Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake

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This Saturday, June 6, is one of those unique holidays. National Applesauce Cake Day offers the opportunity to bake a homey, comforting treat.

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.

I accepted the invitation to bake a cake, that this holiday presents. Or, perhaps the correct word is challenge.

Rather than baking a regular cake, mine are vegan, due to my choice to live a plant based lifestyle. And not just vegan…my cakes are gluten free as well. And not just vegan and gluten free…I prefer not to use refined sugar either.

Could I meet all those challenges and create a delicious cake?

Check out this vegan and gluten free applesauce cake. And oh yes, it is refined sugar free as well.

Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake title meme

Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake

This fragrant and flavorful cake is adapted from a recipe from the blog, Veggie Balance. Check out the original recipe HERE. It’s helpful for me to start with a gluten free recipe, and adapt it to meet my other diet restrictions.

For this particular recipe I eliminated eggs and refined sugar, swapping them out for flax eggs and organic, unrefined coconut sugar. For the gluten free flour, I chose a 1-1 blend, meaning 1 cup of gluten free flour equals 1 cup of regular flour.

You can find gluten free flours in a special section in most supermarkets. I picked up a bag at Natural Grocers.

Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake ingredients
Vegan and gluten free applesauce cake – cup4cup gf flour and wholesome organic coconut sugar

Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake Recipe

Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake

This moist and delicious cake is vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9

Ingredients
  

  • 1 3/4 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut sugar
  • 4 tbsp melted plant based butter Or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 flax eggs (1 tbsp + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8X8 inch pan with olive oil or coconut oil. Make flax eggs by combining 3 tbsp ground flax seeds with 9 tbsp water. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, sea salt and coconut sugar. Whisk to blend.
  • Make a well in dry mixture. Add melted butter, olive oil, applesauce and flax eggs. Stir with spoon or spatula until combined.
  • Pour batter (it will be thick) into prepared pan. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes 9 servings.
  • Serve plain, with fresh fruit or with icing of choice.
Keyword applesauce cake, vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free
Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake batter
Batter ready to push into the prepared pan
Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake baked
Cake fresh from the oven. The rosy glow created by the setting sun coming through the kitchen window.

Enjoy This Cake

This vegan and gluten free applesauce cake smelled amazing as it baked. The spices produce a fragrant, cozy scent and an equally wonderful flavor.

I served slices of applesauce cake with fresh strawberries and blueberries. Sugar free whipped coconut topping is another excellent choice.

Whether you serve this luscious cake Saturday for National Applesauce Day or pop it into the oven for a gathering of family or friends, you’ll enjoy the simplicity of this recipe and the wholesome ingredients.

I savored mine this evening, with a cup of hot peppermint tea.

Vegan and Gluten Free Applesauce Cake plated

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Soda’s Negative Impact on the Body

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Normally I stress the positive impact of good health practices, rather than focus on negatives. However, I feel so strongly about this topic that I’m willing to depart from that practice.

I stopped drinking soda, in my case diet soda, more than a dozen years ago. Before that time, I was known as the woman who always had a diet soda with her. Always. If it wasn’t a 20 ounce bottle, it was a 32 ounce happy hour drink from Sonic.

One reason for carrying a soda with me was thirst. I felt parched all the time. Little did I know that my diet soda addiction contributed to my thirst rather than satisfying it.

I stopped drinking diet soda for several health reasons, including constant indigestion, joint pain and dehydration. That decision became the first step toward better health.

Soda’s negative impact on the body is huge and far reaching. Don’t believe me? Check out these 18 reasons to stop drinking soda now.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body title meme

Soda Facts

Almost half the adult populations, 49%, drink at least one soda a day. A 12 ounce can contains at least 39 grams of sugar. That’s equal to nine and a half teaspoons of sugar, in ONE can. A 20 ounce bottle of soda packs in 65 grams of sugar, or 13 teaspoons. And those happy hour drinks that offer 32 ounces of soda for a great price contain a whopping 91 grams of sugar, which is the same as 21.6 teaspoons.

Imagine stirring that much sugar into a glass of iced tea. The thought literally churns my stomach.

And diet soda is no better, health wise. Diet soda drinkers up their risk for weight gain, increased belly fat and certain types of cancer. Plus it’s not only the sugar that’s detrimental to health. Additives, preservatives and artificial coloring and flavors contribute to increased risks for diseases and disorders, such as the following.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body sugar
Soda’s negative impact on the body – sugar

Diabetes

Both diet soda and the regular stuff are linked to an increase in type 2 diabetes. Drinking soda creates a sugar spike that forces the body to convert that sugar into fat. And that fat gets stored in the liver.

In just six months, the fat deposits in the liver can increase by 150%, greatly raising the risk for diabetes.

Additionally, diet soda actually increases sugar cravings, contributing to the chances of developing diabetes.

Obesity

One of the greatest risks from consuming soda is obesity. A 20 ounce bottle of soda provides 150 empty calories that do nothing to stave off hunger. Consuming a bottle of soda with every meal for 30 days can add three or more pounds a month and more than 36 pounds in a year.

Extra Belly Fat

Linked with obesity is excess belly fat. Because the sugar in soda quickly converts to fat, and triggers the production of insulin in the process, the body accumulates fat in the belly.

Soda's Negative Impact on the Body belly fat
Soda’s negative impact on the body – extra belly fat

Kidney Stones

One of the most painful medical conditions, often compared to childbirth, kidney stones form when minerals accumulate in the kidneys. Soda drinkers increase their risk for these excruciating stones due to the excess consumption of sugar, phosphoric acid and chronic dehydration.

Fatty Liver

The excessive amount of sugar in soda is linked to a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The body is not able to process all that sugar. Instead it converts the sugar into fat that is stored in the liver. This leads to fatty liver, a serious disorder that increases the risk of early death.

Joint Pain

Not all joint pain is caused by drinking soda. However, those sugary drinks may be aggravating joint pain. Plus the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that women who regularly consume soda increase their risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Additionally, sugar “feeds” inflammation of all kinds in the body. Soda certainly contributes to ongoing inflammation and the pain that accompanies it.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body joint pain
Soda’s negative impact on the body – joint pain

Cardiovascular Disease

Regularly drinking soda contributes to a greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure, lesions and strokes.

Heart failure is linked to diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, all associated with consuming sugary drinks.

Strokes result from increased fat in the body which contributes to hardening of the arteries including those in the brain. Excess sugar is converted to fat.

Soda drinkers are at greater risk for heart attacks, even when controlling other factors such as smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise.

And an additive in citrusy sodas that maintains flavor and appearance, called brominated vegetable oil or BVO,  is linked to an increased risk for heart lesions in rats. BVO is used to create a longer shelf life for soda.

High Cholesterol

Eliminating soda from the diet contributes to a longer life by lowering cholesterol. That can of soda contains more sugar than the body needs in a whole day. High sugar levels are linked to high bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol.

Poor Gut Health

The good gut bacteria inhabiting the intestines affects digestive health and even mental stability. Gut health is vitally important to overall health and wellbeing.

Sugar in soda provides an excellent food source for the bad bacteria that lurks in the intestines as well, while starving good bacteria.

Diet soda is no better. Gut bacteria reacts negatively to the artificial sweeteners in soda and creates metabolic changes. Those changes increase the risk for obesity, memory impairment and digestive disorders.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body - gut health
Soda’s negative impact on the body – gut health

Infertility

The brominated vegetable oil that extends shelf life has a negative impact on fertility. BVO is banned in Japan and Europe but not in the US. It is linked to early onset puberty and infertility. Avoiding soda can help increase the chances of conception, if infertility is an issue.

Central Nervous System Disorders

Excessive consumption of citrus sodas containing BVO increases the risk of bromism as well, a condition that affects the central nervous system. Bromism contributes to memory loss, muscle weakness, fatigue and mental health issues.

Migraines

Both regular soda and diet soda can trigger the onset of migraine headaches. In addition, the chronic dehydration caused by soda consumption increases the risk of these debilitating headaches.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body migraines
Soda’s negative impact on the body – migraines

Bloating

Those bubbles that seem so satisfying in carbonated soda settle in the intestines. That gas build up creates uncomfortable bloating resulting in an extended abdomen and even pain.

Heartburn and Ulcers

The bloating that carbonated drinks cause can negatively affect the stomach, causing bloating there as well. This can result in a build up of acid that backs up into the esophagus, creating the condition known as heartburn. The caffeine in soda is acid producing also. All this stomach acid not only causes indigestion but can also increase the risk of digestive tract ulcers and cancers.

Dehydration

Dehydration while drinking a steady supply of sodas seems unusual. However, sugary drinks do nothing to quench thirst. The caffeine in soda has a diuretic effect, causing dehydration that becomes chronic when soft drinks are the primary source of liquids.

Chronic dehydration causes electrolyte imbalance, water retention, heart arrhythmia and a slower metabolic rate that contributes to weight gain.

Always thirsty? Drink more water, not soda.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body dehydration
Soda’s negative impact on the body – dehydration

Accelerated Aging

Can drinking soda age you? Yes. Sodas are full of phosphates and sugar, which accelerate the aging process at a cellular level. And the preservatives and artificial sweeteners in diet soda increase the growth of cancerous cells.

Plus, dehydrating caffeine negatively affects the skin, creating puffiness under the eyes, dryness, wrinkles and fine lines.

Cola consumption is associated with a loss in bone density, making the body more susceptible to fractures and mobility issues as it ages.

Increased Risk for Cancer

Did you know that a soda addiction can lead to greater risks for certain cancers?

The caramel coloring found in colas and other drinks such as root beer, created from ammonia, causes cancer in mice. Even clear sodas increase the risks of cancers, such as colorectal cancer, due to sugar, preservatives and artificial flavors.

The chemical found in plastic bottles and even aluminum cans, known as BPA, is linked to reproductive issues including cancers.

And artificial sweeteners in diet soda contribute to an increased risk of lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, and bladder cancer.

The chemicals in sodas contribute to neurological disorders such as seizures. While artificial sweeteners can convert to formaldehyde in the body, leading to a higher risk for brain tumors.

Insomnia

A 20 ounce bottle of soda can contain up to 53 mg of caffeine, while the same size container of diet soda jumps to 70 mg. It can take a whole day or more for the body to metabolize that much caffeine. Drinking soda throughout the day may be contributing to sleepless nights, restless legs syndrome and chronic fatigue.

Sodas Negative Impact on the Body insomnia
Soda’s negative impact on the body – insomnia

Kicking the Soda Drinking Addiction

My intention, as a health advocate and blogger, is not to instill fear but encourage health and wellness. If you are serious about improving health, eliminating soda from your diet is a must.

I know how difficult it feels. It took me several tries before successfully kicking the addiction, and trust me, soda drinking is an addiction.

Here a few tips for stopping the soda drinking habit.

  • recognize that soda IS addictive
  • make the choice to stop, for your health
  • wean yourself away from soda slowly
  • start with replacing one soda a day with a glass of water
  • over the next 30 days, replace all sodas with water or unsweetened tea, preferably herbal teas
  • add fruits and veggies to water to boost taste and nutrients
  • carry a metal water bottle full of water everywhere you go
  • avoid foods/situations that create a craving for soda
  • reward yourself for kicking your addiction with a fun event or new outfit

You can do it…I know you can! From experience I know that you CANNOT go back to having “just one soda a day” or “one for a special occasion”. That’s the way back to addiction.

For your health and wellbeing, for increased vitality and energy and for your children and grandchildren and their health, stop drinking the soda. Get past the cravings…and the heartburn, insomnia and joint pain. You won’t regret it.

No More Soda

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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.

 

 

 

 

10 Easy One Pot Vegan Meals

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A one pot meal uses simple ingredients and just one pot or skillet to prepare a delicious lunch or dinner. Typically, the meal is ready to eat in under 30 minutes. And these 10 easy one pot vegan meals take this convenient concept one step further. They are all plant based.

When you need a quick and nutritious meal, try one of these. Whether you are vegan or not, I think you’ll find them an amazing option for a satisfying meatless meal.

10 Easy One Pot Vegan Meals

Round Up of 10 Easy One Pot Vegan Meals

I love the convenience of these easily prepared meals. Using a soup pot, dutch oven or skillet, a hot, nutritious dinner is on the table in short order. One pot means less mess in the kitchen and a speedy clean up too. Less time in the kitchen frees up more time to spend with family, play outside or enjoy some downtime in the evening.

Check out these recipes from Journey With Healthy Me and other awesome health conscious, foodie bloggers. Just click on the underlined titles to go to the recipes.

Vegan Pot Pie Soup

from Journey With Healthy Me

This yummy alternative to traditional pot pie brings all those homey flavors into a soup that’s dairy free. It’s comfort food without the distress that dairy products can bring.

10 Easy One Pot Vegan Meals pot pie soup
10 easy one pot vegan meals – pot pie soup

Creamy Tomato One Pot Pasta

from Food With Feeling

This dinner comes together in minutes using pantry staples. Swap out the fresh vegetables for frozen, if desired. And use gluten free pasta of your choice, if you are gluten sensitive.

Basic One Pan Pasta

from Feel Good Foodie

Martha Stewart perfected the one pan pasta recipes, back in 2013. Uncooked pasta is added to the pot, along with the other ingredients, and they all cook together. I’ve tried several of these recipes and they work! You don’t have to precook the pasta. This recipe is a basic version that’s easy to adapt. Add more veggies or herbs, if desired.

 

One Pan Pasta
10 easy one pot vegan meals – basic one pan pasta. Photo from Feel Good Foodie blog.

Creamy Vegan Caprese Pasta

from She Likes Food

This simple pasta dish uses fresh cherry tomatoes and basil. Use penne pasta, regular or gluten free. This recipe makes a great summer time meal.

Creamy Caprese Pasta
10 easy one pot vegan meals – creamy caprese pasta. Photo from She Likes Food blog.

Thai Peanut Zucchini Noodles

from Flavor the Moments

I love Thai food. This easy to prepare meal combines zucchini noodles with veggies in a Thai peanut sauce.  This light, summery meal does require a spiralizer, to turn zucchini into noodles. Pick up one below.

Vegan Thai Peanut Zucchini Noodles
10 easy one pot vegan meals – Thai peanut zucchini noodles. Photo from Flavor the Moments blog.

Creamy Spinach Pasta

from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen

One pot, 10 simple ingredients, 10 minutes for this flavorful dish! The recipe calls for vegan cream cheese, or the recipe creator provides a DIY version that you can substitute. As with all the pasta dishes, you can use gluten free pasta if you want.

One Pot Creamy Spinach Pasta
10 easy one pot vegan meals – creamy spinach pasta. Photo from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen blog.

Cowboy Beans

from Contentedness Cooking

I can’t wait to try this recipe! Really, I’ll be cooking these up this weekend. This hearty meal uses a homemade, sugar free BBQ sauce, recipe included, or you can substitute your favorite brand. Ready in just 15 minutes, Cowboy Beans are perfect to take to family gatherings.

Cowboy Beans
10 easy one pot vegan meals – cowboy beans. Photo from Contentedness Cooking blog.

Veggie Spring Rolls Fried Rice

from Vegan Richa

Do you love those spring rolls that come with Chinese food? Then you’ll love this gluten free, nut free recipe that’s ready to eat in 30 minutes. Use up that leftover rice in the fridge for this one.

Veggie Spring Rolls Fried Rice
10 easy one pot vegan meals – veggie spring rolls fried rice. Photo from Vegan Richa blog.

Chickpea, Cashew & Broccoli Skillet

from Make It Dairy Free

This delicious combination of chickpeas, broccoli and cashews in a savory garlic sauce is ready in 20 minutes. Use a skillet for the Chinese takeout inspired dish.

Chickpea, Cashew and Broccoli Skillet
10 easy one pot vegan meals – chickpea, cashew and broccoli skillet. Photo from Make It Dairy Free blog.

Aloo Matar Soup

from Journey With Healthy Me

And finally, this soup is inspired by the mildly spicy Indian dish, Aloo Matar. Potatoes, onions, garlic and peas combine in a rich tomato broth seasoned with garam masala and curry. I created this recipe during my 62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday celebration.

I hope you’ll visit the other blogs and find more healthy and delicious recipes to try. Happy cooking…and enjoy spending less time in the kitchen!

10 Easy One Pot Vegan Meals aloo matar soup
10 easy one pot vegan meals – aloo matar soup

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International Hummus Day

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May 13 is International Hummus Day! Established in 2012, this unique holiday celebrates appreciation for this dairy free, gluten free, plant based treat.

Created by Ben Lang, International Hummus Day sets the intention that people from around the world come together to share a meal featuring this dish originally made from chickpeas. We may not be able to gather currently, however we can enjoy hummus from our homes and share favorite recipes with each other.

In fact, hummus is incredible easy to make, using a blender or food processor. And it requires very few ingredients. Check out the eight fun recipes below!

International Hummus Day title meme

Good for You Hummus

Although both Israel and Lebanon claim the origination of hummus, we do know the chickpea dish has been around since the 12th century. And for good reason.

Hummus, which means “chickpea” in Arabic, is not only yummy to eat, it is good for us too. Filled with protein, fiber, potassium, B6, folate, vitamin C, iron and antioxidants, hummus helps to curb hunger cravings, lowers cholesterol and can even reduce the risks of certain types of cancers.

Traditionally made with chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, lentils, black beans and avocados make amazing hummus as well.

Try one or all of these simple to prepare recipes.

Easy Classic Hummus

With a food processor, a few pantry staples combine to form this healthy and delicious snack or meal, served up with fresh veggies or gluten free crackers.

Check out the recipe for easy classic hummus from my blog site, and enjoy!

International Hummus Day classic
International Hummus Day – classic

Black Bean Hummus

This hummus recipe from Anthony William features black beans, avocado, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, garlic, cumin and coriander. It makes an excellent wholesome meal that provides tons of health benefits. Check out the recipe and benefits for Black Bean Hummus or visit the Medical Medium site.

International Hummus Day black bean
International Hummus Day – black bean

Chipotle Hummus

Spicy Chipotle Hummus, from Hey Nutrition Lady, is oil free and made with tahini, garlic, and spicy chipotle peppers. It’s perfect served as a spread on sandwiches and wraps or with gluten free crackers.

Chipotle hummus
International Hummus Day – chipotle. Photo from Hey Nutrition Lady blog.

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

This hummus is spicy as well, thanks to jalapeno peppers, with a kick of lime. Created by Food, Faith, Fitness, Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus does not use the traditional ingredient tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), making it perfect when you don’t have any on hand!

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus
International Hummus Day – cilantro jalapeno hummus. Photo from Food Faith Fitness blog.

Everything Bagel Hummus

This simple, creamy hummus, from Choosing Chia, makes the perfect yummy snack. Everything Bagel Hummus features roasted garlic, sesame oil and onion powder for that everything bagel flavor.

Everything Bagel Hummus
International Hummus Day – everything bagel. Photo from Choosing Chia blog.

Dill Pickle Hummus

This fun hummus, created by Bree’s Vegan Life, is tangy with dill and it’s oil free also. Dill Pickle Hummus is a flavorful choice with pita chips, cucumber slices or veggie sticks.

Dill Pickle Hummus
International Hummus Day – dill pickle. Photo from Bree’s Vegan Life blog.

Lentil Hummus

I love protein packed lentils. They are so good for us. This Lentil Hummus, from Elephantastic Vegan, is super easy to make and oil free. It’s great served with veggie sticks or gluten free crackers.

Lentil Hummus
International Hummus Day – lentil. Photo from Elephantastic Vegan blog.

Avocado Hummus

Home. Made. Interest. offers this tasty combination of chickpeas and fresh avocados in Avocado Hummus. This wonderfully flavored dip makes a great lunch or afternoon snack, paired with veggies or non GMO tortilla chips.

Avocado Hummus
International Hummus Day – avocado. Photo from Home. Made. Interest. blog.

International Hummus Day

These recipes can help you get started, trying out a variety of hummus recipes. And of course, you can always purchase hummus at the grocery store. The hummus industry grew from $5 million in 2002, to $725 million annually in 2016. That’s an amazing jump and an indication that people love this healthy treat.

Which recipe do you want to try first? Please visit these wonderful websites and then let me know…what’s your favorite hummus? And if you have a hummus recipe to share, send it to me! I love passing on healthy plant based recipes.

International Hummus Day sesame seed
International Hummus Day – sesame seed

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Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health

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With all that’s going on in the world, one thing we’ve learned is the importance of health. We can protect ourselves from respiratory viruses in two crucial ways, lessening the risk of getting sick: create a strong immune system and boost respiratory health.

Check out this post for ways to strengthen the immune system.

In this post, learn five ways to boost respiratory health.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health title meme

What Happens in the Lungs

When a respiratory virus enters the body, it first attacks mucus membranes and then moves to the lungs. The body reacts, creating inflammation in the lungs to combat the invader. Inflammation makes it more difficult for the lungs to oxygenate blood and push carbon dioxide out, leaving the person gasping for air. Health can quickly deteriorate as infection sets in.

To give the body and lungs the best defense possible, against bacterial and viral invasions, adopt these strategies.

Don’t Smoke or Vape

Smoking and vaping brings a foreign substance into the lungs, irritating them and setting off inflammation. Ultimately, smoking destroys lung tissue, decreasing the amount of oxygen the blood carries throughout the body. Plus, smoking suppresses the immune system. Breathing second hand smoke is just as harmful to the lungs. Avoid it too.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health no smoking
Five ways to boost respiratory health – no smoking

Exercise

Thirty minutes a day moving the body improves respiratory health. Exercising causes us to take deeper breaths which expand the lung’s air sacks. Walking, aerobics, dancing, swimming, biking and gardening all increase respiration. Additionally exercise decreases inflammation in the lungs and throughout the body.

Try these specific breathing exercises to further benefit the lungs.

Breathe in slowly through the nose, to a count of five. Hold breath for three seconds, then breathe out through the mouth, pushing all the air out of the lungs. Repeat several times.

Breathe in slowly through the mouth, filling the lungs. Then push the air out through pursed lips, like you are trying to blow up a balloon. Empty the lungs. Repeat several times.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health yoga
Five ways to boost respiratory health – exercise such as yoga

Eat Foods High in Antioxidants

Foods rich in vitamin C and antioxidants improve respiratory health. Add the following to your diet regularly:

  • red bell peppers
  • papaya
  • kiwi
  • leafy greens
  • cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts and broccoli
  • apples
  • pears
  • berries
  • walnuts
  • aromatic herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary and oregano
  • nettle leaf
  • sweet potatoes
  • raw organic honey
  • walnuts
  • cayenne pepper
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • garlic
Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health berries
Five ways to boost respiratory health – berries

Reduce Excess Mucus

Mucus is an important part of the body’s defense against invaders. It helps to trap allergens, bacteria and viruses. However, when the body produces too much mucus, it becomes a breeding ground, ramping up the reproduction of bacteria and viruses. Plus excessive mucus clogs the nose and airways, restricting airflow.

To help eliminate excess mucus, reduce or eliminate dairy and wheat products. Both can increase mucus production. And increase spicy foods. They thin mucus, which makes it easier to cough out.

Try a saline spray or rinse in the nose, to thin mucus and wash away allergens.

Clear airways with the steam from a hot shower.

And stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water thins out mucus as well.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health hydrate
Five ways to boost respiratory health – stay hydrated

Avoid Allergens and Pollutants

Allergens and pollutants clog the nose by increasing mucus production. Avoid being outside on days with a high pollen count or heavy air pollution.

Indoors control dust, wash bedding frequently and change filters on the air conditioner often.

And, eat a nutritious diet high in fruits and vegetables to avoid seasonal allergies, naturally. Such a diet strengthens the immune system which helps to alleviate allergy symptoms. Check out a list of inflammation reducing foods HERE.

Additionally, avoid the following foods, as they create inflammation in the body and weaken the immune system:

  • eggs
  • gluten
  • canola oil
  • GMO soy
  • GMO corn
  • dairy products
  • MSG
Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health allergies
Five ways to boost respiratory health – avoid allergens

Journey Toward Health

The world continues to shift, daily. We have no control over many events occurring and situations unfolding. However, we can control what we eat, how much we move our bodies, how we care for ourselves and the perspectives we have.

A stronger, healthier body decreases the risk for illnesses and diseases and increases vitality and well being. No matter your age, it’s not too late to reclaim health and live a better life. Let’s journey toward health, together.

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health

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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.

 

 

 

 

12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel

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I’ve known about witch hazel since childhood. I remember that my mother and grandmother always had a bottle of it on hand, for everything from cleaning our faces to soothing a scrape. Recently the many benefits of this astringent came back into my awareness.

Here are 12 amazing uses for witch hazel.

12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel title meme

What is Witch Hazel?

This versatile plant, technically a shrub, creates bright orange or yellow flowers. It is native to North America. The bark and leaves are used medicinally to treat a variety of skin ailments. Witch hazel contains tannins, a natural compound with astringent properties. It is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

Native Americans used this plant for thousands of years for various purposes, including soothing skin conditions, easing sore muscles and healing irritated digestive systems.

12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel

Reduces Under Eye Puffiness

Using a cotton ball or square soaked with witch hazel, carefully dab the under eye area to soothe and ease puffiness and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Avoid getting witch hazel in the eyes.

Treats Swimmers Ear

Swimmer’s ear is a bacterial infection caused by water remaining in the ear after swimming. Add a few drops of witch hazel to the affected ear to dry up infection, clear away excess oil and remove debris or earwax.

Soothes Sunburn

Mix witch hazel with pure aloe vera gel. Smooth gently over skin to cool and soothe a sunburn and help prevent peeling.

12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel sunburn
12 amazing uses for witch hazel – sunburn

Safely Removes Ticks

Try using witch hazel on an attached tick. Soak the tick with a few drops of witch hazel. They dislike the taste of this astringent and will loosen their grip, allowing you to safely and easily remove them. Cleanse the bite area well with witch hazel after removing the tick to prevent infection.

Soothes Dry Skin

Even though witch hazel is considered an astringent, is improves dry skin by unclogging pores and restoring healthy oils. Apply witch hazel to dry areas after showering, while skin is still damp. Allow skin to dry naturally for several minutes, then use a moisturizer.

Natural Insect Repellent

Make your own DIY insect repellent using witch hazel. Combine 2 tablespoons witch hazel, 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil and 1 cup of distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake well. Spray on skin and and clothing to repel biting insects. Witch hazel is safe for skin and most fabrics. If in doubt, test first on a small area of the fabric.

This spray also soothes and relieves the itchiness of bug bites and reduces swelling from bee stings.

12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel repellent
12 amazing uses for witch hazel – insect repellent

Cleanses and Tones Skin

Soak a cotton ball or square in witch hazel and use as a daily face cleanser and toner. Witch hazel cleanses and tightens pores, without drying the skin. For oily skin, witch hazel helps to reduce excessive oil buildup.

Treats Acne

Witch hazel effectively treats acne by reduces inflammation and eliminating bacteria. Not only does it clear up acne, it helps to improve the appearance of acne scarring while healing the skin.

Apply witch hazel to acne on face, chest or back and allow it to dry.

Make a DIY Hand Sanitizer

Witch hazel’s antibacterial properties make it an excellent choice for a DIY hand sanitizer. Mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons of witch hazel, liquid from one vitamin E capsule (or 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin E oil), 15 drops of tea tree essential oil and 1/2 cup aloe vera gel in a pump or squeeze bottle. Use within two weeks.

This hand sanitizer will not dry out the hands. Rather it helps to keep them moisturized.

12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel sanitizer
12 amazing uses for witch hazel – hand sanitizer

Soothes Razor Burn

Use witch hazel after shaving legs, underarms or face to calm skin and prevent itchy, irritated bumps. Witch hazel also helps to prevent ingrown hairs from forming. As a bonus, it stops bleeding from any nicks caused by shaving.

Disinfects Wounds

Witch hazel’s disinfectant and hemostatic properties cleanse wounds and reduce bleeding. And it stings less than alcohol based disinfectants. Soak a cotton square in witch hazel and then apply to minor scrapes and cuts to cleanse the wound, stop bleeding and speed healing. Witch hazel soothes bruises and swellings as well.

Create Your Own DIY Room & Upholstery Spray

To freshen a room and help eliminate odors from carpets or upholstery, combine 2 tablespoons witch hazel, 6 drops lavender or citrus essential oil, 2 teaspoons baking soda and 3 tablespoons water in a small spray bottle. Shake well. Spray into a room or spray lightly on carpets or upholstery to eliminate odors.

12 Amazing Uses for Witch Hazel shrub
12 amazing uses for witch hazel – shrub

Purchasing Witch Hazel

Make sure that you purchase 100% pure witch hazel, with no additives. From my research, the witch hazel pictured below is considered a high quality product. Order by clicking on the photo!

Have you ever used witch hazel? I’ve just ordered a bottle, to add to my natural medicinal stash. If you’ve discovered other uses for amazing witch hazel, I’d love to hear about it.

 

Other Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Products:


 

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.

 

 

Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home Every Day

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I’ve carried awareness about protecting the earth, the environment and wildlife from early childhood. However, a remarkable thing happened after I took responsibility for my own health. As my health improved, I naturally focused outward on the health of others. And going farther, my desire for a healthier planet increased as well.

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual event celebrated world wide on April 22, that supports environmental protection. With the stay home orders and sheltering in place, many Earth Day celebrations cancelled this year.

Here instead are Earth Day activities to to practice at home, not just today but every day. Let’s make every single day about protecting the earth and protecting our futures.

Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home Every Day title meme

The First Earth Day

Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin launched the first Earth Day April 22, 1970. Growing concerns about the environment, spurred by the alarming impact of pesticides, inspired 20 million Americans to participate in rallies and clean up campaigns across the US.

That first Earth Day birthed the environmental movement. Today Earth Day is celebrated each year by an estimated 1 billion people around the world.

Make Every Day Earth Day

Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home Every Day

Although this year we can’t gather in parks to pick up litter or ride our bicycles together to work, we can still take part in activities that benefit the earth. And because we are at a critical point, in protecting the earth and our resources, I encourage others to practice the following activities daily. Let’s make every day, earth day. Let’s teach ourselves and our children how to lessen our impact on the earth.

Try any of these simple activities.

Recycle

Set up boxes or bins to collect items for recycling, rather than throwing them in the trash. Glass, paper, cardboard, metal containers and plastics are all recyclable. Many cities have a curbside recycling program or at least have a recycling center for dropping items off. Benefits of recycling include less trash going into landfills, less pollution, the conservation of natural resources and energy savings.

Repurpose

While recycling is a wonderful start, repurposing and reusing existing materials is an even more effective way to save energy. Before tossing an item, consider how it might function in a different way. Can it be repaired? Is there another purpose for this item? Get creative. Repurposing is one of my favorite things to do. I love finding new ways to use items, from decorating with them to using them in the garden to fulfilling a practical need with them.

If you can’t find a use for an item, consider donating it to someone who can.

Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose
Earth Day activities to practice at home every day – recycle, reuse, repair, repurpose.

 

Limit Plastic Use

This is an area I’ve focused on the past year. One use plastics that are then tossed are overrunning the earth. They are affecting marine life, clogging waterways and beaches and impacting our health.

Stop using plastic straws. At restaurants I simply return them to the server or lay the paper covered straw aside. At home, drink from glass or metal water bottles, rather than plastic bottles. Use glass storage containers in the kitchen rather than plastic baggies. Shop with reusable bags, and yes, right now disinfect those bags when you return home.

Read this post, for more simple ways to reduce plastic use.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

One of the greatest negative impacts on the planet comes from livestock farming. It contributes to land and water degradation, biodiversity loss and deforestation. And livestock farming contributes 18% of human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, causing climate change.

Plan more meals around a plant based diet. Have meatless Mondays, eat meatless two or three days a week or eat fruits and veggies only every day until dinner time.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Earth Day activities to practice at home every day – eat more fruits and veggies. Try this vegetable noodle soup.

Create a Garden

Even if you can’t participate in tree planting ceremonies this year, you can still contribute by planting at home. Create a veggie garden, plant a flower bed, plant a tree, shrub or bush. Tuck herbs into the ground for culinary and medicinal uses. Creating a garden draws butterflies, bees, birds and small wildlife to your yard, making it a sanctuary for many.

Check out this post on creating a bee and butterfly garden.

Build Houses for Those Visitors

Have fun building bird houses, bug hotels, frog hideouts and spider havens for the critters drawn to your yard. Try this one board bird house. Turn clay flower pots upside down and scatter throughout your garden for spiders to inhabit. Trust me, they are good for your garden. Dig out a shallow hole and cover with a rock, leaving an entrance for frogs and toads to find. And make your own bug hotel by watching this video.

Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home gardening
Earth Day activities to practice at home – gardening.

Shop Sustainable Brands

If you want to get serious about making a difference for the planet, begin shopping sustainable brands. No matter the category, there are amazing companies creating change.

In the US alone, we send 21 billion pounds of clothing waste to landfills EVERY year. Exciting changes are taking place in the fashion industry. Check out these 26 sustainable fashion brands.

Reduce Energy Use

Check out this graphic, for easy ways to cut energy costs at home.

Easy Ways to Save Energy
Earth Day activities to practice at home every day – energy conservation.

Pick Up Litter

Pick up litter in your yard, the alley way, the vacant lot next door. Text your neighbors and encourage a block wide pick up litter party. If you walk at a park or through your neighborhood, while practicing social distancing, pick up litter along the way.

Create a Compost Box

Rather than tossing vegetable scraps, paper, cardboard and fruit peels, compost them. You can create an elaborate composting system or use a simple box. Freeze most vegetable scraps to create DIY vegetable broth. Save potato skins, banana and orange peels, tea leaves, leftover food that’s gone bad, shredded paper and other food scraps in large container that is emptied daily into the compost bin outside.

Add leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, dead plants and deadheaded flowers to the compost too. In time, the result is rich soil for your garden.

Sustainability
Earth Day activities to practice at home every day – sustainability.

Other Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home

Try these ideas as well:

  • watch Our Planet on Netflix
  • do a nature scavenger hunt in your yard
  • share posts about the environment or ecological tips on social media
  • enjoy virtual tours of national parks, botanical gardens, aquariums and museums
  • learn to identify trees, flowers, birds and animals
  • sponsor or “adopt” a wild animal in a refuge
  • stargaze at night
  • take nature photos, in your yard or neighborhood
  • do science experiments with the kids
  • draw and color pictures of plants and flowers, animals and marine life
  • learn new skills such as gardening, sewing, making rag rugs, DIY cleaners, etc.
  • make a terrarium
  • grow a salad garden
Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home Every Day go green
Earth Day activities to practice at home – learn new skills.

Get Involved

For Earth’s future, our future and the well being of future generations, please take action. Visit the Earth Day organization HERE, for many, many ideas on how you can make a difference on this planet.

And consider signing this Pledge, located at Wild Earth Guardians. I did. And I made a financial contribution.

“If Earth and its natural systems are to thrive in the next 50 years we need a deep recommitment to the bold vision that inspired the first Earth Day. It is a time for action. It is time to reweave the threads of the environmental, public health, and economic safety nets, which ensure that the public welfare and the common good are each protected.” Wild Earth Guardians

I’m a guardian, of Earth, of the environment, of wildlife, of human life. My health is connected to the health of the planet. I’m still learning and growing on my healing journey. Please learn and grow with me. And share with me what you are doing to protect this place we call home.

Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home guardian
Earth Day activities to practice at home every day – be a guardian.

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Blogger Recognition Award

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

One of the wonderful things about bloggers is this: they are the most encouraging and supportive group of people. I’ve connected with bloggers, male and female, young and not so young, from around the world. I love the fresh perspectives I receive, the insights they share and the love they freely give.

Recently both blogs, Journey With Healthy Me and Cindy Goes Beyond, received the Blogger Recognition Award. This award is given to bloggers by their peers to recognize their efforts to add value to the blogging community. I am honored!

You can check out the award for Beyond HERE.

Blogger Recognition Award title meme

Thank You Talat with Racing Tigers

Journey receives the Blogger Recognition Award from Talat, who writes Racing Tigers. Talat, who has become a dear friend, shares delicious recipes, decorating tips, parenting wisdom and money management helps. Please check out her wonderful blog.

Talat encourages other bloggers through a Facebook community, Blogger’s Influence, and offers help to parents at The Modern Parent Group.

Thank you so much, my friend, for this award. I appreciate you!

The Rules for the Blogger Recognition Award

Yep, there are rules that accompany this award. Here they are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to her/his blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story about how your blog started.
  4. Offer two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select up to 15 bloggers to pass the award on to.
  6. Link to each of the nominated blogs.

Blogger Recognition Award cover photo

How Journey With Healthy Me Began

Journey began as a way to share an incredible change in my life. After more than 20 years of chronic pain and inflammation, and a steady decline in mobility, I took back responsibility for my health and well being.

When it seemed the medical community had nothing else to offer to me, I found healing through Anthony William, aka the Medical Medium. A post of Anthony’s that I “happened” upon on Facebook suggested chronic pain and illnesses may be the result of viruses wreaking havoc on the body. I’d tried years of medical treatments, drugs and physical therapy. I had nothing to lose by seeing what Anthony offered.

I’m so grateful for him and for all the wisdom he offers. I changed my diet, and my life dramatically improved.

After reading Medical Medium, and implementing the protocols found within the book, my pain and inflammation healed. I parked my walking cane in the corner four years ago and have not touched it since. (Read more about my healing here…and on posts through this blog site.)

Although I’d been blogging for several years, at Cindy Goes Beyond, Journey With Healthy Me began in 2017 as a natural expression of my healing journey. On Journey I share plant based lifestyle tips and info, recipes, food and supplement suggestions and personal stories. Journey is an invitation to anyone who desires to live a healthier life, at any age.

Blogger Recognition Award vitality

Advice to New Bloggers

The blogging journey is an evolving one. Keller Williams, the real estate company I’m with, taught me that “your business grows to the extent that you do”. I’ve found those words true.

So my first piece of advice to new bloggers is to keep growing, learning, adapting and changing. Your blog will as well. Share from your life experiences. Even if there are already other blogs out there, in your niche, and trust me…there are… no one has your exact same life experiences. No one else can tell your precious story. Find your passion and offer from your evolving life.

And, connect with other bloggers. That’s a mistake I made, as a new blogger. I chose to go it alone. There is so much to gain from sharing experiences and lessons learned and blog posts with other bloggers. They “get you”, for one thing. And for another, they can save you time and money and frustration. Start with joining Talat’s Facebook group for bloggers. Then look for more. There are many excellent groups out there to join.

And in the  same vein, take a blogging class. That’s what actually connected me to other bloggers. I highly recommend the Reese’s free 5 Day Crash Course and their paid course, Blogging Blastoff 2.0. As a past student, I continue to learn from their courses. I’m an affiliate and may make a commission if you choose to purchase the paid course, at no extra cost to you. I recommend them, and I’m an affiliate,  because I love their classes!

My Nominations for the Blogger Recognition Award

Because I’m posting simultaneously on both blogs, I’m dividing my list of nominees. Check out these five bloggers and their blogs, nominated by Journey With Healthy Me:

Tiffany with Nursing Decoded, who can help you with all your health care needs.

Suzan with It’s My Sustainable Life, who offers wonderful resources for sustainable living, gardening and a natural lifestyle.

Chris with Yoga Herbal Tea and Me, sharing fitness, healthy foods and travel.

Hillari with All Things in Good Health, offering tips and wisdom about health and happiness.

Lisa with Move Mama Move, who is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Mom and expert mover, living her best life.

Blogger Recognition Award

Check out Anthony William’s Books:

 


 

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.

 

 

Eat the Rainbow

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We’ve heard how important it is to include colorful fruits and vegetables in our diets. Those foods with vibrant colors contain powerful nutrients that sustain a healthy body.

What does it mean, to eat the rainbow?

And which foods pack the most health benefits?

Check out the following info and then have fun, creating colorful meals that boost the immune system and deeply nourish the body.

Eat the Rainbow title meme

Eat the Rainbow

The typical diet consists of fast foods and packaged meals and snacks. These highly processed foods, loaded with fats, sugars and additives, do little to nourish the body. Rather, they contribute to poor health, illnesses and diseases.

A diet built around a variety of fruits and vegetables provides benefits that nurture the body, creating optimal health and wellness. Colorful produce contains healing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Eating the rainbow of fruits and veggies is an easy way to ensure the body remains strong and healthy. And a strong, healthy body is better able to resist illnesses and thrive.

The colors in fruits and vegetables are derived from natural compounds that help protect the plants from harmful bacteria and viruses and the sun’s rays. Those same phytochemicals offer protection to us as well.

Red Fruits & Vegetables

Phytochemicals: lycopene, citrulline and ellagic acid

Benefits: helps fight cancer, reduces risks of heart disease and diabetes, improves skin health and vision

Red fruits and vegetables to include: strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, red skinned apples, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, red onions, pomegranates, red peppers, tomatoes, beets, radishes

Eat the Rainbow - watermelon with mint
Eat the rainbow – watermelon with mint and lime

Orange & Yellow Fruits & Vegetables

Phytochemicals: vitamin C, beta-carotene, hesperidin (in citrus fruits)

Benefits: boosts immune system and cell growth, reduces risks of heart disease and stroke, improves eye health, increases blood flow, protects skin from sun damage, keeps joints healthy

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables to include: oranges, grapefruits, lemons, mangoes, pineapple, papayas, peaches, cantaloupes, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, yellow summer squash, corn, orange and yellow peppers, golden beets

Eat the Rainbow orange salad
Eat the Rainbow – orange, avocado and olive salad

Green Fruits & Vegetables

Phytochemicals: lutein, isoflavones, isothiocyanates, folate, vitamin K

Benefits: boosts the immune system, detoxifies the body, restores energy and vitality, helps maintain a healthy pregnancy, improves mood, repairs DNA damage, improves digestion, protects body against colds and viruses and disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and insomnia

Green fruits and veggies to include: green grapes, green apples, kiwi fruit, limes, avocado, cucumber, broccoli, celery, kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, cilantro, green beans, peas, zucchini

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples soup
Eat the rainbow -veggie bowl

 Blue & Purple Fruits & Vegetables

Phytochemicals: anthocyanins, resveratrol, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, vitamin C

Benefits: protects against cancer, diabetes, heart disease and neurological diseases, improves brain health and memory, reduces inflammation, repairs damage from oxidative stress, slows the aging process, normalizes blood pressure, supports liver and kidney health, heals urinary tract infections, helps to prevent colds and flu.

Blue and purple fruits and veggies to include: blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, plums, prunes, figs, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple carrots, purple sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, purple cauliflower, purple kale, purple asparagus

Eat the Rainbow Sweet Potato with Purple Cabbage
Eat the Rainbow – baked sweet potato with braised purple cabbage and onions, topped with cilantro

White & Brown Fruits & Vegetables

Phytochemicals: allicin, quercetin, sulforaphane, anthoxanthins

Benefits: protects against cancer, strengthens bones, supports heart health, lowers cholesterol, balances hormones, reduces inflammation

White and brown fruits and vegetables to include: bananas, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms, parsnips, Daikon radishes, jicama

Eat the Rainbow - veggies
Eat the rainbow – veggies ready to chop

Best Ways to Eat the Rainbow

Chopped salads, veggie bowls, soups and stir fries are great ways to eat the rainbow.

Combine fresh fruits together for a refreshing salad. Include berries, chopped mangoes, pineapples, oranges, sliced bananas…all of your favorite fruits.

One of my favorite meals is a chopped veggie salad. Tear dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce and arugula into small, bite sized pieces. Don’t fill a bowl with greens and then sprinkle on veggies. Make the greens part of the chopped salad without allowing them to dominate it.

Add a variety of veggies, chopped in a mini food processor. I like to include tomatoes, red, orange and green peppers, red onion, radishes, mushrooms, avocado, carrots, celery, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, yellow squash, broccoli and cauliflower. Whatever fresh produce I have on hand in the fridge or pantry, goes into the salad. After combining well, I pop the salad into the fridge and let it chill for at least a couple of hours. This combines the flavors. It is SUCH a tasty meal.

For stir fry chop or slice veggies, quickly fry in vegetable broth or a small amount of coconut oil and serve over brown rice or riced cauliflower. Or create a big pot of vegetable soup.

Eat the Rainbow and Improve Health

Have fun adding as many colorful foods to your diet as possible. Not only do these foods create a beautiful, nutritious meal, they feed the body at a cellular level. Use as many fresh, organic non GMO fruits and vegetables as possible, leaving the skins on when you can, for the best nutritional value.

Make salads, run fruits and veggies through the juicer, combine fruits in smoothies, stir fry vegetables, steam them in the instant pot, cut fruits and vegetables up and eat them as a snack with sugar free peanut butter or dairy free yogurt.

I challenge you, in a playful way, to go beyond the occasional apple or banana. Get creative in adding more and more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Trust me, your body will thank you by responding with increased health and vitality.

You are what you eat, the saying goes. Be a rainbow.

Eat the Rainbow chopped salad
Eat the rainbow – chopped veggie salad

Make chopping veggies easy with this mini chopper:

 

Click on photo to order

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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.

 

 

 

 

Eyebright Herb Benefits

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I appreciate the many health benefits of herbs. These powerful plants truly provide medicine for the body. From boosting the immune system to easing inflammation to relieving bloating, there’s an herb for that!

This post features an herb called eyebright. Common in Europe, Asia and the US, eyebright is a small flowering herb that thrives in poor soil. The tiny flowers are white with purple streaks and a yellow center. The herb grows in grassy areas such as yards, fields and ditches. Considered a semi-parasitic plant, eyebright draws water and nutrients from the roots of nearby plants.

The stems, leaves and flowers are used medicinally in teas, tinctures, lotions and dietary supplements.

Eyebright Herb Benefits title meme

Nutritional Value of Eyebright

Eyebright contains flavonoids with antihistamine properties. Those flavonoids inhibit the release of histamine, which triggers allergy symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes.

The herb also provides plant compounds that protect against damage from free radicals. And eyebright contains tannins that possess anti-inflammatory properties.

Additionally, the herb offers vitamins A, B1, C and E along with zinc, selenium and copper.

Eyebright Herb Benefits

Although not as well known as other medicinal herbs, eyebright has been used for centuries in Europe and Asia and provides the following benefits:

  • relieves eye problems including irritation, inflammation and allergy symptoms
  • prevents sun damage to skin cells
  • improves acne and skin irritations
  • lowers blood sugar
  • soothes sore throats and eases symptoms of colds and coughs
  • combats sinus infections
  • antibacterial
  • antiviral
  • protects the liver from free radicals, toxins and viruses
  • enhances memory and improves cognitive performance
Eyebright Herb Benefits
Eyebright Herb Benefits – dried form

Ways to Use Eyebright

Purchase eyebright in health food stores or order online.

It is available as dried, herbal tea bags, capsules, tinctures, extracts, lotions and eye drops.

For tea, add 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried eyebright, or an herbal tea bag, to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Eyebright may taste slightly bitter or astringent. Add raw, organic honey to sweeten, if desired.

Take 1 – 2 ml of the tincture or extract, up to three times a day.

Or take 1 400 – 500 mg capsule 2 – 3 times a day.

I’ve seen posts about making a DIY eyebright solution to wash the eyes with, to ease inflammation and irritation. However, I can’t recommend that. Extreme caution must be used with any home remedy for the eyes, to prevent infection.

There are commercially prepared eye drops available that contain eyebright.

Have you heard of the herb eyebright? I’d love to know if you’ve tried it!

Eyebright Herb Benefits flower
Eyebright Herb Benefits – flowers

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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.