My family and I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas !!!!
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It’s that time of year again. The malls are packed, parking lots are full and credit cards are being racked up. The rush is on to buy the right gift for the special people in your life.
It seems like the old Christmas traditions have been lost and now Christmas is all about expensive gifts. I have to admit for a long time I forgot about Christmas traditions and my big focus was on the gifts that I was purchasing.
This year I was blessed with the beginning of my own family. My partner Ryan and I have a beautiful baby boy named Liam who is 6 1/2 weeks old.
This year is Liam’s first Christmas and its got me thinking about old traditions and the way Christmas was when I was a child. I want Liam to experience Christmas like I did every year, crap I want everyone to experience Christmas like it used to be.
So today I ask everyone that is reading this to stop and think about the cheerful memories you have of Christmas.
I know that Liam isn’t old enough to enjoy all the old traditions but I promise that for the rest of his childhood I will try and keep as many Christmas traditions as I can alive. If you forgot what traditions used to follow Christmas here is a list of some that you may want to share with your family.
1. Baked goods (Christmas baking used to be given as gifts and yes I am going to be doing some baking this year)
2.Ice skating at City Hall ( We will be doing this when Liam is old enough)
3. Cutting down your own Christmas tree at a tree farm as a family
4.Decorating the tree as a family and making homemade decorations with the kids with Christmas music on
5. Watching Christmas shows as a family and drinking hot chocolate
6. Sitting around the fire place with the family eating great food having drinks and laughing.
7. Decorating Gingerbread houses
8. Singing Christmas carols
9. Going for a walk in your neighborhood and looking at all the Christmas decorations
10.Donating to a local food bank
I challenge you to bring back the old traditions and to share these with your family.
Tomorrow Ryan and I are taking Liam to see Santa for the first time and we are both really excited to start our own traditions this year as a family.
I know that Liam, Ryan and I are never going to remember the gifts that were given at Christmas but we will remember the time and traditions we shared together.
Life can get crazy at times and the stress feels overwhelming.
How we look at stress affects our reality. If we look at the situation as being overwhelming and difficult that will be the reality of the situation. But if we change our perception of a situation we can change our reality.
First by changing your attitude towards the situation can make it easier to deal with. We need to learn to weed out the negative thoughts, these thoughts are unproductive and don’t help fix the situation.
Ever notice that the more negative you think the harder it is to think of a solution to the issue.
Don’t forget you always have a choice in how a situation is handled. You need to challenge your negative perception on the situation.
For instance , you think “I am not strong enough to deal with this , I think I will break by the end.”
Change that thought and keep telling yourself ” I am strong and I will come out even stronger at the end.” Feeding your self positive thoughts will help ease the stress of a situation and help you keep a clear mind to find the best way of fixing the situation you are dealing with.
Also pay very close attention to your emotions when in a stressful situation.
We tend to hide our emotions and feelings, this is never good for any situation. Take some time and really think about what you are feeling or find a good friend or family member that is willing to just listen while you try to talk and work out what your feeling.
It’s always important to talk to someone that will give you their full attention and will not feed more negative thoughts to the situation.
The only thing that will come from bottled up emotions is a very large explosion that will do no good in the end.
Our reaction to stress is automatic and its often based on a past-programed response. Learn to pause and create space between you and the stress first. You need to always restore emotional control of the situation first.
This means DO NOT GO INTO DEFENSIVE MODE. Being defensive only makes you powerless.
In any situation we need to realize that life happens and with it comes stress. You will always survive what is thrown at you and I promise it will always make you stronger.
Stop now and think of all the situations in your life that you thought would end you. Now what positive has come out of it, I bet now your thinking it happened for a very good reason.
I know that I recently had gone through a situation that took a lot out of me and in the end it worked out to the best and now I am very grateful that it happened.
If your going through something now please don’t forget your strong and you can do this. I believe in you and you should believe in your self too.
If there is a situation that you really can’t figure out, I am sure together you and I can. You can find me at www.charmed-life.ca
It’s a Sunday afternoon the sun is out. It’s -5 but feels like -12 out there and looks kind of windy.
I want something to eat that is comforting macaroni and cheese sounds great, but I want to continue my ways of healthy eating.
There is no way that I am going outside to run over to the grocery store to grab food.
That is why a well stocked pantry is always a important rule to ensure you eat healthy.
So I rummaged through my pantry and was able to make a large pot of comforting, immune boosting Curried Lentil Soup.
Curry powder is a spice mix of widely varying composition based on South Asian cuisine.
Cardamon – Known to improving digestion and stimulating the metabolism. Improves circulation to the lungs and thus considered good for asthma and bronchitis.
Garlic- Known as a Cold and flu prevention: Because of its antiviral and antibacterial properties as well as its vitamin C content, garlic is a powerful agent against the common cold as well as the flu.
Cayenne Pepper- The capsaicin in cayenne pepper is a great natural healing remedy.
Chilli’s- Are loaded with vitamin A, a potent antioxidant and boost to the immune system.
Ginger – Often take ginger for sore heads, seasickness, stomach upsets and vomiting.
Turmeric -Strengthens the immune system. According to ayurveda, turmeric is a blood purifier that improves liver function and prevents coughs and colds.
Curried Lentil Soup
Prep time : 35 min Total time: 1 hour
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
· 3 large garlic cloves minced and divided
· 2 or more tablespoons of curry powder
· 1 cup French lentils
· 4 ¼ cup vegetable broth
· 1- 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
· 1 tablespoon lemon juice
· 2 tablespoons Organic butter
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Curry powder 2 or more teaspoons (according to taste)
- Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally about 4 minutes.
- Add half chopped garlic, stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of curry powder, stir till fragrant about 1 minute.
- Add lentils and 4 cups of vegetable broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a medium and simmer until lentils are tender about 30 minutes.
- In a food processor or blender puree chickpeas, lemon juice and ¼ cup vegetable broth, remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and remaining garlic.
- Add chickpea puree and butter to the lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional curry if desired. Add broth by ¼ cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. Cook for about 8 minutes.
- Serve with slices of lemon on the side.
Instant stress buster Sundays – Herbs are wonderful allies during stressful times. Chamomile and Catnip are relaxing and mildly sedative.
Chamomile and Catnip Tea
1 cup of boiling water
1 teaspoon dried Chamomile
1 teaspoon dried Catnip
Pour boiling water over the herbs, cover and let steep for 10 minutes and strain. You can sweeten it with honey and lemon. Drink daily when feeling stress or anxiety.
Life can become stressful at times and one of the most common manifestations of stress is insomnia.
I am one of those people who that suffers from insomnia when life gets a little too stressful. I spend hours staring at my ceiling or waking several times a night.
Getting enough sleep is extremely important , especially at those times in life when you are dealing with higher amounts of stress.
While we sleep growth and repair hormones are released regenerating skin cells, it refreshes and builds up new energy. It soothes our mind and best of all relieves anxiety and stress.
While we dream we clear out our mental baggage. So when life gets a little too stressful make sleep a number one priority.
Here are a few things that I always find helpful:
1. Purchase a guided sleep meditation. I never seem to make it to the end of them, make sure that you hear a sample before hand and that the person has a soothing voice not a recorded robot.
2. I use a natural lavender spray on my bed sheets before I get into bed. Lavender is known to slow the heart rate,lower blood pressure and put you in a relaxed state.
3. Chamomile Tea this is great for anxiety and helping you sleep. In the summer I am a big jug of cold Chamomile Tea and keep it in the fridge for night instead of drinking hot tea.
4. Write out your days stress in a journal. Get your self a notebook and be picky get a pen that is nice to write with.
5. Most importantly if you are not eating properly clean up your diet. Eat whole natural foods, lots of fruits and vegetables. Eliminate coffee and alcohol and drink lots of fresh filtered water.