Do You Have an Instant Pot?

Have you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet? Just when you thought a slow cooker was the most helpful time-saver in your kitchen, along comes the Instant Pot with limitless options.

It’s incredible the things you can make with an Instant Pot.  Things like:

– steel cut oats

– sautéed veggies

– boiled eggs

– homemade yogurt

– custard or cake

You can use your Instant Pot to sauté, roast, make soups — you can do it all.  It does come with a bit of a learning curve, but with all of the resources available on Pinterest, YouTube, and Google, you’ll pick it up in no time.

What’s your favorite thing to cook in the Instant Pot?

 

What’s the Last New Food You Tried?

The older we get, the more “set in our ways” we are.  You likely pick up the same things from the grocery store each week and cook a rotation of the same recipes you’ve prepared for years.  After all, who has time to test new recipes each week?!  Unless that’s your thing, you probably opt for the simple route of cooking what you know.

Every so often, though, we get spunky and try new things — what’s the last new food you tried?

How Blue Light from Your Devices is Hurting You

and What to Do About It

With all the time you spend in front of your devices such as your smartphone, tablet, and laptop, you’re likely getting more than your fair share of blue light exposure. Blue light is even found in sunlight, probably our most significant source of it, but because we’re so up close and personal with our screens — it can pose a problem.

There are benefits to blue light though, in the right amounts. Blue light can boost your alertness and cognitive function. It also regulates your circadian rhythm, which is good during daytime hours for a healthy sleep and wake schedule.

But the way we’re exposing ourselves to constant blue light is not doing us any favors. Blue light passes through your eyes into the cornea, lens and to the retina. Too much exposure to it could affect your vision and prematurely age your eyes. With blue light from your devices, you may not realize it, but you’re constantly straining your eyes. This sets in with dry eyes and fatigue. How you sit in front of your screen has a lot to do with it. If your eyes feel sore, irritated, or have trouble focusing after hours on the computer, you may be experiencing blue light-related eyestrain. It can also damage your retina, leading to age-related macular degeneration.

You likely need your computer to work, and your smartphones aren’t going anywhere. So how can you help protect yourself from the harmful effects of blue light? Several things can make all the difference and allow you to coexist with the blue light you know and love.

– Reduce screen time
Most of us depend on our computers to complete our jobs. Without them, doing our jobs might just be impossible. Still, you can cut down your time in front of them when not necessary. Get up and take breaks often to let your eyes have a rest.

– Get a screen filter
The beautiful thing about technology is that there are products available to protect us. Case in point: screen filters. You can find them for every device from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktop computer screens. These help decrease the amount of blue light from your devices.

– Try on computer glasses for size
Another way to combat the damages of blue light from your computer screen is to invest in a pair of computer glasses. They feature yellow-tinted lenses to block the blue light out and relieve your eyestrain by providing more contrast. These are AMAZING, and you’ll feel your eyes instantly relax when you slip them on.

– Block it all out
Anti-reflective lenses help reduce the glare and provide more contrast too. But they also do so from the sun, not just digital devices so you can use these anywhere!

Ultimately, our blue light devices aren’t going anywhere, but how we interact with them can help us avoid overexposure to blue light and keep in good health.

Have you ever tried Dandelion Tea?

Yes, like the dandelions that adorn your yard in the spring.  That’s precisely what I’m talking about.

Dandelion tea has many benefits including:

– Anti-inflammatory

– Can reduce water weight

– Detoxifies the liver

– Benefits digestive system

You can make it homemade, but the easiest option is to pick up a box of Dandelion Tea next time you visit the grocery store.

Do you take your shoes off at the door?  Having a basket by your front door to slip your shoes in is a great way to keep germs from tracking through your house.  With the pollen out and allergy season in full swing — it’s also a great way to prevent pollen from being placed all around your home to irritate you.

If you don’t have a doormat outside of your front door, investing in a doormat to wipe your shoes on before entering your home can help lower the amount of debris getting into your home.  Using a doormat accompanied by leaving your shoes at the door, and your home should be well protected from all the germs lingering outdoors.

Do you take your shoes off at the front door?

 

 

Did you know more than 40% of adults have a Vitamin D deficiency? (According to the NIH)

Vitamin D is essential for us in many ways, and sunshine is the best way to get it. Getting outside 10-30 minutes a day with as much skin exposed as you can (tank top and shorts are ideal) should set you up for success on your Vitamin D requirements. This does depend, however, on how far you live from the equator and what season you’re in, so do make sure with your Doctor that your Vitamin D levels are healthy. Your Doctor can help you with supplementation if needed.

How much time do you usually spend outside on a daily basis?

How to Stop Lack of Productivity from Plaguing Your Health

Time management is a necessary skill that one must acquire. Few of us are  ever born that way, and learning to master it will help you stay on top of it all without feeling like you’re being run over and consumed by it.

The thing about lack of productivity is that if left untouched, it can make you feel even more overwhelmed. Instead of doing something about it, you might spend more time panicking when all you’ve really got to do is start planning to stop it from plaguing you.

Here’s how to get back on track:

1. Make a to-do list
The first step is listing out what needs to be done. You should make 2 drafts. The first should be everything that has to get done. The second draft should be prioritizing all those things. What needs to be done today? What needs to be done this week? Set timelines for completion and you’ll start feeling far more organized and in control.

2. Set goals
Goal-setting is so important because we need to have something to strive toward. Whether it’s for your career, weight loss, or something else, you should have a plan in mind. Don’t just look at the long-term, but the shortterm steps it will take to get there. You’ll find you feel you’re making progress when you set them in motion.

3. Stop distractions
One of the biggest distractions for everyone no matter what job they have are emails and messages. Knowing how to manage those is key to freeing up your time. Set some time aside each morning and afternoon — and set a limit for how long you’ll spend responding. Instead of answering messages all morning as they come in, focus on them from 9am to 9:30am for example. Then, get back on track and respond again later. You’ll find things run more efficiently this way.

4. Quit putting it off
Procrastination is a vicious cycle. We put things off, then we feel we’re lacking in productivity and we wind up putting them off for longer. Instead of letting something overwhelm you at the prospect of doing it, tell yourself you’re going to chip away at it for 10 minutes at a time. Break it down into manageable chunks, and you’ll find that whatever you’re dreading – compiling that big report or even just putting away your laundry – gets done faster.

5. Take real breaks
It’s never a good idea to work yourself so much that you don’t have a moment to yourself. You can’t be at your best when you’re overdoing it. When it’s time for lunch, take an actual break. Eat in the cafeteria or break room. Go sit outside at a picnic table. Just take that time for yourself and let your mind breathe, instead of spinning its wheels all day long. Throughout the day, take short brisk walks around the building to get your blood flowing. You’ll find it not only stretches your legs but also stretches your mind.

By taking on these 5 tips, you’ll begin to feel more productive in all areas of life. What do you tend to procrastinate on the most?

One way to save on food waste is to shop twice a week, instead of one big shopping trip each weekend.

When we only shop once a week, it’s much easier to over-buy to keep from running out of food during the week.  If you switch to shopping twice a week — once during the weekend and then mid-week — you will drastically improve your waste habits.  Not only is wasting food bad, but losing money is something none of us want to do, either!

For me, I usually go to the grocery store  1 x per week.

How many times per week do you typically visit the grocery store?

 

Do you have a love or hate relationship with mushrooms?

I’ve noticed that’s one of the foods people either stick their tongue out at or absolutely love.  What’s your stance?!  I don’t like them.

Mushrooms are packed full of antioxidants, boasting anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that are beneficial for your health.  They’re so versatile and can be thrown into nearly any recipe, so pick up a carton of mushrooms next time you make a grocery trip.

If you’re a mushroom lover, here’s an excellent recipe for you to try.

1 Carton Mushrooms (any type)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

3 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (or vegan spread)

4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1 Tablespoon Pesto

Generous Amount of Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Heat butter/vegan spread and oil in a pan until melted. Toss in mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes.  Add pesto and black pepper, stirring to coat mushrooms thoroughly.  Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, until cooked through.  Enjoy!