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Simple Healthy Advice

Simple Healthy Advice

Consider Making Your Own Homemade Herbal Teas

If you really like tea or herbal teas, why not consider making your own homemade herbal teas, it’s really not all that hard to do either. Along with the satisfaction of making it yourself you’ll be doing something very healthy for your mind and your body. When we consume fresh plants we are helping to strengthen our immune systems and detoxify our bodies. They are filled with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber that is soluble, essential oils, minerals that include even calcium, chlorophyll, enzymes and other compounds that help to boost our health.

So, how is homemade herbal teas going to taste? Pretty good to tell the truth and the tea will be different each time you make it if you use different ingredients that change with the season. You can use kitchen herbs like basil, thyme, mint, rosemary, lavender and even oregano. All of these are fun to grow and usually will thrive in just about any kind of soil.

When making your homemade herbal tea try experimenting with different combinations so that you can eventually find a combination that you really like and want to keep making. Just make sure that the herbs you use have not been sprayed with any kind of pesticides.

When creating your homemade herbal teas, you want the best results you can come up with so make sure that your teas consist of three kinds of fresh ingredients:

Healthy Greens – This will give your tea a full bodied flavor especially if you use greens like dandelion leaves, parsley, birch leaves and watercress.

Pretty Blooms – Think about using a colorful mix of rose petals, dandelion blossoms, violets and pansies for a great appearance and really good taste.

Great Fragrances – You can do this by combining chives, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, mint, and verbena along with flowers like lemon blossoms and lilac.

Before you start making and brewing your own herbal teas you should be aware of what plants and flowers are safe to both eat and drink.

Flowers That Are Edible and Drinkable – Bee balm, carnations, hibiscus blossoms, alliums both flowers and young shoots, hollyhock, honeysuckle flowers only the berries are poisonous, Johnny Jump Ups the flowers and leaves, lavender both blossoms and leaves, nasturtiums flowers, buds, leaves and seed pods all good, pansies flowers and the leaves, roses including petals, leaves and the rose hips, violets flowers and leaves.

Edible and Drinkable Kitchen Herbs – Basil, chamomile flowers, chives, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage thyme, verbena.

Bushes and Trees Both Edible and Drinkable – Birch leaves, blackberry leaves,citrus blossoms, elderberry flowers, gardenia, hibiscus flowers, honeysuckle flowers, pine needles and raspberry leaves.

Edible and Drinkable Weeds (that’s right weeds) – Chickweed, chicory flowers and buds, dandelions flowers and leaves, goldenrod, good King Henry, kudzu, lamb’s quarters, plantain and stinging nettle.

Now that you know what you can use, how do you go about making homemade herbal teas? Actually, it’s pretty easy. Just take a big old handful of the plants that you want to use and put them in a big clean glass coffee pot.  Boil the water before adding ingredients. It doesn’t matter what combination, it’s whatever you want to experiment with. Just let them steep in hot water for a few minutes and then keep them warm on a warmer so you can enjoy the tea all day. When you are done with the tea you made there should be enough flavor left in your plants to steep them one more time for another batch of tea.

Believe it or not, that is all there is to making your own herbal tea.

Simple Healthy Advice

Good Food That Will Help Relieve Stress

There is no way around it, our lives can be surrounded by stress and this stress can really get us down in a lot of different ways. I sure know that when I find myself really stressed out I always feel extremely tired and feel like I don’t have any energy to do anything. Makes me pretty crabby and not too fun to be around either. But there are a lot of things one can do to help relieve that stress and one of the ways I’ve found is eating certain foods really do help to alleviate the stress.

Often times when we feel stressed out the first thing we think of doing is reaching for that junk food. I admit, I’m guilty of this myself. But even though we might think this is helping us, this junk food seems to only be tricking us into thinking we’re feeling better. That’s why it’s important to try and focus on eating healthy foods and yes that can be a conscious choice we need to make, but it’s one we do need to try to make in order to really get some true stress relief.

Here are a few foods that are guaranteed to help relieve stress:

Spinach salad with some endive and whatever else you love on your salad like mushrooms, tomatoes, nuts, and so on. Spinach a lone is an ideal stress reliever and includes plenty of iron to give you energy. No wonder Popeye liked it.

If you are looking for a good snack to eat and one that will help with your stress levels then consider snacking on nuts. It’s a proven fact that stress can deplete our stores of vitamin B and by eating nuts we will help replenish this loss. The B vitamins are what keep our neurotransmitters stay in a “happy place” and helps us to better handle how we respond to stress. If you like pistachios, they are very high in B vitamins.

Everyone loves oranges for a lot of reasons, especially because of their vitamin C content, however, I bet that you didn’t know that red peppers have twice as much vitamin C than oranges do in one half cup. Vitamin C helps people to recover faster from stress inducing activities so it’s important we have plenty of it. So why not add some red peppers to a salad or just cut it in strips and eat it as a quick snack?

Another great food that fights against stress and also tastes pretty darn good is salmon. Consider adding some form of salmon to your diet a couple of times a week and you’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel after a few weeks of having this included in your diet.

Oatmeal is another food that is great for combating stress and helping those neurotransmitters to calm down. This is because oatmeal is a complex carbs food and is digested much slower which in turn will not cause your blood sugar levels to spike which in turn can actually mess around with your moods and increase your stress levels. It’s especially good to have on a chilly morning spiced up with some nuts and raisins to kick start your day.

Finally, feel free to indulge yourself in some chocolate from time to time. Even though dark chocolate is one that is the healthiest one to choose, even if you eat milk chocolate in some form it has been shown to lower those “fight or flight” hormone levels that stress tends to over stimulate. That’s right chocolate, my favorite comfort food fights off those nasty effects of stress. Got to love it!

Simple Healthy Advice

Really Quick and Easy Things to Do to Stay Healthy

As much as I know how important it is to do whatever I can to stay health, let’s admit it, aren’t there times you just don’t want to mess around with it all? It can be tiring and time consuming and boring so it’s understandable that we might not want to get out there and do all that other hard stuff you see others doing. You know what? That’s okay because there are some really quick and easy things we all can do to help us stay healthy!

Consider grabbing your toes and pulling. That’s right grab a hold of your toes and pull. Do you know that doing this simple exercise while lying in bed that you are boosting your circulation and helping your feet feel better after being cramped up in your shoes all day. Without the proper circulation to the muscles and nerves in your toes, they aren’t going to work right and then this can lead to pain in your knees, hips and even in your back. Amazing huh?

Here’s a really quick tip for you. Make sure to wash your sheets and pillowcases every week in hot water. This helps to get rid of the dust mites which are a major trigger for allergies.

Do some jumping jacks. You don’t have to do that many, 10 to 20 and you will be amazed at how quickly you feel the stress melt away. When you move your body, even if it’s for a brief amount of time it helps to stop the stress response in our bodies and it will also help to put you in a better mood.

Do you keep your phone on at night? Well, if you want a good nights sleep, you might want to silence that smartphone of yours. By shutting off your cell phone at night it is going to cut down on noisy calls and texts and when you do this you are going to have a much better night sleep and every body needs a nice deep sleep.

Make sure to get a yearly flu vaccine and you might even want to add a TdaP booster as well. This is what protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis otherwise known as whooping cough.

Always make sure that you carry a card in your wallet that has a list of all your allergies, any medical conditions you might have as well as all medications you might be taking. In case of any kind of emergency this will help those in ER to better know how to treat you.

Turn down the volume. That’s right, no matter how much you might like your music on your MP3 or phone they can create up to 120 decibels of sound and that is actually loud enough to cause loss of hearing over time. A good rule of thumb to follow is what they call the 60/60 rule. The volume should be no more than 60% of full volume and keep it to 60 minutes or less a day.

Finally, if you want to cut down on stress and have someone to love you unconditionally, get a pet, especially a cat or a dog. It has been scientifically proven that pets are stress busters. Can’t have a pet? Then find a puppy video and watch it, it will work, trust me.