5 Great Foods to Boost Your Mood

For those of you who have read my about me page, you know that I have been researching and improving my health for over 18 years.  Last year I completed a sports nutrition certification and realized, yet again, how many of the health issues we face today can be altered and slowly improved with just the right tweak in our diets.  I believed so much in it, that in just 1 year, I had completely turned my life around from removing the foods that were causing me pain and “flare-ups” of my diseases.  Depression was not going to get me once I identified what foods made me worse.

So today, I was minding my own business gathering ingredients for a nice big salad, when a processed food display jumped right up and tried to grab me.  <<< not really, but it almost did.  Chocolate is my weakness.  But this chocolate was on something that is a known flare for me and causes me to crash so much right after eating it I feel like I can’t move.  I become that tired.  So I knew what I had to do and I want to help you do the same.  Let’s grab some of these great foods instead!

5 Great Foods to Boost Your Mood:

  1. Go bananas <<< technically I linked to my favorite dry snack, but I love this version of dried bananas.  So what do these yellow fruits help us with?  Bananas employ mood-lifting power, with their combination of vitamins B6, A, and C; fiber; tryptophan; potassium; phosphorous; iron; protein; and healthy carbohydrates.  What happens in the body?  You get a quick boost from the fructose as well as sustaining energy from the fiber, which helps prevent a blood sugar spike and ensuing drop in energy as well as mood.  Mind you, this is natural and not some made up thing like “high fructose corn syrup”.  <<< icky for autoimmune responses…well just plain bad honestly. So I always stay away from that.  At our house, we tend to use bananas in smoothies, but if they have been there and are ripe, I will actually cut them up and put them in the freezer for later use as “banana cubes” in my blender.
  2. Sunflower seeds (or butter) <<< I love this stuff times 10.  I was doing research a few years ago on a theory I had that my prior acid-blocking supplements (completely weaned myself off them using natural remedy) were causing an issue with my magnesium levels.  Why is this important?  Magnesium, in addition to regulating mood, is vital for many body functions to operate normally. Magnesium deficiency can be responsible for feelings of fatigue, nervousness, and anxiety (triggers increase in adrenaline), and it’s been linked to various mood disorders. However, stable magnesium levels can help the body and mind achieve a calm and relaxed state.  Some scientific studies have shown magnesium supplementation to be beneficial in treating major depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.  Boom!  There it was yet again.  That feeling to go down the right path and unravel the mess my doctors, no offense to anyone, had caused in my gut.
  3. Dark chocolate is the bomb dot come in my world.  <<< the one linked I often see in my grocery store as a savior if I am desperate to have something chocolate.  I have to read all ingredients, but this one is safe for me.  The organic cacao powder is my go-to for smoothies, baking and drinks of the hot kind.  Yummy.  How does this help me?  Sorry men, but PMS time, seriously, come in the house with this in the shopping bag.  Here is why: Among its many nutrients, cacao beans contain a slightly stimulatory, mood-boosting caffeine derivative called theobromine. Theobromine, a molecule with a structure similar to caffeine, has been shown to support mood and increase focus:)  I am big into plant-based or phyto healing, so as this chocolate melts on your tongue, a number of reactions occur, including the release of serotonin in the brain and mood-elevating endorphins in the body.  Yummy.
  4. Pass me my green tea y’all.  <<< I linked my all-time favorite recent discovery of this muscle recovery tea I drink after a hard day of yoga.  So why is tea, especially green tea helpful?   Tea, the green variety more so, provides catechin antioxidants that have been shown to support brain function and promote proper balance of the stress hormone cortisol.  Further, a toasty mug of tea can supply you with L-theanine, an amino acid that might promote you being alert a bit more.  Also a report published in Public Health Nutrition showed that study participants who sipped four or more cups of green tea daily reported having a more positive mood.  I recently started making my green tea 30 minutes ahead of time in the fridge using cold water and mint leaves.  I then drink it cold and I know that provides a metabolism boost as well.
  5. Walnuts were also on my list of foods to eat.  <<< again, I have to be careful.  No glaze, no almonds (I personally found out they cause me stomach pain…who knew? Autoimmune is a tricky navigation.), no additives.  JUST walnuts!  Why are they helpful?  Walnuts contain a handful of components that contribute to the elusive good mood, including omega-3s, vitamin B6, tryptophan, protein, and folate.  Higher blood levels of omega-3s have been linked with better mood and lower rates of depression, while lower blood levels of omega-3s have been associated with higher rates of depression and negative feelings.  Boom!  Grab you some walnuts friends.  Or nutty friends…either way. Normal suggested dosage of omega-3 oils is one gram (1,000 mg) per day. You’ll get about the same amount, as well as a healthy dose of fiber and protein, in just half an ounce of walnuts.  I put them on my yogurt, but yogurt is a whole different story, so read the ingredients!  I personally have been enjoying some Brown Cow yogurt…but prior to that is was the Stonyfield Farms kind.  Again, navigate so that you can actually read all the ingredients as I discuss in my 4 Weeks to Wellness course.  You don’t want things you can’t read going into your body.  It really does flare all kinds of things that are just bringing you down.

Thank you guys for reading this and go out and clean your pantry today!  Stock up for better health!

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5 Steps to Being Healthier Today!

5 Steps to healthThis post was so popular that I have decided to add a contact form about the greens if you are interested in learning more about them!  Read until the end!

5 Steps to Being Healthier Today!

1. Eliminate processed foods.  Have you ever looked at the back of a “FAT-FREE” box of coffee creamer as compared to real cream?  Just look at the ingredients.
2. Drink more water.  Why?  “Water’s involved in every type of cellular process in your body, and when you’re dehydrated, they all run less efficiently — and that includes your metabolism.
3. Add a Greens smoothie to your day.  Why the “Greens”?

  • Detoxify, alkalize, and promote pH balance within the body
  • Acidity-fighting magnesium and potassium blend
  • Cutting-edge probiotic support for digestive health
  • 38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods
  • Multiple servings of fruits and vegetables in every scoop
  • Free radical-fighting antioxidants

4. Add protein in the morning.  I prefer the things I have linked to because of these reasons:

  • Experience quicker post-workout recovery
  • Build lean muscle mass with fewer calories
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Get feel-good, mood-elevating energy with maca and cacao powder
  • Promote healthy digestion with seven different soluble and insoluble fibers

5. Cut the sugar…but you can keep the fruit.  I have gone white processed sugar-free in the last two years and don’t miss it!  What do I use if I have to make a recipe with something like sugar?  Buy coconut palm sugar.  But if you are worried about sugar in fruit, check out this link.  I am guilty of loving mangoes.

So, in a nutshell…drop the sugar, add the water, add protein, and greens, but drop the processed food!!  Contact me here if you want to know more about the greens or visit vitalizeyouwellness.com click shop!

 

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Hello new friends…

Hi friends, if you are new over here and want to read my story, you can use the side button to go all the way to some of my first posts.  If you want to really “hear” my story, the recording of the Talk Radio Blog show is on the post before this one.  It’s your choice.  I know it sounds long, but I talk about invisible diseases as pertain to me, so it might be interesting to you.  Lastly, I use a method of clean eating…no processed foods, no fast food, not white sugar, no flour, etc.  And supplements to stay healthy.  See the tab on the blog here called Vitalize You and it basically tells you just a few of the products I use.  I opted not to be on Lyrica or Cymbalta due to my research.

The road to wellness…

Next up, I will be extremely busy with my new yoga teacher training classes and more to come on that I’m sure.  I am using these methods instead of “traditional” and so far I have lost 18 pounds and gone down 3 sizes just from getting rid of the toxins that my body was reacting to with autoimmune.  I have gotten rid of the bloat and the IBS symptoms I used to experience from food “attacking” me.  I still have my bad days…as does everyone, but I am making progress.

I also have a tab at the top of this blog explaining how I work with clients…so feel free to read that as well as my “About me”.

Feel free to message my FB page Vitalize You with supplement/weight loss questions.

aspire

Talk Radio…

So this week has been interesting with the launch of The Wellness Universe website…being asked to write for all kinds of different pages.  And getting a phone call that shall remain a mystery for now.  But this, this is not going to be kept a secret…

Authoress Tonya Wilson of “The Time Is Now” sheds light Issues Of Addictions, Recovery & Deliverance. On Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 7:00 PM EST. If You Need Inspiration, Answers, or Support, The Time Is Now! Her Guest Panelist This week is, AIMEE H….Aimee H. is a fighter of invisible diseases (namely her own). She is the Writer of the Blog “The Burned Hand”. She is also the Owner and Operator of Vitalize You. Both are now a part of The Wellness Universe Directory. Join us as she shares an all natural approach to wellness and recovery, The recorded playback is here blog talk radio.

I have connected with many people over the years and I feel most strongly connected to people with illness.  But recovery can be many things to many people.  It can be drugs, alcohol, pain killers, but it can also be recovery from internal conflicts.  Depression, fertility issues, things people cannot see and in no way shape or form have the right to judge your path.  So please take a moment to listen in if you have time.  If not, I will probably come back and drop a link in this post later with the recording.  We’ll see how I sound first.  Wink.  P.S. Ihaveneverdonethisbeforesodontbejudgingme

But I know you will be cheering me on!!

happy

The open gate…

While I have been thinking about this post for a few days, I have not written it.  There are many reasons it needs to be written…I think someone else wants to know that I understand.  The products I use to “close the gate” are listed at the end.

Imagine if you will, that you have to get up and go to the store.  Maybe you don’t like going to the store, but you have your list, you get dressed, and you go.  Imagine a fibro friend has to go to the store.  You haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep so when you wake up you are groggy.  You ache in places you didn’t know could ache, but it’s normal, so you try not to let it interfere as you know you have things to do.  You hold tightly onto the handrail as you slowly creak downstairs.  I say creak, because in your head, you are imagining that you are 85 years old.  But of course, you are barely 40.

When you get to the kitchen, you look at the list, because without it, there is no way you will even know why you are going to the store.  Memory-schmemory.  You read the list 3 times because you know, you just know, you will forget something.  You get the keys, you say to yourself, I can do this.  You don’t even sit down after getting up.  Why?  Because you know you won’t go.  Again.  To the damn store.  You realize you have to go to not one but two stores because of the special items on your list.  You tell yourself you can rest after this.  You look for your keys.  Wait, you have them.  Ok.  You leave the house.  Task one is complete and it just felt like you ran a marathon.

When you get to the store, you see an elderly woman walking slowly in.  You quicken your pace even though you ache all over.  If she can do this, so can I.  You actually make it into the store.  You check your list, again.  As you go down the aisles you begin to get tired.  You tell yourself to push on.  You get what’s needed, after checking the list multiple times.  And then you check out only to realize it wasn’t that bad.  But you have to go to another store.  You realize you are exhausted, but you can do this.  Task two is complete, and the marathon has now turned into an ultra-marathon.

The next store.  You sit in the parking lot telling yourself that this is it.  You only have a few things left.  You go into the store.  You don’t think.  You can’t dwell.  Get in and out.  Do not abort the mission or your dachshunds will have no food.  That would be bad.  You get the items you need, plus some gluten-free things they have here, and on that particular aisle, it’s almost like they know.  They just know, you needed a song.  So “Roar” starts playing.  Sweet.  Now even Katy Perry is cheering for me to finish this trip.  And my damn eyeballs are teary because it’s the part, you know the part, “Get ready cause I’ve had enough…I see it all, I see it now.  I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, cuz I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.”  Sooo, I’m like, let’s go store.  I got this.  So now it’s like a decathlon or something.  I don’t know, because I was a ballet dancer and soccer player…and now I do yoga, but it’s like I ran a freaking marathon.  If one liked that sort of thing.  Which I don’t really.  Task 3, done.

And that my friends, was just the trip to the store.  Not the putting away of groceries.  Not the actual making of things with these groceries that you stare at and hope perform tricks after all of that, and jump into something nice like a soup or a 3 course meal.  That was just the trip.  The TRIP.

To further explain, I want to share this research on a pain analogy:

Old house
Pain is affected by how much we attend to the pain sensation. You can think of pain intensity being like the experience of trying to go to sleep in an old house. If you listen quietly, an old house will often creak and groan at night. If these sounds are familiar because they happen all the time, you assume they are just normal creaks and groans, do not pay much attention to them, and drift off to sleep. But, if someone had broken into the house recently, then you’d be on high alert. You’d pay close attention to every creak or groan, wonder if it meant that someone was trying to break into the house again, and stay awake for hours. Similarly, if you don’t attend to your pain you may find you don’t have too much difficulty doing what you want to do. But, if you think a lot about what all your pain might mean, or attend to how much the pain is bothering you, you will find that the pain interferes more with your life (S. Tupper, personal communication, 2012).
So, I kind of like this except for the fact that I wasn’t trying to “attend to my pain”; however, I have been to my Applied Health Doctor this week and worked on things we don’t usually work on.  So those pain receptors were stuck open.  Like an open gate.  Bingo.  That works.  So read this:
Railroad crossing gate
The gate control theory is a very popular theory, originated in the early 1960’s by Melzack and Wall. This theory posits that there is a virtual gate that controls the magnitude of the pain signal that reaches the brain (Melzack & Wall, 1965). It can be effective to describe the path to families as an actual gate. You can think about pain signals being like trains passing through a railroad crossing gate. When the  gate is all the way open, trains pass right through. Similarly, when the gate to your brain is open, pain signals have free access to your brain. Medication might close the gate partway, but for many people, medications do not close the gate completely. Other interventions such as learning cognitive behavioral therapy skills, distraction, engaging in acupuncture, and increasing activity can all be effective ways to close the gate and help to keep it closed.
 So for the trip to the store I described above, all the while, the pain receptors mess with my concentration, my ability to think about anything but pain at times, and my desire to do things in the cold because the cold magnifies the pain I feel.  However, that being said, when the gate is at least partway closed, I function better.  That being said.  I am not on any other medicine other than what Dr. Marion and I talk about.  Many traditional medicine doctors have tried to put me on other things.  I looked up all the side effects.  It went from bad to worse.  That being said, if it is working for you, that’s great.  No one should have to be in pain.  I hope it is working for you.  I am stubborn, hard-headed and afraid of the horrible side effects since I already have other conditions.
Here is what I do when I am trying to close the gate.  If I have eaten something that causes a Hashi’s flare, which can flare fibro pain, I use a wrap One theory that we have come up with is that my lymph nodes are not exactly taking out the trash so to speak.  When I wrap, I feel better.  The bloating goes down, the flare is shorter, it just works.  Ha.  Get it.  And yes, this is a company that both my doc and myself are in.  I actually met her at one of the meetings.
Okay, so the next thing I do is to take some Relief.  I have done extensive research in the last 3 years on anti-inflammatory foods.  Guess what’s in here?  Well, the cool thing is that we don’t hide any ingredients and they are all-natural.  So turmeric, which is one of my favorite things to use, is there, plus yucca root.  Did you know that An international research team reviewed data from previous studies on the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of Yucca schidigera, a type of yucca native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They noted strong evidence that yucca’s active components, including steroidal saponins, resveratrol and yuccaols, all seem to exert anti-inflammatory effects that may explain their historic use by folk medicine practitioners to treat arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Researchers recommended further research to try to pinpoint more accurately the mechanisms through which yucca prevents and/or treats arthritis. They published their findings in a 2006 issue of “Journal of Inflammation.”  So when people tell me they don’t need this because they are already on a glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate formula, like maybe my husband, I say try this.  And after generic versus mine, his pain was improved within one week of taking this.
So, I met a new lady this weekend and after doing an event where we set up our booths, something told me to speak to her about my fibro.  She said she was undiagnosed for years but was always in pain.  She described her pain as continuous, not being able to be touched and having the pressure points.  I immediately told her about my products and since she looked exhausted, I asked her if she was going to have to rest the entire next day after the event.  Her eyes welled with tears and she said “How did you know?”  I lightly touched her arm and said I just know.  I then told her about something that helps me sleep and recover.  New You.  It is again, phytotherapy, meaning plant-based.  Years ago, when I was first doing research on natural therapy remedies, I heard about MSM.  Plant based, and anti-inflammatory.  Did not know how to find it back then.  I had never heard of my company, It Works Global, and if I had, I wouldn’t have known about their leading phytotherapy research because people only associated them with “getting skinny”.  I know, because the book of Face polices the website link.  Anyway, New You helps to stimulate natural production and release of HGH (human growth hormone), while it aids in building lean muscle mass for those of us over ummmm 35.  It enhances exercise endurance, AND helps improve sleep quality and memory.  So for those of you not aware, fibromyalgia causes us not to get fully into REM sleep thus not feeling like we slept.  This one supplement is a life-saver for me.  Gate closed at night!!!!!  Yes.
So why did I put all this in here?  Because I am actually a tiny treasure trove of hopeful knowledge for people who think they can’t get help.  I don’t advertise my other business page a lot, but I should.  The tab on this blog says Vitalize You, and I invite my clients to ask me questions so we can get their body up and running again.  Believe me, I do understand.
Author’s note: Since this post was written, I have done more for my clients than advise them on my all-natural supplements, which yes, to this day I take New You every night to sleep naturally and help me feel great.  However, after completing over 200 hours of Vinyasa yoga and getting additionally certified in yoga for arthritis and pain, I created this program for you called 4 Weeks to Wellness.  I put everything I had in it to create simple daily tasks that someone coming from this place of pain could manage.  I have optional chair yoga pdfs, workbooks, journal therapy and more!!!  It is a wonderful resource.

Pain

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Motivational Monday…or how to take risks

How to take risks…but only if you know they will work.

So, here’s how to take “risks” safely:

  • save your money
  • plan every second of your life
  • work until you die or retire (whatever comes first)
  • wait for the “right” time
  • make excuses on why you are waiting
  • tell yourself you are not ready
  • tell your spouse/partner/whoever that it’s better to be safe than sorry
  • circle the day on the calendar you will be ready, even if it’s 20 years from now

Of course, there are other options.  You wake up one day and you decide that all of the above will never make you happy.  You decide that there is no time like the present.  You use the famous Nike slogan and finally “Just do it.”  You go for it.  You quit your job for various reasons like me and have no money saved.  People will talk about you.  It’s fun.  Spread your own rumors about yourself like “Hey, did you hear Aimee thinks she’s going to make money working for herself?  Hahaha”  Or this one “Aimee started her private consulting business for people who need gluten-free, non GMO, all-natural supplements.  What was she thinking?”  P.S. I was thinking people needed other options who have autoimmune issues and I can help them.  See the tab up top on this blog called Vitalize You for more or find my page on Facebook.

I was also thinking about how people are tired of doctors who don’t listen, how gaining weight with a thyroid issue made me feel helpless, and how there had to be a better answer.  I was tired of the bloat, the pain, and the stomach issues so I decided to put myself on a year-long plan and GUESS WHAT??  IT WORKED.  So I have been healing my leaky gut, I have been fending off the pain from autoimmune, and I have really helped others find hope. So seriously, I didn’t wait for all of the above things to fall into place.  I just did it.  I am also looking for others like me.  If you are interested in joining me, please click the link above and private message my Facebook page.  I have a plan and it works.  It works for anxiety, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, low Vitamin D, pain associated with autoimmune attacks, bloating, and balancing YOUR body including your gut.  It does NOT just involve taking supplements, but that was part of my process.  It involves mind and body healing.  Baby steps with elimination diet for autoimmune issues and finding you a full-functional medical doctor who listens.  The last one took me a long time, but I learned to make a plan, and put it in action.  So here’s to risks.

Risks

 

Motivational Monday…

Here it is, another Monday, but this one doesn’t have to be like all the others.  In fact, this one could be the start of something new.  I am talking about a “new you”.  The idea to create something new is always in my head.  I know that I do more research than ermmm perhaps “normal” people on health topics.  But since I’m not “normal” anyway, who is by the way, and because I have a vision to help others, I decided to start a new business page.

Most people I know are exhausted in their current lives.  They are approaching a certain age, whatever age that is, and they have it in their head that this is it.  They have been through college, perhaps gotten married, maybe not, and are in their career for life.  This is it for them.  You all know I did something drastic last year.  I took a “sabbatical” in the middle of an economic crisis.  In a time when most people would keep their jobs and sludge forward through the daily piles of misery.  I could take it no longer.  I was unhappy with the way things were and my health was suffering.

I have it in my head that I control my destiny, not money.  I know, I know.  A ridiculous thought for sure.  Especially when I am in debt.  I mean, let’s just be real.  I. Am. In. Debt.  There you go.  But I have been reading a few books, and I have a plan.  Not only do I have a plan, but I believe it.  That is the biggest part to making your dreams succeed.  I decided I did NOT want to be a “starving” writer, quite literally.  I am putting some things on the back burner for now, and focusing on my goal.  Get out of debt.  Once I cross that off my list, the rest will follow.

If you are interested, you can find my new page, Vitalize You.  The thing is, I do not want you to click “LIKE”.  Nope.  Don’t do that.  Not until you have looked through all the albums and read about it.  Then if you are interested, click “like”.  You will not offend me if you are not interested.  This is, and always will be, about me.  But if I can help you along the way, let me know.  Message the page.

Scatter Joy

P.S.  This will be the only post about my new business…if I make a spin-off blog in the future, I’ll let you know:)

Motivational Monday…

Here it is, another Monday, but this one doesn’t have to be like all the others.  In fact, this one could be the start of something new.  I am talking about a “new you”.  The idea to create something new is always in my head.  I know that I do more research than ermmm perhaps “normal” people on health topics.  But since I’m not “normal” anyway, who is by the way, and because I have a vision to help others, I decided to start a new business page.

Most people I know are exhausted in their current lives.  They are approaching a certain age, whatever age that is, and they have it in their head that this is it.  They have been through college, perhaps gotten married, maybe not, and are in their career for life.  This is it for them.  You all know I did something drastic last year.  I took a “sabbatical” in the middle of an economic crisis.  In a time when most people would keep their jobs and sludge forward through the daily piles of misery.  I could take it no longer.  I was unhappy with the way things were and my health was suffering.

I have it in my head that I control my destiny, not money.  I know, I know.  A ridiculous thought for sure.  Especially when I am in debt.  I mean, let’s just be real.  I. Am. In. Debt.  There you go.  But I have been reading a few books, and I have a plan.  Not only do I have a plan, but I believe it.  That is the biggest part to making your dreams succeed.  I decided I did NOT want to be a “starving” writer, quite literally.  I am putting some things on the back burner for now, and focusing on my goal.  Get out of debt.  Once I cross that off my list, the rest will follow.

If you are interested, you can find my new page, Vitalize You.  The thing is, I do not want you to click “LIKE”.  Nope.  Don’t do that.  Not until you have looked through all the albums and read about it.  Then if you are interested, click “like”.  You will not offend me if you are not interested.  This is, and always will be, about me.  But if I can help you along the way, let me know.  Message the page.

Scatter Joy

P.S.  This will be the only post about my new business…if I make a spin-off blog in the future, I’ll let you know:)