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Holistic Mental Health Tools

A few minutes of investment, these holistic mental health tools can break a cycle of negative emotions, thoughts, and energy.

  • Laughter is truly an amazing medicine
    • Find humor in your situation or humor to distracted. Release those good vibes/chemicals
  • Meditation- guided and sound baths
    • Don’t take it in silence, meditate with some noise. Guided imagery, mantras, and sound baths are for clearing your head space.
    • Apps: Insight timer & Head Space
    • Notjusthealthnuts Youtube Library Sound Baths
    • Notjusthealthnuts Youtube Library Chakra/Energy Healing
  • Gratitude Journal
    • use the power of intention to flip an awful feeling or situation
    • write, cite, or illustrate what you are thankful for
  • Seek the warm fuzzies
    • Fill your senses and get those warm fuzzies: part one and part two on how to get those fuzzies.

Keep your sanity and improve your health with these simple holistic mental health tools.

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No Salt Added- Herbs and Spices Basics

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

Now what?

Got you. These herbs and spices are great for staples to any recipe, but they are great additions to many food relationship encounters

holistic eating habits

JRiley

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What Does Holistic Health Look Like?

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

Sooooooooo…What Does Holistic Health Look Like?

Seriously.

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

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

Jocelyn Elders

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

What Holistic Health Does NOT Look Like?

Debt inducing

Dismissive of your gut feelings

Demanding or demeaning of your response

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

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

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

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

holistic health articles

J. Riley

Certified Not Just a Health Nut

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Hit the Reset Button

Feel like you’re losing your mind? Well. You might be. Constantly going negatively impacts our physical and mental health. Sanity goes to the wayside and exhaustion slams us into a wall. When we hit this point, we need to hit the reset button

Reset for Mental Health

Sleep

Our bodies require regular sleep. If you are not getting enough or constantly tired, seek medical help. There is a underlying cause. Stress can certainly start or continue the cycle of sleep issues. Consider de-stress techniques such as exercise, breathing exercises, and anti-inflammatory foods.

Relax and Play

We need non-productive times to be silly. Relax and play facilitates a connection with yourself and with others. Hobby and relax time are a must to your health routine

Cleanse and Gut Support

Your gut is a literal second brain that promotes chemical balances and a variety of essential biological processes. Fruits and veggies in a fresh or frozen form is a crucial part of your daily food relationship. Oats are excellent for cleansing guts and balancing chemicals within the body. Teas such as nettle, dandelion, and green tea are power cleansers from immune to blood. Take your food relationship seriously.

Connect with Nature

We need to immerse ourselves in creation. The elements of air, water, earth, and fire are core to our healing. Simply sitting by a fire or listening to water can do wonders to reset our minds. A simple outdoor walk or eating a meal work too.

One last thing…. for a daily reset…..

J.Riley

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Food Relationship: What You can Eat to Hydrate

It’s 3:00 PM in the afternoon and I look down at my water bottle. The day is almost done and I’ve only drank half the my minimal of what is needed to be hydrated. Unfortunately, coffee doesn’t count. Why on earth would I add hydration count to my endless daily check-list? From brain function, gut function, adrenal function- hydration is the everything in biological function.

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

What about what you drink?  There are drinks you need to limit or completely avoid.  Sugary drinks such as juices and sodas needs to be limited.  This goes for caffeine and alcohol too. It is thought that caffeine intake can cause dehydration, a quick run through studies on coffee. Mild coffee drinking is fine and not known to impact hydration ability.   Sugar and too much sodium are the top dehydrators you can drink.

What Should You Drink?

  • Water
  • Green Tea
  • Herbal Teas
  • Non synthetic dye or natural drink
  • Water with fruit and vegetables

Your food life is two fold on hydration.  Drinking is the primary way to obtain and maintain hydration. However, eating certain whole foods (not cooked or lightly cooked) contains significant portions of water in them.

What Can You Eat to Boost Hydration?

All of these contain at least 90% of water and tons of nutrition. Food relationship multitasking at its best.

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

The Exceptions

Broccoli and squash contain more water when cooked.

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

Sports drinks are known to help with hydration and keeping hydration in short periods.  They should only be consumed when significant water loss is involved or recommended by doctor. The main reason are electrolytes.  In a simplistic term, electrolytes are salts in the form of minerals that help with hydration and cleanse your bodily systems.  The electrolytes you need are sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, phosphates.  You can eat these easily all the time.

Foods Rich in Electrolytes

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

Each of these foods offer it’s unique contribution.  A rotation/combination of each offers the best impact in your food relationship. I am going to grab more of my lemon & lime water. Gotta catch up!

Namaste and be fluid

Juls

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

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Health Foodie: Lower Acid and Vegetarian Pasta Sauce

Simply because cannot take “no” for an answer- I had to find answer to my pasta dilemma Largely, due to the sauce, a lower acid pasta sauce. So what’s wrong with the sauce? Too much acid producing agents like tomatoes and meat. Meat? Yes, digesting meats requires more stomach acid production. My stomach gets all dramatic and I end up in pain. My solution was Puttenesca. Puttenesca is a tomato sauce with a specific combinations of plants, veggies, and (most of time) anchovies.  I HATE anchovies. If I had a choice between those greasy, tiny fish and bugs.  I choose bugs. We will say no to the anchovies this time. And every time.

This sauce still carries the problematic acidic tomato.  I opted for campari tomatoes as they are sweeter with lower acid.  To reduce acid more, you can add in some carrot puree.  The tomatoes didn’t irritate my reflux.  Since the anchovies got to go- I went with capers to give that briny, salty taste.  Best part, is more concentrated veggies means more nutrition.  The instructions are for the sauce, your base is dealer’s choice. As complex carbs can help absorb stomach acid, I opted for a brown rice/ quinoa gluten free pasta but zoodles are just a good. 

Lower Acid Pasta Sauce

Ingredients and Prep

  • 3 Garlic cloves, diced
  • Oregano 1 tablespoon dried
  • Olive Oil 1 tablespoon
  • Campari tomatoes, 16 oz, quartered
  • Green or black olives sliced (2.25 oz can or I eat a specific green type, about 10 olives)
  • Capers 1-2 tablespoons
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of carrot pure

Cooking

  1. Put in diced garlic and olive oil and gentle stir for about 5-7 minutes on medium.
  2. Still on medium heat, place in diced tomatoes and oregano and cook until tomatoes have broken down plus a few minutes (25 minutes). In the last 5 minutes you can put in optional carrot puree to lower the pH level.  
  3. Put in olives and capers for additional ten minutes.  1 1/2 tablespoon of capers is enough for me. Start with 1 tablespoon and add to taste.  Do let it cook for a minute before adding. 

With a few quick switch outs with some veggies, I have a delicious alternative.  Plus its a graduation from my dorm room ragu phase. There is nothing wrong with an occasional jar sauce on some veggies every once and while. However, there is more flavor and nutritional punch in this bowl. Love your food relationship and show it how to love you back.

J.Riley

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The Art of Letting Go

There is always something to let go. 

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.

Namaste

Juls

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.