Aside

Health Foodie & Veggie Relationships: Let Them Love You Back

I like flexibility in my food relationships.  Could this be a fajita? A wrap? Ditch the tortilla for a salad? Add some spices for Italian flare? It all depends on what the mood today.  Buying a  few, key ingredients that work in multiple ways can be a powerhouse to you and your budget.  Freshness variety is great.  Too much variety of perishables in a small window of time can be costly and if you can’t eat it all before expiration, wasteful.  It’s about intent.  This list can have a few additions and be used in multiple ways for delicious health.

The Core List:

Bell Peppers

Mushrooms

Roma tomatoes

Spinach

Green Onion

Kale

What you can add on for flavor variety

  1. Lightly cook peppers with mushrooms.  Then put on a couple corn tortillas with a half to a full ounce of neufchatel cream cheese on each tortilla.  Add red pepper flakes, a few slices of avocado, and the rest of the veggies. Corn tortillas and neufchatel cream cheese are lower in fat and calories.  
  2. Roast veggies-  add black beans with salsa, a half cup of brown rice.
  3. Light roast veggies with 1 tablespoon of oregano and basil with two cloves of garlic; add whole grain pasta with a light butter sauce
  4. Lean meat the size of your hand palm to numbers 1-3 like chicken breast, 90% beef, ground turkey or chicken.
  5. Breakfast: lightly roast veggies and add egg/egg whites, lean bacon or sausage

Caution:

Be good with your tortilla, rice, and pasta carbs.

You need carbs within the suggested serving.

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These veggie combos love you much.  Most the vegetables contain vitamin Bs which makes your calorie fuel burn better.  Vitamin Bs and magnesium are essential for nerve function thus your brain, they have that too.  Eat it now to help with focus and handling stress later.  Quite a bit of these veggies are packed with antioxidants, especially vitamins E & A.  This means reduced cancer risk and help with the fight in aging at the very least.  Vitamin C dominates in this group and brings more than immune boost to the table.  C also plays a vital role in helping to absorb other vitamins and minerals.  We could go all day about nutritional value in this list, but take this start.  Work your short list for the long list of total body benefit.

Please leave a comment on the veggie you love/tolerate and the ones on your black list. Me: spinach and I have a love affair.  Brussel sprouts are earning my trust.  I become faint by smell of cooked turnip greens.  

Namaste and Let Your Veggies Love You

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Warning: We are Those Food Allergy People

You know who we are.  We are those who constantly ask what is in that and say we can’t eat that.  There was a time in my life where I had just the one food allergy. It was glorious.  Along the way I have built a nice collection of allergies that completely altered my diet, care routine, and trust.  It affects everything. And its nothing compared to my stepson who has bakers dozens of food and environmental allergies. Then we have intolerances of the ridiculous kind that might as well be allergies.  We are well stocked in antihistamines.

We DO NOT wish to be these people.

At Holiday functions we must be these people.  On Halloween our children will say thank you politely and bring their bags home to meticulously inspected.  It kinda sucks the fun out of it.  Except for parent taxes.  If you have food allergies then you are our people.  I have hard learned suggestions for those holiday gatherings for us.   If you do not have food allergies then I have some hard learned suggestions on how to handle us in these gatherings.

 Holiday Gatherings with Food Allergies

For the food allergy people-

  1.  Ask. Ask. Ask and apologize once for inconvenience it might cause. It’s just being polite but not apologetic for doing what you must to survive.  Ask what is being served, if their are alternatives (don’t expect it), etc. You give kindness in your situation, usually your host reciprocates it.
  2. Plan ahead. When you can bring food.  My bag, my kids’s bags, and travel bags have food that accommodate our allergies.  It is your and our responsibility to be sure you have what you need and work within your food issues, not someone’s else.  You can always ASK (see number one), but ultimately it is up to you.  Our families and friends are great at working with us.
  3. Be proactive and offer a dish or two that you know you can eat and share.  It is helpful to you and your host.
  4.  Get ingredient list and read labels. Ahead of time when possible and if available.
  5. Have a medical plan and supplies in case of an oops or emergency. Know where the nearest hospital is and be well stocked. Epi pens only buy you time and you may need more than one pen to make it.

For the non- food allergy people

 
  1.  Please do not be insulted by our questions.  We have to ask.  To survive.  It is not a reflection on your cooking skills (we haven’t eaten it yet) or hosting skills. I’m sure you are lovely.
  2. Please do not take offense if we bring food or offer to bring a dish.  We are trying to help you help us. It’s really awkward when we can’t eat anything or just the one thing.
  3. Please be gracious as our bruised ego has to be meticulous in ingredients.  We are trying not to use our number five.

A little goes a long way when our food allergy people are prepared and our non-food allergy people are accommodating.  It can be enjoyable with flexibility and understanding on both sides.  Join Teal Pumpkin Project for your trick or treaters that are “those people.”  Your kindness will be returned to you.

 

Namaste and Share for Foodies of All Types

Aside

Health Foodie Loving More Veggies… Because Bacon

This would not be categorized as a vegetarian dish because of our bacon entanglement.  Also, I am literally eating my words on this whole “I won’t eat brussel sprout thing.” This collaboration of previous brussel sprout consumption dare and my ghost child’s new professed love of goat cheese with bacon enhancement.  All culminating in a simple and quick delicious recipe.  Anyone has the time and skill for this.

 

Ingredients and Prep

Brussel sprouts (steamed, cut in half)

Bacon (cooked, diced)

Goat cheese crumbles (package opened)

Olive oil- one tablespoon

Steps to brussel sprouts in bacon, cheese glory

1.  Preheat oven to 425 F

2. Lightly drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan

2. Steam brussel sprouts and cut in half then spread out on pan

3. Cook bacon but barely (light brown and soft) or cheat like me and buy the pre cooked.  D

4. Dice barely cooked bacon and sprinkle over brussel sprouts.

5. Place pan in the oven for ten minutes.

6. After the bacon brussel sprouts cool for five to ten minutes, sprinkle goat cheese over.

Done- Bacon fulfillment with sneaky nutrition

Namaste 💓🥓🥗

Meditation for the Distracted: How an ADHD Mom Declutters her Brain

Meditation for the Distracted: How an ADHD Mom Declutters her Brain

I didn’t think that was possible.  Decluttering my brain.  Most of the time my brain is like those annoying rubber balls let loose in a steel cube competing with the speed of sound.  A lot going on with not much room to go anywhere else.  It was like this before kids.  Now there are lots more of additions, noises, schedules, and distractions.  Sitting down is hard enough but sitting to be quiet and focus seems like a joke.  Even after establishing a meditation practice.  This week has been rough.  As I watch Ghost Child take an interest and begin to meditate to calm, it becomes real.  Our meditation practice is as important as breathing and sleeping.  For our brain survival and surviving our emotions, we need it.   If you have a thriving meditation practice, then Namaste my friend and all power too your practice.  If you struggle to focus or have distractions, then Namaste my friend, we completely understand this struggle.   It isn’t out of reach for us and this is how we jump those hurdles to have a healthy meditation practice.

1. Pre- practice: Sleep and Eat

  • Sleep deprivation will set you up for failure.  Most people do meditate in the morning but if later in the day or at night means better sleep then do it.  Get those 8 hours.
  • Eat and Hydrate. This is a continuous cycle for your well being that impacts your meditation practice in either direction. For your best success, lean proteins and a variety of veggies.  Adding supplements like Vitamin B Complex, Omega 3’s, Fiber, and Probiotic enhance total body including your brain.   A dehydrated brain contributes to lack of focus and disrupts other brain functions.  Stay Hydrated.


2. Pre practice: The Set Up 

  • Be time conscious without being conscious of it.  Start short, 5-10 minutes and set a timer.  A timer can allow you to forget about time. You can work into extending your time.
  • Be guided.  Allow someone to talk you through it or use a script.  Script doesn’t work for me but may allow you to focus on the words. Listening to a guided meditation does wonders for me. Check out more on my pinterest meditation page  for some ideas.
  • Use classical music or nature sounds.  
  • Recite a prayer, verse, proverb, mantra, or phrase.  
  • Be touchy.  Use a  mala, bracelet, rosary, or mudra
  • Be nosy.  Use scents- candles, oils, etc. Lavender calms the brain, Orange engages it.  Those are two of many scents that will help your brain and body. 
  • Use an App.  A dear friend recommended Insight Timer and I love it. It has a timer with guided, music, lectures, and community.  
  • Pencil it in. Put it on the calendar, set a task reminder, etc. 

3. Practice

  • Get comfortable. The positions I would suggest are Lotus (cross legged, spine straight), sitting in a chair with feet on floor and spine straight, or Savasana (corpse pose, lying down).  The important thing is your spine to be straight for optimal blood flow, energy flow, and maximize your breathing.  
  • Breath deep and slow.  Controlling your breath controls your body thus your brain.
  • Accept your thoughts.   It is okay to have thoughts.  Become an observer and let them go.
  • Have grace. It is called a practice and takes practice.  Even after establishing a habit, some days feel more like practice than flow.  Have grace.

Alternative Options

Try:

  •  coloring in silence or calming music
  • walking with in silence while concentrating on breathing,  or listen to calming music or guided meditation,  or use a recitation
  • Yoga- Yin Yoga is great for this.
  • In listening to a guided meditation, use headphones or ear buds.
  • Journal: thoughts, gratitude, anything!
  • Tea mediation: using senses to focus during your tea time. I don’t think this works the same with wine.

My personal practice starts between 6:00 am to 6:30 am most days.  Some times I walk before hand. I always drink lukewarm water with lemon juice before starting yoga.  From there I move into my favorite position, Savasana, and use a guided and/or timer meditation. All my senses are engaged and I keep my supplies in a dedicated space. This might sound daunting but it is very quick. My yoga is twenty minutes.  On a good day, I can meditation 20 minutes.  Sometimes I split between timer and guided or just do one of them. Bad days-  just yoga with a short 5 minute guided meditation.  There is power in emptying the junk drawer up there but there is more power in having grace when it is difficult to do so.  For attention sake, I kept this relatively short.  You may have a lot of questions- message or email me.  I want to help!

Empty the junk.  Take in the grace. Namaste.

A quick tip share for focus…

A quick tip share for focus…

I love Understood.org and this link Takes focus to another level. Executive functioning is dysfunctional in our house. While I love our quirks, it can be a challenge. I couldn’t resist sharing these quick tips that help bring things back into focus. Whether you have an executive function disorder or any other reason to have difficulty focusing, this is for you.

Namaste and Love colors

Essentials to Fighting Misbehaving Skin

Essentials to Fighting Misbehaving Skin

I am in my mid thirties and until recently, breaking out like an awkward teenager. Only more awkward because I am thirty something. It isn’t those little things either, I have had deep cystic acne for decades. I have literally tried everything on the market: stores or online, plus doctors poking and prescribing everything. Don’t sell me anything. Seriously, I have tried it all. More than once. Only one prescription worked in my early twenties. It peeled chunks off my face for months. So that looked gross. However, I had the best skin for like two years. Every two years I do not want to look like a molting animal. It was expensive to boot. No win there. Then these SOB wrinkles start showing up in the midst of all the acne mess.

This has to stop.

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If you spend anytime with anyone in the skin care profession you get the “talk.” About what you eat. While the debate is out exactly on what that is, there are a few common threads. Too much fat, grease, sugar, and stress will cause break outs. I know stress isn’t a food, but prolonged stress releases a toxin like skin hating food. Reduce your stress with walk, talk with a friend, hot bath, or enjoyable activity. Stress isn’t necessarily something you can control but how you cope and handle it is under your control. Managing stress goes a long way for your body and skin with mental health and soul benefits too. If you want to leverage food for the good of your skin- eat for your gut and kidneys. Start with water. Not enough water directly impacts your skin by either making it dry and/or giving wrinkles a fighting chance. Being hydrated helps both your gut and detoxes your body- great for fighting breakouts from the inside out.

When you eat think rainbow and “clean,” as in minimal to no process, as close to the natural products as you can get. Inflammation reducing foods are helpful too and many clean foods tick this box: low sugar, appropriate carbs (not eliminate, you need them!), natural/organic, low fat- lots of veggies and fruits! Maybe reducing gluten and dairy too as those can cause an inflamed gut. There are foods you may want to be more intentional with concerning your skin. Foods rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients fight and protect from free radicals which alters cells such as skin cells thus skin problems. Foods like apples, carrots, tomatoes, leafy greens, berries, grapes, sweet potatoes, and watermelon are abundant in these types of nutrients. These foods also add in vitamins C and E which promote skin health as well. Eating a variety of low to no processed foods in important to addressing skin problems and maintaining skin health.

Put in a couple of servings herbal teas in your daily routine to add in more nutrients, reduce inflammation, and cleanse. Two cups a day of green or herbal teas will do. I do one green tea and one oolong tea most days, some times chai. Add ground cinnamon, turmeric, and raw honey. These spices and natural sweetener provide additional cleansing along with reducing inflammation plus natural antibiotics. Less inflammation is better skin no matter your issue. Bonus, I find it pulls excess water weight. Plan bathroom breaks accordingly. At night I have a new addiction, golden milk. Simply a plant based milk warmed with ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and raw honey. Just a teaspoon of each spice and natural sweetener in a cup of plant milk. Again, it all reduces inflammation plus adds natural antibiotics in turmeric and raw honey. Those antibiotics help your gut and boost skin health.

Now the inside is done, let’s talk the outside issues. In my maddening search to change my skin care routine I came to the conclusion I had to make my own stuff. Part for curiosity on how natural products work and part for customization for my face. Along the way I discovered skin recipes that would benefit a more normal to dry skin. Not for me. I have crazy oily skin that infects itself. Awesome. I have also created recipes that work well with my greasy face. I found turmeric to be my new best friend. It kills bacteria and reduces inflamed skin. Coffee reinvigorates and renews skin. Tea tree is incredible for acne and cold sores. Cypress will show wrinkles the door and regulate oily skin. There are a variety of essential oils that address whatever your skin throws at you. There is a common base across the board oily, aging, or dry: grape seed oil (carrier oil). Grape seed oil is rich in vitamin E which every skin type could benefit from. Raw, unrefined or fractionated (carrier) coconut oil is a non greasy, effective moisturizer that can be skin friendly. It is a great base for normal to dry skin. I am also an advocate for removing alcohol from any care product: natural or not. It destroys your skin and hair. I hope you find one or many of these useful to boost your skin confidence. Each of these formulas I still use or have tried (some better for less oily skin). It’s effective but for the most part, not harsh on my skin. They are also cost effective in the long run. I love nature.

Namaste from the inside out

Acne roller

Grape seed oil
Tea tree- 5 drops
fennel- 5 drops
lemon grass- 5 drops
orange- 5 drops (optional, softens skin)
1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils

Face Toner

Alcohol free witch hazel

Cypress – 6 t drops (leave out if you have super dry skin)

Helicrysum- 5 drops (if you have scars or oily skin)

Ylang Ylang- 6 drops (up 2 more drops is you have dry skin)

Juniperberry- 5 drops

1. Pour witch hazel in a small container (3-4 oz) 3/4 full

2. Add essential oils

Face scrub- normal/ dry skin
Raw, unrefined coconut oil- 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons baking soda
Fennel- 4 drops
Geranium- 4 drops
1. In a small container put coconut oil in. It may need to be warmed to soften
2. Add baking soda
3. Add essential oils

Face scrub- oily, acne prone *

Turmeric- 2 teaspoons *

Baking soda – 1/4 cup

Ground plain coffee – 1/8 cups

1. In a blender add all ingredients and blend until smooth

2. Store in a dry container

3. To use- separate a quarter size amount and add enough water to make a paste. Scrub all over the face and/or leave for a few minutes. Rinse repeatedly.

d* WARNING: This stuff is strong but my face needs aggression be cautious. Turmeric is used as a dye. it can stain and may temporarily stain your face. Rinse well and/or follow with toner. The toner will help restore some of the aggressive cleansing while keeping the deep clean effects.

Face Scar roller
Grape seed oil
Helichrysum – 5 drops
Cypress- 5 drops
Frankincense- 4 drops
Juniperberry (optional but helpful) – 4 drops
1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils

Lost baggage (under eye roller)

Rose- 4 drops

Jasmine- 4 drops

Chamomile- 4 drops

Clary sage- 4 drops

1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils

Age reverse/Dry skin Roller

Frankincense- 4 drops
Geranium- 5 drops
Cypress- 4 drops
Ylang Ylang- 5 drops
1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils