Tag Archive | anxiety

Like a Pineapple…Hard and Prickly on the Outside, Soft and Sweet on the Inside.

I have been a bad blogger lately, but I’m a work in progress 🙂  I read a great article by Zara Barrie for Elite Daily that I just had to share because it resonated so much with me. A man I once dated used to call me “Pineapple” because he said I was “hard and a bit prickly on the outside, but soft and very sweet on the inside.”  I think many modern day women develop this hard exterior to protect themselves…”girls who, to the naked eye, project an image of steel nails, but once you scratch past the superficiality of their outer appearance, are made up of something surprisingly soft...”

Girls encased in radically thick lacquer who wouldn’t allow anything to touch them, girls who blow rings of toxic smoke into the frail air with a dangerously sexy “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude.

The razor blade of a woman whose energy is that of a freshly sharpened silver knife.

She just looks so otherworldly fierce. So sinewy and unbreakable. So impossibly untouchable.

What most people neglect to grasp is that it takes a lifespan of unyielding work to build walls as high as the sky. It’s no easy feat.

Sometimes it feels almost impossible to see past a tough girl’s ever-thick, leather-bound exterior.

So she roams the earth in steel-toed boots largely misunderstood.

So what do these outwardly tough girls wish you knew about them?

1. She’s aware you can exit her life as easily as you can enter it

The most terrifying part of allowing someone into your furiously protected inner world is that once a person enters, he or she can also turn around and exit at any given time. It’s something we have no control over.

The tough girl knows this from personal experience. Whether it’s a friend who unexpectedly lost her life, a parent who left without warning or a partner who tossed her aside like yesterday’s laundry — she’s felt the ache of loss.

She’s vowed to never allow anyone to get close ever again; it’s not worth the risk.

So she pushes you away. Not because she wants to, but because she has to.


2. She respects herself enough to protect herself

Self-respect and insecurity are two very different things, and while the tough girl may be secretly insecure – she has a world of respect for herself.

She is so vehemently self-protective because she knows her value in the world.


3. Laughter is her pretty blue pill 

The most universally effective way to mask vulnerability is to turn all that life throws at you into that of a meaningless joke.

I mean, if she doesn’t even take her own life seriously, then no one else will either, right? Wisecracks are her ultimate crutch.

If only. There is always something lingering behind the excessive need to turn everything into a meaningless joke.

Pain is the driving force of comedy, and laughter is her pretty blue pill, her everlasting prescription of Xanax.


4. She’s not immune to lovepineapple

Her chest holds court to a massively huge heart that requires a multi-nation army of mass protection.

But if you were to push past the plethora of severely armed guards, you would see an insatiable hunger for love.

The bigger the heart, the bigger the break.


5. There is more to her than meets the bare eye

Contrary to popular belief, there is far more to the tough girl than whip-smart quips and an out-of-this-world aura of confidence.

When you break open her shell of whiskey and leather, you will find a multi-faceted, hyper-complex girl – a girl with fears and desires and ambitions and dumb phobias and odd personality quirks and lovable flaws.

Just because it takes time for her to unravel these truths doesn’t mean they’re not there.


6. Her anxiety runs deep

So she’s ethereally calm, James-Dean-cool and wickedly collected on the outside. How very different is the still exterior to the brutal hurricane that exists within her.

I have this theory that goes as such: The more you endlessly discuss your anxieties, the less severe they are.

A girl who is a wide-open book, detailing her fears to anyone who cares to read has made peace with her neurosis. She’s confronted it.

It’s the girls who suffer in silence who are struggling the most.


7. Your words can cut her

The tough girl has worked hard to make us believe words are meaningless to her. She’s so seemingly fierce and unbreakable that something as vapid as a mere word couldn’t scar her steel skin. So we play rough with her (it’s how she likes it, right?).

Not so fast, sister. While maybe she’s set herself up for this kind of aggressive back and forth, it doesn’t mean your unkind words didn’t cut her.

When you so innocently called her “overweight” or “slutty” or a “slacker,” it hurt her just as much as it would hurt you.

She just doesn’t show it; that’s the difference.


8. As tough as she is on you, she’s harder on herself

A tough girl is hard as hell on everyone who surrounds her, but her hardness to you is soothingly gentle compared to the enormous pressure she endlessly bestows upon herself.

A tough girl has integrity and wouldn’t dare to treat anyone differently than she would treat herself. She has a hard outlook on the world, and she is no exception.


9. She doesn’t necessarily want to f*ck you on the first date

Tough elicits sexy while vulnerability elicits love. People automatically assume that the outwardly strong chick doesn’t need to be romanced, that she’s always down for sex.

That pleasure is the intention. That she’s simply here to get her rocks off and doesn’t crave anything as mundane as affection.

This is false. The outwardly tough girl wants to be gorgeously wooed and relentlessly pursued just as much as the seemingly soft girl.


10. When she dares to love, it’s for life

Once an outwardly tough girl grants you permission into her guarded heart, it’s for life.

That’s why she’s so very specific as to whom she allows in.

Ciao for now, and cheers to my fellow “pineapples” 😉

-E

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Ayurvedic Roast™ Review: I can’t believe it’s not coffee!

Hi all! So in case you missed it last week, I elaborated on my absolute love of coffee yet my desire to find a caffeine free alternative that could help me cut back 0r (gasp) even quit caffeine. Well, one day…maybe…haha…but at least cut back. In case you missed the post in which I shared some of the negative (sigh) effects of long term caffeine consumption, check it out here.

I should mention that I’ve tried Teeccino and Pero, two fairly well known coffee substitutes. While they weren’t bad, I didn’t find them comparable enough to be able to replace my beloved java. Sort of like how I feel about chai…it’s good, but it’s not coffee.  So after scouring the internet for other options, I came across this brand called Ayurvedic Roast that had glowing reviews for tasting the most like coffee. I read that “a blind taste test was conducted comparing Ayurvedic Roast™ with the top three coffee substitutes on the market (of which I’m certain Teeccino & Pero were included). Over 200 people tasted all four herbal coffees, with Ayurvedic Roast™ being chosen as the best tasting by the highest percentage of participants.”  On top of that, the stuff brews just like coffee. You can boil it, use a regular drip coffee maker, a coffee or tea press or espresso machine.

My interest was, understandably, piqued.

The info on the site was impressive. It’s 100% certified organic, GMO-free, non-acidic, vegan, and naturally caffeine free. Its unique formula is comprised of barley, rye, chicory root, and includes three antioxidant, adaptogenic, and immunity-enhancing organic ayurvedic herbs: Ashwagandha (an anti-oxidant that boosts the immune system, eases anxiety, helps regulate blood sugar, and can help lower both cholesterol cortisol levels); Shatavari (helps with mood, digestion, and fertility); and also Brahmi (which helps maintain mental clarity, increase circulation, and improve thyroid function).

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So I ordered a bag of the vanilla and, after talking to a gentleman at the company about my plans to review the coffee for my site, had a bag of the original flavor included for a comparison. It’s reasonably priced, and I was very eager to see if it lived up to the hype from the site and other reviews I found online…but tasting is believing.

When my package arrived, I was somewhat skeptical (as any die hard coffee lover would be) but very excited. Upon opening the packages, both the vanilla and original smelled coffee-like out of the gates…the vanilla marginally more so. And the grounds looked coffee-like. So far I was pretty impressed.photo 5

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Look pretty coffee-like to me!

I decided to brew it as I normally would…using my drip coffee maker. I used about 1 rounded tsp per cup, as I normally would with coffee grounds.

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Very impressed with the dark, coffee-like color! To the naked eye, I wouldn’t know it wasn’t coffee!

As it brewed, I was very impressed with the coloring. And as I poured it into my cup and added a bit of coconut sugar and homemade almond milk creamer (the way I normally have my coffee at home), I was pleasantly surprised at how much it looked like my usual coffee!

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Straight out of the pot

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With my almond milk creamer and coconut sugar…Looks yummy!!

Looked good. Smelled good. But now for the real test…the TASTE test…

DELICIOUS !!!!!! Wow! I was seriously blown away. Taste-wise, I prefer the vanilla (marginally) over the original, but then again, I also like flavored coffee. Either way, both taste so much like coffee that I almost wouldn’t know the difference if I hadn’t made it myself.

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You’re looking at a VERY satisfied customer! I can’t believe it’s not coffee!

And as the day went on, I felt surprising very alert, even with no caffeine!  And because I can prepare it just like I do my coffee, it feels the same as far as my morning ritual!

If you’ve ever considered cutting back on caffeine, or even if you haven’t and just want to try a healthy, yummy drink, I HIGHLY recommend trying Ayurvedic Roast. So far, it’s available only online, but I feel so excited about the product that I’m going to see if I can help get it into some stores around me.

Hmmm…now that it’s getting warmer, I may have to try it iced as well 😉

Cheers!

Ciao for now!

-E

Exercise – It’s for EVERYbody but it benefits MORE than just your body!

A recent discussion with a friend of mine, who is recently getting back on track with making fitness a priority, prompted me to write about the mental health benefits of exercise. You see, my friend had been having difficulty getting back on track amidst running her business, recently giving birth to a new baby, raising her two other kids, and keeping a home together. She was worried about making time to workout, what if her body didn’t respond to exercise the way it once did b.b. (before babies), etc.

exercise makes you happySource

As her friend, it was hard for me to watch her struggle…she has been stressed out and a little down lately, and I know from my own experience that, regardless of the physical benefits that she’d reap from regular sweat sessions, exercising would really boost her mood and be a great stress outlet.

Many of you already know about the mental health benefits of working out, but with society cramming images of perfect bodies down our throats, it’s easy to focus solely on the physical/aesthetic benefits. So, as a reminder, here are a few ways exercise can improve your mood:

1. Reduce Stress
One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. When we work up a sweat, our body increases its concentration of norepinephrine, a chemical that can decrease the brain’s response to stress.

exercise reduces stressSource

 

2. Increase Happiness
In addition to releasing chemicals that help us deal with stress, exercise also releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among those    who are clinically depressed. In some cases, exercise can even be as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. And it doesn’t have to be pumping iron or sprinting on the treadmill at a gym…go for a walk, a hike, rollerskating, etc for just 30 minutes a few times a week and you can instantly boost overall mood.exercise helps depression

Source

3. Relieve Anxiety
You might be surprised to know that a 20 minute jog is actually better at alleviating anxiety than a warm bubble bath. During (and after!) a sweat sesh, the brain releases chemicals that help us calm down, and doing moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise (interval training, anyone?) can reduce anxiety sensitivity.

4. Boost Brainpower
This one is awesome…Several studies on both mice and humans have shown that cardiovascular exercise can stimulate the creation of new brain cells (for my science geeks, this is known as neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance. Research also suggests that higher intensity workouts increase levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking and learning.

brain on exercise

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5. Sharpen Memory
Regular physical activity boosts memory and our ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in the hippocampus—the part of our brain which is responsible for memory and learning.

I talked to my friend about some of these and she finally just bit the bullet and hit the gym for the first time in a while…and she said she felt immediate results. She told me she felt less stressed, more in-control, and her overall mood was just better. Hooray!

Give it a try and see for yourself! The proof is in the pudding 🙂

Ciao for now!

-E