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Health & Fitness

Health & Fitness, Recipes

Easter Sunrise Biscuits (paleo/gluten-dairy-free)

Why not add grain free delicious biscuits to your Easter brunch this year? They are gentle on the stomach and they taste amazing. I have made them a couple of times this year, so far, and every time they have received rave reviews. Try them and then let me know what you think.

Ingredients
1-1/4 cups almond flour
2 tbs. coconut flour
1 tsp. baking powder–grain free
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. Sweetleaf Stevia Extract Liquid
2 cage-free eggs–large
½ tbsp. coconut milk yogurt—-vanilla flavor
½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup raisins

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease small cooking sheet. In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well with large wooden spoon. Next, add the wet ingredients and blend well. Lastly, stir in the raisins and form the mixture into four biscuits using your hands. Place on your greased cooking sheet. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool. Enjoy plain, with your favorite non-dairy spread or toast.

Health & Fitness

Why Is My Stomach Killing Me?

 

Lying on the bathroom floor writhing in pain is a memory from my childhood I will always remember.  Unfortunately, it was a common occurrence for me before school on many days.  As I got older, I learned to deal with the pain, but it never went away.   During my teens and twenties I often had to forgo a cute, form-fitting outfit due to a belly so bloated that I looked six months pregnant.  I saw several doctors and went through a series of medical testing where at 24 I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.

Regrettably, there was no treatment at that time for IBS and I continued to suffer. I remember having a very basic and bland diet in my twenties and noshing the same type of food all of the time. This seemed to work for me–no processed food and only meat and vegies cooked in olive oil. Whenever I would eat at a friend’s house, go out to dinner, travel or celebrate holidays, the bloating and other symptoms all would come back.  In my thirties, I moved away from my bland diet, thanks to my husband who liked to cook and also cooked very differently from the way I normally ate. The stomach pain began to be more consistent once again and I remember going to see an internist to find out what was going on. I was shocked, humiliated, and angry when he told me that I needed to see a psychiatrist, after I sat in his office and talked to him for an hour. He didn’t even examine me!  I’m not sure there is a worse feeling in the world than knowing something is wrong with you and not having “the expert” believe you. So back home I went to suffer for another five years, until my condition worsened. By the time I had reached my forties, the stomach pain had morphed into symptoms other than solely stomach complaints. I now had severe joint and muscle pain, brain fog, memory issues, depression, major fatigue, horizontal ridges in my thumb nails and frequent unexplained illness that would put me in bed for 3-4 days at a time. Continue Reading

Buddhism, Health & Fitness

Mindful Eating

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This week I have a guest article written by Shauna Keeler. Shauna is a Holistic Culinary Nutritionist and Registered Yoga Instructor with her Master’s in Nutrition Science and professional chef’s training in health supportive cooking from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. Her expertise lies in plant-based and vegan cooking for health as well as helping others to incorporate mindfulness and nutritious foods into their kitchen. Shauna teaches the art of vegan cooking, offers nutritional counseling and enjoys working as a private chef. She lives in Brooklyn, NY where she can be found hosting vegan dinner parties and checking out the yoga scene. 

 

Last summer, I was fortunate to spend time studying at a Zen Buddhist monastery in the Catskills. The experience was filled with reflection, exhaustion, frustration and, eventually, profound joy as we spent hours each day in meditation, engaging in “samu” or work practice and soaking in the beautiful scenery created by the lake and the mountains.

As a nutritionist, I love learning about others’ eating habits, and I was downright fascinated by the relationship to food the monastery residents exhibited. Upon my first meal, I was struck by the awareness with which food is consumed. Formal meals are a ritualistic process that took me a few days to get comfortable with—serving yourself, passing the tea water, cleaning your bowls and even setting your chopsticks to the side were all part of a choreographed ritual.  Although kneeling on the floor and being completely silent while eating didn’t stick, the attitude with which meals were approached is something I try to keep as part of my daily life away from the monastery.

Prior to each meal, we touched our palms together in front of our hearts and chanted a short reflection in unison, which I included below. I found this reflection meaningful on a variety of levels and have been eager to share it.

Continue Reading

Health & Fitness

90 Day Challange

If you are not on a regular exercise program right now, chances are you have a good excuse. Right? Wrong! As we age, it becomes more essential than ever to exercise. Excuses just don’t cut it anymore. Exercise is the one thing that is a game changer for everything in your life, like increasing overall motivation and self-confidence, libido, immunity, helping with menopause and sleep, improving memory, bringing more oxygen to your skin which helps with aging, decreasing stress levels and oh don’t forget about the actual physical benefits like losing weight, toning up, having more energy and lowing your blood pressure. So why aren’t you still exercising?  I’m assuming of course that you haven’t started yet, but congrats if you are exercising…you are an inspiration for the rest of us! WebMD had an excellent article on the top 6 excuses on why we chose not to exercise. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/the-top-6-exercise-excuses-and-how-to-beat-them. (Great article that you really should check out.)

Good news is we’ve all been there, so you certainly are not alone. Since the general population sometimes needs a little push to start unpleasant, yet healthful things, I would like to double-dare my excuse makers to a 90 day exercise and health challenge. You’ll need to set some exercise and diet goals for yourself (check out my blog under Fearless on Goal Setting) and if you need help, you can email me for support at [email protected]. I will try to encourage you as much as I can.

First, get a notebook to write things down. Next, take your weight and measurements for a baseline and every week (I do my weigh-ins on Friday morning) weigh yourself and once a month take your measurements (this is where it gets exciting and you see the real results). I measure chest, waist, right upper arm, right upper thigh at largest part and hips. You will be recording all of these numbers into your trusty notebook (or Excel spreadsheet, if you want). Thirdly, you need to find an ideal exercise program for yourself, but the idea is that it must work for you and it must be something that you will be able to commit to for 90 days. I recommended some DVD’s in a previous blog on Goal Setting, if you need some suggestions. Lastly, If you like the way you look and feel after 90 days, continue with your new routine. You are now on your way! Easy and you didn’t even know what hit you.

Often when people do a 90 day challenge, they also change their eating habits. Maybe you’ve been wanting to try a different way of eating to see how it makes you feel, such as going gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegan or vegetarian and since most of us have a few pounds to lose, you will need to lower your daily amount of calories consumed.  Using an app like MyFitnessPal, which I personally use, helps you keep track of calories consumed and how many calories you should shoot for every day, but there are many others.

A great way to commit to this new exercise program is to enlist friends to join in for support and commiseration. A 90 Day Challenge may be just what those friends need right now to help break up the winter time blues. You may be a godsend by offering up this challenge. Maybe your whole office or school could do the challenge with you. Part of being fearless past forty is being healthy. Would you commit to 90 days if you knew you would look and feel better at the end? I hope so. Accept the challenge and prosper, my friends!

Health & Fitness, Inspiration, Self Help

15 Cures for the February Blues

IMG_1635 Snow, colder temperatures and shorter days have begun their mind-numbing effects. Yes, it’s back…the February blues. It’s time to do something before we lose it!  The following is a list to get us out of the winter funk.

  1. Exercise! I know I harp on this one, but it really is so important. If you haven’t started yet, just do it!
  2. Go to the hair salon. Get a new style, a new color or highlights. Hair is the easiest thing to change and wearing the same hair for years not only dates you, but when you do change, can be a huge pick-me-up.
  3. Get a makeover. Go to your local department store and see how someone else would do your makeup. So often we wear our makeup the same way we did in our twenties. It is courteous to buy a little something that the makeup person has put on you, so be prepared to spend a little money. If you like the new you, but don’t like the high price, to achieve the same look, go to the drug store and try to copy the look for less.
  4. Lose the kids and get away with your significant other. Maybe you and a friend could watch each other’s children while each gets a little time away.
  5. Buy a sexy bra and panty set at Victorias Secret or Hips and Curves for plus size gals hipsandcurves
  6. Get your sexy on and try out boudoir photography. This experience will be one you never forget. First, you’ll get all glammed up by a hair and makeup person and then get photographed wearing sexy lingerie. This is a bit pricey, so be ready to cough up anywhere between $500-$3500 depending upon where you go, what you want and the photos you buy. This is a nice way to remember how sexy you are though and to remind your significant other that you still got it going on.
  7. Treat yourself to a pedicure or give one to yourself. You can buy amazing pedicure products at beauticontrol
  8. Buy yourself a little something. If you are budget-wise, go to T.J.Maxx or Marshalls and buy something such as a new pair of shoes or jewelry. T.J.Maxx seriously has the best prices on sterling silver jewelry anywhere I’ve seen and certain Marshall stores have huge shoe departments with surprisingly inexpensive and current footwear styles.
  9. Go wine tasting with a couple of friends, but please have a designated driver!
  10. Commit to learning a new language. Rosetta Stone is amazing for this, but be prepared to spend a significant amount of time finishing the whole program. This is a time commitment, but people swear by this course. Look for frequent sales, since the regular price is $499.
  11. If you are single, sign up for a dating site. Why not?
  12. Take an online course in the comfort of your own home. I personally love Udemy where you can take your first course for 50% off and you can choose from a huge variety of courses. There are many sites though that offer free courses such as Coursera, which has many courses from top universities. Maybe now is the time to brush up on your Excel spreadsheet use, learn about that digital camera you have or take a personal development course.
  13. Organize a part of your house that doesn’t work—maybe your closet. Look for suggestions at Houzz or Pinterest to find amazing ideas.
  14. Have a party! A wine tasting party is always a welcome idea or you can support that friend who just joined Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Beauti Control or other house party business.
  15. Get outside whenever it is sunny! In the winter we all become deficient in vitamin D. Lack of this important vitamin causes depression and sunlight is one of the best ways to get it.

In the winter, remember to just take one day at a time and try to keep your mind on something else, other than how crappy the weather is or how tired you are. I do promise that before you know it, we will be outside again, running, walking, sailing, gardening, and acting like winter was just a nightmare. Those days are closer than we think.