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...
Spring Cleansing – Food

Spring Cleansing – Food

With summer coming and school ending soon, it’s a great time to clean out the pantry.  I know I need to be ready for the kids to be home most of the day.  I need a pantry that helps me get quick lunches on the table, and makes it easy for them to grab snacks on their own.  In addition, with a daughter in 4-H I need to be stocked up on baking supplies so she can practice her project easily. After a crazy warm winter, the last few days in Indiana have been cold and rainy.  Without the desire to be outside every minute of the day, I was able to spare some free time getting my pantry cleaned and organized.  And it had become quite the mess after the busyness of the last few weeks! I started by taking everything out on one wall (which was a project), throwing out everything expired (not much luckily) and then reorganizing based on food category.  Ditto for the second wall.  Canned foods are now on one shelf, snacks on another, breakfast food is together, grains are together now and in glass or plastic containers, baking supplies, etc.  I found I have a crazy amount of cereal (we only eat cereal on vacation and I suspect that is from a trip to the store my husband and kids handled for me a while back), so some of that needs to be donated, and I’m a bit low on baking supplies.  I also don’t think I ever need to buy barbeque sauce again.  Good to know. Overall, my pantry isn’t full of a...

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