The Best Hidden Resource!

The Best Hidden Resource!

Today I’m singing praises about a resource most of us have access to, and few people ever use.  It makes my life easier, brings me daily enjoyment and costs NOTHING.  What is it? The local library. Seriously – if you don’t use your local library, you really need to check it out.  Libraries are so much more than dusty old shelves of books (although if you love to read, you’ll appreciate that too).  Ready for some examples of why the library is such a great resource? It’s free.  Unless you habitually forget to turn in your books, the library will cost you nothing. The library contains more than books.  Most libraries have DVD’s, audio books, music and magazines.  Mine also has board games and get this –  museum passes!  Yep, on our recent Spring Break we were able to check out family passes for two state museums and visit them for free.  This easily saved us $100. If your library doesn’t carry what you want, you can request it.  The library doesn’t have a book you want to read?  Ask them to purchase it or see if they can get it on loan from another library.  Most libraries are continually buying new material and they appreciate it when members tell them what they’d like to see. The programs can be terrific.  When my kids were little, we were regulars at story time – it was a fun, free activity we could do together.  Now they always enjoy participating in the summer reading program. Our library offers a program or two almost every day of the week – truly something...

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...
Stay Healthy This Fall – Food

Stay Healthy This Fall – Food

With the kiddos in school, the germs are flying.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to get sick these days.  Sometimes you just can’t avoid a cold, but you can bet I plan on doing everything I can to stay healthy this year.  With those thoughts on my mind, all month I’ll be sharing my best tips and tricks for staying healthy.  As a bonus, doing these things will also help you feel healthier and happier! Eating well is an important component to staying healthy.  When you consistently eat junk, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs and you’ll start to feel run down.  Today I’ll share some of my favorite foods to bump up your immune system and load your body with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy greens.  Greens such as kale, spinach and swiss chard are wonderful to add to your daily diet.  They are full of antioxidants, calcium, vitamins A,C, K and fiber.  Greens are also rich in anti-inflammatories.  Try to enjoy a cup or so each day. Apples.  Yes, that old saying about an apple a day keeping the doctor away has some validity to it.  Apples are loaded with fiber and also pectin – both of which keep you full longer.  So eat an apple and you are less likely to be hungry for junky snacks.  They are also very fresh and perfectly in season right now so will taste delicious and cost less.  My favorite way to stock my fridge with apples right now is a trip to the apple orchard. Sweet potatoes.  Another fabulous fall food with...
Kick Start Your Eating

Kick Start Your Eating

How’s your summer going so far?  Hopefully by now you’ve done at least a few FUN things and gotten a few good workouts in.  Please keep that up!  Your family and your body will thank you. This week we are going to jump into healthy eating.  Summer is a great time of the year to switch up your diet.  Food tends to be fresher, we often don’t want to eat as much when it’s hot outside and we don’t have to contend with sports practices and homework every evening. For the next few days I want you to concentrate on breakfast.  It’s a super important meal, and one most people don’t take seriously enough.  When you eat in the morning, you are essentially “breaking the fast” from not eating throughout the night.  Breakfast will also set the tone for the rest of your day.  Eat sweets and a coffee and you’re just not going to crave that healthy salad for lunch.  Skip it completely and you’ll be so hungry by noon you’ll probably overeat. So you can see why what you eat first thing each day is critical.  Something I have all my clients do is drink a glass of water as soon as they wake up.  I drink mine while my coffee is brewing as part of my morning routine.  Next be sure to enjoy a breakfast that consists of a healthy fat and a light protein or whole grain.  Fruit and/or vegetables are an ideal compliment.  Some ideas: Avocado toast (1/2 an avocado on a piece of toast – sprinkle sea salt, pepper and a splash of...
Spring Cleansing – Ditch the Chemicals

Spring Cleansing – Ditch the Chemicals

You knew I’d get here eventually right?  Actually writing a post about cleaning your house in a healthful way.  I’ve shared a couple of great cleaning recipes using Tea Tree essential oil so far, but today I want to dig into the topic a little deeper. There are several good reasons to look carefully at your cleaning routine.   Cleaning supplies you purchase at the store contain many dangerous ingredients.  After all, there is a reason they have warning labels, right?  Let me show you a quick example.  Here is the ingredient list for a common window cleaner: Commercial Window Cleaner:  water, carriers, cleaning agents, wetting agent, fragrance, dye, and a “formula” Well, that tells me nothing – but the big warning below:  KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS is worrisome. How about a window cleaner touted as “natural”? Natural Window Cleaner: corn and coconut derived biodegradeable surfactant, soda ash, potassium hydrate, corn alcohol, fragrance oil, colorant, purified water Okay, I’m still not sure what’s in that cleaner – sounds fancier, but who really knows? Now, take a look at my homemade window cleaner ingredients: Homemade Window Cleaner: 1 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 2 1/2 cups water, 1 T cornstarch, 20 drops essential oils (I like lemon or tea tree) Still not something I want my kids to ingest, but at least I know what’s in it, right?  And I know none of the ingredients are of questionable safety if I get it on my skin or inhale the fumes while using it. In addition, I made an entire bottle of this cleaner in less...

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