Category Archives: Juice Plus

March Is the Best Time

I’ve written before about Juice Plus and how much I love it. We’ve had an exceptionally healthy winter as a result of our health habits, including Juice Plus. And when we passed a nasty virus through our family a couple weeks ago our recovery was incredibly mild compared to previous winters.

This really makes sense, because Juice Plus is fruits and veggies in a capsule, or gummy for the kids, and we all know that fruits and vegetables are necessary to keep our body healthy and working the way it’s made to. Juice Plus helps with that by giving you that extra boost of nutrients that we all need.

March is a great time for you to get started with Juice Plus, too! This month, if you sign up for the Garden, Orchard, and Vineyard blends you will get a free bag of the Juice Plus Complete shake mix as my personal thank you to you.


This is a great deal! You can choose gummies or capsules, whatever you prefer.

Click here to go to my website for more information.
Or email me personally, because I would love to talk with you more about getting the health of your family in order!

And of course, I must mention that my own boys get their Juice Plus gummies for free. Yes, free! Juice Plus has a Children’s Health Study, in which you can sponsor a child through your own order. I have my own capsules, and through my order my oldest gets his gummies for free. All I have to do is fill out a survey on his health every few months. Easy Peasy! Check it out here.

Juice Plus is something I really believe in, because I’ve seen it make changes in the health of my family. I’m passionate about it, and I want to share it with you, because I’m passionate about health. I would love to talk with you personally about this. Again, .

This is the month to do it!


The One Where Emily Turns 30

Like any lady who grew up in the 90s, I’ve been watching Friends on Netflix since it came out at the beginning of this year. Since re-watching it, I’ve realized how much all my friends and I tried to live out that show in our speech, actions, and hair (you know you all wanted Rachel’s haircut!).

Recently I watched the episode where Rachel turns 30 and the group reminisces about their own thirtieth birthdays. All their birthdays were terrible, with Joey crying at many of them, a midlife crisis at Ross’s, Phoebe finding out she was really 31, and Monica getting smashed out drunk.

I was at an impressionable age when this episode first came out,just shy of my 16th birthday. So of course I was convinced that turning 30 was going to be the end of my life.


I turn 30 on Valentine’s Day, ya’ll.

And I’m excited about it. I’ve been looking forward to 30 for awhile. I’m going to rock 30.

If you knew me when I was 20 and you are still my friend, can I just say thank you? I’m pretty sure I thought I knew everything when I was 20. No one could tell me anything; I was proud. Then the next year I got married and three short years later found myself pregnant and found out that I had no idea what I was doing, in life, parenting, marriage.

My twenties have been a long decade of learning, being humbled, being made holy, being broken. It’s been exhausting but I’m thankful for God’s continual goodness in the face of my own weakness.

I’m going to start out my thirties by admitting that I know less about life than I did when I was 20, but I feel more comfortable with who I am as a person. I like myself. I didn’t like myself for a long while and used all kinds of distractions to keep from being alone with my thoughts. I’m okay now.

Furthermore, I’m a good mom. And you know what? It feels good to say that. You should say it too (you know, if you’re a mom, that is. If you’re not a mom, that’s a little weird). Try it. I’m a good _______ (mom, uncle, sister, photographer, dog owner).

I’m going to be healthy in my thirties. This is my year of Healing. I’m going to allow God to continue healing my spirit from ongoing depression and anxiety. I’m going to eat healthy to be a good steward of the body God has given me. I’m going to fill my mind with good things as well, and speak out against evil when necessary.

Here’s to my next decade! I’m going to finally be a real adult. I’m going to love well, and live hard.

Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, you’ve got it wrong. 30 is the new 20. I’m gonna rock it.

rachel crying


Sick Day Routine

You may have read on this post that Big Brother was sick this week. We didn’t go to the doctor, I try not to go there unless we really need to. And I seriously love our pediatrician’s office as they are fantastic about telling me when it’s necessary to come in and be seen. They recognize that coming to a place full of sick kids can be a lot worse than staying at home recovering. They are great.

Over the last couple years I have developed my own strategies for dealing with illness. I have seen a huge difference in our health since doing so and this was actually only our second sick day this winter.

It’s empowering as a mom when you can actively do things to stay healthy, and deal with sickness when it comes, isn’t it? That’s why I want to share my best strategies with you. So here they are, do one of them or all of them.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, obviously, so you should not take my opinions as medical fact, but only as opinions that I’ve seen work with my family. Should you have concerns, talk to your pediatrician or family doctor.

Essential Oils
You’ve most likely heard of essential oils by now, it’s becoming quite a fad. However, don’t think it’s merely a fad, they’ve been around for thousands of years. If you want to know what brands I use you can ask, but that’s not important to this post so I won’t say it here. I just want to say that I love my oils.


I put an immunity blend on our feet before bed, or before going to MOPS or any other place where we’ll be around lots of germy kiddos. I use lavender and tea tree oils for injuries, and peppermint for tummy aches. When one of us is not feeling well I put an immunity blend on our feet throughout the day.

If you want to know more about oils, here are a couple of my favorite sources to check out:
How to Use Essential Oils
The Right Way to Use An Essential Oil
Even a Huffington Post article about essential oils.

Infused Honey
This is exactly what it sounds like. You put stuff in honey, let it sit, until the honey has infused all the goodness of whatever you put in it. Last year I made my own.


I put raw, unfiltered, pure honey into jars and made four different types: Lemon, Ginger, Orange Cinnamon, and Orange Clove. Then I let it sit in the sun for about 3 weeks on our window sill before I strained out the citrus slices, cloves, and cinnamon.

Honey is amazing for healing. It is anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and has actually been used to heal wounds (source). Honey is the only thing we use as a cough suppressant. I’ve had more than one pediatrician tell me to always choose honey over any over-the-counter medication, as it works the same if not better.

Lemon is just generally good for sickness. I drink lemon in warm water every morning to maintain my own health. If I’m feeling under the weather, lemon-infused honey is great to add to tea or hot water. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and is also anti-inflammatory (source), and cloves contain anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities (source). Ginger is a powerful herb that’s great for curing colds as well as an upset tummy (source).

If one of my boys is suffering from a cough I will usually just give a spoonful of orange cinnamon-infused honey as needed. This is a great resource to have on hand. Check this post out if you’re interested in making your own infusions.

So far I haven’t been able to convince my kids of this one. We’re getting there. Garlic is a strong antioxidant that has been used for centuries to fight and cure disease (source). It has also been shown to lessen cold symptoms or even prevent colds.

When I’m feeling under the weather, or if I know I’ve been exposed to sickness I cut up a clove of garlic and swallow it as I would a pill, and repeat once or twice more throughout a couple days. I also just love the taste of garlic so I add it to any food I possibly can.

Ideally, when my boys are older, they will swallow garlic chopped up with honey. That would pack a powerful antibiotic punch right there.

Juice Plus
Check out my page about Juice Plus to see my full story, I’ll just talk about it briefly here. Juice Plus is fruits and vegetables in a capsule or gummy form. We eat pretty healthy, but there are always going to be gaps in our diet. That’s where Juice Plus comes in. It contains fruits and veggies to make up for what we miss in our diet. I have seen a huge increase in our health and energy levels in the couple months we’ve been taking it. It works.

As I said, this is our second sick day this winter. This is compared to several weeks of being sick the last few winters. My husband is a teacher so we’re assuming he brings home all sorts of germs from his kids at school. So nice of him to share, isn’t it? But we’re resisting illness, so far. I’m thrilled with the way Juice Plus has worked for us. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my Juice Plus website for more info.

One of the things I love about Juice Plus is that it’s not a vitamin or supplement, it’s a food product. Which means that you can’t overdose on it. So when Big Brother was sick earlier this week I gave him triple the amount he normally takes spread throughout the day. He didn’t feel like eating much all day, but Juice Plus was able to give him a nutrient kick from the fruits and veggies he was missing.

The next day he woke up fever free and ready to play with his brother. One day of being flat on his back sick. I’ll take it.

So there you have it. Those are my favorite natural remedies for the Sheppard Household. May you have a healthy winter. 🙂

My Dependent Life

This week my baby was sick. Okay, he’s not really my baby. He’s five. Big Brother would be deeply offended if he knew I called him my baby. But when our littles are sick they all are our babies, aren’t they, no matter how old they are?

He woke up Monday with a fever and headache and by the evening he had so much chest congestion he was having a hard time breathing. As I was doing every home remedy I had on hand (read about it here), I was lamenting to a friend that I was frustrated that he was sick because I was doing everything possible to keep us healthy this winter. We’ve been taking our Juice Plus daily, using essential oils to boost our immunity and fight germs, eating lots of fruits and veggies, exercising…

“So why is he sick?” I said to her in a whiny voice.

My friend is so wise. “Sometimes it just happens,” she said.

That gave me an ah ha moment.

No matter how much I do, I can’t do everything. Sometimes I forget that I’m not in control. I’m not God over my boys and their health.

I’m not God.

I’ve been having a rough month. Ha, it’s really only February 5th isn’t it? There’s a lot of month left. It’s no secret that I struggle with depression and the first two months of the year are the hardest for me. It’s cold. It’s dark out. It’s dark in my soul. I’ve been struggling to get out of bed in the mornings and that’s a huge sign for me that I need to take extra care of my soul and mental health so I don’t go into a downward spiral.

I’m doing all the right things. When it’s sunny, we go outside. I’m taking my vitamins and my Juice Plus. I’m eating right. I’m trying to sleep well. I exercise. Okay, I at least think about exercising.

And yet, in spite of all that I am still struggling.

Sometimes it just happens.

And when it happens I get brought back to a place of dependency, where I should have been all along. I forget to worship. I forget to give thanks. I forget to be dependent on my Healer.

Jesus. My Healer. I am utterly dependent on you.

No matter how many things I add to my health routine, good though they are, they can’t take the place of the One who truly knows my soul. I am so thirsty for his love, yet I stubbornly think I don’t need help. Move aside, God, I’ve got this because I’m healthy. I can do it myself. I don’t need you.

What a deception. When I believe that, there’s only one direction for me to go, and it’s not good.

So instead of trudging through the darkness, stubbornly refusing my Father’s love, when I wake up and feel the heaviness I will fall on my knees and lift my eyes to heaven and through the tears cry out, “teach me, God!”

God, use my weakness, use our sickness, to keep me clinging to your everlasting kindness. Give me strength to choose your nearness over my independence.

This is my dependent life.

If You Do One Thing For Your Health This Year…

January is usually a time where we make changes for the better. We all know that gyms have their busiest season in the beginning of the year as everyone makes resolutions to get in shape, work out every day, etc. If you’re like me, you’ve made some promises to change something and it doesn’t last long at all.

I think sometimes we want to make big changes all at once, which will only set us up for failure. Big changes can only happen if we start in small chunks. We are not going to completely change our diet in one day. It takes small changes over weeks.

A small change that has made a huge difference in my own health has been this.


Warm water with lemon juice.

I start out my day with warm water and lemon. Before I put anything else in my body, I drink this and then wait, if I can, at least 15-20 minutes before eating anything else. If you want to know all the nitty-gritty health details, check out this post by Food Matters, which highlights all the awesome things lemon juice does to your body.

I’m sure you know that lemons have vitamin C, but did you also know they contain citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium? Those are all good things which help your body in a powerful way.

Drinking warm lemon water can help flush out your system. Personally, when I started this habit over a year ago, I immediately noticed a decrease in bloating. Two things that have almost completely gotten rid of bloating for me are this and cutting out dairy, but that’s another post for another day. I’ve also noticed that I have clearer skin, and my immune system has been better than it’s been in years.

This has also helped me keep my coffee habit under control. I love coffee but have been extremely careful over the years to keep myself from becoming dependent on it. However, my favorite part of the morning is sitting in the sun, warm drink in hand, while my boys play, ahem, peacefully together (okay, it doesn’t always happen like that, but a girl can dream, right?). Warm water with lemon has had the same therapeutic effect that I craved from coffee. This way I can save my cup of coffee to drink later with a friend, or as an afternoon pick-me-up, or not at all.

This is a small thing that I encourage you to try. If you want to be healthier in the new year (don’t we all?) start with this. And the thing about small habits is that they lead to bigger decisions. It’s a good start to a healthier you.

My new health habit for this year, as I’ve already mentioned, is Juice Plus. I love it because the best way for me to combat depression is to exercise. During the winter, this usually just doesn’t happen. It’s cold outside and I have zero energy to do anything other than make lunch. I need help.

Tim has been telling me for years that I should exercise in order to gain energy, which doesn’t make sense but actually does work, because of endorphins and all that. I stubbornly always tell him that I can’t work out to get energy because I have no energy to work out, to get energy, to work out. Yeah, that’s a circle of sadness, right there.

But since taking Juice Plus things have actually changed. I. have. energy. Some days that just means my boys and I have a dance party and rock it out to Taylor Swift and The Allman Brothers, but the point is that we’re moving. My heart rate is up. Happy hormones are flowing.

Do you struggle with winter energy? How do you cope? Do you need a way to survive? Check out my Juice Plus page.

Also, do you drink lemon water? I wanna know. Or, what other small habit do you do, or will you pick up this year?



The Time I Became George Bailey, and My New Health Obsession

Remember on “It’s A Wonderful Life” when George Bailey’s daughter keeps practicing her song on the piano over and over again? He was in the midst of a crisis and yet life was still happening around him and she kept playing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

I felt a little bit like that throughout the entire Christmas season. Not that I was in the midst of a crisis, but that my kids were making me listen to “Angels We Have Heard on High” over and over and over… So many times. It’s their favorite song. The other day, I’m not even exaggerating, we listened to it 23 times in a row. I know this because I counted it all up on Spotify when the madness finally ended.

I’m so thankful for Spotify, you guys. Because I entered the song and hit play and therefore got to listen to a different artist every time, which made the song marathon a little easier to bear. Sufjan Stevens, yes. Pentatonix, of course! Brian McKnight, no thanks. Christina Aguilera…meh.

We’re back after spending the week in Iowa with my crazy/fun/huge family. Lots of laughter, food, some whacky pictures, air soft gun wars, and one adorable new puppy.

puppy picture

Look at that face!

How did you spend your Christmas?

I also wanted to tell you about something that I’m really excited about: Juice Plus. If you’re not familiar with Juice Plus, check out this link. I first heard about Juice Plus at a school fair last year and have been researching it for a year. A year of research. I don’t jump into anything without fully researching it first.

Juice Plus puts all your vegetables and fruit servings into a capsule or gummy. Brilliant! I’ve been giving my boys a multivitamin for years but I haven’t been satisfied with it because nothing I’ve been researching about vitamins gives me any confidence that the vitamins are actually getting into their systems. I once read that the most common substance that is found in city waste-water is multivitamins. Our bodies are just passing it on through!

This is why I love Juice Plus. It isn’t vitamins, it’s food. It’s digested immediately by our stomach because it’s all natural. Again, brilliant! Now of course, this is no substitute for healthy eating, for myself or my boys. But it is nice to know that even on the days when Little Guy only eats toast and cucumber slices he is still getting the full spectrum of nutrients.

I love Juice Plus so much that I not only take it and give it to my boys, but I also became a distributor. Because I want to pass it on to you! I’m really excited about this product, but I don’t want to flood my blog posts with Juice Plus, so I created a Juice Plus page at the top of my blog for you to see all my information about it. So please check it out!

If you’re interested in learning more, please email me.
I seriously would love to get you started on your health journey.

I’m running a special right now. If you sign up to receive Juice Plus for yourself, or your kids, sometime in the month of January, I will enter your name in a drawing to win a free bag of Juice Plus Complete shake mix. Not a bad way to start out the new year, eh?
juice plus

I’m fairly new to the Juice Plus family so I haven’t even tried the shake mix yet. But I keep hearing good things about it and I’m excited about trying it soon! So take advantage of this offer, visit my webpage at or contact me personally and I’ll get you set up.

I’m excited about a new year. This is going to be a year of rebuilding for us. A year of healing. I’ll talk more about that in tomorrow’s blog, so come back!

Happy New Year to you all! I appreciate your loyalty in reading my blog, I would do this anyway, but it’s nice to know people are reading and relating. It makes it worth it.

I leave you with these two cuties.


This is Grandma’s new puppy, Sadie.