Happy New Year!! Well, where on earth have we been - you ask? We've been living busy lives much like you've probably been this past month. I'm going to tell you a bit about who we are (for those who don't already know), what's going on in our world and what types of changes you'll notice around here.
For those of you who don't know us - we are two real life, busy women and friends who happen to be sisters. My younger sister ("E") is now a busy stay-at-home mama of an adorable 2.5 year old son (who I'm convinced is a musical prodigy...no Auntie bias, of course), and of the sweetest little 5 month old lady who has the most serious expressions that quickly turn to huge smiles. My sister is now in the process of embarking on an organic cloth diaper adventure with her second-born, as it seemed near impossible with the first with no washer+dryer in their house at the time. Her days are long, her arms are full and the majority of her time is spent focusing on the needs and wants of her children. I really admire her.
I, on the other hand, do not have any children (unless you count three furry ones), have a full-time career in the communications industry and instead of diapers, naps and melt-downs, my days are filled with conference calls, meetings and clients (who also sometimes have melt-downs sans the diapers). A couple weeks ago, I was able to take some vacation time and spend it with my family back in California. It made my heart happy to spend the holidays with them (very difficult to leave, but it always is). A few days ago I celebrated my 12 year wedding anniversary. Picture above is the lovely Inn where we stayed to celebrate!
The last few months I've been thinking about what's really important - family, friends and health top my list. This past month in particular, I've given a lot of thought to the year ahead and decided that on the first day of the New Year I would once again embark on a wellness/detox journey (I fell off my super strict healthy eating wagon about 1 year ago and fell off my semi-strict wagon 6 months ago - its a slippery slope I tell ya!). This time, I wanted my husband, parents and In-Laws to join me because both sets of our parents have some serious health issues. I really hate this parents-getting-old/health-issues thing. One has been ill for 20+ years, two for about 5+ years and the other is showing signs that recently concern us. With two of our parents now using the "cancer" word with regards to their health (haven't been diagnosed yet, but we can't rule it out for the future and there's no better time than now to work on prevention), I feel a strong call to action and I knew the only way is to do it with them, instead of just urging them to do it. I also know I'm long overdue for some serious cleansing and I want to feel really good again like I did a year ago when I cut out all the crap. So the New Year just felt like the perfect time for new beginnings, especially since I knew there was no chance to stick to any sort of healthy eating regimen during the holidays.
So here we are, 5 days in - at least 4 of us. I'm personally feeling really good already! I'm preparing and cooking meals for 4 (us and my In-Laws) and my own parents haven't quite started yet - but they say they will soon.
I'm a firm believer in the power of nutrition and that the body can heal itself if given what it needs to do so. I find that reading testimonials and success stories of those who have overcome illness and beat the odds by choosing to put things in our mouth that promote healing, rather than illness - entirely inspiring.
I've been reading and researching for the past month and I plan to share things I've found, whether it be an inspiring website, blog or book and even tools that help make living healthier a bit easier. For almost two years, this blog has been all about products, and we feel like we've sort of become 'product pushers'. That's not who we are in real life, that's not what we're all about and it's not what's ultimately important in the scheme of things. This year, we're going to get more personal and while we'll still share products we've found, we'll also focus on health and wellness - and hopefully bring a bit of balance. We know many products can be helpful and fun and that beauty products (that we've written a lot about) pamper and excite, but we also know that what we put in our mouth is equally important as what we put on our skin. Let's get real - its hypocritical to call a beauty product that contains artificial colors "evil" and then scarf down a handful of gummy bears - or any food containing artificial colors - most chips, pickles, candy, etc. (I know, I've been there).
My personal goal is to drop the pant size I've accrued over the past 6 months (especially this past month of holiday indulging), build up my health and strengthen my immune system. Now, it just wouldn't be right if I didn't leave you with some things that I've found to be personally helpful, so here are just a handful of my favorite healthy things right now:
My Health Gurus -
Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph. D, CNS
I've been reading her books for well over 8 years (and listening to her podcasts), and her ideas and beliefs with regards to health (especially women's health) resonated so loud and clear for me. Things just started to fall into place for me, health-wise, like they hadn't before. Get the Sugar Out and Guess What Came to Dinner?: Parasites and Your Health were two of my early reads and now I'm a huge fan of The Fat Flush Plan
- since I know its healthy and it works (I lost 4 sizes while adhering to it almost 2 years ago)!!
Dr. Schulze - "Herb Doc"
About 2 years ago, I was staying with my best friend from high school who is a mostly-vegetarian, yoga-loving, free spirit who lives a healthy life near the beach in Encinitas, California. Her home is a tropical oasis surrounded by palm trees and it was entirely relaxing and inspiring to be there. When she served me super healthy smoothies while we sat and chatted in her kitchen, I noticed many glass bottles from Dr. Schulze. When I asked about them - both her and her boyfriend went on and on about their amazing experience with the products and about the amazing experiences of their personal friends and family while taking these herbal supplements. I went home, checked out his website, place my order and embarked on a new and healthier way of life thanks to her inspiration. I love Dr. Schulze's blunt, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is approach and his supplements are some of the best out there and they work!!! Be on the lookout for a future post about these!
Blogs That Inspire Me -
I'm so happy to have found this woman's blog, which is her personal experience, research and journey back to health, after she overcame cervical dysplasia / cancer without surgery or medical treatments as well as Candida by balancing her body’s pH and striving for an 80% alkaline diet. Great research, recipes and inspiration here!
Crazy Sexy Life
I've been a subscriber to the CSL blog for many months, but somehow, unbelievably - I haven't yet seen the entire documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer. I've watched the movie trailer many times as I find it to be totally inspiring and recently purchased the Crazy Sexy Cancer DVD from Amazon.com for my Mother-in-Law and will watch it after she's done with it. The website alone has been a great find, filled with all sorts of health experts, tips, inspiration and motivation. If you're not already a subscriber, I encourage you to add this blog to your RSS reader, stat!
Where I Buy My Supplements -
Uni Key Health
Awesome resource for high quality supplements, vitamins and minerals, including safe weight loss supplements, water and air purifiers, testing kits, and more. I've bought many items from them, but if you're looking to drop some holiday weight, be sure to check out their safe "Fat Flush Kit". I'm using it right now and it makes a huge difference when trying to drop pounds and put the kabbash on cravings. And the bonus? When I use this I notice that the dark circles under my eyes get A LOT lighter! Gotta love that.
American Botanical Pharmacy
Offers superior organic herbal supplements, many of which are my "can't-live-without" products. If you don't know where to begin, start with the Vitality Program Kit, that's what I did and needless to say, I went back for more soon after. I use 1 Tablespoon of SuperFood Plus in my smoothies every morning and take Intestinal Formula #1 every night. Both my parents, my husband's grandmother and my sister-in-law's mom (who underwent chemo for breast cancer) have all experienced amazing results with these products!
What I'm Reading -
Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS
Nature's Cancer Fighting Foods by Verne Varona
What to Eat if You Have Cancer: Healing Foods that Boost Your Immune System by Maureen Keane, M.S. and Daniella Chase, M.S.
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Making healthy change, even if taking baby steps - is all about priorities, desire, intention and then action. If you don't want to do something, its not likely that you are going to do it. And if you don't believe that what you are doing will help you, you won't have a desire to do it. Many people would probably say "yes, I want to be healthy", but then acting on it is another matter altogether - because its not exactly easy. Or people say (I've heard this countless times) "yes, I want to get rid of my acne and have tried everything - nothing works", but aren't willing to make a sacrifice to cut out foods that contain dairy (which can encourage and promote blemishes and breakouts) for example. (I know, I've been there).
Why not join me and start a healthy habit - no matter if it has to do with your eating habits, relationships, organizing or just making time for yourself?! Its never too late to start!
So, what's your healthy priority, desire or intention for the next 360 days ahead? Have you already acted on it or do you have a time frame in mind to act on it? If you declare your goals, you're much more likely to accomplish them - so go ahead, tell us what yours are in the comments below! Who's your personal "health guru", what websites inspire you or do you have any cool resources or tools that you just can't live without?? Well, don't just keep 'em to yourself - why not share so we can all benefit?!
Wishing you health + happiness this year,
Photo credit: Me + my Blackberry
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. I didn't write this with the intention of including any, but since we have affiliate relationships with Uni Key Health and Amazon.com - hey, why not! 'Affiliate' means that if you click on our link to their site and make a purchase, we'll receive a small commission.