15 Two Minute Health Boosters

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

Maintaining health is a lifestyle, built upon daily choices and practices. The thought of making changes to improve health and wellness can seem daunting. Some commitments, like working out at the gym or meal prepping on the weekend, requires a block of time.

These 15 two minute health boosters offer quick and easy ways to incorporate better practices into your life, without requiring a big time commitment.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters title meme

15 Two Minute Health Boosters

Try one…or three…of these quick health boosters throughout the day. They may not require much time however the cumulative effect is great.

Juice Fruits and Vegetables

Toss fresh produce into a juicer and enjoy a nutrient rich drink that’s easy on the digestive system. Possibilities are endless. Try oranges and pineapples with beets. Or kale, celery and apples. For more ideas and benefits, check out my experience with a week of juicing.

Say Health Affirmations Aloud

An affirmation is a statement that confirms a truth, even if that truth is not realized yet. Speaking affirmations aloud is a powerful way to shift thoughts about health, for as the saying goes, “The body achieves what the mind believes.”

What truths and beliefs are you feeding your body?

Shift thoughts of “I’m not healthy” or “I’m always tired” to “I am enjoying health and wellness” and “I am full of energy”. “I am” are life changing words. Mindfully consider what words you use after them.

Try these affirmations:

  • I am healthy
  • My body vibrates with wellness
  • I am strong and able to fight off disease
  • I am healing

If this concept seems strange to you, start with this simple affirmation: “I am grateful”. Gradually add what you are grateful for, in your health and body. For example, “I am grateful for my legs on this hike”. Or “I am grateful for a restful night’s sleep”

Drink a Glass of Water

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We know how important adequate hydration is. Pause and drink a tall glass of water. Check out these signs of dehydration and foods that help as well.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters drink water
15 two minute health boosters – drink water

Short Bursts of Cardio for 30 Seconds

Studies show that four to six sets of all out cardio is as effective as a longer workout session. When I say “all out”, I mean vigorous bursts of activity. Try 30 seconds of intense dancing, running, jumping jacks, rapidly climbing stairs or squats. Work at least four sets of intense cardio into your day.

Focus on Posture

It’s so easy during the day to ignore posture. As a result, we tend to accumulate stress in our shoulders, neck, face and scalp. Taking two minutes to mindfully shift posture helps to relieve stress and realign the neck and spine.

Raise head and center it over the body. Square shoulders, allowing them to drop into place naturally. Open the  chest area. Relax the muscles in the upper body while breathing deeply. At the end of two minutes, tip head back and open arms wide in a gesture of gratitude.

Downward Dog Yoga Pose

One of yoga’s most recognized poses, downward dog, or downward facing dog, stretches the entire body, reduces back pain, elongates the shoulders, decreases anxiety and increases circulation. Strike that pose and hold for two minutes.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters downward dog
15 two minute health boosters – downward dog

Eat a Piece of Fruit

Instead of a sugary treat or high fat snack, grab a piece of fruit. An apple is especially beneficial. Not only is it nutritious, it promotes weight loss, lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, promotes good gut bacteria and even helps prevent cancer.

Breathe Deeply

When challenges pile up during the day, pause for two minutes and simply breathe. Close your eyes and relax tense muscles. Take a deep breath in through the nose, expanding lungs and rib cage. Hold for a few seconds, then release breath slowly through the mouth. Repeat, focusing on breathing in and out.

Pausing to breathe deeply improves blood flow, lessens pain, increases energy levels, relaxes the body and calms inflammation.

Include Chia Seeds

This superfood is packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Adding chia seeds to meals is an easy way to increase nutrients in the diet and boost heart and digestive health.

Try sprinkling them on smoothie bowls, oatmeal or fresh fruit. Substitute chia seeds for eggs in baking. Add a spoonful to smoothies and muffins or create fun chia puddings.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters chia seeds
15 two minute health boosters – chia seeds

Stand and Stretch

Sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to health. Chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are more likely to develop. Weight gain is common as are higher risks for depression and anxiety.

If you must sit for hours, take two minute breaks to stand and stretch. The simple acts of standing and stretching reduce strain on the spine and neck, ease cramped, tight muscles and improve posture. Taking a break from sitting improves blood circulation, muscle strength and flexibility. Keep stretches slow and smooth, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long time.

For optimal health benefits, stand, stretch and move around every 30 minutes.

Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea

I’m a big believer in the benefits of herbs. “There’s an herb for that!” I say, when people tell me about their health issues. Plants truly are medicine, offering healing for a wide range of of health disorders.

Check out some of my posts about the benefits of herbs and then brew a cup of tea and enjoy.

Meditate

Two minutes may not sound like enough time to meditate. And for sure, there are amazing benefits from longer meditation sessions. However, a couple of minutes of meditation restores the body and quiets a chattering mind.

Brief, mindful, daily meditation sessions, over a month, reduce stress, ease anxiety, relax muscles, support emotions and create a more compassionate and positive outlook on life.

Sit comfortably with both feet flat on the floor. Rest hands in lap. Close your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath. Focus on breathing slowly and remaining relaxed. If thoughts pop into the mind allow them to pass on through without focusing on them.

After two minutes take another deep breath, open eyes and stretch.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters meditate
15 two minute health boosters – meditate

Try a New Experience

Trying new things, or doing routine things in new ways, stimulates the brain and creates new pathways. Additionally, new experiences open up opportunities, help us discover more about ourselves and even move us beyond fear. And, the fun factor kicks in, making life more interesting and satisfying.

Try simple things like eating with your non-dominant hand, standing on one leg while brushing your teeth, or driving down a street you’ve never traveled on before. Walk in a new park. Choose a shirt that’s different from your typical style. Try something that scares you, just a little, like speaking up at a meeting.

Sun Gazing

Spend two minutes sitting in sunlight, sun gazing. Close eyes, tip head back toward the sun and sit quietly. Do not open eyes and stare directly into the sun.

Sun gazing improves mood, creates feelings of happiness, increases energy and sharpens mental focus. It also boosts the production of melatonin and serotonin. Plus the sunlight creates vitamin D within the body, which strengthens bones.

Walk Barefoot Outside

Get outside for a couple of minutes, walking around your yard or garden. For the best health benefits, take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass. This practice, called earthing or grounding, allows the transfer of free electrons from the earth, through the feet, to all parts of the body.

These electrons are powerful antioxidants, beneficial for decreasing levels of inflammation throughout the body by neutralizing free radicals and lowering the potential for disorders such as heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. Grounding thins the blood, lowers blood pressure and make cells less likely to stick together and form clots.

Because free radicals are a major cause of aging as well, keeping the body balanced with electrons from the earth reduces the destructive signs of aging such as wrinkling of the skin and the breakdown of DNA.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters earthing
15 two minute health boosters – earthing

Small Steps Toward Better Health

These small steps toward better health and wellness deliver big returns when practiced regularly. Have fun with these strategies. Mix up your routines. Play.

Better health is built upon the foundation of daily, consistent choices. Choose better health for YOU. Take two minutes to embrace health, and make a long term difference.

15 Two Minute Health Boosters sun gazing
15 two minute health boosters – sun gazing

 


 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Soda’s Negative Impact on the Body

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

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

Encourage water consumption with these finds:

 


 

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.

 

 

 

 

Five Ways to Boost Respiratory Health

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

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

Boost Health with these Finds:

 


 

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

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

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

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

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.

Check out these Amazon finds:


 

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.

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.

 

 

Eyebright Herb Benefits

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

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

Order Eyebright Products Below:


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.

 

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples

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

During this time, when the world is a bit different with each new day, food supplies are interesting. I’ve never in my lifetime experienced a shortage of food or toilet paper scarcity. For the moment, it is our reality.

In my corner of Missouri, as in most parts of the world, paper goods, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer fly off grocery store shelves, as soon as a delivery arrives. As we marvel over how golden toilet paper is, other supplies continue to dwindle as well. Eggs, meat, dairy products, bread, canned goods, dry goods and convenience foods such as mac and cheese are not impossible to find, but they are limited.

Going to the market each day, to see what is available, is a bit of an adventure. I squealed today when I found a solitary jar of my sugar free peanut butter. As a plant based person, I’m not eating differently than I was before all this started. I just get creative as I prepare meals. I realize others may be experiencing a temporary form of plant based eating that is new to them and I want to help.

Here are easy to make meals using 5 common staples. I’m sharing more than 20 recipes, prepared with simple, nutritious foods such as dried goods (rice, beans and lentils), canned goods, pasta, herbs and spices and my favorite, fresh produce.

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples title meme

Dried Beans Lentils and Rice

These staples have a long shelf life, making them ideal pantry ingredients. In my area, dried goods are not plentiful, however, they do arrive daily in small amounts. Pick up packages of your favorite beans including pinto, navy, black, kidney and chick peas. Dried green, brown or red lentils are so versatile too. And while you are shopping, pick up long grain brown rice as well.

Beans and Lentils

Beans are easily prepared in the instant pot, slow cooker or on the stove top. Try this simple recipe for classic pinto beans. Cover 2 cups of pinto beans with water and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Place in a slow cooker. Add 6 cups of water, 1 chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Cook on low 8 hours. Or combine all ingredients in a soup pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour on the stove top.

Combine several varieties of dried beans and add cajun spices for a delicious spicy meal. Use cooked beans to create homemade hummus, refried beans or combine with rice for a satisfying meatless meal.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

Curried Chickpeas 

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stew

Dried lentils cook quickly in the instant pot or on the stove pot. Use in curry dishes, shepherd’s pie or combine with rice for a quick and nutritious meal that is high in protein.

Lentils & Brown Rice

Madras Curried Lentils

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Rice

I prep brown rice in the instant pot (2 cups dried brown rice plus 3 cups of DIY veggie broth) and store it in the fridge. Cooked brown rice is excellent combined with stir fried veggies, beans or lentils and as a base for curries.

Dirty Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice

Stuffed Peppers

Curried Chickpeas
Easy to make meals using 5 common staples – curried chickpeas

Canned Goods

So many simple, nutrition packed meals come together in minutes using canned goods. I keep a variety of beans, vegetables and fruits such as peas, non GMO corn, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, green beans and pineapple chunks on hand.

Combine several cans of beans, diced tomatoes and spices for an instant chili. Create a salsa full of chopped veggies, canned black beans and non GMO corn. Make classic hummus from canned chickpeas and serve with crackers or an assortment of veggies. Or simply combine two or more cans of vegetables…such as lima beans and non GMO corn…to make a succotash. Serve with baked potatoes for a hearty meal.

Quick Bean Chili

Aloo Mater

Sweet & Savory Curry

Easy Classic Hummus

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples
Easy to make meals using 5 common staples – bean chili

Pasta

Pasta is another versatile, easy to use to staple. Because of a gluten sensitivity, I choose gluten free varieties, available in most grocery stores. I keep gluten free macaroni and spaghetti on hand. Stock up on your favorite kinds of pasta.

Create a simple meat free meal of pasta and marinara sauce. (Check out this post, for DIY Marinara Sauce and Pesto.) For another quick meal combine cooked pasta with canned tomatoes. Heat through on the stove and season with a bit of oregano and basil. If you happen to grow your own basil, make a yummy pesto sauce to serve over spaghetti. (See link to post above.) Toss together cooked macaroni and raw or cooked veggies for an instant pasta salad. Or add pasta to soups.

Goulash

Vegetable Noodle Soup

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples vegetable noodle soup
Easy to make meals using 5 staples – vegetable noodle soup

Herbs and Spices

These common herbs and spices add flavor to meals and nutritional value. Keep on hand onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, dill, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, ground red pepper, ground ginger, madras curry and curry powder.

I love preparing oven roasted potatoes, two different ways. For a kick of flavor, season cubed potatoes with paprika, sea salt, onion powder and garlic powder. For a savory blend, use rosemary, thyme and dill. A bowl of seasoned roasted potatoes with a big salad or steamed veggies makes a wonderfully comforting meal.

Experiment with seasonings. Add dried herbs to soups, sauces and stir fries. Additionally, those dried herbs make health boosting teas. Steep 2 teaspoons of thyme in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes, for a tea that boosts the immune system and helps fight viral infections in the body.

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples
Easy to make meals using 5 common staples – seasoned roasted potatoes

Fresh Produce

Other than potatoes, fresh produce remains in stock in my local grocery stores. This is good news because there are so many easy meals to make using this staple.

One of my favorite meals is a chopped veggie salad loaded with a dozen or more vegetables. Chop any combo of vegetables and combine with chopped dark leafy greens.

Think beyond salads though.

Another simple meal is the veggie bowl. Combine raw or cooked vegetables together in a big bowl and enjoy. Use onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black beans, lettuce and tomatoes for a Mexican bowl. Or switch it up with Brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potatoes and quinoa. Any combination of vegetables is acceptable!

Stir fries are another great way to combine fresh vegetables in creative ways. Start with a base of onions, garlic, carrots and celery and add in whatever you have on hand. Use that same base, add in more fresh veggies and canned peas, green beans and tomatoes plus eight cups of water or veggie broth and you have a delicious soup. Save all those vegetable scraps as you prep food for DIY Vegetable Broth.

Fruit makes an excellent meal as well. Combine fresh and frozen fruit with two bananas and a small amount of filtered water for a breakfast smoothie. Drizzle a mixture of berries with raw honey for a mid afternoon snack. Or toss chopped apples, oranges or berries in with a vegetable salad.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Dairy Free Potato Soup

Orange Avocado Green Olive Salad

Three Healthy Salad Dressings

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples soup
Easy to make meals using 5 common staples -veggie bowl

Easy to Make Meals Using 5 Common Staples

It is disconcerting to walk into a grocery store and see empty shelves. It’s an experience that is new to most of us. The current situation requires adaptability and a positive mindset.

I hope these suggestions and recipes encourage you to create nutritious meals from staples that are available or that you already have on hand. If you are not plant based, meat such as chicken can be added to many of the recipes.

I promise you though, these meals are not only easy to prepare, they are nutritionally dense and satisfying. You will not go hungry and you may even discover that you enjoy this different way of eating.

If you have questions, ask in the comments section below. I’m here to walk alongside you, virtually. We truly are in this situation together. And together, we will overcome. Together we will emerge stronger than before.

Fresh Cara Cara Oranges

Check out these finds from Amazon:


 

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

 

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

Strawberry Banana Bread

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

This strawberry banana bread is the perfect treat for anyone, whether you are vegan and gluten free, or not. I appreciate the wholesome goodness in this luscious and delicious loaf. As a bonus, it is sweetened with pure maple syrup and a couple of tablespoons of coconut sugar.

Check out this easy to prepare recipe, from Anthony William, and let me know if you enjoyed it!

Strawberry Banana Bread title meme

 

Benefits of Strawberries

I’ve added different fruits to banana bread, from wild blueberries to apples to raisins, however I’ve never included strawberries before.

Strawberries are a natural to pair with bananas. These berries are an excellent source of vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, manganese, iron, zinc and potassium.

Strawberries supply important antioxidants and plant compounds that benefit heart health and control blood sugar levels. And they are rich in phenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties that help people suffering from autoimmune disorders.

Plus, strawberries boost the immune system and support eye health.

Curious about the health benefits of bananas? Read more about them here.

Strawberry Banana Bread strawberries
Health boosting strawberries.

Strawberry Banana Bread Recipe

This quick bread comes from Anthony William. I’m always excited to try one of his recipes, as I know he’s carefully tested it and avoids additives and foods on my “no” list.

Strawberry Banana Bread

Easy to prepare quick bread featuring the goodness of bananas and strawberries.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plant based milk
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 2 strawberries, thinly sliced, for topping optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Mash bananas in a bowl, with fork or potato masher. Add maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla and plant based milk. Mix well.
  • In another bowl, combine oat flour, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk until lump free. Add banana mixture and fold in gently until batter is uniformly combined. Add chopped strawberries stirring just to incorporate.
  • Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 45 - 55 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes. Then lift loaf from pan by parchment paper and cool completely on wire rack. Makes 8 slices.
Keyword Strawberry Banana Bread

 

Strawberry Banana Bread mashed bananas
Mashing bananas
Strawberry Banana Bread dry mixture
Dry mixture
Strawberry Banana Bread chopped berries
Adding chopped strawberries

Enjoying Strawberry Banana Bread

I admit, I didn’t wait for the bread to cool completely. After brewing a cup of herbal tea, I cut a couple of slices of slightly warm strawberry banana bread.

I love this bread! The strawberries add a hint of tartness, complementing the sweetness of bananas. For a breakfast treat, after school or work snack or for afternoon tea, strawberry banana bread is perfect.

Check out this blueberry banana bread too!

Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe? Share it below in the comments.

Strawberry Banana Bread with Tea
Strawberry Banana Bread with Tea

Get your baking goods below:

 


 

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.

 

Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young

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

Perhaps because of my age I am more aware of brain health than ever before. All brains change with age. That’s inevitable. And as our brains change, cognitive decline is common. It’s so common, in fact, that losing brain function is the number one fear among older adults.

Fortunately, we don’t have to just sit around and wait for cognitive function to decline. Here are the best tips to keep your brain young and healthy.

Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young title meme

Nutritious Diet

A nutrient dense diet is not just good for the body, it is good for the brain as well. The brain is an energy intensive organ, using about 20% of the body’s calories. Those who eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, unsaturated fats and plant based proteins such as legumes are less likely to develop dementia.

Omega-3 fatty acids help build and repair brain cells. And foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories reduce cellular stress and inflammation, which are linked to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

Additionally, reducing blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure contributes to heart health, which in turn benefits the brain.

The following foods are the best for supporting brain health:

Fruits – apples, apricots, berries of all kinds, coconuts, dates, grapes, mangoes, melons, papayas, pomegranates

Vegetables – Atlantic sea vegetables, celery juice, leafy greens, potatoes, radishes, sprouts/microgreens

Herbs – cat’s claw, cilantro, ginger, licorice root

Omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds and hemp seeds or oil

If you are experiencing brain fog avoid: tobacco, alcohol, dairy products, eggs, wheat and MSG.

Mixed Berries for Brain Health
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Berries

Move the Body to Benefit the Brain

Regularly moving the body boosts brain health. Studies show that frequent exercise increases the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen rich blood to the region of the brain responsible for thought. Exercise also creates new nerve cells and increases the connection between cells.

A well oxygenated brain is more adaptive and operates more efficiently. Combined with a nutritious diet, exercise helps to lower blood pressure and high cholesterol and balance blood sugar levels, which reduces mental stress while supporting the heart and the brain.

Suggestions for moving your body:

  • walking, hiking, jogging, biking, aerobic exercise, low impact sports
  • dance, zumba, stretching, yoga
  • swimming, water aerobics
  • gardening
  • muscle training twice a week
  • playing with grandchildren
  • walking the dog, as long as your pet cannot overpower you and pull you off balance
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Walking

Mental Stimulation

Doctors find that stimulating the brain creates fresh connections between nerve cells and helps the brain generate new cells. The brain ends up with a reserve that protects against future cell loss.

This is the fun part of keeping the brain young. Any mentally stimulating activity boosts new connections. Try these activities regularly:

  • read, especially in new genres or subject areas
  • take a class, learn a language, cook different foods
  • work puzzles, play games, solve word or math problems
  • enjoy hobbies and learn new ones, especially those that require thought and dexterity such as painting, drawing, sewing and crafts
  • have fun, play, create, make up songs, write poems or stories
  • my favorite – try new experiences, do a familiar task in a fresh way, drive a different way to the store, listen to an unfamiliar genre of music, learn about technology
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young Painting
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Learn Something New

Emotional Wellbeing

Anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and exhaustion contribute to cognitive function. When those conditions become chronic the risk for cognitive decline increases. Good mental health and getting enough rest, lowering anxiety and managing stress help maintain a healthy, youthful brain.

For chronic conditions, seek medical help. To support and maintain emotional wellbeing, try these:

  • meditate/pray
  • journal
  • get enough sleep, at least seven hours per night
  • nap during the day, if needed
  • do what makes you happy
  • find joy in life
  • practice gratitude
  • live in the now rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future
  • talk to a trusted friend or family member about minor fears, anxiety or depression
  • express emotions in healthy ways
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young Rest
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Getting Enough Sleep

Social Interaction

Strong connections to family, friends and pets lower the risks of dementia and increase life expectancy. Isolation can have a negative impact on some people and especially on older adults.

Positive emotional bonds contribute to a more active lifestyle, better eating habits and greater emotional health. And caring for pets and loving on them helps to reduce stress, lowers blood pressure (unless you have naughty pets!) and increases social interactions.

Try these suggestions:

  • volunteer at schools, shelters, hospitals, charities
  • spend time with family, friends and pets
  • expand your circle of acquaintances and meet new people
  • join a club, attend church, take lessons in a classroom setting
  • go on group outings such as field trips, nature walks, museum tours
  • encourage grandchildren to teach the latest technology or slang
  • attend group activities such as dances, yoga sessions, bird watching, quilting
  • offer your wisdom and teach a class
  • mentor one on one with youth or young adults
  • travel with a group
Connection for a Younger Brain
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Connection

Aging Well

There are many benefits from aging well, aging gracefully. One of those benefits is a mind that remains sharp. Awareness and putting these tips into practice gives the brain a much better chance of aging gracefully as well and remaining agile and healthy.

And trust me, it’s not too early to put these health practices in place. A healthier body equals a healthier mind equals a higher quality of life.

What tips will you adopt?

Having fun contributes to a healthy mind
Best Tips to Keep Your Brain Young – Have Fun

 

Check out Lumosity, the brain training app that improves memory, increases focus and helps you feel sharper.

Order these brain boosters below:

 


 

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.