4 Additions to Your Day for Better Health!

This post was sponsored by Nature Made as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

My life has completely changed since I started running five years ago. Before running, I only thought about my health when I was sick or when I wanted to lose weight. Now, taking care of my body is one of my top priorities. If I don’t keep myself healthy, all of the other important things in my life suffer – my family, my friendships, my ministry. Staying healthy is not a selfish thing for me. It is vital to me being the best wife, mom, friend, business owner, and more.

Most of us know that maintaining a healthy body includes eating right and exercising regularly. These are two very important components, but those two things alone aren’t enough. There are many other simple additions to your day that will maximize the health and performance of your body so you can keep up with your busy life!

just add water

How many of you are drinking 64 ounces of water a day? It might not be enough. You should actually be drinking half your weight (in pounds) and even more if you’s sweating during the day! Proper hydration will keep your body systems functioning at their best level!

just add stretching

Sore muscles don’t just need rest – they need to be stretched and massaged to prevent injury. Just as you make time to exercise, plan for recovery for your body as well. Since I added regular yoga, foam-rolling, and massage with a foot ball and massage stick, I’ve noticed that my legs are better able to bounce back after a hard workout. Stretching is also very relaxing, which is always good for my overall mood and health!

just add sleep

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Sleep is your body’s chance to heal and recharge. YOU NEED SLEEP. I don’t know what your schedule is like – you may work late into the night or have to get up at the crack of dawn to take a child to a practice. Look at your life and find time for sleep. Set an alarm to tell you to go to bed, if needed!

just add vitamins

It is vital to your overall health to support, not sabotage, your immune system. Eating the right foods will help with this, as will vitamins and supplements. Choosing a vitamin like Nature Made® Immune Health: Vitamin C Softgels helps me stay at my best and keep up with my active lifestyle. I trust Nature Made® because of their commitment to quality as shown by being the #1 Pharmacist Recommended brand! You can find their vitamins and supplements at your local HyVee, like me, or other trusted retailers.

Nature Made® wants to help you stay motivated in making your health a priority, so they are partnering with Men’s and Women’s Health on Facebook to give you and your friends so many fun prizes! Visit the Nature Made® Facebook page through April 9th to find all the rules and enter giveaways for prizes including Blue Apron, Lululemon and Sephora gift cards, as well as FitBits and a one-year membership to Nature Box!

To top it all off, Nature Made® is giving away a SPA VACATION! This spa vacation grand prize includes a 4-day/3-night trip for two to the Red Mountain Resort in Ivans, UT – doesn’t that sound heavenly?! Through April 9th, you may enter for a chance to win the Grand Prize by visiting their sweepstakes page and clicking where indicated in order to complete and submit the registration form for one entry into the Grand Prize drawing! Do it now before you forget!

What will you add to your day to improve your health?

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Get Your Family Healthy with Triple Play!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Boys & Girls Club of America. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Our love for running has rubbed off on our children. They have done a few races and their interest keeps growing. It has been so fun to run with them and cheer them on along the way! I am so thankful for this development because this active lifestyle isn’t the normal for kids in America these days.

Kids are spending more time than ever sitting in front of screens – TV, video games, mobile devices – and, due in part to this, 3 out of 10 kids in the United States are either overweight or obese. Children should be spending 60 minutes a day doing moderate to vigorous physical activity, but only 25% of youth ages 12-15 are actually meeting this requirement.

I’m not ok with this current trend and neither is Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

That’s why BGCA has teamed up with The Coca-Cola Company and Anthem Foundation to fight the growing rate of childhood obesity among our nation’s youth with the Triple Play Program. Through this program and partnership, BGCA clubs will build the next generation of leaders, motivating kids to be healthy through nutrition and health education, more access to healthy foods, avoidance of risky behaviors, and a lifelong commitment to fitness.

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Over the past ten years, the Triple Play Program has connected with 10 million kids, sharing the importance of physical activity and proper nutrition through the program’s three components focused on mind, body and soul.

The Triple Play Program doesn’t only have an impact at BGCA clubs. Every family can benefit from Triple Play through the Parents Game Plan!

In the Parents Game Plan, you’ll find guidance for introducing a healthier lifestyle to your family, tips for setting goals, and activities to try to benefit mind, body, and soul!

My kids love games and puzzles, so they had fun with the “What’s the 411? Relay,” a true/false game about healthy eating.

I’m always looking for ways to help the boys get active and burn off some extra energy after school, so I loved the Fitness Relay idea from the Parents Game Plan!

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One person starts off and does a fitness move, such as pushups or jumping jacks, and then the next person performs the move, and so on.

Triple Play Jumping Jacks

My kids love that they each get to lead and I love how active it gets them! And it’s even better when The Hubby and I join in! Pushups, jumping jacks, squats, sprints, and high knees were the picks for our boys.

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These are just a small portion of the many ideas shared in the Triple Play Parents Game Plan! It is a valuable resource for families looking for ways to get healthy and active together.

Now it’s your turn: download the Triple Play Parents Game Plan and get your family moving in a healthy direction together!

How do you make healthy living a priority for your family?

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It’s a Healthy Thing at Smoothie King!

This is a sponsored post for Smoothie King. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own!

I have a thing for smoothies. REAL smoothies. The kind made with fruit, not syrups and added sugar.

Turns out we have a great new place in Omaha that feels the same way about smoothies! I had the fun privilege of joining a group of Omaha bloggers to try out a huge variety of the awesome smoothies offered by Smoothie King!

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Smoothie King has been around since 1973, but they just made their way to 90th and Center in Omaha two months ago and I’m thrilled they are here!

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Before we even tried a smoothie, I noticed that Smoothie King is not just about smoothies – they are all about all-around health. The store has an active lifestyle theme, from the decor to the additional health food items sold in the store. Their motto is, “Smoothies with a purpose.” And that purpose is supporting a healthy lifestyle for Smoothie King customers! I love that!

Now about those smoothies, because we all know that’s the main event here…

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We got to try NINE different smoothie flavors during our night at Smoothie King. I honestly liked all nine of them, but I most definitely had my favorites! Here are the flavors we tried:

  • Angel Food = banana + strawberry (Smoothie King’s #1 seller)
  • Mangofest = orange + mango + pineapple
  • Lemon Twist Strawberry = strawberry + lemon + papaya (skinny version)
  • Almond Mocha High Protein = coffee
  • Chocolate Gladiator with Peanut Butter and Banana = choose two fruits or one + peanut butter + either chocolate, strawberry or vanilla protein)
  • Berry Carrot Dream = carrots + orange + apple + strawberry + banana
  • Pineapple Surf = pineapple + strawberry + kiwi
  • The Hulk Vanilla = butter pecan ice cream + banana
  • Peach Papaya Greek Yogurt = just what the name says!

So here’s a funny thing: Smoothie King’s #1 seller (Angel Food) and the taste testers’ favorite of the night (The Hulk Vanilla) were my two least favorite – and they were still delicious! I loved all of the others, but I was particularly fond of the Lemon Twist Strawberry which was made “skinny,” which means they left out the turbinado sugar and saved me 100 calories!

Smoothie King Samples

I didn’t think I would care for the Berry Carrot Dream, but it was seriously yummy. Anything coffee is always a hit for me, so the Almond Mocha was fabulous. And my smoothie go-to – chocolate, peanut butter, and banana – did not disappoint! We also got a sneak preview of the new Greek yogurt smoothies coming to Smoothie King in July – I’m a BIG fan of Greek yogurt in my smoothies!

Smoothie King Up Close

The point is you just can’t go wrong with a smoothie from Smoothie King! They will have something just for you – vegan, kale, fitness, high protein, every kind of fruit – the list goes on and on! Each smoothie comes in three sizes – 20 oz, 32 oz, and 40 oz. There are also 12 oz smoothies just for the kids! 25 of the smoothies offered at Smoothie King are under 300 calories for a 20 oz!

Smoothie King SizesYou really need to visit Smoothie King for yourself to experience all the goodness, but I have one more thing to convince you to stop by…

Smoothie King Drive-Thru

That’s right – DRIVE-THRU! And there was much rejoicing from all the parents, am I right?! A healthy drive-thru option is a reason to cheer for me!

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I know you’re ready to hop in your car to head to Smoothie King, so let me help you out – I’ve got a $50 gift card to the Omaha store to give away to one of you! To enter, leave a comment with which smoothie flavor you can’t wait to try! For extra entries, follow Smoothie King on Twitter and/or Instagram and tweet the following message:

[Tweet “A $50 gift card to @smoothiekingoma?! I’m in! Enter to win here: #smoothiekingomaha #omaha”]

Make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry! This giveaway closes Friday, June 26th at 9PM CST! 

So what flavor will you try first?!

 

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NOW Solutions for the Health of Your Body!

I am a #NowWellness Blogger Ambassador. I have received monetary and product compensation for this post. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions, recipes, and ideas are always my own.

Last week, I shared some fabulous foods we’ve been making with NOW Foods products lately, but there is so much more to this wonderful company than just food! Through being a #NOWWellness Blogging Ambassador, I’ve been introduced to amazing NOW Solutions products to take care of my whole body from head to toe!

NOW Solutions

Let’s start at the top!

NOW Shampoo and Conditioner

NOW® Solutions Herbal Revival™ Shampoo and Conditioner

Friends, I have a LOT of hair. It is thick and long and needs some major attention. One of my main goals is to keep my hair healthy in a more natural way, but I’m just not into the whole no-shampoo thing. If it works for you, great. Carry on.

A little more info about what goes into these hair products: Herbal Revival Shampoo + Conditioner contain Horsetail Extract, Tea Tree Oil and Sea Kelp to help soothe and nourish the scalp, as well as L-Arginine and L-Cystine to strengthen damaged follicles, giving hair a healthy shine and smooth feel.

I love the focus on repairing damaged hair because I know my hair takes a beating from the hair dryer, ponytail holders, and more! I was a little skeptical with my first try because the shampoo didn’t produce much foam and that threw me off. I’m just used to more foam! But my hair did come out feeling very clean and after several uses, I’ve become accustomed to this difference! I do tend to get lots of tangles in my long hair and the conditioner didn’t do much to help that, but my hair has been very soft and clean feeling! I also like the size of the bottles – some companies make them so small these days!

NOW Almond Oil

NOW® Solutions Sweet Almond Oil

Did you know Sweet Almond Oil is one of the best natural moisturizers around? I was completely convinced even after just one night using this on my face before bed! My skin was SO smooth and soft and did not feel extra oily in any way the next day! Almond Oil is easily absorbed and won’t clog pores, promoting clear, soft, healthy skin. There’s not much more to say – it was so easy to massage just a few drops into my skin in a circular motion and that’s it! And it is SO much cheaper than expensive hydrating creams.

NOW Solutions Toothpaste

NOW® Solutions XyliWhite™ Neem & Tea Tree Toothpaste

Can I be honest? The name of this toothpaste made me think I might gag on it. But I didn’t! I really liked it! It has a minty taste and left my teeth feeling smooth and clean! The toothpaste is fluoride free, SLS free, gluten free, AND paraben free! It also contains 25% xylitol which can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. It also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth, which is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay!

NOW Vitamin D Lotion

NOW® Solutions Vitamin D-3 Cream

This is my favorite. My skin loves me for using this lotion. A little bit goes a long way with this thick, creamy lotion that provides amazing intense moisture for the whole body! The Vitamin D-3 Lotion contains 500 IU of vitamin A to help rejuvenate your skin with its antioxidant benefits, and 50 IU of vitamin E to help gently, naturally renew damaged skin. This lotion is a dream for my legs right now in the summer when shorts and swimsuits are the norm, and I know it will be much needed when the dry winter air sets in. Even though the lotion is thick, it doesn’t feel heavy at all and my skin is looking gorgeous after just a few weeks of using it! If I were to suggest one product to start with from the NOW Solutions line for your body, this would be it!

 

Have you tried any of these NOW Solutions products? Which ones interest you the most?

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Making Meals with NOW Foods!

I am a #NowWellness Blogger Ambassador. I have received monetary and product compensation for this post. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions, recipes, and ideas are always my own.

It has been my pleasure over the last week to be adding some amazing NOW Foods products into my daily life! I had no idea the breadth of products available from NOW Foods before becoming a blogger ambassador, so it’s been fun to try these high quality, natural, and affordable products that meet the stringent quality standards set forth by NOW Foods!

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Look at that haul we get to try! So many amazing products – food, personal care, sports nutrition, and supplements! I’m not a patient person, so I’ve been diving in to try everything these past two weeks!

My focus this week: making meals with NOW Foods!

NOW Foods Meals

One of our current obsessions is grain bowls. We’ve been trying different kinds of rice and quinoa mixed with meat and veggie combos, so the Living Now® Gluten-Free Organic Tri-Color Quinoa was a perfect fit for us!

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This tri-color quinoa is not only delicious, but also beautiful! I prepared the quinoa based on the package instructions, using chicken broth as the liquid. Quinoa is even easier to cook than rice and it doesn’t come out sticky! I also love that quinoa adds extra protein and iron to my meal.

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To partner with the tri-color quinoa, I baked chicken breasts in Ellyndale Organics™ Coconut Infusions™ Garlic Flavor. I also stir-fried the veggies for our bowl in the same oil. The subtle garlic flavor added by this oil was scrumptious!

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Here is the end result – garlic baked chicken, tri-color quinoa, zucchini, red pepper, and onion! We both wanted two bowls because it was so delicious! We refrained and I’m glad we did, because the leftover quinoa was the perfect side for our grilled chicken and vegetables lunch over the weekend.

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Doesn’t this look like the perfect light, healthy summer meal?! The tri-color quinoa has quickly become a favorite in our household!

Another favorite summer lunch for me is a protein smoothie! 

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Protein smoothies are cool, refreshing, filling, and quick to make! My favorite combo is unsweetened vanilla almond milk, plain Greek yogurt, frozen banana, PB2, and chocolate protein powder. I was thrilled to find the  NOW® Sports Sprouted Brown Rice Protein – Chocolate in my package because it was perfect for this smoothie! One tablespoon of this protein powder is just 30 calories and 4g of protein, and it is soy-free + dairy-free – so great for those with food allergies.

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One last meal idea for you today – a giant salad. The Hubby and I love big salads topped with lots of veggies, a little bacon, and something crunchy. NOW Real Food® Organic Toasted Hemp Seeds are a fabulous salad topper! They lightly sea-salted (yum) and are a valuable source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. One serving also packs 5g of protein! My mind is already thinking up new ways to use these nutritious, delicious seeds!

If you think these NOW Foods products sounds fabulous, you’re right, and I have SO much more to share! Look for another post next week highlighting the great personal care products I’ve been trying!

Which of these NOW Foods products would you like to try? How would you use them in a meal?

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A Healthy Work-in-Progress

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This is a sponsored post for the Sara Lee® Delightful Bread Campaign with SITS Girls.

Health and fitness have become two of the top priorities in my life over the last two and a half years, but the changes in my life weren’t instant or easy.

It all started with the inspiration of my husband who, at the time, was a fourth year medical student determined to not only TELL his patients about making healthy choices but also SHOW them by example. I was eight months pregnant with our third son when he joined a gym, started running, and lost 40+ pounds in less than six months. I was inspired and I wanted this new found healthy lifestyle for myself.

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Six weeks after #3 was born, I started running and never looked back. It was a challenge to get going with three children six  years old and under + a husband in medical school, but we both made it a priority for each other to get a workout in and eventually the habit stuck.

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I don’t have any huge weight loss stories to share with you. I’m not a fitness professional here to tell you how I have arrived at being fit and that you can arrive just like me. I’m a healthy work-in-progress and that’s exactly how I want proceed in life.

I’m not the skinniest I’ve ever been, but I am the strongest. I make time for exercise at least six times a week and it boosts both my mood + energy. I still have workouts I want to quit or skip or that leave me sore for days, but the past two and half years of my healthy living journey have taught me this is NORMAL. And in that time, I’ve also accomplished things I never dreamed: running six half-marathons, doing a 14-mile training run, completing the Insanity program, and more.

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Since I’ve stretched myself in these new ways, I find myself always up for trying new workouts and never want to settle in to a routine that leaves me bored. If something seems too hard, I’m even more intrigued by the challenge because I know it will make me better in the process!

I don’t always make the healthiest food choices and I’m totally “anti-diet,” but our meals +snacks + the food we keep in the house on a regular basis have undergone a real transformation. We love food, so treating food as fuel + finding healthier options of our favorite foods + learning to love moderation have become our go-to methods for making better eating choices.

A healthy work-in-progress in all areas. It’s a good place to be.

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Sara Lee® Delightful Bread is one of those healthier options of a food I already love: BREAD. I just can’t get rid of the carbs, people. I love them too much. With Sara Lee® Delightful Bread, I know each delicious slice is just 45 calories with no artificial colors or flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup. And the flavors are just as delightful as the nutrition facts: Oatmeal, 100% Whole Wheat (made with real honey), Healthy Multi-Grain, and Wheat!

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This time of year, there are so many ways to use Sara Lee® Delightful Bread! French toast made with Delightful Bread makes a lovely Christmas morning breakfast. And leftover turkey or ham sandwiches are a staple for us around the holidays. Delightful Bread is the perfect sandwich bread that doesn’t add too many extra calories to your meal!

Sara Lee® is all about providing healthy choices AND celebrating them! The Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program is looking for your healthy transformation story. Every person who enters receives a free t-shirt! The 45 finalists will receive free bread for a year, an iPod shuffle, workout gear, and more! And the winner (as voted by the Sara Lee® Facebook page fans) will win $4,500!

What is your healthy transformation story? Where are you as a healthy work-in-progress? Tell me you story here and don’t forget to enter it in the Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program for your chance to win!

This is a sponsored post with the SITS Girls campaign for the Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People Program!

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