Quick Tip: Freeze Extra Bananas

Happy New Year’s Eve! Can you believe another year has come and gone? Seems like just yesterday that I was coming up with my New Year’s goals (updates in a later post!) and starting Anatomy and Physiology 1. Then again, this seems like a long time ago.

Anatomy and Physiology skeleton

I wanted to share a quick little tip that I have used thoroughly this past year: freezing bananas. Now, I know this isn’t a novel idea in the least (who doesn’t have these in the freezer door?), but I wanted to show you a slightly different way of doing it.

Frozen bananas


First, you’ll want to unpeel each banana. This will make defrosting them should you need them for banana-something or as sweetener substitute so much easier. Second, break them roughly in half and place in a container. Then, put on the top or seal the container and place in the freezer.

Bananas in container

The next time you want to add some banana to your smoothie or overnight oats, they’re ready to go. Just take them out of the freezer, chop up some small bits, and add them to your desired item.

Frozen banana

Bananas in smoothie

If you do plan on using them for a banana-bread type recipe (as I did for these muffins), I would suggest defrosting them on the counter or in the microwave whole as you’ll most likely need to mash them. Another idea is to simply blend the frozen banana with a little bit of milk for a faux soft serve!

I know this isn’t an Earth-shattering tip at all, but I’m telling you, it has made my smoothies, oats, and other baking more flavorful and easier to make.

Questions: Are you a banana-freezer? Any other freezing tips? Speaking of freezing (as it will be here tonight), any New Year’s Eve plans?


Don’t Put Anything Smaller Than Your Elbow in Your Ear

Have you heard of this saying before? It just cracks me up, but it really and truly is true. I used Q-tips for the majority of my life after every shower to clean out my ears even though I knew it was bad. I even knew of a family friend who slipped while using one and ended up puncturing her eardrum, but still I persisted using them. And knowing what WH Brother went through dealing with his eardrum puncturing (not from a Q-tip) and subsequent surgery, it’s not something you want to go through.

Basket of Q-tips

Oh, so innocent looking

It just felt so rewarding to take a quick swab after my shower and see that I had cleaned something so thoroughly. And it physically felt good, like an itch I had to scratch. However, about a year ago I started having minor earaches. I surmised that the years of my Q-tip cleaning habit may have something to do with it. So, I experimented and decided not to use them. It was a hard habit to break and I felt dirty at first for not doing it, but I managed to stop using these little devils.

Q-tip in the hand

And guess what? They feel so much better now! It seems that my ears even produce less wax as a result. Before, when I was always removing it (something your body makes because it needs it!), my body was probably producing more than usual to make up for the amount I was removing, thus removing it was only making it worse. Now, my ears are quite clean on their own. My body knows how to handle itself and I should trust it more.

Of course, I do sometimes have what feels like a little extra or some that is about to fall out and I help it on its way out a little. I wrap my finger in a tissue and gently swap the outside of my ear. Outside is key–I was going way too far in before.

Removing ear wax safely

If you don’t believe me about the dangers of using those cute little daggers in your ears, check out this article in which Dr. Jennifer Smullen from the Massachusetts Ear and Eye Infirmary confirms what we already know: we should step away from the Q-tips.

So why do I still have a Nantucket basket full of Q-tips? For the rare occasion that I use eye make-up and per usual make a mess of it. Eye safety and Q-tips is a post for another day, though…

Questions: Do you use Q-tips in your ears? Have you ever tried to quit the habit? Do you feel dirty if you don’t clean your ears? Any ear horror stories?

Quick Tip: Let It Breathe

Okay, so this tip is mostly for the ladies, but it could apply to you gents as well. We’re about to get a little personal, but I hope you’ll stick with me because I love this tip, courtesy of a friend of mine. She told me about this about three years ago and I haven’t turned back since.

What’s one of the best things about getting into your PJs at night, ladies? Taking off our bras, right? I know not everyone does this (I’m looking at you, Carrie Bradshaw!), but I believe most women do.

Carrie Bradshaw wearing bra to bed

So then I ask you, why not your underwear as well?

Hear me out: many of us sit all day, have our legs crossed, wear underwear with synthetic fabric (great when working out, not so great after), have on tight pants (hello skinny jeans!) or tights. Think about the lack of air circulation. That’s prime breeding ground for all kinds of yucky issues we don’t want going on down there.

Woman sitting with legs crossed


Forgoing underwear may pose an issue if you sleep in only a top. Or perhaps it’s no issue at all and you don’t have a problem flying free. I personally like to have something covering my lower half. It it’s hot and I’m only wearing a tank to bed, I will put on loose cotton underwear. In the winter or months I’m not sweating like a pig, I’m usually in pants or shorts, so no problemo letting it breathe.

Bedhead eiffel tower henley pajamas

My fave new PJ set courtesy of my mom.

Of course, you may ask about what to do during “that time of the month.” Sure, I definitely wear underwear on most nights as a necessity. But as soon as I don’t need to, they come right back off.

Thankfully, I’ve never been one to have issues down there, but I do feel this has made the whole area “healthier,” if you will. If you tend to have some issues, I believe this may really help. I dare you to try it. It’s as liberating as taking off that bra at the end of the night. 🙂

Questions: I won’t get too personal and ask if you currently do this (though feel free to share if you’re comfortable),  so let me ask if you would consider doing this. Do you love getting into your PJs at the end of the day as much as I do (or is that just a dumb question, because why wouldn’t everyone)? Any health tips you’d like to share for “down there”?

Quick Tip: Keep an Exercise Log

Good morning! I know this sounds awful, and I shouldn’t wish my days away, but I can’t wait until this week is over. My work schedule is 1.5 hr later than usual thanks to week-long off-site training, which throws off my workout and study schedule since I’m still getting up and going to bed at the same time for traffic reasons. In addition, this week’s homework includes two chapters of reading (vs the usual one), a test, a quiz, a dissection (sheep brain), and a lab report. Finally, and something I’m looking forward to, tomorrow is WHH and my MIL’s birthday and we have various celebrations throughout the weekend. Everything happens at once!

Tired bunny

Wilbur is tired just thinking about my schedule this week

One thing that helps me not only during my regular weeks, but especially during the crazy weeks, is keeping an exercise log. What can I say? I’m a planner. It helps me look at the week and plan my days off around known conflicts. On crazy weeks I give myself a break and aim to get 3-4 workouts a week. Most times, depending on intensity and other various factors (e.g., if I pull something), I aim for 5-6 days a week.

I made a simple sheet in Google drive that I keep updated throughout the week. I keep four weeks’ worth of workouts visible at a time to make sure I’m constantly mixing it up. Since I only do some workouts once a week (yoga and barre), it also helps to look at when I did it last week so that I’m sure to evenly space things out, if possible. Here’s what I’m currently looking at:

Exercise log

I’ve already tentatively filled in the rest of the week based on what I may or may not be able to fit in.

The thing I love about keeping an exercise journal is that not only does it help me plan (“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!”), but it gives me a great sense of accomplishment of what I’ve been able to do over the past month. It also helps me see where my training may be lacking and helps me fill in the blanks. On days that I have no idea what I want to do, I’ll look at the gaps. Have I not done strength in a while? Running (not that I’m likely to forget that!)? Yoga?

Please keep in mind that this is meant to be one tool in your toolbox of healthy living tools that you can use, not something to obsess over or feel bad about. I didn’t feel bad about these weeks, for example, when I was clearly ill:

Off weeks exercise log

And I won’t feel bad this week if I don’t get in my usual workouts. I make an effort to be especially mindful of what I eat to “make up” for less physical weeks, so to say, but even if I’m not, it’s just one week. Not a big deal in the larger scheme.

Perhaps you don’t want to keep a nerdy excel-like spreadsheet as I do. You could also do the old-fashioned pen and paper. You could get a little fancier and buy an actual workout journal.

Workout Journal

You could use an app, such as my favorite MyFitnessPal.

MyFitnessPal logo

You could find a free printable one online.


Whatever it is, make it work for you. Perhaps you don’t need or want an exercise journal. That’s fine. I just wanted to share what works for me and how I keep myself motivated, accountable, and making sure I’m as healthy as I can.

Questions: Do you keep an exercise log? Why or why not? If you do,what kind? Are you a tracker and planner by nature?

Quick Tip: Store Natural Nut Butters Upside Down (updated 12/30/14)

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was a bit, well


I’m usually smooth sailing emotions-wise, but was in a bit of a funk yesterday. Thankfully it only lasted a few hours, there were only a few tears shed, and then I was back to myself. Makes me feel grateful I don’t feel that way very often. There’s nothing major going on. It was just the weight of everything going on and thinking of the future can overwhelm me sometimes. All good now. Nothing a little homemade mocha can’t solve.

Homemade mocha

I haven’t shared a quick tip in a little while and thought it was high time—especially since I have my (hopefully not too) lengthy month-end goal report coming up this week.

I can’t take credit for this one at all. My friend told me she saw it on Pinterest (where else?) so I decided to give it a try. Low and behold, it works!

Teddie peanut butter upside down

Store you natural nut butters upside down! What a simple idea! Anyone who eats any kind of natural nut/soy/seed/etc. butter knows how oily it is at the top and then once you get to the bottom, it’s all dry and unusable. Not a huge problem in the big scheme of things, but a simple solution for a simple problem!

Peanut and sunflower butter upside down

My peanut and sunflower butters at work for my afternoon snack. Here’s what it looks like when you open it:

Sunflower butter upside down

All nice and perfectly mixed. And one of the best parts that’s a bit of a bonus? You kind of get a built-in serving size in the cover!

Sunflower butter cover upside down

Of course, most days I do reach for just a little bit more since that looks like a bit less than two tablespoons, dontchathink?

That’s all for today, folks. Short and sweet, just as I promised!

Update 12/30/14: I’ve found this works best on the glass jars with metal lids, such as the Teddie peanut butter shown above. While the plastic jars with plastic lids generally work, they do occasionally leak the oil all over the place. I haven’t figured out if it has to do with the material leading to occasional leaks or if I tend to not close them as tightly. So, proceed with caution!

Oh, except, this one’s for 2 Cups ‘N Run. I’ve left adequate space in case you don’t want to see the monstrosity that is my runner’s foot.


Fair warning.


Seriously–hope you’re not eating lunch.


Last chance to turn back!


Okay, you asked for it.


I present you with: Whole Health Hammer Toe

Hammer toe pointing

And just for good measure, the black toenail I got over a year and a half ago after a Warrior Dash.

Runner's toe_black toenail


Quick Tip: Cinnamon Coffee

Happy Monday!

Since my brain seems to take a while to get going on a Monday, I thought I’d make today a quick post and offer an easy health tip for you.

One of my favorite things to do in the winter is to add cinnamon to my coffee. Not only does the cinnamon add a nice seasonal flavor to my java, but ingesting cinnamon may also help increase glucose metabolism. I add a few dashes of it in my travel mug before pouring my coffee over it, but my brother also swears by putting the cinnamon in the coffee grounds before brewing.

Cinnamon coffee

How was everyone’s weekend? Anything fun coming up this week?