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1
DEC

Cassava Flour, Grain-Free Chocolate Crazy Cake

Filed Under: Recipes at 9:29 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Whole sliced Chocolate cake with slice slightly removed. Photographed in window light with Nikon D800+50mm Zeiss Lens at ISO 100. Image Processed from raw file with VSCO Film Kodak Portra film simulation with film grain for a slightly more lo-fi look.

Who said chocolate cake can’t be quick, easy, gluten-free AND delicious?! When you’re pressed for time but looking to whip up a gluten-free treat, give this chocolate cake recipe from Otto’s Naturals a try! It features their cassava flour, a gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free flour with the taste and texture of wheat!

Ingredients

360 grams Otto’s Cassava Flour (weighing
is recommended) OR 3 cups, well sifted
before measuring
2 cups coconut sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups cold water or coffee

Instructions

  1. Whisk or sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa
    together into a large bowl.
  2. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and
    vanilla into third well.
  3. Pour cold water or coffee over all and stir well with a fork.
  4. Pour into 9×14 baking pan or two 8″ round pans. It is not necessary to grease the pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted
    comes out clean.
  6. Frost with your favorite icing!

Did you give this recipe a try? Let us know below!



30
NOV

Almond Butter Cookies Recipe

Filed Under: Recipes at 5:27 pm | By: Madeline Reiss
"Warm, golden brown, chocolate chip cookies cooling on a rack. Shallow depth of field."

This recipe uses Plant Fusion’s Lean Chocolate Brownie Protein Powder to make gooey, melt in your mouth almond butter cookies perfect for holiday parties or a sweet, end-of-the-day snack.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond butter, coconut sugar, salt, egg, almond milk and vanilla extract. Mix until ingredients are well combined. Next mix in protein powder, coconut flour and baking soda until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Use a small cookie scoop to drop cookie dough by the tablespoonful onto a prepared baking sheet. The dough will be slightly sticky. Slightly flatten the tops of the cookies. Bake for 9-11 minutes until slightly golden brown on the edges. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Makes 12 cookies.



30
NOV

Warming, Gluten-Free, Paleo Shepherds Pie

Filed Under: Uncategorized at 3:38 pm | By: Madeline Reiss
Shepherd's Pie In A Cast Iron Skillet.

The perfect gluten-free, wintertime comfort food that can easily be made paleo-friendly! It’s super easy to make and is the perfect warming meal on a cold winter day.

Ingredients

1 lb lean ground lamb, or beef 450g
1 tbsp olive oil
3 large carrots medium dice
1 large onion chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (omit for paleo)
2 cups gluten-free beef stock
4 medium potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tbsp butter substitute
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (omit for paleo)
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion & carrots & gently saute for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the lamb or beef & brown over a medium heat, stirring the whole time. Spoon off excess fat if necessary.
  4. Add the tomato purée & Worcestershire sauce (if using), then fry for a couple more minutes. Add the beef stock, bring to a simmer, then cover pan & cook for about 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes uncover the pan and continue to cook for 20 more minutes.
  6. While the meat is cooking, boil the peeled potatoes in lightly salted water for 10-15 minutes until soft, but not soggy. Drain, then mash together with the butter substitute.
  7. Add two tablespoons of arrowroot to a cup with a 3-4 tablespoons of cold water & mix well. Remove the pan from the heat & add half of the arrowroot mixture to the meat, stirring to avoid lumps & allowing a few minutes to thicken up.
  8. Put the cooked meat mixture into an ovenproof dish, add the mashed potatoes on top and spread out with a fork. Add shredded cheese (omit for Paleo).
  9. Bake for 20-25 mins until the top starts to color & juice is beginning to leak around the edges.

 



30
NOV

Is Melatonin Safe For Children Struggling to Sleep?

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Supplements at 9:30 am | By: Guest Blogger
Royalty stock photo of 3 years old girl during daytime.

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Sleep is a luxury that not everyone can afford. Try as they might, there are countless people across the planet who toss and turn in their beds until sunrise. Though this is a common problem in adults, it is also an issue many children experience on a regular basis. If your little ones are unable to sleep through the night, it’s a good idea to consider your options.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It is responsible for helping regulate one’s cycle of sleep. Though the body produces this hormone naturally, melatonin supplements are a common solution for adults who are not sleeping well. While this may seem like a practical idea for an adult, you might be hesitant to offer your children the same answer when they have difficulty catching some shut-eye. To understand whether it is right for your kids, be sure to look over what the experts are saying.

Starting With Dosage

Many drugs and supplemental products are problematic for children to ingest. Though these pills are fine for adults with fully-developed systems, a number of chemicals found in specific pharmaceuticals can inhibit growth in a child. With melatonin, this is the main argument made. Though there are still no concrete findings on whether or not melatonin impacts children in a negative way, medical experts believe it is better to approach this task from the right perspective.

Adults tend to purchase melatonin over the counter from pharmacies or health supplement establishments. This is fine for grown individuals but it can prove trickier for kids. To get the best solution, you need to first visit with your child’s pediatrician. Speaking with a healthcare professional can open you up to all possible solutions to the problem. If the doctor believes melatonin is the answer, then he or she can prescribe a specific dosage that works appropriately. Prescription melatonin comes in smaller dosages, allowing it to work its magic without overloading your child with too much melatonin.

Serious and Simple

Though melatonin is one of a number of solutions available to parents who are trying to get their children to sleep, it is important to take a closer look at when you should avoid using it altogether. When the summer has come to a close and school is around the corner, you might notice that your children are having a difficult time hitting the hay. This could be due to the excitement of the coming school year or nerves about seeing friends for the first time in months.

Situational sleep problems like this tend to come and go. Once your child has gotten back into the swing of the school year, he or she should return to normalcy with sleeping. Short-term sleeping problems usually resolve themselves and are caused by environmental factors that are not always present. When you first notice your child is not sleeping right, do not take immediate action. Allow this to carry on for a few days to see if it persists. If so, you need to contact your child’s doctor to start finding an appropriate solution.

Ultimate Answer

Melatonin is a wonderful option for adults who are struggling with insomnia or other sleep-related ailments. For children, it might be best to examine alternatives first. Take a look at your child’s habits and see what might be causing the sleepless nights. In many cases, diet and exercise can change the way a child falls asleep. According to most experts, children need to be up for around twelve hours each day and need to be physically engaged for at least one hour. Inactive children who do not get outside often might deal with insomnia from not getting out enough.

Sleep is incredibly important to the human mind, body, and spirit. When you’re dealing with children who don’t seem to fall asleep, you might need to take action. Examine your child’s habits and see how long insomnia persists. When you feel like all of your options have been exhausted, visit with your child’s primary care physician and learn more about what melatonin might be able to offer.

 

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.



29
NOV

5 Ways To Keep Moving When It’s Too Cold To Function

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Mindfulness at 9:31 am | By: Guest Blogger
Legs of two runners outside in winter nature

Article Written by Jessica Thiefels

Staying active in the winter is hard—especially on the coldest days when even getting out of bed is a challenge. Don’t let the winter doldrums keep you from moving your body and working toward new goals and resolutions. Instead, use the following ideas to stay motivated and bring more movement into your day, even when it’s too cold to function.

 

Make Time for Stretching

If you don’t want to go outside, take time to stretch while relaxing in your warm home. Not only will this get your blood flowing, but stretching is critical to maintaining a healthy body:

“Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains and muscle damage,” explain experts at Harvard Health Publishing.

Here are a few stretching routines to try:

You can also browse a full library of stretching videos from Flexy Friday.

 

Try An Active Meditation Flow

Meditation brings mind-body alignment and can help drive away those wintertime blues. However, you don’t have to sit still to reap the benefits. Active meditation is a great way to get moving on the coldest winter days while tuning into yourself and taking some time to relish in silence.

To find an active meditation, search general meditation apps like Insight Timer. If you want something more structured, check out this series from Cody. Each video has a different focus, allowing you enjoy a well-rounded practice with guidance.

 

Do An At-Home Workout

Even a small amount of space can be enough for a great at-home workout, you just have to know how to use it. Instead of ruling it out altogether, take a look at some of these great at-home workout platforms and find the ones that work best for your home.

In many cases, the best workout for a small space will be strength-based (opposed to plyometric or cardio); this is especially true if:

  • You live above someone to avoid stomping.
  • You have a lot of things that can fall off shelves.
  • You have minimal space to move and most exercises need to be done in one place.

 

Take a Lunch Walk

If you work in a big building, lunch is your chance to burn some calories while staying warm—especially if you bring your afternoon coffee along for the ride. To get more out of your walk, take the stairs whenever possible and add exercises to the mix, including walking lunges, squats, wall pushups and calf raises.

If you don’t have a large building, it’s time to bundle up and get outside. To motivate yourself to get moving, invest in some new winter gear. Just like buying new gym clothes as motivation, investing in new winter apparel may be just what you need to get you outside for a short jaunt.

 

Find Ways to Boost Accountability

The best way to keep moving when it’s too cold to function is to get someone or something to hold you accountable! When the morning alarm goes off, the sun isn’t up yet and your bed is warm and cozy, the motivation to get up and head to the gym is nearly non-existent. Especially when you’re the only one making these decisions.

That’s where accountability tricks come in handy; when you’ve already paid for a class or your gym partner will be waiting outside in 10 minutes, you’re less likely to bail. Here are a few ways to take your accountability up a notch:

  • Find a workout partner.
  • Sign up for classes ahead of time; if you don’t go, you’re wasting money.
  • Try one of the following apps: DietBet, Pact, or Healthy Wage.
  • Reward yourself with weekly treats: a massage, a night out with friends, an extra glass of wine at dinner or a new outfit.

 

Stay Warm and Fit

Use these simple tips to stay fit and healthy, despite the cold. With a little extra accountability, extra stretching and at-home workouts, you’ll fit it all in while staying warm and strong all season long!

 

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time writer, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist. She’s also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Honest Body Fitness, an online health magazine for women who are fed up with being told how to look and how to get there, yet still don’t feel like enough. She’s written for Shape, Reader’s Digest, AARP, Snap Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and more. Follow her on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for health articles, workouts tips and more.



28
NOV

5 Reasons To Add Ashwagandha To Your Medicine Cabinet

Filed Under: Herbs,Mindfulness,Supplements at 3:11 pm | By: Guest Blogger
Sshwagandha powder and root on wooden table. Superfood, alternative medicine, natural remedy.

Article written by Joe Palinsky

For most people, the medicine cabinet is a storage space that acts as a window to the past. Expired pill bottles and loose adhesive strips mingle on the shelves, reminding you of all the maladies you’ve encountered in your years. With 2017 winding down, now is an excellent time to begin cleaning out all the old junk in your life. The medicine cabinet is a fantastic place to begin your endeavor!

While tossing out old vitamins and creams can be cathartic, you might also want to focus on what you will replace once everything has been tossed. Finding the right items for your medicine cabinet can help you to feel prepared for whatever health-related situations await. Ashwagandha, for example, is an herb with a number of uses that might have a future home in your medicine cabinet. To see if it works for your life, let’s examine some of the benefits.

1.) Ancient And Relevant 

Whenever a new herb or plant appears on the shelves, consumers and advertisers alike tend to get out of control. Reports on the benefits of these products can be conflicting and overwhelming, making it impossible to know whether or not the supplement or remedy even works. Ashwagandha is different because it has been used for thousands of years in a number of places around the world with impressive results.

In North Africa, the herb has long been used as a way of dealing with inflammation and increasing energy levels. Often referred to as ubab or “winter cherry,” ashwagandha can also be found across parts of Asia. In India, the herb is mashed into a paste and used as a salve for treating burns and other wounds.

2.) Calming Effects

Stress and anxiety are very real problems for a large number of people. The world is more connected than it has ever been before. While this fact yields some wonderful results, it also can make one feel tense to constantly be bombarded with news and information about the world. Ashwagandha might also prove useful when dealing with these high levels of stress.

According to a number of studies conducted at several academic institutions, ashwagandha helped patients feel less stressed within a short amount of time. Anxiety can put a lot of strain on the brain and make memory recall somewhat impossible. When ashwagandha was present in the system, researchers noticed an improvement in how subjects suffering from anxiety could recall vital information.

3.) Better Spirits

Feeling grumpy or frustrated can often seem like a part of life. While it is true that you can’t do much to change a foul mood when you’re stuck in one, it also doesn’t hurt to try new tactics. With an herb like ashwagandha, you could be looking at a solid way to get yourself into better spirits. While conducting studies on the anti-anxiety effects of ashwagandha, researchers observed patients exhibited signs of improved emotional states.

Though studies are still being done to uncover exactly how ashwagandha improves an individual’s mood, many scientists believe it has to do with how the herb impacts the adrenal gland. Responsible for producing and regulating a large number of hormones, this endocrine gland is stimulated and rejuvenated by the constant presence of ashwagandha. This renewal helps to better regulate hormones like adrenaline, which tends to help with stress levels as well as overall mood.

4.) Memories That Last

Having a strong memory can work to your advantage on a daily basis. Keeping yourself sharp helps you to stay on top of tasks at work, keep important dates in the forefront of your mind, and allow you the ability to remember where you put down your keys before walking out the door. Though a number of factors work against a person’s ability to remember information, studies suggest that ashwagandha might be a good fit for those looking to improve areas of the brain related to memory.

It is important to note that these studies primarily focused on memory problems that resulted from head injuries. According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, ashwagandha might be helpful for patients suffering from dementia but it is too soon to tell. As of this point, no official studies have been conducted on ashwagandha and how it works in patients living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

5.) Simple Warnings

Discussing the benefits of an herb like ashwagandha can be useful for your future. Still, it is good to note that there are a few individuals who should not be using the plant. For the most part, you can feel confident in stocking your medicine cabinet with ashwagandha. However, it is important to keep in mind that women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid the herb. Some studies suggest it might be fine for pregnant women but it is best to speak with a healthcare professional before making any decisions.

 

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.



21
NOV

4 Ways to Tell If Your Protein Bar Is Healthy

Filed Under: Health Foods,Nutritional Bars at 3:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Man opens protein bar while sitting on rock. In the background are extreme rock formations where he has been rock climbing.

Finding a protein bar isn’t easy. Some bars are delicious but contain ingredients that leave a lot to be desired. Other bars have mainly healthy ingredients but may contain too much sugar and might actually be unhealthy for some people. How can you tell what is the best option for you? Let’s check out 5 ways to tell if your protein bar is healthy.

1. Protein

If we are talking about protein bars, of course we have to start with the protein content! Find a bar that contains no less than five grams of protein per bar to make it nutritionally worth your while. Protein is essential for recovery after exercise, important for building muscle and also helpful for burning fat. Make sure the protein comes from quality sources such as whey, milk or plants and don’t overdo it as excess protein may be stored as body fat.

2. Carbohydrates

Look for a protein bar that has healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains like oats, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat. Low carb products are perfect for people on a weight loss diets. If that’s your case, look for products with a max of 30 grams of carbs per bar.

3. Ratio Protein/Carbs

The protein to carbs ratio is extremely important when choosing a good protein bar. Choosing the right ratio ensures that you are getting the ideal bar for your specific goal. For example, a 2:1 ratio of protein to carbs is perfect for fat loss, whereas if you are trying to build muscle or use the bar after a workout, the best bar should have close to a 1:2 ratio.

4. Right Sugar

A good protein bar should be low sugar and contain less than 8 grams per bar. Make sure the main source of sugar comes from fruit and not artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols, which despite being calorie free, are unhealthy and even toxic. Artificial sweeteners often cause cravings and even an insulin response, just like sugar does, and may have unwanted side-effects.



16
NOV

5 Ways to Use Tea When Cooking

Filed Under: Health Foods,Teas at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
You certainly have heard of people cooking with wine and beer but how about cooking with tea? A very interesting cooking ingredient, tea contains distinctive flavors which can add herbal, sweet, and even smoky touches to your cooking repertoire. Let’s check out 5 ways to use tea when cooking.

1. Flavoring

Use tea as an herb. Tea leaves are essentially herbs and can be added directly to dishes while cooking. A mixture of green teas used as a seasoning works perfectly for stir-fries, particularly when added to vegetable dishes since it tastes similar to dark, leafy greens. Plus, you can use tea leaves like dried herbs such as oregano or thyme as well as add them to sauces and glazes.

2. Water

How about cooking with tea instead of water? An easy way to add a little more flavor to your meals, just brew the tea and let it cool to room temperature. Then, use it in any recipe that calls for water. It works great to cook whole grains such as rice and quinoa and it can also be used for soups.

3. Pasta

If you make your own pasta, here’s a great idea. Mix green tea powder to pasta dough, adding color and a delicious herbaceous flavor to your homemade pasta. Plus, rather than buying specialty noodles, just cook pasta in green tea to make a homemade green tea noodles.

4. Spice Rub

Tea leaves can also create a great spice rub. Grind tea leaves and add them to your favorite herbs and spices to use in a rub for tofu, tempeh or seitan. Choose teas such as earl gray and Darjeeling which go well with savory foods. A tea spice rub can be as simple as mixing ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper with 2 Tbs. of ground tea

5. Butter

Tea leaves make a great herb butter and it’s pretty easy to make. Just let unsalted butter sit at room temperature until very soft and then mix it with tea leaves, either whole or ground. Store in the refrigerator and use it for cooking or on freshly baked bread and biscuits.



8
NOV

DHA, EPA & ALA: How Much Do You Actually Need?

Filed Under: Health Foods,Supplements at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Salmon Steak with Spices

Omega-3 supplements are very beneficial to your health but some people may find a little complicated to understand all the abbreviations used on the products’ ingredients list. EPA, DHA and ALA. What do they stand for? Which food sources can you get them from? How much do you actually need? Let’s have a quick look at DHA, EPA and ALA.

EPA

One of the two main types of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, Eicosapentaenoic Acid, or EPA, is found in fatty, cold-water fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, herring, halibut, trout, anchovies, and tuna. There is no recommended standard dose of EPA’s but health organizations recommend a daily dose of 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) for healthy adults.

DHA

The other main type of omega-3 is Docosahexaenoic Acid, popular known as DHA. Plentiful in fish and shellfish, DHA is also found in algae. There is no set recommended standard dose of DHA as well but just like EPA’s a daily dose of 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) of DHA should be sufficient for healthy adults.

EPA to DHA Ratios

It’s important to check for the ratios of EPA and DHA since there is no standard daily dose set. According to the American Heart Association, a common ratio which can be used is 180 milligrams of EPA to 120 milligrams of DHA but some reports show that ratios of 2:1 or 1:2 EPA to DHA may be equally beneficial since both compounds seem to work together.

ALA

Alpha-linolenic Acids are short-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in plants, such as flax seeds, chia seeds, as well as oils such as flax oil and hemp oil. ALA omega-3 fatty acids have less potent health benefits than EPA and DHA and for the body to truly benefit from these fats, they must be converted into long-chain EFAs such as EPA and DHA first. There is no established dose of alpha-lipoic acid recommended, but studies have concluded that the use of 600 milligrams daily can provide health benefits.



7
NOV

Holiday White Chocolate Bark Recipe

Filed Under: Recipes at 9:00 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
White chocolate bark with almonds

The perfect combination of sweet and crunchy, this festive candy is full of heart-healthy dried cranberries and antioxidant-rich almonds. Unsweetened coconut saves a few calories while adding delicious flavor and a bit of fiber. If these toppings aren’t your favorite – customize it to fit you!

Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • Spread the sliced almonds and the unsweetened coconut in an even layer on the baking sheet. Toast 5–8 minutes or until coconut just begins to brown. Remove baking sheet from the oven, and let cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine almonds, coconut, rice cereal, and dried cranberries. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the mixture, and set aside.
  • Place chopped white chocolate and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large heatproof bowl, and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted.
  • Remove the chocolate from heat, and fold in the almond mixture. Spread mixture evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle on the reserved 1/4 cup topping. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate has completely set. Break the bark into small pieces, and serve.

Recipe from Health.com



6
NOV

Add These 6 Things to Your Evening Ritual for Better Sleep

Filed Under: Aromatherapy,General Wellness & Wellbeing,Teas at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Cropped picture of a woman sitting on a bed with favourite tea and holding a mug of tea

Unfortunately, many people have a difficult time sleeping well these days. Stress, busy schedules, and hectic lifestyles often lead to difficulties falling asleep and sleeping throughout the night. Evening rituals or bedtime routines can be an excellent way to improve your overall sleep. The purpose of these activities is to relax and de-stress your mind and body, helping you calm down, sleep longer and better. Let’s look at 6 things you can add to your evening ritual for better sleep.

1. Magnesium Supplement

Magnesium is well known for its ability to improve sleep and reduce insomnia. Studies have suggested that this mineral helps decrease cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, which keeps you up at night. Magnesium also promotes muscle relaxation and can help mood disorders.

2. Herbal Teas

Some herbal teas contain relaxing agents that can help sooth your nerves, improve blood flow, and make you feel more relaxed. The best herbal teas for sleep include chamomile, valerian, lavender, peppermint, and passion flower.

3. Taking a Bath

A hot bath is one of the best ways to promote relaxation. Immersion in warm/hot water is known to be extremely therapeutic and can significantly help relax your mind and soul after a stressful day.

4. Cooler Bedroom

Turn down the thermostat in your bedroom to improve the quality of your sleep. The National Sleep foundation recommends that the room temperature should be kept around 65 degrees in order to keep you cooler and prevent restless nights from feeling too hot.

5. Use an EO Diffuser

An essential oil diffuser can help improve your sleep as these essential oils have soothing and relaxing aroma therapeutic properties. Look for valerian, lavender, chamomile, cedarwood, vetiver, frankincense, geranium, patchouli, ylang, and bergamot.

6. Stretch

Stretching is another great way to promote relaxation and improve overall sleep. Stretch for a few minutes to reduce stiff joints and cramping muscles as well as to prevent injuries and reduce built-up tension and stress.



6
NOV

Paleo Gingerbread Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan)

Filed Under: Recipes at 10:48 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Decorating gingerbread Christmas Cookies with colorful icing

Sticking to a paleo diet (or any diet for that matter!) during the holidays is a true test of will. Watching everyone else indulge in sweet, forbidden treats can really dampen your holiday spirit. Luckily, there are ways to participate in holiday fun without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle! These paleo gingerbread cookies are not only fun to bake, but easy to make in large batches for parties and family gatherings.

Give these gingerbread cookies a try and let us know what you think!

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour
3/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
3/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
3 Tbl Coconut Oil
2 1/2 tsp Pure Maple Syrup
3 Tbl Molasses
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca starch, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
  3. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla to the dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until a thick dough forms. You may need to mix for a minute or two until the dough comes together. Don’t worry about over-mixing the dough, since it contains no gluten you can’t over-develop it and create tough cookies!
  4. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll out the dough to a 1/4″ thickness. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  5. Peel the top layer of parchment off of the sheet of dough. Cut out gingerbread man shapes with a cookie cutter and place the gingerbread men 1″ apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the pan and store in an airtight container.
  7. Decorate with desired icing and toppings!

 

Recipe source: MyNaturalFamily.com



3
NOV

The Best Essential Oil Blends For The Fall-Winter Transition

Filed Under: Aromatherapy at 2:20 pm | By: Madeline Reiss
Bottle of essential oil for ayurveda massage with cinnamon stick ,star anise and bay leaves with selective focus on shabby wooden background .

We’re right in the thick of Fall! Soon we’ll find ourselves spending more time inside and these blends are perfect for bringing in those comfy fall feelings. Each blend is spicy, sweet, refreshing and instantly puts you in a good mood—filling your home with the good vibes of the season! Just add the oils to your diffuser and you’re good to go.

Whether you’re entertaining or having a cozy night in, give these blends a try and let us know what you think!

Warming Pumpkin Spice

3 drops cinnamon
3 drops ginger
3 drops clove
2 drops cardamom

Walking in the leaves

3 drops frankincense
2 drops lime
2 drops peppermint
2 drops orange

Gingersnap

3 Drops of ginger
2 Drops Cinnamon
2 Drops clove

Fallen Snow

4 drops peppermint
3 drops bergamot
2 drops cypress

Winter Spice

3 drops orange
2 drops white fir
1 Drop cinnamon



3
NOV

5 Best Ways to Save Energy While Staying Warm This Winter

Filed Under: Environment,Home at 11:28 am | By: Guest Blogger
Cozy home. Candles, book and cup of tea

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Winter is coming and it’s going to bring along some seriously chilly days and nights. Though the worst of the season is still ahead, now is an excellent chance for you to start preparing. Many homeowners are aware that consuming too much energy in the winter to stay warm can be both expensive and bad for the planet. To help you through the season, here are some fun tips on saving energy and staying nice and toasty.

1. Windows

Homes are not always as well-insulated as owners might like to believe. Air leaks around windows and doorframes can cause your energy bills to skyrocket, as your HVAC system will have to work harder to maintain the right temperature. Ignoring a draft could easily cause your home to waste far more energy than you’d like. Contact professionals and learn about energy-efficient window options to improve your home’s ability to handle the chill of winter.

2. Thermogenesis

Thermogenesis is the scientific process surrounding a living organism’s ability to produce heat. Eating food that can help to enhance your own thermogenesis may allow you to stay warm without cranking the heat. Ginger, lentils, and coconut oil all help in this regard. It is important to remember that weight is a big factor in your body’s thermogenesis. Depending on your weight, specific foods might not have any effect on changing the way your body produces heat.

3. Spice Life

The way you season your food can also have a dramatic impact on how warm your body feels in the cold. Putting cumin on meals has been shown to raise body temperature and make an individual feel nice and cozy. While cumin is a top choice for many, spices like cinnamon and turmeric are also excellent candidates for the task. Several academic studies suggest using these spices can aid in diet or weight loss efforts, especially when mixed with protein-rich foods.

4. Temperature Regulation

What food you eat can assist your body to best regulate its internal temperature. Eating foods rich in magnesium, like bananas, has been shown to create a feeling of warmth in the body. Many foods that contain higher levels of magnesium are easy to carry around with you. By munching on pumpkin seeds or almonds throughout the course of the day, you are giving your body the opportunity to warm up no matter where the day takes you. While at home, eating magnesium-rich food can also help you to save on heating costs.

5. Metabolic Boost

When your metabolism is moving, your body is heated. Boosting your metabolism is easy when you drink coffee on a regular basis. A cup of coffee each morning can keep you warm simply through the power of caffeine. It does not matter that the coffee is hot or iced, so feel free to indulge in your favorite caffeinated drinks regardless of temperature.

 

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.

 



3
NOV

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole With Maple Pecan Topping

Filed Under: Recipes at 10:42 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Sweet potato banana baked oatmeal with pecan crumb crust. toning. selective focus

This Skinny Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecan Topping is a vegan, light and healthy twist to traditional sweet potato casserole. All the comfort food, less than half the calories!

Ingredients

Maple Pecan Topping
3 tablespoon maple syrup
6 tablespoons almond flour
1 1/2 tablespoon melted vegan butter
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Sweet Potato Casserole
3.3 pounds sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
6 tablespoons vegan butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Maple Pecan Topping

  1. While sweet potato is boiling or right before, mix all the ingredients for the maple pecan topping together and set aside until needed.

Casserole

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. In a 4 QT pot of boiling water, boil the sweet potato for 20 minutes until fork soft.
  3. When the sweet potato is finished boiling, drain and mash.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and using the potato masher, mix all the ingredients together until they are incorporated, about 2 minutes of mashing.
  5. Spoon sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish and top with the Maple Pecan topping.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes (check that nuts don’t burn – if they are browning too quickly cover with foil) then remove from oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then serve.

 

Recipe from jessicainthekitchen.com