5 Things That Inspired Me This Week 9/4/15

Happy September and back to school to all students and teachers out there!


Here are five things that inspired me to be healthier and happier this week. It’s been a great start to September and things are looking up as we approach fall! Hope you are feeling the same.


Forest Bathing


forest bath


According to Wikipedia, Forest Bathing is:


“a short, leisurely visit to a forest. Studies support claims of the benefits of [forest bathing]. These have demonstrated that exposure to nature positively creates calming neuro-psychological effects through changes in the nervous system.”


I first read about this concept in one of my favorite books and love the term. I spent most of last weekend forest bathing. Saturday was a mystery trip with my in-laws where we went skeet shooting. Thankfully this was a much better experience than my first trip to the shooting range. On Sunday my husband and I went on a long walk through the Nichols Arboretum. I definitely believe in the benefits of forest bathing and am now making a list of all the trails to check out nearby.


skeet shooting


Natural Bug Spray


A few weeks ago I spent the night outside at my sister’s engagement party and had unfortunately forgotten to pack bug spray. I kid you not, I had 25 mosquito bites on my upper back alone. Last weekend I made sure to not make the same mistake again, and I have yet to get another bite. This stuff really works — and I don’t feel like I have to shower immediately since it’s all things I apply to my skin regularly to keep it healthy and clear.


My recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons witch hazel
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 15 drops purification essential oil
  • 15 drops peppermint essential oil


Chickpea Cookies


chickpea cookie


May this recipe be filed under “healthier dessert recipes that don’t suck.” Blog post coming soon! I don’t think I’ve mentioned these cookies on here yet, which shocks me because they are a staple in my life (and also a problem because once I start, I just. can’t. stop.). The ingredients: chickpeas, almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips. Easy peasy, especially using my beautiful Kitchenaid mixer!


Behavior Tracking and Food Journaling


behavior tracking


Being a list person, I like to track everything. I do not calorie count, but truly believe in eating a variety of whole ingredients, watching portion sizes, and being mindful of what I’m consuming. Lately the portions and mindfulness have taken a backseat in my life, so I’m tracking again to think before I scarf down more than my belly can handle. I also have a checklist of positive health behaviors I like doing most days of the week that include things like drinking a smoothie or green juice, going for a walk, having fresh lemon in my water, and foam rolling. Both these tracking forms help hold me accountable. A blog post is coming soon on this as well!


Mac and Cheese


Who doesn’t love a good mac and cheese?! This dairy free mac has become a favorite in my household. Being patient for the noodles to cook and waiting for it to bake are the hardest parts… other than that it’s super simple to whip up. It is gluten free as well if you use the right noodles. I’ve tried butternut squash mac — BIG FAIL (way too bland). Cauliflower Alfredo — great, but too much work. And now this (x3) and it hits the spot while having enough flavor. It has the similar comfort as regular mac and cheese, except without the gobs of calories and bloated feeling after. I wish I had a picture, but it gets eaten too fast to snap a good one!


I hope you have a fun-filled Labor Day weekend!

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