War on Average

encouraging each other not to be satisfied with mediocre


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Go Well. Be Well…Travel Well

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Road-trip season has arrived! A little preparation can help ensure that just because YOU are on vacation your health can remain a priority…with the occasional holiday indulgence of course! (We would NEVER tell anyone it’s not a good idea to stop by the original Graeter’s Ice Cream shop in St. Mathews, KY!) But here are some ideas and tips to keep in mind so you can enjoy the travel indulgences guilt free!

Remember that healthy eating while traveling STARTS where you STOP. Planning ahead us avoid the otherwise inevitable snack grabbing that happens at the mega-gas-store-restaurant-station!

So here is a (far from exhaustive!) list of ours. Be sure to share yours with us also!

1. Save room for a cooler. Having a cooler that can be restocked with ice along the way expands the options for healthy eating. Like pre-packed or individual size greek yogurt and fruit, cuts of Greenridge Farm’s Naturals turkey (our current favorite)  or our milk type of choice to whip up a favorite protein shake with some ice in a shaker bottle.

2. Nuts, seeds and a bit of dried fruit or dark chocolate coffee beans (our favorite) helps give a burst of protein and healthy fat for energy to power through that windshield time. Just remember to consume in moderation because this is a healthy option, but is calorie dense and (I know from experience) we can plow through half our day’s caloric budget in a few big handfuls. So  we pre-pack our trail mix combos in snack size bags or containers to grab as you go.

3. Hydrate well! It’s tempting to limit our fluid intake on a road trip to save time on bathroom breaks and keep us out of the danger zone of gas stations and fast food joints for a “bathroom break.”  However, if we have planned ahead in other ways we can know that all it needs to be is a bathroom break and not a shopping spree on high calorie, salty, sugary fat filled snacks when we stop. Load up on water and if you need an energy boost make sure to stock up on Shaklee’s pomegranate or green macha energy tea for a consistent and steady source of focus and avoid getting a case of the nods behind the wheel.

4. Stretch…and move if you can. We keep an eye out for or map rest stops along the way and take advantage of them. (they are our tax dollars at work! Hopefully) Not only does this keep us out of the nutritional danger zones along our route, but usually they are equipped with ample room to stretch, park benches to eat a packed lunch and paths to walk to keep blood moving. In addition, just like in air travel, we take time every 20-30 minutes in the car to do some ankle circles and calf stretches to keep blood from pooling in your lower extremities, which is just good to avoid in general and in many cases helps avoid harmful and even deadly blood clots. Stop the Clot is a charitable organization run, in part, by a friend of ours that educates and resources the public on this threatening health issue. It’s a great wealth of info! https://www.stoptheclot.org/

Click here for a resource to locate rest areas on your route.  There are also a number of apps available that will help plan out these stops as well!

We all put a lot of effort into planning our vacations, especially road trips, but often the part of travel we addressed here is not considered in much depth. However, with a little planning and prep work you can arrive at your destination while still staying on track to your health commitments and goals. Instead of getting bogged down with sugar, salt and fat and wasting calories in the car you can arrive feeling great and energized to take on the events at your destination and even be able to enjoy whatever regional food-fare might be waiting for you!

So remember that healthy travel STARTS where you STOP.

Go Well. Be Well. Travel Well!


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Nutty Banana Snack

IMG_1282Healthy snacks take thought–especially when there are so many unhealthy snacks at our fingertips. I try to incorporate protein, vegetables or ideally, both into a snack for me and my kids. Now where this can get tricky is the little ones. We lean towards a baby-led-weaning-ish style and give our children the foods we eat. But snacks without teeth or major chewing function is harder. AND in those first two years especially, I like to incorporate as much healthy fat as possible. (We don’t give our kids milk, so I make up for the fat elsewhere).

My go-to for the bigger kids when I have nothing else and no creativity is nuts and dried cranberries or raisins. Alas, baby with no teeth cannot chop on almonds (or even cashews at this point). When they are on sale and ripe, avocados make a great snack for all ages. My mother-in-law calls them “Nature’s Fast Food.”

But when I tend to always have is bananas. (Seriously, our grocery store was OUT OF bananas tonight? If I had a banana tree and an avocado tree in my backyard I’d be set.) So my brilliant sister-in-law came up with this great idea to take bananas and make them a protein-rich snack.

First, I took almonds, pecans, and cashews and ground them in the coffee grinder. (Don’t grind too much or you’ll end up with some nut butter). Then I chopped up the bananas into bite-size pieces, coated them in the nut dust and it was a BIG HIT. My little guy (and my two older girls actually) loved the snack and it was a great addition to our little routine. Hope it helps your pre-chewing, healthy snack adventure!


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Change Your Health and Change Your Life: Janeen’s Story

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Health is more than health. When I share that, I share many stories. I share Amber & Lenna-Grace’s story, but I also often share Janeen & Dan’s story. I have the privilege here to document their story for you. Janeen and Dan didn’t just lose weight—they got their health back and in the process gave their daughter and son a whole new health as well.

Here is a short video to introduce you the Dan and Janeen.

 

Recently, I sat on my back porch with Janeen and she shared her story with me:

Our healthy journey started when my husband, Dan, came home from healthy visit and it was anything but healthy (this was almost three years ago). He was close to diabetes, high blood pressure and they wanted to put him on all these medications. But the doctor gave him three months to lose weight before he started the medications.

His dad has his first heart attack at 51 and then he had five more and lived unhealthy and unhappy. Dan was 43 at this point. I didn’t want him to have that story.

My friend, Pam, had been calling me, interested in my health. I said, “It’s time to call her.” I met her for coffee, we sat and talked. I signed up with the Shaklee180. In the first month, I lost 17 lbs and Dan lost a ton of weight too.

1044659_10200726385540335_24547869_nSix months after we started our Shaklee, we were at a Black Crows concert and Dan fainted because his blood pressure was so low! Six months earlier they had wanted to put him on medication for high blood pressure.

Dan and I continued our healthy journey of losing weight, eating healthy and enjoying our new lifestyle.

To date I (Janeen) have lost 70 lbs and Dan has also lost 70 lbs. He is now off all medications. His numbers are perfect. His diabetic numbers are all normal.

He is off his sleep apena machine. That has been great for our marriage. I couldn’t sleep with the snoring and the machine. He sounded like he was choking. I forgot about that!

 

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It is a great feeling to feel GOOD and to feel more attractive to my husband. We both feel more confident.

But we as women are our own worst critics, so my health and feeling more secure has made me a better wife too. But I know that his weight loss has given him more confidence in himself and I sure think he’s sexier!

When you are healthy you feel more confident and secure in all areas. When you are insecure you are never good at anything.

I was afraid to walk into a place and maybe someone would make a comment and I would be ready to respond with a joke. When you are worrying about yourself, you can’t be as good of a mom. It is liberating to feel this way! I know this health change has made me a better mom.

11209357_10205382947071463_4816147408517183531_nI have so much more energy with my kids, I could run around with them all day. I couldn’t do that before. We have done three 5ks together as a family.

Then my daughter, Payton, at age 11, saw the success that Dan and I were having, and wanted to try it too. She lost 30 lbs, slower, in about eight months with a shake a day and a boost in the morning and a healthy lunch.

She had great success with the program. Her swimming improved and she was able to preform better as an athlete, which is what she wanted. She made it to regionals for the first time in six years with swimming.

In that first month I started the Shaklee 180 program, I also shared with friends and clients and ended up finding 17 other people who wanted to go through the same transformation and it turned into a successful business! I have been on all-expenses paid trips to California, Nashville and even Paris because I shared my own story!

 

12178260_10156150943535263_1901743968_n (1)Then I thought what else does Shaklee have? We had just been so focused on the 180 program that we had not looked at much else. But then I was just so into feeling good I had to see what else was out there!

 

We all decided to try the Vitalizer. After we were on the Vitalizer, I noticed how much better my son Chase was doing. He has ADHD and Autism. He also has a learning disability.

Before Shaklee, he stuttered, he was nervous. He’s a non-reader. He is in sixth grade and was reading at second grade level. He didn’t have a lot of energy. He was a couch potato. Very introverted. He didn’t have any friendships. Literally none.

Life at school—he couldn’t concentrate, he was teased, he wasn’t assertive. The teachers used to call us all the time—he wasn’t concentrating, couldn’t pack his bag, couldn’t listen. Simple tasks that every kid does, seemed like Chase had a struggle with.

We had made huge changes in our whole family’s diet. We had gradually removed all dyes (and you’d be surprised what all has dye in it). Removed almost all processed food. We used to go through seven 12-packs of pop in a week and now we have none. We have also removed a lot of dairy.

Chase was a carb freak, so we have significantly reduced his carbs, especially wheat.

 

11150350_10205041666059651_1815019911466889176_nFirst we just did Vitalizer strip. Then we had a meeting with our Shaklee Nutritionist. We were so amazed with how Chase was doing that we needed to ask more questions!

He was thinking clearer. He seemed less frustrated. He seemed to be able to concentrate better. That intrigued us to try other things to see what else was possible.

So after that meeting, we added GLA and extra OmegaGuard for his brain. We also added extra B-Complex. And we gave him Gentle Sleep Complex before bed to help him calm down before bed.

Then he continued to improve. His brain definitely seemed to think clearer with the increased Omegas. It just seemed like everything kept improving.

I learned that there are 20 neurotransmitters in the gut and they communicate with your brain and when they are clogged up it’s not transmitting. So the diet changes and the probiotics made a huge difference as well.

Besides cleaning out his gut, MindWorks was the biggest transformation.

Last summer MindWorks came out. Every summer he has tutoring and every summer he has the same tutor. Nothing else had changed.

Every kid in Special Ed needs to catch up when the school year begins. But instead of catching up, this year he jumped six reading levels (which is one grade level)—he had been on MindWorks for one month.

He made the flier at school:
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IMG_6430In the beginning of school year there was a math test and he got a 31% after MindWorks for a month. Retested in December and got an 81%. His teacher wrote this note, “Have Chase tell you the big news!”

Today he came home with all A’s on his report card for the first time ever!

He is assertive now. Now he is not afraid to go engage people. His teachers say: “He has a lot of friends at school, he just doesn’t know how to take it home.” He is doing great in the classroom with the other kids. We are still fine-tuning his social skills but at least he will go up and talk to someone!

But his personality and family issues have improved too. We used to have to go to therapy as a family to help with Chase’s affection related to his autsim. He would want to give his sisters 20 hugs a day. My daughter would send him to grab her something from the basement and he would do it to get another hug. We had to work with him and teach him how to manage his affection. And now, without any more therapy, MindWorks has helped with those issues. He has begun to realize what affection is proper for him just with adding the MindWorks.

He is being more assertive and true to how he feels with his family and other people. He never would have been like that before. He has more confidence because he is reading better and fitting in.

 

IMG_8690This has changed my life as a mom in incredible ways. When a kid can sit there and do their own homework, you can spend more time on the other kids—there are three and I wasn’t able to spread myself among them. The other kids would feel like I was always with Chase because he needed to so much more help. And that’s a terrible feeling. I didn’t like giving one more attention to the other, but he needed it. I feel like now I am able to divide myself up more evenly and that feels so good.

Between all of those things, there is more peace in our home.

Even today, I got a text from a friend. She was at her wit’s end with her son being out of control and thinking he needed medication. He could not focus. So she tried MindWorks. Today she texted me “Hey that MindWorks is awesome. He forgot to take it today and that was all the proof I needed. It took him twice as long to do his homework and I had to stand next to him the whole time. It was a night and day difference.” That is a gift to her whole family.

Sometimes I wish I would have never started medication so I could see these kind of results. He just recently went off the rest of his medication!

10421642_10202873020924878_61004060619376664_nSo it’s not just my marriage or just me as a mom, I feel like my whole entire life is different.

I feel like I am a better mom because I have my health. I feel like I am a better mom because of finding health. I enjoy cooking more. I feel like I understand HOW to give my kids health too.

And honestly, there is much more to Shaklee than just great products. Those prodcuts and the edication I have received from Shaklee has been life-changing, but so has the opportunity to share that with other people. And not just cause I got to go to Paris!

 

 

11707376_10205772575091920_1241050275853214261_nMy full-time job is coloring hair and I love it. I don’t ever plan on quitting. My Shaklee business is not to replace it, it is to enhance it. Most of my business is at the salon. The rest is facebook because I am sharing these amazing results with our family’s health—because that it was is exciting in the life of my family!

I think feeling good goes with feeling healthy. I always loved making people feel pretty on the outside and now I get to help them also feel pretty on the inside by helping them with their health. This business makes me feel good because I want other people to feel the way my family feels—and help them know there are solutions out there.

We used to always feel awful. We just didn’t know we felt awful.

I am passionate about this business because of how it’s changed my life and the way I feel. It’s contagious! I want everyone to feel like this. I want people to know I can help them and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I want people to know that health can change your life.

 

This is what I want to leave you with:
It’s never too late to start a healthy journey.

Never say you are going on a diet, change your habits then change your health. It’s not like I’ll never eat a canoli again, but I don’t eat them like I used to!

Don’t get frustrated, baby steps lead to big steps. It’s not always a quick fix, it’s a process. If you’re not seeing the results you want, tweak something to make it the right process for you.

–Janeen Nufer

 


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Hammy’s Quinoa Salad

We made some changes to this great recipe to make it an even healthier option! Use the original recipe or check below for the updates (Jan 2016)

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My mother is affectionately known as Hammy. She was to be Grammy which my daughter said as Hammy, which stuck. Anyway…she took a recipe and changed it up a bit to create a delicious salad! we made a few edits too and hope you enjoy the delicious side!

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa dry
2 gloves garlic diced
1 med shallot diced
5 oz baby arugula
1-2 pints cherry tomato quartered
1/8 c olive oil (plus some to sauté garlic)
2 TB white balsamic vinegar
4-8 oz Feta cheese (cubed)
Salt and pepper

To make:
Cook quinoa*
Sauté garlic and shallot in olive oil
Turn off heat then add arugula and mix to gently wilt
Add that mixture and the rest of the ingredients to a large boil
Mix well and enjoy!

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*To cook the quinoa, add 2 cups water to a pan and boil. Add the 1 cup dry quinoa. Boil for 5 min then cover and leave for 10-15 min. This can be done the night before or earlier in the day and cooled in the fridge but you can also use hot quinoa for this dish.

 

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Updated for an even healthier option:
Use 1/2 cup dry quinoa (rather that 1 cup)
Add 1-2 cups baby spinach (wilted if desired)
Use 1/2 cup Feta (rather than a full 8 oz)

Enjoy!


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Flower Tots

So tonight we had a head of cauliflower and although our Coconut Mashed Cauliflower is the favorite food of our second daughter, our older daughter was not so excited. So we found some recipes on-line and she chose one and we modified it for our family. I have never seen a head of cauliflower disappear so quickly!

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Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
1/3 c. almond meal
1/8 c. parmesan cheese (we used Shaker Cheese cause that is all we had)
2 eggs
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp fresh basil (if you have fresh)
sprinkle of salt

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Steam cauliflower for about 5 min
3. Put all other ingredients into a bowl during steaming and mix well
4. Chop up cauliflower and add to mix
5. Roll into balls
6. Place on greased cookie sheet (I used olive oil to grease)
7. Bake for 20 min, flipping half way through

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Enjoy!

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Sweet Treats

So, I have a sweet tooth. I love chocolate. I love peanut butter and chocolate together. I love Raisinettes.

Here are two great recipes I found recently that are a healthier, less processed option!

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Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Not only are these totally delicious and easy to make but the batch they make is the perfect size for moderation 🙂 I made these with the girls. So simple!

Grok Rocks
Basically chocolate covered prunes. And way yummier than you’d think.

Enjoy!

 


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Essentials for Making Your Body a Power-House of Immunity

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I get to share these absolute essentials often as a speaker on nation-wide coaching and education webinars as well as during informal settings like play dates at the park or fitness center. I have seen the impact that paying attention to these can make so I wanted to provide them in a more widely available format. Many are no-brainers, but difficult disciplines to create. Others may require a more in-depth look at what deficiencies may exist that contribute to a weakened immune system. Either way, I am glad to provide a way to launch into pursuit of better health!

To improve and/or maintain health there are four essential recommendations: For in-depth information for the first three, check out Michelle’s great post.

  1. Nutrition:
    This is KEY. Decrease sugar (which includes grains) and increase vegetables. Sugar decreases immunity and vegetables increase immunity. This seems simple but it takes effort to have a nutritious diet. However, the effort you make to pursue nutrition and prepare healthy options will replace effort you may currently be putting forth in other areas. Consider time spent at doctor’s offices, home from work or school or even funds spent to meet deductibles or pay co-pays for office visits or prescriptions. (We offer help with nutrition plans for all our Shaklee members). You may have heard “abs are made in the kitchen” and so it goes for immunity as well.Planning ahead to make the best nutrition choices as often as possible is very important. When you know you will be attending an event that will involve less than healthy options, be sure you consume protein and vegetables earlier in the day. You can also learn more about how to off-set the effects of an evening of poor nutrition or even a few alcoholic beverages with supplements. A quality, proper supplement will help your body process the occasional cheat meal or beverage and ensure you are not left deficient due to the stress that the less healthy choices may put on your body.
  1. Sleep & Stress:
    Our bodies need sleep to repair and rest. Not getting enough quality sleep leads to a weaker immune system. Never underestimate the impact stress creates on the body. Often the symptoms of stress or lack of sleep will not show up until it is too late. This is why it is so important to design a sleep schedule and stress management routine (it can be very brief, especially if your body is equipped with the appropriate raw materials to internally regulate stress.) Stress will greatly hinder your immune system. (Shaklee members can contact us to help with these areas).
  2. Habits:
    Habits are the small actions that yield potentially enormous benefits. Make the simple steps to stay healthy part of your routine: wash hands, have your children change out of their school clothes before their naps. If you want to learn even more then get educated about food sanitation and how germs can spread through food (My friend Monica has some great professional advice!)
  3. Supplements:
    Many people already feel like they have a good handle on the first three essentials, but are looking for even more ways to stay healthy. It seems to be getting more and more difficult, especially for those exposed regularly to schools, gyms and public workplaces. Because of this, I often get asked which supplements are best to boost immunity. These are just BASIC suggestions. Talk to your Shaklee consultant to determine a more customized and most cost effective plan for you. If you’re wondering why we choose Shaklee, watch this little video or ASK US! We are passionate about the Shaklee Difference!

    Start with a healthy base:
    I recommend everyone (young and old) to be on a QUALITY multivitamin with research that backs it’s effectiveness. Why supplement? Despite even the best efforts to eat organic and all natural, our food supply does not contain the vitamins and minerals it once did. Even organic produce is grown for yield and not for nutritional value This means the choice is ours whether to supplement in an educated way that eliminates deficiencies and allows our bodies to function the way God designed them.
    For seasonal immunity and those who require additional immune support:
    Optiflora probiotics: Over 70% of the immune system is in the gut. Probiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive system. Shaklee has a patented triple-encapsulated delivery system that guarantees delivery of the full dose of probiotics at the right point in the digestive system. This is especially important for those who have Candida issues, have recently been on antibiotics, steroids, or those who experience digestive issues.

    Vitamin C: Shaklee makes a chewable Vitamin C for children (better than Flinstone’s in every way, including that it is all natural and has no toxic fillers or ingredients like most over the counter kid’s vitamins have). Shaklee also has a sustained release Vitamin C supplement for adults. Ask me why sustained release is key for certain supplements. There are good reasons, but from a cost stand-point it ensures your body is getting it’s money’s worth of the supplement you ingest.

    Vitamin D: Bioavailability matters and ensuring that the Vitamin D you are taking is absorbed into your body is key. Vitamin D is chocked full of benefits for year round health and immunity, but especially important during the colder, cloudier winter days as well as if you work indoors most of the day.

    That extra boost:
    These supplements are great for when you feel like you or someone in your family is coming down with something or even once you are undoubtedly sick. Either way, taken regularly, they will help you avoid getting sick or at the very least assist your recovery and cut the time significantly that it takes you to get back to feeling human again. In our family we have avoided sickness countless times in the last several years simply by keeping these on hand and using them at the right time. Not only do we rarely get sick now, even with very young children, we have more time in our lives because of the down-time and effort being sick requires.

    Vitalized Immunity: Is a tasty (alka-seltzer-like) orange flavored tab that dissolves in water and boosts your immune system with a variety of vitamins. Has the equivalent of sixteen orange’s worth of vitamin C in addition to other immune boosting ingredients. (For kids under ten I usually give ½ of a tab.)

    NutriFeron: Scientists and medical communities have identified interferon as being crucial to healthy immune function. NutriFeron is an exclusive, patented formula, which provides a proprietary blend of four plant extracts designed to naturally increase levels of interferon in the body and provide immune support at the cellular level. When symptoms of sickness begin to become evident this is what our family begins to supplement with immediately and are close to a perfect record of fighting off the sickness before it takes hold.

    Defend & Resist: Defend & Resist Complex strengthens your body to respond to environmental challenges by giving your immune system what it needs to stay strong. Key ingredients in Defend & Resist have been shown in laboratory studies to help to stimulate the body’s natural resistance with Echinacea purpurea, help to maintain a healthy immune response with black elderberry and enhances immune support with larch tree. Who knew such little-known natural sources could be part of supporting your body, which was designed to be strong, to fight off sickness and germs?!

    The first two of these were staples in our home daily leading up to Christmas when everyone we talked to seemed to be sick and when nutrition and sleep were at a low. We managed to stay completely healthy despite regular contact with sick family and friends over the holidays. Yes!!

 

These are simple guidelines to begin a roadmap to a stronger immune system. Your Shaklee consultant will be able to help you customize a plan to your specific needs and even taking budget into consideration.