4 Wellness Rituals to Start Today

There’s been a lot of talk about self care recently. While it may sound super indulgent at first glance what with all the emphasis on ‘me time’, it is an essential part of physical and mental health. If you’ve ever felt like you have nothing left to give, like you’re emotionally and physically exhausted, or even like you just need a moment to get away, you already know how important self care is for you and everyone else around you. There is no shame in hitting the reset button. There’s no shame in trying to keep all the cogs and wheels in your mind and body running as smoothly as possible. That’s essentially what all this ‘me time’ talk is hinting at.

There’s no one-size-fits-all method for self care. Sometimes it’s as simple as lighting a candle and meditating. Sometimes it’s as painful as confronting the obstacles that we put in our own way. Whatever method of self care we choose, the fact of the matter is, we just need to find the rituals or habits that allow us to be our best selves. The mind and body are inextricably connected. We have to nurture both. Here are 3 suggestions for self care that you can incorporate today!

Drink warm lemon water every morning

As a coffee drinker, I completely understand if you hesitate on this one, but if I can do it you can too! Warm lemon water, detoxifies and hydrates the body, aids digestion, and gives you a nice kick of Vitamin C. Just squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon into a mug of warm water and enjoy.

Start a gratitude journal

I used to think journaling was something you did just to vent out deeply repressed frustration. Not so! There is so much to be thankful for and sometimes we lose sight of it. Each morning, take a few minutes to jot down a quick list of things you’re grateful for to kick the day off with a positive frame of mind. Seriously, a gratitude journal will remind you to be happy and keep you grounded.

Try Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that is primarily for oral health, but is also known to vastly improve overall health. Oil pulling is said to boost energy, clear up the skin, alleviate headaches, and much more. Swish a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning. Spit it out in the toilet or in the garbage to avoid clogging your drains. Rinse your mouth out and start your day!

Dry Brush Your Skin

This is another Ayurvedic tradition that has a ton of benefits. Not only does dry brushing stimulate the lymphatic system, it promotes detoxification, improves circulation, and you guessed it, it exfoliates your skin. Using a brush with natural bristles take an extra few minutes before your regular shower routine to dry brush. Beginning at your feet, gently brush in upward strokes working your way up toward your heart. Shower as usual. You’ll totally feel the difference.

Again, there is no right or wrong blueprint for self care. Don’t hate on yourself if you’d rather take a bubble bath than do any of the things on this list. Find what’s right for you and start today! Your future self will thank you.

3 Apps to Support Your Emotional and Mental Health

Does running away from my problems count as cardio? Sigh. If only that was the way things worked. Anxiety and stress are no joke. No matter what changes you make to your diet and your fitness routine, your mind can always find a way to convince you to be miserable. Now that self care is an actual trending topic, we can finally openly talk about the struggles we’re facing in our quest for emotional and mental well being. What’s even better is that there’s always an app for that.

Meditation Studio

This app goes beyond just general relaxation meditations. Meditation studio offers a wide variety of guided meditations that focus on specific areas like anxiety, sleep, and gratitude. There’s even an ‘unguided’ feature that allows you to create custom meditations.

Talkspace

This app is like having the magical ability to get your therapist to make a house call. For $32/ week, you can chat with a professional as much as you need to. You can even do couples therapy! This is unlimited, on-demand counseling, y’all.

Happify

This app is like a one stop shop for emotional and mental support. Happify describes its mission best: “How you feel matters. Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or you’re dealing with constant negative thoughts, Happify brings you effective tools and programs to take control of your emotional well-being.” Set your goals and let the app do the rest.

***Didn’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Go here for the low down on more Health & Wellness Apps available on ios and android.

Wellness Trends to Look For in 2018

I had a major crush on this boy that was way into Tai Chi and who (spoiler alert) turned out to be a totally self important tool bag. Considering he was so wrong about so many things, I started to firmly believe that Tai Chi is ridiculous because, ya know, there’s no “I” in denial. But with the new year comes the opportunity to restart, rejuvenate, and reinvent yourself. Even though I’ve come to see the practice of Tai Chi as a reliable red flag as any, this new year is already telling me otherwise. Tai Chi classes have already started making their way into a gym or park near you. Alas, this low impact exercise is perfect for reducing stress and creating calm in both mind and body. Still bitter. I probably need to work on that. Wellness is all about mind, body, and soul, right? So, what else is 2018 bringing into the world of wellness? Here are just a few things that we’ll be seeing more of this year.

Indoor Air Purification

As world leaders continue to compare missile sizes, and pretty severe weather patterns are devastating entire regions, we can’t help but notice environmental effects on our overall sense of wellness. Clean water has been a concern for decades, but this year, expect to see more talk about indoor air purification.

After you painstakingly planned your diet and really got yourself into a successful workout routine, breathing in the comfort of your own home should be a no-brainer. Sadly, dust, mold, and other pollutants have been putting a strain on that otherwise quiet existence for some time now. Searches for air purifiers and air purifying household plants have already increased by nearly 300% and we’ve only just begun.

Fortunately, there are some pretty awesome air purifiers available on amazon. For larger spaces in your home, this tower-style HEPA air purifier with a charcoal filter is a workhorse, clearing the air of allergens and odor from pets and smoke. For smaller spaces, like your bedroom nightstand, this cute purifier will filter out 99% of the allergens in the air. Best part, they’re extremely affordable.

The Importance of Self Care

Mindfulness in meditation has been trending for a while now. The idea is to be present in the moment and gradually let go of the thoughts that produce anxiety and adversely affect our mental well being. This trend is going to have some company this year as self-care becomes more and more important. Whether the emphasis is on caring for your body through restorative post workout stretches or snacks (Huel and Althletic Greens have been my saving grace), getting enough sleep, or slipping away into a spa-like bath, the principle of self care is no longer a luxury. This year, it’s a necessity.

¬†Well + Good predicts…

From athletic gear, to women’s health, to brain-boosting supplements, to craft Kombucha elixirs, to gut health, and beyond. Those trailblazing folks over at Well+Good have rounded up their Top 18 Trends of 2018. It’s so worth the read. I don’t know about you, but bio-hacking and high-tech sleep sound uh-mazing!

I Tried Huel, the Future of Food, and You Should Too

My fight against low energy rages on. I’m pretty sure the key to feeling energized isn’t in the massive amount of coffee I drink (what a wonderful world that would be). The key to getting your groove back is in a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and exercising. We’ve all gotten that memo. When I’m eating right, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly, my body just feels better, ya know? I am absolutely determined to find that fountain of youth, y’all. As always, ambition gets the best of me, and I go totally extreme in my efforts. So this happened. I spent a long 5 days on a liquid diet, and maybe after you read this you will too. Hear me out.

I should tell you again that I’m not one of those people that lives to eat. I’m more like one of those people that eats to live. The idea of meal replacement shakes doesn’t send me running for the hills, though I tend to avoid them because of all the toxic additives that many of them contain. Then I discovered Huel. Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all 26 essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, essential fats, carbs, fiber, and phytonutrients without all the chemical additives. I mean, they bill themselves as the future of food. Lofty claim, right? But hey, it’s vegan, it’s sustainable, it’s cost effective, it’s time saving, and you get a free t-shirt with your first order. So I thought, why not give this stuff a try.

I’m an all or nothing kind of lady. I figured if I was gonna try Huel, I was gonna try Huel, straight up, no chaser. I mixed the powder with nothing but water for the first 3 days and ate nothing else. Seeing is how I’m one of those people that eats to live I figured I wouldn’t miss food all that much. I was wrong. I’m gonna be bluntly honest here. Huel tastes like…well, imagine this: you take food, then you subtract flavor, texture, and go ahead and get rid of all that makes food indulgent or delicious in any way until you’re left with nothing but science. Then you’ve got Huel.

Ok, so I’m totally exaggerating, but if you’re expecting the future of food, think again. I will admit, however, that the taste isn’t offensive at all (it actually has a kind of oat taste to it) and the texture isn’t so bad either, but I did find myself missing food. As for my energy level, to be honest, I felt really good. I haven’t felt hungry at all and I was able to keep up with my daily yoga without feeling overly tired or strained. Full disclosure: I abandoned the whole just water thing after the first 3 days, and opted for breakfast smoothies with Huel. Best decision ever. These smoothies have been down right tasty. You can even cook with Huel, baking it into a healthy cookie recipe, or even a savory stove top dish. The website offers a variety of recipes that include Huel, so there’s that. Anyway, Huel is definitely worth a try. If you’re looking to improve your diet, increase your energy level, maintain a healthy weight, or even drop a few pounds you should give Huel a go.

Check out the video below for a look at a fabulous kitchen, a beautiful man, and some tips on using Huel.

2 Homemade Allergy Remedies That Go Beyond Just Local Honey

You really don’t realize how often people mow lawns until you suffer from allergies. Over the years, my allergy symptoms kept getting worse. I went from itchy eyes and an itchy throat to full blown cold symptoms in less than two allergy seasons. It sucks. Spring and Summer are rough for sure, and a couple of years ago I started taking spoonfuls of local honey to relieve my allergy symptoms. It worked for a little bit, but soon the allergy gods began mocking my futile efforts toward wellness. Sigh. I had to up my game.

The power of nature never ceases to amaze me. Nature contains both the poison and the remedy simultaneously¬† like some kind of cosmic contradiction. That’s pretty profound. I’m mad philosophical when I’ve been sneezing. Anyway, I’ve found some pretty awesome remedies that not only relieve my allergy symptoms, but also have some behind the scenes health benefits too. Yesterday was warm and sunny and full of pollen, so I had to think fast and whip up some relief before my allergies took complete control.

Citrus Allergy Relief Tonic

Ingredients

  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 2 fresh oranges
  • 1-2 tbsp raw local honey

Directions

  • squeeze the juice from the lemon and oranges
  • allow them to chill in a sealed glass container in your refrigerator
  • when you’re ready to drink, mix in the honey
  • drink daily for maximum effect

How it Works

The jury is still out on whether or not there’s any science behind the effectiveness of local honey on allergies. The theory is that eating local honey will help your body gradually adapt to the allergens specific to your particular region. The Vitamin C in citrus, however, is a proven and effective natural antihistamine. All in all, this tonic helps to relieve your symptoms by aiding your already struggling immune system in fighting off allergens.

Apple Walnut Trail Mix

Ingredients

  • 1/2 to 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1 apple

Directions

  • core and cut apple into medium sized chunks
  • chop the walnuts
  • mix these together and feel free to add other tasty things like dried cranberries, dried cherries, raisins, pecans, or sunflower seeds or all of the above!

How it Works

Walnuts are high in magnesium and Vitamin E. They naturally relieve symptoms like wheezing and coughing. Apples contain quercetin, a strong antioxidant, that inhibits the release of histamine in the body. Because it can be a little difficult to consume the amount of quercetin necessary to relieve extreme allergy symptoms, you can also try to incorporate a quercetin dietary supplement.

***Of course, there are some honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut for my top two: Drinking a daily tonic of 1 tsp apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water really helps to relieve symptoms. Local bee pollen granules can help, but start small. Dissolve a couple of granules under your tongue at first and then move your way up to sprinkling it on your morning oatmeal, or on your yogurt. Mmmm!