Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: October 2017

From the Archives: Spice Up Your Life – Common Kitchen Staples to Help You Be Healthier

 

Hey There Well-Beings!

While I’m working on a can’t-wait-project today, I wanted to leave you with an article I wrote about incorporating certain spices in your cool weather cooking and baking for both their wonderful, warming flavors, but also for the added health boost. As I’ve been teaching myself some long desired cooking skills and learning more about pairing spices with my meals, I know I’m excited to experiment even more than before! If you make anything great with the spices below, share your recipes and photos. Let’s swap favorites!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer
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With autumn just around the corner, there are so many great cool weather foods to look forward to. This often means getting to use warming spices that add flavor and depth to our dishes. These spices aren’t just tasty; they may be beneficial to our health, too. Here are three worthy of experimenting with the next time you feel like being creative in the kitchen.

 

Turmeric – You know that elated feeling you get after a good meal at an Indian restaurant? There’s a pretty cool reason for it, and it’s caused by turmeric. Common in curry recipes, turmeric is rich in curcumin, which has been shown to be helpful for depression. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory, making it excellent for joint pain and arthritis. It’s also helpful for reducing redness and acne when used topically. It’s bright yellow color can cling to fabrics and surfaces though, so make sure you’re not wearing or washing with anything that you can’t bleach. If eating it or applying it to the skin isn’t for you, turmeric is a great addition to fresh juices, and it blends well with other fruits and vegetables so you can mask the flavor, but still reap the benefits.

 

Ginger – There’s a reason we drink ginger ale when we have the flu. It’s because ginger is a gem for fighting nausea. It does this by causing the muscles in the GI tract to relax. Not feeling queasy? Ginger, like turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Take it for pain and muscle aches and feel better in no time. Ginger is great when brewed like tea. Add slices of lemon for a warming drink to calm indigestion soothe long inflammation or ease menstrual cramps.

 

Cinnamon – This sweet spice isn’t just a common addition to sweet treats, it packs an antioxidant punch, too. That’s because it’s loaded with polyphenols, which makes it better than garlic and oregano for fighting free radicals. It also may help with weight loss and insulin sensitivity. Studies show that helping to regulate spikes in blood sugar; cinnamon could keep some sugars from being stored as fat. Sprinkle it on sweet potatoes, oatmeal or add it to warm beverages for a boost. Just make sure you’re looking for Ceylon cinnamon, or true cinnamon, for the best benefit.

 

With anything, it makes good sense to practice precautions when changing your diet. Adding too much of anything to a dish is a surefire way to ruin it, and the same holds true when using spices as supplements. Less is almost always more. It’s also smart to talk to your doctor about possible interaction with anything you may already be taking. Once you’re in the clear, open your kitchen cabinets and get creative. Variety is the spice of life, after all!

Thoughts From The Trail: Joy is a Verb and the Accidental Gratitude Review

   Hey There, Well-Beings!

I originally had my regularly scheduled Gratitude Review planned for today, but sometimes life has other plans. I’d gotten two paragraphs deep when I realized providence was trying to teach me a lesson in the quiet stillness of my writing time. So, I tabled the review and gave my heart room to speak. Boy, did she have a lot to say! Some of those things, of course, were meant only for me as they were answers I’d asked during my prayer and meditation time. Oh, but this nugget of truth was too good not to share! And it just so happens that this turned out to be something I’m incredibly thankful for, so my post will end up being about gratitude regardless of where I thought I was headed when started writing this morning.

The man in my life and I took a nature walk on a favorite local trail of ours yesterday. I’m a little ashamed to admit that it had been at least a year and a half since we’d been there, but I think that’s going to change. The moment we had our feet on the soft earth of the trail, we both uttered similar sentiments about how instantly happy we were and how much we’d missed being outside. We definitely savored our time, but amid the rocks and the trees we kinda got real with ourselves and each other about how we’d gotten so far off track with our hikes. That night before he left, we made loose plans to meet up at the trail in the morning, but I sat with our conversation for a while before I went to sleep. The weather was a factor beyond my control, but was everything else I told myself really just an excuse? What the hell was I excusing myself from exactly?

This morning I got up about an hour earlier than I’d planned to. I sat out to write, but as I mentioned, I got more than I bargained for. I got an answer to my question and it was equal parts beautiful and truly sad. I’d been excusing myself from joy.

In the last 4 years especially, I really struggled with depression and anxiety. I told myself often that staying in and resting were forms of self care, and trust me, in so many ways they really were. Maintaining peace is important and I do believe that learning to set healthy boundaries have contributed in a large way to my overall happiness, however there have been times when staying in and “taking it easy” were big, fat excuses, and I knew it. Joy isn’t something that just comes to you while you’re sitting on the couch in your sweatpants (unless you’re burned out, in which case proceed and maybe watch some cartoons). It’s something you shower and show up for. It often requires action on our part in, at least, the form of meeting it where it is rather than waiting for it to stop by. That’s why we weren’t out there every weekend. Joy is a verb. It’s something that you do, not something that you have. It’s a choice, and it’s one we stopped making when it came to putting on our hiking gear and piling into the car for a short drive and long walk. That’s why this morning when the alarm went off, I’d already made my choice. Sitting here writing this, I don’t regret it in the slightest. It will flavor everything else I do today with accomplishment and gratification.

Irony being what it is, I was given an answer to this question earlier this week before I’d even posed it. It showed up in the form of the quote in the photo below. The great thing I’ve discovered as I’ve gotten older is that if you miss the lesson the first time, life doesn’t quit on you. You get an opportunity to try again many, many times until you learn what it is you’re supposed to learn. Yes, it’s true that sometimes we end up with an uncomfortable lesson if we aren’t open to learning when it’s presented to us in gentler ways first, but I’ve learned to be thankful for those experiences, too. It’s proof that I’m worth the repeated attempts at growth that are sent my way, and guess what? You’re worth it, too.

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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