Why it’s so important to cut back on your sugar intake—and take back control of your health. Over three-quarters of packaged food in grocery stores today comes with copious amounts of added sweeteners, making it easy to overindulge, even if you pass on dessert. Most […]
I’m taking small strides to becoming a vegan. The road isn’t easy but little by little I’m finding foods that replace some of my old-time favorites for their vegan counterparts. In doing so, I’ve also been shifting aspects of my lifestyle, including my beauty routine […]
We are so excited for Earth Day! And while we try to do our best to take care of the earth each and every day, Earth Day is a definitely a great way to do a little more. And one such way to get the kids involved is to upcycle by reusing items around the house and turn them into something new. Our friends at Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks, shared an idea for a fun upcycled dreamcatcher that would make for a perfect craft to create this Earth Day. Read on for more:
DIY Upcycled Dreamcatcher
Originating in Native American culture, dreamcatchers are believed to offer protection to little ones by “catching” bad dreams in mid-air while they sleep. With a web-covered hoop to snare nightmares, dreamcatchers traditionally feature natural decorative accents like feathers and wooden beads. Try your hand at making your own upcycled dreamcatcher with our easy tutorial!
What You’ll Need:
- A piece of decorative fabric from an old shirt, shawl, scarf or table runner
- Embroidery hoop
- Sharp scissors
- Wooden or plastic beads with a 1/8” hole or larger
- Feathers and/or ribbons
- Safety pins
Step 1: Dig through your closets to find an interesting old T-shirt, shawl, scarf or table runner that you no longer use. Look for an eye-catching graphic or interesting material that’s lacy or crocheted. Cut your fabric so that it’s slightly wider than the embroidery hoop, and at least twice as tall.
Step 2: Unscrew the top of your embroidery hoop and separate the two hoops. Drape your fabric over the inner hoop, lining it up so that plenty of extra fabric hangs down at the bottom.
Step 3: Place the outer hoop on top and press down into place, adjusting the fabric and pulling it tight. Once you’re happy with the fabric placement, tighten the top screw.
Step 4: Take your scissors and cut the fabric hanging from the bottom of the hoop into long, thin, vertical strips. Trim any excess fabric from around the rest of the hoop.
Step 5: String beads onto the ends of your fabric strips and knot them in place. Use safety pins to attach feathers and ribbons onto your fabric strips at random places for an eclectic effect. Loop a longer piece of ribbon through the hardware at the top and hang with pride!
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Is it possible to that the keys to happiness are within our minds and bodies? Or that the hey to happiness is ditching faad diets? All of these questions and more incredible health insights can be found in Dr. Robin Miller, an Integrative medicine physician medical reporter on NBC and regular guest on Dr. Oz, new book, HEALED: Health & Wellness in the 21st Century. While reading her book, we loved straight-forward advice and tips that covers everything about the body from understanding the brain, the gut, the heart, and more–all to achieve balance and wellness, the book provides the keys to happiness and well-being — which will open the door and quickly put you on the path to feeling good and becoming the person you want to be. This includes insight on how to overcome depression without drugs, living longer and happier, plus a discussion on some new therapies to treat common conditions like obesity, cancer, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. To learn more about the book, we had the chance to interview Dr. Miller. Read on to check out some of her incredible health insights:
Interview with Dr. Robin Miller, Author of HEALED: Health & Wellness for the 21st Century
Wellness Patterns: Tell us more about the keys to happiness and how they are contained in our mind and body.
Dr. Miller: The keys to happiness include having a healthy body and mind. In our book we discuss the importance of a healthy/Mediterranean style diet along with a very important exercise that is good for the body and the mind. The exercise we discuss is important for mood and can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 76%. That activity is ballroom or partner dancing. It reduces stress, increases neural network development no matter how old you are and provides important social support.
Wellness Patterns: Tell us more about leaving mainstream medicine to patient-focused medicine.
Dr. Robin Miller: When I first went into medicine, I started off by doing research into preventing heart disease. At the time, in the early 80’s we studied medications but also realized the importance of exercise, stress reduction and overall health. As time progressed, I noticed into the 90’s that physicians began relying heavily on medication to treat cardiac risk factors. Statin drugs, blood pressure medications, weight loss pills…there was a pill for every ill. Our book focuses on patient centered solutions, which get to the root of the problem. The goal is to keep medication to a minimum, patient accountability to a maximum.
Wellness Patterns: Tell us why it was important for you to write Healed.
Dr. Robin Miller: It was important to write Healed so patients know what amazing evidence based options are open to them with few side effects and big returns.
Wellness Patterns: The book highlights how people can overcome depression without drugs. Tell us more about how that’s possible.
Dr. Robin Miller: As an example, we discuss MTHFR a gene that can easily be tested by a blood test or cheek swab. This gene codes for how we process folic acid. When we take folate into our diet our intestine absorbs it with the help of enzymes that are coded for by this gene. The vitamin is converted to L-methylfolate. This is the precursor or building block to make serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine…all the things that help us to have energy and feel happy. If a patient has one mutation on this gene, their levels are down by about 30%; two mutations they are down by about 70%. The treatment is pretty simple L-methylfolate is available as a supplement. It can make a huge difference.
If that is not enough and a patient needs an antidepressant, there is another genetic test called GeneSight. The test helps determine how a patient metabolizes various medications and is a great guide to choosing the correct medication.
Wellness Patterns: How does gut health affect our mood and how do we keep it happy?
Dr. Robin Miller: Gut health is incredibly important. If you have a healthy gut, odds are you will have a healthy body and brain. If the gut is not healthy, inflammation ensues. We are finding more and more evidence, that a healthy microbiome or gut bacteria are essential for a healthy immune system, reducing depression, and even reducing the risk for major diseases including diabetes and obesity.
Animal studies have noted when a fecal transplant from an anxious mouse is transplanted to a relaxed mouse (poop from one animal planted on a leg is licked off by the other animal), the relaxed mouse develops anxiety. In addition, if said originally relaxed animal is overweight and the anxious one is thin, in addition to becoming anxious, the originally fat mouse loses weight along with developing anxiety! Gut bacteria are very important.
Wellness Patterns: Anything else to add?
Dr. Robin Miller: There are many important ideas we have in our book including the “undiet” that would be a huge help to anyone trying to lose weight. Our book is an essential handbook to healing in the 21st century!
Check out Dr. Miller’s book, Healed on Amazon or at your local bookstore.
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Even though I work from home, most days it can be pretty challenging to peel away from the computer and take a break from work. This is super unhealthy, not just to have for a mental break but also a physical one as the body should be moving and definitely eating during a busy day. I’m trying to be better about this, going so far as sceduling an alarm when it’s time to stretch, get some air and make lunch. While I love that I can make healthier choices at home, I’m also looking for ways to mix up my typical grain bowl or salad. Recently, this has included a loaded tempeh sandwich complete with lettuce, pumpkin puree, cranberry, avocado, tempeh and simple flavors from Just Sweet Mustard. This non-GMO and gluten-free blend can also be used as a marinade, glaze or dip that also has a wide-range of condiments to further enhance your lunch situation. This includes their yummy Just Mayo, Just Ranch, Just Chipotle Ranch and tons more. The only prep is cooking the tempeh and cutting up the ingredients, where I have a healthy and hearty lunch within minutes. Read on to check out this easy, quick lunch idea that’s sure to make you want to leave your desk.
Tempeh Sandwich Recipe: Healthy Lunchtime Recipes
1/2 of a tempeh log, cut in half
handful of lettuce
pita bread or sandwich bread, I used the organic one bun thin sandwich buns
scoop of pureed pumpkin
scoop of cranberry sauce
Just Sweet Mustard
Cut up your tempeh. Place a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil in a pan on low-to-medium heat. Add the tempeh and let it cook, flipping it every few minutes. Once finished, spread some of the Just Sweet Mustard on the bread. Then, layer up your sandwich with the avocado, lettuce, cranberry sauce, pumpkin, and tempeh. Enjoy!
Looking for more recipes with JUST? Check out these delicious dips!
Directions for all dips:
1. Measure the JUST Mayo into a small mixing bowl.
2. Add the additional ingredients.
3. Whisk together until smooth.
4. Add salt to taste
Directions for all dips: Whisk together all 3 ingredients until smooth. Add salt to taste. Serve and #EatJust
Creamy Avocado-Lemon Dip
⅓ cup Just Mayo
½ cup avocado, mashed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Serve with…tortilla chips, sliced radishes or corn-on-the-cob.
Spicy Peanut Dip
½ cup Just Chipotle Mayo
½ cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
Serve with…broccoli florets, cucumbers or spring rolls.
1 cup Just Mayo
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
Serve with…rice crackers, cucumbers or sushi.
Thai Red Curry Dip
½ cup Just Sriracha Mayo
1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 tablespoons coconut milk
Serve with…carrots, bell peppers or dosa chips.
½ cup Just Garlic Mayo
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Serve with…rye crisps, seeded crackers or cucumbers.
Garlic Dijon Herb Dip
½ cup Just Garlic Mayo
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
Serve with…pretzels, green beans or cauliflower florets.
½ cup Just Mayo
1 teaspoon (curry powder?)…garam masala?
¼ teaspoon salt
Serve with…roasted potato wedges.
⅔ cup Just Mayo Garlic
¼ cup tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Serve with…fresh pita bread or pita chips.
½ cup Just Mayo Garlic
2 tablespoons pesto
1 teaspoon tomato sauce or paste
Serve with…pizza crusts, italian breadsticks or whole wheat crackers.
I was provided with samples of Just products for the intentions of this review. All opinions, as always, are my own.