Trusting your inner voice “soul’s guidance” during recovery

pills-in-foreground-fruits-in-background💊 A person in recovery from substance abuse is more likely to relapse when they have poor eating habits and do not adopt a self-care routine.  I know this first hand!

The human journey is a culinary dance, in my eyes. It’s a blend of ingredients that each contributes some texture, some flavor, some sort of deepening sensory experience, that together form the way we see ourselves, and our world. We’re all born with some disability or disadvantage. We’re all born with some sort of privilege. All our traumas, sorrows, and challenges are as important to the dish as our victories and delights. What separates the finest cuisine from a dog’s dish? It all has to do with how you use each ingredient!

Although I’ve been legally blind my whole life, I really lost my vision through years of self-destruction. Thoughts, feelings and behaviors that moment by moment made me less of who I really am. Opioid addiction promised me clarity, but shrouded me deeper into darkness. Abusive relationships mirrored my self-loathing, although I was too blind to see the reflection. It wasn’t until I started cooking and adopting healthier whole foods into my diet, and no more processed foods that my vision and ability to start to focus on my recovery really returned.  Little by little step by step, one day after another my mind, body, and spirit started to strengthen, to lift and clarity came into my vision, not through my eyes but through my heart.

This is not my story alone. It’s not just a story about the visually impaired. It’s everyone’s story. It is the darker ingredients of life that blind us, and the passions and desires that light the way.

I had to accept the process of recovery, and it took truly proper nutrition and regular movement to slowly build up to the point that I started to experience more clarity.  When the glimmer of light came into my view, that’s when the momentum started to build, I took it and ran with more certainty that I deserved it! Because I was so close to losing my life and was in hospital twice from an Opiate overdose, I made a difficult conscious decision.  I had to accept and work through whatever I was faced in my recovery journey, I promise  you it wasn’t easy or a quick fix  However what I can promise you is that it’s truly possible and in your power if you are ready to do the work, and accept the process.

There were many, MANY things I had to learn.  There were many times of trial and error, or it just didn’t fit for me. There were many! Many! Different supports and strategies I had to incorporate into my recovery that complemented one another.  It’s not one Dr., it’s not one therapist or approach, it’s not one diet plan, it’s not one support system, it’s not one form of exercise, it’s not just one tool to put into my tool box that works best.  It’s putting many together in creating a kick ass recovery journey that strengthened my success. I also learned that I didn’t have to accept all approaches, ideas or methods that came my way, as they all didn’t either feel right or work best for me.  Because I was so eager to heal and get away from such a destructive addiction, it took time to learn this.  But becoming your own best friend, your own teacher, your own advocate is key, and it was for me. I did what many do when entering recovery, I tried to follow the advice I was given and attended a 12 step meeting as often as I could.  My gut was yelling at me, but I didn’t listen, finding many reasons and rationalizations why I’m wrong to have this feeling.  I would say,

“Oh Orly, not liking it and feeling uncomfortable, is because you want to go back to using.”

“Oh, Orly why are you so weak?”

“Oh Orly, don’t try to talk yourself out of the commitment you’ve promised yourself.”

“Oh Orly, what’s wrong with you?”

For me, dismissing my inner voice, my gut, was Bullshit! And almost led me right back to what was easy and run back to what I knew. However because I already started to put healthier foods into my body and exercise consistently I had more inner vision to gain more clarity.  The 12 step program might work for some, but that approach didn’t work for me.  If I can offer some insight for what worked for me, was to trust my inner voice, my soul which was trying to guide me through the fog.  At first I didn’t understand what was happening.  However, when I started to listen closer to that voice, it became louder and louder.  I realized it wasn’t there to misguide me.  It was there  to take my hand and walk beside me and guide me through some very difficult decisions I’d ever make.

Inspiration

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“Please know on this day of your life that patience, above all else, is what is needed right now.  Do not let anxiousness or frustration take over.  Conditions on the exterior of your experience will change, but you highest benefit will be achieved when conditions in your interior remain the same.  Hold to your inner peace.  Reclaim your identity.  Trust your higher wisdom.  Look to the grander vision.  Do not agitate for a decision right now, nor seek an immediate solution.  Do not wish for an end to things as they are.  That end will come.  Yet let it arrive naturally.  Do not push the river.  Wait.  The Right Time is at hand, and resolution of this difficulty is on its way.”
Inspiration 1

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“Please know on this day of your life that adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.  During any time of adversity, your genius will be revealed as will that of all humankind.  We will find that there is another way to live other than ‘dog eat dog’, and another worthy goal other than ‘bigger, better, more’.  See this time, then, as a challenge to your ingenuity and an invitation from life to rediscover what is truly important:  love, family, friends, and … the journey of the soul.”Inspiration 1

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“Please know on this day of your life that God’s light shines through you when your light shines on another.  The darkness of the world can be illumined by your glowing presence — yet you must believe in yourself as The Source of that light and that love.  All the world awaits your arrival today, shivering in its sadness, looking to you for warmth.  Can you bring a radiance to those you touch today?  Will you?  Your answer will determine more for you than it will for them.  In this is “The Great Secret.”
Inspiration 1

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“Please know on this day of your life that creativity is not something you wait for.  It is something that waits for you.  You must decide to be creative, not wait to be.  You must challenge yourself.  Pick up the brush.  Grab hold of the camera.  Turn on the computer.  Start cooking the meal.  Get to the workplace early.  Propose the solution.  Advance the idea.  Become the answer.  How do you suppose these very words were written by me?  Do you think I have time to wait for ‘an inspiration’?  I must be the inspiration.  And so much you.  Print this out and put it right in front of you today.”
signature of Orly the blind chef

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“Please know on this day of your life that the struggle ends when the gratitude begins.  The search is over when the finding starts.  And the finding is not a finding at all, but a creating.  You cannot find what you have been struggling for, but you can create it.  And the jump-start of creation is gratitude.  Thank you, Universe, for helping me to know that all that I seek is coming to me now.  Thank you, Universe, for allowing me to feel, right now, the peace that comes with gratitude for what is, replacing the yearning for what is not.  Thank you for bringing me the understanding that from complete surrender with no resistance, and trust things right now are not exactly the way all is supposed to be, but will surely be.”
signature of Orly the blind chef

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“Please know on this day of your life that the goodness in your life does not come to you from someone else.  When you see this, you will be free.  There is no reason and no need to ‘play up’ to another, or to try to remain in their good graces.  Remain in your own, by not betraying yourself.  Simply speak your truth, with gentleness and love.  And have courage, for what you seek is not outside of you.  It is not a gift from another person  it is yours — to give, not to acquire.  Let no one, therefore, hold you hostage.  Not your partner, not your boss, not your family … and certainly not your God.  You know right now exactly why you received this message today.”

signature of Orly the blind chef

Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a recent study from Disability and Health Journal, indicates that people with disabilities are more likely than the general population to have issues with substance abuse and addiction.  Specifically, about 40 percent of the population that has some form of disability also struggles with drug or alcohol use.  This includes people who have sensory disabilities, such as being deaf or blind.

Often, the frustrations of these conditions can leave a person feeling depressed, anxious, and isolated from the rest of the world.  For many people with these emotional issues, drugs or alcohol can be a way to numb negative feelings or create a false feeling of euphoria.

Read moreStatistics

Turmeric Berry Banana Smoothie

printer iconRelieves pain and inflammation.
How’s that for your health? Combining a delicious drink that fills you up, is packed full of healthy ingredients, and fights inflammation all at the same time!
Have fun in the kitchen!

TIPS For Success For Your Turmeric Berry Banana Smoothie

  • Use a quality blender
  • Use the best possible quality ingredients available.
  • Use organic frozen fruit when possible, especially strawberries, as they absorb so much toxins.
  • Use fresh or frozen spinach (see tip below for frozen spinach)
  • Slice the banana and place it in the freezer in advance so it will be sufficiently frozen when needed.
  • If a frozen banana is not available, use a few ice cubes instead.
  • In a pinch, ground turmeric and ground ginger may be used (start with ¼ teaspoon and add to taste).
  • Use the tips mentioned below for storing ginger and turmeric to avoid waste.

 

I make frozen Smoothie Packs to guarantee my success and eliminate any possible excuses:

smoothieAlthough this smoothie is fairly easy to throw together in minutes, why not make it even faster by having all the ingredients ready in packets.

  1. Peel the ginger, turmeric, and banana.
  2. Slice the banana in pieces.
  3. Measure out the ingredients for this anti-inflammatory smoothie (with the exception of the milk, which you will add when making the smoothie) and add to resealable plastic baggies.
  4. Place in the freezer and store up to a month.
  5. When ready to make the smoothie, simply add the ingredients to a blender, add dairy-free milk and blend until smooth. Consume immediately.

Tip: You can use fresh or frozen spinach with these make-ahead smoothie packets. If using frozen, use 1/2 cup spinach, as the volume shrinks in the frozen ver-sion.

Benefits of Ginger and Turmeric:

  • Turmeric and ginger are deemed to have powerful benefits for this anti-inflammatory smoothie.
  • Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and has the active ingredient “curcumin”.
  • Ginger is an herb that can be consumed ground, fresh or as juice.
  • Many smoothies for arthritis pain tend to include these ingredients.
  • But additionally, this turmeric green smoothie has flax and chia seeds which contain omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are considered to have wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

Best Storage For Ginger and Turmeric

I store my fresh turmeric and ginger by wrapping each in a paper towel, then placing them in a sealed plastic bag and storing it in the fridge for up to a week. It is easy to tell the difference between the two because turmeric has a very bright orange flesh.

Freeze both ginger and turmeric for future use. I peel the turmeric and ginger completely, then cut into small pieces (perfect smoothie size) and store in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer. This provides easy access for many recipes, including smoothies.

What Would Be A Good Drink For Inflammation?

The best would be a drink (smoothie, tea, soup, etc…) that tastes delicious and ALSO has anti-inflammatory ingredients. Delicious Ginger Tea or Turmeric Tea is a great anti-inflammatory tea and afternoon treat.

This anti-inflammatory smoothie is great for an anti-inflammatory breakfast, snack, after a workout. I even have this as a meal replacement during those hectic busy days!

SERVES: 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen organic wild blue berries, or any berries of your choice
  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • ¼ inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced) I personally add ½ inch piece
  • ¼ inch piece of fresh turmeric (peeled and sliced) again I add ½ inch piece
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon flax seeds
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend for several minutes until very smooth.
Pour into a glass and drink up. Enjoy!

3 Common Questions I’ve Been Asked Over The Years

There are no stupid questions!  We can’t possibly know everything so we shouldn’t expect others to know everything, and how do we learn unless we ask?

I have never turned anyone away or made them feel uncomfortable about approaching me with their questions or their curiosity. I am always just happy that someone took the plunge to approach me and ask.

Sometimes people get stuck on the words they might use to express what they are thinking, but I’ve learned to look beyond the words, and see the meaning of their questions, without judgement, and I never feel offended.

These are the three top questions I’ve been asked over the years as a blind person.

Read more3 Common Questions I’ve Been Asked Over The Years

Zucchini Fritters

printer iconWhy it’s so good for you:

Zucchini and carrot both have a high water content. When paired with protein and fat from the eggs, these fritters make a filling, nourishing meal without that heavy sluggish feeling!

INGREDIENTS

Use organic ingredients where possible.

  • 2 cups grated vegetables (zucchini, carrot or sweet potato)
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped/ grated
  • 1 clove garlic chopped finely, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter or coconut oil for frying
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Leafy greens of choice (spinach, arugula, lettuce, dandelion or other bitter greens)

 

zucchini frittersINSTRUCTIONS

  1. Grate the zucchinis with the skin on and add some salt. Let the mixture stand while you chop the onion.
  2. Squeeze the vegetables in order to get rid of excess water, and then mix with the onion, the spices, and the eggs.
  3. In a frying pan, heat the oil or butter and fry the batter in batches of 4 small pancake-sized fritters for about 2 minutes each side.

 

NOTE

Delicious served with a large green salad dressed with lemon, olive oil salt and pepper.

 

Nori Breakfast Roll

printer iconA protein-rich savory roll packed with nutrients to keep you going all morning long!

Why it’s so good for you: Adding nori to your breakfast may sound strange, but it’s a great addition to your meal! Known as an ancient superfood, it was once believed to be our ancestors’ secret to health and longevity. For thousands of years our forefathers ate seaweed for optimum nutrition as it’s rich in minerals, including iodine required for healthy thyroid function.

SERVES:  1

INGREDIENTS

Use organic ingredients where possible

  • 1 sheet nori
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp organic butter or coconut oil
  • ½ avocado
  • Handful greens (spinach, arugula/rocket, bitter greens)
  • lemon juice and Sea salt to taste

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 2 tbsp organic yogurt (coconut or dairy)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped finely

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a small amount of butter or coconut oil to the pan.
  2. Whisk egg in a bowl and pour into the pan.
  3. Cook for 1 minute. Flip and cook for a further minute.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Cut the avocado into slices.
  6. Lay the nori sheet onto a cutting board, top nori with cooled egg, then top with the avocado slices, greens, and the yogurt (for better digestion). sprinkle with salt and pepper
  7. Roll up, cut in two and eat immediately

Great Eating Habits

🏆 Here are some great eating habits that may improve the mood and state of people struggling with addictions:

– Decrease caffeine consumption.

– Avoiding refined carbohydrates and foods high in sugar is so important to overall health, especially when trying to recover from any addictions or any mental health struggles. As refined carbohydrates and foods high in sugar can cause energy to crash, ups and downs, which translates into mood swings.  These types of foods are truly empty calories which results in a lack of needed nutrients for the body.

– Eat foods rich in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables: they play a key role in boosting your immune system and help restore your skin and hair, which often deteriorate as a result of various addictions.

Read moreGreat Eating Habits

Nine foods that help to reduce high blood pressure AND CHOLESTEROL 💔

heart healthIf you are one of the more than 75 million Americans with high blood pressure, you won’t necessarily end up on medication. Lifestyle changes – like what you eat – make a big difference. Here are nine foods that have been proven to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health, according to clinical research. BONUS: they taste great!

🍌1. Potassium-Rich Foods

Foods that are high in potassium, such as spinach and bananas, have been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure. Potassium helps the kidneys flush sodium out of our systems, which in turn, can cause our blood pressure to decrease.

Some other high-potassium foods to try: sweet potatoes, avocados, swiss chard, and white beans. Try a smoothie with banana, spinach and avocado for a potassium-rich breakfast or snack!

🍣2. Fatty Fish

Studies have shown that eating omega-3-rich fish, like salmon or mackerel, or tak-ing fish oil pills, can decrease blood pressure and prevent the onset of hyperten-sion. When shopping for salmon, always opt for wild when possible to avoid con-taminants and pollutants that can be present in farm-raised fish. Try roasting it in the oven and topping it with an herb-filled pesto!

3. Beets

Beets pack quite a nutritional punch—they help reduce blood pressure, have anti-inflammatory properties, and have even been found in studies to improve athletic performance. Beets are high in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide once digested. Nitric Oxide helps blood vessels dilate, which in turn reduces blood pres-sure. Try roasting beets and adding them to salads, adding them to juices, or try this raw beet carpaccio.

4. Pomegranate

A 2017 meta-ANALYSIS of 8 clinical studies determined that pomegranate juice had a significant impact on blood pressure. Try adding frozen pomegranate seeds to your smoothie, or sprinkle fresh seeds on yogurt or salads. If opting for pome-granate juice, be sure to choose one with no added sugar.

🍒5. Berries

You’ve probably heard by now that berries contain powerful antioxidants, but did you know they have also been shown to decrease blood pressure and relax the ar-teries? Anthocyanins, the compound that give blueberries their blue color, may have blood pressure reducing properties according to recent studies. Frozen wild blueberries are easy to keep on hand to add to smoothies, or try slicing up fresh berries on yogurt, granola, or salads.

6. Olive Oil

Healthy fats are an important part of a heart-healthy diet, and olive oil may be one of the most powerful foods in the world when it comes to health and longevity. Ol-ive oil is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that have various health bene-fits, including the reduction of blood pressure. Cooking veggies with olive oil also allows our bodies to absorb fat-soluble vitamins K, A, D and E. When shopping for olive oil, quality is important. Olive oils on the market are often heated or diluted, which causes them to lose their potent polyphenols—always opt for a quality Ex-tra-Virgin Olive Oil for maximum health benefits.

7. Pistachios

Not only are they a delicious high-protein, high-fiber snack that will keep you full, but in several studies exploring the impact of nuts on blood pressure, pistachios were the clear winner. Eat them as a snack, or try adding them to salads or pestos.

8. Flaxseeds

Several studies have shown that flaxseeds are a powerful superfood when it comes to reducing hypertension. They contain, α-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fat-ty acid, which has been found to reduce blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce stroke risk. Keep flaxseeds in your fridge to prevent them from going rancid, and sprinkle them in salads, smoothies, or baked goods.

🍫9. Dark Chocolate

Good news for chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and poly-phenols, and has been shown in some studies to reduce blood pressure. Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy snack. Stick to smaller amounts, and choose a dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content.

If it feels overwhelming to get all of these foods on your plate, start by ditching the processed, pre-packaged snacks, which can contain whopping amounts of sodi-um. Instead, keep whole foods like blueberries, pomegranate seeds, spinach and flaxseeds in the fridge to throw into a salad for a quick meal. Add some extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice and you’ve got a heart-healthy and delicious meal in under 10 minutes!

Many of these ingredience can also be thrown into the blender for a smoothy packed with a heart healthy punch! and will support YOUR HIGH BLOOD PRES-SURE AND CHOLESTEROL.

💊💥Pain Medication Addiction
and the Disabled

Patients with disabilities often use prescription medications to battle painful conditions, many of which have high potential for addiction. Prescription opioids in particular are effective pain relievers, yet are highly addictive and can easily be abused. People with disabilities are more likely to abuse opioids, but less likely to get the treatment they deserve. Opioids are so highly addictive that even individuals that closely follow short-term prescriptions can quickly get hooked, a risk that only goes up the longer the prescription is for.

Once a disabled individual develops an addiction to prescription opioids, they will often end up switching over to cheaper and more readily available drugs such as heroin when their prescription runs out. This risk is heightened among the disabled, who are often under greater mobility and financial restrictions than the general population. These factors, combined with the fact that opioid addiction is by far the most likely form of addiction to end in overdose and death, make disability and addiction to opioids a growing cause for concern.

Read more💊💥Pain Medication Addiction
and the Disabled

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