Decorate with Personal History​​​​​​​ #bebetter52



Progress is a term with which we are all familiar and one as embedded in our consciousness as it is in the very foundation of our society. Although growing and advancing are vital to our future, it’s also important for us to understand the past and acknowledge how far we have come before continuing forward.  With our focus on what’s ahead, sometimes we forget to reflect on how we arrived where we are. Taking the time to look back on our history helps us stay grounded, feel connected to our roots, and have a greater respect and appreciation for loved ones from generations past.

As we look forward to what is coming next in our lives, we often want the latest and greatest, and our homes are no exception. Shopping for and buying a new piece of home décor can be exciting, but sometimes it’s fun to look inward for aesthetic inspiration. This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to become creatively nostalgic and decorate your homes with personal history. There are endless ways to do this, whether it be through framing an old photo from your childhood (or from your grandparents’ childhoods), or by giving a hip new twist to a sentimental family heirloom. Decorating with history is easy on our wallets, stimulating for our creativity, and brings warmth and love to our homes.

While completing this challenge, we encourage you to spend time with family and bond over learning more about your family history. This can be as simple as telling stories from your childhood to your children, or looking back on old photos with your siblings, to doing some research into your genealogy. Regardless how far you take your journey into the past, let it be an opportunity to spend quality time with the ones you love. This week we can’t wait to see the fun and meaningful decor you create centered on your family!


Healthy Smoothies #bebetter52

This week's #bebetter52 challenge is to make healthy smoothies!

Smoothies are popular and for good reason! They are an excellent way to sneak extra nutrients into your diet, and they are delicious and easy to make.

Probiotics, which may help improve immune function, protect against hostile bacteria to prevent infection, and improve digestion and absorption of food and nutrients, are easy to add to a smoothie using yogurt or kefir (be sure to get plain yogurt/kefir so you aren't accidentally putting added sugar into the smoothie). Prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds probiotics in your gut, are found in bananas and flaxseeds which are also great additions to your healthy smoothie. Smoothies still contain the fiber from added fruits and veggies to help you reach your recommended intake of fiber and to receive some help with any constipation you might be having. Because of the fiber and high water content, smoothies are filling but low in calories. It's easy to add spinach, lettuce, or kale to your smoothie for added nutrients--just throw a handful in and reap the benefits of leafy greens. Adding fats to your smoothie is important so you can feel fuller longer and not experience the spike in blood sugar you might experience from a purely fruit smoothie. Flaxseeds, full fat Greek yogurt, avocado, nut butters, and coconut milk are all fat options to add to your smoothie.

There are many options to choose when making a healthy smoothie. You can follow our basic smoothie recipe or search around for a smoothie recipe that excites you! Experiment with different flavor combinations and share your favorite recipe with your team. Making the smoothies at home will be less expensive, and you know exactly what's going into it. 

Choose liquid base

1-2 cups of liquid. Mix and match or just pick one from the following list:

Milk, yogurt, kefir, coconut milk, coconut water, almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, etc.  


Select fruits and veggies

Pick at least 2 fruits or veggies, fresh or frozen.

Bananas (thicken the smoothie and make it creamy), avocado (adds fat with minimal flavor change), strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, mango, pineapple, peach, cucumber, kiwi, etc.

Add in some greens

Add a handful of one of the following:

Spinach, kale, lettuce, dandelion greens, arugula, etc. 

Some extras

Sprinkle in whatever you've got!

Chia seeds (remember to soak them first), flaxseed, hemp seeds, protein powder, probiotics, fish oil, sprouts, nut butter, oats, avocado oil, coconut oil, cinnamon, etc.


Hydrotherapy Showers #bebetter52


Hydrotherapy, or using water for various treatments, has probably been around since the beginning of man. With all the benefits, it's easy to see why!

This week's Be Better Challenge is to incorporate hydrotherapy into your week. Take a long relaxing bath or take a freezing cold shower (there are benefits to it!).  Better yet, alternate hot and cold water in a shower (always starting with hot and ending with cold) to give your circulation a boost and relieve muscle soreness.

Taking a hot bath, shower, or using the sauna relaxes you by slowing your heart rate and dropping your blood pressure, reduces stress, and increases circulation. Sauna treatments have been thought  to aid in the prevention of ischemic heart disease. Increased feelings of well being have been observed after post-hydrotherapy as well. Alternatively, cold water helps to relieve inflammation, increase your metabolic rate, stimulate the removal of toxins from the skin, and turn circulation inward toward your organs. Daily, brief cold-water exposure over many months may even enhance anti-tumor immunity. Scientific evidence shows that “regular winter swimming significantly decreased tension, fatigue, memory, and mood negative state points with the duration of swimming period; significantly increased vigor-activity scores; relieved pain who suffered from rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma; and improved general well-being in swimmers.” A cold shower can be used to enhance energy in the mornings, but it also promotes a restful sleep when taken at night.

Tips when taking a cold and hot shower:

1. Start with water that feels comfortable.

2. Slowly increase the temperature hotter, to the point you can barely stand the heat. Make sure the water hits your head and feet.

3. Now turn the water temperature down to the coldest you can bare. Make sure water hits all parts of your body.

4. Repeat multiple times (up to 7 times).

We hope you step outside your comfort level this week, try some form of hydrotherapy and see how it benefits you.  Let us know how if you experience any added benefits in your life by posting your completed challenge!



Stop the Stuff #bebetter52


Surrounding ourselves with piles of ‘stuff’ can negatively affect our lives by making us feel overwhelmed or disorganized.  When our homes, cars, or work spaces are filled with clutter, we often feel like our lives are this way as well. Physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress. We can stop this clutter by avoiding impulse buying and by distinguishing between our ‘wants’ and our ‘needs’ during shopping trips. If we only buy things that are needed, we will likely appreciate the items we already own much more.

This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to only purchase items you need and to hold off on the things you want. Being content with your current belongings ultimately leads to happiness and satisfaction. Every time you make a purchase, stop to think, ‘Is this a need or a want?” Ask yourself if you already have an item at home that could serve the same purpose. Reflect on the items you have instead of instinctively buying more stuff. This will lead to a feeling of gratitude versus a feeling your life is somehow always lacking.

For those who are parents, teaching gratitude to your children is one of the most priceless gifts they can receive. If children believe they will receive every toy they want, they will not value the ones they have. Lead by example by appreciating what you have and showing daily gratitude.  Materialism makes people feel less competent, reduces gratitude, lowers their ability to appreciate and enjoy the good in life, generates negative emotions, and makes individuals  more self-centered. Yet, by contrast, gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience positive feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress. Being more grateful will improve our lives!

Besides the self-satisfaction gained from more thoughtful shopping, think about how much money could be saved on every shopping trip! Money not spent on ‘unnecessary’ items can be saved to buy better quality necessities or experiences. Some ways to “stop the stuff” include: make lists before going shopping, don’t let sale items draw you in if you don’t need them, and remember all the wonderful acquisitions you already own and be grateful.

Display Healthy Snacks #bebetter52


Do you find yourself reaching for the candy bowl or that bag of chips on your counter as you rush by on your way out the door? Statistics show you are three times more likely to eat the first food item you see in your kitchen or refrigerator over the fifth one? As we all know, it is much easier to grab something convenient rather than to look in the back of the fridge or find something that needs time to prepare. Often times we end up choosing unhealthy snacking options.  This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to get rid of the candy bowl sitting on your kitchen counter and swap it out for dozens of healthy options. We want you to display three bowls of healthy snacks on your countertop or in your refrigerator.

Making conscious decisions such as keeping healthy foods in plain sight is an easy way to stay healthy and change your eating habits for the better. Here are some suggestions:

-Put a bowl of carrots and hummus on the middle fridge shelf to immediately catch your eye so you will be more inclined to grab that to eat!

-Take one day of the week to cut up fruits and vegetables and keep them ready-to-eat in your fridge. You might choose strawberries, watermelon, and pineapple for sweet options; cucumber, celery, or sugar snap peas for healthy veggie snacks.

-Keep a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter or near your desk where they will easily be seen. Bananas and tangerines are good snacks to keep around the house when hunger strikes in between meals. Instead of reaching for added-sugar snacks to satisfy your sweet tooth, fruits are a healthy alternative.

-Reach for protein rich nuts if you need a snack to help you feel full and and to keep your mind alert. Almonds are barriers against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and they have a shelf life of about 2 years! They are perfect snacks to grab while running day-to-day errands. Ditch the boxes of granola bars and pretzels from your cabinet and replace them with raw, unsalted almonds on your counter.