Hope Wissel, Tasty Tuesday Recipes

5 Simple Tips for Healthy Habits

As many of you know, I have been on WW for an eternity. LOL.   I lost my initial 105 pounds and am happy to say, I have kept most of it off.  MS has caused some weight gain – the only thing I can attribute it to since I track and am stepping. I’m not beating myself up over it.  It is all about healthier eating and NOT the numbers on the scale.  Now if I could only remember that, all would be well.  Are you focused on healthy eating or the numbers on the scale?

Here are five tips to help you adopt some new healthy habits:

1.     START WITH A PLAN 

Planning out your meals for the week is a great way to set you up for success. I started doing it so I didn’t have to deal with MS struggles over what to fix for dinner.

My advice – Keep it simple. 

I usually plan out on Friday or Saturday knowing I will grocery shop on Sunday or Monday.  Pick least busy day of the week and take a few minutes to pick out some recipes and create a grocery list. I have a meal planner I post on the fridge so I can not only plan meals but also not repeat the same ones constantly.  For some, having “Meatless Mondays” or “Taco Tuesdays” can make it a lot easier!  Epicure has several collections with pre-made grocery lists, swap options, perfectly balanced plate suggestions, and pro tips throughout!

2.     MAKE TIME FOR COOKING 

Now for the fun part—preparing those delicious recipes you picked out!  Making time for cooking gives you the opportunity to try out new recipes, make good food choices, or even remake your favorite takeout dishes in a healthier way at home! YES, it’s also a great way to lower your food bill. Meal prepping looks different for everyone.  For some, it may involve prepping a variety of foods in larger quantities, so you don’t have to worry about it during the week. For others, it is cooking once and using the meat in several meals during the week.  Of course, you’ll need plenty of containers to store your meals and keep things fresh. Our storage solutions make it simple to portion out your ingredients and tackle hassle-free meals on the go!

3.     EAT COLORFULLY 

Adding color to your plate is a simple way to ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients. Keep an eye out for recipes with more vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds. These foods are full of antioxidants, fiber, protein and healthy fats—key components to maintaining good health! Plant-based foods are also friendlier to our environment as they require fewer resources and greenhouse gases to produce. You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint while also benefiting from the amazing nutrition benefits these foods bring to the table.  Check out some of our favorite plant-based recipes here!

4.     MAKE USE OF HERBS & SPICES 

Many people consume more sodium than they need. It’s easy to exceed the dietary recommendations, but the good news is salt is a largely acquired taste. So, over time you can actually sensitize your pallet to embrace lower levels of salt. Changing to sea salt or himalayan pink salt is better too. Seasoning your food with more herbs and spices is a great way to limit your sodium intake without missing out on flavor!  Epicure’s hand-crafted spice blends are perfect for creating low-sodium meals while also simplifying your time in the kitchen!  Many of them have NO sodium too!

5.     DON’T SKIP OUT ON DESSERT! 

Toss out the idea there are morally “good” and “bad” foods!

A healthy, sustainable diet won’t leave you feeling deprived and miserable. Food is meant to be enjoyed and your journey to good health should be no different. By giving yourself permission to eat “bad” foods, they lose their novelty and we’re less likely to obsess over them. Remember it’s not about restricting yourself, rather making balanced choices. Give yourself the freedom to consume the foods you love and your health journey will be a lot more enjoyable.  PLUS you’ll be more likely to stick to your routine long term.  Take a look at some of our favorite healthy dessert options !

The journey towards getting AND keeping healthy habits can take time so be kind to yourself. There may be challenges along the way but try to view them as opportunities to learn and grow. I am always here to bounce ideas around with you.  Remember, you are NOT alone. If you’re looking for motivation, support, and dietitian-approved tips, we invite you to join our online community and #EpicLife Challenge starting on May 10th!

Have an Epic day!

Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Looking for Your Sweet Spot

“There are different kinds of gifts. But it is the same Holy Spirit Who gives them. There are different kinds of work to be done for Him. But the work is for the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NLV)

When I am looking for inspiration, I scroll through past blogs and on this day in 2014……..I was talking about finding my “sweet spot”.  I truly believe God nudges us in the direction we need to go.

Suzie Eller’s blog post on crosswalk.com has me thinking seriously (yes, AGAIN) about my “gifts”.  She talks about her Pinterest frenzy and how she tried all kinds of things.  Then one day her daughter after surveying her efforts said “Mom, you need to know your sweet spot and this isn’t it”.  YIKES!  How many times do we try things in an effort to be something we aren’t?  OR maybe our sweet spot has seasons, and it is time to move on.

WOW!  I know I have been talking about this A LOT lately but life has been changing for me.  I’m sure I am not the only one who experiences seasons with their gifts and talents, eight? I struggle with people pleasing so change is not easy.  Each of us is designed differently on purpose so we can come together to make a whole. So, what is your sweet spot? How has God gifted you for His purposes?

I struggle because although I know I have gifts and talents, Doubtful Debbie comes a knocking just when I think I am making strides.  Along with age (hitting 65 this year), recovery and MS issues all seem to play a factor.  Here are a few of my sweet spots:

  • Making a difference – I truly believe this is one of my greatest gifts.  I am a glass half full kind of person and believe in sharing it.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days when Negative Nellie is around but they are fewer and far between lately.  Whether it is as simple as a card, a kind word or an angel to brighten someone’s day – I want to bring a smile to others.
  • Crafty.  Angels have become the center of my crafting world – from sewing them to jewelry pieces to plastic canvas.  I love to share them with others and hear the stories as to why people pick certain ones.
  • Writing.  I love to write.  Crazy as it sounds,  it started with poetry as a child then it moved onto grants in my professional career.  The initial challenge to blog was scary but exciting at the same time.  It is my hope I can inspire others through my strengths, hopes and experiences.
  • Cooking.  Since moving to our forever home, I have found I LOVE cooking and sharing it with friends and family.

God can use these sweet spots for His purposes. God uses my unique design when I invite a neighbor or friend for dinner.  If your sweet spot is hospitality and making a home beautiful, then there are people who will be touched by this gift. If it’s humor and laughter, then someone needs to find that joy, too. If it’s teaching, teach.  Whatever your sweet spot, God has a purpose for you.

Time for me to focus on my sweet spots and make strides in all areas of my life.  How has God formed and fashioned you? Share your sweet spot with us.  It is not about being like someone else, it is about being ourselves and ACCEPTING ourselves including the gifts and talents God has given us.

Have an Epic day!

 

Hope Wissel

Your Wedding Registry

Do you know someone getting married in the coming months?  Maybe it is you or a close friend or family member, whoever it is wedding registries are part of the planning process.  Just like shopping for rings or meeting with the florist, registering for gifts is one of the time-honored to-dos brides and grooms check off their list as they count down to their upcoming wedding.  I will admit, I had more fun doing this than hubby did.

But like lots of couples (us included), you may have been on your own for almost a decade (or more) and already have a fully outfitted kitchen and bedroom. Sure, you don’t “need” anything, but your wedding guests still want to give you something personal, beautiful or useful for your big day.

Although there will always be some non-negotiables when it comes to wedding etiquette (thank-you notes are a must), couples have more freedom than ever in building a wish list which fits their needs. Here are five ideas for making your registry your own:

#1 Enjoy an experience

If you truly can’t think of any “things” you want or need, make your first year as a married couple more memorable by registering for experiences like cooking classes, zip-lining excursions or dancing lessons. You can also create a special registry to help fund your honeymoon – everything from flights and hotels to sightseeing tours and fine dining.

#2 Upgrade what you already have

If your place is full of hand-me-downs, college-era furniture and the mismatched plates have seen better days, now is the time to upgrade to the higher-end cookware and linens you’ve coveted but wouldn’t necessarily buy for yourself. Think stand mixers, eco-friendly cookware and hello, 1000-thread-count sheets! Guests will love they can gift you with something you’ll use every day.

#3 Outfit your honeymoon

You’ve planned the trip of a lifetime, and you need the luggage to get you there! Ditch the beat-up suitcase you took to summer camp and register for a luxe matching set. Or let each of your personalities shine through with monogrammed travel bags from Thirty-One: the All Packed Duffle and new Away for the Weekender come in stylish prints and classic solids. Add a coordinated Glamour Case for your toiletries.

#4 Think outside the house

All set on dishes, towels and sheets? More retailers than ever are getting into the registry game to offer products outside the realm of bed and bath. If homeownership is in your near future, consider registering for gardening tools or even a lawnmower to make yardwork less of a chore, or create a welcoming patio area with furniture or a grill. Does a night under the stars sound romantic? Take your registry to the great outdoors with camping, hiking and fishing gear.

#5 Entertain Your Way

Sure, the fine china set is gorgeous, but when was the last time you hosted a formal dinner party for 12 – and wanted to hand-wash the dishes after? Save the cabinet space and register for the entertaining items you’ll actually use, like board games for casual nights in with friends, beer glasses for your favorite brews or a turntable for your vinyl collection. Build your wine and cheese spread on a personalized Close To Home™ Round Tray – so chic!

I am happy to set up a Thirty One Gift Registry for you which friends can easily access.  Make your wish list, reach out and I will set things up for you.  Need gifts for the bridal party?  Let me help you create one of a kind personalized gifts they will treasure forever.

Have  a ThirtyOne-derful day!