Hi all!! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here!! I had NO IDEA how much my kiddos being home from school was going to affect my work and blog over the summer! But man…note to self for next summer….someone say, “day camps”? Lol, I’m kidding…sorta…
So I’ve had a lot of questions about exercise lately and what you should do when you have an autoimmune condition. So I thought I would share my not-so “expert”, based on experience, opinion. 😂
I think exercise is as bio individual as is food. What works for one person may not work for another. This is an area where it really pays to be mindful of your body and it’s responses to what you are doing. Listen to your doctors and consider what they tell you. But also, no one knows your body as well as you do. So when you are taking part in an activity, really be mindful in the moment and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Most likely, you will have a gut instinct as our bodies are very good at telling us what they need, if only we listen.
If I had to give you my own opinion of what you should do, it would be something like this: If you are in the middle of a flare up or you are in the process of trying to heal, I would definitely dial back what you are doing. As an example, if you are someone who runs marathons and is training multiple times a week with long runs, you might dial it back to running 3 to 5 miles a couple times a week. If you find yourself at the gym for a couple hours at a time, five to six days a week, doing several high intensity type workouts, maybe you dial it back by only being there for an hour, three to five days a week.
In evaluating your own situation, there is a really important question I would ask yourself. It’s not necessarily how often are you exercising, it’s
how often are you balancing your exercise with something that is grounding or centering?
In a more scientific way of saying it, how often are you balancing your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) by triggering your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)?
You have to understand that when you exercise, it is a form of stress on the body. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, when we are in a state of stress all the time, that’s when it can be detrimental to our health. So, if you are someone that has a very stressful job, several kids that you are running around, you’re exercising multiple times a week, running errands between appointments and/or practices, you are stressing your body all day long. That’s when it becomes a problem. Add in any financial, career, relationship, spiritual, or other struggles and now you’ve got a recipe for staying in, or triggering, a diseased state.
When you are in a state of stress, you are triggering your SNS. This system is designed to take all of your energy resources and put them in the areas, like your muscles, to help you flee from danger. Think back to very early human days when danger was keeping yourself alive from the tiger chasing you. In this state, there is decreased blood supply to the gut and an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. Being in this state on a frequent, or all the time basis, can be harmful.
We also have another system called the PNS. You will often here this referred to as the rest and digest system. When it is engaged, there is an increased blood supply to your gut which increases digestion. When you are in a parasympathetic state, your body is in a healing state. When you have an autoimmune condition and are dealing with a flareup, you want to be in the parasympathetic state as much as possible. And even if you are a healthy individual, it is still just as important to have a healthy balance between these two systems.
So when we talk about exercise, not only should you ask yourself how much stress are you putting on your body with the type of exercise you are doing, but, how often are you balancing that out with something that triggers your PNS? How often are you doing grounding, centering, and/or relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, taking a bubble bath, reading a good book, or in my case, watching the birds at my feeders? If you can’t say that you are doing an activity that triggers your PNS as often as you are doing an activity that triggers your SNS, then I encourage you to push yourself out of the comfort zone of your normal routine, shake things up a bit. Ask yourself what you enjoy doing that relaxes you and maybe look into meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises. Your body will absolutely thank you for it! And who knows…you might just lose those extra few pounds that won’t go away.
If you need help balancing your exercise, your work/home life, or your stress, reach out to me here! I would love to help you!
While I’m a huge supporter of eating good, whole foods as much as possible, sometimes you need a little something fun, a little “cheat”, especially if you’re just getting used to eating for your health, not eating for fun!
My daughter is on an elimination diet which takes out several things including gluten and dairy. So when movie night shows up at school every couple of months and they are serving pizza, she can’t have it…and it breaks my heart and I hate it for her. 😥 So I have started making her a version of pizza that she CAN have. This “elimination diet approved” pizza has allowed her to feel normal! Check this video out to see how I make it!! (**Not all elimination diets are the same. Check with your doctor or health coach to see if this would work for you.)https://healingmyhashi.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/img_1322.mov
If you need help navigating the waters of an elimination diet, e-mail me here. I would love to help and support you!!
My new favorite thing to drink in the afternoons!! Dandy Blend Herbal Beverage!! Check it out! 😊https://healingmyhashi.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/img_1289.mov
With Spring finally here and summer around the corner, I wanted to talk about seasonal crops and their nutritional value. (*Little side-note, these are mid-western crops.) Some of the ones that are going to be popping up and ready to go in June are arugula, radishes, mustard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, green onions, kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, parsley, and chard. Wheew!! That’s a lot of veggies and greens!! 🙂 I LOVE this time of year because there are so many greens to choose from!
I know several of these, especially the greens, can be overwhelming at first. You don’t know how to use them, they don’t sound appetizing, etc. Because greens can be the most intimidating, we’re going to talk about those today. There are two easy ways you can enjoy some of these greens. First is in a smoothie. I love throwing together some frozen berries, mix in Sun Warrior’s grain free plant-based protein powder, add in some superfoods (like cacao nibs/powder, flax/chia seeds, maca powder, etc.), throw in some sea vegetables like nori or dulse (you can’t taste them and they are good for those with thyroid conditions), and then of course, add in my favorite greens!! However, I highly recommend you pick a piece of the green leaf first, taste it, and decide if the flavor is too strong for you. Most of these will taste the exact same way in a smoothie. For example, I will not put arugula or kale in my smoothie. They both have pretty bold tastes that I don’t care for. Spinach is PERFECT in a smoothie! It doesn’t have much of a taste when eating it raw so you can’t taste it at all in a smoothie!
The second easy way is to saute them. My favorite of all the greens mentioned above is spinach and chard, although I haven’t yet discovered a green that I don’t mind sauteed. Even the ones that have pretty strong smells and pretty bitter tastes raw, have a much milder taste when sauteed. Here is a quick and easy recipe:
EASY GREENS RECIPE
1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 tsp Better than Bouillon, chicken flavored
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups greens, diced, stems separate from leaves IF the stems are a hard stem (like a chard).
Salt & Pepper to taste
Turn your burner to medium, add in the oil. Once the oil is hot, add in your onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. If you are working with a green that has hard stems, such as a chard, you’ll want to put those in next. Let those cook about 3-5 minutes (I prefer five because I prefer mine to be a little softer). Then add the rest of the ingredients, cooking for another 3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted. Bam, you’re done! You can eat these as a side dish or throw additional vegetables on top. I like to eat spinach with my sweet potato and eggs in my pre workout but I love to eat chard by itself. If you are making some homemade soup, you can always add ins some spinach and kale, adding a lot of nutrients without changing the taste of the soup!
As always, enjoy finding ways to add in some of these delicious crops whenever you can. It’s always more nourishing to your body to eat crops that are in season. Oh, and there’s the added benefit of it being cheaper on your pocket book! 🙂
For additional benefits of eating in season, check out this link!!
It’s been years since I had my daily Diet Coke! I could go into all of the reasons why I gave it up, but I don’t think I need to! Now-a-days, we all pretty much know that pop isn’t good for you. (Just in case 😂 causes dehydration, plaque build-up on teeth, SUGAR, ASPARTAME, phosphoric acid, caffeine, possible heavy metal toxicity, and high fructose corn syrup 😳) But, I’ve always missed the carbonated beverage. I got hooked on Zevia (a “better” pop) and I have been drinking that in the afternoons for a couple of years. But, fighting an autoimmune disease, I wanted to give up drinking out of an aluminum can because of the possible toxicity exposure. So, I did some research and found out I could basically make my own beverage! Check out this video to see how you too can give up your pop and make your own healthy version!
Are you looking for support on your autoimmune journey? E-mail me here!
“Your child needs to go through an elimination diet.”
These words can be devastating for a lot of people to hear. You get this long list of foods your child needs to avoid and if you eat all of them on the regular, you could be in freak-out mode! Especially if you have no idea how to replace some of your child’s favorite snacks, breakfast and bakery items. Well, this blog is about to help you out when it comes to replacing some of those gluten containing items that our kids love!
Cassava might be one of my new favorite things!! For a family that is trying to avoid grains, Cassava flour can be a lifesaver when wanting a bakery-type item!! Cassava, or yuca root, is a starchy, tuberous root that can be eaten whole by baking, boiling, or frying. You can also ferment them. They have been compared to a white potato but they are known to be low on the glycemic index, making them ok for diabetics. But, my personal favorite is cassava flour.
You can use cassava flour as a substitute in any recipe calling for regular flour, which is what I love! We’ve made tortillas or wraps with the flour and they have turned out perfect! We make our own “chicken nuggets” for our kids to have for lunch or dinner. We use a combo of almond flour and cassava flour to make them. I’ve always used almond flour but adding the cassava gives it more of the “fried chicken” breading that we like. It also has the added benefit of being lower in fat than the almond flour.
And thank goodness for the companies that are amazing at creating products made from cassava flour! Siete’ Foods makes the best tortilla chips!!! I buy three bags a month from Thrive Market and usually get one in each flavor. And yes, I 100% take these chips with me when we eat at a Mexican restaurant…no shame here! While eating out isn’t the best for you, I also don’t want to be a recluse and always stay home! So taking these chips has allowed Paisley and I to enjoy chips and salsa (we don’t eat corn), which we both love.
Plant Snacks makes some amazing Cassava Crunch chips that I LOVE to snack on!! They come in a couple of different flavors but the plain ones are probably my favorite. However, I have to be honest and say that I haven’t tried all of the flavors yet. They have become my go-to Friday and Saturday night snack and I’m lucky if I don’t eat the whole bag in one sitting. Paisley loves these chips as well, so they are PICKY-kid approved! I also get them from Thrive Market.
Simple Mills oh how I LOVE thee!!!! This company saved me when my daughter first went on her elimination diet! They use cassava, but also include some other ingredients in their mixes. But every ingredient, which isn’t many, is something you know and is of quality. This company has so much to offer, from crackers and bread mixes, to cupcakes and muffins… they even have frosting!! If you follow me on insta, then you know how Simple Mills’ cupcake mix and frosting saved my butt on the day of Paisley’s school Valentine’s party!! (See pic above!)
Bottom line, if you or a family member needs to be gluten, even grain-free, try out cassava flour and companies that use it! It’s wonderful for giving you options when you don’t always want meat, fruits, veggies, and plants and comes with the added benefit that it’s not high in fat like an almond flour.
Oh, and did I mention that cassava has nutritional benefit as well?? 🙂 It can help with inflammation and helps to balance your gut flora, among other things. So, not only can you enjoy some treats but you can do it in a health way! Who doesn’t want that?!?!
For help and support with leading a gluten and grain free life, shoot me an e-mail! I would love to chat with you!