There’s a beauty in the simple things. That’s probably why minimalism became so popular over the years. In the U.S. we often get bogged down with ‘stuff’, most of us don’t even know what it is, why we have it or what it’s for. We just like stuff. It’s pretty hectic for your mind to try and think clearly when you have so much stuff around you, it’s a bit of sensory overload at times. The same thing goes for food. Your body needs diversity but not always all at once! Getting a smoothie bowl and adding every superfood ingredient on the menu isn’t actually doing as much as you may have hoped. Your body has a difficult time processing too many foods at one time and digesting each of those foods. That’s why simplicity is key.
Music has been shown to be incredibly useful in the mental health field. We all have our favorite feel good tunes and the songs we like to listen to when we’re feeling sad and need a good cry. It’s so powerful and can literally switch our mood from overthinking and stressed to easy going and dance-y! This is why it’s so great for anxiety which in turn will make it beneficial for your gut health, yeah your gut bacteria like music too!
Read this blog to find out more about how your gut health affects your mental health.
Finding a good health coach to help you might sound daunting and expensive. You may even be wondering what the heck a health coach even is so... in this post I’m sharing the 5 reasons you’d even want to hire a health coach and what we do!
For those of you who don’t know my names Ashleen, hi! I am an Internationally Certified Health Coach who helps men and women with anxiety improve their gut health so they can finally start managing their mental illness and stop feeling frustrated and irritated all the time.
Been there, done that!
Mental health is a hot topic these days and for good reason. So many of us put self care on the back burner and after a while it starts to take a serious toll on our mental health. Diagnosis of anxiety and depression are at record numbers these days and although people are trying to look after themselves a bit more it still appears to be a struggle on how to actually do it. We’ve all heard about gratitude lists and as much as I love them if you aren’t consistent, they’re useless. Today, I’m not going to give you the same old self care tips you usually hear and gloss over. I’m going to give you some real tangible tools to start implementing that won’t take up much time so you can actually be successful at it. Mental health is the farthest thing from an overnight fix but if you’re constantly anxious, agitated, overwhelmed or depressed you best be making it a priority if you ever want to be able to live free from the confines of your mind.
Shopping used to bring up all my anxiety at once. Fellow empaths will understand the feeling of feeling other people’s feelings - you know? I’ve had clients laugh at this, who haven’t shopped much before, and once they go they always call me and say, “Omg, I did not expect to feel so overwhelmed”. It’s a hectic place trying to hunt and gather your food off those shelves, I feel you! Throw in trying to figure out what’s healthy and what’s not while only having 100$ is a whole extra anxiety attack. Don’t worry, I know exactly the stress this causes and I know exactly how to combat it. It was 4 years in the making and now I can finally handle the grocery store all on my own without hand holding and without wanting to run out screaming. Now I can help you do the same! Success!
By now you’ve probably realized that food plays an important role in leveling out your mental health. It may not cure your mental illness for good but it will definitely give you a fighting chance in managing it so it doesn’t take over. In this post I’m going to talk all about the common foods that can trigger irritability, anxiety, anger and frustration. I know because I’ve been there, 4 years ago I had no idea what gut health was and was often grabbing foods that tasted great and made me feel good… for a minute. Not too long after consuming these foods would I have insane stomach aches, diarrhea, headaches, anxiousness and crippling irritability. Ya’ll anything would set me off - that’s how I got my nickname in college “Hulk-Leen” not the best nickname to have but it definitely fit my character at the time.
Ah, digestion, everyone's favorite topic. Joking! But it is an important and essential part of your daily life. Having optimal digestion means your body can break down foods properly and actually absorb the nutrients you’re trying to give it. There’s a lot people don’t know about digestion and that’s what we’re going to dive into in this post. There’s also plenty of factors that can disrupt your digestion that you may be unaware of like stress for example but we’ll talk more about that below!
If you struggle with indigestion, bloating, lack of energy, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn or acid reflux you may have a digestive issue and these 5 things you didn’t know about digestion will help you to get rid of these annoying and painful symptoms. K, let’s dive in…
Flourless, paleo almond butter chocolate chip cookies YUH-UM. These are the cookies I make when I am seriously ready for some chocolate chip cookies but don't feel like having an upset stomach later on.
They're great to bring to parties, no one will even know they're healthy - I trick all my friends with these bad boys. Quick with simple ingredients is my baking style and these cookies are just that.
Who doesn't love Nutella and cookies? Put them together you got the sweetest treat! Unfortunately, many hazelnut-chocolate concoctions aren't ranked too high in the health department due to their high sugar content but never fear... I got you covered with this healthier, lower sugar homemade "nutella" cookie. It could also very well be the easiest cookie to bake when you're in a pinch. With only three ingredients, I think you're really going to enjoy this one!
Poor gut health is often linked to leaky gut or “intestinal permeability”. Leaky gut is when the intestinal walls are damaged - Picture them like tight mesh walls and when they’re damaged the holes in the mesh get bigger allowing undigested food, toxins and bacteria to ‘leak’ out into the body and bloodstream. It’s actually pretty common in western cultures due to our diets and daily habits. You can find out if you may be suffering from leaky gut by taking this short gut health quiz [HERE].
Eating fruits is a great way to improve gut health and today we’re going to focus on mangos! Here in the Cayman Islands it’s currently mango season [a very popular time of year over here]. I have to be honest, I used to dislike mangos until I got my hands on a fresh, juicy Caribbean mango and now I swear I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
If you aren’t quite as lucky to be able to pick them right off the tree in your backyard, frozen mangos from the grocery store are your best bet in getting the freshest pick. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often fresher than the fresh options at the stores (unless local) because they are picked at their ripest time and then flash frozen, preserving them at their best time for consumption. Click here to read more about how gut health affects your mental health.
Ever wondered what’s been causing your bloating and how you can fix it? Me too, girlfriend. So many women [and men] struggle with bloating and think that’s just ‘how it is’ but not you! You’re here to find out how to get rid of it, you know there’s always an answer to your problems and that’s why I like you ;) Let’s look at bloating; why the heck it pops up all the time and how to get rid of it without taking any medicines!
Bloating is typically gas that is trapped in your abdomen. It makes you feel like you’ve just eaten WAY too much and your belly is distended, feeling tight and full. This can be super uncomfortable and annoying. It's usually your body's way of letting you know that your gut isn’t very happy with what you’re doing and it’s time to figure out what it is. Read more on gut health HERE.
You’ve got a workout routine, you’re eating well but you aren’t getting any results. You aren’t feeling an increase in your energy like everyone said and you’re feeling pretty exhausted wondering how anyone keeps this up?!
Sound like you? It’s easy to get wrapped up in the thought of “I must not be doing enough” but that mentality can actually be counterproductive when it comes to your health. All or nothing thinking is a cognitive distortion that causes you to think in black and white categories with no consideration for a grey area (aka balance).
I finally whipped up one of my very own recipes. Recipe testing here in Cayman isn’t very fiscally responsible so it’s rare I have a recipe of my own and I’m very lucky this one came out so well on the first try. PHEW!
Before I share the recipe I just wanted to share a bit about how swapping out refined sugar with more natural sugars like honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup has made such a difference! Most of the time when I’m feeling something sweet I choose a paleo baked good, this isn’t because I am trying to lose weight or restrict myself but more so because they don’t make me feel horrible afterwards and it’s harder to binge on because they actually fill you up (cause they actually have nutritious value).
Hey! As you may know by now, my name is Ashleen. I am the co-founder of the Not So Sugar Coated which is an Online Health Coaching business. If you’ve known me before I moved to Cayman you might be asking me how the heck I even got involved in all of this and fair enough, my life has taken a complete 180 from where it was 4 years ago! Let’s get into how it all started… But before we do, if you want to get a quick little insight into all the magical steps, strategies and foods that got me here you’re going to want to check out this Ultimate Guide I created just for you!
Hey! My names Ashleen.