Splendid Spoon Review

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I participated in a paid collaboration with Splendid Spoon. This review and my opinions are my own.

This summer I celebrate six years living a plant based lifestyle. Nothing has impacted my health and wellbeing as much as going vegan has. You can read more about the changes I experienced HERE.

Over the years, I hoped I’d find an excellent vegan meal box company that offered healthy, affordable, plant based meals. That excellent meal box company found me. And how glad I am. Working with the company, I tried the meals and created content for them.

Check out my Splendid Spoon review and see why I now purchase the boxes myself.

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Splendid Spoon Story

Founder Nicole has always possessed a keen interest in healthy, delicious meals. She studied diet therapies in college, trained as a restaurant chef at the International Culinary Center and taught nutrition classes for children.

When she became a mother, she recognized the challenge of preparing healthy, nutritious meals for her family while building a career. Pressed for time, she knew that nutrition could easily become less of a priority.

That’s why Nicole created Splendid Spoon. She wanted nutrient rich meals that didn’t sacrifice flavor and she needed the meals to be easy, to fit into her busy life.

She shares,

“I’m constantly in the kitchen testing our recipes because I love supporting busy people as they strive to get healthier. Splendid Spoon is how I stay balanced every day, and I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.”

Splendid Spoon Review vegetable bolognese grain bowl
Splendid Spoon Review – Vegetable Bolognese Grain Bowl

What Splendid Spoon Offers

Splendid Spoon offers 100% plant based, ready made meals that arrive to your front door. Packed in insulated boxes, with dry ice, the meals pop right into your freezer, ready to go from the microwave or stovetop to your table in minutes. They also offer freshly made smoothies and health boosting shots.

Splendid Spoon partners with chefs and nutritionists to ensure every meal has the perfect blend of protein, fiber, complex carbs and healthy fats.

Meals, smoothies and shots are:

  • plant based, no meat or dairy products
  • full of whole, unprocessed ingredients
  • Non GMO
  • sugar free, using fruit, dates and coconut nectar instead
  • gluten free
  • organic where it matters, sourcing the “dirty dozen” organically
Splendid Spoon Review coconut curry brown rice grain bowl
Splendid Spoon Review – coconut curry brown rice grain bowl

The Splendid Spoon Plans

Splendid Spoon does all the meal prep for you. Their mission is to make it easy to live a healthy life.

Choose from the following plans:

  • Breakfast Plan
  • Breakfast, Lunch + Reset Plan
  • Lunch Plan
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Reset Plan
  • Lunch and Dinner Plan
  • Or build your own On Demand Box

The reset meals are light soups designed to reset the digestive system.

You control how often you receive shipments, from once a week, twice a month, once a month or the on demand box that doesn’t require a subscription. Plus choose from more than 50 meals, to customize your box.

Splendid Spoon Review meal box
Splendid Spoon Review – a meal box

My Experience with Splendid Spoon

I’ll tell you immediately, I love this meal box company! I’m in a very busy season of life and knowing that I have wholesome, already prepared plant based meals in my freezer is so helpful. When I can, I still enjoy preparing my own healthy meals. And when I’ve had a long day or just don’t feel like cooking, I appreciate that I can grab a meal out of the freezer and it’s ready to eat in five minutes or less.

I also appreciate that the meals are nutrient rich, without fillers, preservatives, chemicals and hidden ingredients. For lunch today I enjoyed Splendid Spoon’s Red Lentil Dal, served over a plain baked potato, with a side salad. The ingredients for the dal: water, organic carrots, organic celery, red lentils, onions, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, curry powder, cumin, rosemary, thyme and black pepper. That’s it. Those are ingredients I’d use, cooking from scratch.

Additionally, the meals are so full of flavor. Some of my favorites include Vegan Meatballs and Marinara Noodles and Coconut Curry Brown Rice Grain Bowl. Truly, though, I’ve enjoyed every meal I’ve tried. And the variety of meals is exceptional. From grain and noodle bowls to soups and curries to smoothies, they are ALL delicious. I feel lighter, leaner and more energetic, eating Splendid Spoon meals.

Splendid Spoon Review spiced lentil and chickpea stew
Splendid Spoon Review – spiced lentil and chickpea stew

Get Your Splendid Spoon Box

If you appreciate healthy, flavorful, wholesome food…and enjoy someone else doing the meal prepping and cooking for you…you’ll love Splendid Spoon too! Their meals are the perfect way to take wellness to the next level or to do a health reset. Or perhaps, like me, you’ll love the convenience of having a freezer full of heat and serve plant based meals.

Try a meal plan or create your own box, which is what I do. When I use up all the meals, I order another box. It’s that simple!

Use this link to get started.

Let this be the year you make your health and well-being a priority. How would having these plant based meals in your freezer benefit your wellness practices?

Splendid Spoon Review dragon fruit berry smoothiea

 

Try eating your grain and noodle bowls and soups in these fun bowls from Amazon:

 

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The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body

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A new year provides the opportunity to consider changes we might want to make from the previous year. At the top of the list for many is the desire to eat healthier. Whether for weight management, improved wellness or to create better habits, making changes in diet is a great way to take responsibility for health.

Consider this change. The impact of processed foods on the body is profound. When it comes to creating healthier habits that improve health and longevity, reducing the amount of processed foods in the diet is a key one.

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What is Processed Food?

Processed foods are typically packaged food products that contain unrecognizable ingredients, have a long shelf life and don’t fuel the body with high nutrition.

Processed foods are altered primarily for convenience or for more flavor. Some foods are more processed than others. A bag of cut up veggies, sold packaged in the store, is minimally processed. The basic nature of the food has not changed. Canned and frozen veggies and fruits are not heavily processed either. They are processed to lock in freshness and nutrients.

A bag of chips or a box of sugary treats or that package of mac and cheese represent ultra processed foods. These are chemically altered with artificial flavors, additives, preservatives and other unrecognizable ingredients.

The typical American diet is full of ultra processed foods. Dieticians estimate half of our calories come from processed foods.

These processed foods have a detrimental impact on the body.

The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body donuts
The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body – donuts

List of Processed Foods

All foods purchased at the grocery store have some level of processing. This simple guide breaks processing into categories:

Unprocessed foods – fruits and veggies

Minimally processed – bagged lettuce and veggies, cut veggies, packaged nuts

Processed for freshness – canned fruits and veggies, frozen fruits and veggies

Heavily processed – ingredients added for flavor and texture – sweeteners, sugar, spices, oils, fats, salt, colors, chemicals and preservatives – jarred pasta sauces, salad dressings, yogurt, cake, cookies, crackers, granola bars, deli meat, boxed meals, chips, cookies, donuts, cheese, cured meats

Ultra processed foods – pre-made meals such as microwaveable dinners, frozen pizza and frozen dinners and those with added ingredients such as anti-caking products, fillers and emulsifiers

The longer the list of ingredients on the box or package, the more processed the food is. Look for unrecognizable ingredients as well.

The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body popcorn
The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body – movie theater popcorn with “butter” topping

The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body

Studies show that eating highly processed foods impact the body in negative ways. Of great concern is more rapid aging and a shortened life span due to processed foods affecting cells in the body.

Other ways that highly and ultra processed foods affect the body:

  • create inflammation
  • cause hormonal irregularities
  • increase digestive disorders
  • cause allergic reactions, hives, rashes
  • alter brain function
  • increase the risk of cancer
  • contribute to poor circulation
  • increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes
  • contribute to depression
  • cause weight gain
  • create cravings for more processed foods
The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body cook at home
The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body – prepare foods at home

Ways to Make Healthier Choices

Everyone eats processed foods. I occasionally eat processed foods. It’s a diet high in processed foods that leads to health problems.

Make these easy choices and swaps.

  • check labels…the more ingredients and unrecognizable ingredients on the list, the higher the processing. Look for organic alternatives. And look for natural ingredients.
  • buy fresh fruits and veggies
  • shop at farmer’s markets and co-ops
  • eat fruit for dessert rather than packaged sweets
  • shop at health conscious grocery stores such as Sprouts and Natural Grocers
  • save processed foods for occasional treats, rather than the usual snack or meal
  • grow your own veggies and fruits
  • swap out sugary cereals for oats with fresh fruits or chia pudding (more healthy breakfast ideas HERE)
  • don’t keep heavily and ultra processed foods in the house
  • be aware of eating for comfort rather than for hunger
  • prepare meals at home most of the time. You know what the ingredients are when you cook at home.
  • meal prep and batch cook to make cooking at home easier
The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body veggie soup
The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body – homemade veggie soup

Convenience VS Health

The primary reason we turn to processed foods is for convenience. And I get that. After a long and busy day, the last thing I want to do is prepare a meal from scratch. I know the consequence though of eating too much processed food. My body warns me with rashes, indigestion, aches and pains.

So, I pull up music to cook by, on my Echo Dot, create a fun experience, make a game out of it or shift my mood with positive self talk.

For the difference in the way I feel, it is worth cutting back on and eliminating processed foods.

How about you? Are you aware of how much processed food you eat? And more importantly, are you aware of the impact on your body and health?

The Impact of Processed Foods on the Body berries
A simple dessert…mixed fresh berries

 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Eats at Café Cusco

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On a recent solo getaway weekend, I enjoyed lunch at a new to me restaurant.

I stayed on historic C Street in Springfield, Missouri. This six block area is home to cute boutique shops, art galleries, an incredibly unique hotel and restaurants featuring foods from around the world. It was a weekend full of new experiences that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Because of my plant based lifestyle, I carefully consider where to eat while traveling. Thankfully, this Peruvian inspired restaurant offers a wide selection of vegan options.

Check out the vegan eats at Café Cusco, in Springfield, Missouri.

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A Dream Becomes Reality

Joseph Gidman, owner of Café Cusco, had a dream. On the restaurant website, he shares that he fell in love with Peru after hiking trails to Machu Picchu with his best friend.

Sitting in a café in Cusco, the friend asked Joe, “What will you do in 10 years?”

Joe immediately answered “I am going to open a restaurant and call it Café Cusco.”

He made that dream a reality, opening his restaurant with his mother in an 1883 building at 234 East Commercial Street in Springfield. Two brothers, a doctor and a pharmacist, built the building for use when C Street was the headquarters for the Frisco Railroad. The building was abandoned for years and in need of restoration when Joe bought it.

Artist Erik Kinkade oversaw the renovation and Café Cusco opened July 2013.

The Peruvian inspired restaurant offers healthy dining options including meals for vegetarians, vegans and those with gluten sensitivities.

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco outdoor seating
Vegan Eats at Café Cusco – outdoor seating area

Vegan Eats at Café Cusco

Reservations must be made at least two hours in advance, to dine in this attractive café. It’s a popular, busy restaurant with limited seating. Reservations may be made online by clicking HERE or calling 417-868-8088.

I made my reservation online the day before my visit. It was so easy to do. On the online form, I stated that I was vegan.

When I arrived for lunch, my table was ready and a vegan menu awaited my perusal. Café Curoso offers a variety of vegan starters, soups & salads, sandwiches, entrées and desserts.

EVERYTHING looked good to me! Dining at this restaurant was part of an Adventure Challenge for me, along with one of my birthday activities. My Adventure Challenge (purchase the solo edition HERE) instructed me to eat at a new to me restaurant, ask the server for recommendations and then go with that meal.

My attentive server recommended the Vegan Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry…which is the exact menu item I wanted. And for a starter, she recommended the Fried Guacamole, served with mango sauce and pico de gallo and white corn chips.

Both were delicious and very filling! The server suggested I add a few drops of their house hot sauce to the stir fry. It provided the perfect amount of spiciness.

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco fried guacamole
Vegan Eats at Café Cusco – fried guacamole with mango sauce
Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco sweet potato noodle stir fry
Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry

Table for One

I so enjoyed my solo lunch at Café Cusco. Years ago, I shied away from eating alone in public places. I didn’t want to appear lonely or unlikable or pitiful for eating by myself.

You know what? I’m way past caring what anyone else thinks about what I do!

The truth is, I enjoy solitude and going on adventures on my own. I savored this lunch for one. The restaurant is beautiful, with dark wooden booths lining one wall and a few tables and chairs filling in other areas. The ambience is cozy and inviting.

I fully occupied my small booth, perfectly sized for one or two people. And by that I mean, I fully occupied my space, my sense of who I am and what I love to do. If anyone spared me a glance at all, they surely recognized a woman who loves life and enjoys herself, no matter what she is doing.

I’ll return to Café Cusco soon, to try another of their tantalizing vegan dishes. I highly recommend the café to anyone in or passing through the Springfield, Missouri area.

Have you ever tried Peruvian food? And do you hesitate to eat alone in restaurants…or do you go for it?

Vegan Eats at Cafe Cusco Springfield MO
Café Cusco, 234 East Commercial Street, Springfield MO

 

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Red Apple Recipes

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Today, December 1, is National Eat a Red Apple Day!

This day encourages us to enjoy an apple…and not just any apple but a red skinned one.

Why?

Apples play a crucial role in fighting inflammation of all kinds. They calm the systems of the body by reducing viral and bacterial loads that cause inflammation. In addition, the phytochemicals in apples feed the neurons of the brain and increase electrical activity. That makes them brain food!

Red skinned apples are especially beneficial. The pigments that create that rosy color have anti-obesity properties and strengthen the digestive system. They are the best colon cleanser. Pectin from a red apple rids the intestinal tract of bacteria, viruses, yeast and mold. It also helps to eliminate debris that clogs pockets in the intestines.

And this powerhouse fruit helps to pull heavy metals from the body and detoxifies the brain of MSG. Apples hydrate the body at a cellular level, providing trace minerals and salts and electrolytes, making them ideal to consume after exercise or a stressful day.

To help you get your “apple a day”, try these healthy red apple recipes.

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Red Apple Recipes

Click on the underlined titles below for these delicious red apple recipes.

Healthy Fried Apples

This recipe is a great way to use up apples that are a bit past their prime.

Fragrant with cinnamon, this easy recipe does not contain refined sugar or butter. It’s vegan and gluten free. And it makes an excellent side dish, stand alone meal or simple dessert.

Red Apple Recipes fried
Red Apple Recipes – healthy fried apples

Raw Applesauce

Another way to use an overabundance of apples is with this super simple recipe.

Raw applesauce comes together in minutes, and it’s so good. I purposefully leave my applesauce slightly chunky, however you can make it smooth as well. I add my applesauce to fruit or veggie bowls. You can use it in the next recipe too!

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce cake is extremely easy to create, using a few basic pantry items. The recipe adapts well to adding extras such as nuts, raisins and grated apples and tastes great with or without icing.

This cake is vegan, of course, and also gluten free. And as a bonus…it smells amazing as it bakes! Try serving it with fresh berries.

Red Apple Recipes cake
Red Apple Recipes – applesauce cake

Apple Porridge

This yummy recipe uses raw apples as well. Apple porridge makes a great breakfast alternative to cereal. Use a food processor to finely chop apples, leaving the skin on, and then top with walnuts, raisins or shredded coconut.

Beyond enjoying apple porridge for breakfast, try a bowl with afternoon tea or as a simple dessert.

Apple Crisp

Packed with red skinned apples, this vegan and gluten free crisp is easy to make. It’s perfect for a chilly winter evening. Enjoy with a cup of hot herbal tea to experience bliss!

Apple Crisp comes together in minutes and the result is a hot, fragrant, good-for-you dessert. For the best health benefits, leave the peeling on the apples.

Red Apple Recipes crisp
Red Apple Recipes – apple crisp

Rustic Apple Galette

Galette is the French word for a flat, round cake or pastry, usually open faced with fruit piled in the middle. This rustic dish is a healthy version that can be enjoyed without guilt or the ill effects sugar and gluten cause.

This beautiful dessert is perfect for fall and makes a wonderful treat to serve guests.

Favorite Ways to Enjoy Red Apples

The easiest way to benefit from red apples is to simply cut one up and eat it, plain or with a spoonful of sugar free organic nut butter. However, when the mood for something fancier strikes, the possibilities are endless.

I hope you found a new way to bring more red skinned apples into your diet. Their health benefits truly do help keep the doctor away.

What are you favorite recipes for red apples?

Red Apple Recipes galette
Rustic apple galette

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Sweet Potato Chili Fries

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November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month. It’s an appropriate time to recognize the sweet potato, given that many serve it in Thanksgiving meals.

Although sweet potatoes are often smothered in butter, brown sugar and marshmallows, they are much more versatile than that.

Enjoy this fall staple with this quick and simple recipe…sweet potato chili fries…as a flavorful side or as a stand alone meal. And for a delicious pop of flavor, serve the fries with this wonderful vegan lemon dill aioli.

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The Goodness of Sweet Potatoes

Why include sweet potatoes in your meals?

Sweet potatoes are wonderful for the digestive system. They promote productive bacteria in the stomach, small intestine and colon, while starving out unproductive bacteria and mold. They enhance the body’s production of B12. And they help to prevent megacolon, an expansion of the large intestine due to bacteria, and alleviate narrowing of the intestinal tract due to chronic inflammation.

Sweet potatoes have an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Their orange flesh is packed with carotenoids. Those phytochemicals are powerful, drawing radiation from the body and protecting against skin, breast, reproductive, stomach, intestinal, esophageal and rectal cancers.

Additionally, sweet potatoes rid the body of unstable, destructive, cancer causing estrogen that interferes with the body’s hormone function. These estrogens come from plastics, pharmaceuticals and environmental toxins. And for those struggling with insomnia, sweet potatoes provide a critical form of glucose that stimulates the development of neurotransmitters, which aid in sleeping soundly. (Info from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William.)

Sweet Potato Chili Fries basket
Sweet Potato Chili Fries – basket of sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Chili Fries

I love roasting potatoes and sweet potatoes in the oven. For me, they make a comforting and satisfying meal.

These roasted sweet potato fries take flavor to the next level with the addition of chili seasoning. And they are wonderful accompanied by the vegan lemon dill aioli.

Sweet Potato Chili Fries

Roasted sweet potato fries flavored with chili seasoning
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large sweet potatoes or 4 small
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp chili seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Lemon Dill Aioli

  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced

Instructions
 

Sweet Potato Chili Fries

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch wide fries
  • Place fries into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add chili seasoning and sea salt. Mix well to coat fries.
  • Spread fries in single layer on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, turning fries halfway through, until fries are browned on outside and tender inside. Serve with lemon dill aioli. Makes two servings.

Vegan Lemon Dill Aioli

  • In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients. Makes a little more than 1/4 cup. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Keyword Sweet potato fries, Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Chili Fries peeled
Sweet potatoes ready to become fries.

Tips for Making Sweet Potato Chili Fries

If you like your roasted fries rustic, leave sweet potato peeling on.

May substitute coconut oil, or another high quality oil, for the olive oil. Add another tablespoon of oil if needed.

I love the slight spiciness that the chili seasoning adds. You may use cumin, paprika, garlic powder and/or onion powder if desired.

Parchment paper helps fries to brown evenly and makes clean up a snap.

Fresh dill may be purchased in the produce section at the grocery store. Or substitute 1 teaspoon of dried dill.

I purchase vegan mayo at Natural Grocers. However, more and more grocery stores are carrying vegan products, such as mayo.

The vegan lemon dill aioli is good with so many things! I love it.

Sweet Potato Chili Fries plated
Sweet Potato Chili Fries ready to eat. Served with vegan aioli and vegan fried green tomatoes.

What’s Your Favorite Way to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes?

Are sweet potatoes on your Thanksgiving Day menu?

They might show up on mine as a vegan sweet potato casserole. Beyond the holidays, however, sweet potatoes are often “what’s for dinner” in my house.

Let me know if you try these yummy fries and the vegan lemon dill aioli!

Sweet Potato Chili Fries with lemon dill aioli
Sweet potato chili fries with vegan lemon dill aioli.

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The Connection Between Gratitude and Health

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November is National Gratitude Month. It’s a fitting time to practice gratitude, every day, and embrace the power it brings into our lives.

Gratitude is more than saying “thank you”, although that’s a start. Showing appreciation for what we have, even the small things, is a wonderful way of expressing gratitude. And it’s a response to kindness, help and generosity from others.

Expressing gratitude became a life changing experience for me, a little more than a decade ago. In the swirling chaos that surrounded my life at that time, including the death of my father and the suicide of a friend, I found my way through by starting a gratitude journal. That daily practice was the beginning of a new way of life for me.

It turns out gratitude improves health and wellness also.

Check out the connection between gratitude and health in this post.

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The Health Connection

Research shows that gratitude dramatically improves overall health and wellness levels. That makes practicing gratitude a habit worth cultivating…and not just during November.

Below are ways that gratitude transforms us.

Gratitude Relieves Pain

How we think influences how we feel. And studies show that people who regularly express gratefulness…and truly feel it…experience fewer aches and pains.

This study found that the simple practice of listing three gratitudes at the end of each day resulted in fewer headaches and less stomach pain.

Grateful people also tend to take better care of themselves. They move their bodies more, eat better quality foods and practice self care. All of these contribute to less pain and greater feelings of wellness.

Gratitude Improves Cardiovascular Health

People who feel grateful and express that gratitude experience lower blood pressure and less chronic inflammation, a condition that damages the lining of blood vessels. That damage raises the risk of heart disease.

Keeping a daily gratitude journal not only lowers inflammation levels in patients with asymptomatic heart failure, it also improves heart rhythm.

The Connection Between Gratitude and Health cardiovascular health
The Connection Between Gratitude and Health – less pain and greater cardiovascular health

Gratitude Promotes Better Sleep

We all know how important sleep is to health. Studies discovered that those who made nightly lists of their gratitudes slept better and awoke feeling more refreshed, than those who didn’t. Focusing on the things we are grateful for at night increases a feeling of calmness that helps us fall asleep.

One of my favorite ways to drift off into sleep is to express gratitude by listing them mentally for all the blessings of the day, large and small.

There’s also a correlation between lack of sleep and lack of gratitude! When we don’t get enough rest we feel cranky and crankiness doesn’t tend to support feelings of gratitude.

Gratitude Improves Emotional Health

When in the midst of stress and/or anxiety, pausing to express gratitude shifts our thoughts from the negative to the positive. Feeling grateful snaps us out of detrimental loops of guilt, dread or pessimism and brings us fully back into the present moment.

Additionally, stress contributes to inflammation in the body and chronic illness. Over time, gratitude boosts the immune system, helping to fight off illness.

A gratitude practice, such as journaling or expressing the day’s blessings, also improves depression, helps us release toxic emotions, strengthens relationships and fosters empathy for others. Check out other ways to improve emotional health HERE.

The Connection Between Gratitude and Health stress relief
The Connection Between Gratitude and Health – stress relief

Ways to Practice Gratitude

Creating a gratitude practice is easy and doesn’t take much time. To see the greatest shifts in health and life, express gratefulness daily.

Try any of these gratitude ideas.

  • write daily in a journal, expressing gratitude for the day’s blessings
  • every night at bedtime, speak aloud or mentally list at least three gratitudes from the day
  • create or join a Gratitude Challenge, which are common during November
  • practice self gratitude
  • meditate, focusing on the day’s gratitudes, allowing great joy to fill your heart
  • intentionally look for things to be grateful for…and more will find you
  • take a gratitude walk, in nature, and express thankfulness for what you see
  • create gratitude art…try this fun gratitude pumpkin that I did a few years ago
  • write out favorite gratitude quotes and keep them where you can see them
  • list “I am” gratitudes… such as “I am grateful for a strong body”
  • learn to say “thank you” in American Sign Language and use that gesture throughout the day
  • write five or more thank you notes or texts a day and send them to people you are grateful for
  • practice telling others that you are grateful for them…make eye contact and be sincere

How are you practicing gratitude this month? And have you seen a shift in your life and health because of gratitude? Share with me in the comments below.

The Connection Between Gratitude and Health nature walk
The Connection Between Gratitude and Health – gratitude walk in nature

 

Gratitude Sparkers from Amazon:

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Wellness Tips

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With Halloween celebrated and Thanksgiving later this month, we are well into the holiday season.

It’s my favorite time of year! The weeks between the beginning of fall and the start of a new year are full of joy, excitement and connection. However, they can also bring stress, unhealthy practices and overwhelm.

Enjoy the best of the season and make healthy choices that support well being, rather than depleting it.

These holiday wellness tips will help!

Holiday Wellness Tips title meme

Holiday Wellness Tips

To maintain the optimal level of health, through the holidays and beyond, into the new year, try these tips.

Practice Healthy Eating Habits

At the end of the holiday season, the number one health regret people have is overindulging. It’s easy to do, with holiday parties, family gatherings, special events and always, an abundance of sweet and savory treats on hand.

Create a strong, healthy eating plan. Write up menus in advance that include extra fruits and veggies. Swap out traditional holiday snacks that are full of sugar and fat for healthier versions. This vegan and gluten free gingerbread is a perfect example.

Make wise food choices during the holidays, saving treats for a few special occasions. And if you do overindulge, forgive yourself, move on with fresh determination and make better choices next time.

Mindful Drinking

This time of year, egg nog, spiked punch and special cocktails liven up the holidays at gatherings of all kinds. Be mindful of the number of alcoholic drinks consumed. They pack calories that can quickly add up. Plus alcohol severely impedes mental abilities, reduces fertility and impairs memory.

Consume adequate amounts of water, especially when drinking alcoholic beverages, as they can cause dehydration. Try hot herbal teas as well during these cold months, to warm up the body and boost health.

Holiday Wellness Tips practice healthy eating
Holiday Wellness Tips – practice healthy eating

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for health year around. During the holiday season, it’s especially crucial. Holiday induced anxiety increases when we are short on sleep. Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep for the brain to function properly. Plus enough sleep ensures we have the energy and vitality to enjoy all the events special to this time of year.

As much as possible, maintain regular sleep habits. And if you haven’t already, establish a nighttime routine that prepares the body for sleep.

Prioritize Self Care

While busy shopping, creating wonderful holiday meals and decorating the house, don’t forget to take time for you. It’s not selfish. Self care is necessary to reduce stress and anxiety and restore the body.

Set aside at least half an hour a day, to relax. Do something you love such as listening to music, reading, sipping hot tea or coloring. Take a nap. Sit in the sunshine for a few minutes. Do whatever feels restorative to you.

Holiday Wellness Tips self care
Holiday Wellness Tips – take care of you

Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones

The holidays are made merrier when we spend time with those we love. It can feel overwhelming, however, trying to make enough time for everyone on your friends and family list.

Don’t overburden your time. Think quality over quantity. Create holiday memories with those dearest to you. Call others, send a text or mail a holiday card with a handwritten note.

And be mindful of those who are alone during this season. A thoughtful message, cheerful phone call or meeting for a hot drink means much to those who are isolated or on their own. If you feel lonely during the holidays, consider volunteering, organizing a get together with others who may feel alone or reaching out to others with a message or call.

Stay Active

Colder weather can make getting enough exercise a challenge. During this season try incorporating normal activities into the holidays. Play with the kids who are home for the holiday break. Go for walks through the leaves or snow. Visit Christmas markets, villages or neighborhoods bright with holiday lights. Clean house and decorate to Christmas music.

Resist the temptation to “hibernate” and eat high carb foods.

Holiday Wellness Tips stay active
Holiday Wellness Tips – stay active

Reduce Stress

The holidays can create stress. Family gatherings, gift buying, financial strain and being off regular schedules all contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.

Set boundaries to protect your time and resources. Avoid family conflicts. Focus on what you can control…your thoughts and your actions. Create a Christmas budget. Don’t overdo on the sugar. And as mentioned above, practice self care and get enough sleep.

Have Realistic Expectations

The holidays can feel disappointing when expectations are too high. Be realistic with goals and intentions. Plan out the holiday you hope to have. Keep it simple this year, for a change. And know that everything won’t go the way you want. That’s okay. Accept or even embrace imperfections.

Start a new family tradition that is meaningful to you. And most of all relax. Accept what is and go with the flow.

Have a Healthy Holiday

I hope these simple tips help you have the best holiday season ever, full of joy, love, family and robust health. How we finish the year…is how we begin the next one.

Which holiday wellness tip will you adopt this season?

Holiay Wellness Tips realistic expectations

 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

 

 

Cleanse to Heal

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

October is National Book Month. On my other blog, I share what I’m currently reading this month and why. Among the five books gracing the table next to my chair is this one by Anthony William…Cleanse to Heal.

Anthony, also known as the medical medium, offers a series of books that have changed my health and my life. In Cleanse to Heal, book six in the series, Anthony provides cleanses for all that’s going wrong in our bodies. He doesn’t offer fads or gimmicks. Rather he recommends foods and cleansing programs for a host of ailments including pain, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders and many other conditions.

I’ve tried several of the cleanses in the book, with healing results. This month I’m focusing on the Anti-Bug Cleanse.

I’m happy to share a review of this life altering book.

Cleanse to Heal title meme

My Healing Journey

In case you are new to this blog, a bit about my healing journey. I experienced a serious car accident in 1995, resulting in injuries to my spine, sternum, collar bones, neck, low back and legs. After five years of physical therapy, treatments, pain specialists and spinal adjustments, I continued to experience pain 24/7. I developed chronic nerve pain in both legs although the left leg suffered the most.

Doctors eventually gave up on me, running out of healing options to try. They predicted that my condition would continue to deteriorate and I’d end up in a wheelchair in 20 years. Exactly 20 years later, that prediction seemed on the verge of coming true. I found it necessary to walk with the aid of a cane. It often took me hours to be able to get out of bed and stand. My work suffered as did many other areas in my life.

A Cry for Help

Lying in bed one morning, summer of 2016, unable to straighten out my pain wracked left leg, I felt like I’d reached a dire place in my health. I intended to take my grandson on a trip to Italy the next year, for his high school graduation gift. For the first time, I questioned whether I’d be able to go or if I’d require a wheelchair if I did manage it.

I asked God for a way to heal.

The very next day, I came across a post on Facebook written by Anthony William. He explained that often, after an accident, we don’t heal. And that we don’t understand why. I read every word in that post and felt it was written for me. Anthony described my pain and lack of healing and then he offered hope.

I purchased his book, Medical Medium, experienced my first 28 day healing cleanse, and completely changed my health. Not one doctor or specialist that I saw during those 20 years of suffering ever suggested that a change in my diet might result in a change in my health. Anthony suggested it. I embraced the idea, adopting a 100% plant based lifestyle. The cane went into a corner of my bedroom after one week of eating differently. I’ve not used it since. My health improved drastically…not just the intense pain in my legs but in all areas. And I took my grandson to Italy the next year, in the best health of my life.

Trip to Italy 2017
Trip to Italy, 2017, with my grandson and daughter. No cane in sight.

Cleanse to Heal

“Chronic illness is growing at an alarming rate. Even with the massive amounts of organic food being cultivated now, even with the awareness about removing processed foods from our lives, even with the newest healing modalities, sickness is present like never before. No one is escaping illness, not unless they have the right information to stop the ticking clock. This is not a lifestyle book. It’s a lifetime book. In a sea of false truths, this is about saving lives.”  Anthony William

Poisons, toxins and pathogens lie behind many chronic illnesses that threaten our wellbeing. Cleansing is a powerful way to start the healing process and to protect health in an ongoing way.

In Cleanse to Heal, Anthony offers a variety of cleanses. Plus he includes:

  • how to choose the right cleanse for you
  • the causes of 200 symptoms and conditions with a guide to helpful supplements
  • 75 recipes with colorful photos and sample menus
  • helpful dos and don’ts
  • truths about trendy diets
  • what you need to know about eggs, diary, gluten, fish oil and other foods that cause inflammation
  • toxins, heavy metals, troublemaker foods and viral cleansing
  • the connection between physical cleansing and emotional health
  • spiritual and soul support for healing
Cleanse to Heal recipes
Cleanse to Heal – one of the 75 recipes, Potato Stuffed Peppers. I made this delicious recipe last week.

A Breakdown of the Sections in the Book

The book is divided into six sections.

Part 1: We Need to Cleanse

This opening section discusses what’s going on inside our bodies and why we need to cleanse. It includes chapters on trendy diets and why those are not helpful plus a list of troublemaker foods. This section concludes with a guide to choosing the right cleanse for you.

Part 2: 3:6:9 Cleanse – Life Protector

This whole section covers the original 3:6:9 cleanse, which I’ve done several times, and variations of this process.

The nine day cleanse allows the liver and other internal organs to release old toxins as well as fats and viral waste. It’s a gradual yet deep cleanse that can truly jumpstart health.

Part 3: Other Life Saving Cleanses

Part three introduces the other cleanses in the book: anti-bug cleanse, morning cleanse, heavy metal detox cleanse and mono eating cleanse.

I’m currently doing the anti-bug cleanse. I share my experience below.

Part 4: Cleanse Guide

Discover crucial dos and don’ts while cleansing, in this section. Anthony also writes about the body’s amazing power to heal and includes sample menus and those delicious recipes here.

Part 5: Spiritual and Soul Healing Support

In this beautifully written section, Anthony offers living words for the underdogs, fighting for their health, and a note to the critics. He discuses the emotional connection to cleansing and how to empower the soul.

Part 6: Knowing the Cause and the Protocol

This helpful last section of the book provides guides to taking supplements and discusses the true causes of symptoms and conditions. Anthony includes supplement dosage recommendations for each symptom and condition.

Cleanse to Heal berries
Cleanse to Heal – a bowl of fresh berries makes a healthy treat

My Experience Using This Book

So far, I’ve completed the 3:6:9 cleanse several times, as a way to deeply detox my liver and internal organs. Due to our environment and typical western diet, we accumulate excess fats, pathogens, toxins and viral loads that burrow into our organs. There they create problems. This cleanse is a wonderful way to allow the organs to release the build up and function properly again. I like to do this cleanse a couple of times a year.

I’ve also done the Heavy Metal Detox. This powerful cleanse helps to remove the accumulation of mercury, aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, cadmium, barium and arsenic that settles in different areas of different organs. The brain and liver are the two primary organs that are affected by these heavy metals.

For all cleanses in the book, Anthony details the duration of the cleanse, the foods and drinks to consume and the foods to avoid.

The Anti-Bug Cleanse

This is my first experience with this cleanse. The anti-bug cleanse starves viruses and bacteria in the body, by avoiding certain foods, and then flushes them out along with toxins and poisons in the blood.

Duration of this cleanse is two weeks or longer.

And here’s the protocol:

Drink 16 ounces of celery juice every morning.

Avoid the list of troublemaker foods. Anthony suggests different levels of foods to avoid. I’m avoiding all of them.

  • eggs
  • dairy
  • gluten
  • soft drinks
  • pork
  • tuna
  • corn
  • oils
  • soy
  • lamb
  • vinegar
  • fermented foods
  • caffeine
  • grains, except for gluten free oatmeal and millet

And limit or remove

  • salt
  • alcohol
  • artificial flavors
  • nutritional yeast
  • citric acid
  • aspartame
  • other artificial sweeteners
  • MSG
  • preservatives

Drink at least 32 ounces of water daily, in addition to the celery juice.

Why avoid those foods? Some are blood thickeners due to fat content. Thicker blood keeps toxins suspended and unable to be flushed out of the body. Some dehydrate the body, others introduce new toxins to the the body and some feed viruses and bugs.

Removing these foods allows the body to heal while flushing out all the gunk we don’t need. I included sugar as a food to avoid as well, as I know it causes inflammation in my body and creates acid reflux.

Cleanse to Heal oatmeal
Cleanse to Heal – gluten free oatmeal with berries and a few walnut pieces

How I’m Doing on the Anti-Bug Cleanse

I’m almost two weeks into this cleanse. And immediately I noticed a difference in the way my body feels and functions. I’m plant based already, so I don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy products. And I’m gluten intolerant, so I routinely avoid grains. However, it’s easier than I’d like for it to be, for things such as sugar and too much salt to creep into my diet.

My body responds favorably to limiting the foods on the avoid list. And although after the cleanse I’ll add back in olive oils, healthy fats such as avocados and nuts and foods such as olives, for now I’m appreciating how I feel during the cleanse.

I start the day with celery juice and then have a fruit smoothie for breakfast. Lunch and supper meals provide an assortment of veggies prepared in a variety of ways. Snacks include fresh fruit such as apples, pears, bananas and berries.

I intend to continue the anti-bug cleanse for at least two more weeks. That will bring me to mid November, with a cleaner body, and a stronger desire to eat as healthy as possible during the holidays.

I have big plans for 2022 and a strong, healthy, energetic body is vital to all that I intend to accomplish. Cleanse to Heal will help me live in optimal wellness.

What questions do you have about this book, or any of Anthony’s other books? Ask me your questions in the comments below.

Cleanse to Heal chickpea salad
Cleanse to Heal – chickpea salad for lunch. Recipe HERE.

 

Order Cleanse to Heal and other Medical Medium books below:

Cleanse to Heal

Life Changing Foods

Liver Rescue

Thyroid Healing

Celery Juice

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

Chickpea Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

I love the versatility of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. They are the foundation for hummus, make a delicious curry and pair well with many other veggies, such as sweet potatoes.

Over the next two weeks, I’m experiencing a cleanse. That means although I am already plant based, I’m focusing on consuming fruits and vegetables only. During the cleanse I’m avoiding grains, except for gluten free oats, fermented foods, sugar, salt and oils and eating very little fat. This allows my digestive system to reset and toxins, bacteria and viruses to flush out of my body.

Even with the limitations, it’s not difficult to enjoy hearty, highly nutritious meals. This chickpea salad, loaded with fresh veggies, is an excellent example.

Chickpea Salad title meme

Hearty Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a legume, cultivated originally in the Middle East. They’ve been around for more than 9,500 years. Chickpeas are used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are also a key ingredient in Indian foods such as curry. Today India produces 70% of the chickpea crop.

These legumes are a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, chickpeas offer a variety of health benefits including improving digestion, aiding in weight management and reducing the risk for diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

I enjoy chopped salads, heavy on veggies and light on lettuce. And I appreciate chickpeas. This tasty recipe combines the two for a perfect light meal or as the main dish in a bigger one.

Craving some chickpeas today, I made this salad in a few minutes, with what I had on hand. And because I’m avoiding oils right now, I adapted a simple recipe for an oil free dressing that uses the liquid in the can of chickpeas.

You may use canned chickpeas for this recipe…which is what I did…or start with dry beans and cook your own. Save at least 1/4 cup of liquid, either way.

Chickpea Salad

This quick and easy salad combines hearty chickpeas with freshly chopped veggies.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and saving 1/4 cup liquid or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 medium red, yellow or orange pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 grape tomatoes, quartered

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • pinch black pepper

Instructions
 

Salad

  • Drain chickpeas, reserving 1/4 cup liquid for dressing
  • In a large bowl, combine chickpeas and remaining veggies. Stir gently to combine.

Dressing

  • In a small mason jar, combine liquid from chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, parsley and black pepper. Cap and shake jar well. Pour over chickpea salad and stir to coat veggies. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator. Makes approximately 4 servings.
Keyword Chickpeas, Salad

 

Chickpea Salad
Quick and easy chickpea salad

Tips for Making Chickpea Salad

This is a great recipe for using canned goods or, if cooking chickpeas for another recipe, cook extra for this salad.

I used the vegetables I had on hand, chopping them as I would for a typical chopped veggie salad. The peppers add color and powerful nutrients. I had a bag of mini orange, red and yellow peppers and used four of those in this recipe.

Feel free to include any other veggies of choice, including cabbage, red cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, olives or pepperoncini.

Chickpea or bean liquid is called aquafaba and useful for many other recipes. I saved ALL the liquid from my two cans of chickpeas so I could experiment with the aquafaba. Watch for recipes!

Fresh parsley may be substituted for dried, in the dressing.

Tahini is sunflower seed paste. It is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and makes a healthy salad dressing. Purchase online or in health conscious food stores. I used a small amount in the dressing, rather than oils.

Taste Test

The fun part of creating a new recipe is tasting it!

I made the recipe with the intent of enjoying it for lunch. And enjoy it I did. The taste is fresh, with all the veggies, while the chickpeas add a mild, nutty flavor and some density to the meal. This is one of those dishes that is sure to taste even better the next day, as the flavors all mingle.

I really liked the simple chickpea liquid, lemon juice, parsley and tahini dressing. It added just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the chickpeas and vegetables. When I’m back to consuming small amounts of sea salt, I’ll add a bit to the dressing. Otherwise, I won’t change a thing! Add sea salt and black pepper to taste to the salad and/or the dressing.

Eat this chickpea salad alone or add roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli for a larger meal.

Let me know if you try this satisfying meal!

Chickpea Salad fresh

More Chickpea Recipes

Looking for more chickpea recipes? Try these:

Curried Chickpeas

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Hummus

 


 

Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Keys to Emotional Wellness

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

October is Emotional Wellness Month. Emotional wellness refers to the ability to process our feelings in healthy, positive ways and manage everyday stresses. Because how we handle our emotional well being affects overall health.

Mental and emotional stress creates negative responses in the body such as high blood pressure, headaches, chronic illness and a weakened immune system.

Emotional Wellness Month, celebrated annually in October, serves as a reminder to take care of our emotions. Discover the following keys to emotional wellness, for a healthier state of being.

Keys to Emotional Wellness title meme

Be Who You Are

For emotional well being, it’s crucial to know who you are and live authentically as that person.

Sounds simple, right? However, many of us learn as children to please the adults in our lives…parents, grandparents, teachers…forgetting who we are as we grow older. We can lose that strong sense of self by the time we are adults, becoming habitual people pleasers.

However, we can’t please others at the expense of being who we are, otherwise we live a lie. It’s essential to spend the time doing the inner work required to reconnect with who we really are.

Remember the things you loved as a child. Try different things to see what you enjoy and what feels in alignment with your heart and soul. Journal and free write. See this post from my other blog, Creating a Strong Sense of Self, for more help. And this one, Finding Your Big Why, to learn more about your purpose in life.

Keys to Emotional Wellness be you
Keys to Emotional Wellness – be who you are

Be Aware of Emotions

It’s helpful to check in with how you are feeling, emotionally, every day. How do you relate to your emotions? Do you tend to “stuff” them away? Do they overwhelm you and erupt inappropriately?

Learning to feel and express emotions in healthy ways keeps them from escalating to an out of control level. Some experts recommend a technique called scaling emotions.

How strong are your emotions? Rate them on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being low and 10 high. The idea is that by practicing awareness with emotions, you can keep them in the 2 – 5 range. Checking in allows us to intentionally bring emotions back into balance.

For example, if anger suddenly escalates to an 8, your awareness allows you to take deep breaths, pause or question feelings to bring the level down.

And it helps to keep an emotional journal to track…and name…feelings. Knowing what you are feeling helps you to talk about them more openly.

Keys to Emotional Wellness emotions
Keys to Emotional Wellness – be aware of emotions

Pay Attention to Physical Health

The two are connected, emotional and physical health. And the state of one affects the other. Increasing your physical health level positively improves emotional health.

Eat highly nutritious foods, including an abundance of fruits and veggies. Drink water. Get enough sleep. Stay active doing things you enjoy such as gardening, dancing, biking, walking or playing with grandkids. Exercise reduces stress hormones while boosting endorphins, the feel good ones.

Limit alcohol and do not smoke.

Learn to manage stress. Slow down and take a break. Practice deep breathing, yoga or meditation. Learn to relax tense muscles.

Keys to Emotional Wellness physical health
Keys to Emotional Wellness – physical health…eat highly nutritious food

Connect With Others

We need positive connections with others. In the last two years, we’ve had to learn different ways to stay connected to others, as we navigate a pandemic. Many experienced…and continue to experience…a sense of isolation and disconnect from others.

  • schedule regular calls, zoom meetings or facetime calls with family and friends
  • text or message friends with recommendations such as podcasts to listen to, videos to watch or books to read
  • stay in touch with friends and family through social media
  • play online games with others
  • watch tv shows with others, while connected via the internet or on the phone
  • walk together outdoors
  • if you feel comfortable, meet with family and friends for lunch dates, museum visits, zoo trips and other fun excursions
  • say hi to people while out and smile
  • consider adopting a pet for companionship
Keys to Emotional Wellness connect
Keys to Emotional Wellness – stay connected to others

Stay Positive

Focus on the good in your life, expressing gratitude for small and large blessings. Collect affirmations to read each day or write your own. Accept the past and let it go, without blaming yourself. Forgive yourself.

Pay attention to what you think about. Actions follow thoughts. Dwelling on negative thoughts leads to negative actions. Shifting thoughts results in a change in actions as well.

Emotional Health

Creating emotional health doesn’t mean you feel happy all the time. It means you are more aware of your emotions and the impact they have on your overall health. When you feel anger, stress or anxiety, you manage those feelings.

Emotional health allows you to cope well with life’s challenges without getting out of balance. You gain fresh perspectives and recover more quickly from setbacks. Emotional wellness helps you feel good about who you are and fosters healthy relationships.

I hope these keys to emotional wellness help you create a state of well being that supports the amazing life you desire to live.

Keys to Emotional Wellness positive thoughts

Helpful books from Amazon:

 


Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.