“To be a good parent you need to take care of yourself so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.”

~Michelle Obama

 

What is HWH?

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. This week it’s addressing the corona virus that is impacting everyone in some way.

Focus on the good news

If you follow Dave Ramsey or Paul Revelia on Instagram you have already been seeing their good news about the Corona Virus posts and stories- if they are not on your list of folks you follow you might want to check out their feed as of late.  I am grateful to people that are keeping things in perspective and sharing any tidbits of good news.

Another reason to check out Dave- great financial and life advice and always great stories that he tells in his podcast. He has a great bit right now about what to do with your money if you are freaking out about the economy and speaks to the balance of some people being fear based and others anger based.

And Paul is focusing on keeping people healthy and fit while away from the gym so you can go to his YouTube channel for tons of great videos to watch that are short, fun, and full of useful information if you are into weightlifting.

Prayer and perspective

I love Kerri Walsh Jennings for a lot of reasons- she is a kick butt Olympic medalist beach volleyball player, mom, wife, and advocate of living your best life mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually (and I really wish I could have her fabulous mane of hair!). This week she shared the most authentic and beautiful post speaking from the heart about everything going on with Covid19 and re-posting a humbling lovely prayer I would suggest you check out that will remind you to keep things in perspective.

The Corona Virus is affecting all of us. And it is a different experience for everyone based on so many factors including:

  • kids/ no kids
  • income/ no income
  • savings/ no savings
  • job/ no job
  • able to work remote/ not able to work remote
  • good health/ compromised health
  • availability of supplies/ no availability to supplies
  • support system/ no support system and isolated
  • strong mental health/ weakened mental health
  • where we live, how mobile we are, access to technology and internet, etc..

This is hard for some and harder for others. Just be kind, be helpful, and be safe. We are all going through this together and we all have something to give that can make it better for someone else.  And don’t forget our animal friends, they need our help just as much now as ever.

Make the best of it

We don’t have control over a lot of things in our life right now, but we do have control over how we choose to react.  Whether you are home alone or with a herd of children try to make the best of it. Keep your sense of humor- whether that’s talking to people on the phone or Facetime, reading cartoons or a funny book, or watching a comedy it’s important to keep laughter going for your mind and soul.

Be mindful. Maybe the house needs a deep clean- this is the perfect time to do it. Closets, desks and storage areas need sorted out and gone through? Now’s a great time. Kids or pets need extra love and attention? Maybe you have some extra time now to dedicate to them- or anyone in your family.

We live at warp speed and this is a forced different pace. Not necessarily slower for some people- just different so we have to figure out how to best navigate the change and make the best of it. Find what works for you and enjoy what you can.


Stay well, stay healthy and STAY home my friends. And thank those that do not get to – your doctors, nurses, police, military, fire, EMT,  and other workers on the front lines of this mess. They are true heroes and deserve love, respect and admiration. 

I hope you enjoyed this edition of HWH and that each week there is some kernel of goodness and usefulness in it for you!  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram to stay connected.


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective

 

 

 

 

 

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”

~Kofi Annan

 

What is HWH?

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.

Well + Good

Well + Good is a plethora of health and well-being lifestyle information- fitness, beauty, travel, food, home and everything in between- they have it covered! Their blogs are amazing and the newsletter is definitely worth signing up. Every single issue I find something useful or interesting, making it well worth adding one more email to my inbox.

If you click around a little on their site you will find they have a Wellness Collective sponsored by Athleta, a section dedicated strictly to video posts,  a Well + Good Cookbook for the foodies out there, and Well + Good Talks (think Ted/ TedX) and Well + Good Retreats. Worth a visit!

Goop

Anyone that has been reading my blogs is going to already know I am a fan of Gwynnie and her Goop. But there’s a reason and it’s not just because it’s Gwyneth and she’s pretty, cool, and fun. She has created a fabulous lifestyle blog that sends out an equally fabulous newsletter. Again, you will be very likely to find something of interest in every issue because as a lifestyle brand they cover fashion, beauty, food, wellness, travel, work, and even have a mens feature.

You will also want to buy things if you go to the site. You can shop your heart out and get just about anything you ever dreamed you might want and certainly need, but hey that’s okay- a girl’s gotta look good! And if Gwynnies Goop Glow really will make my skin look like hers I am in!

mindbodygreen

MBG is all about connecting life and science and making ours better, which is why I added this to list. As a lifestyle brand they cover food, health, beauty, relationships, parenting, home and movement but they take it up a notch with a few more categories including mindfulness, social good, and the planet. They offer wellness resources and products including programs, vitamins, supplements, and revitalize events that you can watch videos of if you can’t attend. Their newsletter always delivers useful, engaging and interesting content that you can use on the daily to improve your life in some way, shape or form.

Sakara Life

If you have never heard of Sakara, first of all you will want to be prepared to have an overwhelming desire to buy their food delivery service when you see the drool worthy food they are going to deliver to you! But in addition to the food service, they put out a fantastic newsletter/online  magazine that is brimming with recipes, tips, and inspiration you don’t want to miss. Check out their organic plant based food service plans and also their bars, powders, supplements, snacks, and chocolate.

Spring Forest Qiqong

Introduced to ChunYi Lin and his beautiful meditations by my acupuncturist years ago, I have been a long time fan of Spring Forest Qigong. In addition to healing resources like meditations, recipes, supplements, articles, special events and more; Spring Forest Qigong offers training and certification for those interested in becoming a practitioner or deepening their knowledge of qigong. Their newsletter is an amazing resource filled with love, healing, and wisdom that you can use in your life on a daily basis.


I hope you enjoyed this edition of HWH and that each week there is some kernel of goodness and usefulness in it for you!  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram to stay connected.


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective

 

 

 

 

“I’m not your typical dietitian. Consider me your new favorite non-diet dietitian who listens to your individual needs and concerns, who supports you as you create a new, positive relationship with food, and who may even give you a piece of chocolate to savor and enjoy..”

~Kara Hoerr

Welcome to The Collective: Kara Hoerr Nutrition!

If you are looking for someone authentic, kind, helpful, and knowledgeable to partner with you to re-vamp your eating habits, you have found her! Kara’s approach is grounded in reality- the reality that there are a lot of delicious foods out there for us to enjoy and maybe not all of them are the healthiest of choices, but that doesn’t mean we can find balance.

In fact, that is her goal is to help you enjoy food again- no shame, no guilt, no judgement- just assistance with creating a realistic and approachable plan that works specifically for you and brings back a love and enjoyment of eating and nourishing yourself and your family.

Kara offers healthy lifestyle nutrition coaching, family and childhood nutrition coaching, and nutrition consulting services as well as helpful specialty programs including a refrigerator reset, nutrition store tours, and in-home family cooking experiences.

You can find out more about her professional background, personality, approach, and her customized programs on her website at Kara Hoerr Nutrition (I have outlined the process of working with her below), follow her on Instagram, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter at the bottom of her home page!

Step 1: Free 30 minute call to connect.

Start with a complimentary 30-minute discovery call with Kara!  There is no commitment to any package or program with the call. During the call, you will have an opportunity to talk to her about your challenges and goals, and she will share with you how she can help turn those goals into a lifelong reality.

Step 2: Initial session.

This is the kick off! During this first session, you will meet either in person or virtually through a secure video chat. Kara will do a full nutrition and health assessment to really get to know where you’re at – whether that’s individually or as a family. From there, you will talk through realistic goals that will get you started to a healthier lifestyle.

Step 3: Between visit support.

Behaviors and habits don’t change overnight, and Kara understands this. That’s why packages include 30-minute follow-up coaching sessions to touch base and hear about your successes and challenges. In between sessions, you’ll have unlimited between visit support with real time advice and encouragement – you’ll literally have access to a nutrition expert right at your fingertips!

Just a few reasons to schedule a call with Kara…

In the words of clients who love and adore her and appreciate how she has helped them. You can read more testimonials on Kara’s website.

“As a busy professional middle-aged woman, I found it time to learn more about eating healthy while on the go. Kara was an excellent resource with a creative and collaborative approach to my unique needs, no cookie cutter approach. I am meeting my goals of eating on the go, not starving myself, and watching my health improve.” ~ Jill

“I reached out to Kara to improve energy levels during athletic training. During our first session together, she clearly explained the weak and strong points of my diet and gave me some advice for simple but impactful changes. After 3 weeks of making these changes, I definitely have more energy while training, get fatigued less quickly, and in general feel less tired throughout the week. I’m very happy I decided to work with Kara and can’t wait to share my future sports achievements with her.” ~ Diego


Thank you to Kara Hoerr Nutrition for joining The Collective, we are grateful for your vision, passion, knowledge and partnership. Please reach out to her for more information or to schedule an appointment!


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective

 

 

 

 

 

“Do something today, that your future self will be thankful for.”

~Unknown

 

HWH #4: This weeks round up- Consistency, Meal Prepping, and an Alternative Statin

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.

Consistency

I have been on a new workout program for 4 weeks and am feeling amazing, yet very tired- partly due to not getting enough sleep (four kids, a husband on a very different schedule than you, and two crazy dogs will do that), and partly due to my body acclimating to the new physical stress being put on it.

But every day, I make myself get up and before I do anything else, as soon as the kids are out the door I am on my way to the gym. I am one of those people that struggles with putting myself first, so this is a major accomplishment to prioritize myself and my health as number one and letting all else fall in after. And it is so worth it.  By carving out this space just for me and my wellness, I am slowly returning to myself mentally, emotionally and physically after a very long hiatus due to a long term caregiver role with my mom, grieving her death, an insane schedule for too many years, and my own health taking a toll from all of it.

The old me would have wanted far more progress in four weeks, and would have been very disappointed at this stage.  Current me has finally maybe learned the lesson of consistency and taking it little by little. I realize this is a long term comeback not an overnight one- as most comeback’s are.  In the interest of not getting injured and being derailed as usually happened in the past, I am going much lighter with the weights and cardio intensity than I would have normally. And the beauty is- it’s working. Six days a week I show up at the gym, put in the work at an appropriate level for where my fitness is at and I am making progress without injury.

Most of all what consistency is teaching me is that regardless of the quality of my workout or mood, showing up counts. And really- this is true of anything in life- consistency is the magic ticket. Money and savings- be consistent. Relationships and friendships- be consistent. Food and diet- be consistent. No matter what it is, progress and results come from putting in the work consistently.

Meal Prepping

Whether you are busy, on a very specific diet and need to bring your food with you, or lazy meal prepping is the answer. At one point in my life I got really good at it then fell off the wagon and am now going to put it back in place in our life. Meal prepping is simply making multiple meals at once and packaging them up into grab and go containers for the week.

My husband has transitioned to a plant based diet which is so amazing and I am so excited for him because he is feeling great and having improvements in blood pressure. So, I decided this week after getting up at 5 am to prep lunch for him each morning (because otherwise he will eat a banana and call it good but be ridiculously hangry), that I needed to get back on the meal prep bandwagon so I can do it all on Sunday and sleep in a little!  And it will benefit me too because I am very guilty of missing lunch because I am too busy to cook something and PB&J’s get old at some point.

So I am spending Thursday- Saturday picking menu items and making a grocery list so we can shop, chop, cook, cool, and place into containers all of our lunch meals for the week. There are so many great resources and ideas for meal prepping on YouTube and Pinterest. Whether you are Plant Based, Keto, Paleo, Whole 30 or any other type of diet you can find loads of recipes and meals.

Some of my favorites meal prep/ what I eat in a day for vegans that you may want to check out on YouTube are Fit Vegan Chef Natalie Matthews (Vegan Bodybuilding)Bianca Taylor (Vegan Bodybuilding), Ruth May (Vegan Keto), Lauren Henry (Medical Medium Protocol), Fully Raw Kristina (Raw Vegan).

A Natural Alternative to Statins

Clearly heart health has been a topic in my life lately. All is great with my ticker (thank you for the tests to be sure Dr. Haugan and Dr. Klodas!), but in the interest of preventative health my acupuncturist at Crocus Hill Oriental Medicine and doctors decided that taking an herbal statin alternative to address slightly elevated cholesterol was a good idea to try, so I am now taking an herbal supplement called Cholisma that is, as it was explained to me in Traditional Chinese Medicine terms, designed to address cholesterol by addressing digestion. I will be re-tested in six months to see how it works!

If you have any cholesterol issues, you might want to talk to your Traditional Chinese Medicine provider or find one on our network to learn more and see if it is a good option for you.


I hope you enjoyed this edition of HWH and that each week there is some kernel of goodness and usefulness in it for you!  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram to stay connected.


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective

 

 

 

 

“Chinese medicine offers another way of understanding our bodies and our lives. In this medicine, we look at everything in context and every part is interdependent within the whole. This perspective is helpful in understanding the interplay of diet, exercise, stress, the environment, and our relationships on our well-being. Well-being is achieved, then, not by fighting against a disease but by cultivating harmony in our lives.”

~Crocus Hill Oriental Medicine

Welcome to The Collective: Crocus Hill Oriental Medicine!

Crocus Hill Oriental Medicine is located on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN and comprised of five fabulous providers- Susan Gillette, Denise Lewis, Jessica French, Lawrence Waechter, and Jennifer Labelstra. Crocus Hill Oriental Medicine offers a full array of Chinese medicine therapies including: acupuncture, herbal therapy, cupping, dietary therapy, and tui na (Chinese medical massage). Their practitioners have diverse experience and specialties, treating a full range of conditions as well as promoting overall health and wellness, including a Reiki master to provide healing through energy work. You can follow them on  Facebook @crocushillclinic.

If you have never tried acupuncture, read on to find out more about this ancient practice and what to expect at an appointment with Crocus Hill.  To make an appointment or ask further questions, you can contact them at contact@crocushillacupuncture.com or call 651-227-6865.

How does acupuncture work?

Special needles are inserted at certain points on the body to stimulate energy, or Qi, along pathways called meridians. The meridians are linked to specific internal organs and organ systems. The needles, which are pre-sterilized and disposable, are extremely thin and cause little or no pain when inserted.

What is Qi?

Qi (pronounced “chee”) is energy in the very broadest sense. It is part of everything you are doing right at this moment: reading, thinking, moving your hand, drinking your tea, listening to your heart beating. It is also the material aspects of all that you have in front of you: your computer, your tea, your feet.

Chinese medicine seeks to restore and maintain health by balancing Qi, the vital energy of life, in order to promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself. When Qi is balanced and flowing, that is, in harmony with the internal and external environment, the body is in good health. Symptoms of illness occur when the energy is either obstructed, deficient, or in any way out of balance.

What is Food Therapy?

One of the most important aspects of Chinese medicine is food. It is what we do for (and to ourselves) any number of times each day and which has an enormous impact on our well-being. This is why an ancient master said ‘Treat with food first. What you can’t heal with food, use acupuncture and herbs.”

This medicine has a way of understanding food that is related to its energy, its Qi. We will give you advice based on the pattern of your body and on the food that is most appropriate to support you, tailoring our suggestions to what you can and want to achieve in your health. We’ll ease you into changes that you can make. We’ll also help you think or rethink how to eat—with mindfulness. As Seneca said, “We kill ourselves daily with knives and forks.”

What is a Medicinal Herbal Foot Soak?

“When a tree dies, it is the roots that die first. When a person ages, it is the feet that age first.” ~ Ancient Chinese proverb

We eagerly look to our devices to see how many steps we’ve taken, but do we take care of the feet that take those steps? Our feet carry the weight of our bodies some 1,500 times for every mile we walk. Each foot contains over 7,000 nerve endings, 107 ligaments, nineteen muscles and twenty-six bones (one fourth of all the bones in the body). For many people, feet are a low priority when it comes to the care and attention we give our bodies. And yet, they are our connection to the Earth.  They are our foundation.  All it takes is an irritation on the tiniest toe to give discomfort to our total being.

The herbs are heated in water that you then soak your feet in for 20-30minutes daily.  The warmth activates the herbs to increase blood circulation in your feet and up your legs.  The herbs in the formula also help to eliminate dampness and phlegm.

So if you have been suffering from cold feet, neuropathy, arthritic pain or any of many foot conditions, regular foot soak therapy will reduce these problems.  Because the feet have so many nerves and connections to the rest of the body, regular foot soaks have also reduced knee, hip, and low back pain, and, perhaps surprisingly, upper body pain as well.  Because they help increase circulation, they have also been useful in eliminating many gynecological problems.

This is not the same as soaking your feet in Epsom salts (which can be great) or detoxing with ionic foot baths.  Our soaks are formulated by a longtime practitioner of Chinese medicine and do much more than other brands you might find on the internet.

The foot soak therapy in conjunction with herbs taken internally, dietary changes, meditation, rest, and other lifestyle considerations can be the best thing that you do for yourself and your hard working feet.

Do I have to be sick to get acupuncture? Can I use this medicine for wellness?

This medicine is based on strengthening the body to prevent illness, and historically has been used to prevent illness. Many people use Chinese medicine as part of their health maintenance plan. Some come in once a month, while others come in with each change of season.

How many times will I need to come in for treatments??

That depends on your ailment and your general health. Some people will respond to treatment more quickly than others. Our goal is to affect your body’s energy so that your body will begin to take over the healing process. At your initial visit, we will let you know how many times we recommend for you treatment plan. Near the end of a treatment plan, we will assess your progress and make changes in our plans if necessary.

What are your certifications?

Our acupuncturists have Master’s degrees in Oriental Medicine, are licensed by the State of Minnesota Medical Board, and are certified through the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

 


Thank you to Crocus Hill Oriental Medicine for joining The Collective, we are grateful for your vision, passion, knowledge and partnership. Please reach out to them for more information or to schedule an appointment!


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective

 

 

 

 

 

“A healthy life means a happy life, a happy life means a healthy life.”

~Melanie M. Koulouris

 

HWH #3: This weeks round up- CBD, The Game Changers, and EFT

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.

CBD for Pets.

I have three adorable pets- my cat that was a stray in the woods 20 years ago, and two dogs from rescue groups- one that is getting to be a senior. I stopped into The Healthy Place in Middleton, WI to see what they had for pets and walked out with some CBD oil as a trial for my very old and probably a little achy cat and to see if it would chill out my two high anxiety dogs.

The staff was super friendly and helpful- shout out to Ross for his awesome customer service. He recommended trying Wild Theory full spectrum cannabinoid for pets. I liked that they were a local company based out of Verona, WI so took his advice and brought some home.

We have not been consistent with the dosing yet (goal for next week)- but I do think it is making a difference for my elderly cat so I will see how it goes next week.  The dogs I did not notice so much of an effect with, but in fairness they have not been given it regularly and I don’t think I gave them enough because I wanted to err on the side of caution.

The other cool thing is they make it in bacon flavor for the pets! I got the original flavor and they don’t seem to mind it, but if it works, I will get bacon next time.

The Game Changers

It’s winter in WI, so that means more inside time, which means more Netflix. If you haven’t seen The Game Changers, I highly recommend putting it on your watch list if you are interested in improving athletic performance, creating longevity, nutritional science, or just like an interesting documentary.

Presented by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic and Chris Paul — it is a revolutionary new film about meat, protein and strength. Whether you are for, against, or just curious about a plant based diet, the science presented in the documentary is interesting and the interviews with elite level athletes are engaging.

In addition to the movie, the website is filled with information and resources on how to start a plant based meal lifestyle including a newsletter with tips and recipes and more and is definitely worth checking out whether you are already plant based or are considering going to a more plant based diet.

EFT

I visited my acupuncturist this week and we were discussing anxiety, fear, and the big emotions that surround significant changes in our life’s and she suggested that I should check out Nick Ortner : The Tapping Solution. I had seen tapping in the Netflix documentary Heal (another must watch!) and thought it looked interesting and powerful, but just hadn’t taken the time to learn more, so I guess now is the time! I feel like it is going to be extremely helpful to me and looking forward to experiencing it.

EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques is a form of counseling intervention that draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy. There are some further explanations of the value of EFT under the research section on his website from a host of well known medical professionals.

Nick’s website is filled with information- there are books, programs, DVD’s, a blog, meditations and more- it’s a little overwhelming honestly. My acupuncturist had suggested starting with the movie and the book for the basics, so I think I will take that advice and then expand from there into all the other resources available.

There are also EFT practitioners that you can go see if you prefer not to DIY it, and there is certainly value in having someone walk you through this technique whether because you are new to it, or because you are dealing with very significant therapy issues that would benefit from having a professional involved.


I hope you enjoyed this edition of HWH and that each week there is some kernel of goodness and usefulness in it for you!  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram to stay connected.


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective

 

 

 

 

 

“Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.” ~J. Stanford

 

HWH #2: This weeks round up- goop, KIN Euphorics, vegan BCAA’s

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.

The goop Lab Docuseries on Netflix.

If you are not familiar with goop– it’s Gwyneth Paltrows lifestyle brand that she started in 2008 which has always been focused on wellness and alternative wellness and health ideas. This has now expanded to a docuseries which is  described on their website as:

” It’s goop HQ’s worst-kept secret: Gwyneth is both our CEO and our bravest guinea pig. That open-minded ethos is adopted by staffers, too—if you’ve watched The goop Lab on Netflix, then you get it. We love being vulnerable and asking difficult questions and trying new things. It’s our job.”

If you haven’t seen it, go binge watch it tonight or this weekend. There are six episodes, each one focused on a different aspect of wellness. Do not watch this with the kids though- it is definitely for mature audiences only. The six episodes cover psychedelic psychotherapy, Wim Hof (the Ice Man) and his cold immersion and breathing techniques, female pleasure with sex educator Betty Dodson, biological age and wellness, energy field healing with John Amarel, and psychic abilities with Laura Lynne Jackson

Anyone interested in alternative care and natural/ holistic therapies and modalities should find this whole series pretty interesting. Is it pure science? Definitely not. There are scientists and professionals that are consulted and featured, but at it’s heart it’s Gwyneth and her employees testing things out and sharing their experiences and results. All in all, if nothing else, it is certainly conversation provoking and the topics are interesting and relevant.

Kin Euphorics

More than just a non-alcoholic alternative,  Kin Euphorics are crafted for “conscious connection” and made with balancing adaptogens, replenishing nootropics, and nourishing botanics. Touted as “All bliss, no booze”, they create a drinking alternative that nourishes mind, body and soul while socializing without the after-effects of drinking.

There are 3 options to choose from (descriptions are pulled from the website) and recipes are available on their site as well:

High Rhode: Put the soul back in social. High Rhode is an herbaceous euphoric with a tart, floral finish that is meant to be mixed. Sip for a new take on nightlife.

Kin Spritz: Just grab and flow. Kin Spritz is a sparkling euphoric pre-mixed with fresh citrus, hibiscus, and ginger. We did the work, so you can bring the party with you.

Dream Light: Make sleep a celebration. Dream Light is an earthy, smoky, smoothly spiced euphoric. Sip to close the night, drift to your deepest dreams, and rise ready for the day ahead.

If you are unfamiliar with euphorics (I was), this is the download on what they are and how they work according to their website:

“Euphorics feel different for everyone. For some, it’s a mind-easing calm. For others, it’s an uplifting joy. You are just as much of an ingredient as the ones inside the can. Here’s why: adaptogens adapt to your body. Like a thermostat, they turn us up or calm us down depending on what we need to rebalance. So while you may feel an urge to get up and dance at a lively party, a friend at an intimate dinner may be more inclined to sink into deep conversation. Your unique neurochemistry and hormones — along with sleep quality and stress levels — all have an effect on how euphorics affect you.”

They also have an advisory warning that says:

“Do not consume if you are under 18. Do not consume if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or may become pregnant; have a medical condition, including but not limited to GI disorders heart disease, or hypertension; taking any medication including but not limited to Coumadin, antidepressants, MAO inhibitors or SSRIs. Do not consume with alcohol. May cause drowsiness, so do not consume when driving or operating heavy equipment. Use only as directed: start with a single serving and increase slowly to determine the amount that works for you. Do not consume more than 4 servings in 24 hours. Keep out of reach of children. Discontinue use immediately if you feel any unwanted effects.”

So that said…. this should be interesting. I tend to be a person who has the opposite effect of whatever I take is supposed to give me. I decided to order the Spritz because it comes in four little cans and seemed to make the most sense for a test run. I will check in next week and let you know how my euphoric experience went!

Vegan BCAA’s

BCAA’s have long been a pre/during/post workout staple for bodybuilders, cross-fitters, triathletes and other intense sport folks to help with muscle soreness, endurance, and muscle protection and building.The problem for vegans has been that are typically made up of human hair, duck feathers and animal skin/ hair. (GROSS!)

Not Clean Machine BCAA’s. They are made from 100% Fermented Non-GMO corn, sunflower seeds and coconut water and are naturally flavored, colored, and sweetened and I would highly recommend you try them.

Having just been cleared to get back in the gym and lift after a two year hiatus, I am drinking these left and right to help with muscle recovery and repair and fat loss. I haven’t tried the Lemonade, but will next time I order. The Fruit Punch flavor reminds me of the Kool-Aid Fruit Punch in a packet that I drank as a kid.

Sometimes I will mix it with a packet of Emergen-C and I usually add a dropper full of RAE Hydration too. Whether that impacts the effectiveness I am not sure, but if you read the post about my dump shake then you already know I am all for function and will add everything I can to get in all the goods at one time.


I hope you enjoyed this edition of HWH and that each week there is some kernel of goodness and usefulness in it for you!  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram to stay connected.


Cheers & Be Well,

Heather Sloan initials

Heather Sloan

Heather Sloan
Founder & CEO,          The Alt Care Collective

 

 

 

 

 

“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

 

 

 

 

Posural Healing

“Postural Healing uses Postural Alignment Therapy and Mind-Body Medicine Fundamentals to eliminate chronic pain and improve overall health by addressing not only the body as a whole, but by healing the whole person — body, mind and spirit. Our mission is to help you heal from chronic pain and discover lifelong tools you can use to remain active and pain free.”

~Anna Forliti, Owner of Postural Healing LLC

Welcome to The Collective: Postural Healing!

Anna Forliti is the owner of Postural Healing located at Wellness Minneapolis in Minneapolis, MN.  Her amazing practice is designed to help you get into harmony with your body through muscular work that aligns and balances your overall posture and body function. You can follow her on Instagram or Facebook @posturalhealing.

Below are some highlights from her practice to give you an inside look at why she chose this path, how it has benefited her, and how it can benefit you! To make an appointment or find out more, you can contact her at anna@posturalhealing.com or make an appointment online at her webpage.

What is Postural Alignment Therapy?

Postural Alignment Therapy uses gentle corrective exercises to re-balance muscles and realign the eight major load joints returning the body to its natural design posture. Restoring alignment and balance allows the body to naturally regenerate and heal itself while improving overall health. It looks at the body as a whole and focuses on eliminating the cause of pain and dysfunction rather than treating symptoms which creates effective and lasting results.

What is your own personal story and experience with Postural Alignment Therapy?

After my second child was born, chronic neck, back, and joint pain hit me. After spending much time, energy and money trying various modalities I had lost hope of feeling good again and began to accept that pain was just part of my life. And sometime later, I injured my back and was in severe pain.

It was when I found Postural Alignment Therapy, that I finally found a means to eliminate my own chronic pain. I was thrilled to learn that pain did not have to be part of my life and that my pain was related to my posture. I was not broken and there was nothing to fix!

Today I am pain free and have been for over a decade. As a result, I am able to do all the things I love. Through this process I have gained a much deeper body awareness, and listen to the signals my body is sending. My quality of life is greatly improved as I am not limited by pain and dysfunction.

How does it work and can it help me too?

Postural Alignment Therapy is for everyone! All of us develop muscle imbalances from past injuries, sedentary lifestyle, repetitive motions from work, hobbies, sports, etc. All of us can improve posture to prevent injury, increase function and improve overall health.

Poor posture is a symptom or warning from the body that can present in many ways including pain, decreased function, decreased energy levels, depression, etc. If we look twisted and shriveled on the outside how does that relate to the condition of our internal health? Our emotional state? Our energy flow? Our posture is often an outward reflection of our internal well-being.

Postural Healing is process involves more than just re-establishing the musculoskeletal system. All of our systems begin to respond to this new stimulus. When our musculoskeletal system is balanced then our entire being moves back to a more balanced state including our emotional state and our energy flow. Our internal organs move back to where they were designed to be relative to each other and to gravity allowing all of our systems to function more efficiently and the body to begin its own natural healing process.

What are your certifications?

Today my mission is to improve the lives of those I come in contact with by empowering them to eliminate their own chronic pain and to age gracefully without limitation.

As a certified Postural Alignment Specialist and Advanced Exercise Therapist certified by Egoscue University, I will give you the tools I was given to improve my health. Through this beautiful and gentle process you will rediscover that you have the power to improve your health igniting the desire to continually grow body, mind, and spirit. My certifications and membership involvement include:

  • Advanced Exercise Therapist certified by Egoscue University
  • CPR/AED certified through Red Cross
  • Professional Fitness/Wellness Coaching certification from LifeTime Academy
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist
  • Member of the MN Holistic Medical Group
  • Advanced Mind-Body Medicine Fundamentals
  • Provider at Bhakti Wellness Center
  • Volunteer Provider at Pathways Health Crisis Resource Center

 


Thanks again to Anna and Postural Healing for joining The Collective, we are grateful for your vision, passion, knowledge and partnership. Please reach out to Anna for more information or to book an appointment for her services. 


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