Ted Talk Friday: Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves?

This talk takes a new perspective on health. We prioritize the newest technologies, search for novel treatments, and look for a pill to cure all ills. This means we overlook the power we all hold within ourselves–the power of healing. There are so many cases where patients survive against all odds. I stand firmly with scientific research, the scientific method, and well-designed studies, but we so often do not take our own bodies’ abilities seriously.

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What experiences have you had with the placebo effect? Do you agree?

Decadent PB Banana Bread (GF, Dairy-Free Option) 

I have been a bit stressed in the past few weeks as I anticipated my big cross country move. As the days dwindled, what did I do? No, not pack.

I baked and cooked endlessly! Luckily, this resulted in some new recipes and tasty treats, but I can’t say it was helpful for getting my suitcases packed…


I had three very ripe bananas sitting on the counter so I decided to go with a simple banana bread option.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3c Better Body Foods PB Fit
  • 1/3c Better Body Foods coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Stevia, to taste
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/3c Chocolate Chips (choose Dairy Free if you want; Lily’s Sweets makes great vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3c chocolate peanut butter (I used Wild Friends–use another type if you’re going the dairy free route)


1) Preheat oven to 325.
2) In a large bowl, combine bananas, egg, and vanilla.
3) Add in coconut flour, PB Fit, baking powder, and a dash of cinnamon.
4) Stir mixture until combined.
5) Add stevia to taste.
6) Stir in chocolate chips.
7) Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.
8) Swirl chocolate peanut butter on top of loaf for extra peanut butter flavor!
9) Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is slightly browned and firm to the touch. The edges of the bread should begin pulling away as well.


10) Let loaf sit in pan for 10-15 minutes.
11) Let cool on a baking rack.
12) Enjoy!

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Do you always make the same banana bread recipe? Is peanut butter a must for you?

Ted Talk Friday: What I learned from 100 days of rejection 

I absolutely adore this hilarious Ted Talk…Jia Jiang has the best delivery for this lesson on rejection. We all face rejection, but we don’t often discuss it due to shame (check out Brené Brown’s talk to learn more about this) or discomfort. It really makes you stop and think about the fear of rejection and how it really holds us back. It doesn’t protect us the way we often pretend it does.

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How do you handle rejection?

Smoky Seasonal Veggie-packed Rice (GF, Dairy-Free) 

I was craving something smoky, creamy, and different the other night. I had gone to the farmer’s market earlier that day and found some wonderful yellow zucchini that I was dying to use.
I started out with the sauce and the meal quickly evolved from there.


Ingredients:
3 tbsp almond milk
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1 packet NuNaturals stevia
1 tsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
Dash salt
3-4 threads Saffron
1/2 tsp Paprika
Salt, to taste
1/2 Portabello Mushroom, chopped
1/2c Yellow zucchini, chopped
Miracle rice, prepared according to directions on the bag

Directions:

1) In a small sauce pan, combine almond milk, liquid smoke, liquid aminos, stevia, saffron, paprika and let simmer.

2) Chop zucchini and portobello mushroom into thin slices. Set aside.

3) Prepare miracle rice according to the directions on the bag. Stir sauce mixture occasionally as it begins to thicken at a slow simmer.

4) Add chopped zucchini and mushroom to the sauce, turn up the heat to medium-low.


5) Continue stirring mixture and after vegetables are nearly cooked, add in miracle rice.

6) Stir mixture well. Add a dash of almond milk and liquid aminos to taste if you need more liquid (be sure to add more liquid slowly).

7) Enjoy!

I’m sure this dish would be delicious with a wide variety of vegetables. I also thought of adding shrimp for an extra kick of protein. If you want to try Miracle Noodle, use code HANNAHJULY for a discount!

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Do you go to local farmer’s markets? What inspires your dishes?

Ted Talk Friday: What I learned from 100 days of rejection 

After working at a public school’s educational summer program, I was appalled by the meals children received. The breakfast consisted of a small container of milk, sugar-laced cereal (frosted flakes or fruit loops), and apple sauce. This left the kids of a short sugar high, with a crash only an hour or so later. Lunch was not much better. There was not a fruit or vegetable in sight, except for the chopped pieces of broccoli stems that the kids would throw away (I don’t blame them, I wouldn’t call broccoli stems kid-friendly!). This talk pinpoints the importance of nutrition on both performance and development. I hope you enjoy!

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Do you remember your childhood lunches? Were they healthy?

Some Problems with Self-Care

I think we forget that self-care is a privilege. A mentor at school (shout out to the wonderful staff at Emory’s Office of Health Promotion!) brought up this idea and it has really stuck with me. So what does it mean to call self-care a privilege? It is a privilege for many reasons. The common idea of self-care includes a pint of ice cream, dark chocolate, bubble baths, Netflix binges, and taking “time off.” But what if you can’t take time off? What if you can’t…

  1. afford Netflix
  2. hire a babysitter
  3. take a night off work
  4. escape the anxiety of financial strain, stigma, or struggle

This make self-care a privilege, and it is a privilege we tend to flaunt without a second thought. I know I am guilty of this….

#pintparty anyone?

While “self-care is not selfish” is one of my favorite mantras, a more accessible concept, in my opinion, is self-compassion. Self-compassion, as conceptualized by Dr. Kristin Neff, is treating yourself as you would treat a good friend–with kindness, sympathy, and forgiveness. Everyone is capable and has the resources to practice self-compassion.

While I have taken self-care for granted, I will begin to think more deeply about how I encourage self-care practices. I am so grateful that I have the means to indulge in a whole pint of ice cream, take a night off, or take a special, highly priced yoga class to relax every once in a while.

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Sometimes I struggle to practice self-care because I am the more anxious type and struggle to turn my mind off. I have found that this blog is a source of self-care for me; it has a tangible product of posts that go up, but it gives me an outlet for my (endless) thoughts and creativity.

 

 

Once again, having a blog requires the time (and money if you want a independently hosted site), which requires a certain level of privilege. While self-care has its use and its place, self-compassion is a concept and practice that I feel more confident in promoting.

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Have you ever thought of self care as a privilege in this way? Do you struggle with self-care?

Ted Talk Friday: The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown is one of my personal heroes. She bridges the gap between research and the human experience so beautifully and clearly; I have read a few of her books and her talks are relatable and inspiring. She is so intelligent and down to earth–and the advice she gives is studded with humor. I hope you enjoy her talk.

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Do you agree? Do you think about living authentically?

The Life Project: a book review

I haven’t done any book reviews on my blog so far, which seems incredibly silly given my love of reading! I just finished a wonderful book called The Life Project by Helen  Pearson. I received the book as a gift from mentors who know me very well; they certainly did their research and knew exactly what to pick! The book was published in 2016 and follows the rise of longitudinal studies in the U.K. (and more broadly). I have always been interested in longitudinal research, with a particular emphasis on early childhood experiences and how those experiences shape wellbeing across the lifespan so this book was like catnip for me.


While it is non-fiction, it is written in an engaging, novel-like way that reminds me or Erik Larson (author of Devil in the White City) or Alison Weir. Pearson is clear and concise, weaving together the tales of the numerous cohort studies in the U.K. through the 20th century and into modern times. It quickly becomes clear how much has changed over the decades–from birthing habits to women in the workplace. At the same time, Pearson presents the ominous conclusion that there are many areas that are not improving.

On a lighter note, the book beautifully captures the personalities and politics that impact policy, study design, funding,  and outcomes. I am fascinated by policy and the limited use of evidence in how we determine policy at a national and local level. The studies in the U.K. set an important example of how these studies can help us measure real-world outcomes of such theory-based changes.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for some intellectual, enjoyable, and health-focused reading!

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Did you know the U.K. was a major leader in longitudinal cohort.      studies?