My Shred 10 Experience: Eating Clean for 10 Days

Shred 10 is a program designed to rid oneself of unhealthy food habits, foster a positive relationship with food and "get back on track." For 10 days, the following are eliminated: gluten dairy caffeine alcohol processed foods artificial sweeteners refined sugar eating after 6pm In turn, one is to add more REAL food to their diet. Taking Juice Plus Capsules and drinking Juice Plus Complete shakes are encouraged. Sleep, exercise and water should be priorities, especially during this time. Full disclosure, I have a vested interest in this program because I am a Juice Plus consultant. Juice Plus is a company whose main products consist of capsules that are full of real food nutrition. Fruit, veggies and berries full of antioxidants and phytonutrients are picked at their peak ripeness and flash-frozen, pureed, dried and powdered in order to be put into the capsules or made into gummies. I feel like taking Juice Plus capsules are an insurance policy towards gettin

Eating Clean on a Budget

"Healthy food is too expensive." "I can't afford to eat well." "I'm too poor to shop at Whole Foods."      These are common excuses for eating poorly, and they're not entirely unfounded. Fresh produce and sustainably sourced meats and fish can be expensive. I certainly don't do all my shopping at Whole Foods, either, because many items are overpriced. At the root of these excuses, though, is a lack of strategy to address the financial concerns.      I will say that we, as Americans, may need to reevaluate the proportion of our salaries we concede to spend on groceries. If you compare it to that of other countries, it's low. It's like we want good health for the same cost of a poor, cheap diet. You often get what you pay for- but eating healthy doesn't have to break the bank. Here are some tips on how to maximize nutritional density of foods for minimal costs: Buy in bulk - get a big box store membership.  Costco has

12 Tips for Visiting Brand New Parents: How to be a Considerate Guest

The period of time immediately after parents bring a new baby home is precious.  It can be hectic, stressful, boring, overwhelming and isolating all at the same time.  In my two experiences, what makes things easier during this time is space.  Freedom from too many visitors can help with that.  My husband and I are both very social people and love having friends and family around.  We love to host and to go to others' houses.  BUT.  The exception to this is the first few weeks postpartum.   New parents need their space, but often have a hard time telling people "No" at the same time. Please don't put them in a position to have to say "No." It's hard enough being new parents without the emotional burden of feeling like you're offending well-meaning friends and family.  If you are a parent or close relative of the new parents and want to stay with them temporarily, this is a very generous offer. Just make sure you ask about time-frame and be prepare

Meal Planning 101: 8 Steps to Get Started

What exactly is meal planning? How can we use this strategy to save money and eat healthier? Meal planning means you are thinking about each week ahead of time and planning out the exact meals you will have. The purpose is to relieve the daily stress of deciding "what's for dinner," and it has the added benefit of being economical and healthier than playing every day by ear (since that can quickly lead to take out). In our house, we meal plan for weekdays mostly, but if we know we will be home on a Friday or Saturday night we will plan for those too. Before we had kids we just did weeknights. Here are some steps to take each week in order to achieve meal planning goals: 1. Take inventory of the fridge, freezer and pantry Decide what you can use for meals for the week 2. Write it down Start making a list of your meals and add items you will need to your grocery list. It will keep you mentally organized and will help you stay on track.  Organize your grocery i

Breastfeeding: From the Bad to the Goodies That Got Me Through

"Why doesn't anyone talk about this?" This is something I hear about breastfeeding all the time. Several friends have said things to me like, "I never knew how hard this was going to be," or "No one told me my nipples would actually crack and bleed."  The good news is that people are more open about this topic than ever. I, for one, am an open book and I am regretfully long winded. But I want to share my experiences with breastfeeding my two girls so that people may relate or benefit somehow from my words.  My two experiences were so different from each other, which I hear is common.  I would never describe breastfeeding as "easy," but I am grateful that my second experience was much better than the first. My firstborn: Ollie      I had difficulty from the get-go with breastfeeding Ollie. She didn't latch well in the hospital and they had me trying the nipple shield almost immediately. The nipple shield is made of thin, clear and f

My Fertility Journey: How I Healed My Mind and Body for Pregnancy

I'd say that most of us are smart enough to know that you can't necessarily just get pregnant whenever you want. We know this logically, but when it's time for us to try, we want it to happen immediately. We spend all these years preventing pregnancy and then when we finally decide we are ready for a baby, it's a struggle! It's not fair, and it's often due to factors of which we are unaware- until we do some digging. I want to share my fertility struggles and experiences to shed light on what I've learned through the process. I have 2 girls now, and I struggled with fertility with my first. CHILD 1:      My husband and I planned on getting pregnant during the summer of 2015. I realize now that that might seem naive, but bear with me. I had been learning about the Paleo lifestyle since 2014, had completed a couple of sugar detoxes and was eating mostly healthy foods at the time. I went off birth control six months before we wanted to try (I had been on