Travel to Feed Your Soul

When you hear the word travel, what do you think of? Do you think of all-out extravagent vacations with beaches, tourist guides and resorts? Or do you think of nature, relaxing and trying new things? Or does travel make you want to pull your hair out and scream at the top of your lungs? Whatever visual comes to mind, traveling is important. It is important for our souls, for our wellness.

My idea of traveling. Nature, seeing animals in the wild, especially orcas, and trying new/seeing things.

It doesn’t matter what your definition of travel is. You could travel an hour away, just to get away from the daily grind and this is considered travel. I’m from a tourist town where people come to spend time in a cabin and be around nature. I could book a cabin in my own town and consider it traveling. It’s anything that gets you away from the daily to-dos and let’s you relax and enjoy the things that you enjoy.

My Idea of Travel that Feeds My Soul

My idea of travel may be different than yours and that’s okay! Enjoy whatever you enjoy 🙂 Do what makes you happy, what makes you smile, what makes you present. In order for travel to feed my soul and up my wellness game there has to be some nature involved. Whether it is taking a tour in the wild, walking among the trees or walking down the beach or a riverwalk. Nature is my passion and it puts me in my happy place. I also enjoy experiencing new things and trying new foods. I’m not a huge fan of flying but I’ll do it to get me to a place that will feed my soul.

Duke University Chapel

The Place That Feeds My Soul Now

My current travel experience, where I am writing this post now, is North Carolina. Coming down here has been on my bucket list for a while now. I am a Duke basketball fan and the moment arised where I finally got a chance to go to a game.

My travel partner in her happy place

We got here late, around 11 pm, Thursday night and all I wanted to do was get to the room, take a shower and hit the sack. But we were greeted with such kindness. The front desk lady was so kind. She was personable, she asked how our drive was and she even asked us what floor we preferred. What floor did I prefer?! I have never been asked that before so I didn’t know how to answer. You usually just get checked in without much talking, they give you a room number and tell you how to get there. Done. Not this time. This experience was a great way to end my day. This southern hospitality is real. I have not known how to answer some questions because I was in shock that I was even asked.

Cameron Indoor Stadium

Usually at a restaurant, they don’t let you try the wine to make sure you like it. You either like it or you don’t but still have to pay for it. I ordered a presecco at Outback last night and the waitress thought it looked flat. She asked me to try it first because if it was flat she was going to let me have another drink without paying for the glass she already poured. I took a sip and it was still bubbly so I told her it was fine. She proceeded to ask if I was sure because I was paying for it and she didn’t want me not to like it. Again, southern hosipitality. I would have never been asked that where I’m from.

Up close at the Chapel. Look at those beautiful trees!

The hotel staff here is incredibly kind. We have needed multiple bottles of water and we have gotten most of them for free, although they are supposed to charge you. They just say this one’s on us. What?!My friend’s daughter wanted some mac n’ cheese and they went up to pay for it and once again, “This one’s on us.”

Everywhere you go here, even walking on the sidewalk, people are saying hello. Most of the time, it’s look down and don’t look at the person coming towards you.

Me and my travel partner taking that popular selfie. Can’t travel without one of those 🙂

Kindess Feeds My Soul

There has been more kindness actions that have happened during this trip. I could go on and on. This southern kindness has fed my soul. I didn’t realize how much I needed that kindness until I got here. It was a breath of fresh air to see that there are people who are still kind and not trying to take advantage of others. That’s the environment that some of us, maybe more than some, have to live in. It is kind of upsetting that I don’t know how to respond to kindness and people who go out of their way to help you and make you smile. This was just the place I needed to come this weekend. It rejuvenated my mindset and rejuvenated my soul.

Feed Your Soul With a Bucket List

Our seats, in line with the hoop.

If you don’t have a bucket list written or typed somewhere, I recommend you do it. It could be a handwritten list, a typed list on your computer or phone or in the form of a vision board. It’s been researched that if you write something done or have a visual you are more likely to accomplish it. Make that list, make a vision board. There is so much to see out there, so much to do. Travel to improve your mental wellness and take a break from your daily life. It keeps your mind wandering and healthy.

Duke University

We were so close!

Going to a Duke basketball game was something on my bucket list and I finally had a great chance to go with some great people. My friend’s wife had a connection so she gave it a shot. That connection got us some tickets. On Friday, we went to go pick up our tickets at will call. We were expecting seats at the top, which didn’t matter. There is no bad seats in Cameron and we were just so happy to be there because it is not easy getting tickets to a game. The stadium only seats 9,000 so it’s a smaller stadium than most.

Our friend comes back with the tickets and we take a look at where we were going to be sitting. Section 19. Where in the world was that? We went to look at the stadium map and we got an incredible surprise. We were 6 rows behind Duke’s bench. We couldn’t believe it. We were not expecting that at all. We were all so excited to have this opportunity.

We get to the game and find our seats, although we were packed in there like sardines, everyone was so friendly. It had a community feel. We were sitting by Vernon Carey’s family, Joey Baker’s family and Alex O’Connell’s family. We got really close to David Robinson, too. Wow, he’s tall! It was unreal. I can see why others say it is hard to play in Cameron, it is loud and the fans are intimidating. I can only imagine what it sounds like during a Duke-UNC game. We enjoyed the game and the atmosphere the rest of the night. It was wonderful and a good way to practice being present, in the moment.

Grateful smiles during a great opportunity

FEED YOUR SOUL

Humans are meant to travel. We are meant for connection. We are meant for wellness. Travel when you can. Try new things when you can. Everyone is deserving of special moments. Everyone is deserving of kindness. Get out in the world, no matter what your definition of travel may be. Do you and have some fun! It’s good for the mind and the soul. Feed your soul with travel and watch your wellness improve.

Stay happy and healthy everyone! And remember to always love yourself because everyone is DESERVING and everyone is WORTH IT! Enjoy the world 🙂

Ashley

Photo credit by Brandon Allen
IG Handle @branndonallen

The Startling Benefits of Magnesium

Your body relies heavily on the benefits of magnesium. It helps with a range of functions throughout your body, making it essential for your health. Chances are you are deficient in magnesium and your body is begging you to get some in your diet. Processed food has been on the rise for some time now and with the use of so many chemicals now, minerals in our soil have decreased. This equation between the two, results in human deficiences. We are not getting the appropriate vitamins and minerals in our diets to perform with gusto everyday. Don’t be like Clarke from The 100 waiting and searching for ways to supplement your body.

I’m not saying stop eating processed foods. It is very difficult to avoid with all the options out there. But I am saying if you are not homecooking meals every single day with the highest quality ingredients, ones that aren’t sprayed or have any fillers in them, you need to start supplementing. Give that wonderful body what it needs to thrive whether you are a man, woman, nonbinary, gay, transgender and be YOU, authentically YOU.

Many companies are taking a stand to help people get the clean and natural supplements they need. Magnesium is one of the most affordable and most abundant supplements you can get to help you enjoy life. This post will help with magnesium deficiency awareness and the different ways you can get magnesium into your diet.

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Signs of Possible Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency can be tricky to notice because the signs look like other conditions. Doctors have a hard time seeing it as well due to the similar symptoms. The only way to know if your levels are low is taking a blood test. The tricky part about this is the doctor has to order a blood test. You can’t just go get a blood test whenever you want, which I think is unfortunate. I wish I could do a blood test at least 2 times a year so I know how to supplement my body the best. But instead I have to experiment and observe the way different supplements make me feel. It would be much easier if I could just get a blood test. But doctors have to order it for you and they only order it if they have to. That being said, when low levels are hard to detect doctors will more than likely point to other conditions instead. This results in your body not getting something it really needs and sometimes putting harmful medications in your bloodstream that you didn’t really need.

Common signs of low magnesium levels are:

  • fatigue
  • aches and pains
  • mood disorders
  • muscle cramps
  • irregular sleep patterns
  • anxiety
  • migraines
Which one are you?

There are so many hilarous GIFs on tired, you should really look them up. But seriously, if you have any of these symptoms don’t ignore them. Try getting magnesium in your system. Magnesium is cheap and there’s a lot of it to go around. Why not give it a try? If you reap the benefits and those signs above go away, awesome. If your signs do not subside, you will not have much money in it.

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Different Ways to Get Magnesium

Fortunately for us all, there are many ways to get magnesium levels up. There are many different forms of magnesium that help with different functions in the body. You may have to experiment with different forms at home to see which one works for you. When you experiment, make sure to start slow and build up. DO NOT take the full dose at first. As Dave Asprey would say, you may get “disaster pants.” No one wants that. You, your family, your co-workers, whoever you are around.

Forms of Magnesium and What They Are Good For:

  • Malate- energy and sore muscles
  • Threonate- memory and brain
  • Oxide- constipation
  • Citrate- relaxation, mental, cramping
  • Chloride- absorption
  • Sulfate- muscles and detox
  • Glycinate- sleep

You can be as relaxed as my dog, Jasper above when you get your magnesium levels ups.

Some foods high in magnesium:

  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate… yummy!
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Salmon
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My Magnesium Intake

I get magnesium in three different ways. A powder I mix into my water, a lotion and epsom salts. I benefit highly from each one. The very first supplement I purchased before getting into health and wellness research is Natural Vitality Calm: The Anti-Stress Drink. I have a glass of water almost every night, there are nights I forget, that have this powder in it. I drink it slowly as I’m doing my nightly routine. This powder has magnesium citrate to help decrease stress and promote sleep. Citrate is one of the easiest forms of magnesium to absorb but still start slowly. Build yourself up with time. I noticed the benefits of this powder the next morning. I slept better and felt more awake the next morning. I’ve noticed my stress decrease as well but over time. It didn’t happen instantly for me. But my mind doesn’t race anymore at night so I’m able to peacefully fall asleep. Now, the taste of this powder is something you have to get used to. I didn’t like it at first but now I don’t even notice it. If you can’t get passed the taste, try the raspberry lemon flavor which is much better and easier to drink if you have a hard time getting acclimated to taste. There are also single packets for easy travel.

https://amzn.to/32uTS79

I use a magnesium lotion on my legs and feet. Magnesium lotions have magnesium chloride for better absorption. Magnesium is absorbed quickly through the skin. For me, it fills the gaps of whatever I’m not getting from my food or supplement. I have a really tight IT band and have had some issues with my sciatic nerve. Because of this my right leg can get really tight, especially down the entire side. When I put this lotion on, my leg instantly feels relaxed and the dull ache I feel is gone. One thing to point out… DO NOT put this on after you shave. EVER! Based on personal experience, it’s very painful. A burning sensation. I had to get back in the shower just to wash the lotion off! Magnesium is made of salt and shaving causes your pores to open. It’s just like getting salt in a wound. Just don’t do it.

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The last thing I do to get magnesium in my body is epsom salts. Epsom salts have magnesium sulfate in it which promotes relaxed muscles and detoxification. I take a nice, relaxing bath once a week with espom salts and bath oils. I use Dr. Teals Eucalyptus and Spearmint for relaxation and detoxification. Shea Moisture Bath Oils to moisturize my skin.

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All three of these products last a very long time. My powder lasts about 4 months, my lotion lasts about 5 months and I’m still on my first bag of Dr. Teals and it’s been 2 months. This is being shared between 2 people as well. Magnesium is cheap, abundant and it lasts a long time.

On A Side Note, Let’s Talk About Body Love

The way you look at your body and talk about your body makes a huge difference in the way you live your day-to-day life. When you think about your body or look at yourself in the mirror are you being judgemental or harsh? Are you listening to media about what the standard of beauty is? Are you comparing yourself to others? Are you upset with the changes your body undergoes as you get older? If you answered yes to any of these questions here are some helpful exercises to help you think about your body positively.

  1. Think about what you love about your body, not what you would change. This helps you look at your body in a more powerful and positive way,
  2. Workout to feel good, not to burn calories or see a number go down on the scale.
  3. Practice body gratitude. Your body goes through a lot and works hard for you every day. What are your grateful for about your body?
  4. Stop counting calories, yes I said it, and eat real foods that nourish your body, not harm them. You’ll notice how you feel on the inside and it will show on the outside.
  5. Remove media that makes you feel bad. Magazines, maybe people you follow on Instagram, anything that triggers a negative response. Get rid of it and fill your social media with positive.
  6. Make time for yourself, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. It’s important and every minute matters.

There are a diversity of bodies out there. Black, white, men, women, nonbinary, transgender but what we all have in common is an amazing body. Embrace those extra Thanksgiving pounds. Embrace those stretch marks, mothers. You just brought life into the world, amazing! Embrace those varicose veins. Embrace your not so perfect face. Embrace the scars. Embrace the body you have and everything about it. It’s beautiful and absolutely stunning!

Stay happy and healthy everyone! And remember to always love yourself because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

*As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. My blog may contain affiliate links that help support my blog and give you easy shopping access to all wellness products.

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PS remember to follow me on Facebook or Instagram

@wellnesswithashleynicole, @asquared1423

What ideas do you have to help with body love? What things are you grateful for about your body? What have you done to think more positively about your body? Comment below to help each other be more positive about our bodies! Let’s work together and feel empowered!

Photo credit to Brandon Allen
@branndonallen

5 Holiday Gifts to Upgrade Your Life

I don’t know about everyone else but I am getting a ton of emails from stores and business’ I buy from about early access Black Friday shopping. You can upgrade your life with a fraction of the costs with all the deals out there this year. I know I could upgrade my life even more with all the sales going on. With all these emails, I do wonder what actual Black Friday deals will be. I mean, there are some great sales going on RIGHT NOW.

Anyways… this is part two of your holiday gift guide. In part one, I listed five other products or devices that you can buy for you or someone else. I mentioned:

  1. Acupressure mat
  2. Affirmation cards and journal
  3. Astaxanthin supplements
  4. Chemical-free contact solution
  5. B-12 supplements

* This post contains affiliate links that I may make a small commission on. It helps support and run this blog. Thanks for your support!

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Here’s the link to that post if you would like to check it out! https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/11/16/self-care-holiday-gifts/

Upgrade Your Life With Less Holiday Stress

Now, if you are anything like me, you get really stressed out during the holidays if you are not prepared. I literally have a schedule and I start in AUGUST! I have a list of people I like to give to plus my Christmas here at home and with my dogs. Are you wondering whether my dogs get presents??? Absolutely, they get many! If you have never watched a dog open a present, you should. It is absolutely adorable!

Don’t be stressed this holiday season!

Don’t be the stressed out holiday shopper! Be the one thinking about all the cute puppies opening presents while you shop because you have a plan and have been looking at different bloggers posts to get some great ideas!

Upgrade Your Life With Beef Liver: Gift #1, $38 For 120 Capsules

There are many benefits to taking a beef liver supplement. First, most of us out there are probably not eating beef liver on a regular basis, if at all. A high-quality beef liver supplement has no taste at all, thank goodness. You don’t have to eat beef liver to get those benefits anymore because I’ll just say it… YUCK! Beef liver is known to increase your energy levels by helping your body metabolize collagen and protein. It helps the body convert the collagen and protein you are getting from your foods or other supplements into energy. Beef liver is packed with essential vitamin A and B12 to help support healthy hair, skin and nails. Vitamin A is important because it helps many of the organs in your body function properly including digestion.

This product can help upgrade your life or someone else’s on your list! It’s good for family or friends who need an extra pep in their step. This all-natural supplement made from grass-fed cows supports and enhances your energy levels.

https://amzn.to/2rjV3JI

It’s good for family and friends who don’t like to eat beef liver, which I’m sure many of them don’t. And it upgrades your skin, hair and nail health using vitamin A and B-12. For family and friends who are looking for these benefits, beef liver is a great addition into their lives and a great stocking stuffer!

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For more information about beef liver supplements, check out my post Did You Say Beef Liver? at https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/10/12/did-you-say-beef-liver/

Upgrade Your Life With Bone Broth: Gift #2, $34 for a 4/pk

When you hear the word broth, you probably think of soup right? A nice hot soup on a chilly fall day or a nice hot soup on a freezing winter evening. Chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth. It’s all very delicious. Broth is like hot chocolate, it warms you up on the inside and outside. It makes you think of cuddling up on the couch with a hot mug on a cold day to watch a movie. Enter bone broth… a broth you can sip in one of those hot mugs on a chilly day and watch a movie with. Oh, and the wellness benefits are astounding! Benefits include reduced inflammation, increased collagen production for better skin health and it can help heal your gut.

This is a great gift for those who want to upgrade their life in a simple way! This is just like drinking a cup of water but more satisfying. Upgrade your life or someone else’s with bone broth.

This upgraded gift is good for many different reasons. It’s good for family and friends who have problem skin, need extra collagen support and for those who want to heal their gut and decrease inflammation inside their body.

https://amzn.to/2OQU4ZR

It is also good for those what have joint pain and need some relaxing relief and for those who love something hot and delicious to drink on a cold winter day but are not wanting hot chocolate! It is also paleo and keto friendly 🙂

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For more information on bone broth, check out my post The Ultimate Wellness Gift: Bone Broth at https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/10/19/the-ultimate-wellness-gift-bone-broth/

Upgrade Your Bathroom With Chemical-Free Shampoo and Conditioner: Gift #3, $19 for a Set

The chemicals in many popular shampoos are sulfates, perservatives, artifical fragrances and petroleum products. Sulfates such as sodium lauryl are used as a foaming agent. Some sulfates can be contaminated with carcinagens. Perservatives such as parabens. Parabens have been closely researched and are linked to breast cancer and hormone disruption. Artifical fragrances. In other words, fake. These can cause skin irritations such as rashes and dandruff. There are better, more natural ingredients you can put in shampoo that makes it smell nice. Petroleum products. This is a non-renewable source making it not environmentally friendly.

Give others the gift of upgrading their lives AND upgrading their bathroom routines with chemical-free items! This set is good for family and friends who want chemicals out of their house, those who are trying to make the switch to a cleaner lifestyle, those who want to feel clean without the harshness and those who want eco-friendly products in their homes.

https://amzn.to/2OeU72k

For more information about shampoo and conditioners, check out my two posts Get Acquainted With Non-Toxic, All-Natural Shampoo and Chemical-Free Conditioners at https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/10/26/get-acquainted-with-non-toxic-all-natural-shampoo/ and https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/10/30/chemical-free-conditioners/

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Upgrade Your Life with a Leg Massager: Gift #4, $50

In today’s world, we work long hours and after work, our personal lives are hectic. We go to work, take the kids to their after school activities, try to make time to spend with others, get home late, try to keep up with house cleaning. There are just not enough hours in the day. Humans are constantly on the move. Enter the air compression leg massager.

A leg massager is another device you can add to your daily routine to upgrade your life or a family members. The leg massager is good for family and friends who need better circulation throughout their body especially their legs, those who are on their feet all day, those who are stressed most of the time and those who have varicose veins or suffer from leg cramps.

https://amzn.to/2KQNuBk

For more information on the air compression leg massager devices, check out my post The Revolutionary Leg Massager at https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/11/02/the-revolutionary-leg-massager/

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Upgrade Your Life With Magnesium: Gift #5, Ranges from $16-$24

Our body relies heavily on the benefits of magnesium. It helps with a range of functions throughout our body, making it essential for our health. Chances are you or a friend are deficient in magnesium and your body is begging for some. Processed food has been on the rise for some time now and with the use of so many chemicals, minerals in our soil have decreased. This equation between the two, results in human deficiences. We are not getting the appropriate vitamins and minerals in our diets to perform with gusto everyday.

https://amzn.to/2KOIQnh

Upgrade your life or your friends’ lives by putting some magnesium supplements in their stockings. There are plenty of ways to get magnesium because it is one of the most abundant minerals that mother nature gives us. There is lotion, a drinking powder and epsom salts.

https://amzn.to/2s77g4N

This gift is wonderful for family and friends who suffer from migraines, irregular sleep patterns and who feel fatigued most of the time. It is also good for those who struggle with moodiness and they are not sure why, those who have aches and muscles cramps.

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For more information about magnesium, check out my post The Startling Benefits of Magnesium at https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/11/09/the-startling-benefits-of-magnesium/

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Treat yo’self and yo’ family and friends to some wonderful gifts that will upgrade everyone’s lives this holiday season! Show someone how much you care about them by giving them the important gift of wellness and the beauty of self-care 🙂

 Stay happy and healthy everyone! And always remember to love yourself because you are WORTH IT!

Ashley

Photo credit by Brandon Allen
IG Handle: @branndonallen

5 Self Care Holiday Gifts For the Season

The holiday season is upon us and Black Friday is almost here. It’s coming at you like the crooked man from Raising Dion. Cue the pressure and the stress. The next few post will be on self care holiday gifts to give your friends, family or that special someone who you want to be at their best. To pamper you, right? Just kidding. In all seriousness, self care holiday gifts are perfect for giving. You are not only giving someone a gift, you are giving someone the gift of wellness. Is there any better gift to give someone that you really care about? “Hey friend, I bought you this gift because I care about you and I want you to be mindful and present.” How perfect is that?!

Crooked man from Raising Dion PS- if you haven’t watched his show yet…. DO IT!
Cool Dog Smile GIF by Outside TV - Find & Share on GIPHY

Self care is so important in our busy lives. It keeps us well, it keeps us energized and it keeps us happy. It only takes 10-15 minutes a day and there are many ways to do it so it can be tailored to you, your lifestyle and what you need. If this self care holiday gift guide is for the reader and not for giving to someone, no judgments here! I’ll cheer you on instead. Go you! You took a step towards wellness. If it’s not for you and for someone else, I’ll cheer you on just as much. Go you! You are helping someone take steps toward wellness! Woohoo 🙂 Below are 5 self care holiday gifts that you can give to yourself, your family, your friends or that special someone this holiday season.

As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. My blog may contain affiliate links that help support my blog and give you easy shopping access to all wellness products.

Self Care Holiday Gift #1- The Acupressure Mat, $30

Acupressure and acupuncture have been around for a while now. It was introduced in Chinese medicine about 5,000 years ago. But there is a difference between the two. Acupuncture is invasive, where a professional sticks needles in your skin in certain points on your body. Acupressure is non-invasive and you can get the same benefits from the privacy of your own home.

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This self care holiday gift is good for family and friends who need an all-natural alternative to consistent aches and pains, who have trouble sleeping and would like something to help improve it and those who are tense because of stress and need a way to relax. It’s also great for your family or friend who is a DIYer and likes to take care of their own health and wellness in the comforts of their own home.

https://amzn.to/2QqAi9U

Go check out my post about the acupressure mat for more information on this natural tool. https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/09/07/a-simple-guide-to-the-acupressure-mat/

Self Care Holiday Gift #2- Affirmation Cards and Journal, $28

One incredible benefit of using affirmations is you become more aware of your daily thoughts. Do you, a family member or friend need more of positivity? Affirmations are small little sayings that take a couple minutes each morning or in your head throughout the day when you feel you need them. You will notice your thoughts starting to change. It took a little over a month for me to notice a change. But the great thing about affirmations… they go where you go. A daily habit of affirmations WILL reduce negative thoughts.

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This self care holiday gift is good for family, friends and of course YOU who are struggling with feeling like they are not ___________ enough. I put a blank there because it is specific to everyone. For example, sometimes I don’t feel good enough or appreciated enough. This may differ from person to person but affirmations can help with these feelings or help you to notice those negative feelings creep up.

https://amzn.to/32TuDvi

This self care holiday gift is also good for family and friends who need a boost of positive in their life, need reminders that small success is just as amazing as big success and for those who want to be surrounded by positive thoughts and people. A positive vibe draws positive people and positive attention.

https://amzn.to/2QnqTzF

The cards and the journal bundle well together to help bring a positive wellness routine that doesn’t take very long into someone’s life.

Go check out my post about affirmation cards for more information about this DIY self guidance tool. https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/09/14/a-simple-guide-to-affirmations/

Self Care Holiday Gift #3- Astaxanthin, $19

 Astaxanthin comes from algae and it’s actually what gives salmon its color. Although the name is complicating, the benefits, however, are not. Supplementing your body with Astaxanthin can help your skin, eyes, brain, and cell energy.

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This self care holiday gift is good for family and friends who have poor eyesight or poor eye health, for those who want to protect their brain from aging and for those who are looking for a clean supplement to help improve their overall wellness. It’s also a great stocking stuffer!

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Go check out my post on astaxanthin to learn more information about this wellness supplement. https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/09/21/a-simple-guide-to-astaxanthin/

Self Care Holiday Gift #4- Contact Solution, $15 for 2 bottles

The chemicals in most big name brand products have the ability to cause cancer, reproductive issues, or allergic reactions over time. Some products could cause more than one issue. Those issues caused enough alarm for me to start making the switch. I know there are many other things that can cause these issues but I didn’t want the products I was using on myself to be the cause of them. I felt that was almost self damaging because I was putting that product on myself. Buying clean products was something I could control and I knew it was better for the environment. Now, I know contact solution is a strange gift but it is where I started in the process of cleaning out the chemicals. It set the tone and it was a great starting point.

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This self care holiday gift is good for family and friends who wear contacts everyday, who want to make the switch to chemical-free products and wipe out the giant chemical monster that is in their bathroom and for those who are conscious about taking care of the environment. A bonus is it could be a great stocking stuffer!

https://amzn.to/33VoeBh

Go check out my post on chemical-free contact solution to learn more information about the harmful chemicals in your contact solution and why you should switch to something cleaner. https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/10/02/clean-product-alert/

Self Care Holiday Gift #5- B12, $10

B12 is known for helping our bodies produce energy and although this is true, there are a few other benefits from taking B12. B12 is also beneficial for your brain and your immune system. It helps keep your brain healthy and it helps improve your immune functions. It can protect you from dementia when you get older, it helps regenerate cells in your body and it boost your immune functions. In other words, it helps keep your memory sharp for longer, it helps your cells regrow and it boosts your overall health by strengthen your immune functions that ward off infections.

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Another great stocking stuffer! This self care holiday gift is good for family and friends who want to keep their memory sharp for longer, those who want to strengthen their immune system to ward off infections (great gifts for teachers, healthcare professionals and daycare workers) and those who want to have a boost of energy in a more natural way.

https://amzn.to/2NTfdmH

Go check out my post on B12 to learn more information about the benefits of B12. https://wellnesswithash.com/2019/10/05/use-b12-to-strengthen-vitality-of-life/

Treat yo’self and yo’ family and friends to some wonderful self care gifts this holiday season! Show someone how much you care about them by giving them the important gift of wellness and the beauty of self-care 🙂 Stay happy and healthy everyone! And always remember to love yourself because you are WORTH IT!

Ashley

Photo credit to an amazing talent, Brandon Allen
Check him out on Instagram @branndonallen

The Revolutionary Leg Massager

As a teacher, I’m on my feet all day especially at the elementary level. We are taught to get down at a child’s eye level because it helps the child feel more at ease and opens them up to better communication. This being said, I am up and down all day. I couldn’t tell you how many squats I do in one day or the exercise where you have one knee on the floor and have to go to standing by just using your legs. I have no idea what that exercise is called. Kneel to Stand exercise? Maybe I should figure out what that actually is! Anyways, my point is I put a lot of pressure and stress on my legs everyday. I’ve put a lot of pressure on my legs period from being an athlete all through college and still continuing to play in coed leagues while being at a demanding job.

Being an athlete put a lot of stress on my legs. Watch this short clip and think about all the things the players legs are doing.

Back to being a teacher, my legs are tired at the end of the day. I go to work, teaching my little buddies and then I come home and exercise adding to the stress I put on my legs. I’m standing, I’m sitting, I’m squatting, I’m walking, I’m telling Jimmy to stop poking Sam 30 times (not real names of my students). But seriously, the stress on my legs is indescribable. I could do a whole post about the stress I put on my legs daily.

High School Oh No You Didnt GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Think about what you do in a whole day. Put yourself in your leg’s shoes or the popular saying “Walk in someone else’s shoes.” Be mindful, really think about, what your legs are doing. What does that look like? How much do your legs help you in one day? How much stress are you putting on them? Once you really think about this, you’ll realize how much your legs help you out in one day. You really should be grateful for your awesome legs! Let’s chat about how we can help our legs as much as they help us with our daily, bustling lives.

https://amzn.to/2pCnBO1

Today’s Busy World

In today’s world, we work long hours and after work, our personal lives are hectic. We go to work, take the kids to their after school activities, try to make time to spend with others, get home late, try to keep up with house cleaning. There are just not enough hours in the day. Humans are constantly on the move. Like I wrote before, the stress we put on our legs and feet are extreme. At the end of the day, I wish I had my own personal massage therapists waiting for me at night to massage my legs but…. that’s not realistic in my world. I had to find a different way to alleviate the stress I put on my legs. Enter the air compression leg massager.

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What It Does

An air compression leg massager has many benefits and will help alleviate the stress you put on your legs everyday. The massagers main purpose is to help with blood circulation throughout the body. Better blood circulation can result in pain relief and the releasing of endorphins resulting in stress relief. The massager can also help with varicose veins and leg cramps. I know many people get leg cramps at night. The massager can help with the leg cramps along with magnesium supplements or lotion and eating a banana before bed.

Loop Leg GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Don’t be like this dog. Take care of your legs.

The device wraps around your lower legs, the calf area, and starts to compresses your muscles. It starts to inflate and deflate quickly, applying pressure. With enough pressure, it can cause waste to be flushed out from the cells in your legs. This allows fresh blood to enter your cells and nourishes them with better oxygen and more nutrients. The result of flushing out the waste allowing new blood to enter results in a natural pain reliever. The pressure of the compression releases endorphins acting as a stress reliever as well. This is a 2 for 1. Stress reliever and pain reliever equals a great combo. The best air compression leg devices are the ones that use different pressures rather than a consistent pressure throughout the session. The different pressures of the device are able to hit different air pockets along your calf resulting in more benefits.

https://amzn.to/2pCnBO1

Awesome Leg Massagers On the Market Now

Amzdeal air compression leg massager is a great device on the market today. It’s the one I use to relieve the pressure my legs endure day in and day out. Here’s why this device is at the top:

  1. No dependency on sockets for power. Each session is 15 minutes long and the battery last for 2 hours. You would only have to charge it about once a week. If you lose power, like I did for 24 hours just yesterday, you could still enjoy the benefits of this device without the power.
  2. It’s portable meaning it’s great for travel. Travel can put a lot of stress on your body whether you see it or not. You can bring this device along with you to help combat some of that stress.
  3. It’s quiet meaning you can use it when others are sleeping (just make sure you have the wrap adjusted to your leg because if you don’t, the adjustment of the velcro is pretty loud).
  4. There are 3 different pressure intensities instead of just one resulting in better benefits and better blood circulation.
  5. The pressure increases every 15 seconds, constant compression keeps the blood circulating.
  6. It shuts off after 15 minutes. If you fall asleep while doing it, you won’t have to worry about it still being on.
  7. The wraps are adjustable. If the pressure is too intense for you, loosen the wrap. I have had to do this multiple times especially if my leg is really hurting. Adjust it so the pressure is right for you.
https://amzn.to/2pCnBO1

I’ve also heard great things about the FIT KING Air Compression Leg Massager. It has many similarities to Amzdeal’s device including different pressure modes. The main differences are it is larger so not a good portable or traveling option and it wraps around your feet instead of just your lower legs. It’s about $25 more as well.

https://amzn.to/2NBOZ6O

I use my Amzdeal device at night when I’m in bed. I do my nightly routine. This includes PM journaling, positivity journaling and reading a good book. I can do all these things while relieving (literally, I can feel the difference when the session is over) the pressure on my legs. It’s not a time waster. You can use it at work while sitting at your desk, you can use it during movie time with your family, you can use it in a hotel room after a long conference meeting. 15 minutes to help legs that have been working for you for 15 hours and sometimes more. Give your legs some love, be grateful for what they do for you.

*This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog

Book Review

Expectation Hangover: Free Yourself from Your Past, Change Your Present and Get What You Really Want by Christine Hassler

Another great personal growth book I’ve read. We all have expectations. Expectations for ourselves and expectations for others. But what happens when something or someone does not meet those expectations? This is called an expectation hangover. We become disappointed which sometimes results in making bad decisions. This book will help you realize what expectation hangovers you have, what action steps you can take when things don’t work out the way you want and what steps you can take to make better decisions after an expectation hangover so you can continue pursuing your goals or dreams.

https://amzn.to/2C9KWcs

Stay happy and healthy everyone! And remember to ALWAYS love yourself because YOU ARE WORTH IT 🙂

Ashley

Photo credit by Brandon Allen @branndonallen

Chemical-Free Conditioners

Hey everyone! In my last post, I mentioned different shampoos that are clean and free of chemicals. This is a post that will go along with it but about chemical-free conditioners.

I mentioned in my last post about the chemicals in shampoo. If you haven’t checked it out it’s called Get Acquainted With Non-Toxic, All-Natural Shampoo.

Conditioners have all the same chemicals as shampoos with a few more to make your hair look shiny. This means your conditioners may have sulfates, parabens, fragrances and petroluem products as well as a couple more they add in there making it more chemicals in your product.

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Added Chemicals In Conditioners

On top of the sulfates, parabens, fragrances and petroluem products companies also add silicone and triclosan.

Silicone is used to make your hair “seem” smooth and silky. And it will…. at first. But overtime your hair will become dull from the build up of using a product with silicones in it. It will prevent moisture from getting into your hair causing it to look dry and frizzy. It’s like putting plastic in your hair. Some water bottles have a ring of silicone to prevent your bottle from leaking. Why do I need to put this in my hair? You don’t. Just stay away from them. There are plenty of other options.

Triclosan is another synthetic ingredient used to “prevent” or “reduce” bacteria. This ingredient is actually registered as a pesticide. It’s linked to an increase of breast cancer, can cause skin irritants and is toxic to aquatic life. This ingredient was originally made for hospital use only and was used in a lot of hand sanitizers but it made its way into many other products such as conditioner. It is actually linked to the rise of “superbugs.” The good news about this ingredient is that it has been banned but some companies are still getting away with putting it in their products. So just watch out for it. Look at your labels and be aware of the ingredients that you are putting on your body.

My Favorites

Burt’s Bees More Moisture with Baobob gets the job done and it smells really good. It’s free from all the chemicals found in shampoo and conditioner. It does the same thing as any other big brand name conditioners such as Suave or Pantene. It is also very affordable and it last a long time.

https://amzn.to/2WpR8qp

If you are looking for a splurge and the ultimate haircare product, one with organic ingredients, ethical and tops all the rest try Innersense. I use Innersense Color Radiance and I am really impressed. This has been my favorite by far. It smells refreshing and clean. It reminds you of a warm summer day outside. The smell is relaxing. They came up with a perfect name for their product because it makes me want to reflect and get ready for a good day. I literally think of being outside and being mindful when I put this product in my hair. It just gives off that vibe. It’s a white, slender bottle. Just a beautiful product and a beautiful company.

https://amzn.to/324ELRT

Other Chemical-Free Companies To Try

Shea Moisture has some great products that are clean and free of chemicals. Acure, which I mentioned in my last post about shampoo is a great clean brand. I haven’t tried Shea Moisture conditioner yet but it is in my bathroom closet waiting to be used after I run out of my amazing Innersense conditioner.

I encourage you to experiment with a conditioner that will work for you. Remember, I am not trying to convince you to buy what I use… I want to convince you to make a switch to a better product. Products that will not harm you over time. I also encourage you to read my last post Get Acquainted With Non-Toxic, All-Natural Shampoo if you haven’t already to learn about other chemicals found in your conditioner.

Stay happy and healthy everyone!And always remember to LOVE YOURSELF because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

Get Acquainted With Non-Toxic, All-Natural Shampoo

Everyone has different hair. Curly, wavy, straight, blonde, brunette, black, red, dry, thick, fine and maybe sometimes a tangled mess. Maybe some of us need volume, toning, moisturizing, clarifying. The list goes on. This means not everyone can use the same shampoo. Our reason for using shampoo is personal and based on what you need your shampoo to accomplish. This means a lot of experimentation is involved in finding the right shampoo for you. It can be a lot of work and without people discussing shampoo brands, you might lose your hair from frustration instead.

Scared Oh No GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

With all of us amazing humans having different hair, please know I am not trying to convince you to buy the different shampoos that I like to use. However, I am trying to convince you to make a switch. A safe, natural, non-toxic, beneficial to you and the environment kind of switch. Make the switch and feel good about what you are putting on your body.

Clean Bath GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Make the switch and be as happy as Dumbo

Why You Should Switch

Switching is hard, especially when you have stuck by the same brand for a long time. A phrase I have been hearing lately is the safe brands do not have as many options as the brand I use. This is simply not true. Safe brands have all the same kinds of shampoo. Ones for dry hair, normal hair, fine hair, tangled hair. Ones for volume, moisture and frizziness. I think this is a fear-based statement. People are scared to switch because what they have is working for them. Or fear of the unknown. The downside is it’s dangerous for them and it’s dangerous for the environment. This is where people like me who have already made the switch along with some other bloggers I have read about come in. We are here to help you make the switch and make an informed decision about what is best for you and your hair.

https://amzn.to/3657J7c

You may be thinking what is so terrible about these products… why should I go through the hassle of switching? Because CHEMICALS. You are putting chemicals on your body that can cause a number of health concerns; cancer, skin irritations, allergies, etc. Researchers are constantly saying you are as good as what you put inside your body but we need to be thinking about what we are putting ON our body, too.

Let’s get down to business. Foaming. We all love the foam that comes from our shampoo, soaps, face washes and many other products. It gives us a sense of clean. “This is super foamy, it must be really doing its job.” I was a victim of thinking this, too. In reality, all of those brilliant, clean feeling bubbles are chemicals. Companies put a mixture of chemicals in their products to produce these magnificent bubbles so we can think it is making us cleaner. Wrong, you are just putting a bunch of harmful chemicals on your body and wrecking havoc to your body along the way. On top of that, they put synthetic or fake fragrances in to make it smell good. Fragrances that do not come from the environment. They are mixed together with more chemicals or “nautral” ingredients. Wrong again. Think about it, most of us use shampoo once a day. That’s 365 times one year. Using these products overtime may cause harm to you and the beautiful environment that we should be protecting.

King Bach Bubbles GIF by The Streamy Awards - Find & Share on GIPHY
Look at all those chemicals!

The chemicals in many popular shampoos are sulfates, perservatives, artifical fragrances and petroleum products. Sulfates such as sodium lauryl are used as a foaming agent. Some sulfates can be contaminated with carcinagens. You should stop using shampoos with sulfates. You may be putting carcinagens on your body which can cause cancer. Perservatives such as parabens. Parabens have been closely researched and are linked to breast cancer and hormone disruption. No thanks. Ditch your shampoo with parabens in it. Artifical fragrances. In other words, fake. These can cause skin irritations such as rashes and dandruff. There are better, more natural ingredients you can put in shampoo that makes it smell nice. It’s called essential oils. Throw out your fake scents! Petroleum products. This is a non-renewable source making it not environmentally friendly. Get rid of them. Protect the environment.

Sunset Tree GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Do your job. Make the switch. Protect the beautiful nature. This beautiful fall landscape will not be around if we don’t start protecting it. Start by making the shampoo switch.

My Favorite non-Toxic, All Natural Shampoo

I have short hair, a pixie cut if you want to put a label on it. It is brown, wavy, frizzy and sometimes hard to tame. Now, we probably don’t have the same hair but these companies that I choose make different kinds of shampoos for different hair. These are also companies that I have done a lot of research on and trust them to make the clean products that I want to use on my hair.

https://amzn.to/2MOb8zx

Acure is a company that prides themselves on using vegan, high quality and all-natural ingredients. They are paraben free, sulfate free, mineral oil free, petrolatum free, formaldehyde free, and cruelty free. Their company is on a mission to to get people to make the switch to a better for you product while still being affordable and accesible. I have bought some of their products as gifts to others and have not heard a negative comment yet. I have used the mega moisture to replenish dry hair and I have also used the curiously clarifying to help with volume. They both do the job and they both smell great with little foaming action. I felt clean afterwards. It was a check in my book. Not to mention, it last a REALLY long time. I believe I was using it for 8 months. They have many different kinds of shampoo for all hair types. They come in 12 oz bottles and for a set they range between $15-$25 on Amazon.

https://amzn.to/2WhFRIH

Weleda is a company that sets a very high standard in the beauty industry. They are committed to using environmentally friendly practices to make their products and to using sustainable production processes to produce their products. They use a variety of fruits, flowers, minerals and essential oils that are meant to work with our body’s system. Their mission is to create natural products with exceptionally high standards of quality you can trust. I have used many of their products other than just their shampoo but I have really enjoyed their shampoo for normal hair and the one for dry, damaged hair as well. The scents of Weleda take a bit to get used to at first. It doesn’t smell like your normal shampoo but once you get used to it, you will relish in the joy of how good it feels. If you love the foam still, Weleda does have a little foaming action going on with it but in a safe, all-natural way. Weleda also has many different kinds for all types of hair. Weleda is a little more expensive then Acure but it is worth it. A 6.4 oz bottle is between $10-$15 on Amazon.

https://amzn.to/2om3PpB

Giovanni has some really great products, too. Not all of them are natural but their Eco Chic collection is sulfate, paraben and cruelty-free. Their Eco Chic collection is also the most affordable option. This company, I’ve noticed, has been working hard to change their product to make it better for people and the environment. I use the Eco Chic Tea Tree Triple Treat. It is an invigorating shampoo for people who are prone to dry scalp. This is me. I used to use Head & Shoulders and that nasty T-gel shampoo which smelled like straight-up chemicals. It was horrible. I remember using it as a child, only once a week and that smell still sticks with me. Giovanni’s smells really good and my scalp starts to tingle when I use it. I don’t use it everyday but it really is a treat when I use it. And it works. It releases my dry scalp and I feel refreshed. (Side note from last week’s post… bone broth is also supposed to help with dry scalp from the inside out, I have been noticing a difference since I started Kettle & Fire 8 days ago.) A 3-pack of 8.5 oz bottles of this shampoo is going for $23 on Amazon. That is an extremely good deal for a natural shampoo.

https://amzn.to/32PDmQd

Shampoos to Avoid

Head & Shoulders- it has artificial fragrance and sulfates in it. If you suffer from dry scalp like me, try Giovanni Eco Chic Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo. It can also get the job done in a safer way.

https://amzn.to/32QX79Q

Pantene- it also has artifical fragrances and sulfates in it. Also, when I used to use Pantene when I was younger, it made my dry scalp even worse so I had to stop using it.

*This post may contain affiliate links that help me support and run this blog.

Suave- this company uses artificial fragrances, sulfates and DMDM hydantoin which is a formaldehyde releasing agent. Mold!!

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This list could go on and on. There are many other companies who use these chemicals. You just have to do your research or check out the different bloggers who have already done the research for you.

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Shampoos I Want To Try

Intelligent Nutrients is a company that has many of the same values I have. They are committed to saving the earth and the people by using plants in their products rather than petroluem. Their practices and what they are setting out to do is inspiring. They have a shampoo called Harmonic for normal hair that I would like to try. Their product is expensive which is a reason I have not been able to try it quite yet. It goes for $35 a bottle. But when I do decide to try this product I bet it will be totally worth the splurge.

https://amzn.to/2WevFjU

Another product I want to try is HiBar. This is a plastic-free company and they are sulfate, paraben and cruelty-free, too. This company is big on keeping plastics out of the ocean and ways we can use less plastic. This is a topic I’m very passionate about. They are making a salon-quality, all-natural product without the plastic. Using less plastic in my house is a win for me so I want to support this company by trying their products. A shampoo/conditioner set is $26.50 and they say their bar lasts at least as long as a 16 oz bottle of shampoo with the conditioner lasting even longer.

In Conclusion

To my readers or whoever else gets their eyes on this post, PLEASE make the switch. I don’t care if you buy the products on my page, someone else’s or if you do your own research. What I DO care about is YOU. Make a switch that will be less harmful and more beneficial for you and the environment around you. And as always, Stay healthy and happy everyone! And remember to love yourself every day because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

What’s your favorite all-natural shampoo? Comment below so others can learn about the products you are using. Spreading the word may help someone make the switch with ease!

Beautiful fall photo from Clifton Mills. Photo credit by Brandon Allen @ branndonallen

The Ultimate Wellness Gift: Bone Broth

When you hear the word broth, you probably think of soup right? A nice hot soup on a chilly fall day or a nice hot soup on a freezing winter evening. Chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth. It’s all very declicious. Broth is like hot chocolate, it warms you up on the inside and outside. It makes you think of cuddling up on the couch with a hot mug on a cold day to watch a movie. Enter bone broth… a broth you can sip in one of those hot mugs on a chilly day and watch a movie with. Oh, and the wellness benefits are astounding!

Looks like Patrick needs some bone broth!

My Research On Bone Broth

In 2017, I decided to make a lifestyle change to add more wellness and relaxation in my life. I wanted to feel better and perform better throughout my day. Being a teacher, I felt the kids were not getting enough out of me especially in the afternoons because my energy felt depleted. I wasn’t giving them enough energy and it showed. Kids react off your energy in the education world. You have low energy, so will they. High energy and exitement equals kids who get excited about learning. I started taking things away from my diet, adding cleaner foods, and practicing self-care and somewhat trying to biohack my body into doing better.

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As I was researching how to perform better, I found an article about the benefits of bone broth and decided I wanted to try it. Many of the articles said to make your own because of all the companies who had extra ingredients that don’t need to be in there. There was no way I was able to make my own broth, I just don’t have the time. I started searching for a bone broth that had organic high quality ingredients, no added natural flavors or dyes. I searched for a while but had no luck. I almost decided to stop searching because I couldn’t find one that was good enough. A lot of bone broths had yeast extract in it which is something I didn’t want or think a broth needed. December 2018 is when I found one I thought was a good one. I was walking down the supplement aisle at Whole Foods and a certain label caught my eye because it was a label I have seen many times. It was Jarrow Formulas. I take a lot of their supplements already so their red label caught my attention. They make a bone broth powder that you can mix in hot water to drink. I was pretty excited! The ingredients looked good enough. I took it home and tried it. It was so good! It tasted like broth that you get from soups in a can. I continued to drink this brand for 9 1/2 months.

Problem with Jarrow Formulas Broth

I had been drinking Jarrow Formulas bone broth for a while. I was still really enjoying the flavor and I was getting some benefits from it. I felt that my joints felt better especially after getting up in the morning. But I didn’t feel I was getting the multiple benefits the article talked about. I decided to look at the container again to make sure there were no ingredients that didn’t agree with me such as tomatoes or gluten but I didn’t find any. I looked all around the container to make sure I didn’t miss anything when I came across a very small warning label! 😦 It was very small , almost like the fine print you have trouble reading on coupons. The warning label read:

Warning label on container

How did I miss this label??? Because they strategically placed it. Why would I look at the side of this container? I only looked at the front to see what it was and the nutrition/ingredients label on the very back. This label is on the side where no one would look. Well, needless to say this label was a WARNING. I stopped buying this brand and started searching for a replacement. I still wanted to drink bone broth but not one that could expose me to chemicals.

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Enter Kettle & Fire

During my recent research, beginning of October 2019, I found Kettle & Fire bone broth. I had heard of them before. Many of their company values lined up with my life values. I checked out the ingredient list, nothing scary in them. All organic ingredients, grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chickens. I liked what I was seeing. They also had soups made with bone broth which I thought was interesting especially since we are currently in soup season, my favorite season, FALL.

https://amzn.to/2BmI7oj

I decided to get a carton to try. I got one of their newest flavors, Chicken Tumeric Ginger. I tried it Wednesday October 16th, 2019. Just 3 days ago and I was wowed!!! I could not believe how much better the taste was compared to Jarrow Formulas. It tasted like I made it at my own house! The carton lasted only 3 days as well because it was so good and I wanted to keep drinking it. I bought my first few cartons from Amazon to try. I didn’t want to subscribe to anything if I didn’t like it and then be stuck with something I wasn’t going to drink. I would recommend that route for my readers as well in case you don’t enjoy it as much as I do (we all have different taste buds). But I was sold. I am now on a monthly subscription to get 6 cartons of bone broth every month from the company. A great bonus is I get to choose the flavors I want in my subscription and change them at any time. I can also add the soups made with bone broth, too! I’m very excited to share this find with others and encourage my readers to try bone broth, it’s so yummy! And it’s fall, a perfect time to try it on the chilly nights of fall and winter.

Trick Or Treat GIF by 6ixySkeleton - Find & Share on GIPHY
How I feel about bone broth and what I think you should do after reading this post about bone broth… treat yo’self!

Benefits of Bone Broth

One benefit I have already noticed after 3 days of switching to Kettle & Fire is how my skin feels. I have problem skin, even at the age of 29, especially on my face. If I eat something that causes inflammation such as tomatoes, canola oil and lately, grain-fed beef my face will show it. Not only that, my face huuuurts. After 3 days of drinking this bone broth, my skin feels good and it doesn’t hurt. My face has more of a glow to it as well. Along with inflammation comes oily skin and since I am taking extra steps by drinking bone broth to get rid of inflammation inside my body, my face has been less inflammed which has left my face less oily. The reason I am feeling these benefits is because of the collagen in this high-quality bone broth. Collagen is best absorbed orally. All the new skincare products that have collagen listed as an ingredient- don’t use them. You are paying extra for nothing. Collagen molecules are too big to be absorbed through the skin. Buy collagen products you can drink such as collagen powder and bone broth. The collagen in bone broth is healing you from the inside out, starting with your gut.

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Another benefit I’ve noticed is how my body feels because bone broth promotes better gut health and decreases inflammation in the body. Again, this is due to collagen. I’ve noticed my joints hurt less, especially in the mornings, and my gut feels better. One way to know your gut is healing is your skin health. Another way to know your gut is healing is based on how you feel. Your gut can cause lingering sysmptons such as fatigue and brain fog. I feel those less and less every day I drink bone broth. And I only drink 5 ounces a day.

https://amzn.to/2BmOUyj

Other benefits of drinking bone broth that you may be interested in is better joint mobility, stronger hair and nails, better quality sleep and enhanced results if you are practicing keto, paleo or intermittent fasting lifestyles.

*This post may contain affiliate links that help me support and run this blog.

A Book Review

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

This book was an easy read with many new ideas that I haven’t thought of to accomplish your goals. One idea Acuff talks about is to cut your goal in half. You want me to cut my goal in half?? It didn’t make sense to me at first but after pondering it and why it would work it made sense. If you cut your goal in half, you will be successful faster which motivates you to keep going. Most of the time our goals take a longer time than we want and we are not seeing results fast enough. If you cut your goal in half, you will see results faster leading you to want to finish. Another idea, was to extend the time to take to accomplish your goal. When we make a goal, we make it with a timeframe and sometimes that timeframe is too short for us to give it our full focus and attention. Then, we become stressed because it is not going to be finished on time and it’s not our best work so we throw it out or give up. This is where extending your time would be a good idea. It’s okay to extend the time for your goal that way you feel less stressed and you can give it your all so you can do your best work without the added pressure you put on yourself. There are many other ideas in this book that are useful that you could use, too. If you are a person who starts something and are really excited about it but don’t seem to ever finish it, pick up this book and read it. It may help you become the finisher you have always wanted to be!

https://amzn.to/33QlDIB

Go try some bone broth and see what it does for you. Then, go check out the book Finish by Jon Acuff to learn how to be a finisher! Stay healthy and happy everyone! And remember to love yourself every day because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

Photo credit by Brandon Allen @branndonallen

Did You Say Beef Liver?

What do you think when you hear the words beef liver? What’s your initial reaction? Does you face cringe? Do you get a disgusted look on your face? Do you think no way I’m touching any of that? Or maybe your one of the very few people who enjoy beef liver? If that’s the case, kudos to you. You are getting many healthy benefits from it. However, if you are anything like me with the face cringe, the disgusted look and the thoughts of not touching it, like Phoebe from Friends reaction after eating veal, I have a solution for you.

Honest Reaction

My first reaction to beef liver was pretty similar to Phoebe when she ate the veal to impress Mike’s parents. She had a sicken look on her face, she took a while to convince herself to put the piece of meat in her mouth and then she did it quickly to try to get it down fast. This was me when I was handed a beef liver supplement. Not the real food, not a recipe with liver in it, a supplement.

Every year in March, I go to the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a big health and wellness event where vendors hand out free samples of their products or have deep discounts. They have a lot of products I use already and also have many products that I like to try out. Vital Proteins is one of those vendors that I really like so I always go through their booth. They give out great samples and they bring a lot of their products with them for purchase. One year, they gave out a ton of free samples plus a $50 gift card to everyone who signed up for email. I was super stoked about this because I had already been using their collagen. I went through their booth and noticed they were handing out a bottle of beef liver supplements. Cue the face….. it scrunched up in disgust and I told the group I was with “No way I’m taking these.” That name just gives me a bad taste in my mouth.

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I’m Taking Beef Liver Now???

They sat in the cabinet for a while but always in view. After some time, it was like these supplements were staring me in the face saying, “Take me, take me.” I did some research on why I should take them. What was the purpose and what was I going to get out of them? Vital Proteins uses grass-fed beef which I knew was a plus but some other benefits caught my eye, too. I decided to start trying them. I wasn’t expecting too much of a difference. I was thinking I would have to take it for a week or longer to notice a difference in my performance. Besides, I was only taking 1 when the serving size was 4. I was proved wrong in about 30 minutes. I was shocked! I had energy that I never knew I had. I felt focused. I just felt really, really good. And this effect lasted throughout my work day. That was just after taking 1!!! I can only imagine what 4 would do. I knew it was the beef liver supplement because it was the only new thing I had introduced that day and it definetely made a difference. It has had a huge impact on my daily performance and when I forget to take it (because we are all humans, right? :)), I miss it. I mean really miss it and so does my body. I still only take 1 instead of 4 because that is all I need. You have to listen to your body, it’s always telling you something important. But I know others who take the full dose because it is what they need. They have noticed a difference in their performance as well and continue to buy them.

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The Dreaded Time I Ran Out

About 7 months ago, I ran out of Vital Proteins beef liver supplements. I was okay with it because I would just go get some more and only be without for hopefully 2 days. That was not the case. Vital Proteins was out of stock!!! Instead of having a meltdown, I put my email in to be notified when it would be back in stock. I week had gone by and it still wasn’t in stock and I was noticing a difference. My energy felt depleted, I was dragging. I felt like a zombie in the beginning of The Walking Dead, slow, no energy.

How I feel after not taking my beef liver supplement… like a zombie from Walking Dead

Even taking all my other supplements, it didn’t help. I was still getting the benefits from them but none of them made me feel like my beef liver supplement. I had to wait 3 weeks for the supplement to be restocked so I could order. By that point, I felt like I dwindled down from a zombie to a slug… even slower. When I got that email, I was on their site ordering quickly. Please send me my beef liver! I need it! I was so grateful when I got my shipment. I could start feeling like a human again.

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Benefits of Taking Beef Liver Supplements

There are many benefits to taking a beef liver supplement. First, most of us out there are probably not eating beef liver on a regular basis, if at all. This means we are not getting the many health benefits from it. A high-quality beef liver supplement has no taste at all, thank goodness. You don’t have to eat beef liver to get those benefits anymore because I’ll just say it… YUCK! In my opinion, not having to eat beef liver and still getting the healthy impacts is a huge benefit! I have already talked about energy levels. Beef liver is known to increase your energy levels by helping your body metabolize collagen and protein. It helps the body convert the collagen and protein you are getting from your foods or other supplements into energy. I believe this is why my supplements did not work as well when I ran out. What I was taking was not being converted into extra energy. It is the supplement that enhances all your other supplements and make them all work in unison. This is another way I have benefited and increased my performance because I have so much more energy. Beef liver is packed with essential vitamin A and B12 to help support healthy hair, skin and nails. Vitamin A is important because it helps many of the organs in your body function properly including digestion. It promotes better digestion. If you are having digestion problems, first look at what you are putting in your body and next start taking beef liver supplements.

Just like I said in my last post about B12, high quality=high performance. Low quality=low performance. Do not get supplements that are made with GMO minerals and fillers. Your body also absorbs those and makes it harder to get the essential minerals you actually need from the supplement. Vital Proteins is made from grass-fed cows and nonGMO ingredients. It is an ethical company that I trust with my health. Get HIGH QUALITY so you can perform at a higher rate of performance!

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A Book Review

Feel the Fear… And Do It Anyway! by Susan Jeffers

Do you fear confrontation? Do you fear opening up to others? Do you fear living your life because of all the bad things that are happening in the world? Check out this book… it may help you recognize your fear, how to push past the feelings of fear, help you talk over your negative thoughts and create more meaning in your life by helping you do the things you have always been too scared to do. If you are not a book reader, sign up for Audible from Amazon and you can listen to it anywhere on any device.

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Summary from Amazon: Are you afraid of making decisions . . . asking your boss for a raise . . . leaving an unfulfilling relationship . . . facing the future? Whatever your fear, here is your chance to push through it once and for all. In this enduring guide to self-empowerment, Dr. Susan Jeffers inspires us with dynamic techniques and profound concepts that have helped countless people grab hold of their fears and move forward with their lives. Inside you’ll discover

• what we are afraid of, and why
• how to move from victim to creator
• the secret of making no lose decisions
• the vital 10-step process that helps you outtalk the negative chatterbox in your brain
• how to create more meaning in your life
And so much more!

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With insight and humor, Dr. Jeffers shows you how to become powerful in the face of your fears–and enjoy the elation of living a creative, joyous, loving life.

Stay healthy and happy everyone! And remember to love yourself every day because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

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Photo credit by Brandon Allen @branndonallen

Use B12 to Strengthen Vitality of Life

Vitality: The state of being full of life and energy. A vital life equals energy, liveliness, empowerment, kind of like the energizer bunny. That bunny could go all day! As human beings, we are always searching. Searching for ways to get promoted, seaching for ways to make more money, searching for ways to meet our goals, searching for ways to feel better, searching for ways to help our bodies PERFORM at a higher state each day. Acupressure mat, affirmations, astaxanthin, switiching to clean, chemical free products are some of the ideas I have searched, as well as wrote about in earlier posts, and my vitality of life has been strengthened. Now, I add B12 and folate to the mix to continue my journey of living a vital life.

The vitality of life

Many people have said to take a multivitamin. I was raised taking a multivitamin as a child and I carried that belief on with me into adulthood. I never felt different after taking it and I never felt that my performance had changed. I thought if I take this multivitamin, obviously I am healthy right? Without the desired effects, I decided to do some research. Why continue to take something I didn’t feel was helping me? Why waste my money if I wasn’t getting the desired results?

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Why I Don’t Take a Multivitamin

Multivitamins do not get the job done. They do not help me be in a state of high performance or help me live a vital life. First, multivitamins do not have the correct amounts of each vitamin. I mean, it would be really hard to get all those essential vitamins with correct amounts in them. Think of how big that pill may be if the correct amounts were in them! Some vitamin amounts are too high. You may be getting enough of that vitamin through the food you eat and then you take a multivitamin on top of that which also has a high amount in it. This coud lead to vitamin poisoning which could potentially cause a lot of side effects. Other vitamins do not have enough. For example, D3. There is a very low amount of D3 in multivitamins. Many of us are working inside all day and not getting enough sun. The sun helps us produce vitamin D3 but we are not even close to getting enough of it at least not in Ohio. Floridians you may be okay ;). But if you are not getting enough sun throughout your day (and no I’m not talking about tanning, I’m talking about being outside in the sun for 30 mintues a day or longer), you need to be supplementing more of D3 rather than only getting a small dose from a multivitamin. Since the amounts of the vitmains are not substansial you may be lacking in many of the essentials vitamins you need to live a vital life.

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Another reason I don’t take a multivitamin is because of its low quality and low quality equals low performance. A multivitamin is a way to save money. You get what you pay for. Many multivitamins are made with fillers that make it harder to absorb. Vitamins need to be released in a timely manner in order to be most effective. The many fillers in a multivitamin are not able to release vitamins in a timely manner because the fillers are aimed to make a bulk product stick together. Because the fillers are aimed to stick many essential vitamins together, it is not able to release the vitamins in a timely manner. It’s like processed foods. There are many fillers and most of the time low quality ingredients are added because it saves a buck. Those foods transfer to our bodies and hurt our guts, leading to low performance. Doesn’t sound like a win-win to me… In other words, I’m running for the hills and looking for something better!

B12 Deficiencies

Many Americans are deficient in B12 because of the foods we eat. A few foods that offer a natural source of B12 include feta cheese, high quality beef such as grass-fed, swiss cheese and tuna. If you are not eating a healthy amount of these foods, you may not be getting enough B12 in your diet. A B12 deficiency can cause balance problems, cognitive difficulties, fatigue and weakness. A high quality B12 supplement such as Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 with Folate could up your B12 game and strengthen your vitality of life.

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The Benefits of B12

B12 is known for helping our bodies produce energy and although this is true, there are a few other benefits from taking B12. B12 is also beneficial for your brain and your immune system. It helps keep your brain healthy and it helps improve your immune functions. It can protect you from dementia when you get older, it helps regenerate cells in your body and it boost your immune functions. In other words, it helps keep your memory sharp for longer, it helps your cells regrow and it boosts your overall health by strengthen your immune functions that ward off infections.

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Early Prevention

Start taking a high quality B12 supplement now. The defiecieny is mainly in older adults according to recent research. The deficiency can be reduced if we start taking B12 supplements earlier on in our lives. That way, as we age we will have the necessary B12 because we started taking it already and we will have started a good supplmentation practice before it’s too late. Another added benefit, is you don’t have to worry about taking too much B12. Get a high quality supplement like the Jarrow Formulas pictured above, take it, and your body gets rid of what it doesn’t need when you use the bathroom! It’s a win-win! Your body gets what it needs and then gets rid of what it doesn’t need. Sounds like an all-natural process to me.

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How I Take B12

You can take B12 either in capsule form or a lozenge. I personally like the lozenge the best. Jarrow Formulas B12 has a good flavor. I can pop it in my mouth and forget about it while easily soaking up the supplements benefits.

You can take it whenever. There is not a suggested time, however, I would not recommend taking it in the evening. You may have trouble falling asleep. I take my B12 in the afternoon, about 30 minutes before I eat my lunch. I take 6 other supplements in the morning so I make sure those have had enough time to settle in my body so I can get the full benefits. Then, I take the B12 by itself so I can get the good benefits from it. I have also noticed a difference in my afternoon performance if I wait to take the B12 in the afternoon. Before, and sometimes still occassionally, I hit a wall at 2 pm. The dreaded brain fog. When I moved my B12 to the afternoon, the brain fog doesn’t seem to happen as often. I want to perform my best all day long. So moving back when I take B12, proved to be beneficial for me. Check out the B12 on my page and find out when it will work best for you!

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Affirmations Challenge

So, about 3 posts ago I wrote about affirmations and how using them can help transform your negative thoughts to positive thoughts. I wrote about 2 different card decks, The Universe Has Your Back and Affirmators!. I did some searching on Amazon for a specific affirmations journal and found that Affirmators! also has an affirmations journal. I was so excited to have stumbled across this that I wanted to start a challenge with all my followers on WordPress, email and Facebook.

I challenge YOU to use this journal for 30 days! 1 affirmation journaling page per day= 5 minutes of time to get into a good habit! During your 30 day challenge, comment on my blog about how your thoughts have shifted, challenges or any other advice/suggestions you have. Use this 30 days to create a positive affirmations habit! Use the link below to get your journal and reply to this post to let me know if you are in! I look forward to joining you on your journey to positivity 🙂 The challenge will start October 15th 2019!

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Stay healthy and happy everyone! And remember to love yourself every day because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Ashley

Photo credit by Brandon Allen
@branndonallen