What Are You Harvesting?

Every decision we make plants a seed in our lives. Every thought that runs through our minds, every story we tell ourselves, every habit we take up…

All of these things plant seeds in our hearts, minds, and lives.

What are you harvesting in your mind?

What needs to be shifted first in your life for a bountiful harvest in the coming months?

Foods That Boost Your Immune System

It’s ever so important to work on strengthening your immune system during these frigid cold and flu months.  You can take your vitamins, stay hydrated, and get lots of rest — but you can also add some ingredients to your kitchen that can help tremendously, as well.

Garlic is one of the easiest immune-boosting ingredients to use.  It’s so affordable, easy to keep on hand, and it can be used in nearly every recipe.  So do just that – use fresh garlic in every recipe you can to reap the benefits.

Ginger is another powerhouse that’s easy to add to recipes.  Another way to make sure you get ginger into your diet daily is to sip on a homemade ginger tea every day.  Simply brew some hot water and steep freshly grated ginger to create a simple homemade ginger tea. Add lemon zest and raw honey to take it up a notch.

What ways do you keep your immune system in top-notch during these months?

Rise with the Sun

Are you an early riser or do you struggle in the mornings?

I want to invite you to try an experiment.  First of all, you can pick the time frame — but I suggest picking 3, 5, or 7 days.

For whatever time frame you pick, rise with the sun those mornings.

It may be uncomfortable to get up that early at first, but this is simply an experiment to see what shifts in you as you take this extra time in the morning for yourself.  There is one crucial thing: no electronics.  Use this time to bundle up outside on the porch (if you have one) to see the colors the sky displays as the sun rises.  Use it as a little recharge for yourself in the morning.

That’s my challenge to you. Do you accept?!

 

Superfoods That Boost Your Immune System

As the temperature starts to get colder, the sneezing and sniffling noises surround us. Many of us are just expecting to get sick, feeling as if it’s unavoidable. If you eat the right foods and take the proper precautions, you could strengthen your immune system and avoid getting sick this year.

Here are six powerful immune-boosting superfoods that can help your body fight off sickness and infections.

1. Garlic
Garlic adds so much flavor to food, but you might want to use it a little extra during this cold and flu season. Once garlic is crushed, it produces a compound called allicin, which has strong anti-bacterial properties. It also boosts your immune response. However, this compound only lasts for a short moment after the garlic is crushed. If you’re seasoning your food with fresh garlic, make sure to eat it shortly after you crush it for maximum benefits.

2. Matcha
Matcha is a true superfood. It contains exceptionally high levels of antioxidants, which help your body fight off disease-causing free radical compounds. The antioxidants in matcha boost the function of your immune cells and decrease inflammation, which means that if you do get sick, matcha can help alleviate your symptoms. Matcha also contains antimicrobial properties that can fight off any invading pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria.

3. Probiotic-rich foods
The billions of good bacteria residing in your body are a defense system of their own. However, when we get sick or our immune system is down, the population of good bacteria in our bodies decreases. As a result, the pathogenic bacteria now have space to reside and invade, causing infection and inflammation. By eating probiotics, we are ingesting more of these good bacteria and restoring this defense system. Yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and tempeh are all great sources of probiotics.

4. Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a powerful spice that is rich in immune-boosting antioxidants. Antioxidants are some of the most important compounds for strengthening your immune system, so make sure to load up on them to prevent getting sick. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it can decrease inflammation in your body that is responsible for many of the symptoms you have when you do get sick.

5. Ginger
Ginger is not only useful in relieving nausea and digestive issues, but it also contains potent anti-microbial properties that can help the immune system fight off infection. Ginger contains a powerful compound known as gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

6. Acai berries
Acai berries might be challenging to find fresh, but they’re equally as powerful as a powder or frozen. They contain an extremely high number of antioxidants and are one of the most effective free-radical fighting foods on the planet. They also have a high fiber content, which not only aids digestion but also serves as food for those good bacteria in our gut. This means that high-fiber foods, such as acai berries, help increase the population of healthy bacteria in our bodies and, as a result, inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

As the air gets colder, warming soups and stews become my most craved food.  There’s just something so calming about being warmed from the inside out with a healthy, nourishing, warm soup that smells up the house as it simmers for hours.

What’s your favorite soup or stew?  Leave a comment below – bonus points for a link to the recipe!

Mushrooms can pack a punch when it comes to immune-boosting benefits, which is especially helpful this time of year during the cold and flu months. Here are a few of the easiest to find and most powerful mushrooms you can include in your recipes this fall and winter:

  • shiitake
  • chaga
  • reishi

There are loads more, but I’ll leave you with a few, so I don’t overwhelm you. Try adding these mushrooms into your recipes as much as you can. They are so easy to toss in with soups, stews, veggie medleys, and even with your breakfast. A mushroom omelet is a great way to start the day.

If you aren’t a mushroom fan, you can also opt to try mushroom tea or capsules, even. Check your local health food store.

Are you a mushroom fan?

 

I find it so helpful to do regular check-ins to see how things are going internally and logistically in my life.  Have you ever done this before?

It can be as simple as putting a reminder in your phone for a specific day every month to have a small check-in.  Ask yourself how you’re feeling, what’s working and what’s not, what could take some improvement or extra attention — and devise a game plan from those questions.

Set a reminder on your phone right now that can reoccur every month for your monthly check-in dates.  Pour a cup of tea, have a notebook handy, and see what comes from it.

 

Daylight Savings Time is coming up on Sunday, November 3rd.

You’ve likely already noticed the sun setting earlier, shrinking the daylight hours day by day.

One way you can ease your body into this seasonal change is to go to bed 30 minutes – 1 hour earlier than usual for the week or two leading up to November 3rd.

Try taking a magnesium supplement (like the Natural Calm drink) before bed to help relax your body throughout this change.  Strive for relaxing night-time routines to help your body learn its new routine.

Allow yourself to explore how rest and rejuvenation can nourish you this season.

 

 

 

I want to invite you to do something that may feel a little radical tomorrow morning.  When you go to sleep tonight, switch your phone to airplane mode.  Eek – did your heart just pitter-patter a bit at the thought?

That’s precisely why you should try it.

It’s no secret we’ve allowed our phones to become an extension of us in quite a harmful way.  Step by step, we can begin to break the habit that we’ve created.  The first step is switching your phone to airplane mode at night, and not turning it back “on” until two hours after you’ve risen in the morning.

It’s going to feel awkward at first, and maybe even quite difficult.

But I invite you to give it a shot and see what it feels like to be “disconnected” for a spell.

Mindful & Healthy Late-Night Snacking Ideas

If you’re anything like me, a late-night snack is something that comes to mind often. Most snack foods are usually less than healthy, and enjoying those before you turn in for the night could lead to a habit that causes negative repercussions you’re surely trying to avoid.

What’s your typical go-to snack? Let me know in the comments below. Here are a few healthy snack options for a mindful late-night snack:

1. Apple or Banana Slices with Nut or Seed Butter
To set yourself up for a great night’s sleep, try having banana or apple slices with almond butter or any nut or seed butter that you prefer. Bananas are rich in an amino acid called L-tryptophan. Through a process of steps, this amino acid gets converted into melatonin, which is the hormone that is  responsible for giving us a good quality sleep at night. Peanuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds also contain high levels of this amino acid, so butters from these nuts and seeds would be great choices. Almonds contain high levels of magnesium, which is an essential mineral that can help you relax and fall asleep easier.

2. Almond-Milk Yogurt with Berries
Pair some unsweetened, plain almond milk yogurt with your favorite berries for a sweet but low-sugar snack. Almond yogurt has protein and will keep you satisfied before falling asleep. A great trick is to use frozen berries and heat them in a saucepan until they begin to burst and release liquid. When you stir these warmed berries into your yogurt, your whole yogurt will be flavored with the taste of berries without the added sugars that store bought flavored yogurts contain! Plus, berries are great low-sugar fruits and don’t contain many calories. If you want to sweeten it up for a bit more of a late-night treat, you can add a teaspoon of raw honey or pure maple syrup.

3. Roasted Chickpeas
You might be wondering why anyone would reach for chickpeas to satisfy their late-night cravings, but they are delicious and crunchy when roasted!  You can create a variety of flavors, from adding spicy chili flakes to cinnamon and raw sugar. They’re even tasty with a simple sprinkle of salt. Simply rinse a can of organic chickpeas, pat them dry, season them to your liking and place them in the oven at 350°F/175°C for around 45 minutes. You can store them in an airtight container for a few days and always have a crunchy, healthy snack to grab. They’re packed with protein and contain fewer calories than roasted nuts.

4. “Nice” Cream
No more reaching for that tub of ice cream to satisfy your late-night sugar cravings! Banana “nice” cream is a much healthier alternative as it contains only natural sugars from fruit and no artificial flavors or added sugars. It is a low-calorie alternative to ice cream with way less junk. You can make the flavor anything you like. If you’re a chocolate lover, add a tablespoon of raw cacao powder, blend it with two frozen bananas, and add some dark chocolate chips to top it off. If you see that the consistency is too thick to blend properly, add a splash of any nut milk of your choice.