Meditation

I have been away from the blogger-sphere for a little while. I have been suffering from some nasty depression and anxiety this past month. Something I really do not like to talk about. Even though I probably should. I noticed that there were many things I was doing… things I stopped… that really helped to keep my anxiety in check. One of these is blogging (I even pre-planned posts in my planner. Because it just isn’t legit if it isn’t in my planner)…

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The other is meditating. Meditation is something Emese, my health coach, brings up quite frequently. We talk about the benefits: it reduces stress, improves concentration, encourages healthy lifestyles, increases self-awareness, INCREASES HAPPINESS, increases acceptance, slows aging, and there is cardiovascular and immune health benefits.

I have a REALLY hard time quieting my mind. In fact, usually in January I do a “quiet January”. I turn off the radio, stop listening to blogs and shows, and just drive in peace. It has usually been an amazing time of self-realization and making plans for the upcoming year. This January was far from quiet.

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So in an effort to re-center my soul, decrease my anxiety, and quiet my mind. I have been reusing some of my meditation apps. Every morning I am beginning to sit up and give myself a moment of quiet reflection after praying, but at night I use my meditation/hypnosis apps. I notice a difference in some of them. The nights when I use the Sleep Well app… I SLEEP WELL! The Migraine app, truly does lessen my migraines… I wake up in a better mood after I meditate, and I don’t feel as jumpy. I know I have a long way to go, but meditation really does seem to help. Have you had any benefits to meditating?

Simply Balanced

I remember months ago opening a can of cranberry raspberry LaCroix and spitting it out because it was the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted. Like whole body cringing because it was so gross… I threw the whole case away because it was disgusting. Fast forward to starting Whole30… I can not get enough sparkling water. I LOVE IT! I find it interesting how your taste buds can so drastically change based on your diet, health, or simply just by aging. I think back to foods I hated as a child and young adult but can now stomach to eat.

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I wanted to share my new favorite sparkling water. Purchased at Target, I LOVE Simply Balanced Cucumber Mint sparkling water. No sugar! No Sodium! Refreshing! Delicious! And the price is right. Most days I spend less than $3 for a case AND end up saving 5% using the Target App (formerly known as Cartwheel). So far every flavor of the Simply Balanced Sparkling Water I have tried, I have loved.

Best part of it being cold outside…. my multiple brands and multiple flavors of sparkling water stay ice cold in my car.

 

Illness of Lost Opportunities

Being at work on Christmas has got me thinking of some pretty intense things.

“Social anxiety is characterized by a significant amount of fear in one or more social situations causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. These fears can be triggered by perceived or actual scrutiny from others.

SAD is sometimes referred to as an “illness of lost opportunities” where “individuals make major life choices to accommodate their illness”. .. the main diagnostic criteria of social anxiety disorder are fear of being the focus of attention, or fear of behaving in a way that will be embarrassing or humiliating, avoidance and anxiety symptoms.”

I feel like a fraud. I hate to admit my flaws (although there are many). I like to appear as if I have everything together and that I have this positive perfect and happy life. That is not always the case. I am not kidding when I say that my social anxiety makes me angry. I use to be fearless. I use to not care if I made a fool of myself. I was secure in who I was and would go above and beyond to be active and social and in front of crowds. It kind of has come and gone in my life. I remember feeling awkward around others in high school, much as if I didn’t belong… was fairly socially adventurous in college… and as an adult kind of reverted. Now I sometimes will cry just thinking of being around people. I fear being around anyone. I very rarely feel like I belong anywhere. THIS IS NOT HOW I WANT TO BE. I want to enjoy life. I want to love myself unconditionally. I want to be fearless and secure. I am fine with my seniors. I am secure being around them, but why not in my personal life?

How do you cope with social anxiety? How do you overcome the “illness of lost opportunities”? What natural treatments do you use to overcome these feelings? I can’t just “get over it”… I have tried that. It’s not easy to talk yourself out of what your mind believes. I personally do not want to take medications, although I know they help a lot of people.

 

Things I am sure will help? Exercising more frequently and restarting Whole30. I truly notice a difference in how I feel on that strict Whole30 Diet.

Pork Chops

It is rather late to be cooking but I was sitting on my bed working and remembered I had pork chops that needed to be cooked.

I was going to look for a marinade when I bought them but obviously never got around to it. So if anybody has a good Whole30 pork marinade… or chicken recipe– please send them my way!

This is what I did instead.

Cut one medium onion in quarters and put them on the bottom of the crockpot. Added maybe 1.5 tbsp of granulated  garlic and 1 cup chicken stock plus 1 cup water to onions ( I only had 1 cup of stock left). Added 5 pork chops sprinkled with Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning, added 2 dollops of Ghee and plugged her in. I have no idea if they will taste good and no idea why I added ghee… I will just have to wait and see when MY alarm to turn off the crockpot wakes me up at 3:30am.

I really need to get back to one prep day and not this crock potting at night business.

Things That Scare Me

 

I actually do not think scare me is the right words… things I fear might be better!

I think I accidently on purpose signed up for a fitness boot camp today. A 6 week, three times a week, 1 ½ hour per session boot camp.

THIS SCARES ME! And I don’t know if it is because I do not want to appear as out of shape as I am OR if I am legitimately afraid I can’t do it.

I also do not even know if I am accepted into the program yet, so I really shouldn’t be anxious about it yet.

This is the next step in the year of me…. The year of getting my happiness back… The year of getting healthy… and hopefully staying healthy!

 

Food

Sometimes I feel like all I do is cook! But it has been such a blessing eating healthy and prepack food. Last week one of my employees called in sick and it was a RUSH to get out the door. If I had not had my food prepacked… I would have been in trouble. The extra time, work, and energy to be prepared really pays off.

Being with friends this weekend I did not prepack food. I instead threw a quick meal together of broccoli slaw, pineapple, spicy chicken sausage, garlic, and some coconut aminos at their home (while I made acorn squash covered in butter and brown sugar for Uncle Les). I think my “niece” and her boyfriend were shocked the healthy food could taste good too.

I also made lettuce cups with ground chicken, garlic, ginger, onions, water chestnuts and a sauce made from rice vinegar, coconut aminos, almond butter, sesame oil and chili sauce. I topped it with cilantro… because I love cilantro… and scooped it in Boston Lettuce cups.

Lately I have been craving pesto sauce. Most pesto sauce in the store has Parmesan cheese in it. Yesterday I took Paula grocery shopping and could not find basil. Today I went back to the store… to many stores… Carpinitos, Nature’s Market, Fred Meyer’s, Target, Safeway, Trader Joe’s. I was starting to think satisfying this craving was not worth the effort. Thank goodness Trader Joe’s delivered (And thank you Leslie for suggesting it!)

In my ninja I put a 4oz package of fresh basil (stems removed), 1/2 cup pine nuts, lemon juice from one lemon, a squirt of minced garlic, and some olive oil… and a little cilantro (because as I have already mentioned… I ❤️ it!). It tastes so good! I also baked a spaghetti squash, mixed 1/3 of the pesto sauce with it and topped it with fried chicken and pine nuts. My Chicken was easy to make and tasted pretty good… Paula will agree! I mixed 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard and mixed it well. I twice dipped my chicken in the egg mixture and a mixture of coconut flour, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, paprika, sea salt and garlic powder and browned it in the wok with a little olive oil. I then finished it off on the George Foreman Grill. Because I will be staying at Tracy’s house tomorrow night, I packed two days worth of lunch and dinner… and a chopped RX Bar for Thursday morning.

Downside to all this cooking… I still have to finish the dishes…and clean the kitchen…

Finding Humor

Just wanted to share a photo of dear Bob. He is such a loving and trusting dog and after this, I am not sure why he loves me so much.

I had a great laugh with Emese, my health coach, this week. I am finding it hard to get up or stay late to get my physical fitness in. I know this is something I need to get on because eating healthy will only take me so far. And our laughing was over something so silly. We have been talking about doing things on the go… like pushups on the wall, or lunges in the hall…. or squats in the shower. We have all done it, right? I sometimes feel like in the shower is the perfect time for my squats. What made us laugh is the shampoo and conditioner bottle weights I have been using. I am so grateful my roommate sleeps through me dropping them… at least I hope she does…. some mornings I have butter fingers (maybe I should call them soap fingers) and drop them multiple times… oops.