Yoga for Healing Trauma


Sadness, Pixabay, Comm Use
Melissa’s Rap: According to Oxford Dictionary, trauma is defined as 1. a deeply distressing or disturbing experience or 2. physical injury. Regardless of the type of trauma, it inevitably has a tremendous impact on you and your ability to function in everyday life. Seeking therapy from a licensed mental health counselor and building a support system are very important steps for helping you heal after trauma. Yoga can be another effective tool you can utilize as well.

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Roasted Delicata Squash with Bacon and Crispy Kale

IMG_5562Sarah’s Rap: I have discovered a heavenly pairing of two fall vegetables- kale and delicata squash, made even better by roasting with shallots until the squash and shallots are slightly caramelized and the kale is crispy, then finishing it off with a liberal sprinkling of bacon. This side-dish is gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo, but full of flavor and very versatile.

It will make an excellent accompaniment to any meat or fish entree, or can serve as an entree all on it’s own. For my own dinner last night, I had it with chicken sausage and asparagus. Fresh from the oven, the kale was crispy and made the dish really stand out. Today, I ate leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg – the kale had softened, which actually was a better compliment to the egg, and the bacon flavor permeated the squash more as they’d apparently gotten to know each other better overnight. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Feel free to mix up the seasonings to your taste.

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Health Crisis Part 5: Denial

Sarah’s Rap: This is the last post in this series and about perhaps the biggest hurdle of all to our health: DENIAL. This is what prevents people with illness from acknowledging the problem, committing to taking steps towards better health and/or from making changes to key contributors to the country’s (and world’s) disease epidemic: the Standard American Diet, a broken healthcare system, unhealthy lifestyle choices and environmental toxins.

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Denial is a tricky beast– difficult to overcome. If a person is in denial, he/she won’t believe it. This is the nature of denial. Even now many of you are reading this, thinking it doesn’t apply to you. And it may not. Please humor me though. I’d like you to ask you to open your mind and keep reading. Let this post help you to take a deeper at your health and lifestyle, and perhaps by the end you might feel differently. If not, and you have no health issues, that’s wonderful. Keep up the good work! Maybe you’ll think of a friend that is in denial and needs your help. Or maybe, you will admit that you are suffering from illness and want to take control of your health and happiness.

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Yoga for Cold and Flu

Melissa’s Rap: Being sick is never fun. It can be very draining and exercise is usually the last thing on your mind. But, yoga can be very beneficial when you aren’t feeling well. It can help get the energy flowing, jumpstart your lymph system and strengthen your immune system, which will help your body fight. 

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Health Crisis Part 4: Environment

Sarah’s Rap: If you’re like me, you barely go a day without meeting someone with health issues of their own or talking about someone they know with illness. It makes me so sad, partly because of the sheer prevalence but also because most people chalk up their illness or symptoms to genetics, bad luck or no idea. They often live a life of suffering, prescription medications and a pile-up of diseases.

Sure, genetics can play a role– some of us are more susceptible to certain conditions based on our DNA, and when we live a lifestyle that doesn’t support our own body’s needs we can flip that genetic switch on. But just because your grandmother had breast cancer, doesn’t mean you will definitely get it. The conditions have to be right. And maybe bad luck has a small part, but ultimately I feel that the majority of illnesses are caused by a handful of specific things. I’m not alone in this. Raymond Francis, author of Never Be Sick Again, believes that only two causes of disease– deficiency and toxicity. Continue reading

Visiting London on a Paleo Diet

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It was fun to walk on the infamous crosswalk near Abbey Road Studios. A picture of the Beatles on this very same crosswalk graced the cover of one of my favorite albums – Abbey Road.

Sarah’s Rap:  As mentioned in a recent post of mine, I recently had the good fortune to visit London for the first time. I fell in love with the city on day one, despite the pouring rain we had. One thing about living in the Seattle area– it’s made me virtually immune to precipitation. We arrived by train from Glasgow, hopped in a cute black cab and checked into a charming hotel in Soho. We struck out to see the city, taking in such grand sights as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey.  Over the course of 5 days, I averaged about 25K steps  per day on my Fit Bit, taking in as much of the city as possible – Abbey Road Studios, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Covent Gardens and the Tower of London to name a few. The city is immense and we barely scratched the surface, but what we saw of it did not disappoint.

In addition to the wonderful things to see and do in London, restaurants are plentiful and varied. However, if you’ve ever had to travel with food restrictions you know that sometimes it can be a little stressful finding a place to eat that can accommodate your needs, even in as metropolitan of a city as London. I managed to find several places that fit my needs for a Paleo diet and wanted to share them here on the blog in case others can benefit from my experiences there.  Continue reading

Paleo Brekkies in London

IMG_4411.JPGSarah’s Rap:   I recently had the opportunity to travel to London with my husband for our 20th wedding anniversary. It was our first time there and we loved everything about it—the history, architecture, parks, museums, the Tube and the friendly people. It’s a bustling city, full of adventure at every turn. Some of my favorite sites to visit were Kensington Palace, Hyde Park and the Serpentine, Covent Garden, St. James Park, The National Gallery and Trafalgar Square. We stayed in Soho, which was a very central spot for getting around to these places and more. It’s also, a very trendy spot for dining – with restaurants close to our vacation abode, Hazlitt’s Hotel. The hotel, a series of townhomes built in 1718 that had been put together, had lots of character with slanting floors and velvet couches.

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Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park

 A Paleo lifestyle that includes exercise, relaxation, fun and good sleep was easy to find. In addition to the ability to walk to so much, there are also many yoga studios, massage options, bikes for rent, play and music venues, green spaces and more. I found that in all the places we went on our trip to Europe (we also went to Glasgow, Amsterdam and Brussels), people seem more laid back than in the US. Maybe it was because I was on vacation, but I think it’s more than that. There seemed to me to be a bit more of an appreciation for the here-and-now, unlike in the U.S. where everyone (including me) is always going a mile-a-minute and planning out the next 10 things they’re going to do. Continue reading

Roasted Celeriac, Carrots and Zucchini

Sarah’s Rap: I LOVE roasted vegetables. I’m not exaggerating. When I was a kid I told my sister I loved lima beans, so she told me if I loved them so much I should marry them. I have a distinct memory of waltzing with the pan of lima beans while Melissa hummed the wedding march. Well, these days, I’d do the same with roasted veggies! When I am on vacation and I can’t find a restaurant that serves them, I have serious withdrawals and that’s the first thing I make when I return. I just went camping over the weekend and took some of the below recipe along with me in the cooler. I warmed them up on the camp stove until sizzling and enjoyed them on a bed of lettuce with a grilled bison burger. It was delicious! I don’t think I’ve met a roasted veggie that doesn’t pair well with whatever meat I happen to be having for dinner. Continue reading

Ways of Coping: Self-Care for When Life Challenges You

Melissa’s Rap: Sometimes life throws us curveballs. Sometimes it feels like those curveballs are coming at us 90mph, one after the other and we can’t seem to stop them. We all cope with these curveballs differently. You may lock yourself in your bedroom with a bottle of wine and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Someone else may binge watch eight shows on Netflix and refuse to answer any messages. Another person might pick up a bat and take those curveballs on to the best of their ability. Me? I go one of two ways: anxious manic doer or utterly useless sloth. Either I go into action and basically stop sleeping, or I become completely useless and choose something similar to option A or B above. Neither of which is really healthy or effective.

As I’ve gotten older, though, I have learned something. I have to do the work to tackle those curveballs and that means different things depending on the situation. But one thing is for sure… I have to implement some key coping methods to get me through it.  Continue reading