It’s easy to eat “green” #tastythursday #peachykeenlife

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today, I have decided to eat all naturally green inspired meals today. For breakfast I made my own lime flavored greek yogurt.

  
A great way to keep your yogurt tasty and healthy is to buy it unsweetened and add natural juice or real fruit to it. A lot of popular name brand yogurts aren’t very healthy — there is a lot of added sugars and unnatural sweeteners. My personal favorite is greek Fage yogurt because its cows are not fed antibiotics, greek yogurt has natural probiotics to help prevent ‘leaky gut’ issues, and is high in protein to keep you feeling full. 

Adding Fresh-squeezed juice from limes, lemons and oranges to greek yogurt tastes dreamy — I add stevia to get a little added sweetness to the greek yogurt.

Enjoy St. Patty’s Day! Kpl 🙂

Epsom salt baths = heaven #waterwednesday

Experts say you should drink half of your weight in ounces of water each day. To ease sore muscles and to alleviate stress, however, experts suggest soaking in a bath with epsom salts.

  
What exactly is epsom salt? It is magnesium sulfate, and it has dozens of health and beauty benefits. To use epsom salts in a bath, just add two cups to a bath tub of warm water, soak for at least 20 minutes and enjoy.

Epsom salts reduces inflammation and muscle pain, reduces stress,alleviates itching from rashes or poison ivy, and helps your body to better absorb magnesium. Soaking in epsom salts helps removes toxins from your body. Epsom salts can also be used as an additive to hair conditioner to make your hair fuller, an exfoliating cleanser (when added to your normal facial cleanser). 

For an added treat, I add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to my bath water. A bag of epsom salts generally costs about $4-$5 for a four pound bag, or you can buy two 5 pound bags at Costco for around $8. 

Happy soaking! Kpl 🙂

Thin Mint Cookie inspired protein shake #tastytuesday #peachykeenlife #healthylife

It is girl scout cookie time, and if you are anything like me, it is so hard to say no to the angelic faces selling you the cookies. It is even harder to resist the cookies themselves! 

  
This is one of my favorite protein shake recipes and it tastes just like a thin mint girl scout cookie! I listed the organic ingredient option since I am an organic buff but you may certainly substitute for standard product.

Remember we are 12 weeks away from bikini season! Want to get in shape? Join one of my workout challenge groups and I’ll help you get there. Click on the healthy life tab!

Kpl 🙂

National Nap Day #healthylife

Today is National Nap Day! And I am a firm believer in the power nap. A power nap can be 15-20 minutes long, and it will energize your body, make you more alert and increase your performance better than any soda or coffee can! It also gives your mind a ‘time out’ to reboot without ruining your night time sleep routine.  

So make a date with yourself mid-afternoon! Close the office or home door and get your 20 minute power nap!

Kpl 🙂

What is Klout score? #sociallife

What exactly is a Klout score? Klout measures how much you, as a social media user, influence your industry and other social media users. It measures all of your social media activity on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus and FourSquare. An average Klout score is 40, while 60 puts you in the top 10% of all social media users. 

  
Your score is influenced by the amount of content you post, share, and react to. The more social media influence you have, and the higher the score. Influence means likes, comments and reactions to the things you post and share.
 

Setting up a Klout account is free and will give you a good idea of just how influential you are in social media. To use Klout, I recommend signing up on www.klout.com using your computer, load your social media profiles, and then download the app to your smartphone so you can more closely monitor your score. Scores are evaluated with influence from the past 90 days. Influence does not mean the number of posts, it is the amount of activity on each post.

The highest Klout score? Justin Beiber.

Kpl
🙂

#fridayfavorites Sweet Potato Fries (Yam) 

  
Sweet potatoes are a delicious healthy treat. Packed with vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, potassium, beta carotene and magnesium.  Unlike white potatoes, a sweet potato releases its sugar more slowly which prevents sugar spikes. 

My favorite sweet potato recipe?  

Cajun sweet potato fries. 

Cajun-spiced sweet potato fries baked to crispy perfection. Simple, healthy, fast and packed with spicy-sweet flavor! Just 9 ingredients!

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean (organic when possible)

2 Tbsp olive, canola or melted coconut oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp garlic powder

1.5 tsp smoked paprika

1.5 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried (or 2 tsp fresh) thyme

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper*

OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp sugar of choice (coconut + cane are best)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Leave the skin on and cut sweet potatoes into thin, even match sticks with a very sharp knife.
Transfer to two baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle with seasonings, sugar and toss.
Transfer fries to 1 large or 2 baking sheets and arrange in a single layer to ensure they crisp up.
Bake for 15 minutes and flip/stir to cook on the other side. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until brown and crispy. You’ll know they’re done when the edges are dark brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and either serve as is, or drizzle with a bit of maple syrup or honey to offset spiciness (optional).
* If you aren’t into super spicy foods, just scale back on the cayenne a bit for slightly less heat without sacrificing flavor.
* Cajun spice mix adapted from bon appetite .

Nutrition Information — Serving size: 1/3 of the recipe Calories: 265 Fat: 9.8g Saturated fat: 1.4g Carbohydrates: 43g Sugar: 1.2g Fiber: 6.7g Protein: 2.7g
One of the ladies in my challenge group shared this recipe with me. (A challenge group is a virtual place where we come to check in when we finish out workout, share recipes, provide encouragement and inspire each other to be better people. If you are interested contact me or visit the ‘healthy life’ tab!)

Kpl 🙂

Lupus Flare #tbt Listen to Your Body!

It has been a few years, but I woke up today with a horrible lupus flare. In May 2005, six months after I got married, I was diagnosed with SLE systemic lupus and lupus nephritis. At that time, I could barely walk and was in so much pain it felt like my whole body was on fire.
Thanks to a great team of doctors, my lupus has been in a remission for the past eight years thanks to a daily cocktail of medications. Every now and then, though, my body will remind me that as much as I think I may be in control, I’m not. I know the next few days I will have to deal with stiff joints and muscles, walking slow, and feeing exhausted. But I know if I adjust a few things this week, I should be fine in a few days.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to listen to your body and have conversations with your doctor. When you know something isn’t quite right, follow these tips:
(1) If you don’t feel quite right and your instincts tell you something isn’t right, tell your doctor. Having an open line of communication with your doctors is critical to keeping you on the road to recovery. When I first got sick, I knew something wasn’t right and my first rheumatologist blew me off. When I was admitted into the hospital, I was introduced to a new rheumatologist who I credit with saving my life. 
(2) If a doctor doesn’t believe you, get another opinion or two. There is only one you — and you know your body better than anyone. 
(3) Doctors don’t always have all the answers. Doctors are there to help, but they ‘practice’ medicine, and they will tell you that too! 
(4) Don’t play doctor — there is a reason why they do what they do. For example — some people will go to the drugstore and buy cough syrup when they are sick. However, more than often, people buy medication for symptoms they don’t have. That’s not a good thing! Check with your doctor before self medicating for any potential interactions or allergies.
Kpl 🙂

I’ve Fallen … (And I CAN get up!)

When you were a child, and you fell on the pavement playing kickball, did you sit on the ground, crying, and watch everyone else continue to play? Of course not! (Unless you broke a bone … That’s another story.)  You got up, dusted off your pants, and kept playing the game. If Shannon Miller had given up on gymnastics every time she fell, would she be the most decorated American gymnast today? 
So why as adults do we feel that it is the end of the world if we fall down in life? That is an excellent question. We all fall down. Falling down makes you appreciate the ‘ups.’ You learn lessons from your mistakes when you fall down, and those missteps you took are life’s lessons that help you to grow. Whether it is as a business owner, a spouse, or whatever your role may be, falling down is part of the journey. On your life’s path, you won’t step in that large pothole again if you know it makes you fall, or step on that wasp with a bare foot because you know how much it stings. You will swerve to avoid that large branch swinging in the breeze. You will do that because once before, you didn’t and it made you fall.

Today I was supposed to launch my new yourdreamday.com blog on #weddingwednesday. After reviewing the work that another person had done for me last year extensively for three hours, it became clear I would need to start over from scratch. Fall down! After taking a lunch break, I realized that launching a few days late isn’t the end of the world. Once again, my creative juices started flowing and the site is well on its way to being up and running on Friday.

There are days when a little hiccup like this would make me huddle into a fetal position and cry. This mishap could have been ‘the end of my world.’ But today it wasn’t, and that means it’s time for my peach boots to keep on walking through my life journey!

Kpl 🙂

Tasty Tuesday Snickerdoodle Protein Shake #tastytuesday

This is one of the go-to recipes in our household! It is a protein shake that tastes like Snickerdoodle cookies! All the taste, all the good stuff, nothing that is bad for you.   

Tips and modifications for this recipe. Bottoms up! Kpl 🙂

*For lower carbs, substitute liquid Stevia for the honey. (Truvia is stevia with bad preservatives — but that’s another blog!

*Using the PB2 option you can use your blender bottle to stir. Otherwise with natural peanut butter you will need your Ninja. Costco has an amazing organic powdered peanut butter that is significantly less expensive than PB2 and tastes a ton better!

*I like mine ‘on the rocks’ — meaning on ice. 

Motivation Monday

I’ll be honest — I was so not motivated today. Some days getting up and moving is so hard. When you are self employed, the only boss kicking you out of the bed is either the person sleeping next to you or the man upstairs, so to say!

 peachy , keen, life, motivation, monday 
So I got to work later than normal today, and then I checked my Facebook account. I had not checked emails or voicemails yet. And I learned that I had been named to the Dayton WiBN top 25 women to watch for 2016! What a way to wake up!

Then I realized something bigger… Had I not woken up today, I would have never learned that someone I work with nominated me. If I had gotten moving earlier in the day, I would have accomplished so much more work today from being so motivated. It is amazing what one positive statement from someone saying ‘people do notice what you do’ can make a huge difference in your motivation. So what if you said something nice to someone who doesn’t expect it? Think of the extra spark and motivation you would give to someone today by giving that priceless gift that doesn’t cost you a dime.

Happy #motivationmonday! Kpl 🙂

Life is peachy keen! Kathy Piech-Lukas, award-winning bridal and wedding consultant with the 'peachy' personality, gives you insight into her life of planning weddings, working with wedding businesses, speaking to groups and inspiring people to live their lives to the fullest dispite any obstacles that may come your way.