Once Upon A Mommy

The Ups, Downs and All Arounds of Raising a Family

Month: August 2015

Mindfulness Meditation – I Feel Relaxed…Finally!

Over the last couple months, my mindfulness practice has been increasing as I discover more and more how meditation helps me chill out. Scientists are also paying attention and publishing research on the fabulous benefits of meditation beyond the obvious stress relief components.

I’ve been using meditation to calm my thoughts and anxiety. As a result, I find I’m more present in the moment and therefore I’m enjoying life more. I’m discovering that being present and content is the key to my happiness.

Lately, I’ve been exploring different types of mindfulness. I have recently settled on meditation that focuses on loving kindness and compassion. Consequently, my heart is experiencing freedom as I learn how to judge myself less and express kindness towards myself. As a result of my mini freedom, I wanted to share one of the guided meditation videos that I like to follow.

 

Through this guided mediation, I had a light bulb moment. At the end of Coach Kiomi’s audio, she talks about noticing any feelings of calm or peace. She talks about just noticing it and not trying to force feelings or activate certain emotions. I clued in that this was what I’ve been doing in my life. I’ve been trying to force emotions. Joy, happiness and peace are some of the emotions I want to feel. I seem to think something is wrong with me if I’m not feeling these positive emotions. On the other hand, when I feel too many negative emotions, I think I’m failing or losing the battle against depression.

Coach Kiomi’s short statement helped me take the pressure off trying to feel a certain way. It just is what it is – neither good or bad. As a result, I’ve been having more compassion towards my emotions – learning to embrace all my emotions and not labeling them as “good” or “bad”. This is huge for me and is generating a lot more peace and joy – ironically the emotions I have been looking for the whole time.

To learn more about mindfulness mediation, check out the book Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness & Anxiety Management for Overcoming Anxiety & Worry to Emotional Health, Inner Peace & Happiness by Jessica Minty

Mindfulness meditation

Juice Juice Baby – How Juicing Has Improved My Health

Image from Amazon.ca

In my quest for health, I’ve stumbled upon some Netflix videos that changed my morning routine. While there have been several several changes I have made, I’ll focus on juicing for this post.

The first documentary I started with was Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead by Joe Cross. This film tracked the journey of Joe Cross, and a man named Phil,  documenting how they were able to lose excess weight, quit their medications and heal their rare skin disease. From their experiences, I learned about the fabulous benefits of juicing and how it can drastically improve your health from the intense shot of concentrated nutrition.

Inspired, I decided to implement this health benefit into my own life. I started by finding a free juicer. I wanted to make sure I’d get into the habit of juicing and not invest in another appliance that would sit alongside my unused bread maker. Of course, this juicer wasn’t the most optimal of designs but it was adequate to meet the purpose I had in mind.

After at least 4 moths of juicing, I decided to invest in a more efficient juicer. I consulted Kris Carr’s blog post – The Ultimate Crazy Sexy Juicer Review – to help me decide. I found it took me a while to make the purchase because it felt so final. I knew I couldn’t get away with buying an expensive juicer and then not being happy with it. There is no way my husband would let me buy another one.

So far, I knew I wanted a masticating juicer because of the following benefits:

  • More yield from greens
  • Can juice wheat grass
  • Juice can last up to 72 hours
  • Less damage to nutrients
  • Drier pulp

My old juicer damaged the nutrients due to the heat generated from the shredding blade. It was also not efficient with extracting the juice – sometimes I put the pulp through a few times to get another 100 ml more. When you spend money on organic vegetables, you want to get every bit of juice you can.

In the end, I decided on the same juicer my brother purchased – Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer

juicing

He did his research and I trusted his decision. He even created a video of how the juicer works – check it out.

After a couple months of juicing with my new juicer, I’m happy with my purchase. It is a lot slower than what I’m used to but I remind myself of the benefits and how it’s so much better. Instead of juicing every day, I juice every 4 days or so. Now my husband takes a mason jar of juice to work every morning, which is amazing (he rarely eats vegetables)!

For the longest time, I didn’t follow a recipe. I just added random veggies together. The result was not always the most pleasing flavor. Then I decided to focus on more greens and followed Kris Carr’s “Morning Glorious” recipe so I could get the most optimal greens and alkalize my body. Here’s another version of her green juice recipe:

Kris Carr’s Green Juice Recipe

By Kris Carr

Yield: 2 servings

It’s our motto and our morning beverage. Here’s what we serve in the Carr/Fassett home daily. This green juice recipe makes almost 32 ounces. When we have time, we make another juice at 4 pm.

  • 2 large cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
  • big fistful of kale
  • big fistful of sweet pea sprouts
  • 4 – 5 stalks celery
  • 1 – 2 big broccoli stems
  • 1 pear or green apple (optional)
  • 1-inch piece of ginger (or less)
  • other optional greens we love: romaine, parsley, spinach and dandelion.
  1. Wash and prep all ingredients.
  2. Juice all ingredients.

 

Recently, due to pregnancy, I’ve gotten lazy and I just make a random mix because I can’t be bothered to do a batch for me and a separate batch for my husband. He can’t tolerate as many greens as I can so I was making him a sweeter juice with more fruit. I tried to stay away from the fruit and focus more on vegetables. However, it was getting to be too much so I now I just make a bit batch for both of us. The compromise is that he gets more greens and I get more fruit.

My body has definitely benefited from juicing every day. I know I’m the healthiest now that I ever have been. So far, the best benefit for me is the reduced pain in my neck. I have chronic pain in my neck since 2006 and I’ve been seeing chiropractors biweekly. I believe that the alkalinity from the greens has reduced the inflammation in my body and therefore reducing my pain. As an added bonus, I was able to get pregnant super fast – only 1 month of trying! I like to believe the juicing set the stage for a fertile environment.

In conclusion, juicing is fabulous and does marvelous things to the body. I drink my juice in the morning and get my fiber the rest of the day. I feel good knowing I’m getting a huge jolt of nutrition everyday. It’s been a wonderful addition to my health regime.

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