Follow all of your favorite blogs in one place with Bloglovin’. Lots of bloggers turned to it after the demise of Google Reader. When you create an account there, you can follow any blogger on any platform, whether or not they’re also signed up. Then, you can log in and see the latest posts from all the blogs you follow in one spot. There’s also an app, so you can catch up with your reading on the go.
Bloglovin’ also lets you explore other blogs you might be interested in. You can browse and follow blogs by topic…
This past weekend I ran the half marathon at Race 13.1 St Louis. This is the 2nd year that this national race has been held in St Louis. Starting from Missouri Research Park in St Charles, this was the 1st race that I have ran in this area of St Louis. The course covered portions of the Katy Trail, Busch Greenway, and Hamburg Trail.
To start the day, my alarm went off at 4:30am. I live about 40 minutes away from the race site and still needed to check in between 5:15-6:15am. With a high temperature of 69 degrees predicted for the day, I chose to wear a tank top and running shorts. Driving into the Reseach Park, there was plenty of close parking available. The race had a cap of 2,000 half marathon participants and 1,000 5k participants, but only 872 participants registered and only 753 finished. With these small numbers, I had no wait to pick up my bib and race t-shirt and then use a porta-potty. At packet pick up, I received a pre-printed race bib personalized with my first name and a race t-shirt. They also directed me to tables with safety pins, rubber bracelets, and temporary tattoos.
The half marathon started at 7:00am, with the 5k to start at 7:15am. Pace groups were available for the following half marathon times: 1:45 | 2:00 | 2:15 | 2:30 | 2:45 | 3:00. This made it easy to line up in an appropriate spot. But again, with the small race numbers, there was no starting corral congestion as so many big races have.
The course started in the Research Park with paved roads for the first 1.5 miles. We then entered the Katy Trail, with crushed limestone and beautiful views of the Missouri River. We stayed on the Katy Trail through mile 6. Hydration stations were located about every 2 miles, but the first station at mile 2 had ran out of cups by the time I got there, but had gallons of water that you could use. All other stations had both water and Gatorade.
We left the Katy Trail for the Hamburg Trail through mile 10, also on crushed limestone. The overall race was pretty flat, except for mile 8, which had a steep incline. At mile 10, we entered Busch Greenway, a paved trail that ran near Highway 94, back to the Research Park. Up to mile 10, the trail had been pretty well covered by tree coverage, but opened up at mile 10 for a warm final 5k.
The race organizers had warned runners of muddy areas on the Katy Trail after the recent floodings, but the Katy seemed in great condition. There was light muddy areas on the Hamburg Trail, but nothing that impeded your progress or slowed you down.
There was great crowd support and cheering upon exiting the trail and entering the finish area. There was someone on a loud speaker cheering all the finishers and announcing runners as they crossed the finish line. After crossing the finish line, volunteers handed out race medals and wet cloth to help cool down. They had tables set up with bananas and granola bars and a beer tent available. Papa John’s was also there handing out pizza. As I was one of the later finishers, they offered me a full pizza as they still had a large stack to give away.
Race 13.1 was a great experience on a beautiful course! It’s a race that I will be adding to my annual “Must-Run Races”.
Whether shopping at the grocery store or farmer’s market, it pays to shop what’s in season. You’ll get the most bang for your buck and nutritional value when the produce you seek was just harvested out of the field.
Here’s what’s in season during May in the United States.
Arugula Brussel sprouts Lettuce Peaches Spinach
What is your favorite dish to make with what’s in season this month?
For the past few decades, we’ve heard all about the virtues of a low-fat diet and the dangers of dietary fat and cholesterol. But with the number of overweight and obese people climbing every day and statin drugs for lowering cholesterol the most commonly prescribed medications in the world, researchers have recently reviewed the low fat trend. Emerging research has shown that there is such a thing as healthy fats which can increase your good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol-think H for healthy) and decrease your bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol-think L for lousy).
But with so many so-called healthy oils and butter substitutes on the market, how do decide what’s best to buy? Here are 20 tips for choosing healthy fats in your diet:
Many things happen to the body when it doesn’t get enough exercise. Unfortunately, it goes way beyond gaining weight. It’s important to remember that even a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise at all. Continue reading to learn more about the dangers of inactivity. No one is immune!
Mitochondria are energy producing structures, which live in the cells of body tissues, organs and muscles. These amazing little structures need carbohydrates and oxygen to work properly. Since mitochondria are required for all bodily functions and movement, you definitely can’t live without them.
Mitochondria levels drop when your heart isn’t working at its full potential and your oxygen levels are diminished, due to lack of exercise. Fatigue occurs when energy production is slowed down and the body requires the same amount of energy to get work done.
Bones love a workout, almost as much as they love calcium. The lack of weight-bearing exercise causes bones to lose density and the ability to properly store calcium. Less calcium in your bones means more of a mineral build up in organs such as your kidneys, the cause of kidney stones.
If the period of inactivity is long enough bones eventually began to weaken. This oftentimes results in osteoporosis, which leads to a much higher risk of painful bone fractures.
Just like bones, muscles benefit from a good workout. One of the first signs of being out of shape, due to inactivity, is loss of strength and muscle tone. When muscles are idle, blood flow slows down and the exchange of waste products and nutrients decreases. Less mitochondria results in lack of muscle coordination.
Without exercise, the “electrical” connection between your nerves and muscles is sporadic at best. How does this affect you? You’ll typically find it more difficult to move around with the agility that you once could. It can also mean decreased strength and an increased risk of muscle injury, because of shrinking muscle mass.
Whatever your age, it’s important to keep your heart as healthy as possible. Even though your heart muscle is different from your skeletal muscles, the same health-related principles apply. Without proper exercise, the heart muscle shrinks. This makes it difficult to adequately distribute blood throughout the body and causes the heart to work much harder to get the blood to where it actually needs to go, especially in your hands and feet.
Sluggish blood flow can lead to plaque formation in the blood vessels. This, in turn, sometimes causes high blood pressure, dizziness and circulation problems. All of these conditions are potentially dangerous if left untreated.
As you can see, inactivity causes havoc in and damage to your body. This is especially true for individuals who already deal with chronic conditions, because it typically only makes things worse.
In many cases, periods of inactivity are inevitable. But, the sooner you can participate in even a light exercise regimen, the better off your mind and your body will be.
Juice Plus+ is a whole food-based nutrition system that helps you bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you actually eat. Made from juice powder concentrates from 30 different fruits, veggies, and grains, Juice Plus+ is simple, easy and available in both capsule and gummy chewable form. Not a multivitamin, medicine, treatment or cure for any disease, Juice Plus+ is made from quality ingredients carefully monitored from farm to capsule to provide natural nutrients your body needs to be at its best.
Watch this video for a short introduction.
Juice Plus+ is made up of thirty raw, vine-ripened fruits, veggies, and grains in capsules or chewables. It’s juicing made easy! You get all the health benefits of juicing without all the mess and yucky taste. Don’t like to swallow capsules? Simply open the capsules and pour the powder contents directly into a smoothie or yogurt.
Did you know that the current dietary recommendation is to consume between 12-15 fruits and vegetables EVERY DAY?
How We Source
The Juice Plus+ farmers grow the produce used, both sustainably and with incredibly high standards. The produce is grown to the peak of ripeness which yields the highest possible nutrient content. This makes a huge difference over the average produce you find at your local grocery store.
Due to transit times from farm to store, most produce you find was picked well before ripening. And although produce can ripen during transit, it doesn’t produce any more nutrients during that time. That’s why vine ripened is so important!
Take a look at this video of actual Juice Plus+ farmers.
In addition, each Juice Plus+ product is NSF certified, a rare standard of product testing. That means that a third party company randomly tests the products in 2 areas:
The products have to contain what is on the label
They are stringently tested for heavy metals, mold, and bacteria
Juice Plus+ is the most researched nutritional product in the world. For over 20 years, Juice Plus+ has been researched all over the world at the most prestigious hospitals and universities.
Juice Plus+ Complete
Juice Plus+ Complete Shakes are one of the easiest and tastiest ways to get healthier all while saving time and money. The simple and nutritious powdered shake mix can be blended with plant milk or even water. It’s low fat, low sugar, low glycemic, gluten free, vegan and made of 100% non-GMO plants. It has 13 grams of Protein, 8 grams of fiber and wonderful ingredients. Available in Dutch Chocolate and French Vanilla.
Our newest product is the Juice Plus+ Omega Blend, a plant-based, full spectrum omega blend containing omegas 3 (extracted from algae, not fish = no fishy aftertaste), 5, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids, fully balanced as they are in nature and cold pressed in a vegetarian capsule to preserve the nutritional quality and integrity of the plant oils.
Get Started with Juice Plus+
We can’t wait for you to dive in on your Juice Plus+ Journey. Get ready for a new and easy way to fill you and your family’s body with total body nutrition.
And now thanks to the Family Health Study program, children ages 4-18, plus college students up to age 26, get Juice Plus+ for free with an adult order.
Just pay shipping!
If you are ready to start you and your family on Juice Plus+, place your order directly at Juice Plus+ or call Rachel at 314.496.8303.
Watch what one mom has to say…
Spread the Word
Can’t get enough of Juice Plus+? Share us with loved ones or host a Facebook event and earn an opportunity to receive $200!
We are also looking for others to join our mission of ‘Inspiring Healthy Living Around the World’. For just $50, you can start your own Virtual Franchise.
There is no inventory to carry and no quotas to meet.
Check out this amazing video of why we share Juice Plus+ with everyone we love and care about!
Disclaimer: I was not paid to review any of these services, but this post does include referral links which will credit me if you choose to sign up.
Meal delivery kits have become popular for combining convenience with fresh food. Our family has used 3 different meal delivery services and have enjoyed trying new foods and eating a variety of cuisines. The meals come in various stages of preparedness, usually just requiring some dicing and then cooking. The average estimated time to prepare is 25-35 minutes. This post will outline our experience with each company. For each company, we enrolled in 3 meals a week for 2 individuals.
Hello Fresh allows you to sign up for 3, 4, or 5 recipes for two people each week, or 3 recipes for four people. If purchasing less than 5 recipes per week, you choose your meals from the 5 total for the week. There is also a Veggie Plan with 3 vegetarian meals per week. Hello Fresh shipped their meals with all ingredients for 1 meal boxed together. This made it very easy to pull those ingredients when ready to prep the meal. The meal selection was good, but we no longer use Hello Fresh as the quality of their ingredients became worse and worse. We would receive rotten vegetables and meat that was brown. When contacting customer service, they would always place a credit on our account for a portion of the meal cost to replace the bad ingredient.
Pricing starts at $7.49 a meal.
Blue Apron was the second company that we tried and one that we still use regularly. They provide a selection of 11 meals to choose from each week. If you’ve tried Blue Apron in the past, you may remember that the selection of certain meals would eliminate other options. This contingency has been removed and you can select any 3 meals that you wish.
The meals are very easy to prepare with only some minimal prep, such as dicing potatoes, grating cheese, removing stems from kale, or pressing garlic. The ingredients for all three meals are lumped together in the delivery box, not separated by meal. Although, the ingredients are individually wrapped and labeled with the exception of garlic, lemons and limes. Pricing starts at $7.49 a meal.
Comment with your email for a chance to win a free delivery.
Blue Apron also provides how-to videos on their site, plus options to order corresponding wines and cooking tools.
Sun Basket is by far my favorite meal kit delivery option! Each week you get to choose from 18 different recipes, with no restrictions. You can even select to receive multiple of the same recipe. This would be a great option for a dinner party or when having company.
When selecting your meals, each recipe indicates if it is paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, or vegan. There is the option to upgrade proteins for an additional charge, like upgrading chicken thighs to chicken breast or for organic options. All of their produce is 100% organic. They also have add-ons, like breakfast egg bites, oatmeal, salad kits, and snacks.
Like Hello Fresh, the ingredients for each recipe are packaged together in paper bags. Pricing starts at $10.99 a serving.
One of my favorite ways of building community and supporting a culture of healthy eating is to host Salad in a Jar parties. On a monthly basis, I invite families to my home, ask them each to bring a salad topping to share, and we prep up to a week’s worth of salad. I provide kale (straight from my Tower Garden), spinach, and mixed greens. It’s always fun to see what people will bring to share, everything from carrots, beans (black, garbanzo), onion, and peppers to chicken and various cheeses and seeds. It’s typically the ladies prepping salads in the dining room, with the men and kids playing outside, but the kids love to pick out ingredients for their own salads too! When they get to prep it, they are much more likely to eat it.
Prepping a Salad in a Jar
Jar Size – I prefer using pint size mason jars. You can stuff a lot of ingredients and greens in a pint size jar, but the downside is that you must empty into a bowl to eat. Quart size jars are good if you are prepping a salad for your entire family or want to shake it up and eat it straight out of the jar.
Dressing – You can always add dressing when serving, but sometimes it is convenient to have it all in one. So dressing is the first ingredient in your jar. It takes just a thin layer to cover your entire salad.
Wet Ingredients – These are ingredients that are already wet and can withstand soaking in dressing until served. Examples: Tomato
Hearty Moisture-Resistant Veggies – The next layer should be hearty veggies that create a thick layer between your wet ingredients and greens. You want to keep your greens as dry as possible until you are ready to serve. Examples: Carrot, Onion, Zucchini
Soft Veggies Examples: Avocado, Bell Pepper, Corn
Protein Examples: Chicken, Egg, Tuna, Beans, Salami
Greens – This is the main event. I recommend leaving half of your jar empty to fill with greens and you can really stuff them in. Examples: Spinach, Romaine, Kale, Mixed Greens
Cheese, Nuts, Grains – Just like your greens, you want to keep your cheeses, nuts and grains dry until serving. Examples: Walnuts, Quinoa, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds
Of course, every layer is optional and you can mix and match as much as you want. If the greens stay dry, the salads will keep for up to a week.
March is traditionally thought of as a green month, given St Patrick’s Day and spring coming soon, but greens are not always our favorite or easiest thing to eat. Given that kale, spinach, chard, and other greens provide a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and K, iron, magnesium, potassium, and folate and other B vitamins, it’s time to cycle them into our daily routine. Read below for some helpful tips on easy ways to eat more.
Add to your smoothie – Add spinach or kale to your smoothies. Whether making a green smoothie or adding to your fruit and protein, a little green adds a lot of nutrition without affecting the flavor much.
Add a small salad to every meal – No matter what you cook for dinner, throw together a quick salad with spinach, kale, mixed greens, broccoli, nuts and your favorite dressing. When dining out, ask for a small house salad. You’ll start your meal off right and get some greens in too.
Add to your breakfast – Spinach or bell pepper can be added to your morning scrambled eggs or omelet.
Top your pizza – Whether making your own or heating up a frozen pizza, throw some spinach on top.
Swap bread for lettuce – Make any sandwich into a lettuce wrap.
Buy bagged – If rushed for time, buying bagged greens can reduce the time it would take to wash and chop.
What is your favorite way to add some extra greens in during the day?
No better time to start a blog on family health & wellness than National Nutrition Month. Through this blog, I’ll be sharing recipes, fitness ideas for the whole family, and my family’s journey with Juice Plus+.
My 2 year old son and I began taking the trio capsules and gummy chewables in 2014. Although very skeptical, it wasn’t long before my husband jumped on board. I joined the Juice Plus+ company as a distributor in December 2014, thinking that I just wanted to share it with my family and close friends. But as a learned more about the research behind Juice Plus+ and my family’s own experience, I knew I needed to share with even more people.
There are currently over 30 published research studies from leading hospitals and universities around the world, with more being completed everyday. My favorite studies show that Juice Plus+ is bioavailable. That means that your body is receptive to absorbing the nutrients in Juice Plus+. Eighteen publications found significant increases in blood levels of antioxidants and other phytonutrients. There are also research findings related to heart health, healthy gums, immune system, DNA, oxidative stress, healthy skin, systemic inflammation, and lung health. You can read more about the research findings here – Juice Plus+ Clinical Research.
My Juice Plus+ Experience
With a 5 year old in preschool, the biggest thing we’ve noticed since taking Juice Plus+ is that he has never missed a day of school due to sickness.With all the bugs that go through early education (and school in general), this support to our immune system has been huge! With him not missing school, it means fewer days away from work for me too.
Since moving to St Louis in 2004, I was a daily Zyrtec user with year-round allergies. I am happy to report that I have taken 1 (ONE!) Zyrtec in the last 13 months!
What health benefits do you think that Juice Plus+ could provide for your family?