Rails to Trails = Happiness

Rails to Trails = Happiness

We just came back from a wonderful ski trip to Boyne Mountain, Michigan.  The weather could not have been more perfect!  Several days of skiing in the sunshine, tasty tacos and cold drinks sitting at picnic tables at the base of the mountain, live music in dark pubs at night.  Perfection! Now that we are home, I’m anxiously waiting for the weather to break (lots of cold and rain right now) so that I can begin enjoying one of my favorite healthy passions – walking trails with my pup. Many areas (not just ours) have started to convert old railway trails to walking paths.  I LOVE this trend.  We have several in our neck of the woods, the most notable being the Monon Trail.  They are typically nicely paved so perfect for walking or biking, often have houses and restaurants along the way, and are a great way to get your exercise in a lovely setting. When we travel, I’ll often search out these types of walking trails as they are usually well maintained and safe.  Perfect for getting out and experiencing an unfamiliar area.  If you would enjoy the same, here are a few places to look: Rails to Trails – great resource to find trails in your area or wherever you want to travel Do a Google search using the terms “rails to trails” and your city If you are in the Indianapolis area, here are a few of my favorites: Indiana Trails Monon Trail Although I do love hiking (more on that in a future post), when I want a more social experience, a rail to...

Color for your Thanksgiving Table

It’s the time of year most of us think about cranberries.  Even if you don’t normally enjoy them, you might consume some cranberry sauce this week while enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner. However, we really should be eating cranberries much more often than once a year!  Cranberries are chock full of antioxidants, vitamin C AND they are great for your digestive system. If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you may have been advised to drink cranberry juice.  That’s because cranberries contain proanthocyanidins.  This helps prevent E.coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. Thanks to all those antioxidants, they also help our body get rid of toxins that can cause our immune system to weaken – and a weakened immune system makes us more likely to pick up an icky bug. If you’ve never had real cranberry sauce – this is the year to start.  Here is my favorite recipe – it’s incredibly simple, delicious and can even be made a few days before you want to serve it. Other ways to add more cranberries to your life include drinking them (make sure it’s real cranberry juice and not a bit of juice with tons of additional ingredients), adding fresh ones to baked goods, or dried cranberries to your salads.  Or just snack on them raw – yum! This is also the time of year to stock up on cranberries – they can be pretty hard to find at the grocery after December.  Buy an extra bag or two and stick it in your freezer.  They’ll even keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator’s crisper...

Twist for Your Gut

Twist for your gut – what???? Hopefully you’ve been faithfully enjoying some fermented foods and/or including a probiotic since last week.  Today I’m going to share another super simple tip for helping aide digestion and it doesn’t have to cost a dime. Twisted yoga poses Not a yoga fan?  Don’t stop reading.  Traditional twisted poses are fantastic for stimulating the organs in your digestive system.  They do this by creating movement in and around our organs.  So doing these types of poses can truly start things moving if your body is “stuck.” For those of you familiar with yoga, a simple spinal twist while reclined or seated is a great place to start.  If you don’t know anything about yoga, you could begin with Day 2 of the video A.M. Yoga for Your Week (which is in general a great beginning yoga video).  Whenever I feel the need to do yoga twists, I pop in this DVD and enjoy the series of poses.  It’s also a great sequence for back or shoulder pain.  The entire workout takes less than 25 minutes, so it fits well into your day in the early morning, lunch time or even evening. Another great resource if you aren’t ready to invest in a DVD is to check out this series suggested by Yoga Journal:  8 poses for better digestion. If you don’t have a regular yoga practice, I’d recommend starting out with 2 or 3 days a week and seeing how it goes from there.  Once the moves become second nature, you could easily start or end each day with 5 to 10 minutes of twists.  You’ll help your...

How’s Your Gut?

Do you often find yourself with stomach problems?  Feeling bloated or just plain miserable?  I know I used to, and as I mentioned in last week’s Facebook Live video, it’s exactly why I started down the path of nutrition training.  I wanted to stop feeling uncomfortable every other day. I can happily say that today (almost 7 years later), I rarely have stomach issues.  In fact, overall I feel much healthier and get sick less often than I used to.  I’m confident that many of the tips, tricks and lifestyle changes I’ve made over the years is the reason. Thank goodness for being willing to experiment (although once you get to the point where you’ll try anything to feel better, it’s not that hard to do). This month, I’ll dive into some of my favorite ways to help if you are experiencing gut issues.  Since the reasons can be varied and are as individual as each of us, some of these may help you more than others – but there is science and historical evidence behind each tip.  The only way to find out what helps you is to give the various suggestions a try.  And not just once – be consistent and try something new for at least 7 days.  But don’t try more than one tip at a time – otherwise you can’t pinpoint what is helping.  I do want to mention that although they might be helpful, none of these tips are considered “cures” or are specifically geared towards people who’ve been diagnosed with IBS or other medical issues – please talk to your doctor about...
Feel Better While Eating

Feel Better While Eating

Do you enjoy your meals at the table?  Or do you scarf them down standing by the kitchen counter or over the stove?  Do you eat with your family most nights?  Or is the norm for you to each grab whatever you can whenever you are home? I know I’m not the first one to mention how important it is to eat together as a family regularly, but in addition to the often acknowledged benefits for your kids, there are strong health benefits for YOU too. By sitting down to eat, you are automatically going to eat better.   You’ll notice what’s on your plate – the colors, quantities and appearance.  If you start to pay attention to this you can begin to make small changes – smaller quantities, a wider variety of colors, etc. Challenge yourself to not just enjoy the company around you but to begin eating mindfully.  Chew each bite completely (this will help with bloating and stomach issues), place your fork down between bites.  Think about what you are eating and enjoy all the nuances and flavors. Delicious. Used to having the TV on while you eat?  Turn it off.  If you eat with the TV on, I guarantee you will eat more.  Your body doesn’t realize it’s full when it’s distracted.  And it’s easy to mindlessly shovel more food into your mouth when you aren’t paying attention to each bite. Why should you make eating mindfully a practice?  Because you deserve it!  You deserve to enjoy your meals – after all eating is a part of everyday so why not make it enjoyable?  Right?  In...
Transition from work to home driving you CRAZY?

Transition from work to home driving you CRAZY?

I can’t believe it’s our last week in this series around creating calm and reducing stress.  Hopefully you’ve been practicing some of the breathing exercises, using your RC and eating more mindfully.  This week I want to turn your attention to another common area of stress – transition time. Although there are many transition times during the day (home to work; afterschool; dinnertime; bedtime), I want to dive into one that all of us working moms have – the transition from work to home.  Regardless of if you are physically driving home from work or simply attempting to turn off the computer and focus on your family, this can be an especially dicey and stressful transition. Odds are good you didn’t finish everything you wanted to do at work (do we ever?), so it can be hard to move from that work mentality to start enjoying your family.  Instead of making that transition rushed and harried, try slowing it down a bit.  Use it to switch off your work mind, release any negativity that invaded your workday and move into a calm, enjoyable evening.  Even if you  have an evening of running kids around planned, you can still change your attitude and make the most of it! Let’s begin… Step 1:  Leave work behind.  Close your computer – signify to your brain that work is over. Step 2:  Leave your office area.  Either get in your car, bus, etc. to drive home or leave your work area if you work at home.  Take 3 big inhales and exhales and smile. Step 3:  Find something that lifts your mood, and...

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