Archives for posts with tag: Thanksgiving

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This month marks the fourth year since I began writing this blog. And sadly, this is only my second post of the year. But what can I say- life took over. Life with a baby that is now a toddler majorly took over. And I have missed writing. I have missed sharing my stories and my journey toward greater health and I miss hearing regularly from my readers.  I miss the creative expression part of me that has most recently been replaced with Mommy time. But I have been on an amazing journey these past few weeks that is bringing me back to my writing and to my creative side.

I have been following Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s free 21-day meditation for the past two and a half weeks and have been meditating regularly for the first time since well before Beckett was born. Wow, it really feels great. Back in ­­­­July of 2011 I posted about my first experience meditating after taking a weekend course on Vedic meditation. While I enjoyed the feeling that came with meditating regularly, it was the way I felt when I stopped meditating regularly when I really noticed what a positive impact it had had on my life.  (Here is my story). Anyway, jumping back into these past few weeks of meditating have had a greater impact than ever before which became very clear to me this past week.

Beckett, my nearly twenty month old, and I were on our way home from a lovely lunch with my cousin in law that was in town from Australia. It was minutes before Beckett was due to take a nap so I was singing my heart out trying to keep him from falling asleep and melting down in the car as he was clearly very tired from all of the morning’s fun.  All of a sudden out of nowhere I see an SUV grill speeding VERY quickly in my rear view mirror that in no way looks like it is slowing down. Moving at the speed limit we were suddenly slammed into by the speeding SUV behind us. Crash! We were hit hard but thankfully it became quickly clear to me that both Beckett and I were okay. I got out of the car and went around to grab my screaming, very scared toddler to calm him and make sure he was okay. I then went to check on the driver who hit us who was still sitting in the driver’s seat very upset.  I told him as I had repeatedly been telling Beckett, “Take deep breaths. It’s okay. We have all been on our phones while driving”. No panic on my part. No anger. No feeling bad. No worry. Just calm.

I am not positive whether it was being a mom in this situation with my child in the car that needed to be cared for immediately and/or the meditations that had made the difference but this was by far the most calm I have ever been in a high stress situation. I felt nothing but grateful that everyone was okay.  I have to believe the regular meditating that I have been doing played a part. The old me would have gotten mad at the upset college kid that was illegally on his phone or felt really bad for myself for being in this situation (Please don’t text and drive!). But not this time: I just felt happy everyone was okay and that we only had a minor pain in the neck (pun intended) to sort out.

There is so much busyness in our lives today. As a society we are addicted to being busy. What do you do to calm your mind and your body? There are so many ways to help us slow down – meditation, yoga, prayer, deep breathing – what works for you?

In light of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I just wanted to say that I am so grateful to have found meditation again so that I am mindfully grateful every day, not just during this time of year (Check out the free meditations from Deepak and Oprah! They are good for five days after they were posted so you still have some time to enjoy the last week and they are short and sweet with beautiful messages and music for each day).

I am so grateful for all on my first Merci Beaucoup post, Deux, and Trois, and am particularly grateful for my family’s health this year.  Thank you for still reading, four years later, despite the gaps in the posts and the life that has distracted me from my passion for sharing my health and wellness journey. I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving!


“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” ~William Faulkner

Written By Lana House

Studio Owner, House Pilates


November marks the third year since I first created this blog. I can’t believe so much time has passed as it feels like just yesterday that House of Health was only an idea.  Never before have I been so aware of time and how truly quickly it goes by. Having had my first baby just under eight months ago, time feels more valuable and yet more fleeting than ever. My son, Beckett’s,  ever-growing and changing mind and body are a constant reminder to cherish each and every moment. The changes are going just as quickly as they are coming. I am so grateful for these passing, memorable moments not only with my son but with all of my friends and family.

I am incredibly thankful for the friends and family members who have helped me get through the first challenging months of becoming a mom. Thank you to you, mothers, that have taken the time out of your busy lives to help me navigate my new role as a fellow mom. And thank you to those friends and family members that aren’t moms that have given me just as much of your precious time as I have needed you, too, to help me find balance with who I was before I had Beckett and life beyond baby.

I can’t thank you enough for the irreplaceable time you all take to support my blog. It has been such a great year of receiving so much positive feedback and makes it worth the time I take away from the rest of my life to share with all of you. And thank you for continuing to share your stories, too, as I learn so much from you!

Beyond the miracle of my new little man and being grateful for this amazing time in my life, there are so many other things that I am grateful for; many of which are listed in my previous Thanksgiving posts, Merci Beaucoup and Part Deux.  I will be brief so we can all get back to enjoying this special day with our loved ones, which will be over before we know it.

I am thankful that despite our differences politically, we live in a country where there is peace. It is something I often take for granted and I am especially grateful to those that sacrifice everything to protect our peace every day.

Merci Beaucoup.

Happy Thanksgiving!


It’s been a year since I posted my Merci Beaucoup Thanksgiving blog and everything I wrote on that list still stands true today, so this year I will just add a couple of things and keep it short and sweet.

Having experienced hosting and cooking most of the turkey meal this past year I truly understood the massive undertaking it is – and my party was only for ten of us! The hours and hours that went into the menu planning, shopping, table planning and decorating, turkey brining, cooking and cleaning were more than I ever expected. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget (and most likely be doing again very soon) but I am grateful this year that I am not hosting and can simply enjoy the day with family. And more importantly, I am so grateful to the thousands of people around the country who are working so hard today, yesterday and all of this past week to put together this amazing tradition for the rest of us to enjoy. Thank you!

I also wanted to add to the list how grateful I am for this little miracle growing inside of me that will forever change the lives of Karl and I and many more that surround us. Giving life is such an incredible thing and I am trying not for a second to take it for granted that I get to enjoy the miraculous experience of it!

Lastly, I really want to thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. It was an idea I had thought about for quite some time and when I finally pulled the trigger last November, I never realized how rewarding it would be to share my stories and health ideas with you. It is always a wonderful surprise how many people are reading what I have to say and the stories and ideas you share in return constantly inspire me.

Thank you for your support, your feedback and personal stories, and for giving me a reason to write. I have always liked writing but didn’t really remember how much I enjoyed it until I started this blog; especially because I am getting to write about things that I am very passionate about.

I wish you and yours a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving and that your life is filled with gratitude not just today but everyday.



Written by, Lana House

Studio Owner, House Pilates




The time has come that pumpkin pies are being prepared all over America. It has never been a favorite of mine but lately I have been reading so much about the health properties of pumpkin that I couldn’t help but start to crave it. (I am sure the pregnancy also has something to do with this new craving of mine). Pumpkin is filled with nutrition and here is a brief list to name some of the best reasons to embrace this holiday tradition:

  • High level of anti-oxidant carotenoids which have great anti-cancer properties
  • Contain lutein and zeaxanthin which promote eye health and keep macular degeneration (a chronic condition that causes central vision loss) at bay
  • Good source of vitamin C, K, and E
  • Lots of minerals including magnesium, potassium and iron
  • High level of fiber
  • Great for your hair and skin as well!

Since the most popular way to eat pumpkin is in pie, I thought it would be great to share a recipe for the pumpkin pie I just made this weekend, that can be enjoyed with more of the health benefits, without anything unnatural, yet still very easy to prepare. That way you can make your pie and eat it, too, without the guilt. Happy Thanksgiving!

Low Glycemic, Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Pie*

2 cups pumpkin puree**
(or 15 oz. of canned organic pumpkin) – I chose to use canned pumpkin for convenience but make sure you don’t buy pie filling! It is filled with sugar among other things. You want 100% pumpkin only!

1 9-inch pastry crust (deep dish) – Can use gluten-free, homemade or store-bought.  Just note that if you don’t buy deep dish, you will have a little filling left. I chose a store-bought Spelt crust, which is easier to digest than wheat but not 100% gluten-free and it worked great!

¾ tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp melted butter

3 eggs

¾ cup raw agave nectar (Or try Organic Coconut Palm Sugar which is also low-glycemic and all natural)

1/3 cup whole milk (Definitely use whole milk or the consistency may be off!)

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Real Whipped Cream Topping

Put bowl and beaters in freezer to chill before making the whip cream!

1 pint heavy whipping cream

¼ cup agave nectar (Or Organic Coconut Palm Sugar)

1 tsp real vanilla  (Get real Vanilla, without the added sugar and alcohol)


1. In a large bowl, blend together two cups pumpkin, spice and salt. Beat in melted butter, eggs, agave nectar, milk and cream. Pour filling into pie shell.

2. Bake at 400 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Refrigerate until serving.

3. To make whipping cream, pour one pint of whipping cream into chilled mixing bowl and add agave nectar and vanilla. Beat with chilled beaters until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until serving.

** Pumpkin puree: preheat your oven to 450 F. Then, cut the top of the pumpkin off and remove the seeds and membranes. Cut pumpkin in half and place it face down in a baking dish. Add about a half an inch of water to the pan to keep pumpkin moist. Bake about 45 minutes until fork tender. Scrape the soft pulp from the skin into a food processor or blender. Pulse until pureed.

Please tell me how you like it and if you made any substitutions, what they were! And if you aren’t a pumpkin person, try subbing sweet potato puree and still get so many great health benefits.

Thank you and enjoy!

Written by, Lana House

House Pilates, Studio Owner

*This recipe came from a fellow health blog, Vibrant Glow