My word for the week is INTENTIONAL

2-3 min read

…And that’s what got me right here…right now. I am being intentional about being more intentional with my time 😉 Some days, I find myself thinking, “what have I been doing for the last 2 hours!!” Don’t get me wrong, I think restful days are needed and doing a whole lot of NOTHING is good for you… sometimes.

But…most days, at least for me, if I fail to plan, I plan to fail… So, I plan my day the night before. The saying is true; a great day starts the night before! Going to bed early also sets you up for a successful tomorrow!

Making a schedule is different than having a to-do list… a schedule has specific things you want to do and a time slot allotted for just that. First put on the schedule the MOST important things to you. Then fill in the rest of the time for other tasks. When you are working on a task, FOCUS on just that task. Put your phone away and avoid other distractions. Add breaks to your schedule since you will/or should be taking them and that way, you won’t feel guilty and you will stay on schedule!

If having schedule makes you feel too restricted, remember, if needed, you can ALWAYS adjust it! I often change my schedule for a last minute hike with a friend… I typically prioritize relationships over pretty much everything else.

Here’s a fun tip that will help you keep you going: Give yourself a reward for accomplishing a task! When you get a reward, your body releases dopamine, which is addicting so it will push you to do more!

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, came up with this cool illustration of big rocks, pebbles and sand being put in a glass bowl.

It goes something like this:

Think of the rocks as the most important things, the pebbles as other responsibilities/interests and the sand as allllll the other stuff you want/need to do. If you put the sand and pebbles in first, you will not be able to fit all the big rocks. However, if you put the big rocks in FIRST, then the pebbles, then the sand, you will probably be able to fit it all!! So, the lesson to be learned is prioritize the MOST important things and all the other stuff will fall into place. Or, possibly, you won’t be able to fit all the sand but that’s okay because you already got the most important things in! You may even need to learn to say “NO” to some of the sand so you don’t even need to try to fit it 😉

Being intentional is not just for your time but also for your words, your reactions, and your diet–which is not only what you eat or drink but also what you allow in through your eyes and your ears.

So…I encourage you to be INTENTIONAL with your life. It will make a big difference in your happiness and accomplishing your goals!

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,  making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15&16

Ever heard of oil pulling?!

2 minute read

Did you know that overall immune system health has been directly related to oral health?

Oil pulling is an ancient practice that can kill harmful bacteria, freshen breath and whiten your teeth! Some other recorded benefits are; cavity prevention, improved gum health, treating tooth decay, and reducing inflammation,

I can say from experience that my mouth feels super clean after I oil pull and my teeth start whitening after just 3 times of doing it! Dr. Axe recommends more but you can still reap benefits by doing this 1/week. I do it every Monday morning.

This is such an easy, inexpensive routine that improves your mouth and overall health!


  • Oil pull first thing in the morning, before eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth
  • Choose organic, unrefined, cold pressed, virgin coconut oil (sesame or olive oil will work too)
  • Swish 1 tablespoon around your mouth for about 10-20 minutes (be careful not to swallow any)
  • Optional: you can add 3-5 drops of essential oil for added benefits (frankincense-supports immunity, lavender-gum health, tea tree oil, clove or cinnamon- kills off bacteria)
  • Spit it out in a trash can (do NOT spit in a sink as it could clog the pipes if it hardens)
  • Rinse mouth well with water and spit it out
  • Brush teeth
  • Enjoy a healthier mouth and whiter teeth!

If you want to learn more, check out this 5 minute video from Dr. Axe or read his more lengthy article.

Easily switch to non-toxic products with the EWG app!

3 min read

You’d probably be surprised to know how many harmful toxins you are exposed to in your everyday products and foods.  Our body is designed to detox from small amounts but the toxic buildup caused by days, weeks, and years of consumption can be very detrimental to your health.

Some of the effects of these toxins include; allergies, lower blood cell counts, infertility, birth defects, liver and kidney damage and cancers.  

Pretty serious stuff, huh? Luckily, it is easy and affordable to make wiser decisions when deciding what to put in and on your body.

Step 1: Awareness! Hopefully this post will accomplish this! Check out the infographic below.  

Step 2: Download the EWG healthy living app!  This free app has rated more than 120,000 food and personal care products based on their potential harmful effects.  It’s super easy to use and even has the option to simply scan a product and see it’s score! 

EWG (Environmental Working Group) is a non profit organization whose mission is to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment.  They are doing great work and have tons of helpful information on their site.

Step 3: Next time you need to purchase something, go for a healthy, non toxic option! 

Note: The only thing I put on my skin is organic, unrefined, coconut oil.  It may not work for everyone but I love the easy of it, the smell, the feel, and how it moistures my skin.  Also, I drink loads of clean water so that helps too!   For other natural skin care that you can whip up at home using foods/oils; check out this article from Dr. Axe: 13 Best Ingredients for Your Natural Skin Care Ritual 


Take a walk…barefoot!

Earthing in Fiji… on my birthday 🙂

Did you know that there are a bunch of health benefits to being barefoot and physically connecting with our earth?

“Earthing” or “grounding” is when some part of your body (usually the soles of your feet) touches the earth’s surface. The earth’s beneficial negative charge helps to counter the positive charge our body gains as we live our modern lifestyles that typically lack contact with nature.

The electrical force from the earth helps lower inflammation and fight free radicals. It can also help improve your sleep, lower stress hormones, and even help with pain!

So….kick off your shoes whenever you can! Get your toes in the sand, soil, or grass (just make sure it is chemical/pesticide free grass!). Soaking or swimming in any natural body of water works too!

I love earthing! It’s simple, it feels good, and it’s free! 🙂

Here is a 5 min video from Clint Ober that explains earthing in more detail.

Want to learn more? Check out these articles: Earthing: 5 ways it can help you fight disease, Earthing & Grounding, Tips to Benefit from Grounding Indoors and Out

Body Brushing!

Body brushing is quick, easy, and feels so good! Among other things, it exfoliates your skin, helps your body detox and stimulates your lymphatic system. Below is an info-graphic from Dr. Axe to help you get started : )

This is the body brush I’ve been using for years and it’s under $10!

This is a great info-graphic with tips on how and why to body brush regularly! For a more in depth look at this, check out the article I grabbed it from. Dr. Axe from wrote up a great article; going in detail about the benefits of body brushing. Be sure to check it out!

Let the sun shine in… and face it with a grin : )

Vitamin D3 is vital to your overall health and most people are deficient in it and don’t even know it! There is good news though! The most effective way to increase your levels is by safe sun exposure…which is free and feels wonderful! : )

Vitamin D3 aids in the prevention of many cancers (including skin cancer), autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, depression, Alzheimer’s and many other conditions. It also promotes good bone health, healthy immune systems, and has infection fighting abilities that help with colds and the flu.

Here are a bunch of articles/studies about how healthy vit d levels can improve so many aspects of your health; just read the headlines and you’ll be shocked (I was!) at the wide spectrum of health problems that can be lessened (or cured) with simply getting enough vitamin d3!

Enjoy the SUN at the correct time of day
Ultraviolet light from the sun comes in two main wavelengths – UVA and UVB. UVA is considered the ‘bad rays” because they penetrate your skin more deeply, increase your skin cancer risks, cause more free radical damage and photo aging of your skin. UVB rays are the “good rays” that produce vitamin d in your body. It is important to know that these UVB rays only reach the earth (and your skin) when the sun is above a 50° angle from the horizon. In most places in North America, this occurs from about 10am-3pm, March through October. I use this app SunServeyorLight to see the exact positioning of the sun since it changes throughout the year and depends on where you are on the earth. In general, the optimal time to be in the sun is the closest to solar noon as possible (during daylight savings, this is around 1pm).
Limit your time in the sun
If you are fair-skinned or haven’t spent much time in the sun, it’s recommended to start out with 10 -15 minutes of direct sun exposure. Pay attention to your skin and find some shade when it has turned the lightest shade of pink. If you are darker skinned, you will probably need to stay in the sun longer (yay!). I always wear a hat to protect the skin my face since it is thinner and more prone to wrinkles and aging.
I apply organic, extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil (the same oil I cook with ; ) before heading out to get my daily dose of vitamin d. It has been said that it has a natural SPF of about 2-8, and that it prevents free-radical reactions. Also, if it’s one of the main fats in your diet, your skin will already have an added layer of protection against getting burned.

Protect your skin
There doesn’t seem to be any benefits of being in the sun when it is below 50° (early morning and late afternoon), since the ozone layer reflects the beneficial UVB rays but the more dangerous UVA rays still get through. Frequent exposure during these times increases your risk of skin cancer.

If I plan to be out in the sun for a long time (surfing, boating, etc.), I wear protective clothing, seek shady spots or wear a safe sunscreen. Most of the sunscreens you will find at the store are loaded with toxins and actually increase your cancer risks! The environmental working group ( does a wonderful job of researching many personal care products and let’s you know which ones to use and which ones to avoid. EWG’s 10th annual guide to sunscreens

I watch my sun exposure very closely and make sure I do not get burned. If you get sunburned, apply aloe vera (the gel from a fresh plant is best) to help repair and heal your skin. And then, please, don’t ever let yourself burn again ; )

Random thought:
Sunlight filtered through a window will not be beneficial as the “good” rays (UVB) will not get through but the harmful UVA rays will and this can increase your risk of skin cancer. Many people that drive long hours in the car develop skin cancer on the arm that is exposed to the sun.

What to do when you cannot get vitamin from the sun
In the winter months, especially if you live in the north, the sun does not get high enough in the sky for the UVB rays to reach us. This is when I use a good quality Vit D3 (not d2) supplement. I take 5,000IUs/day or double that if I’m not feeling 100% and need a immune system boost.. This is the one I use: Under $20 for 2 months…totally worth it!

If you decide to take a vitamin d3 supplement, make sure you are also getting sufficient amounts of vitamin K2 (preferably from your food, cheese and cheese curds are excellent sources). One of the many benefits of vitamin d is that it helps your body absorb calcium (great for bone health). There is evidence that vitamin K2 directs that calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited where you don’t want it.

Experts recommend getting your blood levels of vitamin d tested. There are two different test…the one labeled 25(OH)D- also known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D is the one you want since it is a better marker of overall D status. (Some doctors will offer 1,25(OH)D but you can usually ask for the other one).

Daily Vitamin D3 Dose Recommendations:
Under 5 years old: 35 units per pound
Age 5 -10: 2,500 units
Adults: 5,000 units

ALL of these recommendations are from my own research and experience. I am not a doctor, just a girl who wants to spread the good news about easily improving your health with optimal vit d3 levels!

Enjoy the beautiful sunshine and have a blessed day!

How to HIIT your workout!

I recently sent this email to a friend who is trying to get in shape. He’s changing his diet (most important step) and wanted a fitness routine that he could stick to!

This is an edited version of what I sent him, just in case anyone else can benefit from it…

High intensity interval trainings (HIIT) are short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest. These short burst boosts your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), the hormone that keeps you young! That’s just one of the benefits, others include boosting weight and fat loss, improving strength and stamina, and overall improving your health : )  Many studies have shown that HIIT is the ideal form of exercise. And the great news is…it usually takes less than 20 minutes!

There are many variations of high intensity interval training. The one my family (even my 68 year old dad!) and I have been doing is 20 seconds of exercise, then 20 seconds of rest. I pick 6 exercises and do each one 3 times. The total time from start to finish is 12 minutes! And, you are really only working out for 6 mins, because half the time you are resting! Sweet! But…because of that, you really have to push yourself to the max for the 20 seconds on!
I am following the guidelines from MaxT3, the workout portion of Maximized living. They have a CD you can purchase that explains all this in more detail and has a bunch of workouts to follow.

You can start out by downloading a free timer app. I use this one:
I set it to beep every 20 seconds for 36 rounds (18 of those will be rest periods).

I do a few minutes of warming up then choose 6 exercises. I like to split it up and do arms, legs, and core all on separate days. That gives the other parts of the body time to rest and recover.

Some examples of leg exercises: Squats, walking/standing lounges, calf raises, good mornings, jumping knee slaps, step or jump ups, etc.
Some examples of arm exercises: Pull-ups or jumping pull-ups, push ups, dips, presses, curls, etc.
Some examples of core workouts: Sit-ups, sissor kicks, bicycle, straight leg raises, roll ups, jack knives, etc.

If you are not familiar with some of the moves from my list, watch a quick youtube video explaining how to do it. You will be going fast and working hard so having the correct form is important. If you cannot do one of the exercises, just replace it with a different one, the possibilities are endless!
If you are just beginning, I wouldn’t use weights, but as you progress, can can add them in. I would also not push yourself too hard as you will probably be sore enough from just starting a routine. As always, listen to your body.
I do this workout wherever I am and I don’t usually have any equipment except for a workout band that is convenient for travel and can be used for alot of different exercises (mostly arms). One is banded pull aparts, where you hold the band with two hands, and just pull apart. It sounds easy, but tiring after 20 seconds of high intensity pulling!  I also use whatever is available for weights; water bottles, laundry detergent bottle, cans of soup, etc.

So…when are you going to start? Today? : ) Tomorrow? It only takes 12 minutes! That’s my favorite part of it! Many people take that long just to drive to the gym!

After a workout, I reward myself with a delicious shake made with whey protein from grass fed cows, unsweetened almond milk, and usually chia or hemp seeds.
There is an exercise recovery phase of about 2 hours after your workout and you should be aware of what you are eating and restrict your sugar intake. Mostly because if you have too many carbs, your body will releases the hormones called somatostatin and that in turn will shut down the production of HGH. You want that wonderful hormone to be circulating in your body for the full 2 hours! The higher levels of HGH in your body, the healthier and stronger you will be! And after the age of 30, your levels of HGH begin to drop pretty dramatically, which progresses the aging process. So…just another reason to commit to 12 minutes of a high intensity workout and avoiding sugar for 2 hours afterward.

I would always recommend  avoiding sugar (except some fruit) and those foods that turn to sugar (bread, rice, pasta) but that is a subject for another day! : )

Good luck in starting or switching up your exercise regime! I’ll be rooting for you my friends!

I tried to keep this short and sweet but here are a few links if you are interested in learning more:

*I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist, I am just sharing what I have learned and experienced over the last few years.