Feel like you’re losing your mind? Well. You might be. Constantly going negatively impacts our physical and mental health. Sanity goes to the wayside and exhaustion slams us into a wall. When we hit this point, we need to hit the reset button
Reset for Mental Health
Our bodies require regular sleep. If you are not getting enough or constantly tired, seek medical help. There is a underlying cause. Stress can certainly start or continue the cycle of sleep issues. Consider de-stress techniques such as exercise, breathing exercises, and anti-inflammatory foods.
Relax and Play
We need non-productive times to be silly. Relax and play facilitates a connection with yourself and with others. Hobby and relax time are a must to your health routine
Your gut is a literal second brain that promotes chemical balances and a variety of essential biological processes. Fruits and veggies in a fresh or frozen form is a crucial part of your daily food relationship. Oats are excellent for cleansing guts and balancing chemicals within the body. Teas such as nettle, dandelion, and green tea are power cleansers from immune to blood. Take your food relationship seriously.
Connect with Nature
We need to immerse ourselves in creation. The elements of air, water, earth, and fire are core to our healing. Simply sitting by a fire or listening to water can do wonders to reset our minds. A simple outdoor walk or eating a meal work too.
Play for children is crucial in their development. Often, as adults, we forget that same time for play is just as vital for our health. Adulting in work, as caregivers, living responsibilities, etc can be daunting. Even when it’s not, we may absorb the daily grind with little to no breaks. Our body cycles require play-time investments to shift our minds to better perspectives, cultivate positive inner connections, and create more community.
What is Play?
Play is open ended with two rules- it’s enjoyable and no harm done. Variety within play addresses the various sides of your well-being and all need to happen a few times per week.
Gardening, car washing, swim, run, park, yoga, sport, or walk. As long as it’s an enjoyable activity and you’re moving- be in active play. Mind set is as important as what you are doing. Pick an activity and go.
Quietly Play …
As much as we need active play, we need quiet play too. This is an excellent time to get creative, read a book, write, or whatever you love to do, quietly. The goal is gently engage the mind while simultaneously calming the body.
Engage in Play-
Play with others! Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or community event- find a fun activity to do with others. We need to delightfully connect with others. It changes our perspective within our homes, our work, and community. Being together just for the sake of amusement cultivates better relationships and environments.
What happens in Play?
You disengage allostatic load: this means turning off the toxins long-term stress releases in your body.
You decrease tension in blood vessels to promote healthier blood pressure and more oxygen flow. When the oxygen flows your brain, mood, and physical body heals itself better.
You balance body chemicals better: relaxing engages the parasympathetic system which levels hormones, enzymes, and other biological chemicals that aid in healing. Plus it increases organ function.
You sleep better.
You help your brain. When you body calms and switches on the parasympathetic nervous system, it allow for more GABA. GABA slows brain electricity, that stress often increases, to allow healing, better concentration, and improved mood.
You connect with your SELF more.
You connect with your loved ones and community more.
In your daily health routine, make play an intention. We need to enjoy our life and the health investments we make. How we think or feel about an activity impacts its effectiveness- attitude directly affects your success. Love the space you’re in and engage in enjoying your life where ever you are.
I haven’t put out a recipe in a long time. Not from cooking slack, but more from needing quick meal ideas that improve health with minimal effort. What do you when life is insanely busy, need a quick meal, and please dear God, I need less salad in my life? K.I.S.S. it. The K.I.S.S (keep is simple silly/stupid) method has ruled in this household for months. Looks like it’s going to be for a couple more. In the craze, I don’t want to lose what fuels us and our minds in nutrition, but we can’t sacrifice sanity. This is part of my cheat list of quick meals. Some are grab and go while others take a bit of prep and cooking. Only two salads made the list ’cause we need a break. Real nutrition is in all of it.
Quick Healthy Meals:
Run In Store & Grab Ideas
Veggie burger with fruit. Watch those healthy options. Many put gluten in and it’s more filler than nutrition. We opt for a burger with portabellos and veggies or use portabellos period.
Rotisserie or baked chicken with grab a veggie tray or salad kit
Baked beans and green beans or greens
Cauliflower crust (pre-made) with pizza sauce, cheese, and veggies
A Little More Investment Meal Ideas
This downloadable comes with several healthy meal ideas centered around “latin” flavors. This is our family’s obsession and 90% crowd pleaser. When meals have common ingredients it requires less planning and easier meal creations.
Healthy meals can be a valuable time investment of food relationship and mental wind down time. When there isn’t time or priorities bump cooking down the list, we don’t have to sacrifice wellness. Veggie forward, whole foods, whole grains are literal life savers from brain function to heart love. This makes healthy meals even more vital. Love the long and short of your food relationship. More quick and healthy meal ideas to come of different flavor varieties. Follow by clicking “Yes” to have them delivered to you.
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, it 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. It’s imperative you understand that healthy looks different. Resentment for those who are “skinny” isn’t acceptable and those who may be slightly overweight or not have a certain look can be healthy too and it’s not your judgment 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 whatever 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 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 its kickboxing. 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
It’s 3:00 PM in the afternoon and I look down at my water bottle. The day is almost done and I’ve only drank half the my minimal of what is needed to be hydrated. Unfortunately, coffee doesn’t count. Why on earth would I add hydration count to my endless daily check-list? From brain function, gut function, adrenal function- hydration is the everything in biological function.
What about what you drink? There are drinks you need to limit or completely avoid. Sugary drinks such as juices and sodas needs to be limited. This goes for caffeine and alcohol too. It is thought that caffeine intake can cause dehydration, a quick run through studies on coffee. Mild coffee drinking is fine and not known to impact hydration ability. Sugar and too much sodium are the top dehydrators you can drink.
What Should You Drink?
Non synthetic dye or natural drink
Water with fruit and vegetables
Your food life is two fold on hydration. Drinking is the primary way to obtain and maintain hydration. However, eating certain whole foods (not cooked or lightly cooked) contains significant portions of water in them.
What Can You Eat to Boost Hydration?
All of these contain at least 90% of water and tons of nutrition. Food relationship multitasking at its best.
Broccoli and squash contain more water when cooked.
Sports drinks are known to help with hydration and keeping hydration in short periods. They should only be consumed when significant water loss is involved or recommended by doctor. The main reason are electrolytes. In a simplistic term, electrolytes are salts in the form of minerals that help with hydration and cleanse your bodily systems. The electrolytes you need are sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, phosphates. You can eat these easily all the time.
Foods Rich in Electrolytes
Dairy- yogurt/ kefir particularly
Fish- especially salmon
Nuts- especially almonds and walnuts
Dark greens- notably kale, broccoli, edamame, bok choy, spinach, chard
Baked goods with baking soda
Fruids: Bananas, water melons,
Each of these foods offer it’s unique contribution. A rotation/combination of each offers the best impact in your food relationship. I am going to grab more of my lemon & lime water. Gotta catch up!
Simply because cannot take “no” for an answer- I had to find answer to my pasta dilemma Largely, due to the sauce, a lower acid pasta sauce. So what’s wrong with the sauce? Too much acid producing agents like tomatoes and meat. Meat? Yes, digesting meats requires more stomach acid production. My stomach gets all dramatic and I end up in pain. My solution was Puttenesca. Puttenesca is a tomato sauce with a specific combinations of plants, veggies, and (most of time) anchovies. I HATE anchovies. If I had a choice between those greasy, tiny fish and bugs. I choose bugs. We will say no to the anchovies this time. And every time.
This sauce still carries the problematic acidic tomato. I opted for campari tomatoes as they are sweeter with lower acid. To reduce acid more, you can add in some carrot puree. The tomatoes didn’t irritate my reflux. Since the anchovies got to go- I went with capers to give that briny, salty taste. Best part, is more concentrated veggies means more nutrition. The instructions are for the sauce, your base is dealer’s choice. As complex carbs can help absorb stomach acid, I opted for a brown rice/ quinoa gluten free pasta but zoodles are just a good.
Lower Acid Pasta Sauce
Ingredients and Prep
3 Garlic cloves, diced
Oregano 1 tablespoon dried
Olive Oil 1 tablespoon
Campari tomatoes, 16 oz, quartered
Green or black olives sliced (2.25 oz can or I eat a specific green type, about 10 olives)
Put in diced garlic and olive oil and gentle stir for about 5-7 minutes on medium.
Still on medium heat, place in diced tomatoes and oregano and cook until tomatoes have broken down plus a few minutes (25 minutes). In the last 5 minutes you can put in optional carrot puree to lower the pH level.
Put in olives and capers for additional ten minutes. 1 1/2 tablespoon of capers is enough for me. Start with 1 tablespoon and add to taste. Do let it cook for a minute before adding.
With a few quick switch outs with some veggies, I have a delicious alternative. Plus its a graduation from my dorm room ragu phase. There is nothing wrong with an occasional jar sauce on some veggies every once and while. However, there is more flavor and nutritional punch in this bowl. Love your food relationship and show it how to love you back.
Having any food allergy, from the Top 8 and beyond, leads to a challenging life style. The foodie with allergy life requires constant label and food investigations and awkward questions at gatherings. It comes with additional risks when someone or a company isn’t honest. Thankfully, organizations like F.A.R.E. (Food Allergy Research and Education) make information and advocating needs easier. Companies labels are improving, especially with allergens on the ingredient list and the GF (gluten free label). Allergies are not confined to the food aisles and this is not as well know. They lurk everywhere. Only one Federal law protects the top eight food allergies and it only deals with food labels. Otherwise, if you clean with it, take a prescription, take an OTC, put it on your skin, has a kosher label, or more then a company is not obligated to tell you when an allergen may be in their product. Take this short list of products with the Top 8 allergens and quick tips for foodie allergy “but it’s not a food.”
What Are the Top 8 Allergens?
This is the short list and more allergies exists. The Top 8 Allergy list was created from the most common known food allergies. However, if you suspect an allergy or intolerance, get tested. There are companies now that test a wide range of allergies and intolerances.
Products with Top 8 Allergens You Might Not Know About
Some vaccinations like Flu Shot: eggs
Supplements: some contain shellfish or fish
Milk body wash or hand soap: lactic acid or milk proteins
Lotions: some contain almonds
Exfoliating products: walnuts or nuts
Lip balm and lip glosses: possible fish oils
Please always read labels on household products as they are not required to have a warning label. We learned this the hard way with lotion containing almonds and hand wash with casein (milk protein). It was right on the ingredient label and we just didn’t think. Have you read their labels? I decided not to become a chemist for a reason. However, learn the chemical names of your allergies. Example of milk: lactic acid, casein, caseinate are all various components of milk. Always check.
Be extra cautious and listen to your body’s reactions as allergens are not always on a label either. After taking on the GF life, I was still reacting as though I was still eating gluten. I was informed that it may be my laundry detergent. They were right. Water and flour are suspected added as fillers in many products, but with no confirmed proof. I had to go with the welts, hives and suspicions. We switched to a recommended natural product and the reactions stopped. Along with the laundry switch, we changed cleaning products to due a reading/investigation about peanut oils in cleaning products. I like my house clean but don’t want to put my sons life at risk. Being mindful of symptoms and habits is your best weapon against continuous reactions or deadly ones. Take all out all products for a couple of weeks then add in former products one at a time. It takes two weeks, at least, to work out an allergy. Spread out re-introduced products days apart. It might take time to react again if that was the culprit.
Foodie with allergies or not, being savvy with allergens is a part of being well. Knowing one is safe contributes to their well in being relaxed and to your well of positive input. Caring for others always comes back in one form or another. When we can navigate and trust our environment, it enhances quality of life. Be informed, ask questions, and share information. Share this post if it makes it easier
In a recent conversation with my sister, she expressed interest with CBD and concerns over the product. Sorry sis, dragging you into this. She is justified in having concerns and wise to question unfamiliar products. CBD has its benefits, but like any product, getting industry savvy is necessary for your safety. It would be misguided not to have the “it may cost” conversation. Quality can cost more than other options. Not always. Get well versed and find trusted professionals when balancing cost and product safety. Some budget switches, coffee sacrifices may be possible to enhance your wellness. In some cases, natural products are life altering alternatives we didn’t know existed. Knowing what to ask, pass by, and expect empowers your confidence to choose and raises quality expectations.
Top Three Ways to Find the Right CBD Product
Hard pass: The Extras in Production
Choosing a product that is extracted without extras is imperative. There are several ways to extract Cannabis oil from the hemp plant and two involve an external chemical: ethanol extraction and butane hash extraction. Ethanol extraction is problematic because of the destruction of hemp plant waxes which offer health benefits. In addition to eliminating benefits and it’s many stages creating a variable product, ethanol extraction can add on potentially harmful chemicals such as chloroform. The process can be “roll the dice” gamble of quality product. It can be a win or it can be a loss. Doubling on this is the potential for some Cannabis oil producers to add in this next process or use it solely. Butane hash, a form of hydrocarbon extraction product, exposes the hemp product, lab technician, consumer, and environment to the effects of butane. While the jury is out on definitive effects of butane and chemicals in low doses on the human body, its effects are still a concern. Butane exposure is known to cause nervous system damage and blurry vision among other illnesses. Both processes lead to the potential of toxins in the product, thus affecting humans and environment alike.
That’s a Yes: Getting the Real Product. Safely.
The CO2 supercritical and subcritical extraction process are deemed to be the most beneficial extractions processes for Cannabis Oil. Dee Dee Taylor, owner of 502 Hemp, explains the choice for CO2 supercritical extractions as safest and cleanest for human, animal, and environment. Hemp Gazette explains in their article that the goal is to reach a specific temperature of CO2 in either supercritical subcritical extraction to alter its state of matter. In super critical extraction, the CO2 exists as liquid and gas creating the ideal solvent (liquid in subcritical). This state breaks down the hemp plant with maximum oil, minimal extra, and kills contaminants.
It’s about temperature, states of matter, and a pure product. Nothing else.
What Cannabis oil is carried in is crucial. Hemp oil is common and important to ask about the product and look at its container. Dark amber or blue glass is best for any essential oil, plant product, or natural product. It preserves product from leaking out, unlike the porous plastic. Dark colored glass protects breakdown from sunlight. It is important to note that hemp oil requires refrigeration to prevent a rancid product. 502 Hemp chooses to put most of their CBD in coconut oil, although hemp oil is offered if needed. I love coconut oil and its insane benefits. An excellent fat for brain and nerves. Bacteria killer while raising the good cholesterol in your body. In our consultation with Laura at 502 Hemp, my daughter was able to try out various flavors. LOVE THAT! As we were conversing, she shared how coconut oil assist in quicker absorption. Add this to the list of coconut oil carrier pros. What ever you choose for your CBD, ask:
What hemp is used? Organic?
How was it extracted?
What is the carrier oil? Know Your Preferences
Care for product?
Must Have: Totally Honest
In any product or service, complete openness is essential. Do your research. What I love about the multiple conversations with 502 Hemp is honesty, and subsequent research backs up what is shared. A company needs to be open and knowledgeable about their process. If you can’t get clear answers, walk away. Any product has cautions, all of them, and the selling company know that. Those concerns and cautions should be upfront. If it’s marketed miracle cure, then it’s a “don’t touch it.” Beware. A big lie in the CBD industry is the need for high doses. 502 Hemp is upfront about proper dosage. Everyone digests differently and has unique needs. Any CBD company should know and share this information. ALWAYS. Consult about dosage and start minimal then work your way up. A perk is taste testing and suggestions. We got that in our consultation for my daughter and it’s been experienced with other quality wellness companies alike. Every penny and time investment in a product or service is more than worth it with the love addition.
CBD has become core to our wellness routine after due diligence. What good is it if it’s not safe? Go with your gut. If you’re not sure, you can always come back. If it’s a once in a lifetime deal, then it was never meant to be. Truly honest and caring wellness owners will offer space and love. Discover how your CBD is made before taking it and expect openness for your protection. We found the right CBD products at 502hemp for us.