Tag Archives: massage

DIY Healthy Holiday Gifts

9 Dec
Spicy Cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds.

Spicy Cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds.

Homemade gifts for family and friends make me smile–they are thoughtful, personal and unique. I love giving and receiving them! And who doesn’t like giving gifts? Here are some nourishing warm fuzzies to share with your loved ones this holiday. Hugs!

 1. Spicy Nuts Choose a variety of nuts and seeds, toast them in a skillet until lightly brown, then toss them with olive oil and your favorite spices. Add Golgi berries for a sweet kick or just keep it all spicy. Place them in a bag with a pretty bow or in a festive tin.

2. I Burned You a Mixed CD Oh, yes… this may bring you back to 1998, but it’s all good. Make a playlist of your favorite exercise songs and burn them onto a disc. 70 minutes of booty shakin’ good lovin’ right there!

 3. Turtle Smoothie in a Jar Instead of filling a mason jar with homemade chocolate chip cookie ingredients, fill the jar with 2 servings of your favorite protein powder, 3 Tbsp raw cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup raw pecans. All they have to do is add 4 Tbsp peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter, 12 oz almond milk, a banana and 12 oz ice. Tie a cute bow around the jar with the recipe attached. Makes 2 smoothies.

4. Couples Coupons Are these über cheesy? Yes. Are they completely awesome if you are the recipient? Heck yes! Design coupons and print them out on card stock. Fill in your own gifts of massage, foot rubs, cook their favorite healthy dinner, go on a walk, etc. Have fun and spoil your loved one!

5. Fruit and Vegetable Wash This is perfect for your veggie lover friends! Find a cute or fun spray bottle and fill it with 1 cup of water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp baking soda and juice of 1/2 lemon. As always, attach the recipe so they can refill it and use it time and time again.

6. Take the Chill Out Chili in a Jar Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like homemade warm and cozy soup! Use your favorite chili (or other signature soup) recipe and place all of the spices in a mason jar. Tie a bow around the jar with the recipe attached.

Recipes courtesy of Stephanie Bell

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Sweet Relief

18 Nov
Uber Happy Mountain yoga in Utah

Happy Mountain Yoga in Utah

Do you daydream about traveling to a secluded cabin with a good book, fireplace and bowl of chili? Or playing frisbee on the beach with your family after you’ve buried your smartphone in the sand? How blissful would it be to take one moment to just LIVE in the moment? What if you had the best my-mouth-hurts-from-laughing-I’m-gonna-pee-my-pants 5-minute ticklefest? I partook in that with my niece and nephew this weekend and it was pure Happy Therapy. And it also got me thinking… what did I enjoy as a kid when I didn’t carry all of my self-worth in how many hours I worked and how “busy” I was?

I cross-stitched, read, danced everywhere, played outside, colored, built pillow forts and laughed. What did you do?

I propose a pinky-swear. A pinky-swear to invest at least 30 minutes per week stepping into “rejuvenation time” and embracing it for what it truly is–not a selfish act, but a self-care act. You cannot be fully present, healthy and loving towards others if you are not fully present, healthy and loving towards yourself. Ahhh… I hear the choir singing.

Here are some activities that have soul and heart healing benefits, proven to reduce stress, improve heart health, increase neurological pathways and are down-right awesome.

  • Flowing Movement: yoga, dancing
  • Touch: massage therapy, hugging, tickling, playing an instrument
  • Arts and Crafts: knitting, painting, drawing, jewelry-making, cross-stitching
  • Nature: walking, hiking, gardening
  • Reflection: reading, meditation
  • Breathwork: deep breathing, singing, laughing

Okay, Action Jackson, let’s take a deep breath right here, right now. Yes, you might be “shoulding” all over yourself at the THOUGHT of putting your work down and taking time for yourself because you’re just too busy, but humor me for one minute. Ready? Read this paragraph first and then close your eyes and continue with the activity. Sitting comfortably, pay attention to the beating of your heart, the tension in your muscles and the thoughts racing through your mind. Inhale through your nose for two seconds and then exhale out your mouth for two seconds. Continue to breathe, extending each inhalation and exhalation by one second until you reach five seconds. Feel your heart beat slow down and your muscles relax. Acknowledge any thoughts that come into your mind and allow them to leave. No judgements or self-criticism; just sweet, beautiful, releasing breaths.

~Steph