I don’t know what the weather is like where you are today, but it is BEAUTIFUL here in Chicago. Warm, sunny, with a light breeze that makes you instantly want to curl up in a hammock and take a nap. I’m currently sitting out on my deck right now soaking up the sunshine as I type this.
I love this kind of weather. As someone who struggles with depression, there is nothing better than warm, sunny days. Because I live in Chicago, the majority or fall, winter, and spring are cloudy and cool. While I do my best to keep the depression at bay, when the weather is icky, I start to feel icky.
So what can I do to help keep myself from going down the dark path? My meds help, along with trying to get fresh air and a good diet. Also: Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is absorbed through sunlight, as well as fish and seafood. I already mentioned I live in a place that is cloudy the majority of the year, and I am vegetarian, so no fish for me. This makes me incredibly prone to being vitamin D deficient.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include osteoporosis, depression, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and higher risk of catching the flu and lower immune system.
Many people are vitamin D deficient, and unless you live on the equator, have very light skin, and your diet is almost entirely seafood, you probably have at least some level of deficiency. Side effects include sleepiness, crankiness, decreased endurance, high blood pressure, and low pain sensitivity.
That is why USANA’s Vitamin D is one of the best supplements you can take. One pill daily can reduce your risk of cancer, depression, heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, obesity, and hair loss. It is also a great guard against catching the flu (and bonus: no shots required!) When I first started USANA, vitamin D was the first supplement I began to take, and within a couple days I could tell a difference in my overall mood and health. Even my therapists and doctors noticed a difference.
I am by no means saying vitamin D is the cure all for every disease; proper nutrition and exercise are imperative to health. And if your doctor has prescribed medication for any sort of ailment, you should take it. But what I am saying is vitamin D can help fill in the gaps where diet, exercise, and medication fall through.
If you are interested in purchasing vitamin D, or have questions on USANA’s other products, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
As much as I love Nutrimeal shakes, sometimes I want to, you know, chew something. I wanted to make something that would be quick and easy, and that I could take along with me as I’m out and about. I bring you: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.
–3 Tbl peanut butter (I like Trader Joe’s creamy natural unsalted, but any type will work)
–2 Tbl honey
–1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, until everything sticks together (note: you may need to add a little more water if it’s looking too dry). Press mixture in an 8×8 greased baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Makes 12 bars.
These are so good, I think I’ve eaten 4 since I made them last night (actually eating one now as I write this). Unlike so many granola bars out there, these have all natural ingredients without additives and preservatives. When you love your body and give it good food, it will in turn love you back 🙂
If you are interested in purchasing Nutrimeal, or have questions on any of the other products USANA has to offer, email me at email@example.com or leave a comment below!
With Girl Scout Cookie season in full swing, it’s hard to see those sweet little girls in their adorable little vests standing outside your local grocery store and not want to buy the whole lot. I mean just look at this precious girl selling cookies to THE most amazing Blackhawks player:
Um, what was I writing about? Right, Girl Scout cookies. While the serving size for most of the cookies are two each, rarely have I met anyone who can *actually* stick to the serving size.
So, I wondered, how could I enjoy the minty goodness that is the crack known as Thin Mints while still maintaining some resemblance of a healthy diet? After tinkering around my kitchen, I came up with a shake that is packed with vitamins and nutrients your body needs while still giving you the sweet treat reminiscent of those Girl Scout goodies. I bring you: The Thin Mint Nutrimeal Shake.
Today I decided to check out a health club near my apartment. It is part of the local hospital, and I know they focus more on health rather than fitness. I nervously went up to the front desk and asked for information on membership, bracing myself for the “this offer ends today–yes we have a free week pass we can give you, but why do that when you can sign up for $300 now?” speech. The ladies at the front desk told me to have a seat in the lobby, and someone from the membership department would be up shortly to give me a tour of the facility. The tour guide was also very nice and personable, and took her time showing me all the gym had to offer, emphasizing that in order to be a trainer there you must have gone to a four-year college to specialize in physiology, kenesiology, or physical therapy, and how different this gym was compared to other gyms.
This was a big deal for me. I have tried other gyms in the past, but I never felt like I fit in. They were filled with gym rats, the equipment was intimidating, and the staff unapproachable. For someone like me, who is incredibly shy, has very low confidence in her athletic abilities, and frankly, does not want to go to the gym in the first place, these gyms were always incredibly scary. This gym (sorry, health club) looked like it might actually work for me. I eagerly took the free week pass (no strings attached! I love this gym health club!) and membership information home to see how I could fit it into my budget.
The past few months, my budget has been tighter than usual. At the beginning of March, I took a leap of faith and quit my job. There was a lot of reasons I did so, but the main reason was for my health. If you read my About page, you’d find out that I struggle with depression and anxiety. The beginning of this year was especially hard for me with all that, and my job was one of the biggest triggers for the two illnesses. I had a little bit of money saved up, which was a blessing, and I have been living off that.
As I began to write down my expenses, I quickly saw how fast my monthly allotment was going. Between rent, utilities, various doctors appointments, and everyday things like gas and groceries, I was over my budget in no time. I hadn’t even added the potential gym membership or USANA vitamins I take on a daily basis yet. By the time I was done, I was $300 over budget each month.
My heart sank. Tears filled my eyes as I stared at my excel document. How can this be? I am trying so hard to become healthy, both mentally and physically, and here is yet another obstacle in my way. Every time I feel like I can start to make a positive difference in my life, something else comes up.
A good friend of mine texted me at that moment.
“How are you doing?” she asked me.
“Hanging in there. Things were rough for the past couple weeks but I think it’s getting better. Although I’m trying to budget right now and that’s making me depressed haha,” I replied.
After a moment she texted: “Matthew 6:25-34. Read it girl. Read it right now. Stop budgeting and read it and the restart with budgeting.”
I grabbed my Bible and flipped to the passage. It said:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I’ve read that passage a thousand times before, but it’s never been more relevant to me than it is today. Everything I am doing is to make myself healthier. And God sees everything I am going through and has provided for me so far. He saw my depression and anxiety getting out of hand and he helped me get the treatment I needed. He saw the unhealthy eating habits I have and set me on the path to a healthy relationship with food.
I forget (or more often times ignore) God working in my life and instead focus on the negatives. And as hard as it is, I need to stop doing that. God has taken care of me so far, why on earth would he stop doing that? I need to stop worrying about everything and put it in God’s hands. Easier said than done, I know.
And maybe I don’t get the membership to the health club. And maybe I only see my nutritionist twice a month instead of every week. And maybe it will take me a while to find a job or get USANA off the ground. But in the end, I have to believe everything will work out to God’s perfect plan.
Nutrimeal might be my favorite product USANA offers. It is a nutritional shake, but unlike other shakes out there that are nothing but sugar, these shakes are complete meals, full of vitamins and protein. Each shake has 15 grams of protein, and are high in soluable and insoluable fiber, along with the right balance of carbs and good fats, making them the perfect meal replacement. I personally make one for breakfast at least three times a week. Because of the high protein and low sugar content, they are also a great post-workout snack.
Here’s how Nutrimeal stacks up against other classic breakfast foods:
Nutrimeal comes in five flavors: Dutch Chocolate (my favorite), Wild Strawberry, French Vanilla, Chocolate Whey, and Nutrimeal Free, which is dairy and soy free. All shakes are gluten free.
If you’re anything like me, you wait until the last possible second in the morning to start getting ready (mornings are hard, guys). The problem with that though is that I usually have no time to make breakfast because I’ve run out of time. What’s great about Nutrimeal is that all I have to do is mix the powder with either water or milk (I prefer almond milk, but dairy milk works too), and shake in my handy USANA Blender Bottle (which side note: the process of shaking is a great stress reliever– channel that anger! Get out your frustrations!)
The shakes are great by themselves, or you can use them as a base in your smoothies or milkshakes. I will be posting some of my favorite recipes soon.
If you’re interested in trying Nutrimeal or other USANA products, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
***If you purchase a one month supply of Nutrimeal, I will also include a Nutrimeal recipe book!***
It’s a valid question. After all, if I am encouraging you to join me and thousands of others around the world on the USANA bandwagon, you should know what it is. In short: USANA is a health sciences company who specializes in vitamins, dietary and nutritional supplements and bars, and skin care.
Founded in 1992 by Dr. Myron Wentz, an internationally renowned microbiologist, immunologist, and philanthropist, USANA has grown to be the worlds highest rated nutritional products. For Dr. Wentz, this dream began years before, when his father died at age 57 from heart disease. Seeing the pain and agony his father went through, Dr. Wentz made the ambitious goal of ridding the world of pain and suffering. Through his own research and lab tests, he was able to determine what the human body needs, without adding fillers like other vitamin and supplement companies.
USANA’s vitamins are the best produced vitamins on the market. Here’s a fun fact: Vitamins are not inspected my the FDA because they are considered a food product. This means that the majority of vitamins on drugstore shelves have not been inspected to the highest quality level that other medications have. Because of this, fillers, artificial dyes, and additives are often added to these vitamins, taking away the nutritional benefits and lessening the affect. USANA, on the other hand, manufactures their vitamins to the same quality standards as FDA sets. In fact, in 2011, their manufacturing facility became a registered FDA Establishment. So you know the vitamins you purchase from us will be the best you can get. And with so many to choose from, the possibilities for health are endless!
In addition to vitamins, USANA also has a line of nutritional shakes and protein bars. All are gluten free, low glycemic, and high in protein. This means you will feel fuller longer and won’t have a crash later. The shakes are so easy to make; just add water and mix. And the bars are great to grab and go. There is always one in my purse for the late afternoon. With flavors like Chocolate, strawberry, and peanut butter, being healthy never tasted so good!
USANA’s skin care line is one of a kind. Offering both skin and hair care, their formulas are all natural and backed with nutrients and antioxidants designed to make skin look and feel brighter and younger. It is so pure that even those with the most sensitive skin can use it. USANA wants to make you feel good on the inside and out; and with Sense, they can do just that.
TL;DR (I know there are some of you who just looked at the pictures, don’t lie): here’s a short video explaining everything.
If you would like more information on the products USANA offers, or are interested in becoming an independent consultant, please email me at email@example.com or leave a comment below.