Welcome to Self Soul Space! This blog is designed to bring you healthy lifestyle tips. A true healthy lifestyle, embodies a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thanks for stopping by to check out my way of living.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Health of the Soul 73.

Keep watch in your soul to do well.  Evil is easy.  Good takes practice and change of mind.

Health of the Soul 72

Every soul be subject unto the higher power.  Authority over your soul protects your life.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Health of the Soul 71

Be humble and let pride take a back seat.  Then your soul will be at peace.  Your mind will focus in growing perfection.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Health of the Soul 70

Be honest as you speak to your soul.  Sing and make melody to your soul.

"You're Wasting Water?"

Have you heard or used this phrase?  When I was a kid (mainly a teenager), my mother used to yell "you're wasting water" every time I was in the shower... I, Miss Go-Green, used to spend over 30 minutes in the shower.  Realistically, it would only take me 5-10 minutes to clean myself, wash hair, and/or shave... But I loved to just stand in the shower letting it run on my back, making it progressively hotter and hotter.  Wasteful, I know!  Now, I'm not nearly as bad... Having to pay your own water bill will help with that.  But if you still feel like you and your family are wasting water, here are some tips for conserving water... Whether your in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, garden, or just out and about...

  1. Use a water displacement device in the toilet tank. Most toilets will work just as well if they use less water. Simply fill a plastic bottle with water and place it in your toilet tank.
  2. Install conservation devices such as aerators or low-flow showerheads. Low-flow showerheads use only 2.5 gallons per minute.
  3. Take a 5- to 10-minute shower using a low flow showerhead. By doing this, you use only 10 to 25 gallons of water, while a full head uses about 70 gallons.
  4. If you take a bath, use the minimum amount of water by closing the drain first and adjusting the temperature as you fill the tub.
  5. Avoid running the faucet while shaving and brushing your teeth. You can save as much as 8 gallons by not letting the water run... This is super important for kids!
  6. Remodeling an old bathroom, consider installing a high-efficiency toilet (HET). HETs use less than 1.3 gallons of water per flush.
  1. Only run your automatic dishwasher when it is fully loaded. A dishwasher uses about 12 gallons per run.
  2. Don’t rinse dishes in the sink before you put them in the dishwasher. Scrape them clean and let the machine do the rest.
  3. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running water to cool it... Be sure to Drink Water too!
  4. Thaw frozen food in your refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
  5. Don’t let the faucet run when you scrub vegetables or prepare other foods. Use a dishpan or put a stopper in the sink.  You could even take it a bit further... when you’re finished, use the water for watering plants.
  6. Use your garbage disposal sparingly. Use a garbage can or compost pile instead. (This saves electricity too)
Laundry Room:

  1. Use the washing machine only when you have a full load or match the water level to load size.
  2. Wash in cold water to save energy.
  3. Always use the minimum amount of detergent, and eliminate the extra rinse cycle.
  4. For hand washing clothes, put a stopper in the sink for both wash and rinse. Don’t let the faucet run.
  5. When buying new appliances, consider buying a high-efficiency washing machine. Many new front-loading washers use less water and are energy efficient as well. Look for the EnergyStar label.

  1. Don’t over-water. Water only when the grass or plants show signs of needing it.
  2. Avoid watering on windy days, when most of the water will go where you don’t want it.
  3. Water in the cool of the day, preferably early in the morning, to reduce excess evaporation.
  4. Let water sink in slowly. Letting water sink in will avoid water runoff and help plants develop deeper roots so you won’t need to water as often.
  5. Plant drought-resistant plants. Many local garden centers carry native and drought-resistant plants.
  6. Mulch plants. You can use leaves, lawn clippings or even strips of plastic. This keeps the weeds out too!
  7. Form ditches or basins around plants so that water stays where you want it.
  8. Don’t water the sidewalk and driveway! Set sprinklers carefully.  And use a broom to clean the driveway or sidewalk instead of water.
More tips:

  • Teach your children to conserve water. It’s easier to start good habits than to break wasteful habits later.
  • Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. Taking your car to a professional will significantly reduce your impact. A professional car wash not only uses about three-times less water for an average-sized car, but they also probably have a better capacity to dispose of the harmful runoff.
  • But if you like washing your car, Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car. Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle, but only for rinsing.
  • Use a cover on your pool to slow evaporation.
  • Don’t overfill your pool. The extra water will just get splashed out!
  • Recycle wading pool water for plants, shrubs and lawns.
  • Collect water in a rain barrel and use it to water your garden.
Keep in mind, your garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours, thousands of gallons can be lost in a very short time.  These are just a few tips to help conserve water, a water-friendly environment is a healthy environment.  Check with your water and sewer provider for more ways to conserve water, and read your bill, a lot of companies give suggestions on specific ways for your home to save water.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stanford Study... To buy or not to buy Organic?

I'm sure by now, everyone has heard of the Stanford Study... No? Kind-of? Unsure of what it means?  Well, here's a recap and what it really means buying organic foods and my household.

The Study:
Earlier this month, nutritionists and researchers at Stanford University released a study of other studies, if you will, that compared organic versus conventional food.  The researchers sifted through thousands of papers and identified 240+ of the most relevant studies to analyze. Those included 17 studies (some of which were clinical trials) of populations consuming organic and conventional diets, and 223studies that compared either the nutrient levels or the bacterial, fungal or pesticide contamination of various products (fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, milk, poultry, & eggs) grown organically and conventionally.  However, there were no long-term studies of health outcomes of people consuming organic versus conventionally produced food; the duration of the studies involving human subjects ranged from two days to two years.  There has been no significant research on children or pregnant women.

The Results:
“There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” said Dena Bravata, MD, MS, senior affiliate with Stanford’s Center for Health Policy, and the senior author of a paper comparing the nutrition of organic and non-organic foods, published in the Sept. 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.  A team led by Bravata, and Crystal Smith-Spangler, MD, MS, an instructor in the school’s Division of General Medical Disciplines and a physician-investigator at VA Palo Alto Health Care System, did the most comprehensive analysis to date of existing studies comparing organic and conventional foods. They did not find strong evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives, though consumption of organic foods can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure. 

To buy or not to buy:
If your budget allows, I say "yes, buy Organic!"  And here are my 2 main reasons...
  1. There is no long term research or results on the effects of genetically modified foods (GMOs),  pesticides, non-human hormones, animal antibiotics, or bacteria on the human body... So, what happens on year 3, or 10, or 40?
  2. What's the effect on children, babies, the elderly, pregnant women, or on people with pre-existing health conditions?  
We all know that a strawberry is a strawberry, an apple is an apple, and a zucchini is a zucchini. An organic strawberry doesn't give anyone super powers, and has the same amount of vitamins & nutrients as it's non-organic counterpart.  However, if organic foods limit your exposure to pesticides and non-human hormones/antibiotics, which humans are not supposed to consume anyway, then good!  Organic food also forces you to consume truly conventional, natural food not made in some laboratory, like GMOs.  Buying organic also reduces the amount of chemicals dumped and sprayed into the environment, bonus.  We don't know why cancer, behavioral problems, and food allergies are on the rise... But buying organic does help.  If your budget doesn't allow for the price of organic, then be smart with you and your family's food choices.  Buy whole foods, clean produce throughly (with a wash or vinegar/water), limit artificial sweeteners and processed foods, know what's in your food (ingredients), and stay away from Genetically Modified Foods.  

Health of the Soul 68

Allow the Creator to nourish your soul as you nourish the physical body.  Be balance spirit, soul and body.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Health of the Soul 67

Surgically remove from your soul the hurts and hang ups that keep you from living in your purpose in life.

Vegetarian Chili

Today is Meatless Monday... but really in the Thayer household, that means busy Monday.  Our basic Monday consists of dropping Jordan off at Kindergarten, Mia and I heading to the YMCA for Body Flow, and maybe a quick run, then home to pack Mia's snack.  We head to school for Lunch duty and for Mia's preschool drop-off.  After that, I'll head out for a run (if I didn't get it in earlier).  Still not done, after my run, I'm home to start dinner, clean-up, laundry (or whatever's on the to-do list).  By 2:30, I'm back out the door heading to school for carpool.  Break, no not yet... Head home to do homework, snack, and change clothes because we have swim lessons at 4:30.  By the time we get home from swim lessons, it's about 5:45 and everyone is starving... so to avoid the mad dash many make for fast food... I decided to make Monday's dinner easy, in addition to being meatless.  Today's dinner was loosely based off of my Organic Chili recipe, but without the meat, and in the crock pot.  This is a great pantry dump recipe too, use whatever beans you have on hand!

Vegetarian Chili
Serves 6, Hands on time 5 min, cook time 3 hrs on high, 6 hrs on low

2 15oz cans Diced Tomatoes in juice (don't drain)
1 15oz can Chili Beans in sauce (don't drain)
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can pinto beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbs chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tbs olive oil
1/4 chopped white onion
2 cloves minced garlic
Kosher Salt & cracked black pepper

In the crock pot, dump all beans, tomatoes, and seasonings and mix.  In a separate saute pan, sweat out the onion and garlic in the olive oil.  once translucent add to the crock pot, stir.  Set it and forget it! High 2-3 hrs, Low 4-6hrs.  Serve over brown rice, and top with cheese, sour cream, avocado, or whatever you would like!

Enjoy, now... I'm off to carpool!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

P90x week 9 & 10

So here's my recap on weeks 9 & 10 of Beach Body's P90x Lean Program.  I originally was going to separate these weeks, but due to technically difficulties with getting a new iPad, I lost week 9 before I had a chance to post it.

Week 9 was a tough week for me.  My body is still getting adjusted to the early school mornings, double workouts, the increased running miles, and a tougher p90x workouts.  I feel like I am finally fueling properly, however I am still worn out by the end of the day.  Monday started with Les Mills body flow & a short 1 mile run in the morning, followed by chest/back & ab ripper x in the evening.  Tuesday, I skipped my am YMCA spin class because of an appointment, but if finished up the long day with cardio x.  I went for a 2.7 mike run Wednesday afternoon, then finished cursed my way through shoulders/arms & ab ripper x. Thursday was a relaxing day started with Body flow and ended with yoga x.  I skipped the yoga belly x section, tired.  Friday, D'reardon and I went for a 2.7 mile walk at Glasgow park after the girls went to school, I tried to convince him to join me for core synergistic but he declined. Saturday was a great calorie burning day, I woke up before the family and met up with Black Girls Run for a 3.1 mile run at Glasgow (big hill x2), then I kicked butt in Kenpo x. My body was screaming for a rest on Sunday... But really laundry and cleaning were my workouts instead.
Here's my photo from week 9...

Week 10 was a little more creative for me.  Another adjustment... Getting used to being back on the road.  Reminding myself of all of my ways to stay healthy and energized while traveling.  I decided not to take my laptop with me, trying to cut down on the amount of stuff going to and from Palm Springs.  That being said, I wrote down my daily workouts, and all of the exercises in order.  Since I flew out Monday afternoon, I was able to fit in my YMCA Body Flow class, and my p90x workout before leaving for the airport.  Tuesday morning, I woke up insanely early, 4:15am PDT (thanks EDT for messing up my body clock).  I completed p90x cardio x in my room, then headed out for a 2mile desert run.  I actually had a long day of meetings, I grabbed a quick dinner, and was asleep by 8pm (worn out).  Wednesday, I woke up a little later, 5:05am, so I decided to run to the gym (which was at the back of the resort) and do my Back & Bicep workout there, I skipped the ab ripper exercises due to time.  Fortunately, the hotel had an amazing gym, however, I forgot my exercise list... So I relied purely on memory to do the exercises, I got in a pretty decent workout considering.  Thursday, I slept in until 6:15am, woo hoo, and even better it was yoga X day!! I think I know the video by heart, so no lists needed.  I turned on my favorite yoga Pandora station and started.  I felt great, and relaxed to start my day... Which was great, because that was presentation day.  Friday was my flight home, yay.  I woke up early again, thanks EDT, and decided if I wanted coffee, I had to put out a little effort.  I went for a 2 mile walk around the desert resort before grabbing coffee and fruit for breakfast.  I moved my p90x rest day to Friday because flying from west to east, makes for a long, long day... So, my walk was a bonus!  Saturday was core synergistic and it was tough.  I think I was just worn-out from traveling.  I just wrapped Sunday's workout, Kenpo x... And after a long week, and a long day Saturday it was hard.  Fortunately, week 10 brought one more bonus, the p90x app was free... it has all of the workout lists and a calendar to keep me on track!  It even has the videos available for purchase, here's the bigger bonus no more writing down the exercises or traveling with my laptop, yay!
Here's my week 10 photo, I actually took it Friday...

Overall, weeks 9 and 10 were productive, and butt kicking!  Still to this day, I love yoga x...  My least favorite exercises are splits, half moon pose, superman/banana (mostly banana), all pull-ups, and prison push-ups.  I am still amazed that after 10 weeks these workouts are still challenging.  But i must admit, Week 10 without Tony's voice & jokes was awesome... Naturally, after 80+ straight days with someone, they will start to get on your nerves, especially if they're making you do something hard, like working out.  This is why most people only see their personal trainers a few times a week.  Wish my and my tv luck on week 11, I'll try to work it out, with out, kirking out on Tony & my tv.

Health of the soul 66

Back in business, after a business trip... however, the soul never takes a break from being healthy!

The Creator shapes your soul and your soul knows very well.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Health of the Soul 65

Release your soul of grief to move forward and be free to do good and not evil.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Health of the Soul 63

Your spirit is a part of the soul, which speaks to your mind and will.  Be listening.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Health of the Soul 62

Your will, mind and emotions cry from within to be in full submission with the Creator.

Monday, September 10, 2012

P90x Week 7 & 8

Since P90x Lean Program's week 7, consisted of the same workouts as week 5 & 6, I decided to include it's review with week 8.

Week 7, well how did go? Not so great... I made it through, but I was pretty un-enthused all week.  I had originally planned to my double workout days back in, but the YMCA was basically closed (except for Spin classes) for building maintenance.  So, on Tuesday, I decided I would get in a double workout... Yay, right... Wrong!  I did an hour of a hard Spin class breathing in air filled with floor varnish fumes... Bad idea.  I think I would of rather smelled sweaty people, because after class, I was light headed and ended up with a 2-day headache.  I still pushed through my evening P90x workouts, but I must say, it was tough!  The rest of the week, I found myself going through the motions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I moved my rest day up from Sunday to Saturday due to the Barnes Family Reunion and the Holiday Weekend.  Sunday, then became Kenpo X day, which was a nice way to burn some goo from the weekend's food.  Clearly, I was looking forward to week 8, I was so over this same workout rotation for 3 weeks... besides I really dislike the Legs/Back workout.  I did set a running goal for me this week, which I did not even get to... Fail.  On a positive note, I did do a better job refueling myself, and keeping up with my mid-day snacks and hydration!

I do love my photo from week 7... the Joy of Motherhood, No Privacy!

Week 8, brought a much needed break, the same way week 4 did.  No major weight training workouts, just a big focus on core, cardio, and stretching.  The biggest bonus, 2 Yoga X days!  Monday was Labor Day, and pretty low key for us, I welcomed a new Lean Program week with Yoga X, a great way to kick off Fall.    Tuesday, I skipped a double workout at my local YMCA, to paint my youngest daughter's new big girl room... Which come to find out, was a workout in itself, and Core synergistic did not give my sore painting muscles a break ;-(.  Wednesday, I felt really productive and great, I touched up Mia's room, then ran 2.6+ miles, and gave a good fight to Kenpo X.  Thursday brought another double workout day, focusing all on stretching!!  I did Les Mills Body Flow class, then X Stretch that evening... I felt so loose!  Friday and Saturday, I skipped my scheduled runs, but not my favorite Cardio X and Yoga X!  Sunday was D'reardon's birthday, which meant I was giving myself a present of rest!!  Week 8 was really a much better week for my workouts, but not for visible results (Thanks to being super bloated)... So, I decided not to take a photo!

Bring on Week 9, and all of the extra workouts... I will "do my best, and forget the rest"!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Health of the Soul 61

Your Creator summons your soul to do according to your purpose.  Obey and be inspired to live in your purpose.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

G-free Treats!

This past week, my family and I experimented with two gluten free treats.  'Why?', you ask... We have a boat load of food allergies and sensitivities in our family.  My husband is allergic to tree nuts, and most fruit that grows on trees (apples, bananas, pears, peaches, cherries).  Jordan, my oldest daughter, is allergic to everything under the sun... no not really but it seems like it... Wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, melon, and bananas.  Now, my darling, Mia, is following right in her father's and sister's footsteps, besides being allergic to every environmental allergy, she is also newly allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, and soy.  I have a major sensitivity to nitrates and MSG (Migraines, boo) Now, you understand some of my latest posts in regards to food.  After a trip to Whole Foods- Glen Mills and Trader Joe's I found some new products to try, a pancake mix and a brownie mix...

Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix

My first thought was, yes... Jordan loves pancakes, this should be awesome!  I read the ingredient list, like I have to do with everything...seemed cool!  The only issue, was the instructions for making pancakes called for eggs... Problem!  Jordan's allergic to eggs, but I remembered reading a few websites on Google which said you can substitute applesauce or bananas (nope) for eggs... So, I tried it.  I decided to upgrade the flavor by adding apple pie spice and vanilla extract, making them apple cinnamon allergen-free pancakes.  I made a bunch of mini pancakes, the girls gobbled them up for breakfast, then froze the rest for fast breakfast on school mornings.  My personal opinion was that they were a little chewy.  I think they really need the egg, instead of the applesauce.

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Brownie Baking Mix
Here goes nothing, I thought... We love brownies, but to make brownies without oil or eggs... well, this became a true experiment indeed.  The mix called for egg, water, and oil.  but since I only had vegetable (which contains soy) or olive oil... I opted to sub applesauce for the oil, and for the egg.  I added my signature organic chocolate chips, which I add to all box Brownies.  I baked them in mini muffin pan, so the kids could have bite size brownies for school.  The girls enjoyed them, Daddy and I had the same thought... Good flavor but chewy.  Again, I think they needed the egg.

My question becomes, are all gluten-free products chewy?  I made my traditional fruit bread, but instead of the bananas I added pumpkin puree, used the King Arthur's Flour Gluten (soy, wheat, nut) free flour, and used applesauce in place of the egg.  I then added pumpkin pie spice to make it more like pumpkin bread.  I also made a regular loaf of fruit bread.  Again, the allergen-free fruit bread was chewy and not as fluffy, it was also not very sweet like normal.  I didn't account for the loss of sweetness by taking away the bananas.  Jordan did not care for her special fruit/pumpkin bread.  I found it to be tasty with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

These new food allergies are going to take some getting used to, but I'm having a blast experimenting and trying new products.  I'll keep you posted on new allergen-free products.  Pray that my kids grow out of some of these allergies!  If you have any fun food suggestions, please share!!

Health of the Soul 58

Soul is the substance of the actions and thoughts in everyday life.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Allergen-free Mac & Cheese

A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter Jordan (aka Allergy Kid), was diaganosed with 3 more allergies... Egg whites, soy, and wheat.  Fun, right?  Where things start to get really complicated  are with her original allergies, sesame seeds, peanut, tree nuts, sunflower seeds, and melon.  When looking for wheat-free food, most use a lot of soy to replace the gluten, as well as adding nuts and sesame seeds to upgrade the flavor.  On a trip to Whole Foods (Glen Mills), I found this awesome pasta made from quinoa, and flour made from rice.  Winner, winner, Mac & cheese dinner!!  This recipe can be used for Meatless Monday (which is when we ate it), you can also add veggies or meat to it if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did (both girls & daddy licked their bowls clean), and it was even yummy as a leftovers' lunch a couple of days later!

Thayers' Allergen-Free Mac & Cheese
Serves 8, Total time: about 40min
16oz cooked pasta, (I used quinoa elbow noodles)
5 cups skim milk (feel free to try unflavored dairy-free milk, if you're allgergic to dairy)
5 tbsp butter + extra to butter baking dish
6 tbsp flour (I used gluten-free flour)
4 cups shredded cheese (I used mozzarella, cheddar, and monteray jack) + extra for topping
salt & pepper to taste
*2 cups of veggies/meat can be added in if you choose

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Heat milk in a small saucepan.  In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 1 min.  Slowly whisk in the heated milk, then bring to a simmer, cook for about 5 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.  Start to add cheese, whisking until all melted and smooth.  Add cooked pasta to pot, remove from heat, and toss until all noodles are covered.  Add veggies if you choose.  Pour pasta mixture into a 3-4 qt buttered baking dish.  Top with more shredded cheese.  Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until bubbly & browned!  Enjoy!!!

p.s.  Dairy is no longer an issue in our house, yay, thank goodness!!  

Health of the Soul 57

Vexation in the soul brings darkness to your mind and emotions.  Seek the light of right living and desire to make the world a better place to live.