Today's episode of the podcast talks about how to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder from taking over your life. As a midwesterner, it's hard to stay motivated in the winter! Listen to the episode using the toolbar below or search for The LIFT YOUR LIFE Podcast wherever you stream your podcasts.
These are the resources I refer to in the podcast that can help you prevent SAD:
Sunrise Alarm Clock
Citrus Essential Oils
Yes, it's still cold, but the promise of spring is closer for us Midwesterners! Some of February's produce is the same as January, but this month we have the lovely addition of Endive and Radicchio.
Want to learn more than what's on the images below? After clicking the button below, I'll send you the full video training PLUS 2 recipes that use these seasonal ingredients.
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food sensitivity test kit ($160):
I know... this might not be the most fun present, but it is really cool! Your green friend probably knows a lot about food and health, so give them the gift of learning even more!
More people to shop for? Check out my other gift guides below:
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It's 5:45 AM in the dead of winter. Your alarm is beeping but you just CAN'T get out of bed. It's pitch black out and you feel like a bear who got woken up from hibernating. After a few minutes debating sleeping in "just a few more minutes", you think about your new pumpkin spice coffee creamer and it motivates you to get out of bed.
Sound familiar? If so, keep reading because after you've finished this post, you'll be armed with some new tactics and products that will set you up for a more alert morning and a more relaxing evening.
Anyways, back to our story...
Here's your checklist for a good morning:
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Now here's your checklist for a good evening:
Now that we've covered the details, here's a recap of all the things you need to set yourself up for a great morning and night. After checking these items out on Amazon, share this post with a friend, we all need better sleep!
here's a recap of the items:
Right now, Plant Therapy has an AWESOME fall set for sale containing three 10 mL bottles of different fall scents. They're amazing! Yes, you can definitely put some in your diffuser, but the best part is, I’ve found an even EASIER way of using them instead of diffusing!
All you need to do is...
Easy right! In case you missed the links to the fall blends, here it is, get your bottles now before they sell out!
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It was about a $300 investment up front, and it was a pain to get it into our basement because of our skinny stairs, but it was totally worth it. We even loved it so much that we moved it to our next house!
how to organize your deep freezer
Let me preface this organization part by stating that our deep freezer is ONLY used for meat. Yes, only meat. Yes, we DO have that much meat to store. Remember how I said that I am an avid Costco shopper and have a hunter husband? Well, in addition to those two budget friendly meat sources, we also belong to a few meat CSAs. In my opinion, buying meat in bulk from a CSA is the absolute BEST option when it comes to getting high quality meat that doesn't break the bank. By buying directly from the farmer, you avoid the middle man. Buy buying in bulk you save even more money. By buying local, you're helping out a small business and doing you part to make a difference in the world. You can read more about the number crunching I did about CSAs in this article.
SO, the ability to BUY AND STORE MEAT IN BULK is why a deep freezer is so life changing.
Maybe this will sound like you: You are trying to eat healthy, so your meals are centered around a protein, vegetable and/or starch. Meat is the most expensive part of your meal, so it seems like it's the hardest thing to keep on hand, especially when you are limited to only a small freezer. You plan your meals based off what meat you buy at the store every single week, maybe even multiple times a week. You worry about those small sized packages going bad in the fridge if your social plans change throughout the week (like going out to eat unexpectedly), etc. Maybe you can store some bulk items in your small freezer, but you quickly run out of space and get frustrated.
With a deep freezer, all you would need to do is take a trip down to the basement (or wherever you put it) and it's like you have a fully stocked meat counter at your fingertips. Sound nice? I promise, the investment up front will pay off in the long run both financially and mentally.
On to the organization part. Our deep freezer is 7.0 cubic feet... That's BIG. Luckily, it came with two baskets that slide across the top rail. These baskets were a big selling point for the freezer because it helps to keep all the small items from falling down into the depths of the freezer. I will say though, my freezer is not the best organized at the moment and some extra bins would be nice! Maybe that will be another blog post some day? I think it will!
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Currently, I store small items in the two sliding bins. One contains breakfast meats (bacon from Costco, sausage from CSAs) and smaller cuts from our CSA, while the other contains smaller cuts of meat that I have portioned out on my own (either from CSAs or Costco). The bottom of the freezer is where things are currently the most disorganized and where I do need to improve! What is down at the bottom is venison (from my husband hunting), large cuts from our CSA, and bags of seafood from Costco. Ideally, I would have shallow stacking bins that I could pull out easily and see my entire stock. But like I said, that organization overhaul will be a post for another time!
If you struggle to eat healthy because you feel like time is working against you and that making multiple trips to the store in a week is just NOT convenient (it's not, no shame there) then I strongly urge you to consider a deep freezer BECAUSE:
Who doesn't want all those things? Do you already have and love your deep freezer? Comment below if you have any organization tips!
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1. get in the zone
The first thing you need to do is accept the fact that this might be a very big change for you and your family. Emptying out a fridge and only keeping the good stuff is hard and can be emotional. So, I ask you to turn up your favorite music and plan at least half a day to embark on this journey and just get excited! Yes... cleaning out the fridge is a lot of work, but it will be so worth it in the end! Being an appliance we see and use multiple times a day, it’s easy to overlook what piles up in it and just let it become the norm.
So, maybe this idea of clean eating is new to you, maybe it’s not. Either way, the health benefits you will gain from it cannot be found in any other health habit.
2. empty it out
Out with the old and in with the new right? You can’t start fresh without seeing all you have to work with. A lot of times, we get frustrated with our fridges because they just seem to fill up so fast! The reality is, they are probably just poorly organized and full of things we don’t need...
I am probably the biggest anti-food-waster out there, it makes me physically hurt to throw out food, but sometimes, it just has to happen. If you’re like me, ask yourself something like this: “would I rather have a half full jar of store bought Alfredo sauce OR space to fit a block of grass fed butter?” I think you know the answer to that one.
While you are emptying out the fridge, make two piles on your counter:
1. Food that came from grocery store aisles
2. Food that came from grocery store perimeter
That's it for now, leave the food on the counter and proceed to step 3!
3. start fresh
Now that your fridge is totally empty, it's time to deep clean. You don't want to put your sorted and nice fresh food in a dingy fridge right? Here's some tips to make that process suck a little less:
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Now that the interior of your fridge is clean and your bins are drying in the sun, it's time to tackle those piles of food. You currently have three piles (food from grocery store aisles, food from the perimeter, and leftovers) and it's time to refine those further.
Before we begin, think about the real purpose of a fridge: it keeps food with a short shelf life COLD. Again, it's for food with a SHORT shelf life. Haven't we heard the advice of staying at the perimeter of the grocery store while we shop? All the foods at the perimeter NEED the fridge right off the bat right? The following organization will help to solidify this notion:
Now that you are left with only the “good food”, it’s time to organize so that you can make the most of it! You want your fridge to be visually pleasing so that when you open it up, you’re not left feeling overwhelmed. I organize my fridge similar to how a grocery store is organized, and these five categories are: PRODUCE, “DAIRY”, DRINKS, LEFTOVERS and “CONDIMENTS”. Each category has its own space and I try to keep similar shapes of items together too. I encourage you to stick to these categories as best you can and I will explain the quotes later. Let’s start from the bottom of the fridge and work up.
This is the fun part! Take inventory of what you have and plan a few meals using what is already in your fridge. If there is anything else you need, buy it and take a second to see if there are ways to make some parts from scratch, like sauces or sides. If that is overwhelming, just remember that the more you cook, the better you get!
what about the freezer?
Congratulations, you tackled your fridge!!! Freezers are just as important, so stay tuned next week for the next part of this post!
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I tried making my own cleaners at home. You've probably seen all the recipes on Pinterest for natural cleaning products you can make with just a few ingredients (lemon juice, castile soap, essential oils, white vinegar, etc). I got all excited, bought my supplies and... it was kind of exhausting! Yes, I knew what was going into my cleaners, but I felt like I had so many "supplies" around the house that I was left with the same mess of bottles and potions that I had before I started. It was too much measuring too, and being an anti cooking book kind of home cook, measuring is just NOT my thing. Anyway, I tried to stick with it, but one day I happened to listen to a life changing podcast from an awesome girl.
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she recommended... Branch Basics.
I promise you, the day I listened to the podcast I checked out their site. A couple days later... SOLD. At the time, we were renovating our dream home and I felt like it was the perfect chance to get a fresh start in creating a healthy (and clean) home environment. Once my shipment arrived, I was HOOKED. I filled all my bottles, started cleaning and HOLY CRAP does this stuff clean well. Their "streak free" bottle really does live up to its name! Our granite counters? Sparkling. Here is the REAL test though. This might be a bit TMI, but I'll tell you anyway. I have a workout top that I have had for a while now, and let's just say that the pit stains on the inside of it are pretty nasty. These pit stains have been there forever (you can't see them from the outside of the shirt), but one day I decided to spray a bit of the "all purpose" bottle onto the stains. I let it sit for about two days before I put it in the wash. Once it came out... the stains were gone.
On top of Branch Basics working so well, I think what I like the most is that I have full control over how I mix the formulas. I love the color coded system, and I like how all I need is ONE bottle of concentrate, so I only have to worry about running out of ONE thing! I also love that it's fragrance free because I have super sensitive skin and avoid strong fragrances. I can use this stuff without dish gloves! I will say though, I do make my potions a bit more customized than just altering the level of concentration (per bottle instructions). Even though I am sensitive to synthetic fragrances, essential oils are something I love. So what do I do? I just add some drops of oils (lemon, lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, etc) to the bottle. The smell fills the room as I clean, I know it's safe and it adds some extra cleaning power! What's not to love, especially when you get get $10 off your first order with the link below!
Click here for $10 off your first order of Branch Basics!
Alright, here's the summary. Typical cleaners aren't safe. Most "green" cleaners aren't actually healthy either. Making your own cleaners (while effective) can be a pain in the butt. Branch Basics comes in and saves the day with an easy system, awesome product, pretty packaging, and great customer service! Are you sold yet? If you are, awesome! If you aren't, try their starter kit, it's only $5!
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My name is Laura and I help overly tired 20something women overhaul their lives, energy and confidence without overwhelm.
Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and write to the best of my knowledge on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle practices, I cannot be made liable to know all information on a particular subject. Knowledge gained through this blog is to be used at your own risk and all lifestyle changes should be discussed with a doctor before starting.
I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I do receive a small reimbursement for sales made through the links provided on my blog.