Nutrition

Nutrition

More Than One Basket

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Good morning! I hope this post finds you well and feeling optimistic about your life!

I want to tell you about a few things that have been helpful to me, speaking of feeling optimistic. If you have experienced times when it feels like the difficulty level of everything in your world seems to go up dramatically, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

First though, you realize that I am not a doctor and am not giving a prescription. The decisions you make for your health are your responsibility and yours alone.

So a word today about depression.

The risk factors as given by the American Psychiatric Association are:

  • Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
  • Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
  • Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
  • Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.

A holistic approach to dealing with depression then would be dealing with and improving as many of these risk factors as possible for the best possible, long-term solution.

Many of these issues can be life-long challenges that require a lot of determination to overcome. But even small changes toward greater health in these areas can make a massive difference!

It also means that they are difficult if not impossible to pull apart! Nature and nurture are working ’round the clock influencing each other! At every decision point, your genetics and your environment (and what you have learned to do to survive in that environment) are interacting and creating reality as you know it.

Much of what is published here at Lioness is about doing our best with these factors as they play into our daily family life. Declarations for instance, are a tool used to retrain our beliefs about ourselves and our situations. Working to care for ourselves so that we can care for our families makes all the difference in the world when it comes to abuse, neglect, poverty (of mind heart and home).

I’ll also add that chemically speaking, there are things you can do to improve and balance that risk factor. I wouldn’t recommend trying any supplementation while using prescription drugs. If you consult with the doctor that is prescribing them, who knows about the side-effects and behavior of those chemicals, then together you might add something else in to get the effects you desire. But always use common sense and caution when you are learning to help yourself.

Here are a few things that have helped me that I have wanted to share with you in case you might find them helpful too. {I am grateful to the friends and practitioners who told me about their success with alternative approaches to the imbalance I have experienced at times. So grateful!}

First, 5-HTP.

Wikipedia says it this way:

“5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), also known as oxitriptan, is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediatein the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin.”

and this,

“5-HTP is sold over the counter in the United StatesCanada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom as a dietary supplement for use as an antidepressantappetite suppressant, and sleep aid. It is also marketed in many European countries for the indication of major depression under the trade names Cincofarm, Levothym, Levotonine, Oxyfan, Telesol, Tript-OH, and Triptum.[1]

A 2002 review concluded that although the data evaluated suggests that 5-HTP is more effective than placebo in the treatment of depression, the evidence was insufficient to be conclusive due to a severe lack of high quality research.[2] More and larger studies are needed to determine if 5-HTP is truly effective in treating depression.”

You can continue to read about this supplement and see what you think. For me, it has been very helpful in helping me maintain greater balance, better sleep and generally feel more at ease.

Second, SAM-e.

This from the Mayo Clinic:

“-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a compound found naturally in the body. SAMe helps produce and regulate hormones and maintain cell membranes.

A synthetic version of SAMe is available as a dietary supplement in the U.S. In Europe, SAMe is a prescription drug.

SAMe can be taken orally, intravenously or through a muscular injection. People generally use SAMe to treat osteoarthritis, liver disease and depression. However, SAMe can also interact with antidepressant medications.”

Certainly read further if this sounds like something you want to pursue. For me, I have felt greater balance, less anxiety and generally expending less energy trying to coach, comfort or pursuade myself to be calm and relax. Like I said earlier, the difficulty of every day life has gone down and what a lovely thing that is.

Another supplement that is a big player for many of us moms is magnesium.

I’ve tried many different brands and have found that the one most effective for me is Source Naturals magnesium malate in capsules.

Source Naturals Magnesium Malate 625mg, Supports Muscles and Energy Production,200 Capsules

Taken twice a day, I feel calmer, sleep better and digestion functions better too. Magnesium has also made a big difference in my body’s ability to produce energy. Cells require magnesium to produce energy, so if you are deficient, magnesium may be a help to you.

Combined with your best efforts to regulate the every day stresses in your life, doing your best to eat a healthful diet, remaining active and doing things that you enjoy doing, supplements can be a game-changer too.

I hope you are well my friend.

Please take good care of yourself today!

Love,

Jacque

Apple Chicken Salad

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This was a good one. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a try!

Spinach
Cucumbers apples (these were gala)
Pecan halves
Chicken, marinated in Italian dressing and barbecued

For the dressing I used:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp Real salt
a drizzle of sesame oil {which makes all the difference!}

Salads like this make a really nice and filling lunch.

I hope you are well and taking great care of yourself!

Love,

Jacque

Banana Split Smoothie

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1 cup of almond or coconut milk
1 cup of water
a handful of frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
2-3 Tablespoons Adam’s peanut butter
a handful of flax seeds
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
a large handful of frozen spinach (or other greens)
1 teaspoon Great Lakes unflavored gelatin

This combination lights up my mouth and is a good morning starter. I usually have some raw cashews or pecans on the side.

I heard someone say that smoothies aren’t a big deal nutritionally. Seems to me they must have been talking about something you can buy at the grocery store that has been sitting for days or worse, has be pasteurized.

Fresh juice and fresh smoothies are packed with nutrition and are supportive of healthy digestion. {Beware of recipes that call for additional sugar such as sweetened yogurt or other refined carbohydrates. Hopefully you downloaded the kids smoothie booklet when you subscribed to this blog! There are some wonderful recipes there that the whole family will like!}

I hope this day finds you well.

Take good care of yourself!

Jacque

Satiation: {to supply to satisfaction}

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How much of what you don’t need will help you?

Ha, ha kind of a tricky question isn’t it? It may go without saying, but there isn’t enough cotton-candy in the world to fulfill a person’s nutritional needs!

Yet, don’t we sometimes try to get nourishment out of foods and activities and habits that can’t nourish us because they aren’t what we really need?

This is true for some relationships; for most of the food in the standard American diet; for much of the entertainment and time-killing activities that can snatch up our days if we’re not careful.

If you are feeling hungriness in your life, be it emotional, spiritual, physical, mental or social, I challenge you to feed yourself what you really need. Consider putting stops on those pseudo-fixes and get into the real deal.

Instead of waiting until you’re so hungry that getting fast-food sounds good, make a plan to cook something hearty and nourishing.
Instead of reading something solely for entertainment, find something that will broaden your mind and contribute to your education too.
Instead of listening to music that is repetitive and simple and numbing, try something complex, uplifting and mentally engaging.
Instead of watching another movie together, find something interactive to do for your date night with your spouse.
Instead of surfing around social media for an hour, dig into the mending pile and get it off your list! {I was reminded this week that the mending actually takes so little time to do when consider how daunting it can look sitting on my sewing machine, staring at me!}

I hope you will take action and claim every good, life-giving and truly satiating thing that is within your reach! You are worth every effort that will enrich your life. The bonus is that whatever enriches you, in turn will strengthen and uplift your family!

I love that you are doing wonderful things with your time and talents!
You’re leaving things better than you found them.

Love,

Jacque

P.S. I’m going to say that this cupcake/muffin looks just like a butternut squash muffin recipe I love. Coconut oil, honey, squash, eggs, milk and of course mini- dark chocolate chips! Nourishing and tasty too. When you find a win/win, it’s as if the skies part and angels sing!

Hungry for Something New!

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Do you ever draw a complete blank when it comes to thinking of meals to plan for the coming week? I do!

If you’re trying to pull menus out of your head, you’ll most likely be eating the same 4-5 meals in some kind of rotation. And that gets pretty old doesn’t it?

So, even though it sounds like a no-brainer, one thing that helps me a lot is simply pulling out a cookbook and digging through it for inspiration. It broadens my mind and reminds me of all the different foods I have wanted to try! You can also add to the inspiration you receive if you’ll do this job while you’re hungry! It’s true, it helps.

This particular book was written by my friend Jonell West Francis, founder of Feel Good Foods. (You can find this great book and more at http://www.myfeelgoodfoods.com)

This week I’m excited to try her versions of chicken Tikka Masala, coconut lime chicken, pot stickers, tapioca dessert (I’m going to put frozen peaches with it) and many others. Once I started looking at Jonell’s recipes today, I ended up with several weeks of meal plans and simple grocery lists!

I hope you are doing well and off to a good start this week.

Bless you for all you are doing to nourish your family.

Love,

Jacque