There’s A Snack For That

Quick Snack Ideas

Quick and easy, that’s where it’s at.

If you are anything like me, while looking for a snack you…

Open the pantry, grab the first thing you see, mindlessly eat it.

Five minutes later, you feel not so great and still NOT satisfied.

Ugh, even writing about it is unsatisfying…

Never fear! There is hope for people like me!

Yep, you heard me. Snacking doesn’t have to be all chips and cookies!

(Although, let’s face it, sometimes you NEED a cookie in your life.)

There are plenty of healthy foods that are quick and easy, and they’re out there, waiting for you….

To get your nosh on!

Time to think outside the box/bag!

Since I get requests all the time for quick, easy snack ideas, and also because I find myself staring mindlessly into the pantry, from time to time.  I thought I would share the love, and hopefully a little inspiration for snack-time! 😉

Without further ado,

Some snack ideas for you….

Healthy Snacks (1)

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?

Sum, Total.

Sum. Total.

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there.  Everything influences each of us…” -Maya Angelou

So powerful.  The sum total.  Each of us goes through this life, soaking up, basking in, running from, running toward.  Life is so messy.  It encircles us.  Life happens to us, we happen right back.  The lies we are told, the truths we refuse to hear.  Each a tiny piece in the puzzle that is us.  The person we become is shaped by each experience.  Lives intertwine, disconnect, support, destruct.  One life reverberates off another.  The great silk thread that links us all.  The underlying consciousness, the feeling of belonging we all search for.  Life is so complicated. So complex, so diverse.  That is where the beauty lies.  Beauty in diversity.  Beauty in each day, each moment being different than the last.

More.  I Want MORE.  I Need MORE.

I have felt so emotional lately.  I want so much more.  Not stuff, not possessions.  I want to help people find their own path.  I want to offer happiness in a world full of discord.  I want to see all the beautiful creations of Mother Earth.  I want to better my yoga practice.  I want to save EVERY animal.  I want to spread smiles like peanut butter.  I want to LIVE!

This past year has been…difficult.  I have battled with dark places within myself.  I have discovered negative thought patterns that threaten to ruin me.  I have learned that NO ONE is perfect, and EVERY ONE will let you down at some point (and that’s ok, we are all human).  I have struggled to find balance in all things.  I have cried, laughed, tasted the harshness of desperation, savored moments of pure bliss.

Looking Ahead.

If I am being honest, I don’t know where life will take me from this day forward.  All I know is that I am going to be ok.  I am going to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I have battled so much in my life and ALL I know for certain is that I WILL NOT QUIT.  I WILL NOT HANG MY HEAD IN DEFEAT.  I WILL NOT SETTLE FOR A LIFE I DON’T LOVE.  I WILL FIND MORE.

Thanks Peeps!

Thank you to everyone who has touched my life this past year.  Thank you for your encouragement, thank you for your criticism, thank you for helping to shape me into who I am.  I am so blessed with so many awesome people in my life.  I hope that you all take a little time and decide what it is that makes you tick.  What is your purpose in this crazy life of ours?  Once you find it…spin WILDLY in that direction!  I hope this year we all LIVE life to the fullest….each and every moment!  Spread love!  Spread happiness! Spread laughter!! Life is too short to do anything else!

Love and light to all!!!

sumtotal

 

Addicted To Thought

Confession

I’ve officially been MIA from my blog.  Not because I had nothing to say, simply because I couldn’t find the words nor energy to express all the things circling around in my head.  While my writing ceased, my thoughts grew.  That’s how it happens.  I begin going inward, getting lost in my own thoughts, lost in the worry of tomorrow and pain of yesterday.  It feels as if I lack the ability to get out of my own head.  I become trapped there. Fighting. Fighting through depression, fighting through sickness, fighting tiredness.  I become more and more unconnected.  I distance myself from friends, family, even Brent.  I feel alone in my pain, alone in my depression, alone in my cerebral prison.

Unfortunately, this experience is not new to me.  I have become aware of this pattern in my life.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Hello, my name is Kristal.  I am addicted to thought.

Cerebral Prisoner

I have become controlled by my thoughts.  This has led to being anxious, depressed, hopeless…I could go on.

So now what?  What do you do when your prison guard is with you 100% of the time?  How do you escape?

My quest begins!  I am hopeful that I will be able to break this habit.  I recently learned, I am not my mind.  Sounds crazy, right?  It’s not.  That statement alone has allowed me to climb out of the dark caverns I’ve been hiding in.  It has given me freedom to live.  I am not my thoughts.  Instead I am the keeper of thoughts, the watcher of the mind.

I am becoming more aware.  More aware of my thoughts, my emotions, my reactions, my anxieties.

The Watcher

So far, this has been quite a change.  It is changing the way I look at myself.  I am no longer defined by my mind.  I am the watcher.  I like it.  Just this slight change in perception has already helped to quell my anxieties.  Becoming the watcher has made me feel more at peace, more even tempered, more hopeful.

I have so far to go.  My mind is not the only thing that is in desperate need of change.  While hibernating in the darkness I have not been kind to my mind or body.  I know that.  Again…I am admitting…. As I become more and more identified with the watcher I am more aware of the need for balance.  Yes, balance (there’s that word again, my favorite word for quite some time now.  Balance in all things is what I’m after).  I must start feeding my body what it needs.  I must start moving more.  I must keep myself hydrated.

Begin Again

Stoked, to see what this journey is going to teach me.  Happy, that instead of becoming the definition of insanity, I am breaking those patterns in my life that aren’t working for me.

This is just the beginning.  I am retraining my brain.  Taking charge of my mind, which gives me charge of my life.  I WILL run my life, instead of life running me.

Recent Inspo

Women Who Run With the Wolves

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The Power of Now

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Live Your Legend

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What are your thoughts?  Do you identify yourself solely through your thoughts?  Do you think the mind is powerful enough to control us without our even being aware of it?  

 

 

 

50 Reasons Exercise = Magic

I’m constantly saying, “Don’t you wish there were a magic pill you could take that would immediately make you healthy, happy, and HOT?” You may be laughing but I bet you’ve said the exact same thing!

I’m happy to inform you today that there IS a MAGIC PILL!!!  One that cures just about anything that might ail ya!  One that EVERYONE has access to!  One that has NO nasty side effects!  One that is FREE, even if you don’t have awesome insurance!  One that begins working IMMEDIATELY!

Yep, you guessed it…EXERCISE = MAGIC PILL!

Look, I know this is not rocket science.  I know that most everyone on the planet has heard the benefits of exercise over and over.

My question is, WHY AREN’T WE LISTENING?

I  read an article in TIME magazine discussing the science behind exercise.  Exercise is scientifically proven to alleviate and aide in numerous body functions.  Exercise can regenerate neurons in the brain…holding off nasty disease processes like dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Exercise boosts your brain power!!

Exercise is really the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH!  Who doesn’t want to stumble into that and come out with shiny hair, glowing skin and a toned, firm body??  I do! I do! Exercise reverses aging on a cellular level!

This information has my mind going in a million directions…

Why do we run to chemical medications to heal our body, instead of doing our best to prevent the illnesses in the first place?

Why do we fill our bodies full of junk and then expect them to function normally?

Why do insurance companies pay for preventative medicine, but not gym memberships?

If we know how to prevent sickness, if we know that exercise changes a person all the way down to their cells, why are the masses not taking advantage of this miracle cure?

The excuses are always hanging around.  Not enough time.  Too hard.  Not fun.

It’s time to kick those excuses to the curb.  Exercise doesn’t have to be a marathon. You don’t have to take on CrossFit or American Ninja Warrior workouts.  If you are new to the world of movement, start small.  Take a thirty minute stroll through your neighborhood.  If you are pinched for time, make it snappy.  Doing a 10 minute high intensity interval workout is just as effective as a longer, lower intensity, workout.  Do anything that makes you feel good, the only requirement = MOVE YOUR BODY!!

You are now my witnesses.  I am going to do my best to educate every person that I know about the miracles of exercise (even though that sounds super cheesy).  I am going to sing it from the rafters (ok, maybe not the rafters because I’m scared of heights)!  A magic, miracle drug is out there!  Waiting for you to take advantage of it!!!

Who’s with me?  Let’s dive into the fountain of youth!!!

If you aren’t convinced already here are 50 more reasons to get that body moving!!

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Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

I confess I am a wannabee Yogi.  I don’t practice nearly enough.  I am a professional procrastinator which has taken a toll on my yoga goals.  Those times that I do make it to my mat to practice, my soul is revived! Yoga is like medicine for me!

When I grow up, I want to be a 20-something tan, blonde chick living in Aruba teaching yoga & rescuing animals, okay??  Seriously, doesn’t that sound fantastic? The author of this book meets all of that criteria!!

Rachel Brathen

I discovered this bad ass Yogi through her Instagram posts.  Her name is Rachel Brathen, aka – Instagram’s @yogagirl.  What I love most about her is that she is full of honesty.  Her Instagram posts can be quite emotional; therefore, they aren’t always pretty.  She has bared her soul more than a few times to her followers.  That’s what made me buy her book.  That’s what this world needs more of.  Raw, honest, emotion.  So before I climb farther on top of my soap box, let’s talk about it…

The Book

yoga girl book(This cover makes me want to head on over to delta.com and book a flight to Aruba ASAP!)

 

While reading Yoga Girl, Rachel gives readers a deeper glimpse into her life.  Openly sharing childhood tragedy, troubled teenage years, and her struggle with labels.   She talks intimately about her triumphs and her failures.  She shares beautiful pictures, yoga routines and even some delicious recipes!

As I stated earlier, I am a WANNABE.  This chick is the real deal!  No worries though, her book is written to ANYONE who gets, or wants to get, on a mat (in fact, she says so in her book dedication).

PHOTOS:  Just like the book cover, the photos included within these pages are breathtaking!  There are candid shots, yoga poses, and the most beautiful natural scenery!  They are truly a feast for the eyes and add even more impact to the message of the book.

YOGA ROUTINES:  The yoga sequences are written so that anyone can master them.  They are beautifully depicted and underneath each movement is a description that when read aloud sounds just like your typical day in yoga class.  “Inhale to lengthen the spine…” “Exhale to step back one foot at a time…” “Come to a standing position…”  Seriously, you can just have someone read these to you while you do them and save your $15 drop-in yoga class fee for the day!

RECIPES:  Rachel includes step by step instructions on how to make some of her favorites dishes!  I have already tried a couple!  The carrot ginger soup is YUMMO!!!!  Her holistic approach to food gives you permission to enjoy eating while at the same time fueling your body with healthy nutrients!

KEEPIN’ IT REAL:  I love that Rachel talks about real issues that everyone faces.  Body image.  Expectation. Disappointment.  She is open to the fact that we are all human.  We will never be perfect.  We may never live up to someone else’s expectations, but she also lets the reader know, that is okay.  We are all here for a purpose.  We are here to live our lives in a way that produces health and happiness.  We don’t have to settle for anything less.

Rachel encourages readers to shed the weights that have been holding you back.  She encourages living!  True living!  This book is truly inspiring!!! I have read it at least three times, and each time I discover another truth to carry with me as I journey through life.

If you need a boost, a pick me up, a smile.  If you are looking for direction in life.  If you are searching for peace, but aren’t quite sure how to find it.  This book is for you!!!!

THOUGHTS: Leave me comments.  I want to hear from you!  Have you read this book?  What were your thoughts?

After you check out the book, head over and check out Rachel’s website oneoeight.com.  It is an amazing tool with yoga videos, guided meditations, advice, recipes and so much more!! 

namaste