LoveBites: 2 Easy Ways to Slow Down

“Sometimes you need to slow down to eventually go faster.” ~Robin Sharma

How do you slow down? What does that look like? When was the last time you actually did?

If it’s been a while, here are a couple of ways you can try to slow down today:

Start with the breath. Check in on your breathing. Is it shallow, quick, constricted, high in the chest? Sit comfortably. Try drawing the breath long and down into the bottom of your belly. Place your hand on your belly and breathe to expand from the bottom of the belly up. Drop your shoulders and exhale slowly, pulling the belly back to the spine as the breath pushes out, again from the bottom up. Repeat 7-8 times or for about a minute. Deep breathing helps tap into the nervous system and promote relaxation.

Check in on chewing. Do you tend to inhale food, rush through to do something else, chew-chew-swallow without really savouring or thinking about the food? Take a bite. Count how many times you can keep chewing before the instinct to swallow actually kicks in. For many that’s about 30 times. With your next bite chew that many times and enjoy the flavours in the food. Set down the fork between bites and even close your eyes for a moment. Chewing slowly and thoroughly helps activate digestion from the mouth down and promotes feeling full.

Even if you can slow nothing else down today, checking on breathing and chewing at least at meal times can still make a big difference in stress and energy levels throughout the day, which can translate to better moods and fewer cravings as the day goes on.

Give it a try!

[Recipe Post] Lion’s Mane Brain Power Slushy

Who loves lion’s mane? This girl!

I’m excited to try this drink mix from Botanica Health! Have you tried it?

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Lion’s mane is a mushroom that’s considered nootropic – great for brain function. It may help boost focus and concentration, and may even help with nerve healing! I love it for heavy work days when I know I need to be on point.

Try this combo as an afternoon pick-me-up for your brain:

• 1 cup frozen strawberries
• 1 serving lion’s mane tea mix
• 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (to your liking)
• 2 sprigs fresh mint leaves OR 1 serving mint matcha tea powder
• 1½ cups water

Blend and enjoy. Using more frozen strawberries creates a more slushy consistency. Alternatively, shake up the lion’s mane with the water, then add all the other ingredients to steep as a “spa water”. I love having the chia in there for a little boost in protein and omegas to give this low-sugar drink even more balance.

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Refreshing! Do you find you need a pick-me-up in the afternoon? What do you usually go for?

LoveBites: Try Approving of Yourself

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~Louise Hay

Not sure where to start? Try remembering the best compliments you’ve ever received. Visualize what it was like when it was said to you.

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Now, if you downplayed or rejected it (“it was nothing” or “no I don’t” or “you’re just saying that”) at the time, or said anything along the lines of “thanks, BUT”… change the script. Imagine genuinely thanking that person for that compliment without taking anything away from it (“thanks, it was/I do/I am!”).

Now look yourself in the eye and repeat that compliment back to yourself.

Now imagine actively thinking that way about yourself, without waiting for someone else to tell you. “This outfit looks great on me. My eyes are stunning. I’m getting so strong. I rocked that. I have so many great ideas.”

You’ve got this!

LoveBites: I am the Storm

“I AM THE STORM.”

It’s so easy to get washed away within a vortex of doubt, anxiety, self-sabotage, worry that things just aren’t good enough. Looks, health, career, relationships – anything that feels like it’s bearing down on you, maybe even tearing you apart.

Change the perspective. Be the storm. Tear that shit up yourself. Get it done.

What does that look like in real terms?

Get your goal planner out. Write it down. Block out distractions and detractors. Show up even when you think you’re not feeling it. Strike one task down out of your path at a time, then bring on the next.

When you feel burnt out under your own fire take breaks without apology. Hydrate and get back to real food. Get some love from your friends, your partner, your pets. Stretch. Breathe. REVISE. Write some more.

Then get back on it.

You’ve got this.

LoveBites: Take Care of Yourself!

So often, I get wrapped up in taking care of other people, animals, projects… but not myself. “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” I say, but my own cup runs low. From time to time it helps to remind myself to refill! Here’s how you can refill your cup too: Continue reading “LoveBites: Take Care of Yourself!”

LoveBites: 3 Ways to Temper the Holiday Madness

Let’s get real. The holiday season is in full swing. We’re getting swept up in parties, gift-giving, family time, and of course potlucks and holiday feast mode.

Not to mention if you’re the one organizing and hosting and making the food and in charge of the holiday gift budget ON TOP of all that other everyday stuff you still have to get done. <flailing both hands in the air>

So believe me, I understand if your needs have gotten bumped down a few notches in your priority list Continue reading “LoveBites: 3 Ways to Temper the Holiday Madness”

[Recipe Post] Lower Cortisol with Dessert? Yes Please!

STRESS!!!

Its causes are absolutely everywhere. Would you agree?

Our natural “fight or flight” stress response is supposed to help us escape injury or death in an emergency and then return to normal after we’ve, well, fought or flew. But, in our society, with stressors basically ever-present – it becomes a long-term reaction. It becomes chronic.

You might already be familiar with the main stress hormone, called “cortisol.”  It’s released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s also naturally high in the morning to get you going, and slowly fades during the day so you can sleep.

Now did you know that too-high levels of cortisol are associated with belly fat, poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even lowers your immunity?

Do you experience any of these? Keep reading – I have a list of foods, nutrients, and lifestyle recommendations to help you lower this stress hormone naturally! Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Lower Cortisol with Dessert? Yes Please!”

[Recipe Post] Cafe-Style Summer Drinks, without the Cafe Lines and Name Typos

With the warmer weather comes patio season, and that often intertwines with frosty cafe beverages with or without caffeine. While I am no stranger to these cafe offerings (especially on a lovely day out or a little walk amongst the shops), it does get pricey to buy one each time. Not to mention the amount of wasteful packaging that might accumulate in your bins, if you’re like us and try to remember to bring a tumbler but don’t always manage (it’s a work in progress).

My classic ice-cold bev tip for when you want that cafe taste but not the expense or the trash OR the questionable additives:

Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Cafe-Style Summer Drinks, without the Cafe Lines and Name Typos”

[Recipe Post] Nostalgic (and Dairy-Free!) Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

I have been dairy-free for over 10 years. Before I broke up with milk products, for the sake of animals as well as my skin and immune system, a favourite food while living at home and eventually on my own was cream of mushroom soup.

You know the kind – condensed and canned, that you need to add however much milk to it to make it “edible”. (And not remotely healthy.)

But I loved it. Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Nostalgic (and Dairy-Free!) Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup”