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Health and Wellness Self-care

Healthy Happy Joints

Are you stiff when you get up in the morning? Do your knees or hips hurt when running or jumping? Do you feel like your 70 when your only in your 30s?

You don’t have to feel that way! Taking care of your joints now is SO important and there are simple things that you can do to help you feel and move better.

Here are 5 things you can start doing today to support healthy joints and movement:

  1. Move your body: The longer you sit, the more your muscles tighten. Staying active throughout the day (get those steps in!) will both help your joints feel better now and in the future.
  2. Strength Training: Did you know that a lot of knee pain comes from an imbalance of muscles strength? Our quads tend to naturally be stronger than our other leg muscles. When our quads (front of our thighs) are stronger than our hamstrings (back of our thighs), it pulls on our knee joints and can cause shooting pain. By strengthening your hamstrings and glutes (butt), you’ll not only feel stronger, but have less pain in your knees! But don’t just strength train your legs! You want to train your entire body. Looking for a great app that can help you do strength training (and overall fitness) at home? Try out the Pretty Muscles app by Erin Oprea. You’ll love it!
  3. Stretching: Just as an imbalance of muscles can cause joint pain, tight muscles can pull at your joints and affect how your move causing pain as well. Take the time to really stretch after a workout, try adding Yoga 1-2x/week, and find times throughout the day to stretch (just make sure you move those muscles some and warm them up before you stretch).
  4. Chiropractor: When your body is out of line, you will feel it in your joints. Find a good chiropractor to help keep your body moving well. Just going once a month for an adjustment will keep you feeling good for a long time…not just now, but as you age as well (take note: if you are dealing with pain now, a chiropractor will start you coming around 2 x/week, then eventually move it down to a maintenance phase as you start feeling better.) Also, find a chiropractor that you love — everyone has different styles and techniques. Don’t be afraid to shop around for a chiropractor that gels with your needs and comfort level.
  5. Supplements: There are a variety of supplements that have been proven to support healthy joints.
    • Collagen: Collagen is important for skin, hair, nails, AND your joints! In fact, it is one of the key building blocks for healthy joints. Never hurts to add some collagen to your supplement routine.
    • Glucosamine: Glucosamine has been proven to rebuild cartilage! Great supplement to add to your diet to keep you moving well.
    • Fish Oil: Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation. Less inflammation means less joint pain.

Interested in what supplements I use and recommend for healthy joints? You can check out this list here.

Here’s hoping that incorporating these ideas will have you feeling free to move your body anyway you choose!

Categories
Faith Self-care

To Be Known

One of the greatest desires of our hearts is to be seen and known. I’ve struggled most of my life with feeling like I’m on the outside looking in or feeling invisible…being the last to the party and not knowing where I fit in.

I started attending a new church a few months ago. I’m thankful for God’s goodness, guidance, and direction, but it was hard and intimidating to leave and go somewhere else. Oh, but what joy is found when we follow where God is calling us to go!

Anyways, I have obviously been meeting and getting to know some new people. I’ve always been a good conversationalist and able to engage with anyone. I’m willing to be the first one to stick my foot in and test the waters of friendship. I’m used to carrying the conversation and asking the questions of others.

However, in getting to know these new people, the tables have been flipped. After meeting people once, they have remembered my name and invited me to hang out. In one on one settings, they have asked me about myself and got me talking. Each time, I’ve apologized for monopolizing the conversation. Each time, I’ve been told that they wanted to hear my story and know me — that we will have plenty of other times to get together and talk…and they continue to invite me to events and engage with me.

I’m not invisible. I’m being seen. I’m being known. And I’m accepted.

It’s a weird feeling. And awesome.

Outside of my amazing husband, with whom I am amazingly known and loved (and my family), this is a new experience for me with strangers and new acquaintances.

I can feel God working in my heart and healing me – addressing the issues that I have stuffed deep and thawing my frozen heart. And maybe someday down the road, I’ll finally learn how to be vulnerable with friends, share my hurts and experiences, and still be known and loved.

I’m wary and nervous, but trusting God as I let myself be seen, known, and loved.

Categories
Health and Wellness Self-care

Give Us Grace

This is my second year of teaching P.E. Last year I taught K-5th grade. This year I have K-8th grade…a range of attitudes and personalities. 😉 This also means that instead of teaching two days a week, I now teach 4 days a week.

Teachers do amazing things. I’ve been learning this as I create lesson plans and manage my classroom. But, I think what gets overlooked, is the amount of grace a teacher shows his/her students. I treat each day as a brand new day. If there is a kid that was difficult one day in class, I let it go and don’t carry it to the next time that I see him/her. Every child gets a clean slate every day.

Can I be honest? It’s hard to constantly be letting things go. I’m able to do it with my classes, but I’m noticing that I’m doing a worse job at home. It’s as if I give out all the “grace passes” that I have at school and am empty by the time I get home.

Now, I exaggerate some, but I have noticed how little hurts or frustrations outside of school stick with me more…they swirl around in my subconscious and I have a hard time letting them go. This ends up with me either irritable or in tears.

So, if you have any teacher family and/or friends, give them a little extra grace when they seem irritated or emotional…we’re busy giving grace all day long.

Categories
Health and Wellness Self-care

My Wish For You

I talk a lot about wellness and taking care of your bodies. This isn’t just a passing phase or hobby…it is truly my heart and what I care about, not just for myself, but for the people around me. I heard someone say recently, “I want die young at an old age.” And that is my wish for you: to live a full life – healthy and thriving – until an old age. I want you to get the most out of life. This requires you to take care of yourself…and not just physically.

True wellness (or total fitness) is physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and environmental. I hope that through my blog, you’ve been able to see some of my journey in each of these areas and have encouraged you in your quest for wellness as well.

So here is my wish for you…

Physically: that you would find ways to move you body that bring you joy; that you would fuel your body with good foods and use quality supplements to fill that gap; that you would give you body the rest it needs to heal and replenish; that you would take care of your body so that you can thrive each day.

Emotionally: that you would be able to process through your feelings — whether with a friend or a professional — and find healing and hope; that you would grow in empathy and kindness.

Mentally: that you would find solutions to your problems and learn to process through all the information thrown at you to determine what is worth listening to and what should be ignored.

Socially: that you would have fulfilling relationships with others; that you would be a good friend; that you would find ways to serve and care for those around you.

Environmentally: that you would choose products that are free are harmful chemicals and toxins; that you would be wary of what you put in and on your body.

Spiritually: that you would run to Jesus and know him as your Lord and Savior; that you would see God working in the good and the bad and know that he loves you, sees you, and cares for you; that you would experience growth in your faith in God and love for others; that you would be filled with a peace and contentment and joy that makes no sense to the rest of the world.

My prayer and my desire for you is to find true and total health. That is what “wellness” means to me.

Categories
Chemical-free Health and Wellness Self-care

My Top 5

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted my favorite things, so here is a list of some things that I am loving right now:

  1. Vuori: I recently heard about this clothing company from an ad on the Smartless Podcast. I’ve always been loyal to Athleta, but Vuori’s prices were comparable and I thought I would try them out. I got a pair of their joggers and they are both incredibly flattering and SO comfortable. I literally rub my hands on them whenever I’m in my closet because they are that soft and amazing. 😂 Looking forward to the weather cooling off (just a little bit — I don’t like the cold) so I can wear them. 😊

2. Smartless: If you are looking for podcast that has great celeb interviews with a lot of laughs, then look no further. Smartless is hosted by Will Arnet, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes – three of the funnier comedians. They interview different celebs each week and it is AWESOME. If you love podcasts, give this one a try (*there is some language, so don’t listen with young children in the car).

3. Withco: I recently learned about Withco Cocktails when I visited a boutique that my friend works at (if you live in the Chicago area, check out Wykewood House in downtown Aurora or Wheaton). It is a mixer made with simple ingredients. You simply add the alcohol (or club soda for a mocktail), shake or stir, and enjoy. Each bottle is $20 gives you around 10 servings. So, you can have a easy quality cocktail at home for way less than a restaurant.

4. Advanced Collagen: USANA just released their Advanced Collagen drink a couple of weeks ago and it is SO delicious! It has collagen, biotin, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C to promote healthy skin aging and strengthen you hair and nails. Contains antioxidants to help you look and feel your best…at any age!

5. Beautycounter Deodorant: I have been using natural deodorants for years. The one I was previously using was good, but I had to apply it more than once per day. I love Beautycounter for their great chemical-free makeup, so when they released their deodorant (the Clean Deo), I knew that I needed to give it a try. I’m so glad that I did! It smells great, goes on easy, and – best of all — it keeps me smelling great ALL day…even through my sweatiest workouts.

Give these products a try and let me know what you think!

Categories
Faith Family Self-care

Just Because

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written. Life has been a little crazy and we have been dealing with some hard things in our family. I’ve spent my moments caring for my husband and children, learning about who we can trust, and running to my Father in heaven who loves me, knows me, and comforts me.

In my quiet times, the song “Just Because” by Judah has touched my heart and reminded me of God’s undeserving love for me and my family.

Below are the words and you can listen to the song here:

“Boldly I come into his arms / with nothing to bring but all of my heart / How could this be? The way He looks in my eyes / All broken and crimson sin, He sees only white.

And I can’t do anything to gain what He’s done / He just loves me, ’cause He loves me, ’cause He loves me, just because He does

Tired and afraid, forgotten what’s paid / so I’ll hide in my shame, like an orphan in chains / I ran from my promise, but it’s never enough / ’cause my walls and my mountains always run out of luck

And I can’t do anything to deserve what He’s done / He just loves me, ’cause He loves me, ’cause He loves me, just because He does

I’m His beloved, I am His friend / His love has no limit from beginning to end / No angel or demon will ever separate / me from His goodness and His wonderful gaze

So let me remind you of all that He’s done / He just loves you, ’cause He loves you, ’cause He love you, just because He does

You are His favorite; You are His friend / No weapon against you ever stands a chance / Not heaven or hell, nor darkness or light / will ever deny you of His wonderful smile

So I won’t be silent; it’s too good to be true / He just loves you, ’cause He loves you, ’cause He love you”

Categories
Goals Health and Wellness Self-care

Super Summer

Most people think of January 1st as the best time to start working on their health goals (new year, etc.), however, the summer is a great time to get healthy!

With the warmer weather and longer days, there are so many more ways to move your body and keep active. And the summer also means a larger selection of yummy fruits and vegetables to snack on to help your reach your nutrition goals.

So, now that summer is in full swing, here are some ways to make the most of it (health-wise):

  • Let your body get up with the sun and go for a nice long walk before it gets too hot outside. It’ll wake you up and get you ready for the day.
  • Stock up on fruits and veggies. Even better…find a Farmer’s Market near you and support their businesses, get the best fruit and veggies, and enjoy the fresh air while you shop!
  • Got a sweet craving? Buy a watermelon and have it sliced up and in your fridge to grab whenever you have a craving. (Tip: I cut my watermelon in half and cube one side, then put saran wrap on the other half. After I eat the cubes, then I cut up the other half. I find that none of the watermelon goes bad that way.) Another great grab and go option are grapes.
  • Drink your water!!! Remember, you are to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. If you are sweating a lot, then drink more!
  • Working out in the yard and sweating a lot? USANA just released a watermelon electrolyte replacement drink that is great after a long workout or on a hot day (and doesn’t have all the chemicals that is in Gatorade, etc.). You can find it here: https://danan.usana.com/s/VdbJR1

Summer is the best time to get healthy inside and out! Need more suggestions and/or accountability? Send me message and I would love to help you reach those goals!

Here’s to a healthy, safe, and fun super summer!

Categories
Health and Wellness Self-care Stress Relief

A Time to Rest

Workout. Take kids to school. Shower. Chiropractor. Target. Laundry. Email. Social media connections. Work stuff.

Sound familiar?

I took a break from working on my computer today to go water my flowers and realized that it is absolutely GORGEOUS outside…and I was missing it! This was my chance to rest, read a book, and enjoy the quiet, but I was too busy focused on what needed to be done.

It’s so easy to get caught up on all the things we have to do, that we forget to take the time to stop and enjoy the moment.

So, yes, this is a short blog post. Why? Because I’m going to go enjoy the beautiful weather and take some time for myself.

Finding rest is just as important as checking things off your to-do list.

How can you incorporate rest into your day?

Categories
Family Self-care

Great Expectations

We’ve all been there — felt the weight of disappointment from unmet expectations…whether our feelings or those put upon us.

As a recovering perfectionist, this is a struggle for me. I struggled for years with trying to be perfect (and I see this in my daughter now), but with counseling and wise words from others, I have come a long way from the girl I was growing up and in college. I remind myself often that the world isn’t perfect this side of heaven and only Jesus was perfect here on earth. I’m learning to show myself grace.

I have also felt the weight of letting others down. Even though I have gotten better at trying to be perfect, there are still times where I see others get frustrated because I didn’t meet their expectations — whether it be that their expectations are unreachable…or that they just expect me to do better than they would have done.

Recently, I realized how many large expectations I put on others. If people don’t respond or behave the way I would do it, then it must be wrong, right? 😜

I shared in a previous post about how I struggle with friendships and being vulnerable. I feel like I’m always reaching out to people to connect (and feeling bad when it’s been awhile), yet people rarely reach out to me. This past year, I spent less time with some friends, so I mentally moved them closer to the acquaintance side.

In a conversation with one of these friends the other day, I realized how much I still cared for her and valued her. She was more than just an acquaintance, she was my friend, but I had put expectations on that friendship. I realized that what was holding back our friendship was unmet expectations and nothing else.

I am a constant work in progress when it comes to perfectionism and great expectations…both with others and myself. I still struggle with seeing my flaws, but now I have strategies to help change my mindset and focus on the positive and/or see where I can learn or grow.

How about you? Do you put high expectations on others, only to end up disappointed and frustrated? Are you searching for perfectionism in others? How can you show more grace to yourself and those around you?

Categories
Chemical-free Health and Wellness Self-care Stress Relief

Aging Gracefully

I remember other women talking about how things change once you turn 40 years old. As someone passionate about health and fitness, I falsely assumed that nothing would change when I turned 40. I mean, for women, our metabolism starts to decrease around age 25 (for men, it’s age 30), but you can push that back with diet and exercise…which I successfully have. So, I assumed it would be the same with my hormones.

I was in for a rude awakening. When I turned 40, it was like a timer went off in my body that told it to go crazy. My mood swings took a dark turn, my headaches increased, and the bloating was insane. I knew that I needed to find a natural solution to managing my hormones. Here are some different options where I have found success:

Add magnesium to your diet. When I first mentioned the crazy hormones to my OB-GYN, she knew that I prefer the natural route, so recommended that I increase my magnesium. I started eating more foods with magnesium (raw cacao, almonds, etc.) and taking this supplement.

Try seed cycling. After I turned 40, I realized that I should probably get a physical (it had been 10+ years since my last one). I wanted a more holistic doctor…so I saw the nurse practitioner at my children’s doctor’s office (the practice is a more holistic/homeopathic). I explained my hormone woes and she mentioned seed cycling. So, what is seed-cycling?

Seed cycling has you eating 1-2 tablespoons of Pumpkin seeds and Flax seeds daily for the first 14 days of your cycle (day 1 = first day of period) and then switching to Sunflower seeds and Sesame seeds for the last 14 days.

Pumpkin seeds and Flax seeds help balance estrogen during the follicular phase when estrogen levels are high. They are a good source of fiber, zinc, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids (reduces inflammation). The fiber aids in digestion and helps to remove excess estrogen from the body.

Sunflower seeds and Sesame seed are taken during the luteal phase as progesterone levels start to rise. Sesame seeds help avoid PMS symptoms by binding excess estrogen and sunflower seeds have selenium that supports liver and hormone function.

You can add the seeds to smoothies, put in oatmeal, layer on avocado toast, or create these energy balls.

Add ashwagandha to help with stress relief. In the fall of 2020, USANA introduced their mood and relaxation line which included Stress Relief. It’s made with ashwagandha – known to help ease anxiety and support a healthy mood.

Try Moon Balance by Your Super. I loved doing seed-cycling and saw amazing results, however, I was getting tired of creating the energy balls and remembering to take them all with me when I traveled. In October 2020, I came across an add for Moon Balance by Your Super to balance my hormones naturally and decided to give it a try…wow! It works great! It comes in powdered form and is a blend of baobab, maca, hibiscus, amla, beetroot, and shatavari. You can mix it with water (warning: it tastes disgusting) or blend it in a smoothie. I put it in my smoothie every day and never miss taking it!

If you are nearing 40 (or past it) try incorporating one or more of these products into your life…and give it about 3 months to see the effects. It’s easy, it’s natural, and it’ll be sure to help you age gracefully.