ChiCho Shredded Beef

ChiCho Shredded Beef. Recipe by Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality.

Guys…this beef…y’all NEED to make this! It is RIDICULOUS how EASY it is for such a unique flavor. “ChiCho” is short for “Chipotle-Chocolate” which is lowkey Mole in disguise. You make the broth and let a roast sit in the slow cooker with it all day, soaking in all the seasoning so it’s good and ready for dinner.

Photo and recipe by Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality

Ingredients

🥩1 beef roast

💧5 cups hot water

🐂3 beef bouillon cubes

🌶1 small can chipotle peppers

🍫Unsweetened cocoa powder

🔥Mesquite seasoning

Recipe

1)Mix last five ingredients together in the slow cooker until dry seasonings are dissolved.

2)Add the roast, and set slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 6 hours). Flip halfway through cooking.

3)Shred beef using two forks.

This recipe brought to you with love from:

Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality

Original post on Instagram

 

For more recipes, click here!

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!

Sniffle Talk With Your Sickly Tot

 How to communicate with your child when they feel ill

      Life isn’t fun when we are feeling under the weather. As winter has just begun, more of us are prone to catch a cold, stomach virus, the flu and other types of illnesses. Whether it is a sniffle, sore throat or something more serious, feeling ill can influence our work productivity and our family relationships. As adults, we have learned coping mechanisms to help us persevere until we are feeling better again. Children, on the other hand, sometimes need their parents’ or caregiver’s guidance to understand what they are going through. I can remember 15 plus years ago when my two little ones would get sick. “M-o-m-m-y, my throat hurts.” Or “M-o-m-m-y, I feel hot.” And that’s when they were able to speak! But just imagine how difficult it was before they were able to talk! As an infant or toddler it wasn’t always easy to understand what they were trying to communicate to me. That child development course I had in college came in handy through the years. It helped me understand the different stages of development so I could communicate with them more effectively when they were ill. In this article I want to share that information with you, and help explain how to talk about illness with your child.

 

Infants/ Babies:

The infant/baby stage is the hardest to communicate with about their illness. Since babies cannot talk yet, we of course, have to rely on other cues from them such as acting cranky, tugging at their ears (possible ear infection), not eating, and crying more than usual. We have to make educated guesses as to what their ailment is. What we can do at this stage is to comfort them by holding them more and using a soothing voice when we speak to them. Talking about illness comes in later stages, but offering comfort is still very helpful to a child at this stage.

 

Toddlers:

The next stage of development is the toddler stage between 1– 2 years old. At this age, your child is beginning to use just a few words to talk, but not full sentences. It is less difficult to understand how they are feeling than the infant/baby stage. However, sometimes it is still a struggle to nail down exactly what their symptoms are. My little ones, Wyatt and Lily, would sometimes say words like “hot”, meaning they felt hot. They might refrain from eating or playing too. We can communicate with them by using our natural tone of voice, but in a more comforting way. Toddlers love to cuddling at this age when they are feeling sick. Talking about illness is still a struggle in this stage, but it is easier. Using simple words and offering lots of comfort is still a priority.

 

Preschool:

The next stage of development is the preschool stage between 3 – 4 years old. The language development has advanced and they know many words. It is much easier for them to tell you how they feel. I have fond memories of my two at this age. It is really a time when communication between parent and child becomes more developed and determining what illness they have isn’t as difficult as it once was. 


      The school age years from 5 – 11 are characterized by the capability of the child to construct complex sentences and be able to give a more accurate description of how they are feeling. My children had their fair amount of ear infections. At this age, most of the guesswork on what was causing them to feel bad was gone because they would just tell me, “Mom, my ear hurts.” Of course, it was not music to my ears, but at least I was not playing a guessing game. 


The tween and teen stage of development, ages 12 – 18, is characterized by more advanced language skills. They are fully able to tell you exactly how you are feeling and more (smile). While it still important to acknowledge they are not feeling well, you must be careful to not to talk to them like a baby as well. This is the stage of development I guess I struggled with the most because my precious little preschoolers were now almost fully-grown adults. My daughter is nearly 16 and I still have this urge inside to speak to her as though she is a 4 year old. Any other parents out there relate. At this stage of development, our children want to be like an adult. They want us to use a normal tone of voice, not the baby talk I so loved to use.


      No matter what stage of development your child is in, you have to remember that showing concern, empathy, and love at their level of development is so important. It will help them get through their illness easier and hopefully faster. And help you retain some sanity. Here’s to your family’s health!

Can You Really Eat Healthy?

Veggie Fried Rice

Have you ever wondered why people set alarms to remind themselves to take a pill but they never set alarms to remind themselves to eat?

The answer is simple. Our bodies tell us when it is time to eat. We don’t need external alarms because we have internal alarms going off already. When we don’t eat we don’t feel like ourselves. Our blood sugar drops and we get hangry. We have been eating since the day we were born. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. As much as we love food, America has a public health crisis with staggeringly large numbers of obese and overweight individuals. The World Health Organization has called this an obesity epidemic.

Having a little extra weight is not always a bad thing. I am by no means wanting to body shame or critique any body figure. I am strictly looking at this from a health perspective. Some of the best dancers I have known have had more robust figures, yet I have seen many patients have early deaths from perfectly preventable causes. There are 160 million americans who are overweight or obese. And my goal is to do what I can to help them lead healthier lives. I am not concerned about fitting into a particular size of jeans or how you look. I am concerned about how diet and activity levels are directly correlated to your overall health.

According to the CDC, 31% of Americans are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. While diabetes may seem like a relatively harmless disease, there is a study based in the UK that claims type 2 diabetics have a decreased life expectancy of 10 years. Another example is heart disease.

Heart disease is the number one most common cause of death in America, and is directly related to our diet and activity level. Put Heart Disease and Diabetes together and they are responsible for 26.3% of all deaths in the United States, and this doesn’t even include decreased quality of life. This means that one out of every four deaths in america could potentially be preventable with diet and exercise. Now this is a large generalization and I am fully aware that not every diabetic is a diabetic because they have eaten poorly. However I would challenge you to find any other intervention that can have a larger impact on health than diet and exercise.

Eating right and exercising are the two single best things we can do for our health.

Now you may be thinking that we have medication to treat diabetes and heart disease, if there are that many deaths than are the medications not working? That is a great question, and let me answer it this way.

Most people will consume about 2,000 calories a day in food and drink. An average tablet will contain only 0.5 calories. We are able to do quite a lot with that 0.5 calories, and or medication are very good at reducing blood sugar and blood pressure, but they cannot be used alone. A blood pressure pill is considered effective if it is able to reduce your systolic blood pressure by two points. Decreasing the salt in your diet reduces systolic blood pressure by an average of 10 points.

So when it comes to what we put in our bodies it is easy to see how food can have such a large effect on our wellbeing. In America we are fortunate to be a developed country with easy access to food. Most of this food, however, is not healthy. While we do have medications and medical procedures that can and do help with these conditions, it is hard to see how taking an expensive medication every day, and having an even more expensive surgery every couple of years is better than evaluating the food we eat.

This is why we wanted to include recipes into our blog. We want to provide healthy, truly healthy alternatives to fast food. Eating healthy starts at home. So please enjoy these recipes from our home, to yours.

Veggie Fried Rice

Veggie Fried Rice

My favorite Veggie Fried Rice recipe! 🍚

1 cup uncooked brown rice, prepared, OR 2 bags ready-rice, microwaved

1 bag (12 oz) frozen peas and carrots, microwaved

3 eggs, scrambled

1 can (15 oz) corn, no salt added

1 can (15 oz) black beans, no salt added

Reduced sodium soy sauce

🥕🥚🌽

And well, the rest is self-explanatory!

~Mingled Vitality, January 22, 2018