Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Clean Eats: Egg Muffins

CLEAN    Hey There, Well-Beings! It’s confession time. I’ve been dangling my feet over the edge of the clean eating wagon since Thanksgiving. I was doing so well for a while, and then entered a really high-stress stretch where my careful meal planning and good decision making was shoved aside for convenience foods, too many treats, and no longer saying no to whatever goodie was in the breakroom. I’d say my 80-20 track record of eating well vs little indulgences was on its way to a full blown 50-50 and my clothes were starting to cry uncle.

This week, I recommitted myself fully to a healthy diet, ordered another fun dance workout to groove to, and sat down with a blank calendar page to make a meal plan (more on this in another post). One of my favorite healthy breakfast recipes are egg muffins! No, not those McDrive Thru ones, but these totally healthy, high-protein, and Vegetarian friendly, easy breakfast (with a little planning) egg muffins that really help me fuel my mornings the right way. They couldn’t be easier to make, either!
You’ll need:

  • One regular sized muffin tin
  • A dozen eggs
  • Olive or coconut oil cooking spray
  • Veggies of your choice

I start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then I generously greased my muffin tins with olive oil spray. You really want to make sure you get all sides of the cups, because the eggs really bake on without it.

Greased Pan

After that, I chop my veggies. I love to use spinach and tomatoes for this recipe, but I’ve used green onions, bell peppers, broccoli, basically anything you’d put in an omelet goes great in these. Feel free to also use a little meat or cheese, if that sounds good to you. You can really get creative with these, so don’t feel limited by my choices! After you prep your fillings, fill your muffin cups about half to 3/4 of the way full.

Veggies

Once your veggies are in the tin, then you’ll prepare your eggs. I break 6 at a time into my 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup with a spout and handle (this makes pouring a breeze), add some cracked black pepper to taste, and whisk them up until the yolk and whites are fully integrated. This recipe uses approximately one egg per cup, but some may end up being a little light, so to remedy this, I add a few tablespoons of water to my Pyrex cup to help spread the eggs around. Then I fill the cups to about 3/4 full and bake for about 15 minutes.

Eggs and PepperEgg Pour

Eggs Poured

Once your pan is cool, you’ll store these little beauties in the fridge and pop ’em in the microwave for about 30 seconds to a minute. I eat two in the morning with a little sprouted grain toast and almond or peanut butter and I have a healthy, fast breakfast that I can eat for 6 days. The only part of this that takes any effort is making the batch, so if you can put 30 minutes with cleanup together, you can eat with ease all week.

Baked Muffins

I want to hear from you! What clean eats recipes are your mainstays? Comment below and I’ll make and share my favorites as part of an ongoing feature on the blog! Happy, healthy eating!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

 

From the Archives: Stormy Weather? Adjust Your Attitude With Gratitude

watercolor-488003_1920     Hey There, Well Beings!

I don’t know about you, but this last week was kinda trying, and not just for me, but for almost everyone I came in contact with. It felt like a good time to remind myself that I always have more power in those situations than I think I do, and how so much of that power comes from being able to spot and celebrate the great things and steal the focus away from the less than stellar. Here’s a trip back two years ago, when a storm swept through my town and taught me a powerful lesson about thankfulness. I hope it finds you happy, healthy, and with plenty of good things to feel grateful for.

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On Wednesday my state got a rip roaring storm that leveled a neighboring town’s high school, several homes, a few businesses and cost at least one person their life. To be honest, I’m still trying to process it. I’ve lived in the worst area for tornadic activity for the past 17 years and it still gets me every time I see the destruction that Mother Nature is capable of.

I woke up the next morning to birds chirping and a multi-colored sunrise. My drive in to work was calm and quiet; a startling difference from the night before. It could have been another story. I could be sifting through debris and praying that my dog was okay, instead of waking up to his sweet, but stinky kisses.

I’ve been struggling to stay positive over the past couple of months. I applied for a couple of jobs that I’d hoped would put me in a better financial position so I could work fewer hours and give school more of my time, but they didn’t pan out. I fought off a respiratory illness that showed up in time to prevent me from seeing a couple of old friends who were in town, and I rarely have time to hang with my people as it is. I’m about to hit the time of year when I have a lot of annual expenses that leave me cash strapped until after my birthday, and don’t get me started on the birthday. (It’s a big one.) Lots of little things adding up to a lot of negativity and smart-assed self-talk, that has only been perpetuating the problem.

That is, until I was forced to go back to basics and really get to the heart of the matter. Gratitude. I have literally thousands of things to be grateful for, starting with air in my lungs, a healthy, functioning body and a still in-tact roof over my head. And not in the way that I have been “grateful” of late, where I grumble my way through my list in the morning when my alarm goes off. I’m grateful in a real and very serious way, because if I’d chosen a place to live that was just 15 minutes away from my current address, I might not have a job, a home or a life to feel grateful for right now.

It’s sad that it takes wake-up calls of this magnitude to snap us out of it sometimes, but that’s exactly what it took for me to stop the “woe is me” and realize, “Whoa! It’s me.” I have just as much to do with turning it around as I did putting myself there. It totally changes your position of power from someone who passively lets things happen to someone who actively does something to affect their own outcomes, and all in a matter of seconds.

Most good things take time, but not this. It’s an instant day-changer and I want you to start right now. Don’t read on until you can name three things that you can feel completely grateful, even joyful about. Write them down, say them out loud, close your eyes and think of them silently. Whatever it takes to get the feelings of absolute gratitude to wash over you until you can’t feel anything else. I’ll wait…

See? See how powerful that is and how it instantly affected your mood and changed your day, even if it was already going pretty well for you? There’s always room for improvement and there’s definitely always room for thankfulness. Next time life has you by the scruff take just a few minutes to do this and watch your world quickly change.

I want to hear from you! What things are you truly grateful for? Did it take something tough or scary to change your attitude to one of gratitude? What changes did you make afterwards and did they last? Let’s share our stories and remind each other of our many blessings!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Tea Time: Tasty Ways to Improve Your Health

tee-1252000_1920     Hey There, Well-Beings!

There’s a chill in the air again after a week’s worth of spring-like days, and when that happens it sometimes brings with it a cold, flu or infection. There’s plenty of preventative measures we can take to keep healthy, but one of the easiest ways we can give ourselves a fighting chance is by drinking a cup or two of tea each day. There are about as many benefits from consuming tea as there are varieties to choose from, but once you know some basics about this beverage favorite, it’s easy to add it to your daily routine and target it for better health.

Black Tea – Easily the most common type of tea, black teas have been consumed for more than 500 years. They are known for their high concentration of antioxidants which may lower cholesterol ,and studies have shown that drinking multiple cups of black tea each day may lower the risk of stroke by more than 20% and may also help keep dementia at bay. They are naturally caffeinated though, so if caffeine is an issue for you, look for decaffeinated varieties.

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Green Tea – Another antioxidant powerhouse, green tea is another widely popular tea that’s great for keeping your health up. In fact, the majorly potent EECGs in green teas have shown promise in preventing heart disease and certain types of cancer. It has a lighter and more delicate flavor than black tea, but does still contain natural caffeine. Don’t worry if you’re sensitive to it. There are decaffeinated green teas, as well.

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Red Tea – Red tea, also known as Rooibos, is uniquely high in minerals. It’s been lauded for its ability to improve skin, circulation and aid in digestion. It’s great tea to choose to improve immunity, and it’s caffeine free, so it’s a great choice for bedtime or if you have caffeine sensitivities.

Herbal Tea – Herbal teas come in so many varieties, you can find one for almost anything that ails you. There’s elderberry for your immune system, peppermint and ginger for stomach concerns, chamomile to calm you and lemon balm to lift your spirits, and that’s just to name a few. Herbal teas are typically free of caffeine, but some are best not to consume at night, as they can still keep you up past your bedtime.

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As you can see, teas are a simple way to boost your health and longevity. While most will only improve your health, talk to your doctor about using teas and steeped herbs if you are taking medicines and other supplements, as it’s possible they may not play well together. Once you have the go ahead, fill the kettle and warm up with a delicious mug of whatever your heart desires. It’s always a good time for tea!

P.S.  If you’re looking for a recommendation on where to find a great selection of high quality, organic teas at a good value for your money, I give the Tejomaya Wellness stamp of approval to Mountain Rose Herbs. If you’d be so kind as to use this affiliate link when you treat yourself to something sippable, I will receive a small token of gratitude from the company, which will help me keep the blog going.  I’ll be sure to raise my teacup to you, as well. <3

 

I Hope They Have Canoes in Heaven

paddling-1081679_1920     It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon and while that’s normally something I’m glad about, this Sunday the silence has a noticeable heaviness. It wouldn’t have been uncommon for me to hear the sounds of my neighbor hammering away on a project, revving motorcycle or muscle car engine , or the zooming takeoff of an RC plane on a day like today. The weather is unseasonably warm, and the sun is shining and he didn’t miss days like today. It also wouldn’t have been uncommon to exchange words with my neighbor about his latest adventure or for him to kindly offer my skittish terrier a wide berth in the courtyard, so the dog could feel safe.

I came home from work on Friday and there were a lot of people at his apartment. This wasn’t strange. He often put up friends and family, especially when there were roping competitions or rodeos in town. They appeared to be helping him move, which also wasn’t strange. He faked me out a few years back when he got some new furniture, but not only did he stay, but he brought a set of canoes back with him that he hung on his balcony. Saturday those canoes and the rest of his belongings were put in the back of trucks and carted off, and I realized it had been a couple of weeks since I’d seen him. His friends stuck around until the apartment was empty and then swapped stories with his mom on the front porch. They laughed together and talked about him and I realized I’d seen this kind of bittersweet remembering several years ago when we said goodbye to my uncle and my grandparents. They weren’t helping him move. They were looking after her. He wasn’t leaving. He was already gone.

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The last time I saw him, he was coming out of his apartment and I was outside with Harry, who hadn’t seen him yet. He smiled at me, waved and goose stepped back behind his door so he wouldn’t scare the dog while we headed inside. It was an exchange that told you a lot about who he was; a kind young man, more concerned about my little buddy’s comfort than his schedule. That’s how I remember him and what I will miss so much about having him next door. It only feels appropriate that I honor his memory by spending the rest of this gorgeous day outside. Paddle on, my friend. May the water carry you home.

Treat Yo Self: Ivory Clasp Subscription

TreatYoSelf_     Hey There, Well Beings!  It’s been a busy Sunday. My taxes are complete, my errands have been run, and while I’m still debating whether or not I’m going to watch the Super Bowl tonight, I wanted to share a cool experience I had with a new company. I have been singing the praises of self care and treating yourself every now and then for years , but I looked around and realized that it’s been a while since I shared a tangible example of how I’m living that lesson in my own life.  After doing a major closet purge last year of things that either didn’t fit or I just didn’t love, I found myself in want of a few things and after checking out my handbag situation, I decided I needed some help. I had an oversized orange tote that I love, but goes with very little and this happy little burst of pink I talked about here. What I didn’t have was a sturdy black bag, anything that was work appropriate, or anything more current than last year, so I decided to check out a handbag styling service and see if they could help me hip things up a little bit.

Enter Ivory Clasp, a subscription handbag service that showed up on my radar just as I started making a wish list of things I wanted. For just $45 a month, every other month, or each season, their stylists pick out an on trend bag that has a retail price tag of $100 or more and ship it to your door. I took a fun five minute style quiz and sent my awesome stylist a link to a Pinterest board of the types of bags I liked so she could get a feel for my taste and she responded quickly and was seriously so cool! We had a really nice conversation via email and I totally felt like a VIP, so I was feeling pretty happy about the experience before my shipment even left the warehouse. It made waiting for the box such a cool experience. It did so much to set my positive expectancy in motion. I just knew my bag was going to be amazing.

It got here earlier this week and I had to share it with you because I am one happy lady! I asked for classic, work appropriate, but still wearable with my casual go-to outfit (jeans and a cardigan), and I think my stylist completely nailed it! I’d indicated in my notes at the end of my style quiz that I was in desperate need of a black bag, and she really listened and came through big time. Plus, it’s vegan leather, so I’m thrilled. No precious, big-eyed cows were harmed in the making of my bag. Karma points and a cute bag! <3

Everything came wrapped so carefully. I love how much care went into protecting my new bag. They even included a hand signed note from the whole team! It’s touches like this that really made the experience special:

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If that wasn’t enough, they included this cute, faux fur pom keychain and clip with my order <3:

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Here are some shots of the front, back, and inside of the bag once I got it unwrapped:

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I took my new bag to work and got so many compliments on it:

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Did I mention that I used a coupon code, so I ended up paying less than $45 for a bag that costs $138 full retail? Not too shabby, eh? :

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Speaking of coupon codes, if you are as excited as I am about handbags and want to check out this awesome subscription service as a treat yo self, you can use the special code RENDERIC at checkout, Ivory Clasp will give you 20% off of your first handbag. Enjoy! If you decide to try out Ivory Clasp, send me a photo of your bag in the comments. I want to see what you got!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer
P.S. This isn’t a sponsored post, just something fun I spent my own money on and thought you might enjoy reading about and checking out.

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From the Archives: C’mon Get Happy, Naturally!

sunflower     Hey There, Well Beings!  As the traffic  grows on this page, I thought it might be nice to bring the occasional post out of obscurity and give it some light now and again. Today, I’ve chosen an article I wrote for Inner Child Magazine back in 2014 that’s loaded with tips for easing depression. I’ve found a lot of comfort in these over the years and I hope they help you, too.

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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Depression. It’s almost a fact of life these days. 1 in 10 adults have reported experiencing it according to the CDC. Sometimes it’s affected by the seasons. Others we experience due to the stress of life or after the loss of a loved one. Chances are, you or someone close to you will face depression at some point, if not already. For mild to moderate depression, you needn’t abandon hope. There are things you can do to get your happy back.

omegas

Start with Supplements: A good fish oil, or sea algae supplement for vegans, will do wonders for your brain. Aside from providing you with nutrients that will help memory and offset Alzheimer’s, omegas also help battle depression. Omega 3s have been shown to be lacking in depressed individuals. Vitamin D is a biggie, especially in the winter when our exposure to the sun is more limited. It’s not at all uncommon to be deficient and supplementation is simple. St. John’s Wort is very popular for treating mild to moderate depression, with some studies showing it to be equally as effective as some prescription medications. You may also want to look for SAMe and 5HTP. There is some evidence that both may be helpful as 5HTP is a precursor to serotonin and SAMe may increase the level of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These are all contributors to feelings of well being and energy needed to stay motivated when times are tough. Just make sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements to make sure your dosages and all possible interactions have been accounted for.

lemon

Follow Your Nose: Citrus essentials oils of orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and bergamot are all known to lift the spirits and leave behind a bright, cheerful scent. Mix your favorites together and diffuse them in your home or put them in an unscented cream or oil and wear when gloomy. You’ll see it has a lot of a-peel! If fruity scents aren’t your thing, look for rose or chamomile to brighten your mood. The idea is to surround yourself with something that you like, so if it isn’t your favorite, it probably won’t do the trick. Just make sure you’re using real essential oils, as fragrance oils made from chemicals don’t have the same effect on the limbic system as the real thing.

Get By with a Little Help From Your Friends: The last thing you probably want to do when you’re down is be social or even put on pants, but when someone tosses an invite your way to go out dancing or come over for game night, go! Being around people who care about you and make you laugh is exactly what the author ordered. Make the extra effort and spiff up a little, too. Taking the time to take care of yourself is a must. Do your hair. Shine your shoes. Heal your soul.

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Fuzz Therapy: If your finances and lifestyle allow, consider adopting a pet. Furry companions require exercise and playtime, which will force you out of your rut. They also require serious snuggles which will boost your mood faster than a cat comes running at the sound of a can opener. I speak from personal experience when I tell you that my dog was sometimes the only reason I managed to get out of bed and go to work during some of my darker days. It was my responsibility to feed him so I made myself go for him. Returning home to his grateful, wagging tail was entirely worth it.

Get Spiritual: People with a solid spiritual practice tend to experience less depression that those that don’t. Prayer can help put you back in touch with your heart and help you find that light at the end of the tunnel. Meditation is something that’s helpful no matter what faith you belong to. Volunteer to do some community outreach at your place of worship. If you’re not religious, find a local group of Secular Humanists doing good things in your area and get involved. Doing good feels good. Isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway?

By taking an active role and knowing your natural options, you can treat your depression. Of course, if you think there’s any possibility you may be suffering from depression that is moderate to severe, please consult with your doctor. If your depression has reached the point where you have considered taking your own life, I want you to have this number: 1-800-273-8255. It will connect you with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and someone in your area will help get you through it. You are not alone. The world still needs unique and wonderful you and don’t you ever forget it!

Meditation: It Probably Isn’t What You Think

jewellery-1613801_1920     Hey There, Well Beings!

Something magical happens when I’m making jewelry or doing any kind of crafty activity, really that shuts down chatter, and slows my heart rate and breathing, and narrows my focus to the here-and-now in a way that feels truly spiritual. It started with beading in my very early twenties after a nasty heartbreak, and has been a feeling I’ve retreated to whenever things got really bad or inspiration raised its whisper to a scream. It’s not something I’ve been super consistent with though, until recently when things hit another stressful skid. Finding my way back to it has been absolutely ambrosial and has changed my mental, physical, and spiritual health so much that I see the difference it’s made in a mirror. Hard lines are softer, my eyes are relaxed, I hold my neck and shoulders differently.  It’s almost like I just got back from a spa vacation after a visit to a Zen monastery. There’s a reason for that.

A few of my recent projects, and a peek into one of my bead drawers. <3

A few of my recent projects, and a peek into one of my bead drawers. <3

I learned how to meditate over the course of a couple of years after a period of chronic illness. I’d had a form of drug resistant pneumonia in 2012 that hung on for six months and left multiple doctors baffled. I took leave from a very high stress job to recover and after I’d caught up on sleep and episodes of Supernatural, did I get hit with a case of cabin fever! I started re-reading my aromatherapy books and was sent down the rabbit hole of natural health resources until I started pulling up YouTube videos and using guided meditations to teach myself how to manage stress. I knew the tension and anxiety from my job had contributed in a big way to the illness I was experiencing, and slowly, with clean eating and other practical knowledge added to my arsenal, I got better. It was a pivotal moment for me, because it started me on a journey to become a Master and Teacher of Meditation a couple of years later. That feeling of peace and joy after a good session, though? I never could shake the total familiarity of it. I’d done this before, and not as déjà vu, but as a tangible experience. I’d been in “the zone” a handful of times and I’d either had a paintbrush in my hands or jewelry supplies strewn about while deep in a place of blissful creation. You see where I’m going with this. I’d been meditating for years, I just didn’t know it.

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Peace isn’t only found in Gyan Mudra. Sometimes we find it in the most simple, but wonderful places.

I had a conversation with my mentor and friend one night about what meditation is and we both listed examples of activities that looked nothing like navel gazing in quiet contemplation. We talked about washing dishes and getting lost in a piece of music as though they were sacred, because they are. I have a theory that people are afraid of meditation because they think it requires a steely focus and the ability to sit still for an hour, and some forms do, but if they knew they could get there by taking a nature hike, or cooking a gourmet meal, or by getting in “the zone” of any activity that turns them on in a creative or blissful way, then baby, they’d meditate all the damn time! I’m not about to ever knock traditional forms of meditation. I’m deeply in love with the practice in every form it holds, but if you don’t think you have it in you to quiet your mind in lotus pose, that doesn’t mean you can’t use this powerful tool to manage stress in your life. Maybe you just need to make some jewelry. <3

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

P.S. I want to hear about all the activities that feel meditative to you. What really puts you in a place of peace and beatitude? Leave me a comment and let’s discuss! You never know how your words may remind someone of a favorite pastime or treasured hobby that could set them on a path of ease and balance.

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Tejomaya Update: The Blog It is A’Changin’ (Eventually)

laptop-691208_1280     Hey There, Well-Beings!

It’s been a trying several days. Despite my best efforts, it looks like the Crud Monster got a hold of me. Once it got a hold of me, it sorta shook me by the shoulders and yelled “Rest, you Silly Woman!”, so resting is what I’ve been doing. It’s been dare-I-say pleasant, despite the achy, malaisy, coughiness of it all. I’ve been able to get some high quality sleep under my belt and it’s been easier to keep mindless snacking to a minimum when I’ve had access to my blender to make smoothies and juices. I actually feel nourished, which I think makes such a huge difference in cleaning up the diet. When goodness goes in, goodness is what you crave. It works the same way when we surround ourselves in positivity and gratitude. It’s just a matter of doing it, then sweetness follows.

The time I’ve not spent sleeping or loading my blender with fruits and veg has been spent thinking about where both I am, and the blog is headed this year. Two things keep coming up for both, so I thought I’d share while the inspiration and brief energy to type has hit.

Wait, you mean this Facebook machine makes calls and plays music, too? Nuh uh. No way.

Wait, you mean this Facebook machine makes calls and plays music, too? Nuh uh. No way.

First, I want to be on social media less. Last year I spent a whole heap of time planning posts, designing graphics and succumbing to the general drama of social media. A lot of people in my field wanted me to believe that if I was going to have success as an introvert with a somewhat unconventional sentiment to share, that I had to be ever present, posting three and four times a day to “reach my audience” and I burned myself out believing it. Do I believe in the power of social media to spread a message of hope and kindness to a world that is in serious need of a hug and a “you’re doing just fine, buddy”? Totally. Do I think it’s necessary to be plugged-in all the time? No, nope, no way. I think being tied to my devices and constantly checking to see if something got likes (both on my blog and personal page) did some kinda rotten stuff to my brain and my soul this last year. I felt overly connected, but totally out of touch at the same time. I felt irritated and very impatient. I also felt fearful, due to the sheer amount of political infotainment coming at my eyeballs all day long. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things that we need to be informed about, and there will be plenty of opportunities to use our voices to spread a message of love and tolerance on those issues in the near future so I’m not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand, but I’m not at all interested in getting my news from Facebook anymore. Not when I could listen to a short world news segment in the car on my way to work and spend the rest of my day listening to the new Jamiroquai album or taking my camera out for some shots on my lunch break. The world does need that strange and beautiful gift inside of us, but first it needs us to be sane, centered and smart enough to weed out the divinely inspired shit from the bullshit. So, Social Media? I want to see other people. Like, in person, for tea and an actual conversation.

As a segue to my second topic, let me say that I would like to experiment more with things like Instagram and Pinterest. As an amateur photographer, I really love Instagram. It doesn’t feel as limiting and icky as Facebook and Twitter, and some of those shots are so gorgeous they get my fires of inspiration all lit up! Pinterest is very much the same for me. As I begin to share new projects I’m working on, it’s a platform that feels fun and kinda exciting. More like an exchange of ideas amongst folks who are into the same stuff you like, and not, you know, polluted with gross-trolling. I will still use Facebook for blog posts and to share pertinent Tejomaya-related news, but I’m excited to wade into friendlier, prettier waters. You can join me there, if you wanna:

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The second thing that’s been on my mind is giving things a creative facelift over here. Last year was a toughie. I survived by visiting my friends at Michaels and just making things. I bought a watercolor set, I made tons of jewelry, I ventured into the magical world of Sculpey and I don’t think I’m being dramatic when I say this, I think it saved my life a couple of times from some dark, ugly places. Creating things that filled me with joy was a natural progression to becoming a co-creator of a life that I love, and I think it’s a totally valid and wonderful way to work out emotional and mental kinks that get us all blocked up. I have some plans in mind for modifying things a smidge to accommodate my vision, but if you’ve been coming here for the health articles and stress management tips, don’t worry a bit. I’m still keeping that up, I’m just sharing the spotlight with something that’s been joyfully therapeutic for me and I feel urged to open up about. I will probably be rolling things out a little bit at a time, as I’m sort of feeling my way though this, but I hope you’ll welcome and love the changes. I’m really excited to show you all of the artsy-craftsy goodness that’s been going on over here and hope to even get some items up for sale as that dream begins to unfold.

Seriously, let's make some cool stuff together!

Seriously, let’s make some cool stuff together!

That’s what’s been on my heart between naps, puppy snuggles, and endless cups of ginger tea. I hope I’m finding every one of you well, and if you are not, that you make taking care of yourself a priority, because you matter. A lot.  Sending you love from my blanket fort and as always…

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Winter Wellness with Elderberry

elberberries     Hey there, Well Beings!

I wrote an article for Inner Child Magazine back in December about how to keep your immune system running on all cylinders during cold and flu season, and since I took my sabbatical during that month, I wanted to share it with you now. We may not be in the midst of the holiday season anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from this cool little berry. Enjoy and be healthy!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

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We’re in the thick of the holidays, and while lots of us are thinking about cranberries, there’s another berry you may want to consider as you scramble for those last minute gifts for loved ones: the elderberry. Also known as sambucus, the elderberry is a berry with immune boosting benefits that could come in handy as the stress of the season starts setting in. Elderberry’s benefits extend beyond the common cold and flu, though. In fact, once you discover all of its amazing uses, you may find yourself wanting to keep this wonderful fruit around all year long.

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Nutritionally speaking, the elderberry is pretty impressive. Loaded with vitamins A though C and minerals like potassium and iron, it’s a supplement that adds plenty of value. It’s also full of dietary fiber and protein, making it a great addition to your existing lineup. If that weren’t enough, it’s higher in antioxidants than the blueberry. Not bad for an uncommon fruit!

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While multiple studies point to elderberry as helpful in fighting viruses such as influenza, according to Web MD, the small purple berry may also be of assistance with certain inflammatory ailments, such as sciatica and joint pain. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that elderberry may be useful in the treatment bacterial sinusitis, as well. It’s even been shown to improve gastrointestinal problems like gas and constipation and could be helpful in fighting heart disease.

elderberry-jam

If you’re ready to reach for the elderberry, you have some options to consider. Aside from supplements in the form of syrups, tinctures, and capsules, you can also consume elderberries in jams and jellies, and even in wine. Don’t just pluck them off the bush, though. Consumed raw, the elderberry can be toxic, as it contains trace elements of cyanide that cook off when heated. For that reason, it’s best to stick to ready-made varieties. Finally, check with your doctor if you are pregnant, if you have any pre-existing health issues, or are taking any medications or supplements to make sure there won’t be any reactions that could cause harm to your health. Improvement is the name of the game, so be safe with your supplements and enjoy the fruits of this holiday season!

winterwellnesswith

How Do You Want to Feel? (And How That Question Can Help You Create the Year You Desire!)

map-455769_1280     Hey there, Well-Beings! Long time no write, eh? I’d originally planned on not coming back until after the beginning of January, but that little voice within told me to share what I’m doing tonight, so here I am, back a little early to share my secrets for setting up a successful year with you. On a side note, I noticed this will be my 100th post, so it looks like I’ll have something else to celebrate tonight! I’m not exactly filling the champagne flutes with bubbly over here, but I am pre-gaming 2017 by getting some things out on paper. I’m not making resolutions, though. Nope, I’m doing something much more effective and so, so much more fun.

 

2015 was one of the best years of my life. I checked so many amazing things off of my life list that I would be hard-pressed to find another year in my memory that competes with it. I became certified as a Usui reiki master and teacher, I studied craniosacral therapy, I certified in kundalini yoga and pranayama, and became a teacher of numerous disciplines of meditation, amongst many other life changing goals that I had set out to achieve. It’s no wonder on December 31 of 2015, that I had a glimmer of hope and my eye, and a lot of enthusiasm about what 2016 would bring.

 

Buuuuut, 2016 did not go so well. In fact, for all the joyful moments and extreme highs that the prior-year had brought me, I would say that 2016 presented me with the same number or more challenging experiences and soul crushing lows. Yes, a good chunk of that was in the sheer volume of personal heroes I said goodbye to this year, but a fair amount of blame rests on my own shoulders, as well. It’s not that I failed to plan; it’s that I failed to plan in the right way, and it changed my course so significantly that I almost handed in the towel on this whole blogging business and just walked away from everything I’ve spent two years creating. What a difference a year makes, huh?

 

So here’s what I learned. Making a list of traditional resolutions? Waste of my time, my ink, and my paper. What I needed to do was get back in touch with how I wanted to feel. Ya feel me? When I rang in 2015, I had just read Danielle Laporte’s book The Desire Map. A lot of you are already familiar with the book and the process of desire mapping itself, but in case you’re not I’ll give you a very short summary. Goals are great, but they are not really what we’re after. What we truly want is the feeling associated with achieving those goals. When we zero in on how it is we want to feel, the roadmap for getting there often becomes far more expansive. For example, maybe we have “Run a Marathon” on our resolution list, but a month into training we become sidelined by a major injury. That can really wreck a person’s resolve, especially if they don’t understand that the underlying reason they want to run that marathon is because they want to feel accomplished. While waylaid with the injury, there could be any number of other ways a person could continue the path toward feeling accomplished. They could learn a foreign language, they could teach themselves to paint with watercolors, they could work for that promotion, or they could write that novel that’s been building inside them for years. When you are not married to the what, the how can present many opportunities for success.

So back to December 31st 2014, I just finished reading The Desire Map, and something about goal setting had really clicked with me. I started 2015 with a Desire Map Day Planner, which gave me a daily opportunity to focus on the things I most wanted to feel that year. Looking back on the things that I accomplished, on the things I was most proud of and the things I considered my highlight reel, they so closely followed my CDF’s, or my Core Desired Feelings, that it’s of little surprise that I got exactly where I wanted to go. I felt my way there.

Here's  a little secret: These are my 2017 CDFs!

Here’s a little secret: These are my 2017 CDFs!

 

Now, 2016? That was a different story. I used another planner, and I’m not knocking it. It was colorful, and beautiful, and it had some helpful features that I really appreciated. What it didn’t do is have me focusing on a daily basis on exactly how I wanted to feel, and that seemingly small difference is what made all of the difference. This year totally got away from me.

 

The clarity that I had in 2015 was mucked up, muddied and altogether missing from 2016, so this year, I’m going back to basics. I’ve got my markers, my washi tape, and my colored pencils out and I’m going into 2017 heavily armed. I started yesterday by making myself a wish list. Not a list of resolutions, but a list of things I really wanted to see happen this year. What that’s going to help me do tonight, is isolate the reoccurring themes for how it is I most want to feel this next year. From there, I’ll be able to design a map that will get me there, and if I find I need to change direction at any point in time in order to arrive at my Core Desired Feeling, I will be able to give myself the freedom to do so. No harm, no foul; just good feelings.

im-coming-for-you-2017

 

I know you’re probably seeing this year off tonight, but I’d love to hear how you’re planning to make 2017 your best year ever. Do you Desire Map? Do you make resolutions? Is there something else you do successfully to reach your goals? Share in the comments below. Let’s help each other get where we’re going!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being (and a New Year Full of Feeling Good),

 

Jennifer

 

P.S. Exciting Tejomaya Wellness news coming in the New Year! I cannot friggin’ wait to show you all the goodness I have in store for you!

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