Your Mindset Matters!

I know I have talked about mindset in the past, there is no better time than to reiterate the importance of minding your mind and its thought process, than now. In light of our Nation’s change in events and current pandemic, most people that I talk to are verbalizing fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of illness, fear of the present and the future, fear of others actions. One of the fears I have heard expressed the most is “What is going to happen?”

Some people feel they have not had to make changes in their daily lives; others have had to make drastic changes in their lives. The people affected are kids, adults, parents, employers, employees, families, friends, our elders, the young. EVERYONE! How has this pandemic affected you and your life? How are you handling the changes in your life due to the pandemic?

I would like to share how my life has changed in the past 2 weeks. I am a medical provider, mom, daughter, friend and wife. I have to wake each day, check my temperature and report to work. I am not allowed at work if I have a fever and/or upper respiratory symptoms. But, yes, I have a job! I had to cancel my vacation. My birthday will be spent with social distancing a must. My child is without her friends and she is home schooling herself. My daughter wakes up asking me if I have a fever. She actually said “mom I don’t want you to work anymore. If you keep working, can you pack your stuff and go to the basement?” Guess what I do, I go to work! Reluctantly if I may be honest. My daughter will text or call me throughout the day asking how I am feeling. My family members call me to check in on me. I know they are worried that I may come in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Deep down, they are worried they will get sick from me. Of course they dont want to see me get sick, but they also don’t want to get sick.

Why all the worry? I have a weakened immune system due to my own health issues. My family members are older with weakened immune systems. My daughter is a child that is just worried. Worried about getting sick. Worried about her mom getting sick. But I go to work each and every day because I vowed to take care of people. I also vowed to take care of my family. It is my duty to take care of myself first, in order to care for my patients, family and friends. Someone asked me today, “aren’t you scared?” I am! But, I am scared for the ones around me, not really for myself. My friends are without work. My colleagues have their own families to take care of. Local business owners are losing money and risking losing their businesses. My gram lives alone over 2 hours away, does not drive and needs to get groceries! My parents are older. My daughter is so scared with so many questions that I cannot answer. My husband goes to work every day to keep others safe and comfortable. Kids don’t get to graduate. People are cancelling their weddings. Others cannot get the food or supplies they need form stores because others are selfishly shopping. Guns are being bought at alarming rates. People are lying, cheating, stealing and causing harm to others.

I have to step back and look at the big picture. I can’t let fear control my mind. Here are some things that I started doing to help with my mindset.

  • meditation- each and every night. I also find myself taking several quick breaks throughout the day taking 10-15 breaths. This helps to calm my mind when it is overwhelmed.
  • journal/blog- I have been keeping track of my feelings and what is occurring at the time that I am experiencing thoughts of fear or anger or guilt.
  • talking to friends and families- I check in with everyone. I let people know what I am feeling and thinking(this is not usual for me). I ask for help. I say no when I know that I cannot take something new on my plate!
  • I am trying to stick with my eating pattern and sleep pattern.
  • I am doing my exercises every morning and stretching several times a day.
  • I am drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Hydration protects the body from invasion of bacteria and viruses.
  • I am keeping my schedule the same as I usually would.
  • I am limiting my exposure to the news and negative talk.
  • I am doing what I have always done, washing my hands! I am trying to not go into large groups. Shopping only when necessary.
  • I stay positive! Positive that this will end and we will be ok! Each time I get angry, I repeat the above until my mindset has been changed to a more POSITIVE set of thoughts.

It is very important for me and for you to stay positive during this trying time. If you can learn to take care of yourself now, this will carry on to the ones around you; your children, friends family members, co-workers etc. If you learn to meditate, breath, or just refocus then your health will follow suite. If you remain calm and positive, your children will feel more comfortable and confident in the world!

If we let the fear of the unknown control our minds, this is when we will succumb to the negativity of your current situation. You need to learn how to change the negative into a positive. Think of new ways to make your daily life work for you. Change your current negative habits to more positive ones. Learn new habits.

The things in my life that are positive are: I have my life; I wake up every day; my kid is safe; my family is safe and well; I have a job; I have nutrients; I am safe and warm.

What are your positive thoughts?

How are you dealing with the current change in events, ultimately the changes in your life?

Could you benefit from help to keep you motivated and healthy?

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Owner of Qualified Wellness Solutions, LLC

Contact me if you want coaching to help you get through the challenges we are currently facing.

Protecting Your Health and the Health of Those Around You

I said if there was ever a topic that you wanted to discuss, let me know. Well, I received a request for this weeks topic! This topic goes along with our current health crisis.

In Graduate School, I took a Community Health class as part of my required curriculum. I had to choose a group in my community to work with and educate on a health related issue. At the time, my daughter was going to a local day-care. She was coming home sick all the time. The other kids had runny noses every time I picked her up. It never failed, when she got sick so did I. So…… I asked the day care if I could provide a very important education experience to the children in the facility, so infection risk would lessen. Of course, the owner did not hesitate.

I started researching daycare centers, healthcare facilities and other areas that had large groups of people. My research proved what I thought, large groups of people will cause a large number of bacteria to be spread! Why? you ask. Coughing, sneezing and touching. Look at the CDC and WHO websites, they say the same thing; by washing your hands, the spread of diarrhea and respiratory illness will decrease. This decrease in the spread of germs will keep me and you healthier.

Regular hand washing will remove bacteria and germs, decrease your risk of contracting an illness and prevent others from getting ill. You should wash your hands before contact with others, after contact with others, after blowing your nose, after you use the restroom, after you have been exposed to an ill person, before you eat and after you come in contact with an item exposed to a large group of people.

When I taught the day care children how to wash their hands, I used a game to get them to follow along. I sprinkled their hands with glitter and said they needed to sing the ABC song 2 times! If the glitter was still on their hands that meant they did not wash them good enough. In this case the glitter acted as the “germs”. Can you guess how many kiddos still had glitter on their hands? Of these kids, can you guess where the glitter accumulated? The pics below are courtesy of my 13 year old daughter:

Are you done guessing?

Most of the kids had glitter that accumulated on their nail beds and under their fingernails. That means, dirt, germs, bacteria, pinworms (yes I said pinworms!) and potential illness lay at the tips of our fingers! The tips of our fingers!!! This is what we use to shake hands, put makeup on, put contacts in our eyes, hold hands, eat/drink, cook etc.

So, the reason for this blog was at the request of someone that witnessed a person(s) with artificial nails that were way too long! The concern was that these particular people were in the healthcare setting. Let’s talk about this scenario…….

Bedside medical staff are the ones bathing, cleaning, brushing teeth, cleaning a person after use of the restroom etc. Yes, they wear gloves(hopefully), but I have seen people need to use 2 pair of gloves due to their nails being so long, they risked poking through the tips of the gloves. This exposed them to all of the germs they came into contact with. If they rushed while washing their hands, they will pass the same germs onto everyone else they assist for that day, including themselves. Back to the glitter…… do you think glitter would accumulate under long nails? What do you think is the risk of long nails?

I found an article at, that studied healthcare workers who had artificial nails at work. They cultured positive for Staphylococcus aureus, a potential dangerous bacteria. Among the health care workers who had artificial nails, they found that 73% had some kind of organism on the underside of their nails, compared with 32% of those with natural nails. Washing with antimicrobial soap or alcohol-based gel had only a modest effect on the colonization of organisms. Of 17 health care workers with artificial nails that harbored pathogens, 94% still had a pathogen present after washing with soap and 67% had a pathogen after gel use.

I have been known to have artificial nails. I get my nails done prior to vacation. Any other time of year, I have my natural nail with gel polish. But, on the day I received the request for this blog post, I had just finished getting my nails done for a vacation that had been scheduled(now cancelled due to our current health crisis). Now what? I filed them down!

Please let this be a small lessen right now. When we are in the middle of a healthcare crisis and we are trying to promote healthy hygiene, our hands are our main tools! If we do not take good care of our hands, then we are subjecting others to our poor decision to “look pretty”.(now I have to schedule an appointment to get my artificial nails removed 😉

Tina Butt, Owner of Qualified Wellness Solutions, LLC

Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Contact me if you would like to work with me as your Wellness Coach so you can improve your Health!

We Will Get Through This!

I am feeling aggravated. What is happening with this virus, Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Why are people freaking out, buying all of the medical supplies off the shelves, toilet paper, paper towels, OTC cold medicine, soap and hand sanitizer? I wasn’t going to write about this topic because EVERYONE is talking about it(the media can’t figure out what else to talk about!) But , when I went to the store to buy necessities today and there were none available, I got mad.

What were you doing before you heard about this “new virus”? Did you not wash your hands? Did you not go to the bathroom? How were you washing your hands last week? Nothing should change. You need to wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer when you are sick and when you come in contact with sick people or objects that may be contaminated with sick germs. Why is this virus any different? What do you think will happen if you get the COVID-19 virus?

I went to Walmart today with my daughter and guess what we saw! EMPTY shelves. No toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap or hand sanitizer and cold medicine was GONE!

My concern……. when I get a cold, how am I supposed to treat myself? When I have to go to the bathroom what am I supposed to use? I was washing my hands with soap last week, now I can’t because there is NO soap in the stores! Why are people buying mass amounts of these items? Are you going to use 10 packs of toilet paper in 1 week?

Now, let’s talk about my kid and your kid. How will I treat my daughter when she gets sick with a cold or stomach virus causing diarrhea, since there is no medicine, kleenex or toilet paper available? “I’m sorry little girl, you will have to work through this, there is nothing I can give you to help you feel better”.

We are told to always wash our hands and keep them out of our face. What is the difference right now?

Keep yourself informed, but let’s not overreact. Google is great but you should google the CDC website and the WHO website for the best and the most up to date information.

If you are in the high risk group: >60 years old, chronic health conditions, or weakened immune system, getting sick with any virus will increase your risk of not healing as well, please stay home of possible. This will keep you more safe.

The most important!!! If you think you are sick, been around a sick person or you know that you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, be considerate! Stay home. Ask for help. Ask for someone to get your groceries (if there are any left), pay your pills if you cannot do it from home, and even prepare your meals if you are unable. Stay away from your loved ones if you are ill. Check on your elderly neighbors and family members. If you are sick, call your medical provider and ask what to do.

Try to not overwhelm the medical system. Being a provider, a fear is that patients and their family members are going to get a tickle in their throat then go to the ER or urgent care for testing. Calling 911 is still for the acutely ill, calling 911 for a non acute issue will cause your local first response team to be unable to attend to those that are truly life or death. If we overwhelm the medical system, we will end up short staffed due to our medical providers contracting the virus, getting quarantined and not working.

The idea with this virus is to stop the spread! This is why the current recommendations are in place. It makes sense to stay home, stop unnecessary travel, and no unnecessary shopping. If we stop the spread then we lower the risk of contracting the virus and developing complications from it. This will also shorten the current pandemic, making the number of people infected much less.

Currently, some people are not exhibiting symptoms, they don’t know they have it. This is why there are so many restrictions with travel, schools and group gatherings. Be courteous, this is all that you can do. If you are sick stay home. If your have a fever, stay home.

The way I see it, this is a time to show you care for those around you. Help the ones in need, protect the people around you from complications, stay smart and stay well.

Offer to give some of your stocked supplies to the ones that are at high risk as mentioned above instead of hoarding them. Hoarding supplies makes it close to impossible for everyone to have necessary supplies on hand.

A huge upsetting concern of mine is for our kiddos! We as adults are not teaching them well by acting in a manner that causes increased stress, anxiety and panic. Do you know that kids internalize these issues? They will develop poor sleep patterns, poor grades in school, increased behaviors, headaches and poor eating patterns. If they see adults staying calm, they will follow suit. Our kids are scared and they need us to help them understand and remain calm.

Let’s stick together and make this temporary situation run smoothly. In times of stress and over-stimulation of the media, try listening to music, dancing,or meditating! Turn off the news. Don’t allow your kids to listen to the news. Before we know it , this will all be part of history. We need to stand strong and united to get through this.

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Vegan Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

I think I have mentioned in previous posts, I am gluten free for health reasons. Recently I started learning about the benefits of plant based diets. I find it intriguing to say the least, that meat can cause more harm than what it is worth to your body. Right now, March 2020, I am 90% vegetarian and 10% organic, grass fed, no hormone meat eater. I am doing this because I have been undergoing testing for an illness that has been kicking my butt most days. This eating plan has benefited me in so many ways, but I find it difficult to cook 3 different meals for dinner and buy 3 different types of food for my family. Finding a meal that everyone likes is very important for my sanity and time constraints. Trying to recreate meat base meals can be difficult! I found this recipe and would love to share with you!


  • small head of cauliflower broken up into florets
  • 3 tbsp avacado oil
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbsp gluten free flower or you can use corn starch(I used gluten free all purpose flour)


  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1/4 Cup Tamari sauce
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp hot red pepper seeds
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tsp garlic sauted
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar(I used red wine since was gluten free)


prepare the sweet and sour saice- mix the broth, tamari sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, red pepper seeds, tahini and garlic together.

wash and cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces

in a pan: add cauliflower, oil, stir and cover, let it cook on low heat for 5 minutes(I like the cauliflower aldente)

Once the Cauliflower is to your liking, add 1/2 the sauce and stir.

Simmer until the sauce is well absorbed. Keep an eye in the sauce as it will stick to the pan and burn.

Add the flour into teh remaining sauce

then add this sauce to the cooked cauliflower. Simmer until thickened.

Serve with rice, shredded zucchini, or other side

Let me know what you think!!

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Manage Your Mindset!

I have talked about changing your mindset before in a previous blog. This is a topic that I, as you, have encountered on a regular basis. There is always a reason for you to review your life, how you handle your life and it’s daily trials and how you feel afterward.

Recently, I encountered a situation that I could have handled very differently than I actually did. But, I walked away feeling proud of myself. This means I stuck with my sense of self!

I have always been a person that is a “people pleaser”. I like everyone to get along, I don’t like confrontation. I am good at getting my point across, but actual confrontation, I run from. I am not a quitter, I will try and try again to get what I want and to get where I am today. The problem with this is while on this path, I encounter personalities that push me, judge me, aggravate me, talk about me, irritate me, demoralize me, embarrass me and discount me.

The behavior of others:

  • will not stop me from being me!
  • will not stop me from improving!
  • will not stop me from learning!
  • will not stop me from the professional person that I am!
  • will not change my mind about who I am!
  • will not change my goals in life!

This topic got me thinking and talking to others that I trust. There are several people that “tolerate” things and people in order to not have to confront the ones that are causing them to struggle with their inability to stand up for themselves. This toleration is a cause of stress that people may not want to see or admit to. For me, confrontation is a cause of stress on my mind and body.

Stress causes illness, headaches, pain, fatigue, bowel issues and many other ailments (another topic I discussed in an earlier blog). You need to look at when you are exhibiting “stress” in your day. How will you know if something is causing stress? Below, I will post some of the feelings I experience.

  • racing heart
  • butterflies in my stomach
  • dread
  • annoyance
  • irritability
  • tightness in my neck and shoulders
  • there are probably others that I am not realizing.

Why am I writing about this topic? If I am experiencing this, then I know you are. I am in the process of healing myself from an illness that stress will cause an exacerbation of symptoms. I know any stress can cause me to feel sick. SO, why will I put up with these feelings? I am working on that. I am working on changing my mindset about certain situations. How am I doing this?

  • I cannot change someone else’s personality
  • I cannot change someones view about me
  • I cannot change someone else’s bad day
  • I cannot change someone else’s temperament

The things I can change are:

  • I can make the rules for my life! so can YOU!
  • I control how I handle situations that are handed to me! so can YOU!
  • I can have controlled conversations with the person(s) that cause me stress! so can YOU!
  • I can set my own boundaries as to what I will allow! so can YOU!
  • I may not always get to chose who I interact with, but I can manage the way I interact with them! so can YOU! (I may choose not to interact at all)

Some people just have toxic minds and mouths, that is not something we can change. We can change the way our mind reacts, body responds and how our mouths speak back. If you allow a person to affect the way you know you should handle yourself, this will cause stress, therefore, illness. My health and your health is WAY more important than the toxic person trying to interfere with your overall wellness. I will never be the person that argues back, I will always whistle, smile and walk away. I meditate and do breathing exercises to calm my mind and not let it negatively respond to the toxic situation.

I, as you, need to make the decision which may be a difficult one, to change your mindset as to how you will respond to negativity in your life. This could be a toxic friendship, work environment or marriage. How will you handle the toxicity that is interfering with your mindset growth? None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, it is our own ability to choose to suffer through our daily life or make the inner changes and change our mindset to improve the quality of our life, therefore having the ability to reach the goals we are striving to achieve.

I ma working on changing my mindset as to how I handle toxic people and environments, are you willing to change your mindset ?

Respond below and tell me what changes you are willing to make to save your mind and health to work toward a well balanced life.

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Emotional Eating

I took a survey of why people eat. I was not shocked to hear that most people do not eat purely for hunger; but, they eat due to their emotions. What I was shocked about, was that people knew they were doing this. “I snack when I’m bored. I eat when I am sad. I treat myself when I do something good. I get food when I’m under stress.” The commonality was, people do this and feel good. But, they also agreed, they would feel “disappointed in themselves after they eat when they really were not hungry”.

I am not talking about “overeating”. I am talking about emotional eating. Which means we humans, use food to “feel” happy, good, and satisfied. This is a psychological issue that can be overlooked when dealing with someone dealing with weight issues. So, the reason I am writing about this is because I to am an emotional eater, as is my family. In some ways, I think that I have encouraged it in my daughter. When she would do well in school or a sport “let’s go to Dairy Queen!” I definitely was snacking when I was bored or tired. Other people use food to numb their emotions instead of acknowledging them.

We use food for happy times and sad times. When something sad or stressful happens in life, people “help” by cooking meals, bringing a dish to pass at a party, or baking treats for the holiday. When we get together with a friend or family, it is usually over a meal. We are using food for other means than what it is really supposed to be used for- hunger.

So, what is the big deal? Why is emotional eating not good?

Emotional eating develops from a habit. It was a habit for us to go to DQ when my daughter did well; I would eat chips at 2:30 pm daily because I was tired; others sit and watch TV with their hand in a bag of popcorn. The problem with this is, we are usually choosing the unhealthy foods to treat our emotions; sweets, high fat, large portions, high calorie. When this is done chronically over time, our health will suffer. We gain weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, chronic inflammation, and more sicknesses. Our bodies are meant to eat when we are hungry, the prob;em is that over time we have changed our brain chemistry to lose the “feeling of hunger”.

When our body is hungry, there are several things that happen within us to satisfy that hunger feeling. Hunger is controlled by our brain, blood sugar level, hormone levels and how empty our stomach is. When you are constantly snacking, you disrupt the normal biologic way our body is supposed to work. When you emotionally eat, you are treating “feelings” not hunger.

So what can you do to change this habit? There are several things that I did to stop this form of snacking. I am much better at not treating my daughter ot a treat when she does something good. Here is how I conquered emotional eating.

Boredom: I choose a healthy snack or I drink water instead. I will also do something to keep my mind busy. I read, craft or play a game with my family. I am not one for watching TV, but what I will do is portion my snacks. Instead of having a full large bag of popcorn in front of me, I will have a small serving in a bowl. I keep a cup of water with me at all times. I also drink hot green tea with chicory root in it to help with hunger.

Anxiety/stress: I have recently learned how to meditate to help calm my mind. I also do pursed lip breathing under times of stress. I teach my daughter to count 1-2-3-3-2-1. This also helps with me during the day when I am feeling overwhelmed, I walk away from the situation to gather my thoughts, then I can re-enter the situation with a clear mind.

Fatigue: Listen to your body, When you are tired, rest. Do not eat. The reason why we eat when tired is to get the blood sugar up, this will cause temporary energy then you will soon crash and be more tired than when you started. I try very hard to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. I will drink water when I am feeling very tired.

I recommend keeping a food diary so you can see a trend in the time of day you eat and the types of food. Also track your emotions at the time you are eating.

Do not keep the foods around that you tend to go to in stressful situations (mine was chips or ice cream).

Do not completely eliminate a food group, this will cause you to crave it and eat more than the recommended serving size.

Choose healthy snacks- fruits, vegetables. There are so many options available.

Manage your stress. Get involved in yoga, meditation and breathing exercises.

Get support. Lean on family, friends or join a support group. Find someone that will hold you accountable.

If this is you, if you have a problem with emotional eating please make an appointment with me. We can work together to get your mind to shift its thoughts toward a positive, healthier mindset. This will allow you to see why you are an emotional eater. Once we figure this out, you can move toward a healthy lifestyle. Once I recognized that I was an emotional eater, I took the necessary steps to control my emotions. This allowed me to eat when hungry. I have gained more energy, clarity and have been able to lose a significant amount of weight when I was stuck at the same weight for over 10 years. I want to help you get to this point in your life.

I encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle. I believe in you! Do you believe in yourself? Let’s do this!

Qualified Wellness Solutions, LLC

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

How Flexible is Your Diet?

How many of you are on a diet or have ever been on a diet?

How do you know what “diet” is right for YOU?

Why are you on a diet?

Dieting has become a huge business in America. Why? My thoughts are because everyone is trying to find the quick fix. An easy way to lose weight fast.

Have you searched the web trying to figure out what to eat, when to eat, how many carbs(if any)should I have in a day?

Why are you searching the web for your “dieting” concern? Because you can find anything and everything on Google, right!? SO how do you know if what you’re reading is accurate or meant for you?

I have read things on the World Wide Web and was like……. “they are speaking right to me, they know what I am going through”. Then I trust what I am reading . Then I try to do what I am reading. Then I FAIL at what I have read.

For years I did this. I tried: Low carb, No carb, high fat, high protein diets. Add more water. Skip meals. Eat every 2 hours. Exercise more. Where did it lead me? NOWHERE! I failed every time. Why? Because I needed to figure our what worked for ME! Not for you, her, him, them. What worked for ME!

SO how will you know what “diet” is right for you? First, there is no DIET that fits all. Unless you have a health issue, illness, or diagnosis that requires you to be on a strict diet, then here is some shocking information!

The best thing to do for long-longevity is to NOT eliminate food groups from your daily eating habits. Again, if you have a health related issue requiring you to eliminate food groups, then this is not for you. But if you do not have a health issue requiring you to follow a special diet, then you need to ingest the main food groups. The USDA lists the following 5 basic food groups:

MyPlate food groups, subgroups, and sample foods table

Have you heard of the Food Plate Method?

Sample MyPlate Plan

When I worked in Endocrinology as a Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Educator, this is the method I taught my diabetic patients. It is easy to follow, you get all of your nutrients, you get your calories. There is no counting, minimal measuring, and no tracking. You get to eat food! I used to hand out a plate that already had the measurements so you don’t have to do any math, just load up your plate and eat.

Image result for usda food plate

Part of the problem with dieting is people say “I feel like I am starving”. Most Americans eat more than double what the recommended serving size is supposed to be for a healthy lifestyle. So, your “diet” is not making you starve, you’re just used to eating way more than what you are supposed to eat for health.

Put your hand in a fist, that is approximately the size of your stomach. Well, the size that it is supposed to be. So as you are watching what you eat and working toward a healthy lifestyle, you will be eating less, causing your stomach to shrink. During this time, your brain is used to more food, more calories, more sugar. You need to retrain your brain. Make small changes in your diet. You can’t go from 3 helpings of food to 1 right away or you will feel like you could “eat a horse”, then you will not be able to sustain your new way of life, you will go back to looking on the World Wide Web to try another “diet”, another quick fix. Understand, there is no quick fix in health. It takes time and dedication to achieve anything in life. You were not born with the Lexis in the driveway without working for it, you were not given a paycheck without having to work hard for it. The commonality here is, you have to work for what you want!

Cut your portions down slowly, once you are not “starving” any longer, then cut the portions even more, until you reach the appropriate amount as stated above. You will find that you will stick to this “diet” which is actually a healthy way to live, easier than any other diet you have tried. You can go to a party and eat, you can go to a restaurant and eat, you can EAT! You can even have treats in moderation.

Does this sound achievable to you!

I hope this is something that you are willing to try, I hope you can find solace knowing that you do not have to give up what you like-Food.

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Connect with me on Social media, the links are above.

Caregiver Stress: how does it affect your health?

This is a huge topic, but I think it is important to write about it so those of us that are caregivers can relate with one another. You are not alone, you may feel alone, but you are not alone!

The caregiver title falls under many umbrellas. Nurses, parents, children, friends, nursing assistants, anyone who provides “care” for another person(s). As a caregiver, you not only have to take care of yourself and your family, but you may be responsible for someone else’s life. How do you do it all? Caregiving should not be stressful, that’s what you are told right?! How can it not be stressful? How can you keep up with your daily life? Why isn’t there more hours in a day? As a Wellness Coach, I want to help ease some of these thoughts for you.

How did you land the role of “caregiver”. I was a caregiver when I worked as a bedside nurse. I cared for hundreds of patients in ICU and ER. I was able to alleviate their pain and temporarily make them more comfortable. I listened to them and held their hand, provided ADL’s for them, fed them, clothed them. I also had to provide guidance to their loved ones to comfort them during stressful times. I have also cared for ailing family members and friends that had been hospitalized or ill.

As I was in the role of caregiver, I also had to take care of my child, be a wife, be a child, an employee and a friend. I had to keep track of my daily schedule and the schedules of each family member. I had to write everything down so I could keep track of it or I would forget. How could I forget something as important as my daughter’s school activity? Because I got overwhelmed, that’s how. I was too proud to ask for help. People depended on me, how could I say no? How could I let them think I couldn’t handle it? If I didn’t help them, who would? I used to teach new nurses to “take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.” But, I was not following my own advice. Think about an airplane ride. Whenever there is an emergency, they teach you to put your oxygen mask on first, then help those around you. Why? Because if you can not breath, how will you help others to breath.

You wont be around to help the ones you love if you do not help yourself. Caregiver stress is a real thing. Anyone that has cared for others will admit it at some point. So, how do you deal with it? If you are like me you will not say no to someone in need. Do not be how I was. Stop, take a breath, think about your current situation. What can you change?

I had to learn when to say no. I learned what was most important. I have learned that I cannot save the world. If I would have kept trying to save the world, my health was going to deteriorate. Who would be there to take care of my little girl? She needs a healthy mom. So, I ask you to look at yourself in a mirror. Do you see me? Then, now you need to make some changes.

Look at the one(s) you are care-giving for; you need to delegate tasks to others. Whether it is another family member or if you hire someone to assist you. You cannot keep doing it alone, then get upset that “noone else cares. I am the only one that does anything”. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to you. Someone who cares for you! When life gets overwhelming:

  • Stop, look around, who can you call?
  • Learn to meditate. This is difficult in the beginning. I am just learning how to do it. A wise woman told me that if it is difficult, that means you need it. SO keep at it. (thanks mom)
  • Yoga- this is a calming practice. It can settle your mind to allow you to rethink and figure things out.
  • Make sure you are eating, drinking and getting rest. Remember if you are not taking care of yourself, your energy level will be too low to care for others.
  • Make time for a friend. Someone that cares. Someone that will listen. Someone that will care for you. Someone that comes to you.
  • Get local assistance.

Having learned this, I am able to enjoy my days, my family and my professional life. I am actually able to give more to the people around me. Being a caregiver is an honor! It should not be a “job”. Make it a healthy role, not one that leads to your illness. I am working on my path to wellness every day, are you?

Please share some thoughts that you have on caregiver stress. Do you have any other ideas that may be useful to others who are currently in this role and feel like they are overwhelmed and failing?

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Connect with me on social media, the links are above.

Keeping your Gut Healthy

Probiotics are good bacteria that promote a healthy balance in your digestive tract.

You have heard of these microorganisms, but have you heard of the benefits of taking them?

What is the purpose of probiotics? Your digestive system needs a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. There are multiple things that contribute to the disturbance of this balance and allows for overgrowth of the bad bacteria. Probiotics will help prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria to keep your digestive system and you healthy. This can in turn maintain a healthy balance in your entire body. Your digestive tract is the most important organ that you need to protect. When your digestive tract is mistreated with bad foods, beverages, medications, stress and increased abdominal fat then your overall health will suffer.

Do you suffer from a chronic disease? Many symptoms of inflammation in your body can come from poor gut health. As long as you are feeding your gut poor foods and not protecting it, you will continue to have the many symptoms you are experiencing now; fatigue, moodiness, bloating, headaches, joint pain and muscle aches just to name a few.

More than 400 types of bacteria live in the human digestive system. “Pro”biotic means “good”. So what do they do that makes them so “good”?

  • help breakdown sugar
  • do not allow “bad” organisms from taking over your digestive system
  • produce vitamins and help with their absorption

Who would benefit from taking Probiotics?

  • having poor digestive health
  • obesity
  • weak immune system- approximately 70% of your immunity comes from your GI tract
  • chronic constipation
  • IBS
  • Diabetics
  • chronic urinary tract infections
  • Decrease effect of lactose intolerance
  • chronic allergies
  • chronic skin conditions
  • depression/anxiety
  • cardiovascular disease- can help decrease cholesterol levels
  • food allergies

What type of probiotic do you need? There are different kinds out there. These are the most popular ones. You can find these over the counter at your local drug store.

  • Saccharomyces boulardi
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Streptococcus thermophilus

Besides using a daily probiotic for you gut health, what else can you do to promote a balanced digestive tract?

  • Eliminate foods that you know cause you discomfort, allergy or intolerance
  • Eat foods that contain healthy bacteria- yogurt
  • Increase your water intake
  • Decrease stress
  • Decrease or eliminate processed foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Do not encourage the use of antibiotics unless absolutely necessary

There are several foods that are natural forms of probiotics.

  • apple cider vinegar
  • kefir
  • kombucha
  • leeks
  • miso
  • raw unpasteurized cheese
  • sauerkraut
  • sourdough bread
  • tempeh
  • yogurt with live cultures
  • pickled veggies

After reading this, do you plan on taking a daily probiotic? Do you plan on changing your eating habits to help protect your gut health? Please share your thoughts below.

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Qualified Wellness Solutions, LLC

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Do You Have A Love For Avocados?

I have had several requests to talk about this lovely fruit, Avocados. This super-food grows on a tree and offers many health benefits, not to mention they taste yummy! “How do I know how to pick one out? What color are they supposed to be? How do I store them? How do I eat them? Where do I buy them?”

  1. The Hass Avacado is the most popular in stores.
  2. It should my slightly firm, not hard, not mushy
  3. Medium/Dark green outer shell is a good color.
  4. The inner “flesh” is yellow/green. It should not be firm but soft and easy to cut.
  5. You remove the inner flesh from the outer shell by scooping it out of the shell and removing the seed.
  6. I cut the fruit in half. Use 1/2 for my recipe then store the other half for up to 24 hours in the fridge in a covered bowl with the seed still intact on the other 1/2. This will decrease the risk of the fruit turning brown.
  7. Squirting acidic juice, fresh lemon juice or fresh lime juice, on this fruit once removed from the shell can decrease it from turning brown during storage of unused portions.

What are the health benefits? I researched multiple different sites which offered different information. I had to do some math to come up with the following information. The serving size is according to the U.S Food and Drug Administration(FDA)For 1 serving( 1/3 of the fruit, 50gm) you get a whopping:

  • Vitamin K: 18% of the daily value (DV)
  • Folate: 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 4% of the DV- antioxident. contributes to keeping your immune system healthy. Helps your body tissues grow and repair.
  • Potassium:  7.0gm/14% of the DV- higher than a banana which has 2.4gm.
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 6% of the DV- antioxident. Protects your body from illness by protecting your immune system.
  • Fiber: 3% DV- adds bulk to your diet. Helps you feel full longer. Helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.
  • Small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
  • Calories: 80 
  • 1 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of healthy fats– not saturated fat. Helps absorb nutrients. These do not raise your LDL’s.
  • 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber, so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low carb, friendly plant food.

Are you convinced that this is a great fruit to add to your diet?

How about a couple recipes?

  1. Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad ( a twist on your summer cucumber salad). This is easy to make year round. 1 Sliced cucumber 4 roma tomatoes sliced onion to taste(I do not add since I do not like onion) 1 whole avocado peeled and diced 2 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar (you can use red wine or white, I like the taste of balsamic) 1 tsp Italian seasoning 1 tsp chopped parsley Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning and parsley together in a bowl. Place the diced and sliced vegetables in the bowl with the dressing and lightly stir together until covered. BAM! Wait until you taste this. It is Summer in a bowl!!

2. Avocado Egg Salad ( I made without mayo, substituted with yogurt). This is great as a snack alone or as a dip or made into a sandwich! This recipe is for a single serving. 1 hard boiled egg chunked with the yolk 1/3 medium avocado diced (you can mash it but I like it diced) 1/4 of a cucumber diced plain greek yogurt(add enough to your liking. some like it thick others like it thinner. I like thick) dash of lemon juice a pinch of chopped dill and parsley pepper to taste Mix all ingredients lightly in a bowl. Dip your favorite chips/cracker or pita. add to your favorite multi grain bread. Enjoy!!

3. Chicken bowl with Avocado Cauliflower rice seasoned with olive oil, pepper, garlic grilled chicken diced into bite sized pieces cooked in olive oil and pepper grilled/baked veggies- 1/2 head broccoli, 1 sweet red/yellow pepper, diced roma tomatoes 1/2 avocado sliced Place the chicken, mixed veggies and avocado over the cauliflower rice You can eat like this or add a dressing. I use avocado dressing. I will place this recipe below!

4. Avocado dressing serves approx 4-6 1 medium avocado 1 cup plain greek yogurt dash of pepper to taste 2 tsp lemon juice 1-2 tsp hot sauce (I use Franks Red HOT sauce) 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil(I left this out last time and liked it better) 1 garlic clove crushed

Well, I hope this meets your expectations. Let me know if you need more or if I need to clarify anything. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do.

Share your Avocado recipe with me/us!!

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Qualified Wellness Solutions, LLC

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