Resolutions – How Are You Doing?

2018 Goals

It’s February, which means 80% of New Year’s resolutions have failed. How are you doing?

Taking some proactive tips to isolate your resolutions can help you get back on track.

Write it down

You are 43% more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down.

Examples:

  • Vision Board
  • Write it in your planner
  • Write it on a sticky note and place it on your bathroom mirror or computer screen (some place that you’ll see every day)

Break it down

When you break down your goal into smaller steps you create an action plan.

Want to lose weight?

  • Week 1 – Remove 1 calorie filled drink per day
  • Week 2 – Add 1 30 minute workout
  • Week 3 – Add 1 vegetable to each meal
  • Week 4 – Sleep at least 7 hours each night

Want to get out of debt?

  • Week 1 – Bring your lunch (instead of buying)
  • Week 2 – Stick to a shopping list
  • Week 3 – Review your expenses to determine where you can eliminate or cut back services
  • Week 4 – Make a budget

Share it

Sharing your goal with someone creates accountability and helps you commit to it. Share it on social media or find an accountability partner where you are each working towards a goal and you can brainstorm action plans together.

Visualize it

Set your intention for the day and visualize success on daily tasks. Your vision boards and sticky notes can be very helpful in keeping your goals front of mind. Affirmations are another powerful tool to use. I like the My Affirmation App (Android link). It comes pre-filled with affirmations or you can add your own. Combine that with their beautiful images, and you are sure to be inspired.

Check in

Set periodic reassessments to check-in and reevaluate your goals and progress. It’s ok to change or modify your goal. You may even be in the situation where you’ve knocked your goal out of the water and need to determine what’s next. Take time to evaluation, brainstorm, and move forward.

Continue Reading

Winter Workout Tips for Cold Weather

Snow

It is officially winter now in St Louis, where temperatures are dropping below zero on a regular basis. This cold weather, along with the holidays, has definitely put a damper on my exercise. Here are three of my favorite tips for staying active during winter:

Dress for the Weather

I’ve always heard to dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer. So if it is 40 degrees outside, what would you be comfortable wearing in 60 degrees? For some people that may mean a light weight glove, others something heavier. It takes a little trial and error, but tracking the weather and what you wear can be helpful in the future.

For me, weather in the 40s calls for a lightweight glove, ear warmer, tights, and at least a long-sleeve tee, if not fleece. As we get colder, I have heavy weight gloves and fleece lined tights. And I just purchased a neck warmer that can be stretched up over the mouth and nose.

Find Indoor Options

  1. Indoor fitness classes – If you belong to the Y or a gym, many of their classes are included with membership. I have my favorite classes (tabata!!), but I’ve been experimenting with other options offered at my workplace gym (zumba, strength, yoga).
  2. Online workouts – Search Youtube for workout videos, and you’ll find thousands of options. There are also dedicated websites to yoga and other forms of exercise. I’ve tried DoYogaWithMe.com who offers hundreds of streaming videos free of charge. You can filter by difficulty, length of video, style and teacher. There are even yoga videos specifically for runners!
  3. Cardio machines – As much as I hate the treadmill, when the temperature drops low enough or there is ice on the ground, circumstances dictate staying indoors. I’ve recently started listening to audiobooks on my phone, so hopefully this will help pass the time away this year. Previously, I’d try listening to music or watching tv while working out on the treadmill. And of course the treadmill is not your only cardio machine to try, there is also the elliptical, bikes, and rowers.

Slow Down

It takes time for your body to adjust to new workout conditions. Slow your pace or take more frequent walk or rest breaks. And don’t forget to drink water. Your body still sweats when the weather is cold.

What additional tips do you have for staying committed to exercise during the cold winter months?

Winter Workout Tips

 

Continue Reading

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend

I finished!

It has taken me a while to get this post completed, but I felt I had so much to say!, The first weekend of December, I participated in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend with my good friend Sherry. This was by far one of the most inspirational weekends that I have ever had. Between touring St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, hearing from the families of current and  former patients, and the actual race itself, I have never been more in awe of the work done at St. Jude and what more I can do.

Thursday – Travel

Sherry and I drove to West Memphis, Arkansas from St Louis after work on Thursday. It’s just about a 4 hour drive for us straight down I-55. We stayed at the Knights Inn in West Memphis, a cute Marine-owned facility. A hot breakfast was provided along with all sorts of personal care items in the room, including a pair of slippers. The whole place was decorated in American flag decor. While not the most modern, it was very clean and the staff very personable.

Friday AM – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

We started the day with a tour of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We met other participants in the marathon weekend at the convention center for a bus ride over to the hospital complex. We had to go through security and I noticed that all cars had to go through security just to enter the complex.

We were dropped off in front of the Main Entrance to the hospital, with the statue of St. Jude greeting us. Directly across from the main entrance was the Danny Thomas ALSAC Pavilion. We had a brief introduction in the pavilion and met our tour guide. We learned that ALSAC (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities) was also formed by Danny Thomas and is the fundraising and awareness organization for the hospital. Its sole mission is to raise the funds and awareness necessary to operate and maintain St. Jude. Danny Thomas was an entertainer, who when struggling in the industry, prayed to St. Jude for guidance, saying he would build a shrine to him. His shrine became what we know as St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

While at the hospital, we were able to see registration, the cafeteria, the research wing, the Teen Art Gallery, and various clinical areas. For privacy concerns, we were not allowed to take any pictures with or of patients, but we were allowed to take pictures of their beautiful art, made during art therapy.

After our hospital tour, we grabbed some lunch in downtown Memphis at a cute coffee shop / bar called Tamp & Tap. With soups, salads, sandwiches and all day breakfast, you can complete your meal with coffee or a local draft.

Friday PM – Juice Plus+Global Headquarters

Next, we headed to the Juice Plus+ Global Headquarters for another tour. Their offices are located in Collierville, just outside of Memphis. We were joined by other representatives of the Juice Plus+ company who were also participating in the marathon weekend. We were given a tour of the various offices within the building, including getting to see where our founder Jay Martin sits.

Outside of the Juice Plus+ building, there is a beautiful park-like setting with a pond and walking path for employees. Overlooking the grounds is a statue of two figures in conversation. It represents the relationships that we all have and how it takes relationships to build our business. It’s all about heart.

Sculpture at Juice Plus+ Global Headquarters

Friday PM – Race Expo

After our tour of Juice Plus+, it was finally time for us to hit the Race Expo. You began the expo by picking up your race bib. As a St. Jude Hero, I was able to go to a special VIP line, where in addition to my bib, I also received a St. Jude running hat and a wristband that would get me special perks throughout the expo and on race day. To become a St. Jude Hero, you have to commit to fundraise and raise at least $500. Raising more than $1,000 gives you even greater perks, such as a race jacket and hotel stay during the weekend. You also receive a special training t-shirt and race singlet while training, and incentives for meeting certain fundraising goals throughout the process. This was my second year as a St. Jude Hero and I’m already ready to sign up for next year.

After getting your bib, you head through the Race Store. There are St. Jude logo’d shirts, hats, gloves, mugs, you name it. So many great items! And as a Hero, you also get some credit to shop in the store. Next stop was race shirts. You get a great long-sleeve wicking shirt for registering for the race and it’s specific to the race that you entered (marathon, half marathon, etc.). Another Hero perk is getting your name on the Pace Cars and I was able to find my name this year!

St. Jude Marathon Pace Car

As the title sponsor of the race, Juice Plus+ had a big display with volunteers sharing about whole food nutrition. And as a Hero, our wristbands got us a St. Jude branded shaker bottle and Juice Plus+ Complete individual packets. It was then on to the rest of the Expo vendors. There were hundreds of different vendors, some promoting other races, some selling running paraphernalia (shoes, clothes, gels, jewelry), and others promoting different food items (chocolate milk anyone?).

Friday PM – Juice Plus+ Reception

When registering for the race, I signed up on Team Juice Plus+, since I am a Juice Plus+ distributor. They invited us to a reception at an event hall just down the street from the convention center. With an open bar and heavy appetizers, it was quite the reception. Our founder, Jay Martin even showed up and addressed all the runners. They also recognized those runners who had raised over $2,000 with a special gift.

Friday PM – Pasta Party

Another perk of being a St. Jude Hero is a free ticket to the Pasta Party. Think of it as dining with thousands of your closest friends. Buffet tables were set up a green salad and a few types of pasta with marinara, meat sauce, and pesto. They even had a gluten free option. We sat down at a table in the back with a few open seats. Little did we know that there was a whole program scheduled for the party. Richard C. Shadyac Jr. , CEO of ALSAC, spoke to the audience, along with the father of patient. They also recognized the top fundraising individuals and teams. It was inspiring to hear the stories of current and former patients who are leading the fundraising efforts for the weekend. Up next – Rest for the Big Day!

St. Jude Pasta Party

Saturday AM – Race Time

The Big Day! The half marathon started at 8am, and they recommended that we be in our race corrals at 7:30am. After learning from last year, we walked one block parallel to the race start line and corrals to avoid the congestion. As a slow runner, my recommended corral was Corral 14. While walking to the corral, we were able to watch the first runners from the 10k race that started earlier. Sherry was participating in the 5k, which started after the marathon and half marathon.

And we were off! The race started at the corner of 2nd and Monroe in downtown Memphis. We started out heading north, but quickly turned around and entered Beale Street around Mile 1. We continued in a southern fashion until Mile 3, when we hit the waterfront. We stayed directly on Riverside Drive for 1 mile, but continuing north until Mile 5. From here, we turned east and made our way onto the campus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. With the weather being warmer than usual, we were greeted by so many patients and families and you were reminded why you were there. We continued heading east until Mile 9 before turning around and back to AutoZone Park for the finish.

Entering AutoZone Park, the streets are line with spectators cheering you on. The actual finish line was just inside the park, entering from right field. The grassed out field was full of runners stretching and taking pictures and just taking in the moment. Once you were ready to move on, you proceeded off of the field and walked along the left field corridor to the outfield deck, where pizza, beer, donuts, chocolate milk, sports drink, and soup were waiting for us. We were also given access to the Juice Plus+ box in the stadium, where they had even more food for us.

I finished!

Takeaways

I left this weekend so inspired! Between the hospital tour and Pasta Party, I was ready to donate everything that I had to St. Jude. I have already committed to myself to sign up as a St. Jude Hero at the Gold Level next year, raising at least $1,500!

Want to participate? Registration for St. Jude Heroes begins in May and open registration in June.

Want to donate? Donations for the 2017 Marathon Weekend will be accepted through the end of the year – http://heroes.stjude.org/rachelflavin

Continue Reading

3 Steps to a Healthy Thanksgiving

 

Thanksgiving is less than a week away! And while it is traditionally a holiday full of sweet treats, fat filled sides, and lots of calories, with some advanced preparation and knowledge, you can make it a healthy holiday. Follow these 3 steps to a healthy Thanksgiving:

Volunteer to Bring a Healthy Side

If you are worried that there won’t be any healthy sides at Thanksgiving dinner, bring your own. Your host will likely be thankful that you offered to bring something and you can control the ingredients and calories contained. Some of my favorites are sweet potatoes, green beans and mushrooms. Green beans and mushrooms can be simply sauteed with olive oil and garlic and taste delicious. Here are some recipes that I will be trying this year from Cooking Light:

Healthy Food Swaps

  • Swap skinless turkey breast for dark meat with skin and save up to 50 calories per 3 ounces
  • And if you have the choice between turkey and ham – go turkey!
  • Traditional pumpkin pie is the big winner over pecan pie (save up to 540 calories, 27 grams of sugar & 16 grams of fat per slice). Pumpkin pie also trumps apple pie.
  • Sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes
  • Skip the dinner roll and go for vegetables (celery, carrots, peppers, and broccoli) and hummus

Pick 1 Indulgence

If you love your mother’s pies, pick 1 pie, cut a small piece, and indulge. Choose healthier options for the rest of your meal and you’ll feel satisfied when you finally get that one indulgence.

 

What tips do you have to have a healthy Thanksgiving?

3 Steps to a Healthy Thanksgiving

Continue Reading

Shred10 – 5 Steps to Prep

Shred10 Prep Cover

Are you preparing to participate in a Shred10?  Or wondering how you could survive 10 days without dairy, gluten, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine? Preparation is key! It’s very easy to fall back into unhealthy habits, but with a little advance work, you can do it!

Shred10 Background – What Is It?

Meal Plan

Meal planning is key! When you schedule your meals in advance, you can grocery shop for several meals at a time, and be prepared when dinnertime has come. I like to meal plan early in the day on Sunday while looking at the calendar for the week, then head to the grocery store later in the day. It’s important to look at your calendar when meal planning so you know when a quick meal is needed. For my family, we have one day where we go straight from work to soccer practice, then it’s nearly bed time for our little one. I can’t be planning a meal that requires an hour prep that day. That would be a perfect example for when a crock pot meal is needed.

See my full post on how I meal plan here – Meal Planning

Advance Prep

Prepare veggie strips (like carrots, celery, bell peppers) that you can keep in the fridge to snack on during the day. When you have a healthy snack ready, it is much easier to avoid the chips or candy so readily available. You can also roast veggies ahead of time to reheat for meals or snacking. Great veggies to roast include sweet potatoes, broccoli, squash, and brussel sprouts.

Going to the grocery store before Shred10 starts is also good advance prep. If you haven’t bought good food, you can’t eat good food. Planning and buying in advance prevents you from going through the drive-through, as you know you have something good to eat at home and you don’t want to waste the food that you have already paid for.

Mindset

Mindset is key in so many areas of life, but is essential in believing that you can accomplish your goals, including completing a Shred10. I love affirmations and here are a few that will work well as you prepare and complete your Shred10:

  • I always succeed.
  • I love and respect myself.
  • This is the greatest day of my life.
  • I am very positive at all times.
  • Everything I do turns out exquisitely better than I could have ever planned.

I use an app called My Affirmations that would periodically provide a notification with one of my affirmations. You can also write down your affirmations on index cards and pull them out throughout the day to read.

Get Your Kids Involved

The great thing about Shred10 is that it is safe for children too! Have your kids pick out their favorite fruits & veggies at the grocery store for lunch and snacks. My son loves coming up with new combinations to blend with his Complete shake, from blueberries and peaches to peanut butter and kale.

You can also let your kids help prepare meals. Give them age appropriate tasks like stirring and cutting. My son  also loves forming meat balls and anything that involves his hands. When kids help pick out their food and help prepare it, they take so much pride in the food and can’t wait to try it.

Clear the Cupboards

As we just wrapped up Halloween, there is so much candy on our counters and throughout the house. Before Monday, I will be gathering all the candy and hiding it in a low, minimally used cabinet so I won’t be tempted.  Out of sight, out of mind. If you think you’ll still be tempted, you can go ahead and throw it all away or donate it to the many organizations who collect for military overseas.

Now is also a good time to clear your cupboards of other non-Shred10 approved items – sugar filled, processed, and gluten. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it.

Shred10 Infographic

What other things do you do to prepare?

Continue Reading

The Great GO! St Louis Halloween Race – 2017 – Race Review

The Great GO! St Louis Halloween Race shirtThis past weekend I ran the half marathon in The Great GO! St Louis Halloween Race. This was my 4th half marathon of 2017 and 16th of all time. The Great GO! St Louis Halloween Race consisted of 4 different events – the half marathon, 10K, 5K and 1-mile fun run. Costumes are encouraged, with awards given to the top adult and child costumes and groups. This is a small race, with a cap of 5,000 participants, but only 795 runners completed the half marathon. A couple of factors likely let to this number. First, there are 3 major half marathons within the St Louis area within the month of October – Mo’ Cowbell, Rock ‘n Roll, then GO! Halloween. I was also supposed to run Mo’ Cowbell the first weekend of the month, but got sick the day before. The second contributing factor to the low turnout was the threat of rain. Meteorologists predicted that we would have storms all morning, including lightening, but we ended up with a downpour just before starting, then a light mist for a couple of miles before clear skies.

Packet Pick-Up

Packet Pick-Up occurred at the GO! St Louis offices in Clayton. I arrived in the last hour of pick-up on Saturday, having just driven back to St Louis from Juice Plus+ Live in Indianapolis. There were no lines and I was able to pick up my bib, shirt, and swag quickly. I had signed up for the Bridges & Broomsticks Challenge last October, which required me to run both the GO! St Louis half marathon in April and the GO! Halloween. At packet pick-up, I was able to pick-up my extra hooded sweatshirt for the challenge.

I do love the GO! St Louis challenges! You get an extra shirt and medal, and usually save a little on registration fees. Last year, I completed the Triple 5K Challenge. Having just had a baby in February 2016, I thought starting back with 5ks would be a good idea. The three 5ks were the GO! St Louis in April, All American in June, and GO! Halloween in October. Other Challenges include the GO! Short GO! Long which includes the 5k and either half or full marathon in April on back to back days and the 17K Challenge. The 17K Challenge includes a 7K at the GO! St Louis event in April and the GO! Halloween 10K.

Race Morning

To start the morning off, my alarm did not go off!! Every runner’s worst nightmare! The half marathon started at 7:30, but with the 5k starting at 7, I wanted to be downtown by 6:30. Well…I woke up at 6:00! I had partially laid out my clothes, but not my water belt or anything else that I would need. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off, my husband was warning me not to wake the kids. I was able to get out the door and downtown by 6:45. Luckily for the rain and low attendance, I was able to find parking in my normal spot and meet my friends at the Big River Running tent. A group of us had spent the season training together with Big River and started out the race together. The 10K runners split off about mile 4.5 and then there were just 4 of us together for the half marathon.

Mile 5 was tough for me. I haven’t been training as much as I should, and while I know that I can run a half marathon, my legs like to get very heavy. I fell back from my friends, but continued with my 30:30 intervals. At Mile 8, I had a resurgence and passed two of my friends, but it was short lived and my legs felt heavy again by Mile 10. Under good training conditions, I typically start extending my runs at the 10 Mile mark, but held out until closer to Mile 11. I also start finding people that I can pick off, especially if they look like they could be in the same age group as me. And although I’ll never win my age group, it’s just a sense of pride when I can pick those runners off in the last couple of miles. My last 2 miles ended up being over a minute faster than any of my other miles. So finished strong!

My friends that had completed the 10K were all near the finish line and tempting me with doughnuts. Going through the finish line, they handed me my medal for this event, along with water, chocolate, a pretzel bun, banana, and fruit cup. I had to go to another tent to collect my Challenge medal. I eventually reconnected with all of my friends where we enjoyed the doughnut holes and took photos of each other with our medals.

Post race - GO! St Louis half marathon

Conclusion

GO! St Louis events are always very well run, with good signage on the course and plenty of volunteers. They also provide a nice variety of finish food, with a little something for everyone.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Equinox Half Marathon – 2017 St Louis – Race Review

Equinox Half Marathon t-shirt

Billed as the only nighttime half marathon in St Louis, the Equinox Half Marathon was a must run for me. The race took place on September 16, just one day after former police office Jason Stockley was acquitted of murder. That decision has sparked several days of protesting, with destruction of property and violence occurring after dark. While the decision was announced in downtown St Louis, the protesting occurred all over the city. However, the race organizers had worked with the Maryland Heights police and fire departments to ensure adequate race coverage. As I live in south St Louis city, my husband was very hesitant of me running.  Not so much worried about the race itself, but about me getting home. The judge in the decision lives in our neighborhood and protests were expected there the night of the race. Fortunately, protesters stayed away from both the race area and my neighborhood.

Check-In

The race originated from Westport Plaza, a unique multi-use area including hotels, restaurants, bars, theatres, and corporate offices. Check-in was to occur at a new entertainment spot called Westport Social. Not being familiar with Westport Social’s location within the plaza, I parked in the large open parking lot in front of the plaza. I saw others were parking there too and there was a truck selling various athletic apparel. Following the line of people took me to the back of the plaza. Check-in was set up outside of Westport Social within their outside seating area. The line was minimal and check-in consisted of several tables. The first stop was to obtain my bib. The half marathon and 5k had the same bib, no differentiation in wording or coloring.

The next stop was swag! Swag consisted of a hat, socks, pint glass and a bag full of coupons, including a free margarita at Fuzzy Taco and a free beer at Trainwreck Saloon with your pint glass and bib.

Equinox Half Marathon Race Swag

Course

The course consisted of two 6 mile loops in the Maryland Heights area. Beginning right in front of the plaza, we proceeded to run through the plaza and run along the back side, including the new World Wide Technology facility. We wrapped our way around Westport Plaza before heading east, running by O’Fallon Brewery’s new location. It had been many years since I was last at Westport Plaza and there were so many new buildings and companies and restaurants that had moved out there. Around Mile 1, we entered Edward Jones Blvd. From I-270, you can see 2 large Edward Jones buildings, but I didn’t realize how large their campus was off Dorsett. They have numerous single story buildings spotting the whole area.

Overall, the course was very well marked, with plenty of volunteers, police and firemen along the course to keep traffic away and tell you where to go. The only place that I got confused was heading back into Westport Plaza after my first loop. I could see people running towards me and I was far enough behind the person in front of me that I couldn’t see where they had turned. There was a volunteer at the intersection with a sign with arrows pointing which way to go, but they made no sense to me so I just yelled out to him as I approached.

It always amazes me how I never notice how hilly a road is while I’m driving. I would have never thought this section of St Louis would have been hilly, but I was wrong. There were long stretches of up-hill climbs. Which I love hills, so this was my opportunity to leave and pass people along the back end of the route. I tend to run negative splits during races, which just means that I tend to speed up as the race progresses. I follow the Galloway run-walk method, using 30 second run / walk intervals, but usually when I hit about the 10 mile mark during a half marathon, I start stretching out my run portions. But, no matter how long I run, I only walk for 30 seconds, which has been shown to be the most efficient recovery time.

Finish

Upon finishing, I was handed a medal. And it actually glowed in the dark! Very cool! Many of my friends from Big River Training Team were volunteering at the finish line handing out water and bananas. I stayed around with them until some of the last runners came in. It turned out to be a beautiful night after the sun went down and was able to cool off a little.

Equinox Half Marathon finish

Continue Reading

Charity Miles – Earn money for charity while you work out

Charity Miles is an organization that gives people the opportunity to direct corporate contributions to charities of their choice… simply by walking, running and biking! It adds extra motivation to know that as you are moving you are doing good!

Charity Miles tracks your distance, and large companies make contributions to the charity you selected.

Here’s how to join in on the fun:

  1. Download the Charity Miles app onto your smartphone. Available on both Apple & Android at charitymiles.org.
  2. Create a free account.
  3. Choose which charity you would like to support. You may change selections each time you log in.
  4. Select “Teams” and join the “Fueling Healthy Families” team!
  5. Start walking, running or biking!

One cool feature of the app I love is the availability to add a picture and share to social media what charity you are supporting. You also get to see what corporate partner is donating on your behalf.

Charity Miles Social Share

Some of the current charities:

Partnership for a Healthier America
– End childhood obesity

Stand Up To Cancer
– Fund cancer research

ASPCA
– Protect Animals

Alzheimer’s Association
– Support Alzheimer’s research

USO
– Support our service members

Team Red, White & Blue
– Enrich the lives of American veterans

Feeding America
– Fight hunger in America

ALS Association
– Fighting to treat and cure ALS

Save the Children
– Invest in children worldwide

Operation Smile
– Provide life-changing surgeries to children

Habitat for Humanity
– Provide housing to people worldwide

Girl Up
– Empower girls worldwide

(RED)
– Create the first AIDS-free generation

Sight For Kids
– Free eye exams and glasses for children

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
– Move towards a world free of MS

Wounded Warrior Project
– Honor and empower wounded warriors

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
– Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
– Cure and treat childhood cancer

American Diabetes Association
– Fight Diabetes

Charity: Water
– Provide clean and safe drinking water

National Park Foundation
– Protect our National parks

Shot@Life
– Provide vaccines to children worldwide

The Michael J. Fox Foundation
– Cure Parkinson’s Disease

Autism Speaks
– Support Autism research

Every Mother Counts
– Make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother

World Wildlife Fund
– Protect nature and wildlife

Girls On The Run
– Empowering girls through running

DoSomething.org
– Empower young people

The Nature Conservatory
– Protect nature and preserve life

The World Food Programme
– Fight hunger worldwide

Pencils of Promise
– Build schools worldwide

Special Olympics
– Empower athletes with intellectual disabilities

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
– Cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Team For Kids
– Get kids active

She’s the First
– Educate girls in low-income countries

Soles4Souls
– Provide shoes to fight poverty worldwide

Nothing But Nets
– Provide anti-malaria bednets

Back On My Feet
– Empower people experiencing homelessness

Achilles International
– Empower athletes with disabilities

The Ironman Foundation
– Get kids active

Vision Spring
– Provide eyeglasses to people worldwide

Foundation of the NSNA
– Support our future nurses

 

Which charity would you choose?

Continue Reading

Healthy Nutrition On-the-Go – What’s in Your Bag? Healthy Snack Ideas

With so many demands on your time, it can be tough to keep up healthy habits on a daily basis.

That’s why it’s so important to pack healthy snacks in your car or handbag. You should look for items with protein and fiber and limited or no sugar.

Some of my favorites are:

Almonds

1/4 cup of almonds provides approximately 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Look for raw, unsalted almonds to avoid empty calories.

almonds

Dried Fruit

Although dried fruit can be calorie dense with high amounts of sugar, it’s a much better option than a candy bar from the vending machine. Dried fruit contains high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. My favorites include peaches, apricots and apples.

Blender Bottle and Single-Serving Juice Plus+ Complete Shake Mix

Now you’ve added 13 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber to your daily diet, while enjoying the delicious, creamy taste of French Vanilla or Dutch Chocolate. While the shakes taste great with almond milk, they can also be mixed with water, making it a great option for throwing in your bag. Just pack a bottle of water or find a water fountain when you’re out and about.

Juice Plus+ Complete Nutrition Bars

Nothing is more convenient than a Juice Plus+ Complete nutrition bar if you need a quick snack. Available in two delicious flavors – Dark Chocolate + Fig and Tart Cherry + Honey – they’re packed with protein and fiber. They are low-glycemic (meaning they won’t cause your blood sugar to shoot up), gluten-free, non-dairy, and vegeterian.

Juice Plus+ Complete Bars

 

What is your favorite snack for on-the-go eating?

Continue Reading

Meal Planning – Happy Planner & Washi Tape Style

Happy Planner with Washi Tape meal planning

I’ve tried several different styles of meal planning in the past, but most weren’t flexible enough for me. Events come up on the calendar, meetings run late, or I’m just too tired to cook anything. When I purchased my Happy Planner last December, I had no plans to use it as a meal planner. I just thought of it as a calendar, but what better place to meal plan than your calendar. You can see what events are scheduled that include dinner outside of the home or when you’ll need something quick.  So here’s my setup.

Happy Planner with Washi Tape meal planning

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my family uses Blue Apron and Sun Basket for most of our meal preparation. With Blue Apron, you can schedule meals 4 weeks in advance and 3 weeks in advance with Sun Basket. I use a solid colored washi tape to write the meals that I’ve selected. Although there are so many cute designed washi tapes, solid is much easier to read when written on. I’d also recommend a lighter color. I use mainly yellow and pink. First, I cut the washi tape to fit the width of a day in my Happy Planner. I then write the meals I’ve selected on each piece of tape. Next, I’ll stick the tape where I “plan” to prepare each meal. But this time, when new events get added to the calendar or I decide “I’m not in the mood” for whatever I planned, I can easily remove the meal and move it to another day.

grocery cart stickers

I also use these cute grocery cart stickers to mark the days that my Blue Apron and Sun Basket boxes will arrive. As I don’t regularly get each box every week, it’s a nice reminder to know when I need to check our front porch and get those items into the fridge.

Happy Planner with washi tape & grocery stickers

How do you meal plan for your family?

Continue Reading