Self-Care Sunday: Simplify

FYI: There’s a list of ideas to simplify at the end if you want to skip reading.

Today’s self-care has to do with simplifying. The less stuff you have the less you have to take care of. That’s a big part of simplifying yet there’s a lot more to it than that.

We will be moving this summer so have been trying to declutter our home here and there. I’ve thrown away quite a few large garbage bags full of stuff and have donated about the same amount.

We now have a box in a spare room that we use as our designated donation box. I love having it and know I’ll always have some form of this from now on.

I place anything I think I don’t need or no longer want in it. It stays there for a while (until it’s full) then I go through it once more. If there’s something in it that I find I want to hang onto, it’s no big deal. I know I can take it out or keep it for the next round, if I’m still unsure. Honestly, I haven’t had to do that yet, but knowing it’s an option is reassuring that I won’t miss something.

Although I love Maria Kondo’s methods of tidying, I do not recommend making a full house sweep. We did that when we moved across the country and truly did regret getting rid of items we had to buy again. When you try to go too quickly the line gets blurred between what you want and don’t, at least for us. It was difficult to even remember what we got rid of or didn’t and found ourselves searching in boxes at the new place for things we actually did get rid of. In my opinion, having tried that approach, it’s better to just make this an ongoing project.

Simplifying and living life with intention are both ongoing. You start in one area of your life, like decluttering your home, for example (which is actually the easiest, as daunting as it may seem), then move on to, perhaps, living greener and maybe working on certain personal goals you have for your health, your career or what you want to put out into the world and it just grows from there.

You become gravitated to certain books, projects and even people that all seem to help you in some way until one day you find yourself living the life you imagined.

Happiness is not about how much you have, your status, title or who you know. It isn’t about anything most of society think it is and continue to strive to obtain.

It has nothing to do with materialism, money, popularity or good looks despite what social media puts out every day.

Happiness comes from the ongoing journey of cultivating your life: bringing only things and people in who add to your life on a deeper level and being willing to let the rest fall away.

When our inbox, home, work and personal life are cluttered with so much stuff, tasks and people to tend to, it doesn’t leave any time for self-care, reflection or to even just enjoy living in the moment.

Don’t be afraid to let things go that no longer serve you. When you have less you truly do have so much more because you have time to focus on what really matters. You stop feeling like a chicken with its head cut off. You stop running around doing tasks and then wondering what you accomplished at the end of the day. You have time to breathe and really enjoy living life. It’s quite a life-transformation. I’m on this journey now and have been really changing a lot in so many ways that have been beneficial. I just enjoy life more lately.

I’ve created the list below to inspire you to try doing one thing each day to simplify your life, then see if any changes take place mentally or even physically, as our body stores tension and stress in many different ways.

The worse thing that can happen is that you’re a little more organized!

Obviously, this is just a platform to jump from. There are tons of others ideas I’m sure you’ll come up with on your own once you get going!

Let me know what you think! Do you already incorporate a lot of these ideas?

May you be happy and well.

 

 

Healthy snack ideas!

In the beginning of a diet you may get hungry in between meals. Your body may need a little pick me up due to fluctuating blood sugar levels. They will stabilize as you lose weight and your body adjusts to your new way of eating!

You don’t want to eat huge meals because it will keep your stomach expanded thus taking that much more food in order for it to feel full.

How does your body know it’s full?

Your stomach tells your brain that it is full. Normally, this feeling causes you to stop eating and not think about food again for several hours. Fullness is partly controlled by the hypothalamus, your blood sugar, and having food in your stomach and intestines.

When you feel those hunger pangs come on in between meals and you feel the need to eat all the food in the house (I get it! I really do!) try having these snacks instead. Try to keep the proportions small so that you’re stomach will start to shrink.

Have each of these snacks with a cup of herbal tea without added sweetener:

1. 1/2 of a banana and 1 small square of dark chocolate (the darker the better for you)

2. 10-12 almonds (pro tip! Prepackage then in snack baggies so you don’t go over your limit!)

3. 1 small apple and 1 tsp almond butter

4. 1/2 Cucumber and 1 tomato (sliced) with salt and pepper or vinegar to season it.

5. 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt topped with blueberries (sprinkle with half packet of stevia if absolutely needed).

6. 1 can tuna in water; drain water and add vinegar. No bread or crackers. Nothing else.  It is so good! 

7. 1. slice whole wheat toast with butter or nut butter

8. 1 hard boiled egg egg with salt

9. 2 small boiled potatoes or 1 regular size (pre-boil them in keep them in the fridge) with 1 tsp better, salt and pepper

10. Raw cauliflower dipped in no-fat sour cream

11. Raw sweet pepper slices dipped in hummus

12. 5-6 radishes

13. A SMALL salad with vinegar and oil dressing

 

14. 1 Larabar with at least 4g protein or make your own “cherry pie” larabar

15.  3 cups of popcorn. Pro tip! Get popcorn sprinkles that have no calories. Our favorite is cheese but they have ranch and just about any other flavor imaginable online! Just look up “popcorn sprinkle seasoning” in Google or Pinterest and you’ll find recipes too!)

16. 3/4 c shelled edamame

17. 1 whole wheat English muffin topped with almond butter

18. 1 cup mixed berries: strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

19. Snyder’s Gluten free pretzels 1 oz or about 32 mini pretzel sticks.

20. Peanut (or any nut) butter bites

21. Left overs or make broiled chicken and keep in fridge for snacking. Have with brown rice.

22. 1 scrambled egg with avocado slices (or tomato or sweet peppers)

23. 1 kiwi

24. 1 pear and 1 slice of Swiss cheese 

25. grapes rolled in unprepared cherry Jell-O powder

26. 1 egg over easy, I tomato slice, 1 slice hard cheese on 1 slice of while wheat toast.

27. Fresh veggies and my family’s all time favorite EASY guacamole recipe

28. Frozen chocolate covered almond butter banana bites

29. Frozen yogurt with berries

30. Banana slice with toppings

31. Cucumber with tuna salad (made with mayo made with coconut oil)

32. Low carb bacon and egger

33. Apple slices with nut butter and raisins.

34. Celery, light cream cheese and “Everything but the bagel” seasoning which you can find at Trader Joe’s or here

35. Make ahead frozen blueberry bites (covered in yogurt). You can do the same with strawberries as well!

36. 1 small sweet potato cooked in microwave.

37. (Make ahead) sweet potato fries (baked in oven). We LOVE ours with lemon juice, oregano and a little feta cheese. OMG it is to die for!) FYI they don’t come out crunchy. They are soft and hearty and delicious fries that we eat with a fork. Or use this simple recipe for a crispier version.

38. Cup of healthy soup

39. Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, vinegar and oil dressing and fresh basil.

40. A glass of nut milk.

41. 1 whole wheat frozen waffle with nut butter or real maple syrup (not the overly sweet stuff like Aunt Jemima)

42. Seaweed snack like this

43. Pickles (2 whole)

44 Olives (5-6)

45. Cooked asparagus

46. Avocado egg salad (there’s also a link to homemade mayo here)

47. Sweet potato tortilla

48. Mediterranean Tuna Salad

49. Cantaloupe slices

50. Watermelon slices.

51. Sardines

52. Raw carrots sticks

53. Crunchy baked chickpeas made with canned chickpeas!

(Ideas for various seasonings above)

54. Cucumbers with feta cheese and dill seasoning.

55. The stress reliever smoothie above.

56. Any of the fruits above in these portion sizes.

57. healthy apple pancakes

58. “White House” salad from The Biggest Loser

59. 1/2 c each: sliced strawberries, blueberries and cubes apple with 1T natural honey and some lemon juice.

60. 1 ounce turkey jerky and 1 pear.

 

There you have it! Our go-to snacks that we love. We’re always mixing it up so check back for more ideas to come!

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Candida Overgrowth Awareness

Lots of people are walking around with vague but disturbing symptoms and can’t figure out why they feel so drained and sick all the time.

They may be able to function but the energy and motivation is lacking or they tend to be a person who gets sick all the time with colds, have allergies or lots of GI symptoms (especially bloating). They can’t quite pinpoint the cause and doctors can’t find anything wrong (because quite frankly they aren’t looking for candida overgrowth).

Check out the symptoms below and see if any of them sound familiar.

If you have several of the above symptoms (especially if you consider yourself a carb addict) it is worth a try to eat from the candida diet. I’ve linked a bunch of good information below if you want to delve into the causes, treatments and what research is being done about candida.

The good news is that the damage it has done can be reversible. But remember…

This diet is not easy. If you have candida you are well aware that trying to cut carbs and sugar sometimes feels as bad as it would to deprive yourself of air. That candida wants to live and needs sugar and carbs for its survival. This diet is killing those little jerks. You have to be stronger than they are!

The foods list is here but I’ve made a cheat sheet for shopping purposes.

(This list is phase one of the candida diet, by the way. After a while on the above list you can start to incorporate other foods. You want to add things slowly so you can tell what intolerances you have or what food aggravate your symptoms. This list is where you start though. I highly encourage delving into this link to read a lot more about it.)

A general guide of food to avoid is at this link.

I’m on a water fast right now (which I’ll also blog about) but plan to start this diet as soon as my fast is complete. I, personally, know that I need to reboot my gut health because I have actually been diagnosed with candida overgrowth and leaky gut.

I’ve put it off because, quite frankly, my symptoms weren’t bad enough for me to stick with it. The candida makes you want carbs so badly and it’s difficult to start or stay on this diet. However, when people suffer enough they are usually more open to change. That’s where I am now. The bloating, nausea, inability to lose weight and constant fatigue has finally taken its toll on me.

If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired you may want to give this a go as well! Unless you have other health conditions that restrict the way you eat like diabetes, kidney disease, etc, it’s a safe and healthy way to eat in which you’ll not only get rid of candida overgrowth but can start to heal leaky gut, if you have it, as well as lose weight and feel better overall.

Let me know if you’re going to try it!

I’ll post my progress under the category/tag “journal/personal” if you want to follow!

May you be happy and well,

Here are some interesting things to read:

CDC says antifungal resistance is a real problem.

Amy Myers, MD explains candida overgrowth

For the nerds like me. How they are studying Candida albicans.

Scientific proof that candida affects the immune system

Good information about candida and holistic treatments