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Eat Healthy & Save Money

If I had a quarter for every time someone told me eating healthy is expensive, I could pay for this week’s grocery bill. Since money doesn’t grow from comments, I decided it would be best to set the record straight. Yes, healthy food choices can seem more expensive and if not done the right way could cause your monthly grocery budget to bust. Before you break the bank or jump back to your unhealthy habits to save a buck, we encourage you to give our way a try. Here are several ways to save big by going healthy.

FARMER’S MARKET

Tis’ the season to get close to your farmer! I have been preaching this since I first started working as a health coach. Your local farmer’s market is the place to save! My husband and I try to utilize our farmer’s market for most of our produce, and I’m here to tell you why. You can get everything from fresh vegetables, fruit, honey, eggs, meat, and even non-perishable items for much cheaper. So, why is it cheaper? It’s cheaper because the farmer from around the corner can simply grab his goods and make his way to the market, which means you are paying the farmer and not the big companies who raise the prices. Can you say SAVINGS? What’s even sweeter about this money saving tip is you are supporting the local economy while saving the environment from carbon emissions that come from transporting goods. Oh yeah, don’t be afraid to ask the farmer if they have organic crops. Often times, farmers will refrain from spraying but aren’t able to spend the big bucks to carry the USDA label.

STICK TO YOUR GROCERY LIST

Before you head to the grocery store, eat! When hungry, we are definitely more willing to grab the sugary snacks winking at us on the shelves. So, eat a healthy snack or meal before entering the kingdom of food. Be sure to sit down and plan what you will need for the week ahead. If you know what you’re having, then you can buy what you need, saving you from spending on the extra. This will also help use up the food, rather than allowing it to go to waste. Also, say no to the extra snacks, drinks, and treats that might sneak onto your list for pleasure. YOU DON’T NEED IT! If you don’t spend the extra money on soda, pretzels, and other snacks then buying the organic options can be feasible. Those extra treats really add up! One last thing, use up what you have in your cupboards and refrigerator before you buy more. As we mentioned in kitchen post, keep things organized so you know what you have, and don’t end up buying more of the same thing. Unless you are the Duggar family, you don’t need to buy 20 pounds of salsa, and keep half of the farm in your freezer. Buy what you need, use it that week, and return to the grocery store for what you have run out of.   

BUY IN SEASON

I don’t know about you, but fresh berries in our city are extremely pricey. In fact, we have refrained from buying fresh berries for most of the winter because who wants to spend $6 on a tiny container of raspberries? Not this girl! Produce tends to be more expensive when not in season. Knowing what produce is in season can help you determine what prices are higher than normal. There are ways to get out of season produce so you can ensure you’re getting your favorite fruit, vegetables, and nutrition too. We opt for frozen organic produce when the goods we want are out of season. The food is picked and frozen rather quickly to seal in the nutrients, so you are still getting the benefits. Another option is to stock up when produce is in season and freeze. Not to mention frozen berries and spinach really add a thick and delicious consistency to smoothies. Try it out!

HEALTH BILLS

Spend a little more now and save on your medical bills. It honestly amazes me when people have serious health issues, spend big at the doctor’s and pharmacy, but won’t invest in the one area that could prevent or improve the illness. I’m not saying we don’t need doctors or medication, because we do. I’m saying we often have the ability to prevent or improve our conditions with the foods we eat, and how we live our lives. Here it is plain and simple, food is medicine. We all know when we eat better, we feel better. It’s because food has the power to give our bodies what is needed to thrive. If you are one of the lucky ones thriving off of processed foods, you now have the chance to make a change before it’s too late. While your body may be functioning the way it should now, don’t be surprised if you run into complications down the road. So, spend the extra $10 at the grocery store. What you don’t pay for now, you could pay for later!

JOIN A CSA

A CSA, also known as Community Supported Agriculture is when one invests in a share from a local farm, and in return receives local produce each week. This is definitely becoming more popular, as people are finding they can receive delicious goods picked within the week. This means more nutrients, because produce is usually picked and handed over within the week. There are many different shares you can take part in, different prices ranges, and ways to get involved. My husband and I did one last summer and each week we would head to our pick up location, and the farmer would have our produce and eggs ready. We would take our container of goods and return for the next week. Keep in mind you don’t always know what produce you will be given each week, which mean you need to be prepared to find some recipe ideas and get creative.

You see, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of extra money. There are plenty of ways around it, if you plan and shop wisely. We understand that the price of some healthy options can give you the ol’ sticker shock. Remember, if you aren’t spending on the extras it should balance out. So, start planning, get creative, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the grocery store! 

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. 

Kick Your Sugar Habit to the Curb!

You can’t miss the health craze that’s happening all around you. The good for you choices are gaining popularity and many more of you are working to improve your health. While I’m more than thrilled with all of this, I also feel like there’s a little confusion. If you follow me on social media, you know that I’m an advocate of organic food choices. However, I feel like that’s where we are getting things wrong. I'm all for organic choices, as it reassures you that your food is grown without harsh chemicals.  But stop right there!  While you're staying away from toxins, you aren't always clear of one thing that will also make a huge difference. That one thing I’m talking about is SUGAR.

Take your standard organic granola product. Turn the box to the nutrition label on the side. You'll notice most granola products are packed with SUGAR! So while you think you're choosing a healthy food option, it really may not be as healthy as you thought after all. One of the first ingredients you will find in most processed foods is SUGAR. Yes, this includes the organic choices too. The fact of the matter is, sugar really affects your health. Let me break the process down for you. When you consume sugar it's converted into energy which may be why you reach for the candy bar during your afternoon energy crisis. That energy is also known as calories. When those calories aren’t burned quickly after consumption, it’s stored as FAT.

This might explain why you aren’t getting the results you’ve been looking for. I say it’s time to check the ingredients in your food and really get a better understanding of what you're eating. Sugar is a sneaky ingredient, to say the least. You'll be surprised to know that it’s in more products than you would think. For example many condiments, breads, and salad dressings are packed with sugar. This is not good! Why? Well, this may be hard to believe, but some studies suggest sugar can be as addictive as cocaine. What? Yes, I said it! If you’re experiencing cravings, weight gain, or acne prone skin then your body may be trying to tell you something. It's time to cut your losses with the white crystallized goddess. I'm telling you the unhealthy sweetness just isn't worth it.

So, what can we do about it? We can start by buying more whole foods, rather than packaged foods. The less boxes and pre-packaged bags we have in our grocery carts, the less sugar you’ll most likely be consuming. Next, really get to know your nutrition labels, or at least check the ingredients in your packaged products (even when it’s organic!). If you see added sugar, I would look for something else. Last but not least, get comfortable using healthy alternatives to sweeten your baked goods and dishes. It will take a little time to adjust, but I think you will be quite satisfied with how delicious your food will taste when switching from sugar to honey and maple syrup. I know you're busy, but planning ahead to make homemade treats and goodies will be much better for you and your family.

(photo from the internet, not JennaLento.com)

To sum it up, sugar is in everything, and it affects the way we look and feel. Consider cutting sugar out for at least one week to see how you feel. Find healthy alternatives to bring that sweet taste to your lips. If you still aren't convinced, we say you're too sweet to be anything but healthy!

Five Ways to Stay Motivated

Don’t let the leftover paczkis from Fat Tuesday distract you from staying on track with your health and fitness goals. You’ve got your eye on the prize and you know what you’re working towards. That is until the excitement of making healthy choices become repetitive and boring. You think to yourself the start of living healthy always goes well, but within a couple of weeks your drive is diminished with the box of chocolates you devoured on Valentine’s Day. Before you throw in the towel, we’re offering you five fun and refreshing ways to stay motivated.

1. Mix it up: If you find yourself bored and distracted with being healthy, it may mean that it’s time to change what you are doing. Start by changing up your food. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Pick one new fruit or vegetable each week to try, and then choose a new way to cook it. Get friendly with spices, as it can be the secret to delicious healthy dishes. If you want to keep things simple, rotate meals every two to three days. After you’ve tackled the food, it’s time to change up your workout. Consider trying a new fitness class, or rotate what you’re doing throughout the week. Once you’ve tested our a few workouts that feel good, continue changing things up each week. Remember, if you aren’t having fun or enjoying this, then you need to continue searching until you find what works for you!

2.  Partner up: Grab a buddy to share this journey with. You can check in with each other each day, to make sure you’re both staying on track, and encouraged. Ask your friend to meet you at the gym, try a new workout class, grocery shop, and prep your food together. You can send each other encouraging texts, keep charts, and hold weekly meetings with each other.  Ask her to hold you accountable all throughout this process. Don’t be afraid to ask a group of friends to join in. It’s kind of like a book club, but for health, and fitness!

3. Share what you’re doing:  Consider sharing your healthy journey and progress on social media. You can post pictures of your healthy food choices, accomplished workouts, healthy products, or quotes that motivate you and others. You can even create your own hashtag, so you can look back and reflect on the progress you’ve made. Living a healthy lifestyle is something that should be celebrated. Not only will this encourage you to keep going, but you could also be inspiring others to get healthy too!

4. Create a Vision Board: A vision board is a collaboration of photos and words that inspire you to reach your goals. You can cut pictures from magazines or the internet, and then paste it altogether on a board. If that sounds like too much work, you can copy and paste pictures on your computer and keep the board on your desktop. Each time you open your computer, it will remind you of what you are working towards. Another option would be to create a Pinterest board, where you can pin motivational pictures, helpful information, and ideas. Keep your vision board posted somewhere where you can see it each day.

5. Reward Yourself: Each week decide what you’re going to accomplish, and then offer yourself a reward once you’ve reached your goals. This will help motivate you, as you will have something to look forward to. If you ate healthy, worked out, and did everything you’ve set out for, be sure to reward yourself for your hard work. A few rewards could include purchasing new music for your workout, a new outfit to wear while working out, a cheat meal, or a relaxing massage. You can set smaller weekly goals, and then quarterly goals, where you can set rewards ahead of time once accomplished.

The bottom line is that living a healthy lifestyle takes work, and you constantly need to motivate yourself to keep going. If you find yourself in a “healthy girl rut” then consider trying a few of the suggestions listed above. Remember, this lifestyle should feel good, inside and out! 

12 Days of a Stress Free & Healthy Holiday

On the twelfth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... the dirty dozen produce list. This is the latest list of produce containing the highest pesticide residue. The list includes some rather popular fruits and vegetables. Many health experts say these dirty friends should always be bought with the USDA ORGANIC label. The produce that made the 2014 naughty list are;

Apples

Celery

Strawberries

Grapes

Peaches

Spinach

Sweet Bell Peppers

Nectarines (imported)

Cucumbers

Cherry Tomatoes

Snap Peas (Imported)

Potatoes

Source: Environmental Working Group

On the eleventh day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... eleven workout ideas to stay active and fit this winter!

Skiing

Going for a Walk

Hot Yoga Class

Spinning

Lifting Weights

Sledding + running up the hill

Running

Cardio Circuit (we have plenty to share under fitness!)

Shovel Snow

Cross Country Skiing

On the tenth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me … ten minutes of natural vitamin D. The winter months have us bundled up and cozy outside. This can often lead to lower levels of vitamin D. While it’s good to take vitamin D supplements, many health experts suggest taking in at least ten minutes of natural rays to get the job done. So bundle yourself up and get outside. I promise you won’t turn into a snowman! 


On the ninth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me … nine encouraging words from all of us at www.JennaLento.com!

You are Great!

You are Loved

You are Talented

You are Smart

You are Worth It

You have a Purpose

You are Amazing

You are Blessed 

You are Wonderful

On the eighth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... eight glasses of puridied water. Drinking water should always be a priority! Drink a large glass of water upon rising and keep a water bottle on you, all throughout the day. Doing so will help you stay hydrated, improve digestion, and possibly limit cravings. If you have a hard time drinking water, we encourage you to add fresh lemon juice to your water. Adding lemon can also help balance your body's pH levels. Bonus! Don't forget to stick with clean and purified water - never tap!

On the seventh day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... AT LEAST seven hours of sleep each night. Try to get at least seven hours or more if possible. Sleep is crucial for rest and recovery. It helps you to stay on track and can also reduce cravings and weight gain. Your sleep zone should feel like a sanctuary filled with comfort. If you are having trouble sleeping, try taking a warm bath before bed and and light some candles. Another suggestion would be to drink some warm chamomile tea. If that doesn't work, try incorporating nighttime yoga poses to your routine. Mist your room with all-natural lavender mist  and keep it dark.



On the sixth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... six days of physical activity. This may seem like a lot, but often something comes up and that one extra day is out the door. This ensures you will get at least four to five days of physical activity in. I recommend at least 30-minutes each time you work out. Also, find something you like! If you don’t like to run, it’s simple, don’t run. Maybe you like to dance in your kitchen or power walk around the block. Whatever you do, just move!

On the fifth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... five minutes of morning meditation. The holidays are a lot of hustle and bustle. Well, life in general is a lot of hustle and bustle. From the time our alarm clock goes off we begin our day without taking a moment for ourselves. Kick off your morning with five minutes of prayer and meditation. Cherish this time to clear your mind and step away from your to-do list. It’s a moment to relax, find clarity and peace.

On the fourth day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... four delicious and healthy snack ideas. It’s good to keep healthy snacks prepared and on hand so you don’t choose unhealthy options. Keep snacks stored in your refrigerator, in your car and cupboards so it's available to eat. Some of our favorite healthy snacks are smoothies, almonds, fresh fruit and vegetables.


On the third day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... a bundle of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, also considered essential fatty acids.  You need it in order to keep a healthy temple (body), that works and runs properly. There are a number of health benefits, including the ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body. You can find Omega-3 in fish and supplements. ALWAYS, always consult with your doctor before making any new changes to your health and diet.


On the second day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... a homemade winter facial scrub using two simple ingredients. The crisp December air has arrived and let’s be honest, it's not going away anytime soon. The fresh blanket of snow may look beautiful, but that dry flaky skin most certainly isn’t! Not to worry, here’s a homemade face mask that may help. Mix one avocado with one egg yolk and lather on your face. Rinse the mask from your face and moisturize.  



On the first day of Christmas my health coach gave to me ... one giant loving hug! That’s right a hug! Everyone needs a little love, and when we don’t feel satisfied in that department, we reach for other sources of love and comfort. This often results in overindulging in food to satisfy the love chemical, which releases from our brain when we feel warm and cozy inside. Next time you are feeling sluggish or craving something naughty, go on and hug it out!

Give Thanks. Find Balance. Stay Healthy.

The holidays are upon us. To some of us, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but to others it’s a sign of weight gain, gluttony and a New Year’s Resolution that will most likely fizzle out after a few weeks. Before you go all Scrooge on us this holiday, let's talk it out. This Thanksgiving you don’t have to keep yourself from enjoying all the splendor of the Thanksgiving meal in effort to button your jeans. 

Give thanks. Every day we go through the same motions. We wake up; go to work, make dinner and then sleep. Okay, I may have left out twenty plus details, but you get the point. This life is a gift, and because we are human we often focus on what we lack or don’t have, rather than being grateful for what’s already upon us. So this Thanksgiving, give thanks for the little things.  When your alarm clock goes off instead of rolling over and groaning about having to get out of bed, take a moment to appreciate the blessing of being able to get out of that bed. Give thanks for the job you do or don’t have. Remember, everything happens for a reason. It’s all leading you down the path to the next great thing. The gift of life shouldn't ever be taken for granted. Instead, embrace it, not only during the holidays but every day. Be thankful for time spent with an elderly grandparent or even for your old car that barely runs. Surely we all can find something we are thankful for. So this Thanksgiving, simply give thanks.

Find Balance. This tends to be a difficult one. We all have a lot on our plate, so finding a healthy balance in life is something we have to really work at. It doesn’t always come easy, but it can be done. It starts with keeping things simple and prioritizing. Write out the most important aspects of your life, and then work on time management among those areas. For example, balancing work and family entails a lot of planning. Find a system that works well for you and your loved ones. This holiday season don’t get caught up in the things that don’t matter. Don’t get so overwhelmed with fancy displays that you lose precious time and meaning behind Thanksgiving. Find your perfect balance.

Stay Healthy. You don’t have to put your skinny jeans on hold this Thanksgiving, just so you can eat your mom’s famous sweet potato casserole. Instead, let’s talk moderation. This is the time of year we love to overindulge in our traditional Thanksgiving feast. The secret is you can still enjoy your favorite holiday dishes, but in a different light. We invite you to try these healthy suggestions to help you stay on track this year!

1. Kick off your Thanksgiving with our Turkey Burn Cardio circuit (found under the fitness section), or some other form of exercise you enjoy. This gives you a little room to enjoy the big meal without feeling guilty. Besides, getting exercise and fresh air is a great way to start any day!

2. Put a healthy spin on your traditional Thanksgiving dishes. There are many healthy alternatives to bring to your Thanksgiving table this year. It's a great way to enjoy your favorite dishes with a healthy twist and fewer calories. If you aren’t hosting dinner, offer to bring at least one side dish to ensure you are getting something healthy and light. Try our homemade coconut fluff instead of processed, sugary whipped creams.

3. Spend less time stressing over little things that don’t really matter. It’s simply not worth it. The glittered coated pine cones for your table centerpiece won’t last long, but the memories will.  Never take these moments for granted. Remember to breathe, take it all in and cherish what’s around you.

4. Go light on the booze. The cocktails and beverages will be flowing, but these calories can add up quickly. Stick with wines and spritzers and try not to overdo it.

5. Watch portion sizes. The key is to take small amounts, which allows you to enjoy the meal, without feeling guilty. Eat slowly and put your fork down between bites. When seconds or leftovers are offered, politely say no. Allow yourself one piece of dessert and remember everything can be enjoyed in moderation. Here are some other healthy alternatives to bring to your table this year. 

Sometimes we lose track of what this time of year is all about. It’s a precious gift to be able to wake up in the morning, spend time with those you love and treat your body like a temple. This Thanksgiving give thanks, find balance and stay healthy. 

This year we have SO much to be grateful for, including you! I couldn't be more thankful for your love and support, as our team continues to spread our mission, to help you reach a happy and healthy lifestyle. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I'm wishing all of you a blessed, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving. GOD BLESS!

Warmly,

Jenna 

Healthy Halloween

Is it just me or is time flying? One minute I'm enjoying warm temperatures and then next thing you know it's time for some tricks and treats! It's a bittersweet feeling as we wrap up the month. I admit that I'm looking forward to the holidays, but I'll most certainly miss the beautiful fall weather we've had here in Germany. Being able to workout in the great outdoors is such a blessing! Not to mention, I'm a tiny bit obsessed with delicious fall recipes and activities (as if you couldn't tell). There's just something so warm and cozy about this time of year. I feel like it's the kick off for the upcoming holidays. From trick-or-treating (if you have little ones), to Halloween parties, and not to mention sweets and treats galore. We've truly had a blast this fall, but before you begin celebrating, I would like to give you a few healthy treats from our "kitchen."

If you have kids, you've probably set the limit on how much candy they're allowed to have after trick-or-treating. Yes, it's Halloween so go ahead and let them enjoy a few pieces. In fact, allow yourself a few pieces too! It's all about moderation. To keep yourself and your little ones on track, here are a few ideas on how to balance the sugary loaded fun.

1. Feed yourself and your children a balanced and healthy meal before taking on the sugar. This may help with the urge to snack while walking through the neighborhood. This will also help if you plan on attending a Halloween party, where you'll most likely come across many goodies. Allow yourself to have a few treats in moderation but don't hang out by the snack table all night. It's too tempting and may become a freightening sight for your stomach.

2. Set a limit. Decide how many treats will satisfy you, without giving yourself (and the little ones) a night time sugar spike. Set aside the amount you have chosen, enjoy it without the guilt, and then quickly put the rest away. 

3. Donate the candy. If you are anything like me, having treats in the home can be tempting and dangerous. This is why I rarely buy any. Set a small amount aside and then consider giving away the rest. I've read suggestions like donating to children at The Ronald McDonald House and also sending to soldiers overseas (there may be a non-profit that participates in this). This would be a great way to encourage your little ones to give! 

4. Pass out healthier alternatives. You may not be the "cool" house on the street giving away king size candy bars, but you will be doing the little ones a favor. Instead of candy consider passing out oranges, stickers, or other fun toys. 

5. Take in the fresh air and get moving. There's no better time to go for a lovely walk than on Halloween. The air is crisp and there's a certain smell that reminds you of your childhood. If you don't have little ones to walk with like me, plan on going for an evening walk. There's something special about Halloween night as the leaves crunch below your feet and neighborhoods come to life. 

I believe every season should be embraced to the fullest and that doesn't mean deprivation. It means living a fufilled life where you can enjoy little indulgences in balance and moderation. Here at www.JennaLento.com we've spent a lot of time creating and bringing you fall recipes that would allow you to enjoy what everyone else is, with a healthy spin. My goal is to show you being healthy means  a balanced life, filled with love, and happiness. Here's s a look back on some of the fall recipes we brought you.

We have had so much fun this fall! You can find these recipes and others in the recipe section right here in our "kitchen." Here at www.JennaLento.com we are wishing all of you a SAFE, HAPPY, and HEALTHY HALLOWEEN!

FALL INTO HEALTH + "CANDY CORN" PARFAIT

Fall has arrived and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The trees are changing into colorful spectacles and the fresh autumn air is crisp and comforting.  It comes with relief as our summer clothes are packed away and cozy sweaters are brought back to life. We begin to fall back into a routine and surprisingly it feels good. There are countless treasures to enjoy during these months. Weekends are spent watching your favorite football teams, drinking pumpkin lattes, and picking out pumpkins. It’s the season we impatiently look forward to all year long, and wish would stay just a little bit longer. Thankfully it’s here, and because it is we thought it would be the perfect time to share its health benefits. Consider it the calm before the storm, and by storm we mean the holidays (although we are looking forward to that too!).

Let’s begin by focusing on the main purpose of fall, the autumn harvest! Take advantage of fresh produce grown directly by your local farmer. Use local produce to prepare your favorite fall recipes. You’ll find simple fall dishes right here, like our Healthy Butternut Squash Soup.


When you aren’t enjoying the delicious foods of fall, take a moment to stop and soak in the beauty around you. It’s gorgeous! Mix in an outdoor workout, walk with your family, go on a hike, or try some outdoor yoga.
Create a relaxing cooking space. Start your experience by washing your hands with your favorite fall scented hand soap (all-natural). Light a seasonal soy candle and turn on some relaxing music. Consider making this a family affair. Grab the kiddos or your significant other and have some fun while putting dinner together.


We eat healthy food to nourish our bodies, prevent disease, and other illnesses. Find ways to incorporate healthy eating into everyday living. Remember, it’s a way of life. Try swapping your favorite dishes into healthier alternatives. After a period of time you’ll notice your cravings will change. Fruit treats like our "Candy Corn" parfait will become sweeter, and our skinny veggie pizza will be beyond satisfying. Be patient; it doesn’t happen overnight. Trust the process!


"Candy Corn" Parfait

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mango or pineapple cubed
1 tangerine peeled and sliced
1/4 cup plain yogurt 

Directions:
1. In a small glass or jar begin layering fruit starting with mango or pineapple.
2. Add tangerine slices and yogurt of choice.
3. Top with coconut shreds or bee pollen (optional).

Life can get busy and we often forget there’s no better time to find balance than in the fall.  Incorporate healthy food, physical activity and joy. Why not be the best that we can be? Leave unhealthy habits behind, and fall into good health.


Best in Health,

Jenna Lento

Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach

AMP UP YOUR WORKOUT & GET RESULTS!
  1. SWITCH UP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE: If you find yourself doing the same workout every day, you may not be getting the results you deserve!  The key is to challenge your body by performing different exercises. Focus on different muscle groups and consider adding in cardio to your routine. Get your heart rate up! We encourage you to change up your workout routine each week.
  2. CREATE AN UPBEAT PLAYLIST: Music can make or break your workout! No, seriously! Try adding some fast paced music to your playlist and let the beats pump you up!
  3. SWITCH UP YOUR MEAL PLAN: If you eat the same foods, it may be time to make some changes. Like your workout, we need to continue to challenge the body and introduce different nutritious foods from time to time. Find what works best for your body!
  4. GRAB A WORKOUT BUDDY: Sometimes, we need a friend to motivate us and get us through our workouts. There is nothing wrong with that! Partner up with a motivated friend and push each other in the gym.
  5. POST-WORKOUT PROTEIN: Your body needs replenished after a good workout. When you perform resistance exercises, it breaks down the muscle. You need amino acids to repair and build.
  6. UTILIZE YOUTUBE VIDEOS: Lately, I’ve been using YouTube to get a good workout in.  It offers many FREE workouts to follow. You can do these workouts in your home, at your convenience. There are many to choose from!
  7. ACCEPT A DAY OF REST: We want results, so we think we need to keep pushing our bodies! Not a good idea! Allow yourself at least one day of rest. Your body needs the time to rest and recover. If it’s never given the time to recover you could run into injury.
  8. HAVE FUN: Working out shouldn’t be something you dread! Find a type of physical activity you enjoy and go after it! Getting active doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym. Get your heart rate up at home by dancing in the kitchen with your kids or going for a family walk. If you have little ones, pop them in the stroller for a little extra weight while you walk or jog.
  9. GET A TRAINER: You don’t need a trainer for each workout, rather on occasion to give you fresh ideas  and motivation. Take those new ideas and use them on your own to get the results you are looking for!
  10. DRINK MORE WATER: We HAVE to hydrate our bodies, and even more so when working out! Stay hydrated before, during and after your workout. Loading up on H2O also helps flush out toxins and aids in weight loss. 

***Always consult your doctor before making any changes regarding your health and wellness. We offer suggestions, but don't claim to be medical experts.