Let Plan B be your Plan A

This quote, “Let Plan B be your Plan A”, came across my ears this morning on the radio and it struck me!  What an interesting concept.  The person on the radio was talking about how often you plan and create your “A” strategy and then how often something happens and throws off Plan A.  You are then automatically put on to track B.  Well there are two things you can then do with Plan B.  You can complain, be upset, and dig your heels in because this was not your original plan, or you can let Plan B be your Plan A.

What a great way to live life…

Planning 2.10.17
Family Planning Day

I started to think to myself how much negative time and energy would be removed if I just let Plan A go and seamlessly allowed Plan B to take over.  Being very Type A (pun intended), I can schedule things to a fault.  My intention actually for 2017 was to be more adventurous because I realized I had gotten to a point in my life where if things weren’t planned I would break out in metaphorical hives, itching to have a plan and being incredibly frustrated if I didn’t have one.  Needless to say, I almost always have a Plan A.  The rarity though in which Plan A goes off without a hitch is high.  Now with small children it is almost a guarantee that something will put me into Plan B.  Children just don’t operate on parents’ schedules, they operate on THEIR schedules.  So what does that all boil down to?  Well it brings me back to why this quote hit a positive chord with me this morning.  I can have my Plan A (which I love), but if I end up with a Plan B I am going to have just as much enthusiasm and passion for it as I would for Plan A.

Plan C-hildren:

Lastly, I am going to realize that Plan A and Plan B still might turn in to Plan C-hildren, and that can work for me to.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor, Open to Plan A,B or C.


Bach Rescue Remedy – My Personal Story

My bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy
My bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy

It has been over 9 years now since I was introduced to Bach Rescue Remedy.  Honestly when I was first made aware of this product I really thought, “this is a bunch of bologna and it is clearly if anything a placebo effect.”.  Well that was at least my thought until this past fall.

What is Bach?

Bach Flower Remedies Limited utilizes flower essences to create products to help with a number of different emotional states.  Bach Rescue Remedy is a natural stress relief spray.  It provides a gentle, non habit forming stress relief by simply being sprayed in the mouth.  The product is homeopathic, vegan and gluten free.

Well as I was saying, I was introduced to Bach over 9 years ago and I purposefully had not used it.  I recommended it to guests and to my friends and family because I wanted to believe it would work, but I felt honestly that there was no way a spray was going to do anything for my mental health.

It was September of this past year when I was heading back to work after my maternity leave with my daughter and my son, who had just turned 2, was now going to go to daycare full time vs. part time.  I had convinced myself that he would be fine.  He would not be upset that he didn’t get to spend part of his week with his grandparents and he would totally understand why his mom had to go to work…you probably all know where this story is going.  Instead of having a well adjusted 2 year old I had a sobbing, clinging, frazzled, massively emotional 2 year old who I literally had to yank off my leg when I left him at school.  It was horrible.  Day after day he sobbed and I sobbed in the car on the ride to work because I felt like the worst human being alive.  I had no idea what to do.  He was 2 and emotional and I was a breastfeeding, mother-of-two, hormonal roller coaster myself.  There was no magic pill for this situation, but then as I was sitting at my desk I looked over to our retail shelves and saw Bach Rescue Remedy.  It was then I thought, “I have nothing to lose.”

Now on the bottle it did say that if you are pregnant or breastfeeding to consult a doctor and it also said that it should be not directed at children under 12, so I went to my doctor and told her what I knew and what this was.  Her personal advice was that it would be fine for me and for my kiddo to use (please advise your own physician when considering taking Bach).  So the next day I purchased some, and the day after that I tried the spray on my son.  His immediate reaction was, “that is spicy mama”, and he wanted nothing to do with it.  I went to Pam our Massage Department Manager and asked if there was any other way to apply it.  She suggested spraying some into my hand and then rubbing it on the back of his neck, so that was what I tried next.  It had been just over a week of using Bach and then it happened.  I asked my son when he got to school if he wanted “his spray”, he said yes and I applied it to the back of his neck.  He then took my hand, walked calmly into the classroom, gave me a hug and a kiss goodbye and said, “bye mom”.  I LEFT STUNNED!

Once in the car with my jaw picked off my chest, I realized that this spray might have done the trick.  Driving to work that day was incredible.  I was happy and my stomach didn’t feel in knots.  Ever since I have been using Bach Rescue Remedy and telling everyone about it.  Not only that but I started to use it too.  I don’t use it everyday but I use it when I start to get stressed or I worry.  Having kids, a full time job and a busy husband there are a number of things that cause stress, so each time I feel that feeling coming on I just spray some Bach Rescue Remedy and I instantly start to calm down.  I became more rational, clear-headed and I worry A LOT LESS.

I was a non believer and I became a believer.  If this is just a placebo effect, well I don’t care.  It gives me a homeopathic option to help my kids not cry, and for me to worry less.  I will take that option any day. http://www.bachflower.com/

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Mom of two

Annual Prepare and Plan Day

Taking a day to prepare and plan for 2017

As 2016 draws to a close, I wanted to share with you an organizational strategy to help 2017 be a knockout year.  The advice is, take a day either by yourself or with your significant other, and prepare/plan out your 2017.  Take a weekday off of work, grab your calendars, planners, mobile devices, and laptops and head out of the house.  If you have kids make sure they are not with you.  Put them in day care, have a babysitter come over, or take the time they are in school to give yourself and your partner some time to really get down to business with minimal distractions.  Then, go to a place where you can get a meal, caffeine, free Wifi and some alone time.

“What then do you plan for?”, you ask.  Well here is a list to get you started.  It includes questions to ask yourself along with events and lifestyle trinkets to take into consideration.

Questions to ask:

  1. What in 2016 did I find to be stressful?  How could I remedy this in 2017?
  2. What was my favorite thing I did in 2016? For myself? and With my family?
  3. If I could have done anything different in 2016 what would it have been?
  4. What is my intention for 2017? (to be more adventurous, to consider wellness in my everyday life, to live more “experiences”, etc.)

Once you have these questions answered, plan out any dates, events, etc. that will need to blocked in order for you to do the things you laid out.

Events/Appointments to Plan for:

  1. Travel – Are there vacations you want to take (Vegas with your girlfriends)?  Are there trips you need to take (out to Connecticut for Christmas with family)?  Find the dates, start to plan your transportation, inform those involved.
  2. Birthday party dates for your children
  3. Dentist Appointments
  4. Wellness Appointments – Massage, Facials, Nails, Chiropractic
  5. Volunteer events
  6. Kid’s Dr. Appointments

Life Trinkets:

  1. Meal Planning
  2. Exercise Plan – how many times per week, who watches the kids, who will hold you accountable?
  3. Bills/Money Allocation – Retirement accounts, savings funds, large upcoming purchases, maternity leave

Once your prep/plan session is completed you will have a focused direction for 2017.  You will be ahead of the game, and well beyond most of your peers.  You will feel less stressed and more centered because you will minimize a lot of the last minute crazy.  Instead of setting a resolution for yourself that will only get broken within the first 6 weeks (this is on average how long a person holds true to a resolution), give yourself and your family a game plan.

Detox for the Season

During seasonal transitions clients are always interested in ways to “manage” the changes that coincide with a changing of the season.  Being a born and bred Wisconsin girl, I know that with the season change comes a number of factors to consider:

  1. What to wear
  2. Time to leave the house to get anywhere due to construction, snow, ice, rain, etc.
  3. What products I should be using to either bring moisture to my skin, or to give myself a tan or to protect myself from the sun, etc.
  4. Illnesses – prevention and/or dealing with an illness
  5. And the list could go on and on

One suggestion that I always hear my team members make to deal with the number of things above is to schedule a detoxing service at the beginning of each new season. By having a detox service, the body is able to better handle the large amount of changes that a new season brings. It essentially is a way to start fresh, clean slate and prepare your body and mind for the new things to come.

If you are someone who has a difficult time dealing with change then this is especially for you, but really a detox service can be even helpful for those who flow smoothly from one thing to the next.  One detox service that I highly recommend is our Cleansing Mud Steam Shower.  It is focused not just around physical detox but mental detox.

Cleansing Mud Steam Shower
While enjoying an Aura Cacia Inspiration infused essential oil steam, you will partake in a self-guided mud application.  You will be given Sedona Clay infused with Vitamin E., Grape seed, Bladderwrack, Irish Moss, and Sage Essential oils.  Begin your treatment by applying this magnesium and vitamin-rich mud blend to your body, then relax in the wet heat of the steam, and lastly remove the mud with the available shower.  When completed your skin will be left glowing and your mind will feel encouraged to be creative.

Try a  Cleansing Steam Shower
Try a
Cleansing Steam Shower

By partaking in a detox service such as our Cleansing Mud Steam Shower, you hit your internal reset button. If spa services don’t work for you, think about increasing your water intake and/or taking a hot yoga class. Just find something that can push out the old and allow for the new to come in.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Seasonal Detox-er

Streamline Your Week on Sunday

Sunday is one of my favorite days, sleeping in (well as late as you can with two kids), football and football snacks, family dinner and of course prep work.  I use Sunday to make my week much more efficient.  With a commute of an hour to and from work, my mornings have to start pretty early to get the kids ready and out the door and my nights are shorter to get on dinner and actually hang out with my family before it is time for baths, books and bed.  To maximize my available time and to reduce my stress level, I do a few things on Sunday and it makes a world of difference.  Here is my Sunday Prep list.  Some things might work for you and some may not, but regardless whether you do 1 or all of the items your week will be a little less busy and a whole lot more streamlined.

    1. Plan out your dinners for the week and go grocery shopping for all the items needed to make them.  I am a habitual Pinterest pinner so now on Sundays I go through all my “Food” pins and pick 5 I want to make for dinner.  This allows me to start dinner right when I get home or put it in the crockpot the morning of and it saves me from having to hit up the grocery store during the week multiple times.  It also helps me clear out all the pins I have and feel like I am actually doing something with them.
    2. Pull out your vitamins for the week and put into a weekly container.  This is a small one but it makes a big difference.  I just grab my vitamin container throw it in my car and then I am set.
    3. Pay Bills and write out checks.  I do most of my banking online so on Sundays I sit down with my mail pile and I enter in all my bills that need to be paid.  I also write out all of the checks that need to be sent including my check for daycare.  By keeping up on it weekly it saves you time and money (no late fees)!
    4. Prepare food items that will last all week for quick grab-and-go options either for breakfast or lunch.  Examples would be Overnight Oats (see recipe below for one of my favorites), hard boiled eggs, baked chicken, etc.  It is so nice to just have things on hand that I can grab quick that are “better” for me than a bag of chips and a lean cuisine.
    5. Pick out your outfits for work (and if you get really ambitious, pick out your kids’ clothes as well).  I just look at the weather forecast ahead of time and then pick out 6-7 outfits.  The reason for 6-7 vs. 5 for the 5 days I work is so that if something just doesn’t feel right or maybe the weather shifted a bit I have another option.
    6. Purse/Bag dump.  Every Sunday I take my purse and any bags out of my car and clean them out and replenish them.  My two kids are 2 and 4 months so diaper bags constantly need to be cleaned out and refreshed with items.  Also my purse gathers multiple receipts and other items, and it feels so good to clean it out and prepare it for the week to come.
    7. Wash your bed sheets.  This one might seem a little crazy but there is nothing better than starting your work week off with good smelling, feel good sheets.

Overnight Oats Recipe 

Overnight Oats - Sunday Prep
Overnight Oats – One way to streamline your morning
    • 18oz Fage Vanilla Fruyo Greek Yogurt
    • 1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
    • 1 1/2 tsps. Vanilla Extract
    • 1 1/2 tsps. Almond Extract

Mix all items together and put in individual glass mason jars (I use 4-5 of the 4oz mason jars).  Put in fridge and grab one out each day of the week.  When I go to eat mine I add some Raw Honey and Sliced Almonds for crunch.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Mother of 2

No Bake Energy Bites

Recently I gave birth to my daughter Collette (June 11, 2016).  Being now a mom of 2 kids under 2 I realized quickly that my time to eat, let alone cook, was being cut short.  So like any parent nowadays, I went to Pinterest to help me find a recipe that did not require any baking, but was still healthy, and I found these no bake energy bites.  Well after making them up (barely took any time), I thought I should share the recipe with the Kneaded Relief Family.

As a side note, my husband and my son (22 months), loved them…

No Bake Energy Bites (just throw it all into a bowl and mix with hands.  Then, form into balls a little smaller than the size of a golf ball.)

No Bake Energy Bites
No Bake Energy Bites

1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 cup Raw Honey
1/2 cup Peanut Butter (Smooth)
1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2/3 cup shredded coconut (toast it in the microwave for additional flavor)
1/2 cup ground flax seed

Depending upon the size of the bites that you make, you should get at least 12-15 bites from this recipe.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager and Group Fitness Instructor


Challenge #1 A Surprise Meal

Last week I had the privilege of enjoying a talk at the local Dreambank.  Dreambank is an American Family Insurance sponsored place where they encourage you to live out your dreams.  If you have not been to one of these and you have a local one I highly urge you to check it out.  The talk was called “Secrets for Sweethearts” and it was given by Kim and Jason Kotecki who on their own have created a whole culture called Escaping Adulthood.  Again, another google search I urge you to take.  In their speech they gave a variety of ideas on how to bring childhood fun into your relationship.  With my husband’s and my second child on the way (our first is currently 19 months), we felt like we needed some helpful reminders on how to have fun and not just get caught up in being mom and dad (i.e. waking up, taking 1st child to daycare, going to work, picking up child from daycare, eating a very fast/thrown together meal, giving child a bath and going to bed).  So, last night I decided to take on my first challenge after attending the class last week to see if I could start incorporating some “fun” items into my life.  My first challenge was to take a cookbook, randomly open it up and make that meal for dinner.  I admit I was a bit nervous about this because what if I got something that required hours of my attention or a food that I disliked, but I decided to get over my fear and just go for it and this is what I opened up to…Spaghetti with Artichokes!

Challenge #1 A Surprise Meal - Spaghetti with Artichokes
Challenge #1 A Surprise Meal – Spaghetti with Artichokes

Now I could go into detail of the whole cooking experience, but instead I thought I would share what I took from this experience.

  1. I have way too many cookbooks that have just sat on my shelves for years.  My husband and I got married almost 9 years ago and we got a variety of cookbooks for our wedding shower.  Here most of them had sat without even a page being looked at, and I thought to myself how sad that was that all this great information had gone to waste for so long.  It felt really good to crack open a cookbook.
  2. I got excited to make a meal.  Because my husband and I share the cooking duties and both work full time with a child and one on the way, I especially tend to pick meals that are quick, easy and I have made a million times before.  Though this strategy has worked for us, it left little excitement when it came to the grocery shopping and actual prep.  Yesterday I actually felt a rush as I walked into the grocery store to pick up my items and then as I cooked I put some music on and really enjoyed the process.
  3. My husband was impressed that I stepped out of my comfort zone.  For those who know me, I love to only do things that I know FOR SURE will provide a positive outcome.  My husband says that playing Euchre with me is only fun when I have really good hands because otherwise I refuse to call anything.  I will only make a call when I know I will win the hand.  Essentially I don’t like to gamble.  Well last night I took a gamble and it turned out great!
  4. My family enjoyed the meal.  As always my family sat down together for dinner, but this time there was something special added to it.  We weren’t just eating to eat, we were eating and enjoying, and I felt accomplished.  It was an amazing feeling and though it wasn’t something that changed everything, it did change something.

My final take away from my first challenge is that achieving total body Wellness doesn’t solely reside in the common things (breathing, receiving services, sleep), it can also be found in very small things like this.  It pushes me to take on more challenges and I look forward to sharing them with you.

Dana Neal – Spa Manager and Group Fitness Instructor