Eating healthfully

Eating healthfully

I get this question a lot, “April, I want to start eating healthier, what do I do?” Now that is a huge question that usually prompts other questions for me about goals, lifestyle, likes/dislikes, etc. We can get pretty down, dirty and specific when you’re ready, but if you want to get started and then take a deep dive – this is what I would recommend.

1. Stick to whole foods

Aim for 75% of your diet to be whole foods. This means unprocessed and as close to their original form as possible. Whole foods are more nutrient dense – they have fewer calories and more nutrients per serving than processed foods. If it’s made in a factory and you cannot pronounce many of the ingredients or there’s a million and one ingredients? You can be sure it’s not a whole food. Less is more.

2. Avoid added sugar

Check the labels. Sugar is okay in moderation, but you really don’t want added/processed sugar. Packaging can be deceiving at times so take a peek at the ingredents for yourself

3. Limit alcohol

It’s midnight, you’ve had a few and you’re STARVING. Do you really think you’re going to grab a salad or bowl full of fruit? Probably not. My go to was always pizza, peanut butter, cheetos and ice cream. Sometimes all at once! And then what happens…I wake up full of guilt because I know I just put all kinds of garbage in my body. Alcohol lies to you – you really do not need that bowl full of mint chip ice cream with a side of oreos.

4. Set yourself up for success

Keep the garbage out of the house and DO NOT buy any more. If there’s others in the household (insert the husband for me); that want the crap then there’s a couple things you can do. One, have a serious conversation as to why you want to eat more healthfully – don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Two. Have ah-mazing will power which is hard. Something I do is if it comes in the house and it’s something I really like I put it WAY up high in our pantry. You see I’m short and sometimes lazy, so I have to be REALLY hard up to pull out a stool and climb the shelves.

5. Ditch emotional eating

All of us do it. We eat when we’re happy, we eat when we’re sad, we even eat when we’re angry! Find something other than food to handle your emotions. Journal, buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing up, go for a walk, call up or text a friend, and my favorite…play with your pets!

6. It is not about perfection; it’s about consistency

Giver yourself some grace. It’s okay to have an ice cream cone with your kids. It’s okay to try that new pizza place. The world is not over! The option to be healthy is not ruined! Tomorrow is a new day. And actually NOT being so restrictive can work in your favor. For many – the more we restrict the more we want it and when we do cave – we cave hard and it’s tough to get back on track.

7. Eat if you are hungry!

You’re eating better, maybe you’ve added in exercise and sometimes you just never feel full! Well you know what. EAT! The key is making good, whole food choices. Eat whatever you want, whenever you want – just avoid grabbing the bag of chips or M&Ms

Go ahead now – make your shopping list , reorganize your pantry and get yourself in a healthy mindset.

Looking for more guidance, suggestions, motivation to get started? Someone to tell your why to, to help keep you accountable? Contact me! I’d love to hear from you.

with health and happiness – April 😘

Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are kind of a big deal in our house. Our kids LOVE them. Like seriously; I think they would eat pancakes for every meal if we let them! My husband makes these AH-MAZING homemade pumpkin pecan pancakes….but that’s not the receipe I have for you today; Sorry! I’ll see if I can share his secrets another day.

Now, when I think pancakes I think…might as well have a donut. Full of sugar, no nutritional value. You see – I’m the boring parent and the husband is the cool fun one who buys donuts and ice cream. I want my kids to enjoy these things, in moderation of course, so I’m always trying to figure out a healthier alternative that they still enjoy. This is what lead me to my protein pancakes.

Last weekend I randomly whipped these up using my knowledge of healthy foods and flavors and I have to say….turned out pretty good! I even have a video testimonial from my 5 year old daughter – we went live as she took the first bite – huge risk with her!

Now that we have mama and kiddo approval I‘m ready to share; please enjoy!

What you need

Let’s do this!

Mix all your wet ingredients until smooth – hand mixer not necessary. Add your dry ingredients and mix well – batter will be a bit lumpy due to the oats. If it seems too thick then add a little bit of water until at a consistency you are happy with. Now add the dark chocolate (optional) or other mix ins! Blueberries, walnuts, bananas….anything you can think of. My personal favorite is dark chocolate and bananas. It’s good; trust me!

Now all you need to do is cook them as normal on your stove top or griddle. I would advise cooking at a little bit lower heat than normal and let it take a little big longer only because these pancakes get thick! You may even find yourself manual spreading out the batter which I have to say is awesome if you like to make your pancakes in different shapes – better control of the batter. We often go for the Mickey and Minnie look

There you have it! Pretty easy, satisfying and a more healthy option than your average pancake. We either have ours plain or topped with pure organic maple syrup. Mmmmmm…….

As always please let me know when you try them! So curious as to how these turn out for others and what YOU think.

with health and happiness – April

5 direct to market products I am LOVING

5 direct to market products I am LOVING

As the pandemic became more and more real last year I noticed more and more people gravitating to direct marketing businesses. Some joining companies because they were trying to figure out how to make ends meet, some because they had more time to focus during shuts downs and some I think because they always wanted to; however, with that silly stigma that goes along with it, they didn’t do it, but now seeing so many others doing it….well, they thought why not?

As I saw this happening I decided I was going to make a commitment to engage and support these businesses. It really is no different than buying from your local coffee shop, boutique or grocery store. This is a time where many people need help and if I can help by purchasing products then that’s what I’m going to do. I remember back when I tried out direct sales with a couple different companies and I honestly did not have support – most recognizably from friends and family. And you know what? That sucks! Over the last five or six months I’ve found many new companies and products that I really love! Here are just a few that I want to share with you all today.

1. Dream on Dreamer Journal

This was one of the first things I purchased. I knew I needed to have some sort of outlet to really just “brain dump” in the morning or evening. I had started on regular notebook paper and scrap paper here and there, but then it didn’t continue. When I saw this journal I was like okay, I am going to buy a dedicated journal, that’s pretty, and it will hopefully motivate me to keep writing. You know what? It did the trick! Sits on my nightstand to be grabbed at any time and it’s just a constant flow of writing. Aside from that – this company’s mission is just beyond amazing in my opinion.

2. Me+ology

This is the product that gave me the itch to give direct marketing one more go. Did you know you can get PERSONALIZED supplements? Yeah, me neither! I don’t know about you, but personalized anything really speaks to me – especially when it comes to health and wellness. Everyone’s body and mind is different, so it’s silly to think we should all be taking the same things. I took a quick quiz that a friend of mine sent me, got my recommendations, tried it for a month and I was hooked! I paired this with an adjustment in my nutrition – also recommendation from this same friend – and I can’t tell you how much better I have felt. Energy, mood, stress management, ease in ailments specific to me…. #winning

3. Ergonomic Toilet Brush

Yes, you read that correctly. A toilet brush made my list. But you all – this one is the bomb and here’s why. It dries quickly in it’s holder so no stagnant toilet water sitting at the bottom or on the brush, my bathroom doesn’t smell like pee any more because my brush isn’t gross , it has an extra little pieces built in to get up under the rim better AND it looks pretty darn good sitting next to the toilet. Now when you get your be sure to get one for each bathroom – it just makes sense. You’ll thank me later.

4. Super-Chocolate

Healthy habits are important to be, but so is chocolate!  This is why I rarely cut it out entirely from my diet, allowing myself to have that craving and satisfy it is actually what helps me stay on track.    Why is this chocolate special?  Because it is clean, includes components that could help with metabolism, lower in calories and most important,  it tastes good! Dark chocolate with mint, dark chocolate tangerine and milk chocolate peanut butter are ones to not miss!

5. Mineral Rich Peeling Gel

An exfoliating dream. As a person that has struggled with blackheads my entire life from a young age I’m always searching for a good exfoliating product. Also works great on my rough, disgusting feet! Why do I love this in particular? Natural, safe, non toxic chemicals. Never tested on animals and my favorite part? You can actually see it working. Totally legit – I need to get you all a video.

I have more on my list that I want to try – will be trying. I’ll be sure to share! Make sure you let me know if you try any of these – love to hear what you think. Happy shopping, supporting and trying new things!

with health and happiness – April😘

Dessert smoothies

Dessert smoothies

Dessert smoothies are totally my jam right now. I’m always looking for a way to make decadent things healthy and virtually guilt free. I’ve found that smoothies have been the easiest way to do this so far.

I am a self proclaimed awesome baker of delicious treats; however, whenever I try to alter them and make them healthier – it just isn’t the same. I’m going to keep working on that, but until then if I want something dessert like, but want to make sure I’m staying on track with my nutrition whipping up a dessert smoothie is my new go to.

My five year old saw me with my cake batter smoothie the other day – sprinkles and all – and was like NO FAIR. I want a milkshake! So what did I do? Yep – that’s exactly it I totally let her believe I was having a milkshake and then I gave her some in her own cup which just delighted her to no end! She couldn’t believe that mom actually gave in! Score! One Kylie, zero mama, but little does she know I actually won this one 😁

Here are a just a couple of my latest creations. I’ll pop the full recipes over on the “from the kitchen” page.

1. French Vanilla Cake Batter

I’m not a huge cake fan – more of a buttercream frosting kind of a girl. But I do love cake batter flavored things! Have you tried the birthday cake Quest bar? So Good

This smoothie is a mix of protein, greens, fiber , fruit and even topped off with whipped topping and sprinkles!

2. Strawberry Angel Food

This one is inspired by my older brother. Growing up his cake of choice for birthdays was angel food, frosted in whipped topping and decorated with sliced strawberries. So simple, yet so delicious. My brother has since passed, but I still make his favorite cake (and now this smoothie) each year for his birthday. Can you guess what month he was born? I’ll give you a hint MY birthday isn’t in April as my name suggests.

Make with strawberry or vanilla protein, fresh or frozen strawberries, fresh greens and few secret add ins and you’ve got healthy and delicious dessert!

Let me know if you try either of these and what you think. I’m working on a chocolate one right now – Reese’s peanut butter cup perhaps? Fudge Brownie? Let me know your ideas so I can keep creating and satisfying our sweet tooth!

with health and happiness – April

6 ways to control cravings

6 ways to control cravings

I could totally go for <insert crave-able sweet and/or salty food here>  I’ll just have a “little” to take care of the craving.  Sound familiar? Doesn’t sound terrible; however, I guarantee in about a half hour you’ll be headed back to the pantry for more.  Not going to solve your hunger issue and really just increase cravings for the things you want to limit in your diet.  

 My pantry snack of choice that i know I’ve over indulged in?  Peanut butter filled pretzels – giant size, from Costco.  So salty, so yummy. Some days I’d even step it up a notch and add a handful of dark chocolate chips…..trying not to drool at the moment.

Now I’m not saying NEVER give in to your cravings or indulge, but when it’s a daily habit? That’s when it becomes an issue. All that salt and sugar I’d take in daily I realized was not smart. For one, it was like crack and I just wanted more ( I mean I’ve never done crack…..just assuming. Ha!) When I did cut it down/back I realized that I had less bloating, more energy in the afternoon (when I’d typically eat this stuff) and I really didn’t miss it!

So what do we do to help set ourselves up for success? Here are some thoughts.

1. Get the crap out

You know what it is that could go. Get it out and keep it out for a period of time. Reduce the temptation. Then when you feel the benefits of cutting those foods out add a couple back in. I’d also suggest not buying giant Costco size items 😀

2. Eat (for real!)

Yes, eat. You need to eat every few hours – something healthy preferably containing protein. Do not try to ‘save” your calories for later – doesn’t work. Trust me. Have some cut up fruits and veggies that you love ready to go in your fridge, string cheese, light Greek yogurt, raw almonds or a well balanced snack bar. These chocolate and toffee ones are my fave!

3. Chew gum

Pop a piece of gum, preferably mint. Often times works for me. My go to is Extra Polar Ice.

4. Drink more water

Keeping yourself properly hydrated may lessen impulse cravings. Pro tip: find yourself a fun cup and grab a straw. Drinking through a straw has been proven (by me!) to help you drink more water that without one.

5. Get up and moving

A brisk walk, game of basketball with the kids or even cleaning the bathrooms – just do something. This can help you understand if you’re truly hungry or if it’s a passing craving that in the end you don’t really care about anyway.

6. Do a 7 day cleanse

This is ultimately what worked best for me and the husband. And not one of those $7 run to the bathroom type cleanses. Doesn’t work. We followed one that included whole, real foods with some added supplements. Let me know how I can help you get started!

Was this helpful? Any tips that have worked well for you? I want to know! Leave me a comment below.

with health and happiness – April 😘

Simple ways to balance your immune system

Simple ways to balance your immune system

Earlier this week my family and I got news that my second grader would be able to go back to school (almost) full time starting in April (should we choose, which we are). He is super excited for a taste of normalcy and we’re happy to have him go back. While he does go to school a couple hours a day at the moment, these will be longer days and larger class sizes. He may even have to switch teachers, so a whole new group of kids he’ll be interacting with. That got my brain going about what can we start doing now to make sure his immune system is solid and so is the rest of ours in the family. More and more things will be opening up , so now is the time. I did a live on Insta last night on this very topic and would now like to share with you all!

Brief note about your immune system

Before I start off I want to talk quickly about the immune system itself. Now, most people that get sick ASSUME their immune system is not working. That if they had a healthy immune system they would not be getting sick at all, well, that’s not exactly the case. Our immune system needs to be strong to FIGHT whatever foreign comes into our body. If it’s fighting, then it’s working! So those symptoms you are feeling is a sign that your immune system is responding. Having it in balance is what will keep it fighting and could also shorten the length of your illness.

Okay, enough about that – let’s get to the good stuff.

1. Choose the right fruits and veggies

Yes, we all know that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet, but what are the ones that are most beneficial? Below is a list of that will help ensure your cells are functioning properly and protect them. This aids in a balanced immune system. So, add these to your shopping list:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Melon
  • Citrus (careful though of canker sores!)
  • Dark leafy greens (unless your doctor has otherwise advised)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic (anti-viral properties)

2. Do not avoid healthy fats

“Fat” is a scary word. Sometimes we see even the healthy ones as “the devil”, but they really do play an important role for your body. Add these to your list:

  • Fish high in Omegas – think Salmon, tuna and makerol
  • Avocado
  • Raw nuts
  • Raw nut butters

3. Stay hydrated

It has been shown that water helps deliver nutrients to your cells to keep them healthy. Water also has the ability to help remove toxins from your body – keeping your immune system in check. And something new I learned? Being propery hydrated may improve your quality of sleep! Which brings us to number 4.

4. Get those Zzzzzs

Sleep can do so much for us, yet so many of us lack in this area. Our lives are constantly on overdrive, but if we burn ourselves out – it’s not going to help us one little bit. Yeah, maybe we got the bedroom repainted and shower tile installed all by ourselves pulling all – nighters between work, school, kids…..but not that doesn’t necessarily lead to better health. (Although, that could be argued). Do your best to stay with a consistent sleep schedule and if quality is sleep is what getting you down – there are things you can do for that as well. I’ll save that for another day.

5. Say goodbye to refined sugar and processed foods

Now, I’m not saying you have to eliminate because sometimes that’s just not realistic. Hell, it’s not like I do. But I aware of how much my family and i were consuming and cut back. These items do not provide you with the necessary nutrients that you need to fight off all the yucky things floating around in the world. This can also help with the quality sleep I talked about above.

6. Manage your stress BEST YOU CAN

This I know is a given and you’ve heard it a million times over, but what I want you to take away from this is the part where I say “as best you can.” I don’t know about you, but whenever I read about stress they make it sound so darn easy to get a handle on it. Just do this and this and that and voila! No more stress. I’m pretty sure we all know what we need to do, but again – completely reducing stress is not realistic, nor is it easy. That’s why I say do the best you can. And if you find yourself stressed…..don’t stress about being stressed; it’s okay!

7. Get moving

Another given and I know you all know this is important. So be like Nike and “Just Do It.” It doesn’t have to be crazy like running 5 miles a day or grunting and lifting like a mad person. Just do SOMETHING.

8. Add supplements

I recently wrote about why adding supplements into your diet is a good idea. Knowing what your body needs and why and then having an easy , consistent way to get those things in, is crucial. Don’t guess, don’t assume. Want help getting started? Click here.

If you put all these things together you’re likely to have a more balanced immune system. Simple things we can do that we probably already know, but always a nice reminder. Just like this one…. be sure to wash your hands!

Be happy and healthy!😘 April

Why adding quality supplements is a good idea

Why adding quality supplements is a good idea

We all know supplements exist. But why are they a good idea? Do we really need them? What happened to getting our nutrients by eating a balanced diet – isn’t that we learned about in first grade through the food pyramid? I have found that even if we follow “the perfect” balanced diet – we probably still need to supplement some things. Here’s a few reasons why.

Lifestyle Factors

1. Our eating habits suck, leading to poor gut health

Raise your hand if you HAVEN’T heard about how important gut health it is. I mean – it’s everywhere, so I shouldn’t be seeing too many hands. When your gut isn’t in shape – nutrients cannot absorb into your body efficiently and effectively.

2. More stressors out there than ever before

Hello life in a pandemic! See number one. Stress can cause poor gut health. Aside from that – it is possible that stress lessens the amount of vital nutrients in your body such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.

3. Not so great habits

It has been found that smoking and drinking alcohol may reduce the amount of vitamin C that is in your body. Smokers actually need twice as much vitamin C as a non-smoker

4. OTC and Rx drugs

If you take aspirin on a semi-regular basis you’re going to need more vitamin C. If you’re on antibiotics you’ll want to up your B vitamins and get some probiotics in you, if you don’t already. Doing hormone replacement therapy taking birth control pills? Add B6, B12, folic acid and zinc to your routine.

Environmental Factors

1. Not all soil is created equal

If foods grow “just okay” in a type of soil or if they’re grown in land that has been farmed a million times over, they may have a reduction in nutrients.

2. Hybrid crops

You can find hybrid crops in many places including organic farms. Hybrid crops are great because they provide more food per acre – more food to feed the world, which is NEVER an issue. But it has been found that these type of crops have a lower volume of nutrients.

3. Fertilizer has changed

The fact is natural fertilizer has been replaced greatly by man-made fertilizers. Again , this is great because they include the right elements to grow a healthy plant; however, they do lack other nutrients that are found in things like manure that transfer to the foods we eat. Now – had I not read this I would never have known. Growing up and living in Wisconsin – manure is quite the staple. I have a farm directly behind me and I am here to tell you – my windows are NOT open a whole lot. Especially when it starts to warm up…fresh baked cow pie is not exactly what I want my kitchen to smell like!

Importance of Quality Supplements

Now we know that our body is missing out on essentials; this is where we make a change and support our body with the nutrition it needs through quality supplements. I will repeat that again because it’s SO important….take QUALITY supplements; not just anything you find on the shelf. Think about it…garbage in garbage out PLUS now you’ve spent money on something that’s done nothing or very little for you, then you get frustrated and try the next and the next…now you’ve just TRIPLED what you would’ve spent on something quality in the first place. (We are currently living this experience in the form of counter stools for our kitchen).

I hope this helped shed some light on why we should look at introducing supplements into our diet.

That being said there’s about 5 gazillion types and brands out there… it’s overwhelming. Because I have dug into this world already , I’d love to save you some time and money .

Allow me to help you understand which specific ones are right for you and why. I’m only an email or comment away!

with health and happiness … April 😘

White Bean Greek Pitas (no cooking required)

White Bean Greek Pitas (no cooking required)

Y’all! I LOVE this new recipe I tried just last night and can’t wait to share it with you! I’ve been doing less meat lately, so I set out to find some plant based protein dishes. Here’s the latest.

What you need

(I do the majority of my shopping at Aldi via Instacart!)

The Sauce:

  • 1/2 c non-fat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

The Filling

  • 1 can cannellini or great northern white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 c feta cheese (I choose reduced fat)
  • 1/2 c peeled and chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 c sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbps olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Holding it together:

  • Pita Flatbread (3)
  • Toothpicks

Let’s do this!

Start with the sauce. Mix all three ingredients together and set aside in the fridge to soak up the garlic and lemon goodness. I suggest using a dish you have a lid for to easily store leftovers

Next, prep where you need to. ie: chopping cucumber, onion, tomatoes, etc.

Time saver tip: buy minced garlic and Kalamata olives that are already sliced ready to go

Grab a medium sized bowl – again – having a lid is helpful, so you don’t need to dirty another dish to save any leftovers. Take all the filling items and mix ’em up. Easy peasy.

Time to assemble! Take one pita and spread with about a third of the garlic yogurt sauce. Then take about a third of the filling and place on one side. Fold in half and you are ready to eat!

I cut mine in half and secured with a toothpick. Then served with some fresh fruit. One of my fave meals yet!

Try it out! Let me know what you think? Did you add your own twist to it? I want to know!


Helpful tips to start working out

Helpful tips to start working out

I hear this very often from friends, family, co-workers and clients….April, how in the world do I get started working out? Here’s a quick bit of advice that I like to give to get them going.

Baby Steps

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This is listed first because it’s VERY important. At the beginning of anything new we, as people, like to jump right in. We get excited with a very high level of commitment, but a low level of competence which only means that we just don’t know HOW to do what we want to do. If we let the excited overshadow the competence that we may be setting ourselves up for failure. We will do too much, too fast and burn out not only our bodies, but our minds too. So start slow with length and frequency. Example: when I first got into working out (no I haven’t been like this my whole life!) I started with 20 minutes of cardio two days per week, whether that was a fast walk, slow jog or hopping on an elliptical. From there I continued to build with the help of a co-worker who I would call an expert in health and fitness. Having him there was really how I got myself to where I am today – learning from him was uber important. Fast forward 25 years and I’m where I’m at today. Not a terribly smooth ride, but I’m here!

Get out your calendar

I cannot stress this enough….BLOCK TIME OUT on your calendar for your workouts. We are all crazy busy with life – work, school, taking care of family and households; the list goes on. If we do not do the physical act of blocking time on our calendar – it’s going to be difficult to get going. When I was first getting started I would block out my lunch hour. I was fortunate enough to have a facility on site of where I worked out. I had a chunk of time scheduled certain days of the week, for a certain amount of time, on my work Outlook calendar with reminders. This does two things 1. makes sure no one schedules a meeting over when you planned on working out 2. Gives you that visible reminder that this is now part of your day. Everyone is different so choose the time/day that works best for you. Over the last few years I’ve come into the habit of working out first thing in the morning to get my day started; mostly because my days often look like this…

Find something you enjoy

Again, cannot stress this one enough either. If you are not doing something you enjoy then it makes it that much harder. There are so many options out there! Let’s say you hate running, but you think that’s the best way to burn calories and meet your goals….ERRRR WRONG-O! If you hate something why in the world would you stick with it? I mean do you continue to talk to and date that girl or guy that cheated on you five times over ? NO you don’t. At least you shouldn’t be – and if you are then we need to talk as that is very definition of insanity. Cardio doesn’t have to be running, maybe biking is more your thing or playing basketball with a club group (yes, we’re in a pandemic, but you know – eventually that is going to be an option). Or maybe it’s dance? Hell – doesn’t even need to be structured, it could be putting on some of your fave music to wild ‘n out in your kitchen, living room or basement. As long as you’re moving and getting your heart rate up – you’re golden!

Write down your why

This is easy. Do exactly as it says, write down your why in a place you can frequently refer back to. And this can be fluid – it may change as you change so don’t forget to update it. Refer back to remind yourself why in the world you wanted to do this in the first place. Especially on those days you “just don’t feel like it.” Because they will come , but they will also pass.

My journal sits on my nightstand – always within arms reach

I hope you’ve found this helpful in getting started! It’s never easy to start or re-start something new.

If you need help getting going I’d love to talk with you; not only to get you going, but to also be your accountability partner. I’m only an email away!

with Health and Happiness 😘

Ease the tension…at home

Ease the tension…at home

Who out there could benefit from massage therapy? I’m guessing a lot of you. And who wants work around a schedule, pre-plan and head out to a public place and pay $100 + a month? This was not practical for me and I’m guessing maybe not for some of you either. What if I told you, you can get massage therapy benefits at home, consistently, for one investment of 50 bucks or less? Let me tell you how. The solution to your sore muscles, back pain, neck tension, migraines, etc…..Get yourself a foam roller! ( I also want to preface this with I ADORE my chiropractic care doctor and my massage therapist; have not been replaced – just supplemented – shout out to Heidi and Caleb!)

What and Why?

You literally use a cylinder made from foam to massage your muscles by laying on it in different positions and roll back and forth. You can get them at sporting goods stores, Amazon and if you belong to a gym – they may even sell them. I’ve had mine for gosh….12 years? It’s been super glued and wrapped in duct tape to keep it together, but I’m not letting it go! Why? Because it relieves so much tension exactly when and where I need it. Let’s say I have a tension headache (I work at a computer 8 hours+ a day, so it happens), I can feel it in the back of my head – I just need some relief! Instead having to find an open appointment for a massage or chiropractor visit and possibly wait a few days, I can grab my foam roller and ease the tension immediately (then follow up as needed with my chiropractor and/or massage therapist)

Now, I’m not a physical therapist, I’m not a doctor and do not claim to be either of those, but I can tell you it works for me. I put my neck on the roller where my trigger point is, roll to massage and I feel a release that in turn helps with my headaches. You know the phrase, hurts so good? Well this is what foam rolling is like for some. Here’s a more professional statement from an article on “Request Physical Therapy.” “

“Foam rolling can reduce some discomfort you feel due to delayed onset muscle soreness, and it can help improve your range of motion. When combined with static stretching, a foam roller can be a formidable force towards flexibility and muscle recovery. “

When is a good time to roll?

In my experience – first thing in the morning and before bed, consistently, seems to help. I also try to remember to roll prior to working out – it does help warm up the muscles; much like stretching does. Same for post-workout – helps to include it in your cool down. Other times I find it helpful is if I’m having headaches or muscle pain. Example – I woke up one morning and for whatever reason my back muscles were seriously killing me. Just so tight, not sure if I slept wrong or what. When I finally got myself out of bed and moving, I reached for my roller. I laid back and just went over the whole length of my back and man….could I feel a release right away! Little bit of creaking and cracking too ….After about five minutes of that I then did some stretching and walked around a bit. I can tell you – made all the difference in the world. Tension minimized and I was able to go about my day and do my workout – something I was actually considering skipping due to the pain I woke up with.

How do I use this thing?

So you have this roller or “home chiro-masseuse” as I like to call it. Now, what do I do with it? It is extremely important, as with any exercise or stretch to do it correctly so you do not hurt yourself. Since again, I am not in the medical field, and am a one woman show – do not have a studio, cameras, lighting to show you myself; I’m going to direct you to the resources below.

8 Foam Rolling Moves


High Density (what I use daily)

Deep Tissue (the husband’s preference)

Share with me

Do you have a foam roller? Do you use it regularly? I want to hear from you!

Are you a first timer and purchased one recently or plan to? I want to hear from you!

We all learn by sharing, so please allow me learn from you.