8 Ways to Supercharge Your Smoothies

Smoothies, or smoothie bowls, are a convenient way to pack in nutrition, especially when loaded with raw fruits and vegetables. Give your smoothies an extra punch by supercharging them! Here's eight ways to supercharge your smoothies with real-food, allergen-friendly, ingredients!

By Andrea Green, Contributing Writer

It’s the New Year. Are you ready to supercharge your smoothie?

Smoothies, or smoothie bowls, are a convenient way to pack in nutrition, especially when loaded with raw fruits and vegetables.

We love to include lots of leafy greens in our smoothies. You can pack in a pretty big serving.

Then, we add lots of fresh fruits. The fruits add just the right amount of sweet.

Finally, we supercharge our smoothies with a few supplements.

You don’t need to add all of these to your smoothies.  But, try to include at least one of these supplements in your daily smoothie to amp the nutritional value.

Supercharge Your Smoothies

Flaxseed Oil – Flaxseed is the highest dietary source of lignans, a fiber-like compound that detoxifies harmful forms of estrogen. Stir 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil into your smoothie.

Chia Seeds – These tiny seeds are an excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, they help you feel full longer. Add up to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to your smoothie.

Fish Oil – Fish Oil is my favorite smoothie supplement. It acts as an anti-inflammatory. The results are better skin, increased energy, and healthier pregnancies. Add up to 2 tablespoons of fish oil.

Green Tea – Packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, green tea makes an excellent smoothie base. If you are avoiding dairy, keeping a pitcher of green tea in the fridge can help make smoothie prep a breeze. Try an antioxidant packed Green Tea Blueberry Smoothie.

Matcha Powder – Matcha powder is made from the entire tea leaf.  The green tea leaf is ground into a powder, making it easy to add antioxidants into your smoothie. It’s also reputed to be a great fat burner.  Add one teaspoon to your smoothie.

Maca Powder – This superfood is cultivated from a cruciferous vegetable. It provides a powerful energy boost almost immediately. It is also useful on days when you need to balance out hormones. Add one teaspoon of maca powder to your smoothie.

Cholrella – Cholrella is a single-cell algae loaded with immune-friendly chlorophyll. Chorophll is believed to remove industrial toxins from the body. Add one scoop of cholrella to your smoothie daily.

Bee PollenBee pollen contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. Awesome, yes? It is rich in B-vitamins, free amino acids, and folic acid. Be careful with bee pollen. It is best to start with a small amount and build up.

What do you like to add to supercharge your smoothies?

Smoothies, or smoothie bowls, are a convenient way to pack in nutrition, especially when loaded with raw fruits and vegetables. Give your smoothies an extra punch by supercharging them! Here's eight ways to supercharge your smoothies with real-food, allergen-friendly, ingredients!

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin D in 600 Words

 

Does reading about Vitamin D make your head spin? Here's everything you need to know about this vital nutrient in just 600 words!

By Elsie Callender, Contributing Writer

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing a lot about Vitamin D lately. But because I’m busy being a homemaker, working, and taking care of a 9-month-old who’s doing his best to walk before his first birthday, most of what I hear and read goes in one ear and out the other! I figured it was time to get my facts straight about Vitamin D.

I decided to find answers to a few basic questions about Vitamin D, and I’m going to share them with you today. This is your crash course in Vitamin D – the “Cliff Notes” version for busy homemakers who care about their family’s health but don’t have hours to spend reading up on everything!

What Does Vitamin D Do For Your Body?

Vitamin D helps your body to absorb minerals–such as calcium–to build strong bones and teeth.

Vitamin D is also an antioxidant. The media is obsessed with antioxidants, so you’ve probably been well informed by now that antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body, helping to prevent anything from the common cold to uncommon cases of cancer.

Where Does Vitamin D Come From?

When your bare skin is exposed to the sun’s UVB rays, it triggers a reaction that produces Vitamin D in your skin. You can also get Vitamin D through food and supplements.

Does reading about Vitamin D make your head spin? Here's everything you need to know about this vital nutrient in just 600 words!

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

To be honest, the recommendations for daily intake of Vitamin D are all over the map. After exploring many different sources, I simply don’t feel comfortable or knowledgeable enough to suggest specific amounts.

If there’s one thing most sources agree on, though, it’s that the vast majority of people are deficient in Vitamin D. Your odds of being Vitamin D deficient increase:

  • the farther away you live from the equator
  • the darker your skin
  • the older you are
  • if you live in an area with lots of air pollution
  • if you spend most of your time indoors

It’s also a challenge to get adequate Vitamin D during the winter, because less of the sun’s UVB rays enter Earth’s atmosphere.

What’s an Effective Way to Get More Vitamin D?

You may have read warnings about getting too much Vitamin D. It is, after all, a fat soluble vitamin, so if you consume excess Vitamin D it won’t be flushed out of your system the way that a water-soluble vitamin will, like Vitamin C. It’s a relief to know that it’s practically impossible to overdose on Vitamin D from either sunlight or food.

Does reading about Vitamin D make your head spin? Here's everything you need to know about this vital nutrient in just 600 words!

I was surprised how few foods contain Vitamin D! Thankfully, I’m a big seafood fan, which is where most dietary Vitamin D comes from! Here are foods that contain Vitamin D:

  • Fish oil (we take cod liver oil, which I’ve written about HERE)
  • Sardines
  • Salmon and other oily fish
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Raw milk
  • Fortified foods such as cereal, orange juice, and pasteurized milk

Salmon has about 500 IU of Vitamin D per 4-ounce serving, making it one of the richest food sources of Vitamin D. If you want to get more salmon in your diet, try these delicious Biscuits with Salmon Gravy, some easy Salmon Patties, or this Curried Salmon Pasta.

While it’s easy to get plenty of Vitamin D from the sun during summer, in the winter you get little to none. To maximize your sun exposure in the winter, spend as much time outside as possible on sunny days, especially when your shadow is the shortest, around midday. Make sure to take cod liver oil and up your intake of foods containing Vitamin D.

Since it is possible to get too much Vitamin D–or the wrong kind–from supplements, talk to your doctor about what type of supplement to take.

A few closing thoughts

The more I’m learning about vitamins and minerals, the more I realize how important they are for our bodies.

Although Vitamin D has been in the spotlight a lot lately, I don’t think it’s wise to elevate one vitamin or mineral above the others. Each serves a role, and you need them all. And usually, you need them together; they work synergistically. Even if you’re like me and don’t know all of the science behind vitamins and minerals, you can follow common sense: eat a varied, nutrient-dense diet, get outside, and exercise! 

about Vitamin D in just 600 words

 

Sources and further reading:

Harvard School of Public Health

The World’s Healthiest Foods

Vitamin D Council

All You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Tea and THEN SOME!

Have you ever wondered what the big deal is about tea? Can't seem to brew a cuppa that you enjoy? Here's everything you've ever wanted to know all about brewing tea and then some!
By Meg Bateman, Contributing Writer

I love tea. I’ve never really been a fan of coffee, except for a short period of my life where a Keurig took up residency in our kitchen. (Please, whatever you do – DO NOT brew tea with your Keurig!)

I’m not sure when my love for tea started, but one of my favorite stories about my great-grandmother involves the proper making of tea. My great-grandparents and grandparents moved to the states from England in the 1950s. One day, after settling in Southern California, my great-grandmother decided to walk down to the bus stop to go off and see a friend. While she waited for the bus, she went into a restaurant and asked for a cup of tea.

The rest is the stuff of nightmares for us tea purists. The waitress filled the teapot with warm tap water, and swirled a teabag around in the water with her fingers. When she offered it to my great-grandmother, I’m told she said something along the lines of, “My dear, I don’t think my definition of tea is the same as yours.” I imagine she looked something like a 1950’s Maggie Smith.

It’s a wonder she didn’t take the bus to LAX and go back to England after that!

Thankfully, brewing a great cup of tea doesn’t take much – just good quality tea and filtered water, brewed at the right temperature for the right amount of time. Really, it’s simple! And life changing, once you’ve brewed tea the right way – you’ll never go back to the bitter, badly flavored tea of your past. So here you go – everything you need to know about brewing tea!

The Leaves

Just like coffee purists proclaim freshly ground coffee to be the best, loose leaf teas really do make a good difference in the quality of your brew. That being said, I’m still not one to shy away from the ease of using teabags.

Loose leaf teas allow the tea to have all the room it needs to open up and unleash its flavorful beauty. The stuff you find in most teabags is known as tea dust. It’s the leftovers… and not very good. Pyramid teabags let you have the best of both worlds – full leaf teas without having to mess with infusers or strainers

There are three main types of teas, and then an almost unlimited of varieties among their buddies the tisanes, or herbal teas.

Black, green, and white teas are made from the actual tea leaf – their differences are in the oxidation process after harvesting. Much like coffees vary by roast.

Tisanes vary by pretty much anything edible that can be dried and brewed – chamomile, rooibos, mint, rose, fruits, holy basil, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Like produce, tea does run the risk of having not-so-good additives like pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. I stick to organic leaves, which thankfully are plentiful and inexpensive on Amazon. (I prefer Davidson’s and Zhena’s.)

The Tools

It really doesn’t take much more than filtered water, a teapot, and something to strain out the leaves if not using bags.

I have used a variety of infusers and teapots over the years. My favorite is my french press – it really doesn’t get much easier than the humble french press. There’s less residue, they’re versatile if you also drink coffee, and you can brew more at a time.

When it comes to more traditional infusers, I only like the ones made by ForLife – they catch almost all the bits, can be used in just about every cup, mug, or teapot. Other infusers tend to let a lot of tiny bits of tea out, or they’re not big enough for the leaves to really open up.

I also recommend an electric kettle for anyone who gets hooked on brewing tea – there’s no need to turn on the stove, and no risk of shattering glass like when heating water in a microwave. Plus, there are models that let you adjust the temperature based on what type of tea you’re brewing!

Brewing – where the magic happens! 

Every tea type has its own magic brew temperature and time. Stick to those numbers and you won’t end up with a lackluster cuppa. Tea not strong enough? Don’t brew it longer – add more tea!

For black tea and most tisanes, you’re going to use boiling water. Add your tea to your infuser first, then pour the boiling water over it, and wait patiently until time is up! Remove the tea, doctor up your cup how you like it, and enjoy!

For green and white teas, the magic is around 160F to 180F, and varies by the origin or type of the tea. I really like The Kitchn’s guides to brewing green tea and white tea.

Remember – brewing it too long will result in a bitter cup of tea, or “stewed tea” – so add more leaves if you want more flavor! I can’t say that often enough :)

And – if you’re worried about this new love for tea getting costly, don’t worry! You can brew the same leaves 2-3 times and experience a different flavor profile each time. With the dust from teabags, that isn’t really possible.

That’s just the basics, there’s SOOOO much more in the world of tea to fascinate you! Want to know even more? Check out some of my favorite tea-links:

Have you ever wondered what the big deal is about tea? Can't seem to brew a cuppa that you enjoy? Here's everything you've ever wanted to know all about brewing tea and then some!

Do you drink tea? What’s your favorite?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use

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This week’s top deals:

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Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

Get Organized and Get Intentional in the New Year for a Great 2016

By Ann Timm  

Did you accomplish all or any of my goals last year? Did everything that needed done get done? Here’s how to have a great new year, maybe the best yet…

Did you accomplish all or any of your goals last year? Did everything that needed done get done? Here's how I'm going to get organized and intentional! - KeeperoftheHome.org

As I started to wrap up 2015, pack up the Christmas ornaments, and plan for the upcoming calendar year, I sat back in my comfy chair, looked out the cold and frosted window at the garden bed I didn’t grow anything in this year and then at the kitchen drawers and cabinets that I didn’t get around to organizing…

And I was reminded of how much I struggled over this past year.

Did I accomplish all or any of my goals? Did everything that needed done get done?

As the high of the Christmas season fades, my heart sinks a little as I realize how many of my goals went unmet. I glanced over at my office area and smiled a bit as I thought, “Well, who could get stuff done with that mess!?”

IMG_8608

Some of my goals from last year:

  1. Lose weight – failed
  2. Organize my office – failed
  3. Plant and cultivate a garden – failed
  4. Organize the kitchen drawers – failed
  5. Make family photo books – failed

I let out a deep sigh and asked myself what the heck happened? I made a list. I made LOTS of lists. In fact, my favorite tool to help me check off the things I get done during the day is my to-do journal. Really just a blank journal for me to fill in with my to-do lists.

BlankjournalIMG_0002

So I picked up my journal and started flipping through the pages, trying to make myself feel better by reviewing all the things I did cross out.

And you know… it worked. Maybe I didn’t lose any weight, but this year I found out I had that darn hypothyroid problem I was telling you about along with my vitamin D crashing since moving up north.

I recently realized my tank is almost full, so now I am feeling more myself and ready to try again. So maybe, even though I didn’t lose the weight, I conquered a ton of hidden health issues that kept me from my goals.

My office? Well, it is full of projects that I have been working on for my family and for Keeper of the Home.

The garden and the photo books are still on the list because my husband and I spent the summer camping with the kiddos. A family goal we had made for 2015. We weren’t home to plant; we were making memories and reaching those goals — and those photo books can be made next year.  

Now that I think about it, I’m feeling pretty good about the things I accomplished this past year. As a family we really grew and bonded. The two older boys are juniors and we wanted to be intentional about our time with them.

Last week I talked about my personal struggles this past year with my health and how determined I am to change that in 2016, but when I look back at my list and start to write down things that I want to accomplish in the new year, I’m wondering how I’ll get them all done. I notice something that I hadn’t thought of before: my list is missing something.

I love my list, but it’s just a list. It’s great for the little things, the everyday things I need to get done like laundry and grocery shopping, but I realized they’re the easy things on the list that are the ones getting done…there is no plan for the other ones. The bigger things.

Like the weight loss and fitness goals and the organizing. They aren’t going to happen on a whim and most likely they won’t get done all at once. Especially the weight loss. Maybe I could get the office done in a day, but only if I have everything I need when I start. And the kitchen will be a process all by itself.

So where…how…do I even start?

I remembered how we made those family goals, my husband bought this Best Year Ever program last year and we did it together to get intentional about work goals and family goals. I had been skeptical when we first went through but, we liked it so much that now we are doing it again this year with our kids as well.

Thinking back to those goals, I remembered again how easy it was and how much it helped us to focus in and set real goals AND accomplish them. So as I am setting my own personal goals for this coming year, I am making sure to follow this program!

First thing I did, I signed my husband and I up for a tandem run in September…won’t he appreciate that!? :) Just being intentional after all!

I think he might! Check out what he says in his post on our Best Year Ever plan and goal-setting.

Did you accomplish all or any of your goals last year? Did everything that needed done get done? Here's how I'm going to get organized and intentional! - KeeperoftheHome.orgWhat do you think? Could you use a program like this? How would your life change if you had your best year ever?

Weekend Links

I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be. Douglas Adams, quote image from keeperofthehome.org @koth

Links I loved this week:

Someday @ Sarah Bessey

Jesus … My New Years Resolution @ My Humble Kitchen

Baked Denver Omelet Casserole Recipe @ The Greenbacks Gal

You’re an Emotional Eater, And That’s Okay @ Red and Honey

The Joy of Choosing One Word for the Year @ (in)courage

Ultra-Rich Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Pie @ Smithspirations

The Problem with Chasing Perfection @ Grace Table

The 7 Best Money Saving Tips of the Year @ The Humbled Homemaker

Did you pick a word for 2016? Mine is “enjoy!”

DIY Detox Tea

Did you overindulge over the holidays? This herbal detox tea will help flush and support your system back to better health! By Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

The days and weeks following the holidays can often be a time when extra attention to detoxing is needed.

Our bodies naturally detox on a daily basis, however, after extra indulgence and exposure to sugar and stress, it can be helpful to encourage the process a little.

Increasing consumption of broth-based soups, lemon water, taking walks, baths, and walking are all great ways to improve the detox capabilities of the body. Drinking various herbal teas is also helpful.

Blend various herbs together to create unique teas that taste good and allow you to reap the benefits of multiple herbs. Herbal tea blends are very easy to prepare. Here are 52 DIY tea recipes, if you’d like to give it a try.

The following herbal tea would be an excellent addition to your detox plan.

5 from 1 reviews
DIY Detox Tea
 
Adapted from Herbal Teas
Ingredients
  • 1 ounces burdock root
  • 2 ounces raw dandelion root
  • 2 ounces roasted dandelion root
  • 2 ounces sarsparilla root
  • 1 ounce enchinacea root
  • 1 ounce Oregon grape root
Instructions
  1. Method
  2. Mix all herbs together in a bowl then transfer to a large jar. Close lid tightly and store out of direct sunlight.

To brew a very strong tea for detoxing purposes

Add 1 ounce of tea blend to small pot. Pour one quart of boiling water over the herbs. Cover with a lid and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Turn off burner and leave tea to steep for another 30 minutes.

Strain out the herbs. Drink tea immediately and store the rest for later in the day. Drink 2 cups a day during while detoxing.

Sweeten with a little stevia or honey, if desired.

Did you overindulge over the holidays? This herbal detox tea will help flush and support your system back to better health!

Golden Gingerbread Latte

For a slightly unusual drink, this recipe for a Golden Gingerbread Latte is surprisingly tasty, with a bit of a spicy kick from the ginger and rich, earthy flavor from turmeric and maple syrup. The turmeric adds a healthy punch too as a powerful antioxidant super food!

By Elsie Callender, Contributing Writer

Like most people on the planet, I love a good hot drink when the weather turns cold.

Although I do usually order a Starbucks eggnog latte at some point in the season, I really enjoy experimenting with homemade hot drinks.

This mocha is my go-to “special” beverage when I want something besides regular coffee.

Spiced vanilla milk is the easy choice if it’s nearing bedtime and I want to skip the caffeine.

And when I’m feeling under the weather? Nothing beats a hot toddy!

A hot drink with a kick

For a slightly unusual drink, the following recipe for a Golden Gingerbread Latte is surprisingly tasty, with a bit of a spicy kick from the ginger and rich, earthy flavor from turmeric and maple syrup.

Turmeric is a very interesting spice. It comes from a root that looks a lot like ginger. We bought some ground turmeric a few months ago to make dal, and you’ll commonly see it in curry recipes or spice mixes.

You wouldn’t think at first of putting turmeric in a drink, since it tastes rather bitter on its own. But combined with other, more sweet spices, it actually works! It provides the rich, golden color for this latte recipe.

turmeric

Image from pixabay.com

Turmeric is also a superfood! It’s an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant which could aid in arthritis relief and prevention of cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. You can read more about turmeric HERE and HERE.

The next time you’re in the mood for a fancy coffee shop hot drink, make this Golden Gingerbread Latte right in your own kitchen. You’ll save a few dollars and enjoy some nice health benefits as well!

Golden Gingerbread Latte
 
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 2 Servings
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces strong coffee or espresso
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (or ⅓ cup, if you prefer your drinks on the sweet side)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup cold milk, heated and frothed (see Notes below)
  • freshly-whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Stir together the coffee, maple syrup, ginger, turmeric, and nutmeg. Divide coffee mixture between two large mugs. Pour milk into each mug, spooning the froth on top. Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg or ginger.
Notes
To make frothed milk, there are several methods to choose from. (Of course, if you have an espresso machine, use that!)

- The French press method
- The mason jar method
- The hand blender method

I used my Blendtec! I ran the cold milk through the "Soup" cycle twice. The friction heats and froths the milk at the same time.

What’s your favorite kind of latte? Have you ever tried turmeric before?

For a slightly unusual drink, this recipe for a Golden Gingerbread Latte is surprisingly tasty, with a bit of a spicy kick from the ginger and rich, earthy flavor from turmeric and maple syrup. The turmeric adds a healthy punch too as a powerful antioxidant super food!

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use

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This week’s top deals:

Less than one day to save 97% on The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! The incredible offer expires at 11:59 PM ET — no exceptions!
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Don’t miss out on this incredible bundle Stephanie and her team have put together.

Start the New Year right! You’re guaranteed to like it or your money back.

 

Check out the sales at Abe’s Market:  (find sales under the “More” tab)ABE

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Tropical Traditions:

A111Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Virgin Coconut Oil Deodorant Roll-ons at Tropical Traditions

Now, through Thursday, December 31st only, you can buy you can buy one of our Organic Natural Deodorants and get a second one FREE! That’s a $29.98 retail value for only $14.99 and a $2.99 savings over the normal sale price for two!

A235% Off Herbal Breath Spray Ends Thursday at Tropical Traditions

Now, through Thursday, December 31st only, you can purchase our Organic Herbal Breath Spray at 35% off the retail price. That’s a $15.99 retail value for only $9.99, and a $2.00 savings over the normal sale price!

A340% off Virgin Coconut Oil Moisturizing Creams at Tropical Traditions

Now, through Sunday, January 3rd only, you can buy any variety of our Moisturizing Cream at 40% OFF the retail price. For our Lavender Moisturizing Cream for example, that’s a $20.49 retail value for only $12.29 and a $2.20 savings over the normal sale price! Choose from the following varieties: Unscented, Baby Silk, Lavender, Peppermint, Citrus, Arnica (for muscle massages), Coconut, and Vanilla.

A430% Off Black Cumin Seed Oil at Tropical Traditions

Now, through Sunday, January 3rd only, you can purchase our Black Cumin Seed Oil at 30% off the retail price. That’s a $58.00 retail value for only $40.60, and a $4.39 savings over the normal sale price!

FREE Kindle eBooks:

(Note: Prices can change without notice so please double check the price before purchasing)

3aThe Joy of less: Volume 1 Discovering Your Inner Minimalist Kindle Edition

3BThe Quest of the Simple Life Kindle Edition

3CDIY Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hair Masks: Budget-Friendly and Organic Hair Products That are Homemade (DIY Beauty Products) Kindle Edition

Kindle eBooks for Less Than $1:

3DEco-Friendly Cleaning: Money Saving Solutions for a Clean, Green, All-Natural, Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly Home (eco-friendly, sustainability, homesteading, … natural cleaning, green home, non-toxic) Kindle Edition 

This week’s best coupons:

 

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About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

For the Mom Who Does it All (Except Take Care of Herself)

By Ann Timm

Do you struggle the way I do? I’m going to assume it’s a yes, after my last post about destressing and refreshing for Christmas.

But what about the rest of the year?

Are you falling into that trap of running around caring for everyone BUT yourself?

Are you the mom who feels like all she does is feed people, change diapers, and manage the cleaning?

Or are you the mom who spends all of her extra time on homeschool plans or even has teens whose schoolwork requires you to learn the material before trying to teach or help them with theirs?

Maybe you have kids in public or private school and your days are spent at work or keeping the home all day and then as soon as you get off you are the resident taxi driver.

Do you have teens (like I do) who line up outside your bedroom door at 11 p.m. to talk for an hour about friends or boys or how unfair life is? (More on this in January.)

Are you falling into that trap of running around caring for everyone BUT yourself? Mamas, you are a person too…someone who needs cared for and looked after. The hard part is that YOU are the one that has to look after yourself all the while looking after all your little booger monsters and that big handsome hunk-of-love that is your husband. They can’t do it for you. I learned it the hard way – and here's what I did to turn my health around for the better!

Over the last 17 years, I have been each of those moms at some point. Some years I’m on it: I eat whole, exercise, and really take good care of myself and then feel great, ready to conquer the world. Then there are the years where I’m terrible at taking care of myself. It’s all I can do to keep up with the demands of the day and then get up the next morning. This year was one of horrible proportions for me.

For one thing, I put on 20 pounds. Yep. 20. In one year. It was a shock.

Suddenly I realized I wasn’t tending to myself and I was becoming a bear. Getting everything done started to become the least of my worries as my kids started to ask, “Mom, what’s wrong with you”? and I repeatedly heard, “You’re no fun anymore”!

As I started to notice the weight gain I quickly tried hard to lose the weight, but nothing worked. I had neglected myself for so long that I had nearly made myself sick. And it was showing in more ways than one!

Most of my adult life I have been pretty fit.

Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough? I was so busy; maybe it was just stress? So I started trying harder…only to gain more. I did all the things I would do during my good years when I had been uber healthy and fit.

I consumed a healthy, raw diet, then a paleo diet, and after a while a gluten free diet, drank plenty of water, and I tried one fast after another. I would lose 5 or 10 pounds and then a week later the weight was right back on me.

I began to notice my fingernails were getting brittle and breaking way more than usual. My hair started to thin, coming out in clumps and what was left was rough and hard to brush. It was brittle too and broke easily, resulting in much shorter hair than I like, and I was unable to grow it out. It stuck out everywhere, leaving me with a ’do that left much to be desired.

And then it was so hard to get up in the morning and by the afternoon I needed a snack and a nap (like I had time for that) to be able to handle the kids when they came home from school. Worse, I was exhausted and ready for bed by 8:30.

Remember that post I did about coffee a while back? Yep that was going on too.

Talk about crabby! Short tempered! No fun!

This went on for months before I finally gave in and made the decision that I had to do something. I had to get help.

But to be honest, picking up that phone to make an appointment for myself, when I knew I had orthodontist appointments and sporting events planned for the kids, was the hardest thing to do.

I really had to convince myself that one appointment for myself was OK.

Mamas, you are a person too…someone who needs cared for and looked after. The hard part is that YOU are the one that has to look after yourself all the while looking after all your little booger monsters and that big handsome hunk-of-love that is your husband. They can’t do it for you.

Are you falling into that trap of running around caring for everyone BUT yourself? Mamas, you are a person too…someone who needs cared for and looked after. The hard part is that YOU are the one that has to look after yourself all the while looking after all your little booger monsters and that big handsome hunk-of-love that is your husband. They can’t do it for you. I learned it the hard way – and here's what I did to turn my health around for the better!

What happens when they notice when you are not your best? That is when you clue in and say OK, I’ll go look after myself for a bit so I can take better care of you!

My first step was that phone call. Somehow the needle they stuck in my arm to draw my blood was easier to take than the time I gave myself to be there.

What I learned that day…

I have that hypothyroid condition that so many of you suffer with, making you tired and sluggish. You know, it causes that brain fog that makes us forget what we were doing!

A healthy high fat, high protein diet, plus a daily supplement of fish oil or flaxseed oil, have made a huge difference for me in my ability to think things through and remember where I put my cell phone!

I have spent the last few months on a thyroid supplement and it has really helped me. (And here’s a post from the KOTH archives that talks about women suffering from thyroid problems.)

Vitamin D symptoms can mimic thyroid conditions.

I had a double whammy: I found out that when I moved to a northern state that I completely depleted my vitamin D stores. Per doctors orders, I’ve been taking 5000 iu two times per day to build it back up.

And, get this: most people are vitamin D deficient!

I have been reading Dark Deception and it has helped me understand vitamin D deficiency and why it is such an epidemic. Plus, it includes ways to make sure I get the vitamin D I need to stay healthy….watch for a book review in the future.

I feel amazing.

I spent the last few months building up my vitamin tanks and I no longer feel so exhausted. In fact I am sometimes the last one to bed, even after those long talks at night with my teenagers!

I took a break from heavy workouts, to give my body time to recover from the damage I did by pushing myself too hard. Interestingly, I quit gaining weight and just stabilized even though I quit working out and let my body rest. But now that my tanks are full, I’m ready to tackle the new year.

I have a lot to learn still about my thyroid and the importance of Vitamin D. I’m going to start the new year by reviewing my health goals, making clear plans to achieve my goals for the new year and get the encouragement I need for a do-over.

I need a community of women.

Moms, women who are on this roller coaster of a journey with me and understand what I am going through and what I need to get through it. I used to love going to the gym and working out with other women, sharing in the battles of womanhood, commiserating and encouraging each other. ;) Now I live too far away and its just not feasible for me to drive and pay a monthly fee, so I have decided to take on my battle at home. 

The problem? No community of women, unless you count the dog and cat. So this year I’m trying something different.

I know Stephanie (our founder) well and I knew she would be bringing back her Ultimate Healthy Living Bundles for the new year, so I have been waiting to share this with you!

It’s exactly what I need from a community of moms.

I signed up last time, but to be frank I just wasn’t ready to tackle my problems. I focused on all of the BONUS items (which ARE pretty awesome).

  • Strawesome Straws made it to the family ‘TOP HITS’ list: chocolate milk may or may not taste better through a glass straw. :)
  • I’m also super excited about the new BONUS offer from Getkombucha. It’s a 30 ml bottle of Kombucha Pro worth $39.99. Remember gut health and brain health are connected! Kombucha balances your inner ecosystem helping to rid your body of things like candida that cause brain fog (forgot where you put your phone again?), sugar cravings, fatigue, and even acne.

This time I am committed to focusing on the content, the encouragement, and the help the UHLB provides to get myself healthy and ready to be a supermom again in the new year.

Thrive90 has my name written all over it…The Thrive90 Fitness Program was designed specifically to get killer results while fitting within the demands of a super-busy marriage and family life.

Doesn’t that sound like me? What about you?

Need more accountability? Join a challenge group at  Sublime Reflection with Kimberly, a healthy living coach and mother of 10. Yep. You read that right. TEN. I think she may know what she’s talking about!

The Sublime Reflection Challenge Group includes:

  • A private Facebook group for challengers
  • Daily assignments (food, fitness, mindset)
  • Support, motivation, and accountability from the other group participants
  • One-on-one support from her
  • Meal planning information
  • Clean eating education and recipes
  • Fitness accountability and support

Which one would you choose?

Both programs are included in the bundle. Plus more on fitness and healthy eating, but…

The sale is only for two days so if you are interested and want to start your health journey over this year, start here with me! We can do it together…

Join me with your own health goals. What are your health goals for the new year?