Something I have noticed overtime (at greater frequency) is how people create their own false perceptions as 'facts'......without even knowing the facts.
It's actually scary to me. And it's incredibly damaging to one's self to rely on false information.
Here are some examples:
I have actually experienced it myself when a few have said "Oh you must be depressed or you have an 'emotional' illness' via Lyme Disease/Pots Syndrome. P.S. Lyme/Pots is 100% a physical illness - only - that does affect you emotionally....yet is not an emotional illness. And it's not a spiritual illness although it will certainly challenge your faith (In my case, my faith has been strengthened). And it's not depression. I will write an entire post on this very soon as so many of you have requested me to.
I also hear it when people are discussing their diets. I have heard 'You aren't getting enough protein' to vegans and vegans explode into laughter. I have heard it when people say things like 'everything in moderation is good for you'. Oh boy.
I have seen & heard it in the beauty industry and 'natural' product industry: 'Well, it says 'natural' on the product so, it's good for you'. No, not necessarily.
And sadly, I have heard it with people creating false perceptions of other people in conversation. So sad.
What examples can you share?
Knowledge is powerful...actually being informed of factual information so you can make informed wise decisions. And when people are speaking from a place of being informed, I listen respectfully. I also like to share only from a place of being informed.
This all brings us to the title of this blog post, Why I Do Not Eat Pigs.
I have found that many people truly are not informed about the intelligence of pigs and 'pig meat'. And if they were informed, they would literally never ever eat them again. You just cannot eat them once you are aware of the facts.
I will never eat a pig. But, I sure would love to care for one. Growing up, my mom & her friends bought a friend of theirs a baby micro-pig. And I was able to hold it. It was the sweetest & most gentle animal ever. And the pig was SO smart!
So, here are 5 Facts about pigs (sources linked) that should be enough to guarantee you would never eat one again. And if you do - after reading this - it would be disturbing.
1. According to research, pigs are much smarter than dogs, and they even do better at video games than some primates. In fact, pigs are extremely clever animals who form complex social networks and have excellent memories. Eating a pig is like eating your dog! Pigs have the mental capacities of a 3-year-old human. Let that sink in guys. Pigs have the mental capacity of a 3 year old child. Fascinating.
Pigs are extraordinarily intelligent. They are curious and insightful animals who are widely accepted as being smarter than young children of at least 3 years of age, dogs, and even some primates.
2. Dr. Rasid Buttar the author of, "9 Things to Keep the Doctor Away" says the two things people should never eat are Pork and Margarine. Margarine is obvious, it's liquid plastic, and Pigs (really any farm animal) from CAFO's are not good for humans or animals.
3. Pigs are easily trained to walk on a leash, use a litter box and do tricks. Pigs enjoy snuggling close to one another and prefer to sleep nose-to-nose.
4. Mother pigs use individual calls for each of their piglets. Newborn piglets recognize their own calls and run to their mothers voices.
5. Pigs have incredible memories and can travel miles to find their home should they get lost. They literally know how to find their way back up to over 11 miles.
If you aren't into these warm fuzzy facts and still intend to eat pigs, then read this article.
If you eat a pig after reading the article I just linked (above sentence), I would be speechless.
My overall message to you is to know the actual facts in every situation before you create an opinion and a choice.
I have come to believe through experience that people are so attached to their false perceptions that they are uncomfortable with the actual truth. Do not be one of those people in life.
'I am not a momentary decision maker. I like well informed decisions' - Natalia Dyer
I cannot believe it's Wednesday! I am so ready for the weekend. You too? My niece is coming in to visit (she is pregnant so, I cannot wait to see her growing bump). I cannot wait to relax w/ her. She said it is supposed to be 40 degrees in Chicago!
So, two blog posts down, I said that I would share where I grocery shop in Chicago. So, given that I have a small budget & must be creative in my purchases, I thought this list of stores would be helpful for many of you too.
Spring/Summer/Fall, I shop at the farmers markets. I love Green City Market the best. I learned from Whitney Lauritsen via Eco-Vegan Gal to go to the market towards closing. And that is a time when most people have left & most produce has already been purchased. It's at this time that you can barter with the farmers. The price is always 50% less than what the cost was even an hour before!
I can often buy a week's worth of organic fruit & veggies + pasta for less than 40.00 for the week!!!!!
I think Whole Foods gets a really bad rap for being 'so expensive'. You simply have to shop smart when you shop there. I am an analytical mind & I have a spreadsheet for 'everything' ....you know, that kind of gal. So, I once did a cost comparison of produce of major stores in Chicago. Maybe I should do a post on that for all of you - Would you like that?
Whole Foods organic produce is the most expensive in the city. And yet they often have the best sales on organic produce reducing their cost to less than many other stores (Including Mariano's, Trader Joes, etc). Also, many of their 'dry products' are actually less than all other grocery stores in the city (minus Stanley's and I've not shopped much at Trader's Joe's but intend to)....gasp.
I personally love Whole Foods. I particularly love the Whole Foods on Kingsbury because of it's size. I've always prayed 'God, I would love to meet my husband in the organic fruit aisle of WF'. haha! I am actually serious. I have a friend from college who met her husband there.
I am digressing but, I head to Whole Foods for sales basically. And I love the hunt.
I feel like this is SUCH A HIDDEN GEM in the city of Chicago!
I buy all of my basic supplements from Fresh Thyme! Why? Because they have the best prices in the entire city!
I also think Fresh Thyme has amazing prices on 'snacks'!
With that being said, like Whole Foods, their organic produce is pricey.
I did a post on Fresh Thyme so, if you'd like, please read that!
So, that's where I shop. I get my organic produce from Farmer's Markets, sales at Whole Foods & all snacks & supplements from Fresh Thyme.
Where do you shop? Where do you find the best bargains?
Also, apologies to Trader Joe's. I hear they are fabulous. I just haven't explored them much but, intend to. But, two bloggers that I LOVE (Lows to Luxe & The Golden Girl Blog) shop at Trader Joe's all of the time and share their hauls. I love tuning into what they find!
Where do you shop? Are you a budget shopper? If so, please share your favorite finds!
Hi guys! Are you enjoying the snowy weather or are you 'over it'? I try to appreciate every season but, often (like most) cannot wait for winter to end. I am such a 'summer girl'.
Let's jump into today's topic....keeping our lips moisturized during the winter!
If you are a frequent visitor to Snapshots of Wellness, you know I only use products that are truly pure & clean. I feel like the SW community is well versed in what that means.
For those of you who are learning about 'health/beauty/skincare', it's critical to your health not to use products that have dangerous toxins (psst.....most do). It's also important not to use products that test on animals. And beauty companies are often sneaky in not sharing how they do their testing, what they are adding to their products & even what words they use via their marketing...to trick ya. For example, the word 'natural' can be a cover for toxic beauty. Thus, you really need to do your homework. If you would all like, I can do a post on this topic another time. Let me know.
I have a small budget which means I have to be strategic & highly selective in what beauty/skincare products I buy. I used to buy so many products (a ridiculous amount) but, now I have to really consider what it is my skin needs and what products total will achieve the results I am looking for.
Today I want to focus on our LIPS. I know chapped lips are a huge challenge for many during the winter months and trust me, if you use the three beauty products below, you will have hydrated lips all winter long.
My NUMBER ONE beauty/skincare product that I use daily is MYMATCHA by Cocokind.
MYMATCHA is an all over moisture stick that I use as a facial moisturizer, lip balm, under eye hydration & any area on my skin that is dry. It only has THREE ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax & Organic Matcha Tea Powder.
It's SO hydrating and I never ever get chapped lips. I love having MYMATCHA in my purse so, it's 'on hand' at all times.
Guys, MYMATCHA is only 8.99. And it will last you 4-5 months.
Beautycounter lip sheer in Rose.
This is my favorite lipstick...possibly ever. I am a creature of habit so, I am not too experimental once I find what I like.
Beautycounter said this lip sheer was silky smooth & moisturizing and IT IS. It's so smooth on my lips that I seriously forget I am wearing it. I never reapply throughout the day. I put it on each morning & it lasts until I take my makeup off! My lips are also so soft as a result.
I cannot say enough about this product. The lip sheer shade of Rose is so versatile; You can wear this color from day to night, casual w/ jeans & a tee to a more formal date night. I bought this through Senior Director at Beautycounter, Bonnie Knobloch.
There are so many aspects of buying through Bonnie at BeautyCounter that I love. And the main one is that I can reach out to her anytime and give her a description of what look I am trying to achieve, my style, what exactly I am hoping for in choosing a product like a lip sheer and she will make an informed recommendation. Bonnie has a background in the beauty industry which is yet another reason why I like to purchase through her. She also has incredible style. Watch Bonnie here to get a feel for her yourself. And if you are wanting to purchase BC products through her, go here.
I think specifically for a lip sheer, I told Bonnie I wanted a subtle shade that I could wear day to night (that would also go w/ a primarily monochromatic style of navy, white, grey & black). And she recommended the shade Rose.
My third & final beauty find for my lips is a DIY scrub at home. I have been exfoliating my lips for over ten years. I do a gentle brown sugar lip scrub three nights a week.....every week for as long as I can remember.
I love organic homemade beauty. I think it would be fun to host a girls night where we make facial masks of fruits & avocados, lip scrubs, etc. Have you ever hosted a spa evening at home w/ your friends?
My lip scrub takes 1 minute to mix together. I mix Coconut Oil & an Organic Brown Sugar together and that's it! If my lips are exceptionally dry, I will sprinkle in a more course Himalayan Sea Salt but, I think you have to be very careful that the scrub isn't too rough for your skin.
Wala, so simple, cost effective and your lips will be baby soft.
How do you keep your lips moisturized all winter? Have you used any of the products above?
Big hugs guys! Chat soon!
What are your grocery cart staples? Please share because I love to chat organic food....which is no surprise to any of you.
While I love to try new food all of the time, I am also a 'kitchen staple' type of gal. So, there are always five things you will always find in my grocery cart which I will share below.
Before I do, a few of you asked me where I grocery shop. I am a huge budget shopper so, I go to a variety of stores & farmers markets in order to make sure I am buying the lowest cost yet highest quality products! I will do a post on this topic next.
For now, let's chat 'What is in my grocery cart':
Enjoy this 60 degree weather Chicago!
I have a strict & small budget that doesn't allot for much clothing purchases.
Right before I had gotten sick (we are talking three weeks before), I had purchased a long black Northface coat, Hunter boots & a TON of ski gear. And I thank God I was able to do that because my Northface coat & boots have lasted since 2010! My Hunters are slit up the sides though now - Has that happened to any of your Hunters? Please share!
I literally - rarely - buy clothes because 1). My dollars go toward medical expenses in Chicago & primarily organic food (and of course bills). This leaves little leeway to zero dollars for fashion.
I have had to get so creative about every purchase I make. I wrote about budgeting here for MindBodyGreen. And I find living with less quite freeing in many ways actually. I try to find joy in what I have vs. what I do not have.
In the winter, I basically wear one of two skirts every single day w/ exchanging one of four sweaters, three pair of tights, Hunters, TOMS ankle boots & above the knee boots I have had for 7 years. I wear a lot of pajamas too as I am in bed a lot. And that's the bulk of my wardrobe.
As I said, I have had to get creative.
Let me share three classic style ideas for those of you that have a small budget as well. The scarf in the photo above is 12.00 at Nordstrom w/ free shipping. Grab it! It's classic & versatile and goes with basically everything. You can wear it Winter/Spring/Fall. And I think it easily changes up any outfit. As shown in the photog, it dresses up even a crisp white shirt.
I really love layering & this marled grey tee at Nordstrom above is 13.00. What a steal. Add the scarf above (choose striped scarf in navy) to this tee w/ skinny dark jeans or a skirt and you have a classic outfit. I also love wearing this tee under black/navy sweaters for a bit of dimension to a monochromatic look.
If you are going to splurge on one year-round versatile item, this top is a great choice. Being that it's Navy & White, it will go with pretty much everything in your closets. It's again - classic - with a bit of preppy infusion which I personally love. You can wear this year round......yes, even in the summer on breezy nights.
It's casual but, can be dressed up with heels or even dressed down with sneakers.
I first saw this top by the way on kellyinthecity.com. And I don't have the top but, hope to one day.
Guys, you can pull off a classic style at any budget at all. You just have to shop smart and get creative w/ what you already have. And if you can buy nothing at all? Dress up your style w/ a red lip or even change the part in your hair. Yes, changing the part in your hair changes your entire look!
Lastly, if you are really into fashion & have the budget, my favorite fashion blogs are kellyinthecity.com and my absolute GO TO is thegoldengirlblog.com.
It's freezing in Chicago. And the majority are struggling w/ how to stay motivated w/out sunlight & being able to be outdoors for any length of time.
Are you over this cold front or do you enjoy it? I'd love to hear how you are surviving these frigid temps.
I have always been in the minority because I enjoy it. I know, don't throw a snowball at my head. When I used to be in medical sales, I traveled all over the country. And I was exercising daily as well as hosting evening dinner programs for physicians multiple times per week. My free nights, I was playing co-ed softball & volleyball in the city. I LOVED it all but, I always looked forward to winter. Winter was a time to hibernate and drastically slow down the pace. It still is. I would exchange my 7-10 mile daily runs for the sauna at the gym or no exercise at all beyond gentle stretching.
To me, winter = shedding. It's a season to declutter, provide extra nourishment to your body & soul and shed the 'excess'.
With all of that being said, I feel like we all need some survival hacks until this weather breaks:
1). HOME WELLNESS.
Eat as many organic greens & veggies as you can. You need to boost your immune system to starve off the nasty flu going around. Get your Vitamin D in (Go for 10,000 IU a day minimum). I love Garden of Life's Vitamin D best.
Have fun building your 'home wellness apothecary' from going through your supplements & herbals in your cabinets to cleaning out the food in your fridge. Reorganize it all. Trust me, it'll feel SO good when you done.
Spend time cooking & baking at home. Invite friends over for warm tea & whatever it is you baked.
ENJOY & EMBRACE the slower pace rather than complain about it.
This is the perfect drought (as I refer to it) to read your favorite books. Because come Spring, you will be out that front door catching up on the plethora of Chicago activities.
I am presently reading 'Legacy of a Pack Rat by Ruth Graham Bell'. I received the book for Christmas from my sis. I am loving it. And I just ordered a Proverbs at home bible study that I am really excited about.
Special Note for those w/ Lyme Disease: Reading can be tough for people w/ Lyme (b/c the blood vessels aren't constricting properly in the eyes) so, for those of you suffering, try audio books!
3). Workout at Home.
You can go to YouTube and find every type of workout from floor Pilates to yoga to weight lifting. You can find workouts that are 5 minutes (Yes, those are a thing) to 1 hour. So, essentially, no excuses. Move your body in the warmth of your own home!
I feel like this is the PERFECT season to explore all of the Chicago museums. Go with some friends and/or your family. If you are driving, they all have indoor heated parking & if you are taking public transit, simply bundle up!
5). Neighborhood Coffee Shops & Brunch Spots
In the city of Chicago, our neighborhoods are our little islands. Head out into your neighborhood to meet friends & neighbors for hot chocolate or brunch.
It is important that you do not isolate in the winter as it's so easy to do. And I think it's when people isolate that they fall into the doldrums or SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
My favorite place in Wicker Park/Bucktown to meet friends is Milk & Honey on Division. The food is delish, it's a neighborhood staple & the blazing cozy fireplace warms up the small space quickly! I also love meeting my friends w/ little ones at Stans Donuts because it's lively, colorful and well, they have the best donuts in the city.
I hope these 5 tips helped! Bundle up Chicago!!!
Burrrrrr.......it's freezing in Chicago (literally). Have any of you seen those epic photos of the frozen Chicago River? Whoa. These are the days when you venture out in the am & stay cold throughout the day because the chill has reached your bones.
My mind always goes immediately to the lost pets and outdoor cats. I am always so concerned for them. If you ever happen to see one, please try to save it and take it a nearby animal shelter. Wow, that is so off topic but, I digress.
I thought I would share five simple tips to ward off the winter cold/flu-bug in exchange for a boosted immune system. And trust me, they are simple, doable & they make a huge difference in your health.
Let's get started:
1). Eat more organic greens. Simple enough, eh?
Sauteed greens are great because, not only are they nutrient packed but, they are warming to the body. Eat as many as you can everyday. If you absolutely just loathe greens (I know some of you do - ha), then take huge handfuls and place them in your smoothies. You will not taste them w/ all you add in. My favorite smoothie always involves Vega or Dr. Axe protein, a hearty spoonful of unsweetened almond butter, organic berries and a huge handful of extra organic greens.
2). I am not a doctor as ya'll know but, I highly recommend Liposomal Vitamin C. It's quickly absorbed & has better absorbency than say, a typical Vitamin C coated supplement. I cannot recommend more highly. The one I take daily is here.
3). A high potency probiotic. I have been told that you want a probiotic with as many strands as possible. And it's important that you 'switch up' your probiotic frequently. My favorites are Garden of Life & Dr. Josh Axe's. It's agreed upon by every health practitioner that a daily probiotic is critical. If your bacteria are sick, you are too. And over 70% of the cells that make up our immune systems are housed in the gut wall. Read this article to get educated if you aren't already.
4). Boost your mood. Yes, it's true! Our immune systems functions better when we bolster our healthy living strategies. And this includes mood. Create habits that bring you JOY every single day. Some ideas are: Meditation (even 5 minutes) morning stretching, lunch w/ a loved one, playing w/ your children or pets, a workout or any hobby that you enjoy.
5). Get as much sleep as possible. The best advice on sleep that I have ever personally gotten is to place your phone in another room...shut off of course....a minimum of two to three hours before you go to sleep. Read or simply 'be still' and allow your body to relax. I always do deep breathing exercises before I fall asleep. It relaxes me and helps get me into a drowsy state. Finally, sometimes I like to slowly & gently stretch my fingers/feet/ankles/hands/wrists/legs/neck & back before I fall asleep.
I know these were all quite easy steps but, that was the point! Let me know if you incorporate any of them moving forward and if you have any additional tips!
Also, hold on Chicago...and New York, bundle up friends! Next week is supposed to be in the 30's which will feel like Spring haha!
Talk soon everyone!
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.