Category Archives: Nourish

Women’s Rights, Human Respect

This election and a short conversation with a family member has got me wanting to share my opinion. The country was floored by Donald Trump’s “locker talk”, his racist comments, and his blatant disrespect for virtually all minorities. My heart is broken that America really made a man like that president. There’s more to this life than the pointless bickering, money, laws, and politics. We are all living on borrowed time. We should view one another with love no matter our religion, disability, skin color, sex, or income. We should all agree to disagree respectfully. We should always be humble and remember that all life is life. However, when I look at my Facebook feed or talk to (most) of my friends and family, I come to realize that they share the same negativity.

“‘Merica!”

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Green Tea Latte

I do love a plain cup of matcha, but sometimes I want a latte like from Starbucks. I’ve been experimenting and I’ve finally got it perfecto! It tastes just like a Starbucks Green Tea Latte from down the road. I wanted to share so I can give others the recipe easily. Here is what you will need:

  • Blender
  • Sauce pan, kettle, or something else to heat water in
  • About 1.5 tbsp Matcha Powder
  • 2/3 cup Milk (can be dairy free if you prefer)
  • 1 Heaping tbsp Coconut Oil
  • .5 – 1 tbsp Honey (optional, we use local to help with allergies)
  • About 1 and 1/3 cups Water

Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside. Add milk and other ingredients to the blender. Blend a little. Add hot water. Blend until smooth and frothy on top. If your coconut oil stays solid or separates immediately, blend more. Transfer to a cup and enjoy!

While I do not have time for a review of this book, I wanted to share it. I just finished it last week and really found it helpful. With new babies, a 2 year old, and school I simply could not follow the suggestion of doing it all in one go completely. However, the methods and tips Marie shares are some of the most simple but rewarding ways of tidying. I really enjoyed the writing style. I was left feeling like I had taken a course and gained a friend. Marie’s personality and humor made it hard to put down. Very happy nook recommended it for me.

Check it out here

The problem of being in between [plugging in or turning off]

siavoshb:

Technologically and socially, I feel like we’re in a very awkward place and time. It’s official that we can no longer live without our smartphones, our email, our snapchats, and facebooks. Yet we also hate ourselves for it. For the cost it imposes on our personal time, our family time, our time for personal reflection and focus, and our mental and physical health.

As a software developer, I love all of it but like many others feel that something is out of balance. I find myself drawn to pre-industrial times, crafts, nature, and a slower way of living. I often find myself being nostalgic for a childhood without push notifications and asynchronous communication. Yet I cannot give them up because they define my relationships, my industry, my hobbies—they enable them, make them possible and help them thrive.

I’m not alone. If we were forced to choose what is healthy, what is sustainable, and what is more meaningful, my peers and I would no doubt choose that which is real and natural instead of virtual and artificial.

I swing from deleting all my apps, to installing them all back plus more. I swing from feeling guilty to feeling indulgent in answering all my technological cravings. I’m a binge consumer of digital things. This is no doubt a problem of discipline, one must control their compulsions. Unplug, go for a walk. Sure, I’ve always said, but I am made like everyone else, from the same faulty organic processes.

We can play a prediction game: what will satisfy all these needs and eliminate the inner contradiction in me and in you? The ultimate end is to surrender to a virtual life, the end state is one of living in bits and wire; it’s the virtual reality that will be developed in the next twenty or thirty years. A virtual world where everything is perfect and everything is possible. In this world, there cannot be any resistance or guilt. A fully virtual life, ironically, could be the answer to all our banal and civilizational problems. I think that’s where we are going, and it will eliminate any last vestiges of our luddite past.

We are having a problem of adolescence—a problem of being in between. We know where we are going. We are going to where our nature is. We strive for consistency and cannot help ourselves until we achieve it.

It’s strange.

How we never have enough time for anything.

To read. To write. To sleep.

To run errands. To watch movies. To cook

To Relax. To see friends. To travel.

Until we find love.

For love is timeless & is not bound by schedule.

Eight things that help manage bipolar disorder

First off let me start by saying I obviously am not a licensed
psychologist of any kind. I saw a conversation on this photo
of Max Bemis and it made me want to share the top eight things that help me
manage my bipolar disorder.

I used to be completely out of control. In and out of the
hospital, on a bunch of different medications, self-medicating with drugs and
alcohol, and letting my life just swirl entirely out of control. I was screwing
my mind, not sleeping, giving into urges, and pushing myself toward psychosis
daily. I didn’t care if I lived or died, I just didn’t want to suffer any more.
I just wanted to forget about everything and let myself go. When I got pregnant
with my first child I realized I had to get myself under control. So I finally
started taking my mental health seriously. Here is a list of the top ten things
that helped me get my bipolar disorder under control and keep it that way.

1) Removing stressors – The biggest stressor for me (that is
within my control) is mess. I can’t stand clutter, I hate dirt, and I don’t
know how I lived so much of my life in untidy/unorganized/dirty places. I used
to get so overwhelmed by the amount of steps it would take to clean or
declutter that I just wouldn’t do it. Then the mess would stress me out and
every time I walked through my home I felt like pulling out my hair and ended
up sending my mood in a downward spiral. Once I had this revelation I buckled
down and spent a few months decluttering and working out a cleaning schedule
that would ensure mess stayed to an absolute minimum (until I hit the last
month of my pregnancy that is)! I would break each task into multiple smaller
steps, which brings me to number two…

2) Tracking
and making lists
 – By
making lists I am able to battle my apparently lapsing memory, my anxiety about
large tasks, and able to actually get things done. By tracking my habits,
symptoms, triggers, and moods I have been able to learn when and where I’m
headed in terms of my bipolar. Not only has it helped me learn how to better
manage my disorder, but it has helped me become more disciplined.

I used to keep a paper journal, electronic lists, and bits of
this information all over the place. As part of my getting organized focus last
year I started keeping all of my bipolar related stuff in a single book. I made
a binder for all other things I needed to track and lists, along with a daily
time-blocker and task list. This really helped me stay on top of things but I
ended up modifying my huge home/self/school/time management binder. I moved all
of the information to a single moleskine notebook, taped DIY dry-erase pages
into it, then realized that the unorganized layout was stressing me out. So I
searched YouTube for organization and scheduling ideas and found all of these
videos on ring-bound planners and knew it was perfect for what I needed.

3) Creative expression – My Filofax is one creative outlet, but
knitting was my savior. I’ve always loved crafting and creating. However, it
became something more when I got serious about my mental health. Knitting and
sewing became my two favorite pastimes. Keeping my hands busy and mind focused
on a task keeps my mind from thinking too much. The sense of accomplishment and
feeling of joy I get making something and giving it to someone really keeps me
in good spirits too. I used to feel like I was just wasting time when Joe and I
would sit down at the end of the day to watch Netflix together and wind down.
Now I knit almost every day. If I’m stressed or anxious I can just pick up my
needles and the action calms my body and mind down faster than any medication
ever did.

4) SLEEP and
other biological needs
 – I used to stay up
however late I wanted, smoke myself to cancer, do drugs, and consume virtually
no drink other than Mountain Dew and hot tea. I started making sure I got at
least eight hours of sleep, stopped smoking, stopped drinking as much soda,
started drinking at least six glasses of water a day, and began exercising five
days a week. I had been doing yoga for years and occasionally pilates. However,
I started adding some aerobics and cardio which really helped me. I began
looking at my body as a home rather than a garbage can. My goal was no longer
to have as much fun and disconnect as much as possible before I died, but to
tend and care for my body. The biggest thing for me was to stop putting artificial
drugs into my system, both pharmaceutical and recreational.

5) Weaning from medication –
I believe there is a time and place for medication, sometimes it IS needed for
a short period of time. However, I also believe that just dosing a person up
with tranquilizers in order to “help them” become okay for society is
not good. These powerful drugs that are given to people with mental illness
many times end up having a worse effect than the disorder. Their weight
changes, their self-image changes, and they end up being reliant on a
medication that they are building an immunity to meaning more, more, and more
will be administered until eventually they have to switch to something else.
For people with bipolar, the meds often make them gain weight. For people with
ADHD, it’s often the opposite. I personally think the focus should be on
learning to manage the illness, and medication should be a tool; not vice
versa.

6) Shoot for truth with myself and
others 
– I needed to face myself, be honest with myself, and shoot for
truth. I needed to be straight forward and honest with the people in my life. I
needed to stand up for myself and stop just accepting the way things were. I
needed to accept the fact that no relationship was going to turn out well for
me if I spent all of my heart and time focused on someone that was completely
out of my reach. By loving someone that would never love me back in the same
way I was destroying my romantic relationships. I had this idealistic idea of
who and what we were, was in denial about the true nature of things, and needed
to be truthful with myself about the whole situation. I needed to get my
runaway legs and straying eyes fixed on the person in front of me that I had
decided to spend the rest of my life with.

7) Becoming
a bit of a hermit
 – I
would stress out so much about other people, their problems, and their
addictions. I lived too close to much of my family and was always getting
dragged into their drama and beef with one another. I felt as though it was my
responsibility to mediate and fix things for the people I loved. Distancing
myself really helped with that. I also needed to cut ties with the people that
were unhealthy for me. Not that I felt like I was better than anyone, but some
friends were not good for what I was shooting for in life and needed to be let
go.

8) Facing my fears –
The song “Fear” by Blue October explains this 100%. All my life I had
been running from this pain in me, allowing it to hold me down, trying
everything I could to escape myself. I used to fall, now I get back up. I don’t
have to be afraid, fall apart, and let the damage consume me. I don’t have to
be afraid of getting better, or being happy, or letting go of the past. Really
the whole Sway album from Blue October sums up the whole last year of my life.
I just had to face my fears, stand back up, and start picking up the pieces of
me.

DIY Playdough Recipe

Marley and I made some play dough the other day and I thought I would share the recipe. I remember my parents making us homemade playdough as a kid but it was always so salty, smelled really funny, and wasn’t the same texture as actual playdough. This recipe turned out great and we will soon be making more colors!

You will need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • food coloring (optional)
  • vegetable glycerin (optional)

Instructions:

Put water on stove top to boil. Meanwhile, mix all dry ingredients and vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl. Add food coloring to water once boiling and pour about half of it into the bowl. Mix while adding small increments of the water until it becomes a combined, sticky dough. Add glycerin, mix, and allow to set to cool. The glycerin helps prevent sticky while adding some shine.

Once cooled knead the dough for at least 4-5 minutes. Do not skimp on this part as it is the most important part of the process! Just keep kneading until it is the right consistency. If you find the dough is still sticky you’ve added just a hair too much water. Add a tiny bit more flour and continue kneading. Once it is the perfect consistency it’s ready for play! Store in an air-tight container for up to six months. We store ours in a ziplock bag and keep it in the pantry. Be sure to rinse hands after play, as the flour can leave a dry texture behind. It is also a good idea to wash hands before play to prevent bacteria and dirt from getting into the playdough; just so it lasts longer. Enjoy!

DIY All Natural Deodorant

We all know coconut oil is useful for many things. One of the most popular uses in our home is making deodorant with it. Here is a video of the process. The recipe is as follows:

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 4/5 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 10-13 drops essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree oil

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave or stovetop then pour into a mixing bowl. Add powder ingredients and mix well. Add other oils, mix, transfer to jar or dish with a lid (I use a heart jewelry dish), and toss in the freezer for an hour or so. Allow to set overnight before use.

Application: This is a firm mix (unless really warm), scrape finger across to get a dime-sized amount. Hold to arm pit for a moment to allow to melt a little then rub in. This does not clog your pores, you WILL sweat. It just kills the odor-causing bacteria that thrives in sweaty areas. If being very active or changing clothes through the day, may need to re-apply.

Henna for Hair

I first used henna on my hair when I was 17 years old and really loved it. Then I let my hair go back to it’s natural light brown color. Then I went through a dark hair stage (another of many), because I wanted something bold but my best friend had red hair at the time. When I found out I was pregnant I did not want to continue to use chemical dye (even ammonia-free) on my hair. I went back to my natural and ordered some henna online. I searched and searched trying to find the perfect henna for hair recipe out there. I wanted to have my splish-splash recipe somewhere that I can access it from anywhere so I am posting it here. My favorite henna is Jamila, I highly recommend it! It is great quality and so, so cheap!

Here is my henna recipe:
  • ½ tbsp ground cloves
  • ½ tbsp beet root powder
  • An empty tea bag
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup water (almost boiling)
  • Red tea bag (I used cinnamon apple spice)
  • Black tea bag (I used Twinning’s Irish breakfast tea which is my absolute favorite!)
  • 100 grams henna powder
  • Gloves and dye brush(optional but recommended)
  • Shower cap or other plastic head cover
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Foil
I mixed the full 100 grams to ensure that I got all of my shoulder-length (just) hair for the first session. I had a great deal left over. Next time I will be halving this recipe for sure!
I put my water on to heat up first, then juiced (and strained) my lemon. I then filled my empty cloth tea bag with the beet root powder and cloves (great mix if you want to replicate the color of blood! Just wait until you squeeze the bag out). You can brew your red/black/cloves/beet tea (10 minutes) in the pot, a tea pot, or a measuring cup. Make sure not to add it to the henna until it has cooled enough that you are not scolded when you put your finger in. Lastly, pour your henna powder into your bowl, add the lemon juice, and add the tea. Mix it up! You want it to be the consistency of mashed potatoes right now; you will adjust the final texture later. Cover the bowl with foil and let sit on top of the fridge (or another warm place) and forget about it for 12-36 hours. AT LEAST 12!! I waited about 30 hours before applying it to my hair.
When you have the time for your henna hair ritual (set aside a good 4-5 hours) go ahead and stir the mix up again. Now you want the consistency of yogurt. I did not have to add anything else to mine, but if yours is too thick you can add more tea, lemon juice, or even apple cider vinegar. There are three rules I follow when applying henna to my hair: 1) wear gloves when applying AND rinsing, 2) apply IN THE BATHTUB, and 3) apply with a dye brush. With regular hair dye I just stand in my bath room and rinse without gloves; henna is NOT normal hair dye.
Now rub some Vaseline on your ears, forehead, neck, face, and pretty new pink silicone plugs you don’t want to turn red. Clip the top half of your hair up, take a seat with a mirror in your tub, and start slathering the brown earthy paste on your hair. I start at my roots then squish and squeeze it into the strands of hair. When your whole head is done apply a shower cap and go do some homework, play some video games, or read for a few hours. I left mine in for just over 3.5 hours. Rinse, condition with a TINY bit of conditioner, and clean up the mess. Boom, you now have beautiful red hair.