Grocery Alternatives

There are many ways you can avoid loads of trips to the supermarket every month by getting the bulk of things that you will need over time from great websites like Thrive Market, Boxed, etc.  There’s also a new website called Brandless where you can get healthy items, household items, and more — and everything is $3.  Can’t beat that!

Another great option is to sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  This allows you to have fresh, seasonal foods from farms in your area periodically delivered to your home.  You’re supporting local agriculture and getting fresh, local food.

You can then make a quick trip to the grocery store to grab anything extra you may need, taking far less time.  This will save you a lot of money, keep you on track and you’ll have much more free time to relax!

Do You Have a Bottle

Do you have a reusable water bottle?  Drinking water is vital to your health and is something that’s necessary on a daily basis.  Since this is a permanent task on your daily to-do list, having a water bottle you take everywhere with you makes you much more likely to drink the amount of water you need to drink.

Did you know it can take more than 450 YEARS for plastic to decompose in landfills?  If you’ve been using plastic water bottles, it’s time to ditch them and get a reusable bottle.

If you don’t already have a favorite water bottle that goes with you everywhere, snag one this week so you can focus on staying hydrated and taking care of the environment by making this eco-friendly decision.

 

 

Spices That Should be in Everyone’s Kitchen

I am certain you have the staple ingredients you keep stocked in your pantry at all times, but which spices do you always keep on hand? Whether you know this or not, many spices you undoubtedly consume regularly, and probably have in your kitchen right now, hold incredible health benefits. So today, I want to share with you some of my favorite versatile spices that also are beneficial for your health.

#1: Black Pepper: I must say, this is one my absolute favorite spices and I include it in everything. The best option is using freshly ground pepper from a peppercorn mill, which is simple to find and pick up from any grocery store. It tastes better freshly ground, and it’s far more beneficial for your health. Freshly ground black pepper helps assist with digestion and has helpful antioxidant benefits.

#2 Ginger: A natural germ fighter, ginger can help protect you against bacteria and germs that can attack your immune system. Ginger can also naturally reduce inflammation and quell any nausea you may experience. Great for digestion, ginger can be added to meals, smoothies, or your morning hot lemon water.

#3 Cinnamon: A great addition to your morning smoothie or coffee, cinnamon is also great for stabilizing your blood sugar and boosting your immune system.There are also some fruits & vegetables that go well with cinnamon such as baked apples and honey-glazed carrots.

#4 Garlic: You can include garlic in just about any dish because it’s so versatile and complimentary to most foods. It’s incredible for detoxing the body naturally, boosting your immune system and fighting off infections — and luckily, it tastes amazing. Add it in as much as you can!

#5 Turmeric: This spice is truly incredible and cannot be overlooked. If finding space for it in your dishes is difficult, getting a high-quality turmeric supplement to take daily would be of great benefit to you. It’s easily incorporated into soups or main dishes. Its benefits include antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties to help keep you healthy.

What spices do you use on a daily basis that you couldn’t imagine life without?

It’s essential to take a few minutes out of our day to sit and be with ourselves and our thoughts, so we can learn the challenging art of quieting the mind.  If we never slow down, we will certainly never get to that point.

Meditation doesn’t have to be for the pros; you can do it yourself with just an app on your phone and ten minutes a day.  Fitting it into your morning or night routine does not take much effort, and the reward will be worth it.  Download an app onto your phone such as Headspace or Calm and give it a try.

Whatever situation you’re in right now — whole and happy, or journeying through a tough time — are you looking at it with a proactive mindset about how to continue?

If you’re struggling, have you brainstormed ways to get yourself out of the quicksand?  Do you know what step to take first, and the subsequent steps that come afterward?  A plan of action takes an immense amount of stress off of your shoulders, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Evaluate what is and isn’t working in your life and what the next steps are.  Your happiness is important and is a crucial part of your overall health.

Give Your Sleep Habits a Spring Makeover

With the arrival of Spring finally among us, most of us are also dealing with daylight savings time and the change that that brings. The longer days and waking up while it’s still dark outside can take a toll on our sleep cycle. This makes Spring the perfect time to take a good look at your sleeping habits and nighttime routine to see where some tweaks can be made to improve your sleep this Spring and beyond.

So take note: are you getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night? Do you toss and turn or do you sleep peacefully during the night? Do you wake up feeling refreshed in the morning?

Sleep deprivation and sleep problems are incredibly common, so chances are you struggle with at least one of those. Here are a few ways you can overhaul your sleep patterns and habits this spring and beyond:

Implement a calming bedtime routine 30 minutes to an hour before you hop into bed. Try going tech-free at least 30 minutes before bed and see what a difference it makes on calming your mind and how you sleep more peacefully.

Try stretching before bed, even just a few stretches on the floor beside your bed before you settle in for the night. Small stretches to stretch through your muscles and help them relax the stress from the day away. This also enables you to get back in your body and keep your mind from floating around from thought to thought as you try to drift away to sleep.

Aside from ways to help you get to sleep, ideas to help you wake up refreshed are also great to implement right now. Start by looking up some healthy morning tonics or smoothies on Pinterest and finding one that piques your interest. Try that starting this week in the morning and use that as afew minutes to yourself to wake up and start your day. If possible, incorporate some movement for 10-15 minutes to get your blood pumping. This could be a walk around the block, doing a few yoga poses, or something more vigorous, if you’re up to it in the mornings.

Have you ever considered what your skin is trying to tell you?  Winter has come to a close, and with its ending, the dry skin goes with it!  Some skin things are seasonal such as the dry skin that’s so common in the dry, winter months — but your skin is telling you a lot about what’s going on inside of you.

Think about when you see a healthy, vibrant person with glowing skin.  You instantly think “wow, you look so healthy and happy”  Alternatively, when you’re sleep-deprived, dehydrated and overall not feeling up to par, it shows in your skin.  We know the dark circles under the eyes all too well, don’t we?

So, what’s your skin telling you?  Do you need to focus on hydration, more sleep — what is it?

Do you have a space that’s just for you?  A sacred space that you can retreat to that’s full of comfort, inspiration, and relaxation?  This space could be a nook in your bedroom, a small carved out area in the basement, in your walk-in closet, or anywhere you can find a little space to make your own.  It’s genuinely transformational to have a sacred space to retreat to, where you can wash away your stress and find real relaxation.

Decorate this space with calming decor.  Resolve to spend a little time here each day until it really starts to feel like your escape — your special space.

What will you do there?  Read? Journal?  What will it be?

In our culture, we do most of our connecting via the internet.  Our phones are in our hands more often than not, and it’s become quite a habit that’s hard to break free from.  That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though — and all it takes is a bit of mindfulness to re-learn in-person connection.

Start by leaving your phone in another room during meal times this week — even if you are eating alone.  See what comes up when you’re left alone with your thoughts, and better yet, feel how great it feels to truly connect with the person sitting in front of you, distraction-free.  Are you up for the challenge?

 

How to Battle Spring Allergies Naturally

Springtime is most certainly a time of rebirth, but with that renewed natural beauty comes all the common allergies that leave our heads stuffy and our eyes itchy. Before that last thaw happens, follow these tricks to battling those spring allergies so you can truly smell
the roses and actually enjoy them!

Apple cider vinegar with the mother. Apple cider vinegar with the mother refers to the colony of beneficial bacteria that creates vinegar through a secondary process of fermentation. It helps break up the mucus in your body so you can breathe again. My favorite way to consume it is with hot water, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dollop of raw honey. Give it a try.

Go for the pro. Probiotics that is. Keeping your gut bacteria healthy is another way to support your immune system and stop those pesky allergies from making you sneeze. Foods like sauerkraut and kimchi naturally contain them, and kombucha is a great drink to soak in the probiotic properties.

Use a nasal irrigation tool. Some people swear by it while others are afraid to try it out, but nasal irrigation can bring you intense relief. A standard way to make this happen is through use of a Neti pot or a bulb syringe. It’s useful for relieving hay fever symptoms,
but if you’re going to try it, make sure you do it right!

Hot steamy showers. Steam up the bathroom with the hottest water your shower can emit, then hop on in. It helps clear out your sinuses and also enables you to rinse away the pollen that has landed on you while you’ve been outdoors. Word to the wise though: hot water is incredibly drying for your skin so be sure to moisturize as soon as you towel off.

Use essential oils. In particular, eucalyptus, lemon, lavender and peppermint essential oils are revered for allergy relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Just add a few drops to your diffuser and put it in your room or office. You can also massage some onto your chest to breathe in the reinvigorating fragrance all day long.

Spice things up. Choose spicier foods to clear things up. You can eat foods with spicy peppers or onions and garlic, or combine pungent with spice for amazing results. These all thin out the mucus in your body.

Allergy season will soon pass by quickly, but if you suffer from allergy symptoms, it will feel like a much longer time until summer. Take care of your allergies with these easy tips to feel your best this spring!