Tea – Delicious and Healthy
So many of us are tea drinkers here in America, although I tend to think of tea drinking as a pastime of the British mostly. That’s not even true! But recently I have been increasingly aware of the many tea drinkers here at home; in fact, more than 159 million Americans drink it.
In fact, in 2020, Americans drank more than 84 billion servings of tea! And, on any day, over 50% of the American population drinks tea.
So, it seems wise, knowing how popular tea drinking is, to explore the many health benefits of tea, and there are a bunch!
Tea has been clinically studied for a long time, so when we talk benefits, we mean real, scientific benefits. Here are a few:
Tea can boost the immune system. And if there’s ever a time to boost the immune system, it would be during the current pandemic! In fact, white tea may be the most effective type in fighting cancer, another disease having to do with our immunity.
Chamomile tea can help reduce menstrual pain and muscle spasms; it is also known to improve sleep quality and quantity, help generally with relaxation, thereby reducing stress.
Rooibos tea, an African tea, is known to improve blood pressure and circulation (thereby being heart healthy) and can help boost our good cholesterol and lower our bad cholesterol. It can also help keep our skin and hair healthy.
Peppermint tea, which has menthol naturally in it, can help sooth an upset stomach and help you if you’re constipated and/or have irritable bowel syndrome or even motion sickness.
Ginger is wonderful any way you eat it! But as a tea it can help to ward off morning sickness and is useful if you have chronic indigestion. It is also known to help relieve joint pain if you have osteoarthritis.
Green tea, being high in flavonoids, can also help your heart health like rooibos tea by lowering bad cholesterol and raising your good cholesterol. It can also help lower your triglycerides and impact total cholesterol count.
Black tea, which stems from the same plant as does green tea, is made by drying and fermenting the leaves which results in a darker color and different taste. This one is useful if applied to minor cuts and abrasions and bruises; it is also known to reduce swelling and can lower inflammation from rashes and even poison ivy. In general, tea has antioxidants which are completely healthy, it has less caffeine than coffee (or none at all), and as stated above, can help reduce your risk of heart issues. It might also be helpful in the battle of the bulge (i.e., weight loss). It may be able to help protect your bones and is gut healthy. Remember – three-fourths of our immune system resides in the gut so it’s a great idea to keep the gut nice and healthy!
At the time of this writing, we are heading into the cold weather seasons. There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea (or iced if you prefer) to give you comfort and warmth and a sense of feeling cozy.
How about a few recipes?!
One favorite tea recipe is Moroccan tea. You can make this with green tea and fresh (preferably organic) spearmint leaves. Be careful about sweetening this up, as table sugar is never really good for you – LOL! Add the tea to boiling water and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Strain it, if need be, put the spearmint at the bottom of the teapot and pour the tea over the leaves. Enjoy!
Another good one is lemon ginger tea. You will need fresh ginger root (preferably organic), perhaps a very little honey if you like it sweet (but use very sparingly), and one (organic or local) lemon which has been rinsed well. Fill a pot with water and boil. Turn the heat down to medium. Add some thinly sliced ginger root (leaving the peel on it). Simmer for about 15 minutes or until it tastes well and some of the water has reduced. Enjoy!
Then there’s chai tea. You can use Darjeeling tea, fresh cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger root, cloves, green cardamom pods, black peppercorns, and a little honey. You’ll also need whole milk. Using a grinder or a mortar and pestle grind the cloves, cardamon, and black peppercorns. Add all the above (except the milk and honey) to a saucepan, stir, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. You may want to strain the spices and tea leaves out and then add the milk and honey, and make sure everything is nice and warm for a cozy, cuddly day. Enjoy!
Now, if you’re wanting to lose some weight, you can enhance the process of dieting and exercising with some homemade recipes. As many of you know, green tea can be particularly useful in a variety of ways. It is also good if you’re trying to lose weight. You can make a delicious and healthy tea with grated ginger (using either the root or powder), cinnamon (use sticks or powder), water of course, green tea (loose or in teabag form), a little lemon juice (fresh organic will be the best), and if you want a little sweetener, use a tiny bit of honey. You can also use – in any recipe – a healthy sweetener like stevia or erythritol, for example. You can always put in a few fresh mint leaves as a garnish and some of its nutrients will add flavor and health-giving properties to your tea. Boil the ginger and cinnamon in the water for a few minutes. Add honey or healthy substitute (or leave it out if you wish), and a little lemon juice and mix. Strain this mixture. Then put in your green tea bag or leaves. Let it steep for just a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
As an addition to a healthy weight-loss program, you can choose a tea recipe that will help give your metabolic rate a boost. Take some warm water, a little bit of raw honey or other healthy substitute, a little fresh lemon juice, a little raw apple cider vinegar, a little fresh ginger, a little cinnamon, and a bit of cayenne pepper. First mix the honey with the warm water, add the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Add ginger (preferably freshly grated) and some cinnamon (use a healthy one). Finally add the cayenne pepper; mix up well and … enjoy!
And as always, have a happy, holistically healthy day!
Let’s face it – times have been tough the last couple of years! Many of us have lost our income sources, as least temporarily during this “pandemic.” Thank heavens for unemployment, but it’s only a fraction of what our income is or has been. Although things seem to be picking up again for many people, we can still be justifiably concerned with cash flow, paying bills, and feeding ourselves and our loved ones.
So, this begs the question – can we eat healthy on a tighter budget? Can it really be done?
The answer is a resounding YES! I’ll tell you how!
First of all, it’s a great time to start reducing our junk food intake. Junk food, as most of us know, takes away from our healthy by supplying a fraction of substandard nutrients. I can hear it now – but I can’t afford to buy healthy food! I used to say and think this myself in earlier years.
However, it’s not true. Even organic foods go on sale; in fact, some grocery stores have it on clearance racks. The trick is to buy it at greatly reduced rates, and then either eat it right away, or throw it in the freezer if it’s fresh meat, poultry, or wild caught fish, or store it in your cupboards if it’s something canned, such as organic beans.
If you are buying fresh produce on sale, just buy enough to feed yourselves before it goes bad. So, salads would be something to consume right away, but you can get by a little longer if you cook with it in soups, stir-fries, stews, etc. (Plus you can freeze it then.)
Don’t think you can’t do the same thing with fresh conventional foods. I’m always checking the meat clearance rack and checking for sales on everything. I visit my grocery store fairly often – some of you won’t have time or inclination to do so, and it’s just a suggestion.
If some of you have access to bulk purchasing, you can always buy things like spring water at bulk prices and larger quantities. So, in my opinion, if it makes sense to have a paid membership, then by all means do so, because over the course of a year, you will save much more money than the membership price.
Advance planning is always a good way to potentially save money. You’re not buying things so much on the spur of the moment. If you have a grocery list, then just buy what’s on the list.
It’s still usually less expensive to cook and eat at home, although I am a big fan of eating healthy in restaurants. But often and especially in the winter especially, when I don’t feel so much like going outside and running around, I eat more at home and my bank account thanks me!
If you cook more than you eat at one meal, don’t be afraid to consume your leftovers in a timely manner. Most cooked food can be frozen, so if you freeze your leftovers, you don’t have to have the same meal several times in a row.
Try not to shop when you’re hungry! Statistics show that we tend to buy more when our tummies are growling – LOL!
Remember to keep your food purchases to real, whole foods – skip the ramen noodles and mac and cheese even though they’re very inexpensive to buy, relatively speaking. Your overall health, including your mental health, will thank you!
Get to know your food brands – do your due diligence and make sure that these companies have a good reputation for quality, especially in terms of having a lack of chemical additives which really take away from your health. (Ask yourself, am I worth it?! And I really, really hope your answer is yes!)
So, if you have a good brand, and you’re always reading ingredients and know about processing methods, you can save a little more money and buy generic. One good example is the Whole Foods home brand (365), which always saves money. Since I shop at Kroger, I have familiarized myself with their Simple Truth Natural and Simple Truth Organic brands and have done my due diligence.
Another good hack is to purchase healthy but cheaper cuts of meat and you can use them in your pressure cooker, soups, stews, burritos, casseroles, etc.
After fresh produce (hopefully that’s local and in season), you can go to flash frozen fruits and veggies, as these will usually contain more healthy nutrients than canned.
If you have a green thumb, you can try your hand at growing your own garden of produce – it’s so much fun! I have a very tiny back yard, but I have cultivated it over about 5 years and it’s pretty close to organic by now.
You can grow your own plants from seeds, or you can buy organic plants, but at least purchase non-GMO plants. I lay fresh, organic soil down each year, too. I can easily get about 20 veggie plans in my small garden, although I will admit that it’s way too crowded. My yield each year is fantastic, and I really enjoy the miracle of growing my own food!
If you like digital and/or paper coupons, use them wisely. If your grocery store generates coupons for you, they may base them on your buying patterns, so at times, I get double discounts – from a mark-down and a coupon, combined. I buy more when I get good stuff cheap and use it up later.
And, as always, please have a happy and holistically healthy day!
It hardly seems possible that Thanksgiving Day is nearly upon us! My head is full of thoughts of turkey, stuffing, and other favorite dishes!
You might be asking yourself if it is possible to have a decadent, delicious Thanksgiving meal and have it healthy, too. Well … the answer is a resounding yes!
Use fresh (and organic when possible) veggies, including mashed potatoes and yams (okay, we’ll relax the carb count a little for the occasion if you watch them). Use little to no table sugar, but perhaps a little honey and/or maple syrup would be okay. Remember – I said a little bit! Some safer sweeteners to use are stevia and monk fruit extract, although these, I find, are an acquired taste.
I am baking a pumpkin pie as we speak, and I am using almond flour and crushed pecans for the crust. I purchased a can of organic pumpkin puree to act as a base for the filling. I plan to take some organic heavy whipping cream to put on top before we indulge! (This is allowed on my low carb approach and is it delicious!)
Now … for the turkey … or any meat you may be consuming (sorry to my vegetarian/vegan friends!): organic or all-natural meats can be a bit pricy, so I always purchase when they are on sale and into my freezer they go.
Since I rarely eat wheat anymore, I do not make a stuffing based on it, but almond flour and cream cheese – and maybe a little mozzarella thrown in – make up a good “bread” from which you can fashion dressing. If you like, you can get a gluten free package of stuffing mix, although it will still be starchy. Look on the internet for delicious recipes!
Are you getting the picture?! You are only limited by your imagination and your unwillingness to surf the net for wonderful, free recipes.
Avoid drinks with sugar, but indulge in a little wine, if you are so inclined. Remember – I said a little!
Above all else, count your blessings and bask in the knowledge that this is one holiday meal that will not be unhealthy. For more information on holistic healthy living, please visit my website!
And – as always – please have a happy, holistically healthy day and holiday season!
For me, the word mindfulness conjures up the same kinds of images that I get when I hear the word, exercise. In other words, I think “oh, no!” The truth is, when I exercise in any way, shape, or form, I feel good while I’m doing it and afterwards. It’s the same thing when I actually engage in mindfulness practices. So – I definitely need an attitude adjustment!
Mindfulness is a state of being in the present moment. It’s focus, calmness, etc. It’s definitely not self-put-downs or self-recriminations. Yoga and other mindfulness practices such as meditation, taking a bubble bath, being in nature, etc., are great ways to get into that calm, in-the-present mode of being. That’s where you’re at your best.
Self-care is not being self-indulgent. It’s not something that could be negative either. It means you take care of yourself to help promote better health. It’s something that helps you stay balanced. In fact, according to Google Trends, the number of searches for self-care has more than doubled in the past five years or so.
I think we all do self-care to a certain extent (and yoga and mindfulness definitely belong in this category), but are we really doing enough? For all of you helping people, you wonderful, loving people who would rather help others than yourselves, this can turn into a nightmare if you don’t learn how to do a balancing act between taking care of yourself and others.
Do you let others drain you? Do you put your perception of their needs in front of your own? If so, you can benefit from many of our course offerings on our Health and Wellness Online Teachable, whether you are a professional seeking continuing education credits or a parent or just a person who wants to be better informed.
Did I say yoga? Of course, I did – it is one of the best researched, and most effective ways to achieve mindfulness and healing, both in the mental/emotional realm and in the physical body. Remember that old mind-body connection…it’s real and succinct.
Here are just some tangible benefits of practicing yoga:
Since self-care is an umbrella term of sorts – it includes everything, we need to get and stay healthy – this includes our nutrition, cleanliness, getting medical care, taking supplements, practicing mental health care, etc. It can even mean making our spiritual life healthy…after all, we are hard-wired genetically for spirituality! It’s all that we need to do to keep our balance in this chaotic world. It helps us manage stressors from a healthy vantage point, not from an unhealthy one.
Yoga is one of the best researched modes of self-care, and it combines strength building, awareness, and harmony or balance in the mind and the body. In fact, if someone thinks they can have optimal health in one but not the other, I will respectfully beg to differ! One helps promote the other. Together, mind and body, we are stronger in all ways.
There are probably over 100 different types of schools of yoga, but most include breathing exercises, meditation, and posturing or striking poses which help flex different muscle groups. Haven’t you experienced muscles and other types of fasciae getting knotted up? Or when you’re stressed out, how does your back and neck feel?!
It’s important to find the ways that work well for you personally, as an individual, as well as in your tight schedules, to be able to relax and unwind. I know the same to be true of exercise – I like walking but love to dance! So, try a few things and find out what seems to be most beneficial to you. Then practice it a few minutes a day.
And as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!
Many of you know you’re not living the healthiest lifestyle you could be, and especially in today’s world, maybe you’re having some thoughts about changing that up.
But you may not know exactly what to do. We all know that getting rid of our beloved junk foods – foods with empty calories, foods that are overly processed, foods that are laden with chemicals and especially sugar, and foods that have been robbed of their nutrients, is a good idea!
Easier said than done, right?!
Let’s face it – it’s hard work! Don’t let anybody fool you. But if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. It’s the ones who don’t give up that eventually turn their lives around for the better. Also, an occasional excursion into sugar and pizza mania is not likely going to be lethal – as long as it’s really occasional – LOL! (Psst, by the way, I and the internet have recipes for very healthy pizzas and other goodies that actually taste good too!)
So, yes, I start by talking about food, because what we eat represents about 75% of our total health. Adding some well-placed supplements to that list makes this percentage even stronger!
But there are other types of lifestyle changes that we can incorporate, like mindfulness, changing living and work environments, changing our social environments, etc. Have you heard about time management? Of course you have! (And we’re not all always that good at it.)
1) You can start by informing yourself of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, one that will promote optimal healing and abundant health in you and your loved ones. By the way, having worked with kids for about 16 years in a public middle school, I found out that kids watch adults, even adults they don’t know, and so we are in a very strong position to influence them. It makes sense we’d want to influence them in a positive way, right?! Examples of the bigger picture are cutting back or cutting out all junk food unless you make them with healthier ingredients. There are lots of available recipes. Just reach out and ask me for some guidance! Then start adding more health-giving foods each day, like salads made with fresh, preferably organic and varied veggies, and lightly steamed veggies as accompaniments to your meals. I also cook with tons of fresh veggies inside recipes for soups, stews, even meatloaf! It goes without saying that you need to read labels and not buy overly processed, chemical-laden foods. Use real, whole foods. If you want more help on this step, please just reach out to me at email@example.com.
2) The key to success is to start off after learning a lot by making one or two small changes at a time. The first week, cut down or cut out all things with sugar. The next week, continuing with low to no sugar, cut down or cut out anything made with processed grains, like wheat. If you see enriched wheat on the label, it should signal you that this wheat has been stripped of all nutrients first, and then a thimble-full of nutrients have been added back in. So, it’s a no-go! The next week you could cut back or cut out soda, even the ones that are healthier due to sugar content. You get the drift! And don’t be overly worried if you mess up – just start over again. Nobody’s saying this will be easy so be nice and understanding with yourself. Eventually you’ll get it!
3) If you’re not used to moving your body much, identify some things you enjoy or will enjoy doing that involve moving your body. For me the most fun thing I can do is dance. Even if I’m not going anywhere to dance, when I put on some music that moves me, I just dance around my living room! Nobody sees me doing this – LOL! If I get really ambitious, I remember that in earlier years I loved riding my bike and roller skating so I imagine I might be able to get into those things again. This is an individual taste thing, so it’s entirely up to you – even if you just like to take a stroll. Hey, logging in steps everyday is very healthy too!
4) Make lists of healthy foods that you like and be sure to include them in your mealtimes. In other words, slowly start to decrease unhealthy foods and increase healthy foods. If you don’t already take supplements, start with a healthy multiple vitamin – it’s easy and not too pricy!
These things can be accomplished slowly over a few months’ time, unless you want to dive in deeper all at once. It is my belief though that if you start and build up slowly, you may be more inclined to continue.
Above all else, don’t be discouraged if you fall off the wagon. Just forgive yourself and start over again. If you think you need extra help, you can reach out to me for a free 30-minute consultation, and we can go from there! If you want more help on this step, please just reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.