Creating a Strong Mind/Body Connection

Learning how to swing a golf club made me think about my own mind/body connection

Creating a strong mind/body connection is a vital part of taking care of your health.

Your thoughts create your actions. Your actions create your overall life conditions.

If you want to be healthy, you have to train your brain to think healthy thoughts. Healthy thoughts lead to healthy choices you can maintain over time.

Try this simple exercise to become aware of, strengthen, and utilize your mind/body connection effectively.

You’ll want a notebook and pen!

Sit quietly for about 5 minutes. Allow your thoughts about your current state of health to naturally occur to you. What things start popping up in your head? Take note and write them down.

You can instantly see what you think about most often.

Next, choose 1 of these thought patterns and answer the following questions about it.

  1. What emotions come up when I think of this issues?
  2. What scenarios do I most often create around this issue and how do they play out in my head?
  3. Do I apply solutions or problem solving techniques to these issues?
  4. Do I typically feel like I can make these solutions last long-term? Why or why not?
  5. Are my problem solving techniques realistic in my current lifestyle? Why or why not?

Once you’ve figured out how you think about your health and how your mind interacts with those thoughts, you can work on changing them.

When I started this process, I realized that often times I let my mind focus on all the things that were frustrating me or going wrong. I would play these scenarios out over and over in my head, much to the detriment of both my diet and my golf swing!

What I realized is that, as long as I’m focusing on the problems, I’m never letting myself create solutions!

I was stuck in thought problems instead of thought solutions.

Here are a few examples of how I changed my own thinking:

I just can’t lose weight vs. I want to be healthy

My body hurts so much vs. This is what feels good in my body

I don’t want to give up my comfort foods vs. I can create healthy meals that taste amazing

I’m too tired to do anything vs. This is a great way to relax

I hate exercising vs. I enjoy this activity

I can’t hit the golf ball vs. Relax and concentrate on a good swing

Create your own list of thought problems vs. thought solutions to strengthen your mind/body connection and get past the things holding you back.

Please feel free to share your feedback in the comments. I’d love to hear how you’re creating change in your own life!

Lemony Spring Detox Soup

Looking for a flavorful Spring detox soup? Try this recipe!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup celery and celery hearts

1/2 cup carrots

1/4 cup red onions

1/4 cup baby spinach leaves

1 rose and hibiscus tea bag (or 1 rose and 1 hibiscus tea bag)

oregano

basil

dill

thyme

rosemary

salt

pepper

2 lemon slices

Directions:


Cut celery, red onion, and carrots into thin slices. Add all ingredients (minus the lemon slices) to a sauce pan along with 6 – 8 cups water. Bring to a rolling boil. Turn off heat, add lemon slices, and cover. Let flavors set for approximately two hours.

To serve, take out lemon slices and tea bags and reheat on medium to low heat until desired temperature.

You can eat it plain or serve it over 1/2 cup pre-cooked rice, millet, or barley.

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments!

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Chocolate Date Bites

This recipe is gluten free, oil free, vegan

Dates are a nutrient dense food rich in B vitamins and Vitamin K. They’re also a great source of magnesium and zinc. They’re naturally sweet and help to improve digestive function and regulate cholesterol.

Ingredients:

1 cup pitted dates

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

3 – 6 tablespoons coconut flour

3 – 6 tablespoons cacao powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 – 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

Soak dates for at least 3 hours. Drain off water and put in food processor along with cinnamon, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Pulse until mixed and dates begin to form a paste. Add 3 tablespoons of coconut flour and 3 tablespoons of cacao powder to start. You can add more as needed depending on the consistency of your date batter. Pulse on high until dates, coconut flour, and chocolate begin to mix together.

Transfer date mixture to a large mixing bowl and add shredded coconut. Kneed together with hands until all ingredients are evenly distributed and the date mixture can be formed into small bite-sized balls.

Watch the video below to see how I make mine! Please like and share this recipe.

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I Can’t Afford To Eat Healthy

Three years ago when I started juicing celery in the morning for my thyroid instead of taking a medication, I had no idea how much my life would improve as a result.

Before I threw away the meds and changed my eating habits, I was over a decade into long-term, chronic autoimmune disease. The experience of ongoing doctors visits, blood and hormone testing, out of pocket prescription drug costs, the inability to work full time, the pain and suffering, the loss of friends and social life, the draining of financial resources, the downsizing, etc, etc, etc… was way more expensive than my current, average grocery bill.

Personally, I had to be on a very strict budget when I started switching from a highly processed, meat, sugar, and salt based diet to a whole food, plant based diet. I had to count every penny – often shopping with a calculator to ensure I didn’t go over budget. I also had to make sure I wasn’t wasting any of the food I was buying while meeting very strict dietary requirements. This meant making a commitment to old school cooking from scratch.

What I’ve learned over the past three years is this:

Eating a healthy, plant based diet costs way less than insurance co-pays and out of pocket prescription drug costs.

Dedicating myself to cooking and eating healthy, whole food, plant based meals has restored my metabolic health and drastically improved my overall quality of life.

Being able to fully participate in my life allows me to be more productive in all areas, naturally improving my ability to make an income, which helps me afford healthier foods.

I never again want to be the girl on the living room floor crying because my body hurts too much to move. I’ve spent way too much time doing that. I love being healthy, active, and pain free. I love the freedom of not being tied to a prescription drug. I love the life I’m creating because of the food I’m eating.

People have actually asked me, “How can you afford to eat the way you do?”

My reply is this:

In my experience, I’ve learned I can’t afford not to.

Scroll over the picture below to check out my and my hubby’s before and after pics. We started eating better together in 2017. Together we’ve lost approximately 100 pounds (and have kept it off for almost two years), I’m medication free, both of us have our cholesterol back to healthy levels, my hubby no longer snores, and we both love our new way of eating.

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Please like and share if you found this information helpful or inspiring. Thank you.

Savory Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe is gluten free, vegan

Butternut squash is high in Vitamins A, E, C, and B. It also contains calcium, magnesium and zinc. Sweet Potatoes contain vitamin A and beta carotene. Together they are a low glycemic, heart healthy addition to any diet.

Spinach is high in Vitamin K and Iron, which supports bone health, while onions and garlic have anti-viral properties.

Walnuts and pumpkin seeds add potassium which supports the central nervous system and helps the body regulate fluids – aiding in anti-inflammatory diets.

Ingredients:

1/2 medium butternut squash

2 sweet potatoes

1 cup celery hearts

2 – 3 cups spinach leaves

1 red onion

3 – 5 cloves garlic

1 can chick peas (or 2 cups pre-cooked)

2 – 4 cups precooked long grain wild rice

1 large can (15oz) coconut milk

Seasonings: rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, salt, pepper

Garnish: walnuts and pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Peal and cut butternut squash and sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces. Chop onion into bite sized pieces and mince garlic. Add squash, sweet potato, garlic, onion, and spinach to crockpot. Add in spices to taste. Add water until vegetables are covered and turn on high for approximately 3 hours. Turn crockpot to low and add in chick peas, and rice. Cook until potatoes and squash are soft and easy to poke with a fork. Add in coconut milk 15 – 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

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Pasta Primavera

This recipe is gluten free and vegan

Cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens like broccoli and spinach are a great source of calcium. Tomatoes and peppers are high in Vitamin C. Onions and garlic are antiviral foods that help fight off colds and flu.

Ingredients:

2 – 4 cups organic, gluten free pasta of your choice

1/2 cup bell pepper

1 – 2 cups spinach

1 medium onion

1/2 cup grape tomatoes

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

3 – 5 cloves minced garlic

1 large can (15oz) coconut milk

Seasonings: sea salt, pepper, oregano, basil, dill

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. Chop onions and peppers into bite sized pieces. In a separate sauce pan, saute onions, pepper, garlic, and spinach on medium heat until vegetables are cooked through. Add coconut milk and spices. Turn heat to low and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sauce to already cooked pasta and stir thoroughly. Plate pasta and garnish with fresh tomatoes and pumpkin seeds.

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Juicing Basics

I love juicing in the morning. I start out every day with 8 – 10 ounces of plain celery juice followed by a second juice. My second juice is either melon based or carrot based. I’ve been juicing like this every day for the past three years – and January 26th will be my juice anniversary.

Here is how I put together my juice for the day along with some basic tips to help you create a juice routine that works for you!

Every morning I check the fruits and vegetables that are ready to be used in my kitchen. Once I decide on a melon or carrot base, I build from there.

For melon based juices, I use either straight watermelon, straight cantaloupe, or honeydew with a few additions. If I have grapes or pomegranates that need to be used up, I add those to my honeydew recipe.

For my carrot juices, I use carrots, cilantro, ginger, and turmeric for the base. I’ll add 3 – 5 medium carrots, one bunch of cilantro, and 1 inch each of ginger root and turmeric root. You can substitute loose leaf parsley for cilantro if desired. Fruits and vegetables I add with this basic carrot base include the following:

apples

oranges

mangos

papayas

pineapple

pears

summer squash

zuchinni

lemons

How much I use of each ingredient depends on what is ripe and ready to use.

Here are some tips to help you explore recipes and build a juice routine that works for you.

  1. Start with ingredients you know you like
  2. Make simple 1 – 3 ingredient juices and build from there
  3. Take the time to explore juicing recipes and videos online (check out my juicing videos on YouTube at Unprofessionally Plant Based)
  4. Have fun and enjoy the process
  5. Share your recipes with others

**Just a quick note, mangoes and papayas produce very thick juice. It works best to juice a slice or two of these fruits followed by a more watery fruit or vegetable like apples, zuchinni, or summer squash. This will give you the best yield for your fruit while preventing your juicer from clogging up**

Check out the following two juicing videos I made from my Facebook Live Events this Veganuary to help you get started:

Follow me on Instagram and YouTube at Unprofessionally Plant Based, and on Facebook at PT for the Soul.

Mini Microwave Casseroles

Mini Microwave Casseroles are an easy way to teach yourself and your family how to cook healthy, whole food, plant based meals in under 10 minutes.

You can play around with ingredients to create whatever kind of casserole you’d like. Get the family involved and be creative!

Mini casseroles are versatile like tacos, and I consider them the TV dinners of cooking from scratch. The base of the casserole is whatever kind of pre-cooked rice and beans you have on hand. The rest is up to you!

Some of my favorite combo ideas include:

*Avocado, Onion, and Squash

*Bell Peppers, Onions, and Tomatoes

*Mango, Avocado, and Spinach

*Olives and Kimchi

*Squash, Walnuts, and Pumpkin Seeds

Have a mini casserole night with your family and let each person create their own meal. Sample each other’s creations and explore home cooking the way it’s meant to be.

Check out my video to see how to make easy mini casseroles in minutes!

*Using leftover veggies in your mini casseroles is a great way to save money and eliminate food waste*

Hitting My Head – Day 3

I’m continuing to nourish myself today with water based foods and recipes. While I wanted comfort yesterday, today is all about cooling my head down and flushing out my injury.

I’m also tired, so instead of trying to write, I made a video diary.

Here you can check out a soup I’m making in addition to an update about how my healing process is going.

Hitting My Head: Day Two

Using Foods Medicinally To Heal Physical Trauma In The Body

Yesterday I hit my head. As I mentioned in that blog post, I turned immediately to food, and began giving my body the nutritional support it needs to heal.

Right off the bat I implemented a food plan specifically targeted for brain health.

When the brain is injured, it needs specific nutrients to heal: Vitamins C, D, and E, along with magnesium, zinc, and Omega 3’s. (source: Concussion Alliance).

Yesterday I added pineapple and oranges to my morning juicing for a boost of Vitamin C. I also ate homemade vegetable soup the rest of the day, which provided me with a host of plant based nutritional support.

Today, I’m continuing to listen to my body’s needs and eating accordingly.

I wanted more pineapple and oranges in my morning juice, so I made sure to add them in. I have also been craving olives all day – which are high in Vitamin E.

I steamed red potatoes, pairing them with with a creamy coconut milk and collard greens sauce. Red potatoes and collared greens are both excellent sources of magnesium.

Lastly, I ate a serving of sardines to get the emergency boost of omega 3’s my brain needs right now.

When I use food medicinally, I take great care to listen to my body and give it the emergency nutritional support it needs to recover quickly. I listen to my cravings and allow my body to dictate what it wants to eat.

While I am still tired, following a medicinally directed food plan is helping my head heal. I felt a cool, soothing effect at the site of my injury from the pineapple and orange juice. The potatoes and cream sauce offered me a sense of comfort and the olives cheered me up.

Tomorrow I will continue to allow my body to dictate my meal choices . I trust it knows what it needs to heal, and my only job right now is to listen and care for it accordingly.

Follow me to learn more about how to use food medicinally to help support your body’s amazing ability to heal.