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The Health Mama

helping healing with whole food nutrition

Month

February 2015

Video of Angie

Here is a special little video Angie and I made last week when I was getting ready to leave. I asked her to just record an update of herself. I just wanted some of you that don’t get to see or talk with Angie, to be able to get a little glimpse of her. I know it may be a little hard to hear, but hopefully you can see her strength when she talks. She also need some extra prayers today or even some advice if any of you have some just leave in the comments. She is having really bad nausea from the new drug and also extremely tired. She will be be meeting with her doctor soon and hopefully the side effects will lessen.
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Hugs to you today Angie!!!

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Fighting Cancer with Courage

This video reminds me of my courageous sister. This post today is for her. She is my hero.

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This was before being diagnosed with cancer.

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She cut her hair really short about a week ago, but it just kept falling out in chunks so after we were walking, we decided it was time to shave the remaining hair off.
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This takes serious courage!

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She looks beautiful. Her light just shines through her.

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I had an amazing week in Lincoln, California with my sister Angie. I drove 10 hours with my four kiddos and my sweet mother so we could see Angie and just be with her. We took over her house and her food and my kids were noisy and busy, BUT what a gift it was for us to be with her.

When we arrived Angie had mentioned the day before that her hair was coming out in chunks from the radiation. I asked her to wait to shave it and I could help her do it. She waited and the next day we shaved her hair. She didn’t shed any tears while we were doing it. She looked beautiful and courageous. She let me take photos and some video. I knew that she would give courage to others who may be in this same situation in their own life or have a loved one that is suffering from an illness that may make her or him not feel like themselves at certain moments. I don’t know what it is like to lose your hair and have to have a visible sign to others that you have cancer, but it was easy to look at Angie and see so much more than just her hair.

As I got home today, I was looking through the photos and was amazed at my sisters smile, her eyes that light up, her beautiful body that is strong. She looked beautiful all weekend. She bought some really cute wigs for times when she wants to go out and not have anyone wonder if she has cancer. But really my favorite was when she didn’t have her wig on. She has these really cute hats and when she took them off on those rare occasions, I just marveled at her beauty. The radiation treatments are done for now and so hopefully her hair will grow back in awhile, but even if it didn’t, she would still be the most beautiful women I know. I have always looked up to her and do more now than ever.
While we were there we could observe how she constantly takes care of her kids and husband. She is always there for her family, even when she really should just be taking care of herself. She has these three amazing kids and a loving husband that adore her and count on her for everything. They need her and she needs them.

We went on long walks everyday and just talked. We went to San Francisco one day and saw Golden Gate Park, the bridges, the beach and Pier 39. We ended the day eating at The Rainforest Cafe, which the kids thought was cool. It was just a great week. I have so many wonderful photos and a video from Angie that I will be posting soon. I hope they anyone that reads this will share it with someone they love or know that is affected by cancer. I think we are here on the earth to help one another and sometimes it’s good to know you are not alone.

Thank you all for the prayers and kind words you leave me or Angie. I know that prayers are answered and the more we get on her behalf the better.

Turmeric Tea

There is something that is exceptionally comforting about this hot beverage; I compare it to a long hug for your gut. I love homemade hot chocolate drinks, made with raw cocoa but sometimes I want something a little different. This is anti-flammatory and so great for healing. I hope everyone will try it. It’s also a great breakfast alternative instead of coffee.

Enjoy!

Anti Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

2 cups coconut milk
2 tbsp grass fed butter or coconut oil
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp maca (optional)
1/2 tsp pure organic vanilla
Sweetener, Optional: 1tsp honey, maple syrup or stevia (drinker’s choice!)

Boil coconut milk on hot stove and stir in all the ingredients, except the sweetener.

Pour into a blender and blend for 10-15 seconds, it will create a perfectly creamy and comforting consistency and of course that coffee shop froth we all love.

Easy Dinner Ideas and Fermented Vegetables

Sauerkraut Recipe:

NOTE: You’ll need to have a large pot or mixing bowl, 2 wide-mouthed 32oz sterilized glass jars, and wooden spoon. If you have a food processor, then that makes it very quickly.

Yield: 2, 32-oz jars.
Ingredients:
1 large head of green cabbage, sliced into thin strips (set large outer leaves aside)
1 Tbsp unrefined sea salt (I like Redmond Real Salt)
2 large carrots
2-4 cloves of garlic (2 if large, 4 if smaller)
Black pepper to taste – a few grinds will work

Preparation:
Place 1/3 of your sliced cabbage into your large bowl and sprinkle 1 Tsp of the salt over it. Using your hands and wooden spoon and squeeze and stir the cabbage until some of the water content begins to come out of it and the cabbage seems wet.
Repeat this process adding the remaining cabbage and salt 1/3 at a time to the bowl. Squeeze and stir the mixture until you can see water running off of the cabbage. This will take time and elbow-grease, so be ready to get your hands involved.
Peel and then grate the carrots on a box grater or in a food processor.
Peel and then finely slice the garlic.
Add the shredded carrots, garlic, and black pepper to the mixture and combine with your hands.
Fill the 2 jars evenly, pressing the mixture down so that water releases and raises above the line of the vegetables. Continue doing this until the jars are filled with about 2″ of space remaining at the top.
Wedge the large outer leaves of the cabbage you had set aside into the top of the jars so that the mixture is underneath it and the water level raises above the flat cabbage leaf. You will want to use a small pinch bowl or a shot glass as additional weight to keep the mixture down.
Set the filled jars aside on a cookie sheet or in any other large, flat container with an edge so that if there is any spillover you keep it contained. Set the jars/cookie sheet aside in a secure place at room temperature where they will not be disturbed.
Check on your raw sauerkraut every day or two to make sure that the water level has remained above the vegetables and that no vegetables are touching the surface and coming into contact with air. The fermentation process happens under water, so if you do see anything touching the surface, use a clean spoon to remove it. You may also see some growth or mold form around the top of the liquid- this is normal but it’s best to remove it when you see it. If you need to add liquid to the jars, add some fresh water to make sure that everything is below a water line. The weights should a lot help with this.
After about one week, remove the weight and top piece of cabbage from the kraut, remove a thin layer of the top of the kraut and give it a taste. It should be sour but probably not “there” yet. Allow the sauerkraut to sit for at least 2 weeks and taste it periodically as you wish to check on it.
Once the sauerkraut tastes as you like it, place the lid on it and store it in the refrigerator. It will last for several months while refrigerated and will not continue to ferment further.
Variations:
Plain raw sauerkraut: use just cabbage and salt.
Traditional raw sauerkraut: use cabbage, salt and caraway seeds (about 1Tbsp for this recipe).
Sweet and tangy sauerkraut: use red cabbage, salt, raisins or currants, cinnamon and fennel seeds.
Seasonal fall sauerkraut: use cabbage, salt, green apples, sliced fennel and leeks.

Valentine’s Day

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We went to a Valentine’s Day this weekend that was 50’s style. It was so much fun dressing up, dancing all night and just enjoying being together. These are some of my favorite nights with my sweetheart. This Saturday is Valentine’s Day so here are a few ideas for you.

I got these 8 ways to show love from a blog post by Diane Sanflippo and the balanced bites website. She has some great recipes, but loved these ideas that she shared on others ways to show love this week. I always write a note to each of my kids and heart attack their doors with hearts that say positive affirmations about them. Isaac’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day so we usually celebrate that and do our own Valentine’s Day the day before or after. I will share a few healthy treat options this week, but wanted to send this out to let you start thinking of what you want to do for those you love.

8 WAYS TO SHOW LOVE THAT DON’T INVOLVE FOOD
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and many of you will want to prepare an extravagant dinner or shower your loved one in treats, sweets, and goodies. And I’m all for that.

But what if your loved one is working on a weight loss or “cleaner” eating goal? Would your love for them with food really be showing love and support?
Possibly, if it’s a well-prepared meal of food that fits the bill. Or possibly not. Or maybe you don’t even know how to cook something or want to figure out what this week’s nutrition goal is for your loved one.

I want to take this time to share with you some ideas I have for showing your love that don’t involve food.

1. Frame a favorite photograph.
Chances are, most of the photos you’re sharing together are either online or simply trapped in a digital purgatory. Print a favorite photo and bring it to life! You can either print something at home on a color printer, at a local drug store, or send it through an online service if you have some more time. If you’re feeling even more motivated, you can get a bunch of photos together from an event, trip, or time together and make them into a book. Both iPhoto and Blurb offer great printing options and I’m sure there are many others as well!

2. Share your talents.
Are you a great painter? Can you sing? Or play music? Maybe you can help someone update their website, or show them how to do something they’ve been wanting to learn. Express your talents and make use of the skills you have by sharing them with someone or teaching someone else how to have them too.

3. Give hugs (or kisses – or both).
Hugs (and kisses) are free to give and have limitless reserves. Why not share them more often?

4. Lighten a load.
Are there chores or tasks that your loved one typically does in his or her day that you could do instead for a change? Lightening the load on your loved one’s back is a great way to show that you care that his or her time is freed up for something more enjoyable – perhaps a yoga class, or just some downtime. Whatever your loved one decides to do with that free time – allow it to be without interruption.

5. Create a collage.
I think I must have made collages at least once a year as a kid. I remember loving to peel through magazines and find things that I thought were cool or special, clipping out photos and words, and pasting them to a poster board or piece of paper. What if someone handed you a collage all of photos and words that reminded them of you? Pretty sweet, huh?

6. Listen well.
You have conversations with your loved one often, but how many times are you listening – I mean, really listening? Have a conversation with your loved one and tune in – make sure he or she is heard well – and given time to say what he or she wants to say. Everyone wants to be heard, but often we simply don’t listen well enough to make this happen.

7. Offer your time.
Perhaps you want to help out your loved one, but aren’t sure what would be the most appreciated use of your time. In this case, simply offering up a chunk of your time to whatever it is that your loved one wants to do is a fantastic way to show you care. With this gift of time, it’s important that you not attach any strings or hold any expectations about what it will be used for – that wouldn’t be fair! Offer your time and show up with an open mind and a loving attitude. Whether you end up at a movie, a shopping mall, running errands, or maybe right at home on a couch with a good movie, valuing your loved one’s choice in how to share your time is a fantastic gift.

8. Say how you feel.
This really should go without saying, but we often hold back from saying how we feel for no good reason. Express yourself verbally – either in writing or by saying it out loud – a simple “I love you” goes pretty darned far.

How to be happy

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All these photos make me happy. When we get to spend time with the ones we love, go on vacations, laugh with best friends, sing, act silly, and even put your swimming suit on wrong, all can make me happy. I have been struggling with what to post the last few weeks. I think it is because Angie had a set back with the cancer and it just made me depressed. It wasn’t as if I was giving up on her or her cancer. It was just that nothing seemed important enough to share with others. No recipe, or tip just seemed to feel right. I wanted to share something with all of you that would help give you hope in your own trials and make a difference in your day. I am not sure this blog always does that, but I do know that life is too short and we all don’t know when we are done here. I feel like we are here to help each other. It is about just doing your best, even when life is hard and speed bumps come sometimes when your not ready for them, but you just slow down and take one at a time. Today, I just wanted to share a few simple stragies to become happier everyday.

1. Gratitude Journal

I know this isn’t a new concept but it needs to be talked about again. I have been writing in my little journal every night just three things I was grateful for that happened that day. It takes me less than a minute and has had a major impact on me. Somedays, I am just searching for what that one thing was, but I can always find something. Yesterday, it was that out of the blue, Mya kept yelling “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom,” until I finally stopped and said “what Mya?” She then said, “I love you.” and went off jumping on the couch again like she knows she shouldn’t. It can be so simple, but something that is so easy to forget and not take that moment to thank Heavenly Father for. I realize each day how many tender mercies are given to me and how blessed I am to have the friends and family I have. Adam may have taken a minute to make the bed that day, or Ella did all her chores without being asked and left me a sweet note. Isaac made dinner or breakfast for our family or Caleb gave all his candy he got at school to a friend. Sometimes, it is just that Mya took a nap without much work and I got to just read for an hour. There are simple things that happen everyday that are blessings in our lives.

Make the time to write down 3 things you are grateful for.

2. Feed and Nourish your body

Everyone should be able to agree that what you feed your body affects how you think, act, treat others, digest foods, heal, rebuild, and sleep. Eating good food, helps your mood. Good fats help your brain work. There is all kinds of food that has been studied and actually helps your stress level, like Dark Chocolate- 72% or higher only though. If you don’t know this for yourself you NEED to test this one out. Go on a whole foods/Read foods detox for 30 days. No processed foods or added sugars, no artifical colors or additives, just real foods that nourish your body and soul. Food does make you happy! Make it REAL Food and see the happiness it can bring in the long run.

3. Meditation, breathing and spiritual upliftment.

This is also a MUST everyday. You need to take time to pray. You need to take time to breath and be outside. You need to take time to talk with your Heavenly Father and reflect on all that is good in your life. I love yoga and deep tissue work. It completely destresses me and helps me to be more calm throughout the day. Reading great books, studying your scriptures or listening to relaxing music can also uplift your soul. I often play classical music in the mornings before I wake up the kids to get myself in the right mind set before all the stress begins. I seem to also play it when my kids walk in the door. Apparently, my kids are a great source of my joy and my stress. Scents are also powerful. Peppermint oil will help you digest, wake up and focus. Lavender relaxes your mind and body. There are so many wonderful essential oils that really improve your mood just by breathing them in everyday.

Angie is doing great, being positive and fighting the fight everyday. We all love her and wish we could do more to help her with this battle. She just finished radiation treatments this week. I know the Lord has a purpose for her and this illness she is fighting. She has been our teacher and our example this past year. She has influenced us all to be better and focus on what’s important in this life. Why are we here? What lives can we touch while we are here. Who can we help? I love you Angie! I hope we can all focus on small things that can bring joy and happiness into our day everyday.

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