Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: March 2015

Stormy Weather? Adjust Your Attitude with Gratitide

road-509137_1280On 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

Raise Your Glasses!

lemonI’ve made it through the first week of my juicing adventure and now that I’m over the initial period of weird cravings and slight headaches, I know that I’m in this for the long haul. I don’t see any major changes in my weight yet, but my skin is already starting to heal itself and get back its healthy texture and glow. I start to feel a little bit better every day.

Right away I noticed that my brain fog lifted. It was interesting to witness that happen because I timed it with a monthly task that requires the most focus and brain power from me. I was able to complete it with ease and speed, which has not been the case the past few months. My energy is on the upswing, as well. I’m going home and getting things done after leaving my day job, which is such a welcome change from the home-eat-bed routine which was my February. Dang that Mercury and it’s kooky retrograde!

Speaking of bed, I’ve also been sleeping soundly and fully each night, starting with the very first night. I’d been waking up around 2 am and not falling back to sleep, which was contributing to my mood in a bad way. You could see it on my face, too. I looked tired and older. I still wake up for a glass of water, but I’ve been going right back to sleep. No tossing and turning, either. This is my favorite benefit right now, hands down. I am a girl who loves her sleep.

So, what am I juicing? Mostly whatever is budget-friendly with some little extras tossed in to spice it up. Carrots, apples and celery make up the base of what I’m doing on most days, but I like to add beets, cucumber, ginger, turmeric and a variety of greens to the mix depending on what I’m in the mood for. Next week I’m going to try to leave apples out of my concoction and go savory, instead of sweet. I can’t wait to pick up some fresh garlic and get creative. Golden beets are the bomb.com, by the way. Regular beets stain the crud out of everything they come in contact with, but the sunny, yellow insides of the golden beet tend to keep to themselves. Big fan over here. No more bright pink “uh ohs”!

veggies

I’m also eating one avocado a day, because it’s full of awesome nutrition that’ll keep my thyroid healthy and you can’t exactly juice an avocado. Since I’m in this for the next month or so, my “nutrition intuition” says this little bit of healthy fat will help me stay satiated, long term. It shouldn’t derail my weight loss efforts, and I feel nourished whenever I eat one. I just read that Joe Cross recommended one a day on his popular Reboot plan after I’d made the decision to go ahead and include them and I was glad to see that I wasn’t being lead astray. I’ve also been feeling like I ought to add some probiotics to help my gut flora get balanced after the cold I just shook, but I’ll do my research before I upset the apple juice cart. Don’t want to lose this good energy I’m gaining back!

To stay motivated and not go running back to cheese, I’ve made a list of my “whys” and I update it as needed. Popular reasons include being the first generation in my family to not get diabetes and revisiting my vintage t-shirt collection. Yay! I’m also eyeing a couple of dresses in a smaller size that ought to be on sale by the time my juicing period ends and I start transitioning into the “chewing things again” portion of my reboot. It coincides with a baby shower for a friend and I’m going to need something to wear, since my current clothes will be too big for me. I plan to need a few new dresses this year in fact, and have even scheduled the time to shop for them into my objective. 🙂

In case you’re following along with me and you want to and don’t know what to juice or why, here’s a link to a handy guide that’ll help you get started. Please feel free to swap recipes in the comments, ask questions, or just let me know how you own juicing journey is going. As always, I love hearing from you!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Get Those Juices Flowing!

farmers marketI’ve been fighting “The Crud” for the past several days, and while it’s not impossible that I caught it because my day job leaves me in a poorly ventilated room with any variety of illness making the rounds every other week or so, I’ve started taking stock of my diet of late and realized it’s not the best anymore. When organic is the option, I always choose it, but my apples, carrots and sprouted bread and veggie sandwich had turned into a white tortilla burrito, processed snack bar and chips and I think that’s a major contributing factor to me catching this strain of the coughy-sore throat-sneezies when I’ve managed to avoid all the other ones this winter. It’s time for a dietary reboot.

Yesterday, I hit up my local natural foods store and stocked up on golden beets, celery, apples, several types of greens, ginger and carrots. Yep, that’s right. It’s juice time. I’ve done almost every cleanse under the sun, from the crazy-difficult lemonade-based Master Cleanse to the capsule cleanses you can get at most health food stores with a supplements section. I’m not going to lie. I’ve cheated on every one of them until juicing came into my life. Something about guzzling down vibrant, fresh, yummy juice just does it for me. I open my fridge from time to time and just smile because I know that something awesome is about to happen, starting tomorrow.

A little more than three years ago, I was chronically ill. I’d gotten an extra stubborn type of pneumonia that would just not relent. I was sick for more than half a year and once I realized a lot of my habits were probably contributing to my body’s inability to heal itself, in combination with the stress from my call center job, I taught myself how to eat and how to live better. I began a juice cleanse after learning about how Joe Cross, author and star of the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, had totally reformed his life and health with an extended juice fast. Though his results were extreme, I knew with a body full of antibiotics, anti-fungals and steroids, juicing was the only way I was going to get my system back to normal. It worked, and I mean whoa! I lost about 30lbs of the excess weight I’d gained as a result of the drug cocktail I’d been ingesting for months. My skin glowed as though it was lit from within. I had energy during the day and I slept like a rock at night. Even better still, my lungs started cooperating again and my immune system started rebuilding itself. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone saying something nice about my progress or commenting about all the bright, beautiful veggies on the conveyor belt at the grocery store.

I’ve taken some before pictures and set some goals that I’ve written down in my planner, and I can’t recommend this enough. Accountability partners are wonderful, but nothing will keep you more accountable than that photo of you on the beginning of your health journey and physically committing, in writing, to the things you want to achieve. I look at both every day and I have to tell you, it has me pretty pumped about dropping a little weight, toning up and getting my energy stores back up. I’ll certainly be sure to check back in during my journey and let you all know how I’m doing.

I want to hear from you. Do you juice or do you have another way of getting yourself back on track when you can tell your health is starting to slip? Let’s swap tips and stay motivated!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Detoxing: Fad or Fab?

PlantHi, there! It’s been another pretty busy week for me on the school front, but I definitely wanted to make sure I left you with something to read that might make your lives a little better. In fact, as soon as I post this, I’ll be taking a test over some of the material, so keep your fingers crossed for me! This was my January article, about a topic that always seemed to come up during my days of running the health and beauty department of a natural foods store. Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Wishing You Total-Well Being,

Jennifer


It’s the start of a new year and many people find it’s a good time to begin creating healthier habits. One of the popular ways to accomplish this is with a cleanse, also known as a detox. There seem to be a lot of opinions about detoxing making their way around the internet lately. Some people feel the body already cleanses itself and that detoxing, especially extreme forms or the practice, are unnecessary. Others feel it is a great way to reset the system after an especially indulgent holiday season or just before starting a diet. Regardless of which side of the debate you are on, there are some simple practices you can incorporate that can assist your body in the detoxification process without going to extremes.

First things first, what is a detox? Simply put, it is the removal of toxins from the system in an effort to restore it to a state of balance. What causes the body to become unbalanced in the first place? Well, in a word, everything. Do you breathe the air, either inside or out? Sorry, but there are toxins present there. Do your foods or skincare products contain any chemical ingredients? Yep, those are toxins, too. Even normal metabolic functions release toxins into the system. The result of these can show up as excess weight, headaches, issues with the skin and a variety of other symptoms.

So what’s a person to do? Limiting exposure to things like cigarette smoke, caffeine and alcohol will help considerably. Seeking natural alternatives to things you use every day, like toothpaste and deodorant can make a difference, too. You can also swap out your household cleaners for ones that are non-toxic. If cost is a concern, there are tons of DIY tutorials online to make everything from laundry detergent to lipstick with chemical-free ingredients. You can also clean up the air inside your home with the use of an air purifier or by simply placing a few houseplants in rooms you spend the most time in.

Stress hormones also contribute to the production of toxins in the system. A regular meditation and exercise practice can help immensely, as can small things like having a special tea time to start or end your day, going for a drive, or listening to your favorite song. Anything that brings a smile to your face is switching off stress hormones like cortisol and switching on the feel good hormones like oxytocin, endorphins and serotonin instead. Now you have an excuse to catch that comedy your co-workers are talking about!

Tweaking your diet can allow your body to eliminate toxins more efficiently. Drinking more water is one of the easiest things you can do to aid in this process. Try adding things like lemon or cucumber for flavor and variety. Upping fiber intake can allow for more optimal colon function. Aside from taking fiber supplements, you can add chia or flax seeds to your smoothies or baked goods. Try snacking on more raw fruits and veggies, too. A good probiotic will aid the colon by giving you more healthy bowel eliminations and repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria. Does your liver need a little love? Milk thistle and dandelion root are noted liver cleansers, and you can find them in tea form if you’re not keen on capsules. Cranberry juice and D-Mannose have considerable benefits for your urinary tract, especially if UTIs are a problem for you. Consider taking a good multivitamin, as well. It will help fill in nutritional voids that your diet isn’t meeting which will free it up to work on repairing itself.

Just make sure you talk to your doctor before beginning any detox to make certain there won’t be any side reactions with any medications or natural supplements you might already be taking. The goal is to increase health, not harm it. Happy detoxing!

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