3 Years Plant Based

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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

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6 Bedtime Teas

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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

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Vegan and Gluten Free Goulash

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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:



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Beyond Meat Brats

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Are you familiar with Beyond Meat, the company creating a stir in the food industry? Their plant based hamburgers and sausage brats are showing up in grocery stores and restaurants.

With all the media attention, I felt curious about the claims that these products are amazing. Let me add that after three years of embracing a plant based lifestyle, I don’t crave meat at all. Greg, who has been plant based almost as long as I have, occasionally does. Or at least, a sizzling burger or brat on a commercial looks good to him.

We decided to taste test the Beyond Meat Brats, for a Try This Tuesday experience.

Beyond Meat Brats

The Beyond Meat Company

This company, founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown, began with the question, “Why do you need an animal to create meat?” Brown wondered if meat could be created directly from plants. It turns out, yes it can.

Their Mission Statement includes the belief that there is a better way to feed the planet, that’s beneficial to people, animals and the earth. Producing savory alternatives to animal based products solves the growing issues attributed to livestock production: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare.

Beyond Meat uses the building blocks for meat…protein, fat, trace minerals and water…to create plant based substitutes without sacrificing taste or texture. Currently the company offers plant based hamburger patties, crumbles (resembles ground beef) and two varieties of sausage brats. Their products are available in grocery stores and health conscious stores such as Natural Grocers. Look for Beyond Meat products in the meat section.

Beyond Meat BratsGraphic from Beyond Meat website.

Beyond Meat Brats

I picked up the Beyond Meat Brats at my local Natural Grocers. I carefully read the label before purchasing.

Beyond Meat Brats contain 16 grams of protein, made from peas, fava beans and rice, per serving. Other ingredients include apple fiber, coconut and sunflower oils and fruit and vegetable juices. The casing around the brats is plant based as well. It’s made from algae. Don’t worry. You can’t taste it.

What they do NOT contain is impressive. There are no GMOs, soy, or gluten in these brats and also no hormones, antibiotics, nitrites or nitrates.

The brats come in the original flavor and a spicier Italian version.

The promise is that Beyond Meat Brats look, sizzle and satisfy, like a pork brat.

I was about to find out.

Beyond Meat Brats

Beyond Meat Brats with Green Peppers and Onions

Since I had green peppers, onions and garlic on hand, I created a simple dinner using those ingredients plus brown rice and the Beyond Meat Brats.

Brats with Green Peppers and Onions

  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, mined
  • 1 package Beyond Meat regular brats, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked

Saute pepper, onion and garlic in a water or a very small amount of coconut oil. I did this while the brown rice cooked in the pressure pot.

As onions turn translucent, about three minutes, add sliced brats. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until brats are browned, about five more minutes.

Spoon over brown rice and serve. Makes 2 – 3 servings.

The brats did sizzle. They smelled just like pork or beef brats, as they cooked. And they browned up nicely, holding their shape and texture.

How would they taste?

Beyond Meat Brats

The Taste Test

My simple dinner looked and smelled wonderful. Would the taste hold up to the hype?

Yes. Yes it did.

The Beyond Meat Brats tasted wonderfully like regular brats, with just the right amount of seasoning. The texture was as good as the taste. Combined with the green peppers, onions and garlic, the brats delivered and dinner met all my expectations for flavor and texture.

Greg enjoyed this special treat very much.

And a special treat, savored occasionally, it will be.

Why?

I like the way I eat. And more importantly, I like the way I feel. The veggies and fruits, legumes and nuts, seeds and limited grains that I enjoy are very, VERY good for me, and I truly don’t miss meats, eggs, sugar and dairy products. I don’t ever intend to go back to my old way of eating and my old way of feeling.

Plus there’s another reason. The Beyond Meat Brats contain 43% less fat than their animal counterparts. However, they are still a bit high in fat for me to consume them on a regular basis.

I’m glad for the Beyond Meat Brats experience. The company is great, with a philosophy that I can agree with. Their future is bright, I believe. However, these healthier brats might make it onto the menu once a month or so. Like the occasional healthy dessert, these will be a special treat rather than a regular dinner item.

Have you tried Beyond Meat products yet? Let me know what you thought!

Beyond Meat Brats

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Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

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I enjoyed a first today. In the spirit of foraging, I gathered a wild edible yesterday from my backyard and allowed it to steep overnight in water. This afternoon, for tea time, I sipped on a refreshing cleavers cold water infusion.

I’ve read about the medicinal herb cleavers, that many consider a weed. Oddly enough, I even dreamed once about gathering the plant. It wasn’t until I studied foraging for wild edibles last fall that I realized I pull this “weed” out of my garden every spring, by the handfuls. In fact, I’ve been familiar with cleavers since my childhood. I’ll bet you know it too!

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

What is Cleavers?

Cleavers originated in Europe, covering much of the extended continent, from England to Siberia. Today it flourishes around the world, including Canada and much of the United States.

And when I say flourish, I mean that it grows everywhere, appearing in early spring. Look for it growing along rivers, sidewalks, fences and tree stumps or in great clumps in meadows and fields. Cleavers thrives especially well in cultivated gardens, I’ve discovered.

While it has a fancy Latin name, Galium aparine, this prolific plant is more commonly known as cleavers. That’s not what I called it though, as a child. I  called this plant “sticktights”. It’s also known by a variety of descriptive names such as grip grass, stickyweed, catchweed, velco plant, everlasting friendship and sticky willies.

The main identifying characteristic of cleavers are the fine sticky hairs that cover the plant. These sticky hairs enable the plant to cling to clothes or fur that it comes in contact with. That’s a pretty cool way to propagate! After the plant flowers it produces tiny sticky seeds as well, that create a nuisance for dogs or cats that brush against them. I used to pick these sticktights out of my pets’ fur after a romp through nearby fields.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Identifying Cleavers

Cleavers is a wild edible that is easy to identify. The bright green plant puts out long straggly stems with spaced out whorls of six to eight leaves. Cleavers does flower, producing tiny white blooms. And the miniscule seeds are covered with itty bitty soft barbs. The best way to test the plant, to make sure it is cleavers, is to pluck a stem with leaves and press it against your shirt. If it sticks, it’s cleavers!

Cleavers Cold Water InfusionCleavers growing around a stump in my backyard.

Health Benefits of Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Used medicinally for centuries, cleavers offers many health benefits to those wise enough to recognize its gifts. The plant has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties.

Cleanses the lymphatic system

Cleavers helps to reduce water weight and edema by cleansing and stimulating the lymphatic system. This reduces swelling in glands, tissues and cysts. Cleavers is naturally diuretic making it an excellent tonic for the kidneys and urinary tract. Its cleansing and flushing effect is good for the whole body as it detoxifies and purifies the blood.

Has cooling properties

This herb reduces fevers and helps to prevent heat strokes during hot summer months. Its cooling properties calm inflammation, within the body and on the skin. Cleavers even takes the sting out of sunburns.

Heals wounds and skin irritations

Fresh cleavers leaves provide relief from cuts, wounds, rashes and bug bites. Lightly crush the leaves and apply to soothe skin redness, swelling and irritation.

Cleavers’ antiseptic properties help to treat the skin conditions eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Use tinctures or teas to begin treatment from within the body, while using a cleavers wash to soothe the skin.

Improves liver function

By stimulating the liver, cleavers improves digestion and the elimination of toxins from the body. It is also effective in treating ulcers, bladder inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Creating Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

Fresh cleavers leaves are delicious added to salads or included in a steamed greens meal. The herb is available for purchase as a tincture and a dried tea.

The easiest way to enjoy the health benefits of cleavers is to gather it in your yard or another place free from herbicides and chemicals.

Cleavers tea can be served as a hot drink or as a cold water infusion. My studies suggested that the cleavers cold water infusion provided slightly more benefits that a hot tea. I loved the idea of making a something different from my typical hot herbal tea.

I gathered cleavers from my backyard. Truthfully, I almost waited too long to try this herb. I pulled up cleavers plants in early spring, clearing them from my garden. It was difficult to find the herb when I wanted it. Finally yesterday I located cleavers growing near the wood pile for the fire pit.

To create a cleavers cold water infusion, chop fresh cleavers plants and drop them into a tall mason jar. Cover with filtered water, screw on the lid, and allow water to steep in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, strain and serve.

Cleavers Cold Water InfusionCleavers cold water infusion, chilling in the fridge.

A Different Kind of Afternoon Tea

I sampled my cleavers water this afternoon, in place of hot herbal tea.

How did it taste?

I expected a slight bitterness but there wasn’t any. At least, the water did not taste bitter to me. However, I am very accustomed to herbal teas, without added honey for sweetener. The cleavers cold water infusion had a mild green taste, but not like grass. The water was refreshing and satisfying, more like cucumber infused water or one made with aromatic herbs.

Cleavers infused water gets a thumbs up from me. I have enough water left over to enjoy a cup tomorrow. And a few more plants in the backyard, that escaped my earlier weed pulling frenzies. Next spring, I’ll leave more cleavers to grow in my garden. I recognize and appreciate their incredible value now.

Cleavers Cold Water Infusion

If you are feeling adventurous, try out these other wild edible teas:

 

Order cleavers tincture or cleavers dried tea below:

 

 


 

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Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

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Everyone knows the importance of drinking enough water. And yet, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. By definition, dehydration occurs when more fluids are leaving the body, through sweating, breathing, urinating, defecating and crying, than coming in.

It seems simple enough to prevent dehydration. Just drink enough water. However, for many people, the thought of chugging glass after glass of water throughout the day is daunting. In addition, other drinks that we might reach for instead of water fail to satisfy thirst.  And they actually contribute to ongoing dehydration.

There are signs of dehydration, that indicate the body isn’t getting enough water. And fortunately, there are many ways to increase water intake, including consuming foods that hydrate.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

Signs of Dehydration

The following signs of dehydration are symptoms that indicate the body is not receiving enough water and/or is already chronically dehydrated:

  • constipation
  • dark urine
  • headaches
  • lightheadedness and dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • muscle cramps
  • rapid heartbeat
  • extreme thirst
  • less frequent urination
  • no tears
  • unsatisfied hunger
  • fatigue
  • low blood pressure
  • skin disorders
  • brain fog
  • irritability
  • kidney stones

These common symptoms are frequently attributed to other causes. We learn to shrug and put up with these signs of dehydration, missing what the body is trying to communicate. Severe dehydration can result in serious health issues, including organ failure.

Thankfully, rehydrating and staying that way is possible. The process takes consistency and awareness.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

Tips to Hydrate

There is varying information about how much water we need. However, a good guide is 72 ounces for adult women and 104 ounces for adult men. This is a general guideline. Exercising, working outdoors or warm temperatures may up the requirement for liquids.

The body responds quickly to consistent hydration with a lessening of symptoms.

To ensure adequate hydration, employ the following tips:

  • carry water at all times, in a metal or glass container, and refill throughout the day
  • drink at least one glass of water with every meal
  • increase water amount when exercising or outdoors in hot weather
  • juice fruits and veggies
  • start the day with a lemon or lime water, followed by a glass of freshly prepared celery juice for amazing health benefits (Want to know even more about this miraculous drink? Visit www.celeryjuice.com and pick up Anthony’s new book about celery juice HERE.)
  • include two or more cups of herbal teas during the day
  • keep a pitcher of infused water in the fridge, adding herbs, veggies or fruit for flavor
  • eat your water, with high water content foods

Juices are a great way to increase water consumption IF you make them at home or buy drinks that are organic and without added sugar. If warm weather discourages hot herbal teas, brew tea as usual and then chill or serve over ice.One of my favorite summer time drinks is Hibiscus Lemonade.

Have fun with infused waters. Add any combination of herbs, fruits and veggies. Try mint leaves with lime juice or sliced cucumbers and strawberries. You are more likely to drink infused water if it’s prepared and chilling in the fridge.

When dehydrated, avoid alcohol, black tea, soda, coffee and other caffeinated drinks. They don’t quench thirst. They actually rid the body of water, furthering dehydration.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

Foods that Hydrate

If the thought of drinking lots of water makes you feel bleh, add foods throughout the day that contribute to water intake. These foods not only restore balance to the body, they prevent future dehydration.

  • strawberries – 92% water
  • watermelon – 92% water
  • pineapple – 87% water
  • tomatoes – 94% water
  • radishes – 95% water
  • carrots – 90% water
  • zucchini – 95% water
  • cucumbers – 90% water
  • cantaloupe – 90% water
  • grapefruit – 88% water
  • kiwi – 85% water
  • peaches – 89% water
  • oranges – 88% water
  • lettuce – 96% water
  • celery – 95% water
  • bell peppers – 92% water
  • cauliflower and broccoli – 92% water
  • cabbage – 92% water
  • eggplant – 89% water

I’m not suggesting that drinking water be replaced with eating liquids! However, to give the body the crucial water that it requires, adding foods from this list helps to ease dehydration and keep the body adequately hydrated.

Challenge yourself, to see how many of the tips for hydrating you can work into a day. Create meals and snacks around the high water content foods. Although hydration is a serious matter, make a game of getting enough water throughout the day. Keep a water intake chart. Download an app. Involve the kids, who are just as chronically dehydrated as adults. Have family contests. Reward yourselves with fun mason jar glasses or colorful water bottles.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that HydrateCucumber, tomato, dill salad.

The Difference Hydration Makes

Chronic dehydration was my reality, for most of my life. I didn’t drink enough water. Instead, I sipped on diet sodas or iced teas. My body warned me, with symptoms such as dry mouth, headaches, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness and no tears.

I felt thirsty most of the time, which is a classic symptom of dehydration. As the saying goes, if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. And yet I hated to drink very much water. Why? Because I didn’t want to be trotting off to the bathroom frequently. I actually hear this reason for avoiding water often. And I get it. However, it is the way the body is meant to work. Drink enough water and the body flushes toxins and fats, organs stay healthy and the digestive system works smoothly and efficiently.

One of the sweet surprises, after switching to a plant based diet, was realizing I no longer felt thirsty all the time. For the first time in my life, I felt hydrated. My symptoms went away.

What a difference enough water makes. My body thanks me for my diligence with improved health and wellbeing. Your body will thank you too.

Feeling thirsty, after reading this post? Good! Go get a glass of life giving water.

Signs of Dehydration and Foods that Hydrate

 

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Steamed Apple Dessert

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Since completed the liver cleanse, as detailed in the book, Liver Rescue, one of my ongoing goals is to eat three apples a day. I’ve mostly enjoyed a sliced apple or two with afternoon tea and another one as an after dinner snack. Occasionally I combine apples with other fruits or veggies to create a freshly prepared blended juice.

This evening I came up with another way to meet my apple quota, using the pressure pot. Simple, nutritious and delicious, the steamed apple dessert was a perfect after dinner treat.

Steamed Apple Dessert

Steamed Apple Dessert

Steamed Apple Dessert
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Steamed Apple Dessert

Easy to prepared steamed apple dessert, sugar and gluten free.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Steamed Apple Dessert
Servings: 2
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 4 apples
  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp raisins optional
  • 2 tbsp walnuts optional

Instructions

  • Wash, core and slice apples, leaving the peeling on. Place sliced apples in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine organic maple syrup and cinnamon.
  • Pour maple syrup mixture over sliced apple, mixing to coat.
  • Add 1/2 water to bottom of pressure pot. Arrange apple slices on steamer rack.
  • Cover pressure pot and lock lid into place. Select steamer option. Steam for 5 minutes. Release steam manually.
  • Serve steamed apple slices with organic raisins and walnuts if desired.

Steamed Apple Dessert

Simple Goodness

The steamed apple dessert took less than 10 minutes to prepare. Warm and fragrant, the apples tasted like the filling in apple pie, but without the sugar.

I added a spoonful of organic raisins and a few walnuts. What a great after dinner treat. These steamed apples could top banana ice cream or gluten free oatmeal as well.

Apples, red skinned apples especially, provide powerful benefits. They play a crucial role in fighting inflammation of all kinds. Apples calm the systems of the body by reducing viral and bacterial loads that contribute to inflammation. In addition, the phytochemicals in apples feed the neurons of the brain and increase electrical activity. That makes them brain food! Apples also cleanse the liver and help to dissolve gallstones.

I am determined to do more than eat an apple a day, to keep the doctor away. If one is good for my health, three are even better. To that end, I’ll be enjoying steamed apple dessert frequently, as a lovely and tasty tribute to all the goodness in this amazing fruit.

Steamed Apple Dessert

You can purchase a pressure pot, also called an instant pot, by clicking on the photo below.

 

 

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Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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

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

Gluten Free Strawberry ShortcakeGluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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

Ingredients

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

Whipped Cream

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

Instructions

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

Whipped Cream

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

Notes

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

Gluten Free Stawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Delicious Dessert

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

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

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

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

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

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

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

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

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Eat More Fruits & Veggies

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

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

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

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

Try Veggie Noodles Instead of Pasta

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

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

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

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Drink Water & Unsweetened Herbal Tea Instead of Sugary Drinks

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

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

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

Hydrate First Thing in the Morning

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

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

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

I use a centrifugal juicer like this one.

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Keep Junk Food Out of the House

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

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

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

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

Walk in Nature

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

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

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

Improve Health

These simple ways to improve health bring their own rewards.

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

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

6 Simple Ways to Improve Health

Check out my Amazon Storefront for herbal teas, health books and kitchen appliances and tools that can assist your healing journey.

 

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 Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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I practice the refreshing tradition of afternoon tea. Typically, sweet treats, finger sandwiches and scones accompany hot cups of herbal tea. Embracing a plant based lifestyle necessitated a change in my customary tea time. No more sweets or finger sandwiches. Gluten free, dairy free scones serve as yummy treats occasionally. Or simple fresh fruits and veggies make a great mid afternoon snack.

I love, however, coming across healthy alternatives to replace the sweet treats. Author Anthony William offers a wide range of recipes, along with an abundance of life changing health info and tips. Recently he posted an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe that I’ve been excited to try.

I was not disappointed!

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This easy to prepare recipe features gluten free oat flour and rolled oats. Check the packages, to make sure the oats are not processed in a plant along with wheat flour. Oats are naturally gluten free but can become contaminated if wheat is processed in the same facility.

The recipe is gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar free.

I purchase oat flour, rolled oats, coconut sugar and organic raisins in bulk, finding that’s better, cost wise. Any health-minded grocery store carries such items in bulk.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This delicious treat is gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Anthony William

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder aluminum free
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup organic raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix together ground flax seeds and water and set aside for 15 minutes, creating a flax egg.
  • Combine oats, oat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt in a bow. Mix well.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together coconut or avocado oil, maple syrup, vanilla and flax egg. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until uniform dough forms. Add raisins.
  • Using spoon or cookie scoop, drop dough by spoonful onto parchment paper. Flatten into circles with a fork. Bake for 8 -10 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool. Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Mixing up this batch of cookies transported me back to my childhood. Standing beside my mom or grandmother, I’d help make cookies. One whiff of the fragrant cinnamon and I became that child again.

Of course, I sampled a bite of dough. Since it’s egg free, the dough can be eaten without concern. It tasted so good!

My kitchen filled with the scent of baking cookies as I cleaned up. Waiting for those cookies to cool required an exit from the room!

It was worth the wait. I settled into my favorite chair, with a cup of hot peppermint tea, and a small plate of vegan oatmeal raisin cookies.

The cookies are marvelous…soft, chewy, rich in flavor and not too sweet. They are, indeed, perfect oatmeal raisin cookies, and a wonderful addition to afternoon tea time. I keep all the ingredients on hand, making this a quick and easy recipe to prepare.

I look forward to making these delightfully healthy cookies a couple of times a month.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Other Afternoon Tea Time Treats

Looking for other tea time treats or healthy after dinner desserts? Try these:

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Gluten Free Wild Blueberry Scones

Wild Blueberry Banana Bread

 

Check out my Amazon Storefront to purchase Anthony’s books and to pre-order his new book, Medical Medium Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide.

 

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.