Small Changes = Big Results: The Morning

Excited to start this series?  Me too!  I plan on implementing a few new changes myself as we go along, so I’ll be sure to report on my findings and I’d love for you to do so also either in the comments or on my Facebook page.  We can keep each other accountable!

How do you greet each day?  Do you wake up late, frazzled and feeling behind before you even get out of bed?  Or do you wake up excited and eager to start the day?

sunrise

Much of how you feel when you wake up depends upon what you did the night before (and we’ll get to that at the end of this series), but regardless of how you feel when you open your eyes in the morning, there are several small changes you can make in the morning to automatically improve your health and wellness – which in the long run will create some of those big results we are looking for!

Small changes suggestions for the morning:

  1. Hydrate.  You’ve just spent (ideally) 7 to 8 hours without any food or liquid.  Your body is crying out for hydration.  Most of us automatically reach for a cup of coffee right away, and although I do love my coffee, it’s important to FIRST hydrate your body.  So, before you do anything else, drink a full glass of water – cold with a drop of lemon oil is wonderful in the summer, or hot with half a lemon and cayenne pepper is comforting in the winter.  Either one will get your liver started working, and hydrate your body.
  2. Stretch.  Many of us (myself included) wake up feeling stiff.  A few minutes of stretching will help with this immensely – and over time will improve your muscle tone and flexibility.  As soon as you roll out of bed, do a few sun salutations or simple stretches.  The short-term benefits may not seem exciting, but long-term your body will thank you!
  3. Think good thoughts.  If you find yourself waking up feeling stressed, depressed or just exhausted thinking about what the day has in store for you, challenge yourself to stop worrying and think of three things to be grateful for or excited about BEFORE you get out of bed.  Make this a habit and you’ll begin waking up feeling positive instead of being a negative Nellie!

So which small change are YOU going to make?  I’m going to commit to stretching every day.  I already do a good job of exercising in the mornings (which I didn’t include, because it’s not typically a small change), but I do neglect the stretching  - and my body can FEEL it.  I’ll report back at the end of the series how successful I was and the results I enjoyed from this small change.

Would you like to find more time in the morning to add these small changes to your day?  Check out my FREE 3-day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day,” and you’ll begin each day feeling great before you know it!

Shared on Friendship Friday 

photo by: Sean MacEntee

Sweet and Savory Salad

So this recipe has a bit of a story . . . sweet and savory salad

I had been thinking about creating a new kale salad with asparagus especially for spring for some time now, and with a fully stocked fridge and fresh asparagus from the garden, I decided that today was the day to experiment.

I pulled out the kale to clean it and noticed holes.  This isn’t good – holes typically mean worms (as I discovered last summer with the kale from our garden).  Sure enough, after closer inspection, I discovered the kale had many little worms in it.  Ick!  There were so many (and so many holes) it wasn’t worth picking through it.  But that meant I had no base for my salad.

Thank goodness for my fully stocked fridge!  After enjoying this for lunch today, I think the salad I ended up creating was BETTER than the kale salad I had imagined would have been.  Plus, thanks to the cabbage, I think it would hold up overnight if you wanted to pack it for an easy lunch on the go.

Sweet and Savory Salad

serves 1

1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 chopped jalapeno

1 small minced clove garlic

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

4 – 6 stalks roasted (or blanched) asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup rinsed and drained chick peas

1/4 cup dried fruit (I used a cranberry/ blueberry mix)

1 T goat cheese

1 T citrus dressing – see recipe below

Step one:  Roast or blanch the asparagus (I used roasted since I was roasting a bunch of asparagus for tonight’s dinner – blanching would be quicker).

salad ingredients

Step two:  Assemble ingredients, drizzle dressing on top, extra salt and pepper if desired.

Enjoy!

Dressing - makes enough for several salads, so just pop it in the fridge and enjoy it all week: 3 oz. olive oil, 1 oz apple cider vinegar, 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice, 1/2 oz fresh orange juice, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper – shake before using.

What is your favorite salad?  Do you like coming up with new combinations, or do you have the same one every time?  Share in the comments!

Ready for Clarity?  It’s our Oil of the Month for April – check out the details HERE.

Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday and The Mommy Club.

 

 

Weekly Goals – Easter Week!

We’ve been back home for a few days, but I’m still not in the groove!  Finally made it to the grocery yesterday – that was a relief!  Hopefully by this time next week everything will feel back to normal!goal planning

Last Week’s Modified Goals:

Business

  • Finalize and release guest postdone!
  • Finish cleaning up e-mails - not even close . . .

Personal

      • Hit 10,000 steps a daydone! Instead of “exercising” every day, when I’m on vacation, I make an effort to be very active (and that might include a workout or two) – this trip I don’t think I ever hit a day less than 14K (unless we were driving)
      • Read two booksdone – since it was vacation last week was purely fiction: Sisterland: A Novel and I’ve Got Your Number: A Novel

Family

  • Fun family time!done – lots of it last week – the best part of vacations
  • Help everyone get ready to be back in the school groovedone, we went to bed early last night and got up early this morning so we wouldn’t be rushed

Household

  • Unpackdone!

This Week’s Goals

Business

  • At least 2 hours of education classes
  • Catch up with e-mail
  • Create a master “to-do” list so nothing gets lost in my head!

Personal

  • Exercise at least 5 days
  • Get up by 6:30 Monday – Friday
  • Read one book (trying to do catch up so no pressure here!)

Family

  • Help the kids ease into school and sports
  • Enjoy veggies with every meal
  • Enjoy Easter Sunday together

Household

  • Get caught up on mail/ paperwork
  • Back on cleaning schedule

What does your week look like?  Any particular goals you’d like to attack?  I know for me, that master “to-do” list is key – I’ve got a lot floating around in my head right now and I need to get it all out on paper!

Do you start each day exactly as you wish you could?  If you don’t, why not?  No time?  No energy?  Put a plan in place and start each day perfectly for YOU – get my FREE 3-day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day”

 

 

Menu Plan Monday – Easter Edition!

Back from Spring Break and back to menu planning.  And boy do I need it – we went from a few weeks of freedom to a few months of craziness – soccer, baseball and swim all start-up this month, so without a menu plan we’d be eating at restaurants every day (as evidenced by the last few days when I hadn’t gotten to the grocery store after being out-of-town for a few weeks!).

Monday – asparagus risottogarden fresh!

TuesdayMexican and definitely Margaritas!

Wednesday – out with my daughter, guys are on their own

Thursday – crazy night – packing sandwiches and salads to eat at the soccer field!

Friday – salmon and veggie paella

Saturday – tikki masala chicken

Sunday – ham (of course, it’s Easter), deviled eggs, asparagus and roasted mixed potatoes (fingerling, sweet and red)

So what about you?  If you don’t have a plan and things get busy do you find yourself eating at odd hours and hitting the restaurants more often?

If that sounds like you, check out my menu planning e-course and for less than one fast food meal for your family, you’ll learn how to quickly and easily plan weekly menus and avoid the rent trap!

Shared on Organizing Junkie!

Small Changes = Big Results

How often do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of info out there on how to live a healthier life?  Often, I bet.


There are so many experts, so many schools of thought on how to “be healthy.”  And it can be stressful to try to make multiple changes at once.

How do you decided where to start?

Small Changes = Big Results!

For the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you ways to make small changes in your daily routine.  We’ll start with the morning, move on to lunchtime, mid-afternoon, dinnertime and finally bedtime.  At the end of the series, if you’ve followed along, you will have made almost half a dozen small, daily changes (some are 30 seconds or less) that in the long run will equal BIG changes in your life.  In fact, you’ll be well on your way to creating a truly healthy and happy life.  And the best part about this series is that each week you’ll have several OPTIONS on which change to make, so you can go back through it again and again – making different, lasting improvement each time.

Make a pledge today to join me in this small changes series and be prepared to meet summer feeling healthier and happier on a daily basis!

Are you in?

Want to get started now?  Get your FREE copy of my 3 day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day.” and you’ll be in great shape for the first week of  Small Changes = Big Results!

Shared on Friendship Friday and The Mommy Mixer

Meatless Monday Dish – Asparagus Pasta

I hope you are ready for some tasty asparagus recipes this month!  Here is a delicious way to enjoy asparagus, and it’s perfect for a Meatless Monday dish!meatless monday dish

Asparagus Pasta

1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 t. oregano

1/2 t. paprika

sea salt

black pepper

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 box pasta

Step one:  While the pasta boils, saute the garlic and mushrooms in olive oil until softened.

saute mushrooms

Step two:  Add the asparagus and tomatoes.

asparagus

Step three:  Add one ladle of pasta water, and then the drained pasta to the skillet.

pasta and spices

Step four:  Add seasonings and saute until everything is well mixed – about 3 or 4 minutes.

Serve with freshly shredded parmesan or plain.  This dish is also EXCELLENT with a cup of chopped, cooked ham added – perfect for your Easter leftovers.

Looks delicious, right?  And it’s super simple.  Add this one to your menu plan!

Looking to learn how to plan weekly menus?  Purchase my menu planning e-course for less than $10 and in an hour or so you’ll be an expert at planning a delicious, healthy menu for your week.

Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday , Empty Your Archives and The Mommy Club

 

Weekly Goals – April 7 – 13

I missed posting last week’s goals due to Spring Break, and although we are still on break, I went ahead and prepared a “modified list” of goals for this week. goal planning

Two Week’s Ago Goals:

Business

  • Write 4 blog posts – trying to get ahead for vacation – done, and such a lifesaver!
  • Write guest post – done, although I do need to do a quick review this week
  • Get caught up on email – did a little, but not totally cleaned up

Personal

Family

  • Pedicure with daughter (maybe at home, maybe out) – we didn’t have time for this, but we did have a few other fun outings!
  • Volunteer at school for son’s class – done!

Household

  • Finish cleaning house – almost – didn’t get the floors done
  • Packing/ organizing for Spring Break – done! (Kinda didn’t have a choice with this one!)
  • Clean up office desk – it’s getting out of control again! – done!

This Week’s Modified Goals:

Business

  • Finalize and release guest post
  • Finish cleaning up e-mails

Personal

  • Hit 10,000 steps a day
  • Read two books

Family

  • Fun family time!
  • Help everyone get ready to be back in the school groove

Household

  • Unpack

So, even though we aren’t completely back to a normal routine, there are still a few things I’d like to accomplish this week!  How about you?  Do you plan goals even when your schedule is a bit out of whack?

 

 

 

 

 

 

March Book Review

Once again, I read a lot of great books in March.  You can see them all here (affiliate link), and below I’m sharing a bit about the best ones below.

Fiction

I enjoyed Allegiant (Divergent Series) by Veronica Roth, although not as much as the previous two books in the trilogy.  However, it was still a fun read – and even more fun is that since it’s a Young Adult book, I’ve been able to discuss it with my daughter and her friends (although they are all still on the first and second books).  With the movie coming out this month, I wanted to be sure I’d read all the books – I think we’ll make a fun girls outing and take our daughters to see it.  Although there is more violence in it than I’d like in a Young Adult book, overall it’s an interesting story and worth reading.   It also leads to some interesting discussions on nature versus nurture.  My rating:  4 out of 5

Non-Fiction

I LOVED Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist.  She has such an amazing writing voice – when I read her collection of essays, it feels like she’s a close friend sharing her thoughts and feelings.  Love her.  In fact, I loved the last essay so much that I wrote a portion of it in my journal – it’s such a good reminder of how I want to live my life, that I wanted to be able to re-read it often.  Recommend this book:  My rating 5 out of 5.

This book is one I think every family should read.  It’s chock full of helpful advice and fun ideas to increase happiness within your family.  Will everything work for your family?  Probably not, and the author is quite candid about that, but many of the ideas will be helpful – and are very thought-provoking.  I enjoyed this book enough to buy myself a copy after I checked it out of the library – it’s a book I believe I’ll reference again and again.  My rating: 5 out of 5.

So what were YOUR favorite books this month?  Any good ones planned for next month?  We’ve got Spring Break coming up so I’ll be loading up my Kindle soon to give myself plenty of vacation options, and always appreciate recommendations!

Interested in giving yourself more time each day to read?  Start your mornings off right and give yourself the gift of extra reading time if that’s what is important to you.  Get your FREE copy of my 3 day e-course Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day right HERE.

First Taste of Spring: Asparagus!

The very first vegetable to come up in our garden each year is asparagus.  Roasted Asparagus

And oh how we love it!  There is nothing like fresh asparagus – and it’s so EASY to walk out there and cut some stalks to enjoy with dinner each night.

So what ARE the advantages of asparagus?  Well, right now it’s SUPER inexpensive since it’s in season – I saw it at 88 cents a pound last week!  Also . . .

Asparagus is full of fiber and vitamins.  Vitamins such as A, B, C, E and K – in fact a cup of asparagus will give you enough Vitamin K to meet your daily requirements.

Asparagus also contains a few other unusual and beneficial nutrients:

  • Chromium – chromium is a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport gluclose from the bloodstream into the cells
  • Glutathione – this is a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and free radicals
  • Inulin – this one is often called a “prebiotic”.   It will bypass digestion in our small intestine and move directly to the large intestine and is a magnet for bacteria located in the large intestine so it helps support digestive health and better nutrient absorption
  • Asparagine – this amino acid is a natural diuretic
  • Folate – If you’ve ever been pregnant, I’m sure your doctor stressed the benefit of folate – it helps prevent birth defects and can be a hard nutrient to get enough of without supplements.

So just a few good reasons to enjoy asparagus frequently this spring while it’s in peak season!

Interested in growing your own?  Here’s a post with some tips and tricks – we planted our patch a few years ago and have been grateful ever since!

And I can’t leave you without sharing my absolute favorite way to enjoy it:  Delicious Roasted Asparagus

Shared on WFMW, Inspire Me Monday, Mixing Bowl Party, Real Food Wednesday,and The Mommy Club

Ready to create a healthy life you love?  Get started on YOUR healthy journey with a FREE one-on-one healthy life breakthrough session – contact me TODAY to learn more!

Need some Clarity?

Who doesn’t, right?

The oil for the month of April this year is Clarity.  Young Living Clarity

According to the Young Living website, Clarity™ promotes a clear mind and alertness. It contains stimulating oils including peppermint and rosemary, which have been used for many years to promote mental sharpness. A study performed by Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati found that inhaling peppermint oil increased the mental accuracy of students by 28 percent. Clarity can also be used to help restore mental alertness or wakefulness when you are experiencing fatigue or drowsiness.*

So I packed this oil for a recent car trip – a nice little 15+ hour drive.  We’ll often inhale peppermint (or put a drop on our tongues) to give us a boost of energy on long car trips (and it is REALLY effective), but I thought it’d be fun to see if Clarity did more.

The results?  I can’t say I saw a difference between this oil and peppermint, so probably depends upon which scent you like better.  Peppermint can be too harsh for some people and since Clarity is a blend, the peppermint smell is diluted.

What else could Clarity be used for?  I’ve been using it late afternoon to give myself a little boost when finishing up work projects.  It does seem to help me gather my thoughts together enough to wrap up loose ends at a time of day I’d rather be shutting down.  I put it on the back of my neck and on my wrists.  At first I admit I wasn’t a huge fan, but I’ve grown to like the scent.

I need to try it on my kids when they are doing their homework – that will be something I’ll try this month and report back on if it seems helpful.

So, if you feel like you need a little Clarity in your life, I’d suggest giving this oil a try.  Get your bottle HERE and you’ll automatically be enrolled in the Oil of the Month Club – it’s fun, interesting and a great way to gently introduce essential oils into your life.

A 15ml bottle of Clarity is $50.66 + tax and shipping:




 

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.