Winter Wellness

Happy (late) New Year!

We haven’t quite gotten back into the swing of things just yet, even though it’s mid-January. If you’re one of those that bounces back quickly after the holidays, then hats off to you. I’m not one of them! It seems like every year, the holidays consume me more and more, and I’m so wrapped up in the preparation that I never stop to enjoy the moments! This year, since we moved right before Thanksgiving, I did much, much less that I normally do. In terms of decorations and hosting events, I chose to spend more time at home with my family than partaking in ALL OF THE FESTIVITIES. We didn’t even stay up for New Years! Although, that could be a sign of being over 30 and having young kids than actual lifestyle change-by-choice. I hope to be more involved in the holiday fun next year, especially since we’ll be 100% settled and unpacked. That’s the plan anyway…

It’s also different this year because while I love the fresh start of a new year and I always make resolutions, I didn’t go crazy setting specifics this year! Rather, I chose to make broader focus changes, which all come together and form one big resolution: Overall Wellness. I’ve always geared towards a natural lifestyle, but this year I’m taking it further than I ever have. Between learning more than ever about toxins, carcinogens, etc and deciding that I want to do more in eliminating those risks for myself and my family, I’ve made a few key changes this year.

Saying Goodbye to Conventional Deodorant

Mainstream deodorants are filled with parabens and aluminum, both of which have been linked to breast cancer and other health issues. I’ve tried many brands over the past few months, but the two that I’ve liked the best are Native ( I love the Lavender and Rose one) and Primally Pure Charcoal.

Removing as Much Plastic as Possible

We’ve slowly started switching to glass and stainless steel only in our kitchen. So much petro-chemicals and toxins leak out of plastic and into our food/drink. I’ve changed to stainless steel cups and bowls/plates for the kids, glass tupper ware and tea pitchers, and glass/steel water bottles for us and the kids. I’m not all plastic-free yet…I can’t bring myself to get rid of all the melamine dish and drink ware sets that I’ve collected over the years from West Elm and Pottery Barn!

Trying New Vitamins and Herbal Supplements

Photo via MoonJuice.com

I will write a separate post on this topic soon, but I do want to sure a bit about my routine. I have always believed in taking vitamins and supplements. We grew up learning about natural wellness from our parents, and always took vitamins. In the past I have overdone it and taken too many vitamins that ended up being bad for my health, such as compacted tablet forms. At this point in my life, I’m finally feeling like I have a good system! My daily regimen is this: Ritual Multi-Vitamin, Young Living Life 9 Probiotic and Super C, AshwagandaCollagen Powder, and Moon Juice Adaptogenic Protein. I also love their Spirit and Brain Dusts.

Adding Teas and Kombucha to My Routine

Photo via BigEasyBucha.com

I’ve always loved tea, but I just never bothered to make it very often, especially hot tea. I tend to gravitate towards cold beverages, since I live in Florida where it’s perpetually Summer. Plus, I like to drink as many of my non-water beverages that I can through a straw…because teeth stains aren’t my cup of tea. BUT lately I’ve been loving hot tea! My favorites are organic Green Tea, which I make hot or iced and keep in a glass pitcher in the fridge, Organic Matcha Powder that I make into cold lattes with unsweetened almond milk and a scoop of Moon Juice Spirit Dust, and Get Clean Be Well Tea, which I drink every night. The health benefits to drink tea are numerous, plus they’re an amazing replacement for sugary drinks like juice and soda. Even diet sodas are terrible for your health, so I cut out my occasional Coke Zero this year too.

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is loaded with healthy-for-you bacteria. A good immune system starts with your gut, and I take a probiotic each day on top of drinking kefir and kombucha. I love Health-ade and Big Easy Bucha brands (brewed in my home state of Louisiana!). They’re both small-batch breweries and don’t have a ton of added sugar. I aim for 8 grams or less in one bottle. I’ve noticed that when I drink kombucha, that I tend to stay full longer, and I crave less random crappy foods.

Drinking 2-6 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar Daily

Okay…if you’re following my Instagram stories, you’ll know that I LOATHE ACV. I hate the way it smells, tastes, even looks. However, I can no longer deny that the health benefits far outweigh my aversion to this super-drink. So I set out to test the best way possible to ingest this nasty drink. First, learn from me; do NOT drink this straight. I figured if I could just get it over with in one shot then I’d be able to handle it for 5 seconds each day. Nah. Vinegar is super stringent on the esophagus and I couldn’t talk for about 10 minutes. It was awful and it burned. Then I tried adding 2 tbsp to my 32oz water bottle…that was still gross, and just as annoying to drink since it takes me a little while to finish. So lastly I added 2tbsp to a 16oz glass of water, mixed in a little agave, and chugged it. It doesn’t taste like cupcakes, but I could at least stand to drink it. Voila!

Working Out and Eating Right

These really are no-brainers when it comes to health and wellness, but 2017 as not my year…let’s leave it at that. I not only put on a ton of unwanted pounds, but I was unhappier than ever! I really missed getting in a good workout sesh and the good feeling that I get from eating lots of whole, healthy foods. It just took a new outlook on life to get me to open my eyes and pay attention. So I cut out beer completely, and I just drink a bit on the weekends. Mainly I stick to vodka tonic with lime…I love the all-natural Fever Tree brand! I’ve also been making sure to eat mostly whole foods to eliminate the junk they add to processed foods (like bad-for-you soy), as well as mostly being gluten and cows-milk free. I took a food sensitivity test and learned that I have moderate reactivity to cows milk, wheat, gluten, brewers yeast, spinach, and  malt. I knew some of them, which is why I drink almond milk and stick to kale instead of spinach. I’ve always reacted very strongly to beer, I get the WORST hangovers from just a few beers, and now I know why…I’m allergic! I recommend DNA testing for food sensitivity for sure. Common reactions are skim problems, joint pain, fatigue, inflammation, digestion issues, headaches, weight gain, and more!

And Always, Always Essential Oils

Photo via Jessica Garvin

I’ve been using Young Living Essential Oils for about a year and a half now, and I’ve never looked back. The only thing I regret is not starting sooner. I use them in every aspect of my life, for skin support, good sleep, pest removal and preventing, clean home, laundry, healthy hair, ingesting for health and detox properties, purifying, creating smell-good diffuser blends, YOU NAME IT. You can read more about getting starter with them here, because literally EVERYONE needs oils. I never buy essential oils from a source other than Young Living, because I cannot trust where they’re sourced from or the quality. Most store brands are perfume quality, which really means that they’re not 100% pure oils that are safe to enter your bloodstream through ingesting or skin contact. If you’re interested in learning more, my essential oils Instagram page is here, I would love for you to follow along!

 Always consult your doctor before starting a new regimen, and trust your instincts! If something feels wrong then it may be. That’s why I sought out the DNA test, and I’ve never felt better after cutting those foods out of my diet. I hope these notes help if you’re looking to introduce some wellness into your life. I am a reader at heart, so I tend to research a ton before I add something new to my life. I love reading product recommendations and reviews. This is NOT a sponsored post, and all of my opinions are my own.

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