Wellness Wednesday: Seven Wholesome Soups and Stews

As I sit down to write today’s Wellness Wednesday post, a cold drizzle is falling outside. The leaves are almost all down from the trees, and we have had several gray, cloudy days in a row. The crisp but sunny September and October days are over, it seems, and a more wintery feel is moving in with November’s arrival.

This being the case, soups and stews are showing up on my weekly meal plan more often! My family can’t eat canned soups, since many contain gluten, MSG and other additives that give us various health issues. But healthy, wholesome soups recipes abound on the internet, and they are often very simple to make, especially with the help of the slow cooker or Instant Pot!

Here is a round-up of seven tried and true recipes for soups and stews that have become family favorites in our house. I usually serve the soups with a side of gluten-free biscuits and a green salad, and we always have gluten-free cornbread with butter and honey alongside the chili soups.

Seven Wholesome Soups and Stews

Photo credit: Lulu the Baker

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder from Lulu the Baker: This yummy soup is on the menu tonight!

Photo credit: Nom Nom Paleo

Simple Egg Drop Soup from Nom Nom Paleo: Egg Drop Soup is great as a side with stir fry and/or fried rice.

Photo credit: Well Plated

Instant Pot Lentil Soup from Well Plated: There is just something so comforting about a hearty lentil soup.

Photo credit: Gimme Some Oven

The BEST Butternut Squash Soup from Gimme Some Oven: This truly is one of the best butternut soup recipes I have tried!

Black Bean Chicken Chili by Crystal Miller: This chili recipe doesn’t have a photo, but it is a staple in my menu plan all year round!

Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Chili Soup from Better Homes and Gardens: This is another tried and true staple chili recipe in our home, easy to make on the stove, in the slow cooker and in the Instant Pot!

Clam Chowder by Crystal Miller: We just added Crystal’s delicious clam chowder recipe to our line-up this fall, and it was a winner!

Now it’s your turn! I’d love for you to share your favorite soup recipe that our family can try this fall and winter! Or tell me which of the above recipes you want to try.


Want to link up? I would love to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate: 

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!
  4. Bonus points if you post about the link-up on your social media. I will feature a post from one or two Wellness Wednesday participants on my Facebook page during the week after the link-up, so please head on over there to follow me and see if your post is featured!

Making Small Changes for Health #WellnessWednesday

In a departure from my usual Wellness Wednesday posts, today I’m just sharing a short list of a few small, simple changes I have made in pursuing better health. Whether it’s choosing more whole foods, reducing toxins in skin care or getting better sleep, making a baby step towards healthier choices is always an improvement! Some of the changes I mention have been easier than others to make into habit, but each one has made a positive impact on my health in some way. What small healthy choices have you made to improve your wellness? Please share them in the comments or in your own link-up post!

  1. Making my own yogurt using the Instant Pot. We always have thick, homemade, plain yogurt on hand. I culture it for 24 hours to reduce as much of the lactose as possible. The great thing about making our own yogurt at home is that it is more affordable than store-bought, and I always know exactly what went into it.
  2. Switching to natural deodorant. The ingredients in conventional deodorants are scary! I have tried making my own deodorant. It didn’t work. I have also tried another natural brand available in big box stores, but it caused irritation and didn’t really work well. Right now I’m loving Native brand’s sensitive formula because it has not bothered my skin at all and has kept odor at bay for over 24 hours without reapplying. (If you use my referral link to order some of your own, you and I will both get a free travel size tube. Very handy for putting in your purse or taking on a trip!)
  3. Leaving my phone in another room at night, rather than keeping it on my nightstand. Not only am I not distracted by any random notifications that may pop up in the night, but I am also no longer tempted to look at my phone when I am having trouble falling asleep. For an alarm, I use my FitBit Charge2 alarm to wake me. It’s more gentle for me, and it doesn’t bother my husband when I have to get up earlier than he does. He also uses his FitBit to wake, and I love that since he usually is the first one up these days
  4. Focussed breathing for 3-5 minutes daily as discussed in last week’s post.
  5. Making lacto-fermented vegetables. This is a new change we’ve made, and I will admit that we still have some work to make eating fermented veggies a daily habit. But it took me years just to work up the gumption to try making lacto-ferments, and when I did, I found it very simple! And the great success is that even my kids like the dilly carrots. The healthy bacteria in these veggies are so good for the gut, so we are going to keep working on adding them to our regular diet!

And now it’s your turn! I want to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate: 

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!
  4. Bonus points if you post about the link-up on your social media. I will feature a post from one or two Wellness Wednesday participants on my Facebook page during the week after the link-up, so please head on over there to follow me and see if your post is featured!


Mental and Emotional Wellness Through Breathing Prayer #WellnessWednesday

woman yoga breathing relaxation wellness

Mental and Emotional Wellness through Breathing Prayer

In our fast-paced, media-driven society, it is increasingly unusual for most of us to be still. It is even more uncommon for us to spend even a few moments in stillness focussing on our breathing. Unless you regularly practice yoga, chances are you very rarely consciously stop and consider the pace and depth of your breath. The truth is, though, that stopping for a few short minutes each day to do focusses breathing can actually change the brain and improve your mental and emotional wellness! (See links below for the article from Science Daily on the subject of how deep breathing has been shown to change the brain. It’s fascinating!)

I have seen the affects of focussed breathing, specifically breathing prayer, this month while participating in the Revelation Wellness “Heir to the Crown Challenge.” Each day part of the challenge involves setting a timer for 3-5 minutes, sitting still and closing your eyes, then breathing deeply while praying/meditating on a repeated phrase. Each day has a different focus surrounding the overall theme of our identity in Christ as daughters of the King. For example, one of my favorites this week has been this:

Inhale– “God fights for me,”

Exhale– “so I can be still.”

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14

As I have practiced this breathing prayer daily for the past 10 days, I have noticed my breathing more at other times, especially when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Remembering to slow down and take a few deep breaths, especially while praying over the current situation, helps me to think more clearly and respond in a more positive way to whatever is upsetting me. I have also been noticing myself making better food choices overall. In the podcast linked below, Revelation Wellness founder Alisa Keeton talks about how focussed breathing activates the part of the brain in control of appetite. I wouldn’t normally associate the breath with the appetite, so this connection is quite intriguing!

Have you ever tried breathing prayer, or even just simply noticing your breath for a set period of time? If so, I would love to hear about how it affected your health and well-being! If you have not tried this practice, I would encourage you to give it a go for a few weeks and see what positive changes it makes in your life!

Links:

Revelation Wellness Podcast – #302 A Simple Way to Keep “The Weight” Off

Science Daily – “The Yogi masters were right — meditation and breathing exercises can sharpen your mind”


And now it’s your turn! I want to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate: 

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!
  4. Bonus points if you post about the link-up on your social media. I will feature a post from one or two Wellness Wednesday participants on my Facebook page during the week after the link-up, so please head on over there to follow me and see if your post is featured!


Wellness Wednesday: On Eating Well

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday here at Tuning Hearts! I’m so glad you are joining us! If this is your first time here, feel free to look around and read back a few posts to get a feel for what we are all about! If you would like to participate in this week’s link-up, scroll on down to the bottom of this post for all the details on how to do that. Now, on with the post…

On Eating Well

We couldn’t go on much longer in this wellness vein without talking about eating well, could we? Last week I stepped on the scale for the first time in probably a month. I don’t make it a regular habit to weight myself as I’m not obsessed with weight and can usually tell how I’m doing fitness-wise by how I feel anyway. I had been feeling like some of my clothes were a bit tight, so that is actually what prompted me to check. Sure enough, the scale confirmed that I had indeed gained a few pounds recently, even thought I am still working out regularly.

I knew the cause, though, even though I didn’t want to admit it at first. Too much sugar. Too many unnecessary snacks. Too many grains. Sigh… I am not a highly disciplined person when it comes to food. If we have sugary foods in the house, I am sure to eat them. If I don’t buy and prep enough fruits and vegetables, I fill up on grains instead. And I tend to snack for comfort or as a reward, so there is that emotional eating component, too.

I know that when I eat well. I feel better in general. But I have to make a conscious choice to deny myself of the quick fixes and go for real, nutrient dense foods that will fuel my body. So today I got back to a better balance of veggies and meat and fruit and cut back on the grains. The only sugar I had was in a little spoonful of my mom’s homemade plum jam added to plain yogurt. I feel good about my food choices, and I feel better physically today, too! How about you? Do you struggle to eat well and make healthy food choices? I would love to cheer you on!


P.S.–If you are feeling stuck in some aspect of your journey to better health, can I encourage you to check out the resources in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle? This year’s bundle  includes: 96 eBooks, eCourses, and printables to help support your weight loss goals, get your family onboard with a healthy lifestyle, detoxify your home and beauty routines, and so much more. $29.97 for 6 days only. https://ultimatebundles.com/sale/uhlb2018-main#a_aid=a13314&a_bid=2be9a5f4&chan=WellWed (This is an affiliate link, so if you purchase using my referral link, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting me!)
Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle


And now it’s your turn! I want to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate: 

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!
  4. Bonus points if you post about the link-up on your social media. I will feature a post from one or two Wellness Wednesday participants on my Facebook page during the week after the link-up, so please head on over there to follow me and see if your post is featured!


Wellness Wednesday: More Than Just Bodies

Typically, when we hear the words health, wellness or fitness, we immediately think of the physical components: good nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep, etc. But the truth is that you and I are not just bodies. We are whole persons, each having a mind, a soul and a spirit. And our physical bodies are interconnected with our thoughts, emotions and spirituality in miraculous and mysterious ways.

Our beliefs affect our thinking. Our thinking affects our feelings and choices. Our choices affect our bodies. And even more intriguing is all the neuroscience coming out about how our thoughts actually makes physical changes in our bodies! So if we have healthy thought patterns and beliefs that support positive choices and healthy emotions, then it follows that our physical health will be supported, as well.

But if we have destructive thought patterns and believe lies about ourselves and about God, then no matter the amount of good food and exercise we get, our bodies are going to be stuck. I don’t know about you, but I want to get un-stuck! I want to be healthy and whole on all levels, and I want my beliefs and thought patterns to be pointed in the right direction!

That is one reason I am so excited about the upcoming “Heir to the Crown” challenge from Revelation Wellness. This 30 day wellness challenge is about more than diet and exercise. It is about finding your true identity! I strongly encourage you to check out this info page about the challenge and see if it is something you feel led to do. Sign-ups end on September 7, 2018, so you have just over a week to take the plunge!

(Please note that this is not a sponsored post. I am not affiliated with Revelation Wellness in any way. I just believe in the work this ministry is doing, and I want to get as many people to join me on the “freedom train” as I can!)


And now it’s your turn! I want to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate: 

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!
  4. Bonus points if you post about the link-up on your social media. I will feature a post from one or two Wellness Wednesday participants on my Facebook page during the week after the link-up, so please head on over there to follow me and see if your post is featured!