Happy Monday, everyone!
So before we start on today’s Mental Health Monday interview, I wanted to share some news with you… I mentioned this on Instagram yesterday, but my Granny is not doing very well. For the past 30 years, she’s been the manager and sole accountant at my dad’s engineering firm. So I’m being called by family on two fronts – to help out at my dad’s business, and to help my Granny maintain her quality of life. Unfortunately this means I won’t have nearly as much time to create and develop recipes here… though I’ll still be cooking and photographing on the weekends, just like in the early days of W+F! But family comes first.
But I just wanted to say thank you so much for supporting me and this blog. Coming here to share recipes with you brings so much joy into my life :)
So without further ado, let’s take it away to Dana of Minimalist Baker!
Welcome to Mental Health Mondays with Well and Full! This series is intended to be an open, honest, inclusive, and respectful dialogue about mental health from people of all walks of life. Thank you so much for sharing your experience in hopes to further the conversation about mental health.
Tell me a little about yourself!
My name is Dana and I’m the author of the food blog Minimalist Baker, which I started with my husband, John, in 2012. I love the process of recipe creation and food photography, so I count myself fortunate that I get to do what I love every day. We currently live in Portland, Oregon.
So, where did you mental health journey start?
I considered myself a pretty well-balanced, easy-going person until I started dealing with some gut-related health issues in 2014, which brought on a great deal of anxiety that I’ve battled ever since. I’m under good care now, but the process of finding doctors who understood what my body was trying to tell me was very up and down and often left me feeling hopeless, confused and alone. Not to mention, when you’ve been well your whole life and then all of the sudden you’re not, you’re forced to view life through a whole new lens and grapple with the possibility that this may be your new reality – that things may not go back to “the way they used to be.” I have never been diagnosed with any specific mental health condition, but the past three years have brought on plenty of anxiety and stress – which so many people endure.
What do you think is something that most people don’t realize about mental health?
Just because you haven’t been diagnosed with a specific mental health condition doesn’t mean you don’t struggle with mental health in some ways, or that you shouldn’t spend time working on your mental well being.
What are some of the ways – conventional and holistic – that you work on your mental health?
I try and take time in the mornings – between showering and the time I start work – to read some type of spiritually-enriching text, journal, and pray. This combination seems to help me start my day with a grounded perspective and sense of calm. I’ve tried incorporating meditation off and on, but it’s a practice I’ve yet to fully embrace (still working on it). I also find long walks outside and yoga to be extremely meditative and good for my wandering mind. And in the past several months I’ve begun seeing a yoga therapist, which has been wonderful. Our time together is generally spent talking about how I’ve been feeling and doing in general, doing some type of activity to help identify emotions or feelings I’m experiencing, and some gentle breath-focused yoga.
Have you ever received or seen any stigma about mental health?
I think everyone does, even if they don’t realize it (myself included). Fortunately people in my life have been so understanding and kind to check in on me and ask about my mental health journey. And I feel very supported from family, friends, and my therapist.
Any final thoughts?
Mental health is for everyone. Whether you’re struggling right now or not, life inevitably brings its challenges and it’s wise to work on our mental well being to better deal with those challenges. Also, there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to mental health, and there’s no one right answer or solution for everyone. I’ve personally found that a combination of gentle exercise, journaling, and yoga therapy have been the combination I need to better deal with my own anxiety. But perhaps for someone else it’s meditation or seeing a counselor. The important thing is to take care of your mind and never hesitate to seek out help when you feel you need it.
Thank you, Dana!
A Really Good Cauliflower Smoothie
This is not your average cauliflower smoothie - a sneaky mix of fruits and vegetables that comes out to be a deliciously tropical sip.
- 4-5 Frozen Cauliflower Florets
- 1 Small Orange peeled
- 1 Cup Fresh Pineapple
- Handful of Spinach
- 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
- 1/2 Cup Water
First, prepare the orange - peel, and separate the segments.
Add in the orange segments, cauliflower florets, pineapple, spinach, almond milk, and water, and blend on high in a high-speed blender until everything is smooth and creamy.
- If you do not have a high-speed blender, please steam (or microwave) THEN freeze the cauliflower. However, if you have a Vitamix (or similarly powered blender), then feel free to add in the frozen cauliflower as is.
- Also, feel free to try adding in some frozen mango or peaches for a little more fruitiness!
If you make this smoothie and share it on Instagram, tag me @wellandfull so I can see! :)