The Battery Meter Metaphor & Simplifying

Heard of Spoon Theory? Here’s My Take on It

As you recall from my previous newsletter, I am redefining my focus to concentrate on supporting those who, like me, are living with one or more chronic conditions. Here is my newly clarified mission statement:

My Mission Statement:
To be a guide to those who seek support in their basic wellness. To offer hope and coping tools for the multiple unique aspects of coping with a chronic illness. To uplift. To share practical ways that the chronic health journey can be a little easier and a little brighter. To be real, and honor that it hurts and it’s difficult. To remind that there is still joy to be found, even in our humanness.

New Facebook Group:
I have started a new Facebook group called Chronically Thriving in order to pursue this mission and create a community of support. I am still not entirely sure how this will evolve as time goes on, but I feel really good about offering a place of support, encouragement, hope, acceptance, tools for coping with the unique stressors chronic illness brings to daily living, and building mental and emotional resiliency. If this group will support you or a loved one, I hope you will join us!

The Battery Meter Metaphor:
Most people who have a chronic condition have heard of the Spoon Theory, which has helped many people to have a way to explain what it’s like to manage their energy with a chronic condition. But that explanation has never quite resonated with me and I found that a different metaphor naturally came about when I discussed it with others. Click on the video below for more.

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Your Wellness Tip:
One of the biggest challenges for me with regard to energy management is planning, buying, preparing, and cleaning up after meals. It can help a lot to have as much as possible delivered, and many grocery stores offer delivery these days. That alone saves me huge amounts of energy and stress! I love to delegate as much as possible, but I also love when that can mean reaching out to services such as delivery options so that you still get the rest time you need without overtaxing loved ones.

To help you conserve some of the energy on your battery meter, here is a very simple meal idea that literally only takes 5 minutes, has easy clean-up, and is full of nutrition!

Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice Stew
1 pound of chicken breast tenders
4 ounces of frozen carrots or peas & carrots
1 Tablespoon (approximately) of minced garlic (buy the jars of pre-minced to save energy/time)
1 teaspoon (approximately) dried thyme
1 teaspoon (approximately) dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup rice
1 quart (32 ounces) mushroom, chicken, or vegetable broth (mushroom broth is amazing! And rich with nutrition!)
An additional quart of water
Salt & pepper as desired

Dump everything in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Stir and serve. If you have a removable crock in your slow cooker, you can store any leftovers very easily by placing the lid on the crock and placing the entire thing in the fridge. And, as easy as that, you have lunch or dinner for the next day, too! Use this recipe as it is or use it as the basis for battery meter saving ideas of your own!

In Peace, Love & Joy,
Angie Webster
Online Classroom
Facebook
Amazon Author Page

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Follow up to “New Age Reality Check”

 

Sometimes some stillness brings clarity

It’s been a month since I wrote “New Age Reality Check” and I have done a lot of soul searching since then. It had been a long time coming, and I’m glad I had the chance to really sit with the dissonance I had been feeling. It helped me to get honest about how to clear that dissonance from my own life and how I want to move forward with my work.

For my own wellbeing and to support the overall wellbeing of my readers and students, I will be taking a huge step back from the New Age movement and beliefs that are often associated with it. I am not entirely sure how this will evolve over time, but for now, this mostly means taking greater care with my wording and my topics, as well as narrowing the focus of my work. To this end, I have redefined my mission statement.

My Mission Statement:
To be a guide to those who seek support in their basic wellness. To offer hope and coping tools for the multiple unique aspects of coping with a chronic illness. To uplift. To share practical ways that the chronic health journey can be a little easier and a little brighter. To be real, and honor that it hurts and it’s difficult. To remind that there is still joy to be found, even in our humanness.

Of course, this will mean some changes. While I will still offer the courses I have been teaching, some of my classes will be getting a revision in the near future to reflect a more grounded and clear approach. New classes will be added that reflect my new mission statement and my newly refined focus on supporting yourself during chronic illness. My focus in my writing will be support and encouragement in your overall wellbeing. In each newsletter, I will offer a short wellness tip or herbal support recipe, a short bit of inspiration, or a book review and recommendation. I will talk about real life and everyday issues we all face. I will address chronic illness, chronic pain, and differences in neurology in realistic and supportive ways.

I truly hope these new changes will support you well. They feel like a breath of much needed fresh air to me!

Here is your wellness tip for this newsletter~
Wellness Tip
When the weather gets cooler and the kids go back to school, it never takes long for the stomach viruses to start making the rounds. There are a few things you can do to help ward them off if you should happen to get exposed or feel the unpleasant tummy rumblings beginning. Eating healthy, with reduced processed foods goes a long way to helping your immune system stay strong and prevent illness. But we will still get sick now and then, unfortunately.

This ginger root tea is a powerful multi-level destroyer of stomach viruses. Ginger is anti-viral, so it slows the virus down greatly. It also soothes nausea and eases inflammation. That, combined with the anti-viral effects, make it the ideal option to sip when you have a stomach virus, or even if you have just been exposed to one and want to head it off.

To make ginger root tea, chop a one-inch piece of ginger root into pieces. I don’t bother to peel mine, but you can if you want to. Add the ginger root to a pan or a teapot. Pour 2 quarts of boiling water over it and allow it to steep for 10-15 minutes. Add honey to taste and freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 to 1 whole lemon. Sip the ginger tea slowly, as tolerated. (If you are having diarrhea, you may want to leave the lemon juice out until this has calmed down.)

Diarrhea can be calmed in many cases by drinking rice water. To make this, add 1 cup of rice to 3 cups of water. Add a pinch of sea salt. Bring it to a boil and let boil for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, then strain the water off. Drink this slowly.

In Peace, Love & Joy,
Angie Webster
Online Classroom
Facebook
Amazon Author Page

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Heal Your Heart with Plant Energy Medicine

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Recently I have been very moved and guided to work with hawthorn more. Hawthorn is best known for its benefits in supporting and balancing the heart. It is full of vitamin C, B vitamins and is rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids. It’s a deeply nourishing food that also acts as a tonic and brings greater balance to our systems in an extremely gentle manner. It helps to balance blood pressure and bring support and balance to veins, arteries, and capillaries. Because it helps to support and stabilize the collagen in our bodies also helps to repair and build health in the joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It is also helpful for many digestive problems. 
In herbal healing, the energetic factor is often overlooked–the ways in which herbs help us emotionally and spiritually. Plants connect with us not just physically, but energetically. Hawthorn is a very special plant for supporting the healing of the heart on a spiritual and emotional level, as well as physical. It helps to heal and release grief, opens the heart to true expression and connection, and eases anxiety and deep sadness, especially as related to loss or feelings of being “shut down.” Hawthorn brings balance to the energetic heart, allowing for healthy boundaries, which make the heart capable of peaceful, compassionate, and gentle connection. That is a deeply nurturing and wise healing lesson for our physical cells and our souls.
Here is the recipe I was inspired to create. It is so delicious and can be eaten as a treat that is nutritious and healing on many levels. Astragalus is an adaptogen, helping to bring the entire body, mind, and spirit into balance. Ginger helps bring energy and movement to the herbs and into the body, and it brightens the other flavors and makes their sweetness “pop.”

Love Your Heart Herb Balls:
2 part hawthorn powder
1 part astragalus powder
1/2 part ginger powder
honey
Mix the powders together. Add a small bit of honey (maybe a teaspoon), enough to help the powders bind together and form a dough ball. Mix well until a nice dough ball is formed, then pinch off small pieces and roll into balls. Roll the balls in a little hawthorn powder to coat them and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I’m not sure why I was led to work with hawthorn or inspired to create this recipe. But I have been working with the plant energy long enough to know that when I am called to work with one, there is always a reason. The energy reaches out where it is meant to go. May it bless any that can benefit from it.

Joy and Peace,
Angie

P.S. Just a reminder…there is still a little time left to take advantage of my Solstice specials on my Herbal Basics Class and my Animal Reiki Class. These are both 25% off through the Solstice on June 21, 2017. The links will take you directly to the information and enrollment page with the discounted price.

Flower Power Tea Blend for the Summer Solstice

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It’s Almost Midsummer–The Solstice!

I have finished Herbal Basics! It is online and ready for you! If you have pre-registered, please enjoy the class. If you were waiting for the class to be completed, now is the time! In fact, in honor of the Solstice, I am offering a 25% off special to Herbal Basics for my newsletter subscribers.

I am also feeling the nudge to offer a 25% off special on my Animal Reiki Class. Summer is such a wonderful time to go outside and do animal Reiki!

Here is a lovely tea blend that is one of many herbal recipes I share in Herbal Basics. Try something fun and do a little Solstice ritual to offer your gratitude to the herbs, plants, trees, and the Earth as you prepare this tea (or any tea). I hope you enjoy!

Flower Power Tea Blend
This is a gorgeous tea that smells amazing, too! It is a great tea to sip during the work day, before bed or as a cold beverage to cool off in the summer. Children will love this tea because it is so colorful and tastes so good!

Ingredients:

2 parts lemon balm
2 parts hibiscus
1 part lavender
1 part rose petals

Blend the herbs together and store the portion you won’t be using now in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. To brew, use a teaspoon per cup of boiling water. You can make an entire pot and add ice cubes to make a cool drink for summer barbecues or picnics.

Blessings,
Angie
angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

Herbal Basics homepage

Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pie

chocolate lemon pixabaySeveral years ago, I learned that I was borderline diabetic and I also started having episodes of severe hypoglycemia. Really miserable stuff when that hits. So I had to learn to eat differently and tame my love for sugar and refined carbs. The first step I took was simply cutting back the sugar in recipes, sometimes significantly, but usually by about 1/3-1/2. Usually, the recipes were sweet enough, even with this adjustment.

Over time, I also learned to make things using more natural alternatives, such as honey, stevia, and xylitol. Honey still has to be used in limited quantities, as it is a sugar. However, it does have some health benefits and I find it tastes better than sugar. Honestly, I also limit how much xylitol I use, simply because it still feels very refined to me. Stevia is much more natural, made from a ground herb. I prefer the taste of NOW Better Stevia Glycerite drops.

I also learned to use organic sugar, for the times when I need real sugar in a recipe. It is less refined and has fewer chemical agents in it from processing. While it’s still sugar, I feel it is healthier because of this. It also has a fuller flavor, so I can use less of it.

This is a wonderfully rich and delicious recipe that also happens to be really healthy!

Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pie

Ingredients:2 avocados, pitted

2 avocados, pitted

1/3 to 1/2 half cup milk of choice (I love the way coconut milk tastes in this)

1/2 cup cacao powder (cocoa powder is fine and carob would probably work, though I haven’t tried it)

2-3 Tablespoons organic sugar or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

Optional: low-fat graham cracker pie shell

Instructions:

Put everything in a food processor or a blender and blend on high speed for a minute of so, until well blended. Scrape the side  and reprocess, if needed, to mix everything well. Chill for about 10 minutes. Pour into pie shell, or for a grain free, lower carb, no crust pie, pour directly into a glass pie pan and chill for 30 minutes to set.

You can drizzle a chocolate sauce topping on this for garnish/decoration if you like.

Chocolate sauce:

1/4 cup coconut oil (do not substitute with another oil!)

1/4 cup honey

2-3 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder

Heat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often until oil is melted and ingredients are well mixed. Stir in drizzles of milk of choice until the sauce reaches the consistency you want.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Cleansing and Immunity Boosting Tea

0208151057This tea is great for boosting your vitamin C levels, supporting your immune function and supporting the cleansing  and detoxifying ability of the kidneys and liver. It is helpful for anyone who is undergoing a stress on their immune system, be it a cold or cancer. It can also help to support your body as you detoxify from medications you may need to take for an illness. As a wonderful bonus, it tastes wonderful, even without any sweetener, and it looks and smells heavenly.

I don’t get really technical about the measurements when I make this, so adjust this as you feel you need to for taste. The ingredients can be found in the bulk section of most natural foods stores or you can find them online at places such as Mountain Rose Herbs and others.

Sweet Cleansing and Immunity Boosting Tea

about a Tablespoon of Pau d’arco bark (large pinch)–immunity support/balance

2-3 whole cloves (NOT powder)–cleansing

about a Tablespoon dried Hibiscus flowers–immune support, cleansing

about 2 teaspoons dandelion root–cleansing, especially kidneys

about 2 teaspoons burdock root–cleansing, especially liver

Bring 32 ounces of water to a boil as you gather your herbs, roots and flowers together in a wire mesh strainer placed over a small to medium bowl. Once the water has reached a boil, pour it over the herbs in the strainer and allow to sit and steep for about 15-20 minutes. Place a small piece of cheesecloth over the top of a pitcher or a Mason jar. Pour the steeped tea through the cheesecloth into the Mason jar or pitcher. I usually brew 32 ounces more water and make a second batch using the same herbs, and then I toss them in the garbage. Refrigerate. Drink 1-3 cups a day over the next 24-48 hours.

Elderberry Syrup

honey-1970592_640Elderberry syrup is very easy to make at home and is a wonderful and tasty way to keep your immune system strong whenever viruses start making the rounds. Elderberry extract and elderberry syrup have been used for centuries as a basic home remedy. There is evidence[i] that elderberry syrup can stop viruses from replicating, basically stopping them in their tracks. Evidence also suggests that it may be able to stop certain bacterial infections[ii], or at least be supportive in reigning them in.

Elderberry syrup can be taken as a daily preventative dose or you can use it only for support during illness, such as during a cold, flu or sore throat. The dose can be increased during illness or after exposure to help you fight off the nasties.

Aside from cooling time, it only takes about an hour to make, costs about $3 for a quart or so and lasts for 2-3 months in the fridge. Take a teaspoon to a Tablespoon daily for preventative measures and up to a Tablespoon every hour during an illness, until symptoms subside or for the first 24 hours after an exposure to a viral or a bacterial infection. You can even use it as a yummy pancake and waffle syrup!

The variety of elderberries that are typically used for elderberry syrup is Sambucus nigra. This variety of elderberries are fairly easy to buy already dried. You can find them at Mountain Rose Herbs. You may also be able to find them at your local natural foods store. If you pick or buy fresh elderberries, be sure to cook them before eating them. Cooking them removes a toxic compound that most varieties (except Sambucus nigra) contain. You will also need to adjust the amount of berries used when using fresh elderberries, increasing to 3 ½ cups.

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups water

1 ¾ cup dried elderberries

1-2 inches fresh ginger root, cut up

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick)

½  teaspoon cloves (or 2 whole cloves)

1 cup raw honey

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except the honey and to a medium pot and bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Smash the berries with a potato masher or other tool. Next, allow the mixture to cool a while.
  3. Using a cheesecloth-lined sieve, strain off liquid into a bowl.
  4. Gathering the cheesecloth together, squeeze the remaining liquid from the mixture inside. You may want to wear gloves–the juice can stain! Discard the berries, herbs, and ginger.
  5. Cool in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, then add honey.
  6. Store in a glass jar with a lid, in the fridge. Stores well for 2-3 months with refrigeration.
  7. Take a teaspoon to a Tablespoon daily for preventative use or a Tablespoon an hour during cold symptoms, until symptoms subside.

Adding other herbs, such as 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of sage, thyme or, rosemary increases the immune boosting benefits but also alters the flavor. If you choose to add these, you should place them in the pan with the elderberries and water, along with the cloves, cinnamon and ginger root.

*NOTE* Do not give elderberry syrup to children under the age of one, since it contains honey. Honey is not safe for children under the age of one (some sources say two).

[i] http://www.getpurevitality.com/gluten-free-grains/

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3056848/

elderberries