Priorities + Leaving Boxes Unchecked 

Priorities + Leaving Boxes Unchecked 

As a mother you have to make sacrifices. To be honest, you do not have to be a mother at all to be faced with decisions that cause loss or pain. We all come to a point in our life where we have to make a shift in our schedule whether big or small, permanent or temporary. This was my last week.

Last week I poured a lot of time and energy into listening to my Imani Collective team both in Kenya and stateside, so we could figure out our priorities in the next coming months and years. When your schedule shifts just a little bit there are things that suffer because of it and your “balance” can seem off for the given time.

Overall, I would say, I am a pretty balanced person, but I also am a high capacity individual, meaning I can give a lot more on a daily basis then the average. I am able to run efficiently at high energies for a long duration of time without burn out, but last week was a very different story.

Along with shifting my time to focus on internal operations and caring for my people, I developed a little cold, have been extremely fatigued, and was studying for a midterm. (I am currently pursuing my doctorate, another little fact!) To say the least, I dropped the ball on a few things that daily consume my time. The first thing that suffered was my family. I have an amazing husband who I described to you in my last post, The Role of a Father in Motherhood, and he helped carry the weight of last week, but that still did not discount that my little boy was missing his mama. On top of that, you, my readers missed two amazing blogs that I had planned, but never executed. (These are being rescheduled, so do not worry!)

My first response, was disappointment. For the first time since starting my doctorate, relaunching my blog, running Imani Collective as well as being a mama and wife, I did not get it all done. I missed the mark. I was sad, but also upset because I know I could have done it all, but subconsciously chose not to.

WHY?

After spending Monday-Wednesday focused on my team and studying for my midterm, I woke up Thursday to take my midterm and then spent the whole day with my husband. Then Friday (being a holiday in Kenya), I took my little boy to the beach and spent the night at a hotel with him. I rested. I was still a little sick, but spent time building sandcastles on the white sands of Mombasa, playing in the dirt under the palm trees and laughing by the poolside as we dumped water in and out of his construction trucks. I let my mind go and I gave it all to him.

With that, emails got unanswered, instagram was not engaged and my blog was not viewed for the first time in a very long time. Statistics of my social accounts had plummeted for the week and I had to learn to be alright with it.

Priorities. With the help of my husband and the little voice from within, I gave myself grace for not “doing it all” because if I would have done it all last week, I would have been consumed behind my phone, engaging with instagram and completely missed the sweet smiles Jadon gave me as he pitter pattered across the sand. In actuality, we probably would have just stayed at home, missing all our fun moments from the weekend. I also would have missed the spontaneous lunch date with my husband because I would have been to busy answering my long list of emails. I would have checked everything off my box and know I would have had a sense of accomplishment even through the exhaustion, but in the end I would have lost the precious moments that were so organically created over the past couple of days.

We live in a society that gives a lot of pressure to perform especially in the social media realm. My hope is that my blog posts are encouraging, motivating and life-giving. My dream is for my instagram to be a shared space of strong women who come together and share their stories through my takeover Thursdays and daily posts. I want the guest who come on this blog to also motivate and create change in your lives.

I aspire to be a speaker, an author and daily INSPIRE.

With all that, I hope that through my missed blogs and lack of communication from last week, I can inspire you to find rest and prioritize correctly. My family is priority and definitely took my top priority shelf of last week. In return other things lost importance and were left undone.

Today, I can honestly tell you. I am feeling satisfied with leaving boxes unchecked and learning to daily give myself a dose of grace for not getting it all done.

Truths about your gut + health

Truths about your gut + health

Hey, guys!

First, thank you so much to Jenny – I am so excited and humbled to take over the #HealthyYou blog this Friday in hopes of, not only connecting to more remarkable, impactful women but possibly help and educate others as well!

My name is Cassie Brown, I am a Wife, Mommy and Holistic Health Practitioner at Candid Health.

Due to my personal journey of managing adult acne and seeing more and more women (and men) dealing with, preventative, chronic illnesses and/or skin conditions, I wanted to speak with you about the host of where the majority of these conditions stem from, our gut. Namely, our colon.

Excited? Or is it just me? 

Either way, according to Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut.” I’m pretty sure he’s been spot on with this observation because, according to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and second cancer to cause death in, both, women and men. *long pause*

Okay, I’m not trying to scare you here. I just wanted to inform you of how important our gut health truly is.

Because the colon is the root to many of our health issues and critical to our overall wellness, it’s extremely important to be knowledgeable of this vital organ along with how to keep it healthy. So I’m going to break it down the best I can.

I’ve heard about the colon but what is it exactly? Well, it’s known as the large intestine and is a part of our digestion system.

It begins at the cecum, ends at the rectum and consists of four parts: descending colon, ascending colon, transverse colon and sigmoid colon (like we’re really going to remember those, right?) Basically, it’s the last FIVE feet of your intestine … yes, you read that correct, FIVE.  

The colon, or large intestine, is the final piece of the digestion process. Its function is to reabsorb fluids, sort out waste products from the body, absorb vitamins/nutrients from good bacteria and prepare for its elimination.

Due to the Standard American Diet (SAD) consisting of: non-organic meats, unhealthy fats, processed foods/sugar, GMO ingredients, low fiber, etc, it’s not surprising that our digestive system is constantly compromised.

Here are some symptoms indicating that our digestive system may not be working as well as it should:

  • Stomach ache
  • Constipation (not going at least once a day)
  • Bloating
  • Skin issues (acne/dermatitis)
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue/brain fog

Are any of these ringing a bell? You can also see why happiness begins in the gut – who’s actually happy walking around feeling any of these symptoms?

Now, these can typically cure themselves with some R+R, like a gentle detox and/or clean eating but they can also be more of a concern if left unattended and lead to:

  • Unbalanced gut flora
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
  • Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
  • Cancer

But we honestly don’t have to get to this point. These can be prevented if you take initiative early and do your best not to take your digestive health for granted – and here’s how …

Below I’ve listed 10 ways to maintain a healthy colon. Now, this isn’t a list to point out what you’re not doing and don’t worry if you can’t do these all at once; I don’t want you to. This is a gradual process that you introduce little by little each day. I do want you to remember it’s progress, not perfection.

1| Fiber-rich foods – think: seeds, quinoa, beans, legumes, nuts, avocado …

2| Water – I’m pretty sure I didn’t need to mention this one but you want to try and get your body weight divided by two in ounces (example: if you’re 145/2 = 72.5 oz of water; a little more if you work out.

3| Less red meat – Our digestive system has a harder time breaking down meat and it can sit in our colon for years … yea, you don’t want that.

4| Less trans + saturated (bad) fat

5| Exercise – your body naturally detoxes when we sweat, so not only does it help detox but it helps get your bowels going.

6| Digestive enzymes – taking an enzyme before each meal will assist with the absorption of nutrients and break down protein.

7| Pre/Probiotics + probiotic-rich foods – especially if you’ve had a recent round of antibiotics. You want/need to build up as much as the good bacteria as you can.

8| Colonics – or colon hydrotherapy uses warm water to remove encrusted feces, gas and mucus in the colon.

9| Reduce refined sugar

10| Less stress + more relaxation – when you’re in a tense, uneasy state, your digestive system will mimic the emotion. To try and avoid this, do your best to find a meditation practice for those stressful and overwhelming times in your life.

For those of you who want a little something right now to jumpstart the process, I’ve also provided a nice, colon detox juice to help cleanse and assist in getting things back in order. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp ginger juice (stimulates digestion, absorption of nutrients and eases constipation)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (cleansing, vitamin C, stimulates digestion, balances pH levels)
  • 1/2 c organic apple juice (stabilizes blood sugar and helps slow carbohydrate absorption)
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 c warm, filtered water

Directions: 

  1. Combine and stir all ingredients.
  2. Drink one on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and repeat in the afternoon and evening

That’s it!

Final Thoughts

Ladies (and men) don’t be afraid to talk poop! It shouldn’t be a taboo topic and even though you may not feel “sick” or deal with the symptoms often, it’s still important to stay on top of our colon health. Without our gut health, we leave ourselves susceptible to be a host of preventable illnesses and diseases.

Let’s connect! I’d love to hear from you.
You can contact me at cassie@candidhealth.me
or head over to the site at www.candidhealth.me 


References:
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
https://www.livescience.com/52026-colon-large-intestine.html
http://darwinian-medicine.com/all-disease-begins-in-the-gut/
http://www.foodmatters.com/article/colon-hydrotherapy-the-therapy-that-even-doctors-are-recommending