Sorry, I haven’t been writing as much as usual…
I have been in a rut lately and having a hard time getting out of it. I am struggling with money, which is affecting my social life, and ability to pay for rent, food and other necessities. The ants are already starting to infest my home, even though it is still snowing. I keep trying to stay positive throughout all of this and reminding myself that it will all get better soon.
On the bright side, I have recently gotten a promotion at work, which has helped me stay more focused and motivated. My new job entails more research, which I love. My main goal is to work in nutrition research helping low income people, but for now I am trying to enjoy my career path and see where I end up.
I live across the street from the beach at the jersey shore, so I have been finding a lot of seaglass on my weekend runs and walks on the beach. I have decided to open an etsy account selling wire wrapped seaglass pendants. I only have a few pendants right now, but you can see my etsy store HERE
If you have any creative ideas that I can do with my seaglass, let me know!
March is busy month for me, as it has both my mother’s and father’s birthdays, my boyfriend’s birthday and my sister is getting married at the end of the month. Furthermore, it is National Nutrition Month! The theme for 2018 is “Go Further With Food.” This includes reducing calories, daily exercise, making better food choices, and reducing food waste.
Eating less can be difficult and unhealthy, so it is important to focus on keeping calories from drinks to a minimum. A Gatorade or bottle of soda not only has extra sugar, but can have as much as 150 calories per serving. Focus on fresh fruit, vegetables and lean proteins to keep you full and nutrient rich.
I always work out at least five to six days a week. It is part of my routine and I actually get upset when I can’t fit a workout into my day. If I know I’m going to have a busy day, I set my alarm early and get a quick run in before I start my morning. Not only is it healthy, but also it can keep you happy, help with weight loss and can increase your energy levels.
Making Better Food Choices:
Making better choices can help strengthen bones, muscles and increase nutrient intake. It is ideal to choose foods that are nutrient rich like fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, and lean protein, while avoiding foods that are calorie dense. Making half your plate fruits and vegetables can help you eat fewer calories and fill up on nutrients. Furthermore, portion size can help decrease over eating.
Reducing Food Waste:
40% of all food is wasted, while many people are starving across the world. Saving food is easy and can be done every day! It is ideal to save left overs, don’t over serve yourself or others, store food correctly, and keep track of what you throw away.
We make choices every day that affects the environment and the future of the earth. The Earth’s ecosystem keeps humans, animals and all creatures alive every day. The beauty of nature not only enhances the appearance of the world, but it keeps animals from going extinct and the atmosphere from fading. Living sustainably means that you can support yourself and your surroundings, considering three core elements: environmental protection, social development and economic development.
Protecting the environment is the main component in living a sustainable life. It includes minimizing the negative effects on the environment and creating positive impacts that can benefit nature. Social Development entails educating the public on the benefits of living sustainably. Economic development is the only way sustainability can succeed, since it implements long-term action.
There are many benefits to living a sustainable life, like saving money, simplifying, reducing waste, and eliminating chemicals in your home.’
How to Live Sustainable:
- Use a reusable water bottle
- Recycle: recycling can reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and reduce the environmental impacts. You can also reuse plastic bottles.
- Turn off the water: to reduce the amount of water used, make sure turn off the sink when brushing your teeth or install efficient water heads.
- Bring your own shopping bags: Many grocery stores, like whole foods market, sells reusable shopping bags. They don’t rip or tear like plastic shopping bags and they are easy to carry with you when you go grocery shopping or to the farmers market.
- Grow your own food: I have trouble growing my own veggies, but I always try. If you can’t do it like me, go shopping at your local farmers market or help out at a community garden.
- Save energy at home: turn off your lights or thermostat. This can help reduce wasted energy.
- Use natural products: try to buy natural, or eco-friendly products that are non toxic.
Adaptogens are natural substances, like herbs, that work to regulate certain hormones and balance the body. They can help to increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors and promote normal physiologic function (Duke,1). These herbs have been used for thousands of years for their natural health benefits, like boosting the immune system, restoring balance, managing weight, increasing physical endurance, as well as mental focus and mood.
Adaptogens grow in various environments, such as high altitude, rugged mountain regions, extreme cold, low oxygen and other stressful conditions. Many types grow in China, India, Korea, and Russia, while others are native to Europe and North America. Some are ready to harvest in a year, while others take years to mature to have the medicinal properties that they are used for.
4 Popular Adaptogens:
- Panax Ginseng: (AKA Asian Ginseng)
Panax Ginseng grows in the mountainous forests of eastern Manchuria, northern China, and Korea. It is almost extinct in the wild. This type of adaptogen is used to improve calmness and memory performance. Some research states that it can help lower blood sugar levels.
Astragalus is native to china and is grown in full sun and sandy soil with low nitrogen levels. It is used in Chinese medicine to decrease stress hormones and improve the stress response. It has also been shown to boost immunity. Many studies show that it can boost cortisol levels, allowing the body to respond better to types of stress. Today, it is commonly used for lack of appetite, organ prolapse, fatigue and wasting and thirsting syndrome. It is also used to enhance the immune system, preventing colds, and other illnesses.
Cordyceps is a type of fungus that grows on the Himalaya Mountains in Tibet and Bhutan. It is rare to find. They are high in antioxidants and contains immune-enhancing properties. It is now used to treat illnesses associated with the kidneys. It is also used to treat infertility in men and women, frequent urination, night sweats, dizziness and fatigue.
- Holy Basil:
It is found throughout the lowlands of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Southern China and Malaysia. It is known for its antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant and antiviral properties. It is also a diuretic, and galactogogue.
Winston, D., & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Sorry I haven’t been writing as much. I have been busy looking for a part time job and hanging with friends. I am going to try my best to test some more recipes and write more often in the weeks to come.
Coconut Flour Donuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease donut or muffin pan. In a large bowl whisk the oil, sugar, salt vanilla extract and eggs. Once the ingredients are mixed add the milk and mix well. In a small mix the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
Pour the mixture into the donut or muffin pan, 3/4ths the way full. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the donut pan, or until it is golden brown around the edges. 18-20 minutes in the muffin pan.
Today I made Moringa Cashew Dressing. It is a great alternative to processed salad dressing that you can purchase in store and you probably have many of the ingredients already in your pantry. This dressing is creamy and healthy! Not only does it have many health benefits like, anti -aging and immune boosting, but also it tastes great and brings color to your table.
This recipe is a similar to Nutrition Stripped‘s turmeric dressing recipe.
Moringa Cashew Dressing
1/2 cup cashew butter
1 1/2 teaspoon Me Moringa Powder
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon water (you can add more or less depending on the consistency you want)
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Inflammation is a normal bodily function that occurs when you are injured or you have an illness, such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, IBD or other common diseases. Inflammation has been shown to be the root cause of these diseases and many more. Evidence has shown that dietary patterns rich in foods of plant origin, such as fruits and vegetables, can help lower the risk of diseases.
Inflammation is not necessarily bad for the body, since it helps protect the body from illnesses and is the bodies way of healing. You may notice that the area of injury will swell, as well as become hot and red. This is the immune systems response to injury. However, if the immune system overreaches to illnesses or injuries, it may cause autoimmune disorders, causing arthritis or IBD.
Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help promote a healthy inflammatory response.
Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants that help reduce stress caused by free radicals. It is easy to add these vegetables to your diet by adding kale or spinach to smoothies or sautéing Swiss chard with olive oil and garlic.
Ginger has many health benefits that help with inflammation. It is anti-bacterial and anti-disease. This root contains gingerols that inhibit joint swelling. Ginger can be made into a tea by adding chunks of the root to hot water and boiling it. It can also be added to stir fries and many more dishes.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which helps with inflammation. It is known to help with arthritis, by reducing the swelling of the joints. Black pepper has been shown to bring out the beneficial properties of turmeric. Turmeric can be found in capsule form, however, it is a tasty spice that can be easily added to various dishes.
Beets contain phytochemicals, like ascorbic acid, carotenoids and flavonoids. It contains betaine, which is a strong antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also increases your metabolism and boosts your mood
This vegetable contains potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B and Vitamin E. Its antioxidants help reduce inflammation and the risk of developing cancer.
Blueberries contain quercetin. This antioxidant is found citrus, olive oil and other berries. It fights inflammation and cancer. It has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut and colon, while also slowing cognitive decline and improve memory.
Pineapples contain bromelain, which fights blood clotting and inflammation. It is a digestive enzyme that has been shown to stop blood platelets from building up along the walls of blood vessels, which causes heart attacks. It is high in Vitamin C, B1, potassium and magnesium.
It is also important to avoid foods that increase inflammation. These foods include many processed foods that are high in saturated and trans fatty acids. Likewise, refined sugars and carbohydrates also cause inflammation. Not only do these foods increase inflammation but also they can cause obesity and many diseases associated with it. It is essential to also develop a regular routine of exercising to reduce inflammation.
Serafini, M., Peluso, I., & Raguzzini, A. (2010). Flavonoids as anti-inflammatory agents. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 69(3), 273-278. doi:10.1017/S002966511000162X