Seven Herbal Teas to Nourish Skin

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You know how much I enjoy my daily cups of hot tea, even in summer. What a joy it has been to learn that these herbal teas support my health in a variety of crucial ways. The more I discover, the more often I think, when someone mentions an ailment…there’s an herb for that!

Healthy, glowing skin begins within. All the lotions and moisturizers in the world can’t overcome a poor diet or supply the vital nutrients the body needs to keep the skin vibrant and youthful.

These seven herbal teas to nourish skin provide healing, boost the immune system and revitalize skin cells, all while contributing to important hydration for the body.

Seven Herbal Teas to Nourish Skin

Seven Herbal Teas that Nourish Skin

In addition to your skin care routine, try adding one to three cups of herbal tea daily, to revitalize and nourish the skin.

Hibiscus

This rich herbal tea is high in vitamin C and a great source of vitamins A, B1 and B2 plus zinc and iron. Hibiscus contains natural alpha hydroxy acids and omega-3 fatty acids that smoothe the skin and keep it looking youthful. Add two to three teaspoons of dried hibiscus to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey.

Chamomile

This well known stress reducer contains anti-inflammatory properties that protect the skin from sun damage. Add three teaspoons of dried chamomile, or one teabag, to a cup of very hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile, one of seven herbal teas that nourish skin.

Dandelion

Antioxidants in dandelion flowers, combined with immune boosting properties, enhance the appearance of the skin while neutralizing free radicals. In addition, dandelion aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients, which contributes to the health of skin as well. Add a handful of fresh dandelion blossoms to a large cup of very hot water. Or use a dandelion tea bag. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Jasmine

This fragrant flower contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that support the immune system and nourish skin. Jasmine balances hormones, reduces oil production on the skin and helps to heal skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Brew a cup of jasmine tea by combining three teaspoons of fresh or dried flowers with a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if necessary.

Green Tea

This soothing tea reduces inflammation throughout the body, including the skin. Green tea protects against harmful UV radiation. And it contains a powerful antioxidant called ECGC that fights free radicals and prevents the formation of wrinkles. In addition, this tea revives dying skin cells and promotes the growth of healthy new ones. Add a green tea bag to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for five minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Green Tea with Jasmine
I love this tea from Twinings that combines two of the seven herbal teas that nourish skin…green tea and jasmine.

Ginger

Aromatic and spicy ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, plus it aids digestion. Ginger also strengthens the immune system. All of these supportive health boosters contribute to clear, vibrant skin. Peel a small piece of fresh ginger and slice or mince it. Pour boiling water over the ginger, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Peppermint

This herb from the mint family balances hormones, with calms skin and helps to keep it clear and healthy. It also reduces sebum, an oily secretion, on the skin. Peppermint’s antioxidants prevent oxidative damage that ages the skin, and help to renew skin cells. Add two teaspoons of fresh or dried peppermint, or one tea bag, to a cup of very hot water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Ginger Tea
Aromatic ginger tea supports the body while promoting healthy skin.

Which of These Teas Will You Try?

These seven herbal teas that nourish skin are readily available through your favorite grocery story, in tea bag form. Or check your local health food store or grocer for dried loose leaves to create your own tea blends. Additionally, peppermint and chamomile are easy to grow in a backyard garden or container. I even have a jasmine plant flourishing in a container on my front deck. And wild dandelions dot most yards during spring and summer.

Or for convenience, click links below to order your favorite herbal teas from Amazon.

Simply adding one to three cups of tea to your diet, daily, can radically improve health and wellness. As a wonderful bonus, that health radiates from clear skin as a vibrant glow.

Which herbal tea will you try first?

Seven Herbal Teas that Nourish Skin Mint
A favorite among the seven herbal that nourish skin…peppermint.

Pick up your herbal teas for healthier skin, below:

 



 

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Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

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One thing that many people enjoy about fall is pumpkin flavored everything. From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin donuts and gnocchi, this rich and homey flavor defines the season.

This evening I happily tried a new pumpkin recipe, adapted from litecravings.com. These easy to prepare bars are full of pumpkin flavor and spices. They do not contain gluten, eggs, oil, grains or refined sugar.

Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars Title Meme

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

I used organic canned pumpkin puree for this recipe. The rest of my ingredients were organic as well and non GMO. Make sure you are using pumpkin puree, rather than pumpkin pie filling, which is loaded with sugar. I found non GMO peanut butter powder at my local Natural Grocers, in the refrigerator section of the bulk foods aisle. I located the almond meal, which gives the bars a nice texture, in the same section. You can use almond flour instead, if desired.

The original recipe required two eggs. I used “flax eggs” instead. Check out this post, for four egg substitutes, including flax eggs, that work well for baking.

Vegan & Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

These easy to prepare bars are rich with pumpkin flavor and spices and do not contain eggs, oil, refined sugar or gluten.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free, Pumpkin Bars, Vegan
Servings: 9

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, organic if possible
  • 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, organic if possible
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, aluminum free
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the almond meal.
  • Fold in almond meal, just until combined. Pour mixture into an 8x8 cooking pan, lightly greased with coconut oil.
  • Top with walnut pieces, if desired. Dark chocolate chips would be good too.
  • Bake 20 - 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out with just a bit of batter clinging to it. It's okay to slightly undercook the bars. Begin testing for doneness at 20 minutes.
  • Let cool completely, at least one hour. Bars do even better chilled for several hours in the fridge so that they set. Cut into 9 bars,
Ingredients for vegan pumpkin bars
Ingredients for vegan and gluten free pumpkin bars.

Pumpkin Bars that Taste Like Fall

I admit, I rushed the cooling process so I could finish up photos and complete my blog post! However, these vegan and gluten free bars are so good! The bars are slightly sweet and loaded with spiced pumpkin goodness. Because my bars were still warm, they tasted like a delightful cross between pumpkin pie and pumpkin brownies.

The remainder of the bars will chill in the refrigerator overnight. I baked them for about 25 minutes. I think next time…and there will be a next time…I’ll leave them in two minutes longer.

I enjoyed a couple of vegan and gluten free pumpkin bars with a cup of hot peppermint tea. They were perfection…and the taste of fall….in every yummy bite.

Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

 

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Curried Chickpeas

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I love curry! Early in my plant based journey, I discovered how easy it is to make a delicious and healthy vegan curry. This madras curried lentils recipe was the first one I made, and remains a frequent meal.

These simple curried chickpeas seem destined to become my next favorite. And preparing them in the pressure cooker speeds up the process.

Curried Chickpeas Title Meme

Curry

Curry is a broad term for a variety of dishes originating in India. The recipes use a combination of spices and herbs that typically includes turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger and fresh or dried chilies. Curry can be sweet and mild. Or the flavor can be hot and spicy.

Curry is usually prepared as a sauce and combined with vegetables, fruits or proteins. These delightful curried chickpeas are mild and gain their flavor from a combination of six spices and herbs.

Curried Chickpeas Spices
Start with dried chickpeas and a combination of spices.

Curried Chickpeas Recipe

This recipe is adapted from Vegan Under Pressure. Soak dried chickpeas for eight hours before cooking. Because the cook time is so short, start the chickpeas soaking in the morning and drain and rinse them when you are ready to add to the pressure cooker.

I use my DIY vegetable broth in this recipe. Found out how easy it is to make your own, from veggie scraps. And, I prepare a batch of brown rice in the pressure cooker prior to making the curry. Combine two cups of dried brown rice with 3 cups of vegetable broth, in the pressure cooker. Lock on lid. Bring to pressure and cook for 25 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally.

Curried Chickpeas
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Curried Chickpeas

This easy to prepare curry derives it's amazing flavor from a combination of spices. Use the pressure cooker to create a meal in minutes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chickpeas, Curried Chickpeas, Curry
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ground ginger may substitute fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked 8 hours and drained
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Rinse chickpeas after soaking for 8 hours. Set aside.
  • Heat pressure cooker (I use meat setting) and saute onions in small amount of vegetable broth for 1 - 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add spices and stir. Add drained and rinsed chickpeas and vegetable broth.
  • Lock on lid. Bring to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to come down naturally. Carefully remove lid.
  • Test a chickpea to see if it is done. If not, lock on lid again and return to pressure, cooking for 1 - 2 minutes more.
  • Stir chickpeas and add the tomato paste and sea salt to taste. Serve with brown rice.

Notes

May use 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes or dried ground chili peppers for a spicy curry.
Curried Chickpeas in the Pressure Cooker
Ready to cook.
Curried Chickpeas Cooked
Curried chickpeas cooked in 15 minutes.

Perfect Quick Curry

I love this curry! Just inhaling the scent of the spices as I prepare the recipe gets me hungry for this tasty dish. And I don’t mind at all cleaning up the kitchen while the curried chickpeas cook. They smell wonderful.

They taste wonderful as well. The combination of spices is perfect. The fun part is you can play around with different spices to change up the flavor slightly. Swap out the curry powder for garam masala. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Throw in a bit of chili powder.

For me the current mix of flavors is absolutely right. As cooler weather appears, these curried chickpeas, served over brown rice, will grace my bowl often.

Curried Chickpeas
Perfect curried chickpeas.

Pick up a pressure cooker like I use by clicking link below. And check out the pressure cooker cookbooks too!

 


 

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Cover Girl for Health

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Yesterday I received a delightful surprise, just as I was meeting a friend for lunch. A notification popped up on my phone, as I tucked it into my purse. Lisa, my contact at the national magazine First for Women, sent me an email. It opened with these words:

“Hi Cindy, your issue comes out today and I just learned you’re on the cover!!”

And just like that, I became a cover girl, a cover girl for health!

Cover Girl for Health Title Meme

A Magazine Reaches Out

Lisa contacted me in July, shortly after my mother and I appeared in another national magazine, Woman’s World. My contact there found me through my Instagram account and asked if Mom and I could answer some health related questions for her. The July issue of Woman’s World would include a feature article about Anthony William, the Medical Medium, and the wonders of celery juice.

She read in my Instagram posts that Mom and I experienced remarkable health transformations after following Anthony’s protocols. Both of us healed from a host of ailments and health issues. As our eating habits shifted and our bodies recovered we naturally lost weight. You can read about that fun adventure, doing a photo shoot and appearing in Woman’s World Magazine HERE. When that issue hit the stands, Mom graced the front cover! What a wonderful surprise for her. She looks adorable, holding her celery juice.

Cover Girl for Health Photo Shoot
Asenath, from Dr Flys Salon, did an excellent job with our hair and makeup. Photographer Patty Jesse took the photos for Woman’s World.
Cover Girl for Health Womans World Magazine
There is my sweet mom on the cover of Womans World Magazine. She was the first Cover Girl for Health in our family!

A Second Opportunity

Mom and I enjoyed sharing that first time experience of being featured in a magazine story and having a professional photo shoot. I’m grateful for her willingness to jump into adventures with me.

When Lisa contacted me, she explained that First for Women is a sister magazine to Woman’s World. First for Women planned a feature in their October issue about celery juice and Anthony William. She wondered if she could ask me some questions.

I’m always happy to help people with health related questions. Severe chronic sciatica led me down a dark path of pain and ultimately despair. At my lowest point, faced with the prospect of needing a wheelchair, I asked for Divine help and looked for answers beyond what I’d been told by the medical community. That’s when I discovered Anthony. He truly is a Godsend and a blessing in my life. My desire is to provide an answer to someone else’s question and cry for help.

After a few email exchanges, Lisa contacted me with the announcement that her editor wanted to use my story in their October issue. Since First for Women had access to the photos from the Woman’s World shoot, I wouldn’t need to have another session. I’m sure that saved time and money for the magazine too. I agreed, happy again to help.

Cover Girl for Health Mom and Cindy
The inside story, with the text covered up, in Womans World Magazine.

Cover Girl for Health

Truthfully, I had almost forgotten about the story in First for Women. Because I didn’t have to do a photo shoot or fill out additional releases and interviews, the time passed and I became busy with a trip to Scotland and the blogs.

Funny enough, as I showered yesterday morning, the thought popped into my head “Oh…I wonder when the story comes out for First for Women?” From past experience I knew that the magazines release early. I looked forward to seeing the story and discovering which photo the magazine used, of the hundreds that Patty Jesse took. I had no inkling that I’d be on the cover. Lisa’s email arrived in my inbox a couple of hours later.

It’s been fun, being on the cover. I’ve received many messages from friends and family. It’s also a bit of a shock, in a giggly kind of way, to walk into Walmart and see my image on a magazine at the check out. And of course, the magazine leads with the weight I lost as a result of my healthier lifestyle. In the article within the magazine, they offer more benefits. Truthfully, weight loss was not my motivation for drinking celery juice and changing to a plant based lifestyle. Improving my health, easing my severe pain and walking without a cane drove me to shift my diet.

My Desire

However, weight loss articles attract readers. I totally get that. In the past I’ve bought many magazines and books with the intention of losing weight. What I discovered is that focusing on health delivered the side benefit of losing the extra weight, easily.

My sincere desire is that women pick up the magazine, curious about the weight loss aspect, and read the story. May they find answers to their questions about health issues. May they find healing. And may they find hope for a better quality of life.

For all those reasons, I’m honored to be the cover girl for health. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Cover Girl for Health On Sale Now
The October issue of First for Women, on sale now wherever magazines are sold.

Have a question?

If you’d like more info about my healing journey, please check out these posts:

Welcome to my Healing Journey Blog

Following a Plant Based Lifestyle – One Year Update

Celebrating Two Years on a Plant Based Lifestyle

Three Years Plant Based

And please ask me any questions you have, in the comments below or through the contact form.

Pick up Anthony’s books in my storefront:

Cindy’s Amazon Storefront

 

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Summer Succotash

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As summer winds down and fall approaches, gardens offer their final harvests. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the bounty with meals created with fresh produce.

I browsed through cookbooks today, looking for something new, something different to try, that incorporates end of the season vegetables. The one that appealed to me the most is a simple, wholesome recipe that is quickly prepared in the pressure cooker. This summer succotash features fresh foods such as onions, tomatoes, corn and okra.

Summer Succotash Title Meme

Creating a Summer Succotash

Succotash is an American culinary dish consisting of sweet corn and lima beans or other shell beans. Other ingredients include tomatoes, green bell peppers and okra. When served with a grain, such as brown rice or quinoa, succotash is high in all the essential amino acids that the body requires.

Fresh shell beans are removed from a pod and eaten. There are many varieties. The most common shell beans are lima, fava, borlotti and chickpeas. I’ve also seen what’s called purple hull beans in my area of the Midwest. However, a search at the farmer’s market and local grocery stores didn’t yield any shell beans. No worries. The original recipe didn’t include them. I scratched them off my list.

Summer Succotash Fresh Produce

Creating a Summer Succotash

At the local farmer’s market I did find plenty of tomatoes (my plants at home are just about done for the season) and containers of fresh okra. People either love okra or they don’t! I’m in the love category.

This flowering plant in the mallow family produces bright green pods that are edible. Known to many as a food to pickle or to cover in corn meal and fry, okra also does well lightly sauteed with other veggies and as an ingredient in soups and stews.

Okra is a great source of fiber. It’s also high in vitamins A, B6, C and K and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Summer Succotash Mix

Summer Succotash in the Pressure Cooker

Summer Succotash Recipe

Use fresh produce for this easy summer succotash. Because I only eat non GMO corn, I purchased a can labeled such, rather than use fresh corn on the cob. This recipe came from my Vegan Under Pressure Cookbook.

Summer Succotash

Enjoy late summer produce with this quick and easy succotash.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Succotash, Summer Succotash
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup fresh okra, sliced
  • 1 large ear of sweet corn, kernels removed about 1 1/2 cups (may use 1 can non GMO corn)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups ripe tomatoes, diced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • With the top removed, heat pressure cooker and saute onion in small amount of vegetable stock or coconut oil.
  • When onions are translucent, add okra. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add corn and vegetable broth. Stir. Lay diced tomatoes on top of other veggies. Do not stir.
  • Lock on lid of pressure cooker. Cook on steamer setting for 2 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Remove lid, stir and serve over grain such as brown rice or quinoa. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Delicious Summer Meal

Because of the pressure cooker, this recipe came together so fast, I barely had time to reheat the brown rice I’d already prepared! I love a quick and healthy homecooked meal when I come in late after a long day. This one is perfect.

And I used my vegetable broth made from scraps in this recipe as well. I’m loving the convenience of this simple and flavorful broth. You can find the recipe HERE. I made a fresh batch of vegetable broth this afternoon and used some of it for the summer succotash.

This meal is light and yet filling. The fresh flavors of late summer shine through. Add smoked paprika or a small amount of chopped pepper, to spice it up. Or garnish with favorite fresh herbs. Until the frost comes and officially ends the growing season, summer succotash goes into my meal rotation!

Summer Succotash Meal

 

Order Vegan Under Pressure by clicking link above or clicking on the photo below.

 

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7 Fun Health Tips to Try This Week

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With all the serious emphasis placed on health, mine included, it felt like time to write up a fun post. Daily I appreciate the miraculous way that the body functions. And I am deeply grateful for the role that healthy, highly nutritious foods play to support that body. I continue to learn and grow in the area of health and wellness.

For today’s post, I chose to feature a collection of tips that can boost health in minutes a day, and spark fun too.

Here are 7 fun health tips to try this week.

7 Fun Health Tips Title Meme

A Week of Health Tips to Try

An easy way to incorporate these tips, without feeling overwhelm or obligation, is to add one activity to each day of the week. None of the 7 fun health tips to try take more than a few minutes and yet the rewards are great.

And of course, feel free to change up these suggestions! Do three of the tips in one day. Stretch on Wednesday instead of Sunday. Make up your own fun list. These activities are meant to inspire and encourage and raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle…at any age.

7 Fun Health Tips Stretch

Sunday – Stretch

We can learn much from watching cats! When they wake up, they stretch. Gentle stretches stimulate the muscles, increasing blood flow and easing tightness. Stretches are a great way to wake up the body. And regularly stretching keeps muscles limber and reduces the risk of injury.

Before getting out of bed, spend five minutes stretching arms and legs. Stretch…hold…release the muscles. Be very gentle.

7 Fun Health Tips Try Something New

Monday – Try Something New

Learning something new, whether it’s a language or a musical instrument or a hobby, boosts the brain by creating fresh pathways. American researchers coined the phrase “neurobics” for tasks that activate the brain’s biochemical pathways and create new ones that help to strengthen or preserve existing circuits.

Spend a few minutes learning something new. Download a language app and practice for five minutes a day. Learn a new game. Paint with your non-dominant hand. Drive to work a different way. Mixing things up fires up the brain and that helps to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

7 Fun Health Tips Berries

Tuesday – Eat Berries

On this day, replace a dessert or even a meal with a big bowl of berries. Include strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. These superfoods contain nutrients called anthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidants. And blueberries are high in resveratrol, the antioxidant compound found in grapes. Resveratrol helps to protect against heart disease, cancer and the effects of aging.

Grab a bowl of berries and savor them. Resist the urge to cover them in sugar or toss them over a scoop of ice cream. Appreciate the natural flavor of the juicy berries and the role they play in keeping the body healthy.

7 Fun Health Tips Walk

Wednesday – Walk Outside

On this day, head outdoors. Walk in a park, through the woods, across a field or around the track at a school. Just get outside and walk for 15 to 30 minutes.

We know that walking tones the body, burns calories, strengthens muscles, helps to maintain a healthy weight and gets the heart pumping. In addition, walking outdoors also reduces negative thoughts, clears the mind and boosts self confidence.

7 Fun Health Tips Read

Thursday – Read

Among the 7 fun health tips to try, this one may come as a surprise. It’s a delightful one, I hope! Studies have shown that reading for just 6 to 10 minutes can reduce stress. Losing yourself in a book lowers the stress hormone cortisol by 67%.

Grab a favorite book, or one you’ve never read before, and find a place to relax for a few minutes while you read. The mental distraction frees the mind from anxiety and thoughts that keep circling around. Bonus health tip: brew a cup of herbal tea to sip on while you enjoy your book.

7 Fun Health Tips Breathe Deeply

Friday – Breathe Deeply

Pausing to take long deep breaths improves circulation, reduces stress, calms the mind and body and lowers high blood pressure.

During the day, be aware of stress or feeling overwhelmed. Pause and take three deep breaths, breathing in through the nose for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of four and slowly releasing the breath through the mouth. Deep breathing can be practiced anywhere, at anytime…while at the office, sitting in traffic or during a bathroom break.

7 Fun Health Tips Laughter

Saturday – Belly Laugh

Talk about a fun health tip! Laughter truly does the body good. It increases blood flow by 20%, relaxing and expanding the lining of blood vessels. That increase of oxygen rich blood is good for heart health. Laughter also lifts mood and boosts the immune system. Feel a cold coming on? Laugh as your first line of defense.

Spend a few minutes on this day working up to a good belly laugh. Watch YouTube funnies. Recall a favorite scene from a comedy and watch the entire movie when you can. Read jokes from a book. Watch kids or pets play. Energetically open up the chest and stomach areas (the heart and solar plexus chakras) and allow genuine laughter to flow. You’ll feel better and so will those around you. Laughter is contagious.

Use these activities as a launching pad and create more fun health tips to enjoy. I promise you, the more you look for ways to bring health and wellness into your life, the more ideas will show up.

I’d love to hear about the 7 fun health tips you come up with!

 

Check out these fun health finds:

 


 

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6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety

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Anxiety. Most of us have experienced it. For some, it is a daily occurrence that dims joy and creates a host of health problems.

Stressful events such as moving, the birth of a baby, job interviews, public speaking, relationship issues and financial strain can create a heightened sense of nervousness that we call anxiety.

Check out the symptoms below. And then read on for 6 teas that soothe anxiety, naturally.

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Title Meme

Symptoms of Anxiety

The following symptoms can indicate the presence of anxiety:

  •  restless sleep or insomnia
  •  muscle tension, especially in jaw, neck and scalp
  •  chronic indigestion and digestive disorders
  •  extreme nervousness before an event – “stage fright”
  •  worry and self-doubt
  •  self-consciousness
  •  excessive worry and fixating on a particular outcome
  •  obsessive compulsive disorder
  •  repetitive motions such as hair pulling, lip chewing, fingernail biting
  •  panic
  •  irrational fears

**for severe or chronic anxiety and accompanying depression, please see your doctor or mental health care professional.

Ways to destress and soothe minor anxiety include meditation, deep breathing, exercise, getting out into nature and drinking tea. The following teas are the best for calming the body and relieving the symptoms of anxiety.

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Chamomile
Chamomile Tea

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is well known for its soothing effects. Studies show that chamomile tea binds to GABA receptors in the brain, inducing relaxation. In fact, this herbal tea, made from the flowers of the chamomile plant, targets the nervous system receptors in the same way that medications such as Xanax do.

Brew tea by pouring boiling water into a cup containing 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried chamomile flowers. Cover and steep 15 minutes. Stain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink before bed or when feeling anxious.

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm leaves have a lemony flavor and aroma. This powerful herb reduces stress without the side effects of medications. Researchers found that drinking lemon balm tea significantly reduces anxiety, for up to three hours after consumption.

Use 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried lemon balm in a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove leaves. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink lemon balm tea throughout the day, to soothe anxiety and restlessness and calm panic.

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm Tea

Rose Tea

This mild and slightly sweet tea is made from rose petals. Rose tea has analgesic and relaxation properties. It increases deep sleep and reduces the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep. This tea affects the benzodiazepine receptors in the same way that prescription meds such as Xanax and Clonazepam do.

Flavonoids in the rose petals target the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. They also ease inflammation and relieve pain.

Add one heaping tablespoon of dried rose petals to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain. Sweeten with honey if desired.

Green Tea

Green tea is made from Camelia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the oxidation process used to make oolong and black teas. It has many health benefits. It’s rich in the amino acid L-theanine and antioxidants and polyphenols that boost health and ease anxiety by calming nervousness.

L-theanine directly affects the brain by increasing alpha wave activity. It also increases relaxation without causing drowsiness.

Brew green tea by placing a tea bag in hot, but not boiling, water. Boiling water can make the tea taste bitter. Cover and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove tea bag. Sweeten with honey if desired.

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Green Tea
Green Tea

Lavender Tea

Lavender is famous for its calming properties and very useful for soothing anxiety and stress.

Studies show that inhaling the scent of lavender calms the body and improves deep sleep. It also elevates energy levels when awake. Lavender encourages the production of dopamine, the brain’s feel good chemical. Additionally, it lowers the stress hormone cortisol.

Add 2 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers to very hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink lavender tea an hour before bedtime, to improve sleep quality. Or drink this delicately flavored floral tea throughout the day to lower stress levels.

Passionflower Tea

Passionflower tea is made from flowers from the Passiflora family. This mildly flavored tea has a slightly sweet floral taste and scent.

Flavonoids in passionflower tea affect the GABA receptors in the brain. This plant also contains the flavone chrysin, which effectively reduces anxiety.

Add one teaspoon of dried passionflower petals to a cup of very hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Stain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink before bedtime for a better night’s sleep or throughout the day to lower stress levels.

Take Time for Tea

The next time a long day creates stress or a situation threatens to overwhelm, pause and brew a cup of one of these 6 teas that soothe anxiety.

One of the best things about a cup of herbal tea, beyond the many health benefits, is that it inspires us to take a time out. That break helps us to relax and unwind and quite literally, catch our breath.

I love practicing afternoon tea time daily for that reason. For a few minutes I pause and savor a cup of hot tea. It’s a great way to bring my attention fully into the present moment and check in with my body to see how I’m doing. It is me time, delightfully so.

Do you have a favorite tea, that helps you to destress and relax?

6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety Passionflower
Pick up a pretty glass teapot HERE.

Purchase dried herbs for tea below:

 


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DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps

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Have you ever thought about making your own vegetable broth?

I’ve thought about it. However, I’ve never been inspired enough to do so. All that chopping of veggies deterred me. For convenience, I’ve purchased organic vegetable stock.

Last week I came across a simple and amazing recipe for DIY broth from vegetable scraps. Inspiration struck! Because I make juices and eat a plant based diet, I have lots of vegetable scraps. Those go into the trash or into a compost canister…and often then into the trash as I don’t have a dedicated compost pile.

What if I used the veggie leftovers to create broth? I can, I discovered. And the best part? Because these are the scraps, they are already in small pieces. No additional chopping required. Second best part? I used my pressure cooker to create a perfect batch of broth in 30 minutes.

DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps Title Meme

What Scraps to Use

Throughout the week, as you prep meals, place vegetable scraps in a gallon size container and store in the freezer. When the container is full, it’s time to make broth.

These vegetables are perfect for broth making:

  •  red and yellow onion pieces and skins
  •  garlic pieces and skins
  •  celery ends and tips – avoid using many leaves as they can be bitter
  •  carrot ends and tips
  •  tomatoes pieces
  •  asparagus stems
  •  bell pepper ends, stems and seeds
  •  mushroom stems and pieces
  •  spinach
  •  zucchini pieces and ends

Don’t use starchy vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes. They cloud the broth. Also avoid cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts because of bitterness.

DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps
Thawed and rinsed veggie scraps ready to cook. I added additional fresh tomatoes from my garden.

DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps

Vegetable broth may be used for soup and stew starters, to cook rice and pasta in, to saute vegetables in or to replace water for cooking vegetables.

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps

Make your own delicious and nutritious broth from leftover vegetable scraps.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps
Servings: 8 cups

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon container vegetable scraps, frozen
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil

Instructions

  • Thaw, at least partially, gallon container of frozen vegetable scraps. Rinse veggies.
  • Place vegetable scraps in pressure cooker.
  • Add water, bay leaves, sea salt and dried herbs.
  • Cover cooker and bring to pressure. Cook for 30 minutes. Allow natural release.
  • Carefully remove lid. Strain broth through fine mesh strainer or through cheesecloth. Store in covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or freeze and keep for 3 - 6 months.
DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps Ready to cook
Veggie scraps in the pressure cooker with herbs. I added two chopped carrots to the scraps.
Cooked vegetable scraps.
Cooked vegetable scraps. It isn’t beautiful, however, doesn’t it look yummy?
Draining veggie scrapsl
I used cheesecloth inside a colander to strain the broth.

The Finished DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps

The broth smelled wonderful as it cooked. Smell is an important sense for me when I’m cooking, as it is for many. When something “smells right”, that’s a good indicator. The broth smelled very right.

After allowing the pressure cooker to release steam naturally, meaning I didn’t turn the knob on top to release it manually, I lifted the lid and peeked inside.

What began as a mess of scraps transformed into a rich and savory looking broth. In the sink the cheesecloth draped colander rested over a glass bowl. I carefully poured the contents of the cooker into the colander and allowed it to drain completely.

The broth is excellent. I sampled a spoonful, to make sure the flavor is up to par. It is! In fact, it tastes much better than what I purchase.

I LOVE that I have a use for all my leftover vegetable scraps. It makes me feel so good to know I am not wasting those bits and pieces. Rather, I am turning waste into something that I can use. And, I know exactly what’s in my broth: veggies, water, herbs, sea salt. Nothing more.

Tomorrow night I’ll prepare Lentils and Brown Rice in my pressure cooker, using one of my containers of DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps. And I’m already collecting veggie scraps for my next batch of broth. I feel ridiculously excited!

DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps Finished
The recipe made three containers of broth, about 3 cups each.

 

Pick up Vegan Pressure Cooking, the book that inspired the DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps.

And grab a Pressure Cooker by clicking on the photo below:

 

 

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Horsetail Herb

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

This plant with the funny name, Horsetail Herb, is new to me. However its impressive list of nutrients earns it the nickname, “the repairing plant”. Take a look at the healing benefits of this little known but health boosting herb.

Horsetail Herb Title Meme

What is Horsetail Herb?

Horsetail is a perennial herb. There are 15 different species of this plant although common horsetail is used most often medicinally.

The herb grows in rich, damp soil throughout temperate climates in the Northern Hemisphere, including the US, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The stems and leaves provide the health benefits. In the spring, horsetail herb puts up a brown stem that resembles asparagus. Cones filled with spores form atop the stems. As the plant dries, silica crystals form in stems and leaves, creating a feathery tail effect.

Horsetail Herb Bundles

Horsetail Herb Nutrients

Horsetail contains a long list of nutrients and beneficial compounds, including:

  •  vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E & K
  •  folate
  •  potassium
  •  sodium
  •  calcium
  •  magnesium
  •  iron
  •  zinc
  •  copper
  •  phenolic compounds
  •  silica
  •  kynurenic acid
  •  styrylpyrones
  •  chlorophyll

Pretty impressive, right? This is a plant I wanted to know more about, especially since it repairs and restores the body.

Horsetail Herb

Health Benefits of Horsetail Herb

This potent herb provides the following healing benefits:

Aids Hair Growth

Horsetail is rich in silica, an important mineral that supports hair growth. Studies suggest that hair strands with a higher silica content have a lower fall out rate and appear healthier and brighter. Horsetail is one of the best sources of silica and improves nail and skin health as well.

Improves Brittle Nails

Horsetail may be used topically or taken internally to improve brittle nails. Again, it’s the high silica content in the herb that boosts nail, hair and skin health.

Natural Diuretic

The herb is a natural diuretic that helps with edema, puffiness caused by excess water stored in the body. Horsetail improves edema without the side effects affecting liver or kidney function or causing an electrolyte imbalance.

Soothes Joint Inflammation

Horsetail is an ancient remedy for joint disease, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The powerful herb soothes and calms inflammation and eases degenerative joint disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The compound kynurenic acid is responsible for the anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and pain relieving properties. These abilities place horsetail herb in a super group of plants including peppermint, nettle and birch leaf, all high in kynurenic acid.

Helps to Heal Wounds and Burns

The silica in horsetail is key to the formation of collagen, a key skin building block that is essential for strength and elasticity. Studies show that horsetail helps wounds and burns to heal while easing associated pain.

Antimicrobial Properties

Horsetail Herb stops the growth and kills microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. It is also effective against staph infections and candida.

Dried Horsetal Herb

Using Horsetail Herb

Horsetail may be purchased as a dried herb, tea, capsules or tinctures. Also available are creams and lotions that contain horsetail herb and hair and nail products for topical use.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits of horsetail herb…and my favorite…is by brewing tea.

Pour one cup of boiling water over 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried horsetail. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.

Use a strong horsetail herb tea as a rinse after shampooing, to strengthen hair. Tea may also be used to bathe wounds and burns.

Cautions

Be careful foraging for this plant. Although it commonly grows near water, there is a variety known as marsh horsetail that is poisonous.

Mild side effects from the herb include upset stomach, diarrhea and increased urination. Taking too much horsetail herb can cause kidney pain, low back pain, heart palpitations, nausea and vomiting so don’t take more than the recommended dosage or drink more than one cup of tea a day.

Check with your doctor about taking horsetail if you are pregnant, nursing a baby or have low potassium levels. Horsetail may lower blood sugar and potassium levels. Also check with the doctor if you are taking medications for diabetes or water retention or if you are taking lithium, as horsetail may interact with these drugs.

Horsetail Herb Teal

 

Pick up dried horsetail HERE or purchase capsules HERE.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

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When I have the itch to try a new recipe, on a hot and muggy day, I turn to my pressure pot. Not only is my meal ready in minutes, the kitchen stays cool. I thumbed through one of my vegan pressure cooker books for inspiration. The one that caught my interest, Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale, was easily adapted to meet my dietary needs. I also had most of the ingredients on hand.

Navy Beans Brown Rice & Kale Title Meme

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

I chose this recipe because I love the combination of beans and rice. Throw in some greens…kale in this case…and some onion, garlic and seasonings and it’s the perfect quick meal for me.

After an afternoon busy with real estate, it was a joy to come home and prepare a fast and nutritious meal in the pressure cooker.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

This delicious recipe comes together quickly in the pressure cooker.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Navy Beans Brown Rice Kale

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried navy beans
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chopped kale, loosely packed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Rinse and drain navy beans
  • In uncovered pressure cooker, heat coconut oil. I set the pressure cooker to the "fish" setting to saute. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, until onion softens. Cancel setting,
  • Add navy beans, brown rice, kale, bay leaf, thyme and vegetable broth. Stir and cover. Cook for 25. Allow for a natural release.
  • Carefully remove lid. Discard bay leaf. Add lemon juice and sea salt. Makes four servings.
  • *Collard greens or spinach may be substituted for kale, if desired. Water may be substituted for vegetable broth.
Navy Bean Brown Rice & Kale
The start of something good. Remove stems from kale and tear leaves into bite sized pieces.
Onions in Pressure Cooker
Onions and garlic in pressure cooker.

The Start of Something Good

As I tidied up the kitchen, the tantalizing aroma of dinner cooking filled the room. If the navy beans, brown rice & kale tasted as good as it smelled, I’d count this recipe a success.

I didn’t have to wait long to find out! Twenty five minutes later, the timer went off. I allowed the steam to release naturally, which means I didn’t turn the knob on top of the pressure cooker to manually release the steam. Instead, I let it seep out, which took another 10 minutes or so.

At last I carefully lifted the lid. After removing the bay leaf, I added freshly squeezed lemon juice and a teaspoon of sea salt.

Into the pressure cooker
Into the pressure pot.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale Taste Test

After ladling up a bowl of this quick and hearty meal, and taking a photo of course, I sampled a spoonful.

This easy to prepare meal was SO GOOD! The flavors of the beans, rice and kale blended perfectly. And the thyme and bay leaf added just the right amount of seasoning.

I carried my steaming bowl into the living room and savored my meal, sitting in my favorite chair. I’ll definitely be making this recipe often. As summer gives way to the cooler temps of fall, navy beans, brown rice & kale will go into my meal rotation, to be enjoyed often.

Navy Beans Brown Rice & Kale

Check out this pressure cooker recipe as well:

Lentils & Brown Rice

Order one of these plant based pressure pot cookbooks!