Thank YOU! And 2017’s Best Of List.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you for being part of A Better Way Wellness. Thank you for helping me share real, truthful, and action-oriented health information. Thank you for making living a happier and healthier life a priority.

It’s been a year for the books and I wouldn’t be doing what I  am truly passionate about without you.

Thank you.jpg

So THANK YOU!

And as a small token of my appreciation, I am giving you a list of my most popular posts this last year.

It’s A Better Way Wellness’ Best Of 2017 List. It’s short, sweet, and full of health boosting tidbits. So have at it!

1. How to Use Supplements to Boost Happiness

If you want to be happier and want supplements to give you a boost, this is the post of you.

2. Healthy Happy Hour Part I and Healthy Happy Hour Part II

Do you love happy hour? And love feeling great? If so, click the links above to find out how.

3. How to Burn Fat in 15 Minutes

Who doesn’t want to burn fat fast? I know I do . . . if you do, too, check out this one.

4. How to be Happier at Work

Do you want to feel better and happier in the workplace? If this is you, I have actionable tips to help.

5. The Smoothie that Tastes Like Dessert, But Feels Like Medicine

Yes, please! Recipes that taste rich and luxe, but make you “feel like a million bucks” are my favorite. This one is easy-peasy. Give it a try!

6. My Fall Beverage Secret: The Sunshine Latte (Recipe Included)

I know it’s not technically fall anymore, but the Sunshine Latte will still please your mouth, mind, and body.

7. The Truth About Chocolate (& the Best Way to Eat It)

Chocolate lovers rejoice! Chocolate is GOOD for you and I show you the best ways to have it in this post.

8. 5 Products to Change Immediately to Decrease Exposure to Carcinogens and EDCs

Consider a New Year's resolution around this one. Swap out one (or all!) of these products to protect yourself from carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

Healthy Happy Hour - Part II

In case you missed it, last week focused on hosting At Home Happy Hour (including one of my absolute favorite recipes). And it sparked some great questions, especially about alcohol.

So Healthy Happy Hour Part II will be devoted to the controversial topic of alcohol. This is an area many writers shy from, but I feel it is important to share the facts so you can make the best and most educated decision possible.

I want to take a moment and acknowledge people’s comfort and relationship to alcohol vary greatly. We each have our reasons and that is perfectly fine.

My goal is not to change your mind or convince you to start/stop drinking. My goal is to present you with the current evidence and data surrounding alcohol use so you can decide for yourself. Because as I detail, there are two sides to every coin.

The Alcohol Paradox

I suspect you've been exposed to what I call the alcohol paradox. At times, you may read in the news alcohol has heart healthy benefits (hello, red wine). Other times, you may hear alcohol has deleterious effects. So which is true?

Both.

Let me explain.

Alcohol: Friend?

Several studies aimed to determine the health impact of alcohol on heart disease. The verdict is light to moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of heart disease by 40 to 70% (more on definitions of light to moderate below). A 40 to 70% decrease is certainly significant.

Alcohol: Foe?

Alcohol consumption, even moderate, is shown to increase the risk of certain cancers. The more one drinks, the higher the risk. Increased risk of colorectal, oral cavity, liver, and esophagus cancer is linked to alcohol consumption. In women, breast cancer risk increases, even with light alcohol consumption.

Other deleterious effects? Alcohol is associated with increased blood pressure, violence, and suicide rates.

Heavy Drinking and Binge Drinking

Heavy and binge drinking is associated with increased death. Enough said.

Which Type of Alcohol is Best?

There is no current definitive answer to which type of alcohol is best. With the current evidence, it appears wine is associated with the most beneficial effects. However, there is evidence to suggest beer is also beneficial.

Be mindful of mixers that can sabotage your health. Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other wellness sabotagers can be hiding in your drinks.

What Defines Light, Moderate, and Heavy Alcohol Intake?

Definitions of alcohol intake categories can vary. The following are general definitions.

And what defines a drink? In the United States, one drink is 14 to 15 g of alcohol. This translates to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor.

To Drink or Not to Drink

The decision to drink is entirely a personal one. You know your personal and family history the best. Combine that with the evidence I provided and you can make an educated decision on whether to drink or to abstain.

The Healthy Happy Hour Drink: With or Without Alcohol

To help you round out your At Home Happy Hour menu, I am providing you with a signature drink recipe. It nicely complements last week’s Perfect Guacamole and 3 Ingredient Tortilla Chips. This one can be made with alcohol or without, to your preference.

GRAPEFRUIT MARGARITA COCKTAIL OR MOCKTAIL (aka with or without alcohol)

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 cup fresh grapefruit juice

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp raw organic honey

1 cup ice cubes

EITHER: 1/3 cup tequila (please, please, please don’t skimp on quality) OR 1/2 cup sparkling water/club soda

Coconut or date sugar to rim the glasses

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir well.

  2. Sugar the rims of two glasses. Do this by putting a small amount of coconut or date sugar on a plate. Wet the rim of an empty glass by dipping in water. Then dip the rim into the plate with coconut or date sugar.

  3. Add half the ice to each glass. Pour liquid over the top and serve immediately.

Cheers (with your alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink) and enjoy the holiday weekend!

xx,

Skye

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Healthy Happy Hour - Part I

One of my best friends in Seattle loved her Friday afternoon happy hours. They were a chance for her to catch up with her friends, celebrate a week of hard work, and dress up a bit. Then life circumstances changed and she could no longer make it to happy hour.

Give me a problem and I’ll give you ten solutions. The solution for this situation? I developed At Home Happy Hours.

Me being me, I immediately signed up for a Groupon bartending class and had a blast learning to make martinis, margaritas, and mojitos, plus learned how to pour the perfect shot.

A week later I showed up at her door armed with drink making supplies (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), homemade snacks, and a big smile. We lit her glassy babies, turned on some tunes, and I became bartender for the night.

My friend was skeptical at first, but after one week she was sold. We realized At Home Happy Hours were even better.

The reasons?

One, the drinks were higher quality. They tasted better, were made of superior ingredients, and were free of weird syrups, artificial colors, and cheesy neon straws. Plus we knew exactly what was going into each of them.

Two, the snacks were WAY better. Tasty, homemade, organic, and that actually left us feeling better (not worse, the way many happy hour menus do).

Three, it was cheaper. Have you seen the markup on drinks? I’ve seen a bottle of $6 Mirassou wine selling for $30 at a restaurant! Highway robbery, I tell you.

Four, they didn’t ruin our health goals. We both led healthy lifestyles and I secretly detested happy hour drinks (I usually ordered something alcohol free) and food (too oily and salty). I went out for happy hour for the conversation and fun, not for the food and drink. In fact, the food and drink often left me tired, bloated, and regretful (Why did I eat all those fries? They didn’t even taste good!).

Our At Home Happy Hour was full of laughter, fun, and left me feeling better physically and mentally. Ever since the inaugural At Home Happy Hour, I have been a loyal devotee.

So if you like the idea of a healthy At Home Happy Hour, here are the steps to ensure success.

Healthy Happy Hour Step 1

Get the word out. For your first run at this, I suggest inviting a few close friends. People you love, that love you, that don’t stress you out. Because this is supposed to be fun, not worrisome.

Healthy Happy Hour Step 2

Secure a playlist. Not quite your thing? Outsource it to a guest with great musical taste. My husband is the guru in our household and I put him in charge of most things musical.

Healthy Happy Hour Step 3

Pick your drinks and snacks. I suggest picking a theme. You could go Italian with Aperol spritzes (can easily be made virgin) and bruschetta kabobs or flatbread. Mexican with fresh squeezed grapefruit margaritas and homemade chips and guacamole. Or even simpler, you can go for a red and white wine with cheese and baguette.

Healthy Happy Hour Step 4

Prep as much as you can the day before. Enough said.

Healthy Happy HourStep 5

Enjoy your drinks and snacks with those you love. And decide who’s hosting next time!

To help you get started on your first At Home Happy Hour, I’m sharing two of my most precious recipes: homemade tortilla chips and guacamole.

I am a guacamole aficionado — one could say I have a mini obsession. I’ve spent years trying, testing, and perfecting guacamole recipes. Some are too spicy, others too salty. This recipe, which is short on ingredients but big on flavor,  is just right. Perfect, really.

NOTE: Please, please, please don’t be intimidated by the idea of homemade chips. You will be SHOCKED at how easy they are to make. Instead of store-bought chips (full or strange ingredients and preservatives), you can quickly and simply whip up a homemade batch that will impress your friends (and your tastebuds).

The Perfect Health Happy Hour Recipes



Now It's Your Turn

 

So there you have it! Two recipes to help you host your first At Home Happy Hour. I would love to hear your At Home Happy Hour success stories. Snap a picture and use the hashtag #abww.

Want to make someone's day? Share this post with a friend that would love At Home Happy Hours!
Want more wellness inspiration and tips? Sign up for A Better Way Wellness' weekly email.

Cheers,
Skye