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Sore, Fat, and Tired? The Sugar Connection and How To Kick The Habit.

Did you know that sugar addiction is a major cause of chronic pain, weight gain, and adrenal exhaustion?

In olden days sugar was hard to come by and only consumed in small quanitities. Sugar used to be hard to come by and in early man was only consumed in fiber rich berries, quickly burned with high levels of exercise. In modern times we have access to incredibly concentrated levels of sugar in processed foods, soda, baked goods, and beyond. Unlike natural sugars and slow burning carbohydrates buffered by vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins, processed white sugar is stripped of any nutrients and causes a spike in blood sugar. This causes excitability, nervous tension and hyperactivity followed by a plummet that ends in fatigue, depression, weariness and exhaustion. White sugar is hidden in so many foods these days try finding a salad dressing in your grocery store that doesn’t have sugar in it. White flours can also cause a sugar spike due to their low fiber content and fast absorbing nature. This excess of sugar especially highly processed, white, and nutritionally devoid sugar is addictive and detrimental to the proper flow of energy for our bodies and minds.

 

Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread.  

-William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues.

 

Sugar qualifies as an addictive substance for two reasons:

1. Eating even a small amount creates a desire for more.

2. Suddenly quitting causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue.

 

What about artificial sweeteners instead?

They too send signals to the brain that you are eating a sweet food and ignite the production of insulin the same way sugar does despite the caloric load. Not to mention the destructive chemical nature and irritative qualities fake sweeteners have on your digestion, hormonal health, and ability to cause you to over eat.

Natasha Turner, ND, author of The Super-Charged Hormone Diet, says that artificially sweetened foods could trick you into overeating because of they way they feel in your mouth. "The taste and feel of food in our mouth influences our learned ability to match our caloric intake with our caloric need," she says. High fat, high sugar foods taste both sweet and dense, signaling to your brain that they're high calories. But artificially sweetened foods often have a thinner consistency and texture than sugar-sweetened foods and thus, aren't as satisfying. "Our natural ability to control how much we eat and, therefore, our body weight may be weakened when this natural link is impaired by consuming products that contain artificial sweeteners," she says.

 

So what is the chronic pain and sugar connection?

The cycle of insulin spikes followed by drastic dips in blood sugar will tax your adrenal glands and create a pattern of exhaustion and eventually adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue will cause pain in your mid to lower back, make you feel tired for no reason, make it difficult to bounce back from stress or illness, and ironically cause you to crave salty and sweet snacks. Sugar also aggravates candida (yeast) overgrowth and nutritional deficiencies that can cause or worsen chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia.

 

How do you reduce sugar to change the cycle of addiction, low energy, and weight gain?

Read this infographic to help adopt a low sugar diet to learn how to ditch sugar and

  • Retrain your taste buds
  • Restore sugar sensitivity
  • Heal the digestive tract
  •  Rev up metabolism
  •  Ignite weight loss

Need a solution for a sweet tooth that is filled with slow digesting natural sweeteners, protein, and fiber? Here's my favorite power snack that stops a sugar craving in its track. 

Raw Chocolate Ginger Power Balls

Gluten Free - Raw - Grain Free - Low Sugar - Vegan Friendly - Anti Inflammatory

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts (soaked overnight)
  • 6 tbl raw cacao powder
  • 4 tbl sunflower butter
  • 3 tbl hemp seeds
  • 1/4 tsp pink or sea salt
  • 2 tsp bee pollen powder (optional but amazing flavor and energy boost) 
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 c soaked and pitted dates (soaked overnight)

Instructions

Drain and rinse the walnuts and dates. In the bowl of a food processor blend the walnuts and pitted dates until a paste is formed adding a small amount of water as needed if too dry to blend. 

Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Transfer the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Add 2 tbl of raw cacao to a plate. Using a small disher or two large spoons roll quarter size balls in your hands and then roll in the cacoa powder to coat. Pass back and forth from one hand to the other to allow the excess cacao to fall off. 

Place on a plate and get ready for snacking. Any leftovers keep covered in the fridge. You can also make these in advance and keep these in a ziploc bag in your freezer and take them out as you need them. Leave them to thaw out for an hour or so before eating. This is also a great solution for travel. Bring the frozen snacks in your bag and they will be thawed in time when your hunger strikes. 

You can also roll these in unsweetened shredded coconut or ground nuts.

 

If you need help with your sugar intake schedule a free intro session with me so we can make a plan together! 

 

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3 Simple Meals for Easing into a Plant Based Lifestyle

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3 Simple Meals for Easing into a Plant Based Lifestyle

Not sure how to make plant based food a part of your cooking routine? Start out by replacing one of your meat based meals with one of these simple vegan recipes and you will be on your way to a slimmer waist, better skin, and less inflammation. 

5 Minute Summer Weightloss Salad 

vegan - raw - weightloss - cooling - alkaline - anti inflammatory 

Serves 1-2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 English Cucumber Peeled and Diced
  • 2 Organic Tomatoes (heirloom would be amazing) Diced
  • 1/3 cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 2 Tbl Hemp Seeds
  • 1 Avocado Diced
  • 2 Tbl Hummus (make sure to read your oils for no factory oils like soybean, canola, peanut, etc)
  • Freshly Ground Pepper & Pink Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mix until the hummus is spread throughout and top with freshly ground black pepper. Optional to pair with a slice of raw seed bread (Like Lydia's available for purchase here

"Cheesy" Spaghetti Squash & Spiced Collard Greens 

gluten free - warming - anti inflammatory - grain free 

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS

Colllards

  • 2 tbl divided cultured ghee or sesame oil (or oil of choice safe for cooking) 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 6-8 cups collard greens 
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth 
  • pink salt and black pepper to taste

Squash

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 5 large organic tomatoes (heirloom would be great if you can find them) 
  • 1/3 c nutritional yeast 
  • 4 tsp Flavor God lemon garlic seasoning or 2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/2 - 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and cover the bottom with cultured ghee, sesame oil, or oil fat of choice.   Add  turmeric + ginger powder and allow to bubble. dd prepped collard greens and toss to coat in spice mixture. Add veggie broth and simmer covered until most of the liquid is absorbed and the leaves are soft with just a little bite. Add pink salt and black pepper to taste. 

Bake spaghetti squash whole in oven until easily pierced with a knife or boil in water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Slice open and scrape out "spaghetti". In a large sauté pan add cultured ghee, sesame oil, or fat of choice to cover pan. Add 5 diced tomatoes and satue a few minutes. Add squash, nutritional yeast + flavorgod lemon garlic seasoning and deglaze with veggie broth until a thick cheesy sauce is formed. Add  pink salt and pepper and add more nutritional yeast to taste. 

Portobello Pizza w/ Kale Walnut Pesto

Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Vegan - Grain Free

Serves: 4 mushroom caps

recipe courtesy of www.flavoryourhealth.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 organic Portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 oversized cups chopped organic curly kale (washed, stems removed)
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (depending how much you like garlic!)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛-1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (to taste)
  • Fresh black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse kale leaves in food processor a few times. Then add walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  3. With food processor running, add the olive oil. Scrape sides down, if necessary and blend again. Check for seasoning.
  4. With a damp cloth, clean off mushrooms. Cut stem down and place stem side up on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake mushroom caps on their own for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, place 2 tablespoons of pesto in each cap and spread.
  6. Place back in the oven for 15 mins.

I will be planning a google hangout call to discuss why eating a plant based diet can transform your health. I will give you my method for planning meals and open it up for a Q&A after. If you are interested make a comment below or contact me directly. 

 Make sure to join my private Facebook group "Holistic Solutions to Chronic Pain" for a more intimate setting and TONS of free information. If you feel you need some one-on-one attention reach out to me directly and we can set up a short call to discuss your needs further. You can also check out my "work with me" page for my calendar and more info on health coaching.

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Alcohol + Pain. The dirty secret many hide.

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Alcohol + Pain. The dirty secret many hide.

Welcome to my first ever video blog post! I am so excited to introduce you to a peer of mine named Caitlin Padgett who specializes in redefining peoples relationship with alcohol through holistic nutrition and health coaching. In this video we will talk about alcohol, its effects, and some warning signs that may mean you need to change your habits regarding your use.

Here's what to do:

  1. Watch my video below (its only 10 minutes)
  2. Read the rest of the post below the video. If you don't watch it, the rest won't make sense. 
  3. Leave  a comment below on your relationship to alcohol and follow the links to Caitlin's website. 

 

It’s possible for you to have a life you want too.

You can have control over your relationship with alcohol.

Life doesn’t have to be messy, overly dramatic, or filled with nagging anxiety and self-doubt.

 

While there’s no magic pill, no quick fix, there is a way. A way that honours and celebrates your individuality.

 

Can you imagine waking up in the morning energized about your day, feeling clear and confident, without any gaps in the evening before, only great memories and experiences?

Are you ready to finally be free of shame and regret, and to live a life that is fully, wholly and exquisitely you?

Are you ready to have more authentic fun and adventure than you ever thought possible, without alcohol (or a lot less of it)?

To having honest, fulfilling relationships with friends and partners who honour the best in you?

 

Does this sound like something you want too?

If you know this is something for you, sign up for a free discovery session here. 

 

In case you are still on the fence (though I don’t know why - the first call is absolutely free!!) here are some testimonials from recent clients:

 

From just ONE conversation - check out these results:

"It was so helpful to talk with you last year and I have radically changed my drinking habits as a result...Two things  you spoke about on the calls we had particularly resonated with me. One was about how I was living in a “dimmed” way, not at my full potential, largely due to my drinking habits.

When we spoke I was heavily binge drinking two or three nights a week with “friends”. I think that was about 4 - 6 months ago. The last night like that I had was on my birthday in November, and since then I rarely see those “friends” anymore, I have committed to a daily practice of meditation, shifted my eating habits to be mostly vegan and plant based and have been focusing fully on creating my business. Anyway, I want to say the hugest thank you for taking the time to talk to me that day and to let you know the difference your work has made in my life."

 

Set up a discovery session now for a conversations that can change YOUR life! 

 

And here’s what two of her 1-1 clients have to say:

"I knew I needed to redefine my relationship to alcohol, but I was scared and didn't know where to begin.  Working with Caitlin and the awesome tools she has developed, I decided maintaining sobriety was the best choice for me.  During my period of sobriety and beyond, Caitlin has helped me open up other areas of my life that are now blossoming, and uncover and process deeper truths about myself.  Her gentle, nonjudgmental support has opened me up in ways I didn't think were possible.  I am happier than I have ever been, and I feel excited about what is yet to come."

“I started working with Caitlin exactly one year ago.  During that time, there were many changes in my life and I was negotiating many different relationships in my life at that time, including my relationship to alcohol.  Caitlin’s approach to moderation supported me as I was going through a lot of transition.  Caitlin coached me using a very holistic approach and provided me the tools I needed to facilitate a healthy way of living.  A year later, I feel happier and healthier and am so grateful to Caitlin for her support”
 

If any of this has resonated with you, what are you waiting for? Head over to her website to download her free guide AND get yourself a free Discovery Session! www.caitlinpadgett.com

 

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NSAIDS Destroyed My Stomach, Here’s 5 Alternatives.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs AKA NSAIDS. You probably know these from your local pharmacy shelves under names like Ibuprofen, Advil, Naproxen, Motrin, Aleve, Celebrex, the list goes on and on. 

These drugs block the COX enzymes and reduce prostaglandins throughout the body. Prostaglandins are a family of chemicals that promote inflammation to encourage healing, support blood clotting, and protect the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of acid.  NSAID's will reduce ongoing inflammation, pain, and fever. The downside is that since the prostaglandins that protect the stomach and support platelets and blood clotting also are reduced, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the stomach and promote bleeding.

This is what happened to me. I have been dealing with chronic inflammation for well over a decade and repeated use of NSAIDS caused ulcers, intestinal bleeding, and bad burns in my esophagus. Damage that I am still dealing with today. I struggle with keeping my food down most days, I have had painful gum surgeries to repair the damage my excess stomach acid caused to my gums, and reflux is something I will probably live with for the rest of my life. 

With that being said I understand that pain is pain and sometimes we NEED something to take the edge off or else it can spiral out of control and over take us. What I am proposing is try one of these alternatives before reaching for the pill bottle. The goal is to integrate holistic solutions for pain to reduce chemical based pharmaceuticals as much as possible to avoid the long list of side effects that come with them and avoid long-term damage. Pick a few and leave a comment on what you found to be most effective. 

 

Heat/Ice

It may seem really old school but applying heat or ice can bring down pain fast! I am not a fan of dry heat from heating pads because it can pool blood and increase swelling. I like wet heat. A quick fix is to fill a big sock with rice, tie it up, and microwave for 4-6 minutes (turning over half way through) until hot. Lay these socks on painful areas (these actually travel well and stay warm for road trips). For immediate and acute pain I like ice. 10 minutes on 20 minutes off or until the skin has returned back to its normal temperature. Keep doing these rounds until pain and swelling has reduced. 

 

Epsom Detox Bath

Shut down your pain by slipping into this wonderfully rejuvenating bath. Epsom salt, baking soda, and lavender to soothe and heal. Feel free to use other oils that you respond well with. Use about 3-6 drops per oil and be cautious to not touch your eyes especially if using anything minty.  The bonus feature about Epsom salt is that it helps to detox from toxins and pharmaceutical drugs, which can be very helpful if you have been using over-the-counter or pharmaceuticals or recently had a surgery where a lot of drugs were used. 

 

Bath Recipe: 

Add to hot bath soak for 25-30 minutes and towel dry vigorously to stimulate lymphatic system. Drink a lot of fresh water to replenish. 

 

Breathe

  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. When you breath in deeply, the hand on your belly should rise higher than the one on the chest. We call this belly breathing. 
  • After exhaling through the mouth, take a slow deep breath in through your nose for a count of 4 while internally saying the word "relaxation".
  • Hold the breathe for 7 seconds then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8 while internally saying the word "pain". As you exhale fully, gently contract your abdominal muscles to push the remaining air from the lungs and even let your tongue hang out of your mouth to really expel all the air. Remember we deepen breathing by exhaling deeply not inhaling. 
  • Repeat the cycle internally repeating the words to signify the pain leaving your body on the exhale and filling your body with relaxation on the inhale for four more times for a total of 4 deep breaths. 

 

Essential Oils-

Mix a few drops of these oils into a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil to blend smoothly into the skin. Wash your hands after applying so as to not get any into your eyes. 

Wintergreen/BirchThe wintergreen and the birch tree are the only plant in the world that contains natural methyl salicylate, the main ingredient in aspirin. It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-spasmodic properties, and therefore is often effective against headaches, muscle pain, and stiff joints – anything you would use aspirin for!

Ginger - Has wonderful anti-inflammatory and anti-nauseas properties that can be used for migraines, headaches, arthritis, as an expectorant, stomach ache, chest pain, and back pain

Pan-Away made by Young Living Oils is a wonderful all-in-one blend for pain relief containing

  • Peppermint (has powerful pain-blocking properties)
  • Wintergreen (reduces inflammation)
  • Clove (which is used in the dental industry to numb)
  • Helichrysum (provides anesthetic and analgesic properties)

 

Golden Elixir of the Gods

Make this drink as substitute for over the counter pain meds

Serves 1

Ingredients

  •     1/2 tbl fresh ginger juice or 2 tsp ginger powder
  •     1/2 tsp dried turmeric
  •     8 oz Coconut milk or Goat Milk
  •     1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  •     Wild or raw honey to taste
  •     Pinch of cayenne 

Instructions

  1.    Heat the coconut milk over medium heat until just under a simmer. 
  2.    Add the ingredients and whisk to combine. 

When the milk is steaming and everything is well mixed, pour into a beautiful mug and savor the moment

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The Difference Between Being Sad And Being Depressed.

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The Difference Between Being Sad And Being Depressed.

I had an interesting discussion with one of my mentors recently. I told him I have been really sad lately and unable to move past the fact that for over 4 years I am still in the same place, still healing from more back surgeries, still disabled and not able to fully care for myself. I see my friends, family members, people from my past doing amazing things with their life and I’m still here.  

He said to me:

"You say you are sad but are you actually depressed?"

"Whats the difference?" 

He said the difference between being sad and being depressed is when you are sad you let the emotions out, cry, scream, and truly grieve but then you move on.

Being depressed means you are stuck.

It means your soul, your subconscious, the inner you is on strike. Your brain refuses to deal with the real problem and you just shut down; eat, drink, throw yourself into other people's problems, watch marathons on Netflix, anything that allows you to dis-attach from the reality that you are running from. 

He went on to say Have you ever really allowed yourself to be sad? Have you ever given yourself time to grieve the things, people, and activities that you can no longer do, see, or participate in? Or do you just shove it down, carry on, and hope that some day you will get better and just go back to the “way things use to be”?

It took me a few minutes to process the question. Am I holding on to this pain?  What would letting it go look like? How do I even do that? 

I felt like he was telling me that nothing was ever going to be the same again, that I couldn't go back, that I may not ever be the "same" and that’s not what I wanted to hear. I want to go back, be healthy, and live my life!

But the more we spoke the more I realized that he might be right. I am just waiting for things to miraculously change and go back to the good old times, which in reality no longer exist. Not because good times can’t be had in the future, but more so because we can’t recreate the past no matter how hard we try.

I took a step back from my own view and observed that I do just shove things down and put on my tough girl face. I mean I can’t be sad about these things when there are so many other people worse off, or less fortunate than I am, and I am not going to be like this forever?!? Right? Right? (insert desperate voice here).

 

Maybe I am depressed. 

I realized that I am stuck and the only person that is going to pull me out of this is me.

 

This set off a chain reaction of realizations:

·   No matter how much I want to “go back” it will never be the same as it was.

·     No matter how much I compare myself to others it will never change my circumstance.

·   No matter how much pain and loneliness I experience it will never go away if I keep shoving it down and not allowing the emotions to process in the way they need to.

 

We all have pain and sadness but we can’t allow our pride to push the feelings down so much that we do not give them their proper time to be expressed. Our modern day brains tell us “get over it! Move on! You don’t have time to be sad!” but this only pushes us deeper into the hole of depression and staying “stuck”.

Take the time today to look your problem in the face. Allow yourself to truly feel the emotions, and allow them to happen so you can grieve.

Cry, scream, punch a pillow. LET IT OUT!

 

During this special time make sure to:

·      Give yourself lots of extra attention, self care, and self love. Eat really well, go to bed early, take long baths. Show your body lots of love to nurture it through the process.

·    Avoid alcohol, drugs, or anything that will make you further detach from the emotions you are processing. You need to feel the raw emotions fully with a clear mind and clear heart. It may be painful to be present but once you train yourself to do this, the process of moving on becomes quicker and life is felt on a much deeper level. 

·      Do NOT make any major decisions like moving, changing jobs, ending/starting relationships. Your judgement may be cloudy when you are processing heavy emotions so go slow and stay focused on you.

·      Journal your emotions. Have some inner dialogue about why this is really bothering you, what is going well in your life, and how you want to move forward.

·      Talk to someone outside of your circle. While it is important to share your feelings with the ones you love, make sure that you can share your feelings in a safe place with someone who doesn’t have any emotional connection to the outcome. A mentor, a health coach, a therapist are all great options. Then when you are feeling more balanced about the situation then you can share with others on a deeper level. Just let everyone know you need some “you” time and that should be respected and honored.

·   I like to write down all the things involved with what is plaguing me on a piece of paper and then when I address each issues I light it on fire (outside of course in a safe place) and watch it burn. With every amber falling a piece of your pain is burning away with it. Its a very prophetic exercise that I encourage you to try. 

 

If you are finding  that no matter what you do the waves of grief are so strong that you can not overcome them alone, please find a grief counselor to work on these emotions with in a safe environment. This is a sign of true bravery to reach out for help when the problems are too large to handle on our own. Never feel guilty for needing help. 

The longer we hold to pain, the more it becomes us. Feel the feelings and then let them go. Your heart will be light, your head will be strong, and you body will thank you. 

 

How do you process your sadness? Share some insight in the comments. 

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Steps to Lessen Chronic Pain

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Steps to Lessen Chronic Pain

Chronic pain plagues hundred of millions of Americans everyday and while disease, injury, and depression can be at the root there are plenty of other factors that can dictate the intensity and frequency of the pain itself. I have created an infographic to provide a series of steps to lessen symptoms of chronic pain by decreasing any factors that increase pain and inflammation. In combination with these steps I would pair this with an anti inflammatory diet - download your copy hereThis is in no way meant to diagnose, treat, or cure, any illness or injury but by decreasing any factors that contribute to our pain it provides us a clearer view on the root issues and allows us the ability to take charge and feel powerful in a time of weakness. 

Some additional tips for reducing pain: 1) Kick the butts Cigarette smoking  slows healing, worsens circulation, and increases the risk of degenerative disc problems, a cause of low back pain. I can appreciate the fact that smoking can lessen the immediate stress of pain, I would encourage you to look at the big picture and understand it is a habit that serves no purpose for your health or lifestyle. Explore hypnosis, support groups, and finding a cause that you can get behind to finally kick the habit.  2) Skip the booze While alcohol can temporarily reduce pain and may help you fall asleep, as it metabolizes, it promotes shallow sleep, reduces important REM sleep, and may even wake you. If pain is keeping you up at night I would strongly encourage you to try self hypnosis. I have a download in my store that I use constantly to help me fall and stay sleep available for purchase below. If this idea of trying self meditation/hypnosis sounds wacky to you, I would challenge you that everything you are doing hasn't worked so far, so what do you have to lose? 

Some additional tips for reducing pain:

1) Kick the butts

Cigarette smoking  slows healing, worsens circulation, and increases the risk of degenerative disc problems, a cause of low back pain. I can appreciate the fact that smoking can lessen the immediate stress of pain, I would encourage you to look at the big picture and understand it is a habit that serves no purpose for your health or lifestyle. Explore hypnosis, support groups, and finding a cause that you can get behind to finally kick the habit. 

2) Skip the booze

While alcohol can temporarily reduce pain and may help you fall asleep, as it metabolizes, it promotes shallow sleep, reduces important REM sleep, and may even wake you. If pain is keeping you up at night I would strongly encourage you to try self hypnosis. I have a download in my store that I use constantly to help me fall and stay sleep available for purchase below. If this idea of trying self meditation/hypnosis sounds wacky to you, I would challenge you that everything you are doing hasn't worked so far, so what do you have to lose? 

3) Set limits 

How you care for yourself dictates how your pain is managed.  Over-booking, over-extending, and over-committing to events can lead to stress, anxiety, and in turn will cause a pain spiral. Mitigate expectations to all the people in your life so they are aware of your limitations and are not hurt when you can not be present for certain events. This will make you feel vulnerable and possibly embarrassed but trust me, people do better with more information, not less. Be bold, speak your truth, and trust in the fact that if anyone refuses to understand your situation they shouldn't be in your life in the first place. Your health is your number 1 priority so cut out the noise and put your needs first. 

4) Just breathe

Try meditation, breathe work, and self hypnosis. Staying in control during pain can feel like an impossible task but trust me its very important to not allow your pain to overtake you. I know for a fact that our minds have incredible powers if we take the time to tap into them. The next time you are in an episode of pain try this download for pain management. You will learn techniques for tapping into your powers of controlling your pain that will allow you to calm the immediate stress of your situation and empower you with the tools to tackle your pain the next time it strikes. 

DON'T FORGET TO SHARE YOUR TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MANAGING CHRONIC PAIN BELOW IN THE COMMENTS!

If you find that you are still struggling to control your pain and your attitude surrounding your pain I would encourage you to reach out to me to see if one on one coaching is the right fit for you. I know the struggle inside and out so never think you are alone. We are all in this together. 

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Faces of invisible pain

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Faces of invisible pain

Have you ever watched a person pull into a handicap space, open the door and walk away appearing as if nothing is wrong with them? 

You may even say something to yourself like “ They don’t look handicapped? “ or "What's wrong with them?"

Hopefully this is an internal dialogue because the truth of the matter is many disabilities are not visible to the naked eye.

In fact over 125 million Americans suffer from a myriad of silent chronic conditions ranging from LYME, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Endometriosis, MS, to mental illness.

If you think about it most of us judge health based on physical appearance which is not only an inaccurate way to assess health but incredibly tough for the ailing to convey their pain when their isn’t a visual cue to give onlookers insight into their struggle.  

Trust me. I have spent the last 4 years trying to explain my pain to the people around me. They see a smiling youthful face and they often say comments such as “ you look too pretty to be in pain” or “ how could you be in that much pain and still smile?”  This can be really hard to hear when inside you are screaming but doing your best to at least pretend you are not. Most people living in chronic pain have pretty strong defense mechanisms for this sort of misunderstandings and generally keep their pain to themselves as not to alienate the people around them. Not only does this create an automatic separation from the people around you or the “non suffer’s” but it also continues the cycle for observers to not really connect to the one suffering and keep silent diseases in the dark. 

 

The life of someone living with a chronic pain/illness generally looks like this:

  • Disrupted sleep patterns and overall exhaustion.

  • Painful, stiff mornings which sometimes take hours to push through.

  • Cloudy mind from pain, medications, and/or sleep deprivation.

  • Every day actions like making breakfast or taking a shower can take double the time or just don’t get done due to pain or lack of energy. 

  • Each day bleeds into the next with the only distinguishing difference being the copious trips to the hospital, doctor visits, and if you are lucky enough, desperate attempts at acupuncture, massage, and alternative pain therapies. 

  • A never-ending cycle of flair ups, pain, exhaustion, and isolation. 

 

To share my truth on the subject I struggle with not wanting to speak up about the pain I am in everyday because inside I’m afraid of becoming a burden for bringing misery into the lives around me. The fact of the matter is many people have left me. Many people in my life have disappeared after things just didn’t improve fast enough. Sure people do obligatory phone calls every month or 2 but in general it can be a lonely existence to live in pain everyday or not be able to participate in life like a “normal” person would.  

The reframe to all of this is that you find out really quick who your real friends are when you are sick or injured for an extended period of time. It is also a great lesson of humility to be forced to rely on others for basic needs like food shopping or help with bathing. These moments change you and the people that stick it out with you are bonds that will last a lifetime. 

I started a campaign on Instagram called the #RealFacesofInvisiblePain where I feature different warriors who are fighting silent diseases. It has been an eye opening experience to say the least. The purpose of this blog post and the campaign is to expose healthy, happy people to the truth that hides behind many silent warriors faces. I would encourage you to show more compassion when people share their diseases and injuries with you. LYME, Endometriosis, Crohnes, Rheumatoid Arthritis , MS whatever it may be is an opportunity to ask real questions and find out more about the person behind the disease and allow them a moment to feel heard. Put your selves in their shoes for a moment and imagine if you couldn’t work out anymore, eat many of your favorite foods because of health reasons, or imagine trying to hold down a relationship when you can’t walk or leave your bed. Just because we are sick, in pain, or dealing with a chronic disease doesn’t mean we aren’t the same people with the same needs as everyone else; the need for variety, the need to feel important, and the need to be loved.  Judging someone for their health is just as bad as judging someone for their skin color. Open your mind and let someone in pain into your life, I promise it will be the most rewarding experience you will ever have. 

 

With that in mind I will leave you with the story of one entry I recently received that is a true example of what a silent disease can really look like:  

 

Meet Carrie.  A vibrant young mother of 2 battling MS 

 

“I don't look sick, maybe at that exact moment I didn't even feel sick, I don't remember. My memory isn't what it once was, my cognitive functioning, the firing of neurons, isn't what I it used to be.

I have Multiple Sclerosis. I believe I had my first 'relapse' at 25.  So young, in a foreign developing country with my husband and my right arm when numb. It was difficult to lift, felt like a heavy weight. The neurologist agreed there was decreased sensation and activity, after sticking needle after needle into my right arm. Don't worry I didn't feel it. I recovered and went on until returning to the states and having my second daughter. I did not and do not look sick, never really have.... yet my right arm and leg still went completely numb. I thought I pinched a nerve as I was coaching basketball for fun and to get back in shape.  A young resident recommended an MRI... I thought nothing of it until I received a phone call telling me I had MS.  I was 30 years old with a newborn, a four year old,  a husband who refused to understand, and a completely numb right side of my body... 2007, a year I will never forget for the amazing growth of my daughters and devastating news of my chronic illness. Yet, don't forget the most common response, "you don't look sick!"  

I know.  Thankfully, I suppose, I don't look sick, but I feel it every moment of every day. I fight myself every single morning when the alarm awakens me. I fight to get out of bed, to get my girls ready for school. I fight the government for the rights I deserve by spending years in the workforce paying for exactly the type of people I have become...disabled... I hate to even write the term.  I refuse to give up. I have no choice, I cannot give up, and the government has denied my reality already twice. I don't look sick.... I suffer from severe fatigue, depression (who wouldn't), and the loss of a ten-year marriage because my ex-husband couldn't 'handle' a chronic illness. Numbness, tingling, dropped steps, a general lack of cooperation between my body and my brain, balance issues to name just a few. BUT!!!! I fight on! I drag myself to the coffee pot in the morning. I wake my daughters and help them ready themselves for school... my cognitive abilities aren't what they once were, but by daughters and close friends know not to take offense when I call one 'what's her face'. I have simply forgotten for a short moment. 

Please know I am neither alone nor nearly as disabled as many. I fight on and I succeed and have successes any many of the small things. I maintain and fight if not for myself than for my daughters, but man am I tired! I have learned not to discount anyone’s battles or inner fight. The fight is real.”

 

Please share your story in the comment section below and share share share this article to raise more awareness. 

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Boost your libido this V Day with this superfood...

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Boost your libido this V Day with this superfood...

Maca.

Root. Adaptogen. Libido Enhancer. Superfood. 

Incan warriors used to eat Maca before going into battle because they believed it would give them superhuman strength. In honor of Valentines day I wanted to incorporate this energy and libido boosting superfood into a recipe you can share with your loved one for superhuman energy and love. 

So why is Maca so great? 

  • Maca is a powerful adaptogen used to improve health of your adrenal system, the system that's in charge of managing your body's hormonal response to stress.
  • Maca is a rich source of sterols (shown to help reduce blood cholesterol) including sitosterol, campesterol, ergosterol, brassicasterol, and ergostadienol. 
  • It is high in vitamins B1, B2, C, and E. 
  • Maca is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, sodium, and iron. 
  • It also contains trace minerals including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth, manganese, tin, and silicon. 

While many of the studies conducted for the efficacy of Maca for increase of sexual function are for animals I would still encourage you to experiment in small doses to see how you respond (go slow and keep the doses down to less than a teaspoon to start). This recipe is a perfect place to start because the amounts are kept to a small amount and are compounded with energy boosting foods like antioxidant rich cacao, folate rich hazelnuts, and medium-chain-tryglyceride coconut oil.

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Cacao Maca Hazelnut Butter

 

Vegan - Gluten Free - Grain Free - No Sugar - Libido Boosting 

Makes 1 1/4 cups 

  • 2 cups Hazelnuts 
  • 1/2 cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbl Raw Cacao Powder
  • 2 oz Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbl Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Gelatinized Maca Powder*
  • 1/2 tsp Pink Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Powder or Pure Vanilla Extract 
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 F and roast the hazelnuts slowly until fragrant about 45-60 minutes. Tossing halfway through. *
  2. Roll the hazelnuts in a towel to remove the skins after they have cooled slightly. 
  3. Add the hazelnuts, 1/4 c coconut oil, dark chocolate, and maple syrup to the work bowl of a food processor and process until blended into a thick paste. Transfer to a high power blender and add the remaining ingredients and blend until a smooth thick butter consistency is achieved. (you can try to process in the food processor for 5 minutes but the motor can heat up the nuts and the texture can be a bit grainy)  
  4. Taste for salt and sweetness level. Add more salt and maple syrup according to your taste. Transfer to a glass jar and share with your sweetie. 
  5. Keep refrigerated in between uses. 

*I like gelatinized Maca because the fiber is removed making it easier to digest then regular maca. Experiment with what works for you. 

*For optimal health soak your nuts for 2 hours before roasting. 

Lay out some organic strawberries, a beautiful bowl filled with your libido boosting hazelnut butter, get cozy, and feel the love <3

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New Year Slim Down Stir Fry

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New Year Slim Down Stir Fry

The holidays have come and gone but for many the pounds gained from the free flowing booze and decadent food still remains. 

It can be a tough transition to go from high fat, high starch, dairy, sugar, and gluten filled foods back to green juices, plant based proteins, and nutrient dense foods. My solution is to add big flavor from fresh herbs, warming spices, flavored vinegars, citrus, and healthy fats. 

I keep a big selection of pre sliced prepped vegetables, a flavorful sauce, and some plant based protein like cooked quinoa, lentils or raw hemp seeds ready to go in the fridge for quick weeknight stir fries or salad bowls for lunch. 

Meals constructed this way come to together in minutes and you can change the veggies, protein and sauce to keep the flavors fresh. 

Lower Starch Vegetables that will help you slim down:

  • Asparagus
  • Radishes/Daikon
  • Cabbage 
  • Snow Peas
  • Carrots
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Artichoke
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Bean sprouts
  • Brussels sprouts  
  • Celery
  • Hearts of palm
  • Jicama
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions  
  • Salad greens - chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress (I like to pile hot food on top to wilt slightly)
  • Dark Leafy Greens - Swiss Chard, Collard, Kale, Mustard, Turnip, Dandelion (I like to add these towards the end to keep them fresh)

Use your creativity to make combinations you like best. For some inspiration here is a recipe for my favorite

Anti Inflammation Slim Down Vegan Stir Fry

Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Detox - Anti Inflammation - Alkaline 

Serves 2 

Base

  • 3 cups Low Starch Vegetables Sliced Thin ( I used purple cabbage, carrots, snow peas, daikon, boy choy and swiss chard but use what you want here)
  • 1-2 tbl Macadamia or Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (can be replaced with protein of choice)
  • 2 tbl hemp seeds* See notes
  • 2 tbl chopped cilantro

Sauce

  • 1/4 c sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 c coconut oil (I've used extra virgin olive oil before too for a lighter flavor)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2-1 tsp Korean chili flakes (add more as you please. Also regular chili flakes will be fine)
  • 1 tbl Coconut Aminos or Braggs aminos (experiment with adding both if you like)
  • 1 tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 heaping tbl freshly grated ginger (about a 3'' knob)

For the Sauce:

Add all of the ingredients in the work bowl of your food processor and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning by dipping a raw piece of a vegetable to experience what it will taste like against the food. 

For the Stir Fry

  • In a wok heat the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. 
  • Add the vegetables and cook, stirring often, until softened  about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked protein of choice to the vegetables and add 3 tbl of sauce (1 1/2 tbl per person) along with a 2 tbls of water to thin the sauce. 
  • If you are using leafy greens, now is the time to add them so they won't wilt too much during cooking. 
  • Cook for a few more minutes or until the sauce is heated through and the vegetables are cooked through. 
  • Divide between two bowls and cover with hemp seeds and freshly chopped cilantro. 

Notes:

For a lighter meal you can omit the quinoa and add more hemp seeds. 3 tbl is 10 grams of complete protein to give you an idea of how much to use. I also like to add the same raw veggies, cooked quinoa (or protein of choice) on top of fresh salad greens and use the sauce as a salad dressing for an easy weekday lunch.

What are you eating to keep the weight off this season? 

 

 

Did you overindulge this Holiday and need a little extra help? Sometimes all you need is just a little encouragement to stay focused and thats where I come in. Contact me for a free consultation so we can create a plan to get you back on track fast! 

 

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Anti Anxiety Handbook

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Anti Anxiety Handbook

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“We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves.” – Francis J. Braceland

 I am over the moon about this post as it's a joint post with the talented Melissa Parke Rousseau of M Parke Studio.  Melissa is a Holistic Healing + Detox Specialist, Massage Therapist, + Reiki Healer and I am an Integrative Nutrition + Health Coach who specializes in chronic inflammation + pain management.  Between the two of us, we've been on very intensive healing journeys and have both consequently suffered at the claws of anxiety.  So we decided to collaborate on this Anxiety Handbook to introduce you to some really simple but super effective tools to help infuse a little more calm, stability, and peace into your daily lives.

Anxiety….it is just a beast.  


Anxiety sinks in, little by little, twisting us up.  It can be a drug for some – making us think we are sharper when we are wound up.  But around this time of year, when everything builds up, internally and externally we truly realize – anxiety is our enemy.  I’m sure you can think of a least a few reasons why this is true from your own life.
Melissa has been coping with debilitating anxiety for what she now realizes has been much of my adult life, which worsened since losing my mother to lung cancer and then healing from excruciating Late Stage Lyme Disease.  My battle with anxiety has lasted most of my adult life as well, but has been exacerbated over the last 4+ years due to hormonal imbalances with severe endometriosis, healing from painful spinal surgeries, and the aftermath of nerve damage which causes my nerves to fire randomly creating sharp pain and feelings of inner chaos. With any intensive healing journey, the anxiety roller coaster can be non-stop.  But even if you are not going through a healing journey, life is crazy stressful, especially during the holiday season when so many emotions can be heightened, anxiety can just take over

We want to beat it.  We want to be that calm, cool, and collected person unaffected by the craziness around us at the mall, or on the highway, or in whatever stressful situation you find yourself in this holiday season

 

To be a true ANTI-ANXIETY WARRIOR, we must overcome 3 root causes…


1) Poor nutrition (I’ll just eat that Cinnabon in the mall)
2) Internal stressors (no one will like my presents, I failed)
3) External stressors (that crazy person riding your bumper on the highway)

 

Right now, in the most stressful season of the year, you want emergency solutions.  Through both of our extensive research and experimentation, our ensuing routines and tool kits have expanded to include some pretty powerful tamers.  Stress will always be a part of daily life.  This we know.  But having some solid daily self care routines in place can have such profound grounding and rooting effects that can really help to keep anxiety at bay.  Our guide will help you overcome your anxiety short-term.  However, to make lasting changes in your body and become a powerful Anti-Anxiety Warrior we recommend dedicated work with a health coach like Melissa or myself.

Three of our daily protocols are completely FREE and those include BREATHWORK, EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE, and AROMATHERAPY.  These tools are really quick and easy ways to stop an attack in its tracks.  Imagine you are heading out to the mall to buy those last minute gifts. You steel yourself up for the experience, knowing anxiety will come. You can feel it building. 

It’s a vicious cycle.  STOP THE CYCLE.

Three of our daily protocols are completely FREE and those include BREATHWORK, EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE, and AROMATHERAPY.  These tools are really quick and easy ways to stop an attack in its tracks.  Imagine you are heading out to the mall to buy those last minute gifts. You steel yourself up for the experience, knowing anxiety will come. You can feel it building. 

It’s a vicious cycle. STOP THE CYCLE

Anxiety….it is just a beast.  

Anxiety sinks in, little by little, twisting us up.  It can be a drug for some – making us think we are sharper when we are wound up.  But around this time of year, when everything builds up, internally and externally we truly realize – anxiety is our enemy.  I’m sure you can think of a least a few reasons why this is true from your own life.

I have personally been coping with debilitating anxiety for what I now realize has been much of my adult life, which worsened since losing my mother to lung cancer and then healing from excruciating Late Stage Lyme Disease.  Caitlin’s battle with anxiety has lasted most of her adult life as well, but has been exacerbated over the last 4+ years due to hormonal imbalances with severe endometriosis, healing from painful spinal surgeries, and the aftermath of nerve damage which causes her nerves to fire randomly creating sharp pain and feelings of inner chaos. With any intensive healing journey, the anxiety roller coaster can be non-stop.  But even if you are not going through a healing journey, life is crazy stressful, especially during the holiday season when so many emotions can be heightened, anxiety can just take over.

We want to beat it.  We want to be that calm, cool, and collected person unaffected by the craziness around us at the mall, or on the highway, or in whatever stressful situation you find yourself in this holiday season.

1.  A SIMPLE BREATHWORK ROUTINE FOR A CALM MIND

Alternate Nostril Breathing, or Nadi Sodhana
(Purification of Nadis or Channels)


The exercise produces optimum function + balance to both sides of the brain: that is optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity.  The yogis consider this to be the best technique to calm the mind and the nervous system.
•    With finger holding right nostril close, breathe in on the left
•    Transfer finger to alternate nostril, exhale breath on the right
•    Inhale deeply on the right, close right nostril, and exhale on the left
•    Inhale deeply on left, close left nostril, and exhale on right
•    Repeat 10 times each side for a total of 5 rounds

2.  EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE TO CALM PEAK ANXIETY

You just finished your trip. Maybe someone was particularly rude. Maybe you couldn’t get what you needed and it feels like a disaster. Whatever situation caused this peak anxiety, you need a tool to center yourself and regain control. We practice EFT paired with deep belly breathing to weather these strong attacks. Try this therapy when you have a quiet moment to reflect.

Use the fingertips of your index finger and middle finger of one hand to tap firmly but not too hard on one, some, or all of the following places while breathing deeply from my belly. Recite a positive mantra while you do.

My mantra usually sounds something like this: “I control my thoughts, anxiety passes through me. Power stays with me.”  Melissa's is “I am love, beauty, compassion, magic + joy.”  There’s no room for anxiety in that!

 

TAPPING POSITIONS

 

1. Top of the Head (TH)

With two hands and fingers back-to-back tap down the center of the skull.

2. Eyebrow (EB)

Using two hands tap just above and to one side of the nose, at the beginning of the eyebrow.

3. Side of the Eye (SE)

Using two hands tap on the bone bordering the outside corner of the eye.

4. Under the Eye (UE)

Using two hands tap on the bone under an eye about 1 inch below your pupil.

5. Under the Nose (UN)

Using one hand tap on the small area between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip.

6. Chin (Ch)

Using one hand tap midway between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip. Even though it is not directly on the point of the chin, we call it the chin point because it is descriptive enough for people to understand easily.

7. Collar Bone (CB)

Using one or two hands tap the junction where the sternum (breastbone), collarbone and the first rib meet. This is a very important point and in acupuncture is referred to as K (kidney) 27. To locate it, first place your forefinger on the U-shaped notch at the top of the breastbone (about where a man would knot his tie). From the bottom of the U, move your forefinger down toward the navel 1 inch and then go to the left (or right) 1 inch. This point is referred to as CollarBone even though it is not on the collarbone (or clavicle) per se.

3.  AROMATHERAPY

Aromatherapy is one of Melissa's absolutely favorite go-to’s to quell an impending attack, to lift the spirits + redirect focus.  She has bottles of rosewater spray that she has added drops of her favorite essential oils such as Geranium, Lemon, Orange, + Pine stashed everywhere: by her bedside, in her car, by her blender, in her purse.  She will spray these multiple times a day around her aura and space and do her breathwork routine along with it or simply take 10 very deep breaths.  Sometimes she will even just rub some Lemon Essential Oil on the inside of her nostrils, so she can breath that in for a while.  It shifts the focus, uplifts your spirit, unclouds your brain, and gently brings you to the present moment.

Our other incredibly effective protocols include using SUPPORTIVE TEAS, FLOWER ESSENCES, L-THEANINE, SOOTHING ADAPTOGENIC TONIC HERBS and using NUTRITION and our CALMING + GROUNDING RECIPES to set your body up for success.

4.  SUPPORTIVE TEAS TO SIP THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Melissa and I love Passionflower and Holy Basil, both a must to have on hand to help with stress.   In addition, I love soaking goji & schisandra berries in hot water and drinking that throughout the day.  For days that I find myself a bit more gloomy, I love Kava Kava.  Melissa personally adores all things Rose and loves to sip on Rose tea year round, which can help alleviate depression + fatigue.

5.  FLOWER ESSENCES

It has become my belief that the answers to all healing for mind, body + spirit can be found in nature.  Flower remedies are powerful, but subtle at the same time.  They penetrate deep into the body, mind + spirit, but in a gentle way. They heal, but support while doing so.

Melissa was introduced to the Bach Flower Essence line many years ago and have been using them on and off since.  One that has remained as my go to savior over the past 5-6 years has been their RESCUE REMEDY, which has helped me immensely to manage my intense stress and anxiety issues.  And lately I’ve been using a combination (they can and are meant to be used together) to help guide me through my healing roller coaster.

BUT IT’S JUST SO SUBTLE.  One day you wake and realize, “huh, that feeling of deep worry and drowning fear that was all-consuming yesterday isn’t with me today.  My thoughts feel more manageable and are not spinning around like they were.  My head doesn’t feel quite so full of scary shit.  I feel calm, and wow, do I feel content?  I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that before.  It is quite a powerful thing to feel!”

WHAT ARE THEY | There are 38 remedies in all, each with its own healing power.  “The original Bach Flower Remedies is a safe and natural method of healing discovered by Dr. Bach in the 1920-30th in England. They gently restore the balance between mind and body by casting out negative emotions, such as, fear, worry, hatred and indecision which interfere with the equilibrium of the being as a whole. The Bach Flower Remedies allow peace and happiness to return to the sufferer so that the body is free to heal itself.  The Bach Flower Remedies are made from wild flowers and are safe for the whole family including pets.

The remedies are preserved in grape based brandy and are gluten free.”

HOW ARE THEY MADE | “The Bach Flower Remedies are made 100% naturally from spring water infused with wild flowers, either by the sun-steeped method or by boiling.  The Remedies are hand produced exclusively in England. They contain 27% grape based brandy as a preservative.  Or the alcohol free versions are preserved in glycerin made from sunflowers.”

HOW DO THEY WORK | “The Bach Flower Remedies are a safe and natural method of healing.  They gently restore the balance between mind and body by casting out negative emotions, such as, fear, worry, hatred and indecision which interfere with the equilibrium of the being as a whole.  The Remedies allow peace and happiness to return to the sufferer so that the body is free to heal itself.”

Melissa's favorite combination of essences is RESCUE REMEDY (this is just one of many, so be sure to take a look at all 38 of the remedies HERE.)

Dr. Bach created an emergency combination of Remedies which he called Rescue Remedy.  It contains five different Remedies: Star of Bethlehem, Clematis, Impatiens, Cherry Plum and Rock Rose.  Rescue Remedy is worth carrying with you in case of emergencies or everyday stress.  Rescue Remedy helps you go through difficult situations, stressful events, and an exam or job interview in a calm and relaxed matter.

6.  ARM YOURSELF WITH L-THEANINE

This supplement, sometimes referred to as “Herbal Zanax”, comes from an active ingredient in green tea. Take this herbal remedy during high-anxiety situations and feel much more relaxed.  L-Theanine reduces anxiety by increasing GABA levels in the brain. GABA, a neurotransmitter, helps regulate brain activity by slowing down the firing of the neurons. Many other popular modalities of anxiety relief like alcohol, cannabis, and some sedatives get their effect from boosting GABA in your brain.  Taking GABA on its own would be seem the obvious solution, but GABA is inconsistent with breaking the brain/blood barrier and can be ineffective for many.

WHY L-THEANINE? | People who are prone to anxiety tend to naturally have more beta wave activity (beta waves are associated with alertness ), and less alpha wave activity (alpha waves are associated with a more restful, relaxed state). There are some studies* showing that L-Theanine increases alpha waves and therefore reduces anxiety.

Insider Tip on L-Theanine:  For an extra anti-anxiety boost, I pair my L-Theanine with other balancing adaptogenic herbs.  My favorite anxiety cocktail for daytime use is 400mg of L-Theanine, a ¼-1/2 teaspoon of Ashwaganda, and 1-2grams of Rhodiola for a smooth and powerful focus.

Be Advised: Rhodiola fights fatigue, so if it’s closer to bedtime avoid taking it.

7.  CALMING + SOOTHING TONIC RECIPE

Melissa concocted this soothing warm beverage with my favorite supportive, calming, tonifying adaptogenic powders.

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 12oz raw Cashew Mylk or your favorite substitute
  • 2 Dates
  • 1/2t Ashwaganda (harmonizes the mind, body, + spirit)
  • 1t Macuna Pruriens (soothes the nervous system, elevates mood)
  • pinch of nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon
  • pinch Himalayan salt

warm very slightly | breathe in | breathe out | savor

8.  CAITLIN’S GROUNDING BEET BURGERS

Make these delicious Beet Burgers with Avocado Sauce to set your body up for success. The beets ground your energy and help reduce feelings of anxiety. The fat from the avocado satiates you and keeps your mind sharp. This meal lays the groundwork for your anxiety free trip by giving your body just what it needs and is perfect for leftover cooked quinoa and roasted veggies.  I use beets because of the effect they have on grounding our energy. Feel free to substitute with any other root vegetable combination.

INGREDIENTS

BURGERS

  • 1 cup roasted beets cooled to room temperature (see notes for instructions)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa cooled to room temperature
  • 1 onion sautéed until soft or just roasted along side the beets
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Korean chili flakes
  • 1 tbl Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp Pink Salt

AVOCADO SAUCE

  • 1 avocado
  • 15 sprigs basil or ¼ cup firmly packed
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • ¼ tsp pink salt or to taste
  • 10 turns freshly ground pepper

ASSEMBLY

  • Butter Lettuce Leaves
  • Raw Veggies Sliced Paper Thin (carrots, zucchini, tomatoes)

FOR THE BURGERS

In the work bowl of a food processor add the cooled beets, the cooled onions, egg, and lemon juice and process until a smooth mixture is formed.

Transfer the beet mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Form into small burgers about the size of your palm. (they fit better inside lettuce wraps when they are smaller) and set aside on a plate.

Heat a skillet up with 1-2 tbl of macadamia or coconut oil over medium high heat.

Add the burgers to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Transfer the burgers to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes each side.

FOR THE SAUCE

Remove the pit of the avocado, scoop the flesh out of the shell and add it to your food processor or blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend/process until smooth.

TO ASSEMBLE

Allow to cool and add one or two inside a big lettuce leap, smear with some avocado sauce and stuff as many veggies as you can to create this lip smacking, energy grounding, nourishing burger feast.

To Roast Beets and Onions – Wearing gloves to avoid staining your hands, peel the beets and remove the outer layers of the onion. Chop into similar size pieces and toss with melted ghee, macadamia oil, coconut oil or another oil that stands up to high heat. Roast on a sheet pan for 20 minutes in a 400F oven, toss and cook for another 10-15 until softened and starting to gain color.

 

 

Aromatherapy is one of my absolutely favorite go-to’s to quell an impending attack, to lift the spirits + redirect focus.  I have bottles of rosewater spray that I’ve added drops of my favorite essential oils such as Geranium, Lemon, Orange, + Pine stashed everywhere: by my bedside, in my car, by my blender, in my purse.  I’ll spray these multiple times a day around my aura and space and do my breathwork routine along with it or simply take 10 very deep breaths.  Sometimes I’ll even just rub some Lemon Essential Oil on the inside of my nostrils, so I breath that in for a while.  It shifts the focus, uplifts your spirit, unclouds your brain, and gently brings you to the present moment.

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Chronic Pain Holds you back. Break Free.

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Chronic Pain Holds you back. Break Free.

Chronic Pain Holds You Back. Break Free.

 

Chronic pain saps you, filling you with fear.

I have lost time and money to my pain, I have lived in fear of my pain.

Then I found ways to break free.

 

Ironically, if I didn’t have debilitating health issues I wouldn’t be pursuing my passion: helping others who live with chronic pain and injuries

 

Once I learned first-hand the power of chronic pain as a negative force, I knew I had to help others out there defeat it. I started learning how to manage my pain to have enough energy and focus to help others. I still had this nagging thought in the back of my mind - I should wait until I'm healed to fully pursue my coaching practice.

 

Then a lightning bolt stuck -

 

”What if this is it? What if I never get any better and this is the pain and body I have to live in for the rest of my life? “

We have to accept where we are right NOW or else we will end up waiting forever for that "someday" that may never come. 

In that spirit, I have fully committed to my coaching practice despite still living with pain. If I can drive forward despite these issues, so can you. Know that, believe that. 

Here are your strategies for positive change. Use them and you can feel so much better in your day. 

 

Shut up, close your eyes, and breathe….

Control your breathing, control your mind.

1) Practice Kundalini Yoga breath of Fire 

- Perfect if you have energy but physically cant workout

- Puts you back in control of your body

2) Practice 4-7-8 breathing 

- Resets your mind

- Centers you for more mental control over your pain

3) Full Counting Meditation 

- Find your peace

- Set positive intentions for your day

 

Write an action list of 3 tangible things you CAN accomplish today.

Create your own “wins” for the day

These don’t have to be ground breaking, but they do have to be manageable. Write down simple things that you know you can do. Crossing things off a list will make anyone feel productive, even if you can’t get out of bed.

 

Make a stack of notecards with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations work.

When you’re in pain, reading a note that has special meaning can snap life back into perspective. Make it real, make it personal.

Some examples of my personal stash are “your family unconditionally loves you” “you live in a safe, warm, home with plenty of nourishing foods at your disposal” “You are brave, beautiful, and you WILL get through this”

Get the point?

 

Have a go-to list of things that make you feel amazing.

When you are at your worst it can be hard to remember what makes you better.

Create a personal “handbook” of things you know make you feel better. On a rough day, do as many as you need. This handbook will act as a guide for your loved ones as well by giving them clear ways to make you feel better.
 

As I type this, I’m in pain. But that’s the point, I’m still typing this. I truly believe there lies within all of us the ability to manage our pain and be positive leaders of our tribes. I use my pain as a motivator to help others. It drives me.

 

Use these strategies and show the world you can manage your pain. Be a leader in your world. Shine your light for someone you know living with pain.


Let’s make our world a little brighter.

 

Here is some homework for that comment box below:

What is your best tool in your emotional toolbox for handling a challenging day?

What is your favorite positive mantra? 

 

2 Comments

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Thanksgiving Sweet Potato's Get a Makeover

Holy moly...did you realize that Thanksgiving is less than a week away?

You did? I didn't ahhhh! 

I have been so busy working on my new website and healing from my last surgery that I almost forgot about the big holiday coming up! Instead of serving you some played out dish you have seen a thousand times before, I decided to take a Turkey day staple and turn it on its head. Here, the common sweet potato puts on some fancy accessories with my gem salad, and sweet potato bites with seasonal winter toppings. This salad would also be a great leftover recipe to use up extra roasted veggies and nuts from your Thanksgiving day spread. These recipes are clean, flavorful, and EASY a word we all seem to misplace during this time of year. 

 

Sweet Potato Gem Salad 

Serves 4

Grain Free - Sugar Free - Alkaline - Vegetarian 

Ingredients

  • 4 large Sweet Potatoes cut into small squares
  • 2 Tbl Ghee, Macadamia Oil, or Coconut oil melted
  • 1 Pomegranate, seeds prepped and set aside
  • 1/4 C Goat Milk Feta
  • 1/4 C Pumpkin Seeds
  • Salad Greens
  • 1 Tbl Honey
  • 1 Tbl Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 425F
  2. Toss the diced sweet potatoes in the melted fat, sprinkle with pink salt and black pepper and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes. 
  3. Toss the potatoes with a spatula and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until they are soft on the inside and light browned and crunchy on the outside.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are cooling make the salad dressing.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard in a glass bowl or jar and whisk to combine. 
  6. While still whisking slowly stream in the olive oil until you create a thick emulsion. 
  7. Toss enough salad greens for four people with the salad dressing. 
  8. Add the greens to a large bowl and sprinkle with roasted sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds over the top. 
  9. Crumble the goat cheese and top with black pepper.
  10. Serve and enjoy! 

 

Try the same ingredients in a different style..

 Sweet Potato "Crackers" with Pomegranate and Feta

A great holiday appetizer for people avoiding grains, gluten, and meat. 

Grain Free - Sugar Free - Alkaline - Vegetarian 

Ingredients

  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes cut across into even rounds 
  • 2 Tbl Ghee, Macadamia Oil, or Coconut oil melted
  • 1 Pomegranate, seeds prepped and set aside
  • 1/4 C Goat Milk Feta
  • 1/4 C Pumpkin Seeds

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 425F
  2. Toss the sliced sweet potatoes in the melted fat, sprinkle with pink salt and black pepper and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Flip the potatoes with a spatula and place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges and cooked through.  
  4. Once the potatoes are cool to touch, spread some goat cheese on each one.
  5. Sprinkle generously with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and black pepper. 

 

What will be on your Thanksgiving table this year? 

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Anti Inflammatory Spice Rub

Organic Gourmet Hot Ground Spices

Some of you may or may not know this but I am currently recovering from back surgery. Booooo. 

Since I can’t really cook my family has been making all my meals and stacking them up in cute little containers which we so appropriately call MRE’s (MEAL ready to eat…we are military family if you couldn’t tell). One of the recipes that is a staple for these precious packages is this  spice rub…

My mom mixes this with melted grass-fed ghee, smothers it over halved brussels sprouts and bakes for 35-40 minutes until crispy. I have come to associate the smell of this spice rub with healing and now I want to share it with you. 

It is basically a mash-up of turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, and so much more! Grab you favorite curry powder, garam masala, smoked paprika and make triple batches of this so you can always have it on hand. The huge amount of turmeric, ginger, and black pepper help aid in inflammation and digestion which is why this is a must have for anyone with arthritis, chronic pain, or auto immune diseases. 

This spice rub is  > Franks Red Hot …... because I put this stuff on everything! ;) 

My favorite uses:

  •  Sprinkled on hard-boiled, scrambled, or eggs of any kind. 
  • Mixed into melted ghee and tossed with veggies roasted until crispy (check out my favorite brand OMghee here
  • Sprinkled on chicken, pork, beef, fish, basically any protein!
  • Toss into freshly made french fries or sweet potatoes. 
  • Sprinkle over freshly popped organic popcorn.

Whip up a triple batch of this (because once you’ve tried it you will not able to live without)

What is your favorite spice, and how do you use it? 

Anti Inflammatory Sweet & Smokey Spice Rub

Yields 6

Raw - Vegan - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - No Sugar 

Ingredients

  1. 3 Tbl Smoked Paprika
  2. 2 Tbl Curry Powder (I prefer a mild curry but use your favorite brand)
  3. 1 Tbl Garam Masala (brand recommendation Frontier spices)

Instructions

  1. Mix the spices up, place in an airtight jar, and store in a dry cool place.

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Chunky Monkey Superfood Smoothie

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Chunky Monkey Superfood Smoothie

Ready for a snack chock silly with super foods that tastes like Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream…

milkshake

No you can have your cake and eat it too….well smoothie not cake but you get the idea. The only prep for this is that you will need to chop up some bananas and stash them in the freezer. The frozen bananas, cacao, & nut butter blend together so that this smoothie tastes like a frozen reeses cup but without all the added sugar and nasties. Amazing.

Make this the next time you are craving sweets and don’t forget to put a pinch of sea salt in your smoothies to provide some necessary minerals and to really make the flavor pop!

Chunky Monkey Superfood Smoothie

Serves 2

Raw - Vegan - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo - Primal - No Sugar

Ingredients

  1. 2 Frozen Bananas
  2. 2 Tbl Raw Cacao Powder
  3. 4 dates pitted
  4. 2 Cups Non Dairy Milk (hemp, almond, coconut, etc)
  5. 2 Tbl Nut or Seed Butter (almond, sunflower, etc)
  6. Pinch sea salt

Optional Superfood boosters

  1. 1/2 Cup Swiss Chard, Romaine, or leafy green of choice (for minerals, vitamins, and fiber)
  2. 1 Tbl Hemp Seeds (for added protein and a plant based source of Omega 3's)
  3. 1/2 tsp Maca (for endocrine and hormonal support)
  4. 1/2 tsp Mucuna (for nerve support and to balance the caffeine in the cacao)
  5. pinch of cayenne (for metabolism boost)

Instructions

  1. Blend the ingredients until smooth; adding more non dairy milk to thin as needed.

Notes

  1. I add all of these superfood boosters to my smoothies for optimal energy and nutrition!

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Detox naturally with cilantro

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Detox naturally with cilantro

Want to have better digestion, energy, and lose weight but don’t want to go on a full on juice cleanse? 

Embrace the power of cilantro…

cilantro-de

Ok so there are more ways to detox other then just cilantro, but it helps a lot more then you may think. Did you know that cilantro has tiny ions that bind to heavy metals in a process called chelation that help flush them out of your system? 

Check out some other facts about this versatile powerhouse:

  • Cilantro is a remarkable heavy-metal detoxifier and is able to remove mercury and aluminum from where it is stored in the adipose (fat) tissues with greater results over long term use. 
  • Cilantro herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. However, its deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” while rising HDL or “good cholesterol” levels.
  • A study published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, demonstrated that cilantro was capable of preventing salmonella from causing ill effects. 
  • Cilantro is also very helpful with autoimmune disorders such as Fibromyalgia, Addison’s Disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, IBS, Multiple Sclerosis, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • When juiced and consumed as part of a regular routine, cilantro is known to help reduce the amount of damaged fats found in cell membranes.
  • Cilantro is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K; providing about 258% of DRI. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones.

 Here are some quick tips on how to naturally detox without going on a specific “cleanse” or “fast”:

  1. Drink warm lemon water every morning before you eat, drink, or do anything else
  2. Add in apple cider vinegar to water and drink before meals to aid in digestion, weight loss,  and for a natural source of probiotics
  3. Cut out “white” products: white flours, white sugars, and yes white starches (this means paleo flours too like arrowroot and potato starch)
  4. Eliminate or greatly reduce intake of high mercury fish like tuna, mackerel, shark, swordfish, and mackerel. If you do eat these make sure to double up on your cilantro intake at that meal. When choosing fish make sure to pick wild caught, smaller fish that are not on the endangered list like salmon, sardines, and trout. 
  5. Sweating is a great way for your toxins to find an exit out of your body so get moving! Pick your poison: working out, sauna, dance contest in the backyard it doesn’t matter just as long as you work up a sweat.
  6. Add in high fiber foods to aid in elimination like chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, high fiber fruit and vegetables. Also make sure to take a high quality probiotic or increase your intake of naturally fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, pickles, and sauerkraut. 
  7. Crowd your plate with organic fresh, raw, and lightly steamed low starch vegetables. If you eat meat consider taking a short break and try some new plant based forms of protein like soaked quinoa, spirulina, chlorella, hemp, or soaked nuts and seeds to give your body a break from the acidic load of meat.  When you re-introduce meat make sure to limit your portions and only consume high quality grass fed meats and pastured animals. 
  8. Add in detoxifying foods to help continual kidney and liver cleansing: parsley, cilantro, dandelion root, licorice root, cayenne, turmeric, red pepper, garlic, lemon, lime, grapefruit, sea vegetables (seaweed salad, nori, dulse), artichokes, beets, cruciferous vegetables, wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella and milk thistle.

Check out my sweet and savory detox smoothie using cilantro as the main star!

Green smoothie with parsley on wooden table

Sweet and Savory Detox Cilantro Smoothie

Serves 2

vegan - raw - sugar free - gluten free - grain free - paleo - alkaline

Ingredients

  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 Tbl hemp seeds (or flax seeds would work)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 1/2-2 cups non dairy milk (almond, hemp, coconut, etc)
  • 1/2 juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 (about 3'') piece of cucumber
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the non dairy milk, the cilantro, and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth adding more milk to thin if needed.

Notes

  1. Note
  2. If you hate cilantro adding mint can help subdue the flavor or just add more pineapple or banana to reduce the cilantro taste.

 

Learn more: 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9529/16-ways-to-detox-every-day.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/044301_cilantro_health_benefits_heavy_metal_detoxification.html#ixzz3BVpW9LQY

http://www.resully.com/healthy-eating/amazing-health-benefits-of-cilantro/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cilantro.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/042100_cilantro_body_detoxification_herbal_medicine.html#ixzz3BVp5efol

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Clean energy snack - Superfood trail mix

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Clean energy snack - Superfood trail mix

As some of you may or may not know I am laid up awaiting my fourth back surgery this month. This one will be a big one and due to some major allergies I can not tolerate pharmaceutical drugs (which I think is a blessing in disguise, albeit a painful one, but still a blessing). Instead I will be employing every ounce of knowledge I have about alternative medicine, healing techniques, and most importantly holistic nutrition to heal and cope through this tough time.

Some think that when you are in a time of physical crisis ( i.e. sick, injured, or even depressed) is a time to turn to comfort foods but I am adamantly opposed to this concept. The time when you are at your lowest is the MOST important time to fuel your body with nutrient dense food to accelerate healing. I also believe that feeding yourself nourishing food at any time is a beautiful way to honor the body you have been given no matter what state it is in. 

Since I can’t do much in the way of cooking I want to show you something I have been eating that doesn’t take much in the way of effort but packs a huge nutritional punch.

Check out this superfood trail mix that requires no cooking at all!

superfood trail mix words

Here is the run down of what each of these foods offer nutritionally to make them “super foods”

  • Cacao nibs/cacao is one of nature’s richest dietary sources of magnesium and is also an excellent source of iron and dietary fiber.

  • Cashews provide an impressive profile of beneficial oils and an ideal ratio of healthy saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source of plant-based protein, iron, and trace minerals.

  • Goji berries are a high source of protein, a wealth of antioxidants and over 20 vitamins and minerals.

  • Goldenberries contain a high amount of carotene and bioflavonoids, vitamins A and C.

  • Mulberries contain iron, calcium and vitamin C along with dietary fiber and resveratrol.

Please be conscious of the sources of your nuts and fruits to make sure they are coming from reputable sources (I have linked organic and reliable companies above). I also soak my cashews and pumpkin which removes anti-nutrients (compounds that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients), increases nutrient density, and makes the nuts more digestible. This is optional but highly recommended if you have the time. Instructions are in the recipe below

No matter what state you are in you can add equal parts of each of these ingredients, portion it out in 1/4 cup servings and pack them up in portable containers so you have power food on the go (in the car, hiking, or even at your desk for a late afternoon snack). You can top off your favorite yogurt, smoothie, or salad with this mix or do what I do and make it into a cereal!

Add a 1/4 cup of the trail mix with some plant based protein powder into a bowl and top it with a non dairy milk for an instant and delicious morning cereal. SO. GOOD.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients you can make an even simpler version using just pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, and only one of the dried fruits (mulberries, gojis, or golden berries) and mix those in equal proportions. I pick whatever is cheaper that week to make this and remember to keep your serving size to fit in the palm of your hand because dried fruits sugars have been concentrated in the drying process. I must also add that Nutivas naturals just came out with this same exact trail mix already mixed so you skip buying all the ingredients separately and purchase it here. I will admit its a bit more expensive to buy it pre made but that is for your to decide what will suit your needs best. 

My family will be helping me document my food, supplements, and pain management techniques during my pre and post recovery period on my social media platforms so make sure to follow my journey!

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK 

Superfood Trail Mix

Serves 12

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free - Refined Sugar Free

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c Cacao Nibs
  • 1/2 c Goji Berries
  • 1/2 c Mulberries
  • 1/2 c Goldenberries
  • 1/2 c Cashews
  • 1/2 c Pumpkin Seeds

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to an airtight container and store in a cool dry place or portion out in 1/4 cup servings in baggies for on the go nutrition!

Notes

  1. Feel free to not use all three dried fruits, its a personal choice and it boils down to which ones you want to buy or what is most available to you.
  2. I like to soak my nuts and seeds because it removes anti-nutrients (compounds that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients), increases nutrient density, and makes the nuts more digestible.

Here is how I do it

  1. In a large glass bowl or mason jar add the nuts/seeds and cover with warm, filtered water (about a 2:1 ratio) and about ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt. Cover with a light cloth for 8 hours (overnight is perfect). Rinse thoroughly and drain. I allow mine to dehydrate in an oven at its lowest temperature until dried (4-8 hours) or in a dehydrator to achieve a crispy texture but they can be eaten right away they will just have a squishy texture.

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Nutrition on the go - Top 10 Raw Bars

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Nutrition on the go - Top 10 Raw Bars

If I hear one more time from someone that “they don’t have time to eat healthy” I’m going to lose it. 

Lets get serious guys about eating right, being prepared, and ditching the excuses!

Here are 5 NO BAKE, RAW, VEGAN recipes for bars or balls of delicious nutrient dense food that are made in minutes, can accompany you on your craziest of days, and be ready when you need some fast fuel. And for all of you out there who still “don’t have the time” I have attached 5 store bought bars that are approved by my standards (no gluten, no grain, no sugars, no junk!) 

Dark Chocolate Energy Ball by OhSheGlows.com

IMG_8631

 

Date-Cherry-Ginger-Orange-Coconut-Bars by OneGreenPlanet.org

 Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.54.09 AM

Superfood Energy Bars with Cacao by this RawsomeVeganLife.comIMG_3960

 

Chamomile Lemon Ginger Bars by OneGreenPlanet.org

9701d5ae7148d1088f0e19d7deba2ad6

Lemon Coconut Cashew Pineapple Energy Bars by Bakergal.com

IMG_0673_2

 

Here are 5 Bars you can buy already made that are approved by the

Transform Your Food standards: 

NO GLUTEN!  NO GRAINS! NO REFINED SUGARS! NO JUNK!

Check out these Cherry Pistachio RAW Protein Bars by Dales Raw Foods

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.13.20 AM

The Bearded Brothers have 4 awesome flavors of these Raw/Vegan/ Energy Bars – Chocolate Maca, Raspberry Lemon, Vanilla Blueberry, and Coconut Mango…HELLO! 

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.24.38 AM

 

GO RAW Spirulina Energy Bar 

Go-Raw-Organic-Spirulina-Energy-Bar-Gluten-Free-859888000035

 

Cacao Hemp Walnut Bars by Thunderbird

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.32.30 AM

Paleo Energy Raw Bars for pre/post workout by Dales Raw Foods

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.20.45 AM

 

 

No more excuses! Pack a few of these in your bag so you are never without a healthy, easy option for staying fueled on the go.

 

 

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Fight inflammation with these delicious smoothies!

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Fight inflammation with these delicious smoothies!

Do you or anyone you know have ADD/ADHD, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, thyroid issues, dental issues, chronic pain, celiac, allergies, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or cancer? If you answered yes to any of these disorders you are dealing with inflammation. Inflammation affects every aspect of our bodies and over all health. The majority of inflammation starts in the gut causing an auto immune reaction that progresses into systemic inflammation. The scariest part is that this type of “chronic” inflammation can be silent, meaning you may not notice the signs or symptoms right away. If you want to fight and prevent disease, combat pain, and maintain your weight naturally the best thing you can do is keep inflammation at bay with what you put on your fork. e84a8247647c6b8a926b297ba7c2be2d 88ddbea450639cf454628130c01daad4    So now that we know which foods to eat and which foods to avoid lets make these ingredients shine in some delicious and powerfully nutritious smoothies!!! Blueberry Walnut Anti Inflammation smoothie Cinnamon, blueberries, and walnuts make a delicious way to calm your inflammation and give a boost of antioxidants to your day. You can switch the walnut milk out for hemp milk to save on time (blend 2 cups water + 3tbl hemp seeds for instant hemp milk) because hemp helps fight inflammation and has high protein and healthy fats. Get the full recipe here.    Pain Relief Turmeric Smoothie Turmeric is one of the most powerful foods to fight inflammation. Pair it with chia, coconut oil, mangos, and ginger and you have a pain relieving, inflammation fighting, superfood treat in minutes.  Strawberry Refresher Celery is incredibly alkalizing and cooling to the body. Paired with coconut water for electrolyte balance, strawberries & lime for vitamin C and a powerhouse nutrient punch from kale this smoothie will keep inflammation and hunger controlled for hours.  beet-smoothie-recipe  Beets, avocados, and berries team up for an inflammatory fighting and immune supporting power blend. Get the full recipe here.   green-smoothie2 This smoothie packs cucumbers and avocados to provide inflammation and alkalizing properties along with mangos, bananas, spinach and coconut water for iron, calcium, omega-3 fats, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants galore. Check out the full recipe here.  
So now you have no excuse to get that blender out and fight inflammation the delicious way!

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Pasta with ZERO guilt

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Pasta with ZERO guilt

avocado-zuccasta-words.jpg

There is a laundry list of reasons why pasta is not on my dinner plate these days (low nutrient value, contains gluten, inflammatory, high glycemic load, etc). I follow an anti inflammatory diet plan so for me pasta just doesn’t work well for my body. If I eat gluten I immediately feel my joints swell and ache so its just not worth it. I had written off pasta a long time ago until this happened…

I made a vegan creamy sauce from avocados, basil, garlic, olive oil, and lemon and tossed it with zucchini noodles aka zuccasta! Crazy right??? This sauce is so creamy and satisfying you wont even notice that its made from veggies and totally vegan! I pair this with a nice side salad with some of the extra sauce mixed with coconut aminos as a dressing, top it with pumpkin seeds and sliced strawberry and BLAMO, low inflammatory, vegan, deliciousness in under 30 minutes.

How do you make zuccasta you ask? Well, you will need some special equipment to make this but trust me this will be the best $35 you have ever spent (well at least for a kitchen utensil). I use the paderno slicer because its way better than any of the other brands out there, trust me on this one.

Lemon Basil Avocado Zuccasta

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado, pit removed cut into small pieces
  • 15 basil leaves chopped into ribbons
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic clove finely minced
  • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 5-10 turns of black pepper or to taste
  • 2-4 Zucchinis (see notes)

Optional

  1. 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved for garnic
  2. lemon zest for garnish

Equipment

  1. Veggie Spiralizer

Instructions

  1. In a blender add the avocado, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, basil, and blend until smooth adding more olive oil to thin if needed.
  2. The sauce should be very thick like a pudding and not move if you hold the blender upside down.
  3. Spiralize the zucchini into pasta noodles (I like the paderno brand slicer) set aside.
  4. In a medium saute pan add a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat until it just starts to shimmer.
  5. Add the zucchini in one layer into the pan and allow it to brown. Do don't move the "zuccasta"
  6. Once the zucchini has gained color turn it over and allow to cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Add a few heaping spoonfuls of the avocado sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. You can add more sauce to the amount of your liking.
  8. Allow the sauce and pasta to cook together until the sauce starts to lose a little bit of its green color and has heated throughout.
  9. Transfer to plates and garnish with tomatoes and lemon zest.

Notes

  1. You may have leftover sauce. I like to keep mine covered in the refrigerator for the next time I make this dish. I like to make it fresh every time rather than have it as leftovers but thats a personal preference.
  2. Use 1-2 zucchini per person for a full dinner portion.

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5 minute Vegan/Paleo Cereal

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5 minute Vegan/Paleo Cereal

Remember cereal? If you are grain/gluten free or following any sort of low sugar lifestyle cereal is a long distant memory….

Fear not!

I have a 5 minute recipe that you can whip together even in the foggiest of morning states, so you can sit down with bowl of cereal and feel like a kid again. 

5 minute granola mise

Simply toast the coconut and almonds in a a dry sauté pan until golden, add a pinch of salt, drizzle of maple syrup or stevia, little touch of coconut oil, cinnamon, throw in the flax seed meal and toss to coat. Cover in non dairy milk of choice, stand on your chair and you tell that box of wheaties to take a hike…you got this whole cereal thing covered. Try this version of Stevia for the most natural, purest form of this amazing plant!

5 minute granola with milk

5 minute Paleo/Vegan Cereal

Serves 1

vegan - low sugar - paleo - gluten free - grain free

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds (or nut of choice)
  • 2 Tbl flax seed meal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Small sprinkle of green stevia or Sweetener of choice to taste (maple syrup, coconut sugar etc see notes)

Optional add ins

  • dried fruit
  • cacao nibs
  • fresh chopped fruit
  • more chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the coconut and sliced almonds until slightly golden
  2. Make a small well in the middle of the pan and add the coconut oil in the center of the pan and swirl around to melt
  3. Add the flaxseed meal, cinnamon, pinch of salt, sweetener of choice, and toss to coat so the spices stick to the nuts and coconut
  4. Empty the cereal into a large bowl and add non dairy milk of choice
  5. Top with any additional add ins at this point

Notes

  1. This recipe can be doubled/tripled etc and can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place ahead of time.
  2. Feel free to play around with the nut choices and spice options.
  3. I like to use stevia to keep this sugar free (buy green stevia for the purest form) to keep my insulin levels down in the morning, but use whatever sweetener works for your dietary needs.

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