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THIRA Health / Uncategorized

“Does Labeling Myself Hurt or Help?”: A Journey in Identity

Human beings are many things: sociable creatures, curious minds, and survivalists.  Since the advent of language, we have relied on the identification of our surroundings in order to alleviate senses of danger or unfamiliarity (e.g. scientific study of poisonous animals or plants, advantageous treatments to illness, etc.).  As humankind has progressed, we have turned this ideology inward towards ourselves through identifying each other by race, gender, sexual orientation, educational level, or geographical heritage. The question becomes: If identification was once for survival, are we exercising the same reasoning by continuing to subscribe to a system of classification? However, it’s possible that this creation of identity grouping can alternatively be seen as a way back toward each other through building community support, eliciting shared experiences, creating feelings of...

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When Becoming a Mother is Everything You Ever Wanted, but Nothing Like You Thought

As we look to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, it is important to acknowledge that for some motherhood does not always go as expected. While motherhood can bring joy, it can also bring difficulties and changes that we never expect to encounter.   Motherhood Myths Often women hear explicit and implicit messages about what it means to be a mother. Some of these myths arise from statements from our own mothers or friends, comments on social media, and messages in advertising and television. These myths include: MythRealityTo give birth naturally without any medication or epidural makes you a better mother.There are multiple ways to have a baby whether vaginally, cesarean section, through a surrogate, or adoption. There is no trophy for having a baby in one way over another,...

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How Are Teens Coping with COVID-19?

It is difficult not to feel overwhelmed when considering the current state of our nation. The word that so boldly comes to mind when thinking about all of this is none other than “loss”.  In many ways, it seems that each generation is facing its own sort of loss. For those over the age of 60, not only is it a feared loss of life, but the spread of COVID-19 has also caused many to recognize their own aging process or ailing health among other limitations. Those in young and middle adulthood are facing a loss of work, financial stability, and plans for their future. College-aged individuals are missing a sense of freedom and independence that they have grown accustomed to. Even our teens are coping with something equally existential: a...

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Apple Crisp

Dessert can absolutely haves a place in your diet. There are a plethora of desserts out there, and you would be surprised at how many desserts are compatible for you based on your nutritional needs, your flavor preferences, and your unique types of hunger. Many desserts, believe it or not, have health benefits! Desserts that feature herbs, spices, and fresh produce are a simple and easy way to sneak in some nutrients with the pleasure of having a sweet treat. In this whole-foods Apple Crisp recipe by Cynthia Lair, this classic dessert features apples, which offer fiber and cancer-fighting polyphenols [1]. Cinnamon is also used in this recipe and has been widely known in ancient cultures to be used as a medicinal spice when ingested. Cinnamon is a common spice used in Eastern medicine for its blood-circulation...

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Tart Cherry and Lime Immunity Sparkler

With the presence of a global pandemic, the need for boosting immunity is higher than ever. This Tart Cherry-Lime Spritzer is the perfect tonic for the sick-season. Tart cherries and limes are high in Vitamin C which are a key player in preventing oxidative damage to the body so your immune system can focus on more important things. Research has shown that foods that are high in Vitamin C can potentially shorten the length of cold symptoms by a couple days. Anthocyanins in the tart cherries act as antioxidants and are known to be anti-inflammatory. This is ideal for preventing the common inflammatory symptoms of sickness such as stuffy nose, sore throat, and cough. With such symptoms being quite irritating to individuals, mint is...

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Social Distancing and Mental Health

We as humans are decidedly social creatures, and as such, it is not difficult to see how the intentional isolation asked of us during this time can affect our mental health and lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and even anger. On top of this, the uncertainty surrounding the virus and the effect it will have on our daily routines, loved ones, and society as a whole can add additional layers of stress. When living under social isolation conditions, it is important to be mindful of our reactions and employ the appropriate skills in order to have more effective distress tolerance.  What is Social Distancing? We have been inundated with the phrase, “social distancing” lately on social media and in the news, but we thought we’d explore what exactly "social distancing" means,...

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Sunny Breakfast Pitas

Fiber, calcium, choline, Vitamin B12, antioxidants, and Vitamin K each star this breakfast that is perfect for people with limited time and energy in the mornings. Nutty whole grain pita, savory cheese and Canadian bacon, with nutrient-packed sun-dried tomato, spinach, and scallions make for a satisfying breakfast in one dish that is portable and easy to prepare. Ingredients 1 round piece whole grain pita bread1/3 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Colby jack, or Mexican blend recommended)1 slice of Canadian bacon, chopped1-2 tsp olive oil1-2 egg¼ cup sun dried tomato1/3 cup baby spinachSalt, pepper, and paprika to taste1 scallion, chopped1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional) Instructions Toast the pita bread for approximately 2 minutes until warmRemove pita from oven and sprinkle shredded cheese on top, using as much or as little as desired.Sprinkle chopped bacon, sun-dried tomato, and spinach evenly over pita. Season to taste and place into...

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Honey-Ginger Sesame Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Edamame

Buckwheat soba noodles paired with edamame make for a complete, high-protein, vegetarian/vegan entrée that will have fellow lunchmates jealous. The fragrant honey-ginger sesame dressing and the colorful aesthetic of the seasonal vegetables that adorn the tender and nutty soba create a diverse experience of all 5 flavors that will have people coming back for seconds. Ingredients 1 pkg buckwheat soba noodles 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 cup carrots, shredded 1.5-2 cups edamame, unshelled, cooked ¼ cup hoisin sauce 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon grated ginger 1 teaspoon sriracha 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage 2 green onions, finely chopped Instructions Cook buckwheat soba noodles according to package instructions. Do not overcook the noodles. Drain noodles and run under cold water. Place in large bowl and set aside. On a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sauté garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add red...

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Coping with Fear & Anxiety Around COVID-19

Pandemics, wars, political revolutions—these are all moments of extreme emotions. But by using our tool, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, we can acknowledge the conflicting emotions we may feel during a time of crisis and choose more effective ways to act. Below you’ll find some guidance and advice on coping with fear and anxiety regarding COVID-19. Powerful Emotions Coping with fear and anxiety can already be difficult during more stable times. However, during a pandemic, these emotions can intensify to a detrimental level. Everyone reacts differently to a stressful situation; this means that some people may be having a really difficult time dealing with the emotions surrounding COVID-19. Many of us are dealing with questions about the risks associated with the pandemic. Perhaps you are afraid or worried about the health of a loved one. Your exercise and eating patterns...

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Best Practices for Protecting Yourself From COVID-19

As you doubtless know Washington State is at the center of the storm that is COVID-19. What can you do to stay healthy and protect yourself and the ones you love? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website has an extensive list of resources available to learn more about the virus and to stay up to date on its progression through the US and the world. However, here are some guidelines to stay safe during this new pandemic. COVID-19 has entered the US and Washington State, and since it is a disease caused by a novel strand of Human Coronavirus, we are still learning about how individuals are becoming infected, the virus’ trajectory, it’s fatality rates, and more. As always, the best practice in uncertain times is to inform yourself as thoroughly as possible...

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