Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: September 2015

Gratitude Review: September

It’s Fall, Ya’ll! If this isn’t your season, my sincerest apologies.  I’m a sweater-wearin’, chai-sippin’, all-things-pumpkin-eatin’ fool and my enthusiasm for the cooler weather knows no bounds.  Fall is totally when I come alive. I’m so happy to wave goodbye to Summer and hear the crunch of Autumn leaves underfoot. We don’t get a lot of it here before Winter sets in, but boy, oh, boy! I’m gonna get outside with my camera and enjoy the frack out of it. I’ve enjoyed some other things this month, that I want to share with you. Curl up with a mug of your favorite drink and a warm blanket and read on!

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I LOVE soup recipes when the weather cools down.   This Quick Moroccan Soup recipe from Cook The Story is my favorite recent discovery.  It has chicken in it, so with a simple substitution, it’s good to go for you lovely vegetarians and vegans. I followed the directions as written, but omitted the chicken and then later added in Quorn’s Chik’n Tenders, cooked those per their instructions and then added them like a garnish on top of the soup. They are the bomb.com, if you haven’t tried them. Taste and texture are on point and they are soy-free, which is huge if you’re a vegetarian with a thyroid condition. I found mine at Whole Foods, but I recently discovered that Neighborhood Market and Target has begun carrying Quorn products, so watch for bargains!

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I’m chugging along in my aromatherapy classes and am ever the happy student. I don’t know that I’ll ever stop feeling grateful for this opportunity. I’ve been in love with this subject for so long and every new thing I learn fills me with more joy.  Seriously, I’m so lucky.

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I cannot wait to buy supplies to make this super-adorbs DIY bench! My bed is insanely tall,  so as a short girl, having a place to sit to put on shoes that I don’t have to take a flying leap to climb on to is pretty  fantastic. I’ve looked at several to buy, but never would have thought to make one myself. What do you think?

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When I was sick back in 2011-2012, I discovered a free meditation app from The Silva Method and the Energy Booster meditation was the first one I ever did. As someone who was suffering from adrenal exhaustion on top of lung issues, this was invaluable for me. I never would have thought that in just over three years from the discovery I would be a certified teacher of meditation and would be starting to create my own recordings and programs. This one in particular is so near and dear to my heart. I’ll always be so grateful that I found it.

I want to hear how your September’s treated you. Anything extra special happen that you want to shout from the rooftops? Let’s share and celebrate!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

 

Early to Bed? Check! Early to Rise? Well,…

coffee-830422_1280    Read almost any article about the morning routine of your favorite creative mind and they will start with “I get up before the sun…” or something very similar. As a girl that loves, and I mean LOVES her sleep, this realization really bummed me out. Then, when I took my Meditation and Yoga teacher’s training at the beginning of the year, something clicked and I totally got what it was all about. I tried and I failed a few times, but when I finally got the hang of it, I really embraced it. Dangitall if I’m not a total morning person, now! Below are some tips for making the most of your morning hours.

First of all, you may be asking, “Jennifer, why in the heck do I want to get up earlier than I have to?” and my answer is this: you will be SO much more productive and will bring so much more energy into your day! Sounds nuts, right? Let me explain. During my kundalini yoga course, my teacher shared that that in Hindu tradition, early morning is known as brahma muhurta, which is Sanskrit for “the divine time”. It is the best time for spiritual work because it is the time of day when prana, or “life energy” is the most abundant. You may choose to spend this time in prayer, meditation or worship, but if you’re not spiritual, never fear. It’s also the time of day when your mind is the clearest because it has yet to be filled with to-do lists and distractions, so it’s a good time to tackle important or creative projects such as writing, reading or exercise, as well. So how do you get yourself to spring out of bed instead of hitting snooze?

Go to bed earlier. We have a tendency to try to cram last minute activities into the end of our day, and as a result we never really get to wind down. Create a nighttime ritual you’re madly in love with and do it faithfully as a source of joy. Have an Epsom salt bath, read, or do some creative visualization. Whatever you do, realize that this ultimately allows you to recharge for the day ahead.

Prepare the night before. Set out your workout gear, or fill the tea kettle and set up your workspace before your head hits the pillow. While you’re at it, set the intention for success while visualizing your morning ahead of time. Create the perfect environment for you to win and you will.

Make sure your new routine makes room for joy. Utilize “the divine time” to do something that makes you feel divine. You may not want to work out, but sweetening the pot by doing something else you are intensely passionate about, like listening to music or watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee in your hand will make waking up sweeter, too.

Will you face challenges? Yep. That’s normal, so don’t kick yourself if you fail to get up out of bed some mornings when you’re first starting out. Experts say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so give yourself a buffer. This is why 30-Day-Challenges are so popular, and this would be a good goal for you. Take it a day at a time, though. If you fall off the horse, just hop back on the next morning. Before long, it’ll be second nature and you’ll be up rocking your morning with people like Sir Richard Branson and Oprah. How’s that for good company?

Let me know how it’s going for you. Share your successes with me or reach out if you have any rough starts. I’m here to cheer you on!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Why You Should Do One Thing That Makes You Happy Every Day!

sunglasses-635269_1280     It sounds pretty obvious that we should care for ourselves by making room for happiness in our lives and yet somehow, the most of us don’t. We do things for our kids, pets and spouses, we keep the house from falling apart, we run errands and we go to work, and once were done with all of that, time for ourselves just seems to slip through the cracks.  Sometimes it feels easier to sacrifice the things we want, but doing just one small thing to bring ourselves joy each day is probably the most important thing we will do with our allotted 24 hours.

If you’re not happy, you’re not giving others the best version of you. You may feel it’s your soul’s purpose to help others, whether it’s your family, your friends or people who have been through the same things you have and need the lessons you’ve learned to dig themselves out. For this reason, it is critical that you put yourself first sometimes in order to be the best you that you can be. You can’t help anyone if you’re not healthy and whole. Your happiness is a big part of that. If taking the time to maintain joy means you get to help more people, you owe it to yourself to make it a priority.

It’s super easy when you’re stressed and busy to lose sight of the here and now. I so get what it’s like to be chugging along and have a well intentioned soul remind you to stay in the present. Like, really? Where do they think I am, if not dealing with the present. That’s just it, though. When this happens, we’re usually  on auto-pilot. We get so lost in the to-do, that we’re not even there for the to-be.

It’s okay if you want to swear at me for reminding you. I can take it, but having a special moment of sweetness each day will do so much more for you than just give you a little joy. It will bring you into the present moment, allow you to recharge and experience gratitude. These things will let you go back to your routine with strength to finish your day strong. Don’t take it for granted.

Also, do your best not to wait until you’re on empty to refill your tank. It’s going to happen, because life is just that way sometimes, but if you wait until you’re drained to recharge your happiness battery, you’re inviting more unhappiness into your life. You get short with the kids, your sleep takes a dive, your immune system suffers. Worse even, you miss a day or days of work, which might force you to take better care of yourself and your needs, but at a high cost. Depending on your benefits at your job you may end up with unpaid time off and or a large pile of work to return to. Guess what that brings you? Even more to feel unhappy about!

The good news is, you can prevent that from happening, by making an appointment with yourself every day. Whether you draw yourself a nightly bath, buy yourself a new flavor of tea every few weeks, or do something uniquely-you to raise your happiness is totally up to you. If you need help making the time, make a deal with your partner or trade a babysitting night with a friend who also has kids. Keep your eyes peeled for little gifts from God and/or the Universe, like a delayed appointment or waking up before the alarm and fill the time with a guilty pleasure sing-a-long or whatever will raise those good feelings the fastest in the extra time you’ve been given. If you make yourself a priority, reality will shift to make it possible. It’s all about intention.

If you’re stumped as to how to make room for joy, leave a comment and we’ll help each other out! No matter what though, see this through. I promise you, you are so worth it!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Controlling Your Cravings: What Your Body is Trying to Tell You

chocolate cravingHiya, Darling Hearts! Been pretty busy of late, what with school and the teaching gig.  I wanted to leave you something to read this week, so here is an article I wrote back in July for Inner Child Magazine.  This one is all about food cravings and what’s really at the root of them.  Hope you enjoy and that you have a wonderful week!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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Food cravings. We all have them. Sometimes the hankering is healthy , but more often than not you find yourself just wanting to eat your body weight in cheesecake, chocolate or Cheetos. Knowing how food cravings work and what they’re trying to tell you can help you manage them more effectively without letting them totally derail your diet.

Most commonly we tend to crave foods, specifically carbohydrates, fat, or sugar, as an emotional response to stress or anxiety. This is due to the release of serotonin and its calming effect on the body. There are also some studies that suggest that an unbalanced diet leads to food cravings, because the body is not getting enough of the right nutrients. New research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center suggests that cravings are tied to the parts of our brain that are responsible for memories and sensing pleasure. It’s only natural that we would create pleasant memories of foods we find delicious and then seek to re-create them.

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One of the best things you can do to manage food cravings is to manage the stress in your life. There are so many great ways to accomplish this, and it will take a little trial and error to find the right combination of practices that work for you. A few of the most common ones that people report having the best success with are meditation, regular exercise and having a hobby or social activity that keeps your work and personal life balanced.

There are also a number of herbs and supplements that may help with this. Things like GABA, lemon balm, and magnesium have a solid reputation for helping with stress, so it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor and make sure they can recommend something that will be safe for you.

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Since diet plays a role in the foods you crave, it’s important to know that just because your body wants chocolate, doesn’t mean that chocolate is the only way to satisfy its needs. In fact, believe it or not, chocolate may be your body’s way of telling you to get more magnesium in your diet. You can accomplish the same thing with supplementation, raw nuts and seeds and some legumes. A general sweet tooth is usually a cry for chromium. Reach for grapes and satisfy both. Itching for a soda or a fatty snack? Calcium is what you crave, so grab some string cheese. Also watch out for pre-menstrual cravings, which can be caused by lower zinc levels. Leafy greens and root veggies, along with red meats and seafood should set you back on the right path. There are lots of valuable resources online, so if the food that’s compelling you isn’t part of your meal plan or lifestyle, spend a little time looking it up to see if there’s something better for you that will stop that craving in its tracks and nourish you more thoroughly at the same time.

If you think your cravings are about pleasure or happy memories, it might be a good idea to spend some time focused on self-care. You are the only you there is, after all. Treat yourself to a massage or a haircut. Spend the day curled up with that book that you’ve been dying to read or marathon your favorite movies. Make a date to see your favorite band in concert. Create memories that don’t revolve around food, but also feed your soul. That way when you’re looking to recreate the good feeling, you’ll be able to do it with a fun activity and not a high calorie dessert. Of course there’s something to be said for indulging every now and again, so as long as you’re doing so in moderation, that slice of pie could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Bon appétit!

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