Super Food Series #1: ACV

I get so many questions about foods.  I decided to start a series about SUPER foods! I am excited to share these awesome ingredients over the next few weeks! Here’s our first superhero:

Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

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According to my 76 year old dad, ACV cures anything that ails ya!  I laughed him off for a while until I did a little research of my own.  Turns out dear ol’ dad was right!  There are WAAAAYYYY too many benefits for me to list here (some of which are scientifically proven, others not so much).

Not only are there a gazillion and one benefits, evidently people have been tuned in to this truth for ages! Records have ACV showing up on the scene since before 5000 BC!

Turns out, ACV was one of Hippocrates fav prescriptions to hand out (he had his patients mix it with a touch of honey).

So, I am not sure it will raise the dead, or make you immune to rattlesnake bites, but there is solid research out there to back up the multiple claims of “Amazing ACV”!!

Turns out it is a “healthy elixir” after all.  Thanks Daddy!

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Amazing ACV & the Super Abbreviated Benefits list:

#1 -Aids in weight loss

Amazing ACV is a weight loss advocate!  Sending all it’s lovely goodness into your body to: suppresses appetite, increase metabolism, & reduce water retention!!!  There are also studies that suggest ACV blocks starch absorption, meaning fewer calories for you!!!

#2 – Helps maintain healthy blood sugar

Studies have shown ACV to decrease blood glucose concentrations by MASSIVE amounts! (I’m still trying to convince Brent of it’s AMAIZINGNESS….he and his diabeetus just ain’t listening)

#3 – Improves nutrient absorption

#4 – Antioxidant properties

#5 – Promotes healthy cholesterol

#6 – Reduces heartburn and acid reflux

#7 – Antibiotic properties

#8 – Cures hiccups

#9 – Eases sore throat symptoms

#10 – Clears stuffy noses

#11 – Natural cure for acne

#12 – Boosts Energy

Let me stop right here and put my RN/PT expertise to work…

Apple cider vinegar is full of goodies like: potassium, amino acids, enzymes, etc.  Exercise and stress can cause lactic acid to build up in your body. This causes soreness and total “drag ass” syndrome (aka- fatigue).

Have no fear, Amazing ACV is here with an amino acid antidote for that lactic acid!!

And what’s that?  Oh yeah, Amazing ACV is also packing that potassium and those enzymes mentioned earlier…take that tiredness!!!

#13 – Reduces leg cramps

See Potassium reference above…Have cramps?  You may be low in potassium!

Amazing ACV is high in potassium!

#14 – Controls bad breath

#15 – Detoxifies body

#16 – Reduces sugar cravings

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So now that you have a list of why’s….here’s a how…

How to take it?

ACV has become part of my morning ritual.  I typically have 2 Tbsp. mixed in my lemon water in the morning, often sweetened with a little local honey.*

*I also suggest rinsing your mouth afterward.  ACV is extremely acidic, I don’t want that hanging out on my tooth enamel all day!

Don’t wanna drink yours in water?  Find your own fav way to down your daily ACV!

You can add it to food as you cook.  You can dilute it with water.  You can add some honey to it.  You can pour it in your smoothies.  Limitless possibilities folks (just a Tbsp. here and a Tbsp. there…you feel me?)!!

What’s your favorite way to take your Amazing ACV for the day?

I’ve Been Waiting For You

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Life Is What You Make It

I know you’ve heard it.  We’ve all heard it.

I had heard it fifty gazillion times.  I had read The Secret, I had read the scriptures about the power of the tongue.  I knew about speaking things that weren’t as if they were.  I was (still am) a quote junkie.  I had quotes taped all over our house.

Yet, even with all that knowledge floating around, even with inspirational quote overdose… for years my life remained a collection of trials, pain, suffering and lack.

I was barely keeping my head above water.

Until one day I couldn’t.  I just couldn’t tread water anymore….

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I began to sink.  I sank and sank.  Deeper and deeper.

I felt like I was living in a hole.  My life consisted of going to work, then coming home to sleep. That was it.  That was my life.  I occasionally returned a text or call from a close friend, just so they wouldn’t send out a search party.  Other than that, I was a hermit.  I didn’t leave the house.  That would take too much energy.  On the rare occasion that I did find the energy, my anxiety was too fierce to allow me to leave the safety of my hermit shell.  I became so sad. And tired. I quit going to the gym.  My yoga mat, stored carefully in the corner of my bedroom, grew dusty from disuse.  I stopped drawing, I stopped journaling, I stopped painting.

I stopped living.

Life was passing me by.  With each day spent in my self-imposed prison, I grew more desperate.  I cried.  A lot.  I sat in the dark in my closet, one of the only places I could silence the anxiety.  I slept.  And slept.  Although no amount of rest or sleep was enough to combat my lack of energy.

I began to have scary thoughts.  Thoughts that said if this was all that life had to offer, I wasn’t sure I wanted it.  Thoughts that told me to just accept the fact that I was going to ride these repeated ups and downs forever.  I was worried about finances, I was worried about what I thought my career should look like, I was worried and guilted constantly by all my many failures.

Since checking out was just not an option (I have a basketball team of kids to think about!), checking into the nearest mental health facility seemed to be where I was headed.  I was at my breaking point.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I couldn’t stand my own self.

I am thankful that I had that though because, if I can’t stand myself…who is “I”?  This question would be posed (and answered) in a book I happened upon…

Perspective Shift

One day while mindlessly scrolling through the internet I discovered a video of Eckhart Tolle.  I can’t even tell you where I found it, or what he was saying, but I was intrigued.  Of course, Google was the first place I headed.  I read a tiny blurb about this book that Eckhart Tolle had written called Power of Now.  Typically, not one to make impulse buys, I did just that.  I ordered the book right then and there.

My life will never be the same.  I cannot tell you what that one little action has done for my life.  Eckhart Tolle led me to realize that I am not my mind.  That I can control my thoughts.  That I don’t have to be held prisoner.  That I can be free, that I can be awake.

Do I think that one book has all the answers?  No.  Do I think I have it all figured out now? No.

I am still working on me…I am nowhere near where I should be, where I want to be…I do NOT have it all figured out.

But for the first time in my life I am finally seeing the power of positivity first hand.  The change that comes when focus goes from the bad to the good.  The awesomeness that happens when I choose to be the watcher of my thoughts and emotions.

Since this tiny revelation, of being the “watcher”, BIG changes are happening.  EXCITING changes.  POSITIVE changes.  The grass seems greener, the sky bluer…I am able to let more just roll right off my back.  I am better able to just accept what is.  To lean into the discomfort and just breathe (sound familiar yogis?).

Big Dreams

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I worried that I would never find a way to be a mom, and a nurse, a student and still work on pursuing my passion (building my own company).  I didn’t know if that was even possible.  Was I being unrealistic?

As I began to shift my perspective.  I realized that everything was going to work out.  I realized that my dreams are big, but could be even bigger.  There are no limits on life except the ones we give ourselves!  I realized that I was going to take charge of my life.  I want to be limitless!  I decided I would take steps every day to get me closer to my goals.

One way or the other, I was going to keep pressing forward.  Being positive, being relentless in my pursuit of my purpose, watching my thoughts and emotions.

It’s Happening

Guess what guys?  It’s happening!!!! Positive vibes are coming at me from everywhere!  In fact, an opportunity landed in my lap just today that will bring much needed balance.   An opportunity that will allow me to continue my career, my education and pursue my passion.  In fact, I am sitting here, smiling like an idiot, in shock about it to be honest.

I cannot WAIT to receive more awesomeness into my life this year!!!!!!

The more I refuse to dwell on the negative, the more positive influences I welcome to my life, the more I am amazed!

My life has ALREADY changed in ways I never thought possible.  Doors are opening everywhere!

It’s like the Universe is saying, “I’ve been waiting for you”.  

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I Will Be A Failure

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“The single best thing you can do is EMBRACE FAILURE. Fail fast and hard and move on! You learn 10 times more from failure than from success.”

-Corey Townsend

This is the scariest, yet most freeing advice I have ever gotten.

First Step Is Admitting, Right?

Hello, my name is Kristal, and I am afraid of failure.

I shared my fitness journey and how I spent A LOT of time hiding in the corner of the gym, on the treadmill.  I had NO clue what I was doing, and I WAS AFRAID.  Afraid that if I lifted a weight I wouldn’t do it right.  Afraid I would look like an idiot.  I KNEW that I could never be comfortable in a gym.  All those skinny girls in spandex with perky booties, all those muscled-up men, all those health nuts.  They were intimidating!

I was AFRAID.  Afraid to try, afraid to fail.

It took someone holding my hand through the process, cheering me on, showing me that those “intimidating” people at the gym could care less if I looked like an idiot.  Showing me that even if they did care, it didn’t matter.  Showing me that this was about MY life, about making ME healthy.

Fast forward…. I now feel more at home in the gym than most other places.  It’s my retreat.  My therapy. My happy place.  I didn’t fail!  I worked hard, I listened, I read…I made it work for me!!  I took charge of my health.  I took charge of my body.

I found success in the health/fitness arena.  What I didn’t do was conquer my fear of failure.

Debilitated By Fear

My entire life I have dreamed of becoming a writer.  I have dreamed of owning my own business.  I have dreamed of traveling the world.  I have dreamed of making an impact by doing something that I am PASSIONATE about.

I am a chronic dreamer.  I have SO many ideas ALL the time.  What I lack is follow through.

Why is that?

Why have I not written the 101 novels that I have ideas for?  Why have I not written the 99 children’s books that I’ve dreamed up?  Why have I not started 3 companies?  Why have I not traveled?

I’ve been too afraid.

Afraid that this small-town girl who grew up in poor, rural, South Carolina would never have what it takes.  Afraid I was not “good enough” to be successful.  Afraid I was kidding myself with my crazy ideas and dreams.

I spent my life thinking that if I could just “get by” (have a steady job, a family, a decent car, a house instead of a trailer, some semblance of peace, etc.) that would be my life. That would mean I had “arrived”.

That was a lie.  A lie that I told myself.  A lie that I believed.  A lie that grew and grew until it became debilitating. I lie that I began to identify with. For years, I have let this lie destroy my life.

I have made many HUGE mistakes in my life.   I’ve felt like a failure as a person.  No matter how many successes I’ve had, no matter how many “good” things I’ve done, I could never view myself as “enough”.

Guess what?  I am realizing now, that I am NOT my past, I am NOT my depression, I am NOT my failures.

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I am WHOEVER and WHATEVER I decide to become.  All I have is NOW.  I can’t change the past.  I can’t change who I am.  What I can change is how I think and where I go from here.

I am determined to change my “stinkin thinkin”.  I am determined to chase my dreams RELENTLESSLY. I am determined to fail.

I realize now, that I am going to have to fail. More than once!  But guess what that means? It means…

I am going to TRY.  I am going to START. 

I am going to face my fears, and kick them in the teeth.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

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I will never be an author if I don’t WRITE.  I will never be my own boss if I don’t start TAKING ACTION to get me there.  I will never travel if I keep telling myself it’s not a possibility for me.

Guess what?? The hand-holding I needed to get off the corner treadmill….I still need it. We all do.  So I have started working on my circle.  Working on my average.  Working on surrounding myself with people who encourage me to chase my dreams.

I’ve realized that there is NO aspect of my life that should be passive.  I have to take charge of the energies I surround myself with.  I have to take charge of my goals by breaking them down into ACTIONS.  I have to take charge of my writing by…well, WRITING.

I am going to fail (over and over)…..and that is ok.  I will fail fast, and hard.  I will also be just as fast to get up, straighten my crown, and MOVE ON!!!

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Go ahead, get out there! FAIL hard and FAST, then MOVE ON!

Fail your way to greatness! 

What’s Your Average?

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“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

-Scott Dinsmore

 

Bam!  Truth bomb!

When I read this quote I had TONS of thoughts.  Thought I’d share a few:

Thought #1 –

There are not currently 5 people that I spend a lot of time with.  I’ve become quite the hermit lately.  I’ve battled depression and anxiety for the past couple months and when those dark times come, instead of doing what I know I should… reach out for support, I withdraw into myself and make as little connection with ANYONE as humanly possible.  There I stay, captured by thought and a feeling of continual angst.  Sounds fun right?!? Ugh.

I’ve got to get out more!

Thought #2-

My relationships with my loved ones are less than healthy. My relationship with my parents is strained, my relationship with my in-laws is distant (although they melt my heart and I would be lost without them), my relationship with Brent is a roller-coaster of emotion (he and I are opposites in MUCH, and while it is exciting, it is also a lot of work).  I’m not very close to anyone else in my family (in any sense, location included).

In fact, as I thought about this quote I realized that I am quite the loner.  Don’t get me wrong I love my alone time, but I think that is one reason I get trapped in my own head a lot.  This may seem like a negative discovery, but I am thankful for awareness.  I am thankful that I am discovering negative patterns in my life.  I am becoming aware!

Awareness is not always comfortable, but it is awesome!!

Thought #3 –

My favorite people in the whole world are such a random collective:

  • My “mom” – a Wiccan who lives in Florida. Haven’t been able to give her a real life hug in YEARS (I need to make that happen sooooooon), but she has been one constant in my crazy, crazy life.  She is my rock.
  • My spicy Puerto Rican – I can share the very deepest, darkest parts of my heart with her, and she loves me just the same.  Never any judgement.
  • My Boo – One of the first people to reach out to this struggling, hot mess of a pregnant chick (cough, cough…ME) that felt utterly alone after having recently moved. We’ve laughed and cried together. She makes my heart happy.
  • My BIG – A tattooed, wild-haired, vegan, earth loving, GIANT-hearted friend. No matter how long between contact our connection never fades. Love shines out of her!

The best people are the weird ones!

The ones who laugh BIG, who dream BIG, who love BIG.  The square pegs that REFUSE to fit in round holes.  The freethinkers.  The mavericks.

I am SOOOOO glad that my friends are all such strange folks!!!!!!

I wouldn’t have it ANY other way!

Thought #4 –

I am super blessed in the friend department.

There are so many more people who I hold dear.  So many people who have changed my life in positive ways.  As I contemplated my “average”, I caught myself thinking about how many people AMAZING people I have in my life.  Some I talk to regularly, most I don’t.  Some I haven’t talked to in years, yet they remain dear to my heart.  So many smiles as I think about these people.  So many amazing people I have the privilege to call friend.

I am reminded of the cheesy Girl Scout song that said, “Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.”

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I’ve collected so much silver and gold  over the years.

Thank you to everyone I call friend!

Thank you for making me smile, even as I type this!

Thought #5 –

I don’t want my “average” to be average.

I’m done with thinking small.  I’m done with petty.  I’m done with people who don’t love big.  I’m done with drama.  I’m done with settlers.

This year I vow to find and surround myself with people that I want to be like when I grow up (still haven’t decided if I EVER will).  People who are making a difference.  People who are spreading love and light.  People who not only dream BIG, but are accomplishing BIG things.

I had a convo tonight with another freethinker.  We talked about settling.  We decided we have done too much of that in our lives.  I just kept saying, “There has to be more.”

I believe that with my whole heart.  There is more.  There is life with purpose.  There is life full of happiness.  There is a true North for each of us to follow.

Here’s to finding purpose in 2017!

Here’s to a new year full of dreaming and achieving GINORMOUS things!!!!

Here’s to my friends both silver and gold!

I love you all!!!!

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