Ted Talk Friday: Healing through diet

Dr. Ornish takes such a practical approach to living a healthy lifestyle and his dry humor and informative delivery makes this a great Ted Talk. We can all use how we eat to prevent disease, and it also possible to reverse disease through diet–even if it is much more difficult than prevention. I think he adds a helpful voice to the chaos of the diet gurus; he brings a balanced approach to living well, eating well, and feeling well.

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Did you learn anything new from this talk? What’s your take on eating well to live well?

Ted Talk Friday: Cracking the Grace Code

I used to associate the word “grace” with a specific religion, but in the past few years I have realized that this is not aways true. Grace is about gratitude, spirituality, and feelings of connection and wholeness, in my opinion, and none of these have to be religious in nature. Living with grace is about gratitude and self-compassion; Anne Barry Jolles’ does an amazing job of explaining how to use grace as a tool and way of being in the world. I hope you enjoy her talk.

 

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What do you think when you hear “grace”?

Spaghetti Squash Casserole (GF)

I love coming up with new recipe ideas and I’ve recently been on a Greek yogurt kick. I had a spaghetti squash on hand and opted to make a casserole dish. The Greek yogurt added the perfect creamy, rich texture while keeping it healthy and full of protein! My dad was a huge fan too (he really loved the addition of bacon). 

Ingredients:
2 tbsp egg whites
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 small spaghetti squash
1 tsp minced garlic 
1/4c Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp bacon bits
1 bag Morningstar farms meat substitute 

1) Cook spaghetti squash in microwave; simply microwave at medium power for 4-7 minutes depending on size. I cooked our small one pound squash for about 4 minutes. 

2) Mix together Greek yogurt, egg whites, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and bacon bits until well combined.

3) Sautée Morningstar farms crumbles according to directions on the bag until thoroughly cooked.


4) Cut open the spaghetti squash and scoop out the inside of the squash and shred well with a fork until no big chunks of squash remain.

5) In a large bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti squash and Greek yogurt mixture. After thoroughly mixed, add in the crumbles.


6) Pour the whole mixture into a greased large casserole dish. 


7) Bake for 30-45 minutes at 325. 


Enjoy! This freezes very well so feel free to make a big batch and then freeze one meal portions for lunches or extra busy nights. 


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Have you ever used greek yogurt in a casserole?

  

Ted Talk Friday: The #1 Public Health Issue Doctors Aren’t Talking About

I am on a Lissa Rankin kick! She has such a fresh perspective on wellbeing, and her engaging speaking style makes her so relatable. She does the perfect job of mixing scientific studies, anecdotes, and her own opinion to create a cohesive story. I have recently moved from a community-centered college and my home, where I am surrounded by family, to a totally new city on the West coast. I am consciously working to combat loneliness; I am prioritizing social events and opportunities not just for fun, but also for my health.

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Do you agree? Do you live in a community?

Miraculous Summer Shrimp Alfredo

The perfect refreshing summer meal– Miracle Noodles shrimp alfredo! I was craving seafood and a light pasta recipe sounded perfect. I love the rich, nutty flavor of nutritional yeast (plus the great health benefits) and it really adds more depth to a basic alfredo sauce. If you’re not used to using nutritional yeast, I recommend you start out with a bit less to start, then add more to taste.  If you want to order Miracle Noodles, use code HANNAHJULY for a discount of 10% off!
Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fettuccine Miracle Noodles
  • 1/4c alfredo sauce
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2tsp Amore garlic paste
  • 1/2 c eggplant, roasted
  • 1/2c cauliflower, roasted
  • 5-9 shrimp .

Directions:
1. Prepare Miracle Noodles according to directions.
2. Combine alfredo sauce, nutritional yeast, Amore garlic paste, Italian seasoning, eggplant and cauliflower on stove and heat in a shallow sauce pan until warmed.
3. Steam shrimp.
4. Combine Miracle Noodles, alfredo sauce mixture, and shrimp and enjoy. I garnished my bowl with fresh basil straight out of my mother’s garden!

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?

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?