2013 in Review

Ringing in 2013 at church like we do every year

Ringing in 2013 at church like we do every year

Every year on New Year’s Eve, we ring in the New Year at church. But this time (2013) it felt different. I knew that I would experience GREAT things because I could just feel it in my spirit. My entire body was full of EXCITEMENT for what was in store!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A happier time of me with my beloved vehicle

A happier time of me with my beloved vehicle

By January 16, all things began to shift. This was NOT going to be fun. My car was impounded and my driver’s license was suspended for 3 months. No, I did not have an accident or anything like that. Let’s just say this was a HUGE lesson in money management. Lesson learned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randle & I at the University's Open House

Randle & I at the University’s Open House

In February, right as my license suspension began, we were scheduled to attend my oldest son’s Open House at the University he was planning to attend in the fall. Luckily, he had JUST gotten his driver’s license the weekend before and he drove us there and back. Sigh…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We're smiling, but it was hard to let him go

We’re smiling, but it was hard to let him go

By March, my “mini-me” rebellious teenager had given me more than I was willing to handle. Every single day, I was starting the day exhausted and ending it even more exhausted. I decided enough was enough for this mom of 3 boys and I sent him to live with my ex-husband. When he left, I was sad but at the same time relieved for us both.

 

 

 

 

 

Randle's Prom (he's the one in orange)

Randle’s Prom (he’s the one in orange)

By May, the flowers began to bloom and there was light at the end of the dreary tunnel for us. Randle decided to attend his Senior prom. Nevermind that he made that decision just 3 weeks before the dance and I had to scramble to get a tux, tickets and all the other stuff to make it a “night to remember”. We pulled it all together and he and his friends had a great time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduation. Chapter completed.

Graduation. Chapter completed.

It’s June and it’s GRADUATION TIME! Everything went off without a glitch, except for the fact that this kid is notoriously late for everything….including his graduation. But he walked across the stage, we took pictures and all went well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me with my homegrown dino kale

Me with my homegrown dino kale

I must say that in the midst of it all, I did manage to have a bit of FUN along the way. Over the summer I had a blast gardening, health coaching FULL TIME, attending business-building conferences and incorporating more self-care. All things work out for the good, don’t they? ;

 

 

 

 

 

 

A marriage restored

A marriage restored

One of the most important things that happened for me in 2013 was the restoration of my marriage in December. I had spent the entire year on my own with 3 kids after my husband (my 2nd marriage, by the way) and I separated at the end of 2012. It was tough, needless to say. But after boatloads of prayer, the soft whisper came and said “Don’t do it. Wait.” You see, I had filed the divorce papers and had to wait 60 days before I could stand in front of the judge with my motion to petition for divorce. But there was another plan already in play. We are now back together AND happier than ever.

 

Ahh…what a way to end a cray-cray year!

So my question to you today is “What was THE BEST lesson you learned in 2013?”  Share it in the comments below. I want to hear from you! :-)

PCOS: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome….Whaaaat is THAT?

September-is-PCOS-Awareness-Month

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a complicated female hormonal disorder.  In fact, I had NO clue what it was until I had actually met someone who struggled with it.  She and I were fellow interns to become dietitians and eventually became very good friends.  Up until meeting her, I had no idea of this condition or the seriousness of it.

PCOS occurs when women have high levels of male hormones and their female hormones don’t cycle properly.  The condition has a strong connection to insulin-resistance, infertility, and cancer of the breast and colon.  Women who have PCOS tend to have high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol levels, elevated triglycerides, and high fasting blood sugars.  It’s really a pretty scary thing to deal with, at first.

Who’s Affected?

  • 14-18% of women
  • Obese women
  • Women with excessive body hair (especially facial “peach fuzz”)
  • Women with irregular periods
  • Women with immediate family members with the condition

Although this condition is deemed as complicated, there are dietary approaches to manage it that are completely essential. 

Foods That Harm

  • High-glycemic foods such as white bread and refined cereals

Foods That Heal

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Berries
  • Beans and lentils
  • Whole grains
  • Lean proteins (chicken, fish, turkey, plant proteins)

 

Nutrition Connection

The dietary approach to treating PCOS is similar to what docs recommend for people with diabetes. Unfortunately, women with PCOS may experience a tougher time losing weight because of the high levels of male hormones that will, in turn, increase the appetite. 

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with this condition, here are a few easy guidelines to follow:

Lose just a liiiiiitle weight.  A little bit goes a long way. A small weight loss of just 5% can improve insulin-resistance (blood sugars), and that can improve PCOS symptoms.

Increase fiber intake.  Adding more fiber to your diet can help you feel fuller longer and help avoid binges.

Be vigilant about portion control.  Okay, I know this one may not be as easy, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Serving sizes that are too big often cause too many calories, resulting in weight gain.  You know the drill… ;-)

Learn more about glycemic index.  The glycemic index of a food indicates the effect that particular food has on increasing your blood sugar. The key is to avoid high-glycemic foods, such as white bread and refined cereals.  Choosing the lower-glycemic foods (legumes, whole grains, and many veggies and fruits) will help reduce craving and make it easier to lose weight and keep blood sugars in check.

 

Beyond The Diet

To kick PCOS to the curb, diet, exercise, and weight loss are KEY players!  The easiest way to get the ball rolling is to start walking.  A simple 10-minute walk around the block is a great way to get more active.  :-)

 

Take action!  Prevention is the key to all diet & lifestyle health conditions, especially PCOS.  What one thing can you do today to change your diet and busy lifestyle for the better?  Post it below in the comments.  We want to hear from you!  :-)

 

 

 

Foodie Friday: Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas Recipe

From EatingWell:  September/October 2007

Filled with bell peppers, pinto beans, mushrooms and onions, these colorful enchiladas can be mostly made ahead–perfect for entertaining. Pass some crumbled queso fresco, chopped fresh cilantro and diced avocado at the table.

6 servings, 2 enchiladas each Active Time: 1 1/4 hours | Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 poblano pepper, or green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, (optional)
  • 8 ounces tomatoes, roughly chopped, plus diced tomato for garnish
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus more leaves for garnish

Filling

  • 3 bell peppers, (1 each red, yellow and orange), diced
  • 8 ounces cremini (baby portobello) mushrooms, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. To prepare sauce: Roast poblano (or bell) pepper directly over the flame of a gas burner, turning frequently with tongs, until evenly charred. (Alternatively, char under the broiler, turning once or twice, for 5 to 7 minutes total.) Transfer to a deep bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to steam for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add yellow onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika and ground chipotle (if using) and cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Peel the pepper, discard the stem and seeds, and chop. Add to the saucepan along with chopped tomatoes, broth and chopped cilantro. Return to medium heat and cook, uncovered, at a steady simmer, until the liquid has reduced slightly and the tomatoes have broken down, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
  5. To prepare filling: While the sauce simmers, place bell peppers, mushrooms and red onion in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 4 1/2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast, stirring halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and browned in spots, about 15 minutes total. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in beans. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.
  6. To prepare enchiladas: Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place a skillet over medium heat. Coat both sides of a tortilla with cooking spray. Heat in skillet for 5 to 10 seconds per side, adjusting the heat if the pan gets too hot. Spread 1/3 cup of the filling and 1 tablespoon of the sauce down the middle of the tortilla and roll it up to enclose the filling. Place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, filling and sauce. Spread the remaining sauce and filling over the enchiladas.
  7. Bake, uncovered, until hot, about 15 minutes. Serve garnished with diced fresh tomato and cilantro leaves, if desired.

Nutrition

Per serving : 269 Calories; 8 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 45 g Carbohydrates; 9 g Protein; 9 g Fiber; 753 mg Sodium; 726 mg Potassium

Obesity: The Battle of the Bulge Begins in the Kitchen

scale

Have you looked at the scale and said this 4-letter word lately?

Did you know that being overweight is THE most common nutrition-related health problem in the U.S.?  It affects over 60% of us…wowza!

While I’m sure you’re not living in a cave, and you KNOW that obesity can cause physical problems such as increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, many of us that have a little extra cushsion just aren’t taking it seriously.

Because I’ve had my own health scare recently (high blood pressure and adrenal fatigue), I know all too well the seriousness of getting my “ish” in order.  Yeah, I could lose a few pounds too; I’ve never claimed to be perfect.  ;-) 

The combination of stress and a little extra tummy flab has put me into a category that I’m not willing to accept, and I’m on the road to doing something about it.  Are you with me?  If so, I have a few simple changes you can make in the kitchen to get you started:

 

Foods To Limit

  • Sugary desserts
  • Salty, processed snack foods
  • Alcohol (metabolized into FAT)
  • Highly processed foods that come in a box, can, jar, bag
  • Saturated fats
  • Cheese and dairy

Foods To Include

  • Fresh (or frozen) fruits and veggies
  • Whole grain (or gluten-free) breads & pastas
  • Beans & lentils
  • Lean meats (chicken, fish)
  • Vegan/Vegetarian proteins (seitan, tofu, TVP)

 

Nutrition Connection

Eating too much is the key factor in obesity and weight gain…DUH, right ?  Here’s the ”tried and true”  on how to get the ball rolling to drop a few pounds:

Limit calories.  A diet that provides 1500-1800 calories a day for a woman and 2000-2200 calories a day for a man is a reasonable approach to reducing caloric intake.  Now let me make this clear, I’m NOT a huge fan of counting calories because there are SOOOO many other factors that come before this approach in order to achieve lasting weight loss (I work on these things with my clients).  But you can easily achieve the calorie goals above by making wiser choices.  You know what to do, don’t ‘cha?  ;-)

Eat breakfast every day.  I just can’t stress this enough.  Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day.  And I know you’ve heard it before, but I’m sayin’ it again.  If you don’t eat breakfast, expect to not only “crash and burn”, but to gain excessive pounds.  Raise your hand if you have a habit of not eating all day and waiting until you get home to eat that large meal before bedtime.  Not a good practice.  :-(  Make it your goal to eat a little somethin’ somethin’ in the morning.

Make fiber your friend.  Switch out the white rice for the brown rice, white bread for the 100% whole wheat bread, and eat more fruits and veggies.  I love getting my fruits in veggie quota in by drinking them in the form of smoothies.  If done right, you can up your intake of fruits and veggies by 50-75% by drinking 1-2 smoothies a day.  Yep, it’s that simple.

 

Now it’s your turn.  Leave a comment below to tell us how you’re going to make a few changes in your diet.  Do you need to eat more fruits and veggies?  Need to eat breakfast more often?  How are you gonna make it happen?  Let us know about it (we may just learn a few things from YOU!)  :-D

 

 

 

 

[Foodie Friday] Chipotle Burrito Bowl – Homemade Version

MY Burrito Bowl

 

This recipe is MY re-creation of Chipotle’s Chicken Burrito Bowl.  It came extremely close to the original that I even surprised myself!  ;-)

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup long grain brown rice

1/4 cup black beans

4 oz chicken breast

Chipotle seasoning, to taste

1/4 cup white corn kernels

1/4 cup pico de gallo

2 T mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup sour cream + 2 T milk

1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped romaine lettuce

 

 Directions

  1. Prepare chicken breast for grilling by seasoning with chipotle seasoning. Grill unti cooked thoroughly, about 10-15 mins. Remove from grill and allow to cool. Once cooled, dice into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Prepare rice according to package directions. Add a pat of butter and 2 T of fresh, chopped cilantro. Reserve 1/2 cup of rice for recipe.
  3. Rinse corn with hot water to defrost.  No need to cook the corn.  Add 2 T of cilantro and mix together.
  4. Time to layer it all together!  In a bowl of your choice, add brown cliantro rice to the bottom, layer with black beeans, diced chicken, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream mixture, and top with chopped roamine lettuce.  Voila!  :-)
  5. Enjoy!!!

 

This was one of my BEST recreations, ever!  Have you ever recreated one of your favorite recipes?  Let me know about it in the comments below.  And if you’ve given this recipe a try, share your review with us!  We wanna here all about it! :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improve Your Mood with Healing Foods

moody woman

Is it that time of the month again?!

If you’re a woman and you’re reading this, you know that there are just certain times of the month that our moods swing on the far opposite side of the pendulum.  And for my guy friends out there, if you’ve been in an adult relationship with a woman that you love, you know what it’s like to be on that opposing end taking the verbal hits, so to speak, during “that time of the month”.

So ladies, what’s a girl supposed to do to minimize those mood swings, aside from strangling those you love?  Believe it or not, there’s hope without the need for medicine (in most cases).  Take it from a girl who’s going through the stage of perimenopause at the moment.  I’ve got skillz in my kitchen arsenal and I’m sharing them with you today! ;-)

 

The following are a list of foods to keep your eyes on in order to ward off those heavy-hitting mood swings:

 

Foods That Harm

  • Any foods with heavy additives, preservative and/or added chemicals

 

Foods That Heal

  • Turkey
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Pasta (preferably, gluten free)
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Tuna
  • Salmon

 

Foods To Limit

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Sugary Foods

 

There has been lots of research on the effects of certain foods & nutrients on the brain chemicals that control your mood.  So there’s no doubt that there is a definite NUTRITION CONNECTION.  Here’s a few more good tips to keep your temper under control:

 

Consume more tryptophan.  The amino acid tryptophan is used by the brain to produce serotonin, which is known to influence mood. Good food sources include turkey, milk and eggs. Remember the old adage of drinking a glass of warm milk at night to help you sleep?  Hmm….  ;-)

Lean in on leafy greens.  Many of us are deficient in minerals, and the one that affects our mood the most is folate. Folate is abundant in green leafy vegetables like kale. Other sources include orange juice, lentils, corn, asparagus, peas, nuts and seeds. Get your greens on!

Feast on fish.  Make it a goal to eat fish 3 times a week, or more. Research has shown that peeps who eat fish less than 3 times a week have a 31% higher incidence of mood fluctuations. Salmon and tuna are great choices!

Limit caffeine.  The best-known mood-altering dietary substance is good ‘ole caffeine. It’s not only found in coffee, but is also in tea, cola and chocolate. While a cup of joe can be a welcome eye-opener in the morning (or that afternoon slump), too much caffeine causes heart palpitations, sleeplessness and anxiety. Not so good for the moody girl on the block! :-P

 

So there you have it, girlfriend!  Check your mood at the door and bring happiness back into your core.

 

Have you been struggling with mood swings during that certain “time of the month”? If you’ve been a “crabby patty” lately, post in the comments below how you plan to make a change by making a few tweaks in your diet. List 3 foods you plan to incorporate in your diet to get happier and more balanced today! 

 

 

 

[Foodie Friday] Bok Choy Skillet Dinner

Detox_SkilletSupper_MED-458x326

Serves 4

30 minutes or fewer

Bok choy halves are steamed over bulgur as it cooks for a one-pot meal.  Yummo! :-)

 

Ingredients

2 tsp. garlic-flavored olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)

8 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

2 shallots, finely chopped (¼ cup)

1 cup bulgur

1 cup mushroom broth

1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, divided

4 small bok choy, halved

1. Heat 1 tsp. garlic oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to plate. Add tomatoes to skillet cut-side down, and cook 2 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to plate.

2. Add remaining 1 tsp. garlic oil to skillet. Stir in shallots, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in bulgur until grains are coated with oil. Add broth, thyme sprig, and 11/2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Arrange bok choy halves on top of bulgur with leaves pointing outward (like spokes in a wheel). Sprinkle mushrooms and tomatoes between bok choy halves. Cover, and simmer 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, and drizzle with garlic oil.

Source:  VegetarianTimes.com

Why I can’t live without my TONGUE CLEANER!

Do you have one?

Do you have one?

 

There are just some things that a girl just can’t live without.  Chocolate.  Roses.  Shoes. Oh, and a nice, shiny tongue cleaner.

 

Yep, this is a MUST HAVE if you really want to kick your cravings in the big fat shizazzle!  I just love this little thing.  Let me tell you why.

 

 

 

Just last night, after a super-long day of work, I treated myself to a not-so-healthy (yet delicious!) treat.  You know how it is.  You eat the sweet, then about 20 minutes later you’re craving the salt (where’s the chips?!!).  Yin-to-the-Yang.  It’s a vicious cycle, if you let it ride.

 

But I caught that Yin right in the Yang and nipped it in the bud!  I knew for sure that I wasn’t hungry and that my tastebuds just needed a little “freshing up”.  So off to the bathroom I went.  Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho!  It’s off to scrape I go!  Yep.  TMI?  So sorry, but it’s the real deal.

 

Once I brushed my teeth AND gave my tongue a good cleaning, my Yin/Yang (sweet/salty) perpetual, back and forth cravings diaappeared!  It was like magic.  There was no way I could wait to share it with you today.  Some things are simpler than we thought :-D

 

Do you struggle with those back and forth cravings?  You know, like when you eat a piece of chocolate cake and then you want a “few” salty chips to balance it out?  And you know that if you do that balancing act it’s just going to keep on going, right?  Not a good look on the hips, chica!

 

Well, I double dare you to get your hands on a bright & shiny tongue cleaner.  Use it in the morning and at night when you brush your teeth.  I’ve found that even though I brush my tongue with my toothbrush, it’s just not enough.  The tongue cleaner is essential to keeping your tastebuds in check.  No more foolin’ around. No more crazy grazing attacks.  ’Cause as soon as they hit, you’ll be ready. Tongue cleaner in hand!

 

And the best part:  It only costs $6.99 (or less).  Now head out and get yours.  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heal Your Heartburn With Healthy Foods

Heartburn...YIKES!

Heartburn…YIKES!

We’ve all experienced it:  we eat a heavy meal, feel weighed down and tired, take a short nap (or even go to bed for the night), and we wake up with massive indigestion and HEARTBURN.  Ugh! The rest of the day we’re either doubled over with trapped gas in our bods, or we’re walking around belching and tooting all day.

 

Indigestion is a general term to describe the discomfort we feel in the upper part of our body after a meal.  Although indigestion is often used to describe heartburn, they are definitely two different conditions. Heart burn is the burning, painful sensation in the chest that occurs when stomach acid and other contents flow backward into your throat (esophagus).  Major Ewww!!

 

There are certain foods to avoid and foods that will heal heartburn.  Here’s your arsenal of foods to limit and to keep around, just in case:

 

Foods That Harm

  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomato-based products

 

Foods That Heal

  • Apples
  • Aloe vera (juice or gel)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Bananas (natural antiacid)
  • Milk 
  • Calcium (helps to reduce stomach acid secretion)
  • Kombucha tea (contains probiotics–good bacteria for the gut)

 

Beyond The Diet

Indigestion and heartburn can usually be controlled with a few lifestyle changes too. The following are a few good tips that will help:

  • Exercise.  Yep, I said it.  The old dreaded exercise. Most of us have a “love-hate relationship” with it.  We love the way it makes us feel, but we hate doing it. But get on it, girl because exercise helps to reduce stress, which is a potential cause of indigestion and heartburn.
  • Sit up straight after meals.  Get up and keep that body moving after you eat!  Bending over or lying down increases the pressure on your stomach and causes all that good food that you’ve eaten to just come right back up. Um…YUCK!
  • Maintain a healthy weight.  Extra pounds around the tummy pushes up your stomach, and the food contents within. Not a good feeling.
  • Don’t wear tight-fitting clothes.  This goes without saying, but for some I just have to say it.  Get the right fit. There’s nothing cute about tight-fitting clothes, and clothes that are too snug around the middle cause unnecessary pressure on your stomach.

 

So if you frequently struggle with heartburn and indigestion, you now have several ways to alleviate (or eliminate) the nasty symptoms naturally.  Remember, stand TALL and keep that body moving to keep your body from toot-toot tooin’!  :-)

 

 

Foodie Friday: Body “Butter”

butter

 

Ingredients

 

Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups whipped butter

 

1 cup Organic, raw shea butter (deodorized, if available)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup almond oil

 

Directions

1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.

 

2. Stir in almond oil and essential oils of your choosing.

 

3, Place oil mixture in freezer or outside to chill.

 

4. Wait until oils start to partially solidify (see photo) then whip until a butter-like consistency is achieved.

 

4. Place in clean, glass jar and enjoy! A little goes a long way.

 

*Not all essential oils are skin friendly or child friendly. Please do your research before adding.

 

Tips:

 

1. You can use what ever oils you wish, just make sure you keep the ratio 75% solid to 25% liquid.

 

2. The chilling step is crucial. If you don’t chill it properly, it won’t whip or stay whipped. About 20 minutes in the freezer usually does the trick for this batch. Make sure you scrape down the sides before mixing.

 

3. Since this recipe does not contain any water, it will not mould. You should keep in a cool place but it does not have to be refrigerated.

 

4. I do not know the exact shelf life but I know it will keep at least a few months, plus.

 

5. The body butter melts as it goes on and gets a little oily but absorbs beautifully, quickly and leaves your skin very soft.

 

LOVE! :-)

 

 

How your diet affects fibroid tumors

 

Normal Uterus vs. Uterine Fibroids
Normal Uterus vs. Uterine Fibroids

 

If you’re an African-American woman between the age of 40-50, or if you’re a woman who started taking birth control pills between the age of 13-16, then you have a greater chance of developing fibroid tumors.

Fibroids are pesky, non-cancerous tumors that have become the leading cause of hysterectomies in the United States.  They’re very common in women during their child-bearing years and can cause heavy menstrual bleeding, longer-lasting periods, cramping, lower back pain, pain during intercourse, and bleeding between periods.

Although the research is still out on this increasingly common condition, the current thinking is that hormones, especially estrogens and progesterone, play a BIG role in the development of fibroids.

I am a HUGE believer in the fact that diet and lifestyle greatly affects whether or not a woman develops fibroids.  As a matter of fact, diet and lifestyle greatly affects whether or not we develop most chronic conditions that are becoming more and more popular today.

Below are a few tips on how to tweak your diet so you can lessen the chance of developing fibroids.  These recommendations also work well if you (or someone you know) are being treated for fibroids, as well.

Foods That Harm

  • Soy
  • High Glycemic Foods (sugary drinks, bottled fruit juices, breads made from refined flours, ‘instant’ versions of starches like instant or quick oats, quick grits, instant noodles, white rice, white potatoes)
  • Beer (Not really a “food”, but hey. Still not good for the fibroid issue ;-))
  • Fast Food/Processed Convenience Foods
  • Hormone Induced Animal Products (growth hormones can cause extreme weight gain, hormone imbalance, problems with the reproductive system, cancers, and other diseases)

Foods That Heal

  • Low Glycemic Foods (berries, whole grains/cereals, GREEN veggies, just to name a few)
  • Dairy…. Okay the jury is out on this one.  “They” (researchers) say that dairy is the one factor that’s usually missing in the diet of the woman who’s normally affected by fibroids (usually the African American woman).  I say, that’s not good enough reason to recommend it, especially if you’re lactose intolerant and even more so if you’re not buying organic dairy products (chemicals feed fibroids!).  So if you’re not going to buy organic dairy, then let it go.
  • Sea vegetables like Kelp, Dulse, and Nori.  I eat these yummy seaweed snacks whenever I’m craving something salty and crunchy like a chip. I know you’re probably cringing right now, but they’re actually not that bad and they’re a great source of minerals (minerals are necessary for every single bodily function on a cellular level)  ;-) 

Beyond The Diet

Lifestyle factors are critical in the development and management of fibroid tumors.  Here are a list of things to “get on top of” for good uterine health:

Exercise Daily.  Move that body, girlfriend. It doesn’t take a gym membership, just a made up mind to do something, ANYTHING.

Reduce Stress.  Stress wreaks havoc on every bodily function.  Do whatever it takes to reduce your stress levels.  Meditate…Eliminate…Delegate.

Lose Weight.  Estrogen is stored in your fat cells.  The more fat you store, the more estrogen you carry around that can cause an inbalance in your hormone levels.

 

Do you know someone who would benefit from the information in this article?  Well, don’t be stingy! Pass it on my friend!  :-)  And if you’re on Twitter, be sure to use the button above to tweet it, too!

 

[Foodie Friday] Guacamole Reinvented!

Avacado_149_MED-458x326

 

Serves 6

30 minutes or fewer

Once the flesh has been scooped out, halved avocado skins make pretty single-serving cups for guacamole; serve them on saucers, surrounded by tortilla chips. They make a tasty preamble to a weekend Mexican dinner.  Ole!! :-)

Ingredients

3 small avocados

3 small oranges

2 cups radishes, diced

1 ½ cups finely chopped romaine lettuce

6 green onions, finely chopped (1 cup)

3 Tbs. lime juice

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1–2 drops hot sauce, optional

1. Halve and pit avocados. Score each avocado half 7 times lengthwise and 7 times crosswise to dice. Scoop out with soup spoon, and place avocado dice in large bowl. Reserve avocado shells.

2. Cut peel and pith from oranges with knife, then slice each orange into 4 slices. Cut each orange slice into 6 small triangular pieces. Add to bowl with diced avocado. Add radishes, romaine, green onions, lime juice, cilantro, and hot sauce (if using) to bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and gently toss to coat.

3. Scoop avocado mixture into avocado shells. Serve immediately.

 

Source:  VegetarianTimes.com

 

 

[Foodie Friday] Chia Chai Smoothie

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Photo Credit: Penni Shelton

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 chai tea bag, steeped in 1 cup water (cooled)

1/2 + cup sweet vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of ground ginger

1/2 cup crushed ice

 

Directions

Make the chai tea and allow it to come to room temperature. Put the chia seeds in the tea, allowing them to soak up the tea….usually 15 – 20 minutes….forming a chia chai gel. Easily done at night, this gel will keep well in the refrigerator until your ready to use it. Add the chia chai gel, almond milk, banana, spices and crushed ice to a blender and process until you have a frothy, creamy shake.  YUMMO! :-)

Healing Eczema From The Inside Out

Get rid of the dry, itchy, scaly & painful patches of eczema the natural way!

Get rid of the dry, itchy, scaly & painful patches of eczema the natural way!

When my oldest son was a small infant (about 18 yrs ago, yikes!), he suffered with eczema.  I can remember going to his crib in the middle of the night to pick him up for feeding to find traces of blood on his pillow.  At first glance, as a newbie mom I was horrified not knowing where the blood had come from.  But after a quick investigation, I realized that he had been scratching the large dry patch on the back of his neck.  Sigh of relief, for just a breif moment…

After many topical treatments of trial and error, I finally gave up on the docs and used my own internal wisdom.  Topical (skin) treatments don’t really treat the problem, they just mask the symptoms.  I’m happy to report that my young man who is now 18 years old and going off to college in the fall is eczema-free!  And if you or a family member suffers with the scaly, dry, itchy, painful symptoms of eczema, there’s hope and a healthy treatment for you as well.  

Read  on to get the deets on treating eczema naturally…

 

The itchy, scaly rash of eczema is often caused by food and/or chemical sensitivities.  It’s also very commonly experienced by those with asthma as well.  While some foods may help alleviate eczema, som foods may trigger it too, so be very aware of the following:

 

Foods That Harm

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Wheat
  • Acidic Fruits (grapefruit, lemons, plums, prunes or cranberries)
  • Acidic Foods (Other acidic foods may also cause eczema; avoid foods such as corn, beans, grains, coffee, most meats (except for chicken), liver, gravy, wine and distilled water)
  • Chemicals used in and on foods 

 

Foods That Heal

  • Salmon (Omega 3′s heal inflammation)
  • Watercress (modern herbal medicine recognizes the blood cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties of watercress, and many herbalists expressly recommend these little peppery leaves to alleviate eczema)
  • Sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes contain vitamin C as well as certain unique root proteins which, according to preliminary studies, have significant antioxidant properties)
  • Apples (Apples are one of the best food sources of quercetin — a bioflavonoid that has antioxidant, anti-histamine, and anti-inflammatory properties)
  • Green leafy vegetables (abundant in vitamins and MINERALS)

 

I do want to note that in my personal story of healing my son from eczema, I primarily used the omega 3 fatty acid therapy  and his condition was healed in a matter of a few weeks.  Keep in mind, it’s very important to be consistent.  That means once you see the symptoms getting better does NOT mean to stop treatment.  Keep going….and why not, especially since you’re eating healthier along the way.  :-)

Remember:  Healthy skin starts within!

Foodie Friday: Mushroom-Manchego Quesadillas

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Serves 4

30 minutes or fewer

Mushrooms in Mexican food? You bet. Wild mushrooms are a popular ingredient all over Mexico. Use a young manchego cheese (labeled curado), which is nutty, and melts nicely. Monterey Jack also works well.

Ingredients

2 jalapeño chiles

2 tsp. canola oil

6 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced (1 ½ cups)

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

4 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas

6 Tbs. shredded manchego cheese

½ cup prepared salsa verde

Cilantro sprigs for garnish, optional

Directions

1. Preheat broiler. Broil jalapeños on foil-lined baking sheet 15 minutes, or until blackened, turning once. Transfer to bowl, cover, and let stand 15 minutes. Peel, remove seeds, and coarsely chop.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and pepper, and sauté 3 minutes, or until browned.

3. Sprinkle 2 tortillas with 3 Tbs. cheese. Top with jalapeños, mushrooms, and remaining tortillas. Broil on baking sheet 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with salsa verde. Garnish with cilantro, if using.

 

Source: VegetarianTimes.com

 

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