Monday, February 27, 2017

Cauliflower Stir-Fry



Over the weekend, we decided to make lettuce wraps.

Noah went to the grocery store to pick everything up and I had a few things in the fridge that I never know what to do with... cauliflower being one of those things.
I had seen the week before some idea for a stir-fry recipe and someone had made one using cauliflower instead of doing fried rice. I thought it was a great idea!

Noah, doesn't tend to be a healthy eater. Often he grumbles when I make food at how healthy everything is...

So lately, I have been trying to sneak it in.

While he was busy doing other things, I quickly got a skillet out, put some coconut oil in the pan, and cut up the head of cauliflower I had. I chopped it pretty thinly into small crumbles and added garlic powder, black pepper, and some red chili for some heat. I let it cook for about 5 minutes and then added in some carrots. It was really easy. I didn't use a recipe and you can do everything to taste.
You could also use some tamari sauce, or low-sodium soy sauce, along with ginger dressing.

Noah put the ground beef on the stove, and we used a head of butter lettuce for our "taco shells." It was great and even Noah liked it, so I highly recommend, especially if you have grumbles from family about healthy eating. **Seriously, they won't even notice what the cauliflower is!


Monday, February 20, 2017

10 Ways to De-Stress Your Mind and Your Body


There’s good stress … and then there’s bad stress. Do you know the difference? And how are you dealing yours? It’s important to be aware of what stresses you out, so you can build a relationship with your biggest stressors and manage the way you react to them.
Some stress is healthy … it kicks in to protect you in times of need and gives you a sense of focus when you’re about to take a test or give a presentation. It motivates you to rise to the occasion. And in times of emergency, stress can actually save your life.
Then there is the type of stress that is harmful. It can cause physical, mental, and emotional aches and pains. It can cause your body and mind to overreact to situations, resulting in digestive problems, weight fluctuation, heart disease, depression, and a host of other issues that no one desires or deserves.
It’s time to manage the good, the bad, and the ugly faces of stress in your life. Here are 10 tried-and-true ways to manage your stress, so you can get on the path to living a healthy and balanced life.

Number 1: Identify Your Stress Triggers

Recognizing the triggers to your stressful reactions is an important first step in managing your stress. True, it might be impossible to remove life’s stresses, but understanding the things that stress you out—and in what ways—is particularly helpful in solving the underlying problems.
What stresses you out? And how do you react to it? There are a host of physical and mental reactions to stress, and everyone reacts differently. Understanding how it manifests in your life is the first step to finding balance.

Number 2: Get Some Exercise

Moving your body is important to combat stressful reactions, and prevent them from arising in the future. When you keep your body in peak condition, you feel lighter and more energized, leaving you prepared to manage life’s stresses.
No matter what your fitness level may be, the central key is simply to move your body every day. Identifying the type or types of exercise that you most enjoy—and those best suited to your mind-body type, or dosha—will be key to developing a regular exercise routine.

Number 3: Find Stillness Every Day

Meditation is one of the best tools you have to counteract stress, and your brain’s bias to hold onto negativity.
In meditation, your body actually releases stress and reverses the effects of the flight-or-fight response. This response was really intended to be a short-term mechanism to protect you from perceived danger, which rarely comes in handy nowadays. And the stress generated within you from the response can be harmful to your health.

Number 4: Eat Well

Nourishing your body with the right food will give you the energy you need to tackle what life brings you, including stress.
Every body has different nutritional requirements, and Ayurveda teaches us that dietary plan should be based on an understanding of your unique mind-body type, or dosha. If you’re stressed out, what you’re eating is a great thing to look at, as different doshas are triggered by different foods. It’s important to make conscious eating choices with your unique dosha in mind.

Number 5: Sleep to Combat Stress

Are you getting enough Zzzz’s? Restful sleep is an essential key to staying healthy and strong. When you’re well-rested, you can approach stressful situations more calmly, yet sleep is so often neglected or underemphasized.
The key is making sure you’re not only getting enough sleep, but that the quality of sleep you’re getting is restful and restorative.

Number 6: Hit the Road

Taking annual vacations is really good for you. Ask your doctor: it appears that going on vacation may not be an icing-on-the-cake type of indulgence—it may actually be necessary for good health.
But multi-week, exotic getaways aren’t always an option with the many responsibilities that come with life. Whether you have the time and money to head out on a European tour, or can simply afford a long weekend that’s close to home, yet away from the grind, planning a break is a great tool for reducing stress. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to.

Number 7: Create a Gratitude Practice

Gratitude is a powerful force that you can use to expand your happiness, improve your health, and—you guessed it—helps you cope with stress.
Many scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude, experience greater emotional wellbeing and physical health than those who don’t.

Number 8: Create Cushions in Your Calendar

If you’re reading this, you probably have a busy schedule, which is one contributor to stress. When you have a lot on your plate, you end up hurrying through the day and multitasking, which will only exacerbate stress levels.
Creating cushions in your schedule is a good tactic to reduce your risk for stress. Leave yourself enough time between getting from point A to point B—whether getting to and from meetings, classes, or getting from home to work to dinner plans—to help diffuse potential stressors that may arise that are out of your control. For example, if you know that you have to be on time to your 9 a.m. meeting and it takes you 20 minutes to get to work, leave yourself 30 so you don’t have to rush or get stressed out if you hit traffic.

Number 9: Say Cheese

No one can deny the mind-body connection. But how much power does the body have over the mind?
Research has found that even a phony smile can help you handle stress. So if you’re looking for a way out of stress, you’ll need to smile more.

Number 10: Stop Should-ing Yourself

Do you do things in your life because you want to … or because you should? Are you paying attention to the signs the universe is sending you and the guidance you feel deep in your soul? Because we’re so full of ideas and judgments about what we should and shouldn’t do, we tend to ignore the best advice we get—the guidance from our soul.
Lissa Rankin, M.D. has a lot to say about what you should pay attention to … and what you shouldn’t.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How do you want to feel?





Today’s Worksheet (it’s a big one!): Core Desired Feelings
feelings: sensations; emotions; inner states; consciousness; inner 
world.
goal: everything you work toward; the objective of your strategy; the 
whole point.
FEELING
How do you want to feel in your life?
Do a stream-of-consciousness riff: concepts, words, feelings, images. This is about optimal, positive, nourishing, and good — very good — feelings. Put them on paper. Let a tsunami of desire flood you. Invest in yourself. Want what you want. Go.
Pattern Recognition 
Study your list of desired feelings. read it over a few times. Read it out loud if you’re inclined. Sleep on it. Take it for a walk. What jumps out at you, feels warm, feels yes!,feels really important and valuable? Identify the words or concepts that really turn you on.
The objective of this exercise is to narrow down your list to three to five desired feelings. Whittle it down; make some tough choices. Having a tough time choosing between, say, creative and artistic, or strong and powerful? Try this: Look up the definitions of words. Each word is its own planet, and knowing the actual definition and origin can be instantly illuminating.
Repetitive questioning. This is a potentially annoying, galvanizing little minde trick: Keep asking yourself how a feeling feels. Get underneath its skin. Like this:
So, what does confidence feel like?
(Answer with the first thing that comes to mind.)
“It feels like winning.”
What does confidence feel like?
“It feels like being certain.”
What does confidence feel like?
“It feels like ... clarity.”
Bingo. What you really desire to feel is clarity.
Write each word you’re considering on its own sticky note, even if it’s ten words. Stick them on the fridge for a day, or around your computer monitor, and see how they make you feel. You’ll start to see how confidence is really summed up with the word strong, or how beautiful, classy, and elegant are present in one word: graceful. Toss the sticky notes that don’t make the cut and see what you’re left with after a few days.
Set a deadline for yourself. “By Saturday, I’ll be clear on my core desired feelings and that’s that.” Don’t sweat it. This isn’t a test. You can change your mind later, have an aha moment, and recalibrate it all when you wake up.
Act the way you want to feel
Five to ten accomplishments or experiences that will make me feel this way:
  • Three things I will do today to generate these feelings.
  • Three things I will do this week to generate these feelings.
  • Three things I will do this quarter to generate these feelings.
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    The Zero Mountain Health and Wellness Challenge



    Experts say it takes 21 days of doing something new for it to become a habit. It definitely takes repeated effort. When we try something new our brain resists because it’s not used to the new way of doing things. It goes against the neuron rut that your brain has created.
    Our brains normally take the path of least resistance in life and whatever rut your brain has created is what you do without thinking. It’s your default programming so to speak (from http://blisshealthcoaching.com/32-healthy-habits-change-life/).

    Through this 21-Day Challenge, the key is just to become aware of patterns. Without judgment, without criticism just beginning to notice how you might handle stress, loneliness, boredom, anger, sadness, and worry. One of the things that is essential in understanding our relationship to ourselves is understanding how we cope and deal with the outside world.

    This isn't something that is focused on necessarily. When we are young we might hold things in that make us feel sad or upset, or we might cry and get angry. As adults, we might go home and have a couple glasses of wine to wind down and relax. There is nothing wrong with this, but at the same time, we have to look at the intentions behind why we do what we do.

    Why do we eat what we eat? Why do we come home and feel the need to continue working? Are we really busy? Are we avoiding? What is our relationship to approval? What is our relationship to our own value?


    These are things we will explore for the next few weeks.

    The way we nourish ourselves is a by-product of how we feel, with that we can get into healthy habits or a vicious cycle.

    The first thing we are going to begin doing: 

    In the morning, right when you wake up, write down five things you are grateful for.