I made in my lifestyle and diet were based on the levels I had and maintained over time with success in those changes.  Some adjustments, like more rest and increasing certain foods may temporarily be needed.  However, without that success, I would be pursuing different professionals for more answers.  

Myth Three: Eat More Chicken. Beef. Liver. 

 If you are a vegan or vegetarian- you aren’t screwed.  This is where I get warm fuzzies as I personally love food as medicine and food chemistry.   You can change your food relationship to help with iron without ever eating chicken, beef, liver, or any meat.  These are the top iron rich Vegetarian/Vegan friendly foods: 

  • chard
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • lentils and beans
  • Pumpkin seeds, pepita seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds
  • Almonds
  • Figs
  • Dried apricots
  • Brussel Sprouts

But then iron isn’t the only part to this equation….

Myth Four: When Changing Diet- iron, iron, iron, iron

Nope.  And yes.  Yes you need to add in iron but some parts of your food relationship may be blocking iron and others may boost absorption.  Beets, chocolate, tea, wheat bran, rhubarb, strawberries, and spinach release oxalates, which can reduce iron absorption. Calcium rich foods inhibit your bodies ability to take in iron.  Black teas and coffee release tannins which may block iron absorption as well.  Walnuts, apples, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries release tannins.  So does cocoa, chocolate.  As a matter of fact cocoa/chocolate releases three different chemicals that can impair iron absorption.  All of these foods are needed and great for you, especially some dark chocolate.  The lesson is: love your iron and chocolate separately.  About two hours apart from iron rich/iron boosting foods and those known to inhibit.   You may be able to eat some of not so iron absorbing friendly foods in small doses in a meal when you are eating for iron and red cell boost if your levels are in the normal range.  

Iron with vitamin c is a great food connection.  It increases your absoprtion significantly. Iron also needs beta carotene (Vitamin A) and magnesium.  There is two for one deal often in the iron/magnesium/Vitamin A food list: swiss chard, kale, avocado, figs, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and bananas.  Beta Carotene (vitamin A) can be found in iron rich foods too: dried apricots, peas, dark leafy greens, and broccoli.   Its important to understand how your food relationship pairings work.  Everyone plays a role.

The Final Myth: All Supplements are Safe

Oh hell no.  Especially Iron and Vitamin A.  If you are aiming for Vitamin A.  Just eat it.  I meant it, don’t supplement.  Eat it.  Vitamin A is stored in your liver and doesn’t dissolve easily.  This makes it easy to over dose and make it a toxin. A.K.A. poison.  Iron in too small doses is detrimental; doses too high are toxic .  This is why getting testing for iron levels is crucial.  Make sure your levels are known and monitored if you have anemia or difficulty maintaining iron levels.  What I started with my supplements to get my levels up to speed is much higher than what I need now. 

I love experiencing how food can heal.  However, it isn’t the end-all-be-all.  Bodymind health tampers with everything.  Stress, prolonged or frequent,  messes with your body chemicals and blood flow ability.  The best investment we can make is mental health practices: prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, rest, and mindfulness.  Check out last weeks post “Hit. The. Breaks” for more ideas.  Stay warm.  Be kind to your body.  Care for your mind.  

Namaste and Keep Your Warm Fuzzies

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Hit. The. Brakes.

If you are following my Facebook page (link) then you may have caught the theme. A Giant, gargantuan passion in becoming an integrative wellness coach is mental health. One of the barely mentioned importance of getting, maintaining, and individualizing a “health nut” life-style is YOUR MIND. Yes. The one that your are about the loose or has already walked right out the door. That one.  Your and my activity, food relationship, self care, boundaries, spiritual/ritual practice immensely impact our minds. Good or bad. 😇 😈 There isn’t a one and done cure that applies to all. We are created uniquely with common threads. It may work for a few, many, or one. The following goes in the “many” box with the “one” options for you. 

It is more than put on your mask first. Mask first is survival. Yes, put on the mask first and then take a deep inhale. And let it go. The goal is to gain ground past survival to joy.

The basics of braking 

  1.   STOP    I mean press hard so everything slams to the front.  It might hurt at first.  Yet, this gives you the option to see what is before and make step two simpler.  
  2.  Prioritize  Name it. Write it.  Chant it.  Sing it.  Whatever it takes.  What are the Top Five of Right Now?  Then that’s all that matters.  Your list will shift and change over time and through out the day.  Continually prioritize.
  3. Draw Boundaries  When priorities are set, it  becomes clear lines need to be drawn.  When is TRULY,  I mean truly your responsibility and in your realm of control.   Can you do it? Yes. No.  Can you do it right now? Yes. No.  Can it wait? Yes? Yes! When the lines are drawn, don’t go preschool scribble.  Stay in the lines as long as they serve you and other’s within reason.  Not an eh or maybe.  I mean say there’s the line and that’s the way it is. Right now my line is: kids have their work and I’ve mine.  For the next thirty minutes, if you, the dog, or the house isn’t on fire or dying- deal.  

Putting the wheels back on and stay in neutral

The basics are grasped.  Every thing is on hold.  My kids are freaking out. Your life is freaking out.  Inhale allllllllll the way down to your hips.  I mean deep AF.  Then push slowly until you are empty.  What is it you need? Pick it. Rotate it.  Make your “in neutral” yours.

Re- prioritize

Break from tech

Be there with loved ones as in pure engagement and nothing else

Binge watch, Netflix and chill, or recapture fav classics

Read! Book, magazine, or article

Sleeeeepp or veg

Do nothing

Color, paint, sew, draw, tear paper

yes. tear paper. try it. 

Write.  Everything. Prompts. Bullet. Dear diary. Dear inner child. Jibberish.  

Walk. Run. Ride. Hike

Dance. Listen to music.  

Warm bath

Bake.  Cook. With in reason Comfort Food.

Scream

Make your joy intentional and pick something just for funsies.  You don’t need to be productive every second of the day. 

U turn and get back to basics of  Fundamental of self care

  • Bath regularly
  • Take time for hair and face as whatever that may look like
  • Clean, not intentionally torn clothes
  • Mindfulness practice.  So many apps- mindfulness and meditation. SO. MANY. APPS. Find one and take five minutes daily for your mental well being. 
  • Eat breakfast tech-less.  No T.V. No Phone. No tablet. No Google home. Etc.  Bless it and eat it.  
  • Eat lunch dinner tech-less.  Talk to those around you or yourself.  Don’t talk.  Have a chat with your cat.  My crazy won’t judge your crazy.
  • Exercise frequently.  A few days a week. Yoga, Walk. Zumba. Step in place.  Kick-boxing.  It’s necessary. 
  • Read something for growth a few times a week or daily.  A few minute article counts!

My self worth was and sometimes is tied up in productivity and perfection.  My floors need to be swept.  Eh.  Yoga pants today? They’re clean.  Meet all my goals and to-do-list.  Not exactly.  Hit the Brakes. Prioritize. Lines Drawn. 

Namaste and watch your head