Simple Self-Care Ideas To Try With Your Child

As adults, we often learn the hard way that we can lead healthier, happier, more productive lives when we prioritize our physical and mental well-being. Life is extraordinarily busy for many of us, and even when it’s not, it can still be stressful. Taking the time to decompress, relax, and regain a healthy perspective can do wonders for helping us function at full capacity.

It’s like that for kids, too. Children are under lots of stress and pressure these days. School, extracurricular activities, homework, family obligations — the list goes on. And parents, caregivers, and teachers are charged with helping them find balance. Here are some fun and effective self-care ideas to teach your child.

Keep Your Stress at Work

Stress is contagious. Even when we try to hide it, it can seep through and change the atmosphere around us into an almost tangible negative space.

If you are stressed at work, it is inevitable that the stress will worm its way into your home and change the routines, behaviors, and moods of you and your children. Be proactive about finding ways to reduce work stress by eating healthy foods, focusing on being present, ditching the perfectionist mentality, and establishing a home/work routine that prioritizes your children.

Start a Family Game Night

Very few things are as important as creating strong bonds within your immediate family. Those bonds will then promote communication, trust, self-esteem, and overall wellness.

Family game nights play an important role in building those bonds. They allow the family to connect regularly in a fun way! Look online for games that are both age-appropriate and require teamwork or friendly competition.

Get a Guided Journal

Journaling is an excellent way to release built-up emotions and to work through thoughts and emotions that are hard to express verbally. It may not come naturally to children to write in a journal independently.

Guided journals are a great way to get your children used to the regular exercise of journaling and communicating in that fashion. You may find that not only are there emotional benefits but also, as EverythingMom points out, your child’s reading and writing skills may improve, their creativity may expand, and they likely will start to become better at expressing themselves.

Encourage Physical Activity

The importance of regular physical activity to the human body is common knowledge, but most people struggle with finding the time or energy to get movement into their daily routines. Build these habits in your children now (you will benefit from this, too) by doing free YouTube exercises, going for weekly hikes, or taking nightly after-dinner walks if you live in a walkable location. The key is to be consistent. You and your children will notice the benefits of increased endorphins and serotonin by experiencing more energy and less stress.

Plant a Garden

Teaching your child to garden now will teach them lifelong skills that will affect their entire being. Not only will it get them much-needed time outdoors, but it will also do the following:

Practice Self-Care Yourself

You are the best role model your children have. They will mimic whatever they see you doing. Make it a top priority to take care of your own physical and mental health and you will see the benefits of them naturally doing the same. Kaiser Permanente advises starting with building the foundational routines in your life (food, fitness, and sleep) and there will be a wellness snowball effect throughout your house.


The industrial age followed by the technological age increased the busyness of lives across the world. At no point in history have humans been more exposed to activity and information. To combat the stresses that come with the hustle and bustle of life, take a proactive approach to prioritize and instill good self-care habits into your children. The ideas above can get you off to a wonderful start, but keep looking for other routines and habits that your children can personally benefit from to reduce stress and increase overall wellness.

Visit BRE HEALTHY for tips and resources on health, cooking, and wholesome living!

Written by Cassidy Gibson-Cooper, blog contributor and founder of

VoyageUtah Interview

VoyageUtah, an online magazine dedicated to authentically sharing the stories of creators, emailed and asked if they could interview me about the beginnings of BRE HEALTHY and the mission and purpose behind the brand. I was so grateful for the opportunity to work with them and share my story.

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Breanna Halverson. Hi Breanna, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.

Hello, my name is Breanna Panter Halverson! I am a baccalaureate registered nurse, farm momma of three, and wholesome food, family, fitness, and farm blogger. I was born, raised, and am currently residing in Northern Utah. I am grateful to share the life experiences that have brought me to where I am today as the blogger of BRE HEALTHY. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a…

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Fun Family Day To Check On Our Horses On The Mountain and Play In The Sand At A Local Reservoir!

My husband Karson and I planned a family day to check on our four🐴 horses, Bandit, Scout, Shotgun, and Claire and visit the nearby reservoir for a beach day with our three children Ro, HH, and E. 👧🏼👦🏼👦🏼 The children were excited and looked forward to the family adventure day.

Getting Ready

Karson made delicious deli sandwiches 🥪 and packed food and drinks🥤for the day trip. I loaded the car with camping chairs, a big shade umbrella, and beach supplies. Karson grabbed some equine feed and supplies for our horses. Lastly, we loaded up the car with the children and made our way to our family property where the horses live for the summer.

Horse Check

We arrived and caught our mare and foal, Bandit and Scout. Scout was recently integrated into our extended family’s herd and we wanted to make sure he was in good health and injury-free. His mom Bandit is a good momma horse and has done a good job aiding him in his integration into the herd’s pecking order. Karson groomed them and gave them some mare and foal feed, as well as some fresh hay. He led them to the river for water and then let them go on their merry way.


Finally, we said goodbye to the horses, closed gates, and headed to the reservoir. Working with the horses worked up an appetite, and we enjoyed our lunch at a picnic table overlooking the water. Deli sandwiches at picnic tables taste extra delicious! We finished feeding our hungry bellies and walked down to the beach 🏖 . We set up our chairs, an umbrella, and a beach sheet and began our playtime. Ro and HH enjoyed playing in the mud with buckets and dinosaur 🦕🦖 figurines. They enjoyed playing with a lounge inflatble on the water too. Karson played country music on his Bluetooth speaker as we watched E play in the sand in front of us.

Blown Home

We enjoyed four hours on the beach until wind 🌬 picked up and threw sand everywhere, including our eyes. Consequently, Karson and I packed the children and our supplies up and headed back to our car. We washed up 🚿 at the picnic area spigot and changed the children into clean clothes.

Sleepy Beach Babes

On the drive home, all three children fell asleep. A long day of play wore them out. What a wonderful day spent with my sweet family. Until our next adventure!

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Looking for other fun activities to do with your family? Find ideas below!

Daisy Heart

Cultivate Positivity and Gratitude In Family Life And Motherhood

Hello, busy bees! 🐝 Looking for ways to bring positivity into your home? Here are daily tips that you can implement to increase optimism and gratitude in family life and motherhood.

Positive Affirmations

A positive affirmation is a statement to challenge negative thoughts. To affirm positivity, state as a fact that you are already possessing the positive trait you are wanting to possess. As you say positive statements, you convince your subconscious brain to make the statements true.

The morning is a great time to implement this practice. Encourage your family to do this positivity exercise!

Reframe Negative Phrases

Throughout the day, reframe negative phrases to become positive. When you or your child is frustrated and says “I can’t do this”, rephrase by saying “I can do this!” The words we say to ourselves become true as a self-fulfilling prophecy. 🔮 You are what you say you are!

If we tell our children that they are bad, they will go along with our dialogue of being bad and be naughty. Build your child up by telling them of the positive traits they possess.

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. 

― Peggy O’Mara

Express Gratitude

Express appreciation to family members! When teaching thankfulness to our children, model the behavior by expressing thanks to spouse and children for positive actions and words.

Bedtime Reflection

Before bed, ask family members what their favorite part of the day was and what they are grateful for that day. This gratitude practice helps family members focus on the good throughout that day and for things that they can be grateful for. Gratitude helps us be happy! ☀️

Gratitude Journal

Whether you have a digital or physical gratitude journal, create a daily practice of writing the things that you are grateful for! 📒

Digital Blessing List

Boost your mood by looking at an easy-to-access blessing list on your phone. When life is weighing you down, reading the blessings that you have helps you see life through rose-colored glasses. When sinking into a negative mindset, reading through the list helps you to have a heart full of gratitude and positivity. The Trello app is a great resource for list creation.

I truly hope that you can cultivate a positive and grateful heart.

Your life is as good as your mindset.

Let’s be friends! Find me here:




Read additional family-related articles:

Marriage Prep Advice – Letter To A Friend

Fall Festivities And Autumn Activities

Happy Autumn! Are you ready for crisp air and cooler weather? I sure am! I love fall and the beautiful change of weather during this time of year.

The benefit of living in northern Utah is being able to experience the wonderful change of seasons. I am blessed to be local to many picturesque recreational spots as well as fun community events that feature highlighted activities of each season. So, as I sat down with my family and thought of the activities we wanted to take the children on these following weeks and months, these festivities are what made the cut:


In a tent or trailer, camp out for one night or several nights! Invite friends or family for a social time. All good things associated with camping are stargazing, campfire cooking, and hiking. Make sure you camp responsibly and leave no trace! On our overnight camp trip, we’ll additionally ride our horses and possibly target shoot.


To preserve the bounty from the season’s harvest, can bottles of produce! Whether you do it by yourself or surround yourself by family and friends, canning food is a wholesome activity that serves a wonderful purpose. Stock your food storage and ensure yourself with wholesome food to eat later!

Over the years, I have canned with my mom, pickles, tomatoes, grape juice, apricots, pears, peaches, apple pie filling, jalapeño jelly, and jams. Yum!

Caramel Apples

Whether you cut up apples and dip it in a delicious caramel sauce or make decorative caramel-coated apples, this activity leaves your mouth watering and eventually your belly happy. My personal favorite flavoring of the caramel apple is the apple pie caramel apple with layers of caramel, white chocolate, and a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle. So delicious!

Cider Wassail and Snickerdoodles

Enjoy a warm mug of cider and a hot snickerdoodle cookie on a crisp fall day.

Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest

Corn mazes and pumpkin fests are fun family-friendly attractions. As a family or group of friends, navigate through a corn maze and pick out pumpkins to carve. Visit the tasty food concessions and hay slides and rides for an extra fun treat!

With my daughter’s preschool, we’ll attend a local Corn Maze and Harvest Festival. This year we plan to visit my family who lives in Utah county and attend Cornbelly’s at Thanksgiving Point with them. At Cornbelly’s, try the apple cider donuts and frosted apple cider. You’ll thank me later!

Fall Leaf Display

Take a drive, hike, bike ride, or walk to go and see the changing colors of nature this fall. Take in the beauty of God’s creations and enjoy the display of colors amongst the foliage. Take time during your nature walk to breathe in the crisp clean autumn air and listen to the crinkling leaves under your feet. If you want, bring a camera along for a fall photoshoot. A fun idea with children is to collect an assortment of colorful fallen leaves and craft an autumnal art piece.

Farmer’s Fall Market

Every Saturday morning, our city hosts a farmer’s market on its downtown historic street. Look through the farm-fresh fall produce and artisan foods and goods while listening to live acoustic music and participating in community activities. Grab a warm seasonal beverage as you stroll down the street and booths.

Football Game

Go to a football game or have a flag football game with your friends and family. Make this recreational activity a must this autumn season!

Halloween Party

Attend or host a costume Halloween party with your friends, family, neighbors, community members, or church congregation. Enjoy Halloween themed foods, trick or treating, games, and movies. Trunk or treats are also a fun option for younger kids!

Pumpkin Flavored Foods

Do you love all things pumpkin spice? I have a very select few favorite pumpkin-flavored foods, including my Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Along with my longtime favorite pumpkin pie dessert made by my mother, I also love Great Harvest’s pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

Homegrown Cooking

Don’t comfort food and fall go together well? I think so! Here are some of my favorite seasonal recipes from my blog that are perfect for autumn.

Zucchini Egg Waffle Breakfast
Homemade Tomato Zucchini Soup

The Zucchini Egg Waffle is a perfect way to use up leftover or overgrown zucchini. Zucchini Tomato Soup is one of my favorite soups of all time. I just love homegrown tomatoes in homemade tomato soup. Whether you use fresh garden tomatoes or canned tomatoes, sipping a warm bowl of soup is a perfect way to warm your soul on a cool autumn day.

Hot Roasted Cinnamon-Glazed Almonds is a perfect way to enjoy the autumn season! They also are a great gift to others!

Homemade Scones and Donuts

With the recent purchase of a deep fryer, I want to make homemade deliciousness in the form of donuts and scones. Hello sugary glaze and honey butter!


Every year, we as a family attend Snowbird’s Oktoberfest. We enjoy walking through the vendor booths, eating brats and sauerkraut, and riding the scenic tramway.

Pie Night

I absolutely love pies and want to learn how to make them! The thought of buttery homemade crust and warm pie-filling just makes my mouth water. Around the time of Thanksgiving, we as an extended family will have a pie night to enjoy each other’s warm company and pies.

Pumpkin Picking and Carving

While attending your local fall festival, pick out pumpkins or go to the local grocery store or garden center. Extra points for growing them yourself! Decorate your front porch with whole ones and close to Halloween, your carved jack-o-lantern masterpieces. A fun post pumpkin carving food is roasted seasoned pumpkin seeds. Have you ever tried them? So good!

Wildlife Conservation

Go hunting and/or fishing and harvest your own meat!

Every October, my husband participates in the deer hunt. Even bigger than Christmas, it’s my husband’s favorite holiday. The hunting crew travels via horseback. I’ve enjoyed going on the horse-ride and helping my husband spot deer. More than anything, I just enjoy being in the company of my horses and husband. I appreciate the naturally-sourced meat and outdoor recreation hunting provides.

Starting November, my husband will also hunt elk. I’m excited to continue to learn how to better prepare and serve game meat meals.

For fall inspiration follow me on Pinterest and for frequent updates, follow me on Instagram!

stroller walking

Benefits Of Walking With A Stroller

This morning around 10 a.m., I grabbed my jogging stroller, threw on some exercise pants, long sleeves, sunscreen, and a trucker hat and headed out the door. I got my children comfy in the stroller with books and toys and made sure they had protection from the sun too.

In my neighborhood, there is a paved parkway for runners and bikers that I take full advantage of during the warm months here in Utah. Stroller walks and runs on straight pathways make for a more enjoyable ride for the children.

As I was walking up to the trail, I saw this sprightly elderly woman mowing her lawn. I walked passed her and asked if she needed help and she explained to me that by mowing her lawn, she was getting her exercise in for the day. Her yard was pristine and I could tell that she takes pride in her home and health. She said thank you anyway and commented how cute my children were in the stroller. I left her yard smiling at the positive vibe she left me. Once my children and I got home from our walk, I put my son down for a nap and went outside with my three-year-old daughter to mow the lawn.

After seeing this beautifully aged woman, I was reminded how exercise and daily movement is essential in preventing osteoporosis and muscle wasting as our bodies age. Choosing simple ways to move our bodies, such as mowing a lawn or pushing a stroller, are easy ways to get in daily exercise.  Mowing the lawn and pushing a stroller are similar movements and I wanted to share why doing both can improve your health.

Benefits Of Walking With A Stroller… or Mower

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Fitness

Walking is a form of aerobic exercise that improves circulation and helps the body better use oxygen. Walking strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system. When pushing a stroller or lawnmower, you are pushing extra weight, therefore, making your body work harder.

Core Engagement

It is important to engage your core when pushing a stroller or mowing the lawn. Both activities are great ways to engage and strengthen the core. When doing those activities, be cautious not to improperly twist the spine. As a postpartum mom, a strong core helps to keep up proper posture and body alignment.

Family Bonding

As a mom, your kids are kinda stuck with you. Ya, feel me? It is not recommended to leave young children alone while you go on a run by yourself or do yard work for an extended period. Therefore, bring your kid(s) along with you in a stroller. While you work in the yard, strap a kid on your back or let them play in the yard. Teaching children to take care of their bodies and the environment around them will do both them and this world some good.

Time Spent Outdoors

Spending time outdoors has documented health benefits. When we are exposed to sunlight and natural living things, it helps synchronize our circadian rhythms. Time spent outdoors helps us become mentally and physically grounded. Being outside improves your sense of well-being and helps your body produce vitamin D.

Tips for Parents

When taking children on a stroller walk or spending time outdoors for an extended period, have snacks, sun protection, toys, water, and children who have an empty bladder. These are easy and great ways to keep up an enjoyable experience outside.

Walking is a great way to introduce exercise into a sedentary lifestyle. In my article, Workout Motivation and Goal-Setting, I share how to set fitness goals and tips to meet them. A good goal to set is walking 10,000 steps a day. Read the article to start creating a goal, like getting in 10,000 steps a day, to help you have greater health and fitness. 

Basal Cell Carcinoma – Entry Two

Welcome to the second entry of my basal cell carcinoma series. I hope that the series is small, however, I would be naïve to think that I will never have skin cancer again. However, from here on out, my skin will be monitored closely by my dermatologist, and I will continue to carry out strict skin protection practices to prevent further skin damage.

You can read my first basal cell carcinoma entry here. On my first entry, I mentioned that I was to have my surgery on February 24th, however, I rescheduled the surgery for March 6th and had a pre-surgery consult on February 26th.

Health Insurance

On the 6th of February, I turned 26 and under current law before that age, a young adult is covered by their parent’s health insurance. Since I was no longer covered by my parent’s health insurance policy, I needed to switch to my husband’s health insurance starting March 1st. I still had coverage 31 days after February 6th, so the end of coverage date would be March 9th. I had a several day period between March 1st and March 9th where I had dual health insurance coverage. My surgery was scheduled on March 6th which fell within the range of the dual coverage, meaning I could receive the benefits from both insurances.


Before I had the procedure, I met with the surgeon and asked him questions about basal cell carcinoma and the Mohs surgery. I asked specific questions because I really wanted to see how much the surgeon thought he would have to take out of my face. We discussed repair plans and if I needed a plastic surgeon to close my incision.

Initially, I was a bit of a mess trying to figure out when I should have the surgery, what to do with insurances, what kind of coverage I had, and for what amount I would be financially responsible. However, I made a lot of calls to the insurance companies and dermatology office and was able to sort out the issues.

After I figured out as much as I could on my own, I went to the Ogden Utah LDS temple to think about my decision. I chose to go there for a number of reasons, but one of the main reason was that I wanted a place of solitude where I could thoughtfully decide if I was making the right decision about my surgery. After prayer and reflection, I felt like my decision about my surgery was good. Therefore, I planned to have my surgery on March 6th.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Mohs Surgery

On Tuesday, March 6th, my husband drove me to the dermatology clinic for my surgery. We dropped our children off at my parent’s home on the way there. We arrived at the clinic and went into the room where the procedure would be performed. The physician’s assistant came in and with a marker drew some marks on my nose and face for surgery prep. The medical assistant numbed my nose and gave me anti-anxiety medication. My Mohs surgery was not under general anesthetic so I opted for some medication that would help relax me.

The surgeon came in and excised the first portion of tissue. During a Mohs surgery, the surgeon takes the first portion out and then takes it to a lab for examination of the basal carcinoma cells. The first excision did not remove all the basal carcinoma cells, therefore, he came back a second time and removed more tissue. They were able to remove all the abnormal basal carcinoma cells with the second excision. They examined the second biopsy and the borders were clean.

The spot was small enough that there was no need for plastic surgery. The physician’s assistant came in and closed up the spot with stitches and covered it with a bandage.

Post Mohs Surgery


Post-procedural care entailed me not exerting myself for the 48 hours after surgery. I was to not elevate my blood pressure, lift heavy items, or strain myself. I rested and took it easy for those two days and felt pretty good. My family helped me a lot, however, I still performed mom duties. I was instructed that I could remove my bandage 48 hours after surgery. I woke up at three in the morning that third morning and couldn’t stand having the bandage on my face any longer. It was itching and irritating my face.

Bandage Over Mohs Incision Site

The dermatology staff encouraged me to take off the bandage in the shower to aid in removal. That morning, I jumped in the shower and let the bandage soak for a couple of minutes. I pulled it off and started cleaning the incision with the recommended hydrogen peroxide. With a hydrogen peroxide soaked q-tip, I started to clean it. My nose was still swollen and my left nostril was pulled up by the stitches. So, my nose was asymmetrical and slightly disfigured. The inside of my nostril was so swollen that I couldn’t breathe out of my left nostril.

Emotional Shock

The visual of the slightly deformed nose and stitches caused me to have a minor emotional shock reaction. I became light-headed and had to sit down in the shower to get more blood back to my head. I called out to my sleeping husband to get me a glass of juice. After I drank some juice and gained my bearings, I stood up and finished showering. I got back in bed but couldn’t fall back asleep because I was fretting.

Therefore, I grabbed a tablet and watched some Netflix in our living room to get my mind off of my nose. I texted my mom a picture of my nose while I was watching a show, not thinking that she was awake. However, she texted back wanting to call me. I told her she couldn’t call me because if I were to talk to her, I would burst into tears. So through text, my mom who also is a registered nurse, reassured me that the swollenness would die down and that my nose would be more symmetrical once the stitches were out. I felt a bit better after being reassured by her. Nevertheless, I was still emotional that whole morning and before my husband left for work, he made sure I was well enough to take care of our children.


When my children got up, I made them breakfast and I let them play in their room while I sat near them resting. However, late morning I continued to feel unwell, so I put us all down for early naps.  After I was able to rest, I felt better. As the hours went by that day, my nose was looking better. All in all, the incision actually looked really good. However, my physical and emotional equilibrium was out of whack and I wasn’t able to process my emotions very well.

Mohs Incision Recovery


A week after my surgery, the dermatology P.A. removed my stiches. I am very pleased with how my incision and nose look post-surgery. As of this moment, my incision is healing well.  I was instructed to keep it wet with petroleum jelly. As the incision heals and becomes less tender, I can massage it to promote healing and softening of scar tissue.

This whole experience has been a reminder of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such supportive family members and friends. I am grateful that I was able to have my skin cancer removed by skilled medical staff and that the surgery and repair were successful.


Honey Whole Wheat Banana Applesauce Muffins

Honey Whole Wheat Banana Applesauce Muffins are an easy breakfast or snack. You’ll feel good about putting this fluffy and moist morsel in your mouth because they are made with clean wholesome ingredients. It’s a simply delicious way to get some complex carbs and fiber!

Ingredient Breakdown

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is a wonderful source of fiber and is made from grain that has not been heavily processed or refined.

Sea Salt

High-quality sea salt has trace minerals that are beneficial in our bodies. Although you don’t want it in excess, a normal amount of sodium helps regulate the electrolyte balance in our bodies.

Ground Flaxseed

Ground flaxseed is rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. It also has phytochemicals called lignans, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Flaxseed that is ground is easier to digest and promotes a healthy digestion. Like other sources of dietary fiber, ground flaxseed should be taken with plenty of fluids.

Unsweetened Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce is another great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Unsweetened applesauce possesses no added sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is a pure unfiltered natural sweetener made by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. Raw honey has incredible nutritional value and has antibacterial properties. Raw honey can help with healthy weight management, natural allergy relief,  and reduction of free-radicals in the body.


Eggs are an excellent source of protein, iron, essential vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. If you have access to fresh farms eggs, they are an excellent choice because they contain more vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids and less cholesterol and fat.


Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin c, potassium, manganese and vitamin B6.

Nutritional Advice

Although these muffins are made with clean wholesome ingredients, they are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Therefore, eat the muffins in moderation. Enjoy your food and eat to nourish and fuel your body.


  • Whole Wheat Flour – 3 1/2 cups
  • Baking Soda – 2 teaspoons
  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Ground Flaxseed – 2 tablespoons
  • Unsweetened Applesauce – 2/3 cup
  • Raw Honey – 1 cup
  • Eggs – 4 count
  • Ripe Mashed Bananas – 2 cups (about 3 medium bananas)
  • Hot Water – 1/2 cup
  • Oats for garnish
  • Honey for garnish
  • Oil spray or paper baking cups


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ℉ and gather all ingredients on the counter.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl. Dry ingredients include whole-wheat flour, baking soda, and sea salt. 
  3. In a separate bowl, beat applesauce and honey together with a hand mixer.
  4. Add eggs to wet ingredients and beat well.
  5. Add mashed bananas to wet ingredients and then beat to combine.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Alternate adding dry ingredients with hot water to the wet mixture.  Mix well after each addition.
  7. Spoon batter into greased muffin tray three-fourths full. An alternate option of greasing the pan is to use paper baking cups in the tray.
  8.  If desired, drizzle the muffin batter with honey and oats
  9. Bake at 325 ℉ for 17 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and test done and clean with a toothpick. 
  10. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  11. Enjoy!
Health and Fitness Measurements

Health And Fitness Progress Trackers

When beginning a new health and fitness routine, it is helpful to do an initial assessment of your current health and body state. As you use progress trackers, such as body measurements, photos, and journaling, you can see the improvements you have made.

Non-Measurement Progress Trackers


Take a picture of your current body state. Use the same location, body position, and time of day to take the photograph. Keep a folder on your phone or computer of your dated photos. Tracking progress through photographs is a visual reminder of the physical progress you have made.


In a self-development journal, write down the goals and progress you have made throughout your health and fitness journey.

Measurement Progress Trackers

Heart Rate

Measure how many times your heart beats per minute. The WebMD article, Your Heart Rate, includes instructions on how to take your pulse. The range for a normal resting heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute. When exercising, you can work towards achieving your target heart rate. The article above describes how to calculate your target heart rate and how to use that number when exercising.

black sphygmomanometer

Blood Pressure

A normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. People who have raised blood pressure are prone to cardiovascular diseases. To lower blood pressure, practice heart-healthy habits.

Blood Pressure Cuff


A high amount of body fat can lead to being overweight. Therefore, if you are overweight, tracking your weight can show pounds lost or gained. For those who are underweight, track healthy weight gain through the scale as well.  Healthy body weight depends on your sex and age. Just remember, weight is not always an accurate indicator of health. Body shape and composition are unique to every person, therefore, healthy body weight is unique to every person.

Body-Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is the percentage of fat your body has. Common methods to measure body fat percentage are skin-fold measurements and bioelectrical impedance analysis. More accurate methods are x-ray analysis, water displacement, and DEXA body fat scan.

Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a broad and general equation that provides a numerical rating of your health based on weight and height. As your BMI increases,  your risk for weight-related diseases increases as well. Nevertheless, BMI doesn’t show body composition and cannot distinguish fat from muscle. The WebMD article, Body Fat Measurements, discusses the exact ranges for a healthy BMI and body-fat percentage and how to measure and equate them.

Tape Measurements

Grab a flexible tape measure and a close friend or family member to record the body measurements.

Thigh // measure where the thigh meets the buttocks.

Hips // measure the widest part of the hip.

Waist // measure at the level of the navel.

Bicep // when measuring the bicep, use the same spot for accuracy.

Chest // to measure, lift up your arms and have someone wrap the tape measure around your chest. Measure above the nipple line with your arms lowered.

Shoulders // to measure, have both arms down at your side and have a friend measure the widest point from shoulder to shoulder.

Neck // have a friend measure around your neck. Relax your neck and make sure your friend isn’t plotting to strangle you.

Bonus Measurement

Hair // if you are trying to grow your hair out long, a healthy lifestyle will promote healthy hair and cell growth. Measure how long your hair is and how quickly it grows when taking care of your body!

blue tape measure

Check out my article, Workout Motivation and Goal Setting, where I include tips on how to make smart goals and how to meet them.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These delicious and chewy pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are wholesome and nutritious.

As we approach holiday festivities, I am sharing one of my favorite cookie recipes.  These pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are nutritious, delicious, and wholesome! When I bring these little bits of goodness to parties, my friends and family rave about them. They are a feel-good after eating it kind of dessert. Those who are trying to eat “healthy” love these little morsels of wholesome ingredients. These cookies are not the “healthiest” cookie out there, however, the ingredients such as wheat flour, olive oil, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, oats, and pumpkin purée help me feel better about eating a dang delicious cookie.


  • Wheat Flour – 1 cup
  • Old-Fashioned Oats – 3/4 cup
  • Ground Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sea Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground Nutmeg – pinch
  • Canned Pumpkin Purée – 3/4 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Olive Oil – 1/4 cup
  • Ground Flaxseed – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon 
  • Milk Chocolate Chips – 1/4 cup 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients (wheat flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg) in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix together in a separate bowl the wet ingredients (pumpkin, sugar, olive oil, flaxseed, and vanilla extract).
  4. Combine and mix dry and wet ingredients.
  5. Stir in the milk chocolate chips in the dough.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons on a greased cookie sheet. Press cookie dough down into a cookie shape with a utensil. Space the dough about 1 inch apart.
  7. Bake for 15-16 minutes.
  8. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and move cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Consume and enjoy! Makes approximately 24 cookies.
Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Cookie Dough
Yummy Cookies!
Watch out for those little hands!