3 Years Plant Based

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

I can’t let this month slip by without noting that July is an anniversary month for me. I am 3 years plant based. In July 2016 I made a decision that radically changed my life. What an amazing journey.

Read my first year update, to appreciate the many changes I have experienced.

Year 2 update is here, with more incredible healing.

And now, on to what 3 years plant based has brought.

3 Years Plant Based title meme

Healing During Year Three

The first two years plant based created dramatic changes in my health. With such remarkable changes, there is no way I’ll ever return to my old way of eating a typical American diet.

I continue my routine of lemon/lime water, celery juice and fruit smoothies in the mornings and veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds for lunch, dinner and snacks. Water and herbal teas are my drinks of choice.

The health changes have not been as dramatic this year, as most of my ailments and chronic conditions have healed. However healing continues.

3 Years Plant Based DinnerA typical plant based meal.

Year Three Changes

  • hair continues to darken
  • healthier skin, nails and hair
  • discoloration on lips gone
  • ability to fight inflammation more quickly
  • greater awareness of what my body needs, for optimal health
  • greater awareness of what my body does NOT want or need
  • improved liver function
  • improved mental clarity and focus
  • greater flexibility

Still working on:

  • full range of motion in left knee
  • strength in both knees

The area that still requires further healing is around my left knee. I’ve fallen twice this year. The first time, in January, a grocery bag caught on the front door knob as I walked by, laden down with too many bags. I twisted my left knee badly as I fell into a nearby chair. The second time, three weeks ago, I slipped on a small puddle of water in the kitchen. I went completely down onto the floor, pinning my left leg beneath me.

This is what 3 years plant based has taught me though. I can quickly support my body by increasing inflammation fighting foods and herbs. Doing so restores mobility and eliminates pain. I am so grateful for the knowledge I’ve acquired, that helps me maintain optimal health and wellbeing.

3 Years Plant Based DillOne of my favorite herbs…dill.

Higher Awareness

What I’ve noticed most this past year is an increased awareness of several things.

Herbs and foraging for wild edibles is something I continue to learn about and enjoy. I grow many herbs in my garden that are wonderful for cooking and creating healing teas with. I have fun combining fresh herbs to make delicious tea blends.

Experiencing my own healing increases my compassion for others who are suffering. It has been my privilege to assist people who are hurting or looking for help with health challenges.

Greater opportunities for sharing my healing story appeared this year. My mother and I were included in Woman’s World Magazine in a feature about the healing power of celery juice. A second national magazine has contacted me about an article this fall.

I shared part of my journey as a guest on my first podcast. And I’ve done several interviews with other bloggers. I’m so grateful for these avenues that allow me to offer hope and healing to others.

And finally, beyond my healing and helping others heal, I have a greater awareness of the health of our planet. I’ve already reduced the use of chemicals in my home and garden. Recently I’ve begun eliminating one-use plastics from my life. This is an ongoing desire, to reduce waste and lessen the strain upon our resources.

In the same way that I must love myself before I can love others, I needed to heal myself before I could offer healing to others and to the earth.

3 Years Plant Based Honeysuckle TeaA delightful wild edible, honeysuckle tea provides many healing benefits.

To Continued Good Health

My healing journey continues. As I feel gratitude for improved health, I want to express thankfulness to Anthony William for guidance and to my family for supporting me as I heal. I deeply appreciate two people especially, as they have journeyed alongside me.

My mom is experiencing her own dramatic health shifts. We’ve shared many adventures along the way, learning and healing together.

And Greg makes my journey easier. His choice to become plant based as well encourages me and makes food and meal prep simpler. His health has improved greatly and continues to shift. I’m proud of him.

I’m thrilled to be 3 years plant based. It’s a lifestyle that I embrace with incredible joy. It’s become a tradition to snap an commemorative photo of my journey with Redbud Tree in my yard. We have both overcome so much. We’ve both become stronger. This year, the tree leafed out beautifully, creating a full canopy for the first time since the 2011 tornado. I feel so connected to this resilient tree. For the first time in many years, I feel beautifully whole. Redbud Tree and I are healthy.

3 Years Plant Based Cindy

Check out my storefront, for Anthony’s books and many health related items

Cindy’s Amazon Storefront

 

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.

Healing With Dill

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

As a child, my only association with the dill herb was with pickles. I don’t remember my mom or grandmother adding dill to potato salads or other dishes. However, as my appreciation for plants continues to grow, this aromatic herb ranks high on my list of favorites.

Dills grows in my herb garden. I add it to potato dishes, salads, dressings and other recipes. I’ve yet to brew dill tea, but why not? The more I study this herb, the more I love it and appreciate its health benefits.

Join me in healing with dill.

Healing with Dill title meme

Origins of Dill

Dill, also commonly called dill weed, originated in the Mediterranean region. It’s been used medicinally and as a spice since ancient times. Dill, which means “calm” or “soothe”, is related to parsley, cumin and the bay leaf.

Long ago dill was primarily used to calm the digestive system and soothe colicky babies. Greek doctors treated wounds with it and believed the herb delivered courage to those who consumed it.

Dill grows 16 – 30 inches tall. The thin leaves are delicate, finely divided and very soft. It blooms in clusters of yellow or white flowers.

Fresh dill weed contains fiber, protein, manganese, folate, calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.

Baked Potato with Dill and Chives

Healing with Dill

Health benefits of dill include:

Protects Against Free Radicals

Dill helps antioxidants to attach to oxidized molecules that damage the body.

Aids Digestion

The fatty acids in dill soothe an upset stomach and improves the whole digestive system. The herb increases energy levels as well.

Lowers Cholesterol

Dill lowers bad cholesterol and helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Relieves Depression

The herb has antidepressant and analgesic benefits, without the negative side effects of drugs.

May Help with Epilepsy

Dill leaf extract shows promise as an anticonvulsant, which aids in the treatment of epilepsy.

Possesses Antimicrobial Properties

Dill fights fungi, bacteria and mold, making it helpful against fungal and bacterial infections.

Sweetens the Breath

For centuries, people have chewed on the leaves of the dill herb to freshen breath and cleanse the mouth.

Helps to Relieve Menstrual Cramps

Dill weed reduces menstrual discomfort and pain.

Relieves Arthritis Pain

Dill is an anti-inflammatory that reduces inflammation and the associated pain of disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and arthritis.

Using Dill

Dill weed is available in fresh or dried form at most grocery stores. It is also fairly easy to grow. The herb prefers a sunny location and thrives well in heat. Due to massive amounts of rain this spring, I moved my dill plant into a container. The water drains more quickly, keeping the soil from getting boggy.

Use fresh or dried dill in potato or veggie recipes, soups, salads and sauces. One of my favorite uses for fresh or dried dill is as a seasoning on oven roasted potatoes. Dice up four potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil, and a teaspoon each of dill, rosemary and thyme. Stir well to coat potatoes. Roast on a parchment paper covered baking sheet in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.

I also love the simplicity of snipping fresh dill and chives from my garden to top a plain baked potato. Delicious! It is also easy to prepare a wonderful DIY salad dressing using Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise, fresh or dried dill and lemon juice.

Try these great recipes as well, featuring dill:

Radish, Cucumber & Dill Salad

Cucumber, Tomato & Dill Salad

What’s Next with Dill

I love dill so much. I’m not only healing with dill, I’m learning how to use the herb in ways that go far beyond pickles. Dill tea is definitely on my list of herbal teas to try. I’ll let you know when I experience it!

Dill Weed

Purchase dried dill 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.

Health Benefits of Purslane

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

In this next installment in the Wild Edibles series, let me introduce you to another health boosting weed. Purslane, like cleavers, commonly grows in backyards and gardens, and along sidewalks and pathways.

I found this wild edible by accident this afternoon, growing near my tomato plants. However, the plant announced itself in a peculiar way before that. I  recently dreamed that I found purslane growing near my front deck. Recognizing its value, I felt thrilled by the discovery and in my dream, I told others about the health benefits of purslane.

A sense of deja vu came over me today, when I spied several plants growing in my raised vegetable bed, which happens to be near my front deck. I looked around to see if there was anyone to share this discovery with!

Health Benefits of Purslane title meme

What is Purslane?

Although considered a weed by many, purslane is a member of the succulent family. The herb goes by other names, including duckweed, fatweed and pursley. Originally from India, the healing herb is now found across the US and in Asia, Central Europe and the Mediterranean. It typically appears in spring and thrives throughout the summer.

Purslane has smooth, reddish stems and leaves that cluster at stem joints and ends. Tiny yellow flowers can appear at any time during the growing season although the blooms only last for a few hours. I observed that the leaves of the plant close together as the sun sets.

Another identifying characteristic of purslane is the juice from the leaves. Tear a leaf in two. If the juice is clear, the plant is a purslane. If the juice is white, it’s a different plant that is not to be consumed.

Often removed from gardens as a weed, purslane has many healing properties, making it a plant worthy of attention.

Health Benefits of Purslane in the Garden

Health Benefits

Purslane is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, C and E, magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, copper and phosphorus. It also offers disease fighting antioxidants and plant based omega-3 fatty acids.

Benefits include:

Source of Beta-Carotene

Purslane provides beta-carotene, a pigment that the body converts to vitamin A. This potent antioxidant helps to maintain healthy skin, neurological function and excellent eyesight. Beta-carotene prevents chronic disease by protecting the body from the damage of free radicals. It also supports respiratory and pulmonary function.

Lowers Inflammation

Purslane’s high vitamin C content helps to neutralize free radicals as well, reducing inflammation throughout the body and lowering the risk for chronic disease. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, improves heart health and promotes glowing skin. In addition, vitamin C lowers the risk of death from stroke or heart disease and reduces levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Supports Bone Health

Purslane provides a great vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids. These improve heart health, reduce inflammation, improve mental health and support bone health.

Fights Diabetes

Research suggests that consuming purslane helps to lower systolic blood pressure and improve glucose levels, making it a companion treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Treats Intestinal Disorders

Purslane’s organic compounds help to treat intestinal disorders, from diarrhea to intestinal bleeding to hemorrhoids.

Improves Circulation

The iron and copper in purslane helps to stimulate the production of red blood cells. These minerals boost circulation by delivering more oxygen to essential parts of the body. Iron and copper also increase healing within cells and organs and improves hair growth.

Health Benefits of Purslane Tea

How to Enjoy Purslane

The leaves and stems of the purslane plant are edible. Add raw leaves and stems to salads or steam them lightly with other greens. Purslane can be added to soups, stews, sauces and smoothies.

The leaves and stems also make an excellent tea. Steep a small bunch of purslane in very hot water for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw organic honey, if desired, or add a squeeze of lime juice.

Purslane is crunchy and slightly peppery, with a fresh, spinach like flavor. I created purslane tea this evening, to sip on as I wrote my blog post. The flavor is mild with a hint of that peppery taste.

Health Benefits of Purslane Herb

No Longer Just a Weed

I’m glad I dreamed about purslane. The dream created a heightened sense of awareness about the plant, so that when I discovered it today, I recognized it.

I no longer see dandelions, cleavers, plantain, clover and purslane as weeds. Instead, I honor them as healing assets in my garden. They are herbs that I did not plant, and yet their value is just as great.

The purslane plants remain in my vegetable garden, for me to appreciate and harvest. I look forward to enjoying occasional cups of freshly prepared purslane tea and adding the leaves to salads.

Health Benefits of Purslane

Check out my Amazon Storefront, for tea supplies, book suggestions and more!

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.

 

 

 

Health Benefits of Silica

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

Silica is an essential element that the body needs. This mineral rebuilds and maintains collagen, a fibrous tissue that literally holds our bodies together. Collagen is one of the key building blocks in skin, hair and nails as well.

Silica is also crucial for its bone building and bone protecting characteristics.

Health Benefits of Silica

We Need Silica as We Age

As children, our silica levels are higher. However, as we grow older, those levels drop. And as silica levels decline we develop signs of aging. In fact, many problems associated with growing older are a result of the body’s inability to maintain an adequate amount of collagen.

The symptoms typically associated with aging, due to low levels of silica and loss of collagen, include:

  • joint deterioration and disease
  • brittle bones
  • hardening of the arteries
  • dry skin
  • loose, wrinkled skin
  • poor digestion and digestive issues
  • weakening of teeth and gums
  • organ atrophy
  • memory loss

Health Benefits of Silica Cherries

Health Benefits of Silica

The health benefits of silica are a result of building up the mineral in the body.

Benefits include:

  • improves bone density and bone flexibility
  • helps to heal degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis, osteopenia and age-related bone loss
  • improves healing of broken bones, dislocated joints and pulled muscles
  • strengthens teeth, gums, joints, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue
  • builds up connective tissues of the brain, nerve cells and spinal cord
  • improves memory
  • stabilizes the release of insulin from the pancreas
  • heals and prevents brittle nails
  • revitalizes dry, dull hair and skin
  • encourages growth of thick and healthy hair
  • increases luster and shine of hair
  • repairs damaged skin, loose skin and wrinkles due to loss of collagen
  • increases the benefits of vitamin D, glucosamine and calcium
  • decreases the formation of plaque, which lowers the risks of heart attack and stroke
  • protects mucous membranes
  • prevents aluminum toxicity by bonding with aluminum and preventing its absorption in the digestive tract
  • strengthens stomach and digestive tract muscles and tissues

Health Benefits of Silica Carrots

Sources of Silica

The typical American diet does not provide adequate amounts of silica. There are, however, a number of foods that are naturally high in silica. To increase levels of silica in the body, add these foods as often as possible:

Fruits

Veggies

Herbs

Nuts

  • almonds
  • peanuts

Combine fruits in salads and smoothies. Chop the veggies and create a nutritious  salad or steam them together.

The easiest way to enjoy the herbs is to create teas. Nettle leaf is especially rich in silica. Purchase horsetail, nettle leaf, red raspberry leaf and rose hips in dried, loose leaf form to brew as tea. And take advantage of dandelions growing in the yard. Add the leaves and flowers to salads, brew a fresh tea or create dandelion infused water.

Health Benefits of Silica Dandelion

Silica as a Supplement

Additionally, silica can be purchased as a supplement. I’m always a proponent of getting what my body needs from food sources. However, I do take crucial supplements too, to ensure the highest level of health and vitality.

MegaHydrate is a powerful source of silica and antioxidants that also hydrates the body at a cellular level. The supplement neutralizes free radicals and promotes energy production and metabolic activity. Order it by clicking the photo below.

I have reached that point in my life where age-related issues can surface. However, I’ve already learned that I do not have to resign myself to poor health. I choose to take an active role in maintaining my health and preventing diseases.

Through wholesome plant based foods and high quality supplements, I am creating health and vitality. Silica is definitely an important mineral to include in my diet.


 

Click on photo above to order MegaHydrate

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.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends

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

As a follow up to the post about MSG sensitivity, today’s post offers 10 DIY seasoning blends you can make at home.

There are advantages to creating your own blends. If herbs and spices are bought in bulk, making your own seasoning is cheaper. The flavor of DIY seasoning blends is usually more robust. However, the primary reason for making your own blends is the most crucial…you know exactly what’s in your seasonings. Blending your own makes it possible to eliminate unnecessary…and unhealthy…additives such as MSG, extra sodium, sugar, chemicals, fillers and preservatives.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends

10 DIY Seasoning Blends

Herbal Blend

  • 4 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 4 tablespoons dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt (optional)

Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container. Sprinkle on roasted veggies and potato wedges, or add 1 tablespoon of seasoning to rice and lentil dishes.

This is one of my favorite seasoning blends. I love it with oven roasted potatoes.

Simple Seasoning Salt

  • 4 tablespoons onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Combine all ingredients in an air tight container. Use 3 – 4 teaspoons of seasoning for roasted veggies, potato and sweet potato wedges, soups, sauces and bean dishes.

The first blend I ever created, this one is great on oven roasted potato or sweet potato wedges.

Spicy Seasoning Blend

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container. Sprinkle on oven roasted veggies and potatoes or use 1 tablespoon of mix in soups and stir fries.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends Swirl

Curry Blend

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (less for lower heat level)
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container. Use 1 – 3 teaspoons in recipes such as curried lentils, bean dishes, rice dishes, stir fries and roasted veggies.

Chili Seasoning

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container. Use 2 – 3 teaspoons for chili recipes. This is especially good for veggie or bean chilis.

Italian Seasoning

  • 4 teaspoons basil
  • 4 teaspoons oregano
  • 4 teaspoons rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons thyme

Combine all ingredients in an air tight container. Use 1 – 2 teaspoons, or to taste, in homemade spaghetti sauce, soups, veggies, oven roasted  potatoes, eggplant and other Italian recipes.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends Herbs

Ranch Dressing Mix

  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container. Season roasted veggies or potatoes with 1 – 2 teaspoons seasoning. To make ranch dressing, mix 1 tablespoon of mix with 1/2 cup of vegan sugar free mayo like Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise and 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk.

Bulk Herbs and Spices

Tips for DIY Seasoning Blends

For convenience and to save money, I purchase dried herbs and spices in bulk, at Natural Grocers. Packages of herbs and spices are often available at health food shops and health conscious grocery stores.

Large containers of herbs and spices can be purchased at warehouse style retailers as well, however check those labels. Even if they say NO MSG, they can contain additives such as modified food starch, preservatives, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, soy, gluten and artificial colors and/or flavors. We don’t need those either!

The bags of spices and herbs I purchase have one ingredient…the dried herb or spice.

Store blends in glass containers, mason jars with lids, or empty spice jars that you re-use. The DIY seasoning blends will keep for up to a year, if kept in a cool, dark place or in the fridge.

Enjoy Your DIY Seasoning Blends

There’s another advantage to making your own seasonings. You can customize the blends to suit your personal tastes. Love garlic powder? Add more. Don’t like oregano? Cut down the amount or leave it out. Love other herbs and spices? Play around with these recipes or create your own DIY seasoning blends. And have the peace of mind of knowing you are creating something healthy and additive free.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends

Purchase Dried Herbs 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

Do You Have an MSG Sensitivity?

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

Do you have an MSG sensitivity?

Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, is a food additive used in thousands of restaurants and food products. Its purpose is to boost the flavor of processed, canned and frozen foods.

MSG is derived from glutamic acid, a type of protein found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables. It is produced through a fermentation process that was first discovered in 1866. By 1909 a Japanese food company began commercially producing monosodium glutamate.

The use of MSG in foods and products is controversial, due to a wide range of symptoms that some people experience shortly after consuming the additive.

Since cleaning up my diet, I’ve noticed that I do have physical reactions to MSG. Perhaps you do too.

Do you have an MSG sensitivity title meme

What’s the Controversy with MSG?

Glutamate acid is an amino acid found in many foods. However, monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt derived from glutamic acid.

Natural glutamate is broken down naturally in the body. It is regulated so that excessive amounts are eliminated from the body to prevent toxicity. However MSG is isolated, and not attached to other amino acids. That means it is broken down quickly, rapidly raising levels of glutamate in the blood. Those excess levels of glutamate cause symptoms in people with an MSG sensitivity.

Anthony William, author of Medical Medium, states:

“MSG typically builds up in the brain, going deep into brain tissue. It can then cause inflammation and swelling, kill thousands of brain cells, disrupt electrical impulses, weaken neurotransmitters, burn out neurons, make you feel confused and anxious and even lead to mirco-strokes. It also weakens and injures the central nervous system.”

He goes on to say that MSG is especially harmful when dealing with an illness affecting the brain or central nervous system. Regardless, it is an additive to avoid.

Symptoms of an MSG Sensitivity

Here are common symptoms, experienced by those with a sensitivity to MSG:

  • muscle tightness
  • numbness and tingling
  • headaches including migraines
  • pain in the back of the neck
  • flushing
  • weight gain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • trembling and weakness
  • free radical formation and oxidation
  • heart palpitations
  • increased blood pressure
  • worsening of asthma symptoms
  • higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke
  • dry mouth and excessive thirst
  • confusion and anxiety

MSG Sensitivity Fast Food

Where is MSG Found?

Although MSG is most often associated with meals in Chinese restaurants, it’s found in thousands of foods and even personal care products such as toothpaste.

MSG can lurk in:

  • canned soups and broths
  • fast food such as burgers and fried chicken
  • potato chips and seasoned tortilla chips
  • seasonings
  • convenience meals
  • cold cuts
  • processed meats and foods
  • instant noodles
  • ice tea mixes
  • salty snacks
  • sports drinks
  • soy sauce
  • salad dressings
  • crackers
  • bouillon
  • personal care products

How to Avoid MSG

The best way to avoid this additive, and MSG sensitivity, is to limit or entirely eliminate foods from the list above. Focus on more fresh fruits and veggies. And prepare meals at home as much as possible. When you prep and cook your own meals, you know exactly what’s in them.

Read food labels. Look for MSG or monosodium glutamate listed on the label.

Additionally, MSG goes by a variety of other names, making it more difficult to spot the additive on food labels. If you see these words …

  • autolyzed yeast
  • hydrolyzed protein
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • sodium caseinate
  • yeast nutrient or yeast extract
  • Torulo yeast
  • natural flavoring
  • glutamic acid

…it’s very likely that the product contains MSG.

MSG Sensitivity Doritos

Dealing With MSG Sensitivity

I can now tell, within a few hours, if I’ve eaten something that contains MSG. My mouth becomes very dry and I experience excessive thirst. I may also notice pain in my stomach and a headache.

When I ate a nutrient poor, albeit typical, American diet, MSG stayed in my system. No wonder I experienced daily headaches, constant dry mouth, heart palpitations and frequent stomachaches.

Cleaning up my diet has detoxified my body. I am very aware now if I eat something that is harmful to me. I’m grateful for the built-in sensors and indicators in my body that help me identify and avoid foods that are not the best for me!

I prepare most of my meals at home. And I read those food labels!

I’ll be sharing recipes in upcoming posts, such as DIY seasoning salt, that are MSG free alternatives.

Do you have an MSG sensitivity?

MSG Sensitivity Salts

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.

Broadleaf Plantain Benefits

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

The desire to learn about the healing properties of plants is closely connected to my own journey. As I heal, I appreciate more and more that plants play such a vital role in my health.

My garden is full of herbs that supply me with the makings for tea. However, I love foraging too, and discovering that plants I consider weeds are actually wild herbs. They are full of healing benefits as well.

The broadleaf plantain benefits are many. And yet, until last fall, I considered this common plant an annoying weed. I’ve been aware of plantain since childhood. Mowing over the broad leaves created a funny brrrr – up-up-up noise that reminded me of sound of playing cards attached to bicycle spokes.

My research of broadleaf plantain benefits inspires me to protect several plants in the garden area, keeping them for medicinal purposes.

Broadleaf Plantain Title Meme

History of the Broadleaf Plantain Plant

This herb is one of the most abundant and widely distributed medicinal plant in the world. In ancient times, broadleaf plantain, not to be confused with the banana like fruit also called plantain, treated digestive and female disorders along with snake and spider bites.

Native Americans used the herb for snake bites as well, earning the plant the name Snake Weed. They also applied the leaves to wounds.

Another name for broadleaf plantain is soldier’s herb because of its on-the-spot use as a first aid plant for injuries and illnesses.

Today broadleaf plantain is readily found in yards, along sidewalks and fencerows, and anywhere the soil has been disturbed. It thrives in high foot traffic areas as easily as it does nestled against a rocky outcropping. It tolerates poor soil conditions and doesn’t seem picky about the amount of sun that it receives.

Broadleaf Plantain for ForagingBroadleaf plantain growing in my yard.

Broadleaf Plantain Characteristics

The plant’s leaves may be eaten raw, in salads, or steamed with other greens. Small leaves are the most flavorful and tender, although the larger leaves may be used for teas and tinctures. Plantain possesses a slightly bitter taste. The larger the leaves, the more bitter the taste.

The plant sends up stalks that produce tiny flowers and then even tinier light brown seeds. The seeds and stalks are edible as well.

The herb is high in iron and calcium, and vitamins A, C and K.

Broadleaf plantain is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial, making it a great medicinal herb for “hot” conditions in the body such as fevers, infections, inflammation and irritations.

Broadleaf Plantain IdentificationThese hardy plants return after the lawn is mowed. The new leaves are perfect for salads and teas and first aid use. See the tiny white flowers opening on the stalks?

Broadleaf Plantain Benefits and Uses

External Use

For external use, plantain is the perfect first aid herb. Crush, or chew, one or two leaves and apply to the skin or brew a strong tea from the leaves and use in a spray bottle.

  • soothes the pain, itching and swelling of insect bites and stings by calming the histamine response
  • relieves irritation and discomfort of skin rashes, hives, eczema and psoriasis
  • takes the heat out of burns and sunburns
  • eases pain of cuts and scrapes and keeps them from getting infected
  • calms poison ivy and relieves itching and swelling
  • draws out embedded splinters
  • also has a drawing effect on boils and soothes pain and swelling

Because this plant is found everywhere, it can quickly be utilized when first aid is needed. Suffering from a sudden wasp sting? Crush or chew the leaves until broken down and then spit the mass of leaves onto the bite. The relief is immediate. Yes, it sounds gross to chew up leaves and spit them out. Remember, however, that you are creating a poultice that is very healing and soothing.

Internal Use

As powerful as the broadleaf plantain benefits are for skin irritations and wounds, the wild herb is equally suitable for a host of symptoms and disorders within the body.

  • lowers cholesterol
  • helps control diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels
  • reduces the pain, swelling and discomfort of hemorrhoids
  • heals irritable bowel syndrome
  • soothes the entire digestive tract and urinary tract
  • treats bladder and kidney infections
  • relieves indigestion, acid reflux and ulcers
  • as a mouthwash heals canker sores and gum irritation
  • acts as an expectorant
  • calms a dry cough as well
  • treats and helps to prevent seasonal allergies

 


Dried broadleaf plantain
Click on photo above to order dried broadleaf plantain.

Foraging for Broadleaf Plantain

As you mow the yard, watch for this amazing wild herb. Perhaps before the blades mow it down, you might collect a few of those healing leaves. Create a tea by steeping the leaves in very hot water for 15 minutes, for drinking. Steep the tea overnight to create a strong brew for topical use. Store in the refrigerator.

Or, in the manner of our wise and resourceful ancestors, chew up a leaf to apply to a bite, sting or scrape for soothing, cooling relief. The next time I slice into my hands and fingers as I’m pulling weeds in the garden, I’ll pluck a couple of leaves to make an on-the-spot poultice.

That simple act makes me feel like a healer.

Broadleaf Plantain

Visit my Amazon Storefront for a variety of tea supplies and dried teas.

Cindy’s Amazon Storefront

 

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.

 

 

6 Bedtime Teas

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

When I talk to people about their health, insomnia comes up frequently. Defined as sleeplessness, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

In the US, three million people a year experience sleeplessness. Causes include poor sleep habits, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, certain medications or chronic pain and illness.

Most sufferers rely on over the counter or prescription drugs to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. For years that was true for me. I took allergy meds every night for the drowsiness they induced. When I realized how dull they made my brain, I switched to melatonin.

Since embracing a plant based lifestyle, my ability to sleep has improved greatly. I no longer take anything at night, to help me sleep.

I’ll be sharing several posts around this difficult to heal condition. Today I start with herbal remedies…six bedtime teas.

6 Bedtime Teas

6 Bedtime Teas

Easing insomnia is a complex matter of changing habits, eliminating foods and situations that impede sleep and consuming the right foods to help calm and relax the mind and the body.

Instead of reaching for meds, try drinking one of these herbal bedtime teas about an hour before turning in.

Chamomile

Long used as a healing herb for inflammation, chamomile also reduces anxiety and soothes the body into sleep. The antioxidant apigenin binds to receptors in the brain, lowering anxiety and initiating drowsiness.

Regularly drinking chamomile tea helps people to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, improving the overall quality of their rest.

Steep two teaspoons of fresh or dried chamomile in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw organic honey, if desired.

6 Bedtime Teas

Passionflower

Passionflower tea is made from the dried leaves, stems and flowers of the plant. Traditionally, passionflower decreases anxiety and improves the quality of sleep.

In a recent study, those who drank passionflower daily for a week reported better sleep quality, compared to those who did not drink the tea. Another study showed that passionflower, when combined with valerian root and hops, is as effective as the prescription drug Ambien in improving insomnia.

Steep two teaspoons of dried passionflower in one cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw organic honey, if desired.

Lavender

This aromatic herb helps calm the body and mind through its healing properties and its scent. For centuries lavender has helped people to sleep better, especially those with anxiety disorders or chronic insomnia.

Drinking the tea and inhaling the soothing fragrance from the hot drink lowers heart rate and calms nerves. Those who drink lavender tea frequently find that their quality of sleep improves. Plus, they awaken with more energy and less fatigue.

Steep two to three teaspoons of fresh or dried lavender blooms in one cup of very hot water for 15 minutes.

6 Bedtime Teas

Lemon Balm

One of my go to herbs, lemon balm is a member of the mint family. It has many healing properties. As one of the bedtime teas, lemon balm calms inflammation, relaxes tense muscles, reduces stress and improves sleep by initiating a sedative effect.

With its citrusy scent, lemon balm offers aromatherapy benefits as well. And it is extremely easy to grow your own plants.

Steep this mildly flavored tea by combining two teaspoons of fresh or dried leaves with one cup of very hot water. Sweeten with raw organic honey, if desired.

Peppermint

Another member of the mint family, peppermint contains anti-inflammatory properties that relax tense muscles and reduce stress. In fact, peppermint’s ability to work as a muscle relaxant induces feelings of calm and peace, making it an ideal tea to drink before bedtime.

Peppermint also relieves nausea, an upset stomach, and gas and bloating, soothing the digestive system so that sleep can occur.

Steep two to three teaspoons of fresh or dried peppermint leaves in a cup of very hot water for 15 minutes. As a bonus, peppermint is very easy to grow in the garden or in containers.

6 Bedtime Teas

Ginger

For a few people, ginger acts as a stimulant. However, if digestive problems such as an upset stomach or nausea are keeping you awake, ginger is an effective sleep aid. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties calm achy muscles and joints, soothing pain so that the body can relax into sleep.

Ginger also relieves tension and lowers stress.

Steep a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Or combine a teaspoon of dried ginger with a teaspoon of dried turmeric and add a 12 to 16 ounces of warm almond/coconut milk to create this wonderfully healing nighttime drink.

Bedtime Teas for a Better Night’s Sleep

Consistently drinking one of these bedtime teas signals the body that it is time to prepare for sleep. The healing properties of the herbal teas soothe the body in myriad ways while lowering anxiety and stress.

Choose one tea and try it for a week or enjoy a different tea every evening. Herbs can be combined too, to create fresh, delicious blends that are just as effective.

In the coming weeks, watch for posts with more tips for eliminating insomnia from your life.

6 Bedtime Teas

Click links below, to order dried herbs for bedtime teas.

 


 

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

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

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

It’s known by many names, this easy to make dish. Some call it beefy macaroni or macaroni dish. Others call it hash or just stew. My mom calls it one pot meal. I call it goulash. My kids grew up eating it.

The actual name of this tasty meal is Hungarian goulash. Originating in Hungary, goulash is a meat and vegetable stew, seasoned with paprika. Although it is now eaten around the world, it is one of Hungary’s national dishes and symbolic of that country.

Traditionally, goulash is prepared with tender chunks of beef or for a quicker version, ground beef. I haven’t eaten goulash since shifting to a plant based lifestyle. However, with leftover brown rice macaroni in the fridge, this evening presented the perfect opportunity to cook up a pot of vegan and gluten free goulash.

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

I not only avoid meat, dairy and eggs, I also don’t eat foods with gluten in them. Pasta doesn’t have to be off the menu however. Gluten free pastas are readily available. Look for them in the gluten free section of regular supermarkets and health conscious food stores as well. My favorite product is a brown rice pasta available as macaroni, spaghetti and other pasta favorites. It cooks just like regular pasta and looks and tastes the same. It just doesn’t have the gluten in it.

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

This tasty goulash recipe has all the flavor without the meat and wheat pasta.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash
Author: journeywithhealthyme
Cost: $2/person

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (Optional) May water saute instead.
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can red beans
  • 2 cups gluten free macaroni, cooked
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Add one cup dried gluten free macaroni to pan of boiling water. Allow to cook while prepping veggies. Need two cups cooked macaroni.
  • Heat coconut oil over medium high heat in large skillet. Or add small amount of water to water saute. Add onions, garlic and green bell pepper, cooking and stirring until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes. Heat through. Stir in red beans, paprika, sea salt and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring, until beans are heated through.
  • Drain gluten free macaroni and add to bean and tomato mixture. Mix well and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Serves 4.

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

The Taste Test

So, how is goulash, without the beef?

I didn’t miss the meat at all. The vegan and gluten free goulash was full of the robust flavor of veggies and pasta in a rich tomato sauce. The paprika gave a hint of spiciness without overpowering the vegetables. I loved it.

The beauty of this recipe is its versatility. A pinch of cayenne pepper ups the heat level. Or lean toward Italian spices like oregano and basil. Thyme and rosemary bring their own unique flavors to the mix.

On a whim, I added a can of red beans to my goulash, as a protein source. Mushrooms make a flavorful addition as well, or add carrots. I like using what I have on hand, which was, after all, the inspiration for creating goulash tonight. Leftover pasta should never go to waste!

This satisfying and delicious vegan and gluten free goulash goes into my menu rotation. I’ll enjoy playing around with the ingredients!

Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

You might like these vegan recipes too:

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Find gluten free pasta by clicking on photos below:



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

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

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

I’ve grown catmint in my garden for years. This herb, which is closely related to catnip, is considered more ornamental for garden use. Catmint blooms with purplish blue flowers in late spring and summer and thrives in full sun.

Both varieties are members of the mint family and both are attractive to cats. In fact, that’s why I keep this easy to care for perennial in my garden. My three cats love to spend time roaming around the garden and they check out this herb frequently. I’ve seen them rub against the plant and nibble on the leaves.

I’m experimenting with using catmint for a variety of purposes, for the cats. As I worked with the plant, I wondered if its distinctively scented leaves possessed health benefits for people. Of course it does!

Late this afternoon, I experienced my first cup of catmint tea.

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

The active ingredient in catmint (and catnip) is nepetalactone. It is thought to contribute to the following benefits in humans:

Stress Reliever

Catmint has a calming effect on the entire body, relieving stress and quieting the body and the mind. This makes the herb beneficial for reducing anxieties and easing restlessness and insomnia. While calming anxieties, catmint strengthens the immune system which helps the body become less reactive to stress.

Digestive Aid

The plant’s calming effect soothes the stomach as well, relieving nausea, diarrhea, cramping, excess gas and bloating. Because catmint has antispasmodic properties it can even ease tightness in the gastrointestinal tract, eliminating abdominal discomfort.

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

Respiratory Issues

Catmint’s active ingredient also contains mucilage properties, making is helpful for suppressing coughs. It also relieves congestion. And it speeds up the healing of colds, flus and fevers.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, catmint is effective in healing arthritis, gout, sprained muscles, achy joints and even hemorrhoids. The herb soothes the pain and swelling associated with rashes, hives and bug bites.

Insect Repellent

Essential oil of catmint can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the skin as an insect repellent. The oil also soothes skin irritations and improves the healing process. Applied to the temples, catmint essential oil helps to treat headaches and migraines.

**Do not use this herb in any form, if you are pregnant. Check with a doctor before using if you suffer from liver or kidney dysfunctions.

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

Preparing Catmint Tea

To brew a cup of catmint tea, add several short sprigs of fresh catmint, or two teaspoons of dried herb to a cup and pour in hot water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes at least. Sweeten with raw organic honey if desired.

Catmint is also available in capsule form, tinctures, essential oils and salves.

I snipped several fresh sprigs from my catmint plant in the herb garden to create my tea.

This plant has a very pleasant, distinctive scent. I can’t quite pin it down, however the scent stirs a memory of a similar aroma. So I was looking forward to seeing how it tasted.

I was not disappointed! The taste is subtly minty with a hint of spiciness. I loved it, actually. In fact, this herbal tea now ranks in my top five favorites, for flavor!

How amazing, that an herb my cats adore has so many health benefits. Catmint tea goes into my afternoon tea rotation. I think I adore it too!

Health Benefits of Catmint Tea

Purchase dried catmint to make your own healing tea, by clicking on photo below.


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