Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Hi all!

So I'm experimenting with a new blog on health,nutrition and the human body. It's called Soulistique. The reason for the name you might ask? Well *soul* because it means Soul, and the word Holistic has been thrown in there too but I put soul and holistic together giving me Soulistic, but then the name Soulistic for a blog was taken so i took off the -ic and put -ique (just like my name Juan-ique) and came up with SOULISTIQUE. It's a little harder to remember but hopefully this explaination will help you remember.

It's just an experiment so I don't know where it's going to end up but please start sharing all your health news and ideas if you'd like. I'm hoping that the sight can become a pool of information on health that everyone can go back to every once in a while for help, ideas and guidance on health.

So here it is:
Thanks all!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring time means Grill time!

So my friend Emily blogged about what we did on the weekend (because we hung out with them). She did such an awesome job that I'm just going to let you go and check out what we did this weekend by reading her blog because trying to re-right what she wrote would be redundant. Besides, her blogging skills are WAY more advanced than mine.

So check it out!

Love to all!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A little info on Contemplative Psychotherapy

There is an article here about Contemplative Psychotherapy, which is the MA that I (Tristin) will be working towards for the next three years. It is the best description I have come across, and it should answer any questions that people might have (Thanks to Jennifer Patsy for the link).

In a nutshell, Contemplative Psychotherapy is the lovechild of Buddhist philosophy and Western Psychology. It is based on the assumption that we are all sane, brilliant individuals that suffer from a lack of clarity. This viewpoint is in opposition to the prevalent Western assumptions that everyone is broken at the core and inherently evil. When a Contemplative therapist looks at you she sees a shining soul rather than a bleeding heart. Mental health is often just a blink away rather than a million hours of therapy away.

I love the Contemplative approach to psychology for several reasons. One of the reasons is that it jives so well with the LDS belief in the wise soul. While church doctrine states that the natural man is evil and the flesh is subject to temptations of all kinds, the soul within has a desire to do good and--in its natural state--is happy. The less-than-ideal events of life and our failures to be honest with ourselves culminate in a perception of existence that is inaccurate and unhelpful. A person with such a perception is considered ill. The truth is that they simply need some help shedding the layers of garbage to see clearly again.

Granted, there are cases of severe mental illness that can be attributed to genetics and brain chemistry. There are some cases of severe mental illness that (possibly) cannot simply be fixed with a 50-minute conversation. I'm not talking about those cases right now. I'm talking about unhappy people who have complete control over their ability to be happy and need to take responsibility for that control, which is somewhere between 90-99% of humanity.

Hopefully I just cleared up more questions than I created. When I feel the urge I'll post some more about what I'm learning and my own personal thoughts about what it all means.

Cafe Rio Dressing-Yum!

Yesterday Tristin and I went to hang out with some of his old high school friends. Whats really convenient is that among him and his 3 really close friends, all the wives get along really well too so it always works out and we never get bored. and I'm NOT just saying that because they read this (I really mean it girls). So yesterday we had a BBQ to get together for possibly the last time because we then move in less than 6 weeks.
Well our assignment was to make the salad for the BBQ so we though, "what salad is just AMAZING and that everyone will love? CAFE RIO's SALADS!"

Well the salads turned out to be a HUGE success. We made the tortilla's from SCRATCH (WOW-that's definitely NOT like me to make stuff from scratch) as well as the creamy cilantro-lime dressing which was just AMAZING! The famous Cafe Rio dressing is by far best salad dressing I've ever had at any restaurant! I had a few requests for the recipe so I'm going to share it because we could all do with a little bit more salad in our lives, right? And salad is SO much better when you have a yummy dressing on top of it. So here it is............. ENJOY!

Café Rio Dressing
1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 tomatillos (Green tomato-like vegetables with a husk around them)
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green tobasco for the jalapeno.)

Blend everything together in a blender and there you have it!

So cut up some lettuce, dice some tomatoes, cook some rice (of your preference. We used Mexican rice) and add black beans and you have a very yummy Cafe Rio salad!

Here's the recipe for the tortillas we made as well. They take a little longer to prepare than the dressing but are OH SO GOOD!

2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup warm water (I heat mine up in the microwave for about 30-35 seconds)
And that's all it takes. Now for making them.
Add flour, salt, and e.v.o.o. Mix until it makes little clumps (it makes a big difference if you have a Kitchen Aid over a hand mixer). Slowly add warm water, and mix until dough forms. Break into 2 inch sized balls. Flatten and cook in a skillet on medium to high heat until golden brown. That's it! Super easy, and super quick! It should make about 12 tortillas, but they're pretty small. So if you'd like to make them bigger for burritos or something then just make your dough balls bigger.

Happy salad making everyone!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Congratulations Conryd and Aly!

(in order: Aly, Tristin surfing, me and lastly Conryd- and OH, how we miss Lake Powell)

Congratulations Conryd and Aly for making it through your first year of marriage! I know, I know, I'm a little late (a week late) but its the thought that counts, right? We are so happy for you guys and I thought I'd quickly blog about it (at 1am). Aly, I love your guts. I couldn't have asked for a cooler sister-in-law....and i want to adopt your first child because your kids are going to be GORGEOUS! Conryd, congratulations for not driving your wife mad with your geekery (yes, that is a made up word). All in all, you two are great and we love you! Thanks for being the perfect hanging out buddies! We'll miss you guys when we leave.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Silly Human

This post is in honor of me and my stuborness/stupidity. It is to remind myself that doing things out of spite is pointless and unproductive (most of the time).

Tuesday this week was a really funny/odd day. why? well it rained (I love rain but I'm very ready for sunshine) and I went to get my snow tires removed to put on my normal ones again. As I get to discount tire the guy helping me says "you need 2 new tires". GREAT! I need to spend MORE money on my car! The price I pay for safety! So the guy gives me a quote and says my 2 tires will be $280. Thats a TON of money for us. But whatever, I'll give them their darn $280 and sulk about it for the rest of the day. Tristin told me that it wasn't a big deal and to just accept it but being me, I decided to pout (to myself) about it. So as I waited 40 minutes for my car I silently fumed. Within those 40 minutes I somehow sold myself to do something stupid because gosh-dang-it I DESERVED it! (FYI: Juanique philosophy 101 says, we human beings are not entitled to anything. As soon as we think the world owes us something, we get infected with a "disease" called pride and selfishness.) Obviously I was having a stupid day. So I told myself that I deserved to indulge in a long lost pleasure called a low fat mocha frappachino......YUM!!

Now I don't do coffee becuase it's a part of our Word of Wisdom to "avoid strong drinks" but Mocha frappachinos are my Kryptonite. So I said to myself, "What the heck. Just do it. You won't regret it," and I guzzled down a whole bottle in 5 minutes. (yes, this IS the most rebelious I get. Pretty lame, I know! The last time I did something out of "spite" I pearce my ears).

I'll tell you now, HOLY COW did I get a headache from the stuff! It was so bad that I had to take Advil for it! I totally regretted drinking it as soon as I was finish. So boys and girls, DONT do coffee! Even if it is Decaf!

But that wasn't all of it. To top things off, When I was trying to make totillas for dinner, the hand mixer broke, my BRAND NEW tortilla press (that I had bought that day), it's handly had COMPLETELY broken off (how that can happen inside a box I do not know) and then it snowed 5 inches the day AFTER I took my snow tires off my car! Oh and my computer totally crashed on Sunday losing almost ALL of my pictures of the past 4 years. HAHAHA.

I'm waiting for someone to jump out at me all of a sudden and yell "APRIL FOOLS" because this April, so far, has been filled with nothing but jokes and bad luck. Our spring so far has brought a couple days of warm weather but then LOTS of rain and LOTS of snow. I'm telling ya, when it rains, it POURS!

.....But life is SO good! It's weeks like these that keep it interesting! I LOVE my life. I think I'll keep it :)

OH, heres a picture of the shirt I colored on Easter at Uncle Dereks house. I was so proud that it turned out as well as it did! I thought my heart would look like a circle but alas, it did not :)
If this shirt could talk, it would say,
Oh Spring, how my heart waiteth for thee!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Easter was yesterday! YAY! and we had really good weather! DOUBLE YAY! Basically is was the perfect day for the perfect celebration. I also decided to revive our really nice camera for the special occasion. Lately our photo taking has been pretty limp but I decided it was time to take up the photographer in me again. Beatrix was looking especially adorable in her Easter dress so taking pictures of her was really easy.
After a week of clouds and rain, this years Easter brought with it, sun, fun and egg hunting (which I proved to be very bad at once again.) I found all my eggs last out of EVERYONE. After hunting for eggs at my in law house, we all went out for big lunch and then over to Tristin's uncles house for more egg hunting, games and tye dying shirts! it was a TON of fun. They probably had to find 300 eggs which took less than 10 minutes because there are over 80 cousins.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


The best advice I ever received from anyone was this: breathe. It seems simple enough on the surface, but I've found over the years that there is no better tactic for dealing with everything than just breathing.

At this point I recommend that you stop asking yourself why I would advise doing something that is completely involuntary and just try it for a few minutes. Focus on your breath and block out everything else. Allow your body to breathe deeply and fill your lungs completely with air before exhaling. Notice the way it feels to have air flowing in and out of your body, the way it almost hurts to breathe more deeply than you are accustomed to. Take a deep breath and hold it for a while; notice the vague sensation of relief as you once again allow yourself to exhale and continue breathing. Now push all of the air out of your lungs until there is no air left inside. Then push even more air out. Notice the suction-like effect it has. Keep holding it and pay attention to the burning sensation. Notice how uncomfortable it is to be in this position of airlessness. Now continue breathing with complete focus for a few more minutes.

Isn't it amazing how many dimensions there are to our breathing? 99.9% of our lives are spent in complete ignorance of this life-sustaining act--thankfully so, because life would be extremely difficult if we had to constantly focus all of our attention on taking in and letting out air. However, whenever possible it is highly beneficial to "return to your breath" and regain awareness of it. Did I hear you ask me what benefits there are? Here you go:
  • Increase in lung capacity
  • Better remembrance of where (and when) you are
  • Increase in resistance to sub-prime temperatures
  • Increase in resistance to extreme emotions
  • Better ability to understand your (re)actions
  • Increase in immune system function
  • Decrease in occurrence of the words, "What was I thinking?!?"

The list could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. This prescription is chock-full of benefits. Best of all, the side effects are only unpleasant for a little while--that is, until you realize they are not the problem and your attitude is the problem. They include the following:
  • Decreased ability to lie to yourself or others
  • Decreased ability to ignore your inner workings
  • Decreased ability to numb yourself from potentially emotional events
  • Decrease in self-pity and increase in constructive conversations with yourself
  • Decreased ability to make yourself disappear completely
Allow an example of how this works. Imagine, if you will, a recent event that left you feeling frustrated, betrayed, infuriated, or otherwise icky and unpleasant. How long did it take you to accept these feelings? Depending on how serious the situation was, it could vary from nanoseconds to days or weeks. Perhaps you still haven't even considered how you should have felt. Most events, however, are small enough and ambiguous enough that we absorb them into our subconscious and hide them away to avoid feeling their effects. We "pretend" that everything is okay (and do a ridiculously good job of it, most of the time).

Those feelings have to go somewhere, though. Depending on the philosopher or psychologist, the process of taking these feelings inside without properly processing them is called internalizing. The problem with internalizing is that the feelings are inside you still. They have been stored in our minds and in our bodies. Juanique will tell you that stress is definitely stored in the muscles, and she has the pleasure of trying to work it out during massage therapy. I can tell you from my experiences with her working the stress in my muscles that it is very painful physically. I can tell you from my experiences with counselors working the stress in my mind that it is very painful emotionally--perhaps more so than it would have been at the time I originally experienced it.

There is, of course, an opposite and equally costly way to avoid properly processing emotional stressors. That is to lash out and overreact to the feelings as if a preemptive strike will prevent the inevitable emotions. While such a response definitely acknowledges the feeling, it does so in a manner that fails to understand the meaning of the feeling or the lesson such a feeling is intended to convey. Someone who lashes out (with anger, despair, etc.) only knows that they have been threatened by whatever caused the feeling. It isn't important why they feel threatened, or even whether they should feel threatened. They are reacting in a raw and unfiltered way that precludes meaning. They will store stress just the same as someone who internalizes.

Here is where breathing comes into the equation. If you haven't already figured it out, remembering to breathe at these emotional junctions can prevent the buildup of stress. Whenever something unpleasant happens, tell yourself to breathe. I know you have heard this before, but it bears repeating now that you have some context. When you breathe deeply and focus on the breath, at least two things happen: first, you allow yourself to feel the emotion that habit has taught you to internalize. I have found that focused breathing forces me to feel whatever I have been hiding from myself, even when I don't want to feel it. Second, you give yourself a chance to process the emotion and learn the lesson it is attempting to teach you.

Accepting your emotions and understanding their source is extremely important to your emotional and physical wellbeing. This does not mean you have to act on your emotions, nor does it mean you have to take lots of time to analyze everything that happens to you. It is a simple process of allowing them to be what they are.

This post is too long already. Sorry! I'll bore you with more in the future, so brace yourselves. And don't forget to breathe! (at least 5-10 minutes a day to start, plus whenever you think about it during the day).


PS- I shamelessly stole all of these Creative-Commons licensed photos from Flickr. I meant to make the links go to the photographers' sites, but I messed up. Sorry! I'll do better next time (yes, I'm too lazy to fix it now).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Longboarding in So-called Spring

This weekend was CONFERENCE! YAY! So traditionally we eat Rise and Fall for breakfast here at Tristin's parents house while watching the morning session of conference. Today was the first time in a week we'd seen sunlight and it was actually warm enough to do something out doors so Tristin and I went up Provo Canyon to soak up some sun and longboard. There wasn't really a lot of sun but we had a blast picking up one of our used-to-be favorite past times. I wish Spring would come and STAY!

So do you think Orwell was right in his book, 1984? Let us know how you feel about it.

Wednesdays Baking ups and downs

So if you saw my post from a few weeks ago (Luck of the Irish) you'd see that my friend Emily responded to my post about spreading the Irish guy and getting something from me. Hence I make her something.....and so I did. Now for those of you who don't know me, I'm NOT domesticated what-so-ever! I hardly cook, bake, sew....nothing! I can cut up fruit, make smoothies and make some really yummy sandwiches, but that's not cooking or baking.

Well I decided to make Emily some Meringues, and South Africans typically LOVE meringues. I thought I was being smart by making something authentic and unique but alas, here in America you guys call meringues... Sea foam! (Surprise attempt failed). While I was making my meringues I had this brilliant idea of making them green (in memory of St Patricks day). The green turned out really good and I thought I was doing a great job with my little attempt to bake until it came to putting the meringue batter on the baking plate. Sandy, Kim's house helper, showed me a cool way of putting the batter in a ziplock bag and squeezing the batter in little circles spiraling up until you tip it off. She first showed me how to do it (yes, I am that retarded when it comes to baking, I wasn't lying) and her meringue looked great. So I did mine like hers which i THOUGHT looked great. Beatrix, my niece, wanted to help dallop the meringues on the plate so I let her. Everything was looking good and ready to bake, so I put it in the oven and baked them.

2 hours later I took the meringues out and found that they tasted really good. I was so proud of my baking achievements. I had actually baked something from SCRATCH! Well a moment later Tristin made the comment "Hm, they kind of look like little dog turds," and sadly enough everyone did I. So now I had little green-dog-turdish meringues (that tasted really good). To top it off, my plan was to dip the meringues in chocolate.....yeah, now the turds were brownb AND green. So we all had a good laugh at my meringues (that happened to taste very good, thank you very much) and I gave them to Emily along with some chocolate covered strawberries.

What a fun day for baking!

Here's the Recipe if you ever want to make it yourself. It's really easy:
2 Egg whites
2 TBS boiling water
0.5 tsp vanilla
1 cup Castor Sugar (in the USA i think it's just really fine baking sugar)
1 tsp white vinegar
1tsp baking poweder

Beat eggs until fluffy.
Keep beating and mix in everything else BUT the baking poweder and sugar.
Keep beating and add in sugar slowly.
Fold in baking powder.
Bake @ 100 degrees Celcius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) for one hour
Turn off oven after the hour and leave them in to dry if you want them to be extra crispy

*dip in chocolate if you like*

Oh and if you want to see how our night with Jon and Emily and Natalie went that night, you can see pics and read about it here on their blog! :)