Wellness

Holding On To My Teen

Currently, there are one gazillion articles floating through cyberspace about holding your babies longer because “time passes so quickly and before you know it they’ll be grown.” And yes, those of us with littles need to be reminded of that ON THE DAILY. It is physically exhausting chasing little kids and constantly being puked on, pooped on, peed on. I have holes in my walls and stains in my carpet as battle scars from my two active little boys. I never go to the bathroom alone, and taking a shower alone (or at least without someone screaming at me) is a luxury as well.img_4756

As moms of littles, our mommy guilt usually involves thoughts of “Would I give them more quality time if I was working away from them?” or the opposite – “Am I missing out on too much because I work away from them?” Or maybe even the occasional, “Am I screwing them for life up by letting them have candy for breakfast because I don’t want to hear another tantrum?”

But there is something missing in this ongoing conversation topic. When the days of toddler tantrums are over, the years of elementary school performances and participation trophies are long gone, what is left? Does time speed up now that we’re done with those long, difficult days?

I wish.

They tell us “the days are long but the years are few.” I disagree.

The battle scars of the toddler years are nothing compared to the battle scars of the teen years.

Continue reading “Holding On To My Teen”

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

While the kids and I have been LOVING my homemade hummus, I felt the urge to switch it up today. And in the words of my husband, “it’s legit.”

Beans are a bit polarizing in the nutrition world. They can be inflammatory for some, especially for those with autoimmune issues. If that is you, be sure to soak dry beans for 8 hours or overnight and don’t use the canned kind. Soaking will make them easier to digest. However, for most people, beans are an excellent source of fiber and folate (hello, healthy neurotransmitter function)!

That being said, the key to this recipe is in a secret ingredient – “chiles de arbol,” or “tree chilies,” if you’re a Gringa like me and Spanish is your second language. But seriously, these things are just magical! I blend them with tomato sauce for a quick smoky salsa, so I figured they would add some good flavor to this dip. I start by rehydrating them in avocado oil, along with a couple garlic cloves. Continue reading “Spicy Black Bean Hummus”

Top Tips for Immune Support

Fall is here, winter is coming, and with both – all sorts of viruses. Hand sanitizer and a flu shot that is estimated to be less than 20% effective this year is not enough for me. Managing cold and flu season for my family requires the same 4 steps as managing my mental illness:

  • Nutrition
  • Supplementation
  • Movement
  • Relaxation

1. Nutrition – let’s start with sugar. Sugar is public enemy number one when it comes to illness. It will wreck your immune system. Studies have shown that at a blood sugar level of 120 (easily obtained by drinking a soda or juice or a latte or eating candy or a cookie), the white blood cells’ ability to absorb and destroy viruses and bacteria reduce by 75%. It takes 4-6 hours to get back to normal. Don’t forget that refined carbs like processed white flour spike blood sugar even more than sugar itself (like that burger or sandwich you had for lunch AFTER you had a muffin or toast for breakfast). Think about that when you’re figuring out what to do with your kid’s Halloween stash. Continue reading “Top Tips for Immune Support”

Dump and Blend Pumpkin Custard

I’m not one of those pumpkin-with-everything girls, but I do love pumpkin pie. This pumpkin custard is reminiscent of that, but it is gluten free, dairy free, and hassle-free! Just to show you how easy it is, I’m going to shut up and throw out the ingredients and directions NOW. No need to tell a cute story with it, though I will say this is a great dish to bring to a breakfast potluck in lieu of a sugary, carby insulin rocket. 🙂

img_3460 Continue reading “Dump and Blend Pumpkin Custard”

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Squash

I dared myself to make a dairy-free, grain-free chicken spaghetti recipe, and I totally nailed it!

This dish is creamy, flavorful, and comforting just like the chicken spaghetti I used to make that was filled with mounds of cheese and edible food-like substances.

Time out. In case you don’t make old-fashioned chicken spaghetti, I’m talking about cream of “fill-in-the-blank” soup. Those ingredients are not real food!!! The words “modified,” and “dehydrated mechanically separated” make me pause. Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate come with a host of unfavorable side effects, including migraine headaches. Then factor in genetically modified soy, chicken, and dairy…no thanks.

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So back to my creation. Instead of spaghetti, I use spaghetti squash. Instead of a canned, cream soup I use… CASHEW SAUCE. It is delicious. So delicious, my 2 year old dipped his Veggie Straws in it. Trust me. That is a very good sign for him.

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Continue reading “Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Squash”

Is What You’re Eating Stressing You Out?

Stress. We hear about it all the time. It’s in our daily vocabulary. We feel the weight of it constantly.

What if I told you that the food you consume is stressing your body out and making things worse?

It sounds crazy, right? When I think of stress, I think of a busy schedule, too many commitments, big life events or tragedies, etc. I don’t think of an internal response. However, the food you eat has a major impact on your stress hormone: cortisol.

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I’m more flight than fight, looking at this!

Cortisol is the fight or flight hormone. The purpose of it is actually a good thing! It is supposed to protect your body during times of stress. Imagine living in the wild and a mountain lion is approaching. Cortisol shoots through your body through the adrenals (hello, adrenaline!) in order to increase glucose for energy to ward off the attacker. Your heart rate increases thanks to epinephrine and you’re able to store fat needed for the fight. After the mountain lion has been killed and the situation is resolved, your body returns back to its normal state. All is well.

Here’s the problem with our current diet. When we eat lots of sugar and refined or simple carbs, our blood sugar is frequently crashing, signaling to the body that we’re under attack and need an increase of cortisol. So glucose is increased and fat is stored. This is super taxing on the adrenals, because due to the carb-sugar cycle we are always in, our adrenal glands are ALWAYS shooting out extra cortisol, way more than was intended in human design. Our cells soon become resistant to cortisol. What does this lead to? Inflammation, a poor-functioning immune system, type 2 diabetes, fertility issues, inability to lose weight, cancer, thyroid problems, depression, chronic fatigue…the list goes on. Continue reading “Is What You’re Eating Stressing You Out?”

Spiced Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

Today it hit a crazy low of 67 degrees in Dallas, so guess what that means – it’s fall, y’all!

In honor, I decided to try out something different. The elusive, mysterious, never-before-set-foot-in-my-house ACORN SQUASH.

It wasn’t even my idea. Four-year-old Roman saw one at Aldi and asked to get it. And based on what I’ve been learning about nutrition and the importance of rotating vegetables by what’s in season (as nature intended), I said, “Sure! Let’s make something fun!”

Spoiler alert – Roman did NOT like this soup. Baby Rhett did, because he dipped Veggie Straws in it. Whatever. Continue reading “Spiced Roasted Acorn Squash Soup”