An Effortless Summer: Focus on Your Health

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This post was written in collaboration with Effortless Composition. Some of the products mentioned and reviewed were received in exchange for my participation in this collaboration. However, all opinions expressed are my own. 

We’ve talked a little about how to make things pretty this Summer but we haven’t talked about what I’m doing to make myself prettier. And I’m not just talking about losing weight (I’m not) or wearing more makeup (also not). I’m talking about being pretty. Not looking pretty in a moment. Being pretty is different. Being pretty comes from a whole-body health that can’t be imitated with a straightening iron or bronzer. It comes from FEELING GOOD and having energy, from spending time doing the things I love to do and smiling a lot. 

I set out on a mission this year to get healthy. After years of auto-immune issues and fatigue, I found myself craving the energy and spirit of my youth. I wondered, Is it possible to feel young again? I’m not sure, honestly. But in case it is, I’d sure like to try. Here’s how I’m achieving whole-body health, one step at a time. 


This seems pretty obvious, I know. So I figured it was a great place to start. You see, I have a terrible habit of forgetting to eat until it’s too late and I’m nauseated and then the only thing I can stomach is sugar. As much as I love a candy bar, they definitely don’t love me. So not only do I want to change WHAT I eat, I also need to change HOW I eat. I hate cooking. If I don’t have an easy meal prepared, the odds that I’ll actually cook dinner are very low. I also have a family to feed, so we have to eat something and that something is typically fast food or delivery (pizza). Aside from being generally unhealthy options, those foods (greasy, gluten-y, cheesy foods) have been making me feel really sick lately. Like I have the flue.  

So the plan had to be easy to implement, taste delicious, and not consume all of my time. I considered one of those meal delivery services that send you exactly the amount of food you need to prepare a few meals a week. Honestly, we’ve been down that road before. We found the service we used sent us food that was past its prime and the preparation for the meal was extensive. This was work I’d need to do myself. Luckily, I began ordered my groceries through Shipt a few months ago and I love it! It’s hard to shop with a kid and this saves me so much time. Plus, I’m standing in my kitchen when I order, so I can be sure to check our actual needs. It’s expensive, for sure. As a business owner, my time is money and I think I’m actually saving in the long-run. 

Each week when I sit down to order my groceries, I browse through my Pinterest Food Board (here if you’d like to follow) and look for any yummy-looking vegan and gluten-free meals. My current favorite is this Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps recipe from Well Plated. 

from Well Plated
from Well Plated

Vegan AND gluten-free meals are hard to come by, but sometimes I luck out and find a recipe that I can easily convert, like this Vegan Eggplant Lasagna from The Spruce Eats that I made with gluten-free lasagna noodles. 

From The Spruce Eats
From The Spruce Eats

I also appreciated this Guide to Going Dairy Free from Free From Harm. It’s made cooking life much easier for me. 

Then, of course, I have my old fall-back recipes. Everyone does. I modified this taco recipe from a local restaurant and over the years, it’s become one of my family’s favorites. It happens to also be gluten-free and with a slight modification, I easily made it vegan. 

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1 pack corn tortillas
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 tsp Adobo Seasoning
yellow corn (fresh is best but frozen works in a pinch)
1 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro
2 avocados, sliced
Tofutti Sour Cream Substitute

Prepare quinoa according to package directions, adding Adobo Seasoning to water. Heat tortillas in microwave, if desired. Once quinoa is fully cooked, add two spoonfulls to taco shells. Top with remaining ingredients, to taste. It’s seriously so easy and everyone I’ve ever served has loved them. They’re a genuine crowd pleaser. I even make them for big parties and set out a taco bar for people to top themselves. They go perfectly with the Margarita recipe I shared on Instagram Stories last week. 

So that takes care of the dinner concern, but what about meals throughout the day? My biggest revelation has been making morning smoothies. I know it sounds cliche, but I just love that I can pack two servings of veggies into a breakfast that tastes like anything but vegetables. I genuinely hate vegetables. I bought a NutriBullet and am obsessed with making quick recipes each morning. Here are my favorites. 

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1/2 c frozen blueberries
1/4 c frozen raspberries
1/4 c frozen blackberries
two handfuls fresh spinach
1 banana
1 tbsp frozen coconut
2 c almond milk
2 tbsp flax seeds

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1/2 c frozen strawberries
1/4 c yellow squash
two handfuls fresh kale
1 banana
1 tbsp frozen coconut
2 c coconut or almond milk
2 tbsp flax seeds

1/2 c frozen mango
1/2 c frozen pineapple
two handfuls chopped rainbow chard
1 banana
1 tbsp frozen coconut
2 c coconut or almond milk
2 tbsp flax seeds


There’s more to health than just what you put in your body. Another concern is how I’ve been treating my body. I used to be a runner. Running wasn’t my sport. It was my hobby. I ran to clear my head. To jam out to my favorite music. To be alone in the world. Six years ago, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and running has been a casualty to the diagnosis. For a while, I still ran as much as I could. Lately, though, my knees throb all day long and my ankles have started to give out from under me. Simply put, I really shouldn’t be running anymore. It’s too intense on my joints. So I turned to yoga and for a while, that filled the void. I just didn’t get the same satisfaction out of it after a few months. I missed running. So I stopped doing yoga and then I stopped running because it hurt and now I’m basically just sitting around all day.  I’m not a person who thrives in a sedentary life. I need to move. My resolution this Summer is to get as much activity as possible, without joining a gym or forcing myself to learn Pilates. I’ve been hiking. I’ve been swimming. I’ve taken our daughter to the park and walked around picking flowers. I enjoy mowing the lawn. I garden whenever I can. Basically, I’ve found that just being outside is enough to fill my soul. I don’t necessarily have to run. I can make Christine lazily stroll down the sidewalk after dinner and have the same seratonin reaction. 

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I’ve let myself nap. I’m not much of a sleeper. I actually hate it. I have a hard time falling asleep and I always wake up before the sun. Then I’m exhausted by 2:00 every afternoon. At first, I felt guilty about taking naps. After all, those are productive hours I should be spending working. Instead, I’ve got my head buried in my pillow while the rest of the world is getting shit done? Yeah. You know what? I do. Because I accomplish more before the rest of the world is even awake every day, so I am allowing myself an hour of laziness in order to refresh. In fact, there’s a lot I allow myself to do in order to recharge so I can better serve others these days. I read magazines that have previously piled up. I ask Christine to watch my favorite TV shows in bed. I enjoy solo trips to go shopping while my daughter stays with my family. I’ve picked up more design clients than ever, as I pursue my own personal dream.

The big one? The one I was most hesitant to implement? I buy myself one nice, yet frivolous,  thing a week. When I make those purchases, I always try to make sure I’m adding to the overall good in the world. That way, I don’t feel like I’ve just wasted money on myself. I feel like I’ve purchased something worthwhile that will benefit society in a productive and generous way. That’s why I’ve been partnering with Effortless Composition to bring you this series. I just absolutely adore the mission Brittiny, the owner of EO, has in mind for her business. Not only is she showing the world how truly smart and successful women can be, but she’s also giving back to her community and empowering other women to follow their dreams. 

If you haven’t already looked into Brittiny’s shop, Effortless Composition, you can read more about her here. And if you’re still not convinced to get yourself something pretty, allow me to seal the deal by showing you my current favorite items from Effortless Composition. Click the photos to follow the link to purchase. 


There’s nothing more calming than the smell of something I love. Personally, I’m digging the vanilla incense, but you can decide for yourself which of these would make you realx and rejuvenate. 

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I love decor that serves a purpose and these little swirl bowls are gorgeous and helpful! If you’ve gotta throw your keys somewhere, they may as well be tossed into a gorgeous catchall, am I right?

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Blankets are for sleeping. Throws are for relaxing. There’s something so decadent about a throw. I love the fringe, the softness, the subtle warmth. Plus, this one is available in everyone’s current favorite color combo – blue and white. 

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Everyone has ugly stuff to conceal. Toss it in an elegant and timeless urn and you’ll feel instantly more collected. 

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We all need a reminder to be fabulous every now and again. I want this one in my closet. That spot where I always stand, surrounded by the garments I’ve tossed in a frenzy every time I attempt to look presentable. Instant esteem. 

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I bought myself two of these floor cushions a few weeks ago. Did I need them? Nope. Did I want them? Yep. So now I have them and I love them. 

At the end of the day, how we treat ourselves is apparent to everyone around us. And if we’re not treating ourselves with kindness, how does anyone else know they’re supposed to. Be kind to yourselves and let that pretty show. 

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