Posts tagged health
The New PACT Lightweight Hoodie - Review and Giveaway

I open my package from PACT and pull out my hoodie, immediately noticing the deliciously soft fabric.

I put it on as fast as I can because I want to wrap myself up in that soft, organic cotton and never take it off. I pull the sleeves down over my hands and stretch my arms out to check the sleeve length.

It's perfect.

I start to walk up the stairs to check the fit in the bathroom mirror, and I notice one of my favorite things ever.

THUMB HOLES. The cuffs have thumb holes!

I literally squeak, quite loudly, and I'm grinning now.

Not long after I started My Whole Healthy, I actively sought to partner with PACT because of how they choose to make their clothes. And I loved wearing them.
Organic cotton.
No sweatshops.
No child labor.
Ever.

Did you know conventional cotton uses about 16% of the world’s insecticides? And that the World Bank estimates around 20% of industrial water pollution in the world comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles?! 

Ick.

PACT does things differently, and they make the cutest, most comfortable, and well fitting basics I've ever worn.

I think you can see that my Whole Healthy encompasses more than just diet and exercise. More than yoga and meditation. My Whole Healthy requires mindfulness about what I put in and on my body, and my impact on the world. It's a big picture perspective on wellness because I know first-hand how seemingly tiny things can affect big things. I am a journalist, a survivor, and a wellness expert. I'm always looking to see how the dots connect. Aligning myself with a company meant that company had to stack up and have a positive impact on the planet and its people, with no concessions

PACT is that kind of company. Their mission is to change the apparel industry for good and you can read more about the company and their standards HERE. Getting to try this new hoodie in the PACT ORGANIC lineup was a joy, but I was looking hard for something to criticize. 

I make it to the mirror in the bathroom and I look at my reflection. I analyze the fit, turn this way and that, put the hood up, zip it, unzip it. It's a size up from my regular size because I'm 6'1" and too-short-sleeves are the story of my life, so I wanted to be sure about the length. And because I like my hoodies roomy, not fitted and tight. Nothing ever fits me perfectly... there had to be something I could point out in my review.

But oh, the fit is beautiful. The perfect body length, cuffs that easily touched my hands, enough room for my strong shoulders without being baggy, and a flattering fit in the body even though I was wearing one size up. The fabric is lighter than traditional fleece hoodies, and it feels like a great layering piece, perfect to throw on when the weather cools down but not too heavy or hot.

The bathroom mirror doesn't let me see as well as I want to, so I duck into my guest bedroom to check the full length mirror and snap a photo. My son toddles in behind me and as I start to frame my shot, my little guy decides it's time to be silly. He puts his head on the floor and does a baby downward dog. Then he cackles with laughter. I can't stop laughing at his antics and every pic I'm taking is blurry.

Finally, I get my shot. So here it is. I'm also wearing a PACT camisole, and the stretch-fit flare pants in charcoal heather. Sooooo comfy, and just as soft as the hoodie but with more stretch and structure to hold the fit.

The hoodie is my new favorite piece of clothing and I wear it all the time. I'm always sad when the house warms up and I have to take it off.

I took it camping, too, and it was the PERFECT layer for the chilly Eastern Sierra mountains. Another feature I loved was the hood... it's roomy and it easily fit over my long, wild hair, keeping my head and ears toasty on the chilly fall mornings.

Check out the photos below that my husband shot for me while we were there.

On this trip, I brought my camisole, and the new PACT organic cotton MEN'S sweat pants (I LOVE them), plus my PACT undies!!! They are the best underwear I've ever had and I couldn't leave home without them, so all together, this made for the the perfect weekend outfit to wear around the campfire and hiking in the John Muir Wilderness up towards Kearsarge Pass.

 

Organic Cotton Hoodie, Funnel Neck, PACT Apparel, My Whole Healthy,

I took some close-up photos of my hoodie so you could see the details that make this hoodie really special. That bright blue piping is so pretty! And the slight funnel style neck adds something really special. Click the images below to enlarge.


I love this hoodie and this company so much. The holidays are approaching fast, and I'm super excited to share the PACT love with you! If you follow me on Instagram you see me wearing PACT all the time, so without further ado, enter below to win a $100 PACT gift card, just in time for the holidays!

You can enter up until Sunday Nov. 13, 2016 at 11:59 PST. Giveaway open to residents of the U.S.A. only.

The winner will be emailed directly so make sure you use your best email to enter!

If you want to shop PACT right now, subscribe to my Whole Healthy Notes right here to get my EXCLUSIVE discount code, and SO much more wellness love, instantly and totally free!

GOOD LUCK and remember to SHARE THIS POST!

This is a sponsored post and I received compensation in return for posting this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own. I do not accept payment of any kind in return for a positive review. This blog post may contain affiliate links.
Quick Scones, Gluten Free

I don't miss many foods now that I have to keep to a completely gluten free diet.

I don't have celiac disease, but I'm seriously gluten intolerant and eating gluten essentially shuts down my brain function. Debilitating brain fog that feels sticky and thick, headaches, difficulty forming sentences, crippling fatigue... it makes me feel like my brain injury is fresh. Which I HATE. So making a change to my diet to avoid all that was, and is, 100% worth it.

Sometimes I miss Montreal bagels, and real French pastries, but there is a bakery in Montreal that makes a mean gluten free croissant now, and they SHIP TO THE US! So I get my fix on occasion by ordering online

But good scones. Oh man, I haven't had one since I was a kid. Not too sweet, just the right crumb and texture, holds butter well... I've had few that are ok but they're all too sweet to be "real" scones in my book. I had pretty much accepted that I would never find a gluten free version that met my standard.

And then my husband made one by accident. And it was WONDERFUL. And fast, and easy, and all that good stuff.

So here's the recipe!

 

Gluten Free Banana Scones

Banana Scones

• 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (no gums! Get the recipe for my custom AP flour blend instantly when you sign up for my newsletter)

• 1 scoop vanilla plant protein - get my favorite from my nutrition partner HERE

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1 tsp baking powder  

• 1 tsp baking soda

• 2 mashed bananas

• 1 egg

• 1 TBSP avocado or melted coconut oil

 

Preheat oven to 350º F - Makes 1 dozen mini scones

Thoroughly mix all ingredients together until fully incorporated. Dough should resemble fluffy cookie dough. Spoon golf ball sized amounts onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Use wet fingers to shape into little triangles, or to your liking.
Bake for 15 minutes until springy to the touch and brown on the bottom. 

Let cool completely before serving, and enjoy! 

•••

 Original/Plain Scones

Gluten Free Original Plain Scones

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (no gums added to the flour mix!)

• 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein (get my fav from my nutrition partner HERE)

• 1 TBSP psyllium husk

• 1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1 egg

• 1 TBSP avocado or melted coconut oil

• 1/2 cup plain European style whole milk plain yogurt (also, no gums!)

 

Preheat oven to 350F Makes 10 mini scones

Blend dry ingredients together in a bowl until all one color. 
Blend wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly.
Mix until fully incorporated. Dough should look and feel like fluffy cookie dough.
Drop golf ball sized lumps of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Shape into triangles or desired shape with wet fingers.
Bake for 15 minutes until springy to the touch and brown on the bottom.
Let cool completely before serving, enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon and Pumpkin scone attempts are up next! Keep an eye out for those before Halloween.

Please share this post!

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5 Steps To Perfect Kale Chips
Prepared kale leaves for making kale chips.

Prepared kale leaves for making kale chips.

Making kale chips is so easy to screw up.

They're the easiest thing to make but I see so many recipes online that give terrible directions! Recipes all over the internet completely butcher the nutritional value of this amazing snack so I'm going to tell you how to do it correctly.

I love kale chips even more than potato chips when I'm craving something salty and crunchy. They really are crazy easy to make, so there is no reason to pay crazy prices for them at the health food store, but you need to do it right. Here's how:

Step One: Get a large head of kale (preferably organic) or two - here I used a full head of lacinto (dinosaur) kale and a full head of curly kale - and tear it into bite sized 1 1/2 inch pieces, removing the ribs and stems. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Toss kale pieces into a large bowl.

Step Two: Coat the kale leaf pieces in extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil. Use 1-3 tablespoons of oil, you want every piece coated but not swimming in oil. Massage the oil into the kale with your fingers.

Step Three: Season with sea salt and garlic powder to taste. I used 5-8 full grinds of sea salt and a light dusting of garlic powder, no measurements. Start with a light seasoning and add to it as needed.

Step Four: Lay seasoned kale pieces out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Try to avoid any overlapping pieces! If they overlap, they will stay soggy.

Step Five: Place in a 200 degree F oven and allow the kale to dehydrate (NOT bake) until crisp. Check the kale after the first hour and then as needed. The oven isn't hot enough to burn them quickly but you don't want to leave them under even low heat any longer than you have to. 

Serve as finger food and enjoy your chips! My favorite thing about kale chips is how they disintegrate and melt in your mouth. So yummy.



*** Keeping the heat in the oven low helps to preserve the nutrient value of the kale. High heat destroys vitamins. High heat will also burn the edges of the leaves.
*** If you have a dehydrator, use that instead! Your chips will be even better and will retain most of their nutritional value.
*** Organic kale is important because it is a crop that consistently lands on the EWG's Dirty Dozen.
*** Using oils like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil add healthy fats to your chips instead of the inflammatory oils high in Omega-6 essential fatty acids typically used on potato chips. Their flavors also work well with the kale!
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The Secret To Whole Health With Wellness Expert Danny J

“I am here to show up, and help, and love, and serve people.” - Danny J

REST, REBUILD, RECONDITION: Danny J healed herself with those 3 key actions. While her words are different, it's not too far removed from the food, mindfulness, and movement that I used to heal after my injuries. 

Danny Johnson or "Danny J"  is a wellness expert with over a decade of experience and first-hand knowledge of achieving wellness herself after her body stopped working properly, she gained weight despite doing everything "right," and she had to give up and give her body what it was crying out for. She is the creator of the Find The Money Project, is the co-creator of Social Academy, and she has coached me in taking full advantage of social media so that I can better reach and help you! 

I am so excited to share her interview with you! We talk mindfulness, adrenal fatigue, money, and what really matters, so sit down and enjoy our half hour chat. I broke it into two 15 minute parts so it's easier for you to watch. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

“I  feel like I’m constantly learning, and I’m constantly pushing myself to see more and expand more, and to be whole I just think you need to address all those sides of yourself."

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Why I Don't Count Calories and You Probably Shouldn't Either

It's Holiday time! This is my favorite time of year with all the good vibes, cool weather and amazing food. It's such a time of gratitude and celebration, and gathering around a table to eat together is something I love. Food is nourishment, for our bodies but often for our souls too. It should feel good. We have senses to experience the taste, texture, temperature and smell of food for a reason. Food is SUPPOSED to feel good.

But too often we just so caught up in the "supposed to" and "shoulds"  of eating and the joy is lost because we've come to care more about how we look, or we guiltily eat junk foods, knowing they're bad for us.

I love food and after having the experience of being "fed" through a feeding tube when I was in the hospital (I can't describe having flavored goop delivered to my stomach, through a tube that went up my nose, as anything close to pleasant), and being unable to bite into anything even verging on firm in the four years I wore partial dentures, I value every moment I get to eat and chew and sink my teeth into something delicious. And I don't worry about Calories. EVER.

The photo on this post is the breakfast I had the day after a full Thanksgiving dinner last year. I am not fat. I just eat the food, provided it's real food, and not too much of any one thing. I strive for balance, not deprivation.

I recently discovered gluten free croissants that I got shipped to my door from Baked2Go.ca in Montreal, and talk about the joy of eating! It's been YEARS since I had a croissant because I have a pretty serious intolerance to gluten. And I had kind of lost hope that anyone would be able to create a GOOD gluten free version of that yummy French pastry. But these... warmed in the oven, that crisp flakiness on the outside giving way against my teeth to the soft, layered, buttery inside... bliss.

Is it "healthy"? Nope. Fattening? If I ate them all the time, probably yeah. But do I care? No. Because it was a treat. And giving myself permission to enjoy a food I love, when I know it's still real food, made in a bakery, is way better for me than stressing, feeling guilty, or hating myself for indulging! All that does is release stress hormones that can contribute to gaining weight probably more than eating the food one time.

*** Obviously if you have medical condition or are under the care of a physician, you may need to take a different approach. And everyone is different. Do what is best for you!

Because of things like stress hormones and many other factors, getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is not as simple as calories in, calories out. The food and diet industry would like us to believe it's that simple though!
Why isn't it?
All calories are not created equal. Our bodies digest, process and use different foods in completely different ways. Take, for example, 100 calories of candy and 100 calories of broccoli. About five Hershey's Kisses would have 100 calories but 100 calories of broccoli (raw) is four cups!

There's not much nutritional value in five Hershey's kisses, and four cups of broccoli is a lot to eat, and requires way more energy to chew and digest. Carbohydrates and protein contain 4 Calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. So while food that contains a lot of fat does have more calories, that doesn't mean fatty food will make us fat. Many fatty foods are also laden with sugar, but healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, while calorie dense, have a lot of nutritional value. Our bodies get a lot from just a little, and it's hard to overindulge on food that contains those healthy fats.

My rule of thumb is to just eat real food that doesn't come with a label or a list of ingredients. If I do that, I don't have to watch my weight because I don't fall into craving unhealthy snacks and my body gets all the nutrition it needs. I like sweets a lot, but I definitely notice that when I don't eat much sugar, I don't crave sugar. And vice versa, if I eat too much, I crave it ALL THE TIME and I have to make myself detox and make better choices. Date rolls (dates smushed up and rolled in chopped nuts) are my go-to to satisfy a sugar craving and replace the junk I might eat otherwise. Dried fruit is awesome that way.

As the holidays approach, maybe you're worrying about "holiday weight gain"? Well I have some good news for you... it's pretty much a myth. If you do gain weight at this time of year, it's probably more of a reflection of your overall lifestyle and weight as a whole, not a once-a-year anomaly, so if you do gain significant weight, take it as a signal that shifts need to happen in your life beyond declining dessert at Thanksgiving dinner.

So enjoy your holidays, and enjoy the food! Don't worry about the Calories, now or ever. Life's too short not to indulge a little bit. Just stay mindful and notice how you feel in your body. If you feel tired and cranky all of a sudden, think about what you ate. That might be more relevant than your previous night's sleep. Eat real food - the turkey, the stuffing, the veggies, the HOMEMADE pie made with real ingredients... avoid the junk - it doesn't serve you. And have a wonderful time!

XOXO Maggie


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