Create Your Best Health Plan

bestyourbestselfEveryone’s health needs are different. With all the advertising coming at us each and every day, from television to the internet to billboards and gyms, it’s easy to get pulled in to health plans that simply aren’t right for you. The commercials for these methods show astounding results (50 pounds lost! 50 pounds of muscle gained!), but that plan may not work the same for everyone.

Each and every body is different, and therefore it makes sense that each and every individual needs a different sort of health plan. The ones advertised can offer a great starting point, sure. On top of that, it’s up to you to find your perfect rhythm, diet and fitness plans to becoming your best you!

Answering a few of these questions may just be the best way to get started.

What do you truly enjoy?
Start here. What health-related activities make you the happiest? Does jogging soothe you? Do you love power-walking with friends? What about cooking up delicious meals? Take your health-related passions (or even those things you don’t really mind doing) and make it a goal to incorporate those activities into your daily life.

Is this something you can keep up with?
The best intentions are only as good as how you enact them. Making huge, lofty goals is all in good fun, but often they become difficult to keep up with. Picking smaller goals will make your regimen addictive, always on your way to the next tangible goal. On top of this, be sure that the goals you choose fit into your daily life accordingly. If you work until 9pm, for example, the goal of nightly workouts may not be so realistic.

Are you surrounded by a positive, supportive group?
Having a core group cheering you on is one of the best motivators towards success. If you enjoy exercising or cooking alone for some downtime, get involved with reading blogs that offer great tips and a community of like-minded people striving for the same achievements.

shutterstock_59208547How do you feel?
Check-in with yourself every once in a while. When schedules get busy and time is limited, it can be easy to run through the motions without giving new routines a second glance. Are you feeling revived, amped up, and rejuvenated from your health plan, or does it have you feeling super sore and sluggish? Giving yourself a little mental check-in could make all the difference in continuing your newly developed plan.

Are there ways to better this for you?
Once you’ve nailed down a great routine, don’t stay stagnant. Take time to reflect upon what you’re doing well in achieving your goals and what you aren’t enjoying so much about your routine. Remember, this is YOUR plan. If you don’t like something, change it!

How do you design your life around health and fitness? We’d love to hear your tips and tactics!

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Homemade Healthier Halloween Candies

Halloween comes with adorable, fun costumes, spooky haunted houses and a whole lot of yummy sweets. Having all that Halloween candy lying around the house before the trick-or-treaters knock on the door can lead to some awfully tempting munching.

While it’s great to indulge every once and a while, we always say make the indulgence worth it! Those pre-packaged candies are delicious, but are often filled with artificial ingredients and chemicals, making them not-so-healthy for your body to ingest.

Make the most of this Halloween season by whipping up your own, healthier versions of your favorite candies. Some people even follow the rule to only eat desserts when they’re homemade, a great idea to avoiding tempting sweets. Chances are you’ll like these (surprisingly) healthier versions even better than the original… so nosh away without the guilt!

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Made with only three, simple ingredients, these homemade Resee’s are easy to whip up, all natural, and well worth the indulgence!

 

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Homemade Butterfingers
These easy, textured candies are made up of only four ingredients… much less than in the normal buttery concoction!

 

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Dark Chocolate-Covered Peppermint Patties
These babies are made of coconut, cashews and an important all-natural sweetener: maple syrup! With antioxidants from the dark chocolate and coconut and protein from the cashews, you can feel-good munching away on these deliciously refreshing candies.

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Healthy Whoppers
What an awesome surprise… toasting up protein-packed chickpeas gives them a whopper-like consistency! Cover them in chocolate and you have a much healthier, still scrumptious whopper.

 

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Homemade Caramel Apples
The store-bought, packaged caramel meant for apples simply doesn’t have the same appeal as these goodies. These aren’t necessarily the healthiest of the bunch, but they are made with natural sweeteners (honey and rapadura) that give them a whole-food kick over the conventional.

What are your favorite Halloween candies? Do you ever make them from scratch? Share your recipes with us below… if you dare!

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How Does a Local Farm Welcome Fall?

walthamfieldslogoFall is an interesting, wonderful, transitional time for food. Switching from light summer fruits and veggies like zucchini, berries and watermelon and moving towards rich, hearty sweet potatoes, kale and apples makes the change in seasons even more tangible.

In order for this produce to switch over from perfect-for-salads to perfect-for-stews, there’s a whole lot of work that needs to be done on our local farms. Growing season is one thing, but prepping for the winter is another whole animal.

We chatted with our local community farm, Waltham Fields Community Farm, about what they’re doing to prepare for winter. Right now, they’re in the midst of sowing cover crops to replenish nutrients in the soil.

Cover crops are a mix of plants that are grown to be cut down and turned under as a way to replenish and supply valuable nutrients back into the soil for future crop use,” the farmers explained. “We are currently using mixes of oats and peas, and rye and vetch, for our cover crops.  They will provide a fertility boost and add organic matter to the soil.”

Cover crops are sometimes called “green manure” and are considered an example of an organic gardening process. Luckily, this method isn’t exclusive to larger farms… it can be used on small backyard gardens as well!

watermelonradishThe farmers welcome this change in season happily and love all the new produce that comes with it. “While summer seems like the time for leafy greens, many greens are at their best after a cold snap helps convert some of their starches to sugars. Hearty greens such as kale, collards, beet greens and mustard greens are really good right now,” they explained. They also highlighted winter squashes and sweet potatoes as stand-outs for October.

In terms of their favorite recipes, the farmers at Waltham Fields Community Farm believe in simplicity. “It really is true that fresh vegetables taste amazing when treated simply,” they said. They recommend roasting root vegetables with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary as a simple yet delicious weekly dish. They’ll often add broccoli florets, cauliflower and watermelon radishes (gorgeously colored veggies with a tie-dye appeal, pictured above) to the mix as well.

“Staff have been enjoying cauliflower ‘steaks’ (lots of recipes online) and making pesto with fennel fronds and walnuts. We also make hearty soups made of squash, or leeks and potatoes,” they said, offering up a couple more fall ideas. “Our Executive Director recently brought to share a sweet potato pie she made that was savory, not sweet – it was delicious, with a hint of citrus flavor.”

Wondering what the farmers do in the winter? They take a well-deserved vacation! There are also localfooddays of planning, hiring and assessing successes and doubts from the previous growing season. Their winter season isn’t too long, however… seedlings begin to be sowed for next season in February or March.

Want to learn more? If you’re in the area, come check out their Harvest Potluck & Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 13th. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate the year’s successful harvest.

If you aren’t in Massachusetts, you can always check out their website… Waltham Fields Community Farm is doing some amazing things for the local community!

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Upcycled Halloween Costumes: DIY!

Halloween is just a couple days away… are you struggling for costume ideas?

Unless you’re super creative, it may feel like each year is a fight with time to think up the best costumes. Some feel too difficult, some overdone, and some just impossible.

We promise there’s an easier way! Whether for your kids, yourself or your pet, we’ve found some easy, fun ideas for simple costumes. Better yet- each one uses materials you already have in your recycling bin, making it easy to stay green and #upcycle this Halloween!

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For the Kids
1) Upcycled Batman: Use an old pillowcase and a bit of felt to make this easy superhero costume.
2) Dinosaur: An old hoodie works perfectly for a last-minute dinosaur costume!
3) Rocket Launcher: Two soda bottles and a bit of felt or construction paper and you’re on your way to an awesome getup.
4) Sweatshirt Monster: For the super last-minute, grab a sweatshirt and some cotton balls and you’ve got yourself an insta-monster!

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For Yourself
-Yogurt cup mouse: Utilize individual yogurt containers and some felt to make this adorable mouse costume!
-Bunch of grapes: Have some balloons hanging around? Instant grapes!
-Rubix cube: With an old box and a bit of paint or construction paper, a rubix cube is a few minutes away.

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For Your Pet
-Pinata: Old t-shirts or fabric scraps make for a super adorable pinata costume for your small pets!

What costumes are you whipping up for Halloween this year? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

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Proudly Made in the USA! Shoes, Bags & Accessories

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Happy Columbus Day! We’re celebrating today with our Made in the USA shop. From clothing to shoes to even food, it can be difficult to find products made in our very own US of A. We’ve put our selection into an easy-to-sort shop, complete with shoes, accessories and bags you’ll love!

Buying products made in the USA isn’t just a way to show your American pride; the same arguments that apply to buying local food from the farmers’ market also apply here. Decreasing the mileage a product has to be shipped to get to your front door saves on natural resources and pollution… helping your environment and country at the same time!

Try some of our American-made shoes, bags and socks and experience the quality so true to these fashionable, sustainable products.

 

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Our Unique Boot Boutique

We’re strong believers here at PlanetShoes that an awesome pair of shoes can totally make an outfit. It’s so easy to go from something drab to an ensemble that makes you stand out with the addition of a great pair of unique shoes. Whether by some added hardware, an awesome color, interesting design features, or surprising waterproof properties, attention-grabbing boots are something we’ve been totally falling for this autumn. Check out some awesome new brands and a couple old ones with updated features, complete with boots that truly spice up even the most creative of wardrobes.

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What are your favorite unique boot brands for fall? We’d love to hear your faves! 

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