Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: July 2016

Gratitude Review: July

popsicle     Happy almost end of July, Well Beings! It’s been a pretty good month, so I want to share a few highlights of things I felt gratitude for during the month of July. Are you ready? Go snag a popsicle out of the freezer and let’s get started!

I officiated a wedding! I was able to help a good friend and her super cool new husband say their vows over the Independence Day holiday. I’ve helped tons of imaginary couples get hitched during my fantasy-filled childhood but this time, there were wonderful, real-life people involved and my heart is totally overflowing with love for this awesome family. Grateful doesn’t even begin to cover it.

wedding

I am in the process of creating my next set of tutorials for the blog, and have really enjoyed the process of coming up with fun things to teach you. Feedback is always appreciated, but it’s always a joy to learn how to do something that interests me, and then share that knowledge with the world. I guess I’ve always really been a teacher at heart.

tutorial

I took a much needed break for a couple of weeks this month. I’ve been wrestling with adrenal fatigue and some serious burnout on the job and truth be told, it was starting to take the joy out of the things that bring me joy (a totally uncool thing that can happen when your hormones go haywire). I’m working on a wonderful holistic treatment that I plan to write about soon, made some better-for-me dietary adjustments, did a lot of meditative coloring, but mostly was just a really good listener during that time and I have to say, I think the vacation was exactly what I needed. My creativity has exploded, I’m wildly more productive, and my motivation is ten times what it was going into the break. Self-care takes many different forms, and sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing.

coloring book

What joys did July hold for you? Did you go anywhere exciting, or have the best staycation ever? Are you working on a new project? Did your garden yield anything tasty? Let me know in the comments so we can be happy right along with you. I hope the rest of your month is lovely!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Sun Protection Foods: Nature’s SPF

floating     Hiya, Well Beings!

I’m back at the desk, typing up some new posts for you! I thought I’d share an article I wrote for Inner Child Magazine about foods that can help you combat the sun’s sizzling rays. Read, eat, and be merry!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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There’s something about Summer that brings people outdoors. Whether it’s block parties, barbecues, or taking the kids on a family vacation, we sure do like to gather under the sun. While Vitamin D is an important building block to health, too much exposure to the sun has consequences that can harm us. We’ve all been told time and time again to wear our sunscreen when prolonged exposure is unavoidable, but there are some additional ways to ward off UVA and UVB rays, and guess what? You get to eat them!

tomatoes and peppers

Vegetables – Your mother was right. You need to eat your broccoli! That’s because it contains sulphoraphane, a powerful antioxidant with anti-cancerous effects that helps the cells in your body protect themselves against UV damage. Leafy greens are a good idea, too. They have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by as much as 50%. In the mood for some fresh garden salsa? Bell peppers and tomatoes are both great sources of lycopene, which has been shown to have an SPF of anywhere from 1-3. Sweet potatoes and carrots offer beta carotene and Vitamin C, which help protect the skin against free radical damage with their high antioxidant content. Slice both into long matchsticks, drizzle with olive oil and herbs and bake for a healthy substitute for fries with your grilled goodies.

strawberry watermelon smoothie

Fruits – Watermelon is a warm weather staple, and it’s not just a delicious way to stay hydrated! Its lycopene content is almost 40% higher than that of tomatoes. Other fruits with high levels of lycopene include papaya, guava and grapefruit. Pomegranates are an excellent source of polyphenols like catechins, which strengthen the top layers of skin and allow them to resist UV rays. Vitamin C is found in all varieties of citrus fruit , but can be found in berries and kiwi to fend off nasty free radicals, as well. Blend these beauties into a smoothie or use them to make a fabulous and functional fruit salad.

fruit infused water

Beverages – If you’re going to be out in the sun, it’s just smart to drink water to avoid dehydration, but water also helps keep skin’s Natural Moisture Factor (NMF) high. This isn’t just a fancy name, either. It helps skin protect itself from environmental factors that cause damage, like the sun. While you may not be in a hurry to put the kettle on as temperatures creep into the triple digits, taking your green or black teas iced will provide plenty of polyphenols to help skin fend off the sun’s rays. If the idea of drinking plain tea or water doesn’t excite you, slice any of the fruits above and add them to your glass for color and flavor. Infusing your teas and waters is a tasty trend that’s sun smart, too.

swimming

Sunscreen is still the gold standard in sun protection and you definitely shouldn’t leave home without it, but isn’t it nice to know that salsa and smoothies can save your hide, too? Be the perfect party guest by offering to make a delicious, double-duty side dish. Now that you’ve done your dietary due-diligence, rest easy and enjoy those lazy days of Summer!

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Hi there, Well Beings!

I’ll be taking a short vacay from my weekly blogging duties for a little R & R, and wanted to make sure to send you thoughts of good health and loving kindness while I am away. I’ll be back on the 24th with another post and hope the next two Sundays find you full of joy!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

My Top 3 Methods for Managing Stress

table-384802_1920    I had a conversation with a friend who didn’t know that I completed my life coaching certification last year, and she had a lot of questions about exactly what a Stress Management Coach does and how someone decides to become one. After sharing some background about what I’ve been up to since we’ve seen each other (it’d been 15 years!), I detailed some of the time I spent battling grief and chronic illness and how I faced a pretty serious decision between giving up or teaching myself how to get better. We talked about all of the tools I added to my arsenal as I learn how to heal myself from years of chronic stress and dis-ease, and then she posed a question that I absolutely loved she said, “How would you help me get started?” I want to share my answer with you because I think it is an opportunity to help many of you who may just be getting your self-care footing. Below are my top three methods for lessening stress in my life, and I hope they help you do the same:

  1. Meditate – This probably scares some of you, but I promise you there’s nothing scary about it. In fact, if you can just muster 1 to 5 minutes to sit in a quiet room by yourself and pull up a short video on your phone to listen to while you close your eyes, you my friend, can meditate. When I was first trying to figure out what this whole meditation thing was all about, I used guided meditation as my training wheels. It did eventually lead me to certify as a teacher of seven different types of meditation, but I started with what was accessible and comfortable to me, and we all must start somewhere. Try listening to a few short ones until you find one that resonates with you and make time to use it every day for a week. Then repeat the following week with a different meditation. Practice for as long or as short a time as you wish, as long as you give it your all and remain committed to doing so at least a few minutes a day, every single day. If you are consistent, you’ll begin to see and feel results quickly. When things get crazy in your life, you will be tempted to quit because you think you need the extra time, but this will be the most important thing you do all day. Show up for yourself. You’ll never be sorry that you took time to meditate.

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  1. Get Outside – I struggle with my day job. It’s not especially in line with my soul’s purpose and it drains me to the point of total exhaustion sometimes, but I still need it to pay my bills right now. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through my shift is stepping away from my desk and taking a lap around the building. There is something about nature, even the small patches of flowers and grass in the shopping center where my office is located, that grounds me in an instant. If you can’t spend all afternoon hiking, or you don’t have a backyard with a lovely garden that you can tend and get your hands dirty in, sit outside with a book on your lunch break or sip some tea on your apartment balcony. Make it a point to get outside once a day and be present in nature. As I’ve made the effort, yes even in the rain and snow, I’ve witnessed it change the energy in my body in a way that’s allowed me to handle whatever I have to do with more grace and ease. It can do that for you too, if you let it.

 

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  1. Gratitude – If you’d said this to me while I was on my descent into chaos several years ago, I would have a digitally signaled my contempt and probably used some colorful language to make sure I’d made my point. Gratitude is everything, though. Make yourself, and I mean force it if you must, write down three things to be thankful for each day. Do it at the same time every day, and don’t plan to move on to the next thing until you’re finished with the exercise. This is why I like to do mine at the end of the day as part of my winding down process before bed; nothing can get in the way. It might feel a little insincere at first, but even if all you can find to feel thankful for is the ability to write, a pen, and a piece of paper to write on, then start exactly there. More will come. That’s the beautiful thing about gratitude. If you are consistent about practicing it, it begins to bubble out of you. You’ll find more and more things to feel thankful for until one day, thankful is all you feel. I mean sure, you’ll still have other emotions, but the pervasive one will be gratitude. A thankful person is a happy person. Trust me on this. When I started, the only thing I had to feel thankful for was the fact that my illness hadn’t killed me, and now I have no trouble spouting off 100 or more things that I feel a deep sense of gratitude for. You can do this.

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I could easily expand on any of these topics and add about 16 more tips, but these are the absolute basics that I started out with when I was finally ready to stop letting stress control me. If it were any more complex I’m not sure I would have tried and that’s all you have to do. Try these methods for one week at a time and before you know it, you’ll have conquered stress and people will be coming to you for advice. That’s exactly how I did it, and you can do it too.

Wishing You Total Well-Being (and Lots of Success),

 

Jennifer

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