The Stress Factor. How Your Mind Can Sabatoge Your Body.

The Stress Factor. How Your Mind Can Sabatoge Your Body.

When looking at what healthy “is” often it’s purely physical. How much and what do we eat? Exercise? Sleep? There is a factor when making health habits we dismiss while it is ever present in our life. Stress. It has the most impact on your life and is integrated with all your wellness. It is with whole heart belief that if stress or head space is not a part of your health routine, much of what you do will be sabotaged. It flips the other way around too, the physical well being of you sabotages your head space too. Mental and physical wellness matters equally.

That Healthy Throat Clearing Habit

I don’t mean spitting. I mean if you must, do. I’m talking about talking. Healthy word vomit, clear the air talking. Not in a social media group. Unless it is a closed and trusted group, release with a trusted human or furry friend or mental wellness professional. Dogs are excellent confidants. Yes, public airings need to happen from time to time. However, clearing first with a close friend is best. The reasoning is you are putting yourself in a strong space after processing what you’re feeling and going through. Social media is too wide open loves. It leaves you wide open for all kinds of negativity. Again, I’m not saying hold it in. Release in a safe place then use social media to advocate and educate. If you’re not sure talking to a human being is safe at first, write it! Furry friend! Speak it into a jar! Moon talk! Sun is not recommended. She can be a bit much to keep eye contact. Seriously, start flexing those throat muscles to let go of what is clogging up your entire body.

Lung Exercise

Breathing or Pranayama practice is an incredible physical habit you can use to control your nerves and emotional well being. It is a preventative tool in the best and a reactive tool when needed. There are breathing or “calm” app you can download to guide you through. A Youtube video on breathing practices may help. Find a yogi or yogini and they may be able to help you or a meditation teacher. Pranayama or intentional breathing is essential to their practices. When you learn to control your breath, it levels your nerve activity, oxygen levels, and ultimately stops the survival mode. The more you practice the more potent your breathing practice gets.

Core Beliefs

What you believe about yourself and your abilities infiltrates everything. Growth is always needed but knowing your value is crucial. Daily short phrases, or affirmations, is one way to re-train your brain. List what you like about you and what you can do. When mistakes are made, invite in grace and be graceful with yourself. We all make mistakes, need to fix mistakes, but we are not the mistakes we make.

While working on these, keep up activity and move towards more nutritional eating. Physical activity increases blow and oxygen flow benefiting your nerve system and brain. When my nerves are tested, its walk or clean time. Maybe a quick yoga. Your food relationship can inflame your head space negatively. Truly limit sugars and processed foods. The more whole or natural, the more likely it will not only NOT INFLAME but REDUCE inflammation. Look at the whole you when being well. Head, heart, and body.

Invest in the best you, it starts in your head

Namaste

Juls

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Health Foodie: Thriving on Nutrition and a Budget

Health Foodie: Thriving on Nutrition and a Budget

This is very much a daily passion for me. Healthy food relationships should never break the bank and its is achievable. When hitting the urban jungle, make the most of your hunt for a better you and your family.

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

With my littlest red in tow we set out for our biweekly marathon of food gathering in the urban jungle. For a family of six plus a dog,  it’s the only marathon I ever care to participate in. It’s not the worst chore I have to complete as my laundry piles on my dryer.  However, we do love to eat and it’s crucial to maintain our wellness. There are strategies I use to keep our wellness goals while shopping and lessen my pain in the after math

List. List. List.

I am a list freak.  Largely to help me regulate my thoughts and ADHD. But I do love them and labels. List may mean meal planning which saves money on its own. Creating a list adds further kindness to your wallet in decreasing impulse buys. When creating your list, pad in your health favs and a few not so healthy favs for those cheat days. Don’t go hungry. Your stomach will lead and mine usually sabotages my wellness and budget. Many major store apps will allow you to find most of what is in stock, on sale, and, some times, which aisle to find it in. Target will automatically link you to the store you’re in and bring up the store map in the app. Walmart App, not grocery app, now has an in store feature.

Develop a love affair

Love the stores in or near your neighborhood. Traveling too far when not necessary spends more than save. The more you go the more you will see sale patterns which leads in to three….

Shop sales and in season.

Healthy food on sale. Not junk food on sale.  Companies are starting to recognize the demand and putting natural/organic/healthy items or produce on sale more often.  This past month at one of our local stores, between sales, in season produce, and digital coupons, I cut my bill in half. We saved almost $150. Many stores have online adds that you can compare prices which saves another valuable resource of yours, time.

Use loyalty programs and digital coupons.

If I receive a paper coupon in store or the mail I will use most of the time. Otherwise all many coupons are available on a loyalty card.  Saves paper and money. Double bonus. In one particular store, the more loyalty program is used, more personal rewards. Stores may track what you buy and give back specific to past purchases. There are grocery apps that do reward just for uploading a receipt.  Use them. Some apps of these apps can be used for school fundraising. Other stores allow for schools to give a number to link your loyalty cards. In your every day purchases, your child school benefits.

Make budget from for sales.

When you have some extra budget room and sales are really good take advantage of the abundance.  If you have the room, squirrel it away as long as it won’t expire before you use it.

Take advantage of shopping clubs, online services, and pick ups.

 If you benefit from buying in bulk then a shopping club like Cosco or Sams may be worth it for you. Toilet paper is a guarantee it will be necessary always, but with perishable items be mindful. Truly buy what you would use. A kindness to your wallet and your environment. During one summer, as a foot injury necessity, we used store pick ups a lot. It’s an excellent way to keep impulse buying down and seeing potential costs. Delivery your door is becoming an option with similar benefits and convenience.

Meatless Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays….

Meat can be expensive, especially lean meat.   Lately, I am finding one of our stores putting meat substitutes crazy cheap.  We are riding that gravy train for as long as it last. We like using cauliflower as well. Bonus, cauliflower can be easily found in every form in most stores.  As a substitute, cauliflower adds nutritional value and protein content while wallet friendly. Too much meat protein can be hard on some of your organs, especially kidneys.  Just a thought to keep in mind on how many meatless days you want to try.

We have a large family, dog, and dietary needs- the need for the budget to stretch can get scary. However, with these seven solutions make magic happen. In your food gathering hunt, make the most of you and your food relationship.

Namaste in your food gathering hunt

Juls

A Bowl of WTH: The Why & May be Not in Shakes & Juicing

A Bowl of WTH: The Why & May be Not in Shakes & Juicing

Lightly mention you want to get healthy and you will receive about a dozen recommendations for a shake. Seriously, I’ve lost count. I do find value in my protein shake and juicing. While it is helpful, it does not need to be a constant in your wellness routine. I buy and switch around to see what is out there. I don’t sell and warning: I never want too. Don’t even try. Honestly, there are some aggressive shake fans out there. That said, the following is pure sharing info for you to factor when deciding what works best in your health routine.

The first issue I want to address is the “fans of whatever shake you’re on.” Love it and share it while respecting people’s space and “no.” Can your shakes or juices do wonderful things? Absolutely! I have my favs and love the boosts with ease I get. It’s irritating when constantly having products being shoved in my face the moment I mention anything health nut related. So. Annoying. I once went to a business womens meeting, started talking to a health coach and immediately had an clear MLM product shoved in my face. I wanted to know more about what she did. So health professionals and healers, put you and your services out first. If it comes up you have this amazing product then share. You have so much to offer and your shake/juice is part.

The non-protein-nutrition-greens-shake-juice people, let me tell you. You may want to adopt a shake in your food relationship. There is a reason why we are so passionate about our routines. If we get out of hand, forgive us and a firm “chill” may be warranted. Next time you hear about someone’s shake/juice routine or see one on the shelf, consider this:

Drawbacks

  • Expense
    • This can be an expensive habit to adopt. There is this misconception that health food cost more. It’s not true. However, your shake or diet enhancements should not put you into debt. Look around every where, especially places that offer no condition refunds cause this next reason…
  • Taste
    • There are protein shakes and juice options that do taste good. Yet, too many taste buds have been harmed in the making of this habit. I tried, I mean TRIED, to go vegan protein shake. I can still taste the ground up ancient clay pots. Seriously, five different brands. If you have one please don’t share with me as I’m still scarred, but comment for someone’s benefit. Ask for recommendations and do not be afraid to return it back.
  • Food relationship
    • Shakes and juicing is hard to sustain on, especially if you are switching from a high processed or high calorie diet. Even now, it’s a snack or part of a meal. AM is juice a veggie/protein for me. Sweet potato toast with Nutella is pretty freaking awesome. Well anything with Nutella is. My PM is a protein shake with fruit or veggie snack. Just caution if you are told it’s filling. It’s all on perspective and where you are in your food relationship journey.
  • Physical cautions
    • If you have medical conditions, check with your doc before trying anything. High protein can clog up your adrenal system, possibly creating kidney stones. Too much meat or whey protein is not a good thing for anyone. Keep it all in balance.

The Why to Your Yes

  • Nutrition
    • Most protein shakes are known for, well, protein. They offer much more and many now carry a lot of other amazing nutritional punches. Juicing and its additions do the same. Shakes and juicing is an excellent way to get a TON of power in your food relationship in one cup. My protein is the brain and muscle boost I desperately need. While an occasional habit, I am on a new juicing habit to liver cleanse. Another benefit is adding a greens mix, especially if veggies are a struggle for you.
  • Simplicity
    • Shakes and nutritional juices make attaining nutritional goals easy and great to have on hand when out an about. I always have a leak proof bottle and some powder in case. I need my food.
  • Recipe enhancement
    • Many powders go well with various recipes and enhance its nutritional value. Waffles, pancakes, muffins, protein balls, oatmeal, and more. It makes more out of that food encounter.
  • Physical benefits
    • More than likely, the American diet does not reach enough appropriate protein or nutriition. Shakes and Juicing packs more vitamins and more your body needs to be optimal. Its more than waist line. Much of what we eat impacts brain, nerves, mood ability, and more.

Shakes and juices are versatile and customizable. It takes a quick Pinterest or Social Media recommendation for tons of ideas. Chocolate protein mix + almond milk = Nutella Love. Yes I have a theme. There are so many ways you can utilize this wellness tool and it not kill the joy of your food relationship. Power the optimal you within your reason.

Namaste & Love

Juls

A Bowl of WTH: Cleanse/Detox: Exorcism of Food and Environmental Demons.

A Bowl of WTH: Cleanse/Detox: Exorcism of Food and Environmental Demons.

Take two steps into the health and wellness world, you will find terms like “detox” and “cleanse.” Personally, these terms were not even on my radar until my daughter saw a Gastroenterologist. By this point I had a preschooler with digestive issues, tons of trial and error diet changes, and little results. Try cleansing every two weeks he said. Sounds easy, until you have to pump so much juice and laxative in your preschooler until it becomes criminal. I truly wish I knew then what I have grasped of now. Life is easier and brighter with a few simple, healthier tweaks.

Coming to Terms with Terms

First of all there is a difference between the two with a common goal. A cleanse is an intentional effort using medicine (sythentic or natural) or food to remove harming substances from your digestional tract. A detox is a variety of processes, from activity to food to behavior changes, to rid anywhere in the body of toxins. Each term has been used for another and I truly do not believe its the end of the world if you do. The point is understanding you accumulate toxins and they need to be exorcised.

It’s More than a Physical Relationship

Cleansing or detoxing your body is central to your “whole self” health. The understanding that your are cleansing more than your body is essential. What cleans out your gut and adrenal system goes to your head, literally. Having toxic thoughts, behaviors, and relationships show up physically in your body. One impacts the other and cleanses in both areas need to happen.

It’s Not A Sometimes Thing

Whether is food, an experience, illness, or just plain bad day- on some level, your body has to flush out daily. Often its unintentional in what we pick up, may be not even all that bad and seems small. Yet, it accumulates and will show up in us sooner or later. Daily head and physical junk removal in important. Bigger cleanses may be required on top of the daily, especially after vacations, special events, or a big life event. Know that daily you need this habit and listening yourself when its time to do this bigger stuff.

It Doesn’t Need to Be a Harsh or Difficult Process

We will hit on the overview of how to cleanse, but it’s important to know that punishing your body or mind is never necessary. The cleansing or detoxing processing can be uncomfortable and challenge our preconceived bodily and mental limitations. It promotes healing and growth in working through those cleanses. However, personally, I find it more harm than good to pick up a cleansing process that causes more than an uncomfortable state. With a few exceptions, it shouldn’t cause pain. Mental cleanses are the hardest in my personal opinion and can border, if not be emotionally painful in the removal process. However, the healing afterwards is astounding.

What Needs to Go & Ways to Do It

Drink it. Lots of water. You can throw in lemon and/or ginger, cinnamon in your water to boost toxin removal. Green or herbal teas (dandelion) are powerful ways to cleanse and detox. Berries and green veggies are great food relationship cleansers. While you are addressing your food relationship, eat and take fiber. Fiber is a daily cleanse choice we all need to have. Add garlic and tumeric to your food. Both of these flavor additions are excellent in cleanse and anti inflammatory agents as well. Drink water, up your fiber content, and pick a few of these small changes in your daily routine. It will have a major impact, particularly as you keep it up over time.

What you need less of is junk. You can cleanse and detox all day long but it’s going to be stunted in it’s power if you are eating a lot of process foods. I am all for splurges and aim to be transparent in my food relationship vices. However, they are short leased and for good reason. Drive thru avoidance with a rare encounter and sugar detox are necessary. The ingredients are addictive and harmful in a daily relationship. We eat at home a lot and the more whole the food is purchased the better. When buying a box, frozen, or bag ingredient- I look for ingredients I know and can pronounce. There is nothing wrong with semi homemade.

You need some form of physical activity daily to promote bodily cleanse. Walk, run, yoga, zumba, weights, kick boxing, tai chi- It doesn’t matter what you do or what combos you choice during your week. Discover what you need or like and then do it.

As what we do physically affects our physical and mental state, it goes the other way around. In the mental realm it can get sticky as we work to bust stigmas and explore options that are not as familiar. Meditation, journaling, coloring, creative processes, mantras/affirmations, sound therapy, Reiki, EFT tapping, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong are a few ways to incorporate a daily habit or occasional boost to cleanse the mind. It doesn’t need to be just one and variety is best. This does help in the daily mental flush but may not be enough if there is deep hurt. A counselor, therapist, spiritual healer, natural healer, or combination may be necessary to address toxic experiences, behavior, and more. You have the power to heal and there are those who wish to help you accomplish that.

Just in writing this post I picked up stress as I struggle to focus with the million times I was interrupted by my son. Having that EFT tapping and breathing practice got me through. Connecting with my kids is great, but mommy has boundaries and limitations. Mental health is a personal responsibility that invites incredible opportunities for connections. Most daily activities have alone options as well as “come join me” or ” I’ll join you” options. I love joining various yoga communities, do EFT tap with my kids, and my hubby and I enjoy creative processes. Alone time is precious too with my meditation and spiritual/natural healing practices. It wasn’t that long ago I joined a group in sugar detox from the holidays and looking at switching up my food relationship for concentrated liver detox. All this to say, this girl practices what she preach. And bust it once a month or so for some Doritos. That and cookies truly are my delicious vice. Take those steps, yes even baby steps, and start with a cleanse/detox habit or two to maximize your whole self health.

Namaste in Your Junk Removal/ Exorcism Process

Juls

A Bowl of WTH: Get on Track

A Bowl of WTH: Get on Track

Food journals. Fitness Apps. Calendars. These are a few ways health conscious people track their habits. What are they tracking? Their food relationships activity, types of activity, water, weight, and more. Why are they tracking? Fitness OCD? Thrill of goal achievement? Mostly, it’s accountability and discipline. I do get excited about those Fitbit badges. I do have specific recommendations and high suggestions as far as how and what to track in a small setting. However, one on one or reading this post, I am not in charge of your life, you are. That is a powerful authority you need to claim. This is your grab the bull by the horns moment tool to create your success and maintain it.

Simplicity & Commitment

This needs to become an almost every day investment; however, don’t over think what to use. I like Apps for the multitask that they do with minimal input from me. Quick App store search and you’ve got options. Play around with a few. There are some major players. Apple provides a health app. FitBit looks at food, activity, sleep, water, and even your menstrual cycle. Unless your manstrating- maybe a suggestion to the developers? Every one should be able to keep up with hormonal flows is my personal belief. My fav is MyFitnessPal. If inputting to an app takes away from keeping it simple, then keeping journal or calendar works too. It’s what appeals to you without over thinking it.  A factor in your tracking choice may be what helps you maintain commitment- accountability partners. It could be a physical presence of spirit, human or a virtual presence. Think beyond your front door for support. Most Apps provide communities, there are health lifestyle groups on Facebook or other social media. Create your own group/community! Even if you just spectate in these groups, seeing and having support makes making changes stick easier. Once your reach goals, use this tracking and support tool to maintain. So weight loss was my initial goal. As my food relationship shifted, my goals are now about addressing health issues and maximizing that relationship. Just participated in a group Sugar Fast. I love these transparent and empowering women! Now I am holding my water count accountable. Slipped off that wagon. I have my favorite account-abilities and connections, find yours. Join me on Fitbit, MyFitnessPal,or invite me to your Facebook/Social media group!

Head Game

Where the overwhelm may hit is: it’s new, so many goals to tackle, and comparison to others. It’s crucial to check in with your head when you develop this lifestyle habit. Defeat, self doubt, and mistrust in you can over ride any good. Your precious soul is worth more than a beat up. A new habit takes grace and when the wheels fall off, putting them back on. I will say this again and again, baby steps are steps. Creating a new habit and tackling those goals may require more time in smaller steps. When I set the goal to “loose baby weight” what made me successful this time over any others is honoring my time and one step at a time. My first focus was to drop 200 calories a day over two to three months and get active. This allowed my to focus on my how to do it and less on scale. Once I got that, then I hit my next goal. Then the next. My how became as important as what I was doing. My food relationship focus was on health not dieting. Activity exploration led to enjoyment and passion. My baby steps affected my head game in ability to create focus and see victories along the way. There was one huge stumbling block that hit. HARD. Looking at others and doing the comparing check list. Your physical body is not the same as mine. Mine isn’t the same as some one else’s. What I love about Ayurveda is the recognizing of different body types, they can all be different, and each has it’s own healthy form. This was the first enlightening of why I was struggling SO BAD. We are all so gloriously different. I had to stop, even unconsciously, aiming for an image. Stop hating for others looking a certain way and honor the image of me. Your head game needs to focus on your achievements, all of them, along the way. Your head game needs to respect and honor others along the way. Your journey from another is separate in what it looks like and common in humanity. The ability to grasp this concept is life altering. Gracefully Honor your – baby – steps and your journey cause head game is everything to your success.

Small add on. Be transparent in challenges, uplifting in words. Being authentic and honest when you struggle allows freedom in you and empowerment for others to love where they are. At the same time, I watch over and over again in some groups where we spur others to continue in harmful habits and spur on spiral. Don’t give advice or place judgement. You can honor and acknowledge a feeling or condition plus offer a nonadvice, nonjudgement uplift. “Hey I understand your struggling, we are hanging in there with you. You can do this.” This is trans-formative for you and the other soul, even if it may take a while to sink in.

Invest in your goals even when accountability seems frightening. Your changes will happen and you will find more you. I’m here to help. Follow my transparent journey of life, parenting, and wellness on Instagram. Follow Me on Pinterest for ideas, inspiration, and my love of memes. See you there!

Namaste

Juls

A Bowl of WTH: Diet Idols and Your Diet

A Bowl of WTH: Diet Idols and Your Diet

This can become a charged discussion and topic. I am going to handle this with care and truth. Up front, I do not believe Modern Western Medicine is everything as I tend to follow eastern dietary guidelines such as Ayurveda. I do not believe in total food group eliminations or eating mostly from one group on an extended basis. You can disagree with me respectfully and your opinion has value. It’s important to address the misconceptions surrounding what we should eat or not eat, especially fad diets. Hang with me till the end.

Diet Idols

AKA as fad diets or diet trends. This isn’t completely unique to the United States but runs rampant with damage. The damage of diet trends can be your health, weight management, and body perceptions. Your health and weight management may take a toll with eliminating necessary food groups in your daily food connections and yo yo weight loss and gain. Constant weight loss and weight gain can cause stress on your heart and psyche. The reason that yo yo weight happens is extreme changes are successful for a time period and cannot be maintained. Thus completely eliminating carbs, going total protein, or high amounts of fat may be too challenging. This also puts your body function and flow into over drive or dysfunction. You need the right carbs to fuel. Too much protein can tax your kidneys and adrenal systems to the point of creating kidney stones plus more. High amounts of fat over time can create acid reflux/heart burn and heart problems. The true issue with many diets and fads are the extremes which impact you and your ability to believe in making sustaining healthy choices.

However….

These trends are not wholly bad. Low carb diets have brought to light that much of our American carb consumption has been unhealthy and too much grain carb as opposed to needing fruit and veggie carbs. So yes, you need to reduce or eliminate white, bleached wheat products and aim for whole grains. The right carbs in the right amount is what is needed. Other diets have highlighted our over involvement with sugar and needing to lower sugar consumption. Some diets push more whole food and less process foods. There are times where you may need more of a certain group of food more than another. When my iron was low, I ate mostly lean proteins and vegetables. When my reflux acted up, it was half whole grains. Right now I am balanced and my food relationship reflects that. Temporarily doing a food more over another can be necessary but rarely beneficial in being permanent. Following diets of extremes are harmful. Take changes with a grain of salt and keep balance of proteins, fats, grains, and veggie/fruit.

Your Diet Choices

You need to keep balance in mind. I have been watching so many people and health professionals in these trends. Those who find balance and keep that “rainbow” vegetable and fruit food relationship are maintaining success and health with some of these diet trends. It is possible but balance is the key. They do not take extremes. A while ago, for kicks, I took a nutrition course from an Australian university. It was enlightening with global student involvement and instruction. From this and researching other countries dietary guidelines, I learned our government guidelines compares well in understanding (USA dietary link below). It is important to keep an eye on what changes in guidelines. Old enough to remember the food pyramind? Chuck that out the window. It’s more about the lean protein and veggies, while lowering (not eliminating) grains. Plus variety. And balance. Am I repeating myself? It’s that important. If you want more specific guidelines thus choosing a diet or point plan, know this needs to be a long term or permanent change. It’s not going to work long term if you go back to what you were doing before. Take note of why something is working. More often than not, its due to removing foods that were never met to be in your daily relationship to begin with and more of the good stuff. Take note when it’s not working. It could be your body needs something different. Something medically is going on. Or mental health and/or stress needs more attention. You are not a set of systems, you are a person with a soul. Your mental care affects your body’s function and ability. Your habits for your physical lifestyle affect your mental state. It’s all connected and needs to be viewed with equal importance.

I do whole heartedly believe, within reason, it’s okay to splurge every once and while. Self participation a couple of weeks ago. Certainly, semi splurge on a once a week basis (as in one meal). The reason for once a week, one meal has little to do with weight but more with it affects in how you feel afterwards. It sucks, trust me. Going to far in splurges impacts your over all emotional and mental health quicker than physical health.

Guidelines in You Daily Food Relationship

There are health professionals who can guide and help create specific plans if you find that route enhances your success. These things you need to keep in mind when making choices

  1. Am I eliminating a necessary food group? Am I eating too much of a food group? Carbs (grains & veggies & fruits), Proteins (nuts, beans, meat, and some veggies), or Fats (unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated)- You need some kind of presence of these in your diet (also known as macros). Then as you go along, is it impacting your health negatively? I must watch my fat levels and keep it low but for others the recommended or slightly higher levels of fats are fine. Raw diets are not for everyone. It could impact your digestion. Too much protein and side pain? Get that checked out. Lower proteins or opt for more veggie based proteins.
  2. Is there appropriate portion control or can I achieve appropriate portion control? More than likely, Americans eat too much in a sitting but some diets call for too little and don’t accommodate for stepping down into appropriate portions. It’s okay to work into a life style change and it not happen immediately. Most likely small changes will lead to better success.
  3. How is my mental health? If you feel defeated and deal with self doubt then there is some soul/mental work to be done along side your diet changes. A counselor, wellness coach, life coach, spiritual coach, or trusted friend needs to be a part of your plan. Success in your food relationship is not wholly dependent on what you put or don’t put in your mouth. Its part mind set too. I love Louise Hay books and Mirror work she describes. EFT tapping is amazing (Tapping Solution, Donna Eden). These are two things you can invest in easily and right now. Additionally, don’t compare yourself to others. The steps you make are yours and they count. Baby steps are still steps. Concentrate on you then celebrate with others.

This is all to inform and caution you for your health and best success. No judgement on what you decided to do. With the exception, DO NOT go to the extreme unless a medical professional states it is necessary for you and you are being monitored. I cannot understate how important balance is.

Namaste in Your Food Relationship

JRiley

Here is the current link for American Government Health Agency guidelines (2015-2020) https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/.  

A Bowl of WTH: We are Food Container Hoarders

A Bowl of WTH: We are Food Container Hoarders

Also known as meal prep. And we get pretty excited about it and like to take pictures. Look what I did! It takes a fair amount of effort in meal prepping. It doesn’t need to be difficult or extremely time consuming. However. Hard truth. You will pay for it one way or another. It is your choice and not my place to judge it. I make the choice to put my efforts before hand which is less costly than paying afterwards. It’s easier to get organized and create healthier options when meals are planned and prepped before hand. It makes your life easier to be well and there are hacks. It has little to do with salads. I love salads but it can get old, quick.

Foremost is understanding your ingredients and materials. Prepared foods and boxed foods can help or hurt you. Lots use terms to catch your attention in hopes you never become aware of what is actually in it. Watch sugar and salt content. Avoid chemicals as much as possible. Organic and natural is best. It’s not just a health nut lifestyle choice. Those chemicals GMOs impact your health in every possible way, physical and mental. Reduce or eliminate when possible.

Please be environmentally friendly. Avoid small packaging when you can. I get it. Prepackaged makes it easier to grab and go. Opt for recycle-able or reusable containers. Small changes make a difference!

Meal prep Hacks

Bulk it and repeat it. This is where we reduce costs in this house and it’s much less work. You need variety but it can be every other week or by season. Rice and soups can be frozen. If you need more variety. Create your own frozen meals. Just eat within a month or two (soups hold longer). Canning, if you’re in to that, is another great way to maximize your meal planning efforts. Vegetarian meals tend to be cheaper in cost. Intentionally creating left overs when you cook dinner is an excellent way to simplify meal prep.

Go raw. This isn’t recommended for everyone. For digestive issues, it may be safer to lightly cook your food for it to absorb better. However, creating raw meals cuts out cooking time. Salads, sandwiches on multigrain, or wraps in lettuce or multigrain tortillas work. Sushi grade fish with some rice and veggies works. Lunch meat wrapped with veggies works. Veggies and dip. Fruit and yogurt. It all works.

Semi done prep or prepared is allowed. I do it all the time. Buying some salt free or flavored nuts then mixing and putting in small containers is a stable in this house. I buy string cheese or spreadable cheese wedges to go with veggies and fruits work. Precooked meat with veggies, sweet potato, or pre cooked rice is done. I will buy chicken or turkey meatballs or beans to create meals. It truly is about checking the labels for sugar, salt, and chemical content.

The Snack Station in the Riley House

Stay seasonal. Many vegetables and fruits are out of season where we live. I love pea protein and buying them frozen in bulk to go with carrots, brown rice pasta (watch portions), and olive oil plus herbs. In the fall I was all about sweet potatoes, brussels. In the summer, it’s wraps and salads. Don’t think you absolutely must eat something right now that is expensive. Watch produce and a quick search about your area will let you know what is in season when.

Eat what you like within reason. If you don’t like salads, don’t eat them. If you are quesadillas like we do, there are a variety of ways to make them. It’s always beneficial to try new things. But don’t continue to eat something you know you just cannot stand.

Think Herbs, not salt. When creating flavor, stock up on herbs and spices. A link is included for the basics with expansion soon. I love my herbs! They do so much for your body. https://notjusthealthnuts.com/2018/04/17/no-salt-added-spice-up-your-food-life/

Watch fillers. That means chips. Veggie chips or home made veggie (not potato) chips or parmesan crisps are okay. I love doritos but it is in the rare occasion box. For good reason. It’s a filler food and horrible one at that.

Quick Meal and Meal Prep Ideas:

  • Baked chicken and salad
  • Pizza (limit) and salad
  • Turkey lettuce burgers and sweet potato fries
  • Some groceries offer griller veggie options
  • Breakfast
  • Quesadillas: chicken or choice meat, just veggies, avocados, and/or beans. Watch cheese portions and often I will reduce cheese amounts by mixing in a reduced fat cream cheese.
  • Burrito or taco bowls with brown rice or whole grain rice
  • Asian bowls: choice lean meat, chick peas, veggies with jasmine or basamati rice. For flavor, I love Asian sauces but go sparingly as they tend to be high in salt.

Meal planning is often cost effective and allows more healthier opportunities. The most important benefit is investing in yourself. You need well and to create your well being.

Prep on and Namaste