New Nourishing Souls Website and Blog

Greetings friends!

I am thrilled to announce a new Nourishing Souls website and blog!

This new website not only has a new address and logo, but lots of added features such as a store, health coaching, product reviews, interviews, a free nutrition book download and more blog posts or course!   The focus is nourishing the whole family by providing resources and insight for raising a healthy, happy family with more joy and less stress!

Your support and reading is what drives this blog so it is with great excitement that I will be able to offer you more ways to lead a healthy, happy life!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part of it!

Blessings,

Summer Joy

p.s. You will have to change your bookmark to www.nourishingsouls.com/blog in order to continue receiving blog updates.

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A Double Blessing

Today I am graced with another day with my boys.  Not just any day.  It is their birthday~  My little angels are turning 7 today.

The joy that they have brought to my husband and I cannot be measured or even understood in words, but they can see it when I look into their eyes, thankful that I was chosen to be their mom.  Only when they become parents will they understand that deep valley of love a parent has for their children.

God knew what he was doing, as usual, when he blessed my husband and I with twins.  He knew that we would grow and change the way we see the world, just by being their parents.

I remember sitting in our little (and I mean really little – less than 300 square feet little) cottage in Sydney thinking about kids.  I knew I wanted kids before I turned 30 and thought 2 kids would be great.  I was 28.  Soon after we were expecting.

Shortly before returning to the US, my husband were visiting Cairns to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.  On the plane ride back I asked Jeff if he had 2 boys names.  He asked why and I stated, “I don’t know.  I think we just need to come up with two.”

The following morning as I sat waiting for my 20 weeks ultrasound I thought, “How come I am showing more than the others in the waiting room?  Am I farther along?”  Awakening me from my thoughts, the tech called us in.  After looking at the ultrasound she said, “Ugh, you didn’t book 2 appointments.”  We looked at her strangely and then up at the ultrasound.  There were 2 babies on the screen!  My husband and I just laughed and laughed.  I can still remember the feeling and sound of our laughter to this day.

I am so thankful to have twins.  The reasons are a gazillion (if that is even a word).  Perhaps the most profound is that we were able to see these 2 miraculous personalities exist from birth.  They were different from day one.  One looked around bright-eyed, ready for the world while the other focused on doing his own thing.  These personalities have rang true.  Sure they have changed and grown, but the base is still there.

As the boys grew we had to parent them differently – at the same time.  They each needed different things from us, mostly at the same time.  Yes, they shared basics.  They both needed love and care and room to blossom and find their strengths and know boundaries, but how they came to learn those things or how they needed them was (and still is) different.

Being twins they have had opportunities unique to them.  People will tell you that kids cannot share or know empathy at a young age.  For twins, that is life.  They learn early on that life is about more than “me”.  Life is about loving others as much as you love yourself.  It is about sharing.  It is about learning the same thing differently.   It is about waiting your turn.  It is about learning how to do something on your own while somebody else just did it.  It is about being true to who you are and finding your own strengths while celebrating the strengths of others.  It is about creating one’s own timeline.

I have learned that what I believed in one was possible for both.  Every child is a gift and each child has many gifts to share.  I have learned that every child comes here not to learn from us, but to help us grow.

I have learned to be grateful for each moment in the day and that being a parent is the best thing in the world!

Love you Cole!  Love you Dakota!  Happy Birthday!

Much love,

Your Mommy

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Inspiration and Your Free Valentines Day Gifts

Recently my husband and I became motivated by a free trip to Hawaii contest.  We thought it would be incredible to work really hard, win and then take the boys to Hawaii to see real volcanoes.

This contest started me thinking.  What am I inspired by in my life on a daily basis?  The first thing that came to mind was helping people by making a difference in someone’s life.  Then I dug deeper. Why is this inspiring to me?  Because it is fun.  It is incredibly fun to see someone smile when they see that the road is brighter or they realize they too are full of potential.

Really it is about creating joy in this life.  Inspiring people to do their best!

I am inspired by you!  People like you who are finding ways to make your life meaningful.  People like you who are doing your best everyday.  People like you who are ready to make positive differences in your lives and the lives around you. Many of you are already making changes in your lives.  They all count big or small.

This Valentine’s Day I want to thank you for your inspiration and continue to support you in your journey by offering FREE Health Histories. These are short, 45 minute chats where you get to talk about your life, what is important to you and where you want to go.  My role is to just listen and be inspired by you.  Comment below or send me an e-mail to get started!  This free offer is limited to 10 people, so act soon!

But wait, I have another Free Offer for you~

Simply order an  i love me! book today only and I will give you an extra one to share with a friend for FREE!  This offer is only good for Valentines Day.  : )

There are so many good things happening in the world.  You too can be a part of it!  If you are looking for more inspiration for your kids, my sister-in-law has written a great children’s book to help them explore their gifts.  It is called I am A Good Idea.

Are you ready to live the life of your dreams?  Your dreams do not have to be fancy, but they can be fabulous!  Dream big!

I look forward to being inspired by you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Summer Joy

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Homemade Valentines Day Gifts

Homemade Valentines Day gifts are the best!  They come from the heart, are made with love and taste great if they are chocolate dipped strawberries!

Browsing various Valentines Day ideas on the web, I thought, “Why not make our own traditions?”  Valentine treats are full of chocolate so naturally chocolate dipped strawberries was a good mix of healthy and celebratory.

Getting out the camera, I asked my boys how to make chocolate covered strawberries.  They explained it in the simple terms that only 6 year olds can.

So there you have it – chocolate dipped strawberries from a kids point of view.  In case you want a more detailed recipe here is the easy specifics on:

How to make chocolate covered strawberries:

  • 1 bag of dark chocolate chips    (Look for brands that do not contain preservatives and extra things.)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 3 pound of strawberries

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a glass baking dish that is suspended over a pot of boiling water as to not burn the chocolate.
  2. Add the bag of chocolate chips.  Stir, stir, stir  : )
  3. Dip strawberries.
  4. Place chocolate dipped strawberries on wax paper.
  5. Cool
  6. Share and ENJOY!


This was such a hit you can bet that we will be doing this every year!

Happy (early) Valentines Day!

Summer Joy

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Lettuce Wraps Made Easy

Every morning I pack my kids lunch and think – fresh, fun and finger foods.  (Of course I think healthy and gluten-free too.)

Here my version of a grab and go healthy lettuce wrap recipe.  It also is a great sandwich recipe for those who are gluten-free.

Lettuce Wraps:

– Romaine lettuce

– Slice of meat of choice

– Cheese

1. Place the meat and cheese in the lettuce.

2. Roll it together and cut in half.

Easy, Fast and Healthy.  Forget 30 minute meals, you are done in 3 minutes or less!  Who knew quick lunch ideas could be so fun and healthy?

When I was packing the lunch this morning, my son asked me what was in it.  When I replied, “Lettuce wraps,” he exclaimed, “Yum!  I love those!”

You can change it up and add pickles, sprouts, carrots – whatever you please.  It is easy to make vegetarian lettuce wraps too!

Add a side and you are all set for healthy munching.

Happy eating,

Summer Joy

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Why I Happily Gave Into My Sugar Cravings

Brightly colored sugarYesterday I ate more sugar than I probably have in the entire last year and for the first time in about 5 years I did not feel guilty about it!

What I have come to realize through my path at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is that sugar cravings are natural.  We all have them.  But it is not what we think.  We crave sugar not because we want to sabotage our health, but because something is out of balance in our lives and we are craving a return to that balance.

When we were born we were nourished by our mothers with something sweet – milk.  As babies we felt warm, safe, full, and all was right with the world.

When we crave sugar what we are really craving is balance.  That feeling of, “I am safe, I am loved, all is right in the world”.  Sugar is the quick fix.  It is like a drug in that it makes us feel better at that moment.  What it also does like a drug is to send our body into quick response mode.

Now before I go on about sugar and our bodies, lets go back to why I did not feel guilty yesterday…

Yesterday a gazillion things were “going wrong.”  I felt like my life was spinning out of control.  Things that have always been stable were suddenly changing.  Phone calls were coming in so fast I hardly had time to deal with one before another came in.  I was opening and closing my cupboard door constantly eating jellies intended for Valentines Day.

The I stopped and realized, I am super stressed.  I am craving something sweet because I want my brain to return to that happy state.  Right now I am unhappy and sugar is the “quick happy”.

My current job is creating an imbalance in my life.  It was stressing me out yesterday so much I could hardly think straight.  When I stopped for a moment to consciously think about what I was doing, I realized that I have 2 choices (well many more than 2, but for the sake of an argument lets pick two).

A.  I can stay on my current path knowing it is causing me stress.

B. I can change my path.

I choose B!!!!!

I realized that I am already in a transition and that my new path of becoming a health coach is the right path.  My sugar craving was a strong signal to me that the current path of teaching violin needs to not be my only/primary focus.

Once I realized that yesterday was just a day for growth and confirmation of my change, I happily ate my sugar knowing that it would get me through the stressful day.  A stressful day due to old patters.  I knew that I was making changes to let go of the stress in my life and by making these changes the sugar craving would cease.

And I was right!  This morning I am more energized then ever to provide opportunities for others to balance their lives through health coaching.  I don’t feel the need to grab a handful of sugar, I know that my happiness can come from moving forward in my life, not through that little gummy of sugar.

So I say, “Thanks sugar cravings for being so strong yesterday to make me think about my life!”

So if you are craving sugar, don’t feel bad!  Just ask yourself, “What is out of balance in my life and what am I going to do about it?”

Cheers,

Summer Joy

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Are you looking…

Are you looking for a quick and easy, not to mention inexpensive “cure” to nearly everything?  A “magic pill” that will solve your ailments from having a headache to sore muscles and fatigue?

Water.  Yes, it is that simple.  H2O.  Our bodies are 75% water.  Do you replenish your water?

“You’re not sick; you’re thirsty. Don’t treat thirst with medication.”Dr. F. Batmanghelidj

Before the holidays I started increasing my water intake to at least 6, 8 oz.  glasses of water.  I couldn’t believe the dramatic difference!  Immediately I had a ton more energy throughout the entire day.   I am a professional violinist and had many hours of playing during that first week pain free!  What I figure is that my hydrated muscles were more flexible and free, they did not strain and thus get sore.

There have been people who have lost weight simply by drinking more water.  Not only does drinking water help you to stay full between meals and cut out the sugary drinks that pack calories, drinking water helps to eliminate toxins from the body.

Our bodies were made to help us stay healthy.  When a toxin enters the body (artificial flavors, dyes, preservatives etc.) the body can protect itself by quickly surrounding the toxin with a layer of fat.  Through the process of elimination the body can get rid of these toxins with the help of drinking water.

Once while teaching a violin lesson a student mentioned they were getting a headache.  I quickly said, “go drink a glass of water.”  Their headache was just the body’s sign of dehydration.  They were so happy to get rid of the headache quickly without medication.

For kids, drinking water from an early age will set them up with healthy, lifelong drinking patterns.

I challenge you to drink more water this week and comment on your changes.  For kids (and adults) get a glass/cup with a straw and you will drink more water without hardly any effort.  Seriously!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

To your health,

Summer

p.s. My mom started drinking more water and noticed that her joints even feel better.  : )

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