Eat Well, Avoid Toxins, Be Happy
Spring is here!    Hope you are managing to get outdoors when you can, eating healthy, exercising, and finding happiness.   Here in North Carolina, Matt, Pepper and I are starting to plan our summer travels.  Matt is volunteering at a local charter school and I'm finding my rhythm, seeking to balance my business consulting, holistic health coaching, and my Ava Anderson Non Toxic business.   It's a lovely rhythm and one that requires attention and nurturing

What's your rhythm?  How do you maintain it when times are stressful or complicated? 

Eat Well!

Whole grains are an excellent source of nutrition, as they contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin E and B-complex vitamins. Because the body absorbs grains slowly, they provide sustained and high-quality energy.   Not everyone eats grains, but if you do, choose whole grains.   Rinse them thoroughly.  If you avoid gluten, be careful.  For example, oats may have gluten in them because of cross contamination so you may need to buy gluten free oats (which feels ironic because there is no gluten in oats).    Gluten is in Wheat, Barley, Rye, and Farro (my new favorite)
There is a lot of evidence that eating oatmeal improves heart health.  I’m not a big hot cereal fan.  I love granola, but when I buy it is often too sweet or has unhealthy products in it or just has things in it I don’t like, so I started making my own. 

Recipes: Heart Healthy Granola

You'll Need:
  • 2 cups of rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
  • Whatever combination of nuts, grated coconut, raisins, and dried fruit that makes you happy.  Remember walnuts are high in omega 3s and we like that!   I buy most nuts bulk and if possible chopped or sliced so I don’t have to chop or slice them.
  • ½ cup Water
  • Olive oil (1/8 -1/4 cup)
  • Maple Syrup or Honey (2 or 3 tablespoons)
  • Rub some olive oil on a cookie sheet
  • Preheat oven to 325
  • Put the rolled oats in bowl and mix in the other ingredients (except for the raisins and dried fruit)
  • Make a little well in the middle and pour in the water, oil, and honey or maple syrup.  Aim for about ¾ to a cup of liquid in all.
  • Mix well
  • Mix a little bit more
  • Spread out on the cookie sheet
  • Cook for 40 minutes.   Every ten minutes or so… grab a spatula and mix it around
  • Take it out of the oven, let it cool, put in a container, add in raisins and/or dry fruit

Leftover rolled oats?  
  • Mix them with mashed up bananas (add nuts and raisins if you want).  Make little round balls and drop them on a greased cookie sheet.  
  • You can bake them with the granola (or separately) at 325 for 20 -30 minutes until lightly browned....

Avoid Toxins

Dr. Marisa Weiss published the article below about environmental toxins and the link to breast cancer.  This is why I am a holistic health coach and why i sell Ava Anderson Non Toxic products.  (Though she doesn't talk about stress in this piece, it's also why I became a one on one provider of HeartMath.) I agree with Dr. Weiss -- Enough Already!

Control what you can:

You can't eliminate all toxins from your environment, but you can make wise, informed choices and reduce the toxins to which you are exposed.

Before you buy, look up your products on the cosmetics database
Be an informed consumer!

Consider a homemade natural solution.  Or consider Ava Anderson Non Toxic (

Read Labels

Claims of Pure, Natural or Organic may not mean anything.   You need to look at the ingredients list on the label

Check out 

All ingredients may not be listed on the product, but it's a start.  You can also look up ingredients on the Environmental Working Group's site ( or look up the product online and see what you can find.  

While you are thinking about the Environmental Working Group, download their free "dirty dozen" app and look up produce when you are shopping to make wise decisions about what to buy organic. 

Be Happy

Practice this for one minute five times a day for one week.  Feel better? Let me know!

Heart Coherence

Step 1: Heart Focus. Focus your attention on the area around your heart, the area in the center of your chest. If you prefer, the first couple of times you try it, place your hand over the center of your chest to help keep your attention in the heart area.
Step 2: Heart Breathing. Breathe deeply, but normally, and imagine that your breath is coming in and going out through your heart area. Continue breathing with ease until you find a natural inner rhythm that feels good to you.
Step 3: Heart Feeling. As you maintain your heart focus and heart breathing, activate a positive feeling. Recall a positive feeling, a time when you felt good inside, and try to re-experience the feeling. One of the easiest ways to generate a positive, heart-based feeling is to remember a special place you’ve been to or the love you feel for a close friend or family member or treasured pet. This is the most important step.

Institute of HeartMath (
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