2018

 

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Hello, beautiful people and Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s 2018 already.  To be completely honest, I am glad that 2017 is over.  What a year?  I literally isolated myself, especially from social media, as much as possible to recuperate from the highs and mostly lows of a year that literally has left me using punctuation marks to describe my life.

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If you’ve ever watched the movie Monster-in-Law with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda, there’s a scene where the ladies meet for the first time and chat over tea.  During the conversation, Jane Fonda’s character reaches for the question mark necklace around J Lo’s neck and ask, “Why the question mark?”.  Jennifer responds candidly and freely with a bright smile “Oooh, ’cause I just don’t know?” ended with a carefree laugh.  I swear this is one of my favorite scenes of the movie.  I love Jennifer’s character, Charlie, and I connect with her so much.  She had different jobs and ventures going on at the same time while trying makes sense of it all and embracing the changes as they come.  Charlie went to the beat of her own drum without any apologies.

 Life is full of situations and experiences that are interesting, frustrating, challenging, fun, exhilarating, along with so many other adjectives.  Last year, I struggled with the not knowing and trying to figure it out.  I felt a lot of internal and external conflict because I realized that I lost myself.   I lost “beating the rhythm to my own drum.”  I missed the relationship I had with myself.  I stopped feeding my soul and continued taking on obligations that were depleting me.  I felt like I was suffocating and my body and spirit were suffering because of my unhappiness and discouragement.

 I stopped making my happiness and peace the priority.   So I decided before I go into to 2018, I need to make a change.  THERAPY.  If you’re new to my blog, I am a marriage and family therapist, and I am a believer and supporter of psychotherapy.  There’s this negative stigma associated with counseling and therapy, but there are really great therapists out here who know what they are doing and genuinely care.   Don’t get me wrong, there are some people out there who should not be practicing.  But there are doctors, hairstylists, teachers, spiritual advisors and so on who are really whack yet they are still working.  If someone sucks at what they do find someone who knows what they are doing.

Okay, I’m off my therapy soapbox.  Anyway, therapy has been great, challenging, and needed.  I actually feel like I can breathe again.  I am looking forward to getting back to Brandi.  I must say that it feels great getting back to the blog as well.  I have missed being here and thanks to you who are still hanging out with me!

I look forward to blogging with you this 2018.

Brandi

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Burnout & Venting

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Good day, beautiful people!

I really miss blogging. And I want to take a moment to be transparent and vent. My life as a crisis counselor has pretty much dominated my life.  Over the past few months, there has been a spike in the number of children going into crisis.  I literally feel pushed to the max.  Outside of the piles of paperwork and the countless hours of driving to a crisis, I have the responsibility of making serious decisions about what is  best course of action to help the child and their family.

It’s difficult explain to parents that their child needs to go to a psychiatric hospital to be evaluated. I hear and see so many heartbreaking and disturbing things that I have nightmares about them. I have encountered negative and sometimes unethical helping professionals who give those of us who do what we’re supposed to do a bad name. To be honest, I have seen more negative than positive in the workplace. It irritates me to see people who are supposed to help others have no genuine concern about people. They literally make my skin crawl because they are the most judgmental, insensitive, and power hungry.

The longer I work in the mental health. The more I question if I should keep doing this. I’ve been burnt out before and I took a hiatus for over a year and a half just to find myself and take care of myself. I enjoy being able to help others. And when I did “talk” therapy, I loved being able to be a part of my clients’ healing process. Helping others comes naturally for me which is great. The challenge for me is that I don’t help myself as much as I should.

Self-care is one of those things I have to literally fight for. I have found out that companies do a poor job with supporting helping professionals. I have gained too much weight for my comfort and health as a result of work. My body has been suffering as a result of my high stress job. I had a conversation recently that those working in my field are over worked and under paid.

I recently transitioned to part time and do my assessments via the Internet. I have been transitioning to a vegan diet and I work out more. I also get more needed rest.

Has anyone been burnt out? What did you do to recover?

Thanks for the vent session!

Much love,

Brandi

Here are a few photos on my journey as a crisis road warrior!

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Vegetarian Update…Transitioning and Taking My Time

I wanted to update those of you have been following my vegetarian journey.  I made a post almost two months ago about returning back to eating vegetarian for various reason.  Primarily for the discipline and the health benefits.  I would definitely have to say that transitioning seemed easier the last time around because I took my time eliminating meat out of my diet and I also ate more gluten and dairy last time.

This time around I have been doing a lot more research about what is beneficial for my specific health needs.  I also suffered from severe acne when I finally removed meat out of my diet last time.  This actually freaked me out because it was pretty awful.  I found out that going vegan and vegetarian can cause serious acne issues.  So, I am taking my time in my transition into this lifestyle.  So, that my body can adjust to the changes.

Is the meat gone? No, almost.  I transitioned last time for about two to three months eliminating meat.  I am almost at the two month mark.   I don’t buy or prepare meat in my home ever since the last time I went vegetarian.  I cook and prepare only vegetarian friendly meals.  I may have some fish and lean meat if I go out to eat on occasions.  I have found only a few take-out and dine-in dishes that are vegetarian and gluten-free friendly where I live.  It has been trial and error.  But all in all, I am making great progress.

I haven’t noticed any significant weight loss or anything like that.  I have to say that I don’t feel as bloated.  I feel better and my cholesterol and blood pressure are excellent.  I am shooting to be totally meat-free by May 1.  My initial plan was to stop cold turkey, but I am pacing myself and not pressuring myself to become vegetarian.  I’m allowing myself to adapt to it so that it becomes my way of living.  I have a goal and it’s becoming a reality.

Taking My Time,

Brandi

Smoothie and Snack

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Hey everyone!

I have been pretty swamped in my research course. This means late nights, a lot research, and a lot of hours in front of the computer. The past two weeks have been challenging. So, I have to make sure I’m fueling my body. I have been guilty of skipping breakfast or lunch because of my schedule. I’m doing a lot better with that.

Here’s a tasty, nutritious smoothie I made with a cantaloupe, blueberries, kale, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. I made sure that my fruit were frozen. I used apple juice for blending.

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I also eat a lot of apples because they are easy to prepare and are good for on the go. Here’s how remixed my apples. I sliced them and sprinkled a little sea salt and cinnamon. I also added organic peanut butter. It’s a great mix of sweet, salty, and crunchy with some spice. It’s super delicious and filling.

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Vegetarian and Gluten-free Pasta Dish

Hello everyone! I have not posted any food post lately.  I wanted share a very delicious vegetarian pasta dish I made last week.  Here’s what I used:

Gluten-free rotini pasta, mushrooms, alfredo sause, 3 garlic cloves, and half a bell pepper sliced into thin pieces.   I used cajun and creole spices.

wpid-1427440251701.jpgI cooked the pasta, drained it, and put in in a casserole pan.  I added the sliced mushrooms, alfredo sauce, the bell pepper slices, and minced garlic.  I added the spices last.  I mixed everything and added some soy milk to make the dish creamier.

I baked for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees.  I made sure that the bell peppers were tender.

Here’s the finally product.

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