This is very much a daily passion for me. As a Holistic Health Practitioner, I understand the importance of a healthy food relationship and one that doesn’t break the bank. We have a family of six plus a furry member that are whole foodies. Yes, our dog is a whole foodie. This is how we make the most of our budget and food relationships.
Healthy Eating On a Budget
Plan Ahead and List
Helps keep focus and reduce impulse buys
Use Apps: Many major stores have apps that offer these benefits:
Make use of loyalty programs
Making lists and where to find them
Go Whole Foods and Seasonal
Watch for greatly reduced items or clearance for meals that can be prepared in the next day or so
Develop a love affair with your locals
Take advantage of pick ups to avoid impulse shopping
Go vegetarian more
meat costs more! whole fruit and veggies offer more for your budget.
Find more health in your food relationships with kindness to your wallet.
Healthy food and meals can loose their excitement. Especially when you take away the fats, sugar, and salt. Let’s just be real honest. 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 and other diseases. You are constantly surrounded by free radicals. Herbs are a great free radical bully buster. Food love with benefits.
Herbs and Spices: The Basics to Your Food Relationship
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.
Spices can be whole or ground.
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.
Herbs & Spices
Got you. These herbs and spices are great for staples to any recipe, but they are great additions to many food relationship encounters
Frustration has a range from long lines, traffic, or a thoughtless action to catastrophic level life events. When we do not let go, anywhere on the scale, it builds up. It infects our mental health and manifests itself in our physical health. Stomach ache, fatigue, headaches, indigestion may all be emotionally driven. For your peace of mind and peace in body, you need to discover release. Creating the masterpiece of letting go is a process that can be completed with ease.
This process begins with one central rule: never suppress the emotion or issue. Always acknowledge what emotion is rising to the surface. Yet, take caution when putting to word to an emotion and allowing it in your space. Acknowledgment and dwelling are two different actions. Noticing is as an objective description by you. Dwelling is nose dive into the emotion with fingers pointed, often in many directions. Step back to see the emotion rising without blame for you or another person. It does not remove the responsibility one or you may have. This acknowledgement of emotion starts the process. From here, write or talk with a trusted person about what triggered it’s presence. Run through the what happened, who is involved, and how it affect you. Going through this process pulls all that comes with that emotion to the surface. Once you can see this bundle of emotion with actions and memories, it eases creating release. Have it all in hand and ready to let go? There are a few mediums or ways to create your art of letting go.
Pick what jumps out at you. This is what you need at this moment.
Make it a ceremony. Most happy moments in life are marked ceremoniously; by party, pictures, commemorative dates, etc. Letting go can be one of those moments of joy for you to make space and unburden yourself.
Make a bonfire, I am all for setting – environmentally safe- things ablaze. You can use an object or write what you want to release on a paper then throw it in the pyre.
Light a candle. Its is a bit less dramatic; however, it is effective in marking this moment of letting go. Repeating the statement in step two, reciting a mantra, saying a prayer are ways to enhancing your candle ceremony.
Write it out. Write a letter to your younger self, future self if the letting go centralizes on you. Journal or write a letter to a person to unload. If you have letting go of a person or something between you and them, write to them.
Make literal art. Coloring pages may help. Create an abstract of what you feel. Use your favorite medium and symbolism in an artwork. Or create art that has nothing to do with it at all. The act of creating aids in processing emotions and thoughts.
Confront. You may need to confront a person and know you are ready to respectfully and firmly do so. Do so. You are not responsible for their actions but are in control of appropriately expressing yourself. You might want to write it out first.
Cord cutting. Visualize cutting a cord while stating what or whom you are cutting away from. It can be a literal act with a rope or ribbon or cord. Find one and cut it while making your statements.
Meditation and prayer. Clearing the junk in your head and heart are essential. In one or several sessions, meditation and prayer give you the opportunity to process, organize, and offer your burden to the heavens. My favorite is under moonlight. It is one of the closest settings I feel to my creator. Put yourself in that literal space and head space to let go.
In everything in your art of letting go find grace and love for yourself. It’s important to know that you are in control of your release. You are worthy to be respected and other people are worthy to be respected. When you meet at this intersection of kindness for yourself and others, it makes creating your masterpiece of release easier. Inhale your comfort and exhale your complication, worry, irritation, etc. Take up your brush and design your letting go.
Next week may be what you need in your food life. I and #thecalmRiley certainly did. Say “YES” to leveling out the pH in your food relationship with new recipes and quick tips.
There is problematic self. The burnt out one. The drained soul with a giving famine. Being generous has a boomerang of its own rewards. However, when we don’t invest in self care or set boundaries, we can risk becoming run down. Suddenly we find our ability to give stunted. We need in-pour time to make the most of our out-pour-giving opportunities.
Boundaries & The Power of Nope
From a parent perspective- I have one HUGE NOPE- I am not a maid. Everyone pitches in and if you made the mess, you clean it up. Parental boundaries. Sometimes I pick up their slack and sometimes they pick up mine. All the same, the message it clear. Mom is not your maid boundary. What boundaries do you need to set? Don’t want to attend that event? As long as it’s not essential for your life or career, then give a simple no thank you. It’s more than okay to say no, no thank you, nope with love for self and the invitee. Need some space? Communicate that and when you can reconnect again. Can’t volunteer for everything? Yeah, me too. Additionally, stop saying sorry. It’s such a verbal reflex!! A no and boundaries are nothing to apologize for. When we say sorry, we signal to ourselves guilt for setting the boundary. Having that guilt leads to troubles in setting boundaries. Guilt is for true mistakes to direct us to correct a wrong, not drawing appropriate lines to protect our space. Being able to give simple nope and setting your boundary lines is a powerful skill you must have.
Self Care is the physical, mental, and soulful effort to boost your out-pour flow. Physically, this looks like clean body, clean clothes, optimal nutrition, and your preferred exercise. It’s not a particular image. This is caring with hygiene for more of you. It’s your daily, if not hourly, investment to your body. A simple walk, easy protein/veggie dinner, and a shower does wonders. All of this may not always attainable, especially as a care giver. Tick as many boxes as you can. Mind and soul health is crucial to anyone’s daily routine. You need individual time to breathe. Journal, draw, pray/meditation, or just breathe- de junk your brain. This practice of “sitting and quiet self” cannot be understated- even a few minutes has a voluminous impact. We pick up so much in our living and it needs to be let go. Refresh and reset.
Delegate & Exchange
Independence is amazing; especially when your kids dress and perform hygiene task on their own. Beyond freaking awesome. Yet, being too independent or being isolated from help can hinder your generosity ability. If you have too many “hats on” or “plates going” it can lead anxiety, sleeplessness, or overwhelm. When this happens, it’s time to let go or hand over. Even better, hand it over sooner before you hit that panic point. Knowing your lines is immensely powerful. Prioritize, find that line, then anything under that line needs an eviction notice. It may be beneficial to exchange obligations or duties. A task, event, or responsibility could be troublesome right now but not later. Connect to find help and exchange that help. More than likely, you both win a release at some point. Build your all hands on deck community.
Finding a defined time is a necessary for you. The part I love best in self investment is that it doesn’t take much time and truly allows for more to give later. The hardest part, for me, is boundaries. It’s attainable and worth the effort in making these skills. Make the most of your incredible self.
Follow me on Instagram to see my boundary testers and points of relief. Then check me out on Pinterest for lots of ideas on “you investments” on my Holistic Health board and word inspirations on my Affirmations and Truths board. I love sharing and will follow back!
As my love affair with all things spicy cools off, I have to find ways to live in between. I am between my love of food relationship exploration and the need for it not to kill my stomach. Creole food is one of those perplexing situations for me. About a year ago on a pinning spree I took on gumbo and LOVE it. I love the earthy and fiery flavors with the simple base. Recently, a more palatable version found my bowl as tweaking to remove shellfish allergy and reduce reflux triggers. This reworking of a Creole icon reduces the spice, lowers fat content, and switches to a low acid tomato. Make your shopping list, grab your pots, and find the zydeco music. It’s time to channel that not so spicy but spiced up food encounter.
Ingredients and Prep
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of all purpose flour or all purpose gluten free flour
2 garlic cloves diced
1 tsp of Creole Seasoning (cayenne will do in a pinch)
1/4 cup of fresh parsley (1 tbsp dried parsley can be substituted)
1/2 red bell pepper diced
2 stalks of celery sliced
1 lb of chicken cooked and diced
oz of smoked turkey sausage (if you can handle the spicy go for chicken andouille sausage)
2 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth
9 ounces of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Optional add ins: crawfish or shellfish
Roux: this mystical beast is the wonderment base. The key is to never leave it alone and constantly stir.
Heat skillet to medium heat then add in oil. Gentle stir in flour with a whisk and keep stirring. The goal is a medium to medium dark brown. Once you reach the desired color, give your arm a break and head to step 2.
Add in: garlic, red bell pepper, celery, and tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes
Add in broth, meat, and spices
Simmer on low for about an hour
How you address or dress this dish when it’s done is up to you. The classic is with rice. We went for corn polenta (pictured), but it’s up to you and any idea you dream of. Classics like this have staying power as it carries tradition, memories, and iconic flavors. It doesn’t mean you can’t mess around a little in your food relationship.
Spicy foods and I have had a long time love affair in our food relationship. It seems that now we are at least on a separation if not headed for limited contact relationship. Our relationship literally burns my heart, among other things. Heart burn, acid reflux, and bile reflux are serious conditions that do more than irritate. Due to high acid production, it can erode your digestive system from mouth to intestines. It can be painful and may even cause esophageal spasms. Not being able to use your esophagus sucks at the very least and scary at times. To find balance in your food relationship, you need pH balance- acid vs alkaline. This doesn’t mean acidic food are bad all together, many have amazing nutritional value and for some people, acidity is needed. For us fiery, acidic bellies- we need to tone it down and tailor our relationship.
It’s starts with “we’re on a break.” For some time or all the time or on a limited basis you need to quit these foods: caffeine, citrus fruits, cocoa beans (coffee/chocolate), tomatoes, spicy, hot temps, high fats, processed, fried foods. A relationship with a medical professional may help you decide what that relationship will look like. These foods are either high in acid or cause more stomach acid production. If you are extra sensitive then avoiding most fruits, gluten, dairy, and onions may be of benefit.
So now what do I eat? I truly did have a spicy food addiction. In treating and making new relationship routines I have become a humongous fan of oats. I like oats before, but it’s a whole new love now. Oats are excellent for regulating blood sugar among many things but for the sake of stomach acid- it absorbs acid and helps regulate the guts. Every morning I have oatmeal with raw honey and sliced bananas. Every. Freaking. Morning. Raw honey, it HAS to be raw, has amazing healing properties and bananas are on the helpful with the acid list. Ginger in tea or added to a meal is another pH balancing friend. Probiotics like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha will tip the pH scale in your favor. And veggies. Veggies are alkaline which is the yin to acid’s yang so to speak, especially those greens and carrots. Avocados, herbal teas, nuts, seeds, tofu, amaranth, and legumes are other alkaline options for daily contacts in your food relationship.
Love red sauces. Me too! What do I do with tomato based sauces to combat acidity? Carrots. These handy veggies in a puree aid in leveling out tomato’s acidity. Cooking time is important too. It need to be limited and I do not cook my sauces over thirty minutes. More cook time, more acid. Spices and herbs can contribute to raising the pH level. An example is enchilada sauce. I either eliminate the chili powder completely or reduce it, the up the cumin by half more. This can be applied to any enchilada sauce recipe or pin you see. Below I have included how I make my carrot puree plus a recipe for a reduced acid pasta sauce. The carrot thing really does work.
2 carrots peeled and diced in 1 cup of water. Cook until soft and blend or food processor until smooth. You can double to make extra to store or freeze for later use.
Reduced Acid Pasta Sauce
2 ( 29 oz) can of Tomato Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup of carrot puree
2 bay leaves (cue 90’s kid in school lunchroom memories)
2 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoon oregano
Cooking: measure it, dump it, stir it, and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes.
You can cook longer if you can stand higher acidity. TBH- I love longer cooked sauces; however, they are not loving me back at the moment. Care for your gut as it cares for the rest of you.
What do I mean by this? I am not trying to purposefully overuse that word, maybe I am. There are a lot of things we just say but don’t necessarily mean. There are things we do and do so unintentionally. This is part of being a human being; however, at what point do we let our actions, words, and life become so accidental? I know I have phases where I fee like a pinball bouncing around. Recently, as I listen and observe around me, this phrase, “I didn’t mean too,” is spoken. A lot. Especially from my children. As their eyes roll from the mom lessons about being mindful, I realize how important setting intent is to our lives. This hit me the hardest in a grocery line this past week. I had the #redreignsofterror and #ghost child, which is distracting at the least. Tons of groceries. I was at the finish line and just done. The cashier was kind and friendly. However, the bagger was overly friendly and we began to converse as our mounds of purchases were being loaded. As the three of us said our good byes a sinking feeling set in. I wasn’t as open with the cashier. There was the obvious barrier as this person is a foreigner. Was there a language barrier? Was she shy? Were my kids too much noise? I don’t know!! This is all simply because I did not have the intent to reach beyond awkwardness to engage this gracious person. I didn’t mean too, but I needed to mean too. The power of intent is immense. I need to become intentional in my every day community connections. How does one move from accidental to on purpose? Start with core of you.
What is core to your beliefs? About you? People? How do you treat people? How you treat yourself?
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
What do you want to accomplish? Talents? Life goals?
What wellness issues do you need to tackle?
How do you handle stress? What is your mental health like?
Use Resources and Community to Help You
Pick top three and start there. As new habits take hold then go back to your list and pick a few more. You can pick a long term, short term, and now. As the now and short term are mastered, replace them.
Make it easier to accomplish with a few
It takes time. It takes grace. Be aware of the moments you are in as they are happening now.
“…Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think of such things.”
Have grace and be here now
Write it everywhere. Set reminders on phone. Think or meditate about it. Let it sink in your core. It is a continual effort to be intentional.
Intent is changing your future by adjustments you make now.
I am not designed to live an accidental life. I want care for my body to be on purpose. Care for my mind to be on purpose. Care for my soul to be on purpose. I set intents to change my life, how I respect others, and react in all situations. I am in continual transformation. You are too. Set your intents and journey with me as we live an “on purpose life”.
My intentional addition
I intend for my connections with others to be given full effort and meaningful.
What are your intentions? Please share in the comment section