Healthiest Root Vegetables

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December is Root Vegetables AND Exotic Fruits Month. That’s quite a culinary combo! Creative writer that I am, I choose to separate the two so as to create more than one blog post.

I begin with root vegetables. After the fall harvest, winter is the perfect time to enjoy these hearty staple foods. They provide complex carbs and fiber and contain essential vitamins and minerals. Some also offer powerful antioxidants that slow aging and even protect against cancer.

Add these healthiest root vegetables to your diet, for the amazing benefits.

Healthiest Root Vegetables title meme

What Are Root Vegetables?

Root vegetables, also known as starch vegetables and tubers, are veggies that grow underground. They are defined as the enlarged edible root of the plant. Root vegetables long served as diet staples in South American and Asian diets. Sweet potatoes were an important food 5000 years ago. They nourished populations through times of scarcity.

Root vegetables are still considered  important crops that not only feed the body but ground it as well. Check out these healthiest root vegetables and select some to include with your meals this week.

Sweet Potatoes

These colorful root vegetables provide many nutrients and health benefits.

Sweet potatoes contain vitamins A and C, manganese and fiber. They are rich with the antioxidants beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid and anthocyanins that help protect against skin cancer.

These jewels of the root vegetable family improve immune function, balance blood sugar and promote healthy gut bacteria while starving out unproductive bacteria and mold. This double action helps the body create more vitamin B12. And, according to Anthony William, author of the Medical Medium books, sweet potatoes rid the body of excess estrogen that interferes with hormonal balance.

Enjoy sweet potatoes baked, boiled, roasted, juiced or raw as spiralized noodles.

Healthiest Root Vegetables sweet potatoes
Healthiest root vegetables – sweet potatoes

Onions

Onions rank high on the root vegetable list. So many recipes call for a chopped onion.

This basic veggie is high in fiber, vitamin C, zinc, manganese, iodine, selenium, sulfur compounds and antioxidants.

Onions help prevent bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal tract. They rid the body of radiation, viruses, DDT and other pesticides and heavy metals. And the sulfur in onions alleviates joint pain, repairs tendons and connective tissue and slows iron loss. Onions also repair lung damage and fight colds and flus that cause bronchitis.

Add onions to many recipes including stir fries, casseroles, soups, rice and pasta dishes, stuff them and bake them or serve raw in salads and veggie bowls.

Healthiest Root Vegetables onions
Healthiest root vegetables – onions

Garlic

Garlic is closely related to the onion and it’s another root vegetable that is used in many recipes and dishes.

This veggie provides important nutrients including vitamins B6 and C and manganese. Plus the compound allicin, released when garlic is crushed, has medicinal properties that help prevent diseases.

Garlic is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic. It kills off unproductive gut bacteria, fights colds, flus, strep throat, pneumonia causing bacteria and viral related cancers. It also pulls heavy metals from the body and boosts the immune system.

Add minced garlic to a variety of dishes, from stir fries to soups to pasta or add to roasted vegetables.

Healthiest Root Vegetables garlic
Healthiest root vegetables – garlic

Turnips

Cultivated for centuries, this root vegetable seems plain yet it possesses an impressive nutrient profile.

Turnips provide vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium.

Getting more vitamin C boosts immunity and reduces the symptoms of respiratory infections. Plus turnips lower the risk of stomach, breast, colorectal and lung cancers.

Use turnips in place of potatoes. They are excellent boiled and mashed, cubed and roasted or cut into fries. Or enjoy them with other root vegetables in a veggie bowl.

Healthiest Root Vegetables turnip
Healthiest root vegetables – turnip

Beets

Deeply colored beets are one of the most nutritious of root vegetables.

The veggie contains vitamins B6 and C, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron and manganese. They rank high in nitrates, beneficial plant compounds that help dilate blood vessels. This action lowers blood pressure and improves heart health. Beets also improve exercise performance and increase blood flow to the brain. Studies show that beets may even slow the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Try boiling, steaming, pickling, roasting or juicing this powerful root vegetable.

Healthiest Root Vegetables beets
Healthiest Root Vegetables – beets

Radishes

These tiny root veggies pack a lot of nutrition and health benefits.

Radishes provide vitamin C, sulfides and fiber.

This root vegetable supports the immune system. And the sulfur kills off parasites, cleanses arteries and veins, prevents heart disease and raises good cholesterol while lowering the bad. The skin of the radish fights virtually all types of cancer while also restoring the kidneys, liver, pancreas and spleen.

Add these crunchy veggies to salads and slaws. Eat them as a snack. Or try adding them to stir fries.

Healthiest Root Vegetables radishes
Healthiest Root Vegetables – radishes

Carrots

This well known veggie is also high on the list of most nutritious root vegetables.

Carrots offer high amounts of vitamins A and K and they provide the important antioxidant beta-carotene.

Adding carrots to the diet lowers cholesterol levels and protects the eyes against age related macular degeneration. Because of the beta-carotene, carrots lower the risk of certain cancers including breast, prostate, and stomach.

Roast, boil or steam carrots. Add them to salads, stir fries and other vegetables dishes. Include in soups or eat them raw as an extremely healthy snack.

Healthiest Root Vegetables carrots
Healthiest Root Vegetables – carrots

Celeriac

Also called celery root, this versatile root vegetable is highly nutritious.

Celery and celeriac are basically the same plant, however celeriac is cultivated for its bulbous root rather than for the stalks. Both taste like celery although some find celeriac more robust with a slight nutty flavor.

Celeriac contains high levels of vitamins C and K and phosphorous.

Vitamin K is essential for proper blood clotting and vital for healthy bones.

Boil, roast, bake or mash celeriac. Or add it raw to salads.

Healthiest Root Vegetables celeriac
Healthiest root vegetables – celeriac

Rutabagas

This root vegetable belongs to the mustard family.

Rutabagas supply vitamin C, potassium, manganese and antioxidants. They also provide fiber that supports the digestive system and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And like several other root veggies, they contain sulfur compounds that protect against cancer cell formation and growth.

Rutabagas taste like a cross between a turnip and cabbage. One person described them as tasting like Yukon Gold potatoes…with a lot of attitude!

Boil and mash them, bake or roast them. Or add rutabagas to soups or salads.

Healthiest Root Vegetables rutabaga
Healthiest Root Vegetable – rutabaga

Potatoes

The most versatile and readily available root vegetable, potatoes come in 2000 different varieties and grow in 160 countries around the world.

The potato delivers fiber, vitamins B6 and C, potassium and manganese. Plus they provide an important amino acid, lysine. Lysine protects against cancer, liver disease, inflammation and viruses such as Epstein Barr and shingles. Additionally, potatoes strengthen the kidneys and soothe the digestive tract.

Try potatoes baked, boiled, mashed or steamed. Make healthy potato salad. Cut them into wedges or cubes, season with spices and roast in the oven. Create a veggie bowl featuring roasted or mashed potatoes.

Healthiest Root Vegetables potatoes
Healthiest Root Vegetables – potatoes

Create Health with Root Vegetables

Try adding a serving or two of root vegetables to daily meals, to reap the benefits of these nutritious, grounding veggies. Combine with other vegetables or make up a big pot of root vegetable soup.

Practicing a plant based lifestyle, root veggies form the foundation of my diet. Creating this post, however, I realized I’ve never eaten celeriac or rutabaga. I’ve seen both in the produce section of Natural Grocers. I’m excited to experience both in the near future.

What is your favorite root vegetable?

Healthiest Root Vegetables

I Highly Recommend Anthony’s Books

Anthony William’s books are my go to source for health information.

 


 

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

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

 

Prevent Diabetes Naturally

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November is National Diabetes Month. The purpose is to bring awareness and attention to diabetes, including ways to prevent it. For the millions who are at risk, this month is a time to learn and find resources.

Currently, 30 million adults age 18 and older live with diabetes. And 84 million are at risk for developing the disease. Additionally, those who are prediabetic are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

I’m happy to contribute by presenting ways to prevent diabetes naturally.

Prevent Diabetes Naturally title meme

Preventing Diabetes Naturally

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes that promote weight loss and increase exercise and healthy eating. And this shift is extremely important. Uncontrolled diabetes may cause blindness, kidney failure and other serious complications that can require limb amputation.

These action steps help prevent diabetes.

Cut Sugar from the Diet

Let’s start with the one people consider the toughest. And I know it’s not easy, however there’s a reason for that. Sugar is addictive and it has a toxic effect on the body.

Eating sugary foods puts us at risk for developing diabetes. When we eat sugar the body breaks it down into smaller molecules that enter the blood stream, resulting in a rise in blood sugar. That rise stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin to help get the sugar out of the bloodstream and into cells.

For those with prediabetes, the cells resist insulin so the sugar remains at a high level in the bloodstream. As a result, the pancreas creates more insulin to attempt to bring sugar levels down. Eventually those high sugar and insulin levels cause type 2 diabetes.

What’s the solution? Avoid foods with refined sugar and carbs. Refined carbs include sugars and grains stripped of fiber and nutrients such as white bread, pizza dough, pasta, white flour, sweet desserts and many breakfast cereals.

Prevent Diabetes Naturally cut sugar
Prevent Diabetes Naturally – cut sugar

Drink More Water

Water is the best drink for the body. We need water, for the body to function properly. And drinking water as the primary beverage helps us avoid sugary soft drinks.

Soft drinks greatly increase the risk of both type 2 diabetes and a form of type 1 diabetes called latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA). The startling facts are, those who consume more than two soft drinks a day have a 99% increased risk of developing LADA and a 20% increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Studies show that artificially sweetened soft drinks do not prevent diabetes so those are not a good alternative.

Drinking more water leads to better blood sugar levels and insulin response. And those who replace sodas with water while eating healthier decrease insulin resistance.

Prevent Diabetes Naturally - water
Prevent Diabetes Naturally – drink more water

Manage Weight

Although not everyone who develops type 2 diabetes is overweight, most are. And those with prediabetes tend to carry excess weight in the belly area and around organs such as the liver.

This visceral fat causes inflammation and insulin resistance which greatly increases the risk of diabetes.

Losing weight and keeping it off decreases sugar and insulin levels.

Reducing sugar intake is a great start. While eating more fruits and vegetables helps the body shed excess weight. Strive for filling half your plate with fruits and veggies. And eating smaller portions is helpful too. Eating too much at meals causes blood sugar and insulin levels to spike.

Prevent Diabetes Naturally weight management
Prevent Diabetes Naturally – weight management

Eat a High Fiber Diet

Another way to manage weight and help prevent diabetes is to include more fiber in the diet. Fiber can be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the digestive track, forming a gel. This gel slows down the absorption rate of food leading to a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.

Including high fiber foods throughout the day helps to reduce the risk of diabetes. Good high fiber foods to add: pears, berries, avocados, apples, bananas, carrots, beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, dark leafy greens, lentils, tomatoes, legumes, quinoa, oats, nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes and surprisingly, dark chocolate (choose chocolate with a 70% or higher level of cocoa).

Most plant based foods contain fiber, so increasing fruits and vegetables is a great choice.

Prevent Diabetes Naturally eat fiber
Prevent Diabetes Naturally – eat more fiber

Vitamin D

This important vitamin helps control blood sugar levels. Most people have a vitamin D deficiency. And not getting enough raises the risk for all types of diabetes.

Studies show that when we take vitamin D supplements, or get at least 10 minutes of sunlight a day, insulin production improves, blood sugar levels stabilize and the risk of developing diabetes reduces dramatically.

If you aren’t able to get sunlight every day, supplementing with 2,000 – 4,000 IU of vitamin D helps prevent a deficiency. Read about the other benefits of vitamin D HERE.

Bonus supplement: turmeric is helpful due to its main ingredient, curcumin. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation markers and decrease insulin resistance.

Prevent Diabetes Naturally vitamin D
Prevent Diabetes Naturally with vitamin D

Drink Tea and Coffee

While water is important as the primary beverage, drinking tea and coffee reduces the risk for diabetes as well. Just don’t add sugar to them! Tea and coffee are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols that help protect against diabetes.

Green tea is especially beneficial. It contains a unique antioxidant that reduces blood sugar release from the liver and lowers insulin sensitivity.

Try this Turmeric Green Tea recipe for a powerful way to get those antioxidants.

Prevent Diabetes Naturally drink tea
Drink green tea or coffee to help prevent diabetes naturally.

Exercise Regularly

There is a strong link between the sedentary lifestyle and an increased risk of diabetes. If you sit most of the day and get little or no physical exercise then you have a 91% increased risk of developing diabetes.

Begin the shift to a more active lifestyle by standing frequently if you sit most of the day. Take a break every hour and walk around for five minutes. Stretch. Then move into more physical activities.

Try aerobic exercise, walking, strength training, swimming, dancing, high intensity interval training or biking. Find something you enjoy to increase the likelihood that you’ll stick with it.

Physical activity reduces insulin resistance and lowers blood sugar levels. It helps with weigh loss and management. Strive for 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Prevent Diabetes Naturally exercise
Prevent Diabetes Naturally – exercise

The Choice is Ours

Rather than waiting for illness to strike, we can make choices now that help prevent diseases such as diabetes and enjoy greater health and vitality.

These steps not only help to prevent diabetes naturally, they ensure better health and wellness overall.

Which steps will you adopt today for a healthier tomorrow?

Prevent Diabetes Naturally healthy meal
Healthy meal of mashed avocado on gluten free ancient grains bread, blueberries and mandarin oranges.

 


 

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

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

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding

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November is Banana Pudding Lover’s Month. I grew up enjoying that classic dessert. My mom layered vanilla wafers, sliced bananas and creamy vanilla puddling and topped it with whipped cream.

Since switching to a plant based, low sugar, gluten free lifestyle, regular banana pudding is not on my acceptable list. I can enjoy a banana but the rest of the ingredients are not good for me.

In honor of the month, and remembering that banana pudding I grew up with, I wondered if a vegan and gluten free banana puddling recipe existed. It does!

I found an easy recipe on Pinterest and adapted it slightly.

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding title meme

The Birth of Banana Pudding

The first recipe for banana pudding, served over sponge cake, showed up in the US in 1888. Good Housekeeping published the recipe in its magazine.

The availability of the exotic fruit enabled cooks to create new desserts. An early banana pudding recipe showed up in “The Kentucky Recipe Book” in 1903.

The introduction of Nabisco’s Nilla Wafer in the 1940s popularized banana pudding. Nabisco printed the recipe on every box of cookies.

Rodgers Pudding Company launched Banana Pudding Lover’s Month after a successful National Banana Pudding Festival in 2010. The two day festival was held in Tennessee.

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding vanilla wafers
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding – gluten free vanilla wafers

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding Recipe

This quick and easy recipe, adapted from the Southern In Law website, only uses six ingredients and comes together in minutes.

This banana pudding is gluten, egg, dairy and sugar free.

Gluten free cornstarch or potato starch may be used. And any dairy free milk is fine. I used almond milk.

I purchased gluten free vanilla wafers from Natural Grocer’s. Omit the cookies, if desired. And I topped my banana pudding cups with non dairy coconut whipped topping, also purchased from Natural Grocer’s.

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding ready to chill
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding – ready to chill
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding

Vegan & Gluten Free Banana Pudding

journeywithhealthyme
This quick and easy recipe is gluten, eggs, dairy and sugar free.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup corn or potato starch
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 box gluten free vanilla wafers

Instructions
 

  • Combine mashed bananas, almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup and corn or potato starch to a large saucepan.
  • Over medium heat, stir mixture until it just comes to boiling.
  • Reduce heat slightly and continue to stir while mixture simmers. Cook and stir until pudding reaches desired consistency, about 3 - 5 minutes. Stir continually to prevent scorching. Pudding will thicken more as it cools. Remove from heat.
  • In individual bowls, add 1 or 2 gluten free vanilla wafers to the bottom of each container. Pour pudding into bowls. Add 4 - 6 vanilla wafers to pudding cups, pushing cookies into mixture around the edges of bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.
  • Before serving, top with dairy free coconut milk whipped topping, crushed vanilla wafers or sliced bananas. Makes 8 servings.
Keyword Banana Pudding, Gluten Free, Vegan

Celebrating Banana Pudding Lover’s Month

I tried a banana pudding cup today, after lunch, in celebration of the month.

My initial verdict: this dessert is delicious. The pudding texture is lighter than the classic dessert but I can live with that. The taste is just right. This recipe provides an excellent healthy alternative to classic banana pudding. The gluten free vanilla wafers added that necessary cookie component and the dairy free whipped topping made the dessert perfect.

I’ll certainly make this dessert again, in November or any other month of the year!

Do you love banana pudding?

Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding cups
Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Pudding cups

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Seven Ways to Protect Hearing

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October is National Protect Your Hearing Month. The purpose is to raise awareness about noise induced hearing loss.

Hearing loss caused by high noise levels is permanent. And yet, four out of five Americans don’t protect their ears at sporting or entertainment venues. And half of us listen to music turned up too loud.

Check out these seven ways to protect hearing and lessen the risk of damage.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing title meme

How Loud is Too Loud?

Over time, exposure to loud noises, whether at work or listening to music or attending concerts, causes hearing loss.

How loud is too loud?

If you can’t talk to someone six feet away, without shouting, it’s too noisy. Sound is measured in decibels. Normal conversation registers at 60 decibels, a whisper at 30. Noise over 80 decibels (dB), over prolonged time, causes damage. When noise goes over 120 dB it can cause immediate harm.

The inner ear contains 16,000 hair cells that allow the brain to detect sound. When they become damaged, they can’t grow back, and hearing diminishes.

More than 40 million adults, aged 20 to 69, suffer from noise induced hearing loss. That makes loss of hearing the third most common health condition.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing ear
Seven Ways to Protect Hearing – learn how to prevent hearing loss.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing

Learn how to prevent hearing loss, due to noise and other causes. It’s especially important that we teach our youth and young adults how to protect their ears and hearing.

Use Hearing Protection

Approximately 15% of adults experience noise induced hearing loss due to excessively loud work or entertainment environments.

In the workplace, machinery, airplanes, lawnmowers, chainsaws or any other loud noise that causes you to shout over it to be heard, is causing damage.

Clubs and concerts play music at dangerously loud levels, around the 120 dB level .

Earplugs provide an easy way to protect ears and hearing in these situations. You can even have them custom fitted by a hearing specialist. Musicians’ earplugs filter out excessive noise while still allowing conversation and music to enter.

According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion teens and young adults are at risk for noise induced hearing loss due to unsafe use of audio equipment.

When listening to music use headphones rather than earbuds. While convenient to use and easy to tote, earbuds rest too close to the eardrums and can cause damage. They increase a sound’s volume by six to nine decibels.

Use the 60/60 rule when listening to music via headphones. Listen to music through headphones at 60% of the volume, for no more than 60 minutes a day.

And when riding in an enclosed vehicle, or listening to music anywhere without headphones, simply turn the volume down.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing headphones
Seven Ways to Protect Hearing – use headphones rather than earbuds

Allow Ears to Recover

After prolonged exposure to loud sounds, give the ears a break. During a concert or at work where loud noises occur, step away into a quieter place for five to ten minutes as often as possible. The ears need the rest.

Remove headphones after an hour of listening to music, to give the ears a break as well.

Researchers discovered it takes 16 hours of quiet for the ears to recover after a loud concert or a night out in a noisy location.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing take a break
Seven Ways to Protect Hearing – give ears a break

Keep Ears Dry

Excess moisture in the ear canals creates bacterial growth. This causes swimmer’s ear or ear infections, which can impact hearing.

Gently towel dry around ears after showering, bathing or swimming, blotting away moisture. If water enters the ear canal, tip head to the side and tug on earlobe to help remove fluid.

Swimmer’s earplugs prevent water from entering the ears and keep ear canals dry.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing dry
Seven Ways to Protect Hearing – keep ear canals dry

Don’t Use Cotton Tipped Swabs

There’s an old saying that goes, “Don’t put anything bigger than your elbow in your ear”. It’s very common to use cotton tipped swabs to clean the ears and remove wax. However, experts advise against the practice.

It’s normal and even desirable to have a bit of wax in the ears. The ears are naturally self cleaning and the wax prevents dust and particles from entering the ear canal. The wax eventually moves out of the ear on its own.

Plus inserting anything into the ear may damage the ear drum and harm hearing.

For excess wax, gently clean around the ear canal with a damp washcloth. Or try over the counter ear wax removal solutions that softens the wax so that it flows out. Doctors can remove excessive wax during an office appointment as well.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing swabs
Don’t use cotton tipped swabs in the ears.

Be Careful with Certain Medications

Some over the counter medications can contribute to hearing loss. Non steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can impact hearing in a negative way. Don’t over medicate with these drugs. And discuss all medications, including over the counter ones, with your doctor. He or she can advise about possible side effects.

 

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing limit meds
Seven Ways to Protect Hearing – limit certain meds

Exercise

Moving the body is good for the ears. Cardio exercise, such as running, jogging, walking or cycling, pumps blood to all parts of the body, including the ears. That oxygen rich blood helps the ear’s internal parts to work well and stay healthy.

If cycling, protect the head with a helmet. A head injury can affect hearing. And if you listen to music while walking, running or jogging, keep volume low so it doesn’t distract you or cover the sounds of approaching traffic.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing exercise
Exercise such as walking is one of seven ways to protect hearing.

Manage Stress

Both stress and anxiety can cause temporary and permanent tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Chronic stress puts the body in fight or flight mode, which causes adrenaline levels to elevate and stay that way.

Stress strains the nerves, restricts blood flow and affects many systems in the body. And that stress is thought to affect the inner ear, contributing to tinnitus.

Try relaxation techniques to lower and manage stress. Spend time in nature, practice yoga or meditation, do deep breathing exercises. And eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables.

Seven Ways to Protect Hearing destress
Seven Ways to Protect Hearing – manage stress

How Are You Protecting Your Hearing?

I’ve protected my hearing throughout my life. However, I’ve also had tinnitus since childhood. I often wonder if my fears as a child created stress that contributed to the ringing in my ears. It’s also possible I willed my ears to ring, to cover any bump in the night sounds.

Changing my diet to a plant based one lessened the ringing tremendously although I still hear it when all other noise dies away.

I hope these seven practices help prevent loss or further hearing loss for others. Diminished hearing can contribute to depression, anxiety, isolation and even dementia. It’s worth turning the music volume down a bit or standing at the back of a venue away from the speakers, to protect hearing.

How is your hearing?

Wearing headphones
Wearing headphones during my first pod cast.

Hearing Helps from Amazon:

 


If you want the BEST headphones, try these!

 


 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Best Vegan Chili Recipes

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October is National Chili Month. What a perfect meal to enjoy on cool fall evenings. Chili is a spicy tomato based stew. It contains a blend of beans, seasonings, onions,  garlic, peppers and typically, meat. However, I’ve discovered that plant based chilis are just as flavorful, warming and satisfying as those with meat.

This month, or any time this fall or winter, create one of these best vegan chili recipes, all without meat.

Best Vegan Chili Recipes title meme

Best Vegan Chili Recipes

Look through this round up of plant based chili recipes and choose one or try them all. Click on the underlined titles for links to ingredient lists and instructions.

Quick Bean Chili

This quick bean chili comes together in minutes. It’s perfect for an evening after a full and busy day. Having recipes available that can provide a hot meal in a few minutes lessens the likelihood of grabbing fast food on the way home.

This recipe comes together quickly due to using canned goods, instead of dried beans. I like to use great northern beans, however any canned beans works. This is a moderately spicy chili. Adjust the heat level by adding or reducing the cayenne pepper. Use a small vegetable chopper to make quick work of prepping veggies.

Best Vegan Chili Recipes quick
Best Vegan Chili Recipes – quick bean chili

Four Bean Vegan Chili

I created this recipe shortly after becoming plant based. My dad used to make an amazing chili and this recipe is inspired by his, minus the ground beef.

The simple to make, hearty chili comes together in minutes, and uses easily found ingredients. I used organic, and non GMO, canned goods from the grocery store, with fresh veggies such as onion, green bell pepper and garlic.

Best Vegan Chili Recipes four bean
Best Vegan Chili Recipes – four bean

Spicy Lentil Chili

Lentils make a wonderful substitute for beans in this delicious chili. They are inexpensive, easy to prepare and packed with protein. The recipe includes vegetable stock. Make your own with veggie scraps HERE.

Best Vegan Chili Recipes lentil
Best Vegan Chili Recipes – spicy lentil

Instant Pot Vegan Chili

This Instant Pot Vegan Chili, from Choosing Chia, is loaded with protein, vegetables, and savory spices! It’s made with two types of beans, and uses a secret trick to create the perfect chili texture.

Best Vegan Chili Recipes instant pot
Best Vegan Chili Recipes – instant pot. Photo from Choosing Chia.

Vegan Black Bean Chili

From Midwest Foodie Blog, this chili is loaded with more than 50% of required daily fiber per serving and filled with fresh Mexican flavors. This chili fills you up and fuels you through a busy day!

Best Vegan Chili Recipes black bean
Best Vegan Chili Recipes – black bean. Photo from Midwest Foodie Blog.

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

This slow cooker vegan chili recipe, from Happy Kitchen Rocks, delights the taste buds. It’s not only wholesome but delicious and easy to make. Try this vegan twist on a classic comfort food for the chilly days ahead.

Best Vegan Chili Recipes slow cooker
Best Vegan Chili Recipes – slow cooker, Photo from Happy Kitchen Rocks

Do You Have a Favorite Chili Recipe?

I hope you found new chili recipes to try in this round up! As the temperatures dip this month, it’s the perfect season for stirring up a big pot of chili.

Do you have a favorite chili recipe? Share it with me in the comments below!

Kitchen Helps from Amazon:

 


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Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

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October 14 is National Dessert Day. This unique holiday celebrates indulging in the sweets. For many people, dessert is the best part of the meal. Over the years, sweet after dinner treats transformed from simple candied fruits and nuts to more elaborate concoctions. Today anything from store bought cookies to made from scratch pastries to a fancy mousse tower qualifies as dessert.

To participate in this special day, celebrants are encouraged to enjoy a sweet treat.

I decided to seize the opportunity to make a vegan, gluten free treat that didn’t require a lot of prep time.

I found this delightfully simple dessert on Pinterest. Check out the original recipe HERE. With a couple of slight alterations, I made these easy no bake peanut butter chocolate bars in minutes.

Check out my contribution to National Dessert Day!

Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars title meme

Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

This quick and easy recipe is perfect for an occasional snack. Using just six ingredients, these bars are vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free. And the ingredients are common, in my kitchen. I typically have them on hand.

The peanut butter base combines pure maple syrup, gluten free flour, vanilla and creamy peanut butter. I use a sugar free peanut butter, Crazy Richard’s 100% Peanuts. It’s found in the jelly section at Wal-Mart and health conscious grocery stores.

Any gluten free flour will work. I normally use gluten free oat flour. However, I happened to have on hand a one-for-one gluten free flour so I used that. This brand is Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour gluten free. A cup of this four replaces a cup of regular flour.

And pure maple syrup makes an excellent substitute for sugar. Tonight I used the Natural Grocer’s house brand.

The topping is unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut oil and pure maple syrup.

Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars mixing
Two bowls and six ingredients for easy no bake peanut butter chocolate bars.
Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free simple dessert.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 bars

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter I used no sugar added
  • 1 cup gluten free flour such as oat
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla

Chocolate Topping

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Instructions
 

  • Line a square pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine peanut butter, gluten free flour, pure maple syrup and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Press into prepared pan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, pure maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Pour topping over peanut butter base, smoothing with a knife.
  • Chill in freezer for 15 minutes to set. Score and cut with a knife. Store left overs in a covered container in the refrigerator. Makes 12 - 16 bars.
Keyword Bars, Chocolate, Gluten Free, No Bake, Peanut Butter, Vegan
Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars ready to go into the freezer.

The Taste Test

These bars took 10 minutes to prep. I popped them into the freezer and then prepared dinner. So easy!

After dinner, while a cup of peppermint tea steeped, I cut bars to sample. This simple recipe yields a delicious dessert, perfect with my cup of hot tea.

The bars have the consistency of fudge and they are just as rich. One bar satisfies completely. I enjoyed celebrating National Dessert Day with a wonderful treat that does not include guilt or unwanted foods.

I don’t indulge in dessert often. When I do, this is exactly what I want, a simple treat without sugar, dairy, gluten and eggs.

I won’t wait until next October and National Dessert Day, to make these easy no bake peanut butter chocolate bars again!

Do you have a favorite dessert?

Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars tea time
Easy no bake peanut butter bars perfectly complement a cup of peppermint tea.

Try These Other Vegan Desserts:

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Raw Wild Blueberry Pie

Vegan Gingerbread


 

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.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging

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

October 5 – 11, 2020 is designated as Active Aging Week this year. Celebrating the benefits of active living at any age, Active Aging Week showcases the capabilities of older adults as fully participating members of society.

Initiated in 2003 by the International Council on Active Aging, this week long celebration shows that adults age 50 and over can live fully in all areas of life. Active Aging Week promotes wellness activities and exercise plus healthier, more robust lifestyles.

This initiative is dear to me as the purpose of Journey With Healthy Me is to encourage others to experience health at every age. We do not need to consider ourselves shelved when we pass that 50 year mark. As we enter this golden season, our quality of life is greatly dependent on our daily health practices and our attitudes about aging.

At age 62, I’ve discovered that health and well being are very possible during my “senior” years. In fact, I feel more healthy than I have in many years.

Take a look at these seven ways to practice active aging, in recognition of this week AND to increase quality of life and overall wellness.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging title meme

It’s Never Too Late to Improve Health

Four plus years ago, I embraced a plant based lifestyle, primary for health reasons. The results were so astounding that my mother and Greg decided to join me in eating a different way.

At the time, in my late 50s, I’d experienced decades of chronic, constant inflammation and pain along with a host of other disorders. My mother also dealt with a variety of moderate to severe health issues while Greg suffered from minor to moderate ailments. We all discovered that it is never too late to improve health and wellness.

I went from using a cane and facing the prospect of requiring a wheelchair to becoming pain and inflammation free and walking unassisted. Mom and Greg experienced improvements in all of their health conditions. The lesson we learned is that changes in diet and activities bring about huge changes in the body.

Practicing active aging goes beyond exercise. It is a proactive way of living and in reality, a way of life.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging have fun
Who says adults over age 50 can’t have fun? Last year’s Halloween party.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging

Incorporate these practices into your life to create a healthier quality of life.

Engage With Others

It is important to connect frequently with others, especially as we age. Older adults who socialize enjoy better health and quality of life. Lack of connection with others can cause sleep disorders, raised blood pressure and increase the chance of premature death. Loneliness and isolation may bring on depression and anxiety. During this year of social distancing it is even more vital that older adults connect with loved ones and friends via phone calls, zoom meetings and messaging.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging engage
Seven ways to practice active aging – engage. When you can’t be close, stay connected in other ways. My sister and I with Mom.

Eat a Nutrient Rich Diet & Maintain a Healthy Weight

People require fewer calories as they age, however, they need more nutrients. Increase those nutrients by adding more fruits and veggies to the diet. Doing so helps prevent diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

A highly nutritious diet also maintains a healthy weight which lessens the risk for disability later in life. Obesity worsens arthritis and raises the risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and sleep related breathing disorders.

As part of a healthy lifestyle, limit alcohol, processed foods and sugar (which increases inflammation). And don’t smoke. Smoking damages the lungs and increases the risks for heart disease, strokes and various forms of cancer.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging eat healthy
Eating healthy to maintain weight is one of seven ways to practice active aging.

Have a Positive Attitude About Aging

A Yale University study found that older adults who had positive attitudes about aging lived seven and a half years longer than those with negative attitudes. That’s a significant number of additional years to enjoy life! Rejecting negative stereotypes and beliefs, such as “As I get older, I am less useful” has a great impact on quality of life and longevity.

“Our study carries two messages,” the authors of the study said. “The discouraging one is that negative self perceptions can diminish life expectancy; the encouraging one is that positive self perceptions can prolong life expectancy.”

Older adults with positive attitudes are also 50% less likely to develop dementia.

Practice shifting negative beliefs about aging. Create positive affirmations to repeat daily such as, “I am enjoying life.” Or say “I am healthy and active.” and “I am grateful for my good health.”

If we say often enough, “I’m getting old and useless” then we believe it as truth. And the body listens to what the minds repetitively says.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging positive attitude
Seven ways to practice active aging – positive attitude. My sister and I enjoying life in London, England.

Active Lifestyle

According to a study shared in 2017, exercise and moving the body, for 30 minutes five days a week, reduces premature death by 25%. Choose from walking, yoga, stretching, gentle aerobics, dancing, household chores or gardening. Sports such as golf, swimming and tennis are excellent as well as long as joints are healthy and moving freely. And actively playing with grandchildren counts!

Exercise helps older adults maintain strength and mobility and lessens the risk of injuries. It also improves mood.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging exercise
Seven ways to practice active aging – exercise for 30 minutes a day

Get Enough Sleep

Older adults may not require as much sleep as they did when younger. However, the quality of sleep becomes important. Many seniors experience restless sleep or may wake up and find it difficult to go back to sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked to cardiovascular disease, inflammation and decreased immunity. Plus it causes fatigue.

Most experts agree that seven to nine hours of sleep is optimal. More importantly, regularly established sleep patterns are associated with longer life and greater well being.

Try creating bedtime routines that prepare the body for sleep such as limiting electronics, taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music, sleeping in a dark room and lowering the thermostat.

And napping for an hour in the afternoon improves memory and the ability to think clearly, while boosting energy. Don’t feel guilty for taking a nap! Shift that attitude and think of it as a reboot for the brain and body.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging sleep
Seven ways to practice active aging – sleep. Sometimes a nap sneaks up on you! Catching a nap on the train to London.

Manage Stress

Chronic stress results in higher risks for cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and decreased immune function. And stress accelerates cellular aging, creating inflammation throughout the body. Additionally, it decreases the ability to think clearly and lessens enjoyment of life.

Common causes of stress for older adults include financial strain, relationship difficulties, work related issues and care giving pressures. To reduce chronic stress improve sleep habits, exercise, eat a nutrient rich diet, meditate and try relaxation techniques. Keep a journal and use writing as a way to explore causes of stress and identify patterns. And finally, avoid people who stress you out and situations that increase anxiety. If the news creates stress, stop listening to the news.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging relax
Manage stress with relaxation and other techniques. My favorite way to relax…afternoon tea time.

Keep Learning

This is my favorite active aging practice. Experiencing and learning new things stimulates the brain. And that mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Daily learning and trying new things sharpens the mind, boosts memory and concentration and lowers the risk of dementia. Plus, in my experience, it’s a fun way to engage with life and find tremendous enjoyment.

Learn a new language, hobby or skill. Travel to places you’ve never visited before, even if it’s in your own city. Create a new recipe. Listen to a new genre of music. Truly, the possibilities for new experiences are endless.

Last year, at ages 61 and 79 respectively, my mother and I did our first ever photo shoot for a national magazine! What a fun first experience for both of us.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging - try new things
Seven ways to practice active aging – try new things.

What Practices Will You Include?

Getting older doesn’t have to be a negative experience. These seven ways to practice active aging offer steps toward being healthy at EVERY age.

I am enjoying these beautiful years with health, energy and a passion for living life to the fullest as my most authentic self. One of my greatest joys, beyond spending time with my family, is continuing to learn and grow as I explore the world and try new experiences.

I’m not slowing down anytime soon.

Seven Ways to Practice Active Aging travel

Practice Active Aging with These Amazon Finds:

 


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

 

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

 

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask

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

September 29 is National Mud Pack Day. When I penciled this unique holiday into my posting schedule, I realized I’d never tried a mud pack. I’ve created simple DIY masks at home, using natural ingredients. However I decided to celebrate this day properly with a store bought mask.

At Ulta, I found a variety of facial masks ranging from press on sheets to fun and fruity goop in a tube to jars of clay. In honor of mud pack day, I chose L’OREAL’s Detox & Brighten Pure Clay Mask, with added charcoal.

And rather than just try a clay and charcoal mask, I made it a pampering self care experience.

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask title meme

National Mud Pack Day

This day gives us all permission to play in the mud…mud packs that is. Mud packs are mixtures of therapeutic clays that when applied to the skin, increase circulation, ease muscle tension, release toxins and boost immunity. They work well on oily and combination skin types.

Although most commonly used on the face, mud packs benefit the skin all over the body. For a full body mud pack, that relieves pain and swelling due to arthritis and eases stress, check out salons that offer this service.

 

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask tea
Try a clay and charcoal mask – tea time

L’OREAL Pure Clay Mask

The L’OREAL product I purchased contains three pure clays plus charcoal. This blend of moroccan lava, kaolin and montmorillonite clays and charcoal draws out impurities from the skin, evens out skin tone, increases luminosity and allows the skin to breathe.

The creamy formula glides on easily, does not dry out the skin and is suitable for all skin types. To use, apply an even layer to clean, dry skin, avoiding eyes and lips. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water. For best results, use three times a week.

Immediate results include clean, smooth skin with a beautiful, healthy glow.

Over time skin breathes better, detoxifies and appears healthier.

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask drying
Try a clay and charcoal mask – allowing it to dry

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask

Late in the afternoon, as the sun sank toward the western horizon, I set up my self care experience.

In my backyard garden meditation spot, I placed a tray with a cup of peppermint tea, a lit candle and the L’OREAL Clay and Charcoal Mask. Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed lay nearby. The water fountain gurgled just outside the meditation area while the drone of insects filled the garden. I set up my light stand with its remote clicker and the sturdy clip that holds my iPhone, for photos. That handy gadget is the best investment I made this year!

I felt ready to try the mask and relax in the garden while it dried.

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask garden
As I try a clay and charcoal mask, I appreciate the beauty of the garden…
Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask fountain
…and the soothing sound of water.

Allowing the Mask to Dry

I applied an even coat of the clay mask to my face, avoiding the eyelids and under eye area and my lips. The texture is smooth, without any grit, and goes on easily. It has a light, pleasant fragrance. I made sure I completely covered my skin. The mask goes on dark gray and turns light gray as it dries.

After snapping a few photos, I settled back to enjoy the experience. Sipping my peppermint tea, I read in Untamed, a book that carries significance for me as I enter next year. My cat Shy Boy joined me in the meditation corner, curling up on a chair. It felt amazing to relax and unwind outdoors on this gorgeous fall day.

As the mask dried, my skin tightened beneath it. That tightening felt pleasant as I did feel tension, which often settles in the facial muscles, melt away.

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask cat
Shy Boy keeps me company, while I try a clay and charcoal mask.
Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask LOREAL
L’OREAL Pure Clay Mask with Charcoal.

The Results

After 15 minutes, most of the mask appeared dry, turning a light gray color. I could easily see the pores on my skin. As the sun set, I decided to wash off the mask instead of waiting for it to dry completely.

I confess that I thought the mask might not come off as simply as it went on. Using an older wash cloth and warm water from the bathroom sink, I cautiously dabbed at the mask. No worries. The mask dissolved quickly. I found using my hands to rinse my face with the warm running water worked best.

In moments, mask gone, I patted my skin dry and looked at my face in the mirror. My skin looked radiant and dewy. And the texture amazed me. My skin felt deep cleaned, soft and so incredibly smooth. And the pores appeared diminished.

I captured the results with a click of my iPhone camera. Afterward I applied Smartr Skin Vitamin C Serum and their rich moisturizer. (Use my discount code CINDYM20OFF to save 20% off your order! And check out the rest of my skin care routine.)

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask pores
Look how evident the pores are with the mask on.

Continued Use

I’m grateful for National Mud Pack Day. Thanks to this special day, I tried a clay mask for the first time and I love it. I’m adding the L’OREAL Pure Clay Mask with Charcoal to my weekly skin care routine. I look forward to seeing what results continued use bring.

Want to create your own self care experience? Check out my Amazon links below! And let me know…have you tried a clay and charcoal mask?

Try a Clay and Charcoal Mask soft skin
No make up, just silky smooth, radiant skin.

Try These Products to Create Your Own Self Care Experience

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Smartr Skin and with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. I may earn a commission when you purchase products through my links, all at no extra cost to you.

 

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

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September brings us Better Breakfast Month, a time to intentionally enjoy that most crucial meal of the day. At least, we grew up hearing about the importance of breaking our long overnight fast. However, most people find it easier to head out for the day without fueling up.

In fact, only about 1/3 of people surveyed say they take the time to eat breakfast. I understand. I’ve been in that skipper category. Busy schedules, oversleeping or simply not intentionally preparing breakfast all contribute to skipping this meal.

Read on to discover why it really is vital to eat breakfast. And check out 9 healthy breakfast ideas.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas title meme

Why Breakfast Is Important

Overall, those who eat breakfast are healthier than those who skip it. They maintain a better weight and have a lower BMI (body mass index).

Starting the day with breakfast reduces hunger, boosts energy and encourages better food choices throughout the day. A healthy breakfast regulates blood sugar levels and curbs overeating later.

Plus including breakfast breaks the body out of the slower metabolic rate it slips into overnight during sleep. Awake, the body needs to get back up to speed and to do that, it requires fuel.

The brain’s supply of energy, in the form of glucose, depletes overnight too. To think clearly and increase concentration, a healthy breakfast is essential.

Ready to up your breakfast game? Try any of these 9 healthy breakfast ideas.

Smoothies & Smoothie Bowls

This is my breakfast of choice, 90% of the time. After drinking a glass of celery juice (read about the benefits of this juice HERE), I make a fruit smoothie for breakfast.

For me, this is the best possible way to refuel my body. Smoothies are easily digested, introducing fructose quickly into the bloodstream for the energy the body needs.

Begin with two bananas in a blender. Add fruit of choice. I primarily use frozen fruit to create a frosty, thicker smoothie. Fill the blender container about half way with filtered water or dairy free milk and blend. For extra health benefits, include spoonfuls of spirulina, Atlantic sea dulse, barley grass juice powder, chaga mushroom powder, plant based protein, flax seeds or chia seeds.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas smoothie
9 healthy breakfast ideas – fruit smoothie

For fun, turn that drink into a smoothie breakfast bowl. Use less liquid to create a thicker smoothie. Pour the mixture into a bowl and then add toppings of choice. Some favorites for me: unsweetened shredded coconut, berries, nuts, chia seeds and sliced fruit.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas smoothie bowl
Turn that smoothie into a smoothie bowl.

Overnight Oats

This simple, nutritious breakfast begins the night before. Easy and versatile, you’ll love the convenience of delicious overnight oats.

Combine in a small mason jar:

  • 1/3 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/3 cup dairy free milk, such as almond or coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup dairy free plain yogurt, such as coconut milk yogurt
  • fresh fruit of choice…berries make an excellent addition
  • add 1 tbsp chia or flax seed, if desired
  • add 1/4 tsp cinnamon if desired

Cover jar and place in the refrigerator the night before. Open and eat right from the jar the next morning.

Search on Pinterest or Google under “overnight oats” to find a variety of tasty recipes.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas overnight oats
9 healthy breakfast ideas – overnight oats

Chia Pudding

Considered a superfood, these little seeds deliver big health benefits. Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein, vitamins E and B complex, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. They are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids than any other food and especially beneficial for chronic inflammation, heart disease, brain function, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Chia seeds also combat diabetes by helping to stabilize and control blood sugar levels.

Chia pudding is so simple to make. Combine 1 cup dairy free milk, such as almond milk, with 1/4 cup of chia seeds in a mason jar or container with a lid. Cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Add berries, nuts or sliced fruit and enjoy.

Like overnight oats, searching for chia pudding on Pinterest or Google yields tons of recipes to try.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas chia pudding
9 healthy breakfast ideas – chia pudding

Gluten Free Pancakes

For an occasional Sunday brunch, I enjoy a plate of gluten free pancakes. I’ve tried multiple made-from-scratch recipes. Honestly, I’ve found that the easiest way to make a stack of hotcakes involves a mix.

I love Birch Benders Organic Gluten Free Pancake Mix. Simply add water and make pancakes…two or three or a dozen. Topped with fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries or sliced bananas, and a drizzle of organic maple syrup, breakfast feels like a real treat.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas gluten free pancakes
9 healthy breakfast ideas – gluten free pancakes

Fruit Bowl

Another simple…and gorgeous…breakfast option is the fruit bowl. I use whatever fresh fruit I have on hand. A favorite for me combines fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and pitted bing cherries. Any combination of fruit works. Try melons with blackberries, mix together bananas, mangoes and pineapple or pair grapes with papaya. Drizzle organic, locally produced honey over the fruit to sweeten if desired or enjoy the mix of natural flavors.

For convenience, cut up fruit the night before and chill in the fridge.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas fruit bowl
Try any combination of fruits for an easy and colorful breakfast bowl.

Avocado Toast

This popular meal makes a filling and satisfying breakfast.

I toast gluten free bread and top with sliced avocado. The fun doesn’t stop there. Spread on vegan mayo. Add sliced veggies such as radishes or tomatoes. Top with arugula, spinach or sesame seeds. I love a good sprinkle of coarsely ground black pepper on my avocado toast.

This breakfast makes a simple evening meal as well.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas avocado toast
9 healthy breakfast ideas – avocado toast

Apple Porridge & Cooked Apples

Anthony William, author of the Medical Medium books, introduced me to raw apple porridge in Thyroid Healing. See the easy recipe HERE. Filled with dates, raisins and cinnamon this breakfast bowl recipe is delicious.

Inspired, I created a recipe of my own, using my instant pot.

Add 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the instant pot. On the steaming tray, add two chopped apples, skin on, and a handful of raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon, lock on lid and steam for one minute. Spoon into bowls and add walnuts or unsweetened shredded coconut. This wonderfully fragrant meal is perfect for chilly winter mornings.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas apples
Cooked apples make a wonderfully healthy breakfast.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

I typically considered vegan muffins and banana bread a treat, best enjoyed with a cup of afternoon tea. And I prefer to stick to nutrient rich foods to break my fast most of the time. However, for those who love breads for breakfast, vegan muffins and quick breads such as banana, pumpkin and date offer ideal healthy alternatives.

Try these gluten and oil free blueberry mini muffins. They also make great afternoon snacks that complement a cup of hot herbal tea.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas muffins
Vegan muffins make a great healthy alternative to traditional muffins.

Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread

This beautiful loaf is free from gluten, refined sugar, eggs and diary products.

I learned in Anthony’s Liver Rescue book that the fructose in bananas is the liver’s favorite source of food. It provides quick fuel to the liver and wakes up sleepy cells. Bananas soothe the lining of the intestines and also calm the nerves attached to the intestinal tract. This fruit is one of the most antibacterial, anti-yeast, antifungal foods available. It’s a great fruit to combine with other nutrient-rich foods…such as blueberries!

Find the recipe for this amazing bread HERE.

9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas banana blueberry bread
9 healthy breakfast ideas – banana blueberry bread

Don’t Skip Breakfast

I hope these simple ideas for healthy breakfasts encourage you to NOT skip out on the most important meal of the day. Fuel your body, wake it up and enjoy knowing that you’ve given yourself the best possible start to the day.

Check out these helps from Amazon:

 


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

 

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

 

Easy Guacamole

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

Today is National Guacamole Day! This delicious green dip, featuring avocados, comes together easily and quickly with a few ingredients. Beyond using as a dip for chips, guacamole pairs well with cut up or cooked veggies and makes an excellent topping on salads.

Check out this simple, versatile recipe!

Easy Guacamole title meme

Start With Fresh Avocados

Amazing guacamole starts with fresh avocados. This fruit, often referred to as the mother fruit, possesses a textured inedible skin and a smooth and creamy yellow-green flesh.

Avocados, with their healthy fats, offer wonderful health benefits. They are easy to digest, making them helpful for soothing and healing the digestive tract. Plus their anti-inflammatory properties behave like aspirin, without thinning out the blood. This reduces narrowing and swelling in the linings of the stomach and intestines.

Because of their healthy omega-6 fatty acids, avocados help to heal the brain and central nervous system, alleviating dementia and Alzheimer’s. They also reduce the effects of aging on the skin.

Avocados are high in fiber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and contain more potassium than bananas. Combined with other plants, this amazing fruit increases the nutrient value and absorption of those foods.

Easy Guacamole avocados
Start with fresh avocados for easy guacamole.

Easy Guacamole

For this easy guacamole recipe you need:

  • 2 ripe avocados, cut in two, seed and skin removed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Mash avocados with a fork or potato masher. Add remaining ingredients, stir gently to combine and serve with gluten free crackers, non GMO corn chips or veggies. Double recipe if needed, for a larger gathering.

Add sliced jalapeno peppers, if desired, or 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper if you enjoy a spicier dip. Or omit the cilantro. To some, cilantro tastes bitter or soapy. If you like it, add it in for the powerful health benefits.

Include a dollop of guacamole in a cooked veggie bowl or on top of a salad. Or for a fun treat, spread guacamole on gluten free toasted bread for a twist on avocado toast.

Store left over guacamole in the refrigerator, with a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap pressed down snugly against the dip. Exposure to air turns guacamole brown.

Easy Guacamole zuchinni
Easy guacamole served with oven fried zucchini.

Extremely Easy Guacamole

And, here is my super easy guacamole recipe. Sometimes, I don’t have a red onion on hand. Or I don’t have time to chop everything up.

For the simplest guacamole ever, mash up one avocado, add a tablespoon of fresh or store bought salsa and stir to combine. That’s it. Add more or less salsa, as desired. Sometimes I add a dash of garlic powder as well.

This is a quick, healthy snack or small meal, served with gluten free crackers or non GMO corn tortilla chips or an assortment of cut up veggies.

Do you have a favorite guacamole recipe? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

National Days, Weeks and Months

I enjoy celebrating unique holidays through out the year. Every day offers multiple holidays or national days to participate in. Plus, there are national weeks and months. Many of these unusual or playful holidays provide fun opportunities to try new things.

Would you like to celebrate these quirky holidays too?

Check out National Day Calendar for lists of holidays associated with each month, week and day.

Amazon Finds to Help Make Easy Guacamole:

 


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.