Pretty Little Packages

I started today pretty excited & happy.  I found a recipe from Young & Raw on facebook recently that I wanted to try.  Iced Green Matcha…. mmm yummy!  I like hot Matcha; so I thought that I would try it cold.  Plus, since I am no longer drinking coffee– I was missing a morning drink. So I thought I would give this drink a try.

I mixed up the recipe quickly, (It’s fast & easy) ,tossed it in my mason jar, and ran out the door to work.

During my 45 minute commute to work, I sipped on my drink– enjoying the fun color. I would say about halfway to work, I realized I had to make an important decision regarding my Matcha.  Down the rest of my drink, so my co-workers would not have to see my green drink or proudly rock the Matcha in a Mason Jar.  I really wanted to sip on my drink and enjoy it most of the morning.  While I debated my predicament, I realized that if I carried my mason jar in, I was sure to get comments and questions. Perfect!  I get to tell people about my awesome healthy drink, my coworkers  already think I am nutty! So why not give people something to talk about and enjoy my crazy healthy drink!

StarbucksAs I approached work, I wondered if my drink was in a Starbucks cup or a cup from a local coffee shop, would they even think twice about it being green? Probably not. But make your drink at home, put it in a mason jar, and you will have their attention.  I mean, they have a drink that looks a lot like mine. Check it out straight from their site: Starbucks Iced Green Tea  Photo from http://so–hi.blogspot.com/2013/05/diy-starbucks-iced-green-tea-latte.html

My decision was made- take it in with me and enjoy it. Heck it looks a lot like the Starbucks version as is.

IMG_0568I was ready to have some fun!  The way I look at it, if people are noticing my green drink– then I can tell them about it. If I can share, people may start to get interested in living a healthier life.  Once someone is interested and is curious, then they might start making an attempt to living a cleaner lifestyle.  Once you start living a cleaner lifestyle, then you realize that it is not hard and might start cleaning up more in their lives.  I love watching someone become interested in nutrition and health!  I am not sure that there is much more that makes me happy.

Anyway, back to this morning.  I pulled into my work, popped my backpack on (which I still owe you a post about 😉 ) and off I went into the building.  I decided to swing through the cafeteria to top off the ice in my drink.  In the cafeteria there were a couple of coworkers and, sure enough, we struck up a conversation about my green drink…………………in a mason jar.

This was great!  I had the opportunity to share with them 2 healthy ideas!  We talked for a minute about how I drink out of glass and why it’s healthy for you AND my healthy green matcha!

Mission accomplished… I was able to share my green drink recipe with another 4 people before I left the cafeteria and more throughout the day.  Overall, I think personally getting the chance to talk with 10 people about my green drink in one day is pretty awesome.  So don’t be afraid to make your own pretty packages or to carry them in public.  You never know when you influence someone to change their life.

So I tip my pretty green glass to you!  I hope that you will try Matcha in a Mason Jar soon! 

 

I am Habit

Life is one big habit… It can change, evolve, morph– but when you step back and really look, we live by habits. They can be long term habits or short term. We all live by them.

Don’t get me started on how hard it is to change them… 21 days to establish a new one or break an old one! That takes dedication.

I have a habit of staying snuggled in bed, enjoying the cool fall air, and my warm blankets.

I develop new ones and retire old ones.  I have  had a habit called, the “just one” habit but it had to go. This habit was my,  just one cookie now, just one cookie later, just one more… You are smart, you get the picture and can see my waist line growing by the second. This is why the just one habit was retired.

Out with the old bad habit–in with the new healthy one. One habit I am in the process of making a staple in my life is Foundation Training. Have you heard of Foundation Training? Feel free to ask what it is. You (reader), “What’s Foundation Training?” I am so glad you asked! Foundation Training or FT is a workout that strengthens your lower back through a combination of yoga and squats. Sounds weird huh? I thought so too. In fact, the first couple of times I saw it, I thought to myself, “1. That does not look hard. 2. Does that really work? 3. I don’t really need to work on my lower back- or do I?”

Out of curiosity, I tried the FT video found on YouTube, check it out below!  I do the workout that is just shy of 12 minutes.  The first time I tried this training,  I learned a couple of quick hard lessons.

FT11. It may not look hard, but it IS most definitely challenging.
2. It really does work. My lower back had never really experienced that type of concentrated workout. I was expecting to be sore after a workout like that. BUT, I was super surprised to realize I was standing up straighter, and my lower back was not nearly as sore at the end of a workday.
3. Uhm YES dummy- your lower back needs work. In the words of Toby Keith, “I am not as good as I once was.”

Me really enjoying FT Time! –>

Honestly, it did not take me long to realize that I needed to add this healthy habit to my daily schedule. I can tell you that when I do FT in the morning before work, I feel 10 times better throughout the day. I have also noticed that my tennis game has improved. Double bonus. I have even gone to the park on my lunch and done FT. I hope no one was watching me

Matcha in a Mason Jar

Mmmmmmmm…. this is soooo good you HAVE to try it!

Recently, my body decided it did not like coffee, but I was still missing my morning drink. Tea just has not been cutting it.  Then I saw this recipe on facebook from Young & Raw  and my mornings seem complete again. I have adjusted this recipe a little from the original that Young & Raw posted.  I really liked it and wanted to share with you.  I did make a small change to the recipe.  For the original recipe: click here.

Ingredients:
photo 12 tsp. Matcha-  I chose organic

8 oz. Milk – I use Organic Almond Milk, unsweetened. (it’s only 30 calories for 8 ounces!) You can use any milk.

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1 tbs. Maple Syrup (you can use more or less… my sweet tooth shows)

Stevia-  Use this after you try your drink if you need to sweeten it more

Okay, here is how you can whip up your own Matcha in a Mason Jar.

I toss all the ingredients in the blender and mix.

Once mixed, pour over ice and ENJOY!  If you need to sweeten it more, add stevia to taste.

You will have a awesome Iced Matcha in a Mason Jar!

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Mac’s EZ Lemonade

Summer is quickly slipping away…  I wish it would stay a little longer.  I am going to miss it, are you?

Days are getting shorter and soon we will be bundling up in big sweaters and jeans. Temperatures are dropping and soon the leaves will be changing, this makes me pretty excited.

Don’t get me wrong, my favorite season EVER is Fall.  Normally,  I am looking forward to fall’s arrival, but this year Louiesummer seemed way too short.  I wish it would hang around a little longer.   Maybe it was because we had a record breaking winter for both temperature and snow accumulation.  Heck, we even had to plow the horse pasture!  That was a first for me, the drifts were so big that the babies could not climb over.  I was a little worried they would get stuck and we would have to launch a rescue mission. Check out a video of the horses playing in the snow on one of the coldest days last winter: Here.  It is pretty cute, but I am biased.

IMG_0199Anyway enough about last year’s monster winter, back to me not letting summer go–by sharing a favorite summer drink, “Mac’s, EZ Lemonade” with you.   This recipe is so quick and easy, you will wonder how you have been living without it! I know that I have asked myself that exact question more than once when making this lemonade recipe.

Before I share the recipe, I think I need to let you in on a secret and the secret ingredient…  as a rule, I make things from scrap, with whole ingredients and fresh, but…I am also all about quick and convenient!  So when a great family friend, Mac, showed me a bottle of squeezed organic lemons, I fell in <3.  I mean, it’s not hard to use the hand squeezer to make your own lemon juice.  It just seems to take me a few minutes that I never seem to have. I almost feel like I am cheating on life by getting my organic lemon juice from a bottle, but when life gets busy, you have to play smart.  Thanks to Mac, I can have one of my favorite drinks in no time at all now all year. Because he introduced me to the secret time saving ingredient: Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice.

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Reasons that I LOVE this juice:

1. It’s ORGANIC!

2. 1 Jar contains 80 lemons worth of juice… do you know how long it would take to hand squeeze that many lemons?  I don’t even want to imagine how long it would take or how sore my arm would get.

3. It’s a great buy.  You can find a two-pack of these at Costco for $7.00!  Do you know how many glasses of lemonade you can make with a two-pack?  MANY!  More than I could count… okay maybe I would get distracted before counting them!

4. I don’t have to clean the hand squeezer.

5. It’s stored in glass… I will tell you about my love of glass soon.

6. It’s waiting for you in the fridge.

 I think you get the picture… I really <3 this product and you should fall for it too!

Now for the recipe: Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

There are only 3! Count them 3 Ingredients!  Simple right?

1. Italian Volcano – Lemon Juice
2. Water
3.  Stevia

Alright… here is how I make Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

Grab a jar, a glass, a water bottle… something that will hold liquid and fill it 2/3 full with water.
Here is my favorite jar… it’s such a fun blue.

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Bonus:  it’s 34 ounces , which means I am not running for refills every two minutes!
Double Bonus: It has a lid with a straw (not pictured) but makes spills less likely.
Yes, I am pretty much a big kid and need a lid with a fun straw!

Fill your cup with water.

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Pour some of your Italian Volcano juice into the water. This is where you will have to experiment to see how much you like.  If you want your drink really lemony, add more.  If you don’t want it as strong, then add less. To start,  I normally add just enough juice that my water turns cloudy, taste and then adjust my lemonade from there.

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Next grab your stevia and sweeten your drink. I have a sweet tooth so I tend to use 1-2 droppers full in a 34 ounce jar.  If you are not used to Stevia, start small and add 5-10 drops until your drink is sweet enough.

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Secret tip: you can always add more lemon and stevia, but you can’t always take it back.

Now that your drink is made, add ice, and enjoy!

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If you want to spice up your lemonade, you can always add some strawberries or raspberries.

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Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice has revolutionized how I make lemonade!

What’s your favorite easy recipe or “cheat” healthy ingredient?

The day I gave up COFFEE!!!!

IMG_0041I have yet to pull my hair out or gone insane. Well anymore insane than normal. However, I am pretty sure hell might have actually froze over this week because I gave up coffee pretty much cold turkey.  I am the type of person that would live with a coffee mug in hand with plenty of coffee, a little almond milk and stevia.  I am pretty sure that my coffee mug was my adult security blanket. I have to admit that it’s been a little freeing not carrying it with me everywhere.

I am not even sure how my body decided it wanted to give up coffee, but it did!  All I know is that while doing the “Green Smoothie Girl’s” detox program last month, I was not refilling my coffee cup like normal. Some days I was not even finishing the original coffee I started with in the morning. During a visit, my boyfriend went old school mom on me and checked my temperature on my forehead when I dumped coffee out of my mug. Yes, it was the original coffee from the morning.  I promised him that I was okay. I filled up my mug the next morning and still could not finish it. This happened for about a week.

Then three days ago, I took one sip of my coffee on my way to work  and found my mug full under the backseat of my car when I got home later that night. Thank God the lid stayed closed. Although a car that smells like coffee would not be the worst thing in the world.

Friday, I did not even take my mug in with me. It sat empty and lonely in the car.

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I can tell you it’s really weird to wake up and not crave coffee.

I will be honest… I am not sure how long I will be 100% coffee free… I really enjoy the taste but I know that my coffee consumption was not healthy.

Here are a couple of reasons that I am okay with not drinking coffee.
* Coffee is acidic and I want to keep my body alkalized to help prevent cancer growing. So I will probably be coffee free for a while.
* Coffee stains your teeth… and a white smile is more attractive than a yellow smile.
* Coffee breath smells. Let’s be real… after drinking coffee we have all looked for gum or mouthwash!

Last night, before my sister’s college volleyball match I missed an iced coffee for a minute, but then realized, I was going to live without it.

So here is to living coffee free… or freer.

What’s one thing you want to give up?  I would love to hear what it is and what your game plan is to make it happen 🙂

Ps. I found the cup of coffee picture one day on Facebook and it sums up well how I have lived my life the last couple of years. I have had this pic saved on my computer for months.  Now I need to find that picture with the empty cup.

 

Why must you judged… me?

Why must you judged me? I don’t judge you…  I am a little confused why you feel the need to make faces at me, the comments behind my back,  or even to my face?  I choose to live my lifestyle, just like you choose to live yours.  Don’t you know that your snide comments and dirty looks can hurt even a tough professional?  Because, deep down,  I am just like every other human… I am vulnerable too!

Insert disclaimer here: Do me a favor and hang with me for this post… I just need to get this off my chest.

jar

I carry my water in glass jars.  Okay, I carry lots of water in my glass jars.  I tend to take about 100 ounces with me to work everyday. Believe me, people have noticed my glass jars that go everywhere with me.  They may be kind of hard to hide–because, let’s be real, a  34 ounce jar is enormous and not easily hidden in a meeting room.   Sometimes they are even filled with a green smoothie, then they are really hard to miss. I have been told that my green smoothies are great for keeping  my team from munching at work.   I guess not everyone thinks it’s normal to drink a green or sometimes deep purple drink.  I am so glad to help my team stay away from sugar filled snacks while I enjoy a super nutrition-packed smoothie.
The looks and comments that were made when I brought in a real knife to cut my apples… I remember them every time you ask to borrow it to cut your apples. Amazing how handy that real knife really is, huh?  (I hope I am not coming off too sassy.)   appleI find it very ironic how you tend to pick apart my life and my efforts to live healthy; while I don’t say a word to you about your choices.  Do you need to make the comments about my food  because I don’t go running to the vending machines for a snack? Instead, daily I bring my fruit, veggies, and my beloved peanut butter hummus. (If you are looking for the recipe… Click: HERE!)  Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I desperately want to break down and buy one of everything in the machine, but I don’t!  It’s my choice. It’s my life… my beliefs, and I want to live a healthy life. Don’t you realize that my healthy lifestyle has helped me fight Lyme’s Disease quickly this summer?  I have only missed a few days of work, like 4 full days and a couple of halves since being diagnosed. Most would have ended up on short term disability…  Instead, I am almost all the way back! Considering it affected my liver and heart functionality, I am feeling pretty blessed!  Seeing the fast results from the Lyme’s recovery only makes me want to continue my healthy lifestyle and improve it even more.

Why do you make faces when I use my toaster oven instead of the microwave?  Thanks to my brother, J, who gave me the oven for my birthday this summer.IMG_7344

(I must be a super nerd if I get excited over a toaster oven!)  Now I can get a warm meal at work without using my little crockpot, or heating it on my running engine.  engineJust kidding about the engine.  I do warm my food in a toaster oven because when you use a microwave it changes your food on a molecular level.  I don’t look at you cross-eyed when you use the microwave so do you really need to make the comments about how I warm my food?

 

Recently, I changed how I carry everything into work. Because of the weight of the jars and the amount of food I take with me,  I bought a small hiking backpack. One with a waistband, to take the weight off my shoulders…so that my back can get some relief.  I will show it to you later this week.    I am super excited about it, and It’s a super cool blue color!  It also makes my eyes pop!  In all seriousness, my back is really grateful for the new bag.

Okay, every so often I will say something about a co-worker’s cologne or perfume…  I am not perfect, if I were I would be sitting at Jesus’ right hand… but I am not.  So, I guess for now, you will have to put up with me.   I probably should be better and not make a comment. Note to self, no more perfume comments, even when I turn green and want to throw up.  This might be hard, because I have lived fragrance free for over 2 years now and perfumes can make me turn really cool shares of greeeeeen. We can talk about that later. I do use essential oils, and they smell so amazing. They are a great alternative to the chemical filled fragrances common in society.

I am different from your average person…  I know it.  I accept it. In a weird way, I enjoy it!  I hope that by walking what I talk people will start to realize that living a healthy lifestyle is not hard. It’s completely obtainable. You can eat organically without breaking the bank.  It’s why I started this blog to share with you, as a young professional, how easy it is to live a healthy lifestyle.  I used to think that junior high girls were the worst when it came to judgment against each other, but I am beginning to think that professionals are worse.  Maybe I am over-reacting. Maybe I am completely wrong.  All I know is that the comments that others make to me based on my lifestyle is getting old and won’t change my mind. Instead, they strengthen my resolve to continue to live an organic lifestyle.

 Don’t judge me for doing… because I don’t judge you.

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