Aside

When Salad Goes Bad

From low calories to nutrient potential, salads can be a go to in “healthy eating.”  It’s an easy option to lighten up a meal encounter and comes with a variety of options.  It does have some pitfalls.  Eating raw is not for everyone and every digestive track.  Lightly cooking  veggies is a healthy option if veggies in their original form is detrimental to your food relationship.  Salads can fall into the monotonous status that is tasteless and boring.  Certain choices can hurt your relationship and health if you are not careful.  Fortunately a boring and unhealthy salad encounter can be fixed.

sign-slippery-wet-caution.jpg

Caution

When you’re out eating and trying to stay committed a salad seems like the no brainer option.  Often it’s not the case. Spend a few obsessive hours researching restaurant menus and nutrition, then most often you find there are hidden”fees.”  Croutons are not the sole culprit.  You pay for higher sodium in dressings, fried foods,  tortilla strips, sauces, etc.  Too much salt sucks out the good part of you.  Then there are the bad fats.  Not like “ooh bad” or guilty pleasure.  Like bad, bad.  Physically and mentally bad for you.  From too much processed cheese, fried toppings, and dressings.  Short lease those fats.  An every once and awhile entanglement is okay.  Then there’s your salad base. The semi- green base that’s the meh to your food relationship, it looks pale or wilted.  That’s your salad connection dying.  Read below to fix that.  When you are settling in at home or meal prepping, it’s a similar problem with salads.  High sodium, high fat, not enough variety thus nutrients.   It’s time to find the balance.

The Salad Fix

  In every relationship there needs to be a base to spring from.  In making a salad there are more supportive options such as Mixed greens, spinach, kale. These does more than carry the “fun stuff.” They have their own contributions to your nutrient profile on a plate. Once you have your base, then you need lean sources of protein.  Chicken breast, chick peas, cauliflower, nuts, seeds, turkey pepperoni, lunch meat are a few choices to add on. “Whole” is best, meaning it doesn’t require a label or comes with a few listed ingredients.   While it does this part well, protein is more than a filler.  It has it’s own set of nutrients and it builds from muscles heart to brain to body. When adding on to your base and protein, for nutrition and simplicity sake, rainbow variety needs to be your salad motto.  Each pepper, tomato, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, and so on is packed with their unique set of nutrients.  This is a great way to get multiple vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants.  It’s a better calorie burn with increase function of brain, nerves, eyes, etc.   When dressing a salad, it needs to be the right one.  Low calorie, low fat is not necessarily the best.  There are fats your body needs plus those low cal/fat option may have artificial ingredients that are harmful.  Avocado, sesame oil, avocado oil, or olive oil are a few examples of a short leased but great options to get dressed in.  Read ingredient lists;  the least amount listed on that bottle the better.

Not so salady options

Salad don’t have to look like the precursor to an entree.  An Asian vinaigrette with lean pork or chicken on chopped mixed greens/ bok choy is delicious.  Ground turkey taco meat with salad on greens is a naked taco. Who doesn’t love naked?  A limited use of pepperoni, turkey deli meat, ham deli meat with an italian dressing and greens makes a lighter cousin to the sub version.  There is so much more less salady options on Pinterest.  Just watch the base, ingredients, and dressing.   Armed with the right green base, you can break that food relationship boredom and not pay for it with your health.

Namaste & For the Sake of A Healthy Food Relationship Pass This Along

Aside

Health Foodie Seeking the Warm Fuzzies

I am a sensory nut. I need to see, smell, taste, and touch. Then, I birthed two sensory seeking, sensory repulsed people. When we love a taste, it’s on until we absolutely hate it. Except tacos. Never touch our blankets. Tag are out. If it’s too loud, forget it. What is that smell??!!! May I touch that? I probably should’ve asked before touching it. We are seekers of a sensory buzz.

Finding the warm fuzzies is a fairly universal desire for us human beings. Most often we do it unconsciously, being categorized as preference or like.  Some of us are more aware of sensory issues by living with exceptional needs. We are looking for the balance of avoidance versus those warm sensory fuzzies. But what if your awareness in positive sensory behavior could enhance your daily wellness? From mental acuity to de-stress plus possible weight help, social bonding, and more- our sensory endeavors have potential benefits for everyone.

Before we submerge our senses we need to precede with caution. If therapy or medical care is a part of your life or someone in your care, then these may help as “in addition too.” However, ask your professional first.

For your eyes seek bright or soft colors, which one depends on what you need

Most of us have a favorite color and there may be reasons as to why, it’s color psychology.   Companies use the study colors to know how to entice your consumer brain.  For the purpose here, it’s a tool that may help engage your brain and mental well being.   In the general sense, bright/warm colors stimulate your brain.  If you feel sluggish, pick one bright color you like and wear it.  If you love it, paint a room with it.  Or, less commitment option is to paint a piece of furniture.  On the other end, if your are stressed, over stimulated, etc then aim for wearing, obtaining, painting with cool/soft/pastel colors.  Even a light pink can soothe and brighten.   Work towards an array in your closet and mix them up in your living space, different days or hours call for different colors.

Seek soft, weighted, warm, or cool to touch

Feeling sore or stressed? Find warmth  in a blanket; in my case, multiple blankets. Texture is important so go with that “gut feeling.”   If you tend to heat easily then go light and soft.  Personally, it’s fleece.   Light compression can be calming.  A heavier, but not necessarily warmer blanket may be of benefit.  A quilt can have some weight or as I discovered recently in a Yin Yoga class, that a tightly woven blanket (“Mexican Blanket,” “Yoga Blanket”) has a fair amount of weight.  There are weighted blankets that can be pricey and a professional would be the one to tell you what weight ratio you need.  A quilt or woven blanket have some weight but not enough to require a consultation for most people.  Another inexpensive option to calm is simply taking a bath.  Water is therapeutic.  Hot water with the door locked and kids on the other side is life altering.  On the other end, being active in cool water can help workout those nerves and add to positive stimulation.   It’s a great option for joint problems and children with lots of energy.

When you need to hear it

If your auditory sense is seeking those chills there are a few simple options.  To calm the nerves, slower (classical, jazz, etc), sound of nature, white noise are ear massage options.  Listening to a guided meditation can be an option too.  If heavy or dull is the feeling then go upbeat.  Then add dancing or something similar too it.  Movement and music are a powerful combo.  Another way to uplift is finding or recording affirmations that are meaningful to you.  It repeats to become a memory.  You may replay that “track” later when it’s not available but needed.  

From a “pick me up” to chill out, sensory seeking can go a long way to help.  Look for part two in the near future.   Subscribe for your convenience.  We still need to address our olfactory sense and of course, food! 

Namaste in your warm fuzzy endeavors 

 

 

 

Aside

Seeking Warm Fuzzies Part Two

Certain senses will have more of an impact on your body and mind than others when in sensory seeking endeavors. For me it’s all about smell and food, naturally.

Smell it

My sense of smell is insane. When something is pleasant, it’s amazing. If it smell bad, it’s everything I have not to vomit.  Smell is powerful.  I’m ever grateful my children are potty trained.

Make use of the oil popularity.  A couple of days ago I was walking in a store and noticed a section dedicated to essential oils.  It’s not for parties anymore.  What you buy is important and needs to be a pure form.  However, the more readily available essential oils make scent seeking easier.  Rarely is an essential oil on it’s own safe.  For safety sake, mix oils and blends (more than one oil) in a carrier oil.  Grapeseed oil is my favorite choice but fractioned coconut, almond, jojoba oils all work too.  Putting these oils in a diffuser or a few drops in running water for a bath are excellent ways to disperse the scent quickly.  In a bath it will absorb in your skin for more potent results.  A few oils I blend with oil in a dark glass roller bottle.  A 10 mL bottle 80-85 % filled with carrier oil and few drops of each essential oil will do.  When needed, I roll the blend on the palms of my hands then rub hands together.  Then I cup my hands over my mouth and nose then breathe.  From hand to brain, it does the job.  Take this quick guide to a few essential oil options and make the most of your smell sense.

 

essential oils and benefitsBefore we leave the sense of smell there are a few incredibly simple ways to find the warm fuzzies.  It’s as simple as a memory.  Find your comforting scents from the fall arena to floral,  woodsy, coffee, or clean.  Whatever it is that promotes a positive moment past or now, have it on hand.

From Mouth to Brain

Food! Yay!   There is so much my mouth can do other than a sarcastic or off color comment.  From taste bud to texture to temperature, our oral senses can be an amazing way to find those fuzzies.

Like your sense of smell, your taste buds have memories too.  Feeling down or any similar emotion, comfort foods are not called comfort foods for nothing.  It’s okay to indulge in indulging every once and awhile.  Bring those memories to the plate, bowl, or cup to trigger happy moments.  I would encourage you to create new moments and invited friends and family in those culinary endeavors.  Your taste buds will associate with that gathering time for a powerful multi-sensory punch you can draw upon later.  Don’t let those comfort foods sabotage you.  If your comfort food involves high fats, over processed, too much sodium, and not enough nutrition- eating it more than a day within a week or two  it will back fire.  They impact your brain and emotions along with nervous system in dreadful ways.  Then your comfort food becomes your enemy.

When feeling heavy emotionally go for lighter meals.  Less or barely cooked.  Reduce your fats.  Your fats should primarily focus on monosaturated fat, polysaturated fat, and omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis.  In food forms this is coconut oil, avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, nut butters to name a few.  These fats help you but take in just what you need.  Cool foods and drinks help wake up the brain.  So does caffeine, but too much can over work the nerves.  Careful, please.  Bitter and spicy tastes aid in uplifting and stimulating your nervous system and brain as well as crunchy foods.  An nut has great brain fats, crunchy plus with a spicy seasoning, it will be an alarm system to your senses.  A warm fuzzy of the jolting variety.

When finding it difficult to calm, anxiety, or an unsettling condition go the opposite direction.  Padded in a couple extra servings of the good fats.  Avocado, egg, and a high protein cheese is my breakfast.  I have difficulty waking up but quickly switch to jitter mode.  I need my nourishment to help out.  Warm foods and drinks soothe and give literal warm fuzzies.  Sweet in its appropriate forms lend a hand too.

Days and moments are varied and when finding those warm fuzzies use all your senses.  Thank you for waiting on part two and Namaste in your sensory seeking endeavors.

Please take a moment to subscribe to this blog, I greatly appreciate your engagement as we journey in the exceptional life.  Next week health foodie adds another tale to the relationship.

 

 

Aside

#Internationalselfcare day for the Caregiver

I had it all set. Gut healing ideas with delicious recipes.  Something was holding me back, what was it I truly needed to say? Those recipes are meant for next week.  It started in my A.M. routine with a celebration of #internationalselfcareday and it hit the hardest after leaving #ghostchild weekly speech therapy appointment as #redreignofterror was screaming over a perceived wrong of seating in the car.  Lots of deep breathing as I parent and process our new information.  We will not be able to complete therapy in the short term with the addition of further testing and, hopefully, the additional of occupational therapy.  Being a parent or caregiver is serious work.  Being one with people with disabilities, disorders, syndromes, etc is over whelming.  Finding balance between extraordinary needs, family dynamics, and just life is over whelming.

I have to put my mask on first.

Self care is crucial to my survival and my family’s gears moving.

For us and for those we care for. You need to make a commitment for yourself so you can make the most of you and your caregiver self.   It takes intention, creativity, and setting priorities.  It’s not impossible.

Care for your body.  The physical toll affects more than the physical self. Sleep is priority one. Best case is sleeping a good eight hours or more as needed.  If that doesn’t happen, naps. They are not just for preschoolers. Sleep deprivation infiltrates EVERYTHING- from how your body functions to brain functions.  EVERYTHING.  You need as much sleep as you can get.  It may mean no’s to extra activity, committing to a set routine, back ground noises, and more.

What you eat is priority. Low fat and sugar, high protein and veggies. Unhealthy fats and unhealthy sugars negatively impact your ability to function- body and mind.  There are good fats that are imperative like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, etc. Those in appropriate amount give your body and brain the boost it needs.  You need the right sugar from complex grains. Quick energy. A small cup of coffee is life changing. Add that too.  Sleep and good nutrition is better for your overall health and will be a major contributor to your success as a caregiver.

…Your mind. Sanity may be in short supply or non existent some days. Or all days.  We need to be intentional in care for our minds as equally as we are with our bodies.  In pouring to your physical body enhances your mental health.   It affects our decision making, emotions, and stamina. Your mind is immensely powerful. When not cared for, it can be your enemy. Your pact to your mind is to declutter it. Meditation, prayer, coloring, journaling, support group or friend. You need at least one of these things. I use all of them! We need some where to exhale our love, frustration, exhaustion, victories, and so forth. We need a safe place to inhale grace, comfort, strength, and pebbles of sanity. Release and renew your brain. Part of this pact is acknowledging and setting limitations. We are humans. Super humans, yet very human. We have limitations. A rubber band can only go so far. It does snap. Ask my family when my rubber band snapped. And who did it. Know and advocate your limitations.

Honor your spirit or soul. Whichever you choose. We are designed to be connected and caregiving has a way to isolate us. We must be intentional to connect for our health and caregiving. Seek and accept help then take opportunities outside of your caregiving space to connect with community(ies). Share the burden. When you are isolated your head has a way of getting stuck. It takes effort and strength to get out and connect. Gives you perspective.   It is possible to do something. Especially if you are accepting help. We must connect ourselves to other selves. The more you connect, the more support you find and discover value in your unique purpose.

Set a self care intention.  A few minutes a day on prayer and meditation is often what I have and I take it.  Grooming is efficient but a necessary part of my morning to tell my brain and body I matter.  I choose my food carefully most days.  I am active within my limitations.  In all my self care, I am working on grace the most.  That’s the hardest.  When things like today hit, I feel so small and never enough.  Am I giving enough? What could I do better? Feel me?  Inhale. Exhale.  I need to allow grace and affirm I am doing everything within my means.

Acknowledge your fear.  Find grace.  Affirm yourself.

Namaste and celebrate self care everyday

No Salt Added- Spice Up Your Food Life

No Salt Added- Spice Up Your Food Life

Healthy food and meals can loose their excitement.  Especially when you take away the fats, sugar, and salt.  Wait, I am to entice you to eat healthy. Hang with me.  Decades ago salt was left by the way side as a  primary means to flavor food for me.   We are in deep with spices and herbs.  By this I mean I get way too excited when they go on sale and enjoy picking them out.  I am in deep.  I love the choices, options, and various ways to can make different flavor profiles.  I love that my food doesn’t taste bland and doesn’t cause me to bloat (salt does! bastard).  Even better, this is a friends with benefits relationship.  Most spices reduce inflammation which benefits your digestive system, joints, muscles, heart, and brain.  Brain and body love.  Certain herbs aid in memory and concentration, are rich in vitamins (some even have iron!), boost immune systems, and fight free radicals with antioxidants.  If you are not familiar with free radicals, those are the bullies who pick on your healthy cells which may lead to cancer.   You are constantly surrounded by free radicals. Herbs are a great free radical bully buster.  Food love with benefits.

There are some things you need to know.  Some spices and herbs may not be safe if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.  Most help with that but a few may need to be run by your doctor.  This is noted with that particular spice and herb below.  Please practice spice safety.  Herbs come in two forms: still looks like the plant (fresh) or confetti (dried).  Dried herbs store for longer periods of time and organic in a glass container is recommended.  Dried herbs are in the spice aisle and fresh herbs are in the produce section (in a bunch you bag or in a plastic container).  Spices can be whole or ground.  I haven’t picked a side and don’t see a reason too.  I am passionate about trying to stick with glass and organic when possible.  Dried spices and herbs are more at home in a dry, cool place.  They don’t do well in direct sunlight.  Let them live their vampire existence in a dry cabinet away from heat.

Now the good stuff. I kept this list basic with it’s benefits, draw backs, flavor profiles, and what I use them in.  Have at it.

Spices

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herbs

That’s the short list.  These are common in many recipes which gives you a great base for cooking.  As you expand you will find there is so much more love out there.

Namaste and rekindle the food love

Status

An Experience of Living the Exceptional Life

When there are challenges to consider when leaving the house, it can be daunting.  However, expanding our experiences is crucial to our total health in mental growth and spiritual growth.  We need to engage in our communities and find inspirations to trigger our inner creativity and ability to innovate.  This link leads to a recent experience (click this word) we had overcoming challenges of kids, disability, and priceless works.  Then join the effort to enlighten others to places and events that can promote a diversity of wellness.

Health Foodie Getting Her Hair Back

Health Foodie Getting Her Hair Back

A few years ago after giving birth to my son, I had some life altering changes. I had two kids and not just one. Back issues. A dramatic gall bladder removal. Less hair. Did I mention more kids? The hair changes started before having my son, but it was crazy hair loss after his arrival. He was worth it. I could take the high road and tell you hair doesn’t matter. That I realized my inner beauty counted most (it does, but lets be realistic). We could be petty and mourn over the loss. It’s vain and there are a lot more things in my life to be grateful for.

Let’s do both. Take the high road and cry about it.

Now that’s done. It’s not going down without a fight. Two years ago I made changes to my diet and noticed stronger hair. It even started curling again. Then I dove into holistic hair solutions- from DIY hair products to supplements to “what am I eating?” that works. I also learned one of my health issues was a contributor to hair loss. As I made changes, so did my family. My step daughter and I conquered frizzy hair. Coarse hair texture and tangles had a battle plan. My husband is doing that man-bun thing. I am such a good wife I made his own hair stimulating hair spray. This is my advice and it come WITH A DISCLAIMER: hair issues have many reasons for happening and there are no 100% guarantees. No miracles, but stuff that is incredible for you to try. It did wonders for me and my family. My soul recognizes your soul’s search for improved care routine. Self care is an important part of living and boosting self value. It is a signal we give our mind each day that we have a purpose. Hair routine is a part of self care.

Let’s Get To The Root First

Health issues could be at the root of your issue. Apparently, low iron levels can cause hair loss. Low iron means less oxygen. Less oxygen means your body picks and chooses what is necessary. Sometimes hair doesn’t make the list of necessary. Prolong stress can cause patches of hair to pack up and leave. Being nutrition deficient is a jumping off point for hair. There is a long list of “could be” and why. Have a chat with a medical professional. Getting my iron levels and nutrition up to speed helped tremendously with everything, hair included.

What You Put in Your Body Matters. Lets make this simple. These are supplements that help with hair growth and strengthening. These are foods you can eat to help with hair growth and strengthening. On top of these two, drink plenty of water. Dehydration is never a good thing.

Supplements

Lets make this simple. There are two definite supplements you need to take and two possible supplements that can help. These can be bought OTC or online. Omega 3s reduce inflammation and help with blood circulation. This makes a healthy scalp thus encourages healthier, stronger hair growth. Biotin is a B complex and taking a B complex is beneficial on multiple levels: nerve health, metabolism, and hair/nails. You can buy Biotin separately to help with hair growth, but warning first. You stop taking it, it stops working. Unless, you are truly deficient, stick with eating biotin rich foods (below) and take a B complex. You get Biotin and all the other Vitamin B benefits. Vitamin C deficiency can be a cause to dry or brittle hair. Take a Vitamin C for additional hair nutrition and an immunity boost.

It’s All About the Food

What you eat benefits your whole body, hair included. Hair is largely made of protein, that means feed it protein. Inflammation in the body can damage or stunt healthy hair- biotin, omegas, and antioxidants combat that. Plus side to eating for your hair is healthier skin and body too. For your convenience: the top lean protein rich, biotin rich, omega rich, and antioxidant rich foods are listed. And there’s a lot of cross-over foods. Multi-benefit food relationships are the best 💓.

Your Product DIY and Guide

NO alcohol in products or no washing with them. Seriously, reduce or eliminate. Alcohol dries and can over dry hair causing pH balance problems. Even with oily hair or skin, it will over dry and cause your skin/hair to produce even more oil. If you have dry hair, alcohol makes for drier hair. I learned this the hard way. To keep strength and condition these are three simple ways to do it:


Whatever issues you have with your hair, start from the inside out and take of yourself. Then do more for you – subscribe to notjusthealthnuts for future posts on practical wellness.

Namaste