Boxing Day Coleslaw

Happy Boxing Day, the day after Christmas that is reserved for relaxing and unwinding after the holidays.

As I looked in the fridge for leftovers today I found yesterday’s Christmas Coleslaw. It dawned on me this is really more of a Boxing Day Salad because it will last great for leftovers and save you a day of cooking while providing the fresh produce and nutrients you may be craving by the end of holiday meals.

It is crunchy, balancing sweet with sour, and uses fragrant fresh herbs to make you feel it is a special holiday meal. It’s also packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats which qualifies it as a meal all by itself.

It is also gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and delicious.

Boxing Day Coleslaw

1 small/med cabbage, finely chopped or shredded

1 red apple, chopped or shredded

1/3c dried cranberries

1/3c hemp seeds

1/3C pumpkin seeds

Dressing

1/3C avocado oil

1/4C Apple cider vinegar

1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice and zested

1T honey, to taste

Salt and pepper

Fresh sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and sage, finely chopped

1. Combine all dressing ingredients into a small jar with a lid and shake until well combined.

2. Stir dressing into salad ingredients until fully combined.

3. Store covered in fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for what is coming in 2018 and exciting health improving projects. Happy new year!!

Let’s Get Real About Depression, Real Healthy

People, like myself, who chronically experience states of mental depression in various lengths and intensities must have coping mechanisms in their mental wellness toolbox to return to a state of wellness.

Following is a list of a few of the big things in my toolbox that I have relied on to get me through depression. They seem simple, but they do help to keep healthier mental wellness.

1. Exercise- Regular physical activity boosts feel good hormones and also makes you feel more at ease and relaxed in your body. Complete something routinely physical for at least 20-45 minutes each day such as walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, hiking, or yoga.

2. Sleep- Having a regular sleep schedule is monumental in giving your brain regular time each day to clean itself and process your day while you rest. Going to bed around the same time each night with a relaxing shut down routine and getting up around the same time each morning with a positive wake up routine will do wonders for your mental health.

3. Water- Hydrate your brain and help your digestive system function optimally. Have a glass of water ready when you first rise in the morning to get your daily hydrating needs off to a good start.

4. Fresh vegetables and fruits- Eat them at each meal for the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that allow your body to function well, heal as needed, and digest food properly.

5. Friends/counselors- Make an agreement with a trusted friend that you can call on each other when you need to talk about depression. Also, seeing a mental health counselor who acts as a neutral sounding board can be helpful in supporting your mental wellness. Especially if you are contemplating suicide, build a tribe you can turn to when things get too dark. You don’t have to be in this alone.

6. Cannabis- This natural, non-toxic plant helps to bring the mind and body into a balanced state of homeostasis, lifting your mood and producing a feeling of wellbeing. Cannabis is my choice over pharmaceutical antidepressants because it is not addictive and does not require being on it for a while to see if it works or take months to wean off of it- it works right away and I can stop using it anytime without withdrawal.

7. Amino acids- Getting enough healthy protein is necessary for your body and brain to function well as a unit. What you feed yourself determines how well the bodily systems and brain will work. Eat hemp, chia, beans, seaweed, or animals to get adequate amounts.

8. Fatty acids- Healthy fat is imperative for a healthy brain. Take unrefined fats that provide plenty of Omega3 fatty acids such as walnuts, hemp, chia, moringa.

9. Sunshine and fresh air- Get some sunshine everyday and Vitamin D3 if that is not possible. Moving in fresh air and out in the elements will lift your spirits especially during long bouts of winter weather.

10. Pets/plants- Have a pet or a plant or a project to nurture, bring you joy, and remind you of being alive outside of your depressed head.

Wishing you sunshine and wellness this holiday season.

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

Cannabis Infused Peanut Butter Fudge (Vegan)

Chocolate peanut butter fudge made without processed sugar that will help me sleep and relax my body? Yes please.

During an especially strong chocolate craving I came up with this simple, and healthy fudge version that is effective as medication and packed with nutrients.

I used a CO2 extracted cannabis oil, purchased from a local pot shop, that I know had been tested for quality and impurities. I like cooking with CO2 oils because they can easily be added to oils and because they are tested for potency making it easy to dose THC or CBD by the milligram.

MMJ Peanut Butter Fudge

1/2C cacao powder

1/2C hemp hearts

1C coconut milk

1t vanilla

6 medjool dates

1/4C maca powder

1g CO2 cannabis concentrate (option for MMJ version)

1C peanut butter

1/3C chopped walnuts

1) Blend cacao, hemp hearts, coconut milk, vanilla, maca powder, and dates until smooth.

2) Gently heat the peanut butter and coconut oil in a double boiler. Remove from heat and add the cannabis concentrate to the warm oils. Mix well.

3) Combine both mixtures then add walnuts.

4) Place in a 6″x9″ pan and chill in fridge for 15 minutes. Cut into pieces and place into freezer until firmly set. Keep refrigerated or in the freezer until ready to eat.

These turned out to be a pleasant way to medicate. Not sugary but with a rich and fudgy texture and effective daytime mmj potency.

Perfect with an afternoon cup of tea.

5 Ways Cannabis Can Help Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is a condition like no other.  It’s a horrible ailment, actually.

I am one of those people who will always have issues with my spine. While I have been dealing with this stuff since I was a child it wasn’t until my very early 20’s when every doctor I saw started freely prescribing me synthetic drugs to manage my spinal condition.

I’ve tried to avoid taking too many synthetic pills too often because they always end up making me feel like crud, they mess up my digestive system, I don’t ever want to be addicted to them, and the idea of having to take them from now until I die as a way to cope with pain is not a future I am about to roll over for. There are better options to consider.

When I first explored using cannabis as part of my long term pain management I honestly thought that it just worked by acting more like a mental mask or a distraction from the pain. I didn’t fully understand how beneficial cannabis would be for managing the enormity of my chronic spinal condition. Turns out a lot of people I know still believe that cannabis only provides a happy distraction for pain, so, for you I write the following… 

5 Ways that Cannabis Helps Manage Chronic Back Pain:

1) Cannabis is a natural pain killer. Cannabis doesn’t just mask pain or distract you from it, it works with your body to relieve physical pain. One of the biggest plusses of using cannabis (for me) has been the pain relief without the unpleasant synthetic drug side effects or the potential risks with long-term use of synthetic medications. When you’re looking at a potential lifetime of chronic pain, you tend to take the  long term side effects of pain medication very seriously. 

2) Cannabis acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body. Having aches and pains caused by inflammation is a miserable experience and over time can negatively impact your overall health. Cannabis brings inflammation down to relieve pain and discomfort. Ideally, your pain management program will also be able to find what may be triggering inflammation in your body so you can address it from all angles.

3) Cannabis acts as a natural muscle relaxer and suppresses muscle spasms. Back spasms take chronic pain to a whole new level. I used to take muscle relaxers regularly to deal with muscle spasms but now that I have been taking cannabis regularly, muscle spasms and super sore overactive back muscles hardly ever happen.

4) Cannabis calms anxiety. Experiencing chronic pain creates anxiety, stress, and tension in the body. The anxiety, stress, and tension in the body create more pain thus building a vicious cycle of pain that never ends. Using the right strain of cannabis can significantly reduce or eliminate anxiety altogether by calming down the body and nervous system. Once you break the cycle of anxiety from creating stress and tension in the body, less pain will follow.

5) Cannabis helps to lift the depression that can come with chronic back pain. Being in pain every day and dealing with a debilitating back condition is one of the most challenging things a person can go through and there are predictably going to be dark spells along the journey. Pain can create a physical depression and depression can create more physical pain. Cannabis can lift the depression that will benefit not just your body but also your mental health.

Cannabis: The pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxer that also acts as an anti-anxiety and an anti-depressant. One plant working naturally and synergistically in the body to heal, calm, and create well-being.

Pain is supposed to be one of those things in our body that is there for our benefit. It is our job to listen to what it has to say,  respect it, and do what is necessary to relieve it in the healthiest way possible. Cannabis is one effective option and worth considering if you are somebody dealing with chronic back pain.

Peace.

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

How To Save Money By Wasting Less Food

22 Days Of Blogging- Day 3

The tips in this post could potentially save you 40% on your food bill forever.

Wasting food is a common health coaching conversation because most people are spending a lot of money on their healthy food only to throw a large portion of it out.

Throwing away food is unfortunately the current norm in our society. About 40% of all food that is ever produced is never eaten, it is thrown away and wasted. Think on that for a moment. All of the energy that is spent to create food and almost half of it is destined for the landfill rather than the tables of people who it was grown for. On a personal level, the average individual is also throwing away about 40% of the food they purchase at the grocery store.

Since I have learned how to stop throwing out my fair share of food, I can tell you that using all of the food you buy without waste is a skill. It requires you to become food conscious from the time you are at the store to the time you are forced to deal with the leftovers.

Here are 5 ways that I keep food waste to a minimum:

  1. Plan your meals. Make a menu of what you’re going to eat for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners this week and then fill your pantry and fridge. Keeping a regular theme (i.e. Taco Tuesday) is a great way to keep your favorites on the menu and your fridge stocked.
  2. Keep a whiteboard note of what is available or possible to eat in the fridge right on the door. This is also a good place for family members to make requests and write down food items you will need for your next grocery shopping trip.
  3. Store your food properly. Veggies that are stuck in a plastic bag on the bottom of that drawer in the fridge often get forgotten. Instead, place them into a reusable airtight container and that will preserve their flavors and nutrients better. Most vegetables will only store for a few days so have a plan to use them or freeze them.
  4. Plan to eat leftovers. Cook once, eat twice. Put aside a few servings for later that week or in the freezer for anytime. It can be really helpful to make a few things in one cooking session so overall you end up spending way less time over the stove.
  5. Pick one day a week to clean out the fridge. This can also be when you challenge yourself to make a meal with only what you have in the fridge and pantry. Get rid of the stuff before it goes bad.

Reducing your food waste is a simple and smart way to save money. Imagine how different your food budget might feel if you were eating all of it.

Surviving The Holidays With Food Sensitivities

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21 Days of Blogging- Day 2.

Few things seem to bring out people’s food issues like sharing a meal at the holidays.

During this time of year you’ll hear about people gaining 10 pounds of ‘holiday weight’ as they gorge themselves on the lovely indulgence of traditional dishes that don’t always serve a healthy or healing body.

During these festive get togethers my sensitivity and avoidance to foods that contain gluten, dairy, sugar, some nightshades, and corn frequently feels like an issue or an inconvenience if I’m the only one eating that way.

If you would have known me several years ago I was the first one to the table as I sampled through everything the table had to offer and then go back for seconds. Family dinners were awesome.

Those awesome eating experiences changed when I quit eating gluten and dairy. People generally don’t have any idea how to modify their recipes (nor do I ever expect them to do so only for me) so unless I expose my digestive system to gluten and dairy I am left out from enjoying everything on the menu. My experience has often been that I will be able to eat the meat (when I’m eating meat) if it doesn’t have any weird spices or sauces and I can eat the veggies if they are not dressed with butter or cheese. It is a very limiting experience and if not planned for a major let down while everybody else is drooling over their decadent food and you are left with plain food.

  1. When possible, talk with the host beforehand about what is being planned for the menu and ask if you can bring anything and/or if they can set aside your portions without dairy and sauces containing gluten.
  2. Bring your own dishes or sauces and make enough to share. Your dish might be the one thing on the table you will eat.
  3. Be grateful. No matter if you can only eat one thing on the table, you can eat one thing. Enjoy every healthy bite while you share time with loved ones.
  4. Prepare to have other people feel bad for you because you are so fragile and limited and can’t indulge like they can. Ugh.
  5. Try to keep your manners and not be judgemental when people tell you how they know they would be much healthier if they gave up certain foods and then proceed to pile said foods on their plate, eat them up in front of you then complain about their indigestion and bloated bellies after dinner. Its an odd experience for me to watch and an exercise in holding my tongue.
  6. Prepare to not be able to have dessert. This one hurts. As a foodie, this one hurts. Bring your own, if possible.
  7. Remember why you are skipping the foods that cause angst in your body. Honoring your body with the best food possible will leave you feeling better in the morning.

When you face food limitations because of your health, you also get to witness how limited other people are in the same old food habits they don’t feel are necessary to upgrade.

Good luck keeping your food healthy this holiday season! We got this.

See you tomorrow.

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

21 Days Of Health Blogging- Day 1

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21 days of blogging…

My life’s passion of pursuing health, wellness, and happiness while motivating and helping others do the same runs thick in my veins.

The first time somebody asked me why I work out (I was 18 and being picked up on in the middle of my workout) triggered an immediate answer, “I workout for life.” While the answer came out as a forceful deflection (#metoo) that served its purpose it also cultivated a voice of dedication to my body and health as not only my present self but for my future self in the same body with the same chronic ailments.

‘I workout for life’ is still a motto of mine. The major physical pains, migraines, and muscle spasms along the journey have shaped my workouts and health habits. This body has kept me humble in so many ways.

My spine has been a rollercoaster of chronic pain and physical challenges that has been so tough the very act of just living with it has made me stronger. I have held firm to the mindful part of doing activities that are nourishing my body not just for now but so I can walk as long as I live and have a higher quality of life because I’m super mindful of my health habits.

It has been 18 years since the first doctor told me to accept the fact that I would be on pain medication my whole life. My response was to go to library and get smarter then to the gym to get stronger. I’m proud to say that I have found multiple ways to manage my scoliosis, migraines, and other ailments without spinal fusion surgery or pharmaceuticals.

Healthy mindfulness takes work and dedication…and its really tough to do all by yourself. This brings me to the 21 days of blogging…

I want to do more here.

I started this blog in order to support and give back to my health conscious tribe with a regular dose of motivation and that is what I intend to do more of. I also started it as a way to progress my own healthy living as an art.

In an effort to reset my content creation habits I have challenged myself to blog daily for the next 21 days. Watch for Motivational Mondays, healthy holiday recipes, and the launch of two projects I am super excited to roll out.

For the 299 people who subscribe to this blog, thank you all so much for supporting my words, passion, and free speech by tuning in. You are the reason I have big goals for this blog in 2018!

See you tomorrow.

 

 

The Legal Washington CBD/THC Suppository Experience

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*NOTE: This is an independent, unsolicited review of a legal Washington product in stores now. 

There is only one cannabis suppository in the legal 502 retail marketplace brought to us by the good people at CPC in Seattle. I’ve been really waiting to try it because I’m super skeptical about the effectiveness of their 10mg/THC dosages.

I like to keep cannabis infused suppositories in my medicine cabinet as a method of managing back and body pain, pelvic cramps, sleeping issues, or anytime I can feel my body is really run down. I swear by them as one of the most effective ways to benefit from medical cannabis.

The challenge comes in being able to buy a good cannabis suppository. Before legal retail cannabis was set up in Washington and consolidated with medical, I was getting my suppositories in the former system from a reputable medical provider and eventually  learned how to safely make my own.

My former suppository experiences have involved using 50-200mg/THC doses with the effects being substantial in relieving pain, and helping me have restful sleep without a heady high.  I’ve only ever used ones made with coconut and whole plant cannabis concentrates, not a very solid product at most room temperatures.

The product I tried from CPC is made with two ingredients, shea butter and cannabis concentrate. From briefly talking to the gentleman who created them, I learned that they chose shea butter due to its ability to hold a form and still be bioavailable to people who are sensitive or allergic to other commonly used oils such as coconut, a personal favorite of mine.

The packaging was easy to read, allowed me to see exactly what I was purchasing, and was not messy to get into. Major bonus.

I also know that the cannabis oil they use is from a company who is conscientious about only using plant matter that was not treated with pesticides. This is a very important point for me.

I took a dose about an hour before bedtime and waited. In the past I would feel a warmth in my pelvis that would wash over my lower body and relax everything in about 15-20 minutes and depending on the dose put me into a restful sleep. After about 30 minutes I still felt nothing. The nagging ache in my hip was not softened or muted, it did nothing to help me sleep that night, plus I woke up just as sore as I would have any other morning.

Basically, taking this suppository felt like a total joke to me, not noticeably beneficial at all. Because of state laws on dosage control, this product is limited to provide 10mg/THC. Weak.

When using it, I appreciated that it mostly held its form during insertion even being stored at room temperature. I would definitely suggest putting it in the fridge or freezer before use to make it a little more firm for easy insertion.

The bottom line for me was that the overall experience was weak and totally overpriced. I certainly can’t blame the company for not putting out a higher dosage when they are limited by laws. More than anything I appreciate that they have stepped up to put out a quality medical type product in a recreational market.

However, would I ever buy it again? Probably not until the dosages significantly increase. I would rather go through the effort to make my own higher dosed recipe with reputable concentrates and coconut oil at home than ever waste my budgeted medical cannabis money on this particular product again.

I have talked to only one other person who has used these and they said they did feel slightly less achy the next morning when using it before bed but did not have a significantly therapeutic experience.

There must be somebody out there finding them helpful though because they have stayed on the market for a while now. If there is ever a better product to come out in the legal market, I will let you know.

Peace.

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com  

The Positive Sides Of Scoliosis

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Scoliosis is bleak, every single part of it. If you are somebody who is inflicted with this challenging health condition you already know that living with a twisted spine can be scary, daunting, defeating, debilitating, and lonely. I feel all of that.

Since age 12 I have been repeatedly told I need surgery and have been prescribed and given samples of pain killers, muscles relaxers, and anti-inflammatories because of my scoliotic spine. I was once told by one doctor never to hang and told by the next to hang everyday. I have spent more time than I care to count wasted in physical therapists and specialists offices who did nothing for me besides tell me to keep doing what I am doing with pilates, yoga, and as a fitness trainer. They like to tell me that my spine will get worse with each aging year, until it eventually crushes my heart and internal organs and potentially collapses on itself. Like I said, bleak.

Scoliosis is much more than just a twisted spine. It is a neuromuscular disorder that may also manifest with other health conditions such as digestive disorders, muscle spasms, depression, anxiety, migraines, etc.

I put a lot of effort into the function of my spine and have since I was a teenager because I realized at an early age that I would always have to be mindful of my special back, it was never going away. I think about how I want to move as I age and move accordingly. More than once I have completely changed my livelihood, activities, and/or my food in order to manage it holistically without surgery or prescribed medications.

One of the toughest things about scoliosis is how lonely it can be. I have a lot of energy and rarely ‘complain’ about my back pain and focus on healthy things so on the outside it looks like I am a super health nut doing just fine with my spine. People don’t see the pain or discomfort that I am generally feeling because I keep it to myself. That’s no good.

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month

What is the positive side of Scoliosis?

  1. I’ve become very in tune with my body. Pain, discomfort and constantly needing to think about standing straight or straightening your clothes will do that to a person. On another level, when I’ve tuned in with with meditation and exercise I’ve been taught by my body how to cope and move through the world.
  2. I’ve been forced to be a ‘healthy person’ to function. Living a healthy lifestyle is not an option like it seems to be for most people and it can be really tough to be the only one at the party not drinking booze or eating sugar. But hey, you’re at the party! While it is tough, living healthy is a good and positive thing to keep as a priority, always.
  3. I look at body image much differently. When I am able to embrace myself as different I am also able to let go of what I think I am supposed to be and love who I am, imperfections and all. I tend to be very grateful for all I can physically do no matter how small.
  4. My spine contributes to me being highly sensitive, empathic, and wise. I can’t explain why but it just does. Spiney senses.
  5. I’ve become a powerful warrior of chronic pain with special strengths and coping skills that makes me strong enough to handle not only my own pain but also help others handle their pains. My spine is the reason that I started teaching fitness as a teenager and the reason that I went to Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2010, I have a deep desire to help people feel well.

I am participating in Scoliosis Awareness Month by writing this and sharing a picture of me beside an X-ray of my spine. Funny, it was much harder to post a picture of my bare back than to post a picture of my X-rays. I worked through it.

Sending out much love and double hugs to those who live with or support somebody with scoliosis.

Pam Dyer is a Holistic Health Coach who trains people with scoliosis and chronic illness how they can improve sleep, gut health, immunity, and brain function to live full and hurt less.  To book a consult with Pam please email:  butterflysessions@gmail.com