2-Ingredient Breakfast

Photo by Enotovyj on Pixabay. Cottage cheese.

The best breakfasts are often the simplest; after all, so many folks skip it even though it’s the most important meal of the day! So here’s a 2-ingredient breakfast that is so quick and easy you won’t have an excuse to miss out! As an added bonus, this recipe gives you a good balance of your macros (carbs, fat, protein) to boost your energy levels and keep you feeling full ’til lunch.

Photo and recipe by Mingled Vitality. 2-Ingredient Breakfast.

Photo and recipe by Mingled Vitality. 2-Ingredient Breakfast.

Ingredients

🥣Cottage cheese
🍓Strawberries (or any fruit!)

Recipe

1)Hastily dump cottage cheese into a bowl.

2)Throw some fruit at it (feel free to get creative and use any fruit you want!).

3)EAT! So easy!

This recipe brought to you with love from:

Mingled Vitality

Original post on Instagram.

 

To see more recipes, click here!

When Pills Weren’t Enough

Pills. Image by qimono on Pixabay.
Pills. Image by qimono on Pixabay.

When I became mysteriously ill in 2016, I learned a crucial lesson: pills were not going to be enough.

Formerly a college student of average health, comfortably floating along on Prozac, Adderall, and birth control, I was shocked when I took a lab job and started experiencing nothing short of bodily retaliation soon after. I developed extreme fatigue, had three heavy periods within two months, and suffered panic and anxiety attacks for the first time.

Desperate to find a quick solution, I visited several different medical professionals. The general practitioner took me off Adderall, switched my antidepressant, and told me to take vitamin D. The gynecologist switched my birth control. The BioTE clinic shoved a testosterone pellet into my hip. The others, well, they gave me advice but couldn’t really help me beyond that.

Despite all the pills and the pellet, my health continued to plummet. Eventually, I had an anxiety attack so bad that I was practically bedridden for a couple of days, and during that time, I made the heartbreaking decision to quit my job. My father agreed to financially support me while I rehabilitated myself, and boy did I have my work cut out for me. After all, I’d just spent months trying to do exactly that, but at that point, it became clear to me that pills were not going to be enough.

I was very weak. My body needed fourteen hours of sleep each day, I was extremely depressed, and my confidence and self-esteem had been shattered. I could hardly do any housework, and I mostly laid on the couch for at least the first month. So I had to start very small.

Thought. Image by TeroVesalainen on Pixabay.

The first treatment I could tolerate was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with a licensed counselor, which I had started a couple months before I quit the lab job. I decided to continue meeting my counselor once per week, uncovering the roots of my mental stigmas, venting to get some of my burden off my heart, and most importantly, rewiring my brain by teaching me to view my problems in a different light. That latter component serves as the key behind CBT. Once I learned to reframe my thoughts, I began to see my life much more positively and regain some of my confidence.

Essential oils. Image by monicore on Pixabay.

The second treatment I added to my regimen was aromatherapy, an Eastern medicine practice in which one inhales purified essential oils as a means of boosting health. While many oils can soothe physical problems like headaches or allergies, I used them for their emotional properties. I quickly discovered two favorites: clary sage and lime oil. Clary sage oil helped me calm down and find mental clarity, and occasionally, it inspired me to be creative. Lime oil gave me a little energy and sharpened my focus. Aromatherapy became a critical component to my recovery by encouraging me to get off the couch and search for my next job.

Healthy food. Image by sansoja on Pixabay.

The next thing I worked on (and continue to improve in my life to this day) was cooking healthier. I finally had enough time to cook meals at home instead of ordering takeout, so immediately the quality of my meals leapt upward. After tracking my meals for at least a week on a few different occasions, I learned where I had deficiencies or excesses in certain nutrients, and I would then adjust my weekly meal plan to accommodate for them. This had the biggest impact on my energy levels and overall wellbeing.

(For healthy meal ideas, check out our Recipes page.)

Yoga. Image by StockSnap on Pixabay.

Lastly, once the first three additions to my life inspired me enough, I tried yoga. I practiced short YouTube routines only lasting about 15-20 minutes, but that small start in regular exercise created a lasting impact on me that developed into me doing weekly cardio, strength training, and stretching. Most immediately, learning to control my breathing and balance reduced my anxiety and depression, making me feel calmer and happier. Later on as I added a variety of exercises to my regimen, I regained my confidence.

Pills. Image from Canva.

All of this is not meant to discredit prescription medications, but rather to emphasize that health is multidimensional, requiring a balance among a wide variety of elements. In my case, I found medications that made me feel somewhat better, but I still needed to improve my diet, exercise regularly, learn healthy coping mechanisms and stress outlets, and reevaluate my career ambitions. Without all of those other things in check, I was weak and unfit to work. Now, I have more confidence and strength than I ever had before.

Pills only make up about half of the health equation, at best. I hope that my experience will encourage you to adopt a more holistic approach with your own health, not just within your body, but with the wide range of treatments and practices available, too!

From Bedleh to Baladi Dress

Belly Dance Costumes Egypt

What all is in a belly dance costume anyway?

Rose Belly Dance Oct 2013

My first belly dance performance, October 2013

When most people think of belly dance, they picture a woman in a bedazzled bra and skirt. While this image of costumery is correct, it is not the only acceptable attire for the genre. Dancers can wear pants, dresses, vests, and more with a wide variety of accessories. Fortunately, one only needs at most three items to meet the criteria of an appropriate belly dance costume.

Here are the bare bones of belly dance costumery:

One-Piece Costume

A belly dance costume can really be as simple as one piece??? Yup! In fact, dancing in a full dress has been a thing since the dawn of belly dance time, for both men AND women.

Females

Women will most typically wear a form-fitting Assuit dress (I’ve also heard dancers use the term “Baladi dress”) which is ankle-length and has long sleeves and a low-cut front. Also, dresses are typically used for older, more traditional styles of belly dance such as Saidi(1) and Baladi(2), but I have seen a dancer wear a dress in a Modern Fusion piece(3).

Males

Although I am uncertain as to whether public chest exposure was acceptable in belly dance’s early years, I do know that today’s men (in the United States, at least) can get away with leaving their chests bare, meaning that belly dance costumery for men can be as simple as an ankle-length skirt, harem pants, or tribal pants.

Unisex

Going back to costumes that are typically only appropriate for old-fashioned belly dance styles, males AND females can both wear a galabeya, a loose-fitting, ankle-length, long-sleeved “dress” that is typically made of cotton and dyed in pale colors(1).

Two-Piece Costume

Once a belly dance costume graduates to being two or more pieces, all you’re looking for are a piece to cover the upper torso (from above the nipple line to just below the bust) and a piece to cover the crotch and legs. Most commonly for women, you will see a bra and skirt, as this was the first traditional two-piece style, born as a part of the Raqs Sharqi style(4).

Tops

Oh my heavens, do you have a million options for tops! The most traditional are bras and choli tops for women and Turkish vests for men. Other options include butterfly tops, tube tops, and crop tops.

Please note that, when I say “bras”, I do not mean women can just go onstage wearing their underwear; bra tops for belly dance distinguish themselves by offering much more secure straps as well as having the breast cups stitched closer together to really squeeze the girls into place. Bra tops are also usually quite bedazzled in such a way that wearing them beneath a shirt would look ridiculous.

Also note that, since tube tops and crop tops are designed for modern wear, one will likely need extra coverage beneath those garments if using them for dance costumery.

Bottoms

All of the items that men can wear as one-piece costumes can serve as a woman’s second costume piece, so ankle-length skirts, harem pants, and tribal pants are acceptable.

When it comes to skirts, make sure to select one that allows for a lot of leg movement. Skirts can cling to the hips (like mermaid skirts) so long as you can take long steps without getting hung up on yourself.

About the pants styles, I’ll quickly detail their differences here. Harem pants are typically a bell shape, fitting very loosely on the legs, whereas tribal pants cling to the thighs and flare out at the lower leg. It is common for either style of pants to have long slits in the outside of the legs.

Three-Piece Costume

The only thing that differentiates a three-piece from a two-piece costume is an extra garment on the hips. That garment can be a bedleh belt, a hip scarf/coin belt, or just a regular old scarf.

Bedlehs are matching bra-and-belt combos and are considered very traditional in belly dance. The belt part of a bedleh is wide and fits around the hips, covering the top part of your skirt or pants. Hip scarves, also known as coin belts, are wide strips of fabric (sometimes triangle-shaped) with several rows of coins or palettes, and these, too, are very traditional.

Using just a regular scarf tied around the hips is actually more traditional, even, than the two aforementioned options, but because it is associated with Saidi and Baladi styles of belly dance(1,2), you don’t see that particular accessory very much in modern belly dance.

In Conclusion: You should have what it takes to belly dance.

As a poor millennial who has been belly dancing for five years, I can assure you that, no matter where you are in life, you can afford a belly dance costume. After all, you don’t need more than three pieces to make one!

For more specifics on how to get stage-ready, Catlina and I wrote another article about the differences between making vs buying a bellydance costume. We talk about several ways to get bellydance costumes affordably without sacrificing quality!

Then, when you’re ready to upgrade the costume you have, follow our guides on jewelry and props (coming soon)!

Sources
1. Haas, Lauren. “Learn Bellydance Styles: Saidi and Raqs Assaya.” Bellydance U, 2015, bellydanceu.net/styles/learn-bellydance-styles-saidi-and-raqs-assaya/. Accessed 18 Nov. 2018.
2. Haas, Lauren. “Learn Bellydance Styles: Egyptian Baladi.” Bellydance U, 2018, bellydanceu.net/styles/bellydance-styles-egyptian-baladi/. Accessed 18 Nov. 2018.
3. “Seamless Amanda ~ Ghost Belly Dance Drum Solo.” YouTube, uploaded by Seamless Amanda, 10 Mar. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQjy_lNQDL4. Accessed 18 Nov. 2018.
4. “History of Raqs Sharqi Belly Dancing.” Club Cairo, edited by Adam Bull, Raqsarabia, 25 Apr. 2018, www.clubcairo.co.uk/html/history.php. Accessed 18 Nov. 2018.