Get Natured Store

My friends and I are always recommending things to each other. From lotion to chiropractors, a friend's recommendation is definitely the way to go when you're looking for something new.

If you haven't seen it yet, the Get Natured Store contains all kinds of things! I have included my favorites, by category, to share with you. I will never recommend anything that I haven't tried and enjoyed. I will add new products from time to time. Check it out!

10 ways to nurture yourself through the season of turkeys and trees

Peace, it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, no trouble, or no hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”    ~Unknown

In an effort to avoid totally stressing out during the holidays (or anytime, really) I made this list to remind myself to take care of me and to slow down to enjoy the special times and little moments. I hope you find some of these things useful as well.

1. Create a simple morning ritual to greet each day. This might mean doing a few sun salutations or it may be as simple as making a pot of tea and choosing an intention for the day. Your intention should be something that will add to your happiness, e.g., "I will eat slowly and taste each bite of my food today." Don't choose an intention that you can use as a stick to beat yourself over the head, e.g., "I will get everything on my list done today!" Consider making a bowl of matcha- it is both delicious and healthy and its connection to the Japanese tea ceremony can make it an extra special addition to your morning.

2. Go outside. Get some sunlight and connect with nature. Don't bring your iPod! Observe with all of your senses: what do you hear? Is it cold outside but warm in the sun? Do you smell fireplaces, flowers, grass? Are you having a snack or a hot drink while you're outside; how does it taste? Can you see lots of plants and trees in different shades of green or autumn colors? You get the idea.

3. Nurture your body. Get lots of sleep. Eat fresh whole foods and drink lots of water. If you're chilled to the bone, treat yourself to a Bikram yoga class, a few minutes in the sauna or spa at your gym (if that is available to you), or take a hot bath at home. Exfoliate, moisturize, buff; whatever it takes to make you feel nourished and refreshed.

4. Get some exercise but don't force yourself to hammer out miles on a treadmill if you hate the treadmill. Try snowshoeing or trail running/walking. If you must use cardio machines, try intervals of higher intensity to up the efficiency of your workout and reduce your boredom (e.g. walk 1 minute, run 30 seconds, repeat). The ready-set-go days of November and December are not a reason to let go of your healthy goals. But, do shift your focus from calorie burning to doing exercise that energizes you and gives you a happy glow.

5. Fuel your body with foods that make you feel healthy and strong. Eat whole grains and go overboard on veggies. Add spinach to your morning smoothie. Have a salad with lunch or dinner every day. Include two veggie side dishes with your meals. Make snack bags filled with your favorite raw veggies that you can "grab and go". Include small containers of hummus or bags of nuts for protein. Get your omega 3s- ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds are good vegetarian sources. 

6. Mono-task. Do one thing at a time and focus on that only. Set yourself up to not be in a hurry. Finish one thing before starting another- don't be in the middle of ten things at once. Don't create an impossible "to do" list. Stop everything that adds unnecessary things to your schedule. Cook simple food and clean as you go so you don't end up with a sink full of dishes at the end of the evening. Let your magazine subscriptions expire. Don't sign up for too much. Tell your inner perfectionist to take a hike. Find your boundaries and stay within them. 

7. Take a time out. Try yoga or meditation, light a candle and have a cup of tea, go for a walk, get a massage, browse your local library or a bookstore, meet a friend for coffee, read a book that really sucks you in. Don't fill up every minute of the day with "have to". Find, accept, and savor some downtime (even if it is only five minutes at a time). 

8. Make a list: "I want my holiday to be..." This is a time to focus on "I want to" not "I have to" or "I should". Eliminate things that are not congruent with your list. Do what you have time for and make those things special. 

9. Create a sanctuary in your home. Light some candles. Find one room that you can retreat to when you need to re-center. For me, that is our master bedroom. We try to keep it neat and toy-free. The bedding is soft and comfortable and the decor is soothing and natural. 

10. Try new, simple, recipes for inspiration. New flavors can be as revitalizing as a new pair of shoes! Try new ideas like "breakfast cookies"- make a dozen and enjoy them for multiple breakfasts or snacks. See my recipe and links pages for ideas.

My "secret" natural anti-inflammatory treatment

I did a few too many squats at the gym yesterday so my legs are really sore today.  I thought it might be helpful if I shared my "secret" recipe for beating muscle soreness.  These things are most helpful if you do them before the muscle soreness sets in, but later is OK too.  

I completed my first triathlon in July of this year (.5 mile open-water swim, 16 mile bike, 3 mile run).  Fully expecting to be sore the next day, I did these two things a few hours after the race and I wasn't sore at all the next day.

1. Ginger "tea": Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that is kind to your tummy, unlike ibuprofen.  To make ginger "tea", grate fresh ginger into a mug (I use about a tablespoon).  Then add boiling water and let it steep for at least 10 minutes (the longer it sits, the better).  You can strain it with a tea strainer or drink the grated ginger along with the "tea", it's your choice.  You may also add sweetener if you wish (I recommend agave nectar).   

2. Epsom salt bath: Add two cups of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak away your tension.  Epsom salt is available at any grocery or drugstore.        

This isn't a miracle cure, but I do think that these things are very helpful.  I have heard that "ice plunging" is beneficial as well.  I'll let somebody else test that one!  

Where do you get your protein?

I am a vegetarian.  As soon as those words leave my mouth, many non-veg people begin to look confused.  To some, I might as well have said, "I eat only dirt and unicorn tears."  As most vegetarian people can attest, the first question is usually, "where do you get your protein?"  That is followed by another confused look and a question like, " did you have for breakfast?"

First, I need to tell you that I am NOT a vegetarian snob.  By that, I mean that you can eat whatever you want and I'll still like you.  If you order a steak when we are at a restaurant together, I won't move to another table.  Unless, of course, you wave it under my nose and say, "are you sure you don't want some of thiiiiis?"  But you wouldn't do that, would you?  

Ok, back to protein.  Where do I get my protein?  From lots of different foods.  I eat some tofu, yes, but there is also protein in vegetables, beans, lentils, peas, pastas, whole grains, and nuts and seeds.  In hopes of dispelling the myth that vegetarians are protein-starved and weak, I'll occasionally share the ingredient list and protein content for my meals.  I wish to illustrate this point: eating a variety of healthy vegetarian foods will provide ample nutrients, including protein.  I will sometimes include information on iron and/or calcium as those seem to be of concern as well.   

Appropriately, I think, I'll start with breakfast.  I am a huge breakfast fan.  Love it!  I tend to eat quite a bit in the morning, so your portions might be smaller if you prefer a lighter meal.

Allison's "keep-you-full-for-hours" oatmeal:

Welcome to Get Natured!

I am very excited to introduce you to the new Get Natured blog!  I am passionate about clean and healthy living and I would love to share my enthusiasm and experiences with you.

I frequently describe myself as the kind of person who can’t eat the same thing for breakfast every day.  Whether the subject is food, exercise, or life in general, I’m always on a quest for new experiences.  My desire is to candidly share the discoveries of my pursuit in this blog.

One of my mantras for daily living is, “something is always better than nothing.” Get Natured isn't about perfection. It is about the simple pursuit of happiness. Sometimes that means watching the sunrise on a morning run. Sometimes it means forgoing my “to do” list in favor of sharing freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with my favorite person. Health and happiness are both physical and mental. I believe in feeding both.

As a preview of what is to come, here are some high-level topic areas that will be included: 

·   Health and self-care
·   Eating to thrive (food!)
·   Living with simplicity
·   Enjoying exercise

I hope that Get Natured will be informative and useful.  Questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome!