Almond Butter Blondies

Terrific Recipe: high in protein, will satisfy the sweet tooth, and easy on the wallet.
Note* Use a coffee grinder to grind the almonds but take care not to put too many in there at one time or you will stress the grinder.

Bon Appetite and special thanks to Trips and Turns for this awesome find!

The Daily Post: A Tribute to Irony’s Mother

 

A beautiful post challenge as always  – this is my response to The Daily Post :  10,000 Spoons

…When all you need is a knife might not be ironic, but it is unfortunate. Add your own verse, stanza, or story of badly-timed annoyance to Alanis Morissette’s classic.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Miss Fit Says:

 

It’s the alarm clock, when you wanna stay in bed/

It’s the twice-made mistake, even after all that’s been said

 

 

 

 

 

A Fresh Look at Mental Health: Putting the “B” back in for a Healthy Brain

In the wake of recent tragedies such as Robin Williams completing suicide and the controversial shooting of Michelle Cusseaux, we are once again seeing Mental Health in the media spotlight.

Mental health…mental health… just what is Mental Health? Doesn’t it seem more common we hear it referred to as Mental Illnes? It is rare to hear a story involving Mental Health that doesn’t involve addressing the illness.

We can liken this to our Healthcare System… More of a Sickcare System if we are honest with ourselves.

You may wish to debate this [I hope you do! That’s what the comment section is for!].

Between Big Pharma [aka pharmaceutical companies], the Food Industry, and that pesky, always-present fact that sitting down is more comfortable that running up a hill…there is a strong case for this Sickcare paradigm.

Back to Mental Health – wait did we ever really leave it?

Can we?

Interesting notion …

By standards set forth by the World Health Organization [WHO] Mental Health is defined as:

“the state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”

Pretty powerful language there.

For some of us, Mental Health is always in the spotlight – be that because of our jobs, our families, or perhaps even staring back at us in the mirror.

In light of the above-mentioned definition, we should all be so lucky to have Mental Health staring back at us so confidently.

Then there is the “illness”…

The pathology…

The departure from the norm…

Which when you are referring to Mental Health, this “departure” can be catastrophic as we have seen time and time again on the news, in our cities, and even in our homes.

One of the many challenges when it comes to “treating” Mental “illness” is that, unlike medical diseases or disorders, there is no completely objective test that a nurse or doctor can conduct to determine where you fall on your own personal continuum of “realizing your own potential”, as the WHO definition refers to.

No blood test

No X-ray

No MRI

No fecal smear

…errr what?  Okay ignore that last one.   But trust me, this exists and be glad you don’t need one.   Not yet anyways.

Based on what you know – does it seem odd that pharmaceutical medications are globally made, tested on objective factors, branded, mass-marketed, [and up-sold, always up-sold], all for a pathology of a subjective nature?

Now, before you start screaming, “But Miss Fit! The brain chemicals! It’s all about the brain chemicals!! Those medications, they help alter the brain chemicals so people feel different!”

Yes. I won’t argue that.

But there are no brain chemicals currently marketed towards with pharmaceuticals that cannot also be altered by physical activity and/or foods and beverages you put in your body. None.

And, yes, sex counts as physical activity and YES it alters your brain chemicals.

Just sayin’.

Now, I won’t be focusing on sex to combat Mental Health pathology in THIS particular article, but I certainly welcome your feedback on the topic; and as if it even HAS to be said, the side effects are much, much more accommodating than anything Big Pharma has.

Are you uncomfortable yet?

Yikes, ok back to center.

Folate

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Still an “F” word, but more G-rated.

Folate is one of many water-soluble B-vitamins.

Quick, mini crash course:

Water-soluble meaning that it is absorbed in water – as opposed to fat. Water soluble vitamins are absorbed through the cell walls in the liquid that surrounds them. Fat soluble vitamins are absorbed with fat and include Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins are actually better absorbed when cooked with oils such as olive or coconut. For instance, to increase absorption rates when eating a sweet potato/yam – a root vegetable notoriously high in Vitamin A – drizzle a little oil on it before enjoying.

 

So, Folate, also known as B9 or Folic Acid.

If you have ever been pregnant, known someone who was pregnant, or volunteered for the March of Dimes, you no doubt heard about the importance of Folic Acid for fetal development. Specifically – Central Nervous System [CNS] development, which – shocker – includes the brain.

Just like eating yesterday doesn’t sustain you ‘til next week, getting enough Folate in the womb doesn’t mean you are good-to-go as an adult.

In fact, Folate deficiency is one of the leading contributors to brain dysfunction – dysfunction that often meets criteria for one of those infamous diagnostic codes in the DSM-IV-TR, the bible of psychiatrists.

 

According to Joanne Berger-Sweeney, a neuroscientist at Tufts University, “The nervous system needs Folate to carry out a number of absolutely fundamental [emphasis mine] metabolic processes”.

And why does it need it exactly?

It’s because one of Folate’s main jobs is to play Maestro to the grand orchestra of your DNA, essentially “tagging” small molecules known as methyl groups to genes which ultimately regulate amino acid production, and help make sure your Ear is an Ear, your Lungs are Lungs and your Hippocampus is, well, a Hippocampus [just to name a few].

Additionally, Folate is a strong anti-oxidant. By preventing cells oxidation and eliminating free radicals in the system, Folate not only orchestrates DNA, but repairs damaged DNA and helps prevent future genetic mutations that are linked to a wide variety of medical and psychological disturbances.

property of mashable.com

property of mashable.com

Remember, your DNA is the blue print for who you are, so if there is structural damage, especially to the blueprint for the brain, complications like Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Depressions, and Schizophrenia are understandably common.

At a whopping$3.77 for a 9 month supply, it is really very difficult to make a case for not giving this Vitamin a shot before forking over hundreds of dollars for a Big Pharma prescription that not only depletes your bank account [or that of our tax payers if you currently have subsidized insurance] but also sends your sex drive [and performance] into a nose dive while inching your weight and waistline ever up..up..up..

I don’t know about your but if I wasn’t feeling slightly “away from my potential” before, having no money, no libido, and needing bigger pants is certainly a recipe for testing my Mental Health to the breaking point… which means I will need an increase in my meds… which means… more broke, less sex, and still bigger pants…

There is a lot of evidence out there supporting that medication is truly life-saving in certain circumstances – but what have you got to lose trying something both financially and theoretically sustainable first?

Not a fan of swallowing pills, prescribed or otherwise?

Here is a list of foods that are chock full of Folate.

  • Dark, leafy greens – think spinach, kale, turnip and collard greens
property of thisamazingheart.com

property of thisamazingheart.com

  • Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli – aka “cruciferous vegetable”; now I know what you are thinking- how can I use “cruciferous” at my next cocktail party
property of sportsnutritionvlog.com

property of sportsnutritionvlog.com

  • Asparagus – yes that vegetable that makes your pee smell funny; don’t be alarmed. Unless your pee smelled weird before. Then you should probably stop having sex and go see a Dr.
property of andreaskeller.squarespace.com

property of andreaskeller.squarespace.com

  • Beans – all kinds! Garbanzo, Pinto, Black, Navy, Red, oh shit … I never knew beans were racist? There are White beans somewhere, right? Got to be politically correct and all that.
property of eofbeans.com

property of eofbeans.com

  • Citrus fruits – especially oranges, papayas, cantaloups
property of wolpepers.com

property of wolpepers.com

  • Bananas – someone has something clever to say here I’m sure
property of guardianlv.com

property of guardianlv.com

  • Long-grain white rice
property of wolashburn.com

property of wolashburn.com

A few others with moderate amounts of Folate and chock full of other brain healthy vitamins and minerals:

  • Beets
  • Corn
  • Celery
  • Okra
  • Squash

 

 

 

And, don’t forget to leave questions/comments below and contact direct with any other feedback or issues write.with.ms@gmail.com

 

Until Next Time,

Stay Well,

Miss Fit

 

Within every Comedy is a Tragedy: A Shakespearean Musing on the Late Robin Williams

 

I once read that Comedians are some of the darkest people you will ever meet…

That their quick wit and caustic jest are grounded in cynicism deep-rooted in depression and nihilism.

Does Laughter – the proverbial Best Medicine – in fact operate on a bell curve?

Can it become like a drug?

An addiction?
After all, the majority of people begin their addiction as an element to control their emotions

Possibly heighten them

Possibly suppress

But the name of the game is that they get to control that

They put whatever drug in their body that gives the desired effect.

And the drug…unlike people…is predictable:
The High is malleable

Input = Output.

That’s the draw of addiction

But people?

People…people are another story all together.
People hurt for reasons and in scenarios that are not fixed

Not linear

Not logical

Not expected.

Emotions to the sober person are subject to others’ whims…their Actions

Reactions

Behaviors

This is not often appealing.

Not for people who don’t like other people
and certainly not for people who DO like control.

And so the addiction begins.

Fast forward as we all know the addiction now controls the person

The person LOST the very element they wrecked themselves to attain.

What gives?

Why not throw in the towel and call it quits?

Well of course there is the physical addiction element – that autonomic response that involves the pleasure center of the brain and habitual response.

 

But
there is something else.

Something equally if not greater in power

The emotional relationship with the drug.

Do you know why most addiction programs don’t work?

Because they preach “replace the habit” philosophy.

And – like most “diets” – this is a one dimensional approach.

That FAILS epically in addressing someone’s relationship with their addiction

The drugs,

The food,

The self-loathing,

The fear…whatever your vice, whatever started as your “Savior” that NOW holds you captive…

There was a time when it was faceless and predictable, wasn’t there?

And that made it safe.

Never mind the destruction it did   – it was emotionally safer than the alternative.

When someone wants to die.

They wish to cease existing.

Plain and simple.

They do not truly wish to hurt themselves or anyone else.

The whole reason they want to stop existing is because of pain.

They do not desire more.

They desire an end to it.

Like everyone, we overestimate our ability to predict people and outcomes

 

The Fear, the drugs, the laughter, it keeps us safe.

Or does it?

 

Is breathing while dead inside better or worse than not being here at all?

As long as the temporary withdrawal remains less painful than the abstinence, the addict in us will prevail

And when Death finds him, not even Death will recognize him.

For he will be just another face in the crowd.

Who bowed to circumstance and traded in his mirror for a mask.

 ~Miss Fit

Comedy and Tragedy by monica-dorkface

Comedy and Tragedy by monica-dorkface

SkinnyLUSH Mojito

All-natural, organic, gluten-free, no-added sugar [until you add the alcohol]

Prep Time: Varies depending on how long you want to steep the fruit and mint – and how adept you are with a knife

Note: You can make this as “Skinny” or as caloric as you want based on the amount of added sugar and alcohol.

 

SkinnyLUSH Mojito

  • Servings: Varies
  • Time: Varies
  • Difficulty: TooEasy
  • Print

[picture compliments of DonQRum]

[picture compliments of DonQRum]

Items Needed

  • 4 quart pitcher
  • 4 limes, peel on, sliced
  • 4 lemons, peel on, sliced
  • 4 liters of carbonated water [ I use Italian Sparkling water from Whole Foods © ]
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 2 oz fresh mint leaves
  • Alcohol of your choice. **optional** Favorites include Tito’s Vodka, White Rum, and for a crazy twist, try with a Prosecco/Brut Champagne of choice
  • Ice
  • Sugar or sugar alternative [I sometimes use a pinch of STEVIA ©, to taste]
  • Large serving pitcher or bowl. One very large cup will also do – or so I hear.

 

Directions

  • Pour the 2 cups filtered water in to the pitcher along with half of the desired about alcohol of your choice
  • Combine 1 oz mint, and all the fresh lemon and lime slices into the 2 cups of water + alcohol mixture
  • Cover with plastic lid and place in fridge overnight.
  • Remove pitcher from fridge
  • Use a heavy handled spoon to stir contents as you pour in the carbonated water and remainder of desired alcohol.
  • NOTE: Wait until a few minutes before serving to pour in the carbonated water [if you put it in too soon it will be flat and change the taste in a not so great way. If this happens, simply add more alcohol. Or discard completely. But remember, there are starving children in the world and that was Italian water. Waste not, want not.
  • Pour into a large cup with ice and top with the remaining 1 oz fresh mint [as some of the mint may have turned brown overnight due to oxygenation]

Those Lesser Parts – A Daily Post

In response to the Memoir Madness from The Daily Post: Recall a time you felt disrespected, passed over, unappreciated, or “less than.” Now write a story, poem, or bit of flash non-fiction about it.

IMG_20140121_020956

To find one’s place is hard enough/

Let alone deciphering all that moral, political, and religious stuff

 Then

Of course

There’s school and work, and trying to make a friend or two

You know – someone who doesn’t only want you around for a good screw?

They’re out there, they are;

What I can’t say for sure is exactly where… or how far.

Sometimes I think I’m rather bright;

But the older I get, the more I realize, this world harbors more dark than light.

 What do you do

How do you act

When this world fools you with falsities for fact?

 

You know

I really did think I could help the world not to suffer

And that someday, some good man would ask me to look in the mirror and whisper,

“See that woman? I love her”

Maybe that can still happen.

I’m sure there is still time.

But is it so wrong to want it now, that sweet sublime?

Most nights I refuse to look at myself straight in the face

All dressed in my sheers and lace

Excuse me, Sir

Do you know the pain that comes with knowing my My Place?

Sure, sometimes it makes sense;

It even seems right and not so hard

But then that familiar feeling begins suffocating again.

The Heart

All empty

And marred.

 I blame thee naught, O Universe.

It is only to thy Self I cry and curse.

 Because

You see

My problems

They seem to be created by those lesser parts of me

Those Deep,

Dark

Places

I carry

But

Never

Wish

To

Be.

 Surely I can’t be alone on this dismal path

Surely I cannot be the sole victim of soul wrath?

I feel as though I’m desperate for a kin –

A friendly face who knows what it feels like inside this skin.

Everyday I feel more certain

Yes

Everyday it becomes more clear

My parents were right when they told me,

“You aren’t like the others, my dear”

If only I’d known how true that would be

Maybe

I could have saved myself some of the mistakes and misery.

~MissFit 08/06/2014