Sunday, June 8, 2014

Nutrients and Mental Health

It's been awhile since I posted. Summer is a very busy time for my family, which is fine because I am creating memories for them. 

Since my last post, I went through a training on how the food we eat affects our mental health. I always knew there was a connection, but just never knew how deep. I learned of essential amino acids and how we can only obtain them from food. Sad thing is, so much of our food is altered or processed to where these key ingredients are not readily available. 

I learned that antidepressants deplete a persons Vitamin B supply. Ironically, antidepressants cannot do their job without these vitamins. I learned that omega 3's help all the essential amino acids do their job. I learned about each amino acid and it's role in the body. See, I am fascinated by this because it is my passion to help people regain their bearings from mental health issues. This information provides me with an arsenal to adequately do my job. 

Recently, I encouraged the Vitamin B and the omega 3 for someone who experiences depression and severe anxiety, who felt the medicine zapped their energy. After a few days supplementing these essential nutrients, the fatigue went away and their mood lifted. AMAZING! 

As for myself, I know I struggle with carb and sugar cravings. I know I have cortisol problems, the stress related hormone that causes weight gain and difficulty losing that weight. I learned bout L-theanine, the main ingredient in Green Tea. I was hesitant to drink this because I was afraid it was not possible to be delicious. See, L-theanine lowers stress, hence lowers cortisol, then lowers and curbs these cravings I experience ALL THE TIME. So naturally, I turn to Pinterest for green tea recipes. I pinned a few. It turns out the sweet tea lover in me can just replace black tea with green tea. I even add the lemon for a little extra health benefits. I love it! My family loves it. It's a win. 

I know, your saying, there is still sugar in it. True. Very, Very true. But see I am a believer in small changes. I cannot make big changes, because then I know they won't actually be a lifestyle change for me, just a fad. So I take baby steps. 

Even with the sugar in my new found favorite summer drink, I do not crave carbs and sugar, like I did. It even has curbed my appetite. I also know there are proven benefits of reducing blood pressure and slows your heart rate. Lowering cortisol prevent those borderline diabetes people from getting full blown diabetes. Lowering the stress hormone also help lower inflammation in the body which can cause depression, anxiety, ADHD, dementia and Alzeimers. 

So my one small change for the last week was to incorporate green tea in my diet, daily. Only time will tell if the bloating and big stomach will disappear by lowering my response to stress. Check out the recipes, they can be really good. :) 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Day after mothers day - reflection

This is not the normal type post for my blog. I have been deep in thought today about being a mom.

Yesterday was filled with gifts, cards, a dance recital, and some time to myself. I am lucky to be a mom. Period. I am lucky to have been given the kids I have. I am lucky that I have been chosen to guide them, teach them, and love them wholeheartedly. I cannot imagine what my life would be like if they were not in it. Actually, I don't want to imagine it. They have made me who I am and who I desire to be.

We may have chosen to live a frugal life, to not be bombarded with trinkets and the older I get, the less I want. I am hoping to teach my children that happiness and joy does not come from money. I have always wanted them to learn this, but even more now with all the "stuff" out there. This is the hardest lesson of all, because you do want them to have things, to not be looked at as "poor" even though we are not.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about boundaries and how people will make you feel like you have to give your kids everything that's materialistic. It's hard. She's a new mom, I know she will struggle with it, because we both have similar values and hopes for our kids, and I struggle with it.

The desire to prove everyone wrong that we can financially be materialistic sometimes sneaks up on me. I am not going to lie about this. I know that's not the answer. I know it's offensive when someone assumes we are not of a certain "class", but nor do they understand that it's a choice.

At my daughters' recital yesterday, nearly every girl her age was on a tablet of some sort in the waiting room. My daughter took a doll and clothing to keep her busy, another child brought the crazy loom to make bracelets. I make her keep her kindle at home (which is time limited in my home).

I look back and just think, I am glad my adult kids, got to be kids. I am thankful I do not and did not succumb to that horrible desire to prove people wrong with my kids. My adult kids memories include swimming, exploring fields, catching snakes, water balloon fights, sprinklers, bonfires, vacations and bike rides.... they never talk about playstation, gameboys, xbox, or the expensive shoes (which they had these things, but was limited). My youngest still has childhood memories to make. I intend to be the mom that I was meant to be, one who provides them  with a stable foundation and memories to tell their grandchildren. I am meant to raise responsible, loving, and caring adults. And I will do my best.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Taco Salad

So I am not a Mexican dish fan, but my family is, so I experiment with various recipes on occasion. I have been hearing about how great taco salad is, but never really made one. Pinterest here I come for advice. There were so many variations I was overwhelmed. I finally found one and pinned it to my board. The source was a Taste of Home recipe so I figured I couldn't go wrong with that one.

I made it with alterations of course, based on what I had on hand. My first version was meat, lettuce, kidney beans, tomatoes, red peppers, cheese, and tortilla chips plus the secret sauce. My second version included meat, lettuce, kidney beans, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, and tortilla chips. I use my own taco seasoning mix, which I will include the recipe. I no longer use the seasoning packets because its so high in Sodium and other not so healthy stuff.

Needless to say, both versions were a hit in the family. Of course, this is also gluten free so my youngest could enjoy it. SUCCESS!

My taco seasoning recipe:
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt

Here is the link to get the dressing recipe.