Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

Obsession and Compulsion Strike Again!

As most of you know, I tend to be a bit obsessive/compulsive.  I am especially bad when I’m overstressed, tired, and when it comes to parenting.  I fell asleep on a Friday night after a long week while watching a movie with Sidney.  Eek!  I woke up still on the couch at 4 am and she had put herself to bed.  To most, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but for me, it was a catastrophe.  The next morning, crying my eyes, out to Tim;  I declared that I was the worst mother ever.  Sidney was going to ruin her kids because I was a failure parent;  she was headed to delinquency as an unloved preteen; and I would die without having anyone to pluck the black hairs off my chin  in the nursing home.   He cracked up and called me a nutjob.  “She’s 12, whats the big deal?”  Great!  World’s worst mom and nutjob wife who was obviously unloved because he clearly didn’t recognize the anguish I was experiencing.

Here is a little trick I have recently learned that has really changed my life (thank you Kim!)

She said, “When you walk into the grocery store with baby puke on your shirt, bunny slippers  on and your hair  a mess;  What crosses your mind when see  a patient of yours in Aisle 10?”  I replied, I think SHIT, I gotta get outta here because if they see me they are going to think I am either psychotic or strung out on heroin!

Then she told me about cognitive distortions.  When people with obsessive compulsive traits (I would say all mom’s) get stressed out and overwhelmed, we tend to distort our thinking and become paranoid.  Well I didn’t know what the heck that meant so I had to have her dumb it down.

Black and White Thinking –if your performance falls short of perfection, you think you are a total failure

Catastrophizing Things–exaggerating the importance of something

Mind Reading–arbitrarily concluding that someone is reacting negatively to you

So my grocery scenario proved I was distorting the reality.  I was thinking that if someone looked disheveled, they were obviously not ok.  I took my disastrous appearance and translated it to “psychotic and on drugs.”  Lastly, I assumed that the patient even cared what I looked like!  They were probably more worried about moving their candy bars to the bottom of the cart so I couldn’t see their unhealthy choices.

So I went back and rethought my meltdown about being a worthless parent.  Not tucking my 12yo into bed one night did not automatically make me a bad mom.  It didn’t  mean she was going to make bad choices.   Actually,  she declared me Best Mom Ever for letting her stay up so late!!!  And oops, sorry Tim, I guess the 2 hour lecture on how you didn’t love me was a little extreme considering I am a nutjob.

Thank God because I just plucked a black chin hair!

For more information on Cognitive Distortions–Read “The Feeling Good Handbook” by David Burns.  And when your next negative emotion enters your mind–ask yourself to rethink the reality of it.  Trust me, I do it on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

Posted on by Angela in Family, Humor, Mind, Spirit, Uncategorized 2 Comments

The Myth of Discipline

The Myth Of Discipline

I tried taking a little different approach this week because this article was too good to pass up. I received this from a good friend.(Thanks Ben) Written by world renown strength and condition guru Charles Poliquin, this article hits on the essential points of discipline, priorities, and self-esteem. Give this a quick read for some inspiration in choosing your next meal or getting after your next workout.

“There is no such thing as discipline. There is only love. Love is the most powerful creative force in the universe. You are the result of what you love most. You either love finely etched muscular abs more than donuts or you love donuts more than wash board abs you could do your laundry on. It is as simple as that. Don’t beat yourself up that you have no discipline or further drown yourself in a sea of refined carbs. Admit that you like crappy food more than you love strength. Or ask yourself this, what do you really love? Self-esteem is the reflection of self-judgment. One of the best ways to raise self-esteem is to make truly loving choices that lead to increased strength of body and mind. For example, if you truly love yourself in the gym, you choose the full squat with chains over the leg extension machine. At the restaurant, if you truly love yourself, you pass on the heavenly smelling basket of bread and creamy butter, and ask for some more limes for the water. Limes alkalize your body which in turn helps your bones, muscles and your ability to deal with stress.

When you are faced with difficult choices, ask yourself, in context of course, what would a loving expert recommend? For example, when working chest, would a loving strength coach recommend the pec deck, or full range dumbbell presses. When choosing desserts, would the loving nutritionist recommend a bowl of berries or the triple-decker brownie submerged under melting vanilla ice cream.

How to free yourself from the outdated concept of discipline:

  1. Accept that all your choices are reflections of what you truly love.
  2. Love is the greatest creative force of the Universe. Use it wisely.
  3. Choose to love yourself more than external things.
  4. Treating yourself well accelerates the growth of your self-esteem.
  5. When people comment on your results and say things like “Wow you have a lot discipline” answer “No, I just make loving choices for myself”. Reinforcing your own positive behavior will help you grow in strength.
  6. What you appreciate appreciates. Whenever you make a truly loving choice, say to yourself ‘Thank you for taking care of me in a loving way”. The more you talk to yourself like a loving parent, the faster you will grow. By documenting and rewarding your successes, they will grow in magnitude and frequency. Whenever I meet a goal, I reward myself with positive things like a vacation or a new piece of equipment. When I get something better, I make the choice of giving away the old piece to someone who will appreciate it. Living a clutter free life allows for more growth.
  7. The more you believe in yourself, the more objectively you will be able to take the advice of authority figures.
There is an old Hindu saying: “The World is as we are”. Are you tired of seeing the condition of the world around you? Start by changing yourself- be the change you want to see in the world.
 
 
Kevin Deeth is a Notre Dame graduate with a degree in business/marketing who is currently playing professional hockey in Stavanger, Norway.  He is also an ISSA certified personal trainer.  I would like thank Kevin for his guest post!  He is inspirational to us all. 
Posted on by Angela in Guest Blog, Uncategorized Leave a comment

For Joe and my superhero Amy

Lucy and Ethel or The Lone Ranger and Tonto, never mind the gender…the common denominator is simple: 100% True Friendship. Funny how in life we all can relate to side kicks. My ‘side kick’ happened to be my best friend Joe Griffith : aka “Superman Joey”. Joe was my very best friend in the whole world. I don’t even think our family and friends really understood just how much time we spent together. We could hang out all day and night … return home and still talk for endless hours on the phone till the wee hours of the morning. Joe was my confident,my partner in crime, my side kick Superhero. I knew no matter what circumstance he would be there for me. He was funny,caring, and so full of life. Joe was a devoted son,brother, and friend who volunteered in the community. We shared the love of film,art, and cooking together. He had this gap between his teeth that always bothered him greatly, but to me- it was the one thing that set him apart. It brought out his radiant smile and warm deep brown eyes. He had good morals, strong character, and loved God. When he smiled you could feel his heart full of joy and love. We laughed ,cried , and did just about everything together until I got the call one night that would change my life forever. The phone call that ended up making me a stronger woman in the fight for suicide prevention and awareness. I was supposed to go walking with Joe hours before he took his life. He left me a voice mail asking to do dinner later instead of a walk. I often wonder what if I would of been there to intercept that call – would our conversation at that dinner or on that initial walk made a difference? Why or how did I (his best friend) not see any signs of depression or anxiety? What did I do wrong? Was it my fault? It has been 3 years since Joe’s death – I still find myself asking these questions at times but know I will never have an anwser. I also know I had no control of Joe’s actions. I know survivors of suicide must face and ask these same questions. I can understand that deep pit in their stomach the moment when they hear their loved one is no longer with them. It is in that moment of silence and emptiness we die a little inside ourselves too. We feel empty … our loved one and “sidekick” is gone, forever gone and it is a very lonely feeling that attacks our entire body. After Joe’s death I found a letter I had never read before that he wrote to me. I found it one day in a stack of my favorite dvd’s we had been going through before his death and knew it was his way of telling me he loved me, he was with God…and he was okay. People often told us we were like Superman and Wonder Woman – attatched hip to hip trying to make a difference somehow with or without capes in the community. Whenever I was working on a charity event, I could always count on Joe being my number one supporter. He would participate in walks or help me get wonderful donations. I knew after reading the letter, there were many Superman Joey’s out there in the world who brought joy and love to their friends and family. After Joe’s death I realized my own friends became distant and the stigma of Joe’s suicide was a major part of the battle. I registered for my first Out Of The Darkness Walk and realized there were other survivors who understood exactly what I had been going through. A core group of Joe’s friends walked the first year. It was just what we all needed to get through his tragic death. It opened my eyes to be stronger and understand more the importance of suicide awareness and prevention. Unfortunately, the following year I could not find anyone to walk with me. Friends and family members simply just could not make it. I was stunned and a bit numb. Why wouldn’t anyone take time out to walk for someone who showed so much love to them..or just walk in support for such a huge loss? I heard friends were still angry at Joe and some were ashamed to be associated with suicide. Could it really be because of the stigma associated with suicide? I decided to volunteer and run the merchandise booth that year even if it meant going by myself. I felt so alone that day. I pretty much knew no one, had a huge pit in my stomach, and was missing my best friend terribly. I remember I walked up to the registration tent and was greeted with much love and support from other volunteers and staff. I knew then I was right where God wanted me to be. They say God works in mysterious ways – well he does. I was working the merchandising booth when a survivor came up to me to ask if I had seen the Superman and Wonder Woman? I had no idea what they were talking about and all of a sudden in the middle of a crowd of hundreds I see a red cape flying in the wind. I think to myself – “Out of ALL of the Superheroes …My Superman Joey is here at this walk – Unbelieveable!” I made my way to the people who were dressed in the superhero costumes and explained my situation. Within minutes the man dressed as Superman immediately grabbed and hugged me as he shouted he was walking in honor of Supermen Joey today! Was this real? Was this a sign? It was then at that very moment when I felt that Joe was there in spirit. I was not alone anymore.That feeling of spirit was spread all around the walk that day and it was as if I could feel other survivors celebrating their own loved ones too. Their loved ones may not have been there physically but they were living within us each in our own special ways. In every word, in every song, in everything God creates… their spirits live on. I ended up not being alone that year after all, it was then that I wanted to make sure no one should have to ever walk alone. This year I am very proud to be a committee member of the walk .Our local AFSP Indiana Chapter is also going to have volunteers as ambassadors at The Out Of The Darkness Walk for those who may not have anyone to walk with. I never imagined I would be so passionate and such an advocate for a cause that still has such a strong fight and stigma. I am not a Wonder Woman or a superhero by any means nor was Joe. We were just two best friends, two side kicks who will always have a forever bond and now a message. The message is simple – we all need to keep educating. AFSP has paved the way for us all to speak openly and honestly about suicide prevention and awareness. I lost my best friend, my side kick , my own Superhero to this horrible illness. I never saw the signs. I never dreamed this would happen to me. Most importantly, I never thought this would of happened to Joe. I miss his touch, I miss his voice, I miss that silly gap between his teeth that made his smile so bright. The message is simple: The more we educate others – the more we will continue to make a difference. We must remember that every walk does matter …every voice does speak volumes …and every minute counts.

Posted on by Angela in Benevolence, Family, Spirit, Suicide, Uncategorized Leave a comment

“It’s A Boy”

Last week, much to my dismay, my friend was successful in taking my flabby winter thighs to the gym for a pilates class.  While doing some breathing exercise in the birthing position, she yelps out “It’s A Boy!”  All eyes in the class went immediately to us and I was all to ashamed that I was unable to do 1 sit-up without rolling to the side for a push.  I just had a baby, give me a break!  Oops!  That was four years ago.   Okay no more excuses.  My friend Bryan offered to post a little advice for those of use breaking back into the exercise routine:

 

 

“Literally every system in our bodies is healthier with regular exercise.  We should strive to get at least 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise every day.  Other than smoking or other substance abuse, leading a sedentary life is the most unhealthy thing you can do.  If that’s not enough incentive, to reduce healthcare costs many employers are creating financial motivation for people to get active, hitting people in their wallets if they refuse to make exercise a priority.

So, keep some things in mind as you begin to exercise routinely:

 

To burn fat from around the midsection or hips, do NOT focus on exercises that “target” those particular areas…it doesn’t work that way.  Working those muscles is good but they will still be covered up by the fat, so have realistic expectations.  Fat is stored calories; get rid of it by doing ANY exercises that burn calories effectively.

 

Perhaps the best exercise for the average person is not running, but instead the stairclimber, especially taking 2 steps at a time.  It combines an excellent cardiovascular workout while building leg muscle (by having to work against gravity) with very low impact and joint stress.  Building muscle helps the body burn more fat 24 hrs/day, and helps maintain strength and therefore independence with aging.  As adults we are getting weaker every day unless we are actively working to build muscle.  Running will burn calories, but it is hard on many joints and is more likely to break down muscle than to build it.

 

Focus on weight-bearing exercises with functional movements, promoting balance and helping prevent osteoporosis.  Core strength is extremely important for all of us for many reasons.  Emphasize the eccentric (muscle lengthening) phase of any type of weight lifting by taking about 4-5 times as long to lower the weight as to lift it.  This gives even better results with using less weight, reducing injuries and actually stimulating tendon healing.  Keep in mind that stretching right before exercise has consistently been shown NOT to prevent injuries.  A gradual warmup is much more important, and then stretch either during or after your workout when it is much more effective.”

 

 

Bryan R. Mayol, MD

Sports Medicine

Indiana University Health Physicians, Indianapolis

Posted on by Angela in Guest Blog, Uncategorized Leave a comment

Olivia’s Story

Sidney came home from school upset because the kids call her “Reverse Oreo”.  Apparently she is deemed white on the outside but black inside.  Is that a compliment or an insult?  It amazes me that with the nation’s heightened awareness of bullying, things haven’t changed since I was in middle school in the dark ages.  I remember walking into school, being devastated to find a picture of a “Puffer Fish”  plastered to my locker , and the subtle curse, “Fatty Cheeks!” written in bold letters.  I can still feel that wave of heat come over me when a picture of a puffer fish pops up while I’m reading to my 4 yr old.  Those words stick with people at such a naive age.  We want to believe that things are good in the world.  Teasing words hauntingly introduce reality to us all to prematurely.  Sidney’s lucky.  Her barbie doll, blond haired, blue eyed, socially acceptable appearance will allow her to fly under the radar of scrutiny.   Imagine how we socially challenged victims can handle this blind criticism?  It takes me back again to Ciara’s 18yo revelation.  “You can’t judge someone if you haven’t heard their story—-

Here is Olivia’s

Olivia Rusk is a vivacious fifteen year old honor student in Fisher, IN.   She happens to be completely bald ?  She was diagnosed with a medical condition called alopecia as a toddler.  On an epic morning at age 8, she shed her custom wig, bravely marched into third grade and announced she was going to be herself, BALD.  From that day forward, Olivia has refused to hide her beauty by trying to look like everyone else. Owning her disease has given Olivia a powerful platform; she won’t let it define her. Her bravery, integrity, and charisma help her share her story, Olivia launched lecture programs inspiring thousands of teens in schools, churches and other organizations through out Central Indiana. An anti-bullying stance and education on suicide prevention allows Olivia to exemplify to teen audiences that “You Can Be Great”, whatever your challenges might be.

I have fortunately had the opportunity to get to know Olivia.  I can’t begin to describe my first impression of this exceptional girl.  Being with her was like being in the presence of Mother Teresa, Ghandi or a future MLK.   This young woman will make a difference.  She   takes ownership in cultivating her own vital spirit.  We need more Olivia’s in the world.  If only we could think like eight year olds who have been told “You is smart, you is kind, you is important”

The best way to change the world is to change yourself…..

Read more about Olivia Rusk and Olivia’s cause at www.oliviascause.org .   Her book , “Just Your Average Teenager Who Happens to be Bald,”  is now available online at her website.

 
Posted on by Angela in Uncategorized 1 Comment

Man in the Mirror

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

~ Steve Jobs

I saw a patient in pain today– having been her doctor for the last 6 years.  I have watched her downward spiral into depression and chronic pain. My empathy overwhelmed me and I had her come into the office today for my form of a “Come to Jesus” intervention. Now in retrospect,  I feel my conversation was dead on arrival.
I’ve met many a soul that are so beaten down by the things that are out of their control, that they have given up and lost the insight into the situation. I’ve been there more times than I care to remember. Somehow, I have managed to pull myself out of the vicious cycle of pity and sef despair. I’m embarrassed to admit that the process has taken way too long to evolve in the past. Usually, a song, a person, or a self reflective moment in a state of fatigue has been the eye opener. I’m not sure she heard anything I said today, but I pray that she will trust that there are angels on earth, placed here to help us gain insight. God only knows that I’m no angel.  I do however have kindness as my king. On the opposite hand, I then saw a patient that is neglecting her own health out of fear and self abuse. She did hear my message thankfully.  She is someone who just needs to believe that there are some people in the world who still care. Every inkling of her being wants to pursue her dreams in lack of ignorant judgement. A very wise soul (my daughter, Ciara) recently told me a message that I will forever try to remember and maintain.  “I’ve learned that you can’t ever judge or shut someone out of your life until you have taken the time to hear their story. Sage like words from an 18 year old girl.   If you don’t want to be judged, then judge others less. We all say we don’t judge but I’m not sure that is really true. I am starting with the man in the mirror, because the best way to reboot your life and change the fallacy in the world is to change yourself.

Posted on by Angela in Mind, Spirit Leave a comment