Winter Health Tips

Baby, it's cold outside! Motivation seem to slow and sticking to those resolutions gets harder as the degrees drop. Keep yourself focused, calm, and centered with these easy-to-implement health tips. 

EAT TO LIVE

health-tips-eat-well-colorful

I don't like the word "diet." Dieting is a mental state that just makes you think of all the things you're missing. Instead of going on a diet and focusing on all the things you're getting rid of, try incorporating more lively and colorful foods into your daily routine. Think of all the possibilities for a homemade stir fry, colorful smoothie, or roasted veggie dish The more vitamins and minerals you eat from whole, unprocessed food, the less you'll crave and be hungry for the junk.

GET MOVING

running-exercise-sneakers

I personally have always loved exercise, but I know I'm in the minority here. It's hard for me to stay motivated when it's this cold outside, but I think of exercise as something I do to make myself feel awesome afterward. Bored of the same ol' activity? Switch up your routine! Try yoga instead of running one day, take a dance class (or have a solo dance party in your living room), or even just go on a brisk 30 minute walk with a friend. The more your blood gets pumping the better (and warmer!) you'll feel.

LESS SUGAR/ALCOHOL/CAFFEINE

winter-health-tips-sugar-caffeine

Like it or not, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol are all drugs. Reducing your intake of any of these will do wonders for you health. Of course, everything in moderation here - if you starve yourself of sugar and then binge later, that will be counterproductive. Limit your self to treats on the weekends, or maybe one day per week. I had to start telling myself to think of treats as "treats" - only having them on special days and not everyday. Try snacking on raisins or fruit instead of candy, substitute that 3rd cup of coffee for green or herbal tea, and limit those happy hours when you can. 

DRINK. MORE. WATER.


You hear it time and time again - practically every health tip blog will include this, and there's a multitude of great reasons. I always start my day off with at least 8 oz of water, if not 16 oz (yes, even before coffee or tea!). Think about it: you just spent 7+ hours going without water while you were sleeping - your body is already dehydrated. One of the worst things you could do would be to immediately introduce substances that could dehydrate you even further (*ahem*, caffeine, we're looking at you). Try drinking a glass of water before your morning coffee and notice the difference of how it makes you feel. I carry a 32 oz. water bottle with me practically at all times which helps me measure how much I'm drinking per day. Water helps lubricate joints and muscles, improves brain function, increases energy levels (!!), and can aid in weight loss, among a whole host of other benefits. If you find the taste of water boring, try infusing some herbs like mint or a squeeze of lemon or orange for some added flavor. 

PERSONAL TIME

hobby-new-activity-winter-health-tips

I notice myself getting super stressed when I don't reserve time for myself. My mother used to tell me to be mindful about guarding your personal time, and moms are almost always right! For the lucky ones, maybe you have 1 full day to yourself a week. If you're schedule is too crazy, or if you have kids, reserving even just 15 minutes a day to meditate, journal, or do other activities important to you will do wonders in keeping you sane. Try taking up a new hobby, drawing, learn to knit, joining a book club, reading on your own, scrapbooking, painting your nails, or taking a bath! Not sure where to start? Join us for a class and learn a new skill in a couple of hours! Link to see our class schedule here

When you start to feel pulled in too many directions, slow down and take some time for yourself. Trust me, not only will you feel better, the people around you will appreciate it as well!

In good health!
Amanda

Disclaimer: As the author, I have based my writings upon my own experiences, beliefs, and extensive research regarding the topics covered in this blog. However, I am not a medical doctor, nurse, or medical professional formally qualified in this subject matter. The information contained in this blog is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. All diet and exercise decisions should be made with the approval of your health care provider. Please read and use the information that you derive from this blog appropriately and at your own risk. 

Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

New Years Resolutions are in full swing - gyms are packed and diets are all the rage. Between all of your goals for the new year, who has time to think about feeding oneself? Enter the crock pot, your new best friend. Throw a few things in your slow cooker in the morning and come home to a hot, delicious, healthful meal that will keep you from grabbing that bag of potato chips immediately after getting home. Here are 10 of our favorites that will keep you satisfied, healthy, and happy!

BEEF ROAST

Mmmm. Meat just falls apart after being slow-cooked! Just like your mom used to make. Recipe via Creme de la Crumb here

Image via  Creme de la Crumb

TACOS AL PASTOR

Image via  Gimme Some Oven

Image via Gimme Some Oven

You heard me: TACOS. Recipe via Gimme Some Oven here

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Image via  Cooking Classy

Image via Cooking Classy

Perfect when you want some classic comfort food. An easy dish to make to help those winter colds you know are coming. Recipe via Cooking Classy here

HEALTHY CHILI

Image via  Savory Nothings

Image via Savory Nothings

Keep this one in your back pocket for your Superbowl party. Not only a classic dish for this time of year, it's a healthy alternative to all of those fried snacks you munch on while watching the game. Recipe via Savory Nothings here

WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI VERDE

Image via  Maebells

Image via Maebells

Not a red meat fan? No problem! Try this lighter, yet still filling, version of chili. It's gluten-free too, for those with allergies. Recipe via Maebells here

RED LENTIL DAL

Image via  Cafe Johnsonia

Image via Cafe Johnsonia

Gone completely veg or vegan? This red lentil dal is perfect, as it is filling and has a hefty portion of spices to keep you excited. Try it out for meatless Monday, omnivores! Recipe via Cafe Johnsonia here

KOREAN SHORT RIB TACOS

Image via  Carpe Season

Image via Carpe Season

I'll admit, I have a bit of a taco obsession (but who doesn't?). Try these out for a bit of flair in your week. Recipe via Carpe Season here

THAI CHICKEN SOUP

Image via  foodiecrush

Image via foodiecrush

Needing a bit more spice in your chicken soup that the traditional American version has to offer? Try this yummy Thai version that features red curry paste and peanut butter. Omnomnom. Recipe via foodiecrush here.  

BEEF STEW

Another classic, perfect for those chilly winter snaps. Chock full of veggies, too! Recipe via Whole and Heavenly Oven here

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

Image via  The Healthy Maven

If you have not had homemade applesauce yet, do yourself a favor and put it on your to-do list ASAP. Store-bought simply pales in comparison. A snack of toasty warm applesauce will satisfy any sugar craving that might hit you. Recipe via The Healthy Maven here

Let us know some of your favorites in the comments! Happy low-maintenance cooking! 
-Amanda

Halloween Sweets & Treats

Sweet tooth fanatics, rejoice! We've rounded up some of our favorite Halloween goodies for kids and adults alike. Put on some spooky music and start cooking up a storm!

Pumpkin Bread Truffles

Pumpkin bread and truffles?! Two of my favorite things in one! Plus, you really can't just get over how adorable they look. (via Better Homes and Gardens)

Spiderweb Cheesecake

Image via  Epicurean Mom

Image via Epicurean Mom

Besides looking absolutely gorgeous, this cheesecake is no-bake! Worry about what you'll wear to that fabulous spooky soiree instead. (via Epicurean Mom)

Frozen Banana Pops

Image via  Skinny Taste

Image via Skinny Taste

For those looking for something a bit healthier but still adorable, look no further than these frozen "boo-nana" pops. Substitute the white chocolate with vanilla greek yogurt for an even healthier version. A great option for people with gluten intolerance! (via Skinny Taste)

Peanut Butter Candy Corn Pretzel Bark

Image via  Something Swanky

Your sweet and salty fix all in one! Impress guests at the next party, or give as a hostess gift! Put it in a glass mason jar and tie with a bit of twine for a personal feel. (via Something Swanky)

Chocolate and Vanilla Mummy Cupcakes

Image via  Sugar and Charm

Image via Sugar and Charm

So simple to make, kids will want to help too! They're sure to be a crowd-pleaser for any age group. Yummmm. (via Sugar and Charm)

-Amanda