4 Fool-Proof Methods To Help You Take Care Of YOU!

Are you taking time to take care of yourself? Self-care might seem like a buzzword companies use to sell their products, but it is actually crucial for your overall health and wellness. Self-care isn’t just about pampering yourself, but committing time to taking care of YOU.

Start Your Day with Water and Nutrition

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Nutrition and hydration are great ways to honor your body, treat it with kindness, and practice self-care in the morning.

Try to re-hydrate after a long night’s sleep with a tall glass of water, then eat a healthy breakfast that works for your body. You are going to be dehydrated in the morning because you did not have any water for 6-8 hours or longer. Instead of just going straight for your coffee or other caffeine-laden coffee, first have a drink that will re-hydrate you.

A healthy breakfast does not need to be the first thing in the morning or a big meal. Some women find that starting with the day with a quick power-packed smoothie works great for them, whereas others need to wait a few hours before they eat. You know your body the best and know what type of breakfast works best for you. Whether a smoothie, protein bar, eggs, yogurt, or healthy meal later in the morning, eat what works best for schedule and digestion. Try to avoid high sugar breakfast items such as sweet rolls and donuts. These are productivity bombs and will take away more than they will give.

Fitting in Exercise You Love

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Exercise should not feel like a chore or something you force yourself to do. It can actually be enjoyable and when it is, it becomes a way to practice self-care every day. For it to be self-care, it needs to be something that feels good and that you enjoy doing, rather than something that you dread. If you’re not a runner, don’t run! Instead, find something else you might like better, whether that is resistance training, dancing, Yoga, or Tai Chi.

Mindfulness for Health and Wellness

Photo by Oluremi Adebayo on Pexels.com

Mindfulness is a way to focus your thoughts on the present moment, and really pay attention to how you think and feel. This can be applied to increasing the state of your health and become part of your daily self-care routine. Try practicing mindfulness in the morning before you begin you day, being mindful during meals and really aknowledging what you are eating, or maybe at work when you take an afternoon break and decide to go for a relaxing walk.

Mindfulness can be threaded throughout you day in bits and moments. Taking 1 minute to breathe and be present, can revive you if you’re tired as well as relax you if you are anxious.

Sleep and Nighttime Routines

freepik.com

Do you have a proper nighttime routine? The nighttime routine is just as important as the morning routine in order to get you into a good sleep space. This routine helps you to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Some of the elements of your routine may be: writing in your journal or reading, bed-time yoga, meditative release breathing, drinking some herbal tea, light stretching, wearing blue-light blockers, or dimming the lights in your space. This is a way to practice self-care at the end of your day, so you can have the best sleep possible.

Remember that self-care is important for reducing stress, generating mindfulness, increasing health and wellness, and expanding gratitude. Taking care of yourself will benefit everyone in your life, as your over-all internal and external health will have a ripple effect to everyone you interact with throughout your day and night.

Grounding Secrets Unlocked

Why do some people believe Grounding is Essential for Living Naturally? Grounding, also known as earthing, is a way to connect more deeply with nature. When you are Grounding, you typically touch physically with the Earth’s surface, like sand at the beach, the ocean, the dirt, and the grass. It is an amazing part of living naturally, and so easy to do.

Grounding Concepts

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Let’s start by becoming more familiar with what grounding actually is. Grounding is often called earthing because you are spending more time with direct physical contact with the earth. It doesn’t have to be your feet, though that is more common. Any time your skin touches the earth, you start enveloping those negatively-charged electrons. It is such an amazing way to relax, reduce anxiety, reduce stress, and improve other important body systems.

Benefits of Grounding

Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

Not sure why you might want to be grounding? Here are some excellent benefits:

Reduce Stress and Tension – One of the top benefits people get from earthing or grounding is reducing stress and tension, and relieving their anxiety.

Promote Body Circulation – The negatively-charged electrons of the earth can also improve your circulation and even reduce inflammation in the body.

Feel Your Center – Want to feel more centered and in control? Try grounding! Get outside, walk on the earth without shoes on, and suddenly everything makes so much more sense.

Improve Your Balance – Many people have also found that grounding improves their balance. It has this way of balancing out your entire body and improving your strength and footing.

Easy Ways to Add Grounding to Your Life

freepik.com

It is actually really easy to start grounding or earthing on a regular basis. The best and easiest way to do it is by going outside in bare feet. Of course, you want to do this safely. Check the area first before you take your shoes off. Some different areas to go barefoot include in the grass, in dirt, or in the sand at the beach. Going camping? Ditch your shoes when you find a bare spot of ground that looks safe to stand on.

You can also submerse your body in natural forms of water, such as a lake or the ocean, as well as just lying down on the grass at a park. These are easy ways to get more grounding, relax, and live a more natural lifestyle by being one with nature and the earth.

3 Reasons To Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

drobotdean freepik.com

Artificial sweeteners are additives to food and drinks that make them taste sweet, without adding to the sugar or calorie content. From diet soda to protein bars, you can find these sweeteners in just about anything labeled as “sugar free”, “diet” or even “low carb”.

If you consume these only rarely, you might not notice much of a difference. However, for people who consume products with artificial sweeteners regularly, they might notice some of the following changes.

Your Sense of Taste May Become Dulled

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Have you noticed that your taste buds have changed, or the intensity of flavors have dulled over time? This might actually be the result of an over consumption of artificial sweeteners. Some of the this is due to the fact that many of these sweeteners are many times sweeter than naturally occurring sweeteners.

You begin accustomed to the sweeter taste of artificial, processed sweeteners, and over time, start losing the desire for naturally-occurring sugars. But the good news is that if you start reducing how much artificial sweetener is in your diet, and begin consuming natural sources of sweeteners, your normal tastes can return.

Try incorporating more sugar substitutes like stevia, monk fruit, or honey into your diet, and cut back on the ‘sugar-free’ and diet options.

Craving May Actually Intensify With Artificial Sweetener Usage

Photo by Tim Douglas on Pexels.com

One of the most dangerous effects caused by artificial sweeteners is that they have the ability to stimulate pleasure centers in your brain. Under normal circumstances, these pleasure centers eventually reach a point where they become satisfied and you stop eating or drinking, but with the presence of artificial sweeteners, satisfaction is often arrested completely or simply delayed if the consumer is fortunate. The end result is almost always intense cravings that cause people to over indulge in foods and drinks, and that is contrary to what they had been trying to achieve the entire time.

Gut Problems Might Arise

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can also have negative effects on your gut health. For example, even though sweeteners are considered safe, you might develop a glucose intolerance form the sweeteners. They can also add to digestive distress like stomach cramps, nausea, and other issues with your digestive system.

If you notice that you have a stomach ache when you drink a diet beverage, it might be from the sweeteners used, as opposed to the other ingredients.

It can be challenging to kick a habit of diet soda or sugar-free gum, as a majority of diet or low-calorie products contain aspartame. If you can slowly cut back and replace the habit with a healthier alternative, your body will thank you in the long run.

4 Natural Sugar Substitutes

Have you been craving your favorite sweet treats and drinks, but want them without the added sugar? You may have searched for some sugar free varieties, but found that most are commonly made with chemically based artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose.

Luckily, there are some safer, more natural sweeteners that don’t affect your body like sugar and don’t come with many of the harmful side effects that the artificial chemical sweeteners come with.

Stevia

freepik.com

Stevia is definitely one of the most popular natural sweeteners on the market. While often labeled as an artificial sweetener, it is anything but. Stevia actually comes from the stevia plant, which has a sweet taste without the glucose effects of other forms of sugar. It is a type of herbal supplement, and considered a non-nutritive sweetener. It can mimic sugar in many foods and drinks, and is being found more and more in processed diet or sugar free varieties of foods.

Agave Nectar

healthline.com

Agave is a desert plant harvested to make tequila and sweet syrup. It is another sweetener that can be considered healthier than sugar, with some added health benefits. However, it is not low in carbs like these other natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners – so it is often used simply in place of regular white table sugar. Agave syrup provides a lot of sweetness while providing some nutritional benefits.

Agave nectar has a very low glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly the sugar in a food enters your bloodstream. Almost all of the sugar in agave is fructose and it has very little glucose, at least compared with regular white refined sugar.

Monk Fruit

monk fruit – Luo han guo freepik.com

Although the Monk fruit does not look very appetizing in its raw form, once it is prepared and made into a spoon-able sweetener, it can be a great sugar substitute.

Monk fruit sweetener is newest natural sweetener to hit the market recently and it is perhaps one of the most popular. This sweetener has no weird aftertaste, like stevia sometimes can, but has all the benefits of other sweeteners. It is extracted from the monk fruit, which has a sweetness very similar to sugar.

Honey

Photo by Three-shots on Pexels.com

Honey is naturally created by bees and packs a punch when it comes to health benefits, such as antioxidant properties, as well as its antibacterial and antifungal powers. The phytonutrients in honey are responsible for its natural health boosters. They’re also thought to be the reason raw honey has shown immune-boosting and anticancer benefits. However, heavy processing can destroy these valuable nutrients, so honey in raw form has the most health benefits.

While honey does contain higher fructose levels, it’s relatively low on the glycemic index, making it one of the best sugar substitutes of the bunch. One study found that replacing sugar with honey could actually lower blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain or aid in weight loss.

Raw honey contains many important antioxidants, including organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. these amazing flavonoids help regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals that cause oxidative stress on your body.

So, go and enjoy some sweetness today and soak up the wonderful benefits that natural sweeteners have to offer.

Be Your Best Self With Alternative Medicine

Have you ever left the doctor’s office and felt like you wanted more control over your health and wellness? A solution may be to consider Alternative medicine practices. Alternative medicine is not one type of medicine, but encompasses everything aside from regular medical intervention. This might include using herbs and essential oils, getting acupuncture, meditation and mindfulness, yoga, reflexology, and so much more. Here are some of the different components of alternative medicine.

Alternative Medicine as Preventative Measures

Alternative medicine can be used as preventative medicine. It does not replace conventional western medicine, but instead helps you to reduce how often you need to see a doctor. It is a great way to take care of mild health issues and increase general health and wellness, to hopefully avoid how much you need medical treatment.

This type of alternative medicine might include eating a healthy diet, taking the right vitamins and supplements, using herbs or essential oils for things like chronic pain or inflammation in the body, exercising, and using herbal remedies.

Alternative Medicine for the Body

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Approaching life with a holistic viewpoint, encourages seeking out ways to build up the overall health of the body, which also benefits the mind. Alternative medicine that is good for the body includes exercise, massage, and movement. For example, if you have chronic pain, maybe you may see a chiropractor to get an adjustment allowing the body to help heal itself. Someone who has pain or stress-related physical issues might get a massage or seek help from an osteopathic physician.

This also includes proactive daily mindful exercise such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, and stretching exercises.

Alternative Medicine for the Mind

Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels.com

There is also alternative medicine meant more for your mind, including behavioral and mental health. This might include meditation, visualization, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and journaling. Think of this as alternative medicine for your mental health and emotional health. What do you struggle with? It might be stress, anxiety, depression, lack of energy or brain fog, and many other issues.

While it is not meant to replace mental illness care from a licensed therapist or counselor, it can help to ease some of your symptoms in between therapy sessions or when you have high amounts of stress, unhealthy coping mechanisms, or just for general mental health improvements.

The important thing to remember is that alternative medicine is not meant to replace physicians, specialists, surgeons, or therapists. It is used in conjunction with other methods of treating your mental and physical ailments. It can work together with conventional treatments to get you the best care possible, especially when you want to live a more holistic lifestyle.

5 Medicinal Herbs To Grow At Home

While herbs are amazing to grow for food, they can also be grown for natural medicine. Many herbs provide medicinal properties, either on their own or in addition to other herbs and combinations. Here are some of the best herbs to grow at home for medicinal purposes.

Echinacea

Photo by Mabel Amber on Pexels.com

A popular herb used for natural medicine is echinacea. Echinacea is a type of coneflower that typically grows well in the fall if you start it from its seed, though you can transplant the plant as well. Echinacea is often used to boost the immune system and can also help to ease a sore throat when you drink it as a tea or gargle with a cooled-off version of the brewed tea.

Chamomile

freepik.com

When it comes to soothing medicinal herbs, most people are familiar with chamomile and warm chamomile tea before bedtime. Your parents or grandparents likely always had chamomile tea in the house, not just for the flavor, but because of how much it can relax and soothe you. Chamomile is often used to reduce anxiety and promote better sleep. It can also be used to reduce swelling and inflammation of surface wounds.

Lemon Balm

freepik.com

An herb that has become better known in the recent years is lemon balm, thanks to the many healing properties it contains. Lemon balm can help with your gut health and nervous system, as well and help to prevent certain types of viruses.

According to TheHealthy.com, fresh cuttings of lemon balm, steeped in boiling water for a couple of hours and then chilled, can be drunk as a tea to help calm anxious nerves. Alternatively, to make lemon balm tea, add 2 cups of boiling water to about 1 oz. of dried lemon balm leaves and infuse for up to 10 minutes.

Peppermint

peppermint tea – freepik.com

Many forms of mint come with some powerful healing properties, though peppermint is often at the top of the list. Peppermint has a long list of natural medicinal qualities, including settling the stomach and easing nausea, helping with digestive issues, calming sore muscles, and using to reduce inflammation in the body.

In addition to eating mint or drinking mint tea, there are claims that inhaling the aroma of essential oils from the plant could provide health benefits, including improved brain function.

Lavender

Purple lavender – freepik.com

Lavender is one of the most popular herbs, both for its delicate and inviting scent, but also because of the many medicinal qualities it has. Lavender is often used to relax the body and mind, but it can also help with muscle tension, digestive and gut issues, and improve mental clarity. There are numerous products that center around the aroma and benefits that lavender can give.

Starting your own herb garden is a wonderful home project that can not only give you herbs to cook with, but to help provide you with some home healing.

4 Smoothie Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Smoothies provide a lot of benefits for your wellness journey, from letting you get in more nutrients, to allowing you to have a meal on the go. But it’s important to understand the proper way to put a smoothie together for optimal nutrition.

Making it Too Complicated

freepik.com

There is no reason your smoothies need to be overly complicated and have 10 or more ingredients! If you keep it simple, you will be much more inclined to make them on a regular basis, plus they will save you quite a bit of money.

Keep it simple by developing a formula you can use for each smoothie. This might mean including a fruit, veggie or green, some healthy fats, protein source, and liquid. That covers all the bases, but doesn’t over complicate things for you. It also makes it easier when you don’t have your normal ingredients and want to mix it up a little.

Adding Too Much Sugar

freepik.com

Adding sweetener is a very common mistake many people make when it comes to making smoothies. It comes from this idea that smoothies won’t taste good unless they are filled with fruits and fruit juices. While the sugar from fruit is not nearly as bad for you as table sugar or artificial sugar, it can still spike your blood sugar, causing a sugar crash after you consume it.

You definitely want the fruit as a natural sweetener for your smoothies, but add some greens as well. You can throw spinach in just about anything, and as long as you have enough other ingredients in there, you won’t even taste it.

Try to stick to just one or two fruits per smoothie, and make one of them a lower sugar option, like berries.

Forgetting To Add The Greens

Photo by Rodolfo Quiru00f3s on Pexels.com

Remember, smoothies can contain both fruits and vegetables! Adding some greens to your smoothie will increase the nutrients, and won’t drastically change the flavor.

Greens boost the nutrients in your smoothie, keep the sugar low, and can help you stay fuller for longer. Greens are loaded with water content, and this is a really easy way to have more greens in your diet if you aren’t a big fan of salads.

Try adding a handful of spinach to your next smoothie. It breaks down easily in the blender is loaded with immune boosting nutrients.

Choosing Liquids With Added Ingredients

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

There are many options when it comes to adding liquid to your smoothies, but you want to be careful about which ones you go with.

Be mindful of fruit juice labels and try to avoid the ones that have added sweetener. Juice ingredients should only have the fruit listed and sometimes water (if it is a 50/50 light juice). If there are other ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners, grab a different juice. “Diet” juice usually has some sort of chemical sweetener that can do more harm to your body than a few extra calories. Fruit juice is naturally sweet and doesn’t need extra sugar added.

Another option instead of juice is nut milks or dairy milk if you prefer, though unsweetened is usually a great alternative to juice. Since your smoothie will be sweetened with natural ingredients like fruit or honey, try picking unsweetened nut milk for the best health benefits.

3 Surefire Ways To Change Snacking Habits

When it comes to changing your habits and eating healthier, one thing to remember is when you’re hungry or bored, that what you see is what you will grab. This is why you hear the dieting tips about not leaving cookies and other treats on the counter or in easy access, because you will be more tempted to eat them.

This is not about saying “no” to certain foods, but in understanding what your body is truly craving, and not just what appeals to you because you keep seeing it right in front of you.

Keep Your Fruit Bowl on the Counter

freepik.com

This is probably a tip you have heard before, but it bears repeating. If you have fruit in your house, keep it on the counter where you will see it! There have been many studies done, including at the Google corporate offices, where if you leave out healthy snacks on the counter, people are more likely to grab them.

This is all about cravings and convenience. Sometimes you just have a craving for a cookie, and will go searching until you find it. But when you are bored or in a hurry and just want a quick snack, you are much more likely to just grab something you see right in front of you.

Put Your “Treats” in a Place You Don’t Go To Often

freepik.com

As for foods you consider treats, like cookies, chips, crackers, and baked goods, try to keep them out of easy reach. They don’t need to be hidden so far you can’t get to them, because that might make them feel “forbidden”, which may cause them to be n your mind more than they should. Just put them in a place where you don’t see them every time you walk past the kitchen or open the fridge.

For example, instead of having a cup or chocolates out in the open, put them in a drawer that you will have to actively go to to get, rather than having them be a “quick grab” as you walk in the kitchen or walk by the coffee table.

The less you see them, the less inclined you will be to grab chips or a cookie or brownie every time you are in the kitchen filling up your water bottle.

If the treats are more difficult to get, then it has to be a n=intentional choice to grab a treat rather than one of convenience.

Leave Your Healthiest Food in a Place You Go to Often

freepik.com

You probably know your personal habits the best when it comes to your kitchen and pantry. Think about the places you tend to go to first for a snack or meal, like opening the fridge or looking in your cabinets, and place the healthiest options up front or at eye level.

Keep the healthier ingredients and meals at the front of your cabinets and your refrigerator. If you have treats in the fridge or freezer, keep them in a drawer or behind all your frozen produce and healthy meats.

Making these small changes allows you to have intention and more control over what you eat. Small changes can lead to big results. If you are in a place that you are making changes to your diet or just in weight “maintenance-mode”, having health food readily available will give you a healthy advantage.

5 Tips for Growing Your Own Herbs

Have you ever wanted to grow your own fresh herbs, but didn’t know if you had enough of a ‘green thumb’? Growing your own herbs can be a rewarding experience and help with living a more natural and holistic life. A holistic life approach has many facets, including what you eat and where you get your food. To be as holistic as possible, growing herbs from home gives you complete control over what goes into your herbs. You can use your fresh herbs to cook with, and you can also use some of them for healing and natural medicine. You will save money and ensure you have the most organic herbs possible.

Have a Plan Beforehand

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

The first step to growing your own herbs is the prep stage. You want to take some time figuring out where you will place your garden, what you intend to grow and ways you are going to use them, and how much room you are going to need. This is when the research comes in handy. Although you may be excited to get started on your new herb garden, it is not necessarily a good idea to just go buy some seeds and fertilizer, and start planting without having planned exactly what you intend to do beforehand.

Decide Between Seeds or Start Plants

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

There are two main ways to grow herbs; you can start them from seeds, or you can purchase plants that have been started for you. Naturally, if you are a beginner at growing, the plants are going to be much easier for you. This is recommended for most people who are starting their very first herb garden, as you ease into caring for herbs, without having to start them from seeds.

Become Familiar with Each Herb

Photo by Lachlan Ross on Pexels.com

Before you start planting your herbs, understand what each herb needs you to do as far as care and growing it healthy. Every herb will have different guidelines, such as how much water it needs, when to give it direct sunlight, and whether it needs to be in a container or in the ground.

For example:

Mint grows very fast, and works best in a container with only mint in it. Mint grows well in sunlight, but it can also use a bit of shade and still grow well.

With rosemary, it grows better in cool climates that have sun, and needs to be brought indoors during the winter.

Caring for Your Herbs

Fresh thyme – freepik.com

While many herbs can be grown indoors in planters, they still need to be close to a window. Some plants may need to be moved outdoors for at least a few hours, as most herbs should get 3-4 hours of direct sunlight each day. Again, this will depend on your herbs.

Remember that care includes sunlight and temperature control, watering, and using the right soil.

Harvest When Ready

freepik.com

Something to keep in mind when harvesting your herbs is that the more often you do it (when they are ready), the healthier the herb plant will continue to grow. Be sure to look at each variety’s instructions to understand harvesting guidelines and optimal harvest time. Enjoy the benefits of growing your own fresh herbs and adding them to your favorite dishes.

4 Hidden Juicing Tips That Increase Immune Function

Participating in a juice cleanse is a very popular thing to do at the moment. When people do this they will just drink blended juices for a specific period of time to clean out their system. The reason for going on a juice cleanse is that it can help people to lose weight but it can also be beneficial to the immune system.

Drinking the right juices can really benefit your immune system and there is no need for you to go on a full juice cleanse. All that you need is a simple blender or juicer so that you can create some really delicious smoothies that you can drink at home with the meals that you eat.

It Is All About Balance

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

It is essential that you use the right combination of fruits that will not just taste good, but provide you with the vitamins that you need. Getting this balance right is very important. The good news here is that you have a large amount of options available to you that will taste delicious and you can make your own creations to suit your taste.

Orange Juice “The Super-Star”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

To create different flavors you can change the ratios of specific fruit mixes. One of the simplest and most popular choices to begin with is orange juice. You will see orange juice available in stores, but it is important to be sure that it is 100% juice without added sugar. If it is available, fresh squeezed orange juice is the most beneficial.

Juicing at home can give you complete control over your juice. When you create your own orange juice it will not have the same level of sweetness as the store products, but you will get a great deal of vitamin C from it and it will certainly taste fresher.

Vitamin C is great for boosting your immune system. According to healthline.com, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses. Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system and protect against free radicals.

To take your orange juice to the next level, try adding carrots and apples to it. If you want to add carrots and apples to your mix then you will need a fruit blender. Remove the apple core first before you blend. When you add carrots and apples you still have your vitamin C and you will get vitamin A and vitamin B6 as well which will help your immune system to work more effectively.

Tomato Juice’s Folate Boost

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

Not everyone likes tomatoes, but if you do then they are a great way to boost your immune system. You can juice them by hand and then strain your efforts into a glass to keep the seeds out of the final juice. Fresh tomato juice created at home tastes a lot better than that available to buy in a can.

You will get a “folate” boost from this which is really beneficial to your immune system. Folate is an important vitamin because it helps to lower the risk of any infections taking hold. It is a good idea to experiment by mixing up different fruits to get the best results, so be confident and give it a try!

Juice Mixology

freepik.com

Sometimes you may feel like a scientist and an artist, when you try your hand at juice mixology. Experimenting with various combinations can be exciting and you might discover magical combinations of juice that taste great and benefit your immune system.

One combination to try mixing apple with watermelon and experimenting with different ratios until you discover the combination that works best for you. Keep trying new combinations with your fruit juice mixes as the sky is the limit here. The bottom line is that all of your fruit mixes will be of benefit to your immune system.

Do you want to learn more about how to super-charge your immune health in practical ways without spending a bunch of time and money? Click HERE to find out how to take control of your immune health and live your optimal life.