Take Your Dog

Take Your Dog

In the mood to spend a day exploring but only have a few free hours?  Why? Because there is no one to let the dog out.  Ever happened to you? We love our dog, but he does cramp our style. When there have been weeks where it seems like he has been alone too much – or we just find ourselves with a full free day and want to run around without having to stop back home mid-day, we find a way to bring him along. It’s a little more work but can definitely lead to a fun and different way to spend the day. Luckily there are many places these days that allow dogs.  I’ve had good luck at local restaurants and breweries or wineries with outdoor seating, parks of course; ice cream shops, coffee shops, farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts and sometimes an outdoor tourist attraction (like a walking tour – self-guided or not). A few tips to make for an easy day: Call ahead to make sure your pup is allowed. Combine a variety of activities – some food, some walking, maybe just some hanging out Check the weather – nothing worse than a wet dog in the car! Be a good dog owner – bring along water and poop bags and pick up after your dog Ready for an example?  If you live in the Indianapolis area, here is a fun day with your dog: The day must start with coffee, right?  Luckily most coffee and bagel shops are happy to have your dog join you. Once everyone is fully charged, a little walking seemed like...

Real Food on a Budget?

When we are traveling, one of our favorite things to do is find local restaurants and try them out.  Although we are all very adventurous eaters, we do try to eat as healthy as possible, even while on the road.  You’ll often find us enjoying vegetarian dishes, beans & rice, salads and fresh fruit.  Not to say that we don’t tend to indulge a little more when away from home, we just try to keep what we eat as close to real food (food that isn’t heavily processed, has simple, whole food ingredients, and isn’t high in sugar) as possible. Because we aren’t as strict when traveling, when we are at home, it’s super important for me to create meals that are as healthy as possible.  That way I can ensure we are following my 80/20 rule of 80% healthy eating and 20% not quite as healthy.  I do love to cook, but with a full-time job, kids in two different schools, and year-round sports it can be challenging to get a real food meal on the table. One of my favorite tricks is to find cookbooks I love that have pages full of delicious real food recipes.  Then I’ll plan the weekly menu using just that one cookbook – it’s fun for me, easy as I’m not looking up recipes all over the place, and if I like the author, I find I’m happy with the meals. Lisa Leake’s cookbooks are some of my favorites.  I’ve been using 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous: The Easy and Delicious Way to Cut Out Processed Food and 100 Days...
Clean Sweep – Week One

Clean Sweep – Week One

August is the one month of the year we rarely have any exciting trips planned.  As my kids are on a balanced calendar, school starts August 1st, so we are in the midst of getting back on a regular schedule.  Homework is beginning, sports are heating up – it’s just not a good time to travel. I do find it IS a good time to do a clean sweep of the house.  A clutter-free and clean house means that if a fun opportunity comes along, we can take off without any guilt.  It also means less time is spent cleaning, which means more free time can be spent planning our next vacation!  If I can’t take a trip, at least I can be planning one! For the next three weeks, I’ll take you through a fantastic clean sweep process.  It’s based heavily off of Lisa Bryne’s whole house sweep.  Week one is all about assessing where you are, clearing out the old and planning for the new. I like to do one or two rooms of the house each day – so it takes me about a week to get through this process.  Monday I start with the bedrooms; Tuesday is the living area; Wednesday is the bathrooms; Thursday is the kitchen, and Friday is my office and the laundry room.  One room at a time feels less stressful and it typically takes less than an hour to accomplish. Ready to begin? Grab a notebook, a pencil, a trash bag and a laundry basket.  Walk into the room(s) you are working on and immediately put any trash in the...
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...

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...

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