Read a variety of posts on health & fitness, green living, clean eating, seasonal tips, & much more!

RSS

Blog posts of '2015' 'March'

Lighten up with Green Cleaning

It's that time of year when the snow melts away and we wait for plants come to life again. Pastel colors are trending and Easter plans are in the works. It's a season of hope, regrowth, and well cleaning. While you may not love cleaning, this is the time of year when the stale air in your home needs a boot, and your bathrooms need sanitized more than ever. For those of you in the north, it was a dark cold and let's be honest, dreary winter. You don't have to wait for mother nature to officially give the chilly temps a boot and bring out the energizing sun. You can energize yourself and get a jump start on your spring cleaning before it officially arrives. We all know what spring cleaning is about. Out with the old, and in with the new. It's the time to release the last few bursts of germs that are still lingering from your family's never ending colds and viruses. So, while you take on this yearly tradition, let's change the way you do it. This year let's put a twist on cleaning, by going green. I like to refer to this (as do many others) as GREEN CLEANING. According to Wikipedia, GREEN CLEANING uses cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients, and are specifically designed to preserve human health and environmental quality. Not only are we going to talk about ways to stay green when you clean (love the rhyming words), but we are also going to take a load off by getting rid of what you don't need.  

Begin by writing down everything that you hope to accomplish within your spring cleaning goals. Section off room by room on your list, and decide what needs to be done in each room. Keep it simple and remind yourself that it doesn't have to all get done in one day. Schedule dates and times with your cleaning plans and then set an end date. To keep this momentum going throughout the year, try this method on a weekly and monthly basis. Keep a daily checklist on your refrigerator and check it off as you go. You can even write these items down in your planner. The idea is to get the chaos out of your mind and onto paper, so you will visually see and better organize what needs to be done. The last part is simple ... To do it. 

Get everyone involved or even ask a friend for help. I know this is easier said than done, but it's worth a shot if you seem overwhelmed. Ask your family to participate. You could assign each kid or your spouse to a particular room. Give each person their own little checklist and then ask them to have everything on the list done by a certain date. My husband and I have resorted to this method in the past, and I have to admit it worked quite well. No one wants to be nagged, so we decided what each person is going to do. We wrote it all out on a dry erase board, and accomplished it on our own time frame. This way we have the freedom to accomplish the task our different ways. If that doesn't work, pick a day to tackle the jobs as a family. Crank up the music and shake while you dust. Feel free to offer everyone a reward or a fun treat once everything is done.

Once you have delegated who gets what room and what needs to be done, then it's time to detox your home. Again, taking one room at a time, get rid of everything you don't need or use. Extra clutter in the home leads to clutter in the mind, which leads to less productivity, and more stress. Less is more. Go through closets, cupboards, and drawers. This is a great way to take a load off and also give to those in need. Find a charity that could use clothing and household items, and donate. It's so therapeutic for the mind, body, and soul. 

We are definitely making progress, and boy does it feel good! Now that everything you don't need is out of your home, it's time to organize. Keeping things tidy is just as good for you as a bowl of leafy greens (in different ways). Can you imagine knowing where everything is? How about opening up your linen closet and feeling good about it? Get a system in place, that will suit you and your family. Consider using mason jars in your kitchen cupboards, baskets in your bathroom cupboards, and color coded bins for your holiday decorations and photos.  By doing this, you will be able to see what you have, and at the same time keep it organized. 

It's all coming together! Next, we want to incorporate the green cleaning method. By now you've heard me talk about eating foods and using products without chemicals and junk. If you are new to our site, let me do a little recap. The easiest way to explain it is to stick with the REAL thing. When it comes to your food, we say consume mostly whole foods. If you are eating something from a package, know what ingredients are used to make it. My standard rule of thumb.. If you can't understand the ingredients, then you shouldn't eat it. The same rule applies to the products you use on your hair and skin. Those products seep into your body within roughly 30 seconds. That brings me to my next point. The cleaning and household products you use in your home play a major role in your health. Those products get on your food, into your skin, and are welcomed into your lungs upon each breath. Look for products that are made without harsh chemicals. According to The Environmental Working Guide (EWG), many consumer products contain ingredients that are known to cause skin and respiratory allergies.  These disorders are lifelong conditions that can range from annoying to disabling. The EWG also believes that any products containing substances that may cause allergies should be properly labeled so that people can avoid them. This includes so-called "natural" ingredients. They also state that some of the substances that trigger allergic reactions are found in natural as well as synthetic fragrances. We know that buying green products can often get pricey. Believe or not, you can actually find some healthy ingredients right in your kitchen pantry. Start using ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and essential oils. Tip: Pinterest has a plethora of cleaning recipes using these kitchen staples. 

So this season lighten your load and spring into health with our green cleaning tips and suggestions. Adding these changes could make a big difference in your own and your family's health. 

(Note: All photos used on this blog post came from the internet, not www.JennaLento.com)

5 Healthy Habits That Could Change Your Life

Each week I like to bring something new to the table. Something to excite you, educate you, or simply motivate you on your healthy journey. As I tell my clients, when it comes to being healthy, we have to keep things fresh and fun. If you find yourself doing the same thing every single day, you're more likely to get burnt out and give up without hesitation. Finding your health and balance should be enjoyable and it should absolutely feel good both physically and mentally. Personally, if I did the same thing day in and day out,  I wouldn't be as passionate about what I do. I'm constantly trying new morning concoctions, new workouts in the gym, and introducing myself to different tips and tricks. As a Health Coach, I know how important it is to challenge our bodies and minds. It allows us to test out and find what works best for us on an individual level. It can also be the difference between getting results and not getting results. Rest assured keeping things fresh does not have to be complicated. It could mean trying one new thing each week, or to scale back, one new thing each month. I encourage you to do whatever it takes to find what works for you, and motivates you to keep going. If you're drawing a blank, try one of our five healthy habits. While it might not be what you're looking for, we say it doesn't hurt to try. Who knows, including some of our habits and suggestions could make a big difference in your life.

(photo from the internet)

1. Oil Pulling: It's a "crunchy" habit that can really amp up your morning routine. Oil pulling sounds funny, but once you try it, we think you might get hooked. It's a pretty simple method. Upon rising, take a small spoonful of melted coconut oil and put it in your mouth. For the next twenty to thirty minutes, swoosh it around your mouth (do NOT swallow or spit in sink). It's literally known to pull toxins from your body, while possibly whitening your teeth, and freshening your breath. We always follow our oil pulling sesh with our warm lemon water (deets to follow). There are MANY articles on the internet that will say you have to do it this way or that way, but I say start at your pace. Try it out for a few minutes tomorrow morning while getting ready for work or preparing your breakfast. Increase the time as you get more comfortable with it.

2. Morning Meditation: Hey, don't knock it until you try it. I like to call it "the calm before the storm." We wake up and next thing you know it's already noon. Each day is packed with more work, errands, chores, and events to attend. We can get so caught up in the craziness of life that we forget to stop, breathe, and take in the view around us. Getting your mind and thoughts right before you walk out of your front door can make be the difference in a good day or a bad day. I love to start my morning off with a daily devotion from the Bible and a calm five minutes before I get going. This is also a great time to pop in the oil pulling or sip on your warm lemon water. See, we're tying this all in for you. A one stop shop for your morning health routine (however, this can be enjoyed whenever you please!).

(photo from the internet)

3. Warm Lemon Water: Sometimes, I feel like I should be a spokesperson for lemons. I'm constantly encouraging all of you lovely peeps to drop and give me some fresh lemon juice in your morning water. The health benefits are endless but my most favorite include reasons like balancing your pH levels, flushing the junk from your body (also known as detoxing), helps cure the common cold, and aids in digestion. Honestly the list could go on but these are a few BIG reasons to give the lemons a shake. From time to time, we change it up by adding some fresh ginger slices, orange slices, or better yet cinnamon and honey. Fresh lemon juice, warm water, cinnamon, and honey has been said to aid in weight loss when consumed in both the morning and the evening on an empty stomach. Whether or not this helps you lose weight, I can attest that it helps curb my late night cravings and also tastes quite sweet and delicious!  

4. Fresh Air: I don't care if it's hot outside or freezing, I'm here to say that fresh air does the mind and body good. Many of us spend a lot of time indoors for work or everyday life. While we can't always control where we have to be, we can make an effort to take in some fresh oxygen in the great outdoors. If you don't have time to get outdoors for a quick workout, open your windows for a few minutes every single day to circulate fresh air. It can also help push out the germs and not so pleasant smells that you may not even realize are there. Some studies even suggest that kids who get more fresh air may do better in school or show fewer ADHD symptoms. So, take a family walk around the block, soak up the vitamin D, and take a few cleansing breaths in the middle of mother nature. 

(photo from the internet)

5. Be Present: Most of us have some sort of electronic in our hands all of the time (guilty!). While it can often be work related, I'm pretty sure it can also be harmful to our health and to some of the relationships around us. Our loved ones want to spend quality time with us (whether they admit it or not), so give them what they naturally crave, YOU! Set a time to sign offline each day, and let's get back to spending time together the old fashioned way. If that doesn't move you, then consider signing off at least two hours before bed. Doing this could help calm your mind, and improve your sleep habits too. Be present in your life and make the most of the time you spend with others. If you're at a game, be all in at the game. If you're at the movies, be all in at the movies. Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing be there and not off focused on someone's status on the internet.  

The goal is try something new, while keeping things fresh, and also exciting. Our suggestions may or may not work for you, but the goal is to challenge yourself to be better with each new day. If it works great, and if it doesn't, then let this be the motivation behind introducing yourself to different ways that could help you to look and feel your best.