Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

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Preparing a simple meal this evening, in the pressure pot, I considered ideas for an equally simple after dinner treat. I remembered a recipe for mini blueberry muffins in Liver Rescue by Anthony William.

Created without gluten, oil, refined sugar or eggs, these bite sized snacks seemed perfect! Best of all, I had time to prep the blueberry mini bites and pop them in the oven while dinner cooked without my aid.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Scanning the recipe, I saw that I had all the ingredients on hand. At least, what I had on hand would work. One of the things I love about recipes is that they can typically hold up to minor adaptations.

I had black chia seeds rather than white ones. I’m out of organic maple syrup, however my raw organic honey container is almost full. And my muffin tin is small, but not a mini size. Game on!

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

An easy to make healthy treat. Gluten, oil, refined sugar and egg free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 12 Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds regular or white
  • 1 cup mashed banana approx 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda aluminum free
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup may use raw organic honey
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
    Place chia seeds in blender and blend on high until finely ground.
  • Add mashed bananas, oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, maple syrup and lemon juice to blender and blend until smooth batter forms.
  • Pour batter into a bowl and add frozen wild blueberries. Mix gently.
  • Line a mini muffin pan with 16 mini parchment baking cups and fill each one with a heaping tablespoon of batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until muffins turn golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool completely before eating. Muffins continue to firm up as they cool.

Notes

If you don't have mini parchment baking cups, lightly grease muffin tin with coconut oil.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini BitesUse wild blueberries, if possible, as the health benefits are greater. I purchase them in the frozen foods section.

Improvise as Necessary

As you can see, in the photo above, I also lacked mini parchment baking cups. No worries! I very lightly greased the muffin tin with coconut oil.

Since I didn’t have a mini muffin tin, I filled 12 compartments with heaping tablespoons of batter, rather than 16. I’m calling the results mini bites. However, the treat was excellent in taste and texture. Slightly sweet, these blueberry mini bites pair well with a cup of hot mint tea.

I so appreciate that Anthony William continually offers new recipes along with his wisdom about health and fighting disease. It may seem like a small thing, preparing these decadent little high nutrient desserts. However, it means a great deal to me. Discovering I can create a wide variety of meals, dishes and treats completely shifted my perspective of what it meant to live a plant based lifestyle.

My food fuels my health. I eat well. And I love every bite.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

 

 

 

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The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

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Until recently, I’ve only know paprika as a topping sprinkled on deviled eggs and potato salad. Honestly, I didn’t think it added anything more than decoration.

After becoming plant based, I noted that several of my favorite recipes include paprika, not as a garnish but as a crucial ingredient. I’ve come to respect and appreciate this spice and use it almost every day.

But what is paprika exactly? And are there any health benefits associated with it?

My curious mind wanted to know.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

What is Paprika?

Paprika is a reddish orange ground spice made from dried peppers. Although it can be made from any variety of peppers, red bell peppers, chili peppers and cayenne peppers are most commonly used.

The spice originated in Mexico. Explorers transported it to Europe, Africa and Asia in the 1400s. Currently, Hungary produces the highest quality paprika and chefs there are well known for their Hungarian goulash prepared with the spice.

Paprika is extremely high in vitamin A. It also contains vitamins B6, C, E and K, iron, niacin and potassium. The spicier versions contain capsaicin, which gives peppers their heat. Capsaicin is an important component in the prevention of diseases.
The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

Health Benefits of Paprika

Paprika fights inflammation and disease in the body, offering the following health benefits.

Powerful Antioxidants

Paprika is rich in carotenoids, a pigment found in the peppers. This compound prevents oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body and helps to fight disease. Antioxidants protect the skin from aging, improve respiratory health and lower inflammation throughout the body. The high levels of vitamin A decreases inflammation as well, lowering the risk of disease since inflammation is often a root cause.

Hair and Scalp Health

Paprika’s rich source of vitamin B6 helps to prevent hair loss. It’s also involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to hair. And the iron in paprika stimulates hair growth by improving the transfer of oxygen to hair follicles.

May Help Prevent and Treat Cancer

The capsaicin in spicy paprika possesses the potential to prevent and/or treat gastric cancers. Capsaicin appears to limit and suppress cancerous tumor growth. This is good news, as gastric cancers are the second most common cancer, world wide, and the second most common cause of cancer related deaths.

Supports the Cardiovascular System

Vitamin B6 in paprika lowers high blood pressure and heals damaged blood vessels. The carotenoid capsanthin can increase good cholesterol. These benefits keep the heart strong and working well.

Improves Eye Health

Paprika’s antioxidants and vitamin B6 keep eyes healthy and slows the onset of eye related diseases such as macular degeneration.

Treats Diabetes

Paprika helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn aids in treating diabetes. Spicy paprika benefits the whole digestive process.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

Uses for Paprika

Beyond sprinkling paprika on foods as a garnish, try adding the spice to vegetables, sauces, soups, salad dressings, chilies, salsa, rice dishes, beans, goulash and any tomato based recipe.

I add a heaping spoonful of paprika to the blend of spices coating Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes. My Meatless Dirty Rice recipe includes paprika as well. I’ve played around with a vegan goulash recipe too, featuring green peppers, brown rice macaroni, tomatoes and…paprika. Recipe coming soon.

I’m grateful for curiosity today. Paprika is good for me, contributing to my overall health and wellbeing. As I empty the current spice jar of paprika, I’ll purchase a spicier version, after discovering that capsaicin ups the health benefits considerably. I found this two pack  of Hungarian Paprika, containing a sweet version and a spicy one. How perfect!

How will you get your paprika today? Do you have a favorite recipe that contains this important spice? I’d love to know about it!

The Surprising Health Benefits of Paprika

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Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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For the last Liver Rescue Book Club meeting tonight with my mom and sister, I provided our plant based meal. I served up my Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes with a couple of veggie sides. For dessert, I wanted something fresh, light and healthy, as temperatures today soared into the 80s. I also had an almost full container of strawberries in the fridge.

Remembering that Anthony William recently shared a luscious looking gluten free strawberry shortcake recipe, I checked his website. Based on what I had on hand, I made a couple of adaptations. Perfection!

Gluten Free Strawberry ShortcakeGluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

This light and refreshing treat is the perfect conclusion to spring or summer meals.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour may use almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup may use raw honey
  • 1 pound strawberries, halved, for topping sweeten with 1 tbsp raw honey if desired

Whipped Cream

  • 1 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk chilled overnight in fridge
  • 2 - 3 tbsp raw honey

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Combine oat flour, tapioca flour and baking powder in a large bowl, mixing well.
  • Cut the coconut oil into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Using hands, combine oil with flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • In a small bowl, combine almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup or honey. Add to flour mixture. Mix until dough forms. Using hands for mixing is easier than using a spoon.
  • Turn out dough on floured surface or a square of parchment paper. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut circles and place shortcakes on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until shortcakes are slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. While shortcakes cool, add a tablespoon of raw honey to strawberries and chill in refrigerator.

Whipped Cream

  • Chill mixing bowl in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove thick cream from top of can, leaving coconut water behind. Using an electric whisk or mixer, beat coconut cream until soft peaks form. Slowly add raw honey a little at a time, continuing to beat for two more minutes.
  • Assemble shortcakes by placing a spoonful of whipped cream on biscuit, followed by strawberries. Top with more whipped cream. Or add a second biscuit and repeat the layers, ending with berries. 

Notes

You may substitute cocowhip topping instead of making your own whipped cream.

Gluten Free Stawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Delicious Dessert

I purchased Cocowhip topping from Natural Grocers rather than making the whipped topping myself. It’s available in the frozen foods section of the store. I’ve not yet made whipped topping from coconut milk however it’s on my list of things to try!

I also used gluten free oat flour and unsweetened almond/coconut milk. The recipe made 13 shortcakes.

This gluten free strawberry shortcake is delicious. The shortcakes are slightly sweet and pair well with the honey sweetened strawberries.

This simple yet showy dessert is wonderful for special occasions or celebrations or final book club meetings. I envision topping the shortcakes this summer with a variety of fresh fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and sliced peaches.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

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I just completed a nine day liver detox, following the guidelines in the Liver Rescue book by Anthony William. For the last six months, my mother and sister and I met once a week to discuss the book and share a plant based meal together.

The book club and the cleanse have been amazing and healing experiences. I appreciate the insights and wisdom that Anthony shares and the compassion he offers to those who are chronically ill or in pain.

Today I share a brief review of Liver Rescue and a general overview of the liver rescue cleanse, known as the 3:6:9. For information about the cleanse and the importance of caring for the liver, please visit the Medical Medium website. His book Liver Rescue is available HERE or pick up a copy from your local library.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

Liver Rescue Review

This in-depth book focuses on one organ in the body…the liver. We can feel other organs and systems in the body working. The heart pumps, the lungs draw in air and expel it, the stomach rumbles when it’s hungry. We are aware of our brains, our bones and our skin, and we use our senses to perceive the world around us.

What we are very unaware of is how hard the liver works to keep the body healthy and functioning as it should.

This hefty book astounded me. The liver processes fats, stores glucose, glycogen, vitamins and minerals, disarms and detains harmful substances and filters and screens the blood. All of these functions, and more, are designed to protect the body from toxic matter and protect the pancreas from excess fat.

If we all consumed wholesome foods the liver and its functions would never enter our thoughts. We’d enjoy health and vitality, as we are meant to do. However, we don’t eat wholesome foods. The typical American diet is high in fats, sugar and additives. The liver stores those excesses, to protect the body from the negative effects of a poor diet.

Additionally, the liver harbors residue from years of pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals, plastics, gasoline, DDT, smoke, fumes, heavy metals…the list goes on and on. Viruses like to take up residence there too, to feed on all the toxins.

The liver stores all those substances for as long as it can. Like any storage container, eventually it runs out of space. As the liver struggles, it gets sluggish or fatty. And then we begin to get sick.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

My Thoughts on the Liver Rescue Book

By the time I reached the end of the book, where the cleanse is detailed, I felt wonder and appreciation for my hard working liver. I used to think that cirrhosis or a fatty liver or liver cancer signified an unhealthy liver. However so many of the ailments and symptoms we commonly have today are connected to the health of the liver.

Improving liver health is the key to healing many disorders including:

  • skin conditions, rashes, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea
  • adrenal problems, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, gout and heart palpitations
  • hormonal problems, mood struggles, rapid aging, brain fog and weight gain
  • high blood pressure, dirty blood and high cholesterol
  • bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, gut problems, food sensitivities and gallbladder infections

I’ve experienced some of these problems…and never connected them to my liver. And the liver/pancreas relationship interests me especially, as my father died of pancreatic cancer.

As I read the book, I not only developed respect for my liver and all that it does to keep me healthy, I felt compelled to ease its work load. I’ve been eating plant based for almost three years now. I’ve received much healing. It was time for me to focus on this little understood and under appreciated organ next.

The 3:6:9 liver rescue cleanse is purposefully placed at the end of the book. I felt ready to do the gentle cleanse, and give my liver a much needed healing break.

Medical Medium LIver Rescue Cleanse

Liver Rescue Mornings begin with hydration and easily assimilated nutrients.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

The Liver Rescue 3:6:9 Cleanse

Rather than giving a detailed description of the cleanse, I’ll share my experience of it. It’s important for everyone to read through the information in the rest of the book first, instead of jumping right into the cleanse.

The cleanse is divided into three sections.

Days 1 – 3

The first phase is gentle, prepping the liver to release the toxins it has stored. The focus is on hydration and fruits and vegetables. Fat intake is lowered and certain foods such as dairy and gluten avoided.

I found this phase to be very easy to comply with, as this is the way I eat anyway. Reducing fat intake meant I cut out avocadoes and my spoonful of organic peanut butter on gluten free crackers with afternoon tea. The only fat I consumed, during this phase, was a small amount of coconut oil on oven roasted potatoes.

I included two or three apples a day, for snacks. Apples are not my favorite fruit. However, I came to enjoy them very much during the cleanse.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

Afternoon tea during the liver rescue cleanse. And a typical meal during phase one: oven roasted potatoes, sautéed veggies and spinach.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

Days 4 – 6

The second phase is designed to allow the liver to begin cleansing itself. All fats are eliminated, giving the liver a break from processing and storing it. Raw and steamed vegetables are included that contain powerful liver purging compounds.

These three days revolve around very specific eating plans, designed to provide optimal nutrients that the body needs during a cleanse.

I did not experience any problems during this phase. The foods are wholesome and nutritious and I could eat as much of the specified foods as I desired. I confess I missed my potatoes a wee bit, however I could feel positive differences in my body already. Committed, I continued on.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue CleanseA meal during phase two: steamed Brussels sprouts and asparagus with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. A big liver rescue salad accompanied each lunch and dinner.

Days 7 – 9

The final phase enables the liver to purge itself of stored toxins. Days 7 and 8 are similar to the previous three, although potatoes make a welcome comeback on day 7 only. Day 9 is liquids in the form of juices and blended fruits.

I experienced low energy and a sense of unsettledness on day 7. As my liver purged, it seemed I could feel toxins being sent out for elimination. Suddenly all the liquids drank during the cleanse made sense!

By the next day I felt fine. My appetite steadily decreased throughout the cleanse and the specified foods during this final phase satisfied me completely. I didn’t mind the day of liquids at all. Fruit smoothies became my meals and between them I sipped on juice blends.

Medical Medium Liver Rescue Cleanse

After the Liver Rescue Cleanse

Today I did a mental and visual scan of my body. I felt cleaner and leaner and centered. I didn’t weigh before starting the cleanse. However I can tell I dropped weight, perhaps five or six pounds. I noted feelings of lightness and wholeness and wellbeing. My mind is clear and my energy level back up.

I continued the Liver Rescue Morning, with my lemon/lime water, celery juice and breakfast smoothie. That will always be a regular part of my day. I intend to continue other aspects of the cleanse as well, such as a second glass of lemon/lime water in the early evenings, and more apples for snacks.

I’d like to repeat days 4 – 9 once a month for several more months, to give my liver a chance to fully purge and heal. I’m in the process of eliminating chemicals and toxins from my life by switching to plant based cleaning products and toiletries. I can’t avoid every harmful substance out there, however I can be mindful and support my liver so that it can more easily do the many functions that it performs.

With my appetite low, I focused today on simple meals and plenty of fluids. And I prepared oven roasted potatoes, with a very small amount of coconut oil. They tasted marvelous.

My liver feels healthier and happier. And that makes me happy too.

Medical Medium LIver Rescue Cleanse

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Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

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In my former life, before adopting a plant based lifestyle, I often enjoyed California rolls dipped in soy sauce. Now, mindful of what I eat, it’s not difficult to create or find simple, nori wrapped veggie rolls. What about the soy sauce though?

Typical soy sauce is made from soybeans. And that can pose a health problem, since most soybeans today are genetically modified. GMO products may increase inflammation in the body and present other health risks. There are debates about the effects of GMOs on health and opinions on both sides. For optimal health, I tossed my bottle of soy sauce.

However, I’m grateful for Bragg Liquid Aminos, a delicious product made from verified non GMO soybeans. Curious about the company and the origins of the sauce, I  hit Google. And by the way, this isn’t a sponsored post. I really appreciate this healthy alternative to soy sauce and want to share it.

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

What is Bragg Liquid Aminos?

This liquid protein concentrate is derived from non GMO soybeans. It really does contain naturally-occurring essential and non essential amino acids, 16 of them to be exact.

Bragg does NOT contain chemicals, preservatives, artificial coloring, gluten or alcohol. It is not fermented. Simply made, Bragg Liquid Aminos’ ingredients are non GMO soybeans and distilled water. Like traditional soy sauce, liquid aminos taste salty, with the flavor derived from naturally occurring sodium in the beans. No salt is added.

For those wishing to eliminate soybeans entirely from their diets, Bragg also produces an Organic Coconut Liquid Aminos.

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

Who are the Braggs?

When I took the photo above, of my bottle of liquid aminos, I noticed for the first time the picture at the top and the names. Obviously, these are the Braggs who created this wonderful product. But who are Patricia and Paul C. Bragg? My curiosity led me to discover more about them.

Paul

Paul C. Bragg founded the company in 1912. As a teen, he suffered from tuberculosis. As a result, he developed his own eating, breathing and exercise programs, rebuilding his body and reclaiming his health and life.

Reading that, I felt impressed already.

Paul originated and opened the first health food store in the US and pioneered health programs on radio in the 1920s. He established the first health restaurants and spas and created many health related products including herbal teas, supplements, vitamin drinks and seven grain cereals and crackers. And…he created a healthier soy sauce. Throughout his long and healthy life he worked with celebrities, athletes and leaders, teaching others how to live in optimal health.

Patricia

Patricia, Paul’s daughter, took the company over from her father. And like her father, she is a health crusader and advocate.

Patricia conducts health and fitness seminars world wide. She’s authored 10 self health books and continues to teach and promote the Bragg Healthy Lifestyle.

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

Uses for Bragg Liquid Aminos

Use liquid aminos in place of regular soy sauce.

  • Sprinkle over salads
  • Add a punch of flavor to potatoes, beans or rice
  • Season stir fries
  • Use as an accompaniment for veggie rolls
  • Combine with other ingredients to make a flavorful sauce or marinade

My favorite ways to use Bragg Liquid Aminos include stir fries and as a sauce to dip veggie rolls in.

Try this easy to make sauce to add to a vegetable stir fry:

Combine 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos, 1 teaspoon raw organic honey and 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger in a small bowl. Drizzle over stir fry just before serving. Mmmm…perfection.

Replace Your Soy Sauce with Bragg Liquid Aminos

Order Bragg Liquid Aminos or Bragg Organic Coconut Liquid Aminos below or look for both in your local grocery store.

 

 

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Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

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This week my mom, sister, Greg and I began the Liver Rescue 3:6:9 cleanse, from Anthony William. Watch for an upcoming book review and my experience with the cleanse. The meals for the first three days are very similar to my usual daily fare. I’m reducing fat intake and including an extra lemon/lime water in the evenings.

For days 1, 2 and 3 I’ve prepared easy oven roasted potatoes for lunch or dinner. They are that good! Previously I made potato wedges, seasoned them, and roasted them in the oven. Lately I’ve been cubing the potatoes instead. The result is crispy on the outside tender on the inside perfectly seasoned potatoes.

Greg swears he could eat this meal every day! As we shift into the next phase of the cleanse, potatoes are off the menu. No worries, however. These oven roasted potatoes wait for us in the near future.

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Crispy and yet tender, these potatoes make a great side dish or meatless main meal. Eat alone or create a veggie bowl featuring the oven roasted potatoes and other cooked veggies, a salad or raw veggies such as sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

A simple recipe for a meatless meal or a flavorful side dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
Servings: 4
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes peeled & cubed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Melt coconut oil and set aside. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place cubed potatoes in a large bowl. Add sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to coat potato cubes. 
  • Add melted coconut oil. Stir to coat. Spread potato cubes out in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until potatoes are browned and cooked through.

Notes

Potato skins may be left on, if desired. Substitute two sweet potatoes for two regular potatoes, for a great roasted potato mix. 
Olive oil may be used instead of coconut oil.

 

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Healthy Potatoes

Occasionally someone asks me, “Aren’t potatoes bad for you?”

I’ve believed that in the past. Potatoes get lumped in with other “white” foods with low nutritional value, such as white bread, white rice and sugar. However, they are high in potassium, B6 and amino acids…in particular Lysine in its bioactive form. Lysine fights against cancers, viruses such as Epstein-Barr and shingles, liver disease and inflammation.

Potatoes strengthen the kidneys and liver, soothe over excited nerves and help the digestive system to heal from Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers. They are antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, relieving stress, supporting the brain and helping us to feel centered and grounded. Read more about the health benefits of potatoes HERE.

I eat a LOT of potatoes. They are one of the mainstays of my diet. And potatoes are so versatile.

Tonight’s simple and wholesome meal consisted of oven roasted potatoes and lightly sautéed vegetables. My dinner was delicious, healthy and extremely satisfying. I truly can, and do, eat like this every day.

Easy Oven Roasted PotatoesOven roasted potatoes and lightly sautéed onions, garlic, celery, green pepper, zucchini and carrots with slightly steamed spinach. 

 

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6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

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Starting a new health practice can feel overwhelming. And the vast amount of information available confounds the best intentions.

I made a radical shift due to declining health and wellbeing. However, I understand that most people are not losing the ability to walk or living in chronic pain. Those conditions highly motivated me to discover a way to heal.

For those interested in taking smaller albeit intentional steps toward wellness and vitality, these six simple way to improve health offer easily implemented actions with big results.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Eat More Fruits & Veggies

One of the greatest positive impacts on health is including more fresh fruits and veggies in the diet and eating less animal products. Meat, and dairy products such as cheese, are high in fats and unwanted additives which contribute to inflammation and a host of ailments in the body. Eggs feed viruses such as strep and Epstein Barr.

If it feels difficult to give up animal products entirely, focus on having meatless meals a couple of times a week. Or try having only fruits before noon. A fruit smoothie for breakfast is perfect. Or perhaps commit to veggie bowls for lunch three days a week. Start where you are…and select two or three ways to include more whole plant based foods on a weekly basis.

Another tip is to plan meals around vegetables instead of considering them a side dish. As fresh produce becomes plentiful and cheap this summer, plan lunches and dinners around nature’s bounty. A plate heaped with freshly steamed veggies or hummus and raw veggies makes a great meatless meal.

6 Simple Ways to Improve HealthAloo Matar with peas, potatoes and tomatoes in a curry sauce makes a filling meatless meal.

Try Veggie Noodles Instead of Pasta

Spiralizing vegetables such as cucumbers, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes and carrots is another great way to include more veggies in meals. The spiralizer quickly transforms vegetables into mounds of fresh noodles that replace traditional wheat pastas.

No need to cook the veggie noodles. They are tender and subtly flavored. Top with homemade marinara sauce, basil pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes or a spicy curry sauce.

These fresh and tasty meals are my favorite way to use vegetables right out of the garden. Pick up a spiralizer here.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Drink Water & Unsweetened Herbal Tea Instead of Sugary Drinks

Instead of reaching for a soda or a sweet tea, grab a water or herbal tea. Those sugar laden drinks add calories…more than you realize…and dehydrate the body at the same time.

Break the habit. Sugary drinks are addictive. Sugar is addictive. That’s why we crave it.

Flavor water with fruits, cucumbers or herbs and increase the health benefits. And herbal teas can be enjoyed hot or cold. I love this hibiscus lemonade during the summer! Bonus tip: grow your own herbs in containers or in the garden.

Hydrate First Thing in the Morning

Connected to ditching the soda and sweet tea is the practice of hydrating first thing each morning. Drinking 16 ounces of lemon or lime water after awakening helps to flush toxins from the body, improves digestion and aids the liver.

I find it easiest to keep a prepared pitcher of lemon/lime water in the fridge.

For an amazing health boost, drink 16 ounces of freshly prepared celery juice about 20 to 30 minutes after the lemon or lime water. Celery juice is truly a miracle elixir, healing people around the world. Anthony William has a new book releasing, featuring celery juice. You can pre- order it HERE.

I use a centrifugal juicer like this one.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Keep Junk Food Out of the House

Having cookies, ice cream, donuts, chips and other high calorie, low nutritional value foods in the house greatly increases the likelihood of eating them. It also increases the likelihood of weight gain and the disorders that come with eating too much sugar and too many processed foods.

Instead, stock up on fresh fruits, nuts, avocadoes, hummus, veggies and nut butters that are sugar free.

There are many recipes available for healthy snacks, to consume as occasional treats. Try vegan oatmeal cookies or wild blueberry banana bread, made with gluten free flour.

6 Simple Ways to Improve HealthLemon balm tea and wild blueberry banana bread.

Walk in Nature

Walking is one of the best, and easiest, activities to improve health, tone the body and maintain weight. Get outdoors to help the body destress and to benefit from fresh air and a mood boost.

Instead of walking on a treadmill daily or doing loops around a gym, head to a park, a wooded trail or simply stroll through your neighborhood.

Walking in nature is a meditative experience that grounds and centers the body and allows the mind to quiet.

Improve Health

These simple ways to improve health bring their own rewards.

Try one or two actions daily or create your own unique plan for implementing all of them.

And perhaps the sense of euphoric joy and wellbeing that comes from improved health will guide you toward the next step in creating a healthy lifestyle that supports and nourishes you.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

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Mystery Blogger Award

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I am delighted to receive the Mystery Blogger Award for Journey With Healthy Me. I’ve received several awards for Cindy Goes Beyond, including this one. However, this is my first award for this blog. Journey is a newer blog, compared to Beyond, and it feels wonderful to receive loving for the work here.

I have Ann, with Living Yogi Life to thank for this award. She is a yoga teacher and fitness professional who shares her experiences living the yogi life and traveling. Ann also enjoys helping people discover who they really are. Please visit her delightful and helpful blog.

The Mystery Blogger Award, created by Okoto Enigma, brings attention and recognition to blogs that may not otherwise be discovered. According to Enigma, the Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blogs not only captivate, they inspire and motivate. They are among the best out there and they deserve every recognition. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and do so with love and passion.

Mystery Blogger Award

The Mystery Blogger Award Rules

  • Place the award logo on your blog.
  • List the award rules.
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Link to the blog of the person who nominated you.
  • Mention the creator of the award and link to the award post.
  • State three random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers for the Mystery Blogger Award.
  • Ask your nominees five questions of your choosing.
  • Share a link to your best or favorite blog post.

Mystery Blogger AwardThree Random Facts About Me

Since this blog is health related, I’ll keep these facts in the area of health and well being.

  1. I toe in. During my childhood, this was called “pigeon toed”, and I hated this characteristic of mine. I slept a brace as a toddler, that forced my feet to point outward. The problem isn’t in my feet, however, my hip joints tip inward. Thankfully, my parents let me be me and now I don’t even think about how I walk.
  2. One of my all time favorite foods is the Cara Cara Orange. Sadly, they are only in season from late December until mid April. I eat all I can of these juicy sweet oranges, related to the navel orange, before they go out of season.
  3. Cooking is so fun for me now. A few years ago I expressed the desire to cook more creatively. When I switched to a plant based lifestyle, cooking differently became a necessity, as there are few restaurants where I can dine. You just never know how a wish is going to be fulfilled!

Mystery Blogger Award

My Answers to Ann’s Questions

  1. What inspired you to open up your blog? I began blogging with Cindy Goes Beyond. When I turned my health around, by switching to a plant based diet, I desired to help others who might be struggling with chronic pain or illnesses. In the 20+ years that I suffered with chronic pain, no one ever suggested that a change in diet might be beneficial. No one, that is, until I came across Anthony William, also known as the Medical Medium. He pointed me in the right direction, something I’ll forever be grateful for. I hope I can offer hope and answers to people too.
  2. How do you see that your blog can help the world to become a better place? I started this answer above, unintentionally. I offer hope to the hurting. My desire is to let people know that they don’t have to suffer with diseases, disorders and chronic pain. I am living proof that a change in eating habits can change a life. My blog offers tips, recipes, information about foods and herbs, and techniques that can help anyone, of any age, live a healthier, more vibrant life.
  3. If any of your wishes could come true, what would you wish for? My greatest wish at this time, beyond health and happiness for my loved ones, is to have the freedom to travel and explore the world, while working remotely. I am working hard to make that wish a reality.
  4. How do you manage to be a blogger and live a family life? My children are grown, so I don’t have young ones at home to care for. Blogging, and my other job in real estate, give me flexibility to adjust my schedule so I can spend time with my family and watch my grandchildren play sports or perform in concerts.
  5. What is your favorite drink to have, while writing blog posts? I almost always have a cup of hot herbal tea nearby, while I write the blogs.

Mystery Blogger Award

My Best Blog Post

For Journey, my post with the most views is this one: Grapes 

This Food Friday post has received 988 views and shares the health benefits of eating grapes. Catchy title, huh?

My Nominees for the Mystery Blogger Award

The Perfectly Imperfect Mummy  Michelle, who is mummy to two sets of twins, offers a peek into her life and hope to other moms. She also makes cool Scrabble tile art!

Simply Outrageous Youth  Andrea’s desire is to teach kids crucial life skills by using fun, hands-on methods.

A Hood Life  Steve, and his wife Ashley, help people build online businesses and create lives that they love.

Jumpstart Positivity  Nicole is creating an online community committed to personal growth, positive thinking and impactful change.

Made You Smile Back  Beth is building an active community, for the over 50 crowd, that can make a difference in the world.

Irish Monarchy  Tiffany is a mom to boys and a nurse. She calls herself an organized perfectionist and a gifted procrastinator who shares the chaos of life with humor and joy.

Live Love Leave a Legacy  Susan shares that legacies are built on strong relationships and communities that have a foundation in spiritual, emotional and physical well being.

This Family Blog  Jen and her family share stories about their ancestors and their present day adventures. This family likes genealogy and culture, history and travel…and they love when they are all together.

My Third Culture Kid  Anisa brings awareness to others by sharing her journey raising a child born in another country and another culture.

Sprinkled With Bougie  Qua’Tesha loves sharing simple delicious recipes, affordable fashion and everyday life experiences with her baby boy and husband.

Grab a cup of coffee or hot tea and get comfy and check out these wonderful blogs. It is my privilege to share the love and pass on the Mystery Blogger Award to these fine bloggers.

Mystery Blogger Award

Five Questions for My Nominees

  1. How did you come up with the name for your blog?
  2. What do you love most about blogging?
  3. Five years down the road, what accomplishment do you hope to celebrate?
  4. What’s your favorite comfort food?
  5. When you plan a fun day, where do you go?

Once again, thank you Ann and Living Yogi Life for the recognition and the award. I love the community of bloggers. We encourage and support one another, help each other out and offer generously from the heart. That means so much to me.

Mystery Blogger Award

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Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians

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As one who lives a plant based lifestyle, I’m frequently asked this question:

“But…what about protein?”

Ahhh, protein. It is essential to our diet, along with fats and carbohydrates. Proteins are made of amino acids that the body breaks down to use for growth, metabolism and repairs.

How much protein do we really need though? The recommended average is 42 grams per day. However, on a typical American diet high in meat, eggs and cheese, the average person eats upwards of 80 grams of protein a day…way more than needed.

In addition, animal products are high in fats and cholesterol and contribute to some types of cancer and other diseases.

While important, we don’t need as much protein as we think we do. And it turns out, it’s not difficult to get the protein we need from plant based sources.

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians

Top Sources of Protein for Plant Based Diet

Here’s a list of foods that are naturally high in protein and other good for the body nutrients. Adding these foods to the diet on a daily basis supplies all the protein that the body needs for health and wellness.

Green Peas

One cup of green peas contains 8.6 grams of protein, along with fiber, antioxidants and crucial nutrients such as vitamins C and K, and manganese. Try adding peas to soups, salads, hummus and stir fries or simply pair with a plain baked potato.

My favorite green peas recipe is Aloo Matar.

Lentils

With 18 grams per cup, these little powerhouses are packed with protein and also with fiber, iron, zinc and potassium. Lentils have less than a gram of fat and no cholesterol, making them a healthier source of protein than chicken, beef and fish. Add them to soups, curries and casseroles.

I love this curry dish…Madras Curried Lentils.

Quinoa

Quinoa, which is actually a seed, provides 8 grams of protein per cup and all 9 essential amino acids that the body needs. Substitute quinoa in recipes that call for rice or other grains or add to salads, stir fries and veggie bowls. I recently found a chili recipe with quinoa in it, that I’m excited to try.

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians Quinoa

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds, which come from a variety of the cannabis plant, are excellent sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Their protein…3 tablespoons equals 10 grams…is considered perfect, as it provide all 20 amino acids and also the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce.

Sprinkle hemp seeds, which cannot make you feel high, over salads, gluten free pasta bowls, veggies or smoothie bowls. My favorite way to incorporate the goodness of hemp seeds is to include a couple of teaspoons in my morning smoothie.

Chia Seeds

These health boosting seeds provide 4.7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. They are also rich in antioxidants, omega-3, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Add to smoothies and salads or make chia pudding. Replace an egg in a recipe by combining 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water and allow to set for 15 minutes.

Legumes

Beans are an amazing source of protein. Two cups of kidney beans contains a whopping 26 grams of protein. Chickpeas offer even more, with 29.2 grams in two cups. Beans are easily prepared at home, on the stove or in a crockpot or pressure pot.

Add to rice dishes, make chilis, or try out my new Stuffed Peppers recipe, with black beans.

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians Legumes

Gluten Free Oats

Oats “stick to the ribs”, meaning they keep us full for a while. And it’s true. Oats provide 12 grams of protein per cup and offer 8 grams of fiber. Look for gluten free oats, to receive the most health benefits. Oats are naturally gluten free however they are often processed in facilities that also process wheat. Pick up a package of gluten free oats HERE.

Try these wonderful Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Spinach

Dark green leafy vegetables contain protein, with spinach coming in at 2.1 grams per 2 cups. Spinach is also rich in vitamins and iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. For the most nutrients, consume spinach raw. Add to smoothies, juices and salads.

And try out this delicious raw spinach soup, from Anthony William.

Broccoli

This green cruciferous vegetable packs 8.1 grams of protein in one cup. It’s also a great source of vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Broccoli is excellent in stir fries, veggie bowls and casseroles.

Try out this healthy macaroni and broccoli bake.

Other veggies that provide 4 – 8 grams of protein per cup include asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

And while fruits are not as high in protein, they do provide some. On the list, offering 2 – 4 grams per cup, are guava, blackberries, nectarines and bananas.

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians

Other Healthy Sources of Protein

This list shows how easy it is to get enough protein by eating wholesome, healthy foods. I purposefully left soy products off the list, as much of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified. Like corn, GMO soy can cause inflammation in the body. Non GMO soy is a good source of protein. It is just more difficult to find.

Other excellent sources of protein include sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts and nut butters. Nuts should be consumed occasionally, as they are higher in fats and calories. In nut butters, look for products that contain the nut only and sea salt. Avoid products with hyrdrogenated oils and sugar.

How do I get my protein? This is how. And I’ve never felt better.

What’s your favorite high protein food on the list?

Top Sources of Protein for Vegans & Vegetarians

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8 Pain Relieving Techniques

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Last week, I shared a post offering healthy alternatives for pain relief, rather than reaching for over the counter meds. Read 7 Natural Pain Remedies.

This week I offer, as promised, techniques for calming inflammation and soothing discomfort, with these 8 Pain Relieving Techniques. The remedies rely on alternative health practices that not only reduce pain, but boost general health as well.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is traditional Chinese medicine, used for centuries for health benefits. Long thin needles inserted through the skin at specific points balance the life force, or Qi, that flows through the body.

Acupuncture reduces back pain, relieves neck tension and headaches, and soothes joint pain.

I’ve not experienced acupuncture personally, however I know many who have. They shared positive benefits, after their treatments, including pain relief.

In the Joplin area, check out Aiming’s Acupuncture & Herbs.

Massage

At one time considered a luxury experience, massage is now recognized as beneficial for a variety of health reasons. Pain and muscle tension bring many people to a qualified massage therapist, seeking relief.

Massage eases the pain of headaches, fibromyalgia, myofascial discomfort and muscle tension. It is also effective for soft tissue strains and injuries, sports injuries, temporomandibular joint pain and nerve pain. Massage lowers anxiety and stress as well.

Typically a massage lasts for 30 – 90 minutes.

In the Joplin area, check out my amazing friends Margit at Massage Therapy in Motion and Cindy at Therapeutic Massage.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Reflexology

This ancient healing practice is based on the principle that the feet contain reflex points that correspond to the body’s systems, organs and glands. When pressure is applied to the reflexes in the feet it relieves pain and other disorders in the affected area in the body.

Reflexology relieves pain throughout the body, and is especially beneficial for migraines, headaches, neck pain and back pain.

In the Joplin area, try out JJ Relax Station, Chinese Foot Reflexology & Table Acupressure. Or check out this Reflexology Chart and find a partner to exchange foot rubs with!

Essential Oils

Essential oils are gaining popularity for improving health and wellbeing, and for good reason. There’s an oil for everything!

Try these essential oils for pain relief of these disorders:

  • Lavender – headaches, muscle tension, inflammation
  • Marjoram – muscle spasms, headaches, toothache
  • Peppermint – muscle spasms, headaches, muscle tension
  • Rosemary – joint pain, headaches, muscle soreness, rheumatism
  • Arnica – inflammation, swelling

As a general rule, dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as coconut or argon oils. Add 15 drops of essential oil to 6 tablespoons of the carrier oil. Massage onto temples for a headache or the affected area for pain relief.

Connect with my friend Marijo for pure, high quality Young Living Essential Oils.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Ice/Heat

This is an old technique, however it is an effective one. I felt it must be included in the 8 Pain Relieving Techniques as I use it any time my darling left knee gets a twinge.

Icing and applying heat soothes stiff joints, relaxes muscles, eases pain and reduces inflammation and swelling.

Specifically, ice calms injuries and relieves pain, inflammation and swelling. Heat relaxes muscles, increases blood flow, and soothes pain and stiffness.

Use an ice pack or simply a bag of frozen veggies for icing. For heat use a heating pad or a damp towel heated in the microwave or oven. Wrap a dry towel around the ice source and the heating pad or damp towel, to protect skin.

Follow this routine:

  • Ice joint or affected area for 10 minutes
  • Apply heat for 15 – 30 minutes
  • 30 minute break with no ice or heat
  • Repeat process 3 times
  • Take a 2 hour break

Meditation

This mind and the body quieting technique eases stress and relaxes muscles, reducing pain caused by tension. Meditation is especially helpful for easing tense muscles in the back, neck, shoulders, scalp and face.

Reducing the inflammation response in the body is another benefit of meditation, which improves pain and calms swelling as well.

Check out my simple meditation to ease pain, relax muscles and improve overall health and wellbeing.

8 Pain Relieveing Techniques

Reiki

This healing technique taps into the body’s energy field, working at a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Reiki practitioners typically place their hands on or above the affected areas of the body that need a boost or relief from pain, offering energy to the body as needed.

Reiki encourages the body to heal itself, with practitioners serving as vessels through which the energy flows.

 Change in Diet

It is essential that I include this last suggestion. I suffered with chronic pain for more than 20 years, after a car accident. During those two decades I saw doctors, specialists, neurologists, chiropractors and pain management doctors, and I spent five years in physical therapy. I tried meds, injections and exercises, and I wore a TENS unit for a year. My condition continued to deteriorate, making walking nearly impossible. Not once did anyone suggest that I change my diet.

Margit helped, with massage and energy work on my left leg. I ultimately discovered, through Anthony William, that my sciatic nerves were severely inflamed due to the shingles virus. A virus can’t be eliminated with antibiotics, steroid injections or pain meds.

It can be starved by eliminating the foods that it feeds on and by supporting the body’s healing abilities with nutrient rich, plant based foods.

To heal chronic pain (and disorders) caused by shingles or Epstein Barr eliminate gluten, dairy products, eggs and sugar, as these foods feed inflammation and viruses.

Eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat, processed foods, canola oil and GMO foods such as corn and soy.

This blog, Journey With Healthy Me, was born from my desire to help people live healthier, more vibrant lives, free from pain and disorders. Read about the beginning of this Journey here.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Healing Journey

It’s amazing what that change of diet, which quickly became a lifestyle, did for my health. My chronic pain disappeared. So many other disorders cleared up. It’s an ongoing journey.

When I occasionally experience pain, from a twisted knee or tight muscles or a headache from long hours on the computer, I brew a cup of herbal tea…and try one of the 8 Pain Relieving Techniques.

Do you have natural pain relieving techniques that you use, in place of over the counter meds, pain pills or injections? I’d love to hear about them, in the comments below.

8 Pain Relieving Techniques

Check out my Amazon Storefront for healing herbal teas and Anthony William’s books.

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