Wednesday, September 13, 2017

17 Things to do This Fall

The weather is starting to get a little cooler. About now everyone is going crazy about "pumpkin spice" everything. After all the official first day of Fall is September 22nd.

Too bad Winter has to come afterwards, because when the leaves change color and we dig out our sweaters and scarves, this time of year can be wonderful. And I love the fact that my husband can wear a sweater over his polos and long sleeved shirts, because that means less ironing.

There are so many great things to do when the season changes.


Here are 17 ways of enjoying Fall.

1. Go for a bonfire with family and/or friends
2, Make smores because they never go out of season
3. Visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard
4. Make your own apple cider
5. Go for a hike
6. Be a kid and play in the leaves. Better yet have your family join you.
7. Run in the crisp morning
8. Meet a friend for seasonal coffee or share one with your spouse
9. Buy a Fall candle and make your house smell divine
10. Go in a hay ride
11. Make pumpkin bread
12. Decorate and make your front porch look festive
13. Warm up by trying a new soup recipe
14. Have company over for chili after a hike, hay ride, or when ever
15. Paint a pumpkin
16. Try you hand at caramel apples
17. Start the day off right with pumpkin pancakes

Hope that you enjoy this list and the cooler weather. Happy Fall!

- Michelle

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What I am Loving Right Now

I feel as though part of my identity has been stripped away from me...

There I said it. I have always associated myself as a runner. That was/is who I am. Don't get me wrong. I still run and I am training for a trail half with my husband, but my mileage and conditioning is not where it used to be due to life changes and new schedules. And having to have to step down from chapter leader of my women's running group after three years was difficult for me.

Getting up before 5:30 a.m on most days and working 12 hour shifts makes it difficult to do early morning runs. After I have worked all day and get home around 8 p.m., I have to get my kids ready for bed and school the next day. My husband is great at helping out with dinner and Tae Kwon Do practice, which helps out a lot. And all I want to do is hang out with my family. Sometimes I run or workout afterwards, but getting up early cuts into my sleep. And one thing I have learned from past experiences is that rest and sleep are vital for a healthy functioning immune system and our mental well-being.

On another note, and the real reason why you clicked on this post, here are some things that I am loving this week.



Akasso Blue Tooth Headphones

I don't usually listen to music when I run except on my LONG runs tr
Through town. Lately, I have been listening to music more to motivate me, because some days you need a little extra push to get it done. Thanks Spotify!


These headphones are just what I need. They are light weight and comfortable. The sound comes in nice and clear. I even answered a phone call effortlessly while on a run the other day. They are sweat proof, ergonomically designed, and have great noise cancelling technology. Set up and pairing with my phone was a breeze.

Turmeric Tea

Swanson Heath contacted me to see if I want to try some of their products for free. I am a big fan of turmeric's health benefits and anti-inflammatory qualities, so I wanted to try the tea out. I have only used it in my cooking and taken capsules before, so I was interested to see what the tea tasted like. It was mild and not overly strong like I expected. Now I drink at least two cups a day. To find out more about the benefits of turmeric and other spices check out this post Amber wrote.


Akasso Head Lamps

I was so impressed by how bright this head lamp was! I did a great job at lighting up the path in front of me during my night runs with my husband. It was light weight and once I adjusted it to fit my head, I had no problems with it moving around.

Here are some other great attributes of the head lamp :


  • 5 LIGHTING MODES - Full light, Low light, Strobe, Red light, Red strobe.
  • MANUAL AND SENSOR MODES - Turn on sensor mode to control the headlamp through hand gesture.
  • RECHARGABLE - USB rechargeable, 3 hour battery life.(headlamp USB cable included)
  • WATER RESISTANT - Rated IPX-4 ("splash proof") can withstand light rain.
That's what I am loving this week. These products make my life so much easier. What are some things you are loving this week?

Monday, August 7, 2017

7 Super Spices for Health




And why I use them!

You guys, I am a big believer in the famous quote from Hippocrates, "Let thy food be thy medicine, let thy medicine be thy food.

Let me also say, I AM NOT a doctor. I am just a lover of natural health and healing. I am not claiming that any of the spices below will cure any diseases you may have. I am simply telling you about the health benefits that I have read about. That is all. 

 I have been taking spices in capsule form for a few years now and I have done a lot (seriously, a freaking lot) of reading about spices. I am not boring at all. 

 I've listened to numerous YouTube videos from nutritionist, herbalist, naturepathic Drs. etc. The same spices kept coming up. Some are not even spices at all! Like blue algae.... ahh, oh well. You get what I am trying to say, right? 
Okay, now on to the "spices" (wink, wink). Just go with it.


My first and favorite is Turmeric! Holy moly this stuff is awesome.  

I struggle with anxiety. I'm not sure why or how it even starts but I sure feel it when it happens. Anyone else get this? My heart feels like it's being ripped from my body. I can't breath very well. I start panicking because​ I can't breath. Yea..... Well, turmeric is a natural Prozac. (Yep, you heard me right!) Exciting, I know!! I buy it in bulk at my local health food store and make my own capsules, 
that look like this.


Subscribe to our page for my next post about how to make your own!

What does it really do? This stuff is legit. There have been 1000's of studies and some wonderful information has come to light. My favorite reason, which I already mentioned, is the use as an Antidepressant (Prozac). Here are some others:

  • Has the ability to control inflammation. AKA arthritis
  • Helps naturally kill cancer cells! (What!!!!) It is especially effective at treating breast cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer.
  •  Helps reverse Type 2 Diabetes 
  • Studies show Turmeric treats Arthritis BETTER than traditional medications
  • Anticoagulant 
  • Replaces Corticosteroids for things like Rheumatoid Arthritis (no side affects!)
  • Treats IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative Colitis
  •  Legitimate Natural Pain Killer 
  • Regulates cholesterol better than conventional medication (like Lipitor) with NO side effects. 
Amazing stuff right?
So go get some already, like today. 

On to the next! Number 2 on my list has to be Garlic. Most of yends (that's another word for Y'all in Ozark) already know garlic is a super spice/food so I'll keep this short and sweet.


  • Great source of antioxidants!  In human terms antioxidants protect the body from damage from free radicals. Google free radicals if you don't know what they are, I am not a science teacher. (ha!).
  • The active ingredients in garlic can help lower blood pressure.
  • Improves cholesterol levels, which may lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Improves athletic performance by combating fatigue.
  • Can help remove heavy metals in the body. It contains sulfur containing compounds that are said to activate liver enzymes responsible for detoxification.
  • It can be used as an antibiotic to treat bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. Diluted garlic extract may help children with tapeworm infections!
  • Cancer Prevention! It is said to strengthen the immunity of the body against cancer.
  •  Rubbing crushed garlic extract on your scalp or massaging with garlic-infused oil is known to prevent and even  reverse hair loss.
  • Applying garlic topically can provide relief from skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis.
There are more I could list, but for the sake of keeping this blog post from turning into a book, Ill stop here. 

3. CINNAMON! 

Beautiful, delicious, amazing, wonderful cinnamon! Not only does it taste amazing, it smells amazing and it has so many wonderful healing properties. Make sure you buy your cinnamon from a local health food store. The larger retail chains don't always have the best options for good cinnamon. They will add fillers like flour. Yuck. 
  • Eases stomach bug
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Improves colon functioning
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Boosts brain function
  •  Controls blood sugar
  •  May help prevents Cancer
  • Treats respiratory infections (winter is coming!!)
  • Reduces bad cholesterol
You can also make your own tablets. I prefer to sprinkle it into pancakes, coffee, yogurt etc 

4. Ginger Root


Part of the plant family, the uses for ginger are extraordinary! It comes from an underground stem that grows horizontally and forms roots. It is a highy potent antioxidant and anti inflammatory agent. The research backs up the claims. Its been used for thousands of years! Here are a few reasons why YOU need to use it more
  • Suffer from arthritis? Know someone who does? Make them some ginger pills! 
  • Diabetic? Take a ginger supplement or eat some ginger candy, or drink some ginger tea. It helps protect against and reverse diabetes. Google it...
  • Do you need to take a pain killer daily? Try ginger instead. it works very similar in the body to unnatural pain killers. Ladies, I am talking to you here. Ginger also works to relieve menstrual cycle cramps and inflammation (I know, RIGHT!). 
  • Fungal Infections can be treated with ginger essential oils (powerful stuff).
  • Lets talk about nutrient absorption for a sec, k. Ginger root may help your body actually absorb more nutrients and minerals then it ever would on its own. Amazing.
  • Ginger extract lowers LDL cholesterol  
  • If you use Ginger regularly you could keep your body safe from stroke and heart disease.
  • Got a tummy ache? Ginger. Feeling nauseous? Ginger! It helps the stomach by pushing whatever is making you feel yuck, into the small intestines. Bloated? Ginger. Constipated? Ginger!!
  • Boosts the immune system by breaking down toxins in your organs. 
  • Ginger can and has cured stomach Ulcers and acid reflex! 
There are so many more things I could list. I feel as though you should be convinced by now. Ginger essential oils is the most potent way to take or use ginger. You can also cook with it, drink ginger tea, make ginger capsule, eat ginger candy etc

5. Cayenne Pepper



Not used to just spice things up anymore. Cayenne pepper has a ton of health benefits and the first one is my fav. 
  • Boost metabolism and curves appetite! Yes, you read that right. It will and does effectively suppress hunger and stabilize your glucose levels. I think I am in love. 
  • It does contain anti-fungal and anti-cancer properties. Lots of studies. Google it....
  • Do you have a nasty skin condition called Psoriasis? Well, good news! Several studies have showed a significant decrease in scaling and redness from a cayenne pepper cream! 
  • I know several friends and family members who suffer from migraine headaches. Cayenne Pepper to the rescue. It works by confusing your pain receptors. Really quite interesting. 
  • Cayenne pepper stimulates the digestive system and allows it to work properly and more efficiently.
  • It can also help prevent cold and flu, which I think should be obvious since it clearly has some kind of magical powers.
6. Cumin


Let me first say that I love the smell and taste of cumin. I am a Mexican food junkie and I would (if my family would let me) eat Mexican food every single day. Alas, I have three kids and a husband who actually want to eat things like Alfredo pasta and Chicken Curry. The nerve. 
 How amazing is cumin? It (like all the other spices I already mentioned) has been used for thousands of years in medicinal ways. Here is my list of a few benefits and more reasons to love this yummy stuff.
  • Improves blood cholesterol. There have been multiple studies done using Cumin supplements.
  • Promotes weight loss! Again, hurray!!! Higher does may be required.
  • Helps fight inflammation of the body.
  • Helps people who suffer with Diabetes 
  • High in Iron and other plant compounds and essential minerals. Which (hello!) helps your body in a million ways. 
  • Helps boost your bodies immunity
  • Can aid in the treatment of bronchitis and asthma.
  • May offer liver protection by preventing changes in the phospholipid fatty acid in the liver. 
  • Improves cognitive function, aka, people who suffer with Alzheimer's or dementia
I make my own enchilada sauce with cumin (let me know if you want my recipe and I will do a blog post just for you!). I also use it when making tacos, fajitas, chili and just about any Mexican related dish. I buy all my spices in bulk at the local health food store here in town. Just a little FYI there. Even though I've already said that like 3 times. 

7. Chlorella



I know, I know, this isn't a spice. I had to include it because its one of my favorite supplements. I love making my own capsules of this stuff.  I find it super hard to get in my daily recommendation of leafy greens every day so, this is another option! It is a super rich superfood native to Japan and Taiwan. It contains chlorophyll, biotin, amino acids, magnesium, phosphorus, beta-carotene and b vitamins to name a few. It looks just like Spirulina as it is a green powdery substance that smells like the ocean (ya know, kinda seaweed-y). I may need to do a post solely about Chlorella. It is that good. On to the list!
  • Want to look younger...? duh  It slows the aging process! Yes, you read that right!!It Greatly reduces oxidative stress! 
  • Lowers blood sugar levels 
  • Fights cancer cells 
  • Promotes weight loss by reducing body fat percentages!
  • Know somebody you love who has gone through radiation or Chemotherapy? Yea, me too. I hate it.  Chlorella has been show to remove radioactive particles from the body and AND protect the body against ultraviolet radiation. Thank ya Jesus!! 
Know you see why I HAD to add this one on my list!? I buy my chlorella in bulk at our locally owned health food store. Use it in you smoothies or take a few capsules!

I know I didn't cover all the amazing spices that are available and super healthy and healing. Did I miss one of you favs? Do you have any awesome recipes or suggestions on how to use any of these spices? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to subscribe so you never miss a post. 

Love y'all!
Amber
p.s. Go Royals!!

   











Thursday, August 3, 2017

Life/Training Update

Sometimes life happens and you have to take a step back, even if you don’t want to and fight it tooth and nail.

There has had a lot of things happen since my last post. It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts and realize that sometimes moving ahead means postponing or giving up some things . And as a parent we have to do what is best for the family.


My last training update, I was still going strong. I was 13 weeks into my Hawk 100 50 Mile Training. I was training solo for a few weeks as Amber was sidelined with what her doctor thinks is a torn meniscus. They have yet to be able to fit her in for a MRI to see to what extent it is torn.

Then after 13 years of being a Work/Stay at Home Mom, I had to enter the corporate world. Between 12 hour shifts, working on some Saturdays, and training/sleeping; I hardly saw my family. I felt like I was missing out on a lot. After years of college and being consumed with my business, I felt like I was not physically present with my family like I wanted to be.

The decision to not run the Hawk 100 was extremely difficult. But I am not giving up on the 50 mile. I will revisit it again next year. I just felt like I had a lot of changes going on and I needed to step back and take a breather.

Since going back to work, I have also had to hand over my Moms Run This Town group to another lady after almost three years. Man, do I miss those ladies. And I have had to step away from my business. In a way, I am still a bit overwhelmed, but it will all work out in the end. You do what you have to do when it comes to family.

But, I am still running when I can and some good has came from all these changes. I have been running more with my son on some of my days off to get him ready for Cross Country when school starts. Also, my husband and I just started training for his third half marathon and first trail race. I am excited and hope to get him hooked on trails as I am. And once school starts, I will have more time to run longer on my days off. 


My family has started a new chapter in our life. Right now it is all about finding balance. A lot of things are still up in the air and I hope to have some definite answers soon. 

What about you? Are you going through some big life changes right now?

-         
       - Michelle

Sunday, July 2, 2017

4 Quick and Easy Salad Ideas

Dinner time! Salads are so versatile and can easily be turned into a meal. 

Add in some blueberries, avocado, bacon, and carrots to your spinach or other greens of your choice and Voila! I love my salads to be tasty and full of goodness as shown below. And because there are so many variations, none of my salads are the same. 


I love salads because they are so easy to make and taste good. Salads don't have to be boring. An easy and quick side dish and a staple in my family on hot summer days is mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, EVOO, salt, and cracked pepper. It pairs well with grilled chicken or any meat of your choice. 


Another thing you can do is to replace the cucumbers with avocados for a healthy fat. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture for the next salad because it was gobbled up and I forgot to take a picture. So I have in it's place, the recipe. I am pretty sure you can get an idea of all of the the ingredients in the other salads posted. 

Avocado and Tomato Mozzarella Salad

2 avocados (cubed)
2 - 3 tomatoes (cubed)
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese (cubed)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. basil
salt & pepper

Mix and enjoy. Chill for 30 minutes or so if you want the flavors to blend more.

The best thing about salads is that they don't require lots of prep or even the oven if you choose not to turn it on. We love using spinach in place of the lettuce because it contains more nutritional value than ice burg lettuce. We also don't typically use argula or kale in our salads, but that is just a personal preference. 

Some of our salads are more interesting and creative such as this salad.


It is simply spinach topped with grilled and shredded chicken with couscous. Then I drizzled EVOO on top and used a little bit of sea salt and cracked pepper. It doesn't look as pretty but it sure tasted good.

What about you? Are you a salad fan? If so, what is your favorite salad to eat?

- Michelle 

Monday, June 19, 2017

2 Foods that Help with Muscle Soreness

This week has been a dozy in activities and the added stress has made recovery a little slower. To help aid in my recovery, there are a few foods that I  like to call upon especially when I am training hard.

1. Watermelon


Research has shown that the specific amino acid known as L-Citrulline, naturally occurring in watermelon, may help improve blood flow, while also reducing arterial pressure. According to a small study conducted in Spain on the bioavailability of L-Citrulline, athletes were given watermelon juice as part of their fluid-replacement regimen. Preliminary data shows that those participants that consumed the juice after a 24-hour period had a reduction in muscle soreness and recovery.


For a refreshing drink, place chopped melon in a blender with ice, lime juice, and sugar substitute such as stevia or agave nectar (to taste) for a tasty afternoon refresher or you can try my DIY Watermelon and Coconut Sports Drink

2. Cherry Juice



Concentrated tart cherry juice is my main go-to. Most grocery stores or Sams/Costco now carry tart cherry juice. Tart cherries are rich in phytonutrients and anthocyanins. They have natural anti inflammatory properties which fight free radicals, repair cell damage, and block the inflammation-causing enzymes which your body produces during exercise. Drinking tart cherry juice helps to reduce muscle pain following long runs or hard workouts, and aids in recovery. Tart cherries also contain melatonin which helps with falling asleep quicker and improves sleep quality.


Cherry juice tastes great blended into a healthy smoothie or mixed with apple juice.

 Have you ever tried a drink made with watermelon or tart cherry juice?

-Michelle

Monday, June 12, 2017

Why BCAAs are Great

Summer is here! Amber and I have been really busy. We got back from church camp on Thursday night.  Amber had her twin's birthday party and Vacation Bible School has just started for my church. 

As busy moms, we have to have some tricks up our sleeves, so that we have enough stamina to get everything done because naps are hardly an option. That is why I turn to Momsanity BCAAs. Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. 


BCAAs are great for several reasons. Research shows that they help with many issues beside pshyic and performance. 

BCAAs or Branch chain amino acids contain leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are essential building blocks of muscle.  Even though they occur naturally in the body, they can be depleted by stressors in our everyday life and through exercise.

Incorporating BCAAs in our diet helps promote muscle growth and encourages the fat burning process. They encourage muscle endurance, blunt fatigue, help with insulin sensitivity, and helps increase our mental clarity. 

      These amino acids are a busy mom’s best friend. Cortisol is an stress hormone that contrary to popular belief is good for protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. But most of us produce too much of it.  Higher levels of cortisol increase our blood sugar resulting in fat storing and muscle metabolism.Studies show that they can help lower cortisol  levels, which can decrease cravings and hunger caused by our Ghrelin hormones, which are triggered by stress and higher amounts of cortisol. 



BCAAs are also good for our brain because they are precursors to our brain's stimulating glutamate, and the relaxation neurotransmitter (GABA). These means that by balancing the stimulating and relaxation response in our brains, we can help stop the craving before they start, 

I Love Momsanity BCAAs because they are naturally sweetened with Stevia, Erythritol,  and Monk Fruit , and contain nothing artificial. They come in two great flavors, Fruit Punch and Cherry Lime, but they will be releasing a third flavor soon! 

Do you take BCAAs on a daily basis? If so, do you prefer pill or drink form?

-Michelle