Guest Post: Hip, Happening and Healthy Easter Baskets

By Emma Banks from the blogSmile As It Happens

I love the start of spring, and one of my favorite springtime occasions is Easter. To me, Easter is a time to get together with family and celebrate. With young kids, I am always trying to find new ways to make holidays fun while also keeping them healthy. This year, I thought it would be great to mix it up a bit, and put together Easter baskets that are totally unique and include much healthier options. I know the adults in the family, many of whom are fitness lovers and health fanatics, will really appreciate my ideas for keeping Easter healthy, while still making sure that it’s a lot of fun.

Bouquet of Fruit

We always have a lot of flowers at our Easter celebrations, and they are definitely a great way to ring in the spring. Instead of giving everyone traditional Easter baskets, I thought it would be really cute to give every guest their own bouquet – but made entirely out of fruit. There are a lot of different ways to create a bouquet of fruit, but this recipe really helped me get my bearings.

The colors of the different fruits are beautiful, and help channel the start of spring. Plus, cutting the fruit into different shapes like hearts and flowers will surely make everyone smile. You can even go a step further by making the fruit into bunny or chick shapes to really get into the Easter spirit. These fruit bouquets will be a sweet snack for Easter, and are sure to brighten the day.

Bunny Hop Hydration and Health Basket

Even though I don’t get to the gym as much as I used to, or as much as I’d like, I still find myself running around all the time, juggling my kids and everything that comes along with them. You don’t have to be a workout guru to need hydration and energy, and everyone can benefit from some healthy snacks and supplies. This type of basket will channel the fitness lover and busy parent alike, as a way to target their health and energy while they’re doing their daily bunny hop. In this basket I will include a water bottle (brightly colored for spring and stainless steel for sustainability), dried fruit and nuts instead of candy, granola bars and green tea. If you’re looking for more items, try adding a yoga mat to the basket. It’s a great tool not just for yoga, but for anyone trying to add a little stretching when and where they can.

Green Smoothie Starter Kit

I recently started making green smoothies after a family member suggested it, and I’m hooked. They are a delicious way to get a lot of necessary nutrients, and drinking one a day has definitely contributed to my overall health and energy level. Given how health-conscious my family is, I thought they would love to get green smoothie starter kits for their Easter baskets this year. I will load each basket up with lots of goodies, like kale, spinach, bananas, mangos and mixed berries. The bright colors will definitely fit in with the spring theme, and you can even add things like carrots and nuts to mix it up – channel your inner bunny. There are tons of tips and recipe options available online for green smoothies. This one from the blog 100 Days is my favorite! And if your guests are anything like my family, they’ll love this healthier alternative.

Keep it Fun for the Kids

While these ideas are perfect for the fitness-loving adult, a child may not be as thrilled to find a basket full of fruit on Easter morning. I don’t want to give my kids nothing but junk, but I do want to keep the baskets fun for them. Keeping that in mind, I tried to make the baskets themselves a little more exciting than usual, buying a few different kinds with their names on them from Personal Creations this year. To fill them, I tried to focus on more of a craft theme, stuffing them with new crayons, markers and paper supplies. Finally, I’m not trying to completely take away the fun of finding sweet goodies in your basket on Easter, so I included a jumbo-sized candy bar in each.

These ideas have been a huge hit for my family in the past, and I hope you find something you enjoy as well!

Thank you Emma for your creative Easter basket ideas! Such a fun way to enjoy a holiday in a new, healthy light!

If you are a reader of my blog, or have a blog of your own and are interested in writing a Guest post, please email me at fitgirlsmartini@gmail.com :)

10 foods that Cleanse and Detoxify

Our body has a natural way of cleansing itself, and all we need to do is feed it the right nutrients to help it do its job.

My mom did this and it totally worked. I just wasn't a big fan of the soup. 7 day cleanse with real food. Lose 10-17lbs. It really works!

Cleansing ( NOT FASTING ) supports our liver, kidneys, and metabolism, while reducing inflammation and ridding our body of toxins.

10 best cleansing and detoxifying foods.

Lemons have many uses in the home. Here are a few: To freshen the air in your home, simmer a few sliced lemons in water for a few hours, adding more water when necessary. To whiten your whites: add ½ c. to your small load of laundry & let soak for a few minutes before letting it agitate. The acidic component of lemon helps to kill molds, bacteria & germs from cutting boards & counter tops, soap scum in your bathroom tub or shower stall. Soap is alkaline & acidic lemon will cut through it all.

1.  Lemons: balances alkaline and acid levels / cleanses intestines. 

-add fresh lemon juice to your water in the morning to flush out any toxins.

Bitter Herbs of the Bible    Chicory  Coriander  Dandelion  Endive  Horehound  Mint  Sorrel  Sow-thistle  Wild lettuce  Wormwood

2. Dandelion Leaves: Supports our liver and kidney functions to filter out toxins

-drink daily in tea form, or purchase actual dandelion leaves and throw them into your morning smoothie, juice, or salad 2x a week.

Habenero Peppers! Nuff said! Lol!

3 Habanero Peppers: support metabolism (fat burner), increase circulation, cleanse our senses.

bobble jug- filters water as you pour! No more waiting for those filters to drip...

4. Filtered Water: SAFE, and flushes toxins from our body.Tap water is known to have antidepressants,antibiotics, shampoo, and plenty of other chemicals in it, so I don;t recommend drinking from your sink.

Ginger Tea: Boil 4 cups water in a saucepan, then add a 2-inch piece of fresh sliced ginger root. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea. Add honey and lemon to taste.

5. Ginger Root: aids in digestion and reduces inflammation

-add to salad, smoothies, chew on its own, or chop up and steep in a cup of warm water.

5 cups of GREEN TEA a day could help you lose twice as much weight, most of it around your belly.

6. Green Tea: mild source of caffeine, non acidic, good for skin

How to cook with coconut oil...plus other uses (in the comments) including a great lotion for dry skin!

7. Coconut oil: keeps blood thin, unlike other oils which cause blood to become “sticky”.

Healthy Heart

8. Raw Vegetables (esp. greens): detoxifies the body with vitamins,minerals, and enzymes.

Psyllium Husks THE NIMBER ONE BEST start, finish, inbetweener for any cleanse. And great for every day

9. Psyllium Husk: natural source of Fiber, cleanses intestines, aids in waste removal.

- add to protein shakes, pancakes, or smoothies with frozen fruit.

sweet potato, kale and black bean hash + tips on squeezing cooking/healthy eating into a busy life by @Sarah Yates / A House in The Hills #vegan

10. Be your own chef: wean out the bad and  add the good.

-cook your own meals to ensure you are ingesting the best foods possible. Most restaurants use preservatives, vegetable oils, high amounts of sodium and other artery blocking additives that have no place in our body.

Start adding in these foods and cutting out the excess sugars and garbage from your day. Eat what benefits your body.

Last November I completely cut out coffee and dairy from my diet. I have also not had whey protein for almost a year due to feeling bloated and uncomfortable every time I had it.

I am not saying that everyone should do this, but after much trial and error, this is what I had found worked for me, and for many of my clients as well. 

I have switched from coffee to green tea, coconut and almond milk, yogurt or ice cream in place of dairy, and Vegan protein has been my “go-to” for protein shakes.

In all honesty, my mind has never felt less cluttered, my focus has been ON, and my digestion has improved tremendously 

One shake for breakfast every morning. Over 20 grams of vegan protein, essential vitamins and so yummy! Especially with almond or coconut milk. No need for a blender there is actually a shaker cup that has a whisk ball in it, so great for on the go! I also like to add in a scoop of the fiber powder-just because.

I love the vanilla protein powder from Arbonne Essentials, and I recommend it to anyone looking to clean up their diet.

I use it as a replacement for a quick, but healthy meal on the go, or as the perfect post workout shake to keep me satisfied until dinner.  

Not only is this powder packed with plant based proteins, vitamins and minerals, but it is low glycemic index, free of gluten, animal products or bi-products, artificial flavors, sweeteners or coloring,  and is very easy on my stomach. 

Basically everything  that I look for in a protein powder.

Want to try it for yourself?

Leave a comment below to try a bag of delicious vanilla, or chocolate shake mix for a limited time special rate! You will feel satisfied, energized, and have better digestion, or your money back!  (45 day money back/exchange) 

 And while we’re at it, why not cleanse other parts of your life as well?

toxic people

clutter

caffeine

lack of sleep

All of these negative stressors increase our cortisol and adrenaline levels, which cause extra weight gain, especially in our midsection. They also cause us to feel overwhelmed, unhappy, fatigued and extremely irritable.

Who has time for any of that?

A clean life is a happy life. Look better, feel better, be better. Period.

Really, really good info...Foods that cleanse and detox the body...pin and read later if you must, at least read.

April Showers…

And I’m back!! Time is flying by!

So much wedding planning has been done, and I soon will be a bride in less than two months. Crazy!!

My shower was this past Sunday at L’ANDANA in Burlington, and it was absolutely breathtaking.

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(party favors: Potted Herb Planet-basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary and sage)

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My place card table had a “love tree” centerpiece, which had 70 words hanging from it’s branches that Matt and I chose to describe our relationship.

When the guests arrived, they each took a word from the tree and brought it to their seat. While Matt and I opened gifts, I chose 5 words from a glass bowl and read them aloud. Whoever had a matching word got to pick an envelope off of the “Prize tree” which held dinner certificates to 5 different restaurants.

The restaurants included The Captial Grille, L’ANDANA, Abe and Louie’s, The Oceanaire, and Davio’s.

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It was the perfect way to break up the gift opening portion of the shower, and to keep everyone from getting bored while eating dessert.

My florist, Michele Bernard, is the angel that took my ideas and brought them to life. She is phenomenal in everything that she does, from place cards, to flowers, to menu designs.

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I am also FINALLY the owner of a Vitamix Blender and Omega VERT Juicer!

Omega VRT350 Heavy Duty Dual-Stage Vertical Single Auger Low Speed Juicer

It’s the little things Smile

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SO.. besides planning a wedding,  I have also been busy building my business with Arbonne.

Sharing my passions for health, fitness and business is what I THRIVE on, and I am now able to do even more of this while meeting a ton of new people in the process.

I am truly blessed, excited, and eager to change as many lives as I can, and my clients are loving their results from my 30 day Fit Kit.

It makes me so incredibly happy to see people take control of their lives and create something beautiful; a healthy future.

No more bloat, indigestion, or fatigue. No more crazy cravings,caffeine jitters, or feeling hopeless. 

How to Combat That Afternoon Slump

What I provide is VEGAN, easily digestible PLANT PROTEIN, GLUTEN FREE, NO CHEMICALS, NO ARTIFICIAL INGRIEDIENTS and NO GMOS.

It is also supported by the anti cancer institute, has a green commitment, AND has Medical Doctors on a scientific review committee from places like the Mayo clinic.

What more could you ask for?

Give me 30 days and begin to feel ALIVE again.

PLEASE email me (fitgirlsmartini@gmail.com) if you are looking for a way to change your life, while LOVING the way that you look and feel from the inside out.

change your life... start today

After a long, frigid Winter..Spring has finally sprung.

Cheers to new beginnings, better health, and even better weather!

 

Blackberry Vanilla Smoothie - full of protein and vitamins, bursting with flavor.

March Madness with ARBONNE and Climbing to the Top.

I feel like my head is about to explode with all of the information that I want to send to the world.

Everyday I encounter frustrated individuals who are looking for a place to start on their journey towards a healthy future. They are overwhelmed, scared, defeated, and feel out of control, so I want to do everything that I can to help them by introducing an easier way to live a healthy life.

It’s not rocket science, and it shouldn’t feel like it either. It’s all about living and eating in a way that is recognized by our body, and this is done through NATURE.

Nature means something different to everyone. Some prefer plant based, while others love meat.  Some drop $200+ dollars on a face cream with some natural ingredients, while other prefer to make their own face masks with brown sugar, coconut oil and sea salt.

However you want to live is fine. It is your life, and your body. But why would you want to bombard it with red dye #5, soy lecithin, artificial sweeteners, and tons of other unpronounceable, not found in nature ingredients that reek havoc on your body? This is not only from oral ingesting, but also through skin absorption from creams, shampoo and make-up.

Be safe! Use Arbonne's Pure Mint deodorant! #ArbonnePureSummer

Chemicals are everywhere, and we are constantly exposing ourselves to their harmful reactions.

So here is what I want YOU to do.

Go through your cabinets, your fridge, and your make up case. Check your kids vitamins, your husbands shave gel, even your pet’s shampoo. 

What does the ingredients list look like? I guarantee you will be shocked at what you and your family have been ingesting through your mouth and your skin.

It’s scary.

As a result, I have teamed up with Global company ARBONNE to help YOU and all of your loved ones find the right path with aromatherapy, botanically based cosmetics, plant based nutrition and so much more.

It is gluten free, vegan, contains no GMO’s, hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

~Simply sharing high quality health and beauty products.  Sponsoring and teaching others to do the same is so much fun!  Finally, a business that is not direct sales and easily duplicated.

From their #1 line of Anti-aging products RE9 Advanced,  Vegan pea protein and Vitamins to keep you energized, and Sun Care for those hot days on the beach, there is something for EVERY member of your family. Kids and pets included!

My family has been raving about the results they’ve received from ARBONNE, and many of them have been using their products for years. From better digestion, more energy, smoother skin, and an overall feeling of confidence, the results are endless.

The Arbonne Difference  Christina Leek. Arbonne Independent Consultant. ID# 116038435  www.facebook.com/arbonnechristinaleek

Bottom line..I want YOU to feel this way as well.That is why I am sharing this with you today.

Check out ARBONNE’s website for more information, or contact me to help you get started on your new journey towards an unprocessed life. It’s a small step in the right direction that will lead to a lifestyle of natural health.

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In other news, I started my month off by climbing 61 flights of the John Hancock Tower at the MS Climb To The Top event.

On March 1, 2014, participants will climb 61 flights of stairs to the top of the John Hancock Tower, New England’s tallest building. Climb to the Top is a unique event that raises funds to help the almost 18,000 people in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont affected by multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that has no known cause or cure. Your participation in Climb to the Top provides help for today and hope for tomorrow through education, support, advocacy, and research funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter.

It was such a humbling experience, and it feels great to support those who really need it.

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Before the climb, I gulped down one of my Energy Fizz Sticks for an added pep to my step.

Arbonne Energy Fizz Sticks A healthy alternative to boost your energy and immune system

If you have been following me, then you know that I have been off coffee since November, so this little packet worked perfectly to help me climb those steps with ease.

No jitters or post caffeine fog included Smile

Let’s give March Madness a whole new meaning. It’s time to HEALTHY, CONFIDENT, and CLEAN!

Join me on this journey towards loving yourself more, and stepping out of the toxic clouds that fill your home with harmful chemicals.

Breathe the fresh air. Bring nature back into your life.

What’s My Healthy?

Meditating before the hectic day begins

Begin each day with a grateful heart

Waking up my body with warm lemon water, a cup of tea, and a cleansing green juice.

Allow for at least 30 minutes a day to MOVE.

This may include cardio, yoga, or resistance training. Get that heart rate up!

Fueling with color

Super Simple Ground Chicken Gumbo!

1 lb. Lean ground chicken
1 package of frozen stir fry veggies
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
Cook and place on top of spaghetti squash or brown rice!

Green Smoothies!

Spinach, kale, frozen berries, maca powder, spirulina, ground flaxseed, brown rice protein, cinnamon, water and ice.

Greens massaged with avocado, ground pepper and fresh lemon juice

Reading instead of watching.

My current book of choice…

Cameron Diaz Encourages Women to Keep Their Pubic Hair in Her New Book | E! Online Mobile

Family time

Getting enough sleep!

Having a new puppy has definitely led to many interrupted nights, but Madi’s bladder has gotten stronger with every passing week Smile

Thank God

Getting out of my own way.

#quollectiveyou paint the picture that is your life. - May Cause Miracles

xoxo

What is YOUR healthy?