How to get out of a rut

Stuck in Life? Your Very Own Depression Groundhog Day: How to get out of a rut

Stuck in Life? Your Very Own Depression Groundhog Day: How to get out of a rut

Personally, I prefer Ghostbusters, but Bill Murray considers Groundhog Day his “best work”. I can understand his perspective. Advertised as a comedy, the movie genuinely contains profound complexities. As Bill’s character, Phil Connors, moves through the duplication of each day, subtle elements begin to change within Phil. On the surface, Phil believes he lives in unending repetition. However, each day is anything but a repeat, which allowed Bill Murray to expand his range of talent while still being “Bill”. Ultimately, this movie is a perfect example of the brain’s grand capacity to fool us into the illusion of every day being a never-ending rut.

Watch it carefully and you will see:
• Phil correctly answers all the questions on Jeopardy. He grew in knowledge.
• At the beginning of the movie, Phil cannot play the piano. Yet later he perfectly plays “Boogie Woogie” and becomes a master pianist.
• He also becomes an exquisite ice sculptor.
• Previously Phil ignored a homeless man, letting him die. However, without conscious thought, Phil learns compassion and attempts to save the fellow.

While in his rut, Phil begins to train his brain. He creates change within himself that eventually allows him to end the movie by saying, “Do you know what today is? Today is tomorrow.” Meaning he recognized he was no longer the same person, nor would he relive the same day ever again.

Many times in my practice, I hear, “I feel like I’m in a rut. I want to change, but I can’t seem to make it happen.” I get it. It’s as though some force takes over, allowing the universe to drop an invisible banana peel in the way so you slip every time you take a step in any direction. On top of it all, depression starts to hit…creating a double whammy. You are not alone. We all experience this at some point.

Get out of a rut

I wish there were a simple answer to becoming “unstuck in life”…there’s not. Try searching Google for the phrase, “how to get out of a rut”, its one of the first four auto fill keywords. All around are endless articles on Google sharing the importance of eating healthy, working out, being with supportive people, and getting great sleep. Perhaps you’ve even read my earlier blog post “Sleepless in Denver” (http://www.infocuscounselingdenver.com/sleep-issues/sleep-issues/).

These suggestions are equally important and frustrating. As with Phil Connors, it will take work that may occasionally be easy, but more than likely will require time and commitment. The gift though, is that in the end, we each have the opportunity of meeting a self we may not have realized was inside all along.

Many areas of research apply as to why we fall into the “rut”. Simply put, it boils down to a hierarchy of needs, states of being, time (habituation is the term), and our brain. When good things don’t happen, life seems boring and has a bleak look. The brain then traps itself in a negative issues’ loop…a.k.a. survival mode. It, and we as people, shy away from change. The brain can and will alter, but it doesn’t like it. With the neural circuitry in the brain, the more we use it, the quicker it is and the more it wants to respond in that way.

Think of the brain as sticky tape to negative thoughts. Negative thoughts breed more of the nasty little gremlins and the brain will gorge on them. Rather like eating an entire Costco-size bag of Doritos while binge watching three seasons of Gilmore Girls and Dexter on Netflix.

Sometimes we focus on what is in front of us instead of looking at the bigger picture. Think of the saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” We put too much attention on painful memories, unresolved emotions, and mental fog or blocks. Read this carefully…You have to meet yourself where you are today. When we have doubt, it gets in the way of opportunity. Things, people, ideas, beliefs, actions, behaviors all hold us back in many ways. Becoming unstuck in life is about living for your today, not your tomorrow.

“Getting unstuck is about living for your today, not your tomorrow.” Click To Tweet

How to get out of a rut…

1. Look at the big picture — This is about meeting yourself where you are. What are the current issues? Where do you want to be? And what is the in between? Remember, “The way out, is through.”

2. Set small daily attainable goals — Don’t push things off or away. Build on micro-successes. If you have a long to-do list, go ahead and cross off some tasks off. Long unattainable daily lists are a set up for feeling like a failure.

3. Get out and away from stagnant feelings — This is dual purpose for self-care and getting out to see new things (Self-Care Pins). Read a book, learn to meditate, take naps, journal, write a story, knit, color, or go outside for a walk. A friend, who is an editor, told me that when she’s stymied on a problem within a book she takes her dog for a walk, goes for a run (on the treadmill since she’s a klutz), or takes a shower. All of these change how her brain is processing in that moment. Typically, when returning to the edit the answer reveals itself. “When we focus on the problems, we start to concentrate too much on that solution instead of the purpose.”

3. Define — What do you need, want, and value? Log your own wants and needs. Begin communicating and building a relationship with yourself. Yeah, this is a hard one.

4. Express Gratitude — Talk about the good, even when it’s not good enough. Express gratitude to others and yourself. You can find one positive thing about today, even if it’s as simple as managing to get the right kid on the right school bus. Again, meet yourself where you are.

5. Live in Beauty — The French believe each day should be lived in beauty. No, that doesn’t give free rein to having a closet of Jimmy Choo shoes and Kate Spade bags…though it would be nice. I do love a nice pair of shoes. It expresses that life is beautiful…hardships and all. Notice the single flower reaching for the sunshine through the snow, or the dog out for a walk, wagging his tail and carrying a favorite ball. That is beauty. It’s also a moment of perfect clarity.

6. Checking in with your Emotions — This does not mean start talking to everyone about your feelings. It equates to acknowledging the emotions within yourself. I have a friend who says he’d rather be filled with tacos than filled with emotions. And yet, he is a very self-aware person.

6. Change your self-talk — Self-talk is vital. Remember how the brain works. If you talk to yourself in a way that increases the feelings of being in a rut or depressing thoughts, well…then you continue to be stuck in your own negative whirlpool.

7. Make room for errors — There are only two constants in life…fashion and humans being perfectly imperfect. Perfection has no place in life when the brain isn’t actively seeking new input. When a car becomes trapped in mud, we do all we can to set it free. Your brain is the car and it’s your job to give it freedom.

How many days will you continue to let drag by? The estimation is Phil Connors passed 12,395 days before “today” became “tomorrow”. This is your opportunity to do something caring and self-loving to move toward the life you want or get through difficult times. Be mindful of recognizing what you need.

Are you stuck in life, living your own personal Groundhog Day in Denver? Would you like to address some areas of life that have you trapped? Do you think anxiety or depression have you feeling stuck in a rut? If so, please call for a phone consultation appointment at (720) 295-9522.

No one person has all the answers, but through being a community, we generate ideas and support. If you’d like to see more of my posts and Pinterest projects, I invite you to sign up to receive my monthly blog here.

Sleepless in Denver: Insomnia, Sleep Issues, and Anxiety… Oh My!

Sleepless in Denver:
Insomnia, Sleep Issues, and Anxiety… Oh My!

Unlike the romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle with its perfect happily ever after, more of us feel like we live in an episode of The Walking Dead…as in we’re the zombie and not the super-cool character using the wicked-looking sword.

Tonight is the night. You’re sure of it. There’s an element of excitement as you crawl between the cool sheets and nestle down for hours of blissful sleep.

And then…

Three hours later, you know exactly how many rotations the fan will turn in a minute. It’s information sure to be significant to some innocuous university study in the future, but has zero to do with sleep. Toss. Turn. Repeat. Kick off the covers. Put the covers back on. You solve a few world problems.

The fantasy of waking in the morning like a Sleep Number commercial is now officially over when you look at the clock and realize it’s three a.m.

Six a.m. The alarm goes off, sounding more like an air-raid siren than Sixx: A.M.’s “Life is Beautiful”.

Fine. Okay. You know you can do this. Why? Because sleepless nights have become your life and you haven’t passed out yet. Now it’s time to drag through the house, getting yourself, the kids, your spouse, and the dog all organized for the day. You can’t find the milk…until you open the cereal cabinet. Oh yeah. There it is—along with a banana peel from yesterday’s breakfast. Mental note: buy milk and bananas.

All the energy in your body is focused on getting everyone out of the house (No, the dog can’t go on the school bus…the principal frowns on that.) so you can hit the corner Starbucks for that precious double-shot espresso. Arriving at the office, knowing you’ll be sitting there for the next eight-to-nine hours, you’ve not one clue how you’ll manage it without doing a face-plant on your keyboard. All you know is, “Must woorrrrk…woooooorrk.”

You are now in full zombie mode.

Sleep Issues

THE FACTS ON SLEEP ISSUES

Insomnia — Yup, I said it. Insomnia affects 20-40% of adults at some course of the year (http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/).

Insomnia falls under one of these sleep complaint categories:

  • Difficulty initiating sleep.
  • Difficulty maintaining sleep.
  • Early-morning waking with inability to return to sleep.

These sleep issues start to have an impact on life, cause significant distress, occur at least three nights per week for at least three months, despite opportunities to sleep, and is not explained by other medical or mental health issues.

Simply put, the brain needs sleep. Sleep is the way the brain reaches rest, and processes the day, events, and other information into stored memory (event, short, and long term). With a lack of sleep, the brain and body has to redistribute energy and use vital resources to keep the machine running. Notice how the idea of exercising when in the grip of insomnia becomes a horrifying thought?

Impact of sleep on your body — A lack of sleep produces unpleasant symptoms such as:

  • Irritability
  • Risky decisions
  • Hallucinations
  • Slurred speech
  • General lack of concentration
  • False memories
  • Shrinkage in areas of the brain
  • And then a natural part of human behavior—overcorrection.

I didn’t think I’d ever sleep again

I am no stranger to sleep issues. In fact, I spent my twenties on very little sleep. Frustration was the essence of what my life had become. What should have been a time to explore (have fun!) and discover who I would ultimately be as an adult, I was living life as a zombie.

A part of me believed this was who I was. And, honestly, I’m not sure I liked that person.

I was studying psychology, so I understood the theories on sleep issues, but understanding theory and actual application can be two very different arenas.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to sleep issues. However, we all have the same first step—figuring out our own individual system.

We’ve all heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results. The brain is routine oriented. Kicking insomnia in the butt requires breaking the old routine cycle and creating a new one.

Kicking insomnia in the butt, requires breaking the old routine cycle and creating a new one. Click To Tweet

“Kicking insomnia in the butt, requires breaking the old routine cycle and creating a new one.”

The pleasure in rediscovering sleep and myself

It didn’t happen overnight, but I did manage to retrain my brain to accept a new sleep routine and in the process rediscover my relationship with myself.

Journaling was a big one for me. Why? I was so tired all the time my brain was having a difficult time connecting the dots. Journaling gave me the opportunity to write little bits and pieces down that I could later go back and review. I know, many of you are thinking, “I don’t have time or energy to journal…next!” But trust me on this one. Use the Notes aspect of your phone, a cute little notebook, whatever. In the amount of time it takes to send a text or Tweet, you can write a journal entry. Depending upon your use of Twitter, it could be a useful tool in connecting with others who are experiencing the same sleep issues.

For me, sleep came with a lot of effort and a change of routine. Through journaling, I discovered that if I could take my brain “offline” in the evening, a full night’s sleep was more likely to occur. Offline does not mean watching TV or perusing the internet, both of which stimulates the brain.

Taking the brain offline requires a deeper distraction. We may tease those adults who play video games, but doing so removes the brain from the day and into a new world of adventure. A good recommendation…and one that stays in this post’s zombie theme is Call of Duty. The zombies are WWII Nazis and the heroes are entertaining characters. Now if only I could get past level two.

If ousting zombies is not your thing, try crocheting. I found several good beginner You Tube videos. I personally enjoy Melanie Ham’s video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yB83IQYGeI) for creating a simple infinity scarf. Crocheting has found a resurgence across all age groups. It not only takes the brain offline, it creates relaxation within the body (which is good for encouraging sleep), and provides a creative outlet. For ideas on easy crocheting, see my Pinterest board here and here.

I have also included limiting caffeine and alcohol, increasing relaxation, yoga, and chiropractic care as part my health routine to enhance and encourage healthy sleep habits.

CREATIVE SLEEP TIPS TO MANAGE SLEEP ISSUES

I am sure you’ve tried some of these suggestions. Keep in mind each body responds to change and sensory stimuli differently. The below has been modified based on my work with clients, my own sleep issues, and sleep tips from the CDC (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips).

  1. Boundaries — As with everything we need in life, boundaries are important. Give your mind time to unwind from the day.
  1. Use your imagination — Doze off into your subconscious. Creating mental imagery is the method behind counting sheep. Counting sheep does work for some. If it’s not for you, create a safe or creative place you look forward to visiting. Allow yourself to fall into this subconscious world, which in turn, washes away worries and concerns, encouraging sleep.
  1. A sleep routine — The brain loves routine. Not necessarily when first starting a new task but once something becomes habitual, the brain sinks into that “comfort”.
  • Routine can help signal the body to begin the sleep process. Try:
    • showering
    • face washing and tooth brushing
    • reading
    • prepping for the next day
    • having a nightly cup of tea such as chamomile.
  1. Diet — Yup! I said it. The dreaded, “What are you eating?” question. This is one of the hardest parts of life—a balanced diet. But, if sleep is being evasive, my first question is: What are you eating and when? No diet overhaul needed. Try limiting food two hours before bed along with eating foods and warm drinks that encourage sleep. Dietary supplements or spices may help with sleep. For further information on these, see my Pinterest board here.
  1. Attune to your senses — Using essential oils, diffusers, sensory input around your room, candles, temperature changes, pillows, ambient noise, lack of noise, fluffy blankets and comfortable sheets. Create a space for your sleeping cave.
  1. Limit substances — alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and caffeine — Even when alcohol may help initiate asleep, it does not allow for deep sleep. The sleep the body needs most. Instead, the body is in work mode, detoxing.
  1. Exercise — Yoga stretching before bed and making sure you get a workout routine in, even simply going for a walk around the block.
  1. Limit time lying in bed — If you get up in the middle of the night, do something anti-brain stimulating—as in, no TV, radio, Phone, electronics. Grab a book, journal, use adult coloring books.
  1. Have a bedtime — It’s important to hold bedtime boundaries and keep your schedule on the weekends.
  1. Keep your own blanket — If you sleep with a partner or a pet companion, you are the victim of a blanket thief or you might actually be the thief. No judgment here! Just get your own blanket. Squirming around, fighting for your share, creates uncomfortable sleeping and is likely to be a distraction.

There is no one quick way you can fall asleep. Routine and new habits are essential. Practice patience with yourself. Realize when you’ve tried everything and now it’s time for the next step by seeking professional consultation.

Are you Sleepless in Denver? Would you like to address sleeping patterns or underlying thoughts that keep you awake? If so, please call for an appointment for a phone consultation (720) 295-9522.

No one person has all the answers, but through being a community, we generate ideas and support. If you’d like to see more of my posts and Pinterest projects, I invite you to sign up to receive my monthly blog here.

Clutter_can_contribute_to_anxiety

Clutter…I like mine shaken not stirred: Why clutter can contribute to anxiety

Clutter_I_like_mine_shaken_not_stirred_why_clutter_can_contribute_to_anxietyClutter…I like mine shaken not stirred: Why clutter can contribute to anxiety 

Ever go to a speakeasy and watch a skilled mixologist? The cocktails they create are pieces of art. They stimulate not only our taste buds but our eyes and sense of smell. Our brains are like that perfect cocktail…an exact combination of chemicals and external stimuli that keeps us in balance…aka our happy place.

Throw too many bitters in a drink and the flavor profile is destroyed. Clutter is just like that. Too much and our happy brains depart the tracks and head into anxiety-ville.

WHY CLUTTER CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ANXIETY:

  1. Feelings of guilt — You keep telling yourself, “I’ll get to it later,” or “Not now.” Those statements lead to guilt tripping yourself. “I should be organized,” or “Why can’t I be more like (fill in the blank)?” These statements become part of your belief system about yourself. You start believing that you aren’t living up to standards.
  2. Clutter can cause a feeling of disorganization and anxiety — Okay, some people say they don’t mind clutter. But the reality is…clutter is disorganization. When surrounded by failed organizing systems, whether in your home or at work, feelings of being overwhelmed, worry that you will never get rid of the items, and frustration by the accumulated piles of paper or stuff cause systems in our bodies to react, which in turn, creates anxiety.
  3. It’s hard to relax — Even when we metaphorically, or literally, close the door on that pile or room, it still haunts us like some pesky ghost that simply won’t disappear…and not in that fun Ghostbusters kind of way. Instead of watching a movie and eating popcorn with your friends or family, focusing on being fully in the moment with those around you, your mind keeps wandering back to what you “should” be doing. And that’s when good ole #1 (guilt) jumps into your lap to steal your popcorn.
  4. Focus — A clear space means a clear mind, and a clear mind is a more healthy mind. You can focus your attention on matters that you know deserve your efforts, more than tending to the anxiety of the clutter in your home and/or office. Like baking cookies with your kids, playing Princess Tea Party, or studying for that next exam.
  5. Sensory Overload — Sensory integration affects everything we do. Our bodies and minds tend to habituate to noises, smells, and sensations that our five senses intercept. Quite simply, our brains are stimuli junkies. This is part of our autonomic nervous system. When clutter is present, your senses are still sensing. As a result, your mind and perception can be overloaded by the presence of clutter.

The girl with the cluttered desk

As a therapist, there’s a certain level of “perfection” expected. How can I council on clutter and the associated anxiety it can cause if my own home office is a hot mess? Because I’ve been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale.

It’s natural to feel anxiety. No matter how flawless someone looks, acts, or states, anxiety slaps us all across the face now and then. Once we recognize it, we can work toward releasing it.

Anxiety is a stealthy, sneaky invader. For me, the buildup toward anxiety was slow, until one day it jumped out and said, “I’m here, let’s party!” Why was I feeling this way? My work was thriving. My home life just as well. It wasn’t until I walked into my home office one morning and opened my eyes to what was around me. My office was…well, it wasn’t a war zone, but was certainly on level with a skirmish. How had I let this happen? I’m typically a rather organized person. The truth is…life happens. Happens to us all.

Recognizing the source of my anxiety created an element of instant relief. But in order to kick anxiety to the curb, I was going to need an action plan.

(click to Tweet) “The truth is…life happens.”

How I fell back in love with my office

Somehow my pretty office had become a warehouse for unfinished projects, knickknacks…and was that a banana peel? Just kidding!

  • I tackled those unfinished projects by putting up an attractive pushpin board (For ideas on pushpin boards see my Pinterest board here). Using 3×5 cards, I wrote each project down and pinned them in order to be accomplished. And if you’re like me, you have tons of empty file folders (I swear they multiply when I’m not looking.). I labeled and put one project per folder and filed them away.
  • Somehow, I had gained a tchotchke collection (aka dust collectors) without my knowing it. I set all the baubles and bits on the now cleared desk and stared at them. Then stared some more. Some had meaning, some were gifts, and some…well, I have no idea where they came from. I gave myself a limit. A brutal limit of ten. I had space for more, but clear space invites a clear mind, so ten.

When I broke it down, my cluttered office consisted of two main elements. What started out looking a bit overwhelming actually turned into a rather easy project once I was able to “see” what the main issues were.

After one craft project (the pushpin board), creating project cards and file folders, and paring down decorative items, I spent a total of four hours. Four hours that had an amazing effect on me. I now looked at my office with pride. And that pesky anxiety I was feeling? Gone. A sense of accomplishment had replaced anxiety.

TIPS FOR TACKLING YOUR OWN CLUTTER

  • Make a list of de-cluttering projects. Remember, don’t clutter your list. Keep it simple. Identify 5 small tasks. After you achieve those, and feel successful, move on to the bigger tasks. Let each small success build upon itself.
  • Tackle a little bit at a time — Give yourself 5-20 minutes of clean up each day. Concentrate on areas of your desk and/or home that feel the most disorderly.
  • Listen to music while organizing — Get your brain interested in the task.
  • Ask for help — Get the help of a friend or family member. Be flexible and consider options. Make it a fun event.
  • Create a list of weekly chores, post them where you can easily see them, and then do them (ex: file bills, attack the laundry pile, work one item on your to-do list, clean shoes out of hall closet—yes, I firmly believe elves put shoes in the hall closet just to taunt me, purge old bills from a file cabinet, etc.).
  • Make a designated area for to-do items.
  • Set a reminder on your phone each week with a call to action. Turn yourself into your own hero.
  • Put things back where they go. It’s easier to put one item away than twenty.
  • Let your new mantra be: “Garbage in, garbage out.”

So, what does the title of this post mean? “Clutter — I like mine shaken not stirred: Why Clutter can contribute to anxiety” It means that I’d rather tackle potential clutter elements when they’re still small, such as the pile of magazines that came in the mail, versus waiting until the piles have stirred themselves into that miasmic whirlpool otherwise known as clutter.

No one person has all the answers, but through being a community, we generate ideas and support. If you’d like to see more of my posts and Pinterest projects, I invite you to sign up to receive my monthly blog and newsletter. Click here and fill out the info pop up.

If you’re in the Denver area and need to talk, give my office a call at 720-295-9522 to set an appointment.

No-Stress Healthy Food Shopping, Holistic Nutritionist in Denver, CO Lakewood Counselor
By Healthy Nest Nutrition in Denver CO.


Today our guest blogger is Robin Hutchinson, MNT. Robin is a board certified in holistic nutrition and highlights ways to not become overwhelmed at the grocery store. Oftentimes the trip to the grocery store is a dreaded one. Not only because of your depression or anxiety symptoms, but also just a lack of knowledge of how to get the nutrition you need. Other issues include not knowing what to read on the label or sometimes, even where things are located in the store. So you might say how, does this affect me? Well you are probably buying the same foods over and over. The fault in that plan is that you might not be getting the nutrients you need to help maintain stability in decreasing your symptoms of depression and anxiety.

By: Healthy Nest Nutrition in Denver CO
Many people walk into the grocery store and see the bright lights, colorful packaging that was designed to capture your attention, and many thousands of products to choose from. And with due cause, they begin to stress. This post will help you sort through the ‘noise’ and give you simple buying guidelines so that grocery shopping is easy and stress-free. What SHOULD you buy ?

Shop for Easy Do-able Meals & Snacks
I agree with the shopping pros, that sticking to the perimeter of most grocery store is a good idea. Normally, the perimeter is where the freshest ingredients are. That means that the ‘guts’ of the grocery store is where the packaged products live, and packaged normally means food that has been tampered with— preservatives, additives, colorings, and more have been added for shelf stability. There are a few easy rules that can guide your grocery store buying:

  • Plan before you shop. What do you feel like eating for the coming week?
  • With real food in the house, you’re much more likely to eat it, and to eat LESS fabricated foods, so buy on the weekend, and eat better during the busy week.

SHOP THE GROCERY STORE PERIMETER

  • Fruits and vegetables will give you color variety as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, energy and more. Fruits & veggies can be found in the produce section of the grocery store. Look at the weekly sales items. They are normally in season, good quality, fresh and less expensive.
  • Proteins like chicken, tuna, and fish and eggs will keep you fuller longer, and your energy level. This is normally at the far back of the grocery store. Choose organic, wild-caught or grass fed if you can afford it. Watch expiration dates.
  • Fats like avocado, olive oil, olives, and nuts will keep you satisfied longer. Nuts are great snacks and can be found in the bulk section.
  • Vegetables, fruits, proteins and fats together have a synergistic impact on the body. They are what you need to be a ‘well-oiled’ machine.

Use Color.

  • Make sure you have a couple of different natural color in your cart. That will ensure you are buying a variety of fruits & vegetables. Add green–could be lettuce, green beans, zucchini, green apple, OR green grapes. Add Red– could be red pepper, beets, rhubarb, OR strawberries.

 SHOP THE GROCERY STORE ‘GUTS’ –Become a label reader.

Good Label guidelines: About the Ingredient Section.

  • If the ingredients of a food are not pronounceable, it probably isn’t a good idea to buy it & eat it.
  • If the food has numbers (food coloring numbers, chemical numbers for example RED #3, Yellow #13) put it back.
  • If the food says ‘enriched’-contrary to what it seems, it isn’t good for you. Enriched means nutrients are lost during processing and have been put back into the item using man made sources. Find another option.
  • If the label has lots of ALL CAPS (like BHT, EDTA or TBHQ, don’t eat it. These things are NOT FOOD.
  • Avoid ‘trans-fats,’ hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. These products have been chemically altered to stay solid at room temperature. Your body doesn’t know how to process these ingredients. Choose another product.

LABELS: About the Nutrition Facts.

  • Compare similar products that you’re looking to buy.
  • Less sugar is always better.
  • More fiber is always better.
  • More protein is always better.

Your Grocery Basket

How does all of this information translate to your basket of groceries?

Start with REAL FOOD-2 vegetables, 2 fruits, 2 proteins and 2 fats. Good ideas for this week:

FRUIT: Strawberries & Blueberries

VEGGIES: Lettuce & Radish (AND/OR cucumber, carrot, peppers, tomatoes, etc.) for salad. Asparagus for a dinner side?

PROTEIN: Eggs, Chicken & Healthy Turkey Deli (no preservatives, no nitrites, no nitrates)

FATS: Avocado, almonds, peanut (almond) nut butter, hummus & olive oil

Menu Ideas from the Good idea list above

Now that you have bought delicious foods, let’s put them together in several different combinations to make a healthy food week.

Breakfast Ideas: eggs with side of berries, smoothie with nut butter and fruit

Lunch Ideas: left-over grilled chicken with salad, salad with hummus, salad with hard boiled eggs, turkey sandwich (100% whole wheat bread) with lettuce & tomato

Dinner Ideas: grilled chicken with salad, vegetable omelet with berries, chef salad, Turkey Panini with side of sautéed asparagus

Snack Ideas: hard- boiled eggs, turkey roll-ups with red pepper, hummus & carrots, berries and almonds, spoon-full of nut butter (peanut, almond, etc)

RECIPES:

Healthy Nest’s Vanilla/Nut Butter/Banana Breakfast Shake

1 scoop of vanilla shake protein powder, or 1 cup of plain greek yogurt (if OK with dairy)

1 tbsp. almond or peanut butter

¼ cup of almond, +/or coconut milk

½ banana

1 tbsp. flax seed

a couple of ice cubes

This is a blender recipe.

Healthy Nest’s Maple Spiced Almonds

Modified from Clean Food

1 tbsp. coconut oil

3 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

3-4 dashes of cayenne

3 cups whole almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread out on a single layer of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake until nuts start to brown~25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Break nuts apart and store in a airtight container.

With a little planning the grocery store shop can be calm & fun. If this seems difficult to you, but you are focused on eating ‘YOUR BEST DIET,’ connect with the nutritionists at Healthy Nest Nutrition.   We can plan with you, shop with you and coach you to be able to shop and eat a nourishing whole foods diet.

Healthy Nest Nutrition is located in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, CO and the nutritionists specialize in finding your ‘best diet’ for long term health. They make healthy eating do-able! They work with client’s to clean up the standard American diet so people can focus & think more clearly, balance mood, have good energy & strengthen digestion.
Robin Hutchinson, MNT
robin@healthynestnutrition.com
healthynestnutrition.com
healthy-nest-nutrition-denver-holistic
Holistic Nutritionist in Denver CO Lakewood Counselor
Image by Marianne Martin
Robin-Healthy-Nest-Nutrition-Denver-holistic-nutrition

Lakewood Group Therapy

Empowerment is a term that we often refer to in the world of women or the disenfranchised. Empowerment is finding assertiveness, gaining titles, respect, climbing and the process of the climb, and most importantly feeling a shift and a change within ones self. Empowerment is also a process of change and moves one from being controlled to feeling free.

A person is often empowered in many ways, big and small. Today I would like to talk about empowerment in your life. We could spend all day talking about ways in which empowerment morphs in peoples lives. But the big question is, do you have empowerment? Or have you lost it taking care of others? How has your loss of empowerment affected you in your life? Gaining empowerment is a process of peeling away the onion layers and finding the courage, assertiveness, self-love, self-compassion and putting away the idea that it is selfish to focus on you.  Do you have empowerment? Thats a hard question to answer, so take a moment to ponder how you can benefit from empowerment by asking yourself the following questions:

-Do you often feel tired of putting others needs first, just to feel like you have nothing left at the end of the day for you?
-Do you need your own identity in this world, separate from those of your children, friends, or co-workers?
-Do you find yourself getting all wrapped up in the details of others lives, just to avoid your own problems?
-Do you feel your relationships are one sided?
-Relying on others to make decisions for you? Or carry a lot of guilt when you do choose?

If you ask yourself these questions and answer yes, these are signs of co-dependency imbalances.

You might benefit from:

  1. Establishing new rituals for self-care
  2. Exploring where co-dependency serves you and disserves you
  3. Learning skills and strategies to create more communication and satisfying relationships
  4. Gaining empowerment to confidently make healthy changes in your life.
  5. Gaining self-awareness and making positive decisions to direct your life.

Group Details
To REGISTER for this women’s therapy group,Call +1 (720) 295-9522
Space is limited and Registration is REQUIRED
When: Tuesdays 4-6pm (Runs 5 weeks, skipping the week of 5/28)
*5 Spaces Left
Cost: Cost is $60/session (please contact the info above for financial flex options)
Issues: Codependency, Family Conflict, Self Esteem, Relationships
Gender Issues: Women’s Therapy Group
Age: Adults (18-40)
Where: 
Shack Building Conference Room
950 Wadsworth Blvd
Conference Room
Lakewood, Colorado 80214

Please share with a friend if you feel someone could benefit from this therapeutic group.
Not sure if the group format is right for you? Call +1 (720) 295-9522 to discuss the option for individual counseling or an answer any questions you might have