Welcome to Your Comfort For Life

Wellness Strategist & LifeStyle Mentor – let’s plan your next steps!

Don’t Skip Your Skin Care Toner!

Yep – we are moving from discussing healthy meals to healthy skin in this post! I am a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician with over 39 years of experience – I can’t believe I can say that! When I work with people, I find that time is always one of the reasons we don’t do “all of the steps” for an ideal skin care regimen. I totally get that. Too many steps cause people to not follow the program because, let’s face it –  Life is busy! But skipping your skin care toner is a bad choice long term! Here is why:

Skin Care Toner will help your skin return to a normal pH after cleansing. When the pH is normal, application of serums, lotions and creams are more effectively absorbed.

Since skin care toner will neutralize your skin back to it’s normal pH not only will your skin care products work better, they are less likely to irritate the skin. If skin nutrition is applied immediately following cleansing, the skin may react negatively to those ingredients. By not using your skin care toner, applying treatments may cause skin problems instead of helping your skin like they were designed.

Use a cotton pad with your skin care toner to remove missed dirt, cleanser residue and give your skin a gentle exfoliation (dead skin cell removal) – FYI this is better than just misting the toner on your skin (which I know feels like a time saver but it is not a “skin saver!)

When hot outside, you can refrigerate your skin care toner for a cooling treatment after cleansing. But don’t put it in the fridge if that makes it more likely for you to forget or not take the time to get it!

If you found this information helpful, let us know! If you have any medical conditions, please consult your medical professional before following any of my suggestions here.

Questions, thoughts? You can call/text at (847) 502-8394, email at elizabeth@elizabethanthonygronert.com or find me on Facebook (Elizabeth Anthony Gronert). We look forward to helping you and your family have Comfort For Life! Elizabeth & Kris Gronert

 

 

Watch out for Cross Contamination….They said it was gluten free but it wasn’t!

I recently ate at three different restaurants that promoted they had gluten free fare. The first two had a big sign saying Gluten Free Pancakes. When I inquired if the gluten free pancakes were cooked on a dedicated grill (meaning there was a grill used exclusively for gluten free food and another for gluten foods), the answer both times was NO! My big concern is that they thought they were offering “safe” gluten free pancakes – both restaurants have had no training in what gluten free really is and how to prevent cross contamination. I shared with them that by grilling the pancakes on the same griddle as gluten food would cause someone who is celiac or gluten intolerant a HUGE problem. That they could make someone very ill if they were not well-educated (which all of us start in that place!) Both times I spoke with a manager/owner and they sort of shrugged it off. One even shared that they have gluten free patrons who bring in their own gluten free bread and the server toasts it for them in their “gluten-laden” toaster!

The third restaurant was enlightened. They offered gluten free options for bread, rolls and chips. They had a disclaimer on their menu that the server also was sure to review with me when I ordered gluten free. The menu and server told me that they offered these items but wanted me to know that they are assembled in a kitchen where gluten also coexists. Cross contamination was a possibility and they were very assertive to be sure I knew that.

I am gluten free by choice to reduce inflammation. It has really helped my ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis). So if there is a smidge of gluten on my meal, it will not ruin my week.  I am lucky to be able to eat in more places than many of my friends who will become violently ill with the smallest amount of gluten. For those not familiar with the gluten world – gluten is the sticky stuff in wheat, rye, barley and spelt. If you would like a list of common ingredients to avoid, pop me an email or give me a call. My friend, Advocate & Author, Tiffany Hinton has a document I can share with you as well as she has almost a dozen cookbooks to help you stay gluten free yet make tasty meals the whole family will enjoy!

Another way people are accidentally “glutened” is products that say they are gluten free on the packaging…then on the back it says that this item was manufactured in a plant or on equipment that may have processed wheat, soy, peanuts, and other allergens. Anyone who is a celiac, gluten intolerant, gluten allergic will tell you they do not consider anything that may have accidentally been contaminated gluten free since the smallest amount of gluten will rock their world.

Make sure when you are looking for a place to eat or products to enjoy that there’s no chance the products/food may have been contaminated…..ask a few questions to keep yourself and the ones you love that are gluten free safe and comfortable!

If you found this helpful, please let me know. Send me an email to elizabeth@elizabethanthonygronert.com or call/text at (847) 502-8394. Elizabeth & Kris Gronert bringing you Comfort For Life!

Save Time and Money By Opening That Tube!

IMAG1738We all have pet peeves. Wasting time and money are probably at the top of my list. Many of us probably feel that we don’t have the time to open a tube…I mean how much product can be left when you have rolled and squeezed all that will come out? I was quite surprised the first time I cut off the crimped end of my hair conditioner. There was enough in the tube for 3 or more hair applications. I am from the professional beauty industry so I like the good stuff. 3 more hair treatments is worth the effort! If you like to save time and money – read on!

Every time I feel I have squeezed the last out of a tube, I don’t always have a moment to open the tube to save the rest. I have a bin at the bottom of my closet where I store it till the day when I have a few minutes to get chores done. The tube you see open in the picture is a skin care clay masque. My husband Kris helped me by holding the tube up so you an see the remnants of product clinging to the bottom and sides of the tube.

IMAG1745

The tools you need are simple.  A sharp scissor to cut off the crimped end of the tube. Then you need a container to store the products you retrieve. I use 1/4 to 1 ounce travel jars. For large tubes (and jars) I have a small rubber spatula to easily scrape out and use every last bit of goodness. This tube was a bit narrow and a kitchen butter knife worked better. It fit perfectly at the small top end where product accumulates.

IMAG1746

I had two tubes of my face masque to clean out and place in the jar. When done I had almost a full ounce of masque in the jar. The brand new tube contains 2.5 ounces….retrieving a 1/2 ounce per tube is a 5th of the price!! Now I may have been able to squeeze the tube a bit more but since I have started doing this…when I have to take extra time to manipulate a tube to get the contents out, it goes in the bin and I take out a new tube. I have found this procedure to not only prevent product waste but a time saver as well! Since I have a travel kit for the gym, this technique helps me keep everything ready to go.

To prevent contaminating product in jars, use a clean spatula, wood stick or Q-tip to take out what you need. I keep a small glass of spatulas in my medicine cabinet. After I use them, I quickly rinse and dry off, then place back in the jar.

Did you find this helpful? If so, share with the people you care about who like to save time and money. Any questions, please contact Elizabeth & Kris Gronert – we help people and families find Comfort For Life! You can call or text (847) 502-8394 or email Elizabeth@elizabethanthonygronert.com

Crazy Busy Is The New Normal

woman-working-at-home-with-kids

In the last few years, I have been noticing that most people have gone from busy to CRAZY BUSY. We are scheduled tightly from morning to night with an abundance of important activities. The busiest people seem to be parents, especially working moms. When working with families, I find that crazy busy is the new normal….that people are struggling to keep up….which is stressful. It also makes it tough to eat right, exercise and get enough sleep.

What to do? Well, I will admit to feeling overwhelmed on a regular basis – especially since my health has been a bit compromised since a car accident last year….here are some strategies that have calmed me and may work for you too! One thing my husband does is if he sees me doing something that may not be a top priority, he gently asks if that is really the most important thing on my list. At first it used to irk me but after a while, even when he is not around I can hear Kris’ voice in my head as I ask myself if I am working on the most urgent or have I become distracted…..follow the steps below to make your plan and then stick to the plan;-)

First – Write it Down on a Calendar! Put the non-negotiables on your calendar and TIME BLOCK! This means mark out the required amount of time on the calendar. Helps us to be realistic about what we really can get done each day. For me this includes the times I want to work since I am self-employed. Next, add in the appointments/commitments for yourself and the family.  Some families create a family calendar so everybody knows where the others will be and/or if they are available. This can be done on a big calendar on a wall or on something like Google Calendar on everyone’s phone. I put my exercise on my calendar. To stay healthy or in my case keep working towards feeling better, exercise has become a non-negotiable. I also mark out times for meal prep, meals, quiet time and walking the dog!

Second – Prioritize – List what is most urgent each day – read Stephen Covey’s Book on 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I know I am due a reread!! He has a great system on how to label each task so you know what order they need to be completed. I make myself do the projects that are the most difficult first – otherwise I will procrastinate. Many times I build a reward into getting certain things done I don’t enjoy…or maybe you need to reward yourself when you get to the gym 3 times a week. I reward myself with a No-Chip Manicure every other week – keeps me on track….and I don’t have to fuss with my nails – one less thing for me to do and it makes me happy. The reward has to be something you want in order for it to work!

Which brings us to – Third – what can you delegate or get help with? It was hard for my husband to understand that I would rather take another appointment than clean our house. Cleaning the house also exhausted me and generally I was doing it at warp speed before a meeting in our home that I needed to be energized and prepared for. After a few of those meetings where I was fatigued instead of jazzed for my team, I learned that it makes great sense to have help cleaning my home! I also have had help cooking meals, walking the dog, and shopping for about everything we purchase. I am a small business owner so I always look for another small business to shop or have services from. I employ small business people who are affordable and offer awesome customer service. Nothing like having items delivered to your door. Many people think these services will cost more from the local business person than the “Big Box” stores but in most cases, you will save money….and more important to most of us, SAVE TIME! Plus the bonus of supporting people in your network and neighborhood.

Buy From Mom & Pop Biz

I found this picture on Facebook and post it whenever I can to help remind everyone to shop with their family member, friend, neighbor before going to the mall. Now one more step before running out to “the store” – CALL ME! I have people that Kris and I Know, Like and TRUST who will serve you! Reliable, personable and affordable professionals who will help you shop, cook amazing meals plus can help/have expertise with dietary concerns, clean your home, do your hair/nails, massage therapists to relieve stress, plan special events, take pictures, help you with scrapbooks, fix your computer, teach you how to use your phone, coach you how to effectively exercise for lasting results, share how to sleep better; it is quite an extensive directory of services and products to help you fight the fact that crazy busy is the new normal. Please leverage our resources to simplify your life!

Call Elizabeth & Kris Gronert at (847) 502-8394, email at Elizabeth@elizabethanthonygronert.com or message on Facebook. Let us share how to have more Comfort For Life!

Gluten Free is not a “Fad Diet”

Been a busy few months meeting many experts and every day people who are navigating the Gluten and Allergy Free Life Style. Really enjoyed attending the Chicago and then Atlanta GFAF Expos.  We have learned so much and can’t wait to share!

My son and I have always had lots of allergies. We are the difficult ones when you invite us to dinner that we have to check the menu for those things that will make us sick. Last year, we learned that many people experience a reduction in inflammation when removing Gluten from their diet. Going Gluten Free made sense…..and within a few weeks we both agreed it made a difference in how we felt. So we are now living the “Gluten Free Lifestyle.” Stephen and I have Ankylosing Spondylitis – a hereditary rheumatological and psoriatic arthritis that I watched my mother struggle with all the years I knew her. My son also suffers from Fibromyalgia and  Tactile Allodynia.

As I asked for a Gluten Free menu at a restaurant last week, the gentleman next to me at the bar made a remark about how many people were doing this new “fad” diet of Gluten Free….he compared it to something like the South Beach Diet. I chose my words carefully and educated him on how the person next to me would be sick for days as a Celiac and how I had just met a number of people who were so allergic to Gluten that they could die since their response to Gluten was anaphylactic shock. Then I shared that I was one who did make a choice to go Gluten Free but that I did have a medical reason – to reduce chronic inflammation. I felt good after that short conversation – first because I knew how to simply educate this person and second that he seemed to really get it (he even said thanks!!)

One of the things you realize shortly after striving to be SAFELY Gluten Free is that you are cooking a lot more at home. I was introduced to Tiffany Hinton a little before Christmas last year. She has authored Gluten Free Cookbooks that you want in your library…..I gave them for Christmas Gifts since we enjoyed her experience and wisdom so much. Over the last few months I have had the pleasure of getting to know Tiffany, her husband Will and family very well. They truly have a story that you will want to learn…..they have 3 children under the age of 3 so Tiffany now is not the only gluten intolerant one in the family. They are also lactose, peanut, nightshades and dairy free.

Hinton Family 2014

Take advantage of all their hard work translating our old fave recipes to Gluten Free Recipes that work and taste great! They just released a new cookbook that Tiffany and Will wrote together sharing their journey, family history and best of all their favorite family recipes all reworked into tasty Gluten Free!!

Hinton Heritage Cookbook

Their mission is to be advocates for the Gluten and Allergy Free world – they have an abundance of experience and wisdom they generously share. Please check out their offerings here:

www.gfmomcertified.com/affiliates/shopping44

Be sure to sign up for Tiffany’s weekly Gluten & Allergy Free Recipes!!

They have been such a help to us and friends! I know they will bless you too!

Let’s talk soon! Elizabeth and Kris Gronert bringing you and your family Comfort For Life. Call or text (847) 502-8394 or email at elizabeth@elizabethanthonygronert.com

 

 

Ideas to Help “Hot” Sleepers or During Menopause Sleep More Comfortable

Man Waking to Alarm Clock

I don’t know who was suffering from my menopause more – Kris or me? I was waking up every hour to two hours kicking off covers from being warm and then waking up shivering and covering up. I rarely had more than 2 hours of sleep at a time…..We both would wake up in the morning exhausted. We were plain old fashioned sleep deprived with poor Kris constantly being disturbed by me. I am so glad we met 10 years ago before all this “old lady nonsense!”

For immediate help for those who tend to perspire or “flash” while sleeping ( I know many people who are not in menopause but perspire when they sleep who will benefit from these suggestions), let’s look at the bedding first – the layers on your bed DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! On top of our mattress we have a featherbed – I had always thought that I was allergic to feathers and down….but have learned that today’s products (bought from a reputable resource and paying a reasonable price) are super clean….I had been staying at Westin Hotels – asking for a fiber-filled pillow but sleeping on the rest of the “Heavenly” bed down & feather layers…..with no symptoms. I now sleep on a down pillow and a featherbed….which allows air to circulate underneath me. The down actually “breathes”….it pulls the heat away from my body (and if you are cold, it will warm you up…a featherbed will help two people with different body temperatures sleep together successfully. Sounds hard to believe but now we have helped dozens of couples “enjoy” sleeping together again!) If you truly have a feather allergy, there are many synthetic products being made available today that will circulate air around and under the body. The way down and these other products support and cradle your body is very comforting. It definitely helps me “get to sleep.” Next, invest in high -quality Bamboo Sheets and Pajamas (more Bamboo fabric content than cotton is what you are looking for)…or find one of the many “cool” fabrics available now in bedding and sleeping apparel. (An up and coming fabric is being made from Eucalyptus!) These fabrics were originally developed for people to work out in and then people realized that these fabrics were fabulous for those who perspire while sleeping! You won’t believe how much better you will feel!

For additional immediate help, I experimented with top quality, pure essential oils. I have found that rubbing Vetiver Oil on the soles of my feet, then a custom blend of oils that encourages deep relaxation on my wrists before crawling under the covers helps me relax and get to sleep. Some mist their pillowcase or bedding with Lavender or other relaxing essential oil or natural essences to promote sleep. I also have a natural supplement for relaxation that I take if I happen to wake up around 3-4 AM and feel like I may not go back to sleep. The product I use is all natural and it helps me get relax back to sleep for a few more hours….and able to wake up refreshed in the morning! (Beware of synthetic supplements or essential oils – they are not good for you! May even have toxic effects!)

For those going through menopause, the sleep issues may be helped by a visit to your doctor. There are prescriptions and natural supplements that do help! I encourage you to consult with your doctor before adding any supplements into your routine, especially if you are taking other prescriptions, under a doctor’s care or have medical issues. I chose the natural supplement route….and it did take some time to build up and have an effect in my body. I added a menopausal support supplement as recommended (one in the morning, one at dinner)…..as I started the second bottle (month) I wondered if I would feel any benefit. You can tell how patient I am, huh!

As usual, patience is a virtue and five weeks after taking this supplement as recommended, I slept 6 hours straight through the night. When I woke up Kris and I looked at each other! He asked me in amazement “is this the first time you have woken up?” Yes it was…..and I have continued to sleep soundly ever since that night. No more flashes. No more tossing and turning. I feel so much better and so lucky to have found this relief……Kris is thrilled too;-) Nothing like a good night’s sleep!

This was a good reminder that sometimes it takes more than just a week or two for a supplement, good nutrition and/or essential oils to help! Commitment and consistency is important in all we value!

If you found this information helpful, let us know! If you have any medical conditions, please consult your medical professional before following any of my suggestions here.

Questions, thoughts? You can call/text at (847) 502-8394, email at elizabeth@elizabethanthonygronert.com or find me on Facebook (Elizabeth Anthony Gronert). We look forward to helping you and your family have Comfort For Life! Elizabeth & Kris Gronert

Still bringing you Comfort For Life!

September is almost gone and I am wondering where did the time disappear to? Are you feeling the same way? My last post was in June before we went on our 17 day trip right after starting a new business….that was fun and stressful! After the trip, we jumped right back into the “sea of busyness” and are slowly reaching out to all the wonderful people we know to share all the changes we have experienced. Can’t wait to connect if we haven’t already……It really has given us time to be grateful and in awe of the contacts we have developed over the years. And with Facebook we are able to still interact with so many who we don’t see on a regular basis!

Some of you still don’t know that Private Quarters has closed their doors as of June 1, 2012. At first this was quite a shock but as most of us “mature folk” have learned (I think they call that wisdom!) that when a door closes, it gives us an opportunity to take a close look at that “wish list” we keep….and act on it. Kris and I spent a lovely evening in the hot tub with a great bottle of wine to determine what was important to our family now (that list was in my June 2012 post) and I am happy to report that we have found a simpler, very rewarding way to create security for our family and help the people we care about!

Our business partner is a “direct to you” store for safe, non-toxic, eco-friendly and made-in-the-USA products. These products combined with the skills I have acquired over the last 35 years, will create a fine blend of new services we can offer our customers. I continue to speak on Visual Presence, Dress for Success, Put Your Best Foot Forward, How To Sleep More Restoratively….but now will also offer appointments/will speak on topics relating to my Nail Technician, Cosmetology, Esthetician and Makeup Artist Licenses and Experience.

We look forward to helping you or someone you know…continuing our adventure of helping you and yours have Comfort For Life! Please contact us for upcoming events and more information at (847) 502-8394 or Elizabeth@elizabethanthonygronert.com

Elizabeth & Kris Gronert bringing you new ideas each month for your family’s Comfort For Life.

Stay tuned as our blog evolves – we promise it will be a fun adventure!