Rehydrate Happily with These DIY Superfood Infused Water Recipes

So…How’s your water intake? Health experts in all areas of healthcare, such as Dr. Axe, Dr. Cates, and Dr. Oz are telling us, “Drink More Water!”

Although they are absolutely correct, it can sometime feel like a daunting task to have to chug multiple ounces of water throughout the day.

As you might suspect, I’m on the constant quest for finding quick health solutions while making life a little easier and more exciting.

Each morning, before my coffee, I drink a glass of with lemon water to boost my gut health. I keep a pitcher in the fridge with lemons for my morning rehydration.

This morning I got to thinking – “What if I made infused water with superfoods?”… I can hydrate and get a super nutrition boost at the same time! Win-win!

So, what exactly are superfoods?….

Superfoods are foods that have a very high nutritional density and very few calories. A lot of bang for your buck.

Infused water with superfoods can be a creative experience of color, flavor and nutrients and is very easy to make, especially with all the summer superfoods readily available at farmers markets and stores.

To make superfood infused water all you need is a pitcher or glass jar, 1 or more superfoods (fruit, vegetable, or herb), and water. You can also use a water infuser bottle or pitcher, if you have it.

For best results, use filtered water and be sure to wash your fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs before use. Let your infused water steep for at least 3 hours.

If you like stronger flavor, try muddling your fruits before you add the water to your pitcher or jar.

Infused water can be served with the ingredients in the glass or strained. Both methods are delightful!

Check out some of these highly flavorful and nutrient rich superfood infused water ideas!

Lemon-Mint Water Zing

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Here’s an interesting and ultra-refreshing infused water for you. Lemon-Mint water combines two great superfoods that can work together to improve your gut health.

Lemons promote digestion and gastric action. They’re excellent at giving you some healthy vitamin C.

Mint is known for relieving digestive problems such as upset stomach and indigestion, so pairing it with lemon can give you a super gut health boost.

To make Lemon-Mint Zing, cut a lemon into wedges. Tear up a few sprigs of mint allowing the flavor to release. Combine together in a pitcher or infuser and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Yummmmm!

Blueberry-Orange Superlicious

If you’re looking for something a little bit different you can try making Blueberry-Orange infused water.

These two flavors meet wonderfully, and these fruit in combination have a bunch of antioxidants which are great for supporting the elimination of free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage to DNA which may result in mutations and cause disease (yes, eliminate those please!)

To make Orange-Blueberry Water, cut an orange into slices and place them into your pitcher or large mason jar. Then add ½ cup of blueberries. Cover the water and place it into the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.

Watermelon-Strawberry-Kiwi Party In A Cup

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Watermelon pieces are an essential part of summer, so it’s a cool idea to make sure that you find a way to get it into your water. Watermelon has a high level of lycopene, an antioxidant, which is known for supporting brain health.

Strawberries like all berries are very rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, which may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control.

Kiwis are a superfood that contain two times the vitamin C of oranges!

To make this infused water, simply combine freshly cut watermelon cubes, ½ cup of halved strawberries and a sliced or cubed kiwi. Chill for 3 or more hours and enjoy!

Add Summer Flavor To Your Food Easily With These 3 Healthy Herbs

Herbs are a way to give every meal its own unique fingerprint.

Although a trained cook knows how to unite multiple herbs, spices, savory, and sweet flavors to create works of art specifically for the taste buds…

Wait…

What about the rest of us who just what a little pizazz in our food?

Keeping it real – Here is some quick info about summer herbs and how they can be used can give give your food a boost in both flavor and health.

Dill

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This herb might not be at the top of your list when you are thinking about cooking, but you will be surprised to know that dill is often a spice used to bring boldness to a dish.

Dill seed is similar to its cousin caraway but with a slightly stronger presentation.

It is great for sauces and fatty meats and is also great for the stomach.

For a stomach soothing tea, boil some dill, steep, and strain for a tea that will help you to relax and focus.

Basil

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Basil is one of the most popular herbs in the world.

It makes for great pairings with both sweet and salty foods and dishes of all kinds. Italian foods have always showcased this herb, but many other cultures have made a wonderful use of the herb.

Some Asian dishes use it to bring a new dimension to many of the spicy dishes.

Basil has been used medicinally and an anti-inflammatory for hundreds of years.

These properties make it an excellent herb for respiratory aid. Basil can even be applied in the form of a poultice to bring down inflammation at the site of a wound.

Mint

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There are many types of mints, but there are some that are favored among the mint family.

For the most part, people tend to go with spearmint.

However, you might have a different taste in your mint variety.

It can take some experimentation, but it’s worth it to have a good understanding of the differences.

Mint is great for your infused water recipes… and cocktails.

It also makes a great addition to tea, and other hot drinks.

Mint is another herb with a lot of positive properties that help your stomach. Part of this is due to its ability to stimulate bile production.

It is also associated with a calming effect.

Enjoy these amazing herbs this summer and throughout the year for a little pizazz in your food and drink.

What You Need to Know to Positively Nurture Your Own Mental Health

So…do you feel like your mental health could use a little love?…

Taking time to give our mental health a boost, can have have real benefits that can have ripple effects in all areas of life.

Here are some practical ways, we as busy women, can start to nurture our own mental health.

Understand Where We Are Today

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To nurture our mental health, we need to know where we are at right now. What things are lacking or non-supportive in our life?

Take a moment to think about things or people in your life that “wear you out” or “deplete” your mental energy…

Can you adjust your life to have less contact with the person or events that take away your energy or wear on your mental health?

Think about setting mental and emotional boundaries, to protect yourself from energy drainers and stress-pushers. Create safe emotional space for yourself and decide which people or events you will allow to affect you and your energy.

Although some interactions with stress-producing people cannot be avoided, you can still give yourself mental space to limit interaction with them and chose how much energy you are going to give them.

Have Scheduled “Me Time

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Yes, we’re talking about self-care. Just because it has become a trending topic the last few years, doesn’t mean it isn’t important and valuable.

Self-care is nothing more than your “me time”. Activities that you choose to do for your own happiness, contentment, health, and fulfillment.

When thinking about self-care, don’t rely so much on what others choose to do.

Self-care is a very personal thing, so the activities you choose to do during your “me time” might be completely different from someone else.

It can be completing an art project, watching your favorite show, taking a nap, playing with your dog, going for a walk, or taking a bath. There are no limits and no right or wrong way to do it.

Log Off and Find Relaxing Activities

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Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your own mental health is to log off.

Turn the phone off.

Shut off the television.

Close your computer.

It is not uncommon for social media and a constant flux of news and opinions to deplete your mental health without realizing it.

If you find that you get angry, sad, frustrated, or feel inferior when you log onto social media, it’s time to take more breaks from it. Give your mind a break and focus on other positive life activities.

Know When it’s Time to Let Go

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Letting go can be a difficult part of life, but it is often something you need to embrace in order to nurture your mental health.

This can be letting go of people who tend to be a negative influence, toxic elements in general, or letting go of habits that are no longer serving you.

Remember that you are in control of who and what you give your energy to. Spend your energy on things and with people that fill your soul and build your energy.

It may take some time to slowly shift, but small steps can lead to positive long term results.

Want a daily health tip? Click HERE to find out how

Boost Your Energy With A Superfood Energy Fruit Bowl

During the summer months I crave light, healthy meals which are refreshing to eat in 90 and 100-degree summer heat.

Living in Florida, the summer can be long… so anytime I can find new ways to spruce up old favorites, and add some superfoods, I’m game!

Superfoods are amazing foods that are very nutrient dense. This means that they provide a substantial amount of nutrients and very few calories and they contain high volumes of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Fruit salads are my superfood meal “go-to” during the summer months.

They are easy to make anytime and they store well for easy grab-and-go.

Let explore a few superfoods you can use to power-up your fruit bowls!
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Fruit bowls can be such fun vehicles for creativity, as well as an extravaganza of nutrients.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the amount of color, flavor and nutrient content a fruit salad can offer.

When you eat fruit, it helps your body to carry on all sorts of essential functions as well as helping with your digestive health. A fruit bowl can be a low-calorie option, and also provides a good amount of antioxidants and vitamins.

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When making your next fruit bowl, try adding some of these superfood fruits to the mix (using organic is best):
Plums: Phytochemicals and nutrients in plums lower the inflammation (and as we know they are great for digestion!)
Strawberries: Strawberries a day may improve heart health and support brain health too!
Grapes: Filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants, grapes can help to revive and restore your skin.
Apples: They’re rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber and are great for weight loss!
Raspberries: Raspberries support the body in decreasing the oxidative damage from free radicals and fight inflammation.
Blueberries: Blueberries are high in phytonutrients, which repair DNA damage from exposure to toxins.
Pomegranate Seeds: Pomegranates have a bunch of antioxidants and flavonoids, both of which are known to prevent free radicals from damaging your cells. Yes please!
Mulberries: These wild berries can decrease oxidative stress, which may reduce cancer risk.

So, next time you’re at the farmers market, filling your bag full of nutrient rich produce, think which fruit combos you can mix into a glorious superfood fruit salad!

DIY Lavender Relaxing Bath Fizzie

Bath fizzie (bombs) are a relaxing and fun way to take a bath, while also improving your skin and enhancing your “you time”.

So, what’s with the name…”fizzie”?

These are usually called bombs, but that word doesn’t evoke relaxation and serenity.

So, I like to use the term “fizzies”.

The name describes what they actually do…

They fizz and come apart when they sit in the bathwater releasing beautiful calming sound and relaxing aromas. This recipe has natural (and playful) ingredients inside which create a swirling and relaxing experience for your little bit of unwinding time.

Relaxing Lavender Bath Fizzie-time

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Lavender is definitely one of the most popular scents of essential oils, and it goes perfectly when you are making your own bath fizzie.

Lavender provides relaxation and stress relief, and is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Here’s what you need to make this lavender bath fizzie:

1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1.5 tablespoons coconut oil (warmed to liquid state)
1 tablespoon Lavender essential oil
1 tablespoon of dried lavender (optional)
1 tablespoon water
Plastic molds or ice cube trays (silicone trays make it easy to pop out the fizzies)

Putting it all together:
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients and whisk until fully mixed.

Press the mixture into molds.

Put it in the freezer for 1 hour to let the coconut oil set. Then turn over and pop them out onto a large cookie sheet.

I recommend storing your fizzies in a large ziplock in the freezer until ready for use.

Add to your beautiful bath and enjoy the relaxing lavender!

Want more practical health solutions? Click HERE for my Daily Health Tip email!

How To Show Some Love To Your Gut

Do you have digestion problems and wonder which food may have caused it?

It might not just be from the foods you are eating, but from bacteria and microbiome imbalance in your gut.

Gut health is more powerful than many gals realize and can affect overall health, digestions, sleep, energy, and mood.

Let’s jump into some quick tips to help restore your gut health and show it some love.

Let’s Start with Probiotics

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Most of us do naturally get enough probiotics in our daily diet. If you’re dealing with gut health issues, then adding probiotics can be a positive move toward a healthier gut microbiome.

Probiotics are easy to get from fermented foods such as kombucha, certain types of yogurt, kefir, pickles, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, and even dark chocolate.

There are also many probiotic supplements available. Try to grab an organic version if possible!

What Is The Gut Microbiome?…

The gut microbiome are the microorganisms, such as bacteria, archaea and fungi, that live in the digestive tracts.

Bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, and protect against bad bacteria that cause disease and other health problems.

Changing small things in your diet can make a big difference…
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Are there foods that seem to make you feel bloated, cause acid indigestion, or make you feel drained of energy?

Try to recognized when this happens…

Taking a break from the particular food that caused the issue for a 5-7 days might give you some clarity. After a break, add it back into your diet and see if the issue reactivates. If so, ditch that food. If not, then it might be some other food that needs to be identified.

Eating a well-balanced diet is also important if you want to restore your gut health.

Sometimes this can feel overwhelming, however, you do not need to change everything at once.

Start by removing one or two processed and unrefined foods from your diet, which are typically packaged and frozen foods, with the exception of frozen vegetables.

From there you can make little changes over a period of time and add more whole, clean, and fresh foods, cooking more meals at home.

Add the Good Fat

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If you grew up in the 1980s, you might still have the “fat is bad” recording playing in your head. Its time to push mute on that recording.

Healthy fats are important to have in your diet. They provide excellent omega 3 fatty acids which are great for your gut health. Some of the best sources of healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.

Remember that lasting change happens with a good foundation. Start building your gut health with small steps, and over time you will see the benefits of your healthy, beautiful gut.

WANT TO DIVE DEEPER INTO GUT HEALTH? Click HERE to check out my interview with Becky Wells, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.

The Natural Healing Properties Of Bone Broth

I grew up being told “don’t throw out those bones!”

My mother was raised on a farm and bones from dinner were always turned into bone broth.

I didn’t understand the wisdom of this practice as a kid.

“That’s just what we did”….

I continued this practice into my adult life, not having a clue the nutrient-rich and gut loving benefits that bone broth offers.

When bone broth began to be a super-star in public forums, I decided to jump into some research and find out some of the secrets behind bone broth and its connection to gut health.

Here’s what I found…

Bone broth is a quick shortcut to help improve your gut health!

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Bone broth is rich in nutrients and minerals including zinc, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.

In addition to minerals, bone broth also contains collagen, gelatin, glycine, and seventeen different types of amino acids.

When simmered at low heat for a lengthened amount of time, these nutrients seep into the water and create “liquid gold.”

Bone broth also offers protective and anti-inflammatory properties

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The amino acids, gelatin, glycine, and nutrients in bone broth help to strengthen the mucus layer and intestinal barrier within the gut while also altering the gut microbiota composition.

I love that these nutrients aid in reducing inflammation!

No wonder many people and cultures around the world drink bone broth.

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Need some digestion happiness?…

While rich in nutrients and minerals, bone broth can also do wonders for digestion.

This liquid gold assists in altering the gut microbiota; a strong, diverse gut microbiota is essential to break down food byproducts for proper absorption.

Another super fact is that the broth itself helps to hydrate the body, thus, promoting better digestion for healthy, regular stools.

Drinking bone broth is so good for us on many levels…

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Enjoy bone broth’s beneficial abundance of nutrients, minerals, and amino acids any time of the year.

Such nutrients aid in protecting the gut, providing anti-inflammatory properties, and overall, promoting better digestion.

EASY DIY Bone Broth

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To make easy DIY Bone Broth, put the following ingredients in a crockpot on low for 12 hours, then strain. Or you can pressure cook in the Instant Pot for 2 hours with a natural release.

1 lb. chicken or beef bones (organic and grass-fed are best)
1 onion quartered
sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary (optional)
salt/pepper to taste
8 cups water

Store your bone broth for up to a week in the refrigerator for easy nutrition anytime.

Or store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Enjoy!

Surefire Ways To Reduce Your Stress and Heal Your Gut

A few years ago, if someone would’ve told me that stress could negatively affect my gut health, I’m not sure I would have fully believed it.

Not to mention using the word “gut health”…

Most gals don’t realize that gut distress such as bloating, gas, gut pain, constipation, or general gut discomfort, can be caused by excessive stress.

Although stress comes in various forms, even mild stress can cause the gut to react.

Do you notice that when you travel your gut gets out of sorts?

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Traveling is a perfect example of how both good and bad stress can effect your gut. Heading towards a traveling adventure can be an exciting time (especially after the year we’ve just been through).

However, the change in schedule, food, and activity that go along with travel can cause stress which can negatively affect the gut.

So…how is stress linked to gut health?

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When you experience a lot of stress, your BRAIN ENTERS INTO SURVIVAL MODE, which affects how much blood goes to your gut…

…Over time, long periods of reduced blood flow can lead to the good bacteria in your gut being weakened or damaged. This enables bad bacteria to multiply.

The result is the weakening of the intestinal lining, which is why people tend to get sick when highly stress and are more susceptible to nutrient deficiency. 

Do you have signs of a stressed gut?

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When your gut is compromised due to stress, it can show up in a variety of ways….

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constant upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Esophageal spasms
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

Although it is important for us to make daily choices to build up our gut health, taking small steps toward reducing stress within our day can help to bolster and positively effect gut heath.

Need an easy solution…

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Try to set aside just a few minutes a day to start to reduce stress in your life, relax and unwind.

This might be as simple as carving out 10 minutes of time and doing some breathing exercises, meditation, or sipping some tea and enjoying the quiet.

Or maybe it is taking a hot bath in the evening, using relaxing essential oils like lavender and chamomile is your diffuser, journaling, listening to music, or just taking a walk in nature.

For a busy mom, 10 minutes of “you-time” may seem tough to get during the day.

However, setting aside just 10 minutes for yourself, once the kids have gone to bed, can have 10x positive effects within your life.

Think of it as the gift you give yourself, since you give to everyone else throughout the day.

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So, instead of running around the house, cleaning and organizing… take just 10 minutes to relax, breath, and reduce your stress. Whatever you do after that will be done in a better mindset.

Taking small steps toward reducing stress in your day can have positive long term results with your gut health and also radiate positively into other areas of your life.

WANT TO DIVE DEEPER INTO GUT HEALTH? Click HERE to check out my interview with Becky Wells, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.

Do You Know The Signs Of Unhealthy Gut Bacteria?

Gut health is a hot topic right now as we are discovering how much of an impact the gut has on our overall health and wellness.

Bad gut bacteria not only contributes to digestive issues

…but can also cause mental health problems like stress and anxiety, lead to poor focus and brain fog, and many other health issues.

Here are some signs that might be telling you that the bacteria in your gut is not properly balanced.

Do You Have Gut or Stomach Discomfort?

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There are many women that may think…

“Feeling bloated is just something that happens”… You do not need to suffer with gas and bloating, stomach cramps, heartburn, diarrhea or constipation.

If you are having discomforts like these, it might be due to an unbalanced gut microbiome.

Even though general discomfort of the stomach and digestive system can come from many different conditions, taking a look at how to boost gut health is a good first step to take to reduce digestive issues.

Do You Have Specific Food Cravings?

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Sweets and sugar cravings tend to be a big sign of an imbalance of your gut health and gut bacteria.

Sugar consumption can contribute to an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the gut, also known as dysbiosis, which can also create an inflammatory symptoms in the body.

The lack of good bacteria in your gut can also cause the sweets craving to increase which can throw the sweets-bad bacteria cycle into full swing.

Have You Had Antibiotics Recently?

Yes, there are times that we need to take antibiotics to combat infection! However…

Antibiotics are like a BOMB to your gut bacteria. Antibiotics rid your gut of both bad and good bacteria.

That being said, it is important take the measures needed to give you gut some extra love and bacteria boosting when you’re taking antibiotics.

Adding probiotic foods and beverages to your diet, such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, and miso, can be positive steps to take toward a healthier gut.

Do You Get Brain Fog?

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Basically, your gut is responsible for your daily mood...

High levels of “bad” gut bacteria can lead to inflammation, which may effect your mental health. A big sign of gut bacteria imbalance may be increased mental issues such as:
➤ Trouble dealing with daily stress
➤ Increased symptoms of anxiety and depression
➤ Episodes of brain fog

As women, we deal with enough during our day, and should not have also deal with poor gut health symptoms.

You have the power to heal your gut!

Remember that gut health is an ongoing journey. Small daily changes to nutrition and supplementation, which support your gut health, can lead to big results over time.

WANT TO DIVE DEEPER INTO GUT HEALTH? Click HERE to check out my interview with Becky Wells, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.

A Healthy Gut Equals Better Sleep! See Why…

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep the whole night? Although there can be many factors that can cause low quality sleep, it might be time to look at gut health and its connection with sleep quality.

Check out some of the “whys” and the “ways” to improve the health of your gut to promote better sleeping patterns. 

Why Sleeplessness…

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Scientists studied young healthy adults who suffer from sleeplessness on a routine basis to determine why they have insomnia. Research revealed that the individuals with insomnia tended to have poor bacterial systems in their guts.

The poor gut health of the test subjects led to changes in the body’s circadian rhythms, and in many cases, the test subjects also displayed anxiety while trying to sleep, including chronic bruxism or teeth grinding. 

Can You Repair Your Gut To Improve Your Sleep? 

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Improving the digestive system’s functioning can improve your sleeping patterns, including reducing insomnia. Scientists believe that adjusting the balance of the bacteria in the gut can help you to sleep better. Ingesting foods with more probiotics and antioxidants can begin to shift gut bacteria into balance.

Try adding foods to your diet such as richly colored fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and even dark chocolate! Fermented foods, such as yogurt or kombucha, contain live cultures that can also promote balance the bacteria in the digestive tract.

There are many probiotic supplements available that can be effective in probiotic gut boosting. Look for probiotics that are naturally sourced.

Avoid Late Night Eating (Especially Spicy Food)

Eating close to bedtime can cause restlessness when trying to settle down for sleep. According to ConeHealth.com ,when we eat late at night, the muscles that digest and metabolize our food have to keep working when they should be resting. This can delay your ability to fall asleep and can prevent you from getting the deep, restful stage of sleep you need to feel refreshed the next day.

Research has also shown that greasy or spicy food consumption before going to bed can lead to poor sleep, especially when someone has acid reflux.

Drinking too many caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, right before bedtime, can change the digestive system’s health. So be mindful of the amount and timeframe that you consume these types of beverages.

Healthy Gut. Healthy Life.

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While your gut health might not be the sole reason you are struggling with your sleep, it is a good thing to consider. According to Healthline.com, A healthy gut supports a strong immune system, heart health, improved brain health, elevated mood, quality sleep, and effective digestion. It may also help to prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases.

Remember…small changes over time can lead to big results!

WANT TO DIVE DEEPER INTO GUT HEALTH? Click HERE to check out my interview with Becky Wells, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.

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