Fall Newsletter 2020

Fall in Waconia, MN

Happy Fall! For some, it may already be a winter wonderland , for others, a reprieve in the heat, but whatever Fall brings you, it never hurts to be armed with a few health tips up your sleeve!

First line of business: I want to tell you about an event my accountability group is hosting on Thanksgiving- Huffin’ for the Stuffin’ 5K for a cause! And before you skip over this section because you aren’t a runner, note that the 5K is not just a race to run, but it’s an event that you can do any way you choose. There are shirts available in women’s, men’s, youth, and toddler sizes at my friend’s Etsy shop: Berens Boutique (make sure to check out the Wholee Healthy shirts and sweatshirts she’s made for us too and her other cute items!).

So, some will be running, some walking, some biking, some riding in strollers or wagons (some will even do it in two, 1.5 mile walks)… and that is what it’s designed for! The day of the 5K, share pictures or videos of your race with me or on the Facebook event.

The proceeds from the shirts and any extra donations will be going to Feed My Starving Children. So, get your body moving before the feast and help feed those in need all at once! Donations can be sent via venmo to @wholeehealthy or via Pay Pal: paypal.me/wholeehealthy . If you’d like to donate a different way contact me: wholeehealthy@gmail.com.

Physical Health

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

While we’re on the topic of movement, Fall usually involves a shift in our activity to either outdoors in the southern states or indoors up nort’. Regardless, it’s great to have a arsenal of workouts to mix it up and keep you going… and don’t forget the importance of strength training! It keeps our muscle content intact, improves our metabolism, and prevents those little aches and pains in the process! Strength training is not just for the younger generation or athletes either… I have included a variety of workouts for every skill level and budget, too! Take a look:

Free indoor workouts for multiple skill levels including those needing lower intensity/modified workouts:

Fitness Blender– Free on YouTube

HasFit– Free on YouTube and available with chair modifications

Sample indoor workouts for those at a more advanced level (Beachbody has 1000s of workouts available for ($39/3 months, $59/6months, $99/year- price includes working with me as your coach with check-ins and guidance)

Barre Blend– dance/stretch/lengthen with cardio and strength; great for core and legs.

Muscle Burns Fat– strength, HIIT, cardio; great for toning and strengthening.

30 Day Breakaway– 30 day program designed for runners of any skill level, strength and audio guided running workouts, guaranteed 5K at completion.

However you choose to move, keep doing it and going strong, even as the weather changes!

Nutrition/ Recipes

Fall is definitely my favorite season, period… but the cooking and baking this time of year has a nostalgic feel to it that renews a desire to be on the hunt for flavorful, heart-warming dishes. Having apple trees in our yard when I was growing up meant apple pies, apple crisp, apple bars, apple sauce, and all of the amazing smells that came with it. There were also the smells from warm soups and stews simmering on the oven all day that were heightened as we closed the windows and doors to the cooler Fall weather.

So, this Fall, I was on the search for some recipes that would bring those same smells into my home now. Finding healthy but delicious options was a challenge, but after a lot of trial and error, these were the favorite two deserts in our household:

Apple Bread

Ingredients
  • 4 cups any apples like McIntosh, Granny Smith, Fuji, cored and diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs
  3. Add applesauce, maple syrup, oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and whisk until well combined.
  4. Add spelt or whole wheat flour and stir gently just enough to combine. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Add apples and give a few more gentle stirs to combine.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and level gently with spatula.
  7. Bake for 60-70 minutes our until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off almost completely.
  9. Cut into 10 slices with serrated bread knife and enjoy!

Store: Store covered in a cool dry place for up to 2 days. Refrigerate covered for 3 more days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes
  • Applesauce can be substituted with equal amount of finely grated raw carrots or zucchini. No need to squeeze anything.
  • Flour has to be wheat and whole grain like whole wheat or spelt flour.
  • Sweetener in a liquid form like agave, brown rice syrup, date syrup etc. is acceptable.
  • Use any oil like avocado oil, coconut oil (melted) or olive oil.
  • Apple bread bakes faster in dark loaf pan than in light or glass one.
  • Bread will be much easier to slice if you let it cool to barely warm. It has a lot of apples.
  • Add up to 1/4 cup of raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or any other mix-ins.
  • Bake as muffins at 375 degrees F for 22-25 minutes.

Pumpkin Muffins

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree – not pie filling
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup – OR honey OR brown sugar*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp golden flaxseed meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds – (pepitas), chopped nuts, bittersweet chocolate chips, dried fruit or 1/3 the fat cream cheese
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray or line one muffin tin, set aside.
  • In a small glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, yogurt, egg, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla.
  • In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the bran, flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Gradually pour in the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients along with any “mix-ins” (or reserve for the top), folding/mixing just until you see just a bit of dry ingredients (about 17-20 strokes).
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, dividing evenly between the wells. If you are using pepitas, sprinkle on the tops or if you are using cream cheese, place an teaspoon on top of each muffin and use a knife to gently fold in. Place in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes

*If you like your muffins on the sweeter side, use the full 1/3 cup of sweetener.**You can use only whole-wheat flour, only all-purpose flour, or a ½ c. whole-wheat flour + ½ c. all-purpose flour. They taste great no matter what you use!

Note on Coffee:

If you’re looking for a non-dairy or healthier substitute in your coffee than creamer or half and half, oat milk is a great option! I disliked almond milk, but tried extra creamy oat milk and have loved it and even choose it over milk!

Main Dishes

Even though we still have highs in the 90s in Arizona, I also was on the prowl for some chilis, soups, and stews to put in the crock pot and have simmering all day to cut out on the dinner rush, fill our house with amazing smells, and include some dishes we can now have without inducing an immediate sweat! So, I’ve included a few of my favorites for you to enjoy this fall without worrying about the rich, sometimes unhealthy nutritional aspects that heartier dishes sometimes pack:

Beef Bourguignon

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces (170g) bacon, roughly chopped (we omitted bacon and it was still great!)
  • 3 pounds (1 1/2 kg) beef brisket, trimmed of fat (chuck steak or stewing beef) cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 large carrot sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 12 small pearl onions (optional)
  • 3 cups red wine like Merlot, Pinot Noir, or a Chianti — for a milder sauce, use only 2 cups of wine
  • 2-3 cups beef stock (if using 2 cups of wine, use 3 cups beef stock)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 beef bullion cube, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound fresh small white or brown mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or oil)
INSTRUCTIONS

TRADITIONAL OVEN METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or heavy based pot. Sauté the bacon over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until crisp and browned. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large dish and set aside.
  • Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove to the dish with the bacon.
  • In the remaining oil/bacon fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain excess fat (leave about 1 tablespoon in the pan) and return the bacon and beef back into the pot; season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown.
  • Add the pearl onions, wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Then add the tomato paste, bullion and herbs. Bring to a simmer on the stove.
  • Cover, transfer to lower part of the oven and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is fall apart tender (adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly).
  • In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, prepare your mushrooms:Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet/pan over heat. When the foam subsides, add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Once they are browned, set aside.
  • Place a colander over a large pot (I do this in my clean kitchen sink). Remove the casserole from the oven and carefully empty its contents into the colander (you want to collect the sauce only). Discard the herbs
  • Return the beef mixture back into the dutch oven or pot. Add the mushrooms over the meat.
  • Remove any fat off the sauce( if any) and simmer for a minute or two, skimming off any additional fat which rises to the surface.
  • You should be left with about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon lightly. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock. If the sauce is too thin, boil it over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until reduced to the right consistency.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper, if desired. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
  • If you are serving immediately, simmer the beef bourguignon for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through.Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.
  • To serve the following day, allow the casserole to cool completely, cover and refrigerate.The day of serving, remove from refrigerator for at least an hour before reheating. Place over medium-low heat and let simmer gently for about 10 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
NOTES

STOVE TOP BEEF BOURGUIGNON:

  1. In a large dutch oven or heavy based pot, sauté the bacon over medium heat in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 3 minutes, until crisp and browned. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large dish and set aside.
  2. Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove to the dish with the bacon.
  3. In the remaining oil/bacon fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain excess fat and return the bacon and beef back into the pot; season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown.
  4. Add the pearl onions, wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Then add the tomato paste, bullion and herbs. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is falling apart.
  5. In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, prepare your mushrooms: Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet/pan over heat. When the foam subsides, add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Add browned mushrooms to the pot, let simmer for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to combine.
  7. Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.

INSTANT POT BEEF BOURGUIGNON / PRESSURE COOKER:

  1. Set Instant Pot or Cooker to SEAR function (or use a pan on the stove over medium heat of you wish). Sauté the bacon in 1 tablespoon of oil until crisp and browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches until browned on all sides in the oil/bacon fat. 
  3. Return bacon to the pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook on SEAR for a further 4-5 minutes to brown.
  4. Add in the onions, pearl onions, carrots, wine, 2 cups of stock, tomato paste, 4 cloves minced garlic, bullion and herbs. Stir well, cover and lock the lid into place. Press Keep Warm/Cancel to stop the Sauté function, then set to MANUAL mode. Choose HIGH PRESSURE for 30 minutes cook time. 
  5. After cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 8-10 minutes. Open the valve and allow and remaining steam to escape (for Instant Pot, turn the valve from sealing to venting to release the pressure).
  6. While steam is releasing, prepare your buttered mushrooms (OPTIONAL — or add them straight in without cooking in butter if desired): Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet/pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.
  7. Change the Instant Pot or cooker setting back to the SEAR setting (or SAUTE) stir well and allow the sauce to thicken uncovered, for a further 5-10 minutes. 
  8. Add the buttered mushrooms, garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.

SLOW COOKER BEEF BOURGUIGNON:

  1. In a large pan or skillet, sauté the bacon over medium heat in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 3 minutes, until crisp and browned. Transfer to 6 quart (litre) slow cooker bowl.
  2. Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches until browned on all sides in the oil/bacon fat. Transfer to slow cooker bowl with the bacon, and add in the onions (both types) and carrots. Season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, tossing well to combine.
  3. Pour the red wine into the pan or skillet and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes, then whisk in the flour until free from lumps. Allow to reduce and thicken slightly, then pour it into the slow cooker along with 2 cups of stock, tomato paste, garlic, bullion and herbs.
  4. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients. Cook on high heat setting for 6 hours or low for 8 hours, or until beef is falling apart and tender.
  5. In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, prepare your mushrooms: Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet/pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add to the Beef Bourguignon, mixing them through the sauce before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh parley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.

Thai Basil

Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or as needed
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced shallots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 rough chopped yellow onion
  • 1 8 oz package mushrooms
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced Thai chilies, Serrano, or other hot pepper (omit if you prefer less spicy)
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice
Directions
  • Step 1Whisk chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, white sugar, and brown sugar together in a bowl until well blended.
  • Step 2Heat large skillet over high heat. Drizzle in oil. Add chicken and stir fry until it loses its raw color, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in veggies. Continue cooking on high heat until some of the juices start to caramelize in the bottom of the pan, about 2 or 3 more minutes. Add about a tablespoon of the sauce mixture to the skillet; cook and stir until sauce begins to caramelize, about 1 minute.
  • Step 3Pour in the rest of the sauce. Cook and stir until sauce has deglazed the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until sauce glazes onto the meat, 1 or 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Step 4Stir in basil. Cook and stir until basil is wilted, about 20 seconds. Serve with rice.

Vegan Chili

I have recently read the benefits of including a few meals a week that are from plant-based vs animal based protein, as it is great for your cardiovascular system! I realize it may be a sacrilege to include this after growing up on a beef cattle farm (sorry, Dad!), but wanted to let you know! We thoroughly enjoy animal-based protein in our household, so finding a recipe where we didn’t miss it was tricky, but we found a winner!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons diced chipotles in adobo (omit if you don’t like spice)
  • (3) 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked split red lentils
  • (2) 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 2–3 cups vegetable broth
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Garnish: 

  • vegan sour cream
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • sliced jalapeno
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion along with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, chipotles in adobo, black beans, lentils, and a large pinch of salt and pepper. 
  4. Then add tomato sauce and 2 cups vegetable broth.
  5. Cover, turn heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer over medium-low for 5-7 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring frequently. Add remaining cup of broth if desired. 
  7. Stir in the juice of 1 lime and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Garnish with sour cream, and fresh chopped cilantro. 
NOTES

Don’t let the chili simmer for too long. Just 5-7 minutes is long enough to get the lentils nice and tender. Any longer than that though, and they will likely end up mushy. ** We let the other ingredients simmer for a few hours on low and added the lentils just a few minutes before dinner and this helped the flavors come together without making the lentils too soft

Be sure to stir the chili every minute or so while it’s simmering. This will loosen any black beans or lentils that may try to stick to the bottom of the pan and make sure that the lentils cook evenly. **We didn’t have any issue with this, but always good to be safe!

You don’t have to tell people it’s vegan! If you know your friends or family don’t enjoy vegan dishes as much as you do, don’t tell them this chili is totally vegan. Let them try it, go back for seconds and rave about how good it is. Then drop the truth bomb – it’s vegan AND healthy!!

Tortilla Soup

Our health accountability group shares recipes from time to time, and this one has been a family favorite! It’s simple and only involves chopping an onion and opening cans, which I’m all about these days!

Ingredients
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (uncooked/raw)
1 can (15 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained OR 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (10 ounces) red enchilada sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 yellow onion, diced
1 can (4 ounces) fire-roasted diced green chiles
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted corn, undrained
1 container (32 ounces) chicken stock or broth (stock has more flavor)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
Seasoned salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Tortilla strips, Freshly squeezed lime juice, freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, ripe avocados, fresh cilantro

Instructions
CROCKPOT:
Remove the fat from the chicken breasts and add to a large crockpot (I use a 6-quart crockpot). Gently crush the tomatoes with your hands and add those and all juices to the crockpot along with the enchilada sauce, minced garlic, diced onion, green chiles, drained & rinsed black beans, and undrained corn.
Pour in the chicken stock or broth, the cumin, chili powder, paprika, bay leaf, and salt & pepper to taste (I use 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low or until the chicken is cooked through, tender, and easily shreds.

Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl and shred with two forks. Return the chicken to the crockpot and add in 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (to taste). Taste and adjust any seasonings (salt + pepper) and add fresh lime right here if desired. Remove the bay leaf.

Serve bowls of the soup with lots of your favorite toppings: freshly grated cheese, a large spoonful of sour cream, additional cilantro, fresh lime, and lots of tortilla strips!

INSTANT POT
Using the saute function, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute the minced garlic and diced onion for 3-4 minutes until the onion starts to soften.

Remove the fat from the chicken breasts and add to the instant pot along with all of the other ingredients. Give everything a good stir.

Secure the lid and cook on high pressure (manually select) for 7 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10-15 minutes before using quick release for the remaining pressure. Remove the chicken and shred and then return to the pot. Taste and adjust any seasonings (salt + pepper) and add fresh lime right here if desired. Remove the bay leaf.

Serve bowls of soup with your favorite toppings: freshly grated cheese, a large spoonful of sour cream, additional cilantro, fresh lime, and tortilla strips.

Environmental Health

Environmental health is so important this time of year… and this year especially! Cooler weather can mean we’re stuck inside more, and social distancing has left us with a lot more evenings in. So, making our home space inviting is more important than ever! You may be business as usual, but for most of us, the holidays will mean a few less visitors and a need for a little more creativity to make the seasons cheerful and bright, regardless of the political and pandemic chaos that’s swarming around us in the outside world. These are a few of our holiday plans that might spark a few ideas for you as well:

Decorate!

Even if guests won’t be attending our homes en masse like they usually may, still get those decorations up… especially the outdoor ones! Not only will you help yourself get into the holiday mood, but it will also brighten up your neighborhood and spread the cheer.

Halloween

We’ve never been much for outdoor Halloween decorations, especially since we are deterring trick-or-treaters this year. But, if you have small children in your life, consider still creating a fun trick-or-treating experience. We’ll be shutting all of our doors in our home for our 4 year old, taking turns dressing up, and having her knock at each as if it were houses. We’ll hand out candy or healthier treats to her, so she can still dress up in her costume and experience at least a bit of the fun!

Thanksgiving

Whether you’ll be gathering or not, chances are your numbers have at least decreased. It may even be just your family. But, still make that meal! Even if it’s smaller portion sizes or healthier options, fill your home with the Thanksgiving smells you’re used to, and enjoy the day! Don’t forget to move your body that day too- join our 5K if you’d like!

If you’re feasting as usual, a great rule of thumb is: start with a cup of water, go to veggies next, then protein, and then the carbs/alcohol. Keep cycling through this rotation to fill up on healthier options, but still enjoy!

Christmas

One tradition we had growing up was to have a small, stocking stuffer gift every week of Advent. I loved this tradition and getting little tidbits each Sunday after church! We liked this idea so much that we decided to shop early and spread out my daughter’s gifts throughout the month instead of having them all on Christmas itself. It helps her appreciate each gift more and then she can celebrate with the gifts she receives from relatives on the actual day! It may be a great option for you and your family as well if you want to spread out the joy and prepare your heart for Christmas by celebrating each Advent week.

Mental/Spiritual Health

We find ourselves at over half a year of quarantining or social distancing, and I may sound like a broken record when I say this, but: what you surround yourself with is what you think, say, and become! If you’re listening to daunting news, your thoughts will become negative, and so, therefore, will your words and life! But, if you purposefully turn to positive, enlightening messages to keep your mind and heart light, you will find yourself with a much better perspective and much more willing to reach out and act and speak in kinder and more thoughtful ways to those in need around you.

MUSIC

The first instant mood-lifter is music. It engages the right, creative hemisphere of our brains, and gets our brain working in a different way. I often listened to “oldies” music growing up (50s/60s/70s), and this music has become a frequent request by our 4-year-old… it often gets us through the “witching hour” when I’m making dinner and energy is starting to wane. Choose your upbeat music of preference and crank it up if you’re in a funk!

ONLINE SERMONS/PODCASTS

You may have seen that I combined mental and spiritual health in this section, and that is because the two can be very closely related. I’ve written before about how podcasts are like surrounding yourself with an uplifting group of friends, and this extends to surrounding yourself with uplifting and empowering spiritual messages as well.

There are a larger variety of podcasts, sermons, and spiritual messages available right now than ever before! Almost every church has resources available and new podcasts are popping up everywhere! If you find yourself lonely or lacking in a positive social or spiritual community, look to messages that you can listen to… it may not be the same as experiencing these communities in person, but it is an excellent substitute for the time-being!

My personal favorite is Rick Warren’s Daily Hope . He is a truly gifted speaker, and has excellent sermon series that have focuses for any season in life you may want guidance in. They are broken into 20 minute segments that make it easy to listen to while you’re folding laundry, prepping a meal, or even just having quiet time to start or end the day. Overall, don’t underestimate the power of immersing your mind in positive content!

Wrap-Up

That is a wrap on the Fall Newsletter! I hope you found a few tidbits that will make your Fall a happier and healthier season. An update on the Wholee Healthy family: Norah turned one year and Naomi 4 this Fall! Joel is able to work from home, and we are very fortunate to be able to have our bubble here without worry of contracting COVID or having any of the financial hardships many are facing. I’d love to hear from you and hear how you are faring as well!

Don’t forget to join our Huffin’ for the Stuffin’ 5K on Thanksgiving! We’d love to celebrate a holiday with you by staying active and healthy.

I am taking 1 more client before the holidays! I work 1-on-1 with clients to form health goals in 6 areas of their life, prioritize them, and break them down into manageable weekly tasks. If this sounds like it may be something you’re interested in or want to hear more about visit my 1-on-1 Coaching page or email me: wholeehealthy@gmail.com

Until next time, stay safe and healthy, friends!

~Jess

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words,Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi  

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