Make the Most of Your Alone Time

Sometimes, alone time can be just what we need to recharge.  Other times, being alone can feel isolating and lonely.  One way you can help combat feeling isolated is to make the most of your alone time.

Strategize how to schedule your alone time in a way you’ll feel nourished and recharged.  That may be something completely different on different days, also!

When you want to stick around the house, you can create a spa-like evening for yourself.  You can learn a new hobby you’ve wanted to dabble in, plan a movie night for yourself, etc.  The limits are endless.

When you want to fill your alone time with others, you can try planning events with friends.  Make sure those times you want to have your tank filled up with loved ones, you’re surrounded by friends that make you laugh and feel connected. Plan a night out at the museum, take a painting class, or do something fun that’s passing through your town.

What’s your favorite thing to do in your alone time?

Hearty & Delicious Smoothie

A quick smoothie in the mornings is one of my favorite breakfast options.  You can even love to pre-make them in mason jars with the dry ingredients you want to use, so you have several air-tight smoothie options waiting on me in the fridge. When you’re ready, dump contents into your blender, add your liquid, and you’ve got breakfast in under 2 minutes.

One way to allow your smoothie to keep you satiated until lunch is to add more protein and healthy fats to it.

You can add peanut butter, mct oil, a high-quality protein powder, avocado, and even collagen peptides to pack a protein punch.

What do you love to add to your smoothies?

 

 

 

 

 

Highly Effective Ways to Lower Stress Naturally

Stress is remarkably damaging to our mental and physical health. Even though we know how serious it is, most of us can’t seem to find an effective way to get rid of it (or at least reduce it). Here are six all-natural, healthy, and highly effective ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.

1. Exercise
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is a marvelous stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins, which are natural compounds in your body that reduce stress and pain. You don’t have to do strenuous or intense workouts to experience this benefit. Try to be physically active every day, whether it is a brisk walk in the sunshine, swimming, or weightlifting at the gym. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

2. Natural Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogen supplements are natural herbs that help your body adapt to stressors in your environment. A common adaptogen is Ashwagandha. Although the stress response might feel as though it’s limited to your mind, your entire body responds to stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you might have difficulty focusing, and you start breathing rapidly. Adaptogens help calm the nervous system down and are completely natural.

3. Schedule in “Me-time”
Although life can get overwhelmingly busy, don’t forget about yourself. Scheduling in “me time” is equally as important as that business meeting or lunch with friends. Take time at least once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to relax and do things that calm you down. Read a book, have a bath, meditate, or watch a funny movie, and don’t cancel on yourself!

4. Get Enough Good-quality Sleep
I can’t stress how important getting enough sleep is for your overall wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep is proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress significantly. You probably know how irritated, frustrated, and upset you can get when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept enough. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

5. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
The foods you eat can have a tremendous impact on your stress levels— both positive and negative. If you eat processed, sugary junk foods, you will notice that your feelings of stress will only get worse. A diet full of real, nutrient-dense, whole foods can counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body and can help you feel significantly better. Healthy fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help regulate levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.

6. Calming Essential Oils
Essential oils are powerful and natural remedies for numerous health problems, from indigestion to stress. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming properties. You can put this oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or apply it topically to help you relieve stress and sleep better. Rose oil is also a powerful calming oil that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. However, be careful as essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to use too much.

Sustainable Kitchen Practices to Up-Cycle Your Foods

According to SaveTheFood.com, 40% of the food in America is wasted. If you’ve ever opened your fridge to find you forgot to use up the rest of those leftovers or that the produce you popped in there earlier this week went bad, just know that you’re not alone. This isn’t meant to guilt you — we’ve all done this before (repeatedly!) and today, I’ll share some suggestions on coming together on this common ground to up-cycle foods.

No, that doesn’t mean you need to eat foods that have long passed their prime, but instead, it means being more vigilant when shopping for your groceries and with what’s in your kitchen.

Here’s how to up-cycle your food and help reduce the percentage of food waste on our beautiful planet.

Only buy what you need
It can be tempting to buy things when they’re on sale but think about how you’ll use those things before tossing them in your cart. If you can’t eat 3 cartons of cherry tomatoes before they go bad, don’t buy that many.

Or freeze it
But if, say, you’re planning a barbecue get-together in a few weeks, and extra of something would be handy, freeze it to use for your event.

Use your scraps
You can take scraps from your kitchen and make a compost pile. Or you can up-cycle those potato and carrot peels, onion ends, and other bits by tossing them in a large plastic zipper bag in your freezer. Once that bag is full, boil it together to make your own vegetable stock.

Donate it
Sadly, there are many people out there in need of food. Before you overstock your cabinets again, call around town to local soup kitchens and shelters, and see if your perishable foods would be used for a good cause.

Rescue food before it goes completely bad
When bananas get mushy, the kids won’t touch them. Turn it into banana bread! Even the broth we mentioned above is a way to up-cycle your foods.

If we all look for creative ways to up-cycle our foods, we can cut down on the amount we waste, and that’s a deliciously beautiful way to save our planet.

What up-cycled food ideas do you have?

The most effective way I’ve found to make the most out of my time and to squash procrastination is to make my to-do list for the next day before I go to bed at night.

Having a plan leaves less room for time to slip away, and it’s a great nightly practice to reflect on your day and plan your next.  You can do so right after you write down 5-10 gratitudes you have for the day you just had, to add a little extra meaning to your planning session.

Bulk Freeze for Faster, Healthier, Tastier Meals

Are you using your freezer to its full potential? If not, now is the perfect time to start. Frozen foods seem to have a bad reputation because they tend to evoke images of unhealthy, high-sodium microwaveable meals, but let’s shatter that image by delving into how you can use your freezer for bulk freezing as a way to get healthier and tastier meals super-fast!

Meal prep properly
When you plan your meals for a week, make extras to portion out and freeze so they’re ready to go. On a busy night, you can pull one of those portions out and serve a tasty, healthy meal to the family in a flash with the help of your Instant Pot or slow cooker.

Don’t ever waste another avocado
The solution to never losing a precious morsel of avocado again is to scoop small chunks of it out separated onto parchment paper and freeze, which you can use as a base for your smoothies or add with pure cacao powder to make chocolate pudding you can eat guilt-free. Next time you see avocados on sale, stock up, and use this freezing method to have a freezer full of avocado at your fingertips.

Freeze leftover stock
Stock is terrific for creating broths, soups, and sauces. Even just a few teaspoons of it can liven up veggies and pasta. But often, we forget about that opened container of stock we left in the fridge a few weeks ago. Instead, freeze it in ice trays and then use those cubes to jazz up your meals as needed. You can even add some fresh herbs to your ice cubes to dress the flavor up even more.

Choose frozen veggies
Frozen veggies are captured at the peak of freshness, and they’re great for making healthy soups and stews. But if you swear you can taste the difference in those frozen baggies, make your own! When you see a deal on produce that’s too good to pass up, buy it in bulk and freeze it right so you can rely on it when you need a healthy and fast side dish. Greens do tend to wilt, but you can use them frozen in smoothies or toss them into soups, and no one will taste the difference.

Stash bread in there too
If it’s just you, you might hate buying bread, tortillas, or other fresh-baked items because they go bad before you can get to them all. Instead of forcing yourself to eat an abundance of sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, or what-haveyou in one week, freeze them so you can enjoy them as needed.

By using your freezer wisely when you stock up on foods, you’ll reduce your own waste and avoid going over budget on your groceries. And you’ll also have no excuses when you have a busy night because you’ll always have something healthy to heat up from your new best friend, the freezer!

Do you prep your meals for the week, or figure it out as you go?

Meal prepping can be a Sunday ritual to get you started on the right foot for the week ahead.  If it seems daunting to you, sit down and map out some simple meals you can make while still offering a variety of options throughout the week.  If you get bored quickly, it’s essential to figure out your groove with this variety, so you keep things new and exciting.

You’ll be shocked at how much stress it takes off of your shoulders each day knowing your meals are prepped already.  If this isn’t something you already do, do you think it’s worth a shot?  I’d love to share some of my favorite meal prepping ideas with you to support you.

 

How You Can Benefit From Hiring a Health Coach

I’m sure you’re familiar with the title of “Health Coach” but do you know what you can actually benefit from hiring a Health Coach? Health Coaches are becoming so popular that big companies are hiring them to keep their members and employees on track with their health, but you could even have a private health coach of your own to help you reach your goals.

So, what can a Health Coach do for you?

They keep you on track
A Health Coach realizes lofty goals often don’t go far. Health coaches help you focus on small daily goals that will get you to achieve your overall goal of better health and wellness, step by step at a time in a way that makes improving your life easy, completely manageable and even fun.

Change your diet without making you eat things you don’t like
Maybe you went into your mission of better health strong but after a while, got sick of the things you were eating. We all lose that inspiration at times, but a health coach has all kinds of delicious ideas for eating clean without sacrificing on taste. They can help you find the right things to eat for you as an individual, which you can’t find on Pinterest!

They show you how to handle triggers that cause you to overeat
If your problem is that you tend to choose food to comfort your feelings, a health coach can be life-changing. They will teach you how to handle that stress and keep you from turning to food for comfort rather than for nourishment.

They’re a good influence when everyone else isn’t
A health coach can be that inspiration that keeps you level-headed when you’re making choices about food. Plus, they can show you ways to enjoy healthier versions of those things you love, so you don’t have to go without. They can teach you how to navigate summer bbqs and holiday gatherings without guilt.

They teach you self-care
When is the last time you put yourself first? If you have to sit and really think about it, a health coach is for you. You can’t fill up everyone’s cup if you’re empty yourself. Your health is so important, and by taking this time for your wellness inside and out, you will be the best version of yourself.

Health coaches focus on every area of wellness
It’s not just about losing weight or getting in shape. Health coaches help you with mental health too. Anxiety and stress can tear at us from inside, and your health coach can steer you in the right direction to take healthy control of these areas too.

You deserve happiness and good health, and a way to achieve both is to get a health coach in your corner. You’ll find that making the goals you set for your wellness is easier to reach when you’ve got someone cheering for you!

One way to save on food waste is to shop twice a week, instead of one big shopping trip each weekend.

When we only shop once a week, it’s much easier to over-buy to keep from running out of food during the week.  If you switch to shopping twice a week — once during the weekend and then mid-week — you will drastically improve your waste habits.  Not only is wasting food bad, but losing money is something none of us want to do, either!

For me, I usually go to the grocery store  1 x per week.

How many times per week do you typically visit the grocery store?

 

What’s one thing you know you need to do to improve your health?

The thing is, we don’t need to be told what to do to improve our health.  We know the basics — drink enough water, eat whole foods, exercise, get enough sleep, have healthy relationships, etc.

Putting one foot in front of the other is the absolute most important thing we can do to begin reforming our health.  What’s the one thing you know you need to start working on?