About Me

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I have been married to Russ for 13 years. We have two daughters, Shauna and Maddyson . I teach vocal & general music. In July 2011, we began Miehls Healthy Life Source, a home-based business. Our goal is to share safe, natural products with our friends, family, and others so the world is a safer place.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Have a Flat Belly!

The information in this post is taken from the article, "Blast away belly fat now and forever" by Alyssa Shaffer in the June 21, 2013 issue of all*you magazine.

Do you wish you had a smaller belly?  I do.  I take Zumba classes, but I still have a hard time trying to get rid of the "baby belly".  My daughters are 12 and 8, so I really wish I could have a flatter belly again.

In her article, Alyssa Shaffer suggests three ways to "whittle your waistline--no crunches required."

  1. Banish Bloat.  Use these fast-acting solutions to start shrinking your middle.
    1. Skip the soda.  Carbonated drinks release carbon dioxide gas into your digestive tract, causing your stomach to expand.  Choose plain water which spurs the digestive system.
    2. Give up gum.  Chewing gum can cause you to swallow air that becomes trapped in your gastrointestinal tract, leading to bloating..
    3. Slow down.  When you eat, you take in gulps of air that--yep, you guessed it--get trapped and lead to bloating.
    4. Avoid sodium.  Salt promotes water retention.  Fill up on unprocessed foods; skip high-sodium fare such as lunch meats and frozen dinnters.
    5. Go easy on artificial sweeteners.  Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol, found in sugar-free and low-carb sweets, are digested slowly or not at all, so eating large amounts of such foods can cause gas and bloating.  Artificial sweeteners that lack those alcohols don't cause the problem.
    6. Take a breather.  Stress hormones speed digestion, leading to gas and diarrhea.  Tense?  Go for a stroll to ease anxiety and aid in improving digestive function.
    7. Get tested.  Chronic bloating and gas can be symptoms of lactose intolerance (sensitivity to the sugar found in milk) or fructose malabsorption (sensitiviy to a sugar found in fruit juice, table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup).  Your doctor can diagnose either with a simple breath test.
  2. Fuel Up with Flat-Belly Foods.  Getting rid of bloat feels great but it's only the beginning.  To keep slimming down over a longer term, fill your plate with fat-busting eats.
    1. Dairy - Opt for 2% Greek Yogurt (20 grams of protein; 150 calories)
    2. "Good" fats - Opt for olive or canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed and avocado
    3. Tea - Opt for unsweetened green tea, either hot or iced
    4. Fiber - Opt for whole fruits (with the peel), vegetables, beans, nuts, oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, whole-wheat bread and pasts
    5. Keep track of portions.  The American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 35% of your daily calories from mostly healthy fats.  If you consume 1800 calories per day (the recommendation for a moderately active 40-year-old woman hoping to lose weight), 35% translates to 630 calories.
  3. Move to Lose.  Yes, you do have to exercise--but it doesn't have to be a chore.  Burn off those love handles with these easy strategies.
    1. Walk It Off.  The real key to burning belly fat is to pick up your pace.
    2. Get Stronger.  People who lift weights three times a week lose about an inch more off their waist.
    3. Keep It Up.  People who stay active instead of sitting a lot can burn up to 350 extra calories per day.
    4. Did You Know?  What you eat is important, but exercise might be the real key to gut-busting success.  In a study at St. Louis University, subjects who followed a yearlong weight-loss plan including exercise lost an amount similar to those who shrunk their portions--but the exercise group lost nearly twice as much belly fat.  Researchers noted that when you exercise, your body draws energy from the body's deep fat stores first. 
There are two main kinds of abdominal fat.  Neither is desirable, but one is more dangerous than the other.
  1. Subcutaneous Fat.  This type is just under the skin, where you can see and feel it.  Most of us carry some in our bellies as well as our thighs, hips, arms and backs.  It's unwelcome but poses only moderate health risks.
  2. Visceral Fat.  Found deeper in the body, around the abdominal organs, visceral fat is more worrisome, as it can lead to heart disease and diabetes--the latter because, among other things, it interferes with the body's ability to use insulin.  The upside:  Deep belly fat is often the first to go when you ramp up your weight loss efforts.  So how do you know which type you have?  In general, women with waistlines bigger than 35" are carrying some visceral fat along with any subcutaneous fat.
If you are trying to lose belly fat, I hope the information in this post will give you something to think about.  Please feel free to share this information with others.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

12 Weeks to a Better You

I spent some time in the last week going through old magazines that I have accumulated and pulled out articles on healthier living, saving money, recipes, activities to do with the kids, and more.  In my upcoming blogs, I plan to use some of this information.

The information for this post was taken from "Feel Your Best EVER!" by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel in the All You:  Health & Wellness, Winter 2013

In Norine Dworkin-McDaniel's article, she outlines an Ultimate Health Challenge 12 week program to help you feel stronger, sharper, happier, livelier and, yes, slimmer.

Week 1 - Amp up your energy
  • Worn out?  It's no wonder, with your long to-do list.  Try these simple tips to recharge.
    • Get a head-to-toe checkup
    • Seek out sunshine
    • Work in a walk
Week 2 - Get fit
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
    • Make an effort to schedule for sweat time
    • Form a workout group
    • Squeeze in exercise on the go
Week 3 - Break a bad habit
  • Smoking?  Impulse eating?  Whatever your vice, these strategies can help you quit for good.
    • Write a list
    • Be patient with yourself
    • Secure a sponsor
Week 4 - Eat healthier
  • You'll feel more energized and less stressed, and you can lower your risk of everything from colds to cancer.
    • Reconsider your carbs
    • Cut back on red meat
    • Stock up on produce
Week 5 - Be happier
  • Everyone gets a little down in the dumps.  Make over your mind-set with these mood-boosting tips.
    • Holler when you need help
    • See every day as a special occasion
    • Pile on praise
Week 6 - Shed stress
  • Unchecked anxiety can contribute to a host of ailments, from colds and headaches to heart disease.  Use these steps to achieve inner calm.
    • Stick it to anxiety
    • Practice saying "I'll get back to you"
    • Fit in some fun
Week 7 - Lose weight
  • Slow, steady, focused efforts ensure the greatest success.  Here's how to whittle away extra pounds.
    • Put portions into perspective
    • See yourself slim
    • Eat more slowly
Week 8 - Strengthen bones
  • Fortify your frame--and ward off fractures--with these stay-well strategies.
    • Consume more calcium
    • Work out your bones 
Week 9 - Tone up your ticker
  • More women die of heart disease every year than from all forms of cancer combined, according to the Cleveland Clinic.  But about 80% of cases can be prevented with key lifestyle tweaks.  Get started with these.
    • Suss out your silent saboteurs
    • Cut back on trans fats
    • Stop smoking
Week 10 - Get sounder sleep
  • Perhaps you skimp on sut-eye to get more done in your day.  But that strategy can backfire if you become too tired to tackle your to-do list.
    • Turn in by 10 p.m.
    • Curb the caffeine
    • Take a tech time-out
Week 11 - Boost your brainpower
  • Exercising your mind can keep you mentally sharp as you age.  This week focus on getting your brain in tip-top shape.
    • Shore up your social network
    • Polish off produce
    • Get off the couch
    • Challenge your mind
Week 12 - Shield your skin
  • Flaunt a healthy, youthful complexion with these age-defying tips.
    • Slather on sunscreen
    • Avoid using soap
    • Sleep on the other side
Should you choose to try some of these tips, I wish you much success as you strive to be healthier and happier!  Have a great day!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Surprising Ways to Cut Your Cancer Risk

I was just going through some old magazines and came across an article, "Surprising Ways to Cut Your Cancer Risk" by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel in the May 24, 2013 issue of All You magazine.

I know many people who have battled or are battling cancer.  In my family, there have been several cases of cancer, so I try to find ways to lower my risk of cancer.  In this blog posting, I am going to outline Norine Dworkin-McDaniel's article.

Although breast cancer and ovarian cancers are commonly thought of as women's cancers, there are several other types that are common in women as well.

  • Breast cancer - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 8
  • Lung cancer - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 16
  • Colorectal cancer - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 20
  • Uterine cancer - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 38
  • Non-hodgkin's lymphoma - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 51
  • Melanoma - Women's lifetime odds: 1 in 55
  • Pancreatic cancer - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 69
  • Thyroid cancer - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 70
  • Ovarian caner - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 71
  • Kidney and renal pelvis - Women's lifetime odds:  1 in 84
Ways to fight cancer every day:
  1. Maintain a healthy weight.  Slimming down doesn't have to be a huge production.  Look for simple ways to cut 100 calories per day, and you could lose up to 10 pounds in a year.  Here are some simple ways to start:  Sip regular coffee instead of a sugary coffee drink.  Use 1 tablespoon less oil when cooking.  Have an open-faced sandwich, which requires only one slice of bread instead of two.
  2. Exercise regularly.  You don't have to clock 30 minutes at once.  Little chunks of activity add up.  Do jumping jacks, squats, push-ups and crunches for 10 minutes before your morning shower.  Take a brisk 10-minute walk at lunch and march in place energetically for 10 minutes while watching television at night.
  3. Quit smoking.  Just cutting back can be helpful.  A Danish study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associaion (JAMA) found that smokers who went from an average of 20+ cigarettes a day to fewer than 10 lowered their lung cancer risk by 27%.  (Quitting entirely is even better, of course.) 
  4. Sip sensibly.  Although not drinking alcohol at all can greatly reduce your cancer risk, having one or two cocktails per week seems safe, experts say.
  5. Load up on produce.  Just have a vegetable or some fruit (or both) with each meal or snack and you'll quickly get to the daily recommendations (at least 2-1/2 cups) from the American Cancer Society.  Toss some spinach into your morning scrambled eggs, slice up an apple for a snack and choose a salad instead of chips with your sandwich at lunch.  There's no need to nix red meat.  Consuming 18 ounces per week (six 3-ounce portions) is OK, the American Institute for Cancer Research says.
Important Cancer Screenings and When to Get Them.
  • 20s
    • Pap smear - starting at age 21, get one every 3 years.
    • Allover skin check - do it monthly on your own.  Have your doctor or dermatologist check you regularly.
    • Clincal breast exam - get one at least every three years.
  • 30s
    • Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test - have them every 3 years until you reach age 65.
  • 40s
    • Mammogram - have one every year.
  • 50s
    • Colonoscopy - get one every 10 years--more often if you have a family history of precancerous polyps or colorectal cancer.
    • Hepatatis C test - have it once if you were born between 1945 and 1965.
    • Low-dose CT lung scan - have one if you are 55 or older and a have smoker or have recently quit.
Five powerful cancer-fighting moves to make today
  1. Limit sugary drinks
  2. Drink more coffee
  3. Look into getting an IUD
  4. Check for radon
  5. Skip the night shift
Thanks to Norine Dworkin-McDaniel for your information in this article.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wellness Tips #3 & #4

Relax your skin by working out.
Exercise has long been known to help reduce stress and anxiety.  It also help decrease acne, as one of its causes can often be heightened stress.

If you, or someone you love, have acne, I would like to recommend the Clarity Clear Skin Essentials 4-step acne prevention system that costs only $1.88 per ounce. (Melaleuca Preferred Customer price)

Step 1 - Foaming Cleanser.  Gently washes away pore-clogging debris and oil buildup to help prevent the start of acne.  Includes the active ingredient salicylic acid, as well as aloe vera to protect from drying, cooling cucumber, and soothing Melaleuca Oil.

Step 2 - Deep-cleaning astringent.  Cleanses deep down into pores with the active ingredient salicylic acid, plus chamomile.  Leaves skin feeling refreshed and toned.  Includes zinc PCA to help control skil oil levels and green tea for antioxidant protection.

Step 3 - Oil-free moisturizer.  Protects skin from drying and flaking without clogging pores.  Powered by ultra-moisturizing glycerin and sweet almond, with aloe vera to protect from drying.

Step 4 - Breakout treatment.  Helps loosen dead skin cell buildup and clear away excess oil--letting pores start fresh.  Includes salicylic acid and the soothing benefits of Melaleuca Oil.

To compare Clarity to other popular acne treatments:
Proactiv does not include a moisturizer and costs $3.99 per ounce.
Clean & Clear does not include an astringent and costs $2.92 per ounce.
Neutrogena does not include an astringent and costs $3.04 per ounce.

Competitor product prices from Proactiv.com, Drugstore.com, and Neutrogena,com on November 7, 2012.  Prices may vary.

Eat to your skin's content.
Include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet.  They contain antioxidants, which help protect the skin from cell damage and help support skin structure so it functions efficiently.

Deep, long-lasting moisturization.  It's what helps even the driest skin become softer and healthier.  And it's what you'll find inside every bottle of Renew Lotion.  Discover for yourself why Renew Lotion has changed the lives of so many people suffering from dry skin.  It has the right levels of glycerin to draw moisture deep into your skin, petrolatum to guard against moisture loss, and allantoin to help your skin heal.  Renew Lotion is the clinically proven solution for softer, smoother, healthier skin.  Even if you suffer from severely dry skin, Renew is the only dry skin therapy you'll ever need.

I would love to help you shop for these and many other safe, natural, health-promoting products.  Let me know if you would like more information.  You can also click on the Finding Freedom Team logo to the right of this blog for more information.

Information for this blog taken from the Winter/Spring 2013 Melaleuca Country:  The Exclusive Wellness Catalog.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wellness Tip #2

Set achievable fitness goals.
If that goal to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year seems impossible, you might feel like a failure from the start.  However, if you start with goals that stretch but don't discourage you -- like losing 1 pound this week -- it's easier to feel like a success.  Keep the ultimate goal in mind, but be sure to reward yourself for achieving each small step!

There are 40 weeks left of 2013.  If you lose 1 pound each week, you would be down 40 pounds by New Year's Eve!

Here are some simple things you can do that will lead to better wellness:

  1.  Eat smart.  To eat smart and make better choices, we must get informed and understand the alternatives.  Did you know that choosing mozzarella over cheddar cheese, popcorn over potato chips, Greek yogurt over sour cream and salad over French fries can lead to a reduction of 10 pounds in a single year?  Did you know that eating three smaller, healthier meals and two healthy snacks (one mid-morning and other mid-afternoon) can lower blood sugar by up to 13 percent?  Healthy choices make a big difference.
  2. Get active.  We also need to get active.  Exercise stimulates healthy digestive function, enables the cardiovascular system to prevent plaque buildup and even stimulates healthy brain function.  Exercise is essential to wellness, not just weight loss.  Exercise gives us these and other benefits if--and this is important--it is done regularly.
  3. Stay accountable.  As you eat right and get active, stay accountable and share your wellness goals with others.  Help one another reach those goals.  It's a fact:  whether it's losing weight, exercising daily or building a business, teaming up ensures you'll stick to your goals.
Take Oligo.  We've learned when we give our body consistent (not intermittent) nutrition, it can function properly to defend, protect and renew itself.  Minerals are the catalysts for critical functions like proper digestion and metabolism.  Healthy immune, brain, thyroid and nervous system function all depend on essential vitamins and minerals.  Just as your car needs oil continuously running throughout its engine, vitamins and minerals need to be continuously available to your body's systems.

No other mineral and vitamin supplement is more effective than Oligo.  We have the science to prove it's more absorbable and protects antioxidant vitamins better than any other product sold.  If you are not taking the Vitality Pack with Oligo, please start today.  You'll do so with confidence that you're taking the best nutritional supplements available on the planet.

For more inforrmation on Oligo, click on this link. Oligo Vitality Packs

Wellness tips 1-3 from McKay Christensen, President of Melaleuca, January 2013 Leadership in Action
Other information from  the Winter/Spring 2013 Melaleuca Country Wellness Catalog.

If you would like more information on building your own business, please click on the Finding Freedom Team icon.  I would be happy to talk with you!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wellness Tip #1

Would you like to experience a HEALTHIER, more fulfilling life?  I would like to share some wellness tips with you that can help you do just that.

Wellness Tip #1

Keep healthy foods at your fingertips.
Hungry?  Keep healthy, fiber-rich, and high protein foods like raspberries, almonds, and Greek yogurt close at hand in the eating area--and chances are they'll find their way into more snacks and meals.  Stow the sugar-and fat-filled potato chips, cookies, and white bread well out of easy reach.

There is a hidden epidemic.  More than 90 million adults in North America alone have it, and they might not even know it.  It's called metabolic syndrome, a condition where your body becomes increasingly insulin-resistant--and less able to properly metabolize blood sugar.  1 in 3 adults meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome/pre-diabetes.

Answer these questions:

  • Do you have a hard time focusing and thinking clearly?
  • Do you feel sleepy or fatigued, especially after a meal:
  • Do you get cravings for sugar and high-carb foods?
These feelings can indicate metabolic syndrome.  Visit Melaleuca.com/gccontrol today to check if you have any of the 5 risk factors.

Information from the Winter/Spring 2013 Melaleuca Country Wellness Catalog.

If you would like more information, please click on the Finding Freedom Team icon to the right of this post.  I'd love to talk with you! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have not done a very good job of maintaining this blog.  My goal is to try to blog at least one time each week.

I have been re-evaluating what I would like to do with this blog.  For several years I have had wellness on my mind.  A few years ago, I led a women's devotional and exercise group at church two nights a week.  The goal was to improve both our physical wellness and spiritual wellness.  That group has since stopped meeting, but my interest in wellness has not gone away.

Last spring, I asked my husband to train with me to run a 5K in the summer.  We trained for a couple of months, but my husband began having pains in his side when we ran, so we stopped running, too.

Summer in Northwest Ohio was very hot and dry.  I am a teacher, so I spent most of the summer in the comfort of my central air-conditioning.  Russ, on the other hand, works in a cabinet shop that has no air conditioning.  When he got home, he was ready to soak in the cool air.  We didn't do much to continue our path to wellness.

That changed for me, though, when I coached 8th grade volleyball at school this year.  This was a learning experience for the team AND the coach.  I played volleyball from 7th grade through my junior year of high school.  I have also played church league volleyball but not in recent years.

After volleyball, I enjoyed being at home in the evenings for several weeks.  Toward the end of November, I asked Russ if he would mind if I tried one Zumba class that was being offered at our park in town.  He said that it was okay with him.  When I got home, I asked him if I could show him my favorite move.  He asked if it meant I was going to go back.  I said that I would like to try one more class.

That did it.  I was hooked!  I have been attending Zumba class 3 nights a week most of the time since November.  I really enjoy it.  The instructor also works at the school where I teach, so we talk Zumba at school, too.  I like that I can be active and get a great workout while dancing.  It doesn't feel like exercise to me.  I was a cheerleader in high school and in college.  We often did routines to music, so it feels similar to that.

This long introduction brings me to the new focus of my blog:  WELLNESS.  Russ & I have been members of The Wellness Company, Melaleuca, for nearly 3 years.  They focus on Total Wellness:  Physical, Environmental, Personal, and Financial.  I would like to add a fifth category, Spiritual.

I would like to invite you to join me on my journey to total wellness:  physical, environmental, personal, financial and spiritual.

Have a great day!