Do No Harm

2018 was a tough year for me. I lost my favorite kid in the entire world to Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, and my boyfriend was diagnosed with a malignant neuroendocrine tumor (NET) in his small intestine, which thankfully they removed right before Christmas.

I can’t help but think that these life-shaping moments mean something more, and I personally have felt very called, convicted to share my knowledge on how to help people make safer, better choices.

The mantra “Do No Harm” comes into play here. We are hardwired to go with the flow, the masses. Society can make choices that we automatically deem ok because “other people are doing it.” I remember in elementary school getting in trouble for doing something against the rules, and my teacher saying something like if everyone jumped off the roof, would you do it, too?

We have to stop “jumping off the roof” when it comes to our health and wellbeing. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it the best choice for each of us.

I love the idea of exploring this whole idea of don’t just go with the flow when it comes to your health. It’s a loaded topic. And I know people will get testy on the subject because we want to believe that we are doing the right thing. Health and wellness is just a touchy topic because everyone choices to live differently.

But let’s unpack this idea. For fun. Particularly for the endocrine system.

I found this article from Dr. Axe, and it totally hit home for me.

With Brad’s cancer specifically affecting hormone cells in his small intestine, changing his diet won’t be enough on the preventative side we can control. There are so many things that we use on our bodies, breathe in through the air and eat that can effect our endocrine system. So diet is only one of many things.

Well, you can’t control what chemical makeup of the air we breathe.

But you can get a home air filtration system or diffuse clarifying essential oils or use safer cleaning products. I started looking into household cleaners once I signed on with Beautycounter and started learning about all the ways our endocrine system can be affected by what we put on our bodies. That translated quickly into changing our everyday cleaners and detergents.

Brands I use include Seventh Generation, Better Life and Doterra. Better Life is a new one for me, but proving to be a good one. I get mine through Thrive Market or on Amazon.

I use EWG’s Skin Deep Site or app to check out beauty and skin care products that fall outside of Beautycounter‘s current product offerings. Finding Beautycounter was a total game changer for me and my skin care. I’ve always suffered with oily, acne-prone skin, but now I believe that was totally because the products I was using were full of harmful chemicals, additives and questionable ingredients. Beautycounter has a list of over 1,500 ingredients they never use in any of their products. It’s a company I’m proud to support because we are collectively changing the beauty industry for the better.

I realize this is a heavy subject, but we need to be talking about it as consumers. We need to be voting with our dollars for company’s that put people first, instead of profit. This is something I’m deeply passionate about, and it is so very important as we move forward.

The goal is not to have everyone I know using Beautycounter or brands I love (though I would love it if you found Beautycounter to be your thing that works for you).

The goal is to get you thinking about things in a new way.

To question.

To not jump off a roof just because everyone else is doing it.

To take your health and wellness seriously.

Because, y’all, we only get this one life.

What do you want to do this year to take control of your health and wellness? What small changes can you make? What things can you get rid of? How can I help you? Because I truly feel called to help you take the steps to make a choice.

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2019: The Year of Gratitude

I spent the weekend reflecting on 2018 and setting goals for 2019. What a year it’s been.

I always love looking at everyone’s “Best Nine” at the end of the year. It’s so fun to go back and look at what consumed your life. Mine was consumed with travel, gardening, Annie Mae and B. Several things happened that I wish hadn’t, but overall I found goodness and a little grace.

I completed my 2019 Powersheets prep work on Saturday morning. This is the first year I’ve tried to set intentional goals at the beginning of the year. Last year, I started with Powersheets around June. I love the prep work because it helps you really nail down what you want to accomplish for the year, and it breaks your main goals down into smaller, easier-to-digest goals to work toward monthly, weekly and daily.

One of my main goals is to establish and maintain healthy eating practices and a true fitness routine. So I wanted to share with you what I will be doing to reach that goal starting tomorrow.

Establish a Meditation Practice

I’ve used the Calm app off and on for a couple of months to see if it is something that will help me. Quieting my mind is basically non-existent. My brain literally never shuts off. It can, at times, be awful. So I did some research about stress management, and guided meditation is one of the best ways to manage stress.

Tomorrow, I will start a daily mediation practice. Whether it’s in the morning or before bed will depend on my mood, but my goal is to mediate in the morning before leaving for work. I will also use the Sleep Stories or sleep mediations to help me fall asleep at night, instead of using the TV. At least, that is a long term goal for this practice. I’m shooting for 5-10 minutes per day, and then maybe longer periods on the weekends, which will lead into the second part of this overall goal.

A Daily Yoga Practice

After lots of research and looking at my daily schedule, yoga seems like the easiest thing to work into my life at this time. Plus, there are added benefits of stress management for combining a mediation and yoga practice. I know it sounds pretty granola, but that’s just where I am right now.

I’ve used Asana Rebel off and on, and I have a BOD account. So the plan is to use them, even if it is only 5 or ten minutes. Just move my body each day. Ideally, I would like this to be 10-20 minutes on the mat with longer sessions on the weekends. And I plan to use the Calm app directly after my yoga practice.

My intention for the new year is centered around gratitude, and my intention for my yoga practice is focused on being awake.

I would love to know what your goals are for 2019. Please share.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

This is one Paleo dinner that doesn’t taste “granola” at all. It was so good we ate until our stomachs hurt.

The glorious part is I browned the hamburger meat several hours before I was ready to eat, and I threw all the ingredients for the sauce into the crockpot to cook for awhile so the flavors could get right. Plus, slow cooking the meat makes it extra tender.

I’ll admit it’s not the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, but it makes up for it in warm, hearty flavors. Perfect for fall.

What you need:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half
  • 1 jar of Whole30 compliant spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning to taste

Sauté the ground beef with the onion in a hot skillet until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Move to slow cooker. Add in the sauce. (I used Thrive Market’s Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce.) Add a little Italian Seasoning, and more salt and pepper if you like. I cooked ours on low for about 4 hours, but you could also make this on the stovetop.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrap out the pulp and seeds. Season the inside of the squash halves with salt, pepper and a little avocado oil. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet cut side down, and roast for 40-45 minutes. When it is done, remove from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes. Flip the halves over and scrap the squash with a fork to make “noodles.”

Put the squash noodles in a bowl. Top with the spaghetti sauce. And enjoy.

It was warm and comforting. And like I said, we ate all of it. The good thing is the “noodles” didn’t make us sick. It’s the little things in life.

What are your favorite comfort dishes that just happen to be Paleo?

Show Me Your Friday Face

We made it to Freedom Day…also known as Friday. Woo whoo!

This week has been hard on me. Like crazy hard. My day job has been crazy. I’m working hard on my side hustle with Beautycounter after I get home. I feel like I need a mental break. But this too shall pass .

I’ve been switching my my eyeshadow every few days since I got the gorgeous Winter Jewels Palette from Beautycounter. But I’m gravitating to certain ones over and over again.

In the Winter Jewels Palette, I’m completely in love with the Rose Gold eyeshadow. I’m wearing only that and the Volumizing Mascara in the photo above.

But I recently got the Nude Eye Trio from the Holiday Collection. The nude cream eye shadow is to die for. It’s the color of my dreams. Neutral with a hint of gray. I hope they keep those two shades after the holidays are over.

If you haven’t checked out the Holiday Collection, I highly recommend that you do. Everything is so gorgeous. Perfect for stockings. I can make recommendations for the special people in your life. So let’s give the gift of clean beauty.

Anyway, I didn’t intend for this to be a Beautycounter post, but I’m just really loving everything they’ve got going right now.

Happiest of Fridays, friends!

Secret Ingredient Salmon Cakes

Someone I admire paid me the biggest compliment today.

On the Adventures to Wellness Facebook page, there was a lovely little comment on my Creamy Chicken and Zoodles post about finding a yummy gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free recipe.

I love it when you guys comment and leave messages about making my recipes. So humbling.

These Salmon Cakes are extra tasty. And in keeping with the gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free theme, I can’t wait to share it with you.

What’s the secret ingredient?

Pumpkin purée.

Pum

What you need:

  • Two cans pink salmon
  • 1/2 can organic pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • Dill, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Drain the juice off the salmon, and put meat into a bowl. Flake with a fork. Stir in the pumpkin and coconut flour. Season liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder and dill.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy.

It’s just that simple. The pumpkin purée acts as a binder like eggs, and it doesn’t alter the flavor of the cake. And if you have an allergy to eggs, you don’t have to worry over it with this dish.

I paired our Salmon Cakes with a combination of wilted turnip greens and Swiss chard. So tasty and full of Vitamin K.

What is one ingredient you use in everything?