The Holistic Chick Online

Heathy and Holistic Inside and Out…Don't Drink Coffee While Riding an Elliptical.

Sticky Post: Owens Acres Discount

My readers now have their own discount code over at Owens Acres!  Just for readers of The Holistic Chick Online, our discount code is HOLISTIC.  Use this code at checkout for 10% off, and enjoy the handmade, natural offerings.  For sure check out the tea pages.

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Ending and Beginning

Due to some heavy-duty changes, I am closing down The Holistic Chick blog and starting up a new one:

 

http://celeryhills.wordpress.com/

 

It is going to be the same content, only I am adding fitness to the mix.

 

See you there!

 

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Going to the Gym When You’re Heavy.*

Elliptical vs Treadmill

Elliptical vs Treadmill (Photo credit: eskayisis)

This is my story about finally getting the guts to go to a gym.

It was something I struggled with for a while.  I was afraid I was too fat for the gym.  Which is stupid, because why do people go to the gym?  I had reached a point where I had to do something with myself, and even though I was out of shape, something had to get me back into shape, right?

So I got a membership (that’s a whole other story) and got myself going.  At first I was freaked out, self-conscious, and hypersensitive to my surroundings.  After two days, I decided I didn’t care what other people thought, I felt better than I had in years after only two days!

These are the things I figured out when it comes to going to the gym when you’re fat:

1. Get over yourself.  If you are all freaked out about what other people are going to think, then you aren’t ready to put in the money, time and effort.  Paying for a membership isn’t going to immediately change your outlook, or your behavior.  If you aren’t ready to walk into a gym squeezed into a compression sports bra with your head held high, then you aren’t ready for it.

2.  No one cares what you look like.  I found this to be a hard truth.  I figured I was making an absolute fool out of myself huffing and puffing and sweating , but not a single person noticed because they were all too busy concentrating on themselves.  This is the truth.  If you are in the weight area of your gym, struggling with a five pound weight, the person next to you is too busy staring at their form in the mirror to pay you any matter.

3.  Get workout gear.  I found working out in ratty shorts and a t-shirt didn’t do anything to boost my self esteem, so I went shopping.  I hit the plus-sized workout clothing places and got bras, capris, t-shirts, workout jackets, sneakers, a new iPod, a sports watch, a gym bag…oh yes, I went shopping.  It felt good to wear clothes I would only wear at the gym.  Workout clothes are much more comfortable to work out in, to be honest.  Also, it gives me a reason to wear a screaming lime green workout shirt, as well as neon pink socks.  When I put my gear on, I was ready to sweat!

4.  People watching in a gym is hilarious.  Hauling myself around on an elliptical while watching the Zumba folks come in the front door in all of their Zumba brand gear is fabulous.  I had no idea there were shoes especially for Zumba class.  Also, the guys who can’t stop feeling their own muscles, the ladies who come in with a face full of make-up…these folks are awesome.  There’s this one lady who puts make up on in the locker room right before she goes out onto the equipment floor, and takes a quick flat-iron to her hair.  There are the folks who grunt loudly when they lift weights, there are the show-offs, the folks who really don’t know how to use the equipment correctly, and we cannot forget the techno folks.  These are the ones who sit on equipment and text.  More than once I had to ask someone if they could sit somewhere else because I wanted to get a set in.

5.  Get a trainer.  I can’t say it enough.  Not only will they get you working correctly, they are also supportive and in my experience, protective.  My trainer told me if anyone gave me a bad time, to tell her and she would handle it.  She’s not someone you mess around with.  Really, though.  A trainer will get you on a scheduled workout, will guide you through the workouts that will help you, show you how to use the equipment, and will be your cheerleader.  There’s nothing worse than using cable-weights the wrong way.  If you’re going to sweat a lot, why not make it for a reason?  The money I have spent on my trainer has been some of the best money I have spent in my life.  Yeah, a trainer can be spendy, but if you find the right one, the money is worth it.  I found it helps to be accountable to someone who won’t take excuses.

These are some of the things I discovered on my own.  Mind you, when I walked into my gym I had no idea what I was doing and I felt like a fool.  I got over all that in a hurry.  I am there to get healthy, not to impress anyone.  No one has laughed at me yet…in fact, one person came up to me, as I was dripping all over an elliptical, and told me that he was happy to see me in there every day, and that I was an inspiration.

Nice!

*When I say “fat”, I am saying I walked into the gym over  300 lbs.  No joke.

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Yes, Valentine’s Day!

Watch for the January FB Friends Discount Code and special offer for Valentines Jewelry orders!  Check out Owens Acres Designs for selections!

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Finally Found Ear Buds That Stay in my Ears!

I have tried standard, in-the-ear earbuds.  I have tried the iPod earbuds that come with the iPod’s.  I tried wrap-around-the-ear sport earbuds, thinking those were what I needed.

 

JVHAEBX5P

JVC Inner Ear Sport Clip Headphones

ipod_white_earbuds

Standard iPod Earbuds

 

 

Even the totally cool looking JVC earbuds did not stay in my ears, and I was constantly adjusting them.  They were comfortable, but if you wear glasses they tend to get on your nerves.  It’s too bad, they are super cute.

So I ordered the iLuv Fit Active Sport Earphones, thinking why not?  They came today, so off to the gym I went with my new ear-gear.  They are funny looking, but are totally comfortable and once they were in, they were in.  I didn’t have to fiddle with them once, or push them back in because there were on the verge of falling out.

Needless to say, WINNER.

iLuv-FitActive-High-Fidelity-Headphones-detail1

iLuv Fit Active: the Winner!

 

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Cold Weather Aches and Pains…

Arnica Warm Salve by Owens Acres

Arnica Warm Salve by Owens Acres

Pressure changes make my head hurt.

Let me rephrase that.  Pressure changes feels like a nail is being pounded into my left temple.

Cold Weather makes my neck, hands and knees ache.

My solutions?

Topical pain relief.  You don’t have to smear over-the-counter horrid smelling gels or creams, do a search online and find organic alternatives.

Sombra Warm Therapy in the roll-on container is a big help for the pain I get from bone-spurs in my neck, and it travels easily in bags and purses.  Also, Arnica Warm from Owens Acres, or the plain Arnica, work on the creaky knees.  The plain arnica balm I use as a hand moisturizer for my achy hands.

The head?  Hands down, Headache Balm from Owens Acres.  I don’t leave home without it.  In fact, I just ordered five more.  Apply it over your eyes, beneath your nose, behind your ears and breathe it in.    It works so well I don’t have to take pain killers, and I think we all know of that pain that is so miserable we reach for the bottle of ibuprofen.

So!  Even though it’s cold, we can keep the garbage out of our bodies while remaining comfortable.

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A Trip to the Grocery Store…

English: Different potato varieties. – The pot...

English: Different potato varieties. – The potato is the vegetable of choice in the United States. On average, Americans devour about 65 kg of them per year. New potato releases by ARS scientists give us even more choices of potatoes to eat. Deutsch: Verschiedene Kartoffelsorten (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…well, not just any grocery store.  Chuck’s Produce and Street Market in Vancouver, WA is my go-to place for groceries.  I have many reasons, one being the wonderful ladies and gentlemen behind the deli counter who are so nice to my mom and myself when we shop on Tuesdays.  *waves hello and gives thanks for the pickled onions*

Part of our produce selections was a bag of organic russet potatoes (a half a potato with vegetarian chili chases the winter chill away, fyi) and for the first time in my life I smelled a potato.  Not that I could get away from it.  That bag smelled so earthy, rich and yes, REAL.  Those potatoes smelled as if they were just dug from the ground.  I have purchased potatoes before (many times) but this was the first time that earthy smell really hit me.  Think about it: the ground gave up this delicious, good for you potato.  No added colors, preservatives, chemicals, nothing.  Just potatoes.

For those who don’t eat a whole lot of “real” food, I implore you to become one with the glorious root vegetables that are prevalent this time of year.  Oh, and put down those bags of baby carrots.  Have a real carrot, with the green tops still on.  Carrots are sweet, did you know, and the majority of their nutrients come from the skin and the layer beneath.  Baby carrots are shaved down regular carrots, so the majority of the nutrients were wasted for the ease of convenience.  Wash your carrots, then eat them.  Don’t peel them.

It’s crazy but yes, a bag of potatoes inspired me for this post.  It was a toss-up between the potatoes, or the amazing oranges that were available.  Thin-skinned, easy to peel globes of nutrition.  When I walked into Chuck’s I smelled the oranges before I saw them.  I only got four of them, my mother doesn’t eat oranges because she’s been disappointed once the rind comes off.  Not these.  We have to go back to get more.

Chuck’s isn’t everywhere, sadly.  For those not in the area, check online to see if there is an organic market in your area, then give them a visit.  The earth gives up an abundance of fruits and vegetables, full of flavor and color and beauty.  No big food marketing campaign and replicate what food can do in its natural state.

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I Give You…Carrots and some Fun Carrot Facts.

English: A bunch of carrots (Daucus carota), w...

English: A bunch of carrots (Daucus carota), washed and placed on a wooden cutting board (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Glorious carrots! Thanks Liz!

Image of "baby-cut" carrots

Image of “baby-cut” carrots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Baby-Cut carrots, the popular snack, are a bit lower in vitamins and minerals than your standard carrot.  The majority of nutrients in carrots and in and just below the skin, and whittling a mature carrot into a baby-cut carrot eliminates the most nutritious part of the carrot.  I used to love baby-cut carrots, but once I tasted a carrot with its dark green, lush greenery still attached, I haven’t gone back.  Besides, a plastic bag of baby-cut carrots costs more than a simple bunch of carrots.  Save some money, grab a knife and    cut your own carrots, and taste what a carrot really tastes like.

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Coming Soon: Lanyards at Owens Acres

Lime Green Lanyard from Owens Acres Design

My job requires that I keep two badges and one electronic door key on my person at all times.

I usually use one of those badge reels, but the clips snap off in a minute or it gets tangled up in the arms of my chair.

The problem (which would keep me up at night, really) is now solved.  I am now the proud owner of a super pretty beaded lanyard from Owens Acres Design.

These lanyards will soon be available on the Etsy website.

Lime Green Lanyard from Owens Acres Design

 

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Sugar/Stevia Blends Question..and that new sugar, Nectresse

English: Stevia rebaudiana foliage

English: Stevia rebaudiana foliage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I have noticed that both Domino and C&H brands have both come out with “light” versions of sugar, a stevia/sugar blend.

Both brands claim the same for their products:  half the calories of sugar, a half a teaspoon of “light” equals the sweetness of one teaspoon of plain sugar, with no artificial ingredients.

No artificial ingredients.

If you check out the ingredients for both products, they are exactly the same:  Sugar, Stevia, Natural Flavoring.  I can’t locate what the natural flavoring is.

Also, on the S&H FAQ Page, there is this disclaimer:

Q. How much stevia is used in C&H® Light?

Since C&H® Light is a proprietary blend of sugar and stevia, we are not at liberty to share the particulars with the public. C&H® Light is an all natural, reduced calorie sweetener that has met with all FDA regulations and contains no known allergens.

-from www.chsugar.com

There’s no way to find out the ratio of sugar to stevia, and who knows what “natural flavors” mean, so I guess I will be leaving this on the shelf.

Oh, I also came across Nectresse, made by the makers of Splenda.  The first ingredient is erythritol, a sugar alcohol.  Next ingredient is sugar, third is Monk Fruit, last is molasses (from http://www.nectresse.com/faq#32).

Nectresse sounds good, looks good, is marketed really well, but is it really beneficial for us?

 

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Lilly’s Hummus: So Delicious

Lilly’s Hummus: Plain

I love it when I come across something fabulous purely by accident.

I needed hummus, and I stress the word need.  I was at my local Chuck’s Produce and I was about to reach for my little clamshell type container of my stand-by hummus, when I saw a bigger container on sale.

It was Lilly’s Hummus.  Bigger is better, and the ingredients were short and simple, so I took a flyer and grabbed a container of their regular hummus.  As I wandered through Chuck’s, I made sure I had a bag of unsalted pita chips (a weakness of mine when it comes to hummus) and a bunch of carrots with the tops still attached.

(Don’t get me started on those “baby” carrots.  If you want a REAL carrot, get the ones with the greenery still attached.  The flavor is amazing.)

Anyway, I digress.  Lilly’s Hummus wasn’t what I expected at all.  It was absolutely delicious.  Thick, creamy, smooth and with an amazing flavor of…HUMMUS.  I got the Plain, and I am used to brands who call their plain version plain, but it’s usually overpowering with garlic.

Oh, and its chunky.  I am a texture girl, and texture will come before taste any time.  Texture will make or break a product for me.  It doesn’t matter how good it is, but if the texture is off, then no.  Just no.  Lilly’s is creamy smooth and perfectly seasoned and did I say it was creamy smooth?

Here are the ingredients for Lilly’s Hummus, Plain:

Ingredients: Organic Garbanzo Beans, Olive Oil, Sesame Tahini, Lemon Juice, Sea-Salt, Garlic, Citric Acid.

A very simple 7 ingredients.  Unfortunately I have seen brands with 10, even 15 ingredients.

Lilly’s comes in several flavors for those who need something more exciting than “plain”:  there’s Roasted Garlic, Kalamata Olive, Roasted Red Pepper, Roasted Jalapeno (spicy) and my new, all time favorite flavor, Smoked Tomato and Basil.  There is also a Cracked Pepper version, the creators are still tweaking the recipe to make it amazing.

Lilly’s Smoked Tomato and Basil Hummus

Lilly’s Smoked Tomato and Basil Hummus is WOW. I don’t know how else to describe it, so I am going to go with my initial reaction when I tried it.  Just WOW.  Like the Plain, it’s well blended and creamy smooth with a delicious smoky flavor that is out of this world and totally unexpected. It is safe to say the Smoked Tomato flavor has shock value to it, because the amazing flavor is simply not expected.  The smoked tomatoes doesn’t over power the flavor of those delicate Garbanzo Beans, yet the gently sweet-tanginess really shines.  I was stunned, that’s how good this was.

The Smoked Tomato is good plain (seriously, insert a clean finger and go to town if you aren’t sharing your container) or I found it to be fabulous with celery and other goodies, so much so I created a recipe:

Lilly’s Smoked Tomato and Basil Hummus Dish of Fabulousness:

Lilly’s Smoked Tomato and Basil Hummus

Grated Carrots (use the ones with the green tops still attached);

Sliced Avocado;

Celery Sticks, Pita Chips, or Garden Of Eating No Salt Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Add slices of avocado to top of hummus, sprinkle with the carrot, and dip away with the celery sticks, pita chips, or my favorite, those Garden of Eating No Salt Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.

 

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