A Green Homemade Drink

Juicing is simply extracting juice from fruits and veggies by using a juicing machine to get a lot of the fibers out and leaving a good amount of the vitamins, minerals, & plant chemicals.

A few months ago everyone and their mom’s cats were drinking celery juice. Just like any fad, celery juice had his quick rise to fame, but after only a few short weeks, he was already on the downhill roller coaster.

Fad (noun):

an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze.
silly bands, clear strappy heels, chokers, South Beach Diet, mood rings, Dashboard hula girls, Mexican jumping beans

Now that I’ve taken you down memory lane, let’s get back to juicing celery. A popular trend is juicing. Juicing is simply extracting juice from fruits and veggies by using a juicing machine to get a lot of the fibers out and leaving a good amount of the vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals. College kids are juicing red beets, single moms are juicing organic carrots, and aunts out in Oklahoma are juicing everything in sight.

I’m in Denver, Colorado and I’ve been into juicing celery and green apples in the mornings before work. There’s no need for it to be a fad, celery has been around for a million years.

I also add green apples to the mix. Juicing apples is nothing out of the ordinary, but when you combine the veggie and the fruit together, you end up with a beautifully sweet & salty masterpiece. If you’re anything like me and crave salty foods, here’s a great way to get that salty taste in, but also get your fruits and veggies.

What you’ll need

-3-4 bundles of celery
-2-3 green apples (I use 2)
-A juicing machine ($46.99 on Amazon)
-Mason jars for easy storage
-Colorful straws

This recipe will make enough celery juice for 5-6 days. Throw this bad boy in the fridge and you’re set for the work week, baby!

I like to drink my delicious concoction through a plastic straw about an hour after I go to the gym. There is zero logic behind how I do this, it just works for me.

Brought to you by King Soopers – LoDo

Benefits of Celery

  1. Celery is an aphrodisiac…. ooo la la
  2. Low sodium (but tastes salty when juiced!!!), fat-free, low calorie
  3. It’s always in the grocery store, all year long
  4. There’s so much water in celery. Water is great for your skin!
  5. Rich in vitamin K & vitamin C
    • Vitamin K “refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels”
    • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help reduce blood pressure and lower risk of heart disease

Benefits of green Apples

  1. Combats acne
  2. They’ll make you happy because they’re delicious
  3. Can reduce cholesterol level
  4. Rich in vitamin C
  5. Helps your skin glow & whiten due to the vitamins
  6. Apples won’t break the bank so you can juice every week for $5-10

“The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you’ll tolerate”

Drink your veggies. Happy juicing!


Resources

Don’t give up on finding a therapist. Here’s how I found one

You will hit roadblocks along the way in this process. But you will find a therapist that will help you improve your self-esteem. You will find a therapist that will teach you techniques to overcome an unanticipated loss. You will find a therapist that you can work through your anger with.

If you’ve ever began the process of trying to find a therapist, then you know first-hand how truly difficult it can be. You’ve experienced starting and stopping around 50-100 times because each time you get a little closer to finding a potential match, there’s another roadblock. You think to yourself, “Okay, this lady looks great. She specializes in eating disorders and anxiety”. You start to look for her contact information and ROADBLOCK— She doesn’t accept your insurance.
So then you wait a few days and after your afternoon run the adrenaline and endorphins are flowing so you think to yourself, “Okay, let’s give this another try, there has to be someone out there”. So you type in a variety of search terms of what you’re looking for:

Female, PTSD, Aetna, within 5 miles, and stress.

Next, you click on a licensed professional counselor (LPC) that matches all 5 criteria objectives you typed in. You email her along with two others that could potentially work. ROADBLOCK— None of the three potential therapists are accepting new patients right now.

So you try again in a week. More and more roadblocks continue to pop-up and you’ve pretty much lost all hope in finding a therapist at this point.

There are an innumerable amount of barriers when it comes to finding a professional to talk to. It’s easy to find a dentist or a nail salon, but it can feel like it’s close to impossible to find a licensed therapist that’s right for you. What was specifically challenging for me is when I was finally ready to look into options, I quickly became defeated. Each time I tried searching on a variety of websites I hit a new roadblock– Not accepting new patients, too far from my house, hours that weren’t compatible with my work schedule, out of network providers, etc. After my brother died, I searched for someone to work through my trauma with on and off for over a year. You’d think that in NYC you’d be able to find what you’re looking for in 10 minutes, but that’s just not the case. Eventually I moved to Denver and after living here for two months I started the search again. With persistence and commitment to figuring this out, I finally had a great phone consultation that led to an appointment that was booked for the following week. These are the steps I took:

7 Steps to Finding a Therapist

  1. I used Psychology Today
    • I applied the following filters:
      • Zip code
      • Widened the search to 5 miles
      • Clicked “Cigna” as my insurance
      • “Show Only Women”
      • Selected Grief, Trauma & PTSD, & Anxiety

  2. Next, I opened a few profiles that looked interesting to me

  3. Then, I emailed them directly through psychologytoday.com
    • Here you provide basic information: Why you’re reaching out, your phone #, email, and name. I also wrote the name of my insurance provider in the message as well

  4. Now the ball is in the therapists court and you wait to hear back. I also recommend giving them a call at the number listed on their profile

  5. When your potential therapist gets back to you, set up a 15-30 minute initial phone consultation
    • The free consultation is very important.I cannot stress this enough. During this call, the therapist will ask you questions and you can ask them questions. Be transparent and open about why you’re looking for a therapist. This will give you a good gauge if this could be a good fit for you.
    • Examples of questions to ask:
      • Do you specialize in ___(anxiety, trauma, self esteem, relationship issues, bipolar)__
      • What does your availability and hours look like?
      • Do you accept my insurance? **This is very important because out-of-network costs can be through the roof. If the provider you’re looking at setting up an appointment with is in-network for you, then you will pay a co-pay (mine is $40 per session). You and the therapist should both call your insurance provider to confirm your benefits.
      • How long are your sessions?
      • How do we set up counseling goals specific to me?
    • I’m very sensitive to people’s voices and tone, which is another reason why an initial call is extremely beneficial.

  6. If the initial consultation goes well and you’re interested in setting up the first appointment, the therapist will likely have you send over three things via email:
    1. A picture of your insurance card (front + back)
    2. Your date of birth
    3. Your current address

  7. Lastly, confirm your appointment time and go.
    I highlight go because setting up an appointment can seem like a good idea now, but then the day comes and we make excuses for why we can’t go. Excuses like, “I haven’t seen this friend in a year and we should get dinner”. Response: You’ll be a better friend if you prioritize your health and wellbeing. Or this excuse: “I have to work late”. Response: Keep your commitments, you’ll be better at work if you prioritize your health and wellbeing.

    If this first appointment goes well, set-up a second appointment while you are in the office. If you’re on the fence as to whether this is the therapist for you, go to 1-3 more sessions and then make a decision to start looking again.

You may have to repeat this process several times until you find the therapist that fits your needs and wants. I did. You will hit roadblocks along the way. But you will find a therapist that will help you improve your self-esteem. You will find a therapist that will teach you techniques to overcome an unanticipated loss. You will find a therapist that you can work through your anger with. You will find a therapist that uses EMDR as a therapy method. You will find a therapist that is in-network that you can afford. You will find a therapist for you. Start by taking the first step. You’ll be even stronger than you already are afterwards.

When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.

-Fred Rogers

Rattlesnake Gulch Trail, Trauma, Healing, & Resilience

“After a very short period of time, maybe 2 minutes, I was in a complete sense of relaxation and euphoria. I literally had nothing on my mind it was incredible, I can’t even explain it”.

For Episode Two of “Brews With a View”, I want to focus on the question of can the brain heal after trauma?

EPISODE TWO
July 13

Yesterday morning, July 13th 2019, I woke up knowing that I haven’t spoken to my brother in 365 days. 365 days without a piece of me. Something that gave me life and joy died unexpectedly. I’ll never be the same. My family will never be what it use to be. One day he’s here and 16 years old and the next day he’s not. How can someone actually comprehend something like this? You can’t.

Today, my brain is working double time. Each task I do, every conversation I have, every step I take is coupled with an array of thoughts of my brother. Brushing my teeth, washing my face, texting people back. It can be difficult to focus sometimes because instead of a linear thought, it’s two-pronged. I don’t know how long it takes to heal from a traumatic event. I know I can’t recover from this, but I do know that the brain is plastic and I can control and change some of what’s going on. Yesterday morning I understood that I needed to do something that would make me happy. That’s what he would want and that’s exactly what my brain would need.

So, I went to the mountains.

Views:

Rattlesnake Gulch Trail, thank you for making me smile and cry. For letting me feel my brother around me and next to me. Thank you for being there, little man. I love you.

Difficulty level: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 958ft
Temperature: 75-80 degrees
Summary: This was an incredible hike. I would do it again tomorrow. It was the perfect balance of challenging and calming with views of the canyon and eastern plains. When I got to the top I plopped down on a rock and ate my birthday cake GU Energy. This was especially fitting because July 13th is actually my boyfriend’s birthday as well. My mind hasn’t made sense of this yet, maybe one day.

After sucking down my GU, I felt the urge to try and meditate for a few minutes. I’m not into meditating without my Headspace App, but I figured I would give it a try and challenge myself. After a very short period of time, maybe 2 minutes, I was in a complete sense of relaxation and euphoria. I literally had nothing on my mind it was incredible, I can’t even explain it. Meditation is shown to shrink the amygdala– the “fight or flight” center. A traumatized brain has an extremely over activated “fight or flight” center (the amygdala). In this moment, my brain was healing. I was healing.

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The top of Rattlesnake Gulch Trail

After completing the 3.7 mile hike, it was time to open up Google Maps and find a random brewery to try near by.

Brews:

Brewery: New Terrain Brewing Co. (Golden, CO)
Beer:Terra Firma v.6 – Sour
Brew Review: For only $6, you can get a delicious 12oz cocoberry sour beer with tastes of blueberries and coconut. This was the perfect drink after a hot and sweaty hike and you’re looking for something refreshing and light. The location made this beer taste even better. Surrounded by mountains, dogs, and people in tank tops and yoga pants, you get a calming atmosphere with happy vibes. There are plenty of seats inside, outside, and around the bar. The rotating local food trucks are also a nice touch.

“Healing is an art. It takes time. It takes practice. It takes love”. Each day I know I’m becoming more resilient. If you’re going through something immensely difficult and confusing, you’re going to make it, you’re going to be okay.

archersaim.org

When you’re grieving, a flood of neurochemicals and hormones dance around in your head”, says Dr. Phillips

Henry Ford Health System

I use to have a different personality

My emotions use to control me more than I controlled them. Now I control 99% of what I feel. I choose how I react and most of the time it’s no reaction because that’s what is safe.

For many years my Myers Briggs personality type was ENFG. In a nutshell this says I’m four main traits:

  • E: Extroverted
    • I’m more energized with a group of people than being alone
  • N: Intuitive
    • Individuals who have an “N” instead of an “S” are more intuitive than observant. This means intuitive people focus more on hidden meanings and future opportunities because they are imaginative
  • F: Feeling
    • If your “F” is greater than your “T” (thinking) then you’re more sensitive and emotionally expressive with higher levels of empathy. Thinkers tend to put logic before emotions
  • J: Judging
    • Decisive and highly organized. If you’re a “J”, you prefer structure of spontaneity. If you have a dominate “P” then you’re more flexible and prefer keeping your options open

After my life changed about 8 months ago, I noticed a drastic shift in my personality. For years and years, my mood use to change quickly and I’d be prone to getting in arguments and fights with people I cared about. I use to raise my voice and let my emotions take the lead. Today I’m sitting here writing this and I don’t remember the last time I cared enough to get in an argument or fight with anyone.

My emotions use to control me more than I controlled them. Now I control 99% of what I feel. I choose how I react and most of the time it’s no reaction because that’s what is safe.

In high school and college I would get in fights with my parents, my roommates, my friends. I’d cry over things that seemed like a big deal. I’d raise my voice frequently. Today, I don’t feel enough to get into a fight. I guess that’s what trauma does to you. Changes you in ways you never thought you’d change. I thought I’d always be so “firey”, loud, highly extroverted, and wanting to be around large groups of people. Today, I need alone time and I absolutely hate going out with a large groups of friends. I can’t 100% pinpoint why this is yet. But for now, I think it’s because I can’t relate to most of the people and friends I use to hang out with anymore.

I use to let my mind wander, now I try to make sure it never does.

I do this because there are two spots in time and that’s it: When my brother was here and when he wasn’t. One of my friends constantly texts me old pictures from a year ago, three years ago, etc. Each picture I’m forced to look at I immediately go to one place: the Before. One of the reasons I don’t have social media is to guard myself from anything that would make me feel something.

My career use to be #1, now I don’t know what #1 is.

That “J” I wrote about partially explains why I was very driven, decisive, and career-oriented. I’m still very driven, but I lack decisiveness when it comes to what I want to do in the long-term. This is not just because of trauma, this is because of personal growth and maturity. Understanding that makes me feel less confused, but hell, I’m still confused and often times can’t think linearly. I’ll explain why.

Trauma effects 3 parts of the brain:

1. The prefrontal cortex (PFC), known as the “Thinking Center”. The PFC effects planning, empathy, awareness of ourselves and others

2. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), known as the “Emotion RegulationCenter” 

3. The amygdala, known as the “Fear Center”. When this small area is activated we feel fear, reactive, and vigilant. I rarely feel any of the three, which shows that my amygdala is highly under activated.

When trauma occurs, all three of the areas are under activated. Everyone experiences trauma differently. Which makes all of this more confusing because there’s no one explanation for a feeling (or lack there of) and there’s no one solution.

So I decided to retake my Myers Briggs test in hopes of seeing an ounce of clarity. I took the 60 question test and got ESTP-A, “The Entrepreneur”. I went from ENFJ to ESTP. That’s a three letter change. I wouldn’t say I completely understand the switch, because I don’t really understand a lot of things anymore. However, I do think it helped take a little pressure of me as to why my emotions/ reactions are different than they were 8 months ago.

Before, I had strong feelings and emotions. Today, I have little feeling and emotion. My goal for the future: Be somewhere in the middle. Like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts”.

Healing takes time. And even when I’m healing, I’ll never be full again.