Overhauling the Refrigerator

It is not uncommon for me to say, “A clean home aids in a clear mind.” I am a big fan of organization and cleanliness. When my home, my car, or my office feel unorganized, I can definitely feel my stress level increasing specific to those areas. So, I suppose that it was weird that I hadn’t realized that the same principle would apply so deeply to my refrigerator.

As most of you already know, I think about food a lot. I plan, prepare, shop, research, and often scrutinize what I am eating. I wouldn’t say that my food areas are a disaster, but just like anyone, the mess and disorganization can add up. Over the past few weeks, I could see that the fridge was getting bad. I started with throwing out all of the expired bottles but knew that it needed a scrub-down. So, after our camping trip last week, while it was still a bit barren, I did just that. I took everything out and scoured the sucker. Then, I carefully replaced everything, made my grocery list and went about my week.

I felt a major change all week. Every time I opened my refrigerator, I felt good about what was in it. It looked fresh and tasty. I was excited to prepare it and eat it. I felt less desire to reach for comfort food. I didn’t even have any ice cream or dessert all week. The shine and good light, allowed me to really see what was in there and not get lost among the clutter. I felt like a little kid, fascinated by one toy, rather than bored by the toy box.

I often do pantry or fridge clean-outs, tossing the stuff that is no good or no good for you. However, I have never simplified it so much. I think that sometimes I do the opposite. I may over-stock so that we have plenty of good options. I think that I am a changed woman after this week. A nice fridge scrub-down will probably get added to my weekly chore list. This way, I know everything that is in my kitchen and in my diet. Just another tier in mindful eating.


Successful Meal Planning

Meal Planning is definitely one of those essential, life basics that was left out of public school curriculum. People, in general, have no idea what they should be eating, what’s in what they are eating, and how to plan for their meals. The food we consume has become more of impulse decision-making, rather than careful planning and preparation. No wonder we are more likely to hit a drive-through.

Self-admittedly food consumes many of my thoughts. Am I hungry? What should I eat next? What have I already had today? What am I craving? When is the next meal? By taking a little bit of prep time to plan meals, I eliminate time, mental energy, money, and calories!

Here are a five easy steps to successful meal planning:

  1. Look at your calendar for the week and determine when you will have time to cook and when you will need something quick and easy. Plan dinner first and begin to plug in those meals. Dinner should consist of a lean protein, a cup of fresh or steamed veggies, and a starch, like a whole grain or sweet potato.
  2. Determine if you will have leftovers for lunch before planning lunch. If not, then plan lunches. Lunch should follow the same rule: a lean protein, a starch (whole grains), and fiber (fruit or veggie).
  3. Snacks: Snacks should be easy and readily available. fruit, edamame, nuts, raw veggies, protein bars, or yogurt are all great snacks.
  4. Breakfast: Keep it easy and balanced, like eggs and oatmeal, nutrition shakes, or a high protein cereal.
  5. Make your grocery list from your meal plan and shop.

Eggplant Stew

I just made the most amazing, quick, easy healthy, affordable, high fiber, dinner. I was also blown away by how inexpensive Eggplants are. Great buy!

  • 1 Medium Eggplant
  • 1 Bell Pepper (I used Yellow)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 14.5 oz can tomatoes
  • 1/2 C Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper

Now, I chopped and mixed all of the ingredients in the Crock Pot cooked low for about 5 hours. A few extra options would be to add mushrooms to create extra heartiness or shredded mozzarella for extra decadence. Serve with your favorite grain, such as quinoa, couscous, or whole grain pasta.

The Benefits of Cellular Nutrition

What is cellular nutrition? Cellular nutrition is simply providing each cell in our body optimal nutrition and absorption. For those that know me, know that I am not very scientific, so imagining cells was not an easy concept for me. I come from “the sum is greater than the whole of it’s parts.” However, we all know that when a “part” isn’t working efficiently, the “sum” isn’t working efficiently.
 Ok, fine, let’s talk cells then. Over time, our body stops absorbing the vitamins and minerals that we consume. It doesn’t stop absorbing the calories, though. Not fair! So it is important to get down to the very root, the cell of the problem and mend that process.
 The benefits of cellular nutrition are extraordinary. For those that have seen the movie, “Limitless,” I am pretty sure that the writer was basing it off of his experience with cellular nutrition rather than speed. Through the process of cleansing, absorption, and cell re-generation, cellular nutrition maximizes our health. Cellular nutrition is credited for the decrease in multiple diseases, including cancers. Other benefits include renewed “vitality,” noted through energy and mental clarity, dissemination of toxins and weight, and greater levels of appetite satisfaction.
  If you aren’t asking, “How do I get cellular nutrition!” then I probably lost you in the cell lingo, which can be easily rectified. From my research, I have found cellular nutrition achieved in two ways. One is through a raw, vegan, food-pairing diet. The other is through proper supplementation. Whichever method is right for you is the method that is encouraged. It will be the best thing that you do for your health.

Tuna Stuffed Peppers

I cannot take credit for the invention of this recipe, but it was entirely too delicious and easy not too share. Thanks MOM!

Tuna Stuffed Peppers

  • 2 Cans White Albacore Tuna Fish
  • 2 Bell Peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
  • 1/2 Tbs olive oil mayo
  • 1/2 Tbs Sweet Chili pepper sauce
  • 1/2 diced onion (optional)
  • 1 Tbs grated cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Rinse the red peppers, cut out the top stem and de-seed. Mix the tuna, mayo, diced onion, and sweet chili pepper sauce. Stuff tuna mixture in red pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with pepper jack or mozzarella cheese for an added treat.

We also served ours with a side of quinoa. All I can say is YUM! It took about 10 minutes to prep and ready in less than 30 minutes. Tons of flavor, not to mention protein and fiber.


Community Weight Loss Challenge

A Weight Loss Challenge is a great way to learn safe and effective methods for health and weight loss, while building camaraderie and being motivated by a little healthy competition… and a cash prize.

On Wednesday, February 15th, I will be facilitating a community Weight Loss Challenge for the Downtown Raleigh community. It is an 8 week challenge targeting healthy nutrition, increasing exercise, getting good hydration, and losing some extra weight. Don’t have much to lose? No problem, because we will also talk about the benefits of cellular nutrition and how to increase your resting metabolic rate, which is important for everyone. The Weight Loss Challenge is fun, interactive, supportive, and a great way to get healthy. We might even throw in an optional group walk/run as the weather gets warmer.

This community event is open to all ages and all degrees of health. The 8 week Challenge cost is $35, putting $30 back into the cash winning pot for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes!  Check out complete details below.

When: Wednesday, February 15th at 6pm

Where: 612 W. Lane St

Cost: $35

Each registration comes with a complimentary nutrition profile. To register and for complete details, contact Brook Powers, brook@blissfulmindwellness.com

Radical Acceptance: Can you do it?

No matter how healthy or wise or successful you become, you will never be immune to crappy things happening. You will get cut-off on the highway, have to deal with an inept co-worker, cope with illness, deal with grief, and have bad days. This is life. When you sign up for the good, you also have to deal with the less desirable. And in our lifetime, we will probably still see horror in the world. Maybe you have even experienced some of that horror personally.

Here is the deal: We have to accept this as is for right now. If you have experienced something in the past, there is no way possible that we can erase that. We also cannot solve the world problems over night. And there are times when dealing with a toxic relationship will feel as big as a world problem. It is when we are able to accept it as is, that we can actually move past it. We do not fall victim to it. We do not get wrapped up in the ‘why’ behind it. We say, “This is the problem at hand, and this is how we deal with it.”

I utilize the word radical because for many acceptance is such a struggle and with deep struggles we have to take drastic measures. We have to dive right in and get the work done with urgency. If we don’t then we can get so caught up in all of the negative emotions that drown us. But when we can put the emotions, thoughts, and worries aside, we can see that the situation is more manageable.

You might hate your job, wish to be in a relationship, wish to be out of a relationship, buried in debt, or faced with any of life’s struggles, However, you will not be able to change your position if you are unable to accept where you are, check in with yourself (remember the trust we talked about) and then make the best decision for you.

Can We Practice Non-Striving in a Go-Getter Society?

When we talk about mindfulness, there is a lot of talk about just being. Being in the moment. Not forcing anything. No push or pull of yourself- your thoughts, your emotions, or your body. A principle of non-striving.

Whoa! Non-striving? Well, anyone who isn’t striving surely will never compete in this fast-paced, go-getter society. They will squander. They will fail. Or will they? I am as guilty of a “what’s next” mentality as anyone (see my post on Patience). However, the non-striving mentality is what allows us to clear the mental rubbish and excel!

Mindfulness does not assume that you shouldn’t have goals. That you shouldn’t do better, try harder, or serve more. Principles of non-striving are to assume that we do not force any outcome and that we are able to flow with the process. As a therapist, I learned an important lesson when I placed my expectations on my clients as to where I thought that they should be in the process. I was pushing for a different outcome, striving for something that was not mine to strive for. I also see this happen with individuals who are creating a mindfulness practice. They are striving for an end result, seeking relaxation or enlightenment. What do you see as possible outcomes for these scenarios? A struggle between me and my client and a lack of relaxation. Ever become more anxious when you are having a restless sleep and the end result is less sleep and more anxiety? Yup! This is what I am talking about. When we can clear out our expectations of ourselves to achieve, then we can also take away the punishment that we put ourself through. When we stop that punishment, we can objectively see what kept us from achieving and move forward.

Not only can we practice non-striving in this go-getter society, but we will get there faster if we do!

Listen, Learn, and Trust

Trusting your intuition is one of life’s greatest skills. You are the expert of you. I, for instance, may have expertise in diet, exercise, behavior modification, mindfulness-based stress reduction, but I am not the expert of you.

Trust is the ability to give complete faith in yourself that you are knowledgable, capable, and good. It is the ability to operate by your value system, to do your best, and to forgive fallacy. It is yet another principle of mindfulness. To be fully connected to yourself, present with yourself, aware, so that you can do your best and thus, trust that you did.

Trust & Mindfulness

  • Trust your intuition
  • Trust the process
  • Trust your loved ones
  • Trust your body
  • Trust your mind
  • Trust your emotions

Celebration = Gratitude