HEALTH WITH JESSICA

We’re starting a subscription box biz!!

Okay, so what exactly does this mean, some of you have asked…


Let me back up a minute and give you some behind the scenes perspective. My interest in health and fitness lies in Health Psychology. In fact, that’s what my masters degree is in.

What the heck does that even mean?

It’s essentially putting all the pieces together when it comes to health, rather than trying to understand how this whole thing works by looking at one small part of a person’s life. It’s about preventing chronic disease and health issues through living well in body, mind and spirit. It is about having balance in the every day. It is about treating the problem, rather than symptoms, when they occur.

We weave a pretty tangled web in our every day lives with stress, lack of sleep, distraction, processed foods, toxic environments, lack of activity… and we then wonder why there are so many life threatening diseases and major mental health issues bubbling to the surface.

So there’s that. I could go on and on..but you get the picture.

I like to inspire people to look beneath the surface, understand this crazy tangled web and take control! However, I don’t like to see people struggle by going too far to the extreme and then feeling defeated. I want people to understand how huge it is that health has to be a LIFESTYLE rather than major restrictions or changes that don’t stick.


So that’s where I’m coming from. Now for the box…

I personally love to surround myself with things that inspire me and motivate me. I encourage clients to do the same. It’s a matter of setting ourselves up for success by creating an encouraging environment for ourselves and removing things that will cause us to stray from the direction we really want to be going. In doing this I like to have FUN, enjoy this healthy lifestyle and make it something I LOVE rather than feeling like I’m constantly deprived!

That’s what the box is about. I want to inspire others toward a more vibrant, healthy life.

Each box will contain:

  • Healthy, yummy snacks made from natural ingredients
  • Items that are fitness related and motivate us to move!
  • Inspirational items such as positive quotes, art, small books
  • Bath & body items, with natural ingredients
  • Stress relieving products
  • And just anything that I love and brings me joy!

I am so very excited to share this box not only for everything I just said, but also to shine the spotlight on businesses that are creating these awesome, inspiring things!! And…you will notice that A LOT of the stuff included in the boxes will be from the Pacific Northwest. I am PNW girl all the way! Born in California, raised in Oregon and I’ve lived several years in both Washington and Alaska. Home is now Oregon but I want to bring you things from all up and down the west coast! I feel blessed to live in such an amazing, beautiful place surrounded by mountains. <3

A photo from the property we live on in Oregon

Please visit our page to see what’s in the April box!!  We’re sending it out soon!
www.thehappyparcel.com

XOXO, Jess

Bone broth

So there is all this chatter about bone broth going on in the past few years. It has gotten more and more mainstream. As with anything, I like to do my research before deciding if I should jump on whatever bandwagon has presented itself. 

One thing I love about bone broth is that it’s been around forever. People have been using bone broth for generations and in many different cultures. This alone says something huge to me. 

First off, let’s clarify that regular broth and stock are different than bone broth. What makes it different is really in how long you simmer the broth. Broth is a short duration simmer, 45 minutes to 2 hours, roughly. Stock is a longer simmer, around 4-5 hours. Bone broth is a much longer simmer, anywhere from 8-24 hours. The purpose of a longer simmer is to release gelatin from the collagen-rich joints as well as important trace minerals. 

So there’s the “what”. Now, how about the why? 

Bone broth a are very rich in protein and minerals, for starters. But there are many other amazing benefits. Bone broths offer glycine which aid in detoxification as well as digestion, hemoglobin synthesis and a number of other important functions. In addition, the gelatin that is released is amazing for the skin. Who doesn’t love that?? 

Plus, the whole chicken soup remedy when you have a cold…that’s a thing. It’s because of bone broth and the fact that it mitigates cold symptoms. So, reach for the real stuff and not the canned chicken soup on the shelf at your local grocer. 

We recently made some. Bone broth recipes are a plenty on the internet (hello Pinterest!). We picked up an organic chicken from a local store (it’s amazing how much more accessible & affordable organic and natural options are nowadays!). We baked the chicken, used the meat in a recipe for dinner then put the bones in the crockpot with salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onions and cilantro…simply because we had some & love it. I put the crockpot on low and just let it go for 12 hours. 


From there you have options. Some people just drink the broth daily. In fact, some cultures keep a pot on simmer and drink it like tea regularly. I prefer using it in recipes. This time around we used it in chicken soup adding fresh veggies (first straining the broth), quinoa and chicken. 

My mother & father in law recently had 2 steer butchered and we will be using some of those bones in a broth pretty soon. It is best to use grass fed, antibiotic & hormone-free meat as to not release all of that into your broth and then into your body. Makes sense, right? 

There you have it. Bone broth. I would love to hear your experiences & recipes!!

Happy health!

XOXO, Jess

PALEO Salted Caramel Coffee Creamer Recipe

I have a very strong attachment to my coffee creamer. I look forward to my hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning with just the right amount of creamer.  It is an integral part of my morning ritual! 

I love playing with different ideas and recipes for creamers. My hubby and I started doing bulletproof coffee several months back and that’s one that he does on a fairly regular basis. Truth be told…it doesn’t take long for me to start missing my creamer! 

Inspired by my coffee creamer addiction and a rainy day…here’s my latest recipe try…I’m a HUGE salted caramel fan and I thought this turned out pretty awesome!


INGREDIENTS 

  • 4 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk


DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring coconut sugar and water to simmer in medium sauce pan. Stir continuously to avoid burning. Once mixture thickens a bit to a syrupy consistency, REMOVE FROM HEAT.
  2. Add vanilla, sea salt and about 1/3 of the coconut milk. Stir well and let mixture cool for several minutes. 
  3. Combine Caramel mixture with remaining coconut milk in a large jar. Mix well. Make sure all the coconut milk is melted into the mixture…since it is a full-fat coconut milk you might have to heat it up just enough that it will mix in well and not result in a lumpy creamer!
  4. Store in fridge in sealed jar up to 1 week. Shake or stir before using as the coconut milk will separate. 
  5. Enjoy!! 

Brewin’ Kombucha

So I remember when kombucha was just starting to become a trend in the mainstream health and wellness world. I was SO not interested. It looked disgusting and its description sounded disgusting. Nope. Not for me.

However, I am like that kid at the dinner table that, if you introduce to a veggie that they despise enough times, they’ll eventually try it. Kombucha is suddenly all over the place (heck, lots of tap rooms offer this stuff in their own growlers!) and as it has made its mark, I somehow got sucked into the idea that I wanted to give it a fair try. Low and behold…I love it! 

Not only am I seriously a fan of the taste (really enjoying all the different types and flavors available EVERYWHERE) but I am super impressed with its benefits! That just makes it taste even better to me somehow. 

Here are just a few of the touted benes:

Improved Digestion

Weight Loss

Increased Energy

Cleansing and Detoxification

Immune Support

Reduced Joint Pain

Cancer Prevention

All I can say is that I love that I am ingesting a probiotic and that it offers a more natural energy source (I am not a stranger to energy drinks so this is awesome). I just feel GOOD drinking it. 

This stuff is not cheap, however. I’d say $3 a bottle is a good average for 12-16oz. Nope…not cheap. But amazing. So, what’s a girl to do?? Make my own of course! 

I won’t lie, I tried this once before and it didn’t work. I didn’t get enough of the right info and I didn’t talk to anyone in depth about how they personally made it. I got this fly verbal tutorial from the lady I bought my original scoby from and I tried to marry that info with stuff I found online and it just. didn’t. work. I felt way confused and it ended up growing mold. Oops. That happens.

Since then I got some great advice from a friend who has been making it since long before it was ever popular. She also sent me a link to some directions that she trusted. I appreciate that because I need stuff written down and in front of me!! 

So…Kombucha: take 2

I did some Christmas shopping on Groupon and stumbled across a Groupon for a Kombucha kit! Hello! Had to get it. Merry Christmas to me. It was only $15 and I got a scoby, 3 dark bottles for my finished product, 2 different types of tea and some evaporated cane sugar. Not bad! My hubby had bought me a really cute jar for my original batch. So, I was set!


What to do:

Find some scoby. What the heck is scoby?? It’s essentially the starter. Just like sourdough bread. It has all the awesome cultures you need. It looks gross, but that little guy is what holds all the good stuff you need for it to be so stinking great for you. 

Here’s the place I got mine from through Groupon: Kombucha Brooklyn brewing supplies

They have great products and great costumer service. However, they are in NY, and there are lots of local places to get your supplies from. In fact, if you don’t know someone who makes their own who can give you your own scoby, people sell it on Craigslist and Amazon. 

Once I got my stuff, I heeded the advice of my friend and followed the directions she sent me the link to: Oregon Kombucha

One major thing I had overlooked was temperature. I didn’t make sure that mine was staying at the optimum temp. I also let it brew too long. 

What you need to start:

A large jar or glass/ceramic container: gallon size 

Black or green tea

Sugar 

Scoby

A plan to keep your Kombucha at the right temp

When you follow the directions you will learn that Kombucha brews best between 75-90 degrees. Yup. Missed that part the first time around. 

Our solution, since we don’t have a nice safe spot in our place that is a consistent temp, was to put it in a cooler. We have a large glass measuring cup full of hot water that we change out 2-3 times a day to keep it toasty in there. Found that idea online and it seems to be working! 


So there you have it. I am not going to go into detail with the directions, as I gave the link to the ones I used and they are great!

Would love to hear about your adventures with Kombucha making!! We’re on Day 3 of this batch so I will be sure to update! We will start checking on Day 7 to see how it’s doing…just a taste test. You let it go longer if you want a stronger, more tart taste. That is what we want!

Stay tuned!

xoxo, Jess 

My Running Ready List

I’ve been a runner since my adolescence. I ran track & cross country in middle & high school…but once I graduated it became an even greater part of my life. And that runner’s high people talk about? Yup….hooked. 

Having been an active kid, but still one that struggled hard with my weight…I had done a lot of different types of exercising. **Hello STEP AEROBICS!!** That was my first love! Anyone having visions of leotards and leg warmers now?! Once I started running small races I felt I had graduated from “someone who runs on occasion” to “a RUNNER”. And here’s fair warning…we don’t call it jogging. Not cool. Ask any runner. I guarantee a cringe. 

So this is a little compilation of my TOP 10 Running Ready “Things”. The stuff I consider before lacing up and hitting the road (not a dreadmill….ugh. I only do that if I HAVE to). 


1. BE FUELED

So this is different for everyone, but I personally don’t like running on an empty stomach.  However, I also can’t have had any kind of a substantial meal close to when I run. It does NOT feel good. 

I eat something small…1/2 a Larabar or a  graham cracker with peanut butter for example…1/2 hour to an hour before I head out. Race days are different (& that will be a different post!) but this is always what makes ME feel my best for a run.

2. BE HYDRATED

You might be saying “duh”…but this can be overlooked easily and you will notice it in your running!! You’re more energized when you’re hydrated & you’re legs feel lighter. It will help keep you from cramping up. A word of caution though: don’t drink a gallon of water right before you head out!! Instead, be a consistent water drinker. Drink throughout the day. I’ve invested in a little water bottle that is formed to fit the hand and has a strap hat attaches to the hand. Love that I don’t feel like I’m holding onto it so much. 

3. BRING YOUR PHONE

I know this might annoy some of you. I always bring mine because I use it for my music. However, I would bring it anyway for safety!! Don’t be the person who thinks they will never have anything happen to them. You could get injured and need help or…so many things we’d rather not think about. Just be smart, people. 

4. HAVE AWESOME TUNES

My awesome tunes will likely sound different than your awesome tunes. AND I do know some people who don’t even care to listen to music while running. I’m not that girl. An awesome playlist or some Pandora stations ready to go is key for me! My legs move much faster with good tunes!!

Although having awesome tunes is…awesome…make sure you can still hear your surroundings! I run with only one headphone in and/or with my music pretty low. Annoying, I know. But I feel far safer being able to hear what’s going on around me. 

5. HAVE GREAT KICKS

I am a bargain hunter. But, I will spend a little extra money on my running shoes if I have to. Your feet will thank you, your knees will thank you, your hips will thank you, your back will thank you…your body will thank you. Be sure to go to a running store near you (I go to Roadrunner in Tualatin, but there’s also 5 Star Sports in Corvallis…those are the best I know of near me). These places will examine your stride, posture, arch, etc and be able to recommend the right shoe for your needs, including the type of running you do and what kind of terrain you favor. In addition they will recommend an insole…get the insole!!! Your body needs the right type of support for YOUR feet. The way we treat our bodies NOW will be felt in years to come

6. TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU’RE RUNNING

This goes along with the idea of bringing your phone. Please friends…be smart. Things happen…they just do. Be proactive about your safety!

7. DRESS APPROPRIATELY 

I’m not talking about making sure your parts are covered….but that too! What I’m referring to is weather! For me it’s most difficult in the Winter when I’m cold. It’s so easy to bundle up way too much and then be overheated and miserable. 

What I try to do is dress in layers so I can remove one if needed, but also not dress in too many layers! I mean who wants to run while holding a bunch of clothing? Trust me…it’s a drag.

I typically make sure I still feel chilled “enough” when I’m ready to go. That might sound weird…but if I am still wanting to add a layer that’s a good thing…I promise you after a few minutes of running you’ll be thankful you didn’t overdress! Same goes for your head. On ocassion I will wear a ski hat, but I always know I’ll end up carrying it, unless it’s really that cold out. They do make warm head band type things that are perfect for covering your ears but not your entire head. So much of our heat escapes from our heads, it’s really important to not overdress that part!

Don’t forget to make sure you are visible!! Dress BRIGHT! And if you are running when it’s even a little dark out, consider reflective tape or something of the like. BE VISIBLE!! Drivers are more distracted than ever. It’s up to you to make sure they see you!


Getting ready for a mid-January, Oregon run!

  • Warm clothes ✅ 
  • Bright colors ✅ 
  • Awesome tunes ✅ 

8. BE A GOOD ROAD “SHARER”

Safety first, right?! A few rules of thumb for keeping myself & others safe during my runs:

  • If on the shoulder of the road, run against traffic so you can see cars coming. Unless you have hardly any shoulder and are about to round a sharp corner or going up a super steep hill…if I know the driver coming at me won’t be able to see me and I have barely any shoulder, I cross to the other side until there’s better visibility on the side I should be on.
  • When on a sidewalk or path I always warn others when I’m coming up on them and about to pass them by saying loudly (no need to shout and scare someone) “right behind you!”. I used to say “on your right” or “on your left”…and it was pretty hilarious how people couldn’t figure out which was right or left when they were kind of startled! 
  • Always hug your side of the path when on a trail/path/sidewalk so people can easily pass on your left. 

9. USE A RUNNING APP

The only one I can really speak about is RUNKEEPER because that’s what I have always used. I am a creature of habit…when I find something that works for me I stick with it. Runkeeper tracks your mileage, your pace, your splits, your route, calories burned…it tells you where you’re at with your time (mine is set to tell me every five minutes how long I’ve been running, how many miles I’m at and what my pace is). You can also use training programs it offers for race preparation. Lots of extras…but these are the most important features for me!

10. RUN A RACE

You don’t have to be competitive to run races. They ARE, however, wonderful tools if you like to challenge yourself!! You will be SO proud of your accomplishment too! They really are tons of fun. It’s awesome being out there with all these other people who are committed to healthier habits and who are challenging themselves as well. You’ll be inspired by everyone from the elite runner who finishes at the front of the pack, to the little kid who whizzes past you, and the mom or dad pushing a running stroller with a kid or two in it, to the people who are way past your own age and challenging themselves! It’s pretty awesome!!

I would love to hear some of the things you would put on your own list!! (These things apply to walkers as well!)

Happy running!!

XOXO, Jess

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: