I go nuts over walnuts. That’s probably why temptation got the best of me while shopping @Costco before Christmas when I spotted this Kentucky bourbon cake. I discovered that the topping was what I loved — a mixture of nuts, chocolate, and sugar.
So I decided to tweak my temptation in a healthy way by using this original recipe to substitute one for the other.
Sauté walnuts in a 1/2 – 1 T. coconut oil (amount of oil depends on amount of walnuts).
While sautéing, sprinkle the following: cocoa powder, stevia, and cinnamon (and any other spice that’s appealing to you!).
Remove from heat after coated and rest on paper towels until cooled. Store in airtight container.
It’s not just about deleting something from your daily intake; it’s about substituting something healthier!
Unless you’re allergic to walnuts, find ways to incorporate them into your diet. They contain fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and Omega-3 fats (the healthy kind!). Use on salads, greek yogurt, or eat a few as a snack.
If you’d like clean recipes, visit Amazon.com and order my gluten and dairy free cookbook to get you started (Recipes Unveiled by Shirene Gentry).
Remember: Simple. Easy. Clean. In 2017!
This is Hope Unveiled!
There are two items in the “S” category of resiliency that you should be intentional about if you’re stressed:
Have you stopped long enough in your daily routine or in that mental tape recorder that automatically rewinds and plays over and over again to actually identify what emotion you are feeling and write it down?
What’s the point, you ask? There’s actually a psychological benefit that results when you stop long enough to pay attention to your specific emotion and then pen it. Why? Neurobiology – through brain imaging – has proven that this activity turns on the anterior cingulate in your brain. The process of writing down your emotion(s) helps you psychologically identify and process the stress. In addition, it helps makes your thoughts conscious.
Aren’t all thoughts conscious? Actually, no. For a number of reasons that I will not go in to for this blog, each person “does” life from a set of automatic, unquestioned beliefs. These beliefs, assumptions, and perceptions are rarely questioned until your thought life begins to work against you instead of working for you. In other words, they are so automatic, they are rarely brought to the conscious level until they are questioned. Writing down what is stressing you puts perspective on the mental stress you are feeling.
So…go ahead. Write down what you’re feeling and thinking. It’s therapeutic! You may also be able to identify – by writing it down – that your stress and/or worry isn’t as big as you thought. This point in no way minimizes your specific stressor, but merely proves that writing it down is psychologically beneficial.
It’s my favorite time of the year. The weather is warm, and the sun breathes new life into me. If you’re stressed, a 20 minute time of “sun block” is beneficial for a number of reasons.
- It relieves stress.
- It improves mood.
- It provides Vitamin D
Go ahead. Carve out time to sit and reflect. You can even combine the two activities into one!
This is Hope Unveiled!
Here are the top three death-bed regrets:
- “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
- “I wish I had stayed more in touch with my friends.”
- “I wish I had lived a life truer to my dreams instead of what others expected of me.”
How do you feel when you read each of these statements? Do any or all of them describe your current situation? On a Likert Scale of 1-5, how would you rate yourself for each sentence, with “1” being “Doesn’t describe me at all” to “5” being “Describes me accurately?”
Stress management addresses these issues and more. Why? Because all actions and behaviors are a result of unspoken beliefs, assumptions, perceptions, and automatic thoughts about how you believe life is to operate. These beliefs are rarely questioned. And when they are, it is because an event of some kind has caused you to stop and evaluate.
Unfortunately, American culture doesn’t work in your favor. Take a trip to Europe and notice the cultural differences. Dinners last at least a couple of hours. Real dinners. Real food. Real friendships. Real family time. Real connections. And yet you are surprised when these things you need and crave the most are within your control to change and yet you do nothing.
Take the first step. Be honest about whether any of the above statements apply to you. And be encouraged with this very important fact: If you’re reading this post, you have time to make changes in your life. Start today!
The next blog post will address how to start making changes that will change up how you’re “doing” life.
If you’re not used to any exercise, then please consult your physician to see what your health allows before beginning any program. Small, doable steps are a necessity that realistically push you in the direction of change.
If, however, your exercise regimen is producing little to no results, you may want to consider the fact that you’re not exercising within your target heart rate zone.
Here’s a simple formula for figuring out how many beats per minute you need to reach for a minimum of 20 minutes:
Subtract your age from 220. Multiply this number by: .50 if you are a beginner; multiple by .60 or .70 if you are used to moderate exercise; multiply by .75 if you’re an athlete. The resulting number is the beats per minute your heart needs to reach a fat burning zone.
As always, if weight loss is your goal, please take a look at your food intake. This is usually 80% of the issue!