Wellness

Intuitive Eating

 Yeah, that’s me being a lovely example of not practicing mindful eating! Or am I? 3 bite rule?! Side note: I love the dapper groomsman strutting across the floor! Photo by Kristin LaVoie

Yeah, that’s me being a lovely example of not practicing mindful eating! Or am I? 3 bite rule?! Side note: I love the dapper groomsman strutting across the floor! Photo by Kristin LaVoie

Hello bride tribe!!

Today I wanted to talk to you about one of my favorite things to work on when I coach clients one-on-one, Intuitive Eating. Also, often referred to as “Mindful Eating,” it’s all about finding your own flow.

It’s interesting, because my coaching clients tend to fall into one of two camps. The first: “tell me what to do and I’ll do it” and the second, “I already know what to do but I have trouble executing.” In all actuality, both types of clients are desperately in need of more mindfulness in their own lives and routines. Client one is great at doing whatever they need to do to “see results”- and often times ignore their bodily cues. Client two may recognize their body cues more easily - but have a hard time finding the right rhythm of mindfulness in their day-to-day lives. Either way- we end up working on becoming more mindful and intuitive, especially in regards to consumption!

If you had a standard American childhood (I’m sure this applies to many places outside of America as well, but not sure where to draw the line, lol) you grew up on three main meals and then several snacks throughout the day. You may have dropped one or two of those as you grew up and life became busy and hectic- but I’m guessing you probably still think in terms of 3 meals a day (even if you’re consciously skipping one)! We have a societal routine of breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. It’s just what we do! And nothing is wrong with eating 3 meals–in fact, the Shed program is built around it! But the key here is - if you are having three square meals a day- are you actually hungry when you eat? Or are you forcing it? Are you starving by mealtime? Are you eating quickly to get all the food in on your lunch break? I often have three meals a day, but I listen to my body cues to tell me when to eat and how much. We need to tune into our bodies to figure out what it needs! Vs what it’s scheduled for.

But before we look inward, we need to clear out some of the bad habits that make it difficult to assess our bodily needs! It’s easier to follow your body’s cues when you aren’t exhausted, or surrounded by other people. For example, I am horrible at listening to it when I am at parties or around my mother (lol, seriously though), but I’m great at it during the work week when I’m predominantly by myself. The following includes some of the biggest culprits to preventing mindful, intuitive eating.

Basically, you want to avoid and break these habits:

emotional eating

Don’t eat when you are overly stressed, sad, or mad. 1) It’s hard to feel hunger (or it subsiding) when you are in extreme emotional states. 2) It can create a bad connection between food and emotion. You never want to rely on any substance to make feelings go away. This goes for wine too!

Eating because “it’s time to eat”

If you eat just because it’s lunch time but you are still full from breakfast, you are doing your body a disservice by eating. If you can, wait until you start to feel those hunger cues before starting the next meal. If work makes that tricky for you, try having small snacks on hand so that if you do get hungry and you are in a meeting you have something to hold you over.

Grazing

Similarly to above, grazing is a similar form of non-mindful eating. Have you ever been completely non-aware and you snap out of it when you are looking in the refrigerator? Boredom and eating just because are the opposite of mindful eating. Make sure you are actually interested in eating a snack before proceeding.

Technology at meal times

Eating while watching tv or looking at your phone is basically the death of mindfulness. It is very difficult to process what you’re eating when you are zoning out. It’s also a great way to get in the habit of eating dinner with your fiancé/e! Romance bonus points!

over eating because something is too delicious

By eating slowly, you will be able to listen to your hunger cues and not over indulge. If you are eating dessert- this is a great time to use the three-bite rule. Have three bites of the deliciousness and then stop. Most of the time, you will feel totally satisfied!


Seriously, this work can take a lifetime, so don’t beat yourself up if you catch yourself doing any of those things. Pick one to work on for the next two weeks, and then once you feel good about it, add another one to your healthy habit to do!

Now that you’ve cleared out your anti-mindful habits, now it’s time to add in some of the good stuff!

Things to incorporate:

1-minute body scans

Before eating, take one minute and close your eyes, and focus on every part of your body, one part at a time, from head to toes. You will be able to identify if you are tense, or stressed, famished, full, bored, or tired (or anything else!). So many times we turn to food when we are looking for a distraction. This will help you realize if you actually are hungry or if you are just looking for something to pass the time. It is maybe the biggest step in becoming in tune with your body, and in turn your eating habits!

drinking lots of water

Many times we think we are hungry when in fact, we are just dehydrated! The cue is very often confused in the body! Water will make you feel great and will make sure you are tuning into your real hunger!

Eat slowly

Which also means, try to prevent extreme hunger when you can- because it is difficult to slow down when you are hangry! But when you slow down, you can fully appreciate all of the flavors of the wonderful meal you are eating, you will know when you are full, because your stomach will have time to communicate with the brain, you won’t overeat and you will enjoy more! What’s not to love about all of that??


There, for sure, is an art to becoming more mindful and intuitive around your eating habits. And even if you are tuned in–it doesn’t always mean you listen! Mindfulness is a practice just like anything else. It’s not something that is easily checked off on your list of to dos. But, when you add the practice to your life you will be able to listen to yourself and know what you need. No long term coaching required. Once you find your own internal rhythm and know how to listen to your body, you will never have to go on a diet again! It is hands down maybe the best habit to get into for living a healthy lifestyle for the long run!

What are you going to switch up to have more mindfulness in your routine? Leave me a note below or on social! -AHS

Gratitude Begets Gratitude... the November Gratitude Challenge is back!

Ah it’s that time of year. The weather is getting colder and darker. Many of us in the Midwest begin to get SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder (also this is your PSA- it’s time to add Vitamin D supplements into your routine. It helps! I promise!)!

To combat the gloom, last year, I created the Shed Gratitude Challenge for the month of November. And we are doing it again this year! This is such a great time to be mindful of all that we have to be thankful for. And honestly it’s probably the easiest way to get #zenforthewed. A truly grateful heart is the best peace you can find.

To quote myself from last year’s post:

“You have to actively choose gratitude. Gratitude is a practice, and an important one at that.  Just like hopping on your yoga mat, or sitting down to meditate, you have to bring focus and presence to your practice. But why should we practice gratitude? Being aware of all the good in your life helps to cultivate a mindset of abundance and helps to keep hardships and daily struggles in perspective.”

I’ll take it one step further to say, it can help shift our mindset to find our challenges as gifts. It is also a great way to show some #selflove too! Anyways, I’m clearly into it. I hope you are too! Now let’s give some thanks, together!

How to participate

  1. Every day, write down three things you are grateful for. It doesn't have to fit a particular theme. It can be anything you are grateful for, just make it specific! Try to make them different every day. I recommend a journal or planner if you are a paper person, but it’s not necessary.

  2. Share it! Because #gratitudebegetsgratitude! I would love to hear all that you are grateful for! I’ve created a template for Instagram stories you can use to share, or you can post on your feed. Whatever feels right to you. If you don’t want to share it that’s okay too–but it’s nice to have community. :)

  3. That’s it! What’s holding you back?

The challenge goes until Thanksgiving, and I hope you will continue the practice after too! Tag your posts with #shedgratitudechallenge for a chance to be regrammed/shared.

Follow along with me @shed.for.the.wed on Instagram to keep up with my gratitudes! I'll be posting to my feed and stories daily! 

Download the graphic below to start sharing to your stories:

shed for the wed gratitude challenge instagram stories

In other news: the Shed Weekly Digest will be coming out this week! Every week I’m sharing a day’s worth of #shedapproved recipes! And when you sign up you get my food and wellness journal for free! Woohoo! Add it to your list of daily gratitudes! ;) You can sign up below!

Happy November, loves! Very grateful for all of you! -AHS

The Glow Up

Hello beauties! First and foremost: this is your reminder that you are amazing and perfect just as you are. Right this very second! Are you feeling your fabulous selves today? Do a lil shimmy! Okay, now we’re ready!

I created Shed for the Wed because I wanted to help brides feel good! Planning a wedding whether for 500 people or just an intimate occasion with just your nearest and dearest can be stressful. It can bring up a lot of different emotions and can be downright exhausting! I want you to feel* full of life, love, and energy during your engagement. And I want to help you glow on the big day. There are many ways to accomplish this task, but the foundations of achieving this are the 3 Ss: Sustenance, Sweat, and Spirit. These are the basics that I want you to make sure you prioritizing in your pre-wedding routine. I will dive into each of the three Ss more in later posts- but I wanted to lay the foundation for the wedding glow up!

glow up - food for fuel vitamins minerals eat the rainbow

Sustenance

It is so, so critical to fuel your body with foods that provide nutritional value. Make sure you are “eating the rainbow” and getting your vitamins and minerals through whole food sources that are accessible for your body to process. Eating this way (and eliminating foods that may hinder it) give you ample energy and make your skin glow from the inside out.

Beyond that, have you ever noticed when you haven’t been eating healthy foods and perhaps have been drinking too much alcohol, you tend to feel more anxious or sad? This is not unusual, but you may not have made the correlation before. Healthy foods and water galore help not just your glow, but your mind too! All of this was taken into consideration when creating the Shed for the Wed Nutrition Programs! You can have piece of mind that you are fueling you glow and not adding to your pre-wedding nerves!

Sweat

yoga wheel exercise sweat it out sweating for the wedding

Getting your sweat on is the most obvious place people start when #sheddingforthewedding - which is actually why I don’t focus on it that much. I’m sure you already know there are serious benefits to exercise. Ranging from good heart health, increased bone density, all the way to relief from depression and anxiety– it really is fantastic. I find that when I have a good sweat routine, I know I’m taking care of my body, and I automatically just feel better about myself. When you build physical strength, you also build mental strength. I include it in the glow up list mostly because it’s an awesome way to boost your confidence. Just don’t overdo it- if you focus too much on sweating for the wedding, it can actually end up doing more harm then good.


Spirit

Spirit is the hardest to define, because we are have different essences to our beings and our souls and what satisfies my spirit may be very different to yours. But it is maybe the most important part of the glow up. You should be LIT about your life. I blather on about “self-care” quite a bit. But really any of the things on the following list could fall into that category. Do things that you love every single day.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Connection

  • Going on date night with your boo (*ahem* I mean almost spouse)

  • Belly laughs with friends

  • Spending time with loved ones

  • Volunteering

  • Cooking for loved ones

Nature

  • Swimming in the sea

  • Sunshine

  • Hiking (also counts as sweating!)

  • Gardening

Mindset

Spirituality

  • Praying

  • Going to church (or temple, mosque, whatever your affiliation)

  • Meditating (again)

Creativity

  • Making music

  • Writing

  • Painting

  • Drawing

  • Blogging

  • Cooking

Other

  • Traveling

  • Participating in activism

  • Snuggle time with a pet

  • Taking a social media hiatus

  • Whatever you consider fun!

 My spirit is flying high on this one! Hiking, sunshine, nature, travel, all with my favorite person- doesn’t get much better than that! <3

My spirit is flying high on this one! Hiking, sunshine, nature, travel, all with my favorite person- doesn’t get much better than that! <3

The 3 Ss are the perfect trifecta to maximize your glow up for the big day. Which one are you going to begin to focus on first? Leave me a note in the comments or on Instagram or FB!

Happy glowing!

-AHS


*It’s okay to feel any emotion during this time, but I’m assuming you want to feel your best, thus I want to help you get there! Have a read of this post if you are feeling less than stellar mentally during your engagement.

The #1 tool to keep you Zen for the Wed: Meditation

 You don't even need to be on the edge of a cliff looking at mountains to meditate! You can do it from home!

You don't even need to be on the edge of a cliff looking at mountains to meditate! You can do it from home!

I had this realization lately that I keep bringing up meditation as a solution to every problem I encounter. Talking to friends and clients alike, my recos are always including adding mediation to their routine. I was becoming an obsessed, broken record. But why?

I typically wouldn't refer to myself as a particularly grounded person. I'm one of those people who is always spinning in circles doing THE most. And like most people these days, when I do have down time, I get lost in the mindlessness of the never-ending scroll on social media. 

When I was forced to take my 10-15 minute occasional meditation practice to 30 minutes daily during my yoga teacher training, it really had an impact on my life. It changed the way I process small and large interactions in my life (not to mention time management skills!). When you are planning a wedding, life can be absolutely chaotic. It is a time you should cherish, and sometimes you just want it to be over. Meditation is an amazing tool to have in your stress management toolkit to keep you #zenforthewed! In this post I'll share the benefits I've seen in myself as well as some instructions on how to get started for yourself!


 

Benefits I've seen

  1. I have control freak tendencies (and I'm also surrounded control freaks- love you all!), and we live in a world where we actually have very little control. That is not to say that we are not in charge of our own fates, but we cannot live our lives in fear of what could happen. Meditation has honestly helped me to accept things that are out of my control. I know to focus on the things in my power to change and don't sweat the rest. This is maybe the number one benefit whilst wedding planning, IMO!!

  2. It helps me to process my emotions. One of the hardest things during my meditation is to let really painful emotions come up and to not suppress them. But by just sitting with the emotions, most times I just sit there, feel them fully, and quite often they pass. If for instance I am really nervous about something I have to do, the emotion will come back, but in a more manageable way. (Side note: getting married can bring up so many emotions, its okay to not feel absolutely ecstatic every day you are engaged. Feel the emotions, sit with them, and it will help you feel great in the long run!)

  3. There is no outright goal for meditating, and a "bad session" is just as important to sit through as a "good session". This aspect of meditation has helped me to detach from the outcomes of all my endeavors. I am not my successes or my failures, and it helps me to remind myself of that. And related to that...

  4. I used to feel like I needed to have a reason to do something. Sometimes it is okay to do something for no particular reason. It is okay to do things just for the sake of doing. Not everything has to be an achievement. I have been working on a very difficult puzzle for 4 months. I don't have any reason why I am doing the puzzle, and that is okay. It is worthy of my time too.

  5. When you meditate (at least in the style I was taught in), you are training your mind to come back to focus on the breath. While often that doesn't happen, if you are reliving your 4th grade trauma for the tenth time and then you remember to come back to the breath–it's still a success. That focus has extended beyond my practice and often helps me with my work! It's amazing when I can focus for any period longer than 5 minutes (YEP - my A.D.D. diagnosis is realllll).

  6. Meditation has helped me to become less reactionary. I'm always working to curb my natural lean towards defensiveness, and I've noticed that meditation has helped me to pause before I react. My husband will say something that will trigger me (love you, honey!) and I will actually pause and think before I respond. I will try to see things from his perspective before answering. So I guess I'm saying meditation has made me a better wife?! Just to be clear, I am not a master of this, but I have made a lot of progress in this area.

  7. It's crazy to think about how rarely I truly experience the moment I am in. Through my meditation practice, I have become more in tune with myself, and I am able to pull myself out of my technology and day dreams and actually be present in the moment. Life is so precious, I need to try to be there for it!

  8. Lastly, I am much more comfortable just being. I can just sit by myself and I don't feel the need to distract myself. It's wild that I didn't feel that way before, but I was always using things to distract me: social media, talking on the phone, Candy Crush, etc. It's like I'm comfortable being truly alone with myself. I notice that if I take a few days off meditating, I come back to the distractions more easily too!


How to Meditate

Did I sell you on it? Are you ready to try meditating for yourself? My instructions to get started follow: 

  1. Get comfortable in a seated upright position. You can be cross legged on a mat or pillow, sitting in a chair, or just sitting on the bed propped up with your legs out.

  2. Set a timer on your phone (you can use one of the apps below or just the normal timer). I recommend 10 minutes to start. If that seems like too much, 5 minutes is still beneficial.

  3. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. I sometimes like to focus on sounds, but that is challenging if there are none! You can keep your eyes open if you visualize too much with your eyes. I find that too distracting most of the time though.

  4. When your mind begins to wander off, bring your concentration back to your breath. You can call yourself out and say "thinking" to help bring your thoughts back to the breath.

  5. Don't check your phone to make sure the timer is set. It is. :)

Before you start read this: 

I want to debunk the myth that meditation is peaceful or enjoyable. It can be, but it can also be downright torturous. Sometimes I would come out of my meditation sessions more frustrated than when I started. And that is okay. When you sit with yourself, all of your anxiety and embarrassing moments will come to haunt you. That will help you to return to the breath, but it will bring up lots of feelings. The key thing is to truly feel the emotions and to not push them down. This is also why I don't advocate using guided meditations. While I love Headspace (a guided meditation app), and that's how I got started meditating, I didn't really feel like I was diving deep until I was sitting in silence. 


Resources: 

An amazing book, "How to Meditate" by Pema Chodron, is a great resource to help you get started. 

Apps: 

Headspace - this man's voice is truly the most soothing sound in the world. Guided meditation is a great place to ease you into meditating. 

Stop, Breathe, and Think - Has a great timer function as well guided functionality. I like the stickers it gives as achievements. 

Insight Timer - A huge variety of meditations available on this app. In addition to it's timer, it's great if you want to explore the vast realm of guided meditation.


Are you ready to try meditating? Or is it already in your routine? Let me know what you think of this self care tool! -AHS

Mini Guide to Cape Town

cape town mini healthy guide

I have been blessed to have been to glorious Cape Town on two occasions, the first time to visit my BFF when she lived there back in 2012, and the second time I tacked on a visit after her wedding (May 2018) in Durban, South Africa. Both times I wanted to move there. I am a sucker for the combination of mountains and ocean in one location. But besides the absolutely jar dropping landscape; it has an enthralling history, a rich culture, and friendly people.  Photos featured are all my own. Attraction titles link (when available) to website resource. 

 

The great outdoors

Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens

 The magical Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens.

The magical Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens.

This may be my favorite place in all of Cape Town. For a small entrance fee you can wander the gorgeous botanic gardens. It was the perfect place to journal and reflect. Can't you feel the good juju even in the one photo above? There is an abundance of flora, fauna, and animals. One of my favorite things I stumbled upon was a tree canopy walk, which was super cool. Maybe the best part? They have free concerts and you can picnic there! 


Table Mountain

There are various routes to hike your way up Table Mountain. Back in 2012 I did it with the girls and almost died (not really, but it was hard) and my camera actually did die, and I got no pics from the top. It was very sad! However, if you aren't into the hiking route, there are gondolas that take you to the top! All of the view, none of the work! Also, the best part of the gondola IMO is that if you hike to the top you can gondola down. 


Lion's Head

 Me at the top of Lions Head! Very proud moment indeed.&nbsp;

Me at the top of Lions Head! Very proud moment indeed. 

This hike is not as intensive as Table Mountain and relatively quick, but if you miss the sign you could end up climbing vertically with random ladders and chains built into the side of a mountain, ahem, like me and apparently this guy. That being said I have a fear of falling from great heights, and I was able to push through and hike this by myself. It was definitely scary at times, but I think if you were with another person it would be a-ok. The views are absolutely unreal, and not to miss. 


 Boulders Beach... where my penguins at?&nbsp;

Boulders Beach... where my penguins at? 

 This look brought to you by 2012.&nbsp;

This look brought to you by 2012. 

A gorgeous beach laden with, big shocker, boulders and also where the penguins call home. It's a perfect place for a chill afternoon, get some sun and spend some time with our feathered pals. I took hundred of penguins pics. All of the cuteness. Honestly, I don't have anything to add. Could you imagine anything better? 


 Groot Constantia, you beaut.&nbsp;

Groot Constantia, you beaut. 

 Baboon friends who attacked our picnic. Don't worry, official "baboon security" came to our rescue!&nbsp;

Baboon friends who attacked our picnic. Don't worry, official "baboon security" came to our rescue! 

This winery is gorgeous and the oldest wine producing farm in the country. It's a great option if you want to include wine tastings in your trip but don't want to head all the way to Stellenbosch (the major wine region). Groot Constantia is easily accessible from the city tour buses. If you're lucky, you will get to see some baboons like we did! 


Cape of Good Hope

 Views from the Cape of Good Hope

Views from the Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope Cape Town South Africa

Known for its stunning scenery, the Cape of Good Hope marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward. Our guy, Bartolomeu Dias, was the first modern explorer to round the cape in 1488. It used to be thought of as the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, however, modern cartography tells us that isn't quite right. 🤔🤔🤔 Go there for some stunning views and a feeling like you are on the edge of the world. 


Camps Bay

 Oooo Table Mountain, your backside looking good, girl.&nbsp;

Oooo Table Mountain, your backside looking good, girl. 

camps bay beach view cape town

Beautiful beaches. Great dining options. No brainer. It's probably one of the more accessible beaches if you are staying in the city. It feels like you've stumbled upon a beach town in the midst of the city.


History

The stunning landscape makes it easy to forget some of the heartbreaking history in this beautiful place. I recommend you read up on apartheid before you travel there, because while it ended in the 90s, it has shaped a lot of what exists today in South Africa. 

District Six Museum

JPEG image-24209C8B2C98-3.jpeg
District Six Museum Cape Town South Africa

Robben Island

robben island freedom
"We want Robben Island to reflect the triumph of freedom and human dignity over oppression and humiliation." -Ahmed Kathrada, Prisoner

Robben Island was home to a maximum security prison that held Nobel Laureate and former president of SA, Nelson Mandela, for 18 of his 27 years in exile. Two other political inmates held there, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, also went on to become president of South Africa. 

It is definitely a somber experience visiting the island, but being there to learn and feel the history are the makings of a life changing trip. 

This article is a great read for further information.

 View of the mainland from Robben Island.&nbsp;

View of the mainland from Robben Island. 


Wellness Finds

Mojo Market

Mojo Market Sea Point Cape Town

Mojo market is an indoor market with beach views. Amazing food and drink (see below) vendors and some really cool unique boutique retailers. There was also a yoga studio down the street, but I was sick so I wasn't up to it that day. That being said, the Sea Point area seems like the go to for all your wellness finds! You can even go for a run on their beachfront running path. 

Beetbox RX

 High Vibe juices, crystal bowls, and sourced 95% from local farms- ya can't beet it! (pun intended)

High Vibe juices, crystal bowls, and sourced 95% from local farms- ya can't beet it! (pun intended)

 Yep poke made it all the way to SA. This bowl hit the spot after a long day of touristing.&nbsp;

Yep poke made it all the way to SA. This bowl hit the spot after a long day of touristing. 

There is no shortage of spas or yoga studios around, but as I didn't have a chance to experience them, I won't elaborate on my findings. If you want more- this article from Well + Good was very helpful! 


More Touristy goodness

V&A Waterfront

cape town V&A waterfront harbour
Cape Town V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront is probably the tourist Mecca, but it truly is beautiful. There are lots of great dining options and awesome shopping. There are actually a lot of really cool local artisans around, but you have to look for them in the sea of mass retailers.  And yeah, you can find an almond milk matcha there. #winning


Greenmarket Square

Located in the heart of the city, there are some super cool markets. It definitely is targeted at tourists, but you can find a lot of really cool local artisan finds there too. You can definitely barter, but try to do it ethically. If you are coming from the US you can probably afford to pay their mark up. It's a safe area, but people with ask you for money or to buy them food. The architecture surrounding the square is gorgeous and makes for a scenic shopping trip. 


Accomodations

The Tree House Boutique Hotel

I only have stayed at one hotel in Cape Town, but I couldn't recommend it more. The Tree House Boutique Hotel was amazing and the staff were beyond helpful. My stay came with complimentary breakfast, which was incredible. It had a transitional fresh tree house vibe with hints of balinese. Basically, made for me. It was walking distance to the V&A Waterfront, the boojiest Woolies (Woolworth's) I've ever been in and some great restaurants and gelato! 


Things that I still haven't done but think you should do

Bo-Kaap - Beautiful, cultural rich neigborhood

Company's Gardens - lovely gardens in the city center

Muizenberg beach - colorful shacks on the beach? Yep, that's Muizenberg. Great for surfing or beach yoga!

Stellenbosch - incredible wines come from Stellenbosch. Wine tasting sounds like a pretty romantic way to spend your honeymoon!


A note on water conservation in Cape Town

Cape Town is running out of fresh water. To prevent this, they have enacted lots of water conservation efforts in order to preserve water. This has deterred lots of tourism from the city and country. I can tell you, this did not negatively affect my stay in any capacity. If anything, it helped me to realize just how much water I waste on a daily basis. Please do not overlook this glorious place for that reason- the lack of tourists has had a huge impact on the people and the economy. 

 

Has this inspired you to head to Cape Town for your honeymoon? Let me know if you have any questions on this glorious place, I would love to give you any pointers from my experiences there! Happy travels! -AHS

Should you switch to natural deodorant before your wedding? A breakdown of transitioning to natural deodorant

Natural deodorant has been around for years, but I've noticed a huge uptick recently in people ready to make the shift! It has been on my mind for a while, and for a while I mean about 13 years. My step-mom is a breast cancer survivor and since she went through the experience, natural deodorant has been on my to-do list (continue reading for the "why").  But when is the right time to make the switch? Would it be okay to do before your wedding? This post walks you through my experience switching to natural deodorant and my recommendation for when to make the switch.

Why to switch

I'm not a super smelly or sweaty person.... or so I thought. I had been using a regular solid antiperspirant stick for years. It worked very well, but, the main active ingredient was aluminum

Why do regular antiperspirants use aluminum? It blocks the sweat glands, preventing sweat from coming out. [Sweat itself doesn't smell, but when it interacts with bacteria on the body, it can create an odor. This is why depending on who you are- you may be more or less smelly. Different types of bacteria thrive on different skin types. This is also why good hygiene is key. Shower, people!] But what is the issue with aluminum? From Cancer.org: 

"Some research suggests that aluminum-containing underarm antiperspirants, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and have estrogen-like (hormonal) effects.
Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. In addition, it has been suggested that aluminum may have direct activity in breast tissue." 

That being said, it is important to note that no studies have confirmed that aluminum could increase breast cancer risks. Another doozy that has been associated with aluminum products - Alzheimers! Again, there has been no scientific evidence proving there is any link. However, the way I see it is science is fickle, studies are often flawed (anyone who has ever paid attention to nutrition studies are super aware of this!), and there is always new data emerging. I would rather be safe than sorry! Thus the search for the perfect natural deodorant commenced. 


My experience 

First, let's talk about the fact that everyone is different, and my experience may be different than yours. But, switching to natural deodorant has been a bit of a struggle for me. 

So far I have tried 3 different varieties of natural deodorant. And the key operating word is deodorant - not to be confused with antiperspirant. As stated above, antiperspirants block the sweat from coming out, deodorant just masks the smell. And that is a big change to get used to.

Option 1: Life Stinks

life stinks natural deodorant what to expect when you transition to natural deodorant

The first has been in my beauty bag for years. It's called Life Stinks by the Duggan Sisters. They are a small, local (yay!), Chicago business. It comes in a powder that smells like lavender or cedar. You can also purchase a "Stink Stick" that you put on first if you are a heavy sweater. I tried it for awhile years ago, but couldn't make the commitment. Mostly, I felt like I sweat much more compared to my normal antiperspirant (which isn't a knock on them, just the nature of the beast). I gave it a shot again recently when I started testing out natural deodorants.  At the end of the day, I'm just not into the powder, but it is purely personal preference. I throw it in my gym bag and will put it on post sweat to help absorb the moisture, but not for daily use. I like the feeling of putting on a stick. It is closer to my original routine and is an easier transition. Ingredients: aluminum free sodium bicarbonate, tea tree oil and lavender or cedarwood oil

Option 2: Dear Me

Dear Me Organic Deodorant

The second try was Dear Me Natural Organic Deodorant. I found them on Instagram and I decided to give it a shot. As of right now they have one scent blend called, "Make My Day". It smells great. This was really my first hardcore attempt at switching. I started with it at the beginning of March. It worked beautifully for the first month. I wasn't particularly sweaty or smelly! Success! Then at the end of April I brought it with me on my trip to South Africa. Let's just say my body had not transitioned to a warmer climate and neither did the deodorant. I was stinky. And it was a challenge. I returned home from the trip to warmer weather in Chicago, and the problem persisted. I was showering twice a day just to keep the pits stink-free. That being said, it definitely could've been the "detox" time period I had read about- when your body is expelling toxins and smelliness is increased for a while. I did also get some mild irritation and redness when I first switched, too. It went away though. BUT–I used it the entire time I was in yoga teacher training–and I felt like it held its own! 

Another random consideration, the first ingredient in Dear Me is coconut oil, which means at warmer temperatures it will melt. You can store in the fridge and get a refreshing cool feeling when you apply in the morning, but don't leave it in your beach bag. I really did like this deodorant a lot and it lasted me for about 4 months. I would definitely consider bringing it back for the colder months. Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Beeswax, High Quality Baking Soda, Arrow Root Powder, Peppermint Essential Oil, Palmarosa Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil

Option 3: Native

native natural deodorant switching to natural deodorant
Native natural deodorant ingredients aluminum free paraben free

For the last month I have been using Native deodorant. It is another stick blend. There are actually quite a few scents available- I opted for the seasonal blend, Rosé (duh). I also purchased a little mini of their bestseller, coconut & vanilla. It's a bit harder (doesn't use as much every application) than Dear Me, so I think it will last awhile. So far I really have liked it.  There are quite a few more ingredients in it- but it really works very well. I still am a lil' stinkier at the end of the day, so I reapply (and really scent is truly gone- it doesn't feel like I'm covering it up with perfume or something) or I shower before bed. Honestly, this is the first time I feel like life is business as usual since I switched to natural deodorant this winter. What I found super interesting is that they have a probiotic in their ingredients - L. acidophilus! I'm curious to know if by adding that bacteria it changes the dynamic of the smell. If any of you know the answer, please share! <3 Bonus- if you decide to try Native and use this link we both get a free mini-deodorant. Yes, pls! Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Arrowroot Powder, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Shea Fruit Butter, Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyglycerol-3 Beeswax, Jojoba Esters, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), L. acidophilus, Dextrose, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Fragrance

The Outcome

My conclusion - there isn't a simple answer. The effectiveness appears to go up with the number of ingredients in the deodorant, but I would prefer a simpler blend. As of right now I am happy with Native, but I haven't ruled out trying the others again, or trying new blends. It's interesting because we all have different bacteria that thrives on our skin- so there is not one answer that works best for everyone! I would recommend trying out any of the options above to see how they work for you. I feel like I've finally become comfortable with using natural deodorant- my next mission is to get my husband to try it too! 


What to expect when you switch from a normal antiperspirant to a natural deodorant

 Helpful tips for switching from Native!&nbsp;

Helpful tips for switching from Native! 

  1. It's not business as usual. Things will feel different under there. It takes time to get used to an increased level of perspiration. 
  2. You may be stinkier for a period of time while you detoxify- or not. Some recommend doing an armpit detox mask. I didn't try, but perhaps would help eliminate the toxin stink period. 
  3. Some natural deodorants may stain your clothes. I didn't notice this more so than my previous anti-perspirant, but it's good to be aware of. 
  4. Shave your pits the night before to prevent irritation. 
  5. Reapplying is your friend. 

 


The Verdict?

So when is the right time to switch to natural deodorant? I don't believe there ever really is going to be a good time, but I would wait until after your wedding! Maybe even wait until you get home from the honeymoon. If you are ready to take the plunge, I would start at least 6 months before wedding. I think there are too many X factors. Pit stains on a white dress? Worrying about lifting your arms when dancing on your big day? Detox stink kicking in on your honeymoon? I would stick to what has worked for you in the past. Don't change anything up unless its not working! After the wedding passes you have your whole life to test out what works for you and your bod!


Have you tried natural deodorant? Did you make the switch before the wedding? Any brand recommendations to try? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a note here or on Insta/FB. - AHS

Morning Rituals And Why You Should Have One (Especially When You Are Planning A Wedding!)

morning rituals gratitude journal erin condren planner superfood latte

I'm obsessed with having a morning ritual. Ever since I heard Tim Ferriss talk about them on his podcast I have been intrigued with getting mine right. It's a super important part of my day as an entrepreneur who works from home. It helps get my head right and start the day on the right foot. However, the more chaotic your life is, the more you could benefit from a strong morning ritual.  If you start your day off rushing through your shower and running to catch the train- you may need a morning ritual even more! When you are planning a wedding you essentially have taken on a second job. Having a morning ritual adds a bit of peace to your day - it's a win from the very first moments of the day. I think we all need that!

There are so many benefits to having a morning ritual, but of course it varies depending on what you include in it. What I love about my morning ritual is that I know I'm starting my day off doing something to take care of myself before the madness begins!

It is always a work in progress and it has evolved over time. I'm going to give you a couple examples so you can craft your own perf version! One that I used for a while is referred to as the "Miracle 6". It takes 6 minutes of your morning.

  • 1 minute of silence.
  • 1 minute of affirmations. 
  • 1 minute of visualizations
  • 1 minute of scribing (journaling)
  • 1 minute reading
  • 1 minute of exercise 

To break it down: 

The minute of silence is without your phone, eyes open or closed, just sitting for a moment int peace.

The affirmations are just a list of positive things to remind yourself of daily. They help keep your mind positive. Example of one: "Today I am surrounded by love and abundance in my life." I think about what I am struggling with overcoming mentally and then write some out, or google positive affirmations until I find what I need. :)  

The visualization is a form of goal setting, and it may take some time to write before your review it daily. You want to think about what you are hoping to achieve in your life. It could be long term or just a few months away. Think about what you are hoping to see in your life and write it down. Get as descriptive as possible, so when you read it, it evokes emotion and gets you excited! You should really see the vision clearly. 

Scribing is essentially journaling. There are many forms you could do. Some people do morning pages - a practice where you practice writing 3 pages of long form stream of conscious journaling (I tried it, it wasn't my cup of tea - but many, many people swear by it!). It also is hard to do in one minute. I preferred gratitude journalling, where I write 3 unique things I'm thankful for each day. 

 I read this when I was practicing the Miracle 6 morning ritual- it was perfect in small snippets.&nbsp;

I read this when I was practicing the Miracle 6 morning ritual- it was perfect in small snippets. 

Reading- pretty self explanatory. If you are doing the Miracle 6 I think it's best to read something with small insights, like my favorite, Tao Te Ching. Or a personal development book (see right) where you can get something out of just reading a page or two. 

Exercise- again this is just one minute, so something like jumping jacks, crunches or push ups are good to get the blood flowing! Or you could take the yoga approach and do a sun salutation or two!

There were aspects of this routine I really liked, and it worked for me for awhile. But as I evolved, so did the ritual. When I added true meditation into my routine (not just a minute of silence), it changed the dynamic of the morning. I found it really hard to just read for one minute, and it kinda felt cruel to stop at one minute. Then I would read more, and then the routine would last much longer. I've taken some things I really liked from that ritual and incorporated it into my current routine. 

I've included my morning ritual is below. It is not my every day- right now I am at about 3 days/week. And sometimes I don't do all of the components, but if I get one of them done, it is an accomplishment!  


My morning ritual

  • I go downstairs and start the coffee. If I'm feeling really on it, I will use the frother and make a superfood latte (I froth almond milk, cacao powder, and brain octane oil). 
  • I then write in my gratitude journal. I write three things that I am grateful for.
  • Sometimes I will do a visualization and/or affirmations.
  • I pray for a few minutes. 
  • I meditate for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Then I get up, get dressed, and make my bed.
  • Boom! Ready to start the day!

 a simple day with my gratitude journal and coffee.&nbsp;

a simple day with my gratitude journal and coffee. 

This process takes me about 60 - 75 minutes when I do all of the components. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. 

If you have been following along, you probably understand how important coffee is to me. The smell tells me its time to start the day. When I have the superfood latte, I'm starting my day with nutrients that are fueling my body. Just one small step to start the day right. 

I love my gratitude journal because it really helps me cultivate an abundance mindset. I have so much to be grateful for every day.

Praying helps me focus on what truly matters and gives me perspective.  

Meditation deserves its own post. It helps me focus on the present moment. It helps me to be still in my world that is moving so fast. It helps me to just be. I will do a follow up post on meditation soon. 

I used to not make my bed. But now, I realize that making the bed (and keeping my space clean) helps my mind focused and clear. Besides that, it starts my day with accomplishing a task. There are so many things are out of my control, this is one small thing that is definitely within my domain. 

So in sum, having a morning ritual helps me to start the day: 

  • with good nutrition
  • in a positive mindset
  • at peace with what I can and cannot do
  • goal oriented
  • and accomplished

Pretty powerful stuff, right? All of those things are pretty critical during wedding planning! I encourage you to start your own morning ritual! The "miracle 6" is a great place to start.

Do you have a morning ritual already? I would love to hear about how you start your day! Leave me a comment below or on social! If you haven't seen I finally launched the Shed FB page. Go on and give it a like for me! xx, AHS

Gut Health 300

At long last, the practical final installment of the gut health series! This post is to help provide practical tips to increase probiotics and prebiotics in ya life to increase your gut/ overall health! Before you get started you may want to recap the previous posts in the Gut Health series. 

 

Probiotics

Here are some of the easiest ways to add healthy bacteria into your gut! 

  1. The easiest way to get more probiotics in your life is to take a probiotic supplement. For more info on how to pick the right one - read Gut Health 200. However, they are expensive, and if your gut is already in good shape, it may not be necessary to continue long term. I always advocate to try to get the bulk of your nutrients from whole foods, and here is no different. 
  2. Lean in and switch to the 'booch instead of soda. Kombucha - you've probably heard of this bubbly, magical drink. It is actually fermented tea, and is an awesome way to get more good bacteria in your life. Make sure you find brands that keep the sugar to no more than 4gs per serving. Bonus, if you are hooked on soda- it is a great substitute!
  3. Add more fermented foods into your life! Fermented foods such as kimchi (the national food of Korea! A spicy pickled cabbage dish) or sauerkraut (European origin pickled cabbage dish) are #shedapproved and are loaded with the good stuff. This is particularly good in the winter when fresh produce is less available (or historically was less available! That is how people would stay healthy all year round!). While Kimchi is not available everywhere, you can opt to go to a Korean mart and they are typically sold there. Many grocery stores sell sauerkraut. If those aren't in your neighborhood you can always make it yourself (Links: How to make easy kimchi at homeHow to make sauerkraut in a mason jar).  
  4. Greek yogurt (or Siggi's Icelandic style) and kefir are Month 1 #shedapproved and a great source of good bacteria. You know that watery stuff that sits on the top of yogurt? Don't pour it out or avoid it- that's where the healthy bacteria live! Be sure to mix it in fully! My one warning here is to avoid added sugar in your yogurt/kefir. Better to get the plain, full fat versions and add your own berries and honey! 
  5. Beer and Wine! Whaaaaat? Alcohol? Yep. The catch? Commercial beer is rigorously filtered and won't have the health benefits. Just another reason to try home brew! Also, don't overdo it. It negates the health benefits! Stick to one beer or glass of wine at a time (2 tops!) to maximize the benefits and prevent weight gain!  

prebiotics 

Prebiotics keep the good gut bacteria happy and healthy! Because they need food too! The key to making gut bacteria happy? FIBER!!

  1. Freeze pre-ripe (lightly green still) bananas to add to your smoothies. You don't notice the flavor/texture difference as much as if you just ate them outright. Bonus - there is less sugar in these nanners so they are better on the waistline!
  2. Raw dandelion greens salad with raw asparagus (see recipe below!). Refreshing, light, crunchy, and yummy!
  3. Jicama chips (I mean fries. I swear I don't know where these Britishism are coming from)! So refreshing in the heat of summer. Check out the recipe below! 
  4. GG crisps/crackers. Month 1 Shed approved and LOADED UP with fiber. Be sure to look for the ones with psyllium husks (pumpkin and sunflower seed versions have this) on the ingredients list for gut friendly bonus!
  5. Any other fruits and veggies you like. The key here is the fiber, so leave the skins on (where you can - ie cucumbers, apples, etc) and eat up all the pulp you can! 

Here is a list of some of the top prebiotic foods not included above: 

  • Raw chicory root - the top source, with almost 60% fiber
  • Raw Jerusalem artichoke 
  • Raw garlic
  • Raw leeks
  • Raw onions 
  • Cooked onions
  • Whole wheat 
  • Legumes

This is by no means an exhaustive list, it's more of a prompting to get some new healthy eats in your routine! I hope you found the Gut Health series educational and beneficial. What are you going to do to add more gut friendly foods into your routine? Leave me a comment here or on Instagram! - AHS


Mexican style raw Jicama fries 

jicama fries chips mexican style tajin gut health prebiotics

Ingredients

  • 1 jicama
  • Extra virgin olive oil (start with a tbsp, add as necessary)
  • Tajin* or other chili lime seasoning blend to taste

Instructions

Peel jicama with a vegetable peeler. Cut into "fry" shape. I made mine a bit thicker. Coat lightly with olive oil and Tajin. Eat immediately for a filling snack and/or appy!

*Tajin is a Mexican spice blend that is amazing on fruit- it's incredible on watermelon too! You can order off amazon or get it at your local Mexican store if there is one close to you! You can also make this gringo style with paprika, onion powder, and chili powder.  


Dandelion Greens Salad

(adapted from the SHED program) (serves 1) 

This salad is an amazing summer detox salad and gut health booster! 

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 apple, chopped (skin on!)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 2 cups dandelion greens
  • 3 spears of raw asparagus, chopped into 4 bites pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1⁄2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sprinkle of parmesan (optional)

Instructions

Mix ingredients in a bowl and enjoy a crunchy gut healthy lunch! 

Put a little (self) love in your heart...

 When I look at the pose above, I first think to myself, "Woof, those calves. And I have a long way to go to make this pose look good!" It takes me a moment to reset and appreciate how far I've come and appreciate that tan instead!

When I look at the pose above, I first think to myself, "Woof, those calves. And I have a long way to go to make this pose look good!" It takes me a moment to reset and appreciate how far I've come and appreciate that tan instead!

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Sometimes I see circles under my eyes. Sometimes I see bloat from last night's pizza (yep- I eat pizza!). Sometimes I see a whole lotta thigh. Rarely when I look in the mirror am I like, "damn that's a fine looking lady in there!" But why don't I? I suspect I am not alone in this. 

There are probably a lot of contributing factors, and I do not want to diminish them - but I will focus on two reasons for the purpose of today's note. The first is comparison. A natural human tendency that has been magnified by the omnipresence of social media. We spend our days longing for what other people have- their banging bodies, their DREAM weddings, their perfect husbands, adorable babies, charming houses, fancy cars, and exotic honeymoons. We spend a huge bulk of time assessing other people's lot in life and comparing ours to theirs. This isn't to say that we dwell on it or it takes over how we live our lives (sometimes yes, sometimes no) but regardless it happens on the daily. Sometimes we know we are doing it, other times it is operating in the background - but still happening. 

The second reason is judgement. Comparison feeds judgement. Example, so-and-so buys a beautiful new home – "But who would want to live there? It's the middle of nowhere!" Someone posts a selfie - it's attention seeking and/or desperate. Someone cuts you off on the highway - they are an a**hole. Immediately we affirm our own choices and lifestyle, building our own ego at the sacrifice of tearing down someone else. We judge other people and ourselves ALL of the time for EVERYTHING. And that includes what we see when we look in the mirror. 

And it's exhausting. 

And it doesn't serve us.

And in fact, it has a negative effect on the way we view ourselves and others. We need to knock it off. 

Less judgement, and more love. 

We need to love ourselves. Seriously, love every part of ourselves. We need to cut out the negative self talk. We are KWEENS ladies! And stunning rays of light filled with love. We are pure magic. When we acknowledge this, it helps us to see that in everyone else. 

Today is #internationalyogaday, and with it, comes a challenge. Love yourself and then love others. That's our mission. But how to shift our mindsets? It's a big task, so let's break it down.  

 

Step 1. Acknowledgement

Sit with a journal and a cup of (insert beverage of choice) and do some self reflection. When do you tend to compare yourself to others? Is it comparing that bling on your finger to your friend's? Does it happen when you look in the mirror and you think about the Instagram model you follow? When do you tend to judge? Does it manifest in road rage? Again, is it social media? Your favorite Bravo TV stars? 

Just take the time to think about how comparing and judging show up in your life. If after reflection you truly do not compare or judge, please teach a class and invite me! 

 

Step 2. Forgiveness

The next step is to forgive yourself and forgive others for being this way. We have to absolve ourselves from this. These habits are ingrained from childhood and perpetuated by the culture we live in. Let's not beat ourselves up over being judgmental. That defeats the purpose of this whole exercise. 

 

Step 3: Radical acts of self care

How did we get to self care? Well, what is at the heart of comparison? I believe it's our own feelings of inadequacy. Showing yourself some care is the foundation of self love. Do something for yourself every day. Take time for yourself. Whatever that means for you. By caring for ourselves, we nurture self love. It helps us to live more comfortably in our own skin- which helps us to love others better, too.

Self care is not selfish.

I repeat, SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH. When you are feeling drained and out of gas - it is really easy to get into negative self talk patterns. Beyond that, it also hinders our ability to serve others. So take the time to refuel. It is so important for your mental and physical health. Don't know where to start? Take a break from wedding planning and try some of the suggestions below:

  • Spend quality time with loved ones.

  • Buy a coffee for a homeless person.

  • Take a bath.

  • Laugh. Really hard.

  • Watch trashy tv, or whatever gives you joy.

  • Bask in the sun.

  • Dance by yourself.

  • Get a mani/pedi.

  • Do nothing - guilt free.

  • Do something you have wanted to do for a long time, but never had the time.

  • Go for a walk in nature.

  • Read a book.

  • Take a nap.

  • Exercise (in a way that sparks joy!).

  • Call a friend.

  • Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful.

  • Meditate.

  • Take a social media/technology hiatus.

  • Eat a hearty nutritious meal.

  • Eat whatever you want, and without judgement

 

Step 4: Judgement Detox

Now that we have acknowledged our habits, forgiven ourselves for them, and have built up our self love... it's now time to take a break from the judging. This is really, really hard - because it is ingrained so deep. And it's not always showing up the way you would think. For example, today I was trying to back into my garage, and a neighbor had left what I think was an air conditioning unit outside their door, which prevented me from getting in my usual way. I was so annoyed. I was thinking about how inconsiderate that action was. Why didn't they move it to the side? Was this a handy person or was it the neighbor? Someone doesn't know the protocol... Judgement after judgement after judgement. And then I stopped myself. I realized, it was highly unlikely that they even realized it inconvenienced anyone. THEN I realized, I manage to get into my spot, just fine. I spent 2 minutes thinking they were horrible people, and realized I worked myself up over absolutely nothing. 

And this story isn't rare. I'm sure I do this 10x a day.

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to spend one day completely judgement free. Only loving thoughts towards yourself and others for just one day. That doesn't mean the judgements won't arise, but do your best to quash them when they come. AND double whammy, when they come up- don't judge yourself for having the thoughts! 

 

In summary

The world we live in is full of judgements. By giving ourselves some self care, and by choosing to judge less, we will love ourselves and others more! Yoga reminds me to have a beginner's mind, love and accept myself where I am at, and to love others unconditionally. I hope that through reading this post and doing this exercise, it helps you do the same. 


Are you going to participate in the self care and judgement detox challenges? I would love to hear if you participate and how it went! Use #shedselfcare and #shedjudgementdetox so I can see! -AHS

Wellness Hack: Frozen Foods

Wellness hack benefits of frozen food

Today I decided I needed to share with you my biggest wellness secret...FROZEN FOOD. Yeah, I said it. Frozen. Food. I'm not talking about old school TV dinners, I'm talking about REAL food, just frozen. 

How is this a hack, you say? Because it seriously keeps me on my game. It's an excellent tool to keep in the Shedding toolkit. Here's why: 

1. It helps you SAVE money!

If you are buying plain frozen veggies, many times they are less expensive than buying fresh! I know, it's crazy! Most of the frozen vegetables I buy are not more expensive than if I bought them fresh. Don't get me wrong, fresh is great, but not necessary for every meal! 

Also, when you have food that is at it's peak ripeness, and you know you won't have a chance to use it before it goes bad? Throw it in the freezer! Say no to food waste! 

2. You don't miss out on any nutrients

How? Doesn't freezing destroy the nutrient value? Actually, in most cases it preserves the nutrients! Most frozen foods are flash frozen at the peak of ripeness when the nutrients are prime for the eating! A lot of time food travels thousands of miles to get to its destination. During this time, many fresh fruits and veggies lose some of their prime nutrients. This is also why shopping local is best! :) Who knew frozen could even be better for you than fresh?!

3. You are always prepared! 

So if you are like me, and are never home OR if you are planning a big trip- frozen food will save you when you come home. Let's say you get back late and have to get right back into a crazy work week upon arrival? No time for the grocery store? No problem! You have all the fixins for a stir-fry or a burger in your freezer!

4. You save time! 

No chopping, washing, trimming or peeling for you! If it's frozen, it's ready to go! This turns an hour long meal prep into 30 minutes. And who doesn't love that?

 

Here are some of my favorite frozen foods and foods to freeze! 

  • 3 minute microwavable packages of brown rice. These are my absolute favorites. I mostly use them in buddha bowls or stir-frys. Also great for soups too! 
  • When I'm going on a trip I buy enough meat for 2-3 weeks and storing anything I won't use that week in the freezer. Chicken and ground turkey are my go-tos, but even bacon works! Meats defrost beautifully if they aren't in there too long! 
  • Frozen shrimp- I buy cooked and uncooked. When I'm really tired it's great to have cooked shrimp ready to go for a pasta dish. 
  • 2 ingredient frozen turkey burgers. So easy, so healthy. What's not to love! 
  • Trader Joe's has an Organic Quinoa, Kale, Sweet potato, Carrot bowl thing that is an easy meal when you are not in the mood to cook. 
  • Frozen riced cauliflower- I use this instead of brown rice to lighten the carb load when I need a lighter meal! 
  • Broccoli florets- I pretty much could use these in any dish. 
  • Bell peppers- Same as above. 
  • Frozen berries for dessert- I love to eat these whole in the Winter. It's almost like eating ice cream. My favorites are cherries and blueberries. 
  • I love throwing overripe fruit in the freezer for smoothies. You could also throw them in with cottage cheese or use them in chia puddings! 
  • Spiralized veggie noodles - easy peasy ready to go! 
  • Frozen shelled edamame - another #shedapproved snack

 

What do you guys think? Into frozen food or not about it? I'm also curious to know what else do you freeze? I am all about expanding my frozen food repertoire – I would love to hear any of your tips for me!