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Trauma and Meditation: Finding the Peace After the Tragedy

 There is an alarmingly high percentage of people who have experienced trauma.  Whether in childhood or in your current life situation,  trauma and grief are constantly associated with a person’s behavior and mental health. When we experience a traumatic event, the stress that our minds experience can completely change the way we interact with others and how we experience the world from then on.
Most forms of trauma physically change the way our brains are wired. The neural pathways in our minds form networks of reactions to specific stimuli. This can cause incredible strain on us as we struggle to live with a “new normal.”
Fortunately,  there is the hope of healing.  No matter how difficult our experiences may be, the neural networks are flexible. We can work to restore our balance and rework the connections our minds have made with the onset of trauma. And in so doing, we can gain control once more over our emotional and mental integrity.
Most forms of trauma benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy,  which is a way to help us to interrupt bad thoughts with good thoughts so that triggers and negative stimuli are not so overwhelming.  Meditation can be a great way to redirect your thoughts and gain a more masterful control over your feelings.
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In utilizing meditation,  we can take the time to sit down and take a breath if we find ourselves triggered by an event that we encounter. We can carve out a “happy" place, or more importantly, a safe place in our minds away from the negative thoughts surrounding each reminder of our trauma. Mindfulness meditation is a particularly effective tool in treating PTSD and other problems that can arise with trauma.  It is a way to disconnect ourselves from the bad experiences by focusing on the present moment. In doing so we begin to redirect our brains and allow our neural pathways to form new paths away from the triggering event and toward a deeper calm.
Loving-kindness meditation is also a great way to help your mind recover from the pain of trauma and abuse. If you have experienced something that has left you feeling like you are not valuable, loving-kindness meditation can help you feel more comfortable with yourself and find compassion for your flaws. This way you can allow yourself to grow in a healthy and honest way.
Trauma and abuse can also leave us very angry. This is another benefit of loving-kindness meditation.  This form of meditation can help us to find the capacity to forgive the unforgivable and allow ourselves to let go of past hurts and focus on a life of compassion and regrowth.
No matter what we have experienced,  considering meditation is a great step toward finding strength, peace, and healing. We can learn to forgive the harm we have endured and create a safe space where we can move forward with our lives with confidence and understanding. You can do it!

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3 myths about plant-based nutrition


We are hearing the word plant-based nutrition more and more in our society. Already, we can see some misinformation creeping up on social media and news. We’ve done our research and want to demystify some of the false belief that is out there.

Here’s the top 3 myths we’ve found.

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Plant-based nutrition is unnatural

Plant-based nutrition is in fact the originalPaleo diet. We once believed that early humans consumed a large proportion of animal protein in their diet. It is from that belief that, in the 2000s, the Paleo diet (mainly comprised of animal protein) became really popular in the world of nutrition and diet. Although, we now know that the nutrition of bipedal primates and Homo sapiens was primarily composed of nuts, fruits, leaves, roots, seeds and water. In that case, the “original” Paleo Diet was in reality plant-based eating.

Plant-based nutrition is a fancy term for a vegan diet

In the world of nutrition, plant-based eating is having a large portion of one’s nutrition coming from vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, whole grains and also include legumes or other plants. A spectrum of plant-based nutrition options is available to you. Some are very strict (vegan diet), others are still adding animal products like dairy (vegetarian) and at the other end of the spectrum are those that still eat meat, poultry and fish on an occasional basis. Plant-based eating can be for everyone, the main idea is to add more vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes.

Plant-based nutrition is not for athletes

It was once believed that you needed to add animal protein in your meals to increase muscle mass. In fact, thestrongest mammal is the gorilla (most are herbivores). It has the ability to lift around 4409 lbs. that is 10 times its body weight. It would be like a 200 lb. individual lifting 2000 lb. If other mammals can live a healthy and strong life on a plant-based nutrition, we probably can too.Some studies and athletes have demonstrated that it is possible to increase muscles and be fit with a plant-based nutrition. For example, one of the best runners of all time and American ultramarathoner, Scott Jurek is known to be a plant-based eater!

Whether you want to save the planet, become healthier or simply feel better, the plant-based nutrition is a great option to be a better person.


4 steps to kick-start your plant-based nutrition

 
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Step 1: Choose Your Type of Plant-Based Nutrition

A spectrum of plant-based eating options is available to you. Considering that your nutrition will be mainly coming from plants, your options are:
1)      Strict plant-based nutrition (vegan): With a strict plant-based nutrition, you are not going to consume any meat, fish or animal products like dairy foods, honey or eggs.
2)      Vegetarian plant-based nutrition: In a vegetarian plant-based nutrition, you will be able to consume eggs, milk, cheese and other products of animals but no meat or fish.
3)      Pescatarian plant-based nutrition: The pescatarian plant-based nutrition is similar to the vegetarian one but include fish. That would mean that your nutrition includes plant-base food, eggs, milk, cheese, fish and other products of animals but no meat.
4)      Flexitarian plant-based nutrition: This option is great for individuals who would like to slowly move into plant-based eating without fully committing to never eat meat again. In this plant-based nutrition option, your meals will have a large proportion of plant-base food. In addition to small portions of eggs, or dairy foods and, on occasion, include meat, fish, seafood or poultry.

Step 2: Adapt Your Grocery

In order to ease yourself into plant-based eating, try to slowly increase the amount of plant-base food on your grocery list and stop purchasing animal protein and dairy products. Stock up on cans of legumes such as black beans or chick peas. They are fast and easy ingredients to add to many recipes (just make sure they are not full of sugar or salt). This might require a bit more shopping time at first but eventually, you will know which brand is the healthiest.

Step 3: Plan Your Meals

One of the most difficult parts about adapting to plant-based eating is to adopt new habits in the kitchen. Instead of having burgers for dinner, you have to find new ways to cook and bring more plant-based food at your table. It is recommended to try new recipes as opposed to try to adapt your old recipes to a plant-based nutrition.

Step 4: Let’s Do This!

The best way to start plant-based eating is to make small changes now. Choose a day this week when you want to have a plant-based nutrition day. That day will be the beginning of your journey in plant-based eating. Once you’ve chosen a date, pick your recipes!

5 things you can do to adopt a plant-based nutrition


As our society evolves, we are constantly facing the need to change our behaviors and habits to increase our health and quality of life. We are now facing climate change, food insecurity and over 40% of our population is suffering from chronic disease. One of the recent ideas put forward to improve our world and health is the plant-based nutrition.

Here are 5 things that can help you adopt a plant-based nutrition.


Eat more fruits and vegetables

Plant-based eating means that you have a large proportion of your meal that comes from plant-based food. That said, fruits and vegetables are often the number one thing that comes to mind when we think of a plant-based nutrition.

Increase your fiber intake

Fiber is lacking in the nutrition of Americans. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Aim for food that is high in fiber such as black beans, bran cereals, or even broccoli.

Focus on plant-based protein

Try switching the protein type in your meals so that it comes from plant as opposed to animals. For example, make a salad with chickpeas instead of chicken or avocado instead of beef. Not only will this help you reduce your meat consumption, it will also help you not surpass the daily intake recommendation for protein since the average American eat twice the recommended daily intake.

Try new recipes

One of the most difficult parts about adapting to plant-based eating is to adopt new habits in the kitchen.It is strongly recommended to try new recipes as opposed to try to adapt your old recipes to a plant-based nutrition. For example, a plant-based Mac and Cheese does not have the same taste and texture as the real stuff.

Don’t be extreme

Plant-based eating can be for everyone, the main idea is not to “diet” or remove something from your nutrition but more about adding more vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. For those of you who love their steak or burgers once in a while, you don’t have to completely eliminate animal-based food. You can certainly reduce it by making more meals that are plant-based.


Now it’s time to put your learning into action. Slow and steady is a great approach to change habits. This is not a diet but a way of living so have fun with it!  


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