Mind Over Matter

Our thoughts possess a lot of power. A negative thought can steal our joy whereas a positive thought can redirect our focus. Our minds are an intricate weaving of memories, thoughts, information, and emotions…somehow all blended together to make us who we are.

I spend my days with people….I work with residents diagnosed with dementia, families, coworkers from all walks of life, other residents who may not have dementia but require assistance with their day to day living…I experience a multitude of personalities and emotions. I witness firsthand reactions to situations and experiences in response to various coping methods of people.

Life does not always go as planned, in fact, it seldom does. My life is nowhere anything like I pictured it would be when I was a senior in high school, but my life is good. It’s a meshing of experiences that have created who I am today. I consider myself a work in progress. One thing I do believe, though….we have the power of mind over matter. We can’t always control the situation or even the outcome of a situation, but we can choose our reaction as we weather the storms of life.

As I struggle with food issues and the frustration of reacting to what feels like everything and as I slowly use Lyn-Genet Recitas’ methods of testing one food at a time per day through her guided “The Plan”, I am learning to relax some about food. I have eaten out twice and had a work luncheon since starting “The Plan,” and I have been able to apply what I know about what I can safely eat, and I have been able to relax. I am learning to relax again and enjoy social eating…something that has caused me anxiety the past few years since dealing with food issues.

Mind over matter can be applied to so many areas of my life. We’ve all heard stories of people being healed of illnesses….people who remained positive through the storms of life and didn’t allow the situation to overtake their thoughts.

Food for thought today: Mind over matter….be mindful of your thoughts and don’t let them control you!

mind over matter


Iced Coffee Alternative and Summer Musings

It’s hot and humid here.

I want something to drink besides water, but I’m not really feeling like a hot drink when it’s so humid. I love dandelion tea so I decided to try it iced. Brewed and cooled. A little Rice Dream milk. A couple of ice cubes. Delicious. It has a coffee like taste without the jittery caffeine effects. Dandelion tea is a great liver detox drink. It is a natural diuretic and can aid digestion. I have grown to love it and drink it daily.

Iced Dandelion Tea

It’s a lazy summer day although the official start of summer is actually tomorrow, Sunday, June 21st…the longest day of the year. We are enjoying a lazy day at home watching a family movie on Netflix. My children leave for church camp tomorrow….no TV for a week.

Update on “The Plan”….I haven’t had bloating in over two weeks and the cleanse helped shed excess water weight. My edema is better. I do find that I have a bit of food anxiety fretting over what I can and can not eat. Under the Plan, only one new food should be introduced a day. It makes social eating at work and with family challenging, but I am doing the best I can to incorporate safe foods and follow the 20 day plan. I do have my coffee back….it’s good with a little Kerrygold butter and cinnamon in the morning.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day….Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there! Enjoy the longest day of the year!

Body Reset

My food intolerance issues and GI distress have been an up and down roller coaster ride lately. Following the advice of a friend who also struggles with food intolerance issues and who actually introduced me to my nutritionist whom I love, I decided to try Lyn-Genet Recitas “the Plan.” The premise behind her plan is that certain foods are more reactive than others in our bodies and eating these reactive foods result in our bodies reacting with weight gain, water retention, GI distress, headaches…and a whole litany of other issues depending on the food and the individual.

It’s a new way of thinking. Many of the healthy foods health experts encourage us to eat are on the highly reactive list. Foods such as black beans, salmon, quinoa, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and cauliflower are high on the reactivity list. Before I started the 3 day cleanse, I began eating lower reactive foods on the list…chicken, salad greens, broccoli, carrots…and felt better. My GI issues actually calmed down some.

On Friday, I started her outlined 3 day cleanse. I have both “the Plan” and the updated “the Plan Cookbook” and the menus are slightly different but pretty close. It’s a reset of sorts for your body to rid it of toxins. You make and eat a lot of flaxseed granola, a lot of carrots, broccoli, and greens. Coffee is not allowed for the 3 days but one cup of green or black tea is okay. Water intake is important….you divide your weight in half and that number in ounces is what you drink for daily water…oh, and no water after 7:30 p.m.

So…this is my Day 3 of the cleanse. I have felt tired, sluggish, and mind fog. This is normal along with the headache and irritability. My friend promises she felt great on day 4.

The flaxseed granola…

flaxseed granola

After the 3 day cleanse, then there are a few weeks of testing new foods for your body’s reaction. Weighing oneself daily is important to see if there was water weight retention and thus, a possible food reaction. It sounds a bit daunting but after trying multiple diets and dealing with GI issues and leaky gut, I am willing to see how this helps me.

the plan

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies…Healthy Version

I have a problem with chocolate…a love hate relationship of sorts. I love chocolate. Most women do. But…when I start eating it, I want more of it. Then, I wake up with acne….doesn’t that end after the teen years???!!!

Henceforth….enter the small batch chocolate chip cookie recipe. Gluten free. Low sugar (depending on the amount of chocolate chips you add…at your discretion).

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
6 Tbsp buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp. applesauce
1/2 Tbsp cocoa
3 Tbsp milk alternative
pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips…to your liking
Mix ground flax with water and allow to sit for a few minutes to gel together. Add the ingredients together and mix well. Bake on parchment paper or greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Makes approximately 4 cookies.
Not too sweet, soft, and chocolately.

Who I Am

This morning I unwrapped my Yogi dandelion tea with a message that really resonated with me: “Be proud of who you are.”

Who You Are

It has been a soul-searching past couple of weeks for me. I have a lot of decisions hanging open…decisions that are beyond my control. I am at the mercy of others as I wait to hear about whether or not my son was accepted into another school. I am at the mercy of others as I wait to find out about other life changing situations in my life.

Each of these situations cause questions to arise in me. They cause me to reflect and analyze my current life situation and assess where I am in life and where I wish I was at. Needless to say, I’m not where I want to be yet.

I have shed some tears, spent hours talking with a good friend as she allowed me to pour out my heart and then asked me some hard questions, questions I needed to hear. I have journaled the inner most thoughts of my heart.

The truth is, I am a work in progress. I am learning from life’s experiences, pleasant and unpleasant, and growing from these experiences. I need to embrace that God has created me to be me. Nothing more. I don’t need to waste time comparing myself to others. It doesn’t matter the size of my paycheck, the clothes I wear, the car I drive, the fact I have a gazillion food intolerance issues….I am who I am.

I am unique. I am loved. I am His. My timeline is not His timeline. I am learning to trust in Him and trust that I am uniquely His.


The Problem with a Little….

I love chocolate. Repeat. I love chocolate. Most ladies I know do, too. I work in a dementia unit, and nothing seems to light up a room (besides puppies and babies) like chocolate. Chocolate is that feel good, comfort food.

Friday morning, I decided to make a quick stop before work for some chocolate. It was a long, stressful week, and in my mind, I deserved chocolate, something I have been trying to avoid due to stomach issues. I can tolerate small amounts like chocolate chips in trail mix, but when I start eating a lot, then I experience stomach pain and acne.

The problem with a little chocolate is I want more. I look for ways I can add chocolate to this or that. And when I start eating chocolate, it breaks my resolve to want to eat other things I know I should not…things not necessarily bad but things that aggravate my sensitive stomach.

So, I  must use my self-control and indulge in a little. I like the brand name…”Enjoy Life”…life is meant  to be enjoyed. So, I will enjoy my chocolate, relax, and enjoy a laid back Saturday. To tie in my themed posts on stress lately, I am taking a day today to decompress, take a deep breath, and relax. Writing at the coffee shop, movies with my son, and a little chocolate. How do you like to spend a laid back Saturday?


Stress, Waiting, the Gut, and Skin…the Connection

It’s been two weeks since I have really been paying attention to my body and really listening to how I feel after I eat. I have been following the low reactivity chart of foods from Lyn-Genet Recitas The Plan. I plan to follow her 3 day cleanse, but I haven’t had a chance to set aside time to prepare food. The other side to this is the social aspect. In order to commit to a strict eating plan, even if only for 3 days, I can’t have any social commitments that include food. When food wasn’t a huge issue for me, I took for granted the social connection food has.

I have been eating a lot of chicken, flaxseed flatbread, Orgain smoothies, chia seed pudding, salads, broccoli, nuts, and I have found that chocolate in small quantities does not seem to aggravate me. What does seem to aggravate me is stress.

Pictures Fall 2013-Fall 2014 131

Last week, I had another outbreak of skin issues. I blamed it on excessive chocolate and coffee a couple of times. Maybe. But, maybe it was stress. Or a combination. I believe the skin reflects the condition of my gut, and my gut is strongly influenced negatively by stress. Situations in my life right now are requiring me to wait and trust. This comes with stress.

A dear friend of mine told me I am a worrier….I don’t normally consider myself a worrier, but I realized as I was talking something through with her, I was fretting over details beyond my control. This is worry. Wake-up call for me, a much needed one. Today in my morning devotion, it spoke of waiting as being an active act of worship, not a passive thing. During waiting I have to realize that some things are out of my control. I must pray. I must trust. I must believe that His will for my life is always best. I must accept His timeline, and my timeline often do not align.

Less worry=less stress=less acne…..so I wait in trust and thanksgiving in my clearer skin. It helps to refrain from chocolate (excessive amounts). And, to use my favorite skin care combination. St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin mixed with avocado oil or olive oil and then applied  to the face does wonders.


Waiting has lessons. Less worry, more faith.

stress verse