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What is your truth?

I’ve felt a nudge toward turning inward as of late, even before this stay at home deal. During this time, you may feel that it’s hard to get in a quiet space with yourself, especially if you have young children that are now home all day long. But, most of us are able to find at least a few quiet moments in the day. Perhaps it’s getting up a bit earlier than others in your household, or a someone in your household could take a turn playing with the children while you take this time to go within.

This is the perfect time to learn and know your truth, your Sat Nam. What is your truth? Who are you? Have you been stuffing yourself deep down inside while doing all the things you feel the need to do on a regular basis? Slow down and get uncomfortable with your truth. Write it down. Free journaling or writing is one way to do this. Write whatever comes to mind without judgement. Let it out and do not criticize what is written. Words may be repeated or sentences, just let it be. It may take a few days for you to get in the groove, but stick with it. Another way is walking outside, alone with your thoughts. Push aside any lists or petty things that come up and let your thoughts come freely. You may use a device to record these thoughts that come up during your walk. Again, do not judge what comes up. Try each one and see what resonates with you.

Your “truth” is your core being. Strip away any beliefs that were taught to you by society or others. Step back from what you have read and studied. While these may all have been what has shaped you and helped you decide what you are today, they can also be a hinderance. Have you ever really questioned why you are who your are today? Do you believe something just because this is something that someone placed upon you and you carried it with you without really observing the reason behind it? I’m not just talking about religious beliefs here, but core values and other ideas and thoughts that make you up, as a person. Really feel into what makes you, you. Away from all that society places upon you. If you were alone, living in a remote area, how do you think you would act or be? Would it be any different than how you are day to day now?

Some societal pressures are conducive to us as humans, such as being kind or proper hygiene, but others are a hinderance and make us step away our truth, our Sat Nam.

Why do we do the things we do? Why these certain methods of learning? Why do we work the way we work? What do you feel works for you? Your family? How can you bring about positive change to these things you just felt were required off you or you had never thought or questioned about? Ideals and ideas that you absorbed from other’s teachings and methodology.

Now, write these out as a list, leaving room for comments. Write the reason you feel you hold these things to be true. Then, ask yourself if they are really your own truth. Be honest with yourself. There’s no one to judge you, except yourself and if you feel ashamed or scared about what you wrote or thought, that is something you have found to work with. Brene Brown has a great audio book on shame(The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage). It’s something we don’t want to talk about or think about. It’s unfortunately in and all around us. Take some time with this and anything else that comes up. You don’t have to feel like you need to work on every little thing that comes up, this might be too overwhelming. Take one thing at a time.

Go into yourself. Feel the feels. Be uncomfortable. Be honest. Be your truth. Feel your truth. Truth is your identity.

Try this Kundalini yoga kriya(kriya is series of postures, sounds, and breath that work together for a specific outcome):

Sat Kriya

Instructions

  1. Sit on the heels in Rock Pose, knees together.
  2. Stretch the arms over the head with elbows straight, until the arms hug the sides of the head.
  3. Interlace all the fingers except the index fingers. Cross the thumbs over each other(traditionally the right is masculine and the left is feminine).
  4. The spine stays still and straight. This is neither a spinal flex nor a pelvic thrust.
  5. Remain firmly seated on the heels throughout the motions of the kriya.
  6. Begin to chant “Sat Naam” with a constant rhythm of about 8 times per 10 seconds.
  7. As you pull the navel in and up toward the spine, chant “Sat” from the Navel Point. Feel it as a pressure from the Third Chakra.
  8. With the sound “Naam”, relax the belly.
  9. As you continue in a steady rhythm, the root and diaphragm locks are automatically pulled. The steady waves of effort from the navel gradually enlist the movement of the greater abdomen.
  10. The breath regulates itself – no breath focus is necessary.

To End:

  1. Inhale and gently squeeze the muscles from the buttocks all the way up along the spine.
  2. Hold it briefly as you concentrate on the area just above the top of the head.
  3. Exhale completely.
  4. Inhale, exhale totally and hold the breath out as you apply a firm mahabandh – contract the lower pelvis, lift the diaphragm, lock in the chin, and squeeze all the muscles from the buttocks up to the neck.
  5. Hold the breath out for 5 to 20 seconds according to your comfort and capacity.
  6. Inhale and relax.

Taken from https://www.libraryofteachings.com/kriya.xqy?q=Sat%20kriya%20sort:relevance&id=db3cbe9b41c54be99b17aaf2e5caa839&name=Sat-Kriya

I am personally deepening my daily meditation and yoga practice. In deepening, I’m not talking about necessarily making it physically more challenging, but going deeper into how I view it or how long I’m practicing. Breathing meditations are one that are good to focus on when you are wanting to go inward and rest more. They’re powerful and effective. I always feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Just simple segmented breathing (https://www.3ho.org/files/pdfs/various-breaths.pdf) is one to start with or add to your day. It requires nothing that would go against any one’s religion or belief system. It is a technique that slows the mind down and allows the body to fully relax. Focus on the breath. Breath is a commonality we all have. Breath is our life-force. Breathe into your space and bring in expansion of mind and body.

Sat Nam to all you beautiful souls.

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Giving thanks for our food

Even if you aren’t religious, giving thanks for our food is something that really benefits us. Many may be worried about over-eating on Thanksgiving Day with all the rich-tasting foods, many of the dishes being ones we don’t typically have throughout the year. The day becomes a dreaded day when we feel we can’t hold back and may feel that we will ruin our diets or gain weight. This doesn’t have to be true and it isn’t true. Be thankful for the abundance of food available to you. Offer up thanks for your food. Be truly grateful to have food to fill your belly. Savor each bite you take. Sip on a favorite drink. Enjoy the company you’re with. Don’t rush through the meal. Only take a small serving of each dish. If you really want seconds, take it without feeling guilty. Eat a piece of pie.

Go for a 20 minute walk after eating, even if it’s cold.

Hug someone. Tell another how much they mean to you or what you’re thankful about them.

Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in awhile.

Text your co-workers a quick “Happy Thanksgiving.”

In all, enjoy this day and don’t let food get in the way of your happiness.

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Truth in healing

For the last six or so years I’ve been feeling a pull toward healing work. I was a licensed massage therapist for over ten years and had been introduced to the healing art of energy work during my training. Now, many of you may be skeptics of energy work. Some of you may believe that it shouldn’t be practiced or used on a person due to certain religious beliefs. I am not going to go in-depth about this in this blog post. There are many scientific studies out there if you prefer science-based beliefs. This is just what I felt surface as my truth and I wanted to tell it. Sing it, per say, in writing.

From a young age I have been a spiritual person. When I was about five years old, I asked Jesus into my heart and life. Over the years, I had some experiences that made me keenly aware of the spiritual realm surrounding us. Oftentimes people, upon meeting me, would remark that I “had an old soul.” I also seemed to connect better with older folks and didn’t have much in common with my peers.

After the death of my daughter is when I really started to feel this pull toward healing work energetically. I’m not saying that I’m going to out right heal people completely, but I might alleviate pain, be it physical, emotionally or spiritually. In regards to not believing in this type of healing or not believing it’s something, in particular a Christian would get into, remember this type of healing goes back a long time in history. Jesus was a healer. He healed without even touching a person. The same applies to energy work. Why couldn’t other human entities heal in this same way? Jesus was in human form when he healed. Others in the Bible were healed miraculously by ones that God saw fit to give the gift of healing to or ones filled with the Holy Spirit.

In particular, Reiki was and is the modality that has caught my attention. I have completed level I and II so far. Next year I hope to take the master level III training.

Last year I felt called to take a health coach training class. I feel that food can be healing and ties into how we live our life. There are many interesting documentaries about the food industry, which foods are the best to eat, and how the way society influences our food choices. If after watching these or if you don’t like to watch documentaries, shoot me an email on my website and I’d be more than happy to set up a free consultation to discuss your healing food journey more in depth.

Here’s a website with some good food documentaries listed: https://www.google.com/amp/s/decider.com/2017/07/06/the-10-best-food-health-documentaries-on-netflix/amp/

Some of these films are anti-meat. I’m not necessarily anti-meat as I eat meat personally. I do believe that many eat an excess of meat and that we do need to be aware of this.

I also see exercise, or intentional movement, as a must in healing oneself. I’m a big fan of yoga and walking outside. It’s beneficial to the whole body system and helps build resistance to disease and illnesses. Prevention is key in staying healthy and well. Stagnant energy isn’t a good thing. Move your body, clear your mind, and eat whole foods. Try out some energy work too and find out for yourself how amazing you’ll feel afterwards!

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Journal Entry No. 17

Today was cold with light snow being blown by strong winds. The girls and I snuggled in bed a bit longer this morning since it was so chilly out and Brent is out of town. It was close to 9:00 A.M. before we were done with breakfast and started book work. After this was done, we watched Pippi Longstocking. Then the girls went outside to play with their cousins while my sister and I went for a walk.

I made lactation cookies today for my sister. My phone was disabled for many hours due to an update(the recipe is saved to my phone), so I used a different recipe this time, but my favorite is this one: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html?m=1

So, on to my journal Entry for today.

What five things would I spend $5 on for fun or self-care?

  • Coffee
  • Books
  • Chocolate
  • Glass of wine
  • Flowers
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Journal Entry No. 8

I know I need to be more accepting of myself. Like I wrote in Journal Entry no. 1 about being a critical person, I tend to be critical of myself. I’ve read many books and articles that say to “just accept yourself.” Why is it so hard for me to just accept myself? I’ve come to see I need to set my mind, daily, on being grateful and happy about things unique to myself, that make me truly me. I like when I did a yoga video from Yoga with Adriene, and she had me place my hands on my abdomen and say a word of thanks for all it does for me, day to day. It is one area of my body, in particular, that I’m unhappy about. But, in doing that exercise, I see I’ve been very ungrateful to this body part. It has done, is doing, and will do so much for me. My abdomen area has helped carry four babies, helps hold in numerous, vital organs, helps me stand tall, helps me with breathing, so, so many functions in which I seem to take for granted.

I accept myself. I love myself just the way I am(even if those statements sound cheesy😊). xoxo tummy

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10 Comforting Hot Drinks for the Winter

Two weeks into November here in Middle Tennessee area and we are experiencing some chilly weather. Especially today when it’s rainy and dreary, I crave a warm drink to sip on while I type at my laptop or read to myself or my children.

Soon, we will be in a warmer climate, but I still enjoy a comforting, warm drink.

Here are 10 comforting hot drinks for you to enjoy too!

  1. https://draxe.com/recipe/turmeric-tea-recipe/

Oh, try out this ghee:

Vanilla Bean Grass-Fed Ghee Butter by 4th & Heart, 9 Ounce, Pasture Raised, Non-GMO, Lactose Free, Certified Paleo(this is an affiliate link) for the ghee in the tumeric tea recipe above!

  1. https://wellnessmama.com/25946/apple-cider-recipe/

Yes, I do drink bone broth warm and so does my oldest daughter.

  1. http://www.raisinggenerationnourished.com/?s=instant+pot+bone+broth

This one is perfect for holiday time when we are exposed to extra germs and sweets:

  1. http://www.healthhomeandhappiness.com/ginger-tea-for-gaps-and-sore-throats.html

A classic with a twist:

  1. http://nourishedkitchen.com/mexican-hot-chocolate/

I love a good Chai Tea and this one is perfect to make up extra to give out as gifts!

  1. https://www.mommypotamus.com/masala-chai-tea-recipe/

I’m all about a homemade pumpkin-spiced latte!

  1. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-pumpkin-spice-latte-even-better-than-starbucks-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-96277

My little sister got me into these:

  1. http://thebusybaker.ca/earl-grey-vanilla-tea-latte-london-fog/

A little night-time drink:

  1. https://minimalistbaker.com/chili-cinnamon-bourbon-hot-toddy/

Yummy Matcha green tea latte!

  1. https://rootandrevel.com/matcha-green-tea-latte-recipe-vegan/

 

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Too long to wait expectantly

Oh my! It has been over a month since my last blog post! I do thank all my readers for being so patient with me. Seeing that having my children home all day and schooling them takes up a good portion of my time that I would otherwise have allotted to work, I am behind on keeping this blog up-to-date.

Since my last post in September, What I have been up to, I have successfully completed the Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N Expectation training. I am now certified to teach these workshops! For now, I will be offering these workshops via video calls as we have several months of travel planned. We will be returning in March of 2018 and I would like to offer some physical workshops for those in the Middle Tennessee area.

I am excited about this certification since it goes hand-in-hand with my past midwifery work. I am so happy to be able to be involved again working in the pregnancy and post-partum arena!

At the end of September and into the first part of October, the girls and I drove to Lafayette, Louisiana to visit my mother and grandfather. It was so lovely to visit and catch up. A funny thing to note, I didn’t eat much cajun food while there. I did eat a yummy beignet, which I bemoaned the next day as I’m not used to all that sugar, wheat and gluten! We celebrated my mother’s birthday while there and I made a flourless chocolate cake, which was a big hit.

Then back up to Tennessee to drive to Kentucky for a wedding of one of my sister’s. She is expecting her third child in April and I have the honor of attending her birth. We will be parking our RV next to her home as it is almost a 3 hour drive from our home base in Columbia, TN. I am so ecstatic to attend a birth and no less, a new niece or nephew.

After her wedding, we traveled up to Louisville, KY so that Brent could visit some cafes in the area and also my in-laws were taking care of our girls while we went on a cruise.

So, haha, in October, I turned 40! Many say this is a huge land mark in a person’s life. I’m not so sure if I felt it as much as turning 39 last year. For me, 39 was a time of reflection for me. It was the year we decided to fulltime in an RV and I got my first tattoo(one to remember and honor my daughter, Ansley, who died three days after birth).

Back to the cruise now! Brent booked this cruise for my birthday present and he also knew it was something I had always wanted to do. We took a shorter cruise as it was our first, three nights/four days to the Bahamas. Another couple went with us and we all enjoyed the cruise and each other while celebrating my birthday. This was October 19th to the 23rd. We also stayed in Miami, Florida for a day before and after the cruise. We had some amazing Cuban food while there at a restaurant called, Havana 1957. We strolled along the beach front and also enjoyed sight-seeing. We toured Vizcaya, which was lovely, especially if you enjoy antiques and architecture. http://vizcaya.org/

Unfortunately, I did pick up some virus while on the cruise ship. I believe it was due to eating sugar(which lowers the immune system). The desserts offered at the restaurants on the ship were hard to pass up! I don’t regularly eat processed sugar so I am sure my body was having a hard time handling it! So, I spent almost two weeks recovering from this. Now, I am feeling better and will be able to get in the flow of things.

Brent and I also took time to do a “family re-set” plan with Mama Says Namaste. I would highly recommend this to all! It really helped us prioritize what each other means to us and what our family means to us. Go here to read more about her coaching packages:   https://www.mamasaysnamaste.com/coaching/

In December, we leave for Florida to stay at a campsite for the month in Orlando. We will be taking the girls to Disney for their Christmas present. From there, we will drive to San Antonio, TX to explore the area and surrounding it. Then we head to Phoenix, Arizona for a month. We will need to return by the beginning of March to await for sister’s birth. On our way back, we will stay in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which my mother and her family lived for many years when she was a child.

I hope that I will not keep you wonderful readers waiting as long as I did this time!

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Why Some Women Experience Cravings During Pregnancy

It is unknown for sure why some women experience cravings during pregnancy. It is most likely due to shifts in hormones. Some women may even crave non-food items such as, dirt, clay, ice, laundry starch, or coffee grounds, which is called pica. These cravings should be discussed with the pregnant woman’s care provider.

 

 

craving chocolate pregnancy

 

It has been noted that cravings are particularly prevalent in eating and weight-related issues. Interestingly, food cravings are seen most commonly in North Americans.

 

Cravings in pregnancy are seen mostly in the first trimester of pregnancy and taper off toward the second trimester. Along with cravings, food and smell aversions may happen at this time.

 

Some hypothesis for why some women crave certain items during pregnancy may point to a biological nature of preserving the well-being of the fetus by which a women’s olfactory sensation and taste sensations are heightened during this time to prevent ingesting any toxic substances. Another is that she may be deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, such as commonly seen in the second trimester of iron deficiencies and craving sweets or chocolate. One last reason may be that the woman craves the pharmacologically active ingredients in certain foods.

 

Bringing awareness to a woman’s attitude and behavior toward her eating habits is the best way to help combat food cravings, at least for now, the studies suggest.

 

http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/cravings-during-pregnancy.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/

 

 

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The easiest, yummiest, Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa Meal to Make

best instant pot mexican quinoaI have joined the Instant Pot community since becoming a full time RV family. In the RV, there’s a stove, oven, and a microwave/convection oven. So why would I need something else to cook with you may ask? For one, I am not a big microwave fan and I have never cooked anything in a microwave/convection combo oven before, but I have used a pressure cooker and slow cooker for many years and feel comfortable with those. Also, the oven and stove run off a LP tank and we have to have it filled. That means taking the 37 foot RV to somewhere to fill the tank which is not too bad, but still a bit of a hassle.

So, enter the Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot has saved me space in that I am able to use it for sauteing, pressure cooking, rice cooker, and slow cooking so far(there are several other functions, such as yogurt function, that I have yet to try, but want to!). It does not create much, if any, moisture when cooking, which is great in an RV.

So, on to my yummy, easy, mexican quinoa recipe I made! I was trying to use what I had already in my pantry and refrigeration, so this is how I came up with this dish.

Mexican Quinoa Instant Pot Dinner

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

1 onion, diced

1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced(I had mini colored bell peppers on hand and used about 6)

1 tomato, diced(or use 1 can diced tomatoes Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, Diced, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12))

1,4 oz can diced green chilis ( Ortega Diced Green Chiles, Mild, 4 Ounce (Pack of 12))

1 can black beans( Westbrae Natural Organic Black Beans, 15 Ounce Cans (Pack of 12))

1 can corn(Green Valley Organics Whole Kernel Supersweet Corn, 15 Ounce (Pack of 12)

1 cup quinoa(White Quinoa, 4lbs, USDA Organic by Anthony’s – Gluten Free & Non GMO)

1 1/2 cups water or broth(Frontier Broth Powder, Vegetable Flavored, 16 Ounce Bag), you’ll add this to the blended mixture to make up to 2 cups worth combined.

1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend, 2.9 oz

1 teaspoon cumin(McCormick Gourmet Organic Cumin Ground, 1.5 oz)

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste(Redmond Real Salt, Ancient Fine Sea Salt, Unrefined Mineral Salt, 26 Ounce Pouch (2 Pack))

Method:

Saute the onion and bell pepper for a few minutes on the saute function in 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter. Add in the garlic, stir for one minute, add in tomato and saute for five minutes. Scrape the saute mixture into a blender. Add the green chilis to the blender along with the cumin, chile lime seasoning and salt and pepper. Let cool in blender while sauteing the sweet potatoes. Put sweet potato pieces into the Instant Pot on the saute function, adding oil as needed.   Saute for five minutes, or until slightly brown. Turn off Instant pot and add the quinoa(make sure to rinse the quinoa in a sieve first). Blend the mixture in the blender until smooth. Taste to see if more seasoning is needed. Put in enough water or broth to make 2 cups of liquid and pour into Instant pot and stir gently. Put the lid on the IP(instant pot) and press the rice button.

Serve with avocado, cilantro, fresh lime, sour cream, and cheese, if so desired.

*this post contains affiliate links that cost you nothing when clicked, but may help pay for this blog if they are clicked upon. 🙂

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Why you need a food journal(free pdf!)

food journal diet weightloss

Have you ever wondered if a food journal might help you with your health and wellness journey? Do you have unexplained symptoms such as headaches, bloating, fatigue, or nausea? Do you feel like you have been dieting and watching what you eat, but still are not losing the weight? If any of these apply to you, a food journal will most definitely help you! By writing down what you eat and drink everyday for a couple weeks, along with how you feel after eating, you will many times, pinpoint where you are struggling diet-wise or find foods that cause those unexplained symptoms. When I was practicing midwifery, I would always give my clients a handout to chart their food and water intake for the first month and bring it back to me at their next prenatal visit. Many times, the women would be amazed at what they ate, what their diet was lacking, or even discover they were not eating enough. It is also a great way to make sure you are drinking enough water. Many of us go about each day dehydrated. It’s amazing how much better our bodies work when hydrated properly.

I have a free printable Food Journal page for you to give it a try. This is just one easy method. If you like this printable, you may print multiples and hole punch them to put in a 3 ring binder to keep it all together so as to see your progress. Or, you could get a notepad, small notebook, jot it into the notes section on your device as well, whatever is easiest for you!

I will write more in another blog post about using your food journal to help you reach or maintain your health and wellness goals. Happy food journal-ling!