August Newsletter
Eat Well. Avoid Toxins, Be Happy!
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Matt and I are wrapping up our long summer vacation in New England -- I've loved being here -- reliving old memories,  exploring new places, visiting old friends, and enjoying the weather, but I am also looking forward to returning to my friends, to my home, and to my day to day life.   It's interesting to think about how important habits and patterns are in our lives.  What patterns do you have that you think are healthy?  What are the ones that you would like to change?

Eat Well

August 3 was Watermelon day so I celebrated it by researching all there is to know about watermelons and their health benefits, how to pick a good watermelon, and best of all how to make a good watermelon gazpacho soup. I am looking forward to making it for my family when we are at the beach.

It turns out that if you eat watermelon before exercising, it can reduce muscle pain and cramping.  Watermelon is full of healthy, cancer fighting lycopene and may help reduce blood pressure.

When choosing watermelon, the more ripe the better, so choose the reddest watermelon (if it is pre-sliced).  If it is whole, you want the top to be a little dull (not shiny) and the bottom to be yellowish rather than white.  It should feel heavy for its size.   By the way, seedless watermelons are a hybrid, they are not genetically engineered.

When storing whole watermelon, a basement or cool place is best, the refrigerator is too cold and the countertop is likely too warm.   Once it is cut, store the watermelon in the refrigerator.  Before you cut it, be sure to wash off the outside so there is no contamination of the flesh from the knife..

Don't be afraid to eat all the way up to the rind, it's all good for you.  In fact, in some cultures, they pickle and eat watermelon rinds.  Whenever possible, buy organic watermelons, especially if you are going to eat the rind (or grow your own, organically!).

Watermelons are great at bringing out the kid in all of us -- eat a slice outside and have a seed spitting contest, or, swallow the seeds, they are good for you too. 

Or, if you want to be more adventurous, try some watermelon gazpacho. 


  • 8 cups finely diced seedless watermelon, (about 6 pounds with the rind)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced - leave in the seeds for extra spice or exclude it if you don't like spicy)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • Crumbled feta cheese
Mix everything but the feta in a large bowl. Puree 3 cups of the mixture in a blender or food processor to the desired smoothness. Stir in the remaining diced mixture. If you want a smoother soup, blend more. Add a sprinkling of feta cheese to each bowl before serving.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.


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Avoid Toxins - Get Rid of Stuff

One way to reduce toxins in your life is to get rid of the stuff that is toxic and bad for you.  

For example:
  • Do you have cleaning supplies and personal care products that are loaded with toxins?  Get rid of them!   Then you don't have to worry about their toxic fumes, a spill, or someone (a child or a puppy) getting into something that they shouldn't.
  • Do you have plastic containers scattered throughout your kitchen?  Buy a set of glass storage dishes and get rid of all of the plastic containers, or do as my friend Shana did and relegate them to garage storage.
  • Do you have stuff cluttering your house that you don't enjoy looking at? Donate it. It will be someone else's treasure and you will never have to dust it again!
  • What's hiding in your closet?  My mother and I recently cleaned out my closet and I now have ten bags of clothing to donate. Less dust in my closet, and fewer things to worry about. It's all good
Here's the challenge. Once you've reduced the amount of "stuff" in your life, don't refill it.   Enjoy the simplicity and the spareness of your revised life.   Before you buy something new, consider how much pleasure it will bring you. Is it loaded with toxins (especially if it is plastic, furniture, a rug, etc)? Do you need it? Is there a use for that money that would bring you more pleasure?

Most of all, avoid the toxin of negative or unhealthy stress in your life. If there are people or things that cause you unhealthy stress, think about what steps you can take to reduce or minimize that toxin.

Be Happy - At Work

We all work in a wide variety of office environments – for some people, like me, our office is also our living room couch, for others it’s a cubicle or an office, for others, it’s an airplane and a hotel room.   For all of us, regardless of where we work or for whom we work, there are ways to make the work day healthier and happier.  Here are some suggestions.
  1. Breathe.   Find multiple times in your day to take a deep, calming breath.   I used to take the time when I was waiting for my laptop to load or reboot to take deep cleansing breaths. 
  2. Eat in while eating out. Bring your own lunch whenever you can.  You will save money and probably eat healthier.  However, still use lunch as an opportunity to step away from your desk maybe eat outside somewhere, at a break room, or share a meal with a friend.
  3. Eat mindfully.   Even if it’s for only a few minutes, take the time to focus on your meal, be grateful for the nourishment it is providing to you, and enjoy it
  4. Take the stairs, whenever you can.  My pet peeve is when I see a sign in a building suggesting that I take the stairs, but the sign is on the elevator door – by that time I’ve already pushed the button and, often, I have no idea where the stairs are. Celebrate that you know where the stairs are hidden and take them!
  5. Take a walk, every day, wherever you are.  Get outside if possible and consider a walking meeting.  A walk will actually increase creativity.
  6. Move. Create an office space that is ergonomically comfortable and that requires that you stand up or move frequently to complete routine tasks.
  7. Drink water.  Water is good for you, not only will you stay hydrated and avoid drinking calorie and chemically laden beverages, but it will force you to get up throughout the day.
  8. Stretch every twenty minutes.  Take a pause in what you are doing and stretch some part of your body.  Stand up and stretch if you can. Stretch your neck, your arms, or your legs and use that moment to take a quick mental break, assess how you are feeling, any needs you might have, and BREATHE!  
  9. Feel Gratitude.  Take a moment during the workday to be grateful for the gifts in your life.  Gratitude helps your brain!
About me

I work with organizations seeking to incorporate health and wellness into their corporate culture, individuals seeking to achieve their goals through health and wellness choices, and communities seeking to make the healthy choice the easy choice. 

I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, a strategic planning consultant, a distributor of Ava Anderson Non Toxic Products, and a HeartMath coach.
Copyright © 2014 Break Through Consulting, All rights reserved.

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