Self-Care For Dads

self-care for Dads

Hello friend!

It’s been some time since I last blogged on here. My family and I have moved to Northern Thailand, and I’ve been writing often for my clients, and sadly fell behind on blogging.

The last few years have been a journey in self-care for us. Both my Wife & I have been focusing on spending time pursuing our creative passions, and slowing down to savor life as much as possible. We’ve started adopting an attitude of ‘essentialism’ and focusing on what matters most to us: spending time together as a family.

If you haven’t heard of Essentialism, it’s a concept that author Greg McKeown talks about in his book, and it’s pretty life-changing.

Essentialism means doing what’s truly essential for you business and life, and omitting the rest (as much as possible). And over the past few years, I’ve prioritized creating self-care routines and pursuing creative projects (like my freelance writing services and photography projects), and have started taking less coaching clients so that I can focus on devoting my time and attention to those I’m currently working with.

It’s been hard to devote time each day to prioritizing self-care, but even if I find just 15 minutes to meditate, I squeeze in that time. We Dads truly need to realize the importance of our own health and wellness as it helps us to be even better husbands and Fathers.
If you’re struggling with taking care of yourself, here is an excellent article on the topic, especially for fellow solopreneurs.

My wife and I have started writing regularly over at Holistic Families, and I think you’ll love some of the subjects we’ve been covering, from simple living to homeschooling.

I plan on writing a weekly roundup of wellness resources here each week, and will review holistic health products that I think you’ll enjoy.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

4 ways to save money on green cleaning products

4 ways to save money on green household products
We all want to use the natural products to clean our homes. From concerns over the toxicity of conventional cleaning products to allergic reactions to ingredients used in laundry detergent, more and more people are seeing the benefit to going green.

But you may have noticed that the prices for more holistic alternatives tend to be higher. This has been one of the top concerns many of my readers have vocalized: they want to go green, but want to do it without breaking the bank.

In today’s post, you’re going to learn three ways to save money on holistic home products!

DIY Your Own

Our family loves making our own cleaning products using natural ingredients that we have purchased at our local store, or even common ingredients you find in your kitchen.

For example, you can create an easy to use and affordable surface cleaner by diluting lemon essential oil with water and putting it into a glass spray bottle. Mixing essential oils with baking soda also makes an excellent air freshener if you place it in a recycled jam or babyfood jar.

Because essential oils are so concentrated, a little goes a long way, which is why it saves you money in the long run.

Vinegar is another low cost item that clean windows to toilets and even as a laundry brightener!

Resources:

Herbal Academy of New England
HANE is an excellent resource for how to create natural alternatives to contentional ones. Both their blog and courses are fantastic.

Shop at Grove Collabortive

The Grove Collaborative ( previously called ePantry) offers natural, eco friendly household products for a good price.

They carry brands such as Mrs. Meyers, Method, Seventh Generation, and Dr. Bronner’s and ship throughout the US.

iHerb

Another fantastic place to save big on natural healthcare and household products is iHerb. We’ve been using them for 6 years and they ship internationally at an extremely low cost ( $4 dollars to ship to Thailand).

iHerb has an array of green household cleaning products that you can save on in three ways.

For starters, they sell holistic products at a discounted rate and repeat customers get loyalty rewards points they can use to save even more. Their referral program is another way to get additional credit to your next purchase.

There is no minimum order nor scheduled shipping, although for international orders, there may be certain customs restrictions on certain supplements, or a maximum weight for your package. For example, here in Thailand, shipping is $4 dollars and you can buy up to $80 dollars worth of items that way less than 4lbs.

We’ve ordered from iHerb from everywhere and find them to be extremely reliable and the items have always been well packaged for international shipping.

Buy in bulk

I always tell readers that the best way to save money on healthy foods is to buy in bulk when possible. The same goes for when you purchase green home cleaning products as many brands have the option for you to buy larger sizes that are more cost effective than buying say a smaller size every month.

Costco is carrying more and more discounted bulk items, as are other stores throughout North America. Not sure if you’re favorite brands sell products in bulk? Contact them directly to ask if there’s a store near you where they are available.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

Interview with Chef Frank From Three Lily Farm

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Today I have the pleasure of interviewing and introducing Chef Frank Giglio from Three Lily Farm. Frank and his family live on a farm in Maine and offer traditional cooking classes as well as local events that inspire people to cook more and eat a more nutrient dense diet.

His adventurous culinary offerings have been showcased throughout the health community and Frank is the featured chef for NY Times Best-Selling Dr. Alejandro Junger’s Clean Eats cookbook.

HD: What inspired you to become a chef?

I got my first job as a dishwasher when I was 15. From the start I was intrigued by life in the kitchen and dove right into the trade. A few years later, after graduating highschool, I decided it was best to keep going with it and pursued culinary school. I felt connected to life in the kitchen and took great joy in making food for people. Maybe it’s because I am Italian and a Cancer, but I feel a sense of responsiblity to feed and nourish my friends and family.

HD: You did nutrition training. How did this impact your cooking and your life?

I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2007 while the program was still live and held in NYC. IIN directly impacted my work and it was after attending this school that I began to reach out to the public and offer my services. Having made a complete dietary overhaul before enrolling, IIN provided me with a wealth of nutritional knowledge and for the first time ever, I really understood how food effected my body. It also helped me better understand that health doesn’t only come from the foods I eat, but the community I live with, the joy I find in my daily life, work, and friendships.

threelilyfarm
three lily farm

HD: What’s it like living on a farm?

Chores, lots of chores 🙂 I love being connected to the land and feel great joy when I am able to spend time in nature foraging for wild foods, growing food, and raising animals. This means there is always lots of work to be done. When not weeding, digging, feeding, or watering, I am preparing for another project on the land, or repairing old structures that have begun to degrade over time. Having land and living out in the country gives many freedoms and a sense of solitude which I enjoy deeply.

HD: I know many of my readers eat a mostly plant based diet. Should vegetarians consider doing your Traditional Cookery Training as well as other low meat diets?

My goal with this course is not to tell you what you should or should not be eating, but to empower you to make the best choices for your body. I will however, teach you how to best utilize the ingredients you do choose to put in your body.

While I feel there is great value in the consumption of animal foods I realize it is not for everybody. Although there is a week devoted to preparing meat and fish, there is plenty of info and inspiration for the vegetarians and vegans throughout. Whether one chooses to eat meat or not, there is no harm in learning how to prepare such foods, especially if they are creating meals for other family members who may consume animal foods.

HD: What is the one thing you wish more people would cook?

Personally, I think everybody should be making fresh stock, whether that be fish or meat based. Stocks or bone broth not only impart a delicious, earthy flavor, their medicinal properties make them worthy of daily use.

Second to that, I wish people would start working with more wild plants and seeing them as superior to their domestic counterparts. While kale, collard greens, and lettuce are fantastic, there is an abundance of wild plants that nutritionally dominate cultivated varieties.

You can find out more about Chef Frank and Three Lily Farm, as well as their courses here

three lily farm

Win FREE Admission To The Academy of Culinary Nutrition!

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

This month has been giveaway central here! And today, we have two amazing opportunities for readers who are looking to transform their lives and careers. 

If you are interested in furthering your current knowledge of raw foods preparation, gluten free baking, and culinary nutrition, and are even considering teaching this knowledge to others, look no further than best selling author Meghan Telpner’s Academy of Culinary Nutrition

In 2008, Meghan Telpner first began offering cooking classes in her loft-style kitchen in Toronto’s west-end neighbourhod of Parkdale. Shortly afterwards, she launched the Culinary Nutrition Program, starting with just 12 students around her kitchen table.

As demand for her classes grew and the walls of her 600 square foot loft could expand no further, she took the leap to online teaching and began recording her programs for a global audience. Meghan gathered the best team she could find and began building the world’s first online school for culinary nutrition.

The program has both an honorary option as well as certification in culinary nutrition. Both include practical, everyday, natural cooking skills as well as a deeper exploration into the therapeutic properties of the foods we eat and how we prepare them. This program serves to enhance prior professional training in natural health, or can serve as your introduction to it.

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

The Culinary Nutrition program includes:

– 70 Hours of Real time pre-recorded videos pieced into 11 workshops covering topics like: 

  • meal prep skills, food storage, menu planning and organization
  • the foundations of nutrition, including breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins
  • the sources, functions, and deficiency symptoms of major vitamins and minerals
  • Gluten-Free Baking
  • Eating For Awesome Energy
  • Edible Beauty Care
  • Raw Food Power
  • and more!

– Accompanying course materials (resources + recipes + reading material)

– Weekly live-stream office hours with Meghan that includes demonstration of key techniques and tips and tricks and Q&A.

– Meghan’s business coaching workshop: Two additional courses designed to get your business and personal goals in motion

  • full-day, live-streamed video course  detailing effective branding guidelines, best use of social media, sponsors and partnerships, filling classes, web development, book writing and more
  • A 90-minute personal development workshop aimed at helping you move beyond hurdles, putting an action plan into place and taking the first steps to make it happen.

– Home study & cooking assignments based on:

  • Development of meal plans in accordance with various dietary restrictions.
  • Recipe development and testing.
  • Client simulation: how to follow a prescribed meal plan.
  • Workshop or cooking class creation.
  • Cooking assignments and assessments so you can do your work and eat it too!

– Private Facebook Group for students and grads

And that’s not all…

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

Bonus Training Opportunity

As a Wellness Coach, I know how challenging it is to begin coaching and to start ( and grow) a blog & social media following. It has taken me years to find my online voice, develop my own unique coaching method, grow my social media presence, and all of the other aspects that a holistic health professional needs.

That’s why I am offering a one time only opportunity to receive personal mentorship sessions from me ( for free!) plus other bonuses for anyone who registers to the Academy of Culinary Nutrition through my referral link. This means that on top of your training with Meghan, you get to work with me on what steps to take next to develop your online platform.

What’s included in this bonus training?

+ 2 Skype Strategy sessions with me

We’ll dive deep into your strengths and callings, and what you intend to do once you graduate from The Academy. I’ll give you my ideas on how to grow your blog and develop a social media strategy that’s right for you.

+ Month Long Social Media Bootcamp

You’ll gain access to an exclusive month long course on social media for holistic entrepreneurs, which will be available later this year.Created by EK Bradley of Thriving Healer and myself, we’re going to dive further into how you can use your training to impact your local community or internationally.

+ Opportunity to guest post on Holistic Dad

You’ll have the opportunity to guest post on my blog. This is typically only available to our staff writers, a small group of coaches and yoga teachers we have developed relationships with over the years.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, I’d love to work with you! This bonus training will no longer be available after the program begins in September, so head on over to The Academy of Culinary Nutrition to enrol!

Enter to win FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert program! Enter now -> http://www.holisticdad.net/2014/07/29/academy-culinary-nutrition-giveaway/

Win FREE Admission!

Meghan has graciously offered to give one lucky reader FREE admission into the Honorary Culinary Nutrition program, valued at  $1,790 CAD. 

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$145 Adaptogenic Herbal Instant Beverage Giveaway from Four Sigma

Four Sigma Foods Instant Beverages

 

Several months ago I discovered Four Sigma Foods, a company based in Europe that has been spreading the message of how awesome medicinal mushrooms and other superfoods are to a person’s health. My wife and I ordered a few boxes of their instant superfoods including chaga, reishi, and cordyceps and our energy levels have greatly improved. Read on about what their superfoods can do for you, how you can receive 15% off your order with our special code, AND ENTER THE GIVEAWAY to become one of two winners of their Royal Flush Prize pack worth $145!!!

Adaptogenic Herbs

Adaptogenics, like the reishi mushroom, cordyceps and many others, increase the body’s natural resistance. The multitude of negative outside ‘forces’ like chemicals (think pesticides or Hexafluorosilicic acid aka fluoride) or overexposure to free-radical damage inhibit the body’s natural ability to fight disease. Chinese herbalists believe Ataptogenics are a fundamental part of having and maintaining radiant health.

Four Sigma

The Reishi Mushroom

This is one of the oldest and strongest healers in the history of Chinese Herbalism. Known for not only stimulating the immune system but regulating it, Reishi can help your body combat auto-immune disease by slowing down your overstimulated system. It’s also known for it’s antiaging properties due to the high levels of antioxidants. In Japan, it has been a safe and effect remedy for Chemo side effects as well as stimulating and rebuilding that immune system. Other uses include strengthening the nerves and reducing stress, increasing memory, fighting allergies, lowering LDL – bad cholesterol and preventing many heart disease symptoms like hardening of the arteries. Its a good bet that if you need immune system support, this is the solution. It’s called the Supreme Protector for a reason!

Consistency is Key

Now the best thing you can do for yourself when taking Chinese herbs, or any herbs or natural remedies, is to stay consistent with your doses. Taking a handful of pills one day and missing out on the next three days, then trying to make up for it with another massive handful, is just a waste of money. But, Four Sigma has created the best solution for those of us on the go and who don’t want ANOTHER PILL TO TAKE! They’ve created individual packets that you can take on the go.

Four Sigma Foods

Suggestions for Drinking

Perfect for work, class, or stopped at a red light – just rip open a packet and tap the contents into a cup of water, coffee, tea, whatever you’ve got near you! I’ve added a cordyceps packet to my coffee and had delicious results. I now add Reishi and Chaga to my vegan protein drinks. The cordyceps (and all the others) are good enough to add to plain water. They have the perfect amount of Stevia to make the drink tasty but not overpoweringly Stevia-ish – unlike other healthy powders and teas that are laden with the natural sweetener. I pour the packet into warm water to help dissolve the crystals and add my cold water and ice afterwards.

Four Sigma Foods

Four Sigma is an amazing company in all respects. Run by a group of health-loving Finns that travel the world, they’re committed to spreading the word about superfoods above anything else. They are offering you, the Holistic Dad readers, 15% off your entire order until August 15. Just enter the code “HolisticDad” at the check out to receive your savings. Soon you’ll be drinking your way to better health!

And Now… For the GIVEAWAY!

Four Sigma Foods are offering NOT 1 BUT 2 ROYAL FLUSH PRIZE PACKS .. 2 LUCKY WINNERS will each receive the 6-Box bundle! So sign up, share with friends everyday via tweeting and facebook sharing (cause you’ll earn more points when you do) and good luck!

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Jess Ainscough On The Wellness Journey

 

JESS AINSCOUGH

I am delighted today to bring you a new series on the blog featuring interviews with wellness experts across the globe. I also couldn’t be happier to begin this series with the inspirational Jess Ainscoughthe world renowned wellness warrior herself! Author of the newly published Make Peace With Your Plate ( Hay House), she reaches over 700,000 readers each month on her blog, many of whom partake in her cleanse.  Jess recently interviewed me in her Zen Men series, which was an honor.

Imagine you’re in your twenties and told you not only have cancer, but a rare form and your only option of survival was to have your arm amputated. Jess didn’t want to go that route.

‘I didn’t chop off my arm. I didn’t go into aggressive, full-body chemotherapy.
I didn’t accept that my doctor’s ‘solution’ was the only course of action.

I decided that I would do everything in my power to thrive in life, in spite of the looming expiration date I’d been given.
I learned how to treat myself with absolute kindness & self-respect.
I radicalized my diet. I systematically detoxified my body — and mind.
I discovered that wellness isn’t a destination, but a loving (and unconditionally forgiving) relationship with your own body.’

Jess gives us a glimpse today into how she became a wellness pioneer.

HD:  Jess it is so fantastic to be able to have you here today! You have an amazing journey that you share on your website about how you overcame a major health issue.Tell us a little about how you felt during those years of discovering you had cancer and using natural healing to make your way out.

JA: I still have cancer, but I don’t see it as the terrifying threat I once did. I was diagnosed with Epithelioid Sarcoma in my left hand and arm six years ago and was told that my case is terminal. Conventional medicine doesn’t have any solutions for me, other than amputation to bide me more time. So I’ve dedicated the past six years to healing my body with natural methods. I’ve overhauled my diet, my lifestyle and my mindset. I did two years of a therapy called Gerson Therapy to give my body an intense detox, I learnt how to meditate, and I’ve done a lot of work on myself to peel back the layers and switch on my body’s innate healing mechanism.

HD: For those that haven’t heard of Gerson therapy, can you share a little bit about their methodology?

JA: Gerson Therapy is two years of intense detoxification and nourishment. It involved hourly juicing, multiple daily coffee enemas, castor oil treatment and a very strict diet that’s mostly vegan and all organic. It’s incredibly tough to do, but I’ve seen some miraculous things occur as a result of it. Gerson isn’t for everyone though. For some people it may be all they need, but for others (like me) other elements are needed in order to truly heal.

HD: You speak all over the world about health and wellness. What is the number one thing people ask you when you are meeting readers or speaking at an event?

JA: People love telling me when I’ve managed to convert them into doing coffee enemas. I always say that one of my missions in life is to make coffee enemas cool. The amount of people who enthusiastically tell me that they’ve started doing them tells me that it’s happening!

HD: What changes do you see with regards to people turning to natural medicine and more traditional forms of healing?

JA: People are awakening to the limitations of modern medicine versus the incredible power of their own bodies. Conventional medicine is important and it definitely has a place, but I love that more and more people are embracing natural healing methods to deal with the root cause of their ailments. We’re starting to trust ourselves more rather than give all of our power away to people outside of us.

HD:  If there was one thing anyone can do to better their lives and health, what would it be ( in your opinion)?

JA: It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one thing because I think that to truly live a healthy and happy life, we must have a few areas covered – eat real food, connect with nature each day, spend time in stillness/meditation, and to have fun every single day. The biggie though is joy – if you’re not enjoying life, no amount of green juice in the world will make up for that.

HD: You offer some pretty incredible health and wellness guides and programs on your site. Tell us a little about them.

JA: For those who are new to my work, I have a Wellness Warrior Starter Kit & Cleanse e-book that is a great introduction into life as a wellness warrior. My online coaching program, The Lifestyle Transformation Guide is just about to close it’s doors. We just have a few spots left in this program – we’re capping it so that I’m able to continue the support and intimacy for its members. We also have some super exciting programs in the works at the moment, which will be rolling out through the year. Stay tuned!

 

Subscribe to the blog: jessainscough.com
Follow Jess on Facebook: facebook.com/thewellnesswarrior

Introductory Herbal Course is live and I’ve got a discount for you ( plus one reader wins FREE admission!)

 

 

herbal academy of new england

Introducing the latest course from the Herbal Academy of New England

Over the past year, hundreds of readers have enrolled  in the Herbal Academy of New England’s Intermediate herbalism course. My wife and I joined them and have been soaking up all the information and raving about the school to our friends and family. What we love most about the HANE is how user friendly and design savvy there courses are. You can print the units or read them directly on your screen or mobile device. They have stunning illustrations too.

HANE has now just launched the Introductory Herbal Course to help those of you who are curious about herbalism but may not be ready to jump into the intermediate course. To celebrate they are kindly offering readers 10% off the Introductory Herbal Course using the coupon code HOLISTIC when you enroll. This coupon will be good for the entire month of June! Click here to enroll now. 

In the Introductory Herbal Course, you will discover: 

  • 6 in-depth units
  • Content-rich lessons
  • Printable handouts and charts
  • Recipes throughout every unit
  • Over 50 herbal monographs
  • Educational video demonstrations
  • Multiple choice quizzes!
  • Easy access to course instructors

herbal academy of New England

 

Herbal Academy of New England

Herbal Academy of New England

Labels for your herbal tinctures and salves, provided in the course

 

The Six Units:

Unit 1: Herbal Basics Choosing Herbs; Storing Herbs; Herbal Teas and Tinctures; Syrups and Topical Applications; Herbal Actions; Anatomy Overview

Unit 2: Common Discomforts
The Immune System; Prevention; Detoxifying and Cleansing; Colds and Flu; Respiratory System; Herbs for Kids; Materia Medica

Unit 3: Kitchen Remedies
What’s In Your Cupboard; Spices; Kitchen Materia Medica; Making Kitchen Remedies; Wildcrafting and Foraging;

Unit 4: Nervous System

Overview of the Nervous System; Stress; Headaches and Migraines; Essential Oils; Sleep and Insomnia

Unit 5: Body Care
Introduction to the Skin; Body Care Recipes; External Health, Internal Health; Salves, Balms, and Butters; Topical Oils; Scrubs; Cleansers; Herbal Baths; Moisturizers; Toners; Hair Care

Unit 6: The Holistic Approach
History; Conventional Medicine; The Holistic Model; The Holistic Body; Herbalism Is More Than Just Herbs; Placebo Response; Case Studies; Holistic Approaches: Massage, Body Work, TCM, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Naturopathic, and others

The Introductory Herbal Course is a brand new, multimedia program consisting of six in-depth units, interactive ebooks, printable charts and handouts, demonstrations, and many herbal recipes. This course will get you started on your herbal journey, covering all of the basics including common discomforts, herbal actions, dosing, and herbal remedies! By the end of this course, you will know why herbs work and how to make your own body care products, teas, tinctures and more. Build your apothecary, start your materia medica and get to know the Holistic Approach! You will walk away more inspired to pursue your herbal studies at the intermediate level and beyond.  

About the Herbal Academy of New England

With roots in greater Boston, The Herbal Academy of New England is an educational resource offering online programs, local workshops, and herbal clinics. The academy is committed to researching and gathering information and tools to help support a lifestyle of self-awareness and whole body care. It is the Herbal Academy of New England’s desire to encourage individuals and society to make sustainable and meaningful changes so as to use earth’s resources with greater wisdom and respect. Herbalism includes stewardship of the earth. 

Herbal Academy of New England

I mentioned a giveaway right? Yep, just like when they launched their Intermediate course, HANE is giving one lucky reader FREE admission to the Introductory Herbal Course. Entry is easy and fast, scroll down to enter! Or you can go ahead and enroll using coupon code HOLISTIC for 10 % off. This coupon will be good for the entire month of June! Click here to enroll now. 

 

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5 Ways To Become Healthier ( Starting Now)

5 Ways to become healthier ( starting

All across the world, people are waking up to a pressing need for us to become aware of how to take care of our health, as well as making a positive impact on our environment and community. 

Through the internet, affordable courses, books, health leaders, alternative MDs, Moms/Dads/Kids, activists, chefs, and so have appeared. It can be overwhelming finding out what we should eat and how we can best take care of our health. On top of that, there is a belief that in order to be healthy you need to spend a ton of money on supplements or equipment. Sure, I love my Vitamixer and see real value in supplementation, but in reality you can start living a healthier life right here and now.

I’ve created my list of 5 ways you can take charge of your health without feeling overwhelmed. Start with one of these points or do all of them! Whatever feels right for you and your family. Remember, you are not in this alone!

1.) Say no to GMO

If you are concerned about Genetically modified food, pesticides, and other harmful toxins in your food, it’s time to switch to organic. It’s important to remember that even though organic food can cost more, it doesn’t have to; there are organic produce clubs you can join that send you an affordable box of veg/fruit every week, and at your local farmer’s market you can speak with farmer’s about seasonal produce.

Organic shampoo too expensive? Consider making your own ( youtube has many videos on everything from ‘no-poo’ to dry shampoo). No fluoride free toothpaste at your local store? Use baking soda and essential oil ( like peppermint) or even turmeric.

Remember to buy in bulk when possible so as to save even more. Your local health food store should have a bulk section for things like chickpeas, lentils, rice, etc You can also save by shopping at places like iherb which offers discounts and cheap or free shipping.

2.) Download my free workbook to determine your budget and assess your pantry

If you’re not sure where to start and are new to all this health stuff, download my free workbook and start filling it out. It will help you determine your budget, personal health goals, and what items in your house may contain harmful ingredients.

3.) Find the right exercise for YOU

Not everyone enjoys running, yoga, or cross fit. Find what YOU enjoy and do it daily. That’s your number 1 task: consistency. If you hate doing something, you won’t do it for long, so find out what works for you. If it happens to be running, then schedule it into your calendar and tell family/friends you are unavailable during that time for anything other than running. Or better yet, invite them along with you!

Enjoy yoga but no time to take a class? No problem, you can do it at home and fit it into your schedule. Read Emily’s post on how to not feel overwhelmed by yoga and know that it’s flexible for your needs and schedule.

4.) Start using and/or growing spices

You can do this right now! Write down your top 5 favorite spices on a sheet of paper and then google them followed by ‘health benefits’ or ‘how to grow’ and you will be amazed as to A. how health they are and B. probably how easy it is to grow them ( well, some of them)

I’ve written about the health benefits of ginger as well as cinnamon, and that is just touching the tip of the iceberg! Wait til I write about turmeric…one could write a book on turmeric as it’s a major superfood.

Once you’ve investigated the health benefits of your favorite spices and herbs, discover how to use them. The Herbal Academy of New England has excellent programs and articles for learning how to make poultices, cook with superfoods, make tinctures, etc. Meghan Telpner also teaches on her TV show and culinary nutrition program how you can use superfoods in your daily diet.

5.) Simplify

I can’t even begin to expound on how important it is that we all slow down and simplify our lives. That’s a challenging task in our fast paced keep-up-with-the-Joneses world, but our health and wellbeing depend on it.

A few ways to start slowing down and simplifying

-Declutter one room a week and donate or sell whatever you don’t use or need

-Journal 1 page a day. This will slow down your train of thought and get you into a contemplative mode. An excellent way to end the day. 

– Go on a limited info diet. I am not saying you shouldn’t stay on topic of topics that are important to you, I’m saying don’t be inundated with negativity that is dominate in media. 

– Spend time each day meditating and/or praying. 

-Take a nature walk with your family. 

All in all, remember that the journey to wellbeing is something that may not happen overnight. It can, and it’s great if it does but leave room to gradually improving your health too. No matter what health issues you are facing, you can do something each and everyday to get you closer to your goals.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

Sweet Secrets – Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

This Valentine’s Day weekend, I’ve got a tasty treat for you.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

Yes.  Cupcakes.  Actually, a cupcake giveaway.  A cookbook and educational tome for creating and sharing (optional) whole food, gluten free cupcake recipes that are loaded with healthy ingredients and can be made vegan friendly with a few alterations.

Like this.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

All of these amazing photos are taken from The California Country Gal’s “Sweet Secrets – Real Foods Cupcakes!”  your guidebook to creating Paleo Friendly, Low Glycemic, Guilt Free, delicious Cupcakes.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

 

Just a reminder – these are ALL Gluten and Grain Free.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

 

Yup, ALLL….

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

 

Now that we’ve got your attention… here’s the giveaway, care of Annabelle Lee, the California Country Gal.

Sweet Secrets - Real Food Cupcakes giveaway!

For a more in-depth look at these delicious Gluten Free Cupcake Recipes – which have No Flours, added Starches, or Refined Sugars take a look here!

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5 Ways To Stay Happy And Healthy In 2014

2014 healthy living tips

Click here to download this FREE printable!

This time of year is always buzzing with excited and hopeful energy, people all over the world planning the year ahead. Setting goals. Dreaming big. Wondering what 2014 will bring.

Whatever your goals and dreams are for this year, here are some tips to ensure it’s happy and healthy.

1. Be Present.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Make mindfulness a habit by bringing yourself back to the present moment whenever you notice yourself getting lost in thought. This is especially important if you often re-play the past or spend too much time future-tripping.

The key here is awareness. Once you realise you’re stuck in your head, turn your awareness to your body. Focus on your breathing. Listen to the sounds around you. Feel your back against the chair or your feet on the ground.

A great way to train your mind to stay present is to meditate. Even ten minutes a day will make a difference. Light a candle and gaze at the flame. Go outside and let nature guide you towards a more peaceful state. Listen to a meditation recording or go to a class.

By giving yourself over to the now, you’ll feel more relaxed and joy will come to you with more ease.

2. Laugh.

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” ~ Jean Houston

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘laughter is the best medicine.’ It’s uplifting and fun, it brings people together and lightens your mood. Not only that, it’s an amazing happiness booster and even reduces stress.

Make it a goal to laugh every day in 2014. Watch your favorite funny movies and tv shows {The Big Bang Theory and Seinfeld are my go-to laugh inducers!}. Read funny books. Make time to hang out with people who make you laugh or try Laughter Yoga.

A good giggle can transform even the darkest of days.

3. Nourish Your Body.

“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates

Choose foods that make your body glow from the inside out. Every body is different when it comes to finding which foods keep us at optimum health; vegan, paleo, gluten free, the list goes on. If you’ve found the foods that nourish you, great! Keep it up.

If not, find the foods that make you feel good and healthy. If you need help, find a nutritionist or health coach and work together to find what works for you.

4. Move Your Butt.

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” ~ Anthony Robbins

Exercise is brilliant for a whole mind, body, spirit boost. How our body feels determines every other area of our lives, so it’s vital to get our bodies moving regularly.

Again, it’s about finding what works best for you. It could be yoga, marathon running, going to the gym, swimming, dancing, even hula hooping or trampolining.

If you don’t exercise as much as you’d like and want to feel fitter and stronger in 2014 {like me!}, set a goal and stick to it no matter what. Start small if you need to, even taking your dog for a walk every day is enough. Keep building on your fitness routine as you go along; jump rope after your walk or jump on an exercise bike for 30 mins every day.

The more you move your body, the better you’ll feel.

5. Do What You Love.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs

It doesn’t matter what it is. Whether it’s knitting, writing, painting, gardening, playing guitar, hiking, cooking, dancing, volunteering… if you love it, do it! And do it as often as possible.

Forget about what other people think; do what makes you happy. Working on our passions can be as calming as meditation and is guaranteed to make you feel joyful, fulfilled and alive.

If you haven’t found what you love to do yet, keep looking. Here’s a clue; when you do it, you’ll get lost in it, it will electrify you and you’ll lose track of time because you’re having so much damn fun!

And if you’re worried it’s too selfish to do what makes you happy, take a look at my all-time favorite quote:

“Ask what makes you come alive and do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

I hope this post has inspired you to make 2014 your happiest and healthiest year ever. If you want a reminder of these 5 happiness boosters, I made a free printable for you to do just that! Check it out here!

jenbiopic (1)Jen Saunders is the creator of Wild Sister Magazine and the Wild Sisterhood. She’s a tie-dye wearing, coffee guzzling writer, artist + self love advocate who fiercely believes that empowering women will change the world. A former city girl living by the sea with her husband, when she’s not creating the next edition, blog post or ecourse, Jen loves movie marathons, writing fiction and instagramming ridiculously cute photos of her pug.

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