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Before You Reach for that Snickers Bar....

Try this first!

Deliciously Dipped Dark Chocolate Apple Slices

These are my go to for a sweet treat for me and the kids, especially this time of year with the buckets and bags of Halloween candy calling my name. Of course, I have it stashed in places, you know....so the 'kids' can't find it or maybe it's  so I know exactly where it is when the kids go bed;)

So instead of depriving myself I thought a healthier chocolate treat might be the answer and boy is it ever!

All you need a few large granny smith apples, 2 cups of dark chocolate (melt in microwave with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil) and 1 cup of your favorite chopped nuts.

Cut apples, dip in dark chocolate, roll in nuts and place on wax paper on a tray! Place these in freezer for 10 minutes and they are ready to eat.

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Healthy Mom=Happy Mom

Let's be honest...being a mom is tough, tiring and can be downright hard at times, although there are so many wonderful moments ....#momlife is not always easy.


I know what you're thinking another 'group'. Who has time for a group when I don't even have time to do laundry or take a shower for that matter?!
Trust me, I hear ya sister! I know how you feel. I felt the exact same way.I was stressed, overwhelmed and just couldn't keep up!
What I found was that I needed this! The support, motivation and encouragement of others mom who were feeling the EXACT same way... I learned how to make more time for the things I needed to do and more importantly WANTED to do.


If I don't make time to take care of me and try to be my best self, how am I going to be the best mom possible for my kids?
Ya know what I mean?
Makes sense, right?


So if you're a mom who wants to learn how to ....
💗lose weight AND gain that strength you need and want
💗have energy that is contagious and will have your kids trying to keep up with YOU
💗Create daily habits that will make your day better and you brighter
💗MAKE time in your life for healthy food, family, fitness and FUN
Then this is for YOU ....if this is calling your name and you're thinking ' I need this in my life' (and you know you are) email me!


Don't wait for another Monday....


Jessica@wellandinspired.com

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NEW YEAR, NEW YOU....RIGHT?!

New Year New You.. Right?!!

I have been in the fitness business for over 15 years. I have seen, heard and personally attempted hundreds of New Year Resolutions. 'This year is the year'! 'This year I'm going to lose, give up, start, stop (you fill in the blank)! January was always my favorite time of year, because as a gym owner, our numbers sky rocketed, the gym was full of energy, classes had wait lists, it was awesome ... Until about umm, February 1st. That's right after just a few weeks most people lost their mojo. They didn't lose, give up, start or stop what they wanted so that was it. They were DONE and back to their old ways they went.

Why does this happen? Why can't THIS be the year? Why does this happen year after year? Because we do the same thing time and time again. We try to change behaviors that have been years in the making. We want results overnight and when we don't see results , we say well maybe next year. We make HUGE commitments to ourselves that all of a sudden we are just going to change, that's it, today is the day, when in reality it is the small changes we make day after day that make the biggest differences for us.  It doesn't have to be one big resolution to get you started (because we know where that leads!).  Why do we need a New Year to start fresh, to change our behaviors, to begin living healthy?! We don't! We need to decide and commit! DECIDE you are going to change and COMMIT to doing what it takes to reach your goal. Step by step, minute by minute, day by day. Don't set yourself up for failure and make another New Years Resolution. Set yourself up for success and change your lifestyle.

Not sure where to start? Need some help creating a plan? How about some quick easy tips to make these changes just a little easier? I can help you...and be your guide along the way. Let's get you started living healthy today! Email me at jessica@wellandinspired.com

 

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The 80/20 Lifestyle...What Does it Mean?

Maybe you have heard of the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating healthy and making lasting changes or maybe you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Well the idea is when you eat clean, you have to understand that life happens and your plan will not be 100% all the time. Thus, in theory (life happening) would be  about 20% of the time. So you eat 100% clean about 80% of the time and the other 20% allow for special occasions, events or weekend indulgences. Make sense?

This rule as always worked well for me, as well as many of my clients over the years. It allows you to have success with your eating goals without feeling deprived, restricted or guilty. It gives  you the ability to create a lifestyle of eating healthy for the long term.

 I started using this rule a lot when I was in graduate school. Long days and late nights were tough to stick with my 'perfect' healthy eating every hour of the day so I would allow myself to not eat so perfect on the weekends. Maybe a meal or two out, a glass of wine, or my favorite snacks or treats. During the week, I would work out each day and plan my meals with my goals in mind and then give myself some more flexibility on the weekends. I loved this plan because it helped me lose weight (and keep it off!), feel better and even workout more consistently  because I wasn't so rigid and strict. I could have that pizza, or chips or chocolate without feeling like I blew it! It actually was part of my health eating plan!

Although my days are still long and my nights late (for different reasons, enter my kiddies). This plan has allowed me to eat clean and healthy for a number of years and to this day if I stray from this, I am just not as successful in reaching (and maintaining) my goals. This technique has prevented me from the on and off again dieting roller coaster. Over time it has made me more conscious of the decisions I make about food. I know I am choosing  these options as a part of my eating lifestyle not of my diet du jour.

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5 Easy Meal Planning Tips

Want to eat healthy but don't know where to start?

Feel overwhelmed with the idea of planning out your meals?

Here are five easy tips to meal plan and prep without the stress.

1. One day at a time. You do not have to meal prep for the whole week when you first get started. Try planning out 2-3 days of meals at first just to get comfortable with the idea.

2.Tried and True. Don't get crazy with coming up with tons of new recipes. Use ones you know and love. Pick ones that are easy and don't take much of your time at first. Planning and prepping too many new or recipes you haven't tried yet can be overwhelming. The simpler the better.

3. Fix It and Forget It. This is my motto! Get yourself a crockpot and start filling it up with delicious and healthy meals that you can just turn on in the morning and go!

4.Cook some. Cut Some. You do not have to spend hours cooking to meal prep and plan. I repeat hours of cooking is not necessary (trust me on this!). Cook some items like chicken and meats, but you can also just cut up fresh veggies, fruits or cheeses and portion bags of nuts or granola. These are quick and simple and easy on the go!

5. Family Affair. Get your family involved with food prepping. Get your kids to wash the veggies and bag up the smaller items. Ask you partner to help you prepare the sauces or seasonings. A few helping hands can make this process quick and simple.

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WARNING: These are ADDICTIVE!

Homemade Almond Butter Balls

These take less than five minutes to prepare and super tasty. Your kids will LOVE them and I promise you won't be able to eat just one;)

 

1/4 chunky almond butter

3/4 cups raisins

3 tbsps. Roasted unsalted peanuts or almonds

1/8 tsp. vanilla

 

Place all ingredients in food processor. Roll into balls or squares and DONE!

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Mother's Day Wellness Basket Giveaway!!

Mother’s Day Wellness Basket

 All you have to do is 'like', comment AND share this on my Well & Inspired Facebook page www.Facebook.com/wellandinspired to  be entered to win!

 

5- Day Supply of Shakeology

“your healthiest meal of the day”

 

 

Water Bottle

Hydration is so important

 

 

Food Containers

Be a snack packer – hunger leads to bad choices

 

 

Notebook

Write down your goals, log what you eat, track your daily exercise.

Writing things down is so important.

 

 

Gardening Gloves and Seed Packets

Use this container to plant an herb garden. 

Everything tastes better with fresh herbs.

 

 

Chocolate Bar

Moderation is key.  A small piece of chocolate after dinner is perfectly fine.  Keep it in the freezer and sit and enjoy a piece each night.

 

 

Online Support

Join one of my free online Facebook groups for all the support and motivation you’ll need

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Better Than The 'Real' Thing.....

CHOCOLATE ALMOND BUTTER CUPS

Try one of these Chocolate Almond Butter Cups and you will never have the packaged kind again. These will take only a few minutes to make and only seconds to enjoy!

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups:

You will need:

Mini muffin tin
1 cup almond butter
½ cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
dash of salt
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (melted)



1.Place almond butter, coconut, coconut oil, honey and salt in a food processor or blender  and puree.
2.Add a spoonful of the above into 8-10 mini muffin tins then pour melted chocolate on top of each spoonful
3.Put muffin tin in freezer for at least 30 minutes
4. Pop cups out of tin ( store them in freezer)
5. Sit and enjoy:)
 

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The Health(ier) Easter Basket.

Easter is right around the corner and I know we all look forward to those sweet treats the Easter Bunny brings! But Easter doesn't have to be about sugar galore. Instead fill your kids baskets with healthy alternatives! Here are some ways to keep not only your candy choices healthy but some fun ways to add some activity in too!

Here are some items to add:

1. Homemade Easter Candy ( I promise these are EASY ones)

~dark chocolate covered strawberries, almond butter cups, chocolate coconut bars or greek yogurt covered raisins ( recipes coming soon!!)

2. Plastic Eggs:

~fill them with individually wrapped mini chocolates, small erasers, mini legos, hair bows, bracelets, small bouncy balls, toy cars or stickers

3.  Fit Finds:

~Jump ropes, side walk chalk, bubbles, kites, sand toys, fit deck cards (easy to find on Amazon) or fill those plastic eggs with fun exercise activities you can do together after you enjoy your candy:)

4. Keep it Creative:

~Books, crafts, card games, paint sets or art supplies are great additions that will not only keep your child busy but help them be creative too.

5. Fun Finds:

~ pastel pjs, egg shaped chapstick (EOS has a great one), LEGO bunny and chick set, play-doh "Spring Eggs",bunny slippers or ears, dancing egg game (Amazon), bunny or chick bath towels (ETSY)

Here's to a happy and healthy Easter!

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"Go around it, over it, under it, whatever it takes, it WILL be worth it"

 I am a very nearly 65 year old woman who loves to run, loves the thrill and excitement of competition.  I've always been active but not particularly athletic.  My first organized team sport came when i was 32 years old, that first day i put a pair of skates on my feet.  I had been watching my sons do speed skating and it was like an electric force ran through my body.  I HAD to do it..like it was a missing piece to my life.  So I tried it.  I was never quite aggressive enough to be a good competitor but I did learn a lot about discipline and how to be a team player.  Even the lowest ranked team player can elevate the team as a whole.  I watched my son Lee, he had so much fire, dedication and passion for a small boy of six! He is still that way today and I'm very proud of him.  After several years I switched over to artistic dance skating where my passion catapulted me to heights I didn't even dream to achieve!  Standing on that podium at States and Regionals with a gold medal around my neck, flowers in my hand as the National Anthem played and cameras flashed was a high point for me, it would be for anyone.  As I stood there I thought about how all the hard work and sacrifice had brought me to this moment.  It was so worth it!  When I started skating I kept a daily journal with me at each practice.  I wrote down what worked for me, where my head should be as well as what didn't work for me and thoughts about how to rectify those things.  I also wrote inspirational things I had read and wanted to remember, to use as a mantra during practice.  I wrote about criticisms from coaches and judges.  If I didn't place I would try to talk to the judges and ask what I did wrong or what I could do to improve.  I still keep a journal to this day with my goals and each step I hope to achieve.  I set small attainable goals which gives me a sense of accomplishment and keeps me moving forward.   I understood from the beginning that putting skates on your feet does not make you a champion.  You have to put the work in, many many hours of hard work,and just because i put sneakers on, doesn't mean I'm going to win a race.. 

     With age I learned to listen to my body, sometimes being gentle with myself and sometimes getting tough with myself, much tougher than I like !

     I retired from skating and after a very short time my husband Kenny and I were in Florida and we went to a nearby park that had a fitness trail.  Kenny said 'lets try it'..and I thought "easy peasy"..so not!!  It wasn't at all!  I was shocked to get to the second station all out of breath and my face beet red!!  Holy Cow!  How did that happen so fast?  I had only run about 100 yards!  Right then and there I made a decision.  I decided I wanted more for myself.. I NEEDED more!  I decided to take control of my life. I needed to grab onto life with gusto!  I began a journey of discovery, I began to research the human body, what makes it tick, what heals it, what's toxic to it.  I began eating more close to the earth and today I eat mostly organic fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese and butter.  It is a little more costly but so worth the investment.  When I eat meat it's usually grass fed and my fish is never farmed.  I'm always learning new things to better my body.

    After that eye opening fitness trail we returned to New Jersey and every evening after work Kenny and I would go to the beach and run.  Running at the beach always makes me feel free and lucky to be alive.  Kenny is the best coach ever, when I would say I was tired he would always encourage me to go a little further.  He would say "two more streetlights, you  can do it!" And of course I could.  He always encourages me to go a little further, a little faster and to try a little harder.  I love that about him.  He makes me remember that it's a fun ride and we're nowhere near the end.

     Eating healthy and running makes me feel a lot younger, breathing is easier and I'm happier because when you run your brain releases endorphins which gives you a natural high, a natural sense of well being.  I sleep much better, when i lay down at night i usually fall asleep in minutes and sleep soundly until the morning.  I wake up cheerful and ready for my morning meditation which helps me begin my day with clarity and strength.  Bring on the day!  I'm ready for any challenge!  I have run two half marathons in the past year an they were both exciting learning experiences for me.  I did improve with the second one and my mental picture was better.  In April I will be running in my third half marathon the day after I turn sixty five.  My goal is to be over the finish line in less than two and a half hours.  Who knows, maybe I'll even place in this one.  That's the goal and I'm working toward it!

      My advice to anyone thinking of starting a new workout activity is an enthusiastic  and resounding YES!!!  Do it!! Grab that activity with passion, excitement and commitment..grab on with both hands!  Dedicate it to yourself, cultivate it, enjoy it.  If you reach an obstacle, and you will, don't give up and don't give in..Go around it, over it, under it, whatever it takes, it WILL be worth it.  Try to find other people that enjoy the same activity, lots of times they will have encountered what you are facing and be able to help you.  Plus it's always fun to do things with friends.  Some days they are your  inspiration and some days you will be their inspiration.  We are all in this world together, lets enjoy the ride!

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Hot Chocolate: The Healthy and Delicious Version

 

Warm up with this yummy recipe 

 Coconut Hot Chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1 cup 100% cocoa (baking chocolate, unsweetened) – ( I use Unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon over the top

     Directions:

  1. Pour the coconut milk into a pot and turn the heat on medium-low (not high, very important)
  2. Pour in the chocolate and begin stirring. The chocolate will melt quickly, but you must stir constantly to avoid it burning.
  3. Please note: You don’t want to cook this on high. Medium high should be the highest you go. This should not boil.
  4. When everything is melted and combined, quickly stir in your vanilla extract and remove from heat.
  5. Pour into your favorite mug, sip and enjoy:)

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What is Clean Eating? 10 Ways to Get Started Today!

 

 

Do you ever wonder what this clean eating stuff is all about? Do you get overwhelmed with all of the information out there that says to eat this and then find another article that says don't eat that? It can all be very confusing and prevent us from making some healthy changes, changes that actually are very simple.

Clean eating starts in the kitchen. The truth is the types of food we put into our bodies determines not only how we look, feel , think and act. It's the small choices we make every day that determine if we want food to be our best friend or our worst enemy. If we eat foods that are filled with chemicals and article ingredients we are going to feel the effects. If we choose whole fresh foods we are going to feel the effects as well, but in a completely different and positive way!

Here are some simple tips making eating clean a little easier.

1. Keep It Simple- don't get stressed about doing everything perfectly. Take it one step at a time. Small changes can add up to huge results.

2. Water, Water, Water- let me say it again, WATER!! Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water daily to keep you full and hydrated. Sometimes we can mistake thirst for hunger.

3.Make a List- Write a clean eating grocery list ands stick to it. Only buy the items on your list and this will increase your success buying only what you need and not just what you want.

4. Shop the Perimeter- when food shopping go around the outside.  That is where you will find the healthy items. Avoid the aisles where the packaged and boxed, not so healthy items are located.

5.Whole and Fresh- start with eating whole foods that haven't been tampered with or modified in any way. Organic fruits, vegetables, meats and nuts are your clean eating foundation.

6.Forget the Labels- don't become label obsessed. In fact, forget the labels. Choose foods that are label free because what you see is what you get. Organic meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy are the way to go. ( If the item does have a label, stick to the 5 ingredient rule and ingredients you can pronounce) avoids processed foods all together. If it comes in a bag or a box forget it. Your body does not need all of those chemicals.

7.. Kick the Low Fat Habit- any food item that is fat free, low fat or has natural flavoring has added sugar. Go for natural sugars and avoid the fake ones.

8. Be Mindful- pay attention to your body. Eat when you are hungry not by the clock.

9.  Be Positive- beginning a clean eating lifestyle is not always easy, but keeping a positive mental attitude can keep you focused on creating healthy changes.

10. Food as Fuel- Remember that food is fuel for our bodies and choosing foods that are full of nutrition, vitamins and minerals will give our bodies and minds the nourishment we need to not only be healthy but happy too.

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We all want to live a life that healthy and full of energy right? When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, quality over quantity is the focus. It's more than just what you eat and how you exercise. Your stress level and how you handle stress, your emotional well-being, the amount of sleep you get or lack there of, all  play a role in your overall health. While doctors and physicians play a very important part in maintaining and improving our health, as a health coach I can teach you preventative measures to improve your health and overall wellness.

Today doctors do not have enough time to spend with each patient individually going over nutrition, exercise and general lifestyle management. As a health coach I can help you fill that gap. I can help you understand how your doctors treatment plan will impact your life and overall wellness. 

You may be thinking 'Well, I have a personal trainer isn't that the same thing?' Actually, they may not always go hand in hand ( I know this because I have over 10 years experience in this area)  Some personal trainers tend to tell clients how much to exercise and in some cases, what to eat and that's all. As a health coach I will do that as well as help you make healthy choices that will improve your lifestyle, by teaching you how to reduce your stress, increase rest, and focus on improving the overall quality of your life.

For many people, health coaching is about how to eat better, lose weight or feel more energized. But it can also be used for more specific problems and illnesses. There’s so much conflicting information out there that can be confusing, overwhelming and can leave you even more stressed!  I can help you decipher all the information and provide you with an individualized program that is specific to your needs and health goals, making your success part of our plan. 

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Slow Cooker 4 Ingredient Fiesta Chicken

Want something quick, easy, healthy and delicious for dinner? Fiesta Chicken is so tasty and takes less than a few minutes to prepare. The best part is, the slow cooker does all the work!

Ingredients:

4 large boneless chicken breasts

1 jar black bean and corn salsa

1 large avocado

Brown Rice

Directions:

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker and pour jar of salsa over top of chicken. Cook on high for four hours. Serve over brown rice with sliced avocado on top, sit and enjoy!

  

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Hittin' The Bar

 

Simplify Bath Time by Hittin' the Bar

From Seaweed and Skinned Knees

by Coleen Carusi McCoy

 


Simplify bath time by hittin' the bar. As a stay at home mom I would be lying if I said bath time is a magical time of bonding and bubbles. The reality is after a day of cutting grapes, wiping bottoms and keeping the peace, the last thing I want to do is linger over an extended bath time and prolong the exhaustion. I want the boys clean, warm, and ready for bed since nap times have never existed for us.  Bath time usually falls at about 6:00 which is smack dab in the middle of the good old “witching hours” as our grandmothers called them, which is an exceptionally vulnerable time to be a parent. So you can imagine my fury when I happened to reread a label on my teeny, tiny twenty dollar baby shampoo bottle and found sodium benzoate. I called to my husband and asked him to go get the old bottle that I had just thrown in the recycling. Curiously enough the old bottle, which I now noticed was bigger, did not contain sodium benzoate. I was so mad that I had to imagine myself sipping a margarita (on the rocks with salt) on a beach in Mexico (mainland west coast) just in order to refrain from spewing various profanities as my little gems bathed in front of me. For those of you just having your “what is in my bath products” awakening, start off by avoiding the nasty 5; fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, triclosan, and anything ending with the word paraben. The second step would be to enroll in chemistry classes and start learning about various compounds. Just kidding  or am I?  Most days I feel like I have read so much, or researched so many chemicals that I am well on my way to at least a Bachelors of Science. However, I refuse to let this particular endeavor overtake my life. I have spent so much money on brands like California Baby that I'm determined to find a different, easier, dare I say cheaper way! As in most of my quests to find the road less paved with chemicals, I start off at the ewg.org website. That website is such an amazing place of helpful, useful information that if I ever meet the creators of it I will kiss them. Head right to their consumer guides section and type in the name of a product and voila!~ you can read the ingredients, the hazards, the good the bad and the ugly. Great products get a zero score and the less desirable the product the more the score raises. It's brilliant and easy! In addition to the nasty five, I also wanted to avoid sodium benzoate, anything starting in meth, and dyes. Sometimes you can find an “organic” product but it contains a synthetic dye and that I find extremely frustrating. I had used Earth Mama Angel Baby in the past and was very satisfied with it aside from the fact it is expensive and it didn't always leave my muddy, smelly, bug touching boys fully clean. I went through various other names of products, ingredients, shampoos, and soaps and didn't find anything that had me convinced of a less expensive, easier solution. So after exhausting ewg.org I did what I always do, I picked up the bat phone and called my team of specialists; my mother and two sisters. They are the ultimate test group of products, foods, vitamins you name it; the Charlie's Angels of all things natural and inexpensive. What my group of Nancy Drew's did was remind me to get back to basics. My mother reminded me that we rarely used anything except bar soap as kids and my sister added, “I have no time or money to go hunting down all that and we just use Dr. Bronner's for everything.” So there was my bonk on the head wake up call to forgo the quest for something new and just go back to what I know. A bottle of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap for things like hand wash, stain remover and shampoo, and  a bar of Dr. Bronner’s baby soap for the kids in the tub. It was a little weird at first converting back to the bar after the baby years of liquid soap. The bar seemed to go really fast and then I realized it was because I let the boys play with it too long. Once we got our routine down of lathering a washcloth for each child with the bar and then putting the bar  directly back on the shelf we were golden. I found myself saying , “bath time- time to hit the bar” to my kids and while that is probably grossly inappropriate it is exactly the lightheartedness I need at 6 pm on any given night. Granted the bar of soap is around 3 dollars but it does last a good two weeks and we all feel really clean. I even just shampoo their hair with the bar sometimes; after all lice love overly clean hair so I really have no issue being just a tiny bit greasy.  Once we switched to the bar I began to see the butterfly effect take place right in our humble bath room. No liquid soap meant no plastic bottle, no plastic bottle meant no B.P.A. Furthermore I took a look into the Dr. Bronner's company and they recently donated a million dollars to the campaign to label g.m.o's, they are a fair trade company that is also passionate about zero animal cruelty. Someone ring the victory bell for me! A moment of bath time frustration turned into a total money saving, environmentally friendly win all by “hittin' the bar”.

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Managing the No List: Ancedotes on Chemical Free Living from Someone Who Often Fails.

Managing the No List

From Seaweed and Skinned Knees Blog

By Coleen Carusi McCoy

 

 

 

 

Today I opened an adorable, holiday photo of my son that was taken at school. 

It was wrapped in nice paper; he is smiling; he is healthy and I am blessed. As I 

looked at it more, studying his face and how fast he's growing up, it dawned on me 

that he had a Santa hat on his head. Gulp. The Santa hat was not his personal Santa 

hat, I could just tell. Double gulp. Here it comes , welling up like heartburn, slowly or 

not so slowly inching up my stomach to my throat...the thoughts. “What if that hat 

had lice in it? What if ten kids shared that hat and now they all have lice?  Who put 

that hat on him?”. And most importantly, “Who on earth is going to clean and sanitize 

my house if my child has lice!” . I decided when my son started school that faced with 

de-licing my house and belongings the easier option would most definitely be to just 

burn all of our possessions to the ground and start over. Then I took a pause, checked 

myself and remembered he doesn't even have lice. 

  It's not just lice paranoia (although I think that little bug is exceptionally gross and 

destructive) that creeps up on me at any time. It's the constant buzz of mommy 

protective thoughts that makes me feel like I may indeed be harboring a bee's nest 

somewhere in my messy ponytail. The laundry list of what to watch out for or avoid 

any given day in order to stay healthy could swallow an industrial sized laundromat. 

Don't play on playgrounds with ground up tires, don't wear pajamas sprayed with 

flame retardants, don't play with cheap plastic toys, don't play with expensive plastic 

toys, don't let your electronics get dusty and spew that toxic dust on your already 

toxic plastic toys, and don't get me started on food.  It's a daily challenge to not be 

consumed by the by “the no list”.  We wake up and use our toothpaste with no 

fluoride, we eat our breakfast with no gmo's, we pack our lunch in no bpa containers, 

we go to school and ask to say no to hand sanitizer with triclosan and it goes on and 

on until we brush our teeth at night with the same no fluoride toothpaste. Now mixed 

in with all of that is moments of total victory and glory. Maybe my sons surprise 

serenade of AC/DC, maybe it's hearing a three year old say the word “mutagen” but 

whatever it is they do, it's amazing and it's awesome. I remind myself daily that we 

are in the honeymoon phase of life; no diapers, still little enough for plenty of cuddles, 

no algebra homework. This is it, this messy life is very much a dream in many ways. 

I tell myself (and my friend's remind me) to not let the no list cloud my precious 

days but the freedom fighter in me feels an obligation to get mad about it. I get mad 

because Johnson & Johnson products in England don't have the same harmful 

chemicals that they have in the States, m&m's in Europe don't contain food dye while 

ours are full of red 40, granted I have rid our lives of these things but I don't think it's 

fair. I'm mad based on the principal that we here in the U.S get a great big switcheroo 

and that corporations don't think we'll notice. Why do I have to spend my day going to 

4 different grocery stores searching for the non toxic products all the while facing the 

same 6 mainstream fake out natural options? I once cried in the toothpaste aisle. I 

had been standing there, reading labels, thinking about ingredients when I realized I'd 

been standing there for twenty minutes! Who spends twenty minutes in the 

toothpaste aisle only to wind up empty handed and in tears? Me. In all honesty I still 

don't know what to think about toothpaste. No fluoride because it causes cancer but 

also be sure to not ever need a root canal because that causes cancer. I'm left to 

count on the small chance that my children have magical teeth which can go without 

fluoride but will also never decay. 

  Some people say it all comes down to balance. Balancing you're life, making sure 

you say yes as many times if not more than you say no, having as many joyous 

moments as you do worrisome ones. I agree with that. However I also think it's ok to 

get mad, get informed and raise a little hell. The mom who took on Kraft mac n' 

cheese, the teen who took on Gator-aide, Jaime Oliver who took on pink slime; these 

are people I want to high five.  Reading a label, researching an ingredient and blowing 

the whistle. In my house I am Head Label Reader, although I must say after years of 

training my husband is catching up and keeping it real. I don't like that it comes down 

to the individual to avoid harmful substances. You would hope that a company would 

say , “let's not put carcinogens in baby wash”  but that's not the case. The 

responsibility trickles down from billionaires to those barely getting by, with the lame-o 

statement of “it's your choice to buy it”. To which I raise my debit card in protest and 

reply “you will never get a dime of mine.” I'm a firm believer in the concept of every 

time you spend a dollar you cast a vote toward the type of life you want to lead. 

However living by that principal puts me right back at..... you guessed it, the no list.   

 

*For more information on chemical free living or to learn more about Coleen's blog please email her at coleencarusi@Hotmail.com

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Life Lived Healthy Class

Life Lived Healthy: Starts Wednesday January 14th!

This four-part series will focus on healthy lifestyle management. This class will help you find your focus, establish your wellness goals and create a plans that FITS your life. We will concentrate on what is important to you and what you need to build a better balance in your life. Each class will include discussions such as creating healthy habits, mindful eating, stress management and food, weight and wellness, and fitness goal setting. This series will give you the tools you need to begin making better choices leading to a Life Lived Healthy!

Email me at Jessica@wellandinspired.com for more information.

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New Year New You: 7 Steps To A Healthier You

1. Find Your  Focus
Enough with worrying about weight! Focus on your health and ways to feel your best. Get more sleep, move more and make better food choices.

2. Progress Not Perfection
Don't beat yourself up for not being perfect. We all will have good days and bad days. Don't overwhelm yourself . Take it one minute and meal at a time.

3. Educate Yourself
Take some time to learn  about what can work for you. Incorporate your own interests and ideas into your health routine and you will be more likely to stick to it.

4. Change Your Mind
Begin to change your thoughts and you WILL change your body. Our mind is our most powerful tool in our success. Think positive and believe you can achieve your goals.

5. Become a Lifer
Repeat after me. No more diets! Make a lifestyle change not just a quick fix. Making small changes each day, will give you big results.

6. Get Inspired
Find motivation to keep yourself going! Get a workout buddy, start journaling or join a health challenge. All of these can help you keep you focused and on track.

7. Do It For You
It's all about you. You deserve to be healthy and happy. Start taking some 'me' time to begin creating an even better version of you. 
 

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Quinoa Chicken Chili

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Quinoa Chicken Chili

This is one of my favorite winter recipes. Quinoa Chicken Chili.

Who doesn't love a hot bowl of chili on a cold winters day? The best part is, this is an easy crock pot recipe! This protein and flavor packed meal will give you a healthy dinner that everyone enjoys.

Here is what you need:

1 cup of quinoa, rinsed

1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes

  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chili beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili powder
  • ** toppings of your choice are optional ,cheese, sour cream, avocados

Directions:

1.Place all ingredients in slow cooker (at least 6 quarts)

2. Cook 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low

3. Once chicken is cooked shred with a fork

4. Add favorite topping above

5. Sit and enjoy:)

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