BLUchristmas tree

8 Tips to Avoid a Blue, Blue Christmas

As the holidays rapidly approach and the hustle and bustle that is the Christmas season rock into full speed craziness it is easy to become overwhelmed.

Things don’t always go the way we intend, people aren’t there to spend it with us, money may get tight, things seem out of control and our moods drop and sadness can take over. 

Here are a few tips to fight those blues and keep your mood more golden and happy.

Add Vitamin D: Go out and get some sun!  Vitamin D levels have been shown to affect our moods.  Mayo Clinic & Vitamin D Get out and absorb some D from the sun or look for a quality supplement to assist you in this task.

Get Moving: Harvard Health tells us in its compilation of previous studies that moving. It is easy to get trapped in that spiral of depression and sluggishness.  I fight this on a regular basis.  Feeling a bit low, so you lay on the couch, then after a while you begin hurting from a lack of exercise so you don’t want to move, then you feel even more bad about yourself because you’ve been a slug and haven’t moved.  Just get up and go for a walk.  (I continue to struggle with this one issue. It is a daily choice to find ways to move and stay active.)

Add Vitamin B Complex: The B Complex vitamins are ESSENTIAL for our mental well being.  When the levels get low (which is easy since we don’t store it or make it) our moods can follow.  Studies show that low levels of these essential vitamins can have a marked effect on our well being.

Don’t Over-Imbibe: When we drink alcohol it uses up the B Complex in our system as well as any Vitamin C.  So A) don’t drink so much and B) replace the vitamins you know are being depleted by your actions.

Be Conscious of your Sugar Intake: I KNOW you don’t want to hear this during the holiday season, BUT…  According to World of Psychology, “People who suffer from depression are especially vulnerable to sugar’s evil power.” Eat 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, the fiber will help to counteract some of the damage being done by those sugars. Whole foods, minimally processed are the antidote to the damages being done by sugar consumption. See: Sugar, The Bitter Truth

Follow General Nutritional Suggestions: When your body is getting the fuel it needs to be keep running strong and healthy, it is better able to deal with stressors and set backs!

Drink Water: Stay Hydrated! PsychCentral and other sources tell us that dehydration is also related to depression, so keep drinking water and remember that “flavored” drinks, sodas, and coffee don’t count as your water intake.

Meditate: Whether you clear your mind of all thoughts, focus on a scripture, visualize yourself by a babbling brook or journal your thoughts – meditation is shown time and again to provide relief from depression and the blues. A local source to teach Mindful Based Stress Reduction is Madeline Ebilini.

Thank you, Kara Shufflebarger for the image that I turned blue! :-) 

Get Notifications

Love Our Posts?

How to Get Notified of Your Favorite Facebook Fan Page Posts.

I learned another Facebook trick today that I thought I’d share with you.  It is useful if you have ever thought you are missing your favorite Facebook posts. (“Like” The Healthy Grease Monkey) and would like to make sure you get ALL of them.

Get Notifications

How to get notified of Healthy Grease Monkey’s Facebook fan page posts (and any other fan pages):

  • Go to  The Healthy Grease Monkey‘s Facebook Fan Page,
  • Hover your mouse over the “Like” button,
  • Then click on “Get Notifications.”

This should make sure you are notified of any new posts!  This works on any Page you’ve liked.  I am on my way to begin changing many pages settings to get notified of new posts.

Thank you, and have a HEALTHY, GREAT DAY!

Tha

Pie Mess 1

Tips to Clean up the Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Fiasco

Best laid plans gone wrong… *sigh*

It’s Thanksgiving, the turkey is roasting in the oven, the potatoes are cooking in the crocks, the green bean casserole is ready to go in the oven, the rolls are prepared, the pumpkin pie is ready to bake as well.  The oven is limited in space as the turkey is a mere 22 pounds.

I set my beautiful pies into the oven, on the bottom shelf, start to slide the shelf in and *****SPLASH***** the liquid pie mix splashes all over the oven. Half the mix goes into the oven (out of the pie shells) and the house begins to fill with smoke!

So, the exhaust fan went on “super” setting the pies and the silicone mat in the oven came out to clean up.  I wiped up what I could from the oven door and closed up the appliance so everything else could finish cooking…  The day after, here are the results!

Pie Mess 1

Here is what my lovely oven looked like the day after.

Pie mess pan

Pan from under the pie… UGG

So I got out my tools.  Basic H2 diluted and Scour Off.

Pie Mess Clean up

I started by scraping up the solid pieces that weren’t attached and scooped them onto a piece of paper.  Then I sprayed the degreaser strength Basic H onto the oven floor and simply wiped it up with a fiber-cloth towel.  Only a bit of crusty stuff remained.

Pie Mess H2 Only

I then use the Scour Off with water to complete the task.  This amazing product is a sweet smelling cleaning paste. (Safe for my glass top stove too.)  Smear a bit of the paste on, spread it out with your cleaning cloth and add plenty of water.  I let it sit for a bit, then using a circular motion with my cloth I begin rubbing the stained spots.

Pie Mess cleaning pan

Finally, I rinse it all down with a wet cloth and it is done!  Best part is, I have company coming over in 10 minutes to watch Purdue and IU try to lose to each other and my house isn’t filled with stinky fumes, I’m not gagging and don’t need to reach for my asthma medication, my daughter can play and run around and all are safe while my oven is like new inside!

Pie mess cleaned

Pie mess pan cleaned

These are the amazing products I discovered when CLB was born, 7 1/2 years ago and have continued to use.  A bottle of H2 lasts me 3+ years and the Scour Off lasts me years as well – making them very affordable options and saving me TONS of cash at the grocery store. I started with the Get Clean Kit – $99 for $3400 worth of cleaners!

Turkey - LifeInBonitaSprings

Whole Food Thanksgiving

Our family eats mostly whole foods, due to my darling daughter’s corn allergy, and the fact that I WANT to know what is in my food. Fewer preservatives and artificial ingredients are MUCH BETTER for your body.  We’ll be stressing our bodies enough over the Holidays that we don’t need to add additional stresses from our food.

Today, as I was gathering up all my recipes and supplies for tomorrow mornings “launch” of the festivities, I thought it might be nice to have all my recipes in one place, so here it is.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Turkey (Big Bird) – I simply shove some celery, carrot, and onion inside and under the bird, rub it with some Himalayan pink salt, cover with foil and cook for 10-15 minutes per pound in a 350 oven. Check when the thigh temp. its done when it hits 170 degrees F. Don’t forget to let the bird sit for about 10 minutes after coming out of the oven to seal in the juices…  We are embarking on a new tradition this year, put the bird in the oven and head out for a walk through a preserve with friends.  Thank you Chris Griffith for the amazing idea! (Thank you for our story photo as well!)

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole – all from scratch (no MSG or other ickies)Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole – I use a 1/4 cup of brown sugar in place of the white sugar (I do prefer my sweet taters baked with some of that butter on them though)

Pumpkin Pie – I omit the white sugar (Watch for the blog on cleaning up from the Pumpkin Pie fiasco of 2014) :-(

Mashed Potatoes – I boil the potatoes (Red, Rose, Purple) Then I mash them in the mixer with real butter from grass fed cows and organic whipping cream to give them just enough moisture to mash nicely while still holding peaks.  (I don’t use a recipe-just slowly add the moisture until its the way I like it.)

Whole Wheat Rolls

Whole Wheat Rolls – I make these in half batches for just our immediate family and my hubby swears I’ve stolen them from Outback Steakhouse.  ;-)

Yes, I do all of this on Thanksgiving day.  The good news is that I burn a LOT of calories rushing around the kitchen for the event and I LOVE this day.  Worried about what could go wrong???  Check out my Christmas blog from last year.

Its really NOT about the food, its about the memories!  Enjoy your day tomorrow… And here’s the link on how to keep that 18 pound turkey from going straight to your hips, or this tid bit.

Have some leftovers?  Here’s some tips for that as well.

Taste of Bonita edit

6 Tips to Survive Florida Festival Season – Eating Healthy at Taste of Bonita

It’s officially Festival Season in SW Florida.  Our Rotary club had our annual Taste of Bonita last weekend.  A full weekend of food, fun and music for all to enjoy.  I was there for nearly the entire event as I was “working” the event for our club.

The “problem” with an event of this type is that there is food to eat ALL weekend. The entire weekend is built around “eating” BUT, you can still make healthy choices and not sabotage all the good you’ve done all week.

When you are on your feet all weekend, that counts as exercise. :-)  Here’s how I kept a healthy focus while surrounded by all the amazing attractions.

Saturday was the BBQ & Chili cook-off. I opted for a couple of chili options.  I asked the vendors how may veggies were in their chilis and how they were made.  I ate one beef chili, loaded with onions, peppers and tomatoes.  It was tasty, but my winner, and the people’s choice was Ted’s Montana Grill’s Bison Chili~!   WOW!  Great flavor, lots of veggies, AND… the meat was ground, grass fed bison – high in good omegas. (Beef that is good for your heart.)

Saturday night, I wasn’t as healthy, had to have a cheeseburger in paradise for the Caribbean Chiller’s concert. But the water and protein smoothee helped offset that.  I also threw away half the bun. (every small step counts)

Sunday, The BIG day. 25 local restaurants offering their wares.  I ate a Prime Rib slider from Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub/The Stage as my splurge, then opted for a fresh veggie salad (seen above) from the local farmer’s market stand and a fruit smoothee (sans agave) from Edible Arrangements. Veggies and fiber helped to fill me up.  I spent a lot of the day drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.

Here are your tips!

  • Eat a high protein breakfast before you head out. When you don’t sabotage yourself with an empty belly beforehand, its easier to make smart choices later.
  • Look at your options. Is there an option that would be just as tasty, or more, than the other options and provide more nutrition for your caloric intake?
  • Drink a LOT of water. This helps keep you filled up so you aren’t thinking you are hungry, AND keeps you hydrated on days that could be very warm in SW FL.
  • Check the menu before you head out.  Many events, like the Taste of Bonita, offer a menu of what is being served by most of the venues.  Scout out the menu for the healthy options.  I did this before hand, so I knew I wanted a whole fruit smoothee and the delicious and colorful salad and where to find them.
  • Dance! Many of these events have live entertainment, boogie down and burn a couple of extra calories.
  • Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you splurge.  Dance a bit more, enjoy yourself, and remember that next time you can choose to make a healthier choice. Have FUN!

Taste of Bonita1 edit

Performance

Kidney Stones? – New research shows surprising healthy solution

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

When you are the leader in the natural food supplement industry, people sometimes test your

products without you even knowing about it.

That was exactly what happen with a recent study comparing the effects of Shaklee’s Performance and Gatorade on the risk of kidney stone formation.

This was the ultimate independent study.

Shaklee didn’t initiate it. They didn’t support it. And, in fact, they didn’t even know about it until it

was published a couple of weeks after it was published (J.W. Goodman et al, Urol. Res., 37: 41-46, 2009).

Before I get into the results of the study, perhaps I should start with an explanation of why you

would even want to do that kind of study.

Let’s start with the problem – kidney stones. They are extremely painful, and they can damage the kidney – particularly if they form over and over again.

To a urologist the solution is simple – just drink two liters of water a day.

The problem is that you have to really, really, really like water to drink two liters a day, and most

people just aren’t that into water.

In fact, previous studies had shown that even when patients had a previous kidney stone and were told by their urologist to drink two liters of water a day, the beverage result was an increase of only 0.3 liters a day of water.

So this group of urologists asked what people were drinking instead of water.

The latest trends show that soft drink consumption is decreasing and consumption of sports drinks and energy drinks is increasing. And, there was absolutely no information on whether sports drinks increased or decreased the risk of kidney stone formation.

So they decided to look at two well-known sports drinks, Shaklee’s Performance and Gatorade, to see whether they would increase or decrease the risk of kidney stone formation compared to the consumption of an equivalent amount of water.

They looked at the effect of each sports drink on the amount of citrate in the urine and by how much they increased the pH of the urine because each of these decreases the risk of kidney stone formation.

They also looked at the effect of each sports drink on the amount of sodium and calcium in the urine because each of those increases the risk of kidney stone formation. Performance significantly increased the amount of citrate and the pH of the urine, while Gatorade had no effect on either of them.

Neither Performance or Gatorade had an significant effect on sodium or calcium levels in the urine.  Thus, they concluded that Shaklee’s Performance was superior to either Gatorade or water alone at decreasing the risk of kidney stone formation.

Now you might be tempted to say that this study was of more interest to urologists than the general public, but my guess is that if you have ever suffered through a kidney stone this study is of great interest to you.

But to me the more important conclusion is that, once again, independent clinical studies show the superiority of Shaklee products.

About The Author : Dr. Chaney has a BS in Chemistry from Duke University and a PhD in Biochemistry from UCLA. He currently holds the rank of Professor at a major university where runs an active cancer research program and has published over 100 scientific articles and reviews in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

*For more information on health and wellness as well as our full line of Sports Nutrition products including Performance, contact me at Tess@HealthyGreaseMonkey.com

My Confession – and commitment!

Join me… Stretch and get up and move!!!

50 squats done!!! (A magical exercise that can be done anywhere!)

Hip stretches done!!!

How to find time to workout.

Everyday movement DOES count!

6 tips to make time for health.

Even a brisk walk counts!