Make it Happen Monday 

Hey everyone!

I’m a little late on today’s “Make it Happen Monday” post – what can I say! Life happens.

Today was my nieces 1st Birthday (horray!) and we have company staying with us, so it’s been a busy couple of days.

But for a moment, I want to take a second to talk about something that so many of us go through even multiple times in our lives. It’s a great time to bring it up because seasons of change – literally – are upon many of us.

Letting go.

How many of you have trouble with that? Sometimes we hold onto people and situations that really just need to be released.

The quote above is what I want to remind you of this week. The past is gone – and by holding onto these things we often are only holding ourselves back. Don’t hold yourself back – don’t hold yourself down!

The past doesn’t exist anymore ; give yourself permission to move on.

Another way of saying it: set yourself free.

Have a great week everyone!

 

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Adaptogens for Anxiety

Are you stressed? What a loaded question. Who isn’t these days? Especially for those of us dealing with mental health issues – I mean, isn’t stress kind of just like, par for the course?

I have anxiety – even when I’m not stressed, I stress about not stressing.

Like many of you, I do what I can to help myself. I exercise, eat well, and do my best to get a good quality sleep each night. I practice a lot of self care and kindness towards myself. And recently, I’ve added something new to my routine: adaptogens.

What are adaptogens?

‘Adaptogen’ is a term used to describe plants that help the body adapt to stress. You may have heard of a few such as ashwaganda, holy basil, rhodiola, ginseng, and maca.

The purpose of these is not particularly to address mood, or to manipulate emotions, but rather to help the body function optimally during stress. As someone who often gets the physical response of stress (thanks anxiety!) without an environmental or emotional cause, adaptogens are quickly becoming one of my most useful tools in my mental health toolbox.

Where can you get adaptogens?

Due to their increase in popularity, adaptogens have become relatively easy to find. They can be found at health food stores, and even some bigger grocery store chains. I currently use Holy Basil, Ashwaganda, and Maca – all of which I found at my local grocer. In powder form, these can easily be added to smoothies and elixirs. Sometimes I make chocolate and add my adaptogens in.

What is unique about the different adaptogens?

Holy basil has a reputation for balancing blood sugar levels and regulating cortisol. It is typically made into a tea. I enjoy it warm, but if you’re up for an alternative check out my recipe for Holy Basil Iced Tea !

Maca has been studied extensively in relation to libido, but it is also known for it’s ability to increase energy and balance hormones – like cortisol. Maca root is easily integrated into an energy ball recipe or morning smoothie.

Ashwagandha has long been highly prized in Ayervedic medicine. It helps to balance hormones, support the adrenals, and also protects the brain. One study in particular is especially intriguing. A group of participants were given dietary counseling, a multi-vitamin, deep breathing relaxation techniques, and a daily dose of ashwagandha. Not only did the participants anxiety decrease significantly, but they also decreased more than their counterparts in the psychotherapy intervention group.

Should you try adaptogens?

I do not recommend trying to treat your mental health symptoms with adaptogens alone. Mental wellness requires a holistic approach, so I encourage you to use all the tools at your disposal. If you do decide to treat your anxiety with adaptogens, check with a medical professional so you can be sure it isn’t contraindicated with any of your medications.

I have felt an increase in energy and a more balanced disposition after adding these to my wellness routine. In my personal experience, it has been rewarding incorporating them. The next adaptogen I want to try is moringa, which enhances digestion and also promotes healthy skin.

Are you guys using adaptogens? What benefits have you noticed?

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Continue reading “Adaptogens for Anxiety”

Chickpea Nuggets

The other night I had a wild hankering for chicken nuggets. The problem? I’ve recently made the decision not to buy any meat unless it’s been ethically raised. Yep, it’s been a big leap for me! Maybe more on that in another post.

But back to the nuggets: so going out for these or picking some up at the store was just not an option. We also don’t keep a lot of oven or microwave ready foods in my house. So wanting something that would hit that ‘late night craving’ spot ASAP forced me to get creative. And thank goodness for that, because perhaps without that push these beauties might never have come along.

These Chickpea Nuggets are crunchy, satisfying, and great dipped in ketchup! Vegan friends, you can substitute the egg for one flax egg, and use vegan friendly Worcestershire. My meat eating friends: try this! You just might be surprised.

This recipe makes 12 nuggets.

Ingredients

  • One can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions 

Preheat the oven to 350 . Add all ingredients to a food processor until mixed well – almost to a paste, but still leaving some bits of chickpea or quinoa for texture. Using a large spoon, scoop out 12 nuggets. Coat each chickpea nugget in corn starch and arrange on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, flip the nuggets over and let them bake for another 10.

You will know these babies are done because they will be nice and crunchy on the outside. You can add more salt to these once they are done, if you desire it, and serve with whatever sauce you like!


I have adapted the directions slightly from the first time I made these. Only slightly, as I initially tried frying the nuggets in a pan, as opposed to baking them. I found it a bit more messy and time consuming, but if you really want your nuggets fried you can do that too.

Happy Eating! 

Make it Happen Monday

Every morning I find myself pretty fired up and ready to go, but let me tell you a little secret … 

I hardly ever go to bed feeling so great. Mix anxiety with perfectionist tendencies and going to sleep in peace is no easy task. Last night in particular I was feeling really defeated – wondering if I would be able to pick myself up the next morning and continue forward. 

But I always do. 


It made me realize that every morning, even on Mondays, there is something even more important I go through before getting motivated… 

It’s letting go. 

For the first second, the moment I open my eyes, I grant myself the peace of letting go of yesterday. Without that, how could I possibly move forward? Carrying on is almost impossible when you’re carrying so much baggage. 

So my motivation for you today is this: grant yourself permission to move on. To move forward. To let go. 

Yesterday is gone, but we still have the day in front of us! 

Happy Monday Strong Babes! 

I can’t carry all these rocks.

Imagine that all of your priorities are like rocks. You have big rocks, like work, parenting, being a good partner, and good pet owner. And then you have little rocks, maybe tasks such as cleaning the kitchen, grocery shopping, dropping off the dry cleaning, you know – things on the ‘to-do’ list.

And then there is a special rock. It’s small, but it’s heavy. It’s a pebble you chose from an entire beach of pebbles. There are so many that you could have picked, but you picked this special pebble, and no one else can have it because it’s all yours. It’s your purpose. It’s your reason for being. It’s your reminder of why you get out of bed every day. You’re purpose pebble.

Now, imagine all the rocks that you carry every day. The more responsibility you have, the heavier it gets. Sometimes we have to put rocks down because we simply cannot carry all the ones that we are burdened with. You might put down laundry and say “I just can’t do this today”. You might put down being a good friend and reschedule your coffee date for next week when things calm down. That’s what prioritizing is I guess, it’s deciding which rocks to carry.

What happens if you don’t put any rocks down? They just keep piling up. You try to do it all, and not even just that, but you try to look happy doing it. Your ego is in the way, you don’t want to let anyone know that you can’t handle all the rocks you’ve picked up. How embarrassing, you think, so you continue to juggle them. But then…

the pebble slips through.

You’re so busy with all of your other rocks, you didn’t even notice you dropped your purpose pebble. You’re not even sure when or where you dropped it. frantically, you search for it. You might have to retrace your steps to find it, but even if you find it you have so many rocks to carry right now, you might not even be able to pick it up.

If you pick it up, you risk dropping everything else. You risk dropping being a good daughter. Maybe you risk providing for your family. Maybe you will drop all of the rocks that require social obligations for the next month. You might lose everything trying to find your purpose again.

It’s up to you. You can continue carrying all the other rocks, and piling them up just as fast as you can get rid of them. You can even look good doing it. You can convince everyone else and yourself that this is fulfilling for you.

All the while knowing you lost the pebble with the most meaning, the most substance.

The choice is yours, it’s up to you.