When LIFE happens

I don’t know about you, but my schedule is pretty jam-packed these days. If our healthy lifestyle wasn’t second nature, I don’t know that I could keep up with it. Luckily, I have things in place so I don’t really have to think about it too much.

Disclaimer: if you have a brand new baby or are taking care of a sick family member, then your situation is different. I’m just talking about the busy-ness of every day life and with the holidays coming up…  Let’s not talk about that yet.😉

  • I have my staples, so I can throw together a quick, healthy meal on super busy nights. This is HUGE.
  • I spend about 1.5 hours once a week prepping things for the week. It makes life so much easier.
  • I make 2 batches of MANY meals.
  • I use my slow-cooker almost every day. If not for supper, I use it to prep something for another day, like beans or spaghetti squash.
  • Working out is just part of my routine. It’s kind of like some people have to have their coffee or whatever it is… it just goes into my day. It doesn’t necessarily have to be what you would typically think of as “exercise.”

I find that most people KNOW what to do to improve their health. It’s just hard to actually make it happen. That is why I am really excited to be able to offer “Fall into Healthy Habits.”

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My goal for you after October is to have healthy habits in place so that you can:

Increase your immunity… because who has time to be sick over the holidays?
Enjoy holiday treats without going overboard.
Not feel overwhelmed with sugar cravings.
Make fun holidays treats that might actually be good for you!
Be well practiced at making easy, quick, family friendly meals.

We will focus on eating real foods and healthy smoothies with the option to add in some of my favorite supplements!

You will receive a family friendly recipe guide, sample meal plan, access to my private Facebook group for added support, one-30 minute breakthrough phone consultation with me, and text/e-mail support from yours truly.

I’m really excited about being able to offer this program and help you!

So, how do you sign up?

Contact me.

I can fill you in on all of the details. I have priced this to be very affordable because I really want to help you my friends! I even have an option where you can have the fee waived. There will also be a giveaway! If you sign up for the program, you gain an entry into the giveaway! If you invite a friend who also signs up, you get an additional entry!

What are you waiting for?

Madison Mini Weekend

My favorite man and I went to Madison, Wisconsin a few weeks ago to run the Madison half-marathon. I trained really hard for this race, but ended up having to REALLY rest beforehand (due to a leg injury) which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I actually ended up doing really well and FINALLY hitting my sub-2 hour time goal! 1:58 Woohoo!

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The expo was fun because I actually WON something. That is quite unusual. The announcer, whom I happened to be standing very close to, asked for 2 volunteers who wanted to compete to win a $25 Fleet Feet gift certificate. I was game. So, myself and a man had to run to the other end of the expo and find our names on the big banner. Somehow I found mine RIGHT AWAY.

I was a little unsure about the weather. There were storms in the forecast! I don’t mind running in a light rain when it’s warm outside, but I don’t like getting pelted in the face. AND I really didn’t want to be stuck out there if it started to lightning. When we woke up Saturday morning, it was raining, but it looked like the severe weather was going to stay away! I texted my mother-in-law, who had my girls, to tell her… “Tell the girls – Mom is doing this in the rain. #Hardcore” My oldest replied, “Great perseverance Mom.” I just love her.

Then it stopped raining just before the race started. Yay! I felt really good the whole race. I just kept looking at the next person in front of me and thinking… “I’m going to pass them.” I tried not to look at my Garmin during the race. I didn’t want to be disappointed. So, when I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch, I put my hand in the air, almost cried (because that’s just me – I cry at EVERYTHING), and said “YES!”

After the race, I enjoyed a nice soak in the hotel hot tub. We did a little shopping in the afternoon, including this stop at the Mustard Museum (remember my obsession from one of the last posts?).  My husband is a trooper.

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Then we had a celebratory dinner out including visiting an ice cream place that had delicious dairy-free “ice cream.” I had 2 humongous scoops and enjoyed EVERY.LAST.BITE.

Have you had any awesome race experiences? If you’re a runner, what’s your typical celebratory dinner after a big race?

 

Menu planning – 9-18-16

Hello! It’s been a while since I have done a meal planning post! It’s all about quick and easy meals these days. In case you need some extra inspiration this week, I’m linking up with Laura and orgjunkie.com!

Sunday – Black bean tacos 

Monday – Easy Mediterranean collard wraps and roasted sweet potatoes

Tuesday – Butternut squash soup, veggies and hummus and Paleo dinner rolls (new)

Wednesday – Veggie chili nachos

Thursday – Stuffed peppers, roasted potatoes

Friday – Pizza night! Everyone likes to choose their own toppings, but I will be making a cauliflower/almond meal crust. Recipe below.

Saturday – Jamaican Chickpea Stew – over potatoes for the non-rice lovers🙂

I also made some nut/date caramel sauce for dipping apples! Yum!

Cauliflower Crust

 3 cups riced cauliflower

¼ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. garlic powder

4 T. almond meal

1 T. nutritional yeast

1 T. olive oil

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Cut off the florets. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get cauliflower “rice.” Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. You can also steam or water saute. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean towel and cool. Once cauliflower is cool, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring the water out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible.

Put cauliflower into a bowl. Now add spices, almond meal, nutritional yeast, olive oil. Stir the mixture to incorporate all the ingredients. Now add your egg and mix again.

Once mixed together, form the dough into a crust onto parchment paper about 1/4 inch thick.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown and the edges crisp up. Flip and bake another 5 minutes. The edges should start to be crispy brown but not too much because you will pop it back in the oven after adding the toppings.

Add your sauces & toppings (I recommend already cooked toppings)  and place back in the oven. Cook for another 5 minutes until the toppings are warm.

What’s for dinner at your house this week? Do you have any non-rice lovers at your house?

Just for fun

I saw a questionnaire about how well you knew your mom floating around. It’s supposed to be for adult kids, but I asked my youngest these questions during soccer this morning just for fun.
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  1. She is sitting in front of the TV, what is she watching? Nothing except maybe Dick Van Dyke – true
  2. Usually what dressing does she eat on salad? Dijon mustard – true
  3. Name a food she hates: raw cauliflower – true
  4. You go out to eat and have a drink, what would she order? Unsweet tea – true
  5. Favorite music to listen to? Christian – depends on the day – I also enjoy Pentatonix and Home Free
  6. What is her nickname for you? Luce – true
  7. What is something she could collect? Dijon mustard – I clearly have issues with mustard
  8. What would she eat every day if she could? Dijon mustard – see number 7🙂
  9. What is her favorite cereal? None – true
  10. What would she never wear? Inappropriate clothes – true
  11. What is her favorite sports team? Purdue – true
  12. What is something that you do that she wishes you wouldn’t? Pick my nose – true… at least not in public🙂
  13. You bake her a cake for her birthday, what kind is it? Chocolate – mmmm I would probably say no cake… cashew milk “ice cream”
  14. Favorite animals? Cats and dogs – I actually prefer BIG dogs over cats
  15. What could she spend all day doing? Working in the kitchen – definitely true

I would love to hear how your kiddos answered these questions for you!

 

Meal Plan Monday

I spent the last couple of days in Orlando at a natural nutrition conference. I thought it would be fun to share how I make healthy choices (and some indulgences, of course!) while traveling.  I did have an advantage my staying with my sister. I didn’t take pictures. I have to remember to do that!

Breakfasts

  • Simple! I took my pure protein and simply mixed it with some non-dairy milk.

Lunch

  • Ahhh airport food. I was able to find a hummus/veggie wrap.
  • I had the pleasure of having lunch with some awesome teammates on Thursday at the convention. I had a yummy quinoa/veggie wrap and a teeny tiny side salad (dry because of dairy in dressings)
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  • My sister picked me up on Friday and we went to Whole Foods for lunch. I had greens topped with all sorts of different veggies and stuff from their fresh foods bar including a tahini dressing. I must find recipe for that!

Suppers

  • My sister made this delicious roasted sweet potato, chickpea, broccoli salad. She also bought some SoDelicious coconut milk “ice cream” for us to enjoy. Yum.
  • Leftover roasted sweet potato, chickpea broccoli salad and an apple with nut butter
  • Ahhh airport food again. Again I found another vegetable wrap, grapes, and some BBQ chips. I had some dark chocolate on my 2 hour drive home… you know, to keep myself awake.😉

So, what’s for supper this week?

Sunday – Refried bean tacos

Monday – Veggie chili over nachos

Tuesday – Carmelized onion spaghetti squash casserole, veggies and hummus

Wednesday – Stuffed peppers

Thursday – Jumbo chickpea pancake topped with guac and served with veggies

Friday – leftovers

Saturday – Homemade pizzas

I’m linking up with Laura at orgjunkie.com for Menu Planning Monday! Hop on over there if you need some more inspiration!

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What’s on your meal plan this week? Do you find it difficult to stick to healthy choices when traveling?

Choosing Faith

I just returned from an awesome natural nutrition convention in Orlando. I will share some of the exciting things I learned in another post, but I think one of the most wonderful things I gained from it was confidence. I am always doubting myself… fearing what others think of me… fearing what will happen next… fearing someone won’t like what I have to say… fearing that I don’t know enough…  fear, fear, fear.

  1. I know the Bible says that perfect love casts out fear. I need to practice this on a daily basis.
  2. One of the speakers, Brooke Thomas, shared something that really resonated with me. I know I won’t do her justice by quoting it exactly right, but I will try. She said that Fear and Faith have 1 thing in common. They both involve believing in something that hasn’t happened yet. So, when you have a choice… choose faith.

 

So, when I say that I gained confidence, I don’t mean that I gained confidence in myself and what I can do. I gained confidence in the way that God made me. God did not create me to live a life of fear. I just have to follow Him and do the very best I can at helping others whether that be spiritually, in health & wellness, or being a friend and listener. Does this mean I will have to do things that make me uncomfortable sometimes? Yes! It’s how we grow & learn.

The other big reason I want feel convicted to Choose Faith is because I want my daughters to do the same. One of my daughters is very much like me. She worries often and has an anxious spirit. I REALLY want to teach her to live a life where she can choose Faith instead of fear. So, I am committing to praying about my fears… giving those over to God and Choosing Faith.

What about you? Are you with me?

High Five Friday!

Hello! Is it really July 22 already? Ah! We’re starting school in less than a month. I asked the girls today if they were excited to start up again and they said “Yes!” They must love their teacher.🙂

I’m linking up with Happy Fit Mama today for High Five Friday!

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  1. We had family pictures taken a few weekends ago to celebrate my Grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. My brother-in-law did the pictures for us. He always does an awesome job!

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These girls… Sisters – Best Friends For Life

2. Good friends to watch my girls while I went to an appointment. They had a blast!

3. Very helpful children! I had some atypical cells removed from my back on Tuesday which made me a lot more sore than I was anticipating. Both girls , but Little lady, especially, have been so sweet and helpful… offering to do chores, pick things up and carry heavy things for me. I am so thankful for their soft hearts.

4. Fresh basil from my garden! I have been keeping the plant pretty much stripped by making my pesto!

1/2 cup walnuts or sunflower seeds

2 cups fresh basil, packed tightly (or 1 cup basil and 1 cup kale)

3 T. nutritional yeast

1 t. fresh lemon juice

1 t. garlic powder

salt to taste

Process in food processor adding up to 1/2 cup of water as needed. YUM!

5. I also picked my first tomato on Wednesday! There’s nothing quite like a fresh tomato from the garden.

What would you like to high five this week? Are your kids helpful when you don’t feel well?

 

 

More than food…

Sometimes I am asked why my business is called The Joyful Nourished Life. So, today I want to share just a little snippet of why nourishment is about so much more than food.

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There are many reasons why people have “lifestyle” diseases and why so many Americans are obese & unhealthy. Just one of those reasons is that we live in a culture where there is food on every corner. For people who are binge eaters or emotional eaters, food is their source of joy and comfort. So when the doctor says, you have Type 2 diabetes and you need to lose 50 pounds, it is devastating! Or when someone suggests that perhaps a certain drink (chemical) you are consuming, is causing your migraine headaches, you think… “I am NOT giving up my Diet Soda! I look forward to having that treat every afternoon.”

I try to share with others that nourishment is about SO much more than food. Joy can be found outside of food! Sure, God intended for us to enjoy food and be thankful for it (trust me… I definitely enjoy my cashew milk ice cream!), but He did not intend for us to be gluttons or for food to be the center of our universe.

So, the next time you are feeling down and want to reach for a pint of ice cream. Try these things instead.

  1. Ultimately, the joy of the Lord is My strength. Nehemiah 8:10  So, when in need of comfort, reach out to the Lord in His word and through prayer!
  2. Serve others! Sometimes, we get so self-focused and feeling badly about what is going on in OUR lives, that we turn a blind eye to the needs of others. Find a widow to visit, go to the nursing home and talk with the lonely residents, volunteer at a food bank, offer to babysit for a young mother…
  3. Go for a walk outside! Being outdoors automatically lifts my spirits. 20160317_065515.jpg
  4. Sing! I have always loved to sing. I remember singing very loudly with my sister and Dad in the car and at home. We do the same thing now that I have my own family. Anyone who sees us driving down the road probably thinks we’re CRAZY.🙂
  5. Examine your surroundings. At my house, we try not to watch TV shows and movies that bring unwholesome thoughts/ideas into our home. This does not mean we turn a blind eye to what is going on in the world. It means we pray for our leaders even more and realize that God is always in control. Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

What things do you do to nourish your spirit?

 

Menu planning

My oldest was at Bible camp 3.5 hours away all last week. She had a great time and I love that she can be encouraged even more to learn about God and His love for her. But, as you can imagine, we are SO happy to have her home! They were singing together in the backseat on the way home. I thought, “This is more like it.”🙂

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Miss Spunky missed big Sis terribly! She even dusted and vacuumed her room for her while she was gone. And Miss Spunky does NOT like to clean.

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Almost there – Can’t wait to see her sister!

I tried to do some special things with her while big Sis was at camp. I asked her if she would rather go see “The Secret Life of Pets” or go bowling.

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I was surprised by her choice.

We have a busy week planned, so we will go with slow cooker and easy peasy meals. That seems to be a recurring theme this summer. Plus I’m getting more out of the garden… yay!

Sunday – Nachos topped with black beans and fixins.

Monday – Baked potato bar with fixins and salad

Tuesday – Stuffed peppers

Wednesday – Walnut cauliflower zucchini boats – I’m going to try these in the crock-pot.

Thursday – Omelets and fresh fruit

Friday – Out

Saturday – Leftovers

Are your kids doing any summer camps? Is your summer going SUPER fast too?

 

Skin Protection

Over 10 years ago, I had some dysplastic nevi (weird moles) taken off of my back which came back with atypical cells, so the dermatologist had to remove more cells in that area to make sure they got it all. After all of that, I started being VERY careful about sun protection. A couple of months ago, I noticed a strange spot on my back, so I went in and they actually removed 2 dysplastic nevi and they both came back with atypical cells. So, I have to have another procedure in a few weeks to remove more atypical cells. I am VERY thankful that it wasn’t melanoma, and I want to do all that I can to protect my skin. I never expose my back to the sun, so what else can I do?

The first thing I asked was why would this happen in the first place?  I have an Italian heritage which I thought would put me at a lower risk. However, I grew up spending most of my summers outside (often without sunscreen just because we didn’t know better) and I used the tanning bed often starting in Jr. High! Plus, it is hereditary!

I still love to be outside though, so I have to take appropriate steps to protect my skin. Did you know that some foods/nutrients have been shown to have protective effects?

Carotenoids

The pigments that color fruits and vegetables help to prevent skin cellular damage from the sun.  Plants have to protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays as well and these pigments from carotenoids are powerful.  When we eat a variety of plants, especially those high in carotenoids, we help to protect our skin from the UV rays and also help to prevent disease and cancer.

Carotenoids are the orange, red and yellow pigments found in orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables!

Fruits and vegetables that are high in these carotenoids include:

  • tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and watermelon (lycopene)
  • spinach, kale, broccoli, corn and beans (lutein and zeananthin)
  • leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, canteloupe, papaya (alpha and beta carotene)
  • a pure supplement can also help

Vitamin D

I recently discovered via a blood test that I am low in Vitamin D (very common in the Midwest!), so I will be adding that to my regimen. Vitamin D helps your organs to repair damaged cancer cells.  If you have a Vitamin D deficiency, you are more prone to skin cancer than those with sufficient levels.  If you are deficient (easy to measure with a simple blood test), you should supplement with at least 2,000 IU (Vitamin D is great for your mood and cravings, too!)

Sources of Vitamin D:

  • short periods of sunshine without sunscreen (10-15 minutes gives you 10,000 IU)
  • salmon, tuna or other fatty fish (wild)
  • egg yolks
  • beef liver
  • a high quality Vitamin D supplement that uses the most usable form, D3

Non-Toxic Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important! Look for natural options made with zinc oxide if possible.

How do you protect your skin?