How I Learned to Listen to My Body

Tamera Mowry

The past year I have been dealing with a pretty frustrating injury. No matter what I did, my back never seemed to get better. After countless doctors’ visits, and trying different courses of treatment, I found myself half way down a very long road, with what felt like no end in sight. I know I’m not alone, and I’m sure many of you can relate to the total frustration of going from being very healthy and physically fit, to suddenly unable to live your life the way you are used to (I couldn’t even pick up my daughter).

I’m happy to report that today, I am finally starting to feel like I am on the mend, and have found the right treatment plan for me. As frustrating as this journey has been, there are a few blessings that have come out of it (as there always are). First off, I overhauled my diet quite a bit to eliminate any inflammation causing foods (I wrote about that last week), and that made a big difference for my overall health and energy. Second, and what I want to talk about today with you guys, is that I also learned how to really listen to my body.

It sounds simple enough, and we get told to do it all the time — Every time I take a workout class, or read something about meditation or mindfulness, I hear statements like ‘listen to your body, it knows what it needs’. I’ll be honest with you guys, I thought I understood what that meant … Things like knowing when you’re tired, or hungry or need to exercise — And while those needs are real too, I have learned that listening to your body goes much deeper than that.

Despite working with different doctors and physical therapists, my back wasn’t improving, and my pain was increasing. I began to get really discouraged and frustrated. Anyone who has experienced prolonged pain will attest to the fact that after a while, you get to the end of your rope! Living with pain day in and day out, all while trying to keep up with your responsibilities, becomes very tiring both physically and mentally.

It was at this point of exhaustion and frustration that I decided I had enough. Something wasn’t right, and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t getting better. I made the conscious decision that I was going to get to the bottom of this injury, and figure out what the heck was going on — The only problem was that I had no idea what the heck was going on.

I decided to start by getting really clear on how the injury was affecting me, and noticing everything about my body, and specifically, my pain …. I mean, like take notes on how do I feel at all times of the day, kind of noticing. As someone who doesn’t like to complain, I have to say this was a lot harder than it sounds. What really jumped out at me though during this process was that I had a gut instinct all along about what was and wasn’t working for my body.

Always trust your gut. Sometimes, therapists may tell you things you should be doing, that you instinctively know you just shouldn’t. I worked with a couple different therapists, and knew something still wasn’t right. So, I went and saw a back specialist, Dr. Watkins.  He seriously is the best!  My husband referred me to him through a really good friend of his who had suffered back pain for years as well. Dr. Watkins pointed me in the right direction.  I knew when he looked at me and said, ‘we are going to figure this out’, that he would, and he did!! I did all the tests I needed to get in order to get all the information we needed. Make sure you always keep trying to figure things out if something doesn’t seem right! You have to listen to your own body, and trust your own instincts.

In actuality, it turned out to be my SI joint all along, not my back. The back pain was just referred pain. I can honestly say I was so happy when we found out the culprit. A lot of women who have babies can develop this injury. My two c sections, and lack of core and SI strength, enabled this pain. So, turns out that all I needed was trunk stabilization. So simple right?!

Now that I know what I have to do, the rest of the journey begins. My exercises are what gets me through the day, and what are helping me to heal in the process — But they are no walk in the park. It takes a while to build strength when your abs had been cut open twice. Doctors don’t really tell you that after you have a c section. However, there is a direct correlation between c sections and back-pain. I now have the most amazing physical therapist … It took me awhile to find her! Her name is Grace. But what I love most about her is that she is very optimistic, genuinely cares for patients, and simply knows what she is doing with post-partum mommies.

I’m grateful for my journey, and even for this setback, now that I look back at it. It taught me to always trust my gut, listen to my body, and eat healthier. I’m finally starting to look and feel like myself again. I had to get two cortisone shots in my SI joint, and I gained 10 pounds from the steroids — Not fun. However, I’ve already lost 9 of those. I’m hoping that by sharing my journey, I am able to help someone else on theirs.

Know that in your trials you aren’t in it alone, and that one day, it will become your testimony.

Have you guys ever had to take an injury or health matter into your own hands? I would love to know your tips for taking control of your health!  

Xx
Tamera

 

Almond + Banana Chia Seed Pudding

almond banana chia seed pudding

tamera mowry health recipe

The holidays are over, and that means that it is time to go back to work and school, and life is about to return to being as busy as ever. Which also means that I am usually running out the door and in a hurry, and in need of a quick and healthy meal.

I recently heard about chia seed pudding and initially I thought it sounded kind of unappetizing … First of all, pudding isn’t really my thing. Second, the only time I eat chia seeds is if I am throwing them in a protein smoothie. But after doing some Pinterest research, I discovered that there are a lot of chia pudding recipes out there, and so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try it. I’m so glad I did! Chia seed pudding is so easy to make, and is seriously delicious and nutrient packed — I’m now hooked!

I made my pudding with almonds and bananas, but once you have made the pudding base, you can get creative about what else you add to it. Berries, chocolate, coconut, peanut butter … The options are endless.

This pudding makes for an incredible on-the-go meal, and you can make a bunch of it at once and store it in the fridge. I hope you guys enjoy trying this recipe as much as I did!

Have you ever tried chia seed pudding? Let me know what you add to your pudding, I would love some more ideas to keep this recipe interesting!    

Xx
Tamera

chia seed pudding recipe

Almond + Banana Chia Seed Pudding | Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

3 ripe medium-sized bananas, set one aside and slice for toppings

1 ½ cups almond milk (or you can use whatever milk you prefer)

4 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup of almonds

¼ cup of almond butter

Directions:

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the chia seeds and additional sliced banana for topping. Remove from the food processor move to a mixing bowl. Next, mix in the chia seeds. Divide the mixture evenly into jars of your choosing (I used mini mason jars). Place a lid on the jars and store in the fridge overnight (or at least for 4 hours). Once the pudding has hardened, serve with sliced bananas and almonds on top.

Enjoy!

Healthy Homemade Candied Nuts

Tamera Mowry recipe

healthy candied nuts

Christmas may be over, but the festive season is still going, and now we all have New Year’s Eve to look forward to! I love ringing in the new year with lots of family and friends around, and that usually means entertaining.

For any New Year’s Eve get-together, I like to serve a lot of small snacks and appetizers so people can nibble throughout the evening (and soak up all that champagne!). This year while I was planning my menu, I decided it would be great to have these homemade candied nuts around for people to snack on. Traditionally, candied nuts are full of processed sugar, so I took a healthier spin on them and made them with coconut sugar instead — And they turned out great!

What I also really like about this recipe is that it is made on the stovetop, and can be done in about 15 minutes. These nuts are a fantastic thing to make ahead of time and they store really well, so it takes some of that day-off prep pressure off. In fact, I found that they were even better the next day because it gave the nuts time to harden.

You can also feel free to customize what nuts you use. I chose to use almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans — But you can add or omit any nuts you want.

Let me know if you guys try making these for your New Year’s Eve party, I would love to know how they turn out!  

Xx
Tamera

sugar free candied nuts

Healthy Homemade Candied Nuts | Total time 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups raw nuts of choice — I used almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop, combine the sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut sugar and water.
  • Mix all ingredients, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add in your nuts, and stir constantly until the nuts are well coated and start to crystalize.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat, and let it sit for 2 minutes.
  • Place all the nuts on plates, and let the remaining liquid pour on to the plate. Using a wooden spoon, separate the nuts so that none of them are in clusters.
  • Let the nuts sit on the plates for an hour, and then remove them and place into an airtight container. Store until you are ready to serve.

Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies

Tamera Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice COokies Every Last Bite

As many of you guys know, I am always on the lookout for recipes that are a healthier alternative to things that I love like pasta and baked goods … I am all about finding the balance in life, and even though I am happy to indulge every once in a while, (especially now that we are in the holiday season), I really love finding recipes that are healthy versions of some of my favorites … And I also feel way better about having healthy alternatives in the house for my family to eat.

This time of year, I am a big fan of anything that is pumpkin, and so when I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies from Every Last Bite, I knew I had to try them (plus it meant getting to eat a cookie for breakfast). Now, I don’t want to fool any of you, they do not taste like a traditional cookie, but they are really delicious, and a healthy way to start the day!

These cookies taste more like muffin tops and are not too sweet, but have an amazing subtle flavor to them (thanks to the cloves and nutmeg). They also freeze really well, so you can do what I did, and make a big batch and just pull them out of the freezer as needed — Making them an amazing option for an on-the-go breakfast.

The recipe is simple enough that you could easily add or omit anything you want to change up the flavor a bit. For some variations, try sprinkling shredded coconut on top, or leave out the raisins.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Let me know if you make these cookies and how you like them!

Xx
Tamera

pumpkin spice cookies feature image

cookies paleo

Pumkin spice cookies recipe

Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies | Prep time 10 mins | Cook time 18 mins | Total time 28 mins | Yields: 18 cookies

Grain/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo, SCD Legal, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ⅔ cup chopped pecans + 2 tbsp finely chopped pecans for the tops
  • ¼ cup raisins

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and honey and blend until well combined.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients (except the 2 tbsp chopped pecans) and mix.
  • On a parchment paper lined baking sheet drop large spoonfuls of the batter and then gently press down on each to slightly flatten. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with the remaining chopped pecans.
  • Bake the cookies for approximately 15-18 minutes until golden on top. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Recipe from Every Last Bite

 

Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Tamera Mowry Recipe

As a mother and wife, I am always thinking about what everyone else wants … And especially what everyone else will eat. With two children at different stages of eating, and a husband, it is not always the easiest task! Often times when my husband is out of town, it becomes all about the children’s dinner and I kind of just pick and snack on whatever is in the kitchen.

Recently I decided there had to be a quick, easy and healthy meal I can whip up for myself, and that is when I discovered zucchini noodles! I am now hooked — Turning vegetables into noodles is genius!

What is the most appealing about cooking a meal with zucchini noodles is they are versatile and extremely quick and easy to make. Even if I am making a regular pasta for the family, I can easily replace the pasta noodles with zucchini noodles for myself to keep the dish healthier.

I’m so excited to share with you guys the recipe I have been making for my zucchini noodles lately. It uses an avocado sauce that tastes rich and creamy and is so much healthier than a traditional wheat-based pasta noodle.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! I would love to know how your dish turns out if you make it!

Xx
Tamera  

zucchini noodle pasta

Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce | Serves 2 people | Cook time: 15min
Recipe is gluten free, dairy free, paleo and can be made vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini to use in a spiralizer. I also buy zucchini noodles pre-made from the grocery store.
  • 1 large, ripe avocado
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • ½ cup of fresh basil leaves
  • Small handful of basil leaves for garnish
  • 1 organic chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts to garnish on top

Directions:

  • Wash and spiralize your zucchini using a Spiralizer, or a Julienne Peeler (or remove store-bought noodles from the package).
  • Lay your zucchini noodles out on clean paper towels and gentry press to remove as much water form them as possible.
  • Put the spiralized zucchini in a large bowl, sprinkle half of the salt over the zucchini and give it a good mix. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile peel the avocado, remove the pit and put it in a blender or food processor. Mix it with the rest of the salt, the lemon juice, fresh basil leaves and ground pepper until it’s a smooth avocado cream. Taste it and add more salt or lemon juice to taste.
  • In a medium skillet, add your zucchini noodles and olive oil and sauté over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
  • After 2 minutes, add your avocado sauce (mixing well) and heat for one more minute — You do not want to overcook the zucchini.
  • Remove from heat and divide your zucchini pasta into two bowls. Place the chicken, remaining basil leaves and pine nuts on top.

Enjoy!

Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Frosting

Tamera Mowry Brownie Recipe

Avocado Brownies Recipe

I love to bake, and I especially love to bake over the holidays. Since most of the traditional baked goods recipes are full of sugar, I am always searching for healthier versions of the sweet treats that my family loves. I recently made these Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Frosting (hear me out), and they were a hit!

They were extremely moist (and like their name, fudgy), and just the right amount of sweet. The avocado in the recipe replaces using any butter or cream, and you don’t even taste it. Instead, they create a creamy and chewy texture that is really good — Even my husband liked them, and he’s got a sweet tooth. What makes this recipe especially appealing to me is that it is paleo, gluten free and doesn’t include refined sugar or dairy. I just love showing my children that you can make yummy treats that are better for you.

When I made this recipe, I baked the brownies at night, and opted to frost them in the morning. I have to say, overnight the brownies settled, and became even better and more dense than when I pulled them out of the oven. I highly suggest letting your brownies sit for a few hours before frosting them.

I hope you guys like this recipe as much as I do! Let me know if you make them, and how they turn out!

Xx
Tamera

Tamera Mowry and her son Aden

Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Frosting | Yields 9 brownies
Recipe from Half Baked Harvest

 

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 4 Ounces Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips chopped + divided
  • 2 Ripe avocados pitted + skins removed
  • 3/4 Cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Organic eggs
  • 1/2 Cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Cup almond flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • Cacao Nibs (to sprinkle on top, optional)

 

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 2 Ounces Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/3 Cup cacao powder

 

Brownie Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  • Melt 2 ounces vegan chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double broiler until melted and smooth. Add the avocado, coconut sugar and vanilla to a food processor and puree until completely smooth and no clumps of avocado remain. It helps to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and puree until smooth and combined. Add the eggs and process until the eggs are combined. Now add the cacao powder, almond flour and salt. Pulse until the mixture is just combined. Remove the blade and stir in the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate chips.
  • Evenly spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the brownies are just set. DO NOT over bake or these will become cakey. Allow to cool before frosting.

 

Frosting Directions:

  • In a small sauce pan, melt together the maple syrup, coconut oil and dark chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the cacao power + a pinch of salt. Pour the frosting over the brownies and spread in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle with any desired toppings. Place the brownies in the fridge and allow the frosting to set 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Cut in bars and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.