Why I Gave Up Coffee for January

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Coffee is a huge part of my life. We are on a first-name basis with all the baristas at our local coffee shop, my precious Mother-in-Law gave me a coffee poster for Christmas (which I love and it’s hanging in our kitchen), and it’s even part of every social media bio about me. Coffee and I are BFFs.

But starting now, and through the month of January, we are going to spend some time apart.

Truthfully, I had never considered giving up coffee up until a couple weeks ago. My blogging idol Crystal Paine announced that she (another coffee fiend like myself) had not had coffee in 12 weeks. Along with some other nutritional changes, she had given up coffee and was experiencing amazing energy! The thought grew in the back of my mind “maybe there’s something to this…

I started paying more attention to my coffee habits. I typically pour my coffee into a travel mug just before I leave for work. But once I finished it, I was much more likely to go fill it up with more coffee than with water. I started waking up earlier each day to work on this blog before my workday begins, and drinking my coffee there. No travel mug at work = no extra coffee. And then I realized how thoroughly dehydrated I am.

So yesterday, I did it. I said no to coffee. I took an extra dose of my salad bar capsules for extra nutrition (and to ward off a raging migraine). I drank a hot cocoa. I had two mugs of tea. When we went to the coffee shop, I ordered a horchata. I had a mild nagging headache, but I managed to get through it. And I drank so much water.

I’m giving up coffee for January for my health. I do not like being dependent on something other than myself and my food choices for energy. I do not like feeling tied to it and getting sick if I don’t get it. I want to see how energized I can feel naturally. And hey, it might lead to more healthy changes – like getting the proper amount of sleep and actually drinking water.

Inspired by her newfound zest for life, Crystal has designed a 15 Days to a Healthier You program, and she’s offering it for $15. That’s $1 a day! Along with the workbook, there is a private Facebook group and videos to watch each day. She won’t be instructing that everyone give up coffee,  but she will be sharing how whole food nutrition is changing her life and, in many ways, giving her her life back.

Completing this program is one of my goals for 2017. Will you join me and take the steps towards a healthier life?

I’m excited to see how good I feel in 2017.


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Eat the Rainbow: Recommit to a Healthy Lifestyle Now!

eat the rainbow recommit to a healthy lifestyle nowLet’s get one thing straight: “taste the rainbow” is for Skittles. “Eat the Rainbow” is my daily challenge. Stress, ever-changing work demands, and (being real here) laziness get in the way of me achieving an overall healthy lifestyle.

Researchers suggest the average person eat 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. One serving usually equals about 1/2 – 1 full cup. Unfortunately, due to pesticides, genetically modified organisms, and depletion of soil quality, sometimes even 13 servings of fruits and vegetables aren’t enough to supply you with the nutrients your body requires to function properly. This is especially true if you are an athlete or a pregnant mama, as your body requires many more nutrients to fuel your higher-than-usual level of activity!

Beginning October 3, I am jumpstarting my recommitment to my health  with a “reboot.” For 10 days, I will eliminate everything processed, dairy, COFFEE, and gluten-containing grains, and focus instead on plants, plenty of water, and some yoga/meditation.

It’s going to be a whole thing.

In addition, I’m going to be joined by my little helpers, powdered produce in capsule and protein form. Every day (beginning on October 3 and continuing through infinity), I will take two capsules containing powdered vegetables, two of fruits, and two of berries, all grown in nonGMO, pesticide-free environments. Each piece was harvested at the peak of freshness and kept raw, so all those helpful mini-enzymes still hold their magic. For 10 days, I will have 2 shakes. Between my shakes and my capsules, that puts me at over 50 plants ingested per day.

And I get chocolate for breakfast. I’m not even upset about the no-coffee thing.

I have a few coworkers joining me, which I’m really excited about! There is nothing I love more than sharing resources and helping the people I care about make healthy changes!

You don’t have to join a challenge to make a change. I love love love the phrase, “one simple change,” because I get overwhelmed easily, but I can make one simple change at a time. I can drink more water. I can take 0.5 seconds and take some produce in capsules. I can change my drink options to be more plant-based instead of just coffee (newest obsession: La Croix water!). Do you see what I mean? Simple changes. Simple choices. Who knows how they will impact your life?

I’m off to drink some lemon La Croix!

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Cheap and Healthy: Bananas

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It’s banana day! This is particularly good timing since they are on sale at Aldi for $0.29/pound, and no that was not planned.

Bananas are technically a berry. The high amount of vitamin B6 in one banana makes them a great source of quick energy.

Growing up, I thought they had a weird texture and I went through a phase where I really didn’t like them. Tristan has the same texture issue so he just squishes it around his place at the table and doesn’t actually eat them yet. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate this odd fruit.

Thrive Market sells your favorite organic and non-gmo brands for up to 50% off retail.

Everyone knows  you can either eat them plain or let them “go bad” to make banana bread, but they are actually quite the versatile fruit. Did you know you can use them as egg replacements? Use one ripe and mashed banana to replace an egg in a recipe. This is especially helpful if anyone is trying to “vegan-ize” old favorite recipes.

Mix a banana and an egg together for gluten-free pancakes and top with a berry compote or real maple syrup. For extra protein, add a scoop of protein powder to the pancake mix. Some of my friends use Juice Plus’ Complete protein (with nutrition from 24 different plants!) in their mix and they call them “plantcakes.”

Peel and freeze bananas and blend them with some berries and/or cacao/chocolate powder (or more protein mix) for some healthy ice cream, or add to your smoothies for added thickening, chill, and creaminess. My favorite smoothie is frozen banana, chocolate protein powder, a scoop of peanut or almond butter, and a splash of almond milk.

What are your favorite ways to eat bananas?

For more money-saving ideas, download my ebook, Dirt Cheap Nutrition, for free!

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How to Get Healthy Food for Cheap – Without Coupons!

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Yes, it’s true. I used to be an extreme couponer. I spent hours each week clipping, organizing, planning, and executing my multiple-transaction purchases. I had enough deodorant, shampoo, hair dye, toothpaste, and non-perishable food products to last me a good 3 years.

And then I went hippie.

Related: Download my ebook, Dirt Cheap Nutrition, for free! 

When you make your own toothpaste and deodorant because you are concerned about toxic chemical overload, $0.25 toothpaste isn’t a draw anymore. And unfortunately, most places don’t have extreme coupon scenarios for their coconut oil.

Thrive Market sells your favorite organic and non-gmo brands for up to 50% off retail.

Here are 6 things I’ve learned since transitioning to the bright side:

  1. Occasionally, there are coupons for organic produce. I have found coupons for organic salad greens, nuts, peppers, and more. I have also written to companies and they have sent me coupons for free products as well as $ off coupons. Target’s Cartwheel app also frequently has deals on produce.
  2. Organic is becoming more widespread, so places like WalMart and Aldi now carry organic produce, organic/gluten-free boxed food, and even organic coconut oil! At my last trip to Aldi I noticed they have a bag of organic quinoa for less than $3. Brilliance, I tell you.
  3. It is much more convenient to make your own care products than to spend hours searching for free toothpaste. Because after so many hours of clipping/planning/driving/shopping, was it really free? I discovered a couple one-time investments in ingredients made it possible for me to mix up toothpaste for myself and my husband for two years! Plus when you realize at 11pm that you’re out of toothpaste, it’s much faster to mix up a quick batch than to get dressed, run to the store, pick out the toothpaste, drive back from the store, brush your teeth, and get back in your pajamas. Just sayin.
  4. I can use the creativity and problem solving skills I learned while planning my coupon trips to find creative ways to save on organic food. For example, I learned to buy organic for free.
  5. Use coupons for other things. I still use coupons for clothes, books, toys, and everything else. Just not to the extreme, because I do not need 10 bath towels.
  6. Shop online. Thrive Market is an online discount club with significantly reduced prices on all your favorite health foods. Try it out for free before you join, and get 20% off your first three orders!

How do you save money on healthy items?

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