Meal prepping is a great way to stay on target with healthy eating goals. I have bought sets of five glass containers for myself on Amazon and even for each of my kids, to help them with budgeting and eating nutritious, rather than empty calorie meals. Sunday I find is a good time to meal plan for the week.
I prep my lunches for three days for my husband and myself and then on Wednesday do the next three days. They are at least 75% plant-based if not vegan and whole food - nothing processed. We like either salads with lots of greens and shredded veggies with some sort of protein (chick peas, black beans, roasted tofu or leftover grilled salmon) or a quinoa/sweet potato bowl like pictured above. I use 1/2c quinoa or roasted sweet potato, then either raw or roasted veggies and a 1/2c of protein. I find these containers are the perfect size. My son will cook up chicken, rice and broccoli on Sunday (huge amounts!), and then puts it in ten containers for the work week of lunches and dinners. He is very concerned with eating nutritiously, making it easy AND saving his money so this is the way it works for him so he doesn't hit the takeouts. He doesn't like to fuss over cooking - I can't believe he's my son! For a little variety I told him he should add a little Rao's tomato sauce one day, teriyaki mix (sherry, gluten free soy sauce and small amount of maple syrup - ghost maple syrup if he can find it!) another, some peanut sauce for a Thai flavor, and his favorite BBQ on another so each day he has different flavors. My other son simply cooks twice what he needs and packs up a container for lunch the next day.
Need more inspiration? Check this out.
Did you know that your health and the products you use every day go hand in hand? Yep, the cleanser you wash the day away with or the eyeshadow you swipe on before date night as well as the bath wash you bathed your children in before date night may impact the health of your body by exposing you to chemicals you don't need. So shouldn't those products be good for you? That's what Beautycounter thinks and why they are more than a beauty company - we're a movement for a cleaner, healthier future. #worldhealthday
Our Clean Promise: Over 1500 questionable ingredients are never used in our formulations whether it's Baby diaper Balm, Kids Shampoo, Countersun mineral sun block, Rejuvenate face cream, Brightening Face Oil, Counterman Daily exfoliator, lip balm, mascara or anything in between. We counter the norm. Is it time to make a few swaps for your health? Shop #betterbeauty here: https://bit.ly/2ssK7Ha
It’s beginning to look like spring but it is also still damp with the cool mornings and April rains so I was in the mood to give Bone Broth a try. Anyone researching how to improve health or maintain good health, may have run across articles on bone broth. It's another method of attaining health from the 'farm-acy'. Many of our grandparents made it decades ago. Science shows there may be something more to a mother’s instinct of 'feed a cold chicken soup'. Bone broth is a source of gelatin, which may break down into collagen in the body*. This is especially important in the joints.
I always prefer to try something before sharing and love sharing great science-based tips. I simply placed all my easy-to-find ingredients in a large crockpot and left it to simmer for 36 hours. Could not be easier! This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.** And the benefits of coming home from work for two days to the aroma of a soup! I felt like I was walking into the comfort of my mother or grandmother’s kitchen.
Simple pick up a couple packs of grass-fed ‘dog bones’ (yes label usually says Dog Bones which are simply 3-4” beef bones with marrow), 1 whole organic chicken (or I found a butcher with a dozen bones from boning their chicken meat), some people throw in a half dozen chicken’s feet. Personally, I know they are loaded with collagen, but I kept chickens for years which I raised for their eggs and simply cannot use the feet. For vegetable benefits and flavoring add 3 whole carrots, 3 stalks organic celery, an onion peeled and chopped in quarters, fresh parsley stems and all-a small bunch about 1/2c (or whatever herbs you like the flavor of), 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, a hefty tbsp. turmeric, 2 tsp. sea salt, a dozen peppercorns, 4 quarts of filtered water. (I had to add the fourth quart at the end as my pot runneth’ over!)
After 24-48hrs remove the beef bones and give them to a dog to enjoy. My dogs loved the well seasoned and cooked carrots and celery as well. (Do not give the onions to dogs!) Recipes you may find on the internet will instruct you to strain your broth in cheesecloth, which I did not have, so I simply strained it in a fine mesh baker's strainer and jarred my precious bone broth in about 11 pint jars. If you are on a Keto diet you will not want to skim the foam or fat from the surface. If you wish you remove the fat, it is easy to do once it's cooled. I froze my pints after they cooled for future enjoyment - make sure you leave a little head room in the jars for expansion when frozen. I know of others who put the broth in quart sized pans and freeze it; then cut the frozen broth into 4 blocks and store their cup-sized blocks in Ziplock freezer bags to later defrost in a pan on the stove to drink (or cook with).
Enjoy a cup of warm bone broth any time of day. I like to start my day with a cup of warm lemon water and then a cup of warm bone broth before I head to the office for my first cup of coffee or tea. Bone broth is a hefty dose of nutrition in a delicious gut-healing cup. For those dealing with IBS, Leaky Gut, Arthritis or other joint issues,... even aging skin, I recommend you give Bone Broth a try.
For more information on the benefits of bone broth:
3-5 Grass-fed Beef Bone 'Dog Bones' from butcher
Whole organic chicken or a dozen leg bones from butcher
3 whole carrots
3 stalks organic celery
1 onion peeled and chopped in quarters
1 small bunch fresh parsley stems and all- about 1/2c (or whatever herbs you like the flavor of)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. turmeric
2 tsp. sea salt
4 quarts of filtered water
Place ingredients in crockpot add water that will fit in container. Set crockpot on low and cover. Remove solid ingredients after 36 hours. If initially you could not fit 4 quarts of water in crockpot, add the remaining amount now. Strain liquid through cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. Enjoy a cup. Refrigerate what you will consume in two days. Freeze the rest or share with friends!
PS If this process does not tickle your fancy but you are still craving bone broth simply contact TheHaleLife.com and order your small batch prepared, frozen blocks of grass-fed bone broth!
It is NOT a healthy choice. Juuls might not contain tobacco, but they deliver nicotine as efficiently a a combustible product (for instance , a cigarette). They cause nicotine to reach the lungs, affect brain and can potentially increase the risk for nicotine addition. Please read this informative article for more information about this ever popular product being marketed to our children.
I can’t get the song “My Favorite Things” out of my head! I work two other jobs along with being a Health Coach. I am the Office Administrator at Christ Lutheran Church, as well as an educator, advocate and consultant for Beautycounter.
At my church job while I am preparing for our Christmas Concert with Elisabeth von Trapp, the granddaughter of Maria and Baron von Trapp, I am humming “These are a few of my favorite things…”. So naturally with that message of positivity it gets me thinking with my Integrative Health Coaching hat on…Maria sings about thinking positive even when you think ‘everything’ may be going wrong. She is right and studies for years have confirm it!
First thing in the morning jot down in a journal 3 or 4 things you are GRATEFUL for - Maria’s 'my favorite things’.
Then look yourself in the eye in a mirror and state three AFFIRMATIONS (or write them down). Like...I am healthy. I am happy. I am loving. I am supportive. I am a leader. You are what you believe!
Third, you may want to write down three people or thoughts to PRAY about. Studies show that spiritual people are happier and more peace-filled.
After being with Beautycounter for 3 1/2 years I can say I am grateful for the mission of Beautycounter. We are a movement whose mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone… because it matters! I thought I would share my favorite safer, better beauty items with you that make me feel good and do not contribute to poor health - what could be better! It’s so important to be health protective of your body. One good choice is eating whole, UNPROCESSED food. Another is to SWITCH OUT your products that have unsafe ingredients for clean, effective skincare.
Cleansing Balm is an ALL TIME FAVORITE. Perfect for cleaning the face, including makeup and mascara, and rub a pea-sized amount back on at night and you have a rich overnight mask.
Overnight Resurfacing Peel is a no-peel peel. Apply to clean skin. Wait five minutes. Apply moisturizer. Go to sleep. In the morning when you wash your face you will not believe how silky soft your skin is! (Don’t forget using on your décolleté.) I am telling you this is a game changer!
Rejuvenating Day Cream is my favorite moisturizer for improving aging, wrinkles, spots and uneven skin tone. (In the winter I use the Rejuvenating Night Cream day and night.)
No. 1 Brightening Oil with natural Vitamin C. I never used a Face Oil before Beautycounter. This is a lovely addition to my regime. Three drops patted over your face and neck in the morning is a lovely hydrating moisturizer.
Now, if you just want a simple cleanser and moisturizer regimen that will guard against aging and is still extraordinary with Bio-Mimic Technology matching to your skin needs, I recommend Countermatch Pure Calm Cleansing Milk and Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream . (In the winter use day and night.)
This is the ‘camp’ that Fred (my dad) built - when he was 18 years old. Each summer I reflect back on my barefoot week of unstructured peace and fresh air, during the three hour drive home.
He purchased two lots with his savings while earning $35/week, and the paperback book “How To Build A Log Cabin”. We found the book and his log of all his costs including every pound of nails he bought along with his guidebook. My dad and a couple buddies who all worked long hours in family businesses Monday through Saturday, would drive up from Boston to Ossipee, NH after work on Saturday evenings. The story is they would all start getting sleepy in Ossipee and couldn’t make it to North Conway so he looked for land there. They knew at 18 years old that they needed balance in their lives and a day of rest was deserved and critical.
First year they dug and built the foundation as well as the well, next year the studs and the third year they closed it in and built the sturdy beds simply made of 2 by 4s. His sister ‘Honey’, a paraplegic from an auto accident at 19 years old, would go up and cook for the guys, paint and swim in the lake. She was an accomplished artist - a housewarming painting of a ‘ski bunny’ she painted for him hangs on the wall to this day.
Growing up we spent winter breaks and Sundays skiing at Mt. Whittier together. Two weeks every summer were spent swimming, boating and waterskiing with our cousins, and our parent’s friends and their children. Adults in the cabin and the kids in a giant canvas tent in the pine grove clearing. Great summer memories with days in the water, s’mores at night with a marshmallow toasted golden on the tip of a twig whittled to a point, then playing Uno or Monopoly and falling asleep in the tent hearing the adults play charades and dancing the night away with a turntable... No radio or television to this day - and no one misses it! Every 4th of July we would set afloat ‘wish boats’ made of a piece of scrap wood with the remains of a candle stub melted and standing on it, make a wish and set it off the shore at sunset. This year we watched others across the lake send off their version of our wish boats with candle-lit lanterns floating into the black night, appearing to join the thousands of twinkling stars.
With only one addition/renovation in 2009, adding a second floor master bedroom, my siblings, our kids and now their grandchildren have spent every summer at this log cabin in the same camp as we did, with different friends and relatives joining us each summer to continue the tradition of sharing the gift he built. Still swimming, paddling and skiing, napping in the hammock and cooking s’mores over the fire pit after dinner, followed by a board game or working on the latest puzzle. Little did my dad know the legacy he built 72 years ago as a teenager, would become the relaxing tradition of barefoot, lake living and togetherness that now spans four generations.
As I reflect on what makes this week so special each summer, I think of ways to bring this piece of heaven home with me, to carry pieces of the behaviors of this legacy into my life for the next year-
* Noticing nature
* Morning coffee on the deck with gratitude
* Time with loved ones
* Moving each day naturally (walking the dog, kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding, cycling, waterskiing)
* Socializing in a relaxed manner
* Daily nap
* Sleeping 8+ hours
* Preparing fresh food and eating together
* Games and puzzles
* Technology break
* Walking barefoot
* Unscheduled - period
* Evening dog walk
I look at what I love about 'camp' and realize they are all what put our life in balance. Socialization. Movement. Simple unprocessed food. Rest. We can all fall asleep with the window open, waking to the call of a bird to it’s mate. It may not be a loon’s call echoing across an early morning glass-like lake, but we can still practice presence and lay there quietly, taking deep slow breaths while tuning in to the breeze drifting through the window and unique calls outside our walls for a minute or two before we rise. Maybe we take five minutes (or get up 5 minutes earlier) to slowly sip a cup of hot lemon water, coffee or tea while reading a devotional or writing down our morning thoughts, prayers and gratitudes before beginning our day? How about setting up a puzzle table and see if it doesn’t draw in family or friends - if only for 15 minutes breaks. Why are meals so special on vacation? Is it the family meals? Eating with friends? Simple fresh food? The many hands helping out to cook and clean up? Why don’t we have a pasta night or taco night with another family each week - and use paper plates? It would be a fun social time, inexpensive and easy clean up - a one hour camp moment each week! Why do we convince ourselves that we have to stay up so late working on our computers when half of it is social media? Maybe we can get to bed earlier so that we get those 8 critical hours of sleep each night, and then have energy to actually socialize with humans on the weekend - just like at 'camp'. What about shutting off the television and reading a book with a cup of Bedtime tea instead of gazing at the ‘blue light’ the last hour of our night before bed?
What makes your vacations special and how can you carry little ‘vacation breaks and treasures’ with you throughout the year? Can you find ways to balance your life with mini breaks in your day and week? Share how you find ways to carry the peace of vacations into your weekly schedule?
I began my HOLISTIC journey into FUNCTIONAL medicine by default, as a patient and parent seeking personal knowledge and the best care for my children, while looking for the cause of my constant exhaustion, overall pain, brain fog and digestive issues. It is very difficult for traditional western physicians to dig deep when they are restricted to ten minute appointments, but I needed to know how I had gotten to this point and how to dig my way out. I was willing to do the work and preferred to try a more natural route first. I hated the 'band-aid' prescriptions typically handed out for symptoms, and felt there had to be a root cause of my issues that weren't being looked at. I was an avid gardener with backyard chickens growing organic vegetables for my family. I had enjoyed walking, hiking and practicing yoga for the past 25 years, but barely had energy for any of it. I knew 40's and 50's was still young(!) and I shouldn't feel this way. As a special education advocate for the past 20 years I knew being PROACTIVE was the only route to success. I was seeking WELLNESS medicine.
I'm a researcher by nature. In 2013 I decided to leave my marketing career in my family's business after 30 years and FOCUS on my daughter's and my health. I was discovering my preferred holistic approach to life was taking a step further - looking at NATURE through scientific, peer-reviewed research; viewing the whole body as an integrated, functioning system, with root causes for most dis-ease. After listening to my gut (literally the second brain) and tuning into my body, with the help from a knowledgeable nurse practitioner and physician, I began to heal my body and got my life back - COMPLETELY. During my research and healing I discovered the Institute for Integrative Nutrition* and after a year of intensive training I attained certification as an Integrative Nutrition* Health Coach; then continued another nine months focusing on the MICROBIOME, the Mind-Body-Gut connection - our 'second brain'.
I discovered exercise, managing stress, being spirituality centered, eliminating environmental/personal care toxins, and engaging in meaningful relationships were just as important as the organic food I had always grown and cooked. AND, the latest diet that worked for someone else, just might not be best for MY body, or the next person's bio-individuality*. I learned that gut microbiome is critical to our wellness, and the unbalance caused by many treatments is the cause of many issues, which can be restored. I am now coaching clients to become attuned to their bodies and create a lifestyle that fuels wellness.
I have always been an advocate for people struggling. I LOVE helping others and feel the purpose of my TWO decade journey was to help others rediscover their health, happiness, and peace. Today I am pain-free, healthier than I have been in 20 years, and have more energy than ever after focusing on my WHOLE health.
We all should be drinking 8-10 cups of water a day,... and fruit juice, soda or coffee doesn’t count. If it’s a hot day and you’re outside, or you are vigorously exercising, bump it up another 50%! The problem is accurately keeping track of how many glasses we have drank without using an app. I have found in the evening if my voice is hoarse or my skin feels dry, I know I am woefully behind my 8-10 cups of water consumption.
When the body is dehydrated your entire system is dehydrated. Ever noticed the leaves on a plant when it’s thirsty? They are wilted. My cactus actually shrivels up. Our system do the same. Try gettting a blood draw when you’re dehydrated, the phlebotomist will not be able to find your vein. Our skin dries, our brain shrivels, kidney stones can form and bacteria can build up causing UTIs. Dehydration can affect blood pressure and brain fog as well as make you believe you are hungry when you’re actually thirsty, so drink up!
What is my simple app-free method? I love my Beautycounter S’well bottle. First of all, it’s a 2 cup capacity - 5 bottles seems more attainable than 10 cups, and it doesn’t sweat so I don’t have to worry about it when I have it in my tote next to my iPad. Second, they come in all kinds of great designs! In the morning I put five rubber bands at the top, as I empty the S’well I slip a band down to the bottom of the bottle and refill the bottle. Each time I drain the bottle I slip another band down to the bottom. At a glance I can see how I’m doing during the day. The last thing I want is to try playing catch up at night, as I’ll be up every couple of hours and interrupting my sleep. Goal: Have every band at the base before bedtime - if not by 7PM! Do you find it hard to keep track of how much you’re drinking?
1 out of every 2 people in the U.S. have Type 2 Diabetes (fasting blood sugar 120+mg/dl) or pre-diabetes (fasting blood sugar 95-120mg/dl). YES, you read that correctly 50% of Americans have insulin issues which is the leading cause of heart disease, strokes and 'Type 3 Diabetes' known as Alzheimers. What's remarkable is the majority of the people can lower their fasting blood sugar to an acceptable range of 75-90mg/dl and eliminate Diabetes with lifestyle modifications - daily movement, eating whole, unprocessed food the way it comes from nature and reducing stress. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/break-from-exercise-effects-on-blood-sugar-study
After reading the above article about movement and insulin, I was reminded that when I work from home I typically work at my laptop placed on the kitchen island, and at my office job I SIT at a desk 4-6 hours a day.
Moving from seated to standing is quite simple when you use a laptop, not so with a desktop - but I tried anyways! My very temporary structures for my monitor, keyboard and mouse balancing on shipping boxes and hymnals were problematic, but it sure felt good to stand tall, tighten my core and stretch out my hip flexors while continuing to work; and know I was incorporating NEAT movement.
Are you looking for ways to squeeze in a 'workout' through a NEAT technique turning on non-exercise activity thermogenesis? Check out these standing desk adaptation options for single or a variety of widths. I bought one and LOVE it!
Several times this morning I heard on NBC-TV that the UV index was very high and to wear sunscreen even if out for a short period of time. I think back on my teens sitting out with a foil-lined album reflecting the sun on my fair skin covered in baby oil in May. Early in the spring/summer UV index can be the highest. May is now skin cancer awareness month. Today, Melanoma has become the second most common cancer in women ages 15-29 - YIKES and young!
As myself and my peers visit the dermatologist decades later, we are learning the hard way that those burns and simply being outdoors without sunscreen was a very bad choice we made in the past. Skin cancer is not just a warning any more, but more and more patients find it necessary to freeze or surgically remove a potential area for cancer. Some receive the devastating news of the diagnosis of skin cancer. I cannot impress upon people how important a good sunscreen is whether you have fair skin or dark skin. UV rays are dangerous! UVA rays affect aging. UVB rays affect Basal cell growth. 'A' for Aging...'B' for Basal. And now we are learning about HEV - High Energy Visible Light (or blue light emitted from your hand held, tablet and computer). Research is showing that HEV causes premature aging with uneven skin tones, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles. So how do you protect yourself, your young children and loved ones from UVA, UVB and HEV?
Beautycounter is a mission-based, safer skincare line. They educate, advocate for change and intentionally ban 1500 ingredients commonly used in personal care from their products. Beautycounter screens rigorously, learns constantly, sources responsibly and shares transparently, and this is why I love being a part of the Beautycounter company. Countersun is ground breaking technology; not only countering the effects of the sun's UV rays but also blocking HEV light. Countersun Mineral Sunscreen products guard against sun’s damaging rays with this innovative sunscreen. Formulated with non-nano zinc oxide and antioxidant-rich California Poppy, this physical formulation provides an effective shield from UVA, UVB & Blue Light rays, while being gentle and pleasant feeling on the skin. It comes in a Mist, Mineral Sunscreen Stick, Lotion and even a Travel-sized Mist for your purse, glove box or carry-on luggage.
I use Beautycounter because of their safety standards. Why is it safer? At Beautycounter, they prohibit chemical SPF filters due to their high potential for skin irritation. Beautycounter uses physical sunscreens, more commonly known as mineral sunscreen. Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, sit on the surface of the skin and physically bounce or reflect sun’s rays away from the skin. Mineral sunscreens are great for people with sensitive skin as well as babies and kids. SPF 30 sun protection is not the only factor you should look at when choosing your sunscreen. Beautycounter's formula is lightweight, water-resistant sunscreen using non-nano zinc oxide. They evaluate the particle size of the non-nano zinc oxide and formulate to ensure that there is no potential risk of respiration when sprayed and does not enter the blood stream to cause harmful effects to the body. It’s formulated with organic coconut oil and organic shea butter to deliver an ultra-moisturizing experience without the need for neurotoxic preservatives and serious allergens like MIT (Methylisothiazolinone). Beautycounter would never use Octinoxate & Oxybenzone ingredients known to contribute to the collapse of coral reefs around the world making our sunscreens safer for both people and our oceans.
To check out the ingredients in sunscreens (or any personal care product) refer to the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep guide. Every ingredient is evaluated and rated. You should choose 0-2 for overall ratings on all personal care products. Once you learn something you cannot unlearn it and simply want to share the information to help others make wise and healthy decisions!
Organic gardener, whole-food, plant-based cook. Educator and advocate for healthy, toxin-free living. Wife and mom, sister and daughter. Service-minded Rotarian. Photographer. Storyteller.