How to alleviate stress with lavender oil

 

How to alleviate stress with lavender oil

Lavender oil has been known to treat skin issues, reduce anxiety, and strengthen your immune system.

Lavender oil has been used for thousands of years (roughly 2,500 years to be exact) as perfume, a deodorant, disinfectant, insect repellent, and an aphrodisiac.  Interesting fact, it was also used to tame lions—needless to say, lavender oil is a superstar natural health remedy.

Lavender has always been known for its calming and relaxing effect and is regularly used to treat high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that the use of the scent of lavender increases the time spent in deep sleep. These results were also stronger for women than men.

Photography by Sash Photography http://sashphotography.com

Other health benefits lavender provides includes skin treatment (especially with acne), digestive relief, and infection prevention and treatment. Lavender has properties that are anti-microbial to reduce fungal and inflammatory infections. This versatile oil has also been used for pain relief, headaches and migraines, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, allergies, asthma, sleep inducing, gas or bloating, burns, chicken pox, dry skin, and muscle relaxant.

For women who are going through menopause, lavender tends to have an estrogen-like effect on the body to help you through the change (not to mention the stress and discomfort that comes with it).

Best results are found when lavender oil is used in your bath, diffused into the air, or directly on your skin. For your bath, mix about 5 or 6 drops into the bath water. If you are diffusing the oil into the air, I suggest 10-12 drops of lavender and only two drops if you are applying directly onto the skin.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Best Vegetarian Proteins

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Here is a list of some of the best vegetarian proteins you can add to any meal.

1.Protein Powders – Protein powders are a great option for building lean muscles and keeping up your energy. If you’re looking for a grain-free option, some of my favorite plant-based powders are hemp and pea. You can add a protein powder to your smoothie, to a dip or soup, or even a sweet potato as an afternoon pick me up. 

2.Spirulina – Spirulina contains the highest form of protein found anywhere in the world (70%). One ounce contains 16 grams of protein. This superfood is recommended for those seeking to lose weight and who want to maintain great health. I suggest adding a tablespoon to a smoothie each day, and you can even add one to water at night.

3.Bee Pollen – These granules, created by bees from flowering plants, are another nutrient-dense food that has 5 to 7 times more protein than beef. These immune-boosting, little seeds give you the power you need to fight colds and provide you with a great boost of energy.

smoothie-865632_960_7204.Goji Berries – These red berries are not only a source of complete protein with 18 amino acids, and all 8 essential amino acids, but have 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges. You can add these to trail mix, smoothies, soups and salads, or you can eat them alone.

5.Hemp – A complete source of protein (36%), hemp is also a rich and balanced source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, including the rare form of GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid). Just three tablespoons has 10 grams of protein.

6.Chia Seeds – These contain essential fatty acids and protein, and are a soluble fiber. The protein content is 4 grams per ounce, they taste delicious, plus they can be added to soups, smoothies and salads.

7.Tempeh – Unlike other forms of soy, this fermented form is easy to digest. A half cup has a whopping 15 grams of protein.

8.Kale and Greens – Greens are loaded with protein, so adding these to your smoothies is essential. Just one cup of kale is 2.9 grams of protein. You can juice kale, make a kale salad or add it to your smoothie.

9.Non-Dairy Milk – You can get a nice amount of protein in hemp milk, almond milk and even coconut milk. On average, one cup holds 5 grams of protein.

10.Coconut Milk Yogurt or Coconut Milk Kefir – This is a great way to load up on a medium chain fatty acid, which most people are deficient in. Plus, you can add a plant-based protein to this drink, and you have a simple drink loaded with calories and protein to keep you satisfied.

11.Sunbutter and Seeds – Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) is the perfect on-the-go trick for getting protein into your body. Simply top an apple with sunbutter for a healthy dose of protein. Or, add seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.) to any salad, soup or vegetarian meal to boost your protein levels. On average 2 tablespoons equal 5 grams of protein.

12.Nutritional Yeast – This is loaded with B vitamins and amino acids, and 2 tablespoons equals 8 grams of protein.

13.Avocado – Adding 1 whole avocado to a salad is 2.7 grams of You also get a healthy dose of fat, which will help you lose weight and detox properly.

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My top tips for curbing sugar cravings + 2 yummy treats!

THE SCOOP ON SUGAR CRAVINGS
As I’m sure you know, humans often crave sugar the most when stressed or tired. These are moments when we are depleted either emotionally or physically. However, in order for you to kick the sugar habit, it’s important that you learn to take time out for yourself and find sources of pleasure besides food. Incorporate habits into your life that allow you to de-stress.

My top tips for curbing sugar cravings:

  • Stay hydrated. Often times when we crave sweets or food, we are thirsty more than we are hungry. Drink a glass of water and see how you feel after.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough protein and healthy fats to keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day.
  • Have some low-glycemic (sugar) fruits, like berries, green apples, and grapefruit.
  • Add root vegetables, figs or dates to your diet, which will provide you with natural sweet
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on fruit, in your smoothie or in your coffee substitute. It tastes delicious and is known to satisfy a sweet tooth craving.
  • Enjoy a cup of herbal tea with stevia.
  • Stevia is my favorite sugar substitute because it’s a natural sugar that does not lead to blood sugar imbalances.
  • Do something you love that doesn’t involve food — sometimes we need food for the soul, not just the belly.

Desirable Sgars

Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas:

  • ½ grapefruit with 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut and 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 green apple with 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • Celery sticks with 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seed pâté
  • ½ sweet potato with 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • 2 protein balls
  • 1 green juice with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • ½ cup berries with 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds with ½ grapefruit
  • ½ cup pineapple with ⅛ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ avocado with a slice of tomato and sea salt

 

Ready for my 2 yummy and healthy snack recipes?!?!?

WARM CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or another sweetener from the list above (optional)

 MIX THE INGREDIENTS. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Place saucepan over low heat and add mixture. Cook over low heat until the chia seeds expand, and pudding thickens (about 10 minutes).

 

WARM APPLE SLICES WITH COCONUT CREAM

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated for several hours
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for several hours. The coconut milk fats will harden. Scoop this cream off of the top.

COMBINE THE INGREDIENTS. Add coconut oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apple slices. Warm for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to two serving bowls. Top with coconut cream (the hardened coconut milk fat), raw honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

ENJOY!

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POPCORN! The healthy, easy and delicious snack.

Hey Moms!  Want an easy, healthy and delicious snack?

POPCORN!!  It’s one of our family favorites.  Can’t believe how excited the kids get to eat it.  And…the smell of coconut oil throughout the house is delightful.  You can also change up the flavors by adding different spices.  How about pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne, coconut flakes, grass-fed butter or some organic chocolate chips added for flavor?  Oh, maybe even PB-2 would be yummy too!  I just thought of that one.  Might try that next with some mini-chocolate chips.  Anyway, the point is HAVE FUN WITH THE FLAVORS.

Here is one yummy recipe for you to try.  This makes one serving.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups air-popped organic popcorn
  • 1 tsp. unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Directions:
  • Place popcorn in a large bowl
  • Drizzle with oil and mix
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well

Mom Tip:  you can make this ahead of time and place in sandwich bags or air-tight containers for school snacks too!

ENJOY!

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Breakfast. Kids. And why it’s the most important meal of the day!

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?  Is it okay to skip breakfast?  What if I am just not hungry? 

I get tired of eating the same breakfast foods.  I have no time for breakfast.  My kids will only eat cereal.

Do you have these questions?  Or can you relate to the statements above?  Then read on….

YES!  Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.  Think of the name.  Break/fast.  When you break it down, the word means to ‘break a fast.’  While you have been sleeping, you have been fasting.  Breakfast will break that fast.  It is important that you give your body the nutrients that it needs to have fuel and energy for the day.  You are setting the stage for how your body will perform the rest of the day.  Fill up on good protein, healthy fats and a small amount of complex carbohydrates.  You may find that you are more prepared to work, move and make better decisions throughout the day.  Eating a nutritious breakfast can help you to avoid eating too much at your next meal and snacking throughout the day due to low energy, low blood sugar and low nutrient intake.

I strongly believe that our kids need to have a healthy breakfast every day.  They are growing, learning and playing all day long.  I don’t know about you, but in my house some mornings are a little chaotic.  But we still make time for breakfast.  My kids do like breakfast foods but sometimes they get tired of eggs every morning and beg for cereal.  Can we talk about cereal for a minute?  Moms, cereal is full of SUGAR.  Take a look a the box.  For every 4 grams of sugar that is equal to 1 tsp of sugar.  Then also look at all the other crap. The artificial flavors, preservatives, colorings, etc.  But I know the struggle of getting your kids to eat breakfast can be hard.  My suggestion: don’t feel like you have to stick to a breakfast type food.  The point is to feed them a healthy meal.  FullSizeRenderThere are mornings where my 5 year old son will eat a grilled cheese sandwich and a side of fruit with peanut butter.  He is getting protein from the cheese and natural peanut butter, the healthy fats from the grass-fed butter and some good carbohydrates and vitamins from the fruit.  It’s okay that it is not eggs.  Don’t fight it.  Think outside of the box.  My older kids LOVE a healthy smoothie as it’s super easy and quick while being tasty! Or what about making pancakes with a protein powder?

 

 

 

No time for breakfast?  Then plan ahead.  You can make egg cups, chia pudding and many other healthy foods ahead of time.  Or enjoy a quick healthy smoothie!  There are options.  You just have to make it a priority.  Pinterest is amazing, my friends!  There are many great options for you.   Check out this great recipe!

Ingredients_ Nonstick cooking spray 2 cups cooked quinoa 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 large egg whites%2

Just not hungry in the morning?  Cut back on the coffee.  Caffeine suppresses the appetite.  Introduce small amounts of food for breakfast, like half an apple with a tablespoon of almond butter.  As your body gets used to digesting food in the morning, you might notice a bigger appetite in the morning.

Happy Eating!!

 

 

 

 

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Asparagus for Dinner and Breakfast? Yes! Now that is some good meal planning.

Meal Prepping and Meal Planning are 2 tasks that make a huge difference in my busy mommy life.  They help me to save time, money, frustration AND prevent me from throwing up my hands and saying “Let’s just order pizza, again!”  Can you relate?

I wanted to share one of the ways that I was able to use a side dish at dinner for breakfast the next day!  It is super easy, healthy and delicious.  I love to use the leftover veggies from the previous nights dinner to help with my breakfast.

Let’s talk about Asparagus…

I made this delicious recipe as our veggie for dinner.  I made sure to make enough so that I would have leftovers for the next morning.

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of thin asparagus, washed with ends trimmedIMG_2730
  • 3 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees f.
  • Place asparagus in a large bowl, drizzle with avocado oil and toss to coat.
  • Arrange on a flat baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Roast in the oven until tender, 12 – 15 minutes depending on thickness.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice if you want (1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice)

Note:  I use avocado oil when I roast.  It prevents the oil from going rancid at the higher temperatures.

Okay, so here is how I used the leftovers for breakfast the next morning….

IMG_2727Asparagus & Eggs

Ingredients:

  • leftover asparagus
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 organic tomato, sliced

Directions:

  • Coat frying pan with 1 tsp avocado oil, heat on medium
  • Warm up leftover asparagus
  • Cook 2 eggs, over easy
  • Assemble on your plate; asparagus, then eggs and add tomato slices. YUM!

NOTE:  I had already had quite a few bites before I took the breakfast photo…you would have more asparagus.  Boy, was this delicious!

 

Sloppy Joes ~ a family favorite in a healthy and gluten-free way!

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Sloppy Joes!

Does your family love them as much as my family does?  I hardly ever make them for dinner.  Why?  Because I just can’t bring myself to open up a can of Sloppy Joe mix and feed it to my family.  But I want the yumminess and convenience of a quick recipe.  Well, I found a solution!  I found a great recipe that I was able to modify so it’s a HEALTHY version.  Canned Sloppy Joes – no way!  Homemade Sloppy Joes – yes, please!

Check out my recipe below and I hope your family enjoys!

 

Sloppy Joes


serves 4 . meal prep time: 20 minutes . you can make this ahead of time and freeze for up to 3 months – time saver!

  • 1 tablespoon unrefined, organic coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 organic green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 organic celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 can (15 ounces) organic tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns – gluten free

*Note, you can choose whether or not you use organic veggies and grass-fed beef.  This just happens to be what I use when making the recipe.

  1. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring often, until veggies are soft.  About 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook until it is no longer pink – about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce into the beef mixture.  Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes.
  4. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon onto the buns and enjoy.

 

Let’s talk about the coconut oil for a minute.  I love to cook with this oil.  It is perfect for high-heat temps when cooking.  It is a healthy fat with many health benefits.