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As crazy as it may sound, I take great pleasure in having a clean fridge. I have commented a few times in my “Healthy Eating Made Easier” Facebook group about how happy a clean fridge makes me. There are a lot of things that I can’t control in my life, but I can control how organized my fridge is:) I also know that I will waste less food if I know what is in my fridge, have a plan for how to use it, and can easily find it. Each week I take stock of what is in there before I do the grocery shopping, so that I can either throw out what’s gone bad, or figure out a recipe that can incorporate what’s left in the next week’s meals. Using this system, our fridge is rarely packed, but I still know we have enough food in there to eat healthy meals. I thought I would share what my system is, in case it can help someone else.
1. Top Left Shelf – this is where we keep all of our beverages…usually goat milk for the kids, some type of nut milk for me and my husband, and apple cider (this is what our kids have for breakfast diluted with water)
2. Top Right Shelf – the spot for eggs, plain Greek yogurt (we go through a lot of this!), and any of the kids’ drinks that didn’t get finished
3. Deli Drawer – this is pretty obvious… we keep meat (the kids like the all-naturals nitrate free meats in their lunches) and cheeses here (usually a block of parmesan and old white cheddar (orange is just artificial colouring) are our staples)
4. Middle Shelf – where we store leftovers, the weekly homemade snack if it needs to be refrigerated, pre-chopped raw veggies, hummus, the next day’s lunches, and any jars that don’t fit in our door (I try to put commonly used ones here so that they don’t disappear into the condiment abyss). I almost always store our food in clear, glass containers – then we can easily see what’s in them, and I believe it is a safer way to store and heat food (even if they are BPA free, plastics have lots of other chemicals in them).
5. Bottom Shelf – for extra goat milk bags, fruit that doesn’t fit on our fruit stand on the counter, and any overflow from the middle shelf
6. Fruit and Veggie Drawers – this is usually just for veggies (the fruit is either on the counter or the bottom shelf). If any part of my fridge could be bigger, this is what I would love to change.
7. Door – I organize the containers so that items with similar uses are together: nut butters, condiments, regular butter, cooking sauces. We make a lot of our sauces and dressings, so most of these bottles are able to fit here.
8. Freezer – our freezer is divided into four compartments (two levels, with two sides each). We do have a stand up freezer that holds the overflow meat, but we don’t actually keep that much in it most of the time.
· Top shelf – one side has frozen veggies, seeds (like flax) and the other has frozen bread products and any frozen baked goods
· Bottom shelf – one side has frozen meat, and frozen meals (I label these with what they are and when they were made), and the other half has frozen fruit (berries and bananas mostly) and ice
So there you have it! Some of you are probably going to think I am crazy to have written a whole post about this, and that’s okay. For those of you who, like me, feel that life runs a bit more smoothly when things are organized, hopefully you will find it helpful to find how my “fridge mind” works.
I am hosting a “30 Day Fitness Challenge – For Your Best Life” group on Facebook during the month of September. The group includes a great bunch of women and men, many of whom are really engaged in sharing their successes and challenges, and we are encouraging each other to be active at least 30 minutes each day over the 30 day time period. For one of my posts to the group, I did a Facebook Live chat about the importance of figuring out what your “why” is. I believe that this question applies to any decision we make in life, whether is about improving our fitness, a career decision, making a purchase, or setting short or long term goals.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or saying or motivated by, it matters what is important to each of us as individuals. A group like the fitness challenge can provide a good “push” to help us move toward our goals. In order to more likely achieve long term success though, we also need to know what is “pulling” us. Our “pull” consists of the reasons why we want to pursue a certain goal. If we are sure of our “why”, then it will be much easier to stay focused when times become more challenging, or we start to go off track.
Since the beginning of August, I have been aiming to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. It doesn’t matter what I do, as long as I move my body. In January, I started doing small group training with a wonderful group of ladies two days a week at the gym. In order to stay on track the rest of the week, I also added in Beachbody workouts, which consist of a variety of 30 minute programs that I can do at home (I mainly do 21 Day Fix). My “whys” for doing this include:
It’s so easy to get sidetracked by all of the many things we have going on in our lives. If there is something that you would really like to accomplish in your life, then it might be a good idea to sit down and think about “why” you want to make that change. If you are successful, how would that feel? What would you do differently? How would you look? Being clear on those answers will help you create a “pull” to get you where you want to go. If you really want this, you will find a way to do it. It doesn’t matter how quickly you get there or how you do it, just that you figure out what you want, and how to start moving towards it.
So, what are you waiting for?
I grew up believing I was a smart kid, not an athletic kid. I thought I just wasn't "good at sports", and never played on a team until I was an adult. I know now that anyone can be active, including myself, but those old phrases still repeat in my mind at times. It took me pleasantly by surprise recently when a few people complimented me on my arms, and asked what I was doing (I credit small group training with Corinne at Fitness Funatics, and Beachbody workouts at home).
I included this picture because I can easily fall into the pattern of critiquing myself when I am doing a downward dog...my hamstrings are too tight, my arms aren't straight enough, I'm not flexible (I could go on...). The reality is a downward dog doesn't have to look a certain way. I am working to focus instead on how great it feels to stretch my muscles, breathe, feel my strength and move my body.
My name is Jennifer Haessler, I do a lot of things like a girl, and I'm totally okay with that now. After all, I am a girl!
As of September 1, 2016, Samantha Manovich, who has been practicing massage therapy at the clinic for over two years, is going to be moving her practice to her home while she finishes up her schooling for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Samantha is an amazing therapist, and she will be successful where ever she is located. She will be missed by all of us at Maple Shores Health Centre. Any of her clients can contact the clinic if they need details of her new location.
Karen Armstrong, who is also a Registered Massage Therapist, will be joining our clinic on Tuesday, September 19, 2016. You may recognize her from Bruce County Chiropractic, where she has been working as a laser therapist, and physiotherapy assistant. She recently completed her massage therapy training, and we are excited to have her join us once she gets back from her European tour. She will be seeing patients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Anyone looking for a massage therapist can contact the office to book an appointment with her.
I love my mom and have great respect for everything she has done and continues to do for me, however cooking was not something I learned a lot about from her. My generation was the first one where both parents working was the norm, and that meant the advent of convenience foods. In addition to some home cooked meals, I remember Kraft Dinner with hotdogs, TV dinners (remember the aluminum sectioned trays?), Spam, cheese slices, Wonder Bread, Wagon Wheels and Flakies. I must have been cut out to be a Naturopathic Doctor from an early age, because I never liked any of these foods.
My mom is actually a wonderful cook, but will openly admit that she doesn’t like it. I learned to love it after I got married and my husband and I started cooking together. As I got more comfortable trying out new recipes, and learning the techniques (i.e. don’t leave your food unattended for too long, and measuring is important when baking!), I noticied how satisfying it feels to create something delicious. I'm definitely not a pro, and certain recipes still intimidate me, but I now get great enjoyment out of planning for and creating healthy food for me and my family (even though I sometimes I wish I had more time for it!).
Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are some basics that everyone needs to know to feel comfortable in the kitchen. It is somewhat of a lost skill – no longer is it the norm to teach it in schools (even though it was a long time ago, I still remember some of the cooking skills I learned in grade 7 and 8 home economics!). Menu planning is one key skill – you need to know what you want to make, and that you have the ingredients in your kitchen to save running out multiple times to the grocery store, or not making something at all. Eating home cooked meals are also much cheaper than eating out, and generally healthier.
I would love to teach adults and children how fun and rewarding cooking can be. That was my main inspiration for starting the “Healthy Eating Made Easier” Facebook group. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/259306521073686/).
For those who live closer to Saugeen Shores, would you be interested in having me host some cooking classes for adults or children? For those who are further away, what would be helpful for you? What would you most like to learn about?
I completely agree with the author of the article below that “Kids are leaving home now knowing more about how to play soccer or hockey than they do about how to cook meals from fresh whole ingredients.” Cooking is a life skill that we all need to know how to do. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I see what a difference the right supplements in the right amounts can make in helping people feel better, but none of them can replace the importance of healthy eating. It is true that “we are what we eat”, so let’s help each other be great because we are eating great, nutritious food!