Are You Truly Resting?
Most of us measure our amount of rest or need for rest in hours of sleep. Although sleep is critical for recovery and repair from each day's challenges, true rest is far beyond just merely time spent in slumber. The Scripture talks often about rest outside of the context of sleep. This type of rest or "sabbath" is something most of us long for in our souls but don't really know how to experience.
Many who are driven in life and desire to help others and excel in whatever they do can easily fall into a very dangerous rut. This rut is characterized by often feeling guilty if we aren't doing something productive. In Wayne Muller's book, "Sabbath," he says, " While many of us are terribly weary, we have come to associate tremendous guilt and shame with taking time to rest. Sabbath gives us permission; it commands us to stop."
In another fantastic book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero describes it this way: "We listen to sermons and read books about slowing down and creating margin our lives. We read about the need to rest and recharge our batteries. Our workplaces offer seminars on increased productivity through replenishing ourselves. But we can't stop. And if we aren't busy, we feel guilty that we waste time and are not productive....It's like being addicted-- only it is not to drugs or alcohol but to tasks, to work, to doing. Any sense of rhythm in our daily, weekly, and yearly lives has been swallowed up in the blizzard of our lives."
So what? What's the danger of living without resting? I think most of us know this but don't want to face it. We miss life. We miss the beauty that's right in front of us. We live with short fuses and almost anything can cause us to get irritable, anxious, depressed, and angry. We do violence to our own lives and bodies and do violence to everyone that comes in contact with our disoriented life. We have no space in our lives for people to be human.
If this hits home with you, don't beat yourself up. We are already good at that and it only makes matters worse. Show yourself compassion. Dig into this. The 2 books mentioned above can literally save your life, restore your relationships, and return the joy back into your life, even when storms are all around. They can remind you that God sees you in your struggle and He loves you. He has given us several ropes to find our way back home. Grab hold and join me on this exciting, restful journey.
Packing lunches for school is a necessity for the school year... but honestly something that we all kind of dread.
By the second month, it feels like we are packing the exact same thing every day! So here are some ideas we put together for you all. A lot of it is simple but can be helpful to have ideas, right?
The first biggest tip we can share is to PREP for the week!
Plan what lunches you want to prepare for the week and keep it simple. It's ok if you have the same foods for a whole week if you want- just switch it up the next week!
Second, prep as much as you can in advance!
Cut up a ton of veggies to have ready to eat and store in glass mason jars or glass storage containers. This makes packing lunches and grabbing healthy snacks so much easier.
When you are cooking dinner, grab some extra veggies and chop while you are cooking to have fresh things available all week.
If you can, go ahead and divide and store other foods in small containers to put straight into the lunch box like chicken salads, sauces, trail mix, etc.
Third, an easy rule for preparing lunches is to always include fat, fiber, and protein in meals.
This helps stabilize blood sugar levels and give kids balanced meals to have the most consistent energy and focus possible.
-Carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper (easily prepped in advance!)
-Mini sweet bell peppers are ready to eat as-is
-Fruits: apple slices, grapes, oranges, berries, etc.
-Hummus in individual snack packs (at Costco!) to pair with veggie sticks or gluten free crackers
-Dried fruits or raisins (check for sugar and sulfates or unwanted preservatives)
-Nuts (omit if nut-free classroom)
-Pressed by Kindbars (at Costco); a nut free option, too!
-Gluten free or grainfree granola
-Custom trail mix to your liking with coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, clean chocolate chips, etc. This is a GREAT way to get kids involved with packing their lunches and being excited about creating their own food!
-MamaChia squeeze pouches
-GoGo squeeze pouches
-Pure Organics or Stretch Island fruit strips
-Non-gmo air-popped popcorn (if you tolerate corn)
-The Good Bean Dried chickpeas (if you tolerate beans)
-Pickles (check for unwanted dyes and sugars; love the organic dill pickles from Trader Joe’s)
-Gluten free pasta with veggies and protein (nuts, seeds, or meat) Trader Joe's is our favorite price and flavor.
- Jackson's Honest chips
-Guacamole snack packs or tubs (Great prices at Costco)
-Justin's Almond butter snack packs: pair with carrot/celery sticks, or apple slices for the fiber.
-Trailmix has great fats as well!
-Chia seed pudding
-Grassfed/Organic/Raw cheese (if dairy is tolerated well)
-Simple Mills muffins (mixes are easy to make!)
-Trail mix. (Pumpkin seeds are an amazing form of protein!)
-Simple Mills almond flour crackers,sprouted seed crackers (if nut free is required), or cookies.
-Organic turkey breast slices rolled by itself or with mayo or hummus spread
-Lettuce wrap with turkey and avocado slice
-Lettuce wraps with tomatoes, bacon for a breadless BLT
-Hard boiled eggs
-Deviled eggs or egg salad
-Chicken Salad with crackers
-Chicken tenders with sauce to dip
-Protein bars like RX bars and Primal Kitchen are favorites
-Unsweetened organic/grassfed yogurt with berries and granola
-Egg muffins- another great thing for kids to help make!
-Smoothies store well in insulated thermos' and can be super nutrient dense and a fun treat! (Using collagen is a great protein source to add!)
At Stewarding Life Wellness, we are passionate about living a healthy, balanced, and toxic-free lifestyle. We strive to eat healthy food that supports our health, we use safe cleaning products in our home, exercise, sleep well and meditate often. However, one thing that is easily overlooked in the pursuit of health are the cosmetics and personal care products we use daily such as lotions, soaps, deodorant, and make up.
Americans spend over 62 billion dollars every year on personal care products, and many of these are filled with toxic chemicals. Thousands of these chemicals are used without adequate testing or research done to identify the effects they have on us. The FDA does not require testing to approve chemicals used on humans, nor do they have the power to recall a product that could be dangerous. The European Union has banned nearly 1400 toxic chemicals from their cosmetic products. America has only banned or restricted 30.
Why are avoiding toxic chemicals so vitally important for our health?
It is easy to assume that, since we are only using these products on our hair or skin, that it isn’t affecting our health like food or supplements do. But did you know that your skin is the largest organ in the body, and that it absorbs these toxic chemicals in less than 26 seconds directly into the blood stream? Some of these chemicals have dangerous impacts on our body. Research has shown that toxins in our personal care products can contribute to cancer, infertility, hormone disruption, autoimmune diseases, rashes, and many other medical conditions.
We have found lots of healthy options that just don't work effectively - especially cosmetics! In our search for safe products, we were introduced to Beautycounter and have been very impressed. Beautycounter has extremely rigid third party testing, a "Never List" of over 1500 ingredients they never use, and the strictest heavy metal standards in the industry. Not only do we love the quality of their products, we also are impressed with their mission as a company. Below is a short video discussing their mission to provide safe products for their consumers:
One of my favorite things about these products is that they are high performing, and I have the comfort of knowing they are safe. My daughter has a lot of fun “dressing up like Mommy,” and I love being able to let her play with my make up with out being concerned about heavy metals or dangerous chemicals.
Some of my favorite products for our family are:
Charcoal helps to extract toxins from the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and clean. It is great for men, women, and teenagers!
I feel like I have been to a spa after using this. It leaves my skin feeling amazingly clean and rejuvenated. I have also used it on rashes and other skin irritants, and it helps tremendously in healing. This is fantastic for men and women!
Children today are exposed to far more environmental toxins than we were as children. I am committed to minimizing the number of toxic chemicals that my children are exposed to at home during our daily routines. I have tried many baby products, but these are the best I have used! I use these products on my children every single day, and I use the baby oil on my own face every night before bed - it's that awesome!
It is so important to be mindful of the things we are putting IN our bodies, but also equally important to consider what we are putting ON our bodies. We believe in the importance of removing toxins from our lives, and would love to help you find the best products that will continue to support your best life.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email our nutritionist, Stephanie. Stephanie@stewardinglifewellness.com.
Jake recently had the pleasure of talking with Chef Deb from SAVOR Culinary Services, a personal chef company that has been in business for over 15 years and served over 5,000 families in the DFW area.
They provide busy families, professionals, athletes and those with special dietary needs, chef-prepared, customized meals made with fresh, wholesome ingredients delivered right to their fridge! Besides their weekly prepared meals, SAVOR also provides food intolerance testing, dietary consulting and boutique catering.
Here is a recording of Jake and Deb's conversation:
Do you experience some of the symptoms Jake and Deb talked about like fatigue, brain fog, weird weight gain, etc.? Let us know! We would love to help you find natural solutions to the root cause behind your symptoms so you can experience optimal health.
Fore more information about SAVOR, click here.
Did you know that essential oils can aid weight loss, manage food cravings, and support digestion?
Essential Oils have so many benefits! They have many medicinal benefits, and they also make great alternatives to the many toxic cleaners and fragrances surrounding us daily.
Dr. Axe wrote a great article about his Top 3 Essential Oils for Weight Loss and how to use them. As he says at the beginning, "you’re not going to start using essential oils and lose 20, 30 or 50 pounds. But it could help your body in shedding a few pounds, plus support your body in important, healthy ways for weight loss." We're sharing Dr. Axe's insights below, but for more information, we suggest reading the original article (it has videos and links to additional resources!).
The grapefruit peel is where the EO is derived from, which is very high in compounds like D-limonene, which support the metabolism and the lymphatic glands. Topically applied to the skin in small amounts, grapefruit EO is an excellent diuretic. It's often included in cellulite creams and blends used for dry brushing. Taken internally, it activates enzymes in your saliva, which help the body break down fat. It is also known to lower cravings and hunger, especially when mixed with patchouli oil. Add several drops to your water, diffuse it in your office or home, or massage some onto your chest and wrists when a craving strikes.
Time and again, cinnamon oil has been shown to regulate blood glucose levels, and something in your body called GTF, or glucose tolerance factor. It helps balance blood sugar, which long-term will help with weight loss and reduce those sugar cravings. Unstable blood sugar can lead to overeating, low energy, and weight gain. Adding cinnamon oil to fruit tea, oats, baked goods or smoothies helps to slow the rate at which glucose is released into the blood. It is a fantastic support for anyone with diabetes.
It is essential that, if you are going to lose weight, you also reduce inflammation in the body, and support digestion and absorption of nutrients. Ginger not only reduces sugar cravings, but it also reduces inflammation in the body. The compounds in ginger are called gingerols, which have been scientifically proven to reduce disease-causing inflammation in the intestines, and improve overall absorption of vitamins and minerals being consumed.
How to Use:
Topically. Use a carrier oil like coconut oil, especially when you’re using the cinnamon oil (which is considered a "hot" oil). It's safest to use a 1:1 ratio, especially when you haven't used an oil topically before.
Internally. You can add any of these oils to water, foods, or capsules that you can swallow. Not all oils can be ingested, so it's important to always check with the manufacturer/supplier.
Diffusing. Any of these oils, or blends containing these oils, can be diffused to activate all of your senses. They'll make your home or office smell great!
Where to Buy:
We believe quality matters tremendously in all things. There are several sources putting out high quality oils. At Stewarding Life Wellness, we're currently using Young Living essential oils, but if you already use oils from a different source, we applaud and encourage you to keep going!
One reason we love Young Living is their Vitality™ line of EOs, which are designed specifically for internal use. These are separate from their regular oils, and have different packaging so it's easy to keep your topical-use oils separate from your internal-use oils.
Health is about creating healthy, sustainable habits - not rules. Instead of focusing on a “diet,” let’s refocus on a lifestyle of eating real food that is nutrient dense and beneficial for our health. By eating whole foods that nourish our bodies, most of us will reduce inflammation, lose weight, and improve our moods naturally. And, eating this way can be delicious, too! Win-Win.
The Holidays are here and it is a great time to give thoughtful gifts to our friends and family. We put together some fun suggestions below:
1. Instant Pot- This is a kitchen staple! We hardly go a day without using it. It steams, sautees, pressure cooks, and slow cooks. I love that it allows us to make healthy choices and cook our dinner quickly!
2.Primal Palate Organic Spices- These spices are some of our absolute favorite. They are perfect to sprinkle on meat or your veggies to give amazing flavor!
3. Wooden Spoons- It is important to move away from using plastic during cooking to eliminate BPA. Wooden utensils are a great replacement!
4.Celebration- We love Danielle Walker's cookbooks and are so excited for this new cookbook to help recreate some of our holiday favorites!
5.Omega Juicer- This is a slow cold-press juicer that helps protect nutrients and enzymes while you are juicing. It is a great way to add nutrients into your diet or your family's diet. It is also a great way to get kids excited about fruit and vegetables as they help you juice.
6. Zoku- This popsicle maker is awesome! You can add in juice, smoothies, or other mixtures to make popsicles in just minutes!
7. Chemex- This coffee maker is a great way to make smooth, fresh coffee. A must for any coffee connoisseur.
8. Inspiralizer- We absolutely love this tool to help spirilize our favorite vegetables to use as pasta replacements or to throw in salads. Kids also love eating vegetables like this in such fun and unique shapes!
9. Instant Read Digital Thermometer - This tool is so useful for cooking meat to the perfect temperature!
1. Yeti Cup- These cups are amazing! They can keep your drinks hot or cold for hours and are a great option to replace plastic water bottles!
2. Charcoal Bar- Charcoal is a great product to help remove toxins from the skin and leave it feeling clean and refreshed!
3. Fit Bit- This is such a popular item and a great way to see your daily activity.
4. Protein Powder- We love this protein powder. It is gluten and dairy free and a great source of protein for a healthy meal replacement or a filling snack!
5. Eno Hammock - Taking time to relax and enjoy nature is such an important thing to do. With this hammock you can do that just about anywhere!
6. Wireless Speaker- Perfect for using in the house, outside, or on a picnic!
7. Grilling Cookbook- There really is an art to grilling and this book is invaluable for teaching various techniques and providing some great tips for making amazing meat and veggies on the grill!
1. Eye Shadow and Blush Palette- Eye shadows and blush are often tainted with various heavy metals and numerous toxic chemicals. However, this Beautycounter pallet is a perfect, safe gift available only during the holidays.
2. Yeti tumbler- the perfect way to keep your morning cup of tea or coffee warm all day!
3. Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind cookbook- the recipes and photography in this book will blow you away! They are all paleo and beyond delicious!
4. Non-toxic nail polish- A great way to enjoy some pampering without all the toxic chemicals!
5. Beautycounter charcoal bar and mask set- Charcoal is excellent for removing environmental toxins from our skin. This holiday set is a fantastic gift that includes a charcoal soap bar and a luxurious charcoal mask. Can't say how much we love this!
6. Kitchen Herb Garden- a fun and cute way to have fresh herbs year round right in your kitchen!
7. Kingso Water Bottle- It is so important to not use plastic water bottles to reduce BPA chemicals in our every day life. This water bottle looks so cute and is a great safe way to bring water with you everywhere.
8. Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups- Eating Evolved makes their chocolate with coconut sugar and the coconut butter is also an excellent source of fat, making it a delicious and much healthier treat.
Giving gifts to our family and friends gifts is a great way to show love and care, but remember that it is not the reason for this season. Spending valuable time cherishing and serving those we love and making memories together will always be more valuable than any gift we can purchase.
And most importantly, lets be purposeful and take time to stop and remember that God sent His Son into the World as a man to atone for our sins. It is truly the greatest gift that has and ever will be given to us!
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
At Stewarding Life Wellness we are passionate about living a healthy, balanced, and toxic free lifestyle. We strive to eat healthy food that supports our health, use safe cleaning products in our home, exercise, sleep well and meditate often. However, one thing that is easily overlooked in our pursuit of health are the cosmetics and personal care products we use daily such as lotions, soaps, deodorant, and make up.
Americans spend billions of dollars every year on personal care products and most of these are filled with toxic chemicals. Thousands of these chemicals are used without adequate testing or research done to see the effects they have on us. Even the FDA does not require testing to approve chemicals used on humans or even has the power to recall a product that could be dangerous. The European Union has banned nearly 1400 toxic chemicals from their cosmetic products. America has only banned or restricted 11.
Why are avoiding toxic chemicals so vitally important for our health?
It is easy to assume that since we are only using these products in our hair or on our skin that it isn’t affecting our health like food or supplements do. However, our skin is our largest organ and absorbs these toxic chemicals readily on a daily basis, having dangerous and negative impacts on our body. Research has shown that these toxins in our personal care products can contribute to cancer, infertility, hormone disruption, autoimmune diseases, rashes, and many other medical conditions.
As we are switching to safe, toxic free products, we have tried a lot of healthy options that just don’t work effectively- especially cosmetics. Several people mentioned Beautycounter to us and that it is a great company that makes safe cosmetics and is extremely rigid in all their testings. We were intrigued and began trying their products and learning more about their mission as a company. Below is a short video discussing their mission to provide safe products for their consumers:
We have been extremely impressed and use them on a daily basis. As a company, they have banned over 1500 chemicals from ever being used in their products and are rigid in their testing to not include toxic chemicals or heavy metals to give us the safest and most effective products they can.
Some of my favorite products for our family are:
Charcoal helps to extract toxins from the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and cleaner than any other products I have used! It is great for men, women, and teenagers!
I feel like I have been to a spa after using this. It leaves my skin feeling amazingly clean and rejuvenated. I have also used it on rashes and other skin irritants and found that it has helped tremendously in healing it.
I feel like good mascara is one of the hardest clean cosmetic products to find. I was wary of this products but love it! I like the brush and that the mascara doesn't clump on my lashes and gives some volume. After using it for a month, many have found that their eyelashes are actually thicker and longer, too!
Children are exposed to far more environmental toxins than we were as children and I was adamant that I didn't want our children being exposed to hundreds of toxic chemicals in our daily routines at home. I have tried many products but these are the best I have used! I use these products on my children every single day and confession- I use the baby oil on my face every night before bed- it is that awesome!
It is so important to be mindful of the things we are putting in our bodies, but also equally important to consider what we are putting on our skin and hair and what we are providing for our family to use on a daily basis. We believe in the importance of removing toxins from our lives and would love to help educate you on finding the best products that will continue to allow you to steward your life to the best of your ability. We would also love to answer any questions you have or even help you try a few samples at the office.
* Also, this month (October, 2016) we wanted to offer a special gift if you spend $50 (before tax) we will also include a peppermint lip conditioner with your order.
* If you spend $125 or more (before tax) we will send you a complimentary charcoal bar.
This week we are going to have a giveaway for one of our favorite products: the charcoal mask! You can enter to win until Thursday, October 27th. The winner will be announced on Friday, October 28th so be sure to check back on our blog!
And the winner is...
Thank you for all who participated!