“When you start taking better care of yourself you start feeling better, you start looking better, and you start to attract better. It all starts with you.” ~unknown

 

Welcome to the first edition of HWH: Healthy w/ Heather

The Alt Care Collective is a lifestyle brand started with the philosophy that we can all be healthier, happier, more vibrant and productive given the right tools and resources. And that’s the goal of my weekly HWH post- to share whatever I have learned throughout the week so that maybe in some way it will be helpful to you as well. It could be a workout, a product, a service, something cool I saw online, a new supplement I am trying, a fabulous meal I had or recipe I tried. HWH is the weekly round up of anything that influenced my well-being this week that I thought was worth sharing.

Step One Foods

So I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful referral from my primary care doctor to an amazing cardiologist- Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, founder of the Preventative Cardiology Clinic in Edina, MN and Step One Foods. I was born with heart issues and followed closely by my pediatric cardiologist until I was into my 20’s, so I am no stranger to a cardiology clinic. But, what I absolutely loved about her clinic and her approach, was that it is all about prevention through diet and exercise.

I am approaching 50 and both of my parents died in their 70’s of heart and vascular issues that were not caught when they were around my age, so prevention is high on my radar. With that in mind, I had a Coronary Calcium Scan done at U of M Heart Health Care and some very specific blood-work at my primary care clinic and took all of that to consult with Dr. Klodas.

We talked about food and how diet affects our body and our heart and she referenced the “Blue Zones” diet as being a proven model of success. The Blue Zones are areas that have the highest population of people that are living longer and living longer better than other areas of the world. Check out the website or book to learn more- it’s pretty fascinating and simple. At it’s heart it is living/eating close to the land, maintaining exercise and good social connections,  and not drinking too much or eating a lot of meat.

As part of her passion for prevention through diet,  she created Step One Foods, which are designed specifically with heart health in mind and created to help you improve your cholesterol. They contain the precise amounts of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, and antioxidants that have been extensively documented to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health.

I subscribed to the Step One Foods blog  and am finding it has lots of really good information focused on heart health diet and nutrition and would recommend it to anyone looking to learn a bit more about heart health and what you can do from a non- medicine, natural standpoint to improve it.

Vessel Care

This is a new supplement that I am trying that was recommended by my primary care doctor based on a family history of extreme vascular issues. It is made by Metagenics and is called Vessel Care/ Methyl Care. It is I checked with my acupuncturist to be sure it wouldn’t interact with any of the herbs I am taking, and have now added this to my arsenal starting yesterday. I will report back on this later and let you know my experience/ results.

What’s in that smoothie?!?

If you saw my Instagram post, then you already know- everything but the kitchen sink as the saying goes. I am notorious for not eating- not because I don’t love to eat (I do!), but because I get so busy and task focused that I just don’t take the time I should to make meals and sit and eat.

So, my solution is to be sure that everyday after I workout I make a “Junk/ Dump/ Kitchen Sink” smoothie so I know even if I fail at making time to eat or I don’t eat as healthy as I should for the day, I will have gotten in all my core supplements in one fell swoop. Is it a perfect answer? No, but reality is that it’s better than not getting any of it at all which is what would happen if I didn’t at least have my guaranteed once a day uber healthy shake.

So, what’s in it? Protein, greens, collagen, spirulina, vitamins, turmeric, BCAA’s, coconut milk and frozen fruit. It tastes better than it looks when you blend it all up and it turns to the color of swamp water. In fact, one of my co-workers had nicknamed it “Swampjuice” for just that reason and it stuck. I don’t make it for flavor, I make it for function so I just use whatever fruit is in the freezer which means it tastes different every time, but magically always looks about the same color of green. You can check out my Insta post to see what brands I am currently using.

It’s a great time saver and keeps me on some level of healthy everyday no matter how crazy the day may get, so it works for me. Maybe you already do the same thing too but with a different batch of goodies in it, or maybe it’s something you might want to add into your day. Either way, it makes for great conversation if you take it somewhere with you because inevitably someone will ask… “What is in that?!”

Sipping Vinegar

Lot’s of people take Apple Cider Vinegar for it’s health benefits, but Siren Shrub Co. has given Apple Cider Vinegar a whole new life as a cocktail or mocktail beverage of choice. I discovered them at a little artisan store in Wausau, WI where they were doing a sample tasting. It was not at all what I thought it would be- it was delicious and I left with two bottles- Basil and Tart Cherry. I have created all kinds of odd concoctions of my own with it, but they have some fabulous recipes on their website, so I would highly recommend trying one of them.

Hydration from the inside out

It’s winter in Wisconsin, which means dry, blah, pale skin just due to the weather. However about a few weeks ago I found a fabulous new indigestible hydration serum at Target to add to my arsenal to combat the winter skin doldrums- RAE Wellness Hydration formula. It’s great because the hyaluronic acid in it plumps and hydrates skin from the inside out with these mostly tasteless drops. I put it in my water, my smoothies, whatever drink I am having and its such an easy way to increase my skins hydration and glow. Bonus- it’s vegan and gluten free.

 


I hope you enjoyed the first edition of HWH and that each week there is some kernel of goodness in it for you! 


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective

 

 

 

 

Extasy Hair Salon

‘Wellness is a measure of someone’s mental and physical health… It comprises nearly every aspect of your life, measures and compares them with each other, and puts you at a certain ‘wellness’ level, which is arbitrary to every individual. Once you have a measure of the aspects in your life as a whole, aligned with how you feel, you have your very own wellness level.’

~Monika Greczek, Owner of Extasy Hair Studio and Spa

Welcome to The Collective: Extasy Hair Studio & Spa!

Monika is the owner of Extasy Hair Studio & Spa based in Palos Hills, IL, and not only does she have a wonderful holistic based salon, but she carries a fabulous line up of natural products to help you look and feel your best!

I have known Monika for years and she is the real deal. She researches, tests, and uses the products she sells (if she doesn’t use it, you can be certain she will not carry it in her salon) and is always discovering innovative new products. She is fully engaged personally and professionally in helping her family, her friends, and her clients live their best lives; mind, body, and soul through her services and products. You can follow the salon on Facebook@extasyhairstudio and Instagram@extasyhairstudioandspa.

Below, I am highlighting three of the many amazing products she carries. And if you haven’t heard of them, you should definitely reach out to her to learn more, obtain your exclusive Collective discount, and try them for yourself.

1. Neora Skincare

As I mentioned, I have known Monika for a while. Last summer we were at the lake and she had absolutely no makeup on and she looked amazing. So amazing, that I asked her if she had work done (there is no shame in my game). Her skin was smooth, tight and glowing.  She had no bags, no dark circles under her eyes. I was convinced she must have had Botox. She laughed at me and said that she had not had anything done, but she had changed to a new skincare line called Neora.

Check out her before and after photos on her Facebook and you will see why I was certain she had work done. She is a walking testament to the power of this natural skincare line formulated by powerful plant based science. I asked her for the inside scoop on what she uses in her daily skin care routine, and here’s her favorites : the Age IQ Double-Cleansing Face Wash, IllumaBoost Brightening & Shield Serum, Age IQ Eye Serum and the Age IQ Day and Evening Cream’s. She also mentioned that it is all about layering with this system, so when you talk to her be sure to ask her what the magic order is.

2. Uforia Supplements

There are no shortage of good supplement companies out there. This one though is pretty special. Uforia sends you a DNA kit to swab your saliva and then they create customized supplement nutrition based specifically on your bodies unique DNA and needs.

Every formulation is vegan, non-gmo, gluten free and made from the highest quality plant based ingredients. Their website does a great job of explaining the science and process and I would recommend you check them out!

3. Voxxlife Socks

If you have not heard of these and you work on your feet all day, have any health challenges, or just want to feel better- you want to get a pair of these high tech socks designed to improve balance, mobility, and pain management they also improve energy, neural health, and recovery time.

Voxxlife is a human performance technology company that offers socks, shoe insoles and patches you can wear to create a neuropath to faster wellness. Again the science on these is pretty interesting and the website does a great job of explaining it.  Pro golfer Chip McDaniel uses them, as do many other everyday and professional athletes. And, doctors and practitioners are recommending them to their patients as an innovative new tool for optimal health.


Thanks again to Monika and Extasy Hair Studio & Spa for joining The Collective, we are grateful for your vision, passion, knowledge and partnership. Please reach out to Monika for more information on any of the products featured today. 


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective