Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Tasty tuesday update

It’s stick to your New Year’s Resolution day! So if your resolution was to eat healthy here are some snacks and food tips, starting with these pre-packaged (by you at home) smoothie blends. Start with 2 cups of washed, peeled and chopped ingredients as listed below. Package them in a resealable plastic bag and toss in a blender with the listed liquid or your liquid of choice when ready for your smoothie.

1. Berry Blue Smoothie Recipe
Blackberries + Blueberries + Kale + Tea

2. Hello Yellow Smoothie Recipe
Mango + Pineapple + Banana + Yogurt

3. Orange Plunge Smoothie Recipe
Peaches + Apples + Cantaloupe + Orange Juice

4. Think Pink Smoothie Recipe
Strawberries + Raspberries + Red Grapes + Cranberry Juice

5. Green Goodness Smoothie Recipe
Green Grapes + Kiwi + Spinach + Soy Milk

Recipes originally found on Ziploc https://ziploc.com/en/recipes/breakfast/5-prep-ahead-freezer-smoothie-packs?pp=1

National Thrift Week 2021

A day late and a dollar short… Or in this case two days late.

We typically don’t make new posts on Sundays. That meant nothing posted on January 17 which was the first day of National Thrift Week 2021. Have you heard of it before?

If you haven’t we won’t bore you too much with the background here other than to say that the start day, January 17th is Benjamin Franklin’s birthday. You know the guy on the hundred dollar bill. He was pretty big about promoting being thrifty and it was a recognizable week up until the 60s.¹

Photo by John Guccione http://www.advergroup.com on Pexels.com

So what was this whole thrift week about? Was it poor people should stay poor so screw changing the minimum wage? Was it a thinly veiled push to support and uphold capitalism and promote more consumerism? Not necessarily. In fact if you visit AmericanValues.org you can read their pdf where they’ve included a number of Franklin’s quotes, including one dissing the choice of the bald eagle as the national bird because it’s a robber and “very often lousy.” Sounds like many a corporation nowadays.

No, the four basic principles that thrift week can be boiled down to are all about things each of us can do to move towards and maintain financial freedom, to not be a gear in the capitalism-induced sucker cycle of living paycheck to paycheck with no end in sight.

  1. Work hard and honestly.
  2. Spend less than you earn.
  3. Give back as much as you can.
  4. Have a plan.

However, those four basic principles can be broken down further as seen in the throwback flyer below.

Work hard and honestly

Don’t have a job right now? Our first tip would be to broaden your view. So often we limit our job searches because we want to stay in the same field or we want to receive a certain pay. In “normal” times we’d be all for that, but right now the best course of action might be to take what’s available to achieve some income while continuing to look for the connections and position that will move your career the direction you want it to go.

Spend less than you earn

This one seems so easy but a lot of people still don’t know how much they’re spending each month. So start simple by adding up your receipts and looking at what came out of your checking account each week. (Because we know you’re smart enough to not be using a credit card right now if you’re trying to free yourself financially.)

Give back as much as you can

This one seems counterintuitive but it’s not. We could go into quoting scripture and citing karma but the plain facts are if you’re focused on giving then you’re not succumbing to the push to buy, buy, buy as much.

Have a plan.

Wanting something is useless without a clear plan on how to get there. So make one. Need help making one? We’ll help you for free.
Schedule an appointment today.


¹ Bring Back Thrift Week (Opinion) – Education Week https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/opinion-bring-back-thrift-week/2010/01

Want to Change Your Life in 2021? START with Your Environment

Chances are you’ve come up with some pretty elaborate plans to trick yourself into being more productive.

Have you considered the role your surroundings play in your everyday life? It turns out that one of the easiest ways to bring about change in our lives is actually to change our environments. This is one of the first areas I thought of when I first started E-Class Ventures all those years ago. As a youth I often tried to change my room (as much as I was allowed) to improve my mood with varying levels of success. It ranged from constantly rearranging (pre feng shui craze) to try the make the most of very limited space to painting in perhaps not the best color palette for an already cramped room. All of that to say environment impacts your mood, productivity and this overall wellness.

What if the layout of your bedroom or the distance from your desk to the kitchen was impacting your productivity and decision making? There’s plenty of room for each of us to improve. Here’s how and why making some changes to your environment works.

Your brain is efficient
Making decisions is draining. (Heard of “decision fatigue”? It’s real!) We can only make so many choices per day before we start to run out of steam and need a rest. But we’re faced with countless choices every time we wake up! Should I go back to sleep? Should I shower or brush my teeth first? What will I wear to work? Should I try out that new shortcut to the office? It can become stressful for your brain to struggle with a choice every time one of these little prompts presents itself. That’s why we rely on decision shortcuts called habits.

A habit is just a routine that you regularly perform. Most of the time we don’t even notice that we’re engaging in a habit because it’s second nature to us. And there’s a reason for that. It’s your brain saving energy by going on autopilot to perform an action without having to make a decision. That way you can use the bulk of your mental power on unique and important problems that might pop up during the day, not on thinking about when you should brush your teeth!

Trick yourself into making wise decisions
What does your brain’s love of shortcuts have to do with your environment? Let’s look at an example.

Your alarm clock is right next to your bed. It goes off every morning at 7:30am. It doesn’t take you long to figure out that you can smack the snooze button and go straight back to sleep with hardly any effort. Before long you’re hitting the snooze button every time the alarm goes off without even thinking about it. You’ve trained yourself to sleep in later by making your alarm easier to turn off. But what if your alarm was on the other side of your room? What if to silence it you had to stand up, walk over, and hit a button? That simple change could give you the jolt that you need to wake up and get your day started on time!

Take a look at your surroundings and ask yourself what kind of behavior it encourages. Is it more convenient for you to grab a soda from the fridge or fill up your water bottle? When you work at home, are you in the middle of distractions like the kids playing or too close to the TV? At work (aka as home for a lot of us since the pandemic), does your office layout lend itself to productivity or socializing with your co-workers?

It might take some legwork to get started, but try to arrange your life in a way that makes wise decisions easier. You might be surprised by the results!

What’s one thing you’ve done to change your environment this year that has had a positive effect on your life? How are you going to continue our improve upon that charge for 2021? Share it below.

Retirement and the Dreams of Children

First, we’re sorry that this didn’t post yesterday as planned.

Secondly, we’re sharing this post from Todd Garlington because he asks a number of good questions that we’d like to know our readers’ responses to after you take a look. So please talk back to us below in the comments or on our social media.

“I Want to Live Happily Ever After.” This sentiment is understandable in a child. Vulnerable and inexperienced, their growth relies on fantasy to some degree. But retirement services aren’t peddled to children.

Retirement and the Dreams of Children — Image(s)

Conquering the Dry Spell

Winter lumbers on in the northern hemisphere which typically means battling dry skin. (Unless you’re in Florida where as this is being typed I’m waging a war against turning on the AC to beat the 80°F temps we’ve been blessed with the past few days.)

First the definition – I guess I misspoke but then so do a number of us. Dry skin is actually a skin type. In another life when I maintained my cosmetology license we’re taught that there are four skin types: dry, normal, oily and combination. If you have truly dry skin, you have it year round thanks to genetics and may have to deal with flakiness and itchiness. Then there’s dehydrated skin which feels tight, looks dull and is due to changes in the weather, other environmental factors and diet.¹ So what do you do whether you have dry or dehydrated skin?

Moisturize, both inside and out.

Can we take an aside and talk about how gorgeous this girl’s skin is? #goals You didn’t know? Check out her Instagram!

Sometimes we forget that skin is our biggest organ, living cells that need to be fed and watered. While there is no limit to the number of moisturizing products on the market for you to choose from, are you remembering to drink enough water? If not, we’re inviting our readers to participate in this water challenge starting January 11th.

Want to do a little extra? Ash has recently started drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning to help clear her skin. Squeeze the juice from half of a lemon into hot water and sip away.

So you’ve moisturized the inside by drinking more water, but don’t forget to continue using your fave moisturizer. Click here for six other tips to care for your winter skin.² What are your winter skincare secrets? Share below & on our social media.

¹"The difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin", Naturally with Shaklee, https://go.shaklee.com/the-difference-between-dry-skin-and-dehydrated-skin/?j=359193&sfmc_sub=10451068&l=33_HTML&u=26471819&mid=100009.$207&jb=109&utm_source=mktg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20201212_cnl_winterbeauty&utm_content.=image_dryskin&utm_kxconfid=sw793c3ln
²"8 tips for winter skincare", Naturally with Shaklee, https://go.shaklee.com/8-tips-winter-skincare/?j=359193&sfmc_sub=10451068&l=33_HTML&u=26471817&mid=100009207&jb=109&utm_source=mktg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20201212_cnl_winterbeauty&utm_content=image_8tips&utm_kxconfid=sw793c3ln