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Wellness

Soltar la "m" de mamá y sujetar la "m" de mujer

Por Aracely Argueta

 A veces, como madres, queremos darle lo mejor de nosotras a nuestros hijos, y nos olvidamos completamente de quienes éramos antes de ser madres. Decidimos pausar completamente nuestra vida profesional, priorizar más la crianza, dedicarnos a los quehaceres del hogar (que realmente son interminables). No digo que no sea maravilloso ser mamá, pero hay que admitir que es una tarea muy agotadora. Te puedo asegurar que aun entregándonos completamente sentimos que no es suficiente, que estamos fallando y que somos las peores madres. Hoy, quiero recordarte que lo estás haciendo muy bien como mamá. Pero lo harás mejor cuando sueltes la “m” de mamá y sujetes más de la “m” de mujer. 

 

La primera vez que me escapé a almorzar sin mis hijos, te puedo decir que sentí tanta culpa. En el restaurante me dieron un servicio espectacular, comí mi comida caliente, nadie interrumpió en mi mesa para decirme “mamá, llévame al baño”, pero aun así sentía que estaba siendo egoísta, preguntándome ¿cómo me había atrevido a darme un tiempo a solas? Cuando regresé a casa mis hijos y también mi esposo me preguntaron, “Mamá, ¿Qué tal tu día? Les confesé con un poco de tristeza que fui a comer sin ellos. Para mi sorpresa ellos gritaron de alegría, y en ese instante entendí que no necesitan una madre perfecta, sino que necesitan una madre feliz, que se juzgue menos, que no deje a un lado sus proyectos de vida. Entendí que soy la fuente de inspiración. Antes de ser mamá soy mujer.

 

Dedícate tiempo sin remordimiento, pide y acepta ayuda cuando la necesites, cuida de ti primero y podrás cuidar de los tuyos. Evita compararte con las demás madres; cada una estamos haciendo lo mejor que podemos. Personalmente no quiero decirles a mis hijos que por sus culpas no viví o cumplí mis sueños. Quiero que mis hijos aprendan a cumplir sus sueños como lo hacía mamá; que es determinada, capaz, fuerte, disciplinada y, sobre todo, una madre feliz, no perfecta.

Agárrate fuerte de tu esencia de mujer y desde allí podrás dar lo mejor de ti. No te auto presiones por ser la mejor madre. Sé la mejor mujer para ti misma. Dedica tiempo a tu pareja, a tus ambiciones y permítete realizarte en todas las facetas de tu vida. 

 

Antes de ser mamá, eres mujer. No hay hijos felices sin una madre feliz. ¡Feliz día, mamá!

Not All Women Want the Same

Para leer en español, presiona aquí:No todas las mujeres aspiramos a lo mismo

By Aracely Argueta

Today, women continue to fight for gender equality, better working conditions, fair salaries, and the recognition of our ability to lead a home, a company, and an entire country.

This March 8, on the celebration of International Women’s Day, we ask that our rights not be violated. We want to live without fear and with the freedom of choice. 

 Beyond what we demand from others, we must ask, are we, as women, respecting each other’s decisions? Not all women aspire the same. Is that so difficult to understand? Some women feel fulfilled being mothers, while others don’t. Women’s fulfillment can come from being entrepreneurs, single, traveling the world, or obtaining multiple college degrees. Fulfillment, success, and happiness are individual goals. A woman is no less a woman for wanting to stay at home taking care of her children while others work to pay bills.

Sometimes, it is women who don’t respect each other’s choices. Some women question the value of other women all the time, like when giving birth to a baby, judging if one gave birth naturally or with a C-section. We must be consistent with what we demand. To do so, we must respect and show solidarity. If we demand respect, we must also respect ourselves. We should learn to stop comparing ourselves to others, as that is a synonym for lacking self-confidence. We must understand that when one of us breaks the patterns that society demands, we are all moving forward and can only collectively build a path toward the equality we seek.

Every woman can make her own decisions and should feel fulfilled and free without being called selfish for choosing herself first. What characterizes us women is our strength, courage, and the passion with which we do things. When we join forces, we are unstoppable! So be proud of who you are, continue to inspire, reinvent yourself, stay away from places that no longer make you happy, stay away from people who don’t recognize your value, and support other women in your life.

Being a woman means playing endless roles; it represents courage and determination. It often means reinventing yourself, fighting with yourself, and facing your fears. The power of a woman is her essence, so remember how powerful you are!

Crushing Your New Year Health Goals

Para español orpima >>Alcanzando tus Metas de Bienestar Este Año Nuevo

By AnaMaria Bech

As 2024 approaches, many people aim to start the new year with a clean slate. They set goals and renew their dreams, hoping to make positive life changes. While we expect gyms to be packed and diets to begin, we also know that for many, it will only last for a while.



If you want to become a healthier version of yourself in 2024, there is a way! Eat Crush Meals is a meal prep company that originated in Louisiana, focusing on providing healthy meal options and sensible portions to busy individuals. Most people fall off the healthy eating bandwagon due to time constraints and poor planning.

That’s where Eat Crush Meals comes in to help. James Haik, the entrepreneur and owner of the company, began his food journey to stay healthy and save money on grocery waste. The meals’ organic produce and authentic flavors made it easy for Haik to believe in the company and invest in taking the local brand beyond Louisiana. According to Haik, “Eat Crush Meals is more than just a meal prep company; it’s a passion project that aims to inspire individuals to take charge of their health and achieve their goals.” He is a testament to a lifestyle change that came from better nutrition. His belief in the company’s offers has taken the local service to over 48,000 people nationwide.


Haik’s daughter, Isabella, follows in his footsteps as an entrepreneur in the health industry. Isabella made her health a top priority. “As a student-athlete, she believes sensible-portioned meals are the key to performing better. “Isabella’s drive to ‘crush it’ and maintain a 3.75 GPA while participating in activities like swim team, choir, and cheerleading is a testament to her commitment to health and performance,” says Haik.


She enjoyed the positive changes she saw within herself so much that she became more involved in the family business. “I got involved to help my dad with little projects like labels and meal prepping.” Now, father and daughter work together as a team. They understand the challenges individuals with busy lifestyles face, including the difficulty of regularly preparing healthy meals in between activities. Isabella brings fresh ideas to the company, drawing on her multicultural background to suggest flavorful dishes incorporating some Latin flavors she grew up with. By offering diverse food options on their menu, they can cater to different taste buds, including Jamaican dishes, Central American cuisine, and Asian flavors.


Eat Crush Meals has developed several plan options to help individuals kick-start their health journey, including the 15 meals per week plan, which provides 6-7oz of food and 1300-1500 calories daily. This plan removes the guesswork, thinking, and preparation that can be overwhelming for people seeking a balanced diet. In addition to this option, Eat Crush Meals offers Paleo, Breakfast Only, and Weight Loss Essential plans for ready-to-heat gourmet meals.


Eat Crush Meals is involved in community service, sharing positivity, and partnering with schools like Chapelle, where Isabella goes, promoting healthy eating. “I’d like to influence my family and other teenagers in my community of the importance of nutrition and fitness,” says Isabella. Haik also believes food is the starting point for achieving a healthier and happier life. He knows that his company is changing lives one meal at a time.


Visit eatcrushmeals.com to explore a plan that works for you.

 

Goals Need Action

Para leer en español presiona aquí: Alcanzar Metas Requiere Acción

By Aracely Argueta

Instagram @aracelylifestyle

Another year is approaching, and with it, we set new resolutions. Have you ever asked yourself why you have yet to reach your New Year’s goals?


We believe that when the year begins, everything we envision for the future will happen by magic, or only because we wished for it while eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve, or because we ran around the block with a suitcase. These traditions we follow are just pure superstitions.


We’ve heard the phrase: “If you wish for something with all your heart, the universe conspires to make it yours.” Well, that is not entirely true. We have to take action on that wish. We accomplish our dreams with discipline, perseverance, and hard work.


How do we meet our goals? First, we must set realistic goals. And then, we must have a plan, set clear objectives, get organized, be disciplined, and be confident that we can achieve those goals.
One of the reasons we can’t keep our New Year’s resolutions is the fact that we began with unrealistic goals that weren’t specific. We did not think of a plan to achieve them; we needed better direction and may have set too many goals simultaneously.


To achieve our goals, we must set a day for planning. Find a place where you can be without interruptions and where you can get inspired.​Write down your goals. Create a vision board of your dreams with images from a magazine or photographs. Hang it in a visible place, and set a date for achieving each goal. Having well-defined objectives is essential as this helps us drive where we want to go.
¡Get started today! Be consistent. Discipline and perseverance will always win over talent.

10 Tips for Returning to School

By AnaMaria Bech

Para español clic aquí: 10 Consejos para el regreso a clases

It’s back to school time, so we have some tips for parents to help prepare their children and physically and build an efficient routine:

  1. Prepare in advance: Purchase school supplies, uniforms, and other necessities to avoid last-minute stress. Organize your home and create a quiet space for children to do their homework and study, free from distractions.
  2. Establish a routine: Set a consistent schedule for waking up, getting ready, and going to bed to help children adjust to the school routine. Children need to get enough sleep, which can be achieved by setting consistent bedtimes and limiting screen time before bed.

  3. Plan healthy meals: Create a meal plan with nutritious breakfast, lunch, and snack options to energize children throughout the day.

  4. Set goals: Discuss academic and personal goals with your children and help them develop a plan to achieve them.

  5. Foster organization: Teach children the importance of organizing their backpacks, study materials, and assignments to minimize stress and maximize productivity.

  6. Promote physical activity and social connections: Encourage children to engage in regular physical activity or join after-school sports to stay active, relieve stress, and socialize with peers.

  7. Get involved: Attend parent-teacher meetings, join the school’s parent association, or volunteer for school events to stay connected with your child’s education.

  8. Teach time management skills: Help children learn how to prioritize tasks, manage their time effectively, and balance schoolwork with extracurricular activities.

  9. Limit screen time: Set reasonable limits to prevent screen time from interfering with homework, social interactions, and overall well-being.

  10. Promote self-care: Teach children the importance of self-care activities such as mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and hobbies to manage stress and maintain overall well-being.

    Remember to speak with your children. If you notice they are anxious about returning to school, listen attentively, validate their concerns, and provide reassurance and support. Find ways to encourage open communication. Children need to know their parents are there to provide a safe space to express their feelings, concerns, and excitement about returning to school and other life events.

Mental Health in the Latino Community

Click here para español>> La salud  mental en la comunidad latina

By Ana García

Speaking about issues relating to mental health has long been considered taboo in many societies, and in certain cultures, reaching out for help is unacceptable, regarded as a weakness, and talking to a mental health professional is not a priority. 

Experts in the mental health field have been trying to normalize accessing professional services from counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists to help people understand that it is necessary in many cases. For example, in New Orleans, there is a counseling institution led by two Hispanic professionals who, with their dedication and passion, have made a difference in serving the community and changing the perception of mental health as a taboo by educating and helping those who need it most.

The New Orleans Multicultural Institute for Counseling (NOMIC) was founded in April 2018 by Dr. Jasmine Hernandez and Naomi Dugar. Dugar had the idea to open a counseling center while working at a school with Hernandez. They knew opening up a private practice demanded lots of time and dedication. Since Hernandez was busy pursuing her PhD.,  Dugar kept her dream alive and waited for the right time, and as soon as Hernandez finished her thesis, they opened NOMIC. “The best thing about us is that we complement each other. Her strengths are my weaknesses, and vice versa. And that’s what makes this teamwork,” said  Dr. Hernandez. “We got lucky; it is a perfect combination,” adds Dugar.

Dr Jasmine Hernandez
Dr Jasmine Hernandez from NOMIC

NOMIC’s goal is to provide services to low-income individuals. While working in different schools, Hernandez and Dugar realized that Spanish-speaking students lacked access to mental health services. “We just wanted to come up with something open to all cultures and genders, where they would get the much-needed mental health services.” Their idea was to be culturally confident and add a multicultural component to reach underserved populations.

NOMIC, located in Gretna, Louisiana, offers specialized services in different areas of counseling, such as individual, couples, and family counseling in areas of specialty, including anxiety, depression, trauma, sexual abuse, and domestic violence.  In addition, they can also perform mental health assessments and immigration evaluations in legal cases of family petitions, visa renewals, and reunification. Thanks to their commitment to welcoming a diverse population in a comfortable environment and advocating cultural sensitivity, NOMIC recently received a contract in Orleans Parish to go into schools to provide services to children. In addition, the Louisiana Department of Education awarded them a grant about two years ago. This funding allows NOMIC to offer free-of-charge services to undocumented students, which enables families to access counseling services without the cost burden or the requirements for health insurance.

Dr. Hernandez was born in New Orleans to Honduran parents. She worked for ten years as a counselor in the educational system. In her experience, Dr. Hernandez has noticed how today’s youth are affected by factors like the pressure to fit into society, to live in a certain way, and to act a certain way, which according to Hernandez, creates a lot of anxiety and social problems. “Many times, young people go through a difficult time, and parents don’t understand the pressure their children go through in schools and the things they get exposed to, and that’s when they fall into depression and anxiety,” she points out.  

For multicultural children, family dynamics can be challenging, affecting their mental health because they have to cope with living in a culture different from their family’s background and beliefs. In some instances, adults believe that anxiety and depression do not exist, which prevents children from accessing help at early stages. “The earlier they learn how to cope, the better they will do as adults. It is better to help them now than when they are adults.” The doctor knows children could experience anxiety and depression. Still, they do not know what to do, so parents should be open to allowing them to access these services where counselors can get resources for them. 

Naomi Dugar was born in New Orleans to a Cuban mother and a Salvadoran father. As a professional counselor, she understands a delicate yet real issue that schools are experiencing today regarding mental health. As schools prioritize academics and discipline, Dugar believes mental health is essential to the services that schools should provide.  “Academic performance is related to mental health, and children’s behavior is related to mental health. That’s why we need to find ways to provide mental health services in schools and be more aware of the issues children get exposed to nowadays,” says Dugar. She points out that communication between teachers, students, and counselors is fundamental since the role of a counselor is to advocate for the student. Regarding the Hispanic student population, Dugar understands there are not enough Spanish-speaking counselors to fulfill the needs, making it more challenging for the institutions. Bilingual teachers often get tasked with serving as a sounding board for students who need to be heard and helped in their language, which adds a burden to the already overworked teachers who do not have the proper training to counsel the children.

Naomi Dugar, NOMIC

Though the need for mental health services and education is extensive, places like NOMIC are making a difference in our community which needs more bilingual counseling in schools.  Thanks to professionals like Dr. Jasmine Hernandez and Naomi Dugar, mental health services are getting more acceptance in Latino and immigrant communities. Parents now realize that getting mental health help is not something bad. 

Whether something is taking away your peace of mind, if you have noticed changes in your children’s behavior, or if you are unsure what could be preventing you from feeling like yourself, it is a good idea to reach out for help. A professional, someone neutral who can give you the proper feedback and resources and help you figure things out, is only a phone call away. For more information, you call 504.814.4480 or visit nomicllc.com.

Heading into the New Year with Mindfulness

Heading into the New Year with Mindfulness

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Comenzando el Año Nuevo con Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been a trending buzz topic recently, for a good reason. The beauty of the practice is that one can implement mindfulness into various aspects of daily living, from family life to work to interactions with others. The goal is to become more in sync with our thoughts, feelings, and needs with greater presence. But how does one eat more mindfully?

Become an observer. Notice how you eat, when, and who dines with you. Think about how you feel: calm, stressed, rushed, nervous, happy, distracted? Are you finishing your food and not even remembering how you started?

Open your senses through observation. We can become more aware of our food by appreciating textures, tastes, aromas, and colors. This awareness helps us tune into our bodies and physiological response to food and hunger cues. For example, does the food you are eating make you feel pleasure, tired, sluggish, happy, or guilty? How much food does it take to achieve satisfaction before it dissipates? These are some questions to ask yourself before continuing a meal or going for an extra helping of (fill in the blank).

Check in with your body’s needs. Have you had proper rest, hydration, and emotional support? If your basic needs have yet to be met, you will eat to satisfy what has been neglected rather than to attain the nourishment your body needs. When our bodies are tired, thirsty, or going through a hard time emotionally, we are most likely to make impulsive food (and drink) choices that significantly impact our brains.  

Slow down the process by:

  • Expressing gratitude for the source of our food and those who grow it
  • Placing our fork down between bites and chewing slower
  • Stopping at signs of fullness 
  • Practicing honesty and forgiveness for moments when we slip away from our goals

Once you find benefits in mindfulness practice, you can use it in other aspects of daily life. Journaling and audio guides can be beneficial ways to explore the practice and become more consistent.  

 

Healthier, Better Salt

Healthier, Better Salt

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Sales mejores y más saludables

It is peak summertime which means cookouts, barbeques, and crawfish boils. The commonality at these gatherings is that an abundance of foods seasoned with plenty of spices, condiments, seasonings, chips, and processed foods are served. Because salt is high in processed foods and sauces and used liberally on sides like fries, most people will likely be consuming far more than the daily recommended dose of 2,400 mg/day. 

Salt is a seasoning utilized throughout the world in nearly every culture and is essential to cooking and health. Salt enhances the flavor of foods and helps maintain the vital mineral electrolyte balance in our bodies. In addition, the chemical composition of sodium chloride (NaCl) helps maintain a delicate balance of potassium levels in the body. 

In cooking, salt is a flavor enhancer that releases the flavor of other foods in the dish while balancing bitter, sweet, and salty notes. 

    

A good rule of thumb is to salt at the beginning, taste towards the middle of cooking before serving, and adjust accordingly. In recent years, tastes have changed, and health trends have inspired a shift that has deterred some from eating table salt or avoiding it altogether. However, there is no need to omit all salt completely unless medically necessary.

There are significant differences between table salt and unaltered forms of naturally occurring salts. Table salt is a culinary version of Sodium Chloride. It is bleached and stripped of most of its nutritional properties, with chemicals added to prevent caking and iodine.

If you have switched to eating pink Himalayan, sea salt, or other versions, you will likely be missing out on iodine, an essential mineral.  For a more natural source of salt and iodine, one may try rich sources of seaweed, especially dulse and wakame, kelp, or add a naturally salty vegetable such as celery. Seafood and shellfish such as shrimp are also rich sources of iodine.

Try different varieties of salt for the highest nutrient content and textural interest. Along with enhancing flavor, salts can have varying moisture content, be infused with herbs and spices, and incorporate other elements such as clay or charcoal. 

Rock salts such as Kosher, Himalayan, and black salt are sourced from rock within the earth. Due to their unique location, these salts are mineral-rich with variations in color and distinct flavors. These minerals can serve as natural electrolytes to the body that one may lose through sweating. 

Try playing with a new seasoned salt for your next get-together. Stay cool and enjoy the rest of these summer days!

Spring Forward Your Health

Spring Forward Your Health

By Lia Threat @wellnesswithlia

Click aqui para español- > 

Spring is upon us, and it is time to move outside, open the windows, and let in fresh energy! Winter is a time to withdraw, pull inward emotionally, and eat heavier, warming foods, but spring comes back around to remind us of the lighter and brighter side of life.

In New Orleans, Spring also signifies the end of a parade season full of revelry and likely too much sugar and partying. Those who are Catholic are also preparing for Lent. However, I think of spring more like the actual start of the new year as far as goals are concerned. People are ready to get outside, move and revitalize New Year’s resolutions that fell by the wayside by January 6th.

      

Below are a few ways to welcome the season with a seamless transition.

  1. Prioritize sleep.

Sleep helps strengthen our immune system, lowers inflammation, and helps our bodies to recover and rest! So, it is always at the top of my list as part of the foundation for a healthy mind and body.

  1. Incorporate seasonal, local foods and herbs when possible.

Seasonal foods are incredibly nutrient-dense, with plenty of cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens at their peak. Also, you can catch the tail end of oyster season. Oysters and crawfish are not just a source of protein. Oysters are one of the highest sources of iron, and crawfish are also high in minerals.

  1. Get out and move!

The pandemic has pushed us inside, increasing anxiety and depression while many crave fresh air and movement. Incorporate a mixture of outdoor activities to keep things interesting.

  1. Keep your goals realistic.

Ask yourself if your choices are nourishing to your body. If they do not feel fulfilling, joyful, or help improve your health, it may be time to reassess habits, goals, and company.

Utilizing the Power of Sleep to Reach Your Health Goals

By Lia Threat

 

This new year is different from others. You may have started your year by going all-in with extreme workouts and diets. However, this year calls for something different. Many are still dealing with increased daily stressors with work from home, financial instability, homeschooling, and lack of socialization, in addition to pandemic challenges. What is needed may not be the most challenging HIIT workout, but different tools to achieve optimal health.

Prioritizing rest is one tool that will equip your body with a solid foundation to help complete your goals from your New Year’s resolutions.

The best form of detox is sleep.

The glymphatic system, the toxin removal system for our brain, removes cellular waste during sleep. The glymphatic system is unique because it is most efficient during sleep. Other mechanisms are also at rest during sleep, such as those responsible for controlling our neurotransmitters. Lack of sleep can significantly impact mood, behavior, speech, completion of tasks, and memory, so prioritizing sleep can help you function more efficiently.

 

Strenuous exercise may increase cortisol levels.

Working out without adequate sleep or participating in a strenuous workout while under heavy stress may do more harm than good, raising cortisol levels that are already high. For example, if you are experiencing stress to the body from lifestyle or illness, try a restorative exercise like walking in nature, tai-chi, yoga, Pilates, light jogging, or swimming. Since training and nutrition is individualized, pay close attention to your body’s signals, and schedule your workouts accordingly.

Try eating foods rich in magnesium or melatonin if you have trouble sleeping.

A few options are bananas with a handful of pumpkin seeds, almonds, or cashews as an evening snack. Tart cherry juice (high in melatonin) and grapes are all food that may aid sleep. You can also try adding a few complex carbohydrates to your evening meal. Examples are starchy vegetables like roasted squash, carrots, yuca, plantains, and sweet potatoes.

Hopefully, by making some of these small but significant changes to your sleep, you will notice a difference in your daily goals!

Dormir para lograr sus objetivos

Por Lia Threat

Este año es diferente a los demás. Es posible que hayas comenzado el año haciendo todo lo posible con dietas y entrenamientos extremos. Sin embargo, este año exige algo diferente.

Muchas personas están lidiando con un aumento de los factores estresantes diarios como el trabajo desde casa, inestabilidad financiera, educación en el hogar y falta de socialización, además de los desafíos de la pandemia.

Puede que lo que se necesite no sea el entrenamiento HIIT más desafiante, sino diferentes herramientas para lograr una salud óptima.

Dar prioridad al descanso es una herramienta que equipará su cuerpo con una base sólida para ayudarlo a completar sus objetivos.

 

Dormir es la mejor forma de  desintoxicación

Durante el sueño, el sistema glifático, que es el sistema de eliminación de toxinas de nuestro cerebro, elimina los desechos celulares.

El sistema glifático es único porque es más eficiente durante el sueño.

Otros mecanismos también están en reposo durante el sueño, como los encargados de controlar nuestros neurotransmisores.

La falta de sueño puede afectar significativamente el estado de ánimo, el comportamiento, el habla, la realización de tareas y la memoria, por lo que priorizar el sueño puede ayudarlo a funcionar de manera más eficiente.

 

El ejercicio intenso puede aumentar los niveles de cortisol.

Hacer ejercicio sin dormir lo suficiente o participar en un ejercicio vigoroso bajo mucho estrés puede hacer más daño que beneficio, elevando los niveles de cortisol que ya están altos.

Si estás experimentando estrés en el cuerpo debido al estilo de vida o por una enfermedad, prueba con un ejercicio reparador como caminar en la naturaleza, tai-chi, yoga, pilates, trotar o nadar.

Dado que el entrenamiento y la nutrición son individualizados, presta mucha atención a las señales de tu cuerpo y programa tus entrenamientos en consecuencia.

 

Si tiene problemas para dormir, intente comer alimentos ricos en magnesio o melatonina.

Los plátanos con un puñado de semillas de calabaza, almendras o anacardos como refrigerio por la noche, jugo de cereza agria (alto en melatonina) y uvas son alimentos que pueden ayudar a dormir.

También puedes intentar agregar algunos carbohidratos complejos a tu cena. Algunos ejemplos son las verduras con almidón como la calabaza asada, las zanahorias, la yuca, los plátanos y las batatas.

¡Con suerte, al hacer algunos de estos pequeños pero significativos cambios en tu sueño, notarás una diferencia en tus objetivos diarios!

A Better Buillon

A Better Buillon

Click aqui para español- >Un mejor caldo

By  Lia Threat

Fall has arrived, and with fall, our eating habits change. Heavier, richer foods are usually incorporated into our daily menu alongside more soups. A common ingredient of Latino households is the little yellow

squares with the chicken on the package. Bouillon is added to many familiar recipes throughout Latin America to flavor soups, rice dishes, and more. However, a closer look at the label may provide a good reason

to make your own chicken stock.

 

#1. Unilever makes it, yes, the company that also makes your soap.

#2. It contains palm oil, one of the most environmentally destructive crops. Large areas of the Amazon have been cleared to produce this oil.

#3. The oils are hydrogenated. Hydrogenated oils may lead to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, metabolic diseases, and obesity (Kochan et al., 2010).

#4. The salt intake for just ½ a cube amounts to 48% of the daily recommended intake at 1110 mg/serving.

#5. It lacks vitamins, minerals, protein, and other beneficial spice components in a whole food broth. A healthier alternative that will deliver maximum flavor is to make your own! All you need is a chicken carcass/bones, vegetables, and herbs.

See the recipe.

Chicken Broth Recipe

Here is a recipe for a chicken broth. If you would like to make more, double or triple the recipe depending on the size of your stockpot and how much chicken you have available.

You will need a stockpot, cutting board, knife, and large spoon to skim any debris and fat that rises to the top while cooking.

At least 3 lbs. chicken bones, cleaned and trimmed

2-3 carrots

1 onion (skin included)

1 bay leaf

½ dried pepper (optional for spicier dishes)

About 3-4 sprigs of thyme/oregano

6 cloves of garlic (skin included)

½ bunch parsley

½ bunch of cilantro with or without leaves

Peppercorn

Sea salt or Himalayan salt

¼ tsp. of turmeric

 

Cover ingredients until they are submerged in water.

Simmer for about 2-3 hours, depending on how strong you would like the flavors.

Skim fat and foam during the cooking process and remove.

If water decreases too much during cooking, you may add a bit more. However, for concentrated flavor, do not add water.

Upon completion, strain, cool, and freeze in small, medium, and large containers for multiple uses. A quick internet search for “souper cubes” (ice cube trays that fit the perfect amount of soup or stock) will provide you with a silicone tray that pops out the ideal amount of broth when you need it. It is like an ice tray with larger compartments! Not only will you have a healthier alternative to bouillon, but you can always build your stock as you trim vegetables while cooking. Pop trimmings into a freezer bag for later use!

A Vegan Diet- How to Obtain Crucial Nutrients

A Vegan Diet- How to Obtain Crucial Nutrients

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Una dieta vegana: cómo obtener nutrientes cruciales
Those who choose to follow a vegan lifestyle may do so for several reasons- a general detox, a specific health goal, or moral, religious, and ethical beliefs. Veganism- the practice of refraining from all foods of animal origin, including dairy, eggs, and even honey, may include challenges to obtaining vital essential nutrients daily without supplementation. Micronutrients lacking in a vegan diet include vitamin B6, B12, choline, vitamin D, and iron. Supplementation for these nutrients may be necessary, and your health practitioner can run labs to assess any deficiencies.

B6
Plays a role in creating those “feel good” brain chemicals, helps maintain red blood cell function, and regulates hormones and the nervous system. Plant sources: fortified cereals, fruit, nuts, and whole grains.
B12
Essential for energy production, and a deficiency may be related to various forms of anemia. Plant sources: soy milk, breakfast cereals, mushrooms, seaweed, and other fortified foods such as flaxseeds.

CHOLINE
Required for brain health- nerve impulses, cell signaling, and fat metabolism amongst other functions. Especially important for the neurological growth and development of a fetus, babies, and young children. Plant sources: wheat germ, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, legumes such as peanut and soy, and sunflower lecithin.

IRON
Responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body, DNA, and hormone synthesis. Also, it functions as an antioxidant. Plant sources include seaweed, spirulina, dark leafy greens like Swiss chard/spinach (best consumed with a source of Vitamin C); lima beans, kidney beans, cowpeas, potatoes (with skin), peanut butter, soybeans, herbs and spices, and fortified cereal and grain products.

VITAMIN D
Functions like a hormone regulating many different systems throughout the body. It is best to obtain this sunshine vitamin through direct sun exposure to the skin. Plant sources include mushrooms and fortified foods like orange juice, cereals, and bread.
With careful planning and supplementation, it is still possible to acquire the nutrients needed but be mindful that plant sources are not always the most optimal sources of specific nutrients.

Hydration and Your Daily Dose of Fruits and Vegetables

Hydration and Your Daily Dose of Fruits and Vegetables
By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >La hidratación y tu dosis diaria de frutas y verduras

Sometimes, the New Orleans summer heat can make us feel like we are struggling to stay hydrated! With so many conflicting ideas about the ideal amount of fluid consumption, it is logical to wonder how much water is enough. The human body needs water for homeostasis as all our cells require water for optimum function. In extreme cases of deprivation, dehydration even results in death.

A general way to make sure you are getting enough fluid is to divide your body weight in half and consume that amount in fluid ounces of water. You can also calculate 1/3 of your body weight in fluid plus 8 ounces for every alcoholic drink and 8 ounces for 30 or more minutes of exercise.

An example would be a healthy 130 lb. woman who would consume approximately 65 ounces of water per day, considering she is not experiencing any other health issues or changes in her body due to pregnancy and nursing.

Adequate fluid intake can vary from person to person based on physiological needs. Fluid intake requirements may occur based on temperature, physical exertion, consumption of fruit and vegetables, and other fluids. The effects of pregnancy, aging, and other health issues related to the kidney and bladder may also influence fluid intake.
There are physical signs of dehydration which may be helpful indicators for people of all ages to notice. A darker and more intense yellow urine may indicate a need to increase water consumption. Additionally, increased thirst, dry mucous membranes, and changes in skin color may be signs that hydration is needed.

Since foods are also a great way to increase hydration, choose those with a high water content to meet your daily goals.
You can include the following foods to boost your fluid intake:

Melon (especially watermelon)
Cucumbers
Peppers
Berries
Grapes
Citrus fruit
Celery
Lettuce
Zucchini

Ideas for recipes that may incorporate more than one hydrating food and drink: smoothies, fruit, and cucumber-infused water, dips utilizing the above vegetables, or using veggies in place of chips, a chilled tomato soup such as gazpacho, and fresh fruit popsicles, which are to keep children hydrated.

Addressing Spring Allergies Naturally

Addressing Spring Allergies Naturally

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- > Tratar las alergias primaverales de forma natural

Spring is here. Now is time to enjoy the beautiful, breezy weather minus the humidity, but what about those with allergies? Time outside can be far from enjoyable for those with a susceptibility to seasonal allergies, especially when pollen is abundant. If that sounds like you, below are a few natural ways to counteract a flare-up. 

Antihistamines are effective because they calm our body’s inflammatory histamine response. If one encounters an allergen such as pollen, it will cause the body to trigger the release of immune cells known as mast cells. Mast cells are responsible for initiating an inflammatory response and triggering the release of histamine. Sinus-related issues like itching, runny nose, sneezing, mucous secretions, and headaches will soon follow.

 

Thankfully, there are multiple ways to lower histamine levels in the body. A few are related to food and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

1. Lower the number of histamine-rich foods that you are consuming daily. Often, histamine-rich foods are also aged or fermented. Think alcohol, pickled foods, sauerkraut, aged cheeses, cured meats, and highly processed foods. As these foods age, histamine levels increase. Also, different levels of naturally occurring molds are present, which can also cause similar inflammatory responses in the body. Instead, opt for fresh fruits, meats, cheese, and be cautious of alcohol intake during periods when pollen counts are high. 

2. If you are taking probiotics, consider one that does not contain histamine-producing bacteria, adding to your body’s histamine levels. Check out your probiotic label for strains such as Lactobacillus gasseri, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium longum. Recent studies have shown these strains to help those with seasonal allergies.

3. Help screen what is getting in. Opt for a natural saline rinse to loosen mucous in the nasal passages. It is generally safe for adults and children to use without side effects and may even help prevent the adhesion of bacteria and viral pathogens.

4 Most weather stations issue high pollen counts, so check these out before venturing outdoors!

* As always, check with your doctor before adding anything to your routine, especially if you are taking medication.

 

Why Inflammation May Be the Key to Your Weight Loss Goals

Why Inflammation May Be the Key to Your Weight Loss Goals

By Lia Threat @wellnesswithlia

Click aqui para español- > La inflamación puede ser la clave en sus objetivos de pérdida de peso

Worldwide, obesity is triple what it was in 1975, and those statistics are steadily rising.

Those who commit to losing weight can have a hard time maintaining weight loss. Sometimes, obstacles to maintaining weight loss may be due to a lack of support, education, availability, motivation, or discipline. Other times, there may be health conditions that affect how we maintain a healthy weight.

Often, there are underlying inflammation levels in the body that may trigger a stress-response causing the body to release the hormone cortisol. A stress response, also known as fight-or-flight, can be triggered by trauma, injury, or chronic stress, to name a few.

Also, something as simple as eating foods that your body may perceive as inflammatory can affect the body’s ability to lose weight.

Below are some known sources of inflammation alongside ways in which you may counteract them.



 

Food intolerances

Food intolerances can cause inflammation, bloating, digestive upset, and numerous other symptoms.

To pinpoint food intolerance, try eliminating the most common food allergens: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nuts, shellfish, peanuts, and fish.

After removal for 30-60 days, a slow reintroduction will help identify which foods give you trouble.

Injury

If you cannot move properly, chances are you will not be as physically active as possible.

Address your injuries to decrease the levels of inflammation in your body. You will not only feel good, but your body will be able to function better.

Lower the stress levels in the body, starting with sleep

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by regulating sleep, addressing emotional trauma and other stress sources.

Establish a calming night routine and connect with anything that helps your body get into the rest-and-reset mode. Some examples are meditation, interacting with nature, connecting with others, and including daily physical activity.

Those able to check off a few of the items on this list will see that they have already jumpstarted their weight loss goals making them more attainable.

As always, consult with your healthcare practitioner before making any significant changes.

 

Hidden Holiday Gems: Winter Herbs That Double as Immune Boosters

Hidden Holiday Gems: Winter Herbs That Double as Immune Boosters

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- > Sorpresas Navideñas: Hierbas de invierno que mejoran la inmunidad

The talk during the holidays this year will most likely be politics, COVID-19, and who is coming over to visit. Many will still gather around the table, albeit in lesser numbers, while others will be visiting from a distance. Whatever the conversation may be, building the body’s resilience by consuming whole foods and herbs may boost immunity if we are unknowingly sharing the table with someone sick.

Two common herbs are fresh thyme and rosemary. Both herbs are great with roasted vegetables, proteins and added as infusions for honey, oils, and vinegar. They are delicious minced in a salad dressing, hearty stew, or casserole.

 

Rosemary and thyme are anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, and thyme is known for being antiparasitic. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of over 300 patients, thyme and ivy syrup was used in acute bronchitis patients to relieve symptoms associated with their cough.

Another herb to pay attention to is sage. Sage is an excellent addition to casseroles and meat dishes. Sage also shines with roasted squashes or potatoes. In traditional medicine, sage is well known in Latin America for inflammation, diarrhea, heartburn, dizziness, and seizures, to name a few.

Try to find multiple dishes that incorporate more than one of the herbs above for your holiday meals this year.

Happy Holidays!

 

Healing for the Holidays

Healing for the Holidays

By Dr. Cristy Cali

Click aqui para español- > Paz para el día de Acción de Gracias

This issue will be out for only a few days before the next President of the United States is elected. With so much tension incrementally building up towards this great moment in history, I feel focusing on healing would be the best contribution I could offer. My mission with these contributions is to challenge you to think independently for yourself without the pressure or influence of anyone outside of your authentic self.

Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us before we know it, coming up only a few short weeks from November 4. If we are to witness a wave of peace from this chaos within our lifetime, then we must become a channel for this change to manifest into the world through us. We need to honor this sacred time of family, gratitude, love, and yes, even forgiveness.

 

The spirit of the holidays is love. There has been so much finger-pointing, name-calling, and bullying going on in the media and television programs, but that does not have to exemplify nor influence how we conduct ourselves - mind, body, and spirit.

Mother Earth has her seasons for a reason, and reasons for her seasons. In the spring, we experience a re-energizing of energy after the long, cold, and lazy winter that makes us want to retreat within a warm and cozy space. Spring prepares us for the intense heat of the summer, and the fall is her cool-down period. The energy from the seasons, air pressure, temperature, precipitation; all of it has a deep subconscious influence on our being.

The summer heat causes tempers to flare more easily, causing spikes in road rage or other anger-related incidents. The sun brings us out while the winter calls us inside - literally and figuratively. In metaphysics, we have a deep understanding that as above, so below and vice versa. As we come upon these winter months, November & December, we are asked to come back inside, an opportunity to reflect and meditate about our own greater calling. So, when a challenge creeps up before you, ask yourself the question: “How can I be a channel of love?”

When our character is challenged, that’s when our most authentic energy is expressed and expelled into the Universe for all to see. If that energy is creating further separation through hurtful words, how are you doing your part to bring about peace and healing during this time where we need more love? After all, isn’t that the reason everyone’s hurting in the first place?

I’ll never forget a quote a wise empowerment coach once told me. He said, “Only people who are hurting hurt other people.” And I would like to remind you that you already are enough. You are loved. You are valuable. You are worthy. You are so worthy, when you choose to live your life led by love you become the healer. You become the gleaming light of kindness & gratitude that becomes inspirational and contagious, thus elevating the vibration of those around you with you. You become of service to them through being the best version of you. So, when you see your friends and family this Thanksgiving, see past the artificial differences of society and into the light in their eyes. Remember their souls are pure, but the ego, the face the soul uses on this journey, is privy to corruption; and quite often through deception and manipulation. This is where forgiveness & compassion are key, and that’s the grand lesson we, as a collective, are being challenged to learn right now. Choose love.

Wishing you all a blessed and safe Thanksgiving holiday season!

Opals of October

Opals of October

By Dr. Cristy Cali

Click aqui para español- > Ópalos de Octubre

Even if your birthday is not taking place this month, the metaphysical properties of opals may attract you to become a wearer.

Do you remember the first time you set your eyes on an opal stone? I was young and remember thinking the stone looked like it harnessed a rainbow within it. To a child and the eyes of an innocent, opals would appear to be quite a magical stone. The word itself comes from the Latin opalus, which means “precious stone.” It was also called opallios in Greek, meaning “to see a change in color,” pederos meaning “the child of love,” and paederos “the delicate complexion of a lovely youth.”

This month, we celebrate opals as October’s birthstone. Unlike many gemstones, opals are not crystals at all; in fact, they are a silicic acid gel that has been solidified through the loss of water.

The silicic acid in the gel forms tiny silicon dioxide globules between which up to 2% water and gas remain enclosed. It is the bending of light by these globules that gives the opal its wonderful play of color. It shows a variety of flashing colors called fire or opalescence. The fire appears as flecks or sparkles of vivid colors floating on top of the background.

In the jewelry industry, opals are highly valued, especially when they are shaped and cut by professionals who provide the ability to display the stone eloquently as a nicely designed piece of jewelry. Even if your birthday is not taking place this month, the metaphysical properties of opals may attract you to become a wearer.

When we discuss metaphysics, keep in mind this one law of the universe - As Above, So Below. Opals retain a certain degree of water, and symbolically, water represents emotions, yin, and femininity. Our bodies release water as tears when we become emotional and opal’s reflective properties help show these emotions back to ourselves. In effect, opals serve as a sort of mirror, allowing us to take an inward journey to discover the light, colors, and beauty we hold within. Only when our emotions are brought to the surface are we then able to consciously examine them and explore feelings we may have buried for too long.

Another characteristic of opals is the ability to bring a sense of peace and calmness to individuals, including children, suffering from too much stress, anxiety, and even fears-- especially if one is living too much in the past or the future. Opals are said to help bring a clearer sense of presence and relax an overstimulated mind cluttered with endless thoughts and chatter. Oftentimes, an overstimulated mind is due to the absorption of energy from other people, which results from a lack of personal boundaries. Since opals reflect, they can shield undesirable energy away and keep you from absorbing their negativity.

Whether you are a true believer in the healing properties of gemstones, Mother Earth’s precious gifts, no one can deny the physical elements and chemical compounds necessary for their creation. As quantum physics has proven, everything vibrates. As energetic beings emitting frequencies, we would be wise to consider the possibility of utilizing the natural elements available to us to create more balance and harmony over our vibration. After all, aren’t we here to explore, discover, learn, and grow to become the best versions of ourselves?

Enjoying the Fall Weather by Incorporating Outdoor Movement

Enjoying the Fall Weather by Incorporating Outdoor Movement

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Disfrutar del clima otoñal incorporando movimiento al aire libre
 

Whether you are still working from home, have children participating in virtual or in school learning, one thing is for sure- we are moving less. We are no longer walking to the office or down the street for lunch. Children are sitting more in class to avoid physical contact. Some schools are shortening or eliminating recess and PE to minimize interactions between students. Now, more than ever, parents will need to get creative to incorporate movement breaks into the day.

 

To reach your daily goal of outdoor activity, try to set a written intention to add in new forms of exercise slowly. To prioritize training, add it to your planner or daily schedule. Scheduling it into your calendar will make it easier to create a habit. 

Here are some ideas to get started:

Cook in bulk

Fill the time you would spend cooking with a fun stroll or bike ride.

Cooking for two days will free up time in the afternoon and evenings. As the weather gets cooler, use this extra time for some added outdoor physical activity.

Take up a new hobby

Most of us have stumbled upon the skilled jump ropers on social media lately. Jump rope is one idea, but any new hobby will help us engage in a novel activity that keeps the boredom away. Alternatively, you can try a new form of dance. A 15-minute dance break on the patio is a great way to get children fresh air and exercise- no equipment required!

Try a new desk set-up

Is your little one moving all the time during online learning? Try an exercise ball for them to sit on and allow frequent breaks. If you find yourself slouching, having bad posture, or back pain, consider an adjustable standup desk.

Remember, any amount of activity can go a long way in keeping our bodies moving and our minds alert!

 

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