Do you plan your grocery lists?

Do you plan your meals ahead of time?

Do you typically plan your meals for the week ahead of time?

Or do you shop throughout the week for a few days at a time?

I know people on both sides of the fence:

Those who rotate the same recipes week after week, and those who like to try new recipes and mix it up each week.

Which one are you?

Your schedule is packed.  Your days are full.  And you have absolutely no idea what you’re cooking for dinner tonight. 

Sound familiar?  This was my biggest struggle while trying to create a healthy lifestyle that sticks.  It’s just so simple to speed through a drive-thru on the way home from work, and not have to worry about cooking.  Right?

Clearly, fast food isn’t going to help us reach our health goals — this, we know!  So something else has to happen… something more permanent.

It took awhile, but I finally hacked the kitchen confusion and figured out how to plan healthy, simple meals without spending hours in the kitchen daily.

And I’m going to teach you those simple strategies!  Go ahead, take that deep sigh of relief.

Join me for my 5-day Simple Summer Meals Series starting on July 6, 2020.

Sign up HERE

 

 

Sign up HERE
Date: July 6, 2020—July 10, 2020
Event: Simple Summer Meals Series
Sponsor: Kim Zajan, CHC
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Spring Clean Your Life in a Weekend

Daylight Savings Time has come around again, and spring is finally here. Are you feeling the spring cleaning itch yet?

Cleaning out the closets is an excellent place to start, though spring cleaning really should extend to more corners of our lives than the corners of our homes.

Do you ever notice how fresh and light you feel when you clean your house for spring? Try it on your life in just one weekend, and you’ll feel more refreshed than you can imagine.

I’ve got some great suggestions on how to clear that clutter out of your life to welcome positivity along with the warmer weather.

– Adjust your finances

Do you have auto-renew memberships you’re not utilizing? Paying too much for your insurance? Spending too much on coffee? Take a look at your finances and find ways to trim out unnecessary expenses. Bonus: you’ll have more money for what matters!

– Get spring cleaning on wheels

Messy cars can make you feel cluttered and uneasy on the road. Give it a good cleaning inside and out, and you’ll feel like a new person.

– Free your mind

Our minds suffer the most when we have too much going on. This spring, start meditating to clear out the things that are holding you back. You’ll free your mind and relieve that mental fatigue for better clarity. Try downloading an app like Headspace or Calm, and work on meditating for 10 minutes a day.

– Tidy up your schedule

Are you so busy running here and there with the kids, trying to make it to soccer games and parties and everything in between? Tighten up your schedule and stop trying to please everyone. Focus on what really needs to be done, and leave wiggle room for adding in last minute things that come up. With a less cluttered schedule, you’ll feel less compressed all around.

 – Clean up your routine

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, you probably are. Try shaking up your routine any way you can. It could be as simple as jogging the opposite direction around your favorite lake, trying a new class at the gym, or doing something you’ve always wanted to do for yourself each week.

– Delete unproductive apps

Are you spending too much time scrolling through social media? Perhaps you’ve got a time-wasting game on there you’re ready to ditch, also. Toss those out if you’re wasting time on them, and you’ll find you have more time to do things you love.

– Make a spring resolution

Who says the New Year is the only time you can set goals and charge ahead for them? I say spring forward toward them with a proper resolution — what’s your spring resolution? Hit reply and let me know.

 

Turn leftovers into soup.

One of my favorite ways to utilize leftovers is to make a soup or stew.  If you always keep a carton or two of broth handy in your pantry, you can pull together a delicious meal in minutes, all while reducing food waste. Sounds like a win, win to me!   This works exceptionally well with leftover vegetables.

So please take a look in your fridge tonight and see what you need to use up, toss it in a pot with some broth, add any extra ingredients you think will make it complete — and enjoy.

If you feel like you slack off on your exercise during the holidays months with the hope of picking back up in the new year — try something different this year.  Instead of thinking with an “all or nothing” mentality — make it your priority to get at least 10 minutes of exercise per day. You can do more, but make sure you get at LEAST ten minutes.

That’s it! Sounds doable, right?  That’s because it is — we let logistics get in the way too often.  Maintain your regimen throughout these months, and it’ll be much easier to ramp up your efforts in the new year — if those are your resolutions.

Do you prefer working out at home or in the gym?

 

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?

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.