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Health Foodie Seeking the Warm Fuzzies

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

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

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

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

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

Seek soft, weighted, warm, or cool to touch

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

When you need to hear it

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

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

Namaste in your warm fuzzy endeavors 

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Health Foodie: Teal Pumpkins and Candy Safety 👻 🎃

Health Foodie: Teal Pumpkins and Candy Safety 👻 🎃

From intolerances to “this could be an ER visit,” we are that allergy family.   We hit all of them.  Restaurants require research.  Dinners are a cultivated art of allergy free.  We meticulously plan for BBQs and get togethers.  Halloween is a search and find of labels and parental taxes.  We gotta get something out of preparing for the festivities, right?  Fortunately for the food allergy challenged, there are easy options.

  1. First things first.  Know your candy.  Know what your favorites are to negotiate taxes and know how to practice candy safety.  This means check packaging (sealed?), reading all labels (known allergies on it?), and if you’re not sure, trash it.
  2. Look for safe candies (free from top 8 allergies): DOTS, Ring Pop, Dum Dums, Skittles, Smarties, Starburst, and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.  Yes brand matters in this case.
  3. Get in the project!  Food Allergy Research & Education has an amaze Teal Pumpkin Project The site contains a map across the United States of homes with Top 8 Allergy friendly candies or non candy items.  We are on that map!!img_1616
    • There are great kid friendly activities
    • Print outs for your home are on this site!
    • Stores like Target and Michaels are carrying Teal Pumpkin items for purchase.
  1. Offer allergy friendly candies that do not contain the top 8 allergies or have a prize option:  Stickers, rings, slime, pencils, any party favor.
    • I am finding multipack prize options at a reasonable cost at Target and Walmart.

Below are the Top 8 Common Allergies for your  in  the know.  Food allergy challenged or not, awareness for the sake of safety in important.  Please consider going teal in the festivities.  This act of kindness will treat you in the future.

Top 8 Allergies

  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Nuts
  • Gluten
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • Soybean
  • Shellfish

Namaste 🙏 and  ❤️ teal 🎃

The kid’s teal pumpkins

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Health Foodie: For your Heart

A lot comes through my media and email with shockers like “number one killer” or ” this could kill you.” Yes death is a reality and even a fear.  Matter of the heart are serious and, seriously, when your heart is cared for, it does much to amplify the quality of your life.  What if we shift our focus to finding habits to enhance our heart health?

A lot of the following suggestions of physical habits are general preventative measures or maintenance.  Everyone is different and a sit down with your doctor, nutritionist, health coach, etc for individual guidance is important.  Especially if you are seeking treatment for heart or blood conditions.  According to American Heart Association, the best heart diet is one full of fruit, veggies, whole grains (think ancient), lean meat, low fat dairy, and nuts.  Across the board, for most this is a great guideline for any one.  What any heart and food relationship needs restraints in are limited: saturated fat, red meat, sodium, sweets, and sugar sweetened beverages.  Kick trans fat to the curb. Period.  Why these guidelines? Fiber and Omegas found in many veggies, whole grains, and lean meats are important for gut thus heart function.  Too much processed foods, sugar, fats can damage your gut, build up in blood vessels, then affect your heart.  Your food relationship is your daily healer.  Physical activity is important and looks different for everyone.  The important thing is to find something you enjoy.  There are lighter ends like Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yin/Restorative Yoga to walking, Hatha Yoga, Pilates, biking, zumba, Refit, and more.  If you want to run, run.  If you want to box, box.  If you like the gym and it holds you accountable, then make time for it. Take a class.  Find an app or youtube at home.  Find what you like and take limitations into account.   I am rarely in the mood for the gym.  Yoga in its many forms is my thing and other than an relished and occasional class due to time constraints, my practice is at home.

What you do for your physical health impacts your mental well being.  Your mental care habits affect your body and heart.  It’s a never ending circle to represent the whole you.   There isn’t solid study evidence to date on the link of mental to heart health. Yet.  However, many professionals support this link as found on heart.org.  Prolonged stress effects many things from gut to brain to your heart.  Since stress is a natural part of life and many times can’t be avoided, you need stress busters.

Ways to bust

  • hobby
  • journaling
  • physical activity (two for one!)
  • time with loved ones
  • coloring/ creative activity
  • play dough (its for adults too)
  • prayer/meditation
  • water feature or sounds
  • Essential oils: peppermint and lavender
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Practice or journal gratitude
  • Breathing apps
  • Self care: baths, massage, reiki, spa day, nails
  • Find your limitations and stick with them.  Yes is potent. No is potent. Listen to yourself to know when to use what and when.
  • Community service

This isn’t a pick one and done list.  And you have the freedom to rotate, pick a few, or pick many.  Your inner voice and preferences are powerful.  Listen to them and begin building those stress busting habits.  Your food relationship, activity level, and mental care are essential for your heart health.

Your heart matters

Namaste

I am not affiliated with above link to the American Heart Association.  Their website is wonderful, check it out at Heart.org

Health foodie: Finding the (pH) Balance in Your Food Relationship

Health foodie: Finding the (pH) Balance 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.

Carrot Puree

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

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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.

Please like share or pass along!

Namaste

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Health Foodie on Those Pains in the Neck.

It’s my birthday!! 🎂 At one time I thought 35 was really, really old. But here I am. Old. Ish. 🤣😉. It’s not so bad and most days are great. I have more wisdom and proud battle scars. Plus a deep appreciation for fuzzy blankets, time with loved ones, warm tea, and sleep. There are some realities of adding another year. Horrible knees since my teens, iron deficiency that impacts my muscles, and my spine is a degenerate. It creates some literal pains in the neck. Ouch. My lifestyle of wellness is to prevent as much as possible, to heal as much as possible, and to manage as much as possible.   For those pains in the neck, literal or not, we do have tools  in nature to cope, manage, and heal.  It is important to note as we continue that seeking a medical professional may be necessary.  In the case of my spinal degeneration, I sought a diagnosis and treatment plan.  My doctors works with my desire for a natural path and diminishing needs to for prescriptions.  With a tweaked food relationship, active lifestyle, and continuous at home therapy- I am slowly finding my groove again.

Food. It’s always been food.

Painless eating requires a dedication in intention and deliciousness.  Antioxidants, lowering inflammation, good fats are among the goals in your food relationships.  Whole veggies and fruits are the potent antioxidant providers.  Get lots of them and mix it up.  They all play a role in providing  your body is missing and reduce inflammation. Green tea is amazing in your daily routine for LOTS of reasons.  For the sake of this topic- its another antioxidant in the battle. Omega rich foods help increase best body function all around. Cod, Tuna, Salmon, Olive Oil, Flax seed, and Chia seeds are all the right Omegas you need in your food life.   The spicy in your food relationship is rather easy and it takes two.  Cayenne and Ginger.  Cayenne added to recipes is a powerful anti inflammatory especially to joints.  Ginger tea and in food is a stomach soother, muscle and joint relaxer, and head massage.  Drink and eat for ache healing.

It’s Essentially In Your Hands

Essential oils are an excellent way to utilize your largest and most absorbent organ for pain reduction.  There are companies that offer ready made oils for pain. However, you may want to customize with these basics.  One of my favorite essential oil blends right now for cramps and tight muscles is Vetiver and Eucalyptus with carrier oil in a roller bottle.  About 3 drops each does the trick.  Eucalyptus is potent and should be taken with caution if you have high blood pressure.  Other excellent options for tight muscles or cramps or painful joints are lemon grass, ginger, peppermint, and cayenne.  Cayenne is a fantastic for joints in food and oil. But it brings some heat, take caution.  Sore muscles and headaches/migraines benefit from similar essential oils as those for pain.   Some times a migraine/headache cause sensitivities to scents.  Test them one at a time to be sure one scent doesn’t irritate you.

Get Active. Sort of.

If your able, activity is beneficial to aches.  A light walk at any time, any length that you can handle is an excellent way to boost blood flow for reducing inflammation and working out kinks.  This increases oxygen, increases cell growth, and removes waste.  Adding a warming pad can have a similar benefit if you are not able to move.   It’s important to note that inflammation needs cooling like an ice pack (no more than twenty minutes).  Under medical care, get a consultation on what is best for you.  Light stretching is an gentle way to pull oxygen into your muscles.   Yoga is my favorite way to do this. Largely because yoga is so versatile and can be individualized with no equipment or lots of accessories. It’s up to you. A studio offering yin yoga or restorative yoga would be of benefit.  Yin yoga is the slowest – less poses being held longer with props to support your body.  Restorative is my constant to heal and build muscle that isn’t strenuous.   Yet, getting to a studio may be difficult.  There are plenty of yin videos on YouTube and the Down Dog app has a restorative option.  I am not linked to either of these companies;  however these are easy at home options.

My hope and prayer is that you find healing in these simple daily changes for a healing lifestyle.  Certainly throwing in a massage or acupuncture further the benefits.   Lots of love in your journey to healing and growing wisdom.

Please share. It would be a great gift!🙃

Namaste 💕🧘🏼‍♀️

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The Fluidity in Your Food Life

This morning I checked out the 4th forecast and out came a deep groan.  Today hit over 100 ° F by eleven am; the festivities in a couple of days are predicted to be the worst.  The solar energy, vitamin D boost, sweat cleanse, and family time are the positives I am desperately going to hold on too.  Cling on too.  We will be armed with tons of sunblock, light clothing, and hydration for the negatives.  The state of dehydration affects your entire body and mind.  We must be prepared. However,  hydration is more than just the intake of fluids.  It’s how much, what you take, and what you eat.

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

How much water should you drink? National Academy of Science Engineering Medicine   gives guidelines on how much fluids you should take in at the very least.  According to the site, I just carry around a bottle all day because I need to take in around twelve eight ounces per day.  Food can count!  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?  Plain water for the most part is best but doesn’t have to be the only means of fluids.  There are some you need to limit or completely avoid.  Sugary drinks such as juices and sodas needs to be limited in down, cool periods all the time.  In hot temperatures or activity, it needs to be avoided.  This goes for caffeine and alcohol too.  A non- synthetic dye water flavor may help you achieve your hydration goal.  I love herbal teas and I have been drinking lot on ice lately.  Infused water is an excellent way to make fluids enjoyable and reach those next goals in what to eat for hydration.

What can I eat to hydrate?  Your food life is two fold on hydration.  You can eat foods loaded with water.  You need to eat consistently to help your body absorb, hold, and use water better.

These foods have a considerable amount of water in them

  • oranges
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • cantalope
  • strawberries
  • watermelon
  • celery
  • grapefruit
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.  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.

Foods rich in most or all needed 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.  Drink and eat to keep your body and mind at it’s best, certainly in the scorching sun.

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

Namaste and be fluid

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A Collective Deep Breath…

Feel like you’re under water? Not even head above water, but under it?  Keeping track of news on all fronts and watching social media, a lot of you are right with me.  Over that past month we have been hit with curve balls dodge ball style.  The latest developments are experiencing new aspects to ghost child’s disorders and handling them.  We still have a bunch of children with ever expanding needs and change to their growth.  My husband was in a car accident that has developed increased anxiety (once managed) with migraines.  Redreignofterror pulled on my neck and pulled out a pre-existing condition that has taken over a month to be pain free and we are finally on the road to managing that. In our lifestyle readjustments we are starting to discover stable ground even among the rough days.

There is one technique we are using that is a common thread is all of this: Breathe! We are digging deep and finding those deep breaths In my early twenties I will be ever grateful to the professionals that linked me with biofeedback.  It started a path in realizing how nature can heal and modern medicine is more than pills for pain management. She was a professional who looked beyond the symptoms.  We discussed various aspect of my life to deal with the migraines and anxiety I had at the time.  The take aways for me was food as healers and the importance of breathe.  This has grown to a food relationship beyond just food and a journey to meditation.  Minus this neck deal recently, my migraines the past few years went from 25/30 days of pain to just a few a year.  It took time and trials but it was well worth the effort.  My husband is working on new habits with breathing techniques.  Our children, some more than others, are reminded to breathe.   Ghost child has taken to exploration in meditation.

Below is a basic breathing exercise with suggestions for individuality.  I am not affiliated with any company and have experimented with all options, if not use some of them daily.    Learning to control your breath and mind is an individualized journey with common threads.   Play around with it to find your niche.  It does take time and consistency.  You are learning a new habit.  In experimentation, give it a few days to see if its a good fit.   Time and commitment increase success and benefits. If you are frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed these can benefit you greatly.  It’s important to note that this is not a total sum treatment.  I take natural supplements and have sought professional help in the past.  My breathing and meditation is a continuation of management and healing.  My husband takes anxiety medication to level out chemical imbalances and has further medication for the really bad moments.  This is a growing practice to manage his anxiety plus daily medication.   If you feel like you cannot function in daily life or barely are, please seek professional help and ask about adding these to your treatments.

What does controlled breath actually do to your body? Immediately your body is taking in more oxygen which is great for concentration.  Your nervous system begins to get under control.  Regular practice increases these benefits.

The best benefit is that there is a lot ways to do this.

Techniques, Apps, & Ideas

There are lots of approaches to creating this habit.  Controlled breathing can look like guided imagery, meditation, breathing exercise/pranayama,  and more.  

These options were carefully chosen to keep it basic and simple.  

Four, Seven, Eight Breath

Breathe App

This is an app I have experimented with (not affiliated with) and liked it best among many.  It gives visuals to guide breathing and options to personalize your practice.  There are other apps and don’t be afraid to experiment.  

Headspace App and Website

Another app that offers areas of individual needs. There are a lot of apps out there but this is my favorite because of ease of use and personalization.

Insight Timer App and Website

The app is used almost daily on my phone.  If a lot of options overwhelm you then this may not be the best fit.  It’s versatility is a huge plus for me.  Most of the options are free, but there are courses on beginning meditation among many others.  I love the guided options, music options, nature sounds.  The timer was updated recently and I am hooked.  I can change sounds,  time, bells/chimes/bowls plus set intention of yoga, breathing, prayer, meditation, etc.  

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

This is a personal resource sharing how I found meditation obtainable with ADHD.  There a variety of reasons staying focused in breathing or meditation, this isn’t just for ADHD. 

Setting a breathing exercise routine or meditation habit can give relief in a stressful situation, provide clarity,  or a means to control your mind.  It’s helpful in the negative moments.  It’s better as a habit.

It starts with two simple steps: Inhale. Exhale.

Check out in the coming weeks.  Food relationship explorations have been happening and food as delicious healer ideas are to come!

 Breathe with me

Namaste