Easing Stress | Making Lists

Not surprisingly, December is the month when the number one issue for almost everyone I see in health coaching appointments is stress. The end of the year brings all kinds of compounded feelings – goals not being met…work not getting finished by years end…running out of time for all of those social engagements that creep up. Although this truly is one of the most joyful times of year, for many people this can be the most stressful as increased responsibilities suck away any extra time and leave many people feeling frantic and stressed out. Continue reading

Batch Cook | Roasted Fall Veggies

Batch cooking – the lifesaving strategy for the busy folk. For most people, the week can creep up on us, and getting home late, forgetting to pack lunch or having no time to prep a healthy morning breakfast can completely throw off a week. That’s where batch cooking and a little thinking ahead can be incredibly helpful. Batch cooking is the practice of choosing 2-3 recipes and making them once per week to store for busier days. This could be something like a large vegetable frittata for breakfast, a pot of a whole grain salad or whole roasting a chicken for quick dinner protein. At least once a week, take a few minutes to plan out what you’d like to eat for a couple of meals (especially those meals when you know you wont have the time to prepare them) and go ahead and make all of them ahead of time when you have 1-2 hours on the weekends or a slower week night. This means you’ll always have at least one thing you can quickly grab that’s not fast food, snack food or sweets when you’re in a rush. Continue reading

5 grounding practices for when the world is moving too fast

This is the time of year when things start to feel a little crazy for people. The most common complaints that I hear starting in October includes increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm and this is often described as “the world is just moving too fast!”. It’s completely normal for people to feel swept up in the hustle and bustle of the fall and holiday season and they may feel completely overwhelmed before they even know how they got into that state. Now is the time to start implementing grounding, calming and nurturing practices into your daily routine so that we can build up a resilience to the increased stress that accompanies the fall season. Here are 10 grounding practices that you can practice anytime, anywhere to give our body some much needed support and resilience in the busiest time of year: Continue reading

Supplement Overwhelm | Where to Start When Choosing New Supplements

While I was working in the supplement sections of various health food stores over the years, it was a daily repeated occurrence for folks to wander into the aisles, meandering through thousands of almost identical looking bottles with an eventual look of confusion or resignation on their face, realizing they had no idea how many different types of CoQ10 there could possibly be. And now they had to choose one. Continue reading

Summer Seasonal Recipe Roundup

If there’s ever a season to enjoy the abundance of fresh produce – summertime is it! It seems like every week I go into Ellwood Thompsons or visit my local farmers market and there are new fruits and veggies to try and I’m never at a loss for recipes this time of year. I truly love the practice seasonal eating and encouraging others to find ways to incorporate their CSA’s and local produce onto their daily plates. It’s a beautiful feeling of connection with the season and with the farms and gardens that nourish us – plus the more seasonally you eat, the more you can support your local farms! Below are some of my favorite seasonal recipes to incorporate the delicious and nutrient dense bounty that summer has to offer in some creative and simple ways! Continue reading

Reverse Osmosis Water

You may have noticed that in many health food stores (Including Ellwood Thompsons), there is a section for bulk water fills which includes a tank for Reverse Osmosis water. Reverse Osmosis Water (RO) is designed to remove impurities and contaminates from water by filtering it under pressure through a semi-permeable (reverse osmosis) membrane. This membrane allows some atoms to pass through but not all of them (notably not the larger molecules). A reverse osmosis membrane will allow water molecules to pass through while filtering out a large portion of dissolved salts, bacterias and contaminants. This process deionizes and de-mineralizes water and creates a water with a very low concentration of salts (or ions). Generally, the RO filtration system can remove 95-99% of dissolved salts, bacteria, colloids, fluoride, iron, arsenic, lead, and pyrogens which is extremely beneficial for water supplies that are brackish, contaminated or that are being used in food and beverage production. RO does not remove gases from water, therefore the resulting RO water may have a slightly lower pH than normal. Continue reading

Grocery Budget: When to Purchase Organic

A common question I’ve received over the years is when to purchase organic products if you’re trying to stay within a strict grocery budget. There’s a lot of conflicting information about this and honesty everyone may have a different opinion. From my own experience, I find that this answer often changes from year to year depending on how our foods are manufactured and this is an industry that is constantly changing and shifting with increasing demand, political pressures and environmental irregularities. How your food was produced even 2 years ago may be entirely different today, and trying to keep track of this can easily suck you into an endless black hole of time consuming information hunting. So, here are my tips and resources for how to make the decision on what to purchase organic and when. Continue reading

Travel Well: 3 Products to Keep in Your Carry On

It’s that time. Vacations and extra travel are upon us and even though it’s nearly summer, it’s still just as easy to catch a cold or a bug when we’re on vacation. In fact when we travel we’re almost twice as likely to catch a cold or illness (even in the summer!) due to several reasons. 1. We’re exposed to new pathogens or allergens usually from a new population of people, eating out more and being in contact with more germs/pollutants than usual. 2. Our immune system is more taxed due to the exposure of these things. 3. Our endocrine system – especially our adrenal glands – can become fatigued more quickly due to the increase in activity and also increase in immune function. All this to say – definitely go on your vacations. And while you’re packing, you may want to tuck in a few whole-body supporting products just in case you start to feel run down. Here are a couple that I’ve found most beneficial time and time again, and are really ideal for any season – not just in the summer. Continue reading

5 Nutrients to Support Your Sleep Cycle

Quite often around the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter, there’s an uptick in sleep disturbances for many people. If you’ve ever had difficulty sleeping (for several nights in a row or chronically), then you know how frustrating not being able to sleep can be. It’s a difficult task to determine what may be actually causing the sleep issues for each person, but some of the common influencers are elevated stress / anxiety (i.e cortisol imbalance), increased systemic inflammation, poor diet (or general digestive dysfunction), and of course a host of lifestyle factors that force the body to ignore essential environmental cues to entrain their natural circadian rhythm. Usually folks don’t start to have trouble sleeping out of the blue – there’s an underlying cause that’s contributing to it. Each person may have a different cause for their sleep troubles, but there are several nutrients that everyone needs to support their sleep cycle, and they may be worth trying if you have trouble sleeping yourself. Continue reading

Lemon Balm – Spring’s Aromatic Tea Herb

This time of year, my favorite little herb that finally comes back around is Lemon Balm. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a perennial, herbaceous herb that is a favorite for most any garden – from the lay person’s first kitchen garden to the more expert gardener. I’ve been growing lemon balm for several years, and it has been one my all time favorite herbs to use medicinally for almost 10 years now. It’s easy to grow, relatively hardy, fragrant and super easy to harvest! Continue reading