Sushi Silver Linings

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Physically, I am almost always miserable. It’s not a choice and unfortunately, there really isn’t much I can do about it other than what I already am. This is MY reality and I must to learn to be okay with it.

Mentally and emotionally I keep it together as best I can. I’m not perfect. I fall short. I have extremely bad days and there are days where absolutely nothing seems to go right!

On an everyday basis, I battle stomach and bowel issues. I spend my days in and out of the restroom-honestly. Every day, I battle severe dehydration, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety and more.

Right now, I’m fighting my usual ailments plus an awful bladder infection (which seems to be becoming a reoccurring thing) that has my body in uproar.

I could be angry at the world and everyone in it. I could have a pity party and pout all day long. I could refuse to smile or laugh or be happy about anything but to me, that’s ridiculous. I find those silver linings and I roll with them!

Today has sucked but hey, my AMAZING husband brought home the best sushi for lunch! HELLO! Things like that one hundred percent make my day and I’m so grateful for a husband who goes out of his way to do things like that. On top of it all, I also have him eating some sushi now! He would never ever eat it before but I’m converting him!

So, if you’re like me and you’re fighting every-single-day to stay on the upside of things, find those small blessings and run with them. Don’t let the negative beat you. It’s easy to do because there seems to be more negative than positive stuff to focus on and the negatives almost always seem to overpower anything positive. FIGHT FOR IT

Fight to find the silver linings.

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Scientology

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The more I watch Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the more I am absolutely shocked.

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I never knew. I didn’t even know what Scientology was. I was thinking, who is this L. Ron Hubbard dude?  You spend thousands of dollars on books for your religion & church. Who signs a contract for a billion years?! You climb a “Bridge” to become a better spiritual & human being & at the top of that “Bridge to Total Freedom” you should be able to cure cancer & move junk with your mind? REALLY?

You make yourself bankrupt because you MUST pay for EVERYTHING AND give back.

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The levels of multiple types of abuse, the disconnecting & ripping apart of families, the harassment…I’m shocked.

I’m ALL ABOUT education. I’m all about the truth & sharing your story too. Leah Remini is absolutely amazing as well as Mike Rinder. The work they’re doing is impacting & informative. I’m grateful to learn & they’re role models to me.

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Just wow…

P.S. Hubbard & I were both born on March 13th. Ew. Granted, he died two months before I was born.

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Permission

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I give myself permission to:

To love Jesus

To give love
To receive love
To move forward
To say no when necessary
To say yes even when it’s scary
To laugh
To make mistakes
To know my worth
To be me
To have fun
To try again
To respect my body and my health
To embarrass myself
To stand up for what’s right
To value myself
To rest
To not hold grudges
To grow
To succeed
To go out of my comfort zone
To release the past
To be happy
To be proud of myself
To be proud of my faith

And do so with out guilt which may be the hardest part sometimes.

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What do you give yourself permission to do?

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Dear DNA Parents

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I’d like you to know that your phone numbers have been unblocked. Even though I’ve done so, it doesn’t mean that I’m ready to talk to you in any fashion.

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I’m still hurt & I’m still sifting through the pile of crap I’ve been left with from my father’s phone call.

Never in my life did I EVER think I’d be backed into the corner you BOTH backed me into. When you back someone into a corner…there’s only one way out. Unfortunately, for us, that meant when I came out swinging, I trampled you both & left you there.

I’m GRATEFUL for you. I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me. I’m grateful for the tough-love way you raised me & BECAUSE of that, I KNOW I can make it without you. I don’t NEED you. It’s not what I want, but that’s what needs to continue for right now. Remember, “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes.”

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Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

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Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

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Need:
1 pound ground chicken breast
3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 small onion, grated
2 tablespoons + 1 cup marinara sauce (divided)
1/2 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Italian blend shredded cheese

Do:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.

Set aside 1 cup marinara & shredded Italian cheese.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. Mix well, do not over mix or you will have tough meatballs. Using a 1 tablespoon scoop, portion out meat mixture & place on baking sheet. After all meatballs have been scooped onto tray, roll into balls.

TIP: If you lightly wet your hands the meatballs will form better & crack less. Bake for 16-18 minutes until lightly browned.

Turn oven to broil.

Drizzle a spoonful of marinara over each meatball. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese is golden brown & bubbly.

Serve & enjoy!

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Avocado Chicken Salad

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Avocado Chicken Salad

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Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com

Serving: 6 as a side or 4 as an entree

Need:
Avocado Chicken Salad Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts, *shredded or chopped
3 medium or 2 large avocados
1 cup corn (from 1 cooked cob)
6 oz Bacon, cooked & chopped
¼ cup Chives or green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped Dill
2 hard boiled eggs, cut in halves or quarters, optional

Lemon Dressing:
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
⅛ tsp black pepper

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Do:
Dice or shred the 2 large cooked chicken breasts & place into a large mixing bowl. Peel & pit 2 large avocados, slice into bite-sized pieces & add to the mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of cooked corn (freshly cooked corn is best), toss in ¼ cup chopped green onion, chopped bacon, & 2 Tbsp fresh Dill. Add dressing ingredients to a small bowl & stir to combine. Drizzle over your salad & toss. Serve with slices of hard boiled egg if desired.

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Notes *You can use rotisserie chicken, cook your own chicken breast seasoned with salt & pepper or use well-drained canned chicken.

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10 Ways Depression & Anxiety Can Cause Physical Pain

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10 Ways Depression & Anxiety Can Cause Physical Pain

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At some point in your life, I’m sure there’s been someone to whom you want to give the benefit of the doubt, but they just… can’t… seem… to help being jerks? Or maybe you’ve had a co-worker who you thought wasn’t so bad, only to have them stab you in the back, pull the rug out from under you, then shove you down a flight of stairs (figuratively, of course)?

That pretty much sums up my rocky relationship with depression and anxiety for 17 years. My first bout of clinical depression occurred at the age of 22 and seemed fairly textbook in terms of how depression is portrayed in popular culture. It began in response to several sad and stressful situations, it drained me of my energy and desire to socialize or do things I typically enjoyed. Once I realized what was going on, I made an appointment and began therapy. Pretty straightforward, right?

However, the next time depression came knocking, I didn’t recognize it and neither did any of the doctors I visited. I went through several electrocardiograms (EKGs), an echocardiogram (ultrasound of my heart), abdominal ultrasounds, diagnostic laparoscopic surgery of my abdomen, plenty of blood and urine tests and chiropractic adjustments. The results? Inconclusive.

After these tests and a few speculative diagnoses, it was finally an urgent care physician who assembled my myriad of symptoms into a clear picture: depression, yet again.

In case you had no idea that a mental illness could produce physical symptoms, here are 10 ways depression and anxiety can cause physical pain:

1. Oh, my gosh, why am I getting a headache nearly every day?

Everyone gets an occasional headache, but every day? Yeah, that’s a bit excessive. Doctors determined there were no apparent neurological or physical causes for the pain. They chalked it up to stress and said to come back if things worsened.

2. “Oh, my neck, my back, my neck and my back.”*

Sure, the sudden onset of debilitating back pain could be due to the “joys” of aging  but when it resolved just as mysteriously as it began, I became suspicious.

3. Cramps? But, it’s not even “that time of the month” yet!

Similar to my mysterious back pain, I’ve had occasional abdominal pain. Now I know it’s due to constantly clenching my abdomen because of anxiety, I try to remind myself throughout the day to relax those muscles and breathe.

4. Do I have early-onset arthritis?

Man, my joints are killing me today. Sometimes when I’m particularly tired or stressed, I notice my joints are more achy than usual. Since I haven’t had any recent injuries and my doctor says my joints look good, this seemed like another symptom.

5. Uh, can I get a raincheck on going out?

They probably don’t need to know it’s because I want to stay as close as possible to a bathroom. After ruling out food sensitivities, I still regularly experienced digestive issues (e.g., diarrhea or constipation). That’s certainly no fun.

6. I know I said I wanted my heart to race, but this is ridiculous!

Heart palpitations due to moderate exertion were scary. But wait, there’s more…

7. Whoo, where’d all the oxygen in the room go?

Along with the palpitations, I also struggled to draw a full breath.

8. Are you hot? I’m hot. Is it hot in here?

I’m too young for menopause, so hot flashes in concert with the palpitations and difficulty breathing were very concerning.

9. Whoa! Why is the ground tilting so much?

Just for kicks, my body threw in occasional dizziness.

10. Uh oh, I think I’m going to be sick!

…and nausea. Fun times!

Thankfully, I never had more than one or two of these symptoms simultaneously, but it still seemed like my body was falling apart. To have all of these issues when I’m a fairly healthy 30-something was frightening. I didn’t want to worry those around me, so my typical response to how I was doing was, “I’m fine.” I was anything but fine, but most people don’t really want a laundry list of ailments when they ask  it’s just polite small talk.

Emotional symptoms of depression tend to creep up on me; I often don’t realize I’ve been sliding down a slippery slope until I’m already in an emotional pit. But these physical symptoms  especially when more than one pops up at the same time  are much harder for me to ignore. I like to think of them as my mental illness early warning system.

Of course, if you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a physician ASAP. Once physical causes have been ruled out, it’s worthwhile to visit a psychiatrist or therapist and mention the symptoms.

* Gray, F. Gary, director. “Friday.” Performances by Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, New Line Cinema, 1995

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