What Tea to drink for any ailment

It’s no secret I love a good cup of tea. I love buying little tea cups and cuddling up with a good book. My tea cabinet is overflowing with tons of little delicious bags and loose tea. But more recently I have been using tea for more then just a little relaxing.

Peppermint Tea is one of my favorite teas to drink, not only is it delicious, but it really helps the bloating and uneasy feeling I get in my stomach so often from IBD. Peppermint tea also promotes healthy digestion.

On that note, Ginger Teas are excellent when you are feeling nauseous, or any tummy upset. Also great for motion sickness!

Feeling that yearly cold coming on? Sip Elder Flower Tea. It can reduce nasal congestion especially when taken before bed. It can cut the duration of a cold when taken at first symptoms. Drink hot, 3-4 times a day.

Trying to get healthy or loose weight? Green Tea with help rev up that metabolism and is loaded with antioxidants! Green Tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, it has even been proven to boost brain function.

Camomile Tea is another winner – sip before bed to fight off those sleepless nights. Other benefits include reducing muscle spasms, period pain, and stress reduction. Camomile tea also gives you a powerful boost with its anti aging properties.

Do you have any favorite Teas?

 

Why you need a Hot Water Bottle

Once you start using a hot water bottle you won’t believe how you ever got along with out it!

A hot water bottle is one of the most useful, all purpose health care products you will ever use. It is designed to apply comfortable soothing heat therapy easily and conveniently to any part of the body.

Fill with hot water from the sink, a hot water bottle will stay warm for about 2 hours.

Uses –

  • Relax muscles
  • Or use for the entire body
  • Gives comfort
  • Delivers a deep state of relaxation
  •  Try using it on
  • Feet for warmth
  • Back for any kind of strain
  • Lower abdomen for cramps
  • Abdomen for any kind of digestion and relaxation

Note- I have gone through Diverticulitis and now an IBD with my Hot water bottle, it has gotten me through many flares.

 

Additional uses –

  •  Combats illnesses by being a warm and soothing companion through the flu, colds, chills, and aches.
  • Eases menstrual cramps
  • As a bed warmer on cold winter nights
  • To ease arthritic pain, moist heat is amazing for those aches and pains, especially for hands
  • To calm children, the warm cuddly hot water bottle gives them a secure feeling
  • As a traveling companion – take it with you on trips and hotel rooms will feel like home
  • To calm your pet – place under a blanket for a new puppy, it helps them feel warm and secure in new surroundings

Note – not intended for use on full grown Jack Russel Terriers, they love it and you will be getting your self a new Hot Water bottle 🙂

  • To encourage restful sleep – after a high stress day lie down with a hot water bottle on your stomach, close your eyes and breath deeply. Feel the bottle rise and fall. Its like a mediation and very relaxing!

Water – how much should you be drinking?

Your body is made up of between 60-75% water. It’s no surprise that how much water you drink effects your health. Too little water could cause dehydration, headaches and fatigue.

But how much should you drink?

On average Men should drink about 3 liters (13 cups) and Woman should drink 2.2 liters (9 cups) of water each day.

Lifestyle and other factors need to be taken into consideration. For example, the hydration in fruits and vegetables will increase your intake, while a regular jog outside in the heat will decrease your hydration making you need to increase your water intake.

When should you increase your water?

  • Hot humid temperatures
  • High altitude – specifically when flying
  • High exercise levels
  • When your sick especially when you are running a fever have diarrhea and are vomiting
  • infections of the urinary tract or bladder
  • When you are pregnant or are breast feeding
  • and when you are drinking alcohol

 

What is the best type of water?

There are so many water options! Right now in my very own kitchen I can get water through multiple sources. Let me go over a few

Tap water – the most available source, but not always the best choice. While some cities have great water purification systems other do  not. Research your cities Consumer Confidence Report to see if you need an at home filtration system.

Water Filters – can help remove contaminants from regular tap water. Easily available to purchase at most stores. Its important that you have looked into what is in your tap water so you can choose the best filter to remove it.

Distillation – Basically boiling water to remove impurities. Cheap and easy.

Bottled water – again widely available, however there are concerns about chemicals from the plastic bottles leaching into the water its holding as well as the effects of the increasing amount of plastic on the environment

Water Ionizers – raise the PH of water, if you are drinking this water make sure you are testing your PH for best results.

 

How to pick a Green Wine

It’s no secret I love a good glass of wine. With the 100’s of bottles to choose from it might be difficult to find the best one for you. Many wines declare they are green, but what do all the labels on the bottles really mean?

100 Percent Organic – The US Government regulates the term “Organic”. To have this on the label the wine has to have been grown using NO commercial fertilizers or pesticides. It also can not have been grown using any commercial fungicides or herbicides.  Basicly no chemical or GMO’s.

Biodynamic – The concept of Biodynamics started in the 1920’s with an Austrian philosopher named Rudolph Steiner. It is a holistic, homeopathic manner of farming that, of course, also includes viticulture. It is the oldest, anti-chemical agricultural movement that predates the creation of organic farming by about twenty years. This wine is grown in a vineyard that is approached as its own Ecosystem. It does not follow common wine making manipulations like adding yeast or adjusting the acidity in the wine. Thsi wine is grown using no chemicals or GMO’s.

Sustainable – This is just a step down from the Organic. Meaning it is less restrictive. Some herbicides are allowed for this label. The vineyard that uses this wine designation follows energy conservation, for example rain water and winery waste water are captured and used to irrigate the vineyard. Most sustainable vineyards also follow Social Responsibility and economically viable practices.

Vegan – Some times during the wine making process egg whites,  fish oils, gelatin or other animal products are used to filtering the wine. Thankfully, there are several common fining agents that are animal-friendly and used to make vegan wine. Carbon, limestone, plant casein, and vegetable plaques are all alternatives. You can check your local organic or health food stores, local organic winemakers, and co-op’s, and most regular wine/liquor stores will order vegan wines upon request if they do not carry them already. To get a Vegan label no animal products are used in the process.

 

8 Things I do first thing in the morning

If you are familiar with The Ahimsa Life you know I am all about keeping Healthy, keeping productive and keeping things fun!

What you may not know is none of this comes natural to me. I can sit with my coffee way too long in the morning, spend much to much time playing with my dogs and reading. Over the years I have developed routines that work to keep me on track and on top of every thing, which is very important if your goal like me, is to be a work at home entrepreneur. Today I thought I would bring you in to my morning routine.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

1. Drink WATER. On my list of first things first in the morning, water is a must.  Water should be the first thing you drink in the morning, then you can drink your much-needed cup of coffee. Water first thing in the morning helps wake your digestive system up and get everything going softly, not in the kick the door open way coffee does. I usually get up and turn the kettle on while I let my little pooches outside. I make a cup of warm lemon water and join them outside. It is one of the my favorite times of the day. Sipping on my warm lemon water watching my puppies run around is the best way to get centered and start my day in a happy way.

1. Start one load of laundry. But have a plan to get it into the dryer, set a timer in your kitchen or make a routine of changing it after your shower, whatever you need to do. Just get it done.

3. Empty the dishwasher. It’s like a clean slate. I start my dishwasher and take out my garbage every night before I go to bed. Every night. When I first started working for myself I was surprised how much of my day I spent doing cleaning around the house. Now I make sure I do these things on schedule to free up more time during the day to create. By emptying the dish washer first thing in the morning you will be able to put anything you dirty all day directly in, bypassing the sink and keeping your home tidy and you on track. For me it’s easy to get distracted by a messy house. Keeping it neat helps me stay in my office working.

4. Take a peak at your planner for the week. knowing what you have going on all week makes it easier to stay on track. I use my planner religiously. Love writing things down and crossing them off my list. Some times by looking over my planner I am able to squeeze a few things that were planned later in the week and group them together, my goal is always to have a free Friday, it does not always work, but if I can I try and get everything done M-Th, leaving my Friday for spending time with my family, a much needed writing day, or getting some of the projects done that I have not been able to knock off my list.

5. Know what you are having for dinner. Meal planning is very important to me. If you follow this blog you know I have an IBD, and food really is the best medicine. Planning ahead is also important to stick to your budget and maintaining a lower stress level at home. When you know what you’re having for dinner in the morning, you can prep the ingredients early in the day and won’t be standing in front of the pantry and fridge while your family is begging for food.

6.Get dressed. This sounds silly, I know.  But remember I work from home, it would be pretty easy to write all day in my pajamas. It’s amazing the difference in what I get done when I am dressed and ready to tackle the day as opposed to the days when the opposite is true. If I am going to the gym or the yoga studio that day I get dressed for that. Just being dressed and ready for the day makes me feel so much  more motivated.

7. Brain dump. I had never heard of a brain dump before a few years ago. One of my friends gave me a planner that had these cute little areas specifically for brain dumps and they have changed my life. Here is how you do it. Take out a piece of paper (or find a space in your planner or that adorable notebook you have been dying to use) and write a list, write everything that you know you need to get done, future events, things that you want to do, every thought that comes to mind, write it down. You don’t have to write it in any kind of order, just write down everything. It’s amazing how much brain capacity we take up just trying to remember everything. Once it’s written down, you can visualize what needs to happen and make your to-do list.

8. After your brain dump, write your to-do list for the day. After you write it down, prioritize those items. What absolutely has to happen? What could be done tomorrow if things happen and toss you off course? I take those items and distribute them on different days in my planner. In my planner I also have an ongoing list of things I can tackle in any free time that I have been able to make happen that week.

And that’s it! What are the things you do first thing in the morning to start your day off right?

Juice of the Week – Green Energy Drink

 

Everyone needs a boost of energy sometimes, and this little nutrition packed baby will give you all the boost you need to handle any thing life throws your way.

Spinach and Honeydew are full of vitamin C which helps you absorb all the good iron from the Spinach. This juice is easy to make and tastes amazing, I guarantee it will become one of your favorites you make time and time again.

 

Green Energy Drink

4 cups Spinach

2 Kiwis

2 cups Honeydew cubed

1 cup green grapes

 

Blend or run through your juicer, that’s it! SO easy!!

 

Juice of the Week – Ginger tummy tamer

This recipe is easy to whip up on those days when you are not feeling your best.

Pineapple is loaded with amazing enzymes that help with inflammation, they also help boost digestion.

Vitamins A, C, E and K as some of the nutrients found in papaya. The fruit is also a rich source of folate, potassium, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and dietary fiber.

Ginger- we are all familiar with mom bringing us a ginger ale when we were sick, but whole Ginger is much better for you. Ginger reduces inflammation in a similar way to non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen. It also can help with motion sickness and morning sickness.

Over the years of battling my IBD I have tried many things. Here is my favorite safe nutritious way to clam any upset stomach.

Ginger Tummy Tamer

3 cups pineapple cut into cubes

2 cups Papaya cut into cubes

2 inch piece of Ginger

 

Make sure you wash all your ingredients prior to prepping them for this recipe. Toss them in your blender till smooth and enjoy!

Tip – I like to freeze a baggie full of the ingredients so its easy to pull out and blend when I need it, you can thaw it out as much or as little as you like, blending frozen make a great slushy texture.

 

Juice of the week! Beets for Energy!

I love Beets and am always looking for another way to get them in my diet, juice is a great way.

Beets have a wide range of health benefits. They are loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus! They are very low in calories and have no cholesterol. The nitrates in beets can help improve athletic performance.

 

 

Beet fiber helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing the level of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol). The fiber in beets also works to strip excess LDL cholesterol from the walls and help to eliminate it from the body quickly.

Now that you have read all about how great beets are for you here is an easy way to add them to your diet, my Juice of the week, Beets for Energy!

Ingredients –

1 beet

3 leaves Swiss Chard

1  seeded red chili

2 plum tomatoes

 

Wash all produce thoroughly. Add to your juicer and enjoy!

 

 

Healthy Substitutes for Baking

I LOVE baked goods, but they are not always the healthiest snack or after dinner treat.

These quick swaps will make your baking an option you wont feel guilty about!

Avocado – I LOVE Avocados and I tend to eat at least one each day! Living in Sunny California that’s easy to do, lucky us, we have Avocados Year round!!  Mash some into your baked goods instead of using oil or shortening for healthy non saturated source of fats. Making avocados a healthy baking substitutes.

Beets – are a great way to add sweetness and color to brownies and red velvet cake. I don’t know about you but I love beets and I never seem to have enough recipes to use them in. Make sure they are fresh and shred them finely before adding.

Kabocha Squash – high in beta carotene kabocha squash will add sweetness and much needed moisture to muffins and cakes. To use De-seed and steam, and leave the skin on, its packed with nutrition!

Bonus – kabocha squash is a great substitute for pumpkin in your seasonal pies. I like to incorporate it in WITH my pumpkin for an added nutritional punch.

Pumpkin – pure canned pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin pie filling!) is full of antioxidants, beta carotene and fiber. Added to cakes, cookies and muffins they add moisture, a beautiful flavor and sweetness.

Sweet Potato (or Yams!) – This stuff is great in breads and you can replace most of the sugar and shortening with it! Beta carotene rich, just steam and puree before you add to your favorite bread, cookie, pie and cake recipes.

Zucchini – with TONS of vitamin C Zucchini is great to add moisture to breads, cakes and cookies. Grate is as fine as you can and your family will never even know its there!

What substitutions do you use?

 

 

 

Fitness Trackers, are they worth it?

Fitness Trackers

I have had a Fitbit since 2008. In fact, I have had just about every Fitbit as they have evolved. I love the data, finding out how much restful sleep I have had, and making sure I keep active all day. Its a great way to really know how sedentary you are, and where you can make small changes that will make a big difference in your fitness.

Fitness Trackers-2

Fitbit – I am currently using The Fitbit Charge HR. I upgraded from the Fitbit Charge, which I upgraded from the Fitbit Zip, which I upgraded from the original Fitbit. First and most importantly, ALL of my Fitbit’s are still working with the exception of my Charge.

I don’t know what happened there, the button on the side must have been faulty. But even my original Fitbit is still going strong. I have passed them on to my family members and they are all happy with them. I prefer my Charge HR to the other wearable that clip on, I have lost the clip on kind more then I can count, they just do not stay on me, so strapping it to my wrist is preferable to me. My daughter however dose not like the watch type ones, and is happy using my old zip. Another reason why Fitbit is my favorite tracker is because of the amazing web site they have. You can track all your food, set goals and see all your data in one place. When I was using Basis, I still used the Fitbit site or my fitness pal to track my food. You can set alarms to silently wake you up, it does steps, calories, my heart rate, floors I have climbed and my distance in miles. I basically only take it off when I am in the shower.

Pros- data, easy tracking and pairing, and the web site is the bomb!

Cons- Loosing the clip on kind, and having to wear two watches or take it off if I want to dress up.

Fitness Trackers-5

iwatch – I thought this would retire my Fitbit. I was wrong. I have not been to impressed with the fitness tracker on my iwatch. I spent one entire week wearing both the Fitbit and the iwatch and the steps were completely off, it only logged about half of what Fitbit did. If you are trying to watch your calories in/calories out you need another app for logging your food and steps like my fitness pal or Fitbit. As of today I would not recommend iwatch to use as a fitness tracker, but I will keep my eye out for new updates, and new apps!

Fitness Trackers-4

Spire – This is a different little guy from your run of the mill fitness tracker. Spire is all about managing your stress and staying active. Its a clip on, so right away I wasn’t exited, but, the clip is way better then my Fitbit’s, it just feels more secure, and it has never gone missing. The app walks you through clipping the spire on correctly, and it monitors your stress level and activity all day. What make it different –  as your stress changes the app will walk you through different meditations or relaxation techniques, with the idea, that being active and managing your stress will keep you healthy. I love it, I must say most days I just like comparing my stress levels with my husbands, lol, I do not always do the exercises. What can I say I am working on it. But knowing is half the battle right?

Fitness Trackers-3

Basis – I was sooo excited for my basis. We were on a waiting list when it first came out, so this review is based on the first model. It has since had at least one incarnation, and been purchased by Intel. The data you get from Basis is top notch, I found it the same or better then my Fitbit. BUT, that’s where we go wrong, that’s all you really get, accurate data, when compared to the Fitbit, where all that data is synced to an amazing web site that helps you work towards a goal Basis is lacking. Again I found myself wearing the basis, but logging all my info on Fitbit. So unless Intel changes something, it makes no sense for me to use one tracker and log my data into another one.

Hands down Fitbit works for me the best. I like to have all my data merged with my goals. For those with weight loss goals, you can input all the food you are eating, and it will tell you based on the goals you set how many calories you can eat that day, and how you did working towards that goal all week, month etc. If you are serious about getting healthy, buy a tracker. If you like data and easy use, buy a Fitbit.

♥Pamela