Thursday evening, my friend Sherry hosted a Taste of the Shred event, to highlight food that is approved during Shred10 (see my post here for more information on the Shred10 program). She asked each guest to bring a dish that fulfilled the Shred10 guidelines of no dairy, no gluten, no added sugars, no caffeine, no processed foods, and no alcohol. We had a large spread of fresh fruits, vegetables, and prepared dishes.
As people gathered, we snacked on hummus with gluten-free crackers and asparagus, and grapes. Sherry had prepared a beautiful lemon-lime infused water, along with a decaf peppermint tea.
Many children were in attendance as well, and they enjoyed snacking on the Juice Plus+ gummy chewables.
One of my favorite dishes was a mixed greens salad with a variety of toppings to choose from, including peas, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, white beans, tomatoes, walnuts and radishes. Sherry also made a home made dressing of vinegar, olive oil and honey. Most store bought dressings have added sugars, which we are avoiding during the Shred10. If you haven’t tried making your own dressing yet, it’s very easy. Sherry learned her recipe directly from the White House chef and it is delicious.
Other popular dishes were a butternut squash dish baked with onions and tomatoes, a Mexican fruit salad (recipe here) and Chocolate Complete Energy Balls.
After enjoying dinner, we all went around the table introducing ourselves and sharing our health goals. Many people were looking for improved health and more energy. It was a great variety of guests and an event that we plan to host monthly during the week prior to each new Shred10.
Stay tuned for my posts sharing my journey on this month’s shred.
Is your health exactly where you want it to be? What if you could learn about tools to take your health back? That’s why I’m so excited to have found the Healthy Living Revolution and the tools it provides for 10 day jumpstarts and overall nutrition guidance.
Healthy used to be SIMPLE! It wasn’t the latest superfood or the new diet craze.
Healthy was fresh vegetables from grandma’s garden. Kids played outside until it was dark. You drank water straight from a hose. We had energy all day long and 70% of us weren’t on medications. Healthy was a lifestyle that we lived and we can again.
This Healthy Living Revolution is about taking our health back, our families’ health back, our schools health back, our country’s health back.
Part of the reason we need to #takehealthyback isn’t something that we can easily control. In our world today we are exposed to toxic chemicals that are putting our health at risk. Many of the health challenges and diseases that we are facing can be linked to these toxins.
Silent Spring researchers found that BPA and other toxins could be reduced significantly after just 3 days by eating whole foods! Fruits and vegetables are powerful not just because they detox us but because they contain ANTIOXIDANTS. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress which causes aging and disease. They also contain thousands of phytonutrients – plant nutrients! These phytonutrients prevent cancer and other diseases. The second image shows a list of 400 ingredients in an apple but scientists believe there are probably 10,000 or more ingredients yet to be discovered. All of these ingredients create synergy which means they work together to prevent disease. An isolated supplement or multivitamin has maybe 20 ingredients. We need ALL of those thousands of ingredients in fruits and vegetables every day. WE DON’T HAVE A VITAMIN DEFICIENCY WE HAVE A FRUIT AND VEGETABLE DEFICIENCY. I loved learning this!!!!
And not only are we eating fewer fruits and vegetables, but the mass produced produce that many of us find in the grocery store is packing less nutritional punch than just 2 generations ago. According to Tim Lang, a professor at the Centre for Food Policy in London, you would have to eat 8 oranges to get the same amount of vitamin A your grandparents got from a single orange. And you would need to EAT FIVE to get the same level of iron.
Can you imagine FLOODING YOUR BODY with 45 whole foods daily? We found a way to do this. It’s called Juice Plus+! Juice Plus+ is 30 raw, vine-ripened fruits, veggies and berries in capsules or chewables. It’s juicing made easy! The Juice Plus+ Complete is a powdered shake mix that can be blended with plant milk or even water. It’s low fat, low sugar, low glycemic, gluten free, vegan and 100% NON-GMO plants. It has 13 grams of Protein, 8 grams of fiber and wonderful ingredients. And the JP Complete is delicious!
This image shows us why counting calories and even exercising without proper nutrition can do more harm than good. Look at the top portion. When you diet and exercise without proper nutrition, it causes stress to your body. You burn fat but toxins are exposed that have no way to get out of your system because there is lack of good nutrition to help cleanse the toxins while losing that fat. This will make you feel worse because it creates a rebound effect. In an effort to self-protect, your body will increase fat production to protect your vital organs. You can see why dieting is a vicious cycle! Now look at the bottom portion. FLOODING YOUR BODY with fruits and veggies every day will help your liver convert these toxins into something that can be carried out of the body.
Did you know that willpower is a function of blood sugar? Think about a time when you skipped a meal or you were too busy that you just forgot to eat. We all have those days, right? And then you want to eat anything in site 🙂 Here is why.
Will power is a function of blood sugar. Normally our blood sugar will fluctuate after every meal when we eat one without crunchy raw veggies which is represented by the light blue graph below. Crackers, bread, soda, box cereals, soup, baked goods, alcohol, dessert and candy; all these will suddenly raise our blood sugar and then there is a drastic dip that follows. Or we may skip a meal and our blood sugar drops and we then have no self-control. This also happens first thing in the morning when we wake up on an empty stomach and even though we might not feel hungry our blood sugar is very low and we are convinced we need caffeine to wake up.
JP+ Complete Shakes are an awesome solution to this problem! The fiber content creates a low glycemic load, which means sugar enters the blood slowly… like what happens when you munch on fiber rich broccoli. It stabilizes the blood sugar and makes it easier to avoid bad habits and food addictions that we reach for when our blood sugar drops. Many people who start on the JP complete also notice they are craving more good food and less junk. It’s literally liquid WILLPOWER 🙂
A great way to jumpstart your health and implement the concepts we’ve just covered is the Shred10 program!
We have a free Shred10 Guidebook available that includes Q&A from experts, Recipes, Shred friendly options for meal planning, nutrition shake recipes and more! We also have a Facebook group that includes a dedicated group of individuals all doing the Shred together at the same time to help keep each other accountable and committed. The next Shred is starting Monday, June 5 with new Shred groups forming the first Monday of every month.
The Shred10 is not a fad diet, it is a jumpstart into lifelong health.
Healthy Living Community
The final way to be part of the Healthy Living Revolution is to be part of our Healthy Living Community. Our hope is that your experience in our community is filled with positive engagement, encouragement and on-going education.
Our Healthy Living Community Offers:
Facebook Inspiration to keep your healthy lifestyle fresh, fun and inspiring. Join here today – Fueling Healthy Families
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.
Are you new to Juice Plus+? Or have you heard of it, but not exactly sure what it is?
Juice Plus+ is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 30 different fruits, vegetables, and grains. It helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day. 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. Available in both capsule and gummy chewable form, this video provides a short introduction.
Juice Plus+ is 30 raw, vine-ripened fruits, veggies and berries 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? You can open the capsules and pour the powder contents directly to a smoothie or yogurt.
Did you know that the current recommendation is to consume 12-15 fruits and vegetables EVERY DAY? I know that I don’t eat that many and definitely not the variety shown above.
The Juice Plus+ farmers grow sustainably with incredibly high standards. The produce is grown to the peak of ripeness which yields the highest possible nutrient content. This is a huge difference over the average produce you find in the 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. That means that a third party company randomly tests the products in 2 areas:
The products have to contain what is on the label and
They are stringently tested for heavy metals, mold, and bacteria
It is very rare for products to be tested with this standard.
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 ways to get healthier and save time and money. It is a powdered shake mix that can be blended with plant milk or even water. It’s low fat, low sugar, low glycemic, gluten free, vegan and 100% NON-GMO plants. It has 13 grams of Protein, 8 grams of fiber and wonderful ingredients. And the Juice Plus+ Complete is delicious! Available in Dutch Chocolate and French Vanilla.
Click here to watch a 2 minute video:
My favorite preparation is to combine the Dutch Chocolate powder with almond milk and chia seeds, and shake! The chia seeds thicken the shake, depending on how long you let it sit, while also adding a ton of omegas. I typically shake it up at home before leaving work and then drink at work. And it’s so filling, sometimes I’m still drinking it straight up through lunch. No time to snack on something unhealthy!
Our newest product is the Juice Plus+ Omega Blend. This is a plant-based, full spectrum omega containing omegas 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids, balanced as they are in nature. Cold pressed in a vegetarian capsule to preserve the nutritional quality and integrity of the plant oils. Our omega 3 is extracted from algae, not fish, so it’s sustainable, with no fishy aftertaste!
Get Started with Juice Plus+
Before we jump right into getting started with Juice Plus+, I want to make you aware of the Family Health Study. This program allows for children ages 4-18, plus college students up to age 26, to get Juice Plus+ for free with an adult order. Just pay shipping. That’s better than the ‘Kids Eat Free’ specials at your local fast food restaurant, as Juice Plus+ is providing whole food nutrition in a convenient capsule or gummy. Talk about easy and fast!
Watch what one mom has to say . . .
If you are ready to start your family on Juice Plus+, place your order directly at Juice Plus+ or call Rachel at 314.496.8303.
Share With Others
If you would like to share this with those you love and care about, you can host a Facebook event and have an opportunity to earn $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. I’ll wrap up with this amazing video of why we share Juice Plus+ and the amazing life-saving nutrients that are in fruits and vegetables with everyone we love and care about!
Meal delivery services 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.
Blue Apron was the second company that we tried and one that we still use regularly. They provide a selection of 6 meals to choose from each week, but the selection of certain meals will eliminate other options. 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 $8.74 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.
Updates to Blue Apron (as of 4/9/18) – Blue Apron has expanded their weekly meal selections to include up to 9 options. And no more eliminating some meal options when others are selected. You can know select any 3 meals for the week that you choose. With this update, we are now using Blue Apron on a more frequent basis.
We have only been using Sun Basket for a short time, but they are a great new entrant to the field. Each week you get to choose from 11 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 even a breakfast option. Like Hello Fresh, the ingredients for each recipe are packaged together in paper bags. Pricing starts at $9.99 a meal. Get 50% off Family Meals from Sun Basket! Fresh organic and non-GMO ingredients and kid-friendly recipes delivered!
Updates to Sun Basket (as of 4/9/18) – Sun Basket has become my overall favorite entrant into this category. They continue to provide at least 11 meal options each week, with numerous gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and soy free options. They no longer provide the recipes on cards, but rather, you get a cookbook with the recipes for all the meals that you could have selected for that week.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to review any of these companies nor did I receive free product, but these are all referral links which will credit me if you choose to sign up.
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.