You’re Never Going To Be Ready

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is just that, uncomfortable. But…doesn’t it feel invigorating when you do it? When you climb that wall, speak in front of colleagues, nail that yoga pose, enroll in a college course, buy that new condo, take and post that selfie, get a profile done on Match.com.

The Wizard Of Oz has always been one of my favorite movies. I love watching each one of the characters step outside of their comfort zone and learn something new about themselves in the process.

When I’m about to do something that is completely outside my comfort zone my stomach turns, my palms start to get clammy and I actually get a bit lightheaded. I know I want to do this thing that terrifies me but my body is screaming, “don’t do it! I’ll keep you safe in this space of mediocrity” or “you’ve been comfortably numb on this cozy couch for so long, don’t step off the cliff now” but my gut is telling me this IS the right next step. There’s a trick I’ve learned that helps move me forward, helps me to step off the cliff. I don’t think to myself, “holy moly, I’m terrified, what am I doing?” Instead, I think, “wow, I’m excited, this IS invigorating and that is why I’m feeling this way!” and it changes my physical being completely! All of a sudden I remember how ready I am for this next step, AND how fabulous I’m going to feel AFTER I’ve done this thing that I’m now so excited to do.

I ground myself in the courage I have to push myself forward and think You’ve Always Had The Power My Dear, You Just Had To Learn It For Yourself. Thanks Glinda, you were always my favorite character.

If you’re brave enough to share some of your courageous stories, times when you’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone and rocked it, I’d love to hear them! Comment below and watch how, with sharing your story, you’ll encourage others  to do the same.

Best Hangover Cure EVER!

Ok…now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the many, glorious benefits of Wheatgrass!

Did you know?

  • Wheatgrass juice is an effective healer because it contains all minerals known to man, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, l and K. It is extremely rich in protein, and contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
  • Wheatgrass juice contains up to 70% chlorophyll, which is an important blood builder.
  • Chlorophyll contains enzymes and super- oxide dismutase, a copper-containing protein found in mature red blood cells. This enzyme decomposes superoxide radicals in the body into a more manageable form, thereby helping to slow down the aging process. Yep, the fountain of youth in a shot glass!
  • Science has proven that chlorophyll arrests growth and development of unfriendly bacteria so it aids in healing your gut. And we all know a healthy gut is the most important step to a healthy YOU!
  • Chlorophyll neutralizes toxins in the body.
  • Wheatgrass is high in oxygen like all green plants that contain chlorophyll. This is beneficial because the brain and all body tissues function at an optimal level in a highly- oxygenated environment.
  • Wheatgrass juice is a superior detoxification agent compared to carrot juice and other fruits and vegetables. But, don’t stop eating your carrots – we’ll talk about their benefits another time.
  • Because 1 ounce of juice equals 2 pounds of produce nutritionally, it naturally shuts off the appestat in the brain. The appestat is the region of the hypothalamus of the brain that is believed to control a person’s appetite for food. Easier said, it controls your appetite!
  • Here’s a fun fact: Farmers in the Midwest who have sterile cows and bulls put them on wheatgrass to restore fertility. (The high magnesium content in chlorophyll builds enzymes that restore the sex hormones.) Seriously, you never know what you’ll learn here 😉
  • Wheatgrass juice is great for constipation and keeping the bowels open because it is high in magnesium.

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And…when you’ve had a few too many glasses of wine or whiskey (or both…I certainly won’t judge you), wheatgrass is a natural liver cleanser and detoxifier! So, the next time you’ve imbibed a few too many, try a wheatgrass shot, come back to the blog and comment, I’d love to hear all about it!

Do You Know What’s in Your Beauty Products?

This blog is all about health and wellness so it’s the perfect platform for introducing to you, my readers, what I’m passionate about.

Our health is our greatest asset and I believe we shouldn’t have to compromise health for beauty. We all want to look good but above that – we all wash our hands, take showers, wash our hair, etc. It’s just not about beauty but personal care products as well.

Did you know there hasn’t been a law passed regulating the personal care and beauty industry since 1938?!? I know…ridiculous! We live in the most powerful nation on the planet yet we are so far behind in making sure consumer products are safe. As a nation, we actually protect the manufacturer more so than the consumer – UGH!

Beautycounter was founded after learning that the personal care products industry is under-regulated, and companies aren’t required to tell consumers what is in the products they sell. Beautycounter was started to offer better, safer products and to bring truth back to beauty. We offer complete transparency, something our government and the FDA doesn’t require. And since this is a company of ‘let’s get it done’ individuals, we’re not sitting around waiting for better safety laws, we’ve created our own The Never List of ingredients we feel are harmful or potentially harmful. We’re not willing to take any chances with our health and our family’s health.

This is a company filled with passionate, like-minded women from all backgrounds, creating awareness and advocating for safer products for everyone. We are NOT like any other Direct Sales Company in the sense we’re all about education, advocacy and empowering other women.

We’re the first ones to admit we’re not the only ‘safe’ beauty company out there and thank goodness for that! But, as consumers, we shouldn’t have to search or guess whether a product is safe or not.

Never in my entire career have I encountered such an amazing group of women and I’m proud to say “I took the job.”

Please take a moment to watch the video and let me know if you’re interested in learning more about us, I’d be honored to speak with you. I’m easily reachable at wellawarebylinda@gmail.com

Take The Job

 

ZOODLES ANYONE?

Everyone loves pasta noodles. Pasta noodles have been a staple in our American and European diets for forever and do you know why? Because they’re absolutely yummy!!

But have you even tried Zoodles?? You know what I’m talking about, noodles made from zucchini. You’re seeing them in every health magazine, Instagram post and Facebook recipe. And I know what you’re thinking…seriously?? Noodles made from zucchini? They’ll never hold up under sauce and my _______ input any significant other here, will NEVER eat them! I’m here to tell you I bet they will AND, they’ll really enjoy them!

Let’s look at some facts from Dr Axe:

  1. Very Low in Calories

What draws most people to zoodles is that they’re very low in calories, especially compared to noodles made wheat flour, rice or other grains. In fact, you can eat approximately five cups or more of zoodles for the same number of calories that you’d get from just one cup of regular wheat-based noodles!

 

  1. Low in Carbs – YAY!

All types of summer squash, including green zucchini and yellow squash, are lower in calories and much lower in natural sugars and starch than grains or even some other root vegetables so they have lower scores on the glycemic index. This is ideal for people who need help normalizing their blood sugar levels, especially those who are diabetic or pre-diabetic.

Zucchini is also a favorite among those following a low-carb diet, even very low-carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet. In fact, because it can be hard to get enough electrolytes, antioxidants and fiber when low-carb dieting, consuming non-starchy veggies (like zucchini, broccoli or leafy greens, for example) is essential in order to feel your best and prevent side effects.

 

  1. Count the Calories

I’m not a big fan of counting calories but consider this

1 Cup of Zoodles 30-40 calories.

1 Cup of Pasta Noodles 210 calories.

And seriously, who can eat just one cup?

 

  1. Vitamins and Minerals

Zoodles have vitamins A, C and B, Potassium, and Fiber.

Pasta Noodles have some protein but not much else.

 

  1. Gluten Free?

Zoodles – YES Sir!

Pasta Noodles – nope, they’re loaded with gluten.

 

One heaping cup of zucchini noodles (the amount you’d make with about one medium zucchini, served raw) has:

  • only 30–40 calories
  • 7 grams carbs (or just 5 grams net carbs, when taking into account fiber)
  • 2 grams protein
  • 2 grams fiber
  • 3 milligrams vitamin C (56 percent DV)
  • 4 milligrams vitamin B6 (21 percent DV)
  • 3 milligrams manganese (17 percent DV)
  • 3 milligrams riboflavin (16 percent DV)
  • 514 milligrams potassium (15 percent DV)
  • 57 milligrams folate (14 percent DV)
  • 4 milligrams vitamin K (11 percent DV)
  • 392 IU vitamin A (7 percent DV)

How to make Zoodles? It’s fairly simple. You can buy a Spiralizer online or at any kitchen store but I use something I already had in my kitchen. It’s a Pampered Chef Julienne Peeler for $11.50.

Pampered Chef Julienne Peeler

You can eat them raw which is my favorite way to eat them with cold toppings or if you’re going to use a warm sauce, put them into a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When they start to get hot, they release water and will cook quickly so only cook them for 2-4 minutes at the most. Cooking them any longer than that and they’ll get soggy…and nobody likes a soggy zoodle.

So, what’s your favorite Zoodle recipe?zucchini noodles

It’s Not Just for Halloween!

I love the taste of pumpkin and always get a bit sad when the ‘season’ is over.

Every Autumn when Starbucks announces that their Pumpkin Spice Lattes are in, I make a mad dash over to my local store to get one. I love Pumpkin Spice Brulee Oolong Tea from Teavanna, Pumpkin flavored gelato (vegan, of course), Pumpkin cookies, Pumpkin pie, and I’m not gonna lie – Pumpkin Pie flavored vodka from Pinnacle; I think they’re the only ones making it right now but I’d sure love for Ketel One to give it a go.

And since I’m a huge advocate of staying away from environmental toxins as much as possible, I don’t like buying synthetic, pumpkin scented candles.  Last year I found this simple recipe for making your own Pumpkin Essential Oil Recipe thank you Christine from Mountain Rose Herbs. I absolutely love using this as it puts me in the Holiday spirit anytime I smell it!

So, now that you know I’m a huge lover of the pumpkin, I thought I’d share a vegan soup recipe I made for dinner this week. It was bursting with flavor and I’ve had leftovers every day for lunch for the past two days – it’s really very good. Even my husband liked it!

Pumpkin Soup

  • 3 C canned pumpkin
    • rich in anti-oxidants like vitamin A, C and E. It also acts as a detoxifier, anti-inflammatory and immune booster.
  • 1 T Ghee
    • rich in vitamins A, D and E and usually can be tolerated by lactose intolerant individuals which is a huge plus.
  • 1 C coconut milk
    • highly nutritious and rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so it can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance.
  • 2 tsp curry powder
    • has a number of valuable health benefits, including (reports of) prevention of cancer, protection against heart disease, reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, eases pain and inflammation, boosts bone health, protects the immune system from bacterial infections,  and increases the liver’s ability to remove toxins from the body. It’s a powerhouse.
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
    • aids in digestion, improves the immune system, helps with insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, (may) shorten the common cold.
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • aids in digestion, releases toxins through the urinary system, reduces muscular spasms, has anti-histamine properties.
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp ground nutmeg
    • has a long list of associated health benefits, including its ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function, detoxify the body, boost skin health, alleviate oral conditions, reduce insomnia, increase immune system function…the list goes on.
  • 2 tsp turmeric
    • boosts digestion, very strong antioxidant, reduces inflammation, helps purify the blood, helps reduce fever (that’s what I’ve read anyway), boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain.
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • helps balance blood sugar levels, extremely warming to help aid digestion, stimulates and strengthens the cardiovascular system, improves circulation, lowers bad cholesterol, acts as a antimicrobial, anti fungal and antibacterial.
  • 1 tsp black pepper
    • improves circulation, detroys mucous in the digestive tract and sinus, relieves bloating, aids in congestion.
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    • helps with upset stomach, aids in digestion, increases circulation, alleviates coughs, breathing difficulties, menstrual cramps and stops hiccups (seriously…I tried it and it works).

Blend everything together in your Vita Mix or food processor and enjoy this healthy, delicious soup for the week! If you try it, I’d love to hear your comments.

 

 

 

Protect yourself!

☀️☀️ I am a SUN LOVER ☀️☀️

Although my days of slathering baby oil on my skin and laying out in the sun are far behind me, I am not one to sit under an umbrella at the beach. I now know that choosing a safe, effective sunscreen is critical to my and my skin’s health. I look for one that protects me from sun burn, doesn’t leave a white residue, isn’t sticky and doesn’t sting my eyes if I sweat.

Here is what we’ve learned about sunscreen so far, IT CAN BE CHOCK FULL OF CHEMICALS.

WHAT TO AVOID:

😡Oxybenzone
When absorbed through the skin can disrupt the hormone system. Let me type that again…when absorbed through the skin can DISRUPT THE HORMONE SYSTEM! Yikes!
😡Nanoparticles
Extremely small molecules— one billionth of a meter and often found in mineral sunscreens. Little is known about their safety, and their size means that they may be easily absorbed and enter the bloodstream.
😡Retinyl palmitate or retinol
These forms of vitamin A may speed the development of skin tumors when applied to sun-exposed skin.

WHAT TO CHOOSE INSTEAD
😀Non-nano mineral sunscreens: Such as those using non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

This is EWG’s 2016 guide to safe sunscreens: http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

One of my favs, which also has an SPF20 is Beautycounter’s Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer, I use it daily 😍😍. I also like Coola’s Matte Tint SPF 30 – and love the way it feels on my skin. Or, if I know I’m going to be out in the sun for any length of time, I use Beautycounter Sunscreen

Have you found any safe, clean sunscreens out there? Comment below and share with all of us please!Hands Sun Worshiper

Are you ADDICTED?

When I was growing up my Dad would offer us special treats along with an outing and as kids, we were always so excited to go along. He would tell us to get our pajamas on, and then drive us to Dairy Queen for ice cream before bed. I couldn’t wait to order the ice cream sundae with hot fudge and nuts – and don’t forget the cherry! Or on very special occasions, he would take us to McDonald’s and tell us we could order whatever we wanted. As a little girl, I would order and eat a Big Mac, French fries and a chocolate shake. These are still very dear memories but Holy Cow, not healthy ones!

DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that sugar is 4x more addictive than cocaine?!? And sugar has the same effect on the brain that opiates does? These are science based facts.

So you might ask yourself why, if we’re an intelligent society, do we still eat as much as we can possibly get our hands on yet wonder why our health is failing? Because SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE and our bodies, no matter how much self-control we’d like to believe we have, crave it.

The truth is, even if you don’t eat candy bars, donuts or drink soda, you’re still eating sugar on a daily basis. Sadly, manufacturers hide sugar in just about everything we eat.

  • Yogurt – a 5oz serving can contain up to 20 grams of sugar
  • Tomato based pasta sauce – 1/3 of an average sized jar can contain over 13 grams of sugar
  • White breads or any bread for that matter – can contain anywhere from 3 – 15 grams of sugar

Why is sugar in foods? I’ll blog about that in another post – it’s fascinating.

In the 1600’s refined sugar cane was considered an extremely potent drug and handled only by apothecaries, the pharmacists of the 1600’s. In France, they referred to sugar as crack – no lie.

And, did you know? In 2000 The World Health Organization created a task force to look at the effects of sugar intake. This study was done over a 5 year period and the results were staggering. When they came out with their findings, the headline across the globe was this:

World Health Organization calls on countries to reduce sugars intake among adults and children

And the study further wrote – “We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” says Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. “Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases.” The guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

Why didn’t we see this article slapped across every news publication in the US? Ah…well, the Sugar Counsel, yes, we have a Sugar Counsel, didn’t want the US reading it! Ugh!

Many addiction experts are exploring ways for us to break our sugar addiction in the name of health. For example, Julia Ross, MA believes that amino acids can and will break sugar addiction in as little as 30 days. I’m going to enlist the help of my middle son (yes, he’s a sugar addict!), run our own test on this theory and will blog the results next month. Btw…I haven’t asked him to be my guinea pig yet but am hoping he’ll be a good sport. He’s the PERFECT candidate!

sugar-skull-man-does-super-super-size-me

But in the meantime, if you feel you’re addicted to sugar, try adding more healthy foods into your diet like root vegetables; carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. These foods have natural sugars but calorie per calorie, are much healthier than downing a Snicker’s Bar or eating a handful of Oreos. After meals, try having a small bowl of berries to curb your sweet tooth. They contain natural sugars and are very satisfying. And if there’s one thing you can do for yourself immediately – stop drinking soda, diet or regular. That stuff will kill you!

Health – it’s more than just diet

 

Healthy relationships have a huge impact on our health and, I find, the stronger the relationships, the better your health becomes.

This past weekend was Easter weekend and my husband and I always try to get the family together. Sometimes this includes not only our immediate family but my sister, her fiancé and her two kids and his two kids. This Easter we decided to just have immediate family and combine 2 birthday celebrations (one in March and one in April) as well as celebrate Easter on Saturday.

I do need to mention we have a large family. I bring to the family 3 grown sons, 2 daughters-in-law, one significant girlfriend, 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. My husband brings to the family 2 grown sons and 1 grown daughter, 1 soon to be daughter-in-law, 1 granddaughter and 1 grandson. We never have less than 15 people for dinner at any given time and we relish it.

I know some people get very anxious when having parties at their homes. The cleaning beforehand, worrying about having enough seating, deciding the menu (one is Vegetarian, 2 are doing the Whole30), grocery shopping, making sure you have everything you need for Easter baskets for the kids, do you have enough wine, etc. But for me, I just LOVE it! I don’t freak out about the menu anymore, I used to but not any longer…in my opinion, if I burn the meal, we order a pizza and still have just as much fun. For me, it’s all about spending time with my big, crazy family. Watching my son’s become amazing Daddies fills my heart with so much joy. Seeing the grandkids play together, seeing that both families get along so well – I get emotional and try to soak up every moment they’re all with us. And trust me, it can get kind of crazy.

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But what I’ve learned over the years is, getting together with family isn’t about the plates you use or if they even match, how clean your house is or the food you’re serving. It’s about spending quality time with everyone, laughing and listening, hugs and kisses, crawling on the floor chasing a ball, blowing bubbles or picking dandelions in the yard. There’s so much to be thankful for.

Family is a huge part of how I define living a healthy lifestyle.

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So when your goal is to live a healthier life, don’t forget that being healthy involves more than just the food on your plate or the exercise you’re getting. Ask yourself, “how are my relationships?”