Women Need to Care for Each Other… And Ourselves
March 8th, 2019
Women are the true creators of humanity… a woman was not created from a man’s rib; both, men and women, came out of a woman’s vagina! Women have built humanity! And in doing so we, women, often neglect our own needs and well being. This blog post is dedicated to all those women who lovingly nurture and create and do not always have the knowhow to take care of themselves.
First, let me start by saying you are all worthy, powerful, and beautiful and you deserve self-care. Self-care is NOT selfish, it is you being responsible enough to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. Most of us know that this is the proper order and yet we do very little if anything to contribute to our own mask going on first. For instance, in the US it is recommended for adults to consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day.(1 ) Only 15.1 percent of women consume sufficient amounts of fruits and 10.9 percent of women consume sufficient amounts of vegetables.(2) Ladies! Eat your fruits and veggies!
Now you may say, “how and why?”
How? That’s easy. Fruits and Vegetables are not that difficult to find these days. Need a snack, have an apple or a banana. If the grocery store around you doesn't have fresh fruits and vegetables, make a request that they bring some over - you will be buying them. If you are a mom on the go, before you run out the door, pack an apple, a banana or even a cup or two of berries for yourself in addition to whatever you pack for your kids. Remember, your oxygen mask is just as important. Having lunch during a 10 to 12-hour workday - request a salad instead of a side of fries or steamed broccoli instead of rice with your takeout. Another way to add vegetables is to replace meats and dairy with fruits and veggies! Craving a steak, get a grilled portobello sandwich instead. As an alternative to adding cheese to your lunch dish, add avocado slices for extra creaminess. There are so many ways to be creative in adding fruits and vegetables to your daily food intake to not just meet but surpass those 2 to 3 cups per day!
“Why?” Tons of reasons, literally. Eating more fruits and vegetables supports the immune system, reduces the risk of cardiovascular and other common diseases, increases energy, and improves digestive health by supplying your body with essential vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber and “clean” carbohydrates. In other words, you eating enough fruits and vegetables will keep you healthy, robust and disease-free for longer. This means less sick days, more fun days with friends and family, AND more time to give to others and self-care. When you feel well, everybody wins!
Now Let’s talk about sleep!
24 percent of women reported waking up feeling well-rested zero of the past seven days, and 67% of those with poor sleep quality also report poorer health. (3) Reduced sleep has also been associated with weight gain in women. (4)Sleep is essential for recovery and rejuvenation, as well as mental health management. Getting enough sleep is an extremely important aspect of self-care, and can often be one of the greatest contributors to health improvement. Now, You may say, “HA! Sleep is a luxury!” Maybe. Here is my answer to it: Balance! You do NOT have to do it all. Yes, you are powerful and magical and you can work 10 to 14 hour days, raise children, have a stunning house and still have a drop of a social life. And what is this costing you? Your health? Your vitality? Your joy? My suggestion is to ask for support. See who around you can support you in getting that extra ZZZ. You are worth it! And if you have kids, they will learn how to self care for themselves from how you take care of yourself.
We, women, are notorious for trying to do it all and putting our own wellness needles last. In recognition of International Women’s Day, and in appreciation of all the incredible women on this planet, let’s take a stand to give ourselves the support we need. And if we see a woman in need, support her in having it all. Remember, when everybody wins, everybody wins, you as well!
And as always, if you need support, drop me a line. Let’s discover together how we can set your life to have it all… and 2 to 3 servings of veggies per day!
Prana: Ingesting Vitality
February 5, 2019
Have you ever had this happen? You wake up and feel tired, then you drink coffee to feel human and a couple of hours later (at most), you are exhausted and can barely go on! Then you have a doughnut with a bit more coffee, feel slightly better for about 30 min and then another crash in three to four hours. If you are a human, you’ve probably experienced this! This yoyo in energy is common, especially among those of us with busy lives. In a different post I will talk about why this happens, but today I want to introduce a solution.
Before I dive deeper into the solution (in another post), let’s introduce the concept of vitality in foods! All of your foods are, or have at some point been, alive. The measure of your food’s aliveness/vitality is called “prana.” Prana is a Sanskrit word for energy or life-giving force, and is the universal energy that flows in and around our bodies, including bodies of fruits and vegetables. Yep, fruits and vegetables have bodies too.
Prana is the underlying concept behind whole, raw, organic, plant-based, locally produced foods. When we eat foods that were recently picked and grown in pesticide and herbicide-free conditions (as mother nature intended) these foods tend to be high in prana. Eating high pranic foods contributes to abundance of energy, alertness, pleasant mood, vitality, sharpness of mind, and much more. That’s why juicing or taking a shot of wheatgrass juice can feel energizing.
Another way we can feel more energized and fulfilled is by making a small change to our daily morning and afternoon meals is by eating foods that are high in prana. Eating foods that are high in prana provides us with the vital energy that we need, leads to longevity, and aids our overall health. Foods that are high in prana are typically raw, fresh, and close to the source. These foods typically get a lot of sunlight, the root of light on the planet, which gives them the ability to source such energy. As soon as these foods are picked from their source, they begin to lose prana. So, FRESH IS BEST!
A food group that is particularly high in prana is sprouts. Broccoli, radish, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, alfalfa, lentils, and other similar foods are high in prana—also known as vitality or life force. These foods and other sprouts are also easily digestible, have a high nutrient density, are high in fiber, and have a low glycemic index. For example, two whole cups of snow pea sprouts have only 80 calories and 16g of carbohydrates, but has 6g of protein and 100% of your daily value of Vitamin C. Not only is this food high in vitality, but it’s also very high in nutrition.
While eating these foods can lead to a healthier body, it can also lead to a healthier mind. Eating foods that are high in prana help us to feel more dynamic and energized. These foods can also provide a form of happiness that’s far more sustainable than the deceptive hit of caffeine or sugar that we typically turn to. In fact, typical comfort foods like dairy are low in prana because the pasteurization process kills the nutrients. Meat is also generally low in prana because it is dead. That’s why if you want to feel energized throughout the day without constant stimulation of coffee and snacks decrease meat consumption during the day and add plenty of fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and especially sprouts! You can even grow your own sprouts right on your own windowsill.
Here are some sprout varieties you can find in your local markets:
Snow pea shoots
Baby mung/Chinese mung beans
Here are some tips to include highly pranic foods in your diet
Eat sprouts daily. There are so many varieties, feel free to switch them up!
Put sprouts on savory toasts.
Add sprouts in your salads and veggie bowls
Include a Sprout Salad as a side dish (recipe below)
½ cup alfalfa sprouts
¼ cup sunflower sprouts
¼ cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
¼ cup diced fresh pepper
¼ cup peas or cooked black beans (beans can be pre-cooked)
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add all ingredients together.
Whisk in lime and lemon juices. (Salt and pepper are optional.)
How It All Got Started Part II
January 29, 2019
…Fast forward to 2019. It has been nearly six years since that incredible day when I paid attention to what it was that I was truly in need of when I craved chocolate and knew better than to eat it. Since then, life has blossomed. How? Let me explain.
In 2013 I was coming out of a very deep and dark place. My support system included my therapist and 4 cats. I traveled voraciously to escape the reality of what my life had become, attended Opera (it was the only non-therapeutic place where I felt safe enough to express emotions), and ate sweets- lots of sweets. Sweets were my homies (or so I thought)! When I realized I couldn’t eat sweets anymore and especially in the amount I had been eating (at times over 6 or 7 servings per day), I began journaling to help me understand the source of those sweet cravings. Journaling helped me make sense of what was happening in my inner world and why I was craving whatever it was that I was craving at any given point. Awareness began to form within me and realizations that I had not experienced prior began to surface. Suddenly I went from being virtually checked out of my life to listening to my cravings, deciphering their deeper mental and emotional messages, and taking steps towards building a life by my own design. The life I began building was now guided by my inner wisdom.
Ever since I was a child, I distinctly remember wanting to accomplish two things in this life, I wanted to be in a healing profession and create a beautiful family structure with me as a loving matriarch. In 2012, I thought I was finally close to it, and I was, until it all came crashing down in one short go. I guess the universe had other plans for me. I had to learn more.
From 2012 until 2015 I spent time looking deeply at my own cravings, journaling the wisdom I was gaining from them, healing my inner wounds, and (although I did not know it at that time) building the foundation of what would become my wellness company.
Now you may think, “how did your cravings guide your life and help you build Blossomed Life, LLC and move you towards a loving relationship?” Let’s dive deeper!
In late 2017 after a two and a half year hiatus from dating and briefly diving into the craziness of the NYC dating scene, I swore off dating for good! I was going to work exclusively on my new career as a holistic nutritionist and help others heal their eating problems. I literally made a mental pact with myself to absolutely never ever be caught up in the emotional mess of what Manhattan dating has become. Then, in late March of 2018 and into Early April, I began having very frequent and strong cravings for all things sweet. From doing my own inner work and with my clients I immediately knew what was happening, my gut was telling me to date. But my mind was saying, “HELL NO!” See, the job of the mind is to keep your body safe and on this planet, until you fulfill on what it is that you came here to do. One way my mind kept me safe was to swear off dating. My inner wisdom had else in mind. I distinctly remember saying to my gut voice, “I hear you. I hear your desire for romance in your life. I don’t have anyone to date right now; if someone comes into my life, I will give it a shot. And meanwhile I’ll have a cookie to get me through the day.”
In late April and early May I started running into my now partner at social events. Every time I ran into him I thought to myself, “What a great guy, I just wish I could date someone half as amazing as he is.” When he asked me out, I was shocked. I simply couldn’t believe it! All sorts of emotions started running through me and most importantly my mind started screaming, “WARNING! WARNING! DANGER ZONE!” That was my mind offering me all sorts of tools to “preserve me from harm.” Based on my past dating experiences, men were dangerous and not to be trusted. Little did I know that my now partner would change all of those preconceptions. Reluctantly, I gave it a try. Our first date was six and a half hours our second was even longer. After that, we lost track of time we spent together. I am writing this not to bore you with my dating success story but to showcase that paying attention to your cravings (especially emotional food cravings) can and most likely will be life changing for you as well.
Another way listening to my cravings has helped me in my life fulfillment is when late last fall I began craving large meals. Typically I have some fruit, vegetables and a small number of whole grains and healthy proteins for my evening meals. During that time period, I craved HUGE meals. I just couldn’t get enough…support. Growing up food was a way that my caregivers said they love me and I always made sure to eat before, and at times during, big events. Food was a way of receiving support. When my company started suddenly bursting at the seams with opportunities, I knew I had to hire support. Given my unsavory past experiences with people, I waited until the very last moment to reach out for help. Once I opened that portal, a team of incredible support began to emerge. Yes, it was scary for Ms. Hella-Independent to rely on others, but the company needed it and I am not a magician that can do a few weeks of work in one day.
Again, how did I get past my emotional eating crutch? I paid attention to my cravings, journaled what I was experiencing, used my self-created tools such as the Cravings LogTM to observe what was coming up for me on a deeper level, took small steps toward moving forward with my life fulfillment, pleaded with my mind to let me pass my self-created barriers, and every time I passed my own berries did a happy dance and took note of how incredible it is to follow your own dream (for future self-inflicted, barrier-laden moments).
I built my now amazing life on leaning into my food and lifestyle cravings and now I coach others to do the same. I conduct private sessions, small to large size craving analysis and life fulfillment workshops. I conduct cravings events in schools, homes, and places of work and leisure. Once one of those places was good ole’ NYC Google Headquarters. One of the participants said he had never seen “Googlers” in their work habitat open up about what their true needs were and what they were dealing with in their various areas of life. In his words, “it was refreshing!” We all have deep inner needs that since unseen by the “naked eye” are not shone a light on. Leaning into our cravings and uncovering the wisdom they hold can and will bring you closer to your very own life fulfillment.
Drop me a line. I can tap into your inner wisdom too.
November 22, 2018
How it all got started.
While finishing up my Masters in nutrition, in 2013, I received some dooming health news. I was a sliver away from being pre-diabetic. Diabetes runs in my family and is a fate I wanted to avoid at all cost. Though I knew nutrition fairly well and ate a balanced diet, I had one indulgence – chocolate. I ate it as if my life depended on it. And at that time, it did. See, in 2012 a number of traumatic events befolded my life and I was at a crossroads. My career was in shambles, a man I was in love with left as suddenly as he came and my family, the apple of my eye, had temporarily turned away. I was a wreck. Dark chocolate had become my buddy, my companion, my emotional crutch.
Back to 2013. After realizing I could not consume chocolate in the amounts I had been consuming it in (sometimes as many as 2-3 bars of dark chocolate & raspberry bars per day!), I decided to keep a log of my food desires. I also began asking myself what else I would like to experience during the time I was craving chocolate. What I saw was my cravings for chocolate had deeper life meanings. And depending on the moment in time, those deeper life needs changed from say wanting to be in a relationship to wanting to be heard and seen by my friends as myself and not someone they perceived me to be…