"Let our New Year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word."
— Goran Persson
I wanted to wish all of you the most joyous of holidays with family & friends! And I am hoping you are all planning to ring in 2016 in a fashion that suits your spirits!
Thank you all so much for tuning into Snapshots of Wellness throughout 2015! I know there are so many blogs out there so, the fact that you all stop by is a gift. I am deeply grateful.
I want to encourage all of you to keep it simple via your wellness journey. I have learned this year more than any year prior that minimalism and simplicity are paths to a nurtured mind, body & spirit.
My hope is that you all realize the importance of overall wellness including filling your body with healthy organic greens & whole foods. And while most people fill up this season on sugary toxic foods, I am just rooting for us to do the opposite and care for ourselves.
I am eager to unplug from social media and enjoy a true break!
Snapshots of Wellness will be renovated in 2016 to bring a new focus! I have done this each year and it serves myself and the SW community well. And I will leave that focus as a teaser. I will resume blogging after the first quarter of 2016. So come on back in March to reacquaint yourselves with me & the site.
God Bless! Spread some cheer out there by being kind, forgiving loved ones and yourself, extending heaps of grace and looking UP to Him who adores us all!
“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Being a meticulous health conscious consumer, I LOVE discovering new companies who create products that are pure - simple - organic - nutrient rich - and delicious! I also look for products that are both gluten & dairy free with low unrefined sugars.
I was recently introduced to Futters Nut Butters and this company puts new meaning into 'simple' and 'healthy'!!! Are you familiar? Futters Nut Butters is a locally based company in Illinois which I loved hearing. I think it's so important for all of us to support our local stores both online and otherwise. Please go check out their over 25 products!
In their own words....At Futter’s Nut Butters, Inc., our mission is to provide a pure, simple and delectable food product to the health conscious consumer. We are also a safe option for those people with health concerns who are seeking the positive effects of purely natural foods.
Pure and made to order, Futters Nut Butters products are produced in a gluten, diary and peanut free facility. Each jar is packed in recyclable glass jars to assure freshness and purity. Moreover, we only grind one nut/seed a day taking caution to help eliminate any cross contamination between products. We offer organic and natural options and we are also kosher certified.
What I was most surprised by when I received their Macadamia Butter was the ingredient list itself! ONE INGREDIENT! Seriously. There is one ingredient....the macadamia nut itself. How amazing is that! What you are eating truly is pure goodness for your body. I am hooked!
As I was learning about the company itself, I realized how much environmental & healthy thoughtfulness was put into their overall delivery. For one, Futters Nut Butters are made in a gluten-free, dairy-free and peanut free facility. Most 'natural' products are not so, this is a gigantic plus for me personally. Secondly, Futters Nut Butters does not use palm oil in their products. This is a HUGE HEALTH BENEFIT. I was told specifically by one of their employees "We're really sensitive to the massive deforestation that's going on in Indonesia as a result of palm oil production, and we do everything we can to maintain an environmentally conscious product". Thirdly, the variety is vast for any and all palettes: Walnut Butter, Macadamia Nut Butter, Cashew Butter, Pecan Butter, Pistachio Butter, Pumpkin Seed Butter, Almond Butter, Hazelnut Butter, Brazil Nut Butter, Sunflower Seed Butter. So, they have all of our taste buds covered!
One of my favorite aspects of the Futters Nut Butters website is that they include numerous recipes to help us out with ideas of how to eat the nut butters! And all of these recipes are FREE! So generous.
As for the Macadamia Butter specifically, it is so creamy, rich and delicious! And if you weren't aware, the macadamia nut is backed with potassium, magnisium, calcium and of course, fiber! Healthy goodness! I have spread this on crackers, gluten free bagels for guests & as a butter substitute in a batch of macadamia & oatmeal cookies! Unreal! Yum!
Lastly, these nut butters are so well priced. I was actually floored at their reasonable prices.
Head over to Futters Nut Butters to sample some of their decadent & delish products! You can order directly from their site! P.S. These are really fun stocking stuffers & house warming gifts for the holidays- it's not too late!
The holiday pace can be maddening: Nonstop hustle & bustle, parties, events, writing Christmas cards, presents, wrapping, baking, entertaining, family visiting, etc.
As we all race through December, fun & festive can turn into complete exhaustion. Are you with me? I know you all are.
It is so important to take time to rest, recharge and protect our immune systems. Refueling means saying 'No' when you began to feel overwhelmed - doubling up on organic green juice - eating that extra organic kale salad with dinner - getting a good nights sleep - turning off technology - etc. People are eating more sugary sweets as well. Exchanging processed sugar for healthier choices such as Stevia in your coffee/tea or Manuku Honey is a teeny step that will serve your body well. There are so many small steps towards preserving your wellness so that you don't completely deplete your body this month. Right now is a good time to do a 'gut check' & see where you can scale back and fill that space (or your plate) with healthier decisions.
Are you carving time out in your busy holiday schedule to get quiet with God? Are you creating space for yourself to simply 'be'? Are you taking a step back to 'pause' and make goals for the coming year? I strongly encourage you not to leave your own wellness to the wayside during this season.
This week I'll be sharing a delicious new product I have discovered from the company, Futters Nut Butters. They make this Macadamia Butter (ONE INGREDIENT) and it's so yum (also a fab stocking stuffer)! So, you can look forward to that on Wednesday. And after that, I will be wrapping up Snapshots of Wellness with one 'finale' blog for the year!
Enjoy the week & take care of yourselves!
The holidays are in FULL swing! So unbelievably festive in Chicago! This blog is simply bits & bites of whatever comes to my mind. Sometimes doing a writing 'riff'' is really fun (aka writing whatever comes to your mind at that very moment - I am already repeating myself - ha).
Today is #GivingTuesday! I am encouraging all of my readers to give at least $5.00 to Beagle Freedom Project today! They are MATCHING whatever you give which is wild! Please go to Beagle Freedom Project to read more!
This year has blown-my-mind sideways - rocked me to the core in the best way possible. Ooooo it's been so so so tough but spectacular! Wow. Intense growth are the two words that come to the forefront. I feel closer to God then I ever have since giving my life to Him (closer then I knew was even a possibility). And I've changed into the woman He has called me to be. What a way to end the year.......coming fully 100% into my own. I am definitely in the best place of my entire life (thus far). I never (ever ever ever) thought I would arrive where I am today. Never. This doesn't mean life is without trials, utter brokenness or difficulties. It is BECAUSE of my difficulties that I am where I am. By far, the most brave thing I did this entire year was allow myself to heal in ways that I needed to. Allowing wounds to heal and using them as fuel to become the best version of myself took courage - bravery - commitment and consistency. And P.S. it took allll year long....worth it (0: I always thought 'healing' was a lifelong journey but I've learned through experience that healing can actually lead to HEALING and you can move on. And it is a feeling of being FREE. What have you healed from this year? Keep going through the muck, it's worth it!
On a much lighter note, this year I grew my hair longer then I have ever had it my entire life as of this month (haha -fun stuff), gave up grains, wheat, dairy and processed sugar (yep, I cheat sometimes but it's very rare), dove head first into a minimalist lifestyle, embraced community like never before, walked away from people that were not safe (read Safe People by Cloud & Townsend), got my heart broken which ended up being one of the BEST things to happen to me ever (God will use heartache in ways you didn't see coming if you let Him), became much more safe for others (again, refer to book), found my confidence entirely, realized my worth in Him and acted on that, stopped using facebook much (other than 30 minutes a day - yes, I time myself - and yes, I just started this) & finally offered myself as much grace as I offer others, relearned my favorite hobbies and celebrated life like never before. What did you do this year for your own self care???
Due to a combination of my own evolution, God stretching my vision & Donald Miller's Life Plan, next year, my life will be entirely (drastically) NEW (it already is in a lot of way). And it will be a drastic change for the site as well. I think it's fun to see how a blogger's life evolves because as they change/grow, so does their writing. I was reading a blog post of mine from three months ago and I couldn't believe I wrote it - I didn't really recognize the girl writing (that's growth). I feel like it's a great exercise to go back and read your own journal - blog - whatever it is. Sometimes you don't realize you are growing until you look back.
I am holding to the vest where I am headed. I think surprises are fun and frankly, as of now, I am not sure - after 2015 - when I will announce any changes in my life via this site. I will be taking months (many) off of blogging at the start of the new year. It's hard not write about what is going on in my life but - for now - I want my life out of the public eye entirely (aka blog, social media, etc.).
This also means that 2015 will be my closing year for product reviews, etc. I am doing ONE MORE product view this year. It's a goodie. Look to SW the week of Nov. 18th. And think 'yum'.
So, that's all I have to say about all of that. Hmmm, what else have I got for ya'll?
Let's switch gears entirely......
If you are in the city of Chicago over the holidays, I have some personal recommendations for where to stop by!
I highly recommend stopping by Balena if you are out shopping in the Lincoln Park neighborhood (P.S. Balena is also a great date night or group dinner with friends). My friend Darcy introduced me to this restaurant (aka she organized a party in my honor here - amazing) and I am kinda sorta in love with the vibe. Balena has thoughtfully combined urban with elegance. I think the feel at this restaurant personally suites me. And the food is magnifico! It doesn't matter how long you live in this fab city, you're always stumbling upon restaurants you've never been before (Oh Chicago, I do love you)!
Also, I don't think you can come to Chicago this winter and miss out on The Museum of Science & Industry's 'Christmas Around the World/Holiday of Lights'. Head over and spend a day immersing yourself in the beauty of themed Christmas Tree's from all over the entire world!
And finally, spend a day strolling w/ someone (or multiple people) you love w/ hot chocolate through Christkindlemarket!
If you do the latter, make sure you bundle up! Anddd if you do not like crowds, this is NOT the place to be! The enormous crowd can be polarizing to some. Otherwise, it's so beyond festive and will get you into the holiday spirit if you weren't already!
It's pretty amazing that you can be snuggled in your condo in the city one moment and at one of these places 15 minutes later. City living is dreamy.
Well, I think I covered a variety of bits & bites for you! I hope that you are taking in this season (believe it or not I actually like winter this year minus the getting dark early) & focused on what is most important in your life. I am extremely grateful for all of you tuning in -it's quite kind.
I will not be in Chicago for awhile so, no blogging until the week of Dec. 18th. Let's all go find the beauty in this day!
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.