The Benefits Of Yoga

Maintaining a regular yoga practice provides many physical and mental health benefits. Yoga focuses on your body’s natural impulse of health and self-healing. The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body. There are over 100 types of yoga, most of which include breathing exercises, meditation and assuming postures that stretch and flex various muscle groups.

Physical Benefits
Relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpel tunnel syndrome. Aside from pain relief, other benefits include increased flexiibility, increased muscle strength, improved respiration, energy & vitality, maintaining a balanced metabolism, aids in weight reduction, cardio & circulatory health, improved athletic performance, and added protection from injury.

Mental Benefits
Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits is stress management. Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including physical pain, sleeping problems, drug abuse and even an inability to concentrate. Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life. A regular practice of yoga creates mental clarity and calmness, increases body awareness, relieves chronic stress patterns, relaxes the mind, centers attention ad sharpens concentration. Body and self-awareness are particularly beneficial because they can help with early detection of physical problems and allow for early preventative action.

Because there are so many types of yoga practices, anyone can start yoga. The idea is to explore your limits, and really get in tune with your body and inner self.

Source: American Osteopathic Association
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Greek Pasta Salad



1/2 lb. dry pasta
1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced into half
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 c. Kalamata olives
4 oz. feta cheese

For The Vinaigrette

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, mince
salt to taste


Cook the pasta as package directions state, drain and rinse under cold water. Toss with 1/2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil and set aside. Prepare the viniagrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and salt. In a large serving bowl, combine the pasta with tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, onion, olives and cheese. Pour the viniagrette over the salad and toss. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve. Enjoy!!

Original Recipe Here

Sweet & Spicy Turkey Curry



1 1/2 Tbsp. Curry Powder
Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Finely Diced
1 1/2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 1/2 C. Chicken Broth (or leftover turkey broth)
1 C. Crushed Pineapple, Drained
3 C. Turkey, Cubed
1 C. Frozen Peas
1 Can Diced Pimentos (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Cooked Brown Rice or Quinoa


In a large skillet, heat curry powder in oil for a couple of minutes to release the flavor. Stir in onions, continue cooking; stirring frequently, until onions are softened. Add ginger powder, 1 cup chicken or turkey broth and crushed pineapple. Heat to boiling, then simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Mix cornstarch with remaining 1/2 cup cold broth in a small bowl. Add broth/cornstarch mixture to skillet and whisk to incorporate. Gently simmer a few minutes until thickened. Add cubed leftover turkey, peas and pimentos (if using). Cook on low another 5-10 minutes or until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked brown rice or quinoa. Enjoy!

Original Recipe Here

Self-Care Improves Your Fitness Routine


Physical activity is undoubtedly one of the most important pillars in one’s health routine, but not if it becomes an obsession. Along with experiencing general burnout, individuals who overdo it are at risk for acquiring an eating disorder.

Part of the problem is that Americans feel guilty about relaxing and implementing self-care as a stigma that the busier you are, the more accepted you’ll be in society. But not incorporating downtime into your life has serious implications such as hormonal changes that lead to depression and weight gain and heart issues due to perpetual stress and inactivity. Not to mention, it can be difficult — if not impossible — to maintain a fitness routine for the long-term if you’re burning the candle at both ends.

It’s time to stop feeling remorseful about taking time for yourself, as living a balanced lifestyle can help you excel in everything you do. Here’s how to get started.

Take Up A Relaxing Hobby

Not only do hobbies give you a sense of pride and joy, ignite creativity, and open your mind to new possibilities, but also many of them actually help to calm the mind. For example, whether you’re listening to the radio or playing an instrument, studies have shown that music reduces anxiety, improves cognitive health and promotes feelings of power. The repetitive tasks associated with gardening — along with being outside in the sunshine and fresh air — calm the mind and boost one’s mood. Painting is a creative stress-reliever that helps expel anger and negativity. Though more common, reading and writing are two great outlets for reducing stress and exploring thoughts and feelings.

Get Quality Sleep

Approximately 70 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep, a scary statistic consider rest is linked to cognitive and physical performance, weight management, and an increase in health conditions such as osteoporosis and cancer. Not to mention, sleep is a key element to any fitness routine, though many individuals tend to disregard this fact.

While it can be difficult to turn off your mind at the end of the day, turning your bedroom into a relaxing sanctuary can make it easier to drift off into dreamland. Start by clearing all the clutter and keeping items on your nightstand and dresser, etc., to a minimum. Invest in quality pillows and always make sure you’ve got clean sheets and blankets. Blackout shades and a noise machine (think crashing waves) can help deter outside sounds and light, both artificial and natural.

Find Time To Meditate

Even if only for a few minutes each day, checking in with yourself by meditating can help you stay centered and present. In order to make this practice effective, however, you need a quiet and distraction-free place within your home that can function as a meditation space. If it has a window that looks out onto your backyard or nature, all the better. If not, invest in window treatments that can block out a distracting view.

Lighting is a matter of preference, as some people prefer a lot of natural light while others lean towards a darker room lit with candles. Choose whichever option makes you feel the most relaxed and focused.

Don’t Rush Your Meals

If you’re frequently eating at your desk or car and dinnertime is never without the television, it’s time to be more mindful about mealtime. The concept actually has origins to Buddhism and is a form of meditation. The general rules involve eating slowly, putting your fork down between meals, and not having a meal with any distractions. Use nice dishes to make the experience feel special — and not just on holidays! Be mindful of your food choices, too, even if it takes a few extra minutes to prepare something that will fuel your body in a healthy way.

Another crucial part of self-care is learning how to set boundaries. Without them, it’s more difficult to find balance in your life. While it takes a little practice, once you learn how to tolerate the reaction of others when you say “no,” the easier it will be.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Author: Sheila Olson

Alfredo Spinach Artichoke Lasagna

For the Alfredo Sauce:
1 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 c. zucchini
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. plant-based milk
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dry thyme
1/4 tsp. dry basil or 1 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
A generous dash of black pepper
1 tbsp. flour of choice

For the Lasagna:
Pasta sauce or marinara sauce
1 c. spinach
5-6 artichoke hearts, finely chopped (if using canned, drain and rinse)
Plant-based Ricotta Cheese
Lasagna noodles
Veggies of choice (ex: mushrooms, bell peppers, asparagus, kale, tomatoes, etc.)
salt & pepper
Italian herb blend (or a mixture of basil, oregano and parsley)

Make the Alfredo Sauce:
In a large pan, add oil and heat pan to medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add zucchini, water and salt and cover, cook for 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Cool slightly then add everything including water to a blender or food processor and blend with plant-based milk, all the spices, oil and flour. Blend to a smooth puree. Taste and adjust salt, herbs and add tang if needed.
Make the Lasagna:
Preheat oven to 400*F. Layer 3/4 - 1 c. pasta sauce in the baking pan, then layer the noodles. Add more sauce, if desired. Then layer fresh spinach and ricotta, then 3/4 - 1 c. alfredo sauce. Add another layer of noodles, then pasta sauce, then add veggies of choice. Then layer noodles, alfredo sauce, and distribute chopped artichoke hearts on top of sauce. Sprinkle plant-based ricotta and/or nutritional yeast. Add layer of noodles, add 1/3 c. water all around edges, then a heaping 1 - 1.5 cups of pasta sauce on the top. Drizzle some alfredo sauce and add additional ricotta, if desired. Sprinkle salt & pepper and italian herb blend on top. Cover with foil, punch a few small holes and bake at 400*F f for 45-50 minutes. Cool slighly, slice and enjoy!!

Using Garlic Therapeutically


Raw garlic is a highly potent weapon for staying healthy. It is effective at fighting not just pathogenic bacteria. It fights all harmful microbes including viruses and fungi. For this reason alone, it far outperforms synthetic antibiotics for non-life-threatening infections and illnesses when used properly.

The necessary factor is to ferment the garlic. Fermented vegetables are always pickled, but not all pickled vegetables are fermented.

The Benefits of Pickled Garlic

*The inherent ‘hotness’ of eating raw garlic   
clove is greatly reduced, if not eliminated
*No garlic breath (Yay!)

Fermenting garlic eliminates the negative of eating raw garlic without reducing any of the natural benefits. In addition, the probiotic and enzymatic value of garlic is enhanced by fermentation.

So, how do we use garlic therapeutically?

To prevent sickness, it is recommended to consume one raw garlic clove per day. While fighting off sickness, consume one pickled garlic clove per hour upon waking (around 1 whole bulb of garlic per day). Additionally, you may suck on a garlic clove to soothe a sore throat. Those who are sensitive to garlic will likely find that pickled garlic will be no problem.

How to properly pickle/ferment garlic-


5-6 bulbs of garlic, preferably organic
1 pint of filtered water                                
1 tbsp. sea salt                                                                  


Separate all the cloves for each head of garlic. Carefully remove the papery skin from each garlic clove. Mix sea salt with filtered water. Add the garlic cloves to a mason jar and place a fermentation weight on top of the cloves. This will keep the cloves at the bottom of the jar when you add the water.  Add water/salt mixture, make sure at least 1 inch is left for air at the top of the jar. Close the lid tightly and place in a cool pantry or cabinet for one month. Don’t forget to date your garlic! After one month, transfer to refrigerator. Consume the pickled cloves as stated above or use to flavor dishes!

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Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps



1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. sesame oil or olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. chili paste
1/3 c. raw cashews
8 leaves of lettuce
Additional Toppings (optional): thinly sliced basil, sesame seeds, grated carrots, peas, bean sprouts, etc.


Place the chicken in a zip lock bag with the oyster sauce, soy sauce and chili paste. Let the chicken marinate for 10 minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. of sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Increase the heat to medium-high heat, add the chicken and the remaining oil, and stir-fry until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, add the cashews and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the individual lettuce leaves, top with any additional toppings, if desired. Enjoy!!

Original Recipe Here

8 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Water Right After Waking Up

For a start, 70% of your body is made up of water, so it’s essential to keep it fresh and topped up to keep the body working properly. When the body’s water requirement is not met, it has a variety of negative short-term and long-term health consequences.

Long-term dehydration can lead to rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, angina, colitis, dyspepsia, hypertension, obesity, hemorrhoids, breast cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, kidney stones, sinusitis, and uterine cancers!

Help your body to better avoid these conditions by drinking water after waking up and keeping your body hydrated throughout the day.

1. Helps Rid the Body of Toxins

As you drink water, it naturally urges movement in your bowels. At night, your body repairs itself and casts out all the toxins in the body. When you drink water on an empty stomach in the morning, you will flush out these harmful toxins, leaving your body fresh and healthy. Drinking plenty of water can help in increasing the production of muscle cells and new blood cells.

2. Improves Metabolism

Drinking water on an empty stomach can increase your metabolic rate by at least 24%. It is very important for those people who are on a strict diet. An increased metabolic rate means an improved digestive system. You will be able to follow your diet routine more easily if you digest faster. Drinking water immediately after waking up purifies the colon, making it easier to absorb nutrients.

3. Reinforces Healthy Weight Loss

When you drink water in the morning on an empty stomach, you will release all your toxins and it will improve your digestive system. You will feel less hungry and your cravings will be reduced. This will prevent weight gain caused by overeating.

4. Alleviates Heartburn and Indigestion

Indigestion is caused by increased acidity in the stomach. You suffer from heartburn when the acid refluxes into your esophagus. When you drink water on an empty stomach, these acid are pushed down and get diluted, solving the problem. Also, this provides a head start for your stomach for the upcoming breakfast.

5. Improves Complexion and Skin Radiance

Dehydration causes premature wrinkles and deep pores in the skin. It was found out in a study that drinking 500 ml of water on an empty stomach increases blood flow in the skin and makes skin glow. Also, drinking more water throughout the day means that your body is releasing toxins, which will make your skin more radiant.

6. Promotes Shiny, Smooth, and Healthy Hair

Dehydration can have a serious impact on your hair growth. Drinking plenty of water nourishes your hair from the inside out. Water makes up almost ¼ of the weight of a hair strand. An insufficient intake of water can cause brittle hair and thin hair strands. You should drink more water every day, but drinking water on an empty stomach can improve the quality of your hair to a greater extent.

7. Prevents Kidney Stones and Bladder Infections

Drinking water immediately after waking up is important for preventing kidney stones and bladder infections. It is a fact that drinking water on an empty stomach dilutes the acids which lead to stones in the kidney. The more water you drink (to a healthy limit), the more you will be protected from various kinds of bladder infections caused by toxins.

8. Strengthens Immune System

Drinking water on an empty stomach helps in flushing and balancing the lymphatic system, which leads to increased levels of immunity. A strong immune system will keep you safe from various diseases and prevent you from falling sick as often.

As you can see, there are a whole host of benefits of drinking water immediately after waking up. It’s without a doubt the easiest way to make a positive change to your lifestyle without spending any money.


Author: Joseph Summers 

Veggie Spring Rolls


Rice Paper
Sushi Rice
Bell Peppers 
Red Cabbage 


Cook sushi rice according to package. With one rice paper at a time, submerge in a shallow bowl of water (a round cake pan works well) for 5 seconds. Remove rice paper from water and place on your work surface. Add rice first then each of the veggies on top.

Fold over one side of the rice paper then fold over top and bottom. Using a rolling motion, continue to seal rice paper on opposite side.

Use liquid amino, soy sauce, or teriyaki sauce for dipping, and enjoy!

Store spring rolls in the fridge, uncut, for up to 5 days.