Tag Archives: health

30 Day Weight Loss & Healing #1- My Journey Overview

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As a healer, it has always been my goal to be able to help those who have not been able to heal by traditional/mainstream means. Those who have searched and searched, been to countless doctors, spent many thousands of dollars on supplements, tried a variety of diets, etc. and still are not well. I’m interested in helping these people because I am one.
I haven’t written about my experiences very actively over the past 3 years, but once upon a time I was 28 years old and very, very, VERY sick. I was so sick that I knew I would die before age 35 if I didn’t figure out why and how to fix it. I had been to many doctors, they offered me no diagnosis aside from IBS, and no help or hope. I was obese, I was swollen around my joints, which were inflamed and painful. I was fatigued all of the time, it didn’t matter how much I slept. I was in severe pain in my back and neck muscles and had headaches so intense that I would take 3 Ibuprofen upon waking and then lay on the couch for 30 minutes covering my eyes waiting for them to take the edge off the pain. Taking the edge off enabled me to attend to the basic needs of my children. I would take another 3 pills in the afternoon, and another 3 in the evening. That was the only way I could function even a little bit. I started blacking out randomly and having lengthy dizzy spells, often lasing for days at a time, with such intensity I had to hang on to things to move around the house. After my third baby was born was the worst. That was a very dark time in my life. “Luckily” that baby had such horrible colic for 5 months that I changed my diet quiet a bit as I tried to find the offending food. In the end it turned out the culprit was bananas, of all things, but the process got me off of dairy and sugar at least! I lost 20 lbs from those subtle dietary changes by the time he was 6 months old. That’s when I discovered raw vegan diets and read several books on that from our library. I spent the next month reading and doing an Isagenix cleanse (I had done a number of them over several years before but this was the only 30 I had done) to prepare my body for change. If I remember correctly I lost about 12-15 lbs in that month on that cleanse. This was the last Isagenix cleanse I would ever do. My health had improved noticeably. This was June 2009. July 1, 2009 I started my raw journey. I began slow by adding good things into my diet. The first thing I changed was starting my day with a huge green smoothie instead of the whey protein shake I’d relied on for many years. I never had any intention of going vegan, I loved meat and felt I needed it to be healthy, so I had planned on keeping a portion of meat at dinner time with everything else eventually being raw. I had always eaten what the world would consider and healthy balanced dinner; a serving of lean meat, a starch (potato, rice, homemade bread, etc.), and salad and /or steamed vegetables. As I transitioned my salads grew larger and I ate less and less of the starch and steamed vegetables, so I mostly ate salad and meat for dinner. My body changed dramatically over those first 4 months. As my health improved I gained the ability to discern how different food affected me. Every night I would have stomach pain after dinner. This happened for about a month before I accepted that it might be the meat and removed that and put a potato or steamed vegetable back in its place. From the day I made that change I never had a stomach ache after dinner again. I’ve tried eating meat a number of times over the years and it never does go over well with my body or my spirit. I became big into green smoothies and then started juicing, which catapulted my healing in a big way. Eventually I got into colon cleansing with water and that increased the speed of my healing as well. My skin was clear after years of painful face and back acne, I had energy, I lost 73 lbs, I had no need for pain medication because I was no longer in pain, my perspective on the world changed from dark and fearful to light and hopeful, I became an inspiration to others and I started doing Wellness Coaching which eventually led into Detox Counseling, specifically. Detox was my life. I still had some issues with weak digestion (bloating, gas, constipation, hemorrhoids) and low blood sugar, but all else was well and I was still working on those things.
And then I got pregnant with the 4th child. This was autumn of 2012. I had spent the summer rebounding and running and doing The Shred with Jillian Michaels… I was a 5’7″ 120 lb hyped-up-on-life machine of awesomeness… until the 7th week of the pregnancy. I went down. Way, way, waaaay down. As I did with all of my pregnancies, each one worse than the last. I was sure I was going to have the most amazing, fit, life-force infused pregnancy. I was sure I was going to be glowing and still running in my 8th month and tiny all over with a cute round bump. Not so. Whatever it was that caused my pregnancies to be so terrible was still there in force. I was sick the entire pregnancy. I could not eat healthy, I could not get down juice or vegetables. I could eat some fruit. I spent the whole 9 months eating whatever I could get in. It was survival. I was on bedrest almost the entire time with preterm labor. I was anemic. I could breathe but felt like I was suffocating the entire time. I had intense ligament pain on the sides of my tummy if I sat upright for more than a few minutes. I went into labor every time I got up. So I ended up spending the last few months laying down upstairs in my bedroom. We had moved to Arizona during my 6th month and my husband graduated Chiropractic College and went to WA to do his preceptorship for 2 months. I was alone in a new place, with my 3 kids, on bedrest and miserable. I became very depressed and had a lot of anxiety. And it was very lonely being isolated in my bedroom for months.
I was SO relieved when the baby was born. I had a birth that was absolutely awesome and very emotionally healing. That birth erased all the trauma from my second birth (which had also affected my 3rd birth). I felt I could accomplish anything and I was sure that the weight would come right off and within 6-8 weeks I would be a size 2 again and be back out there running and loving life. Well, that baby just turned 3 last week. Today I’m about the same weight I was after his birth. I lost some of the pregnancy weight during the first year but it came back on. I’ve done a handful of cleanses and have juiced all that I can now that I have 4 kids on my hands all hours of the day. Honestly, healthy eating is much more challenging for me with 4 children than it was with 3. I’m exhausted. Life has been very stressful. I went through about 2 years of extreme depression, which brought me through several periods of being suicidal. I never have yet been able to regain the health I was enjoying prior to the last pregnancy. I feel I should go on record here and say I would absolutely do it all over again for the child that came of it! He is amazing and I am as in love with him every moment of every day as I was that first day when I pushed him out of my body and brought him up out of the water with my own hands. He is my little friend who makes every day worth the struggle.
I have been able to identify a few reasons why I’m having these issues. #1 I’ve had Epstein Barr virus since I was about 7 years old. Its activated by hormones (um, pregnancy!). I was not aware of this until recently, and it is very common. #2 I was recently diagnosed with the MTHFR gene mutation. I have 2 copies of the mutation, which means that it comes from both sides of my family and means that I don’t get 70% of the folic acid my body needs to function. It also means that I’ve got massive amounts of homocystine causing a ruckus all over my body, putting me at risk of heart attack, blocking my D3 receptors so that I’m severely D3 deficient. And also my body can’t detox heavy metals very well, so I’ve got heavy metal toxicity in my gut. In addition, I have a mutation of the SUOX gene. #3 These gene mutations cause some fun autoimmune disorders which, in myself, have thus far been identified as fibromyalgia, Hashimotos, and lupus. Epstein Barr also contributes to symptoms of Hashimotos. No wonder I’m exhausted and overweight, huh?!! #4  I have an intolerance to just about every food known to man.  #5 I’m holding on to a whole lot of weight and sickness because of many factors in my life that my body has interpreted as “scarcity.” (More on that in the next post).

The good news: Every one of these things can be corrected. This is not a life sentence.

This is a brief history so you can understand where I am coming from and a bit of what my journey has been like. The next post will be geared toward healing and what I will be doing moving forward, which can also be a massive benefit to you!

P.S. I am 36 years old, I didn’t die at 35! I 100% attribute this to the grace of God as He has led me through my healing journey.
P.S.S. Isn’t it interesting that my healing journey originally began on July 1, 2009 and today is July 1, 2014. Coincidence? I don’t believe in those!

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Readiness to Change

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Change is something that is very difficult for most people to accomplish, and the reasons are as varied as the individual.  Most of what hinders us are emotional hang ups we haven’t yet worked through or released, and these issues can be deeply seeded and can have come from as far back as our own conception.  Our ability to reach a point where we are ready to make change will depend on factors such as our personality type, or reasons for wanting change (motivation), and our support systems.

From a personal stand point, I happen to love change.  I embrace it.  I’m constantly assessing all areas of my life and scouting for space where change can be made.  I work hard to move forward in life and the thing that matters most to me is being a better version of myself today than I was yesterday.  There are aspects to this that aren’t necessarily a good thing.  For one, I’m a stereo typical type A personality.  I crave and strive for perfection, all the while knowing that perfection without flaws does not exist.  As with all personality types it is easy to fall out of balance.  Our strengths can easily become weaknesses when we don’t walk the line in between the two.  For example, a person who is very laid back, friendly and easy to be around can also be complacent and flakey.  Or a person such as myself can fall out of balance by allowing the drive to succeed to become overwhelming and can easily burn out or neglect the things in life that truly matter.

But you came here in hopes of finding some answers as to how you can move forward, so let’s see what progress we can make today.

There are 3 main change motivators; crisis, osmosis, and vision.  I’ll quickly go over what encompasses each of these.

Change by Crisis

There are obvious crisis that would inspire change in a person, such as being diagnosed with diabetes or having a heart attack, or seeing a family member suffer from disease.  But “crisis” for the purpose of motivation can be anything that strikes a person.  It could be a moment of clarity, something said by someone that makes a profound impact, seeing a photo of yourself and realizing how far you’ve let yourself go.  Change by crisis happens when we are inspired by a traumatic event or profound moment or realization.

Change by Osmosis

Osmosis is a gradual process.  Readiness to change that happens in this way can take any length of time and come from both internal and external forces.  It may be that you are working through emotional issues, or even just maturing with age, that brings you to a point of being motivated to embrace change.  Or it may be your environment.  For example, maybe a close family member or friend has begun to make changes in their lives, maybe your employer starts offering free or discounted gym memberships and many of your coworkers begin working out together regularly, maybe you draw and build inspiration from a transformational TV show you watch regularly.

Change by Vision

We can equate change by vision to having a goal in mind.  Change by vision happens when we have created in our mind the specific place we would like to get to.  This is really where the magic happens, but we need to be aware that impulse control and acceptance of delayed gratification will be present in the small choices we make every day as we journey toward our vision.

For most of us all or several of these motivators may be a part of our change process at one point or another.  There are 5 basic stages that we go through as we reach a level of full readiness for change.

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Stage #1: Pre-Contemplation

In this stage we are not even considering making change.  It may be that we don’t believe we have a need to make change in our lives, or it may be that we just aren’t interested.  Maybe we are comfortable where we are on some level, we are enjoying the payoff we get from staying complacent, and we just aren’t willing to move beyond that at this point.  We may also sincerely believe that we “can’t” change.  Change is impossible for us.  Maybe we’ve tried and failed in the past, maybe multiple times, and it just doesn’t seem worth the risk of suffering the pain of “failure” to try again.  As a coach, there are several things that are very important for a client in this stage, and the great thing about it is that if you are in this stage you can make great progress by practicing giving yourself these things.  In fact, it will likely build the foundation for all of the change you will make in your life, just as from a coaching perspective it builds the foundation of the coach-client relationship.  A person who is pre-contemplative is there for a reason.  This is not a “lazy” person.  I do not believe that laziness exists.  What society tends to label as laziness, in reality, can be several things.  It might be lack of energy, which can be due to emotional or nutritional factors.  It might be deep emotional pain, which holds us back and often strips us of confidence to believe that we CAN effect change and the self-esteem to believe that we are worth the risk and effort.  It may be that past experiences have deterred us from wanting to try again.  It may be that habitual negative self-talk is crippling us.  It may be that we are so focused on all that stands in our way that we are literally creating walls around ourselves.  Whatever it is, the most important thing is to have empathy for yourself.  You are not flawed or inadequate.  You are not “lazy” or whatever label you or others have placed on you.  It is imperative that you accept yourself exactly as you are.  If you never move forward, that is OKAY.  There are REASONS that you are where you are, and those reasons are real and powerful.  Respect the place you are in and work to understand why you are there.  We all crave understanding and one of the best things we can do is to seek to understand ourselves.  Whatever feelings you have must be acknowledged, accepted and un-judged.  No matter how we feel, there is no fault in it.  Our feelings tell us a lot about what matters most to us, and it is there that we find our motivation.  So in this stage, we focus internally.  We learn to love and accept ourselves as we are.  We seek to understand, and we learn to stop passing judgment and become increasingly honest and open with ourselves.

Stage #2:  Contemplation

This is the stage where we begin to consider making changes.  We don’t have any specific goals yet, but we begin to have ideas about what we would like to change and how and when we might do it.  We begin contemplating change when we become aware of areas in our life that we are dissatisfied with, or when we start to consider the possibility of succeeding in our efforts to change.  This is the place where light begins to enter in.  We can feel ourselves slowly coming to life.  We may remain in this stage for a very long time.  In fact, it isn’t uncommon for people to become what is referred to as “chronic contemplators.”  People who think and talk about making change frequently, but who never take steps to effect those changes.  It may be that they don’t know what to do to move forward, or they may still have deeply seeded fears of failure.  It may also be that they are still weighing the benefits of change over the effort that change requires.  Once again, we do not judge these things.  Wherever we are in the process is just where we are meant to be.  This is a good time for you to identify your values.  When we are fully aware of what truly matters to us we can decide if we would like to stay where we are at or begin to move forward.  The most effective way that I have found to do this is to take the time to close your eyes,  relax, and imagine yourself at the end of your life.  Perhaps imagine you are telling your life story to your grandchildren or writing it in a book that will be read by many generations to come.  What might that story sound like if you stay where you are currently at and continue on as you are?  Now, imagine what your life story would sound like if it were exactly the story you would want to tell.  Whatever it is that you would want to tell about the life you have lived, there are your values.  Begin to contemplate ways you might alter your life so that you are living true to these values.  This might also be a good time to learn about the consequences of some of your choices.  For example, how the foods you are currently eating might affect you and what kind of suffering you may experience as a result.  Denial is common and does not serve anyone well.  We are subject to natural consequence even if we look the other way.  Here again, it is imperative not to judge but to view your current behaviors as just what they are:  choices that you make.  You have the power to make choices that either hurt or serve you and when we make choices that are hurtful it is an opportunity to explore WHY we are making those choices.  If we do not become aware of our choices and the reasons we make them, we cannot effect change in our lives.  If you feel ready, this can be a great time to begin experimenting with setting small, achievable goals.  It could something like reading a book, or stopping before you eat to ask yourself if you are truly hungry or not, and if not, ask yourself why you are reaching for food (stopping yourself from eating the food is not necessary at this time unless you are feeling up to it).  It could be that you make a goal to organize one small area of your home each Saturday, or decide that you will commit to attending one social activity per month.  Whatever you do, set goals that you are likely to achieve.  This will help to grow your confidence in your power to effect change.

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Stage #3:  Preparation

Let’s DO this.  Here you are ready to make change immediately.  Your motivation to change has overridden any hang ups you may have had in the past.  You are now aware of the barriers and obstacles that have kept you from success in the past and you have some ideas about how you might navigate those challenges as you move forward.  Preparation stage is marked by our willingness and ability to explore solutions.  This is the time to formulate a clear and specific vision of where we want to go, and develop a plan for how we intend to get there.  It is also a time to make a solid commitment to ourselves that we are going to put in the effort to see this plan through.  You might find journaling helpful, discussing your ideas with a close friend, or even just brainstorming on a piece of paper.  As with any stage, do not allow yourself to be motivated by external factors or other people.  Throw the world “should” out of your vocabulary completely.  This is about you.  This is not about what someone else wants for you or about pleasing other people.  You are the only person living your life, and you will not have a chance to live it over.  So make these choices based on honesty and authenticity.  Be aware that even though you have brainstormed strategies for avoiding pitfalls, pitfalls happen.  They are part of the process.  Avoid seeing them as failures.  In fact, they are there to serve you and propel you forward.  Each time we are set back we are awarded a priceless opportunity to reevaluate, re-strategize, and try again.  All great successes in life are preceded by many failures.  Failure is not an end, it is an opportunity for learning and gaining of strength.  Your success is hinged on your attitude toward setbacks.  For that reason it is very important to plan for how you will react to such situations.  It can be very painful to confront ourselves and very tempting to view ourselves negatively.  Don’t fall for it.  There are enough enemies available in the world, you don’t need to be one to yourself.  If you aren’t going to be kind to yourself, who is?

Phase #4:  Action

The action phase is the phase marked by doing.  The blueprint has been carefully mapped out, the foundation has been set, and now we begin the building process.  This is the perfect time to establish relationships with people who share your goals and values.  Support is an essential part of this phase.  Remember to keep your goals and action broken down into small, achievable steps.  Change happens one small choice and one small action at a time.  We are at a greater risk of lapse and re-lapse during this phase, so we need to be mindful not to set ourselves up for a fall.  Continue to work through setbacks by asking yourself what you can do differently the next time you are faced with a similar situation.  Discuss these things with people in the support network you are building.  Continue to love and accept yourself and your place in this journey, and ENJOY the adventure.  Finding joy in the journey is such a great thing, this isn’t all about getting to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it is about embracing and celebrating the profound internal transformation that is the reason for our human experience.  We will never be perfect.  We will never be exactly the way we would like to be.  There will always be another goal to reach for, another area to work on… and this is GOOD.  Remember, you are exactly where you are intended to be at any and every moment in your life.

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Phase #5:  Maintenance

In the action phase we are doing, in the maintenance phase we might say we are “still doing.”  The difference is that at this point we have made the change a habit, or a part of our lifestyle.  It is no longer quite the effort it once was, though we may still go through times of falter and will still need to examine ourselves from time to time to be sure we aren’t slipping backward into previous phases.  In maintenance phase we are fairly, if not completely, confident in our ability to maintain our new behavior.  Reaching this point makes all other changes we wish to make that much easier, because we have proven to ourselves that we are capable of doing great things.  We realize now that we have, and have always had, the power to determine our own life course.  We are still at risk of lapse or re-lapse.  Often this will happen because we become bored or because we lose touch with the reason we made change to begin with.  It is vital to never forget what your initial motivators were.  For myself, when I began my journey to lose weight and gain health I not only took “before” photos, but I also make a detailed list of the physical afflictions I was suffering from.  In fact, I have made multiples lists, and continue to.  I look back on these lists from time to time, especially when I’m feeling discouraged, and I can see the payoff I have gotten from my efforts.  These lists have gone from several pages in length to several lines.  Journaling can also be useful for this reason.  We all too often forget our pain once we have healed… which can be a great thing… but we do need to remember where we came from and why.  You will find in maintenance phase that you are able to get yourself back on track more quickly and easily and you get better and better at noticing when you are falling off course.  This relates not only to your initial goal, but to all goals set hereafter.  You are now aware of your strengths and weaknesses and can foresee situations that might have the potential to slip you up and you are willing and able to strategize how you will navigate those situations.  Seek out mentors and role models, people you admire who have achieved great successes.  Now is also a great time to step up and share what you have learned with others, to become a role model to them.  Sharing knowledge is invaluable, it is a universal law that the teacher always learns more than the student, so this can be a great way to stay motivated and keep yourself moving ever forward.

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You will repeat these phases over and over throughout your life as you continue to identify areas that are calling for improvement.  You may be working on several different goals and be in several different stages at the same time.  Life is an endless state of metamorphosis…  and it is wonderful.  YOU are a wonderful creation to whom the power to create has been gifted.  Creating change is not about willpower or strength or special ability, it is about the process of accepting and practicing self-love.  Love is not something we find or something we have or create, it is something we DO and something we ARE.  Love is a state of being.  The best news is you don’t have to be perfect to start.  You don’t have to be in a great place.  You don’t even have to be “ready”.  As I’ve pointed out above, there are actions you can take within every phase of readiness that will move you forward toward the next phase.  Be honest with yourself, be forgiving.  Start where you are at.  You cannot jump forward and change does not happen quickly or without effort.  Do what you can do right where you are at, being just who you are, in this very moment… and know that whoever that is, is wonderful, and beautiful and perfectly flawed… which is the only perfection.

((Cross posted from my blog at InnateWellnessCoaching.com))

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… Milkshakes (Healthy Ones!)

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Dinner tonight was sort of a flop, at least visually.  My daughter had the idea of making a healthier version of biscuits and gravy, since my husband had requested this dish for his dinner.  So I made our go-to spelt biscuits (I use coconut milk instead of dairy milk in them).  Then I made a gravy similar to my mushroom gravy, but I didn’t have any mushrooms.  Unfortunately, the gravy came out more like a thick-ish soup.  BUT, as luck would have it, I’ve been trying to come up with a way of making creamy soups without using dairy, and I think I found it!  So, this soupy sad looking “gravy” may, in fact, have just been a blessing from Heaven, an answer to my un-creamy soup dilemma.  Thanks, culinary angels!

Now to the point.   I had some friends come over today to see how I make milkshakes and ice cream and to talk about health.  This is my favorite kind of day!  I’ve got a long list of milkshake/ice cream recipes I’m perfecting and I was hoping to post them all together, but I’m going to give you what I’ve got so far.  A few things first.  Be selective about your Stevia.  I will only use NuNaturals or KAL, everything else tastes bitter, with the exception of flavored Stevias, the Sweetleaf brand is okay.  Buy bananas by the box full, ripen them to well-freckled perfection, peel and place on a baking sheet.  Cut them into 3rds or 4ths and freeze.  Store them in freezer bags.  You need not waste any bags if you store the empty ones in the freezer and re-use them.  Flavor extracts, be SURE they are alcohol-free.  You can get the best price on these at Vitacost.com.  Nuts; be sure they are raw.  The bag must specify that they are raw.  You can get the best price on these at Trader Joe’s.  Nut milks, the best brand to get is Pacific, but the Trader Joe’s brand is also okay, or you can make your own at home.  Just blend 1 cup of water with a handful of nuts, or 2 TBS of nut butter and filter it through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth.  Spinach; I use the organic baby spinach from Costco.  It’s the best price I’ve found, plus it’s prewashed so you can just toss it right in.  I make a big pitcher full of milkshake, and each of these recipes will make that amount.  I fill a Ball Freezer Jar and put it in the freezer for my late night ice cream indulgence (yes, every night, curled up in bed, with my husband and his TV shows and my current read).  If you are less of a glutton, just cut the recipe in half… or you could be a better person than I and share.  Your call.  Okay…  Blender; I use a Vitamix.  A Blendtec would also be great.  You can try it in a regular blender, but be sure to blend your “base” (the spinach, liquid and flavorings) thoroughly and be careful when blending your ice and frozen bananas, these shakes are THICK and I lost 3 blenders to raw recipes during my first few months on this dietary journey.  A high speed blender is WELL worth the investment!  If you would like free shipping on a Vitamix, please let me know.  I recommend getting a refurbished model, if you can.  They come with the same 7-year warranty, but are less expensive.

Alright, the recipes.  Here are my 10 current favorites.

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Vanilla Ice Cream Cone

1 cup water

2 TBS (heaping) raw almond butter

Dash Celtic sea salt

1 TBS alcohol-free vanilla extract

½ TBS vanilla powder

3 droppersful NuNaturals or KAL liquid Stevia

Dash of ground cinnamon

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, almond butter, salt, vanillas, stevia, cinnamon and spinach well.  Add ice and banana and blend creamy.

 

Peanut-Butter-Scotch

1 cup water

3 TBS Organic Peanut Butter* (optional)

Dash Celtic Sea Salt

½ tsp alcohol-free Butterscotch Flavoring

3 droppersful NuNaturals or KAL liquid Stevia

½ tsp  ground Cinnamon

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, peanutbutter, salt, flavoring, stevia, cinnamon and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

*Be selective about peanut butter, and eat it only on rare occasion.  Peanuts are homes to a specific kind of mold which contains aflatoxin, a known carcinogen.  So, peanuts cause cancer.  Don’t eat too many!  Look for an organic brand without salt or sugar added.  If you want to be really great about it you can get Wild Jungle Peanut Butter, which is not only raw but the Amazonian peanuts used to make it are the only aflatoxin free variety.

 

Orange Julius Goes Green

¾-1 cup water

2 ripe, organic oranges, sectioned and frozen

1 TBS alcohol free vanilla extract, 1/8 vanilla bean, or ½ TBS Vanilla Powder

2 droppers-full liquid Stevia (NuNaturals or KAL brands)

1-2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Place water, vanilla, Stevia, and spinach in the blender, blend.  Add oranges and blend until smooth.  Add ice and banana and blend until thick and creamy, using the agitator to push the banana down.

Note:  Peel and segment the oranges in the morning or the day before and freeze.

 

Amaretto

1 cup water or almond milk

Dash of Celtic sea salt

½-1 tsp alcohol-free almond extract (to taste)

1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract or 1/2 TBS Vanilla Powder

3 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, salt, extracts, stevia and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  Add chopped frozen cherries.

 

Candy Cane

1 cup water

1/4 tsp alcohol-free peppermint extract

3 dropperful stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, extract, stevia and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  Stir in carob chips or a chopped chocolate bar (be sure its high quality, organic, and 70% or more cocoa-Green & Black or Endangered Species are great brands) after making.

 

Chocolate

1 cup water or almond milk

3 heaping TBS raw cacao powder

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract

Dash Celtic sea salt

1 dropperful Chocolate Stevia (optional, I use Sweetleaf brand)

2-3 droppersful Stevia OR 4-6 TBS raw agave nectar or pure maple syrup (or a mix of agave and maple syrup)

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, cacao, vanilla, salt, stevias/sweeteners and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  add ¼ tsp peppermint extract

 

Candied Vanilla

1 cup water or almond milk

1 dropperful Vanilla Stevia (I use Sweetleaf brand)

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or extract

2 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, stevias, vanilla and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

 

Vanilla Bean

1 cup water or almond milk

Dash Celtic sea salt

¼-1/2 vanilla bean

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, salt, vanilla bean (cut it into chunks first) and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Cinnamon Bun

1 cup water

1 TBS raw sunflower seeds

4 raw Brazil nuts

About 10 raw almonds

Dash Celtic sea salt

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract

Lots of ground cinnamon, I would guess about 1/8 cup

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts and almonds well, until a creamy milk forms.  You may use it like this, or make it lower fat by running it through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth to strain out the fiber and make a nut milk.  Add salt, vanilla, cinnamon and spinach.  Blend well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

 

Black Licorice

1 cup water

½ tsp alcohol-free Anise extract (to taste)

3 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Add water, extract, Stevia, and spinach.  Blend well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

There you have it, my collection of current favorite milkshake recipes.  I eat these every day for lunch and the frozen ice cream “left overs” every night for dessert.  I’ve got several more recipes I’m working on, as well as some delicious toppings for the ice cream.  Hope you enjoy these and I look forward to sharing more soon!

That We Might Have Joy!

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August 9, 2012

          I don’t often speak from the depths of my soul.  I think most of the world will not understand.  But maybe I’m not giving the world enough credit.  We are each, after all, the same.  And within each one of us is the gift to recognize truth, and good, and things that are of God, our creator. 

          So here is the secret of my soul.  Here is the unsheltered reality by which I live.  It is a painful thing to behold the world.  The depth of unnecessary misery is torture to witness.  I see a world of pain, where joy is meant to be.  I see us creating our own disharmony.  I see us intentionally manufacturing and attaching ourselves to dangerous distractions.  I see us allowing the forces of evil to penetrate our hearts.  I see us poisoning ourselves and our children.  I see an, ironically, barbaric civilization.  One that is so far distanced from its inhabitant’s pristine origins, it now sees them as barbaric, and shuns them.  If a person dares to attempt to live as the Creator intended, he is weird, crazy, a “hippy.”  A peaceful person who views the earth with wonder and gratitude, who treats others with love even when that love is harshly rejected, who nourishes himself from the earth and does not inflict violence on any living thing is so foreign to us we might actually fear him.  We wouldn’t know how to relate to such an individual.  But we are perfectly comfortable in our social circles, going on about which brand of crackers our children prefer, how to best clean our ovens, which fictional novel we are currently reading, what happened on last night’s episode of Bones… but none of this matters!  Stop feeding your kids death!  Stop poisoning your family with ovens and all that comes out of them!  Stop filling the space of your mind with these distracting and often scandalous inventions of unrealistic existence!  And, please, stop staring at flashing lights on a screen for hours a day, allowing your life to slip by while you live vicariously though someone else’s life, which may or may not even exist!  Why allow your life to be wasted away?  Because it’s all you’ve ever known?  Because you’re not aware of what is real?  Because it’s one of the few comforts you’re aware of?  Because the way you live your life is so unnatural and as a result the stress so high you feel the need to zone out?

          Steeping off the soap box now.  Please realize my irritation is with myself.  I am as guilty as anyone, and yet my consciousness is evolving.  And as it evolves I find myself questioning the activities I choose to include in my daily life.  I’m analyzing why I make the choices I do, what the payoff is, as well as the cost, and most importantly I’m asking myself if these things are serving greater good.  Do I need them?  Can I give them up?  What might I replace them with?

          The unfortunate truth is that we are natural beings living in a way that is completely unnatural to our species.  We tend to prefer not to see ourselves in such a way, as “animals” so to speak, as part of nature.  We surround ourselves with destruction.  Do you get what I’m saying?  We surround ourselves with DESTRUCTION.  Take a moment right now to look at what surrounds you.  How many things can you count that were created by the robbing of life?  How many things were created in a factory?  How many things were once living that are now dead?  How many of these things will decay with time? How many are capable of their own reproduction?  Are you surrounded by anything that is living in its pristine form?  Human beings are meant to be part of the natural world.  It is this world that was created for us.  All things within it are intricately linked.  All things work in harmony.  Every needful thing is provided for us there.  When we live true to our nature, we need not ask God for anything.  We need only rejoice and praise Him with gratitude for all that he has given us from the beginning.  Not because we ought to, not because He says, but because we would be so overflowing with the pure love available to us, that we would not be able to contain it! 

          What can we do, in our modern society, to tap into this joy?  Here are a few ideas for you to condsider.  Walk barefoot outdoors daily.  Grow a garden.  Eat food in the form in which it is offered from the earth.  Cleanse the toxins of the modern world from your body via colon hydrotherapy and eating as mentioned previously.  Make a habit of viewing your life with gratitude rather than despair.  Allow enough quiet into your life that you can hear the whisperings of truth all around you.  Choose to love others just as they currently are.  MOVE your body.  They are designed to be moving most of the day!  Detach yourself from electronics as much as possible.  Connect to the people, plants, and animals around you.  Don’t allow fear to be a part of your experience.  Where there is love and faith there is no fear.  Get to know yourself.  Find our callings in life.  What are you most passionate about?  What can you do to assist others?  Go to bed with the sun and rise with it.  Release the past, it is no longer happening.  It only exists in our lives if we choose to hold on to it by focusing on it.  Look for the growth opportunities in your suffering.  Allow what’s in your heart to have a voice.  Do not fear vulnerability.  Do not concern yourself with that others think of you, they see through their own set of filters, they cannot know your true heart.  But your Father knows it and loves it.  Women, you are DIVINE!  You are daughters of GOD!  YOU are His greatest creation, the absolute pinnacle of perfection!  You are equipped with gifts that enable you to take the world from its current state of destruction, back to its pristine origins.  Bond yourselves together, there is power in numbers!  Do not allow the forces of darkness to come between you and your sisters.  Turn away from pettiness, judgment, superiority, control.  Look at the people around you as people, not as objects.  Every person you interact with is just like yourself, in fact they are a part of you.  Treat them as such.  Do not destroy God’s creations.  Do not kill his animals.  They have been entrusted to you and are here to serve you. 

          My only hope as I write this is that someone will come away pondering.  Some spark will ignite in the depths of a soul which, as he focuses on it, will grow into a force for good in his life.  Each life on this earth is an essential part of the big picture, the Master’s Plan, and if I have said anything that might bring more power to the forces of light, I have done well in the sight of my Creator.  And ultimately, that is what matters.

That’s How We Roll: Easter!

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Easter is one of those “all about the food” holidays.  Actually, I can’t think of a holiday that isn’t… even Memorial Day, Labor Day and Independence Day tend to be connected to cookouts and red-white-and-blue cupcakes.   It really seems that for many of us, the meaning of the celebration gets lost in the gluttony of the celebrating.  Now, to be clear, I beleive that foods is an enjoyable thing and that its meant to be, and I enjoy holiday foods as much as anyone… BUT I do have issues with the reason we’re celebrating taking backseat to overstuffing ourselves with damaging substances.  For this reason, I make a real effort to prepare my family for holidays in advance, teaching what the holiday is about for days leading up to it and getting us all into the spirit.  I keep the food items simple and make healthier versions of them.  Also, I’m big on holiday traditions and try to incorporate creative traditions that we all enjoy and that stand as a reminder to each of us what the holiday is all about.

Easter was my favorite holiday growing up.  Why?  Because chocolate was my favorite “food”!  My mom did holidays BIG and every Easter morning we’d wake up to huge Easter baskets stuffed with candy, gifts, and (of course) a chocolate bunny bigger than our heads.  We were never restricted, we were free to eat all or nothing.  My sister’s candy would last months.  Mine would last… well, it wouldn’t.  I would eat until I was sick and keep right on going.  A sugar addict pretty much from birth I had absolutely no self control.  Knowing my love for Easter my mom continued to give me my beloved Easter baskets through my 18th year.  Now here I am at age 31 with my own children, having broken free from the addiction and developed a passion for health.  My children do not get Easter baskets, and I make no apologies.  If you’ve ever had an addiction of any kind, its probably not something you would wish on your kids or intentionally attempt to foster in them.

So here’s how Easter works in a home where dad is a Chiropractor and mom is a Health Coach : )

We read a few stories and talked a bit about Easter leading up to it.  Christ is the focal point of our lives, so I kind of feel like the spirit of Christmas and Easter are with us to some degree throughout the year without needing to put in any special effort.  The day before Easter we dyed some eggs.  This is the first year in 3 years we colored eggs, and it was Coen’s first time ever (previous years we ate more vegan foods, we now eat eggs and goat cheese on occasion).  After that we had our usual Saturday night family movie night (we watched Lady and the Tramp, so classic!).

Sunday morning Kolby made the kids special breakfast omelets, which is a rare happening in our house because the kids and I typically eat fruit in the mornings.  The kids drew on their colored eggs with markers and I made cinnamon rolls, per their request when asked what dessert they would like for their Easter treat.  I found a recipe using spelt flour and coconut sugar, here.  I used real butter though, instead of coconut oil, although I would have been fine with using coconut oil as well.  I didn’t make the icing from the recipe, I just made a buttercream glaze with about 1/2 cup of coconut sugar ground into powder in a coffee grinder, 4 TBS softened butter, 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla, and about 2-3 TBS coconut milk.  I blended it together with the hand mixer until it was creamy and poured it over the rolls when they were almost cooled, but still a little warm.  I was excited, after calculating, to find that the calories from fat in these are much lower than I’d feared, I can actually eat 3 of them at once if I didn’t have any added fat for the day. (!!!!)

We got ready and went to church, we left at 12:30 and returned around 4:30, during which time we indulged in Eater messages and sang Eater hymns.  The kids did get a couple of little candies from church that they ate.  I made dinner (large salad, roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed red potatoes, plus ham for Kolby) and we ate.   Kolby hid the eggs in the front yard… well, sort of… he actually just put most of them on the ground.  It was a lazy man’s egg hunt that lasted all of about 2 minutes.  I was planning to do it in the backyard but he didn’t manage to finish mowing yesterday.  We came inside and the kids popped the eggs open.  What we’ve done for several years now, in lieu of gifts and candy, is to put strips of paper in the eggs with “gifts” written on them… like a place we will visit, something we will do as a family, or a special choice they get, such as getting to pick the family movie night movie or any dinner they want.

Next, we grabbed a few books I got from the library and headed to our bed where we all cuddled up and read.  The kids and I cuddled and read, that is, Kolby cuddled and snored and is still out now, four hours later.  Anyway, the first book we read “The Sparrow’s Eater Song” was poorly written and not very entertaining or educational.  The second book, “He is Alive!” was beautifully written and illustrated and made for some great conversation and learning opportunities concerning the last week of the Savior’s life.  It was a little long though, so we didn’t have time to read the third book.  Maybe tomorrow.

Last, we went to the kitchen and ate our cinnamon rolls, and yeah, I ate three!  Because I could.

Eating/coloring eggs

Omelets!!!

Unrelated to Eater festivities, in the middle of the day Coen popped out of my bedroom wearing my jammie pants and thinking himself quite clever.

Eater story lineup

Canyon was sad in the window wanting to come out and hunt eggs too!

Coen got so excited running to show me his eggs, he totally biffed it and lost his eggs all over the driveway… luckily brother and sister were nice enough to assist!

Then we got inside and Coen biffed it again and lost his eggs all across the living room, daddy helped this time : )

Finding *gifts* in the eggs

The cinnamon rolls, coconut sugar isn’t white, so the icing is a little different looking, but rather yummy

Happy kids!

Eat dem rolls, Behny!

HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Drinking Green Cinnamon Rolls

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Why not kick things off with one of my favorite things: FOOD!

I’m pretty much an obsessive recipe collector and creator.  I’m not sure there’s a place in life I feel most in joy than when I’m in my own kitchen playing with food and designing new orders of deliciousness.  Well, today, my three-year-old and I are sipping on some magical milkshakes.  Watching my son gobble up this green goodness makes me think of how I am constantly asked for ideas on getting kids to eat vegetables, what better way than to make it into ice cream?

 This recipe is most amazing, I adapted it from the Cinnamon Roll Smoothie recipe found on lifeforcefamilies.com.

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The Cinnamon Roll “Goes Green” Milkshake

(1 serving)

1/2 cup almond milk (or 1/2 cup water + 1 TBS raw almond butter)

4 Raw Brazil Nuts

8 Raw Cashews

1 TBS Raw Sunflower Seeds

1/2 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract

1-2 droppersful liquid Stevia

Lots of cinnamon (to taste, if I had to guess I’d say about 1-2 tsp)

Dash Celtic Sea Salt

1 very large handful baby spinach

Handful of ice cubes

2 ripe frozen bananas

Place the almond milk, Brazil nuts, cashews and sunflower seeds in your Vitamix (or other high-speed blender and blend until creamy.  Pour through a mesh bag or cheese cloth to remove pulp (it will make a very creamy nut milk).  Rinse out the blender and pour the nut milk in.  Add the vanilla, cinnamon, Stevia, salt, and spinach and blend well.  Now add ice cubes and bananas and process using the agitator until very thick and creamy.  Taste to make sure its got enough cinnamon and sweetness for you and adjust flavor to your liking.  Serve and experience the magic!

Things to know:  Greens are essential to all life, even carnivorous animals eat greens.  Blending greens breaks down the thick cellulose walls of the plant, releasing the full nutrient potential for your benefit.  The sweetness of fruit covers the chlorophyll taste in greens when blended together.  Kids, or people in general, won’t mind the green color once they taste this, but if you think your children will be put off by it serve it in an opaque cup the first time.

You can find MANY more of my favorite recipes by visiting my website, InnateWellnessCoaching.com