Health & Wellness News & Info Recap, Week Ending 2/21

It’s pretty cute that my 6-year old thinks we celebrate Presidents Day to honor the birthdays of all Presidents, including both President Obama as well as the President from Daddy’s work. I love that he got excited and wanted to celebrate all of them this past week. His logic makes sense, though, more birthdays = more festivities = more cake. I’m the girl who acknowledges even the smallest milestones. So, I want my son to partake in the celebrations, but cringe at all the simple sugars and chemical ingredients in many of the party foods. That’s why, of all the wellness news stories I’ve highlighted in the News & Info recaps, this tops my list. Announced Wednesday, Nestle USA will be removing all artificial flavors and colors from their chocolates by the end of the year. This and other weekly wellness news and information around the web are highlighted below. Health & Wellness News & Info Recap, Wk Ending 2/21
Clean Eating

Nestle’s Removing Artificial Colors and Flavors:
Nestle USA is the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to commit to removing artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors (such as Red 40 and Yellow 5) from all its chocolate candy products. By the end of 2015, products such as Butterfingers, Crunch and Baby Ruth will be identified with a “no artificial flavors or colors” claim. I still think it is a good idea to read labels because these claims don’t necessarily mean the food is wholesome. However, I’m relieved to see that big food companies are making some changes to improve public health in this country. There have been many studies over the past 35 years about the potential risks of children consuming these chemicals.

Clean-Eating Grocery List:
I get a lot of questions about what I eat and how to plan for a healthy family (both plant-based diet centric and nut-free due to allergies.) I started meal-planning a few weeks ago, but also know that my preferences might be different from others. So, this clean-eating grocery list is comprehensive yet easy to skim. It may be helpful as a starting place for others to begin healthy meal shopping and planning.

Active Living

I remember rockin’ to Jane Fonda and Calisthenics VHS tapes in the 1980s. The past few years, all the rage in fitness has been small boutique studios for concert spinning or combo dance classes such as PiYo (pilates and yoga) or pole dancing aerobics. This week, I saw an announcement for a new-craze, Shadowbox. Think Soul Cycle for boxing, members will reserve bags and in a class setting do heavy bag work and body-weight exercises together.

Benefits of Lavender Oil:
Since I don’t use any products with perfumes, I sometimes miss that fresh scent from soaps and moisturizers in my morning routine. After hearing a lot about the benefits of essential oils, I started to use lavender on my wrists as a substitute for fragrance. I look forward to using it more to enjoy the many healthy benefits.


Soulful Necessities:
I like to be inspired in my daily life, but sometimes it’s hard when challenging situations arise. This piece on cancer support groups caught my eye this week. She not only speaks about the value of support groups in her life, but also lists some beneficial resources.

#1000 Speak: Voices of Compassion: In the After, Compassion Wins
Crying throughout this whole post, I recall the vivid details of December 14, 2012. The author writes about her hometown, Newtown, Connecticut, that had to live through the horrific minutes, hours, days and now years after the shocking tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. She eloquently tells us her thoughts and how she and the town choose kindness and love.

What inspired you last week? Please share a kind and compassionate story.