Have You Tried Elderberry?

Do you take elderberry regularly?

Taking elderberry has become more mainstream over the last few years (even though it’s been around forever!) — do you take it?

I firmly believe it’s one of the things that keeps my family and me healthy through the cold and flu seasons, and I highly recommend it if you aren’t already familiar.

You can get it in many forms:

– syrup

– gummy

– capsule

And you can purchase it at just about any store.

Go grab some today!

Warm Up This Fall With 8 Hot Beverages That Are Good For You

Once those temperatures start to ease down as we move into the Fall months, most people rush off to grab their first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. Warm beverages are fantastic during the colder months, but many of these warm drinks can pack a ton of sugar in one cup.

Luckily, there are loads of healthy and immune-boosting warm drinks youcan enjoy instead. Here are a few of my favorite options to rotate through the chilly months…

Fresh ginger tea
Not only is ginger wonderful for tummy troubles, but it’s also great for reducing inflammation. Slice a small piece of fresh ginger root and add it to your cup. Pour boiling water over it and voila — you have ginger tea!

Fresh mint tea
Mint might seem like a summery flavor, but it works as an outstanding way to clear your palate, aid digestion, and help you feel full after a meal. You’ll be less prone to snacking when you end your meal with a cup of fresh mint tea.

Homemade hot chocolate
It’s so tempting when the winds start to get a bit blustery to pop into your favorite café for an indulgent hot chocolate. Save one of those for a special treat and instead, make your own hot chocolate at home. Use an unsweetened cocoa powder with warmed almond milk. You can sweeten it with just a hint of stevia if you prefer.

Coffee
A nice, aromatic cup of coffee will surely perk you up. Organic is the best option to choose, but if you want your healthiest cup, keep it free and clear of refined sugar and cream.

Hot lemon water
Another way to cleanse your palate is to slice up fresh lemons and pour boiling water over them for a hot lemonade of sorts. Leave the sugar out of the equation, and you’ll find you have a delightful sip-worthy drink without any of the ill side effects

Green tea
Like coffee, green tea has loads of antioxidants. Buy a quality brand to make sure you’re not getting any unwanted hidden extras.

Healthy homemade chai latte
Chai tea itself is very healthy, but most people head to the café to grab a chai latte in fall. You might be tempted too with its warming aroma, thinking you’re doing better than getting that pumpkin spice latte. But chai lattes can  have loads of sugar also. A better option is to brew chai tea at home and then froth up almond milk in your microwave. Add a touch of cinnamon to the top to make it feel more indulgent without doing any harm.

Healthy warm beverage choices can be delicious. Keep this list handy, so when the mood strikes, you’ll be ready with a healthy option to counter your cravings!

As the air gets cooler over the next few months, you may be wanting to do more inside workouts.

Some  favorite inside workouts to do during the chilly months include:

  • Following an at-home “gym” routine such as Open Fit or Beachbody On Demand
  • Using a Rebounder
  • Yoga
  • A simple brisk walk on the treadmill

What ways do you enjoy working out during the cooler months?

 

Now that Summer is wrapping up, let’s take a moment to look back on your experiences and share what you’re most grateful for from the last few months.

One of my favorite Fall practices is reflecting, so share a reflection with me in the comments below. What’s something you’re grateful for from the summer months?

 

What’s your average number of hours you sleep per night?

Everyone is diverse and has different needs, but it seems the average recommendation for a good nights sleep is between 7-9 hours.

Here’s how to get to a sleep schedule and stick to it:

  • Begin a sleep schedule if you don’t already have one.
  • Adopt a bedtime routine that helps to relax you.
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol that may disrupt your sleep.
  • Ditch the electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

 

 

 

 

Where You’ll Find Hidden Sugars Lurking

If you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you probably know to stay away from sugar. In fact, cutting refined sugar from your diet can result in faster weight loss, not to mention better skin and improved sleep quality. You get healthy sugars through the fruits you eat and aside from an occasional treat to splurge on once in a while, and you might think you’ve successfully navigated away from sugar.

Some things that we perceive as healthy are actually riddled with more hidden sugar than your favorite bowl of ice cream or bakery treats. Here is a list of the top offenders and what to do:

1. Flavored Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is often encouraged as a wise choice because it contains less sugar due to the straining process. There’s an exception to that though when it has flavoring added in. One cup of flavored Greek yogurt can pack 12+grams of sugar, so check your labels before tossing it in your shopping cart.

2. Applesauce
It sounds healthy, but even a small container of applesauce could have 22 grams of sugar. Make it yourself using ground cinnamon to add flavor if you need an extra touch of flavor in your applesauce.

3. Smoothies
Smoothies made outside the home can contain things like ice cream, sherbet, fruit juice, or flavored syrups to the tune of 60 grams of sugar per serving. If you must have a smoothie, know what’s going in it. Better yet, make it yourself, so you have complete control.

4. Nut Butters
Nut butters can give us a nice dose of protein and keep us on an even keel during a busy day. But if yours has cane sugar, honey, or corn syrup listed on the label, toss it. Choose the natural varieties that only contain nuts.

5. Instant Oatmeal
Oatmeal is an excellent choice for a healthy breakfast unless it’s in one of those flavored packets. Choose unsweetened oatmeal and top it with fresh fruit or cinnamon for a taste you’ll love without all that sugar.

6. Dried Fruit
Always check the labels on dried fruit packages. Some brands add sugar to it, loading it with more sugar than you’d expect to find in a packet of dried fruit.

7. Sauces
Read the labels for all your sauces from ketchup to barbecue and teriyaki to sweet chili. All of them have hidden sugars, some more than others.

8. Non-Dairy Milk
Whether you’re vegan or you need or want to avoid regular milk, be careful which non-dairy choices you make. Almond, soy, cashew, and rice milks can have as much as 10 grams of sugar. Choose unsweetened options of these non-dairy milks instead.

9. Bread
Don’t forget when you switch to whole grain breads to always look for the sugar content. Narrow down your selection to a brand with 2 grams of sugar per slice or less.

10. Gummy Vitamins
Swallowing those jumbo vitamins is such a hassle. It’s great that someone came up with vitamins in gummy-form. However, you might be getting more sugar than you bargained for. Check out the label to be sure.

The bottom line is this: hidden sugars are in some of the least suspecting places. Read your labels and make wise choices to keep your sugar intake to the bare minimum.

More often than not, dinner is whipped together in a rush once you get home from working all day.  I wanted to share 3  quick-fix dinners you can pull together in 15 minutes or so, with minimal ingredients.

  • Who doesn’t love tacos? Toss any veggies you have in the fridge in your pan to sauté them up, creating healthy tacos in 15 minutes or less.
  • Zucchini Noodles & Pesto Sauce
  • Pita Pizza. Top a small pita with marinara sauce and any toppings you have on hand.  Bake until melted.

What’s your go-to “quick fix” dinner on those busy nights??

 

It’s that time of year again — cold and flu season is amongst us.  Make it a habit to add fresh, raw garlic to every recipe you possibly can this season to kick your immunity up a notch.

Eating fresh, raw garlic causes a reaction to occur that releases the potent, natural antibacterial allicin.  This helps attack viruses with rapid speed and helps to boost your immunity all season long.

Remember to toss the raw garlic on your meal after you’re done cooking, so you get the benefits of the immunity booster.  It’s best not to cook the garlic, so you get as much as possible out of it.  It tastes great fresh, too!

 

 

Veggies You Should be Roasting

and how to do it like a pro

We blinked, and summer vanished away. Now it’s time for fabulous fall recipes that you wait all year to enjoy. While salads tend to dominate the summer scene, cooked vegetables bring us more comfort in the fall.

One of the best ways to enjoy your veggies as the temperatures cool down is to crank up your oven and roast them. It gives them a fantastic texture and flavor that tastes more decadent than any other cooking method, in my opinion. They’re just delicious! Plus, they pair well with any main dish.

If you’ve ever tried and failed at roasting veggies – perhaps they were overdone, or some pieces were still raw – you’ve got to keep reading to make the best roasted vegetables to go with every meal. Even those big holiday meals can do with a presentation of perfectly-roasted vegetables.

Tips for Roasting Veggies

Honestly, you can roast any vegetable out there, though you should choose ones that have similar cook times to ensure they all finish at the same time. Aside from that, follow these tips!

1. Use high heat
For roasted veggies to turn out just right, you should preheat to 400 to 450F and then cook.

2. Cut them right
Roasted vegetables will cook more evenly and taste their best if you cut them down to 1-inch sizes. Green beans and asparagus should always be left whole though.

3. Coat them and season well
Your veggies need a light coating of olive oil or Italian dressing to help them cook up right. Plus, it adds plenty of flavor too. If you use olive oil, you’re freer to experiment with spices and herbs from your cabinet like curry powder or Cajun seasoning.

4. Never overcrowd the pan
If you’re making roasted veggies for a crowd, use 2 or more pans and roast in batches. It might seem like more work, but your vegetables won’t cook evenly if you shove them all in one pan.

5. Toss them halfway
Don’t just pop them in the oven and forget it. Halfway through the cooking time, stir them around. The edges of the baking sheet tend to get hotter than the middle. Doing this assures even cooking.

Veggies to Roast
Because different vegetables will require different cook times, it’s wise to pair them with similar vegetables. Root vegetables like potatoes will always take longer. If you’d like to serve them with softer vegetables, you should put the potatoes in first and then add your other veggies to the tray.

Things with shorter cook times around 20 to 25 minutes are asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, halved Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, yellow squash, green beans, and zucchini. Cabbage does best when sliced into thick 1-inch chunks at 30 minutes. Carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes are all suitable for 30 minutes too.

Potatoes will take about 45 minutes. If you want to roast grape or cherry tomatoes, it will only take 15 minutes. Kale also takes just 15 minutes, but there’s no need to keep it in a single layer unless you want to make kale chips.

Complete your favorite fall meals with a side of roasted veggies for a healthy and delicious way through the season!