Elderberries are commonly used to treat cold and flu symptoms and for good reason! Elderberries are a nutritional powerhouse. They contain calcium, fiber, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and more! Health benefits of the elderberries include naturally improving colds, the flu, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation and even cancer. According to a study conducted by the Journal of International Medical Research, when used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract has been found to reduce the duration of the flu with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier.
An infusion is a large amount of herb brewed in boiling water for a long time. Every night I make an herbal infusion. I use two cups of dried herb in a 2 quart mason jar and I fill the jar to the top with boiling water. I allow the infusion to steep overnight. In the morning I strain the infusion and store the liquid in the refrigerator. I drink approximately 8 cups of infusion throughout the day. Infusions will keep fresh for about 48 hours. If your infusion spoils before you drink it you can use the infusion to water house plants, or pour it over your hair after washing as a final rinse which can be left on.
The holiday season is a time of giving, but it should be about thoughtful giving. I don’t believe people put a lot of thought into the gifts they buy their loved ones. People are stressed out and want to finish their holiday shopping, so they will buy products on sale, give money, or gift cards. Instead, we should should spend more time thinking about our loved ones. I really love getting and receiving very personal and thoughtful gifts. I can tell when someone has put a lot of thought into a gift and it makes that gift SO much more special. Thoughtful gifts don’t require you to spend a lot of money, you could bake your loved ones favorite dessert or write a meaningful card.
6 months ago I ate meat for the first time in 7 years. There were many reasons I became vegetarian, stayed vegetarian, and stopped being vegetarian. I was 16 when I first became vegetarian, and I actually started being vegetarian because my friend dared me to be vegetarian for a month. During that month I didn’t crave meat and realized I didn’t like the taste or texture of meat. I was also having issues with food and body-image, and being vegetarian was an easy way to cut calories. So I decided to stay vegetarian and as the months and years went on my passion for the environment, animal rights, and personal health grew.
Fall is quickly approaching, which means it’s the beginning of hot tea season! I love drinking a warm cup of tea on a crisp fall day. After drinking a warm cup of tea, I always feel more balanced and grounded. Fall is the best time for tea drinkers, it’s not too cold and there are many delicious fall flavors like cinnamon, apple, and peppermint! These flavors are so soothing and nourishing when the weather starts to get colder. Relax on the couch with a good book or curl up by the window and watch the leaves change color with one of my five favorite fall teas!
I have recently been exploring with different herbal remedies and infusions. I love the way I feel after drinking certain herbs. Typically I drink 2 herbal infusions and 3 teas each day. The difference between teas and infusions are the types of herbs, amount of herbs, and steeping time. Herbal infusions use a large amount of an herb, typically roots or leaves and steep for 4 - 10 hours. Herbal infusions allow the herb to breakdown, therefore the nutrients and vitamins can be easily absorbed. Some herbs are powerhouses of nourishment, energy, and health-promoting factors. Herbal remedies have been used for many years as a way to prevent illness, increase quality of life, strengthen particular body systems, and enhance wellness.
It's easier to eat healthy snacks when you have them readily available. Last year, I went to St. Lucia and my biggest regret was not bringing any healthy snacks with me. I figured I would be able to buy healthy snacks in St. Lucia, but the healthy snacks there were incredibly expensive. I ended up eating a lot of chips and feeling really bloated. Now, whenever I travel or even when I go on long hikes I always bring healthy and nutritious snacks with me.
Summer is one of the worst seasons for your lips. The high heat, humidity, and sunburn can cause redness, drying, and damage to your lips. This all-natural recipe I created leaves your lips healthy, soft, and hydrated. The best part is that I had all of the ingredients for this lip balm recipe already in my kitchen cabinet. A few months ago, I made my own lip balm and the recipe yielded about 4 lip balm sized tubes and 1 small jar. I had so much lip balm that I gave away lip balm to family and friends, and I haven’t had to restock. Lip balm is a very easy and quick to make!
I began making my own lip balm after I read about the harmful chemicals in beauty products. Many common lip balms contain several endocrine disruptors (parabens, BHT, and chemical sunscreens), coal tar dyes linked to cancer, artificial fragrance and flavor, and petroleum-derived oils that can lock in all of these chemicals. Since lip balm goes directly on your lips, you ingest the ingredients of the lip balm this is especially harmful because you drink and eat with lip balm on you lips. Many people reapply lip balm multiple times and are exposing themselves to harmful chemicals numerous times a day. My all-natural lip balm is a great alternative to the chemical-filled lip balms commercially sold.
I can't believe we are almost half way through the summer! This is one of the best seasons to enjoy your local farmers markets. There are SO many fruit, vegetable, dairy, meat, fish and specialty items in season! Throughout the summer I have been exploring the different farmers markets in Westchester County. There are SO many different farmers markets in Westchester and each farmers market offers a different experience. Some markets focus on specialty items such as breads, sweet treats, and personal care products, while others have a large selection of produce, dairy, fish, and meat. I love farmers markets that provide a large selection of vegetable and fruit options!
For years my hips hurt because they were extremely tight. It hurt to walk and certain yoga poses were uncomfortable. I hated any hip-opening yoga poses, because I could feel the tightness in my hips. However, these hip-opening yoga poses were exactly what my body needed. When I started a consistent yoga practice a few years ago, my hip pain went away and I began to love hip-opening yoga poses. However, when I didn’t practice yoga for a month, I noticed my hips started to feel tight and my discomfort returned. Many people have tight hips from sitting at a desk all day. It is incredibly important to stretch your hips, because overtime you’ll reduce your range of motion. If you have tight hips, your spine is constantly needing to overcompensate for the lack of mobility in your hips which causes back pain and discomfort. Hip-opening poses offer a wide range of benefits such as improved range of motion, improved circulation, and decreased back pain.
Below are 5 yoga poses that have really helped to loosen up my hips. All of the pose below offer great ways to relieve tension in your hips. Before you practice these poses, remember to warm up your body with your favorite warm-ups or modified sun salutations. Always remember to breathe during each of these poses, and if a pose doesn't feel right for your body then skip it and try the next pose.