Kitchen Food Essentials

There are certain items that you simply must have in your kitchen. Very basic and very needed!
Fresh fruits and vegetables top the list. These are your disease fighters; packed with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. If you are NOT noshing on fruits and veggies daily you are missing out! Make it easy by cutting up your veggies all at one time so they are easy to use for cooking or snacking, and keep fruit out where your family can see it grab this before grabbing a candy bar or other sugary item.
Dark Chocolate is so good for your heart (yes, I am sure you like this kitchen essential!). Cocoa powder is another option, a bit each day will help to increase the blood flow to your skin making it softer, smoother and more resistant to sun damage.
Whole grains, about 130 grams per day, are amazing energy boosters. As well they will keep your memory sharp, lower your risk of diabetes and aid in losing belly flab.
Dairy in the form of probiotic-rich yogurt or kefir will not only help with building bones, but will also keep your digestion strong. You can make your own yogurt by using a crock pot! Very easy and inexpensive.
Oh nuts! Yes, keep these on hand as well. Nuts are loaded with fiber and protein; a powerful mix for shedding pounds. Almonds are especially wonderful.
So, do you have all five of these essential foods on hand?

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Hey Smarty Pants! ~ Part 2

Last blog I talked about ways to boost your brain power through activity and rest. Now let’s talk about some healthy ingredients, foods and supplements.

  • Get those Omega-3s! Especially from animal sources. Did you know that 60% of your brain consists of fat and 25% of this is DHA. According to a recent article from Dr. Mercola, DHA is “an essential structural ingredient of breast milk, which is believed to be a major reason why breastfed babies consistently score higher on IQ tests than formula-fed babies.”
  • Coconut oil is chockfull of medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which aid your brain against neurological diseases. In other words, it keeps you sharp! Use coconut oil for high temperature cooking, it’s great for popcorn and stir fries. Add a Tablespoon to your smoothies or simply use it as a skin conditioner.
  • Vitamin D is easy to obtain. Just go out in the sunshine each day! Better yet, go out and take off your shoes to receive the many benefits from Earthing.  A few minutes of sun and skin touching earth can correct many an ailment. Sounds too easy, I know, and that’s the beauty of it!
  • Healthy gut flora is essential for healthy brain. These two areas work together like a symphony. Search the word “probiotic” on my blog and you are bound to come up with numerous entries that talk about the importance of probiotics; the healthy gut bacteria necessary for strong digestion, immune system, brain power and more!
  • Eat your berries. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries – harvest these brightly colored gems and keep your memory powerful. For yummy recipes, click here.

Here is to us Brain-iacs!

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Hey Smarty Pants! ~ Part 1

If you are smarty pants and want to stay that way, or even if you want to boost your brain power, here are some activities to consider:

Exercise helps keep your brain connections active and intact, you will also learn in a quicker manner and energize your whole body. This is because exercise boosts mitochondria which produces energy in the body. Exercise also helps with circulation and strong blood flow, which is important for optimal brain function.

Get plenty of sleep; sleep literally resets your brain and allows you to open up to new perspectives. When someone suggests you “sleep on it,” they are giving you sage advice. Have you ever woken up at 2am with a great idea, or the solution to a problem? It is because you have allowed your brain to rest and get creative in thought.

De-stress through relaxation, meditation, yoga, and listening to soothing music. Make it a point to participate in easy going activities like crafting, walking, blowing bubbles, or watching clouds. A stressed system sends harmful chemicals over the hippocampus and other brain areas involved with memory.

Laugh! Laughter promotes the feel-good chemical dopamine. You do not have to go too far on YouTube to find some pretty funny videos; especially some of the animal videos. Check out Cat Gone and these adorable Pugs.

Play challenging games! Do brain games like Sodoku or Cross Word Puzzles. Have an iPad or Smartphone? Download games like Boggle or PopWords. This sort of play will keep your brain pliable and young.

Be sure to check out my next blog for even more ideas!

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Green Up Your Home!

Green Up Your Home!

Ecologically conscious people are always looking for ways to green up their home. While this is certainly a positive move, it also brings rewards that extend beyond the environmental impact and into your pocket book.

A green home uses non-toxic building materials; this translates into less toxic air, which means a healthier you – less costly sick days and more energy to accomplish what you need. Using natural ingredients to clean your home will also cut down on toxic environment and air. I have included several easy recipes for all natural cleaners in my book; all using household ingredients you use every day! They cost significantly less than the toxic store bought brands.

If you want to increase the value and sale-ability of your home, green is the way go! For information on which green upgrades will pay you back, check out this infographic.

For more ideas on greening up your home, check out HomeNav’s Greentain section. This site is an amazing resource for matching homeowner to green builders and services. While you are at it, make sure to sign up for HomeNav! It is an Owners Manual for Your Home.

Insurance companies are always telling us to take a home inventory, and as much as we pay for insurance, this is absolutely a good idea. HomeNav offers a 15-minute solution to inventory your most expensive essentials. Wow! This is yet another way to add some home value and sale-ability.

What do you do to green up your home? Tell us on Facebook!

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Smoothies for Summer

Summers are made for smoothies! Just like anything you eat or drink, you can boost the nutritional value of your smoothies and even create additional health benefits for yourself through the ingredients you choose. Here are some ideas for you!

Thinking about a tummy tuck? Try this instead. Create smoothies with peaches, papaya, and pear. Add in a bit of digestion-helper ginger and you will beat bloat.

Give your skin a nutrition makeover! Make sure to pack in vitamin C and E, and calm inflammation via Omega 3. Include berries like blueberry, cherry, raspberry, and strawberry. Add in 1/4 of a skin-loving avocado along with a couple teaspoons each of wheat germ and ground flaxseed.

If you find yourself waning in the afternoon, boost your energy with a protein-packing smoothie. Include peanut butter, protein powder, and a handful of spinach.

Love your bones with a calcium rich mix of bananas, kale, Swiss chard, and a teaspoon of green Matcha tea. Use almond milk as your base.

Want glowing skin without the sun bathing? Think beta-carotene. Mix cantaloupe and papaya with orange and carrot juice.

Another thing to consider is what you use as the base for smoothies. Milk is one choice, but consider tasty coconut water, almond milk or an anti-inflammatory juice like pineapple.

Enjoy!

Posted in family health, food products that heal, health, healthy cooking, healthy recipe, healthy snacks, holistic health, natural energizers, natural health, natural living, natural remedies, nutrition, recipes with lemons, smoothie recipes, smoothies | 2 Comments

Think Outside the Tea Pitcher

Summer is a great time to wet your whistle with iced tea. This summer make it a point to always keep some on hand and think outside the typical iced tea pitcher with these yummy combinations. Each of these make about 1 ½ quarts or 6 cups of iced tea.

Saffron Peach: Heat 6 cups of water to an almost boil, add in 4 bags of peach flavored black tea and 2 tsp of saffron threads in a tea ball. Steep for 5 or so minutes, remove tea bags and tea ball. Chill.

Lemon Mint Tea: Heat 6 cups water to an almost boil, add in 4 bags of black tea and 1 bag of peppermint tea. Steep for 5 or so minutes. Remove the tea bags and stir in ¼ cup lemonade concentrate. Chill.

Green Rosehip Tea: Heat 6 cups water to an almost boil, add in 3 bags of green tea and 2 bags of rosehip herbal tea. Steep for 5 or so minutes. Remove tea bags, chill.

Orange Oolong Tea: Heat 6 cups water to an almost boil, add in 5 bags of oolong tea and 1 tsp of orange zest in a tea ball. Steep for 5 or so minutes. Remove tea bags and tea ball. Chill.

Of course, you can find numerous already flavored tea bags at your grocery. Even Lipton Tea comes in flavors such as Island Mango & Peach, Tuscan Lemon,  Pineapple Chamomile and Bavarian Wild Berry! Another suggestion is to check out TJ Maxx, they always have interesting teas from around the world. Cheerio!

Posted in drink recipes, family health, health, healthy recipe, holistic health, lemons, natural energizers, natural health, natural living, recipes, tea, tea recipes | 1 Comment

Punchfork

If you like food then the internet is great place to hang out; it’s a great big recipe book out there just waiting to be explored. Nowadays a great meal is just one Google search away! Every once in a while, something comes along that really catches my eye and recently I came across Punchfork.

This site is nothing short of stunning in its presentation! Each day it culls recipe offerings, complete with mouth-watering pictures, from several different food web sites and blogs. You can sort the offerings easily according to categories like favorites, what recipes are trending, etc. You can also sort according to diet; vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. There is also a search bar if you are looking for a specific type of recipe. The recipes are all very high quality and cater toward the passionate cook.

I typed in “healthy” and up came all sorts of yummy recipes, including a Healthy 3 Ingredient Ice Cream made with coconut milk, corn starch and fruit or vegetable juice, along with a Macaroni & Cheese recipe, whose first ingredient is butternut squash. By the way, if anyone decides to make the Healthy Watermelon Tart, please give me a call as I would very much like to come over and have a piece!

Under each recipe is an easy to understand set of icons that point out how many people have liked a recipe (to like one you will need to create a sign in), if it is diet specific, what site it was posted to originally and when the recipe was posted. Though there are not a ton of publishers signed up as of yet, the site is slick, is user-friendly and social. Be one of the first of your friends to check it out!

Posted in cooking, family, family dinners, healthy cooking, healthy recipe, holistic health, natural health, natural living, nutrition, recipes, recipes with watermelon, websites | 1 Comment