Gratitude

What is Gratitude?

Just what is gratitude and why does it seem to be more and more the centre of conversations when talking about health & wellness.

Gratitude ….the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

So it seems by the definition that more and more people are finding that the practice of being thankful & showing appreciation has so many health benefits.

Benefits of the practice of Gratitude

Who would have ever guessed that being thankful in our lives for so many reasons would actually help make us better as an individual, better employees, experience deeper more meaningful relationships & ultimately have a more positive outlook on life.

Here are some of the scientific findings of what happens when people practiced gratitude;

  • Better nights sleep
  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Mental stability/well being
  • New relationships & restoration of broken relationships
  • Better nutrition
  • More energy
  • Less irritability & more compassion & understanding for other
  • Less envy & jealousy of others
  • Counteract depression & suicidal thoughts
  • Better cardiovascular health

There are more but can you BELIEVE it! This is a pretty long list of great benefits just for being THANKFUL!

If you ask me this is the cheapest therapy there is out there today.

Putting it into Practice

When I first researched this a few months ago & discovered all the benefits, I started practicing right away. Was it easy? It’s not that it’s easy or hard, the challenge is, it’s just not in our human nature to do such a thing.

Let’s be honest, we as humans can be pretty selfish & often entitled. There are many times I just take things for granted, example; there is food in my fridge, or, I am able to see, touch, smell hear and taste….who would think that our five senses are something to be grateful for? Right?!(sarcasm:)

How & where do we start?

The best times to practice gratitude are first thing in the morning and right before bedtime. It’s like resetting your grateful clock every day, morning and night.

Being grateful for at least three different things each day is a great start. If we can’t think of at least three, we’re in deep waters & perhaps grabbing a friend or loved one to coach you is a great idea.

You can speak these three things out loud & even better, you can write them down, this is now your chance to purchase that fancy dollar store journal.

A tangible thing you can do to practice gratitude is to volunteer. This is a HUGE one for me, I was practising gratitude for years and didn’t even realize it. Serving others freely with no strings attached or recognition is a great way to show gratitude because it not only blesses you, it’s a two way street of blessing others as well.

When to Start

NOW! There’s no better time. I started back in June & I will admit it’s definitely not consistent as much as I would like it to be, but I’m definitely better than I was. I’m more cognitive of my behaviour as well & I am not moved as much by the actions of others. It just really humbled you & keeps you grounded.

Final thoughts

Have you ever been going through a storm in your life and thought this can’t get any worse?, then all of a sudden you find yourself having this inner conversation in your head; “somebody else is going through worse than me, so I need to stop worrying & be THANKFUL for what I have, it could be worse! Did you know that is GRATITUDE? It sure is, gratitude also puts things into perspective and builds an appreciation for what we have in this moment, in the bad times and the good times.

So before you grab your phone first thing tomorrow morning when you wake up, try practicing gratitude by thinking of, then speaking out loud three things you are GRATEFUL for!

Letting Pain – Propel you to YOUR Purpose

Why?

Have you ever asked yourself, “why have I gone through all this pain in my life?” It’s a question I have often asked myself over the years, probably since I was a child if I were to be honest.

PAIN is something we all experience, it may be different experiences with different degrees of pain, however, pain is pain & the bigger picture is to figure out the why so that we can begin to live our lives to its fullest potential and stop letting our past pain control so much of our future.

The Source of our Pain

Growing up I spent much of my life grounded and confined to my room. If I had to break it down by percentage I would say between the ages of 4-13, I spent approximately 70% of my time alone, isolated and feeling rejected.

For years I often wondered to myself what I had done to deserve such isolation & what made me such a nuisance to my family. To this day I still haven’t figured it out and out of respect for my parents I won’t assume anything.

That isolation however over the years came with several side effects including social phobias, anxiety, low self-esteem and the need to be seen and heard in destructive patterns later on in life leading to promiscuity, alcohol abuse, & self-identity issues as a teen as well as into adulthood, affecting life long decisions in regards to careers, marriage & other relationships.

Heavy Baggage

It’s easy for anyone to sit back and say to themselves, wow, I have a lot of baggage I’m carrying from my life. For some it can be heavy as early as their first 5 years of life as a child to be carrying an insurmountable load of baggage sadly.

So how do we accept our pain for what it is & move forward from the pain of the past to live our best life? the biggest question to ask ourselves is; who do we become because of it? Well, this is where the word PROPEL comes into my post today. This morning as I was meditating on who I’ve become over the years, I thought of three words; PAIN -PROPEL & PURPOSE. I believe I have finally come to the resolution & the acceptance of my pain being the propeller to my purpose in this life.

Letting Go!

From the beginning of time, pain was a part of the human race. It’s often hard for us to conceive that a loving God would allow destruction & pain to enter our world, however, freewill was the very first act of love God gave mankind. With that freedom man chose the path that led to pain & suffering for the course of the human race.

If I were to be honest I have pointed my finger at God for my pain and suffering at certain times in my life, even as recent as several months ago. Thankfully by His grace and mercy He is not affected by our wayward thoughts & feelings.

Through struggle, conflict, betrayal & rejection, I have chosen to meditate & pray my way through the pain of the past & I have taken much personal inventory over the last couple of years especially & I’ve decided to allow the pain in my life to propel me to my purpose.

Purpose in the Pain

Strength Just like gaining muscular strength by repetition & weight, painful experiences strengthens us. Pain will either help you find your strength or lose it.

Perseverance….the ability to endure the storms of life & not allow fear to over take your mind affecting how you handle tragedy & trials.

Maturity …pain will choose for us how quickly we mature or we also have the choice to revert & remain stunted in our development.

Wisdom…without pain we learn that we would never embrace hope or faith.

Humility …pain helps us to relate to others who are hurting. It keeps us from becoming unresponsive to the pain others suffer around us.

The Need for a Saviour….yes, pain will force us to our knees in search of God & putting our trust in the One who truly can save us and give us life! My darkest moments in life propelled me to find the light, the truth & the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The Ultimate Purpose?

So what is my purpose?, the purpose from all the pain?, simply, it is to be like Jesus to the world. It is to love the “unlovable”, to feed the hungry, to be a living sacrifice in every area, to be a loving mom, to be a loving wife, a loving friend, a loving coworker, a loving stranger….etc.

You see, our pain identifies with the pain Jesus suffered for us. There was no greater pain and suffering than that which He experienced and for what?, all for us to be able to have a purpose in our pain in this life.

He knew we would suffer in, remember at the beginning of my post?, the “free will” He gave us was the ultimate factor in our fate all because He decided not to make us robots and force us to love Him. What kind of love would it be if we forced others to love us?

His purpose in His pain was to bring the world the gift of salvation & a hope that will live beyond our life here on this earth.

So I leave this with you today, do not let your pain lie dormant & useless. Do not allow it to make you bitter. Do not let it rob you of peace and joy.

Choose today to let your Pain Propel you to YOUR Purpose!

James 1:2-4, discover the purpose behind your pain. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”

If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ might I suggest saying this prayer below & opening your heart to the One who can teach you how to live a life of purpose despite the pain you have experienced.

Prayer,

Dear Jesus, I do not understand in this moment what I am doing or even saying but I trust by faith that you will hear these words and open my eyes of understanding and show yourself to me. I choose to allow you to become Lord over my life & even though I cannot see you or touch you, I choose to believe by faith that you are the way, the truth and the life and that no person comes to God the Father except through you.

Please forgive me of any sin that has separated me from you & make me clean this day. Renew my mind and spirit I pray.

I ask that you lead me to people of faith & that you will order my steps from this day forward.

I give you my pain and ask that you will make it my purpose in this life & that hope, faith and love will be my foundation form this moment forward.

I pray all these things in Jesus precious name! Amen!

If you prayed this prayer and would like to share with someone please feel free to contact me.

God truly loves you!

Women, Aging & ABs

Photo credit: Billie Cedillos

Do I have To!

Sometimes it can seem like a daunting task trying to flatten and shape our abdominals right? Or is it just me -no way!

If I were honest it’s one of those “do I have to” workouts that I put off as much as possible.

Let’s admit it, it’s a lot of effort for little gain especially after your 40’s!

ABs made in the Kitchen, yes & no!

We’ve all heard that ABs are made in the kitchen and there is definitely some truth to that, however, as women enter their late 30’s-50’s, there’s a lot more to take into consideration.

Thanks(but no thanks)to estrogen levels dropping during peri menopause and menopause, the body fat from hips and thighs begin to transport to the abdomen.

Good fat vs Bad fat

Do keep in mind that no matter how many crunches, mountain climbers or reverse curls you do or how much you tweak your nutrition, we will forever have some what of a pooch which is just subcutaneous fat which we all need some.

The fat that is concerning is the belly fat that we gain over 2-5 pounds below the abdominal wall which is called visceral fat & this typically lies deeper in the abdomen; this fat is not good as it can cause inflammation in the body and eventually contributing to more serious conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

What now? Good habits vs Hormones

So, what do we do? As hormones starts to change? Start here;

•drink plenty of water

•choose whole foods like veggies, whole grains, fruits)

•do cardio at least 3x a week for 30 minutes or longer OR do HiiT interval training, I do high intensity intervals in my treadmill 3-4 days/week for 10-15 minutes total

•incorporate resistance training 3-5 days/week if you haven’t already, this spikes your metabolism & tones and defines, especially important during the menopause stage.

•get a good nights rest

•practice meditation

•include a wide variety of abdominal exercises, not all AB exercises have to be crunches

One day at a Time

Don’t let this list stress you out, that is the LAST thing a mindful coach wants to do, instead I want you to look at it like this, one small change makes for consistency. This is key to any thing new we start in life. If we put too much pressure or expectation on ourselves, we will almost always end up quitting.

Rome was not built in a day & neither can ABs or a healthy lifestyle

Remember to love yourself for where you are in this moment & take one day at a time on your journey of being your best & most of all, ENJOY THE RIDE!

Passion, Pain & Purpose …New Beginnings

Have you ever heard that saying; “good things come to those that wait?” Well, I do believe that saying is true to a point…..it has indeed taken over 25+ years to get here today; so I’ve definitely waited, however, in the “waiting” it’s important to be “doing”, what exactly do I mean by that? Continue reading….

Conception

While living in Mississauga, Ontario at 22 years of age & on my own, I realized there had to be more to life. I felt unfulfilled & wanted a challenge. I was working as a personal trainer & aerobics instructor at the YMCA at the time. A year prior to that I began my own healthy lifestyle by going vegetarian, giving up smoking, eating all the carbs after midnight, and drinking (quite a lot) & of course this lifestyle included an exercise program.

Picture above: 24 years old…3 years of adapting a healthy lifestyle.

Passion & Purpose

When I had decided to work at the YMCA & quite my waitressing job at a five & dime truck stop, I knew that wherever I would plant my roots it would always be in the health and fitness industry. I was going to change peoples lives one person at a time, I had a vision of getting people healthy & teaching them how to enjoy their lives and beat the odds (or at least try)of disease & a mediocre life.

Purpose on Hold….

Shortly after working for the YMCA & finding my “passion & purpose” I got bad news about my father, he had had his very first stroke at 51 years of age. My heart broke, that strong willed, independent & hard working man became vulnerable and lost his greatest passion in life after 35 years; becoming an owner/operator of his own trucking business for a large company, Phillip Environmental.

His dream came to an abrupt end & my passion for something in life was just beginning.

More bad news

Shortly after the sad news about my father, I was in shock & sadness to find out my mom had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Life was changing quickly & I realized more how important it was for me to keep my focus & to take care of my own health. Staying healthy & focused gave me the ability to help my loved ones who needed me for the first time.

I decided a year later to leave Mississauga & go live with my mother & help her through the next stage of her life and recovery from so much trauma.

Some 10 years later in October of 2003 I lost my dad. After several strokes, a prosthesis, and an infection he sadly lost his battle with heart disease. One of the hardest times in my life; I was a daddy’s girl & he was the only rock I had when I needed one. (Miss you dad).

Labour First THAN Delivery

Years later, after marriage, children & a new found faith in Jesus Christ plus lots of mountain top & valley experiences & learning to become my BEST through it all; I am ready to help others & coach them to become the BEST version of themselves, MIND BODY & SPIRIT

Don’t get me wrong, my marriage & my children are my greatest purpose & passion, however, I believe there is an individual purpose & passion inside all of us apart from our loved ones.

What I have learned the most is that anything worth value in our lives comes with sacrifice & a lot of hard work. The mountains & valleys in life are the very things needed for us to grow & develop, I often think of life’s greatest blessings unto that of the birth of my children, I needn’t explain it to the mothers reading this as you would agree that that final PUSH, that final drop of sweat & PAIN is the greatest pathway to our greatest blessing, our children.

And so it is with our PURPOSE and PASSIONS in life.

New Beginnings….On my Own

Thus, the birth of BE UR BEST ON THE GO, a Health & Fitness business delivering all your needs to become the BEST version of you!

Registered & now a sole proprietor, I have the responsibility to change lives & help others adapt to a healthy lifestyle & learn to love themselves enough to prioritize their health; One day at a time!

BE UR BEST at any age! You are WORTH it!

Thai Coconut Curry Squash Soup

 

Butternut Squash; Thai Coconut Curry Soup

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Fall is on the horizon

Many things about this time of year appeal to me, but nothing more than homemade soups. I am always on a mission of creating a new recipe for a delicious, satisfying and visually appealing soup.

There are many soup recipes out there and anyone who knows me understands that I never ever follow a recipe(unless I’m baking :)). I don’t like being put in a box when it coms to cooking, this is where each individuals creativity can be unleashed!

Thailand and it’s amazing flavours

Ahan Thai is the national cuisine of Thailand, balance, detail, and variety are of paramount significance to Thai chefs. 

Thai food is known for demonstrating “intricacy; attention to detail; texture; colour; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavour”, as well as care being given to the food’s appearance, smell and context.  This is perhaps why I like to add Thai infusion to many of my recipes.

Butternut Squash

A few weeks ago I decided to make a butternut squash soup which I have made numerous times, however, I thought I would put a Thai twist on it and I’m so happy I did.Butternut squash is a wonderful vegetable. It is versatile and can used in many different ways. Soups, stir fry, steamed, baked, desserts are just a few to mention. Butternut squash instructions.

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Thai Coconut Curry Soup Recipe

Not sure why on a hot day in summer I felt like making this soup but I had a couple cans of organic coconut milk in my cupboard and a 2 week old butternut squash and I thought, what the heck, lets make a warming flavourful soup tonight.

One of my favourite spices is curry, in fact if blood types are correct(I’m type O-), curry is supposed to be a great spice for you. Curry  tumeric and many other spices of the east are very beneficial and used for many medicinal purposes.

I did not use any other recipe for this soup. This is all from scratch and I will try my best to give exact measurements(Sorry I don’t measure & I made this soup 3 weeks ago). The best thing to do when cooking is add a little bit of ingredient at a time and taste it as you go especially when adding spices.

OK, so here it is below, oh, and don’t forget! the best side to a delicious soup is of course fresh bread, my go to is sour dough. 🙂

Recipe Serves 4-5 (When chopping ingredients, do not be picky as you will be blending all these ingredients in a blender once boiled.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash 1-2 lbs (peeled, cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil OR coconut oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 green pepper(chopped)
  • 1 medium onion(chopped)
  • 1 leek (chopped) be sure to clean really well inside leaves. How to clean and slice leeks
  • 2-3 cloves garlic OR 2 tablespoons jar chopped garlic
  • sea salt/ground pepper to flavour
  • 1 teaspoon curry(of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon corriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1/2 can (400 ml) organic coconut milk
  • 2-3 small fresh basil leaves(Thai sweet basil or asian basil is best)
  • 2 cups low sodium veggie broth

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan sauté peppers, onions & garlic in olive oil on low until translucent.
  2. Add 2 cups of veggie broth and rest of ingredients EXCEPT the coconut milk.
  3. Once squash is firm & tender(not mushy) you can use your blender(vitamix), magic bullet, etc…and carefully add all ingredients(you made need to do two separate portions at a time. Blend until smooth.
  4. Place soup mixture into a soup pot and bring to boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Once boiled, turn down to a simmer for 15  minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk at this stage and continue to simmer for another 15-30 minutes to absorb all flavours.

Serve with fresh basil leaves on top and with your favourite bread of choice & enjoy!

Living a social (media) life ?

Refreshing…Insightful…Social Media Truth

Juli's Nom Noms

I guess I am what you call a food blogger. Some emails and cooperation requests are even telling me I am an influencer. Well if I am all I want to do is to influence people to use their own head, confront themselves with their emotions and problems and find solutions that in the end will make them happier with their lives.

152A3605-Bearbeitet-2 Kopie

What I see is that social media is ….an insane thing! After shutting down any mobile devices for almost two weeks now I can see things more objectively again.

Some people, a very small percentage though, seem to be able to really and fully participate from their work on social media. I recognized though that it is predominantly the people who manage to TRANSFER their online based work and CONTACTS to REAL LIFE, make real life friends and build a business that actually includes working with people face…

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A Marriage of Crisis & Connection

A Little Girls Dream…

It seems it wasn’t that long ago when I would dream about my Prince Charming rescuing me. He would be tall, dark and handsome. He would have long arms to wrap around me and keep me safe. He would NEVER say a mean word to me-ever! He would do everything I asked and without hesitation.

Whether it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Cinderella or perhaps Pretty Woman, there has always seemed to be this elusiveness that led many of us women on a trail of disappointment in the search for our so called “Prince Charming”.

Seventeen years ago I believed I had found my Prince Charming. I mean I met him in church, how perfect he would be, right? In just over a year we were engaged, married and expecting our first child. Life couldn’t be better. Truth be told, from the beginning after our honeymoon, things quickly disintegrated as we both experienced the lows and disappointments of unmet expectations.

From the Castle to the Dungeon..

It wasn’t long before I realized that my dreams of the perfect man were beginning to fade and the Castle I set up in my mind began to look more like a Dungeon.I was no spring chicken when I met my husband, I was 30 years old. The problem was not a matter of age but rather it was a matter of pride between two very broken people.

Intentional vs Unintentional

It was never our intention to wound one another -EVER! If your struggling in your marriage and feeling like giving up, keep reading. But the one thing I want you to know right now is, your spouse is NOT intentionally trying to hurt you. Pain is a natural symptom of brokenness, as you have probably heard before, “hurting people hurt people”.

Both my husband and I came into our marriage with a lot of baggage, like most couples do. So what made our path that much harder than the average married couple. Well, we both lacked the communication skills necessary for a successful marriage & we were not equally yoked in our relationship with God. Being “Christian” is not enough or be equally yoked.

The Chemical Reaction

I’ve often thought of the union of a man and a woman coming together as a science experiment, here me out; as men and women, most of us have the basic understanding of just how differently we are created by God. When you join a woman and a man together by a marriage covenant an amazing and spectacular event takes place, the two literally become one. It is a Spiritual Phenomenon . That is the first concept EVERY marriage experiences.

This is now a spiritual union that will take LOTS of discipline, a discipline many couples do not practice after the honeymoon ends.

So where does the chemical reaction go wrong?, when you take the complexities of a man and woman and the fleshy battles we face every single day and then add all the baggage from each other’s past, BOOM! you have a chemical reaction that goes wrong and the breakdown begins. This is the result of married people who do not nurture their marriage with prayer and the Word of God, but more importantly, who do not make an effort to heal from their past in order to become healthy for themselves first and then for their spouse.

Where there is Sin, there is MERCY

In saying all of this, I believe there are certain situations where God will step in and allow His grace and strength for those who spouses have either turned from God or never knew Him in the first place.

Let me just stop for a moment and say this; the single people who are looking to be married, pray first and truly get to know who your future partner will be. This is the rest of your life. Never look at marriage as a “chance” event, it is a destiny decision that is, well, till death do you part. That means forever. It is not a decision you want to make lightly. I had people tell me the same and of course, I took it lightly and it cost me, my husband and our children unwanted pain.

Perfection is not the Goal..

Finding a spouse for life is not about finding the perfect person. That will never happen, we all know that. But if you or your spouse or “spouse to be” have pain from the past you have not worked out, it’s a must before you commit OR if you want to salvage your marriage that is crumbly.

If you have managed to get by and everything is fine in your marriage still but you have things you know are hurting you and you haven’t confronted it yet with yourself, God or your spouse, might I suggest dealing with it now before it shows up in a negative way. Unresolved hurt always has a way of revealing itself later in life at one point or another and when it does, it can be very painful. An untreated wound only gets worse.

Where it went wrong for Us

My husband and I both loved God and had a reverence for His Word, however, about 5 years into our marriage, selfish and pride set into our hearts towards each other and our marriage became a very cold and lonely place. Our past toxic relationships and toxic remedies were beginning to show up and those same self preservations we had all our lives took over our marriage and well, we became roommates…

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:43‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We went about family life for the next 10 years living like a roller coaster. I can’t say we didn’t have great times together, we definitely had some beautiful moments as a husband and wife and with our children, but our marriage was lacking the fruit that a content marriage requires and that God desires for us to have.

The Tides of Change

I am happy to say that heading into our 18th wedding anniversary we have DEVELOPED and come a long way. Anyone looking on the outside or even those people who know what we have been through would have perhaps thought we would not have made it this far.

Well, we still have a long way to go, however, healing and growth will be a continual thing in our marriage and this is the consequences of not learning how to deal with unresolved pain from our pasts and during our marriage. Side note: sweeping any difficult situation from your marriage under a carpet will never resolve anything, it will eventually show up & when it does, it’s painful. Communication is a whole other blog one day.

Family is always worth the fight

There truly are some things worth fighting for in life, to me, FAMILY is one of them. Today, it doesn’t seem the norm however. The family unit has taken its fair share of dismantling over the last decade. Just look at the statistics.

I have chose to fight, again and again and so has my husband. Have we both wanted to quit, yes, many times, even this past year to be honest. But, there is something deep down inside of me that says, “Billie, you have fought for many things in your life, why not continue to fight for something sacred?, something that will have generational effects long after your gone. Fight for what you love, your husband, your children, heck YOURSELF!”

Let’s be honest, divorce is not at the top of anyone’s “to-do list” and my heart goes out to those who gave it all they had and it didn’t survive. I’m not here to judge anyone’s walk. I’m speaking of my own experience. There are clearly situations where divorce is sadly the only option for very serious reasons.

I just want to encourage you that if you feel you have done all that you can do, dig maybe a little bit more deeper, to the part of you that you don’t even know existed. It’s called “fight”, I believe we all truly have it deep down, here is the key to the “fight”, it’s not yours, you can’t do it alone. You will absolutely need the strength that is supernatural that only comes from the Spirit of God. Remember the same spirit that joined you both together? That’s the same One that will keep you together and give you the ability to overcome the unbearable.

LOVE is a Process….not instantaneous

I can truly say that by the end of 2017, my husband and I are falling in love. You may ask, “what? it took 18 years to fall in love?, YES!, true love and real lasting love I believe is built on struggle. The meaning of relationship is, the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

We have always loved each other, but we were never “connected”. We are now becoming connected for the first time the way God intended, that is, connected to each other as one with God. The fruit is slowly growing and we are believing for a harvest.

I can honestly say today, without God, we would not be together today.

Our Fairy Tale & Unknown Certainties

My idea of finding the Prince Charming was not a bad idea, but it was totally unrealistic. Looking back I realize that it was both of us that contributed to the failures and the successes of our marriage and it will take the two of us to keep growing and staying connected. The KEY, keeping God at the centre where He belongs.

I cannot say what our future holds, none of us know that, but what we do know now is that we have lived a marriage without God and now we are living it with Him, and with Him at the centre and our willingness to stay humble there is no reason that our marriage shall not REMAIN.Strong in Him

What is Happening?Hormones & Havoc

Have you ever asked yourself, how can I feel like a loving kind tender woman wanting to save the world to a raging bull wanting to rip the head off of the idiot who just cut you off the road?

Or, perhaps you went to bed at night in a bed dry as a Sahara Desert and woke up startled by the cold pool of water you happen to be laying in from sweating all night.

Then your watching your husband who is lying under your car doing the oil change for you and all of sudden you start having thoughts of tearing off his clothes and acting out a Harlequin romance novel, then 30 minutes later you feel like knocking him out for eating your last handful of potatoes chips.

Sound familiar?

Well, if any of this resonates with you, You may just be entering the stages of perimenopause. Some of these symptoms you may experience during your monthly cycle as well, however they will become more intense depending on you and your genetic make up.

Learn to Let Go!

I have to tell you that from someone who suffered from crazy PMS her whole life, it’s got nothing on perimenopause.

If your like me and like to be in control, you better learn now how to let go! Or you will find that peace will be a rare commodity in your home.

And just when you think all is well and nothing can push that psycho button(you know y’all have it), BOOM! someone or something comes out of no where and takes you for a ride.

There are many ways to handle the unexpected when your hormones and body are going through these changes. We can either let them take over our emotions and live by our feelings,( and drive everybody nuts around us, including ourselves) OR, we can learn to start reasoning with ourselves and take responsibility for our actions and do the things necessary to help us walk through this “next stage” of our lives.

Understand, I am smack dab in the middle of this season of my life right now and I feel your pain ladies, however, just letting every emotion take over our minds will only lead you into more frustration in the end which causes more stress and leaves us in a tailspin, worse off than when we started. Learn to have those inner conversations and when you do lose it, de-brief with yourself, forgive yourself and move on.

It’s Serious

So as much as I joke or lighten up the topic of perimenopause, there is a also a serious side to this stage of life for many women. It is no joke.

Because of the drop in estrogen many women can begin to experience depression, anxiety & other mental health problems that can seriously affect every area of their lives, including, career, family, friendships and an overall healthy lifestyle.

a few statistics ………

Nearly 40% of women have mood swings associated with hormonal changes—from feelings of rage to intense moodiness, anxiety and even crying spells. Studies show that the risk of depression doubles when women enter perimenopause; and if you’ve suffered from PMS or postpartum depression, you may be even more prone.

Men are not Psychiatrists

Ladies, the men or boys in your life DO NOT understand women when it comes to hormones and the changes we go through. It’s a fact. They may know some of the science behind it, however, they will NEVER truly “understand” because their bodies will never go through the same changes. We need to lighten up on our men and stop making them feel like they can’t measure up when they drop the ball. They are going to annoy you on the worst days and it’s NOT intentional.

At the same time, if any of you men are reading this, NEVER say out out loud, “it must be her hormones” OR “she must be PMS-ing,”, if you have ever had the misfortune of saying that around a woman who was truly having just a rough day, you might have felt a little of her wrath and rightly so.

My suggestion of sharpening your communication with the men in your life is too teach them. Share some research you have done and pick a time when they are not distracted, you know, not while they are watching sports or reading their favourite magazine.

Give them the facts only, that’s all they want and thats all they can handle(I mean that respectfully), men cannot retain the amount of gigabytes our brains do ladies. And, you will also have to remind them often.

Finding Relief

There is hope for us women to reduce the problematic symptoms we face.

One place to start and the one I highly recommend is your nutrition. Every thing that goes into your body affects your body either positively OR negatively. This is one thing we do have CONTROL over.

Food is medicine as they say and whatever your feeding your body is how your body and mind will respond to the hormonal changes.

Here are just a few things you can do starting now to prepare & to help alleviate some of the perimenopausal symptoms;

  • Eat healthy whole foods
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Eat through out the day healthy snacks in between meals
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Socialize
  • Remind yourself the changes are normal, your not alone
  • Let your loved ones know when your not feeling well-COMMUNICATE
  • meditate
  • Take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed and remove yourself from the situation – I call it Take 5
  • Do something you enjoy..painting, shopping, dining out etc
  • Read a book
  • Start a new hobby
  • REST!! listen to your body
  • Deep breathing
  • Listen to music

Many of these tips will help with PMS symptoms as well.

Remember ladies, we have faced puberty, marriage, child birth, and who knows what else, and we will get through this too!

It’s OK to say NO

Seeking Affirmation

So what happens when you grow up not believing in yourself, unable to please those you adored and looked up to?

What did you do to earn the love and affirmation you so desperately were missing?, simple, you become an Overachiever and a People Pleaser, yearn for outside validation. Their “personal feeling of security and self-confidence is based on getting the approval of others,”

Now, let me be clear, I am by no means the fitting bill of an overachiever, but I certainly tried on many occasions over the years. Don’t get me wrong, being successful or achieving great things is awesome, as long as your doing it for the right reasons. In my case it wasn’t, I was looking for love and constant affirmation from those I loved the most, my parents. This unfortunately set me up for a lot of disappointment later in life.

The “People Pleaser”

Many of us who grow up in a home where love and affirmation were withheld(unintentionally), can become people pleasers. We continue into adulthood looking for someone to say, “great job!”, or “you are incredible”.

Words of affirmation-which happen to be one of my love languages(no coincidence there), can lift us up, give us hope, bring joy, satisfaction and even strength and encouragement.

It all sounds great right?, well, there can also be a downside to this kind of affirmation & love seeking. It can put us in a place of exhaustion, anxiety, disappointment, disillusionment, anger and resentment.

When we want to constantly hear words of affirmation by others, we put ourselves at risk. Constantly looking to please people for the sole reason of receiving affirmation is unhealthy, we should always want to do things for others because it brings us a sense of joy and satisfaction first, then for the benefit of the other person.

When we do things for others for words of affirmation first, not only will we be let down, but we will either end up resenting people and isolating ourselves from them or we will try even harder to gain their affirmation and love and become overachievers & people pleasers and eventually we will become burned out because we don’t know how to say NO.

The Why..

The first step for me in overcoming the “people pleasing” “affirmation seeking” habit was taking a good look at the “why”.

What made me want to hear people tell me how great a job I did or how great my essay was?

For me I learned several years ago after the death of my father why I longed for affirmation from others and why I was such a people pleaser.

My father was an amazing man and father. He provided all my needs and worked very very hard. However, my father never showed affection, either by words or physical touch. I found out the reason why shortly before he died, (which I will not get into out of respect for those involved), however, it later had consequences in my life.

I certainly appreciated all the wonderful things my dad provided, we were well taken care of don’t get me wrong, but the lack of love and affection from my father made me the people pleaser and overachiever I became.

Even to this day I catch myself doing things that really push me into a state of anxiety in order to please him and then I sadly realize, he is gone. I can no longer fight or earn affirmation from my father or hear him say, “great job my girl”

Learn to say NO…

I had the guilty conscious for years of saying no to people before I realized it was ok to say no.

When I learned why I was always trying to please people, I knew that saying “no” would be a part of my healing and freedom from overachieving and needing affirmation.

Over the last several years I have saved myself a lot of anxiety, anguish and resentment towards others by learning to say no, some call it boundaries. Whatever you call it, it’s learning to do things for others for the right reasons and for nothing in return. It’s also about finding balance and drawing a line in the sand.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with getting affirmation from others, in fact, it’s a necessary part of our humanity, it’s when we become solely dependant on it and our actions are the only precursor for it.

In saying all this, there is one more thing you must do in order to be set free from not being able to say no & “people pleasing”…..it is essential!

Receiving Gods Affirmation

This is the most important part of your freedom on learning to say no to others and “people pleasing”.

We NEED God’s affirmation most of all and first of all. If you do not or have not received God’s affirmations over your life and if you do not know who you are in Christ, you will have a very difficult time in finding freedom from the “needing” of affirmation and love from others.

When you realize just how much you mean to God and how much affirmation there is for you from Him in His Word, only then can you begin to enjoy your life and then you will do things for others out of a genuine heart and care for people and not just for words of affirmation.

I leave you with these affirmations to start with, 110 Affirmations from God’s Word

These are some of my favourites below

Smokey Chipotle Portobello Mushroom & Rice Smash Burger

Saturday Nights called for Burgers, Homemade Fries & good television

I can remember as a little girl looking forward to Saturday nights for a few reasons; one of them was the Bay City Rollers-Saturday Night was on TV , and of course the Muppets. It also meant usually homemade burgers and french fries OR steak and gravy. MI0002144939

I decided to toss up a different kind of Saturday Burger night in my house a week ago and it’s not even close to my momma’s burgers BUT,  it may just have been even better and the best part-It was VEGAN!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

So how many of you watched the Muppets on Saturday Nights? It was a regular addition to our Saturday night Tv shows. I loved watching them and even to this day if I’m having a rough go, I simply go to youtube and clips from some of my favourite episodes.  MuppetsI’ve tried to get my kids to watch them with me, however, the Muppets are just not stimulating enough for kids these days, we have Call of Duty and Zombies to thank for that. I really think we could all use a lot more humour in the world we live in today and the some of the old 70’s and 80’s shows could definitely bring us a few laughs.

What’s your Favourite Burger?

So, before my recent change over to plant-based and vegan choices, my favourite burger place to go was The Hambrgr in Hamilton(for all you non-vegans). Simply AH-MAZ-ING!!, my burger of choice from there?, the Pickleback, which I don’t think they have anymore. In fact I just went there a couple months and tried their Mushroom/Barley burger and I must say, it was really delicious!

I would say during my transition to plant-based that the hardest thing to give up was my burgers and I knew it wouldn’t be long until I came up with a recipe of my own for a vegan burger. I’m still experimenting, but the one I’m about to share was pretty tasty; there is however still much room for improvement. What is your favourite burger place?, both vegan and non-vegan.

Experimenting and Failing

So one thing I’m not afraid to tell you is that going plant based or vegan is a lot of trial and error. You have to be patient with the process and do a lot of research. You can NOT do vegan or plant-based on your own, you must connect with other vegans or plant-based people, you know? find your TRIBE! Going it alone will be like a co-pilot flying a plane without a pilot.

The best place I find my tribe? Instagram, that’s right, they are everywhere! One of my favourite is free_athelete incredible ideas and recipes. Another one is buddha_bowls and of course forks over knivesSo, if your thinking of transitioning for whatever reason or c conviction, I highly recommend not doing it alone. You MUST get the required, proper nutrition when cutting out certain foods. 🙂

I am now sharing my new burger recipe with you, experiment, tweak and make it your own!

Finally to the recipe;

Servings: 6 Burgers

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  •  3 teaspoons coconut palm sugar or 3 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp minced or jarred garlic
  • salt & papper to taste
  • 1 shallot chopped

Marinade 4 Portobello mushroom in this mix for 10 min. Then place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 25 min. (pour all marinade on mushrooms first)

Burger Smash Mix

  • cool mushrooms and chop up in chunks(set aside)
  • in your processor combine the following;
  • 2 chia eggs(1 tbsp chia seeds & 3 tbsp water soaked for 10 minutes) OR 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup GF flour
  • 1/2 cup panko or vegan bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Pulse all ingredients in your processor till sticky and clumping together. Add another cup of brown rice to mixture and minced fresh kale(optional)-1/2 cup.

Mix well and make your patties, place on a plate and refrigerate for at least an hour to get the best flavour.

Heat & grease your grill till water sizzles on it, place your patties on hot grill and immediately cover with lid. Cook each side for roughly 5 minutes.

Prepare your buns-I prefer brioche bunsproducts_gourmet-sandwich_briochburgers-buns

Top with your favourite toppings; I used caramelized onions, chipotle sauce(a lot) and a little mustard and some shredded marble cheddar on my boys burger.

Serve with homemade sweet potato fries or russet potato fries & ENJOY!!

Enjoy-life-today