Meditation and Mood Tracking

Hey guys! For those of you who audibly UGH at the thought of meditation, I have something to share. I AGREE! Or at least I used to…

The slow, “calm,” breathing… the “in through your nose, out through your mouth,” and all of the talk about connecting your soul with mother earth! I can’t EVEN. Literally. I scoff at the idea of meditation. AND YET, I do it. Let me tell you why.

After starting therapy with a betterhelp.com counselor, I was soon advised to take up meditation. At first, I laughed. But then I had a thought. If literally everyone I know, and their mom, swears by meditation… then maybe JUST MAYBE I should give it a shot.

I started by downloading a few apps, Headspace and Youper being my favorites, and then jumped in with both feet. I began my meditation rituals at night and I must say I saw an immediate difference in my sleep. I would fall asleep WHILE listening to the guided meditations! It was a freaking miracle!

Once I realized this was something I would continue to try, I began messing around in the apps, Youper in particular. This app starts out by testing you for things like anxiety, multiple personality, depression, and so on. Then, they track your moods daily and give you suggested exercises or meditations based on your current mood. Being bipolar, I find it very interesting to see how my moods change, and this app allows you to look at your history. The app also asks you to track the reasons WHY your mood has changed. For me, this was always related to stress because of school or being down with feelings of loneliness. Being aware of these triggers actually started helping me to change my perspectives and therefor my mood.

I did test going a few nights without meditating and quickly noticed the negative impact it had on my sleep and the following day’s mood.

I still laugh at meditation, but now it is because I was so hard headed in not trying it sooner. I’m not going to say I am having soul changing outer body experiences or anything of the sort. But, I AM sleeping better and my moods have been better in the process.

Ramen Please!

The following is the simplest most delicious vegan ramen you will ever prepare in your entire life… you’re welcome

Hey guys! Just as I state above, this is literally the easiest and most delicious ramen I have ever made. I found the original recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a bunch, as I could not find all the ingredients listed. BUT I believe it is great and I am willing to share the awesomeness with you!

For this recipe you will need:

1 Box of Vegan Vegetable Broth (4 cups)

1 cup of water

1 Package of Vegan Ramen Noodles

1 Package of Shiitake Mushrooms (or literally however many you want)

1 bundle of Green Onions

1 large piece of Ginger

4 cloves of Garlic

2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Soy Sauce to taste

Sriracha to taste

(Original Recipe had Tofu and Miso Paste as well)

TO BEGIN: Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Chop up your garlic and green onions and throw it in the pot! Cut your ginger into large chunks and throw those suckers in too. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Next, wash and chop your mushrooms as beautifully as you wish and toss them into the pot too. (The pot is having a good time with all it’s new friends). Cook the mushrooms down until preferred tenderness, then move on to the juicy part. With the heat on medium low, pour in your veggie both and water. Let this come to a simmer.

NEXT: Once simmering, spoon out your ginger chunks (unless you enjoy eating chunks of ginger…your choice). Then, follow the package instructions on your ramen noodles. Mine usually cook for about 4 minutes and I use two servings worth of noodles. This is where I get fancy and swirl in my sriracha and dump a bunch of soy sauce in. Obviously, taste as you go, as to not add too much saltiness.

LASTLY: While your apartment, condo, house or other fills with the wonderful smells of your future meal… turn off the heat and bring out your camera! Not only is this a delicious and quick meal, it is Instagram worthy, as well.

ENJOY!

And so it begins…

thebipolarvegan started as a “secret” Instagram page I created, away from my friends and family, to freely express myself without the fear of judgement. What did I post about? Being bipolar … and being vegan! I started mainly with pictures of my meals, afraid to jump right in with a mental health perspective. But, as I gained more followers and began following others with similar interests, I became braver and would post mental health recovery quotes or even share a little about my own journey. I found myself constantly searching Pinterest for more content and even bought myself a nice camera. This wasn’t fulfilling enough, though. I needed something more. I needed a place to write my thoughts, share my stories, and be completely truthful to those going through the same thing. Instagram, while I do enjoy it, is a bit more manufactured than what I want to show/accomplish. I want people to know that I get it, they belong, and we can grow together. This blog will showcase my journey of healing and dealing with Bipolar II disorder while also improving my life through veganism. And boy am I ready.

This is ME!