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What Does Holistic Health Look Like?

The moment “holistic” comes out of my mouth, I cringe…slightly. The understanding of holistic can be mysterious or a string of misconceptions. Then we begin the conversational tango of explanations. So, what does holistic health look like? Holistic in its root word literally means parts to a whole. As in each part is so interchangeably connected that it makes up a whole. In regards to our health, the holistic approach recognizes the importance of each bodily function as well as mental health, social effects, and other impacts.

Sooooooooo…What Does Holistic Health Look Like?

Seriously.

To get the benefits of our whole selves in holistic are yoga pants, veganism, and Om chants required? Not necessarily. Holistic health addresses three main areas, to quote a popular holistic phrase, “mind, body, and spirit.” You and your team of practitioners are looking at how you eat, what you do, how you think, your relationships, work environment, and the list goes on.

“Health is more than the absence of disease. Health is about jobs and employment, education, the environment, and all of those things that go into making us healthy.”

Jocelyn Elders

It sounds like a lot to take in and for practioners, it take experience to understand how important all these moving pieces are to a person. We are not created to be a series of cogs and wheels that can be solved with a simple equation. Holistic means lots of questions with targeted and individual plans to increase the quality of your living.

What Holistic Health Does NOT Look Like?

Debt inducing

Dismissive of your gut feelings

Demanding or demeaning of your response

Certainly, health is an investment we make- whether it’s organic or in the drive-through. So yes, finances are involved and we might need to give up particular habits is necessary to reinvest elsewhere for the better you. Yet, you look at your bottom line when deciding on that health “item” or “service,” remember that it should not put you into debt. A personal example, we shifted our finances to put our daughter on a well-researched and expert interrogated herbal supplement to help with her anxiety. Dee Dee Taylor, owner of 502 Hemp, and manager Laura worked with us to find that balance of bottom line and a better holistic health option. We had to financially shift with expert input to make the best decision for our daughter. I LOVE it when I hear nutritionists and health junkies rave about Aldi or cheap healthy meal ideas over the promotion of expensive memberships. This is core to your and mine success in improving health, we cannot afford to go broke.

No one. I mean NO ONE should ever tear you down or be aggressive concerning a health aspect. There are times a lovingly blunt conversation may need to be had, but you should never feel like less of a person or not enough due to a habit or look. This is a part of holistic health, valuing you as you with flaws and all. If a tactic is to demean you to make you purchase more of a person, company, or item- tell them “deuces” and walk your gorgeousness away. You deserve better. More than likely, your “gut” is giving you a ring so you know when something isn’t quite. Listen to what is being said. Not sure? Then wait. Unless you have a doctor saying it’s life and death, nothing else is has to be decided now. Take time to think, research, and ask questions.

This all said, cheap in holistic isn’t necessarily a bargain and could cost you dearly with your health. The next few articles in this series will break down the hacks, how-tos, and what to know about each area of holistic health. Look for what you need to know about your food relationship from this holistic nutrition coach with certified hacks on healthy eating with a limited wallet and time. We will come to a loving place with our food relationships.

I’m not your mama. So for the rest of this series to come to you- subscribe to the right. That’s right, no spam or a daily annoyance in your mailbox. Seriously, I hate spam.

holistic health articles

J. Riley

Certified Not Just a Health Nut

Top 5 Foods for Weight Loss is…

Top 5 Foods for Weight Loss is…

Bullshit. Top 5 foods that help you lose weight is bullshit. Often the messages that is given to us for health and, specifically, weight loss is to count calories, go for a run, and eat these five foods. Then boom you look like a supermodel, instant squad, and tons of money. Has that worked for you? Has it worked for anyone? Beyond a January?! There are foods that boost metabolism. However, sustainable and healthy weight is impacted by many factors. Health is impacted by a variety of factors.

Factors that Impact Health & Weight

Sleep and rest

The biological processes your body goes through at night can be simply explained as your body is repairing itself. It’s a reset button for the physical parts of your body. Sleep gives your brain a break and a chance to dream. Dreaming, based on your belief, can be a time to work through psychological issues or make divine connections. When sleep is short, disrupted, or just not the quality we need- our health suffers. To maintain health, consequently weight, sleep needs to be a priority.

Rest is that sleep practice while awake. Rest involved less production and more play. More Netflix and chill or engaging in enjoyable activities. This gives our brains and souls a reminder to appreciate our lives and be more mindful of our environments. Rest connects us to our worlds and to those who matter to us better. Additionally, it’s a stress reducer.

Stress

Short term stress is a survival tool. Beyond a few hours, stress becomes long term and it’s a literal killer. Stress stops crucial biological chemical processes our bodies need to continue optimal health. Our mental health takes a hit too.

Planted based. Truly plant based

A growing craze of plant-based is blowing my mind. In some ways, it makes a lifetime diet choice much easier with more choices and convenience. It other ways, the plant-based label is becoming as much as bullshit as fad foods for weight loss. While I do love vegan junk food; however if we want our food relationship to be positive health impacting we need to get savvy. Reducing processed and packaged foods, even with a plant based claim. More produce section and whole grains. There is nothing wrong with a package of precut stir fry veggies and some whole grain noodles. As a matter of fact, its delicious.

Size does matter

When it comes to portions. Here’s the deal, prepared or prepackaged foods need to be taken in hand with appropriate portion sizes. If a fruit or vegetable, the more the merrier. Snacking on carrots all day long is completely acceptable. A plate full of lightly cooked veggies or double the portion of whole fruit, go for it. Don’t even count the calories.

Appropriate Physical Activity

We need to get moving. Moving looks different for everyone. Be willing to try new types of exercise and discover what you like. Physical activity depends on your preferences and physical ability. Chronic illness can impact what you do. If you feel tired or worn out, rest takes priority. Aim for a light walk or gentle activity such a stretching or yoga.

Stop taking the BS and take the reigns back for your health. Often, addressing these five health factors, make positive impacts on your weight. If it doesn’t, its time for a doctors appointment for a deeper dive. Health is complex but doesn’t have to be complicated. Look and adore the whole you in your health routine. Health is more than an image. Health is a state of being.

J.Riley

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Hit the Reset Button

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

Sleep

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

Cleanse and Gut Support

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.

One last thing…. for a daily reset…..

J.Riley

Play time is Vital to Your Health

Play time is Vital to Your Health

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.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

Actively Play!

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.

Namaste, Juls

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Food Relationship: What You can Eat to Hydrate

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.

How much water should you drink? National Academy of Science Engineering Medicine   gives guidelines on the minimal fluids you should take daily. According to the site, I need to take in around twelve eight ounces per day, water as a safety blanket it is!! Some conditions require more fluid intake such as activity and heat,  Center for Disease, Control, and Prevention outlines other reasons.  Know and watch your fluid intake.

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?

  • Water
  • Green Tea
  • Herbal Teas
  • 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.

  • Canteloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Pickles
  • Yogurt
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Pears
  • Pineapple

The Exceptions

Broccoli and squash contain more water when cooked.

sliced fruits on tray
Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

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

  • White beans
  • Dairy- yogurt/ kefir particularly
  • Fish- especially salmon
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds
  • Nuts- especially almonds and walnuts
  • Dark greens- notably kale, broccoli, edamame, bok choy, spinach, chard
  • Tofu
  • Baked goods with baking soda
  • Fruids: Bananas, water melons,
  • Avocado
  • Sweet potato
  • Coconut water
  • Tomato
  • Egg plant

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!

Namaste and be fluid

Juls

close up photography of eyeglasses on pineapple
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

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Health Foodie: Lower Acid and Vegetarian Pasta Sauce

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)
  • Capers 1-2 tablespoons
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of carrot pure

Cooking

  1. Put in diced garlic and olive oil and gentle stir for about 5-7 minutes on medium.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.

J.Riley

Health Foodie: Quick & Healthy Meal Ideas

Health Foodie: Quick & Healthy Meal Ideas

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

  1. 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.
  2. Rotisserie or baked chicken with grab a veggie tray or salad kit
  3. Baked beans and green beans or greens
  4. 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.

J.Riley