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

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

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

1. Pre- practice: Sleep and Eat

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


2. Pre practice: The Set Up 

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

3. Practice

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

Alternative Options

Try:

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

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

Empty the junk.  Take in the grace. Namaste.

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Essentials to Fighting Misbehaving Skin

Essentials to Fighting Misbehaving Skin

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

This has to stop.

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

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

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

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

Namaste from the inside out

Acne roller

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

Face Toner

Alcohol free witch hazel

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

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

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

Juniperberry- 5 drops

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

2. Add essential oils

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

Face scrub- oily, acne prone *

Turmeric- 2 teaspoons *

Baking soda – 1/4 cup

Ground plain coffee – 1/8 cups

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

2. Store in a dry container

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

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

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

Lost baggage (under eye roller)

Rose- 4 drops

Jasmine- 4 drops

Chamomile- 4 drops

Clary sage- 4 drops

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

Age reverse/Dry skin Roller

Frankincense- 4 drops
Geranium- 5 drops
Cypress- 4 drops
Ylang Ylang- 5 drops
1. Fill roller bottle with grape seed oil 3/4 full
2. Add essential oils
The Health Foodie: Coming to a Loving Place in Her Relationship with Food.

The Health Foodie: Coming to a Loving Place in Her Relationship with Food.

I am a girl who loves to eat.  Protein shakes are great for on the fly and nutrition punch in the gut/ for the gut. However, I want real food.  For so long I either mindlessly ate and neglected the attention it deserved or hated food because we didn’t understand each other and how to work together.  From leechy junk food who hangs around- in undesirable places- to that empty feeling calorie, I struggled.  After years of the love/hate tango we have finally come to healthy terms.

 

Our arrangements go like this:  I sit to eat and no longer eat on the run.  I was horrible about not taking my time and being thoughtless.   Now we have a time to be present in choices and time to be present at the meal.  This gives me the power to keep negative and unhealthy foods are under my control.   I have the right to be choosy in who shows up to dinner, lunch, breakfast, and in between. Especially salt and fats. I can say no and send them packing. Now herbs and spices provide the excitement in the relationship without the regret.  Protein, fruit, and veggies have an open door policy.  Except Brussels sprouts.  They are banned for life.  I won’t do it.  I just won’t.  No longer is the misguided goal to be skinny which brings resentment in my diet and to myself.  We agreed on nutrition with flavor to maintain a healthy body and mind, while feeding the soul.  Soul food is a real thing my friends. Cantina salsa and dark chocolate are what feeds mine.  Seriously, salsa on everything from taco to eggs.

 

 

 

Salsa and chocolate aside, one of my food loves is lo mien. Unfortunately, gluten and I are no longer are on speaking terms.  A lot of my favorites had to be re-imagined.  Thus pork with veggie lo mien is born.  Simple and flavored pack protein and veggies. Warning: soy sauce is involved.  It’s that salt thing. Low sodium is on the invitation list.

 

 

Ingredients and prep

 

 

Pork: lean/low fat cuts, about 4-5 ounces per adult person

Cabbage (green and purple): sliced or buy pre shredded

Carrots: diced or if you do it like I do, it comes with the pre shredded cabbage

Onions: sweet/vidalia- sliced thin   OR Green onions chopped small

Mushrooms: sliced thin

Ginger: powdered

Soy: remember, low sodium

Canola oil or extra virgin olive oil

Minced garlic: pre-bought or DIY

Optional: bok choy diced, kale sliced

 

 

 
We are totally normal.  No fancy kitchen and short staff.
Get cooking:
1. Get a skillet and turn the stove onto a medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of canola oil or extra virgin olive oil (either oil in a spray works too).  Lightly sprinkle ginger and minced garlic on one side of the pork.  Cook the pork in the pan.  I am looking for browning on the outside and no pink showing.  About 10-15 mins on each side- the thinner the cut the less amount of time each side takes.  Suggested inside temp for pork is 145 degrees Fahrenheit if you have a meat thermometer handy. Let it rest 3-5 minutes and you can slice and dice it how you want.
2. While the pork is cooking-  add a tablespoon of canola oil or evoo (thank you Rachel Ray) to a wok, skillet, or whatever will hold the veggies.  Some of us lack the gourmet kitchen but make it work.  Not all veggies cook equally.  Start mushrooms and onions (not green onions).  If you are cooking bok choy, add it in with the mushroom and onions.  Cook for 10 minutes or so.  Then add carrots, cabbage or that bag of pre shredded stuff and if you are doing kale or green onions, throw it in too.  I usually find the total cooking time for veggies is twenty minutes. Slightly soft veggies is the goal.   Those last couple of minutes sprinkle some low sodium soy sauce and some ginger powder to taste.  If you like a lot of either, let someone else add and taste it.  Keep it light.

 

Pork and Veggie Lo Mein

 

 

That’s it. Step one and pork done.  Step two and veggie lo mein done.  Constructive suggestions in how to improve our relationships in this specific area are welcomed.  Raving reviews are encouraged. You know, for the the food.
 

 

Namaste and nourish love

*originally published on September 17, 2017