Incrediwear Pain Relief and Recovery

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Thank you to Incrediwear for sending product for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Throughout my life, I’ve had issues with my left knee. I messed up the knee cap at age 13 and it took years before the pain and numbness went away. I’ve twisted that knee and strained it, weakening the joint. And after a horrific car accident, 25 years ago, the sciatic nerves in both legs became inflamed, creating years of chronic pain. The left leg…and knee…suffered the most.

Incrediwear title meme

My Darling Left Leg

Over the years I babied my left leg, named her Darling, tried to ignore her, worked at strengthening her. Eventually I walked with a cane, due to the continuing deterioration in that leg. At last, thankfully, a plant based lifestyle eliminated the pain and inflammation.

However, I’m still careful with my left leg and knee. A fall, a stumble or a misstep results in tenderness and stiffness. Early last year, I fell carrying groceries into the house from the car, badly twisting my left knee. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it took eight months to fully heal from that fall.

When Incrediwear emailed me recently about trying one of their pain reducing products, I immediately opened the message. The subject line cinched it.

Pills are out – Wearable Anti-Inflammatories are in! Sleeves, wraps and braces shown to accelerate recovery for acute and chronic injuries up to 46%

I’m all for using natural products and methods for healing pain and inflammation. “Yes!” I responded to Incrediwear. “Please send me a knee sleeve.” The company graciously did so.

Incrediwear Knee Sleeve
Incrediwear Knee Sleeve

Move Incredibly with Incrediwear

Incrediwear products work by increasing blood flow to reduce inflammation and swelling. They also relieve pain and accelerate recovery. Rather than using compression, Incrediwear products incorporate semiconductor elements within the fabric that release negative ions when stimulated by body heat.

Those negative ions activate cellular vibrations that speed up blood flow. The increased circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which supports the body’s natural healing process.

The company sells sleeves and braces, socks and apparel. The clothing effectively reduces the risk of overuse injuries and relieves muscle fatigue. Incrediwear’s socks relieve foot pain and fatigue while wicking away moisture. The sleeves and braces reduce inflammation and swelling and relieve pain while restoring mobility and accelerating recovery.

Incrediwear products reduce symptoms associated with:

  • arthritis
  • tendonitis
  • sprains/strains
  • neuropathy
  • carpal tunnel
  • lymphedema
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • post operative healing
  • muscle fatigue
Incrediwear Wearing the Knee Sleeve
Darling left knee trying out the sleeve

My Experience with the Incrediwear Knee Sleeve

When the knee sleeve arrived, I examined it carefully. The material is soft and stretchy, ensuring a snug yet comfortable fit. My left knee felt great at that time. Within a few days of receiving the sleeve I slightly twisted that joint, providing the perfect opportunity to try out the product.

I slipped the sleeve over my left knee that night and went to bed. In a few minutes I noticed warmth around my knee, which felt incredibly good. Whenever I woke during the night, I cautiously tested my knee by bending it and straightening it out. The joint flexed without pain. The next morning my knee felt great…no pain, no swelling, no stiffness. I was impressed!

A week later, I experienced stiffness in the joint after a great deal of walking the day before. Would the sleeve ease my discomfort? This time I wore the knee sleeve throughout the day. I noticed the warmth around the joint again and a short time later, I completely forgot about the stiff knee. That’s a sign of relief! My attention was no longer drawn to my knee because it felt fine.

I’ve worn other sleeves and braces on my left leg and I can honestly say that the Incrediwear sleeve is the best that I’ve tried. I love that it relieves discomfort and promotes healing, without the need for pain meds.

Incrediwear Pain Relief

Sharing a Good Thing

When you find something that you appreciate and love, you share it. I’m doing that here, with my dear readers. Check out this awesome company online via this LINK. Or order Incrediwear products through the Amazon links below.

I gave away my Incrediwear knee sleeve. My son, who works for UPS, just completed an intense holiday season, making up to 200 deliveries a day. His left knee complained a bit about the long busy days. He’s now benefiting from the knee sleeve.

And I am ordering another one, for myself, for my Darling left knee. She deserves the opportunity to continuing healing.

Increadiwear Wearable Therapy

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Turmeric Green Tea

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Did you know that January is National Hot Tea Month? I didn’t either and I love drinking hot tea. It’s simple to celebrate during this month. Brew a cup of your favorite tea, find a cozy spot to relax and enjoy.

Since 2014, I’ve practiced the custom of afternoon tea time, favoring herbal teas. For this special month, I am choosing to experience several new to me teas or tea blends.

Leading off the celebration is this combination of two powerful healing foods, Turmeric Green Tea.

Turmeric Green Tea title meme

The Healing Benefits of Turmeric and Green Tea

These two superfoods are packed with healing benefits. Together they offer amazing health support throughout the body.

Turmeric

I’ve taken turmeric as a supplement since starting my plant based journey. I also create a non dairy turmeric milk that is a delicious way to end the day.

Turmeric is a rhizome perennial herb in the ginger family. It is native to India and southeast Asia. Turmeric is what gives curry its yellow color, and it has been used for thousands of years in India as a spice and for medicinal purposes.

There are incredible healing benefits in turmeric. This herb contains curcumin, a phytochemical with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric also contains natural steroidal compounds that calm down the body’s inflammatory response to pathogens, such as viruses.

This makes turmeric ideal for fighting inflammation anywhere in the body, from joints to the liver to nerves to the brain. The compounds in this herb increase blood flow to the parts of the body that need it the most, lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, inhibit tumors and cysts and help to prevent all types of cancer.

Turmeric aids in combating a host of conditions, including skin disorders, anxiety, colds and flu, sinus issues, chronic fatigue syndrome, Epstein Barr Virus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lymphoma, heart disease, Lyme disease, Parkinson’s, liver disorders, joint pain, headaches, leg cramps, body aches, blurry vision, brain fog, menopause symptoms and many other health problems.

Turmeric Green Tea Grated
Freshly grated turmeric for Turmeric Green Tea.

Green Tea

Green tea is full of antioxidants, including polyphenols and catechins. These compounds protect cells and molecules from free radicals that damage the body and cause diseases.

This soothing tea reduces inflammation throughout the body. Green tea protects the skin against harmful UV radiation and fights skin cancer by repairing DNA. It also protects the brain’s neurons and improves memory, making it helpful in preventing dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

In addition, green tea supports the immune system, prevents infections and aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism and eliminating fat from the body. This tea reduces the risk for diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and lowers bad cholesterol.

You can see why combining green tea with turmeric creates such a powerful health drink.

 

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Green Tea
Green Tea

Preparing Turmeric Green Tea

The tea is easy to prepare. I’d recommend using fresh turmeric root rather than dried or ground, for the best health benefits.

I purchased a piece of fresh turmeric root at my local Natural Grocers. Buy a larger section of turmeric root so that it is easier to peel and grate. I used a sharp paring knife to remove most of the outer skin, leaving a section to hang on to as I grated it. Turmeric leaves a bright yellow stain on fingers and clothing so handle carefully!

Grate about a tablespoon of turmeric and save the rest, storing in the refrigerator. Bring 2 cups of filtered water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the grated turmeric and two black peppercorns or a dash of ground black pepper. Black pepper contains a compound that inhibits the breakdown of turmeric in the liver and gut. This improves bioavailability, allowing higher levels of turmeric to remain in the body and increasing the effects.

Cover the pan and allow turmeric and black pepper to steep for 10 minutes.

Strain turmeric tea into a large mug or cup. Add an organic green tea bag, cover and steep for 5 more minutes. Add raw organic honey, if desired.

Turmeric Green Tea
Freshly brewed turmeric green tea.

Enjoying Turmeric Green Tea

The above recipe makes one large cup of turmeric green tea. Double the recipe to make a pot of tea. Save the grated turmeric in the saucepan. It can be used up to three times to create tea. Store any leftover tea in the refrigerator and reheat before drinking.

I brewed this healing drink for my afternoon tea. Previously I’ve only enjoyed turmeric in curries and golden milk, so I wondered if this tea would be overwhelming or too spicy. It’s not, at least, it’s not to me. I like the taste of turmeric and don’t use any kind of sweetener in my herbal teas. I drank the turmeric green tea straight up, without adding honey or coconut milk.

It is strongly flavored, but not overpowering. I enjoyed the drink and could imagine all those anti-inflammatories going to work throughout my body. In fact, I loved it so much I’ll have a second cup of turmeric green tea before bed. The turmeric root is inexpensive and easy to grate. My intention is to enjoy a cup of this healing tea once a day for the next week and note the effects.

I’ll keep you posted!

Turmeric Green Tea Cheers
Here’s to health!

Pick up these items, to create turmeric green tea:


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Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice

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The fresh pineapple I bought yesterday inspired this oh so simple recipe, Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice. I’d never bought and prepared a fresh pineapple before. The experience came about as a result of my 62 outrageous birthday activities. Check that post out here. It proved remarkably easy to cut up that pineapple.

I intended to use my delicious pineapple in a fruit salad today. However, a new idea arose. What about creating a simple pineapple fried rice, free from egg and soy? I liked that idea!

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice title meme

Cutting Up a Pineapple

I love pineapple. I’m one of those that used to request it on pizzas and mix it in with cottage cheese. Currently I add frozen pineapple chunks to smoothies most mornings. And for good reason. Pineapples reduce inflammation in joints and muscles and protect against constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. They prevent infections while wounds heal and improve oral and eye health. Pineapple boosts the immune system and helps to prevent arthritis, cancer and heart disease. And finally, this fruit reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

When I purchased a pineapple yesterday, I did so knowing I don’t own a corer. I do own a knife, and that was good enough. Fortunately, the tag on the pineapple offered four easy steps for preparing the fruit. Cut off the top of the pineapple. Divide it in two and then divide those halves again so that you have four sections. Slightly trim away the center and then slide the knife between the outer skin and the fruit. Cut down through each section of pineapple and slide the segments into a bowl. See the photo collage below. Easy peasy.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice Cutting the Fruit

Pineapple Fried Rice

I frequently prepare stir fried veggies, without a recipe. I adapted what I know to create this simple dish. It’s perfect for a quick evening meal. Use any veggies that you have on hand. Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice is also a great way to use leftover brown rice. Prepare brown rice with water, or use this veggie broth recipe.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice

This easy to prepare recipe is adaptable. Use whatever veggies you have on hand.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Fried Rice, Pineapple, Vegan
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Non stick skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks, fresh or canned
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp raw organic honey
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together liquid aminos, sesame oil, ginger, honey and red pepper flakes (if using). Set aside.
  • In a large non stick skillet, saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery in coconut oil until veggies are crisp tender. Add pineapple and cashews, stirring and cooking until heated through.
  • Add cooked rice and liquid mixture. Stir well, simmering for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice Saute

Adapt This Recipe

The Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice was so good! The recipe was the perfect use for my fresh pineapple. The beauty of this simple recipe is that it is so adaptable. Use whatever veggies you have on hand…peas, non GMO corn, fresh tomatoes, snow peas, broccoli. Saute the veggies first and then add the pineapple and cashews and the cooked rice. Leave out the red pepper flakes, for a no spice dish. Or add more if you like the heat!

I enjoyed the Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice. Grabbing a set of chopsticks, I savored this delicious meal. It goes into my meal rotation.

Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice with Chopsticks
Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice with chopsticks

 

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Aloo Matar Soup

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If you enjoy Indian food, Aloo Matar is a delicious meal, robust with potatoes, peas and tomatoes in a garam masala and curry sauce. However, have you ever tried Aloo Matar Soup?

Over on my other blog, Cindy Goes Beyond, I’m sharing 62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday…in January. Pop over there and see what the adventure is all about. The short version is, I wrote 62 fun and outrageous activities on slips of paper, folded them up and dropped them into a jar. Every day I draw a piece of paper, randomly, and do what is written there. It’s fun. It pushes me beyond my comfort zone. And I’m learning and growing from the experience.

Last week one of the activities I drew out was this: Create a New Recipe

One of the perks of a plant based lifestyle is that I cook at home most of the time. I’ve enjoyed learning new ways of cooking along with new ways of eating. As a first born perfectionist type, I heavily rely on recipes, so that the dish turns out right. The past couple of years, though, I’ve experimented with recipes more, followed my intuition while cooking and just had fun.

Creating a new recipe sounded fun…and it challenged me to rely on what I’ve learned and what I know. No peeking at recipes allowed.

Aloo Matar Soup title meme

Aloo Matar Soup

As the day progressed, I considered what recipe to create. Suddenly, into my head popped an idea…Aloo Matar Soup. The original easy to make recipe came to me by way of Anthony William. It’s a favorite of mine. I wondered how making Aloo Mater into a soup would be? I could use the pressure cooker and create dinner in minutes.

Here is the recipe I came up with:

Aloo Matar Soup
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Aloo Matar Soup

Wonderful soup featuring peas, potatoes and tomatoes in a curry flavored broth
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Aloo Matar Soup
Servings: 6 Servings

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cans peas, drained
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp raw organic honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 cups vegetable broth may substitute water
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Instructions

  • In uncovered pressure cooker, saute onions and garlic in coconut oil on high heat, 3 minutes or until softened.
  • Add potatoes, peas, tomatoes, honey, sea salt, garam masala, curry powder, ginger and vegetable broth.
  • Lock on lid and bring to pressure on "soup" setting. Cook for 15 minutes. Use quick release. Makes 6 servings.
  • Can make on stove top as well. Saute onions and garlic in large soup pot, in small amount of coconut oil. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.

Aloo Matar Soup Cooking

Enjoying Aloo Matar Soup

I enjoy soup and I can eat it every day. It’s especially nice to have a big container of soup ready to go in the fridge, for a quick and healthy meal. This wonderfully flavored Aloo Matar Soup is perfect! I love the blend of spices and the simplicity of the recipe.

It’s Aloo Matar, eaten with a spoon. That’s a win/win for me.

Aloo Matar Soup Bowl

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Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread

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Today is National Gingerbread House Day. This celebration recognizes a Christmas tradition for many, creating a house out of gingerbread. An Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, brought gingerbread to Europe around 992 AD. Gingerbread, cut into shapes, sold in Christmas markets and shops during the holidays.

It was the Brothers Grimm who introduced the gingerbread house though. In the classic and somewhat dark fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, the witch in the story lives in a house made of gingerbread. After the publication of Hansel and Gretel, inspired German bakers created and sold ornamental gingerbread houses. The holiday tradition came to America by way of German immigrants.

I love spicy, fragrant gingerbread. My grandson Dayan and I made gingerbread last Christmas for gifts, which prompted me to adapt a recipe. The result is a vegan and gluten free gingerbread that is delicious, with all the feels of the tradition version.

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread title meme

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread Recipe

Whether you make a house, a man, bars or cutout cookies with your gingerbread, this easy recipe supplies the perfect foundation for creating. The key ingredient in gingerbread is…ginger! This warm spice creates the subtle, distinctive flavor. Ginger also offers a host of health benefits. It relieves indigestion and nausea, contains anti-inflammatory properties, cuts the risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol levels.

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread

This delicious treat is vegan and gluten free.
Prep Time15 mins
Chill in refrigerator30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gingerbread, Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread
Servings: 12 servings
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil spread or 1 1/2 sticks plant based butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax + 3 T water. Set for 5 min)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups gluten free flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • In large bowl whisk together olive oil spread, coconut sugar and molasses. Stir in flax egg. Add salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda.

  • Using a wooden spoon add flour, half a cup at a time. If baking as bars, don’t allow dough to form into a ball. Chill mixture for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

  • Press dough into baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean and edges are slightly browned. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Makes 12 - 16 servings.

  • Or for cookies, add enough flour so that dough forms into a ball. Chill for 30 minutes. Then roll dough out, between two sheets of parchment paper, to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and bake 8 – 10 minutes. Cool completely. Makes approximately 30 cookies.

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread batter
Whisking together ingredients for Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread.
Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread ready to bake
Ready to bake.

Enjoying Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread

The whole house smells wonderful as gingerbread bakes! And the flavor is amazing. You can add icing to the bars or cookies or cut out shapes and assemble a house with icing and a variety of candies.

My favorite way to savor the deliciousness of fresh gingerbread is with a cup of hot peppermint tea. Truly, this is bliss.

Enjoy vegan and gluten free gingerbread during the holidays…and beyond. And if you make a gingerbread house, send me a photo. I’d love to see your creation.

Vegan and Gluten Free Gingerbread Baked
Fresh gingerbread, warm from the oven.

Check out these fun gingerbread house kits:

 

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Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods

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After embracing a plant based lifestyle, I heard a lot about alkaline foods vs acidic foods. I understood enough to know that one is better for health than the other. But why? My curiosity led me to investigate.

Do you wonder which foods contribute to creating an alkaline body…and which create acidity? Or perhaps you wonder…what difference does it make anyway?

Check out alkaline foods vs acidic foods and discover why they DO matter to health.

Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods title meme

Alkaline Foods

Alkaline and acidic refer to the pH level in the body. All systems, tissues and fluids range from 0 to 14 on the scale. A lower pH level is more acidic and a higher one is more alkaline. A slightly alkaline pH of 7.35 – 7.45 for the body is considered ideal for health.

Our kidneys help to regulate pH by maintaining electrolyte levels and either excreting or absorbing acidic and alkaline ions through urine. However, a diet high in acidic foods can have a negative impact on health while one higher in alkaline foods provides benefits.

And by benefits, I mean that eating enough alkaline foods helps to promote an optimal environment within the body for health. The kidneys work well. Weight is easier to maintain. An alkaline body lowers the risks for heart disease, strengthens bones, balances hormones and improves brain functions such as memory and cognitive abilities. There is also evidence that consuming more alkaline foods eases pain and inflammation in muscles and joints.

Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Berries
Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Berries

Foods that are Alkaline

Choose foods from this list of foods, adding them to the diet weekly. They help to neutralize the effects of acidic foods.

  • green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale, lettuce, celery, parsley, arugula and mustard greens
  • cauliflower and broccoli
  • sea vegetables, such as Atlantic dulse, nori and kelp, and sea salt
  • root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and beets
  • fruits such as kiwi, watermelon, berries, nectarines, apricots and apples
  • nuts such as almonds, cashews and chestnuts
  • onion, garlic and ginger
  • beans and legumes
  • citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes and oranges

Citrus fruits may come as a surprise, however they are actually one of the best alkaline foods. Citric acid has an alkalizing effect on the body, providing relief from acidity and heartburn.

Alkalizing lemons
Alkalizing lemons
Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Processed Meats
Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Processed lunch meats

Acidic Foods

A diet that is high in acidic foods creates an environment in the body that contributes to disease and feeds pathogens. Acid forming foods typically include animal proteins, wheat products and alcohol.

Too many acidic foods throw the body out of balance. The results are lower bone density, acid reflux and heartburn, kidney stones and disease, chronic pain in muscles and joints, headaches, back pain, muscle spasms and hormonal imbalance. An acidic body is at higher risk of heart disease and brain impairment.

Acidic coffee
Acidic coffee

Foods that are Acidic

The typical American diet is highly acidic. Limit these foods, to reduce acidity and improve health.

  • milk and dairy products such as cheese
  • meat
  • eggs
  • alcohol
  • caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda
  • artificial sweeteners
  • wheat products including breads and pastas
  • lunch meat
  • highly processed foods such as cereals, frozen dinners and store bought snacks
Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Greens
One of the best ways to get your greens…in a smoothie.

Tips to Help

One way to support a healthy alkaline body is to switch to a plant based diet. However, if you are not ready to do that, these tips can help.

  • substitute beans or legumes for meat two or more times a week
  • try eating only fruits and veggies for breakfast and lunch
  • combine fruits and greens into a nutrient packed…and alkaline…smoothie
  • eat fruit instead of highly processed store bought snacks
  • cook more at home, to avoid processed foods
  • reduce coffee and soda intake by switching to water or unsweetened herbal teas
  • try chicory tea in the morning instead of coffee
  • sweeten herbal teas with organic honey or maple syrup instead of artificial sweeteners
  • focus on whole foods rather than processed foods
  • use wild caught salmon in place of farmed fish

I can’t personally recommend bottled alkaline water. For one thing, I’m eliminating plastic use from my life. And I prefer eating foods that naturally balance the body, over drinking alkaline water. Will it hurt? No, not if you occasionally drink alkaline water. Again, grab a piece of fruit instead or enjoy a fresh chopped salad. Gain the health benefits that those foods provide, beyond contributing to an alkaline body.

In the battle of alkaline foods vs acidic foods, I’d love to see you on the side that promotes health, wellness and vitality.

Alkaline Foods Vs Acidic Foods Veggies
Fresh veggies

Pick up dried chicory below, by clicking on the photo.

 

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Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes

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Yesterday, December 4, was National Cookie Day. Purposefully situation during the holiday season, Cookie Day encourages people to bake and create treats to enjoy and to share.

To celebrate the day, I tried out two gluten free cookie recipes, thanks to my blogging associate Rebecca. She regularly posts gluten free, vegan and allergy free recipes on her site, Strength and Sunshine.

These easy to make cookies are perfect for snacking or sharing during the holidays.

Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes title meme

The Origins of Cookies

Did you know that the word cookie originates from the Dutch word koekie, meaning “little cake”? The treats themselves originated in Persia in the 7th century, shortly after the use of sugar became common in the area. From there cookies spread to Europe. Cookies were regularly consumed throughout Europe by the 14th century.

In the 17th century, cookies arrived in America. Early favorites included macaroons and gingerbread. Most English speaking countries, other than the United States, refer to cookies as biscuits. American biscuits are a different food entirely, and often covered in gravy!

During this joyful season, bake cookies with family and friends. Share some. And try these two gluten free cookie recipes.

Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes with Tea
Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes – shortbread and loaded.

Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes

These recipes use gluten free flour. You can blend your own, see this post for suggestions, or you can purchase gluten free flour that can be substituted for regular flour. For these two gluten free cookie recipes, I used gluten free flour that was a 1 for 1 brand, meaning 1 cup of gluten free flour equals 1 cup of regular flour.

I also used plant based butter and a flax egg, making these cookies vegan as well.

Rustic Shortbread

I love shortbread, partly because of its association with Scotland. These simple treats are a traditional Scottish biscuit made with sugar, flour and butter. I’ve been experimenting with gluten free shortbread since I switched to a plant based lifestyle and eliminated white, refined sugar from my diet. I occasionally eat something with a small amount of sugar in it, however for the most part, I avoid it and feel better for it.

I slightly adapted this recipe from Rebecca, using coconut sugar in the recipe instead of erythritol. As a result, my shortbread is rustic looking, due to the brown coconut sugar, but oh so delicious. This is the best recipe I have found, for gluten free, plant based shortbread. Check out Rebecca’s version HERE.

Rustic Shortbread

This rustic shortbread is the perfect accompaniment for a cup of hot tea.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Chill in refrigerator1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Scottish
Keyword: Gluten Free Cookie, Shortbread
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar may use erythritol or other granular sweetener
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, butter cut into chunks, coconut sugar and vanilla.
  • Mix and knead dough by hand, making sure butter is fully incorporated.
  • Chill dough for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
  • Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator and let warm for a few minutes.
  • Press dough into pan, to 1/2 inch thickness. Smooth top. With a sharp knife, score dough into bars and prick centers with a fork. I made 12 bars.
  • Bake in 325 degree oven for 35 minutes, until slightly golden.
  • Remove shortbread from oven and while still warm, fully slice along score lines. Lift cookies out by parchment paper and allow to cool completely. I found that the cookies held their shape better if I left them on the parchment to cool. Store in an airtight container.

 

Two Gluten Free Cookie Recipes Shortbread
Rustic Shortbread

Loaded Cookies

When I saw Rebecca’s recipe for these gluten free cookies, I knew Greg would love them. Use an egg substitute, such as a “flax egg”, nut milk and dairy free white chocolate chips to keep them plant based. Check out Rebecca’s original recipe HERE.

Loaded Gluten Free Cookies

These treats combine pretzels and white chocolate chips to make a scrumptious cookie.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free Cookie, Loaded Gluten Free Cookie
Servings: 9

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar erythitrol
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water) or other egg replacement
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter, softened slightly
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened non dairy milk such as almond coconut
  • 1 cup gluten free pretzels, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dairy free white chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and coconut or brown sugar.
  • Add flax egg. (let ground flax and water set for 5 minutes before using), vanilla, softened butter and milk. Mix well with hands.
  • Fold in crushed pretzels and white chocolate chips, mixing until combined well.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Divide cookie dough into 8 - 10 mounds and place on cookie sheet. I made 9 mounds.
  • Bake for 13 minutes, until cookies are slightly browned.
  • Remove from oven. Use a spatula to move cookies to a wire rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Celebrating Cookie Day

The two gluten free cookie recipes came together easily. I made the shortbread dough and while it chilled in the refrigerator, I made and baked the loaded cookies. As that batch of treats cooled, I popped the shortbread into the oven.

Both cookies are excellent! I’m grateful for Rebecca’s recipes. For those who are not concerned with consuming gluten, dairy products, eggs and sugar, it is simple to switch out the ingredients. However, I’d encourage you to try these two gluten free cookies recipes. They taste amazing, just as they are.

You can find gluten free flour, ground flax, coconut sugar or erythritol in health conscious grocery stores or even at most Walmart Stores. Or check out the Amazon links below.

And happy…and healthy…baking this holiday season!

Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Supplies

 



 

 

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Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle

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

Unbelievably, we’ve officially entered the holiday shopping season, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching. This year, why not encourage someone on their healing journey, or gift yourself with items that support a healthy lifestyle.

The poet Virgil wrote,

“The greatest wealth is health.”

I’ve come to appreciate the deep truth in those words. Who among your family or your circle of friends could most benefit from a change in health?

Check out these gift ideas for a healthy lifestyle. And simply click on the photos for more info or to order.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle title meme

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle – Kitchen

Juicer

A juicer starts the day off perfectly, with fresh celery juice or fresh apple juice. And it quickly turns vegetables and fruits into health boosting juices.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle - Juicer

Blender

I use one every day. For breakfast I create fruit smoothies. Sauces and banana nice dream blend in this helpful machine. And celery juice and other juices can even be prepared in a blender, if you don’t have a juicer. I love my Ninja Blender!

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle - Blender

Food Processor

This powerful kitchen appliance is great for creating your own almond milk, nut butters and gluten free flours. Or quickly chop up veggies for a colorful salad. I’ll be using mine in a few days to make fresh cranberry relish.

Food Processor

Spiralizer

This fun gadget creates mounds of fresh “noodles” from zucchini, cucumbers, carrots and other veggies. It’s a great way to use that garden produce in the summer!

Spiralizer

Electric Tea Kettle

I discovered the joys of using an electric tea kettle in Edinburgh, Scotland this year. Hot water is ready in a couple of minutes, for a pot or a cup of tea. I use mine every day.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle - Electric Tea Kettle

Herbal Teas

A favorite health booster for me…herbal teas. There are so many to choose from. Here are a few options.


Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle – Books

Cookbooks

I enjoy trying new, healthy recipes weekly. Try one of these to discover that healthy eating does not mean bland food.


Medical Medium Books

These are the books that completely changed my health…and my life. I can’t think of a better gift for someone who is sick and tired, of feeling sick and tired.

 


 

Medical Medium Celery Juice Book

 

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle – Fitness

Metal Water Bottle

I carry one everywhere, even on international trips. In my quest to stay hydrated and eliminate plastic use, metal water bottles help me do both.


Yoga Mat

I confess that I do yoga on my bed,  mostly, or standing next to my bed! Perhaps I need to gift myself with a mat.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle - Yoga Mat

Gym Bag

Great for carrying a change of clothes to the gym or toting gear to the park or for a weekend getaway.

Gym Bag

Hand Weights

Weights help with toning, flexibility, strengthening and building muscle.

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle

Gift Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle – Clothes

What would we do without leggings? I practically live in them, especially when I’m working at home, which is almost every day!


Get a Head Start on 2020

This isn’t a complete list of gift ideas for a healthy lifestyle, however, I hope it gets you started on the path of wellness.

For yourself, for a loved one, for a friend, give the gift of health this holiday season. And get a head start on 2020. May next year be the year that health becomes a priority!

Give the Gift of Health

Check out these posts, for additional health related gift ideas:

Good Idea Sparkling Mealtime Beverages

HempFusion

CBD Living Water

And this one for Gifts that Inspire an Enchanted Life

 

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.

DIY Creamy Cashew Butter

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

I grew up eating peanut butter sandwiches. And honestly, I still love the stuff. Oh, I don’t eat bread now, so no more sandwiches. However, one of my favorite healthy snacks is a dollop of organic peanut butter and a cut up apple. Paired with a cup of hot herbal tea, this snack is perfect once or twice a week.

I’ve also enjoyed almond butter and cashew butter. Those jars of nut butters can get pricey though. And it’s important to read the labels, to make sure the ingredients are nuts and sea salt and nothing more.

Recently I’ve wanted to try making my own nut butters. It turns out, the process couldn’t be easier. Check out my first attempt…DIY creamy cashew butter.

DIY Creamy Cashew Butter Title Meme

Advantages of Making DIY Cashew Butter

The primary advantage to making your own nut butter is knowing exactly what’s in it. I purchased raw, organic, non GMO cashews from Natural Grocers. Although I intended to create almond butter first, the cashews appealed to me! I left the store with a 16 ounce package of cashews.

The nut butter is easily customized with healthy additions such as honey, vanilla beans, cocoa or sea salt. Finally, making your own nut butter saves money, especially when nuts are bought in bulk. And you can make a small amount or a larger amount, depending on your needs.

DIY Creamy Cashew Butter Organic Nuts
Raw organic nuts for DIY Creamy Cashew Cream

Creating DIY Creamy Cashew Cream

Cashews have a creamy texture, making them perfect for creating nut butter. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. Cashews also provide antioxidant properties. Check out the five healthiest nuts in this post.

I felt like the soft texture of the cashews would easily transform into creamy nut butter. And I was right. Using the food processor creates heat, which helps to quickly break the nuts down into a smooth butter.

The process is so simple.

Step 1

Add two cups of cashews, or nuts of choice, to a food processor. That’s it. For DIY creamy cashew butter there is one ingredient…cashews. I chose raw, unsalted cashews, however experiment with salted and roasted and see which suits you best.

Process on high. The nuts immediately become coarsely chopped and then become a fine powder. Stop the food processor occasionally, to scrape down sides.

DIY Creamy Cashew Butter Step 1
Step 1 – Coarsely ground

Step 2

Continuing processing cashews. As they heat up the nuts release oils. The coarse pieces begin to stick together, forming a paste. Pause again to scrape down sides.

DIY Creamy Cashew Butter Step 2
Step 2 – Paste forms

Step 3

Let cashew paste continue to process, until a smooth butter forms. The entire process took about seven minutes for me, stopping twice to scrape down sides…and take photos. Almonds might take a little longer to process.

Stop processor and scrape cashew butter into a glass container. Seal and store in the refrigerator. DIY creamy cashew butter, or any other homemade nut butters, will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. I don’t think mine will last that long!

DIY Creamy Cashew Butter Step 3
Step 3 – Creamy butter

Enjoying My Healthy Snack

The DIY creamy cashew butter was so easy to make. I don’t know why I haven’t tried this before. Warm from the processor, I enjoyed a spoonful of cashew butter with a cut up gala apple. Perfection! I didn’t add honey, yet the taste was slightly sweet and the butter so creamy. Cashew butter is excellent with sliced apples or pears, on gluten free crackers or bread and used in baking.

I’m excited to make almond butter and perhaps something more exotic, like pistachio butter. I’ll let you know how that turns out!

Creamy Cashew Butter and Apples
Creamy Cashew Butter and Apple Slices

Use these links to purchase raw organic cashews and almonds.

This is the food processor I use. Click on photo for more info or to order.


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Foods That Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, some people find that their moods darken as well. It’s not uncommon, during fall and winter, to feel sluggish, however those winter blues can become a depression that lasts for months.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression that begins in fall and peaks mid winter. By spring, when longer days bring more sunshine, the symptoms ease.

Up to 20% of the population experience varying degrees of SAD. However, help is available…in the kitchen. Check out the following foods that ease seasonal affective disorder, naturally.

Foods That Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD

What Causes SAD?

Doctors believe that the long dark nights of winter disrupt brain chemicals, such as melatonin and serotonin, that affect mood. Days and days of overcast skies that limit sunlight contribute as well to feeling glum. So there appears to be a connection between lack of sunlight and seasonal affective disorder. Some experts also believe reduced sunlight lowers vitamin D levels in the body, which in turn can cause depression.

Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include weariness, anxiety, depression, craving carbohydrates, irritability, weight gain and avoidance of social situations.

Ten minutes of sunlight a day helps to ease SAD, by boosting vitamin D in the body. To improve symptoms even more, and for those days and days of gray skies, try adding the following foods to your diet.

Foods that Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder
Long winter nights are great for coziness. However they can disrupt chemicals in the brain.

Foods That Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder

Include these foods during fall and winter to combat SAD.

Mangoes 

Mangoes support emotional health, uplift mood, alleviate depression and ease seasonal affective disorder. They also promote a good night’s sleep. Eat mangoes on their own, or add to smoothies and fruit salads.

Atlantic Sea Vegetables 

These gifts from the sea remove heavy metals from the body. They are rich with nutrients that balance the body, ease stress and ground the emotions. Add dried Atlantic sea vegetables to salads and soups or blend them up in smoothies.

Oranges and Tangerines

Oranges and tangerines are called liquid sunshine! High in vitamin C, oranges and tangerines brighten mood when we are feeling sun deprived. Enjoy freshly prepared orange juice or add the citrus fruit to salads and hot ciders. Strive to eat a couple of oranges or tangerines a day, to receive all the goodness that they offer.

Foods That Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder
Oranges, pictured here in Spiced Hot Cider, are a great way to ease SAD.
Foods That Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder Bananas
Foods that ease seasonal affective disorder – bananas

Bananas

Bananas contain tryptophan, which calms the body. Their natural sugars and high potassium levels fuel the brain, while magnesium improves sleep and reduces anxiety. Add bananas to fruit smoothies, healthy breads and muffins, or eat them as a snack. For a special treat, blend frozen bananas into nice dream and top with berries.

Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens, high in folic acid, boost mood by creating serotonin. During the cold winter months, enjoy a big salad daily for lunch, with leafy greens as the foundation. Or add greens to smoothies and juices.

Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are all powerful anti-inflammatories that help to prevent the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. Lowering stress eases the symptoms of SAD. Berries are wonderful added to smoothies, salads and herbal teas or piled on top of gluten free oatmeal.

Foods That Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder Berries
Foods that ease seasonal affective disorder – berries
Foods that Ease SAD Turmeric
The spice turmeric is an effective way to ease SAD.

Turmeric

This powerful anti-inflammatory increases blood circulation and boosts the brain and mood. Use turmeric in curry recipes or add a spoonful to warm coconut milk, to create a soothing nighttime drink. Or take a daily supplement in capsule form.

Walnuts and Flaxseeds

High in Omega-3s, walnuts and flaxseeds provide essential nutrients that help to boost mood and lessen depression. Add flaxseeds to smoothies or baking recipes. Eat a small amount of walnuts daily or add to gluten free banana bread and salads.

Avoid This Food

In the list of foods that ease seasonal affective disorder, there is one food to avoid. Refined sugar negatively impacts the brain and slows it down. Limit sugar during the winter months, or avoid it entirely. Your body and your mood will benefit.

Frequently including the foods listed above, and ten minutes of sun bathing on bright sunny days, can greatly reduce or eliminate seasonal affective disorder. I know. I’m one who feels a bit blue when the sun disappears for days behind a mass of gray clouds. To feel my best, and avoid going into hibernation mode, I need sunlight and these natural mood boosters.

Are you SAD during winter? Talk to me about it, in the comments below.

Getting vitamin D
Soaking up the sunshine.

 


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