Container Gardens for Healthy Living

Tips from a Pro to Help Get You Started

Growing your own food is about as intentional as it gets when it comes to connecting your mind, body and nutrition. There’s just something about planting a seed or a starter plant, caring for it, watching the vegetables, fruit or herbs emerge from what you planted, harvesting and then eating it that’s about as fulfilling as anything you can imagine. I grew up with a Dad who only knew how to garden the Texas way, which meant that we always had a HUGE garden that could feed us plus our neighbors if needed. While I can’t say I appreciated picking beans out in the hot summer sun as much as I probably should have, as an adult, I’ve certainly gotten back to my roots and truly understand the value of what he was doing for us and teaching us to do for ourselves – even in my little slice of suburbia as compared to the farm I grew up on.

While my entire property isn’t as large as my dad’s garden was, I have learned that it is possible to grow food in whatever space you have – whether it’s a backyard, a patio, a deck or a screened-in porch. That’s where container gardens come in. They make it so that growing our own food – at least to some extent – is something we can all do no matter our income or space limitations. Because Bountiful Backyards specializes in edible landscaping, I went to Operations Manager Keith Shaljian to find out how we can fuel our health with container gardens and to get some tips on how to get started.

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Courtesy: Bountiful Backyards

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Spring Cleaning for Your Health

8 Tips and Tricks to Make Spring Cleaning Easier

It’s Spring! And that means it’s time to breathe some freshness into our homes and our lives by getting the winter out and letting the spring in. This is important for the cleanliness of our homes as well as for our physical health and mental wellbeing. But for many of us, spring cleaning is one of our least favorite tasks to do. That’s why professional organizer Jenna Fischer with The Arranged Abode is offering some tips and tricks to make spring cleaning easier and more enjoyable. Yes, you read that right – enjoyable.

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Photo by raw pixel.com from Pexels

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Understanding the Dangers of Belly Fat

4 Keys to Taking Control of Your Waistline and Your Health

As women, we often tell ourselves and have often been told that belly fat is just part of what happens to us as we start to get older. Another thing we hear is that it’s a superficial issue, and we should learn to accept ourselves the way we are – that only teenagers don’t have a little flab around the middle. While fitness instructor, nutritional expert, mind-body serenity coach and author Adita Lang says that she’s all for women loving and accepting themselves, it’s false to think that belly fat has to be an inevitable and relatively harmless fact of aging. In fact, Adita is 52, and she doesn’t have extra weight around her middle.

Yes, she is a fitness and nutrition expert, but it just goes to show, it’s not something that has to happen or even should happen. It also goes to show why we want to take our advice from someone like Adita, who not only knows and teaches about health and wellness, but who also truly lives it as well. That’s why I went to her to better understand the dangers of belly fat and to find out how we can all take control of our waistlines and our health.

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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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Breaking Your Caffeine Addiction

8 Steps to Recovery From a Former Addict

A pot of coffee a day and two sodas. That was my daily caffeine fix for most of my early adult life. Sometimes I could even be found with a cup of joe in one hand and a diet coke in the other. That’s 1,040 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day or much more than twice what’s considered to be a safe amount. When I was in my late 30s, I cut back to two cups of coffee in the morning and a soda to get me through the rest of the day. But after more than three decades of drinking more caffeine than should ever be consumed (yes, I started with a regular soda habit when I was very young), the damage had already been done. I was wired!!! I couldn’t function without the stuff, there was no doubt that I was addicted, I was definitely feeling the health effects of it, and it was time to get caffeine out of my life.

I made my decision one day and stopped cold turkey with coffee and soda the next. It was surprisingly much easier than I thought it would be, and while I can’t say I went into it with a plan, the way I did it definitely worked and apparently included several recommendations from medical experts – although I didn’t know it at the time. That’s why I want to share what I’ve learned about caffeine addiction as well as the steps I took to free myself in hopes that it might help make the journey for others as relatively painless as mine was.

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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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Natural Ways to Care for Your Lips So They’ll Care for You

Tips on which ingredients to use and which to avoid

Our lips – one of the most important areas of our skin but among the most neglected or taken for granted – until something goes wrong. Then, they become everything. I should know. In recent months, my lips have consumed much of my attention. They became dry, crusty and seemingly insensitive. I was miserable and was afraid that I had somehow ruined my lips forever. If you had told me there was a crazy expensive magic pill that could give me my lips back, I would have paid it in a heartbeat. No questions asked.

I thought I was trying everything, but as it turns out, I was trying all the wrong things and most of them dried my lips even more. I was desperate! I finally found a natural solution that helped get me through the worst of it, but I also knew that I needed to change my approach to my lips. I think most of us do. Fortunately, Naturopathic Doctor Jennifer Ito is helping to answer our questions by offering natural ways to care for our lips so they’ll care for us. She also shares tips on which ingredients to use and which to avoid.

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A Realistic Guide to Staying Healthy During the Holidays

How To Fit Good Nutrition and Exercise Into a Busy Holiday Schedule

As wonderful and exciting as the holidays are, let’s face it, they can also be busy and demanding. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does put even more constraints on our already packed schedules. Navigating them and all of the extra decadent food that’s sitting around without losing sight of our health and wellness can be tricky at best and overwhelming at worst. It’s tempting to say that we’re going to put all thoughts of exercise and eating healthy on the back burner until after the first of the year, but that’s really not doing us any favors and may actually take away from our enjoyment of the season.

Caring for ourselves while doing everything else that needs to be done and that we want to do is a fine line to walk. That’s why I asked American Council on Exercise (ACE) Director of Product Development and personal trainer Lauren Shroyer, MS, ATC,  for some advice that can help all of us. In this Q&A, she offers a realistic guide to staying healthy during the holidays as well as tips for fitting good nutrition and exercise into a busy holiday schedule. She even offers a sample workout that can be done quickly and with no equipment.

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Essential Oils: A Natural Alternative That Promotes Health and Healing

How They Work, How They Help and How To Get Started

If you’re tired of popping a pill every time you get a headache or looking for an alternative for that nightly glass of wine to help you unwind, or you’re tired of having a cabinet full of cleaning products that contain chemical ingredients you can’t even pronounce, essential oils might be something you’ll want to explore. While the science behind them is young, their use is not. We’ve come full circle to what our ancestors and indigenous people knew long ago. Essential oils are natural alternatives that promote health and healing, and we’re going to show you how they work, how they help and how to get started.

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Safe Food Storage Containers

Addressing the concerns over plastic, what to use instead and how to use plastic correctly

Food storage containers are like socks and underwear. For most of us, there are so many more fun and exciting things we’d rather buy. The fact of the matter though is that these containers are some of the most used, most important parts of our kitchen and our everyday lives. If we don’t give them the thought they deserve, they could be causing us a lot of harm. How? Because the plastic storage containers, baggies and plastic wraps that most of us grew up with might be leaching chemicals that are proven endocrine-disruptorsinto our food if not used exactly right, and let’s face it, most of us aren’t using them exactly right.

This is a topic I don’t take lightly because I know I’m behind the curve in addressing this issue in my own kitchen. While we are transitioning to safer products, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. That’s why I turned to the mountains of research available out there and to chef, nutritionist and award-winning cookbook author Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN for guidance for us all. As a topic that she’s well-versed in, she steers us in the right direction when it comes to safe food storage containers, and if we do use plastic, how to use it correctly.

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Financial Stress to Prosperity: How to Improve Overall Wellness

Steps to Take Toward Financial Wellness and a Healthier You

How do finances fit into a conversation about health and wellness? The answer is, very well! They’re as much a part of the equation as what we eat, what our mental state is and how our body feels. Remember, everything we do is connected to everything else, and while many things have an impact on our overall wellbeing, there are very few that have the far-reaching effects that financial stress or financial wellness do. That’s why we have to think about our finances in holistic terms and why this is such an important topic to cover in the health and wellness space. It’s also why I went to best-selling author, money expert, and speaker Ellen Rogin to find out how shifting our mindset can shift our reality when it comes to financial wellness.  She explains how that happens and shares steps we can take that will move us from financial stress to prosperity and overall wellness.

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Ellen Rogin, CPA, CFP

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Breast Cancer Awareness Part 2: One Survivor’s Life-Saving Warning to All Women

Breast Cancer Detection Advice and Resources

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and there’s no better way to learn about breast cancer than to hear from someone who’s been there. In Breast Cancer Awareness Part 1: One Survivor’s Life-Saving Warning to All Women, we met survivor Susan Leonard. We heard her story of detection, diagnosis and treatment in her own words, and we learned that she was only 44 years old with no family history and no genetic markers for the disease when she was diagnosed in 2016. Her story is scary but inspiring, and she has an important message for all women – especially those under the age of 50. “You can get breast cancer when you’re young.”

That’s why she wants to make sure that as many women as possible hear that warning, as well as her potentially life-saving breast cancer detection advice. At the end, you’ll find plenty of resources to help you learn more about this potentially deadly disease and the next steps you can take to be your own best advocate. Thank you Susan for being willing to share your story.

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Susan Leonard – October 2016 (Left) and November 2017 (Right)

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