Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stressed Much?!!!

We live in such a busy culture. There's never anytime to sit down, or so we think. As Americans we are bred with the mentality that more and bigger are better. We just keep running on the hamster wheel until we are ragged, worn down, sick, and stressed because of it all. Wake up, maybe do a little straightening up, make lunches, make breakfast, drive kids to school, or start school at home, go to work, walk the dog, clean the house, start the laundry, run errands, pick the kids up from school or come home from work, start dinner or run through the drive thru, do homework in the car, take kids to ballet, soccer, piano lessons, come home, send that important email, bath time, bed time, tuck in, a little more tinkering on the latest project for work or around the house, brush teeth, wash face, and literally fall into bed. Sound at all familiar?

It's good to work, don't get me wrong. Idle hands really are the devils playground. Nonetheless we don't have concept of what it really means to care for ourselves and our families. We need to slow down. In the hustle and bustle we can truly forget what is important. It's not until we are sick in bed with the flu that we remember we are not super humans. Just because the lights work past 10pm doesn't mean they should. Our systems are running on empty. We are not feeding ourselves right physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

May I with love encourage you to de-stress and take better care of you, so you can take better care of others? There are so many factors out there pulling for our attention. I know you've heard messages like this before. Please don't ignore it. There's a reason half of our country is walking around anxiety meds and anti-depressants. I'm not saying there are not true chemical imbalances out there. I know for a fact there are definitely. I was on anti-depressants for 9 years. In many cases though these imbalances can be corrected with proper self-care and frame of mind. I'll never forget the words of one of my lecturers at school, "Depression is not a deficiency in vitamin Prozac."

Ways to De-Stress

We work too much, there's no way getting around it. Unfortunately, I realize that's difficult to lessen. If you can stop working that second or third job, please do. We need time to take care of our physical needs. Hamburger helper and McDonalds are not foods, they are simply filling a hole. Our bodies need real, whole foods everyday. Yes, they cost more financially up front, but do they in the long run? When we give our bodies the nutrients they need, they run properly. We need to get back in the kitchen. Anything labeled low fat, get rid of it! Our bodies need fat to live. Healthy fat makes our brains work right. Fat doesn't make you fat, sugar and a sedentary lifestyle do. We need to exercise. Get a twenty to thirty minute walk in daily. Go to sleep between 9-10pm. Don't eat past 7pm if you can help it. Drink lots of water. Get a massage or go to the chiropractor as often as possible. Get blood tests taken at the doctor. Check B12, D, and niacin. Often times severe deficiencies in these
vitamins can cause depression. Prescription medications can and do deplete the body and prevent proper nutritional absorption. Do a liver detox 3-4 times yearly.

After everything is said and done by the end of the day where did your family or friend time go? Are you making time for those relationships? Do you even remember who your spouse is anymore? Get a date night on the calendar twice a month, if not weekly. DO NOT cancel it. Children of all ages like to be read to, grab a book and whether he's 6 months or 16 years old read together. Go for walk together with a friend. Grab a couple board games and call it game night. Turn off the television! Say
 good night to Facebook ;) Go grab a good book and read a chapter or two to yourself. Journal or sketch, its healing.


Have you said hello to your Creator lately? Do you know Yeshua (Jesus)?  If you don't know Him,
please get to know Him. He's dying to talk to you. He tries often, I'm positive. In fact, He did die for you, and He rose again, just so you could live in paradise forever with Him. Dont know Him? Ask
me about Him. Wake up with God. Make time to tell Him good morning. Pray. Write down your
thoughts, fears, dreams, and desires for the day. Offer it up to Him. Read His Word, the Bible. It's His
 guidelines and instructions to us. Read a short devotional in the middle of the day. Cry out His name whenever needed. He's listening. If you start to stress or get depressed out of the blue, begin to pray. Pray for others and see how fast your dismal fog lifts.

6 Quick Things You Can Do to De-stress 

1. Pray
2. Drink tulsi tea
3. Eat a small piece of dark, raw chocolate
4. Listen to a favorite song and sing it
5. Go over the blessings of your day
6. Inhale lavender essential oil

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mornings & Green Smoothies

For those of you starting your New Year off with a bang and committing to living healthier lifestyles I applaud you! Every little step you take is one in the right direction for high quality health. We live in a such a backwards culture. We're expected to go, go, go and run on absolutely nothing. Continuing to treat the body like a trash can will reap an overflow of trash. You are worth so much more!

This week I thought that I would discuss a really important part of the day-breakfast. Do you eat it?  What do you typically grab? Is it a thought through process or do you just grab something? For most of us our mornings, at least during the work week are really rushed, even if you are a stay at home parent, there's a lot to get done in the morning. I get it, trust me. I was a stay at home mom for a long time, so here's a shout out to you. You have the hardest job ever, and people don't realize it.

Back to breakfast, we need to fuel our bodies in the morning. It greatly matters what we're shoving in our mouths though, granted, I'd rather you not shove anything, and be a little more thoughtful as to what and how you consume your food. Again I can sympathize with a van full of kids at 8:00am. Regardless, how we start our morning can pretty much dictate the rest of your day.  A little prayer, bible reading, 20 minutes of exercise, and a smoothie can go a long way.

On a regular basis, when we don't eat breakfast after not eating all night that can cause our bodies to not function properly. Our brains need healthy fats and protein to function, so do our muscles. Not eating breakfast can cause us to be foggy headed, lethargic, and even cause migraines. By the time lunch rolls around we are starving, and our choices aren't usually wise ones for our next meal. I'm not saying I haven't been there, of course I have. I've also learned how our bodies function best. You'll keep excess weight on by skipping breakfast as well.

A great, simple addition to your morning breakfast repertoire are green smoothies! Yes, I used the words green and smoothie in the same sentence. Adding raw, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard to your smoothies is a great way to ensure you're getting enough greens for the day. We could never eat as many greens on a plate as we can in a smoothie. Greens give us calcium, vitamin C, and a whole host of other vitamins and minerals.

Another component we receive is Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the food for plants, and the greener the plant the more chlorophyll it contains. That's integral for us because chlorophyll cleanses the blood. That allows us to stay healthy. It's a super boost to the immune system.
Check out the video below for how I make a green smoothie.

FYI what I meant to say in the video before you watch about maintaining weight is to drink one smoothie a day for a meal, to lose weight drink two smoothies a day along with a small snack (if you need it) and healthy meal, and to gain weight eat three meals, and use a smoothie as a snack. *I made a mistake which I later noticed about saying to maintain weight drink a smoothie as a snack.

Basic Green Smoothie Recipe

2-3 Handfuls of Organic Baby Spinach
1 Large Banana (optional, adds sweetness and creaminess)
1/2-1 Cup Raw Almond Milk
3 Tbsp Hempseeds (or) 1 Scoop Vega One Protein Powder (or) 1 Scoop Sunwarrior Protein Powder
1 Tbsp Amazing Grass Green Superfood Raw Reserve Powder (or) Healthforce Nutritionals Vitamineral Green Powder (optional)
1 Cup ice

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Protein Options

Protein seems to be such a concern or worry these days. What is so funny is we need a ton less than we think we need, and protein is so easy to attain in our daily diets. We complicate our lives worrying about how much protein we need. It does vary person to person. It changes from male to female as well as activity level. It stands to reason that an athlete requires much more protein than someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle.

One of the easiest ways to get enough protein is to have a varied plant based diet. Most people think that you have to consume large amounts of animal protein, especially meat, to get adequate protein. This simply isn't true. Don't get me wrong, protein is definitely a core part of our daily diets. Nor is it a bad thing to consume a small amount of healthy animal protein like organic grass fed beef, or organic pastured free range poultry and eggs. We wouldn't  be able to stand up straight or have proper muscle growth without it. It's just important to know that you have a lot of choices for a healthy diet.

The more plant foods you consume the better off your body operates. The amino acids that make up the proteins in plant foods are much more sustainable for the environment and our bodies. Plant protein is easier to digest. Most plant foods are lacking all eight amino acids that are considered a complete protein. It's fairly simple to remedy that by being sure to eat a multitude of different colors and types of plant foods. You don't have to keep a close number count or even fret over each meal. Consuming too much protein can cause major health issues in the body as well.

 There are a number of plant foods that have all eight amino acids. These would be great additions to a regular healthy meal plan.
  • Quinoa
  • Hempseed
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Fermented soybeans 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year...New You!

I love the concept of a New Year! New beginnings abound for so many. It's a beautiful idea. It was originally given to us in the Bible through the redemption of Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." Isn't the gospel beautiful? So back to being renewed and redeemed, what are your goals this year? What resolutions have you personally to resolved to that will improve the quality of your life? Is it weight loss, eating a healthier daily diet, using whole foods to heal from a sickness, or implementing exercising? These are all great goals! 

As for healing and using whole foods just for that purpose, I thought that I would share a video to get you started with a fairly basic recipe for kale salad. Kale is probably my favorite dark leafy green. It is loaded with calcium, vitamin C, as well as chlorophyll (the darker the green the more chlorophyll there is and we want chlorophyll because it naturally cleanses our blood.) I remember back when I started changing my diet to a whole foods based lifestyle that kale salad was the first recipe I ever made. I was so excited. I drove down to Whole Foods Market and put a bag of locally grown kale into my basket. I couldn't believe how delicious it was and what I had been missing all these years. I'm going to keep the recipe very simple. 

1 Bunch of organic curly leaf green kale
1 Organic orange bell pepper
1/4-1/3 Cup red onion
1/2 Cucumber
Extra Virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Celtic sea salt