Don’t let fear limit you! Try something new this weekend. Try out a new food, a new recipe, a different workout, a new cocktail, a new restaurant, read a book that might not be from your favorite genre, watch a show or movie that you’re been meaning to. Sure; you may not like it….but how will you know? What’s the worst thing that can happen? You might find something you love!

Be safe today, and have a Happy Halloween!

Happy-Halloween-04

American Horror Story: Exercise

Rare footage of my soul when I workout:

This girl is my true spirit animal. I need to find her; there are so many questions. What did she think Cross Country meant? Why is she doing this to herself? Did she finish? Is she still a runner? Does she like Supernatural as much as I do? That last one is just to find someone besides me who actually watches that show. Anyway…

I really don’t love to exercise. I never have. People always say, “Oh, you don’t like getting sweaty.” No. That’s not it at all. That’s the least of my issues. My problem is that I just don’t like it. My brother and I once ran into a friend who looked…busted as hell disheveled. I asked what she had been up to, and her response was that she had just finished a 10 mile run (in the rain). My response was, “Don’t.” That doesn’t even make sense, I know. But that was the only word that came to my mind. Run=Don’t. My brother still laughs about that.

Exercise is a whole thing. You need to make time for it, dress for it, warm up, do it, cool down, plan meal times around it, buy apps and gadgets so you can tell people on Facebook you did it. Come on. If you think you burned 1200 calories on a 5 mile run, because that’s what Google told you…gurl. Here’s the horror story part: You HAVE to exercise! Being active is so freaking important for your body, that there’s no way around it! Increased metabolism, the release of positive mood boosting hormones, better sleep at night….not having a muffin top, are just a few of the positive effects. My message today isn’t all screaming and terror, though. There are ways to exercise that won’t give you nightmares or make you throw around contractions that make no sense; you just have to find what works for YOU. Like everything in life, what works for one person will not work for another. I have had surgeries on both of my feet, so running and high impact activities are absolutely NOT healthy for me. I’ve tried in the past, and after a month I earn myself a 6 month stint in Physical Therapy. No running….check! I’m also lucky enough to have herniated discs and cysts in my lower back, so I don’t have to do squats or lunges, either! Score. I am the winner of life. #blessed

What I do love to do is take long walks with my main puppy girl, Scout. These aren’t slow walks on flat sidewalks. We definitely get our heart rates up and I do sweat…even in winter. I also really love Pilates and Yoga, and I actually like lifting. I am incredibly lucky to have a Pilates reformer and a full set of weights and a cage at home. Spoiler alert: I detest going to the gym! This is what works for me. I can not do something over and over again for months at a time. I lose interest, and give up…not my best quality. I actually just began PiYo on Monday. I’ve done the workouts sporadically, but have never followed the workout schedule. We’ll see how I feel about it in 2 months when I’m, “finished.”

You don’t have to run, spin, or do yoga to be active. Walk, dance, play a sport, golf….the point is, you have to move.  I feel as though exercise is like skiing: You have to start doing it when you’re a toddler, or you will hate it and suck at it. So, move with your mini’s. Encourage family walks/runs/dance parties/yoga sessions. 30 minutes goes by in a flash, and you’ll feel better knowing that you did something for yourself and for your child’s health. YouTube has so many free workouts. You could do something new each time. Start slow with just 2-3 days a week. Every minute counts!

In summation…if you see me running, there is most likely something terrifying happening; so please, help me.

imagesI am obsessed with sugar skulls. Still trying to find a movie that will leave me sleepless and creeped out!!! You’ve got 2 days, people!

Vintage-Halloween-Cat-Image-GraphicsFairyI love Halloween. My goal this week is to find a movie that actually scares me…any suggestions? I tend to think horror movies are funny, while my husband watches and then can’t sleep for days. Sorry, guy.

If you’re so inclined, sprinkle candy corn on all of your meals this week. Just make sure it’s organic!

Monday: Spicy Vegan Chinese Eggplant- You’ll have to scroll a bit through this blog to get to the recipe…can add meat to make a heartier meal.

Tuesday: Tilapia and Moroccan Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Carrots – Use similar spices on the tilapia. I always skip the lemon/parsley/olives when I make the potatoes and carrots.   

Wednesday: Squash, Kale, and Pepper Hash- Quick and easy! Add eggs, and enjoy your brinner. I plan to use sweet potatoes instead of the squash.

Thursday: Teriyaki Veggie Spring Roll Use whatever veggies you like…can add meat too. I like to dip these in peanut sauce instead of the teriyaki sauce.

Friday: Salad Bar-  No recipe needed!

Saturday: Happy Halloween! Take the night off, but you might want to bake these: Vegan Gluten free Almond Butter Pumpkin Bars. They’re delicious AND refined sugar free.

Sunday: Crock pot Beef Stew- Add/leave out whatever veggies you want. For g-free, remember to sub g-free soy sauce (or liquid aminos, tamari, or coconut aminos) for the Worcestershire sauce, and use corn/potato/tapioca/arrowroot starch to thicken.

 

I have a new store on Amazon! Check it out to purchase ingredients, supplements, pet products, and aromatherapy staples. Check back often for newly added items. There’s also a link in the menu bar.

http://astore.amazon.com/lipstholis-20

Monday, Monday

Ease into Monday morning…here’s a video of cute puppies to help.

Are you ready to cook some delicious, real-food meals for the week?! Abs are made in the kitchen. 80% of your body’s appearance is based on what you eat….and anything else I can say to convince you.

Monday- Grilled Vegetable Stack with Lemon Hummus Naturally gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. Roast the veggies if you’re not into grilling, make your own hummus OR use store-bought, and leave out any of the vegetables you don’t like!

Tuesday- Sometimes your just want a sandwich, so that’s what’s on the menu today. I’m going to take some of the vegetables and hummus from Monday’s meal, add some turkey, maybe some bacon, and eat it on a toasted Udi’s bagel.

Wednesday-Thai Pumpkin Ramen Soup–  Gluten, grain, egg, nut, and dairy free. Leave out the chicken and add beans or lentils to make it vegetarian. Use whatever noodles you want! Or leave out the noodles entirely, and eat over brown rice or quinoa. ***Recipe calls for “coconut aminos.” This is a paleo version of soy sauce, because it’s soy and wheat free. If you have no wheat or soy issues, bust out the Kikkoman.

Thursday- Crock Pot Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers This recipe is more of an idea….fill the peppers with whatever meat, vegetables, and spices that your family likes. Naturally gluten free; can easily be made vegetarian or vegan.

Friday- Smoky Corn and Zucchini Cakes – Gluten free and vegan. Serve with salad to make it a meal. Can also be served as a side dish, if you’d like to roast some chicken or if you’ve picked up a pre-made rotisserie chicken this week.

Saturday Veggie Curried Avocado Coconut Rice BowlsSay that 5 times fast…gluten free, vegetarian, and can be vegan if you use all maple syrup instead of honey, and leave out the cheese. Can add meat for carnivores too!

Sunday Grain and Garbage free Chick-Fil-A Take that Chick-Fil-A. I will eat you on Sunday. This recipe is, umm….delicious. And much healthier for you and the fam. Can easily double or triple the recipe. The husband has requested biscuits with this, so I’ll also be making these: Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits using Cup4Cup . To make vegan, use Earth Balance “butter,” and make buttermilk by adding apple cider vinegar to any plant based milk.

I’m interested to know what YOU are interested in hearing about. Do you want more recipes? Ideas for cleaning up your kitchen? More health based posts? Talk to me! I want to know!

This weekend, Treat Yo Self!

“Clothes. Treat yo’ self! Fragrances. Treat yo’ self. Massages. Treat yo’ self! Mimosas. Treat yo’ self! Fine leather goods. Treat yo’ self!”

index

How did I miss “Treat Yo Self” Day on Tuesday?! I’ll have to make up for it this weekend. If you celebrated Tuesday, go ahead and do it again.

Simply put, “treating yo self,” (also known as Self Care) includes actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health. For many people this is quite difficult. You know the type….kind, caring, selfless. I have 0 issues with self care. Shocking; I know. I got a facial yesterday, and it was glorious. However, self care does not have to cost you a cent. There are hundreds of things you can do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to take care of yourself. A very short list includes: going on a walk, getting a massage, watching your favorite movie, listening to your choice of music, meditating, baking, doing yoga, reading, running, crafting, getting your hair done, a night out with friends, shopping for yourself, having a glass of wine….

I can’t stress this enough: Self Care is not selfish! It is so important to take time for yourself to recharge. You must take care of yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you. You can take baby steps with this…maybe all you have time for is 5 deep breaths, maybe just one cup of coffee, maybe you pick what’s for dinner, or maybe you can take an entire weekend away. Whatever you choose, be completely present and enjoy every second.

See you Monday for a delicious, healthy weekly menu!!! And please, share this site with your friends and family!

lips (2)

I get SAD.

Fall is here. It’s actually feeling a bit more like winter…the current temperature is 36°F, and some cities not far from me woke up to snow this morning.

I have no love for this time of year. I’d love to live somewhere that is 80°F and sunny every damn day. Sweaters and boots are not my jam. I like my leaves green and on trees. You can buy pumpkin year round…please tell me you knew that. I thrive in the sun. Without it, I am left lethargic; un-energized; and depressed. Aaaaand, here comes SAD. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka the Winter Blues). SAD is a kind of depression that occurs as the seasons change, due to changes in our circadian rhythm, and a drop in our bodies’ serotonin and melatonin levels. This is a very real condition that affects millions each year. The symptoms of SAD include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

Sound familiar? Factors that increase your susceptibility to suffering from SAD include: being a woman, living far from the equator, and having a family history of SAD &/or clinical depression. There is a lot of science behind this, so I’ll insert some links at the end of this post, if you feel like getting geeky. For the sake of brevity, I’m just going to list some actions you can take to help keep you feeling lively and human until the sun comes back. For me, that’ll be June. No!!!!! God, no. No. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  1. Increase your Vitamin D- You’re most certainly not getting enough…over 1/2 of the world’s population is Vitamin D deficient. Yes, your body makes it’s own D, but ONLY after sun exposure. And I’m talking full sun, noon, no sunblock, no clothes- for 2 hours. You can take 1000 IU (units) per 25 pounds of body weight. You can safely take up to 10,000 IU per day.
  2. Light Therapy– I am currently writing this post in the glow of my light therapy box. Light therapy boxes emit full spectrum light, similar to sunlight, with the UV waves filtered out. Do NOT go to the tanning bed! UV light does not help with SAD. You simply turn on your lamp (preferably in the morning), and let your brain think that it’s getting some sun. This is the lamp I use: Light Therapy Box.
  3. Eat Properly- Eat a balance of protein, carbs, and fat. When it’s cold out, the last thing you want are smoothies and salads, but it’s important to feed your body the nutrients that are essential for hormone regulation (this includes mood regulating hormones).
  4. Exercise- I know, it’s difficult to get the motivation for exercise when it’s cold, rainy, and snowy. But, again, exercise helps increase your mood boosting hormones. If you can’t get outside or to the gym, there are tons of free workouts that you can find on YouTube. Many require no equipment.
  5. Limit stimulants- While not fun, limiting alcohol; caffeine; sugar; and technology are essential for getting your body ready for a good night’s sleep. And while you’re at it, try and stop all liquid consumption 1-2 hours before bed, so you’re not having to get up and go during the night.
  6. Aromatherapy– There are many essential oils that you can try to help boost your mood. Here’s a blend that I like that can be applied topically, or diffused: 2 drops EACH- ginger, peppermint, and anise; and 4 drops of lavender. If you’d like to try this blend topically, mix the 10 drops into 35mL of a carrier oil.
  7. Seek professional help- If your feelings of depression become more than you can handle, ask for help. It takes a strong person to admit that they are not an island!

SAD basics

Why you need Vitamin D

Serotonin Boosters

Medical Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This post contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website

“To eat is a necessity; but to eat intelligently is an art.”

images

I hope you’re reading this from home; enjoying a day off. Thanks for getting lost, Columbus. You are so good at exploring.

Here are some recipe ideas for the week:

Monday: Curried Butternut Squash Soup (gluten free and vegan) I plan to use canned pumpkin to make things even easier.

Tuesday: Potsticker Burgers and Asian Slaw (gluten, dairy, nut free; paleo) Calls for turkey, but any ground meat will work. Eat as is, on a bun, as a lettuce wrap, on top of rice…

Wednesday:   Paleo Butter Chicken with  Sarson Ka Saag (slow cooker Indian spinach)                                                       

Thursday: Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir Fry (gluten free and vegetarian; can be vegan if you leave out the eggs) This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. Use frozen kale to save time, or if you can’t find fresh. Chicken or shrimp could easily be added.

Friday: Chicken Sharwama    There are so many options for this recipe. I’ve baked the chicken for this many times, and it’s just as good as grilling it…the marinade is the key. You can buy store-bought tzatziki and pitas or flatbreads to save time.  I like to serve the chicken with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, homemade tzatziki (made with dairy free yogurt) olives, and onions on top of homemade flatbread. You could make this vegetarian by subbing the chicken for grilled or roasted veggies (using the same marinade).

Saturday:  Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (gluten free and vegetarian; can be made vegan by using non-dairy cheese) Could easily be doubled and frozen for another time. Try to use organic corn, since corn is almost always genetically modified.

Sunday: Pumpkin Harvest Pizza –  (gluten and grain free; leave off the meat and cheese for vegan, or use “meat”crumbles and non dairy cheese) When I last made this crust, I subbed 1/4 C coconut flour for the almond flour, and used a chia “egg” instead of the xanthan gum.

I hope you’re off to a great start of the day. And a shortened work week? It’ll be Friday at 5pm before you know it!

lips_106105256

Sweet Treat Saturday!

Weekends are meant for fun and indulgence. If you’re in a baking mood, try out this recipe for ‘Peanut’ Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Against All Grain. This recipe is actually made with sunflower seed butter, making it nut free. There is a recipe variation for using actual peanut butter, if you don’t have nut allergies in your family. Just be sure that there are no added oils, salt, or sugar in your nut or seed butter. There are many substitutions that can be made for dietary issues/eating styles. This is a grain free/gluten free/refined sugar free recipe. To make it vegan, use dairy free chocolate, maple syrup instead of honey, palm shortening instead of ghee, and try using a flax or chia egg, or an egg replacer (I’ve never made it with anything besides an egg, so I’m nut sure what the result will be). Enjoy!

‘Peanut’ Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Against All Grain

IMG_5991_WM

What is a Dosha, and where can I get one?

images

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old holistic science of health, and focuses on finding balance in all areas of life. Ayurveda literally means, “the science of life.” According to Ayurveda, each person has a dominant dosha type. Simply put, doshas are the energies that make up every individual. When your dosha is out of balance…all hell breaks loose.  Each dosha (there are three: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) performs different functions in the body.

This is a great article that shares the basics of Ayurveda and Dosha types. I think it’s interesting and beneficial to learn about different forms of medicine…especially ones that prescribe food, activity, and herbs as opposed to pills. This article also includes a dosha quiz, so you can learn your dominant dosha. Don’t worry; you don’t have to give your email address to get your results. Some of the questions are strange, and ask things that you may not have considered before. Just go with your first instinct. This quiz is subjective, and your dominant dosha can change frequently. If anything, it’s a great way to kill 20 minutes while you’re at work.

Ayurveda and Dosha Types for beginners

Everything Zen? I don’t think so.

This morning I wrote a post. It took me over an hour. I was proud of this post. It was informative, helpful, and witty. It would have made you laugh, cry, and become a better person. When I finished writing, I previewed the post (“Great job, Meg!”), and then due to a colossal brain fart, I forgot to,”Publish.” I forgot to, “Save Draft.” The whole post; gone. Maybe refreshing my screen 465 times will make it appear? Maybe hitting the back button until I have blisters? Maybe repeating a slew of therapeutic words (Think 4 letter; not Om) would somehow bring my hard work back? No. I was f&^*ing pi$$ed.

Deep breath. Ok. Minor setback. In the grand scheme of things, what did I lose? A little over an hour. That’s all. Upsetting? Yes. But, when I look back on my life, I will not remember this mistake (and I will NOT make it again). It’s how we overcome these minor setbacks that defines us. I could have remained angry, not posted at all, and created a community of Sour Patch Kids in my stomach. Instead, I walked away. I knew that trying to start over right away would not have been conducive to my well being, or my message. I took my baby dog on a walk and had breakfast…and the break gave me the idea for this post.

While life’s setbacks, bumps, and whoopsie doodles are annoying and always ill-timed, it’s important to get back on track and not get derailed (pardon the train metaphor). Here are a few ideas to calm your mind before you explode…

  • Take a break. Walk away from the situation, and clear your mind. Chances are, it’s not that bad and can be easily remedied.
  • Are you hungry? Grab a piece of fruit, or a handful of nuts…get that blood sugar back up, and you’ll be more likely to make rational choices. Don’t let yourself get hangry.
  • Get some fresh air. Take deep breaths. Shallow breathing is counter intuitive to clear thinking.
  • Grab a drink or a cigarette. Do whatcha gotta do.
  • Cuss, scream, complain to someone. These actions may seem silly, but are quite therapeutic.
  • Try and find a positive spin on the situation

Obviously today wasn’t the day you were meant to hear my original post. At least I have an idea for another day’s post. Boom.  *Spin*