Sunday, March 31, 2013

How to Trick Your Friends into Cleaning Your Bathroom

Harsh chemicals bombard our everyday lives.  We get so caught up in cleanliness that we forget about the nasty combinations of toxic fumes, formaldehyde, asbestos, petrochemicals and pesticides that we're putting onto our skin, clothing, and using when cleaning our homes.  In addition to being dangerous to our health, they are expensive.  We use our hard earned cash to voluntarily poison ourselves!  That's crazy town.

Sparkes Wellness and Motivated Nutrition say no more!

We're here to show you how to make a homemade bathroom cleaner using as little chemical as possible. 

It's cheap.   It's fast.  It will make your tub and shower clean!  (It made my tub smell like vanilla cake because of the milk and honey soap we used. Mmmm!)  AND, it's so novel, your friends will beg to help you!  (Rubs hands together with sinister smile).

Check out our homemade recipe below and watch as I get Sparkes Wellness to fall for cleaning my shower as I sneak off to eat lunch!

You will need: 
  •  Mixing bowl, spoon, sponge
  • 1 2/3 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup liquid soap
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
***This recipe make a lot!  We cut it in 1/2 because I have a very tiny Brooklyn bathroom.  Depending on your space, you may want to do the same.  

1. In a medium bowl, combine baking soda, water, and liquid soap.  Mix well.
2. Add vinegar, watch it get frothy and mix again.
3. Apply to a sponge and scrub.
4. Convince your friend how fun this is so they scrub too!
5. Rinse
6. Back out of the room slowly as your friend cleans your bathroom.  ;)

Leave a comment if you have your own homemade cleaning recipe that you'd love to share. 

In healthy home happiness,


*Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channels so you don't miss any of our "Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out" series!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Detoxing with "Super Kale"

Spring is just around the corner!  Just like we take time to clear away the dust and stale winter air from our homes this time of year, it's important to do the same for our bodies.   Did you catch last week's episode on cleansing with "Lion's breath"?  For a good roar, check out Motivated Nutrition and Sparkes Wellness HERE.

Our bodies are smart and know how to clean themselves when we put delicious, nutritious foods into them.  My idea of a "detox" is to cut out everything that comes in a can, box or package, eating only foods that Mother Nature provides.  Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal and all things fresh and green.  This time of year, Mother Nature sprouts out a plethora of fibrous, nutritious, leafy greens for us to help clean out our bodies.  

One of my favorite leafy greens is kale.  This nutritional power house is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K.  It packs a punch of iron, calcium and a hearty dose of fiber and sulfur to boost our bodies natural detoxification enzymes. 

It's great sauteed, steamed or my personal favorite, baked into crispy kale chips!  This recipe is super fast, super easy and super awesome...just like super kale.  Speaking of super...don't Sparkes Wellness and I make a great team?*

 Kale Chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Wash kale
  3. Dry thoroughly (you can use a salad spinner or a paper towel) Any dampness will result in soggy chips!
  4. Remove stems
  5. Tear into bite sized pieces
  6. Spread kale across a baking tray
  7. Coat evenly with olive oil
  8. Sprinkle with sea salt
  9. Bake in the oven for 12 min (or until crispy)
  10. ENJOY! Mmmm

*Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channels so you don't miss any of our "Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out" series!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Managing our Fears

Managing our Fears
Pre swim school- Determined and Olympic bound

Dara Torres, the oldest swimmer to ever place on the U.S. Olympic team was once quoted, “The water doesn't know how old you are.”

This past Saturday, I donned a too tight swim cap, along with my newly purchased Speedo, and dove into my first swim class at age 31.  OK, so I didn't exactly dive.  It was more like cautiously stepped down the ladder and eased myself into the pool. 

I know what you are thinking.  How did I never learn to swim?  Well, I don't particularly like water. (I take really fast showers).  I hate the feeling of wet hair.  My "learn to swim" option growing up was a disgusting, fish filled, mucky bottomed family pond- so I opted out.  I once wore "swimmies" to a birthday pool party at age 12 and got made fun of so badly that I vowed I would never go in the water again.  I can float and doggie paddle so I could never really drowned.

I decided it was time to push my humiliated 12 yr old self aside and face my fears by enrolling in swim school.  I was incredibly nervous Saturday morning and felt like I was off to my first day of school.  I can't remember the last time I felt those emotions.  There were about 19 other non-swimming adults who looked as terrified as I felt and we all laughed nervously as we learned to blow bubbles, float face down, glide and eventually work our way up to alternating arm strokes while holding onto a paddle board.  I couldn't believe how much we learned in such a short period of time.  I thought I would come home as a master bubble blower and nothing more.  I couldn't stop gushing about my accomplishments for the rest of the day.  "I put my face IN the water and glided the ENTIRE width of the pool!  I was swimming!"  An outside observer even commented on how fast I was.  I told him it was probably because I was wearing my new Speedo and was aiming for the 2016 Olympics.  I'll probably be ready to qualify after my 9 remaining lessons.

Facing our fears can add a new level of excitement to our lives.  When was the last time you stood head to head with something that terrified, shamed, or belittled you?  All too often, we set ourselves up to overcome and then retreat the moment "waters get rocky".  Sometimes all it takes is a little direction and knowing how to break our fear down into manageable steps so we don't throw ourselves head first into the pool. 
  • Can you think of something that is both fearful and intriguing to you?  I've always been intrigued by other swimmers but was never able to consider myself as one.   
  • Think about the steps you need to take in order to make it manageable.  Step one: find a swim class.  Step two: buy a swim suit.  Step three, blow bubbles.  
  • Surround yourself with "experts" and supportive people.  I tried to learn to swim many unsuccessful times from friends.  Although they had good intentions, I realize now they serve as much better cheerleaders on the sidelines. 
  • Celebrate!  Don't downplay your accomplishments.  What may seem minor to someone else is a hugely valid success for yourself.  "I swam the ENTIRE width of the pool with my face IN the water!"  Do you have any idea how impressive that is? 

Have you overcome any fears lately?  Do you have any fears you want to share?  What were/are the steps to make it more manageable?   Leave your comment below, tweet MtvdNutrition, or post on the Motivated Nutrition Facebook page

In Future Olympian Health,


Joanie Johnson, CHC
Motivated Nutrition

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Princess and the Pea...and Other Nasty Things

The Princess, The Pea...and Other Nasty Things
Arctic Blast Bike Face
I've been sick this week.  I'm actually convinced that I'm not sick but I've (as my best friend stated it) "frozen my cilia" after riding my bike in the freezing cold without covering my face.  Bad move #1 this week.  NYC has been hit with an arctic blast and unfortunately, peddling is the quickest way for me to get from point A to point B when I'm training clients.  I noticed the heavy chest feeling at the end of last week and fought my hardest to keep the nastiness at bay.  My usual regime of greens, vitamins, zinc, tons of water, extra sleep and aromatherapy baths didn't do it this time.  Frozen cilia or not, whatever is going on in this bod, it's nasty.  (I've since adopted the amazingly attractive full face mask look above while riding).

Spending "sick" time in bed can be less than glorious.  After 2 days of fighting miserable boredom, I decided to "treat" my sorry self to a movie and some semi-sweet chocolate chips ( a personal weakness of mine) Bad move #'s 2, 3 AND 4

#2 Sugar temporarily suppresses the immune system cells responsible for attacking bacteria.  Consuming lots of sugar while sick is a terrible idea if you're trying to get better fast. 

#3 Eating in bed is disgusting.  The only thing you should do in bed is sleep...well, maybe not the ONLY thing, but that's for a different kind of blog post.  Remember the story of The Princess and the Pea?  Crumbs, peas, or chocolate chips in the bed are NEVER a good thing

...which leads me to bad move #4: Accidentally dropping chocolate in bed and then sitting on it for 4 hrs.  You can imagine my surprise when I stood up to find the bed, my back, my pants, t-shirt, pillow and yes even my computer was covered in melted chocolate.  I honestly thought for a brief moment I had an "accident".  My finance, Micah, happened to walk in at the exact moment of my discovery and had the same look of shock on his face.  I had to prove it was indeed chocolate by licking my t-shirt.  (Bad move #5?) 

Do you ever unhealthily "treat" yourself when you're not feeling well?  What's your guilty sick day pleasure? Leave your comment below, tweet MtvdNutrition, or post on the Motivated Nutrition Facebook page

In (less than optimal) health, :(


Joanie Johnson, CHC
Motivated Nutrition