Category: Food


I talk a lot about food and nutrition! And, subsequently, I get tons of questions like:
1. What do you all eat then?
2. What does that cost?
3. What do your kids eat?
4. What is wrong with you people??? 🙂

I made this video today after I got home from the store. I explain what a primarily Paleo family eats during the week. We already had a pretty well-stocked pantry so factor that in. Here is the link:
What We Eat

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After almost 9 years of marriage, and 2 kids, Valentine’s Day shifts a little. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows and unicorn kisses. Sometimes, it’s sneaking away for 2 hours during the restaurant’s slow time and eating carbs and drinking alcohol. Just us?

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We decided to go to one of our favorite local establishments. 1. Because they have an awesome beer selection! 2. Because they have really great food. If you are in Lake County and don’t regularly go to Firkin, I don’t know about you…
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As we were there, reminding ourselves of how much we actually do like each other, we talked about how great it will be when the kids are in high school, and we can just do this whenever we feel like it (this is not where you chime in and tell me all the reasons why that is not gonna happen. Just let me believe this.)

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We stuffed our faces pretty quickly with Warm Goat cheese in a spicy tomato sauce, Fried Oysters, French onion soup, and Spicy Pork Tacos. #notpaleo We enjoyed some Hopslam and some Affligem Blonde beer. Unbuttoned our pants and went to pick up the kids.
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It was actually a beautiful winter day with snow falling as we ate. Now I have a fire going and I’m happy as can be. 9 years with Brent and I can’t wait for 9 more. A couple that drinks together, stays together…
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This week I was really trying follow the KISS method- keep it simple stupid- when it comes to our food. I am in the middle of a Shaklee ReSet to get over some cravings and lose some bloat. I am trying to eat as clean as possible so I’m sticking to clean, Paleo meals.

One of the things that is tricky about eating this way is the amount of prep time the meals take (not to mention the price). BUT- if you play it smart, you can get double the meals out of half the prep.

Here’s what I bought:

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From these ingredients, I am going to make 1 dinner and 1 breakfast for a family of 4 (with some leftovers)

Dinner: Stuffed Peppers
-ground turkey
-onion
-cilantro
-bell peppers
-crushed tomatoes
-spinach
– seasonings from pantry
-coconut oil from pantry
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Breakfast: Egg ‘muffins’
-9 eggs
-ground turkey
-onion
-cilantro
-spinach
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How did I do it?

I browned the turkey with an onion, seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, minced garlic, cumin, paprika, and oregano (use what you have/like). After the meat was cooked through, I separated the meat 1 part for egg muffins, 3 parts for stuffed peppers.

For the PEPPERS- leave in pan, add tomatoes and simmer for a bit. Add cilantro and spinach, mix in. Put the mixture in partially cooked peppers (boil for a few minutes), and bake at 350 for 10-15 mins. Add cheese if you’re not ‘strict’ Paleo.
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For the EGGS- let meat mixture cool a little. Mix the eggs with spinach, cilantro, splash of water, salt, pepper. After the meat mixture is cooled, add to egg mixture. Pour mixture into non- stick pan (like in the picture) or silicone muffin cups. [This would also work in a greased pie pan- I call it egg pie!] Bake about 20 mins at 350. Inserted knife should come out clean.
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That’s it! So simple and inexpensive!

My daughter came up with the name for these because she thinks they give you special super powers. But, she’s 4 and still thinks the moon follows her around, so no promises…

These are our go-to snack, breakfast on the go, and special treat for the kids. I love that they are healthy and wholesome and easy and versatile. My kids love that they are delicious! And, they are made with the World’s Best* Protein Powder!
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The recipe honestly changes every single time I make them because I just use whatever I have in the house, but the image above shows the ‘base’.

I love to add quick oats, unsweetened coconut flakes, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc. They haven’t turned out bad yet! And your kids can help because they are so easy.
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You can make them nut-free by using Sun Butter (hey Basher)!

You just mix all the ingredients and roll into balls. Put them in the fridge for 30 mins to set and then enjoy. Keep them in the fridge. I’m sure they’re good for a week but ours have never lasted that long!
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Why Shaklee protein powder?
Our protein is non-gmo, gluten free, lactose free, no artificial anything, low glycemic, and kosher! Not to mention- it has pre and pro-biotics in the powder. No one has what we have! And they make the most delicious smoothies/protein shakes!
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*I am an independent distributor for Shaklee. I make money on sales from the links provided. I believe that Shaklee has changed my life for the better and I like to talk about it on the internet. 🙂 We do have the best, most comprehensive nutrition plan in the world. I can actually say that! We got it approved thru legal because we really do.

I love meatloaf. You love meatloaf. And, if you don’t love meatloaf, you’re doing it wrong (or you’re a vegetarian which is the only acceptable reason not to like meatloaf). Meatloaf gets a bad rap. Partly, it has the world’s worst name. The only thing that I can think of that would be worse is “Lump o’ Meat” or “Spam”. When you think of meatloaf you think of a family in the 50’s with a pile of ground beef and some ketchup. Or you hear Will Ferrell yelling “Mah! Meatloaf!” I assure you, there is a more updated and healthier way to make it. Here is what I do (for the most part, some of the time, well- at least how I made it today)

I used Grass Fed Ground Beef and Ground Turkey as the Meat. I used Ritz Crackers and left over dried croutons from Thanksgiving to make the bread crumbs. You could easily make this entire dish Paleo by using almond flour/meal instead. If I have it on hand, that is typically what I do. You could also omit the cheese if you are super strict. I snuck in tons of veggies to make this dish so that it packs a nutrient punch!

Veg list- Kale, parsley, garlic, onion, sweet potato, carrot (I’ve done it before with zucchini too but didn’t have any in the house). That’s 6 vegetables in 1 meal, suck it Martha Stewart! Not sure why I decided to pick on Martha there, she seems lovely. Anyway….

I made a video to show you how I did it! Yay for videos! Now if only I had someone to hold the damn camera for me so I don’t have to be such a spaz. Watch this.

After you put the loafs together, you can either cook right away or refrigerate for later. That’s what I did today. While my daughter was watching her cartoon, I was pretending to be a skinny, prettier version of Giada in my kitchen. When you are ready, you can glaze with a little sauce (worchestershire-no one knows how to spell that- and tomato sauce or something similar that you like). Bake at 350 for 35 mins, glaze again and turn up to 375 for 10 more mins. That is approximate. I cook it until my meat thermometer says at least 160 (less if it’s just beef) degrees and then I let it sit for at least 10 mins. Don’t be a dick and slice it too soon, it will ruin everything and Santa won’t bring you presents.

And here are some pictures to make you wish you were coming over for dinner…
The Meat:image

The Bread Crumbs
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The Veg
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Before Pic (least pretty picture, but it is ‘meatloaf’…what do you expect):
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Money Shot:
imageAnd that is it! My kids just cleaned their plates while I am finishing this up. 🙂

***If you like to blog and make silly videos and be creative on your own terms, you should work with me! I also sell Shaklee products and am in LOVE with working from home. Comment below or email me at creimholz@gmail.com

Summer and I are lovers. There, I said it. I long for summer all year, and cherish every moment we have together. This summer is extra special because it is my first summer being part-time for the whole season. It’s really freaking exciting. Working part-time = more hours of summer-fun-having. And, since I am kind of an expert at summer (no big deal) I thought I would share with you my ‘must haves’ for a killer summer.*
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1. Shaklee SPF 30: This sun screen is great and safe and gentle and it works! I use it on the kids and on my face/chest. Like all things Shaklee, a little goes a long way. Protect your skin, protect your babes.
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2. A Great Maxi Dress: There is nothing better than being able to get dressed in 30 seconds and look great for almost any occassion. You don’t even need to shave your legs! I believe that the right maxi dress can be flattering on ANY body type. If you are short and/or curvy, just make sure you create a waste. Any cheap belt from Target will do.

3. Pomegranate Tea and Performance Electrolyte drink: Let’s face it, sports drinks are gross and full of junk (fake sugar, artificial flavors/colors). You and your kids should not be drinking them any more. And, most of those flavored tea drinks out there are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors. These are 2 of my favorite products and I especially like them together! This is my go-to for getting up and moving on hot summer days.
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4. (speaking of drinks…) LaCroix: LaCroix has tons of different naturally flavored sparkling waters. The taste is very mild and pairs perfectly with fresh squeezed citrus and Vodka! Grab some Titos and LaCroix and then invite me to your party.

5. Antiperspirant Cream: Shaklee makes a really great antiperspirant cream and it has become my new favorite. I would always just buy whatever random deodorant off the shelf at Walgreens. Not any more. (btw, I LOVE buying things that I already have to buy anyway..but, from myself. I get paid to buy things from myself. How cool is that?)
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6. All of the Flats and Wedges: Heels are nice, but sometimes in the summer you need to be careful. You never know when you will be walking thru grass or spending a day walking at a festival. Flats and wedges are a neccessity. They are so easy to find, and can be really cheap if you look in the right places.
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7. Outdoor Activities: Depending on where you live, summer can be short. Where I live (north of Chicago) I’m lucky to get 4 months. Figure out how to be outside as much as possible. Run outside, do yoga outside, go to movies in the park, swim at the beach, sleep in a tent in the back yard, dine al fresco, sit around a bon fire until 2am, be in nature, lie in a hammock. I swear being outside in nature re-sets your soul and is mandatory for a healthy existence.
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8. Stress Relief Complex: Yay, the kids are home all day…every day….awesome… This helps. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. Winky face.

9. A Sense of Adventure: I got this one from my sister who we call the Queen of Summer. She is a do-er and I am a relax-er (she gets mad at me a lot). But summer is for staying up late and meeting up with friends and traveling to new places and trying new foods/recipes. It is for saying ‘what the hell?’ and putting fun first.
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10. Sky Guide: I just found out about this app. It is seriously so cool. It’s a map to the stars based on your exact location and where you are pointing your phone. So, if you are outside star gazing, you could point your phone in the same direction and it tells you what you are looking at. What?! I still don’t understand telephones let alone this futuristic insanity.

11. Healthy, quick meals: Summer is not a time for standing in your kitchen cooking! Summer is about smoothies, and salads, and a quick dinner on the grill. This is my absolute favorite protein for smoothies. Perfectly balanced, no artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners. AND, it is designed to help you hold on to muscle.
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So that is my list of must haves for the summer. What did I miss? Cheers to the best summer yet!
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*I am a Shaklee distributor. I make money on sales from these links. I DO love these products, but these are just my personal recommendations. Check with your doctor on anything that you are unsure of.

Today I watched a documentary that I have been very impatiently waiting to see- Fed Up. It is a very well made, acurate portrayal of our food industry and why we are so sick in America. Do you ever watch something at home and feel like a crazy person because you are nodding along, and saying ‘preach it!’, and clapping even though you are alone and your child is sleeping? Just me…? Well, anyway, that is how I felt today. And, now naturally, I am going to preach to all of you.

It’s bullshit! Let me say that again so you know it didn’t just slip out the first time. It is complete and utter bullshit that we know so much about what makes us sick, but we never hear about it because of the massive amount of coroption. We know that fake food is killing us. We know that too much sugar is killing us. We know that we are killing (or at least giving disease to) an entire generation of children. We know this, and we do nothing.

So, I was pretty riled up when I first started writing this. I have actually deleted half of a post 2x now trying to find the right level of ‘intense’. I can be pretty…uh.. energetic sometimes. But, I didn’t want to scare everybody off, so I turned to Facebook and asked my friends if they wanted ‘tough love’ or ‘supportive encouragement’. I got your typical mixed bag response (and one ‘bacon’?) so I thought I would try and make everyone happy (because that usually works so well).

Tough Love: Stop eating crap. Wait, seriously, stop it. 1x per week! That is what you get. 1x to eat the junk! I’m not saying you can never have pizza and cupcakes, but you can’t have that shit every day. You just can’t. And, either can your kids. Every time you turn around, someone is trying to give your kid sugar, and it is often the parents. For the love of god- what do you think happens to a kid who has cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner (that’s about 5x the recommended level of sugar for the day)? They get sick. Sick looks different for everybody, but it WILL eventually happen (Did you know that you could have a thin child that still has high blood sugar and fat around their organs? Sorry, but it is important that we don’t brush these things off because our kid ‘looks fine’.). And, I didn’t even mention juice and pop and gatorade and vitamin water and chocolate milk.

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Supportive encouragement: I know it’s hard. Making better choices for yourself and for your family seems impossible sometimes. We are all so busy, and we have picky children. Bottom line, we are all getting way too much sugar and sweetener. Try and make at least 2/3 of your meals at home, and stop giving your kids soda, juice, and gatorade. This will make a dramatic change in their over all intake. I would also highly recommend saving cereal for the weekends only or just 2 days per week.

Tough Love: If you are trying to lose weight, eating less is simply an exercise in futility. What happens when you eat the same foods, but less of them? You get hungry! How many days can you last when you are hungry all damn day? Not very many. This is why ‘diets’ fail. Change the food you eat to real food, cooked at home, and you WILL lose weight. Example of foods that are not ‘real’ or ‘cooked at home’: pasta, bread, rice, pasta sauce (out of a jar), salad dressing (out of a jar), Yoplait strawberry yogurt, lean cuisine, etc.

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Supportime encouragement: The old adage of ‘eat less, and move more’ is out of date. We need to really hold a microscope to what we are eating. If you think about the amount of exercise it takes to burn the calories in a soda or sugary coffee, you will quickly realize- all calories are not equal. In the movie fed up, they compare 160 calories of almonds to 160 calories of soda. The effect these have on your body are amazingly different. IF you are eating the right things, your body will thank you. What are the right things? Vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, nuts/seeds. Did it grow out of the ground (and can be eaten before processing)? Safe. Did it have a mother? Go for it. Can you forage for it? Go take a hike! Focus on protein, fiber, and healthy fat and you can’t go wrong.

Tough Love: Do you still need to work out? Of course you have to fricking work out! Our bodies were designed to lift and run and twist and move and have sex. This is a huge part of keeping our bodies healthy and keeping our brains happy. The point I am trying to make is that you can’t eat non-sense and expect to work it off in the gym. That only works for 18 year old boys… You need to eat right FIRST. Then, you need to also challenge yourself in the gym. Btw, reading a magazine on the elliptical for 20 mins. is not going to cut it- ever.

Supportive encouragement: Love yourself where you are right now. Not everyone is going to join cross fit and that is okay. Just remember- food is the most important thing. A close second is exercise. Challenge yourself to do more each time but don’t compare yourself to others. Take classes to get an extra push. Hire a trainer to teach you how to safely lift weights. Encorporate more playful activities into your life. Only running isn’t the answer. Only doing zumba isn’t the answer. But, mixing up your activity in a way that is fun and challenging is most certainly the answer.

Tough Love: Oh, my Paleo diet is a fad??? Please tell me how a diet based on vegetables, healthy protein, healthy fat, fruits, nuts/seeds, and limited sugar is a NEW and CRAZY idea??? Compared to the standard American diet, the Paleo diet crushes it in every category. Can people screw it up and eat too much red meat? Sure. Can people get too discouraged when they try the diet because they try too many complicated recipes and look for pature-raised bison-livers? Absolutely. But, does that mean the whole premise is bad? Of course not. I also strongly believe in supplements beyond this but that is a different topic for a different day…

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Supportive encouragement: If you are looking to change your diet in a way that cuts out the modern junk, I would stronly encourage you to give Paleo a shot. Give it at least 2 weeks to truly feel the effects (30 days would be better). All you need to do, is focus on plants and meats/eggs. Lots of veggies, good fat (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, grass fed butter), good protein, fruits, nuts/seeds, and limited sugar and dairy (no dairy if it bothers you). You can do anything for a couple weeks, and there is no ‘risk’. This is one of those things you have to commit to. Just cutting back on certain things (although that is a step in the right direction) will not have the same effect as making the leap. The biggest thing is plants first and then protein and fat. Fiber is like your sexy friend that loves to dance and has a british accent and helps you poop.

If you have any underlying health issues, or are pregnant, or are an endurance athlete, ask for some more professional help. In my humble opinion, any person in the world can and should eat this way, but understand that I am not a doctor! Just remember, if you do ask your doctor, make sure he/she knows what the Paleo diet actually is before they wave it off and call it ‘the new Atkins’. GRRRR!

Okay, I tried to find the balance there between tough and supportive. Hopefully everyone found their comfort zone. Let me know if you have any questions. I am playing around with doing one-on-ones and possibly a grocery store tour. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, let me know. Thanks for listening, and please please please watch Fed Up.

Have you ever put yourself on the ‘back burner’ in order to be there for someone else? Has your health or happiness ever suffered because you weren’t looking out for your own best interests? Do you feel lost sometimes within your to-do list and lose yourself for days at a time?

If you said yes to any of these, you are in good company! Way too many of us have gone thru the same thing. Whether you are a wife putting your husband first, or a mom who all-of-the sudden only identifies herself as ‘a mom’, or an employee who gives so much at work that they forget to take a minute for your own sanity, we stand with you. Our health, our happiness, our inner-light, our self-ness, our peace, all suffer as a result of this sacrifice. I have said before, I am not impressed by the mommy-martyr. Even though it sounds a little mean, that is not how I intend it to be. What I am trying to say is that, being a martyr is the default. What is really hard, what is truly impressive, is the mom or lady or man or whatever that stomps their foot down and says, “What about me? I’m important damnit!” THAT is the stuff right there.

But, we get it. It’s super hard, and we all fall into this from time to time. That is why we are creating a new group* called “Let’s ReYOUvenate”. We are incredibly excited about it and have been working hard to create valuable content for those who are interested. But, fore warning, this is not a spectator sport. This is for those of you who are serious about making a positive change in your life over a 30 day period. And, the good news, it doesn’t matter what kind of change you are looking for! Some of you might want to lose weight. Some of you might want to get organized. Some of you might want to live more consciously. Some of you might want to just be a part of a community doing something positive in their lives. Whatever your motivation, we honor that.

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When:

The program will begin on May 4th and go until June 5th.

How can I join:

Because we want this to be a small, intimate group, it will not be open to the general public. Again, this is not meant for spectators. This is meant for people who are committed to making positive change in their lives. So, all you have to do is join Shaklee* with one of our regimen packs (current/active Shaklee members- check in with your distributor). We understand that each and everyone of you has unique health goals and that looks different for everyone. There is truly something for everyone with these healthy regimens. You will also need to contact the Shaklee distributor that you know and let them know “I’m in!” We would be more than happy to help you pick what is right for you.

What do you get in return:

-Amazing Shaklee products! Like I said, there is truly something for everyone. Each and everyone of these regimens are awesome.
-Free membership to Shaklee! With you membership you get 15-20% off of the products—FOR LIFE. There is never a renewal fee or a minimum purchase demand. Literally no strings attached.
-A community that cares! We are creating a community of like-minded individuals who are all trying to make a positive change. There will be friendship and guidance and support all along the way.
-Increased Accountability! (but not in a scary way) How many times have you tried to commit to something only to be frustrated and disappointed a week later. We will hold each other accountable by having regular check-ins, and mini-tasks to keep you on track.
-Chances to win prizes and free products! At various times throughout the month, we will be offering incentives and giving you chances to win a prize at the end of the 30 days. We want to reward your effort and commitment!
-One on one coaching! I will be offering coaching sessions to anyone that feels like they need a little extra support. Maybe you are confused about what to eat. Maybe you just can’t seem to find yourself past your sweat pants and to-do lists. Whatever your struggle may be, I will do my best to help and support you. You will always have a listening ear.

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Bring a buddy:

Not only can you bring a friend, we encourage you to sign up with a buddy or accountability partner. Hell, we will even reward you for doing so! We know that your chances for success increase when you have a friend to support you and encourage your new healthier lifestyle.

The Team:

Helping you along the way, you will have an awesome group of ladies on your side.*

-Candice Reimholz- ME!
-Brooke Hooker
-Renate Loeffler
-Jessica Winchester
-Rebecca Sayad
-Rebecca Rand
-Jenny Jeep Johnson
-Suzi Leigh
-Cait Arwen
-Amanda Donohoe

We’ve got community health specialists, registered dietitians, moms, doulas, lawyers, communication experts, athletic trainers, beauty specialists, medical sales professionals, etc. We are covering all of our bases to bring you the most well rounded help we can muster.
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On the fence?:

Well hop off! I know change is hard and you are worried about committing to something new. But, there is nothing to lose. Let’s jump in and have some fun together. Not to mention, there is (and always will be) a 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t like the products you buy, return them. No stipulations, no qualifiers, just call and say you weren’t satisfied. EZ PZ.

Who is in?:

Comment on the blog or on Facebook or contact your Shaklee gal from list above. We can walk you thru whatever you need. You will need to sign up between now and May 3rd to join this group.

You will not regret it!

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Questions: email me at creimholz@gmail.com

****I am an independent distributor for Shaklee. I (as well as the girls listed above) make money by selling Shaklee products. I am not a doctor, and encourage you to check with your doctor before starting a new health program. Shaklee is committed to safety, but it is always wise to check with your health care professional. All of the things I share are my personal opinions and experiences.****

napWhy am I always tired? I hear this a lot! We have a nation of sleep deprived zombies, dragging their feet, and ‘surviving’ their days. We have people drinking 20 oz. coffees to stay awake on their 45 min. commute to work, where they sit all day (don’t forget the 2pm diet coke so you don’t fall asleep at your desk), all to go home and relax and unwind in front of a television and a cell phone. It’s okay to be tired sometimes, but you shouldn’t LIVE tired. That shouldn’t be the norm. Here is why I think most of us are so stinkin’ sleepy:

1. Your diet is shit (part 1):
Your blood sugar is probably like a roller coaster. Breakfast made up of mostly simple carbohydrates (toast, cereal, oatmeal, bagels, danish, muffin, etc) will likely lead to a crash by 9:30am. If you are having a hard time making it to lunch before you’re hungry again- you are eating the wrong things. For Breakfast (well every meal as far as I’m concerned) think Protein/Fiber/Fat. If you have those 3 things, you are fueling your body in a way to stabilize blood sugar and therefore fight the ups and downs of energy through out the day.
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2. Your diet is shit (part 2):
You’re eating fake food! Your body only knows how to process FOOD. It doesn’t know what to do with the ‘other’ stuff. When you eat processed foods, your body ends up focusing on cleaning the junk out of your system vs. getting the nutrients from your food and powering your body. If you are eating chemical filled food, instead of your body celebrating and providing energy, your body kicks into an inflammatory response for damage control. Calories are good, happy, hard working friends when you are eating real food. Calories are mean, destructive bastards when you are eating fake food.

—By the way, what qualifies as a processed food or a fake food? Did it grow out of the ground? Does it have a mother? Does it have less than 3-5 ingredients? Can you recognize the ingredients? If you answered yes to these questions, you are all good. —
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3. Your diet is shit (part 3):
You’re not getting your vitamins and minerals. I use to think this was baloney (by the way, there are very few vitamins in bologna). I am now convinced, sold, bought in. Here is what I take, and I swear by them.*
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4. You don’t sleep enough:
Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night? If not, sleep more. Just make it happen. Prioritize better. Sleep is your friend. Your cozy, warm, sexy friend and it misses you.
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5. You don’t move enough:
I know it sounds counter intuitive, but you need to expend energy to get more energy. Most of us sit all day and all night. We need to move our bodies a lot, and in different and challenging ways. If you don’t figure out ways to get up and move from your desk, you are going to have a bad back and a flat bottom and a tired sad brain.
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6. You’re too stressed:
Our bodies evolved to have short bursts of stress. Like, ‘oh shit, saber-tooth tiger!’ stress. We are not designed to live maxed out lives with unending stress. Take time for yourself, be in nature, meditate, get a hobby that brings you joy, quit your job and come work with me (winky face), and learn to say NO. Remember, ‘No’ can be a complete sentence.

Okay, I hope that helps. Sorry about the tough love. I’ve never been much for sugar-coating things. Wait, that is probably another reason you are tired, you eat sugar-coated things. 🙂

If you liked this, please feel free to share with your tired friends. Also, if you would like to work with me, email me at creimholz@gmail.com . We have fun!

*I am an independent distributor for Shaklee. I make money off sales from these links. I am also not a doctor. I didn’t go to school long enough. But, I do share things that have worked for me personally and encourage you to check with actual doctors with actual degrees.

This post was inspired by a friend on Facebook was venting about being fed up with trying to figure out what is best for her family. For many people it feels impossible to sift thru all of the information out there and even if you did, you’d probably do something wrong any way. Well, if you are one of those frustrated people, this post is for you. I have been trying to read everything I can for the last three years on food, diet, clean living, immune building, and stress/sleep. Here are my OPINIONS*. Now, since I already established that these are my opinions, you are not allowed to get mad at me. 🙂 This is simply the conclusions I have come up with for me and my family. Take what you like, leave what you don’t. Hopefully something in this post will resonate with you.

First things first: Relax, this doesn’t happen over night and it doesn’t need to for most people. If you tried to over haul your household in one swoop you would spend way too much money and be overwhelmed. Take baby steps. Every time you run out of something ‘unhealthy’ just replace it with the better option. It took me 3 years to transform our lives and household and we still aren’t perfect.

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Real Food: Don’t over think food too much. It is not really as confusing as we all make it seem. I know that it seems like every time you turn around, they are changing their recommendations on what you should or should not be eating. This is true, but it is also mostly non-sense. If you are eating real food, food that grows out of the ground, food that comes from healthy animals, and eating to nourish your body, you are safe. If you eat these foods, you don’t need to worry about salt, sugar, and fat. If you eat these foods, you will never need to count calories again. These foods are vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, healthy fats, and nuts. You can’t go wrong.

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Fat: Don’t obsess over fat! If you follow the ‘real food’ guideline above, fat should not be a concern to you. Healthy fats are olive oil, coconut oil, avocado (fruit and oil), Omega 3 fatty acid, and butter from grass fed cows (Kerry Gold is a great brand). Avoid vegetable oils, transfat, and fake products like margarine. I actually started feeling better and losing weight when I added fat to my diet- true story.

Dairy: Okay, this is where it gets really tricky. People have a lot of opinions on dairy and we have a serious addiction to it here in the states. IF you can find raw milk to drink, that would be my first recommendation. Pasteurizing milk cooks out all of the good stuff. Raw milk is quite a bit healthier and totally safe from a reputable farmer. It is expensive and hard to source however. If you cannot drink raw milk, my next recommendation would be to avoid milk. We really don’t need it. Regular milk really doesn’t do anything for you. And, the whole ‘we need milk for calcium’ thing is not accurate. IF you are unwilling to give up milk, get organic and full fat milk. Skim milk is silly. It doesn’t help you lose weight, it is highly processed, and doesn’t fill you up. It is added calories for nothing in return. Unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk are alternatives, but they have their issues too. Best bet is find the version that works for you, but limit it. If you like a little milk in your coffee, fine. If a few times a week you make a smoothie, great. If your kids love milk, limit them to 1 glass a day. When you limit the amount of milk your family drinks, it makes it easier to afford the higher quality options.

Processed foods: This term is thrown around so much lately that no one actually knows what it means anymore. In my mind, this is anything that doesn’t grow that way. There is not a Ketchup plant, there is a not a bread tree, there is not a cereal bush. Anything that comes out of a box on the shelf at the store is a processed food. Limit these to 1-2 times per week. I am not saying you can never have a potato chip, but it should not be something you have often. One time a week I let myself have what ever I want. Sometimes it is pizza, sometimes it is a giant sandwich, but I plan for it. I go out for it instead of having it in my house.

Kids food vs. grown-up food: We are the only place in the world that has this concept of ‘kid’s food’. There should be very little difference in the food that you eat and the food you feed your children. Don’t feed down to them. If you are having fish, give them fish. If you are having vegetables, feed them vegetables. Is this hard? YES. Do they hate it? YES. But, with all do respect, who cares? It is better for them in every possible way to eat real food. And, in the long run, easier for the parents. Repeat after me: “I’m done making 2 dinners”.

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Organic: Do the best you can. I absolutely cannot afford to buy everything organic. It is just not in our budget. You can google the clean 15 or the dirty dozen (something like that). It gives you the best and worst produce with regards to pesticides. The way I see it, even a non-organic apple is still better than a bag of pretzels. Don’t beat yourself up, but do what you can.

Sugar: Sugar is one area where I would say- worry a little. It is a big problem for our kids. There is sugar in everything and it is every where we go. We can’t control everything, and that is okay. But, you can control what is in your house and what your kids eat majority of the time. I’m sorry, but sugary cereal for breakfast is about the worst choice. Kids (and the grownups) should start their day with protein, fiber, and fat. Finish the cereal you have and then stop buying it. Cold turkey. Actually, ‘cold turkey’ would be a much healthier breakfast then cereal. No more juice, flavored oatmeal, and flavored yogurt. They are loaded with sugar! If your kids are dunkers, try to limit the ketchup and BBQ sauce- loaded with sugar. I know it’s a little scary and a little depressing, but sugar does crazy things to our brains- especially kids’ brains.

Chemicals: Chemicals are everywhere, they are in your homes, your food, calling from inside the house! Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife… Okay, I got carried away but you get what I am talking about. Between red #50 and pesticides and toxic cleaners, etc. it is a little over whelming. I switched out all of my household cleaners (sprays, floors, dish washer, laundry, etc.) to a green and clean brand last year and I’m so glad I did. They are so safe, my kids can use them without my concern. You spend a huge amount of time in your home, it is the air you breathe most of the time, and the only environment that you can control.
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Supplements: Even with a perfect diet, you will have holes in your nutrition. For kids I recommend Incredivites. For grown ups I recommend Vitalizer or at least Vitalea. For everybody in the whole entire world- I recommend a high quality probiotic like Optiflora. Probiotics are magical and can literally transform your health (immune system, digestion, even mental health).

Keep it simple stupid: Don’t stress too much and don’t over complicate. You don’t need to start searching for special recipes or start making home made granola bars (although you can and they are delicious). In the beginning, just stick to the basics. When you are shopping, ask your self these questions:
1. Did this grow out of the ground or does it have a mother?
2. Does this make me healthier or less healthy?
3. Is this going to temp me (mom or dad) if I buy it? (think ice cream, bread, snacks, etc.)
4. If Candy saw this is my pantry would she yell at me? Hahaha, don’t make me come over and start throwing stuff away. 🙂
5. Trust your gut. YOU are the mom or dad. YOU are the only one that truly can make these decisions for your family. Do the best you can, and remember that nobody has all the answers.

If you have any questions on this, please don’t hesitate to ask. This is what I love to do and talk about. Either comment below or email me at creimholz@gmail.com.

*I am an independent distributor for Shaklee. I make money off sales from these links. I am not a doctor, nor am I trying to treat any medical conditions. This is from my personal experience.

***Work with me. Do you have a passion for clean living too? Email me at creimholz@gmail.com to see if this would be a good fit for you.